Daily Stuff 6-25-21 Rainbow Flag

Hi, folks!

Minus Tide at 7:55 AM of -2.5 feet. The shop opens at 1pm. Summer hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by GirlInWaterPhotography. Herbs Workshop re-starts Thursday 7/8 from 7-9pm.

Mostly cloudy 5F, wind at 2-5mph and gusting, AQI 21-51, UV9. Chance of rain 8% today and 12% tonight. Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 76F. The rest of the week looks like mid-60’s and partly cloudy. The CUTOFF Fire (East of Klamath Falls) is still at 1288 Acres, but is 67% contained. The S-503 FIRE (Warm Springs) is up to 6679 Acres, but 50% contained….and there’s one firespot just outside of Donald.

We’ve been having a string of frustrating days with important things not happening because something immediate must and then energy runs out and… <sigh> Yesterday was one of those.

For some blasted reason, someone decided to start using a string trimmer around our spot in the park (after Tempus cut everything yesterday) at about 11am… an hour before we were supposed to get up. …and did one side…and then the other… and then went around to the other end and started up again! Whoever it was doing it woke us both, cut things he shouldn’t have, like our neighbors’ flowers, left marks in the plant buckets and just generally started our day off *really* cranky!

The sky and river were very blue when we were heading into town, but it clouded back up toward evening. We got the shop open and got coffee and that helped. Tempus also made me a delicious sandwich after a bit. We started the day with a number of customers and by the time I was done with messages and mail and developing pictures I was having trouble concentrating. It finally got bad enough that Tempus chased me into the back and I slept until nearly 6pm.

Once I was back up he made us a pizza for supper and I worked on shell correspondences for quite some time. He headed out for the bulk route at around 9:30. I curled up with some sewing for a bit, then got back to work on the computer.

Today I was supposed to spend the day at home, making a stew and getting some sewing done. Dunno if that’s still the plan or not because Tempus still hasn’t gotten those errands run. If it is, he’ll open the shop and stay open at least until 6pm, maybe later. If not, he’ll be running errands and I’ll open the shop. We’ll see how it works out!

Photo from 6/24/17 of a Juvenile Red Rock crab by Jamie Marie@girlinwaterphotography Perfect for the Sun in Cancer! (used with permission)

Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies

Today’s feast is in honor of the day that the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag first flew in 1978. It has a history and the color order is that of the spectrum. It may have been used in he 60′s as a diversity symbol but this is the first one associated with a large Gay Pride day.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT_movement)

Today’s Plant is Cow parsnipHeracleum lanatum, or Indian CeleryGrowing in every damp place along the roads out here, this is easily confused with seacoast angelica, and other plants, and even dangerously with water hemlock, if you don’t look carefully, or dig it up to check the root. It’s a huge plant (over 6 feet tall) with leaves large enough to make a hat from! Local peoples used it as a poultice plant for bruises and sores. The young stems and leaf stalks can be peeled and eaten in spring. The root makes a nice yellow dye. – Feminine, Water, Moon, Hathor – The flowers glow in the moonlight and I have used this as a plant of sacrifice to Bona Dea or the Great Mother in one of her many aspects as it is a symbol of the plenty of spring. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_lanatum

The shop opens at 1pm. Summer hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, anjasnihova@yahoo.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!

Love & Light,
Anja

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Today’s Astro & Calendar

Moon in Capricorn

Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 6/24 at 11:40am. Full Moon – The day of, the day before, and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 6/25 at 11:40pm. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 7/9 at 6:17pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 7/1 at 2:11pm .

With a bright Moon still in Sagittarius, it’s best to focus on easy targets on the other side of the sky today. Early in the morning a few hours before sunrise, the Great Square of Pegasus — formed by the stars Alpheratz, Algenib, Markab, and Scheat — is high in the east. Magnitude 2.4 Enif, in the constellation’s southwestern region, marks the Winged Horse’s nose. At 670 light-years away, this yellow giant star’s total luminosity is 6,700 times greater than our Sun’s. The star itself is also 185 times larger than the Sun. Home in on Enif with binoculars or a small scope, and you’ll see a fainter “companion” about 2′ northwest of the star. This is a chance alignment — these two stars are not associated in real space, but make a nice visual double. Next, slide your gaze 4° northwest of bright Enif and you’ll run right into the bright globular cluster M15. This densely packed grouping of around 100,000 stars sits 33,600 light-years away and glows at magnitude 6.2, spanning about 18′ on the sky. It is home to numerous variable stars — at least 112 have been identified within it so far.

The Sickle – The Sickle asterism in Leo looks like a backwards question mark, starting with Regulus and ending with Algenubi. – Alison Klesman via TheSkyX

Leo the Lion is mostly a constellation of late winter and spring. But he’s not gone yet. As twilight ends look due west, somewhat low, for Regulus, his brightest and now lowest star: the forefoot of the Lion stick figure. The Sickle of Leo extends upper right from Regulus. The rest of the Lion’s constellation figure runs upper left from there for a couple of fist-widths, to his tail star Denebola, the highest. He’ll soon be treading offstage into the sunset.

Venus (magnitude –3.8, in Gemini) shines low in the west-northwest during twilight. It hardly moves now with respect to your landscape from week to week, but its background stars are certainly moving right along. Watch Castor and Pollux, to Venus’s right, position themselves to line up with the dazzling planet on June 24th.

Runic half-month of Dagaz/ Dag, 6/14-6/28. – Beneficial rune of light, health, prosperity and openings, signifying the high point of the day and the high point of the year when in light and warmth all things are possible. Runic New Year’s Eve, final day of the runic year June 28  Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992

NIGHT SKY MAP FOR JUNE 2021: SEE THE STARS MOVE – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-june-see-stars-move

Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak,
Jun 10 – Jul 7
Neptune Retrograde 12:21pm (12/1)
Pluto (10/6), Saturn (10/10)Jupiter (10/18) Retrograde
Color – Coral
Planting 6/25
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark

Duir – Oak Ogam letter correspondences
Month: May
Color: Black and Dark Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: D
Meaning: Security; Strength

to study this month – Eadha – White Poplar or Aspen Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Silver White
Class: Shrub
Letter: E
Meaning: Problems; Doubts; Fears.

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Tides for Alsea Bay
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Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time     Feet   Sunset                                    Visible
F    25     High  12:43 AM     9.0   5:33 AM     Set  6:14 AM      99
~    25      Low   7:55 AM    -2.5   9:05 PM    Rise 10:37 PM
~    25     High   2:33 PM     6.7
~    25      Low   7:44 PM     2.5

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Be happy. Be bright. Be you.

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Journal Prompt – Favorites – Explain how to play your favorite game.

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Quotes

~   There is no marvel in a woman learning to speak, but there would be in teaching her to hold her tongue. – Queen Elizabeth I; to the French Ambassador after he had praised her linguistic skills
~   There is nothing more servile, despicable, cowardly and narrow-minded than a terrorist. – François-René de Chateaubriand
~   Thus in a royal swoop unanimously perceived as sudden, unexpected, astounding and unheard of, the knights of a religious order which had come to symbolise in its white mantle and red cross the essence of medieval knighthood, which was said to possess 9,000 manors scattered throughout Europe, and which, owing to their efficiency and capillary structure, facilitated payments and tax collection, managed the royal treasuries of England and France, found themselves quite literally thrown from a position of wealth and power into stinking dungeons. – Edward Burman, on the raid on the French Templars in 1307; Supremely Abominable Crimes, 1994
~   Virgil was large in person and stature, with a swarthy complexion, a peasant’s brow, and uneven health, for he commonly suffered from pain in his stomach, throat, and head; indeed, he often spat up blood. He was sparing of food and wine. With regard to pleasure, he was partial to boys. – Aelius Donatus, Life of Virgil; tr. David Wilson-Okamura

Your voice, with clear location of June days,
Called me outside the window. You were there,
Light yet composed, as in the just soft stare
Of uncontested summer all things raise
Plainly their seeming into seamless air. – –Richard Wilbur (1921–2007)

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Magick – GaneshaOld European culture – Posted: 26 Nov 2020 02:46 PM PST

Ganesha, the god with an elephant head, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. He is revered as the god of beginnings, the remover of obstacles and the patron of arts and sciences and the god of intellect and wisdom. I talked about the reason why in my post “Elephant memory“.

Ganesha may have emerged as a deity as early as the 1st century BCE, but most certainly by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period…

There are many legends abut Ganesha. But interestingly, most of these stories concentrate on three things: his birth, his elephant head, and his single tusk.

In this article I would like to talk about these legends and would try to extract from them data that will help us to understand who this god really is…

While Ganesha is popularly considered to be the son of Shiva and Parvati, the Puranic myths relate several different versions of his birth. These include versions in which he is created by Shiva, by Parvati, by Shiva and Parvati, or in some other manner and is later discovered by Shiva and Parvati.

The most well-known Ganesha creation story is probably the one taken from the Shiva Purana. 

The goddess Parvati had started preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed during her bath and since Nandi (Bull servant of Shiva) was not at Kailash to keep guard of the door, Parvati took the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and made a form of a boy and breathed life into him. This boy was instructed by Parvati to guard the door and to not let anyone in until she finished her bath.

After Shiva had come out of his meditation, he wanted to go and see Parvati but found himself being stopped by this strange boy. Shiva tried to reason with the boy saying that he was Parvati’s husband but the boy did not listen and was determined to not let Shiva enter until his mother Parvati finished her bath. The “usually peaceful” Shiva who was “desperate” to “see” Parvati got so mad with the boy that his “divine fury” severed the boy’s head with his Trishul thereby killing him instantly.

When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation. Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally had his issues with this, and pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only under two conditions: one, that the boy be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods.

Shiva, having cooled down by this time, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent his Shiva-dutas out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature that is lying with its head facing North. The Shiva-dutas soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant Gajasura which Lord Brahma placed onto boy’s body. Breathing new life into him, he was declared as Gajanana and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.

Goddess Parvati derives her name from Parvata (पर्वत), one of the Sanskrit words for “mountain”. She is the daughter of king Himavan (also called Himavat, Parvat), the god of the Himalayas and the personification of the Himalayas range. 

It is Himalayas that create the monsoon. 

And it is that monsoon which is “the bath of Parvati”. 

So Parvati created Ganesha from turmeric to guard her bath and stop anyone from coming in…

Now interestingly, turmeric is planted “right after the first monsoon showers” and in a way is the symbol of the beginning of the monsoon season…Monsoon season which in Ganges river catchment area starts in May/Jun and ends in Oct/Nov. 

The monsoon season peaks at the end of Jul beginning of Aug. Right at point when summer (symbolised by a bull, Shiva’s vahana) meats autumn (symbolised by a lion, Parvati’s vahana)…

So Shiva who was “in meditation” wakes up (at the beginning of summer, end of Apr beginning of May, in Taurus) and goes on to “see” his wife. But he is stopped by the “strange boy made of turmeric” (beginning of monsoon). He tries to argue with the boy, but is getting more and more hot and bothered (temperature peaks towards the end of summer). Finally he blows up and kills the boy. At that moment Parvati is in the bath (monsoon in full swing). She comes out totally pissed off and starts yelling at Shiva who knows that he has screwed it up and will not get to “meet” Parvati unless he fixes the shit he has made pronto. So he sends his goons to get another head for the boy and they bring back an elephant head…Abrakadabra…Elephant boy…By the way, the fight between Parvati and Shiva happens in the middle of Parvati’s bath, in the middle of monsoon, at its peak, at the end of summer, beginning of autumn, and of Jul beginning of Sep. At the peak of the Indian elephant mating season…Which overlaps with the monsoon season…

I talked about all this in detail in my posts “Ardhanarishvara” and “Musth“. 

This Ganesha creation story simply states that he was born by Parvati…

Parvati gave birth to a beautiful boy. All the gods came to see him. Except Shani. He had not come due to a curse which made the head of anyone he glanced at get burnt to ashes. When Parvati heard about this, she felt her son faced no such threat. She pressed Shani to visit her. But, even his hesitant glance at the child – with just one of his eyes; proved his fears right. The child’s head went up in flames. A distraught Parvati demanded that Shani restore her child’s head. She asked him to send a servant to bring back the head of the first person he met. But Shani could punish someone only if he had erred. His emissary, who went looking for an erring individual, found an elephant sleeping with his face turned northwards. He cut off his head and brought it back to be placed on Parvati’s little son.

It is interesting as it says that Parvati’s son’s head “went up in flames”…I believe that this is the description of what happens to nature, which Parvati gives birth to, during the last few scorching hot days before the arrival of the monsoon. This is the time of drought, the time of fires. The nature dies…But then the elephant musth starts and the rain arrives and the nature is revived…This time with an elephant head…

But why do both of these stories state that “the elephant was lying with his head pointing north”? Well I believe that this has to do with the direction of the monsoon winds…They blow northward during the rain season.


Do elephants face away from the prevailing winds, basically facing the same direction as the wind blows? Or is this just a symbol for “when the rain winds blow and elephants mate”? Either way it’s all there, in plain sight…

This next version of the Ganesha creation story links it directly with the elephant matins season, which starts in June and lasts until September. Basically covering the whole monsoon season: 

Shiva and Parvati went to rest in a forest on the slopes of Himalaya. They found two elephants making love there. Their passions ignited, Shiva and Parvati wanted to enjoy themselves like these elephants. They turned into elephants and made love. This is why Ganesha, the son who was born to them afterwards, had the face of an elephant. 

I fully believe that ancient Indians directly linked elephant Musth (mating season) with the arrival of rains. Which is why the Thunder god Indra “rides” on Airavata, a white elephant which is also called “Abhra-Matanga” meaning “elephant of the clouds”. 

And which is why Ganesha, the elephant god, is the product of the union of Shiva and Parvati. Shiva “rides” on a white bull (symbol of summer, May-Jul). Parvati “rides” on a lion (symbol of Autumn, Aug-Nov). Their union, meeting place, is the moment when summer meets autumn, end of Jul, beginning of Aug, the peak of the monsoon…Also the peak of the Elephant Musth…Hence the elephant boy…

I talked about all this in detail in my post “Ardhanarishvara“. 

By the way, this is why this story makes perfect sense: 

Once there was a competition between Ganesha and his brother to see who could circumambulate the three worlds faster and hence win the fruit of knowledge. Skanda went off on a journey to cover the three worlds while Ganesha simply circumambulated his parents. When asked why he did so, he answered that his parents Shiva and Parvati where his whole world and was thus given the fruit of knowledge.

Several other versions of the Ganesha creation myth involve Parvati creating Ganesha “after her bath”. 

1. After finishing her bath, Parvati made a human figure from the bathing oil and the dirt scrubbed away from her skin. It came to life after she sprinkled water from the Ganga on it.

2. Parvati took the mixture of bathing oil and the dirt cleaned from her body to where the river Ganga began her course. She made Malini, a rakshashi with an elephant&rsquo;s head, drink it. Malini conceived afterwards and gave birth to an elephant headed son. Parvati took him away from her and kept him with her.

Like in all areas with a monsoon driven climate, it is the annual monsoon rain which creates the annual floods which rejuvenate and replenish the alluvial soil with nutrients and prepare it for another agricultural season…

You can see that the Ganges river level peaks right at the time when Shiva (summer, bull) meets Parvati (autumn, lion), at the peak of the elephant mating season.

Is this why Ganesha is revived by the water of the river Ganges? After all it is Parvati “the mountain that gives birth to the monsoon. And it is the monsoon that gives birth to the holy river Ganges…And it is the silt rich waters of the holy river Ganges which create abundant harvests in the Ganges catchment area…

There is a very interesting festival called Ganesh Chaturhi. This festival celebrates Ganesh’s arrival from his mother’s place (Himalayas). It takes place in late August, early September. It is a 10 days festival during which a clay statue of Ganesha are installed in people’s homes, worshiped, and then submerged into rivers to dissolve in river water. 

There are two explanations for the practice of immersion. It is said that Ganesha is immersed in order to send him back home to Mount Kailash. It is also said that the process of immersion is considered a proper way of disposing of the deity or rather a way of its safekeeping.

This is very interesting as this “disposing of deity” coincides with the peak of the monsoon and the peak of the musth, the mating season of the Indian elephants…It also coincides with the peak of the flood sediment deposition…

And so it is the literally the “dirt scrubbed away from Parvati’s skin” and “Partvati’s bath water” which create Ganesha, the god of harvest and of abundance. You did know that Ganesha was explicitly connected to the grain harvest? To the point where he is considered to be an old harvest god? 

You can read all about it in the intro to the “The Origin of the Ganapati Cult” by S. M. Michael.

That Ganesha represents the bountiful harvest can be seen from one of his names “suprakarna”. Supra means winnowing basket. One of the names for the last sheaf of grain harvested from the field is “benappu” which is a synonym for Ganesha…It is also believed that Ganesha’s customary yellow color was derived from the color of the ripe grains…

And who is one of the biggest enemies of the grain farmers? Mice and rats who can devastate the granaries. So in order to have a bountiful harvest, people need to destroy mice, rats…Which is why it is believed that Ganesha, the god of bountiful harvest, rides on (subdues) a mouse, rat…

Rats were sacrificed to Rudra and his sister Ambika. Rudra later became Shiva and Ambika became Parvati, whose son is rat riding (subduing) Ganesha…After the clay statue of Ganesha is dissolved in the river during Ganesh Chaturhi festival, a bit of clay is brought back home and ceremoniously thrown into the granary. It is believed that it would protect the grain from rats…In Ratnagiri district (🙂) they have a special rat festival during which both Ganesha and a rat a worshiped. The food offerings placed before the rat are taken to the grain fields the next day and are crumbled among the grains to appease the rodents so they don’t eat the grains…  

Interestingly, in India, people see rats more often from April through June (spring breeding). This is basically during the wheat harvest, just before the beginning of the elephant musth (mating season) which starts in June and which announces the beginning of the monsoon…

Elephant arrives on (comes after) a rat…

Oh and guess when is the second best time of the year to see feeld rats in India? In October and November as the season changes, the monsoon, which coincides with elephant mating season (June to September) has ended, and when the rice harvest begins…

Rat – Elephant – Rat…Elephant riding on a rat…

Oh and guess what is the first thing that people do when the elephant arrives on a rat? They plant rice…The the main rice planting season is in May/Jul. What is the only thing that can make insatiable Ganesha full? A bowl of rice…And guess when the rice is harvested? After the end of monsoon, in Sep/Dec…This article has dates of rice seasons per region

Oh and guess who is one of the biggest enemies of the field mice and rats in India? Cobra. Which is why Ganesha “wears cobra around his neck or around his fat belly, which is the symbol of bountiful harvest, oh holds it in his hand or…”

These next two Ganesha creation stories indicates that he is actually Shiva:

1. A good looking boy emerged out of Shiva’s laughter. Noticing Parvati getting attracted towards him, Shiva turned jealous. He cursed the boy and took away his good looks by giving him an elephant’s head and a fat belly. 

2. A part of Shiva turned into a handsome being and emerged from Parvati’s womb.

Ganesha is Shiva. Shiva “wearing elephant skin”. 

This is basically spelled out to us in the first, most famous Ganesha creation story: “The Shiva-dutas soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant Gajasura which Lord Brahma placed onto boy’s body“…

Who the hell is Gajasura? 

Well he is the demon Rakshasa who assumed the form of an elephant and terrorized Brahmins who were worshipping the Shiva linga. Shiva emerged from this linga, slew the demon, and removed the elephant skin, thereafter wearing the hide on his upper body. 

Since then Shiva became known as Gajasurasamhara (lit. “The Slayer of the elephant demon”), also Gajasamhara, Gajantaka and Gajaha (all three lit. “the Slayer of the elephant”) and Matangari (“The Enemy of the elephant”). 

So here we can see that Shiva literally wears elephant skin. His slaying of the elephant demon just depicts the anthropomorphisation of the original elephant worship…

Here is another, even better story about Gajasura and Shiva. 

Once, there existed an Asura (demon) with all the characteristics of an elephant, called Gajasura, who was undergoing a penitence (tapas). Shiva, satisfied by this austerity, decided to grant him, as a reward, whatever gift he desired. The demon wished that he could emanate fire continually from his own body so that no one could ever dare to approach him. The Lord granted him his request. Gajasura continued his penitence and Shiva, who appeared in front of him from time to time, asked him once again what he desired. The demon responded: “I desire that You inhabit my stomach.” Shiva agreed.

Parvati sought him everywhere without results. As a last recourse, she went to her brother Vishnu, asking him to find her husband. He, who knows everything, reassured her: “Don’t worry, dear sister, your husband is Bhola Shankara and promptly grants to his devotees whatever they ask of him, without regard for the consequences; for this reason, I think he has gotten himself into some trouble. I will find out what has happened.”

Then Vishnu, the omniscient director of the cosmic game, staged a small comedy. He transformed Nandi (the bull of Shiva) into a dancing bull and conducted him in front of Gajasura, assuming, at the same time, the appearance of a flutist. The enchanting performance of the bull sent the demon into ecstasies, and he asked the flutist to tell him what he desired. The musical Vishnu responded: “Can you give me that which I ask?” Gajasura replied: “Who do you take me for? I can immediately give you whatever you ask.” The flutist then said: “If that’s so, liberate Shiva from your stomach.” Gajasura understood then that this must have been no other than Vishnu himself, the only one who could have known that secret and he threw himself at his feet. Having agreed to liberate Shiva, Gajasura asks him for two last gifts: “I have been blessed by you with many gifts; my last requests are that everyone should remember me adoring my head and you should wear my skin.”

So, Shiva, “who was inside Gajasura”, basically “who was Gajasura”, gets to wear Gajasura’s skin while his son, Ganesha, gets to wear Gajasura’s head…Together Shiva and Ganesha are Gajasura…

Oh and by the way, the depictions of Shiva dancing triumphantly after slaying Gajasura, show him “holding one of Gajasura’s tusks in one of his hands”…For those wondering “how did Ganesha loose one of his tusks”…

Another very interesting part of the above story is the very first sentence: “Once, there existed an Asura (demon) with all the characteristics of an elephant, called Gajasura, who was undergoing a penitence (tapas)“. Tapas is a variety of austere spiritual practices in Indian religions. Basically it’s asceticism, inner cleansing…The word “Tapas” which means “warmth, heat, fire”, is based on the root Tap (तप्) meaning “to heat, to give out warmth, to shine, to burn”. The term evolves to also mean “to suffer, to mortify the body, undergo penance” in order to “burn away past karma” and liberate oneself…But I believe that originally it just meant to suffer (from heat, thirst and hunger) during the last few scorching hot months before the grain harvest (Apr-May) and before the monsoon returns (May-Jun)…This is the “Tapas” endured by Gajasura before “Shiva started dancing in his belly”…Before the monsoon returned and the elephant Musth started…

This last Ganesha creation story is brilliant as it actually confirms what I just said abut tapas:

The gods were feeling alarmed: there were too many humans entering heaven after performing penance. They rushed to Shiva for succour. After listening to them, Shiva turned towards Parvati. Rubbing some dirt off her body, she made a plump figure with four arms and an elephant head from it. It came to life soon afterwards. Parvati directed him to place obstacles in the path of humans seeking to enter heaven through penance. 

Now if penance (suffering, no food, no water, to procreation) is what brings people to heaven, then lots of food, lots of water, lots of procreation is what stops them from going to heaven…What keeps people alive, satiated and happy…And definitely keeps them out of heaven…Tapas “warmth, heat, fire” causes drought which causes nature to wither, which causes suffering which cause causes lots of people to die from suffering which causes lots of people to go to heaven (whether they want it or not). On the other hand, the mad humping Elephant of rain causes monsoon, which causes nature to flourish, which causes wells to swell and crops to grow, people to procreate and get born and “puts a lot of obstacles in the path of humans seeking to enter heaven through penance”. 

Thank Shiva and Parvati…Oh, and Ganesha, “the remover of obstacles”??? 

******

Silliness – Silly Q&A –  – Q: What do you call a bearded maker of ceramics? A: Hairy Potter

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