Saturday, July 26, 2014


 Posting of the e-mail seems to be best way to put my photos up. Enjoy!
The 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.)
Anyway, 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 below.
At 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.
The 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.
(I’m 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.)

I'm in Lithuania till 8/5.


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