Remembrance Sunday prayer + repost of ‘Why I wear a poppy’

On this Remembrance Sunday
I wear my Poppy to remember the fallen,
To remember my family and Ancestors Who fought and gave their lives
And hearts for freedom.
I remember those who fought
To maintain the liberties
Of their families and people,
And I honour them for their sacrifice.
May they now know peace,
May they be remembered.
May the freedom we have
Because of them
Never be taken for granted.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017

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You can also read my piece from last year because I feel it’s still relevant:
Full article link: Why I wear a poppy

I do not celebrate war, in fact I hope continually for the end of conflict the world over. The reason I wear the poppy is to remember people like my Grandad George, who was in the RAF and an air traffic controller in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, my Great Aunty Margaret, who was part of the Women’s Army in the UK, and her first husband Norman, who was killed only a few days after they married. In the First World War my Great Grandmothers worked in the munitions factories.

I honour the fact that the people in our Armed Forces are fighting for a concept I can believe in – freedom – even if I find it very hard to agree with the means.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017

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Samhain 2016 -Finding the seed of light in the darkness

It is a very human trait to fear death and the darkness, but many ancient and indigenous cultures understand that there is a greater cycle to life. In doing so they respect these forces and understand their place in the world, and in the universe(s) we live in.
Many Deities and Spirits have an element of darkness within them, like the Tao symbol, with Yin and Yang each having a seed of the other within. Some are darker than others, some are more of the light, but each have elements of both that can teach us.
For what is life if not day and night, light and shade?  Even those destructive moments strip away the old to leave the potential for a new way of life. As the moon shines in the night it lights our way through the darkness of the nocturnal hours, just as those who are darker in nature can teach us to find and follow our own pathway – ‘to thine own self be true’. Many of these so-called darker Deities have protective aspects, and can teach triumph through adversity. often they embody our own worst fears, ones we must ultimately face, or else how can we truly enjoy life in all its aspects?
Give the dark the respect it is due, and you may just find the seed of light – the moon – to guide you through it. Continue reading

Good Swan, Bad Swan

Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01s4wy9 via @bbciplayer

I’ve loved ballet since I was very young, and Swan Lake always captivated me. This documentary explores the mythology of the Swan Maiden, and the psychology behind the characters of Odette and Odile.
We are reminded of duality through this double role. Odette, the White Swan, is the unobtainable ideal of the Prince, innocence and light. Odile, the Black Swan, is desire, sensuality, manipulation and the dark.