14 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: In what seems a fitting tribute, the planet named after the Roman goddess of love shines brilliantly in the evening sky on Valentine’s Day. Venus gleams in the west-southwest within a half-hour after sunset. It grows even more prominent as darkness settles over the landscape. The planet lies among the background stars of Pisces the Fishes.
The Moon rises around 10 pm, with Jupiter following up below it 40 minutes later. Then only 10 or 15 minutes later, fainter Spica follows Jupiter (look to Jupiter’s lower right). By dawn on the 15th the trio has moved over to the high southwest, as shown above.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast Day of St. Valentinus – English 18th-century antiquarians Alban Butler & Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine’s identity, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer & his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This was then associated with the romance of Valentine. (see more in the essay below)
1404 – Birthday of Leon Battista Alberti an Italian humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher & cryptographer; he epitomised the Renaissance Man
1502 – Spanish Inquisition: The Catholic Monarchs issue a decree forcing Muslims in Granada to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray
1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago
1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force & the United States Army Air Forces begin fire-bombing Dresden.
1945 – World War II: Navigational error leads to the mistaken bombing of Prague, Czechoslovakia by an American squadron of B-17s
1989 – Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster
1990 – 192 people are killed when Indian Airlines Flight 605 crashes in Bangalore, India
1998 – An oil tanker train collides with a freight train in Yaoundé, Cameroon, spilling fuel oil. One person scavenging the oil created a massive explosion which kills 120
2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students
2008 – Northern Illinois University shooting: A gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university resulting in 16 fatalities (including gunman) & 21 injuries.
2011 – As a part of Arab Spring, the Bahraini uprising begins with a ‘Day of Rage’
2017 – Prayers for a life well lived on this Deathday of our beloved Richard Dancey – Christian Community Priest. This morning at 6:30 am I got a call from Carol Kelly with the shocking news that Richard had passed away at 4:30AM. He had just come down with the flu two days ago, and Margaret lamented that when he gets the flu he usually gets really sick. Early this morning he was having trouble breathing and was experiencing pain in his shoulders/lungs/chest. Margaret called 911 but by the time they arrived he had already passed and they were not able to revive him. They did not take him in to the hospital, and they were able to avoid his receiving an autopsy.
Richard will be laid up at the house on Colesville Road in Silver Spring for the coming days and I can let you know the time and place of the funeral when that is arranged. It will not be able to be in the chapel for space reasons.
Please talk with one another to make sure people have heard the news. I will also call those who do not have email. Please call me with any other questions and I will send out funeral information when I hear.
We had a scheduled talk on Wednesday night in Chicago. Please come to the church at 6:30 that we can be together to share and remember this earthly life of Richard and help him to begin his tremendous new journey.
With love to you all, Rev. Ann Burfiend
‘May my heart-love reach to soul-love.
May my love’s warmth shine to spirit-light.
Thus, I draw near to you.
Thinking spiritual thoughts WITH you,
Feeling cosmic love IN you,
Willing in spirit THROUGH you –
Weaving with you
One in experience’.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~The sigh encircles my spine
As the snakes entwine the caduceus
Releasing I open to their healing
My heart a hidden fire
Burns a hole in the mountain
For I Know
With mercy in his wings
Raphael is coming
The Truth about Valentines’ Day
~According to hag
Have you ever wondered where this hearts & flowers frivolity came from? Well it wasn’t always about chocolates & sappy hallmark cards. Let’s look back to the origins of this Holiday & set the record straight. For one thing, Valentinus was a very common Roman name meaning strong, effective fertility. Please excuse me if I must commit a little history here, but basically the church fathers were trying to replace a very potent ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia with a Christian martyr named Valentinus, to usurp the power of this rite of great antiquity. Now don’t get me wrong, frivolity has its place, & so it was in the festival of Lupercalia, a ritual of purification & fertility, sacred to the Wolf-Goddess Rumina. Maybe you’ve heard of Her, the She-Wolf & founder of Rome?!? The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated on the ides of February (the 15th)…& February comes from the Latin word ‘februare’…meaning tool of purification.
The rite began in the cave of the She-Wolf, where legend has it, the founders of the city, Romulus & Remus, were suckled by the Wolf-Goddess. As fate would have it a sacred fig tree (symbol of the feminine sex) grew outside the cave & vestals would come, with cakes made from the corn of last year’s grain harvest, laying them beneath the fig tree as offerings.
Meanwhile Rumina’s priests would preside over the sacrifice of a goat. Now this was a pretty big deal since it was the only time of year a goat was used as a sacrifice. It was an offering given to the guardian angels associated with the crops, & the ancestral guardians, as well as the guardians of the city & community. The priests would mark their foreheads with its blood, which was then ritualistically wiped clean with a ‘Februare’ or tool of purification, which was, in this case, wool, dipped in the milk of the goat. The priests would then dress themselves in the skin of the sacrificial animal, & using strips of the hide they would fashion a scourge, another tool of purification. They would then jog around in their little loincloths, running up & down Rome’s seven hills, wielding their strips of hide, ‘purifying’ anything & anybody in their path.
Women seeking pregnancy & easy childbirth lined the streets, extending hands, or baring their bodies, to afford a better target, to be briefly & symbolically ‘purified’ as they passed by. Fertility, of course, is worthless without sex, so as time passed, sex became the festival’s primary focus for the average Roman citizen, & the occasion took on a character much like carnival.
When the church tried to ban it, the people needless to say, stubbornly resisted. Hence the substitute of St. Valentine’s Day emerged, with its more innocent version of love.
And let’s face it folks, the real Cupid was not the cute little cherub he is today, but rather, a very randy Roman God responsible for a more tangible fertility.
So all the frivolous frivolity aside, let’s take ourselves back to the days when the Wolf Goddess, Rumina, was at the heart, of this time of celebration, as we purify & purge all of our afflictions & ills before we begin to plant the new seeds of creativity. For by the ancient calendars, winter is ended by the ides of February, & Spring, a season of new beginnings, has arrived.
So on Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the potent powers of the Wolf, asking Her to spare the herds, taking only what She must, to keep us free & fertile & abundant, like the crops – as fruitful, & as wild as we want to be.
Peace & Blessed Bee…