The Ankh By JEN

Ankh

The Ankh is the ancient symbol of eternal life and resurrection. That’s why it is called the “Key of Life.”

The Ankh represents the union of both the God and Goddess and the infinite creative power of the universe. The loop top depicts the rising sun, the horizontal bar depicts feminine energy, and the vertical bar depicts the masculine energy.

The Ankh and the Egyptians

The Ankh is one of the most powerful symbols to Egyptians, evident in all their artwork and hieroglyphs. The Ankhs then were made from many materials like wood and precious stones, but most often they were made from gold and copper. The Egyptians would place precious stones within the loop of the Ankh to make its spiritual properties stronger. For example, an Ankh with an amethyst in the center becomes a much powerful tool in divination.

The Ankh is present in many of the temple carvings and funerary artwork of the Egyptians. One Egyptian practice is to place Ankhs in the tombs of the deceased to carry with them to the afterlife. They would even place the Ankh upon the nostrils of the deceased to help bring them back to life. Ankh usage is evident in many unearthed relics of the Egyptians.

key of life

The Key of Life Necklace from the Moonlight Shop

Another popular use for the Ankh is an amulet for protection, good luck, and good fortune. It has the power to protect against bad energies. If you take a look at the scepters of the deities in Egyptian artwork, you will see that they are in the shape of Ankhs.

The Ankh and Magick

The Ankh is well known for its association with the Egyptians, but it also has strong associations with magick. The House of Life’s symbol is an Ankh over the door. What is the House of Life exactly? It’s an organization of libraries where the temples housed educational texts and magickal lore. All educational materials were were accessible to anyone.

As a magickal tool, the Ankh has healing powers. The Egyptians would place them over

READ MORE: http://wiccadaily.com/the-ankh/

 

 

 

 

 

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Are hurricanes getting stronger – and is climate breakdown to blame? By Oliver Milman

What is a hurricane, exactly?

A hurricane is a large rotating storm that forms over tropical or subtropical waters in the Atlantic. These low pressure weather systems draw upon warm water and atmospheric moisture to fuel their strength and will gather pace if not slowed by patches of dry air, crosswinds or landfall.

“They are very tall towers of winds that move at the same speed, sometimes 60,000ft tall,” says Jim Kossin, a scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “If they are unmolested by wind shear or run over land they will continue on their merry way.”

READ MORE:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/are-hurricanes-getting-stronger-and-is-the-climate-crisis-to-blame

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This girl has shared the reality of an acrylic nail addiction By: LAURA CAPON

image

If you are prone to biting your nails when you’re nervous/bored like me (I didn’t only lose 2 hours and 13 minutes of my life to Fantastic Beasts, I lost all my nails too) then you will know how appealing the idea of acrylic nails can be.

My short stubby nails will never get their own Instagram post, in fact they are actually an Instagram hindrance. For instance, If I’m trying to take a picture of my new highlighter, I have to hold it in an incredibly awkward fist shape, to avoid anyone knowing the truth of my Jonah Hill hands.

Beauty blogger Amelia Perrin can not relate to my struggles, because she has the kind of enviably long talons that people like me can only dream of…

But Amelia also revealed the painful truth behind an acrylic nail addiction. Taking to Twitter, she posted a picture of her real nails and oh god it’s making me stress bite my own nails.

Cardi BTEC@amelia_perrin

a lot of people on curiouscat ask me about my acrylics, presumably wanting a set themselves. sharing these to show u the reality lol

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Admittedly I’m an absolute baby when it comes to things like this but that looks INCREDIBLY PAINFUL.

TWITTER.COM/AMELIA_PERRIN

Maybe I’m not being such a baby after all…

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Glass straws? Straw straws? Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic BY:David Carrig

The war on plastic straws is growing as more companies such as McDonald’s and cites such as New York are facing pressure to find sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives that won’t pollute our oceans, litter our beaches or wind up harming animals.

McDonald’s shareholders on Thursday rejected a proposal that asked the fast-food giant to report on the business risks of using plastic straws and look for alternatives.

Despite the rejection, the fast-food giant  has begun experimenting with using paper straws in its U.K. restaurants and making plastic straws available only on request.

It is estimated that more than 500 million single-use plastic straws are used and thrown away every day in the U.S. alone as Americans use them at an average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day, according to the National Park Service. That translates into 175 billion straws a year.

It’s no wonder sea turtles are being found with plastic straws stuck up their noses.

Only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, and “a staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems,” according to a 2016 study by the World Economic Forum.

A study by the University of California Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) found that 8 million metric tons of plastic trash end up in our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Plastic straws are one of the top 10 plastic items found in beach cleanups every year.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

And while plastic straws represent only a fraction of the overall tonnage of ocean plastic, they are less likely to make it into recycling bins, and their small size make them dangerous for marine animals and are consumed by fish.

More: Our trash is harming the deepest fish in the ocean

More: McDonald’s shareholders vote against plastic straw study

This has led environmentalists and conservation groups to add

 

READ MORE:  https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/23/sustainable-alternatives-plastic-straws-recyling/632993002/

 

 

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Willow Bark: Nature’s Aspirin

What is willow bark?

Willow bark, the bark of several varieties of willow tree, has been used for centuries as a pain reliever. The active ingredient in the medicine made from willow bark is called salicin.

Some people use willow bark as an alternative to aspirin, particularly those that experience chronic headaches or back pain. Willow bark is also used in some products to aid weight loss.

It comes from the branches of 2- to 3-year-old willow trees. Willow trees and shrubs grow all over the world, except for Australia and Antarctica. The white willow and black willow are two of the most common willows that are used medicinally.

Side effects

When taken in moderation, willow bark does not appear to have negative side effects. The salicin in willow bark converts to salicylic acid. Some believe that this makes it gentler on your stomach than lab-created aspirin. Too much willow bark, however, can cause stomach cramping and bleeding.

Forms and dose of willow bark

Capsules

Willow bark can be purchased from many drugstores and almost any health food store in a powdered, encapsulated form. The recommended dose for pain relief is 240 milligrams a day.

Bark

The active ingredient in willow bark is salicin, but the accompanying flavonoids and plant particles might be part of what make willow bark effective. For this reason, some people prefer to actually chew on the unprocessed bark of the willow tree. It is difficult to determine how much salicin you are getting from each piece of bark, so this method of consumption should be approached with caution.

Liquid

Willow bark can also be found in a distilled tincture form. Taking a drop or two per day for pain relief (up to 2 milliliters) can work as an anti-inflammatory and pain relief substitute for aspirin.

Tea

Some health food stores sell willow bark tea, advertising it as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Steep willow bark tea for

 

READ MORE:  https://www.healthline.com/health/willow-bark-natures-aspirin#forms-and-dose

 

 

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Let’s Face It: There Is No Such Thing as Humane Meat By: Ingrid Newkirk

Looking at online menus for a restaurant to take a visiting friend, I read “humane meat” and had to do a double-take. This bizarre concept, already seen on labels in upscale grocery stores, is invading eateries so that anyone who wishes to order the chicken can feel sort of OK or even really good about it. What are we thinking? That the animals were blown away in the middle of the night while dreaming sweet dreams after a life of comfy straw and the sun on their backs in lush green meadows, like in the fantasy cheese commercials that PETA sued to have removed from the airways, the ones that failed to show the real misery and muck in which California’s dairy cows languish until the truck comes to take them to you-know-where? Or maybe you don’t know where.

One hates to be absolute, but in my view, there is no such thing as humane meat. Perhaps if we were being asked to consider roadkill, which at least would not be cruelly raised or even killed by us (someone else’s non-commissioned vehicle doesn’t count) if we scraped it up off the tarmac and ate it, but that’s not what we are being asked to consider. Rather, it is being suggested that we actually find it acceptable to eat the flesh of animals who were very much alive, had friends and family — or, more likely, were deprived of them — and went through enormous trauma despite some small courtesies, such as perhaps 2 inches of additional space in their jam-packed prison cells. Yes, kicking the dog six times a week instead of seven is marginally better, but that doesn’t mean that we should go around suggesting that people kick the dog, just not as often, does it?

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Calling this sad flesh “humane” is like calling Britney Spears an opera singer. Yes, “Baby One More Time” may be easier on the ear than fingers on a blackboard, but it’s hardly Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” is it? I could go along with SLCBSU, or “slightly less cruel but still unacceptable,” meat, but it’s definitely still not humane by a long shot.

There’s nothing humane about the flesh of animals who have had one or two or even three improvements made in their singularly rotten lives on today’s factory farms. Perhaps they are allowed outside into a patch of mud if they can fight their way out through the 10,000 other hens competing to get through the hatchway. Perhaps they are allowed to share a box in which to lay their eggs. Perhaps they are not kept in iron maidens or sow stalls in which they can never turn around. But the rest of their lot in life and the manner in which they are otherwise treated outside these reductions in abysmal treatment are still an abomination.

By being asked to support meat from living beings who are marginally less cruelly treated, we are being encouraged to support animal breeders, the people who bring our fellow animals into this world for the sole purpose of putting them through the wringer — causing them stress, trauma and pain — and then, because we’ll pay for those body parts, pronouncing, “Off with their heads!” In asking us to endorse humane meat, we are also being asked to endorse artificial insemination (a hideously terrifying procedure carried out on what farmers themselves call “rape racks”) and to support mutilations such as castration, dewattling, decombing, and ear-punching — all without painkillers. Being asked to support humane meat means being asked to support the suffering of animals in transport, to approve of treatment that causes them palpable fear, their bodies shaking and their eyes wide as saucers, as they are slung by their legs into crates that are slammed onto the back of a truck. And we are being asked to find acceptable and humane their experience of barreling down the highway in the freezing cold and sweltering heat. How can we accept any of that if we are against cruelty to animals? It’s simple — we can’t.

By being asked to endorse this grossly misnamed “humane meat,” we are being asked to endorse the ways in which the animals are killed, the final moments that culminate in the fear and the stench of the slaughterhouse. For most meat is obtained from the slaughterhouse, a place of blood and offal and struggles and screams. If that is so humane, why don’t we take the kids and make a day of it? Because it isn’t humane, that’s why.

All of us in society are supposed to believe that cruelty to animals is wrong and that it is a good thing to prevent needless suffering. So if that is true, how can meat be acceptable under any but the most extraordinary circumstances, such as perhaps roasting the bird who died flying into a window? The pig or hen’s misery

 

READ MORE:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/humane-meat_b_2765996

 

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What are mantras, and how do they work? A Tibetan Buddhist view.

What are mantras, and how do they work?  A Tibetan Buddhist view.

Dear Blog Readers,

Among the most widespread images of Tibetan Buddhism are those showing multi-coloured prayer flags catching the wind, or Tibetans whirling prayer wheels, or monks chanting in temples.

Mantras are the focus of these and other activities in our practice.  But what is a mantra, exactly?  And why the emphasis on repeating mantras?  Like most other subjects in Tibetan Buddhism, these questions can be answered on many different levels.  But I hope that the following extract from my book, Buddhism for Pet Lovers, will provide a helpful introduction.  The passage talks about the benefits of reciting mantras aloud in the presence of our pets.  But I hope it is self evident that we benefit from this same practice ourselves, whether we repeat a mantra out loud, or whispered under breath so that only we can hear it.

To bring you up to speed, the first paragraph of this extract refers to the story of Vasabandhu.  In brief, that story tells of how an Indian master, Vasabandhu, used to recite a precious text called the Abhidharmakosha on a daily basis.  Every day, he was overhead by a resident pigeon.  So powerful were the imprints on the pigeon’s mind caused by hearing this text, that when it died, the pigeon achieved human rebirth.  Vasabandhu decided to check up on what had become of the pigeon and, being clairvoyant, found he had been born as a child in a family nearby.  Later, this child came under his care as a novice monk and in time became an expert on the Abhidharmakosha – surpassing the understanding of even the great Vasabandhu on this particular text.

Cause and effect, dear reader!

Now, with that under your belt, here’s the extract on mantras!

Repeating mantras

Mantra recitation is another powerful way we can help imprint the consciousness of our pet with the inner causes for transformation. As the story of Vasabandhu illustrates (see Chapter 3), simply hearing the recitation of sacred words was enough to propel a pigeon not only into a human lifetime, but one as a pre-eminent scholar.

The word ‘mantra’ comes from a Sanskrit term meaning ‘mind protection’. Mantras consist of a number of syllables—usually in Sanskrit, Tibetan or even a combination of languages—which embody a particular truth, meaning or insight. The benefits of repeating them can be understood on different levels.

At the first level, reciting a mantra gives our mind a virtuous object on which to focus. Recollecting the Buddhist definition of meditation—thoroughly familiarising the mind with virtue—when we repeat a mantra, we are doing exactly that. At the very least, we are protecting our own mind from non-virtue for the duration that we recite the mantra. And when we recite mantras aloud to our pets, we are helping familiarise their minds with an object of virtue too. The more we recite a mantra to them, the greater their familiarity.

At a second level, mantras offer a unique way to achieve spiritual insights. The literal meaning of mantras can seem fairly pedestrian. Take one of the most-recited mantras in Tibet, the mantra of Chenrezig, who is the Buddha of Compassion: Om mani padme hum (pronounced Om man-ee pad-me hung). In English this translates as ‘Hail to the jewel of the lotus’. This literal translation is decidedly secondary to the symbolic representation, with each of the six syllables pointing to different levels of meaning, and separate pathways for contemplation. When we combine reciting a mantra with contemplating its meaning, we create the possibility of an ‘aha’ experience, through which our understanding of a particular subject deepens.

Perhaps we can articulate this shift in our perception or understanding, perhaps not. The change may be non-conceptual but no less real—it may be that we have experienced our first taste of chocolate, metaphorically speaking. We use the same words as before to describe the flavours. But we are no longer just being

 

READ MORE:  https://davidmichie.com/what-are-mantras-and-how-do-they-work-a-tibetan-buddhist-view/

 

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