Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween - another harvest festival

This is the third and last pagan harvest festival. The moon is waning, two days short of new. Not what one normally thinks of when "harvest festival" comes around. The "Harvest Moon" actually comes in September, this year September 17th. The full moon in October is called the "Blood Moon" or "Hunter's Moon".

Halloween as practiced in the United States is an amalgam of practices. The name, Halloween, is derived from Hallow's eve, or the day before All Hallows Day, the day Roman Catholics, and later, other Christian groups, celebrate all saints, specified and unspecified. The Irish brought their Celtic-derived observance of seasonal change and festival of the dead. Pagans celebrate "samhain," and in true Celtic fashion, it has a pronunciation totally at odds with its current spelling: "sow-in," rhymes with "cow-in." It comes from the Gaelic "sam," which means summer; "fuin" means "end." So, "Samhain" means "end of the warm season." Contrary to many web sites, there is and has never been a god of death or a sun god with that name.

Many believe the door between this world and the next is thinner at this time. This has resulted in beliefs ranging from evil spirits roaming the earth in search of bodies to take or souls to steal. Others believe this is the time to contact those who have gone before, looking for guidance or just to pay their respects.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

But that's not FAIR!

When confronted with the cry "But that's not fair!" some reply "who said life has to be fair?" For those who need a comeback to that, try "Who said unfairness must be tolerated just because it exists?"

As a human being, with the ability to think of "future" and the ability to learn from the past, the concept of "fairness" and my application of that concept is what differentiates me from the bare-bones reactive universe.


"The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature."

~Arthur D. Hlavaty

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Good things in life

It's been said for years the good things are immoral, illegal or fattening. It has now been pointed out that you can add "causes cancer in rats" to that list.

"Immoral" makes most people avoid you, and the people who do hang around must be watched continuously, which takes a lot of time and effort. "Illegal" carries its own penalty. I'm living with the results of "fattening." And I've come to the conclusion that living "causes cancer in rats." Since Death is inevitable, doesn't that make how you live the important piece in this equation?

Living well is feeling good, doing good and being good. "Doing good" is just what it says. Most of us know what that means. "Being good" means living what you believe. I've met some people who want you to join their church, but don't follow the teachings of their own religious icons. Or their statement "love thy neighbor as thyself" means they hate themselves passionately.

"Feeling good" is applicable both physically and emotionally. I feel pretty good emotionally but my physical health needs attention paid to it (the ravages of age and all that). I've started on a diet and I'm working out at my local gym. Because I'll live longer? In my belief system, what is a few more years in the face of eternal life? I'm here as long as God wants me here. So why the weight loss and gym thing? Because my joints are telling me they don't like the extra weight. Pain makes me grumpy. Grumpy makes people avoid me. I don't like being alone. Healthy feels better, for me and the people around me.

On the other side of that, depriving myself completely of the things that I like to eat would make me grumpy. Grumpy makes people avoid me.... I have a friend who was a vegetarian when I met him. He touted the benefits of vegetarianism, often. I told him in no uncertain terms, God made me an omnivore and omnivore is what I will remain. I'll cut back on red meat, but you take away my barbeque baby back ribs and I'll rip your heart out. Mumble-mumble years later, I'm still an omnivore. My friend is an omnivore, too.

Ice-cream-and-maybe-cancer vs. no-ice-cream-and-maybe-no-cancer. This is a choice? Bring on the ice cream!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Some things never change....

Mostly because we don't pay any attention.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.
~John G. Pollard

JOHN G. POLLARD (1871-1937)
Served 1930-1934, Democrat

Governor Pollard was an attorney, legal scholar, and former Attorney General from Williamsburg. He guided Virginia through the early days of the Depression without a budget deficit or a tax increase. He also reorganized county government, established workmen's compensation and personally helped establish The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

From the The Governors of Virginia website