Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Telling someone what a totem is can be tough but it can be said that one’s totem animal speaks to them in some way throughout their life such as through dreams and meditation. I personally believe people have one totem in their life and one can be helped by other animals like totems that help one in a certain period of time for a number of reasons, they are called guides.
I still go to school and do drama as a class, to which earlier in the year there was a student-teacher (a student who is teaching under the supervision of an actual teacher to gain experience in order to become a teacher). This student-teacher did something with us students, to lie down on the ground and to think of the behaviour of the first animal that came to mind. After about a minute or two the student-teacher asked for the students to behave like the animal to the best of one’s ability which lasted about another minute or so. What happened next was that the student-teacher got students to think of a simple act that would give a clue or two to the rest of the class what animal they thought of.
Once the acts came along there was amusingly several wolves all from males and several domestic cats all from females. What does it have to relate to totems? The fact that with totems wolves and domestic cats seem to pop up a lot, but not only that, but what animal came up for each and every person tells a little bit about the person. What totem one has tells about the person, too, so I would imagine that this exercise I did at school could potentially be used on more of a spiritual level.
Working with totems as I see it is a great way to learn something new, even working with guides can teach a thing or two of significance. A raven may teach of the power of intellect and creativity, even trickery.  While a horse on the other hand may teach the power of freedom, power and stamina.
What I have to suggest in meeting one’s totem is alike of many others, sleeping and meditating, even a nap during the day could give you a dream telling you of your totem. One could also show dedication in meeting one’s totem, such as offering incense and a prayer of wanting to meet one’s own totem before meditation, which will encourage your totem to show your seriousness in meeting. Offering a gift to one’s totem or guide for helping in whatever problem is what I see as an honourable act, I see it as courtesy as one might give to another person for giving help. After all, people give money for their help, ‘services’ many call it.
There are also totems that would cause fear in the person for whatever reason it may be. One may have a vulture as a totem, perhaps it is the spotted hyena. But it is neither to fear, both can teach us about accepting darkness as it is all around us. It is Yin and Yang around us that is opposite but needed. While Yang is the light, the positive, the one that is bright, it is Yin who is the needed opposite, that needed darkness in the world to bring balance.
There is however many lessons to be learnt, everyone has certain lessons to learn. Every animal has something to teach, it could b to accept something or it could be to use one’s creativity more often. The sharing of knowledge is what makes learning worthwhile, as a single strand of knowledge can give a single person much needed help or a great idea.

Monday, September 27, 2010


The number four is considered unlucky due to it associated with death while the number 666 is said to be unlucky due to being said the number of Satan. But it is unlucky number thirteen that interests me the most.
The number thirteen has much surrounding such as the number of cards in a suit. There were thirteen colonies that formed the United States with on the Great Seal of the United States that has thirteen olive leaves with thirteen olives, thirteen arrows and thirteen stars. There is thirteen loaves in a baker’s dozen, the fear of the number thirteen is called triskaidekaphobia, and there were thirteen plotters in the Gunpowder Plot. There is much more to this which I could go on and on about.
Thirteen at a table is said to be bad luck and one is to die within the year, this is the reason why The Thirteen Club was started and members of the club wanted to disprove this. The 13th of each month was when they met for dinner where they dined with thirteen on each table. Thirteen at a table being bad luck is said to have started for one or another reason, one reason is from a well known scene of Jesus and his disciples called The Last Supper to which Jesus dies soon after it. The other reason that is said to be there was a banquet where twelve gods were invited. The trickster Loki came along uninvited making him the thirteenth guest and the beloved Balder ends up dead.
There is also a myth that on a Friday the 13th that King Philip IV of France is tied to the mass arrest of the Knights Templar as it is said King Philip is the one himself who ordered the arrests. I have heard from others that this is also where the Friday the 13th superstition came from. Then again, Friday has been considered an unlucky day and 13, from what I have heard, is the unluckiest number. Thomas Lawson’s novel Friday the 13th is thought to be the reason why so many find that particular date unlucky. Some however consider the day lucky, there have been people born on such a day and this is a reason why it is considered lucky. Some consider the number 13 lucky. It really just depends on who you are talking to, and I am one that doesn’t consider thirteen unlucky.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two Ways of Protection

Many use some form of spell or spells to protect themselves and of others. One that has caught my eye is the witches bottle/jar. It has been described as an item to protect the home from evil spirits, magical attacks and even from magical counteracts from others.
It is not hard to create such a thing as a witches’ bottle as many items can be used, so there are many choices for things to be used. A glass bottle or jar is obviously needed and then it is a matter of what is to be put into that bottle/jar. What can be put in there is needles, pins or nails either bent or unbent. Hair, nail clippings can be used from your own body, urine and menstrual blood has been used. Things from animals and plant matter have been used such as whiskers, feathers, wood, bone and thorns, but coins and glass also have been used, too.  All these items have their uses, so make sure to choice wisely when doing it yourself.
These day’s people tend to fill the bottle/jar with one or more kinds of herbs after putting all the other items in to which it is proceeded to be either buried in the front of backyard or put in an extremely good hiding place where it won’t be found. A witches’ bottle/jar is buried or hidden well for the sole reason of protecting it from others, as if the bottle/jar is broken so is the spell for protection. Not something you really want to happen when you are seeking protection.
I also keep something above my bed for protection. I call it a ‘protection doll’, and it is simply what it name suggests. I not only made it and but also filled it with cloth then added bits and pieces to it. I added buttons for eyes, a mouth of wool and some feathers on its head. It has the same concept as the witches’ bottle/jar that its protection can be stopped as it has been started, but instead of breaking glass it is destroying the doll itself. But, this doll could easily be taken as something innocent or decorative and not sinister to which a witches’ bottle/jar could more easily be taken as.  
With a protection doll, you would add something to it as you would add an item for a witches’ bottle/jar making it again a similar concept. The protection doll is for warding off evil spirits within a room meaning it wouldn’t make it as effective as a witches’ bottle/jar which is created to protect the whole house but it does give an extra ‘oomph’ in a room if it is needed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Fasting is something that has caught my eye recently and it is no wonder as it was Ramadan not all that long ago. Because I live in an area with plenty of Muslim’s I know well that during Ramadan Muslim’s don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. I find it interesting that within the Baha’i faith there is a fasting period that goes from sunrise to sunset, too, abstaining to food and water from March 2nd to March 30th.
Within Hinduism people tend to fast on certain days depending which god or goddess they devote themselves to. A type of fasting which has caught my eye is common within Southern India where people commonly fast on Tuesday’s with dedication to the goddess Mariamman where devotees eat before sunrise and drink only liquids between sunrise and sunset.  Interestingly, within Northern India it is common for Hindus to fast on Thursday’s wearing yellow and yellow coloured food is preferred to be eaten.
As I look more into fasting I might fast in the not too distant future, likely to be during early to late December. Why December out of all months? It has to do with the fact that on Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day is days of celebration close within of each other.  I also get a break from school, so I defiantly won’t be using too much energy.
The days of December before Christmas Day, to me personally, would be great days to show self-restraint and serve as a reminder how many people lack food and water to nourish themselves.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Samyutta Nikaya I 109

Days and nights pass,
life runs to an end,
the life-span of mortals peters out
like the water of rivers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Seeds, Spring and Jade

Today I have been lucky enough to get some seeds of giant bottle gourd, got ten seeds for the price of five. All seeds have been planted into individual pots, though small, and fed fertilizer; I have much hope for such a plant to grow well. I have also been preparing soil with mulch for when I plant gourd seedlings.
I have also been trying to raise a jade plant from a cutting and all seems well for my first try at growing such a plant. Amusingly, I have noticed quite a few jade plants in my local area once I kept a keen eye for jade plants.
All other plants I have been growing are well and I am to soon plant some chilli seeds I have been waiting until the latest of the four seasons to plant. It is the start of spring to which many flowers have popped up already and hopefully I will also plant some flower seeds, too, to bring some extra colour around the house.
I have to say, I am glad it is warming up. Even though there was much needed rain that came and I even got to enjoy walking through it a number of times, I cannot wait to see the hot days of summer. The Royal Melbourne Show is coming up very soon to which I cannot deny that I am hyped about. Truly, I am a content person.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bottle Gourds

The calabash, or bottle gourd, is one plant that is considered quite lucky and has had much appreciation from the Chinese. It has a hard shell which can be used as a bottle and traditionally used to carry medicine, wine, water and elixirs. Not only was the gourds shell used to carry medicine but the plant has been used as medicine itself, and from what I have heard, makes a good eating.

Gourds is popular as use as a charm for warding off evil spirits and disease thanks to its Chinese name, hulu, which the character hu in itself means ‘protect’ or ‘guard’, but not only that but also ‘blessing’. Also, hu sounds like fu to which fu means ‘good fortune’ or ‘happiness’.

The legendary Sun Wukong himself once got word that demon were on their way to capture him with their magic gourd, so he disguises himself as an immortal before meeting them. These demons were unaware that this immortal was really Sun Wukong and these demons showed off their magic gourd to which Sun Wukong himself shows an ordinary gourd to these demons but claims it can hold the entire universe within it. These demons on hearing such a claim wanted to trade their gourd for this apparent universe containing one but on the condition that it is proved that it can be done. Sun Wukong, under permission from spirits, blocks out the light of the sun, moon and stars for a single hour and is able to trick these demons into thinking that the disguised Sun Wukong has bottled up the Heaven’s, thus being able to get a magic gourd for an ordinary one. This little story about Sun Wukong and these demons also is a good story to tell about how easily people can be fooled.

Gourds are also associated with old age and charms. Interestingly enough, old men many, many years back would frequently be seen carrying gourds on their backs. One old god known as Shou, also known as the Star of Longevity, is often seen carrying a Peach of Immortality and a staff of peach wood. Shou also carries a gourd himself to which people have disagreements on what is actually in it. Some say water, others nectar, I also have heard a couple claims of Shou carrying an elixir within his gourd.

The bottle gourd itself has many tales surrounding it within China and it is also a symbol of Heaven and Earth or the universe. It is also amusing as bottle gourds tend to be in the shape of the number eight, which is considered a highly lucky number in China.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dharammapada, verse 183

"To avoid all evil,
to do good,
to purify one's mind
- that is the teaching of the Buddha's."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Death And Ghosts

Death is an unavoidable part of life and the fact that a life has ended also puts parents of young children to explain death. To many people, death is something to fear, to be frightened of, but it truly isn’t. Death itself has always been around and will always been around.

One thing that has been spotted time and time again throughout history is ghosts. There are many ghost stories to tell from this modern world and many more pop up. Ask a classroom of high school students for ghost stories of their own to which you are likely to get at least one story from a small class. Even I can tell of a ghost or two. Ghosts themselves can be found culture to culture, and many have given much respect to the deceased through from just funeral rites to ancestor worship. Some people claim that a ghost have given them a message or to have seen a ghost or ghosts of animals.

There are also hungry ghosts, those who come back from the afterlife for whatever reason (such as lack of food or water) and are said to feed on peoples fear and energies. Offerings to help these ghost survive in the next life is said to get rid of hungry ghosts. Recently the Hungry Ghost Festival was celebrated on August 24, a Chinese festival honouring the dead and ancestors. There is also the Day of the Dead coming up in a couple months which is another day to honour the dead. Both days are a reminder of how life is not eternal, but both great days to celebrate but also to teach children about death.

Death and ghosts are both subjects that are interesting, both something to study. Many have their opinions of their own. Some do think ghosts do exist, some don’t. Some have ghost stories, others don’t. People claim a certain thing about the afterlife, but many people have many differing ideas of what when one dies.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Being One With Nature

Today I was lucky enough to see a live possum, which is quite rare as they tend to be nocturnal and if you do see one it is usually road kill. You can probably guess that it was sleeping; it was asleep in a tall shrub as if in total tranquillity, as if one with nature. One can ask how to be one with nature, and there are many answers to this.

I see being one with nature as being one with oneself and one’s environment. My understanding of being with one with yourself as knowing who you really are, knowing what you really enjoy, knowing your own abilities and capacities. Being one with oneself sounds really simple, it is if you truly know yourself. Doing something that helps you learn of who you are is countless; you can meditate or do a martial art, going for a walk or doing some gardening.

Being one with one’s environment is a great asset to be one with nature, and nature is in abundance if you know where to look. To be one with the environment is to be one with their surroundings. To know the building they live within, the gardens they have and having a general knowledge of the area they live within. Nature is something not hard to find and observe as it is always around us even if a small amount of it.

When one is in tune with themselves and their environment, they can become one with nature.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Spiders themselves are generally feared and tend to be lacking respect from people. Yes, they can kill people. Yes, they can look frightening. But they are worthy of respect. They have colonized every continent but Antarctica and seem to be found anywhere but sky and sea.

It is the spider itself that can kill people so easily with its fangs, but can be so easily killed by people. They are quite the reminder of how one can kill another, but yet be killed.

They create webs that can capture but can be used to help move around from one spot to another. Their eight legged form recognizable to anyone with the added effect of coming in a huge amount of variety.

Many people can tell of some sort of experience with spiders. My father was once bitten by a red-back and I once saw a red-back itself tying up an insect by its legs. There have been many spiders grow large in the house I live within. Over the years I have grown to have respect for such a creature, this bringer of death and receiver of death has earned it.