Often in literature and film there is a fight between these two, always a struggle against the dark side. Against evil, against death, against an invading army, parasite, alien culture etc....against the unknown, Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas illustrates the fight one should put up against death, " rage against the dying of the light." The dark should be fought against, but it is interesting how darkness is also seen as a seductive thing, a tempting thing. Snow White bites the red apple, Bluebeard's wife unlocks the door she shouldn't.. etc
So, which came first the day or the night? Nyx was first. the greek goddess of night was always first. She was there at the very beginning of creation. According to Ancient greek Poet, Hesoid she is one of the first five beings in existence, Earth, Night, Eternal Torment, Darkness and Love. what a combination! And not a ray of light between them!
The Goddess Nyx had several children. The first two thankfully were, Aether (Brightness) and Hemera (Day). At last we have light! Nyx's next batch of children, you might say are from the dark side! Moros (Doom, Destiny), Ker (Destruction, Death), Thanatos (Death), Hypnos (Sleep), the Oneiroi (Dreams), Momus (Blame), Oizys (Pain, Distress). feeling any sun on your face yet?! I won't tell you all the names of the third batch, but strife and Retribution and Deceit feature!
so, have you seen the light yet?.. not amongst that lot! but Stop! Look on the bright side. Our language is full of the dual aspects of our natures, the spectrum from light to dark. From good to bad and all that is in-between.
But the night is dangerous. It seems older and more ancient. There are lots of nasty things lurking there, Nyx’s children for a start; And all the other things we have put there, monsters under children beds, boggy men, ghosts, vampires, headless horsemen, etc etc etc. The night captures the imagination much more that the day time. We can go into the night like adventures and pioneers. We can go into the deep dark wood with trepidation and fear but also with excitement. Go Nocturnal. I did. Four creatures of the night have been added to The DM Collection. Go check them out if you dare!
Image: Henri Fautin-Latour 1836-1904: Night 1897
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With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se. Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.