Saturday, October 26, 2013

making whoopee!

October 31 is Samhain or Halloween - also known as All Hallows Eve - the celebration of the end of the year and the beginning of the year's last season. Straddling the line between fall and winter, harvest and follow, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition.

Pagan or Christian, ancient or modern, young or old - the world over, we all come together to share and celebrate on this special day. As the wind grows chill and the days shorten, we bundle up around our hearths and get warm and cozy.

Preparations for the holidays are picking up all around - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year.

Apart from the scares and treats set to happen this Halloween, astrologers are saying that everyone should be aware of the increased possibility of challenges and obstacles getting in our way between Oct 21 and Nov 10 - when Mercury goes retrograde for the third and final time in 2013.

Do what you can to minimize ill effects and increase good luck whenever possible. Stay alert and aware - focusing on you and what is going on for and around you.

Be well all!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Conquests and Conquerors

According to historian Edmund Morgan, Columbus was not a scholarly man. Yet he studied these books, made hundreds of marginal notations in them and came out with ideas about the world that were characteristically simple and strong and sometimes wrong, the kind of ideas that the self-educated person gains from independent reading and clings to in defiance of what anyone else tries to tell him. [Morgan, Edmund S. (2009). "Columbus's Confusion About the New World". Smithsonian Magazine.]

Today is Columbus Day – an occasion fraught with as much controversy as the historical icon himself. Columbus may have been a gifted navigator but he was a troubled and troublesome soul. His ambition knew no bounds and he was determined to wipe clean from humanity’s collective memories the fact that the Vikings led by Lief Ericson came three centuries before him.

In his search for wealth and recognition, Columbus’ avarice fueled the birth of torture, tyranny and genocide in all of the Americas - killing off most of the New World before it could even gain a foothold in history. Trade routes were key to success for European kingdoms and their emerging imperialism and expanding economies. Columbus preyed on this need to propel his own ambitions.

On inception Columbus was already soundly beaten by his fellow countryman, Bartholomew Diaz, the Portuguese nobleman and explorer who had rounded the Cape of Good Hope. After begging from court to court across Europe, his failed mission brought him to Portugal’s primary nemesis - Spain and the royal court of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille.
In the end Columbus never got what the Spanish crown promised. Columbus the unrelenting social climber and self-promoter stopped at nothing - not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting Biblical scripture to advance his ambitions - in denial until his death that what he had discovered was not Asia but the Americas.
Rightly or not history has chosen to remember and revere the man.