Our Girls Come Home


Freed Chibok girls return home for joyful Christmas

Images of the Holidays


The Season is finally here!

Sending all my readers and friends around the world

greetings and  best wishes for the Holidays.

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Chanukah celebrations begin this evening around the world.

Children will play the Dreidel game

Menorahs will be lit with candles in remembrance

of the time when Jews regained the Temple

to find that they had only one day’s worth of oil left in the Temple

for the Eternal Flame

And a miracle  let the oil last for eight days

long enough to make more oil 

Presents are given to children for the eight nights the holiday lasts

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 Christmas Eve is also tonight and is frequently when families go to candle light

services as a family.

Some open presents on the eve and some on Christmas morn.This 

is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

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Kwanzaa begins December 26 and runs through January 1                  

Zawadi - Gift-giving for Kwanzaa

Greetings - The Swahili way

The greetings during Kwanzaa are in Swahili. Swahili is a Pan-African language and is chosen to reflect African Americans’ commitment to the whole of Africa and African culture rather than to a specific ethnic or national group or culture. The greetings are to reinforce awareness of and commitment to the Seven Principles. It is: “Habari gani?” and the answer is each of the principles for each of the days of Kwanzaa, i.e., “Umoja”, on the first day, “Kujichagulia”, on the second day and so on.


Gifts

Gifts are given mainly to children, but must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history.

x x X

Colors and Decorations

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green as noted above and can be utilized in decorations for Kwanzaa. Also decorations should include traditional African items, i.e., African baskets, cloth patterns, art objects, harvest symbols, etc.

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However you celebrate your holiday be blessed

and know you are a part of the family of Man and of God.

We honor all cultures and all paths

Put positive energy into the Universe and the entire World

will Shine with the Light of being connected to each other in Love and Acceptance.

I wish the World a year of PEACE and JOY!

Namaste

Barbara

Dawn, Mountains and Marigolds


I absolutely love to take pictures when flying. Yours are very good. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Barbara

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What a delight to fly into the dawn, a compensation for getting up at 4.30am!

Flying over The Pyrenees was very beautiful.

And now we are in Canovelles with the family, enjoying warm sunshine and getting ready for Christmas. On a stroll around the area we came across some planters full of marigolds where bees were busy collecting nectar.

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What We Can Learn From Standing Rock


HOLY RAGE: LESSONS FROM STANDING ROCK

I like the concept of surprise compassion. I wonder if there might not be more compassion in the world if we didn’t find ourselves posturing for the cameras, looking for the right angle, or trying to find the best spin.

 

If the eyes of the our communities were not on us, if the media would not interpret our actions as weakness, would we act different? That is my question for this eve of the eve of Chanukah and the eve of Christmas eve.

 

The knowledge gained by the non-native people after observing the native people celebrating their spiritual rights is important. The experience is invaluable. The knowledge that our native people have kept to their own spiritual path and have found nurture and guidance is amazing to me. We, the white supremacists, thought we had gotten rid of the pagan worship they had practiced before our landing. We made a wonderful attempt with genocide. I am happy to know that we failed.

 

The phrase “a template for resistance” also caught my eye and my heart. So after hundreds of years, the native people have given to the whites a plan, a diagram if you will,  on how to survive all that we must survive over the next four years. Actually, not just survive because that isn’t enough, we must thrive. We must thrive to protect and be compassionate to the marginalized around us. There are many and our work is sacred and vital to those lives. Perhaps we are on the path to finding out that though we may look different, we are all the same. We, humans, are brother and sister, cut from the same cloth, children of the same Universe. We are all called to walk in respect, love and kindness for one another. While our paths are called by different names, they are all the same path.

 

 

The Sacred Pipe

 

With this pipe you will be bound to all your relatives:

your Grandfather and Father,

your Grandmother and Mother. 

This round rock,

which is made of the same red stone in the bowl of the pipe,

your Father Wakan-Tanka has also given to you.

It is the earth,your Grandmother and  Mother,

and it is there where you will live and increase.

This Earth which He has given to you is red,

and the two-leggeds who live upon the earth are red;

and the Great Spirit has also given to you a red day,

and a red road.

All of this is sacred and so do not forget!

Every dawn as it comes is a holy event, 

and every day is holy,

for the light comes from your Father Waken-tanka;

and also you must remember that the two-leggeds and all the other peoples who stand upon this earth are sacred and

should be treated as such.

——————–Oglala Sioux Ritual 

The Hope Award


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2016 has been a rough year.  A lot of death, a lot of loss — not just of people, but also of civility, decency and, in many cases, Hope.

But not for all of us; not for all of you.

There are so many on WordPress who are sharing Light. They share decency, civility and respect.  They share Ideas and Passion and Compassion and, yes, Hope.

Emily Dickinson said “Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all,” and I believe this gentle bird is chirping it’s beautiful song here and I wanted to take the chance to thank my readers and my friends and my fellow bloggers for helping to keep that beauty alive and fluttering, like a butterfly, from heart to heart and from mind to mind.

Please, take this award and share it with those you find worthy, those who give you the most hope. Share this award with the bloggers who have kept you inspired this past year.

The people who have made me hopeful in the darkness that has covered so much of this year are:

  1. Dr. Rex
  2. Petite Magique
  3. IvonPrefontaine
  4. Scottishmomus
  5. Inavukic
  6. Petchary
  7. Pujakins
  8. SeaAngel444
  9. Wildflower Women
  10. Sedge808

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Advice for the New Year


Advice From 10 Iconic Feminists To Get You Through 2017

Jenavieve Hatch Associate Women’s Editor, The Huffington Post

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”Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless.”

Activist and writer Rebecca Solnit said this in the foreword to her book, “Hope in the Dark” ― a book originally written during the Bush Administration about avoiding the pitfalls of cynicism in the face of injustice and fear. This year, shortly after Donald Trump won the presidential election, “Hope in the Dark” sold out.

For many women, 2016 was a wildly difficult year, and “hope” often felt like a difficult thing to come by.

After all, we didn’t just watch a man accused of sexual assault win the 2016 presidential election ― we watched him win against a significantly more qualified candidate, who happened to be a woman. We watched him win with a running mate who has spent his career trying to diminish the rights of women. We’ve watched him fill his cabinet with men who have been accused of domestic violence.

But in moments of despair and uncertainty, we can, and should, look to the women who have spent much of their lives fighting the relentless fight against injustice of all kinds.

In the words of 10 trailblazing women, from Angela Davis to Cecile Richards, we can find the comfort, shared rage, and motivation necessary to move forward.

bell hooks

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”Cultivating the mind of love is so crucial. When love is the ground of our being, a love ethic shapes our participation in politics. To work for peace and justice we begin with the individual practice of love, because it is there that we can experience firsthand love’s transformative power.” ― bell hooks, Lion’s Roar, November 2016 

Gloria Steinem

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”We have to stop looking up, especially with Trump now, and start instead looking at each other.” ― Gloria Steinem, in a speech at the Make Equality Reality Gala, December 2016

Angela Davis

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”How do we begin to recover from this shock? By experiencing and building and rebuilding and consolidating community. Community is the answer…Whatever we are already doing, we need to do more. We need to accelerate our activism.” ― Angela Davis, in a speech at the University of Chicago, November 2016 

Cecile Richards

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 “We’ve got work to do, and not a minute to waste. Those of us with privilege have a responsibility to use it as allies in the fight for justice and opportunity for all. And every one of us has a responsibility to stand up for what we believe. Don’t wait for permission or an invitation to get involved ― reach out, start organizing, send a message to anyone who will listen. The election doesn’t define our country ― what we do next does.” ― Cecile Richards, to The Huffington Post, December 2016 

Diane Von Furstenberg

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”We must believe in the values of tolerance and inclusiveness that are the fabric of our country. We must believe we can make a difference and use our influence by creating beauty, optimism and happiness. More than ever, we must embrace diversity, be open minded, be generous and have compassion.” ― Diane Von Furstenberg, post-election email to Council of Fashion Designers of America, November 2016  

Lea DeLaria

THE HUFFINGTON POST

”In this heterosexist society every male is preferable for any position of power than the most qualified female in the world. Maybe I had forgotten this simple fact. Maybe I believed we as humans had moved forward. Maybe I was lying to myself. This concept has once again been made painfully clear to me. I am a radical butch dyke queer activist. I intend to keep my rage.” ― Lea DeLaria, to The Huffington Post, December 2016

Alice Walker

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”Real change is personal. The change within ourselves expressed in our willingness to hear, and have patience with, the “other.” Together we move forward.  Anger, the pointing of fingers, the wishing that everyone had done exactly as you did, none of that will help relieve our pain.” ― Alice Walker, in a post on her personal website, November 2016

Dolores Huerta

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”It always gets better before it can get worse. But it will get better. Like everything else, and like our past struggles, at some point we win, but before that win, there’s always that loss that spurs us on.” ― Dolores Huerta, Santa Fe Reporter, August 2015 

Rebecca Solnit

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”Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win. Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark, March 2016 (third edition)

Hillary Clinton

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”Believe in our country, fight for our values, and never give up.” ― Hillary Clinton, in a speech at the Children’s Defense Fund gala, November 2016

 

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Things have been tough since election day. Now we look at a New Year and the the inauguration of a president most of us didn’t want. The “You are not my president” marches continue around the country. Boston is planning a large march. On the 21st there will be a million person march in Washington D.C.

 

It appears that Trump will keep some campaign promises and others he is no longer interested in. We have talked and discussed and worried about the people around us. 2017 will bring us the answers to all that is unknown presently. Women are facing a renewal of sexism and inequality as many other groups will also experience.

 

These women each hold up some hope and suggestions for the future. I encourage all of my readers to read and use anything that speaks to you.  I think that as we learn how to respond to next year’s challenges and protect the marginalized around us, we will grow in kindness, compassion, and understanding. Will our words and actions be challenged by some other citizens? It is possible. But as we stand up and speak out, we will be showing our children and our children’s children that we lived our convictions and we cared about injustices that happened to the unfortunate. We care about racism, misogyny, deported immigrants, disabled people, anti-semitism, and Neo-Nazis. We will work to eliminate these hate groups and will protect their victims.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

 

A Solstice Legend


The Peacemaker

The Native American myth of Deganawidah ahs many astonishing parallels with the story of Christ

The Native American myth of Deganawidah has many astonishing parallels with the story of Christ

The influence of Christian myths may well have affected another story from Native American traditions — that of the Deganawidah the Pacemaker.  This semi-mythical character, also known as the Man from the North, was born into the Wendot tribe, later known as the Huron, who lived along the northern shore of present day Lake Ontario.  According to tradition, Deganawidah was born of a virgin who, when she confessed to her mother that she was pregnant but had never known a man, was revealed to have been visited by a messenger of the Great Spirit Tarenyawagon, who was sending a messenger to bring  lasting peace to humankind.  At first there was much doubt among the tribes-people, and it is even told that Deganawidah’s grandmother tried three times to kill the child after prophecies that he would bring no good to the tribe.  Yet Deganawidah survived, and grew imbued with wisdom, intelligence, and kindness.  He spoke with animals and birds, and began to teach a message of peace among his fellows.  The walking Huron found this distasteful and strange and tried to drive Deganawidah away.  On reaching manhood he wandered in the wilderness for a time and then set forth in a white canoe said to have been made, astonishing, of stone, to visit other tribes.  In the years that followed he traveled amongst the tribes and eventually founded the great Iroquois Confederacy, a democratic union of five tribes from amongst the northeastern woodlands, the concept that influenced not only the founding got of the United States constitution, but also that of the United Nations.

Deganawidah’s death remains mysterious, and like King Arthur, it is believed that he will return at the time of the his country’s need.  Remembered still as the Peacemaker, he is seen as a harbinger of peace and as messenger of God.  His life parallels that of Christ in many ways, especially in his birth and youthful deeds.  He is a perfect example of the Children of Wonder, who come in the dark heart of Winter to bring light and a message of peace to the world.

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Deganawidah, the PeaceMaker, was brought up with intelligence and kindness and, like Jesus, went on to spread a message of peace and democracy

–From The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas by John Matthews

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