The War on Christmas from the Wine and Cheese (Doodles) Blog

A hilarious, clever and sharp post by Dina Honour.

#Breaking: As part of Operation Kringle, President Trump today ordered the deployment of the newly renamed 1st North Pole Battalion to an undisclosed mid-west location to monitor and protect the Koch Tree Farm, the nation’s largest supplier of Spruce and Fir trees. President Trump today, speaking from a dais festooned with holly and ivy, declared […]

via The War on Christmas — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

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Dragon Consumes Sun – Mundane Monday Challenge #138 : Learn Photography

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Image: Jan Malique

My second outing for the Mundane Monday Challenge.

You may wonder why the post is called Dragon Consumes Sun, or not.  Ancient legends speak of creatures such as dragons swallowing the Sun, thus causing solar eclipses. This shot is an attempt at recreating such an event. I hope it works.

My subject is a lovely little lacquered bowl:

 

 

Sacred Phoenix Heart — From The Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance Blog

A message of Hope for many facing challenges and dark times. Don’t give up!

Daily Angel Oracle Card: Sacred Phoenix Heart, from the RUMI Oracle Card deck, by Alana Fairchild, artwork by Rassouli Sacred Phoenix Heart: “Under the cover of blood, love veils many rose gardens. In total faith, love tenderly guides every lover to the garden of the heart. Reason says, the world is limited in six direction, […]

via Sacred Phoenix Heart — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

Writers of the Lost Art – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben … — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? No, I don’t mean the ones like I receive, informing me of the great opportunity to settle my final arrangements before my family is burdened with the responsibility. Life can begin at any age but it gets fun once you turn 60. But […]

via Writers of the Lost Art – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben … — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Dance of Consolation: Beginnings and Endings

This image of the Hindu god Shiva in the guise of Nataraja (Sanskrit – Lord of the Dance) is familiar to many people. Shiva Nataraja first appeared in 5-6 CE and the freestanding figure about 10 CE. It’s a persona that’s supremely evocative and inspires awe, if not a shiver down the back. I have a little statuette of the Lord of the Dance somewhere in storage, he needs to see the light of day now. My collection of statuettes all have a history behind them. Ganesh, Shiva and Vishnu have found their way to me over the years. I’m waiting on Brahma to grace me with his presence now. They were all bought in a little shop off Baker Street, central London. It was one of many little gems scattered across a busy city centre. The shop had a gorgeous statuette of Shiva carved out of sandalwood, how I wish I’d bought it at the time. It was too large to carry on public transport and getting a taxi home would have been expensive. My regret has lessened over the years. Honest, it has. Now, what of Shiva Nataraja?

As Destroyer, Shiva is one aspect of a divine triad consisting of Brahma, who is Creator and Vishnu, who is Preserver. The dance Shiva performs is called Tandava, and is said to bring about the destruction of the physical world and illusionary concepts of the Self. What is left thereafter but for creation and enlightenment to rise out of this ending?

The ecstatic Cosmic dancer has a smile on his face, perhaps knowing what he’s about to initiate? Symbols and motifs have a habit of perplexing the conscious mind, which act as a portal into the greater expanse of the subconscious. Music and dance are powerful keys to doorways hidden deep within the Soul. The many elements comprising this vision of beauty and luminosity sometimes leave me feeling overwhelmed and mystified. He’s like a book filled with mystical knowledge, unfolding his secrets when the mystic attains further insight. What is he conveying in his ecstasy? What is he conveying is in his pose?

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photo credit: aaRJay fotography Shiva Temple via photopin (license)

The god dances within a circle of flames representing the world of Maya (Illusion) and consciousness, the inner ring symbolises water and the outer is fire. His gestures convey five attributes:

Creation

The upper right hand holds a drum (damaru) representing the sound, a heartbeat, to which Shiva dances in his creation of the world.

Protection

The lowert right hand is held in the abhaya-mudra (what is called the “fear not” gesture, palm facing outward with the fingers pointing up.)  It is a blessing.

 Destruction

This is represented by fire held in the upper left hand (either in a vessel or his hand), symbolising the disintegration of matter. Agni (fire) cleanses and removes the result of destruction at the end of each epoch or Yuga. The lower left hand is in the gahahasta (elephant trunk) pose and points towards the raised left foot, conveying Shiva’s grace.

Embodiment

The right foot is placed upon the demon of ignorance, Apasmara, vanquishing him so that knowledge may flourish.

 Release

The left foot is raised, bestowing eternal bliss, grace and release.

Shiva’s unkempt hair signifies him as an ascetic and houses a crescent moon (the seasons are created through its waxing and waning), a skull, Datura blossom and Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges. When her presence was needed on Earth Shiva’s hair broke her descent.

There are snakes coiled round Shiva’s upper arms and neck, signifying his power over these creatures. They are also symbolic of reincarnation and regeneration due to the ability to shed their skin.

This is only a brief glimpse into the symbolism of this mighty Lord of the Dance, one would have to meditate upon his nature to gain personal insights. I can’t profess to be a devotee but hold him in great esteem, perhaps my ancestors worshipped him at one time, I hope so. One day I’ll visit Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India to visit the great temple complex of Nataraja. Legends tell of Shiva having performed his dance of beginnings and endings in a grove of Tillai trees there. Sacred landscapes are instilled with the essences of divinity, hence one of many reasons pilgrims undertake their journeys to partake of these energies. This is my virtual pilgrimage to pay homage to Shiva in his Nataraja form.

“Building a new folk culture” — From The Art of Enchantment Blog

A thoughtful post from one of  my favourite blogs by Dr Sharon Blackie, Writer, Psychologist and Mythologist:

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Last week I was the guest speaker at a joint meeting of the Trinity College Dublin Literary and Environmental Societies. I was speaking at their request about the intersection of myth, feminism and ecology in my writing, and as I always do, I was stressing the value of our native mythology and folk traditions, and […]

via Building a new folk culture — The Art of Enchantment

Redeeming the Wolf / Reclaiming the (Were)Wolf — Open Graves, Open Minds

Another fascinating post from the OGOM blog:

As I am sure you are aware, it’s only three days until our Being Human event, ‘Redeeming the Wolf: A Story of Persecution, Loss and Rediscover’. There’s still time to book if you wish to learn more about wolves. I wrote a blog about the event for the Being Human website which you can read…

via Redeeming the Wolf / Reclaiming the (Were)Wolf — Open Graves, Open Minds

The Curious Monk by Lucy Brazier

Another fabulous offering from the lovely Lucy:

Hot on the heels of the success of The Box Under The Bed horror anthology, the team are putting together a follow-up collection of unlikely tales, this time in the genre of humour. Here is a teaser of my contribution, The Curious Monk… Curiosity killed the cat, or so they say. What cat? Why a cat? Were […]

via The Curious Monk — Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

Twittering Tale #57– The Roundup

A welcome spot of humour from Kat Myrman at “Like Mercury Colliding” with her weekly Twittering Tale challenges.

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About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story based on that prompt in 140 characters or less. Be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at charactercountonline.com.

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun! I know it can be a challenge squashing an entire tale into 140 characters (spaces and punctuation included), but it feels so good when you are able…

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Goddess Sekhmet and Fire Agate

I have a lot of affection for the ancient Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet, she’s a deity not to be trifled with but can offer great support and courage when needed.

Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

Goddess Sekhmet & Fire Agate, from the Crystal Mandala Oracle Card deck, by Alana Fairchild, artwork by Jane Marin

Daily Angel Oracle Card: Goddess Sekhmet & Fire Agate, from the Crystal Mandala Oracle Card deck, by Alana Fairchild, artwork by Jane Marin

Goddess Sekhmet & Fire Agate: “Passion of the Lion Heart”

“We bring you the empowerment of passion of the lion heart. Through passion you will dedicate yourself with an intensity and discipline that may surprise you. Passion is love activated. It is energy that moves you from within and empowers you to act in the world in ways you would not otherwise dare to even consider. Passion gives you strength, plugs you into the eternal energy of sacred fire, and generates the ability to accomplish tasks you once may not have believed possible. With great passion there can be great pain. The heart that loves wild and open…

View original post 1,035 more words