In our high-tech society, we tend to take these cycles of nature for granted, but our ancestors were acutely aware of the disappearance and return of the light. Many of our best-loved myths, legends, and fairy tales grew out of this planetary phenomenon, although it may not be readily apparent.
One that comes immediately to mind is the Descent of Inanna, who ventures into the underworld to visit her sister, a goddess deprived of sunlight who is depressed, miserable, and in constant pain. If you or anyone you love suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, you might well imagine how this myth came about. In fact, ancient Sumerian texts mention light deprivation and its affect on the libido. Pretty astonishing, don’t you think?
Another tale that comes to mind is the Sleeping Beauty. There are many interpretations of the meaning of this tale. Some see sexual symbolism in the virgin who pricks her finger on a spindle and goes to sleep for 100 years. According to some traditions, the tale represents spirit “sleeping” inside of matter. That spirit, or love, is awakened by a kiss from the prince. In esoteric terms, spirit is light, matter is darkness, and the quest for reunifying them is eternal.
For cultures where seasonal changes aren’t so extreme, the cycle of light and darkness is more easily seen in the phases of the Moon. As it so happens, this year we have both the equinox and the Full Moon with just a few hours of one another.
As I mentioned in my weekly forecast, the Sun in Libra and Moon in Aries will retrace the degrees of the cardinal T-square, which peaked in August. This, too, will lead us to a better understanding of time and our place in the universe.
Just some food for thought as we head into a new season.