Monday, August 25, 2014


Xochiquetzal: Aztecan Goddess of Love 

Xochiquetzal is the goddess of love in Aztec mythology. She is also known as Ichpochtli, which means maiden. This charming goddess is also linked with beauty, fertility, and childbirth. She also serves as the protector of all young mothers and acts as a guide of pregnant women.

Not like any other goddesses, known to possess innocence and naïve traits, Xochiquetzal portrays tempting, alluring, and richly attired woman who represents pleasure, and human desire. It is believed that a butterfly and bird entourage always follow her.

According to the myths, she lived on top of the mountain surrounded by beautiful, flowers. She is often associated with the marigold. Her worshipers expressed their faithfulness by wearing  flowers and animal masks during a festival that was celebrated every eight years.

Tlaloc the rain god became Xochiquetzal’s better half. He provided essential rain to the flowers. Over time she started flirting with the god of night, Tezcatlipoca. Because of her  exceptional beauty, he easily fell in love with her even though she did not want to leave her husband. Desperate, Tezcatlipoca  kidnapped the goddess and forces her to marry him while she was still married to Tlaloc.

Xochiquetzal was both a goddess of purity and boldness. 


Monday, August 18, 2014

Mother Teresa's Birthday

The Life and Work of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is an iconic figure that is known for putting the needs of other before her own. Her entire life is seen as a service and a testament to her faith. The selflessness that she showed and the dedication that she gave to furthering humanity is something that is still admired. Even after her death, Mother Teresa and her legacy live on in and her good deeds have been immortalized forever.

Birth and Training

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia. It is said that she always exuded a love for souls that was evident from time of her first communion at age five. Her father passed away when she was only eight years old, which left her with only her mother and siblings to depend on. Her mother was extremely loving and caring, which resulted in the compassion and care for others that infiltrated the character of Mother Teresa even at an early age. Her posit of bettering humanity led Mother Teresa to pledge even at the age of 12 her desire to be a missionary and spread the word and love of Christ. Her dream was finally realized at the age of 18 when she left home and joined an Irish community of nuns in India. This was where she was given her name as Sister Mary Teresa.

The Works of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa spent time teaching at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta and took great pride in instilling values into young students. She was always a person that had deep faith and used prayer as a tool to help others. She simply had a natural affection for the wellbeing of other individuals and found profound happiness in helping others. The driving force behind her life became spreading the message of Christ and showing others the compassion that only he can offer. She felt through prayer that Jesus would reveal her purpose in life and the people that she was destined to help.

Meaning of Life
The entire life and works of Mother Teresa combine to show that every person has value and dignity that should be respected. Her faith and love was something that had a profound effect on those that she came in contact with. Her life is a testament to her faith and she is still known for living what she believed to the fullest.

To read about more folk heroines, click here.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hawaiian Legendary Creatures

Hawaiian Folk Myths 

Ancient Hawaiian folklore includes many mythical and spiritual beings. Myths about such groups of ‘people’ often explain the universal and local beginnings of a particular culture, becoming part of that society’s cosmology. Here are two examples of Hawaiian mythical people:

Menehune (Small People)
Menehune are small in stature and almost dwarf-like. These people were believed to dwell out of sight – away from people - deep in the woods and in hidden valleys. These people were said to be great craftsman and could build almost anything with their hands. Some of the structures that were attributed to their handy-work include temples, roads, fishponds and even homes. Folk legend has it that they lived in Hawaii before the settlers arrived to claim the land and came to be referred to as lowly people.

Night marchers (Warrior Ghosts)
Nightmarchers are known as the spirits of the ancient Hawaiian warriors. They are believed to march together at night to sacred burial sites. These warriors are said to march only after the sunsets and are not seen in daylight. However, careful listening will make it possible to hear the chanting and sound of their marching as they make their way to burial sites of significance. 

Folk legend says you should never look directly at a night marcher because this could end in your immediate death. It is best to lie face down on the ground when you hear them to ensure that you are not seen.
Want to learn more about the folklore of little people?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cumin Lore

Spice Seekers

Cumin is rich in folklore. Not only is it a common spice used in ancient Egypt and India, it has a history of use steeped in mummification. This embalming agent is a member of the parsley family. Its seeds have been sought after by pharaohs and others. Native to Egypt, it was cultivated in the Middle East, India and China and came to be used as an alternative to the more expensive black pepper.

By the Middle Ages people believed cumin could prevent infidelity for the one who carried it. More modern beliefs suggest the power of this herb could keep away ‘the evil eye’. Hence in countries like Germany and Italy it was added to bread to keep thieves from stealing the loaves.
Fun Cumin Facts:
·   Cumin makes up a large proportion of curry powder and chili powder.
·   Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after pepper.
·   Cumin was once used to pay taxes. 
Cumin Recipes: