Friday, August 23, 2019
Tzolkin KIN 42 – White Electric Wind, keywords: communication, spirit, breath
Tone 3 – connect, activate, service
Planets: Uranus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter
This morning we travelled from Quebec City to Montreal. I have some fond memories here when I was 16 years old travelling with my brother Ben and Gerard to the Worldwide Expo in 1967 which was great fun weekend. Now with daughter Jessica and grandson Diego in August, 2019.
Some photographs of the Expo in 1967
The first stop was Jessica’s favorite thing to do shopping at outlet stores. Amazing how many stores and people where about here. Both Jessica and Diego bought some clothes whilst after the first store I went to sit on a bench just outside the Outlet Stores. Love to see all different families passing by of different cultures and happy smiles on their faces.
Montreal is quite a lively city to be in. It has many kind of cultures and one of them we went to in the late afternoon after we had settled in at our Airbnb. We went by metro which was quite a easy path to follow. One of my wishes was to go to the Oriental Festival at the Old Port of Montreal.
We first had a lovely dinner at one of the restaurants in the area. The whole area was very lively with people from all over and there was a short lineup at the restaurant with its tasty food.
The Orientalys Festival takes you on journey at once real and imaginary through music, dance, and visual arts performances.
For its 8th edition, Orientalys Festival takes you on a journey celebrating the Orient with its thousand and one colours through an array of shows, animations, exhibitions and workshops. Do not miss this rare occasion to immerse yourself body and soul in Oriental treasures while discovering the abundance and wealth of the cultures from North Africa, China or India, not to mention Iran, Lebanon, Vietnam and other parts of the world. Lovers of dance and music, or anyone eager for cultural discovery, will find something to please them, thanks to a rich and varied program. Dare to plunge into the heart of the many Oriental cultures and their little known and atypical traditions, illustrating a diverse Montréal on a global scale!
Whilst walking back to the Metro Station some young lady was calling Diego from the car. This was fun to watch how he responded and reacted. For him it was also quite a new experience as in The Netherlands this is not a custom that we are used too.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Tzolkin KIN 43 – Akbal, Blue Self Existing Night, keywords: dreams, abundance, intuition – Galactic Activation Portal
Tone 4 – measuring to define the form
Planets: Saturn, Pluto, Mars, Neptune
Today started off to be sunny but later in the morning it started to rain and remained this way during the day. We decided to go once again by metro and bought a day card.
Old Montreal is a part of downtown Montreal that has been preserved in much of its original state, with the oldest buildings dating back to the 1600’s. This historic neighborhood is a safe and vibrant community and tourist attraction, with hotels, restaurants, shops, residences and commercial spaces.
Like Quebec City, Old Montreal is European in character. Cobblestone streets, a café culture and historic 17th- and 18th-century architecture all contribute to the quaint charm that is unique amongst cities in North America.
Old Montreal sits between the St Lawrence River and downtown Montreal. It covers about one square km (or 0.4 square miles). Its boundaries are roughly Rue Saint-Antoine, the St. Lawrence River, Rue Berri, and Rue McGill. The best way to get around once there is most definitely on foot.
The city of Montreal has a history dating back to 1642 when settlers from France landed at the edge of the St. Lawrence River and began to build a model Catholic community. The town became a major trading and military post—at one time surrounded by fortifying walls—and housed Canada’s parliament for a few years in the 1800s. This waterside community is todays Old Montreal.
Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal
In 1672, the location of a stone church within the axis of Notre-Dame Street was determined. The construction work cost a fortune, and finally after ten years, the church of Notre-Dame was open, which had no bell tower or facade due to lack of means.
Despite the extensions, the church became too small. It was also after the construction of a rival Catholic church, the St-Jacques Cathedral (burnt down in 1852), that the parish priest and the churchwardens of Notre-Dame decided to rebuild their church. The old church of Notre-Dame was demolished in 1830 and its tower, in 1843. Once completed the two towers of the new church would be on opposite sides. The traces of the old church are visible on the ground at the current Place d’Armes and on the square.
THE CHOICE OF AN ARCHITECT
The Fabrique Notre-Dame therefore formed a fifteen-member construction committee whose mandate was to organize fundraisers and to select an architect of a church that could accommodate 8,000 faithful and be the most beautiful of its kind in North America. To do this, they choose a New York protestant architect, James O’Donnell.
O’Donnell was inspired by the gothic revival style that was then flourishing in Europe and the United States. The architecture of the new Notre-Dame church is inspired by the two towers of Notre-Dame de Paris and Saint-Sulpice. It became the first church of the Gothic Revival style in Canada.
Despite the meteorological conditions which prevented the workers from working during the winter, construction would only take 35 months, from 1824 to 1829, between April and October, but it took more than ten years for the installation of the steeples. O’Donnell died in 1830 after converting to Catholicism. His crypt is under the Basilica.
The West Tower was completed in 1841, and was named La Persévérance. Since 1848 it has been home to the famous bell, Jean-Baptiste which weighs 10 900 kg, and comes from England. The East Tower, named La Tempérance, was completed in 1843 and houses a carillon (bell tower) of ten bells from the same English manufacturer.
In 1865, the façade of the church was completed with the installation of three large statues of Saint-Joseph (Canada), the Virgin Mary (Montreal) and Saint Jean-Baptiste (Quebec). The interior decor could not be completed during O’Donnell’s lifetime. This attracted much criticism at the time, especially due to the lighting. Indeed, a canopy in place of the present sanctuary blinded the congregation during the masses from a backlit light. As early as 1856, la Fabrique Notre-Dame asked for a review of the plans. Under the direction of the Montreal architect, Victor Bourgeau, the interior decorations was completed in 1880.
BECOMING OF A BASILICA
Notre-Dame is rooted in what we now call Old Montréal. This was one of the great events of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was Pope John Paul II who, on April 21, 1982, raised Notre-Dame Church to the rank of a Minor Basilica. This was an opportunity to recognize the religious, historical and artistic significance of the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, one of the jewels of Québec’s heritage.
Considered to be a place of history, Notre-Dame was designated as a place of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, in 1989. Since its foundation, the basilica has been the site of major religious and cultural events.
To name a few:
• The funerals of Sir Georges Étienne Cartier in 1873, Pierre-Elliot Trudeau in October 2000, and Maurice Richard in 2001.
• Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass for children on 11 September 1984.
• Céline Dion and René Angélil were married there on December 17, 1994.
Since 1918, the annual commemorative festivities of the foundation of the city have been celebrated here, under the aegis of the Société historique de Montréal. On May 17, 2017, the Mass commemorating the city’s 375th anniversary was held at the Basilica in the presence of many notable people, including the Prime Ministers of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and of Quebec, Philippe Couillard.
Being a place of culture, the Basilica is often frequented by music lovers who can enjoy concerts, choirs and the famous Casavant organ.
The active and innovative team at the Basilica initiated exhibitions and shows. One of sound and light Et la lumière fût was presented for ten years. Performances that have attracted 300 000 visitors.
Since March 2017, AURA, a Moment Factory production initiated by the Basilica, is presented six evenings a week. This unique luminous experience allows spectators to rediscover the breathtaking interior and architectural wonders of the Basilica.
As a tourism hotspot, the Basilica welcomes close to a million visitors from all over the world annually, unanimously enthralled by the beauty of the location, and who also have the opportunity to explore the religious history of Quebec. https://youtu.be/XWL_-Y-ueak
The Origins of the décor
The initial phase of the decoration planned by the architect, O’Donnell attracted much criticism. In fact, the decor during the early years, shows developments that are rather different to ones at present.
The wall of the sanctuary, which was very flat as the tradition of the English Gothic churches dictated, presented a large canopy. This canopy blinded the congregation by causing a back-lit effect…
La Fabrique, under the direction of the parish priest, Victor Rousselot, then decided to redevelop the interior and involved Montreal architect, Victor Bourgeau, in this project.
From 1870 to 1900, Rousselot and Bourgeau worked on a style and symbolism inspired by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. It is the colours selected, the motifs of the gold leaves in the vault and the columns that especially remind us of the Sainte-Chapelle.
Blue, gold leaves and the columns are what makes the Basilica so breathtaking.
You will find six paintings in the décor, from the old church (see image below).
Some paintings of the first church are now in the Basilica.
To cut down on costs, the main altar of the old church was placed in the sanctuary; today this altar can be found in the lateral chapel dedicated to Saint Margaret of You Ville.
The Basilica: a work of art
Here are some highlights of the architectural and decorative wonders of the Basilica.
The theme was developed around the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist, the sacrament that renews the sacrifice of Christ. The Crucifixion is in the center of the altarpiece: Christ is represented dead on the cross, the Virgin and Saint John stand on either side of the cross and Mary Magdalene is kneeling at her feet.
Around the Crucifixion, we see four scenes from the Old Testament which announce the sacrifice of the Cross and the Mass:
• Bottom right: the sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham.
• Bottom left: the offering of bread and wine made by Melchisedech.
• Top left: Moses gives the rules of worship which will be made by offering animal sacrifices on the altar.
• Top right: the high priest, Aaron immolates a lamb according to tradition.
The central axis of the altarpiece displays Calvary, placed above the high altar. Under this altar, is the Last Supper according to Leonardo da Vinci, carved out of wood: it is the institution of the Eucharist, on the eve of the death of Christ. In the upper part of the altarpiece, is the coronation of Mary. The crowned Christ (Messiah) is the conqueror of death, from whence his resurrection. He crowns his mother. The visual composition directed towards the vault is indicative of the path to heavenly happiness, with its angels and stars on an intense blue background. This path, symbolizing life, is traced in the sacrifice of Christ and the Mass.
THE CELEBRATION ALTAR AND THE AMBON
Since the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the priest must celebrate Mass in front of the people. In 1998, a new altar was installed. The sculptor-designer Denis Duguay, drew inspiration from the architecture of the high altar, and raised it behind the choir to make it visible. The inauguration took place at Christmas, in 1998.
The pulpit is an important showpiece of the basilica. Formerly, the priest went up there to pronounce his sermon. The architect Victor Bourgeau (1809-1888) designed this pulpit during the renovations of the 1870s. Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850-1917), a well-known sculptor, built the ornate piece, and notably, seen on the ground, are the two prophets of the Old Testament, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah. As with the altarpiece, the pulpit signifies that the Old Testament of the Bible is the basis of the Christian faith. Above this, at the level of the guardrail, there is a series of statuettes representing, among others, Christ sitting and teaching Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
THE GREAT CASAVANT ORGANS
It was the Casavant Frères firm of Saint-Hyacinthe who constructed the organ of the basilica in 1891. Since then, the instrument has undergone some restorations. On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, its composition was increased to 7,000 pipes: the largest measuring 10 meters (32 feet) and the smallest, 6mm (1/4 in.). Since 2002, the organ has 92 sets arranged on four keyboards, with a pedal board. The current console is from 1962.
THE CHAPEL OF SAINT-SACRAMENT
This glass chapel allows the faithful to pray in peace and to adore the Blessed Sacrament preserved in the tabernacle of the altar. The latter is dedicated to the Sulpician martyrs of the French Revolution of September 2nd and 3rd, 1792. Beside it is the altar dedicated to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whose statue is signed by Elzéar Soucy. It is surrounded by paintings by Ozias Leduc.
To mark the Notre-Dame centennial celebrations in 1929, the parish priest Olivier Maurault saw the construction of new stained-glass windows in the basilica, for which he raised the necessary funds. He himself decided on the theme of the stained-glass windows on the ground floor, evoking the religious and social life of the time of Ville-Marie. Quebec artist Jean-Baptiste Lagacé would design the cartoons. The stained glass windows would be made at the Francis Chigot workshop in Limoges, France. Stained-glass windows are representations of the history of the founding of Montréal.
NOTRE DAME DU SACRE COUER CHAPEL
In 1889, the priest Léon-Alfred Sentenne entrusted the architects Perreault and Mesnard with the construction of a chapel for ceremonies gathering a limited number of people, such as weddings and funerals. Baptized “Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur”, it is inaugurated on December 8, 1891, the feast day of the Virgin. It showcases a gothic revival style, rich in carved motifs.
The interior design of the chapel before 1978.
A DEVASTATING FIRE
Unfortunately, a fire seriously caused damage on December 7, 1978. The reconstruction was entrusted to the architects Jodoin, Lamarre, Pratte and associates who suggested reconstructing the first two levels in the same way, using cabinetmakers, sculptors and carpenters who work according to ancient methods. The vault received a modern treatment that allowed for natural light to come in. The new chapel was inaugurated in 1982. Today, the Chapel is reserved for Adoration and meditation.
This chapel makes a striking impression with its great luminosity and the numerous decorative details. The altarpiece by Quebec sculptor, Charles Daudelin, consists of 32 bronze panels. It weighs 20 tons and measures 5 m in width by 18 meters in height. The organ, of a French style, with mechanical traction, comes from the Guilbault-Thérien firm of Saint-Hyacinthe. It has 1648 pipes. The console has 25 sets on 2 keyboards, with pedal board.
The Altar Piece
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Tzolkin KIN 44 – Kan, Yellow Overtone Seed, keywords: targets, flowering, awareness
Tone 5: empower the command of radiance
Planets: Jupiter, Earth, Asteroid Belt, Uranus
This morning it was quite sunny and humid. We went first by metro to go to the Mount Royal. The temperature was quite high so we decided not to walk up the mount instead we went by bus all through town every bus stop along the way to go to the Olympic Grounds of Montreal.
Upon arriving we decided to take a tour through this area. Unfortunately for grandson Diego we were unable to go into the soccer stadion because there was a youth tournament at that moment.
Built for Montreal’s 1976 Olympics and designed by architect Roger Taillibert, the impressive, grandiose structure drew controversy in public opinion but remains a Montreal landmark to behold. The building itself may not be of too much interest and paying for a tour should only appeal to architectural or Olympic enthusiasts. We had great fun just poking our heads in and watching the high divers practice (for free!).
Plagued by structural and financial problems, the building is greatly under-used but is a popular tourist attraction and does host some sporting and other special events.
The stadium is next to the Montreal Biodome and the Botanical Gardens, which are great family destinations.
To cool off we went by bus to the local Montreal artificial lake for a swim.
We went by bus and metro lines. Whilst walking back to our Airbnb once more two young ladies called from their car to Diego. His reaction was to send them a kiss as a token of appreciation.
Monday, August 26, 2019
Tzolkin KIN 45 – Chicchan, Red Rhythmic Serpent, keys: survival, life force, instinct, body wisdom
Tone 6: balance, organise, equality
Today we drove from Montreal City to Markham, a 5,5 hour drive, to celebrate niece Maggie Calle’s birthday. Trevor Harren, Maggie’s husband, plus Leo and Bella their children. Leo and Bella where quite excited to see grandson Diego again. The whole family had visited The Netherlands in July this year. We had some great conversations with Maggie whilst Trevor was preparing some healthy snacks. Great taste especially the guacamole, which is one of my favorite dishes. Than Trevor and Diego ordered some sushi from the take away restaurant in the neighbourhood. Such a variety of good food. Unfortunately we had to leave at 20:00 hours to go to the Airport to deliver the rented car and take
our evening flight to Iceland at 23:45 hours with Iceland Air. It was a smooth flight and we all had a small nap along the way plus watching some movies or listening to great music. Grandson Diego asked if he could look for another seat seeing that the plane had seats leftover. He was able to have 3 seats in a row so he could lie down. Daughter Jessica curled up the 2 seats who were now available for her.
Deep Gratitude to the Mother Nature of Canada and the family for allowing us to be at home in this embrace of Loving Nurturance.
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