Rod of Hermes
Published on July 13, 2015 by L.A. Hilden | Views: 2572


The Caduceus symbol is an ancient symbol used to represent modern day medicine in the United States.  Throughout time this symbol has been used in the medical field, politics, government, shamanic healing and metaphysical healing.  The symbol’s origins date as early as 2600 BC in Mesopotamia.



As an alchemy symbol the caduceus is the intermingling of sulphur (male) and quicksilver (female), referring to a synthesis of opposites.  The word caduceus is Greek and means “herald’s staff.”  A herald was a messenger for the monarchy.  So to the Greek’s, the center rod symbolized Hermes who was a messenger of the gods.  The caduceus’s center staff also represents the I Am consciousness, and is seen as a conduit between heaven and earth.  The staff is a symbol of power and used in magic, it’s associated with wisdom, mysticism, and leadership.  This aspect of the staff is shown in scripture from the religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  In the Bible, God instructs Moses to fashion a pole with a bronze serpent, this Nehushtan would spare the lives of Israelites bitten by venomous snakes.



The sacred sphere at the end of the staff is said to represent the world.  The two entwined serpents represent duality of the physical and metaphysical becoming one, where opposites integrate to create a balance for harmony.  Much like the symbolic meaning behind the Yin and Yang.  The spiraling effect shows the expansion of knowledge.  The snakes represent the Kundalini energy, which is a primal energy found at the base of the root chakra in all humans.  Specifically it is referring to the three nadis.  Nadis are channels were energy flows and they are connected to the chakras.  Ida and Pingala rise up the spine, which are the two snakes, while Sushumna forms the staff and runs through the seven main chakras.  Awakening the kundalini is said to bring about spiritual enlightenment, which can be done through deep meditation and spiritual practices.  The kundalini is one of the components that make up the subtle body, along with the nadis, chakras, prana, and the bindu.  Thus, the rising of the kundalini represents healing on every level, this includes the spiritual and emotional, as well as the physical.

The wings on the caduceus symbolize travel to the higher plane and represent an awareness gained from a heavenly vantage point.  See my blog on Angels. http://www.lahilden.com/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=156

Hermes was not the only god to carry this symbol for it is also seen with Anubis (Egyptian god of afterlife) Baal (Phoenician god of universe) Mercury (Roman god of abundance) and Aesculapius (Greek god of medicine).  The symbol being attributed to modern medicine came from Aesculapius, the god of healing and was popularized further by Carl Jung as he felt it was a great symbol to represent homeopathy.  In 1902, the U.S. Army Medical Department adopted the caduceus as its symbol.  It is used by 76% of doctors in the US, while in other parts of the world the Asclepius, a single serpent staff, is used.



The meaning gained from the symbol varies in different cultures.  The symbol continues to represent spiritual awakening and healing.  Famous ancient healers include Pharaoh Imhotep from 1000 BC Egypt.  The Greek healer Aesculapius's efforts were considered miracles, and Hippocrates from 460 BC was known as the “Father of Medicine.”  Then of course there was the greatest healer of all time, Jesus.  Unfortunately in 12th century Europe, Pope Alexander III warned that the devil was influencing the healers and that the sick should be left to the physicians.  By the end of the Middle Ages, holism was banned from being used as a form of healing. (Holism treated the entire person, mentally as well as physically, while looking at all contributing factors as a whole.)   Natural herbal remedies were axed as licensed physicians began to prescribe medicines.

http://www.absoluteempowerment.com/Caduceus.Symbol.php http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2008/10/15/double-snakes-caduceus-symbolic-meaning/


Power Symbols
Published on June 13, 2015 by lahilden | Views: 1513

Symbols have been used since ancient times to represent belief, action, or material entities.  Through time, symbols are often transformed and repurposed to take on new connotations.  Symbols are used to convey a sense of meaning to the viewer interpreting them.  There are many symbols referenced in my Witches of Griffin series; some are mentioned in this blog.

The Reiki Cho Ku Rei is a power symbol used in Usui Reiki.  Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui developed Usui Reiki in 1922.  Of course “hands on healing” with energy has been done since ancient times, so Reiki can be seen as a resurgence of the ancient healing methods.  The Cho Ku Rei symbol essentially means, “Place the power of the universe here.”  I practice Usui Reiki and the Cho Ku Rei is the symbol I use most, since this symbol can increase the power of Reiki.  It also serves as a sign of protection.  Here’s my short blog on Reiki: http://www.lahilden.com/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=94

The Triskelion is a symbol of three interlocking spirals.  These spirals are said to represent three bent human legs or three curved lines that extend from the center.  The triskelion’s first appearance was in Malta in 4400-3600 BC.  The triple spiral is a Neolithic symbol in Western Europe and although it’s considered Celtic, it’s actually pre-Celtic, although it was incorporated into Celtic culture and is seen on Megalithic and Neolithic sites in Ireland.  The symbol took on new meaning with the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, as it came to represent the Holy Trinity.  To the pagans, this symbol represented the three realms, Sea, Sky and Earth, as well as deities like Manannan mac Lir, a sea deity in Irish mythology.  This symbol often represents the power of three.


The Chinese Taijitu is a fairly common symbol in the United States and is usually referred to as the Yin/Yang symbol.  “The symbol is to serve as a diagram of supreme ultimate” according to the followers of the religious and philosophical traditions of Taoism.  The symbol consists of one black and one white tadpole shape that fit together to form a perfect circle.  Each side contains a part of the other, as is represented with the dot of the opposites color in each halves center.  This signifies how the halves becoming whole when placed together.  The dark side represents the Yin, which is the feminine side (earth, moon, night, passive, and cold) and the light side the Yang, the masculine side (fire, sky, day, aggressive, and hot).  The symbol signifies how everything exists in duality, but one cannot exist without the other, as they are interdependent.  Thus the symbol’s power comes from having perfect balance.


The Ankh is the Ancient Egyptian symbol of Life and one of the most recognizable hieroglyphs in the world.  It looks much like the Christian cross with a loop above the transverse bar.  The meaning of the ankh is eternal life for it represents the souls immortality.  This symbol is often seen in Ancient Egyptian art, with the ankh being fed or inhaled by the pharaoh to assure the leader’s immortality.  This symbol was later associated with Christianity and referred to as a Coptic cross.

A special thank you to: http://www.alkhemi.co.uk/page33.htm http://www.reiki.nu/treatment/symbols/chokurei/chokurei.html http://www.ancient-symbols.com/symbols-directory/taijitu.html

 


What I’m Currently Working On…
Published on June 3, 2015 by L.A. Hilden | Views: 779

It’s been a busy time in my writing world.  I’m currently working on getting my new release The Wallflower’s Godmother into the marketplace.  My cover and interior designer moved onto new life adventures and this had me searching for someone else to do the work, which took some time.  I was lucky to find Dafeenah Jameel from Indie Designz and she did a wonderful job for me.  Today I uploaded the various book files to different markets, which used to be done for me.  Fingers crossed that the book and cover will upload on the different sites without issue and I receive the go ahead.  If all goes as it should, the book will be available in paperback through Lightning Source, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon around June 7th.  The eBook will be available on Amazon at that time and available at Barnes and Noble, Apple, and other venues in three months.

In The Wallflower’s Godmother, the Earl of Dunford owns an estate with a hedge maze where a folly is found at its center.  The cover art shows the scene quite well and I was really happy with the photos I found to represent the story and my heroine.  As it states in the blurb, this story is about a lady who is treated poorly by her relatives and removed from such hardships by her spiritual godmother.   Johanna Cavanagh finds sanctuary, inner strength, and love on her journey.

While this book was with the editor and interior designer, I moved on to work on book two in the Witches of Griffin series.  I’m currently on page 119 and the words are flowing easily, which is always great!

Securing Sanctuary is the title of book two in the Witches of Griffin series.  The Griffin sisters find themselves searching for the Map to Sanctuary in the astral plane.  Meanwhile, a Native American Legend from the 17th century has seemed to come alive in their 21st century home.  With multiple tasks to complete for the Goddess Isis, the sisters find themselves at their breaking point when one of them becomes stuck in 1615 North Carolina.  As soon as book two is finished, I will begin working on publishing book one.  I’d like to release them fairly close together.  I do plan on creating book three as well and plot lines are already flowing through my brain.

I’m also thinking I’ll publish another one of my Historical Regencies, but I’m unsure which one to release.  It’s between a pirate story (The Lady Charmer, book 3 in the Bewildering Love series), a hero with a laudanum addiction (When Love Wins), or the story of a courtesan’s daughter simply called (The Courtesan’s Daughter).  The latter two do not have the second books written yet, although my goal is to make them series.

This has been what I’ve been working on in the past months.  I’m excited about my new release and look forward to reviews.  The story is character driven, and my hope is my readers will connect with the emotional ups and downs of the hero and heroine.  While I market The Wallflower’s Godmother, I plan to continue writing book two in my witches’ story.  Namaste.


Runaway Weddings
Published on May 5, 2015 by lahilden | Views: 984

Gretna Green is a village located in south Scotland famous for runaway weddings.  People who partook in these weddings usually did so to avoid the prohibitions and legalities of England’s marriage laws.  In my new release, The Wallflower’s Godmother, the Earl of Dunford’s brother flees to Scotland to marry his ladylove in an effort to help her escape her abusive brother.

England’s Marriage Act of 1753 made a marriage null and void if the marriage took place without the reading of the banns or procuring a special license.  This law also stated that the marriage ceremony must be carried out publicly in a church or chapel with a clergyman, during the approved daylight hours.  No one under the age of twenty-one could marry without parental consent.  All marriages must be entered into record, which was usually a parish registry.

England’s Marriage Act of 1836 legalized marriages of Jews, Quakers, and Roman Catholics, who previously had to obtain approval to validate their marriage by having an Anglican ceremony.  This law also allowed people to marry in a registry office allowing them to conduct a civil marriage contract.

Prohibitions to Marriage:

A widower could not marry his wife’s sister, his niece by marriage, his stepdaughter, or his aunt by marriage.  A widow could not marry her husband’s brother.  A lunatic or crazy person could not marry unless lucid.

Due to the marriage laws some couples found it necessary to head for Scotland’s border where marriage laws were more lax.  In Scotland it was possible to marry at a young age, boys could marry at 14 and girls at 12, without parental consent.  The most favored location was Gretna Green.  Gretna Green’s location of being two miles over the border, along with the construction of the toll road in 1770’s, made this village easily accessible from London.

To accommodate the visitors seeking to strike the anvil, a local home was converted into an Inn called Gretna Hall in 1801.  Accounts from the time period claim that the men who performed these wedding ceremonies were seen as unprincipled in the town.  This in part could be due to the fact that these weddings were conducted speedily as there was a good chance parents were in hot pursuit of the elopers.  I assume it depends on who was conducting the ceremony, as true blacksmiths were respected tradesmen in their communities.  The term “striking the anvil” came into being as the blacksmith would strike an anvil after the ceremony, this also led to the officiators being referred to as “anvil priests.”  The weddings were done for a price, anywhere between 5 to 50 guineas, and then some were done for a pint of ale.  It all depended on your status and financial standing, and likely your manner toward the anvil priest.  There had to be two witnesses present during the quicky ceremony.  In the village of Gretna Green witnesses consisted of Gretna Green citizens, which often included a man named Joseph Paisley.  For 60 years Paisley officiated as Gretna Green’s parson.  The poor could not afford to make the trip to elope in Scotland, unless they were marrying someone with financial backing.  It is estimated in 1798 that 72 weddings took place at Gretna Green, although the average was around 45.

England’s Marriage Act of 1857 prohibited marriages to be conducted in Scotland unless one of the parties had lived in Scotland for three weeks prior to wedding.  The residential requirement was lifted in 1977.  Gretna Green remained a hot spot for weddings until 1940, when new laws forbid anyone other than clergy or an official registrar from conducting weddings.

Today, Gretna Green remains one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations and hosts over 5,600 weddings a year.  The most popular and hard to acquire venue is the “World Famous Old Blacksmith’s Shop,” called the Old Smithy.  It has three wedding rooms and each have an anvil.  It is also a tourist attraction and museum.

A special thank you to Kristine Hughes, Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England, http://www.gretnagreen.com/why-flee-to-gretna-green-a739 , Roy and Lesley Adkins, Jane Austen’s England.


Horse Saddles in Regency England
Published on April 15, 2015 by L.A. Hilden | Views: 2231

In 18th century, English saddles often sported the high-pommel and cantle styles.  The high-pommel supplied the rider with support and so it was used for a variety of purposes, whether combat, long-distance travel, or cattle work.

As foxhunting grew in popularity in England, a new type of saddle was developed to help the rider complete jumps over hedges and ditches in an effort to keep up with the hounds.  The old saddle was too cumbersome to handle jumps over fences as the high-pommel would get in the way and hurt you.  Thus the low-pummel saddle came into existence, sporting a flat seat and no padding under the legs.


Over time the forward seat was developed, which had shorter stirrups and kept the rider’s legs under them instead of forward.  The waist of the saddle was also made narrower and additional padding was added for security beneath the knee rolls.


The dreaded and completely unsafe sidesaddle has undergone many transformations since its inception.  Ladies could not go about with their legs draped over the sides of a horse, how unseemly, plus her reproductive organs could be damaged from sitting in that manner.  And let us not forget that long skirts, which were the fashion, were not ideal for riding astride.  These were some of the reasons the sidesaddle came into being.  When women first began to ride on their own and not behind a man, they would sit sideways in a saddle, which was more of a stuffed chair with a footrest called a planchette.  These so-called saddles are credited to Anne of Bohemia in the 14th cen
tury.  They had a single pommel in front and allowed the rider no control over the horse.  The horse was led about by another rider or servant, at a slow pace.  It was during the 16th century when a more practical design was created.  Attributed to Catherine de Medici, the second horn was added, between which a lady could place a leg, allowing her to face forward and thus gain control of her own horse, instead of having others lead her about.  There were also many sidesaddles in the bullhorn design, where the right leg would rest. This two-horned sidesaddle remained in various forms throughout the centuries.  But not all women were willing to adapt to the sidesaddle, ladies like Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great of Russia, refused to conform and rode astride.


Around 1835, the sidesaddle came to carry one or two pommels, with one turned up to support the right leg, some had a second, lower pommel called the leaping horn, which turned down over the left leg.  The second pommel was seen as revolutionary as now ladies could gallop and jump.

It was around 1830 that the balance strap was invented, which helped to keep the saddle firmly centered on the horse’s back.  The dip seat was also invented, which was far more comfortable than the previous flat seat.  Today, the sidesaddle is a symbol of days past, although they are still used in equestrian pageantry and disciplines.  There are those who wish to bring the long lost skill of riding with a sidesaddle back to the forefront, the article is below. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/these-women-want-to-bring-back-sidesaddle-riding-is-that-okay/2015/04/13/80c72596-df95-11e4-a1b8-2ed88bc190d2_story.html

 

A special thank you to: http://shannondonnelly.com/2013/12/17/in-the-saddle-regency-riding/ and http://users.tinyworld.co.uk/sidesaddlelady/Museum%20-%20side-saddles.html


Symbolism of the Shamrock
Published on March 15, 2015 by L.A. Hilden | Views: 1950

Common clovers are trifoliate, meaning they have three leaves.  On occasion, common clovers are found to carry four leaves, which are considered lucky.  A clover can also have five or six leaves, but these are rare.  The record clover was found in 2009 and it carried 56 leaves.  There are other three-leafed plants that are sometimes called clover.







The clover is used as a symbol of Ireland.  A shamrock is a young sprig of clover.  The three-leafed clover is associated with St. Patrick and his journey to bring Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century.  Legends claim that Saint Patrick used the natural triad of the clover to represent the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).  Clover grew in abundance in Ireland’s countryside’s, and was used to feed the livestock.  The three leaves are also symbolic of the theological virtues of Faith, Love, and Hope.  According to legend, Eve carried a four-leaf clover from the Garden of Eden to remind her of the happiness she enjoyed there.

The four-leaf clover is considered a good luck symbol because of its rarity. Ancient Druids used the clover as a protective herb, and they considered it symbolic with the verities of Earth, Sea, and Sky.  To the ancients, the four-leafed clover was seen as a charm against snakes, witches, and the devil.  It was believed to give the carrier of the clover second sight, which permitted them to see fairies.  In the 17th century, four-leafed clovers were put in the bride’s path to protect her from evils on her special day.  The four-leafed clover came to symbolize faith, hope, love, and luck, although many believed the luck only came if the clover was found accidentally.  Some claimed the luck could be had by placing the clover in your shoe, while others choose to preserve the hard to find clovers between the pages of the family Bible.

Clovers were also used as a diuretic and brewed for tea.  Clovers are edible and can be added to salads.  They are a good source of protein.  Clovers are native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa; they were introduced to America by early settlers.

 

A special thank you to http://www.whats-your-sign.com/symbolic-shamrock-meaning.html and http://www.livingartsoriginals.com/meaning-shamrock.html Richard Webster The Encyclopedia of Superstitions.


Disease and Illness in Regency England
Published on March 4, 2015 by lahilden | Views: 3741


Throughout history, communal diseases have caused many deaths and countless heartbreak.  England’s rapid population growth led to overcrowding, poverty, and a lack of sanitary living, which resulted in rampant disease. Patients were often isolated from others, and treatment could be painful, causing death.  Below is a limited list of illness and disease, along with herbal remedies and toxins used to try to counter them.

Ague- is another name for malaria.  This disease brings on chills, shivering, and fever.  The ague existed in England until the mid 19th century, and was transmitted by the mosquito as it is in the West Indies.  It was found in the marshlands of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.  Proper drainage helped eradicate the disease.  Cinchona Bark- 1677 it is listed in the London Pharmacopoeia.  Used to cure King Charles II of England from malaria, as well as helping many others.

Apoplexy- is a stroke.  The results of a stroke could bring death, while recovery usually involves some paralysis.  Many died within hours of the attack.  Bloodletting was believed to help the patient.  Survivors were sometimes mistaken as mad due to their inability to speak or control bodily functions.  Some were placed in asylums.


Cholera- is caused by bacillus that lives in the intestines and is dispelled by human waste.  Sewage ran into the Thames, which supplied the drinking water and in turn the disease is ingested.  This disease did not affect Europe until the 1830’s.  Symptoms are nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, burning feeling in stomach, and thirst.  Death usually occurs in 24 hours after first sign of symptoms.  Cholera hit London’s slums the hardest.  Physicians would treat the symptoms with bloodletting or an opiate like laudanum.

Consumption- is tuberculosis of the lungs.  Spread through the air, saliva, and blood.  It causes weakness, fatigue, and in the latter stages of the disease people have a burst of energy and creativity.  The disease killed more people in Britain in the 1800’s than smallpox, measles, typhus, whooping cough, and scarlet fever combined.  Like many of the diseases mentioned, there was not an effective treatment for the disease.  It was however seen as a “romantic disease” as the sufferer had a heightened sense of sensitivity as death neared.  The disease progressed slowly, allowing people to get their affairs in order.  Lord Byron is quoted to have said, “I should like to die from consumption.”  The disease came to represent spiritual purity and temporal wealth.

Croup- this name applied to many illnesses at the time, including diphtheria.  This disease occurred with children, leading to hoarseness and coughing.  Severe cases led to convulsions and death.  Nowadays we say the patient is barking like a seal when they contract this virus.  Croup causes inflammation in the upper airways. The disease often begins with signs of the common cold. White Horehound Syrup- used to try an alleviate cough and lung trouble.  Known to have a pleasant taste.

Diphtheria- was not diagnosed or named correctly until the 1820’s, this illness affected children more severely than adults.  Transmitted by sneezing, it caused inflammation in the mucous membranes, making breathing so difficult that it often led to death.  Also known as the Boulogne sour throat in England.  Today, a vaccination is administered for prevention, usually in a combination DTP shot.

Dropsy-this wasn’t an actual illness, but a symptom of an underlining health issue.  Dropsy is swelling in the body caused by fluid.  This could be a symptom of kidney problems or poor circulation due to hardened arteries.  The person may have edema due to congestive heart failure.  Foxglove- highly toxic, given only by doctor.  Camomile- is a syrup made using the juice of Camomilien.

Dyspepsia- indigestion caused by overeating and lack of thorough chewing.  Fennel- treated indigestion and helped to increase a nursing mother’s milk supply.

Gout
- this disease can be hereditary and was found among the upper classes, since they consumed large quantities of meat and wine.  The uric acids in combination of the food and drink can cause painful swelling in joints. White Willow Bark- used to treat gout, headaches, diarrhea, and dysentery.  It is also known to relieve pain and inflammation.

Palsy- this paralysis is caused by a host of diseases such as Parkinson’s, sciatica, and muscular dystrophy.  Partial paralysis can be caused by apoplexy and paraplegia.  Palsy causes uncontrollable shaking.

Pleurisy-is an inflammation of the lungs that produces a hacking cough and sharp chest pain.  Respiratory infections and pneumonia are the main causes of pleurisy.  Milk Weed- helps to relieve breathing difficulties, ease pain, and lesson inflammation.  Leeches- applied to ribcage where the pain was located.

Smallpox- virus causes blister bumps on skin and in the mouth and throat, accompanied with a fever.  If you get this disease and survive, you would not get it again.  Believed to have emerged in 10,000 BC.  A smallpox rash was found on Pharaoh Ramses V of Egypt.  It can cause blindness due to ocular scarring.  Eighty percent of children that contacted this disease died.  It is airborne and easily inhaled or transmitted through bodily fluids.  One of the first vaccinations ever created was for smallpox in 1798.

Typhoid Fever-brought on by consuming food or water that has been contaminated by human waste either directly or through flies.  Could lead to delirium and death if untreated.  Often accompanied by a rash that is similar to Typhus.  It has four stages with a variety of terrible symptoms.  Sanitation and education is the way to prevent it.  Bloodletting and Calomel- Calomel is Mercury and it acts as a purgative and kills bacteria.  It also does irreversible damage to the patient.

Typhus- is spread by body lice. (aka. Putrid fever)  Napoleon’s army lost thousands from this disease on their retreat from Russia in 1812.  Symptoms include delirium, headaches, fever, and a rash, which usually cleared in two weeks unless the disease was fatal.  The disease is caused from overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.  If you have typhus as a child it can return.  Jane Austen had typhus as a child.  Nothing could cure Typhus until the invention of antibiotics.  Bloodletting and diluting the blood-diluting the blood called for mercury and antimony (both toxic) to be administered in doses orally and in enemas.  Many patients were stripped naked and doused in cold water since it was believed the patient should be kept cold.

Yellow Fever-a tropical disease spread by mosquitos.  It usually occurred in seaports and carried flu like symptoms.  This disease killed many British soldiers in the West Indies.  Severe cases led to kidney and liver failure.  Bloodletting, cold baths, and a calomel and James’s powder purge. Often bled 4-5 times in a 30-hour period.

Related Blog Articles:

Regency Home Remedies:  Leeches and Bloodletting http://www.lahilden.com/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=102

Drugs and Addiction in Regency England  http://www.lahilden.com/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=114

A special thank you to Daniel Pool What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.  Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon, Book of Poisons. Scott Cunningham Magical Herbalism. Roy and Lesley Adkins Jane Austen’s England.


Angels
Published on February 16, 2015 by lahilden | Views: 2175


































Angels are spirits found in various religions and mythologies.  They are depicted as benevolent beings who act as intermediaries between Heaven and Earth.  The word angel means messenger.  Their role is to protect and guide humans for the higher good.  They are found in the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  And yet, angels described as Divine helpers are found in the ancient writings of Sumer, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, and Greece.  These writings influenced the future religions.  There are also benevolent beings mentioned in other religions: Hinduism has avatars and Buddhism has devas and bodhisattvas.  Spirit guides are mentioned by many tribal cultures throughout the world.  Since these similar beings are all seen as messengers from Heaven, it is difficult to pinpoint the origin of the angel.  References to angels have existed as long as recorded human history.

Angels are often described as beings of light.  They are above average human height, and often portrayed with halos and/or wings.  Their wings are shown to signify the idea of traveling back and forth from the earth realm to the spirit realm. Wings were symbolic of the travel between life and the afterlife, and depicted on ancient gods like Hermes in Greece and Nepthys in Egypt.  Wings also appear on animals like the griffin, winged lions, and bulls.  The Vikings had winged Valkyries, this female figure visited battlefields to choose who lived or died, while taking the chosen slain back to Valhalla.  Angels have been appearing on battlefields for centuries.

In the 5th century, Syrian monk, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, studied the angels in passages from the New Testament, and concluded there was an intricate hierarchy of angels, which he divided into three spheres.  This hierarchy he created is met by skepticism, but it is still accepted today and is found in his book De Coelesti Hieratchia (On the Celestial Hierarchy). One of the debates is that the Syrian monk was trying to defend the hierarchy of the Catholic Church by creating a hierarchy amongst the angels.

First sphere: Seraphim, Cheribum, and Thrones (Serve as heavenly counselors)

Second sphere: Dominions, Virtues, and Powers (Serve as heavenly governors)

Third sphere: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. (Serve as heavenly messengers and soldiers)

Out of all the spheres of angels the most well known are the archangels.  They carry God’s most important messages to humans.  There are said to be twelve Archangels, of course this is debated as well, the main four are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel.  These four work most closely with humans.  Archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.  Gabriel also appeared to Muhammad and revealed to him a verse from the Quran.  The Gospels also speak of angels at Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.

Archangel Michael is often shown as a warrior, complete with armor and sword, as he battles with evil.  He is also depicted with the scales to weigh the souls of the dead, which sounds a great deal like the Egyptian god Maat.  Michael is the protective angel.


The Angels are our closest intermediaries to God, and each of us is assigned an angel at birth.  Our Guardian Angel’s loving guidance awakens us to our true potential.  Angels do not judge as they hold unconditional love for us.  They understand the perfection of creation and recognize the Divine inside us.  They are here to help with our human journey, but due to free will, they need your permission to assist you.  Be sure to ask for their help, guidance, or healing when needed.  In art, angels are often portrayed with human features, but in essence they are spirit energy of love and light.  The Guardian Angel is different from the spirit guide, who is also with us from birth, but unlike our spirit guides, angels have never been human.

“For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Psalms 91: 11, 12.


Since the beginning of time angels had made appearances in the earth realm.  Many have felt their presence, and there are scores of stories surrounding these amazing encounters.  George Washington often spoke to his guardian angel and credited his success in Valley Forge to the inspiring heavenly being.  Abraham Lincoln was known to call upon the wisdom of the angels to help guide him and heal the nation.  I have also called upon my guardian angel and received amazing responses.  Angels were created when light was created, at the dawn of the beginning; they have infinite wisdom to share.

In my book The Wallflower’s Godmother, Lady Saint Eden speaks to the angels, and with their help, she assists her goddaughter in reshaping her destiny.  This book will be released this year.

A special thank you to: Doreen Virtue, Archangels & Ascended Masters and How to Hear Your Angels. http://healingdeva.com/ranks-angels/ The History Channel, History of the Angels, http://angels-angelology.com/hierarchy-and-orders, and  http://www.heirarchyofheaven.com/TheWayofSpirit/HeirarchyofHeaven.htm


Historic Sights Part Thirteen
Published on January 28, 2015 by L.A. Hilden | Views: 1271

Blair Castle is located in the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire, Scotland.  The castle is strategically located in the Strath of Garry, making it the gatekeeper to the Grampians, and the most direct route to Inverness.  John I Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, owned Blair Castle.  While Lord Badenoch was fighting in the Crusades, his northern neighbor David I Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl built upon Badenoch’s land.  Upon his return, Badenoch won back his land and incorporated the new tower into his own castle.  Although the castle was built in the 13th century, the majority of construction was done during the 15th century.  The castle was under siege twice, once by Cromwell’s army in 1652 and again in 1746 by the Jacobites.  Apartments were added in the mid-18th century.  The clock tower was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1814.  In 1870’s, the castle was remodeled in the Scots Baronial style, and a ballroom was added.  A new ballroom wing was added during further remodeling in 1885.  There is a Grand Fir tree on the property, which is considered the second-tallest tree in Great Britain.  The castle is open to the public.


Castle de Haar is located in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.  The current buildings were built upon the original castle, which dates back to 1391.  The castle was given by Hendrik van Woerden as fiefdom to the De Haar family.  The De Haar’s remained in possession of the castle and lands until 1440, when the last male De Haar family member died without heirs.  The castle passed to the Van Zuylen family, and suffered through a fire in 1482.  The remaining structure that still held military use was incorporated into the new castle in the early 16th century.  The castle fell into ruins when Johan van Zuylen died without children, and was eventually bequeathed to a cousin.  Etienne van Zuylen, husband of Helene de Rothschild, of the Rothschild family, inherited the castle ruins.  Financed by the Rothschild’s, they set about fully restoring and modernizing the castle with the help of famous architect Pierre Cuypers.  Cuypers worked on the project for twenty years.  The castle has 200 rooms and 30 bathrooms.  The castle is open to the public.

Lismore Castle is located in the town of Lismore, in the County of Waterford in Ireland.  The castle sits on the site that was occupied by Lismore Abbey, which was established in the early 7th century.  Lismore Castle was originally built in 1185 by Prince John and is situated high above the Blackwater River.  When the prince became king, he gave the fortress to the church and it was used as a Bishop’s Palace.  The castle was leased and later purchased by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1589 and he sold it to Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork in 1602.  Cork transformed the simple keep into a magnificent residence, which included castellated outer walls, a gatehouse, and additional apartments.  Lismore Castle passed to the Fourth Duke of Devonshire in 1753.  The Sixth Duke of Devonshire was responsible for the castle’s current appearance.  In the 19th century, the duke hired architect William Atkinson to rebuild the fortress in the Gothic style, using cut stone from Derbyshire.  Nearly 30 years later the duke hired architect Sir Joseph Paxton to carry out additional improvements.  Lismore Castle is considered a luxury destination that is open to guests and available for exclusive hire.


Powis Castle is a medieval castle located in Powys, Wales.  Powis castle was the fortress of a dynasty of Welsh princes in Mid-Wales.  The castle was built by Welsh prince Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn in 1252 AD.  He wished to establish his independence from the North Wales princes, who were traditional enemies.  Powis Castle was built by the Welsh, unlike many of the castles in Northern Wales, which were built by the English.  Gruffudd was forced into exile in 1274 and the castle was destroyed.  Within three years, Gruffudd returned and rebuilt Powis Castle.  With no male heir, the castle and lordship passed to an heiress, Hawise, who married Sir John Charlton from Shropshire.  Descendants of Charlton held the castle for over 100 years.  Again, due to the lack of a male heir, the castle passed to two daughters.  In 1578, Sir Edward Herbert leased the castle and eventually purchased it in 1587.  In 1644, Powis Castle was captured by Parliamentary Troops and not returned to the family until the restoration of King Charles II.  The fortress is known for its remarkable State Bedroom, extensive gardens, deer park, and beauty.  The castle is under the ownership of the National Trust.


Resurrectionists-Body Snatching Trade
Published on January 7, 2015 by LA Hilden | Views: 803


Removing a corpse from its resting place was done for the advancement of science and seen as a necessity for medical students to learn the anatomy correctly.  Since the 15th century, British anatomists have used corpses for the purpose of study.  By law, only executed criminals were available for dissection and learning, which limited the number of bodies available.  During the early 19th century in England, capital crimes were continually reduced, which lessened the number of criminals executed, in turn making the growing medical institutions desperate for cadavers.   Low supply and high demand brought about the new trade of body snatching.  Due to this high demand, authorities often looked the other way when body snatching occurred.  Body snatching was kept quiet from the public to prevent riots, which were known to occur when such a crime was publicized.  The men that stole the corpses were known as resurrection-men.  Unlike grave robbers looking for personal treasures, the resurrectionists snatched bodies to sell.

Body snatching was not considered a felony.  The punishment consisted of a fine and imprisonment, whereas, grave robbing, taking personal items from the corpse, was a felony and punishable by hanging.  So taking the body wasn’t as bad as taking the body’s socks.  Body snatching was considered lucrative enough that resurrectionists were willing to take their chances with the law.  The institution of St. Bartholemew’s purchased corpses for four guineas apiece, which was a great sum.

Trade in corpses led to family members watching vigilantly over the deceased to assure themselves that the would-be-surgeons stayed far away.  Some decided to “mortsafe” their deceased.  This is where the corpse would be placed in a vault and allowed to putrefy before burial, thus rendering the corpse of no value to the robbers who sold them to the colleges.  Mortsafes were iron contraptions that protected the coffin from robbers.  They were usually removed after six weeks and reused elsewhere; for a special charge, of course.  Mortsafes were often weighted with stone, making exhumation of the deceased difficult.  The lack of refrigeration at the time meant the bodies decayed quickly, so stealing them had to happen with haste if the corpse was to be useful for dissection.

In part due to the scare from the Burke and Hare murders in 1828, where two Irish immigrants murdered 16 people and sold their corpses to a doctor for his anatomy lectures, vaults and watch houses began to pop up in cemeteries.  People with loved ones in the cemetery often took shifts in the watchtower overlooking the cemetery, remaining vigilant for any resurrectionists.  People were also known to set traps like spring guns to deter the robbers.

Of course these methods of safeguarding the deceased worked for many, but resurrection-men were tenacious and would dig further away from the mortsafe, and tunnel their way to the corpse, making the grave still appear undisturbed.  Nothing was foolproof.  With the Anatomy Act of 1832, unclaimed bodies and those donated by families were now allowed to be dissected in the pursuit of knowledge.  This left the medical institution with enough corpses to dissect, and body snatching lost its lucrative incentive.  The deceased were relatively left in peace, with the exception of the occasional grave robber.

My book Born Reckless delves into the hardships and upset caused by body snatching, when the Earl of Camden’s brother refuses to mortsafe his deceased wife, and her body goes missinghttp://www.amazon.com/Born-Reckless-Alter-Ego-Book-ebook/dp/B006V5820I/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1420308908&sr=8-6&keywords=born+reckless

A special thank you to: http://www.kuriositas.com/2013/05/the-mortsafe-or-how-to-protect-your.html http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/body-snatching-a-most-ghoulish-19th-century-affair/