Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for March 10 and 11 – Herakles/Hercules

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March 10 and 11

Herakles/Hercules

This day celebrates the super-human strength of the Greek hero-God Herakles, son of Alcmene by Zeus. His many adventures included fighting a bull-headed snake to win the love of his earthly wife Deianeira. During the battle, he tore off one of the animal’s horns, which became the cornucopia. He then fought and killed the centaur Nessus, who had tried to rape her. Before Nessus died, he gave Deianeria some of his blood to put on Herakles’s tunic as a charm to keep his love. But the blood poisoned Herakles by burning him. Distressed, Herakles sacrificed himself upon Mt. Oeta. When Herakles was admitted to Mt. Olympus as a God, Zeus gave him his daughter Hebe for his wife. They had two children, Alexiares and Anicerus.

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Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Dedication Day of the Temple of Hercules

30 June

Dedication Day of the Temple of Hercules

 
In ancient Rome this was the Dedication day of the temple of Hercules and the Muses. The temple was built by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior out of the fines he had collected as a censor in 179 B.C. It seems that when he was in Greece, he had heard of Hercules, leader of the Muses (normally a function of Apollo). The temple was quite elaborate, and Fulvius set up a calendar inscription, statues of the nine Muses, and one of Hercules playing a lyre. The rites would have included a procession with a sacrifice and games.

Deity of the Day – The Hesperides

Deity of the Day

The Hesperides, Daughters of the Evening

“…amidst the gardens fair

Of Hesperus and his daughters three,

That sing about the golden tree.” (“Comus” by Milton)

The Hesperides are Daughters of Nyx, the Mother Night – although later mythology has Them as daughters of Atlas or of Hesperus. The three sisters – Aegle (the luminous one), Erytheia (the crimson one) and Hesperia (the evening one) – are nymphs who live in a beautiful garden, situated in the Arcadian Mountains (Greece) or, alternatively, at the western extreme of the Mediterranean, near Mt. Atlas. In this garden grows the tree with the golden apples of immortality. This garden is guarded by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads and who has the gift of human speech. The Hesperides are known for Their sweet singing voices and also have the ability to change Their shapes and become trees – Aegle into a willow, Erytheia into an elm and Hesperia into a poplar.

The only person who ever succeeded in obtaining some of the immortal golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides was Hercules, who tricked the God Atlas to get the apples for him. The apples were later returned to the garden by Athena because the sacred fruit were not to remain outside the garden.

The Hesperides have as associations: the apple; the color gold; immortality; gardens; and the trees poplar, elm and willow.

Deity of the Day for November 23 is Hera

Deity of the Day

 

HERA

 

Hera, queen of the gods, the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the sister and wife of the god Zeus. Hera was the goddess of marriage and protector of married women. She was the mother of Ares, god of war; Hephaestus, god of fire; Hebe, goddess of youth; and Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth. A jealous wife, she often persecuted Zeus’s mistresses and children, especially the half- god Hercules, and was known for her vindictive nature.

Your Daily Horoscopes for August 3

We see the world through the subjective filters of our own imagination today. We begin to lose objectivity when the Moon swims into watery Pisces at 9:57 am EDT. The fluidity of compassion and spirit are common to us all as the Moon moves through the sign of the Fish, and her midday conjunction with otherworldly Neptune again reminds us that the seas dissolve boundaries. We are more empathic now since there is only one ocean of consciousness.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Confusion may arise today as fast as you can gain clarity. Every question you answer just peels off another layer of the growing onion. Seeking positive solutions may feel like a hopeless battle. However, it’s good to remember that with strength and determination, Hercules was able to defeat the Hydra who grew two new heads each time one was cut off. You can be the hero of your own world if you summon your courage from the wellsprings within.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

It’s difficult to get a handle on the day today as circumstances keep changing. However, the greatest challenges may come from your friends or associates now because of the Moon’s presence in your 11th House of Social Networking. You’re ready to withdraw and separate yourself from the group if others aren’t sensible and reliable. But you don’t have to move so fast; there are goodies to be discovered if you allow enough time to untangle the complexities before giving up.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

It can be disarming if your data aims you one way while an intuitive hunch suggests that you should be doing something else. It’s hard to know what to do, since you tend to ultimately rely on the facts. Instead of jumping to any conclusions, consider all your possibilities until your feelings are more aligned with the circumstances. You’ll feel better about what your choice if you wait before swinging into action.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

You have gathered all the necessary information and have successfully withheld your feelings as you developed your plan. Although you can be very patient when needed, you grow so restless today that you don’t want to wait any longer. However, you may be more focused on your ideal fantasy now than you are on reality. You’ve made it this far, so don’t blow it by acting too soon. The turning point is next week.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

What someone else says today can wound you, but it’s crucial to look past the current circumstance and carefully consider the true source of the pain. Think about any past situations that are brought to mind by the current situation. Explore your resistance to letting go of the past. But the real work in not about remembering; it’s about bringing your memories out into the open so healing can occur. Acknowledging the truth brings resolution.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Irrational fears about a relationship may come to the surface today, but you might not be able to talk about your deeply rooted emotions easily. Try not to let your limitations stop you, for negative feelings can be destructive if you keep them to yourself. Make time to have the conversation that you keep postponing. Think about what you’re going to say, and then go for it. It will become easier once you start.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You may not be all that clear about what you can do to make yourself happier now, but it’s likely that change is needed in your daily routine. It seems like this should be an easy task, but the closer you get to taking action, the more difficult it becomes. Don’t give up just because you are feeling confused today. Trust in yourself and your clarity will return.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You can’t stop thinking about something that’s been bothering you recently. You intuitively understand that the only way anything will get better is to talk about it until the energy settles. However, it’s difficult to bring your intense feelings out into the open because the resultant vulnerability makes you uncomfortable. Be courageous and move directly toward the source of your discomfort, not away from it.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

This is one of those days when your head and your heart aren’t reading from the same adventure novel. You may be feeling softer and more compassionate than you are acting as your cavalier behavior masks your vulnerability. Thankfully, you can regain your focus by looking within and exploring your motives for not sharing what’s in your heart. There’s no need to hide behind a false sense of bravado; just be yourself.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You can be a fount of strength if you let go of your own self-criticism for a while. You’re ready to discover how much you have to offer others. Your carefully chosen words have the power to heal, and you have co-workers who can really use your help today. Push beyond any personal resistance to the idea of being a healer and start listening to those around you with an open heart.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Self-doubt can be debilitating today, especially if it prevents you from being part of a crucial discussion. Fortunately, your thoughts are quite powerful and more connected to your core essence these days. Your perspective is desperately needed now, no matter what it is. Share your opinions, but be careful about overstating your cause in order to cover your own uncertainty.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Your imagination is far more active now that the Moon is paddling through your watery sign. Go ahead and sink into your dreams today, but be wary about using them to escape from the difficult emotions attached to real world circumstances. Fortunately, the symbolism that bubbles up from your unconscious might be the key that clarifies your current uncertainty. Once you are in touch with the meaning, you can change your attitude about what’s happening.

Dragons and Apples Spell (Seed Moon)

Dragons and Apples Spells

(Seed Moon)

Dragons always indicate magick is afoot. Draco the dragon is a circumpolar constellation that wraps itself around the northern hemisphere. Draco’s face and head look different depending upon the time of year. It is an ancient constellation that once had more stars and is associated with Ladon from Greek Mythology, the monstrous dragon with a hundred heads. Ladon guarded the Golden Apples of Hesperides in the Goddess Hera’s garden. Hercules in his eleventh task slew Ladon and stole the apples. Hera was heartbroken over the loss of Ladon and put the dragon in the skies, coiled around the North Pole. The purpose of this spell is to call upon the stellar dragon energy to bring more sweet love into your life.

You will need a white candle, a dragon figurine or a picture of a dragon, your athame, and an apple.

At midnight, draw a magick circle and call in the elements. Also invite the helpful dragon powers into your circle. Set up your altar in the north sector of your circle. Light the candle, dedicating it to your lover or would be beloved. Place the dragon figurine or picture by the candle so that it is illuminated by the candlelight. Focus your awareness on the dragon in front of you, and say:

Magick dragon of midnight light
Bring more sweet love into my life.
As I will, so shall it be!

Use Your athame to cute the apple in half from side to side instead of from end to end. This reveals the star or five-pointed pentacle in the apple core. Before eating each half of the apple, repeat:

Magick apple of midnight light
Bring more sweet love into my life.
As I will, so shall it be!

When you are done, allow the candle to safely burn down. Thank the dragon powers, bid farewell to the elements, and pull up the circle. Put the dragon figurine on your altar or somewhere close to your bed to draw more sweet love into your life.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb. 4th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 February 4
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Comet Garradd and M92
Image Credit & Copyright: Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST) 

Explanation: Sweeping slowly through the constellation Hercules, Comet Garradd (C2009/P1) passed with about 0.5 degrees of globular star cluster M92 on February 3. Captured here in its latest Messier moment, the steady performer remains just below naked-eye visibility with a central coma comparable in brightness to the dense, well-known star cluster. The rich telescopic view from New Mexico’s, early morning skies, also features Garradd’s broad fan shaped dust tail and a much narrower ion tail that extends up and beyond the right edge of the frame. Pushed out by the pressure of sunlight, the dust tail tends to trail the comet along its orbit while the ion tail, blown by the solar wind, streams away from the comet in the direction opposite the Sun. Of course, M92 is over 25,000 light-years away. Comet Garradd is 12.5 light-minutes from planet Earth, arcing above the ecliptic plane.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 3rd

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Tails of Comet Garradd
Image Credit & Copyright: Gregg Ruppel 

 

Explanation: A good target for binoculars and small telescopes, Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) now shines in planet Earth’s evening skies, a steady performer but just below naked-eye visibility. Telescopic images like this composite from October 15 can find the comet with a lovely green coma, sporting multiple tails, and lingering against a background of faint stars. The field of view spans over 1 degree or about 2 full moons within the southern boundaries of the constellation Hercules. Now around 16 light minutes (2 astronomical units) away, P1 Garradd is an intrinsically large comet, but will never make a very close approach to Earth or the Sun while sweeping through the inner solar system. As a result, the comet will likely stay a sight for telescopic eyes only, moving slowly through the sky and remaining in Hercules during the coming months.