13 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: The gibbous Moon lights the southeastern sky after dark. Look upper left of it, by a couple of fists at arm’s length, for the Great Square of Pegasus tilted up onto one corner. Far lower right of the Moon is Fomalhaut
“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” ~H.G. Wells
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast Day of Edward the Confessor, the last king of the House of Wessex. Some portray this king’s reign as leading to the disintegration of royal power in England.
Feast Day of Gerald of Aurillac, who suffered illness as a child, & in later life became blind. He seriously considered joining a religious order, but was persuaded against it. Nevertheless, secretly tonsured under his habitual cap, he consecrated his life in service to God, gave away his possessions, took a personal vow of chastity & prayed the breviary each day. He is the patron saint of the disabled, handicapped, & physically challenged.
54 – Emperor Claudius is poisoned to death under mysterious circumstances. His 17-year-old stepson Nero succeeds him
1307 – Hundreds of Templars in France are simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a “confession” of heresy. Once freed of the Inquisitors’ torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310 Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris. With Philip threatening military action unless the pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the Order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, which officially dissolved the Order. As for the leaders of the Order, the elderly Grand Master Jacques de Molay, who had confessed under torture, retracted his confession & insisted on his innocence. But he was declared guilty of being a relapsed heretic & was sentenced to be burnt at the stake in Paris on 18 March 1314. De Molay reportedly remained defiant to the end, calling out from the flames that both Pope Clement & King Philip would soon meet their end. Pope Clement died only a month later, & King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year
1474 – Birthday of Mariotto Albertinelli, an Italian High Renaissance painter of the Florentine school. He was a close friend & collaborator of Fra Bartolomeo & their joint works appear as if they have been painted by one hand
1582 – Because of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain
1773 – The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier
1792 –The cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid
1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 100,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The people had gathered because the 3 shepherd children, who originally claimed to have seen Our Lady of Fátim, had predicted that at high noon the lady who had appeared to them several times would perform a great miracle. According to many witnesses, after a period of rain, the dark clouds broke & the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, & to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the people, & the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth before zig-zagging back to its normal position. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly & completely dry, as well as the wet & muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling.” According to reports, a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, & of Saint Joseph blessed the people. The event lasted approximately ten minutes
1962 – The Pacific Northwest experiences a cyclone the equal of a Cat 3 hurricane. Winds measured above 150 mph at several locations; 446 people died
1972 – An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62 crashes outside Moscow killing 174
1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes mountains, near the border between Argentina & Chile. By December 23, 1972, only 16 out of 45 people lived long enough to be rescued
1976 – A Bolivian Boeing 707 cargo jet crashes in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, killing 100 (97, mostly children, killed on the ground)
1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago
1988 – Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian writer regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, to explore themes of existentialism. wins Nobel Prize in Literature; the only Arab to win the prize. As a consequence of his outspoken support for Sadat’s Camp David peace treaty with Israel his books were banned in many Arab countries. Mahfouz was on an Islamic fundamentalist “death list”. In 1994 an Islamic extremist succeeded in attacking the 82-year-old novelist by stabbing him in the neck outside his Cairo home. He survived, permanently affected by damage to nerves of his right upper limb. After the incident Mahfouz was unable to write for more than a few minutes a day & consequently produced fewer & fewer works
1992 –Antonov Airlines crashes near Kiev, Ukraine killing 80
2010 – The Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile comes to an end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I travel the back of a snake
An unbroken seal on the book of myself
Giving my mind the pleasure of creation
My heart thinks
& love opens the way…
Autumn: A Guided Meditation
You float…you feel a gentle breeze began to dance you through the air like a leaf in the fall. This is a very comforting feeling, like being carried in your mother’s arms. There is no fear. You spin through the sky, flying over fields & forests…
As the wind gently releases, you slowly begin to sink down toward a wilderness of trees. Gently, Gently…You reach the ground landing on a well-trodden path.
You begin, now, to walk the path heading in a familiar direction. As you walk, you notice the 1st hint of color changing the trees…& the silence, broken only by the gentle breeze…the song of birds & other animals. Ahead of you, the path opens up to a larger area. You arrive at this place, & know that it is a Sacred Place.
It may be a grove, or a shady spot under a large tree. It may be a clearing, or a meadow. It may be a stone-circle, or a temple. However it appears to you, you know this is a Sacred Place, it feels safe & powerful.
Enter this Sacred Place…You may wish to remove your shoes because the ground is holy…You may wish to make an offering, or sing a blessing…As you enter this place, you see the bright figure of a woman ahead of you. She looks very familiar. She calls your name, & asks you to come forward. You are unable to make out her face, as she is engulfed in a brilliant glow. She leans forward; you close your eyes, & embrace. As you stand in the arms of this bright woman, she whispers a truth to you. It is a well-reasoned, logical truth. It may be something you already know, but are unaware of. It may be something which makes wonderful sense to you, & makes your mind open with wonder. It may be a mystical teaching which will require further thought. Whatever it may be, you know you are blessed by this amazing teaching…
Then the bright woman braids a chain of flowers into your hair…you touch your fingers to your head knowing your mind has been forever changed, opened, to all the possibilities of positive thinking that will transform your thoughts into things…
You spin with joy, noticing all at once, that the bright woman has vanished & now, standing before you, is a dark figure, looking strangely familiar. Again, you are unable to make out her face. But you notice she is carrying a bundle over her shoulder. She lays her burden down on the ground at your feet. The dark woman speaks to you, with a voice that resonates in a similar way as the first figure; yet deeper, more mellow & mysterious…She calls you by name, & asks you to come forward. You do so. You close your eyes, & embrace this dark woman…Your embrace is a full of compassion & warmth.
She gently whispers a truth in your ear. It is a truth which you feel is right. The truth touches your heart & frees your soul. You feel like a bird, soaring through the skies, singing a song of joy. When you open your eyes you become aware that the dark woman has vanished, & the bundle she was carrying & left at your feet has transformed into a large piece of rich honey-colored amber. You pick it up & hold it in your hand…the sun calls you to lift the amber up…bring it up into the light…let the sunshine merge with this solid symbol of your vitality…breathe in the pranic life-force emanating from your true purpose made manifest…
Put this treasure in your pocket, as you leave the Sacred Place…forever knowing that the sacred place goes where your intention flows…Knowing that union is possible between the many parts of our beings…walk in confidence… balanced in the light & dark of your most authentic self…walk the path toward the wilderness.
You pass the trees, & notice that the colors of their leaves are becoming more pronounced. You see the squirrels busy collecting nuts, & the birds beginning their southward journey. You pass the point where you began walking on this path.
You begin ascending a large hill. You walk upward…upward…up the hill, until you reach the top. There you find that you can see the surrounding countryside all around you. You have an amazing view of your Sacred Place. As you stand there in the sun, you feel your mind & body as it begins to change. Knowing in every cell of your being that we all sink into the earth like a seed in its season, released into the fertile earth. Feel the last wave of the Summer heat vanish, you are in a warm blanket of earth, waiting, listening, waiting…feeling the loving arms of Mother Earth transforming you…
Put on the colors of autumn, & feel the breezes washing you. A glad gust takes hold of you, & floating in the air, you dance away from the wilderness…away from the Sacred Place…Back to yourself. As the wind loosens its grip…you land, back into yourself, grounded, renewed & ready to walk the talk…Ready to Be…Ready to Begin, the labor of love, called your life…
See you there