31 December 2014

The Time of Janus is Upon Us

New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his pass'd date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
To the ancient Romans, the dual faced God, Janus, was the God of beginnings and transitions, and as such, he was also perceived to be the God who ruled over gates and doors, doorways and passages, as well as also endings.  With one face looking back into the past, and the other into the future, it is little wonder that as we approach New Year's Eve, Janus can easily come to mind. 

19 December 2014

The Summer Solstice - Time of Abundance

Fetch me that flower: the herb I showed thee once
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees
Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
Ere the Leviathan can swim a league
(The Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare)

As the sun completes its southward journey, it rests briefly over the Tropic of Capricorn before moving northward again.  When it enters the astrological sign of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, we know that the sun is at its highest and brightest and that the time of the Summer Solstice has arrived.
For the Ngarrindjeri people, the warmth associated with Luwadang continues.  As the sun increases in strength, it dries the land, allowing it to be haunted by the call of ravens, the bird that is often associated with death in many cultures around the world.