Archive for April, 2011


The Good Counsel of Chaucer

April 30, 2011
14th Century Medieval Wedding

Flee from the press, and dwell with soothfastness;
Suffice thee thy good, though it be small;
For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness,
Press hath envy, and weal is blent o’er all,
Savour no more than thee behove shall;
Read well thyself, that other folk canst read;
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.

Paine thee not each crooked to redress,
In trust of her that turneth as a ball;
Great rest standeth in little business:
Beware also to spurn against a nail;
Strive not as doth a crocke with a wall;
Deeme thyself that deemest others’ deed,
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.

What thee is sent, receive in buxomness;
The wrestling of this world asketh a fall;
Here is no home, here is but wilderness.
Forth, pilgrim! Forthe beast, out of thy stall!
Look up on high, and thank thy God of all!
Weive thy lust, and let thy ghost thee lead,
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.

~ Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400


How to Lift a Curse: do the Wheel

April 30, 2011

Gods lubs 'em

Image Credit: The

St. Catherine of Siena

Born: March 25, 1347

Died: April 29, 1380

Canonized: 1461

Feast Day: April 30

Patron Saint of: fire prevention, Italy

Catherine was the 23rd of 25 children; the 24th, her twin, died at birth. At a very young and tender age, Catherine took a vow of virginity and devoted herself to her faith with continual and severe penance wearing a hair shirt under her clothing and fasting. At 6 years of age, she experienced a vision of Our Lord near the church of the Friar Preachers in the Valle Piatta. In the vision, Our Lord was clothed in pontifical garb with a tiara on top of his head and sat upon a throne surrounded by Saints Peter, Paul and John the Evangelist. Soon after that vision she joined the Order of Saint Dominic. At 17, she became a tertiary in the Third Order. After three years of seclusion, she became very active in the community serving the sick and the prisoners. During her lifetime, Cathering was known to have been blessed with the ability to expel demons, healing the sick, levitating during prayer, having visions of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother, sharing in sufferings of Christ with the stigmata, and having received a gift from Our Lord. The stigmata was visible only to her during her lifetime, but after her death, was visible to all. The gift she received from Our Lord, that only she could see, was a gold ring with four precious stones surrounding a diamond, signifying a spiritual marriage. Catherine was instrumental in convincing Gregory XI to return the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. In 1970, Catherine was only the 2nd woman in the history of the Church to be declared a Doctor of the Church. [Sourced:  St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church of Picayune, MS]

In 1374 St Catherine was investigated for possible heresy but passed the test and began to travel widely across Italy promoting peace and 'the total love for God'

Image Credit: Dunno

In letters written about 1366, Catherine wrote that she was in a “mystical marriage” with Jesus, who then encouraged her to take a more visible role in society, after which she devoted her life to helping the sick and poor.

In 1374 she was investigated for possible heresy but passed the test and began to travel widely across Italy promoting peace and “the total love for God”.

She began to eat less and fast more regularly but took Holy Communion almost daily. In fact, it seems she might have suffered from an illness like bulimia as she told her confessor that, when she ate, she often vomited soon afterwards.

Hundreds of her letters survive and they are considered a classical work of early Italian literature.

She died, aged just 33, in spring 1380 in Rome.

Get Your Saint On

Drawn by Love – The Mysticism of Catherine of Siena


Beltaine? It’s all Samhain to me

April 29, 2011

Melbourne's Southern Star Observation Wheel, Docklands

In 2009 Melbourne’s iconic Southern Star Observation Wheel found a sad turn when it had to be shut down due to cracks and buckling caused by the intense summer heat. The $100 million wheel has since been decommissioned, but that hasn’t stopped designers from thinking about what to do next with the landmark. So why reinvent the wheel you ask? Because it could be transformed into an energy-generating windmill outfitted with solar sails.

Reinventing the Wheel

Geez, I may never get used to living upside-down from the majority of the world’s Pagani.  I have to learn how to be biritual.  It’s confusing.  I might have to go to WitchCamp.  Except I think I’ve already been. There was a weird weekend at some place in 1982 I remember, out Warburton way. Lots of pompous university students and me and my friends, bogans from the wild Northern Suburbs of Melbourne, in our flannelette shirts, acid-wash jeans and bad haircuts.

Those were the days.

Terrifying university students majoring in Social Welfare who did not want to socialise with the class of people their training was preparing them to assist.

Yup, I’ve been to WitchCamp.

I like a bit of bogan in people. I like the refreshing intolerance to “bullshit”. I think that sometimes “get fucked” is a legitimate point of view and regret the fact that it’s not more broadly acceptable – particularly at work. I like the fact that one semi-bogan can tell a funny story to another semi-bogan that involves a completely inappropriate situation, and the listener can overlook the context and still laugh at the story. Admittedly, I prefer it when the bogan-ness is tempered by enough middle-class self-consciousness that you can safely assume the person won’t do anything that may involve you having to give a police statement, but that’s rarely a risk these days. ~ Workday Rant


Symbols for the Big Day

April 29, 2011

Sabian Symbol: 10º Taurus: A red cross nurse.
Natural, unrestrained pouring of self in service to one’s fellow men. Self-expression through compassionate understanding.

Kozminsky Symbol: 10º Taurus: A daintily dressed woman sitting by a placid lake, gazing intently at a man’s face reflected in the water.
Denotes a person of refined tastes and feelings, gifted with clairvoyant power and artistic skill. A union with one of psychic power-a soul-mate-brings harmony or complications (as indicated an the nativity) into a life which commands power and influence. It is a symbol of Descrying.


Trip-Trapping Across The Bridge

April 28, 2011

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle’s design as well as defence. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family and the centre of the manor of Bodiam.

Dryad's Saddle

Image Credit: A Fungus Among Us


A Hare Past a Freckle

April 28, 2011

The Persistence of Memory ~ Salvador Dali 1931


Old rules and habits

have to be rejected and dismissed,

so that something new can be created.

~ Michael Cretu, Enigma


The Trouble with Troubadours

April 28, 2011

The Color of Pomegranates

Watch on YouTube

A Georgian-born Armenian, Paradjanov (1924-1989) was one of the most controversial directors of the Soviet era. He was jailed for nearly five years on suspicions of homosexuality, illegal trading in antiques, and incitement to suicide, among other vague charges. After making a few documentaries and features in a roughly Socialist Realist idiom, Paradjanov came into his own style in 1964 when he made Tini zabutykh predkiv/Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, a dream-like film that combines expressionistic camera techniques, ethnography, and the logic of folktales. The film was released to great international acclaim, and is credited with founding the new “pictorial school” of ’60s Soviet cinema. At home, however, the film was attacked by the authorities for what was interpreted as a prioritisation of aesthetics over ideology, and was subsequently banned.

Sergei Parajanov: persecuted by pigeons

Image Credit: Hydra Magazine [where Britney Spears calls us to dance in the face of the apocalypse] oh…okay….after the Royal Wedding but.

Chastened, Paradjanov left the rigid confines of Moscow and Kiev for his ancestral home, Armenia, to make The Colour of Pomegranates in the same vein as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. But even there, he faced constant harassment by government officials, and was denied basic filmmaking equipment, lighting, and adequate film stock. Disgusted with the experience, he wrote to the director of the State Film Committee:

I was thirty-nine when a sad set of circumstances forced me to come to Erevan. I am now forty-two… It’s hot. Peaches are two rubles a kilo. I’m suffocating in schemes and poorly ventilated hotel rooms, keeping company with cockroaches. I strongly urge that Sayat-Nova be banned and that I be sent back to Kiev. I am willing to abandon the cinema.

His words were prophetic. The controversy over The Colour of Pomegranates instigated his trial and imprisonment, and he would be forbidden from making films for the next 15 years.

Sayat Nova

The film at the heart of all of this controversy is a biography of the Armenian troubadour-poet Aruthin Sayadian (1712-1795), who was known as Sayat-Nova. Born in the capital of Georgia, Tiblisi, Sayat-Nova began his career as a wool-dyer in his family’s trade. Educated in literature by the Armenian Church, he composed hundreds of songs and poems and would rise to become a poet in the royal courts of Tiblisi and Telavi in Eastern Georgia. In his later life, after the death of his wife, Marmar, Sayat-Nova became a monk at the Haghpat monastery. He lived there until his death at the hands of the Persian army, when Agha Mohammed Khan sacked Armenia . His songs continue to be sung in the Caucasus today. [Swiped from Senses of Cinema]