Illustration by Viktor Britvin
Amongst the Slavic peoples, the bear is one of the main characters in folklore zoölogy, being a symbol of fertility, health, and strength. The Slavs have always respected bears… they considered them the masters of the forest. The Slavs dated the coming of spring with the bears waking up from hibernation. They believed that bears had special wisdom, which could protect them from witchcraft, disease, and all sorts of bad things.
7 July 2016
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Our Ancestors Weren’t Angels
“Our ancestors weren’t angels and our kids won’t be devils” is a free (idiomatic) translation of the above aphorism. In other words, “Our ancestors were all-too-human… so were we… so, why does it surprise you that our kids are the same?” It’s a gentle cynicism of the better sort… that is, “Why do you expect them to be any better than we were and our parents were? The Circle of Life goes on”. What amuses me is to see the young ‘uns led astray by this-or-that Pied Piper. Didn’t we do the same in our day, too? Didn’t we get carried away by our enthusiasms and try to “save the world?” Well… the world went on its merry way and we grew up. So will the kids. Of course, they’re a royal Pain-in-the-Arse in the meantime… but so were we! The Church has survived earnest young priests in the past… it’ll continue to do so. We’ll just have to be there to catch them when they (inevitably) fall flat on their ass…
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An Egg is Priceless on a Holy Day
This is in the style of “folk” popular luboks (crude prints for mass distribution). It’s an Old Russian proverb… Дорого яичко к святому дню literally is “An egg is priceless on a holy day”, which carries the meaning of “Anything done at the right time is appreciated”.
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The Chinese Zodiac moves on a 12-year cycle. According to Chinese belief, every year is associated with one of the Zodiac figures. Well, what Western years are equivalent to the Year of the Goat? Here’s a list:
The Chinese year begins in late January or early February and goes into January/February of the next Western year.
“Goat people” aren’t overly fond of sudden changes or impulsive decisions. Rather, they find comfort in repetition and well-laid plans, having a natural inclination towards this type of work and are skilled at pulling together actions and events in a manner that flows naturally. However, they’re protective about who they let into their inner circle. Not just anyone can get to know a “Goat person”. Rather, they must prove themselves steadily over time, through kind gestures and loving support, until they win final acceptance.
Neither Nicky nor I are “Goat people”… I’m a “Horse person”… I’m supposed to be flexible, but stubborn when it comes to ideas, but also incredibly patient when it comes to hearing out what other people have to say. They favour straightforward and blunt conversation, yet, they avoid starting up unnecessary trouble. “Horse people” are incredibly loyal friends and partners. Perhaps, it’s because first impressions have a lasting effect, or simply that they wish to do well by others. However, they’re consistently there when friends need them. They’re also quite capable of resolving conflict.
Nicky is a “Tiger person”… incredibly strong and stable, however, they sometimes hold too much inside and can find it difficult to let stress out. They tend to act without warning. From setting out to discover new things to getting lost in their thoughts and dreams, they rarely ever show exactly how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking. Chinese belief posits that Tiger people and Horse people are quite compatible.
This was a fun little romp, wasn’t it?
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