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EVEN MORE DAYS OF HEAVEN ~ Sandra Bray

18th January ~ Carnation, the January Flower

 

Carnations belong to the flower family of dianthus, which also includes the popularly named Sweet William. The ancient Greeks named these flowers after Zeus, dianthus meaning ‘Flower of Zeus’, and called carnations ‘the divine flower’. Most of us associate roses with love; however, carnations have this association too as they symbolise love and purity.

                Carnations are one of the easiest flowers to grow from cuttings. Today, let’s buy a bunch of carnations and sift through them to find stems where a new growth of leaves is forming. Gently pull these away from the main stem and place them in a clear glass jar with fresh water on a windowsill, then watch the roots grow. When the roots are approximately 2” (5 cm) long, plant them in pots ready for planting out in the spring. A supply of carnations to give with love as a small bouquet to others will probably be available by the end of the summer. 

 

Helpful tip:  A small clear quartz crystal popped inside the glass vase when rooting should help the carnation cuttings to root well. Or, as they are a flower of love, then a rose quartz crystal may be appropriate.

 

20th January ~ St Agnes

 

This is St Agnes’ Feast Eve. St Agnes was devoted to religious purity and refused to marry as she deemed herself married to God. As punishment for her refusal to marry she was placed in chains, taken to a brothel (where it is said an angel protected her) and eventually condemned to death. St Agnes subsequently became the patron saint of virgins, chastity and young girls. Angels are mentioned in several faiths and in most faiths there is mention of protective divine energies.

                From today, let us try asking our guardian angel each morning to protect us during the day; then on retiring to bed each night, we can thank them for being with us and offering their protection and guidance. If we have children, we can extend this request for them as they wake each day and on tucking them into bed to sleep at night. A simple prayer could be, “Dear angels, please shine your love and light upon me and my loved ones, bringing us protection, courage, joy, grace, healing, compassion, wisdom and tolerance. Thank you and bless you, so mote it be.”

 

22nd January ~ Midwinter Festival

 

In Iceland, the Midwinter Festival of Thorrablot is a pagan festival linked with Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and takes place during the thirteenth week of winter. At this festival, the Icelandic people celebrate with family and friends gathering to eat, recite stories and poetry, and to dance and sing their traditional songs. Why not join in with this festival in our own homes and have a good time with family and friends, telling stories, dancing and singing? Or perhaps a small impromptu event such as a talent show could be organised where the local community can join in displaying their artistic talents. By now there are signs of the evenings becoming lighter after the Winter Solstice last month, so isn’t that something to celebrate?

 

Helpful tip: Being an island race, the Icelandic people take advantage of the sea around them and create many dishes of seafood as part of their staple diet. In deference to this Icelandic festival we could include similar dishes as part of our event.