Blessed Imbolc: A Hymn to Brighid

A Hymn to Brighid 

 “Blessed be the Goddess of Creativity, Blessed be Brighid, The Bright One, Our Goddess of the Forge. Teach me, Dear Goddess, to bear the fires of transformation, 
the furnace that tempers my blade and the flame that makes me strong and True. Be with me O' bright one as I blaze my trail.”

~Jai Krishna Ponnappan

The goddess Brighid was known by many names. In parts of northern Britain, she was called Brigantia, and was seen as a keeper of the forge. In this aspect, she is associated with smithcraft and cauldrons. She was connected to the Roman goddess Victoria, a deity who was the personification of victory in battle, as well as loyalty. In some legends she is invoked as Minerva, the warrior goddess. Although as Brigantia she is not nearly as famous as her Brighid aspect, she is seen as the goddess who bestowed the title of Brigantes upon a pan-Celtic tribe in England's border region. Imbolc or Brigid’s Day, February 1, marks the start of Celtic spring, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It is one of the four major "fire" festivals (quarter days), referred to in Irish mythology from medieval Irish texts. The other three festivals on the old Irish calendar are Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain. Brigid is a fire goddess. Her canonization is celebrated by Christians with a perpetual flame at her shrine in Kildare.

Hail, Brigantia! Keeper of the forge,

she who shapes the world itself with fire,

she who ignites the spark of passion in the poets,

she who leads the clans with a warrior's cry,

she who is the bride of the islands,

and who leads the fight of freedom.

Hail, Brigantia! Defender of kin and hearth,

she who inspires the bards to sing,

she who drives the smith to raise his hammer,

she who is a fire sweeping across the land.

Smooring the Fire
 by Alexander Carmichael 

"An Tri numh (The sacred Three)
A chumhnadh, (To save,)
A chomhnadh, (To shield,)
A chomraig (To surround)
An tula, (the hearth)
An taighe, (The house,)
An teaghlaich, (The household,)
An oidhche, (This eve,)
An nochd, (This night,)
O! an oidhche, (Oh! this eve,)
An nochd, (This night,)
Agus gach oidhche, (And every night,)
Gach aon oidhche. (Each single night.)

Alexander Carmichael was a folklorist and author who spent nearly five decades traveling around the highlands of Scotland collecting stories, prayers and songs. His most noteworthy work, the Carmina Gadelica, is an interesting blend of early Pagan tradition mixed with the influences of Christianity. Smooring the Fire is from Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica, published 1900, and is a Gaelic hymn to Brighid, honoring the tradition of smooring, or dampening, the hearth fire at night, and particularly on the night before Imbolc.

Ballet Performance + Art Exhibition = NYCB Art Series & Dustin Yellin

Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin brings a collection of his glass sculptures from the ongoing Psychogeographies series to New York City Ballet for the third presentation of Art Series, which welcomes contemporary artists to our Lincoln Center home.

NYCB ART SERIES commissions contemporary artists to create original works of art inspired by our unique energy, spectacular dancers, and one-of-a-kind repertory of ballets. New York City Ballet has worked with leading and emerging artists throughout the Company’s history — luminaries like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel. We are proud to continue this tradition with Art Series and look forward to partnering with Brooklyn artist Dustin Yellin in 2015.

Find Out More At:

February 12, 19, 27. On Sale Now. All Tickets $29.

Limit of 6 tickets/performance:

Have a belief that is based upon Eternity

The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft 

“A driving thirst for knowledge is the forerunner of wisdom. Knowledge is a state that all organic life possesses, wisdom is the reward of the spirit, gained in the search for knowledge. Truth is variable – what is true now, will not be true tomorrow, since the temporal truths are dependent upon ethics and social mores – therefore wisdom is possibly eternal Truth, untouched by man’s condition. So we must come to the heart of the People, a belief that is based upon Eternity, and not upon social needs or pressures – the ‘witch’ belief then is concerned with wisdom, our true name, then is the wise people and wisdom is our aim.”

—  Robert Cochrane

Image Credit: Julia Trushina

NASA New Horizons animations

NASA’s New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of icy, rocky mini-worlds on the solar system’s outer frontier. This animation follows the New Horizons spacecraft as leaves Earth after its the January 2006 launch, through a gravity-assist flyby of Jupiter in February 2007, to the encounter with Pluto and its moons in summer 2015.


Learn more at

Constellations: First Look

American premiere play by Nick Payne
Directed by Michael Longhurst

with Jake Gyllenhaal & Ruth Wilson

Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler) and two-time Olivier Award winner Ruth Wilson (“The Affair,” “Luther”) make their MTC and Broadway debuts in the first American production of CONSTELLATIONS, a new play by Nick Payne (If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet), which premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre to tremendous acclaim. Michael Longhurst (If There Is…) directs.

This mind-bending, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman (Gyllenhaal and Wilson). But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know – delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.

CONSTELLATIONS is presented by Manhattan Theatre Club and the Royal Court Theatre, by special arrangement with Ambassador Theatre Group and the Dodgers.

Video of the ISS Crossing in Front of the Moon

       Israel-based astrophotographer Gadi Eidelheit recently managed to capture the International Space Station crossing the moon on camera. In the video above, we see how fast the ISS appears to travel when seen by an observer here on Earth (it spends less than 1 second in front of the moon).

"The International Space Station (ISS) crosses the moon! It required some setup and find the exact location as even one kilometer difference in the location will change the pass position.

Please read my full article with moe explanations and details

I used two cameras, the first clip is from a Canon 700d with Simga 18-250 at max zoom and the closeup is with Canon SX50 at max zoom (1200mm equiv).

I was not sure that I actually got it or that the ISS really passed the moon, and even when I looked at the small camera screen just after taking the photo I was not sure if it is good. Only at home on a regular screen I was very happy that I manage to take the video.
Hope you will like it."

Music Video Was Made with a Circular Rig of DSLRs and Clever Editing

Mr Bruce interviews director Naren Wilks about his pioneering composite camera technique. 
View the Fear & Delight music video here...

The debut album 'Puppet Loosely Strung' is out now...

Photographer and film director Naren Wilks created this mind-bending music video by arranging DSLRs around a circular green screen room. When the perspectives of the cameras are combined and synchronized, a “rotationally symmetric, kaleidoscopic world” is created. The song is “Fear & Delight” from the album Puppet Loosely Strung by The Correspondents.

Only 5 people were involved in the production of the music video. 

Detox Now !!! | Art, Photography & Motion Design

Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015 via PBS

From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2015 with Zubin Mehta

Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the sixth time to host the festive annual New Year’s celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, from Vienna’s Musikverein.

From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015, featuring the infectious melodies of the Strauss Family and their contemporaries, airs on Great Performances, Thursday, January 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) with an encore performance that evening at 8 p.m.

This is the 77-year-old maestro’s fifth appearance on the podium for the New Year’s Concert. Following Willi Boskovsky, Clemens Krauss and Lorin Maazel, Mehta joins the list of these great maestros who have conducted the concert most often. The Vienna State Ballet heads back to school and dances to both the “Students Polka” and the “Wine, Women and Song Waltz” in the palatial main building of Vienna’s 650-year-old University on the city’s grand Ringstrasse.

The venerable concert is the largest worldwide event in classical music reaching millions of people annually through radio and television in over 80 countries. The Vienna Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s program has showcased Viennese musical culture at the highest level, and since the first television broadcast in 1959, sent the world a New Year’s greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. (The telecast marks the 31st broadcast of the event on PBS.)

Julie Andrews’ role as host of these New Year’s broadcasts continues to be a cherished tradition for viewers and the beloved singer, actress, and author herself: “I adore the privilege of returning to this magical city each year with its elegance, charm and magnificent gift of music. It is with great delight and joy that I, once again, have the pleasure of participating in this year’s telecast.”

She has been a frequent and luminous presence on Great Performances, starting with “An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner” (1989); “Julie Andrews in Concert” (1990); “Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II” (1995); “Back on Broadway” which spotlighted her return to the Great White Way in “Victor/Victoria” (1995); “Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh” (1998); “My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies” (1999); its follow-up “My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs” (2001); and the restoration of the classic 1957 “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (2004). She also hosted the Emmy Award-winning series Broadway: The American Musical in 2004. Andrews was recently featured in the “Great Performances’ 40th Anniversary Celebration” (2013).

As is customary with these broadcasts, Ms. Andrews will travel from her home base in the Musikverein hall itself to visit multiple picturesque Vienna landmarks. She’ll travel up the Danube to Durnstein in Austria’s beautiful Wachau Valley; take a streetcar tour of the historic buildings and palaces along the Ringstrasse; and visit the baroque Great Hall of the Old University where Beethoven premiered his 7th Symphony.
Mehta, who was born in Bombay in 1936, studied in Vienna from 1954 until 1957 where he learned his trade under the tutelage of the “maker of conductors” Hans Swarowsky. Following his debut in the United States in 1960, he was appointed Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 26 in 1962, which led him to world fame.

Later, the New York Philharmonic offered Mehta the post of Musical Director, a post he held until 1991 – longer than all his predecessors in the 20th century. From 1998 until 2006, Mehta was General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera.
The conductor, who has also dedicated himself to promoting young talent in India, is Music Director for Life at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Honorary Member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Member of many other orchestras. In addition to numerous other awards, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

The Vienna State Ballet is choreographed by Davide Bombana. It provides the ensembles at both the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper.

Reblogged by Jai Krishna Ponnappan