Through Generations

 

richard_hell_&_the_voidoids_blank_generation

They called us the Blank Generation. This was, I believe, a term coined by Richard Hell back in the days of CBGB punk-fests. Richard was always a bit of a pessimist.  I mean, just look at his name. Sorry Richard, I do love you and all. But really.  The Blank Generation? Granted, this was a time when a lot of folks (myself included)  were writhing on their backs half naked or slamming in dance pits with some guy named Sid.

I thought about this term ‘Blank’, did a short comparative study and decided that these generational labels were worth reconsidering.

The Blank Generation is, mind you, not to be confused with the Lost Generation – that was Fitzgerald and Hemingway and all those greats who got to hang out with Gertrude Stein in her Paris Salon. Woody Allen, paying tribute to them, wrote a really cool time travel movie called ‘Midnight in Paris’.  Be sure to check it out if you care to relive a bit of 1920’s avant-garde sentiment.  

F-Scott-Fitzgerald-and-hi-007

The Blank Generation is also not to be confused with the Greatest Generation. That was General MacArthur, President Roosevelt, Rosie the Riveter and all those good souls who survived the Depression, championed American manufacturing, took down Hitler and made the world safe for Democracy. (Or so they thought.)

greatest_generation

It is also not to be confused with the Beat Generation. That was Kerouac, Ginsberg and other jazz grooving cats who went On The Road in search of American Pie. (The pie, I have been told, was apple 🙂 )  The Beats were the disenfranchised youth who  ended up in a state of depression and  PTSD due to the aftermath of WWII. Thus begging the musical question War: What is it good for?

jackkerouacpicture10

Young people today are being called Millennials.  But I like to call them Starseeds or the Harry Potter Generation.  If you are under age 32 or so, this is you 🙂    There are a lot of you out there, even more than Baby Boomers, so say the latest statistics. The name ‘Millennial’ seems a bit generic.  It insinuates only a hallmark of time, a commemoration.  But Starseed and Harry Potter ? Ah, now THAT contains a good flash of magic…

harry potter 2

We are all, in one way or another, headed toward Magick.

But back to Blank.

There used to be this constant threat of Nuclear War. You know — like some idiot could press the button any minute and somehow all of existence would just be annihilated. That is what I remember hearing as a young person and I used to believe it. It made everyone kind of cynical and fearful.  It made everyone feel a bit useless.   Now I am older and wiser 🙂  And I am still here, far from annihilated, far from Blank.   I daresay the illustrious Fitzgerald was far from Lost, the prolific Kerouac was far from Beat, and the multi-talented Mr. Hell was never Blank a day in his life.

Blank, on the other hand,  can be a good thing.  Blank is uncluttered.  Blank is free.  Blank is a smooth patch of land ready for planting, an empty vessel ready to be filled, a January calendar with no appointments.  Blank is your computer screen before you begin typing. The possibilities are indeed endless.

Blank is the elusive moment before you send your thoughts into this stratosphere of connection where all ideas are considered. This connection leaves  us all less Lost, less Beat, more magickal  and maybe even  a little closer to Harry 🙂

J._K._Rowling_at_the_White_House_2010-04-05_8

 

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt pingback

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/blank/

A Quest

 

yellow-flower-1352641202kV4

A QUEST

Defined by listlessness I seek                                                                                                             the lonely evening as yellow                                                                                                            bellwort lowers its

head in the meadow, giving                                                                                                             faith to a brazen  day.                                                                                                                           How I long to dispatch myself

straight  and hard to the                                                                                                                          humongous                                                                                                                                     whirl of purple sky!

But no.                                                                                                                                                       I am human. Weak. Ignorant. Foolish.                                                                                          Nothing but a noddy.

I sigh in physical haughtiness                                                                                                                 and  wait                                                                                                                                                for a new break of day.

purple sky

 

This poem is in response to Bojenn’s poetry challenge

https://bonniegjennings.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/a-poetry-challenge-by-bojenn/

A Beltane Tale (Part Two)

M3367S-4507

** Please read Part One first 🙂  A Beltane Tale: Part One

After Beltane the days grow bright, the summer sun golden as shadows stretch long in the early evening. There is more time for chores and tedious tasks. Marion does as she has been taught in the Priory; washes laundry in the river, sheers the sheep, brings the cows back for milking from their lazy afternoons at pasture.

But Marion is changed and now she grows restless, She thinks often of the green-hooded man she met in the forest. Was he real or merely a dream? She wonders this only to herself, sharing the story with no one, for on Beltane all manner of illusions and trickery are like to happen.  And yet, there is the lock of hair she found beneath her pillow, along with the note etched in green cambric. Surely they must be his,  and surely he is real. Real as the flesh she has touched, real as his seed that spilled within her. She has taken that lock of hair and that swatch of green cambric and placed them in a locket that she wears beneath her kirtle, keeping them always close to her heart.

She knows only that she loves him. She longs to see him again.

The Prioress seems to read her mind. “What irks you, my child?” she asks one morning as they break the night’s fast. The matrons have brought fresh honey, cheese and pannam, but Marion can eat none of it. Instead, she stares at the Prioress. She longs to tell everything! But how could such a woman understand?

The Prioress  takes Marion’s hand and nods knowingly. “You traveled alone to the Greenwood on Beltane, did you not, my child?” Marion nods timidly. “And stood you in the ring of mushrooms as well?”  Marion nods again. She cannot lie to the Prioress.

“Ah well. You had been warned against THAT.” The Prioress cocks her head. “THAT is a thing which brings trouble and mischief.” The Prioress purses tight lips. Marion expects a reprimand, but instead the Prioress softens. “The Greenwood,” she sighs.  “I know it well. You are of an age, daughter, and such things of the flesh beckon you. I understand.” She clasps her hands together. “Although you may find it hard to believe. I too was once young.”  Marion blinks wide eyes. She feels her cheeks grow hot. She thinks of the touch of the man who called himself Robin.  How could the Prioress, so gentle and proper, in her stiffly starched robes, ever possibly understand?

“I was not always living in this nunnery.” The Prioress smiles. “I know something of desire, my girl.”

ingrid_bergman_as_a_nun

She winks a sly wink and Marion is near come undone!  The Prioress has raised her since childhood. She is indeed the only mother Marion has ever known.  Yet to speak of this, to speak of these intimacies, it is more than shame!

“What keep you in the locket, child?” the Prioress asks. “The one you wear beneath your kirtle since the Beltane.”  Still embarrassed, Marion pulls out the locket, revealing the lock of Robin’s hair and the stitched note. “Well, it is settled then,” the Prioress says.  She runs her fingers over the cambric swatch. “You must go to the Greenwood and find him.”

Just then comes a knock at the door. Sister Jude-Thomas leaps to answer it. Behind the heavy oak lurks the Sheriff Nottingham.

“Reverend Mother.” He approaches and gives a bow of greeting to the Prioress. “Forgive me for disrupting your break of fast, but I have urgent news. I fear there is trouble in the village.”

“Trouble?” the Prioress asks coolly. She hides Marion’s locket in her lap.

“Aye, Madame,” the Sheriff continues. “It seems a band of hoodlums have been caught poaching game upon Lord Weatherly’s manor grounds. Two deer have gone missing and quiver of stray arrows found on the land. I seek only to warn you, Madame, and alert you of the danger, for this band of outlaws are most despicable. One wears a cloak of green. All are armed with bow and arrow.”

“Thank you Sheriff,” the Prioress answers. She gives him a tight lipped smile, one that suggests the visit has ended. Sister Jude-Thomas leads him to the door and he exits politely.

“Quick now, Marion,” the Prioress whispers. “You must go to the Greenwood.  He waits for you there.” Marion is taken aback. She almost refuses, but the Prioress presses the locket to her hand. Marion feels  Robin’s hair, thick and smooth on her fingers.  Yes, yes! She must go.

Marion runs through the forest, May grass soft against her slippered feet. In the bramble she spies him, a flash of green cloak, the hood that covers his face. “Robin!” she dares call his name and he turns. “My lady.” He smiles and runs toward her, pack of arrows jiggling on his back. She falls to his chest, his long, strong arms circling around her.

robin

Just then there is a rustle of leaves, the clap of horse hooves upon the dirt road. It is Constable Sloane, the Sheriff’s man, come to capture him!

“Robin, you must flee!” Marion whispers desperately in his ear. “They accuse you of poachery. They will lock you in a cell!”  He should fear for his life, but he only smiles flippantly. “The Sheriff’s men have no claim to me,” he says.  “But you, Marion…” He runs a finger across her cheek. “There is a possibility, my fair maid, that you may have many a claim upon me.”

The Constable Sloane then spies them in the thicket. He rides closer, halting his horse and pulling a sword from his sheath. “Outlaw!” he yells. “Outlaw and poacher! Make not a move or I’ll slice you in two!”  He points the blade to Robin’s neck. Marion’s heart beats fast as a rabbit’s, but Robin only smiles. He gently pushes Marion away. “Run now, run quickly,” he commands but she cannot move, her feet firmly on the earth. Oh no.  She will not leave his side, that she knows.

“Girl, move away from that villain!” the Constable shouts, but Marion does not budge.

“Lay down your arms, Sloane,” Robin says calmly. “Lest you injure this maid.”

“If she be one of yourn I’ll not lack to kill her too!” the Constable retorts.

“She is of the Priory,” Robin says.  “An innocent.” That should be of some status, surely. Yet the Constable keeps the blade firmly pointed under Robin’s chin.  Just then Will Scarlet and Alan of Dale emerge from the bushes, their brown garments blending like extensions of the trees.  In one swift move they aim arrows, surrounding the Constable.

pyel_Robin_Hood

“Lay down your rapier, Sloane!” Will Scarlet commands, but instead the Constable pierces the blade closer to Robin’s neck, drawing a pinch of blood.  Marion winces, then throws herself in front of him. “Take me first!” she shrieks.  “Stand down, Marion!” Robin commands.  In that very moment Will Scarlet shoots his arrow. The Constable, struck, tumbles from his horse like a sack of lumpy flour.

“Quick now Marion!” Robin shouts. He grabs her hand and the two run through the forest till they come to the place where the mushrooms grow wild in a ring.

mushroom

Robin holds her close. The purple sky swirls around them like a fierce tornado. In minutes they fall through, down the hole of the earth to a soft landing, the place where on Beltane the fairy folk danced and played fiddles.  Even now Marion hears strains of their music in the distance.

“’Twas a narrow escape,” Robin says. “But Nottingham’s men, they’ve got nothing upon me. Not a stitch.” Marion looks into his eyes. Dark as kohl, they seem to swallow her as the earth itself has swallowed her. “Who are you?” she asks, her mouth dry as dust.

Robin only smiles, pulls her closer and runs splayed fingers through her hair.  He kisses her, his lips warm satin against her cheek.  It is as though the earth has stopped in its orbit and time itself stands still. He kisses her again, full and wet on the mouth. In that moment she forgets her question, forgets her very self and falls deep into his arms.

She knows only that she is loved and safe, here in the underworld with this man they call ‘outlaw’.

robin_hood.3

Friday the 13th and the Divine Feminine

 

fridaythe13th

Yeah yeah yeah. Everyone knows it’s evil, right? A day shrouded in superstition and fear. Supposedly it is the most unlucky day of the year. Well. It created a cottage industry of movie franchises, which I’d say was pretty lucky for Jason, Freddie Kruegar and certain Hollywood moguls…

Nonetheless, many people have a specific fear of this day. So many, in fact, that apparently we now have a medical term for the phobia known as ‘fear of Friday the 13th’. That term is known as ‘paraskevidekatriaphobia’.  (I can’t pronounce it either.)  This term was apparently coined by one Dr. Donald Dossey, a phobia specialist.  According to Dr. Dossey, paraskevidekatriaphobia is the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t dine in restaurants and many wouldn’t dare have a wedding on this date.  My my my.  But it wasn’t always like this.

In many pre Christian and goddess worshipping cultures, Friday and the number 13 were not so bad.   In fact, they were actually very lucky 🙂

To the ancient Egyptians, for example, the number 13 symbolized the joyous afterlife. They thought of this physical life as a quest for spiritual ascension which unfolded in twelve stages, leading to a thirteenth which extended beyond the grave.  (This explains why they had such elaborate burial and embalming rituals.)

reli11b

The number 13 therefore did not symbolize death in a morbid way,  but rather as a glorious and desirable transformation.  Interestingly, the 13th card in the Tarot deck is Death, which often represents not a physical death but a transformation, a chance for change or an opportunity  to release what no longer serves us.

kats-death-tarot-card

When Egyptian civilization perished, the symbolism of the number 13 was, unfortunately,  corrupted by subsequent cultures. Thirteen became associated with a fear of death rather than a reverence for the afterlife.

The number 13  has a unique association with the Divine Feminine. Thirteen is said to have been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The ‘Earth Mother of Laussel’ is a 27,000-year-old carving  that was found near the Lascaux caves in France. She is an icon of matriarchal spirituality. The Earth Mother holds a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches.

laussel

Primitive women kept track of time by the passing of their menstrual cycles and the phases of the moon, as well as the change of seasons and the wheel of the year.  However, as the solar calendar, with its 12 months, triumphed over the 13 month lunar calendar,  so did the ‘perfect’ number 12 over the ‘imperfect’ number 13. (But note that they really had to discombobulate those 12 months, giving some of them 30 days, some 31 and poor old February with 28, to make the 364 days…) Twelve became the sacred number after that, with, for example, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus and 12 signs of the zodiac.  Thirteen became unpredictable, chaotic, untrustworthy and evil.

Friday (the Sixth Day) also offers a unique connection with the Divine Feminine. The name ‘Friday’ was derived from the Norse goddess Freya (or Frigg) who was worshiped on the Sixth Day. She is a goddess of marriage, sex and fertility.

Freya/ Frigg corresponds to Venus, the goddess of love of the Romans, who named the sixth day of the week in her honor “dies Veneris.” Friday was considered to be a lucky day by Norse and Teutonic peoples — especially as a day to get married — because of its traditional association with love and fertility.

As the Christian church gained momentum in the Middle Ages, pagan associations with Friday were not forgotten.  Therefore the Church went to great lengths to  disassociate itself with Friday and thirteen.   If Friday was a holy day for heathens, the Church fathers felt, it must not be so for Christians — thus it became known in the Middle Ages as the ‘Witches’ Sabbath’.   Friday became a big deal in the Bible. It was on a Friday, supposedly, that Eve tempted Adam with the apple, thus banishing mankind from Paradise. The Great Flood began on a Friday. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday. Christ was crucified on a Friday, PLUS, there were 13 attendees at the last supper, the most infamous of course being the betrayer, Judas Iscariot.

Interestingly the sacred animal of the Goddess Freya is the cat (probably a black one) which also became associated with evil as Christianity began to encompass the Western world.  Freya then became known as (you guessed it!) an evil witch, and her cats were evil as well.

freya (1)

Various legends developed around Freya, but one is particularly pertinent to this post.  As the story goes, the witches of the North would observe their sabbat by gathering in the woods by the light of the moon. On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Freya herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group.

46957-witches-of-east-end-freya

The witches numbered only 12 at the time. Freya joined the circle, making the number 13, after which the witches’ coven — and every properly-formed coven since then — comprised exactly 13.

So, on this Friday the 13th embrace the luck and grace of the Goddess Freya! Pet your cats, engage in some moon-gazing, celebrate love and fertility with your significant other.  Rest assured, the Divine Feminine is with you and there is nothing to fear 🙂

157028-Happy-Friday-The-13th

“Bringing the world closer through peace, harmony and understanding of the Wise Craft.”

PD witch 2

Life on Mars (or some place similar)

pleiadians

When I was in 8th grade I had a science teacher. I’ll call him ‘Mr. P.’  As a teacher, and a progressive thinker, Mr. P. was very open minded.  Kudos to him in my all-Catholic, somewhat restrictive grammar school where we also had religion classes.  I think we were supposed to believe that a Supreme Being created the cosmos in seven days, a woman ate a bad apple which caused the downfall of mankind, and said Supreme Being got mad at everyone and then flooded the earth.  Or something like that.  Anyway, one day while studying astronomy we (snotty 8th grade brats that we were)  asked Mr. P. if he believed in life on other planets. He said something I will never forget. I paraphrase, but it went like this:

“In a vast universe where the earth is akin to one grain of sand on an endless beach, to assume that we humans here on planet earth are the ONLY intelligent life form would be very arrogant indeed.” 

One grain of sand on an endless beach?  Really??

beach-1375595507fMI

That is how small and insignificant humankind really are.  Well, I took Mr. P’s words to heart and I will never forget them. Hence I have always believed that life on Mars (or some place similar) does indeed exist.

I do not often watch the News, but yesterday I happened to flip it on. Expecting the usual roster of doom and gloom, which they definitely included, I was nonetheless delighted to discover (drum roll please… Tah tah DAH!!!)  that, as of yesterday,  NASA scientists have verified the existence of 1,284 new exoplanets that were discovered by the Kepler telescope.

What is an ‘exoplanet’, you ask?  (I did not know either.) Apparently it is a planet that orbits around its own sun and stars outside of our solar system.  NASA, using the Kepler telescope, has now discovered 1, 284 of them!

This research began in around 2009 and since then Kepler has identified some 4000 potential planets. The problem, however, was that scientists always needed to do more research to discover whether or not these were actually planets.  Until now, those potential planets had been verified by ground-based measurements (which were slow and less effective) in order to ensure that what the telescope saw was actually a planet and not  an ‘impostor.’ An ‘impostor’ could be another object, such as a small star,  or it could be two stars in orbit around each other in what’s called a binary star pair. So the research was tricky.

The problem was that manually verifying these planets took a really long time. Now, however, a new method  has been created by one Dr. Timothy Morton, a Princeton research scholar.

Morton’s method is based on previous techniques that identify  existing knowledge of how common binary stars are, to rule them out among other data gathered from Kepler. But unlike earlier techniques, Morton’s computation method is fully automated —  therefore the team only spends a few minutes on each planetary candidate.  According to Dr. Morton’s research, the probability of the 1,284 planets being ‘real’ is greater than 99 percent.

Imagine it! Twelve hundred new planets out there, all in a completely different solar system!  But the news gets even better.

In this group of validated planets, NASA reports that nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth.  Of those 550 planets, 9 of them orbit in the habitable zone of their own sun. This is so exciting, because NASA is saying the distance between those planets and their suns would allow each planet a surface temperature to host liquid water.  Water is, as we know, the main source of life!

living water

 

Ironic, isn’t it? Just when we lose David Bowie, NASA makes a startling discovery that would have pleased  Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars very much.

 

But seriously, nine planets, people!

It gets better.  NASA further states that astronomers also now know of 21 additional exoplanets that are less than twice the size of Earth, and also may have some of the conditions for life, the same as Earth!

Remember, you heard it here first. 🙂

pleiadians (1)

 

Ahh, Mr. P.  You were never very far off 🙂

pleadian

 

Watch more here:

 

And just for fun: