Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice to all!

As I've been working on my book recently, I've been researching a chapter about Shinto, which has a wonderful myth about the sun's return:

Susanoo-no-Mikoto, a storm god, was the brother of Amaterasu, goddess of the sun. He was also a bit of a trickster and a rude fellow, and finally his antics so angered Amaterasu Omikami that she went and hid in a cave, and closed the opening off with a huge rock.

With the sun gone, everything got dark (duh), and living things began to wither. All the kami, the spirits, tried to lure her back out. Finally, Ama-no-Uzume, the goddess of merriment, got an idea. She hung a mirror on a tree, a started an erotic and uproarious dance! The kami laughed so loud that Amaterasu got curious, and stuck her head out. She saw her own reflection in the mirror, but didn't recognize herself -- she thought this was a new kami and, fascinated, came out of the cave.

So, remember -- around the Winter Sostice, be sure to laugh lots and party hearty to help trick the sun out of her cave and bring back the light and warmth!

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