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Posts Tagged ‘Zephyr’

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"The Tree of Forgiveness." by Edward Burne-Jones. 19th century.

“The Tree of Forgiveness.” by Edward Burne-Jones. 19th century.

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⇒“Metamorphoses” by Ovid:

"Metamorphoses" by Ovid. Illustration by George Sandys. 1632.

“Metamorphoses” by Ovid. Illustration by George Sandys. 1632.

In my previous post, I have mentioned Ovid´s book “Metamorphoses” as a key source of Greek Mythology. 

“Metamorphoses” is a narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid, completed in 8 CE.

It is a “mock-epic” poem, written in dactylic hexameter, the form of the great epic poems of the ancient tradition, such as “The Iliad” and  “The Odyssey.

This poem describes the creation and history of the world, incorporating many classical myths.

Love and hubris are main topics in Ovid´s “Metamorphoses”. 
Unlike the predominantly romantic notions of Love, Ovid considered love more as a dangerous, destabilizing force.
However, there is an explanation for this attitude: during the reign of Augustus, the Roman emperor during Ovid’s time, major attempts were made to regulate morality by creating legal and illegal forms of love, by encouraging marriage and legitimate heirs, and by punishing adultery with exile from Rome.
As to hubris, (overly prideful behaviour) Ovid emphasizes that it entails a fatal flaw which inevitably leads to a character’s downfall. Hubris always attracts the punishment of the gods, as human beings might attempt to compare themselves to divinity.
As a side note, I think the best example of hubris in a Greek Myth is the one featuring Icarus, whose father built two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for them to escape from the Labyrinth for King Minos in which they had been imprisoned, and which had a fearsome Minotaur as guardian. Daedalus (Icarus´father) tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. But soon later, Icarus was so overcome by the incredible feeling of flight, that he tried to fly higher and higher, trying to reach the sun; until, inevitably his wax wings melted, he fell from the sky into the Sea, and died.

Besides, in my last post, I introduced the subject of metamorphoses as it appears in Greek Myths, stating that it is generally defined as the origin of one or more transformations which most times occur as a result of death (tribute), but also as a way exoneration; or punishment.

Ovid. Publius Ovidius Naso. ( 43 B.C/ 17 A.D).

Ovid. Publius Ovidius Naso. ( 43 B.C/ 17 A.D).

Transformation is a common theme in Greek mythology. The gods had the power to change themselves into animals, birds, or humans and often used this power to trick goddesses or women.
In this same sense, I have previously mentioned the case of Zeus, the Ruler of Gods, who took different appearances as a way of courting potential lovers. Furthermore, sometimes the gods and goddesses transformed “others”, either to save them or to punish them.
Daphne, for example, was changed into a laurel tree; whilst Narcissus and Hyacinthus became the flowers that bear their names. 
The metamorphoses I have previously considered involved exclusively flowers, plants and trees and this post intends to present a few more examples of this sort.
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  ⇒“Flowers and Plants in some Greek Myths II”:

►Minthe: A naiad, fond of Hades/ Mint Plant:

Minthe was a naiad or water nymph associated with the Underworld river Cocytus. This river (also known as the River of Wailing) was one of the five rivers that encircled the realm of Hades, alongside rivers Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe and Styx- .

Minthe fell in love with Hades, but Persephone, Hades’ wife became enraged with jealousy, turning Minthe into a crawling plant so Persephone could crush her.

Hades could not reverse the spell so he made Minthe smell good when she walked on, making it so Minthe would always be noticed and never be taken for granted. 

The story also makes sense in a Greco-Roman context as mint was used in funerary rites to disguise the scent of decay. Besides, in Greece, the herb was also a main ingredient in the fermented barley drink called kykeon, which seemingly was the principal potable associated with the Eleusinian mysteries. It seems like this beverage included some really strange psychoactive ingredients, mint among them.

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On the Left: Nymph Minthe by W. Szczepanska. 21st century. On the Right: Mint Plant.

On the Left: Nymph Minthe by W. Szczepanska. 21st century. On the Right: Mint Plant.

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►Crocus, friend of Hermes/Crocus Plant:

Crocus was a friend of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods and god of travellers, liars, thieves, all who cross boundaries.

One day, while they were throwing the disc to each other, Hermes hit Crocus on the head and wounded him fatally.

As the young man collapsed and was dying, three drops from his blood fell on the centre of a flower thus becoming the three stigmata of the flower named after him.

Etymologically, the word crocus has its origin from the Greek “kroki” which means weft, the thread used for weaving on a loom. 

As a medicinal and dyeing substance, crocus has been known in ancient Greece for its aroma, vibrant colour and aphrodisiac properties, thus making it one of the most desired and expensive spices.

Another use in ancient Greece was that of perfumery also using it to perfume the water while bathing. Frescoes in the palaces of Knossos (16th century b.C.) clearly depict a young girl gathering crocus flowers as well as in the archeological site of Akrotiri, in Santorini and Homer, in his writings calls dawn “a crocus veil”.

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On the Left: "Mercury (Hermes)” Statue at the Museum Pio Clementino, Vatican. On the Right: Crocus Flower.

On the Left: “Mercury (Hermes)” Statue at the Museum Pio Clementino, Vatican. On the Right: Crocus Flower.

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►Paean, Asclepius´pupil/ Peony, Plant of Healing:

Peony was named after Paean, who was the physician of the gods who healed, among others, Hades’ and Ares’ wounds.

The flower myth related, says that Paean was a student of Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing

Asclepius excelled as a doctor, partly because serpents helped him to discover the healing properties of certain herbs.

Unfortunately, Asclepius became so skilled that he was able to revive the dead. Angry that the son of Apollo had interfered with nature and human mortality, Zeus hurled a thunderbolt at Asclepius, killing him. However, while they understood that interfering with natural death was wrong, humans continued to worship Asclepius as the founder of medicine.

Back to Asclepius´pupil, Paean, he was once instructed by Leto (Apollo‘s mother and goddess of fertility) to obtain a magical root growing on Mount Olympus that would soothe the pain of women in childbirth.

Asclepius became jealous and threatened to kill his pupil. Zeus saved Paean from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. 

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On the Left: Statuette of Paeon . 2nd century. On the Right: Peony, flower.

On the Left: Statuette of Paean . 2nd century. On the Right: Peony, flower.

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►Cyparissus/ Cypress tree:

Cyparissus was a handsome young man from the island of Kea, the son of Telefus and grand son of Hercules.

He was god Apollo‘s protege as well as of god Zephiros (god of the wind). He asked the heavens for a favour; that his tears would roll down eternally. The favorite companion of Cyparissus was a tamed stag, which he accidentally killed with his hunting javelin as it lay sleeping in the woods. The gods turned him into a cypress tree, whose sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk. Therefore, the cypress tree became the tree of sorrow, and a classical symbol of mourning.

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On the Left: "Cyparissus" (mourning his deer) by Jacopo Vignali. 1670. On the Right: Bald Cypress Leaves.

On the Left: “Cyparissus” (mourning his deer) by Jacopo Vignali. 1670. On the Right: Bald Cypress Leaves.

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►Phyllis, Demophon´s wife/Almond Tree:

Phyllis was a daughter of a Thracian king.

She married Demophon, King of Athens and son of Theseus, while he stopped in Thrace on his journey home from the Trojan War.

Demophon, duty bound to Greece, returns home to help his father, leaving Phyllis behind. She sends him away with a casket, telling him that it contained a sacrament of Rhea and asking him to open it only if he has given up hope of returning to her. From here, the story diverges. In one version, Phyllis realizes that he will not return and commits suicide by hanging herself from a tree. Where she is buried, an almond tree grows, which blossoms when Demophon returns to he

A daughter of king Sithon, in Thrace, fell in love with Demophon on his return from Troy to Greece. Demophon promised her, by a certain day, to come back from Athens and marry her, and as he was prevented from keeping his word, Phyllis hung herself, but was metamorphosed into an almond-tree, which is a symbol of hope and rebirth.

In my previous post, I also made reference to another myth featuring an almond tree, which I will summarize here again.

This myth involved Cybele, his son Agdistis and his grandson Attis.

Medallion depicting Cybele and the sun god in the sky looking on as she rides in her chariot. 2nd century BC

Medallion depicting Cybele and Helios, the sun god in the sky looking from above as she rides in her chariot. 2nd century BC

Cybele (the so called “Great Mother”) gave birth to the hermaphroditic demon Agdistis.

Afraid of such creature, Cybele cut off his male sexual organ and from its blood sprang an almond tree.

When its fruit was ripe, Nana, who was a daughter of the river-god Sangarius, picked an almond and laid it in her bosom.

The almond disappeared, and she became pregnant.

Soon after the baby (named Attis) was born, Nana abandoned him, but a couple took care of him. 

When he was a young man, the foster parents of Attis sent him to Pessinos, where he was to wed the king’s daughter. 

Just as the marriage had started, Cybele appeared in her transcendent power, as she was jealous because she had fallen in love with Attis (his grandson).

Attis went mad, cut off his genitals and died. From Attis’ blood sprang the first violets.

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On the Left: "Phyllis and Demophoön" by John William Waterhouse. 19th century. On the Right: Almond Trees.

On the Left: “Phyllis and Demophon” by John William Waterhouse. 19th century. On the Right: Almond Trees.

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►The Nymph Pitys/The Fir tree:
Pan, the god of the wild and shepherds, was in love with the nymph Pitys. The god of the North wind was also attracted to Pity, but the nymph chose Pan over him.
The North Wind wanted to take revenge so he blew her over a gorge and killed her.
Pan found her lifeless body laying in the gorge and turned her into sacred tree, the Fir-tree.
Ever since, every time the North wind blows, Pitys cries. Her tears are the pitch droplets that leak out of the fir-cones in autumn.
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On the Left: "Pan and Pitys" by Edward Calvert. 1850. On the Right: Fir Trees.

On the Left: “Pan and Pitys” by Edward Calvert. 1850. On the Right: Fir Trees.

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►Rose, created by the goddess of flowers, Chloris, from a dead Nymph:

"Flora and Zephy" by Bouguereau. 1875.

“Flora and Zephy” by Bouguereau. 1875.

In Greek mythology, the rose was created by the goddess of flowers, Chloris (Roman equivalent: Flora).

One day, Chloris found the lifeless body of a nymph in the forest and she turned her into a flower.

She called Aphrodite, goddess of love, and Dionysus, the god of wine.

Aphrodite gave the flower beauty as her gift and Dionysus added nectar to give it a sweet fragrance. Zephiros, god of the West Wind, blew the clouds away so Apollo, the sun-god, could shine and make the flower bloom. That is how the rose was created and rightfully crowned “Queen of Flowers”.

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On the Left: Chloris. Detail "Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli.1478. On the Right: Rose Flower.

On the Left: Chloris. Detail “Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli.1478. On the Right: Rose Flower.

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►Orchis (son of a nymph and a satyr)/Orchid Plant:

In Greek mythology, Orchis was the son of a nymph (a female nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform) and a satyr (a rustic fertility spirits of the countryside and wilds).

During a celebratory feast for Dionysus, Orchis committed the sacrilege of attempting to rape a priestess.

His punishment was to being torn apart by wild beasts. From his death arose Orchids which are a testament to the male reproductive organs (the testis). Today, the orchid means refinement as well as beauty. The origin of the plant name comes from the word orkhis, a word to describe part of the male genitalia, because of the shape of the bulbous roots. 

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On the Left: Fight between Nymph and Satyr. Naples National Archaeological Museum. On the Right: Orchid Plant and flowers.

On the Left: Fight between Nymph and Satyr. Naples National Archaeological Museum. On the Right: Orchid Plant and flowers.

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Flowers and Plants

Flowers and Plants: Peony, Rose, Orchid, Cypress (Leaves), Crocus, Mint (Leaves), Almond Tree (Flowers), Fir Tree (Branch).

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►Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus_(mythology)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyparissus
http://amphipolis.gr/en/fyllis/
http://www.valentine.gr/mythology5_en.php
http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Paion.html
http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/P/Phyllis.html
http://www.ancient-literature.com/rome_ovid_metamorphoses.html
https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/dendrobiums-orchids/
http://www.dominiquehackettchc.com/mint-wonderful-go-to-herb/
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►Greek Mythology: “Eros and Psyche”:

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“The abduction of Psyche” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1894).

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The myth of Eros and Psyche was originally a story by Apuleius, written in the 2nd century BC.

The Greek name for “Butterfly” is “Psyche”, which also means “Soul”. 

Hence Psyche represented the soul, being as she was an extremely beautiful Princess from Sicily.

Being jealous due to men’s admiration for Psyche, Goddess Aphrodite asked her son, Eros, to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

But when he intended in vain to do that, Eros also fell in love with Psyche.

As Psyche was single, her parents became so desperate because of their daughter’s destiny and had no choice but to ask for an oracle, hoping that they would manage to solve the mystery and give a husband to their daughter.

The oracle said that Psyche would marry an ugly beast whose face she would never be able to see, and he would wait for her at the top of the mountain.

Up on the rock, it turned out that the God Eros, invisible in that case, was waiting for Psyche in order to avenge his mother. But instead of punishing Psyche, he unavoidably fell in love with her.  

So he asked the west wind, Zephyr, to waft her to his palace.

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“Psyche Honoured by the People” by Luca Giordano. Series of twelve scenes (1692–1702).

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“Psyche Lifted Up by Zephyrs” by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1800).

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Thus Psyche was abducted (1) and, once in the palace, the servants told her that new husband, will come to visit her that evening. 

Eros and Psyche consummated their love that night, though in total darkness because Eros has forbidden her to look at him.  

Hence, Psyche’ sisters persuaded her that her lover was an ugly beast (2) who would try to kill her, so she might have to do the first movement.

With the oil lamp and knife in her hands, Psyche one night was ready for murder, but when she enlightened the face of her beast-husband, she saw the beautiful God Eros. Caught by surprise, she spilled the oil on his face.

Eros woke up and flew away telling Psyche that she had betrayed him and that they would never be together again.

Psyche started searching for her lost love, and finally was suggested to beg Eros’ mother, Aphrodite to see him because she had previously imprisoned his son in her palace. Even though, she accepted Psyche’s request, telling her that she had to accomplish some tasks in order to achieve her goal.

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Cupid and Psyche

“Cupid and Psyche” by Jacques-Louis David (1817).

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Psyche's Wedding

“Psyche’s Wedding” by Edward Burne-Jones (1895).

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“Amor (Eros) and Psyche” by Jacopo Zucchi (1589).

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The first task was a matter of sorting a huge pile of mixed grains into separate piles.

Eros had secretly arranged for an army of ants to separate the piles.  So she could finally do it. Aphrodite, returning the following morning, accused Psyche of having had help, as indeed she had.

The next task involved getting a snippet of Golden Fleece (3) from each one of a special herd of sheep that lived across a nearby river.  The Gods of River or Potamoi (4) advised Psyche to wait until the sheep sought shade from the midday sun.  As the animals were sleeping, they didn’t attack her. And Psyche could fulfill Aphrodite’s second task. But, Aphrodite, once again, accused her of having had help.

For Psyche’s third task, she was given a crystal vessel in which she had to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers of the Underworld Styx and Cocytus (5). During her attempt to accomplish the task, she was daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks. Fortunately, Zeus took pity on her, and sent an eagle to battle the dragons and bring the water for her.

After accomplishing these three tasks, Psyche had to face the last and most difficult one. This fourth task was to go to the Hades (Underworld) and bring the box with The Elixir of Beauty (6) to Aphrodite, who ordered her not to open the box.

She got the elixir from hands of Persephone, Hades’ wife and Demeter’s daughter.

But Psyche was curious and opened the box (7)Morpheus (the god of sleep and dreams) had introduced a spell on it, and because of that reason, she fell completely asleep (8). 

As Eros missed his lover Psyche, he asked Zeus to help him again. And so did the ruler of the Olympian gods, who woke up Psyche from her everlasting sleep, making her immortal. 

Finally, Psyche and Eros were reunited, and even Aphrodite acknowledged Psyche’s victory.

The God of Love and the Goddesses of the Soul lived happily together and even had a daughter, whose name was Hedone (Goddess of Pleasure).

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“Psyché aux enfers” by Eugène Ernest Hillemacher (1865).

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Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine by Charles-Joseph Natoire (France, Nîmes and Castel Gandolfo, 1700-1777) France, circa 1735

“Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine” by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1735).

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“Psyche” by John Reinhard Weguelin (1890).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Anthony van Dyck (1639).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (1843).

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•References (Corresponding to Numbers in Blue above):

(1) Psyche’s abduction by Eros remind us of Persephone’s abduction by Hades.

(2) In this sense, this myth might have similarities with the tale “The Beauty and the Beast”.

(3) In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

(4) The Greek Gods of river were known as Potamoi. They are the fathers of Naiads and the brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys

(5) The rivers Styx, Cocytus, Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx.

(6) The Elixir of Beauty was potion that Persephone, The Queen of The Underworld owned.

(7) In this sense, this myth reminds us of the famous Pandora’s box. Zeus had given Pandora a box after she married Epimetheus. As Pandora couldn’t avoid her curiosity, she disobeyed and opened a box. As she did, she unleashed all the evils known to mankind.

(8) These facts made me think of “Sleeping Beauty”.

• For an overall, description of the Gods/Goddesses appearing on this myth, click here.

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►Links Post:
http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/psyche-and-eros-myth/
http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/erosandpsyche.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potamoi
http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/mythslegends_4.htm
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cupideros/tp/010811-Cupid-And-Psyche.htm
http://www.madelinemiller.com/myth-of-the-week-psyche-and-eros/
http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/other.html

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►Last but not Least: Five Awards: 

►Here are the Award Rules, which are the same for all the awards:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog.

•Note: To get the logo just click on the one which corresponds among the ones appearing in the Gallery below.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10)  bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

►Aquí están las reglas comunes a todos los Premios:

1) Ubicar el logo del Premio que le corresponda en su blog. par

2) Nominar a otros quince (15) bloggers, enlazando a sus respectivos blogs e informándolos de la nominación.

•Nota: Para obtener el logo, hacer click en la imagen que corresponda al mismo, de entre todas las que aparecen debajo.

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I) One Lovely Blogger Award: My blog has been nominated for this award by Inese from Inesemj photography, a mesmerizing blog with wonderful photos, mainly from UK’s landscapes, and mostly from beautiful Ireland.

Also a blogger friend, Non Smoking Lady Bug, from The Happy Quitter nominated me for the same award. Her blog is cool. Some of the categories she writes about are Ex Smoker Humour, Life in General and Quit Smoking… (Which, by the way reminds me I need to put aside the nicotine)….

•This Award requires to point out seven facts about you (nominee). Thus, I will very briefly add them here just to respect the bureaucratic procedure. But  if your blog was nominated you may consider yourself dismissed without prejudice 🙂

1. My full name is María Pedemonte Velázquez. 2. I live in Buenos Aires Argentina. 3. In a town called San Fernando. 4. My argentine ID has eight numbers. 5. Four of those eight numbers are number six. 6. Two of those numbers are number two. 7. Two of those numbers are nine… (Now guess my ID!) 😀

►My nominees for the One Lovely Blogger Award are:

1. The Tropical Flowering Zone 2. Uncle’s Tree House 3. T Ibara Photo 4. John Poet Flanagan 5. Stuff Jeff Reads 6. LaVagabonde 7. Graffiti Lux and Murals 8. Emociones Encadenadas 9. Sue Slaght 10. Avian101.

II) Black Wolf Blogger Award: I have received this award from José Cervera, who hosts a blog in spanish called Ritual de las Palabras (Ritual of Words). Take a peak using the translator. He often posts great reviews of books.

►My nominees for the Black Wolf Blogger Award are:

1. Author Miranda Stone 2. JeriWB Author and Editor 3. A Solas con Caronte 4. Field of Thorns 5.Shehanne Moore 6. Poetic Parfait 7. En Humor Arte 8.Inesemj photography 9. Kev’s Blog 10. Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

III) Premio Dardos: He sido nominada para este Premio desde Jag, A Solas con Caronte, Emociones Encadenadas y El Beso en el EspejoLos cuatro excelentes blogs, claro, en castellano.  

Jag es un blog con geniales relatos breves, cuya lectura recomiendo.

En A solas con Caronte me he encontrado con muy buenos relatos breves y otras misceláneas que conviene no perderse.

Gema, desde Emociones Encadenadas nos ofrece grandes posts. El nombre del blog es elocuente, pues las palabras en este caso acarrean sentimientos y siempre es un gusto detenerse a leer este blog.

El Beso en el Espejo, por su parte, es un  muy buen blog, con primacía literaria. Sus contenidos incluyen once capítulos de una novela intempestiva, citas y poemas.

►Mis nominados para el Premio Dardos son:

1.Chesterton Blog 2. Palabras Sosegadas 3. Alex Kiaw 4. Leire’s Room 5. Rey de Reyes 6. Jarafuel 7. Ser un Ser de Luz 8. Alpuymuz 9. Rotze Mardini 10. La Cosa Gris.

IV & V) Liebster Award & Versatile Blogger Award: Estos premios me fueron otorgados, nuevamente, desde el blog amigo A Solas con Caronte, espacio virtual que recomiendo para echar una vistazo primero y luego, definitivamente, atreverse a explorar.

I have received these two Awards from the blog  A Solas con Caronte (Alone with Charon). I recommend this blog to take a peak, firstly and then definitely, to dare to explore it. The blog is, of course in spanish, but… who is impeding you to use the translator, anyways?.

►Mis nominados para el Liebster Award son / My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

1. The Happy Quitter 2. Inesemj photography 3. A Suffolk Lane 4. El rincón de los Noctambulos 5. Ritual de las Palabras 6.El Beso en el Espejo 7. Words in the Light 8. Pambrittain 9. Talker Blogger 10. The Muscleheaded Blog

►Mis nominados para el Versatile Blogger Award son / My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Cindy Knoke 2. Cindy Bruchman 3. Being Better 4. The Muscleheaded Blog 5. Jag 6. I lost my Lens Cap 7. Isaspi 8. Living with my Ancestors 9. Bluebutterfliesandme 10. Priorhouse

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►Amy Mac Donald: “Spark”:

(A song by this great scottish singer. Check out Lyrics here)

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Thank you very much for dropping by. Best wishes!, Aquileana 🙂

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