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Author Topic: Liminal Times  (Read 4929 times)

Darkhawk

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Liminal Times
« on: June 21, 2016, 09:47:19 pm »
Discussion elsewhere inspired me for a thread!

 A lot of people have traditions where one time or another is perceived as being particularly otherworldly, whether time of year or time of day.  (I came across something recently - wish I could remember more details - where apparenty some people thought I'm pretty sure it was Thursdays were particularly liminal.  I just... Thursdays?  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.)

And of course there's the different sorts of liminality one can get.  The Mysteries of Wesir (Osiris) having a very different sort of edginess than the Days Upon the Year in the Egyptian calendar.  (Oh, among the liminal times in the Egyptian calendar:  Noon.  Because the sun stands still for a little, visually, and they found that kind of creepy.  A translation of the famous Dream Stela has a line that reads in part 'Sleep seized him, a sleep at the time when the sun was at the zenith, and he found the Majesty of this noble god speaking with his own mouth, like the words of a father for his son...')

My personal favorite is found in the European folkloric survivals around the Ember Days and related stuff - you get things like the Wild Hunt's appearances, the active nights for the benandanti, and so on on these dates, all indicating some sense of numinous vulnerability from/to the other side.

I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 10:23:58 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859

I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

 
My primary ones are Samhain and Beltane, roughly (which are both common periods for liminal stuff in a bunch of folklore: in some sources they're the time when the Fae courts swap, in others when they travel, plus all the 'veil is thin' type stuff.)

The Beltane one is usually a little narrower for me in experience: a week or ten days where I feel a lot of time slips and things shifting.

The Samhain one usually starts mid-October (sometime in there I'll start going 'Oh, there we go' - I haven't actually been able to pin it down to if it's a moon phase before or what.) and runs to roughly astrological Samhain (usually November 7th or 8th) when it starts to ease up again.

I also sometimes get a blip of it around winter solstice through New Year's, which I think is more a 'I've had one year of my life when I was not primarily centered around an academic calendar in varying forms, and that's a week when everything reliably shuts down' personal thing.
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 10:47:34 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

I also recognize different kinds or levels of liminality. For me, the entire autumn functions as one kind of liminal season, where I see the Hunt emerge and am able to do chthonic work more easily. (I jokingly call this Pumpkin Spice season, because it roughly corresponds, but it's strongest around Halloween, which is my first new year.)

I have a festival called Twelvenights that basically goes from Yule to New Years, which manifests for me as a feeling of suspension and timelessness. I often run across the sensation of the Hunt again in this window.

I associate Beltane/Walpurgis with the fae, but I don't work with those energies anymore so I am pretty out-of-tune with that sensation.

There's also a strong sense of time-and-place overlapping to create a liminal space that I see sometimes, generally in relation to fairs.

Also night time. I often don't even bother to try taking dictation before midnight, because I'm just not going to get anything. The strongest part of the night is dawn, but only when I've not been to bed yet. XD
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Sorcha

Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 11:25:12 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

 
Dusk and dawn (not to be confused with sunrise and sunset) have an otherworldly quality to me. I try to burn incense at last light as many nights as I can. I'm not a morning person, but if I happen to be up that early, dawn is pretty special too.



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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 11:30:08 pm »
Quote from: Jack;192862
I also recognize different kinds or levels of liminality. For me, the entire autumn functions as one kind of liminal season, where I see the Hunt emerge and am able to do chthonic work more easily. (I jokingly call this Pumpkin Spice season, because it roughly corresponds, but it's strongest around Halloween, which is my first new year.)

I have a festival called Twelvenights that basically goes from Yule to New Years, which manifests for me as a feeling of suspension and timelessness. I often run across the sensation of the Hunt again in this window.


 
I don't do Twelvenights (though that sounds interesting and might be something I'll have to ask you more about), but I get the feelings regarding the Hunt and autumn-through-winter.

Personally, my liminal stuff is in November and the week around the Winter Solstice. Are there other times of year when things get liminal for me? Probably. But they're too random.
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 07:21:04 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859

I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?


Well, apart from the whole, 'it's just zep tepi all the way down' sort of thing because it totally is, the big ones for me are Wep Ronpet in late Jan/Feb, the Mysteries in May, and Oct 31 the day before NaNoWriMo begins. Possibly Winter Solstice as well. Those are the big liminal times of the year for me.
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2016, 07:46:56 am »
Quote from: Jack;192862
I also recognize different kinds or levels of liminality.

 
Yeah, I think this fits me too? I was thinking of this question and realized the 8 holidays I celebrate for the 3 are all liminal in some way.

I celebrate the holidays in the NeoPagan WotY but with some different cosmology, etc, attached to them. The Solstices are liminal because they are moments the sun stands still, but the Equinoxes are a different sort of/deeper liminal because they are times when day and night are equal. Samhain and Beltane are probably the most liminal times of the year for me, when the Veil thins, sex/death/sex/death energy, etc, and Imbolc and Loafmass the least liminal.

I have no idea why I consider some times more liminal and some less; it's just what it feels like to me.

There's also the Otherfaith holiday of Reunion, which runs from December 23rd to 31st, which is very much an in-between time for me. (Currently the only Otherfaith holiday I have properly celebrated; slowly working on integrating all my religious calendars.)

Actually all of December feels very in-between to me, which is probably because of how much time I've spent in academia.

With regards to lunar stuff, I find half-moons more liminal than full or new, but haven't yet figured out what to do with them. (Just now planning on getting into doing Deipnon stuff for Hekate.)
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2016, 10:58:17 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
Thursdays?  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

 
Thursdays are ok, as long as you know where your towel is.


Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with? Your favorites?


Mid to late October is the most noticeably liminal time of the year for me. Everything tends to be stirring at that time.  The Hunt makes its presence felt,  vardøgers seem to appear more regularly, and of course, spirits of the dead are plentiful.

I find the period around winter solstice is liminal in a much quieter sort of way.  Jack's description of "suspension and timelessness" really fits the feeling  of it quite well.  There's another quality about it that I'm having trouble putting into words - a little like being a small child held in strong, loving arms, but on a much, much larger scale.  

Evening twilight is another favorite for me and the time of day when I find it easiest to walk between worlds.

While not a specific time, the period just before and during thunderstorms has a strong liminal feeling to me.  There's a sharp edge to the liminality - a sense of menace lurking just below the surface and a time when I get the strongest impression of the Hunt.
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 01:07:33 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
Discussion elsewhere inspired me for a thread!

 A lot of people have traditions where one time or another is perceived as being particularly otherworldly, whether time of year or time of day.  (I came across something recently - wish I could remember more details - where apparenty some people thought I'm pretty sure it was Thursdays were particularly liminal.  I just... Thursdays?  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.)

And of course there's the different sorts of liminality one can get.  The Mysteries of Wesir (Osiris) having a very different sort of edginess than the Days Upon the Year in the Egyptian calendar.  (Oh, among the liminal times in the Egyptian calendar:  Noon.  Because the sun stands still for a little, visually, and they found that kind of creepy.  A translation of the famous Dream Stela has a line that reads in part 'Sleep seized him, a sleep at the time when the sun was at the zenith, and he found the Majesty of this noble god speaking with his own mouth, like the words of a father for his son...')

My personal favorite is found in the European folkloric survivals around the Ember Days and related stuff - you get things like the Wild Hunt's appearances, the active nights for the benandanti, and so on on these dates, all indicating some sense of numinous vulnerability from/to the other side.

I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

 
I'm still trying to sort out my personal liminal times, though my main focuses are on four different dates that are associated with spooky, witchcraft type stuff: Walpurgisnacht/May Day (it's not really Beltane for me since that specific holiday doesn't click with me), St. John's Eve/Day (aka Ivan Kupala/Midsummer), Halloween and Yule. Midsummer and Yule seem to be more of a longer event period than Halloween and Walpurgisnacht/May Day for me.

It's weird for me to be starting to consider a summer event as a "liminal" time for me, but the increased amount of daylight is a thing that does seem to have a profound affect on me, with the result of me staying up later than I should. I feel like I need to learn how to work around this, but I'm not sure how to handle this while having a daytime job that requires me to function on that schedule.

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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 03:34:07 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859


I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

 
The turn between summer and autumn is always a liminal time for me (a period of about six weeks usually) It's my most creative time and the time I do my most healing work also
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 11:13:07 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?

 
Having considered it for a bit, I have come to the conclusion that one of my practice's liminal times is "the period between the summer solstice and the next Sabbath."

The summer solstice is when the Divine Children Adon-Isu and Esther Anath descend into the underworld and by that token represents a day in memorial of all those who have descended and not come back up. You're supposed to light a twenty-four hour soul candle for them. (I would just use a Yahrzeit candle since I'm working out of Judaism.)

During the liminal period, "the earth is open." I am not entirely sure of the full extent of what that means yet.

The next Sabbath closes the liminal period (something weird probably happens if the solstice is on a Friday, I don't know). The ritual for that is just a modification to the regular Sabbath ritual (prayer for wine, drink some wine; prayer over candles, light candles): instead of saying a prayer over the wine and drinking it, say a prayer over the earth and go pour the wine out into it. Then light the candles, and the earth is closed once more.

There's a corresponding and opposite liminal period surrounding the winter solstice during which "the heavens are open," but don't ask me what that entails just yet.
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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2016, 01:05:54 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192863
Dusk and dawn (not to be confused with sunrise and sunset) have an otherworldly quality to me. I try to burn incense at last light as many nights as I can. I'm not a morning person, but if I happen to be up that early, dawn is pretty special too.



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Sunrise has a special quality to me; I love when I'm able to see it. I also have a fondness for midnight. As far as times of the year, I am at my most creative and active between Beltane and Summer Solstice, and my most contemplative between Samhain and Winter Solstice.

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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2016, 06:36:42 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192859
A lot of people have traditions where one time or another is perceived as being particularly otherworldly, whether time of year or time of day.  (I came across something recently - wish I could remember more details - where apparenty some people thought I'm pretty sure it was Thursdays were particularly liminal.  I just... Thursdays?  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.)

(...)

I could probably natter on tediously about some of this stuff but instead: what're some other ones people work with?  Your favorites?


Work with and acknowledge are two different things. Which I work with is a very private matter, and I will not discuss it here, but I acknowledge the following, regardless of my own particular paths:

Yes, Thursdays are useful for divination in traditional Swedish folklore.

This weekend is very supernatural in Swedish folklore. So are the time between 12th of December to 13th of January, Maundy Thursday, Easter Eve and May Eve.

Mondays are useful for working with ancestors and other spirits in Caribbean spiritism.

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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2016, 05:56:15 am »
Quote from: Jack;192862
I also recognize different kinds or levels of liminality.
I very much agree with this. The "ordinary" liminal times of twilight, dusk, and dawn are valuable, but not as powerful as full-blown liminal days or seasons. The solstices and equinoxes are rather liminal just due to them being a clear point of transition from one phase to another.

Certain festivals, of course, I recognise as liminal. Just about any festival of the dead, of which there are several that I celebrate. The Parentalia, the Lemuria, and the Anthesteria are the most prominent of these. I tend to see them as days when the spirits of the dead are more restless and able to 'cross over', but not quite a full-blown breaking down of the veil between this world and other/after worlds.

Perhaps it's due to cultural upbringing, but the whole of Autumn and especially All Hallow-tide occupies the place for me of greatest liminality. The whole period leading up to the end of October feels like a borderland, to me, where everything is visibly shifting and moving towards a very different phase of the year.
Rather more specifically, I believe that the between sunset October 31 and dawn November 1 is when that aforementioned veil is just gone. Spirits of the dead, spirits of the land, and fairy roam free.
I view Beltane itself similarly, but I have hard time seeing the month or so preceding it the same way that I view October and late September. Probably because the Spring/Summer dichotomy is not very well defined over here, but Autumn is usually pretty consistent and clear.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 06:02:39 am by Louisvillian »

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Re: Liminal Times
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2016, 08:41:16 am »
Quote from: Sorcha;192863
Dusk and dawn (not to be confused with sunrise and sunset) have an otherworldly quality to me.


I agree about their otherworldliness.

But for me, above all it's the first hour or so after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. There's something about the golden light slanting across everything, setting things aglow while casting long shadows, that cracks the world open for me, for lack of a better explanation.

Maybe it's that the beauty of even the most ordinary things is revealed, and I want to freeze the moment; but I can't, and the fact that it's one of the most fleeting moments of the day, a passing gateway to the beauty of the world, makes it very liminal for me.
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