Monday, February 28, 2011


When I look back at myself on how I meditated over time, I have certainly changed. To think I was introduced to meditation from a friend about seven years ago seems so strange to me now for one reason in particular, the fact that I meditated so little at first.

Upon learning about meditation I was given a few tips on how to do it, tips I no longer remember. With me, I was one of those people who couldn’t sit still for long in meditation, six or seven minutes at most.

One thing I really should have done sooner was meditate on a regular basis, something I didn’t do until the last couple years. Since I have started meditating daily I went from meditating about five minutes a day to usually between fifteen to twenty minutes a day, a much needed improvement.

Like what happens with many friends, they go their separate ways. About three years after my introduction to meditation, the very friend who introduced me to it had lost contact with me. Saddening as it was, it was bound to happen due to going to two separate schools and having little to no time to see or talk to each other. I’m certain that if I was still in contact with this person, he would be quite happy with how long I can meditate now.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Chang E

Chang E, also known as Chang O and originally as Heng E and/or Heng O but changed to what it is now due to a naming taboo against speaking or writing the names of exalted people in China. Chang E is the moon goddess who is said to live on the moon and whom the spacecraft Chang’e 1 was named after.

While Chang E represents the moon, her husband Houyi, or simply Yi, represents the sun. Chan Chu, also known as the Three-Legged Frog/Toad, represents Chang E and is said to live on the moon alongside with a rabbit that is a companion of Chang E. This rabbit, also known as the ‘Jade Rabbit’, is said to be constantly pounding a Elixir of Immortality for Chang E.

Worship of Chang E is most frequent around the Mid-Autumn Festival, with the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival considered the day of Chang E’s birthday. During the Mid-Autumn Festival alters are set up to Chang E with incense being burnt as an offering. It is also common to offer fruits, flowers and mooncake.
These alters that are set up tend to be facing the moon with items such as lotions, bath salts and make up are placed on the alter to Chang E. These beauty items are for Chang E herself to bless as it is said worshippers of Chang E will be endowed with great beauty.

Chang E also is mentioned in Journey to the West where it is explained that the greedy Zhu Bajie, while as commander of 80,000 heavenly warriors, got drunk at a party. Chang E was seen by Zhu Bajie who was captivated by the beauty of this goddess and tried to make advances on Chang E. These advances failed and Chang E reported Zhu Bajie’s behaviour to the Jade Emperor and it is said that since then Chang E has been reluctant to go to Heaven.

There are a couple legends involving Chang E that involve her husband Houyi. One legend starts with Chang E and Houyi living as immortals in Heaven. The ruler of Heaven, the Jade Emperor, had ten sons who decided to transform into suns that caused a scorching of the earth. The Jade Emperor ordered his sons to stop ruining the earth and failed, so Houyi was asked to help.

Houyi used his archery skills to shoot down  nine of the Jade Emperor’s sons, leaving one son to be sun. The Jade Emperor wasn’t pleased by this as nine of his sons were now dead so as punishment both Houyi and his wife, Chang E, was banished to earth to live as mortals.

Chang E was miserable over her lose of immortality so Houyi decided to quest for immortality both Chang E and himself. Houyi eventually got given a pill that would make people immortal by a goddess known as Queen Mother of the West, this pill also could be broken in half and make two people immortal.

Houyi took the pill home where it was stored in a case, warning Chang E not to open the case before leaving home. Chang E out of severe curiosity checked the case and found the pill as Houyi got back home, fear that Houyi would catch her with the case caused Chang E to accidentally swallow the pill. Chang E started to float to the sky and continued to float until she landed on the moon where she had company of the jade rabbit and Chan Chu.

The other legend of Chang E tells how she lived in Heaven and one day accidentally broke a precious jar. Punishment was banishment to earth and was allowed to come back to Heaven if she contributed a valuable service on earth.
Chang E on earth was transformed into a girl of a rich farming family. Chang E grew into a young beautiful woman and was spotted by a hunter from another village, Houyi, whom Chang E became friends with.

Eventually a strange event of ten suns coming into the sky rather than one, bringing the earth to an unbearable heat. Houyi with his bow and arrows shot down nine of these suns and became a hero ad eventually a king, marrying Chang E.

Houyi as a king turned both greedy and selfish, turning his sights onto immortality and ordered an elixir for the purpose of prolonging his life to be created. This elixir came in a form of a pill that Chang E came across that she either accidentally or purposely swallowed. Houyi was angered by this so Chang E fled, jumping out of a window of  a chamber at the top of the palace she lived within. Upon jumping out the window Chang E floated to the moon instead of falling to her death. Later, Houyi ascended to the sun where he built a palace.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Totems: Seagull

Seagulls are often thought of as nuisances and since the coming of Finding Nemo the idea of seagulls repeating “Mine.” came to shine.

Scavenging is also a lesson, the seagull teaches that scavenging can be useful. Scavenging itself is usually frowned upon, yet can help in various ways. People do throw things out and the saying “one’s man trash is another mans treasure” goes well with this.

The lesson of not feeling guilty also goes with the lesson of scavenging. The seagull teaches that one shouldn’t feel guilty about taking things off others hands or being an opportunist, that it is okay to do so.

The seagull teaches the power of perseverance and endurance. It is the seagull who keeps on going and it is important for one to try to keep going on, to stay determined and strong. Seagulls are also thought of to not only be very perseverant with trying to get food when there is an opportunity, but also to keep going despite injury. It is the teaching of the seagull to keep on being perseverant despite injury, and it is the seagull who will keep going despite injury.
Interestingly, seagulls are commonly told that the very birds themselves lose legs from being caught in fishing nets and from large fish biting them off.

Opportunism is yet another lesson, and an interesting one. It is the seagull that will eat just about anything and it is seagulls that ate locusts threatening to destroy crops in California sometime in 1849, stopping the invasion of locusts that occurred. Opportunism doesn’t just have to be about food, it can be about taking the chance of doing something new.

Seagulls teach of building relationships based off of fairness and respect. Teaching how fairness and respect is very much needed.

As for offerings, anything edible could be offered especially small fish, it depends what is enjoyed. Seagulls are known to eat almost anything as mentioned earlier, leaving much  to be potentially offered.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sha Wujing

Out of the three disciples of the monk Sanzang, it is Sha Wujing who is sadly the weakest out of the three and does the least in contribution when travelling with Sanzang. Wujing knows eighteen transformations and his weapon, gotten in Heaven, is the yueyachan. This weapon of Wujing’s itself is a double headed staff with a crescent moon blade at one end while a spade on the other.

In English translations of Journey to the West, Sha Wujing is known be called Sand, Sandy and Friar Sand.

Sha Wujing was originally the Curtain-Lifting General of Heaven and in Journey to the West it is said he accidentally broke a vase of the Jade Emperor although it is also said by some that the vase was broken in a fit of rage. By rage or by accident, Wujing was punished with eight hundred strikes of a rod and sent down to earth.

Wujing when he went down to earth was reincarnated as a sand demon that ate men. On earth, Sha Wujing lived in a place known as “Flowing Sand River” or “Quicksand River” (with the river currently known as Kaldu River). Wujing sadly had a punishment of getting seven flying swords sent from Heaven stabbing him in the chest on a daily basis, Wujing retreated into the river to avoid this punishment and living within the river.

While living at the river, a group of nine monks actually was on a pilgrimage to fetch scriptures who were passing the river Wujing lived in. Wujing ate these monks, throwing their bones into the river, the heads of the monks however floated to the delight of Wujing. It was these skulls that Wujing strung on a rope and played with when bored.

Eventually, the bodhisattva Guanyin was searching for people to guide the monk Sanzang west to find scriptures and found Wujing. Guanyin converted Wujing to Buddhism and gave him the name Sha Wujing, meaning “Sand Awakened to Purity”. Told to wait for a monk, Wujing did so and when Sanzang did come along Wujing was mistaken for an enemy by Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie. Guanyin intervened, clearing up everything and Wujing became the third disciple of Sanzang.

In the becoming a disciple of Sanzang, Wujing was put in the robe of a Buddhist pilgrim’s and his skull necklace turned into a necklace of a monk. During his travels with Sanzang and his fellow disciples his ability to fight in water was useful despite being the weakest of the three.

At the end of the journey Wujing became an arhat known as the Golden Bodied Arhat.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


With a fortnight of 28th November to 13th of December and ruling over the time of 22:30 to 23:30, this rune is Isa, which has the basic meaning of ice, cold and iron.

Isa is associated with the Norn of the past, Urn, the goddess Rind, the number seven and with ice that makes walking difficult. Animals associated with Isa are reindeers and wild boars, while for plants Isa is in association with the alder tree and henbane (a poisonous herb).

When Isa comes up in a reading one thing is needed, patience. When Isa appears when a question about relationships is asked a period of emotional cooling is what is told. The appearance of Isa means that business partnerships may go through a tough time due to events expected are not happening.

Whatever lack of ambition one may have will likely turn out to be blessings in disguise is what Isa tells, as one’s aims and desires will change during whatever delay one is going through. Those using their creativity are suggested to take a rest from using it to let their talents recharge and to be able to take on their talents with renewed potency.

Monday, February 21, 2011

North Africa And Midde East Riots

I am not much of a news person, I admit that. I do watch the news in the morning but at times I don’t hear much of current events in the world. One thing I didn’t hear much of but tried to keep current on was the protests that happened in Egypt, now there’s even more protests but in different countries within North Africa and even the Middle East.

I’m hearing of riots and protesting in Iran, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, I even heard that as many as 200 protesters have been killed in Libya on the news this morning. Australians have been apparently told to leave Libya due to a risk of civil war.

People have been quiet about this, probably still wrapping their heads around what is going on. I personally didn’t hear one person make a mention of the riots today, I’ve barely heard a thing of what is going on myself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Lu

Out of the San Xing I have made posts on two of them specifically, Shou and Fu. This is of the third member of the San Xing, Lu, whom is also known as God of Prosperity. Lu’s name is said to mean “official’s salary” and to be the god who blessed intellectuals with a position in civil service.

Lu is the god of wealth, honour and status, and has the symbol of the stag. Often depicted holding a gold ingot, child or scroll, all symbols of prosperity.

Originally, Lu was a poor man of the name Shi Fen who was given a minor position at court as a scholar. Working hard along with constantly learning to hopefully gain a high position, he became a favourite of Emperor Jing and was made a high official of the royal court. Thanks to Emperor Jing, Lu and his family prospered.

Legend states that Lu descends from Heaven on the first day of the Chinese New Year to inspect his followers and goes back to Heaven on the second day. Due to this, many offer incense to Lu and eat dumplings on the first day and burn an image of Lu on the second day as a way to say farewell.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mandarin Ducks

A folktale goes that a feudal lord captures a mandarin duck for its plumage thus causing the duck to become miserable and to slowly die of loneliness. The servant maid of the lord and her samurai lover sees the love and loyalty between the mandarin ducks, so the two reunite the separated ducks against the lords wishes. The lovers are condemned to death by the lord and this is where the popular use of mandarin ducks in Feng Shui is said to have originated.

Mandarin ducks themselves are popular in use for relationships and love, obviously due to the love they show each other with pairs mating for life. In a natural habitat one can see why mandarin ducks are seen as symbols for love, a pair of a male and female mandarin ducks are always seen close together, rarely alone. It is a legend that states that mandarin ducks, when it loses its partner, will die of loneliness.

In use in Feng Shui a pair of mandarin ducks should be placed within the south west of a house, or the south west of the bedroom. The mandarin ducks are said to allow whomever owns the pair and anyone near it to possibly become more lovable and more attractive to another, and for couples a pair of mandarin ducks will keep the couple happy.

It is suggested that singles keep a pair of mandarin ducks facing each other by their bed to help get a lasting partner, if a married couple does the same it will help keep a strong and enduring relationship.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Totems: Duck

Ducks are known for being a diverse group of waterfowl, with it not being uncommon for males and females to have not only different coloured feathers but also different vocal sounds.

The duck teaches that at times going to a place that makes one feel safe and comfortable is a good thing. Even ducks go to places where they feel safe and comfortable, returning to their safe haven multiple times.

The duck is the creature that teaches to get in touch with one’s own emotions for the purpose of getting into a calmer state. Rather then ignore emotions or pay little attention to emotions, the duck teaches to embrace emotions, to take a good look at one’s emotions.

Ducks are social creatures who teaches that being with not only family, also friends, is important and that getting back to one’s roots can be of benefit.
Ducks do teach to live in the now and not to worry about one’s past trouble including with one’s own family.

As offerings to the duck, there is quite a few things one can offer to this animal. Ducks are omnivores and for meat will eat small fish, insects, worms, small frogs and snails, for vegetation there is the occasional seeds, corn, peas and grass. One can offer duck food from a feed store and even tiny stones occasionally.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Zhu Bajie

Zhu Bajie is half man and half pig, whom is also well known as Pigsy or simply Pig in the English translations of Journey to the West. It is Bajie himself who is lazy, gluttonous and a lusty fellow whom over the course of Journey to the West has caused himself, his fellow disciples and master trouble.

Before becoming a disciple to the monk Sanzang, Bajie was much like the way he was as he is seen in Journey to the West except for being completely human rather then part human and part pig. Due to his greed, laziness and lust Bajie was warned by an immortal to change his way of life so he wouldn’t have to suffer after death. Asking to train him the immortal agreed and Bajie eventually ascended to Heaven.

In Heaven, the Jade Emperor gave Bajie a nine toothed rake which many gods had a part of creating it and is quite the powerful weapon.

Bajie was known as Marshal Tian Peng, the Marshal of the Heavenly Canopy and Marshal of the Heavenly Tumbleweed, and because of this is referred as Marshal Tian Peng or Heavenly Tumbleweed by heavenly beings many years after actually being banished from Heaven later on.
Bajie’s title as marshal was so as he was the commander of 80,000 heavenly warriors.

Bajie’s banishment from Heaven was from his own stupidity, as at a party in Heaven he got drunk and when he saw the moon goddess Chang E adored her beauty and tried making advances on Chang E to which she rejected. Chang E reported this to the Jade Emperor and was banished to Heaven. Bajie was to be reborn as a human,  yet was unlucky as there was a mishap and he was born as the part man, part pig creature Bajie became well known as.

The only thing Bajie had left after his banishment from Heaven was his nine toothed rake that was given by the Jade Emperor.

As a pig-man creature Bajie was a man-eater until the bodhisattva Guanyin came along and converted him to Buddhism, giving Bajie the Buddhist name of Zhu Wuneng which means ‘Pig Aware of Ability’. Guanyin told Bajie to wait for a monk which he faithfully did.

Bajie notably had the power of thirty-six transformations and the ability to ride clouds, using his ability to transform to become a handsome man and do hard work for a family in a place called Gao Village. While at the village Bajie helped much on a farm but eventually kidnapped the daughter of the village elder with a note being left behind demanding marriage.

The monk Sanzang and his first disciple Sun Wukong eventually got to Gao Village and learnt of this abduction by Bajie. Sun Wukong and Bajie eventually fight, with Bajie revealing that he is waiting for Sanzang. After this Bajie went to see the monk he had waited so long for and got given the name Bajie, roughly meaning “eight restraints” or “eight commandments”.

Bajie stayed loyal to Sanzang and helped the monk get the scriptures he was after. Although he did help, especially so when going underwater was needed (seeing as his fellow disciple Sun Wukong was more powerful but couldn’t fight underwater unlike Bajie), he was only awarded a job after fetching the scriptures. This job is however a suiting job for Bajie due to his greed, eating all the leftovers he could along with having the title of “Cleanser of the Alters”.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Nauthiz is the rune that may have been the origin for crossing one’s own fingers for luck and looks very much like the letter X.

Nauthiz is the rune with the meaning of necessity in which the very rune is described in The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem as ‘oppressive to the heart yet often proves a help and is the salvation of the children of men who heed it in time’.
Nauthiz itself means ‘need’.

This rune is associated with rowan and beech trees, one of the Norns (goddesses of fate), specifically the Norn of the future, Skuld, and the letter N.

When this rune appears upright it warns of doubt and insecurity, but also warning to tell of the necessity of action from oneself. Nauthiz tells of recognizing one’s own limitations, as this rune tells that pushing oneself too hard will be of little use during the time being.
Downside to seeing this rune upright in a casting Nauthiz is that the time being is likely to not be pleasant, however, luck is coming soon.

When inverted in a casting, Nauthiz suggests that forthcoming events will be hard to tell and one may have a lack of sense of direction. While inverted Nauthiz does warn of friends who are not really friends and scams, but in its inverted form this rune that the answer of whatever question one may have is simply unknown.

The fortnight of Nauthiz is from November 13th to November 28th with its hour being from 21:30 to 22:30.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gardening 'n Love

One thing that has caught my attention lately is guerrilla gardening. I have to admit that I have been doing a bit of studying on it and am interested in actually doing this.
Might do it, might not. I have an idea of what I might plant and where, so that is a start.

I also cannot believe it is Valentine’s Day already. I’m one of those people who don’t personally celebrate it, never really cared for holidays in the first place, but it is always great to see couples together and celebrating love on this special day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Hou Ji

An ancient god of millet grains, the harvest, and farming, Hou Ji is said to be the descendent of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, along with having his mother stepping on the footprint of the ruler of Heaven, the Jade Emperor, and became magically pregnant that way.

Hou Ji brought millet and wheat to humanity, thanks for this Hou Ji eventually became to be known as the Prince of Millet by King Chen Tang of Shang who was the found of the Shang dynasty. It is Hou Ji who is claimed to be founding ancestor of the Zhou dynasty that came right after the Shang dynasty.

This god is said to be the first to teach farmers how to cultivate and harvest crops. Every fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar year Hou Ji would be offered sacrifices and people would hang bad grain outside their gates in hope of Hou Ji to teach them how to better grow crops.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Totems: Dragon

Dragons come in many forms, with its forms found from land to land it does have a number of lessons to teach. On the plus side, thanks to being much loved creature by children and adults alike the dragon seems to enjoying a time of being known for its strength and power rather then being thought of as evil.

Dragons are the creatures of primordial power, even said to be the ruler over the elements, dragons also have a magical side to them due to their mythological association. It is the dragon that teaches the power of magic and the great use of it. It is this creature that also teaches the power of the elements, too, the elements are after all powerful.

The dragon teaches the greatness of strength and courage. Both strength and courage are what one need more of, and there are multiple ways to increase one’s strength such as doing martial arts.

Balance is also taught which goes well with the lesson of strength. Balance isn’t always about being able to stay standing as it can be also about a balance of work and leisure time amongst many things one may have to balance in one form or another.

The dragon tells the usefulness of ancient wisdom, to be wise of the now ancient past, while being knowledgeable amongst other topics.

With such a totem one may get stumped to what to offer a dragon, depending on the kind of dragon it can include either meat or fruits, maybe both or even ashes from a fire.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Sage is a popular herb to be used and has many uses which may be why it is popular. With working in magic this herb makes a good choice and sage is helpful for long life, healing, prosperity, and protection. Sage is associated with the planet Jupiter and it is said that eating sage makes one more wise and even immortal.

Sage is also popular to use as a smudge stick, seeing as sage is of great use for cleansing areas. It is even smudge sticks made of dried sage that many go to seeing as it is said to help to deal with ghosts whom are being a nuisance.

Sage absorbs negativity and misfortune, when carried promotes not only protection but also wisdom and it drives away disturbances and tensions. As an incense it is great for protection and purifying areas. Sage itself is great for strength and courage.

Sage is also used to make tea where sage tea was popular in Middle Age Europe. Sage tea does have its uses, it can be used to help relieve the discomfort of measles, dizziness, colds and headaches.
Gargling with common sage tea is itself for strengthening gums and keeping teeth white.
While sage tea is nice it shouldn’t be drunk too much as a large amount of sage tea can be toxic.

Sage leaves has been used in culinary recipes for many years and is a natural food flavouring. The leaf of a sage can help with a number of things: indigestion, lack of appetite, oral inflammation and sore throats.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The saying that diamonds are a girls best friend is a well known one, with diamonds being symbols of both love and of power also coming to the minds of many. There is more to love and power that comes with the diamond.

Diamonds are the birthstone for those born in April and interestingly the symbol of a sixty year anniversary making the diamond itself a symbol of eternity.

Diamonds are also known for its hardiness and clarity, turning this precious stone into a symbol of power and strength.  Some believe that a diamond bound to a persons left arm gives a much better chance of victory in battle.
While diamonds are said to give a person quite a bit of strength, it has the effect of making a person quite fierce.

Diamonds have been important to many people throughout the ages, it is said the ancient Greek’s believed diamonds were tears of gods while the Roman’s thought of diamonds as splinters of fallen stars. In ancient India diamonds were not even cut due to a fear of diamonds losing their magical properties.

For the people of the Middle Ages diamonds were believed to become darker for a guilty person while shine for an innocent, it was even believed that in the presence of poison diamonds would also change colour. For Tibetan Buddhist’s diamonds are an important symbol with the Diamond Sutra being one of the more popular sutras.
Diamonds in the past was viewed as a symbol of purity and innocence.

It is the diamond that is said to help drive away fears, protect the owner from negative influences and particularly from magic. Diamonds are great for giving the owner courage plus help keep the mind clear and focused.

Diamonds when stolen are said to attract negative vibrations and apparently brings the worst out of greedy people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hooray For Rain

What a fantastic weekend I had, plenty of rain, some flooding of local areas and more rain. Huzzah.

But really… I am growing quite a few plants and a worry during all the raining was that a number of plants I am growing won’t be able to deal with the large amount of rain. Everything seems fine, and its great to be able to walk into the sunshine once again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Fu Xi

Fu Xi is a god said to have been born with a body of a serpent but a head of a human occurring in the 29th century BC. Fu Xi is the first of the San Huang, a group of three sovereigns of China who taught mankind many important skills and is said to have ruled from 2952BC to 2836BC or from 2852BC to 2737BC.

Besides being described as a man with a head of a man and the body of a serpent, Fu Xi is at times described as a man wearing animal skins and with long hair. Often in Taoist temples Fu Xi is often with the symbol known as the baqua.

Many things are attributed to Fu Xi which include creating the well known symbol called baqua (or Eight Trigrams) that is used in divination, the creation of casting oracles using yarrow stalks, the breeding of silk worms, and the taming of wild animals.

Fu Xi is said to have created the basis of Chinese writing itself and invented the many Chinese family names with the decree that only those with differing family names shall marry.
Fu Xi also taught how to hunt with weapons of iron, while also how to fish with nets in which fishing nets were inspired by a spider weaving a web.

One time, this god came across a tortoise with cosmic numbers on its shell. This lead to Fu Xi’s invention of the Magic Square where all lines add up to fifteen:
4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6

Fu Xi, along with the gods Shennong and Huangdi created an instrument called guqin that is also referred as “the father of Chinese music” and “the instrument of the sages”.

A marriage between Fu Xi and his sister, Nu Wa, occurred after approval from Heaven using smoke from fire. Both Fu Xi and Nu Wa appear in the Dynasty Warriors games after Dynasty Warriors 3 with Fu Xi being depicted as a 180cm tall eighteen year old.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jade Plant

The jade plant is a popular succulent grown both outdoors and indoors. It is a hardy evergreen plant native of South Africa with smooth, rounded, fleshly leaves which grow in opposing pairs. The colour of the leaves are jade and new branches start off jade that develop into a brown colour as it ages, hence its name.

Jade plants are known to grow fast and over two metres in height. Attractive white flowers of this plant also grow in early spring, but jade plants may go years without growing flowers at all.

Some varieties are known to develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight and when growing a jade plant over-watering can be told as the leaves will become yellow and start to rot. Jade plants should only be watered when the leaves start to develop a wrinkled texture where in winter it can mean only watering such a plant every two to three weeks.

Jade plants can also be grown from even a single leaf of another, with cuttings being able to be taken at any time of the year and should be put in sandy and well-drained soil.

As a bonsai, the jade plant makes a great plant to choose from for anyone, especially those who are beginners with bonsai. It can be either an indoor or outdoor bonsai. With being an indoor bonsai it is suggested that the bonsai should be by a window where it’ll get plenty of sunlight, but it isn’t needed to be done.

Jade plants themselves can be styled into any bonsai form, and notably are fantastic for full cascade style as horizontal branches tend to droop due to their own weight. Forest is another good bonsai style for this plant due to the small amount of water needed.

The jade plant itself is becoming popular in use for Feng Shui. The southeast of a home is the area for wealth and prosperity, which is where one would place a jade plant due to this plants symbolism of prosperity.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Totems: Rat

The rat in western society has a bad reputation due to the plague that ravaged Europe, but this small creature as a totem has great lessons.

Adaptability is a major lesson of the rat seeing the importance of being able to adapt. It is the rat who has become a successful animal thanks to its adaptability, helping it survive well both in rural and urban environments. An ability to deal with change and adapt is what this lovely little creature is great at and for one’s own survival adaptability will prove highly useful.

Resourcefulness are also a lesson of the rat, as its needed to deal with various problems one may and will come across during their life. The rat uses it resourcefulness to its advantage as much as possible, and a part of the reason rats are still around is due to their great resourcefulness that they put into use.

Survival is what one may call an unusual lesson but it proves its worth. The rat is known to survive in all sorts of conditions and those with a rat as their totem are said to be survivors. When many rats are around in an area people do set traps and place poison for rats, the thing is that if one gets in a trap or eats poison the rat communicates to the other rats not to fall for the trap or to eat the poison. It is in this way it is not survival just for itself, but for others too.

Offerings to the rat can include many things. Fruits, grains, and vegetables to name a few. It all comes down to what is enjoyed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Pronounced  as ‘Har-ghawl-arz’ or ’Haw-gaw-laws’ and the English equivalent of it is the letter H, Hagalaz is the rune when reversed looks exactly the same.

Hagalaz translates to hail with its colour being light blue and element water. Associated gods of this rune is Urd and Loki along with a association with the gem onyx and to the ash tree.

The hours of Hagalaz is 20:30 to 21:30 with the time period of this rune being the 28th of October to the 13th   of November.

Runes are at times used as talismans, Hagalaz is a talisman for removing unwanted influences and a seemingly never ending cycle of destruction.

It is this rune that suggests misfortune and disruption, even of an event that can come as a shock or surprise. An unexpected change may happen, however, over time a positive outcome may be realized after much negativity.
Challenges are what may come along, to which must be faced head on and the greater the challenger the more to be gained in overcoming it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Double Ninth Festival

On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month the Double Ninth Festival occurs.

The number nine in itself is a lucky number to the Chinese and has historically be associated with the Emperor of China whose robes would often have nine dragons on it. Nine is also a homophone for the word ‘longlasting’ but on the ninth day of the ninth month it is said that there is too much Yang, or masculinity, making the Double Ninth Festival a potentially dangerous day.

The origin of this holiday is probably from Han dynasty China where on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month the emperor and his attendants would wear the zhuyu plant (also known as the Japanese cornel),
eat rice cakes and drink chrysanthemum wine to dispel bad omens. It is said that the empress of Han Gaozu killed one of Gaozu’s concubines. The attendant of the concubine was dismissed from the palace of the emperor and married a civilian where the attendant continued the practice which lead to the Double Ninth Festival.

Appreciating chrysanthemum flowers along with drinking chrysanthemum wine are traditional of the Double Ninth Festival. Chrysanthemum wine is said to have many benefits both physically and spiritually.
 The ninth lunar month is known as the month of chrysanthemum by many.

A rice cake known as Double Ninth cake, chrysanthemum cake and flower cake are traditionally eaten this day and are called ‘gao’. Gao is a homophone for height, creating a link between this type of rice cake and customary mountain hiking. The mountain hiking is symbolic of climbing to higher position, of an increase in health, happiness and prosperity.

Back in 1989 the Chinese government made the Double Ninth Festival a day for seniors, calling it Seniors Day and from then on people will organize trips for their elders. People also give gives to their seniors during this day.

Families also get together and this festival is also an occasion to remember ancestors. Family outings do happen during the Double Ninth Festival with nature being greatly appreciated.