Set-beast investigation #1: Saiga Antelope

There are many theories about whether the Set-beast is based on a real animal, whether it is a compilation of creatures (like Ammit), or a completely mythological being.
While watching the ‘Grasslands’ episode of Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth II’ I came face to face with an Ice Age relic: the Saiga Antelope. Just look at that nose! How can you not see a resemblance to the Egyptian God Set when you look at it?

By Vladimir Yu. Arkhipov, Arkhivov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8955913

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Nature’s bounty: dried berries experiment

Our garden is filled with so many beautiful plants and trees, but my heart was captured this Autumn by our Hawthorns. They live at the very top, acting as a boundary between us and the field behind.
In folklore lone Hawthorns are said to be connected to Fairies. They have white flowers and red berries, and anything red and white was often linked to the Fair Folk. Animals like cattle and hounds with red and white markings were associated with them. Hawthorns were often used as field boundaries, like ours, and so can have a protective element. Because of the white summer blossom they are also referred to as Whitethorns. Ours do have thorns but not many. Perhaps they’re friendlier and don’t feel threatened.

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Good Swan, Bad Swan

Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01s4wy9 via @bbciplayer

I’ve loved ballet since I was very young, and Swan Lake always captivated me. This documentary explores the mythology of the Swan Maiden, and the psychology behind the characters of Odette and Odile.
We are reminded of duality through this double role. Odette, the White Swan, is the unobtainable ideal of the Prince, innocence and light. Odile, the Black Swan, is desire, sensuality, manipulation and the dark.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2016

Every year the RSPB holds a Birdwatch event where you count the highest number of certain birds you see in an hour. It helps them gather data on the decline or (hopefully) rise of particular Bird species commonly seen in British gardens.
It’s good fun and free, so if you’re in the UK there’s still time to take part. Download the starter pack from the website, stock up the bird feeders and have fun! It’s this weekend, and only takes one hour. Great for children too.

This could also be turned into a devotional activity, especially to honour nature deities and those with bird forms.