Bright, patient and inspiring to others. Happy by themselves yet make outstanding parents. Marry a Snake or Rooster. The Goat will bring trouble!
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
LUCKY STONE is Garnet which is associated with love, passion, loyalty, courage, and strong mental health. Emerald is also suitable for Rat.
Blue, golden, green
Famous Rats: Eminem, Prince Charles, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Disciplined, practical, bright, and hard-working. Happy by themselves yet make outstanding parents. Marry a Snake, Tiger or Rooster. Watch out for the Goat!
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
LUCKY STONE is Aquamarine which is associated with peace, tranquility, physical health, women, and the spirit of the goddess. Lapislazuli is also a good stone for Ox.
White, yellow, green
Famous Oxes: Walt Disney, Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler, Vincent van Gogh
Tiger people are aggressive, courageous, candid and sensitive. Look to the Horse and Dog for Happiness. Beware of the Monkey.
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
LUCKY STONE is Sapphire, associated with guidance, enlightenment, money, prosperity, peace of mind, leadership, inner strength and self-confidence. Another good stone for Tiger is Ruby.
Blue, grey, orange
Famous Tigers: Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Ludwig Beethoven, Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Richard Branson, Jossif Stalin
Luckiest of the the signs, you are also talented and articulate. Affectionate, yet shy, you seek peace throughout your life. It would be a good idea to marry a Sheep or Pig. Rooster is your opposite.
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
LUCKY STONE is Pearl which is associated with is associated with innocence, purity, purification and the feminine side of people. Pearls are given to people to guide them to their soulmate.
Pink, red, purple, blue
Famous Rabbits: Brad Pitt, Albert Einstein, Queen Victoria, David Beckham, J.R.R. Tolkien, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Michael Jordan
You are eccentric and your life complex. You have a very passionate nature and abundant health. Marry a Monkey or Rat late in life. Avoid the Dog.
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
LUCKY STONE is Amethyst that is mainly associated with strong intuition, brain, wealth, peace, protection and spirituality.
Golden, silver, grey white
Famous Dragons: John Lennon, Sigmund Freud, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Vladimir Putin
Wise and intense with a tendency towards physical beauty. Vain and high tempered. The Pig is your enemy. The Rooster or Ox are your best signs.
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
LUCKY STONE is Opal which has been associated with guidance, luck, honor, potency, visions, dreams and mind power.
Black, red, yellow
Famous Snakes: Mao Zedong, Pablo Picasso, Oprah Winfrey, John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, J. K. Rowling, Muhammad Ali
Popular and attractive to the opposite sex. You are often ostentatious and impatient. You need people. Marry a Tiger or Dog early, but never a Rat.
1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
LUCKY STONE is Topaz which is associated with confidence, security, courage, creativity and relaxation.
Famous Horses: Isaac Newton, Vladimir Lenin, Nelson Mandela, Paul McCartney, Neil Armstrong, Kevin Costner, Jackie Chan, James Cameron
Elegant and creative, you are timid and prefer anonymity. You are most compatible with Pigs and Rabbits but never an Ox.
1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
LUCKY STONE is Emerald - the symbol for the mother of all goddesses. It is associated with love, money and wealth, beauty, integrity, intelligence, reality, justice and rarity.
Brown, red, purple
Famous Goats: Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Christopher Columbus, Nicole Kidman, Bill Gates, Mikhail Gorbachev
You are very intelligent and are able to influence people. An enthusiastic achiever, you are easily discouraged and confused. Avoid Tigers. Seek a Dragon or a Rat.
1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
LUCKY STONE is Peridot that is a unique gemstone and is deeply associated with marriage, mental health, spirituality, maturity, mysticism, jealousy and channeling visions. Considered as very mysterious and powerful, the stone is used by Chinese people to defeat jealousy and envy of evil people. Tiger´s Eye is also a good stone for Monkey.
White, blue, gold
Famous Monkeys: Tom Hanks, Justin Timberlake, Leonardo da Vinci, Kylie Minogue, Will Smith
A pioneer in spirit, you are devoted to work and quest after knowledge. You are selfish and eccentric. Rabbits are trouble, Snakes and Oxen are fine.
1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
LUCKY STONE is Citrine which stands for abundance, creation and creativity, academics, intellect, science, prosperity, success, education and true wisdom.
Gold, Brown, Yellow
Famous Roosters: Jennifer Lopez, Bob Marley, Britney Spears
Loyal and honest you work well with others. Generous yet stubborn and often selfish. Look to the Horse or Tiger. Watch out for Dragons.
1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
LUCKY STONE is Diamond which is the most valuable and elegant gemstone. It is associated with loyalty, friendship, originality, purity, fidelity, innocence, power, protection, strength and courage. An alternate gemstone for Dogs is Ruby.
Green, red, purple
Famous Dogs: Steven Spielberg, Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson, Winston Churchill
Noble and chivalrous. Your friends will be lifelong, yet you are prone to marital strife. Avoid other Pigs. Marry a Rabbit or Goat.
1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
LUCKY STONE is Moonstone and ruby. Ruby is associated with fortune, health, glory, fame, blood, heat, tactics, courage, intelligence and leadership.
Yellow, gray, brown, gold
Famous Pigs: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry Ford, Ronald Reagan, Hilary Clinton, Hugh Laurie (Dr House)
Do you know how the order of the Chinese horoscope animals came about? According to a Chinese legend, the Jade Emperor, who was the ruler of the heavens, asked all the animals to participate in a race held at his birthday celebration. The Emperor promised, that the first 12 animals who arrived at his house after crossing a river, would be given a place in the calendar.
The rat, since he was a poor swimmer, asked the ox to help carry him across the river. With the help of the honest and helpful ox, the rat successfully crossed the river. The Rat didn't jump off from the ox's back until they arrived at the door of the Jade Emperor. Just as the ox was about to win the race, the rat leapt to the Jade Emperor before the ox. Thus, the rat won the first place in the race and the second the ox. Later came the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, and Dog. The pig, who was not very speedy, arrived last and got the last place.
HAPPY DOG YEAR!
The jewelry making art and tradition of the Himalaya region is centuries long. In the past, the greatest center for the jewelry production of the Himalaya region was Lhasa, capital of Tibet. It was common to find part-time craftsmen in the villages, and full-time gold and silver smiths in larger cities. This, however, did not mean that the part-time craftsmen were any less skilled than the full-time jewellers. In the middle of last century, the craftsmen in Lhasa were mainly either Tibetans or Nepalese. The Newar craftsmen of the Kathmandu Valley were highly valued and important jewelry producers in southern and central Tibet. During the 19th century and the first half of 20th century, visitors from western countries described the Newar craftsmen the most skilled jewellers, casters and metalworkers in Lhasa. The Newari artisans were in especially high demand in Lhasa, and were often commissioned to work in Lhasa. Some of the Newar craftsmen continued to work in Tibet even after the Chinese invasion of 1950, but many returned to Nepal. Newar jewelry craftsmen were especially known for their skills in stone setting and filigree work. The jewelry making craft is passed on from one generation to other.
During my trip to Nepal in October this year I had the opportunity to see also, how the Nepalese craftsmen create their beautiful jewelry. As we arrived in the village and the house of a craftsman, a friendly older lady in a pretty red dress, the mother of the artisan, led us to the work room. This was a simple space, and included the necessary jewelry making equipment and tools, a table, and a chair. In the corner of the room was an altar with a deity figure, incense, and flowers. As I observed the craftsman giving final touches to a silver ring with turning vajra on top, I realized that this process included so much more detailed work than I could have ever imagined. Now I have even more respect for this beautiful jewelry that has a very long history, and that carries so much meaning and dedication in it.
Below is a short clip of making a silver filigree earrings and a bracelet.
Below ready silver filigree earrings and bracelet made in above video clip.
Just recently I came back from a trip to Nepal. There is a special energy in this country. One source of this energy must be the presence and multitude of peacefully coexisting religions. It is therefore logical that this is also the country where you can find many thangka artists and art studios, and lots of information how thangkas are made. A tourist in Nepal can buy a thangka quite cheaply, especially considering the amount of work that goes into making this piece of art. However, initially, thangkas were far from being a commercial item.
Scenes from Life of Buddha. Traditional Art of Nepal
The literal translation of the Tibetan word thangka means “recorded message.” Thangkas communicate different messages, and are mainly used as a visual aid in meditation, and prayer. Historically, thangkas were also used as teaching tools to convey the lives of various masters. A teacher or lama would travel around giving buddhist teachings, carrying with him large thangka scrolls to illustrate his stories. They are also bringers of blessings.
In old Tibet, thangkas were produced together by a lama, a religious practitioner, and a thangka artist. The thangka artists were most often monks at the monastery. Before making a thangka, the practitioner first sought advice from a qualified Buddhist lama who would help him choose a deity most suitable for his spiritual pursuits.The practitioner would host the thangka artist throughout the course of making the thangka.There was no discussion of the price when the order for the thangka was placed, for this was much more than just a product in making – it was a living expression of enlightened energy. In old Tibet, the artist was paid however much the practitioner could afford or felt suitable. The artist did not judge the amount received, but rather felt grateful and happy regardless of the size of the payment.
On Norbulinka Institute website thangkas are described as a two-dimensional representation of a multi-dimensional spiritual reality:
“The deities shown in thangka paintings are usually depictions of visions that appeared to great spiritual masters at moments of realization, which were then recorded and incorporated into Buddhist scripture. The proportions are considered sacred as not only are they exact representations of Buddhist deities, but also the visual expression of spiritual realizations that occurred at the time of a vision. Practitioners use thangkas as a sort of road map to guide them to the original insight of the master. This map must be accurate and it is the responsibility of the artist to make sure it is so in order for a thangka to be considered genuine, or to be useful as a support for Buddhist practice, guiding one to the proper place. Because thangkas are not the product of an artist’s imagination, but are as carefully executed as a blueprint drawing, the role of the artist is somewhat different than the inventor we know him to be in the West. The role of the artist becomes one of a medium or channel, who rises above his own mundane consciousness to bring a higher truth into this world. In order to ensure that this truth remains intact, he must diligently adhere to all the correct guidelines.”
The sacred art of thangka painting dates back to the 7th century. Originating in Nepal, it evolved into several different schools of painting. In Tibetan Thangka Painting exist two major thangka painting schools - Karma Gadri and Menri Karma Gadri tradition. Menri school can be recognized by life-like colors and a focus on a central figure surrounded by significant events or people in his life. Thangka painting schools of Menri, Tsangri, Karma Gadri and new Karma Gadri are often used when discussing Eastern Tibetan art.
Some of the more widely known topics of thangkas are The Wheel of Life, Mahakala, Buddha Life History, Kalachakra Mantra, Amitaba Buddha, Manjushri, Green and White Tara, and others.
The steps of thangka making
First step is the canvas preparation, a complex process that takes anywhere from 14 to 20 days. The preparation process depends much on the local climate. In Nepal and Himalayan foothills, since it can be foggy, the canvasses for the coming year should be made in the dry months of March, April, October, and November. The success of a thangka painting depends very much on how well the canvas is prepared.
Canvasses are sewn and tightly stretched on frames. Both sides of the canvas are treated with mixture of glue, clay, and water. If possible, then blessed medicines or other sacred substances are added. This mixture is then drained of impurities, and applied evenly to the dry canvas. The coating is then left to dry. This process can be repeated several times, until the entire canvas is evenly covered. The dried canvas is polished with a conch shell.
Foundation line drawing
Before starting the foundation line drawing, the artist bathes, takes purification vows at dawn, meditates upon his protector deity, and performs rituals to clear away obstacles and harmful spirits. The artist recites the sacred syllables of the Buddha or deity in question and begins to draw. It would be ideal if the artist recites these syllables and visualizes the deity for the full duration of the creation of the thangka. If this is done sincerely, the thangka differs from an ordinary work of modern art, and is inherently highly sacred.
The foundational lines are done in pencil (followed by black ink in old Tibet ). Depending on the complexity, and size of the drawing of these foundational lines can take approximately 10 to 30 days.
Usually the painting materials include a variety of mineral and vegetable substances: minerals, precious stones, bark, leaves, flowers (especially the rock rose), gold, silver, copper, etc. Each had to be collected from their particular source in different areas of Tibet. After gathering, the material was cleaned, ground, powdered, crushed or cooked.
Traditional thangka painting starts from top to bottom. First, the sky is painted, and then all other blue parts of the thangka are painted. Next is the dark green landscape and all the dark green areas followed by lighter greens, red orange, pink and other, and finally white. Any uneven places are scraped with razor blade, and dusted off with a cloth or feather.
Redrawing and shading
The foundational lines initally drawn by pencil are later traced over in black ink. Then the shading with fine paintbrush is done. Usually, a thangka has to be painted in three applicatinons. Flower often require more applications, and one flower can take 3-7 days before it is finished.
Value of Thangkas
Considering the motivation and purpose behind making thangkas, it has been generally difficult to assign a value to them. In Tibetan culture, the thangka “middle-men” did not have a very good reputation, for profiting from thangka selling was not thought much of. Thangkas are painted in strict adherence to guidelines, and the skills are passed down from teacher to student. Devoid of ego, many thangka artists will not sign their pieces, for they do not see the purpose for their ego being present on an image of a Buddha.
Though, some things considered to determine the value are the quality and type of materials, who is the thangka artist, how long it took to make a certain piece of art. For instance, making of a thangka can take 100 - 600 hours, depending on size, complexity, etc.
Luckily, there are many choices for someone considering to buy a thangka. It is possible to get one for as little as 30 euros in Thamel. But if you would like to spend a little more, then that is also possible. For instance, I found information on Traditional Art of Nepal that a Raktayamari Thankga was sold not long ago for 45 million dollars. From a distance it looks like a usual thangka painting. However, the medium is not paint, but millions of carefully placed stitches of floss silk in array of colours, completely covering the whole textile in size 335.3 x 213.4 cm.
Below detail of White Tara from Raktayamari Thangka. Traditional Art of Nepal.
Bijay Lama at his Bhirkuti Tibetan and Japanese Art Gallery studio by Kathi Swoyambhu Stupa, Shree Ga, near Thamel
Rincheling Thanka Gallery and Art School, Boudha-6, Kathmandu. www.thankahouse.com
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Welcome! :) My name is Monika. I am interested in crystals, different cultures, and good stories. As a linguist I have always been fascinated with semiotics and symbols, and how people of different cultures interpret them.