Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Golden Girl Project: Joan of Arc

The Golden Girl Project started a year ago when I had an inspiration from a dream to write about famous and legendary women, linked to beauty, power and the supernatural. As there are plenty of topics and debates about men who are heroes, monsters and kalki avatars, nothing has been written about women of similar calibre. So far I've written 8 posts on the individual these special, incredible women. The female Avatara, goddesses incarnate, from Cleopatra, the Four Beauties of ancient China, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Godiva. One is a fairytale princess, Cinderella.The ninth post on the Golden Girl Project is about Joan of Arc.

Most of us know that Joan of Arc was a very strong willed French peasant girl who was religious, then rose to power with an army. She fought in battle, lost, and was executed for the crime of witchcraft. There are films made about her. Books written about her, even children's books have something on her. This is what we know, the very basics. Historically she was a type of super girl, but there is another side too that history overlooks. She was gifted with psychic abilities, she a warrior woman and she was goddess-like.

Joan was born Jehanne D'arc on 6th January 1412, in Domrémy, Barroise, France. Her father was Jacques D'arc, and her mother Isabelle Romee. As a child she would've been raised on a farm. The country itself was troubled between the French and English. There was a bitter feud among the French royalty about retaining a truce with England and others who disagreed because it posed a threat of English take-over. The two factions made a split in French society at the time. The Burgundians were in favour of the agreement between France and England, while the Orleanists didn't want any English invaders.Sometimes the Burgundians caused trouble. They once burned a village near where Joan lived, so as a little girl she would've been witness to such unrest.

Joan reported seeing visions of angels. She claimed to see a variety of angels, including saints. These beings spoke to her and guided her throughout her life since growing up. They told her to attend church and practice religion, as she did. These visions then wanted her, from the age of twelve, to warm with the Orleanists as it's leaders Duke Charles and Count Bernard II were "loved by God". During her trail she described seeing "light" when the voices spoke and she knew this was from angels. She could see Saint Michael and Saint Catherine. Even she'd seen the Virgin Mary. It was these very paranormal influences that encouraged this girl to take up arms and fight against the Burgundians, to protect France from the English.

She was a prophetess who could foresee the outcome of Burgundians winning. It wasn't a France she loved or wanted to happen. It was as if these supernatural visions were forcing through a chain of events and making history through this one girl. Or the girl had special gifts she didn't understand well. Maybe she was mentally ill, as people have diagnosed these symptoms as psychosis. Whatever it was really but this girl managed to alter history on her own! Dressed in armour, and informing commanders where to go, and what she wanted by the voices and the angels, she was regarded as a "holy figure". Looking at her made military men want to bend on their knees for being in divine presence. When she was captured by the Burgundians and handed over to the English, she was able to discuss her psychic abilities. During her execution, she was screaming to God that she had done holy work as told and will be ready for paradise. (In other words, she was a Valkyrie going home to the All Father in the Halls of Valhalla). After she died, many including the English felt a sense of shock for they realised they'd killed a powerful and divine woman!

Joan of Arc was a mortal goddess. She was canonised as a saint and is now the Patron Saint of France. She was 19 years old when she died. Not just any teenage girl, or even a girl who was mad, but a girl who was filled with thunder and sunlight, and could shift a country one way. This girl motivated France and is an icon.  
More details on Joan of Arc can be found:
 Joan of Arc at Wikipedia
.Joan of Arc Archive
 The picture on this post is "Joan of Arc" by Michael C Heyes.   

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A midsummer day's dream

Aerra Litha to mean the season of midsummer. The summer solstice can last from the 21st to the 26th June. As well as we know, bonfires are traditionally lit to celebrate this magical earth blessed time of light. Bonfires also are said to keep the negative spirits away that may appear. Entering a stone circle during midsummer's night would enable one to see fairies manifest. Walking on ley lines divert anything paranormal. Sun wheels placed on fire is a sign of the glowing sun.

Most sacred animals to the sun are "solar animals".
First is the Lion: king of the beasts. A lion represents the sun, strength, royalty, leadership, dominance power, wealth, conqueror, mighty predator, guardian, wisdom, honour, aggression, gold, heat, fire, pride.
Second is the Salamander: A small and pretty amphibian, always been considered as a mythical creature belonging to fire.
Third is the Ram: Assoiated with agility, energy, fire, arrival of light, warmth and sun.
Fourth is the Rooster: with bright plumes, both a symbolic animal of sunlight and the dead.
Fifth is the Peacock: A bird with a vibrant display of colours in its fan, this peacock symbolises reality of light, beauty, spiritual wakening, gracefulness, royalty, love and compassion.
Sixth is the Horse: An animal companion of humans, and symbolic of journeys, power, freedom, law, loyalty, rebirth and swiftness.
Seventh is the Spider: This little creature is a web weaver, and throughout many cultures it's always been a symbol of creativity. The spider is linked to eternal life, dreams, women, threads, intelligence, the number 8, magic, cosmic wisdom, domesticity and weaving.
Eighth is the Eagle: This is another dominant animal, ruler of the sky, bird of prey, and symbolic of air and sunlight. This magnificent bird, along with mythical birds such as pheonix, firebird and thunderbird, are linked to flight, astral travel, freedom, power, fire, air, sky, men, nobility, guardian, insight, justice and supernatural.
Ninth is the Dragon: The most key animal with four elements and a solar power creature of myth and legend. A creature of fire as well as ice and water. This is a major being that belongs to the category of myth but has always been firmly set in heraldic, flags, signs of office, royalty, power, dominance, wisdom, magic and time. The dragon is inter dimensional, magical, potent, a guardian, protector, destroyer, mover, medicines, alchemy, beauty, wonder, fear, flames, ancient knowledge and a keeper.           

The rocks and metals of the sun flash with charm. Bronze, gold, diamonds, rubies, topaz, even amber. Adorn in the colour of the sun, yellow, gold, orange and red. Paint in those colours, wear something in these shades at the solstice. Get solar flowers, like roses, daisies, chrysanthemums and lotuses. Eat and drink solar foods, like ginger biscuits, exotic fruit, sugary and spiced meals, honey, ale, tea and mead.   

Dinsul, the fairytale looking island "hill dedicated to the sun" where pagan priests and priestesses kept an eternal fire. This place is now called St Michael's Mount, found off the coast of Cornwall, England. It looks like a magical green hill of flowers and mist, rising above the water with a castle on top. A place for celebration, holidaying and old ghosts, where some favour visiting during the summer.

One doesn't have to visit Avebury, Stonehenge, Wayland Smithy or Dinsul (old name) to enjoy the summer solstice. Celebrating in one's back yard, or in a local park, or a nature reserve, is just as, or more than, cool. One won't have to bother with the hassle of getting to these packed places that are often commercialised now. Make your own stonehenge if you want.

A vision of fairies, or butterflies and moths below the clouds, escapism, bubbles, the smell of rain and cut grass, ice cream, lemonade, and honouring the sun. The sun, in the form of a goddess, Sunna.

Goddesses and women gather in a web of trees, hedges, slopes and rocky pastures. There is a vast wheel, connected by land and sea. North, South, East and West. To the north is a grove of fairies, who are distant memories of ancestral spirits and gods of nature. The Isle of Avalon ("apple land") where Idunn (Athena/Sulis Minerva) sits in guard over the sacred golden solar apples. Freya the green Goddess appeared recently as the new "Lady of the North" or Northumberlandia, in the grassy hills of Cramlington in England. Valkyries aide fallen warriors to enter the halls of Valhalla. West is the setting of fairies, guardian women at Slieve Gullion in Ireland. Daughters (Sidhe) of Odin and Tuatha de Danann sing at the return of the sun and light. In the east of broad fields then thick dark forests, Rusalka women leave the cold water to play on swings. The mavka (tree spirits) retreat into the forests at daylight. In the south, where it's crumbling islets of warm sand and pillars, the nymphs and goddesses play music. At the centre is a dwelling of islands, with prehistoric secrets, including a dinosaur park in the Isle of Wight, a few leylines, Stonehenge, Carnac Stones in France and Externsteine in Germany. Trudging through the centre are heroes and folklorists, damsels and priesthood.

Written like the solar system the land is a reflection. In honour of Sunna, the All powerful Queen of the heavens, the sun goddess stands from Her shining throne to bless us with life's energy.

Links for summer:

The Megalithic Portal
Tuatha De Danann (Transcaltic)
English Fairies (Mysterious Britain)
Midsummer (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Excalibur - sword from the stars

The most famous sword in myth and legend is Excalibur. This wonderful, powerful sword features in the stories of King Arthur. It was the sword that belonged to King Arthur after he pulled his father's other magic sword from a stone. Before then, Excalibur was a sword that came from the mysterious "lady of the lake". The sword is so sharp it was able to cut through steel. Sometimes when Arthur drew his sword, it flashed so strongly that it blinded his enemies.

There are so many cross references to the sword. It had different names in various places. In Wales, it was called Caledfwlch (battle-breach), in Cornwall it was called Calesvol, and in Ireland it was Caledbolg. The Latin word was "Caliburn" from Classical Greek χάλυψ or Chalybs. In Medieval poems and romances, the legendary sword's name was renamed again by French speaking Normans to Escalibor and then Excalibur.

Stories say that Excalibur was made entirely of gold with gemstones at the hilt. Hm yet gold is too soft and wouldn't be able to cut through steel. It might've been a bright metal that flashed in the sun, looking like gold. It wouldn't have been an ordinary sword and neither was it made conventionally. The sword reminds me of Gram the sword used by Sigurd who drew it from a tree. It was forged from a meteorite.

In other myths, the sword that Arthur pulled from the stone was broken later on. Then Merlin the wizard took Arthur to a lake, and here a mysterious woman called "Lady of the Lake" appeared. She gave Arthur a new sword, named Excalibur. Much later on the tale when Arthur dies, the sword of Excalbur is thrown back into the lake to return to her. This lady of the lake is probably identified as Vivian, Nimue and Niniane, a beautiful sorceress and former pupil of Merlin. It's unclear if she was a mortal woman with special powers or if she's a demi-goddess. Her father was Dyonas, who was raised and tutored by the goddess Diana. As the legend originates from the Dark Ages Britain, various influences and traces of the Roman occupation stayed behind. However it's also likely that elements of the story we all know and love are bits from Pre-Christian religions. So Vivian was the true owner of Excalibur! She owned it as a keeper of sacred artifacts. Arthur was given it to defend because he was the warrior.  

King Arthur has been associated with heroes and demi gods and even gods, such as Sigurd, Hercules and Thor. They all possessed powerful mystical weapons. (That deserves a separate post on it's own, including each character from the Arthurian legend).

The sword of Excalibur is one of many legendary swords. They were forged by spirits, dwarves, magic and wizardry. The metal is stainless steel and nickle and iron based meteorites. The hilts are finely decourated in precious metal and stones all containing sacred meanings. Writings in Ogham and Runic are etched in the sides or on the hilt, as they indicate the desired user, the hero and the star of the people. Kings, queens, sorcerers and priests use the swords of magic.

The legend of Merlin comes from early British and Germanic mythology about druids, priests and their understanding of the gods. The figure of Merlin is the same personification of All Father Odin. At one time before the Romans invaded Britain, there was a criss crossing of Germanic and Celtic peoples living here, long before it was assumed German tribes invaded!

Arthur, the king of myths,could be identified with realistic people from history. A follower of the thunder god, Arthur is a "thunder" king. Arthur also says "Thurisaz" rune that is also Thor's rune. Kings were leaders of people and tribes had an ancient symbol in the form of talismans and weapons. One of those is a heraldic sword. Another is a hammer. Another is an axe. Another is a bow. Another is a spear. Stonehenge is a place where such weapons could be forged. These stone circles contain magic thunder or power of lightning.

Excalibur, sword of the stars for it was made for kings and designed with meteoric star borne metal.  

Links related to the subjects:
Geoffry of Monmouth in Sacred Texts
Arthurian Adventure
Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A little garden

What compelled me to start this was a number of things. First one is that I was about to purchase a small garden stone head, regardless of the crazy reviews out there about such decourations. They add character and life to a garden. Sometimes they may even bring a little magic.

Gnomes... they are cute and mischievous looking. I don't believe they'll walk about and try to cause harm. Garden gnomes are recent but have origins from mythology, about supernatural dwarves that turn to stone if caught outside in daylight.

They say fairies are attracted to gardens, especially gardens with certain flowers. Fairies, and spirits, are drawn to water and shade. Gardens with big trees casting a shadow with bluebells on the ground beneath it is quite a magical space. Water features would more than likely attract spirits.

These are some important things in a garden to have to create a sense of balance and peace:
colour, light, shade, cleanliness.

Another item in the garden that will attract benign spirits are wishing wells, even fake little ones. Wind chimes and windmills are attractive and musical. Colourful ones made of plastic are also just as charming as any other. Bamboo chimes sound softer than the loud metallic and glass beaded chimes. If you don't have a garden, make a mini zen garden or a fairy garden. Indoor plants are cool. Solar lights and fairy lights create an all-year-round sense of mysticism to any house and garden.   

Mystical garden ideas and links found here:
Garden Chick
Fairies' Secrets
Paradise Cottage
Faerie Magick
Gnome - Wikipedia   
Feng Shui your garden