Oops, perhaps I should recant that and not use the word “peak”. It sounds like as if there is a trend to these happenings. And that was what I thought of as this month draws to a close, and thus marks the end of the month of the Hungry Ghost.
In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in Spring) and Chung Yeung Festival (in Autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living.
On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.”
Early in the month, when I felt that the number of accidents involving buses and vehicles seem to populate the news, I asked a fellow Wiccan who conferred with her Astrologer friend & said that Mercury was in retrograde. I thought what could it possibly have anything to do with the tragic accidents and most specially last week’s debacle? At first I thought none but then in hindsight, perhaps there was some planetary influence on the situation.
Mercury rules the mind; the intellect; language; how we express and think. This also governs our perception and thought processes. In short communication and dissemination of ideas.
Who would have thought that this month would prove to be the last for those victims of the recent hostage tragedy. And could it be also coincidence that last Monday's crisis falls on the eve of the Hungry Ghost festival based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar?
On the other hand, perhaps it was Mercury’s influence that dulled the minds of our police force and made them less than pro-active and decisive in their intent to take down the hostage taker. Perhaps it was also what prodded Mendoza to take drastic measures and not think about the ramifications of his actions. Perhaps the next day it was the same retrograde that affected our own Venus Raj in the Miss Universe and allowed her to fumble at the question and thus only to find herself in 4th place. Perhaps it is also the reason why I have been more introspective these days and inspired to create a blog and share my feelings?
Or perhaps I may be taking this a little too far?
But then again, do we and should we blame the planets for what we can decide for ourselves in this physical plane? Or can we take comfort in the thought that in spite of the “planetary” influences that may cause us to behave the way that we do in certain situations; there is still that open window of decision making that is left to us. And our decision should come from a balance of both the mind and of the heart; of the rationale and the emotional; of the cause of our thoughts and the effects of these if acted upon.
As it is, what we ultimately decide determines our course of action and thus crafts our future.
Let's hope in the next month, we are able to do and be better. We need to and we should.