The 5th of November is associated with Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot, and up and down the country celebrations will take place on the weekend of the 4th/5th November, many of which will have fires as part of their display.
The historical significance of Bonfire Night has been somewhat lost against modern celebrating with large organised bonfire and big firework displays, so if you are looking at ways of celebrating the evening with a more spiritual twist then why not turn your hand to Pyromancy?
Pyromancy describes an ancient form of divination using fire to predict future events, search for good and bad omens, as well as foretell good and bad health. Using fire as a form of foresight is probably one of the earliest forms of divining.
- If a fire burned vigorously and crackled then the future was considered promising
- If a fire was clear (transparent – non-yellow/red flames), that would be a good omen (more…)
Cases of hay fever are on the rise, the reason is up for debate, it could be climate change, the pollen season is now longer, and possibly we have lower levels of the right type of bacteria’s to stop our immune systems overreacting. But what can we do? Choose sunglasses that wrap around, to prevent pollen entering your eyes. Try a barrier in your nostrils such as Vaseline or a specially made product to trap pollen. Pollen rises during the day and then descends in the evening, making night-time symptoms worse, avoid going outside at these trigger times if possible. Think twice about drying clothes/bedlinen outside or at least in the evening, to avoid bringing trapped pollen into your home. Discuss with your GP if antihistamines and/or intranasal corticosteroids are the right treatment for you. (more…)
The summer solstice takes place on Wednesday 21st June and will mark the longest day – the high solar point of 2017. In times gone by fires would have been lit on hill tops to mark the highest point of the sun. For Druids the occasion is still special and will be considered a ritualistic time symbolising power, success and health. There are special incenses and herbs associated with this time of year – St John’s Wort, Elder, Fennel, Verbena, Chamomile and lavender. You can mark the occasion at home by lighting candles in orange or gold colours representing confidence and joy. (more…)
When I wrote this article Beyoncé had pretty much broken the internet, for what you might ask – announcing a performance at something big like the Super Bowl, dropping a new album unannounced, advising her fans of tickets going on sale for her concerts? No – in fact it’s because she is pregnant and with twins no less!
Beyoncé and Jay Z already have a daughter – Blue Ivy who is five years old, speculation was rife at the time that she did not carry the baby herself, perhaps using a surrogate. Which may in part explain why she has so publicly depicted this pregnancy with a series of nearly-nude photos. That of course has not stopped the rumour-mill going into overdrive with questions of whether she used IVF, to become pregnant, with many believing the chances are higher as she is having twins… (more…)
The Spring Equinox is a magical and positive time of year; sometimes called Eostre or Ostara after the German Spring Goddess, this period in the calendar represents the life-cycle, birth and renewal.
It is the perfect opportunity to give thanks for the things that have happened in our lives, and equally to say goodbye to the past in order to leave room to welcome in new opportunities and people into our lives.
In the UK the Spring or Vernal Equinox takes place on the 20th March 2017 at 10.28 GMT. Equinox of course stands for equal night and day, and the time marks the mid-point between winter and summer – Mother nature is re-born, the Sun God returns and brings with it fertility and new life. (more…)
If you didn’t see the first part of our post on November important dates, then click here first.
24th – Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a holiday many of us will be familiar with, but won’t actually celebrate, but there is a connection to England. In 1620 a ship called the ‘Mayflower’ set sail from Plymouth England with 102 passengers. Those passengers, who later became known as Pilgrims, left England as they had been persecuted for their religious beliefs. They landed in what is now known as Provincetown on Cape Cod in New England. They were able to follow maps of an English Captain called John Smith who explored the coast several years earlier. The Pilgrims really battled with winter, and nearly half the people were lost. But in springtime friendly Indians arrived and showed them how to plant corn, and the following autumn they were able to successfully harvest the crop and survive the winter months. So now the event is a celebration of that help received and of harvest festival. Americans take the holiday very seriously (in some cases more than Christmas) and cross the states to get home to celebrate with loved ones. (more…)
1st – All Saints’ Day & 2nd – All Souls’ Day
All Saints’ Day is sometimes referred to as All Hallows’ Day and it celebrates all faithful souls that have not been elevated to sainthood; they are prayed for and remembered. Halloween occurs the night before on the 31st October, and is seen as the last day that evil spirits have the chance to do their work, before good spirits take over on All Saints’ Day. All Souls’ Day honours those that have passed over; they pray and remember those souls who are in purgatory, so that they can be cleansed of their less grave sins and be granted vision of God in Heaven.
5th – Bonfire Night
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
We see no reason,
Why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot! (more…)
2016 brings in the Year of the Monkey, commencing on the 8th February 2016. If you didn’t see our first post on this topic – click here, we covered previous monkey years, things that will be lucky and unlucky for those born in Monkey years, as well as personality traits.
The characteristics that best match those of a Monkey are those born in the year of the Ox or Rabbit. The worst matches would be the Tiger or Pig. Other Monkeys and those born in the year of the Snake should be reserved as friends only. There are a lot of complementary factors with Rats, Dragons, Goats and Dogs, but a relationship would not be as plain sailing as with an Ox or Rabbit. (more…)
Chinese New Year
2016 brings in the Year of the Monkey, commencing at the beginning of Chinese New Year on February 8th. The animal sign of the monkey will run until the 27th Jan 2017, and then the next day begins a New Year and a change to the Rooster.
Previous Monkey Years have been:
1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 & 2004
Following 2016 the next Monkey cycle will be in 2028 (more…)