In my childhood, a day spent in practice church-bell ringing or hanging out “down the brook” was brought to a close by sitting on the living room carpet, eating sandwiches into which Mum had stuck plastic “content” picks, watching Catweazle.
The next day was the start of a new week at school, so these family moments were greatly treasured – or so it seems to me, from this dizzy height of years.
Similarly, Beltaine and Samhain are liminal spaces in the year. They mark out the end of one of the two seasons the Celts acknowledged and the start of the other. Hence, a space from which to observe this turning into that. Here transforming to there. Winter becoming Summer.
The Solstices I could make a similar case for: they are the two turning points, to use algebraic language, in the cycle of the solar year. The sun reaches its high or low point and turns around between one instant and the next .
Not so the Equinoxes. While the sun crosses the equator we aren’t moving sharply from one season to another – it’s the middle of the season – and these are not turning points on the graph of the sun’s year. There is a change from longer nights to longer days, or vice versa, and the trend will continue for the next six months when the other Equinox is encountered. But only in the sense that we “step over” the equator, sun-wise, is this any kind of line in the sand.
I find the Equinoctial points more balanced than liminal, honestly. And so it was fairly surprising that my Sunday afternoon nap turned up a numinous vision as I was closing my eyes.
We’ve seen this before, in the no-man’s land of pre-sleep Sunday naps…blue fields of view being the latest manifestation.
This time it was writing. Black ink, hand written cursive script on slightly yellowish lined background. Lots of words, some of which I recognised. it was so surprising because I was seeing it as clearly as I’m seeing the keyboard right now – but with my eyes closed.
I thought a while,later, about what could have been lurking in my subconscious for this display to be so vivid, but could come up with nothing.
The thing is, not so much what does it mean, but where does it come from in the first place?