June

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“I want to believe.” These are the words of notorious X-Files hero Fox Mulder, who convinced an entire generation that the truth is out there – we just have to find it. But on July 2, it won’t only be sci-fi enthusiasts trying out their ET sleuthing skills, as everyone on planet earth will have to opportunity to celebrate World UFO Day.

World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day is celebrated by some on June 24, and others on July 2.

The stated goal of the July 2 celebration is to raise awareness of “the undoubted existence of UFOs” and to encourage governments to declassify their files on UFO sightings. So why July 2? For many, this date represents the anniversary of the famed and all-but-confirmed 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico. Believers claim a UFO crash landed here, deep in the American southwest, but that the government has been covering it up ever since.

June 24 is the date that aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is generally considered to be the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States.

UFOs have been the stuff of legend for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that freaky flying saucers grabbed national and international mainstream attention. Since then, UFOs have captured the minds of old and young alike, and witness’ stories have proliferated around the world. World UFO Day serves as a way for everyone to come together and watch the skies on the same night in search of UFOs, but that’s not its only purpose.

Many see the holiday as a way to spread knowledge and awareness of UFOs, making a case for their existence, and hoping to make disciples out of the dubious. What do you believe?

And no matter what you believe, World UFO Day is an opportunity to think laterally, creatively, and perhaps even a bit unconventionally. We are encouraged o challenge accepted knowledge, and for once, maybe it’s okay for our minds to be off in space. 🙂

What is a UFO?

The letters UFO stand for Unidentified Flying Objects. Most of the flying objects that occur on earth are generally from our earth and heavily monitored with technology. UFOs are generally classified as anomalies that are completely unidentified and in identifiable. The most general definition of the UFO is something that’s apparent in the sky that is not identifiable as any known object or natural phenomena.

Identification of a UFO

Normally what happens with UFOs is that they are identified later or explained as a natural phenomenon but until a flying object is identified as being man-made or natural phenomena it keeps its title as a UFO.

The title of UFO was originally created in 1953 by the United States Air Force so that they could record and review any instances where a flying object was logged in official reporting.

Throughout the 1940’s and the early 1950’s UFOs were more commonly called flying saucers are flying discs. This image of a UFO seemed to persist through early sci-fi folklore and only really became UFOs during the Cold War with an interest in national security.

Everyone involved in the Cold War conflict was testing new types of aircraft, missiles and more throughout this time. As a result any unidentified flying object needed to be logged and heavily reviewed. This really became one of the first large-scale reporting efforts for UFOs in the world and since UFOs became a natural security concern there have been reports almost worldwide that are consistently reviewed almost every day.

Although most people are quick to associate UFOs with conspiracy theories or a cultural phenomenon it possible that one day one of these unidentified flying objects could prove an association with extraterrestrial life.

Some of the top 20th-century UFO accounts include:
  • Foo Fighters: during the 1940’s over the world war theaters small metallic spears and colorful balls of light were seen and even photographed by bomber crews throughout World War II.
  • Roswell: one of the most talked about cases in New Mexico as onlookers described the crash of an unidentified flying object.
  • The Phoenix lights: in 1997 thousands of people saw V-shaped patterns in the sky for space of around 300 miles from the Nevada line.

There are new reports coming in nearly every year including mass UFO sightings in Houston Texas and Colorado sightings as early as October of 2014.

With so many instances occurring around the world user phenomena that we need to understand. Until more spending and research goes into the identification of these cases we may simply be left with more questions as to what the nature of a UFO is.

How to celebrate World UFO Day

Celebrating UFO Day happens in a lot of different ways, and the number of ways is as varied as the potential number of intelligent species in the known universe. UFO Enthusiasts gather around the world in known UFO hotspots like Roswell New Mexico to share stories, provide support for other believers, and watch for the return of visitors in the night sky.

But this is hardly the only way to celebrate it, if you live in a small community of supporters or are merely quite far from the nearest large one, you can organize it yourself. Getting together with friends and family to watch UFO movies and share the gospel of the little green man is a great way to support awareness of UFO’s and the copious evidence out there supporting their existence.

  • Have a “Welcome to Earth” party

In case you needed a reason to throw a party, there’s plenty of opportunity here. Alien and UFO costumes are simple and funny, while the food ideas are endless. Alien cupcakes with green icing, red jello with rocket ships suspended in the middle or even prepackaged moonpies are all great ideas. For an older-earthlings party, try mixing vodka, blue curacao, grenadine, cranberry juice and sours for a Purple People Eater cocktail.

  • Do some investigative research.

There are more than enough stories, legends and actual scientific findings on UFOs and space exploration to keep you busy for a day. Use the power of the internet to separate fact from fiction, and try coming up with your own theories on whether the truth really is out there. Here’s a link to some of the Top UFO Documentaries. Finish the evening by gazing up at the stars before going to bed. You never know what you might see.

  • Have a UFO movie marathon

Depending how far you want to go back, try watching a few UFO films from different eras. Here’s a link to a list of Top Rated UFO and Alien Movies. The Flash Gordon-types of the 30’s were genre-defining. The Martian marauders story typical of the 50’s and 60’s may be a bit campy for you, but you could have some friends over to watch them a la Mystery Science Theater 3000, and let the heckling begin. Or settle in for the visually stunning films of the last few decades – take your pick, sit back, and blast off.

Whatever you do, keep your eyes to the sky for World UFO Day.

Sources:

Seven Sleepers’ Day (Siebenschläfertag) on June 27 is a feast day commemorating the legend of the Seven Sleepers as well as one of the best-known bits of traditional weather lore (expressed as a proverb) remaining in German-speaking Europe.

The atmospheric conditions on that day are supposed to determine or predict the average summer weather of the next seven weeks. and it is believed that whatever the weather is on this day, it will remain so for seven weeks.

Apparently this forecast is about as accurate as Groundhog Day forecasts in the U.S. The story of the Seven Sleepers has many versions and is widespread throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds.  It has been told and retold repeatedly from ancient times to the present day.

The Story of the Seven Sleepers

The earliest Syriac version of the tale states that during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius, around 250, seven young men were accused of being Christians. They were given some time to recant their faith, but chose instead to give their worldly goods to the poor and retire to a mountain cave to pray, where they fell asleep.

The emperor, seeing that their attitude towards their faith had not changed, ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed. Decius died in 251, and many years passed during which Christianity went from being persecuted to being the state religion of the Roman Empire. At some later time—usually given as during the reign of Theodosius II (408–450)—the landowner decided to open up the sealed mouth of the cave, thinking to use it as a cattle pen. He opened it and found the sleepers inside.

They awoke, imagining that they had slept for a single day, and sent one of their number to Ephesus to buy food, with instructions to be careful in case the Romans were to recognize him and seize him. Upon arriving in the city, this youth was astounded to find buildings with crosses attached. The townspeople for their part were amazed to find a man trying to spend old coins from the reign of Decius. The bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers; they told him their miracle story, and died praising God.

As the earliest versions of the legend spread from Ephesus, an early Christian catacomb came to be associated with it, attracting scores of pilgrims. On the slopes of Mount Pion near Ephesus, the cave of the Seven Sleepers with ruins of the church built over it was excavated in 1927–28. The excavation brought to light several hundred graves which were dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. Inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were found on the walls of the church and in the graves. This cave is now a local tourist attraction.

The story of the Seven Sleepers is probably best known in the Muslim world. It is told in the Qur’an (Surah 18, verse 9-26). The Qur’anic rendering of this story doesn’t state exactly the number of sleepers; the exact number is believed to be known to God alone. It also gives the number of years that they slept as 300 solar years (equivalent to 309 lunar years).

Unlike the Christian story, the Islamic version includes mention of a dog who accompanied the youths into the cave, and was also asleep. But when people passed by the cave it looked as if the dog was just keeping watch at the entrance, making them afraid of seeing what is in the cave once they saw the dog. In Islam, these youths are referred to as “The People of the Cave.”

There are numerous retellings of the tale in early modern and modern literature. John Donne’s (1572-1631) poem “The good-morrow” contains the lines:

were we not wean’d till then?
But suck’d on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?”

A Recipe For Today

Given that the sleepers were hungry when they awoke and sent one of their number to buy food, I thought a local Turkish recipe found at roadside food stalls would be suitable for the day. Gözleme are flaky pastry packets stuffed with a mix of feta cheese and spinach plus herbs and spices. Variants can be found throughout Turkey and Greece.  They can also be stuffed with ground lamb flavored with garlic, paprika, and cumin.  Once in a while you will come across them with both fillings in one.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 cups (250 g) plain flour, unbleached
  • 2 cups (250 g) wholemeal flour
  • pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil

Filling

  • 2 cups (450 g) grated feta cheese or
  • 2 cups (200 g) finely chopped spinach leaves
  • ½ cup (50 g) chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup (50 g)chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup (80 g) chopped green onion
  • ½ cup (80 g) diced white onion
  • 1 tsp (5 g) white pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 g) allspice
  • 1 tsp (5 g) dried oregano
  • 1 tsp (5 g) dried sage
Instructions:

Sift the flours and salt and mix with 1 ½ cups (210 ml) of water in an electric mixer with a dough hook or knead by hand for at least ten minutes.

Keep adding more water a little at a time until you get a very pliable, elastic dough that is easy to knead, but not so watery that it is too sticky to handle. Dust frequently with the extra flour.

Allow the dough to stand, covered, overnight (at least 10 hours). When ready to cook, divide the dough into six round portions. Dust with flour. Roll one of the rounds flat with a rolling pin on a flour-dusted surface, into a rectangle shape, as thinly as possible.

Brush on a little oil, then fold over into a square. Fold over twice more into a square. Repeat the dusting, rolling out to a large rectangle, folding, oiling, dusting process three more times. Repeat the entire process for each of the six rounds

Take one of the folded dough squares and roll it out very thinly for the final time, into a large square. Sprinkle on the filling sparingly – – as you would for a pizza topping but on half of the square only.

Start with a layer of cheese. Mix the spinach, mint, green onion and parsley together in a bowl, and add some of this as the next layer. Mix together the white onion, spices, and dried herbs, and add some as a final topping.

Fold over the uncovered half of the square to cover the filling. Press down lightly all over.

Cook on a pre-heated oiled heavy skillet (cast iron if possible). Make sure the skillet is not too hot. It takes about 10 minutes to cook everything through. Turn them often until the outside is golden and crisp. Cut into smaller squares and serve with lemon wedges. Yield 6.

Some Weather Science

The Seven Sleepers singularity is contested as quite inaccurate in practice. Objections have been raised that the weather lore associated with the day might have arisen before the 1582 Gregorian calendar reform, and as at this time the difference to the Julian calendar amounted to ten days, July 7 would be the actual Seven Sleepers Day. Based on this date the prediction has a slightly increased probability of about 55–70%, if confined to the southern parts of Germany, where the rule seems to have originated. In contrast, the weather lore is not applicable to Northern Germany and its rather oceanic climate.

Depending on the meandering flow of the polar jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere (Rossby waves) and the emergence of veering low-pressure and high-pressure (anticyclone) systems, the atmospheric conditions tend to stabilize in early July: either a high-pressure ridge takes hold over Scandinavia, which may coalesce with the subtropical Azores High to form a stable and warm macro weather situation; or a high North Atlantic oscillation between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High implies a long-standing influx of wet air masses into Central Europe.

Sources:

 

The 11th of June is known as the Holiday of the Happy Gnomes.

Gnomes are Earth Spirits or Earth Elementals. Paracelsus describes them as being two spans high, reluctant to interact with humanity and able to pass through the Earth as easily as we walk through the air.

They might be ‘reluctant’ because they are lovers of shiny things and guardians of all gemstones, ores and minerals found in the earth – and also treasures which humans have buried in the earth.

Gnomes live in underground caves, so when humans began digging cellars for their homes, these were very attractive to Gnomes. Cellars are where we keep beer, wine and cheese all things which Gnomes soon grew very fond of. But as they like to pay for whatever they might take, if you have a gnome in your beer cellar, you will also be blessed with the best beer in the district.

You can attract a Gnome to your cellar, or thank the spirits that live there, by leaving them out the occasional glass of beer or wine and a nice cheese sandwich. Thus ensuring your spirits continue to be Happy Gnomes.

The 2nd of June is St Erasmus of Formia’s day – better known as St Elmo. He is said to have kept preaching during a thunderstorm and even when lightning struck near him. Sailors therefore look on the electrical discharges that hit masts or other protuberances as a sign that the saint is watching over them, and call this St Elmo’s Fire.

St. Elmo’s fire is a bright blue or violet glow, appearing like fire in some circumstances, from tall, sharply pointed structures such as lightning rods, masts, spires and chimneys, and on aircraft wings or nose cones. St. Elmo’s fire can also appear on leaves and grass, and even at the tips of cattle horns. Often accompanying the glow is a distinct hissing or buzzing sound. It is sometimes confused with ball lightning.

Invoking Saint Erasmus

In addition to being the patron saint of sailors, Saint Erasmus is also the patron saint of a host of other groups, including explosives workers, ordnance workers, and women in labor. He is also invoked against colic, birth pains, intestinal disorders, stomach diseases, and storms. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of saints regarded as special protectors against various illnesses.

Invocation of St. Erasmus

Holy martyr Erasmus, who didst willingly and bravely bear the trials and sufferings of life, and by thy charity didst console many fellow-sufferers; I implore thee to remember me in my needs and to intercede for me with God. Staunch confessor of the Faith, victorious vanquisher of all tortures, pray Jesus for me and ask Him to grant me the grace to live and die in the Faith through which thou didst obtain the crown of glory. Amen.

Account of His Life and Martyrdom

Erasmus was Bishop of Formia, Italy. During the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian Hercules (284-305), he left his diocese and went to Mount Libanus, where he hid for seven years. However, an angel is said to have appeared to him, and counseled him to return to his city.

On the way, he encountered some soldiers who questioned him. Erasmus admitted that he was a Christian and they brought him to trial at Antioch before the emperor Diocletian. After suffering terrible tortures, he was bound with chains and thrown into prison, but an angel appeared and helped him escape.

He passed through Lycia, where he raised up the son of an illustrious citizen. This resulted in a number of baptisms, which drew the attention of the Western Roman Emperor Maximian who, according to Voragine, was “much worse than was Diocletian.” Maximian ordered his arrest and Erasmus continued to confess his faith. They forced him to go to a temple of the idol, but along the saint’s route all the idols fell and were destroyed, and from the temple there came fire which fell upon many of the pagans.

That made the emperor so angry he had Erasmus enclosed in a barrel full of protruding spikes, and the barrel was rolled down a hill. But an angel healed him. Further tortures ensued.

When he was recaptured, he was brought before the emperor and beaten and whipped, then coated with pitch and set alight (as Christians had been in Nero’s games), and still he survived. Thrown into prison with the intention of letting him die of starvation, St Erasmus managed to escape.

He was recaptured and tortured some more in the Roman province of Illyricum, after boldly preaching and converting numerous pagans to Christianity. Finally, according to this version of his death, his stomach was slit open and his intestines wound around a windlass. This version may have developed from interpreting an icon that showed him with a windlass, signifying his patronage of sailors.

Sources:

According to astrological and lunar lore, there are best days for doing a variety of tasks. The best days listed here are based on both the phase of the moon and its position in the zodiac. Many people believe that if you do the tasks on the dates listed, you will get the best results possible.

June 1:

  • Advertise Something for Sale
  • Ask For a Loan
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Get Married
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Transplant (seedlings and plants)  

June 2:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Harvest
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Quit Smoking
  • Wash Wooden Floors

June 3:

  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Travel (for pleasure)  

June 4:

  • Bake
  • Buy a Home
  • Cut Firewood
  • Cut Hair (to increase growth)  
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Flowers
  • Plant Seed Beds
  • Start Diet (to gain weight) 
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 5:

  • Bake
  • Buy a Home
  • Cut Firewood
  • Cut Hair (to increase growth)  
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Flowers
  • Plant Seed Beds
  • Start Diet (to gain weight)  
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 6:

  • Buy a Home
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Paint
  • Travel (for pleasure)   

June 7:

  • Buy a Home
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)  
  • Paint
  • Travel (for pleasure)  

June 8:

  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 9:

  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 10:

  • Bake
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Flowers
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 11:

  • Bake
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Flowers
  • Set Eggs
  • Wax Floors Wax Floors

June 12:

  • Bake
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Get Married
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Flowers
  • Set Eggs
  • Wax Floors

June 13:

  • Cut Firewood
  • Cut Hair (to increase growth) 
  • Dig Holes
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Seed Beds
  • Wax Floors

June 14:

  • Cut Firewood
  • Cut Hair (to increase growth) 
  • Dig Holes
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)    
  • Plant Above Ground Crops
  • Plant Seed Beds
  • Wax Floors

June 15:

  • Advertise Something for Sale
  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)   
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Travel (for pleasure)  
  • Wash Windows
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 16:

  • Advertise Something for Sale
  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Cut Firewood
  • Dig Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to increase growth)  
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Travel (for pleasure) 
  • Wash Windows
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 17:

  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Prune Trees
  • Slaughter
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 18:

  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Prune Trees
  • Slaughter:
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 19:

  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Quit Smoking
  • Slaughter
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)  
  • Wash Wooden Floors
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 20:

  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Quit Smoking
  • Set Eggs
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)  
  • Wash Wooden Floors
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 21:

  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Quit Smoking
  • Set Eggs
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)  
  • Wash Wooden Floors
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 22:

  • Brew
  • Can Fruits and Vegetables
  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Hunting
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)  
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Transplant (seedlings and plants)  
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 23:

  • Brew
  • Can Fruits and Vegetables
  • Castrate Farm Animals
  • Hunting
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Potty Train a Child
  • Transplant (seedlings and plants)  
  • Wean a Baby or an Animal

June 24:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Demolition
  • Dry Fruits and Vegetables
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Pick Apples and Pears
  • Quit Smoking
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)   
  • Wash Wooden Floors

June 25:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Demolition
  • Harvest
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Pick Apples and Pears
  • Quit Smoking
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)   
  • Wash Wooden Floors

June 26:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Demolition
  • Harvest
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Pick Apples and Pears
  • Quit Smoking
  • Start Diet (to lose weight)   
  • Wash Wooden Floors

June 27:

  • Advertise Something for Sale
  • Ask For a Loan
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Get Married
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Transplant (seedlings and plants)  

June 28:

  • Advertise Something for Sale
  • Ask For a Loan
  • Dig Post Holes
  • Get Married
  • Make Jams and Jellies
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Paint
  • Plant Root Crops
  • Transplant (seedlings and plants)  

June 29:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Harvest
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Quit Smoking
  • Wash Wooden Floors

June 30:

  • Cut Hair (to slow growth) 
  • Harvest
  • Kill Plant Pests
  • Mow Grass (to slow growth)   
  • Quit Smoking
  • Wash Wooden Floors

Source: The Farmer’s Almanac

Dakini day, celebrated on the 25th day of each lunar month in Vajrayana Buddhist traditions, celebrates the feminine energy of wisdom. Devoted Buddhists will celebrate with a Tsok (Tsog), a feast including food, singing, a group (or single) sadhana full of sound and celebration. Most Tibetan Buddhist temples and meditation centers try to arrange a monthly Tsog on this day each month, with celebrants bringing food as offerings. It is always a happy day, that invites blessings not only for the attendees, but for all sentient beings.

This is one of the special days during a month, when Vajrayana practitioners perform a ritual of offering and purification of their commitments. It is believed that on this particular day, all the Dakinis gather in special sacred places and their energy is potently vivid and present at that moment.

When we perform practice on those auspicious days, we can connect with this potent energy and thus gain a lot of merit. It allows us to develop our practice and capacities, as well as purify our defilements and mistakes that we have accumulated with time. In this way, Dakini Day becomes very important for Vajrayana practitioners.

What is a Dakini?

The Dakini is a female being of generally volatile temperament, who acts as a muse for spiritual practice. Dakinis can be likened to elves, angels, or other such supernatural beings, and are symbolically representative of testing one’s awareness and adherence to Buddhist tantric sadhana.

Dakinis are portrayed as elusive, playful and often fierce and naked to symbolically convey how elusive true Wisdom encompassing “Emptiness” can be.

Without contradiction to their role as exemplars of Emptiness, Dakinis can also represent fierce activities, such as protection — the ferocious protective love of a mother.

Khandro Rinpoche defines the authentic Dakini principle as “a very sharp, brilliant wisdom mind that is uncompromising, honest, with a little bit of wrath.”

Dakinis appear in many forms. “The Dakinis are the most important elements of the enlightened feminine in Tibetan Buddhism,” says American teacher Tsultrim Allione. “They are the luminous, subtle, spiritual energy, the key, the gatekeeper, the guardian of the unconditioned state. If we are not willing to invite the Dakini into our life, then we cannot enter these subtle states of mind. Sometimes the Dakinis appear as messengers, sometimes as guides, and sometimes as protectors.”

Dakini are timeless, inorganic, immortal, non-human beings who have co-existed since the very beginning with the Spiritual Energy. In some New Age belief systems, they are angelic. This New Age paradigm differs from that of the Judeo-Christian by not insisting on angels being bona fide servants of God.

Moreover, an angel is the Western equivalent of a Dakini. The behavior of Dakini has always been revelatory and mysterious; they respond to the state of spiritual energy within individuals. Love is their usual domain – one explanation for Dakini or angels supposedly living in the sky or heaven. Manifestations of Dakini in human form occur because they supposedly can assume any form. Most often they appear as a human female. By convention, a male of this type is called a ‘Daka’.

In Buddhism, typically, the male Buddhas represent compassionate means, while the female Buddhas represent Wisdom. The symbols of bell and vajra (Ghanta and Dorje) represent female wisdom — the bell, which makes the sound of “Emptiness” — and the Vajra, representing compassionate means.

Dakini’s have always been a part of Buddhism, starting with the Jataka’s (stories of Buddha’s former lives) in which “divine beings are described as travelling through the air. In Sanskrit, such a being is called a Dakini, a term generally translated as “space-goer,” “celestial woman,” or “cloud fairy.”

Dakinis are typically thought of as the emanation of the “Enlightened Mind” understanding Emptiness. Another concept usually tied to Dakini practice is “bliss” — the state of blissful awareness of emptiness.

It is a wonderful experience to have a moment that realizes emptiness, a feeling of joy-bliss rather than “nothingness.” This is why Dakinis are often portrayed as active, dancing, joyful or fierce, naked and unencumbered.

Five Dakini Healing Mantra

The meaning of Dakini is the female enlightened energy and the awakened state of consciousness. Therefore, chanting this mantra increases and enhances all enlightened feminine energy.

Bam Ha Ri Ni Sa

The 5 Dakini also represents each of the 5 Elements:

  • BAM  ~ Buddha Dakini ~ (blue) ~ Mind energy, pacifies Ignorance
  • HA ~ Vajra Dakini ~ (white) ~ Body energy, pacifies Anger
  • RI  ~ Ratna Dakini ~ (yellow) ~ Knowledge/Qualities/Healing, pacifies Ego/Pride
  • NI ~ Padma Dakini ~ (red) ~ Speech energy, pacifies Desire
  • SA ~ Karma Dakini ~ (green) ~ Action/Removes Obstacles, pacifies Jealousy

This mantra is helpful for all female related health issues, transforms negative emotions, unblocks channels, and balance 5 elements. When chanting this mantra on Dakini Day, the power magnifies ten-fold!

After chanting, blow into a glass of water, which infuses the healing vibration into the water, drink, and continue to enjoy its healing properties.

Sources:

In ancient Rome on July 7th, the Feria Ancillarum or Festival of Handmaids was held. This was the maids’ day out, when the maids of Rome were beyond the control of their mistresses.

Also known as the Caprotinae, when free and slave women made offerings to her beneath wild fig trees outside Rome’s city limits, this feast day was in honor of Juno Caprotina, Juno of the Wild Figs. Fig trees were venerated, with feasting beneath them in honor of Caprotina, an aspect of the Goddess Juno.

In this aspect of the goddess, Juno is seen as dressed in goatskins and driving a chariot pulled by goats. Enslaved women made up a large proportion of her devotees.

A great recipe to celebrate Independence Day in the United States:

  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped dill
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated red onion
  • salt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 garden fresh red tomatoes
  • 10 borage flowers

Combine all the ingredients except for the tomatoes and flowers. Slice tomatoes and arrange them, overlapping, around the edge of a serving platter. Mound the cucumber mixture in the center of the platter, just covering the inner edge of the tomatoes. Chill well, and place the borage flowers decoratively on the salad just before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe by Di-Di Hoffman

In the English region of East Anglia, those who continue to follow the ancient ways believe that June 29 is the prime day of the year to harvest herbs for healing use.

Here are some great tips for harvesting herbs:

For the highest quality, herbs should be harvested before the Sun gets too high in the sky. The heat of the Sun will evaporate the essential oil from the herbs, so picking earlier in the day (like by 10:30am) ensures that the highest amount of oils will still be present within them.

When getting plants from the wild, respect the area and plant you are harvesting, never strip a plant bare, never pull it out by the roots to get a few leaves and I always check to see that there are other plants of the same species around and its not some rare almost extinct plant. Also be very sure that the plant you are about to pick is what you think it is, Mother Nature can be very tricky sometimes, and 2 seemingly identical plants can have very different effects when ingested. It is best to ask permission of the plant before taking it’s bounty, and remember, respect, respect, respect!

Transporting your herbs must be done carefully to retain their valuable powers. It’s best to take an open-topped basket or cotton bag with you and some layers of tissue so that herbs can be transported dry and safe back to home, it is pointless seeking out a special plant, than sticking it into a carrier bag in your pocket so it sweats, bruises and it unidentifiable mush by the time you get home.

It is best not to harvest any herbs that have been growing close to the road as the leaves take in the carbon monoxide and poisonous fumes given out by the traffic and take it down into the plant to the root where it becomes stored.  Do not pick wild herbs and plants from verges or thoroughfares as this contravenes several laws and also the fact that most areas like these are open to our friendly dog and cat population.

If harvesting wild plants leave a large amount of flowers, seed and root as the plant population of that area will very quickly die out if you go in mob-handed and wrench up the only two plants for miles around.

To harvest herbs in a magickal way visit this post: Harvesting Magickal Herbs in a Magickal Way

Vidovdan (St. Vitus Day) is one of the important religious holidays for the Serbs. It’s annually observed on 28 June (Gregorian Calendar), or 15 June according to the Julian calendar, in use by the Serbian Orthodox Church to venerate St. Vitus. It is an important part of Serb ethnic and Serbian national identity.

Observation of this feast is connected with the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. According to the Serbian Orthodox tradition, the Serbian national identity was founded on the day, when the Ottoman Empire defeated Serbia in the Battle of Kosovo and slew prince Lazar. Ruling sultan of the Ottoman Empire was killed on the same day by Serbian knight Miloš Obilić.

Serbs consider Vidovdan a very important day, that is why many historic events in Serbia took place on June 28, for instance, signing of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), proclamation of Serbian constitution (1921), Slobodan Milošević’s deportation to the International Criminal Tribunal, etc.

In the late Middle Ages, people in Germany and countries such as Latvia celebrated the feast of Vitus by dancing before his statue. This dancing became popular and the name “Saint Vitus Dance” was given to the neurological disorder Sydenham’s chorea. It also led to Vitus being considered the patron saint of dancers and of entertainers in general.

It is also a day for weather watching:

“If St. Vitus’ Day be rainy weather,
It will rain for 30 days together.”

About St Vitus:

There are no reliable facts about existence of Saint Vitus. According to Christian legend, Vitus was the son of Roman senator from Sicily. He converted to Christianity under influence of his mentor. Satin Vitus died as a martyr during the persecution of Christians by Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

Vitus is considered the patron saint of actors, comedians, dancers, and epileptics, similarly to Genesius of Rome. He is also said to protect against lightning strikes, animal attacks and oversleeping.

Sources: Wikipedia and Any Day Guide

 

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