The Halcyon Days—the Alcedonia—occur seven days before and seven days after the Winter Solstice. They are days of peace, celebrating the Greek myth of Alcyone, the daughter of Aeolus, God of the Wind, and her husband, King Ceyx. The pair, through hubris, draw the ire of the goddess Hera, who conjures a storm that drowns Ceyx at sea. When Alcyone finds his body washed ashore, she flails herself in despair off a rock into the surf; in the last moment, however, Hera mercifully captures her midair and transforms her and Ceyx into a pair of halcyon birds: kingfishers. Aeolus, from then on, quiets the sea during the Halcyon Days so the kingfishers can nest.
This myth, among others, had a great deal to do with me taking on the name Kingfisher some 25 years ago. Just as the Mediterranean is often quiet this time of year, so these days have a peaceful and magical quality—making them my favorite time of year. This year, I am aligning the seven days before and after the Solstice with the ascending and descending musical scales of the Muzoracle, with each day presenting a topic for contemplation and meditation. I’ll be posting the topics daily—I invite you to join me in practice and peace.
December 14th, Day One: Inception (do descending.) The promise of light, even in the darkest of times.
December 15th, Day Two: Revelation (ti descending.) Following the breath I descend into presence, into sensation; my body relaxes as my soul relaxes into it, my thoughts fall silent, and the truth, the unity of body, soul, and mind emerges, becomes clear; and the boundaries between myself and the world become transparent, porous, the knots loosen, the burden lightens. Oneness prevails, Love is alive, and with every breath I deepen into Peace: I am this, by being this I offer this.
December 16th, Day Three: Governance (la descending.) The laws that govern existence—of life and death, giving and receiving, of karma, attraction/resonance, of seven, of three, of gravity and inertia... form the context within which Nature unfolds, and within which I grow and have my being. Struggle is Love waiting to be revealed. I release attachment and fear, I breathe into pain, I surrender to Love, embracing life in all its changing forms. within and without.
December 17th, Day Four: Vitality (so descending.) The Flow of Life is the Flow of Love, and is in infinite supply. While I am present, relaxed, and open it flows through me freely, fueling my being and empowering right action. When identified or attached, however, I act from stores of energy which can become depleted, leading to confusion and exhaustion; and Love can be forgotten and action short-sighted. I hold an intention to be both conscious of the flow and my wish to be wholly surrendered to it, always with compassion, patience, and gratitude.
December 18th, Day Five: Manifestation (fa descending.) All things manifest are ideas in the Mind of G-d, slowed into movement and form. Similarly, ideas, feelings, premonitions, plans, and desires in us become concrete, alive in the world: wishes are granted, prayers are answered, hopes and fears are realized; the book is published, the record released, the marriage made, the house built. It’s always a surprise how things play out: what was seemingly ours is now undoubtably part of something larger, subject to broader contexts and forces. This is the living, leading edge of soul work, and a gift: we are incarnate beings in community with others, of the human variety and otherwise—and when things work, that’s where and how and within which they work. Knock knock, who's there, Life on Earth. I'm reminded of what the angels that fall to Earth experience in Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire: difficult and delicious, staggeringly sad and joyous, unbearably beautiful. Ah, life! The breathing, ever-morphing result of the Creative Process. Today I am all in, and I am thankful.
December 19th, Day 6: Opportunity (mi descending.) “Opportunity: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” What are those circumstances now? What is possible because of them? We live in an abundant universe—opportunity abounds. What do I want? What within me wants it?