Posting of the e-mail seems to be best way to put my photos up. Enjoy!
next day we went to the palace. The site is named after the man who
interpreted Gediminas` dream. Ignas filled me in on more details about
the man. Apparently his mother was a priestess at Gabija’s temple (a
hearth goddess). She became pregnant which was a big no-no for
priestesses back then, so when the baby was born, she placed it in an
eagle’s nest (I just happen to have a picture of that nest taken at my
favorite natural history museum.)
someone heard the baby crying and rescued it and took him to the temple
to be raised (since he must have inherited eagle vision from being in
the nest, right?) When he was all grown up, he was famous as an
interpreter of dreams, and the Emperor Gediminas kept him at his court
in Kernave. It was there the Emperor dreamed of an Iron Wolf. Verkiai
told him it meant that he should move his court to what became the city
and capital, Vilnius. His tower, built in the 14th century
still stands, and there is a statue of him and his horse, and the wolf
in Cathedral Square below his palace. The remains of the temple he built
to Perkunas are still in the basement of the Catholic church there.
We spent the entire first day of the conference in the gorgeous palace
in Verkiai Park. We had both lunch and dinner at the Mill Restaurant
the opening ritual, I chanted, Gabija, Hestia, Vesta. As a child of the
Earth, YOU are the magicians who makes the grass green. Let the fire
within shine without. The circle of life is the circle oof fire, rise,
rise, rise, burn and inspire. SMIB! Danced between Ignas & Sharunus.
setting was lovely next to the millstream, and after dinner, three or
four carloads of us went to the cemetery to visit Jonas’ grave. It was a
real moment of closure for me. (After all, I’m sitting in his kitchen
typing this.) It’s really sunk in that he’s gone, but certainly not
forgotten by the huge numbers of people who mourn his passing. Sang Lyke
Wake dirge (Chase Hill version) and Hard Times, and added a rock and a
biscuit to his mound. I drove there and back to the hotel with a very
nice man named Vytautas who showed us one of the gravestones he’d
sculpted, but mostly he earns a good living creating ice sculptures.
Back at the hotel, my luggage still hadn’t turned up. The nice lady at
the desk called the airport and actually spoke to someone who said over
60 bags that were supposed to be in Vilnius were still in Hel. He
thought they might get some tomorrow.
beginning to feel like the little princess wearing the same dress every
day and washing everything out at night. At least the bath has one of
those heated drying racks.)