Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Video description from YouTube user zzzuucx:
The origin of the Saint Nicholas tradition - from "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" on PBS. Nicholas is the patron saint of children (hence the holiday), sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, and notably pawnbrokers. The three gold balls that represent the pawn industry come directly from the St. Nicholas legend. To pay for the dowry of three young women, St. Nicholas threw three bags of gold through the window of the parents' home - one of which landed in a shoe drying by the fireplace. The three balls represent the three bags of gold. This is also the origin of the tradition of chocolate coins in the Christmas stocking.
For the pagan/mythological (Germanic & Roman) aspect of the tradition of Santa Claus, see 'How Odin became Santa Claus'
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Frank Sinatra was of half-Cisalpine ancestry.. Genoese. Actually, I saw him perform once; at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California (about 30 miles south of San Francisco), it's not there anymore. That was in the mid-90s. My father had watched him perform in San Francisco several decades earlier. Thinking back, it would have almost seemed appropriate to acknowledge his Genoese ancestry since the San Francisco/San Jose area had been so heavily influenced by people from Liguria... going back well over a century. However, he was such a universal icon. The surname "Sinatra" is of Sicilian origin. In terms of talent and personality, for better or worse, I don't think there was an entertainer who was quite like him.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
I missed this seasonally, but this video just sort've came together for me. However, we are still in the Fall. To change the subject, I suppose that I'm not the only one who has fallen in love with certain software programs which slowly become obsolete... and the newer versions of Windows force them out.... aaaand, the newer versions are awful. I loved Corel Photo Paint 8, but it's just no longer compatible, and the newer versions are really, really bad. They're ridiculously confusing and positively limited. There's a big difference between that, and merely getting used to the newer versions of Word, which really just take some time getting used to. I used to really love the older WordPerfect office, more than Word, but I guess it's just a matter of going with what it pragmatic and available.
The Raven witch and the Autumnal equinox
An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.
Wheel of the Year
The holiday of the autumnal equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druidic traditions), is a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.
[Music: 'Dream Weaver by Michelle Mays; 'Celtic Requiem Chant' by Elliot Simons]