Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leap Year: Why Our Calendar Is So Weird - And What You Can Do About It

You probably take it for granted: every four years, we add an extra day to the month of February. The month is day-deprived, after all; deserving of an additional 24 hours every now and then.

This may not strike you as peculiar; it's akin to the grade-school rhyme we memorized in a futile attempt to become better spellers: "'i' before 'e' except after 'c', or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'." Heck, the English language is way more whacked than the Gregorian calendar!

But this anomaly is only because we adhere to an off-kilter solar cycle. Using the time-keeping system most of the world's been accustomed to since the Middle Ages, we need Leap Years to align the calendar with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.

Why Leap Year?

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. Since a Gregorian calendar year consists of only 365 days, we'd lose nearly six hours every year if we didn't "course correct" every fourth year.

But it gets stranger, Horatio.

Qualifying to be a "Leap Year" is a bit like applying to get into Calendar College: three crucial criteria must be met:

• The year must be evenly divisible by 4;
• If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
• The year is also evenly divisible by 400.

Yikes! Good thing we have built-in calculators now.

This means the years 2000 and 2400 are Leap Years, while 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300 and 2500 are NOT leap years.

Got that? There'll be a quiz next lifetime.

The year 2000 was also somewhat special, as it was the first instance when the third criterion was used in most parts of the world since the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

Holy Roman Empire, Batman!

If only Julius had stuck to salad dressing. Still, he was more flexible about what constituted a Leap Year than today's criteria. When Caesar introduced Leap Years in the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, the only rule was that any year evenly divisible by 4 would be a leap year. Evidently Julius' crowd didn't contain too many math wizards. This system has far too many Leap Years, though it wasn't corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1500 years later.

There may not be a perfect calendar, though there have been other creative options used over the years, such as a 30-day February.

13 Moons of Synchrony

Personally, I've long lived by the 13-Moon, 28-day lunar calendar envisioned by José Argüelles, who proposed it as a way for humanity to leave mechanized time and enter harmonic, natural cycles — the path of synchronicity. In a 13-Moon calendar, every month has a harmonious 28-days (which also corresponds with the female menstrual cycle) — and 13x28 = 364. The additional day is celebrated between July 25th and 26th, which correlates with the heliacal rise of Sirius and is honored as a "Day Out of Time," of peace and celebration. And there's another bonus: on a 28-day monthly system, every Friday is Friday the 13th, a reclaiming of the number thirteen as a sacred symbol of transformation, not something to be feared and avoided.

So I invite you to experience the expansiveness of living in tune with all life. José used to say, "Whoever owns your time, owns your mind. Own your own time and you will know your own mind."

There's never been a better time to leap into this knowing than now, on Leap Day. Blessings!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

~~~~~ Spiraling Home ~~~~~

It's time for:

Gliding, sliding
Coming out of hiding;
Purging, merging
Acknowledging the surging;
Knowing, flowing
Opening to growing;
Tuning, reuning
Oversoul's a-crooning:
Accelerate, celebrate
This is how we co-create;
Say "yes," pass the test
Get ready for the best!
Elation, initiation
Planetary transmutation;
This moment, the Light
Our collective in-Sight;
You are the I AM
Quickened in the cosmic plan;
Ancient mystery solved:
We evolved.

Copyright © July 2001 Amara Rose. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Zen of Plagiarism

I was sharing my indignation about someone plagiarizing my website content, and my friend's somewhat surprising response — about it all being "owned by God, anyway," and her lighthearted pointing out a magazine cover of someone dancing underwater, saying, "He's plagiarizing me, because I dance underwater!" caused me to begin questioning my reaction.

Why DO we get so upset when another copies "our" words or images? A respected speakers' newsletter just posed this precise question: would you use a colleague's idea (shared in casual conversation) in your own presentation without permission? How about without attribution?

I wrote:

"I've had my ideas appropriated without attribution many times, and had my content plagiarized. However, that said, I quote other people's words and ideas frequently, always with attribution, usually including a link to their website, blog, video, etc. I often email the individual to alert them to the reference so they can promote it to their own audience. Those featured appreciate both the promotion and the acknowledgment.

"In a world where six degrees of separation is now barely two, and we're Occupying Everything, sharing has become more of a gray area than ever. But as we all still take pride in our intellectual property — even if it's something uttered spontaneously in conversation with a colleague — it seems the least we can do is to honor one another by recognizing an original contribution, and passing it along with credit where it's due."

But now the trick cube is shifting. It's akin to a time I was in a brief relationship with someone who was also loving another. One morning, in the watery world between sleep and wakefulness, I sensed the entire situation and felt no pain. I understood in a flash that this was my true state, my high Self, observing, where emotional entanglement — or not — was a conscious decision.

And as I consider (literally, "with the stars") the concept that the ideas I bring forth are not my own, that I am but the vehicle to allow them manifestation, needing or wanting "credit" begins to seem humorous. I've written about how we carve up the planet, thinking we own it: "There are no actual map lines on Earth, delineating this country, this language, this religion, this culture from the next. We've created it all. It's our collective game. As we become technologically proficient, the playing field shrinks to a more agreeable size, and the game starts to seem superfluous."

From this perspective, "intellectual property" appears even more amusing. Do we own our thoughts? Especially now, when we're becoming more transparent and interconnected than ever before?

So … this feels good, right and true. And yet, if you were to paste this post onto your blog as your own, it might irk me. We're in process, opening from ownership and a sense of separation to unity consciousness. I'm aligned with the vision and values; my 3D self is shifting as rapidly as Love replaces fear.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Imbolc / Candlemas: The Light Returns!

February 2nd goes by many guises. In the U.S., it's popularly celebrated as Groundhog Day, when a small furry rodent supposedly either sees his shadow or doesn't, and the result determines whether we experience six more weeks of winter. The day has far deeper meanings than this — but yes, it is a potent moment to watch your shadow!

Celebrated cross-culturally, the day is both a Christian and Pagan holiday, known variously as Imbolc, St. Brigid's Day (Bride's Day), and Candlemas ("mass of the candles", which in the Catholic religion marks the end of the Yule season).

In Celtic and Earth-based traditions, Imbolc ("in the belly") is one of the most powerful portals on the Wheel of the Year: the exact midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

A harbinger of Spring, Imbolc celebrates the return of the Light in a profound sense. It's the first "cross-quarter day" on the Wheel, which honors the two Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as Beltane (May 1st), Lammas (August 1st), and Samhain (October 31st).

At Imbolc, the energies begin to pulse with renewed life and hope. Fire festivals are common. Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Motherpeace Tarot and author of Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World, which affected me profoundly during my own awakening, writes, "Traditionally a time of transformation and initiation, Imbolc brings 'big dreams' and a raised vibration …

"With powerful Pluto in the physical sign of Capricorn (until 2024), we look forward to momentous planetary and personal change. As old structures crumble, inside and all around us, imagine yourself sitting safely inside of Kali's dance of liberation."

What most astonished me was discovering that St. Brigid (in the Irish tradition) is the Patroness of Midwives. Since my birthday is February 4th and I've long referred to myself as a midwife for our global rebirth, it was a clarifying reminder of "what we know, before we know that we know!"

You'll find a wealth of enlightening lore on Myth*ing Links, a wonderful site replete with information and inspiration concerning all aspects of mythology, which is the focus of this month's Live Your Light What Shines newsletter.

Excerpted from Mythi*ing Links:

"The three-aspected springtime fire of the Goddess Brighid, especially linked with the recent festival of Imbolg, is very much connected with healing. For the surge of fire, experienced in Northern Europe as slightly longer hours of daylight, restores us in three ways. First, it gives us a lift of physical and psychological energy. (It is well known that daylight deprivation inclines people to depression and lethargy.) Secondly, it pleases our souls, because it not only brings the presence of spring flowers but inclines our thoughts to love and romance. Thirdly, it can increase our creativity. As our spirits lift, we are more likely to be inspired with new plans and projects...

"It seems to me that these three aspects of the Goddess's fire are linked, in many ways. If a person's creativity is fully expressed, their health is likely to improve. Love and romance can incline us towards creativity — people often write poetry (however badly) when they're in love.

"Nature's springtime fire increases our personal fire — that power which the East calls 'Kundalini'. (This is an electrical force said to lie coiled like a snake at the base of our spines. It is awakened by sexual attraction and by certain kinds of magical and mystical experience.)

"I believe there is said to be a biological connection between daylight, the pineal gland and stimulation of sexual/creative energy. In ritual and intuitive ways, it seems to me that this is what we are celebrating, when we light lots of candles on February 2nd, in honour of the Goddess Brighid (the Lady of the first stirrings of the Light, however we name Her.) And that this was perceived by our Pagan ancestors, in the days before anyone knew anything at all about the endocrine system and light sensitivity."