from NPR What to know: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Uranus will form an arch immediately after sunset. This happens every time the planets line up on one side of the sun — about once a year. How to watch: Four of the five planets should be visible with the naked eye beneath the moon. […]You can see five planets align in the sky every night this week. — Natural History Wanderings
Khepri the Scarab Beetle – Divine Creator — Iseum Sanctuary
The Scarab Beetle God known as Khepri was associated with the Sun God Re and quite important in Ancient Egypt. He was usually portrayed as a scarab beetle which was a symbol of regeneration, transformation and rebirth. Khepri’s name is derived from the ancient Egyptian word “kheper,” which means “to become” and “to transform.” Khepri […]Khepri the Scarab Beetle – Divine Creator — Iseum Sanctuary
The Triads — Iseum Sanctuary
The Ancient Egyptians had important groupings of the deities and among these, the group of three deities, Triads, were particularly significant. Two of the most famous triads of Ancient Egypt are the Theban Triad and the Abydos Triad. The Theban Triad consists of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Amun was the chief god of Thebes and […]The Triads — Iseum Sanctuary
About the Nature film, The Serengeti Rules
Those in Utah who are in favor of removing all limits on the killing of cougars – which is in the current bill on the governor’s desk – might watch the film The Serengeti Rules – part of the Nature series, which just aired this evening on PBS. You can buy it on PBS too.
It is a crystal clear presentation of what happens when a keystone species – which are often, but not always, predators – disappears from an ecosystem.
What happens is always exactly the same – an imbalance arises – and one by one – all the other natural species die until nothing at all is left – only a barren desert with no life – or an empty pool by the seashore in which nothing lives.
Many examples were given in the film. Starfish are a keystone species. They hunt and keep other populations in check. When they were removed from a pool by the seashore, other species, with their population unchecked, multiplied, and began to eat everything in sight. In short order, everything was eaten and there was no food left. Then everything died and there was a completely dead pool.
In another situation – like several similar real situations in western U.S. states – all the wolves were killed. (All U.S. wolves had been killed and were extinct in the lower states by the end of the 1940’s. Gradually, with great effort some wolves have been brought back in recent years. It is an uphill battle – and many, many wolves, re-introduced, are still being killed.) In this particular situation, the film shows that after all the wolves had been killed, the deer, predictably, multiplied and ate everything – every young sapling, every blade of grass, every leaf within reach on the trees – until there was a vast overpopulation of deer who then died of starvation. This is what always happens.
There were many other examples presented – in the water, in the ocean and rivers, and on land – of keystone species being killed off and then the entire ecosystem collapsing as a consequence.
Of course, we might care about the cougars because they are individual, innocent, magnificent, majestic animals who enjoy living their lives free in the wild. But even if we don’t care about that – even if we don’t really mind killing off all of nature (the bill would make it legal to trap cougars pretty much anywhere at any time), we might take a moment to ask ourselves how we humans will survive when all the natural ecosystems are gone.
Radical imbalances in nature and weather disturbances are already causing harm and death to humans on a significant scale – and of course also to all the innocent creatures on the planet.
The Serengeti Rules, part of the Nature series, presents an absolutely clear, irrefutable scenario of the path we as a species are headed down – and also highlights the work of those heroes who fight hard and persevere to save the earth and the natural world.
© Copyright Sharon St Joan, 2023
A thought – there are more worlds than one – we have a choice
Today it was raining – and sleeting, cold – and there was hail too! But it was extraordinarily beautiful – and much needed by nature – by the ravens, the juncos, the pinyon jays, the deer, and the one Steller’s Jay who just showed up a couple of weeks ago. And by the juniper trees who spent so many years being thirsty.
Sometimes it occurs to me that we often have more of a choice than we think we do about our general state of being and our mood.
There are many worlds – or many levels – depending on how we want to look at it – and we can even exist in several of these at the same time – or sometimes alternately in one world, then another.
We can easily be drawn into a TV world (often not very elevated) or a world of gossip – or dismissal of others – or blame.
We can also allow the light of heaven to shine through the clouds and sometimes walk in the presence of angels in a world of peace and beauty.
We can be aware of sadness in the world and harm that is being done, and yet, sometimes still be able to focus on the light, rather than on the darkness.
For some of us this may be easier than for others. For some, it’s a bit like catching a train – we can catch the train to a pleasant seashore – or we can catch a different train to a crowded downtown traffic jam.
We’re not always aware that we have a choice. And some of us actually do have less of a choice – depending on the make-up of our personality and the history of our lives. It’s not a question of being good or bad; some people are just more adaptable than others. It’s a pattern.
But when we can, and if we can, sometimes it helps a lot if we don’t always have to jump on the train that is going to a dismal, unhappy train station – but instead, if we can exercise some measure of control of the emotional content of our lives, that can give us more of a choice – and often, if we choose to be more in a world of pleasant spirits and less in a world of doom and gloom, then we can – not only be happier ourselves (which is much pleasanter) – but also it makes it easier for us to have a positive, uplifting effect on those around us – which is a good thing.
This isn’t a question of good or bad, right or wrong (though certainly there are questions of good and bad, right and wrong) but in this case – it’s really just a question of giving ourselves greater possibilities in life – when and if we can – to see a glimpse of light rather than to be drowning in darkness – to choose a road that goes up towards the sky rather than down into the dumps. Or even just to be kind to others, rather than grumpy.
Not always, but often, we have more of a choice than we might think – and pausing for a moment, looking around, and allowing the door to open to a brighter world gives us a greater ability to do some measure of good in life. (It’s also more fun and less miserable.) Sometimes we call it counting our blessings.
We’re not always a victim, we can be free agents with a choice. And being open to the possibility of seeing the door that leads to the light is a good start.
Until the hour
Until the Hour
Years of distain,
On the barren,
Moon-dark steppes, the hero’s
Blade has lain,
In the shadows,
Where regiments of rattling
In the wind, the lights of their eyes
Lugging through the mire,
Their banners grim
All hung with skulls and bells and pelts on wire,
They, the rusted kings,
Who create and re-create
Their soulless empire
Of uncounted deaths
And only lies.
Yet, all the while, the snow lily
Among the rocks
In the rain
Of silver tomorrows
Her petals, ghost-patterned
In the grace-filled land
Where all beginnings
In the foothills of the eternal ones.
There gentle flocks
Hatched of the sea,
In the pure skies
The smoking rim
Of time, until
The hour when,
In the quiet, unremarked snows
That slip over oak and briar,
Along the high,
Dragon dreams of standing stones
Walk abroad again
On the earth, and
The sword sings
In the ancient dawn
Of mists and myths.
Written around 2000.
© Copyright, Sharon St Joan.
To remember the days of dragons
If you were to remember
The birth of dragons
And the times you played among them,
Hearing their feet splashing in the puddles,
Remembering their eyes of fiery emeralds—
If you were to remember,
Then you could run, calling after them,
You could call them and
They would return,
Trailing magic in their silver wings.
Then it could happen that
On the afternoon of a strange Sunday
They could unwind
The obtuse windings
Of the world of men,
Bound up in iron snares,
Releasing fire spirits, air fairies, wise feather-footed owls,
And the innocents entombed for millennia
Into an age of joy,
Where winged bees sing to the flower,
Toadstools dream by the melodious shore,
And the peace of eternal power
Settles over the primeval forest
Green in the darkness of the stars.
Written July 15, 2012
© Copyright, Sharon St Joan
In Honor of Weneg, Mediator of the Gods and Pillar of the Sky — Iseum Sanctuary
Weneg, also known as Uneg, was an Ancient Egyptian God first referenced during the Old Kingdom period (c. 2600 BCE). He was revered as a god of fertility, agriculture, and the renewal of life. The name Weneg translates to “the one who endures” or “the one who is firm,” and he was believed to hold […]In Honor of Weneg, Mediator of the Gods and Pillar of the Sky — Iseum Sanctuary
Part of The Sun Has Broken Off And Formed a Vortex… What The Heck Is Going on? — Exposing the Big Game
Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles: SPACE10 February 2023 https://www.sciencealert.com/part-of-the-sun-has-broken-off-and-formed-a-vortex-what-the-heck-is-going-on ByMICHELLE STARR Footage of the vortex from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.?(Dr. Tamitha Skov/Twitter) For all that the Sun is a ubiquitous and vital part of our lives, a lot about it remains baffling. And now it’s done something decidedly peculiar. Material from a filament of…Part of The Sun Has Broken Off And Formed a Vortex… What The Heck Is Going on? — Exposing the Big Game
The Hawaiian Islands — Jet Eliot
Aloha! Let’s hop on a virtual plane and cruise to Hawaii for a tropical visit to a few major islands. Hawaii has approximately 137 islands, many of which are very small. There are eight major islands and we’re going to frolic on the four most commonly visited ones. We are 2,000 miles (3,200 km) west […]The Hawaiian Islands — Jet Eliot