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)
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 loving wives, for Ceyx was shipwrecked and died the tragic death that she 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 changed into a sea swallow and together, their love lives forever. To this day, they are always seen together, flying or riding the waves.
In addition, Zeus forbade the winds to blow for seven days prior to and seven days after the Winter Solstice and every year at this time, the Mediterranean Sea typically lies still and calm; no breath of wind stirs 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, but each winter these days of perfect peace come, and they are named after Alcyone, or, more commonly, “Halcyon days.”
Welcome to the Halcyon Days, my friends. We pray with all our hearts that real peace may descend upon our troubled world. And as we join together in this Time out of Time, may the restless waters still, that a new birth may begin.
Happy Birthday, Capricorn!
When the Sun is in Capricorn, we prepare for the worst, expecting the best. The Capricorn’s symbol, that strong-willed Sea Goat, climbs up from the sea and scales the steepest peaks to reach the high goals they set for themselves. Their cautious, confident steps usually get them to the summit. Rather than being spontaneous, Capricorn takes itself and its life seriously, believing that it makes more sense to do things well the first time. Though gifted with a good sense of history and perspective, once it starts climbing, Capricorn doesn’t look back.
Capricorn’s Earth Sign energy is about self-control, persistence, patience. Ruled by Saturn, planet of responsibilities and life lessons, Capricorn’s Sun transit can be frustrating for those with an impetuous nature. On the bright side, this influence allows us an ambition and clarity of purpose coupled with a respect for others. While it can be a strong ego energy, it’s not devious at all. Common sense governs decisions made under this influence.