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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Candles in the Orthodox Church

Question: Why do we light candles in the Orthodox Church?

Answer: There are typically two types of candles that Orthodox are familiar with. First there are the genuine pure beeswax candles made from the combs of hives. Secondly, there are the paraffin wax candles made from petroleum. When the Fathers of the Church speak of the Orthodox use of candles, they are referring to the pure beeswax candles and not the latter. Paraffin wax produces carcinogens and soot when burned. In fact, one air quality researcher stated that the soot from a paraffin candle contains many of the same toxins produced by burning diesel fuel.

With this information in mind, we can better understand the six symbolic representations of lit candles handed down to us by Saint Symeon of Thessaloniki:

1. As the candle is pure (pure beeswax), so also should our hearts be pure.

2. As the pure candle is supple (as opposed to the paraffin), so also should our souls be supple until we make it straight and firm in the gospel.

3. As the pure candle is derived from the pollen of a flower and has a sweet scent, so also should our souls have the sweet aroma of Divine Grace.

4. As the candle, when it burns, mixes with and feeds the flame, so also we can struggle to achieve theosis.

5. As the burning candle illuminates the darkness, so must the light of Christ within us shine before men that God's name be glorified.

6. As the candle gives its own light to illuminate a man in the darkness, so also must the light of the virtues, the light of love and peace, characterize a Christian. The wax that melts symbolizes the flame of our love for our fellow men.

Besides the six symbolic representation above, Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite gives us six different reasons why Orthodox light candles:

1. To glorify God, who is Light, as we chant in the Doxology: "Glory to God who has shown forth the light..."

2. To dissolve the darkness of the night and to banish away the fear which is brought on by the darkness.

3. To manifest the inner joy of our soul.

4. To bestow honor to the saints of our Faith, imitating the early Christians of the first centuries who lit candles at the tombs of the martyrs.

5. To symbolize our good works, as the Lord said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in the heavens." The priest also gave us this charge following our baptism.

6. To have our own sins forgiven and burned away, as well as the sins of those for whom we pray.

For all these reasons cited by our Holy Fathers, let us often light our candles and make sure as much as possible that they be pure candles. We should abstain from all corruption and uncleanness, so that all of the above symbolism is made real in our Christian lives.

At one point during the Presanctified Divine Liturgy the liturgist holds a lit candle, and facing the people he proclaims: "The light of Christ shines on all". Christ is "the true light who enlightens and sanctifies all men". Are we worthy recipients of this light? The saints themselves constantly sought after this light. Let us then also imitate the saints and like Saint Gregory Palamas continuously supplicate the Lord in the following words: "Enlighten my darkness".

Xmas in Greece

Christmas in Greece
St. Nicholas is important in Greece as the patron saint of sailors. According to Greek tradition, his clothes are drenched with brine, his beard drips with seawater, and his face is covered with perspiration because he has been working hard against the waves to reach sinking ships and rescue them from the angry sea. Greek ships never leave port without some sort of St. Nicholas icon on board.

On Christmas Eve small boys to the beating of drums and the tinkling of triangles usually sing carols. They go from house to house and are given dried figs, almonds, walnuts and lots of sweets or sometimes small gifts.

After 40 days of fasting, the Christmas feast is looked forward to with great anticipation by adults and children alike. Pigs are slaughtered and on almost every table are loaves of christopsomo or "Christ Bread". This bread is made in large sweet loaves of various shapes and the crusts are engraved and decorated in some way that reflects the family's profession.

Christmas trees are not commonly used in Greece. In almost every home the main symbol of the season is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. A small amount of water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day, a family member, usually the mother, dips the cross and basil into some holy water and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house. This ritual is believed to keep the Killantzaroi away from the house.

There is a tradition kallikantzeri, where the mischievous goblins appear from the earth during the 12 days of Christmas.

At Christmas very few presents are given to each other. Instead, small gifts are given to hospitals and orphanages.

Priests sometimes go from house to house sprinkling holy water around to get rid of the bad spirits who may be hiding in people's houses.

In most Greek homes an evergreen tree is decorated with tinsel and a star placed on top. Gifts are exchanged on January 1st, St Basil's Day.

On Christmas Eve, groups of people gather around the holiday table. Figs, dried on rooftops are served with the spicy golden Chrisopsomo bread.

As people are they greet one another by saying Hronia polla or many happy years. The table filled with food may include such dishes as kourambiethes, a Greek nut cookie.

Tracking Santa Claus Online

Countdown to Track Santa
Welcome to the North Pole! Santa’s helpers are getting gifts ready for delivery to the good boys and girls around the world. Can you find which shop in the village is busiest today? When you do, click on that shop to discover a fun activity inside!

Why we track Santa

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the Internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.

New Capricorn Moon Dec 24, 2011

Mexri to telos - Natassa Mprofilioy

Friday, December 23, 2011


Christmas Countdown 2011 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2011: Set as your homepage to count the number of days until Christmas 2011!

New Zealand rocked by earthquake AGAIN

New Zealand's Christchurch was rocked by a fresh series of powerful earthquakes on Friday, sending terrified people fleeing into the streets 10 months after a devastating quake claimed 181 lives.

Two shallow quakes of magnitude 5.8 and 5.9 and a series of aftershocks struck as malls were packed with afternoon Christmas shoppers, sending stock tumbling from the shelves and turning the festive mood to panic.

The quakes, which temporarily closed the international airport and disrupted communications, were the latest in a series that began 15 months ago and have destroyed much of the inner-city.

Local news media reported people fleeing in fear as the quake and a series of aftershocks rattled the city, leading to liquefaction and flooding in some suburbs worst hit by previous earthquakes.

Liquefaction is caused when shaking loosens the bonds between soil particles, turning the ground into a quagmire.

"It was very frightening there for a wee moment," one resident, Brian Cornish, told National Radio.
"Everybody out in the car park was flung on the ground, liquefaction started up in the car park, the building rocked like crazy, all the cars were bouncing up and down on their springs."

"You can't underestimate the ongoing stress this has created for people," Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said, while Prime Minister John Key described the impact as "frightening and disheartening" for the beleaguered residents.

The lives of people in New Zealand's second largest city have been shattered by a series of earthquakes that began in September last year when a 7.0 tremor struck.

That quake caused widespread destruction but because it hit just before dawn there were few casualties.

New Zealand quakes

Chiron in Pisces 2010 - 2019

On April 21 Chiron leaves Aquarius for the sign of Pisces. In its role as the Wounded Healer, Chiron shows where are deepest wounds lie, and where we will find the keys to healing. A soul that has experienced the intensity of experience in emotional or physical pain has an opportunity to gain greater wisdom and a depth of consciousness and awareness by delving deep into the wound that is not available without these experiences. Chiron is the guide on this journey, giving us the courage to open our hearts despite the fear and pain that may make this process excrutiatingly difficult in some cases.

While Chiron was in Aquarius from 2005 until next year (Chiron will retrograde back into Aquarius in July to complete the process) we have seen the ways in which technology, one of the domains of Aquarius, has created wounds and intensified experiences of loneliness and isolation in the midst of 1,000 Facebook friends. Aquarius, with its double rulership of Saturn (rules and isolation) and Uranus (the collective) has a tendency to become somewhat disconnected from the heart and soul, living primarily in the head and the realm of thoughts and ideas.

The period of Chiron traveling through Aquarius completes itself with an opposition between those two planets (Saturn and Uranus), intensifying the stress between the solid forms that hold society together (Saturn) and the revolutionary new ideas that bring about change (Uranus). Under this influence we have seen both an obsessive need to change the status quo, and a fear of change that results in violent backlash.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, and it represents a completion of sorts. In Pisces, everything is thrown into the "celestial dustbin," as Liz Greene says, and we surrender to the mists of an experience that dissolves both Saturnian and Uranian reality into something more transcendent and, ideally, more pure. Under the Pisces influence we often throw ourselves to the winds, eagerly willing to sacrifice our individual pain for the bliss of Universal consciousness. This urge for self-sacrifice can, at its worst, exalt the concept of martyrdom and convert it to victimhood. The challenge is to find the rapture of transcendence and surrender without losing ourselves in the process.

Chiron was last in Pisces from 1962-1968, and it's impossible to separate the effects of this planetary cycle from the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto which occurred during the same time period. But we can certainly see how the growing drug culture at that time (Chiron in Pisces) affected the social transformation of the era (Uranus/Pluto). Chiron in Pisces runs the risk of addictive behavior which may appear as a shortcut to the desired transcendent experience that helps to dissolve pain and sufering.

With Chiron in Pisces for the next nine years or so, the last stage of healing occurs at the soul level. This process began last year with the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune, the ruler of Pisces. Under this combination many of us were intensely aware of the longings of the soul within. Memories of past loves; mourning for those we've lost -- all took on a more profound meaning as the doorway to the soul opened under Neptune's guidance so that the healing of Chiron could begin to do its work. The Chironic healing process involves going back to the core wounds and exposing them to the air so that they can become healed. It's not an easy process and requires a fair amount of courage, but when the healing is complete we gain a level of wisdom and cellular integration that is not otherwise possible.

While Chiron travels through Pisces there is a danger of falling into Piscean illusion which we often attempt as a shortcut on the way to spiritual bliss. Because of the tendency of Pisces to seek martyrdom and sacrifice, there is the danger of becoming lost IN the pain during the Chironic healing process rather than going THROUGH the pain as required. The Neptunian influence of Pisces tends to blur the boundaries of our relationships with others, so another danger of Chiron's trip through Pisces is that of a codependent process of healing others rather than ourselves.

Chiron represents the wound that we carry with us throughout our life - it never leaves us, which makes it tempting to try to heal the wounds of others instead. This kind of transference is not only ineffective, it can be dangerous and pollutes our relationships while preventing the soul integration that is necessary for our own healing. If we are careful not to get lost in the glamour that makes up the realm of Pisces and Neptune, there is tremendous potential during the Chiron trip through Pisces for a growing spiritual awareness and an integration of Universal consciousness into our own beings. This is the process that will carry us through any stress that results in the Cardinal alignments coming up over the next three years.

As our world shifts and changes around us, Chiron continues to facilitate the growing conversation between our inner Selves and the person that we think we are, enhancing our own experience of wholeness and, ultimately, bliss.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ta Leme - Zouganeli

Rita Sakellariou - Mera mou giati nixtoses

Justin Bieber - Under the Mistletoe

Bradino Sinialo - Vicky Mosholiou

Ξεθωριάζουνε τα χρώματα της μέρας
μόνη συντροφιά μου ο αέρας
και καθώς η νύχτα φτάνει
με τρομάζει τίποτα πια τώρα δεν αλλάζει

Σ' έχω δίπλα μου μονάχα με τη σκέψη

σ' ό,τι πίστεψα κι είχα λατρέψει

μαγικό κλειδί ν' ανοίξεις τα όνειρά μου

να βρω τα χαμένα τα φτερά μου

Βραδινό σινιάλο έρημου φάρου

Σε ζητώ στην καύτρα του τσιγάρου

Απ' τα χείλη σου να κρέμομαι μ' αφήνεις

Κι ύστερα μεμιάς την πόρτα κλείνεις

Μια γεννιέμαι, δύο ζω και τρεις πεθαίνω
αδιάφορα η μοίρα μου σφυρίζει
του ολέθρου μου τη σκάλα κατεβαίνω
κατεβαίνει κι' η μισή σου μέρα αγγίζει

Δραπετεύουν οι ελπίδες μου το σκάνε
έχουν κουραστεί να τριγυρνάνε
κι εγώ βρίσκομαι στο μάτι του κυκλώνα
ζώντας μεσ' στην άνοιξη χειμώνα

Βραδινό σινιάλο έρημου φάρου

Σε ζητώ στην καύτρα του τσιγάρου

Απ' τα χείλη σου να κρέμομαι μ' αφήνεις

Κι ύστερα μεμιάς την πόρτα κλείνεις

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why not me - Enrique Iglesias

Free Food in Brisbane

I am a good girl - Christina Aguilera

waka waka - loca loca- Shakira

Latin Moon - Mia Martina

Mia Martina (born 21 January 1984) is a Canadian artist from Saint-Ignace, New Brunswick and is signed to CP Records. She has been working in the studio with Belly and RyanDan on her upcoming debut album titled Devotion, due for release on August 30, 2011. Her first single release was a cover version of Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina's "Stereo Love". It reached #10 in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 in November 2010 and also reached platinum sales. In late 2010, Don Omar collaborated with Mia Martina to release a remix version of "Stereo Love".
Her second single, "Latin Moon" was released May 10, 2011 and has already cracked the iTunes Top 100 chart reaching #3 on the dance charts. There is a French version of "Latin Moon" (Phare de la Lune), as well as an official remix with R&B artist Massari. That same day, Tune-Adkits released a new single "Summer Love" ft. Mia Martina [2] Martina was also featured on the song "Dream Catcher" from Danny Fernandes' second album AutomaticLUV. Mia Martina's debut album DEVOTION is slated for release on August 29th, via CP Records.

Beautiful Arabic song - how to heal a broken heart - Sahara Essense

Turkish and Balkan house mix

Kliste Ta Stomata - Remos

Marinella/Theodoridou -Votanikos Live