Astronomy · Getaways

Summer Solstice, Strawberry Moon in a Fairytale Castle

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Once upon a time, on the longest day of the year, villagers gathered in a fairytale castle for a labyrinth moonwalk to renew their spirits under the glow of a full strawberry moon.

That time was yesterday, the village was San Anselmo, and the setting was Geneva Terrace at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

In case you missed the Google Doodle, a strawberry moon called shotgun to this year’s summer solstice. This dynamic duo hasn’t paired up since “The Summer of Love” in 1967, and won’t again until 2062.

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A strawberry moon was named after the Algonquin belief that strawberry-picking season is now at its peak. My strawberries must be late bloomers.

The ideal reaction to such astronomical serendipity is to run out, shed your clothes and bask in Druidic ecstasy under copious amounts of sunshine amidst ancient, mystical ruins. Sensibly slathered in sunscreen, of course. But since Stonehenge was 5,000 miles away, I opted for a closer, but equally magical, locale.

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The fairytale turrets and towers of San Francisco Theological Seminary
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Beautiful vistas of Mt. Tamalpais from Geneva Terrace
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A breath-taking summer solstice sunset! Say that three times fast…

The Geneva Terrace Labyrinth is open to the public for prayer, reflection and meditation. And if you forgot your ball of twine, fret not. Contrary to Greek mythology, a labyrinth has a single path which leads to the center and back out again, unlike a maze which has many pathways and dead ends. And a half-bull, half-man, virgin-devouring monster in the middle.

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Rejoice, vestal virgins of San Anselmo! No Minotaur shall feast upon you at the center of this labyrinth. Thanks Ovid, for spawning that 2,000 year-old urban legend…
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In addition to refreshments for body and soul, you can meditate to the quiet strains of a harp
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As the sun sets beyond Mt. Tamalpais after its marathon session…
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…a strawberry moon peeks out from the horizon

The San Francisco Theological Seminary holds quarterly moonwalks, inviting everyone to enjoy these gorgeous sights while walking the labyrinth unde the light of the stars and full moon. See schedule here.

Happy summer!

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