27 May 2012

Memorial Day: Serving Those Who Served Us




Memorial Day started as Decoration Day after the American Civil War to honor the Union soldiers who died during that war. Its origins go back to the South when in the late Spring or early Summer, relatives wood clean the cemeteries where their loved ones were buried decorating them with flowers. There would often be a religions ceremony and "dinner on the ground", a noon potluck served on the grounds of the cemetery. In the South after the Civil War, the graves of the fallen soldiers were decorated with Confederate flags. The tradition spread to the North and over time the holiday became Memorial Day and would honor all of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Services.

Images:

Alfred Rudolph Waud, Anglo-American, 1828-1891
American Soldiers at the Eiffel Tower, August 25, 1944
Vojtěch Preissig, Czech, 1873-1944

13 May 2012

Hero and Beast: Happy Birthday Taurus

The astrological sign of Taurus, is associated with the shape shifter Zeus. The Greek god took the form of a bull to carry off the Phoenician princess Europa. Taureans are also identified with the myth of the Minotaur, the creature who had the head of a bull and the body of a man. For the Taurean there is always the conflict between the beast and the hero. As a hero, people born under this sign are strong, tenacious and dependable. Their beast side makes them sensuous; they delight in visual beauty, an exquisite meal, the laughter of friends, the scent of a memory, the touch of a lover's hand.

Happy Birthday to a beloved Taurean, Billy Bragg!

Images:
Valentin Serov; The Rape of Europa, 1910
William Blake; Dante Hell XII, 1826
Franz Marc; Lying Bull, 1913