Saturday, January 15, 2022

Invictus: Part 3 - "The Wolf Age"

As I sit here in the cold of a garage, as I have for about five weeks now, I ponder the upcoming Full Wolf Moon which will occur on Monday evening. Monday, "Moon's Day," February 17, 2022. Up to about a week ago, the coldest three-week spell that I can ever remember around here occurred. It never got above about 48 degrees, and dipped down into the 30's on a number of mornings. Although that is not unusual for many parts, for me it's more extreme since I am living in a garage with no heat, and no bed.

Today when I returned from an errand, I saw where the renovation team had emptied the upstairs refrigerator. It reminded me of one of the earliest lessons that my mother had taught me: Never waste food. Perhaps she may have thought about being cold and hungry at times as a child during the unforgiving winters of rural northern Wisconsin. Now she is gone, and I must go on, struggling to meet a lessor opponent than she had met.

In about a week, I must leave this place permanently, and I have already used up a lot of favors. There is a method to this madness, but it's easy to lose grip of it as events control me more than I control them. I don't recall of ever absolutely having to seize opportunities when they present themselves, amid many very dark down periods. For me now, this truly is "The Wolf Age." During this time, I have contracted a condition called chilblains from my fingers and toes being subjected to incessant cold. It's difficult to sleep from the painful swelling of he blood vessels. As I literally shiver now on this Saturday night as I type this, should I complain to someone, or maybe just cave in and quit?

Should I just take on a negative attitude, feel sorry for myself, use some sort of pain killer, or perhaps just become a bad person? Or... should I think of my father who died on a lost highway taking care of his family, my sister who died in battle near Beirut, or my mother who worked as a shipping/receiving clerk for sixty hours a week to keep our home going after they were gone? If they're looking down upon me right now, would they think I'm showing any courage, or at least resiliency? I think this is still a true test of wits and will. My numb fingers and toes are proof enough of at least that. The coyote howls from down in the cold dark canyon now symbolize more than just a fanciful reminder of nature, but of the harshness of life's struggle. This time it's not just talk.

Once more into the fray...
Into the last good fight I'll ever know.
Live and die on this day...
Live and die on this day...

-- 'The Grey'


Monday, January 3, 2022

"The Bridge" in Ticino featured now in Windows 10 Spotlight

Ponte dei Salti bridge in Lavertezzo, Switzerland

This town in southern Switzerland was first mentioned in the historical record in 1327 as Laverteze. We don't know if the emerald green waters of the Verzasca River are mentioned, but we do know there was no reference to the striking double-arch bridge that rises above the river. That's because it wasn't built until the 17th century. Since then, the Ponte dei Salti bridge has become such a beloved symbol of Lavertezzo that it's been carefully maintained and restored rather than replaced with a new design. Ponte dei Salti translates to Jump Bridge, and some folks take that literally, diving from the span into the crystal-clear water below—although we'd recommend a safer approach from the river's wide banks.





Lavertezzo is a municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.




It always makes all of the travel guides and magazines of Ticino. The double arch stone bridge at Ponte dei Salti has long held a fascination with travelers; an example of rural engineering genius. The double arch stone bridge was built in the 17th century and is one of the most distinctive sights in the village.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

'A Mountain Rose'

My mother lived in Kelseyville, CA for many years, at the base of Mt. Konocti (elev 4,305 ft)

'A Mountain Rose'

Her brood hailed from the highlands,
Tantamount to the sky's islands.
Now so very distant from those ancient shadows,
Still in the blood, she remains a wiley and radiant mountain rose.
For me, this woman was my teacher more than any other,
So proud that she was my mother.



Saturday, December 25, 2021

Winter Solstice 274 CE: Roman Temple to Sol Invictus ("the Unconquerable Sun") is dedicated by Emperor Aurelian

Temple of the Sun (Rome)

The Temple of the Sun was a temple in the Campus Agrippae in Rome. It was dedicated to Sol Invictus on December 25, 274,[1] by the emperor Aurelian[2] and funded by spoils from his campaign against Palmyra. It was the fourth temple dedicated to the god in Rome – the other three were in the Circus Maximus, on the Quirinal Hill and in Trastevere.[3] If still in use by the 4th-century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.

It is believed that the temple was already in ruins by the sixth century, as eight of its porphyry columns were apparently sent to Constantinople at some point to be used in either the construction or the rebuilding of Hagia Sophia during the emperor Justinian's reign.




This temple was dedicated when the noonday sun was first observed to begin its return northward. The date of this dedication was later used by Christians as the date for Christmas.


Sol Invictus





Friday, December 10, 2021

Invictus: Part 2 - Facing The Crossroads

'The Bend in the Road'

We come to life's crossroads
And we view what we think is the end.
But God has a much wider vision
And He knows it's only a bend-

The road will go on and get smoother
And after we've stopped for a rest,
The path that lies hidden beyond us
Is often the path that is best

So rest and relax and grow stronger,
Let go and let God share your load
And have faith in a brighter tomorrow-
You've just come to a bend in the road

-- Helen Steiner Rice




A stranger shared this with me a few days ago, who knew nothing of my current predicament.



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Invictus: Part 1 - The struggle to be the architect of one's own destiny

My late mother, now gone six months already, owned a book entitled 'A Treasury of the World's Best Loved Poems'. Now as I engage in the final steps of clearing out her house, a week ago, I came upon this book. With a soft leather cover, it was published in 1961 by Avenel Books. She probably had this book for a large portion of her life. As I opened it, almost magically it stopped at one page. As I looked down upon this page, I read the name of a particular poem: 'Invictus', by William Ernest Henley. Was it a message for me during this, a very trying time for me?



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall finde me, unafraid,

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-- William Ernest Henley


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Light occult communication: Painted twig wind chimes along the trail

Different small pagan groups communicate through symbolism

Last week while doing a night hike through a nearby low elevation trail, I discovered some elaborately painted twigs hanging by twine on some lower branches of a smaller brush-like tree. They were hanging in rows on two different branches, and were like wind chimes. I don't know as yet their meaning, although it may just be a type of decoration. Their painted patterns were more complex than the above image (more like the image below). There is some type of coven in the area, as I have seen their signs in the past, such as stacked stones, handmade wicker hearts, and little white rocks put in patterns on the side of the trail. I have gone over in the past the concept of different small groups sharing a park or mountain, and not knowing of  each other's presence.

On two different occasions I believe that I spotted them, although this was some years ago. There had been a Satanic cult known to conduct rituals on this mountain in the 1970s, but I'm certain that this is not a continuity of that... as their signs are only of positive energy. Once I saw perhaps five individuals in black robes just entering the park at twilight on higher elevation, but their hoods were down and I just thought at that time that they may have been wearing matching coats of some type. I just didn't make the connection. At another point I came upon a woman after dark on a high elevation trail. She was wearing a dark cloak with a hood, and was interacting with a wild cat.

The only reason I saw her clearly was due to the light from a ranger station in the distance. She saw me walking down the trail towards them, stood up facing me for 3-to-4 seconds, then walked off the trail. I wrote about this experience a few years ago. When I made it to the spot where she had been, I then saw her walking off into the brush; her robe which was draped wide around her ankles made her appear to be just gliding along. Of course I'm wearing a light grey sweat outfit with sneakers, and probably looked to her like someone who would not understand her spirituality, and I unintentionally made the two of them depart. I suppose it would go without saying that she didn't expect anyone to show up at that time.