Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Samhain - A Time for Divination


 Death - The Thirteenth Tarot Card

By Lisa Finander

Samhain begins at dusk on October 31st and is the Celtic New Year’s Eve. The god of summer is defeated and the god of winter and death now presides over mother earth. This is a special day, the time of year when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is the thinnest, and a time when the communication between these worlds is the strongest. This has its good and bad points, depending on if the visiting spirits are welcome or not!

When inviting loved ones home that usually reside in the Otherworld, it is customary to either set an empty place at the table with food and drink for deceased relatives or leave it outside for any traveling souls returning to the places they once lived. The belief is that the souls nourish themselves on the soul of the food provided. Bonfires (from the English bone-fires) were lit, allowing the dead a place to warm themselves by. Doors, windows, and gates were unlocked to make sure their long-awaited guests knew they were welcome. Jack-o’-lanterns (originally carved turnips) were prominently displayed to protect the living and scare away evil spirits. The carvings depicted protective guardians living in the spirit world.

Samhain is also a time when the ordinary rules of society don’t pertain, challenging the established order and introducing chaos. People dress up in costumes switching conventional gender roles, wear masks that emulate spirits or departed ancestors, and both worlds celebrate together.

During this transformational period between light and dark, and life and death, there is an opening - a pause in time when magic is believed to be at its strongest, making it a perfect time for divination and seeing what the next year holds. It’s a great time to expand your intuitive skills. You could plan your own divination party and give yourself a “New Year’s” reading to boot. Llewellyn has a variety of books and products on the different forms of divination.

A great tarot deck to add to your collection and especially appropriate for Halloween (with more skeletons than you can count) is Tarot of the Dead by Monica Knighton. This Otherworld-friendly deck uses Pens for Wands, Coffins for Cups, Pistols for Swords, and Reels for Pentacles.

At the beginning of November, Mexico celebrates “Day of the Dead,” or Dia de los Muertos. While the specific dates and observances vary depending on the region, the core of the holiday is the same - to honor family and friends who have died. Cemeteries and homes are decorated with flowers, and offering tables are laid out with gifts of food, clothing and anything the loved one enjoyed in life. Some believe this is a time set aside for remembrance, while others believe that the dead literally return in spirit for a visit, communing with the family and enjoying the essence of the offerings left for them.

However you choose to spend this day, make it a celebration and remembrance of past, present and future love. Take time to stop and honor the sacredness of all your relationships, with special focus on those we can no longer touch. May all your readings be good ones.

Happy Halloween!

    


Article source here
Image source here

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Key to a More Abundant Life



If I could give you one key, and one key only to more abundant life, I would give you a sense of your own worth, an unshakable sense of your own dignity as one grounded in the source of the cosmic dance, as one who plays a unique part in the unfolding of the story of the world. - Greta Crosby


    

Sunday, October 20, 2013

If You Were Coming In the Fall...



If you were coming in the fall,
I ’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen's land.

If certain, when life was out
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But, but now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like a goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

Emily Dickinson 


Image "Autumn Forest" by Daniel Rericha
Image source here

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Carriers of Civilization



Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print. - Barbara Tuchman

Image source here

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe



This is a healthier version of a traditional recipe. It takes about ten minutes to prepare and about one hour to bake.

More and more people report gluten sensitivity and type II diabetes is on the rise not only in the older population, but also among the children. 

This troubling statistics as well as the growing health consciousness gave birth to an alternative food industry. Gluten and sugar-free baked goods can now be found in every supermarket. For those who love baking there is a wide range of gluten-free flours and baking mixes. 

Many traditional recipes can be modified to suit any health concern. The final products differ a bit in taste, but they are not necessarily worse. Most importantly, they are healthier and better for you.

In this recipe I used the incredibly versatile Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix and must admit that it exceeded my expectations. 

This product comes with a number of tasty recipes and one of them is a recipe for a zucchini loaf cake. I altered this recipe just a bit to make even more healthy. It is not only gluten-free, but also low on the glycemic index. 

Ingredients:


Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grate the zucchinis and remove excess moisture with a paper towel. Set aside.
  • In a medium large bowl whisk together Pamela's Mix, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs (yolks and whites), honey and melted coconut oil for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract, beat again. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Fold in grated zucchini and crushed walnuts. Set aside for a few minutes.
  • Spoon out the dough into a greased 8'' x 4'' loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  • To make sure that the bread is ready insert a toothpick in several places. It should come out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool off in a pan for about 5 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Carefully remove the cake from the baking pan and let it cool for another 10-15 minutes.
  • When the cake is cool enough, cut it into thick slices and indulge without guilt in good company!

Dominique Allmon 

Dominique Allmon©2013

      

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Path to Mindfulness



We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment. - Thich Nhat Hanh

         


Image source unknown, but greatly appreciated