Category Archives: awesomeness

My favorite things: Halloween

Halloween in a nutshell:

Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2020 occurs on Saturday, October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.

Origins:

Samhain marked the end of summer (Samhain literally means “summer’s end”) and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits (ghosts, fairies gods, etc) made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.

When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

Halloween in America:

The celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies.

As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” which were public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.

Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the 19th century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

The American Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling,” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food and money.

In the second half of the 19th century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. For which I’m personally very thankful (clearly NOT for the potato famine, but Irish in America and the celebrations spreading nationally, der) .

Me literally EVERY February 14

History of Trick-or-Treating and pumpkin carving:

Allegedly derived from ancient Irish and Scottish traditions; people dressed in costumes and went door-to-door singing to the dead, cakes were traditionally given as payment. Borrowing from European traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors (seems legit).

Bonfires known as Samghnagans, which were more personal Samhain fires nearer the farms, became a tradition, purportedly to protect families from fairies and witches.Carved turnips called jack-o-laterns began to appear, attached by strings to sticks and embedded with coal. Later Irish tradition switched to pumpkins.

At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes.

Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

History of costumes:

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry.

On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.

Superstions:

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into black cats.

We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred (it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe). And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

Other rituals:

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead.

In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry. At others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we’re asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the goodwill of the very same “spirits” whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.

Final summation:

Halloween/Samhain is the BEST, not because of costumes, trick-or-treating or pumpkin carving. It is one of the few holidays in exsistance still celebrated that steeped in such rich history and tradition, regardless of their watering down and Americanizing. I feel like it’s the one day that it is acceptable to go without the mask society has you wear and you can decide on one of your own choosing. Not to mention it can be loads of fun, but like everything you should celebrate and partake responsibly.

Well that’s all I have on this, so, be well, stay safe and have a great evening

Peace, much love, many hugs, C xxx

Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

“When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.”-Hair

The Age of Aquarius in a nutshell:

The Age of Aquarius, or simply the Aquarian Age, is an astrological time period that the Earth is currently moving into. Astrologers tell us that each astrological time period lasts an average of 2,150 years.

But what does it mean?

Essentially, the commencement of the Age of Aquarius makes room for a fundamental shift in the consciousness of humankind. Spiritually, this means a shift away from duality and self-centered thinking towards a more humanitarian perspective that considers the oneness of all beings.

Many ancient cultures ingrained this belief into the very fabric of their civilizations. These included cultures that evolved in opposite corners of the Earth such as the Egyptians and the Mayans. These individualized civilizations all predicted this shift in consciousness and that it would occur during an era of inter-connectivity. In India specifically, ancient Hindu belief has maintained that with this dawning of a new age of awareness, the Kundalini energy that dwells dormant within all living beings will awaken as an inevitable response to this expanded consciousness.

Coincidentally, or not, Aquarius also represents in astrological terms: major technological advancements such as electricity, computers, flight and general freedom associated with invention. Many believe that technology, the internet and various resources that we have available to us today comply with a plan laid out by the Universe. This plan, they believe, has been necessary to allow for more people to increase their awareness about the possibilities of the Age of Aquarius and all it represents spiritually, thereby leading eventually to critical mass and worldwide adoption.

Hallmarks of the sign:

Let’s quickly list other qualities of Aquarius to get an even better feeling for what the Age of Aquarius will bring us. Aquarius has a strong need for independence and individualism, and while members of this sign can be somewhat idiosyncratic they are also very original and inventive. Aquarius is visionary and creative, but rebellious, too. Aquarius’ job is to challenge authority, tear down existing structures, and replace the outdated with something better. Thus, Aquarius can be capable of great extremes. This sign acts in rather sudden and unexpected ways, thanks to being ruled by Uranus, the planet of surprise.

This future-thinking sign can often be a study in contrast. On one hand, Aquarius can be quite intellectually and emotionally aloof at times. Aquarius needs distance, and marches to a different drummer. On the other hand, it is one of the most congenial, social and gregarious signs, and certainly one of the most humanitarian (besides Pisces). Aquarius sees social wrongs and moves to right them, often through mobilizing groups into action. Unlike Pisces, a sign that works one-on-one, Aquarius likes to work in large groups, and is altruistic and democratic in spirit. Aquarius is “one for all and all for one,” rather than elitist. Since Aquarius is a fixed sign, they are quite solid when they make commitments. 

The Aqurian Age:


The Aquarian Age will be dominated by networks, and information. The key phrase for this age is “Be to be.” The key to the astrological sign Aquarius is “I know.” This is the age of information. Nothing is secret anymore. All information is available at your fingertips. Where the Piscean age was organized in a vertical, up and down structure of hierarchies, the Aquarian Age is organized in a horizontal network, opening the world up to true equality.

During this age, the focus is no longer on your identity and existence (“to be or not to be”), but on accepting yourself as a whole person (“be to be”) who does not need to believe in something outside of yourself. You are ready to accept that you have the knowledge and wisdom within yourself. It is no longer necessary to attach to something outside yourself, but to become a leader of one: yourself. Instead of being a railroad car that is pulled by an engine, you become your own engine. It is your responsibility to stay on the tracks and to keep moving forward

For Humanity:

This shift is bringing out the best and the worst in mankind, sadly.  Some people are preparing for this shift by opening their hearts and minds and embracing this new age, and some people are intimidated by the changes that they don’t understand and want to return to a “golden age” in the past, or to circle the wagons and trust only those who are like themselves.

Transformation is never a painless process. When you fast or cleanse to purify your body, at first you feel worse, because toxins get stirred up in order to be eliminated. Once these poisons have been cleared, you feel lighter and more energized. Now imagine that every person on planet Earth is going through this shift. We are heading into a time of radical change. It is a time of great potential growth and expansion, but it is also a time of great potential pain and suffering. The more that you understand what is happening, the more that you can go through all of the changes without losing your balance and stability.

Ways to help yourself during this transition:

1. Have a daily spiritual practice. Every spiritual tradition has one thing in common: a daily practice. This can be many different things: yoga, meditation, chanting, prayer, contemplation, exercise, journaling, etc. It is not important what you are doing, but that you do something almost every day, and do it with an intention to let go of your blocks and focus your consciousness.

2. Don’t, I reapeat, DON’T give in to fear, despair, or anger! There is so much happening that can trigger these emotions: the media, the environment, politics, terrorism, etc. If you understand that these emotions are all symptoms of the Aquarian shift, then you can go through them without losing your center. I understand that things aren’t awesome currently, but YOU have the power to change this and react appropriately.

3. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim. You have the power to change your life. Don’t give that power away to anyone through blame or resentment. You are responsible for your happiness and grace. Don’t buy into any view of reality in which you are not 100% responsible for making your life work. The Aquarian Age is all about empowerment and consciousness.

4. Be a source of light. The more people who consciously choose to embrace the Aquarian shift, the easier this transformation will go for humanity. It is a spiritual truth that a small percentage of people who have shifted their consciousness can influence the rest of humanity. If you are reading this, then you are most likely one of these pioneers. Find a way to spread your light: teach, heal, create community networks, serve, sacrifice, love. Welcome to the Aquarian Age!

I hope that helps, be well, stay safe, and have an excellent day!

Peace, much love and many hugs, C xxx

Remember

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” -Buddah

When I first got this (23 or so years ago), I didn’t really understand why I did, now I do 💜and it only took me almost a 1/4 century to figure out!! 😊💜🙏🏽🕉

I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful

Daily Gratitude Project, chapter 4

Daily Gratitude Project, chapter 4

!. The Earth

We’re fortunate enough to be able to reside on the only known planet subtitle for human habitation. I think that is pretty freakin awesome, tbh.

2.The Moon

Moonlight is so much better than sunlight, imho, not as blinding, glaring or oppressive, imho!

3. my house

Yeah, so I don’t live in a mansion or palace, but I also don’t live in a cardboard box or sleep under newspaper, so that’s great!

4. not being permanently institutionalized

This isn’t a concern for most people, but things WERE NOT looking so good for me for a while, not only do I have a cornucopia of mental issues, I’m physically impaired as well, thankfully, however I seem to be making continual progress in both areas!

5. reincarnation

I know some people don’t believe in this, that’s ok it happens whether or not you do so, whatever, it is what it is.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now, be well, stay safe and have a great whatever time of daty your reading this!

Peace, much love and many hugs, C xxx

I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful

Daily gratitude project, chapter 1

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t live in the first world and that I’m also NOT afforded many of the luxuries associated with it. I DO feel like it’s a pretty crappy thing to have such great things and NOT express gratitude, so:

1. My daughter Bellatrix.

She’s honest, genuine, sensitive, brilliant, witty, sarcastic, funny as hell and my favorite person! She is VERY charming and an empath, she unknowingly can sense a person’s energy and influence it either way. She has the uncanny ability to cheer me up (no small feat, as I’m very self conscious and anxious, among other thing lol), she NEVER makes me feel like a fuck-up or a loser and seems to love me unconditionally! She makes me see what I want to see in myself and be how I feel I should be without judgement, she loves and accepts me even when I act strangely. She is EXTREMELY patient with me(difficult at times) and and caring towards me (even if I don’t have an easy time with affection), I love her!

2. My cat, Jedi

He’s cute and soft and very nice to me, otherwise he’s a cat, what else can you expect? Plus those feet! I mean come on! I just can’t even, with those feet!

3. My dog,Wicket

She’s just about the cutest and sweetest dog ever! My wheelchair freaks most animals out (rightly so, it’s pretty gd creepy), but not my Wicket, we were going into the adoption place at the same time she was being dropped off. She and I got to the doors at the same time and she ran over to me and sat next to my chair. “This dog’s coming with me!” That was it, nuff said

4. Sloths

I honestly don’t even really know why I like these animals, I just do. They don’t really DO anything per se, they just kinda ARE, perhaps I’m jealous? Idk? Actually, upon further consideration, they pretty much act like my cat & look like my dog, so that’s probably why.

5. Sharks

This one I CAN explain they are supremely beautiful and majestic creatures. One of the most feared and hated animals on the planet, they don’t resemble EITHER of my pets, but that doesn’t stop me being head over heels for these apex predators.

Well, that’s all I’ve got on this, have a great day! Be well

Much love and many hugs, C xxx