10 February 2018, Astro-Weather: Mars passes due north of Antares this morning. This is a perfect opportunity to compare the colors of these two red objects, & come to understand why ancient observers named the star Antares, which literally means “rival of Mars.”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
547 – Death day of St. Scholastica, foundress of the women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism. The patron saint of nuns, & convulsive children. She is invoked against storms & rain. The most commonly told story about her is that she would go & visit her twin brother Benedict of Nursia near his abbey once a year, They would spend the day praying & discussing sacred texts. Sensing the time of her death was drawing near, Scholastica asked him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. Not wishing to break his Rule, Benedict refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, & after a moment, a wild storm started outside. Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you & you would not listen; so I asked my God & he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me & return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, & they spent the night in discussion. Three days later, from his cell, her twin saw her soul leaving the earth & ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove
630 – Feast Day of St. Austrebertha. A popular legend states that one day, while looking for the donkey whose task it was to carry the laundry of the monks to the convent, she came across a wolf. The wolf admitted to killing the donkey & begged for forgiveness. Austrebertha forgave the wolf but commanded him to carry the laundry himself, a task that the wolf performed for the rest of its life
1258 – Baghdad falls to the Mongols, & the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed
1306 – In front of the high altar of Greyfriar’s Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murders John Comyn sparking revolution in the Wars of Scottish Independence
1355 – The St Scholastica Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 63 scholars & 130 locals dead
1567 – Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, is found strangled following an explosion at the Kirk o’ Field house in Edinburgh, Scotland, a suspected assassination
1763 – French & Indian War: The Treaty of Paris ends the war & France cedes Quebec to Great Britain
1814 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Champaubert ends in French victory over the Russians & the Prussians
1920 – Józef Haller de Hallenburg performs a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea
1940 – The Soviet Union begins mass deportations of Polish citizens from occupied eastern Poland to Siberia
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Just before Leaping into the deep drift
Heaving my wings to give form
To the angel
In waist high snow
This prayer/poem/haiku came to me:
Cities of snow swirl
In holographic slow mo
Fresh & light & clean
Sparkle the hot pink sunrise
My story from “Spinning Destiny with the Fates”: (We all speak together the words ‘As Fate Would Have It)
Once upon a time, in the time when Homer described the ocean as “The Wine Dark Sea”, because humanity was not yet able to perceive the color blue…at that time, on a small Greek isle, a queen gave birth to a baby boy. And as Fate would Have it, & custom required, 3 days after, The 3 Fates gathered around the child to bless him: Clotho, the spinner, Lachesis the apportioner, & Atropos the inevitable; but the last one, shook her head…”I fear it is the prince’s destiny to die by crocodile or serpent or dog, & we can do nothing.” The king & queen were heartbroken & decided not to tempt fate. They built a castle high atop a mountain & hired men to guard it day & night; & there the young prince lived, protected/ One day the boy noticed a dog playing outside his window. At once he wished to have a dog, & since the king & queen never denied him a wish, they decided to grant this as well. But not just any dog, they found him a sweet-tempered puppy, & trained him to protect the prince. Then one day when the price was a fine young man, he told his father he longed to see the world. “I know about the prophecy,” he said, “but my dog will protect me.” Again, the king could not refuse. He took all sorts of precautions to allow the prince & his dog to sail by a mighty ship to the other side of the great water. There a beautiful horse awaited him, & with his fateful dog by his side, the prince rode everywhere, delighted by all he saw.
One day, as Fate would Have it, while visiting a foreign land, he fell in love with a kind & thoughtful princess; & she fell in love with him. “I wish to marry you,” the prince told her, “but my fate is to die at the hands of a crocodile, a serpent or a dog; so I must leave, to save you from having to witness my fate.” But the princess loved him dearly. “We shall create our own destiny,” she said. “True love can conquer anything so long as we believe it can.” And so as Fate would Have it, they were married. A few years passed, & the prince learned that his father was ill; So he & his loving wife traveled back home.
One night, while they were fast asleep in the palace, the princess heard a sound that woke her. She stared into the darkness & spied a serpent coiled in the corner. She tried to recall all she had heard about the warning from the Fates. Suddenly, it came to her that serpents couldn’t resist milk. So she slipped out of bed & filled a bowl with cool fresh milk. When the creature saw the bowl, it sidled over & greedily sipped up the milk until it was fat & sassy & as Fate would Have it, the snake fell fast asleep. And so the princess summoned the guards to capture it & make it into a pair of fine snake skin boots for the prince. And so, as Fate would Have it, she had saved her husband from the 1st deadly fate. Sadly, the king died the next day. And the prince began his rule.
One day, as he was out hunting with his pack of dogs, he suddenly tripped over a log on the riverbank. To his astonishment, he heard a voice, which came from one of the dogs in the pack, who was, in truth, a crocodile, & it said, “You cannot escape fate. Wherever you go, I will find you…Unless you can dig a hole in the sand & fill it with water so that is never seeps out. Which of course is impossible” just then, as Fate would Have it, his loyal dog rushed over with his teeth bared followed by the rest of the pack, & the crocodile was obliged to slink away. Terrified, the prince shared the news with his beloved wife. “I’m doomed,” he said. But she was determined to save him & never give in to despair. “There is nothing we cannot overcome,” she said; all of a sudden remembering a plant her mother had told her about when she was a young girl. The 3-leafed herb grew in the desert & could keep water in a pit for one whole year. So as Fate would Have it, the princess set out to find it. She left in the middle of the night, guided by starlight. She rode her snow-white donkey west, toward the desert, encouraging the poor, exhausted animal with kind words. “I love you my dear old friend. I am so proud of your courage”. And so the donkey traveled on, & they both together endured heat & storms & thirst. At last they came to a mountain that cast a cool shadow. And as Fate would Have it the very plant she sought grew at the very top of that mountain; but it was surrounded by a deep chasm.
The cleaver princess, however, had brought along a rope. She made a noose with one end & tossed it across the chasm with all her strength, until it caught on a branch. Trusting this to hold her weight, she began to climb across the chasm. A fierce wind assailed her, & still she climbed. Blinded by sand, she felt her way up the mountain to the very top. She climbed on until she felt the soft plants beneath her feet, & plucking one she counted the leaves – 1,2,3– Her heart pounding, she held fast to the plant, slid down the rock; leaped over the chasm, & mounted her donkey. “Let’s go!” she cried, & they rode back across the desert enriched.
Then as Fate would Have it Coming close to her kingdom, the princess spied her beloved standing at the river bank next to a hole he had dug in the sand. Beside the pit was a pot of water, & only a short distance away stood the crocodile – its mouth watering. The princess ran to him. “Pour in the water,” she cried, & as the prince did, she tossed in the plant. Sure enough, the water did not seep through the sand, but remained. As soon as the angry crocodile saw this POOF, he disappeared in a puff of smoke & was never seen again.
The prince stared at his wife with awe, gratitude & love, for he knew that because of her strength & commitment, he had overcome the 2nd test the 3 Fates had predicted so long ago. They kissed & at that moment a wild duck flew past. The prince’s faithful dog began to chase the duck with zest, running by accident into his master’s legs. And as Fate would Have it
The prince & his dog both lost their balance & fell into the river, where mud & rushes caught them. It seemed they might drown, & the 3rd test prove fatal; but as Fate would Have it, the princess ran over quickly with the rope in her hand. She cast the rope to her beloved & pulled him & his loyal dog ashore.
Again the prince gazed into his wife’s eyes. “Your love is stronger than fate,” he said. “This is true,” she said with a smile. “We have made Love our destiny”. And as Fate would Have it, they lived happily ever after. Snip, snap snout, this tale is all told out.