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Solar Eclipse, Equinox and Devils Comet

There is a wealth of planetary and cosmic action coming up in the next few weeks.

This week on March 21 is the Spring Equinox which hearkens the beginning of spring and is considered a time of rebirth.

On April 8, 2024 expect a full solar eclipse that is visible from north Maine to just south of the Baja pennisula. Astrologically, eclipses are a time of emotional thinking. Check out one of my eclipse posts here.

The Devil's Comet is an occasionally explosive yet fickle comet that will be visible in the evening sky for the first time in 71 years. Currently, it can only be seen with a telescope or binoculars, but might soon be spotted with the naked eye, and there’s even a chance it could be seen during next month’s total solar eclipse. Comet Pons-Brooks was last seen in 1954 before returning last summer. Like the famed Halley’s comet, Pons-Brooks is a “short-period” comet that periodically visits our part of the solar system. Short-period comets take less than 200 years to orbit the sun, while long-period comets can take thousands or millions of years. With an orbital period of 71 years, comet Pons-Brooks is visible from Earth only slightly more often than Halley’s comet, which appears every 76 years and was last seen in 1986


How to Bring Good Luck into Your Home

IMG_0298_3Maybe you’re the type of person who knocks on wood to stop yourself from jinxing. Or you keep an amethyst crystal on your nightstand in hopes of absorbing anxiety to help you nod off. In one way or another, these behaviors are linked to capturing positive energy.

"Superstitions give one a sense of control in a complex, apparently impersonal, and largely unpredictable world," says Phillips Stevens, Ph.D., professor of Anthropology Emeritus, State University of New York at Buffalo and author of forthcoming book Rethinking the Anthropology of Magic and Witchcraft (Routledge). The idea that an action or an object can prevent something bad from happening is a type of magical thinking. When it comes to the home, certain cultural do's and don'ts are tied to the idea of universal order—balance and harmony, the yin and the yang. The inside of a home should be peaceful and comfortable, to counteract the potentially risky and unpredictable outside world. As a result, each culture has created rituals, ways that capture the transition and transformation from outside to inside.

Take the ubiquitous superstition: opening an umbrella inside. Everyone knows it’s bad luck, right? But why? Stevens explains that, since an umbrella is an object related to bad weather, bringing it inside is akin to inviting the storm in. Better leave it in the foyer, closed, until it's needed.

In addition to magic superstitions, there are also sign superstitions that believers interpret as messages from the universe, such as seeing a black cat cross one’s path. "Some prefer the term 'folk beliefs', as superstitions can be a pejorative term," says Tok Thompson, PhD, professor of anthropology and communications at University of Southern California in Los Angeles and author of Posthuman Folklore. "Some superstitions are later proven by science to be true, and then are no longer superstitions but scientific belief. Likewise, science can change its mind, and what is scientific belief at one point can become superstitious belief later. In general, superstitions are beliefs about the world, and about what causes what, that are not approved by science."

One of the reasons people still believe in superstitions today is habit and routine. Think of it this way, if you always get up on the same side of the bed and get coffee but one day you crawl out on the opposite side and skip your coffee, your day might feel a bit off. Or if your favorite team wins the playoffs when you're wearing a particular t-shirt, you might feel inclined to wear it again the next time they play. "Persistent behaviors give you a sense of control and that’s terrifically important when processing the world at large," Stevens continues. That's why if you do something out of turn and the day isn’t great, it can be attributed to the anomaly, especially one that is dubbed a taboo. "Superstitions are a part of folklore, and have been around for a long, long time. Way longer than writing," Thompson continues. "But they change, die out, and new ones emerge."

The bottom line in our view: Better safe than sorry! To keep your household running smoothly, read on for 11 things to try so that your house is full of good juju.

Make the most of mirrors

Keep hats off the bed

Bring in some horns

Give Ghosts something to read

Arrange flowers in odd numbers

Never put shoes on a table

Powerfully position your bed

Save the spiders

Sweep strategically

Don't dine in the dark

Clean the commode

 

https://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/home-makeovers/g44266174/11-ways-to-bring-good-luck-into-your-home/?fbclid=IwAR1XRDDINFFkhZUFbP9om5ORRuaSOTmzGE0WFIfnpIWik9bjgd7AhbLaR6c_aem_th_AV-jWwLCg-ELK2UGfVh-e1jkvNvk-Krrd7xgx9MUC1LIrB35aL0YhC2pHeaSX1Yt8zA&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

 


Why Connecticut is Exonerating Witches

Little-known victims of witch trials may finally receive justice

The Economist HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT

In 1642 colonial Connecticut adopted a list of 12 capital crimes, which included murder, kidnapping, treason—and witchcraft. Five years later Alse Young was the first person recorded in colonial America to be executed for the crime of witchcraft. On May 26th 1647 she was hanged on the grounds of the Hartford meeting house, now the site of Old State House. Ten other people were executed for witchcraft in Connecticut and more than 30 people were indicted for it between 1647 and 1697. More than 375 years after Young was executed, her absolution may be nigh.

Last month a judiciary committee of the state legislature agreed to consider a resolution that would exonerate those accused of witchcraft in Connecticut. At a hearing on March 1st William Schloat, a nine-year-old, testified that he wished he had a time machine so he could help the accused. John Kissel, a Republican state senator, wondered about the state’s role in any exoneration, since the trials took place before the United States existed, when Connecticut was a colony: “Once you go down that path, where does it end?” Luther Weeks, a descendant of a deacon who may have been involved in the prosecutions, countered that the state had no issue celebrating the positive aspects of colonial history; it needed to acknowledge the dark side, too.

Many accused of witchcraft were vulnerable. Unmarried pregnant woman were frequent targets. Young, a new arrival, may have been targeted because some thought she caused an outbreak of influenza. Beth Caruso, co-founder of the Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project, made up of amateur historians and descendants, says her husband’s ancestor was found guilty of bewitching a gun that had accidentally killed someone three years earlier, even though she was not there. Some may have been coerced into confessing. Many met their end at the gallows. Others faced the ducking test: suspected witches were dropped into water; the innocent sank and the guilty floated.

Sarah Jack, co-host of “Thou Shalt Not Suffer”, a witch-trial podcast, discovered three years ago that she was a descendant of Winifred Benham, the last person accused of witchcraft in Connecticut. “I was confused,” she says. “I had no idea there were more witch trials in New England outside of Salem.” Schoolchildren learn about the witch trials that took place in neighbouring Massachusetts. Arthur Miller, a playwright, used the trials of 1692 as an allegory of the anti-Communist panic. Salem, the heart of the hysteria, has embraced its history and become a kitschy, witchy tourist spot, with plenty of wands for sale.

Massachusetts has made several efforts to atone. In 1702 the General Court of Massachusetts declared the trials unlawful. A decade later the state overturned the convictions. In 1957 and 2001 more alleged witches were exonerated. Thanks to the efforts of children working on a history project, the last accused witch in Massachusetts was cleared of wrongdoing last summer. Also last year Nicola Sturgeon, then Scotland’s first minister, issued a posthumous apology to the thousands of people persecuted as witches in Scotland.

But in Connecticut efforts have been successful only on the local level. The town council in Windsor, where Young lived, exonerated her in 2017. Proponents of the bill hope a history trail remembering those accused would be meaningful. Some say lawmakers have more pressing matters to deal with than exonerating those dead for nearly four centuries. Jane Garibay, who introduced the bill in the state’s House of Representatives, says exoneration has been a long time coming, and that any injustice is worth putting right. “It was a wrong,” she says. The bill is “saying we’re sorry”.


The Occult Museum

Occult museumNow this is something I would want to see, thanks to Atlas Obscura. It is the Occult Museum .

This museum is located in Monroe, Connecticut and the creators of the museum, Ed and Lorraine Warren, are buried nearby. The Warrens were some of the prolific paranormal investigators in American history. Their real escapades inspired one of the highest grossing fictional horror franchises, The Conjuring Universe. The pair of devout Catholics also ran the Occult Museum for many years.

Ed claimed to be a demonologist, while his wife Lorraine was a self-professed medium a clairvoyant. Together, they traveled the country, investigating infamous cases such as the Enfield poltergeist, an alleged instance of possession that formed the basis for The Conjuring 2, and Amityville Horror, a prominent 1975 case in which a couple claimed that a demonic presence haunted their home, and a 1968 case of a haunted Raggedy Ann that inspired the cinematic murder doll, Annabelle. 


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