Ancient Whispers Newsletter


The Ancient Whispers Newsletter


Welcome to the Ancient Whispers Newsletter, a multi-cultural newsletter with a little something for everyone of any creed or religion. Here you will find inspiring quotes, irreverent jokes, crafts, and most importantly, historical and/or religious scholarship. Every Wednesday a new edition should appear on this website with reminder emails sent out the night before to those who have opted to join one of the many forums and mailing lists to which I subscribe. If you wish to share this newsletter with others, please keep it intact with the original authors' names on all the articles. Any articles or sections, to which an author or URL is not affixed, were written by Candace (with the exception of the various jokes found herein).

Questions, comments, and topical requests are encouraged and should be posted to the AskCandace open forum at yahoogroups. I'd like to start a help column for the newsletter, so if you'd like to have your problem featured in a newsletter, let me know when you post.

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Some Sites of Interest

My Dear Valentine
The Gag Works
Valentine’s Day Recipes

This Pagan Week : February
Humor : Kissed
Article : The Origins of Valentine’s Day
Quote : Erich Fromm

Craft of the Week : Shoebox Bookends
Humor : Men and Sex
Who's Who in World Mythology : Aiwel
Quote : R H Delaney
The Magi's Garden : Cascara Sagrada
Poem : Relationships
Quote : James Baldwin

The Power of Stones : Beudantite
Humor : Guess Who
A Dreamer's Guide : Nearsighted to Negative
Quote : Anonymous

Previous Newsletters


Some Sites of Interest

My Dear Valentine
Cards and gifts, quotes, wallpaper, horoscopes, recipes, the Love Calculator and many more Valentine ideas can be found at My Dear Valentine.

The Gag Works
Does your valentine have a sense of humor? Check out this site for some great gag gift ideas.

Valentine’s Day Recipes

Valentine Be Mine
Hookery Cookery
A Collection of Valentine's Day Recipes

The Pagan Month of February
can be found in its entirety Here. For more detailed entries, please visit the full calendar.

February was named for the Roman goddess Februa, mother of Mars. As patroness of passion, she was also known as Juno Februa and St. Febronia from febris, the fever of love. Her orgiastic rites were held on February 14th, St.Valentine's Day. In Norse traditions, she is equated with Sjofn.

The Irish called this month Feabhra or an Gearran, the gelding or horse. The horse was used to draw the plough, but Gearran also means 'to cut' and 'Gearran' can be used to describe the 'cutting' Spring winds. To the Anglo-Saxons, this was Solmonath, "sun month," in honor of the gradual return of the light after the darkness of winter. According to Franking and Asatru traditions, this month is Horning, from horn, the turn of the year.

The first full moon of February is called the Quickening Moon. It shares the titles Snow Moon with January and November, Wolf Moon with January and December, and Storm Moon with March and November. February’s Moon is also called the Hunger or Hungry Moon, and it has been called the Ice, Wild, Red and Cleansing, or Big Winter Moon.

Aquarius and Pisces share power over February, with Pisces taking over around the 19th of February. Violet is the flower for those born in February. Though jacinth and pearl appear on some lists, amethyst is the jewel for those born in this month and for Pisces, while aquamarine is the stone for Aquarians. Other stones associated with Aquarius are chrysoprase, garnet, labradorite, lapis lazuli, and opal. Albite, aquamarine, chrysoprase, fluorite, green tourmaline, labradorite, moonstone, and opal are linked to Pisces.

Lunar Holy Days

With the new crescent moon, the Hopi and the Pueblo people hold their Powamu festival. Beans are planted in kivas, large buildings used for religious rituals. As many as two hundred Kachina dancers will perform rituals while the beans grow to ensure a good crop, but Eototo is the chief of all Kachinas and controls the seasons. He is the spiritual counterpart of the village chief and is called father of the Kachinas. During the Bean Dance of the Third Mesa, he conducts an elaborate ceremony by drawing cloud symbols in corn flour. Aholi (Eototo's reinforcer) places his staff in the center of the symbols and waves it in an all-encompassing fashion, while giving out a long call. This dance is designed to draw the clouds and moisture to the pueblo. Children between the ages of six and ten are initiated into their Kachina societies, receiving gifts from the dancers.

The 19th day of the first moon is the Rats' Wedding in China. The day honors household rats in order to propitiate them. Salt and grains of rice are sprinkled inside the home to share fortune with the rats.


Our Lady at Lourdes

Osiris’ feast day in Abydos


Diana- Artemis

Gerald Gardner


Parentalia; Vesta

Gwyl o Danu a Cernunnos

Cotton Mather

Feast of Osiris in Busiris


St. Valentine's Day - Lupercalia

Sjofn; Vali


brambles; labyrinths



Parentalia - Februum

Pope Leo X & the Inquisition

Geb proceeds to Busiriso


Losar, the Tibetan New Year




Kali Yuga or the Evil Age

Parentalia - Fornacalia


Spenta Armaiti Spandarmat


Parentalia - Feralia



Humor: Kissed
An honest seven-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that Billy Brown kissed her after class.
"How did that happen?" gasped her mother.
"It wasn't easy," admitted the young lady, "but three girls helped me catch him."


Article : The Origins of Valentine’s Day
by Candace

At what better time of the year could a holiday like Valentine’s Day find a home than during spring, a time of love and flowers? A popular holiday of romance when all tokens of affection are exchanged, Valentine’s Day is one of the most obvious continuations of ancient fertility festivals.

Confusion surrounds the exact identity of the man called Saint Valentine, for at least three Saint Valentines are mentioned in the early martyrologies. One is described as a priest in Rome, another as a Bishop of Terni in Italy, and the other lived and died in Africa. The priest of Rome and the Bishop of Terni are often considered the same person. A priest and physician, he was killed during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. Claudius believed the reason for the dwindling number of men enlisting in his army was that Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret and was eventually executed for defying the emperor. He was beaten to death by clubs on February 14, 269 AD, decapitated, and buried in the Roman road Via Flaminia. This was later the site of a basilica built by Pope Julius I. His matrimonial activities coupled with the traditions of Lupercalia made Saint Valentine the patron saint of lovers. Two hundred years later, Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.

In the days when Christianity was still taking control of a Pagan Europe, the Roman church was in the practice of merging many Pagan holy days with its own in an effort to both convert and make conversion easier for Pagan worshippers. In this way, St Valentine's Day was combined with the old Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, adopting many of its traditions. Valentine’s Day has always been celebrated on February 14, while Lupercalia is observed on February 15.

Lupercalia is primarily a spring festival, honoring the Roman gods Faunus and Lupercus. Faunus (like the Greek Pan) is a god of flocks and fertility, while Lupercus protected the flock from wolfs. Lupercalia was intended to ensure the fertility and protection of flocks, fields and people, but in Rome it was also meant to honor the twin founders of their city –Remus and Romulus –who were nursed by the she-wolf Lupa as children. The Luperci priests sacrificed goats and dogs on Palatine Hill at the Lupercal, the cave where the twins were raised by the wolf. After they had smeared wool dipped in milk and the blood of the sacrifice on the foreheads of young boys, the boys would run through the streets dressed in animal skins, laughing and wielding februa (thongs made from goat-hide). With these thongs, they would slap (februatio) women gathered in the streets, ensuring both fertility and easy child delivery. The name of the month of February came from these words, meaning “to purify.”

As the Roman Empire spread, so too did the observation of Roman and Roman-hybrid holidays. Even after the power of Rome began to wane, Lupercalia was still celebrated by its citizens. Only the focus of the holiday changed, realigning to a more popular female deity. Juno, the goddess of women and marriage, became the deity of Lupercalia. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia, girls placed their names in a container, possibly accompanied by love notes, to be used in a type of lottery. A boy drawing a girl’s name would seek (or was guaranteed) her favor. The two were then considered partners for the festival's duration, sometimes for an entire year. The union often resulted in love and marriage for the young couple. In the Middle Ages, men and women drew names from a bowl to determine their Valentines. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week, and from this tradition came the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve.”

As far back as the Middle Ages, lovers would exchange or sing romantic verses at this time. It is thought the young French Duke of Orleans invented the first Valentine-like cards in the 1400s. Captured in battle and held prisoner in the Tower of London for many years, he wrote countless love poems to his wife, sixty of which remain among the royal papers kept in the British Museum. In 1537, King Henry the Eighth declared that February 14 was "Saint Valentine's Day" by Royal Charter. By the 1700s, exchange of handcrafted greeting cards had become a common practice, and the observance grew to include Valentine gifts. In America however, Valentine's Day did not become a tradition until around the Civil War (1861-65). Early Valentines were homemade, fashioned by hand with colored paper, watercolors, lace, ribbon, and colored inks. Miss Esther Howland is credited with developing the first commercial Valentines, reputedly earning $5,000 her first year in business, at the time a great deal of money. By the early 1900s, a card company named Norcross began to produce valentines. Hallmark owns a collection of rare antique valentines and occasionally displays them. Valentine's Day became so popular it rivaled Christmas. This is perhaps why St Valentine’s Day was dropped from the Roman Church Calendar in 1969.

Handmade valentines varied, but included:
-Acrostic valentines: verses whose first lines spelled out a beloved's name
-Cut-out valentines: made by folding the paper several times, then cutting out a lacelike design with small, sharp, pointed scissors
-Pinprick valentines: made by pricking tiny holes in a paper with a pin or needle to create the look of lace
-Theorem or Poonah valentines: designs that were painted through a stencil cut in oil paper, a style that came from the Orient
-Rebus valentines: verses in which tiny pictures take the place of some of the words (for example, an eye would take the place of the word "I")
-Puzzle Purse valentines: a folded puzzle to read and refold. Among their many folds were verses that had to be read in a certain order
-Fraktur valentines: had ornamental lettering in the style of the medieval illuminated manuscripts

Other Traditions:
In England, children dressed as adults on Valentine's Day and went singing from home to home. One verse they sang was:

Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine---
Two before and three behind.
Good morning to you, valentine.

In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as Valentine gifts. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons.

In some countries, a young woman might receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she kept it she was agreeing to marry him.

Birds are also thought to choose their mates on February 14th. By watching birds, a young woman can discover what kind of man she will marry. A robin means a sailor for a husband; a sparrow means a poor man but a happy union. A gold finch represented a wealthy mate.

In Rome, girls place five bay leaves under their pillows to dream of their future husbands or lovers.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day ladies buy chocolate for the men. There are two kinds of chocolate –the kiri-choco for friends and acquaintances and has no romantic connotations and the hon-mei for a boy friend, lover or husband. Exactly one month later on White Day the men reciprocate, giving gifts of white chocolate to all the ladies who remembered them on Valentines Day.

Quote : Erich Fromm
Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.'
Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.


Craft of the Week: Shoebox Bookends

These bookends are fun and easy to make. They will help you keep your books organized on your desk, shelf or night table.

Shoebox (without lid)
tape or glue
markers, wrapping paper, paint, wallpaper remnants, memorabilia, various decorative items, etc

Place the box in its side, and cut away one of the long sides of the box. With the cut away side of the box facing you, find and mark the center of the remaining long side using the ruler. Draw a line through the center mark straight towards you. Draw another line diagonally from the left top corner to your center mark and then one from the right top corner to your center mark. You will cut out this V section and discard it. You will also cut along the bottom line, forming two identical shapes.

After you have taped or glued any loose edges, you may decorate your bookends. Be as creative as you like. You can use this craft to make mini-shadow boxes, keepsake memorabilia bookends, protective charms for your book collection, or anything that sparks your imagination. The heavier your books, the heavier your ends will need to be.

Humor : Men and Sex
A recent study was made to find out what days men prefer to have sex. It was found that men preferred to engage in sexual activity on the days that started with "T":

Thaturday and Thunday


Who's Who in World Mythology : Aiwel
For past articles and the bibliography, please go to the
Who's Who Archive.

Aiwel (Aiwel Longar or Longar) is the founder of the hereditary priesthood known as the Spear Masters by the Dinka people of the southern Sudan swamplands. Aiwel’s mother reputed conceived him by allowing the waters of the Nile to enter her after her husband had died. He is considered a trickster god and first born of the creator. From early childhood, Aiwel possessed the abilities of a Spear master, that is, to make his word come true no matter the consequences. After the death of his mother, Aiwel returned to the river, but later he returned as an ox, Longar, to lead his people to a promised land during a time of drought.

The Spear-Masters continue to guide the Dinka people in modern times. They are responsible for spearing to death the sacrificial oxen. They answer everyday questions like 'who stole my bow and arrow?' and 'when will it rain?' by presiding over sacrifice and trance. A volunteer will enter into a trance, usually through use of some intoxicating substance, and becomes possessed by one of the god-spirits. The resultant wild movements are interpreted by the Spear-Master and relayed to the gathered crowd. Life for the Spear-Master comes to an end, when he imparts final advice to his people before voluntarily being buried alive.

Quote: R H Delaney
Love builds bridges where there are none.


The Magi's Garden: Cascara Sagrada
For past featured foliage and the bibliography, please go to the
The Magi's Garden Archive.

Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)

Folk Names: Brittle Wood, Buckthorn, California Buckthorn, Cascara, Cascara Buckthorn, Chittam Wood, Chittembark, Coffee Berry, Joster (Russian), Krushina (Russian), Purshiana Bark, Persian Bark, Polecat Tree, Sacred Bark

Description: Cascara Sagrada is a deciduous member of the buckthorn family. It is found in mountainous and forested areas in both North American in the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to northern California and as far east as Idaho and in northern and central Russia. It may grow anywhere from fifteen to thirty feet with a one and one-half foot diameter. The bark is purplish brown, changing to dark reddish-brown with age. It is often covered with gray lichen. The elliptic to oblong-ovate leaves are alternate and dark green or yellow-green. They are finely and irregularly toothed or nearly entire. The leaves round at base and may be obtuse or acute at apex. Small, axillary, greenish-white flowers appear in finely hairy umbels from May to June. In September, two to three black, pea-sized drupes develop in each flower cluster.

Effects: gentle
Planet: Mercury, Saturn
Element: water
Associated Deities:

Cascara segrada is only gathered in spring or autumn and the bark should be dried for at least one year before it is considered safe for internal use. It is usually aged three years before use.

To help win favorable verdict, infuse a teaspoon into a pint of water and sprinkle the infusion around your home and bed at night before any hearing. You may also carry some with you to court. It may be used in any amulet against evil and hexes and to dispel fears.

Money spells benefit from the addition of cascara.

Known Combinations:
none noted

Medical Indications: (Caution: Avoid using cascara segrada internally if you are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, or any kind of inflammatory disorder of the intestinal tract. Long-term use may cause chronic diarrhea. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. The fresh bark causes nausea.) Parts Used: bark (stripped in early Spring or Autumn, dried and aged at least a yr)
Cascara is a bitter tonic, purgative, and parasiticide. It is one of the best and most common laxatives and colon cleansers on the market. The herb encourages peristalsis by irritating bowels, which makes it useful for chronic constipation. It also acts as a tonic on relaxed bowels. Cascara has also been used to treat gallstones, liver ailments, and chronic dyspepsia.

Honey from the flowers has also proven mildly laxative.


Mercantile Uses:
The bark may be used to make a brown, yellow-tan, or gray dye.


Here’s a Valentine’s “cartoon” you can share with family and friends. It's Cupid Poop! Surprise your Valentine with this easy gag gift. Print out the picture and place a handful of candy hearts or red jellybeans in a small zipper food storage bag. Then staple the picture to the bag.

Last week’s optical illusion was a face, a dragon facing a knight, and a box.

Poem : Relationships
Rob Cella

A relationship is like a rose,
How long it lasts, no one knows;
Love can erase an awful past,
Love can be yours, you'll see at last;
To feel that love, it makes you sigh,
To have it leave, you'd rather die;
You hope you've found that special rose,
‘Cause you love and care for the one you chose.’

Quote : James Baldwin
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without
and know we cannot live within.


The Power of Stones: Beudantite
For past articles and the bibliography, please go to the
Power of Stones Archive.

Beudantite crystals range from dark green to black. Disparaging thoughts are banished in favor of more uplifting ones with the use of this stone. It is helpful in relieving depression.

Humor : Guess Who
A woman walks into a post office and notices a middle-aged, well-dressed man standing at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them. As he seals each envelop he sprays it with a puff of perfume.

The woman's curiosity gets the better of her, so she goes up to the man and asks what he is doing. The man replies, "I'm sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed, 'Guess who?'"

"But why?" she asks.

"Because I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replies.


A Dreamer's Guide : Nearsighted to Negative

For past articles and the bibliography, please go to the
Dreamer's Guide Archive.

Embarrassing failure or unexpected visits from unwelcome persons is foretold by being Nearsighted. If your sweetheart was nearsighted, they will disappoint you.

You are surrounded by false friends if you dreamed of your own Neck, and you love too deeply if you dreamed of someone else’s neck. You will be proud of your child’s intelligence if you dreamed of a child’s neck. An unusually large neck augurs honors, while a long or fat neck means riches. It is especially auspicious for your wallet if you saw three heads on one neck. If your neck ached, you will receive money soon. You will meet with opposition if you saw a small neck. Beware if an accident if you saw a flabby neck. If you were tied about the neck, a woman will make a slave of you. If you had a tumor on your neck, sickness approaches, but if you were bandaged, you will make new friends. You will receive news of a friend’s death if you had an infection in your neck. If you injured your neck, you will have good luck in love. A broken neck is an augury of mismanagement of your affairs.

You will have the love you desire if you saw a beautiful Necklace or received a necklace as a gift. Abundance is foretold if you wore a necklace, and a long married life is indicated if someone put a necklace on you. You will receive a visitor is you lost a necklace. Quarrels and romantic disappointments are indicated by a broken necklace.

Difficulty in putting on a Necktie indicates an argument with a lover or a relationship which should probably be ended. Freedoms may soon be restricted if you saw many neckties.

A Necromancer or necromancy indicates a threat from strange acquaintances who will influence you toward evil.

You will accumulate honor and wealth, possibly through marriage, if you dreamt of drinking Nectar.

Good health is promised by Nectarines on the tree. If you were eating one, beware hypocritical women, and if others were eating them, hard work awaits you. Picking them is an omen of luck in love.

If you were in Need of money, you face poverty in the waking world. Needing a doctor augurs riches, and needing a nurse or being needed by others is good for business. You will encounter opposition if you needed a maid. A partnership will dissolve if you were in need of love, but needing a friend is a sign of happiness.

You will be persecuted in love if you dreamt of Needles, and intrigue is indicated if you had needles. You love too deeply if you saw a sewing needle or pricked yourself with one, but a darning needle means you will fall in love. You are too egotistic if you saw a knitting needle. Threading a needle is an omen of family burdens, while searching for a needle indicates that you worry without cause. If you found a needle, you have appreciative friends, but losing one is a sign of disappointment in love. Breaking a needle is a sign of poverty and loneliness.

Needlework pertains to treachery. You will have cause to distrust someone you currently trust if you did needlework, but others doing needlework for you means an inheritance. You will lose friends or relatives if you saw a young girl doing needlework. If you received a gift of needlework, you will take a long trip, and giving it is an omen of your high hopes.

Dreaming of something Negative is an augury of a something ending. You have the ability to see and avert some danger if you saw a photo negative. If you were developing negatives, you will be disappointed in marriage. Printing from a negative means you are surrounded by people who adore you. Buying negatives indicates a loss of money. Beware of drinking too much if you burned negatives.

Quote : Anonymous
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get,
it's what you are expected to give –which is everything.


Ancient Whispers Newsletter Archive

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