December 28th, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Tonight I lighted a purple candle in honor of the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

I was not here today. I was in Amsterdam with my mother and daughter. We shopped for clothes for my daughter all day and drank loads of coffee. The day ended with famous Flemish chips seated on a bench at the Rokin, a big street in Amsterdam near the train station. Before that we had a coffee in Himalaya, a new age shop near the Rokin, (I hoped it would be not so busy there) looking out at the water near the Rokin. My mother, eighty years old, did very, very well all day. She actually walked more briskly than Lauren and me did. It was an awesome experience going to the Cool Cat, a shop for youngsters with loud music and to the Bijenkorf, a ladylike bazaar, with the three of us.
heart candle

Holy Innocents Day

I already posted the following last year on this day of the Twelve Days, so this is to many of you a repetition, but not for everybody.

These days, the days between Christmas and New Year are family and friends days. Seeing family and friends and being with them can stir up memories, thoughts about loved ones that are not there anymore. Besides that, it is possible that the end of the old year makes us think of all other things that are ended in our lives. On this day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, Holy Innocent Day, mourning is the theme of the spread.

The spread is inspired by a legend about a woman called Rachel. Rachel was one of the mothers of Jerusalem whose child was murdered because Herod feared that Jesus would take over his throne. Rachel had lost two boys. She was mad and sick of grief. Fr three days she did not eat nor drank. Then, in the night of the third day she had a dream. In that dream she saw Maria, sitting on a donkey carrying little baby Jesus on her arm, Joseph was walking beside her. Two little angels were flying next Maria. One of the angels turned around and said to her: “Look mother, it is us, your sons. Dry your tears, do not cry anymore. Were are here now and happy, we are protecting little Jesus from what happened to us”. When she looked even better she saw all the other murdered children of Jerusalem as little angels flying round Jesus, protecting him. Rachel woke up comforted by this vision. She went to the graveyard on the hill to the other mothers and told them her vision. They were comforted by it as well. They planted the graves of the children with roses. From that day on, the roses in that graveyard flower all year. 

Comfort in mourning

The spread consist of 4 cards. Read the cards that you pull one by one, not turning over the next before you have read the one before.

Card 1. What is lost and gives grief.
What have your lost, what do you miss, what is finished and will never come back in your life?

Card 2. An image of your mourning
Rachel does not eat nor drink and is sick of grief. Mourning takes on many shapes. You can feel it as emptiness, anger and sadness, but it can also manifest itself as physical pain. It is also possible that you walk away from it, in order not to feel it. This card gives an image of
your grief.

Card 3. An image that comforts
Rachel gets an vision that is comforting to her. The card that you pull here is meant to give an image that comforts. But, be aware, at some moments nothing can give comfort.

Card 4. Living on
Rachel lives on, comforted by her dream. This card gives an image of how you go on living with your loss. It again can show a picture of your grief or of an other manner of expression of it. It can also give an image of how you live on being comforted by card 3, or it can give a new image that comforts you.

I have pulled a card for the first position on the spread. I received Jack and the Beanstalk, the Hanged One, from the Inner Child Cards. My mourning is not being able to be bring projects and issues to a closure.