Saturday, 19 March 2011

Spring Equinox!!!

What a beautiful day it has been today in South Eastern England!!  The promise of warmer days to come.  A lovely drive in the country under blue skies which have been absent for so very long........

I thought I would look into all the different ways of celebrating this time of year,  none of the below links are part of my own belief system,  but all of them are interesting and somewhat bizarre at times!!

The vernal or Spring equinox is not just a Christian time of year in the 'run-up' to Easter,  it has been celebrated by many cultures through time immemorial....

The Pagans and Wiccans were and still are busy celebrating Ostara


In ancient Egypt the festival of Isis was observed when the goddess was in mourning for her dead lover who was resurrected..Some people still believe in this festival as the following link shows:


In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on March 17. St. Patrick is known as a symbol of Ireland, particularly around every March. One of the reasons he is so famous is because he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and was even credited with a miracle for this. What many people don't realize is that the serpent was actually a metaphor for the early Pagan faiths of Ireland. St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, and did such a good job of it that he practically eliminated Paganism from the country.

Ancient religious stones in Ireland

Ancient stone circle in Cork, Ireland

For the ancient Romans, the Feast of Cybele celebrated every spring. Cybele was a mother goddess who was at the centre of a Phrygian fertility cult, and eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in her honour. Her lover was Attis (who also happened to be her grandson), and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. In some areas, there is still an annual celebration of Attis' rebirth and Cybele's power, called the Hilaria, observed from March 15 th to March 28th  .

One of Judaism's biggest festivals is Passover, which takes place in the middle of the Hebrew month of Nisan. It was a pilgrimage festival, and commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt after centuries of slavery. A special meal is held, called the Seder, and it is concluded with the story of the Jews leaving Egypt, and readings from a special book of prayers. Part of the eight-day Passover traditions include a thorough spring cleaning, going through the house from top to bottom.

Many Christian homes have the tradition of 'Spring Cleaning'  I am so looking forward to opening my windows and doors and thoroughly re-vamping my home in honour of the sunshine!!!!

In Russia, the celebration of Maslenitsa is observed as a time of the return of light and warmth. This folk festival is celebrated about seven weeks before Easter. During the Lent season, meat and fish and dairy products are prohibited. Maslentisa is the last chance anyone will get to enjoy those items for a while, so it's typically a big festival held before the sombre, introspective time of Lent. A straw effigy of the Lady of Maslenitsa, is burned in a bonfire. Leftover pancakes and blintzes are tossed in as well, and when the fire has burned away, the ashes are spread in the fields to fertilize the year's crops.

.So let us jump for joy and be happy no matter how we celebrate the first day of Spring!!!

(credit to to painting: Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Let us be thankful!


"Sharashkas" - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"You have the right to arrange your own life
under the blue sky and the hot sun,
to get a drink of water, to stretch,
to travel wherever you like....

What about the main thing in life, all its riddles?
If you want, I'll spell it out for you right now.

Do not pursue what is illusionary - property and position:
all that is gained at the expense of your nerves,
decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell
night. Live with a steady superiority over life ...
don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn
after happiness: it is, after all, the same: the
bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never
fills the cup to overflowing.

It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if
thirst and hunger don't claw at your insides. If
your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if
both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if
both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why?
Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub
your eyes and purify your heart - and prize
above all else in the world those who love you
and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or
scold them, and never part from any of them in
anger; after all, you simply do not know: it
might be your last act ..... "

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

For some reason the traumatising developments in Japan made me think of this poem.  Sharashkas loosely means a gulag in Russian.  Alexander was interned in a gulag in Siberia for his writing.  The words resonated with me and made me give thanks for my safety and my humble but safe home.

(pic from shutterstock)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


It is thought that my precious 6 year old grand-daughter may have Dyspraxia.  Do any of you have any familiarity with this problem?  What are your thoughts on Dyspraxia and the MMR vaccination?  Is there a link?  I know the debate still goes on regarding Autism and the MMR vaccination.  What do you believe to be the truth?

'Do the little things' ('Gwnewch y pethau bychain')

Hello there,

Here in the UK it is St David's Day.    
He is the patron saint of Wales.
The national flower of Wales is the Daffodil. I love Daffodils,  they are sunny cheerful flowers, and always make me smile.............

So to all my Welsh friends,  have a wonderful St David's Day!!!

"Daffodils" (1804) I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).