Cross Quarter Days

We are coming up on the most famous of them all here in North America, Halloween. A cross quarter day is halfway between a solstice and an equinox. There are four of them.

In northern latitudes, the length of our day changes so radically through the year, days and nights getting shorter, getting longer, around in cycles. or back and forth as a pendulum. The sun comes, the sun goes. You know what I am talking about, any of you who live in the latitudes of Copenhagen, Vancouver, or Bejing.

Our seasons invite us to shape them; we are made so aware that years pass whether we craft them or not. There was last winter, there will be this winter, and the next and the next.

I’m not sure why Halloween chooses to celebrate our move into the darkness in such fanciful ways. Perhaps we are making fun of the dark, it can’t scare us, not really. We don’t believe in the death and darkness we are observing in our environment. Trees lose leaves, green goes away as a ground color, replaced with white at times. We even flaunt our disbelief in the darkness by planting bulbs for crocus and daffodils.

Still, we will play at the game, the light goes away and it is fearful and scary. Monsters and bogeymen are waiting to grab you. Eeeeeeeeeks! So here we are, Holloween. The light is going away. The darkness is closing in, a minute and ten minutes and then an hour at a time. We won’t experience a day this long again until early February, Groundhog Day.

Exercise: planting intentions for the Winter season. In just a few words, name what you want from this season, from now to midwinter 21 Dec, and then through to Groundhog Day near the first of February. What will you play at for the next three months, while the sun is away? What will you find in the darkness?

If you live in a southern temperate latitude, you are moving toward summer. What will this season of growth be?

Jan Elfline

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