Friday, December 30, 2011

Totems: Horse

The horse are known for their speed and racing capacities. Strength comes along with this large creature, where it is able to send a kick that could easily send a person into unconsciousness or worse.

As a powerful creature, it teaches to go into new directions, to learn what is there; to learn one’s own power within, one’s own freedoms. As one learns one’s own power and freedoms, it is also taught by the horse to ask if one is able or need to move and if one is allowing others to do so.

Horses are social beings, knowing that team work and learning from others whom one works with. The horse totem teaches the power of working together, of how it makes a load easier to deal with. As working with others also allows for learning oppurtunities, the horse tells of how gaining knowledge is a positive outcome from working with others.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dull Story

Having a day out can be an enjoyable experience, but there are at times frustrating moments. Days out are best when all goes to plan, perhaps an a little moment during the day was an amusing one. And a lovely experience can be told by me. A hooray for random story-telling!

As all good dull stories start, I was in a car at the traffic lights waiting for the red light to turn green. Walking on the sidewalk was a couple holding hands, and me being me took notice (another hooray for me rarely seeing people hold hands). Out of the odds of this happening, I was noticed taking notice. The couple consisting of two males, it is no surprise it was taken the wrong way. One of the two arrogantly spoke in a loud voice, “Yeah, we’re gay guys.” Nothing else was said, the couple continued walking and the traffic lights conveniently turned green.

Thankfully only a snarky comment was made, yet it is such words that will create a fight. They say first impressions are important, and one person gave a ‘fantastic’ one today. Bonus points for giving a ‘good’ example of the gay community.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Certain Time of The Year

It being that time of the year, the usual post is not here. Huzzah! It being Christmas, I was going to take a Christmas related photograph for a certain other blog. Loveliest part, I have yet to mention the fact I have been doing the 365 Project on this blog for the last two months since I have started. This certainly goes to show that I can be lazy.

Problem is, I didn’t take a photo of anything Christmas related for the 365 Project, but rather of a gourd. Why a gourd? I told myself, “I’ll take a photo of this gourd, so at least I have taken a photo for the 365 Project.” Good thing, as I got lazy with taking a Christmas themed photo.

With the gourd I photographed, a day or two ago I decided to shake the gourds I have which are of process of drying. One made a rattling sound; one gourd has finished drying and just before Christmas. It still needs a cleaning, yes. When it will be cleaned, have the top of it cut off and its innards taken out I am not sure. Regardless of what happened to this gourd, I’ll probably simply turn to referring it as “The Christmas Gourd”. Will it serve as a reminder to not be lazy? Possibly, it’s certainly not unlikely.

As for how Christmas has been, it has been a simple day yet nice in its own way, with it coming to a close in Australia I happen to live in the area where it has begun raining within the last hour. The storm shall bring plenty of rain and loud thunder, but it is better to get rain over a overly hot day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Totems: Possum

The possum is a small creature of Australia, whom often isn’t seen during the day. A generally quiet being that has been introduced to New Zealand and have caused damage compared to the rabbit or cane toad to Australia.

It teaches to keep in persistence in what one tries to achieve. A goal may not be completed soon, and not giving up is needed to achieve in what one wishes to do. Results shall be eventually, it is simply a matter of time.

The power of quietness is taught by the possum totem, where it knows that at times being quiet is best. Quietness is not a bad thing, and can be used to get around certain things rather use something else such as one’s wits.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum is the botanical name of what is commonly called Japanese Maple, a popular plant grown ornamentally in gardens. For those who grow bonsai, the Japanese maple is also a popular choice for a plant.

Japanese maples also come in multiple varieties and as such size, leaf colour and shape can vary. Height, depending on varieties can be 0.5m to 25m tall and growing conditions should be learnt of the specific variety of Japanese maple before obtaining it as growing conditions may be different to as expected.

Aphids can be a problem for this tree along with sunlight. Sunlight itself can be tolerated by several varieties of Japanese maple, but many prefer a bit of shade and generally can grow in complete shade. Slightly alkaline to acidic soils are tolerated, along with clay, loam and sand soils.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mourning Ravens

Ravens aren’t the most uncommon sight as I have learnt. They are able to live well in urban areas and on occasion it is quite possible to get close to one or two. As ravens have taken to the urban environment, so have the risks of being within one.

Sadly, a part of life in an urban environment is being careful with vehicles. It is not even uncommon for birds to accidently not get out of the way of a vehicle in time, and sadly today it seems to have happened to a raven.

Upon a street light a number of ravens were upon a street light cawing, even with one or two with their wings extended. It was as if they were mourning the death of a fellow raven killed by a vehicle on the road, although just safety upon a street light where they would unlikely be disturbed by walking pedestrian or vehicle. The ravens were loud with their cawing and constant, a thing which catches your attention. A sight that may not be rare, but it remains unusual and thought provoking.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Chalchiuhtlicue

Chalchiuhtlicue is the goddess of love, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, baptisms, youth and beauty and wife of the rain deity Tlaloc. Her name means “Woman/She of the Jade Skirt”, simply “Jade Skirt” or “Lady of the Precious Green”.

A patroness of women in labour, children and new-borns, protection was also given to fishermen by Chalchiuhtlicue. As an Aztec goddess one could easily assume Chalchiuhtlicue enjoys human sacrifice, but has a preference for flowers.

She came from fruit-laden prickly pear tree that was standing in a river. The previous Fourth Sun, or Fifth World, was what Chalchiuhtlicue ruled over, and was destroyed by flooding by this goddess. Fortune was on the side of some for they were transformed into fish by Chalchiuhtlicue and survived the flooding.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Totems: Dog

Dogs are known for their various breeds and even high amount of loyalty to their owners. Throughout the various breeds of this animal, lessons of this totem are highly similar although breeds may teach lessons specific to its breed.

Being an animal of loyalty, the dog teaches loyalty to those trusted and to do what possible for those loyal towards. Loyalty often comes hand-in-hand with companionship and being a needed companion to those one is loyal to is also taught.

The dog totem asks to look at the qualities of the self. What qualities are needed to be worked on? Is one judgmental or forgiving? What of being faithful and loving? Do such qualities need to be worked upon themselves?

To show kindness and love even in the likes of mistreatment may be difficult, but it is often the best way to respond as the dog tells. Being weary of others taking advantage of one’s kindness and love should still exist, for there is always that one person willing to abuse the kindness and love of others.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Silver Birch

Betula pendula, or as it is more commonly called, Silver Birch, is a plant often used ornamentally in gardens. Its white bark and drooping shoots are often what this plant is grown for. The silver birch is the national tree of Finland.

As a medium sized deciduous tree, its height is typically between 15-25m but can grow up to 40m. The trunk is usually under 40cm in diameter but can be up to 1m. Black diamond shaped marks are usually on this plant with larger black patches typically at its base.

Silver birch is highly susceptible to pests. However, it requires little maintenance and is easy to grow.

A plant to grow in either partial or full sun and in light sand to heavy clay; the pH of the soil it is growing in should be between 5.5 and 8.
Well-drained loam soils, full sun and pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is preferred by this plant. It is a wind tolerant plant that grows fast but is short lived.

Monday, December 12, 2011

God Likes Lambs

When it comes to reading religious texts, certain little things occasionally stand out. It can be interesting to say the least. And congratulations to me for actually opening the Bible for once, it is nice to actually have a look in one after such an extended length of time. But the Bible being the Bible, something within it is surely going to stand out.

To the point, it is Numbers 28. I knew already about the burnt offerings and how God apparently enjoys the aromas of such; but it seems God also enjoys his one year old lambs without defects. In the daily, Sabbath, monthly, Passover and Festival of Weeks offerings, these one year old lambs lacking in defects are enjoyed. Quite a bit of lamb to be offered, especially so if it is on a daily basis.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Kebechet

Kebechet, or Qebehet, is the daughter of the god Anubis and his wife Anput. A deity whose name means “cooling water”, she is depicted as a snake or with a woman with the head of a snake and on occasion got depicted as a snake with a body of stars. Kebechet is also known to occasionally take form of an ostrich.

Kebechet is a deity that deals with the embalming liquid, helping her father Anubis with the tasks of mummification. She refreshed and purified the hearts of the deceased using pure water contained within four jars.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Totems: Monkey

See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. That is a saying greatly associated with the monkey, with this creature being viewed differently from culture to culture. India has its own monkey god, Hanuman. China on the other hand, has Sun Wukong. Both are well known to the world.

The monkey as a totem teaches to not spread rumours and to not be quick to judge what is seen. What is seen is not always as it seems, nor are rumours something of certain fact. Rumours and judging isn’t the way to go.

To observe surroundings and allow expression of interest of one’s environment is not a bad thing. The monkey knows it can be useful. Taking interest and observing is a good way to learn, as not all that is told with words are the best way to learn.

Looking at both the lighter and darker sides of life is not of all negativity. Just as there is a kind world, a cruel world is also all around. The monkey knows and teaches to look at both, not just one side or the other.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cat Grass

Cat Grass is a plant that gives cats essential vitamins and minerals, which can easily be missing from their diets if spent indoors. For cats, it is eaten for its nutritional value and is known to be suitable to be fed to dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits.

The botanical name of cat grass is Dactylis glomerata and is an annual which fruits in late summer. It is also a frost tender plant which can be grown within small containers. At 7-10cm, cat grass is ready to be consumed and be used as a distraction from nibbling on houseplants.

If grown indoors, the seeds can be sown all year round and do not have to worry about frost. However, as a plant growing indoors it needs to be placed by a well lit window and turned daily. Grown outdoors, sowing is to occur within spring, summer or autumn. Cat grass grown outdoors should be kept out of both full sun and shade, where it is best grown in semi-shade.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hooray For The News

News in Australia has lately been dealing with a single teenager. Constantly hearing about this fourteen year old whenever the news is on gets rather dull to say the least. He went to Bali, got arrested for carrying cannabis, and spent two months in custody before getting to come back to Australia a bit earlier. Sounds lovely.

Anyhow, congratulations to the teenager for his fifteen minutes of fame.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Loki

Loki is the son of Farbauti and Laufey, having two siblings, Helblindi and Byleistr. Later on in life, Loki gets pregnant himself and gave birth to the eight legged horse Sleipnir. Loki is one whom at times helps the gods, while at other times doesn’t.

A trickster god, Loki has three wives and has the ability to transform into many forms. Although he has three wives, Loki takes whatever opportunity to take advantage of any goddess he could. Loki notably is currently being punished for eternity for causing the death of Baldur, at least until Ragnarok occurs.

The three wives of Loki are Glut (who bore the daughters Einmyria and Eisa), Angrobda (who bore the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jormungand and the goddess Hel) and Sigyn (who bore the sons Narvi and Vali).

A story of Loki often told is how he caused the death of the peace god Baldur. It was Loki whom upon learning Baldur’s weakness (mistletoe), got the blind god Hod to shoot Baldur with mistletoe, killing the god. If all earthly things mourned the death of Baldur he would be brought back to life, to the misfortune of Baldur an old hag refused to mourn his death. This old hag turned out to be Loki in disguise.

While Loki is in bonds as punishment for what he did to Baldur, his wife Sigyn collects venom that falls from a serpent. When the bowl is full it is emptied, with whatever venom that drips on Loki in the meantime causing Loki to writhe in pain and cause earthquakes. When Ragnarok comes, Loki is to slip free from his bonds and fight against the gods, where he and Heimdallr shall kill each other.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Totems: Penguin

Penguins are the swimming birds with well known black and white feathers. Although a bird, it cannot fly but rather is a great swimmer. Penguins also are able to jump out of water and land onto their feet.

The penguin totem teaches of lucid dreaming and astral projection. To harness the power of either or both may be difficult, but for the penguin it is useful. As a bird, the penguin is known to symbolically go inbetween worlds, from the land to sea and vice versa.

Being a bird of high specialisation, the penguin of course teaches the usefulness of specialisation itself. The most important factor of specialisation deals with career, although over-specialisation and under-specialisation may be issues that need to be raised.

There are times for work and times for play, or at least this is what the penguin tells. One cannot simply play all the time, nor can one simply work 24/7. It is a matter of balancing both out, as both is needed one way or another.