Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween! The Catholic Perspective

Hat tip to FishEaters, with gratitude ~

31 October and 1 and 2 November are called, colloquially (not officially), "Hallowtide" or the "Days of the Dead" because on these days we pray for or remember those who've left this world. The days of the dead center around All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows') on November 1, when we celebrate all the Saints in Heaven. On the day after All Hallows', we remember the saved souls who are in Purgatory being cleansed of the temporal effects of their sins before they can enter Heaven. The day that comes before All Hallows', though, is one on which we unofficially remember the damned and the reality of Hell. The schema, then, for the Days of the Dead looks like this:
31 October:
unofficially recalls the souls of the damned. Practices center around the reality of Hell and how to avoid it.
1 November:
All Saints':
set aside to officially honor the Church Triumphant. Practices center around recalling our great Saints, including those whose names are unknown to us and, so, are not canonized
2 November:
All Souls':
set aside officially to pray for the Church Suffering (the souls in Purgatory). Practices center around praying for the souls in Purgatory, especially our loved ones

The earliest form of All Saints' (or "All Hallows'") was first celebrated in the 300s, but originally took place on 13 May, as it still does in some Eastern Churches. The Feast first commemorated only the martyrs, but came to include all of the Saints by 741. It was transferred to 1 November in 844 when Pope Gregory III consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to All Saints (so much for the theory that the day was fixed on 1 November because of a bunch of Irish pagans had harvest festivals at that time). All Souls' has its origins in A.D. 1048 when the Bishop of Cluny decreed that the Benedictines of Cluny pray for the souls in Purgatory on this day. The practice spread until Pope Sylvester II recommended it for the entire Latin Church. The Vigil of, or evening before, All Hallows' ("Hallows' Eve," or "Hallowe'en") came, in Irish popular piety, to be a day of remembering the dead who are neither in Purgatory or Heaven, but are damned, and these customs spread to many parts of the world.

Thus we have the popular focus of Hallowe'en as the reality of Hell, hence its scary character and focus on evil and how to avoid it, the sad fate of the souls of the damned, etc. How, or even whether, to celebrate Hallowe'en is a controversial topic in traditional circles. One hears too often that "Hallowe'en is a pagan holiday" -- an impossibility because "Hallowe'en," as said, means "All Hallows' Evening" which is as Catholic a holiday as one can get. Some say that the holiday actually stems from Samhain, a pagan Celtic celebration, or is Satanic, but this isn't true, either, any more than Christmas "stems from" the Druids' Yule, though popular customs that predated the Church may be involved in our celebrations.


From the Irish come the carved Jack-o-lanterns, which were originally carved turnips. The legend surrounding the Jack-o-Lantern is this:

There once was an old drunken trickster named Jack, a man known so much for his miserly ways that he was known as "Stingy Jack," He loved making mischief on everyone -- even his own family, even the Devil himself! One day, he tricked Satan into climbing up an apple tree -- but then carved Crosses on the trunk so the Devil couldn't get back down. He bargained with the Evil One, saying he would remove the Crosses only if the Devil would promise not to take his soul to Hell; to this, the Devil agreed.

After Jack died, after many years filled with vice, he went up to the Pearly Gates -- but was told by St. Peter that he was too miserable a creature to see the Face of Almighty God. But when he went to the Gates of Hell, he was reminded that he couldn't enter there, either! So, he was doomed to spend his eternity roaming the earth. The only good thing that happened to him was that the Devil threw him an ember from the burning pits to light his way, an ember he carried inside a hollowed-out, carved turnip.


From the English Catholics we get begging from door to door, the earlier and more pure form of "trick-or-treating." Children would go about begging their neighbors for a "Soul Cake," for which they would say a prayer for those neighbors' dead. Instead of knocking on a door and saying the threatening,

"Trick-or-treat" (or the ugly "Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat"), children would say either:

A Soul Cake, a Soul Cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake!
Soul, soul, an apple or two, If you haven't an apple, a pear will do, One for Peter, two for Paul, Three for the Man Who made us all.

While Soul Cakes were originally a type of shortbread, it is said that a clever medieval cook wanted to make Soul Cakes designed to remind people of eternity, so she cut a hole in the middle of round cakes before frying them, thereby inventing donuts! Fresh plain cake donuts would be a nice food to eat on this day.
Cake Doughnuts (makes 20)

2 quarts canola oil 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp coarse salt

1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 packet active dry yeast or 0.6 ounces cake yeast

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk

1 extra-large whole egg 2 extra-large egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups nonmelting or confectioners' sugar

1. Heat oil in a low-sided six-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375°. Lightly dust a baking pan with all-purpose flour, and line a second one with paper towels; set both aside. 2. Meanwhile, place sour cream in a heat-proof bowl or top of a double boiler; set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm to the touch. Remove from heat; set aside. 3. In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Make a large well; place yeast in center. Pour warm sour cream over yeast, and let sit 1 minute. 4. Place buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over sour cream. Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring until smooth before drawing in more flour. Continue until all flour mixture has been incorporated; dough will be very sticky. 5. Sift a heavy coat of flour onto a clean work surface.

Turn out dough. Sift another heavy layer of flour over dough. Using your hands, pat dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts as close together as possible, dipping the cutter in flour before each cut. Transfer doughnuts to floured pan, and let rest 10 minutes, but not more. 6. Carefully transfer four doughnuts to hot oil. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over; continue cooking until evenly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to lined pan. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. 7. Gather remaining dough scraps into a ball. Let rest 10 minutes; pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut, let rest 10 minutes, and cook. 8. When cool enough to handle, sift nonmelting sugar over tops; serve immediately. (Recipe from Martha Stewart).

Other customary foods for All Hallows' Eve include cider, nuts, popcorn, and apples -- best eaten around a bonfire or fireplace!Another Hallowe'en custom is the old Celtic "bobbing for apples." To do this, fill a large tub two thirds full with water and float apples in it. Children take turns trying to pick up one of the floating apples using only their mouths (hands are not allowed and must be held or tied behind the back!) -- very tricky to do! The first to do so wins a prize (some say he will be the first one to marry someday). You can make the game more fun by carving an initial into the bottom of each apple, letting that initial indicate the name of the person each apple-bobber will marry, and/or using different colored apples with different assigned meanings or prizes. (You can play a dry version of this game by tying the stems of the apples to strings and suspending them. If you do this, carve any initials at the tops of the apples.

Of course, all of this sort of thing is a parlor game and should never be taken seriously or cross the line into divination!)....and tell scary stories! If you want the perfect poems to relate to your children on this day, see Little Orphant Annie, The Raven, The Stolen Child, and the Wreck of the Hesperus. And here are those poems and some stories for you to download in Microsoft Word .doc format:
Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley (2 pages)The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (3 pages)The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats (2 pages)The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow (3 pages)The Monkey's Paw, by W. W. Jacobs (11 pages)The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson (5 pages)The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe (4 pages)The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe (7 pages)The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe (5 pages)The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving (22 pages)

After teaching your children about the frightening realities of Hell and the fate of the damned, reassure them by telling them that the Evil One has already been conquered! Satan has no real power over those who are in Christ, and mocking him and his minions is a way of demonstrating this; teach your children how to call on the power of Christ and His Church to protect themselves from their snares. Warn them that magic (the art of performing actions beyond the power of man with the aid of powers other than the Divine) is real, that there is no such thing as "white magic," that playing with the occult -- whether by divination, necromancy, the casting of spells, playing with Ouija boards, etc. -- is an invitation to demons to respond, and that it is from demons that magic gets any power it has. Remember St. Michael to them, teach them about the power of sacramentals and prayers that ward off evil when piously used (the Sign of the Cross, Holy Water, blessed salt, the Crucifix, the St. Benedict Medal, St. Anthony's Brief, etc.), teach them to call on the Holy Name of Jesus when they are afraid, etc.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

A 2012 Manifesto

I just read this great post at my favorite collection of assorted Peak Oil-aware cowboys, Birkenstock wearing mamas, military and ex-military, financial geeks, EMT's and gardening gurus, LATOC. The writer has given blanket permission for it to be reproduced in its entirety, so have at it. If you like it, spread it far and wide. The only point I gently take issue with is the last one, as one commenter put it: "Many find great comfort and meaning within traditional religions. I think that if such a person does, and if the religion doesn't encourage that person to act in ways that run counter to the welfare of others (i.e., they take the "golden rule" in whatever form it shows up for them seriously), then that would be fulfilling #10. Some people feel ready to move beyond traditional religions, and some don't see a need to, for them. This is to be expected and, again, as long as the religion isn't used as a weapon of coercion, respected." I would point out that a traditional religion, such as my Byzantine Catholicism, if fully followed, will lead one to The Creator.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

The crisis we are now experiencing is just a prelude to the major Transition in global consciousness that will occur during the 2012 period. In order to make the shift, the corrupt, hierarchical systems which do not serve the needs of Humanity must collapse. This will create fear and hardship for many, but for those who prepare for the paradigm shift to a new matrix of consciousness and being, the transition will be viewed as a mere inconvenience necessary for the rebalancing of Earth's and Humanity's energies. Here are the top 10 ways that you can prepare:

1 - Recognize that The United States of America is an Empire in decline. Most empires do not go to bed willingly. History shows us that the USA gets very belligerent when the economy goes south or other nations refuse to do what it tells them to. New alliances are forming that intend to counter US Hegemony. The Dollar is about to be rejected as the global currency. Unjustified and irrational wars have brought the USA to bankruptcy. The deficit is out of control. We are at the mercy of foreign energy sources. The global community is fed up with Bully USA and is about to pull the plug on many fronts. Expect the US Government to lash out in a last-ditch attempt to salvage Empire.

2 - Study and familiarize yourself with the concept of Peak Oil and its ramifications on our economic and social systems. In an era of energy scarcity, endless economic growth is not possible. The days of Milk and Honey are over. Value of Fiat paper currency (e.g. US Dollar/USD) is predicated on continual economic growth fueled by cheap energy. Peak Oil will ensure that the USD, globalism, the US economy, and all systems dependent on finance capital will collapse. This shedding process is already underway. Realize that the Good Ol Days are over and that materialism is a thing of the past.

3 - Unplug from the Mainstream Media (MSM) propaganda stream. Television, commercial radio, daily newspapers, and most of what you read on corporate-sponsored websites is disinformation and propaganda whose only purpose is to control and manipulate public consciousness in order to stifle development of human consciousness and true democracy. Kill your Television. Read, listen, watch and support local, independent, alternative and grass-roots media. Start your own blog, low power FM radio station, public access TV show, or 'zine to share the truth as you know it to be.

4 - Understand that Corporations (the Dark Forces) control our government and politicians (CorpGov). Voting is a charade to make you believe that you have a democratic choice. Democrats and Republicans serve the same elite puppetmasters and are no different from one another, no matter how genuine their rhetoric sounds. If you don't believe that Corporations are in control, then ignore that the Congress and the White House bailed out corrupt Banksters to the tune of TRILLIONS while they put on a dog-and-pony show about how much a public healthcare system will cost! The Federal Reserve will never be audited to expose the rampant corruption. The voting systems are rigged to ensure the Elites get the results they want. If you choose to engage in the voting game, only vote for Third Party and Independent candidates. Corporate-backed politicians must be flushed from the system permanently.

5 - Economically detach from The System. Know that the Finance/banking, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) economy is all about sucking money from your pocket and transferring it to wealthy Elites. It is essentially legalized theft of your labor and the wealth that such labor creates. Try to operate in a cash-only fashion, under the table and out of the banks. Barter for goods and services. Consider joining or starting a local currency (LETS) system. Take your money out of the big corporate banks and place it with your local non-profit community/employee Credit Union. If you are concerned about the long-term viability of the USD and the negative effects of inflation, consider buying a home with productive farmland, machinery & tools, or other tangible goods that hold and can create value. You should also consider adding gold and silver to the mix.

6 - Learn to grow, harvest and store food. Modern just-in-time (JIT) delivery systems allow for only several days worth of food on store shelves. How long will that food last during a (manufactured?) disaster or economic collapse. Energy descent will make food via supermarkets harder to come by. Build your soil and grow your own healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. Establish a chicken coop and harvest the eggs, meat, feathers and manure. Goats are great for brush-clearing, milk and cheese. Rabbits re-produce quickly. Ponds can be stocked with fish. Learn about Permaculture and how it can make your homestead more productive with less work.

7 - Get off The Grid. Make your own energy. Capture, store and purify water. Without clean water we cannot survive. Municipal water systems are at the mercy of evaporating budgets, aging infrastructure, energy requirements, diversion by source communities/states, and tampering. Harvest rainwater from rooftops and in ponds, drill wells, establish storage tanks high up for gravity feed, install plumbing and filtration systems to ensure the water of life keeps flowing when the power goes out. Put a hot water solar system in place. Learn to purify water with a solar oven. Similarly, become energy independent. Install solar PV panels and a DC battery system, install a wood stove for heat, store fuel and have a generator in place for when the grid goes down.

8 - Learn traditional skills and healing practices. Wood working/turning, spinning, weaving, soap making, leather crafts, knitting, sewing, blacksmithing, metal working, herbal medicine, CPR, locksmithing, gun smithing, hunting, fishing, trapping, archery, animal husbandry, horse-shoeing, natural building, instrument making, coppicing, etc. Work with the local resources you have at hand rather than imported materials. Start a local guild of artisans and craftspeople to share knowledge and barter crafts.

9 - Build local community. Get to know your next-door neighbors and the locals. Attend or organize community celebrations and events. Create a phone tree for emergencies. Start a local tool/equipment exchange or barter system. Form a Neighborhood Watch, seed savers' exchange, or manufacturing cooperative. Volunteer to help the needy. Support your local farmer and shop at local, independent businesses to keep your money circulating in the local economy.

10 - Develop a personal spiritual practice. This does not mean religion! Religion is dogma that is used to politically and economically enslave humankind. Conversely, spirituality allows the individual to directly connect to Source (God/Goddess, Higher Self, the Universe, whatever you wish to call it) without an intermediate or middleman (Church, priests, dogma, institutions) getting in the way to control you. Spiritual practices include: meditation, yoga, Kaballah, shamanism, indigenous/Earth-based spiritual traditions, Tantra, ceremonial magick, prayer, etc. Pick the path that works for YOU and stick with it to develop the essential spiritual skills that you will depend on to navigate the Transition.Remember, LOVE is the key to our collective success.Visit A NEW MATRIX online at http://anewmatrix.blogspot.com to learn more

[You are encouraged to reproduce this and share it with everyone in your local community.]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Into the Winter ...

As Fall flows gently down the stream of life, day by day sauntering into eternity, we see the approaching of old man Winter. His frosty freezes and ice daggers demand introspection, rest and slower movement. They call for renewed long conversations with friends and family, earlier bedtimes and clothing which muffles us into walking textile samplers.

The headlines scream Swine Flu and War and Murder Most Foul, but the scarlet maples, burgundy Burning Bushes, brown Oaks and Yellow Ashes hint, mention, insinuate ~ better get your long johns out. Lay in the cocoa and popcorn supplies. Get some new woolly gloves.

Here comes Winter.
Pathway To Autumn Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just A Ride

The material world certainly is "just a ride" like a weekend carnival show which will soon be gone, tents folded and old popcorn bags blowing in the dust.
So only do what you'll remember well on your deathbed, and love life and people with all your might.

Dylan Ratigan Is Right

MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan is a rare cool voice of common sense in a corporate-owned media circus. Listen to him: he's right.

"This is the very essence of the banking industry........to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt."
The International 2009

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deidre's Passions

The documentry ‘Deirdre’s Passions’ is a short film which tells the story of the Galway author Deirdre Manifold , one-time girlfriend of Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh. The film was screened at the "Way Out West" segment of the Galway Film Fleadh.

Deirdres Passions from DCTV on Vimeo.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Snake in the Next Cubicle

A decade in financial services, now behind me, left me wondering if there were anything but snakes and foxes in the industry. It seems as though they all had contracted, were bout to come down with, or were dying from some sort of contagious but never-talked about greed based disease.

Here is a good take on the recent financial meltdown from futurist oracle Jonathan Zap. It's a bit long but well worth the time. Click on over and read it all. Foxes and Reptiles: Psychopathy and the Financial Meltdown of 2008/2009.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Enough With Left Vs. Right, Already

Chicago’s Cardinal George says both liberals and conservatives focus too much on bishops, not enough on Christ. He has my attention.

QUOTE Both liberals and conservatives, George says, focus far too much on the bishops – how much power they have, and the ways in which they exercise it – and not nearly enough on Christ.
Instead, George argues for what he calls “simply Catholicism,” meaning a clear sense of Catholic identity that’s nevertheless open to the world. As examples, he points to Mother Teresa, the origins of the Catholic Worker movement, and the Community of Sant’Egidio – all, he says, share a “simply Catholic” concern for prayer and serving the poor.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Highway Shrines

When I was a breezy wild teenager I took a summer road trip to Canada with my guitar-playing boyfriend. We hitch-hiked around the back roads of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, all the while playing chords from Leonard Cohen songs, and I was left with a lifelong love for and fascination with little highway shrines.

Fast forward to my husband's and my 25th anniversary five years ago, when we travelled Ireland in a rental car (Irish steering wheel on "wrong" side, driving on "wrong" side of road!)on a pilgrimage/vacation that included St. Kevin's monastery at Glendalough and St. Brighid's Abbey at Kildare, and anumbe rof lovely highway shrines. So, happy Feast of Saint Francis, and may every day be for you a highway shrine on the long road back to Heaven.

Shrine to Mother Mary Pictures, Images and Photos