and away we go

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bonjour and happy saturday! i’m broadcasting from the gate at the airport about board the first leg of my journey traveling off the continent. but first, a layover in newark, nj! and only then to the other side of the world…where they keep our beloved paree!

not sure if you remember my post about the trip and the story behind but here are the cliff notes. about 10 women are coming together for a sort of brainstorming/collaborating/empowering/social media conference/meetup. it’s the brainchild of Norma Thiessen who was eager to put it together after coming back from a retreat with a group of women in the countryside. (she went kicking and screaming but came back inspired to set something like it up in paris).  i still don’t know how she did it all but she has put together the most incredible itinerary! you can read her story here: mybeautifulparis.com/blog

norma collaborated with the inimitible carina okula and says on her blog: ‘Carina Okula, who is my dear friend and resides in Paris, became the obvious choice for a co-host. Together we created Embrace Paris: Empower * Brainstorm * Collaborate * Engage. We needed a theme, so we chose a common interest—the ever changing and crazy world of social media.’

and there you have it! i’d like to introduce our two hostesses and hope you’ll come along for the ride. so without further ado, please meet Norma ThiessenMy Beautiful Paris (the photo above and 4 below are hers)

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(see more at ink361)

Carina Okula i’m really looking forward to meeting carina in person and spending time together. we have been talking about setting her delicious photos up in the paris apartment’s web boutique and now we’ll have the chance to sit together and do just that. as norma describes her: ‘Carina is a Paris-based Photographer. Carina is my beloved Australian, and her photos melt my heart every time. She has a special and unique way of capturing the mood and the atmosphere.’ i couldn’t agree more!

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The Parisian Ambience section on her website is gorgeous and you can see more here: instagram.com/carinaokula

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et alors, we’re about to board so if there’s a layover in nj i’ll start to write about the others attending and profile the ladies. i’ll be sharing their tips on everything from photography to twitter so if you’re interested, stay tuned! i know these blog posts go directly into a lot of your inboxes so if you have to unsubscribe i understand. just don’t want to bombard you without telling you first but also don’t want to have to hold back, you know? ok, whew, glad that’s been said. and now, here’s a sampling of what’s in store:

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they’re calling my group to board so for now, a tout alors et bon weekend!

July 19, 2014. Friends, Paris. 13 comments.

changes in attitude

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allo chers amis! i hope your summer’s in full swing and has had all the magic that only balmy breezes,  starry skies and BFFs can bring. there’ve been slow but steady changes over here in every way. i’ve been keeping a pretty low profile while i figure out the details of my next stage in life, love and business. what i’m learning is that you can’t figure those things out, just have to jump in and let the road take you!

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till that happens, i’ve been shutting off. offline, off roading…off my beaten path. taking time to freeflow and change perspective.  i’ve been wrapped up in my world, comfortable with the status quo and sure that what i thought was reality. now i want to look into that reality and really notice the thoughts, repeated daily actions and things i say to myself and others.

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this time of introspection has led me to look at life with a fresh perspective, sort of in a philanthropic way. one of the things i’m considering is a mission statement for both my business and me personally. what do i want to accomplish in either of those aspects and where do i want to go?

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in a world with no off button, i think i shorted out. in order to think straight it was a good time to take it all down a notch. even blogging was a distraction and in order to see clearly it helps to have some silence to think.

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maybe the end of a 10 year relationship and also being a little under the weather for the first time in years was my wakeup call, but i think i’m coming out of a slump and and seeing signs of a groove coming back.

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this new-found introspection has led to changes in everything from diet to sleep habits, relationships, conversation and philosophies. it’s been good to see the changes in action and the results they produce. i’m writing in a morning journal, chilling hard, reading and generally turning my world over and inspecting it. shaping it into what i want instead of it shaping me.

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it’s been a while since i’ve traveled and maybe that’s part of the trouble. i do love my life and where i live.  in an age that’s precarious to say the least, it’s been easy to stay in my comfort zone and not venture too far out. but traveling is what i love to do and somehow got moved to the back burner. and just as fate would have it, right as i’m coming out of this social hibernation i’ve been invited to a social media conference in paris,  and am leaving on saturday. how could i say no? change is the new me. i’ll tell you all about it in real time.

for now i’ll enjoy the calm before the storm. sending love and  sweet summery dreams your way!

July 18, 2014. Dreams, Friends. 32 comments.

i never really noticed

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hi everyone! hope you’re having a great weekend! as always it feels like forever since i’ve had the chance to get to the blog and just sit and write. i have a friend who wanted to celebrate the summer solstice this year and i thought it would be fun to do some research on it since of course i’ve heard of it but never really felt any connection to it per se,  just a good day to get outside and enjoy the sun. when i started to look into it i fell deep into the ancient world. in fact so much of their world was wrapped up in this day! the ancients were so connected to the stars, nature and the universe that every civilization on every continent built monolithic structures to honor the sun for two days a year, and just for a few moments at that! as an amateur archaeologist i have to say this really has me intrigued. i had to stop myself from researching every single one and i hope you enjoy the few i found. i could have spent my entire life on the planet and never have even noticed this day was longer than all others. but since it’s so special i think i’ll head out to do a sun salutation and acknowledge this supernatural day! how are you going to celebrate?

World English Dictionary
Summer Solstice
— n
1.
the time at which the sun is at its northernmost point in the sky (southernmost point in the S hemisphere), appearing at noon at its highest altitude above the horizon. It occurs about June 21 .

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even NASA gets into it! sunearthday.nasa.gov

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This is summer’s height, midsummer, the longest day and the shortest night of the earth’s solar year. Here we celebrate the completion of the cycle that began at the winter solstice. In the midst of the longest day of the year, we simultaneously begin our return to the dark half of the year.
 Solstice means “standing of the sun” and we can connect to this great turning point in the earth’s yearly cycle by taking a moment to stop, be still and look back at our own unique journey since the winter solstice. From now to the winter solstice everything in earth will be withdrawing within.
 
Focus on what you wish to nurture and develop in yourself during the coming months. The summer solstice is a doorway into the second half of the year, energizing the paths that lead within

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Astronomical science and Ritual

Civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer. The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. The most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids’ celebration of the day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”.

The Honey moon / Summer Solstice

The first (or only) full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Tradition holds that this is the best time to harvest honey from the hives.

This time of year, between the planting and harvesting of the crops, was the traditional month for weddings. June remains a favorite month for marriage today. In some traditions, “newlywed couples were fed dishes and beverages that featured honey for the first month of their married life to encourage love and fertility. The surviving vestige of this tradition lives on in the name given to the holiday immediately after the ceremony: The Honeymoon.”

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Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

The axis of Stonehenge, which aligns with the monument’s entrance, is oriented in the direction of the midsummer sunrise.

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Teotihuacan Temple of the Sun a pre-Columbian temple located in Mexico, was also oriented to the sun’s passage at the Summer Solstice.

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Ancient Egypt  Sirius (the dog star) rose on the Summer Solstice, heralding the beginning of their new year, just before the season of the Nile’s flooding. On the summer solstice at the latitude of Giza, the sun rises 28 degrees north of east. On the winter solstice, it rises about 28 degrees south of east. By contrast, the main characteristic of the equinoxes is that the sun always rises due east providing a sure and accurate reference to one of the cardinal directions. It is towards this reference point, with high precision, that the gaze of the Sphinx is set- not by accident but specifically designed.

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Göbekli Tepe showed the rising of Sirius at azimuth 172°, a few days before summer solstice, in 9,100 BC. The circular stone enclosures known as the temple at Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey remain the oldest of its kind, dating back to around the 10th millennium B.C.  

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 Ajanta Caves India Cave 26 is oriented to the summer solstice so that, on that particular day, the sun will illuminate the stupa in this cave. Precise calculations and tools would have been needed to be able to orient the caves to the solstices since the caves are carved inside the rock.

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Ancient China: Taosi observatory . Summer solstice ceremony celebrated the earth, the feminine, and the yin forces. It complemented the winter solstice which celebrated the heavens, masculinity and yang forces.

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Ancient Megalithic Observatory Kokino
Kokino (Macedonian: Кокино) is a Bronze Age archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia, approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo, and about 6 km from the Serbian border. It is situated between about 1010 and 1030 m above sea level overlooking Kokino.Angkor_Wat

Ankor Wat Cambodia The builders of Angkor Wat created a structure and orientation as a reminder of the greater cosmic order, reflected in both the passage of time, and in the changing rays of the sun twice a  year. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat had encoded calendrical, historical and cosmological themes into the architectural plan for the temple. Angkor Wat’s architect had established solar alignments between the temple and a nearby mountaintop shrine that took place during the summer solstice.

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 Newgrange, Ireland Observing the Summer Solstice Sunset through the roofbox from inside Carrowkeel Cairn G. Newgrange boasts the fact that it is older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt, having survived over five thousand years.

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Ancient Rome: The festival of Vestalia was held in honor of the Roman Goddess of the hearth, Vesta. For Romans, the summer solstice was all about honoring the goddess Vesta, the goddess of the hearth.

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Externsteine, Germany  Archaeological excavations produced Paleolithic and Mesolithic stone tools dating to before about 10,000 BC. Directly above the altarstone a circular hole is cut into the wall, facing the direction of sunrise at the time of Summer Solstice.

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Chankillo, Peru Towers mark the sun’s position throughout the year. Still standing today, the site was constructed in approximately the 4th century B.C. The 2,300-year-old solar observatory at Chankillo precedes, by about 500 years, the monuments of similar purpose constructed by the Mayans in Central America.

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Malta Solar Observatory at Mtahleb On the 21st June during the summer solstice the first rays of the sun light up the edge of a megalith found to the left of the central doorway connecting the first pair of chamber to the inner chamber of the Lower Mnajdra Temple. At the same time at Hagar Qim sunlight passes through a hole known as he oracle hole which opens onto a chamber on the northeast side of the structure.

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Here the sun’s rays project a disk of light onto a stone slab at the entrance to the apse. As the minutes pass the disc becomes a crescent, then elongates into an elipse, then elongates still further and finally sinks out of sight as though into the ground.

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Petra, ancient city in Jordan  built by the Nabataeans were built to track astronomical movements of the sun. The results of their statistical analysis, Light and Shadows over Petra: Astronomy and Landscape in Nabataean Lands,

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has been published in the Nexus Network Journal and indicates that equinoxes, solstices and other astronomical events influenced the Nabataean religion.

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Essenes: This was a Jewish religious group active in Palestine during the 1st century CE and the only one to use a solar calendar. Archaeologists have found that the largest room of the ruins at Qumran (location of the Dead Sea Scrolls) appears to be a sun temple.  At the time of the summer solstice, the rays of the setting sun shine at 286 degrees along the building’s longitudinal axis, and illuminate the eastern wall. The room is oriented at exactly the same angle as the Egyptian shrines dedicated to the sun.

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Pueblo Indians At summer solstice one dagger of light descends through the center of the large spiral. As summer progresses and the sun’s declination decreases, the position of the dagger shifts progressively rightward across the large spiral and a second dagger of light appears to the left.

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Hopi tribe  Hopi sacred time and space are marked by positions on the horizon where the sun rises and sets at summer and winter solstices.  A fundamental theme of the Hopi world view is that the universe is divided into two realms, the upper world of the living and the lower world of spirits. Events occur regularly between these two worlds in alternating cycles. For example, the sun moves between the upper world by day and the lower world by night. Likewise, it follows an alternating cycle through the year. When it is planting time (Spring) in the upper world, it is harvest time (Fall) in the lower world.

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Native Americans have created countless stone structures linked to equinoxes and solstices. Many are still standing.  It is in a natural amphitheatre of about 20 acres in size in Vermont. From a stone enclosure in the center of the bowl, one can see a number of vertical rocks and other markers around the edge of the bowl “At the summer solstice, the sun rose at the southern peak of the east ridge and set at a notch at the southern end of the west ridge.” 

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Temple of the Sun One of the most important buildings in Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Sun. It is quite unique in its construction due to the rounded walls, in addition to the windows that align with the summer and winter solstices.

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Jantar Mantar of Delhi. Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1724. It was built to observe and compile astronomical tables which would be used to predict the times and movements of Sun, Moon and other planets. To celebrate Summer Solstice,  Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) foundation conducted a public outreach programme, “Solar Fest”, at Jantar Mantar.

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 Egypt, Karnak Temple:  Inside the Karnak Temple one can see the Sun rise dramatically in the entryway, between the high walls of the ancient monument. For a few moments, the Sun’s rays gleam through the pillars and chambers. Arnak is just one of many sites like it in Egypt. A survey of 650 Egyptian temples has led to the conclusion that most of the sites were built in recognition of celestial events—especially sunrise on the equinoxes and solstices.

Below we are more megalithic structures and temples found all over the world that align with these events:

The Osirieon, Egypt

The Essene Monastery, Qumran, Egypt

The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Delphi, Greece

Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island

The 4-handed Moai Statue, Easter Island

The Great Sphinx of Egypt

Glastonbury, England

Mynydd Dinas, Rhondda, Wales

The Millmount-Croagh Patrick alignment, Ireland

Cairn T at Loughcrew ~ Ireland

Knowth , Ireland

Tallaght Hill of the Fair Gods, Mount Seskin, Ireland

Cairnpapple and Arthur’s Seat alignment, Scotland

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, Mexico

Dzibilchaltun, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

The Temple of the Descending God at Tulum , Yucatán, Mexico

The Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal, Yucatán, Mexico

Tikal , Guatemala

The Lost World Pyramid at Tikal, Guatemala

The Sun Gate at Tiwanaku ~ Bolivia

Intihuatana Stone, Peru

Nazca Lines, Peru

The Urubamba Sacred Valley, the Andes of Peru

Serpent Mound, Ohio, United States

Great Zimbabwe , Zimbabwe, Africa

Wurdi Youang stone arrangement, Victoria, Australia

i hope this brand new phase brings you joy, love, prosperity and happiness!

June 21, 2014. Tags: , . Summer Solstice. 15 comments.

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