Hey everyone. I did the ritual I posted on Tuesday, Day of the Dead, it felt good. It certainly wasn’t my first go at that one, which I do at least once a year. Only one month left in this semester, where does the time go? A girl came into my Shakespeare class last week to talk to us about studying abroad in the UK this summer at Oxford. OMG I want to go. All of July and August taking two English courses, one with an ASU professor and one with an Oxford professor, now of course I do not have the funds in place to go but I can dream. For our final paper we are directing a Shakespeare play on paper only, I am excited, the tango music, and Jeanne Hepbuterne, are a hint at things.
I recently had a visitation, November 2, which happens to be my friends birthday. I met her through my best friend Roger. She is a Brazilian beauty and a great gal. Roger was well acquainted with the practices and Orisha’s in the Yoruba based religion. Both he and my other best friend were independently of one another, which always sort of blew my mind. I used to joke around about it until they came to me in a dream once, waking me freezing on a very hot night. It was very cheerful and positive but it got my attention. So anyway I am acquainted with them as well now. So on Tuesday night I smell cigar smoke in my house, no open windows, it isn’t coming from outside, rather or not I instantly thought Roger is here with Esu, the orisha. It was very comforting, and then I see so many connecting threads, I have acquired a cigar box collection, and have been listening endlessly to tango. Either way it was so nice feeling Roger send me a sign. If not I am pretending he did.
❤ We love you girl ❤
The art of
Hey everyone. In America we had “President’s Day” yesterday, a National Holiday celebrating Washington, and Lincoln’s birthdays. Anyways fortunately I got the day off school, so I could do all the homework due on my British Literature 8 week online course on the Romantic Era, primarily, Mary Wollstonecraft (Preeminent Feminist), Jane Austen, and Mary’s daughter, Mary Shelley. Doesn’t everyone love Frankenstein, one of the best novels of that genre, and period.
I love the story behind the story. In a later edition Mary Shelley, at her publishers request answers the question, “How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?”
I will share a few excerpts, but if your interested read the entire story at the link.
In the summer of 1816, we visited Switzerland, and became the neighbours of Lord Byron. At first we spent our pleasant hours on the lake, or wandering on its shores; and Lord Byron, who was writing the third canto of Childe Harold, was the only one among us who put his thoughts upon paper. These, as he brought them successively to us, clothed in all the light and harmony of poetry, seemed to stamp as divine the glories of heaven and earth, whose influences we partook with him.
. . . But it proved a wet, ungenial summer, and incessant rain often confined us for days to the house.Some volumes of ghost stories, translated from the German into French, fell into our hands. There was the History of the Inconstant Lover, who, when he thought to clasp the bride to whom he had pledged his vows, found himself in the arms of the pale ghost of her whom he had deserted. . .
“We will each write a ghost story,” said Lord Byron; and his proposition was acceded to. There were four of us. The noble author began a tale, a fragment of which he printed at the end of his poem of Mazeppa. Shelley, more apt to embody ideas and sentiments in the radiance of brilliant imagery, commenced one founded on the experiences of his early life. . .
I busied myself to think of a story, —a story to rival those which had excited us to this task. One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name. I thought and pondered—vainly. I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations. Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative. . .
Many and long were the conversations between Lord Byron and Shelley, to which I was a devout but nearly silent listener. During one of these, various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among others the nature of the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated. They talked of the experiments of Dr. Darwin. . .
Night waned upon this talk, and even the witching hour had gone by, before we retired to rest. When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, —I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away from his odious handywork, horror-stricken. . .
I opened mine in terror. The idea so possessed my mind, that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around. I see them still; the very room, the dark parquet, the closed shutters, with the moonlight struggling through, and the sense I had that the glassy lake and white high Alps were beyond. I could not so easily get rid of my hideous phantom; still it haunted me. I must try to think of something else. I recurred to my ghost story, my tiresome unlucky ghost story! O! if I could only contrive one which would frighten my reader as I myself had been frightened that night!
This piece of writing about the backstory, and Frankenstein’s conception is brilliant. I was talking with my good friend, owner of a renowned cat, hint; Not Grumpy Cat, about a movie made of this, Haunted Summer (1988). I haven’t seen it in 20 years but I recall liking it.
😀 Happy Day of the Dead 😀
Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a unique festival that is the result of 16th century contact between Mesoamerica and Europe. Conceptually, it is a hybrid, owing its origins to both prehispanic Aztec philosophy and religion and medieval European ritual practice. Ceremonies held during the Aztec summer month of Miccailhuitontli were mainly focused on the celebration of the dead. These were held under the supernatural direction of the goddess Mictecacihuatl. (1) Both children and dead ancestors were remembered and celebrated. It was also during this month that the Aztecs commemorated fallen warriors. According to Diego Duran, a 16th century Spanish priest, the Aztecs would bring offerings of food to altars in honor of the dead. They would also place small clay images that were supposed to represent the deceased on these same altars. (2)
When the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, they brought the Christian Holiday of All Soul’s Day with them. This was a Roman Catholic holy day commemorating the dead in general as well as baptized Christians who were believed to be in purgatory. Spanish priests were quick to see a correlation between the Aztec and Christian celebrations so moved the Aztec festival from summer to fall so that it coincided with All Soulsâ day. This was done in the hopes that the Aztec holiday, which the Spaniards considered to be pagan, would be transformed into an acceptable Christian holiday.
The result of this cultural blending is an event where modern Mexicanos celebrate their ancestors during the first two days of November, rather than at the beginning of summer. While this modern festival has Christian components, it still maintains its indigenous Native American ones.
Across Mexico, activities associated with Day of the Dead are fairly consistent from place to place. On the first day, families visit the graves of their relatives. During this time, they decorate the gravesite with flowers, earth, and candles. The also hold a kind of picnic at the graveside where they interact socially among themselves and with other families and community members who are all gathered at the cemetery. The stories that are exchanged by the families often feature other people who are also buried in the same cemetery. In this way, Day of the Dead acts as a method of social cohesion between different groups of people. Folks gathered around the graves are there not only to celebrate their ancestors, but to celebrate the role that those ancestors played in a larger community.
The meals prepared for these picnics include tamales and pan de muerto (a special bread in the shape of a person). Many people believe that it is good luck to be the one who bites into the plastic toy skeleton hidden by the baker in each rounded loaf. Sweets are also included in the feast. These include, cookies, chocolate and sugar skulls. Friends and family members exchange gifts consisting of sugar skeletons or other items with a death related iconography. Often times, a gift is more prized if the skull or skeleton has one’s own name written on it with icing. As in the case of pan de muerto, when the celebrant takes a bite out of the skull, the person symbolically “takes a bite of death” and thereby, inoculates themselves against the fear of death.
Decoration is not restricted to gravesites. Often times people set up home altars dedicated to the same relatives. These are profusely decorated with flowers (primarily yellow and orange marigolds and/or crysanthemums). These were called cempoa-xochitl and are a clear holdover from Pre-Columbian times. For the Aztecs, the color yellow referenced the autumn—a season when nature begins to die. The arc or arco that forms a semi-halo atop the altar is symbolic of the path taken across the heavens by the dead. As in the case of the gravesides, home altars are also adorned with religious amulets and food offerings. The foods chosen are generally those that the deceased enjoyed during his life. This can run the gamut to different kinds of fruit, to cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Mescal is a favorite. All in all, the altar represents a recognition of the cycle of life and death that is part of human existence. There is some slight variation in how Day of the Dead is observed in Mexico. For instance, its celebration in large cities, like Oaxaca, leans more toward the secular than the sacred. Also, foodstuffs and altar construction are, logically enough, dependant upon the natural resources of the area. Nonetheless, what seems to be maintained throughout is the remembrance of the dead and the celebration of the continuity of life and the community.
(1) This deity’s name means “Lady of the Dead.” She was the female counterpart of Mictlantecuhtli, the lord of the underworld.
(2) See, Diego Duran, Book of the Gods and Rites and The Ancient Calendar. Translated and edited by Fernando Horcasitas and Doris Heyden. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press .
I have been to the San Francisco’s Day of the Dead with my baby sister.
An old native American legend describes the existence of thirteen ancient crystal skulls, the size of human skulls, with moveable jaws that were said to speak or sing.
The legend tells that these crystal skulls contain important information about some of the great mysteries of life and the universe. They contain knowledge about the past history of our species on this planet, and information about mankind’s true purpose and future destiny.
The Cherokee version of the legend says that there were originally twelve planets in the universe inhabited by human life and that there was one skull for each of these planets, together with a thirteenth skull which was vital to reconnecting all of these worlds.
The legend also says that one day, at a time of great need, all of these crystal skulls will be rediscovered and brought back together to reveal their information vital to the very survival of the human race.
But the legend also warns that when that time arrives mankind must first be sufficiently developed, suitably evolved both morally and spiritually, so as not to abuse this great knowledge.
When we first heard this legend, whilst visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, we considered it merely a colorful story, until we found out that a real crystal skull had actually been discovered on an archaeological dig in Central America, way back in the 1920’s.
The Mitchel-Hedges Crystal Skull
Frederick Mitchell-Hedges (1882-1959) was your archetypal British adventurer-explorer; a member of the Maya Committee of the British Museum and a real Indiana-Jones type character determined to make his mark in the twilight years of the British Empire.
He was of the opinion that the cradle of civilisation lay not in the Middle East, as is commonly supposed, but instead he was convinced that Atlantis was a real civilisation which had disappeared after some natural catastrophe.
He believed that the remnants of this Atlantean civilisation could still be found somewhere in Central America, and he was determined to prove it.
To this end, he gathered together a party of explorers who set sail from Liverpool in 1924 bound for British Honduras (now Belize). One day, deep in the jungle, his party stumbled upon some mounds of stone overgrown with moss and foliage, and suffocated by roots and vines.
So they set fire to the undergrowth. When the fire had subsided the ruins of a once great city emerged from the flames.
It was a place known to the local Mayans as ‘Lubaantun’ or ‘The City of Fallen Stones’, and it was in this lost city that Mitchell Hedges’ adopted daughter Anna found a magnificent and perfect crystal skull, buried beneath an altar in the ruins of one of the great temple-pyramids.
The Mayan helpers on the dig went wild with joy on the emergence of the skull. They seemed to recognise it. They kissed the ground crying, placed it on an altar, and performed ceremonial rituals and dances around it.
But what was this mysterious object and did it have anything to do with the ancient legend?
The crystal skull is a mystery as profound as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Sphinx, the Nasca Lines of Peru, or Stonehenge.
Ever since its original discovery the crystal skull has been the source of much archaeological controversy – nobody seems to know quite how old it really is, how it was made, what it was used for, and where it originally came from.
All that is known for sure is that ever since it emerged from the temple ruins, the most incredible claims have been made about the crystal skull and there have been a whole host of reports of strange and unusual phenomena surrounding the skull.
As mentioned above, Anna Mitchell-Hedges is the woman who first uncovered the crystal skull as a teenager back in the 1920’s.
Although the crystal skull was found on what most archaeologists consider to be a Mayan site, Anna Mitchell-Hedges and many others like her believe that it is actually much older than this, and that it belonged to some mysterious pre-Mayan civilization that has now long since disappeared from this Earth.
The crystal skull has been valued at several millions of dollars, but it is far more than just an expensive and exotic ancient artifact.
For, over the years, people have reported all kinds of strange and unusual experiences in the skull’s presence. In particular, it is said to have incredible ‘psychic’ and ‘healing’ powers.
According to Anna Mitchell-Hedges, who passed away at the age of 100 in 2007, it is thanks to the ‘healing power’ of the skull that kept her alive. She said that all through her life the skull kept her in good health and happiness.
The skull, she said, ‘protected’ her and ‘communicated’ with her all through her long life, and she is not the only person to have reported such experiences.
Anna allowed many visitors into her home and she accumulated hundreds of letters from the many people who came to her house to sit with the skull and who claim to have been ‘healed by the skull’ or that it somehow ‘communicated’ with them. Many of those who have spent time alone with the skull claim to have seen or heard things in its presence.
Many say they have seen a gentle glow, like an aura, extending around the skull, or that they have heard sounds, like the soft chanting of human voices, emanating from it, such that it has now earned the title ‘the talking’ or ‘singing skull’, just as in the old legend.
Others claim to have seen things inside the skull. When they have sat with the skull for a long time it has started to present them with images, almost like watching a bit of cinema film.
Hundreds of visitors attest to having seen incredible images from the past or the future deep inside its crystalline structure. The reports include images of ancient sacred sites, with ceremonies being performed beneath great pyramids.
Others say they have seen whole periods of planetary history with great shifting of continents, the rising of sea levels and destruction of land masses, and geological cataclysm on a global scale.
One of the most commonly reported images is considered by many to be the holographic image of a UFO appearing within the crystal skull – and this has even been photographed! This image in particular has led many to suggest that perhaps the crystal skull has some kind of strange unearthly origin?
But, just as the ancient legend suggests, this is not the only crystal skull to be discovered. Several other crystal skulls have since come to light. All are of mysterious origin and all are surrounded by claims of strange or unusual phenomena and tales of inexplicable, paranormal powers.
Max, the ‘Talking’ Crystal Skull
A woman named Joann Parks, who lives in Houston, Texas, also has a crystal skull. She, too, claims that her crystal skull has the power to heal and can communicate with her telepathically.
The story of how Joann Parks came into possession of her crystal skull starts with a very sad story. In 1978 Joann’s eldest daughter, Diana, was diagnosed as having bone cancer and the conventional medical doctors gave her only three months to live.
Joann turned to the help of a Tibetan Lama and healer named Norbu Chen. This man owned a crystal skull, and with the help of this healer and his crystal skull, her daughter managed to live for a further three years.
When her daughter eventually died, the healer gave Joann the crystal skull, telling her nothing about it except that he had originally received it from a Guatemalan shaman and that one day Joann would understand it and know what it was for.
Not knowing what to do with it, Joann put the crystal skull in a box in the bedroom closet. A few years later the skull started to appear in her dreams. Then it started “speaking to her,” saying that it wanted out of the closet.
She tried to ignore this ‘voice’ but it started “talking to her” at all times of day, saying “You must let me out of this closet.
I am important to mankind,” and “I will be remembered.” Joanne thought she was losing her mind and even spoke to her family doctor about it, but the voice just wouldn’t go away, and so she eventually found herself sitting in the bedroom closet “talking to this lump of rock” and telling it to go away, saying “Just leave me alone skull!”
She slammed the skull away in a case and pushed it to the back of the wardrobe, but as she ran back down the stairs the skull kept talking to her.
“It was very persistent,” explained Joann and it was determined that I take it out of the closet and “tell mankind” of its existence. It even added that, “By the way, my name isn’t skull, it’s Max!”
And since that time Joann has been showing the skull all over the United States where she says “Max has now spoken to and healed many people.”
Where did this skull come from?
The British Museum have always considered their skull to be of Aztec origin. The note accompanying the Smithsonian skull also said that it had once belonged to the mighty Aztecs of Central America.
Anna Mitchell-Hedges and Joann Parks said their skulls are at least as old as the ancient Mayan civilisation of Central America, if not far older and perhaps of extraterrestrial origin.
The ancient Aztec and Mayan people built up highly developed civilizations in an incredibly short period of time. These civilizations appeared as if from nowhere and the Mayan civilization, just as suddenly, mysteriously disappeared.
Many archaeologists are baffled as to where they got their advanced knowledge from and why they suddenly disappeared.
All the evidence that remains of this civilization suggests they were great watchers of the skies and the heavenly bodies. They were great scientists, mathematicians and astronomers. They had a complex calendar based on the movements of the planets and the stars and which they used to predict the future.
They were able to predict eclipses, even ones they could not see and that were happening elsewhere in the world. They even managed to accurately predict eclipses that have happened recently – over a thousand years after their own civilization mysteriously disappeared.
Some researchers claim the Mayan records say their people came from Atlantis and their ancestors before that ‘came from the stars’. The Mayan civilization was also obsessed with the image of the skull, which made up an important part of their sacred, divinatory calendar.
Many archaeologists, however, unable to explain the strange phenomena associated with the crystal skulls, claim they are simply ‘modern fakes’.
So how old are the crystal skulls and where did they really come from? Are they modern, Aztec, Mayan, or did they come from some other civilization altogether?
In an attempt to try to answer these questions, Anna Mitchell-Hedges loaned her skull to one of the world’s leading computer companies, Hewlett-Packard, for rigorous scientific testing.
The scientists in their crystal laboratories were completely unable to determine the age of the skull, as crystal cannot be carbon-dated. But what surprised the scientists was that both the skull and its detachable lower jawbone were made from the same massive piece of pure, natural rock crystal.
As crystal is only slightly softer than diamond, this finding was truly incredible.
The scientists concluded that even with modern diamond-tipped power tools, it would have been impossible to carve such an object without it shattering.
At first they thought the skull must have been made by hand using sand and water to slowly abrade the material over several generations – a process they estimated must have taken around “300 man-years of effort!” But soon they were forced to revise even this conclusion.
For when the skull was examined under intense magnification the scientists were in for an even bigger surprise – they were completely unable to find any evidence of tools having been used to make the skull at all! A fact which led one member of the team to comment:
“This skull shouldn’t even exist!”
The crystal skull challenged all conventional opinion. Here was an object that simply defied explanation. It showed no evidence of any existing technology used in its construction, no evidence of tool markings either ancient or modern.
But the scientists at Hewlett-Packard said they were simply not prepared to countenance the only alternative explanation – that the skull had not even been made by humans.
The scientists other interesting discovery was that the skull had been made from precisely the same type of quartz now used in modern electronic equipment. Modern science has established that among the unusual properties of quartz crystal is its ability to hold under control electrical energy and to oscillate at a constant and precise frequency.
In other words, the crystal skull is able to hold electrical energy – potentially a form of information – and send out vibrating impulses – or waves of energy information. This is why quartz crystal is used for the ‘brain cells’ of electronic equipment such as watches and computers.
The silicon crystal chip inside a computer, for instance, is where the information is actually stored. This finding raised the distinct possibility that the crystal skulls are in fact some kind of information storage system, just as the ancient legend suggests.
But what might that information be, and where do the crystal skulls really come from?
The Legend of the Crystal Skulls
Native Americans have long believed in the power of quartz crystal. They refer to quartz crystals as “the brain cells of Mother Earth” and have traditionally used them for healing.
The crystal skulls have long been a part of Native American teachings but until now they have been forbidden to speak about them. Now, they say, the time has come for them to speak out about these amazing artifacts and to reveal their secret knowledge.
Professor Paula Gunn-Allen of the University of California is of Laguno Pueblo origin. She specializes in Native American literature and is well versed in the mythology and oral history of Native America.
According to her the crystal skulls were created by beings “who are not humans like we are.” She says the crystal skulls were designed specifically for the purpose of communication with extraterrestrial life.
As she explains, “What they are is transceivers – devices to help us communicate with the other quadrants of the galaxy.”
She said that we might think of them “as like telephones” that get you connected with Galactic Central and enable you to stay in touch with “civilizations beyond our little bitty modern world.”
Native American medicine woman Jamie Sams says that “the crystal skulls contain information about our own ancestors, about our own past and our own future that will very soon change the whole way we see ourselves, our world, and our true place in the universe.”
According to Metis Cherokee medicine man Harley Swiftdeer, the full version of the legend of the crystal skulls says that there were originally twelve planets in the universe inhabited by human life; that there was one skull for each of these planets, and a thirteenth skull which was vital to finally reconnecting all of these worlds.
According to Harley Swiftdeer and other native Americans, the crystal skulls were brought to this Earth as “gifts from the gods” – brought long ago by these beings from elsewhere in the universe.
These crystal skulls contained the wisdom necessary to found civilisation on this Earth and when all thirteen crystal skulls are brought back together again, we will have finally found the key to reconnecting with our brothers and sisters elsewhere in this beautiful universe.
By Chris Morton & Ceri Louise Thomas, New Dawn Magazine;
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