500 candles greet solstice

EVERETT – Five hundred candles lined the Snohomish River Thursday afternoon as the sun set at 4:18 p.m.

Dec. 21 always marks the shortest day of the year, when daylight emerges late and hides early.

But this season has been darker than usual, said Karen Guzak, who planned the glowing riverfront walk.

Storms began to hammer the region in November, bringing floods, snow and wind. Hundreds of thousands of people around the region lost power, some more than once.

“It’s been such dark days,” she said. “We thought it would be a lovely way to gather the community and provide light for the winter.”

The winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon that gets stargazers outside to take advantage of long hours of night-like darkness, said Mark Folkerts, president of the Everett Astronomical Society.

“If there are clear skies, I want to go out and set up a telescope,” he said. “You have a long night here so you can see the sky. You don’t have to stay up late.”

The solstice is a simple equation of physics, but to some, the event holds spiritual significance.

A small group gathered Thursday evening at Moonflower Magicks, a magic shop in Everett.

They sat in a circle and held candles to remember the mythic phoenix, which rises from the ashes of its former self.

Moonflower Magick’s Colby Avenue store was destroyed by fire in late October. It reopened in a temporary Hewitt Avenue space, but will soon relocate to a permanent Colby Avenue home about a block away from the original store.

“The sun coming back, rising from the ashes; it’s very helpful for a store that just burned down,” said Andrei Freeman, who led the ceremony.

Freeman is the leader of Intimate Fire, a group that hopes to become the Snohomish County chapter of Orto Templi Orientis, an international organization that traces itself back to the Knights of Templar.

Heather Freeman, Andrei Freeman’s wife and a Snohomish-based artist, wrote the ceremony.

“It’s based on an ancient ritual that if you didn’t do the right ceremony, the days would just keep getting shorter and shorter and colder and colder and the sun would never come back,” she said.

“Of course now we know the sun will come back, but it’s still something worth celebrating.”

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)
Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.