Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

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)

Winter Solstice draws near, and we enter into the Time Out of Time.

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.

Ceyx & Alcyone ©2005adam shaw
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.

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. Henceforth, every year at this time, the Mediterranean Sea 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.

Thus, every year, at Winter’s threshold, 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 come.

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