The Clocks Go Forward
At one am, on the morning of Sunday 26th March, clocks in the UK go forward to give us an extra hour of sunlight. Mentally, this is a major turning point as I feel that summer is waiting on my doorstep and about to ring the bell.
As I drive along, the hedges are full of the white blossomed blackthorn, another messenger of warmer weather and longer days.
Blackthorn hedge plants, also known by their Latin name Prunus spinosa, produce pure white flowers against dark stems in early spring, followed by attractive mid-green foliage, and finally, sloes appearing in the autumn. Often devoured by birds, these sloes can be collected and used to make Sloe Gin, or when left to adorn the branches, they provide wonderful seasonal interest. Prunus spinosa hedge plants are covered in thorns.
We are told that in English tradition, it was thought to have been the main component of Christ's crown of thorns. Blackthorn is much prized for walking sticks. Only blackthorn or oak wood may be used to make an authentic sail eille (shillelagh in English), the stick of Irish folklore. It is also said that Parliament's Usher of the Black Rod's knocking stick is made of it. It is steeped in folklore related to witches, used both in their wands used to curse pregnant women, and as fuel for their execution pyres.
I woke up this morning and felt a bit of a ‘rant’ coming on. I am perfectly aware that I live in this world but on the other hand sometimes I simply do not feel a part of it anymore.
I wonder if I am the only person who feels like a stranger in the modern world of ‘speak’. It seems I am just a ‘person’ although I know perfectly well what and who I am. As an example, it seems that suddenly the first person singular has become the first person plural etc. I know my wonderful English mistress would be in frenzy and foaming at the mouth. Where have all the commonly listed English parts of speech gone? Wikipedia comes to the rescue and tells us there are twelve (I could only find eleven) -- noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection, numeral, article, and determiner. I wasn’t too sure what a ‘determiner’ might be and on looking it up, this is what it is. ‘In the English language, determiners are used before a noun to introduce it or to provide more information on the noun, such as how many there are. If there are any adjectives before the noun to describe it then the determiner will also come before them.’ Well, there we are. I wonder how many are in general use today?
In case you are uncertain of how you should converse with anyone, I have a very helpful link for you given out by the reputable Oxfam. Surely they must be right? But please don’t try it out as I might not understand you.
My second rant was regarding the censorship of any language/word that might be considered offensive in any book with or without their authors’ permission - such as Roald Dahl’s wonderful children’s books. The little darlings might be scared - that reminds me of Noel Coward's song ‘What's Going to Happen to the Tots’. Salman Rushdie, who has had problems himself reacted fiercely: ‘Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.’ Roll on the debate. No more controversies!
I am delighted that the world famous Gobekli Tepe temple still remains unscathed after the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
I have long been intrigued by this amazing temple and its craftsmanship, created by unknown people of that time who were involved in its construction, architecture and intricate stone carvings etc. Historian Tom Cox tells us:
Gobekli Tepe Temple (Xerabreshkê/Girê Navokê) “Called the Gobekli Tepe Temple, located six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in south-eastern Turkey, it had previously been surveyed by the University of Chicago in 1963, and it was not until 1994 that German Klaus Schmidt made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: Having seen the first report by the University of Chicago, he decided to do a further excavation and recognized the possibility that the rocks and slabs were prehistoric. The following year, he began excavating there in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum, and soon unearthed the first of the huge T-shaped pillars.
“The massive carved stones, about 11,000 years old, were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.”
The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. It is considered to be the site of the world's oldest temple and contains the same geometry as is found in crop circles!
Rather like Avebury, many of the stones were taken away by the locals for building material. It was an agricultural area.
“For the old Kurdish shepherd, it was just another burning hot day in the rolling plains of eastern Turkey. Following his flock over the arid hillsides, he passed the single mulberry tree, which the locals regarded as 'sacred'. The bells on his sheep tinkled in the stillness. Then he spotted something. Crouching down, he brushed away the dust, and exposed a strange, large, oblong stone.
“The man looked left and right: there were similar stone rectangles, peeping from the sands. Calling his dog to heel, the shepherd resolved to inform someone of his finds when he got back to the village. Maybe the stones were important.
“They certainly were important. The solitary Kurdish man, on that summer's day in 1994, had made the greatest archaeological discovery in 50 years. Others would say he'd made the greatest archaeological discovery ever: a site that has revolutionised the way we look at human history, the origin of religion - and perhaps even the truth behind the Garden of Eden.
“The site has been described as 'extraordinary' and 'the most important' site in the world.”
“A few weeks after his discovery, news of the shepherd's find reached museum curators in the ancient city of Sanliurfa, ten miles south-west of the stones”.
“The age of the temple predates the Pyramids, Avebury, Stonehenge and other early sacred sites by many thousand years, taking us back to a time before man became settlers.
Tom Cox also suggests that “…at the date in history when the temple was constructed, that the surrounding area was a verdant place with trees, shrubs and rivers.”
Who were these immensely skilled people and when and to where did they disappear? Could there have been an earlier as yet unidentified civilisation?
Herdman Healing Sanctuary
I am going to tell you about a wonderful healing centre not far from where I live. It is run by two people who have long had a dream. For Martin and Libby Herdman (old friends of mine) who had moved out of London to the country and after settling in, started to work on their dream. Not knowing quite how it would turn out, it seemed as though their dream was developing of its own accord. Last summer Martin and his brother set about building an octagon structure to be used for healing work, but somehow the powers that be decided that their original plans should grow into a magnificent 16 sided (hexadecagon) building. Between the two of them the building gradually came into being. An electrician, to install the necessary electric power, was their only outside help.
I visited the now completed sanctuary a few weeks ago. Sadly Libby was in London. I was aware they had been working on a building, but I could not believe my eyes when I saw the amazing construction and learnt of all the hard work involved. It is on a slight upward slope and Martin took me up and opened the door. Stepping inside was like stepping into another world. A world of serenity. I was enveloped in a warm feeling of awe, well-being, peace and security, rather like entering a church. ‘It is a Temple’ I said. ‘O, we didn’t quite know what to call it’, said Martin.
They are both fully trained, and together with Shamanic Healing and Reiki, they offer yoga and healing, yoga, Meditation Sound Healing, and gong baths etc.
I can strongly recommend you visit the Herdman Healing Sanctuary. It is run by two special people.
May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those which come true
May the kindness you spread
Keep returning to you.
I send you my love and best wishes