Venus-Uranus Aspects – Birds of a Feather Flock Together


For lovers and friends, we tend to be drawn to those whose Venus aspects are like our own. They share a style of relating, similar ways of expressing affection or esteem, a sense of taste, and a consensus about what is socially acceptable and what is not. Observing people and their relationships through astrology, then, we confirm the old saying that birds of a feather flock together.

In the case of Venus-Uranus aspects, it's not just a feather but an entire feather boa. And it's not just a flock of any old bird, but of peacocks or brightly colored parrots. These aspects also run in families, so among the Venus-Uranus notables we will find Julio AND Enrique Iglesias, Princess Diana and Prince William, and Michael Jackson and his son Prince Michael Jackson. Michael's longtime friend, Liz Taylor also has the conjunction.

Uranus is the planet of friendship, while Venus is about love, and Venus-Uranus types are capable of intense but platonic relationships with all the qualities of love affairs but without overt sexual involvement. For instance, women with this aspect may have close and loving connections with gay men. An unforgettable pair of friends with Venus-Uranus aspects was Princess Diana and rock legend Elton John. They had an on-again-off-again friendship, a pattern not unheard-of with Venus-Uranus aspects, in that they were sometimes the best of friends, sometimes feuding.

In the end, Elton wrote a moving and unforgettable song to perform at Diana's funeral. It said, in part, "Your candle burned out long before your legend ever will." Elton has Venus in Aquarius trining Uranus in Gemini, with Uranus disposing of Venus. Diana's Venus in Taurus was part of a t-square with Uranus in Leo opposite her Aquarian Moon. Her Venus and his Moon were closely conjunct. Diana's older son, Prince William, is already idolized by the public in much the same way his mother was and also has a Venus-Uranus aspect. His Venus is at 25 ° Taurus, just a degree from Diana's own Venus, in an out-of-sign opposition to Uranus in Sagittarius. Dodie al Fayed, Diana's romantic interest who also died in the crash, had Venus trine Uranus.

What about ordinary folks with Venus-Uranus aspects? I admit I have the conjunction. It's in the 11th, so I'm not especially weird, you understand, but more than a few of my friends are. We may never have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but we're a Presence in our own circles, notorious or merely tolerated for shock value. People watch to see what we're going to do next, decry our behavior, then wait until the heat is off and copy us. When we get older, people tend to view our eccentricities with fondness than rather than disapproval, since we're now seen as harmless.

"THEY NEVER KNEW A STRANGER:" One effect of this planetary combination is the capacity for instant kinship with people of backgrounds different than their own. Typically, their friendships include a fascinating mélange of races, cultures, interests, and sexual persuasions. They collect bright, sophisticated, exotic, even quirky folks who are on the leading edge of things but too busy to get together often. Such friends bring excitement and sudden leaps in consciousness by exposing the native to avant-garde ideas. (One startling finding from the database was that there were 14 instances of UFO sightings among the conjunctions-taking cross-cultural contact to the max!)

Venus-Uranus is a Universal Brotherhood aspect, for in establishing loving ties with people of a variety of backgrounds, we learn that we humans are the same in vital respects. However, scattered among the examples in AstroDataBank were individuals who can only be described as hate mongers. Anti-feminist shock jock, Rush Limbaugh has a close quincunx; Howard Stern has the opposition, Nazi leader, Adolph Eichmann had a square; and singer Anita Bryant, who waged a heated anti-gay campaign, has the conjunction exact to the minute. It seems to be one extreme or the other with these folks, but they're never conventional or politically correct!

RUNAWAY BRIDES AND OTHER DISTANCERS: Many Venus-Uranus folks have a seemingly never-ending series of short-lived but exciting partnerships. In the introduction to this section of the book, we looked at the chart of Julia Roberts, who had the title role in the movie, Runaway Bride, and who has Venus conjunct Uranus and Pluto. The movie could have been written about her!

Many with Uranus in aspect to Venus have difficulty committing and so spend years chasing the fireworks of early courtship, leaving or otherwise creating breakups when relating to someone becomes more routine. The pattern of broken relationships can continue until they take responsibility for generating their own excitement-or meet a partner so Uranian that the fascination never stops! Many with this aspect fool themselves that they're yearning for commitment, yet repeatedly fall in love with unavailable people. This behavior is "crazy like a fox," since involvement with distancers lets them retain their independence and continue to pursue their own development.

"UNCONVENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS:" One typical interpretation that astrologers give of people with Venus-Uranus contacts is that they're inclined to "unconventional relationships." Readers with this aspect, most likely what the astrologer is delicately trying to ask is whether you are gay. The androgynous beauty (musicians Michael Jackson and Prince) that can accompany this aspect fuels speculation. Ellen Degeneres, who has the aspect, lost her highly successful show years back after deciding that she could no longer hide her true self from world. After several years of career limbo-and a greater degree of public acceptance that her own actions played no small part in creating-she once again has a successful show and is beloved by her audience.

Venus-Uranus natives are a fascinating bunch. To dissect the aspect in greater depth and to give these unique and fascinating folks a deeper look would take a book in itself-but it would be far from a boring one! If you have the aspect and the picture does not fit you, do not take it to heart. You may not fit it all, but it's likely that more than a few of your lovers do. For more insight, ask a professional astrologer for an in-depth interpretation of your own Venus and what it says about your relationships.


Source by Donna Cunningham

The Six P's of Success


I learned the 6 P's of success from my mother. When I was 12 years old my mother started a non-profit youth entrepreneurial organization called Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs Today. Her main purpose was to keep me and my friends off the streets and out of gangs.

For 12 years she ran a nationally recognized organization that received awards from the city and county of Los Angeles, the state of California, and from Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. She had the non profit of the year for the United States. There were thousands of kids who were impacted through her program.

The foundation of her non-profit were the 5 P's of success (I added one more P). Her P's are:

  1. Passion (I added this P)
  2. Prayer
  3. Patience
  4. Persistence
  5. Perseverance
  6. Productivity

I have been earning money as an entrepreneur since I was 9 years old. From watering grass to owning my own vending machine company. I have done catering, network marketing, and real estate. I discovered that passion is a key ingredient. Passion makes the sixth P. Some of these business paid for my prom, college, professional licenses, and exotic vacations. The 6 P's work.

Here are the 6 P's of success .

1.Passion: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything

In my 20's I was all about the money. I went to school, got scholarships, investing in real estate, trade commodities, and was in management at UPS. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I was looking for the quick buck. I made the quick buck and lost even quicker.

I wanted the shortcut. I raised money for real estate projects that never came to fruition. I worked at a job I hated, and started companies in niches I had no business being in. It took me years to find my passion of writing and speaking.

When I worked for a event staffing agency at USC and UCLA football games I noticed the passion these young players had. Passion was evident in their coaches, parents, and their fans. For the players and the students this was a short term event in their lives. These players and students would graduate and move on. But for that moment they had passion.

Passion is a must your business. I see so many people start a business because they went to a seminar, a friend asked them, or they stayed up late and so an infomercial. I have made the same mistake many times. Do not follow the money follow your passion.

How enthusiastic are you about your job? How excited are you about your debts and living paycheck to paycheck? Do you have that same attitude about the business you are in? Are you working in a position that fits your skills, talents, and strengths? It took me until I was 35 before I started living my passion.

Passion is the fuel that keeps you going when the sales are slow, when you lose out on contracts, when the affiliate company shuts down, and the city will not approve your plans. Passion propels you to take your dreams and turn them into a reality.

Before someone joins my team I ask them what their passions are. I want to know that they have a passion for internet marketing. If they do not I do not need them on my team. Our passions have to align because when adversity arise I want them to stick it through.

Do not fret if you are not working in your passion. Find out what drives you and get into it ASAP! I missed out on years of enjoyment because I limited myself to making money and not working in my passion. Find your passion.

Choose a business and make sure you work in your skills, talents, and strengths. I never thought I could make money writing and speaking. There are a lot of people who achieve success and wonder, "Is that all there is?" Do not be that person.

2. Prayer: a devout petition to God or an object of worship.

The definition says a devout petition. Devine guidance will lead you to success. George Washington Carver prayed everyday about a little peanut. Numerous products came from his inventions of that peanut. Because of his devotion to prayer he created new industries from his discoveries.

This is not a discussion about which religion is right. I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my savior and I will leave it at that. Do develop a relationship and spend quality time with your creator. Prayer has saved me from mistakes. Prayer has guided me and it is a key component in the 6 P's.

Prayer can lead you to breakthroughs with your business. This is where your hunches and ah-ha moments can come from. Quiet time and calmness brings clarity. Why not spend it with a higher power. Do not like the word "Prayer". Then find some meditation time. Call it whatever you want.

3. Patience: the quality of being patient , as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

"God I need patience and I want it now!" I have struggled with patience. I want things to happen now and fast. In our society of instant gratification, text messages, 24 hour news channels, and get rich quick schemes, people expect success NOW. You are bombarded about losing weight in 5 days, make $ 10k this week, and get it now with no payments until next year.

My mother preached TTTT. These Things Take Time. The law of seedtime and harvest is always in effect. It takes time to test marketing campaigns, for escrows to close, and to build a list of clients. It requires patience to build relationships. Have your 90 day goals stretched to six months?

Passion and prayer gives strength to your patience. Patience does not involve being passive. It takes fortitude to keep marketing when the funds are low. Patience helps you study the trends so you can capitalize on it. Patience is listening to mentors and people who have traveled the road you are on.

Developing a long term perspective is the key to patience. Delay instant gratification and keep your end result in mind. If doctors can spend years in school you can do the same mastering your business.

4. Persistence: the continuance of an effect after its cause is removed.

That pesky word that people hate. Persistence is the active part of patience. I can remember my mother persisting with her organization. Bringing in the funding, the sponsors, the events, and busing kids in from the local schools for entrepreneur expos.

Persistence was the key to me getting my real estate license, writing over 100 published articles, and posting 600 blogs. Persistence is planting the seeds and tilling the ground until you can reap a harvest. Persistence is asking for the sale, constant marketing, and communicating your vision of your company.

Here is a lesson on persistence:

· Mark Victor Hanson's book was turned down 300 times before he and his partner went on to sell 500 million books.

· Abraham Lincoln encountered lost elections, the death of his sweet heart, and failed businesses before he became the 13th president of the United states.

· John Elway lost 3 Super Bowls before he won back-to-back Super Bowls before he retired.

Persistence will serve you well. It is your best friend in life when you intentionally use it to become successful. Would you tell your child to quit trying to walk after they fell down? Look into your past and see where persistence has helped you conquer obstacles. How did you feel? Also look at where you should have persisted. Sometimes all it takes is one more try.

5. Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

In order to persist you must persevere. Remembered the failures I listed above. Those people persevered. John Elway had three of the worst losses as a Quarterback for a Super Bowl Team. He got crushed by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI.

He was out played be Doug Williams, in Super Bowl XXII where Doug Williams broke Super Bowl records and the Washington Redskins posted the biggest margin of victory in Super Bowl history. He was outplayed again in Super Bowl XXIV where he was outplayed again by Joe Montana's record breaking performance.

Three humiliating losses. Did John Elway quit? No! He continued to play and 8 years later he won his first Super Bowl and the next year his team won again. This is a great example of perseverance.

Roadblocks are on the road to achievement. Setbacks are a part of life and a process in your business. Logically setbacks make sense but emotionally we do not think they will happen.

Disasters are going to happen. Losing your biggest client, your downline deserts you, escrow did not close, no one showed up for your meeting, or your presentation was terrible. It's going to happen. The question is how will you respond? How quickly do you get back on your feet? Will you keep pushing forward? This is what perseverance is all about.

Recall the moments you persevered. It could be a project that took years to complete or that last rep in your workout. You have wins and these wins build your confidence.

6. Productivity: the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.

Are you productive? Plain and simple you have to produce to succeed. You do not make money until you sell something. Your focal point is productivity and sales is your priority. Bottom line is you generate traffic, that produce leads, and those leads convert to sales.

Bring productivity to your sales teams and downlines. Busyness is not being productive. Focus on Income Producing Activities 70% of the time and your business will thrive. Put in systems to help you become more productive.

Even a one person empire needs systems in place. You, as the rainmaker need to practice Do It, Delegate It, Defer It, or Delete It. You can outsource, hire your kids, or use technology to make you more productive.

These are the 6 P's of success that I learned from my mother and practice today. She still uses them in her business at the age of 74. Implement and teach them to your family, friends, and team.


Source by Charles Fitzgerald Butler

The Banana Pudding: Writing Tips for Novice Writers


I combined an old southern dessert, the need for extra income, and some basic entrepreneurial concerns to complete a short story.

Readers do not always need a 500 page document in order to understand your thoughts and ideas. If you have lots to say, all is well. But if you feel the need to hit all the important points with a short story or essay and shut it down, it's still OK.

The Banana Pudding

Let's face it. The economy has not been nice to anyone lately and no matter how many up-to-the- minute reports we hear about jobs and current employment statistics, we are still trying to figure this thing out. Actually, the condition of the current economy has basically put everyone into a survival mode by any means necessary.

As financial responsibilities increase for all of us I am beginning to hear from friends who are using old school tactics to generate additional income for themselves and their families. It is still true that necessity is the mother of invention, especially during a financial famine that seems to have no end.

As you drive to your job or home from the supermarket, you are beginning to ask yourself:

• What can I do to increase my income or generate a cash flow?
• What can I create that people will want or need and come back for more?
• How do I decide on the price (s) for my service or product?
• Do I need a business partner or do I need to do this alone?
• What resources do I need?
• Who do I contact for advice?
• How do I jumpstart my idea?

Powered by vBulletin Help! I need to do something extra and different to make ends meet and where do I start?

Everyone has Gifts

This may seem a bit strange, but somewhere or sometime in your life, you have received compliments about something that you do very well. If it was something that you do easily without thinking, you probably just smiled, said thank you, and thought nothing of it. It is also true that others see talents or gifts in us that we sometimes ignore or dismiss. These talents could be the key to your future success.

It's time to put those compliments to work! Identify what you do well with little or no hesitation, it's easy, and you enjoy doing it. It could be one thing or several items. It's best to work with one thing. So, sit down, do some thinking, make a list of the items related to your talent, and think about viewing your gift as a small business.

Research Your Idea

Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?

• Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?
• Is my idea already available?
• If so, does the public need another version of the same service or product?
• Will my service or product be short-term or long-term?
• What are my startup costs?
• Do I need insurance, bonding, or an official business name?

All of these factors will need to be considered and researched before you put a plan into action. If not, you will face them as you proceed with your idea and the costs could be detrimental to your business initiative. Although all entrepreneurial ideas are a risk, an early exploration of the challenges will save you the grief of expensive lessons in realtime later.

Do you need a business partner?

If you choose a business partner, be aware that the person must have the same business mindset and mission that you project. For instance, if you are always on time and your potential business partner is outstanding with product development, but habitually late, it will cause some conflict. There will be missed deadlines and opportunities, customer complaints, and lost revenue. On the other hand, it would be wise to choose a partner with some technical or networking skills that you are lacking or still developing. You could communicate with this person by email, Skype, or phone when necessary and tardiness will not be an issue. Never ignore the talents of others, but be cautious as to how they will fit into your business endeavor. Food for thought: many great business projects have been undermined or sabotaged by an uncommitted business partner.

Talk to a small business owner in your family, community, or place of worship.

• How did they begin?
• What changes did they experience over time?
• What do they say about the good times versus the bad?
• How did they identify and contact resources?
• What situations did they avoid, accept or modify?
• How did they manage weeks or months without making a profit?
• When is it time to close shop or change my target goal?

Listen to their highs and lows of owning a business and the sacrifices involved, both financial and personal. Then, consider your current circumstances, level of patience and persistence, and make an informed decision. You do not need an MBA to own a successful business, but you do need every available ounce of information available about the venture you are about to undertake. For instance, an important reality for new business owners is being aware that the first few months or years may not yield a profit. Those challenging times must be considered as part of the planning process because many new business fail due to unrealistic goals and grandiose expectations.

Finally, I must stop here because I need to pick up a banana pudding for an afternoon meeting. Yes, I did say banana pudding. I have a friend who has developed a home based business from her mother's banana pudding recipe and if I do not get there within the next 30 minutes she will have sold out!

PS I forgot to add: she did not quit her day job. She's still employed at GM and she will be there until her home based business is able to show growth and stability. Smart cookie!

Did the reader get some valuable tips for starting a new business? I hope so. So, mix it up, combine some elements, and cook up a story.


Source by Lynda Mubarak

Components for Throwing a Great Baby Shower


Do you beam with excitement when you think about hosting a baby shower for an expectant friend or relative but then cringe at the thought of all the party planning details that are involved? Not everyone feels they are a natural hostess when it comes to throwing a baby shower party; however, if you put these basic components together, you will not fail and the mom-to-be will be sure to appreciate all your efforts!

There is no set way to throw a baby shower. With that in mind, if you account for these key components you will, without a doubt, have thrown a successful baby shower.

1) Location – This is not something to sweat about. Ask yourself what resources you have at your disposal. Do you belong to a local church? Are you a member of any organizations that have banquet rooms available to rent? Or, just consider hosting the party at your house or even the mom-to-be's house. Keep the distance within reason if you're not hosting the shower in the home so the expectant mother does not have to travel very far. Do not be afraid to ask the expectant mother how she would feel about having the shower in her home (if it's not a surprise shower, that is).

2) Decorations – Most every type of party includes decorations, whether general and colorful or tailored towards a specific theme. If the parents-to-be have chosen not to find out the gender of the baby then your shower decorations will most likely use varied pastels without sticking to mainly pink or blue as with known gender showers. Many stores and sites sell baby shower decorations so you'll never be at a loss as to how to transform your location into a decorated baby haven; However, every good by baby shower deserves a great centerpiece for the main food or gift table and a by baby diaper cake will make a great conversation piece and will serve color : as a gift for the expectant mom when the shower is over.

3) Food – Ah, the food . Again, this is not something to sweat about. If you're hosting the shower, I can only assume that you know the expectant mom well enough to know what some of her likes and dislikes are when it comes to food. You can go as simple as finger foods or as lavish as a hot meal. Keep in mind what would work best with the length of time you plan on having the shower. And of course, do not forget the baby shower cake! Whether you make a cake yourself or order one through a local bakery, every baby shower would not be complete without a cake.

4) Games – It seems to be a long standing tradition to play fun and silly games at a baby shower. There are a multitude of game ideas out there to choose from and some may fit your theme if your shower is centered around one. Keep the number of games limited for time sake and encourage everyone to participate, even the expectant mom. By the time you are done playing games, everyone will be in such a great mood, that the last component will help with winding down the baby shower before everyone goes home.

5) Gifts – Probably the most important component and main reason people throw a baby shower is to give the expectant mom gifts for the baby and even to her. Shopping for a unique and creative baby gift to give at a baby shower can be stressful for some people. Depending on how many baby showers you've attended before, you may have seen many people give a lot of similar gifts and you want to get a little more creative. Most moms-to-be will have created a baby registry at a local store or two so you can always check out her wish list and try to put a unique spin on some of the things she will need or would like to have for the baby . Great way to A do this is with a new by baby gift basket That showcases practical and fun items That mom and by baby can use together. I assure you that this type of newborn gift will be a hit at a baby shower.

Now that you know what you need to consider, I hope you enjoy the planning process for hosting a baby shower and more importantly, the baby shower when it occurs. Best of luck and remember, as long as you combine the components from above, no matter the cost, time, or effort involved in planning a baby shower, the reward is seeing how happy your expectant friend or relative will be knowing how much you care !


Source by Janet Vanson

Archetypal Rites of Passage in Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima


In Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya tells a classic coming of age story by interweaving ancient world symbolism, particularly nature archetypes, with the ritualistic traditions of the Catholic Church in a New Mexico village near the end of World War II. These symbols connect to each other with such historic strength that together they give depth to a tale that becomes not only Antonio Marez's story of growing up in the Southwest in 1944 but also one that reaches back to the beginning of time and becomes universally an archetypal motif for humanity.

The Sun and the Moon

Although all of the characters contribute to the cohesiveness of the novel, the story belongs to Antonio, who is seven years old when the story opens, and Ultima, the curandera who was present at Antonio's birth and who has now come to live with his family in her remaining years. While Antonio, or Tony, has two older sisters at home, he also has three brothers who have been serving their country overseas in the war and return home. Tony's father is a Marez, a man whose traditions cling to the earth, the llano, the large grassy, ​​almost treeless plain where a man can ride his horse and enjoy the camaraderie of his wandering friends, seeking freedom in this open country. His wife is a Luna, a family of farmers who love the rich soil by the river, roots, and the tradition of living by the moon's cycles. The sun and the moon have come together, but is it a sacred marriage of heaven and earth?

Influence of the Feminine Principle

Tony's father wants him to take up the Marez ways, but his mother prays every day that Tony will become a farmer-priest and continue the path set by the Luna family. His mother, Maria Luna, embodies the feminine principle associated with her name, holding onto the power of cyclic time, and her source of strength comes from that lunar Queen of Heaven, the Virgin de Guadalupe, whose statue she kneels before every day. The Virgin is the Moon Goddess, the weaver and spinner of the thread of destiny, and it is she whom Maria implores for her son's destiny in the Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of poor people, for Maria Luna prays that her son Tony's destiny will also be worthy of sainthood, a priest beyond praise. The matriarchal influence that surrounds Tony grows even stronger when Ultima arrives.

Questioning the Matriarchal World

Antonio develops a bond with Ultima the moment she enters their house, addressing her by her first name rather than the respectful Grande, and his mother scolds him for this breach. But Ultima recognizes this connection between them and takes Tony with her every day to gather the plants and herbs she will use in her cures. He learns from her as she speaks gently to the plants she takes, explaining to them why she must take their roots from the earth. She teaches him that all of nature has a spiritual life, a presence. While Tony thrives in this matriarchal world of his mother, the Virgin de Guadalupe, and Ultima, he begins to question the spiritual beliefs of his mother as well as those of Ultima, torn between which one is the true belief, and then he discovers the spiritual presence of the golden carp from his friend Samuel.

The Golden Carp

It is bad luck to fish for the big carp that summer floods wash downstream. Like the big fish fighting their way back upstream to regain their abode and not be trapped, Tony struggles for his own evolution of the spirit. Samuel tells Tony the story of an ancient god who loved the people of the earth so much he turned them into carp instead of killing them for their sins. As the story evolves into a parallel of his own Catholicism, he learns that the god who loved the people turned himself into a fish, the golden carp, so he could take care of his people. Tony is confused about who is right-God, the Virgin, or the golden carp.

Ultima, Curandera

As Tony witnesses Ultima healing his family with her magic cures, he wonders if she is also stronger than the church and her saints. When Maria's brother Lucas suddenly becomes very ill, feared to have been cursed by one of Tenorio Trementina's daughters for stumbling onto her witchcraft, the family asks Ultima to use her power as a curandera to heal him. Medicine and the Catholic Church have not been successful. They accept Ultima's condition: When anybody tampers with fate, a chain of events is set into motion over which they will not have control. They must be willing to accept this reality. They do and the grandfather pays Ultima $ 40 in silver-silver typifying once more the lunar feminine principle, to cure his son Lucas.

Good Is Stronger Than Evil

Ultima's requests for supplies and quiet are met, but she also requires Tony's assistance because, he says, his first name is Juan-John as in Saint John and John the Baptist-whose name means graced by God. Tony watches her rituals, the bathing of his dying uncle, the burning of incense, the ingesting of the potion of herbs, and the long hours of waiting. He knows he is in the midst of evil but he is not afraid. Ultima calms his fears, "Good is always stronger than evil. The smallest bit of good can stand against all the powers of evil in the world and it will emerge triumphant." Tony will strengthen the good she can do because he is graced by God, a concept that is in alignment with his Catholicism.

Before Ultima forces the cure down Lucas's throat, she sculpts three dolls from her magic oils and fresh black clay. She dresses them and lets Lucas breathe on them, and then she dips three pins in oil and sticks them into the dolls. Tony does not fully understand what Ultima has done until later when two of the Trementina daughters die. He is confused by her power that seems to be one with and yet greater than God's.

Narciso, Dionysian Life and Death

Tony's friend Samuel tells Cico about the golden carp. When Samuel leaves to herd sheep with his father, Cico takes Tony to see the coming of the golden carp, but on their way, they stop at the house of Narciso, a Dionysian figure who gets drunk in the spring and plants at night in the moonlight. When he is away and the two boys slip into his hidden garden, Tony understands what Cico means when he says, "The garden is like Narciso-it is drunk." Tony is awestricken by the fruitfulness of this garden nurtured in moonlight, but in fear or perhaps superstition he will not partake of the bounty.

Narciso tries to warn Ultima of Tenorio's intention to kill her in retribution for the alleged curse she has put on his second daughter who is dying. Tony, returning home in the snow from rehearsing the school Christmas pageant, secretly follows him. When Tony's brother Andrew can not break away from Rosie's house of ill repute to help, the aging Narciso must go himself and Tony continues to follow him. Tenorio shoots Narciso, who lies dying under the juniper tree. Even though Tony is confused about his role in the Catholic Church, he makes the sign of the cross over Narciso and takes his confession, acting as the priest his family expects him to become. Succumbing to pneumonia, Tony dreams of the omnipresence of evil in his village as everything in it dies a violent death and is burned while the golden carp swallows all and glows as brilliant as a new sun.

Emptiness: Where Is God?

It is now time for Tony to study his catechism with the other boys at the church in preparation for his first communion, yet he still wonders if the golden carp is more powerful than the God of his Catholic Church. He wonders if the Virgin Mary or the golden carp rules in God's absence. On Easter Sunday as Tony takes the wafer for the first time, he prays for answers to his question: why is there evil and death and torture? He feels only emptiness. He thinks, "The God I so eagerly sought was not there," and he later confides to his teacher that growing up is not easy. He tells her, "Ultima says a man's destiny must unfold itself like a flower."

Again Tony is witness to Ultima's power to cure as she performs rituals to lift a curse from Tony's father's friend Tellez. That night Tony still has received no communication from God. He asks, what really is God's power? Cico tells him he must choose between the God of the church and the golden carp. As they watch the majesty of the God-like carp swimming in the creek, they decide that their friend Florence, one who could not take his first communion because he would not confess his nonexistent sins, has earned the right to witness the golden carp for himself. When they go to find him, however, they discover he has drowned in a swimming accident below the Blue Lake.

Tony dreams again, and in this dream everything he believes in dies-even Ultima and the golden carp. Distraught, he is sent to his uncles in Los Puerto to learn about farming. Before he goes, Ultima says, "Life is filled with sadness when a boy grows to be a man." Tony asks his father if a new religion could be made. Tony's father Gabriel Marez explains to his son that understanding does not come from God. It comes from experiencing life, and it takes a lifetime to acquire this understanding. He realizes Tony's confusion about religion and healing, in particular, and he tells him that Ultima has no fear because "she has sympathy for people, so complete that she can touch their souls and cure them." Tony grows stronger that summer from everything that has happened to him.

Ultima and the Owl: The Blessing of Antonio

But Tenorio's second daughter dies and in his insanity, he first tries to kill Tony, who escapes him, and then goes to Guadalupe to find and kill Ultima. Instead Tenorio shoots the owl and, as he points the rifle at Tony, Pedro, who is Tony's uncle, kills him with his pistol. Ultima, whose life is connected to the life of the owl, is dying. She whispers to Tony that she is like the owl, "winging its way to a new place, a new time." Before she dies, he asks for her blessing. "Her hand touched my forehead and her last words were, 'I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you- "

Tony buries the owl under the juniper tree in the moonlight, symbol of his mother's family. He covers the owl with the earth of the llano, the home and symbol of his father. Whether or not Tony has the maturity to comprehend the totality of the blessings as well as the evil accompanying his rites of passage, he nevertheless has been touched deeply by the feminine archetypes of the moon, the three fates, the river and the fish, the owl and the juniper, and the cyclic changes around him so that he will recall Ultima's advice with greater understanding and wisdom as he grows into a man: "Take life's experiences and build strength from them, not weakness."


Source by Susan O'Connor

A Do It Yourself Wedding in New York City For $ 10,000 Or Less, Is It Possible?


A do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding in New York City sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done. There are various ways of complying with that statement above and all for under $ 10,000. Well, under $ 10,000. You can still have quite an extravagant wedding, even an over the top wedding for under $ 10,000 AND in New York. Let me show you how it can be done, including your honeymoon. Now I know you're thinking that is an impossibility. My husband and I did it and so can you.

It mostly depends on just what it is you want your fantasy day to say and whether or not one thing is the most important item or if you would prefer to have featured several things. For me I wanted the colors of our wedding to be featured, my dress and the water feature for my husband at the reception. At another time I will tell you about my excursions to and from the various locations to secure, just what I wanted for my wedding. Right now, I will give you the nitty-gritty about what I reaped from my excursions.

What if you only wanted one thing to be the major featured item? Of course, it does not have to be just one thing, it can be several, but just so you do not go crazy, I suggest you choose one to two items rather than a whole slew, but if you want more than that, do not do any more than five. Most brides start off believing they can do it all and realize within eight to six months of the wedding that they can not. A friend's help comes in quite handily, after all your really close friends will have asked you all along what they can do to help. At about ten to eight months out from the wedding is the best time to take them up on their offers. I did. More about me later, though. I have a friend who did a wedding with a potluck reception at a very famous church here in Manhattan and even though it was phenomenally delicious, to my idea that was not even the featured item in her wedding. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Her wedding had a committee of three women -the project managers- to help her stay within her budget which was WAY under $ 10,000. I believe she and her new husband paid no more than $ 6000 for their entire wedding, which included the reception space in that very same famous church. They did not pay for catering which can be quite pricey when it comes to weddings. In fact, the wedding couple paid nothing for the food at the reception, so plus the cost of the space, If they'd paid for catering it would have run close to the $ 6000 for their 150 guests. By having a potluck, she paid nothing other than the cost of the hall. The Riverside Church Chapel for me cost $ 800 (In a previous article, I said $ 1200, but in reality it was $ 800 for mine.) In 2005, but for another friend of mine last year, she paid $ 1500. I got the members' cost, but last year, there was no differential between members and nonmembers, so even though she is a member, she had to pay big bucks.

My friend's wedding costs are an approximation, because I did not pry that much, .. yet. She is out of the country now, so I can not ask her at all, but I am judging from her comments to me at the time. Forgetting about the cost of hers and her husband wearing apparel which I can tell you he had his own tux in his closet and her wedding dress was bought from a non-wedding wedding store on sale.

  • Since my friend is a singer too, she had friends who sang during her wedding, that were of course gratis or gifts. Basically that is a win-win situation all around. Since you tap your friends, you tap the voices you want singing your songs of choice. That's what I did and both she and her ex-husband sang at my and my husband's wedding.
  • Here's a big tip if you do not want to spend big time money on your dress, if it's to be one of the featured items, go to a non-wedding store in search of your gown. Personally I went to Filene's Basement bridal store, a year before my wedding and bought a dress for $ 536 with tax, so it is possible to pay for a dress under $ 3000. But my friend did not go the bridal store route. She went to Paramus Mall to Lord & Taylor. I do not remember exactly how much she paid, but I do know it was almost half as much as my dress.
  • She also did not go with a traditional veil, but went with a tiara alone. For mine, I had both, but did not pay a premium for either. I made up my own veil for less than $ 10 and found a tiara that did not look cheap at Claire's Accessories for less than $ 20. She wore a tiara as well. A gold tiara, which costs no more than a $ 100.
  • For her reception, she had no music, we'd had plenty during her wedding ceremony. In another article I've already told you about using your own Mp3 player and saving big bucks in that respect. If you do want to hire a DJ or reception host, I suggest you go with a friend of a friend who is just starting to spin, but that the friend can vouch for their abilities, if you have not experienced them for yourself. Remember, whatever you do, GET a contract. One that spells out exactly what you want and expect them to do at the party. That means the songs you expect and when. That way, the surprises will not have anything to do with dancing. That way both you and your guests can be happy without much annoyance on anyone's part. New DJ's can start as low as $ 75 an hour and go up from there. If you want an established DJ, it could be as much as $ 125 – $ 350 an hour. This again is if you want to stay within your budget of $ 10000. Just remember you will need your DJ for at least four hours, so do your multiplication from there.
  • Transportation: Ah, you can go the traditional route with the white limos, or you can go with black limos, too. Did you know that the color of the limo can determine the price. White limos are more expensive and if you mention wedding additional money is added for that special day. Just be glad that you are not going to prom, because that is the limousine's big day (s) for money making. Limousines can be anywhere from $ 500 for a two and half hour rental to, of course thousands. To really save money, if you are friends with a special car association you could rent or borrow the owners' cars. Or now with the Internet companies, Zip Car, Drive Mint or even Connect By Hertz you could rent a car of your dreams for a great rates. Each of these dot com hourly car rentals can save you a bundle. Think about it.
  • Did you guess already that the featured item for my friend's wedding was the dress? Well, if you did you would have been correct. The bride wore, what appeared to be gold. In actuality, the dress was a copper lace with a light pink undergarment that peeked through, which made the dress upon entrance and even as she continued to walk down the aisle appear to be molten liquid gold. She was drummed in. Of course, the bride is usually the center piece of most weddings, but as they say in the theater, people were humming the dress the rest of the evening, especially since she was able to match the dress with a cape, that was already in her closet.
  • Transportation – Getting to and sometimes from the wedding ceremony can be challenging when it comes to keeping costs down, but with these suggestions you can be home free.

Dress $ 536

Tux Rental $ 56

Cake $ 825

Limo / Catering $ 375 / $ 625 = $ 1000

Special added catering $ 0 Wedding gift from Mother-in-Law

Professional Photographer $ 400 for 5 hours – childhood friend of groom

Video $ 0 Best Man's gift

Ceremony / Minister $ 800 Christ Chapel Riverside Church

Flowers $ 375 from Flower wholesaler

Reception rental and 2 cases of champagne $ 1251

DJ $ 250 – 4.5 hours

Printer $ 68 printing wedding invitations & thank you notes

Papers Invitations, Envelopes, (Inner / Outer) Thank You Notes / Envelopes $ 82

Save-the-Date magnets $ 16

Miscellaneous Favors, candles, material, silk rose petals, disposable cameras, decorative Chinese boxes, & tissue paper $ 350

Honeymoon Cruise & extras $ 1391

Our total expenditures in 2005 Wedding / Honeymoon $ 7400

  1. For the Rental Car weekend: the Go Green with Http:// $ 160.33 / weekend day Whether it is for 6 hours or 24 hours. Go with the 24 since you can use it for those last minutes things that come up before the wedding. That is for a smart Fortwo, talk about making an entrance. Keep in mind with Hertz you can pick the car up at one location and drop it off somewhere else, as long as they have a lot. That could save you some time. For instance: pick up at a Hertz on the upper west side and drop it off at one of their hotel locations especially if you're not going away to your honeymoon right away ..
  2. Car rental for the 3-day weekend from Speedy-Rent-A-Car $ 205.00
  3. Rental from or are by the hour $ 11.00 from – $ 17.00 for the weekend depending on the car. Scion Xb or A smart 's Fortwo on the Low Shoes end hourly or a Mercedes on the high end at hourly
  4. Or offer relatives and friends a couple of dollars, depending on your budget, to chauffeur you and your wedding party around for a couple of hours.
  5. What if you want to have your wedding catered, it is still possible to do it economically in a big city, whether it is in New York City or Chicago, or even Boston, you just need a bit of ingenuity to stay within your budget. If you're a curious detailed oriented person like I am, then you'll decide this is the fun part, the chase or the journey to end that you really want. It is actually the magic part about the entire wedding, I think, because you are at the stage where you are shaping the outcome of the day. It will take patience and possibly legwork, to see just what you might be getting for the day of event, but the hunt (for the guys) is on and it can be a great deal of fun. Here are a few tips:
  6. Decide on the type of wedding and plan your food accordingly. Such as casual, spiffy-casual, or formal, (usually sit down) While casual and spiffy-casual may come very close to looking like the same thing, they really are quite different when it comes to food. I have seen casually catered events start as low as $ 12.95 per person or just under $ 1200 for 85 people. This is strict buffet style, no seating provided, but stand-up cocktail tables in various spots with food arrangements on them along with some passed appetizers, as well.
  7. My friend's wedding although it had a very high-church of various cultures feel to it had a casual reception, since all the guests were expected to bring something. With her committee of 'wedding corralling ladies', the guests with each acceptance of the invitation was then asked what were they bringing. By doing it that way my friend saved all sorts of money and even had leftovers. Wedding party paid nothing, zero, zip, for that feast. Their reception had everything from appetizers to desserts including rum balls, (YUM!). Some of us were getting high just smelling the rum balls, additionally there was even a fruit bowl.
  8. Another casual reception could be to have a stand around party with a huge sandwich or various pizzas or have your new mother-in-law make something for the crowd. You can probably strike up a deal with your favorite pizza store once you pass 10 pizzas. Figure at 3 slices per guest and you've got it made. For instance, a pizza usually has 12 slices and for 80 guests, you'd have to have 20 pies feeding each person 3 slices each. My neighborhood pizza store sells a large pie for $ 16 each, but if I ordered 20 pies for 85 guests, my budget for food would be at around $ 350. Even as much as $ 350, you must give your guests something to wash down the pizzas.
  9. For more organic less oil, use whole grain flat breads; American or Italian version with different toppings, as your starter rather than bread and cheese.
  10. Perhaps as I did you can get a combination price with another feature of the wedding. My limousine company managed a caterer and so I got a combination price. Plus, my new mother-in-law, made something special in large quantities for her son. We had 85 guests and our total with the 4-hour use of the limousine and caterer was $ 625. My new mother-in-law's food was gratis. Ours was a casual formal of sorts. It was buffet style with seating.
  11. The formal caterer or sit down with service is where you'll have to weigh your options on how much is too much. These types often run as low as $ 27 per person and up into the thousands. If you're trying to do a wedding for under $ 10,000, as I am advocating then you're probably priced out of this market unless you can strike a deal with one of your favorite restaurants. Perhaps Carmine's, in which the food is served family-style, but everyone is sitting. This could be a possibility. My friends took me there for graduation and we ordered one full meal and had left overs for two additional people.
  12. If using Carmine's works for you, I am betting that it can work for your budget as well. Think about it, a main dish for a meal is $ 21 – 25, which easily feeds 5 – 6 people. If you have 12 tables of 8 could still be pricey, but your guests will be full and have potential doggy bags to take home. Roughly your pricing could still be under $ 1000, even with the addition of salad, garlic bread and dessert. YUM! A pure feast to behold.
  13. Decorations is another item that can run into lots of pennies. In this instance, I am talking about the flowers for the bride and the wedding party and the extras for the reception to make it wedding theme oriented. The extras could include tulle and floating or almost infinite ideas as motifs or table decorations of some kind. Here are few of my favorites with pricing of the day:
  14. Check any of the websites that sell pre-made flowers and you're good to go. Flower arrangements start as low as $ 29.95 and go $ 79.95 for our purposes. Flowers can, of course go into the hundreds from these websites and upward if you use a florists.
  15. To cut cost further, the bride and matron / maid of honor could be the only people to carry flowers and then everything else could be decorated at the ceremony venue with tulle or aisle candles.
  16. At the reception venue, the theme could be carried further with floating candles on the tables as centerpieces instead of flowers. If, like we did, you have a water feature, add some floating candles, larger than the table candles, to it and call it a day. Candles at the reception venue could run you a whopping $ 100 to start unless you want or have a half an acre to decorate.
  17. Add some special candies or other cheery items for the table; M & M's or Jordan Almonds or Junior mints. We went with special made-to-order M & M's. I bought 3 bags and that was all I needed, at $ 11 per bag, it was a steal. And you get to choose your colors so they can coordinate with your wedding colors. Pretty cool, I think and inexpensive, too.
  18. Do not forget those disposable cameras, so your guests can snap some fun pictures as well. Check out various websites and you might be able to get 9 cameras all for $ 35, just like I did.

So, it can be done with a bit of ingenuity, verve, and flair. Dreamers can.


Source by CharLena M. Pearson

The Silent Communication in "The Duchess and the Jeweler" by Virginia Woolf


The Duchess and the Jeweler is the story of the world's greatest jeweler who had promised his mother to become the richest jeweler in the world in his childhood but now that his dream has materialized he does not feel satisfied. So trying to achieve satisfaction, knowingly he buys fake pearls from a Duchess in exchange for passing a whole weekend with her daughter whom he is in love with. The purpose of this essay is to show how Virginia Woolf has successfully presented the inner mind of the characters, their struggle and their communication through the least amount of verbal communication among them.

The silent communication created by Woolf's "The Duchess and the Jeweler" is firstly the communication between the reader and the story and secondly the communication between the characters in the text themselves. In better words this story firstly reveals the mind of the characters to the reader through the least amount of explicit expression of their states and secondly presents the interaction among the characters of the story through the fewest possible dialogues among them.

The first stance in the unvoiced communication between the reader and the story is the revelation of the childhood memories of Oliver Bacon that takes place without the author's giving voice to them. The very first acquaintance of the reader with Oliver's childhood takes place when he addresses himself: "you who began life in the filthy little alley" and then falls in to his childhood memories. This very short statement of Oliver to himself is very expressive of his childhood and also of his attitude towards this period of his life. Through the author's prior descriptions of the living place of Oliver, his servant and his habits it is revealed that Oliver Bacon is a very affluent man now while this short self-address reveals his childhood poverty. Also it is through his retrospections that the readers get aware that he has started with selling stolen dogs, continued with selling watches in a little counter, and finally has promoted to his present profession as a jeweler. So it is mostly through Oliver's silent remembrances that the reader gets familiar with his early days. Also this little talk of Oliver to himself shows the reader that he has a pre-occupation with his childhood and all the efforts he has gone through in order to save all his money. Though he never mentions this, his constant retrospections show the importance that his childhood has for him. As an example when Oliver is in his room just before the entrance of the Duchess, he starts thinking of his boyhood passed in misery and hard times. This shows how Virginia Woolf cunningly, without explicit mentioning of Oliver's pre-occupation with his childhood, interacts with the reader through the character's retrospections and gives the reader the chance to get involved with the text. Therefore the mind of Oliver and also his general history is disclosed to the reader through the least number of spoken words of the character.

Woolf has also took the advantage of using imagery in order to disclose to the reader this state of dissatisfaction of Oliver through her language of signs and images as an alternative to the words. She resembles Oliver to a camel that is entrapped in the zoo, and is not satisfied with its life, because it can see "the blue lake and the fringe of palm trees in front of it." In other words, Oliver wants more and more and in spite of all his gatherings he feels like a mere camel that is thirsty of the water it sees but is not able to reach it. Also the reader reads the Oliver's loneliness and his need of a soul mate, when Oliver remembers the days when "mademoiselle used to pick one (red rose) every morning and stick it in his button-hole." This picture gives the reader the understanding that Oliver is feeling the lack of an anima in his life; that there has been someone who probably Oliver had a sense of love for (image of red rose) and who has left Oliver due to his greed for money. This is confirmed later on by the text itself: "but mademoiselle had married Mr. Pedder of the local brewery- no one stuck roses in his buttonholes." This sentence again confirms his loneliness and his need of a wife, though this is not mentioned directly by Oliver himself.

The revelation of the dominance of Oliver's mother over his life and the fact that she has been dictating him all her life and is even now after her death dictating her, is understood through his constant remembrance of his mother in all his choice makings in his life though this is never mentioned directly in the story. He remembers his mother reprimanding him when he stole dogs as a child and when he buys the fake pearls from the duchess at the end of the story he asks the forgiveness of the old woman in the picture and again feels like a little boy. So these constant rememberings of his mother also imply to the reader his mother's dominance over him even after her death though this is just understood and never stated.

The reader also gets aware of Oliver's arrogance and pride, in his contacts with his workers though there hardly takes place a conversation with them; In the first contact of the workers with Oliver at his shop, there is no spoken communication; however through their "envying look" the reader understands their attitudes to Oliver and his indifference to them is revealed as the author says "it was only with one finger of the amber-colored glove, waggling that he acknowledged their presence." This unspoken interaction between them is to a large extent expressive of their attitude towards each other.

As mentioned earlier, this unspoken communication between the reader and the text takes place among the characters of the story as well. The very first silent communication among the characters occurs when Oliver as a youngster is passing through a group of jewelers discussing the price of gold and "one of them would lay a finger to the side of his nose and murmur, 'hum-mm,' as he passed. it was no more than a murmur; no more than a nudge on the shoulder, a finger on the nose, a buzz that ran through the cluster of the jewelers … but still Oliver felt it purring down his spine, the nudge, the murmur that meant, 'look at him- young Oliver, the young jeweler- there he goes. " As the text says the slightest gestures of the jewelers has meant a lot of encouraging words to Oliver and he is still remembering that murmur among the jewelers.

The next stance of the non-voiced interaction among the characters is the communication between Oliver and the Duchess. At the visit of the Duchess to Oliver's shop, the very colorful descriptions of the author of the Duchess, her dressing, her glittering jewels, her fragrance, her wave-like moving and her resemblance to a peacock in beauty and arrogance reveals much of her high status and the influence that she can have upon Oliver. However their communications is not restricted to a non-spoken conversation; a dialogue takes place between them, though this communication is through the least number of words. They speak but their use of words is very economical that makes their interaction the most efficient. An example of this brief interaction is fragmented words of the duchess when she wants to persuade Oliver to buy her fake pearls; she drops the pearls out of a bag: " 'From the Appleby cincture' she moaned. 'the last … the last of them all'". And she continuous justifying her desperateness: "Dear Mr. Bacon, a bit of bad luck …" and then she justifies her cause of coming as " 'that villain! That sharper'" that explains her objection to her husband. These brief, simple and seemingly fragmented conversations between the Duchess and the Jeweler depict very clearly their inner states and attitudes towards each other. We understand that both Oliver and the Duchess understand the meaning of this speechless communication. Also as soon as they shake hands they feel the enmity among them though they also sense the need they have to each other so they both take part in this game of deceiving and submitting to the deception. A clue of this is their play upon the phrase: "old friend '' when the Duchess tries to soften Oliver by calling him" old friend "two times and Oliver who understands this what she means, repeats her phrase two more times. Their speechless communication continues up to the point that Oliver buys the fake pearls from the Duchess without questioning the Duchess.

In "The Duchess and the Jeweler" Virginia Woolf skillfully depicts the greatest amount of communication that takes place between the characters in the text in spite of their lack of verbal communication and also the deep understanding that the readers can get of the characters within the text though their emotions and states of mind is not expressed explicitly. She replaces the lengthy dialogues and direct descriptions of the states of the characters with brief but meaningful dialogues and use of images and entrance in to the mind of the characters and giving the reader the chance to read much of their present state and enough of their past lives needed to accomplish her story.


Source by Farzaneh Bolourieh

The Meaning of a Pendant


What is the significance of a pendant? A pendant is a decoration and symbolization of the things that a person treasures. A favorite past time, a special person, a milestone affair, or something that describes you are just a few ideas of pendants to display on a necklace.

Pendants are great gift ideas, acknowledging a friend or family member's interests. To consider what kind of pendants you can give a loved one, here are some ideas of how you can celebrate some of the things that they treasure most.

Sports pendant- Basketball and jewelry might not mix , but with a sports pendant [], you can display a friend's passion for a sport in elegant fashion. Whether it's a professional sports team fan, or a friend's identity with a sport, you can find a favorite team pendant or a sports pendant to recognize their interests.

Friendship pendant- A display honoring your best friend can be captured in a friendship pendant. A broken heart split in the middle, this pendant is not to be mistaken by what is described. In elementary or junior high, you might have recalled two friends displaying half of a broken heart, implying their relationship as best friends.

Gemstone pendant- On a loved one's birthday celebrate their birth with a gemstone pendant. As every month has its own gemstone, you will personalize your loved one's birthday with their month's birthstone. A ruby, a sapphire, a diamond or amethyst pendant, a gemstone pendant will be a frequent reminder of the significance of their birth.

Pendant lockets- Such a keepsake as a baby picture will be a treasure for a pendant locket. Giving your mother such a necklace will be her reminder of you as a baby, a phase of nurturing and raising you from the time you were little until now. Thank her with a memorable pendant locket for her to wear so she can always think of you.

If you choose to give your loved one a pendant, just remember that it is not just a gift you're giving them. You will be capturing one of their symbolic treasures in a beautiful necklace, an adornment they will enjoy forever.


Source by Stephanie Tuia

Cuban Women – How to Taste the Forbidden Fruit of International Dating


Cuba is an island nation wrapped around rumors, intrigue and the hypnotic pull of a forbidden paradise. The US embargo may have been disastrous on Cuba's economy but it created a vacuum.

Time has stood still in this tiny country of enormous spirit. The values, traditions and family centered-ness of the Cuban people are exactly those, most of us long for in today's "modern" world. Family is the focus; love, care and affection run wild and grow everywhere. The unity created from despair has given birth to a unique woman.

The Cuban woman is born on a tropical island with its sensual rhythms, the push and pull of the ocean and caressing Caribbean breezes. Sexiness is as natural to her as breathing. And because of the economic conditions, she has learned to be intelligent, resourceful, appreciative of what really matters and graceful in all she does.

The women of Cuba have become known (by those in the know) to be the most succulent, sought after angels on planet Earth. These women make the perfect companion, friend, lover, mother and wife.

A "Cubanita" as women from Cuba are known, is a savage in the bedroom, or wherever else she takes you to feed her carnal appetite. She is a pristine lady in public, a chef of the highest caliber in the kitchen. A tour de force in her chosen profession and an intoxicating mate at all times. In essence, the vacuum created in Cuba has bred what some may consider to be the ideal woman.

However, the problem for many men has been how to meet and date these exotic creatures.

The Big Challenge

The big challenge is not where to find Cuban women. After all the grand majority of them are all living in the same 110,860 sq km island 90km off the southern most tip of Florida.

The challenge in meeting these women has been a question of how to get right up next to them.

For men from the US the idea of ​​going to Cuba represents a Federal Offense. For men from other countries such as Canada and Australia it is a voyage to a strange, unknown place the media has made out to be an active war zone.

But why should any government or media hype keep you from finding the woman of your dreams? With today's advances in technology there is little reason to let them.

Tasting The Forbidden Fruit

Internet access is growing in Cuba, although sometimes via underground means. The spreading of awareness and availability of the online world has led to new a trend in Cuba. Cuban women are now putting up profiles in dating and social networking sites on a daily basis.

You can go to several paid dating sites or free sites such as Facebook and Twitter and find Cuban woman already there. While the number of "Cubanitas" online is not as high as the number of other Latinas, such as Dominican women, Colombian women or Costa Rican women ( "Ticas") online, the quality of the Cuban women with online profiles is second to none !

The first step towards getting yourself all tangled up with one or several of these delicious delights is to get online, set up your own profile and start chatting with the Cuban girls on the sites. Most of these women are career orientated and / or currently studying at the university level.

Cubans can get e-mail accounts in most government post offices; this makes communication even easier once you have met a few ladies on line. Additionally cell phone use, particularly cell phones with chat and text capabilities is also growing in Cuba. Once you start making friends with Cuban women online staying in touch is simple, not like in times past when a call to Cuba was a huge deal.

The next step is setting up actual dates. To do this you must plan a trip. And here you have a few choices.

Contrary to popular belief, Cuban's can get travel visas. They just can not get travel visas to countries like the US with any form of ease. But you will find Cuban women who already have travel visas and can visit countries such as Venezuela, Russia and Dominican Republic.

If you are not willing to travel to Cuba you can carefully arrange to meet a special lady friend in a country where she can travel. However the best thing is really for you to go there.

With new regulation being introduced in the US if you are of Cuban descent getting permission to visit Cuba is a reality now. You can go to Cuba, find the woman you want to marry and bring her to the US with a fiancée visa.

If you do not live in the US then you have every reason and opportunity to get on a plane and start dating face-to-face the sizzling "Cubanitas" you meet online.

If you live in the US and are not of Cuban descent getting to the forbidden island nation will be more difficult. You could apply under a humanitarian visa. There are also reports of US citizens who visit Cuba illegally (illegal in the US not Cuba) by first flying to a country such as Mexico. From there they will take a second flight into Cuba. Because Cuba does not stamp their passport there is no evidence of them having entered the country.

At the end of the day, if you meet Cuban women online you will be filled with the courage and sense of purpose required to actually visit with them, hold them, hug them and kiss them.

Love beyond your borders is waiting; all it takes is a little bit of commitment on your part and a few mouse clicks. May you find the love life you most desire and may nothing hold you back from doing so.


Source by Carlos M Duran

The Parable of The Unprepared Builder Made Simple (Luke 14: 28-30)


This is returning back to a theme covered in an earlier parable. But it is good to be reminded about this regularly.

I read this parable in the context beginning from Luke 14:26.

26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can not be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me can not be My disciple.

The word hate here does not necessarily mean the bad way. To be Christ's disciple, we are told to hate our father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, even our own life. "Hate" here means to love less. It then goes to say that anyone who does not love their father, mother, children, brothers, sisters and his own life "less" than God is not worthy of Him. Anyone who does not love everyone who's important to them less than Jesus is not worthy of Jesus.

Jesus set a very high standard here. We all love our family and relatives; we love our own life too. In this passage, Jesus was saying, "You can not be my follower unless you love them less." Some people take this as a strict command literally. For them, this is all too much; this is all too hard.

Sounds impossible?

You might say to yourself, "I really love my wife; I really love my mother and brother, I really love my friends; I love my own life. I can not love Jesus more. What does He expect from me? I can 't do it. "

The apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)." We can not do it in the natural; but with the Holy Spirit's help, we can love Jesus more than our loved ones and even our own life. And to be honest, until Jesus is in that place, life simply is not as rich as it can be.

I know this can be a scary sort of verse. But this is what the Christian life is going require of you. This is the way you have to be prepared. When we make a decision to follow Jesus, it is with all our heart; with everything we have, no holds barred. It is like saying, "I'm going to devote my life to Him more than anything. I'm going love Him more than anyone."

You see, the trouble is when you become a Christian and you start to act in godly ways, sometimes your family start to act differently towards you. If you are the only Christian in your family, there may be persecutions and tribulations.

Let's get some more context in verse 28, "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me can not be My disciple."

Here, Jesus was saying that if you want to be a disciple, there's going be a price to pay. It is one thing to say you love Jesus; it's another thing to be a disciple. A disciple is someone who practices everything that Jesus taught.

The parable starts in verse 28:

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it- 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'?

Living the kingdom way is hard. When people around you find out you're a Christian, they are going to be watching you, just like the builder of this tower. It is not going to be easy leaving your family and loved ones for the sake of Christ.

Let's say you are going build a block of apartments, rent them to people, and make a lot of money. It was your dream and you started in faith. You had a good job and you are confident that you could arrange the finances for the construction. What if in the middle of the project, you suddenly lost your job and you could not pay the loan back? The work stopped suddenly and you felt really foolish.

Or if you had money and you projected a cost but you made a wrong calculation. It says here that before you start something like this, you should sit down with proper accountants and cost analysts for the projection. Because if you start putting up half block of apartments and then you stop building due to bad finances, everyone in the neighborhood is going to laugh at you.

In this passage, Jesus was essentially saying that the Christian life is like that. If you decide to become a Christian, people are going to watch you. And believe me, they are going to laugh at you, mock you and cause all sorts of trouble in your life.

However, Christian life is not at all that bad. Once you get in touch with Jesus and move in the right direction, Christian life is a joyful experience, albeit difficult. It's not something that should be taken lightly.

Through this book, I encourage you to make the decision to give your life to Him. Say the prayer written in the appendix of this book and see the Holy Spirit come into your life.

For some Christians, things may not go as well as you thought they would. Maybe you're stuck, depressed, hurt, broken, you do not have vision, you do not know the purpose of your life, you're not being used, you're not fulfilled. Well, that's not the life God had planned for you. God's has a life for you where you live in total abandonment to Jesus Christ and your life is fully surrendered to Him.

A ship without the sails up just does not go anywhere. But it takes a lot of effort to put those sails up and once they're up the boat meets the resistance of the wind and it sails. And now a boat not only sails with the wind but can go against the wind in a tack and the wind is a very necessary thing for a sailing boat.

Now, if you have not got your sails up in your life to catch the spirit of the living God; if the wind can not move in your sails; if you have not given your life to God and say, "I surrender, Lord"; if you're still trying to run your own life and not allowing the Holy Spirit to give you directions, you're like a ship with no sail up, you're going nowhere.

If you are hundreds of miles at sea, you'll starve and you get in a desperate condition and the seas will break all over you if your sails are not up. You got to learn how to move in the Holy Spirit. But you need to know that Christianity comes with a cost and if you're one of those people who made a decision for Christ and you think it's not working for you now, just take comfort in the fact that Jesus warned us in this parable.

Know that you can have love, success, joy and peace; God can turn tremendous suffering into tremendous joy. You can have purpose in life. Your sin-muddied life can turn into a life of holiness and righteousness.

You can be transformed by God but it comes at a cost. Be prepared to pray to the Lord and surrender your life fully to him. Ask Him to take control.


Source by Matthew Robert Payne