Lilies are associated with a fertility goddesses in some Mediterranean religions. In some Christian lore the white lily is associated with Mary and a symbol of purity. It is also believed the lily came from the tears of Eve when she was banished from the Garden of Eden.
Magical and Ritual Uses:
A fresh lily can be worn to break love spells.
Plant lilies in the garden for protection against ghosts and evil.
Protects against the evil eye and unwanted visitors.
Honey Moon on the Solstice: It hasn’t happened since 1948 It’s rare, all right. A full Moon last landed smack on the Solstice in the 1940s. It’s the kind of thing that would have inspired the Mayans to shove a few extra in-laws from their pyramids – the sort of coincidence that would have made the Stonehenge folks haul additional stones into position. But that’s what’s actually happening this Monday, June 20. Read full story – hudsonvalleyalmanacweekly
Solstice: Don’t expect much sun as Druids and Pagans head to Stonehenge to mark first day of summer While isolated showers should fade away during this evening, much of the UK will then be dry overnight with clear spells.
Northern Ireland and western Scotland will experience outbreaks of light rain later today.
And the south-east of England will also hold onto a lot of cloud, some areas thick enough to give a few spots of rain. Read full story – metro.co.uk
Summer solstice 2016: Everything you need to know about the longest day of the year Summer heat has been in full swing across much of the country the last few weeks, but not until Monday’s summer solstice can we officially — or at least, astronomically — say goodbye to spring.
The 2016 solstice occurs at 6:34 p.m. Eastern Time on June 20, marking the first day of astronomical summer and the longest day of the year in Earth’s northern hemisphere. Read full story – washingtonpost.com
Thanks for stopping by,
Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac
Llewellyn’s 2016 Moon Sign Book: Conseious Living by the cycles of the moon
Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of magical herbs
Paranormal Hide and Seek: Interview With Ghost Hunters International ‘s Barry FitzGerald
Since 2008, Ghost Hunters International has traveled the globe, its team members using their knowledge of the paranormal and technical know-how to try to substantiate — or debunk — claims of ghostly sightings. Last month, the GHI team, led by Barry FitzGerald and co-lead Investigator Kris Williams, returned to Syfy for a third year of investigations.
In the season opener, “Rising from the Grave,” GHI visited Trinidad and the Lopinot Plantation to check out reports that the spirit of Count de Lopinot, a cruel slave master, rises from the grave on his cocoa plantation. FitzGerald and the team remained in Trinidad for the following episode, “Sensing Evil,” and journeyed to a former leper colony on Chacachacare Island. This episode also featured an investigation at the Frigorifico Meat Packing Plant in Argentina where the ghostly apparitions of four murdered workers have been seen throughout the building. Read full story from thenortonreport.com
Sacred Site Preserved but Ceremonies Affected
Through centuries, Northern Arapaho hunters tracked deer, bison and antelope across the plains at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in present-day eastern Colorado, where tribal members who lived there are remembered in Denver with streets named after Chief Little Raven and others.
Today, Arapaho people return to their homelands and its sacred places: “Not too far from here there are important sites,” said Nelson White, keeper of the sacred bundle of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. “North, tipi rings. Nearby, that medicine wheel. Medicines in the mountains to the west. And the (Valmont) butte itself is a marker where the people used to go.” Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Cherokee Holiday Powwow Welcomes Dancers, Spectators
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Calling all fancy dancers, jingle dancers and grass dancers! The Cherokee Nation will host the 59th Cherokee National Holiday’s intertribal powwow on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 -3. One of the largest powwows in the state, the event takes place at the Cherokee Nation cultural grounds located behind Sequoyah Schools on W. 810 Rd. south of Tahlequah, Okla. Gourd dancing, social dancing and competitive dancing will be featured, and the powwow is free and open to the public.
Cash prizes of up to $600 will be awarded to the top four contestants in the adult, golden age 55 and up and juniors age 6-15 divisions. Registration is open from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Ladies will compete in the areas of cloth, buckskin, jingle and fancy shawl dancing, and male contestants will take part in straight, traditional, grass and fancy dances. Contestants must register and remain in full regalia and participate in both grand entries to be eligible for cash prizes. Read full story from cherokee.org
Prosecution rests in polygamist sect leader trial
San Angelo, Texas (CNN) — Texas prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs after playing a key piece of evidence for jurors: an audiotape they allege documents his sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
One juror wiped her eyes as she listened to the recording. Another looked at Jeffs out of the corner of her eye. Still another had a hand covering her mouth.
The tape contained praying at the beginning and end, and in it a man alleged by prosecutors to be Jeffs addresses the alleged victim by name. At one point, the man asked her how she feels, and a girl replies in a small voice, “I feel fine, thank you.” At another point, the man appears to address other people who are present. Read full story from cnn.com
That’s according to a new theory that says this smaller moon eventually went careening into our moon and is still there, in the form of mountains on its far side.
Scientists have long puzzled over those mountains, and the fact that the two sides of our moon are very different. The near side has flat lowlands, while the far side is high and mountainous.
Erik Asphaug, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says he was at a talk about this asymmetry when he got an idea. “I thought, ‘Well, you know, what about just something colliding with the moon, in such a manner that it didn’t form a crater, but it just made a big splat?’ ” he recalls. Read full story from npr.org
On Tuesday night, the jury heard audio recordings that, prosecutors said, show Jeffs instructing a 14-year-old victim and his other young “wives” on how to sexually please him in order to win God’s favor. Read full story from cnn.com
Demand for uranium threatens Grand Canyon biodiversity
The natural beauty and unique species of the Grand Canyon are “in the crosshairs” because of renewed interest in the region’s uranium reserves. That is the warning from critics of the mines, ahead of the release of a government report on Friday on the potential impact of fresh mining.
Mining has been banned within the Grand Canyon national park since President Roosevelt declared it a national monument in 1908. But since 2003, foreign companies have submitted 2,215 claims to prospect on the edge of the canyon.
Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, temporarily withdrew 1m acres of land from exploration in 2009 to allow time for an environmental assessment. Salazar must decide by July whether to ban “mineral entry” for two-thirds of the claims for the next 20 years.
Uranium deposits mineralise in 2,000-feet deep “breccia” pipes, a geological feature common to the world-famous golden brown sedimentary rock in the canyon. When left alone, the uranium is not harmful. But once dissolved in water, it can leach into springs and aquifers that then feed into the Colorado river, which ultimately supplies 18 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The water can remain contaminated for decades after a mine shuts. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
How a ‘teen witch’ found the Church
My parents bought me a cauldron for my 16th birthday. Providing no explanation, I had asked for that and a chalice. At a loss, mum suggested it would look nice outside with the geraniums.My interest in Wicca began as I entered my teens. Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger, the booklet I wrote recently as part of the Catholic Truth Society’s Explanations series, condenses – after some factual basics about the philosophy and practice of “white” witchcraft – the conversations I had with a Catholic friend and her family that eventually led to my conversion to the Catholic faith. The booklet has caused controversy on the blogosphere: it sold out on Amazon.com and cropped up on the websites of the Telegraph and Daily Mail. What began as a small document to inform Catholics about the realities of Wicca – eg that it isn’t Satanism – appears to have re-ignited the persecution complex among Wiccans that I was hoping to diffuse.
I am concerned that as a culture, perhaps as a Church, we can too easily dismiss the spiritual needs of young people. In my family, religion was something to explore and debate. Both my parents are Oxford graduates and historians, my father a Doctor of Maths and Philosophy. His atheism prevailed over my mother’s Anglicanism, and neither I nor my sister were baptised. Read full story from catholicherald.com
It’s also known as a “mysterious school of the ancient Celts, one that has been successfully revived by modern practitioners,” say organizers of a Druid workshop and ceremony series happening this weekend.
Its connection with nature is part of what drew Annie Caskey of Grand Junction to study the ancient tradition for the past three years.
She and her husband are “ovates” the second level of study, between a bard and a druid. Read full story from gjfreepress.com
The museum’s world-renowned collection was burgled and several artifacts went missing last month, including statues of King Tutankhamun and Pharaoh Akhenaton — and many of the looted antiquities have been returned or discovered, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
In addition to the Akhentaon statute, the missing Heart Scarab of Yuya was recovered near the museum gardens, where wooden fragments belonging to a damaged coffin were also found. A search team found one of the eleven missing shabtis of Yuya and Thuya underneath a showcase. Fragments belonging to the statue of Tutankhamun being carried by the goddess Menkaret have been found; all the located fragments belong to the figure of Menkaret. Read full story from foxnews.com
What caused the revolution in Egypt? When interpreting something like the Egyptian upheaval, people tend to project their own passions on to the screen. The twitterati see a social media revolution, the foodies see food price hikes at its core, others see a hunger for democratisation, human rights groups see a backlash against routine torture and abuse. So I thought I’d try to pull together and categorise the full range of different “drivers of change” involved in bringing about a revolution.
First, consider the demographics: an explosive mix of high population growth, leading to a “youth bulge”, combined with urbanisation, jobless growth partly linked to structural adjustment, and the rapid expansion of university education has produced what the BBC’s Paul Mason calls “a new sociological type, the graduate with no future”. Two-thirds of Egyptians are under 30, and each year 700,000 new graduates chase 200,000 new jobs. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
These “coronal mass ejections” will slam into the Earth’s magnetic shield.
The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006.
The biggest flares can disrupt technology, including power grids, communications systems and satellites.
The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) may also be visible further south than is normally the case – including from northern parts of the UK.
“Our current view is that the effect of the solar flare is likely to reach Earth later today (Thursday GMT), possibly tomorrow morning,” said Alan Thomson, head of geomagnetism at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Read full story from bbc.co.uk
In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the two-term Democrat cited his authority as governor to uphold citizens’ rights “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.”
Schweitzer said he was driven to act out of an urgent need to assist ranchers and sportsmen left unable to control wolves posing a serious threat to livestock and elk herds.
“If there is a dang wolf in your corral attacking your pregnant cow, shoot that wolf. And if its pals are in the corral, shoot them, too,” Schweitzer told Reuters in a telephone interview. Read full story from reuters.com
Delivered in a Daydream: 7 Great Achievements That Arose from a Wandering Mind
The ability to concentrate on a task is a prized skill—the secret to success, many claim. But recent research suggests that intense focus on a problem does not always usher the fastest progress or, at least, such focus is not always sufficient for the necessary brainstorm. Insights often occur subconsciously while the mind wanders, reports Josie Glausiusz in the March/April Scientific American MIND. Albert Einstein, for example, came up with his theory of relativity only after letting his thoughts stray from the mathematics itself. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
MPM brings mummies to life: Better than zombies?
The Milwaukee Public Museum is hosting what is considered the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled.The purpose of the exhibition is to show viewers the various processes of mummification, and how and why today’s researchers study mummies. Throughout the exhibit, several scientific techniques are described, such as the use of MRIs, radiocarbon dating, and rapid prototyping, a process that allows three-dimensional replicated models of the specimens to be created. These tools help researcher study the dead without disturbing their natural state.
Representatives of U.S. religious, university, and medical organizations assisted in developing the exhibition. The mummies and artifacts on display are from 20 museum and university collections around the world, according to information provided in the exhibit. Read full story from thedigitalnp.com
The Medical Power of Ritual
Harvard researcher Ted Kaptchuk trained for five years in traditional Chinese medicine, but then became one of the leading researchers into the placebo effect. In his hands, the fact that patients with some kinds of illnesses get better with dummy pills is a gateway into the ways that other aspects of medicine, including the capacity of doctors to generate feelings of hope, are overlooked in our technology-obsessed health care system.
This morning, Kaptchuk is out with his latest salvo in this research: a study that showed that patients with irritable bowel syndrome improved more if they were given inert sugar pills – even though they were told the pills had no active ingredients and the bottles were labeled “placebo.” Fifty-nine percent of patients who got the obviously fake pill got adequate symptom relief, compared to 35% of those who got nothing. In a press release put out by the Public Library of Science, the medical journal that published the study, Kaptchuk’s co-author, fellow Harvard professor Anthony Lembo, says: “I didn’t think it would work. I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo. But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them.” Read full story from forbes.com
An atheist view of December
“Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer,” reads a simple yet loaded statement on the American Atheists’ website.
But how could Christians monopolize a holiday that is based on their beliefs?
It turns out that traditions associated with Christmas have morphed into social norms adopted even among nonbelievers.
Everywhere you turn there are decorations, cookies, and music. But for many of the 5% of Americans who say they don’t believe in God, December is not that different from what it’s like for those affiliated with a Christian religion. Those who don’t believe in the reason behind the holiday still celebrate the season’s concentration on values, family, and kindness. Read full story from cnn.com
The X-rays are helping to build up a 3D picture of this ferocious predator, called a pliosaur, which terrorized the oceans 150m years ago.
The 2.4m-long (7.9ft) fossil skull was recently unearthed along the UK’s Jurassic coast, and is thought to belong to one of the biggest pliosaurs ever found.
The scans could establish if the giant is a species that is new to science.
Pliosaurs are aquatic reptiles belonging to the plesiosaur family. Paddle-like limbs would have powered their huge bulky bodies through the water, and they had enormous crocodile-like heads, packed full of razor-sharp teeth. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Villagers in Bugarach, population 189, told The Daily Telegraph these visitors believe that the end of the world corresponds with the conclusion of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, and that the Pic de Bugarach, highest mountain in the Corbieres wine region, could provide some sort of sanctuary. Read full story from msnbc.msn.com
Do Supernova Explosions Impact Earth Every Few Hundred Million Years?
A University of Kansas research team is exploring the energy of cosmic rays and a possible link to massive prehistoric extinction events. Fossils and cosmic rays appear to have nothing in common. But Adrian Melott, a professor at the University of Kansas, is doing work with high energy cosmic rays to investigate the possibility that one may be linked to the other.
“There are a lot of things that can happen to the Earth that would cause it to get hit by more high-energy cosmic rays,” says Melott. “A supernova fairly nearby (within about 30 light-years) is an obvious one. Another one would be a gamma ray burst in our galaxy that’s pointed at us. And some people think that as we move up and down in the disc of the galaxy, when we get to the top we would get hit by more high-energy cosmic rays. So we don’t know. We have a general idea of the effects on the atmosphere, but people haven’t modeled it very much. Normally they don’t matter, because most of the cosmic rays that hit us are medium and low energy.” Read full story from dailygalaxy.com
Genome of Mystery Human Relative Revealed by 30,000 Year-Old Fossil
A 30,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in southern Siberia came from a young girl who was neither an early modern human nor a Neanderthal, but belonged to a previously unknown group of human relatives, called “Denisovans” after the cave where the fossils were found, who may have lived throughout much of Asia during the late Pleistocene epoch.
Although the fossil evidence consists of just a bone fragment and one tooth, DNA extracted from the bone has yielded a draft genome sequence, enabling scientists to reach some startling conclusions about this extinct branch of the human family tree. Read full story from dailygalaxy.com
Slideshow: Winter Solstice, lunar eclipse met by Druids at Stonehenge (photos)
The winter solstice, lunar eclipse combination may have been a wonder to some, but for Druids at Stonehenge it was a significant spiritual experience. The winter solstice occurs when the Earth’s axis is tilted the furthest from the sun and marks the first official day of winter. The day is often referred to as midwinter and the winter solstice is marked by being the shortest day and longest night. Winter solstice 2010 occurred on December 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm ET. The lunar eclipse of 2010 ushered in the solstice as the eclipse was completed by approximately 5:00 am, December 21, 2010. Read full story from examiner.com