Well, the nights are drawing in, under eight hours of daylight each day. We are approaching the turning point, where the daylight periods start to get longer again.
The ancients used to believe that this was a powerful and albeit unlucky time of year approaching! This, as sun-worshiping people (not the tabloid newspaper!) , the approaching solstice marked the point where the sun was at its weakest, the annual ‘death’ of the sun. Certain rituals had to be performed to keep the gods happy at this time or panic might take over the kingdoms. So, a bit like Black Friday then, perhaps ^-^ ?
Those born on the five unlucky days were said to have a doomed or unlucky lifetime, a bit like walking zombies(!). Fear not though, Sag-Capricorn cuspies (those born on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn) as death in shamanic terms is often seen as a period of transformation. You’re not zombies! Just more likely to be influenced by the other forces around us.
This coming Saturday (Dec. 21) marks one of the four major way stations on the Earth’s annual journey around the sun.
Because of the tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation, the sun appears to rise and fall in our sky over the course of a year. It’s not the sun itself moving, but the Earth moving relative to the sun. The ancients believed it was the other way round, it would seem.
The sun crosses the equator traveling northward around March 21 and going southward on Sept. 21, in celestial events known as “equinoxes” (from the Latin for “equal night,” as day and night are of roughly equivalent length on these dates.) The exact dates vary a little bit from year to year because of leap years.
On 21st December, the sun stops moving southward, pauses, and then starts moving northward. This pause is called the “solstice,” derived from the Latin words “sol” for “sun” and “sisto” for “stop”.
So, on 25 December, it all starts again, the sun is ‘reborn’ and ready to go. By new year, the ‘new’ sun will be shining very brightly, yet still so far away from us. Warmth, light, hope and bigger and brighter things to come. It is interesting to note that ancient kingdoms and civilisations marked both the Solstice and Christmas dates as important days to celebrate. The more we put aside our differences and egos, the more we see some striking similarities…
Self-care is very important this time of year. With only 8 hours or less of sunlight per day in the UK for the next few weeks, try to make the most of what you can get. Take a walk, visit the park during lunchtimes, even just remember look out the window and say hello to the sunshine!
Traditionally, we Northern Hemisphere folk would’ve spent the longer evenings with family and focused on trying to keep warm. Self-care and self-nourishment are vital as our energy is prone to drop at this time of year before the massive run up to the end of the year and all that it brings.
To keep hold of your own power, make sure you do focus on yourself, at least some of the time.
Thousands of years ago, the 30th day of the third month of the season of flood (October) marked the Elephantine Festival of Anuket.
Elephantine Island is now part of the modern city of Aswan in southern Egypt.
Anuket was considered one of the protectors of the Nile and was depicted as a woman wearing a high crown of feathers. Anuket was part of a triad with the god Khnum, and the goddess Satis, known as the Triad of Elephantine.
It is said that she appeared with Taweret (a god of pregnancy and fertility) on funeral rites too. This represented two goddesses protecting the waters as a soul made their journey onwards.
Perhaps it is fitting that a festival relating to a god that protected the waters, the journey onwards to the afterlife, comes the day before Halloween/Samhaim… 🙂
I had a wonderful time at the Grand by Thistle in Bristol on Sunday 25 May 2014. I was a part of the Grand Spiritual Event, run by StarNation. It was a lovely mix of stalls with clothing, tarot, clairvoyance and healing.
I gave some wonderful Ka Ba Sum treatments and was great to chat with like-minded folk.
As we reach the of April and move into may, we shall celebrate May Day/Beltane/International Workers days.
Great times for welcoming in the summer season. Ah, summer is on its way 🙂
A Long time ago, in Egypt, it is believed that the beginning of May brought in the beginning of Shemu (also spelt as Smw), the season of summer and welcoming the oncoming harvest. Shemu, itself is believed to translate as ‘the period of low water’ (the first month of Shemu was called Hnsw).
I say believed because there is not a consensus amongst scholars and as believed that throughout the dynasties, a 360+5 day year (annus vagus- wandering year) was used. It means that every year they fell approximately 1/4 of a day behind. The equivalent of Leap years is understood to have arrived as a concept much later on.
Reading about Shemu seemed very appropriate right now, there’s still a lot of work to be done and this time of year is great as you begin to see the fruits of your labour. The flowers are coming out, colour is everywhere and, hopefully, there will be less rain than we’ve had in recent months.
The work I’ve been putting into developing Ka Ba Sum is paying off as I see the effects it’s had on those clients I’ve treated recently. The harvest is still to come. Good things are on there way.
With gratitude I look forward to a wonderful summer. Maybe you and I will meet along the way… 🙂
Whatever you are doing this summer, I hope you can enjoy it.