Archive for the ‘History’ Category
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Winter Solstice – why it’s the true New Year!

 

Winter Solstice

The sun enters Newgrange on the Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is the day when light is reborn out of the darkness of winter.  Our days start to become longer and lead us back to the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer, stretching towards their peak at the Summer Solstice. 

Most ancient cultures celebrated this return of light and life with feasting, music, light and fire, and for many, it was the true beginning of the New Year.

It was so important to the pre-Celt ancients of Ireland that they spent over 30 years building a monument to the returning sun:  Newgrange.

Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, it was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the inner chamber and for 17 minutes illuminates the chamber floor and the symbols etched on the back wall.

What did the Ancients know that we don’t?

It’s hard for the modern mind to imagine spending 30 years building something to celebrate a three-day event.  Yet, that’s how important the Winter Solstice was to the ancients.

There are still traditional cultures around the world today that believe that the ceremonies they conduct on a daily, monthly and yearly basis keep the earth spinning on its axis.  I share their belief.

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

A Thanksgiving Prayer

thanksgiving prayerThanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups.  Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes these ceremonies last for days.

This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.

It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar.  I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:

Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer 

And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.

And the Great Mystery said that when even two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying:  “Nyah Weh Skenno” which translates to “thank you for being” and then they may take up the matter with which they are concerned.  

[Nyah Weh Skenno more literally means: “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world.]

The Great Mystery gave us our lives and requires in return only that we be grateful and love one another.  The purpose of this prayer is to pass on those instructions and give us the opportunity to express our gratitude.

So the first thing we will do is give thanks for our lives.

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

Why Veterans’ Day just isn’t enough

veterans dayThis Veterans’ Day post first appeared November 7, 2012. I felt it deserved a repeat. 

To me, Veterans’ Day, celebrated this Monday November 11, just isn’t enough to honor what our veterans have done for this country.

Although I am a pacifist, and was an active anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, I was ashamed of the way our veterans were treated when they returned home.

And I am still deeply saddened by the lack of support and care our veterans receive today.

Yes, war is horrendous, and perhaps if women were running the world there wouldn’t be any wars.  But those who did their duty and fought for us deserve better than one day to celebrate them. 

THE CURRENT CRISIS IN OUR MILITARY CARE 

Suicides 

Military suicides are at record levels.  Here are some startling statistics:  

  • More U.S. Military personnel have died by suicide since the war in Afghanistan started than have died fighting the war.
  • While veterans account for 10% of all U.S. adults, they account for 20% of U.S. suicides.
  • Among all veterans, a suicide occurs every 80 minutes, round the clock.
  • While the Pentagon offers a crisis hotline, waits can be long.  Earlier this year, helicopter pilot Ian Morrison called the hotline and waited on hold for 45 minutes; his last text to his wife said, “STILL on hold.”  He committed suicide later that day.
  • It’s not only those seeing combat. Nearly 1/3 of the suicides from 2005 to 2020 were among troops who had never deployed; 43% had deployed only once.
  • 95% of military suicides are male.

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

When elephants grieve

elephant whispererIn 1998, prize-winning conservationist Lawrence Anthony purchased 5,000 acres of pristine bush known as Thula Thula in the heart of Zululand, South Africa.

He then transformed what had been a run-down 19th Century hunters’ camp into a wild animal preserve and a center for eco-tourism.

In 1999, he was asked to take in a herd of “rogue” elephants from another game reserve. These wild elephants were going to be shot if another home was not found for them!

Knowing he was their last hope, and against all odds of success, Anthony took them in.

The story of how Anthony rescued and rehabilitated the elephants by winning their trust, becoming their friend, and learning to communicate with them is described in his best-selling book, The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

But the most remarkable part of his story may be what happened after Anthony died.

Anthony passed away suddenly from a heart attack in March 2012.  Two days after he died, 31 elephants showed up at his house to say goodbye to their good friend.

They had walked over 112 miles in single file to arrive at his South African home.

The elephants had not been to his house in a year and a half, but it was clear they knew where they were going.  They stayed for two days and nights at his rural compound within Thula Thula without eating anything.

That is the way elephants grieve and express mourning for one of their own: standing vigil and showing quiet respect.

Then, after two days, they left, making their long journey back home.

How did they know?

How did these elephants, grazing miles away in distant parts of the park, know Anthony had died?

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

There’s a little bit of Chernobyl in us all

Silver LiningI’ve been reading with alarm the stories of radioactive fish being caught in the Pacific Ocean as a result of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan in 2011. Including radioactive bluefin tuna caught recently off the California coast.

Fukushima is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, both measuring Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Even after the initial radiation leakage that occurred in 2011 as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima plant has continued to leak radiation into the Pacific Ocean.

There are no signs of it stopping because Japan can’t even figure out why it’s leaking.

All fishing off the Fukushima coast has been banned by the Japanese government, though restrictions were eased in June 2012 allowing fishing of 16 types of marine life.

But here’s the thing:  fish swim.  And they can swim from Japan to the U.S. coastline. A bluefin tuna tagged by scientists was found to have crossed between Japan and the West Cost of the U.S. three times in 600 days.

Japanese and U.S. officials claim that the amount of radiation found in the bluefin is safe. But the overwhelming scientific opinion is that there is no safe level of radiation.

So there isn’t a consensus.  But here’s what you can rely on:  governments will lie to us and downplay the danger.

So we’re on our own and have to fend for ourselves on what to eat and how to stay healthy.

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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