Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky

CategoryCulture

Oriental Lore

In the Orient, swans represent gracefulness, nobility and valor. They are also symbolize music. Stories from Siam and Malaysia mention swan maidens.
Li Tzu reported that the Mongols made the Chou Emperor Mu drink swan’s blood.
A Chinese idiom refers to someone who demands an undeserved reward: “You are a scoundrel who wants to eat swan meat.”

Biology

Swans, both genera Cygnus and Olor, belong to the family Anatidae, which includes geese and ducks. They mate for life, although couples sometimes separate following a nesting failure. Young swans are known as cygnets from the Old French cygne, from the Latin cygnus, from the Greek kuknōs (swan). An adult male is a “cob.” An adult female is a “pen.”

American Indian Lore

The Mandans and Minnitarees looked to an Old Woman Who Never Dies as the force behind growing crops. She lived in the south and sent migratory birds as her emissaries. Each type of bird represented a particular crop — the swan for gourds, the goose for maize, and the duck for beans. When each type of bird arrived in the spring, it was time to plant that crop. (Sir James George Frazer, The...

Astrological Lore

In astrology, a prominence of Cygnus is said to give a contemplative, dreamy, cultured and adaptable nature, with ill-regulated and unsteady affections. Talents are said to develop late. There is some love of water and swimming and the arts. Manilus, writing in the 1st century CE analyzed the influence of Cygnus as follows: “Its down and glittering wings figured by stars. Accordingly he who...

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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