Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diospyros kaki

Diospyros kaki has multiple common names including Japanese Persimmon, Asian Persimmon and Kaki Persimmon. It gives off orange fruits during the autumn that gains more flavour as it ripens near the end of the season. It tends to grow 4m high and 5m wide.

It is a deciduous tree that requires full sun and in hotter weather watering at least once a week. They have some tolerance of wet winters and dry summers. Its growth is moderate. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gods And Goddesses: Palden Lhamo

Palden Lhamo is a protector goddess and the only female amongst the Eight Dharama Protectors or Eight Guardians of the Law. She has deep blue skin, red hair and three eyes. She also rides a white mule. Palden Lhamo often holds a skull cup filled with blood and carries a bag made of human skin filled with disease she has collected from those who have invoked her. She is also the protector of the Dalai Lama.

Having a son who was raised to do away with Buddhism, Palden Lhamo was keen to put an end to this. She eventually was able to do it, flaying him, eating his flesh and drank his blood using his skull for a cup. Her sons flayed skin was used as a saddle clothe. The father of the son was unhappy with this and shot at Palden Lhamo at his soonest chance, hitting the mules rump giving it a permanent lump.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Totem: Snail

Snails are familiar creatures known for their shells and for being a pest to many gardens. They are eaten by many species of animal.

As the snail is slow it gathers its patience, teaching others to do the same. Patience is described as a virtue and it is the snail who wishes to see more of it.

Just as patience is taught, the snail also teaches to allow to life pass by. The snail teaches that it is okay to slow down and appreciate what is in the surroundings.

As a vulnerable creature, the snail needs to find ways to protect itself and teaches to find ways to protect the self. Danger shall come and go, where protection can be greatly helpful. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Common Fig/Black Genoa

Ficus carica is a type of fig that is called Common Fig and Black Genoa; it is a fast growing plant which is self-fertile and deciduous. Its fruits are purple skinned and with red flesh. It tends to grow 3-5m high and 4-5m wide.

This plant requires full sun and in colder areas may require frost protection but once established gain resistance to all but the harshest weather conditions. Clay soils are acceptable to this plant as long as they are well drained. Minimal level of care can be given to this plant thanks to its hardiness.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gods And Goddesses: Shu

Shu is the god of the air and son of Atum. His sister is Tefnut whom is also his lover, fathering Nut and Geb with Tefnut. The meaning of the name “Shu” is “he who rises up”.  As god who deals with the air, it was the sailors who prayed to him for good winds.

It was Shu’s children Nut (the sky) and Geb (the earth) who embraced each other. Shy intervened by separating the two, holding Nut above Geb and thus allowing life to flourish. This put Shu in a position of holding the sky in place.

Ra was the first divine ruler, the second was Shu. The demon Apep however plotted Shu’s downfall and sent an attack. Shu was able to defeat Apep and his followers, yet Shu became ill and in this state his son Geb turned against him. Shu however gave rule to Geb and returned to the skies to protect the sun and to have daily battle with Apep.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Totem: Echidna

Echidnas are an egg laying mammal, sharing this feature with only with another Australian animal, the platypus. It eats ants and termites, uses its spines as protection and typically a solitary animal.

Just as the echidna has spines on its back as protection, it teaches to watch ones own back in situations which become uncomfortable or with a future that is unknown.

To go out of the comfort zone is at times required for one reason or another, the echidna promotes to do so as this animal sees it as a way to grow. 

Paying attention to the smaller things in life is what echidna teaches to do, as looking at the larger picture can give an idea looking at finer details gives more details. Doing so can bring benefits in some shape or form.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Common Hazel

The Common Hazel is a fruiting tree, giving off what is known as the hazelnut. It is botanically known as Corylus avellana. In width and height it typically grows to about 5m and fruits over the summer, allowing for the picking of its fruit in late summer and in autumn. It is self-fertile, using both male and female flowers to pollinate by wind.

It is a deciduous tree that is hardy, being able to grow in sand, loam and clay soils regardless if they are acidic, neutral or alkaline but does prefer moist soils. The common hazel can tolerate strong wind yet has a dislike for acidic soils and a lack of tolerance to frost.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gods And Goddesses: Xipe

Xipe-Totec or simply Xipe is the Aztec god of disease, spring and agriculture. He wears flayed skins and each spring people were flayed alive in his honour. Xipe is the son of Ometecuhtli and he is the patron of goldsmiths. His name means “Our Lord the Flayed One”.

The Aztec month of Tlacaxipeualiztli had Xipe as the patron of it, with the name of the month meaning “The act of wearing skins”. The month itself occurred during March. A hymn called Yoalli Tlauana, or Night Drinker, was sung in honour of Xipe as the good rains during the night.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Totem: Lynx

The lynx is a time of feline with notable tufts of black fur on the tips of the ears. All lynx have white fur on their chests and bellies.

This animal is a creature of being alone, one which takes time to teach how to understand the secrets and to be secretive in itself. The lynx knows the power of being secretive and wishes to teach.

Caution and vigilance is to be a thing to acquire, where much in life can be easily disregarded yet can prove important later on. The lynx keeps ahead and gives both caution and vigilance; it shall teach how to do so.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Mandarins, also called mandarin oranges, is a type of citrus with easy to peel fruit. They are a small growing evergreen tree reaching 3-4m in both height and width. They are self-fertile and they tend to give a good amount of crop from a single tree. Botanically they are called Citrus reticulata. A well-known variety of the mandarin is the tangerine.
This plant is hardy and easy to grow, being able to grow in either full sun or partial shade but will yield less fruit if in partial shade. Preference is towards fertile, loamy soils but will grow in sand and heavy clay. Mandarins do require good drainage as waterlogging isn’t tolerated.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gods And Goddesses: Shani

Shani is a celestial being known as a Navagraha who embodies the planet Saturn. Shani is the son of Surya and Chhaya and cousin of the death god Yama. He is the lord of Saturday.  Shani is dark in skin and will destroy the person if angered and is pleased by the donation of oil to beggars. Shani is known to reward and punish those on actions.

Hanuman once rescued Shani and for this reason anyone who prays to Hanuman, especially on Saturdays, will have the effects of Saturn softened or becoming null.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Totem: Jaguar

The jaguar is one of the largest felines in the world and from the America’s. It physically takes resemblance to the leopard but tend to have a build which is studier and is typically larger. Their lessons are similar to both the leopard and panther, and as such their lessons should be looked into.

The jaguar totem is however one to teach how to respond to others, as it can be quite easy to harm others with responses either intentionally or unintentionally. The jaguar knows of the dangers of such and wishes to teach how to prevent it from happening.

Changeability is something to look at as the jaguar states. Ability to change is useful, yet being able to settle is of worth and gives chance to relax and lower stress.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Solanum lycopersicum is the botanical name of the tomato, a fruit from South America. It is within the nightshade family and its fruit is useful for its methods of consuming it. The fruit is known to be in debate for whether it is a fruit or a vegetable.

In temperate climates, the tomato is an annual plant but can grow as a perennial under the correct situations. Often, due to its weak stem and how high it grows, tomatoes are often given support to grow upwards but naturally it sprawls across the ground and climbs others plants.

Full sun and consistent moisture is needed, with regular feeding from fertilizer being a great help to help develop the plant and its fruit. Mulching is useful as it helps to prevent evaporation of water and as a method to prevent weeds from growing.

As the tomato plant grows, the leaves lower down on the plant shall yellow and eventually die. When the lower leaves yellow, it is best to remove the leaves to allow the plant to give energy elsewhere rather to dying leaves.

Inspecting the plants on a regular basis allows to spot dying leaves quickly and to check if there are pests which can cause havoc on the fruit. Pollinating is typically left to bees, but can be done by gently and carefully putting a finger into each flower.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gods And Goddesses: Yami

Yami is the goddess of death and of the river Yamuna, the twin and consort of Yama, brother of Shani and daughter of Surya. Yami rules over the spirits of females in the underworld.

Yami also represents the night while Yama the day. Yami also gave birth to the Ashvins and has a tortoise as what is known as a Vahana.