Happy Efnniht! Or should I say Happy Alban Elfed? No? Ok, then happy Autumnal Equinox! Today’s celestially auspicious event comes with roughly 12 hours of day and night. The name, from the Latin æquus and nox, literally means equal night. In the wheel of the year, the spring and autumn equinoxes fall between the summer and winter solstices.
For as long as mankind has watched the heavens and kept track of celestial constants, these four events were considered important because they marked the cross quarters and the turning of the seasons. To beings dependent on animal migrations and eventually on the particulars of agriculture, knowing when to hunt and when to plant/harvest was a matter of survival.
Before long, their importance as time-keepers inspired rituals and customs to spring up across cultures around the world. Two off the top of my head –dousing fires and symbolically relighting them on the winter solstice, and running cattle through the Beltane fires.
Some of the more remarkable ways man has paid homage to the cross quarters have been through stone and wood structures built in such a way as to capture a moment in time. We know about the great monoliths of the ancients such as Stonehenge and Brittany’s Carnac, but there were other important timepieces too. Again, off the top of my head, there’s a spiral cut in stone that is pierced by a shaft of light in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. Ireland’s New Grange is a tunnel built into an earthwork that captures the rising or setting sunlight on one day a year. There are also astronomical observatories subtly positioned as avenues, such as the Temple of Karnac in Egypt or the solar alignment of New York’s Manhattan.
Here’s one of my favorites for marking the spring equinox. This is the ancient step pyramid of El Castillo in Chichen Itza. The sun casts a moving body of light on the stone serpent head at the bottom of the pyramid. Amazing.
What an interesting day to contemplate a life in balance– A good day to accept we are at once both light and shadow. Take writing. By the very nature of what it is, writing fiction is a very introspective craft. Other writers reading my blog today will understand what it is I am saying. Our craft pulls from every imaginable corner of our psyche. Every once in a while a wisp of darkness curls into my light and when I’m done composing it, I’ll sit back from my keyboard fairly stunned by what just poured out of my imagination.
On a theme, my latest tiptoe into the shadows is now in print. This will be my third murder anthology with authors Paul DeLancey and Candace Bowen. If you click on the Look Inside feature on the cover of each on Amazon, you see my stories come after the fun introductions.
More darkness in past anthologies~ Look Inside to read mine
The Darwin Murders
Bump Of Your Enemies. I came late to this one and didn’t quite understand the theme, but they took my bit anyway.
Perhaps not in equal measure for the equinox, but I’m also in these lighter collections…
The free Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology Vol 1. My offering is based upon the true history of rural electrification in the house next door to me.
And then there’s Bake, Love, Write ~ a light-hearted recipe collection where authors shared a dessert recipe and their perspectives on love and the writing craft. (more info below) Author Kaye Spencer made this little book trailer for our cookbook. Very cute!
I’m participating in Fall Into Romance — a month-long event hosted by The Romance Reviews. Hundreds of authors and industry people are participating and that means hundreds of prizes. Find my bit on my satellite blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 34 entries to come.
Here’s a cliché for today:
All things being equal
Today is guest Author Sherry Ewing
Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ The September contest is almost over. SO many prizes!
Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing
The e-version of our cookbook is sold everywhere for 99⊄.
The Nook Store
And we have Paperback on Amazon
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