Monday, October 31, 2011

Public Holiday

At the end of the month once more, Halloween has gone mostly uncelebrated here in Australia yet again for another year. To think tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day, being the first day of the month; weeding will probably be the goal of tomorrow rather watching horses race.

A public holiday it shall be; and one that may provide a helpful one. Being interested in my own ancestry, I have been trying to get more information about my family heritage. Tomorrow may prove a good day to see family, in which useful information may be passed down to this youth who knows so little about his ancestors.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Zhao Gongming

Zhao Gongming , also known as Cai Shen, Zhang Gong Ming and Tsai Sheng Yeh is the deity that brings good fortune and protection from disasters. He is typically depicted riding a black tiger, with a thick beard and dark face. Zhao Gongming holds a gold ingot within his hands.

A benevolent and compassionate god, he will answer all prayers to him. Zhao Gongming’s name is often invoked during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year on the first day.

Originally a hermit who used magic to support the collapsing Shang Dynasty, his enemy, Jiang Ziya, killed him. Jiang Ziya later felt guilt for killing Zhao Gongming, apologizing for his actions in a temple and canonizing Zhao Gongming as a god of wealth.

Zhao Gongming is also said to have originally been a god of the underworld, yet was appointed by the Jade Emperor as a marshal of an altar. The new responsibilities were for trading and wealth within the mortal world.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Totems: Squirrel

Squirrels are little mammals proving to be a common sight to many. Of the land it calls home it is also common for it to be found in one’s own garden, and even taking its time to use houses to their advantage whatever way it may be.

The lesson of balance is of the squirrel. One can easily prepare to little or too much, and as such the squirrel teaches to find a balance in one’s own life. In gathering and giving out, balance must also be learnt as the squirrel tells.

In extension of balance, knowing time to play is what this totem teaches, to be able to lighten up and to not take life so seriously; to know how to have a good time. Just as there is time for work, there is time for fun. Enjoying life is what the squirrel teaches.

Preparedness is of need as the squirrel notes. Change may be soon or of a distance, but is to come regardless. Being prepared is of importance, with properly getting prepared of need. Preparedness may not be needed immediately, but surely will be a need.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lemon Eucalyptus

Corymbia citriodora is the botanical name of what is known more commonly as lemon-scented gum, blue spotted gum and lemon Eucalyptus. It however may be referred to as Eucalyptus citriodora. Its common name comes from the lemon smelling crown. Its bark is smooth and pale, with uniform or slightly mottled bark that is white to coppery in summer.

Lemon Eucalyptus is known to be drought and frost tolerant, but also tolerates salt-laden coastal winds. If fire damages this plant, it will regenerate its foliage. Growing a lemon Eucalyptus is possible in containers, but being a tree pruning of branches and roots will be a need. Full sun and well-drained soil shall be needed. Fertilizing isn’t a must for this specific plant as it naturally occurs in nutrient poor soils, where it can grow in soils ranging from sand to clay.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christmas Is Coming

Time flying fast, it already nearing the close to October 2011. Christmas is coming within a few short months and people are already buying candy canes, with people also wondering why Christmas related items are already being sold. Christmas related items have been on sale for what period of time as of now? A week? Two? Maybe even three in some cases? With the weather as it is, it reminds more of the transition between winter and spring rather summer. Although weather is warming in Australia, Christmas certainly isn’t priority.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Bixia Yuanjin

Bixia Yuanjin is the goddess of dawn, wind, destiny and childbirth, and who has the fertility goddess Songzi Niangniang as an attendant.  Her father is the god Tai Shan Wang, whom is the ruler of the seventh court of Feng Du.  Veneration of Bixia Yuanjin takes place at the Temple of the Purple Dawn on the summit of the mountain Tai Shan.

Also known as “Princess of Clouds”, Bixia Yuanjin sends her followers messages through clouds. She is also called “Princess of the Rosy Clouds”, “Princess of the Azure Clouds”, and “Jade Woman”. As a goddess of childbirth, Bixia Yuanjun attends each person’s birth to bestow good health and fortune to the person.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eight Trigrams: Lake

Dui is the name of the lake trigram, with a broken upper line, and unbroken middle and lower lines. Youngest daughters, females up to fifteen and female shamans are all people representing the very trigram.

The lake trigram has connections with pleasures and all good that is in life. Gravity and qi are symbols of this trigram. Psychic abilities, feng shui and astrology are also associated with Dui. Creativity is much expressed by Dui where it is a symbol of creative endeavours itself.

Metal is Dui’s element, while spicy its flavour and touch its sense. Monkeys, deer, sheep and mice are the animals of this trigram, with any weed its plant. Autumn is the time of the year for Dui and red its colour. West is its direction in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Totems: Crane

There are a number of species of crane in the world, about fifteen, but as a totem they teach the same lessons. Such a bird is a symbol of longevity and good fortune. To the Greeks, the crane is the sacred creature of the god Apollo and is associated with the Scottish goddess Caileach.

The crane teaches of the celebration of one’s own creative resources, and to keep them ‘alive’ so to speak. The crane teaches doing such can be done by having focus in one’s life.

To focus on the most important project is taught by the crane. While there may be a number of projects to focus on at once, it is taught to focus not on multiple projects but simply one. This bird tells not to divide attention between such.

Remaining in secrecy is needed at times, the crane tells. Just as cranes are highly secretive in rearing their young, one may have to be secretive about something themselves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Common Correa

Correa reflexa is the botanical name of the plant commonly called Common Correa and Native Fuchsia. It is an Australian plant that originally given the botanical name of Mazeutoxeron reflexum in 1800, but the species was transferred to the genus Correa in 1803.

This plant typically grows in the eastern states of Australia and is known for its variations in colour for its flowers. The flowers may be green, crimson or pink in colour. Flowering is from winter to spring.

The Common Correa tends to be a hairy plant, especially new growth, with its hairs often a rusty colour. Growing typically one to two metres tall, some are known to grow up to three metres tall. Common Correa is not best suited for tropical areas, needing semi shade and well-drained soil to survive.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Pan Jin Lan

Pan Jin Lian is the goddess of forication and prostitution, whom is also known as P’an Chin Lien. Highly beautiful, Pan Jin Lian married a short man known as Wu Dalang, whom the couple had moved from one residence to another to avoid gossip.

When Pan Jin Lian and Wu Dalang moved to a place called Yanggu, where Wu Dalang met his brother Wu Song (whom became famous for killing a man eating tiger with his bare hands). Wu Dalang introduced his wife to Wu Song. Pan Jin Lian became attracted to her brother in law and attempted to seduce Wu Song, but was rejected.

Wu Song took an assignment to transport gold to another country to avoid the advances of Pan Jin Lan. After the completion of the assignment, Wu Song learns his brother has died from an apparent illness. Suspicious, Wu Song had taken investigations. It was learnt through these investigations that Pan Jin Lan had an affair with a rich and lustful merchant called Ximen Qing.

Wu Song also learnt how Pan Jin Lan murdered Wu Dalang and became the fifth mistress of Ximen Qing. Taking matters into his own hands, Wu Song got a confession out of Pan Jin Lan and murdered her. Ximen Qing was later fought and killed by Wu Song.

It was through these events that Pan Jin Lan became a goddess, with her murderer not being punished due to what Pan Jin Lan had done herself.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eight Trigrams: Mountain

Gen is the name of the mountain trigram. It has an unbroken upper line, while the middle and lower lines are broken. Being the trigram of the mountain, Gen is of the earth element. Children in general are of Gen, especially males up the age of fifteen. The youngest son is of the mountain trigram alongside bachelors.

The mountain trigram is referred to as “The Stable” and is of a quietly passive nature. Of hidden strength and concealed intellect, Gen is the trigram also called “The Revolutionary”. Gen is the trigram of inner nature, of one’s true self. Gen is the trigram that gives message of allowing oneself to become refreshed.
Symbolically sweetness is the taste of Gen while taste the sense. The stomach, spleen, fingers and hands are represented in health by this very trigram. Oaks and walnut trees are the plants of the mountain trigram, with dogs and birds the animals.

White is Gen’s colour and early morning being time of day. Late winter and early spring are the time of year for the mountain trigram, with the direction of northeast for the Northern Hemisphere and southeast in the Southern Hemisphere.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Totems: Mouse

The mouse is a creature seen as pet and pest. It is a small animal which many loathe, but is also loved through the form of the character Micky Mouse. The mouse is a mammal smaller than the rat and just as recognizable.

The most important lesson which the mouse teaches is to look at the world at great detail without over analysing it. It is taught to look for what is hidden, what is overlooked by others. Many easily do not notice what is near them, even what is in front of them, and as such awareness of one’s surroundings shall be of topic of this totem.

Related to the teaching of how to look at the world in detail, the mouse teaches about slowing down to look at a situation or project and assess it. The most obvious or best situation may not be easily noticed itself, so looking at the situation is of great use.

Being an animal with the ability to get into small areas, the mouse has no shame in teaching of how even the toughest problems can be bypassed by looking at the possibilities. This totem tells that it is possible to get passed a problem providing much trouble, all it takes is a good look at what one can do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Strawberries are commonly grown within gardens. They are perennials, but do get treated as annuals by some, with its fruit not being an actual berry but rather something known as an accessory fruit. Interestingly, the strawberry is a hybrid species with a botanical name of Fragaria x ananassa.

A sun lover, it is best to grow the strawberry in well drained sandy or loamy soil. Propagation of the strawberry is quite simple; they have runners which over time and under the right conditions can take over a garden. If one does not have a strawberry plant, they are easy to find in nurseries and garden centres. Weeds can prove to be a problematic competitor to strawberries if allowed to grow, so rid of any weed as soon as possible.

Pest wise, any small creature will tend to have a go at strawberries. Birds, mice, and rabbits will all take strawberries, but slugs can be an issue. Mesh can be used to deal with birds and small mammals, while with slugs one can use a repellent or the classic beer in a saucer, although one may be careful using beer as some animals may drink it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flowers And Statues

Me being me, I decided to go out and have one of those lovely walks. It rids of time and allows for exercise to say the least. Of course one may be able to expect to see certain things, but some days don’t seem to wish to play in similar fashion. Of all days I ended up finding flowers that has been picked. It wasn’t simply one or two, but several dozen. Unusual to my eyes, but the colours proved to be of attraction.

One could go on about finding many picked flowers found in an area, but something a little nicer has been found. A statue of a Buddhist monk, its robe coloured red with black specs here and there and with skin golden. Misfortune came to the fact that the very statue seemed to have gotten a scrap on the back of its head, taking away some of the golden skin and leaving a pure white dent. Interesting find to say the least; luck had that I had my bag with me. Now the very statue is sitting within a bedroom, although what will happen to it seems uncertain.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Bishamon

Bishamonten, or simply Bishamon, is the god of treasure, wealth, warriors and war. He is best known as the god of war and is a protector of Dharma. Due to being the god of wealth and treasure it shouldn’t be a surprise that Bishamon is one of Japan’s Seven Lucky Gods. Symbolically, black is the colour of Bishamon and his season is of winter. As such, he is known as the “Black Warrior”.

Bishamon is also the god dealing with defence against foreign invaders and of healing, whom is known to reward followers with riches, good fortune and even children. Bishamon can be identified as wearing armour and often depicted standing atop of a demon or two, although may be shown with a halberd, lance or baton. He often is depicted with a spear in his right hand and a pagoda in his left.

Bishamon is also considered a deva, with it being pronounced “ten” in Japanese and is at times referred to as Bishamon-ten. He is also the chief of a group known as the Four Heavenly Kings, and is Guardian of the North. At times, Bishamon is called Tamonten (meaning “listening to many teachings”) due to being viewed as a guardian of the places of where the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, preached.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Eight Trigrams: Fire

The trigram of fire, or Li, is represented by unbroken upper and lower lines while the middle line is. Middle daughters and women aged between sixteen and thirty are represented by this trigram. Being the trigram of fire, its element is obviously of fire. Red and purple happens to be the colour of Li.

Known as “The Clinging”, this trigram is of heat and light. It is also of representation of intellect and illumination.  Li tells of awareness and clarity, of how one is subjected to the influences of the earth. The fire trigram is in relation to liberation of the self, of one’s true nature.
Health wise, Li is of the eyes, tongue, heart, small intestines and the circulatory system. Its specific sense is smell while flavour bitter. All birds that fly, along with animals with hard shells and specifically the peacock are animals of the fire trigram.

The maple tree, cherries, roses and hollow trees in general are plants of this trigram. Noon is its time of day, while midsummer the season. Its direction is south in the Northern Hemisphere and north in the Southern Hemisphere.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Totems: Skunk

The skunk is best known for its smell and is recognisable by its colouration and shape of tail. While many people tend to try to keep away from skunks, some keep them as a pet which often means ridding of the gland that allows for this creature to make its well-known smell.

This totem teaches how to not only give respect, but how to expect respect and even demand it. Respect to the skunk is important, both in giving and in receiving. The skunk sees no problem in demanding respecting and doing what is needed to gain it.
The skunk is an animal that keeps to itself, and as such gives teaching in not to boast. It may seem to be a wise idea, it may seem to attract positive attention, but it simply rids of people rather attract. Boasting is not of good use, and will only provide the impression of arrogance.

Learning to gain balance in how to attract and repel people will come from the skunk totem, and how to make good use of such. Reminders of time to be with people and to be in solitude shall come from the skunk. Just as there is use in attracting and repelling people, so is there in knowing the time and place to be around people.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Peaches come in an array of varieties and choosing a specific type of peach to raise truly comes down to what one’s availability is. With the botanical name of Prunus persica, it is considered a plant not hard to grow with peach trees being a very rewarding plant to grow due to the fruit it produces. Peaches can be susceptible to disease and pests, with an open eye needed for any that come to be.
It should be noted that if one raises peach trees from seed it can be expected that the fruit from such plants to be of a different quality to the parent plant. Raising from seed truly involves luck.
If one does choose to grow peaches from seed, the whole pit can be planted. If the whole pit is planted, it is best to plant it in autumn. However, if one decides to crack open the hard shell the seed can be planted in spring. Planting multiple peach seeds is best to increase the likelihood of a peach tree sprouting.
Pruning of peach trees is best done in late winter. It helps keep the tree not only healthy and in a wanted shape, but also productive with its fruit. Any crossing branches should be pruned along with unneeded stems. The shorter new growth is best removed, while longer growth should be trimmed back.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Closed Road

It is some days that leave people rather confused in what to do, with boredom often popping up in the dull day. I had one of these days, with nothing to do and time to waste. The solution? Going to a road possessed with the status of being closed for years. Getting to the road may have proved a slight annoyance, but proved to be of worth with the chance of looking within an abandoned building.
Being in an area quiet, filled with plants and fields of grass. The tiny company I had was cattle that were in a small fenced off area, whom best be left to enjoy peace. Walking along the road, alone and not knowing what to expect, a feeling of eeriness came to the light of day. A beautiful day, yet eerie.
Traffic was not to be heard, nor people. Only birds and the one or two trains. Fear would have shivered within if any sounds of man was heard nearby. To think vehicles would have been an occasional sight on the very road, now it is only memories of such remaining.
Looking into the fields, an old wooden building expected to be seen never showed to the eyes. Scattered wood, close in proximity, laid wet and weak within a field. If any building was to be found, it would have been the wood laying on the ground. Saddening to think a building forgotten by many has fallen.
The peaceful nature of the area had to be left eventually. The road may have contained eeriness, an ability to sooth was alongside it. Leaving the road now unseen by those who used to use it, the road itself proved to be a place to go for peace.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Hel

Hel is the goddess of the underworld, ruling over the Underworld called Helheim. The daughter of the deity Loki and giantess Angrboda, Hel is ugly and half-dead, described as half alive and half dead. Not a pretty face, but is a notable goddess as her name gave the English word of ‘hell’.
Originally raised in Asgard with her father Loki, the underworld of Helheim was given to Hel as a domain. With Helheim as Hel’s domain, she decided the fate of the souls who entered her domain whom are all who die unless one died heroically in battle. It was the god Odin whom gave Hel Helheim, so as a gift to Odin, Hel gave him two ravens (Huginn and Muninn).
Helheim, being named after Hel herself, is where the dead are judged. The evil are banished to a realm of freezing death. Those who die peacefully of old age or illness, children and women who died in childbirth are watched over by Hel. Those who chose a path not of war and violence are reborn.
When the god Baldar died and went to Hel’s domain, a feast was held to welcome Baldar. It was begged of Hel to release Baldar from death, and agreed under the conditions that if every creature on earth mourned for Baldar. All mourned, except for an old giantess called Thokk (who was Loki in disguise).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Eight Trigrams: Water

The water trigram is known as Kan, with its upper and lower lines broken but middle unbroken. Kan is the representation of middle sons, males aged between sixteen and thirty, sailors and fishermen. The element of this trigram is obviously water, with the sense and flavour of the water trigram being hearing and salty respectively.
The water trigram Kan is known as “The Dangerous”, “The Abysmal” and “The Depth”. It represents the risks one takes in life, but also times in life where it is felt that one is going into the unknown. If this trigram had to be a person, it would be someone whom is socially and outwardly gentle but within of high strength.
Kan has the time of day being night, and as such has the colour of black. Being considered a trigram of things cool, winter is no surprise to be the season of Kan. In the Northern Hemisphere, the direction of this trigram is north, while in the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is true with the direction of Kan being south.