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Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Five, Punxatawney Phil

Title from "Auntie Mame"

First Superbowl ( someone explain to this Brit the significance)- love it or hate it?
I've never understood football and that's after 4 years of attending and participating in football games as a member of the marching band at Ursuline High School in Youngstown, Ohio. I can still keep a line of people straight, however...

5 reasons please!!!!!
Second Candlemas/ Imbloc/ Groundhog day/ St Brigid's day- all of these fall on either the 1st or 2nd February.

1. Do you celebrate one or more of these?
I absolutely watch the weatherman for signs of the groundhog to see if he sees his shadow. I have done this since childhood and I believe that it is a sign of the end of winter.

2. How?

See above

3. Is this a bit of fun or deeply significant?

Of course, deeply significant.

4. Are festivals/ Saints days important to you?

They were in Catholic grade school, but not since. My saint is St. John-can't remember which one, as I was named for my grandfather.

5.Name your favourite Saints day/ celebration.

It would have to be the mysterious St. John, or the St. of Groundhogs
Bonus- 2nd Feburary is also my Birthday- I will donate £1.00 for every comment on my Friday Five Post to the Methodist Relief and Development Fund.

PS What is Imbloc?

Pronounced: EE-Molc
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly, Besom, Spring Flowers
Colours: White, Orange, Red

This holiday is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid's (pronounced BREED) Day. One of the 4 Celtic "Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called "Imbolc" (the old Celtic name). This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.

It is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring. It is the day we honour the rebirth of the Sun and we may visualize the baby sun nursing from the Goddess's breast. It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honour her in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her, and tending the lighting of her sacred flame. At this time of year, Wiccans will light multiple candles, white for Brigid, for the god usually yellow or red, to remind us of the passing of winter and the entrance into spring, the time of the Sun. This is a good time for initiations, be they into covens or self-initiations.

Imbolc (February 2) marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The lengthening periods of light awaken Her. The God is a young, lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days. The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout. And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter, through the renewing power of the Sun. It is also a festival of light and of fertility, once marked in Europe with huge blazes, torches and fire in every form. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid's Day, and probably by many other names. Some female Witches follow the old Scandinavian custom of wearing crowns of lit candles, but many more carry tapers during their invocations.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back to Work on Monday

I've been out since 12/2/07. I feel a little anticipatory anxiety, but I spoke to my DOM (state speak for District Office Manager) and ADOM (Assistant-and direct supervisor) and they seem giddy with relief. I guess I should take this as a good sign.

Saturday is my 9th anniversary with NY State, a good thing as I'm totally out of all sick time, vacation time and various times and on one's anniversary, one gets 5 personal days-yay. So I'm not broke, time wise.

I just had my T-Tube pulled out yesterday. I was my last piece of hardware and when it was removed, I flew around the room, backward-not really. Actually, there was not paid. Apparently, the small incision will take a few weeks to heal, so if anyone at work is mean to me, I can just flash it!

So, wish me luck

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Congregation Beth Simchat Torah Shabbat Shirah 2008 with Debbie Friedman

It was a great event and this was the first time I heard Ellen Friedman sing live. The Beloved and I were in the first row. This video doesn't show the actual event. The event included the CBST chorus and staff and Joyce Rosenzweig (most excellent music director.)