Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yamato-Takeru Japan's Greatest Epic Hero

Yamato-Takeru Japan's~ 
Greatest Epic Hero~
 As I promised my dear Friends & Followers I would do a post on the saga of the Yamato-Takeru; Japanese greatest epic hero. So for today's post I thought today would be a good day for this great Japanese hero. Originally, named was Ousu. He was the younger of twin sons born to the Emperor Keiko and proved his warlike prowess early on when in a fit of rage he killed his older brother Ousu(Yamato-Takeru).  After killing his older brother the Emperor Ousu, Keiko feared for both his life and his throne. Keiko's father had dispatched him first to Izumo and then to Kumaso, in what is now Kumamoto Prefecture, to put down rebellions, hoping that his recalcitrant son would not come back alive. However, his son the young prince was victorious in every campaign, as much by guile as by his military prowess. Much to his Fathers dismay he surpassed everything, even the rebels that his father sent to have him killed. Much of how he was able to surpass his father's rebels was, during that time Kumaso had disguised himself as a maiden servant and managed to gain entrance to the palace where the Lord of Kumaso was hosting a drinking party. Once the Lord and his guests were thoroughly drunk, Ousu/Kumaso shed his female garments, drew his sword and mortally wounded the rebel chief. Then on his deathbed, Lord Kumaso showed his profound respect for his slayer by renaming him Yamato-takeru; meaning 'Brave One of Yamato'. From that point on it was his only name used!
So When Yamato-takeru returned to the court in triumph, Keiko feared his son more than ever. So this time he sent him on an even more perilous mission; to subdue the Emeshi, who were almost certainly Ainu to kill his son or his father thought! However, in the vicinity of what is Today's Tokyo Bay - Before his son when off to the next mission his father sent him out on, his aunt, Yamato-no-hime, the 'Princess of Yamato' who was also the high Priestess of Amaterasu at the Ise Shrine and the guardian of the Mura-Kumo sword, gave the weapon to her nephew, along with some amulets, to help him in his quest. So now armed with a magical, Excalibur - like sword, Yamato-takeru gained a series of important victories in war, one of which came close to fulfilling his father's fondest wish!  In the course of the battle at Sagami,
in what is now Kanagawa Prefecture, his enemy set fire to the open grassland on which it was being fought. As his opponent had managed to kill Yamato-takeru's horse, he had not means of escaping what appeared to be certain death. However, even thought it appeared there was no escaping death, at this critical juncture in the war, the magical sword that was given by the High Priestess Amaterasu 'Princess of Yamato' wielded itself in front of the hero and mowed down the grass that was fueling the fire. Saving the Hero. Which prompted Yamato-takeru to rechristen it to Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi the 'Grass-Mover-Sword' Which in Japanese literature it still bears this name!
Once the fire had stopped burning down in the grass toward the prince he used one of the
magical amulets his aunts had given him to start a blaze burning in the opposite direction, that was toward his enemy and won the battle. Then Yamato-Takeru married Miyazu-hime, a princess with whom he had fallen in love during an earlier expedition. Well it seems that they would have a happen ending to the tale, and the did live happily together for a time, however the hero of japan had one last task to perform; It was to defeat a monster that lived
on a nearby mountain. So ignoring his dear lovely wife's pleas to not take on the
monster, and to take Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi with him, he only brought with him
the magical sword, and claimed that he could vanquish the creature with his own
bare hands and left for the mountains. So as he descended up the mountains
to faced the monster with his magical sword, he actually did, kill the beast, but with
great cost. It seems soon after the great battle of the monster, his final battle
the great hero fell victim to a fatal illness contracted in the course of his struggle of
the battle.  Even thought the hero fell fatal ill after he saved his kingdom, his Queen and
followers carried the dying hero on a litter to the coast, near the city of Otsu,
where like all good Japanese warriors, ancients or modern warriors are brought. He
died soon after writing his own death poem. And shortly after, his death his soul turned
into a beautiful white bird, which flew off to Yamato. It seems that later when his
tomb was opened it was empty showing to his people that that day
it was truly him that flew off as a white bird into the heavens.
I hope that You all will Enjoy the tale of the Yamato-Takeru
Hero of Japan I love you all very much
YOUR WENDY

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Jokao Giant

Jokao Giant-
An Iroquois Native Indians before they
turned to the Jokao stone Giants
Good Evening my dear Friends and Followers and welcome to the Jokao Giant of the Iroquois Seneca Native American people.  This Giant was named after the classic cannibal giant in the Traditions and beliefs of the Iroquois Native American Indians.
The Jokao are also known as the Stone coats as theses  enormous humanoids are entirely covered in stone plates for their skin, which holds the secret of their power. They were said to have been engendered  by winter itself or during a particularly severe winter when famine wracked the earth; the people of the northern villages started to eat their neighbors and finally their own families. Some escaped in the end and went to the warm south across the river, however those who remained soon turned into the monsters Jokao Giants of stones that developed the stone coats. One who realized that had gotten as far as the river, but was too frighten to the water. He called for help to a man in a canoe, who gave him hot deer fat to warm him and as soon as he drank it the stone coat fell away and he was free. There are many ceremonies and legends where the Jokao Giant lived in Native American culture. 
I hope that you all Enjoyed the legend of the 
Jokao Gaint of the Iroquois Native American People 
Love you all my dear Friends and Followers 
YOUR WENDY

Trolls~

Trolls~
An princess with nice Trolls
Well I thought I would do a Critter post for today I haven't done one in a while and I know I have done one on the Trolls. So I hope that you all fine this interesting my dear Friends and Followers.. In Scandinavian the troll may be referred as either Trold or Troild. They were originally described as vast, ugly, hairy giants or ogres with a  malignant moods or character, however in some regions they are degraded to a smaller trolls not at all giant or ogre size. They are often dwarf-like in size.
In different countries they come in different sizes, traditions, appearances, or character too. Some of these place are Ebletoft, Denmark , here the Trolls were more like ogres who had humps on their backs, large hooked noses and wore gray jackets and pointed red caps. They weren't that tall either. However, in Gudmanstrup, Denmark  , the trolls were giants in long black clothes. Now the Trolls in Norway are described as quite malicious, hairy ogres, but their women were said to be beautiful with red flowing hair.
They live in communities under the hills in long barrows and ancient earth caves/caverns. Their homes were said to be wonderful places full of treasures that may glow at night. The
Stone Trolls/ Petrified Trolls
Trolls hated noise and were driven away form the homes with church bells. Their attitude toward humans is sometimes ambivalent. The only way that they will endow a family of riches and good fortune, is one that they like. While there are other times these Trolls can be very malicious, and often have been destructive in the humans crops and woodland areas where they depend on food for their families. These Trolls have been known to also steal human women, children and the humans property. The worst that have been said of the Trolls is cannibalism's at times.
It is said that a branch of mistletoe is used to protect humans and animals from being taken from these Trolls. The Trolls are considered to be expert metal workers, expert healers with herbs and magick. However, they can be seen only between dusk and dawn, as they will turn to stone if the sun shines upon them. It is said that the standing stones of northern America is what left of the petrified Trolls of ancient times.
In the Faroe Islands the Trolls are known as Fodden Skemaend; they are the Hollow men or the Underground people who were known for abducting humans and keeping them for many years as slaves.
In Iceland the Trolls are malicious , one-eyed giants.
The SjoTRoll of Finland
In Finland the Trolls were evil lake-dwelling creatures known as the SjoTroll. It was said to Sjotrolls to the depths of the freezing lakes of Finland. The people would place two runic stones at each end of the lakes where these SjoTrolls inhabited at Kokar. This way they knew they would be safe. However, when there was a fog or an storm that came up from the lakes, the magick of the stones was obscured, so the people of Finland would stay inside during these times. They would not fish or even come out till the fog or storm passed, because it was said in legend that the SjoTroll was released during this time only and would drown anyone that was outside.
The Trolls of Greenland and Canada in the folklore of the Inuit and Ihalmiut people resemble
the more ancient concept of the giant hairy Scandinavian Trolls.
Scandinavian Trolls from the mountains
waiting for the opportunity to attack humans and
eat them whole or piece by piece. 
These Scandinavian trolls are described as being very malignant giants and having enormous
amounts of hair on their body's that drags along the ground. They had talons for fingers, so sharp that they are like knives. They inhabited the hills where they lurk, waiting for the opportunity  to attack human and rip the flesh from their victims and eat them. So Basically Trolls aren't you most kindly creatures but not all creatures that I find are going to be fun loving in the magick world. For that, the Troll is a huge example of that. I have done a few on the troll in the passed that were kinda nice but overall they are not. I hope you all find this post interesting my dear Friends and Followers I will be putting a few photos of different Trolls in the post so that you all can get an idea of what the different kinds there were. 












 I Hope 
 That you are all doing well and I am slowly
 getting back in the groove love you ALL!
YOUR WENDY

TipsFromtheGarden-HibiscusTea-

TipsFromtheGarden-
HibiscusTea-


For Our Saturdays Tips From the Garden
We are going to learn how the Hibiscus Flower can make an great
Natural Tea; and help with health issues too. 
I found that the Hibiscus Flowers
which are a perennial tropical plant-flower
so you can grow these beauty's in the U.S.
However, they need to be grown near the Sunny Belt and
Hawaii. Later in the post I will talk more about how &
where to grow your own Hibiscus Plants.
But First; I would like to show the health benefits,
In Recent studies, folks who have grown
theses beautiful flowers make a wonder tea that can lower you blood pressure as effectively as some of your own standard drugs that your doctors give you for you high-blood pressure!
The Hibiscus come in a wide variety colors and plants which are consumed all over
the world. As a ruby-colored lemon beverage. Hibiscus is safe and unlike most
blood pressure drugs, rarely cause side effects if any! Plus the Hibiscus plants
can be grown in much of the United States, so you can actually grow your own
blood pressure medicine!
Besides blood-pressure medicine the Hibiscus flower Infusion 50g - can reduced

blood vitamin C content of flavonoids and risk of free radical scavenger, also strengthens
the immune system a beneficial effect on the function of the heart and vascular
diseases, kidney and liver reduces appetite the case against respiratory infections too.
There is another group of folks that believe that a healthy head of hair begins with
a healthy scalp. Also Cold and hot temperatures, stress and hair products can create
an imbalance of the levels of moisture in your natural oils of your hair and scalp.
They feel by using their product the hibiscus flower you will refresh your
scalp so that it will add a luster to your hair and you will have no more dandruff or
itchy scalp. The ingredients; pour 12-ounce of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of your
dried hibiscus flowers in a heatproof measuring cup or large mug. Then Cover
the mug with your saucer to allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
After it has steep for at least 15 minutes or more, let your tea completely cool, pour
over your freshly washed and conditioned scalp and hair. Style and usual, rinse
with cool water until the water runs clear. From what I found from these folks you continue
to do this treatment until your hair, scalp fill healthy . So you might give it a try!
~About the Hibiscus Flower~
The Hibiscus (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) has been used to treat high blood pressure
in both Africa and Asian Traditional medicines. In 1996, it is said that researchers in
Nigeria confirmed this age-old wisdom by showing that the hibiscus flower does
reduced blood pressure in laboratory animals; note lets hope the animals were harmed!!!
Soon after it  seems that the researchers in Iran showed the same
benefits with their folks too.
Even in Mexico they have found that the Hibiscus Flower - brewed from

10 grams of the crushed dried flowers which is about 5 teaspoons per
1 to 2 cups of water once a day. They say do this for about four weeks; then you
should see that the herb/dried flowers buds will have done as well as your
prescription drug that you take for your blood pressure.
In Mexico there was an study of two groups of people; 1-group used the
Hibiscus Tea 2-group used their regular meds. Both groups had a 11% drop in
their blood pressure even the ones that just used the Hibiscus Tea. So it kinda
make you think! However, with all medications, allergies, reactions to medications,
you should always talk to your doctor about this First!
~Growing Your Own Hibiscus Flower~

The Hibiscus is a perennial Flower tropical plant, so you all may think that
growing these beauty,s would be limited to the warmer climates of the world or
Hawaii. Well not so! There are other places you can grow these beauty's!
In the United States; there is Southerner Exposure Seed Exchange in Mineral, Va;
For American growers the 'Thai Red Roselle' is an variety of the Hibiscus
which thrives as an annual as far north as New Jersey.
These beautiful flower have dark green leaves that develop red veins and undersides
as they age. The stems and branches are also dark red.
The temperate Zones of these beauty's variety. You should started your
Hibiscus flowers in Pots just like your would your starter tomatoes. When the
Seedling are about 3 to 5 inching high you can transplant into a sunny place in the
ground if you like. However, you can keep them in Pots like I would. If you would
rather keep them in the ground, find a sunny spot, spare your new plants 3 feet
apart in rows 5 feet apart. This variety will help with growth, also use organic
soil to help with your plants. Delay the planting to late in the season
may make it so the Hibiscus wont bloom within that year.
~More Help In Growing the Hibiscus Moscheutos~
More commonly called the Hardy hibiscus and sometimes called
'rose mallows' or 'swamp mallows.' Yet my personal preference of calling it
'The Hibiscus Flower'
I love this flower because it reminds me of my family in Hawaii, and all tropical Island
type of places. It is a beautiful flower that the hummingbird and bees love and they come
in so many different colors too. And what I just discovered in writing this post today
that they can be helpful in health issues too!
~Plant Type~
Although hardy hibiscus plants are woody in summer and function as sub-shrubs in the landscape, their stems can die back to the ground in winter, making them technically herbaceous perennials.
~Characteristics of the Plant~
Bloom size can reach 10 inches for such cultivates such as ‘Galaxy’.   Even cultivates with smaller blooms still produce impressive, saucer-size flowers.  While each bloom lives only a day or two, they are quickly replaced by newcomers.
~Hardiness Zones~
The species plant is indigenous to eastern North America.   Hibiscus moscheutos cultivates can be grown in planting zones 4-9.
~Light Requirements~
Plants thrive in full sun and in an average-to-wet soil.
~Plant Care~
Make sure plants are adequately watered. Because the blossoms are so large deadheading is recommended after blooming.
~Many different Uses for the Hibiscus Flower~
Hardy hibiscus plants will typically bloom in late July or early August in northern climates here in the Seattle bloom in late July). This feature makes them valuable specimen plant in landscaping plans that strive for spring-to-fall color, since fewer flowering shrubs bloom at this time.  The species plant is a wetland plant, and hardy hibiscus flowers can be treated as plants for wet soils. This makes them useful around water features. Hibiscus can also be used to attract butterflies/hummingbirds too.
~Many different kinds~
There are many different kinds of the Hibiscus Flower
They come in a vary of size, color and leaf shape too. There are;
Pink, lavender,red, white, yellow, Orange and even some are
mixed colors too.
~Soil Conditions~
The hibiscuses require a rich, well-drained soil that stays moist. They will survive in a normal soil with additional watering. Because of their ability to withstand boggy soils, hardy hibiscuses are often used as a necessity in landscapes where the lawn holds additional water, such as low spots or around water features.
~Maintaining your Hibiscuses~
The Hibiscus with its long stems and beautiful flowers will die off
in the winter, but their roots will send up new shoots the following spring.
You might want to cut the tall stalks in the late fall or early spring if
you don't enjoy looking at the bare stalks sticking above the grass during the winter.
HERE ARE A FEW GREAT IMAGES FOR YOU ALL!










Well I hope that you enjoy the post on the 
Hibiscus Flower I love you all very much
~YOUR WENDY~

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Izumo Dragon

 Izumo Dragon~
The Japanese Deities in the Heavens 
Good Afternoon my dear Friends and Followers I have a new post about another Dragon from Japan. It is from ancient Japan Culture that this story comes from.. I hope that you all will Enjoy the Tale. It says in the ancient Japanese scripture that the Kojiki, after Susa-no-O is expelled from the Heavens, he encounters two Kuni-tsu-Kami(earthly deities) near the head of the Hi River in Izumo Province. These two Deities of the Heavens, Kuni-tusu-Kami are weeping because they had to give the sinister Orochi one of their daughters once every year(which was sacrificed as all their daughters were) and now they must sacrifice their eighth and last daughter to the Evil Orochi; whose name was Kushi-inada-hime. But this time the Sinister Orochi who dominated a certain area of Japan in this ancient time, which some say was the Izumo Province demanded Virgin sacrifices this time.   This is a more shorter version of the tale I will continue with the longer version too. So what happens next is; Susa-no-O asks for Kushi-inada-hime's hand in marriage and them he transforms her into a comb(kushi) which he then places into his hair. He then asks her parents to brew some sake that has been refined eight times and then builds a round enclosure with eight gates around that. Each has a platform for each sake vat. They would all together and help fill the sake vats and then wait, it wasn't that long to wait for the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi.
Showing the Izumo Dragon
Drinking from the Sake Vats
Evil Orochi to appear. He dips his head into each of the vats and is soon intoxicated, allowing Susa-no-O to cut him into pieces. When he cuts the middle tail, his sword is chipped and there he finds the legendary sword;
Some version call the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi is called - Kusanagi-no-Tsunegi which means in English ' The Grass-Cutting Sword'.  This Sword was given to Amaterasu, Susano- sister, who is the Japanese Goddess of the Sun. She then gave it to her descendants on Earth, the Emperor, form that point on it is said that it has been kept as one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Yamato.
How for the longer version which I thought you all might Enjoy!
I am sorry I wasn't able to find very many images for this post. But then again this is an ancient legend of Japan, from centuries ago so that could be one of the reasons why. The story begins after Amaterasu Omikami, the Japaneses Sun Goddess, was picked by her father, Izanagi-no-Mikoto(the Japanese Adam) to succeed him as the divine sovereign. All went well until Amaterasus recalcitrant brother, Susano challenged his sister to rule over the cosmos-Nihonshoki,  so in order to settle the controversy they the brother and sister performed a grand divination in which each deity magically spat out offspring; This is how the legend of the Izumo Dragon started and the magick sword too. So this is how it worked, with the pieces of Amaterasu-Susano initial sword and his sister goddesses of the Sun magatama or fertility jewel, the God was able to produced more children than his sister. However, Amaterasu-Susano brood produced more males, so his sister was adjudged the winner by the assembled gods. This didn't stop Susano, he refused to accept defeat from his sister and the assembled gods. So he stamped down on the dikes between the divine rice paddies and threw a piebald horse into the divine weaving hut thereby killing one of his sisters handmaidens. Well this was the end of that ever kinda relationship Amaterasu Omikami  had with her brother. After he killed one of her beloved handmaidens out of anger she withdrew from the heavens into
'THE CAVE OF DARKNESS'. However, she was tricked into reemerging from the cave, from her fellow deities, after insisting that she banish her brother Susano from the Heavens.
This is how the story of the famous dragon sword came about between the to siblings - The God Amaterasu-Susano of the night sky's and his sister the Goddesses-Omikami of of the Sun magatama and fertility.
When Amaterasu-Susano arrived to Earth near the headwaters of the HI river, which is now the northern part of the island of Kyushu, he noticed a pair of chopsticks were floating downstream so he decided to investigate,  being the curious God that he was. Once he got to the opposite end of the river he soon found a beautiful young maiden and her parents crying by the side of the stream. When he inquired as to why they were so sad, he learned that the girl (Kusa-Nada-hime/'Rice Paddy Princess), would soon be the latest offering/sacrifice to the ravenous eight-headed, eight-tailed dragon monster that they all called the~
YAMATA NO OROCHI ~ WHICH IN ENGLISH IS CALLED 'EIGHT-TAILED DRAGON' who was terrorizing the region of Japan. So as the tale goes~ The God Amaterasu-Susano then identified himself to the family and then he asked the doomed girls parents to bring him a large tub. Since they were desperate  to save their child they did as the God Amaterasu-Susano said hoping he could save their child from the sacrifice to the monster. So what the God Susano did was to ask the parents for their finest sake, and then filled the tub with the sake, Then being a God he was able to have the power to turn the beautiful young maiden Kusa-nada-hime or Rice Paddy Princess into a comb, which he inserted into his hair. Then he told the girls parents to hide. When the monster dragon finally did appear - all of his eight heads immediately began to drink the fine sake. You see all people and even monsters love the sake of the rice paddy of japan. The Creature drank so much of the sake he became very drunk almost dead like, so it was very easy for the God Susano to slay him. So when the God Susano hacked and slayed the dead drunk monster dragon, he started with one of the many tails and discovered a wondrous, magically sword, which he named the 'Mura-kumo-no-Tsurugi or 'Assembled Clouds Sword'. It was also called Kojiki Nihonshoki too. All of this was actually done for an peace offering to his divine sister.
Kinda makes you wonder what his true intentions really were when he was helping the young maiden and her parents. So back the the tale; once Susano had sent the sword up to his divine sister as a peace offering,  He restored the beautiful young maiden Kusa-nada-hime to a human form and married her. Even though he was a God, took up residence in a palace at Suga near the site of the Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. Well the tale doesn't end there, two generations later, when the Goddesses Amaterasu-Omikami, the Japaneses Sun Goddess sent her grandson, Honinigi, to claim the Reed Plain on her behalf, Honinigi brought with him three talismans of divine sovereignty; the Mirror, in which Amaterasu-Omikami thought she saw another Sun Goddess and was tricked into leaving the CAVE OF DARKNESS, the divine MAGATAMA, THAT IS, A FERTILITY JEWEL SIMILAR TO THE ONE THE GOD SUSANO HAD CHEWED UP DURING THE AFOREMENTIONED GRAND DIVINATION AND FINALLY LASTLY THE MURA-KUMO SWORD.
[note; if you are curious the monster at the times in ancient Japan was described besides the eight heads and tails, he also had eyes as red as winter-cherries. It was so long that its body would extend over eight valleys and eight hills, and its belly is always bloody and inflamed. Its back was covered with hikage(club-moss), hinoki(Japanese cypress) and sugi(Japanese cedar). I thought you all might like a clear description of the monster...]
So on with the tale- Although I couldn't find where it the Goddess Amaterasu-Omikami of the Divine Heavens and Sun, grandson Honinigi was able to claim the Reed Plain on her behalf; I did find when Honinigi's great-grandson; Jimmu Tenno and his warriors marched on an conquest from the Island of Kyushu along the north-coast of the Island Sea to Yamato, where Jimmu Tenno became the first Emperor of Japan. It seems that several generations of the line of Jimmu Tenno all played an wondrous and major part in Japanese culture, with the grand sword of the Izumo Dragon. Well I have more to tell you about this tale but it is getting a bit long so I will continue this with the Saga of the Yamato-takeru the Japan's greatest epic hero. 
I will try and get the Saga of the Yamato-Takeru out as soon as 
I can my dear Friends & Followers I love you all and I hope you all
Enjoy the tale in Ancient Japan 
YOUR WENDY






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