September 21st is the Autumnal Equinox: The day the Sun enters Libra and the beginning of Autumn. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.
The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.
In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this is when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year begins. The harvest is stored away, the farm animals are measured against their feed and decisions are made about how many to keep and how many to slaughter and eat. This is why so much Thanksgiving feasting goes on now. Fresh meat and fruit only last so long.
Symbols of Autumn:
Blackberries, cranberries, wine, gourds, pinecones, acorns, nuts, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy
Foods of Autumn:
Breads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and pumpkin pie.
Colors of Autumn:
The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Autumn:
Libra is pink tourmaline, opals and rhodochrosite. Scorpio is topaz, bloodstone, and yellow agate. Sagittarius is turquoise and jasper.
Activities of Autumn:
Making cider and wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas shopping.
This is the Year of the Wood Horse
And just in time to celebrate… here is a free lecture from The Teaching Company.
You know how much I love history… and The Teaching Company. This one’s part of the course, Foundations of Eastern Civilization, by Dr. Craig G. Benjamin, Associate Professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In this lecture, you will:
- look at the political rebellions that led to today’s republic,
- meet Mao Zedong, Sun Yatsen, and Chiang Kai-shek,
- and witness conflict between Nationalist and Communist parties.
Click to listen: Teaching Company Free Lecture
Click to learn about the course: Foundations of Eastern Civilization
Click to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac
Click here for other element Horse years
I set up some flashcards on Quizlet. You can use them to study or to test yourself.
Some characters from Greco-Roman Mythology
Please let me know if you find any booboos!
Spending the first weekend of the Olympics in Olympia was a fun coincidence. According to Greek Mythology, the Olympian gods are Hermes, Artemis, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Poseidon, Hestia and Demeter. Hades was not usually included in lists although he is a brother of Zeus and Poseidon, etc. The Olympians are second generation gods who took over the earth, sky, ocean and underworld after defeating the Titans. The term “Olympian” refers to Mt Olympus. Each god has their own home, made by Hephaestus, the smith-god, but Mt Olympus is where they hold court. The Milky Way is called the road to Olympus. It bisects the ecliptic, or path of the Sun, which includes the constellations associated with the god’s homes, the Zodiac. Read the rest of this entry »
I believe Astrology is the best way to learn about yourself and those close to you. While Sun sign astrology can describe one aspect of a person, detailed astrological insight requires accurate birth data in order include their desires, learning style and motivations. Think about what this kind of insight could provide you about your pets…
What kind of issues will they be likely to have?
How can you motivate them?
How nervous will they be about new experiences?
You can answer these questions about your pets by studying about their Sun Signs.
I always loved the aesthetics of a book, the bindings and covers, the quality paper, printed fonts, the whole package. I never thought I would prefer an e-reader over a book, but I do.
Let me list some of the benefits of the kindle:
It is small enough to read in bed and still “turn pages” one-handed.
I can carry 100+ books with me at all times.
My bookmarks don’t fall out and get lost.
I don’t end up using important bills, photos or tickets as bookmarks.
I like to take notes when I read and the kindle allows me to annotate and highlight digitally. The best part is that I can then download my notes and highlights directly from the kindle into a text file on my pc.
Makes packing for a trip easier, and lighter. Really, what is the hardest part of packing for a trip? Making sure you squeeze enough books into your suitcase, right? I mean now I only need to bring one or two print-books just in case the kindle and my pc simultaneously malfunction or the plane crashes and I am marooned on an island.
I can play Panda Poet on it.
The battery lasts forever.
The range of available books is incredible. I have archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, nutrition, running, ethnography and even some fiction on mine.
Public domain books are available for free.
If one was so inclined, Kindle can be accessorized with skins, covers etc.
I love my kindle!
I’ve been out of touch a long time and I have a lot to catch you up on. I am listing events in order of chronology rather than importance, and as always, not using anyone else’s names in case they don’t want to be google-able.
October: I started a Masters Program at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. The degree is Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. Cultural Astronomy is a newish term for the fields of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. In plain English, the exploration of all the ways mankind relates to the sky. The program site says, “We define Cultural Astronomy as the ‘study of the application of beliefs about the stars to all aspects of human culture, from religion and science to the arts and literature. It includes the new discipline of archaeoastronomy – the study of astronomical alignments, orientation and symbolism in architecture, ancient and modern”.
My study buddy from Kepler started with me and I met lots of new people through our meetings online. Then, my dad had a medical procedure and I was able to use it as an excuse to see him for his birthday. He came through the ordeal in fantastic shape and it was great to see the St Louis contingent, especially while the weather was nice. We went to one of my favorite sites, Daniel Boone’s home. The house and land are just beautiful and the tour is always good.
November: By the time I came home from St Louis, Mom was feeling really poorly so I flew down to Orlando. She decided not to undertake more invasive chemotherapy and had been referred to hospice. We had a really good week and thanks to our great petsitter, Scott was able to spend some quality time with her as well. Her condition declined rapidly after that. The hospice nurse came by every few days and mom’s friends stopped by to sit with her, bring me coffee and give me breaks. She passed comfortably the evening before Thanksgiving. Many friends came by that evening and we ended up having an impromptu memorial for her and with her. She had an extensive network of friends and it was great hearing all of their stories. Scott collected some great pictures of her and put them on Facebook. I can’t link to them here so I’ll make a separate page for them later on.
Scott flew down again to help me with her affairs and two of her friends insisted we take some time off. One gave us a pass to Disney and we had a wonderful time at Epcot. Mom always enjoyed Disney. She was a serious a roller coaster fan. In fact, the first time she and I went, we rode every roller coaster in the park and the runaway mine car twice. Another of her friends knew that she had wanted to see Harry Potter at Universal with us, so he made sure we were able to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was fantastic! We both agreed that the Hogwarts castle ride was the best either of us had ever been on! Mom would have loved it.
December: Scott and I flew home to Seattle and spent some time trying to adjust to life at home and without mom, and of course, work on my paper for the semester. I think Robby thought I was never coming home because he would not leave my side for days. My professor gave me an extension until the day after Christmas. Ironically, he was also my professor at Kepler College in ’07 when Mom was first diagnosed as terminal. There were six topics to choose from and I chose “Is Myth a Primitive Superstition?” Somehow, Word and Endnote, my citation software, disagreed over who had more control of my document. Word won and actually disabled the link between them. This resulted in Word deleting my current paper and “recovering” a previous version of it. It took Scott a day and a half to get the problem tracked down and software reinstalled and a more correct version of the paper recovered, proving, once again, that in-home IT is essential. I checked in with my Kepler study buddy to find out how her paper was going and found out she had dropped out! ACK! Shock, betrayal, all that stuff… I didn’t even call her back for 2 weeks! Sorry, babe, I’ve recovered now. I am happy with how the paper turned out and although I am not posting it here, if you’d like to read it, just email me!
Well, that is my report for the last quarter of 2010. I am looking forward to 2011 and to the start of next term in February, Research Methods: Ethnography and Fieldwork, and I have found a new study buddy who actually lives nearby. I just hope Research methods doesn’t overlap too much with BA level statistics because I barely survived all that math.