We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday odds and ends


Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you enjoyed the Valentine's Day holiday. Yesterday I worked - although eighty percent of my co-workers chose to take a vacation day - and my trainer friend, Jesenia, was kind enough to offer me a special gift of a big chocolate-covered strawberry, gave me hug and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day ...
And in addition, I also received a couple of special little Valentine's Day cards from both Brett and my fur babies ...
After I got home from work, I treated myself to a couple of  Jesenia's hand-made cupcakes and a slice of her baked red velvet cheesecake with cool whip ...
And washed it all down with a glass of limited edition Bailey's Irish Cream's Chocolate Cherry liquor on ice ... YUMMY GOOD!

Speaking of Valentine's Day, here's wishing all a very Happy Lupercalia (for those who celebrate it). For those who do not know what this festival is and/or wish to learn more about it, I have included a link here to one of my past posts regarding the origins of the contemporary holiday of Valentine's Day here.

And last but not least, I did something this week which I have honestly not done in thirty years - I watched the Oscars. The only reason I decided to do this is because the week before, I watched Joaquin Phoenix win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie "Joker" and he also was up for the same honor in regards to an Oscar this year. And, not surprisingly, he won! The movie was also nominated for Best Picture as well, but lost to "Parasite." Quite frankly, I am not surprised about that outcome either as too much controversy scares the Academy - as was also the case when the Oliver Stone film, "JFK" was nominated for Best Picture back in 1991 and lost. At any rate, having seen his performance, Phoenix's award was well deserved! BTW, in addition to the Golden Globes and Oscars, he won the People's Choice Award,  Screen Actor's Guild Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role all for his performance in the movie Joker. 😁

Have a great weekend, friends!! 
Ginger (top) and Merlin (bottom)

Sunday, February 09, 2020

A cool evening 'Out'!

Greetings, friends! Last night was the "Get The Led Out" concert held at The Santander Arena in downtown Reading, PA. Along with my friend Deb and her hubby Dave, we were joined by their good friends of many years, Jan and Mike. We decided to make reservations for dinner before the show at a local Chinese restaurant just across the street from the concert venue called, "Lang's." Deb and I ate snack a little earlier in the day so we chose to split the dinner - we ordered chicken lo mein ... 💜

The show began at 8PM and it was so AWESOME!! 

We met up with our buddy, Kyle in the lobby just before the start of the show. Kyle is the the friend who has a Led Zeppelin tattoo on his arm. He was there with his parents who got him into Zep's music as a kid! WAY TO GO!!


These guys played everything from "Bring It On Home" to "Going to California" to "In My Time f Dying" and "Dazed and Confused," "All of My Love" to "Kashmir," "Living Loving Maid," "Heartbreaker" and "Whole Lotta Love" PLUS much, much more! I would DEFINITELY go see them again given the chance!!

As I said, we had a snack earlier for lunch so we went to Chili's and had some salsa and chips ...


We had a couple of hours to play with so we attended the Valentine's Day event right down the road from my house at a neat little place called, "The Mint Leaf."  They have all sorts of cool little items - gourmet food and desserts and a lot of nice gift shops that remind me a bit of "The Cracker Barrel" (clothing, hand crafted jewelry, etc.)
One of the vendors there was "The Rebel Hive Meadery" where we found some delicious specialty wines such as "Chocolate Cherry Lee Lewis" and "Respect Your Elders." They also had some great snacks such as these little goodies...


And last, but not least, Deb knew what an extremely stress-filled week I happened to have this week at work, and surprised me with this sweet and thoughtful little early Valentine's Day gift. It was from a pic she took from her last company Christmas Party a couple of weeks or so ago. She ordered a 5 x 7 print of it and added a personal message for me on the back of it (it even rhymes - lol) ... 💗


We also had a nice little surprise to help make my day - while out and about, Deb and I ran into my sister Aurora Skye and her good friend Kathy at our local Ulta Store. 😍

)o(        )o(        )o(        )o(        )o(        )o(        )o(

(Gratuitous kitty pic of Mr. Jack - Dave and Deb's fur baby)

Wishing everyone a great week!!

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Blessed Imbolg and Happy Groundhog Day to all!!!


Greetings friends on this Blessed Sunday of celebrations! First thing is first (after all, it is no secret how much I love watching Punxsutawney Phil make his annual Groundhog Day weather prediction), I awoke this morning at 7AM sharp and turned on my television just to watch the Groundhog Day celebration at Gobbler's Knob - Phil predicts an early Spring - YAY! LOL!!


More importantly: however, it is also Imbolg/Imbolc! In honor of this special Wiccan holiday, I have decided to share a previous post or two from our past celebrations of  this Blessed sabbat!

Imbolg/Candlemas - Feast of Lights
Our next holiday celebration is the cross-quarter and greater sabbat of Imbolg. Imbolg, as we all know, is also known as Imbolc, Candlemas/The Feast of Flames, Festival of Lights, and Groundhog Day among others.  It falls on February 2nd of every year and it is a time for purification and cleansing ~ the “sweeping out of the old and bringing in of the new” as it were. It marks the first fetal stirrings of Spring in the womb of our Earth Mother and seeds are prepared for sewing.
It is also a time when we honor the Triple Goddess in Her maiden aspect of Brigid (pronounced “Breed”) who is the goddess of fire, inspiration, healing, craftsmanship, and midwifery. She is also the patroness of the hearth, poets, smiths, craftspeople, healers, and priests/priestesses. The God who was born of the Goddess at Yule stirs in His slumber and awaits the Spring Equinox. It is also said that Groundhog Day (later known as Candlemas), which had its’ beginnings in German Paganism and is celebrated in both the United States and Canada, symbolizes the manifestation of the God Himself. In regard to six more weeks of winter: “If Candlemas day be sunny and bright, Winter again will show its’ might. If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey, Winter soon will pass away.” Of course, in reality, either way we must still endure six more weeks of winter before the start of Spring. Personally, I just adore Groundhog Day here in the States. It is such a fun festivity whether celebrated locally or abroad. We always enjoy watching "Punxsutawney Phil" awake from his hibernation to make a brief appearance to predict our winter's future on early morning of February 2nd. For more on Phil, please read my post, “Can't get enough of that Phil!” Just an aside, last year when we took our 5-day cruise on Ontario, Canada's Rideau Canal, the Captain and family business owner's sister, who happened to be the Cruise Director named Ann, told us a story of how she made a special trip to Punxsutawney, PA here in the States for the express purpose of actually meeting "Phil" and joining in on the town's festivities! Such a delightful woman!
Imbolg is a good time to get organized ~ spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is also the traditional time for dedications, rededications, and initiations if you are associated with a coven or group. It is an ideal time to cleanse your sacred space, altar, and tools. Activities may include making Brigid’s Crosses, Sun Wheels, a crown of candles, creating a grain or wicker dolly to represent Brigid, making a Brigid’s Bed using the corn or wheat from the previous Lughnasadh, and hanging a scarf outside on the eve of Imbolg so that Brigid will bless it with healing powers. Other activities include hanging three ears of corn on your door until Ostara to honor the Triple Goddess and making Dream Pillows for every member of the family. I always like to cleanse and bless our home on Imbolg.


Also, on Imbolg eve, it is customary to leave food and drink out for Brigid such as buttered bread, milk, grains, or seeds.


IMBOLG CANDLES


We light the candles on Imbolg
Weave our crosses end to end
We light the candles on Imbolg
To urge the Sun to come again,
We light the candles on Imbolg
To honor the Goddess Brigit,
We light the candles on Imbolg
To plow the field and sow the seed

Lady Caer Morganna

Imbolg: Honoring the Goddess Brigit

Imbolg, also known as Imbolc, Festival of Lights, Lady Day and Oimelc, is a fire festival which celebrates the on-coming of Spring. The word Imbolg literally means, “in the belly” (of the Goddess) and it honors the Celtic Goddess Brigit. She was the Goddess of fire, wisdom, poetry and sacred wells. She was also a deity associated with prophecy, divination and healing. Because the Goddess is in her maiden aspect as Brigit, the word "bride" was derived from her name. To symbolize her, we craft corn and grain dollies and make a "Brigit's bed" in which to place her in as a way to encourage her return and the return of the sun.
This sabbat represents new beginnings and spiritual growth.  The “sweeping out of the old and bringing in the new” is symbolized by the sweeping out of the circle with a besom (or broom) which is traditionally done by the High Priestess of the coven who wears a brilliant crown of 13 candles on top of her head. Also, Brigit’s Cross, one of the archetypal symbols of Ireland, while it is considered Christian, has its’ roots in Paganism and the Goddess Brigit. It was traditionally hung on the kitchen wall to protect the house from fire and evil.   It is usually made from straw, but can also be made with various colors of pipe cleaner sticks. It is woven counter-clockwise into a center square and four radials tied at the ends. These are easy to make and are a lot of fun for kids as well!
In  ancient Europe, Candlemas was celebrated as a torchlight procession to purify and fertilize the fields before the seed-planting season and to honor and give thanks to the various associated deities and spirits. Even the Christians adopted this sabbat celebration, giving honor to the Virgin Mary.
An Imbolg Poem

In the bitter cold of winter
Spring seems so far away
How long  ’til the Imbolg candles
Urge the sun to come to stay?
To help you count the nights so long
Are these little candles of white
Ignite one each eve at dream time
And it will soon be Imbolg night!

(Poem taken from Edain McCoy’s book, “The Sabbats"; image credit)