Category Archives: Nature Symbolism

Doggone Awesome Defining Moments

aviaveneficaandkip

Dogs and Defining Moments

(Kip Shown Above)

There are defining moments in every human’s life.  Moments when we decide we’re going to change our lifestyle.  Times when we realize there’s more to life than what we may have thought.  Moments in which our entire paradigm shifts.

Sometimes these defining moments are forced upon us.  Maybe we have to step up to take care of loved ones who need our help.  Perhaps a tragedy has struck and hence changed the landscape of our lives.  Faced with dire times, we have no choice but to change.

Other defining moments seem so random (but of course you know they’re not).  Little synchronicities that seem so out-of-the-blue can change our lives forever.

These are the kind of defining moments my dogs represent.  I have three now.  Each one has seemingly and randomly wandered into my life.  The choice to give them a better home has utterly transformed my entire life.

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Kissy Face Gus!

Gus (shown above) was my first defining moment.  I hadn’t had a dog in over 20 years.  I admit, I was a cat person.  It’s not that I have preference for cats – it’s just I never considered owning a dog.

Gussy came to me via a handyman and volunteer fireman who was doing maintenance around my house.  He knew I had 3 acres, and I guess he knew I was a sucker for hard-luck cases.  He called one day and told me he picked up a bone-thin, stray puppy.  He already had 7 dogs, so he couldn’t take this little guy.  When he said: “Avia, if you don’t take this pup, I’ll have to take him to the shelter – or else he’ll get hit by a car.  Well, he had me at ‘shelter’.  No way I would let Gus go there!

Then there was Kip (shown at top of post).  He’d been kept in a small area outside with access to a tiny portion of a barn.  Kippy had been in that confined space for about 9 years.  Can you imagine?  At least he had some shelter, but in 100+ degree days, that’s not saying much.  He was also being fed, but the lowest quality food ever.  Never able to bond with family, no friends, no interaction with anything or anyone.  It all broke my heart every time I passed his caged up area.  So, being the sucker I am, I asked his owners if I could take him.  They were thrilled, and Kip became mine.  He was a disaster.  Heartworm.  Massive inner ear infections.  Not even neutered!  Well, as you can see from the picture at top, Kip is a hot mess now!  Happy as a clam, and thriving!

Next up:  Penny.  I just got her day before yesterday.  She’s a 10 year old stray.  She has a heart condition.  X-rays at the vet revealed several broken bones (and she’s a gimpy thing – poor baby).  She also has major inner ear infections.  She’s got scars all over too.  Don’t even get me started on her teeth.  She’s only got 4 of ’em!! In truth, Penny looks the way I feel half the time.  Old, been-around-the-block, tough but tired.

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Happy Penny!

So what’s a sucker of a soft-hearted gal to do?  Yep.  I’m taking care of her.  Surprisingly, Kip and Gus have warmed up to her.  Maybe they sense a kindred rescued soul.  I dunno.

My point to all this story-telling is this:  The discovery of dogs was (and still is) my most defining moment.  Sure – there have been a lot of delineating points in my life.  New births, death, illness, marriage, new jobs, financial disasters, etc., etc., etc.

But by far, bringing dogs in the fold of my life has been the most major turning point.  Sometimes I have no words for how transformative these babies have been for me.

What’s the symbolic meaning behind this post?  Gee.  I suppose it’s all about never underestimating the power of those defining moments in our lives.  Whether forced upon us through unpleasant circumstances, or random visitors in our lives – we never know what’s going to sculpt our souls. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have three dogs.  But I tell you what….those three babies are the biggest blessings and so bountiful with lessons.

As always, thanks for reading.  And thanks also for indulging.  I realize I rambled a bit.  I feel a little like a mamma who brags on her children and whips out pictures of my kids to anybody who does (or doesn’t) want to see them.  Oh well – thanks for putting up with my excessive gushing over my canine BFFs.

If you’re into dogs, and feel the same as I do, you might like these other dog-related articles:

*Dog Meaning and Dog Symbolism

*Dog Brothers and Dog Sisters (written in collaboration with Dave Crotty)

*Dog Tattoo Meanings and Ideas

Nature Is Where You Find Her

CityAndCountryLiving

Nature is Symbolic. Thankfully, Nature is Everywhere!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who lives in New York City.  She’s going through a hard time.  I encouraged her to tap into Nature for inspiration, renewal and symbolic insight.  She balked at me! She complained: “Avia! I live in NYC! I’m surrounded by cars, concrete and carbon monoxide! How do I commune with Nature in a space like this!?”

Easy.  Is NYC void of blue skies?  I don’t think so.  And when peering into those beautiful skies, aren’t they filled with feathered friends?  Birds are big messengers!

And what about those weeds that grow through the cracks in sidewalks.  I’m serious!  Even those determined greenies have lessons to offer.  They talk to us about willfulness and a fierce need to thrive and survive.

Heck -There are tons of bugs and beauties in NYC – I’ve been there!  I know!  Bugs are surprisingly forthcoming with powerful wisdom.  No jive!  And if nothing else, shove a few potted herbs or houseplants around the apartment! Green is good for the soul!

Granted, Nature crops up in different ways in the city than in the country.  Sometimes we’ve got to be extra-aware in the city to read the language of Nature.  But that usually makes our messages and meanings more profound!

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The country affords its own kind of messages.  Country living isn’t for everybody, I know.  Nature can be very intense living out in the sticks.  I’ve had toads living in my abode, lizards in my bed and scorpions snuggling in my shoes.  The bugs! Oy!  But Nature lets loose in less populated spaces.  As a result, symbolic meanings and messages abound.

Like many of you, I’ve lived in a lot of different places.  I’ve settled in big cities like Phoenix and Dallas.  I’ve also homesteaded in country backwoods.  Which is better?  Hmmm.  Not a simple answer.

Whether city or country, the Universe is bountiful in symbolic meanings and messages.   We can’t escape Nature.  She permeates every nook and cranny of our daily experience.  Thankfully, that means we can’t escape the signs, symbolism and messages Nature is always sending our way.

All we need to gain direction and insight is a little awareness.  No matter where you live, look around, ponder, approach Nature with curiosity and awe – the answers and epiphanies will come!

Wherever you live, I wish you all the delightful insight Nature so generously offers every day.

Thanks for reading!

Big and brightly,

Avia

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Symbolic Meanings in Nature

Earth Symbols

Symbolic Meaning of Trees

Getting Messages and Meanings from Nature

Ants, Agony and Answers (Symbolic Lessons from Ants)

SymbolicMeaningOfAnts

Symbolic Lessons and Meaning of Ants


Any of you sweet peeps who have followed me over the years know I’m all about having a positive attitude.

But sometimes poop happens.  It just does, and it blows.

Well folks, these last six months have been replete with messy, sloppy hip-high poop for me.  I suspect many of you may be in the same quagmire.

So what’s a human to do?  What do we do in those moments where we’ve pulled almost every hair out of our heads, wrung our hands and rendered our garments?  Those times when everything seems so overwhelming and utterly futile?

We look at the secret symbolic life of ants.

Huh?  Yeah!

In the middle of family crisis, negotiating a complicated relocation of my home/business AND experiencing a devastating blow to one of my websites….I just felt fully crushed.

Actually, I felt like that little blonde girl in pigtails in the movie E.T.  You remember the scene.  She’s up to her eyeballs in frogs, and she’s clearly lost her mind with the madness of the frog stampede Elliot let loose in science lab.  Aaaarrrgh!

But in that moment of tears, wailing and agony….I looked at the dirt.  Whoa?  Yeah, it’s a good practice.  If everything is unstable – get in the dirt.  When you’re all topsy-turvy, dig your feet in the dirt.  Press your hands into the Mother Earth.  It’s a very grounding thing.  Very therapeutic. No joke.

You see where I’m going with this.  Yep.  In my effort to find some stability within the dirt – I encountered ants.  Lots of ’em!  I’m talking swarms!  And they weren’t very happy with me.  They stung the bejeezus out of me!  Ouchie!  :o

At first I was infuriated.  That pain just added salt to my emotional wounds.  But then I started thinking…..

Yeah, yeah, I can hear the nay-saying….”Avia…how could you possibly find a silver lining in being consumed by a bunch of bitey, bitchy fire ants?!?  C’mon!”

Easy.  Those ants were bad-a*s’s! They reminded me they are not to be fooled with.  They said:  “Hey!  This is our turf!  Don’t mess with us!”  That helped me realize my feelings of helplessness are an illusion.  We all have tools to fight back and defend ourselves – even in our weakest moments.  It might be our intellect.  Maybe it’s our faith.  Perhaps we find strength in family or community.  When the going gets tough, take a bite back with what makes you feel strong and confident.

Those cranky ants taught me more than that.  After I tended to my ant bites, I went back to that spot in the dirt.  I’d messed up their home (total accident – sorry babies!).  Within 20 minutes, those ants had already reconstructed their mound.  Impressive.  That’s a lesson.  It speaks to us about teamwork.  It talks about rebuilding with ferocious determination.  That was a big lesson of which I needed reminding.

What’s more….did you know ants can lift THREE TIMES their own weight?  Yeppers.  Again – very impressive.  This smacks of big potential in the most unlikely tiny packages.  When we feel ineffectual or weak – I think we should remember what teeny weeny ants can do.  Often it’s the ‘dark horse’ that wins the race.  It’s hard to imagine the extraordinary feats of physics ants pull off – but they do – because they ban together, and they never give up.

And speaking of banning together….ants are a remarkable demonstration of teamwork and community.  If you watch them, you get the sense they work as a whole.  And they do.  They can’t build a village with a single member.  Nope.  They communicate and work together to meet their goals.  Big juju in that lesson.  At least for me.

Well, that’s my ant-insight.  I hope it brought you insight too.  Hopefully the next time you come across the deceptively small ant – you’ll realize they’re actually quite tremendous in strength, resources, defense and unity.

As always, thanks for indulging me – and thanks for reading!

May all your ant antics be inspiring!

Avia

More Articles of Interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Ants in Dreams

Symbolic Meaning of Insects

Crackers, Croakers, Crazy. Oh My!

MovingToadOmens

In the name of all things precious and divine, I swear I’ve finally lost my mind.  Seriously.  I’m writing this post in my skivvies because I can’t find my pants.  Honest Abe.

Why?  It might have something to do with whom I lovingly refer to as my “Croaker in the Crack.”  I call him “Crackers” for short.

Now before it becomes obvious that I’m certifiably crazy, let me explain.  You see, Crackers is a toad I made friends with at this house I’ve been renting (and am currently moving from).

Yep.  I’m moving.  AGAIN!  This is the 4th move in less than two years.  All this commotion is partly due to insanity, but necessity has played a big part too.  If you want to read my thoughts about the symbolic meaning of moving – click here.

So what’s this got to do with my Croaker in the Crack?  Well, as with all household moves, things get chaotic.  It’s nuts enough I can’t find my pants, or my toothbrush, or my coffee mug…because…guess what, Lil’ Miss Efficient has packed (apparently) EVERYTHING! Ugh.  But what dove me into the nut mix completely was Crackers the Toad.

The little guy comes out every night to serenade me.  He pokes his head out from a little crack in the back porch.  Like clockwork…POP! Hello!  Cutest little fella!

Well, I’m sleepless, and whacked out, and bonkers with moving on my mind.  So I wake up (as usual) at 3:00 a.m. this morning.  I stagger out the back door to let the dogs out.  To my surprise, I see Crackers!  But he’s not on the back porch.  He’s in my house!!!

This normally isn’t a big deal.  I’ve got no qualms or squeamishness when it comes to picking up toadies (and still put them in my pocket like I did when I was a kid).  But Crackers is a pistol!  That toad is the wiliest, slipperiest baby!  It took me forever to catch that sucker!

Finally captured and placed safely back in his crack outside, I had to think about the symbolism of all this.  You know me.  Ain’t nothing going on without a symbolic meaning!  ;)

Did you know in China, frogs and toads are good luck symbols?  Yep.  And, they’re specifically lucky in terms of safe travel.  That really speaks to me – especially during this current move and transition.

In my (somewhat wacky) mind, Crackers showed up inside the house to give me a blessing.  This little guy is a reminder that no matter the craziness of moving, I’ve gotten my sign that this is the right move to make.

So even though Crackers kept me up for hours chasing him around the house (without pants, no less), I’m happy for the shenanigans.  It’s just another sign the Universe is using to let me know everything is going to be okay.

Oh, and Crackers might also be a lesson that sometimes chaos is OK too.  Going crazy sometimes is OK too.

Who knew, my little Croaker in the Crack could pack such a whallup in symbolism and life-lessons!?

What’s the take-away point for you?  Hmmm.  Could be stuff like:

  • Creep out of your crack.  Poke your head out of your hole and explore!
  • Hop out of the conventional.  Move in directions you might not normally take.
  • Get cracking! Crack the codes the Universe is sending you ALL the time! Even when it seems all hell has broken loose, I assure you it hasn’t.  I can also assure you the Divine is always sending you vital signs and tons of inspiration.

In short, be still.  Get calm.  Relax.  Then catch that hoppy bit of hope that’s landed in your house you call life.  Just like I did with Crackers.  Sometimes the craziest moments hold the most sane insight (even without pants on, lol).

Toady blessings to you!

Avia

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Symbolic Meaning of Moving (yikes!)

Symbolic Meaning of Toads and Frogs (ribbit!)

Croaky Toad Messages (greenie got game!)

 

 

Why Do We Call It A Blue Moon?

WhyDoWeCallItABlueMoon2Why Do We Call It A ‘Blue Moon’?
Symbolic Meaning of Blue Moons


At the time of this writing a blue moon is approaching tonight, May 21, 2016.  What’s up with that?  What’s does the blue moon mean?  Plenty.

Let’s start by explaining what a blue moon is.  Basically, there are normally three moons in a season.  Every couple years an extra moon crops up.  Hence the cliché “once in a blue moon” akin to describing a rare event.

Pretty simple explanation, right?  But what’s up with the colorful moniker? Why do we call it a blue moon?  Why not “weird extra moon”?

I mean, blue moons aren’t even blue all the time They can be any color.  The hue of this moon comes into play as an effort to identify an anomaly.  Why? I’ll explain.

As par with all assignments in symbolism – it’s hard to pinpoint an exact origin.  The term “blue moon” crops up in lots of places during different eras.

It’s widely agreed blue moon is a term of the Old Ways.  It started with those savvy country folk who lived and died by the rule of Nature.  In ancient Gaelic, the word blue identified the color, but it also had dodgy connotations.  In Gaelic slang, the word blue was used to express indecency or inappropriateness. In old French, blue signified a low mood.  Hence the phrase “I’m feeling blue”.

If we pull on this blue thread, we might wonder why dub an extra oddball moon as a bad thing?  Pretty simple answer.  Country folk of the Old Ways were profoundly connected to the earth.  When I say they lived and died by the rule of Nature, that is oh-so-true.  From crops to cows, cures to ceremony – earth and sky was the source of it all.  So what’s the blue moon connection?

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An extra moon in a growing season can do some really wonky things to everything.  It affects human behavior, animal behavior, and it certainly influences growth of crops/plant-life.  Full moons pack powerful punches once a month.  But twice a month – whoa Nellie!!  Stand back for a walloping effect.  Ergo, this renegade extra moon became known as the ‘indecent moon’ or ‘inappropriate moon’.  Basically it was an unwanted moon because to ancient country folk, it wreaked unpredictable results in life.

So that’s the winding road to answer the question “why do we call it a blue moon?”  But I can’t leave it at that.  I have this compulsion to turn frowns upside down.  What if we flip this bad blue moon rap into a better perspective?

We can look to the same ancient folklore that gave the blue moon its indecent proposal from the beginning.  The Old Ways tell of amazing results when we appeal to the power of the blue moon.  Whoa?  Yeah! Instead of getting freaked out over the unknown influence of this moon – we can harness its power – purposefully and profoundly.

This rare’ish lunar event is a perfect time to get serious about our affirmations.  When we solidify our intentions during a blue moon, this moon blesses it in a big way.  Think of it like sowing super-sonic powerful seeds in our lives.  Then consider the blue moon adding magic lunar juju to our seeds – insuring the likelihood of successful sprouting of our dreams.

In short: Offer up your dreams and expectations for the future to this blue moon.  Connect with Dame Bleue Lune on a personal level.  Envision this dynamic, cerulean Lady Luna as a giver of second chances and big gifts in your life.

Blue moons have historically proven themselves to be catalysts for mind-blowing life-events.  Don’t miss the chance to utilize this thin slice of night life.  It’s time to boogie in the moon light and dare to dream for your best future.

Interestingly, the Old Ways document a domino effect with this action.  If you engage the blue moon to aid you in your future manifestations, it will set factors in motion that will last until the next blue moon – which is about three years in the future.  Considering this is a time of impressive influence, energy and potential – it behooves us to choose our wishes for the future wisely.

I hope this post on “Why do we call it a blue moon?” was illuminating.  At very least, I’d like to think this post inspires you to wander outside and simply appreciate the bountiful beauty of this blue moon (even though it likely won’t be blue).  If you do go lunar-watching, do me a favor.  Just give thanks.  Thanks for the little things, big things, and everything in between.  But especially give gratitude for this glorious universe in which we live.

As always, my thanks to YOU for reading!

Bright lunar love,

Avia

Click the links below for more symbolic meaning of moons…

Symbolic Moon Facts and Meanings

Moon Signs and Moon Meanings

Moon Meditation

Native American Full Moon Names

 

 

 

 

Turning Over a New Leaf. It’s Symbolic.

TurningOverANewLeaf

Turning Over a New Leaf.  It’s Symbolic.

We’ve all heard the old cliché, “Turning over a new leaf.”  But what does it mean?

General consensus tells us the phrase means something like turning away from one behavior in favor of a new or better one.  Like changing a habit, or reforming our lifestyle.

Where did this phrase come from?  In truth, I don’t really know.  I’m more interested in the correlation between leaf-behavior in Nature and how we adopt this cliché in our lives.

To explain, many types of trees can detect changes in their environment.  They sense a shift in weather before it happens.  It’s as if they predict the weather.  Trees adjust to these changes to prepare themselves for pending change.  For example, deciduous trees like maples and poplars turn their leaves as a protective measure before a storm hits.

I like this a lot.  It’s an illustration.  An example of savvy sense and mature action.  How so?

Well, instead of telling ourselves: “I’m turning over a new leaf.”  Maybe trees offer a sophisticated twist to this affirmation.  I mean…what prompted us to make that statement to begin with?  Upon thoughtful introspection, perhaps we detect a shift in our environment.  Perhaps our intuition is telling us to prepare ourselves for future events – just like trees prepare for change.

Rather than flippantly tossing about the cliché – maybe we can embrace the idea that a deeper presence within and around us is beckoning us to shift our position.  Maybe a powerful, sentient energy sees a positive purpose for making a motion for our betterment – for our safety – for our future.

Feeling a shift in the wind?  Sensing something coming your way?  Consider opening yourself to the gift all biological beings have – the gift of perception.  Everything in Nature is hard-wired with predictive ability….including us humans.  Often, our awareness is crammed with distractions.  But stoic, patient, wise trees don’t let distractions jam the signals they receive from Nature.  Nope.  They open themselves to the subtle signals Nature impresses upon them.

Be like a tree.  Experience environment on a full-body, full-spirit scale.  Know you have Nature’s gift of knowing to turn your leaves whichever way necessary to insure your best life experience.

Just thinking.

Happy leaf-turning :)

Avia

Go Green. Symbolically green, that is…with more links to meanings in Nature:

Symbolism in Nature

Symbolism of Trees

Symbolic Earth Meditation