Dragons, Qilin, Phoenix and other Mythical beasts
Dragons in China are not the fire-breathing, evil monsters that they are portrayed elsewhere in the world. May be a different word should have been used to distinguish the Chinese version of these mythological creatures. The Chinese dragon is imperious, powerful but good-natured. People need to seek the favor of dragons and keep them on their side. It is a strong &lsquoyang&rsquo animal (male sun light). As such it associated with the number nine (as 3 is yang, 3x3 is extremely yang) and so Nine Dragons 九 龙 jiǔ lóng are extremely propitious. Kowloon, part of Hong Kong means &lsquonine dragons&rsquo in Cantonese. There is an impressive imperial Nine Dragon Wall of glazed tiles at both the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City at Beijing.
According to an ancient classification the dragon is considered the chief of all scaled creatures, while birds are represented by the phoenix animals by the unicorn and all shelled creatures by the tortoise. It is second only to humans in the hierarchy of animals. It has a sinuous body covered in scales, with four legs and two horns. It is said to be a composite of nine different creatures: camel's head deer's horns rabbit's eyes cow's ears snake's neck frog's belly carp's scales hawk's claws and tiger's palm. There are traditionally 81 (9x9) scales running along its spine. Its face has whiskers and a beard.
Dragons were well established in the Chinese mind as far back as the Shang dynasty. There are hints that the original inspiration for a dragon may be the alligator ➚ of Southern China. Dragons are lords of nature, commanding the mountains, sky, sea and land. Dragons belong to various categories: heaven dragons ( 天 龙 tianlong) ruling the sky spirit dragons ( 神 龙 shenlong) ruling the rain earth dragons ( 地 龙 dilong) ruling springs and streams, and treasure dragons ( 伏 藏 龙 fucanglong) which guard buried riches. The blue-green dragon ( 青 龙 qinglong) represents east and spring and is one of the four divisions of the traditional month. The river forming a long stretch of China's north-eastern border is the 黑 龙 江 hēi lóng jiāng &lsquoBlack Dragon River&rsquo which in turn gives its name to the whole province. Buddhists brought with them into China a rather different view of dragons more akin to the Europeans, Buddhist dragons are more cantankerous and prone to malice.
The Blue Dragon festival takes place on the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month each year. This was the day Lóng tái tóu 龙 抬 头 when the dragons by tradition stirred from their winter slumber.
Chinese dragon on a temple roof
A representation of a 贪 龙 tān lóng &lsquo greedy dragon &rsquo was often put at the entrance to the administrator's house (the yamen) so that the administrator and all the supplicants were encouraged to keep honest by this savage and hungry representation of a dragon.
Imperial dragon at the Forbidden City
Feng shui favors sites with a &lsquohidden dragon&rsquo, which is found where the form of the surrounding hills look like a huge protecting dragon. Ideally this should be to the east of the location as with Nanjing. The film title Crouching tiger, Hidden dragon ➚ comes from a place of hidden strength, and a most auspicious Feng Shui location.
Chinese Dragons are mostly associated with water, with the power to bring drought or floods, and so they control the lives of all those who cultivate the fields. Legend has it that a son of the Emperor Hongwu chose the site for the city of Beijing as the Ming capital after he had managed to tame two dragons who controlled the city's water supply. The belief in dragons has remained strong, at the start of the 20th century 82% of people believed they existed and Yuan Shikai in 1912 sought to legitimize his usurpation of power by the appearance of a dragon - he sent teams of people to go and look for one.
Traditional dragon dance, Foshan, 2013 Copyright © Dreamstime see image license
A survey of Chinese literature
The seas are ruled by dragon kings (Long Wang 龙 王 ), one for each of the traditional four seas that surround China. If a dragon king takes to the air it brings a great storm and rain - a typhoon ( 台 风 taifeng in Chinese). Death by drowning was considered a sacrifice to the dragon king and this is tied to the origin of the Dragon Boat festival which at a later date came to commemorate the drowning of Qu Yuan. Originally people pleaded with the dragons to bring rain for a good harvest at this mid-summer festival. A drought was just as ruinous as a flood. The Dragon King, ruler of water, traditionally lies out in the sun to dry his scales on the sixth day of the sixth luner month.
In ancient times lightning was considered to be &lsquodragon fire&rsquo. An eclipse of the moon or sun was believed to be caused by a dragon eating the celestial body. The Moon rose between the horns of the Spring Dragon as the moon is often represented as a pearl, the common depiction of two dragons chasing and holding pearls (as in the Dragon Dance) is related to the moon and thunder. Others say the pearl represents knowledge or the sun.
A lower category of dragon are the &lsquoHornless dragons ➚ &rsquo 螭 chī also known as &lsquomountain demons&rsquo. They are depicted as small dragons without horns: 螭吻 &lsquoChī wěn&rsquo considered by some to be the Chinese chimera ➚ and sometimes termed 辟邪 bì xié. An early form of the dragon is the 夔 Kuí dragon that is shown more like a snake with one leg or no legs typically decorating Shang dynasty bronzes. The kui is considered an emblem to remind people to refrain from greed.
Fossils of animals were known as &lsquodragon's bones and teeth&rsquo. Traditional medicines are often named after parts of the dragon to advertise their potency. The Dragon Dance takes place at Chinese New Year and also at marriage ceremonies. Carvings of dragons and chiwen are some of the mythological beasts placed at the ends of the roof ridges of buildings. On the very top of the roof ridge they acted as lightning conductors.
Dragons are one of the twelve animals of the astrological year, people born in a dragon year are born leaders and lucky as a dragon year is considered the luckiest astrological year. For more on dragon symbolism please refer to our symbolism section.
The dragon as emblem of the Emperor
The symbol of the Emperor has been a dragon since the Han dynasty. The Emperor ruled China from the Dragon Throne ➚ at the Imperial capital (Beijing, Nanjing and other cities over the centuries). The throne faced south and was considered the very center of the civilized world. The number of claws of the dragon's feet is important. They are often portrayed on ceramics, silk and carvings. The five clawed dragon is reserved for the Emperor and his sons anyone else found with a depiction of a five clawed dragon could be executed. Princes of the third and fourth rank were allowed four clawed dragons, three claws or less were reserved for the officials at court.
Dragon throne at the Imperial Palace, GuGong (Forbidden City, Zijincheng), Beijing
One of the nine dragons on the Nine Dragon Screen, Forbidden City, Beijing
Beanie Babies Value List 2019
|Princess The Bear||$500,000|
|Peace the Bear||$15,000|
|Claude the Crab||$10,000|
|Patti the Platypus||$6,000|
|Weenie The Dog||$2,500|
|Puff The Magic Dragon||$1,750|
|Mystic the Unicorn||$1,500|
Digital / Paper - E2E Pantographs
The pantographs pictured above are as follows (left to right) - Sound Wave, Marmalade, Diagonal Plaid (top), Honeycomb (bottom), and Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
PAPER PANTOGRAPHS are printed with one or two full rows, and contain partial rows for the next row line-up.
DIGITAL (computerized quilting systems): Zip file includes:
BQM, CQP, DXF, GPF, HQF, IQP, PAT, QLI, SSD, TXT, WMF and 4QB or PLT.
Some designs also include a DWG, PDF, PNG and SVG.
E2E (edge to edge) designs are continuous line pantograph / border / sashing designs.
P2P (point to point) are E2E designs that have the start and stop points at the outer most edges of the design. There is no interlock side to side on P2P designs, but there may be an interlock top to bottom.
B2B (border to border) are E2E designs that have the start and stop points at the outer most edges of the design, AND the design will completely fill the space top to bottom. There is no interlock side to side OR top to bottom on B2B designs.
SELF PRINT designs are intended for longarm quilters, and are set up to be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper on any home printer.
TEAR AWAY designs are intended for both domestic and longarm quilters. Just place, quilt and Tear Away.
Part of the fuel for Philodendron mania is how easy they are to maintain. Certain species may have particular needs, but most have similar requirements. Once you learn how to keep one Philodendron happy, the door is open.
Philodendron care starts with open, well-draining soil, warm temperatures, and slightly moist soil that never stays sodden. Let the top inch or two of soil dry out before rewatering. Pay close attention to yellow leaves, a common sign of overwatering.
The plant does well in moderate to bright indirect light, but keep them out of direct sun. Darker-leaved Philodendrons can handle lower light, but variegated plants usually need brighter conditions.
As a tropical species, they do appreciate higher humidity, but most can adapt to average conditions. Modest monthly feedings with a balanced fertilizer during the spring and summer growing season are generally sufficient.
Philodendrons are typically resistant to pests (but not immune). One thing to remember: They are poisonous, so keep them away from pets and children.
If you’d like to get some of these beautiful Philodendrons, buying online is a great option. They ship really well and the variety available is so much better than anything I can find locally. Click here to see the beautiful selection of Philodendrons available from Etsy (link to Etsy).
1. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)
The trailing vines of this adorable Philodendron grace windowsills and hanging baskets across the world. It’s the classic beginner’s plant, adaptable to a range of light or humidity conditions, and forgiving of benign neglect (but not overwatering!). Read my Heartleaf Philodendron care guide for more info.
The Hederaceum’s fast-growing, heart-shaped leaves are two to three inches wide when trailing, but they can grow to over eight inches wide if allowed to climb. Juvenile forms may have lighter bronze-toned leaves.
The Heartleaf Philodendron makes a beautiful hanging plant with vines that reach four or five feet indoors. Multiple individual plants are often potted together for a fuller look. They respond well to being cut back if leggy or “bald” on top and propagate very easily.
Formerly called Scandens, Oxycardium, or Cordatum, the Heartleaf Philodendron is sometimes still sold under those names. There are many attractive varieties.
The Navajo Four Sacred Colors
Color has many symbolic meanings in Navajo culture in fact, a single color can mean several different things depending on the context in which it is used. Four colors in particular black, white, blue, and yellow have important connections to Navajo cultural and spiritual beliefs. These colors represent the four cardinal directions.
The Navajos define their homeland as the area between four sacred mountains in each direction, so each color represents a sacred mountain as well. Thus, among their myriad other meanings, the colors black, white, blue, and yellow link the Navajos to their ancestral homeland and the story of its creation.
The Navajos define their homeland as the area between four sacred mountains in each direction, so each color represents a sacred mountain as well.
Thus, among their myriad other meanings, the colors black, white, blue, and yellow link the Navajos to their ancestral homeland and the story of its creation.
- Black, which associated with north, also symbolizes Dibé Ntsaa (Hesperus Peak), in what is now southwestern Colorado.
- White, which represents east, is connected to Sisnaajini (Blanca Peak), in what is now south-central Colorado.
- Blue, is connected with south and Tsoodzil (Mount Taylor), northeast of Grants, New Mexico.
- Yellow, is associated with west and Dook’o’oosliid (the San Francisco Peaks), near Flagstaff, Arizona
In the Emergence, the Navajo creation story, First Man took four stones.
- jet, which represents black
- white shell, which symbolizes white
- turquoise, which is tied to blue and
- abalone, which represents yellow
—and placed them at the four directions.
He blew on the stones four times and they grew into a hogan. For the Navajos, the hogan is more than simply their traditional form of shelter it has sacred meanings and still plays a vital role in Navajo spiritual and community life. In the story of the Emergence, First Man’s hogan became the world. First Man also created the four sacred mountains in this world.
These are just two examples of the four colors in the Navajo creation story myriad other references to color appear throughout this and other Navajo traditions. Given their many connections to Navajo tradition, these four colors are an important part of the way culture and spirituality is passed from one generation to the next. One venue for the transmission of culture is art, and the four colors appear frequently in Navajo spiritual objects and works of art.
Navajo silversmiths, for example, can use the four precious stones and shells to connect their work to Navajo beliefs. Navajo sand paintings are both an art form and a means of a spiritual communication that makes use of the sacred colors to transmit information about culture. For example, in sand paintings depicting the Place of Whirling Logs, the white guard watches over the corn, the blue guard watches over the beans, the yellow guard watches over the squash, and the black guard watches over the tobacco.
Weaving is another important Navajo art form, and Navajo weavers choose colors based on both aesthetic appeal and cultural symbolism.
The Navajos use the four colors in ways too numerous to list, and their meanings are frequently subtle and complex. The colors’ symbolism connects the past, present, and the future of the Navajo people. It interweaves geography, spirituality, and art and encodes deep meanings into the material culture of the Navajo people. Using these colors and teaching their meanings to younger generations is one important way the Navajos are preserving their traditional culture.
- Representing: Fame, reputation, passion, visibility
- Shape: Triangle, pointy
- Colors: Red
- Season: Summer
- Number: 9
- Element: Fire
- Representing: Career, path in life
- Shape: Wavy, curvy
- Colors: Black
- Season: Winter
- Number: 1
- Element: Water
|Bless Series Unlocked ⏃]||The Bless Series is a powerful series of weapons obtained by those who overcome a terrible curse. It exists as a default shield and imbues power into the weapon it changes into.|
The equip bonus depends on the shield it is changed into.
equip bonus: skill: "Change Shield (attack)," "Iron Maiden" and "Shooting Star Wall"
special effect: call of compassion, enchant, bless, all resist, spell support
17 Claude the Crab
If you think the cutest crab is Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, you've never laid your eyes on Claude the Crab. If you ever wanted to reel in the most expensive crab, try getting your hands on this tie-dyed Beanie Baby that is worth at least $10,000. With a name like Claude, how can you resist? There has been a lot of speculation about Claude’s worth because of typos on the tag, which make Claude one-of-a-crab. Though this colourful crab can be seen selling for $10,000, because of the typing mistakes, sellers have claimed this Beanie is worth $100,000.
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