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Repin me, please!

10 Aug

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Saint Jude: Patron Saint of the Impossible

10 Apr

St. Jude is known as the saint of impossible cases and of livelihood/life purpose. He has helped me a couple of times in very surprising ways.

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Danny Thomas and St. Jude

Perhaps the most nationally recognized devotee of Saint Jude during the last half of the 20th century was Danny Thomas, once a little known nightclub entertainer who soared to countrywide popularity as the star of the television show “Make Room for Daddy” from 1953 to 1964.

Thomas never hid his attachment to Saint Jude, and origins of that devotion date back to the spring of 1940 when Thomas first heard of Saint Jude from a stagehand in Detroit. The stagehand told him his wife had made a seemingly miraculous recovery from cancer, and that recovery, he insisted, came through his prayers to Saint Jude.

At the time, Thomas was struggling to make a go of it in show business. He had done some radio and nightclub work, having gone to Detroit from Toledo, Ohio, where he had grown up in a large family and had changed his name from Muzyad Amos Yakhoob to Amos Jacobs. He was averaging about $45 a week, and when his wife, Rose Marie, delivered the first of their three children, he knew he needed help. So, remembering the stagehand’s profession of faith, he began making short prayers to Saint Jude, asking for the saint’s intercession “to show me my way in life.” He prayed for strength to succeed in his profession and promised he would “do something big” in Jude’s name if he managed to gain a measure of economic security.

Before long he traveled to Chicago, where he landed a $50-a-week job doing radio commercials. Shortly thereafter, talent agent Leo Salkin booked him into the 5100 Club on the city’s north side for $75 a week. At that juncture, he again changed his name from Amos Jacobs to Danny Thomas. He soon became a nightclub sensation, earning $500 a week and drawing customers from all over the city to listen to his outrageously funny stories, which he told in different dialects while deftly skewering human vanity and stupidity. And, although he had his audience laughing uproariously, he never resorted to using vulgar language.

His lengthy night shows on Saturdays ran far into the morning hours, and when he was finished, he went to 6 a.m. Mass at St. Clement Church on his way home. It was at the church one day that he noticed a leaflet on a pew. He read the leaflet and learned about a solemn novena to Saint Jude that was then held four times every year at the National Shrine of St. Jude at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the far southeast side of Chicago.

It was the first he knew that St. Jude’s home was in Chicago. In reading about the Shrine he realized, in the midst of his newly-found professional success, he had completely forgotten his earlier prayers and promises to Saint Jude. While renewing his devotion to the “forgotten apostle,” he planned on somehow showing the church appreciation for his prayers being answered.

Thomas’ life changed dramatically again a few weeks after that. His agent persuaded him to take his comedy routine to New York City, where he was booked into the Club Martinique. From that point on, he moved into the entertainment world’s big time. After USO tours in both Europe and the Pacific, Thomas was engaged to perform at New York’s Roxy Theater at $3,750 a week. He later performed in the most popular nightclubs from coast to coast, broke into movies, playing in “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and “The Jazz Singer” and finally, starting in 1953, he achieved his greatest fame through his starring role in the long-running television comedy series “Make Room for Daddy.”

Thomas’ “big gift” to St. Jude included devotion through the National Shrine of St. Jude and the Claretians in Chicago, and ultimately the world-famous St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Thomas died in California of a heart attack at age 78 in 1991.

Compiled from How St. Jude Came to Chicago by Jack Kuenster.

Taken from http://shrineofstjude.claretians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ssj_jude_danny_thomas

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Prayer to St. Jude:

May the sacred heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved, and preserved, now and forever.

Sacred heart of Jesus, pray for us.

Saint Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us.

Saint Jude, helper of the hopeless, pray for us.

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This is said 9 times a day for 9 days for the novena. I am actually in the middle of a big one right now so whatever changes are happening I’m sure are for the best.

I was reminded of St. Jude when a friend posted his picture and novena on Facebook, and how he had answered her family’s prayer very quickly.  He usually works that way. St. Jude is very powerful, I’ve given this prayer to friends and he has worked miracles for them too.

I took this picture..this statue is in a church I go to.

Akitu, Nawrooz, Honen Matsuri – Spring is upon us

15 Mar

March 15th is a very special day in Japan. Today is the day of Hounen Matsuri, a springtime festival also known as the “Penis Festival”.

Well, I’m not gonna waste my typing energy when Wikipedia can do it for me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hounen_Matsuri

Nawrooz is a few days long festival that is celebrated by Persians (Iranians):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nawroz

A lot of cultures celebrate the beginning of Spring as their New Year. I’d like to though, point you all to the direction of Mesopotamia, where it was very most likely the first time and place that this happened.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akitu
The modern day Assyrians still celebrate the spring portion of Akitu and Kha b’Neesan.

(Kha b’Neesan translates to “first of Spring”, and is the finale of the celebration)

I must say, it makes much more sense to me to celebrate the new year as the beginning of spring. With the way everything blooms and blossoms, and the skies are clear and the sun is always out, it seems as though that is nature’s new year as well.

Happy Akitu, Happy Nawrooz, Happy Japanese Penis Day, Happy whatever you call it, Happy New Year, Happy Spring!!!

Image above is of the Hollywood mall. Just a little example of resilient Mesopotamian culture is.

Happy Holi, India!

7 Mar

Sigh Candy March 1, 2012: Rose McGowan

2 Mar

Ok, now, I’m quite the heterosexual female, but there’s something about Rose McGowan’s pictures that are insanely mesmerizing to me. We all have our non-sexual crushes, and Rose is mine for a few different reasons.

Her beauty. Now I know that’s a shallow thing to be transfixed by, but beauty itself is not shallow, it is perhaps just the sole pursuit of it that is so. Beauty, is all subjective anyway, what may be beautiful to me may not be to someone else. But in Rose’s face I see tremendous beauty.

I know she doesn’t look like this anymore. Sadly, she, either out of low self-esteem or bad advice, or both, has succumbed to unnecessary plastic surgery, and it looks like she did so many times. I was going to post her “after” pictures (what she looks like now) after every “before” picture so you can all see the difference but then I thought nah, screw reality, and screw what everyone else who’s blogged about her has done. I will keep this post an homage to her sigh candyness.

And speaking of her sigh candyness, and going back to the reason she’s my crush, her choice of apparel is also what’s gotten me obsessed. When she’s casual she’s quirky but always sexy and feminine, and when she’s dressed up she’s all goddess, in long, body-conscious gowns cut from very sensuous fabric.

And so many different looks look so great on her, whether she’s a pale redhead in a wispy summer dress or when she’s borderline goth in a black minidress with black hair and blood-red lips..she can pull it all off!

I just LOVE her face, her makeup, her clothes, her gorgeous figure, it’s like she put together all my ideal manifestations of all aspects of being female.

Okay, I better stop. This is getting embarrassing.

 

Here are the pictures. They’re very inspiring to me…they make me want to dress up and go out and be seen. I hope they do the same for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starbucks to start serving beer and wine

26 Jan

 

 

Remember back in the early 90’s when coffee shops first got big? Remember how full they’d always be with big groups of people sitting there talking and laughing?

It was before the time of laptops, so no one was there doing there homework or pretending to do homework. Now if you go to a Starbucks, or most coffee shops for that matter, you will be surrounded by people on their laptops typing away furiously, writing their paper or chatting to their Russian girlfriend. If you talk at a normal volume, or God forbid laugh at whatever volume, you will get the cold stare-down of death.

So this is why I no longer hang out at coffee shops. I am sure that a lot of people stopped for the same reason.  Could this be then why Starbucks has decided to start serving beer and wine? I’m guessing it’s to start bringing back the loungers social gatherers. I can’t think of another reason why, really. It sure as  hell can’t be because they need the money.

Here are more details, and leave your comments below.

And I believe it’s not only California.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2012/01/23/4370/barbucks-comes-southern-california-sells-beer-wine/

P.S.  So, as I was searching through images, I found a website on beer that has an entire section on Ninkasi, the goddess of beer. Ninkasi is, of course, another name for Inanna. I originally wanted to tie Inanna into this post seeing as it was about beer, but I changed my mind. But I guess it’s not up to, because so many things go back to her, being the first goddess of everything, and all!

Inanna, Queen of Heaven: From Girl to Woman to Goddess

18 Dec

I have been reading stories, texts, and analyses on Inanna for a few years now. I have been trying to write something where I can share everything I digested, but it has been hard. I was talking to a wise friend of mine one day, complaining that how as an Assyrian woman caught between two cultures (Assyrian and American) I was equally conditioned by, I did not have a proper role model. She suggested I look into my history for one, my very ancient history. This first led me to Queen Shamiram, also known by her Greek name as Semiramis, and by her ancient name Simmu-Ramat, meaning “my high name”.  In bringing her to life by reading about her, I myself was brought to life. This woman of the Fertile Crescent had enthralled me with her tales of bravery, strength, intellectual cunning, and reigning ability.

I was quite satisfied with Shamiram, but I was led to someone else. Ishtar was the road I was led down, and I did not know then that this road would be one that never ended.

The oldest known deity, borne of the first civilization on Earth, Sumer, where her name was Inanna. Worshipped for thousands of years by all. It is even said that Solomon of the Old Testament had a temple for her.

I found stories about her, myths written as poems of devotion, and I soon came to see that they were instructions for life. But not before being in awe of her as a result of the feats she accomplished and fearlessness she displayed.

This was a woman. Powerful, fearless, worshipped, praised, conquering, daring, creating, blessing, cursing, avenging, destroying, restoring, and resurrecting.

And it is now time for her story to be told.

I have decided to write this in the simplest way possible, to counteract out the over-complicated way she has been written about many times.

Inanna, was the first known deity in the world. She comes from Sumer, in Mesopotamia “the Cradle of Civilization”.  You see, back then, there was an equal emphasis on both the female and male aspects of divinity.

Then, one “day”, there was a mass rejection of the Goddess, and it happened all over the world, and the first place this happened was in Sumer. The myths and stories changed, and in them the male god was rejecting, ridiculing, and even raping the Goddess. This happened to Inanna in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is revered as a very important myth, also from Mesopotamia.

The stories of Inanna are very important to us, and they are revered by scholars and experts as great milestones for the advancement of human consciousness.

There are many stories about her, however I will discuss the major ones. Perhaps the Epic of Gilgamesh was not intended as a hero story as was thought by scholars, perhaps it was not even about Gilgamesh, perhaps it was about Inanna. It was about her, by her NOT being in it – meaning: it was telling us what our life would be without her (without goddess as well as without the feminine aspects of being that include art, love, and compassion) in it – lost and in disaray like Gilgamesh, always fighting, mourning, wandering, and dying. I will return to the Epic of Gilgamesh lastly, but first:

***INANNA AND SHUKALETUDA***  No one knew about this story. I found it by accident. The Inanna afficianados I know didn’t know about it either. That’s because it was never published in the books written by Sumerologists, in the heyday of Sumerology, not even by THE Inanna expert himself, Samuel Noah Kramer. It was probably considered too taboo and inappropriate, which in reality tells of its importance. Inanna is raped by Shukaletuda. But this story is so refreshing, because she does not remain a victim. She quickly becomes avenger and by being the avenger she is the bringer of justice. Shukaletuda becomes terrified of her. He runs and hides in terror, knowing that he will be found and killed. Inanna does not go after him however, until she gets permission from her father Enki. We live in a world where attacks happen all the time, all kinds, on women as well as men. We are told to go to therapy, to write about our feelings, or to confront our attacker if we can. But Inanna’s way of coping is so much more primal. And it is primal in a way that we still relate to and connect with it. She does not hide, she does not become depressed, she does not blame others for allowing it to happen, she takes it as an opportunity to go into battle, to reclaim herself from her attacker. I am not suggesting that those who have been attacked or victimize in any way to do the same thing, but I am suggesting that we implement our rage more, which is even what psychologists suggest. Think about how you can utilize your rage to become more whole, to reclaim yourself from all that you feel has taken parts of you, or taken all of you. Rage is a voice, and it rights wrongs. Think about how your rage can bring about justice to your life, as well as to others’.

http://www.gatewaystobabylon.com/myths/texts/inanna/shukaletuda.htm

**INANNA AND ENKI** The story of Inanna and the ME recovered from Enki, resembles a bit the story of Lot and his daughter of the Old Testament, where she, in order to repopulate the world, gets her father drunk and seduces him so that she can become pregnant.

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.3.1#

 

***INANNA’S DESCENT***

This story was extremely important, so much so that it was reenacted in religious plays for a few thousand years. It was the first story humankind heard about – resurrection – life after death. This story gave us the concept of rebirth and spiritual immortality.

http://www.gatewaystobabylon.com/myths/texts/inanna/ts94.htm#part4 

 

***THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH***  The Epic of Gilgamesh is known as one of the most earliest works of literature. It is praised as being an important poem for its description of the human condition, with all its questions, anger, and sadness over  mortality. But, perhaps it is yet another Inanna story, and it is a story about her by her not being in it. To me, her absence dominates the story, as much as her presence does in other ones. I believe it is about what happens as a result of our rejection of both the Feminine as well as feminine aspects of life. Gilgamesh becomes lost and confused and miserable and with great sorrow both over the death of his best friend, as well as with the reality of his own immortality.

I will link you to a condensed version of this tale, which was by the way, identical to Homer and the Illiad and was written a long time before it. I will also summarize it for you, because as I mentioned we will only be looking at it to see its importance to Inanna.

Gilgamesh is a powerful and loved king. No one is stronger than him. One day he meets a “wild savage” of a man named Enkidu. Enkidu becomes civilized by spending some sort of time with a woman. Some believe that woman is Inanna, but it might not be. Gilgamesh and Enkidu become best friends, going on adventures together, and they even end up slaying a huge beast by the name of Humbaba together. The gods are not happy that this beast has been slayed, so Enkidu dies as punishment. Gilgamesh completely falls apart, he is lost now without his friend. He sets out on another quest, this time to find a plant that will give him immortality, because not only is he devastated over the death of Enkidu, but he has also understood that he too will one day die. He goes to see a man who has been given immortality by the gods as reward for being pious, he is an older version of Noah of the Old Testament, and he has been living in the mountains ever since he survived the flood.

This man’s name is Utnapishtim, and he tells Gilgamesh what he needs to do to get the plant that will give him immortality. Gilgamesh follows his instruction, and swims to the bottom of a lake to retrieve this plant, but when he gets there, the plant is not there, instead there is a snake, and it seems to have taken the plant already. The End.

You should be wondering by now where how Inanna plays into all of this, as she was not even mentioned. You see, at the beginning of the story, when Gilgamesh is feeling very bold because he’s got his sidekick with him, Inanna comes out and asks him if he would like to be her lover. Gilgamesh rejects and insults Inanna in the most vile way, partly citing the doom all her past lovers met. Inanna is enfuriated, and she asks her father Enki to send her a Bull from Heaven. Enki grants this request, and the Bull of Heaven is fierce, but Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay him and throw his limbs at her. And that is all we hear of Inanna in the Epic of Gilgamesh, save for the woman who civilizes Enkidu, and a mysterious woman Gilgamesh meets at a tavern when he is on his quest for immortality, but it is not certain that they are her.

In very old times, people first worshipped the Goddess, or they worshipped God as male AND female, but when the rise of patriarchy happened, centuries ago, the Goddess aspect of Divinity was completely rejected. All the stories were changed to show the Goddess as a harlot, or as a wife of God. So, she was either beneath him in a degraded way, or beneath him in a servile way.

Many people believe that the Epic of Gilgamesh is just another one of these instances; just another story written demonstrating the shift of the role of the goddess in mass consciousness by her being rejected in the story. I however, have a different theory. I think that even the Epic of Gilgamesh is another Inanna tale, where she is Hero. She is rejected in the beginning and her Bull of Heaven is slain, but the story does not have a happy ending for Gilgamesh. He is left wandering the earth, and when he finally goes where he is to go to get what he wants, he sees a snake instead. The snake is one of the ultimate symbols of Inanna, and of the Goddess in general.

So there you have it, that is my theory, and here’s the Epic of Gilgamesh:  http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gilgamesh/

Inanna is very abstract as a figure, so I will describe her in abstract ways. I will use random words and concepts she is associated with so you can have an idea as to what she is about:

War

Sex

Death

Descension

Ascension

Resurrectiom

Praise

Glory

Sacred prostitution

Beer

First

Goddess

Non-maternal

Fertile

 

This post is a work in progress, Iwill be changing, fixing, and adding things as I see fit. Your comments are welcome.

The reason I have tagged other goddesses is because so many, if not all, come from Inanna. Inanna became Ishtar, then Astarte then Venus…and so on. There is a hint of Inanna in all the female deities, and this makes sense because she was the first.

Note: I have just learned that the Wikipedia page for Inanna has been updated and now has the story of Shukaletuda. Please visit this page and all others if you wish to get a fuller understanding of Inanna, and I of course suggest you do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inanna

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