Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year History

Leaping Leap Year -->Batman !!

Now this is a mouth full Guys!!

Also February 29th lore has it that the ladies are legal to ask a man to marry on that day!! This comes from Victorian times.



With the lunar calendars, a solar year was based upon a 19-year period Seven of these years had 13 months. The entire period contained 235 months. Still using the lunation value of 29 and a 1/2 days devised by lunatics, this made a total of 6,932 and 1/2 days, while 19 solar years added up to 6,939.7 days, a difference of just one week per period and about five weeks per century.

What do leap year and leap frog have in common? I have absolutely no idea, but frogs do seem to epitomize the concept of leap year and on this coming February 29th, it will happen again. To leap or not isn’t the only question, but to fully understand the issue requires an explanation of calendars, solar years, tropical years, lunar years, many moons and some lunacy as well. So let me proceed with all the expertise and daring of both a non-authority and a non-scientist. Maybe we can figure this out together and maybe we can’t. But here goes;

The calendar year is 365 days long, unless the year is exactly divisible by 4, in which case an extra day is added to February to make the year 366 days long. If the year is the last year of a century, e.g. 1800, 1900, 2000, then it is only a leap year if it is exactly divisible by 400. Therefore, 1900 wasn’t a leap year but 2000 was. me. In any case, the reason for these rules is to bring the average length of the calendar year into line with the length of the earth’s orbit around the Sun, insuring that the seasons always occur during the same months each year. While some rules are perhaps meant to be broken, this isn’t one of them.

WHOOOOSHHHHHH my head is spinning like the earths orbit right Now!!

A year is defined as being the interval between two successive passages of the Sun through the vernal equinox. (In actuality, the earth is orbiting around the Sun.) The vernal equinox occurs the instant the Sun is above the earth’s equator while traveling from the south to the north. (We are assuming here that it knows which way it’s going. That is more than I can say for myself most of the time.) This is considered the beginning of Spring. The two passages of the Sun through the vernal equinox comprise a tropical year, whose length determines the repetition of the seasons. The exact length of a tropical year is 365.24219 days.

The purpose of the calendar is to reckon past or future time, to show how many days until a certain event takes place, to mark a harvest or religious festival or how long since something important happened. The earliest calendars were in all probability strongly influenced by the geographical location of the people who made them. In colder climates, the concept of the year was determined by the seasons, specifically by the end of winter. In warmer countries, where the seasons are less pronounced, the Moon became the basic unit for time reckoning. Many of the oldest calendars were lunar calendars, based on the time interval from one new moon to the next (a lunation).

Even this 19-year period required some adjustment, but still it became the basis of the calendars of the ancient Chinese, Babylonians,and Greeks. This same calendar was also used by the Arabs, but Mohammed later forbade shifting from 12 months to 13 months, so that the Islamic calendar, even today, has a lunar year of 354 days. As a result, the months as well as Islamic religious festivals migrate through all the seasons of the year. (Consider the ramifications for a Moslem couple who wish to marry in June. If they aren’t careful, it could be a December wedding!) In 45 BC the Julian calendar was established and was used in the west until 1582. According to this calendar, each year contained twelve months and there was an average of 365.25 days in a year. This was achieved by having three years containing 365 days and one year containing 366 days. The discrepancy between the actual length of the year, 365.24219 and the adopted length, 365.25 at first seemed inconsequential. Over hundreds of years, however, it made quite a difference. This is because the seasons, which depend on the date in the tropical year, were getting progressively out of sync with the calendar date. To alleviate this, in 1582 Pope Gregory XII instituted the Gregorian Calendar. (Like Julius Caesar, he might have been a brilliant man, but he couldn’t think of anyone else to name his own calendar after.)

The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian involved the concept that century years (1700, 1800, etc) should only be leap years if divisible by 400. The net effect amounted to about 3 days in 10,000 years. The adoption of the Gregorian calendar in Catholic countries occurred in 1582. It eliminated ten days from the year; 4 October followed by 14 October, and stipulated that the year should begin on January 1. To confuse matters, in non-Catholic countries the change was made much later. Great Britain and her colonies adopted them in 1752, when September 2 was followed by 14 September and New Years Day was changed from March 25 to 1 January. (How did anyone ever know when their taxes or bills were due?)Despite its widespread use, the Gregorian calendar is not without its weaknesses. For one thing, it cannot be divided into equal halves or quarters, the number of days per month is haphazard and months and years may begin on any day of the week. Holidays pegged to specific dates may also fall on any day of the week, and few Americans can predict when Thanksgiving will occur next year. Since Gregory Xll, many other proposals for calendar reform have been made, but none has been permanently adopted. In the meantime, the Gregorian calendar keeps dates in reasonable harmony with the universe and astronomical events.

WHOOOOOSHHHHHhhhhhh all done<-- Why, oh why, did I have to research this!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring Time Smudging

Hi to all, A friend ask me about smudging the other day so I thought I would post about it. Spring is a great time to do this as a yearly event. Also when you remodel a home or apartment. So happy smudging !!



Smudging is the common name given to the sacred smoke bowl blessing.
Saging is a powerful cleansing technique from the Native North American Tradition. Smudging calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away negative energies and restore balance. It is the art of cleansing yourself and your environment using simple ritual and ceremony. For thousands of years smudging has been a part of Native American tradition but now its power of cleansing is available to everyone.

A Tradition From The Mists Of Time

It is impossible to say for certain when smudging began. Perhaps early civilizations came to realize, through sheer trial and error, that the smoke generated by setting alight particular herbs had beneficial effects for humanity. Certainly many cultures have an old tradition of driving animals through smoke to kill off pests and diseases. Now a days modern science has proven that certain herbs do indeed have cleansing powers, acting as strong pesticides.
Aside from this beneficial and practical aspect of burning herbs, humans have become aware that smoke ascends to the heavens - to the world of spirits - almost as if it were acting as a spiritual messenger.
The idea of purification through smoke is certainly not the sole preserve of the Native North Americans.
Most rituals have some element of cleansing, and incense or herbal smoke mixtures that are burned. Around the world - from China, India, and Southeast Asia, to Europe and the Western world- many countries have used some form of smoke or smudging for ritual and clearing.

How to Smudge

An abalone shell is the accustomed Native American vessel to use for holding the sage. However, any small, flat, heat-proof container will do.

Leave the sage as is, tied with the string in the bundle. Light the sage and let it flame for a minute or so. Extinguish the flame so the sage is smoldering and smoking.

Take the smudge container and using circular clockwise movements, encircle yourself with the smoke. The Native American custom is to use a very large feather from a poultry bird, such as a turkey. Using the feather, fan the smoke all around the room going around windows and doorways. I always say a prayer as I do this asking for all negativity be released, opening up for all that is good and holy. If possible, open some windows and doors to allow the smoke to leave.

You can do this for the whole room and even the whole house. Start at the most northerly room and working again, clockwise, through your home, let the smoke from the sage permeate throughout. Try and finish off the smudging process by ending up at an open door. You should have come full circle around your home.

Bee’s Way

Sweep the whole house( besome broom if you have one). The goal here is not to clean the floors, but rather to imagine 'sweeping' the house of its negative energy.
Techniques vary, but I like to combine the swept material from each room into one pile, and sweep the full bunch outside. And, I do recommend sweeping the material outdoors, rather than into a dust pan. This process has a more 'ceremonial' cleaning feel to me; pushing the old dirt and energy outdoors is very liberating!
Light a white candle, then use it to light the sage stick. Before 'smudging' the room, fan the smoke over yourself first. Then, walk through the room counter-clockwise, fanning the smoke over the walls, windows, toward the ceiling etc. Stay focused on your intention - to clear negative energy.
Continue this through every nook and cranny of your home. When sufficiently smoky, extinguish the sage in a fire-safe receptacle, and follow the same instruction for the sweet grass. While smudging with sweet grass, remember to visualize your intention - you're inviting positive energy into your home.
Now's a good time to open those windows. If you have one, hang a wind chime near the bedroom window. Nothing moves stale air like the soft song of a wind chime.
note: If you must speak while performing the clearing, keep your voice at a whisper, speaking only positive phrases. Also, I recommend clearing a home regularly, especially after an argument, during life transitions like breakups or divorces, or after unpleasant guests leave.

“I burn sage first, and follow up with sweet grass."

Whenever I have done this, it has never set off any of my smoke alarms, which I have found very strange indeed. Now it MAY set off yours, so be prepared to disconnect it during your smudging and be SURE to re-engage it upon completion of your smudging.

I say a little prayer over and over as I do my smudging, asking the 'powers that be' (Spirit of the sage) to remove all negativity and unwanted energies.

"Sage is the most potent herb for smudging but you can also use cedar and sweet grass. "

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fairy Seeds

Hi to all,

Well today on one of my many adventures to my local nursey. I saw this small display of seeds on my way to the check out counter.. I was so surprised to see this!The display held about 8 diferent types?-- of flower seeds packages in this special packaging from Burpee Seed Company.
I read on the back this product is in coralation with the estate of; Cicely Mary Barker. How cool is this??

On the back there is a tear off , on this one ---> the Forget Me Not's<--- :-) there is "The song of the Forget Me Not Fairy". I post it below. This is such a neat idea I had to share with you all!! Also here is a link that was on the back of the package to;

The Song of the Forget Me Not Fairy
Where do fairy babies lie
Til! they're old enough to fly? Here's a likely place, I think,
'Mid these flowers, blue and pink, (Pink for girls and blue for boys:
Pretty things for babies' toys!) Let us peep now, gently. Why,
Fairy baby, here you lie!
Kicking there, with no one by,
Baby dear, how good you lie! Alt alone, but, you're not—
You could never be—forgot! O how glad I am I've found you,
With Forget-me-nots around you, Blue, the colour of the sky!
Fairy baby, Hushaby!

Catkin Lore

Hi to All, Well spring is slowly coming on here at Ravenswood. While I was out trimming the burg's I spied a few "catkins" peaking out from the branches of my white willow tree. I had to trim--> but I preserved a few for a vase on my table to bloom as the days go by.. Pussy Willows one of my favorites..

Polish Legend:

Many spring times ago a kindle of kittens was chasing butterflies by the riverbank. So enchanted were they by the game that when the butterflies flew out across the river they failed to heed their mother's warnings. One after the other they fell into the churning waters.Frantic, the mother cat ran along the bank calling to her drowning kittens. The willows at the river's edge heard her plaintive cries and longing to help her swept their long graceful branches into the waters to rescue the tiny kittens. One by one the kittens found a branch and gripping tightly they were brought safely to shore. From that day to this, and for each springtime to come, the branches of the willow tree sprout tiny fur-like buds at their tips where the tiny kittens once clung.

More Lore;

A witch's cat came to be called a ?grimalkin?. The Scottish goddess of witches was called ?Mither o' the Mawkins?, a mawkin or malkin being either a cat or a hare. Originally a gremalkin was a gray cat. Later the term came to refer to the "pussies" or "catkins" on a pussy willow, as well as to the witch's cat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lady Moon

Hi To all on this magical night, Alas I was not able to get a good photo of the Lunar eclipse this eve but I did get one and I video taped it too.. So I have posted a NASA photo of a red lunar eclipse of the past as well.

Lady Moon has not looked lovelier than on this eve.. Draped in red~~~



The night of the full moon is when the Lunar Lady shines her brightest. Not only is this a time of protection, magic, and getting rid of bad influences in you life. The full moon offers us the time to say thanks for the things we have accomplished during the last lunar period.

Giving thanks is part of the balance of the lunar cycles.

A verse of thanks for this eve..

Lady Moon I stand between the veil under your light.
I embrace my joy for life.
I recognize the energy and honor that you bring into my life, and am blessed for it.
Lady Moon, thank you for the light, and balance you bring into my life.

Monday, February 18, 2008

3rd Moon of the Celtic Year


· 3rd Moon of the Celtic Year - (Feb 18 - March 17)
· Latin name: White Ash - fraxinus americana; European Ash - fraxinus excelsior; Flowering Ash - fraxinus ornus.
· Celtic name: Nion (pronounced: knee un)
· Folk or Common names: Ash, Common Ash, Unicorn Tree, Guardian Tree
· Parts Used: Leaves, wood, bark, twigs, sap, flowers

· Herbal usage: Ash leaves and the tender tops can be used in the spring to make a fasting tea that is a diuretic and can be used as a help for weight loss. Ash bark is known as a liver and spleen cleanser and can make the immune system stronger. The flowering Ash has sap that contains a sugary exudate called 'manna', which can be used as a laxative.

· Magical History & Associations: The bird associated with this month is the snipe, the color is half clear & half deep blue, and the gemstone is sea-green beryl. The Ash, a masculine herb, is associated with the element of water, the sun and Jupiter; and is sacred to Thor, Woden, Mars, Uranus and Gwydion. Ash is also sacred to Odin since the Ash is often known as the Yggdrassil (or the 'Ash Yggdrasil') amongst the Scandinavian nations. In Norse mythology, the Yggdrassil supports the Universe, has three main branches and is believed to have sprung from the beginning of time out of primordial slime and ashes. The Ash is also the tree of the sea God Poseidon, because of its watery power. Frennett (frenetic chaos), a substance used by berserkers, may have been made from Ash bark. The Ash was supposed to be serpent repellent - Pliny held that there is such an antipathy between an adder and an Ash-tree, "that if an adder be encompassed round with Ash-tree leaves, she will sooner run through the fire than through the leaves". The ceremonial Yule log is often made of Ash - this log is kindled each Yule with a piece from last years fire and allowed to smolder for 12 days before it is ceremonially put out. The Ash tree is famous, although anonymous, since it's the tree from which the Hanged Man is suspended in tarot decks

· Magical usage: The Ash was one of the sacred Druidic three: 'Oak, Ash & Thorn', and the month of Ash is a good time to do magick designed to learn your inner self. The Ash has applications in magic done for sea power, ocean rituals, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning, love, rain making, women's mysteries, prophetic dreams, general protection, Prosperity, and health. Ash is often used for making both mundane and magical tools - it's said that tools with handles of Ash are more productive than tools with handles of other wood. Witches brooms often have the staff made from Ash, and Ash wood was used for spears and shields since it was known as a protective wood. Placing Ash berries in a cradle prevents the child from being traded for a changeling by an evil faery - and Ash talismans can be worn as protective amulets. Ash is known to keep away serpents and to protect against their bite. If there are no snakes to be found, Ash can be used instead to keep away nasty people who are bitchy, quick to criticize, impatient, or psychic vampires. Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness. The spirally carved Druidic wand was made of Ash for this healing purpose. In years gone by, weak-limbed children were passed through split ash trees which were then bound up. If the tree grew straight, the child would as well. Ash can be used in medicine pouches or can be used in magick for wart remover: the wart is stuck with a pin that has first been thrust into an Ash, while these words are said:
"Ashen tree, Ashen tree, pray these warts off of me."
The pins are then stuck back in the tree and left. The druids attributed special powers over water to the ash tree. They used its wood to make it rain or to ward off water's destructive power. The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water. Ash leaves placed under the pillow will induce prophetic dreams, and carrying an Ash leaf will attract the love of the opposite sex. The Ash is often called The Unicorn Tree, because unicorns are supposed to be fond of the tree. To catch a glimpse of a unicorn, carry Ash wood or leaves. Whenever you need to harvest a piece or part of an Ash tree, remember to ask the tree if it will allow you to take a branch or other part and be sure to leave the tree an offering of thanks when you are done. A nice offering would be a bit of mane from a unicorn.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008





Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Hi to all, I just watched this film AGAIN ! I just love the fantasy this film projects.
I also LOVE Micky!! Look Dick Powell is in it to You may know him from the "Thin Man" movie series. Oh, I know--- I am the classic film girl.. I can not help myself they provide so much sparkle!!! If you get achance give this film a veiw. I think you will like it!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream(1935; directed by William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt

Know actors; James Cagney, Joe E. Brown, Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, and Mickey Rooney?

Shakespeare's tale of foolish mortals, squabbling fairies and mismatched lovers. Most of the play takes place deep in the forest, where a quartet of human lovers have fled: Hermia and Demetrius, happily in love, do not wish to be split up by the law of their land. Hot on their heels are Lysander, out to claim Hermia for his bride, and Helena... hopelessly besotted with Lysander.Unfortunately, the four get caught up in a battle between Oberon, king of the fairies, and his wife Titania. In order to teach his queen a lesson, Oberon has ordered the sprite Puck to employ magic so that she will fall in love with a country bumpkin... who's been turned into an ass. Puck, however, can't resist using a little of the fairy dust on the troubled mortals. comic confusion follows -- much to the mischievous Puck's delight...
PS; Mickey Rooney? Carreer started in 1920. He was 15 when he played Puck in this film.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saint Valentine's Day; A short History

Hi all, Here is some brief history of St. Valentine's Day celebrations.
Taken from many sources. Interesting at the least??

Lupercalia: A "Feverish" Festival We may owe our observance of Valentine's Day to the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a festival of eroticism that honored Juno Februata, the goddess of "feverish" (febris) love. Annually, on the ides of February, love notes or "billets" would be drawn to partner men and women for feasting and sexual game playing.

From Sinful to Saintly? Early Christians, clearly a dour bunch, frowned on these lascivious goings-on. In an attempt to curb the erotic festivities, the Christian clergy encouraged celebrants to substitute the names of saints. Then, for the next twelve months, participants were to emulate the ideals represented by the particular saint they'd chosen. Not too surprisingly, this prudish version of Lupercalia proved unpopular, and died a quick death.

Easier to Do: Substitute Romance for Eroticism But the early Christians were anything but quitters, so it was on to Plan B: modulate the overtly sexual nature of Lupercalia by turning this "feast of the flesh" into a "ritual for romance!" This time, the Church selected a single saint to do battle the pagan goddess Juno -- St. Valentine (Valentinus). And since Valentinus had been martyred on February 14, the Church could also preempt the annual February 15 celebration of Lupercalia. The only fly in the ointment was Valentinus himself: he was a chaste man, unschooled in the art of love.

Putting the Right "Spin" on the Saint To make the chaste Saint more appealing to lovers, the Church may have "embellished" his life story a little bit. Since it happened so long ago, records no longer exist. But if it didn't happen this way, it certainly makes for a better story... According to one legend, Valentinus ignored a decree from Emperor Claudius II that forbade all marriages and betrothals. Caught in the act, Valentinus was imprisoned and sentenced to death for secretly conducting several wedding ceremonies. While imprisoned, the future Saint cured a girl (the jailer's daughter) of her blindness. The poor girl fell madly in love with Valentinus, but could not save him. On the eve of his execution, Valentinus managed to slip a parting message to the girl. The note, of course, was signed "From your Valentine."

No More Lottery Drawings Despite the efforts of the Church, Valentine's Day continued to echo Lupercalia in at least one respect - men and women, married or single, would draw lots to select a "valentine." Once paired, the couple exchanged gifts and sometimes love tokens as well. The custom of lottery drawings to select Valentines persisted well into the eighteenth century. Gradually, however, a shift took place. No longer did both parties exchange gifts; instead, gift-giving became solely the responsibility of the man! This new twist helped to finally bring an end to the random drawing of names, since many men were unhappy about giving gifts (sometimes very costly) to women who were not of their choosing. And now that individuals were free to select their own Valentine, the celebration took on a new and much more serious meaning for couples!

Valentine Cards Appear The first written valentine is usually attributed to the imprisoned Charles, Duke of Orleans. In 1415, Charles fought his lonely confinement by writing romantic verses for his wife. By the sixteenth century written valentines were so common that St. Francis de Sales, fearing for the souls of his English flock, sermonized against them. Manufactured cards, decorated with Cupids and hearts, appeared near the end of the eighteenth century. A purchased valentine became the most popular way to declare love during the early decades of the nineteenth century. Miniature works of art, the cards were usually hand painted and were often lavishly decorated with laces, silk or satin, flowers (made from the feathers of tropical birds), glass filigrees, gold-leaf or even perfumed sachets!

I Love You! (But Postage is Due...) Did you know that the current popularity of St. Valentine's Day owes much to the modern postal service? Until the mid-1800's, the cost of sending mail was far beyond the means of the average person. Even worse, the postal service demanded payment from the recipient, not the sender, of the letter! Imagine receiving a Valentine card, paying the postage due, then reading that you were "...valued beyond rubies" by your Valentine. Even more ironic... discovering that your Valentine card was from an unwelcome suitor! So, until the advent of the penny post, most valentine cards were hand delivered by the prospective lover.

St. Valentine's Day in the new Millennium... St. Valentine's Day greeting cards are still very popular (only more Christmas cards are sent), but red roses and chocolate candies now often accompany the card. And the card itself has changed quite a bit...recent developments include cards that play romantic music; let you record a romantic message; even "scratch-and-sniff" cards! New technologies offer even more ways for lovers to say "be mine!" Some of the new technologies... video-tape a steamy Valentine wish! Send a love letter via email! Send an animated eCard! All fun..and easy to do!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I was tagged for a "meme"

Hi all here are my Seven

I had a entopic pregnancy burst after I had my tubes tied.

I wore corrective shoes for the first seven years of my life.

I was born on the Marine Corps Birthday. ( Always giving me the day after off from work and school due to -->veterans day)

I won 10,000 dollars once.

I was a shoe repair women.

I always wanted to play a string instrument.

I do antique pattern glass research as a hobby.

Here are the rules for the meme:

-link to the person's blog who tagged you
-post the rules to your blog
-share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
-tag 7 people at the end and put a link back to their blogs
-let every person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fat Tuesday, Eat drink and be Merry !

" Top 10 Mardi Gras Songs "

1. Professor Longhair, "Go To The Mardi Gras"
There are many different versions of this song: Fess himself even cut an earlier version called "Mardi Gras In New Orleans." This is the one you want, however, the king of all Mardi Gras songs, the one with the breathtaking piano intro, the impossibly realized whistling solo, and God's own shuffle beat. This song actually sounds like a parade coming down your street, which may be why, for locals, it's completely impossible to imagine Mardi Gras without iT.

2. The Meters, "Hey Pocky A-Way"
The strongest of several Mardi Gras classics by these masters of funk during their mid-'70s period. With a microscopically accurate second-line beat, boogie-woogie piano New Orleans style, semi-nonsensical lyrics, and loads of thick funk on top, this sums up the bohemian essence of the celebration. In fact, this adaptation of a traditional parade chant is so infectious in its joy, it's hard not to grin while listening to it. Sampled by the Beastie Boys and often covered by the Grateful Dead.

3. Earl King, "Street Parade"
You may know blues guitarist King from his 1962 hit "Trick Bag," or from his vocal on Professor Longhair's "Big Chief," but his career stretches out far before and after that; in fact, the LP of the same name is widely considered one of the great funk albums of all time, and not just because the Meters are there as back up, either. Not as well known as the other songs on this list, this track nevertheless manages to capture the loose feel of a second-line better than any other.

4. Al Johnson, "Carnival Time"
Even in New Orleans itself, Al's only known for this one song, which, like many on this list, feature the deathless piano of Professor Longhair. But it's such a fine testimony to the season's debauchery, not to mention a snapshot of a Claiborne Avenue scene destroyed by the Interstate highway system, that this one hit was all he needed to sustain a decades-long career: to this day, he bills himself as Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. This prime slice of Crescent City rock is just that hot.

5. Sugar Boy Crawford and his Cane Cutters, "Jock-A-Mo"
You've no doubt already heard countless variations on the standard "Iko Iko" -- more than likely the hit '60s version by the Dixie Cups, which has been featured in several movies. That was bubblegum, however; this is what the song originally sounded like in the decade preceding it. Raw Fifties R&B that effortlessly skips back and forth between a parade-style rhumba and a hot jump blues, it's also a field guide to the kind of (once violent) street warfare the Mardi Gras Indians tribes practice.

6. Professor Longhair, "Big Chief, Pt. 2"
The man they call "Fess" was a legend, both inside and out of the city, and during his lifetime he created several timeless classics for the Carnival season. This one is actually the second half of an instrumental, yet with added vocals on the flip (a common practice at the time; Earl King handles the lead here). Fess' playing defines New Orleans' piano, and the lyrics are the best recorded tribute to the rich Mardi Gras Indian subculture -- a whole article in itself, and then some.

7. Rebirth Brass Band, "Do Whatcha Wanna Pt. 3"
Okay, this mid-Nineties cut is not an oldie per se, but Rebirth's take on traditional jazz is timeless anyway, and certainly emblematic of the city's rich brass-band tradition. This isn't Dixieland, though (and, despite what they tell you, most New Orleanians don't celebrate with that anyway); it's street funk done with trad-jazz elements. And it smokes with the fire of a dozen street battles. Few people can resist the urge to shake... well, the song will let you know.

8. The Meters, "They All Ask'd For You"
The Meters are responsible for three items on this list, all dating from the city's fertile early '70s homegrown funk period. This rather silly song has nothing lyrically to do with Mardi Gras -- it's practically a children's song, when you get down to it -- but the orchestration and especially the beat make it a perfect soundtrack to strutting down the street, and it's therefore become much beloved by the locals. Also features authentic (that is, technically incorrect English) dialect.

9. The Hawkettes, "Mardi Gras Mambo"
New Orleans is small as metropolises go, which is why so many of the songs on this list share musicians, vocalists, and songwriters. In fact, this high school group -- which recorded the original version of this classic in the Fifties -- would go on to mutate into the Neville Brothers. As a mambo, this isn't one; as a living distillation of the holiday's ethic, it's undeniable. The lyrics are great, too: "Down in New Orleans where the blues was born, it takes a cool cat to blow a horn." True.

10. Stop, Inc., "Second Line"
To "second line" is to march/dance in a certain fashion during a Mardi Gras parade. (If you're actually a part of the parade, you're the first line; if you're just drunk and dancing behind it, you're in the second line.) Indeed, the march and the song are synonymous, and go back decades. When, in the '70s, it was discovered that there were no existing recordings of the song, a group of session musicians stepped in and produced this, the most popular recording to date of this brass-band standard.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Death of George Duke of Clarence

Hi all,
Lets see now Oh--> I did my research on the Duke, and here are the results..

No better place to research the "Duke of Clarence" than the "Richard Society", Located in the UK. I take nothing as "gospel" truth, but I really think this is a very good history here on the Duke & his family ties..
( Malmsey wine-- typical Shakespeare :-) ) --> Compared to other types of death sentences of that time period. ? Could this been prefered ? But I believe Shakespeare's meaning was of -->alcoholism, ( I own his entire works. So I am well read on Shakespeare.) Not that he was dunked head first in, and held under !! But then again who really knows but the Duke ?? History has a way of having a selective memory on such things. Especially concerning these matters.
But none the less this appears to me to be just more rivalry in the search of wealth, and control.

Here is the "Richard Societys "411 on the subject, including their references.

So here we go..
PS; Apologies to all the rest of my blog readers, but you all know I am history fan, and researching fanatic!! So I just had to do it!! :-)
PS; One more note here, and I repeat...When the word "LORE "is used to introduce or describe a entry.
"Remember the word LORE is = To; legend , belief, and folklore".

George, Duke of Clarence, 1449-78
by Prof Michael Hicks

George, Duke of Clarence, was the middle brother: his elder brother was King Edward IV and his younger brother was King Richard III. The careers of George and Richard were entwined at many points. They grew up together, clashed in the most major political crisis of the 1470s, and George’s fate, in which Richard concurred, was an essential preliminary to the latter’s accession. As Thomas More observed, Richard could not have acceded if his elder brother had been still living.1
George is remembered in history as ‘False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence’ – Shakespeare’s description 2 – and because drowned in malmsey wine. Certainly he perjured himself several times and aspired to wear a crown to which he was not entitled. Yet there was much more to George than simply an ambitious and courageous perjurer. He was just as talented as his brothers, claimed the Crowland chronicler: just as effective an orator and as dangerous a demagogue, an idol of the multitude,3 as his father York or father-in-law the Kingmaker. What a pity that we have nothing concrete with which to substantiate these characteristics.
George Plantagenet was fourth son of Richard, Duke of York (1411-60), and Cecily Neville. York was the greatest nobleman of his age. York was lieutenant – that is, governor and commander-in-chief – in turn of both Henry VI’s kingdom of France and of Ireland, and three times lord protector of England. During the 1450s he led the cause of reform against King Henry’s favourites and in 1460 laid claim to the crown of England, setting his Clarence/ Mortimer claim against that of Lancaster, persuading parliament successfully to recognise him as heir presumptive on Henry VI’s death. That achievement transformed the prospects of all his surviving children: George and Richard, now of political significance, were despatched to the safety of the Low Countries. Until then neither boy was of much account.
Seven of York’s children reached maturity, four of them sons: George was the third of these; Richard was the fourth and the last to survive infancy. George was born at Dublin in 1449, during York’s residence in Ireland as lieutenant. Members of both the great Anglo-Irish houses of Butler and FitzGerald were his godparents. Nothing more is recorded of the upbringing of any of York’s younger children until 1459. The two eldest surviving sons were residing separately at Ludlow in the mid 1450s and the two elder daughters, Anne in 1445 and Elizabeth in 1458, were married to ducal husbands. By implication Margaret (born 1446), George (b. 1449), and Richard (b. 1452) remained with their mother, the Duchess Cecily. With her they were placed in the custody of their aunt Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, in 1459 until their father, Richard, Duke of York, established his claim to the crown in 1460. What Duke Richard had in mind for them is uncertain. His eldest sons Edward and Edmund were to be noblemen. Since neither George nor Richard was earmarked for an ecclesiastical career, so each was to remain a layman and to pursue a secular, genteel and knightly career.
The first stage of the Wars of the Roses ended in the triumph of the house of York. York himself was slain, but his eldest son became King Edward IV on 4 March 1461. Since Edmund had also perished, George as next surviving brother was now heir to the crown and Richard was third in line. Though still too young to be effective politically, they had symbolic significance, as assurances that the new dynasty had come to stay and as potential cements by marriage to diplomatic alliances. Of course George, as the older, was much the more important. Each was knighted, elevated to the Garter, and created duke. George took the title of Clarence that was a potent reminder of the hereditary title of the Yorkists to the crown. George was appointed to high office, as lieutenant of Ireland and high steward of England for the coronation, although too young actually to exercise them in person. Each boy was also granted great estates, theoretically. As neither was of age, their brother the king continued to draw the revenues and felt free to revise what had been allocated: the grants were earnests of the king’s intention to endow them in due course sufficiently to support their estates as royal dukes. In 1464 George was granted the whole county palatine of Chester, the normal patrimony of the heir presumptive, but only very briefly. During these years, the boys had their own establishment, their own residence in a tower at Greenwich palace, and their own staff: Master John Tapton was Clarence’s chancellor and Sir Robert Wingfield was supervisor of his livelihood. There apparently they resided continually, except when required for ceremonial and state occasions, such as the Leicester parliament of 1463 and the queen’s coronation in 1465.4 About that time, Duke Richard was removed to the household of the earl of Warwick, where he apparently remained until declared of age in 1468-9. George was declared of age on 10 July 1466.5 Although still only sixteen years old, like other royalty George’s majority was advanced, presumably to make him more politically useful.
Edward IV was obliged to endow his brothers to the tune of 2,000 marks a year (£1,366 13s. 4d.), the qualifying income of a duke, but clearly intended to be much more generous. In 1467 he committed himself to 5,600 marks a year (£3,368) for George, eventually (with reversions) £4,400.6 If not quite of the front rank, such munificence raised George above all contemporary nobles except Warwick, Buckingham, and Norfolk. George had estates in Northumberland, Yorkshire, Kent and the West Country when he did homage in July 1466, but it was to Tutbury in Staffordshire that he departed in November.7 Apparently he had already decided – or perhaps Edward had decided for him – that his estates in the North Midlands, by themselves together worth £1,350, were to be his principal residence and sphere of influence. Since Queen Margaret had based herself in the area late in the 1450s, Tutbury Castle may not have been altogether neglected, but we know that Clarence undertook great building works there,8 scarcely a recognisable vestige of which survives or is recorded. Presumably it was adapted to accommodate the enormous household of 399 anticipated in 1468 in his household ordinance.9 That proper regulation of his household was desirable is suggested by the Lichfield prostitute frequented by fourteen members of his household in 1466.10 Great lords sought order and accountability with conspicuous consumption and splendid display. If Clarence really applied his ordinance, which planned for annual expenditure on his household of £4,500 a year,11 then the court that he held at Tutbury was as impressive as any of which we know. Still in his teens, he rated himself most highly. At the very least he needed to marry a great heiress to raise his revenues up to his expenses. At this point, he parted company with his brother Edward IV.
We cannot really know that prompted Clarence to rebel. Evidently he wanted more than he had and what the king gave him. He had lost the county of Chester, most probably on Edward’s marriage, and had ceased to be heir to the throne with the birth of Princess Elizabeth in 1466. He was not alone if he believed that the male line should take priority, nor if he doubted the validity of Edward’s marriage and hence the legitimacy of his children.12 Moreover he wanted to marry the eldest daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, the greatest possible heiress, who may have brought with her promise of an immediate subsidy; Edward, however, objected and hoped to arrange a marriage diplomatically advantageous to himself. George married Isabel Neville nevertheless on 12 July 146913 and joined Warwick at once in rebellion against the king. Whatever his reasons, this was a breach of the allegiance due from him as a subject, let alone as the king’s brother. Warwick had many other grievances, some self-interested, others on policy and principle, and committed himself to reform. Many people at the time and historians for three centuries afterwards thought that he was justified.14 Edward’s favourites were destroyed at Edgecote, the king himself was confined, and a parliament was summoned, most probably to create a protectorate for Warwick, perhaps to restore Clarence as heir. When their regime collapsed, Warwick and Clarence were pardoned in December 1469, but excluded from power. Thwarted, yet not deflected from their objectives, and perhaps fearful that Edward was merely biding his time, Warwick and Clarence fomented the Lincolnshire Rebellion early in 1470, this time with a view to putting Clarence on the throne: King George I. The plot failed. They were driven into exile abroad and, from desperation, Warwick allied himself to Queen Margaret of Anjou to put King Henry VI on the throne. This alliance succeeded: Henry VI was king once more, Clarence his next heir but one, and Edward IV an exile. After their defeat, Clarence was comprehended in Warwick’s negotiations, his ambitions dropped. Whilst he secured restoration of his lands, or most of them, Clarence was now an anomaly, resented by returning Lancastrians whose advancement he obstructed, and certainly no better off than he was before.15 When his mother, sisters, and other close kin pressed him to revert to the Yorkist cause, he was persuaded,16 transferring with his forces to Edward IV. He was perjured; yet he sought to persuade Warwick to join him, unsuccessfully.17 Clarence fought at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury. Edward IV was king once more and his son, the future Edward V, was heir.
When Clarence returned to his allegiance, all was forgiven. His offences were wiped out and he was restored to his estates. His service at Barnet and then at Tewkesbury had been essential for Edward IV’s victory. King Edward owed him. Under such circumstances, he could not be deprived of his wife’s inheritance by the forfeiture of her father Warwick. He was allowed to take instant possession of everything except the northern estates in tail male, which were granted to Gloucester.18 Clarence also took custody of his sister-in-law Anne Neville, widow of Edward of Lancaster. Unfortunately the Warwick inheritance dispute sullied the relations of the three royal brothers.
Apart from the tail male estates, the Duchess Isabel and Anne Neville had been their parents’ heiresses. The Countess Anne however survived until 1492: until then, neither daughter had any rights to her Beauchamp and Despenser estates or her jointure and were entitled to share only the rump of Warwick’s Salisbury estates. However Warwick had died a traitor and his estates should have been forfeited. Actually Clarence received all to which his duchess was heiress from either parent: whilst her hereditary expectations were taken into account, his title was by royal grant. He did not intend Anne to inherit or remarry. She however married Gloucester, who laid claim to half the Beauchamp, Despenser and Salisbury lands, probably in addition to the Neville lands. Edward IV imposed as settlement the division of all four inheritances. All three brothers agreed not to attaint Warwick or his brother Montagu, but to dispossess the Countess Anne and Montagu’s son of their entitlements. Crowland found the settlement profoundly shocking.19 If this allowed Clarence to secure his duchess’ heritage ahead of time, he was nevertheless deprived of much that he had received in 1471 even though his brother’s marriage to Anne Neville was never valid. Clarence resisted implementation of this dubious settlement but was obliged to comply: in punishment, he was deprived of his Tutbury estates, so he benefited little on balance from his duchess’ inheritance. It is not surprising that he resented the way that had been treated.
Only six years passed between Clarence’s reconciliation with his brother in 1471 and his fall in 1477. He was appointed great chamberlain of England, councillor of the new Prince of Wales who had supplanted him as heir, attended the council, parliament, and state ceremonies, and took one of the largest retinues on Edward’s invasion of France in 1475. Whilst he had lands all over the country, his principal estates were in the North Midlands until 1473, in the West Midlands, and in the West Country: he is recorded occasionally commuting from Warwick via Tewkesbury to Tiverton in Devon. He is revealed by John Rous as lord of Warwick in the Beauchamp tradition.20 He fathered four children, two of whom outlived him. Following his duchess’ death in 1476, he appears to have believed her poisoned by her attendant Ankarette Twynho, who – in a shocking display of arbitrary power – he abducted from her home in Dorset to Warwick, where he was most powerful. She was put on trial, all stages being completed in one day, and executed.21 This is the most convincing proof of Clarence’s overwhelming power in his home country.
Several factors contributed to Clarence’s rupture with his king in 1477. Following his duchess’ death, he was in the market for a second consort. The opportunity arose with the death of Charles, Duke of Burgundy, whose duchess – his sister Margaret of York – favoured Clarence as consort to her step-daughter Mary, Clarence’s step-niece, ‘the greatest heiress of her time’. Clarence would have become an important sovereign prince. Such a match might have been thought in England’s national interest, but Edward IV thwarted it. Perhaps he feared what use Clarence would make of such promotion; perhaps he did not want his brother advanced; most probably he wanted to avoid foreign entanglements and expense, a breach with France or the loss of his French pension – a priority that restricted his diplomatic independence and ultimately failed. Clarence reportedly attended council less frequently and contributed little when there. In private he complained against Edward and Edward railed against Clarence, but their comments were relayed from each to other. Reportedly Clarence feared that the king sought his ruin as a candle consumes in burning.22 Sibling rivalries overcame the proper relations of the monarch and his greatest subject.
Clarence’s trusted retainer Thomas Burdet and two astrologers supposedly cast the king’s horoscope, which, under contemporary law, was treasonable. All were convicted and executed, Burdet declaring his innocence. Clarence had his protestation read out at the royal council. Whilst surely right to stand up for his retainer,23 it was this act, which cast doubt on royal justice, that prompted Edward to imprison him. Probably it was only later that the Twynho affair came into play. Clarence’s arrest did not presume the death penalty, nor did it constitute treason, nor was the duke (so far as we know) implicated in any other treasons. Yet he was to be charged, tried and executed for treason in a parliament specially summoned for this purpose in January 1478. The act of attainder mentions a number of offences, none of them actually treasonable, such as the Twynho affair, railing against the king, and his claim to be the Lancastrian heir. No doubt Edward’s decision was related to events in 1469-71, even though Clarence’s offences then had been pardoned and wiped clean. Crowland did not consider the charges worthy of mention in his elaborate account. The surviving act bears the king’s signature – may indeed have already borne it before presentation to parliament – and the king led the prosecution, to which Clarence was allowed no defence. Crowland, who appears to have been present, thought the trial and the verdict unjust. So too our other sources: ‘were hee fautye were hee faultlesse’; whether ‘the charge was fabricated or a real plot revealed’.24 Edward failed to convince contemporaries of his brother’s guilt. Edward’s destruction of his brother – fratricide – and a royal prince was deeply shocking.
All our principal sources look beyond the trial itself for the root causes – in the enmity of the queen, the plotting of Clarence’s enemies, and in misunderstanding of an alleged prophecy that Edward would be succeeded by someone whose name began with G – not George, but Gloucester. If so, Edward was not the prime mover but the instrument of others. Yet the trial was carefully prepared and planning began early. The parliament of 1478 was packed – a higher proportion of the Commons were servants of the crown or of key courtiers. The session was interlaced with the marriage celebration of the king’s second son, which enabled an appearance of royal unity to be presented. No divisions were permitted, as key kinsmen – his brothers-in-law Buckingham and Suffolk – were involved and rewarded. None however benefited more than Clarence’s brother Richard Duke of Gloucester.
Just as Clarence’s death was a precondition for Gloucester’s accession in 1483, so too his conviction – and hence his trial – was inconceivable if opposed by the king’s next brother. The narrative sources are ambiguous: both Mancini and More say that Richard concealed his real feelings, the first that he supported Clarence’s destruction whilst pretending otherwise, the second that he opposed it openly, but not so strongly as one that was minded to his wealth. The first may emanate from Richard himself as king.25 The record evidence confirms More’s account. Nobody benefited more from Clarence’s death than his brother Richard. He received nine specific benefits at Clarence’s expense. Whilst these are significant, it has been argued that grants after Clarence’s death need not imply either co-operation in or foreknowledge of Clarence’s destruction. Although the patents are dated to February, the warrants are dated somewhat earlier and several can be dated before the parliament even met.26 – Gloucester’s son Edward took Clarence’s earldom of Salisbury as early as July 1477.27 Responsibility for Clarence’s fate, justified or not, rests with King Edward, whether manipulated or not.
Clarence was executed in the Tower on February 1478. Absurd though it is, the story that he was drowned in malmsey wine is strictly contemporary and no alternative was offered.28 Any wider significance from such a curious end cannot be proven. The duke was buried beside his wife at Tewkesbury Abbey.

1. T. More, History of King Richard III, ed. R. Sylvester (New Haven, Conn., 1963), 9.
2. W. Shakespeare, History of King Richard III, ed. A. Hammond. Act I, scene IV (1981), ll.55.
3. The Crowland Chronicle Continuations 1459-86, ed. N. Pronay and J. Cox (Gloucester, 1986), 133, 147.
4. M.A. Hicks, False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence: George Duke of Clarence 1449-78 (Gloucester, 1980), 18-26.
5. National Archives, PSO 1/64/41.
6. Rolls of Parliament v. 572,578-9.
7. NA PSO1/64/41; Plumpton Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. J. Kirby (Camden 5th ser.
8 (1996)), 38. 8. The Rous Roll, ed. W.H. Courthope (1859), no.59.
9. Collection of Ordinances and Regulations of the Royal Household, Society of Antiquaries (1790), 89-105.
10. A. Goodman, The Wars of the Roses. The Soldier’s Experience (Gloucester, 2005), 150.
11. Rolls of Parliament, v. 572, 578-9.
12. As suggested in Michael Hicks, Edward V: The Prince in the Tower (Stroud, 2003), 52.
13. Collection of Ordinances, 98.
14. Michael Hicks, Edward IV (London, 2004), 118.
15. Hicks, Clarence, 96-100.
16. The Arrivall of Edward IV, ed. J. Bruce, Camden Society I (1838), 10-11.
17. Ibid.12.
18. Hicks, Clarence,112-16; M.A. Hicks, ‘Descent, Partition, and Extinction: The “Warwick Inheritance”’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research lII (1979), 118-25. These are the source of the next para.
19. Crowland, 133.
20. Rous Roll, no. 59.
21. Hicks, Clarence, 138.
22. Ibid. 169. Unfortunately our only rather untrustworthy source is the act of attainder itself, Rolls of Parliament, vi.193-5.
23. Hicks, Edward IV, 198.
24. Hicks, Clarence, ch.4; Crowland, 145; More, Richard III, 7; D. Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, ed. C.A.J. Armstrong (Oxford, 1969), 63.
25. More, Richard III, 7; Mancini, 63; Michael Hicks, Richard III (Stroud, 2000), 121.
26. Hicks, Clarence, 150-1.
27. Michael Hicks, Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III (Stroud, 2006).
28. Hicks, Clarence, 200-3.

Colorful Cultural Beliefs

Hi All, I wanted to do a blog entry on the Wiccian Rede for a while now. As many of you know I have great interests in many cultures, history, lore, and mythology ect. I found this great article on "The Wiccian Rede" otherwise seen as the The Witch's Rede". This article was written by a woman named Wren some time ago. I think she says it all better than I ever could.
She does a great job of explaining and correcting some falsehoods that are believed
by some about the Wiccian lifestyle. I call it lifestyle verses religion as it truley is a life style..

Anyway great article please enjoy this read..

Also a note on the five pointed star which is seen as the symbol of Wicca. A star is a talisman, a symbol of protection generally thought. It is also made from silver which is a metal that symbolizes protection. There is more to the star symbol in the Wiccan lifestyle but for now I will not dissect it futher.

Many sparkles

Unlike most mainstream religions, Witchcraft does not have a long list of laws governing our behavior. Witches generally adhere to what has become known as "THE WICCAN REDE" and THE THREE-FOLD LAW. These two principles contain the basics of what Witches define as ethical and moral behavior within the Craft and the society in which we live.Much criticism has been leveled at the Witches Rede by outsiders who, by a quick reading of the text, assume that it is a license to do whatever "feels good" to the individual without accompanying responsibility. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Witches' Rede is rich with compassion, empathy and respect for others, the individual practitioner , the Goddess and God, and Mother Earth. It guides and directs our energies "for the good of all".
Harm" is defined as "physical or mental damage" and to this we can add "psychic damage" as well. To inflict harm on another is simply not a thing that a Witch would do. Aside from the obvious karmic repercussions, Witches have a deep and abiding knowledge of the workings of the Universe. All things are connected to all other things- we are related to all Life, the Earth and the Stars. We know that all that we do affects everything else in the Web of Life. We are very conscious of this responsibility. We are known as "The Craft of the Wise" because of our knowledge of energies and the natural and spiritual laws that govern the workings of the Universe. To work within these laws is wisdom, to work against them is chaos. Because we hold this knowledge, we know and are willing to accept responsibility for our actions and what will result from them. We do not believe in a fictional devil that "made us do it". WE make the choices, and so, we make our choices very carefully. The image of a witch dressed in flowing robe running around "zapping" people or casting random spells across the countryside is a fictitious one. All spells that Witches actually perform are directed to a very specific end, developed after much thought and should always end with the phrase "for the good of all and the harm of none". No one here on this earth can possibly be sure of all the possibilities which fall under "the good of all", but by asking that the spell be performed under this guideline, we save ourselves and others a lot of unnecessary trouble. If it is indeed "for the good of all", it will come to pass. If it does not manifest, then perhaps we have asked wrongly or do not have all the information. In either case, we have spared ourselves and others from karmic backlash and the "three-fold return" of which much lately has been made in media sources.
An example can be given here in the working of love spells. To manipulate a person into a relationship in which they have shown no interest developing is to try to negate that person' s right to free will. To cast a spell "to make so and so fall in love with me" shows not a spirit of love but an insensitivity to another's feelings. But Witches do cast love spells. don't they? Yes, they do.. The first love spell a Witch should cast should be for her/himself. Self esteem is essential in correct magical working. To bring a complete and balanced person into a relationship, is indeed to give a precious gift to another. To be capable of receiving love, we must be able to truly give love.So what would be a correct love spell? A spell to "remove obstacles to love" could cause physical distance to cease to be a problem, would allow "circumstances" to arrange a meeting or draw someone who is good for you into your life that perhaps you do not even know yet! It could also make someone who IS interested in you to be able to overcome shyness in approaching you..or you with them.The point here is that while Witches are free to influence energies to accomplish a purpose, they are not free to manipulate people. "For the good of all" should be the real reason one does a spell.Another area of confusion can result from a too quick interpretation of the Rede. Does the Rede mean that we are just to accept mistreatment from others? Are we simply to "turn the other cheek"? Witches are empowered individuals. They are strong and because they have worked on their own self esteem issues, they will not accept bad treatment from anyone. We cast protection spells around ourselves and our loved ones. We know how to deflect harm without inflicting harm. We "neutralize" harmful energies back into the Universe to be converted to pure forces that CEASE to do any harm at all. We are protecting ourselves and the effects of the "bad" energies do no further damage to anyone. We are practicing the Rede at its highest level.."an it harm none" = we are protected...and "for the good of all" = it harms no one else in the process. Witches believe in "justice", not revenge. We can wait for justice to be served, for eventually what goes around, indeed, will come around. The God and Goddess know our hearts and our intentions and we are confident that, in the end, we are vindicated.

Walk in ;

Light and Love
Wren Walker

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lore on the month of February

1st February Brides Day St Bride is a saint with pre-Christian origins - she was originally a Celtic goddess - Brigid or Brigantia. Brigid was goddess of fertility and was associated with water and wells. One of the saint's miracles was changing her bath water into beer for some visiting priests to drink, which may be one reason why there are so many wells dedicated to her.

2nd February Candlemas / Groundhog Day There are a lot of weather rhymes associated with Candlemas - mainly about not trusting nice weather in early February.

If Candlemas be fair and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.
If a hedgehog casts a shadow at noon,
Winter will return.

In America the hedgehog in the rhyme is replaced by the groundhog. On this day the groundhog is meant to emerge from winter hibernation. If the groundhog can see its shadow (in other words if it's a sunny day), it will be frightened by it and will go back into its hole for a further six weeks hibernation and there will be more wintery weather.

9th February - Hurling the silver ball This ancient handball game takes place at St Ives in Cornwall, England, on the first Monday after February 3rd. The game is played in the town's streets and on the beach. The game starts at 10.30 am and the person holding the silver ball at noon wins a crown piece.

14th February - Valentine's Day This is the day for lovers and birds. Nowadays we choose our valentines and send them unsigned cards. In the old days men and women used to put their names on slips of paper and draw lots as to who should be their love for the day.It was believed that this was the day that birds chose their mates. What bird you saw on this day was meant to foretell the type of person you would marry. Another way was to put some bay leaves under your pillow and you would dream of your future husband or wife.

18th February - Death by Malmsey On this day in 1478 the Duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine in the Tower of London. No he didn't fall in drunk, he was murdered on the orders of King Richard III.
---Entry revisied 4:18 02/04/08---
Please note, Blog entry title; "LORE " on the month of February"
It seems I have a fan, I am posting some additional history below as was noted by a veiwer. (See comments.) The blog info on Feburary came from a UK website on Feburary lore.
Link below.
I am sure No one would believe that the Duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. -->I would never use a butt of my honeywine wine for such a deed!! <--- :-) I tend to believe more the explanation of the the comment below. Although now I am intigued I will research this history..
Remember the word LORE also is = to; legend , belief, and folklore.

Info Noted;

18th February entry about George Duke of Clarence totally incorrect. George was executed privately in the Tower of London on the orders of his brother King Edward IV. His brother Richard, later King Richard III, having failed pleading for mercy with the king, had already left the capital before Clarence was executed.He was most probably beheaded. The drowning legend comes mainly from Shakespeare, and More, both writing anti Richard propaganda, and is most probably a comment on his alcoholism than such a bizarre means of execution, unknown in reality anywhere in history. Leave Richard III alone!

23rd February Collop Monday Lent is traditionally when Christians did not eat meat, butter, fat, eggs or cream. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. So on the Monday before collops of meat were eaten - see our Lent special for the recipe.

24th February Shrove Tuesday Lent is a time when Christians are meant to give up their sins and ask forgiveness. As Shrove Tuesday was the last day before Lent, it was a day for enjoying yourself with pancake races, Shrove football and Shrove skipping. See our Lent special for more details.

25th February Ash Wednesday Lent begins on this day. The day's name comes from the custom of making an ash cross on people's foreheads. There is one game you are allowed to play at this time of year without being told off, and that is marbles. The marbles season lasts between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

27th February - Red Feather DayThe pupils of Sir John Cass' School, London, commemorate their school's founder on the last Friday in the month. They wear red turkey feathers. Apparently as Sir John was writing his will he coughed up blood on to his quill pen. What a nice way to remember the great man!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Awake This Day Inspired


The Festival of Bridget is the celebration of the return of the Maiden of Spring.

Imbolc is the festival of light in the darkness, the celebration of rekindled fire. Light as many candles in your house to bring on light and warmth and say goodbye to the dark. The winter still cold reawakens and first feels the quickening of life. . It is a time to look ahead in hope and joy for what is to come.

Incense: Frankincense, myrrh, jasmine, camphor, cinnamon and lotus, basil, wisteria.
Candles: Red and white.
Gemstones: Amethyst, garnet, onyx, turquoise

Activities of Imbolc: Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo'gas and Bride's Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, and Bon Fires maybe lit.

Colors of Imbolc: White, Pink, Red, Yellow, lt. Green, Brown.

Symbols of Imbolc: Brideo'gas, Besoms, White Flowers, Candle Wheels, Brighid's Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), and Ploughs.

Foods of Imbolc: Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.

Imbolc Lore

Imbolc, (pronounced "IM-bulk" or "EM-bowlk"), also called Oimealg, ("IM-mol'g), by the Druids, is the festival of the lactating sheep. It is derived from the Gaelic word "oimelc" which means "ewes milk". Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal. Brighid's snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.

The Maiden is honored, as the Bride, on this Sabbat. Straw Brideo'gas (corn dollies) are created from oat or wheat straw and placed in baskets with white flower bedding. Young girls then carry the Brideo'gas door to door, and gifts are bestowed upon the image from each household. Afterwards at the traditional feast, the older women make special acorn wands for the dollies to hold, and in the morning the ashes in the hearth are examined to see if the magic wands left marks as a good omen. Brighid's Crosses are fashioned from wheat stalks and exchanged as symbols of protection and prosperity in the coming year. Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun.

Another traditional symbol of Imbolc is the plough. In some areas, this is the first day of ploughing in preparation of the first planting of crops. A decorated plough is dragged from door to door, with costumed children following asking for food, drinks, or money. Should they be refused, the household is paid back by having its front garden ploughed up. In other areas, the plough is decorated and then Whiskey, the "water of life" is poured over it. Pieces of cheese and bread are left by the plough and in the newly turned furrows as offerings to the nature spirits. It is considered taboo to cut or pick plants during this time.

Have a wonderful day ! Please feel free to light candles for Imbloc on my candle group page.