Category Archives: Uncategorized

April Fools

Photo by Mona Miri
The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.
 ~Will Rogers~

The origin of April Fools is cloudy, like the weather for the month, but the most commonly accepted premise is the problem lies with Pope Gregory XIII and the calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar around the world. This method of timekeeping was named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October of 1582. And like the “spring forward” aspect of Daylight Savings Time, eleven days were lost forever in the transition. When you went to bed on September 2, 1752 you woke up on September 14. That would have been a bad time to plan a vacation.

Although the Gregorian calendar is named after Pope Gregory XIII, it is an adaptation of a calendar designed by Italian doctor, astronomer, and philosopher Luigi Lilio (also known as Aloysius Lilius). He was born around 1510 and died in 1576, six years before his calendar was officially introduced. The Gregorian calendar’s predecessor, the Julian, was replaced because it no longer reflected the actual time it takes the Earth to circle once around the Sun, known as a tropical year. The new calendar was also intended to adjust the date of Easter as the preceding calendar of Julius Caesar had caused Easter to slip from its proximity to March equinox. This is still an issue today as various lunar calendars cause Easter to be celebrated differently with traditional Christians and their Orthodox cousins.

Gregory’s papal bull only had authority in Catholic nations, and European Protestants resisted the change because of its ties to the papacy. Two hundred years passed before most places let go of the Julian calendar, and some locations held out even longer. In the Middle Ages, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 as Lady Day, a feast of the Virgin Mary, until 1752. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday that ended on April 1.

And that brings us to April Fools. Caesar’s calendar reform of 46 BCE made January 1 the beginning of the New Year. It’s speculated that those who clung to the old ways were mocked by those who celebrated on January 1. Those who were called April Fools were country folk who resisted the change. It’s speculated that jokes and hoaxes became ways of tricking those who were seen as old-fashioned, or worse.

Happy April 1, wherever that may actually be in any calendar.

A Year’s Journey

“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.”        Rumi

A little over a year ago I woke on a snowy morning as the world imploded in the midst of a global pandemic. I had just been laid off from my part-time job because of COVID-19 and I was really worried about finances. On that March morning near spring equinox as we entered lock down, worst case scenarios were being examined and the situation was grim. I felt the world would never be the same. As I look back the world has changed dramatically, but so have I through the journey of this year. 

On that snowy morning I woke from a vivid dream that felt like a “call.” I titled the dream Messenger Bag. In the dream I carried every bit of my work, wallet, worth, and identity in a saddle-colored Messenger Bag. Historically, these bags have been used by Roman legionnaires, army medics, electronics repair people, and college students. Messenger bags are still in widespread use by letter carriers, who rode horses in earlier times, then bicycles, and now trucks, faithfully carrying their messages.

The Messenger bag contained every bit of my life’s work past, present, and future. My first book was titled Messengers, so the symbol had layers of meaning. In the dream I kept putting the heavy bag down, and forgetting to take it with me, as I searched in the dream for a way to get fed. The simple interpretation was I had a great deal of work that needed attention and shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. In answer to what felt like a clarion call of guidance I turned eighty of my two decades of Atlantis Rising articles into a two-volume Sky Lore Anthology.

And then, I began a new book—Symbol & Synchronicity: Learning the Soul’s Language. The journey of this book began in earnest before I fully understood what the task would entail; but that is the way of a quest. If we knew when we set out what we would face after we cross the threshold we might lose courage. There are always dark times of doubt as well as powerful moments of guidance and miraculous inspiration. My journey through this book has been characterized by both, but I have experienced firsthand the potential for transformation the process contains. I am not the same person who set out on this journey a year ago. 

The journey has taken me from theory to practice in a powerful way. As I finished the first draft and looked back, I knew with a deep sense of wonder that what I had written was indeed a journey that connected inner space with my outer world. Indeed, I feel that the larger purpose of this book, and the profound journey the writing has taken, have made clear to me the power of dreams as guides on our spiritual path. Once we know that we walk this Path with the humble heart of a true pilgrim, dreams become like beacons, milestones, markers along the way. 

Over the course of writing this book I had roughly two dozen dreams that I recalled in the morning, recorded, and worked with—some more than others. There were other dream fragments, but they slipped away as I woke, and maybe only one symbol remained. As significant dreams occurred, at what would later be revealed as critical moments, I faced my core issues and did my best to apply what I was learning. Overcoming self-doubt, and gaining courage and confidence, were key to my progress. The journey of the book has been the metaphor for the lessons of my life and the dreams have chronicled the steps. 

After a year’s journey, next month I will begin a crowd funding campaign to finance the publishing of the book. I find that prospect to be one more intense test of courage and confidence. But my faith and heart are stronger, and I feel ready to face the challenge. Stay tuned for the next stage of the journey, and thanks so much for your comradeship along the way.