The Snow Maiden

The Snow Maiden

(Russia)

Many readers will already be familiar with the tale of the Snow Maiden. It come to us from Old Russia, a land of sparkling forests and frozen palaces. The tale begins, as do so many folktales the world over, with an old childless couple. They are poor and devoutly religious (poverty and piety being de riguer for old childless couples in folktales). While cutting wood in the forest, they take a break to build a snegourochka, a little girl made of snowballs. Lo and behold, the snegourochka comes to life, and she is everything the old couple ever dreamed of in a daughter. She is pretty, respectful and well dressed in fancy boots, cloak and diamond tiara. She helps out around the house and conveniently for her elderly parents, she’s bypassed the diaper stage.

The storyteller would have us believe that this Snow Maiden is a gift from God, a reward for the old couple’s unwavering faith. Given the outcome of the story, however, the exercise seems cruel and pointless in God’s part. For Snegourochka is not a child of flesh but of snow. In some versions of the story, she crumples at the first sign of spring. In others, she lasts until Midsummer, only to be vaporized by the St. John’s Day fires. A few writers hint at the possibility that, like Frosty, she’ll be back again someday, but this is a modern gloss. When the girl is gone, she’s gone and the old couple is left with nothing but a soggy patch of forest floor.

No doubt it was a witch and not an angel hiding behind one of the snowclad fir trees in the forest that day–perhaps Baba Yaga or one of those pesky German witches flown over from the west. “Be careful what you wish for, “ she might have cackled to herself as she worked her magick over the doomed little snegourochka.

Excerpt from:

The Snow People
Linda Raedisch
Lllewellyn’s 2012 Witches’ Companion
An Almanac for Everyday Living

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 June 13

A Venus Transit Over the Baltic Sea  

Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann  

Explanation: Waiting years and traveling kilometers — all to get a shot like this. And even with all of this planning, a good bit of luck was helpful. As the Sun rose over the  Baltic Sea last Wednesday as seen from  Fehmarn Island in northern  Germany, photographer  Jens Hackmann was ready for the very unusual black dot of Venus to appear superimposed. Less expected were the textures of clouds and haze that  would tint different levels of the Sun various shades of  red.  And possibly the luckiest gift of all was a flicker of a rare  green flash at the very top of the Sun. The above image is, of course, just one of  many spectacular pictures taken last week of the last  transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun for the next 105 years.

In The News……..

In the news

Ai Weiwei

  • Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei (pictured) is released from detention.
  • Ban Ki-moon is re-elected for a second term as the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail.
  • RusAir Flight 9605 crashes in Petrozavodsk, Russia, killing 44 people.
  • ICANN votes for an expansion of the available generic top-level domains, allowing owners to choose a suffix for the address of a website.
  • Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo resigns from his position as Prime Minister of Somalia.

In The News…….

In the news

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

  • Former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (pictured) is sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail.
  • RusAir Flight 9605 crashes in Petrozavodsk, Russia, killing 44 people.
  • ICANN votes for an expansion of the available generic top-level domains, allowing companies and organizations to choose their own suffixes.
  • Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy wins the U.S. Open with a record score of 16 under par.
  • In response to ongoing protests in Morocco, King Mohammed VI announces constitutional reform proposals to be voted on in a referendum.

the daily humorscopes for tuesday, june 14

the daily humorscope

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

 
 
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Your feet will continue to trouble you today, although you won’t be quite able to put your finger on what’s wrong. You haven’t been that flexible in years.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Once you’re that far behind, there’s really no way to get caught up. You might as well do something fun instead. You can tell them I told you it was ok.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You will go on a potato binge today. Baked, fried, scalloped, stuffed, mashed, whipped, and hash-browned. Just stay away from the tater tots, for your own good.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Today you will realize that it seems quite impossible to make any sense out of life, especially when you consider what life must be like in Nebraska.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Good day to make a face like a rodent, and hold your paws up in front of your chest. When someone asks what you are doing, chitter at them and scurry away.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Today you will get very dirty. Actually, though, it will be rather fun.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Good day for political intrigue and underhanded sneakiness. Try to wear something appropriate to the occasion.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
At the same moment you read this, someone will be thinking about you and smiling. In a moment, they’ll be laughing outright.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
You will finally get the television exposure you’ve been wanting, by organizing a group of protesters to block the entrance to a physics lab, holding crudely-lettered signs saying “Down With Gravity!.”
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
You will be misidentified, on national TV, as a renowned ichthyologist. Several people will call you, long distance, to ask about the mating habits of Tilapia.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
If you’re not already a vegetarian, you will be. Someone with the initial “E.” will make sure of that. Ed? Ernest? Dunno. Someone like that. E. Coli, is what I see. Odd name, huh? Sounds Italian.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The currency crisis in Russia will continue to trouble you. The next time you have a dream in which you are told by your old Uncle Max to invest all your money in a canned borsht factory in Leningrad, you might stop to consider the alternatives. I hear that mutual funds can be nice, for example.

An Ancient Spell to Invoke The Protective Guardians of Your Home After Dark

In Iceland and part of Scandinavia it is still accepted that land and homes are protected at night by land wights, tall shadowy guardians who watch over boundaries and stand where roads or path meet, keeping away ill wishers, both earthly and paranormal. This belief was once upheld throughout northern and eastern Europe and Russia. In Iceland offerings are left for these spirits in field sacred to them. No one will build on this land. If you live in a place that is lonely or where vandalism often occurs after dark, try this spell. The spell will also protect against evening phone calls or visits from anyone who make you unhappy and perhaps pressurised you.

Items You Will Need

3 tall white candles; 3 candle-holders or a three candle holder in which the candles are at different heights, the tallest in the middle; a mirror (optional)

Timing

After dark whenever you feel your home needs protection.

The Spell

  • Place the candles in a row in a darkened room, facing an uncurtained window that does not have a street light directly  outside so that when you light the candles, you can see the flames reflected in the window. If you have no such windows place the candles before a mirror.

  • Light the candles one by one, for each candle saying: Be those the guardian  of my( or name the Person to whose house you are sending the protection) home. turn back the phantoms of the night, So all is till day remains as light.

  • Each candle now represents a guardian. Give each one a secret name. These may be for example, the names of angels or deities, or they may be names of your own making.

  • Blow out each candle in turn as you do so, naming the guardian and saying; Go peacefully (name) and in peace return.

  • Replace the candle regularly but keep the same names.

 

Happy and Glorious Saturday to All!

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Saturday so far.  I fell asleep in the floor last night and woke up this morning at 3:00 a.m., to Hitler invading Russia.  Great to wake up to early, early on your Saturday morning. I got up when to wash dishes and here comes hubby wanting to know if there is any coffee made. Of course, seeing all the violence on TV, I wanted to pop him on the head with the coffee pot. Then I got to thinking coffee, not a bad idea. So I made us a pot, rather me a pot. He had one cup and went back to bed. Dawn was beginning to crack, so I did what I love to do. Take my coffee outside, curl up on my bench and watch the beautiful Sun come up. Curling up wasn’t in the picture this morning. Two of the wildcats were already outside waiting on me. The biggest one and the  smallest one and would you believe they were occupying my bench, lol! They wanted to play and love. But out of all of them, the big one is the most hostile. It took me forever to befriend him. Now if there is any of the others out there, forget they don’t come close to me. We played and loved a little bit, then I broke up fights, then I went and got their food. I figured that was the only way I was going to get any peace.

I had noticed when I came back in the house, I had wasted an hour and a half playing with the cats. The sky was beginning to lighten up, so I figured it was a great time to water the garden (since I forgot to last night).  I gathered up my pitchers and flashlight. Now remember I said it was just starting to lighten up, you still couldn’t see that great. I put the garden on the back side of the porch. Turns out it was a pretty smart move. I can stand on the porch and water the garden in cast it is super muddy. I forgot to mention, when I was digging this spot up the ground was just so soft and it took no strength what so ever to dig it up. This is very, very unusual for the ground around here. I didn’t think anything about it, I was just thrilled I didn’t have to kill myself. The day I dug up the garden, I went into to get a glass of ice water. When I came back I found out why the ground was so easy to dig, I was digging in a wolf spider’s nest. It was almost down right funny, I went to observe my handy work and there in the middle of the dirt had to be the grandpa of all wolf spiders. He was huge. I figured after I watered the ground some more, they would leave. I brought the hose around the house and started watering. Oh brother, did I get a reaction out of that spider. He jumped at me. Needless to say, I had forgotten they could jump and it scared the crap out of me. Now back to this morning, I had my flashlight and was up on the porch. I noticed one of my plants had been moved. Miss Perfectionist couldn’t stand that. She had to go and put it back in its place. I had totally forgot about the spiders. I pulled the plant up and move it over just a little bit. I wasn’t paying attention but I had opened the spider’s hole back up. I had just stood up and the evil spider jumped on my foot. I am sure I woke up every neighbor in a five-mile radius. I screamed a dirty word while dancing around on one foot. I never did think I was going to get that damn spider off of my foot. Finally after throwing my foot out-of-place, I got the spider off of me. Thank the Goddess he didn’t bite me. I can do some of the stupidest things at times. Please use this as a what not to guide when gardening.

Beware of soft dirty. (It is a mean, cruel joke played on you by some creature or critter)

If your plants get up and move on their own. (Leave them alone, the plant will be happier and so will you)

Never garden by flashlight. ( This should be a no boner)

If you find a spider of any kind in your garden, leave him be and maybe he will do the same. (If not, just give him a good drink of water and a shower. Hopefully the shower will do him in, lol!)