St. Patrick wasn't Irish, he wore blue, not green and there were no snakes.
But there were vampires and leprechauns and witches. Oh my!
In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I'm using my alphabet prompts to learn more about all things Irish. I'm only doing one or two topics per letter, even though I can think of many more for some.. Even so, be warned. This will be a long post. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
A - Abhartach - the Irish Vampire
Let's start with something light and fun! Ha!
A is for Abhartach, the Irish Vampire.
Even though Dracula, the character created by Bram Stoker, is most often associated with Transylvania, in reality he may have been based on an Irish king, Abhartach. He was said to be a dwarf and considered to be evil and feared by all who knew him.
He was a very jealous man and was suspicious of his wife, convinced that she was having an affair. While spying on her from a high castle window, he fell to his death. The entire kingdom was relieved.. They buried him upright, apparently the correct burial position for royalty, and enjoyed a peaceful night's sleep. One. Just one.
Because the next day, he rose from the dead, and demanded that all of his subjects slit their wrists and drain their blood into bowls. Well, you can imagine they were upset, so they traveled to the next village seeking help from another king, Cathan, who came, killed him and buried him once more.
You guessed it. Up he came, ready for yet another snack.
This continued until Cathan decided to seek help from a saint who explained there was no way to kill someone who was already dead!
His suggestion was to bury him upside down, cover him with thorns and ash branches, and top it off with a huge boulder. As far as we know it worked, and peace returned to the kingdom. He served as inspiration for Stoker's Dracula, and all lived happily ever after!
B - Banshee
A banshee is a terrifying, wispy, floating specter with a piercing scream who warns of a coming death in the family. First reports were in Ireland in the 8th century. This alarming figure, usually female, varies in age from a young maiden to an old woman. Some families were reported to have their very own banshee, possibly having been a family member who had passed. They were known for their keening, mournful singing and wailing, as they lamented the death of loved ones.
C - Children of Lir
,King Lir, Bobd Derg, was left with four motherless children, one daughter and three sons, when his wife Aoibh, the queen, unexpectedly passed away. The king decided to marry Aoife, his wife's sister,
This showed up as a memory on Facebook and prompted me to repost. I've had it out since January and in these challenging times, it's kept me focussed and provided peace of mind.
It's that time of year! This has been our of sight, out of mind since the move in July. My course prompted me to look for it and display it again. It's helpful to reflect on what I cherish, what I want to create in my life and business, what I want to surrender and release, and why I know these things are meant to be. Hope it prompts you to do a map of your amazing life! I love the ocean and roses. Create your map with things that are personal to you!
I love vision boards and goal settings, but if they aren't visual and engaging, I lose interest. I started making maps years ago and they keep me on task! Circling completed tasks gives me much more satisfaction thank checking off linear lists. If you are a creative, you may want to try this approach. The limbs from the my tree are based on my values. These have changed over the years, but always include health, relationships, creativity, and learning and education.
Gratitude is alway at the base of my goals. If we don't appreciate what we have now, we'll never be content. Leave a space for seeds - people, places and/or things that may - or may not - flower and grow. Also included a space for completely unexpected opportunities! One year I took a trip to Paris and bought a house - both completely unplanned when I made my draft goal map! Life is over flowing with possibilities. Leave a space for them!
Over half way through my map for the second half of 2017 and things are well on schedule! It's been a productive year, filled with memorable moments. Several of my projects and goals won't wrap up until December, but they are on time..
There are a number of initiatives that are personal and aren't included in this map and they are on course. All in all, the year has been over flowing with treasured adventures with family and friends, supporting groups I believe in, a renewed focus on health - Shaun T, I'm back! - and a continued focus on learning and teaching through research and classes. Daily journaling (since 2003), illustrated journaling, writing, sewing and designing, gardening, cooking, herbal creations and choral singing have made this a creative and productive year.
Next year's plans are being formulated and my 2018 map is in draft form. It's time to move forward and build on the knowledge and skills from 2017 and to help others and expand dreams.
Several times through out the year I'll grad a sheet of paper, fold it in half vertically, title it "Same" and "Different under the day's date, and begin to list everything that was the same in my life at this time last year, and everything that is different.
This is fraction of the list but it can give you an idea. It's helpful to see the progress over the year. I often complete tasks and projects and don't really take the time to celebrate the achievements. You may also be accomplishing more than you realize.
As I review my lists, I'm able to see areas that have improved and others that could use more attention. The first time I did this it was the result of journaling about sameness. Everything was the same as it had been for years. Same house, same job, same road to work, same activities, same foods, same . . . . oh, it makes me glaze over to think of it. But it was up to me to change it! That's when I began Collecting Firsts and adding more spice to my life!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Roses were undoubtedly the year's predominant theme! My original inspiration came from my Easter Roses. I took several photos and shared them with friends, at times mentioning some of the legends related to roses. One friend suggested I write them down, so i did! The result was a free e-book along with my June newsletter to celebrate the rose's special month.
As I was completing the book, my friend Ted sent some rose photographs! Serendipity! I asked him if he'd help me with rose photographs to complete the rest of the book and he did! We also took a trip to Ladew Topiary Gardens to gather more images!
Roses helped me track my projects and goals . . .
Roses will continue to provide a map to guide My Amazing Life in 2014!
Welcome!! I’m Mikell (pronounced Michael). If you love spicing up your life with herbs, recipes, decorating and crafts, symbolism and rituals like I do, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter and free Enhancing Your Life with Herbs e-book!
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!