Saturday, March 1, 2008

history, herstory, it's our story!

in like a lion, out like a lamb - if you are like me you probably first heard this expression in elementary school, or if you went to nursery school - nursery school. like most folks I've always thought the expression meant that if march came in fierce and roaring, it would leave sweet and quiet. however, now I've learned that the expression may actually be talking about what is happening up in the night sky! according to weather guru jack horkheimer the phrase actually originates with the constellations.

On March 1 in the eastern evening sky, the constellation, Leo the lion, is rising; thus March comes “in like a lion."

On March 31, if you look westward in the evening, you’ll see the constellation Aries the ram, or lamb, setting; so March “goes out like a lamb”.

regardless of it's meaning, jack does have some good advice and that is to keep looking up!

around these parts the snow continues to fall. yesterday, while taking care of errands, here's what my hood looked like... you'll see I like to look up, down and all around!
ever since the blogabet ended, I've been hankering to do another theme. since march is women's history month I thought I'd join the celebration and use women's history as a theme. as someone who came of age during feminism's second wave, I feel it is important to be ever vigilant. for centuries forces have marginalized and rendered women and their contributions invisible, unfortunately these forces are still out there!

sometimes the forces that marginalize and control women really get out of hand! perhaps one of the best and most outrageous historical examples happened both in new england during in early days of the founding of the country and across the pond in europe.

on march 1st 1692, sarah good, sarah osborne and tituba were brought before local magistrates in salem village, massachusetts. this was the beginning what would become known as the salem witch trials. interested - read more

as I mentioned, the persecution of women (and at times men) wasn't confined to the salem witch trails. the heyday for witch-hunts took place in europe from the 1450s until 1750. it isn't known exactly how many people died (80% were women) during the witch craze, but some estimates state that as many as 100,000 were killed . one of the most interesting analysis of the witch hunts is found in a small booklet entitled witches, midwives, and nurses: a history of women healers. written in 1972 by barbara ehrenreich and deirdre english, the booklet links the persecution of women healers as witches to the rise of medicine as we know it today. I'm delighted to find that this important booklet is still in print and available.

photo: tree lioness ~ february 2008, cleveland


Squirrel said...

Nice photos and cool story & links! I enjoyed visiting Salem -- a nice place to spend a day in summer.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I hate to say it, but we're having pretty glorious weather in SF though a bit chilly for some. It's right on target in my book. I'd forgotten that Barbara Ehrenreich co-authored that book.

Avid Reader said...

I loved the photo of you with His Holiness. I am writing an essay on Tibetan women and would appreciate any thoughts you have.

Unknown said...

It is always nice to get a gentle education.
ps Happy Pig Day.

Reya Mellicker said...

Lambs, rams - really different animals. I like the connection to the constellations, though.

Speaking of the weather, I just read somewhere (can't remember) that the newest theories about the witch hunts are based on the mini-ice age that happened in Europe during the middle ages. The colder winters and drought that's always part of an ice age made people go crazy.

It's so interesting how history changes according to what is happening when historians put it all together. 1972 was the height of the women's movement, hence the Erenreich book, of course! Now we're dealing with global warming, so of course folks are looking at weather patterns in the past.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

squirrel - been many years since I visited salem - but remember loving it as a quaint little burg. love the architecture of the houses. fortunately we visited off season I understand it can get nutsy with tourists.

junk thief - we ended up having a gorgeous day yesterday! the sun came out and all was right!

ms w - I'm still pinching myself. good luck with your essay. no first hand experience to lend although I did know a couple tibetan women a few years ago - they were among the most gracious, kind and thoughtful people I've ever been blessed to get to know. and such stories they had!

ekim - ;) never heard of pig day, but with the magic of google, now I know!! I wonder if salty knows!! thanks - oink, oink!!!

mzjohansen said...

Where to begin. I loved this post! I loved the hood photos & the Salem history. I used to hang out in Salem - I have a enchant for black cats & mumbling to myself ! Hummmmm! Thanks for a, thought-full, post.

Steve Reed said...

Interesting! I've never heard that explanation of "in like a lion, out like a lamb."

Barbara Ehrenreich is awesome.

R.L. Bourges said...

oh good! women in history - something else to use as a focus for the meandering mind.
I don't promise to blog on that theme every day - at least not until I've cleared my first daily blog commitment - but this definitely inspires.
thanks again.