2018

YEAR OF THE DOG

WELCOME

Sirius, the Dog Star, with tiny companion.
Image from the Hubble Space Telescope – STScI/NASA.
Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI), and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)

 

Sirius, the Dog Star, shines within the Canis Major/Great Dog constellation and is the brightest star in the sky.  It is apparently visible from anywhere on Earth.  White and blue in colour and yet Dog Star could almost be called a rainbow star as it flashes and flickers in many colours.  All colours of the spectrum have been detected.

In Japanese and Chinese astronomy Sirius is known as the ‘the Star of the Celestial Wolf’.  Names from other traditions include ‘The Blazing Star’, ‘Wolf Star’, ‘Coyote Star’ and ‘Moon Dog’.  Sirius has long been revered or considered sacred by many traditions and is said to encompass the spirit of wisdom – much needed for 2018.

A beautiful tale from India tells of a Prince, on a pilgrimage to find the realm of heaven, only being allowed through the gates of heaven providing his faithful canine companion came too.  The Prince had no hesitation as he would have forgone heaven if his dear dog did not accompany him.  Thus both were warmly welcomed through the gates of heaven and their adventures continued.

Painting by Denis many moons ago In memory of a beloved canine companion ‘Barnie bathed in the light of Sirius’

Painting by Denis many moons ago
In memory of a beloved canine companion
‘Barnie bathed in the light of Sirius’

On 16th February 2018 Dog eagerly joined us.  Then, with a mixture of caution and anticipation, paused to sniff the air whilst reading the landscape and taking in her/his new world.  The pause seem to indicate: ‘Gosh what an act to follow, that Cockerel year!’ and ‘What a lot of work needs to be done this year’.  The last time Earth Dog graced us with their presence was in 1958.  Dog will both mend and build bridges.  She/he will bring stamina, plain speaking and wisdom for those who care to listen, see, feel and intuit.

Our canine friend is an ambassador for friendship, cooperation, communication, honesty and generosity of spirit.  The guiding element/energy for 2018 is that of earth and so our Earth Dog will bring a level of seriousness, together with tolerance though not at any cost, respect and vision.  Dog is concerned that a fertile soil is created in which decisions can be made for the highest good and for ‘seeds’ to be planted and nurtured for the good of all.  Dog is a tireless campaigner against injustice and needs us to enable these endeavours.  Adaptability and resilience are called for.

Our Earth Dog champions individuality, innovation and hard work.  Dog is not interested in inflated financial gains or dishonesty of any kind, however cares deeply that we assist one another, that sometimes we may need to act fearlessly and that we:

  • work from the heart
  • live in harmony with our true nature
  • find harmonious ways forward
  • respect all life on earth
  • discover or maintain a strong connection to Mother Earth and cherish her
  • look after our home and surroundings
  • look out for each other and nurture relationships: personal, social and professional
  • let people go when it is time
  • live with awareness and kindness in the now
  • adapt to the ever-changing conditions or circumstances that arise
  • avoid any set of rigid rules and falsehoods taught by others
  • know it is not right to harm or hurt ourselves, others or any of our fellow beings
  • carry a torch for peace and justice

Such simple guidelines to living a full and rich life.

Dog is very much an animal advocate and is sad that the Five Freedoms are not adhered to or respected even, and indeed that they are not adequate.  The Five Freedoms were instigated in the 1960s with a view to enhancing the welfare of farm animals.  They have since been revised and incorporate working and companion animals, indeed any animals in human care, for whom they are viewed as essential rights.  These ‘freedoms’ were designed to ensure that an animal has ‘a life worth living’, better still ‘a good life’ i.e. with a higher standard of welfare.  There are variations, however put simply the Five Freedoms are:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst (I believe malnutrition has also been added here) by ready access to water, and appropriate nutrition to maintain health and vigour.
  • Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment (comfort and shelter including a comfortable place in which to rest).
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease by prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and appropriate company of the animal’s own kind.
  • Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

These Five Freedoms have apparently achieved public recognition worldwide and can be found in national legislation with minor modifications.  One wonders then how so much exploitation, abuse, cruelty, deep suffering for so called entertainment and ‘sport’, experimentation, incarceration, vile breeding, trafficking, transportation, barbaric killing and total disregard for these freedoms are happening here now, and all over the planet.

 

Earth Dog says there is much to be done this year both for human and animal welfare, safety and wellbeing.  Our canine friend hopes we can support those in the field who are doing just that and do what we can too.  Here’s wishing you a light-filled year, Nicky