Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Fun and Trivia

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

When I was in grammar school, I had a classmate who was born on February 29th.  I was always so jealous of him because most years he celebrated two birthdays--one on February 28th and the other on March 1st.  At least, that is what he told us, but funny thing, none of us kids were ever invited to his February 28th party.  

A Leap Year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one extra day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or solar year, the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit about the sun, which is about 365 1/4 days. A year will be a leap year if it is divisible by 4 but not by 100. If a year is divisible by 4 and by 100, it is not a leap year unless it is also divisible by 400. 

A person who was born on February may be called a 'leapling'. In non-leap years they usually celebrate their birthday on  February 28th or March 1st. 

Go to an old deserted house at midnight on the last day of February in leap year. Walk around the house scattering hemp seed. On the fourth round you will see your future husband or wife; but if you see a coffin, you are never to marry. 

It is believed that anything new begun in a leap year will have a great chance for success. 

In some mysterious way it is said, the whole vegetable world is affected by the influences of leap-year. The peas and beans grow the wrong way in their pods and seeds are set in quite the contrary way to what they are in other years. 

In America as well as in England leap-year is considered the one year when the maidens have the privilege to propose to young men. Isome places, Leap Day has been known as 'Bachelors’ Day. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

According to an old Irish legend, St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how the leap day balances the calendar.

Salaried employees are working for free today. Seems that paychecks are based on a 365 day year.  Guess I maybe I should have requested the day off.

Happy Leap Year!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We almost lost my little fish friend again yesterday. They had named him Fishula, why I don't know, but that's what his name is.  All was well in the morning.  His tank had been cleaned on Friday, so when I saw some water splashed about on the table, I wiped it up and thought nothing of it.  A couple hours later I went to check on him, and there was water everywhere.  Somehow the tank had sprung a leak, and it must have been getting worse. We got him into a bucket and luckily, there is a Petland nearby, and we purchased a new tank with petty cash.  Whew!!!  All I could think of is 'what if that had happened in the middle of the night when no one was around?'  Amazing how close one get to these little sea creatures. 

The sea is a symbol of both time and eternity, as well as a feminine gentleness and the power of wide scale destruction, and most mythologies have tales of powerful sea goddesses.  For the Inuit people, this primal force of nature is  Sedna, a goddess who is both deeply feared and deeply respected. She holds a very important place in the mythology and popular traditions of the Eskimos.  This is her story.

The myth of the sea goddess, Sedna, mother and guardian of the great sea mammals, who dwells at the bottom of the sea, had deep religious significance for the coastal Inuit who hunt at sea. She is the goddess of the sea and of sea creatures, and rules an underwater realm, and throughout the Arctic, the sea goddess Sedna is both feared and venerated. She is a provider as well as a healing and integrating social force among the Inuit. 

Sedna is the goddess of destiny, death, and the afterlife. She oversees the three heavens of the Eskimo, including Omiktu, where the souls of humans and whales go after death.

Myths about Sedna explain the origin of sea creatures and reflect the harsh environment of the Arctic dominates the religious emotions of the Eskimo. The story varies from one region to the next. However, in all versions, a young woman becomes the mother of all sea creatures. 

Once upon a time, when Sedna was young and beautiful, her father, a widower, forced her to marry his dog because she stubbornly wouldn't marry the suitor of his choice. After seeing that what he had done was wrong, he drowned the dog. She gave birth to children, some dogs, some humans and set them all adrift in the Arctic.  The dogs were the ancestors of white men while the human children floated away to become the ancestors to the Indians.

In another version of the legend, a seabird disguised as a handsome young man visited her and promised that, if she married him, she would live in luxury for the rest of her life. So, against her father's wishes, she accepted his proposal and went to live with him. But soon. Sedna discovered that her new husband was not a man at all,  but only a fulmar. She led an unhappy existence in a flimsy shelter with only raw fish to eat.  

A year later her father arrived and, after hearing her tale of woe, convinced Sedna to leave with him in his boat. However, Sedna's bird husband was not happy about this. When they set off in her father's canoe, he flapped his wings and stirred up a raging storm on the water. To calm the sea, Sedna's father threw her overboard as an offering, and, because she clung to the side of the boat, he cut off her fingers. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea and transformed into a goddess of the undersea world. Her fingertips became the seals, dolphins, and other ocean mammals.

As mother to all sea creatures, they obey her beckoning call, and when so commanded, they willingly sacrifice themselves as food to those in need, whether human or animal. When she is angry, Sedna makes storms. The storms stop hunters from catching any of Sedna's sea creature.  And, when the sins of the mortals fall down through the water, they collect in her hair causing grease and grime. But, because she has no fingers, she cannot clean it herself, so the Shaman must go down and  dress her filthy hair in braids so that mankind can eat again.

To this day Eskimo elders still teach that Sedna lives at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, it is said that Sedna resides at the bottom of the sea with the seals and other sea animals that were created from her fingers.

(On November 14, 2003, a team of astronomers discovered a frozen world more than 8 million miles from Earth and believed to be the farthest known object within our solar system. It is estimated that the temperature never rises above 400 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, making it the coldest known body in the solar system. They named it Sedna after the goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning Rambles

Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto. 
-- Charlotte Bronte--

Oh, am I back to work already?  Have to pinch myself to make it real.  Returned to my old neighborhood on Saturday.  My trust account is still there, and I had a couple of checks to be deposited.  This bank has very few branches, and none in my new area.  I didn't change banks when I moved because it is just so much trouble to open this type of account.  The bank wants so much information and paperwork before it is approved...and then, the money already in the account will not be able to be put in a new account because only beneficiary checks are accepted, no cash.

Look at that pose. Allow me to introduce you to the new love of my life.  When the mental health program closed, we inherited the above fish. I have never before seen a fish so loving and smart.  Just look at that face.  It is almost as if he is smiling.  He loves people, and Monday morning has become extra special to me.  I'm always the first one in so I always check on the turtles, the little fish, and my new buddy.  He gets so excited when he sees me and actually wants to play and follows my finger across the tank.

This fish is really extra special, and it's not that he is valued at about $900. He and three others were purchased about ten years ago.  The others contracted a bacterial infection and died.  My little friend managed to pull through.  Then, about three years ago, a couple of clients got into a fight and the fish tank was knocked to the floor.  My little friend was wriggling about on the floor, cuts all over his body from the shards of glass.  He was picked up and put into a pail of water until a new tank was bought.  And he survived.

Sometimes the most valuable lessons in life come from where it is least expected.  Even this little fish has a valuable lesson to teach us...never give up. It is said that one can never hope to live life to is fullest, can never truly appreciate life,  unless one experiences some sort of suffering and pain. This is a part of being human.  Giving up is never the solution to the hardships we encounter in life. When we tell ourselves that we can't do something, or that something will not happen for us, it won't because we are projecting the negative onto ourselves. Believe that you deserve, believe  in yourself and all that you want. Never giving up comes from motivating yourself through a positive attitude.

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.

- Unknown-

And finally, exciting news. Astronomers have announced they have discovered a new planet, a world orbiting a distant star, 22 light-years away, in our solar system, and even more exciting is that they say that this is an earth-like planet that could support the crucial conditions needed for life to exist. The planet is enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere, and a huge fraction of its mass is made up of water--a water world so to speak. How ironic that this announcement comes during the water sign of Pisces

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Spirits of Water

A bit of whimsy for the weekend.  Enjoy!  Have a great weekend.

The spirits of water are known as undines (female water sprites who can acquire souls by marrying human beings), mermaids and mermen, merrows, water kelpies (a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore), nixies, and selkies (seal people who can shed their seal skins on land).  They are creatures born of and in the water, some haunting mountain streams and lakes and still, quiet pools, and others dwelling in that larger world of sea-water.

People have been telling stories about mermaids and mermen, men of the sea and women of the sea, for a long time. Merfolk are half-human and half-fish creatures that live in underground caves. The Merrow are Irish mermaids. Mermaids, beautiful creatures with long flowing hair, appear to have been much more common than the green-toothed mermen. Some mermaids are believed to have lured their human lovers under the waves.

Fathoms deep beneath the wave,
Stringing beads of glistering pearl, 
Singing the achievements brave 
Of many an old Norwegian earl; 

Dwelling where the tempest's raving, 
Falls as light upon our ear, 
As the sigh of lover, craving 
Pity from his lady dear, 

Children of wild Thule, we, 
From the deep eaves of the sea, 
As the lark springs from the lea, 
Hither come, to share your glee. 

-Sir Walter Scott-

Nixies are a form of river merfolk who can be found in German springs and rivers. A Flemish legend tells of three Nixies who came from the waves of the Meuse and danced with the villagers at their feast. They sang and danced, and one of them, while dancing, took off her gloves and handed them to a peasant. When the clock struck twelve, the Nixies hastened away, but the unlucky one who had taken off her gloves could not find them again. She hastened away without them, but next morning the waters of the Meuse were blood-red, and these water-sprites were never seen again.

The water kelpies of northern Scotland dwell in deep pools, or preside over  deep pools of rivers and streams. He had commonly the form of a black horse, but this Scottish and Welsh male spirit has been known to appear as a horse or a handsome young prince.  They are notorious for placing themselves in the wy of weary travellers, enticing them onto their backs, and having accomplished their object, do, with a fiend-like yell, plunge headlong into the river, drowning the men and carrying the women back to their realm to marry and bear their kelpie young. 

When thaws dissolve the snawy hoord, 
An' float the jingling icy boord, 
The water-kelpies haunt the fiord, 
By your direction, 
And nightly travellers are allur'd 
To their destruction.

Legend has it that female Selkies can come ashore, shed their skin and become beautiful women. They do this on occasions to laugh and dance . It will remain human until it puts the skin on again.When a human man sees a selkie woman, he feels an enchantment grow on him, and he would do anything to possess that selkie forever.

Most stories told about Selkies are romantic tragedies. One story tells of a Scottish fisherman fell in love with a selkie woman he discovered on shore in her human form. When the fisherman hid her sealskin, she had only one choice. She agreed to be his bride, and she bore him several children. For many years they appeared to live happily together on land, but, like all selkies, she longed for the sea. Ultimately discovered where her husband had hidden her skin and found her way back home.

Undines are elementals of the water, their bodies composed of a formless mass of liquid. They reside in oceans and some inhabit waterfalls; others live in rivers and lakes. The human eye usually cannot see them but they exist within the water itself, but sometimes they show themselves to humans as mermaids or sirens.  They are mostly female with a beauty and grace that we humans could only hope for. The Undines tend to plants that grow under the water allowing them to balance themselves with nature.

Legend tells us that when an undine marries a human and bears a child, she will receive a soul.

The eyes of heaven were on her bent
In a rapture of loving wonderment;
As her song with the nightingale's was blent:
And one yearn'd for a love, and one sigh'd for a soul!

Moonlight and starlight alike seemed cold, 
As their silver glanced on her locks of gold; 
And the dream on her face was a dream of old, 
Whose sorrow no sunrise might smile away. 

I read her yearning and weary smile,
As her song rang sadder and sadder the while,
With its weird refrain of a magic isle,
Where some might have rest but never might she.

She, the darling of Sky and Stream, 
She was but as wind, or as wave, or as dream 
To play for a while in life's glory and gleam, 
But what would be left at the end of the day? 

The sun smiles down upon her distress 
With a tyrant smile most pitiless, 
As she stitches away in her tatter'd dress, 
With a song on her lips that sinks in a sigh. 

Yet scorning her dusty window pane,
For all his pride in love he is fain
Soft gold on her golden hair to rain,
But no sunlight may soften that soulless stare.

I read her yearning and weary sigh, 
And the eyes that would be but are not dry; 
And I catch the voice of that voiceless cry 
For a moment to rest, for a moment to weep. 

She, the darling of Want and Woe, 
Why was she sent, save to work and to go 
With feet that will ever more weary grow? 
Whither? She has not a moment to care! 

The Undine of olden days, I read, 
By the love of a soul from her trammels was 
Knows there another such dolorous need? 
Then on the earth lingers yet such a soul. 

By Arthur Shearly Cripps

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Water of Life

Waters, you are the ones who bring us the life force.

Help us to find nourishment so that we may look upon great joy.

Let us share in the most delicious sap that you have, as if you were loving mothers.

Let us go straight to the house of the one for whom your waters

Give us life and give us birth.

For our well-being let the goddesses be an aid to us, the waters be

For us to drink. Let them cause well-being and health to flow over us.

Mistresses of all the things that are chosen, rulers over all peoples,

The waters are the ones I beg for a cure.

Soma has told me that within the waters are all cures and Agni who is salutary to all

Waters, yield your cure as an armour for my body, so that I may 

See the sun for a long time.

Waters, carry far away all of this that has gone bad in me, either

What I have done in malicious deceit or whatever lie I have sworn to.

I have sought the waters today; we have joined with their sap. O

Agni full of moisture, come and flood me with splendor.

The Ancient Rig Veda Hymn, Water of Life

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday This and That

Went furniture shopping on Monday.  Found a nice loveseat which will be delivered on Saturday.  That's big enough for us.  It's not that we have tons of company here.  We bought two end tables and an area rug.  I went to Target for the first time and was instantly hooked.  Hubby had a hard time pulling me out of the candle section.  Came home with two large plastic under the bed storage containers for my Christmas things. $10.99 each was quite a buy.   Also bought myself a new mixer for making cakes.

I felt pretty good yesterday.  The pain had abated, and I had no problems with my breathing.  It would be nice to feel that way everyday. I finally live in a fantastic neighborhood with fantastic little stores, but most of the time I  am in too much pain to get out there and look through them.  Sometimes I get a little depressed about my diminished health and the fact that I have had to give up a things that I once enjoyed, but there is no one to blame but myself.  I 'chose' to smoke for 48 years.  No one forced me.  And, who was it that go angry when someone confronted me and warned me about the consequences?  "It will never happen to me" was my favorite response.  Well, guess what?????  All you smokers out there, seriously, start thinking about quitting now before it's too late.  You can never totally get back what you lose.

But, I try not to dwell things. It doesn't help and can only make one feel worse. It's much better to focus on what I DO have....a loving husband and sons, an animal that loves me unconditionally, a home that offers peace and serenity, I have all of you, my bloggie friends, a job that pays my bills and puts food on the table,  my computer, my eyesight to read and to watch...

Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence. Hummingbird brings the gift of joy. Learn to laugh and be happy.

- Unknown-

...which allows me to enjoy the beauty of nature. The hummingbird Phoebe is already on her second nest and the Decorah Eagles have two eggs. It's fascinating watching them hatch and grow. And last year was the first year they banded one of the wee ones so they could keep track of her travels. It's amazing that she flew all the way to Wisconsin and has now returned to the area of her birth. Actually, they mentioned that the other day there was a juvenile fly-by of the old nest. Could it be one of last year's babes?

(From last year. Mom feeding her babes.)

All in all, it you haven't yet checked out either site, do so.  The hummingbirds are a delight, a joy to watch. The eaglets will probably not hatch until mid-April, but mom and dad are fantastic together.  It's thrilling to watch how they bring food to each other and above all, protect those eggs.  

From ancient times to the present, civilizations have revered eagles as living symbols of power, freedom, and transcendence. They were so revered by Europeans in the Middle Ages that they were brought by noblemen on military campaigns. In some religions, high soaring eagles are believed to touch the face of God. Eagle feathers are revered by us as sacred power objects. According to legend, the Aztecs so revered eagles that they built their capital, Tenochtitlan, at the spot where an eagle perched on a cactus.

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit

Or wilt thou go ask the Mole?
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or Love in a golden bowl?

-William Blake-

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Element of Water

To our senses, the elements are fourand have ever been, and will ever be
for they are the elements of life, of poetry, and of perception,
the four Great Ones, the Four Roots, the First Four
of Fire and the Wet, Earth and the wide Air of the World.
To find the other many elements, you must go to the laboratory
and hunt them down.
But the four we have always with us, they are our world.
Or rather, they have us with them. 

--D.H. Lawrence--

In Western astrology there are four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. These elements represent the four basic natures that were recognized by the early astrologers. Each sign of the Zodiac can be understood as an expression associated with one of these elements. Fire is creative; Earth, materialistic; Air, intellectual and abstract; and Water is emotional.  Therefore, people born under the water signs tend to rely more on their emotions than on their intellects. What I am talking about here are those primal impulses that direct our actions without giving our rational minds time to analyze the situation; it is those impulsive actions we take when we rely solely on feeling and emotions.  The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Water teaches us acceptance. Let your emotions flow like water

--Mastr Pakku--

The element of water allows one to become aware of the inner flow of their feelings, needs, and fears, a flow of emotions that may be either comfortable or uncomfortable. Water qualities are flowing, surrendering, and harmonizing. Addressing the water element involves dealing with one's basic instincts.  It is also about our ability to move with the flow.  When there is too much water in the chart, one may be overly emotional. The individual with too little water may be cold and unfeeling. Have you noticed people are often categorized as deep or shallow?

The water element also contains our darker shadow emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, resentment, and a sense of hopelessness. It may speak of our primal fears of the dark, the cold, and all those terrifying things hidden deep within the hidden recesses of our minds. Water can be agressive, like tidal waves or tsunamis, representing strong emotions, fears, and negative feelings. When one is feeling very strong emotions and feelings, he/she may say and do all sorts of things that will later be regretted. When water gets hot, it boils, steams, scalds, and then disappears. The Piscean may smash things and shout, but this is a mutable sign so this will blow over quickly.

The great sea
Has sent me adrift
It moves me
As the weed in a great river
Earth and the great weather
Moves me
Has carried me away
And moves my inward parts with joy.

-Uvavnuk, Eskimo shaman woman-

Water is also feminine, reflective, and impressionable.  It can go deep. The water element represents the subconscious, our dreams and emotions exerting their subtle influences on our conscious thoughts. It cools, soothes and heals.  Water is the element connected with our ability to sense unity through our inner worlds. (The outer manifestation of this quality is found in rivers, lakes, rain and the ocean). The water element represents the principle of universality, the sensory, emotional, psychic, and creative experience in life.  The soul is ruled by the Moon and the element water. It is the messenger, the holder of memory, the magnetic field and the Soul memory. Water is the universal medium. In representing the soul of the individual, it represents the soul also of the race.

The soul of man
Resembleth water:
From heaven it cometh,
To heaven it soareth.
And then again
To earth descendeth,
Changing ever.

Down from the lofty
Rocky wall
Streams the bright flood,
Then spreadeth gently
In cloudy billows
O'er the smooth rock,
And welcomed kindly,
Veiling, on roams it,
Soft murmuring,
Tow'rd the abyss.

Cliffs projecting
Oppose its progress,--
Angrily foams it
Down to the bottom,
Step by step.

Now, in flat channel,
Through the meadowland steals it,
And in the polish'd lake
Each constellation
Joyously peepeth.

Wind is the loving
Wooer of waters;
Wind blends together
Billows all-foaming.

Spirit of man,
Thou art like unto water!
Fortune of man,
Thou art like unto wind!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wait Until You Hear This One

Hubby and I have found a place that makes the most fabulous pork chops in our new neighborhood, and this has become our Friday night treat...until we grow tired of it.  I've never seen pork chops as large as these, and they are smothered with chopped garlic and a special sauce.  I've tried my best to make it myself, but there's a secret ingredient that mine sorely lacks. Neither of us can eat both in one sitting, so one pork chop becomes Saturday's lunch.

Saturday was food shopping and cooking, and food shopping has become a nightmare.  Just when I was becoming used to the quirky ways of my new supermarket, they decide they are going to change things around....just about everything.  Boy, have they been busy in these past two weeks, and I am glad they are trying to restore some order to a store that was sorely in need of new owners, but, I felt I was back to square one, racing around, back and forth, forever looking for items that I needed. What I had planned on taking no more than 30 minutes took nearly an hour and a half...

...which meant that I got a late start to my cooking.  I hadn't eaten before I went shopping, but wanted to get some meals on first so it didn't carry me late into the night.  Finally, I had a chance to sit, and boy, had I ever worked up an appetite.  I'm sorry, but these pork chops have to be eaten by hand to get the full effect, so I'm munching away, hands all gooey with sauce and full of garlic when my phone rings.  First son. He's got a knack for calling at these inopportune times.  So I decided to let it ring and call him back.  Besides, by the time I got my hands cleaned off, it would already be too late.

Wait.  What's that? The alert that someone has left a voice mail?  Son doesn't leave voice mails, must be hubby.  He does, and no one else calls me.  I've never been a phone person.  Finally, my curiosity got the best of me.  You will NEVER guess who it was... ex-landlady.  After all this time, she is once again trying to draw me back into her family problems, not back to the house, of course, but someone she can rant to.  This was the best.  "Hello, Mary, I was wondering it you could give me  a call.  I know you guys had someone who used to come to the house and do repair work, and I need someone to go over the house and put a lock on.  Al (the guy upstairs) and his brother busted the lock and the house has been sitting open for three weeks now. I'm down in Florida and can't do anything about it."

Does she really think I was born yesterday? She has a son, an uncle, a daughter, and a male friend who does household repairs who are supposed to be taking care of the house. What happened to them?  And who's going to pay our guy if he goes over there? Who would let him in?  Does she expect us to run over there?  I no longer have a key.  She is in Florida.  And who is going to stop them from breaking the lock the moment he leaves? To top that off, most likely it's a crack house now that no one is there to monitor.  Why would I put a friend in that position? Something fishy about this one, that's for sure...and I am not about to find out.  

That was one message I gladly erased. I know what she really wanted was someone to lend an ear, but that's not going to me. I've had two months of peace.  Why would I want to return to the madness?  After all, I'd say 15 years of it was enough.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pisces, The Fish

The Fishes shine one higher than the other, 
From each of them extends as 't were a band 
That fastens tail to tail, as wide it floats, 
And one star large and brilliant clasps its ends, 
The Heavenly Knot 't is called.

February 19 - March 20

Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac and final sign in the zodiacal cycle. It is a mutable watery sign that arrives at the coldest and darkest time of the year. It is a time that is neither Winter nor Spring, a time to ready oneself for an entirely new cycle.  Pisces rules the twelfth house, that part of the zodiac that represents memories, secrets, matters that are hidden, dreams, and imagination. It is the seat of the unconscious.  It also rules over places of confinement such as prisons or monasteries. It is the key to everything that has gone before. Pisces can be otherworldly and spiritual or just plain escapist. It can be compassionate and artistic or lonely and confused.

The constellation of Pisces is located in an area of the sky known as 'the Sea' or 'the Water', which is full of water related constellations. The astrological symbol of Pisces is two fishes, a considerable distance apart, swimming in opposite directions, bound by a cord. According to legend, the fish represent the goddess Aphrodite and her son, Eros,  who had turned themselves into fish in order to escape from the monster Typhon. They then connected themselves together with a ribbon in order not to be separated.

Jupiter is the ancient ruler, now is a co-ruler with Neptune. Neptune was known to the Greeks as Poseidon, god of the sea, a brother of Jupiter and Pluto. As a water sign, Neptune is connected to artistic and spiritual inspiration, both of which are Piscean concerns. Neptune is also about everything that isn't quite real, both illusion and disillusionment. He is the poet and the dreamer. Jupiter, the benevolent, the largest of the planets, was the king of the gods. As co-ruler of Pisces, Jupiter is considered to be 'dignified' here. Simply put, this means there  is a basic harmony between the nature of that planet and the nature of the sign it falls in, thus signifying the strength it holds in the chart--weak or strong.  Jupiter's influence is humanitarian and broad in outlook and fits well with the selfless service of Pisces, who tries to work for the good of all. Jupiter gives Pisces its emphasis on wisdom and the deeper concepts of life.

The Babylonians, Syrians, Persians, Turks, and Greeks all regarded this star group as representing two Fishes. The Arabs called the Western Fish  'Al-Hut,' the Fish, and considered the stars in the Northern Fish as part of the constellation, Andromeda. In the olden days, Persians it was known as Mahlik and the Turks as Balik. The Babylonians called them  Nunu. The Syrians considered fish as holy animals and eating of fish was regarded as a sin. A Syrian myth tells of a large and mysterious egg appearing on the Euphrates river, where two fish named Aphros and Bythos brought the egg to shore and helped it hatch. Inside the egg was Astarte, the Syrian counterpart of Aphrodite

According to the Egyptians this sign denoted the approach of spring and the season for fishing. It is also claimed that the name of the Fishes was derived from the fact that, at the time when the sun entered Pisces, fishes were considered as fattest and most in season for use. According to Chaldean astrology, each sign represented a different nation. Pisces, the sign of the fish, represented Amurru, which included Syria and Palestine. 

In the Hebrew zodiac, Pisces was believed to represent the tribe of Simeon, and the Two Fishes were considered the national constellation of the Jews, as well as a tribal symbol. A fish was always the symbol of the early Christian faith, and the figure appears in many of the stained glass windows in the Christian churches of today. When each sign of the zodiac was assigned to one of the twelve Apostles, the Fishes were said to represent St. Matthias.

Pisceans are well known for being sensitive, emotional and artistic. Deeply sensitive, their moods are often affected by the moods of others around them.  They are very easily hurt, talented and temperamental.  The Sun in Pisces person is compassionate. Introspective and in tune with their surroundings, the Piscean may need to retreat and spend time alone to maintain their equilibrium. As a mutable sign, Pisceans have the ability to easily adapt to change. This trait can be both a strength because it is a survival mechanism, and a weakness because it makes them vulnerable to the demands and influence of other people.

With Neptune, the planet of escapism as its ruler, Pisces is one sign that can be drawn to alcohol or drugs all too easily, including over the counter drugs.  Hence, Pisceans must pay lose attention to their body's intolerance to toxic substances.

Technically, I was born under the sign of Aries, but I am not, what you would call a true Aries. My birth falls on the cusp of Pisces and Aries. (Cusps are the borders between the twelve astrological signs. You are considered to be 'on the cusp' if you were born within a day or two of the beginning or end of any sign). I've always considered myself more of a Piscean than anything else.  You'll rarely see the Fire in me, but my watery, emotional side is usually quite visible. Rather than shine in the spotlight I've always been more comfortable 'going with the flow', so to speak.  

Add a Cancer ascendant to this picture, and you have someone who has been over emotional throughout their life.  Was a time where I would cry at the drop of a hat.  Today I use all that pent-up emotion and sensitivity to heal, to help others release their pain.  Sometimes it can become overwhelming, and during many a session, I've shared a tear with my clients.  Tears are healing, for them as well as for me. Tears are associated with the Water element.

This month, along with my regular posts, I will be honoring the element of water....its spiritual and emotional connections, the water spirits, colors, crystals associated with this element, its deities.  Hoping you will all bear with me as I try something new.

We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more. 
 -Carl Gustav Jung- 

Friday, February 17, 2012

TGIF...A Little This and That

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.

--John Shirley--

Isn't that so true? We wait all week for Friday night at 5pm, and then Monday rolls around before we know it.  That's why I believe it is so important that we take some time in our busy lives for fun or just plain relaxation. Rest and renewal are very important at any age, but some of us don't realize just how important until we find ourselves up in years. Sometimes it is hard to do, sometimes just impossible.  Personally, I try to accomplish everything in the house that has to be done on Saturday so Sunday is just for me.  It doesn't always work that way, but I try.  

Yesterday was a bit of a setback as far as the pain goes.  The weather was cold and damp so I expected it, but not as badly as it hit me on the walk to the train after work.  So far this morning all is well.

This is a cooking weekend for me.  I'll food shop Saturday morning and cook all afternoon.  A lot of work, to be sure, but that gives me two whole weeks that I can come home from work and just heat up the food.  And because I really don't like to cook anymore, it allows me to accomplish what I consider a dreadful chore in one day.  Then, I have Sunday free to do as I wish.  This week is even better because it is a three day weekend.

Has anyone had any issues with the new comment verification thing on Blogger?  It's become a real problem for me.  Not only is it more time consuming to have to write out two words now, but the jumbled words seem to be more jumbled than ever before.  Sometimes I have to go through the procedure several times before I finally get my comment to go through, and each time, it appears to get more difficult.  For those of us whose eyesight is not up to par, it has become a real, time-consuming issue.  I hope Blogger fixes it soon.

Several people have asked if I could recommend a book on the Iroquois and their beliefs. Traditionally, the Iroquois were very religious, and dreams were important to them. They were experiences of the soul. My ultra-favorite book on the Iroquois dream culture is Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul by Robert Moss.  They were truly a fascinating people.  

"No hospitals are needed among them, because there are neither mendicants no paupers as long as there are any rich people among them. Their kindness, humanity, and courtesy not only make them liberal with what they have, but cause them to possess hardly anything except in common. A whole village must be without corn before any individual can be obliged to endure privation"

--Father Simon Le Moyne--

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  May you find joy and happiness at every corner. 
Of all the days that's in the week
I dearly love but one day
And that's the day that comes betwixt
A Saturday and Monday.

-Henry Carey-

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Iroquois Prayer

Today I'd like to share the following beautiful prayer with you.  Its depth and beauty touched my heart.  Hope it does the same for you.  Too bad so many tend to forget what gratitude is all about.

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn,
and to her sisters, the beans and squash, which give us life.
We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide us with fruit.
We return thanks to the wind
which, moving the air, has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to our grandfather He-no,
that he has protected his grandchildren from witches and reptiles,
and has given to us his rain.
We return thanks to the sun,
that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in whom is embodied all goodness,
and who directs all things for the good of his children.

Iroquois Prayer from the 1800's

I returned to work on Monday.  I still have pain, but it is gradually lessening.  This week vanity has been playing second fiddle to comfort.  I've been using my cane to get around this week.  Painful as it may be, I am grateful for the ability to still get around...and as much as I may gripe about my job, I'm grateful that I still  have one.  Who knows where we would be if I wasn't working?  I'm also grateful that the pain at night has been abating, and sleep has become less elusive. 

Hopefully, in the near future, hubby will be back to work.  Keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer.  It's been hard on me carrying this load for so many months.  It also gets depressing when you bust your butt and cannot afford anything for yourself.  So, hubby went for his second interview in a place he 'really' would like to work.  It looks pretty promising, but I've also learned not to count my chickens until they are hatched.

I give thanks to our great Mother for never giving me more than I can bear.