Category Archives: Misc. Symbolic Meanings

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

st patricks day symbols

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Symbols





It’s been said that on March 17th, St. Patrick’s day, everybody is Irish.  That’s not too far off the mark.  At one point, Irish immigrants outnumbered any other nationality in the US. In fact, the Irish have been so influential in this country, that many Irish customs (and symbols) are embossed upon the American culture.

This Irish holiday is just as impressive with symbolic meaning. Firstly, St. Patrick was a pretty remarkable dude…and he wasn’t Irish either. He was born around Roman Britain, close to Scotland.  In a weird twist of fate, St. Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and made a slave in Ireland.  Ironic, eh? Yeah…the guy who is an Irish icon was kept a slave there from the time he was 16. After about seven years as a slave, St. Paddy was called by God to serve a higher purpose, and he ran away from his dour life of slavery.

He traveled Europe and got the education he lacked as a slave. Then God called St. Pat again, telling him it was time to do great things. So St. Patrick went back to Ireland to share his passion for Christianity. Talk about dynamic forgiveness! This is a guy captured by the Irish, yet he went back there as a missionary to talk about salvation.

St. Patrick didn’t have an easy time of it though.  He made some big social blunders.  On one occasion, Patrick lit a bonfire on what was then one of the most sacred Celtic celebrations (Beltane).

No big deal, right? Well, the high Celtic king, Laoghaire saw Pat’s fire and was enraged. Apparently, it’s not good etiquette to light a bonfire before the king lights his own first. Oopsie.

St. Patrick soothed over the hard feelings about the fire, started to make friends, and successfully shared his views about Christianity.

What I find very cool about St. Patrick is that he took a different tact than many missionaries.  He wasn’t about crushing and converting the people.  He actually meshed the Celtic/pagan beliefs in with the Christian philosophy.  So instead of obliterating Irish ancient beliefs, St. Patrick wove together the old and the new – forming a cohesion.

As he respected the old ways while honoring his own faith – I think St. Paddy would approve of this post on St. Patrick’s Day symbols.  Why? Because symbols, either ancient or new, reflect an era, a culture, a belief, etc. Check out these St. Patrick’s Day symbols…I think you’ll find they make March 17th a little more rich with meaning.



st. patricks day symbols

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

Shillelagh: Okay, so it’s not the most sophisticated weapon, but certainly effective.  Back in Patrick’s day, there was a lot of warring for territory, and family feuds. The fighting Irish devised these clubs called shillelagh’s from oak trees as weapons. Often, a warrior would double fist their clubs, one club in one hand to deliver the damaging blow, and the other club for staving off attacks. So what makes this one of St. Patrick’s Day symbols? Over time and with the evolution of legend, the clubs turned into staffs or walking sticks.  They were considered to be a mark of wisdom and great power.  Check out any picture of St. Patrick, and you’ll see him with a staff – a mark of his esteemed position in the Irish culture.

Leprechaun: These are the wee ones in Irish lore. They are a group of fairies known as Luchorpan. The whole deal with their association with cobbling shoes points back to their name in Gaelic, which means ‘one shoemaker’.  Now, you’ve got to understand that in ancient cultures around the world, just about everything had a governing spirit (fairy, troll, goddess whatever).  There is a hierarchy of mythic beings who are in charge of certain functions in life. Leprechaun’s, apparently were the Jimmy Choo of shoes back in the day. The leprechaun is included in this list of St. Patrick Day Symbols as a nod of respect to St. Pat for keeping old traditions intact. Rather than eliminating beliefs in magical beings, St. Patrick allowed the people to acknowledge them side-by-side with the new religion.

Harp: Both a national symbol of Ireland, and St. Patrick, the harp won popularity with the Irish long ago.  This instrument was used in festivals, celebrations and just general family gatherings. Its music was said to put evil spirits to sleep, and insure peaceful dreams for children. The harp plays its way into Irish culture because it was custom for great tales and legends to be made into music.  These tales were often sung accompanied by the harp. Seeing as how St. Patrick is a living legend, it makes sense a few harp tunes were played in his honor. As a symbol of cultural heritage, St. Patrick and the harp go hand in hand.

Shamrock: This unlikely little plant set St. Patrick on the map.  It is THE symbol he is most famous for.  Why?  Because St. Pat was a clever guy.  He used the shamrock as a demonstration tool to explain the triple force behind Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost).  Celts were already digging the scene of triple energy (triple gods, and goddesses) when Pat showed up, so a trinity was easy to grasp.  St. Patrick used the shamrock to show how each branch of the Christian faith stood on it’s own power, but all the leaves needed each other to live and grow.  He used the leaves to explain the individuality of each holy entity, while also explaining their dependence upon each sacred power.  Learn more about shamrock symbol meanings here.

In closing, I hope you enjoyed this brief article on St. Patrick’s day symbols and their meanings.  To be sure, there are many more icons associated with St. Patrick, as well as Ireland.  Don’t let your research stop here! Take some time to find out the symbolic meanings associated with this great time of year and the Irish culture.

If nothing else, you can impress your friends at the pub with your knowledge about Irish symbolic history!

As always, thank you for reading. And I hope your St. Patrick’s day (March 17th) turns out to be a frolicking good time.

Brightly,

Avia

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy…

Symbolic Meanings for the Month of March

Symbolic Shamrock Meaning

Symbolism of Celtic Trinity

Good Luck Symbols and Their Meanings

 

 

 

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday – March 3rd

symbolic meaning of today's holiday - Norse goddess
Today’s Holiday (March 3rd) celebrates the Norse sea goddess Ran, and her husband Aegir

Symbolic Meanings of Today’s Holiday March 3rd




There are several neat holidays around the world on this day.  Let’s start our journey into symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd in Scandinavia.

On this day, the Norse celebrated sea deities. Specifically, Aegir Norse god of the Teutonic sea, and his wife, Ran who was also a water-lover.

Aegir (which means ‘ocean’ in Norse) seems to be a pretty laid back dude in Norse mythology.  He is considered a kind a gracious host to all who enter his watery domain.

However, Ran (Norse for ‘robber’), is quite the opposite.  Legend has it that she would smash ships to bits – ruthlessly waiting until they sunk into the ocean’s abyss.  Apparently she got quite a kick out of this destruction.

But maybe Ran wasn’t all bad.  Myth states that Ran would also come to sunken sailor’s aid, taking care of them until they could get back on their feet after almost drowning.

In terms of symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd, we’ve got a lovely  do-si-do dance between the concept of creation vs destruction or kind vs cruel.

That’s good to keep in mind on this day, especially since this is the 3rd day of the 3rd month.  That kind of energy is all about polarity trying to stabilize and harmonize.  How so?  Well, consider a triangle. All sides must work together in order to keep its structure.  In symbolism, one side of the triangle represents concepts like: Light, Creation, Good.  The other side of the triangle represents opposite qualities like: Dark, Destruction, Bad. The horizontal side is the unifying factor.  It is the stabilizing energy that meshes dark and light together to bring about balance.

This is good to keep in mind, because this day has a strong triple energy.  Being aware of these influences can enhance your balance throughout the day and night.  To learn more about triple energy, check out my post on  Triple Symbolic Meanings here.

Symbolic meaning of today's holiday March 3rd in Japan
Today’s Holiday in Japan is called HinaMatsui.

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday, March 3rd

Visiting The Doll Festival in Japan

Next we travel to Japan, where today’s holiday is called Hinamatsui. This annual holiday on March 3rd is also known as the ‘Doll Festival’.  In ancient Japan, women would make paper dolls and rub them all over their bodies.  When the doll-scrubbing was done, the women would toss the paper dolls into the river.  Apparently, this ritual was symbolically intended to extract evil spirits hiding out in the mind, body and/or spirit.  Heck, I might try that myself! Then again, I’ll try anything once!

Later, around the 18th century the paper turned to clay.  These clay dolls were so intricate and lovely, that many women could not bring themselves to pitch them in the river.  Often, the clay dolls are kept and bequeathed to the first daughter born in the family.

The revised ritual goes a step further. These clay dolls are displayed on altars.  Hinamatsui displays consist of fifteen dolls, which includes empress, emperor, guards and attendants of the Imperial Castle.  It is tradition for young girls to visit each other’s uchi (house) to gander at these exquisite doll displays.

We could say the symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd in Japan is meant to honor our leaders.  This doesn’t have to be royalty for us…it can be giving credit and recognition to our personal leaders, such as teachers, mentors, parents, etc.

today's holiday and good luck symbol
Good luck symbolic meaning for today deals with Middle East magic.




Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday March 3rd

In the Form of a Good Luck Symbol

Okay, you’ve got me…this isn’t really a holiday.  But I thought it would be nifty to mix it up a little and include a ‘good luck symbol of the day’ feature every once in awhile.

On this, the 62nd day of the year, the good luck symbol isn’t really a symbol, it is a word.  The word is  “Bedooh”.  It’s a Middle Eastern magical word and in Arab it means: “He has walked well.

This word is typically engraved on gems, helmets, and weapons. The word Bedooh is also used for seals. These are embossed emblems used to seal (usually with wax) important documents and letters.  When the recipient received the envelope and notices the Bedooh seal, he knows the sender has integrity and blessed with good fortune.

Sufi writer, Ahmad Ali al-Buni, mentions the Bedooh.  To quote Ahmad,  “He who carries the magical word Bedooh inscribed on a ruby mounted in gold is assured constant good fortune.” I say anybody who has a ruby mounted in gold is pretty lucky…just sayin’.


In closing, I hope you found this post on symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd interesting and inspiring.  I think it’s a great practice to investigate myths, symbols and holidays around the world.  Why?  This world is wicked-diverse.  If we only know the signs and symbols in our own corner of the world, we are only getting a fraction of the big pictures.  Learning symbolic meanings from other cultures enriches our lives and encourages fullness and wholeness in our understanding of this awesome planet we live upon.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Symbolic Meaning of Gods and Goddesses

Symbols and Holidays for the Month of March

Meaning of Days in Astrology

Angels and the Days of the Week

 

 

 

Angels and the Days of the Week

angels and the days of the week
From Monday to Sunday, there is an angel watching over all the days of the week.

Angels and the Days of the Week

Before we start flying with the angels, I think it's important to investigate how these divine entities came to govern the days of the week. Back its heyday, Rome was one of the most powerful empires in the world.  Living large and in their prime, philosophers had plenty of time to...well...philosophize.  A lot of the wisdom developed during this Roman era was connected to the cosmos.  In the case of the days of the week, Roman philosophers designated the energy of a celestial feature for each day of the week.  These are as such:

planets and the days of the week Celestial features assigned to the days of the week by the Romans.

Cosmic Connections Designated for Days by the Romans

  • Monday = Moon
  • Tuesday = Mars
  • Wednesday = Mercury
  • Thursday = Jupiter
  • Friday = Venus
  • Saturday = Saturn
  • Sunday = Sun

As time went on, early Europeans followed the same trend of associating cosmic bodies with the constants in life - like the days of the week.  Like the ancient Romans, early Europeans certainly had gods and goddesses, but they also had a strong understanding of angels.  While the Romans associated days with deities - the Europeans associated days with angels.  Either way - deities or angels, all entities governing weekdays were affiliated with celestial properties as well as astrology.  Below are the angels associated with the days of the week, and some information as to how they are connected to heavenly elements.

Astrology, Angels and the days of the week Cosmic and astrological influences helped determine the angels governing the days of the week.

Angels and the Days of the Week

Sunday: angels and the days of the week facts The archangel Michael is in charge of this day.  In the Hebrew language, Michael's name means: 'One who is as God'. Sunday and Michael are both associated with the Sun. This makes a lot of sense.  Consider, Sunday in earlier eras was commonly established as the day of Sabbath, or day of worship.  The symbolic meaning of the Sun is akin to the spirit, the light that shines bright within us, the fire within the soul.  Archangel Michael and the Sun are mighty partners to enhance our virtues, devotionals, prayers and meditations on Sunday.

Monday:  angels and the days of the week facts The angel Gabriel gets busy on this day.  In Hebrew, his name means 'God is my strength'.  Mondays are aligned with the Moon in astrology.  The angel Gabriel, the Moon and Mondays are entangled in some pretty intense symbolism. First, the Moon is symbolic of creativity, intuition and birth. When I say birth, it isn't exclusive to childbirth (but is certainly applies).  The process of birth can also apply to the launch of a new project, the birth of a new idea, the conception of a new creative endeavor, etc.  Interestingly, Mondays are commonly considered the birth of a new workweek.  So where does Gabriel fit in with all the birthing symbolism? Gabriel was considered the top liaison between heaven and humans.  He was often called upon to deliver (birth) new insights to humanity.  In fact, Gabriel delivered the big news to Mary that she was indeed pregnant with the Christ child.


Tuesday:  angels and the days of the week facts The guardian of this day is Samael, and the ruling planet is Mars. This is a combustive combination.  Why? Well, because Mars is considered a planet (and a god) of aggression, war and conflict as well as red hot passion.  And Samael has a dicey reputation. His name in Hebrew means 'blind to God' and/or 'poison of God'.  By some experts in angelology, Samael is thought to be the angel of death, and/or a dark angel.  However, the Judaic Kabbalah references Samael as the 'severity of God'.  In this context Samael was commanded by his superiors to essentially do all the dirty work that the 'nice' and 'pretty' angels didn't want to do. Affiliated with Tuesday, Samael and the planet Mars assert an energetic message that says: "This day is likely to bring conflict. But do not question the power of your influence over adversity. Assert your will, fight, refuse to let the poison of negativity overwhelm you."



Wednesday: angels and the days of the week facts The angel Raphael rules this day. He is considered a healing angel, as well as the protector of pilgrims. Interestingly, Wednesday is governed by the planet Mercury. This planet (and the Roman god) is symbolic of travel (pilgrimage), translations and exchange in all kinds of communication.  Raphael and Mercury combined are a super duo when it comes to exchanging ideas, proposals or feelings to other people. This terrific twosome is a great formula for successful travel.  I'm not talking physical travel exclusively.  We can also travel places in our minds, through contemplation or meditation.  Wednesday is a great day for astral travel, international travel, small day trips - and also auspicious for allowing our words to travel fluidly to our higher power (as in prayer/devotionals) and/or communicating with friends, family, co-workers, etc.  Your thoughts and words are best received on this day.


 Thursday:  angels and the days of the week facts It's starting to become clear that each of the days of the week offer a different flavor.  Each day carries a certain personality. This day is under the influence of Sachiel, who is considered the ruler of all Cherubim. Cherubim are thought to keep constant vigil upon souls in need of strength, faith and renewal. Sachiel represents purity of heart and innocence.  His name means "covering of God" in Hebrew. Thursday is also governed by the planet Jupiter.  Jupiter is symbolic of generosity, personal growth, expansion, and gaining success in life. These two influences invokes a feeling of renewal, hope and enhancement upon Thursday.


angels and the days of the week factsFriday: There's a reason out of all the days of the week, Friday is commonly dubbed 'date night'.  Why? Because Fridays are overseen by the angel Anael, who's name means 'Star of love'.  Anael is one of the angels considered to have helped with the creation of the heavens and earth.  If Anael doesn't convince you that Fridays are for lovers, then perhaps knowing this day is ruled by Venus might give you confirmation.  Venus is symbolic of love, sensuality, creativity and relationships. Of course, love and loving isn't exclusive to Friday. Everyday of the week is an opportunity for love.  However, Friday is most auspicious for connecting with others on a loving level.  This doesn't mean you have to have a date, or a mate.  You can augment your intensity of love on Friday by showing affection to your pets, your family and/or your friends. You get the idea.


Saturday: angels and the days of the week factsThe angel Cassael governs this day.  Cassael's name means 'speed of God' in Hebrew. This angel is symbolic of solitude, control, balance, reflection and sensibility.  Interestingly the ruling planet over this day is Saturn, which has similar symbolic qualities as Cassael.  The symbolic meaning of Saturn and Cassael deals with concepts such as: Time, Stability, Hard Work, Authority and Being methodical.  As a result of both angel and planet connection, Saturday often has a controlling feel to it, or comes along with a sense of obligation.  It is commonly a day of catching up on work we've put off, because that is the 'sensible' thing to do.  This day often casts a sensation of establishing balance and order back into our lives.


In closing, I hope you enjoyed this post on angels and the days of the week. Whether you believe in angels are not, I'd like to think this post at least piqued your curiosity about the energies that flow through all the days of the week.

If you liked this post, don't miss these related articles:

Symbolic Meaning of Angels

Symbolic Meaning of Planets

Astrological Meaning of the Days of the Week

As always, thanks so much for reading.

May all your days be delightfully symbolic and insightful.

Brightly,

Avia

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday – February 28th

today's holiday in Finland
The blacksmith, Ilmarinen, is celebrated on this day in Finland.

Today’s Holiday: Symbolic Meanings From Different Cultures

The first holiday on February 28th we'll celebrate is from Finland.  Today is Kalevala Day.  It's a holiday that celebrates the blacksmith Ilmarinen and the Finnish warrior Lemminkainen.  The holiday was established by doctor Elias Lonnrot in 1835.  Dr. Lonnrot wanted to reestablish Finland as the 'land of warriors'.  So he did a lot of research and his results lead him to the conclusion that this was the day of Finland's creation. This is also the day that Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen got together to forge the 'lids of heaven' which insured the earth would not float out into the vast abyss of sky, but be anchored in place so the people of Finland could continue to live on their lovely lands. On this day, the Finns celebrate their heroes and warriors with great feasts and festive parades.

today's holiday Chaldean Today's Holiday Features Chaldean Sabbath. Shown here is the Demiurge, the male oracle of intellect and creation of the ancient Chaldean people.

 Today's Holiday: The Chaldean Day of Rest on February 28th

The ancient Chaldean's existed around 800 BC, and were a sect of Babylonia. Eventually the Babylonians absorbed the Chaldean's and morphed their ways of life.  But in their prime the Chaldean's held to a strong Gnostic belief system.  Gnostic is simply a fancy word for 'having knowledge'.  On this day, the Chaldean's would turn to their Gnostic texts and ponder higher knowledge.  They celebrated the Sabbath (day of rest) every seven days, but this day called for a deeper, more ascetic practice of worship and contemplation.  Yes, it was a day of rest, but it was also a day of silence and intense meditation upon Chaldean oracles.  These oracles included prime male and female deities.  On the February 28th Sabbath, these mother/father oracles were highly focused upon in an effort to acknowledge and silently celebrate the creation of their people.

Today's holiday for the Cherokee people Today's holiday and celebration for the Cherokee Nation

Today's Holiday, February 28th For the Cherokee Tribe

The Cherokee Nation, also known as United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee spans across the south and southeastern regions of North America.

Not all, but most Cherokee had daily ceremonies and devotionals. These observations were intended to reinforce the idea of the dawn of a new day and renewal.

Today, February 28th, the Cherokee paid homage to all that is beautiful.  They made extra effort to rejoice the presence of spirit living in all things.  Each moment was a meditative focus upon listening within, as well as listening to the call of spirit.  Today was a day the Cherokee eliminated sorrow and imbued their souls with joy.  This was a day to turn away from the dark, and face the hope and bliss of the light.  It was also a day to ignore all kinds of judgement (whether from others or from oneself) and embrace the unique beauty within every soul.

I hope you enjoyed this post on the symbolic meaning of today's holiday - February 28th. I'm starting to post these daily celebrations because learning how other cultures around the world acknowledged every day offers great insight into living a symbolic life.

As always, thanks for reading!

May every day be a meaningful holiday for you.

Brightly,

Avia

Related Posts on Symbolic Meanings of Days:

Astrological Meaning of Days

Symbolic Meaning and Observances for February

Native American Moon Sign Meaning for February

Elephant Trunk Up – Is That Good Luck?

elephant trunk up
What’s Up With Elephant Trunk Up?

Elephant Trunk Up – Is That A Thumbs Up for Good Luck?

A few weeks ago, I helped my dad move into his new home. First task: Tackle the kitchen. It became quickly apparent that dad had a lot of extra, unneeded stuff.  I mean three can openers and four corkscrews? C'mon dad!

So dad, mom, my niece and I started helping dad cull out the superfluous, and keep the essentials. The result of all this gleaning was my mom and niece inheriting a lot of stuff.  I got the super cool hand can opener I coveted! Lol.

Now understand. My needs are simple. I live in a tiny home - 300 sq ft. Talk about having to cull out the flotsam and jetsam!! I did a lot of eliminating to get the bare necessities in my small space!

But I digress. The reason I bringing this up has to do with elephant, trunk up. To explain, while sorting through dad's stuff, pops found two elephants. He asked me if I wanted them.  Well....like I said, I've got precious little room for anything - much less knick-knacks.   Moreover, elephants don't quite fit in with my decor.  Let's face it, an elephant trunk up doesn't quite mix with skulls and freaky looking gargoyles.  Lol!

Nevertheless, as dad was holding those two elephants, I recalled those pachyderms  on display in my childhood home.  Having been in the family for so long, it was hard to say 'no' to dad.

So I accepted dad's elephant offering, wondering where the heck I'm going to put them.  They're quite lovely, actually.  Here's a pic of these two elephants:



It's  the only free space in my tiny home I could find.  I kept that space clear, because as you can see in the background, my a/c and heat unit is there.  Let's just say these elephants have some pretty frosty bums when the a/c kicks on. :o

So, with elephants in place, I started to wonder about which direction they should face.  It matters, you know.  I remember as a kid, mom told me they should face east.  So that's how I situated them.

But then I got curious. Why face east?  And is that really the elephant good luck law? Or is it just an old wives tale with nothing to back it up (no offence mom).  So I started doing some research.

Elephant trunk up = good luck, apparently.  Elephant with trunk down = not necessarily bad luck, just a different vibe, an introspective energy.

But what about the direction? The preponderance of data I collected were adamant that elephants sporting uplifted trunks should face the front door.  This, according sources such as Feng Shui expert, Lillian Too, and superstition connoisseur, David Pickering...front-door-facing is the rule concerning an elephant trunk up scenario.

Why?  Apparently it has to do with welcoming good chi, or positive energy into the home.  Door facing elephant ornaments are like a big "Howdy! C'mon in!" when it comes to invoking good luck, wealth, a happy family and healthy relationships.

Elephant Trunk Up, Facing East - Is That A Thumbs Up for Good Luck?

elephant trunk up meaning

Interestingly, elephants with their trunks up facing east is also a good idea. According to Feng Shui, east is an arousing energy. East positions tend to entice good luck, and facilitates the flood gates of prosperity.  Same with elephants facing the door - it opens the door to positive mojo.

You know...I'm not the most superstitious person...but if I have an invitation (real or imagined) to allow good juju in my life - you can bet I'm going to take advantage of it.

So I compromised. My two elephants - trunk up - are facing northeast. -North because that's where my front door is, and east because that's a positive position too.  Here are some other things I learned during my elephant placement research:


Elephant Trunk Up And The Real Symbolic Scuttlebutt:

No bums facing the door! Supposedly, this blocks good luck and is extraordinarily harmful to positive chi (energy).


Elephants with trunks up are symbolic of fierce protection to the owner of the pachyderm.


Elephants with trunks down have a bad rap for rotten luck. But this isn't true according my resources.  A downward trunk has an internalizing energy. It's about introspection, and internal growth. Quite literally, internal growth as in producing a baby. Feng Shui recommends a pair of trunk down elephant in the west quadrant of the bedroom if you want to conceive a child with your partner.


White elephants are supposedly the Grand Poobah of good luck.  Their beauty and rarity is considered the ultimate conjurer of good fortune.


Two elephant trunk up meaning: Well, my instinct on the meaning of this one is age old adage, "If one is good, more is better". Lol.  Seriously, double (two) elephants are good omens for partnerships - particularly  for married couples and/or partners living in the same home.


Three elephants together meaning: Three elephants have a 'triple luck' effect.  The number three is hugely lucky.  You ever heard of the idea that if you do something good karma or the universe will deliver good to you three times over according to your deed.  Three elephants kinda emphasize that idea.  They encourage, and intensify what the elephant stands for: Protection, prosperity, luck, and successful relationships (especially with family).


Well, trust me, I haven't covered all the nuances and meanings of the elephant trunk up phenomenon.  But I covered the highlights.  I hope you found this article helpful, or at least entertaining. ;)

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Bright pachyderm prosperity to you,

Avia

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Dogs and Defining Moments – Update

dog meaning, dog moments
The Whole Clan. From Left to Right: Kip, Chadwick, Avia and Gus

Meaningful Dog Moments

Back in September of last year, I wrote a post about my symbolic journey with my dogs.  If you're interested, you can read it here: Doggone Awesome Defining Moments.

That post reveals my utter newbie-ness about having dogs. Before the boys (all rescue dogs) started showing up, I hadn't had a dog in over 20 years.

And now I have three.  Soon to be FOUR!  Ack!  Fortunately, I live on a nice big piece of land.  Somewhat UNfortunately, I live in a tiny home, about 300 sq. ft. Lemme tell ya...it gets tight with one human and three dogs.

Avia with Hank, newest member of the pack.

Am I crazy for getting a fourth dog?  Absolutely!  Classic madness on my part.  But maybe not.  My dogs: Kip, Gus, Chadwick and soon-to-be Hank (shown above) have given me more sanity than I've ever had.

I'll admit, I get berserk sometimes. My dogs, even though mighty feisty, calm me completely.

I'll also admit, I can be a total sloth - slow and unmotivated. My boys force me to move. Even in my most sluggish moments, my dogs push me to go outside with them, feed them, love them...eventually all that action replenishes my energy, and I'm often able to get some work done due to their prompting.

In my first post, I confess that each dog I rescued was a remarkable defining moment.  At that time I took in another stray, whom I named Penny.  Since then, I found Penny's true owner. She lives right behind me, and Penny, being ancient (18 years old) and nearly deaf simply couldn't find her way back.

I saw a poster with Penny's picture on it at the local market.  Now, this is three months and 100's of dollars in vet bills later. In short, I was really attached to Penny at that point.  But, with my heart breaking, I made the phone call to her real owner.  The reunion was a sweet one, but I bawled like a baby for weeks over not having her in my home.  She pawed her way into my heart, and I was crushed by her absence.

Chadwick, the most recent addition to our pack.

My best friend, Dave calls me every day. Maybe he got sick of me bemoaning my loss of Penny.  Maybe he saw a need to fill my void.  Whatever his thought process, Dave told me to quit my bellyaching and rescue another dog! He was much nicer in his delivery than that, but I got the point. So that's exactly what I did.  Meet the newest member of the family, Chadwick (shown above).

This little guy is like a cranky old man, but he's a darling. And yes, he does have little dog syndrome.  Oy!

When I first got him, there was a big adjustment period for us both, but now Chaddywhack never leaves my side.  It's almost as if he needs to be close to me all the time.  The big boys, Gus and Kip love their mamma, but they're not as needy as the little boy.

The big boys: Gus and Kip

Speaking of Gus and Kip, they continue to amaze me every day.  They are so sweet, I've gone diabetic. And their personalities get more developed and bold every day.

It is a privilege to watch them, know them and grow with them.  A truly special bond that equals no other kind of relationship.  Here are the big boys, Gus and Kip shown above.

Now a fourth beastie is soon to come into the fold.  Hank.  My niece took in a stray dog who happened to be pregnant.  I swear pregnant strays have 'sucker-radar'.  They sniff out soft hearts that will take them in so they can pop out their babies in a safe place. I had a cat named Suki who roped me into her pregnancy plan. I almost had a stroke when the vet told me she was pregnant.  But that's a totally different story to visit another day.

Hank (shown below) is still in the process of weaning off his mamma.  I expect he'll have his homecoming the end of March.  Goddess help me get through the potty training and teething.  :o

But how could I say 'no' to this ridiculously cute little guy?  You tell me....

Hank comes home end of March

So what's my point to all this blathering and boasting about my dogs?  Well, foremost, I'm pretty sure I'm just babbling and bragging about my dogs. Lol.  But the secondary point is how incredibly therapeutic our animals can be.  Further, there's something remarkably special about a dog and the bond with his/her owner.

I've had cats, snakes, fish, and an iguana.  I've had a pet rat, gerbil, rabbit and even a pet horny toad. I've hung out with horses, and befriended ferrets.  Side note here: If you haven't guessed, my first 'real' job was working at a pet store.  Believe it or not, lots of creatures were dropped at the front door of the store.  Yep. You pegged it.  I took in every critter that needed a home.  Thus my Dr. Doolittle diversity in pet ownership.

At any rate, my point is this:  There is nothing like the connection between canine and human.  For sure, a bond was formed between me and all the various creatures I cared for.  But it was my dogs who taught me stuff.  Huh?  Yeah.  Dogs teach, and they give, and they need you on a whole different level than a rat or a cat.  Sure, other pets need you for food, and a modicum of attention.  But a dog needs you with all his/her heart and soul.  So what have dogs taught me over the years?  Here are a few big dog lessons I've learned...

Top Five Dog Lessons I've Learned:

dog meaning, dog lessons  1) Dog forgiveness is infinite.  At times, I can be most cantankerous. Sometimes I get crabby with my dogs. But you know what? They always forgive me.  So much so, that they have taught me the extreme importance of forgiveness.


dog meaning, dog lessons 2) Dog joy is on steroids.  Seriously, I've never witnessed such bliss.  When dogs get happy (which is more often than not) it's like watching a kid at a carnival with cotton candy in one hand, and cuddly stuffed animal her dad won at a game of chance in the other hand. It's unreal how dogs beam with joy.  They even smile!  This has taught me there is more benefit to bliss than being blue all the time.


dog meaning, dog lessons 3) Dog gratitude is intense. My dogs seems so grateful for the tiniest things. From a scratch behind the ears, to a wee treat, dogs are just so incredibly thankful.  This, of course, is a big lesson for anybody - especially me.  My dogs have taught me to have an attitude of gratitude for everything and in every moment.  Even something so commonplace as running water - I get grateful.  This is especially true when times are tough.  That's when giving thanks really matters. In short, I'm grateful my dogs showed me the importance of being thankful - even for the smallest things.


dog meaning, dog lessons 4) Dogs take protection personally.  My dogs take protecting me and my property very seriously.  Sometimes it's hard for me to perceive these sweet babies transform into fierce, feral beasts when they sense a threat.  And they make that shift from pacifist to "I'm gonna chew your face off" mode within a blink of an eye!  It's quite staggering to observe sometimes.  At any rate, my dogs have taught me there is a time for being passive and a time for aggression.  Further, this behavior has reinforced a belief I've always held: Protect that which is sacred, and do it to the tooth. Meaning, I go ballistic when it comes to protecting my dogs and my peeps.


dog meaning, dog lessons  5) Dogs are love machines.  Canine love is primal.  It's a special brand of love.  I've never seen anything like it.  Human love can often be complex, or come with strings attached.  Not dogs.  Their love is unconditional and pure adoration.  From sloppy kisses to full body hugs - wagging tails to barks of bliss...dogs got love like Serena Williams got game. Hands down, dogs know how to love far better than most humans.  In fact, my dogs have taught me a lot about how to love with abandon...no conditions, no expectations, just pure love.  That's perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned from my boys.


In closing, I just want to thank you all for indulging me in this post on dog and defining moments.  To be sure, dog meaning, dog messages and dog lessons are extremely simple - but hugely profound.

I hope you enjoyed this dog article.  I know I got carried away with blathering about my boys.  But I hope the lessons I've learned are also available to you, because they are priceless on any path in life.

If you liked this blog post on dog meanings and defining moments, check out the dog links below.  They may offer deeper inspiration (I promise, I don't blab and brag on my other articles like I did in this one. lol).

As always, thanks for reading.

May all your dog days be dazzling,

Brightly,

Avia


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