Apr 182017
 

House and Pet Sitting has enabled us to travel to Europe (Holland, Spain, France, Switzerland), Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti.  Our house and pet sit was located in Cambridge within an hour’s drive of these incredible gardens.    

Hamilton Gardens, N.Z

Hamilton Gardens is more than a botanical garden, it more like a historical walk back into time.

Located next to Waikato River, this beautiful garden offers several  themes; Chinese, Indian, Italian, Tudor, Japanese and a traditional Maori ( pre-European) garden.  A brochure and display boards offer an explanation behind many of the creations.

The Chinese Garden

The Chinese garden is laid out in a Tao theme of ying-yang (dark/light, soft/hard, sky/land, water/air).  This was the scholar’s garden where poetry was written.

This is the Chinese scholar’s garden; a place to meditate, write poetry or to read philosophical works.  Chinese gardening is one of the world’s oldest arts that is filled with imagination, fantasy and surprise. The Chinese garden is laid out in a Tao theme of ying-yang (dark/light, soft/hard, sky/land, water/air).   Turn a corner and the ring-yang theme provides a visual delight.  Bright red colours embrace the opening door and the  Ting Pavilion.  Water, part of the ring-yang theme allows the visitor to cross the Wisteria Bridge to the island for Whispering Birds.   Such beauty allowed for painting as well.,

There is obvious beauty in the flowers, trees, shrubs and water, but there is symbolism and art work that provide a history to legends.  All around are references to the Chinese philosophy of  Confucianism with its emphasise on order.

I must admit that, if time had permitted, I would have been happy to just sit and take in all the beauty and tranquility around me.

 

 

 

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Apr 182017
 

It has been a wonderful opportunity for Trish and myself to house and pet sit in New Zealand.  We have done this for three years on separate occasions.  There is so much I need to learn about the Maori culture and in writing this blog, I hope I have some things right.  My heart is very close to this culture – perhaps, I’ve been a Maori in past lives.  Everyone looks at different cultures and sees beauty, but when I see a Maori person – man or woman, I feel something akin to bonding.

Māori Women Recognized on this Post.

New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote.  I have personally found that unless a person reads a published book on Maori women, there is very little on the internet. (Perhaps, I am looking at the wrong sites).  What I have found, and remember that it is limited research, is a very strong history of powerful Maori women.  They have ruled as queens and warriors and are held in high regard by males.  (That has been the past history and I have no reason to doubt that this is still part of their cultural inheritance).

Goddess of Death

male hero Māui

Behind Every Maori Male…..

Even heroes, such as the male Māui had a grandmother (Murirangawhenua), who provided him with her jaw bone to fish and slow down the sun.

The goddess of death crushes Māui to death between her legs.  This emphasises the power of a woman’s genitilia is not lost on males!

The Power of Childbirth

As in many cultures, males are in awe of the gift of childbirth.   The awe can be downright fear!  There are, of course, many Maori stories of creation, etc., but I am dealing with the one that I found in my limited research.  Māori women are called te whare tangata (the house/cradle of humanity).  They are protected by

Papatūānuku the earth mother

Papatūānuku the earth mother creator

and creator of all living things. The Māori word for placenta is “whenua” which is the same word for earth. 

 

Māoris bury the afterbirth signifying that women’s power is tied to the land that supports all life.  We all come from the earth and return to it.  This, of course, is a universal thought pattern.

Women in Earth’s Elements

Again, depending on Maori myths, female deities are seen in thunder (Whaitiri) and in fire (Mahuika).  The fire goddess is portrayed as having fire come out of her fingers.

fire goddess

Mahuika, the fire goddess.`

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Maori Creation Myth
There is a nice ‘division of labour’ and power in another Maori creation myth.  Rangi is the sky god and father of all things and his wife is Papa, the goddess of the earth and mother of all things.

 
I will research further about this wonderful culture.  Do visit the “Land of the Long White Cloud” as Maori refer to N.Z
Apr 182017
 

I am amazed and shocked how people like Judge Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, do NOT understand the Bible.  Here is a woman who is President of a hate group.

Her husband is the hateful Judge Roy Moore who was removed by the Law Society for not enforcing the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality.  These two (amongst so many others) have the nerve to quote the Bible and “cast stones” against their fellow humans.  What don’t they understand about these words of Jesus, “Judge NOT, or you will be Judged.”  And the key message from the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that you don’t get to pick which neighbour to love.

All the Hate Because a Lesbian is Promoted in the Military.

First and foremost, congratulations to Col. Kristin Goodwin on her promotion.  I just love a woman in uniform. LOL.

I salute you on your promotion and on your marriage.

   I am Having This On-Going Debate

I have an African preacher who replies to my blogs and tells me that “I am unnatural as a lesbian.”  He is quoting Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.  Paul is asking new Christians to stay away from pagan temple orgies- all forms of sex, which is lust.  Paul speaks of the women of having “unnatural relations with other women.”  I try to point out to this preacher that on any given orgy day, the women gathering would probably be 99% straight.  So, it probably would be against their nature or preference but done for blessings of the goddess.

Let’s Look at Paul Again in Corithians.

This is a much quoted passage that is used at many weddings.  I would ask Judge Roy and his wife to look at what Paul speaks of as love.  Remember that John 1 states, “God is love.”   Look particularly at this line:

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others,

 

Corinthians 13New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As a footnote:  This will be the comeback of the Moore’s.

  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Because a person does not delight in evil, there is no reason to hate and demean that person.  If incest or pedophilia has been committed that is a crime – as is murder, thieving etc.  The law takes care of that.  However, homosexuality is not against the law of most civilised societies.  The Moore’s need to go back 3,500 years ago to Leviticus or misquote Paul.  As in the case of the “ungodly” and “unclean” Samaritan,  Jesus clearly is telling the lawyer not to judge.  He also tells the lawyer how to get to heaven: Love God, Love Neighbour and love self.
BREAKING NEWS TO SHUT UP THE MOORES

HUGE. The Associated Press reports:

A federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act also protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, the first time a federal appellate court has come to that conclusion. The decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after it threw out a July finding by three of its own judges that the law doesn’t cover sexual-orientation bias and ordered a rare rehearing by the full court, a rare session known as an en banc hearing.

THIS LETTER FROM MRS. MOORE IS CERTAINLY AGAINST THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.