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 History/Culture: There’s Nothing “Happy” About It

HolidaysBy Ray Lemire

To many, Memorial Day is a great excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s also known as the day that marks the official start of summer and a day devoted to picnics and getting great deals at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales.

There are some who will argue that Memorial Day is happy, given the freedoms we enjoy. They say it’s perfectly alright to say “Happy Memorial Day” as a greeting over the coming three-day weekend.
That’s nonsense.

Radio stations mark the occasion to promote a weekend of “Beaches, Music and Barbecues!” “We’re your Memorial Day station with everything you need to kick off the summer in style!”
That’s nonsense.

If you want to celebrate our nation and our freedoms, there’s a day for that – July 4, Independence Day. On that day, you can light up some illegal fireworks, guzzle your beverage of choice and otherwise show your American pride … and be “happy” about it.

But saying “Happy Memorial Day” is like saying “Congratulations on your Grandma’s Death.”

There is nothing remotely “Happy” about Memorial Day. That’s why it’s called M-e-m-o-r-i-a-l Day! It is a day is to be commemorated, not celebrated. It is supposed to be a day of quiet reflection, remembrance, tribute and rendering honors to those who have given their lives to guarantee you the freedom to be able to take full advantage of the rights their deaths secured for you. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, May 27 @ 23:02:48 EDT (1391 reads)
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 History/Culture: Mother's Day

Holidays

Julia Ward Howe's
Mother's Day Proclamation

(1870, Boston)


"Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, May 07 @ 16:30:40 EDT (1476 reads)
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 History/Culture: The History of Valentine’s Day/Feast of Lupercalia

Holidaysby Sherlyn Meinz [a.k.a. Blue1moon]

How do you say “I Love You?” There are so many ways: Ti amo (Italy); Kanbhik (Mohawk); Jeg Elsker Deg (Norway); Ya tebya liubliu (Russia); Ich liebe dich (Germany); Aishiteru (Japan); Doo-set daaram (Persia); Iay ovlay ouyay (Pig Latin) to name just a few!

Happy Valentine’s Day! The history of this day, like most of our beloved holidays, goes back to ancient times. It’s meanings, celebrations, and rituals have changed over time, but for the most part, it has its roots in love, sex, romance, and choosing a mate. For a brief period, a Saint was chosen on this day to emulate during the coming year.

There are several ancient gods and goddesses associated with what we now call "Valentine's Day", originally two holidays, celebrated on February 14th and 15th. Some of these traditions are thought to date to around 400 BC, in Rome. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, February 13 @ 22:55:30 EST (1067 reads)
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 History/Culture: Imbolc

HolidaysBy Rhiannonbrighid

Imbolc is the Pagan festival that celebrates the coming of spring. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas, Oimealg, Imbolg, Brigantia, Lupercus, Disting, and Lupercalia. The festival is celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, or when the sun is at 15 degrees Aquarius.

In Celtic lore, the dark winter months were ruled by a wicked old hag named Cailleach. By the time Imbolc rolls around, she leaves, and the goddess, Brighid, awakens. There is an old myth that the people would pour milk on the ground to put Cailleach to rest and welcome Brighid. February is a very cold month where food ran low, fire wood was harder to obtain, and hunting usually proved to be unsuccessful. Keeping the hearth was very important to families. Brighid, a fire goddess, was a deity that families paid homage to in hopes that she would protect their hearth and fire. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 01 @ 15:02:55 EST (908 reads)
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 History/Culture: Samhain/Halloween 2015

HolidaysBy Blue1Moon

I’ve compiled some interesting AlienLove Halloween/Samhain reads for your enjoyment.

A reminder: Daylight Savings Time (DST) was extended in the U.S in 2007. We get a reprieve again this fall, with DST not to end until November 1st! It begins again on March 13th, 2016, allowing us almost an extra month of increased evening light since the extension - hurrah!

First observed during World Wars I & II, Daylight Savings Time’s purpose was to save energy by giving us more light during the evenings.

So don't forget: Sunday morning, November 1, 2015, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time - though not all places in the United States observe DST, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not reset clocks. While we lose evening light, as the clocks "Fall Back" we will at least get an extra hour's sleep that night (which doesn't quite make up for it, by a long shot, in my mind).

Enjoy these spooky and interesting articles....

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 29 @ 16:34:01 EDT (904 reads)
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 History/Culture: Some Call It Litha - Midsummer/Summer Solstice

HolidaysBlue1Moon
AlienLove Editor

Litha (pronounced LITH-ah) occupies the opposite place on the wheel of the year from Yule. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, which falls between June 20th and June 23rd, when the Sun enters zero degrees Cancer. It is also celebrated on the fixed date of June 25th or Old Litha. It is thought that the ancients began holding Druidic celebrations of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge around 2183 BCE.

Litha is a time of abundance, and energy abounds! Can you feel it in the air? Midsummer marks the time of year when the day is longest and the night is shortest. Light is triumphant - take time to absorb some of the Sun’s warming rays. Be joyful and enjoy the fullness of the Earth and her bounty, for after this the sun once again begins slowly to wane – yet there are still many days of long light ahead before thoughts of winter return.

In Pagan tradition, it is the time when the Sun God has reached the pinnacle of his strength. He is often pictured as the Lord of the Forest, wearing masks of leaves and foilage, or perhaps sitting upon his Greenwood Throne. At this time of year the Goddess is with child, having conceived at Beltane. Her body is nurturing the future King, just as the Earth is nurturing the crops that will feed us through the coming winter. So, Litha is much related to nurturing and love. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, June 21 @ 16:34:55 EDT (2023 reads)
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 History/Culture: The History and Traditions of Beltane/May Day

Holidaysby Sherlyn Meinz aka Blue1moon
AlienLove Editor

Beltane is considered one of the most important of the ancient holidays. It’s history goes back further than records exist. It is a time for renewal, regrowth and fertility - for the land, livestock, wild animals, and humankind. It welcomes summer, the awakening of the earth and personal growth. The holiday begins at sundown on April 30th and continues through sundown on May first. However, due to calendar changes over the centuries, in years past, it was actually celebrated several days later allowing for more plants to be in bloom. Celebrations of this holiday are held as late as May 5th.

The holiday has many names: Beltaine, Beltane, May Eve, May Day, Walpurgis Night, Roodmass, to name a few. Many try to stay up all night on Beltane Eve to welcome the dawn with singing and dancing. It is also said that if you sit under a tree, you may be lucky enough to hear or see the Queen of the Faeries as she rides her white horse.

The horse’s bells ring as she rides through the night. Legend has that if you hide your face, the Faery Queen will pass you by, but if you look upon her she may choose you to accompany her to Faeryland. This is a time when the ‘veil’ between worlds is at it’s thinnest, as it is at Samhain (Halloween). It is considered to be the time when Faeries return full of mischief and delight, and rowan branches were often placed over doorways and windows for protection.

May Day is also acknowledged as the world’s first ‘workers’ holiday. Red (the color of fire) is associated with both holidays. In the celebration of the International holiday of May Day, red (flags) represent the splash of blood as organized workers lost their lives while fighting for basic rights. Traditional Beltane colors are red, white and green. Red is thought to have represented a woman’s menses; white either mother’s milk or a man’s semen; and green - growth and abundance. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, April 30 @ 21:19:27 EDT (2458 reads)
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 History/Culture: Easter/Ostara and the Goddesses of Dawn

HolidaysBy Sherlyn Meinz

I think Spring must be one of the most long-awaited and welcome of the seasons, especially in northern climates. March 20 marks the Vernal Equinox and the change of season to Spring, the time when night and day are in balance. Living in Vermont (US) that’s reason for a big hurrah and celebration!

Celebrated since ancient times as Ostara (Oestara, Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Festival of the Trees, Lady Day) from this holiday comes many of our Easter traditions. Others point to the 25th of March, or the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox as the date of Ostara. Easter is timed according to the Vernal Equinox and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox, but cannot fall on the day of the full moon itself, in rejection of ancient Moon rituals that had long been celebrated marking this season.

In ancient Germany Ostara was honored, in Greece it was Eostre, both were Goddesses of the Dawn. Spring is associated with dawn and follows the season of darkness (night) or winter. The goddess Ostara was thought to be able to take the form of a rabbit or hare. April is considered Ostara’s month, and her name is related to dawn, morning light, and the direction East. Our words Easter and estrogen both come from the name of the Greek Spring goddess Eostre.

Since the ‘dawn’ of time, Spring has been the time to plant seeds, watch the Earth green, animals appear that have come out of hibernation, life returns to Earth after the ‘little death’ of winter. In areas where it is still too cold to plant, seeds are often blessed, as they hold the promise of new life. It is the time of ‘Spring Fever’, new love and new beginnings, and many clean their homes at this time – ‘Spring Cleaning’.

The tradition of cleaning out the remains of the dark season from the home also has ancient roots…

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, April 01 @ 12:57:22 EDT (2508 reads)
(Read More... | 13605 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 5)

 History/Culture: A Mythical Right to Discriminate

Spirituality
Anti-LGBT activists are masking their bigotry as a quest to protect "religious freedom."

By Peter Montgomery

The Supreme Court is now considering cases that could usher in nationwide marriage equality, and state-level gay marriage bans are falling faster than you can say “equal protection under the law.”

People who want to turn back the clock on rights for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) neighbors are struggling to find new ways to do so. Public opinion is turning against them, and the courts have followed.

Facing one legal defeat after another, anti-LGBT forces have latched onto a troubling new approach: cloaking discrimination in the language of religious liberty.

In states across the country — including Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming — right-wing legislators have introduced bills that could let business owners and others ignore anti-discrimination laws in the name of religion. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, February 22 @ 16:11:14 EST (2322 reads)
(Read More... | 5119 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: Samhain/Halloween 2014

HolidaysBy Blue1Moon

I’ve compiled some interesting AlienLove Halloween/Samhain reads for your enjoyment.

A reminder: Daylight Savings Time (DST) was extended in the U.S in 2007. We get a reprieve again this fall, with DST not to end until November 2nd! It begins again on March 8th, 2015, allowing us almost an extra month of increased evening light since the extension - hurrah!

First observed during World Wars I & II, Daylight Savings Time’s purpose was to save energy by giving us more light during the evenings.

So don't forget: Sunday morning, November 2, 2014, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time - though not all places in the United States observe DST, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not reset clocks. While we lose evening light, as the clocks "Fall Back" we will at least get an extra hour's sleep that night (which doesn't quite make up for it, by a long shot, in my mind).

Enjoy these spooky and interesting articles....

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 23 @ 20:48:57 EDT (946 reads)
(Read More... | 4780 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: Some Call It Litha - Midsummer/Summer Solstice

HolidaysBlue1Moon
AlienLove Editor

Litha (pronounced LITH-ah) occupies the opposite place on the wheel of the year from Yule. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, which falls between June 20th and June 23rd, when the Sun enters zero degrees Cancer. It is also celebrated on the fixed date of June 25th or Old Litha. It is thought that the ancients began holding Druidic celebrations of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge around 2183 BCE.

Litha is a time of abundance, and energy abounds! Can you feel it in the air? Midsummer marks the time of year when the day is longest and the night is shortest. Light is triumphant - take time to absorb some of the Sun’s warming rays. Be joyful and enjoy the fullness of the Earth and her bounty, for after this the sun once again begins slowly to wane – yet there are still many days of long light ahead before thoughts of winter return.

In Pagan tradition, it is the time when the Sun God has reached the pinnacle of his strength. He is often pictured as the Lord of the Forest, wearing masks of leaves and foilage, or perhaps sitting upon his Greenwood Throne. At this time of year the Goddess is with child, having conceived at Beltane. Her body is nurturing the future King, just as the Earth is nurturing the crops that will feed us through the coming winter. So, Litha is much related to nurturing and love. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, June 20 @ 17:45:24 EDT (1505 reads)
(Read More... | 7463 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: Therapy Benefits Us All

Health
Getting help isn't just for those with psychiatric problems — it's for anyone who is human.

By Jill Richardson

In 2008, I went to therapy. By then, I’d needed it for a long time. I had a terribly difficult, incurable condition — one I’d had for 28 years without treatment.

My condition? Being human.

Like many “normal” people, I felt I didn’t need therapy when I went. But my brother had just died unexpectedly at the age of 23. And on the morning of his funeral, I had a vision of myself in old age: still single, surrounded by cats. The neighbors murmured to one another, “She never got over the death of her brother.”

“All right, I’ll get therapy,” I thought. Just in case.

Nowadays, with mental health in the news — particularly following the horrific killing spree in Isla Vista, California — I see plenty of advice aimed at those with common mental health problems like anxiety. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, June 04 @ 17:21:23 EDT (1527 reads)
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 History/Culture: Mother's Day

Holidays

Julia Ward Howe's
Mother's Day Proclamation

(1870, Boston)


"Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, May 10 @ 11:24:36 EDT (1694 reads)
(Read More... | 1897 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: Easter/Ostara and the Goddesses of Dawn

HolidaysBy Sherlyn Meinz

I think Spring must be one of the most long-awaited and welcome of the seasons, especially in northern climates. March 20 marks the Vernal Equinox and the change of season to Spring, the time when night and day are in balance. Living in Vermont (US) that’s reason for a big hurrah and celebration!

Celebrated since ancient times as Ostara (Oestara, Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Festival of the Trees, Lady Day) from this holiday comes many of our Easter traditions. Others point to the 25th of March, or the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox as the date of Ostara. Easter is timed according to the Vernal Equinox and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox, but cannot fall on the day of the full moon itself, in rejection of ancient Moon rituals that had long been celebrated marking this season.

In ancient Germany Ostara was honored, in Greece it was Eostre, both were Goddesses of the Dawn. Spring is associated with dawn and follows the season of darkness (night) or winter. The goddess Ostara was thought to be able to take the form of a rabbit or hare. April is considered Ostara’s month, and her name is related to dawn, morning light, and the direction East. Our words Easter and estrogen both come from the name of the Greek Spring goddess Eostre…

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, April 19 @ 19:59:37 EDT (1761 reads)
(Read More... | 13584 bytes more | Comments? | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: April Fool’s Day/All Fool’s Day

HolidaysBy Blue1Moon aka Sherlyn Meinz

Well Happy April Fool’s Day! Stay aware today, things may not be what they seem. I hadn’t really known anything about April Fool’s Day before I began researching it. Like the other holidays we celebrate, April Fool’s Day has a long and rich history. Of course the best April Fool’s jokes are ones that allow everyone to laugh, even the person who is the butt of the joke. Hoaxes, pranks, practical jokes, and tricks played on the unsuspecting, or gullible have abounded for centuries in many countries. It was not until the 20th century that it became common for the media to play out hoaxes on the public.

Throughout much of the ancient world, Spring was considered to be the beginning of the New Year. In 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new Christian calendar, replacing the Julian Calendar, and set the date of the New Year as January 1st. The Gregorian Calendar was accepted in France in 1582 under the rule of Charles IX. However, as communication depended primarily on word of mouth, many hadn’t heard of the change or didn’t believe that the date of the New Year had changed. Others just refused to accept it. It was upon these “backward” people that jokes were played, as they were considered ‘fools.’ ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, April 01 @ 09:23:46 EDT (1769 reads)
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