Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recent 2012 Testimonials

I always affirm that in a reading that I will bring through messages that will be useful for this person at this time. A reading I did for a client today affirms that, and I feel very good about my work, knowing that I have been of service.

"Your reading was so encouraging! I feel much better now. I was afraid and did not see my possibilities. These insights have helped me see that I do have options and I can pursue my dreams." ---Natalia

Testimonial: "Hi Dan- thanks for your time and care with the reading. I feel calmer than I have been and that it helped affirm some inner stirrings." --- Paul

"Hey Dan!!! Your reading for me a couple years ago ended up right on. I left my husband and I've moved back home with my folks in Philly." --- Krystal

"Wanted to thank you again for my last reading! So clear and guiding." --- Ian

"Thank you for doing my reading. It definitely clarified things, and I feel more confident moving forward." --- Carolyn

These testimonials I just posted are typical of the feedback I get on my readings. If you are looking for fresh insights into your situation and your prospects for the future, why not have me do a reading for you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Isn't Mardi Gras on the Same Date Every Year?

The date of Mardi Gras moves every year for the same reason that Easter moves every year. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because it leads into Ash Wednesday.

You see, every year the church sets the date for Easter according to this ancient formula. Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. Hmmm......Are you wondering how they came up with that formula?

Once again, when the church was busy trying to invest ancient pagan celebrations with a new meaning so that they could once again try and convince more people to convert by pretending that what they had been doing for millennia was really not what they thought, you begin to realize the sophisticated psychology of the cultural shift.

Spring Equinox was traditionally a time for people to celebrate the return of the greenery, the melted snow swelling the streams, the softening of the soil, the planting of crops, the return of abundance and fertility after the sterile, freezing temperatures of winter. It was also a cause for celebration and a randy spirit inspiring people who may have begun to get cabin fever. Hence, the symbols of eggs and rabbits. What are rabbits known for? Ah, yes, bounding around humping. And eggs, birth and rebirth. Even the name Easter has nothing to do with traditions of a someone born in Bethlehem. Easter comes from the name of an ancient Germanic fertility goddess, Estara, also spelled Ostara.

In church tradition, Lent is a period of six weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday when people fast, pray repent for their sins, and so since churchgoers were in for 40 days of such grim proceedings, they had a big blowout prior to the grim period. Hence the costumes, revelry, parties, parades and bop till you drop attitude that precedes Lent. Guess if you believe in sins, then you might as well enjoy some big time sins before you start feeling guilty and beating yourself up and apologizing for it.

Sort of in the same spirit expressed in the song "Stormy Monday." Party all night Saturday then Sunday go to church and ask forgivenness for having fun Saturday night. Yep, I'll never do that again. At least not until tonight. Or next weekend. Yes, we realists recognize true nature.

So anyway, the fact that Easter does not have the same date every year, neither does Fat Tuesday. Hey, the date changes, but the party goes on!

A Brief History of Valentines

Before they called it Valentine's Day, it was an old Roman holiday called Lupercalia.

It was a lusty holiday that celebrated Rome's origins and the coming of spring.

Those original festivals featured lots of bawdy, lusty playful priests of Faunus who would run through the streets in furry loincloths, playfully striking with little leather strips. Women would bare their bodies so that they could feel the stimulation of these little leather strips. It was considered good luck and fertility magic to be touched in this way.

Was this was the origin of mild B&D play? Lupercalia certainly popularized at least an aspect of it. What other popular erotic enchantments had their origins in these ancient bawdy festivals? Obviously, the festival was popular and hugely celebrated for centuries, and among some parts of the population, it still is.

Lupercalia gets its name from Lupa, the she wolf who suckled the twins, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. They were regarded as aspects of the origin of the wild god, Faunus, the Roman god who was the equivalent of Pan.

As the church became more powerful, they tried to get people to abandon the old Pagan festivals, but the challenge was how to get them to quit doing these things when so many people were having so much fun? Even though church leaders declared participation in Lupercalia to be a sin and forbid people to participate, the people largely ignored the church's orders and rules and continued to party on.

So in the 5th century, the church tried a different strategy. They simply renamed the party that people were already going to, and abracadabra! Lupercalia becomes Valentine's Day.

So the church declared that in honor of an early church martyr, St. Valentine, the holiday would be a celebration of romantic love, affection and dedication. Little is actually known about this person.

That is why today, we still see these two moods intertwine. Valentine's Day has become a day to express our appreciation and love for our lovers. And it is also a day to engage in erotic playfulness, encompassing everything from greeting cards and gifts to entertainment and special romantic dinners.

Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" opens at the scene of Lupercalia, with Caesar and Mark Antony as participants.

During the Middle Ages, in the time of writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, all kinds of stories about romance became popular, giving another boost to the popular holiday.

Because of the combination of religious and political power, they finally managed to drive some of the bawdy aspects of the holiday underground.

The modern greeting card industry dates back to the 19th century, and they promote the sending of Valentine cards (a billion a year, according to the US Greeting Card Association). Now we see promoting the sales of teddy bears and winter pajamas as Valentines gifts since the market is already saturated with heart shaped boxes of chocolates.

So if you are celebrating the real spirit of the holiday, it is to be found in lusty playfulness and embracing joy with the person you care most to be with.