Why lodges go Dark…

This summer, I can see why so many lodges go dark, even if just from personal experience. In recent weeks, I’ve read a variety of reasons from lack of air conditioning to summer farm work, to just simply busy schedules. Being a city slicker, I seem to fall into the category of the latter, with the kids out of school, holidays and vacations planned, there has hardly been time to even think about writing much, let alone to post anything relevant.

So I think I get it now, with the dog days of summer upon us, I think I get why lodges go dark for a couple of months in the year. But perhaps it really has something to do with the “Dog Days”:

“The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. In fact, it is so bright that the ancient Romans thought that the earth received heat from it. Look for it in the southern sky (viewed from northern latitudes) during January.

In the summer, however, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star.”

Today, the “Dog Day’s” fall between July 3rd and August 11th.

It’s an interesting concept, darkness in the brightest part of the year, an eclipsing of sorts. Maybe I’m thinking about it in to esoteric of terms. But if the esoteric stuff is as busy as I am, then I’m sure it needs some days of darkness too.

It’s a good thing to sit back and regroup for the charge into Fall. Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer and look to Sirius to bathe in its added radiant warmth. Enjoy what’s left of summer.

A great brief description of Canis Major

Canis Major is dominated by the star Sirius, popularly called the Dog Star, the most brilliant star in the entire sky; almost certainly the constellation originated with this star alone. Aratus referred to Canis Major as the guard-dog of Orion, following on the heels of its master and standing on its hind legs with Sirius carried in its jaws. Manilius called it “the dog with the blazing face”. Canis Major seems to cross the sky in pursuit of the hare, represented by the constellation Lepus under Orion’s feet…

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~ by Greg on August 1, 2006.

One Response to “Why lodges go Dark…”

  1. You know, the period of darkness in the summer may have a completely mundane reason. It may well be that the Lodges in London went dark simply because, in the summer, the members were out in the country …

    A very aristocratic pastime, I hasten to add.

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