It has been eight years since my brother has seen the sun, held his loved ones, or filled a room with his unique laughter. Daniel Patrick Sheehan, my brother, was needlessly and savagely murdered on June 8th, 2000. As a taxi driver, he had picked up a fare in the small town of Casa Grande, Arizona around 11:00 p.m. The two animals in the skins of human he had picked up subdued him, abducted him, and robbed him of his life. Michael Edward Anita and Dale Lester Kisto, one of whom met his own fate in a manner well deserved, the other serving a sentence which is, unfortunately, not for life, these two animals, knew what they were doing when they beat my brother over the head until it separated from his neck. They knew what they were doing when they buried his body in a place not yet discovered. They knew what they were doing when they stole my brother away from his family, stole his charm and his wit, his knowledge and intelligence, his love of life and his future.
Today, I remember my brother.
Danny, you are well loved and remembered often and fondly!
Patricius Magonus Sucatus – Was He A Hero Or.....
Once upon a time in a land that existed deep within layers of the mysts of time, there dwelt a people who were both Spiritual and Ancient. Having been born of the immortals, their sense of time and space was like nothing anyone else had ever known, making them a most Magickal kind. They were a happy people, split into many separate tribes, with one High King who ruled over all of them. They lived, loved, and died together and, as in any family, they had periodic squabbles, but these were always brought to an end by the Driuds, who were the leaders and teachers of their Spirituality. Happy they were in their myst and their bogs, delighting in their every day chores and dancing in their every night rests. Ritual was a way of life, along with feasting and an abundance of joyfulness.
One day, there came into their midst a stranger, someone with a 'new' and untried 'spirituality'. His name was Patricius Magonus Sucatus, a Roman from a village called Bannavem Taberniae which was located on one of the neighboring islands. He told the King that he had come in 'gods' name, that the 'Gods' the King worshiped were 'evil', and that for the people of the land to be 'saved', they would have to abolish the Old Ways, drive the Druids from the land, and accept the 'new' ways of Patricius' 'god'.
The King now had a perplexing dilemma. First of all, could he accept the 'new' ways? Then, how would he go about changing the Spirituality of his people from that which they had always practiced? What would he tell his Druids, and furthermore, how would he tell them they would have to leave the island? It was not long after this that the great feast day of Oidhche Bhealtaine arrived, with the ritual lighting of the next years fire set to take place. All fires in the land were extinguished on this day, with torches bearing the sacred flamed carried by the people to each village and home for the coming year.
Patricius, misguided soul that he was, along with a handful of followers, made his way to Ferta fer Feic, from whence he could observe the ritual. Dusk began to fall, and he could see from afar the comings and goings of many people on the distant hill. He was ready, having prepared a great heap of wood and leaves earlier. He boldly lit what is known to this day as the first Paschal Fire in Ireland. In direct defiance of the King and his Druids, Patricius stood by the flaming pit of fire, his eyes fixed on the hill afar. He observed scurrying and panic. The people did not know what to do, and the King fell into a deep despair.
Throughout the many centuries to follow, the ownership of the land changed hands many times. It was bartered like so many loaves of bread, or perhaps even a stone or so. Foreigners ruled in place of the beloved High Kings. Families were torn asunder, land was divided, famines and deaths were rampant. Entire villages were laid to waste by this enormous blunder of one man, Patricius Magonus Sucatus. His followers moved like vermin throughout the island, and beyond. They spread the word of the new 'god', enticing the innocent people with the promise of 'everlasting life'. Everything was different, life took on a whole new meaning of confusion. Terror was known by all, hunger and death. For all intents and purposes, these good people felt that life as they knew it was over, and they bent themselves to the will of their new masters, as well as the 'new god'.
Times changed, the Druids took shelter deep in the forests, far away from the people that they loved. The High Kings gave way to the 'new' religion, the 'new' 'god'. Further and further away from the past, the Ancient Ones, the Ancestors, with the creeping, insidious philosophy of Patricius taking hold on the land. Strangers from afar landed on their shores, staking claim to that which was not rightfully theirs. The families crumbled, no longer able to withstand the onslaught of these bold and terrible warriors, and desecration of what was once Sacred and Holy was rampant. No longer would the Old Ones remain, rather choosing to descend into the Other World to await the time of awakening, when the Old Ways would once again reign.
More years passed, and the people died by the droves. Forced out of their homes and villages, they tried to survive on blades of grass, a stolen turnip, and rotting potatoes, with a hunger in their bellies that burned like the old fires of Oidhche Bhealtaine. Thousands fled the island for other lands, hoping to find salvation far away from the sod and the moor of the island of their hearts.
There were a few who adhered to the Old Ways, the same ones who had hidden themselves from the 'new god' and his followers. These were the ones who by oral tradition taught the people the truth about this life and beyond. Ritual and words were passed down, a weaving that was necessary, a tracing of the Ancient Ones, an enlightenment for all of the ages and all of the people. A few of these adherents would appear in public from time to time, causing legend and myth to spring up from the sightings. As the years passed, they continued to teach those who had open hearts and ears, knowing that in the great eventuality of time the truth would be triumphant. A few of them infiltrated the 'new religion', thereby bringing a slant to the thought or philosophy that Patricius had so flagrantly presented as truth. It is through them that Magick still exists, and through us that the Magick is carried out.
What of the Old Ones? They await the moment of awakening, and know that the moment is close at hand.....
Text written by Susan Isabella Sheehan.
“Art Is The Perception Of An Altered Reality©”
Copyright 2008 Surreal Digital Artist™
Thanksgiving - Thoughts On Harvest Time Ritual
In the Celtic tradition, which I now follow with joy, there are three harvest/thanksgiving rituals which are observed. The first is Lughnasa/Lammas, which honors the God Lugh, and occurs on August 1st, the second Mabon, honoring the God Mabon, occurring at the Autumnal Equinox, and the third, Samhain, which is celebrated on November 1st, which is historically the Celtic New Years Day. The Corn Dolly, a representation of the Goddess, was (and still is) crafted from the husks of corn. It was hung from the rafters of the corn crib to protect the harvest of grain, which was being stored, from blight or pest. In fact, some of the seed from the past harvest was saved for the following season in order to assure another bountiful crop. In other words, the rituals/feasts represented the desire for survival along with gratefulness for having come through yet another cycle/season with sustenance for the year ahead, both for the people and their animals. I do not feel that my tradition is better than others. However, I do know that it is the one for me, and that the harvest/thanksgiving rituals I observe have the sense of fulfillment which my own psyche needs.
Down through the ages, most traditions have observed and celebrated thanksgiving/harvest rituals. From the earliest agrarian societies to present day, the custom of displaying gratitude has been a vital part of the psyche of the human and the continuance of life. In Sumer, Inanna (goddess of the abundant harvest) , an ancient representation of Mother Goddess, was venerated in a harvest festival occurring just before the Sumerian new year, which began in August/September. The ancient Romans celebrated a harvest festival called Cerelia, (the word cereal is derived from this name) in honor of the Goddess Ceres, patroness of corn. The blood sacrifice of a pig, porca praecidanea, was also offered to Ceres prior to the actual ritual of Cerelia. The ancient Greeks observed Thesmosphoria, at which time Demeter was honored. The ancient Egyptians celebrated the festival of Min, who was their God of vegetation and fertility. The early Teutonic peoples identified the Goddess Hertha with the soil, which they considered sacred . The word “earth” is derived from her name. These feast days were discouraged by the early Christian church, and “Thanksgiving”, as it is known today, was not celebrated until the 1600's.
Present day harvest rituals have become more frequently observed throughout the globe. In the United States, most people continue to observe the Pilgrims’ “Thanksgiving Day”, the fourth Thursday in November, as their yearly ritual of gratefulness. Do you observe this day? If so what does this day mean to you? Is it a time of remembrance, a gathering of the clan, a feast of the season? Or does it conjure up thoughts of a time when an entire nation of people were compromised and stripped of their rights and lives?
I was raised in an Irish-American (Catholic) family, who, like most of the families we knew, celebrated Thanksgiving every year. It was a time to get together with the extended family members and catch up on each others life happenings. There was always a huge amount of food, no one went hungry, and nearly everyone was ready for a nap after the feast was consumed. For my brothers and myself, there was no thought of gratitude to any deity, outside of our father’s half hour long prayer. As school children in the 1960's, we were taught that the colonists and indigenous peoples of America sat down together peacefully to give thanks for the bountiful harvest of the past year. They smoked the peace pipe, so to speak. My own class room was filled with cut-outs of cornucopias and turkeys, along with pictures of the festival and participants. Smiling faces adorned the pictures, all gazing upon tables filled with the abundance of the year’s labor. Each student was given papers to color, and we were quizzed on the history of Thanksgiving, (which was named a legal holiday by President Abraham Lincoln over two hundred years later on October 3, 1863), at least based upon what we had been taught. As I grew older, the reality of what really occurred was driven home. Let's take a brief look at some of the history leading up to the first “Thanksgiving Day” as celebrated by the colonists.
On November 11, 1620, one hundred and two Protestant dissenters from the Church of England who were passengers on the ship Mayflower set anchor in the waters off of the east coast of the North American continent in Provincetown Harbor, in the approximate area of present day Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony on December 21st, 1620. The population of the indigenous peoples had already been decimated years before by the 1614 British expedition, which had left behind smallpox, syphilis and gonorrhea. These plagues swept away a large part of the tribes of New England, leaving ghost villages behind.
The newly arrived “Pilgrims” built their colony, known as the Plymouth Plantation, on the ruins of an abandoned village of the Sononoce Pawtuxet peoples, who were part of the Wampanoag confederation of tribes. The former inhabitants had died or been scattered by a European disease years before. The colonists ate corn from the overgrown and abandoned fields left behind by these native peoples.
One of their first Amer-Indian visitors was a man by the name of Samoset who was from Maine. He spoke their language, and introduced them to one who would become a close support in the few years to follow. This man was known by the name of Squanto/Tisquantum. He also spoke their language, having been a slave for many years to the English and Spanish in Europe, and was a great ally to the colonists. He helped them to plant crops, teaching them methods to realize bountiful harvest. Squanto/Tisquantum taught them how to manure their corn, where to catch eel and fish, and acted as their interpreter and guide. He was able to negotiate a peace treaty between them and the Wampanoag tribe which was led by chief Massasoit (Ousamequin/Yellow Feather) . Without Squanto's help, the Pilgrims probably would have experienced severe famine over the next year.
Thanks to the peace treaty, the colonists survived their first year in the New World. The colony's governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a three day celebration after the first harvest, in early October 1621. The celebration wasn't a joyful get together of the natives and the colonists. The natives were considered an intrusion. The only Amer-Indian who was invited to join was Chief Massasoit, and he, without consent from the colonists, invited ninety or so of his tribe to join the celebration, much to the annoyance of his hosts. It is not known if they had wild turkey to eat, nor if even a prayer was offered. Needless to say, the celebration of thanks was not held again for several years.
Again, I walk the path I walk because there is joy associated with it. I sense the continuity of thought which is threaded down through the tapestry of the ages. I am able to give thanks on a daily basis to my deities, and observe the ritual days knowing that my soul has fulfilled not only an obligation to the past, but has known the present, living in that with dignity.
Susan Isabella Sheehan
As of today, November 16th, 2007, there are 1824 days left until the Winter Solstice 2012.
There are 1824 days until the completion of the current 26,000 year cycle of the procession of the equinoxes.
1824 days until the Age of Aquarius comes into being.
1824 days until the end of the Long Count Calendar of the Mayans, which is in total 1,872,000 days in duration.
1824 days until the Sun's nearest alignment with the centre of the galaxy occurs on the Winter Solstice, the first time in 26,000 years.
1824 days until the potential of simultaneous global spiritual illumination of the entire population of the planet occurs.
1824 days until the moment of the the Winter Solstice of 2012.
1824 days until the end and the beginning.
1824 days to December 21, 2012.
Text created by Queen Type O Negative™,
aka Susan Isabella Sheehan-Repasky.
“Art Is The Perception Of An Altered Reality©”
Copyright 2007 Flicker Light Studio™
Happy Birthday Danny
Today is my brother's 56th birthday. It has been over seven years since he has seen the sun, held his loved ones, or filled a room with his unique laughter. Daniel Patrick Sheehan, my brother, was needlessly and savagely murdered on June 8th, 2000. As a taxi driver, he had picked up a fare in the small town of Casa Grande, Arizona around 11:00 p.m. The two animals in the skins of human he had picked up subdued him, abducted him, and robbed him of his life. Michael Edward Anita and Dale Lester Kisto, one of whom met his own fate in a manner well deserved, the other serving a sentence which is, unfortunately, not for life, these two animals, knew what they were doing when they beat my brother over the head until it separated from his neck. They knew what they were doing when they buried his body in a place not yet discovered. They knew what they were doing when they stole my brother away from his family, stole his charm and his wit, his knowledge and intelligence, his love of life and his future. Today, I celebrate my brother's birthday, he who cannot celebrate for himself. Today, I remember my brother. Happy birthday Danny! You are well loved and remembered often and fondly!