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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Golden Girl Project: Cinderella



This is not only referring to the fairy tale princess "Cinderella", who we've grown to adore. This isn't really about the Disney princess Cinderella although I might touch on it. This is about the real Cinderella or (plural) Cinderellas. I can identify four Cinderellas in our history, but you might see others.

There's four types of Cinderella.

1. Rags to riches
2. Beauty transformed
3. Magic and enchantment
4. Moon goddess symbolism

The first is about the story of a poor girl, treated badly by her ugly sisters and step-mother. She becomes a beautiful dancer at the palace ball, wearing a magical stunning gown with glass slippers. Then the prince loses her and goes in search of her at midnight. The only thing he finds is a glass slipper that Cinderlla lost in her flight. Now the prince searches the land by getting women to put on the slipper. It doesn't fit anyone except the girl in rags. Then she becomes this transformed princess. There is a lot of transformation going on. This occurs a lot in fairy tales. It's usually the men who shapeshift from bears, beasts and frogs into princes.

The second "Beauty transformed" is the case of Cinderella's contact with a fairy godmother. This friendly being helps Cinderella to go to the ball. She turns Cinderella's ragged dress into a beautiful ball gown. Cinderella appears at the ball, so lovely that everyone in the palace watches her. The prince falls in love with her. Yet she can't remain beautiful and dressed up for long. Later in the story she again becomes the girl in rags. The prince who searches for the mysterious dancer finds the girl in rags instead. This is a mushier sugar coating of deception.

My third view of Cinderella is about "magic and enchantment". This fairy godmother is like a visiting goddess. She appears when the others have gone. The pumpkin turns into a stage coach. This pumpkin is symbolic of witchcraft and magic. The creatures such as lizards, newts, rats and mice are transformed into footmen and coach driver. This is very typical of fairytales that men turn into animals and animals turn into men. Women turn into princesses or crones.

The moon goddess or goddess of night, is found buried in this traditional story. She's the fairy godmother and Midnight is the key to the plot. Glass slippers are symbolic of wealth. The story of Cinderella has altered over the centuries though. The fairy godmother was the spirit of Cinderella's own mother in different versions. The Brothers Grimm wrote the version of Cinderella that we're fmailiar with. Earlier Perrault wrote Cinderella.

So the four Cinderellas that I've noticed in reality probably don't bare any resemblance to the fairytale. Real life has its tragedies and it's darker plots. The main subject is about the Golden Girl Cinderella, a symbol of this type of woman: Cinderella as a woman can be rags to riches, transformed beauty, magical and enchanting and very flamboyantly dressed up as well. The colours are Red and Gold. Glass slippers are an element or object that resembles mirrors, crystals and diamonds. The pumpkin is a vegetable of harvest as well as a tool to of the supernatural. A carved pumpkin was used originally to keep ghosts away.

Here is my outline on the four Cinderella's from history:

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson

This lady was better known as "Madame de Pompadour". She lived in the 18th century high life from rags to riches (or really just middle class to high class). She's famous for being a courtier and the favourite girlfriend of King Louis XV of France. She was involved in things like planning development, politics and the arts. This was a very clever, career orientated business woman from over 200 years ago. She was a fashion icon for her era and wore the most lavish clothes.  Her signature styles reverberate today with "pompadour" hairstyles.

Marie Antoinette

Who was supposed to have said "Let them eat cake".  She was born an Austrian in 1755, a daughter of a Holy Roman Emperor and a queen. She married King Louis XV1 and she wasn't very popular in France. She had an extravagant lifestyle with vices and gambling. There was political reasons for others not taking to this queen of France because many disapproved of her being an Austrian. There tends to be, on reading her biograpy, shows her isolation from the French and comes across as an unhappy queen. During the French Revolution, she was imprisoned and beheaded.

Marilyn Monroe

Fast forward to the 20th Century, the next Cinderella is both "rags to riches" and "beauty transformed". She's an icon of Hollywood and a blonde bombshell. Her real name was Norma Jean Mortensen. Starting out as a young married model with brown hair and a pretty smile, she became the screen goddess that we know. She turned from a brunette 'girl next door' type to a shining blonde vision on screen. She has a distinctive look that women continue to copy today. It's as if a goddess was reborn in this woman. Her life later on took a down turn and no longer was a fairy tale. She was involved in politics and then ended her life at the age of 36.  

Princess Diana  

I don't believe the British monarchy has ever had such a widely loved member of the family before, until Diana. (To me Princess Diana resembles the Cinderella from Disney). This was a fairy tale princess. The wedding was very beautiful to watch and I was only a small child. The life story of this princess is almost like the fairy tale but without rags, cinders, pumpinks, ugly sisters, shoes or magic. Her life ended in 1997 during a fatal car crash.

Conclusion

This post of the Golden Girl Project with 4 different women instead of one. That is because I can see a pattern with Cinderella and these four women. Maybe others don't agree. Maybe some will see a link of each woman with different characters.

The main theme is definately about transformation to meet her dream lover. This is many girl's wishes come true. What underlines this is the transformed beauty, recognising the inner goddess, finding self esteem and glowing confidence. While she was in a pretty ballgown, all was an illusion. She was actually dressed in rags but no one else noticed. Midnight is when the facade fades, and it has time limits. This says magic is brief and temporary but worth it. For noticing your potential, you can be anything you want to be, even for one moment, so people remember you and love you with that particular time in memory.

The goddess figures here as the fairy godmother, and Cinderella's mother, or a fairy. Fairies have long been associated with goddesses and nymphs. This fairy helped Cinderella and answered her wishes. Magic and enchantment can be real and not just fake. Dressing up and acting up is one way of appealing to those you want. The story appeals to the female populace as it's about a party girl who feels out of place but she does go there. Cinderella might be about the quest for true love and a shift from girlhood to womanhood. The absent father, the cruel step mother and sisters show it's time to leave and be whisked off by a prince. Cinderella reveals the magic of being a woman and how a woman can find her inner princess.      

(Edited to include last paragraph at 01:35 on 27/06/12)

Links:  

Bibliography for Cinderella 
Cinderella


(The image at top is from a Ladybird publishing "Cinderella" book cover.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Nuke Life



Anyone must be aware that IF there is to be a nightmare situation of a nuclear explosion happening near you, here are some basic tips and info on how to best keep yourself and others safe.

(I'm gathering this from various web sources and personal knowledge that I've read.)

One of the most important things to do is not be anywhere near the detonation site. How would you avoid it if you don't know where it is? Now if this disaster occurs suddenly without warning, you must obviously be far away to survive that. If you are somewhere outside, you would hear either the thunderous explosion, see blinding light and feel a powerful blast. Quickly take cover. Hide in a shelter or underground. At times like that, one of the most safest places to be! If you are a considerable long distance away then you also need to protect yourselves from radiation or fallout. The most harmful and deadliest part of a nuclear attack is "black rain".

Radio and batteries will work but most electricals won't. An attack from a nuclear explosion will cut off and damage most electricals. Heavy objects including stones, rocks, bricks, hard soil even can offer protection against fallout. During fallout period, as the radioactive dust is falling and settling, it's wise to remain hidden and not exposed. Make sure all windows, ventilation systems and central heating is off to avoid any radiation particles entering the vacinity. You can use a HEPA filter that may prevent anything outside getting in.

You would need gear. NBC masks are perfect. Any clothing with debris must be left outside or thrown away. Washing oneself regularly will flush off radiation dust. Taking potassium Iodine will ease the risk of cancer from radiation sickness. Tinned food is preferable. Avoid milk and exposed food and water. Only drink filtered water. For more tips go to Nuclear Survival

Radiation Diet

This is what you need after a nuclear attack during fallout. Food that is clean, well stored and pretected. They must have the following componants:
Calcium / magnesium.
Vitamin A or beta carotene.
Coemzyne Q10.
Vitamin C + bioflavinoids and rutin.
Vitamin E.
Zinc.
Selenium.
Proanthocyanadins (Grape seed extract / Pycnogenol).
DHEA.
Melatonin.

Now these are some of the foods that offer protection:
Chlorophyll food (barley grass and chlorella).
Miso.
Fermented (Lactic Acid) veg and juices.
Cultured (fermented) milk products: yoghurt, buttermilk, cheese.
Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, ect).
High fibre food.
Natural Vitamin A.
Sesame seeds.
Sea vegetables.
Bee and flower pollen.
Essential fatty acids, GLA and EPA.
Tea
(With more details from "Healthy Tips")
 
Sea vegetables, commonly known as sea weeds, such as kelp, purple dulse, wakame, and sea lettuce are high in iodine. Sea spaghetti, nori, and kombu are other sea vegetables to consider. One quarter teaspoon of kelp provides 3 mg of iodine. Consuming one-half teaspoon, or two grams, of purple dulse on a daily basis is enough to meet the recommended 150 mcg dosage of iodine, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.


Another useful link for survival basics: How to survive a nuclear attack

Did you know?

Sea salt and baking soda remedies against radiation.
Volanic eruptions are more deadly than a nuclear explosion.
Nukes are very popular in science fiction. This is called a Post Apocalyptic genre. Check out:
Quiet Earth
Cockroaches are physically able to thrive after nuclear explosions.

Okay that's about it.

Picture of the soldier girl at the top of the page is by the artist Petre Morozov.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Secrets of Summer



Everyone knows that Summer brings pleasure and fun activities into our lives. Summer reminds most of us of long periods of sunshine, longer daylight hours, warmth, sunburn, holidays, beaches, soft fruit cocktail drinks, ice cream, lollies, funfairs, bees, butterflies, parasites, pests, dust, hay fever, pollen, headaches, BBQ's, semi-nudity outdoors and these mass gatherings. Some people don't like summer because it's too hot and noisy. This is how people generally feel about summer, whether they like it or not.

There are a few interesting things I've personally noticed about summer.

It sounds different compared to other seasons. During the other seasons, its as though I'm indoors when I'm outside because it's contained. Yet the summer atmosphere appears wide and open, so that I can hear almost everything  even if it's so far away.

Then there is the sensation of the summer having an effect on the human body. I don't just mean getting a tan here. I'm talking really of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. What would they be?

Hear - The summer has a certain sound. Apart from the summer wildlife, the birds, insects, sea and boats even ect, there is a regular hum everywhere. Beyond the daily noise, there is a vibration that I can only hear in the summer. It gets louder at night when things quieten down so the summer noise is easily heard. It sounds like a perpetual humming that puts a warm pressure to my ears. I don't sense this with other seasons, only during Summer.

Sights - The sun is bright, (never look at it btw), and apart from that, apart from all the trees and flowers in full colourful bloom, the Summer has a look about it. Imagine the SAME landscape or image during each season, unchanged, for instance a cliff or a building. The light gives this scene a certain orangy gold hue, that is unique to summer. Summer light seems golden and everything, even night, feels golden.

Touch - Apart ffom heat, the summer also has a sensation of being felt too. The summer touches the skin a certain way even if it's cloudy and cooler. The summer is like prickly silk touching the skin. Disregard the heat for a moment and concentrate on the texture of the summer. This isn't about sunburn as it can be felt inside and at night. It's not really itchiness but a pleasant summer kiss.


Taste - The summer has a taste to it on my mouth. It's like a dry taste and almost quite bittery as lemon. I get the urge to keep drinking water. This constant sensation of tasting the dryness of summer has an effect on the human appetite because it makes us change our diet. Maybe not for all but definately for some. People go for salads and ice cream and chilled things in summer because they have the same urge. Now I don't really eat fruit but in summer, I need it the most.
   
Smell - The summer has got it's own scent. It is difficult to distinguish what it is exactly because of all the influencing smells coming from all around us. There is a continual smell that isn't so much a perfume or stink but a condition of summer. There is a pressure and humidity on the nose. It drops in other seasons, when it's not noticeable.

Apart from the usual events in summer, there is always going to be one. The biggest, and most ancient celebration in summer is the Summer Solstice. It is a solstice of summer in the Northern hemisphere, but the opposite in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. The summer soltsice comes on the 21st June.On that day, the sun will be the furthest north in the sky above, and will remain above the most northern points. Northern regions such as the north pole, will experience a midnight sun. Then the sun will slide south on an arc shape.

Now during the summer solstice, the moon is called the Honey Moon. It's considered a magical event. Since ancient times, people celebrated the Summer solstice and they understood the sun's motion. Bonfires were lit, and people used to jump over the flames as it signified fertility for land, better harvest and more children. Fires were lit for many reasons, depending on the place and era but it was mainly about the traditions of fertility. It was thought that bonfires kept away nasty entities. Fires were also meant to look like examples of mini suns.

Other popular names for the Summer solstice are Midsummer and Litha. The Summer solstice is a time when fairies become more influential and stronger felt.In the Shakespearian drama "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that tells a story filled with fairies and magic. Fairy magic is often used.

Now the popularity of fairy tales is an appealing disguise for natural wisdom, folklore, herbalism, magic, and other spiritual vibes resonating with the solar system. The fairies or fae, are a twinkling glimpse of ancient esoteric knowledge. These elemental beings are part of life. Everything is alive. The trees for example are all living an dbreathing. Without them we wouldn't exist. Each tree contains the following:

  • History
  • The time
  • Epochs
  • Stars
  • Everything
  • Medicine
  • Contamination
  • Beings
  • Scripts and oracles
  • Data
  • Maps
Past, present and future.

The fairies are also part of the bracket of elves, pixies, goblins, gnomes, dwarves, imps, angels, wights, and all kinds of spirits that appear to live in things. Yet humans also live in things to. So do animals.

The summer is a season of the Solar Queen and Sun Goddess.  SHE has many different names and SHE's manifested to people throughout time. SHE has many different names.

To the people of the North, HER name is Sunna.  This version of the goddess Sunna is mentioned time to time in the Eddas. SHE is the sister of the moon. The other peoples of the north worshipped the Goddesses of the sun, such as Celtic solar goddess celebrated in midsummer, called Aine.  In Lapland there is Beiwe, a solar goddess celebrated in midsummer. Solntse and Saule are two Slavic sun goddesses. To the Greeks and Romans, were the shining solar goddesses Dawn and Aurora. This major sun goddess was highly worshipped and revered. SHE's found across the spectrum. In ancient Egypt the sun goddess was Hathor, a goddess who wore with a sun disk above her head. Now in Japanese myth, the sun goddess Amaterasu is the sister of the moon. There are many lesser solar goddesses and daughters of the Sun Mother.

The power of the sun goddess is recognised by poets and artists throughout the ages. Instinctively people yearn for sunlight, warmth and beauty of Summer, which is an instinct to be closer to the Sun Goddess. This powerful lady of the sky was understood very well in past civilisations but her worship was prehistoric, and beautifully right and basic.

It's well known that ancient peoples worshipped the sun. Once you understand HER, you will recognise wisdom.SHE is symbolised as a sun disk. This is a very ancient symbol.The sun goddess is being celebrated during the midsummer festivals. SHE is also honoured and celebrated at the Winter solstice. This particular solstice represents her energy and fertility. This is about HER as a Mother. There are many stone circles built in order to engage with HER astronomically. SHE is the mother of the solar system, and all the planets and moons. 

Rituals (parties) mostly celebrated in summer are weddings, major sporting events, marathons, coronations and anything else that uses fireworks and fiery coloured displays.

Check out the other posts in my "secrets seasons":
Secrets of Spring
Secrets of Winter

Fun Stuff - My fairy name is:

Ember Goblinfrost
She brings riches and wealth.
She lives where fireflies mate and breed.
She is only seen durng the first snow of winter.
She wears dresses that glow with fiery colours and has gentle green wings like a butterfly.      

Check out what your fairy name is here!!!

Links and sources:

Sun goddesses 
Folklore of Shakespear
Fairy Spells

Books:
"The Sun Goddess: Myth Legend and History" by Sheena McGrath
"O Mother Sun! A New View of the Cosmic Feminine" by Patricia Monaghan

Picture at top of the page is "Summer" from Alena Lazareva. Visit the artist here.