I’ve been collecting data for my year end review 2008. So here are some stats for you to take a look at. What will you be doing tonight???
- I wrote 595 posts in 2008, this one would be number 596
- I have taken 8 classes for my Pastoral Ministry Certificate this year
- I have read 53 books this year [some more than once]
- I pondered the possibility of walking Compostela
- In Canada, Parliament has been Prorogued
- Stephane Dion lost the Liberal Leadership
- Michael Ignatieff was elevated to Liberal Leader
- Justin Trudeau became a member of Parliament
- The Anglican Church of Montreal [diocese] approved same sex blessings at the Synod this year [rites to follow]
- In the US, Barack Obama became the first African American President elect
- I joined Facebook and reconnected with 57 people from my childhood and several other bloggers from this community
- The World financial crises has affected both the US and Canada
- I am 4 classes away from my Pastoral Ministry Certificate
- I turned 41 this year [am I more the wiser now?]
- I survived another year being HIV positive [that makes it 14 years now]
- My Mentor Circle has been an incredible success this year
- Only one person who reads this blog donated to Miss Piggy
- I am still working for free [read last bullet point]
- I have written a total of 1571 posts for the blog in 2008
- Written 70 pages of stories and personal writings
- 360 categories logged
- 51 tags logged as well
- We have had 266,764 visitors to the blog
- Our best day was August 12, 2008 [Beijing Olympics Coverage]
- And we have collected 700 comments
- It is (-14c) outside / the low tonight will be (-20c) and the wind chill will feel like (-29)
- We will be at home watching the Ball drop tonight
- We will listen to Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM with his second night of predictions for 2009
- I celebrated 7 years of Sobriety this past December 9th 2008
- It has been a year since I joined IMVU the virtual reality community online
- I have posted 3 videos to my YOU TUBE channel
- I have “Stumbled” thousands of internet pages
- There are 1452 images in my photo library
- This year Hubby and I celebrated 4 years of Marriage
- We have been together now 6 years in total…
- I tested 4 new AIDS medications for the Clinic
- I hit 1365 T-cells – that’s higher than any one else in the clinic’s history
- I have proven that faith makes a difference when it comes to healing
- I have learned a lot of lessons in sobriety
- At my home group over the last 52 weeks, I set out 2600 chairs
- I have made 104 pots of coffee
- I have meditated over 2600 faces that have come to the room in the last year.
- My sis Amy won her battle against Lymphoma
- Adam has survived [to date] his battle with aggressive cancer
I guess that about does it for this year. I am pondering a more spiritual post to come later, but I am waiting for inspiration to hit me so we’ll see if that gets written.
Happy New Year to you and yours. Be safe, Be sober and Be careful out there, they say New York City will be wet, cold and blustery tonight. May all your wishes for 2009 come true and may we all survive another year together. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and encouragement it means a great deal to me.
Thanks and Blessings on your heads…
Real Live Preacher . Com
So here’s what you do. You take a phrase or a word or a short teaching out of the Bible. Something like “The book of life,” or “The Son of Man,” or “The Light of the World,” or “No one comes to the Father but by me.” These phrases could mean anything. They meant something in their day, surely, but the deepest and most scholarly study in the world cannot unravel exactly what they meant.
But you. You somehow know the truth. You take these phrases with no study at all, and you fill them with your theology, like someone filling helium balloons at a carnival. Then you hang a little basket below your balloons and float away, so delighted in the complex theological construct that you’ve put together. And from your elevated position you lay burdens on people that you could never keep yourself. Lightning bolts thrown down from the sky. Zeus never wielded as much power.
You are going to hell for your lack of faith or for your participation in a religious life or non-religious life that I don’t understand and therefore don’t approve of.
You may not be a sexual person, but must live in strict, celibate loneliness. You will fall in love many times over the years, but you must deny your love and break your own heart over and over and over again, all the days of your life. (And this from a preacher who can’t say no to a second bowl of ice cream.)
You must believe the things I tell you about the world, the earth, the sky, the stars, and God. You must give intellectual consent to all parts of my message. And if you cannot believe what I say, SHAME on you! Shame on you even if you tried very hard to believe but could not.
Give me your life; give me your money; give me your mind; give me your time. Give me all of these things, and I shall take them from you and use them to fill up more balloons so that I can fly higher and throw my lightning bolts down on more people.
And the hard thing for me is that you think this is the right way to treat the Bible and the mysterious phrases found within it. In your mind, you are the great Bible scholar, while I am a little weak in this regard. Weak and liberal and not very serious about the Bible.
For I, in my weakness, can hardly stand before the mystery of the ancient scriptures. I am hurt by them, filled with joy by them, angered by them, and sometimes inspired by them. And I often can do nothing more than confess my own confusion and brokenness.
You shake your head at me and say, “What kind of a minister are you? Don’t you believe the Bible?”
And I look back at you, just as puzzled. “Believe the Bible?” What does that even mean? I say it over and over to myself.
“Believe the Bible. Believe the Bible. Believe the Bible. Believe the Bible.”
Eventually the word “believe” starts to sound like something you do with your hands. Like punching something or pushing a vacuum cleaner around. Like you could believe the Bible all over the house and then out into the front yard, where you could believe it around in little circles while waving to the neighbors. Then you could believe the Bible back into your house and store it in the closet, where you keep it until you feel like believing it out in public again.
Do I believe the Bible? I’m trying to know the Bible. And by knowing, I mean the way that Adam knew Eve, and the way that the Creator knows us. I mean the kind of knowing that is like falling in love. I’m trying to love/know the Bible. And I will always struggle with how I can love/know the scriptures when some parts are so hard and mean and awful that you feel bad for even reading them. And then some parts are so beautiful that you can’t stop crying when they whisper little hints of truth and mystery to you.
So that’s all I’ve got. Whatever that says about me is what I am. I’m less sophisticated and more unsure than when I began years ago as a young minister. I’m tired and fairly broken myself. I just turned 47, so I’m half dead if I live to be an old man, and more than half dead if I don’t. So there’s just no time left, really. No time for talking or fighting or judging.
It seems like it is the time for listening and loving and accepting all who seek truth in peace and are open-minded enough to confess that they are simply not up to the task.
“The secret of successful recovery is surrender.”
This was our topic for the night. Several people tonight invoked the spirit of Scotty when he would pipe up at meetings and would say “Surrender or DIE!!!” This memory is one that is set in the mind of every member with 20 or more years of sobriety in the rooms here.
Surrender is a deep topic and the longer I am sober, the more I return to basics and I work with topics like these. Every day I work to surrender my will over to the care of God. I find that surrender comes up several times in my days, I may not think about it consciously it just happens almost automatically. This is part of steps 1, 2 and 3. The silent part of surrender, as one member shared tonight is, that “We are powerless over people, places and things.”
This is where I practice surrender the most.
It was bitterly cold tonight on the way home, the little snow we got last night has been swallowed up by the wet and icy sidewalks.
We had a visitor from the UK tonight and he was talking about how difficult it has been for him and that he realized that everything in his life was going to change, however hard he would like to stop that from happening but alas, that is the way the program works. So at the end of the meeting I asked him to read the Promises. Now they say that if you pause over a certain step or if you miss part of the reading or skip over something from the reading, that that promise is the next one to come for you in recovery. So here are the promises:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not.
They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
They will always materialize if we work for them.
During his reading he skipped the bold promise altogether. And it just so happens that that was what he had talked about during his share [that his life is going to change]. And after the meeting I brought up the fact that he skipped over this promise and explained to him what I have witnessed over the last seven years of my sobriety, seeing the promises come alive for people getting sober. He went up to the desk and read them again for himself. Watching people get sober is a very spiritual experience. Seeing the promises come alive for others is a blessing.
It was a good evening. I miss my friends. More to come, later…
It’s late Monday night as I write this. It has been snowing for hours now and there is a nice layer of clean white snow on the ground. More snow is on the way for the rest of the week.
I scored a great deal on Ebay tonight. First Generation Sydney EQT Wrestling shoes from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which you can’t get on the open market any more. For the seasoned collector these are a coup. They fetch upwards of $200.00 a pair and sometimes more. I watched a similar pair run upwards of $350.00 on Ebay this past week, I did not pay that much for my pair. But they were steep. I almost lost the auction, I guess the people who were bidding against me did not have the desire to pump their bids further. That makes me the winner…
There is not much going on in my world. But I have been enjoying reading the holiday celebrations of some of my blogger friends. Not having a lot of family does not give up the occasion to celebrate Christmas and Boxing day (Second Christmas in Australia). It has been fairly quiet here, we’ve basically been home bodies for the last few days, eating the leftovers from the huge turkey I baked on Christmas. Dinner was a hit, but Hot Turkey Sandwiches after midnight are the real stars.
Tomorrow, (today) is Tuesday… I will have more to write after my home group meeting this evening. The snow birds have begun their exodus to the warmer climes of Florida for the rest of the Winter. So we are down a few members now until April.
I’ll see you all later today…
I got my grades for the Fall Semester. I did really well. I am very pleased with my grades, I worked hard for them. I looked at the grade distributions, and for my Pastoral Ministry class, sadly 4 people failed the course, out of a total of 16 students in the class. I just can’t imagine how you could fail this course? And I wonder who those 4 people are, seeing that we were so close during the class. So here are the grades …
|INTRO.TO CHRISTIAN ETHICS
|GOSPELS AND ACTS
What did you get for Christmas???
I got a few kool items…
- A Clay Pot for cooking (way kool)
- Casino Royale (007)
- Love Boat (Season One dvd)
- The Tales of the Beedle the Bard (J.K. Rowling)
- Booty from the inlaws (sox, gift cards and cash !!!)
Have a good day, next on the menu – FOOD !!! and lots of it…
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Christmas Eve was a bag of tricks today. It snowed, it snowed some more, the streets are a mess tonight as the wind is blowing between 50 and 90 km/hr and it has been pouring rain all night. So all that piled up snow became lakes of dirty slush everywhere.
Because of the weather I chose not to attend Christmas Eve services tonight, I was just not going to navigate mounds of snow and pouring rain. Oh well. The turkey is thawed and everything is ready for the morning to come.
See you tomorrow…
It started snowing at 1 am this morning as I was writing my Tuesday post. It is now 5:03 a.m. and we are almost at White Out conditions. I cannot see the surrounding buildings the snow is coming down so fast and furiously. The forecast had called for 2 cm, which in the last few hours has been updated to 5 to 10 cm… and 10 cm works out roughly to 3 inches of snow (or more), on top of the 20 cm we got on Sunday, which is almost 8 inches of snow (or more), which looks more like a foot or more in some areas of the downtown core.
They say if you don’t like the weather in Montreal, wait twenty minutes…
The snow plow crews have tomorrow off and Christmas Day as well, and won’t that be a bitch for commuters. All this snow and no plows for two days, Montreal is going to come to a standstill. UGH…
Me thinks we are taking the Metro home from the bus station instead of a taxi, not in this weather…
Stay tuned more to come tomorrow…
I really need to sleep…
Officially this is a Tuesday post, but I am writing at this hour (1 a.m.) Wednesday morning, because I finally have free time to write.
It ROCKS to be me…
I LOVE my life. It was an Awesome Day!!! I did not sleep well last night, for some reason as of late I have a case of the “itchies” and it is keeping me from sleeping an entire nights sleep. So I wonder, did hubby change the laundry detergent, or is my body trying to tell me something? I haven’t changed my eating habits, unless you consider that I am on a diet… I know, never diet on the holidays. Yes, I know, I am cooking a full spread on Christmas.
So I tried to sleep in this morning (Tuesday) but my body had other thoughts, so I got up and took a hot shower and started my day earlier than I wanted to but it’s all good. I got some housework done. I cleaned the bathroom and I winterized the windows, plastic and all, now we are sealed in until at least May. I broke out the air cleaning machine and put a new hepa filter in it and a new charcoal liner so we are good to go.
I wrote out my handful of Christmas cards for my home group and packed my bag with some presents that I bought and set off for the diner. It is always the same. The same faces, in the same places eating the same food, talking to the same people. We all know each other after so many years doing the same thing week in and week out.
I had my coffee and read my book. I half expected to see my friends because it was Christmas this week, but what a bummer, nobody showed up!!! Oh well, I am powerless over people, places and things…
I got to the church with plenty of time to set up which I did. My newbies came to help with set up which was nice. I didn’t have to break my back unstacking chairs. Owain got pissed that I did his job last week, so this week I left the chairs stacked for him. He was happy actually to be of service.
Tonight we talked about sober maintenance since it is the holidays and we had a good group of visitors from other countries tonight. Intergroup has been very kind to us over the last few months. We have had a number of referrals to our group of visitors to our beautiful city.
Owain and Madison brought cookies and candies and Ms. Louise brought two boxes of cookies, AND Ms. Nancy baked me a Chocolate cake (more on this in a moment). We had good numbers tonight which was really great. It was the last meeting that all our members were going to attend tonight, as the snowbirds are headed to Florida after the holiday so we will be down a few members until April.
I stayed for the second meeting because tonight was my official CAKE celebration for my sober anniversary. I mentioned that Ms. Nancy baked my cake and Ms. Louise gave me my medallion in a most formal setting. The room was PACKED, which was really beautiful. So the night, on the whole was quite festive. Everybody was happy, We all participated in the night, and we all broke down the space together trying to draw out the time there tonight because like I said, the snowbirds are leaving us in the next few days.
I didn’t get home until 10 o’ clock and I haven’t eaten dinner yet at this hour, not that I can’t, I’m just not hungry. I took some time to talk to my kids tonight getting them ready for the holiday. I love my kids. They are really great and I love them all so much. They make my life all the more richer.
Hubby is coming home from Ottawa in the morning, and we have to get a few items for Christmas dinner and we will be all set. He’s been gone since Sunday and I am finding myself missing him a little more than usual. We had a brief conversation tonight in the middle of the kids, but I will see him tomorrow.
We raked in the booty from the inlaws again this year…
There is Christmas Eve mass tomorrow night at the Cathedral at 11 p.m. And I am really looking forward to going to church. I’ve invited my posse to join me, although I don’t know if they will make it because we will be pressed for time at midnight to make the trains after service. So it is still up in the air. I don’t know if they are pulling back hours because of Christmas Eve. I looked on the website but there was no holiday schedule. If I have to walk home that isn’t that bad. It is only a 20 minute walk home from the Cathedral to home.
It is snowing at this hour in Montreal.
Hubby and I will be here on Christmas day, I am cooking full turkey spread and when I cook it is always festive!!! All the present are wrapped and under the tree – it won’t be a huge deal. I didn’t go overboard this year. Every penny was counted this year, I even pinched a few… Yes, Canadians are feeling the pinch too, just like the U.S.
I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas where ever you are in the world. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday and that you get what you all wished for…
If you can do something good for a stranger this holiday, just because you can, not because you have to. Be kind to others, because you never know when you are entertaining an angel.
Remember Karma flows full circle – in the direction that you sent it out in, so be mindful of that over the next few days…
Goodnight from Montreal…
The Prayer for Chanukah Candle-Lighting: Link Here
Every night during Chanukah, when the candles are lit this is the prayer that is recited.
Ba-ruch ata, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mits-vo tov, ve-tsi-va-nu le-had-lik neir shel Chan-nu-kah.
Ba-ruch ata, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam,she-a-sa ni-sim las-a-vo-tei-nu ba-ya-mim ha-heim ba-ze-man ha-zah.
Ba-ruch ata, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam, she-he-chya-nu ve-ki-ya-ma-nu ve-hi-gi-a-nu las-man-ha-zeh.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner – National Geographic
The Birth of Jesus Foretold – Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
The Birth of Jesus- Luke 2:1-7
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels- Luke 2:8-20
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The Visit of the Magi- Mt. 2:1-12
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. Then he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
It’s just God damned not fair… Here is the latest news from Adam…
Well, two days ago I got sized for my new suit that I picked out in August. We figured that now that I put on my size it would be good and with signing the surgery papers the next day and the holidays and that, it would be a good thing to get it now.
We were going to, on Thursday, pick that up, sign the consent, and move along.
Of course, Thursday came and we were stuck waiting for about an hour. Put into a consultation room, a social worker, the surgeon, and my oncologist walked in. My HCG went from remission at 2.3 all the way back to 266. A blood test the next day put it at 320. My cancer is back and with a vengeance. Its back again. I, again, was escorted from test to test and was in the hospital for a 17 hours day. Another PET scan, another CT scan, more bloodwork, meetings with four doctors, and phone calls to even more were put in.
I don’t think there is much more to say other than surgery won’t work, everything shrunk, and a spot smaller than a computer key just won’t die. For the second time, I was one round away from putting it away. Well, now I sit here fighting a very uphill battle. I have to pick between one of four gambles that may give me up to a 15% chance to live.
The chemo is not nearly as bad as what I went through, and this round involves more antibody studies that attack the tumors and open them up to another type of chemo. I get to start before the New Year and hopefully they can get it to remitt for enough time to undergo surgery. I was two weeks away this time. Its like everytime I knock this thing down, it gets back up.
I really do not or will not know anything more until Monday. The optimism is that the new drugs will eat the taritoma leaving the option of a laproscopic surgery very possible, if I even make it to the table. Its going to be a difficult thing. The chemo won’t be hard at all. In fact, its indefinite cycles and its virtually without side effects. The truth is that biologically, something in there just will not die, and that makes it very difficult to beat. The two biggest guns have already been fired. All I have is this and then hopes and prayers that I can make it to 25. I’m 18 days shy of 23 right now.
Well, its probably about another year of chemo. For Christmas next year, I want to celebrate it without cancer. Thats it.
“Third time’s a charm”
Maya Web link Here
Most of us are not archaeologists or astronomers, anthropologists or astrologers. Yet the majority of what is written about one of the most exciting and relevant subjects of our day – the approaching Winter Solstice 2012 end-date of the Mayan Calendar – appears in words aimed at specialists and couched in language that can be hard to read. This article is written for the Everyday Earthling who may be hearing a lot about the Mayans, their calendars, hieroglyphs and mysterious temples scattered throughout the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
Let us begin with some questions. Why is there so much talk about the “end of the Mayan calendar” and what does it mean? Is there something significant we should know about the Winter Solstice date of December 21, 2012? How were the Mayans able to track long periods of time and why would they want to? Why should we care about the Mayans today? Is there anything we can learn from them? I’ll begin by sharing how my own interest in the subject developed and go on from there.
I first learned about the Mayans in 1987 from Jose Arguelles’ book The Mayan Factor. It was during the months leading up to the event known as Harmonic Convergence that Arguelles, artist and visionary, introduced me to the 20 Mayan daysigns and the thirteen Mayan numbers – and to the wonderfully engaging and mysterious 260 day Mayan ceremonial calendar, called the Tzolkin (pronounced chol-kin). My pursuit of knowledge about pre-Columbian culture had begun.
A great deal of scientific and visionary research work has been done about the Mayans, so I started reading. I learned that the Mayans tracked cycles within cycles within cycles of time. Their calendar acted as a harmonic calibrator, linking and coordinating the earthly, lunar, solar and galactic seasons in an aesthetically simple and elegant manner. The provocative simplicity of the daysigns and the sheer harmony of the calendar drew me in. Then a landmark article by John Major Jenkins appeared in Mountain Astrologer magazine in 1994, revealing for the first time in our era the true meaning of the end-date.
Is there something significant we should know about the Winter Solstice date of December 21, 2012? Yes. On this day a rare astronomical and Mayan mythical event occurs. In astronomic terms, the Sun conjuncts the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. The Milky Way, as most of us know, extends in a general north-south direction in the night sky. The plane of the ecliptic is the track the Sun, Moon, planets and stars appear to travel in the sky, from east to west. It intersects the Milky Way at a 60 degree angle near the constellation Sagittarius.
The cosmic cross formed by the intersecting Milky Way and plane of the ecliptic was called the Sacred Tree by the Maya. The trunk of the tree, the Axis Mundi, is the Milky Way, and the main branch intersecting the tree is the plane of the ecliptic. Mythically, at sunrise on December 21, 2012, the Sun – our Father – rises to conjoin the center of the Sacred Tree, the World Tree, the Tree of Life..
This rare astronomical event, foretold in the Mayan creation story of the Hero Twins, and calculated empircally by them, will happen for many of us in our lifetime. The Sun has not conjoined the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic since some 25,800 years ago, long before the Mayans arrived on the scene and long before their predecessors the Olmecs arrived. What does this mean?
Due to a phenomenon called the precession of the equinoxes, caused by the Earth’s wobble that lasts almost 26,000 years, the apparent location of the Winter Solstice sunrise has been ever so slowly moving toward the Galactic Center. Precession may be understood by watching a spinning top. Over many revolutions the top will rise and dip on its axis, not unlike how the Earth does over an extremely long period of time. One complete rise and dip constitutes the cycle of precession.
The Mayans noticed the relative slippage of the positions of stars in the night sky over long periods of observation, indicative of precession, and foretold this great coming attraction. By using an invention called the Long Count, the Mayans fast-forwarded to anchor December 21, 2012 as the end of their Great Cycle and then counted backwards to decide where the calendar would begin. Thus the Great Cycle we are currently in began on August 11, 3114 B.C. But there’s more.
The Great Cycle, lasting 1,872,000 days and equivalent to 5,125.36 years, is but one fifth of the Great Great Cycle, known scientifically as the Great Year or the Platonic Year – the length of the precession of the equinoxes. To use a metaphor from the modern industrial world, on Winter Solstice A.D. 2012 it is as if the Giant Odometer of Humanity on Earth hits 100,000 miles and all the cycles big and small turn over to begin anew. The present world age will end and a new world age will begin.
Over a year’s time the Sun transits through the twelve houses of the zodiac. Many of us know this by what “Sun sign” is associated with our birthday. Upping the scale to the Platonic Year – the 26,000 year long cycle – we are shifting, astrologically, from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. The Mayan calendar does not really “end” in 2012, but rather, all the cycles turn over and start again, vibrating to a new era. It is as if humanity and the Earth will graduate in the eyes of the Father Sun and Grandmother Milky Way.
Why should we care about the Mayans today? Is there anything we can learn from them? The trees give us oxygen to breathe and help create the nourishing rains upon which we depend, sustaining life. We are missing these rains in places where the trees have been cut down or burned. Fires begin that nature can no longer extinguish. For the Mayans, trees were intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds, and absolutely essential to life. They believed that without the tree man could not survive and that “with the death of the last tree comes the death of the human race.”
The ancient carved stones and the stars themselves tell us we are on the brink of a new world age. There is no reason not to take a leap of faith into imagining what may be in store. We may trust that it is time for humanity to awaken into a true partnership with each other, with the Earth, and the Cosmos. By accepting this partnership we may claim our birthright and become Galactic Citizens who care for and sustain the planet, thus sustaining ourselves. This is clearly the challenge of our times. Yet, arriving just in time and on schedule is the Winter Solstice dawn on the day we may remember that we are truly Children of the World.
LOS ANGELES – Majel Barrett Roddenberry, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s widow who nurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her home in Bel-Air, said Sean Rossall, a family spokesman.
At Roddenberry’s side were family friends and her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr.
Roddenberry was involved in the “Star Trek” universe for more than four decades. She played the dark-haired Number One in the original pilot but metamorphosed into the blond, miniskirted Nurse Christine Chapel in the original 1966-69 show. She had smaller roles in all five of its television successors and many of the “Star Trek” movie incarnations, although she had little involvement in the productions.
She frequently was the voice of the ship’s computer, and about two weeks ago she completed the same role for the upcoming J.J. Abrams movie “Star Trek,” Rossall said.
Roddenberry also helped keep the franchise alive by inspiring fans and attended a major “Star Trek” convention each year, Rossall said.
“I think `Star Trek’ will always be her legacy,” Rossall said.
“Star Trek” and its successors often focused on political and philosophical issues of the day. Roddenberry and her husband, who died in 1991, believed in creating “thoughtful entertainment” and were proud of the show and the passionate devotion of its fans, Rossall said.
“My mother truly acknowledged and appreciated the fact that `Star Trek’ fans played a vital role in keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years. It was her love for the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long after my father passed away,” her son said in a statement on the official Roddenberry Web site.
Born Majel Lee Hudec on Feb. 23, 1932, in Cleveland, she began taking acting classes as a child. She had some stage roles, then in the late 1950s and 1960s had bit parts in a few movies and small roles in TV series, including “Leave It to Beaver” and “Bonanza.”
She met her husband in 1964 during a guest role for a Marine Corps drama he produced called “The Lieutenant.” That same year, she was cast in the pilot for the “Star Trek” series as the no-nonsense second-in-command. The pilot did not appeal to NBC executives and a second pilot was made, although parts of the original later showed up in a two-part episode called “The Menagerie.”
The couple married in Japan in 1969 after “Star Trek” was canceled. After her husband’s death, Roddenberry continued her involvement with the “Star Trek” franchise.
She also was the executive producer for two other TV science fiction series, “Andromeda” and “Earth: Final Conflict.”