Thursday, February 18, 2016

An Ancient Prayer of the Woods

I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun,
and my fruits are refreshing 
drought quenching your thirst as you journey on.

I am the beam that holds your house,
the board of your table,
the bed on which you lie,
and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe,
the door of your homestead,
the wood of your cradle,
and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.

‘Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.’

(A prayer used in Portuguese forest preservation for more than 1,000 years)

                                                                Now go hug a tree!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Trans Canada Romance Writers Valentine's Day Blog Tour

 The Romance of the Rose
     Roses are known to have flourished for 35 million-years. Ancient rose hips have been found in Europe, and petrified rose wreaths have been unearthed from Egyptian tombs. 

   The rose is the floral emblem of the United States, the provincial flower of Alberta, Canada, and the state flower for North Dakota, Georgia, New York, and Portland. We celebrate the Rose Festival in Pasadena, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and the Rose Bowl. We really love our roses. 

    Cleopatra had her living quarters filled with the petals of roses so when Marc Antony visited, he would forever remember her for such opulence and be reminded of her every time he saw a rose. 

Roman high-society women used petals much like currency, and believed they could banish wrinkles if used in poultices.
The apothecary rose, R. Gallica Officinalis, first recorded in the 13th century, was turned into jellies, powders and oils.

In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is said to have created the rose. The Romans turned Aphrodite into their goddess of romance,Venus, and also associated her with the rose.

During the War of the Roses 1455-1487, the House of York adopted the white rose, the House of Lancaster decided on the red rose. 
   The winner of this war, Henry VII, merged his red rose, with his York bride's white rose, creating the Tudor Rose.

    Napoleon's wife, Josephine, dreamed of establishing a rose garden in Malmaison containing a collection of all the roses of the world.

And the world's oldest living rose bush/tree is thought to be 1000 years old. Today, it continues to bloom on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.

    So our fragile little rose has a long and distinguished history, filled with high emotion, ancient legend, and enduring fortitude. The symbol of war, coveted as wealth, found in romantic myth, and loved by notable people throughout history--it truly is a magical flower worthy of expressing our passion and love.               

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   Read The Dragon and the Rose to see how         the rose played a part in my Medieval Romance 

                               E-book only $2.99

   Sir Branoc Valtaigne, ordered to Northumbria By King William II, fights to keep peace along the Scottish border. A formidable battle-tested warrior, he honors his vows to God, king, and country, but a young woman’s smile may prove to be his undoing.

    Martanzia Verheire, tricked into standing as good faith hostage for Flanders, seeks freedom from castle Bamburgh and love from Sir Branoc. As she clings to the Celtic dragon statue given to her by her mother, she leads them all to the brink of an era where true magic will be gone forever, but where dreams can still come true.
                  Please visit these sites for more
Valentine's Day stories, fun facts, and PRIZES.


Monday, February 8, 2016

                    Solace: Fae Warriors blog tour 2/8-2/12
                   Click here to find out where I'm at today,
                             Bridging the Gap Promotions
                  Then just stop by, and leave a comment for a 
                             chance to win a $10 Amazon GC. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Imbolc /Happy Ground Hog's Day/2-2-17

 What do groundhogs, ewes, a Pagan goddess/Christian saint, and spring cleaning all have in common? They are intertwined in the history of Imbolc, the feast day of Brigid, on February 2nd.

     This holiday is one of the Celtic fire festivals and is also called Oimelc (Imbolc), an Irish term that means ewe's milk. This was the time of year when the first sign of spring was the lactation of ewes. 

It is a cross-quarter day signifying the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. Being a cross-quarter day it is also a reverse barometer. Just like the logic used today on Groundhogs Day. 

If the weather is fair (sun is shining and Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow) the weather will take a turn for the worse and there will be more winter. If the weather is bad, it's good news, better weather is on the horizon.

    The Celtic goddess Brigid, was known as the Light-Bringer, so when the Christians usurped the day they tried to redirect the Pagans to worship St. Brigid, and Candlemas, and it all tied in nicely. 

    St. Brigit (Brigid, Brighid, Bride, Brigit), is known for her special cross, said to have been woven from rushes as she tended a Celtic chieftain, telling him the story of Christ. Many streams, trees, and mounds are named for her in the British Isles. The Celtic Brigid is the goddess of poetry, healing, and smith-craft. Also  the patron of other vital crafts of early Celtic society: such as dying, weaving and brewing. 
Here, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is being presented with a St. Brigid Cross on a visit to Kildare April 2011.

Myth and ancient custom, call Brigid the daughter of the Daghda, the “Great God” of the Tuatha de Danaan (faeries). She is closely connected with livestock and domesticated animals. She herself had two oxen called Fea and Feimhean.  

Imbolc is also the time for spring cleaning. Time to let go of the past and look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. So burn a candle, get out the broom, take heart, and have hope as we look forward to the rebirth of the earth and our creativity. May your spirit be renewed.

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