It took me some time to think on this, and my decision is that I most likely will not post every week, but will instead pour my heart into a letter and subject that screams out at me.
Like this week is the letter E and I wish to focus on education. Education is a broad subject and I may take 2 weeks to cover it all. You see, there is more to this subject than just your spiritual paths. There is basic education, like grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and yes, even math.
When one doesn't take the time to check spelling and use basic grammar, they can appear quite ignorant in the written/typed world we now live in. You can be as brilliant as Einstein, but if you don't grasp the basics of writing, then you can, and will come off to people as uneducated. That's the last thing we want as Pagans. Another reason, is we can end up getting into big trouble when we start advising people, say on herbs for example. If you can't spell the name of that herb (this is where spelling comes in), or tell how it is to properly be used (this is where grammar, punctuation, sentence structure comes in), the amounts to be used in ratio to other ingredients, by age or body weight (this is where math comes in). I recently came across a post where someone misspelled the names of herbs so that they were then mistaken for another herb entirely. It was a big cluster of misunderstandings until we got it all sorted out.
Spelling, proper capitalization, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure are a must in an easily read article, blog, or post. I think the internet has made us lazy in our educations. I once had argument with a friend because I constantly hounded my boys to post with correctly spelled words and '2 nt typ lik this'. She didn't think it was a big deal, and I think it looks so uneducated. Especially school aged children should not type like that because they'll do so in their school assignments. As well as never learn to properly spell. Now I admit there are times when I will type with my southern drawl, but never in something serious.
What I'm boiling it all down to, is there is a time and place for lazy typing. So leave the l337 sp33k, the emoticons, and the internet acronyms (l8r, lol, ikr, i <3 u 2;s) in normal chat.
is for Being True to Yourself.
Oddly this 3rd installment left me completely blank. Especially when once I drafted a blog on balance, others have done so, and did a much better job than mine, so I didn't post it. I'm also a bit anal about wanting to be unique. I even thought of writing about Blind Faith, but then my blog would be nothing more than a bitchfest with me in charge.
So, the best way I know to discuss my chosen topic is to talk a little about myself. Show by example.
I am nearly 43 years old, a mother of 4, and a Pagan. I recently lost my mother, but not through death. I lost her to her religion. I am evil and destined to hell according to her. Now do not for one minute think I am down on Christians, because I am not. I have friends who are dear and near to my heart who are Christians of different denominations that I accept, and that accept me. I accept my mother's beliefs. The woman has the right to find comfort in her own spirituality as she sees fit. What you do not realize, is that even when I was Catholic I was evil in her eyes. (long story that someday I might share.)
I bet you're asking how that ties in to my topic choice. Well see, All my life I tried to get my mother's approval. We've had our tiffs through the years and not spoken, then eventually started talking again. All because I so desperately wanted her attention and approval, that I'd bow down to her, and make excuses for her. This time though is different, because finally I am being true to Myself. I will not hide my spiritual path, or any part of myself any longer, just to appease others.
Everyone, no matter who they are need to stand up for themselves. We are all unique individuals, and being true to yourself is in itself a spiritual awakening.
This week was a bit tougher on finding a topic. First I was going to do Astral Travel/projection vs Myoclonic Twitch/Hypnagogic Jerk. Then someone brouht up an ancient 13th zodiac that starts with an 'A'. She called it Aranean and based on Arachne. No it's not Ophiuchus, I looked all over the net, and found nothing so I ordered the book she's reading from, and a couple others. I don't feel right on blogging about info that I don't have all the info on. I could have done many gods and goddesses, like Artemis, Athena, Apollo, Anubis, Atum, Aten, Amun, Angrbodha, Astrild, Atla, etc... but many are doing the deities. So, looking much like my favorite bear, Winnie-ther-Pooh, I tell myself, "Think, Jeaux, think about something you know." Then it hit me like a fast ball in the outfield.
The Staff of Asciepius vs. The Caduceus Wand
The Staff of Asclepius (Æsclepius, Asklepios)
[Personification of Medical or healing Art and its ideals]
Professional and patient centred organisations (such as the NZMA, in fact most medical Associations around the world including the World Health Organization) use the "correct" and traditional symbol of medicine, the staff of Asclepius with a single serpent encircling a staff, classically a rough-hewn knotty tree limb. Asclepius (an ancient greek physician deified as the god of medicine) is traditionally depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe that leaves his chest uncovered and holding a staff with his sacred single serpent coiled around it, (example right) symbolizing renewal of youth as the serpent casts off its skin. The single serpent staff also appears on a Sumerian vase of c. 2000 B.C. representing the healing god Ningishita, the prototype of the Greek Asklepios.
Asclepius was most probably a skilled physician who practised in Greece around 1200BC (and described in Homer's Iliad). Eventually through myth and legend he came to be worshipped as Asclepius, the (Greek) god of Healing.
The Myth: Asclepius is the god of Healing. He is the son of Apollo and the nymph, Coronis. While pregnant with Asclepius, Coronis secretly took a second, mortal lover. When Apollo found out, he sent Artemis to kill her. While burning on the funeral pyre, Apollo felt pity and rescued the unborn child from the corpse. Asclepius was taught about medicine and healing by the wise centaur, Cheiron, and became so skilled in it that he succeeded in bringing one of his patients back from the dead. Zeus felt that the immortality of the Gods was threatened and killed the healer with a thunderbolt. At Apollo's request, Asclepius was placed among the stars as Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer. (Like the wheel this brings me somewhat back to the 13th zodiac. I will be talking more about that in the months to come. Especially since Astrology really interests me.)
The staff as a Medical symbol: From the early 16th century onwards, the staff of Asclepius and the caduceus of Hermes were widely used as printers’ marks especially as frontispieces to pharmacopoeias in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over time the rod and serpent (the Asclepian staff) emerged as an independent symbol of medicine.
The Caduceus of Mercury (Roman) and the Karykeion of Hermes (Greek)
Many "medical" organisations use a symbol of a short rod entwined by two snakes and topped by a pair of wings, which is actually the caduceus or magic wand of the Greek godHermes (Roman Mercury), messenger of the gods, inventor of (magical) incantations, conductor of the dead and protector of merchants and thieves. It is derived from the Greek karykeion = "herald's staff", itself based on the word "eruko" meaning restrain, control.
The Greek Hermes found his analogue in Egypt as the ancient Wisdom god Thoth, as Taaut of the Phoenicians and in Rome as the god Mercury (all linked with a magic rod with twin snakes). The mythical origin of his magic twin serpent caduceus is described in the story of Tiresias. Poulenc, in "Les Mamelles de Tiresias" (The Breasts of Tiresias) tells how Tiresias--the seer who was so unhelpful to Oepidus and Family- found two snakes copulating, and to separate them stuck his staff between them. Immediately he was turned into a woman, and remained so for seven years, until he was able to repeat his action, and change back to male. The transformative power in this story, strong enough to completely reverse even physical polarities of male and female, comes from the union of the two serpents, passed on by the wand. Tiresias' staff, complete with serpents, was later passed on to Hermes...
A description of the Caduceus of Hermes (Mercury)is that the serpents may represent positive and negative kundalini as it moves through the chakras and around the spine (the staff) to the head where it communicates with MIND by intellection, the domain of Mercury [wings].
The caduceus as a Medical symbol: The link between Hermes and his caduceus and medicine seems to have arisen by Hermes links with alchemy. Alchemists were referred to as the sons of Hermes, as Hermetists or Hermeticists and as "practitioners of the hermetic arts". By the end of the sixteenth century, the study of alchemy included not only medicine and pharmaceuticals but chemistry, mining and metallurgy. Despite learned opinion that it is the single snake staff of Asclepius that is the proper symbol of medicine, many medical groups have adopted the twin serpent caduceus of Hermes or Mercury as a medical symbol during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Despite the unequivocal claim of the staff of Asclepius to represent medicine (and healing), the caduceus, a rod with two entwined serpents topped by a pair of wings appears to be the more popular symbol of medicine in the United States, probably due to simple confusion between the caduceus and the staff of Asclepius, the true symbol of medicine. Many people use the word caduceus to mean both of these emblems.
In closing.. When my husband went to school to become an EMT, I studied up to find him a pendent he could wear on the job as a pagan, and found that since these healing symbols are used in modern times, I was able to find him a Caduceus with a pentacle at the head.
Now I know these blogs will get tougher and tougher if I insist on remaining unique and not blogging about topics others have picked. My goal is to bring my readers something new, and unique.
My second book for this challenge is the first book of the Jazz Tremaine series, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover. Funny that I didn't realize this was a series until after I read the third book first.
When she isn't getting into trouble with her oddball companions—a vicious pair of bunny slippers and a frustrated ghost who haunts her sports car—hot-tempered witch Jazz Tremaine earns money lifting hexes and driving limos for Southern California's All Creatures Limo Service. When the vampire cop she's loved and hated for centuries, Nikolai Gregorivich, seeks her help in catching a serial vampire slayer, Jazz fends him off to focus on her own problems (the sleazeball limo service owner; a client who generates supernaturally disgusting odors). She can't resist her sexy vamp lover for long, though, especially as clues in the killings point to an evil figure from her past. With clever writing, a high sensuality factor and an unfettered imagination, Wisdom makes a sparkling entry into lite urban paranormals.
Twas the night before the BCS, and all throughv N'Awlins, the pits were smoking, the crawfish boilin', the banners were hung in the Superdome with care, knowing LSU and Bama would soon be there. The tigers were nestled all safe in their beds, while vision of Shady's danced in their heads. And Nick with his pitchfork, and Les with his cap, were drawing a game plan, no time for a nap. When out in the Quarter, there arose such a clatter, it startled Nick Satan, and Les the Mad Hatter. A guy yelled "Go Bama" another "Role Tide", the Tiger fans from Jekyll to Hyde. They shouted in unison "Bama Sucks; Tiger Bait" For Bama was the team they all loved to hate. Dusk turned to Dawn and fans stumbled home. In just a few hours, they'd all fill the dome. The game soon kicked off, it was lively and quick. Bama scored first which gladdened St. Nick. Les calmly bent down, and chewed on some turf. He wouldnt be outcoached by a lil red smurf,
Now O' Dell
Give em hell...To the end of the field, and in to the zone, lets go score some points and bring the title home, the O started rolling and soon they did score, the crowd went wild, Mike let out a roar. But the tide seemed to Beacon, the ghost of Bear and right before halftime, a kick sailed through the air. It soared through the uprights, both mighty and true, Alabama had 10, to 7 for LSU, the bands took the field and put on a show, the crowd hit the john, they all had to go. Meanwhile, in the locker, adjustments were made, the 2nd half game plan was carefully laid. The 2nd half kickoff went to the Tide, LSU tried to trick them and the kick was on side. The Tide did recover, and started their drive, but the Tiger D stiffened, the crowd came alive. Between the Freak and the kid named Mingo. They were all over the field like an old lady at Bingo. They went back and forth a heavy weight battle. The fans got real nervous. But Les didnt rattle. Who would you trust, a coach who eats grass, or one who looks distressed as if he has gas? We should all thank St. Nick and bend on our knees, it was he who chose Culpepper instead or Drew Brees. The clock ticked down, only ten seconds to go, Bama punted the ball, time to put on a show. He weaved through the Tide, as if they werent there. They all grasped at his jersey and came up with air. He crossed the goal line as the clock ticked to 0. Once again number 7 was the LSU hero. The crowd did erupt, the journey was through. The national Champions, the Tigers of LSU. And I heard him proclaim over cheering and taunts. Honey Badger gets, what Honey Badger wants.