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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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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How to Identify the 10 Different Types of Clouds Posted by Christine Sarikas

feature_clouds

Do you need to know the different types of clouds for school, or are you just interested in what’s up there in the sky? At first glance, all clouds can look pretty much the same, but with a bit of knowledge and practice you can soon learn how to tell exactly which kind of cloud you’re looking at.

In this guide, we show you all the steps to becoming a cloud-identifying expert. We’ll go over the ten main types of clouds and give you the info you need to identify each cloud type, including cloud names, their shape, height in the sky, color, and the weather you can expect them to bring.

We’ll end with some additional tips for identifying clouds, including easy tricks to differentiate similar-looking cloud types.

The 10 Main Types of Clouds

How many types of clouds are there? Generally speaking, there are ten main types of clouds you’ll see in the sky, and we discuss each of them below. For each of these different types of clouds, we’ve included a picture of the cloud, a short description, and the following additional information:

  • Height: Where in the sky the cloud typically occurs (low-level, mid-level, or high-level)
  • Color: The color of the cloud
  • Shape: The form the cloud typically takes
  • Weather: The weather the cloud is usually associated with or predicts

 

Altocumulus

altocumulus

Image source: Angelo Su/Flickr

  • Height: Mid
  • Color: White
  • Shape: Heap-like and often grouped together
  • Weather: Varies

Altocumulus clouds are fairly common clouds that look like round white or gray patches in the sky. They are sometimes grouped in parallel lines and have been described as looking similar to tufts of wool or fish scales.

 

Altostratus

altostratus

Image source: Wonderlane/Flickr (cropped from original)

  • Height: Mid
  • Color: White or light gray
  • Shape: Thick and flat
  • Weather: Usually indicate warmer weather is approaching; can cause light precipitation

These clouds form a white or gray layer that blankets the sky at mid-level. There are usually no patches of blue sky when these clouds appear, but the sun is often visible as a dimly lit disk behind the clouds (although no shadows appear on the ground).

 

Cirrocumulus

cirrocumulus

  • Height: High
  • Color: White or gray
  • Shape: Rows of small patchy clouds
  • Weather: Typically sunny and cold

Cirrocumulus clouds are much smaller than most other types of clouds, and they are sometimes called cloudlets. They are found at high altitudes and are made of ice crystals. They often are arranged in parallel rows. They are one of the rarer types of clouds and usually don’t last long.

 

Cirrostratus

Cirrostratus

Image source: aivas14/Flickr

  • Height: High
  • Color: Transparent/white
  • Shape: Wispy, but thicker than cirrus clouds
  • Weather: Varies

These are transparent, wispy clouds that

READ MORE:  https://blog.prepscholar.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-clouds

 

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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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Is Salt As Bad As Once Thought?

Woman adding too much salt to pizza, is salt as bad as once thought?

Should you avoid salt? Some sources claim it isn’t as bad for your health as once thought. David Trachtenbarg, MD, UnityPoint Health, says having too much salt in your diet is entirely possible, and while you do need some salt in your body, he explains the reasons why watching your salt intake still matters.

What’s Too Much Salt?

On average, Dr. Trachtenbarg says most people consume between 9,000-12,000 milligrams of sodium a day, roughly over three times the recommended amount. He suggests keeping daily sodium levels at 2,300 milligrams maximum, with less than 1,500 milligrams being preferred, especially for adults with high blood pressure.

“For most people, there are no side effects of having too much sodium,” Dr. Trachtenbarg says. “But, that doesn’t mean salt can’t have a negative effect on the body.”

He lists the health impacts of consuming excess sodium:

  • Blood pressure. Eating too much salt is linked to hypertension, or high blood pressure. Reducing salt intake to 5,000-6,000 milligrams per day has shown to lower blood pressure.
  • Heart health. If you have heart disease or congestive heart failure, extra salt can cause fluid retention, which can lead to shortness of breath and hospitalization.
  • Kidney function. If you have kidney disease, too much salt in your diet may cause you to retain fluid, leading to weight gain and bloating.
  • Diabetes. While not directly connected to blood sugar, eating too much salt increases the risk of complications from diabetes.

“Nearly every processed food has added salt,” Dr. Trachtenbarg says. “When eating processed foods, it’s important to look at the amount of sodium listed on the nutrition label.”

How to Reduce Sodium Intake

The simplest way to reduce the amount of salt in your diet is avoiding processed foods and not adding salt to your meal. Dr. Trachtenbarg encourages you to look closely at nutritional labels, staying away from foods with high salt content, like bacon and large pickles.

“Reduced sodium or low-sodium foods can help reduce blood pressure, but foods with close to zero salt are often tasteless. The good news is if you limit salt intake, your body becomes more sensitive to the salt in food. This means many processed foods may become too salty for your taste, and you can enjoy lower sodium foods without missing the flavor,” Dr. Trachtenbarg says.

Other common beliefs about reducing sodium don’t hold as much promise. Dr. Trachtenbarg lists why the following steps don’t balance out salt consumption.

  • Drinking more water. Extra water doesn’t “wash out” the salt. High salt intake can lead to bloating and fluid retention.
  • Sweating it out. There’s about 500 milligrams of salt in a pound of sweat. Normally, only a very few athletic people will sweat a significant amount of salt. Even though exercising in high temperatures produces more sweat and salt, it can also lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal.
  • Using “healthy” salt options. Sea salt is often talked about as being a better sodium option. And, while sea salt does have a different element make-up than salt (sodium chloride), there’s no clear benefit of choosing sea salt over regular table salt.

As for those who say at least salt is better than sugar, Dr. Trachtenbarg says that isn’t

READ MORE: https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=ad2fb339-a297-4b0b-959c-5033c35cc8bb

The Importance of Recycling to the Environment. David Nicoll

reduce-reuse-recycle

Usually, recycling means turning used materials labelled as ‘Recyclable’ in a disposer container where these are meant to be taken and reuse as materials for new products. Recyclable products are used as the raw materials for new products. As the number of our natural resources is decreasing day by day and if this continues nothing will be left for our future generation, recycling is the only ways which can help us to meet our daily demands and save the natural resources. Another vital role of recycling is that it will reduce the amount of waste in our environment and help us to keep our surroundings clean.

Is Everything Recyclable?

Maybe not all the materials are recyclable but if you contact with your local recycling centre you will know what you can or cannot recycle. Usually, goods have the recyclable mark on their packaging or some labels to easily find out which recyclable materials are and which are not. But you have to give an extra effort to know whether these disposal containers with recyclable materials are actually going to recycle centre or being dump into the landfill. Because if their ultimate goal is the landfill then, the overall hard work to save the environment will be pointless.

How Recycling Affects the Environment?

Recycling is one of the best and effective ways to keep the environment impregnable. Because only reusing can lower the amount of waste and save the natural resources for future. Less landfill trash can save air and water from polluting. Did you know – If we recycle one aluminium can we will be able to save enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours (Obviously depends on the energy consumption of your TV)? It might sound unbelievable but it’s true. This can give you an idea that how much energy can be saved if we take recycling seriously.

It’s not enough to change the way we act but the way we think to return the world what we have taken from it. A survey shows that approximately 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees are cut down every year worldwide to use the land as a landfill. Another research shows that approximately 50 million tonnes of waste are produced in Australia each year. This landfill problem is a difficult issue to solve but has a powerful impact on environmental pollution.

Recycling will reduce the amount of waste of landfills which is potentially hazardous for

 

READ MORE:  https://www.eartheclipse.com/recycling/importance-recycling-environment.html

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Great Tit

21 Facts On Great Tit I1 21 Facts On Great Tit I2

21 facts about the Great Tit:

  1.  great tit clutch can be anything from five to 11 eggs, with the female doing all the incubation.
  2. The cock helps the female with feeding the brood: the chicks usually leave the nest around 20 days after hatching.
  3. Though great tits living in oakwoods rarely have a second brood, it’s not uncommon for them to do so in pinewoods.
  4. Most individuals are sedentary, rarely moving far from where they hatched, but there is a tendency for them to move more in years when the beech crop fails.
  5. It is becoming increasingly rare for British-ringed great tits to be recovered abroad. This is thought to be because of the increase in the amount of food available in gardens.
  6. The most widespread of all the species of tit, it is found across almost all of Europe and east to Japan and south to Indonesia. It is also found in North Africa.
  7. Though widely distrubuted throughout the British Isles, the great tit is a rarity in the Hebrides and Shetlands.
  8. There are no fewer than 30 different races of great tit, many of which are predominately grey and black and lack the bright yellow of European birds.
  9. Britain’s population of around 2 million pairs puts it in 8th place in Europe. Germany has the most: an estimated 8 million pairs.
  10. The great tit owes much of its success to its adaptability, while increasing numbers in Britain may well be because it is an enthusiastic user of garden feeding stations.
  11. Because of its wide range and the fact that it often lives in close proximity to man, it is one of the most intensely studied of all birds.
  12. The readiness of great tits to use nest boxes is one of the reasons they are such popular birds to study.
  13. The longest running study started in Wytham Wood near Oxford in the 1930s and continues to this day. The university manages it.
  14. The male’s distinctive double-note song is one of the most familiar sounds of spring.
  15. There are, however, a huge number of variations of the song, and a typical cock great tit will use around 40 variations.
  16. If you hear a bird song that you can’t identify, then there’s a good chance it will be a great tit.
  17. It has been found that the individual birds with the greatest repertoire of songs enjoy the most success with the girls.
  18. Many old country names for this species reflect its song. One of the best is sharp-saw, from Norfolk.
  19. The most successful and dominant cocks tend to have the thickest black stripes down the center of the underparts.
  20. In the 1960s, when sparrowhawk numbers had been decimated by pesticide poisoning, the most dominant great tits were also the heaviest. However, these fatter birds are the most vulnerable to sparrowhawks, so once the latter’s population recovered, the dominant males lost their excess weight.
  21. Great tits invariably nest in holes, but here they can be remarkably inventive, often using manmade sites such as post boxes.

 

https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-great-tit

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