Heavenly shades of night are falling…

It’s twilight time…

"Twilight Time" -- photo by Phil Thomson IPA
“Twilight Time” — photo by Phil Thomson IPA

If you use the word “twilight” these days, people seem to flash immediately on that series of books and movies about those teen vampires…you’re likely aware of that which I speak…  Twilight, though, as you may know, also refers to a particular time of day — and many people seem to associate the word strictly with dusk.  Dusk is of course another term for early evening, and early evening is indeed twilight time…but it’s not the only twilight time.

What seems to get lost in the linguistic shuffle, is the fact that twilight actually, literally, means those intervals of the day during which the sun is below the horizon, but its light is visible in the upper atmosphere.  Therefore, the period preceding sunrise is just as suitable for characterization as “twilight” as is the period that follows sunset.  So, while dusk = twilight…so does pre-dawn.

Here’s another linguistic tidbit…  You know how animals that are primarily active at night are termed “nocturnal?”  And also that animals that are instead geared for daytime activity are called “diurnal?”  Well, there’s also a word for animals that are designed for enjoying their primary activity during twilight hours…such animals are said to be “crepuscular.”  An odd word, I’ve always thought, but I find myself identifying with it — I mean, I do enjoy the daylight, and as a sometime raver, I also have a great fondness for the night…but I believe I may be happiest and most at home overall in twilight.  I may be…crepuscular.

The enchanted, spectral hours of the crepuscular...
The enchanted, spectral hours of the crepuscular…

Being crepuscular in nature is actually not all that uncommon, even if the word used to describe the behavior is maybe not so well-known.  Quite a few of our animal friends are actually crepuscular by nature: dogs and cats fall into this category (although we often kind of force them to be more diurnal with us, as that’s the most common state for humans), as do such well-known creatures as certain bears, deer, rats, and the mighty jaguar…  And to be even more definitionally thorough here, you can drill down even deeper into subsets of crepuscular: the word “matutinal” refers to organisms that are only truly active during the pre-dawn hours, while “vespertine” denotes those organisms that take care of the overwhelming share of their business in that early evening period of dusk.

I tend to like in-between states such as twilight.  Such threshold conditions, which exist between two seemingly binary states, are known as “liminal.”  Twilight exists briefly between light and dark, and then again between dark and light.  A doorway is that liminal sliver of the world that dwells between “inside” and “outside.”  Certain Deity-figures, such as the Greek Witch-Goddess, Hecate, or the two-faced Roman God, Janus, are considered patron-Deities of the liminal, and twilight hours would certainly fall within their provinces…

We love Hecate, liminal Greek Goddess of Witchcraft (artwork by *mari-na on deviantART)...
We love Hecate, liminal Greek Goddess of Witchcraft, who is surely conversant with twilight (artwork by *mari-na on deviantART)…

The notion of twilight and the crepuscular can be applied in interesting fashion to consciousness itself: if you think of our full waking state as the “daytime” of our consciousness, and our sleep state as our “night”…then the twilight of our consciousness would be that brief period during which we’re drifting off to slumber but haven’t yet fallen fully asleep, or the corresponding phase when we’re rising back up toward the waking world but haven’t yet left our sleep and our dreams behind.  This exact state is when the hypnotist would most desire for hypnotic suggestions to land, as this is when they can best take root and have their strongest, deepest, and most long-lasting effects.  It’s during this twilight state of the mind that we can best reprogram our mental selves to take on new shapes, as we still have enough consciousness happening so as to grasp meaning and understand linear presentation, but the ego is drowsy enough so as not to interfere and block progress with its doubts and fears and resistance to anything that doesn’t derive from its own impulses.

I’d also put forth the idea that, for the very same reasons why hypnosis is most effective when the twilight-mind is prevailing, if one can achieve that same twilight mind-state through trance-work, this would be one of the most optimal times for engaging in the alteration of one’s reality via the application of will…which, as I’ve mentioned in this space before, is good old Aleister Crowley’s definition of “magic.”

I propose that it's twilight -- not midnight -- that's the true "Witching Hour," as that's when the magic *really* wants to happen...
I propose that it’s twilight — not midnight — that’s the true “Witching Hour,” as that’s when the magic *really* wants to happen…

So while it may not be practical in our society to exist solely as a crepuscular organism, active only at dusk and pre-dawn, it might yield tremendous benefits to at least cultivate certain awarenesses and practices that revolve around and occur in the twilight hours…  In other words, try going crepuscular once in a while, especially if you have any interest in the Spiritual, the Occult, the Metaphysical…

4 thoughts on “Heavenly shades of night are falling…

    1. Thanks so much for the kind comment…and it’s a real pleasure to connect with a fellow “crepuscularian!” Please chime in again at will (and especially in the twilight hours)…

  1. Pingback: Clockwatchers | Peak Perspective

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