twilightforestWhen I used to work in an office in a typical 9 to 5 job, I would often come home drained to the bone by the end of the day. The office environment stressed me out so much! The phones, computers and the hum of the fluorescent lights seemed too much for me to bear on a good day. All I wanted was a moment to disconnect and have quiet away from the tech filled noise and activity of the day. I needed something to “cool off” from the buzz and vibration that our days are so full of.

It can be so tempting to come home and sink into an internet rabbit hole, zone out over a bad TV show, or comfort-eat until we hit the bottom of a cookie box. But then the cycle just continues. Instinctually, I knew I wanted to re-connect with something inside, something calm and rejuvenating.

I wanted to connect back to myself, to nature and the magic in life.

One night after work, I just couldn’t stand even turning on the light in my apartment! I wanted to stay in the cool quiet of the dark. My space seemed so soothing with the lights out. I decided to try and see how long I could go before I needed to use anything electric.

To be honest, this lasted probably only about 15 minutes the first time, but I had tapped into something. I began making a habit of it. I would come home, and just sit in the dark for a while. It was surprisingly powerful and calming for me.

At times of the year when I would arrive home before dark, I simply used natural light while waiting for the night to come, prolonging the use of electric light as long as possible. This twilight practice combined both the cool quiet of night with the power of the transition from day to night. It captured the power of the in-between time.

In many traditions, the threshold or in-between that exists between day and night is a powerful time of reflection, vision and alchemy. It’s a great time to manifest, and seek inner wisdom. I found that the transition recharged me. It helped me get back to myself and got me in touch with something profound and wise, refreshed my sprit and inspired me.

In shiatsu theory, the in between times are also considered magical times. In between each seasons is called dojo and it is the time of perfect balance between the two seasons, when it is neither one or the other, and both at the same time. It's a time when perfect stillness exists. In many schools of alchemy, twilight is seen as a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, and magical things can occur. In fact, all thresholds, (between day and night, awake and asleep, life and death, etc.) are precious times when alchemy can occur. Time slows down and may even seem to stop. Insights come; things fall away. The heart can soften and awareness can sink down to rest in the belly.

Over time, my twilight practice evolved into a ritual that I use for special times of the year like the Equinox, or New Year’s Eve when tapping into that inner calm, magic  and stillness within could help mark an occasion. I sometimes use it as a time to manifest something specific or just help reflect where I am in my life.

I like to to call this practice Twilight Magic, and the Clarvision School has a similar meditation practice called Bringing Down the Night. Whatever you call it, give it a try and see for yourself what it holds for you. Just start before the sun has set and welcome in the night. Open your energy and just sit until it becomes dark. Here are some suggested steps:

Twilight Magic/Bringing Down the Night

  1. Turn off all lights and any unnecessary electricity.
  2. Open blinds and shades and windows, if seasonally appropriate.
  3. Sit comfortable, but not necessarily in meditation posture. Keep eyes open or closed.
  4. Start with breath and tune into the senses. Feel the approaching darkness and allow the transition to soften and open your energy.
  5. Tune in to the changing light and the feeling that comes with twilight, and nighttime.

There are no hard rules here, just follow pleasure. You may use music if it makes you more comfortable, or just enjoy the sounds outside. You can see why it would be nice to do this in nature, but wherever you are, this is about connecting to now. The voices on the street, the sirens and sounds of traffic may be the sounds of your landscape. Be where you are.

You may choose to have the remaining evening by candlelight if your bedtime is near or during summer months. Leave windows open if you can. In winter, the sun goes down early so slowly bring your home back on line, first by turning on a soft light or candle, then by gradually turning on lights, phone, computer as you need.