Anonymous asked:What's my favorite color?
The Twisted Trees of Slope Point, New Zealand
Slope Point is at the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. The air streams loop the ocean, unobstructed for 2000 miles, until they reach Slope Point causing incredibly strong winds. In fact, the winds are so strong and persistent here that they perpetually warp and twist the trees into these crooked, wind-swept shapes.
Slope Point is generally uninhabited, except for the herds of sheep that graze the land. There are no roads leading here, however backpackers regularly make the short 20-minute walk to see the fascinating tree formations that only Mother Nature could create. However there is no public access during the lambing season from September to November.
Tiger gets a bad baby tooth removed
When a tiger’s first response to having a tooth yanked is not a roar, snarl or swipe with claws, but a test nibble to check that its mouth works as well as it suddenly feels, it speaks volumes about how much the bad tooth* must have hurt.
*You can see, briefly, that it’s black and nasty on the inner side. Yuck.
I’m just awed by the amount of trust in this gif. That tiger totally trusts that the human is going to help with that scary metal object on an already painful area and the human totally trusts that the tiger is just test nibbling and not chomping down on his arm. I flinch when a house cat comes at me too fast and these two don’t even hesitate to trust each other.
We are not so different.
I love this, we are all just occupying different forms
Historical contexts are important to Pagans wishing to reform our faith. While I think it’s also extraordinarily important to be passionate about our beliefs, I also think that if we do not ground ourselves in the rich history of our forebears, we will lose our way. Our ancestors have given us so much. To ignore their gifts and to engage in what is easy rather than seeking for new and old truths; not only do we do ourselves a disservice, but we disrespect our ancestors. Those that came before us—those who were burned in the fires of Christianity’s sweep, those who became ministers and practiced their old ways in secret, those families that came after and forgot their roots. How can people simply disregard all that has come before. There was a time before Christianity, when man was ignorant in ways alien to us now, yet man was in possession of a great thing. This thing was a truth to the land. They tilled the soil and they worked the earth—they respected that which cradled and nourished them. Those old ways can never be fully reclaimed, but to understand why they may have been important … A Druid, older and wiser than I asked me, a few weeks ago, three questions: “Why are we the tree? Why are we the well? Why are we the fire?” I nodded in comprehension, but did I know then and do I know now? I must continue to mull these questions over and over again in my mind, and strive to understand them. If I come to a conclusion, I must not remain unmovable in that conclusion—for if a new truth is upon me, I must be ready to change, to flow as water does, so that my mind does not stagnate. A murky pool of a mind is no good to anyone, Bard or not. I must stoke the fires of my passion for my craft and my way with the wisdom that I find along the way. The fire in my head, which gives me the ability to shed light on new thoughts, ideas, and ways. I must allow my thoughts to flourish, as a tree in bloom, stretching ever outward toward an open sky—a sky full of the distant stars of twinkling possibility. If I simply lay back and choose that which is easy—if I decide to seek not and question never, I have wasted my life. Furthermore, I will have squandered my ability to hunt for those things in life that are precious, and I would not be a child of Cernunnos if I refused to join the hunt. The Morrigan would not be my mother if I simply chose to flee in the face of fear. Would the Dagda’s cauldron allow me to drink from it if I bowed my head to cowardice and strife? If I refused the music of the soul, would the mother of Bards, would Brigit’s light ever shine upon me? Would she place her flames in my head and my heart? How could I feel the joy of love and the toil that can sometimes accompany it if I chose the easiest ways in life? Each and every God upon my altar has a place there for a *reason*. I have not chosen them simply to have something to do. My faith, my religion is not a hobby or a rebellious notion—nor is it a phase. It is who I am, body and soul—and I believe I have always been this way. Before Christianity, before there was a Capital God, there were many Gods who were many things to many people—and those Gods still are. They did not cease to exist simply because folks were told not to look upon them. They lie in the quiet places of our heart, they live in the smile of our greatest heroes and in the scowls of our most hated enemies. They are good and evil, right and wrong—they are in the wind, the soil, the trees—they are within us and without us. They are the creators and the created. Ever changing, ever moving, but never gone from us. We can hear them in our heartbeat and feel them in the sun. We have but to look upon them—and when we see them, truly, for the first time, they are wild and without apology. They are elemental and vibrant, cosmic and universal. They just are and always will be.
A Sika deer in Nara Park with a unique antler formation
Photo credit: CharlesFBI
Monumental Plant Sculptures at the 2013 Mosaicultures Internationales de Montréal… link
I will be attending the DFW Pagan Pride Day on October 5th.
When someone tells you they wrote an “essay” about a God/Goddess, and it turns out that they cherry picked and copied blurbs from wikipedia and other websites; then stuck them together and made paragraphs with them.
Yeah. Essay. Right.
I was sitting beside a fire, using clay to make the figure of a tree. A friend was standing over me trying to tell me how to do it, and said to me, “If you cut off your leg and use it to get the shape right, it’ll look better.” So, I pulled at my leg, just under the knee, until it came off. (It was a dream, so there was no blood or pain.) I then began to fold clay around my leg until it started to look like a tree again, but when I looked at my own body, where my shin used to be, there was a tree trunk growing out of me. Upon the tree trunk was a deep slash that was already healing over with fresh, new bark. I heard the Dagda’s voice say to me; "There is no injury that is great enough to harm your soul." When my friend heard this, she became outraged. She tied me up and strung me over a pot, with my feet and arms bound tight. The pot below me bubbled and steamed with how hot it was. The Dagda appeared at my side and placed his hand on my arm and said again: "There is no injury that is great enough to harm your soul." When he removed his hand from me, I fell into the pot, and when I touched the water it was as cool as bathwater. The Dagda gave me his hand, and taking it I came from the bubbling cauldron, which was frothing and boiling once more. The Dagda brought to me my wife, Catherine, and brought our hands together and said to us: "There is no injury that is great enough to harm your soul." With that, he pushed a ball of clay into my hands, and laid Catherine’s own hands atop it. "You are strong enough to overcome."