Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dragons; Polish, Russian, and Tartar

1.      Smok: Polish
The smok once lived in a cave under the Wawel Hill (near the Vistula River) which is in Krakow, Poland.  This dragon is referred to as “Smok Wowelski” (Dragon of Wawel Hill), which is near the Vistula River.  The City of Krakow placed a sculpture of the smok near the spot where it lived.  This sculpture depicts a scaly, wingless dragon with six legs.  It also breathes fire (with the help of natural gas).

2.       Zmey: Russia
The zmey is described as being a snake-like dragon with multiple heads.  The number of the heads was an odd number between three and nine.  (Zmey’s heads will grow back unless the stump is sealed by fire.)  The zmey also had two wings, two small forearms, and two hind legs.

3.      Zilant :Tartar (Yilan) [Ajdaha: Persian]
As depicted on the Coat of Arms of Kazan Governorate (Tartarstan, Russia), the zilant had two chicken legs, bat wings, a bird body, and snake tail.  It also spits fire.  However in various stories, this dragon had four chicken legs, and was regarded to be a flying snake.  The zilant of stories also lived in water.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

ANACONDA (WATER BOA): See the Truth


As the largest Snake in the world, Anaconda is the subject of many monster stories.  At home in the water, She swims with grace and agility.  Spying Jaguar at the water’s edge, Anaconda quickly bites Him with her sharp teeth, and then drags Jaguar into the water drowning Him.  Otherwise, She will kill her prey by squeezing them to death.  These actions of Hers make Anaconda into a monster for many people.
            Anaconda lives in the swamps and marshes of the Amazon and Orinoco River basins.  The water supports this large Snake’s body, allowing Her to become even longer and heavier.  With her eyes on the top of her head, Anaconda stealthy moves in the water partly submerged.  She is a top predator where She lives.
            Tales of the “Giant Anaconda” have been told ever since the Spanish arrived in the Americas.  Local people have added to her mystic reputation by referring to Anaconda as “Mata-toro” (bull killer).  Meanwhile, the Yaqurunas of Peru named Her, “Mother of the Water”.
            Because She dwells in inaccessible swamps, Anaconda cannot readily be seen.  Hence many fantastic tales of a monster lurking just below the water is often told about Anaconda.  As the Snake of our imagination, She swims just below our consciousness.  Before we tremble in terror, we need to expose this fantasy to the light.  Anaconda challenges us to see the truth, and understand how our imaginations can paralyze us.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

BOA CONSTRICTOR: Respect Your Fears


One of the most feared animals of the Amazon jungle is Boa Constrictor.  The truth is that He is less terrifying than many people’s tales about Him.  Boa Constrictor consumes medium-sized Mammals but not the huge giants of stories.  In fact, in some places of South America, people keep Him as a House Snake to catch Rats.
            As ambush hunter, Boa Constrictor remains hidden in the dense forest.  Flicking his tongue, He sense prey nearby.  Suddenly, He strikes forward and bites them.  Wrapping his body around the unfortunate victim, Boa Constrictor slowly squeezes until their breathing stops.  However when Boa Constrictor is threatened, He will hiss loudly enough to be heard in the area.
            Boa Constrictor has many unique qualities for a Snake.  He has pelvic spurs which are the remainder of his original legs.  Instead of only having one lung, He has two.  Furthermore, Boa Constrictor has a much shorter tail than most Snakes.
            Boa Constrictor wants you to respect your fears.  He may be terrifying as imagined but He is also a House Snake who eats vermin.  However, always that Boa Constrictor is an ambush hunter.  Respect your fears, but do not let them overwhelm you.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

BOA FAMILY (BOIDAE): Clarity

What people may regard as one Snake is actually a whole family, namely the Boas.  These Snakes all have a rigid lower jaw and a pair of spurs (the remainder of their hind legs).  Confusing people even more is that Anacondas are Boidae but Pythons are not.  (Close relatives of Boas, Pythons are in their own family.)
            Adding to the confusion is that Boidae are further divided into two families – True Boas (Boinae) and Sand Boas (Erycinae).  Sand Boas include Rubber Boas of North America in their group.  These stout-bodied Snakes burrow into sand.  Sand Boas spend most of their time basking just below the surface of the sand.
            Furthermore, True Boas are subdivided into Boas, Bevel-nosed Boas, Neo-Tropical Tree Boas, Rainbow Boas, and Anacondas.  Bevel-nosed Boas are found in New Guinea and Melanesia.  As their name suggest, these Snakes have upturned noses.  Meanwhile Neo-tropical Boas are found in Central and South America as well as the West Indies.  These Snakes, with thin bodies and large heads, are aggressive and readily strike at people.  The other two groups of Boas live in the same places as do Neo-tropical Boas.  In addition, Anacondas live in the water. 
            Boa Family forces us to think clearly.  By providing clarity, They help us to understand the errors in our thinking.  Know that “Boa” is not just one Snake but an entire Family of unique Snakes.  Some live in the water while others live in trees.  Challenge your assumptions and achieve clarity urge Boa Family.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shielding by Colours

When I used the self-cleansing form of the basic shield, I felt invigorated. The self-cleansing element made everything seem fresher and cleaner. My world became sparkling clean and comforting too. I will probably continue to include the self-cleansing element in my shields since it made me feel so good.

Next, I decided to experiment with various colours as filters. This was a new concept to me in shields – defense by colour. The colours I choose were orange, green, indigo, brown, and white.

Using the orange shield, I felt goodwill radiating from people. They seemed friendlier than usual, happily greeting me. Adding the self-cleansing element made my shield seem like fizzy soda. The orange colour combination made it sparkling and dazzling.

Adding green to my shield, I felt peaceful and fresh. Animals noticed me when I went for walks. However, people did not since I seemed to be a part of the background. Adding green to the self-cleansing element, I could also sense a minty smell to the shield.

In contrast, the indigo filter made me feel removed from the world. I was in my own bubble, an otherworldly specter to people around me. To me, the indigo shield felt like the bluest notes of the Blues. Combining the self-cleansing aspect with indigo, I could feel a jazz element amongst the blue notes.

Using the brown filter made me feel like a moving tree. Squirrels and butterflies certainly treated me as one. As with the green shield, animals were responsive to me, but people were not. When I applied the self-cleaning element to the brown filter, it made inside of the shield seem like dry crackling leaves.

With the white shield, people and animals were open and friendly to me. However, I became overwhelmed with all the attention I was getting. In addition, the self-cleansing aspect added glitter to the white shield. Although I liked the white filter, it proved too stimulating for me.

Using colour filters with the shields take practice. Each colour has its own attribute which changes with the person using it. At least for me, the white filter was overwhelming while the indigo one was depressing. I think I will use the green and orange filters more often since they agree with my “essence”.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

SNAKE FAMILY: Transformation

Snakes are highly specialized predators. Although They are simple in form, Snakes are equipped for tracking, subduing, and devouring their prey. They are a recent development in the evolution of Reptiles. In addition to losing their legs, Snakes have modified their jaws to swallow large meals. Moreover, They have developed some of the most virulent poisons known among animals.

Scientists divide the Snake Family into two groups – Blind Snakes (Scolecophidia) and Modern Snakes (Alethinophidia). The Modern Snake Family is further divided into fifteen families. Of this, only three groups are venomous, with the remainder being constrictors.

Venomous Snakes use venom to paralyze their prey, so They can eat it. Since these Snakes inject venom into their victim, They are properly referred to as “venomous”. (“Poisonous” means harmful by ingesting.) Venomous Snakes are the Rear-fanged Snakes (such as Boomslang) of the Colubrid Family, and the families that consist only of venomous Snakes – the Elapids (Cobras) and Vipers (Rattlesnakes).

The non-venomous Snakes either kill their prey by swallowing or by constriction. Snakes such as Boas still have rudimentary hind limbs on their bodies. Some of the largest Snakes in the world are the constrictors. In fact, Anacondas who live in the waters of the Amazon are usually considered the source for many monster Snake stories.

Modern people often think of snakes as animals to kill on sight. However, the ancient Greeks and Romans thought of Snakes as being beneficent. They valued Snakes for their healing powers, and for protecting their families from harm. Perhaps we can rethink our views of Snakes and consider Them helpful.

Snakes demonstrate the principle of transformation. Evolving from primitive burrowing Lizards, They have diversified into nearly three thousand species. Snakes have reduced their skeleton to a skull, jaws, and a long backbone. Furthermore, They rearranged their internal anatomy to fit their thinner, rounder, longer shape. Their skin is a mosaic of glossy, dry scales set in an elastic skin which They shed about four times a year to enable growth.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Shielding: The Basics


When I first started using the basic shield, I felt awkward. I began with the basic round blue-silver shield. However, it made walking and more sitting difficult. Also, the shield felt a bit confining and strange. So, I had to tinker with the shape of the basic shield. I came up with the capital D shape for comfort, which was flatter around my feet. (Later when I experimented with color, I discovered that my natural shield color was white-gold.)

Once I finished tinkering with my shield, I felt comfortable. Also it came surprisingly easy to me. Because of my brain injury, I need to keep various stimulae away from me. When I do not, I have seizures. Using the shield helped me to keep stray psychic vibes away from me. Moreover, I did not feel as overwhelmed as I usually do.

Whilst using the basic shield, I ate out with a friend who unknowing leaks negative vibes. With the shield in place, I was able to enjoy my friend with little problem from her negativity. Furthermore after her visit, I did not feel as tired and worn out as before.

One odd experience that I had at the restaurant was that of being unnoticed. Although the place was crowded with people, no one seemed to see me. The waiter did not bother me with his list of specials and other things. The shield seemed to aid in keeping away unwanted attention.

While going to the pool each day, I experimented with the various types of shields. First, I widened the shield. I felt like a giant manatee all round and spud-like. After awhile, I felt comfortable but isolated.

Then I moved the shield to next to my skin. I was uncomfortable with that distance. It was almost stifling after a few minutes.

The next variation I tried was using different materials. I had a shield of bricks, whilst I swam. This may have seemed to be a strange choice, but I wanted to feel the effects of this particular variation. It felt heavy, like lead. I can see where it would be useful as a fortress shield.

The last variation was an opaque plastic ball. While I was swimming, it kept the sun’s rays at a minimum. However after awhile, I felt trapped inside. For me, this shield would be useful as a cautionary shield when I need reassurance in a strange situation.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Adventures in Meditation: Handwriting, Part 2

After practicing various forms of meditation, I decided that the active meditation was my favourite, and one that I would continue doing. This particular meditation suits my needs and temperament. For me, it is easy to do, and is something that I can do daily.

In contrast, the non-mind, yantra, and mantra forms of meditation were either too difficult for me or too boring. They were hard because I could not sit still long enough to gain the benefits from any of them. Furthermore, these meditations were boring to do, since I kept falling asleep whenever I did them.

I did enjoy the sleep meditation, but it seemed to me to be a way to have a good night’s sleep. I prefer something more active that I can feel a part of. The cord meditation did engage me, but it was too difficult to do one handedly. Perhaps when my brain heals, I will be able to do it more smoothly.

The form of active meditation I like the most is hand-writing since it engages and relaxes me. After reading “Soul Development through Handwriting” by Jennifer Grebbin, I became amazed that there were so many benefits in practicing individual letters. Writing for Waldorf students, the author explains that, “Because when we write we not only express through the forms of the letters how we see ourselves and the world, but we also reinforce it. The Palmer method most often used by teachers, which was first developed in 1895, reflects all the values of that materialistic time. However, when we teach children the Vimala Alphabet, we help them preserve their connection to their inner spiritual wisdom.” I have found this to be true in my life, when I practice the Vimala Alphabet.

For regular meditation, practicing the Vimala “Z” enhances the benefits gained from the mantra style of meditation. While a page of writing “Z’s”, I am put into a receptive peaceful state. Ms. Grebbin writes, “This is the letter of being at peace with the world and ourselves. The letter ‘Z’ can help us stop worrying and realize the perfection in everything all unfolding perfectly in its own time.” Rudolph Steiner writes in “Eurythmy as Visible Speech”, “There is a certain lightness in the experience of the Z.” The physical act of writing “Z” releases my worry and puts me into a more receptive and quiet mood.

I am reminded of the old method that teachers used in disciplining students, which is having them write five hundred times, “I will not disrupt the class.” I now see this as a method to physically imprint the mental message. Of course, writing a page of “I embrace grace and beauty in my life” is more uplifting and useful. For me, the physical aspects of writing transfer my mental energy into a form of wonderful meditation.

Writing “Z” or another letter over and over frees my mind and calms it. It gives my mind a gentle focus, and allows for quiet pondering. This to me is the goal of meditation to expel worry and replace it with wholesome serenity. To that end, I will continue writing the Vimala letters and their affirmations.

Works Used

Grebbin, Jennifer, “Soul Development Through Handwriting”, SteinerBooks, Great Barrington MA, 2007.

Rogers, Vimala, “The International Institute of Handwriting Studies”, 2008, <http://www.iihs.com/>, (17 July 2010).

------, “Transform Your Life through Handwriting”, Sounds True, Boulder CO, 2009.

Steiner, Rudolf, “Eurythmy as Visible Speech”, Anastasi, UK, 2005.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

COMMON CRANE (EURASIAN CRANE): Knowledge

A tall, elegant Bird, Common Crane breeds in secluded wetlands of Northern Europe. During the breeding season, He and his Family keep Themselves secluded from other Common Cranes. Whilst nesting, Common Crane’s Family covers their bodies with mud to hide from the others.

During migration, Common Crane returns to the same nesting spot with his Mate. Traveling in large flocks, Common Crane and his Friends fly in a “V”. Flying with his long neck and head straight out, He looks like an alphabet letter in the sky.

The Ancient Greeks once used the migration of Common Crane as their calendar. When He arrived in the spring, it was the start of their New Year. After Common Crane left in the autumn, it was time to bring in their boats from the sea.

Lore among the early Europeans tells of Common Crane inspiring the Gods to invent writing. For the Greek, Hermes, the God of Communication, saw Common Crane flying over Crete. He formed the Greek letters from the Common Crane flocks flying across the sky. Meanwhile, Oghma of the Irish created the Oghams (the stick alphabet) from watching Common Crane.

In addition, Common Crane was associated with hidden knowledge and prophecy. Apollo, the Greek God of poets and seers, often took the form of Common Crane when He moved amongst the humans. Among the Irish, Druids carried Crane bags, which were emblems of their arcane knowledge.

Through the years, Common Crane has guided people seeking to deepen their knowledge. He brought auguries to people to foretell the future. Common Crane inspired the creation of ancient alphabets. In fact, the Irish viewed Him as the Guardian of Magical Alphabets. Let Common Crane inspire you to your pursuit of knowledge.

Friday, September 10, 2010

BROLGA (NATIVE CONPANION): Dance

Found in Australia and New Guinea, Brolga is famous for her intricate and stately dancing. According local Australian lore, Brolga was named for a woman who was an exquisite dancer. She was transformed into a crane after she rejected all of her suitors. (“Brogla” is the shortened version of “Burralga” (from Gamilaraay) the official name.)

Within her flock, Brolga keeps to her small family. Each Brolga flock is actually a collective of families. However, when one Bird takes off, the others in the flock will follow suit. The whole group of Birds seems to move on the whim of only one Bird.

Brolga uses her dancing to bond with her Mate. She lines up opposite to Him, and begins stepping about with her wings half open. Bobbing and bowing, the two Cranes then stop and trumpet to each other. Sometimes They will jump, run, and throw sticks up in the air. At other times, the whole flock will dance together for no reason.

Dancing is an important way for people to express themselves. By moving your body, you can convey joy, sadness, and love. Brolga dances to deepen her bond with her mate. Learn the art of the dance from Brolga, and dance for no reason at all.
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Thursday, September 09, 2010

CRANE FAMILY: Sacred Gifts

As one of the oldest groups of Birds, the Crane Family dates back to the Paleocene Era. For thousands of years, the beauty and grace of these Birds have inspired peoples and civilizations. From instilling sacred knowledge to inspiring speech, Cranes have always been a part of human cultures.

Scientists divide Cranes into two sub-families, the Balearicae and Gruinae. The Crowned Cranes comprise the Balearicae. These living fossils of the Crane Family are found only in Africa. Moreover, Crowned Cranes are the only Cranes who roost in trees.

Meanwhile, the Gruinae includes the typical Cranes; this sub-family is further divided into three groups (Genus). The Grus group is the typical Cranes that most people are familiar with. The Blue and Demoiselle Cranes (the Anthropoides) prefer dry grasslands and semi-arid areas instead of the usual marshes. Meanwhile, the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) is the only member of the Bugeranus Group. This Crane has a long bill, black legs and toes.

One custom that people notice about Cranes is what They do at dawn. Various pairs of Cranes will announce their territory with a unison call. Then, their neighbors will respond with their own calls. In the early morning, the grasslands and wetlands resound with the calls of Crane pairs. This dawn ritual is done to deepen the bonds of each pair.

The stateliness and elegance of Cranes have inspired people throughout the ages. In Asia, Sarus Crane is the symbol of marital fidelity. Meanwhile in China and Japan, Red-Crowned Crane represented happiness. Since They were messengers of the Gods, Demoiselle Cranes were places on Egyptian tombs. According to the Bambara of Africa, Crested Crane gave birth to speech. For the ancient Irish, Common Crane inspired Oghma to create the Ogham alphabets.

Cranes have given people many wonderful things. Their sacred gifts include beauty, happiness, immortality, love, loyalty, piety, and purity. These are suitable gifts that we can all possess and give to others. Let Cranes be your guide to holy things.
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