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Eight Dimensions for Solstice

Published: December 9, 2014, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.

Purepecha 4 Directions foods, medicines, time

[Purhépecha came from the four directions as one of the oldest peoples in México [Michoacán[ recognizing the four changing windows of time and one of those windows is what many call the Winter Solstice]

Solstice is a marker of time, of change. The Gregorian Calendar marks the days 20, 21,22,23 of December as the Solstice at this time of year. Years ago when I sat with my family in an indigenous comunidad peering at the night sky we witnessed a full moon on the Solstice… a rare event that is not to be repeated until 2025. With that dark sky so clear that the stars and galaxies shown as diamonds the Moon commanded one’s attention.

The full moon this year has passed the last several days and a quarter moon will be in the sky at Solstice.

How time is measured  depends on one’s temperament aided by conceptual devices like that most globally celebrated metaphor the “Four Directions.” As the Purépecha scholars note, the Four Directions symbol is multi-dimensional, multi-functional and constantly changing. To accurately calculate the Solstice one must understand that the “arms” of the Four Directions are moving with the Sun and tilting of the earth. The Four Directions must also be understood to have eight dimensions: East to West for the movement of the Sun, North and South for the shifting location of the North Star, a Center around which all things move, a vector directed at the center of the earth and a vector from the center pointing at the middle of the galaxy and finally the dimension of change or time.

With these dimensions there are domains associated with each including the different corn planting periods, animals to be hunted, birds, insects, types of soils, places to build villages, and more. The metaphor of the Four Directions places the Solstice and the Equinox each defining the boundaries between celestial movements and defining human relationships with all things.

{NOTE: Updated to correct missing words and errant letters to improve reader understanding.}

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