We choose the equinoxes as Leaping Clear’s issue dates for actual and symbolic reasons. The equinoxes are the two days in the year when daylight and darkness are about equal in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
This balance is brief, changing, and imprecise due to many technical factors of the earth-sun relationship. Yet, the equinoxes are dependable—occurring within a few days or hours of March 20 and September 22—at least within the arc of human history.
This reminds us of how the practices of art-making and meditation are similar: change and stability, concentration and connection. From prehistoric mythology, as well as history, we know that humans have explored the deepest wellsprings of the human heart and mind through meditative and contemplative silence and receptivity.
And, that we’ve always had a deep need to create new forms, material and mental, practical and spiritual. The standing monuments of the Orkney Islands and Stonehenge, for example, served to mark the recurring passages of the sun, and according to some archeologists, related to some kind of cosmological belief system.
Whatever we know or don’t about prehistoric mysteries, we still depend on dark and light to live, to sleep and to see, to dream and to create. We still mark—and celebrate—the equal nights and days twice a year.
to light dark or day