Monday, 2 May 2016

Singing Stars

Do stars make sounds?
The stars might be singing – but, since sound can’t propagate through the vacuum of space, no one can hear them. The sound was at such a high frequency - almost a trillion hertz - that even animals like bats and dolphins (which have a much bigger range than humans) wouldn't have been able to hear it. In fact, the unexpected sound was six million times higher than that anything that can be heard by a mammal.
Nebula RCW49 
Scientists have recorded the sound of three stars similar to our Sun using France's Corot space telescope. A team writing in Science journal says the sounds have enabled them to get information about processes deep within stars for the first time.
NGC 1977
You'll hear a regular repeating pattern. These indicate that the entire star is pulsating. The sound of one star is very slightly different to the other. That's because the sound they make depends on their age, size, and chemical composition. The technique called "stellar seismology", is becoming increasingly popular among astronomers because the sounds give an indication of what is going on in the stars' interior.
Listen to each star HERE "It's like listening to the sound of a musical instrument and then trying to reconstruct the shape of the instrument".
It's not the first time that scientists have associated "singing" with celestial objects. In November, Rosetta mission scientists discovered that the comet that the Philae space probe landed on had its own mysterious signal.
Is there an actual harmony of the spheres? A chance discovery by a team of researchers has provided experimental evidence that stars might generate sound. They announced their discovery March 23, 2015. HERE
Astronomers have used the words star and sound in the same sentence before. Asteroseismology is a study in which tiny oscillations within a star can be used to probe its internal structure. In those sorts of studies, astronomers effectively turn tiny variations in a star’s light into sounds.

Now a group of physicists is talking about something else: actual sound generated by the stars themselves. The scientists – including Dr John Pasley of the Department of Physics at University of York – said in a statement:
The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians, so it is not often that new discoveries are made. However when examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, the team observed something unexpected.

Scientists … realized that in the trillionth of a second after the laser strikes, plasma flowed rapidly from areas of high density to more stagnant regions of low density, in such a way that it created something like a traffic jam. Plasma piled up at the interface between the high and low-density regions, generating a series of pressure pulses: a sound wave.
However, the sound generated was at such a high frequency that it would have left even bats and dolphins struggling! With a frequency of nearly a trillion hertz, the sound generated was not only unexpected but was also at close to the highest frequency possible in such a material – six million times higher than that which can be heard by any mammal!

Pasley, who worked with scientists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility in Oxfordshire, said:

One of the few locations in nature where we believe this effect would occur is at the surface of stars. When they are accumulating new material stars could generate sound in a very similar manner to that which we observed in the laboratory – so the stars might be singing – but, since sound cannot propagate through the vacuum of space, no one can hear them.

Asteroseismology ~ scientists convert starlight into sound, for purposes of study.
One use of the technique of asteroseismology is in the search for exoplanets. That’s because tiny variations in a star’s light – the same little oscillations in starlight that are converted to sound during asteroseismology – also sometimes reveal planets passing in front of their stars.
What is Harmony of the Spheres?
Ancient philosophers described the movement of the Sun, Moon and planets as “the music of the spheres” — the geometry of the cosmos conceived as proportional mathematical harmony.

Harmony of the Spheres
The astronomy of the Pythagoreans marked an important advance in ancient scientific thought, for they were the first to consider the earth as a globe revolving with the other planets around a central fire.  They explained the harmonious arrangement of things as that of bodies in a single, all-inclusive sphere of reality, moving according to a numerical scheme.  Because the Pythagoreans thought that the heavenly bodies are separated from one another by intervals corresponding to the harmonic lengths of strings, they held that the movement of the spheres gives rise to a musical sound-the "harmony of the spheres."
Source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000
(b. c. 580 BC, Samos, Ionia--d. c. 500, Metapontum, Lucania)

Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the Pythagorean brotherhood that, although religious in nature, formulated principles that influenced the thought of Plato and Aristotle and contributed to the development of mathematics and Western rational philosophy (Pythagoreanism). Pythagoras migrated to southern Italy about 532 BC, apparently to escape Samos' tyrannical rule, and established his ethico-political academy at Croton (now Crotona).

It is difficult to distinguish Pythagoras' teachings from those of his disciples.  None of his writings has survived, and Pythagoreans invariably supported their doctrines by indiscriminately citing their master's authority.  Pythagoras, however, is generally credited with the theory of the functional significance of  numbers in the objective world and in music.  Other discoveries often attributed to him (e.g., the incommensurability of the side and diagonal of a square, and the Pythagorean theorem for right triangles) were probably developed only later by the Pythagorean school.  More probably the bulk of the intellectual tradition originating with Pythagoras himself belongs to mystical wisdom rather than to scientific scholarship.
Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica 97
The harmony of the cosmos
The sacred decad, in particular, has a cosmic significance in Pythagoreanism: its mystical name, tetraktys (meaning approximately "fourness"), implies 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10; but it can also be thought of as a "perfect triangle," as in the Figure.

Speculation on number and proportion led to an intuitive feeling of the  harmonia ("fitting together") of the kosmos ("the beautiful order of things"); and the application of the tetraktys to the theory of  music revealed a hidden order in the range of sound.  Pythagoras may have referred, vaguely, to the "music of the heavens," which he alone seemed able to hear; and later Pythagoreans seem to have assumed that the distances of the heavenly bodies from the Earth somehow correspond to musical intervals--a theory that, under the influence of  Platonic conceptions, resulted in the famous idea of the "harmony of the spheres."  Though number to the early Pythagoreans was still a kind of cosmic matter, like the water or air proposed by the Ionians, their stress upon numerical proportions, harmony, and order comprised a decisive step toward a metaphysic in which form is the basic reality.
In reviewing the accounts of music that have characterized musical and intellectual history, it is clear that the Pythagoreans are reborn from age to age. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) perpetuated, in effect, the idea of the harmony of the spheres, attempting to relate music to planetary movement. René Descartes (1596-1650), too, saw the basis of music as mathematical. He was a faithful Platonist in his prescription of temperate rhythms and simple melodies so that music would not produce imaginative, exciting, and hence immoral, effects. For another philosopher-mathematician, the German Gottfried von Leibniz (1646-1716), music reflected a universal rhythm and mirrored a reality that was fundamentally mathematical, to be experienced in the mind as a subconscious apprehension of numerical relationships. 
Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica 97
Nishmati ~Sound Of Light
Stellar engineering
Stellar engineering is a type of engineering (currently a form of exploratory engineering) concerned with creating or modifying stars through artificial means.

While humanity does not yet possess the technological ability to perform stellar engineering of any kind, stellar manipulation (or husbandry), requiring substantially less technological advancement than would be needed to create a new star, could eventually be performed in order to stabilize or prolong the lifetime of a star, mine it for useful material (known as star lifting) or use it as a direct energy source. Since a civilization advanced enough to be capable of manufacturing a new star would likely have vast material and energy resources at its disposal, it almost certainly wouldn't need to do so.

Star lifting
Star lifting is any of several hypothetical processes by which a sufficiently advanced civilization (specifically, one of Kardashev-II or higher) could remove a substantial portion of a star matter for any number of purposes. The term appears to have been coined by David Criswell.
Stars already lose a small flow of mass via solar wind, coronal mass ejections, and other natural processes. Over the course of a star's life on the main sequence this loss is usually negligible compared to the star's total mass; only at the end of a star's life when it becomes a red giant or a supernova is a large amount of material ejected. The star lifting techniques that have been proposed would operate by increasing this natural plasma flow and manipulating it with magnetic fields.
The star-lifting array around Polaris squeezes this brillant star using intense magnetic fields, causing mass to be ejected from the polar regions. HERE

Stars have deep gravity wells, so the energy required for such operations is large. For example, lifting solar material from the surface of the Sun to infinity requires 2.1 × 1011 J/kg. This energy could be supplied by the star itself, collected by a Dyson sphere; using only 10% of the Sun's total power output would allow 5.9 × 1021 kilograms of matter to be lifted per year (0.0000003% of the Sun's total mass), or 8% of the mass of Earth's moon.

Many science fiction authors have explored the possible applications of stellar engineering, among them Iain M Banks, Larry Niven and Arthur C. Clarke.

  • In the Space Empires series the last available technology for research is called Stellar Manipulation. In addition to the ability to create and destroy stars, this branch also gives a race the ability to create and destroy black holes, wormholes, nebulae, planets, ringworlds and sphereworlds. Just as described above, this technology is so advanced that once the player has the ability to use them, they usually don't need them anymore. This is even more the case with the last two; once one of these megastructures is complete, the race controlling the ringworld or sphereworld has almost unlimited resources, usually leading to defeat of the others.

  • In The Saga of the Seven Suns, by Kevin J. Anderson, humans are able to convert gas giant planets into stars through the use of a "Klikiss Torch". This device creates a wormhole between two points in space, allowing a neutron star to be dropped into the planet and ignite stellar nuclear fusion.
  • In episode 12 of Stargate Universe, Destiny was dropped prematurely out of FTL by an uncharted star that the crew determines to be artificially created and younger than 200 million years old with an Earth-sized planet containing a biosphere exactly like Earth's being the only planet in the system. Spaceship Destiny recharges its power cells by flying through stars ("Light").

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

— W. B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds

love and light,

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Beltane )O( 30th April ~ 1st May ~ May Day 2016

A Special Time
Beltane is the anglicised name for the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on 1st May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
 In Irish, the name for the festival day is Lá Bealtaine. 
In Scottish Gaelic Là Bealltainn.
In Manx Gaelic Laa Boaltinn/Boaldyn.
Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and it is associated with important events in Irish mythology. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke, and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire or between two bonfires and sometimes leap over the flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. These gatherings would be accompanied by a feast, and some of the food and drink would be offered to the aos sí. 
LINK HERE           and      HERE
Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush: a thorn bush decorated with flowers, ribbons, and bright shells. Holy wells were also visited while Beltane dew was thought to bring beauty and maintain youthfulness. Many of these customs were part of May Day or Midsummer festivals in other parts of Great Britain and Europe.
Morning Dew of May
Dew is water in the form of droplets that appears on thin, exposed objects in the morning or evening due to condensation. As the exposed surface cools by radiating its heat, atmospheric moisture condenses at a rate greater than that at which it can evaporate, resulting in the formation of water droplets.
The aos sí, "ace shee", older form aes sídhe is the Irish term for a supernatural race in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology (usually spelled Sìth, however, pronounced the same), comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. This world is described in the Book of Invasions (recorded in the Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living. In the Irish language, aos sí means "people of the mounds" (the mounds are known in Irish as "the sídhe"). In Irish literature, the people of the mounds are also called daoine sídhe, in Scottish mythology, they are daoine sìth. They are variously said to be the ancestors, the spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods.
These supernatural races inspired the Otherworldly beings in 'A Carpet of Purple Flowers'.
The Sindria ~ inspired by Irish folklore  ;o) 
Ethereal beauty ~ Nastya Kumarova
Some secondary and tertiary sources, including well-known and influential authors such as W.B. Yeats, refer to aos sí simply as "the sídhe" (lit. "mounds").
In many Gaelic tales, the aos sí are later, literary versions of the Tuatha Dé Danann ("People of the Goddess Danu")—the deities and deified ancestors of Irish mythology. Some sources describe them as the survivors of the Tuatha Dé Danann who retreated into the Otherworld after they were defeated by the Milesians—the mortal Sons of Míl Espáine who, like many other early invaders of Ireland, came from Iberia. Geoffrey Keating, an Irish historian of the late 17th century, equates Iberia with the Land of the Dead.
Aos sí are sometimes seen as fierce guardians of their abodes—whether a fairy hill, a fairy ring, a special tree (often a hawthorn) or a particular loch or wood. The Gaelic Otherworld is seen as closer at the times of dusk and dawn, therefore, this is a special time to the aos sí, as are some festivals such as Samhain, Beltane, and Midsummer.
Magical path
Parting the veil ~ Mists of Avalon
Art by Achen089 on deviantART
The Hill of Tara, known as Temair in Gaelic, was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland – 142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times. In ancient Irish religion and mythology, Temair was the sacred place of dwelling for the gods and was the entrance to the otherworld. 
The Hill of Tara
As part of the terms of their surrender to the Milesians, the Tuatha Dé Danann agreed to retreat and dwell underground in the sídhe (modern Irish: sí; Scottish Gaelic: sìth; Old Irish síde, singular síd), the hills or earthen mounds that dot the Irish landscape. In some later poetry, each tribe of the Tuatha Dé Danann was given its own mound.
Helena Nelson-Reed
In a number of later English language texts, the word sídhe is used both for the mounds and the people of the mounds. However, sidh in older texts refers specifically to "the palaces, courts, halls or residences" of the ghostly beings that, according to Gaedhelic mythology, inhabit them.
Fragment from The Book Of Invasions (Lebor Gabala Erenn)
(Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived the Gaels, descendants of a Scythian prince.  It is written in the Book of Invasions that Scota, daughter of a Pharaoh of Egypt, created the Irish language.  The Gaels lived in Egypt at the time of Moses, and then they wandered the world for 440 years before eventually settling in the Iberian Peninsula.  It is here, in northwest Spain, somewhere around 100 B.C.E., that a man named Íth climbed a tower and glimpsed Ireland, in the extreme distance.  After that, he was determined to reach this ‘distant emerald island.’) 
Source HERE
Lebor Gabala Erenn
The fact that many of these sídhe have been found to be ancient burial mounds has contributed to the theory that the aos sí were the pre-Celtic occupants of Ireland. "The Book of Invasions", "The Annals of the Four Masters", and oral history support this view.
Read more HERE ~ HERE ~ HERE and HERE
On the summit of Tara stands a pillar stone believed to be the Lia Fail, or the stone of destiny, on which the Kings of Ireland were crowned.  Legend is that more than 100 ancient kings touched this stone as part of their coronation.
Source: HERE and HERE
'Druid's temple' by George Hodan
Photo by George Hodan on Yourshot
According to the early medieval texts Sanas Cormaic and Tochmarc Emire, Beltane was held on 1st May and marked the beginning of summer. The texts say that to protect cattle from disease, the druids would make two fires "with great incantations" and drive the cattle between them.
There is no reference to such a gathering in the annals, but the medieval Dindsenchas includes a tale of a hero lighting a holy fire on Uisneach that blazed for seven years.
Photo by stephan_amm on Flickr
Bonfires continued to be a key part of the festival in the modern era. All hearth fires and candles would be doused before the bonfire was lit, generally on a mountain or hill. Since the early 20th century it has been commonly accepted that Old Irish Beltaine is derived from a Common Celtic *belo-te(p)niâ, meaning "bright fire". Beltane, meaning “bright fire” or “lucky fire.” It is the “fire of Bel” – the bright, shining Celtic Sun God, the father, protector, and the husband of the Mother Goddess.
The ancient fires blaze with nine of the sacred woods – ash, oak, apple, hawthorn, birch, elder, blackthorn, grape vine, rowan, holly, willow, cedar, yew, or hemlock.
At Beltane, the Pleiades seven-star cluster in the constellation Taurus rises over the morning horizon just before sunrise. Winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rise at sunset. The ancients used the rising and setting of this star cluster as a marker for the planting season. Beltane, like Samhain six months earlier, is a time when the veils between the worlds are said to be thin, and magical things can happen.
Pleiades at dawn
Fertility is the theme of the Beltane season. It is about the Sacred Union of the masculine and feminine. Dancing around the Maypole is still observed with enthusiasm in Great Britain and Ireland. The pole itself is a phallic symbol as well as a conduit of energy that connects the three worlds – above, below, and the middle world. As people dance around the pole, weaving the ribbons into a pattern, the energy raised goes into the earth’s womb to awaken her fruitfulness. The earth wakes from her winter resting phase, is warmed by the Sun and sprouts with exuberant new life.
May Pole
Ribbon Spell - Write your intentions on ribbons and tie them to a tree. Letting them be released by the wind to the universe.
Yellow flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel and marsh marigold were placed at doorways and windows in 19th century Ireland, Scotland, and Mann. Sometimes loose flowers were strewn at the doors and windows and sometimes they were made into bouquets, garlands or crosses and fastened to them. They would also be fastened to cows and equipment for milking and butter making. It is likely that such flowers were used because they evoked fire.
Stefanie Miles.
Similar May Day customs are found across Europe.
A wild Hawthorn.
The May Bush was popular in parts of Ireland until the late 19th century. This was a small tree or branch—typically hawthorn, rowan or sycamore—decorated with bright flowers, ribbons, painted shells, and so forth. There were household May Bushes (which would be placed outside each house) and communal May Bushes (which would be set in a public spot or paraded around the neighbourhood). In Dublin and Belfast, May Bushes were brought into town from the countryside and decorated by the whole neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood vied for the most handsome tree and, sometimes, residents of one would try to steal the May Bush of another. This led to the May Bush being outlawed in Victorian times. In some places, it was customary to dance around the May Bush, and at the end of the festivities it may be burnt in the bonfire. Some, however, were left in place for a month.
Hawthorn blossom 
Thorn trees were seen as special trees and were associated with the aos sí. The custom of decorating a May Bush or May Tree was found in many parts of Europe. Frazer believes that such customs are a relic of tree worship and writes: "The intention of these customs is to bring home to the village, and to each house, the blessings which the tree-spirit has in its power to bestow."
Hawthorn bonsai in flower.
However, "lucky" and "unlucky" trees varied by region, and it has been suggested that Beltane was the only time when cutting thorn trees was allowed. The practice of bedecking a May Bush with flowers, ribbons, garlands and bright shells is found among the Gaelic diaspora, most notably in Newfoundland, and in some Easter traditions on the East Coast of the United States.
Hill of Tara.
Visitors to holy wells would pray for health while walking sunwise (moving from east to west) around the well. They would then leave offerings; typically coins or clooties (see clootie well). The first water drawn from a well on Beltane was seen as being especially potent, as was Beltane morning dew. At dawn on Beltane, maidens would roll in the dew or wash their faces with it. It would also be collected in a jar, left in the sunlight, and then filtered. The dew was thought to increase sexual attractiveness, maintain youthfulness, and help with skin ailments.
Two different healing springs, one touched red with iron, the other white with calcit ~ G. Seyfert
White Spring Glastonbury. Feel blessed to have drunk from these. A lovely lady left empty bottles outside her house for people to use and my cousin mixed the water from each spring for balance.
Scared Well Pinterest Board HERE 
Riders of the Sidhe, by John Duncan, 19th c. Scottish artist.
People also took steps specifically to ward-off or appease the aos sí. Food was left or milk poured at the doorstep or places associated with the aos sí, such as 'fairy trees', as an offering.  To protect farm produce and encourage fertility, farmers would lead a procession around the boundaries of their farm. They would "carry with them seeds of grain, implements of husbandry, the first well water, and the herb vervain (or rowan as a substitute). The procession generally stopped at the four cardinal points of the compass, beginning in the east, and rituals were performed in each of the four directions".
Cardinal points 
"This is the Fairy Tree from Marley Park in Dublin Ireland. It is an old dead tree which was turned into a fairy castle - Marlay Park is a 121 hectares (300 acres) suburban public park located in Rathfarnham in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland. Lying about nine kilometres (5.5 miles) from Dublin city centre. 
Waterfall in Marlay Park
Dryad of Night by Leo Ch. on 500px
There are a number of place names in Ireland containing the word Bealtaine, indicating places where Bealtaine festivities were once held. It is often anglicised as Beltany. There are three Beltanys in County Donegal, including the Beltany stone circle, and two in County Tyrone. In County Armagh, there is a place called Tamnaghvelton/Tamhnach Bhealtaine ("the Beltane field"). Lisbalting/Lios Bealtaine ("the Beltane ringfort") is in County Tipperary while Glasheennabaultina/Glaisín na Bealtaine ("the Beltane stream") is the name of a stream joining the River Galey in County Limerick.
Windswept Hawthorn ~ wouldn't it be fantastic to have this section as your garden. Blanket, book, iPod, sketch pad, paints, and pens...bliss! Maybe, some silk and velvet cushions, too. Oh, and for the evening, some candles and solar fairy lights draped over the tree.  Pretties, pretties, perfect for Beltane.  :o) 

Day/Night for Lovers
Beltane ~ The-lovers ~
The festival of Beltane is the time when lovers slip into the woods together. (It is not a coincidence that Imbolc, nine months later, is associated with childbirth and midwifery.) At Beltane, lovers can pledge to live together for a year and a day. After that year has passed, they may decide to part, or may make plans for handfasting at Midsummer.
Bronte-esque photo under an old hawthorn tree by Kim Ayres Photography
Alphonse Mucha
Beltane invites us to open to the sacred union of masculine and feminine, in whatever form that comes for each person’s stage in life. We all hold the natural polarities of the receptive, nurturing feminine and the active, expressive masculine. Bringing these aspects of our Selves into balance is the Sacred Union and the work of spiritual growth.
"You soak up my soul and mingle me. We are partners, blended as one." ~Rumi
Let us always meet each other with smile, 
for the smile is the beginning of love ~Mother Teresa
"Ancient lovers believed a kiss would literally unite their souls because the spirit was said to be carried in one's breath." - Eve Glicksman
Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses ~ Ann Landers
Precious souls and tender love 
This blog feels like a sacred piece of the web where I can escape the usual hectic networking and express my soul with beautiful kindred spirits. 
A massive thank you for popping by and connecting.  :o)  
Blessed Beltane lovely people. 
love and light,