Tuesday, April 01, 2008

THE SWISS SPAGHETTI HARVEST!

HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!!


Just thought I'd share with you a wonderful April Fool's joke that the B.B.C. played on it's television viewers in 1957...The Spaghetti Tree...Enjoy!!!



Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22 - Celebration of Two Artists

Marcel Marceau and Agnes Martin:

Mime and Minimalist


Admist all the celebrations for Spring, I decided that it was high time that I lived up to the subtitle of this blog and began paying homage to art - and indeed those Amazing Ones who create art. Today, March 22, marks the birthdays of two artists, Marcel Marceau and Agnes Martin. Although their medium of choice was quite different, each of them spoke eloquently of their personal experiences and philosophies in the world through their art.

Marcel Marceau was born in Strasbourg, France on March 22, 1923 and captured the world's attention through "the art that dare not say it's name." Yes, you guessed it. Mime.

Born Marcel Mangel, this thoughtful child found great inspiration from film stars. He reveled in the comedic brilliance of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy, but the genius that truly captured his heart was none other than Charlie Chaplin. His father took him to see Chaplin in "City Lights" and soon after that, Marcel began his first silent impressions.

"I have designed my style pantomimes
as white ink drawings on black backgrounds
so that man's destiny appears as a thread
lost in an endless labyrinth. I have tried to
s
hed some gleams of light on the shadow
of man, startled by his anguish."
Marcel Marceau

During the early part of the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Marcel and his brother Alain moved to Limoges and worked for the French Resistance. (Their father had been captured and killed in Auschwitz). It was at this time that they also took the surname "Marceau" to conceal their Jewish roots. It is no wonder that Marcel sought to bring light to Man's suffering and inhumanity through his moving, silent commentaries.



"I learned to become a humanist, and not to dwell
on the differences between Jews and Christians."
Marcel Marceau





Through the world of his well-loved character, Bip, Marceau eventually became a household name, appearing on American Television in the 1950s and 60s and then wowing the world around the globe. He died on September 22, 2007 (exactly on his 84th and a half birthday), leaving a legacy as an Artist and Humanist, having opened our eyes to the wisdom and unity of silence in a divisive and clamorous world.

Preceeding Marceau by some 11 years, Agnes Bernice Martin was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan on March 22, 1912. She spent a good part of her youth in Vancouver, British Columbia, before moving to the United States in 1932, becoming an American citizen in 1940. Her ventures into art began that same year while living in New York and studying intermittently at Columbia University as well as in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico. She also taught painting at UNM from 1947-48. In 1958 after returning to live in New York, she held her first one-woman exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Her paintings were constructed on a grid system, where she superimposed lines in pencil with bands of washed painted colour over fine-grained canvases. Sometimes it gave the impression that the colours were floating off the canvas. (Above work: "Friendship" by Agnes Martin, 1963)

Martin's paintings actually influenced the development of Minimalism in the U.S. (The Museum of Modern Art defines as a "Term used in the 20th century, in particular from the 1960s, to describe a style characterized by an impersonal austerity, plain geometric configurations and industrially processed materials..." http://www.moma.org/collection/theme.php?theme_id=10459) Although some described her work as austere in form, she defined it personally in a lecture that she gave at Yale University in 1976 entitled, "We are in the Midst of Reality Responding with Joy." In her mind, the work she did was not intellectual, but highly spiritual. (Above work: "Untitled Number 5" by Agnes Martin, 1975)

In 1967, Martin concentrated less on painting and more on writing, but went on to form alliances in 1975 with the Pace Gallery in New York, and in 1991, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam opened an exhibition of her paintings and drawings which then travelled on to other European museums. In 1992 the Whitney Museum of American Art held a large gallery of her work. She passed away in 2004 in Taos, New Mexico.



Althought one might not immediately see similiarities in their chosen artistic expression or their messages, I believe that both these "artistic Ariens" were both successful and highly expressive in mediums that are not easy to master.

Out of interest, I decided to run a natal astrology chart for both of them and found that they shared a Sun in Aries and a Moon in Taurus - many artists have these two signs in the same placement. The forward moving, self-interested Aries combined with the loving, dependable, and strong-willed Taurus moon.


Even though both these artists are no longer with us in the flesh, we have been fortunate to have known them and the gifts that they bestowed upon us. To see such wisdom in silence and simplicity is certainly the truest test of an artist.

As I bid you a fond goodnight, I'd like to also wish Mr. William "Captain Kirk" Shatner a very Happy 77th Birthday today...

Love,
Seraphimgirl

"Never get a mime talking. He won't stop." Marcel Marceau



My thanks to Danann and Butterflies-R-Free at Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunlendino/1432607382/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12628996@N03/1464307821/

Friday, March 21, 2008

FULL MOON IN LIBRA: Listen with an Open Heart


FULL MOON IN LIBRA
March 21, 2008
1:40 p.m. E.D.T.

CARDINAL GRAND SQUARE
Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn

FEASTS: GOOD FRIDAY-NOWRUZ-PURIM-OSTARA-ALBAN EILER-SHUNBUN NO HI

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION


Today's Libra Full Moon is opposing or reflecting the light from the self-interested Aries Sun. In addition to this a square that is formed by Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, which as a whole creates a cardinal grand square. (Grand squares are formed when four planets are placed 90 degrees apart across the zodiac). Squares are referred to as "hard aspects" - and usually bring tension and frustration but can often give the impetus to achieve great things.

This particular grand square in cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn (considered dynamic, initiating and leadership oriented signs), can be interpreted as "learning (Pluto in Capricorn) to set personal limits and boundaries (Sun in Aries) during relational interactions (Moon in Libra) while maintaining an attitude of care and compassion (Mars in Cancer) for all involved." (From Lisa Dale Miller
http://www.astrowisdom.com/thisfullmoon.htm) So we're being asked to look at the relationships we have with ourselves and others. It may be that you are encouraged to "reach for the stars" during the Sun in Aries, and with the full moon in Libra, you will be enlightened regarding any imbalances you may have in your life, (especially around relationships.)

There are so many feastdays/celebrations of Springtime and "New Years" around the world during this auspicious weekend. Here is a list of a few that our brothers and sisters around the world are joining together to share:

Good Friday: In the Christian Tradition, this is the day that Jesus the Christ "took up his cross" in Jerusalem and traveled to the hill of Golgatha, where he was crucified. In ancient scriptures it is written that he spent three days in a tomb, but arose from the dead on Easter Sunday. (Celebrated this coming Sunday, March 23).

Nowruz
: Celebrated as early as 247 BC - 224 AD, Nowruz is an ancient feast day of the Persians/Iranians. The word Nowruz is a compound word meaning "Now" or new and "ruz" which means time/day. This festival begins on the first day of spring and recalls the cosomological and mythological times of Persia/Iran. As well as being a celebration of spring, it is also a celebration of the love between the Supreme Creator and His Creation, Man and the material world.
"Although colored with vestiges of Iran's Mazdian and Zoroastrian past, the Nowruz celebration is neither religious nor national in nature, nor is it an ethnic celebration. Jewish, Zoroastrian, Armenian and Turkish Iranians and Central Asians celebrate the Nowruz with the same enthusiasm and sense of belonging. Perhaps it is this very universal nature of the message of Nowruz that speaks to its wealth of rites and customs as well as to its being identified as the unique fount of continuity of the Iranian culture." (my thanks to Iraj Bashiri: http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/bashiri/Nowruz/NowRuz.html)

Purim
: Keeping with the Persian theme from above, Purim is a joyful Jewish festival commemorating a time with the Jewish people that lived in Persia were saved from death. During these celebrations, the Jewish people read from the book of Esther (where the full story of Esther's role in delivering the Jews from an evil decree against them is told) and gifts are given to loved ones, to the poor and celebratory meals are enjoyed by all.

Ostara
: In Pagan practices, the festival of Ostara (which the Christian tradition took and changed to create the word "Easter"), marks the Spring Equinox. It originally took it's name from the German goddess of the spring and the dawn - Ostara. These celebrations encompass the joining together and awakening of the Mother Goddess (Earth) from her slumber (winter). One of the traditions of Ostara involves the colouring and giving of eggs (a tradition which the Christians took to in their Easter festitivies). As eggs represent fertility and spring is the season when animals, flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce, these aspects of nature and the "awakening" of a new year at spring.

Alban Eiler
: The Druidic festival of Alban Elued dates back to Neolithic times, and each festival of the year are agricultural markers. "Alban" means light and "eiler" means "Earth" - literally means the Festival of the Light of the Earth. The significance of the rituals done at this time supported the return of life/light to the Earth and the return of fresh food. Druids also practice well as "spring" cleaning of their surroundings and their psyche at this time, examining their lives and their relationship to God/Goddess, themselves, each other and nature. Festivities include the painting and giving of eggs (fertility), visiting sacred waters, planting seeds.

Shunbun no Hi
and Higan no Chu-nichi: or Vernal Equinox Day, is one of the most traditional of all Japanese holidays. Like the Pagan/Druids, one of these festivals recognizes the seasonal change noticed in most agricultural societies, while the other is a recognition of the day when the night and day are of equal length. Celebrations of these festivals include the visitation to family tombs to pay respects and leave gifts of food to the anscestors.

However you choose to celebrate this weekend, you can see that many of our brothers and sisters around the world are joining you!

Posting this right at the Full Moon in the Northern Hemisphere...

Love,
Seraphimgirl

Thursday, March 20, 2008

THE LIGHT IS RISING...OPEN YOUR HEART

HAPPY SPRING SOLSTICE!

SUN IN ARIES

THE VERNAL EQUINOX


I like reading different astrolgers and their slant on the energies of our times, interesting as they are. As I was perusing a few writings regarding the arrival of Spring, or what astronomers and astrologers call the Vernal Equinox, I came upon this interpretation of our current astrology in the Northern Hemisphere from Soul-Searching Astrology:
(http://soulsearchingastrology.blog.ca/2008/03/18/astrology-notes-the-vernal-equinox-light-3900695)

"This week could very easily be called “the week of heavy lifting.” Existing tensions continue to increase, and in many parts around the world, there is a state of near panic rising. Geopolitical unrest is at a point of massive uncertainty, and with such shifting and movement happening, it is hard to see exactly which way things will shift, other than, at least for a period, likely quite far down. Financial markets are taking incredible plunges, leaving people holding their breath, waiting for who will fall next. Time is beginning to compress, and the intense changes that will continue to come upon us are beginning to rise up and challenge everyone to new levels of pressure not seen for centuries...

With the Vernal Equinox this week, the first day of spring, we have natural forces of light and consciousness rising into the forefront once more. And as the Sun enters the first degrees of Aries, the Cardinal Cross comes to bear on this awakening consciousness, pressing into it messages of great urgency and the force of change. It is good that it is so, that this volatility and pressure is coming to bear as the Sun enters the Equinox degrees, for it symbolizes to me that the real action in this world is now beginning, and that we can now take an active part in making real change happen. The light is illuminating what needs destruction. It is a matter of course that change will involve destruction, but if you are prepared, if you are conscious and really try to connect with the world, and in particular, with people around you, we can grow into a new state of being, weathering this time together.

The long-awaited tearing down of the structures of power, and the exposure of widespread corruption is beginning to speed up now. It makes sense that the movement of the Sun into the first degrees of Aries, returning light and heat to the earth, should find itself at odds with Pluto, newly situated in Capricorn, slowly building speed and power for it journey through Capricorn, the sign which rules power, establishment, dogma, administration and government. Now we shall see the real action begin, and sadly, much trouble as well..."

I like how this astrologer writes - it's evident that there's always the element of regardless of how things look, it's really all for the best. While I agree that what we may well witness over the coming months is not going to be comfortable - it will provide us with the opportunities that SO MANY OF US have been waiting for - some of us - for our whole lives. (And you know who you are...)

In more "Scientific" terms, I've included here below, an illustration of the equinoxes (in this case the Vernal Equinox is pictured below the Sun), so that you can see what all the fuss is about.
In astronomy, the equinox is "that moment in time when the centre of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's Equator...On a day which has an equinox, the centre of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth and night and day will be of nearly the same length. The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night)" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equinox)

In astrology, the Spring Equinox or Solstice is the birth of a new astrological year. It has often been said that any events and issues that you tackle this coming month in the Fire Sign of ARIES, are the issues and events you will be dealing with for a full year. So make note of the energy around you!

Watch the issues as they surface this month being very careful how you deal with them.
It will set the tone for your entire next year.

Before I close this latest entry, I would like to insert yet another quote from Kaliyugashaktimama of Soul Searching Astrology:

"...given the fact that we are approaching Easter, a pagan/Christian celebration, in the spirit of Lent (which, when you strip away all the Catholic dogma surrounding it, is actually quite a wise observation), I challenge you all to sacrifice something until the end of the month. Yes, Easter is this weekend, but go further than that. If you are strong, this practice might even change the rest of your life. Sacrifice something that gives you pleasure – it can be a food, a drink, a habitual treat for yourself. It can be a thought process that you return to when you are feeling insecure or needy. It can be some form of entertainment that you use to turn off the world and your reality. But in the spirit of consciousness, in a spirit of unity with those who are suffering in the world today (and I do not mean just those in Tibet – look around the world and you will see more suffering than you can stomach) give something up.

Take that energy and time, and focus on those who are without, who are hurting, and most specifically, have nothing that you have and cannot even dream of it where they are right now. Share your heart, don’t be selfish, and be strong in your focus. If we can concentrate our heart energies towards alleviating suffering, we can lift the energetic essence of this world. You might think your little efforts and concentrations are not doing anything, but they certainly are...Share your talents and passions and do something good, either in your home or in your community, something that you know how to do and something that you really care about. The planets are supporting us, and we have to support one another. Madness is a universal affliction, and a human being in pain has no nationality. Step past dividing lines and open your heart to the world!"

My grateful thanks to Kaliyugashaktimama for her wonderful website.

With that being said, this first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, on the Astrological New Year's Day where day and night are equal, I send you Great Heart-Opening Peace...make sure you spread it around...

Namaste,
Seraphimgirl




Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day...



Legend of one the Patron Saints of Ireland
St. Patrick



Approaching the Vernal Equinox of
March 21st


Today marks the Feast of Maewyn, better known to the world as St. Patrick, one of three patron saints of Ireland.

Maewyn was born in Wales around the year 385 to wealthy parents. At the age of the 16 he was abducted by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. There, he lived as a slave for six years, finally escaping to return to his family after hearing a voice, which he believed to be God in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. This journey back home was an arduous walk of nearly 200 miles to the coast and beyond to Britain.

After his escape, Patrick then experienced yet another revelation in which he saw and heard an angel in his dream tell him that he would return to Ireland as a missionary. Up until this point, he had considered himself a pagan, but after this dream, he began his religious training which lasted some fifteen years. When finally ordained a priest, he was then sent to Ireland to minister to the Christians and to convert the Irish to Christianity.

Patrick was a wise man and realising that he needed to be able to "speak same language" of the people of Ireland, he chose to incorportate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity, thus encompassing and amalgamating the Irish beliefs with his own. For example, he used bonifres in his celebrations at Easter since the Irish honoured their gods at the time with fire. He also joined the Sun (an ancient and powerful Irish symbol) to the Christian cross, thus creating what we now refer to as the Celtic Cross.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Patrick became quite popular with the people and had many pagans add to and often change their ideals and beliefs. There were
a group of Celts that found this disturbing, so as is usual for any pioneer, he had his enemies amongst the Celtic Druids. The legend goes that Patrick was indeed arrested many times, but always managed to escape. On his travels throughout Ireland for nearly 30 years, he set up schools, churches and monasteries. He ended his life on March 17, 461 after some years in retirement, and March 17 has been celebrated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

One traditional icon of St. Patrick's Day (and indeed of Ireland itself) is the Shamrock, or Irish Clover. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the three leafed clover to illustrate the Holy Trinity and how Father, Son and Holy Ghost were all separate elements of the same entity. Thus, his followers adopted the fashion of wearing shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.
Today we are three days away from the Vernal Equinox/Spring Solstice of March 20, one of only two days in one calendar year where for a moment in time the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator. Get out your glad rags - it's soon time to celebrate Spring and Mother's Earth awakening from her winter slumber...and then we get to celebrate Easter!

As we approach Springtime with joy and hope, I wish you each today, the "Luck of the Irish" for years to come.

Love,
Seraphimgirl


and to Wikipedia for the photo of St. Patrick: http://enwikipedia.org/wikik/Saint_Patrick

Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 7, 2008: World Day of Prayer / Pisces New Moon

Ceiling of Hall of Prayers, Beijing, China

"God's Wisdom Provides New Understanding"

New Moon in Pisces



Greetings,

Today marks a very special day for all of Humanity as we move more fully into the energies of the Age of Aquarius.

Today's New Moon in Pisces is an auspicious one - and one that sets the stage for a further awakening during this momentenous paradigm shift. Every new moon augurs a time of new insights and understandings, and this New Moon in particular brings special gifts.

Currently, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn are now in Earth signs and in conjunction with the Mars Pluto opposition and the Pisces New Moon, we are experiencing a move from fear and separation to love and unity - which could also describe the Humanitarian concepts of the Age of Aquarius at it's best. What a beautiful shift in consciousness. The Mars-Pluto opposition assists us to see our personal will (Mars) within the context of Divine Intent (Pluto). Where Pluto always brings light to shadow, Mars, the mythic God of War, brings enormous confrontation, and thus transformation. What was hidden, is now in full view and the opportunities for change are glaringly obvious.

How appropriate then, that today is also marked by the World Day of Prayer - "a global ecumenical movement" first founded in 1918, that brings together people from all over the world to observe a common day of prayer. Each year, a theme is chosen for prayers to be directed not only to our world and Humanity at large, but also to one area of the world, the peoples there and their specific challenges. This year, the focus of prayers and healing is centred on the country and peoples of Guyana. The motto this year is "God's Widsom Provides New Understanding." Thus, as a Human Family during this astrological alignment, the world's people are focusing on what some have not wanted to see/confront or solve in the world - whether it be hunger, violence and those who live in constant fear. Indeed, our Brothers and Sisters in Guyana face just those problems every day. (Photo above right is Kaieteur Falls, Guyana)

Guyana is currently a country living on the edge. Chaos, anarchy and fear are daily experiences and their institutional forces of law seem all but impotent. These people not only need our focused prayers, but our Divine Intent to assist them physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To read more details about Guyana and her peoples, you are welcome to refer to this link:
http://www.wicc.org/programsevents/World_Day_of_Prayer/WDP_2008.html



Looking towards hope and divinely guided action, we can view this astrological news as a good omen. Uranus is closely conjunct this Pisces New Moon and is a harbinger of the opening of dimensional doorways and huge breakthroughs in a positive evolutionary process.

May our thoughts, prayers and actions be in alignment with Universal Source during this Piscean New Moon. We are the positive change that is now and the future.

Namaste,
Seraphimgirl

P.S. A very Happy Birthday today to my friend and fellow musician, Janina!


My thanks for the photographs for this entry goes to:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Approaching Full Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20...

Feeling a little tense?

Especially if you're a Virgo (like me), the last couple of days might have felt a little, well, "tight" shall we say? Yes, I know, we Virgos have such a bad reputation for being all things proper, precise and pragmatic, (not to mention uptight), but hey ho, this Eclipse is smack dab in the middle of our Virgo Full Moon...so, I'd say, we have every right to fully and openly express the perfectionist tendencies that many claim we possess - at least until the end of tomorrow.

Now, in all seriousness, (also a Virgo trait), this is the second eclipse we've had in one month! ! That's pretty amazing not only from an astrological point of view, but also from an energetic standpoint. As I discussed in the Solar Eclipse/New Moon of the 6th/7th of this month, eclipses bring us enormous opportunities - for breakthroughs, for change, for new beginnings and lo-o-o-o-ng awaited conclusions (I'm talking months and sometimes many years here). You may also experience more sensitivities and heightened psychic awareness during eclipses, which also manage to bring together the current astrological energies of the opposite signs that they "bring together." In this case, it's the healing, service orientated Virgo Moon, with the soulful and peaceful Pisces Sun. Not a bad combination I'd say - considering some of the challenges that Humanity and Mother Earth are currently facing. (God/Goddess, help us!)

In contrast to an often outwardly energetic solar eclipse, lunar eclipses are about tuning inwards - to the more feminine aspects of ourselves and our lives. They usually have us looking at our relationships to self and this month especially with the full moon being in Virgo, to our relationships to healing and serving ourselves and others/humanity (Virgo's M.O. ;) Eclipses can usually feel quite emotional too, so if you're feeling tense, blue or really "p.o.ed" - look up at the sky tomorrow evening and give a good old howl towards the beautiful Virgo moon...! Very therapeutic, I'd say! (and the Moon won't mind - She knows a good sound when She hears one) ;)

During the eclipse tomorrow and into the 21st, not only will the Moon pass through the constellation of Virgo, but the Sun will be moving opposite to the Moon through the sign of Pisces. As the Earth Herself will be at the same degree in Pisces, she will be blocking the Sun's light to the Moon. When the Moon is fully eclipsed, She will give off an orange or reddish glow. (See photo above, courtesy of Fort Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortphoto/183865953/)

This inital lunar eclipse of 2008 is in a perfect position for most of us in North and South America to see, as well as certain parts of Western Europe. (Lucky us!) If you'd like more information about the current status of this eclipse, you can go to Nasa's webpage here:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/features/eclipse_preview_080219.html

I hope the "moon music" has helped to calm your nerves...Beethovan's "Moonlight Sonata" is played beautifully by Brent Hugh - thank you very much Brent:
http://www.garageband.com/artist/bhugh_1

In honour of the Goddess of the Moon, it is my wish that you may find peace on your inward journey and bring it forth to yourselves and others...

Blessings,
Seraphimgirl


Lunar Eclipse

I raise my eyes to Sister Moon
Who winks and blinks and sings Her tune
Of braided wings that passed
Her by
The eagles’ flight twixt Earth and Sky.

Her views are splendid, high and strong
She lends her heart and voice in Song
For Us and Earth, are Siblings who
Behold Her Light and Wisdom true.

Today the Earth will stand between
The Sun and Moon and Stars unseen
And cast the Moon a reddish glow
That looks as blood on Winter’s Snow.

And as the Moon stands face to face
With Mother Earth in time and space
The Goddesses in celestial dance
Embrace us in their silent trance.

Seraphimgirl - Feb. 20, 2008

All Rights Reserved



Moon Goddess

(My thanks to galbraitharcher at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lavendergurl9/910695161/)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Story of Valentine...


Valentine's Day 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

As you're digging into your lovely chocolates, or curled up this evening with a lovely hot toddy (with or without a
beloved by your side), did you ever stop to think about where all this "hubbub" came from? Who, indeed is this inimitable St. Valentine, and why is it that the day that bears his name is honored world wide for celebrating love in it's many forms?

The true history of St. Valentine's Day extends back to the days of Rome when February 14 was a holiday to celebrate the Goddess of women and children, named Juno (see said lady on the right). The evening of February 14, Roman boys and girls would spend time preparing for the festivities scheduled for the next day during the Feast of Lupercalia.

"On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry."
http://www.pictureframes.co.uk/pages/saint_valentine.htm

The leader of the Roman Empire of that day was the immensely unpopular, Claudius the Second. Noticing that he was having trouble getting men to partake in his army due to their reticence to leave their families, Claudius, in his infinite wisdom, decided to cancel all engagements and marriages in Rome. (What WAS he thinking?) Now, to the real reason behind all this history - enter our St. Valentine to the story...

Our Valentine was a priest in Rome at this time. Valentine and a fellow priest, Marcius, decided, (in their infinite wisdom), to completely ignore Claudius' decree, and continued to marry Christians and help those that required it. Unfortunately for him, Valentine was caught and sentenced to be beaten to death by clubbing! (
and no, I don't mean that he ended his life by exhausting himself on a non-stop tour of every dance floor in Rome...)

There is a story that says before his death and during his short imprisonment, Valentine was allowed a few visitors, one of which was the daughter of the jail keeper. On the day he died, Valentine left a thank you letter to the young lady that visited him and signed it, "Love from Your Valentine."

The truth, however may read more like this:
"The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way."
http://www.pictureframes.co.uk/pages/saint_valentine.htm

However you have chosen to spend this love-filled day, I do hope that it inspires you to celebrate love in its many faces and fashions throughout the year. My love to you, dear readers!

Seraphimgirl


Valentine Traditions of Old

Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing from home to home. One verse they sang was:

Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine ---

Two before and three behind.

Good morning to you, valentine.

In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

A love seat is a wide chair. It was first made to seat one woman and her wide dress. Later, the love seat or courting seat had two sections, often in an S-shape. In this way, a couple could sit together -- but not too closely!

Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.



My grateful thanks to littlegoldwoman, wdochnahl and Osvaldo Zoom for photos found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/littlegoldwoman/860925091/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billd/1493490879/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/osvaldo_zoom/2259707131/

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Moon in Aquarius and Solar Eclipse

February 7, 2008
Mercury Retrograde
New Moon in Aquarius
Solar Eclipse

What a day, and what a week this is...today's New Moon in Aquarius and the Solar Eclipse are quite an action-packed duo. Yesterday was the beginning of the new Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first of all the animal signs in Chinese Astrology, so all this energy points to surprising endings and exciting new beginnings.

The Aquarius New Moon speaks of unconventional innovation, visions of a bold new future, working for the good of all and movements that will benefit Humanity's Family. This Sun-Moon Eclipse will bring the end to many past illusions and bring much radical change in the months to come. For information about this current eclipse, please click on the link below to check Nasa's eclipse homepage:

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2008.html#2008Feb07A

We can use this New Moon and Her energies to free ourselves from limiting thoughts, relationships, work situations, addictions and anything that is holding us back from experiencing life in greater, more benefic ways. In the next two weeks while the Moon is waxing, reaffirm your desires and intentions. When the Moon becomes full again in Virgo on February 20 this month, then it will be time to take action according to our desires/intentions.

For those of you who are interested, you can access a wonderful New Moon Meditation for the New Moon in Aquarius:
I would like to thank Daniel Lynch for his wonderful photo of a solar eclipse found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eclipsechaser/349451333/

Wishing you much healing, joy and hope in the Light of the New Moon...

Seraphimgirl


P.S. For your listening pleasure, click on the button above and to the right hear "Eclipse" by Canopy...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Year of the Rat...

Happy Chinese New Year!


This year, 2008, is the Year of the Rat. Characteristics of a person born in the Year of the Rat include devotion to family, hardworking, imaginative, loyal and not always sure of themselves. (Personally, I think a little big of self-doubt can be quite a good thing).

Indeed, if you were born in any of these years - 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 - then you, my Dear, are a Rat...and this is your year!


"Chinese New Year is a time when families get together to celebrate. It is also a special time to remember members of the family who have died. In the days coming up to New Year every family buys presents, decorations, food, new clothes and people have their hair cut. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. The aim is to sweep out any bad luck from the old year and clear the way for good luck.

Celebrations for Chinese New Year usually last about 15 days and encompass many colourful celebrations however, it is bad luck to clean on New Years Day itself. Doors and windows are often newly painted in red. On New Years Eve decorations made from red and gold paper are hung down the doors to keep in good luck. These are marked with messages of good fortune such as happiness, prosperity and long life. These mostly have four Chinese characters. These are called Hui Chun."

The above was quoted from:
http://www.topmarks.co.uk/ChineseNewYear/Customs.aspxhttp://www.topmarks.co.uk/ ChineseNewYear/Customs.aspx

"New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.

The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.

The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year's Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table. The spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great community. The communal feast called "surrounding the stove" or weilu. It symbolizes family unity and honors the past and present generations."


The above was quoted from:
http://www.educ.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/438/CHINA/chinese_new_year.html

One of the reasons that I seem to be guided to write about some of the celebrated traditions that we as Humanity shares is seeing just how alike we are. Regardless of race, colour and creed, we all have celebrations of new years, celebrations of light and of course, celebrations of birthdays - our own personal new years.

I find these common threads in Humanity's cultures to be very comforting during these tumultuous times that we share on this beautiful Planet. She sustains us in such love that often I wonder how it's even possible after all that Humanity has experienced here, that She still allows us to stay.

In wishing you a very Happy Year of the Rat, I leave you with a link for you to check your own Chinese Animal and your horoscope for this Chinese New Year.

http://www.chiff.com/a/chinese-horoscopes.htm

Peace,

Seraphimgirl


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day...

Mardi Gras is here!


Welcome to the first day of Mardi Gras...today is also called Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday in Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Australia. I celebrated today with a lovely breakfast of banana pancakes with some local maple syrup - divine!

The day before the beginning of Lent, the name "Shrove" Tuesday came originally from the word "shriving," meaning, to obtain penitence or forgiveness, which early Christians were expected to receive before the onset of Lent.

Even though it's a bit late for this week, I'm going to begin an astrological overview of the week, and hope to do this at the beginning of each week from now on.

Bidding you a fond "adieu" this evening, I leave you with a smile and the official flag of Mardi Gras...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Candlemas!

Today, February 2, is the Feast of Candlemas. In the Christian tradition, it is celebrated as the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the purification of his Mother, Mary.

In Pagan traditions, it is considered sacred to the Triple Goddess Brighid, Protectress of the perpetual Sacred Flame.

However you may choose to acknowledge this Sacred Flame, I can think of nothing lovelier than meditating on it's light and warmth during these cold days of winter.

Peace,
Seraphimgirl

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Oh the weather outside is frightful..."





"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..." I guess the scene on the left is the calm after the storm and I'd like to concentrate on that, instead of what I'm seeing out my window today. (Cheshire Cat Grin) Schools, universities and colleges closed, businesses closed too. The man on the local radio station is saying, "if you don't have to venture out, then don't!" Frankly, I'm glad. With or without the weather forecast, it definitely feels like a looking/staying in day, rather than the opposite. So - "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

I've been doing a number of things as of late - photographing my knitware (which I'll post in the next update here), doing some astrology charts and spiritual readings for people, and of course, as a singer, I'm always thinking of music and singing (thus, a song title for today's update). Soon, I hope to put links to my own singing here so you can listen if you feel so inspired. ;)

So, in a nut shell, I'm feeling kinda "Mercury Retrograde" today, which is par for the course considering my Virgo-ness is usually influenced by these celestial flows. If you have a Virgo or similiarly, a Gemini sun, Mercury retrogrades may well have a bit of a slowing down effect on your life. As I write more in this blog, my intention is to give a weekly look at the astrology of the week as well as promoting some other astrologers and artists. You've been really patient with me since I started writing (a year and a half ago!), so I'm determined to make this a successful blog and perhaps eventually turn it into a podcast as well.

I hope you like the music that I've included for the blog. The title is called "Blowing Snow" and it's by Marco Raaphorst, a composer and sound designer who lives in the Netherlands. Here's a link to his site: http://melodiefabriek.nl/ Thank you for letting us enjoy your music, Marco!

Enjoy, Everyone! Just click on the "boomp3.com" link below to hear it...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well, hello...




Well, well, well...

It's been a while - hasn't it? A great big "hello" to all my lovely friends!
Welcome back to my little blogette - I hope you will enjoy the things that I hope to share with you, now that I've actually decided that I have things that are worthy of discussion, or interest to others.


Many things have transpired over the last year or so, and just lately, my friend Tamurile and I have started up a new website - Avalon Myst Creations - http://www.avalonmystcreations.com/ and we hope that you'll visit us there...


So - from today forward, I'm going to be sharing some interesting things that you might like to peruse...I hope you do join me during the coming days...

Peace,
Seraphimgirl