Friday, 5 May 2017

#amediting ~ Awake in Purple Dreams ~ Book Two

Inspiration ~ Digital Collage created using Polyvore
Original Picture Source HERE

A Story of Four Souls and Three Hearts

Love and light,

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Spirit Animals

Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.  
~ Pythagoras
Deer Soul 
Art by Helga (A Gift 💜)
I've always been a deep thinker and this stems from my imaginative muse's thirst for knowledge. I question everything. Yes, I'm still 'that person' who continues to ask 'why?'. There's not a day which goes by without me thinking of 'the bigger picture' in some way, whether it's creatively related or on life. One of the areas that regularly interests me is the soul and the energy that connects everything. The more I research, certain elements repeatedly come up and usually connect in some way to something else, which I initially thought, was not related. Actually, this happens a lot, and I play with the idea that there is one source connecting all information. Like a massive, invisible library that we can tap into, to connect the dots, which are not normally within our reach. Much like the internet web, invisible, not able to view its entirety, but accessible through material technology. On the web, we tap into other people'ss feeds/posts, etc, and can interact with others in a way that wouldn't have made sense to anyone years ago. Try it, imagine explaining the internet to someone who has no knowledge of this type of technology. Yes, not unlike your elderly relative. *winks* But I mean no contact at all with computers/phones, etc. It's not so easy, huh? 
This is a similar concept to the Akashic Records in spirituality. A technology not yet understood or experienced by many. 
It's quite difficult to explain, but I get a type of inner knowing, which guides me in research. I see everything in my mind's eye as pictorial, like reading a book full of pictures, story snippets, but to make my search easier, I'm able to reach the index to cross reference - if that makes sense? Now, when I try to explain this procedure verbally, it becomes almost impossible. Why? Well, basically, it's a visual feed, many pages/mental tabs are open and elements of research are taken from pieces everywhere, from different mental books. It's also a 'feel' thing. Have I lost you yet? Lol. 
Usually, I briefly state 'everything plays out as a film'. It's the easiest way to get the mindset across to another, but it goes deeper than that, and, of course, can be confusing when trying to explain further. I'm not meaning to say that I tap into Akashic Records, only that something steers me easily to places while researching to connect the dots between questions. Okay, I'm rambling. Basically, if we can connect in an intangible way, such as the internet or 'cloud' storage, would it not be possible to empower ourselves via connections with animals, or anything else for that matter, via energy/thought? Instead of exterior computing, we use our own computer - our minds. 
There is so much about our DNA, inner workings which we do not understand, that I feel, anything is possible. Doesn't seem too far-fetched when you think about it on a scientific level. Maybe, ancient ancestors understood our inner mechanics better than we do now? It's food for thought. 😉

Note: In theosophy and anthroposophy, the Akashic records are a compendium of all human events, thoughts, words, emotions and intent ever to have occurred, believed by theosophists to be encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the etheric plane.

Akasha (ākāśa आकाश) is the Sanskrit word for "aether" or "atmosphere". Also, in Hindi, Akash (आकाश) means "sky" or "heaven".
Animal Guides ~
The meanings associated with the deer combine both soft, gentle qualities with strength and determination. The stag is the king of the forest, the protector to all other creatures. For the native tribes of North America, the deer was a messenger, an animal of power, and a totem representing sensitivity, intuition, and gentleness. In Buddhism, the deer symbolizes harmony, happiness, peace and longevity. Symbolism for Book Two - Awake in Purple Dreams. HERE

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and life. I used this symbolism for 'The Butterfly Bridge' - Prequel in the series - More HERE
The Deer and the Butterfly seem to attach themselves to my psyche. I guess that's why they found their way into the books. For one of the character's, I choose the crow as a spirit guide. I'll admit, the crow un-nerves me a little as it has extremely deep meaning, but every guide plays a part of the cycle of life. 
The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic.  The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is to provide insight and means of supporting intentions. A sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances. If the crow has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic. More HERE
Swan symbolizes grace and beauty on many levels. It is associated with love, music, and poetry. In Roman mythology, Swan was sacred to Venus, the goddess of love. In Greek tradition, this bird was often pictured singing to a lyre.
I use the swan in 'The Purple Book of Menteith' Book Three (Past) - Book One, and Book Two. 
The elements that draw me in are old images of the swan with a crown around its neck or in chains. 
White Horse by Delshad Barzanji
The horse spirit animal symbolizes personal drive, passion, and appetite for freedom. Among all the spirit animals, it is one that shows a strong motivation that carries one through life. The meaning of the horse varies depending on whether this animal spirit guide is represented as wild, tamed, moving freely or constrained.
In some cultures, white horses stand for the balance of wisdom and power. In others, like Christianity, the white horse is a symbol of death. The horse is a universal symbol of freedom without restraint because riding a horse made people feel they could free themselves from their own bindings.
I use the horse symbolism in 'The Butterfly Bridge'.
Wolf is a symbol of guardianship, ritual, loyalty, and spirit. Wolf has the ability to make quick and firm emotional attachments, and often need to trust their own instincts. Thus they teach us to do the same, to trust our hearts and minds, and have control over our own lives.
The wolf offers some of the most striking animal meanings in the realm of spirit animals. The power of the wolf brings forth instinct, intelligence, the appetite for freedom, and awareness of the importance of social connections. This animal can also symbolize fear of being threatened and lack of trust. When the wolf shows up in your life, pay attention to what your intuition is telling you.
I use the wolf symbolism in Book Three (future) ~ Claíomh Solais (Shining Sword)
Since antiquity, unicorns have symbolized purity, magic, and healing and were revered among Babylonians, Persians, classical Greeks, Romans and early Jewish scholars. The Celts of ancient Britain also associated these mythological animals with life, joy and masculine potency.
This is a tough one because I love the symbolism associated with this mythical beauty but hadn't really connected on a personal level, perhaps due to the over-pretty girly images and the stigma attached of childish fancy, much the same as with the fae. Not that there's anything wrong with those pictures, though I prefer a more natural rawness without overly beautifying. A stripping down to the core being of folklore. So, come on, who doesn't love 'The Last Unicorn' novel or the movie 'Legend'?  💗 Fairy Tales 😊
I use the Unicorn symbolism in 'The Paper Unicorn' and 'Amour Désir (Love Longed For)' - neither are a part of ACoPF series. 
Other animal symbolism that interests me on an ancient level are:

It is said that we, as human beings, possess at least one Spirit Animal, or totem, in our lifetimes that serve as our personal protectors, guides, helpers, and companions. But usually, it is common for us to have many Spirit Animal helpers throughout different periods of our lives.

The concept of ‘Spirit Animals’ draws its origins from ancient Animistic and Totemistic beliefs about the world and our connection to it.

Totemism, a system of belief practised by the Native American Indian people, and the Australian Aboriginal people, for example, incorporates the notion that each human being has a spiritual connection to another physical being (e.g. a plant or animal).

Animism, on the other hand, is more of a world view held by many Buddhist, Shinto, Pagan and Neopagan groups of people, that all plants, animals and objects have spirits.

When we look at Animistic belief, we see that it treats all humans, animals, and plants as being equal and interdependent of each other.  In other words: to the Animist it is morally imperative to treat all forms of life with respect.  Not only that, but to the Animist we are part of nature, rather than being superior to nature, or separate from nature.

This belief is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the modern day “refined” and “cognitively developed” man who believes that he is the master of the world, and everything is subject to his rule.  No wonder the earth’s forests, streams, oceans, parklands, and wildlife are polluted, pillaged and dying every day.  “Mature” developed man has such a sickly and unintelligent mindset towards nature that he creates nothing but destruction and death wherever he treads.

Those who believe in the presence of Spirit Animals not only respect the flora and fauna of the earth as equals, but they often perceive the world around them as consisting of one and the same universal energy.  This is similar to pantheistic thought which believes that man, nature, and animal kind are all the manifestations of God.

Albert Einstein was considered to be a pantheist after writing one letter to a friend in 1954:

We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists in its soul as it reveals itself in man and animal.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether Spirit Animals are merely primitive social constructs, or whether their long history throughout many peoples and cultures points to a higher, deeper truth.

Note: The phrase “Power Animal” refers to the shamanic idea that certain animals (or tutelary spirits) can physically and psychologically empower us.  The Power Animal, just like the Spirit Animal, is thought to lend its wisdom, attributes, and instincts to us in times of need. (Source).


Love and light,

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Beltane Blessings )O( ~ May Day

Beltane honours life and represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer.
Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word 'Beltane' originates from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Together they make 'Bright Fire', or 'Goodly Fire' and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun's light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community.
Beltane Fire Dance by Loreena McKennitt
Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. "This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew."
~ (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred)
Beltane is the anglicised name for the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. May Day is a public holiday and is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival. In many cultures, dances, singing, and cakes are usually part of the celebrations.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30.
Flora's altar at Rome was said to have been established by the Sabine king Titus Tatius during the semi-legendary Regal period. Flusalis (linguistically equivalent to Floralia) was a month on the Sabine calendar, and Varro counted Flora among the Sabine deities.
May Day (or the day after Walpurgis Night).
Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the Dutch and German names for the night of 30 April. In Germanic folklore, Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (Dutch: heksennacht), literally "Witches' Night", is believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe.
On May Eve there is abundant fertility, on all levels, and is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride.
Stonemaiden Art - Etsy
In the Arthurian legends, the Flower Bride is Guinevere, though she is usually abducted on May 1 and must be rescued. However, in Celtic lore, there are many ladies or goddesses, such as Creiddyled and Bloudewedd, who fit this role.
The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand.
The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. 
Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage.
Sacred Union
"Sacred Marriage" between Dumuzi and Inanna on a bed. Old Babylonian Period.

I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,

If you do not call me loud when the day begins to break:

But I must gather knots of flower, and buds and garlands gay,

For I’m to be the Queen o’ the May, mother, I’m to be the Queen o’ the May.

– From “The May Queen” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The May Queen or Queen of May is a personification of the May Day holiday, and of Springtime and also Summer.Today the May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually a tiara or crown. Her duty is to begin the May Day celebrations. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech before the dancing begins. Certain age-groups dance round a Maypole celebrating youth and the spring time.
Sir James George Frazer found in the figure of the May Queen a relic of tree worship:
According to folklore, the tradition once had a sinister twist, in that the May Queen was put to death once the festivities were over. The veracity of this belief is difficult to establish; it may just be a folk memory of ancient pagan customs. Still, frequent associations between May Day rituals.
In the High Middle Ages in England, the May Queen was also known as the "Summer Queen". George C. Homans points out: "The time from Hocktide, after Easter Week, to Lammas (August 1) was summer (estas)." - On the 30th day of May was a jolly May-game in Fenchurch Street (London) with drums and guns and pikes, The Nine Worthies did ride; and they all had speeches, and the morris dance and sultan and an elephant with a castle and the sultan and young moors with shields and arrows, and the lord and lady of the May".
 A May Day festival is held on the village green at Aldborough, North Yorkshire on a site that dates back to Roman times and the settlement of Isurium Brigantum. A May queen is selected from a group of 13 upward girls by the young dancers. She returns the next year to crown the new May Queen and stays in the procession. The largest event in this tradition in modern Britain is the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Michael A. Michail - Flora.
The Faery Queen also represents the May Queen, although in practice the honour is usually carried out by young women who are soon to be married.
Mists of Avalon
Morgan le Fay is a powerful enchantress in the Arthurian legend. Early works featuring Morgan do not elaborate her character beyond her role as a fay or sorceress. She became both more prominent and morally ambivalent in later texts.
A "May Crowning" is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May, honoring the Virgin Mary as "the Queen of May". 
Our Lady of the Sea, Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland ~ The May Crown
The feminine connection in many forms ~
Queen of Heaven is a title given to the Virgin Mary by Christians mainly of the Roman Catholic Church, and also, to some extent, in Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism. The title is a consequence of the First Council of Ephesus in the fifth century, in which the Virgin Mary was proclaimed "theotokos", a title rendered in Latin as Mater Dei, in English "Mother of God". The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not share the Catholic dogma, but themselves have a rich liturgical history in honor of Mary. In the Hebrew Bible, under some Davidic kings, the gebirah, the "Great Lady", usually the Mother of the King, held great power as advocate with the king.In the fourth century St. Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.” Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title. A text probably coming from Origen (died c. 254) gives her the title domina, the feminine form of Latin dominus, Lord. That same title also appears in many other early writers, e.g., Jerome, and Peter Chrysologus. The first Mariological definition and basis for the title of Mary Queen of Heaven developed at the Council of Ephesus, where Mary was defined to be the Mother of God.
Our Lady, star of the Sea statue, overlooking Castlebay, Isle of Barra. - Karen Matheson.
Our Lady, Star of the Sea is an ancient title for the Virgin Mary. The words Star of the Sea are a translation of the Latin title Stella Maris.The title has been in use since the at least the early medieval period. Originally arising from a scribal error in a supposed etymology of the name Mary, it came to be seen as allegorical of Mary's role as "guiding star",  as a guide and protector of seafarers, in particular, the Apostleship of the Sea, and many coastal churches are named Stella Maris or Star of the Sea.
Mists of Avalon
 Hawthorn tree is the true symbol of Beltane, the original May tree, and the tree of the fairy folk. Also known as the May-tree, due to its flowering period, it is the only British plant named after the month in which it blooms.
In Britain, it was believed that bringing hawthorn blossom into the house would be followed by illness and death, and in Medieval times it was said that hawthorn blossom smelled like the Great Plague. Botanists later learned that the chemical trimethylamine in hawthorn blossom is also one of the first chemicals formed in decaying animal tissue, so it is not surprising that hawthorn flowers are associated with death. 
A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn
Until the tree was root and branches of my thought,
Until white petals blossomed in my crown.

~ From The Traveller by Kathleen Raine
When we read of medieval knights and ladies riding out ‘a-maying’ on the first morning of May, this refers to the flowering hawthorn boughs they gathered to decorate the halls rather than the month itself. For on this day, according to the Old Style calendar that was in use until the 18th century, the woods and hedges were alight with its glistening white blossoms.
In some villages, mayers would leave a hawthorn branch at every house, singing traditional songs as they went. 
The young girls rose at dawn to bathe in dew gathered from hawthorn flowers to ensure their beauty in the coming year. For May was the month of courtship and love-making after the winter's cold; and so the hawthorn is often found linked with love-making. In ancient Greece, the wood was used for the marriage torch, and girls wore hawthorn crowns at weddings. 
But while hawthorn was a propitious tree at Maytime, in other circumstances it was considered unlucky. Witches were supposed to make their brooms from it, and in some parts, it was equated with the abhorred elder, as in the rhyme:

Hawthorn bloom and elder-flowers
Will fill a house with evil powers.

Even today many people will not allow the branches inside the house, for, as one might expect from its association with Beltane, a time when the two worlds meet, it is considered a tree sacred to the faeries, and thus to be regarded with fear at the least, respect at most. As such, it often stands at the threshold of the Otherworld.
In the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, the Scots poet is taken away by the Queen of Elfland as he sits beneath an ancient thorn known as the Eildon tree. In another old rhyme, the Ballad of Sir Cawline, a lady dares the hero to go to Eldridge Hill where a hawthorn grows, to await there the faery king.
There are noteworthy parallels between this tale and the romance, The History of Sir Eger, Sir Graham, and Sir Gray-steel.
The full moon of May, also known as the Flower Moon, Milk Moon, or Hare Moon, will occur  Wednesday (May 10) at 5:42 p.m. EDT (2142 GMT). It will appear full to the casual observer for about a day before and after. 
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the Native American name for the May full moon was the Full Flower Moon, though some Algonquin-speaking nations named it the Corn Planting Moon or Milk Moon (milk, referring to nurture - milkweed or cows, though not native to the Americas).
Flower Moon ~ May ~ by Ithilyen on Deviantart
Haiku ~ Flower Moon
light of the moon
moves west, flowers' shadows
creep eastward

Just a thought:
Perhaps, keeping in mind the feminine moon cycle (and matrilineal aspects), Beltane would be best celebrated by the moon cycle and not the modern dating of the Gregorian calender
Did you know:
1. The original Roman calendar is believed to have been an observational lunar calendar whose months began from the first signs of a new crescent moon. Because a lunar cycle is about 29½ days long, such months would have varied between 29 and 30 days.
2. A lunar calendar is a calendar based upon cycles of the Moon's phases (synodic months), in contrast to solar calendars based solely upon the solar year. The details of when months begin varies from calendar to calendar, with some using new, full, or crescent moons and others employing detailed calculations. Traditional lunar and lunisolar calendars continue to be used throughout the Old World to determine religious festivals and national holidays. Such holidays include Ramadan (Islamic calendar); the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mongolian New Year (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mongolian calendars); the Nepali New Year (Nepali calendar); the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok (Chinese and Korean calendars); Loi Krathong (Thai calendar); and Diwali (Hindu calendars).
Maypole History HERE
My apologies, for the rather long post. I get excited about this theme in folklore. 😉
Love and light,