Thursday, October 31, 2019
Halloween was originally a three-day Celtic festival, commencing on "All Hallows," the eve of November, signifying an autumn transition between light and dark, day and night, life and death.
The Celtic new year begins with what the Celts (and Wiccans) call Samhain (Gaelic, pronounced "sow-win").
It was (still is, for some), a time to celebrate the dead, remember them, respect them, and hold close all that links you, the sum of your ancestors, to those who delivered you.
Christians viewed the Celts as pagans and threw up a smokescreen by adopting pagan holy days as their own, which is why Christianity has All Saints Day on November 1st and celebrates Christ's birthday (a fabricated date) to coincide with celebrations of Celtic Winter Solstice.
Once all the pageantry and trick-or-treating is done, build a fire in an outdoor hearth (the Celts would gather around bonfires) and follow an ancient Samhain ritual: using pen and paper, write down bad situations and relationships.
Scrunch up the list.
Toss it in the fire.
And those bad situations and relationships are toast.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Monday, October 28, 2019
|Cocoa Beans, pastel, Sean Kirkpatrick|
DARK CHOCOLATE IN TEN SENTENCES
1. Not unlike St. John’s Wort, dark chocolate is one of nature’s gifts for mood enhancement.
2. Chocolate triggers the release of endorphins (natural opiates) into your brain, causing a decrease in pain and stress while inducing euphoria.
3. Chocolate contains serotonin, a mood-altering antidepressant, and it also contains tryptophan, which ensures the release of serotonin into your bloodstream and brain.
4. Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, known as chocolate amphetamine because it induces excitement and alertness.
5. Another compound found in chocolate is anandamide, similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the salient ingredient in marijuana, which produces dopamine, leading to a feeling of wellbeing and happiness; it is no accident that its name derives from ananda, Sanskrit for bliss.
6. Yet another compound found in chocolate: theobromine, which affects the nervous system, causing mental and physical relaxation while heightening alertness; the Greek word theobroma translates to food of the gods.
7. Chocolate also contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
8. Dark chocolate lowers bad cholesterol and reduces blood pressure, thereby increasing arterial blood flow.
9. To enjoy the mood-enhancing effects of dark chocolate, avoid commercial brands, which dilute the all-important cocoa bean with other ingredients that negate its benefits; search out gourmet brands that offer at least 60 percent cocoa content.
10. One ounce of dark chocolate daily is enough to enjoy the full spectrum of its benefits.