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Today, the Halcyon Days start. They are upon us until December 28.
The sailors at sea know this because they see the little halcyon (kingfisher) laying its eggs in its floating nest which means no storms for two weeks.
The myth accompanying this has everything in it – love, hubris, revenge, death and transformation.
They were in love and happy and often sacrilegiously called each other “Zeus” and “Hera.” This angered Zeus, so while Ceyx was at sea (going to consult an oracle according to Ovid’s account), the god threw a thunderbolt at his ship. Ceyx appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of his fate, and she threw herself into the sea in her grief. Out of compassion, the gods changed them both into halcyon birds, named after her.
The two lived together and started their family at sea as birds.
Ever since . we have the “halcyon days“, the 14 days in winter when storms never occur.
The seven days each year (either side of the shortest day of the year) during which Alcyone (as a kingfisher) laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach and during which her father Aeolus, god of the winds, restrained the winds and calmed the waves so she could do so in safety.
And you can celebrate this with the feeling that you and your families will be sheltered from storms for the next few weeks.
In the North, they knew they had to make a minimum of effort to conserve their precious energy – sparse like the light of the sun.
So, peace and contentment to you all.