Signs of Spring

As I live in Arizona the joy of Spring is tempered by the onset of Summer. However the pre-Spring season is so beautiful here and I am sure in many places. The butterflies, the birds, the bees, soft sun and gentle breeze. Also I have a break from school -yippee!

I finished the quarter with a poetry project, trying to get teenagers to write poetry was literally like pulling teeth. However, I got a handful of good ones. I won’t be sharing any of them here but I will express my reaction to them. After the molar extraction three of my boys wrote love poems, needless to say I was impressed. A couple of decent love poems from the girls. They also wrote odes, some humorous and some sweet. This project ended just prior to the Parent Teacher Conference, where a couple of brothers were redeemed by the sweet poems they had written about their mother, she cried when the translator read them to her. My student looked at me like, thank you. Always good to write a poem about how much you love your mother before Parent Teacher Conference.

Six of my students will get to attend the literacy event at ASU as a result of their efforts and over Spring Break and I am creating a fabulous Spring Poetry Bulletin board display in the hall outside my classroom.

I also have to clean the garage, fun! (not fun) Enjoying the weather. Happy almost Spring everyone. Only three days left of Mercury Retrograde.

Painting: Monet

This was my 777th post

The Lord’s Sunday

Tree TopBirds NestTree Bottom

Lorde

~

Spring

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Birds’ love and birds’ song

Flying here and there,

Birds’ song and birds’ love

And you with gold for hair!

Birds’ song and birds’ love

Passing with the weather,

Men’s song and men’s love,

To love once and forever.

Men’s love and birds’ love,

And women’s love and men’s!

And you my wren with a crown of gold,

You my queen of the wrens!

You the queen of the wrens —

We’ll be birds of a feather,

I’ll be King of the Queen of the wrens,

And all in a nest together.

Happy Ishtar

ostara

Ishtar  is the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex.

The Name Easter actually comes from Ishtar/Easter who was worshiped as the Moon Goddess, The Goddess of Spring and fertility, and the Queen of Heaven. She is also known by many other names in other countries and cultures that she is often referred to as the goddess of one thousand names.

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Jack Blood

What came first? The holiday or the Egg?

The Babylonians celebrated the day of Ishtar / Easter as the return of the goddess of Spring – the re-birth or reincarnation of Nature and the goddess of Nature.  Babylonian legend says that each year a huge egg would fall from heaven and would land in the area around the Euphrates River.  In her yearly re-birth, Ishtar would break out of this egg and if any of those celebrating this occasion happened to find her egg, Ishtar would bestow a special blessing on that person.  Does this explain the origin of our modern- day tradition of Easter eggs and baskets and Easter egg hunts? Other pagan rites that were connected with this celebration and which are part of our modern Easter tradition are Easter offerings to the Queen of Heaven (consisting of freshly cut flowers, hot buns decorated with crosses, and star-shaped cakes); new clothes to celebrate this festival (The pagan priests wore new clothes or robes and the Vestal Virgins wore new white dresses or robes and bonnets on their heads.); and sunrise services (to symbolically hasten the yearly arrival of Ishtar’s egg from heaven – the re-incarnation of the spring goddess).  Do we still worship Ishtar today?

From Babylon , this mystery religion spread to Egypt, Asia, Europe, North and South America, all over the world, and eventually was incorporated into mainstream Christian religion.

The roots of Easter as a celebration of the Spring Equinox

Easter falls at the time of the spring equinox. This is no coincidence because the roots of Easter are neo-pagan. Easter has been known by many names: Ostra, Ostrara, Ostara, Eostre and Eastre. The Christian celebration of Easter is like an overlay-at one point in time, when the Christian religion incorporated the ancient Celtic and other pagan rituals. The roots are still there in a modern day Christian holiday.
Easter can be celebrated anywhere from March 22 to April 25. This is because the early observation of Easter was determined by early churches to be on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox (March 21).
Symbols of Easter-the colored Easter egg, the rabbit, and the Easter lily are all part of the Easter holiday. These symbols all came from the celebrating the victory of spring over winter, of life over death, with rituals to the Gods and Goddesses. From celebrating the revival of nature and the return of the sun’s warmth, Easter became the Christianized rebirth of mankind through Christ’s death and resurrection.
Some Christians might like to deny the connection but the theme of rebirth and resurrection is part of many spring celebrations.
Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer’s crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.
Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25. “About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill …Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis ([the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.”
Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus’ life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus’ life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternate explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value.
They regard Jesus’ death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.
A Jewish festival, Purim, also celebrated in the spring, has as it central character and heroine, Esther who, as queen, kept the evil Haman from killing her people. Even the very word moon derives from the Sanskrit mas or ma, meaning “to measure.”
Easter is a wonderful admixture of ancient and modern. This is to show respect for this Christian holiday, but also to note that there were pagan and Celtic and other roots that are preserved in other aspects of Easter including the Easter eggs and the symbol of the hare.
So the next time at Easter that you exchange Easter baskets, chocolate rabbits and color eggs, think about the origins of this holiday.

(I, Sindy, am fine with celebrating Ishtar!)

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Happy Ishtar

Happy Easter

Just call me

The Ishtar Bunny

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Sindy
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Blessings

tulips_blue12x16

 Glazunov

 Every day I wake up I try and remember to say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” It is easy to do when things are going your way, but even more rewarding when you are facing challenges. Finding the silver lining in any challenge and moving into a place of gratitude will miraculously transform (at the least) how you feel and perceive, and at the best…..transform the challenge into a blessing.

I am so blessed. Thank you for my life~

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

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Sindy
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Painting

Jeffrey Smith

Sweet Words

Sacred feminine

 

Don’t Go Far Off

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Pablo Neruda

Flora

Waterhouse Flora and the Zephyrs

Flora and the Zephyr; takes its subject from Ovid’s Fasti, which is a verse chronicle of the Roman calendar, and which incorporates the mythologies and historical legends of Rome where they can he associated with specific times of the year. Fasti V, vv.195-375, spoken by Flora herself, tells the story of her abduction and marriage to Zephyr, god of the wind:’I who now am called Flora was formerly Chloris … a nymph of the happy fields where, as you have heard, dwelt fortunate men of old. Modesty shrinks from describing my figure; but it procured the hand of a god for my mother’s daughter. ‘Twas spring, and I was roaming; Zephyr caught sight of me; I retired; he pursued and I fled; but he was the stronger, and Boreas had given his brother full right of rape by daring to carry off the prize from the house of Erechtheus. However, he made amends for his violence by giving me the name of bride, and in my marriage-bed I have naught to complain of. I enjoy perpetual spring; most buxom is the year ever; ever the tree is clothed with leaves, the ground with pasture. In the fields that are my dower, I have a fruitful garden, fanned by the breeze and watered by a spring of running water. This garden my husband filled with noble flowers and said, “Goddess, be queen of flowers.” Oft did I wish to count the colors in the

beds, but could not; the number was past counting.’ (Translated from the Latin by James George Frazer, 1951) Flora goes on to describe the different flowers she gave to the world, born from the wounds of gods and mortals, and of her power to propagate and inseminate. She speaks also of her command over the harvest and the vintage, and her gift of honey to the world. Her story ends when she is asked the question: “‘Why, instead of Lybyan lionesses, are unwarlike roes and shy hares pent in thy nets?” She replied that her province was not woods, but gardens and field, where no fierce beast may come.’

Waterhouse’s painting shows the moment when Zephyr first set eyes upon and fell in love with Flora, as she gathered flowers in the fields with her maidens and children. He flies down to her, accompanied by his winged companions. and captures her by casting a garland of white flowers around her.

Flora and the Zephyr

London, Royal Academy, 1898. no.64;
London. Royal Academy. Minter Eichibithm. 1909, no.66.

 

Painting

John William Waterhouse

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Sindy