Goddess Of The Day: SARASVATI

Goddess Of The Day: SARASVATI

Festival of Sarasvati (India)

Themes: Learning; Wisdom; Communication
Symbols: White Flowers (especially Lotus); Marigolds; Swans

About Sarasvati:

A Hindu goddess of eloquence and intelligence, Sarasvati extends a refreshing drink from her well of knowledge to complete the month with aptitude. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati invented all sciences, arts, and writing. In works of art she is depicted as white-skinned and graceful, riding on a swan or sitting on an open lotus blossom.

To Do Today:Today is an excellent time to embark on any course of study or to reinforce your learning in a specific area. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati’s festival is held on or around this date. During the celebration, students gather in the Katmandu Valley (Nepal) bearing gifts for the goddess, who visits here today. Traditional offerings at the temples include lotus and marigold blossoms and incense, while students bring pens or books to invoke Sarasvati’s aid with their studies. Adapting this a bit, try dabbing your personal tools or educational books with a little lotus oil, and burn any sweet-scented incense to improve your awareness (rosemary is a good choice).

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To generate Sarasvati’s assistance in matters of communication, find a white flower and remove its petals. Place these in any moving water source, saying:

Sarasvati, let my words bear gentle beauty and truth,
falling gently on other’s ears, even as these petals to the water.

Let the water (which also represents this goddess) carry your wish.

By Patricia Telesco

 

Celebrations Around The World, Jan. 31st

Feast of Great Typos
Festival of Brigantia begins
Up Helly AA (Viking Festival)
Festival of Imbolc begins
Nauru Independence Day
Festival of Transmission Errors
Child Labor Day
St. John Bosco’s Day (patron of editors, apprentices)
Phlegm-Green, Moldy-Grey, and Gazzard Day (Goblin)
Valkyries’ Day (Norse)
St. Marcella’s Day
Kitchen God Visits Heaven (China)
National Brandy Alexander Day
St. Tryphena’s Day (patron of nursing mothers)

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast – Source: The Daily Globe, School Of The Seasons and/or The Daily Bleed

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 January 31
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

The Helix Nebula from the VISTA Telescope
Credit: ESO/VISTA/J. Emerson; Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit  

 

 

Explanation: Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away towards the constellation of the Water Bearer (Aquarius) and spans about 2.5 light-years. The above picture was taken three colors on infrared light by the 4.1-meter Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.

“Candlemas’ is the Christianized name for the holiday, of course. The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc. ‘Imbolc’ means, literally, ‘in the belly’ (of the Mother). For in the womb of Mother Earth, hidden from our mundane sight but sensed by a keener vision, there are stirrings. The seed that was planted in her womb at the solstice is quickening and the new year grows. ‘Oimelc’ means ‘milk of ewes’, for it is also lambing season. The holiday is also called ‘Brigit’s Day’, in honor of the great Irish Goddess Brigit. At her shrine, the ancient Irish capitol of Kildare, a group of 19 priestesses (no men allowed) kept a perpetual flame burning in her honor. She was considered a goddess of fire, patroness of smithcraft, poetry and healing (especially the healing touch of
midwifery).”
– Daven’s Journal – Imbolic

Stress Is Not What You Think

Stress Is Not What You Think

  • Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ironically, the holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year. Imagine you are trying to squeeze some toothpaste out of a tube but you have forgotten to take the top off. What happens? Deb actually did this in one of her most unaware moments and the toothpaste soon found another way out through the bottom of the tube and got all over her. It will force a hole in the side or wherever is the weakest point.

Now imagine that the tube of toothpaste is you, under pressure and beginning to experience psychological or emotional stress. But you don’t take your lid off, as it were, by recognizing what is happening and making time to relax or deal with your inner conflicts.

So what happens to the mental or emotional stress building up inside? In her book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, Deb shows how eventually it has to find a way out and if it can’t come out through the top, as it were, by being expressed and resolved, it will come out somewhere else, whether through your digestion, nerves, immune system, behavior, or sleep patterns. Repressed or ignored stress can manifest as depression, addiction, or anxiety; projected outwards it can become hostility, aggression, prejudice or fear.

We have built into our physiology a fight-or-flight response that enables us to respond to danger if, for instance, we are on the front line of a battle or facing a large bear. The battle may be with your teenage son and bears tend to come in a variety shapes and sizes, such as impatient and angry holiday shoppers. Seemingly unimportant events can even cause a stress reaction, as the brain is unable to tell the difference between real and imagined threats: if you focus on your concern about what might happen it plays as much havoc with your hormones and chemical balance as it does in a real situation.

Recent studies show–as if we didn’t know–that job dissatisfaction, moving house, divorce, and financial difficulties are at the top of the list of known stressors. But we all respond differently to circumstances: a divorce may be a big stressor for one but it may be a welcome relief to another. The difference lies in our response, for although we may have little or no control over the circumstances we are dealing with, we do have control over our reaction to them.

In other words, the cause of stress is not as much the external circumstances, such as having too many demands and not enough time to fill them, as it is our perception of the circumstances as being overwhelming; and our perception of our ability to cope, as when you feel stretched beyond what you perceive yourself to be capable of.

What you believe will color your every thought, word and action. As cell biologist Bruce Lipton says in his book, The Biology of Belief, “Our responses to environmental stimuli are indeed controlled by perceptions, but not all of our learned perceptions are accurate. Not all snakes are dangerous! Yes, perception “controls” biology, but… these perceptions can be true or false. Therefore, we would be more accurate to refer to these controlling perceptions as beliefs. Beliefs control biology!”

In other words, believing that it is your work, family or lifestyle that is causing you stress and that if you could only change these in some way then you would be fine, is seeing the situation from the wrong perspective. It is the belief that it is something out there that is causing the stress. And, although changing the circumstances certainly may help, invariably, no matter what you do, it is a change within your belief system and perception of yourself that will make the biggest difference.

Try It Yourself

If you find yourself feeling stressed, take 10 minutes to breathe more deeply. Most people who are tense breathe short, shallow breaths into the upper part of their chest. If you take slower breaths and deepen your breathing into your belly, the stress will dissolve.

Then find an affirmation that works for you to shift perceptions and belief patterns and to reinforce your strengths, such as: “My mind is at ease and I am capable of doing everything,” or “With every breath I am more relaxed and flowing through my day with ease.”

Overwhelmed? Try An Intuition Check

Overwhelmed? Try An Intuition Check

  • Christy Diane Farr

It is easy to be overwhelmed when you can’t decide out of a whole world of possibilities which things are actually true for you.

When I woke up this morning, my mind was swirling with all of the choices. So many, in fact, that I felt a bit off balance. It’s the beginning of the week of Christmas and there are packages to mail, cards to write, and I’ve got to get a bit crafty because a major car repair two weeks ago devoured anything that might have resembled gift money. And except for the holiday greetings we’ve begun to receive, there’s not a single decoration in sight.

Plus it’s a work day. I have my own business and there are emails waiting for a response, a newsletter that needs to be written, and a book that I vowed would be submitted to the publisher by the end of this year. I have checkbooks to balance and marketing to be done for the clutter clearing class that starts again in January.

The floor at my office, which converts magically back into a home when the children arrive at 3:00 pm, needs to be tended, as does the laundry and the half bath. If the dust was glitter, it would look like fairies live here. For the record, the difference in dust since we took out carpet and installed hardwood floors (a most generous gift from dear friends this time last year) makes me wonder if carpet isn’t the nastiest thing on this planet. Seriously, the dust level seems to have tripled since the carpet came out.

Anyway, all of this and more was swirling about in my head when I woke up this morning, “Pick me! Pick me!” My impulse was, I like to think rather understandably, to go back to bed and hide from it all. The reality is that there is no way all of this can be done today. It isn’t even an option. I’m sure that many of you felt the same way this morning. There is so much to do. Much of it is even important. But, this isn’t about being a diligent list writer. This is bigger than staying on task. Some of these things need to be chosen, and a good chunk of it needs to be left behind for another day, another person, and perhaps another lifetime.

Instead of wondering how I’ll get this all done, the question instead becomes, “At this moment, what is the best use of my time, energy, brain power, and other assorted resources?” This is my power position, with great emphasis on in this moment and best use. When I say “best use,” I’m looking specifically for the action that is going to cultivate the best results for me today.

 

While my brain was buzzing with overwhelm, I searched for the courage to pause–for just a couple of minutes, sometimes only seconds. I had stop and wait for guidance. I had to wait for clarity, a knowing from somewhere deeper, about how best show up in the world at this moment, on this particular day.

I need an intuition check and so, I wrestled myself into a moment of silence.

I do not use the word wrestled lightly here. It’s still a struggle most days, although I hear that eventually some of the resistance will pass. Lots of days, I don’t win the big fight but today I did.

And, it turns out, most of that to-do list isn’t true for me today and I now understand what few things are. I know about connecting with those who’ve written to inquire about working with me. I know to do what I promised I would do for my existing clients. I know that while I will balance the checkbooks, I can’t waste another moment freaking out about the bills that I’m unable to pay today.

When I calm down, freaking out never makes the list. It doesn’t serve me or anyone else. It doesn’t open any doors to allow goodness to flow in. It doesn’t help. Ever. Who can afford to lose another moment to the hysteria?

When I calm down, impossible things don’t make the list either, like decorating today. My back has been acting as if it would like my attention. It doesn’t feel wise to drag the stuff down from the attic, and possibly risking my back wanting even more of my attention. I just need to let it go and trust that a solution will present itself later in the week but today, there are things I can do to bring myself a little closer to ready for Sunday. I can finish that last gift and mail the box of goodies for my people in Colorado, leaving it enough time to get where it’s going.

When I calm down, solutions flow in. People do what they say they are going to do, sometimes even wonderful, generous, helpful things that I don’t expect them to do. The words flow with ease and the time seems to slow and work for me, instead of against me. It’s the same when I do yoga, meditate, journal, dance, or walk in the woods. When I do these things I feel grounded. I can hear my wise self, my intuition, whispering to me about what’s best. I can trust me with me… as long as I remember to listen to my true voice.

Are you listening to your intuition? What does it whisper to you in the still moments? What do you hear in your dreams? What are the activities, people, and places that support your inner dialogue? Are you getting enough of them lately? What do you need to feel supported? What kinds of answers are you looking for? Have you asked for what you need and then, waited for the answers to bubble up from within? If not, are you willing to begin right now?

Feng Shui to Alleviate Anxiety

Feng Shui to Alleviate Anxiety

  • Jana, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Anxiety escalates around the holidays as life’s frantic pace shifts into overdrive. Too much to do in too little time leaves you more susceptible to the telltale signs of anxiety such as headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, irritability, and even panic attacks. Looking for relief? You could follow the typical Western path, or you could try an option with considerably fewer side effects: The metaphor-rich design system called feng shui (pronounced fung shway).

Based on influencing the flow of qi (chi) or energy through your home and other aspects of your environment, feng shui principles align energy patterns with healing forces of nature. The result is a harmonious home that lays the foundation for emotional, spiritual, and physical health, says Brooklyn-based chakracologist (a term she’s coined) and feng shui expert Nancy SantoPietro.

“The feng shui of your home mirrors your life and health back to you in an objective, tangible way,” says SantoPietro, author of Feng Shui and Health: The Anatomy of a Home (Three Rivers Press, 2002). Survey your abode. Do clutter and chaos reign supreme? If so, your home’s feng shui may reflect the emotional, spiritual, and physical issues contributing to anxiety. But according to SantoPietro, by correcting the energy flow in your intimate living space, you can dismantle anxiety supported by unhealthy energy patterns and design layouts.

Use these feng shui tips to make your home an anxiety-free zone.

Repair all electrical systems. “Electricity runs through the wires of your home much like qi runs through the meridians of your body. When your home’s electrical system breaks down, it interferes with your energy flow and ability to stay focused, clear, and calm,” SantoPietro explains. Avoid energy clogs or leaks by repairing or replacing worn wires, blown light bulbs, and faulty outlets.

Clear away clutter. Clutter stagnates energy, both in your environment and in you. Entranceways are particularly important, SantoPietro notes, as they set the tone for the feng shui throughout your home. Keep them clear and unrestricted.

Reduce bedroom energy. “Remove electrical sources such as TVs, computers, and LED clock radios from your bedroom because they leak radiation, depress immunity, and interfere with sleep,” urges SantoPietro. The bedroom is meant for rejuvenation, renewal, and intimacy.

Just add color. “White decor deflects life force and thus neutralizes feelings,” SantoPietro says, “but decorate with color and you’ll invoke it. Any time I evaluate a home with all white decor, I know that someone in that house is not dealing with something.” And avoiding feelings often leads to anxiety.

“There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues.”
– Hal Borland

Cosmic Calendar for Tuesday, Jan. 31

One of the calmest days of January 2012 arrives on the scene. Even last night’s fairly intense First Quarter Sun-Moon Phase is pretty much a done deal. In its place, the cosmos only gives you one slight hurdle to jump over – a Moon-Uranus 45-degree skirmish (8:33AM PST). By anticipating some surprises, shocking news or jack-in-the-box type situations, you will be on top of your game and ready to accomplish everything on your pragmatic, to-do list under hardworking Taurus Moon. Handle financial management and budgets like a pro. Get back on track with favorite exercise routines. Check to make sure your garden equipment is spruced up and ready for the growing season. Love vibrations increase in wavelength this evening – thanks to a supportive, 60-degree liaison from the Moon in Taurus to Venus in Pisces (6:09PM PST) supplemented by a flowing trine from the Moon to Mars retrograding in Virgo (8:29PM PST). There is no reason why you cannot combine loving kindness (Venus) with just the right measure of passion (Mars) to guide a primary partnership on to a higher plane of thoughtful interaction. Let the good times roll!