Determine Sunrise, Sunset and Length of Day with
THE MEANING OF THE SKY DIAL
The SKY DIAL began one spring, as the morning sunrises
came earlier each day. The vision of a blossom in the process of opening presented itself. Night or darkness below
enfolding the day or lightness above. The daylight was seeking to reveal more of itself, the darkness was
withdrawing its hold on the day. This same drama would be reversed in the fall as darkness continued to encroach on
the day. Mid summer would be the full blossoming of the day and mid winter the full engulfing of the night. The
goal of portraying this annual drama was undertaken. Along with the necessary calibrations and observations,
artistic depictions of night and day were represented.
The SKY DIAL joins a long history
of the observation of day and night, light and darkness from many cultures and religions from Stonehenge on. In
the Bible it says that on the first day, God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and
the darkness ‘night’. In actuality, night and day, darkness and light are not divided equally as if cut in half.
The Buddhist Yin/Yang symbol shows us a more complex view of the nature of duality. At times, the darkness is
greater and at other times the lightness is greater but as a whole they are in perfect balance. Also, within
each side is a small amount of its opposite. For example, within night is the moonlight and within day are the
shadows and clouds.
In childhood, one of our very first
recognitions of opposites is the difference between night and day or sleeping and waking. The awareness of this
alternating rhythm is with us throughout life.
The SKY DIAL informs us about the
phenomena of opposites and rhythms as we observe the yearly breathing in and out of night and day while taking
special note of the quarterly events of the summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes.
Subtle changes can be detected with the SKY DIAL, like realizing that the daily time changes of sunrise and
sunset are not in equal increments. In the spring and fall the changes are greater then during the summer and
winter. Also, the amount of time change for sunrise is not always the same amount for sunset. The sunrises
change in bigger increments during the spring while the sunsets change in bigger increments during the fall. All
of these subtle complexities add to our fascination with what we observe with the SKY DIAL.
Knowing the difference between
night and day becomes a meaningful part of living on Earth.