Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hallowe’en Season: The Unbecoming.


At the end of Samsara, a group of Tibetan monks dissolves the intricate sand mandala they had begun at the beginning of the film.

A whole tiny universe, represented by signs and colors in particular and meaningful relationships, is wiped out and dissolved, the sands swirled together into one undifferentiated uncolor.
That is what this time of year is like, this Samhain-tide, this Hallowe’en. You will hear pagan folk recite: “The veil between worlds is growing thin.”

What that means is, at this time of year of stubble fields and rotting stalks, is that all things, even veils, are becoming less assuredly what they “are.”

As I walk through the October forest, in the absence of underbrush I am more aware of the bodies of decomposing trees. The forest has pulled back the soft quilts of moss embroidered with fern that used to cover the tree dead. It no longer shrouds nor veils them. We can see them turning to loam. Over time, they will become the forest floor. In this process of unbecoming, they are no longer tree nor yet are they dirt.
When people say, “The veil between the worlds is thin,” you might wonder, What veil?  They mean the thickness of perception which usually keeps us from seeing ghosts and faeries, spirits of the dead, or seeing through time so that we might see the dead while they were still alive. At Samhain season, this veil is no longer so impenetrable. We become more able to see through time, through dimensions, to otherworlds of past and possible future. Hence the preponderance of imagery of ghosts and goblins, haints, witches and the undead who straddle realms and times.

But that does not explain Why now? And this is why:

At this time of year, everything becomes less determinate and defined. Things are letting go of holding on tightly to being solidly what they are. Like trees in the forest, they are decomposing, turning to dirt. That momentum of surrender and decay, whether you believe in anything supernatural or not, pulls everything.
And because everything is breaking down, everything is breaking down, even us, just a little. We are becoming a little less human as faeries are becoming a little less fae. Ghosts are becoming less ghostly. Not that they are becoming more material, but that they are less ghosts. Everything is less what it is.

There is a folklore, an old Welsh pagan belief, in a goddess named Cerridwen who stirs a great cauldron. In it are galaxies forming and unforming, star nurseries, the dying remains of nova’d stars. In it are all times swirled together and become one. All that ever was is stirred back into the mix. Arising and forming out of that is everything that ever will be. Like a sand mandala, the brew might coalesce temporarily into something dearly, briefly real. And then gets dissolved back out.

The veil between the worlds is everything being stirred out. We are all in the mix together, all the worlds, ghost and human and faerie all alike. And as we get churned, we can see each other. 

Most magic follows agricultural calendars, calendars of growth and return, calendars of the moon. The magic of the star cauldron is that if there is anything about yourself you want to change right now, do it. You are not stuck. The veil is thin. From inhaling cauldron fumes all the time, Cerridwen is a shape-shifter and so can you be. Your possibilities are endless. Let her dissolve you into sand and the monks blow you to the winds. And while you are flying, before you come together again, wish for healing and your dearestmost heart’s desire.
Happy Hallowe’en! Good Samhain! Blessed be, and Love!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Oscar Wilde, one of our greatest wordsmiths

Taken from -

World's Most Haunted Forests

England’s Wychwood Forest abounds in haunted tales of visitors who feel hands reaching out to touch their shoulders or hear the thunder of invisible horses.
It’s enough to make your spine tingle at the slightest rustle in the leaves. But for every traveler who shies away, there’s another intrigued by that kind of mystery—and the thrill that comes with going deep into the haunted woods. It’s a chance to be an explorer, and any brush with the supernatural makes you feel all the more alive.
“We’re curious and try to find explanations for phenomena we can’t comprehend,” explains Jane Pyle, a member of North Carolina’s Chatham County Historical Association. Local lore has it that there’s a mysterious 40-foot ring within the woods where the devil stomps in circles at night.
“One of the first mentions of the Devil’s Tramping Ground shows up in issue 27 of the long-gone Messenger weekly newspaper,” Pyle says, “and again in a 1949 book, wherein the author, John Harden, speculates that it was created by a geological survey team—but if so, they were off the course.”
The dense Aokigahara forest at the northwest base of Japan’s Mount Fuji has its own disorienting power. It’s rumored that large underground iron deposits interfere with compasses, setting walkers forth on the wrong paths. The forest has witnessed hundreds of suicides and is haunted by their screams.
Strange ambient noises and the appearance of orbs have also been reported in a Maine forest near ripped-up railroad tracks that once ushered veterans to a hospital. Sure, it’s easy to scoff. For all the gadgets floating around—motion detectors, electromagnetic field meters, air ion counters—definitive proof of the paranormal is elusive.
But the rumors do persist and have since well before the Grimm Brothers set their fairy tales in Germany’s Black Forest. To you skeptics, we’ll just say this: why not pack up the camping equipment, grab a flashlight, and set up near one of these spooky forests. We dare you.

The Staffie restoring the reputation of his breed: First Bull Terrier to become a police sniffer dog

  • Kos was dumped at rescue centre after string of fights with siblings
  • Trained up in his spare time by beloved police handler
  • Found heroin stash on his first day
By Sam Webb

The latest weapon in the fight against crime took to the streets for his first day on duty yesterday - Britain’s only Staffordshire bull terrier police dog.
Former rescue dog Kos, a black and white Staffie, was saved from an uncertain fate in a rescue centre.

He was trained by Avon and Somerset Police dog handler PC Lee Webb after being donated to the force by an RSPCA rescue centre 18 months ago.
Policeman's best friend: PC Lee Webb with Kos, the first Staffordshire bull terrier cross police dog
Policeman's best friend: PC Lee Webb with Kos, the first Staffordshire bull terrier cross police dog
Hounding criminals: Kos comes from a rescue centre and could have been put down but for PC Webb's intervention
Hounding criminals: Kos comes from a rescue centre and could have been put down but for PC Webb's intervention

Focus: Police dogs need an enormous amount of discipline to do their jobs effectively
Focus: Police dogs need an enormous amount of discipline to do their jobs effectively
The breed has a bad reputation and is associated with 'hoody' owners because of its muscular appearance and tough nature.
But Kos has become the first of his breed to be trained to detect drugs, currency and firearms.

He went on duty first thing this morning and got off to a flying start when he found a lump of heroin in a car which was pulled over in Bristol.

PC Webb said: 'Like many breeds, Staffies can be tarnished with a bad reputation, which is unfair.

'But Kos is the gentlest and kindest of dogs. He’s always been very playful and he absolutely loves the game of searching.'

Rambunctious: Kos, (front) and three other police dogs enjoy a morning off police work
Rambunctious: Kos, (front) and three other police dogs enjoy a morning off police work
Police usually train Springer Spaniels or Weimaraners as their temperament is more suited to learning the extreme levels of control necessary to become a sniffer dog.
PC Webb said: 'It didn’t take any longer to train Kos than the Spaniels we have, and some of those are also rescue dogs.

'We start them on toys and then train them on the scents, which they come to associate with play.

'Kos was very excitable on his first day on the job - he absolutely loves it.'

The two-and-a-half year old dog was being cared for by Sue Dicks at the RSPCA's West Hatch Animal Rescue Centre near Taunton, Somerset.

PC Webb said: 'Sue Dicks is amazing. She’s always got an eye out for dogs that would be suitable for us to train.

'She looks for any potential, which we could train to become valuable assets to the force.'

Kos, like all other drugs dogs has an above average ability to search and great determination to play fetch and search for things.

Experienced trainers like PC Webb, who has been training dogs for ten years, nurture these traits in order to turn them into working dogs.

The dogs usually take six weeks to train, and have a career of eight to ten years.

But lively Kos took several months to train, because PC Webb did it in his spare time.
PC Webb said: 'I would train him whenever I had a spare 20 minutes or so. He was a quick learner, but it still took longer than usual.

'I’m a dog person - it’s not just a job for me, they are part of our family.'
Search: Police dogs are trained todetect detect drugs, currency and firearms
Search: Police dogs are trained to detect detect drugs, currency and firearms

Early victory: Kos found a stash of heroin on his very first day
Early victory: Kos found a stash of heroin on his very first day
Kos was donated to the animal rescue centre after he was involved in a number of fights with a sibling.

PC Webb said: 'He’s a lovely dog, but he has quite a few scars from fighting with another dog when he was a pup.

'If he hadn’t been successfully rehomed, he may have been put down, as Staffies are a breed with a bad reputation.'

He now lives at home with PC Webb and his three other dogs - two of which are Spaniels training to become drugs dogs.

Experienced dog handler PC Webb, who has been working with animals for 16 years, added: 'There are other dogs out there that have potential we could use and it is a shame that people do not give them a chance sometimes.'

Halloween Quotes and Sayings Images, Cards

Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, is coming. Saying Images brings to you the best Halloween quotes and saying, scary Halloween images, Halloween cards. Happy Halloween 2012 everyone!

Famous Halloween Quotes & sayings, horror quotes

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Eat, drink and be scary. ~Author Unknown
Alone. Yes, that's the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn't hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym. ― Stephen King
Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon's silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.
~Joel Benton
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
_ Author Unknown
Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
~Dexter Kozen
Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." And then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, "Trick or treat." "No thank you."
I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, But there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighbourhood kids. -By Robert Brault

Beautiful Halloween cards, Halloween images

Trick or treating Halloween

Trick or treating Halloween

Happy Halloween card
Happy Halloween

Halloween Witches card

Halloween Witches card

Raven vintage Halloween card
raven vintage halloween card
Halloween Black cat card

Halloween Black cat card
Something wicked this way comes, Halloween image

something wiches is coming

Halloween card

Halloween cards

Happy Halloween Images

happy halloween card

Halloween picture

Halloween double

Halloween is coming

Best Halloween Quotes and Sayings Images, Cards

Happy Halloween, enjoy our Halloween quotes and saying, Halloween cards feel free to share this with your friends!

The Magical Illustration of Arthur Rackham

by Beth Carswell

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, with illustrations by Arthur Rackham
Rip Van Winkle
Washington Irving
Arthur Rackham was an illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was born in London in 1867. He began studying at the Lambeth School of Art at the age of 18, and soon found his passion and calling. The first of Rackham's illustrations to be published in a book were in 1893, in The Dolly Dialogues. Rackham never looked back. From that first publication, illustration was his career until the day he died at age 72, of cancer.
In 1905, when Rackham was 38 years old, he created 51 colour pieces to accompany Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle. The technological advancements necessary to produce colour-separated printing was new, and Rackham's vibrant, lavish style of sumptuous illustration helped propel the edition to the status of instant classic, while simultaneously bringing attention to Rackham and his work, and making a name for him.

A self-portrait by Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham self-portrait
Rackham's pieces were known for their luxurious use of colour and keen attention to detail. His styles ranged easily from vivid, bright splashes of colour to more muted, subtle tones. He became a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and mastered the watercolour method of painting, seen in many of his works. Many of the books Rackham illustrated include both his black and white, and colour plates. Some, such as Hawthorne's Wonder Book, include Rackham's experimentation with partially coloured prints, similar to the effect seen with Japanese woodblock art. Much of Rackham's work depicts gnomes, fairies, goblins or other creatures from mythology, folklore or fable. His work has been an inspiration to many, including film director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) and modern illustrator Brian Froud. Beyond the fantastical natural world, Rackham also found inspiration in unusual places, creating his own artistic interpretations of pieces from music and theater, such as Wagner's operas, or Shakespeare plays.
Whether illustrating whimsical books for children or darker matter for adults, Rackham's imaginative, brilliant illustration style was highly sought after and enhanced any text it accompanied. Rackham died in 1939, and now, more than 70 years after his death, his work is collectable and beloved. Children and adults alike take pleasure in the unique, beautiful art he provided for some of the world's greatest stories.

Volumes of Rackham

Snowdrop & Other Tales by The Brothers Grimm
Snowdrop & Other Tales
by The Brothers Grimm
Comus by John Milton
by John Milton
A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Wonder Book
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
The Vicar of Wakefield
by Oliver Goldsmith
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
Goblin Market
by Christina Rossetti
Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Peer Gynt
by Henrik Ibsen
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame 

Monday, 29 October 2012


Men, is this true?

The average man is more interested in a woman who is interested in him than he is in a woman with beautiful legs. ~Marlene Dietrich