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      Our Stories | Mexicali Blues Blog — Symbolism & History

      The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

      The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

      The jolly laughing Buddha is based on an eccentric Chinese monk who lived over 1,000 years ago–a benevolent and joyous man who came to be regarded as an incarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya, the “world teacher”.  The laughing Buddha is known in China as the Loving or Friendly One, and his image graces many temples, restaurants, and amulets as a deity of abundance and contentment. He always has a big and friendly grin, as well as a largely exposed pot belly stomach, which symbolizes good luck, joy, and prosperity. While laughing Buddha consistently has these qualities, there are several different variations to bring an abundance of all kinds into your life.

      As Buddhism has become popular in countries all over the world it remains a predominant spiritual belief in Asia. It is practiced in China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and many more countries. Here in the US it is said that Hawaii has the highest population of Buddhists.

      Let's dive into the different forms of Buddha that we see around the world!

       

      The Spiritual Journey Buddha carries a gourd of enlightenment in one hand, a fan in the other, and wears a necklace of prayer beads. The fan is a symbol of happiness and joy used to banish troubles and misfortune, while the prayer beads (also known as mala beads) represent a consistent meditation practice and mindfulness in daily life.

      The Traveling Buddha is ready for adventure and is often toted as a talisman for safety in travel.  There are several variations of this worldly Buddha.  The Traveling Wu Lou Buddha carries with him the gourd of enlightenment, a wealth ball, and a sack which he uses to collect people’s sadness and woes. It is said that the sack, or ‘Hotei’, transmutes all of that negative energy into wealth and good fortune!  The wealth ball is sometimes seen as a pearl and symbolizes the most valuable ‘pearls’ of all treasures: wisdom and health.

      The Traveling Music Buddha is sure to attract new and wonderous experiences and ensures they will be met with as much exuberance as one would have when dancing to their favorite songs.  He also carries a sack for transmuting troubles, wears enlightening mala beads, and carries a small ukulele to bring joy with his beautiful music!

      The Safe Travels Buddha is a protective deity and carries with him his Hotei sack and wealth ball, to bring joy, prosperity, and wisdom in your travels.

       

      The Abundance Buddha and Prosperity Buddha

      While all happy Buddhas bring an abundance of good things, some are specifically focused on attracting a wealth of money, love, and spirit.  The Buddha of prosperity can be sitting or standing; either way, he holds two wealth balls over his head in a victorious stance, ready to WIN at all aspects of life!

      There is another variation of the Buddha of prosperity who carries the Ru-Yi pot of abundance, as well as a talisman to Nepal which attracts wealth and worldly wisdom.

      The Buddha of good health and abundance carries a Ru-Yi pot to attract prosperity, a wealth ball to bring abundance and good health, and he wears prayer beads to maintain a connection to mindfulness and spirituality.  His compatriot, the abundance Buddha holds a Ru-Yi “bowl of plenty” high above his head to attract wealth, health, and wisdom.

      The happy Buddhas are also sometimes meditating or simply sitting and being jolly, to attract luck and prosperity.  It is said that rubbing the belly of Happy Buddha will bring good fortune to you with even more speed and strength!  Try carrying one with you as a lucky talisman or place a few in your home; the bright smile and positive energy attraction of happy Buddha just might bring some surprising goodness your way!

       Mexicali Blues Buddha Backflow Incense Burner

      If you're looking for other home decor items or accessories to bring you the peacefulness that symbol of Buddha carries you can shop the full collection here!

      Elephants: Symbolism Across Cultures

      Elephants: Symbolism Across Cultures

       

      Elephants are regarded as symbols of wisdom and strength across cultures throughout the world. In India and Africa they are symbols of great strength and wisdom. In the Ashanti traditions, elephants are considered to be their past leaders, reincarnated into the stoic and powerful beings. In Buddhism they represent one's inner strength, but perhaps the most well known is the image of the Hindu God, Ganesh. 

       

      Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences, deity of wisdom, and is worshipped in Hinduism as the bringer of auspicious beginnings.

       

      There are a number of legends that describe the birth of Ganesh. He is said to be the son of Lord Shiva, the god of death and destruction. One of the most popular stories of his birth is that he was magically created by Shiva’s wife, the goddess Pavarti. Needing someone to guard her door while Shiva was away in battle, she created her son Ganesh out of clay. Ganesh took his job seriously and he refused to allow anyone to enter his mother’s house.

       

      All was well until the Lord Shiva returned home from war unexpectedly. He was so angry at being stopped at his wife’s door by a stranger that he cut off Ganesh’s head. Pavarti was the only person in the world whom Shiva was afraid of, and she was outraged by what he had done to her son. The God of death and destruction became remorseful, and he promised to make amends. He decided to remove the head of the first animal he could find, and then used this to replace Ganesh’s amputated head. The first animal he came across was an elephant. Ganesh was thus restored to life and rewarded for his courage by being made lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles.

       

      When we wear or decorate our homes with images of Ganesh, his powerful energy attracts abundance and helps us to be wise and discerning in our decision-making.  He helps us to overcome obstacles through calm determination, and to think big while also recognizing the importance of tending to details.  Overall, he is an auspicious symbol and a powerfully positive deity, and it is no wonder he is one of the most revered in all of Hinduism!

       

      If you're looking for a bit of this strength to bring home check out our Ganesh wall hangings. Don't miss our collection of other elephant inspired items on our online store!

       

      GEMSTONE MAGIC & MEANING: AMETHYST

      GEMSTONE MAGIC & MEANING: AMETHYST

      • Traditional birthstone of February
      • Zodiac sign for Pisces

      Amethyst is one of the best stones for those who are new to crystal healing.  Its violet color is well known as the highest spiritual color and vibration, representing the “flame of transmutation” that burns up negativity, transforming what was there into a fertile fount of inner power from which to build something new and intentional.  It has a calming and peaceful effect on the mind and body that encourages the opening of intuition, allowing the seedlings of positive change to take root.  Its powerful yet soothing energy helps to break up old emotional thought processes, and helps one to more easily see their situation from the perspective of their higher mind, connected with their soul’s purpose rather than being (as we so often are) swept up in the emotion and drama of the expectations and experiences that surround us in the day-to-day.

      Amethyst helps the bearer to overcome fears and cravings. It historically symbolizes piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom. The Greek word “amethystos” can be translated as “not drunken”. In Greek mythology, Dionysus (the god of intoxication and wine) was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Artemis answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos’ desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

      Amethyst helps to bring calmness and clarity to the mind, while fostering healing and selflessness. It is an excellent stone for meditation and is known as the “stone of transformation”.  It is said to bring wisdom by keeping the wearer connected to and aware of their more spiritual nature. It is a wonderful stone for dream work, past life work, and can help you clearly see your path. Using this stone in meditation may also help you to develop your psychic abilities and open your crown chakra enhancing connection with the spiritual realm while protecting against psychic attack. Because of its innately soothing energy, amethyst is particularly powerful for assisting in overcoming sleep disorders and bad dreams. Putting amethyst under your pillow at night can help to transform these negative experiences into positive, and encourage lucid dreaming as well as astral projection adventures!

      While we always have TONS more gemstone jewelry available in stores than online, many pretty pieces of our Rudraksha jewelry feature amethyst, and we have some lovely amethyst rings and pendants available online as well.  Check these out at Mexicali Blues online, or visit any of our stores in Maine to see the potent and powerful beauty of this stunning gem in a wide variety of unique (often one-of-a-kind) shapes and settings.

      CHECK OUT OUR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GEMSTONE MEANINGS

      HELP ELEPHANTS TODAY! WE’RE DONATING 20% FOR WORLD ELEPHANT DAY

      HELP ELEPHANTS TODAY! WE’RE DONATING 20% FOR WORLD ELEPHANT DAY

      In many of the countries where our world goods are made, elephants are revered, respected and even worshipped. They are also pushed out of their natural habitats by development and pollution, trapped for zoos and amusement parks and illegally poached for their increasingly valuable ivory tusks. On August 12, World Elephant Day reminds us that without […]

      The post HELP ELEPHANTS TODAY! WE’RE DONATING 20% FOR WORLD ELEPHANT DAY appeared first on Mexicali Blues Blog.

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      GEMSTONE MAGIC & MEANING: BLUE LACE AGATE

      GEMSTONE MAGIC & MEANING: BLUE LACE AGATE

      Blue lace agate is a stone of communication, particularly helpful to those who have difficulty being heard by others, or who need articulation and confidence to share their truths. It helps to dissolve doubt and old patterns caused by past fears, judgements, and rejections, and permits new modes of self-expression and growth. At the same time it has a complimentary energy of enhancing feelings of encouragement and support, both for the bearer and those around her or him. It is a particularly good gemstone for those who have a hard time connecting with or accepting their more tender feelings and sensitivities. It is calming and relaxing, promoting inner stability, composure, and centeredness. Like all agates, this stone has a stabilizing and strengthening influence, naturally assisting the balancing of energies, whether emotional, physical, or intellectual.

      Which of the properties of this quietly powerful crystal resonates most with you? While these particular pendants were photographed in Bangor, you can come check out pretty pieces of magical gemstone jewelry like these (and lots more) at any Mexicali Blues store!

      Asahna Puja: Tomorrow is Dharma Day!

      Asahna Puja: Tomorrow is Dharma Day!

      Asahna Puja (known as Dharma Day), one of Buddhism’s most important festivals, commemorates the first sermon ever given by the Buddha. Under a full moon, the newly enlightened Buddha first taught his followers the four Noble Truths and explained the way to nirvana through the Noble Eightfold Path. Tomorrow’s full moon marks the anniversary of that […]

      The post Asahna Puja: Tomorrow is Dharma Day! appeared first on Mexicali Blues Blog.

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