Halloween: Divination Games

Last year I did a Halloween tradition for every week leading up to Halloween, this year I thought I’d take a look at one I didn’t even think about – divination games.

Divination games were a very popular part of the Halloween festivals in Ireland. These games were associated with the Gaelic Samhain or summer end festival. An important aspect of Samhain is the very brief connection it brings to the “other side”. This enables the summoner to communicate with the deceased. These summoners would use traditional objects such as apples and nuts in order to receive answers from the unknown. Most of these games originated from rural Scotland and Ireland. We see fewer of these practices in England.

It is surmised that these divination rituals were already a tradition by the late 18th century. Some were still practiced but had become Victorian parlor games mostly revolving around questions of marriage and love. These games were carried across the channel to the US and Canada along with the Scottish and Irish travelers that were travelling to the New World. These games also became popular in the Middle East, although these were carried out all through the year and the summoner used astrology to know when to practice divination.

You’d think that since it’s a season of death and horror, most of the divinations would be about death and tragedy. However, as we see in history, more of these games focused on love, luck and marriage. Although the idea of courtship and marriage was associated with holidays and Saints’ days all year round, it became more closely associated with Halloween since this particular holiday dealt more with young people.

There are many tools by which summoners can call up the dead. I mentioned apples and nuts, but in reality far much more exist. These items were apples, garden veg, candles. and mirrors.

There are many traditions around divining. Most of these surround who your future spouse will be. Activities such as Apple Seed Numerology, Kaling, Oat Pulling, Nut Burning and many more. Use the below link if you want to know what these games entailed. The Horror of Being Emily gives a lovely description of it.

Halloween Divination Games

Practicing divination isn’t only limited to Halloween. Plenty of nations all around the globe practice divination going as far back as the days of the first kings. When I read throughout history about the nations, it seems that most kings back then had sorcerers, astrologers and wise men to give the kings counsel. Sorcerers would have been men who divined from various means  what the kings should do regarding certain matters. Reading the stars, alchemy, necromancy are only a few examples of methods by which they could divine. There are so many more.

I often get scared when I hear about people playing these games. You do not know what is being summoned and that scares me. You won’t ever find me near a Quiji board or playing any games related to tampering with the spiritual realm.

God bless you and keep you safe and sound this season of witches and wizards.

The First Teachers

Since today is officially Teacher’s Day, I thought I’d take a look at the first teachers in history.

It’s a widely known fact that the first teachers were the priests and prophets of old. In the Jewish culture it was the mothers who taught their children of their religion and taught their daughters how to run the house and raise the children. Boys were taught everything they needed to know by the priests in the synagogues and became very knowledgeable in the Word as well as a wide range of other subjects they would later use in their lives.

In the Middle Ages, episcopal schools were set up by the Greeks and Romans. Basic reading, writing and counting (as well as rudimentary Latin) were taught by the bishops in what were the first primary schools. They were read sacred texts (no doubt the Scriptures) with a global method using whole sentences to teach their students. Children were sent to guilds once they were what was considered literate and thus able to learn their trade as an educated member. The family, however, was responsible for domestic skills.

If a child was able, they were sent to colleges or universities where they were taught subjects such as Latin, music and grammar.

It is no surprise to find out that the first private teacher in history was none other than Confucius (561 BC). This man has often been quoted. His words continue to influence us to this day. In his day, education was only available to members of high society. The schools were run by governmental officials and thus it was state policy that he, as an adolescent, wasn’t able to gain the education he longed for. However, Confucius found a work-around and started to work for a travelling noble from whom he gleaned the knowledge he needed and thus became a very sought after educator as he would teach any student who had a hunger for learning. This caused him to become very sought after as an educator for young men.

Since then many schools have come and gone. As an example, a brief 10-year stint for an Agriculture boarding school existed between the 1820s and 1830s.

The first education in America was brought by the Pilgrims in the 1600s with the establishment of the first public school in the year 1635. These schools were followed by “dame” schools. These schools were run by women in the community mostly from their kitchens. Another institution set up around then  was Latin Grammar schools for students seeking a higher education. In the year 1642 Boston, Massachusetts, passed a law that, if you weren’t educated, you would be apprenticed and taught a trade. They were followed by Virginia in the year 1646. In 1647, the Old Deluder Satan Act ruled that if a town contained more than 50 people, they had to hire a teacher and open a school so the children could learn to read and write. Towns of more than 100 had to hire a grammar schoolmaster who would prepare students to enroll at Harvard College.

As we can see from the above, education is a vital part of society whether you are in a trade or not. Today we celebrate all our teachers across the globe! You are truly worth your weight in gold. I pray God keeps you.

Have a Happy Teacher’s Day! God bless you all, my darling avidReaders.

Earthing

Today I thought I’d take a look at something that seems to be all over the place: Earthing.  Earthing or, as it’s more commonly known, grounding is a method by which you can become connected to the Earth’s natural healing energy through various means which I will be discussing below.  Earthing is typically defined as being connected to the Earth and being present in your body. It is a very easy and cheap way to treat various health issues without effort or dieting required. This can also be defined as the removal of excess charges in our bodies, therefore being grounded can actually balance these electrical charges. These are ways which make it very easy to detox yourself from the stress of the world it just so happens that this is actually one of the benefits of Earthing, but we’ll dig into that in a moment.

Why Earthing, though? Why not just slip a pill in and be done with it, isn’t that easier? Yes, it definitely is, but a pill only works for the short term, while Earthing may not show immediate healing effects they are definitely there. There is so much scientific evidence that Earthing can have a positive impact on your life in the long term. Things such as inflammation and stress have been none to be completely cured just by walking barefoot outside or reconnecting with nature. I mean, Adam and Eve walked barefoot through nature and enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation and, let’s be honest here, who doesn’t enjoy a good walk through the forest? Don’t you immediately feel at peace just by listening to the bird’s songs, hearing the scurry of squirrels and the hoots of owls? I know I enjoy a good walk through the forest. So let’s take a look at how going barefoot can help us.

Earth’s Charge 

Before I get started on its various health benefits let’s look at Earth’s natural electric flow. It’s a pretty well-known fact that there’s a natural electromagnetic field around the Earth and this protects us from the power of the Sun, otherwise we’d roast.  There exists a similar electric charge in the ground. A subtle, natural electrical charge or special energy in the ground. Earthing/Grounding is our way of connecting to that electrical charge. This energy exists between everything in the world, but there’s one problem: We’ve lost contact with it. We live above ground in beds; we wear rubber-soled or plastic shoes and spend our days indoors. We are bioelectrical beings on an electrical planet with cells that transmit frequencies which run through your body’s organs such as the heart, muscles and nervous system; yet we insulate ourselves from contact with that same electrical energy. Could this be why we’re so ill?

Why Do I Need to Reconnect?

As I mentioned above, Earth has an electrical charge and it is this same charge that can help with a variety of health issues. Some of the benefits I’ll be discussing below is how it reduces inflammation, stress and pain. When you are grounded you feel centered, solid, strong , balanced, less tense and less stressed.

Stress can be defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. This is caused by many things as the definition says and with such a high-paced life is it any wonder that so many people have stress, anxiety and depression? Stress and anxiety are two of the many mental issues that can be improved simply by grounding. It does this by normalizing the diurnal rhythm (a biological rhythm that primarily express a periodicity during daylight hours) of the stress level, cortisol.

Inflammation is defined as a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. In a study one woman reported that after 8 weeks of grounding her inflammation was completely gone as well as other health issues that she had suffered from all illnesses resulting from her pain.

Circulation has also been known to be improved through grounding by improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues in the body. 20 minutes of grounding is known to improve facial circulation.

Other benefits include an increase in energy and healing speed. It also restores balance to the body, elevates mood, cardiovascular health and treats disorders such as chronic fatigue and anxiety/depression. If you are able to, go barefoot outside for half an hour or so and you will see the difference it makes in your general well-being.

Conclusion

There are 13 signs that you are ungrounded such as over-thinking or ruminating, even engaging in personal drama. Anxiety and perpetual worrying are other signs that you are ungrounded, but there are also ways of becoming grounded. If you feel out of touch with nature you can lie outside (outdoor savasana), walk barefoot (Earth-walker) or go swimming in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes (embracing your inner mermaid). These are the three major grounding techniques.

It has been proven by scientists and people who have personally experienced these healing benefits, that grounding/earthing does have its mental as well as physical benefits. If you ever find yourself in nature or even in your backyard, take off your shoes and get connected with nature. If you are unable, there are ways to reconnect such as leather shoes, conductive furniture and even conductive patches. Give it a shot and see the benefits for yourself.

God bless you, my darling avidReaders.

Who Discovered Coffee?

I remember having to look this specific topic up for a book I was working on. Initially my research was inconclusive. There didn’t seem to be a direct answer to the question. Today, I was very curious, so I thought let me see what I can dig up.

So let’s look at it’s some of its origin stories. Now, there are quite a few stories telling us who used it first. Some say it was discovered in Egypt others say it was in Yemen. I’ve even heard it said that someone saw monkeys in India eating the berries and observed how peculiar they acted afterwards, but the most common story seems to be a legend about its discovery in Ethiopia. So let’s take a look.

This story seems to originate on the Ethiopian plateaus in the region of Oromia, later to become known as the “coffee forests” of Ethiopia. The story  is that an Ethiopian goat herder, by the name of Kaldi, saw his goats acting erratically after eating the red berries from an Coffea arabica tree. After watching the goats, he began to investigate, and soon discover, the usefulness of these berries. He observed the fact that his goats didn’t sleep after eating the berries. He then brought them to a local monastery and showed the beans to the abbot. After mixing them with warm water, he discovered that it helped him stay awake through the long hours of evening prayer. He then shared his discovery with the other monks in the monastery and news of this brilliant drink began to spread. However when the religious leaders got wind of this, they tried to burn the beans in a hearth, but when they smelt the smell the beans made when burned they soon changed their minds and decided to give this beverage a chance. Once this discovery reached Arabia, news spread to every nation across the world and they slowly began to invent their own ways of brewing and mixing coffee. This would lead to the coffee we know and love today.

Another story in Ethiopia talks of a mystic who came across the beans while on his travels. He discovered this drink by observing birds in the area eating the berries and noticing how unusually lively they were. Once he tried these berries himself, he soon discovered how lively he, himself, felt. Another version of this is that his disciple, Omar, discovered them while in exile near the Ousab city. He became desperately hungry and consumed the berries, soon beginning to feel the vitality that these berries produced when consumed.

The earliest noted mention of coffee was in the 10th century CE. This was noted by the literary coffee merchant Philippe Sylvestre Dufour. This beverage was mentioned by a Persian physician in his writings in the 10th century. It’s also important to note that more information for this dates back to the compiled works entitled Umdat al Safwa fi hill al-qahwa recorded in the year 1587. It reports that the sheikh Jamal-al-Din al-Dhabhani, mufti of Aden was the first person to discover the use of coffee.

It would appear that there is a lot controversy around this drink. I’ve only mentioned the three most common stories behind it. However, all the research I’ve done comes back to these stories: Kaldi, Omar and the sheikh. These three men seem to be at the very center of the discovery of coffee. Something I noted in my research was that because of its vitality benefits Muslims used it during Ramadan to not only remove their appetite, but also to keep them awake for their prayers. This is what caused it to become associated with Muhammed’s birthday.

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a proper article, but I have another one in the pipeline, so expect to hear from me again very soon.

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders

How Has Tech Changed My Life?

Hey guys! Today I thought I’d do a post on a thought that has filled my mind for a while now. How has tech changed my life? There aren’t any facts in this article like I normally have. This is just me telling you how my life has changed because of tech. I know, in one of my previous articles, I wrote about the perils of tech and how it’s important to do a digital detox, but there are also quite a few good points to it.

 

Let’s look at a few:

Keeping in touch:

This is one of the most common benefits people bring up when they think of technology. Well, actually more specifically social media. I have managed to connect with so many of my old friends because of Instagram and Facebook. I’ve also been able to meet people who share common interests. I’ve also been able to keep track of friends and family who I haven’t seen in years. I connected with a friend who is Saudi Arabia right now and we texted for almost a week straight just catching up. I was so happy to hear from him as well as many others.

Information:

This one is fairly self-explanatory. I use Google every time I need to acquire accurate information for both work and you guys. Without it, I’d be spending days and days researching my articles using encyclopedias. Can you imagine how long that would take? So there technology has saved us. At a single type of the hands we have the world at our fingertips. So useful and, let’s be honest, so much fun. So, there I can say technology has changed my life even if just for work and play.

Youtube:

This is one of my favourite uses of technology. YouTube has taught me so much just through TEDx Talks. I even have some days where all I do is watch or listen to TEDx talks all day just enhancing my knowledge and getting inspired to be free and hopeful. If you ever get a chance, you should watch some. That’s a rabbit hole worth going down any day.

Then we come to funny videos. If you get a chance, look for a guy called Brandon Farris. I can laugh at him for days. (and no, I’m not vouching for him because of sponsorships) He is truly hilarious especially his Google Translate videos. I’ve got a friend hooked on him, too.

Entertainment:

I know you’re probably thinking I should have put this as the title for the previous topic, but just bear with me. One of the things I’ll mention is online gaming. Disclaimer: this can become an addiction so be careful, guys. As well as connecting with people who have a love for the same game you do, you can play with your friends from anywhere in the world. It allows you to keep that bond alive for as long as you play together. LANning has taken off in a big way and it also creates an excuse for friends to get together and have some laughs as well as enjoying a mutual love for gaming. My little cousin keeps getting on my case to play Valorant or CS:GO with him. He’s also forbidden me from playing Genshin Impact. What a funny little kiddo! I have also been addicted to Sims from an early age (hence my disclaimer😂) and, when I need to relax, I play it. My cousin and I also play and connect over it. We’ve both played it since it first came out. So this year will be year 21 that we’re still playing it. We both celebrated 20 years of gameplay last year.

Music&Movies:

This one is another one of my favourites. Anyone who knows me, knows I love my music. I can get my hands on tons of music at any given time and I can stream tons of Nightcore on YouTube. I love how YouTube offers a wide range of music. There are also music streamers such as Deezer, Spotify and iTunes.

Then we get our movie/series streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu as well as a huge variety of others. I’ve tried both Showmax and Netflix. I wasn’t too fond of either, but that’s just me. Tons of people across the world watch streaming services. In South Africa we have Showmax and across the world services such as Netflix and Hulu have just taken off at an epic speed. This has sadly killed the normal TV services we used when we were kids. Makes me wonder what our kids will be using one day. Will they also use Netflix and Showmax or will there be new services by then?

Conclusion

These are all things I’ve been pondering and I got to say the pros and cons are equally balanced–at least to me anyway. As I mentioned above, if you are not careful, you can become badly caught up in this world and eventually lose yourself in it. It’s easy to say, “Oh, that won’t ever happen to me” and then one day you find it has happened to you. So there are both good and bad to technology. I can say, though, that when it comes to the above I think technology has served us well. In fact, without technology I would not have my little Jack Russell sitting on my lap. Pros and cons, guys. Weigh them carefully.

Have a good weekend, my dear avidReaders.

Act 2 of Stranger

ACT 2; SCENE 1.

 

ENTERS STRANGER…

STRANGER: After too long a journey, I find myself in need of respite. I must now search for Lady Magdalin.

LADY MAGDALIN: As promised, there he stands. My husband will be pleased with my service. He will be arriving soon to be once again in my bosom. But now to the stranger.

STRANGER: Dear Lady Magdalin, I hear this is a place of respite for a weary traveller such as myself.”

LADY MAGDALIN: This is the Weary Wanderer, my kind stranger.

STRANGER: I was promised by a Wanderer I met by the way, that this was a place of comfort and pleasure for such a man as myself.

LADY MAGDALIN: All find rest and pleasure here, dear sir. May I offer you a room and a drink?

STRANGER: Please, kind lady.

LADY MAGDALIN: Follow me, sir and I will have ale and a warm meal waiting for you when we return.

 

Exit Stranger and Lady Magdalin….

 

 

Enter George Macey and Jules Macey….

 

JULES: How is mother?

GEORGE: Evil and demented as always! But why do you ask, anyway? I thought you wrote her off?

JULES: Is that what they are all saying? What a liar that woman is! I left because of father.

GEORGE: Regardless, it is good you did. Otherwise, your conscience would only plague you further.

JULES: You’re forgetting mother never raised us with any such thing. This should be a light matter. But how is your guest?

GEORGE: Which one?

JULES: Do be serious about this. You know which one I mean.

GEORGE: Quite right, brother. He rests well. Our dear Lady takes care of her patrons. I must go see her shortly.

JULES: I always wondered why you married an innkeeper. It seemed like history repeating itself.

GEORGE: Except mine is beautiful and kind. She is not mother.

JULES: Speaking of mother, why do you think she would hire an assassin? Who is she so desperate to rid herself of?

GEORGE: That’s a long list. It could take time. Off the top of my head, though, I would say—YOU.

JULES: I suppose it would make sense….but that somehow doesn’t feel right. There has to be something deeper to it. She could always invite me to her inn and just do me in there, why the secrecy—AND THE STRANGER?

GEORGE: Something is definitely afoot, it’s just finding out what.

JULES: Let’s just see what Lady Magdalin can discover from the Stranger, perhaps whatever information she gets will lead to mother’s real plans.

GEORGE: Wait! We’re being stupid! Tell Lady Magdalin to keep the man in her possession.

JULES: You are indeed, very clever, brother. The man could shed some light…for the right price.

GEORGE: Meet me at the Weary Wanderer in a week and we will discuss things further, hopefully with more information on mother’s plans.

JULES: Always a pleasure, little brother.

GEORGE: In a day, Jules. Have a $1,000 on the ready. (bribe the Stranger)

Exit George and Jules Macey….

In a room in the Weary Wanderer….

 

LADY MAGDALIN: are you comfortable here? Is everything to your liking?

STRANGER: it is a place of pleasure, that is for sure.

LADY MAGDALIN: a man like you must be tired from such a journey. Where are you from, kind sir?

STRANGER: a place of cruelty and hardship. A place where I shall never return. I have no reason to, my Lady.

LADY MAGDALIN: isn’t it your home? Should you not miss it, kind sir?

STRANGER: my Lady, if you knew what I did you would neither miss it yourself.

LADY MAGDALIN: tell me, kind sir, where is home? If I may inquire?

STRANGER: I dwell in the land of Corin. It is far north, my Lady.

LADY MAGDALIN: and you say you do not wish to return home? It must be of a cruel nature that which you speak of. I do hope that you someday find it in yourself to return home.

STRANGER: my Lady, I assure you that that will never occur.

LADY MAGDALIN: it is a pity. Home is a place of peace and safety. I only wish that you could’ve had that.

STRANGER: yes, but I am glad to be gone.

 

Lady Magdalin nods and they continue talking…

Act 2; Scene 2

 

GEORGE MACEY: I have not ever wanted to know mother’s plans, but this confuses me. Why would mother hire a hitman to kill Donald, he is of no consequence to her and how would she even know about him?

 

Sorry, this was all I had before I stopped and turned it into a full novel. Right now I’m working on a sequel called Idyllic.

 

God bless you, my darling avidReaders

Act 1; Scene 5

Stranger:

 

Act 1; Scene 5

 

Innkeeper enters strangers lodgings…

 

Innkeeper: “Stranger, I trust you had a good rest. May I offer a humble breakfast at my table?”

Stranger: “I am in need of something to start my journey, my good lady! But we must confer in a place where I might undergo the task set before me. Where shall I find my charge?”

Innkeeper: “Indeed we must, but first to breakfast, my good stranger!”

Inside The Weary Wanderer….

 

Wanderer: “These six nights have I pursued him, and not a sight of the man! I grow weary of this cat and mouse game.”

Jules Macey: “Have you not, my man? I am ashamed to say I have neither heard nor seen of any such man myself and the charge is in my possession.”

Wanderer: “Can not such a man be offered as bait for this hunter you and I seek?”

Jules Macey: “I shall admit, it is a very strong temptation, but until my man comes to deliver him from my possession, he is to be locked and kept well lubricated. My Officer is watching him as you and I speak. He is an honourable man.”

Wanderer: “A stranger came across my path in these two days passed looking for a nearby town. I sent him to Merin. Perchance he is the man you seek?”

Jules Macey: “Did he not give you his name?”

Wanderer: “No, friend, I did not give him mine, either. Do you think he will come for your charge?”

Jules Macey: “Perhaps. But we must drink and depart, I have a long journey.”

Wanderer raises glass: “To friends and journeys ahead.”

*clang of glasses* -toast

 

Enjoy this excerpt from my screenplay Stranger.

Stranger Act 1 Scene 3 & 4

Act 1; Scene 3

George Macey enters a bar…

George: “Now, to find respite for my soul. I have a heavy task ahead, and my brother will no doubt make it as heavy as he dares.”
Barmaid approaches…
George: “Your best mead, barmaid! I have a long journey ahead.”
Barmaid: “It is best you order that, kind sir, what with that madman on loose.”
George: “Mad man, you say? What madman?”
Barmaid: “Well, I really don’t know what I’m saying, sir, I’m only a humble barmaid, but a day or more ago a young man was arrested for adultery with the woodcutter’s wife, there yonder. He’s said to be a rather unruly man, and a useless drunk. He was arrested by officer Kevin Mayburn and placed in jail.”
George: “Arrested, you say? What rotten luck! Poor fellow!”
Barmaid: “Indeed, kind sir. Now, you seek mead—shall I add to that order?”
George: “Only mead, barmaid.”
Barmaid exits…

Act 1; Scene 4

Enter Stranger…

Stranger: “I have walked for days and I have had no luck as of yet. What hole could this man be buried in?”
A wanderer crosses his path…
Stranger: “Fellow traveller!”
Wanderer: “Pardon, stranger? How may I assist you?”
Stranger: “Perchance, there is a town nearby?”
Wanderer: “There is a simple town a mere day’s travel from here. How long have you been lost in this desert, dear friend?”
Stranger: “It feels as though I have been walking in this wasteland since birth.”
Wanderer: “Ho! Is life not a wasteland in itself, friend? But, pray, tell me for what cause you find yourself in this place?”
Stranger: “I am in pursuit of a villain.”
Wanderer: “A villain! Nay, can’t be so!”
Stranger: “It is so, friend! He has abandoned his widowed mother and left her with nought to sustain herself.”
Wanderer: “Villain, he is! How could a son do such a thing to his tender mother? The woman who brought him into this world; yet bore him upon her knees! Villain!”
Stranger: “You see I have cause to pursue such a man.”
Wanderer: “Cause you have, my dear friend. Would that I could help you, but I myself am in pursuit of a villain of my own.”
Stranger: “Pray tell.”
Wanderer: “Nay. I shan’t; I have sworn an oath.”
Stranger: “A man’s word is his bond. You are an honourable man, friend.”
Wanderer: “And you an apt traveller. I see you have prepared for a long sojourn in this land.”
Stranger: “Only as long as need permit, but I do seek shelter in this wasteland.”
Wanderer: “Do not we all?”
Stranger: “Indeed. Do you know of a place where a traveller may rest his weary head?”
Wanderer: “You are heading towards the small town Merin. There you will find an inn. In such an inn ask for Lady Magdalin, she will attend to thee.”
Stranger: “Great thanks, friend! I will do as you say!”
Wanderer: “Good luck and may the winds of fate guide you to your destination!”

 

Enjoy this scene 3 & 4 of Stranger.

The Ghadians

Snarling, it approaches me. It’s so huge. So very, very huge. They were supposed to destroy all of these. A blood-thirsty monster. A terrifying creature bred for destruction. Its eyes creating a halo all the way around its head. It’s got no ears, but a mouth that could eat a man whole with no effort at all. It’s grey—that’s where it gets its name. The Grey Ripjaw. A vicious creature created by the Ancient Kingdom. A long-passed nation of power-hungry, mad people whose intelligence was only rivalled by that of the Highland City. A people so consumed by their lust for power that creating such a creature was no effort at all—fueled by an all-consuming lust for the souls of men and women. Their poor, helpless victims to be used in their perverted attempts at a dark science forbidden by both man and God. This all rushes through my head when I hear a rustle in the trees behind me and I freeze in my footsteps. Another one? I am truly facing death.

I close my eyes and grimace, bracing myself for the worst. Nothing. I hear a snarl above me and look up. It’s not a Grey, it’s a Blue—a Blue Ripjaw. The counter to the blood thirsty Ripjaw in front of me. He was created by rebel scientists from the Ghadians. A race of protectors to fight the Grey Ripjaws of the ruling Ghadians set to defend the helpless. He stands bravely above me, barely touching the crown of my head, his multiple eyes blinking like that of a serpent. He lets out a low growl and I can see drool drip to the ground in front of me. In a counter to the Blue, the Grey hisses lowly and I see blue drool fall to the ground, unlike the Blue above me with his clear drool. This just shows another stark difference between the two. What I see next terrifies me. The Grey lunges forward and on top of the Blue. I feel it fall on me and roll off—he’s protecting me from getting crushed in their brawl. I sigh when I see him go barrelling into a tree. The Grey drops to the ground and lets out a low growl before getting up and lunging at the Blue again. I flinch when I see this. I’m loudly rooting for the Blue. Egging the Blue on to fight harder and with more courage. This noble creature defending us and it will continue to do so up to the very last of his kind. I hope that day never comes. They are a hero for all mankind and deserve to live in peace like any other noble creature created deserving the love of man. ‘Dear God, protect this noble creature.’ I pray as I watch this fight before me. They continue to fight as blood stains the ground. ‘God, please. God, please.’ I plead for the creature fighting for my safety. I see the Blue come flying at me. I lunge into the bushes to the right, just narrowly missing the Blue as it falls to the ground with the Grey landing right on top of it. They continue their tussle when I hear a shriek. I huddle into a ball and close my eyes. Who was that and who won?

I hope you enjoy this bit of fantasy. Have a great one. God bless you, my darling avidReaders.

Friday the 13th

DOGO News

In Western culture, Friday the 13th has always been believed to be an unlucky day, despite there being no evidence of this before the 19th century. This holiday can happen anywhere from 1 to 3 times a year. In the years between 2010 and 2019, there were 3 Friday the 13ths in 2012 and 2015, 2 in 2013, 2017 and 2019. In the years between 2020-2029 there will be 3 Friday the 13ths in 2026, 2 between 2023 – 2024 and 2 in 2029. The average is recorded at 2 or 3 a year. There is never more than 3 a year and never less than 1a year. Today was and will be the only Friday the 13th this year. Friday the 13th has inspired horror movie figures such as Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street and, in fact, a whole horror film franchise. It has also been related to various ill events in history which we will discuss below.

An Ill Omen

I mentioned above that various events have been linked to this very unlucky day. Two such events are the Last Supper and the Trials of the Knights Templar. Catholics believe that the number 13 is an unlucky number because according to the calendars at the time, Jesus was brought for execution on Thursday 13 and the Friday of the 14th, he was crucified

The Trials of the Knights Templar is another event in history that is always associated with Friday the 13th with their arrest on Friday the 13th, October, 1307. This was due to Philip IV’s desire for the vast wealth acquired by the Templars during the First Crusades.

Donald Dossey, a famous folklore historian, believes that this belief stems from Norse mythology. The story is that one day 12 gods were having a dinner in Valhalla when Loki arrived unwelcome. He arranged for Balder to me murdered by another god with a mistletoe tipped arrow. Quoted, Dossey says, “Balder died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day.” This made the number “13” an unlucky number.

This belief inspired a 19th century secret society called The Thirteen Club. This club contained such famous members as Chester Arthur, Grover Cloveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Their sole aim was to prove that Friday the 13th wasn’t an unlucky day.

As well as inspiring a secret society, it also inspire a horror franchise and two phobias. These phobias are paraskavedektriaphobia and friggatriskaidekophobia.

In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer writes that starting a journey on a Friday was bad luck. However, Chaucer isn’t the only famous author to use this day in his literary creations. Dan Brown, as well as many other historical fiction writers, mention this day when discussing the Knights Templars.

I mentioned above that in Catholic belief, they hold that the Last Supper was considered evidence that 13 is an unlucky number, this due to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ being on a Friday. The Catholics are not the only culture to hold that the number 13 is an unlucky number. In the Code of Hammurabi there was actually no 13th day at all.

In Western cultures, the number 12 is often referred to as the number of completeness (12 months of the years and 12 gods of Olympus), while the number 13 has acquired a reputation for being bad luck number. It is believed that it is bad luck to have a wedding on a Friday and, as Chaucer mentioned, to start a journey on a Friday.

Today is day surrounded by so much controversy. Is it good? Is it bad? I guess, you will need to decide for yourself. What do you believe? All I can say is that it’s one interesting day with a dark, rich history. Mentioned down the ages from the Hammurabi Code to the Nightmare on Elm Street, this day has always been believed to be a bad day; but do you really believe it or is it just another day? For me, it’s my favourite day. My favourite number is 13 and I love Fridays. So it’s the perfect combination for me.

I wish you all a day filled with good luck and not bad. God bless, my dear avidReaders