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Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Blogfest: Fierce Dolan


The Witching Hour
No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, even if only as the title of Anne Rice’s 1990s horror novel, The Witching Hour, though some call it The Ghost’s Hour. Often the phrase is used to describe a magickal opening in time, through which the veil is thinner, supernatural activity is heightened, and those who wish can make contact with the Beyond.

Many erroneously think the witching time is midnight, though traditionally the hour in question is specifically 3-4am. In this timeframe people around the world, regardless of time zone, report the most sleep disturbances, spirit visitors, and general feelings of unrest. While no one has a clear picture of what happens at that hour, either scientifically or mystically, lots of speculation has been made:

    • According to neuroscience—the study of brain hormones—the pineal gland is most active at this time. It produces Melatonin, a key sleep hormone, produced in late evening, and peaking around 3-4am.
    • Another possibility is the drop off of the neurotransmitters GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in that timeframe. GABA provides relaxation and the ability to stay asleep.
    • People waking with night terrors around this time are often lacking Melatonin and GABA, and/or produce an overabundance of Cortisol—stress hormone.
    • Body systems are the least active, thus there is no distraction even at a base level, so the unconscious mind begins to process concerns, current events.
    • Anxiety tends to spike between 3-4am.
    • In Chinese medicine, the various meridians of the body, or channels of flowing life force, become more active at different times of the day. According to a meridian clock, meridian activity is shifting from the Liver to the Lungs between 3-4am. Feelings associated with these two meridians are anger and frustration (the Liver meridian, wood element) moving into grief and loss (the Lungs meridian, metal element).
    • Around 3am, the Earth's magnetic field is undergoing a polar shift, as the sun is on the opposite side of the earth.
    • According to archaic legend, Christ was crucified at 3pm, leaving 3am to the Devil’s misdeeds.
    • Some sects of Buddhist monks meditate at 3am, because the mind is most quiet then, most receptive.
    • Many psychics and mediums believe the hour to be the best time to contact souls of the dead.
Maybe it's just science. But maybe the science of the brain during sleep allows us to perceive beyond the veil more easily. Regardless of what you believe is happening, The Witching Hour is a captivating time for diverse cultures around the world.

What do you think is happening during The Witching Hour? Have you ever experienced something odd in the night? Let us know--one commenter will win a copy of Gigolo Seduction.

About the Author: Fierce writes erotica in all its queer hues, and is author of the newly released Journal of a Lycanthrophile.

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Official Website of Erotica Author, Fierce Dolan
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Jean MP said...

That was a fascinating post. I must admit when I do have nightmares those are the times I have woken up.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have had some crazy nightmares then, and if I wake up it does seem more eerie around that time.


Debby said...

How interesting. I almost always wake up during that time frame.
debby236 at gmail dot com