My sturdy little bulbs have weathered the frosts well and are becoming impressively tall.  I had one rather ambitious wood hyacinth begin to bloom just before an overnight frost retarded that process resulting in a purple, half-opened flower with no fragrance and a definite lilt to the left. I attended the Good Earth Home Show and bought some seeds of tomatoes, peas, and greens and sowed them in starter cups in the living room under the sunlight lamp.

The lamp has also been integral in the maintained health and prosperity of my Thai pepper plant. Not only is it thriving, it has many little white flowers heralding the arrival of new baby peppers for early spring. And the wood hyacinth, that I had potted and stored in the fridge many months ago, is currently in full lavender bloom and is filling the living room with its scent. Lush.
G and I were wandering through a bookstore a few years ago when we happened upon a Chinese zodiac book. We had both known what our animal signs were, yet we had never known those were further divided into the 5 elements. G is a dog, which fits him perfectly, yet discovering he is a metal dog has further deepened how amazingly accurate the description is.

I, on the other hand, have only a passing resemblance to my monkey description. I'd say it was even less accurate than my western astrology descriptor. I'll explain that I am not an avid astrological follower. I am often greatly entertained by how astrological signs are broadly accurate descriptors of the folk born under them. I will also state that my western astrological sign and I have the most tenuous of connections. Honestly, those who understand them well are hard-pressed to accurately guess mine. Usually, people don't guess it at all and have begun the task of listing the ones they've not already tried. Certainly, I've not had someone guess correctly before the 5th attempt -- more often somewhere between 7th and 10th.

Then I read that I am not just any monkey, I'm an earth monkey. The earth monkey description fits me like a glove. Pretty interesting. I've provided a clipped description below, more for myself than anything else.  Feel free, however, to comment and criticize.  

Earth is the changing point of the matter.

Earth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilizing and conserving.  It is associated with the turn of each of the four seasons and with damp.  Its negative emotion is anxiety and its positive emotion is empathy. Its Primal Spirit is represented by the Yellow Dragon.

In Chinese thought, Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability. The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. Other attributes of the earth element include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning. In pathology, the earth can represent selfishness and self-centeredness. In the controlling cycle, earth controls water and is controlled by wood; while in the conducive cycle, earth is produced by fire, and in turn produces metal.
 
While I was at it, I looked up Morgana and Aldina. I discovered that Morgana is a metal dog, just like G,  and Aldina is a metal dragon. Their descriptions fit them pretty well, too, considering they are canines. Clearly, I've found myself a home among a pack of metal animals. I wonder what that says about me. *grins*  I rather like that Earth neither controls nor is controlled by Metal.  Earth bears metal, produces it, though.  I find that delightfully appropriate.  It fosters a sense of job security for me in this family.  *smiles warmly*
 

Metal is the decline of the matter, or the matter's decline stage.

Metal is yin in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the west and autumn, old age and the color white. The archetypal metals are silver and gold. Its Primal Spirit is represented by a White Tiger.

The qualities associated with metal are unyieldingness, rigidity, persistence, strength and determination. The metal person is controlling, ambitious, forceful and set in their ways as metal is very strong; and they are self-reliant and prefer to handle their problems alone. The metal person is also materialistic, business oriented and good at organization and stability.

However the metal person can also appreciate luxury and enjoy the good things in life. Just as metal can conduct electricity, the Metal person has strong impulses and generative powers and can bring about changes and transformations for those who come into contact with them. Metal is believed to govern the lungs, nose and skin. The negative emotion associated with metal is grief, while the positive emotion is courage.

In the control cycle, metal is controlled by fire, as only fire can melt it; and in turn metal controls wood, as only the metal ax can cut down trees. In the conductive cycle, metal produces water (or liquid), either by trapping or holding it in a container, or by being melted into a liquid. In turn metal is produced by the earth, as it has to be dug out of the ground.

 
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