Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Countdown to the Pagan New Year - Part 5

Friday is April 1st - Pagan New Year's Day?

"Actually April 1st was the beginning of the new year until the reorganizing of the calendar by the Gregorians. After this happened though many people continued to celebrate the beginning of the new year on April 1st. These people were called April Fools and many people played pranks on them. Now we just play pranks on everyone." -- wyldcatt76, Yahoo user

It seems to me that this idea is something that we should take a much closer look at from a historical, and then a practical standpoint. Currently, Christmas/Yule is a week behind New Years Day; just as within this concept, Ostara is a week behind Veneralia. The origin of the names becomes less important when one considers that there were numerous regional names. Even if Ostara itself was considered the beginning of the new year, it would require the same change of perception. I don't have the answer at this time, but our Pagan ancestors did see spring as marking the beginning of the new year.


The Julian Calendar

The Julian Calendar, established by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, made January 1 the first day of the year. But as Christianity spread throughout Europe, efforts were made to christianize the calendar by moving New Year's Day to dates of greater theological significance, such as Christmas or Easter. Some countries continued to use January 1, justifying this as the date of Christ's circumcision. As a consequence, by the 1500s the European calendar system was a mess. Not only had errors in the Julian calendar caused the solar year to diverge from the calendar year, but also countries were beginning the year on different dates.

Most regions in France had been using Easter as the start of the year since at least the fourteenth century. This caused particular confusion since the date of Easter was tied to the lunar cycle and changed from one year to the next. Sometimes the same date would occur twice in a year.

However, the French used Easter as the start of the year primarily for legal and administrative purposes. January 1, following the Roman custom, was widely regarded as the traditional start of the year, and it was the day when people exchanged gifts.

Festival of Lud

Northern Europeans observed an ancient festival to honor Lud, a Celtic god of humor. There were also popular Northern European customs that made sport of the hierarchy of the Druids.

'The Origin of April Fool’s Day'

Neopagan business

I think that "thinking economically" is important for any type of community. I wanted to give a plug to an upcoming business, which hasn't begun operations as of yet. It's called Brimming Horn Meadery, owned and run by Heathens. I've been listening to some Northern Runes Radio, which has guest interviews as well as hosting audio programs from other Heathen groups, so I've made note of some new particulars. I prefer to think of the larger concept of "Neopagan business" rather than "Heathen business" because I believe that someone shouldn't only draw the line at their own path or tradition.

Brimming Horn Meadery
28615 Lewes-Georgetown Hwy.
Milton, DE 19968

New Heathen podcast

Tier One Viking Radio is part of the Northern Runes Radio network. I think NRR and Daniel Updike have done a great job of putting together a defacto "channel" for the Heathen community. It's important to have that literal "voice" out there.

Tier One Viking Radio

Tier One Viking Radio facebook


I've become a bit addicted to stalking TV programs, maybe because I've observed it firsthand. 'Obsession: Dark Desires' is one such program on the Investigation Discovery channel... which is basically a soap channel for true crime addicts. This was an 'Obsession' program from season two entitled 'Occult Following', in which a married Wiccan woman was stalked by an absolutely incorrigible maniac. You would probably need to go full screen on this.

Obsession Dark Desires s02e05 Occult Following

Amanda Fonda

Nordic Circle Kindred

The Nordic Circle Kindred is a Heathen kindred in Arizona which gets involved in the larger community; particularly in helping veterans who often wind up in a sink or swim situation in civilian life. You can find their recent interesting interview on NRR. Also, the Huginhof Kindred of Indiana has one of the NRR network podcasts.


I so remember this song when I was a child with my family on vacation in Los Angeles. Driving along on a warm twilight, looking out the window, and listing to the powerful melody of this song.



One of the greatest joys of 1978 for me was observing the great Aussie band Little River Band conquer the American market and how!

'Reminiscing' had been a huge hit earlier in 1978, and "Lady" was to be another big hit on Billboard's chart; one of their six Top 10 hits there, and contributing to their 25 million selling albums. The aforementioned hits were sadly not big successes at home (the tall poppy syndrome seemed to be alive and well in Australia by 1978); either that or we simply didn't think that middle of the road pop/rock was hip anymore

Air Supply struggled a little at home too while they smashed it in America, so maybe these two groups were ultimately more American than Australian in spirit and style.

Nonetheless, Australia couldn't be prouder of the achievements of this marvellous band of musicians, songwriters and performers. LRB certainly leave behind a great legacy of pop gems and solid albums filled with memorable tunes and hit singles.

"Lady" caught my ears thanks to the Top 40 Countdown and the ubiquitous Kasey Casum. However, this sweet track couldn't do any better than #46 at home, whilst climbing to #10 in America.


Maybe the most important quote of them all

In this age of outrageously selected, omitted, double-standard, and mismanaged information; these may ultimately be the quotes most relevant to our time.

"Truth is truth even if no one believes it. A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it." -- Author unknown

"Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie." -- Russian proverb

"Even if you are a minority of one, truth is still truth." -- Gandhi

Our big metal ball

Few people are even aware that at the center of the earth is a giant molten metal ball... almost the size of the moon! It spins underneath us, and we're not even aware of it.

Massacre of Verden

The Massacre of Verden, Bloodbath of Verden, or Bloody Verdict of Verden (German Blutgericht von Verden) was a massacre of 4,500 captive Saxons in October 782. During the Saxon Wars, the Saxons rebelled against Charlemagne's invasion and subsequent attempts to christianize them from their native Germanic paganism. The massacre is recorded as having occurred in what is now Verden in Lower Saxony, Germany. Some scholars have since attempted to exonerate Charlemagne of the massacre, but these attempts have been generally rejected. 

Just the other day, I was watching a 2007 documentary entitled 'The Dark Ages' on the History Channel. One of the historians, in no uncertain terms, painted the Vikings as evil and destructive. What they rarely tell us was that the Christian missionaries were conducting what is called today "economic discipline" on the Vikings because they wouldn't convert to Christianity. This included cutting them off from established trade routes. Of course, Charlemagne and his army were a big part of this process.

A response to our trash culture

I was reading an article about how Nancy Sinatra, who was tactfully "sexy" in her day, was critical of the overt, entirely over-the-top, expressions of sexuality from many mainstream musical acts today. Miley Cyrus is a good example of this, and it's really not sexy. Some have even suggested that she may be mentally disturbed. I doubt that. The "system" always knows what it wants, and relays it in the unspoken language (trial and error method). People get the message, and there will always be people who will do its bidding. I wanted to add a quote in regards to this phenomenon. The first part is an old quote, and I added in the second part.

"There’s no freedom without restraint; nothing can be sexy or alluring without class."

The bonfire of Germany

The absolute horror story which has occurred in Germany during the last year is truly beyond description. If I even attempted to write down some of the things which have happened, it would ruin your day. It would be difficult to believe. We're obviously not getting the real news of what has, and what continues to occur over there. Right now, energetically, I would like to place the following text and video here.

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need

I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero
'Til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero
'Til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

From ' I Need A Hero' by Bonnie Tyler

Germany, Heart of Europe


A tribute to Germany, the heart of Europe.

The track is "Von den Elben" by FAUN.


Patsy Cline - Crazy


Crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy


Monday, March 21, 2016

The real "most interesting man in the world" - Jay Wiedner - on Coast to Coast AM Fri Mar 25 - "Mysteries of Alchemy"

Jay Wiedner has more knowledge about more bottom line, bigger picture, occultic subjects than anyone else I believe. You can just have a field day on YouTube. Jimmy Church is the perfect person to interview him too. This program should be dynamite!

Mysteries of Alchemy

Date: Friday - March 25, 2016
Host: Jimmy Church
Guests: Jay Weidner

In the first half, author, filmmaker and hermetic scholar Jay Weidner joins Jimmy Church (email) to discuss his research into the art and science of alchemy as well as the "Cross at Hendaye" - a strange cross in a churchyard in the small southwestern coastal town of Hendaye France, built by a mysterious and unknown alchemist over 350 years ago. Some claim the cross holds the secrets of the universe. Followed by TBA in the second half.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Countdown to the Pagan New Year - Part 4

Aleister Crowley In Search Of The Great Beast 666

illuminati Exposed

Music: 'The Call Of The Second AEthyr' by Aleister Crowley

This is a 2007 documentary entitled 'In Search of the Great Beast 666' by Robert Garofalo (Disinformation Company). I have mixed feelings about Crowley, but he did develop real meta-technology albeit via dark forces. He initially came out've the Hermetic-Alchemical camp.

When fantasy and anime trample over real history or mythology

In the last few days I conducted google image searches of "aradia" and "lunar star." As you can see in both cases, some anime or fantasy program has overwhelmed the images as well as even standard text searches.

The Moon-Star

 The Moon-Star depicted along with Julius Caesar, on a Roman coin.

Forum thread with similar Roman-Pagan coins 


"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance." 

-- Albert Einstein

Arctic ancestral survivalism: on extreme weather Sami wisdom

Kirsten Dirksen

The Sami people are one of the oldest semi-nomadic indigenous groups in the world. Traditionally herding reindeer in the Arctic regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula (the region is known as Sapmi), they learned to work with the rhythms of nature in order to survive the harsh climate. 

Almost Famous - Tiny Dancer


From the 2000 film 'Almost Famous', the timeless "1973" scene depicting the fictional band "Stillwater" on a tour stop in Kansas, Nebraska, or almost any state; featuring the Elton John song 'Tiny Dancer'. This movie was so rich with subtle provocative aspects of life and culture. Just in this scene, I can recall as a kid being in situations far from home with very vagabondish children who were totally oblivious to my life stresses and responsibilities. A truly great film, not devoid of a dark side.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in the film "Almost Famous." All scenes.

Vernal Equinox and Full Worm Moon

Today is Ostara already; while Wednesday is the Full Worm Moon. Actually, it occurs at 8:01 AM EST/5:01 AM PST, therefore for practical purposes it would be Tuesday evening. Today is Easter week; Palm Sunday today and Easter next Sunday.

First of season’s 4 full moons March 23

Bruce McClure -

This March 2016 full moon presents the first of the season’s four full moons. Moreover, this full moon ushers in the Northern Hemisphere’s first full moon of spring and the Southern Hemisphere’s first full moon of autumn. Tonight, no matter where you live on Earth, look for the moon to look plenty full as it shines from dusk till dawn.

Tonight’s moon (after sunset March 23) might look full, but for us in North America, the crest of the moon’s full phase came on the morning of March 23, 2016 at 7:01 a.m. Central Daylight Time (12:01 Universal Time). In other words, the March full moon may have passed by the time that you’re reading this post.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we often call the March full moon the Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Worm Moon or Easter Moon.



Lagertha aka Katheryn Winnick

April 23, 2016

facebook page


Taylor Swift an 'obnoxious Nazi Barbie', writes Camille Paglia

There would always be so-called "celebrities" who may rub one the wrong way as they're endlessly pitched and force-fed to us every day against our will. However, I think it would be more productive to have a critical judgement on all of them rather than just choose one random person. Whether a Hollywood standing ovation for Roman Polansky, some kid from a rich family (Mily Cyrus) doing a super-raunchy routine in front of the impressionable children of working class parents struggling to raise them, or someone worth over a hundred million dollars like Samuel L. Jackson's unprovoked taunting of some small time reporter to call him a negative term; this larger social menace should be addressed by common people. Taylor Swift, comparatively, must be pretty far down the list.

Americana - The BIC 4-Color Ballpoint Retractable Pen

I can recall using these pens as a small child. They're still around. I recently purchased the exact same pen! The old black, blue, red, and green classic.

Twistin' The Night Away - "Animal House" - Soundtrack



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Countdown to the Pagan New Year - Part 3

Alpha Centauri, the next closest star system to our Sun, has been covered here before. To get there, we must have access to some type of free energy propulsion in space, and be able to travel at a high rate of speed. Perhaps even 20% the speed of light may allow for a 25-year trip. Naturally the faster the better. Trans-humanists, although I disagree with the vast majority of what they say, have theorized that human consciousness could at some point be downloaded into a machine that could operate a spaceship for as long as it takes. Personally I would like to see the plutocratic United Nations dismantled, and in its place form a cooperative world space agency. The world ought to be focusing on our closest star system a lot more. It should be firmly in our crosshairs.

Dr. Bernard Beitman - The science of coincidences

Bernard Beitman was a guest on Coast To Coast AM a few days ago, and he covered what we would call "synchronicity".... although he usually uses the term "coincidences." His name would be a good one to look up for anyone interested in the subject. Our "thoughts" are energies, and they affect the world around us in strange ways. In other words, we may be causing these coincidences, symbols, etc.

Bernard Beitman, MD is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to systematize the study of coincidences.

Dr. Bernard Beitman website

Coast To Coast AM guest profile

Dr. Beitman's new book: 'Connecting with Coincidence - The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life'

Interviews and lectures on video

ISIL/ISIS destroying ancient ruins

Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL

Deliberate destruction and theft of cultural heritage has been conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or IS - Islamic State) since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya. The destruction targets various places of worship under ISIL control and ancient historical artifacts. In Iraq, between the fall of Mosul in June 2014 and February 2015, ISIL has plundered and destroyed at least 28 historical religious buildings.

I have absolutely no doubt that they would love to do this worldwide. These ruins, such as the Temple to Ba'al that they blew up last August, were not constructed by their own ancestors. Their ancestors were 7th century Saudi desert tribes. This is proof that this organization would eliminate every culture--and really every person--in the world which happens to not be of their brand of Islam.

The simplest lesson that many people don't learn

If you feel mistreated, belittled, hassled, insulted, or cheated in any place of business where you spend good money, don't shop there anymore!

Old wisdom quote

"Nothing good happens after midnight." -- author unknown 


Time machine to the past

Gene Pitney - Only Love Can Break a Heart

David L. Rogers

It's a fact, and I'm pretty sure we all know this, what we don't know is why is it so hard to love again after it's been broken? You would think we would be happy to enter into it again, or maybe we are gunshy, and it does take time, a little bit goes away each and every day, until finally, they are a memory, and that's when they want you back, lol. love, whatcha gonna do, and before I forget, this ones a request by Val, thanks Val, and enjoy, Dave.

Responsible feline mother

Sparta giving birth to 6 kittens


"Ampersand" - Lost letter from the alphabet

'What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?'

by - February 25, 2014

....“[and symbol]” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the [and symbol].

Fully provable extraterrestrial life... ignored?

Red Rain in Sri Lanka | The Unexplained Files

Science Channel

Mysterious downpours of red rain were reported in Sri Lanka. During the search for an explanation investigators find evidence of strange living cells. | For more, visit


A more complete analysis from the podcast:

Extraterrestrial Life in Red Rain

Sub-freezing glaciers at the Equator

It's always fascinated me that there is an environment, right at the Equator, which can resemble a harsh Alaskan winter. The 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in tropical Africa is ice-capped. The cap is divergent and outwards splits up into individual glaciers. The average temperature in the summit area is approximately −7 °C. Also the 1,600-mile long Atlas Mountain range, running along the blazing hot Sahara Desert, appears like an Alpine environment of snowy peaks and valleys near and along its 13,000-foot+ summits. With its population made up of villages of unmixed native Berbers in local dress, they don't look unlike traditional Lapps in the summertime.

Worldwide "sky trumpets" not going away

Whatever the cause of this phenomenon, it may be the origin for the many trumpets present in ancient mythologies.

Trumpets Are Sounding Around The World (from the sky)

Billy Black

According to the Revelation 8 Prophecy, the 7 trumpets don't sound till after the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (Revelation 13:3-7 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3). If you're not strong enough in faith, you might destroy yourself, trying to understand prophesy. Many bible scholars have conflicting Ideas about the order of events but rest assured, when you see the Israeli (2 state solution) peace treaty is signed, you can count 3.5 years to see them severely attacked. Revelation 13:3-7 and Revelation 13:12-17 prophesies will occur. Then (if you can survive) you can look for 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to be fulfilled.

Namesake song of the 70s

Throughout the comments, many women were named after this song (Brandy, Brandi, or Brandie).

Looking glass - Brandy you're a fine girl

Porrige hater


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Countdown to the Pagan New Year - Part 2

The old historical flag of Bohemia (white over red bars), along with its historical arms (white lion on red background), would make a perfect modern national flag

Why not... "Bohemia" ...?


Bohemia (Czech: Čechy; German: Böhmen; Polish: Czechy; French: Bohême; Latin: Bohemia) is a region in the Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, it often refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in historical contexts: the lands of the Bohemian Crown. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire and subsequently a province in the Habsburgs’ Austrian Empire. It was bounded on the south by Upper and Lower Austria, on the west by Bavaria, on the north by Saxony and Lusatia, on the northeast by Silesia, and on the east by Moravia. From 1918 to 1939 and from 1945 to 1992 it was part of Czechoslovakia; and, since 1993, it has formed much of the Czech Republic.


In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy, with various peoples including the Boii. The Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Placentia (194 BC) and the Battle of Mutina (193 BC). After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps.[4]

Much later Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied as Boiohaemum, the earliest mention being in Tacitus' Germania 28 (written at the end of the 1st century AD). The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz "home" (whence Gothic haims, German Heim, English home). This Boiohaemum included parts of southern Bohemia as well as parts of Bavaria (whose name also seems to derive from the tribal name Boii) and Austria. The Czech name "Čechy" is derived from the name of the Slavic tribe of Czechs who settled in the area during the 6th or 7th century AD.

Ancient Bohemia

Bohemia, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, which was one of the events leading to the interventions of Julius Caesar's Gaulish campaign of 58 BC. The emigration of the Helvetii and Boii left southern Germany and Bohemia a lightly inhabited "desert" into which Suebic peoples arrived, speaking Germanic languages, and became dominant over remaining Celtic groups. Both Tacitus and Strabo refer to an area as Boiohaemum named after the Boii. The second component of this name is a Germanic word, related to modern German heim, and English "home", so the term means "Boii-home". To the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, and to the southeast in Hungaria, were Sarmatian peoples.

Kingdom of Bohemia


The concept, style, history, and symbolism of a nation of "Bohemia" appears to me to be much stronger than the current Czech Republic. I can't really determine any good reason that the name was changed in the first place. The modern Bohemia makes up most of today's Czech Republic. Names of nations is no exact science. France is named after the Teutonic tribe the Franks, even though the Frankish period was only a smaller part of the history of the region. The entire north of the Italian peninsula could have been named "Lombardia" due to the geographically-unifying period of Langobard rule; although that tribe was only a part of the region's history. Immigrants from old waves of immigration from specifically Bohemia were referred to--and referred to themselves--as "Bohemians." Old kings and warlords jumbled its borders, which didn't help matters any.

Underrated actor

I watched the 2006 film 'The Hoax' the other evening, and it's clear to me that Alfred Molina is one very underrated actor. Whatever the character role requires, he fits it like a glove. In this movie his character was vulnerable, and he was exactly that. Often with even the better actors, transitions appear somewhat contrived. Molina is much better than, for example, Alec Baldwin who has earned enormous sums for merely playing himself in each role.

Synchronicity, synchronicity..

Yesterday I was working on a new Vehmic symbol, with a four-part shield and a black rose in front of it. I was deep in thought, and this is usually due to my desire to make symbols, colors, and arrangement totally congruent. I decided to take a break, and walked into the living room. As I looked out the large window, I saw four little birds on the telephone wire, and I pondered that they could represent the four sections of the arms, and I amusingly dismissed it on the spot. As I then continued to walk towards the window, I saw a fifth little bird which was initially obstructed.

4 + 1 = 5

4 birds at an approximately six inch equal distance from one another (the symbolic 4-part quadratic shield) + 1  bird approximately one foot from the others (the symbolic detached black rose) = 5 (the sum of the Vehme).

The only problem with synchronicity is that you cannot truly prove it. You may only prove it to yourself, which is it's universal law. It ultimately only applies to you, and it's only message is that you're on the correct path. Even brilliant minds which have tapped into this universal symbolism, which is available to anyone, erroneously have assumed that it made them special. It does not make anyone special. It's only an acknowledgement by the universal consciousness.

'Horned Nephilim Skeletons Found In Valley Of Giants?' - January 10, 2013

Several human skulls with horns protruding from them were discovered in a burial mound at Sayre, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in the 1880′s. With the exception of the bony projections located about two inches above the eyebrows, the men whom these skeletons belonged to were anatomically normal, although at seven feet tall they were considered to be giants. Burial was believed to have been in the neighborhood of 1200 AD.



I don't like to cover general mysteries here unless it's linked to a related subject. However, I have always found the horned skulls to be particularly strange.

"Love a rainy night" - perfect during current Californa storm

This one by Eddie Rabbit never gets old.

Eddie Rabbitt - I Love A Rainy Night 

Allec Joshua Ibay

Tribute to the late Eddie Rabbitt


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Claudio Monteverdi - Lombard pioneer of the Baroque period

Claudio Monteverdi "Missa in illo tempore : Crucifixus à 4"


Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (15 May 1567 (baptized) -- 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.

Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition: the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Enjoying fame in his lifetime, he wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, which is still regularly performed.

"Missa in illo tempore : Crucifixus à 4"
Performed : Bach Collegium Japan
Dir : Masaaki Suzuki

Image : stained glass window - detail of head of Christ, Scopwick Church, Lincolnshire, England

Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (Italian; 15 May 1567 (baptized) – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, singer and Roman Catholic priest.

Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the change from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period period. He developed two styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, a novel work that is the earliest surviving opera still regularly performed. He is widely recognized as an inventive composer who enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.

Claudio Monteverdi was born in 1567 in Cremona, Lombardy. His father was Baldassare Monteverdi, a doctor, apothecary and amateur surgeon. He was the oldest of five children. During his childhood, he was taught by Marc'Antonio Ingegneri, the maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Cremona. The Maestro’s job was to conduct important worship services in accordance with the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Monteverdi learned about music as a member of the cathedral choir. He also studied at the University of Cremona. 

His first music was written for publication, including some motets and sacred madrigals, in 1582 and 1583. His first five publications were: Sacrae cantiunculae, 1582 (a collection of miniature motets); Madrigali Spirituali, 1583 (a volume of which only the bass partbook is extant); Canzonette a tre voci, 1584 (a collection of three-voice canzonettes); and the five-part madrigals Book I, 1587, and Book II, 1590. He worked at the court of Vincenzo I of Gonzaga in Mantua as a vocalist and viol player, then as music director. In 1602, he was working as the court conductor and Vincenzo appointed him master of music on the death of Benedetto Pallavicino.

In 1599 Monteverdi married the court singer Claudia Cattaneo, who died in September 1607. They had two sons (Francesco and Massimilino) and a daughter (Leonora). Another daughter died shortly after birth. In 1610 he moved to Rome, arriving in secret, hoping to present his music to Pope Paul V. His Vespers were printed the same year, but his planned meeting with the Pope never took place.

In 1612 Vincenzo died and was succeeded by his eldest son Francesco. Heavily in debt, due to the profligacy of his father, Francesco sacked Monteverdi and he spent a year in Mantua without any paid employment. His 1607 opera L'Orfeo was dedicated to Francesco. The title page of the opera bears the dedication "Al serenissimo signor D. Francesco Gonzaga, Prencipe di Mantoua, & di Monferato, &c."

By 1613, he had moved to San Marco in Venice where, as conductor, he quickly restored the musical standard of both the choir and the instrumentalists. The musical standard had declined due to the financial mismanagement of his predecessor, Giulio Cesare Martinengo. The managers of the basilica were relieved to have such a distinguished musician in charge, as the music had been declining since the death of Giovanni Croce in 1609.

In 1632, he became a priest. During the last years of his life, when he was often ill, he composed his two last masterpieces: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (The Return of Ulysses, 1641), and the historic opera L'incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea, 1642), based on the life of the Roman emperor Nero. L'incoronazione especially is considered a culminating point of Monteverdi's work. It contains tragic, romantic, and comic scenes (a new development in opera), a more realistic portrayal of the characters, and warmer melodies than previously heard. It requires a smaller orchestra, and has a less prominent role for the choir. For a long period of time, Monteverdi's operas were merely regarded as a historical or musical interest. Since the 1960s, The Coronation of Poppea has re-entered the repertoire of major opera companies worldwide.

Monteverdi died, aged 76, in Venice on 29 November 1643 and was buried at the church of the Frari.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Raven Grimassi on Coast to Coast AM tonight (Fri - Feb 4) - "Communicating with Ancestors"

Coast to Coast AM with George Noory

10:05 PM to 2:00 AM PST

Communicating with Ancestors

Date: Friday - March 4, 2016
Host: George Noory
Guests:  Raven Grimassi, Open Lines 

Neo-pagan scholar and author Raven Grimassi is a practicing witch. He'll discuss his new work exploring the realm of the ancestors and the role of reincarnation in the soul's relationship to ancestral lineage. He'll explain the interactions between ancestors, the living, and the dead, and examine how communication with the ancestors is strengthened through various techniques and ritual practices. Followed by Open Lines in the latter half. 


3-6-16 ADDITION: The entire program below. I tried to get through, but was unable to. I got through to ask a question the last time he was on. It's a big program, with perhaps 15 million people tuning in.

Coast To Coast AM March 4, 2016 Communicating with Ancestors 

Conflict Returns

Neo-pagan scholar and author Raven Grimassi is a practicing witch. He'll discuss his new work exploring the realm of the ancestors and the role of reincarnation in the soul's relationship to ancestral lineage. He'll explain the interactions between ancestors, the living, and the dead, and examine how communication with the ancestors is strengthened through various techniques and ritual practices. Followed by Open Lines in the latter half


Thursday, March 3, 2016

The violin in Lombardy: Part 4 - Antonio Stradivari: Section B


A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari (Stradivarius), particularly Antonio Stradivari, during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. The name "Stradivarius" has become a superlative often associated with excellence; to be called "the Stradivari" of any field is to be deemed the finest there is. The fame of Stradivarius instruments is widespread, appearing in numerous works of fiction.

Hellier Stradivarius

The Hellier Stradivarius of circa 1679 is a violin made by Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, Italy. It derives its name from the Hellier family, who might well have bought it directly from the luthier himself.

The Hellier Stradivarius has had a convoluted ownership history. It seems to have been in the possession of the Hellier family from the beginning of the 18th century. Sir Samuel Hellier, High Sheriff of Staffordshire 1745–49, brought the violin to England, and through various wills it was kept in the family until 1880.

Messiah Stradivarius

The Messiah-Salabue Stradivarius of 1716 is a violin made by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona. It is considered to be the only Stradivarius in existence in as new state. It is in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

The Messiah, sobriquet Le Messie, remained in the Stradivarius workshop until his death in 1737. It was then sold by his son Paolo to Count Cozio di Salabue in 1775, and for a time, the violin bore the name Salabue. The instrument was then purchased by Luigi Tarisio in 1827. Upon Tarisio’s death, in 1854, French luthier Jean Baptiste Vuillaume of Paris purchased The Messiah along with Tarisio's entire collection. "One day Tarisio was discoursing to Vuillaume on the merits of this unknown and marvelous instrument, when the violinist Jean-Delphin Alard (Vuillaume's son-in-law), exclaimed: 'Then your violin is like the Messiah: one always expects him but he never appears' ('Vraiment, Monsieur Tarisio, votre violon est comme le Messie des Juifs: on l'attend toujours, mais il ne paraît jamais' ). Thus the violin was baptized with the name by which it is still known."

The Messiah was bequeathed by the family of W.E. Hill to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for preservation as "a yardstick for future violin makers to learn from."

The violin is in like-new condition, as it was seldom played. The tonal potential of the instrument has been questioned due to the conditions of the Hill bequest. However it was played by the famous violinist Joseph Joachim, who states in a letter of 1891 to the then owner of the Messiah, Robert Crawford, that he was struck by the combined sweetness and grandeur of the sound. Nathan Milstein played it at the Hills' shop before 1940 and described it as an unforgettable experience. It is one of the most valuable of all the Stradivari instruments.

The top of the Messiah is made from the same tree as a P.G. Rogeri violin of 1710. The tuning pegs and the tailpiece (that shows the Nativity of Christ) are not original, but were added by Vuillaume.

Axelrod quartet

The Axelrod quartet is a set of four Stradivarius instruments collected by Herbert R. Axelrod. The collection consists of the Greffuhle violin, Axelrod viola, Ole Bull violin, and Marylebone cello.

In 1997, Axelrod donated them to the Smithsonian Institution. Their value at the time was estimated at $50 million.

The Axelrod quartet is occasionally used in performances. In concert, the Servais Stradivarius, which is also in the Smithsonian's collection, is occasionally added to the Axelrod quartet.


Stradivari instruments


Carlo Bergonzi (luthier)

Carlo Bergonzi (21 December 1683 – 9 February 1747) was an Italian luthier who apprenticed with Hieronymus Amati, collaborated with Joseph Guarneri, and is considered the greatest pupil of Antonio Stradivari.

Bergonzi is the first and most noted member of the Bergonzi family, an illustrious group of luthiers from Cremona, Italy, a city with a rich tradition of stringed instrument fabricators.

Kreisler Bergonzi

The Kreisler Bergonzi is an antique violin made by the Italian luthier Carlo Bergonzi (1683–1747) from Cremona in 1740.

Of all of the extant Cremonese instruments, the Kreisler Bergonzi is one of the best preserved with its original neck and most of its original varnish. There has been very little repair work required on it. It is one of the best sounding of all Bergonzi violins.