I love this day and the following days, my favorite time of the year, as it is for many of you. On December 14 the Halcyon Days begin. It’s an ancient mythological tradition, of celebrating tranquility for 7 days prior to until 7 days after the Winter Solstice (this year it’s December 21, 5:02 pm, AM). According to legend, it is associated with unusually calm seas; hence the common meanings of halcyon – peaceful. I like to play along, eliminating excess business, and entering a quiet, contemplative retreat mode. This is when I turn my activities and awareness towards the soulful meaning of the season. This is the time of the Great Return of the Light. I believe in its full meaning.
As humans many of us are apprehensive about the dark, and as darkness increases I hold my hope that light will return, and take measures to secure hearth and home, prepare to hunker down, stay warm and bright. Suddenly I’m in the mood to clean, move things around, decorate and write, all to prepare for festivities during Advent. From time immemorial people have prepared for this season by purifying their lives, cleaning their homes, bringing in evergreen boughs, and completing old business.
One tradition is to hang “Holiday Revels” (12.12.12) near the Christmas Tree. This artwork is a Memory Theater for some of the ways to celebrate through the Halcyon Days. Cross culturally, it is the richest time of the year. All peoples have marked this time as significant.
Let’s all all celebrate this great crazy life and return of the light.
note: featured image is Kathleen O’Brien Studio open to the Halcyon Days Presenting “Talismans for the 4 Elements”, on 12.12.20
Oh, I love that Kathleen. Thanks for posting.
Love this every year 🍃♥️🍃
I’m glad to hear this, Marjorie!
Such a beautiful tradition and idea, thanks for sharing that. I only wish that the commercializing agents of the contemporary world would understand this as well. Instead, they promote the hurry and shop through the Christmas season. Enjoy your Halcyon Days and I wish you a beautiful Christmastime!
Alex, I feel the same way. Don’t misunderstand, I love to give presents. But I like to focus on these meaningful times in December. I like to have business complete, with an open calendar for visiting loved ones and journaling, and “just plain livin'” to quote a friend.
This is such a sweet image. I see an arial view of a very colorful village with a green road going through it, red trees and different planted crops geometrically situated around the village. Makes me want to go there!
thanks, Lissa, I’m wondering which image you are looking at!
The quiet contemplation to be ready for the light, is a wonderful time.
Al the best, and see you soon.
Helene, yes, I love to take time to meditate on the meaning of Christmas and all the special days of the season