Want the Bad News? It’s Not Coming From Me.

BadNews

Want the Bad News? You won’t get it from me.

I get a lot of emails.  I don’t answer all of them, but I DO read each and every one.  A number of emails are quick to point out the absence of negative meanings for a sign or symbol on my websites.

It’s true.  Currently, I have over 1,000 articles written on various symbolic meanings.  If you read each article, you’ll maybe find three or four citations that might be deemed negative.

Many well-intentioned folks ask why that is.  They ask why I don’t mention the symbolism of death about a certain animal.  Why not mention the connection to the devil with a certain symbol?  And what about that flower that means avarice?  Or what about the bad omen implied when a certain bird flies by?

Valid questions.  I mean…for every positive, there is a negative.  It’s the universal law of polarity.  So why not mention the “bad” stuff with the good?

My answer is pretty simple.  There are over 6 million websites on the internet. There are over 10,000 news channels broadcast around the world.  There are over 7 billion people in the world.

If you want the bad news…just look around the internet, turn on the news, or ask somebody…you will inevitably get it.

Better yet – if you want the bad news – just focus on bad stuff for awhile.  The bad answers will come.  I guarantee it.

There are negative observations enough without me contributing more.

Now, I’m all for a balanced debate.  I’m no Pollyanna with a sugar plum shoved up her bum.  Bad stuff happens.  There’s a dark side to every light.  But in all honesty, I’ve had my fill of wading through crummy energy.

I strive to gear my thoughts, my life and my writing towards the good juju.  I want to inspire.  I want to enlighten. I want to energize.  There are plenty of other sources in the world that can do otherwise for you if that’s what you want.  But if you want a bad rap sheet on symbolic meanings from me…sorry…I’m not your gal.

Do some animals, symbols, etc. have negative meanings?  Yeah.  Sure.  Lots of stuff carries meaning of foreboding and fear.

But let me ask you…where do those meanings come from?  For that matter, where do ANY meanings come from?  They come from the human mind.   They come from our ancestors who passed on their observations.  They come from our parents.  They come from you and me.  They come from our biases and experiences.

Some might argue meaning comes from the Divine (the deity of our own understanding).  I agree.  However, the minute a Divine insight is bestowed upon a human – it goes through a series of filters.  Filters of experience, judgment, discernment, etc.  That Divine wisdom will never be as pure as it originated once it passes through the filter known as human cognition.

So what does all that mean?  It means the realm of symbolic meanings is infinitely open to interpretation and personalization.

In essence, the world is your oyster…and so are the meanings rooted within it.  Make it sparkly….or make it slimy.  Your choice.  Your oyster. 

Just thoughts.

Brightly,

Avia

 

Tsk, Tsk. Symbolism of Copycats

Copycatting

Copycatting.  Plagiarism.  Claiming material as one’s own, when it’s not.  It happens all the time.  The act is especially rampant in this Internet age when the copy-paste function is just a few clicks away.

I don’t have kids.  Well, I take that back.  I DO have children.  They’re names are:  “My Work” and “My Websites.”  Yeah, it’s THAT big of a deal.

So, when I see blatant copying of my hard work without a hint attribution – it feels like someone is stealing my kids.

Over the years, I’ve coaxed myself into (mostly) ignoring the copycat syndrome.  I reason that information is meant to be shared.  I even reason that my stuff must be pretty good if folks want to use it as their own.  I also tell myself it could be an honest mistake…an oversight of etiquette, or simply forgetting to give credit to the source of whatever material being used.

It’s a good thing I calm myself into these rationalizations.  Why?  Because there’s very little I can do about plagiarism.  Sure…I copyright my material.  I’ve even trademarked my brand.  I also clearly state proper use of my material on my policy page. But folks are still going to do whatever they do.  It’s all just another lesson about control…specifically, the only control I have is the control of myself and my actions.

So what’s the symbolism of a copycat?  Sadly, I wish the use of ‘cat’ hadn’t been adopted in this 19th century American term.  Cats are astoundingly original.  They have no use for copying.

In truth, the symbolic meaning behind a copycat deals with an underlying insecurity.  It has nothing to do with having lack of originality.  Why?  Because everybody is original.  Everybody is unique.  Everybody is capable of spectacular brilliance in expression.  It’s how humans are built – we’re designed to create remarkable stuff.

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Nope – the symbolic root of the act of plagiarism is insecurity – specifically a fear of taking responsibility.  I get it.  It’s tough to step out.  Tough to expose oneself.  It’s not easy to break out of the drone mentality and create something wildly original.  Much easier to copy.  That way, the fault lies elsewhere.  Or…there is no consequence (good or bad) to being bold, breaking the mold, and being different than everybody else.  That’s a sad mental prison to be in, and I truly feel bad for copycats.

Thankfully, there’s good stuff that comes from replication.  Really good stuff.  Tons of folks use my material all over the world – and they do so by giving credit to my work.  I LOVE THAT!  I’m all about sharing the joy of symbolism.  The more sharing and spreading the word – the more people are reached – the more our world is exposed to a fascinating, healing way of living…symbolic living.  Rock on!

Am I vain to want credit for my work?  Maybe.  Perhaps one day I’ll coax myself to a place of complete neutrality about copycatting….not caring one whit about it.  I’ve done a good job at letting it go so far.

But in the end…like having kids…I made this thing.  I created it.  Worked hard at it.  Gnashed my teeth, and rendered garments over it…for hours, days, weeks, years.  You get the idea.  This is my baby.  I can’t quell my pride completely.

I’d like to think it’s healthy to stake claim for producing good work.  If I didn’t care so much – that would reflect in my efforts, which essentially means you’d be getting crummy stuff from me.  That’s no good, wouldn’t you agree?

Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading!

Avia

 

Top 10 Reasons Christmas is NOT for Sissies

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Christmas is not for Sissies – Top 10 Reasons

1)  A big gold star goes to those of us who normally wouldn’t be caught dead on a 8-foot ladder….but make an exception to hang holiday lights.  :o

2)  ‘Shop till you drop.’  What!?   I’d rather drop first, and skip the shopping altogether.  Shopping this time of year is not for sissies! It’s madness out there!

3)  Hot cocoa is such a cozy Christmas beverage.  Unless, of course, it’s served at 5,778 kelvin – which will melt your face off.  Not pretty.

4)  The weather outside really is frightful.  At least in areas that get snow and ice this time of year.  Sometimes venturing out in a ‘winter wonderland’ ain’t so wonderful.

5)  Gift bags rule, wrapping paper drools.  Kudos to all of the wrapping-paper-challenged who dare to fold and square in spite of the vexing crinkles that foil.

6)  You know you’re not a sissy at Christmas when you don the knee braces and Ben-Gay before spending untold hours in the kitchen.   Cooking should be a competitive sport this time of year.  Bless you merry cooks and bakers for laughing in the face of personal injury and getting those tasty goods out!

7)  Holiday traffic. Need I say more?  Not for sissies.

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8)  Cats!  If you have one and deck the halls for Christmas – you are definitely not a sissy.  Every new Christmas bauble and sparkle is fair game for the felines.  I found an ornament in the bathroom sink.  Don’t know how it happened, but I know there was a cat behind it.

9)  Dogs!  How many times do we have to tell them not to drink from the Christmas tree water container?  And what’s up with the overly affectionate advances on the stuffed Santa pillows?  Off!

10)  Sometimes keeping our sanity this time of year can be a Herculean feat.  The holidays are so out-of-the-norm.  New stuff, a break in usual routine, visiting friends and family we normally don’t see.  It’s a tsunami of uncommon experiences.  This can potentially uproot a body who’s been quite alright in a comfort zone every other day of the year.  Hat’s off to those of us who embrace the unique situations Christmas might toss our way.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I dig the holidays.  But they can present some challenges.  Our early ancestors experienced challenges too.

This was a hard time of year for early humankind.  In fact, some of the roots of Christmas traditions today were born from early darkness.  Specifically, the darkest day of the year.  To explain, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and hence, the darkest.  It was a time that was symbolic of unknown’s and mystery for early peoples.  The solstice brought up questions like:  “How harsh will the weather be this year?”,  “Can I provide for my family through the winter?”,  “Will we be spared illness?”, “Do I have enough food?”.

To counteract some of these fears, civilizations and cultures (especially early Europe) started to employ good juju.  For example, they brought evergreens into the home to brighten the gloom.  The scent of pine is invigorating and proven to lighten the mood.  The sight of an evergreen bough indoors is inspiring against the stark, snowy landscape outside.  Interestingly, this practice eventually grew into our modern day Christmas trees!

Another example:  Candles.  Early traditions included ceremonies around lighting candles.  This symbolizes the return of the light…the promise of lengthening days and eventual return of spring.  Fire and candles are icons to the eternal light that is always present – even if not evident all the time.

There are lots of old practices that uplift this sometimes anxious time of year.  Check out my Symbolic Meaning of Christmas post to explore a few.

Let’s face it.  Christmas isn’t for sissies.  It certainly wasn’t for our ancestors way back when…and even though our challenges have morphed, in many ways, today’s challenges are just as stressful.

We can transform holiday anxiety.  How?  By being grateful.  By having a laugh.  By poking fun at some of the lunacy that goes on this time of year.  By appreciating what we have.  By giving to others who need more than we do.  Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading.

I hope all your holiday moments are magical and mostly stress-free. :)

Brightly,

Avia

Natural Phenomenon – A Symbolic Moment

NaturalPhenomenon

Someone asked me recently to describe a memorable experience had in Nature. It was hard to pin down just one remarkable communion, but this one moment in time was a real soul-shaker for me….

I remember walking on the sun-baked earth, flat and expansive, somewhere between Midland and Odessa, Texas. It was evening, and the moon was full, casting illumination across the parched expanse. A breeze lifted the heavy heat of the air, and a light sprinkling of rain began, which suddenly gave birth to a torrential rain.

In seconds, the cracks in the earth began to fill. My shoes became sponges as I continued to walk through the accumulating rain (squish, squish). Just as suddenly, the rain stopped and the moon returned, lighting my path once more. In the distance stood a lone mesquite tree – short and squatty – a rebel to stand out so staunchly in the flat dessert terrain.

While focusing on that mesquite tree in the moonlight, I was stopped-short by a behemoth strike of thunder. Lightning followed, cracking open the night like an onyx egg. A tendril of lightning touched a slender branch of the tree and ignited it into a bright fire suspended in the black night. Softer rain then fell, but the fingertips of the mesquite tree kept burning.

I sat and watched this for as long as the fire flickered at the end of the branches. Eventually the fire was quelled, and so was I.

—That was a very symbolic moment for me; namely, it represented all four elements (fire, earth, air, water) in a crazily unlikely, but well-choreographed dance. It was Nature’s allegory about balance, and how sometimes oddly cool things can happen at the most unexpected moments.

So, allow me to ‘pay it forward’ and ask you to contemplate a moment in which you bonded with Nature in such a way as to make it memorable and profound for you. I found re-experiencing this moment really shifting – I hope the same will happen for you.

Brightest,

Avia

Other Pages of Interest:

Meaningful Messages from Nature

Tuning Into Nature’s Symbolism

Moon Meanings and Symbolism

Symbolism of Trees

The ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse. A No Nonsense Guide

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Full ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse is upcoming!

The blood moon (also known as hunter moon, harvest moon and/or falling leaf moon) is not uncommon.  However, what’s unique about the blood moon this month is that it’s a full lunar eclipse.

The term “Blood Moon” is fairly new in modern, popular media.  In truth, it’s a term that’s been used by earth-worshippers for a very, very long time.

Blood moons commonly happen during the months of Autumn (Sept-Nov).  In the old religions, and ways of life, this is a time of hefty harvest as well as slaughter.  Blazing bright foliage is reminiscent of the color of blood.  Slaughter of cattle is obviously a blood-related event.

This is a painfully simple explanation for the connection between “blood” and “moon”.

So what’s it all about, Alfie?  And what are we supposed to do with this blood moon stuff!?!?

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind during this blood moon lunar eclipse:

Get Grateful:  As this is a time of the long-held traditional harvest, we might give thanks for what we have gained in our lives while admiring the blood moon.    An attitude of gratitude is powerful any day of the year, but especially during the full harvest moon.

Get Picking:  This is a full moon.  That means it’s a great time to do some harvesting of our own.  Our modern world may not muster every villager, gather in the fields and harvest crops…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fruits to pick.  Consider ideas ripe for the harvest that need to be picked and worked on.  Also consider loose ends that need tidying before the long winter months hit.  Part of harvest is prevention.

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Get a Clue:  This is a full lunar eclipse.  Symbolically, a lunar eclipse speaks to us about stuff that is a major presence in our lives.  We know it’s there.  It shines brightly in our lives.  Nonetheless, it’s often blocked by something (time constraints, the ego, ignorance, denial, etc).  During this blood moon eclipse, it might be a good idea to recognize and appreciate the ‘big obvious’ in our lives.  This could be as simple as recognizing mentors, family, our kids or special friends in our lives.  Those people who always shine, but our business or whatever gets in the way of giving thanks for them.

Get a Life:  Blood is a big deal.  It means life.  It is the ocean in which all life might continue to exist on this earth.  This blood moon eclipse might be a good time to get in the flow of that concept.  This could mean paying attention to our health concerns.  It might mean re-devoting ourselves to our “life-blood” which could be our passions, our children, our community…that big aspect of our lives that insures life moves forward.

Give it Up:  Blood is about sacrifice.  Not trying to freak you out, but it’s true that blood has been steeped in the concept of sacrifice since ancient times.  Consequently, this might be a good time to consider the sacrifices others have made for you.  Blood moons are a time for me to thank the military men and women who shed their blood in service to our country.  This is also a good time to consider what kind of sacrifices you can make to better yourself, others, your community, the world.  What can you shed that will lighten the world?

These are just a few symbolic ideas that hold hands with the full blood moon.  However you intend to acknowledge this special lunar eclipse – I hope all your moments with Lady Luna are illuminating.

Brightly,

Avia

More Symbolic Lunar Delights…

Moon Meaning and Symbolism

Full Moon Names Per Month

Moon Signs and Personality Types

Moon Symbolism and Meditation

 

Overuse of the Word Love?

Love

Overuse of the Word Love?

Preposterous, I say!

However, years ago I remember a public speaker (whose real name shall remain anonymous…mostly because I can’t remember it. We’ll call him Al.) made an observation about the casual use of the world love.

He remarked on how the word love is used at the drop of a hat….

‘Oh, I love that color on you!’ or ‘I love noodle soup at Joe’s Diner.’

You get the idea.

I see Al’s point, which was: Overuse of the world ‘love’ might diminish its importance. Or, using it too often in casual context may tarnish the value of the sacred concept of love.

I’m not inclined to take this viewpoint, and feel the term ‘love’ should be stuffed in every inch, crevice, nook and cranny of our life experience.

The more use of the word love the better!

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love!

Oh, and one last thing,
*love*

Brightly,
Avia

PS: Spread the word (LOVE).