196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Aushwitz for wild horses)

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Wild horses next to bison at the Beef Belt Feedyard in Scott City, Kansas in 2014

By Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Copyright 2017   All Rights Reserved.

In the middle of June, 2014, the BLM moved 1,493 wild horses from the Teterville Long Term Holding pastures in Oklahoma to the Beef Belt Feedyard in Scott City, Kansas.  Over 13% of these wild horses died at this feedlot.

191 of the wild horses died in less than a year (7/7/14 – 6/30/15).

In a BLM “news” release dated 8/15/14 (over two years ago), the BLM announced that 57 wild horses had died at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas “corral.”  In this news release, the BLM stated that it had “launched an investigation” into the cause of deaths, and promised that “Once the investigation is concluded, the team will complete a report that will be made publicly available.”

To date, over two years later, the BLM has not made any report available to the public about the Scott City feedlot deaths.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and found out that 196 horses died at the Scott City feedlot from 6/17/14 – 8/2/16.

87 of the 196 wild horses were euthanized.

41 wild horses died of colic.  Many of these deaths were from sand colic.  As late as 4/13/15 (10 months after the wild horses were shipped to this feedlot), local veterinarian Corbin Stevens wrote to BLM’s Joe Stratton “Be sure hay and bunk is free of sand and rocks (try to only throw hay from feed alley into the bunk eliminating road material)” and “A necropsy was performed on one dead horse from pen 2 today and was diagnosed as a colic with small pebbles and sand present in the large colon and cecum.”  However, BLM’s FOIA did not provide WHFF with a necropsy report dated 4/13/15.

14 wild horses died of fractures of the spinal cord (neck and back).  6 horses died of leg or pelvis fractures.  On just one day, 4/3/15, 3 horses died of a brain/head injury and 2 of a broken leg/pelvis.  With the comment “Inspected by Dr. Stevens.  Result of windstorm – ran into fence.”

Timeline:

March 24, 2014 – Long Term Pasture contractor for Teterville in Oklahoma (Robert Hughes), gives short notice to the BLM by informing them he decided to renew his existing 5 year contract, but only for a reduced number of horses.  He informed the BLM that he wanted to remove 1,900 wild horses (about 1,400 mares and 500 geldings) by June 1, 2014.

(The BLM seems to have never thought of or planned for an emergency, so they begin to scramble for a place to put 1,900 wild horses on short notice.  The BLM was able to find space on other Long Term Pastures for the geldings, but not for the wild mares.)

May 28 (or 27) 2014 – Pat Williams, the WH& B State Lead for New Mexico inspected the Scott City, KS, feedlot for NEPA analysis.  Although a working facility with a squeeze (“tilt”) chute was required,  the contractor for Scott City, Phil Jennings, didn’t want to install that infrastructure until the contract was signed.  Phil Jennings, who was going to lease the Beef Belt feedlot for this emergency contract worth over $2 million, is the contractor for the BLM’s Pauls Valley facility in Oklahoma.

June 4, 2014 – BLM signed the contract.  BLM’s Zach Reichold was designated as the COR (Contracting Officer’s Representative).

June 14, 2014 – BLM began moving wild horses from Teterville Off Range Pasture (long term holding) to Scott City, KS.   The BLM crew at Teterville LTH was Scott Fluer, Bea Wade, Richard Williams, Jimmy Galloway and Pat Williams.  3 horses were euthanized before leaving Teterville.  The BLM crew at Scott City was Jerome Fox.

June 22, 2014 – BLM concluded the transfer of mares to Scott City.

July 7, 2014 – Local veterinarian, Dr. Corbin Stevens, states 3 times in a report that less than 2% of horses have a body condition score of 3 or lower.

July 17, 2014 – Dean Bolstad discovered there was no squeeze chute or BLM Project Inspector onsite and discussed the need for this with Zach Reichold (the COR).

July 25, 2014 – Dean Bolstad informed Greg Shoop that there was no squeeze chute or BLM project inspector onsite at Scott City.

July 2014 – 35 wild horses died during this month.

August 5, 2014 – after veterinarian Dr. Stevens met with BLM’s Joe Stratton, Stevens states in a report that 5% of horses were in poor body condition when they arrived at the feedyard. (this differs substantially from the 2% that Stevens claimed several times in his July 7 report)

August 8, 2014 – BLM issues it’s news release.

Aug. 11, 2014 – BLM began “transitioning” Joe Stratton as the COR of Scott City.

Aug. 12, 2014 – BLM’s Pat Williams and Al Kane (USDA APHIS veterinarian) arrive at Scott City to perform an inspection.

Aug. 13, 2014 – Joe Stratton was “to go onsite.”   The squeeze chute was to finally arrive and plans were made for working facilities to start to be made and installed.  (almost 2 months after the horses arrived)

Aug. 28, 2014 – In a KMUW news article, BLM’s Paul McGuire stated “The first full-month report we had from the facilitator operator came at the end of July.  And it was at that time that we saw numbers on the order of about 47 horses had either died or had to be put down during that time.”  (However, the records WHFF received indicate that 35 wild horses died at Scott City during July, 2014, and only 3 horses died the month before.  That totals 38 at the end of July, not 47.  WHFF found several instances of mortality numbers not matching on BLM records in connection with Scott City.)

August 2014 – Another 46 wild horses die by the end of this month.  (total 81)

September 2014 – another 25 horses die by the end of this month.  (total 106)

June 19, 2015 – Dr. Stevens informs Joe Stratton that there is a mare with a vaginal growth that appears to be infected and that Naxcel and surgery may be warranted.  No freezemark number or description was given.

Feb. 2, 16 – Dr. Stevens informs Joe Stratton that a mare with a tumor extruding from vulva needed to be euthanized.  (It is not apparent from any records if this palomino mare was the same mare with the vaginal growth from 6/19/15, that may not have received needed surgery, but since this was the only mention of a vaginal growth, it could be likely.)

May 17, 2016 and May 19, 2016 – About 2 years after horses were shipped to Scott City, even though the Teterville contractor had given the short notice that lead to this crisis, the BLM ships 5 truckloads of horses BACK TO TETERVILLE.  (The BLM started shipping horses out of Scott City after April 25, 2016 (1,311 were there end of month).  By end of May, 2016, 576 were there.  Shipping records from June 2016 show that more horses from Scott City were shipped to other long term holding pastures.  Per BLM’s Dec. 2016 Off Range Facility Reports, Scott City is no longer listed as warehousing any wild horses.

Oct. 14, 2016 – AP reporter Dave Philipps writes an article (that reads like a propoganda piece for the BLM), titled “Success Spoils a U.S. Program to Round Up Wild Horses.”  This article, filled with misinformation, included a photo of Teterville contractor Robert Hughes,  a video of wild horses at Teterville, a quote from BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member, Ben Masters (who voted to kill all the wild horses in holding), and a quote from Dean Bolstad, the Wild Horse & Burro Division Chief, stating that “We’re in a real pickle…”  (No, Dean, the BLM isn’t “in a real pickle,” the wild horses and burros are “in a real pickle.”)  There was no mention in Philipps’ article about what happened to the wild horses from Teterville at Scott City.

There were necropsy reports for 24 horses sent in response to our FOIA request for all necropsy reports.  One of the necropsy reports did not have a date or time on it, and a couple of them didn’t identify the freezemark numbers of the horses.

Excerpts from necropsy reports of wild horses at Scott City:

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #4805 – atrophy of fat around heart.  Natural causes/old age.  Collected blood prior to euthanasia.

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #2687 – old age.  Liver failure.

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #6404 – natural causes/old age.

8/12/14, 5 p.m. – #020937 – small intestine hemorrhage.  Cecum torsion.  Colon enlarged and full of feed.  Died of colic.

8/12/14, 5 p.m. – #945088 – natural causes.  Old age.

8/16/14, 5 p.m. – #6940.  Natural causes.  Collected blood prior to euthanasia.

8/27/14, 6 p.m. – #8737 – cecum enlarged, displaced.  Colic.

9/6/14, 12 p.m. – #05180369 – inflammation around pericardial sac.  Died of heart disease/failure.

9/6/14, 12 p.m. – very large, infected coronary arteries.  Heart failure.

9/12/14, 6 a.m. – #3675 – small intestine inflamed.  Cecum inflamed.  Feed material in abdomen.  Colic.  Ruptured gut.

9/18/14, 5 a.m. – #0041 – colic.

10/20/14, 4:30 p.m. – #7435 – cecum enlarged & hemorrhage (sand).  Colic.  Twisted gut.

10/21/14, 4:30 p.m. – #1062 – cecum enlarged/hemorrhagic/full of sand.  Sand colic.

10/21/14, 4:30 p.m. – #9240 – cecum enlarged/hemorrhagic/full offals.  Colic.  Impaction.

11/12/14, 5 a.m. – #6761 – bloated.  Cecum ½ full of sand.  Died of sand colic.

12/15/14, 6 p.m. – #97175205 – bloated, cecum & colon full of feed.  Colic.  Impaction.

1/13/15, 6 p.m. – “mustang mare” (no ID) – bloated.  Colic.

3/11/15, 6 p.m. – #19964528 – ulcers.  Bleeding ulcer.

4/17/15, 9:30 a.m. – “grey mare” – bloated.  Cecum hemorrhage & inflammation, colon hemorrhage & inflammation – sand.  Died of colic.  Sand in large intestine.

5/11/15, 12:30 p.m. – #2074 – bcs<3.  Unable to maintain weight due to age.

5/18/15, 6 p.m. – #8724 – ulcerations & hemorrhage, bleeding ulcer

5/20/15, 5:20 a.m. – #8513 –  Bloated and cecum full of sand.  Died of sand colic.

5/20/??, 6 p.m. – #6532 – bcs<3.  Unable to maintain condition.

No date or time listed for this necropsy – #3756 – heart enlarged and infarcts.  Heart failure.

By not issuing a report regarding Scott City to the public as promised, or in a timely manner, the BLM seems to just want to sweep what happened at the Scott City feedlot under the rug.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation will not ever forget even one horse that has suffered at the hands of the BLM’s mismanagement.

WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION HAS POSTED FOIA DOCUMENTATION ON SCOTT CITY ON OUR WHFF WEBSITE DOCUMENTS PAGE – CLICK HERE.

SOURCES:

BLM news release (8/15/14) :  https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/august/NR_08_15_2014.html

KMUV news article:  http://kmuw.org/post/80-mustangs-die-after-move-scott-city

Source: 196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Aushwitz for wild horses) | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

~ Oya – Orisha Of Wind and Change ~

Oya-by-James-C-Lewis

SYNCRETISM: Our Lady of Candlemas, St. Therese, Our Lady of Mount Carmel

PALO COUNTERPART: Centella

AREAS OF INFLUENCE: Storms, wind, lightning, tornadoes, death and the cemetery, the marketplace and business, change, witchcraft, athletics

ATTRIBUTES
The thunderbold, the iruke, cemeteries, a skirt made of nine colors, a rainbow, the flamboyan tree, purple fruits and vegetables, such as eggpants and plums: flowery prints also belong to her and masks.  Her main symbol is a copper crown with nine points, from which hang the working impliments of several of the orishas, especially Oggun and Ochosi. Among her other attributes are an ox cart, a machete and a hammer.

BEVERAGES: Aguardiente, red wine, beer.

COLORS: All colors except black, her main color is wine, she likes flowery prints which her initiates must never wear.

DAYS OF THE WEEK: Friday, which is chosen by the Orishas to inflict punishments on those who have broken the law.

FAVORABLE NUMBERS: 646 387 421

FEAST DAY: February 2

FOODS: White rice with eggplant and small balls made of pigeon peas. Rice with fish, rice with corn, rice with sesame seeds and rice with black beans are also among the favorites food of Oya, as are yams and chocolate pudding.

FRUIT: Papaya, legumes, plums and purple grapes

GARMENTS: Crimson and multi-colored prints

HERBS: Altamisa, cambia voz, yanten, vergonzoza, tamerindo, verbena, espanta muerto, caimito, maravilla, palo rayo, marpacifico, cimarron, palo hacha, palo caja, granada, baria, guasimilla and meloncillo.

MINERALS: Amethyst, Black Opals, Bloodstone, Bronze, Garnet, Labradorite, Tourmaline, Smokey Quartz (red stones)

NECKLACE: Her main necklace is made of red and brown beads with white and black stripes. Among her other necklaces there is one made of violet beads with yellow stripes and another alternating white beads with nine black beads.

NUMBERS: 9

ORIGIN: Celestial

SACRIFICES: She-goats, pigeons, black hens and guiena hens.

SYMBOLS: Graves, Lighting Bolts, Masks, Tornadoes

TABOOS: Rams, Palm Oil, Her initiates wearing floral prints.

TRADITIONAL COLORS: Black, Oranges, Purples and Reds

Oya is the orisha or storms and changes. She is a much feared orisha due to her powers as she can create a storm so powerful that she can destroy towns upon towns. The winds, tornadoes and lighting are at her every command. Oya also known as Xansa, Oya Yansa (Mother of Nine) was the wife of Ogun before Chango took her away from him. Oya is said to be a lovely tall amazonic woman who is dressed in a wine color dress with a belt that holds a grass skirt with 9 different color cloths. Oya is also the owner of the market place where she would go and sell her goods to maintain her children. Oya’s main home or domain is the cemetery. Now a lot of people say or believe that she is the owner of the cemetery. That’s all not true. Oya is the gatekeeper. She stands at the cemetery gates and she lets the dead into the cemetery where her sisters Obba and Yewa tends to the body.

Oya is a great warrior who loves to go to battle alongside her husband Chango. Stories say the Oya would put on a pair of pants and grow a beard just to fight like a man at war. Oya has a younger sister named Ayao who is the orisha that resides in the clouds in the sky. It is Ayao that gives her sister Oya the ability to take the spirits of the dead to go fight alongside her which makes up her powerful army.

Oya has brought down many men, many towns and many lands. But as a warrior she protects her children with a strong look and with her destruction she brings changes. Whenever there is a storm that brings destruction, change is needed to rebuild. Sometimes the land is expanded for new homes or new business. That’s Oya. She has helped all the orishas in one time or another. As well she has feuded with the orishas at one time or another. Oya is the one that convinced Obba to cut her ear to feed to Chango. Oya is the one that brought down Osain’s gourd where he kept most of his secrets of the herbs.

She also had a feud with her sister Yemaya in which she does not eat ram anymore. At one time she did but due to that disagreement she doesn’t anymore. Let me clear something. Oya and Yemaya are not enemies. The only dilemma between them is the ram. It is said that one day Chango was eating with his mother Yemaya and Oya and with his court and Oya saw that he was giving all of his attention to his mother and Oya became very jealous. Oya saw that Chango gave his mother Yemaya first bite of the ram and since that day, Oya said she will never eat it again. One of Oya’s characteristics is the wind that causes hurricanes. Hurricanes come off the coast of Africa where her town is and logically, a hurricane needs the assistance and strength of the ocean to come on shore to bring change.

Pataki of Oya 

Chango was at a party one day having the time of his life. Chango was drinking and dancing like no ever. He was swaying his hips and showing all his sexual masculinity. His crown was kept firm on his head as every moment he did, it did not move. That was to show all that he is truly Chango, a king. Everyone in the party was enjoying Chango and was cheering him on. The great king of Oyo kept on drinking and did not realize that some of his enemies were outside of the party noticing Chango.
The party was dying out and Chango decided to leave the function. He went around the room giving his good bye to everyone. He was eyeing some of his mistresses that were there to see if they would go home with him. Chango staggered to one of the corners of the party where his enemies were hiding. Within a minute, his enemies grabbed him and tied him up. No one in the party saw and Chango was taken to a cell where his enemies kept him.
Days passed by and Chango was no where to be found. Oya who was married to Ogun already had left Ogun and had a fling with Chango. Oya also did not hear anything from Chango. She did notice that Chango had left his pilon (a wooden pillar that Chango sits on) and his mortar (where Chango hides his secrets) in her house. Oya grew very weary and was worried about Chango. But besides her worries Oya was very inquisitive and wondered what was so special about Chango’s pilon and mortar. She moved the red cloth that was covering his pilon and mortar and saw nothing special about it. When she touched the mortar she noticed that it had a gleam to it. Inside the mortar there was some kind of clear liquid that vibrated. She looked closer and an image started to form in the liquid.
In the image in the mortar was the face and body of Chango. Oya saw that Chango was being held captive by his enemies. She saw that he was locked in a cage fit for a dog and his enemies were surrounding the cage making mockery of him. Oya looked harder into the mortar and saw that Chango was in a rage but he couldn’t do anything because he didn’t have his oshé and his powers. Oya grew upset and lighting sparks started to form in her hair. She yelled up in the sky and called for a centella (lighting) to come and help her and she would ride it to find Chango. With that the image of Chango’s face reflected in the liquid and Oya grabbed the liquid and put it to her lips, as in to kiss the face of her loved Chango.
In that instant Oya’s lips and mouth started to burn her furiously. She staggered back and forth wondering where the heat was coming from. She ran outside of her house to where she had a well to grab some water. The water did not do anything to ease the pain. She finally opened her mouth as she could not stand the burning sensation and when she did a huge fireball came from her mouth. Everywhere she turned and screamed out, fire was released from her mouth and everything was burned on fire. At this moment a centella crackled in the sky and fell right to her feet. Oya screamed and stepped onto the centella. The centella rose to the sky and Oya was standing on it and the centella proceeded to take her to where Chango was held captive.

In a second the centella was above the place where Chango was kept and when the centella started to come down, Oya who was riding it screamed a war cry and fire was released from her mouth. Another centella came from the sky that broke the locks that were holding Chango. When Chango’s enemies saw Oya coming down on a centella breathing fire they all ran for cover.
Chango was wondering how was he released and when he ran outside he grabbed his oshé and he saw his mistress Oya standing in the fields surrounded by centellas that crackled around her and that she was breathing fire. Chango was reluctant to run the other way because he never saw Oya in this state. Oya sent another centella to grab Chango and he to was standing on a centella alongside with Oya. Chango started to throw thunderbolts with the help of his oshé while Oya was throwing lighting and fire upon the enemies of Chango as they rose into the sky together.

They both arrived at Oya’s place safe and Chango was still in amazement of Oya’s actions. He told her that the only one who knew the secret of him throwing aiña (fire) was him and that secret was kept with his pilon and mortar. Oya turned to her lover and told him that she looked into his mortar and tasted the secret that he had there. Chango was upset that she discovered his secret but he was grateful that she saved him. From that day when Chango goes into battle, his mistress Oya goes in alongside him fighting.
Oya’s feast day is February 2nd. She is associated with Our Lady Teresa and Our Lady of Candelaria. Her number is 9 and all its association. Her color is maroon or a dark wine. Oya also takes 9 other colors that are her children. Those children make up the rainbow and they live in the skies making the crown of the orisha Ochumare. She is the queen of the dead. Oya is the official secretary of Olofi. She knows when life is being born and when life is dying. She is the air we breathe everyday. Oya stands at the cemetery gates and she marks down every body that comes through the gates of ile iku (cemetery). In the house of the priest, Oya lives in a brown or wine color tureen where her secrets and mysteries are kept. Some houses have her with water and some do not. I believe she shouldn’t be with water. The only time I put water on her is to calm her down when she is upset and to refresh her. She also takes an iruke that she uses to clean the dead and clean new paths.
Her crown is made up of copper in which that is her main metal. All of her tools and weapons are made up of copper. Oya’s sacrificial animals are black female goats, hens, pigeons and guinea hens. Oya’s children are very outgoing and strong willed people. There are very spiritual individuals at they have the gift if used correctly, to communicate with the dead. She is initiated on the heads of her followers in which is a lengthy and mysterious procedure. Her ceremonies are one of the most gorgeous due to all of the many colors that are used. Her zarasa (the throne of the dead) is made up of multiple plates that are placed for the dead. These plates range from 29 all the way to 209 plates of different offerings to the dead of her initiate and the spirits that her initiate collects to walk alongside her.
Oya is the owner of the mask as she at times is wearing one. Some people say that no one can stand to look at the face of Oya because it is too horrific to look at. I don’t believe so. I believe that she is a beautiful woman; she just doesn’t like to be messed with or fooled with. She is good to use to take masks off of people who you believe that are being two faced with you. She is also good to use when one wants change in their lives. She is a good healer but she loves to defend and be at war when war is present.

Ayao 

Ayao is the younger sister of the orisha Oya. Ayao is said to reside high in the clouds of the sky or at the top of the cieba tree. She is said to sit there and help guard the spirits that pass through her clouds to reside at the kingdom of Olofi. Ayao is an orisha that is given to the children of Oya. Now any priest or priestess can receive Ayao. Her secrets are kept in a tureen that is kept high in the house of the priest. This orisha can never touch the ground as her ceremonies are done on top of a table. It is said that when an initiate of Oya is performing their consecrating birth, the spirits that they pick up are tended by Ayao. When Oya is getting ready for battle she calls her sister Ayao who releases those spirits to aide Oya in battle. She is not initiated on the heads of anyone.

 

Source: ~ Oya – Orisha Of Wind and Change ~ – Ye Olde Dark Arts

~ Imbolc – Candlemas – Lupercalia ~

imbolc

Candlemas (Imbolc, Imbolg and Oimelc) is a Major Sabbat that is a celebration to mark the return of the sun and the end of winter. We celebrate the waxing sun and the beginning of Spring. Candlemas is a celebration of hope, the light returns and Spring is just around the corner.

Altar: Candles, Grain Dolly, Sun Cross

Animals: Wolf, Snake, Swan, Vulture, Robin, Burrowing Animals, Sheep, Lamb, and Deer

Birds: Cockerals, Cranes, Crows, Ducks, Eagles, Goose, Owls, Ravens, Swans and Wrens

Colors:  White, red, pink, yellow, blue

Deities: Aradia, Arachne, Arianrhod, Athena, Brighid, Blaize, Branwen, Cupid/Eros, Diancecht, Dumuzi, Februa, Februus, Gaea, Inanna, Lucina, Vesta, and Oya

Foods: Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, and Raisins.

Herbs: Angelica, basil, bay Laurel, blackberry, celandine, coltsfoot, heather, iris, myrrh, tansy, violets, and all white or yellow flowers.

Incense: Basil, myrrh, frankincense, wisteria, jasmine, camphor, cinnamon, and lotus.

Oils: Jasmine, Apricot, Carnation, Sweet Pea, Neroli and Olive

Stones: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, onyx, ruby, turquoise

Trees: Rowan

Zodiacs: Aquarius and Pisces


Imbolc Traditions and Symbols

Brigid Corn Dolly – a very old custom involved making a “Brigid” corn dolly that can be placed in a “Bride’s bed” to bring fertility and good fortune to the home.  If you made a “Corn Mother” at Lammas, you may simply re-use it.  Dress the Corn Mother as a bride in colors of white, red and or gold, and your Harvest Crone transforms herself into the Brigit Spring Bride. Place the Bride in a “Brigit’s bed” along with a priapic wand to symbolize fertility.  A priapic wand is a be-ribbonned fruit wood wand with a pine cone on the end which symbolizes the God.

Brigid’s Bed – to show your hospitality and to encourage the Goddess to spend the  night at your home, create a “Brigid’s Bed” near the hearth fire.  By inviting Brigid to stay overnight in your home you’re symbolically asking that her powers of fertility, blessing and healing be with your family all year long.  A Brigid’s bed can be a pretty wooden or cardboard box, a wicker basket or anything large enough to hold your Brigit corn dolly.  Be sure to decorate it with ribbons, flowers, herbs etc. and place a comfy blanket on the bottom of the bed. Don’t forget to place the priapic wand in the bed so that the Goddess will not be lonely.

Hearthfire  – the hearthfire is sacred to Brigid and is her altar in every home.  At Candlemas in the depth of winter the fire was more important than ever.  It was not allowed to go out and in the evening the fire was smoored ( covered with ash to preserve the hot coals) by the lady of the house

Brigid’s Crosses – are a form of woven straw or rushes symbolizing the Sun and used as talismans to bring fertility, prosperity and protection to the home.  They would be created at Candlemas and hung on the door, near the hearth, under the eaves or in the barn to bring luck and protection.

Burning the Yule Greens– the evergreens for Yuletide decoration are gathered and burned by Candlemas.  It is a symbolic way to let go of the old year and make way for the new.

Springs and Wells – toss coins in wells springs, fountains or any running water as an offering the the Goddess Brigid

Source: ~ Imbolc – Candlemas – Lupercalia ~ – Ye Olde Dark Arts

Ancient ‘lost continent’ found lurking under Indian Ocean

A complex splintering took place with fragments of continental crust of variable sizes left adrift within the evolving Indian Ocean basin.

Scientists have confirmed the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the super-continent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

The piece of crust, which was subsequently covered by young lava during volcanic eruptions on the island, seems to be a tiny piece of ancient continent, which broke off from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.

“We are studying the break-up process of the continents, in order to understand the geological history of the planet,” said Professor Lewis Ashwal from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

By studying the mineral, zircon, found in rocks spewed up by lava during volcanic eruptions, Ashwal and his colleagues have found that remnants of this mineral were far too old to belong on the island of Mauritius.

“Earth is made up of two parts – continents, which are old, and oceans, which are “young”. On the continents you find rocks that are over four billion years old, but you find nothing like that in the oceans, as this is where new rocks are formed,” said Ashwal.

“Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than nine million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as three billion years,” he said.

Zircons are minerals that occur mainly in granites from the continents. They contain trace amounts of uranium, thorium and lead, and due to the fact that they survive geological process very well, they contain a rich record of geological processes and can be dated extremely accurately.

“The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crystal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent,” said Ashwal.

This is not the first time that zircons that are billions of years old have been found on the island. A study done in 2013 has found traces of the mineral in beach sand.

However, this study received some criticism, including that the mineral could have been either blown in by the wind, or carried in on vehicle tyres or scientists’ shoes.

“The fact that we found the ancient zircons in rock (six-million-year-old trachyte), corroborates the previous study and refutes any suggestion of wind-blown, wave-transported or pumice-rafted zircons for explaining the earlier results,” said Ashwal.

Ashwal suggests that there are many pieces of various sizes of “undiscovered continent”, collectively called “Mauritia”, spread over the Indian Ocean, left over by the breakup of Gondwanaland.

“According to the new results, this break-up did not involve a simple splitting of the ancient super-continent of Gondwana, but rather, a complex splintering took place with fragments of continental crust of variable sizes left adrift within the evolving Indian Ocean basin,” Ashwal added.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Ancient ‘lost continent’ found lurking under Indian Ocean