Sunday, December 14, 2014

Navigating the Halcyon Days, December 14–28

This year, Sunday, December 14th marks the beginning of the Halcyon Days, which run 7 days before and 7 days after the Winter Solstice. In Greek mythology, these days – the “Alcedonia” – marked a time when the Mediterranean seas became unusually calm, so that halcyon birds – kingfishers – could nest. And there is a quiet that becomes available around this time, if we stop to notice. In the short days and long nights leading up to the solstice, there’s a kind of turning inward that happens, a reflectiveness, and a tenderness toward others; gatherings with friends have a different quality, as does our quiet time alone. In the lengthening days after the solstice – in the days between Christmas and the New Year – we find a kind of bright emptiness, spare and clean, and a sense of space to begin; and these days, too, are imbued with a singular quiet and calm.

In the bustle of the season, with it’s parties and shopping and travel and crowds, how can we remember, how can we live more fully, this magical, gentle quiet that’s on offer? How can we be it, share it, make the best of it?

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The casting opens with a gift of seeing: a seismic shift is underway for us at a being level, an evolutionary step up, and we have a sense of it. We are asked to set an intention to commit to this fledgling self, to allow what we are becoming to become our center. We find opportunities for this in our relationships with others: opportunity to see, and opportunity to be. At the same time, opportunities arise for closeness and understanding in the relationships themselves. It’s a lovely thing. All of this happens best during the rituals the season provides: gatherings of two or twenty, dinners, walks in nature, trips to the snow, kids around the tree… whichever best suits us.

Walking out the door, however, we run into difficulty: schedules conflict, traffic snarls, people are late or no-shows, tempers flare. We try and get on people’s wavelength, but we try too hard – perhaps we’re pushing to be heard without listening, or bucking for approval; perhaps they are. The effort required in these situations: lead with the heart. Give. Let go, listen, and give. If it’s their turn to give, give first anyway. You’ll find yourself loved and appreciated without asking for it – and there’ll be room for some of that shiny new stuff to emerge.

The Halcyon Days have their own rhythm, and it’s a polyrhythm: the big boomers of gatherings and events, the crazy cacophony of the mall parking lot, and the quiet pulse of the season itself, gentle as the sea. Focus on one aspect of the rhythm, and you’ll choke and sputter; embrace it all and, like the halcyon, you’ll soar.

A blessed Yule to you all. –JSK

Casting Notes.  Keycenter, D ascending: 2nd Chakra (sacral, creative.) 1st position: Tritone of Voices over fa, impetus in the realm of spirit at the point of revelation. 2nd position: Tonality over do, centeredness at the point of intention. 3rd position: Harmony under te, relationship at the point of opportunity. 4th position: Form under ra, form at the point of vitality. 5th position, axis: Minor Second of Brass crossed with Tuning over re: tuning into others and conflict in the realm of movement over the point of mechanicality. 6th position: Perfect Fifth of Strings over mi, initiative in the realm of feeling at the point of effort required. 7th position: Soloist of Woodwinds under se, autonomy in the realm of thought at the point of inception. 8th position: Octave of Strings under me, strength in the realm of feeling at the point of governance. 9th position: Rhythm under le, rhythm at the point of dependence.

The Halcyon Days derive from the myth of Alcyone and Ceyx, which can be found in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”  

Muzoracle creator J S Kingfisher is available for private castings with music, as well as instruction, workshops, and presentations. For more information, contact him here.