Daily Archives: July 12, 2011

Saint of the Day for July 12th is St. Francis of Assisi

Saint of the Day

St. Francis of Assisi

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181.

In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or apologetic because he’d been gone, Pietro was furious because she’d had his new son baptized Giovanni after John the Baptist. The last thing Pietro wanted in his son was a man of God — he wanted a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would reflect his infatuation with France. So he renamed his son Francesco — which is the equivalent of calling him Frenchman.

Francis enjoyed a very rich easy life growing up because of his father’s wealth and the permissiveness of the times. From the beginning everyone — and I mean everyone — loved Francis. He was constantly happy, charming, and a born leader. If he was picky, people excused him. If he was ill, people took care of him. If he was so much of a dreamer he did poorly in school, no one minded. In many ways he was too easy to like for his own good. No one tried to control him or teach him.

As he grew up, Francis became the leader of a crowd of young people who spent their nights in wild parties. Thomas of Celano, his biographer who knew him well, said, “In other respects an exquisite youth, he attracted to himself a whole retinue of young people addicted to evil and accustomed to vice.” Francis himself said, “I lived in sin” during that time.

Francis fulfilled every hope of Pietro’s — even falling in love with France. He loved the songs of France, the romance of France, and especially the free adventurous troubadours of France who wandered through Europe. And despite his dreaming, Francis was also good at business. But Francis wanted more..more than wealth. But not holiness! Francis wanted to be a noble, a knight. Battle was the best place to win the glory and prestige he longed for. He got his first chance when Assisi declared war on their longtime enemy, the nearby town of Perugia.

Most of the troops from Assisi were butchered in the fight. Only those wealthy enough to expect to be ransomed were taken prisoner. At last Francis was among the nobility like he always wanted to be…but chained in a harsh, dark dungeon. All accounts say that he never lost his happy manner in that horrible place. Finally, after a year in the dungeon, he was ransomed. Strangely, the experience didn’t seem to change him. He gave himself to partying with as much joy and abandon as he had before the battle.

The experience didn’t change what he wanted from life either: Glory. Finally a call for knights for the Fourth Crusade gave him a chance for his dream. But before he left Francis had to have a suit of armor and a horse — no problem for the son of a wealthy father. And not just any suit of armor would do but one decorated with gold with a magnificent cloak. Any relief we feel in hearing that Francis gave the cloak to a poor knight will be destroyed by the boasts that Francis left behind that he would return a prince.

But Francis never got farther than one day’s ride from Assisi. There he had a dream in which God told him he had it all wrong and told him to return home. And return home he did. What must it have been like to return without ever making it to battle — the boy who wanted nothing more than to be liked was humiliated, laughed at, called a coward by the village and raged at by his father for the money wasted on armor.

Francis’ conversion did not happen over night. God had waited for him for twenty-five years and now it was Francis’ turn to wait. Francis started to spend more time in prayer. He went off to a cave and wept for his sins. Sometimes God’s grace overwhelmed him with joy. But life couldn’t just stop for God. There was a business to run, customers to wait on.

One day while riding through the countryside, Francis, the man who loved beauty, who was so picky about food, who hated deformity, came face to face with a leper. Repelled by the appearance and the smell of the leper, Francis nevertheless jumped down from his horse and kissed the hand of the leper. When his kiss of peace was returned, Francis was filled with joy. As he rode off, he turned around for a last wave, and saw that the leper had disappeared. He always looked upon it as a test from God…that he had passed.

His search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, “Francis, repair my church.” Francis assumed this meant church with a small c — the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father’s shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father saw this as an act of theft — and put together with Francis’ cowardice, waste of money, and his growing disinterest in money made Francis seem more like a madman than his son. Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.

The bishop was very kind to Francis; he told him to return the money and said God would provide. That was all Francis needed to hear. He not only gave back the money but stripped off all his clothes — the clothes his father had given him — until he was wearing only a hair shirt. In front of the crowd that had gathered he said, “Pietro Bernardone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, ‘Our Father who art in heaven.'” Wearing nothing but castoff rags, he went off into the freezing woods — singing. And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing again. From then on Francis had nothing…and everything.

Francis went back to what he considered God’s call. He begged for stones and rebuilt the San Damiano church with his own hands, not realizing that it was the Church with a capital C that God wanted repaired. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the inside while outside heresies flourished by appealing to those longing for something different or adventurous.

Soon Francis started to preach. (He was never a priest, though he was later ordained a deacon under his protest.) Francis was not a reformer; he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church. Francis must have known about the decay in the Church, but he always showed the Church and its people his utmost respect. When someone told him of a priest living openly with a woman and asked him if that meant the Mass was polluted, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands — because those hands had held God.

Slowly companions came to Francis, people who wanted to follow his life of sleeping in the open, begging for garbage to eat…and loving God. With companions, Francis knew he now had to have some kind of direction to this life so he opened the Bible in three places. He read the command to the rich young man to sell all his good and give to the poor, the order to the apostles to take nothing on their journey, and the demand to take up the cross daily. “Here is our rule,” Francis said — as simple, and as seemingly impossible, as that. He was going to do what no one thought possible any more — live by the Gospel. Francis took these commands so literally that he made one brother run after the thief who stole his hood and offer him his robe!

Francis never wanted to found a religious order — this former knight thought that sounded too military. He thought of what he was doing as expressing God’s brotherhood. His companions came from all walks of life, from fields and towns, nobility and common people, universities, the Church, and the merchant class. Francis practiced true equality by showing honor, respect, and love to every person whether they were beggar or pope.

Francis’ brotherhood included all of God’s creation. Much has been written about Francis’ love of nature but his relationship was deeper than that. We call someone a lover of nature if they spend their free time in the woods or admire its beauty. But Francis really felt that nature, all God’s creations, were part of his brotherhood. The sparrow was as much his brother as the pope.

In one famous story, Francis preached to hundreds of birds about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for God’s care. The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among him, only flying off when he said they could leave.

Another famous story involves a wolf that had been eating human beings. Francis intervened when the town wanted to kill the wolf and talked the wolf into never killing again. The wolf became a pet of the townspeople who made sure that he always had plenty to eat.

Following the Gospel literally, Francis and his companions went out to preach two by two. At first, listeners were understandably hostile to these men in rags trying to talk about God’s love. People even ran from them for fear they’d catch this strange madness! And they were right. Because soon these same people noticed that these barefoot beggars wearing sacks seemed filled with constant joy. They celebrated life. And people had to ask themselves: Could one own nothing and be happy? Soon those who had met them with mud and rocks, greeted them with bells and smiles.

Francis did not try to abolish poverty, he tried to make it holy. When his friars met someone poorer than they, they would eagerly rip off the sleeve of their habit to give to the person. They worked for all necessities and only begged if they had to. But Francis would not let them accept any money. He told them to treat coins as if they were pebbles in the road. When the bishop showed horror at the friars’ hard life, Francis said, “If we had any possessions we should need weapons and laws to defend them.” Possessing something was the death of love for Francis. Also, Francis reasoned, what could you do to a man who owns nothing? You can’t starve a fasting man, you can’t steal from someone who has no money, you can’t ruin someone who hates prestige. They were truly free.

Francis was a man of action. His simplicity of life extended to ideas and deeds. If there was a simple way, no matter how impossible it seemed, Francis would take it. So when Francis wanted approval for his brotherhood, he went straight to Rome to see Pope Innocent III. You can imagine what the pope thought when this beggar approached him! As a matter of fact he threw Francis out. But when he had a dream that this tiny man in rags held up the tilting Lateran basilica, he quickly called Francis back and gave him permission to preach.

Sometimes this direct approach led to mistakes that he corrected with the same spontaneity that he made them. Once he ordered a brother who hesitated to speak because he stuttered to go preach half-naked. When Francis realized how he had hurt someone he loved he ran to town, stopped the brother, took off his own clothes, and preached instead.

Francis acted quickly because he acted from the heart; he didn’t have time to put on a role. Once he was so sick and exhausted, his companions borrowed a mule for him to ride. When the man who owned the mule recognized Francis he said, “Try to be as virtuous as everyone thinks you are because many have a lot of confidence in you.” Francis dropped off the mule and knelt before the man to thank him for his advice.

Another example of his directness came when he decided to go to Syria to convert the Moslems while the Fifth Crusade was being fought. In the middle of a battle, Francis decided to do the simplest thing and go straight to the sultan to make peace. When he and his companion were captured, the real miracle was that they weren’t killed. Instead Francis was taken to the sultan who was charmed by Francis and his preaching. He told Francis, “I would convert to your religion which is a beautiful one — but both of us would be murdered.”

Francis did find persecution and martyrdom of a kind — not among the Moslems, but among his own brothers. When he returned to Italy, he came back to a brotherhood that had grown to 5000 in ten years. Pressure came from outside to control this great movement, to make them conform to the standards of others. His dream of radical poverty was too harsh, people said. Francis responded, “Lord, didn’t I tell you they wouldn’t trust you?”

He finally gave up authority in his order — but he probably wasn’t too upset about it. Now he was just another brother, like he’d always wanted.

Francis’ final years were filled with suffering as well as humiliation. Praying to share in Christ’s passion he had a vision received the stigmata, the marks of the nails and the lance wound that Christ suffered, in his own body.

Years of poverty and wandering had made Francis ill. When he began to go blind, the pope ordered that his eyes be operated on. This meant cauterizing his face with a hot iron. Francis spoke to “Brother Fire”: “Brother Fire, the Most High has made you strong and beautiful and useful. Be courteous to me now in this hour, for I have always loved you, and temper your heat so that I can endure it.” And Francis reported that Brother Fire had been so kind that he felt nothing at all.

How did Francis respond to blindness and suffering? That was when he wrote his beautiful Canticle of the Sun that expresses his brotherhood with creation in praising God.

Francis never recovered from this illness. He died on October 4, 1226 at the age of 45. Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

Copyright 1996-2000 by Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved.

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Deity of the Day for July 12th is Taliesin (Welsh)

Deity of the Day

Taliesin (Welsh)

A sun deity reincarnated as Taliesin. While tending Ceridwen’s cauldron Gwion Bach savoured 3 drops of inspiration intended for Afagddu, in her rage the sow chased him until in the form of a black hen she swallowed Gwion who had transformed himself into an ear of corn, once she gave birth he was cast adrift to be found by Elphin who named him Taliesin meaning radiant brow. He is identified as a 6th century bard and associated with both Merlin and Amergin. Like Merlin the sun God spent a period of madness in the woods, often he would boast of his poetic and magical skills. Taliesin appears regularly in the Arthurian legends sailing with him to recover the hallows of Britain from Annwn and accompanying Merlin with the wounded Arthur to the Isle of the Blessed. Prince of Song; Chief of the Bards of the West; a poet. Patron of Druids, Bards, and minstrels; a shape-shifter. Writing, poetry, wisdom, wizards, Bards, music, knowledge, magic.

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Your Daily Influences for July 12th

Your Daily Influences
July 12, 2011

Tarot Influence

Rune Influence


Charm Influence
Eight of Cups
Roaming without a destination. Sadness with relationships. The abandonment of the material world.
Tiwaz
You may be in a period of stagnation. Your goals may be unattainable or unrealistic at this time. Fortunately these times pass. Take stock of yourself and your goals. Do not fight battles you know you cannot win. Be patient.
Cancer the Crab
This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is emotional, loving, intuitive, imaginative, shrewd, cautious, protective and sympathetic. This could be an elder you look up too.
Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.
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Your Charm for July 12th is The Book Of Charms

Your Charm for Today
 
 

Book of Charms
Today’s Meaning:
An would be intruder into your private affairs will be averted by steps you take to protect this aspect. The book of charms indicates you should take extra steps to protect information and beware of anyone asking for personal data.General Description:
The Batak, or Bark Book of Charms, is a magical ritual implicitly believed in by the natives of Sumatra. It is consulted as a reliable guide and counsellor in their private and important affairs. In the East Indian Archipelago superstition talismans, and amulets, play a most important part in the lives of the natives. Sickness is attributed to the patient being possessed of an evil spirit, and their witch doctors profess to expel the intruder by the means of charms. Often the names of the sufferes are changed in order to deceive the evil spirits.
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Today’s Chakral Levels for July 12th

The Chakras represent the seven primary energy hubs in the body. Life force energy is constantly flowing in and out of these centers. Just as the cosmos is constantly changing, so too are the levels of energy absorbed and radiated by our Chakra centers. The graph below is a representation of the quantities of Chakra energies available today.

Sahasrara:
   
71%
 
   
26%
Vishuddha:
   
98%
Anahata:
   
12%
Manipura:
   
91%
Svadhisthana:
   
80%
Muladhara:
   
99%

Legend:
Sahasrara – The Crown Chakra represents energies associated with cosmic consciousness, spirituality, knowledge, wisdom and inner peace.
Ajna – The Third Eye Chakra represents energies focused on both physical and spiritual vision. Psychic powers resonate from the Ajna Chakra, as well as your image of the Cosmos as a whole (the big picture) and the many nuances that make your journey unique.
Vishuddha – Throat Chakra is the energy center associated with communication and creativity. Your energy to express yourself verbally and creatively are derived from the Vishuddha Chakra.
Anahata – The Heart Chakra’s energy is concentrated on issues concerning your emotions. This energy fuels your power to love, feel compassion and maintain balance between disparate aspects of your being.
Manipura – The Power Chakra provides the energy that fuels our strength of will, individuality and sense of self-worth.
Svadhisthana – The Spleen or Sacral Chakra supplies the energy we use emotionally and sexually. This is the energy used to connect to others.
Muladhara – The Root or Base Chakra furnishes the energy used to create and maintain our foundation. This is the energy that keeps us on firm ground and provides us with the basic skills to uphold a place in the world.

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The Planets Now for July 12th

 

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Position of the planets based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Sun:
20° 06′
in Cancer
Moon:
19° 12′
in Sagittarius
Mercury:
15° 41′
in Leo
Venus:
10° 35′
in Cancer
Mars:
15° 17′
in Gemini
Jupiter:
06° 38′
in Taurus
Saturn:
11° 08′
in Libra
Uranus:
04° 37′
in Aries
Neptune:
00° 44′
in Pisces
Pluto:
05° 32′
in Capricorn
Aspects:
Opposition: Moon Mars 3º
Opposition: Saturn Uranus 6º
Opposition: Venus Pluto 5º
Quincunx: Sun Moon 0º
Semi-Sextile: Jupiter Uranus 2º
Sextile: Mercury Mars 0º
Sextile: Mercury Saturn 4º
Sextile: Neptune Pluto 4º
Sextile: Venus Jupiter 3º
Square: Saturn Pluto 5º
Square: Uranus Pluto 0º
Square: Venus Saturn 0º
Square: Venus Uranus 5º
Trine: Jupiter Pluto 1º
Trine: Mars Saturn 4º
Trine: Moon Mercury 3º
The Sun in Cancer
While the Sun is in Cancer family and home are the primary influences. Affection between family members is likely to increase. Familial bonds are likely to strengthen. Now is an ideal time to make improvements that make home life more comfortable and safe for all. Feelings of concern and compassion for the plight of others beyond the family should be quite strong at this time. Many may use this time to retreat and revitalize physical and spiritual energies.

 

Moon In Sagittarius
The inner warmth of many will burst to the surface and spread across those close to them. Optimism is likely to be very strong during this period. Life’s challenges will be accepted with enthusiasm.

Moon Sextile or Trine Mercury
Insight into the psychological motivation behind individual’s behavior is very strong at this time.

Moon Opposition or Square Mars
Mental and physical energies tend to run high during this aspect. Those who do not find healthy ways of using their additional energies are likely to become irascible and difficult to be around.

Mercury In Leo
Logical thinking and consistent behavior are favored. While there may be a pronounced laid-back attitude towards life, an underlying need to succeed and solid planning will power progress. Now is a good time to further one’s education.

Mercury Sextile or Trine Mars
Persuasion through verbalizing sound ideas is a key to success during this aspect. Be wary of becoming dogmatic and verbally domineering.

Mercury Sextile or Trine Saturn
Focus and formulating logical solutions to challenges is favored during this aspect.

Venus In Cancer
The need to physically and spiritually express one’s love for their partner may be a very strong motivator. Indeed, the need to please may be so strong that it becomes so free floating that almost anyone could be the recipient.

Venus Sextile or Trine Jupiter
This aspect can lead one to be a bit indolent. If you need a break from your life’s current pace that’s great. However, if things in your life are at a critical stage, resisting the urge to take it easy is definitely suggested.

Venus Opposition or Square Saturn
This aspect tends to add a serious tone to life. Pursuing practical goals is favored. Some may feel a little less deserving than they usually do.

Venus Opposition or Square Uranus
The need for a tremendous amount of personal freedom is a key influence of this aspect. Relationships formed during this period are likely to be superficial and short lived.

Venus Opposition or Square Pluto
This aspect can bring one’s passions to a boil. The need for both physical and spiritual love may seem almost insatiable in some. In some cases passions may erupt into jealousy, as some will feel the need to be in control of every facet of their relationship to feel secure.

Mars In Gemini
Short term projects are favored. The tendency to take on more than one project at a time could be strong, and should be managed to avoid taking on more than can be done. Mental labor is favored over physical labor.

Mars Sextile or Trine Saturn
Long term goals are favored by this aspect. The willingness to sacrifice and the determination to succeed will further ensure success will be realized.

Jupiter In Aries
Material gain and lifestyle security will be strong influences during this period. Many may take life much more seriously than they usually do. Tackling challenges from a practical approach is likely to yield positive results.

Jupiter Sextile or Trine Pluto
Visions of what is possible on a grand scale are likely during this aspect. Those who set their goals according to their current vision are likely to do well.

Saturn In Libra
Intimacy may be more of a chore than a pleasure. Some will find their progress towards strengthening intimate bonds and attaining goals muted by feelings of inadequacy.

Saturn Opposition or Square Uranus
Those who aren’t afraid of a little hard work are favored by this aspect. Remaining focused and taking things seriously are likely to produce substantial rewards. The ability to quickly change to stay atop rapidly evolving circumstances is a very valuable asset at this time.

Saturn Opposition or Square Pluto
This aspect may make it difficult to commit one’s self to anything beyond the moment at hand. However, those who do take on new goals will put the full force of their nature into achieving them.

Uranus In Aries
The astrological influence of Uranus is measured in increments of 7 years. What this means is that the effects of Uranus influence an entire generation. Day to day the Uranian influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Uranus is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Iconoclasm, independence and self-sufficiency are likely to be major themes during this period. Traditional values will be challenged. Those with a pioneering spirit will flourish.

Uranus Square Pluto
A mental restlessness and the need for complete personal freedom are possible influences of this aspect. In some the need for total autonomy may be so strong that they will challenge any attempt to subdue their independence.

Neptune In Pisces
Because Neptune takes approximately 14 years to move across Pisces its day to day influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Neptune in Pisces is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Gentleness, creativity, and the pursuit of spiritual truth are strong influences at this time. Many may find mysticism and unorthodox religions very attractive.

Neptune Trine Pluto
The exploration of spiritual issues is favored during this aspect. Introspection should lead many to better understand the underlying motives behind their behavior.

Pluto In Capricorn
Because Pluto takes approximately 15 years to move across Capricorn its day to day influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Pluto in Capricorn is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Strong economic gains can be made during this period. Pluto in Capricorn favors those who are able to make logical decisions and devise pragmatic solutions to the challenges before them.

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Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for July 12th is The Hourglass

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Hourglass

The Hourglass is a gentle reminder that time passes and with it goes opportunity. Every moment is a moment we cannot retrieve or relive, and there are no guarantees that what we put off today really can be done tomorrow. The Hourglass urges us to make every second of our lives as rich and fulfilling as we possibly can.

As a daily card, The Hourglass suggest you may be allowing opportunities to pass you by. If you’ve been procrastinating or putting too much of your precious time into activities with no lasting value to you, now is the time for you redirect your energies into actions that will enrich your life.

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Today’s Runes for Tuesday, July 12th is Tyr

Today’s Runes

Spirit Runes are most commonly used for questions about mysticism, spirituality, and religion. Tyr is the symbol of the warrior. This rune most represents masculine force and potency, and frequently victory in battle. Beware though, for this rune represents directly the Norse god whose name it bears – Tyr stands out in legend for having sacrificed his hand that he might bind Fenrir, a monstrous wolf that threatens to swallow the world. As such, this rune is known to portend a great victory that can be bought with a terrible sacrifice. Tyr is also the god of law, frequently placed in such position above Odin. In this aspect, protection of justice may be had by this rune.
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