Friday, May 27, 2016

FREAKY FRIDAY


We’ve all had “freaky” experiences, and here are some experiences of the strange and mystical kind.
FRAN FROM PISCATAWAY, NJ:
     Here’s a real Freaky Friday. I caught the chain of my favorite necklace on a button and the chain snapped. Later that day I bought a ticket in a raffle. One of the items being raffled was a beautiful sterling silver chain. Guess what I won? 

KAREN FROM FLORIDA:
Some years ago, I worked at a radio station situated between corn fields at the foot of a mountain in the middle of Pennsylvania. On Friday nights we aired local sports events, and I “manned the board”, made sure the game was on the air, then sat at the station alone until my relief arrived.
One particular Friday night I was having a terrible time getting the remote crew on the air. There was some kind of weird interference; I could hear them but they couldn’t hear anything from the station. After I finally got the game on the air the phone rang and a woman on the other end asked, “What’s that bright light over the mountains?” I looked out the window and, instead of total darkness, there was a bright light bathing the station. I could clearly see where the light ended—it didn’t fade, it simply ended like a focused beam. I didn’t want to look up; I didn’t want to know what might be hovering over our tower and shining the light down on the building. I simply said, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know” and hung up.
This was before I started reading about UFOs, though I had certainly heard of them. I knew they liked to hover over radio towers. Was there one right over my head? There was no reason why a bright light should be beaming down on the station. I’d like to think that if it happened today I’d be a little more adventurous—and maybe take a look.

MICHELE FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MN:
My friend Maureen and I are very much into metaphysical topics. We attend classes, workshops and seminars together, and share books, CDs and DVDs on New Age Topics.
While I was on vacation in another state, I went into a bookstore that had a wonderful used book section. I found a book I just knew Maureen would love, so I bought it and prepared to surprise her with it when I got home.
Imagine my surprise when Maureen said, “I got a present for you” and gave me the exact same book! She had found it at a yard sale and said, “I just knew you’d love it!”
The biggest “Freaky Friday” of this is that we’d bought the books on the same day and within hours of each other!

SUSAN (LOCATION NOT LISTED BY REQUEST):
When I was about seven or eight years old, I woke up late one night. There was a mirror in my bedroom, just across from my bed. It was on the wall, and not at eye level, so all I could see from my bed was the curtain on the window beside my bed and the wall behind my bed.
I was just staring at the mirror, trying to get back to sleep, when I was startled to see a face looking back at me! It looked like a little girl about the same age I was. I stared at her, she stared at me, and then she smiled. I knew it couldn’t be my own reflection, because I was across the room and out of range of the mirror. And I certainly wasn’t smiling!
I was too scared to get out of bed and get closer to the mirror. It would have meant standing on a step-stool to look in, and I didn’t want to take the chance of falling. I was curious to know if the room “inside” the mirror looked the same as mine, or if I was looking into another world.
The face appeared two or three times over a period of about a month, and then the girl disappeared and never came back.
I know I wasn’t dreaming, and the image of the face is as clear now as it was the first time I saw it. Can somebody explain what happened?

(NAME AND LOCATION WITHHELD ON REQUEST):
What makes this a Freaky Friday story is that it really happened on a Friday.
I’ll call my friend “Jane” because I don’t want to give her real name. We weren’t really close, but did spend time together now and then, although we didn’t share confidences.
I didn’t know it, but Jane was going through a very bad time. Her parents were getting divorced, her brother had been killed in Iraq, and she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Jane was quiet and kept to herself, so no one knew what was happening.
I was sitting in my room, watching TV. The only light was from the TV screen, and I had dozed a couple of times because it was late.
I suddenly jolted out of sleep to see a man looking at me out of the TV. I mean looking at me. This wasn’t a commercial. He spoke my name and I was suddenly wide awake.
 “You have to help Jane,” he told me. “She’s upset because of all that’s happening in her life. She has taken an overdose of pills and needs help.”
I didn’t know what to do. I had a vague idea where Jane lived but I didn’t have her phone number. I just sat and stared at the man on the TV screen.
 “You have to help her now!” he said urgently. And then he shocked me even more by giving me a phone number! He repeated it several times before I had the sense to write it down. And then the screen went black for a minute before returning to the show I’d been watching.
I dialed the phone number, convinced this was a joke. I had met Jane’s mother a couple of times, and recognized her voice when she answered the phone.
 “I think Jane needs help,” I told her. I didn’t want to tell her about the TV, so I said a friend of Jane’s had called and asked me to look in on her because he was concerned, but didn’t have her phone number. I said, “She has some pills, and he’s afraid she might take them all.”
Jane’s mom thanked me and hung up. I wasn’t sure what she would do, but I hoped she would check on Jane. It was a long time before I calmed down.
I found out from mutual friends that Jane had attempted suicide by taking pills. Her mother went to her apartment and found her and called an ambulance. Her mom didn’t remember my name, but she told the paramedics “a friend” called to check on Jane.
I never saw the face again, and I wonder if maybe he was Jane’s dead brother. He appeared just that once to give me the message and send help to Jane. She is alive today because he appeared to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

ARE ANIMALS PSYCHIC?

by Trynn

We’ve had articles on pets, and several subscribers have written about their own pets and sent stories they wanted to share.
 
Denny from Pittsburgh told us he reads dice and his cat Sylvester bats the dice around, “which gives me a whole new way of interpreting them.” We’re trying to convince Denny to write an article on how he reads dice.
 
Tom from Boston relates the following story about a seagull that saved a woman’s life.
 
I heard the story while vacationing at Cape Cod, where the incident allegedly occurred. What makes it unique is that it isn’t a story about a pet, but about a wild animal. According to the story, two sisters were in the habit of feeding seagulls from their yard. One day one of the sisters went for a walk on the rugged coast and fell from a 30-foot cliff. Severely bruised and injured, she was unable to climb back to safety, and lay on the rocky beach.
 
She was surprised when a seagull appeared and hovered over her. It didn’t go away; just hovered. She thought it looked like one of the gulls she and her sister fed, and called out, asking the gull to go for help. The gull flew off.
 
Meanwhile, at home, her sister was startled when a gull began tapping on a window with its beak. She tried to make it go away, but it persisted. She decided it was trying to tell her something, so she followed as it flew ahead of her, stopping every once in a while and waiting for her to catch up.
 
The gull eventually led her to the cliff where her sister had fallen, and she immediately called for help.
 
Diana told us that, in the tsunami that killed thousands, several elephant keepers were saved when they followed the elephants that began running to high ground. The elephants evidently sensed—or perhaps heard—the tsunami.
 
Kate from Des Plaines, IL, sent the following story:
 
In 1902 a volcanic eruption on the island of Martinique in the West Indies killed over 30,000 people. Prior to the eruption, however, animals on the island panicked and ran into the sea—even the animals that could not swim. They evidently sensed the impending eruption and were attempting to flee to safety.
 
Our editor Karen shares this incident: “I woke in the small hours of the morning with stomach pains from something I’d eaten. About the same time, our cat Revan Dark Lord of the Sith began misbehaving. I was in no mood to deal with her getting into mischief, so I verbally told her, ‘Revan, come lay by me and purr to help my sore tummy.’ In addition, I visualized her laying beside me and purring. A few seconds later she hopped up on the bed and pressed her nose against my stomach. She stayed like that for quite a while, then curled up behind my knees and went to sleep.”

Saturday, April 18, 2015

MANDRAKE

by Marta Estrada

In the Harry Potter movies and books, Harry and his classmates deal with mandrakes (mandragora) that resemble screaming infants. In traditional lore, it’s said mandrake resembles a man. In fact, Egyptians called it Phallus of the Field and Arabs called it the Devil’s Testicles, both of which point to its use in love magic and aphrodisiacs. In old England, it was called the love apple.
 
The mandrake is a root plant, and a member of the potato family. Though it is a deadly poison and no longer used in remedies, it was used in many Medieval medicines because it contains an alkaloid that suppresses pain and promotes sleep. It was also used as an aphrodisiac and an amulet to aid fertility and increase wealth. When added to incense, it was supposed to promote fidelity and abundance. In Medieval Europe, mandrake was believed to repair broken bones, ease toothaches, bring the dying back to full life, as an anesthetic, and as a cure for depression, snakebite, ear aches, gout and baldness. It was believed that the mandrake only grew under the gallows where the semen dripping from a rotting corpse caused it to grow.
 
Because the root resembles a man’s body, great care must be taken when harvesting it, as its cries will instantly kill the person pulling it from the ground. Instead, dogs were used to dig them up. 
 
Medieval witches were said to make mandrake look more human by immersing it in human blood and using berries to give it a semblance of eyes and a mouth. It could then actually speak to reveal the future and tell where gold could be located. It also reportedly opened locks (much like the Hand of Glory).
 
The reputation of the mandrake was so sinister that anyone found in possession of it was declared a witch and put to death.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

MOONS

by Renji

Each full moon has at least one name; some have more.

January:  Wolf Moon

February:  Snow Moon / Hunger Moon

March:  Worm Moon / Crow Moon / Crust Moon

April:  Pink Moon / Sprouting Grass Moon / Egg Moon / Fish Moon

May:  Flower Moon / Corn Planting Moon / Milk Moon

June:  Strawberry Moon / Rose Moon

July:  Buck Moon / Thunder Moon / Hay Moon

August:  Sturgeon Moon / Red Moon / Green Corn Moon / Grain Moon

September:  Harvest Moon

October:  Hunters’ Moon

November:  Beaver Moon / Frosty Moon

December:  Cold Moon / Long Nights Moon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Mysticism of George Lucas

by Frank D'Arcy

Where and/or what is Scythia? Scythia was in Eurasia in a region between the Carpathian Mountains just north of the Black Sea, extending from the Danube to China. Think “Dracula territory”. As far as I’ve been able to research, there is no record of Scythian writing, though some claim the language is related to Iranian (others dispute this). Scythians were called “the most ancient race of the world” and were considered older than the Egyptians. The Scythians  were known for producing ornaments, vases and weapons, and were perhaps some of the first bronze and iron workers, and among the first to have chariots and horse soldiers (with saddles). The Scythians flourished from the 8th to the 4th century BCE, and their archaeological remains include royal burial mounds that often contained horse skeletons.

“Royal Scyths” established their kingdom in the Eastern Crimea region sometime prior to the 9th century BCE, and traded grain and services for Greek wine and luxury items. 

Over time, the Scythians were absorbed by the Yazig and Sarmatian people. An interesting note here is that an ancient word for iron is Kalybs, and the Romans took some of the Yazig cavalry with them to early Britain. This could be where the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur (Kalybs?) originated.

As I researched, one question kept coming to mind: did the “Scyth” inspire George Lucas in his creation of the “Sith”? Perhaps not in the six Star Wars movies as much as in the video game KOTOR (Knights of the Old Republic), a storyline that is dated prior to the six films. The Sith of the movies follow the Sith belief system, whereas the “true Sith” are an ancient civilization. No one knows where they came from, and the Sith of KOTOR and the six Star Wars films are descendants of this ancient race. The language of the true Sith can be heard by accessing pyramid shaped holocrons that might be described as “talking books” that fit into the palm of the hand. Only Dark Lords can access the Sith holo-crons, which date back over a hundred thousand years. A most ancient people, indeed, and one with great knowledge. 

From interviews we know that George Lucas was influenced by the teachings of Joseph Campbell, who wrote extensively about the power in myth. I wonder if Mr. Lucas was also influenced by ancient history and the Scyth and Sith are either one and the same, or at least somehow related.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Luck!

By Contributor S Cunningham

Good luck comes in many forms. Catching the first autumn leaf before it hits the ground supposedly brings good fortune.

Poker players can change a losing streak by turning their chair around three times.

Turning your socks inside out changes bad luck to good.

If you button your clothes crookedly (in the wrong button holes), it will bring good luck.

The four leaf clover is lucky because the leaves symbolize Faith, Hope, Charity and Love.

There is disagreement about which way a horseshoe should be hung for good luck. Some people believe it should be hung with the open side up to hold the luck inside; others believe it should be hung with the open side down so good luck showers down on people as they walk under it.

Keys used in jewelry are considered lucky because the key is a symbol of Janus, the Roman god who rules doorways. The key symbolically opens the door to luck.

Consider this rhyme before picking up a “lucky pin”:
      Find a pin and pick it up,
     And all the day you’ll have good luck..
     If it should point the other way,
     You’d do best to let it lay.
In other words, the point is toward you, it brings good luck, but if the point is away from you, it will not.

We tie shoes to the back of the bride and groom’s car to start them off “on the right foot” for their journey through life as a married couple.

Think what you consider lucky.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

MISTLETOE

by Beth Overton

As Christmas draws near, I decided to find out how mistletoe, a poisonous parasite, came to be associated with a Christian holiday.

Mistletoe is a parasite. It has no roots and attaches itself to trees, where it grows. In Old English, the word mistle is another name for basil. In Anglo-Saxon, mistletoe means dung/twig because it was believed it came from bird droppings on twigs. Though some species of mistletoe are spread through bird droppings, many species are fertilized by insects. Although a heavy growth of mistletoe can kill a tree, it can also prove incredibly beneficial because the birds who feed on mistletoe carry seeds of the host tree far and wide. This promotes more plant growth and more animals; hence the idea that mistletoe promotes fertility.

One tradition attributes mistletoe's poisonous nature to its having grown on the tree that was used to make the cross on which Jesus was crucified. After the crucifixion, the mistletoe shriveled in shame.

Druids and Celts considered mistletoe an antidote to poison, though the berries from many varieties of mistletoe are deadly poisonous. Romans considered mistletoe good luck.

Based on the story of Balder's resurrection, Vikings believed mistletoe had the power to raise the dead. Balder was the son of Frigga, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. He told his mother about a dream he'd had that he was going to die. Frigga asked each element (earth, air, fire and water) to promise not to harm Balder. The trickster god Loki, who wanted Balder's dream to come true, realized that mistletoe had no roots and was, therefore, exempt from keeping Frigga's promise. Loki made a poisoned dart from mistletoe and tricked Balder's blind brother Hoder into shooting Balder, killing him.

All of the elements did their best to resurrect Balder, and after three days, it was Frigga's tears that caused the mistletoe's red berries to turn white. Balder rose from the dead and, out of gratitude, Frigga kissed anyone who walked under the mistletoe.

Another association with mistletoe is that first century Druids believed mistletoe promoted fertility (for animals as well as humans), healed diseases, and protected from witchcraft and storms. In ceremonies, Druids used special knives to cut mistletoe from oak trees for five days following the first new moon after the winter solstice. To keep the mistletoe from touching the ground, it was caught in white cloths. The ceremony included the sacrifice of two white bulls, and the Druid priests gave sprigs of mistletoe to the people to keep them safe from storms and evil spirits.

Thus, because mistletoe is associated with fertility and the Goddess of Love (Frigga), it is a symbol of affection. Kissing under the mistletoe replicates Frigga's actions after getting her son back. It is supposed to grant good luck to couples kissing beneath it--and bad luck for those who refuse to kiss. Married couples who kiss under the mistletoe will have a long and happy life together. Single women put a sprig under their pillow to dream of the man they will marry.

There is actually proper etiquette for mistletoe kissing. The man is supposed to remove one berry every time he kisses a woman under a sprig of mistletoe. When the berries are gone, there should be no more kisses. This could mean that the mistletoe has lost its effectiveness, or perhaps the young man has enjoyed one too many kisses!

In ancient times, when enemies met under a tree that had mistletoe growing on it, they put down their arms and embraced. They had a truce until the following day, which could have given many enemies time to get to know one another and stop old feuds.

The question I have now is whether plastic mistletoe is as effective as the real thing?

One word of warning: mistletoe is highly poisonous, so should be kept away from children and animals.