Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

It’s Time for a Time Out of Time – Let Us Welcome the Halcyon Days

 

Halcyon days, now wars are ending.
You shall find where-e’er you sail
Tritons all the while attending
With a kind and gentle gale.
~ Halcyon Days by Thomas Shadwell (1642 – 1692)

If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you know that every year I invite you step into a magical Time Out of Time with me, called the Halcyon Days. I first learned of this practice many years ago, from my favorite time lore keeper, Waverly Fitzgerald.

This is a very old tradition that begins the week before Winter Solstice and ends the week after.

In the Halcyon Days, we enter a period when we step out of our ordinary cares and the workaday world. This ancient practice calls us to pause, honor the rites of Yule, and celebrate with peace and kindness.

So for the next two weeks, that is what exactly I propose we do.

The Story of Halcyon:

Once upon a time, Alcyone (also called Halcyon) was the daughter of Aeolus, King of the Winds, and the wife of Ceyx, King of Thessaly. Alcyone and Ceyx loved each other devotedly and were never willingly apart.

Nevertheless, a time came when Ceyx decided he must make the long journey across the sea to consult the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. When Alcyone learned what he was planning, she was overwhelmed with grief and terror, for she knew the power of the sea winds and feared his death.

Ceyx was deeply moved, but his purpose held fast. Alcyone yielded at last, and let him go alone.

Alas! As everyone knows, men should listen to their wise and loving wives, for Ceyx was shipwrecked and died the tragic death that Alcyone had feared. The Gods appeared to Alcyone in a dream in the image of the drowned Ceyx, and told her of his death. Alcyone ran to the seashore and found Ceyx’s body drifting slowly towards her.

Stricken with grief, Alcyone jumped into the sea to join him in death, but the Gods took pity on her and before she could be overcome by the waves, she was transformed into a kingfisher.

Ceyx was reborn also into a sea swallow and together, their love lives forever. To this day, they are always seen together, flying or riding the waves.

To honor their love and to prevent any others from meeting such a tragic fate at this time of year, Zeus forbade the winds to blow for seven days prior to and seven days after the Winter Solstice.

The Tritons, attendants to Triton, the son of Poseidon, were called upon to ensure that this was made so. And henceforth, every year at this time, the Mediterranean Sea is supposed to lie still and calm; no breath of wind stirring the waters.

For this is when the kingfishers brood over their nests near the waters. After the young birds are hatched, the charm is broken.

So every year, at Winter’s threshold, these days of perfect peace are meant to come, and they are named after Alcyone, or, more commonly, “Halcyon Days.”

So starting now, my friends, let us bid welcome to the Halcyon Days. At our next lighting of our candles during this threshold time, be aware of the heightened power that now comes upon us.

Let Us Be the Peace We Wish to See

Every year, I have invited my readers to do all that is in our ability, to ensure that the restless inner and outer waters become quiet, so that the new birth may come.

This year, in view of the shocking developments in Aleppo, the election, and other deeply disturbing world events, I think we need this time more than ever. Because it’s all souls on deck, in these especially stormy waters.

Please join me in weaving a very special magical spell for peace and kindness in this liminal time.

Each day, let us do one thing — large or small — as a random act of kindness, or to embody the peace we wish to see. On every day of this Halcyon time, let us each bestow with clear intention a special blessing to our troubled world.

Today, as my own action for peace, I have renewed my decades-old membership with Amnesty International, and have written a letter on behalf of a circus performer who has been held by the Israeli military without charges or trial for over a year.

You might wish to do something quite different. I would welcome you to post and share your own ideas and activities in the Comments.

In all cases, let us pray with all our hearts, and then follow through. By the Gods, and by our own hands, may real peace come to our troubled world.

And may Love abide forever.

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  • December 14, 2016, 1:22 pm Donnalee

    Thanks for the great reminder, and may we all have at least these two weeks of peace and goodwill.

    The last month or so I have seriously dedicated myself to being the kind of person who does not deserve bad governance, and have been cleaning up my personal karma, since obviously I have the ability to work on that. I got a solar Tibetan Buddhist prayerwheel stack from tibettech.com that rotates nonstop and contains over 84 billion mantras that radiate nonstop. I have it on top of a map of the world so the prayers are dedicated for the benefit of all. I listen to Tibetan Buddhist mantras (that’s my brand–others may prefer other prayers) nonstop on youtube, especially one of White Tara, a feminine peaceful healing version of energy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDIMJ6SqiUE . I have been extra-nice to those I interact with, since everyone is freaked, and it reassures them to have a regular old nice person be nice to them. I go to the local supermarket and help anyone who needs it to find stuff, reach stuff, clean up stuff, just chitchat about whatever they want. It’s a great spiritual practice, plus the only ‘downtown’ I have.

    I also go to manikorlo.org and turn the little prayerwheel there, and I went out of my way to make the light light up in the US the day after the elections (by clicking it many times and writing prayers there like ‘wisdom, peace and love to all’), so others will know that at least one person in the US wants to benefit beings. I also just pick up garbage on the ground, whatever needs to be done.

    May we all do well and may all benefit. Thanks so much for your uplifting posts!

  • December 14, 2016, 1:27 pm Aimee

    Great post and thank you so much for the wonderful reminder about doing good every day. I agree that this is especially needed now! I admit to feeling embittered about the election and its aftermath, so wasn’t feeling charitable. I’d always had a pact with myself to put money into every Salvation Army red kettle that I encountered – but hadn’t felt like doing it.

    But a couple of days ago I realized this attitude wasn’t helping me, and was also hurting those whom the money raised by SA could help. So I began pulling out my wallet to make my donations again. I also bought toys and donated them to the Toys For Tots campaign.

    I feel better already for having done these actions, and look forward to doing more good deeds as well.

  • December 14, 2016, 4:23 pm Ellen Apple

    There is a small, privately operated convenience store where I try to buy as much as I can to support local businesses as opposed to large corporations. The wife/co-owner was working when I was there earlier today. She is originally from Honolulu and is leaving Sunday for her first trip home in 7 years. It took her 7 years to save the money for a 2-week vacation, and she has to go alone because her spouse has to stay home and work the family business. She is nervous about flying alone. I gave her a blessing for a safe and grace-filled time away. And I shared with her my 3 words for 2017 – “More” hope and joy, be “Kind”, extend and accept “Grace” whenever, however, wherever you can. More Kind Grace. This I hope for all of you as well.

  • December 15, 2016, 8:44 am Beth

    Oh you all! Thank you!! These are such beautiful suggestions.

    I agree, it is very hard now, with so many terrible things happening all around us. But to bring this season’s peace and kindness to all within our own small spheres can truly make a difference, both for those we touch, and for our own peace of spirit. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. We all need the sustenance of inspiration from one another, and you have added to that so beautifully. May your Halcyon Days be deeply blessed.