Archive for April 20th, 2011

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Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!

April 20, 2011

Rusyn Pysanky

Faith Versus Evidence: Is Easter True?

This week millions of Christians all over the world will be commemorating the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ, in a holiday season known as Easter. In Europe, Africa and Asia for example, commercial activities and several other significant sectors of the economy will be shut down to enable citizens to travel to their hometowns to join with family members, and to reflect on and relive these events which are indeed the founding pillars of the Christian religion itself. Easter therefore, arguably, represents the most important and defining events of the Christian faith. In Ghana for example Easter is one of those times when families mobilize resources to treat themselves to rich nutritious food like chicken, which otherwise is beyond their means to be eaten on a regular basis. However some issues concerning this important celebration remain unclear and unaddressed as of the present time. The purpose of this essay is to review some of these questions and see how they stack up against the prevailing known evidence.

Image Credit: Instructables.com 

Naturally the first place to look for the evidence of Easter would be the Bible itself as the Easter events are the most important narrative of the Christian faith. But sadly the word Easter is nowhere be to be found in the Bible. Not even once is it mentioned, let alone are adherents asked to celebrate it every year. So how is this? How come Easter does not appear in any of the 66 books of the Bible? Even after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the early Christians from Acts to Revelations would have been expected to have some celebration of this event even if it was not explicitly called Easter, but no such thing occurred. Why? Then what is Easter and what does it mean? Where did the word Easter come from? And the current celebrations we know, such as Good Friday, Easter Monday, Easter eggs, and the Easter bunny. Where did they come from?

The ancient Babylonians celebrated an annual feast in the third week of March to celebrate the equinox and to officially declare the end of winter and the time from which every year the daylight hours become longer than the darkness hours. They associated this triumph of light over darkness, as well as the fact that more daylight and warmer temperatures meant rejuvenation of life or resurrection after a long cold and winter during which time food was scarce and hard to come by. Due to the blossoming of new flowers and plants regaining their green foliage as well animals coming out from hibernation many beginning their mating season, the ancient Babylonians associated this event with the rebirth and fertility. The Babylonian goddess of fertility was called Ishtar. This is the origin of the word Easter.

At some later data the ancient Romans who also had a similar festival of their own, conquered the entire region and some of these customs were incorporated into the ancient Roman religion. As we all know the Romans later conquered the whole Europe and swaths of Asia. Among their vassal states were ancient tribes that became the ancestors of the Germans. The Germanic tribes had a similar festival of their own where they honored a fertility goddess named Eostur. This goddess was symbolized by a rabbit. The rabbit was always portrayed as standing beside a brood of eggs ready to hatch and continue the cycle of life all afresh. The month in which the goddess Eostur was honored was called Eostur-monath and is equivalent to April in our current modern calendar invented by Julius Caesar. This is the origin of the so called Easter bunny and Easter eggs. It is interesting to note that it was German immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 18th century who introduced this tradition in what became the United States of America. The Germanic traditions also became merged into the Roman religion.

With StyxYou Get an Eye-Roll

Yeah….yeah…yeah.  Same old argument covering well-traveled dusty old ground. If you want to read the rest of this diatribe at GhanaWeb click here.

Easter in Australia is all counting bodies ~ Don’t be a bunny on the roads ~ the annual Easter Road Toll.  It’s a Red Chestnut kinda buzz, ya know?  All that fear coming down mixed with chocolate…..

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The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Corncockle

April 20, 2011

Little Brown Jug and Corncockles

Image Credit: At Home in the Huddle

Great Lakes Sacred Essences: Corncockle

This plant is an energetic giver…..
restores pranic energy (life breath) to ease tired, depleted, worn-out conditions due to overwork or lack of play and rest
Corncockle aids in the absorption of prana or the sacred life giving breath that imparts spirit into matter.
It is an alien introduced from Europe and considered a weed by farmers
as it grows in meadows, along road sides, and into crops.
It is five-petaled, with five linear sepals that extend from the petals
like small swords in five directions.
Its color ranges from light pink to deep magenta.
The center of the flower is colored a high vibratory white.

Cockle-shell critters

This plant is an energetic giver that helps to breathe new life into soil that has been overworked and drained of its natural vitality.
It chooses to grow in disturbed areas to revitalize Nature’s womb with high frequency giving.
This pranic energy allows the etheric body of the soil to be rejuvenated by the spiritual life-giving forces of creative energy.
This flower essence is a gift to those who have lost their inherent vitality and joy to overwork and prolonged struggle.

 

Life on the physical plane can take its toll as responsibility becomes a burden and sacred rejuvenation, rest, prayer, and play are not honored.
Like the commercially grown cornfield that continues to produce year after year a lifeless harvest fed on petrochemicals, unhonored, leaving the soil bereft of energy or life, we will find our bodies and spirit depleted by continuous unending production.

The Norwegian name for common cockle is "heart shell".

Image Credit: A fish blog

Corncockle essence is a defender of the spirit.
It helps us reclaim a space for rest and nurturance in our busy days.
It is a giver that oxygenates our aura with life force inviting us to breathe in a slower and stronger manner receiving the pranic breath in all of our bodies
and restoring joy and pleasure.
Probably introduced to the U.S. with imported European wheat, Corncockle goes by many names in Europe.

Stanley Tucci as Puck, A Midsummers Night Dream

It is ‘Puck Needles’ in Sussex, England, ‘Crown of the Field’ in Somerset, England, and ‘Popple’ in Scotland, a name dating from the Middle Ages.

[Sourced Merri Walters of Great Lakes Sacred Essences]

High Tea for Six VIPs ~ Wedgewood 'Corncockle' tea set

Image Credit: Cake-Stand-Heaven

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The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Chestnut

April 20, 2011

Red Chestnut ~ aesculus carnea

Image Credit: Flower Essence Society

Awen Essences: Red Chestnut

The teaching of red chestnut is about learning free oneself from distraction by external influences: Learning that one’s own unique ‘Way’ cannot be disturbed by another. We choose what is right for us. This tree seems to bring an understanding of the eternal universal flow of energy and the spiralling nature of all things. (Like many of the essences which I have made, red chestnut brings a new understanding that how we choose to perceive things can directly change how we experience what is happening.) 

 Red chestnut essence is a good essence for those who are easily influenced, or thrown of balance by external influences, such as what others say or do, worrying about them or about what will happen next. When we judge and label things in our minds we create barriers, both within ourselves, and between us and everyone else.

 Red Chestnut helps to restore a sense of acceptance and openness, and helps one learn to be calm within when looking out. Also for those who are usually capable but may have become ‘bogged down’ in some way by the stresses of their lives. Red chestnut helps to restore a much-needed sense of perspective and balance.

Red Chestnut ~ "walk your talk"

Red Chestnut people live their lives as a process of abandonment, as if their spirit, suffering through the passage into incarnation, had abandoned its primordial condition. They experience inner disconnection as suffering unaccompanied by maturation and they project it onto others in the guise of obsessive love. [Source Daniele Lo Rito, Bach Flower Massage]

White Chestnut ~ aesculus hippocastanum

Awen Essences: White Chestnut

This tree takes our awareness beyond mind, beyond thought: A blank canvass. Only from this place of true stillness can we perceive the universe as it truly is; perceiving not with one or two of the senses at a time but with the whole being, directly. The energy of the white chestnut feels a bit like floating on a large body of water; so large that the perspective of oneself is unequivocally altered. An essential tree essence for learning to become aware of the silence underlying all form; for stilling the raging torrents of thoughts and worries; for realising and contemplating the nature of inner peace. These attributes also make white chestnut essence an important essence for those who are seeking to tune or broaden their perception, for only from a point of inner stillness can we ever hope to perceive clearly beyond the veil.

Chestnut Bud-in-sphere

Image Credit: Callum McKenzie-Milne

Bach Flower: Chestnut Bud

Indicated for those who cannot manage to coordinate their inner worlds with reality and its flow. Unable to assess the relationship between these two worlds, the inner self cannot learn from lived experience. They seem not to want to conclude a cycle in order to begin a new one, and instead spin like tops, prey to the next glamorous fantasy about the future. They keep tripping over the same mistakes, as they are unaware of having made them already, and, rather than realizing the actual moment, they live in projections of the future, where they need not carry any experiential baggage. [Source Daniele Lo Rito, M.D. Bach Flower Massage]

Sweet Chestnut ~ castanea sativa

Bach Flower: Sweet Chestnut

People who need Sweet Chestnut are absolutely despondent. An unexpected blow or a seemingly hopeless situation has brought them to the limit of their emotional endurance. They do not know what to do anymore because they have already tried everything. In this way they experience the total pointlessness of their former actions. This total hopelessness leads to a state of deepest despair and inner void, in which they even feel deserted by God and no longer know hope. They can neither pray nor cry, and they fear that their fate is breaking down. [Source Dietmar Krämer, New Bach Flower Therapies]

Black Squirrel and Chestnuts

Image Credit: Alan Drapal

Further Resources:

Treating the Symptoms of Panic Attacks with Flower Essences ~ Dr Marina Angeli, Flower Essence Society

Tonya Harding: A ‘roller-coaster life’ ~ TODAY People

Chestnuts Australia Inc.