Tarot: The Fool

Alternative Names: The Jester, The Idiot

Number: 0 (can also be XXII or unnumbered, depends  on the deck)

Astrological Sign or Planet: Uranus

Element: Air

General Meaning: Instinct

Chakra: Crown, for spiritual connection, and base, for survival

Key Meanings: Innocence, risk, and beginnings

Key Message: Leap, but look first.

Sidhe

Sidhe are the more modern versions of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the fairy race of Old Ireland who were great masters of magic and appeared in early Celtic mythic tales such as Tochmarc Étaíne. After being conquered by the Sons of Mil (ancestors of the Irish people), the Tuatha Dé Danann retreated underground and dwindled into the still unearthly beautiful (but diminished) sidhe. The word “sidhe” originally referred to the fairy mounds where these beings lived. Tad Williams’s Sithi race from his epic fantasy trilogy Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, is akin to the sidhe.

In folk belief and practice, the sidhe are often appeased with offerings, and care is taken to avoid angering or insulting them. Often they are not named directly, but rather spoken of as “The Good Neighbors”, “The Fair Folk”, or simply “The Folk”. The most common names for them, aos sí, aes sídhe, daoine sídhe (singular duine sídhe) and daoine sìth mean, literally, “people of the mounds” (referring to the sídhe). The sidhe are generally described as stunningly beautiful, though they can also be terrible and hideous.

Sidhe are seen as fierce guardians of their abodes—whether a fairy hill, a fairy ring, a special tree (often a hawthorn) or a particular loch or wood. It is believed that infringing on these spaces will cause the sidhe to retaliate in an effort to remove the people or objects that invaded their homes. Many of these tales contribute to the changeling myth in west European folklore, with the sidhe kidnapping trespassers or replacing their children with changelings as a punishment for transgressing.

The sidhe are often connected to certain times of year and hours; as the Gaelic Otherworld is believed to come closer to the mortal world at the times of dusk and dawn, the sidhe correspondingly become easier to encounter. Some festivals such as Samhain, Beltane and Midsummer are also associated with the sidhe.

Sushi Definitions for Foreigners

Definitions:

Neta –> The commonly used term for sushi toppings, such as seafood ingredients. The salmon that sits on top of your nigiri? Yep, that’s neta! 

Shari –> Sushi rice is called “shari”. It’s commonly flavored with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Shari plays a very crucial role in the flavors of sushi and shouldn’t be overlooked!

Murasaki –> Murasaki” is the Japanese word for the color purple, but in the sushi world, it’s the term used for soy sauce. It’s said that during the Edo period (1603-1868), soy sauce was referred to as murasaki because of its purple color. It was also believed that, as soy sauce was regarded as a luxury ingredient in olden days, it was dubbed “murasaki” due to the view of purple as a symbol of wealth in Japan.

Sabi, Namida –> Other ways to say wasabi. “Namida” means “tears”, and it was named this because it can cause one’s eyes to start watering after eating a bit too much of it at one time or getting a huge whiff of its sharp, distinct smell.

Nigiri –> is what most people think of when it comes to sushi – sushi rice seasoned with sugar, vinegar, and salt, then topped with items like seafood or egg. 

Gunkan –> is a type of sushi in which a strip of seaweed is wrapped around the rice to form a “boat” shape then topped with a neta. The name “gunkan” (or “battleship”) comes from its boat-like appearance.

Zuke –> “Zuke” is derived from the words “tsukemono” (Japanese pickles) or “shoyuzuke” (soy sauce marinade), a preparation method that was born in olden times with the aim of preserving food for long periods of time.

Gyoku –> Gyoku is another way to read the first character of the kanji characters for tamago (egg). Sushi topped with tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelet) is one of the standard choices for sushi. It’s even said that you can determine the skills of a sushi restaurant’s chefs by the quality of their tamagoyaki.

Gari –> If you ever go to a sushi restaurant, you’ll almost certainly see these thin slices of pickled ginger, which are called “gari”. They have a slight sweetness with a little kick of spice, which has the effect of washing away any residual flavors from fatty fish so that you can taste your next bite of sushi with a clean slate.

Omakase –> You’ve probably experienced difficulties deciding what to order at a sushi restaurant. With the omakase, you’ll not only be rid of the burden of poring over the menu, but you’ll also be served all the sushi chef’s top neta recommendations! The sushi is served one at a time to ensure they are enjoyed at their peak state of deliciousness, and it often features seasonal ingredients and seafood stocked fresh daily.

Agari –> The hot green tea served at sushi restaurants at the end of the meal. The word “agari” includes the meaning of “the last item”. The type of tea served differs by sushi restaurant, but Japanese green tea and bancha (coarse green tea) are the most common. You’ll feel nice and relaxed after wrapping up your delicious meal of sushi with a cup of hot green tea.

Hanarenkon (Flower-Shaped Lotus Root)

  • 3¼ ounces lotus root
  • 2 tablespoons  rice vinegar

Vinegar Mixture

  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients for the vinegar mixture, except
lemon juice, in a saucepan. Place it over low heat to
dissolve all the sugar and salt. Allow to cool.

Peel and slice lotus root into 1/4 inch thick rings. Soak
immediately in water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to prevent
discolouration. Make flower cuts and drain before using.

Boil a pot of water and add the other tablespoon of vinegar.
Add sliced lotus root flowers and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove lotus root and allow to cool.

Add lotus root slices to vinegar mixture and lemon juice in
a resealable bag. Remove any air from the bag, seal and
refrigerate for a minimum of 2–3 hours.

They are better on day two after the sweetness and contrasting sourness become more prominent.

Akajiso No Shiomomi (Salted Red Shiso Leaves)

6 tablespoonsfine white sea salt
½ pound red shiso leaves

Spread a layer of salt in the bottom of a small crock. Stack the shiso leaves by 10s and lay the first stack of 10 leaves on top of the salt in the crock. Sprinkle more salt on top of the leaves, just enough so the leaves have a light salt coverage. Alternate leaves and salt until you have placed all of the leaves in the crock. Finish with a last layer of salt to cover the top leaves so none are exposed. Cover with a piece of muslin cloth and weight. Store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks to a month.

Shichimi Tōgarashi (七味唐辛子): Seven Flavor Chili Pepper

2 tablespoons sanshō or finely ground Szechuan pepper
2 tablespoons dried yuzu peel or orange or lemon peel
4 tablespoons chili powder (the Korean variety if possible)
2 tablespoons aonoriko (nori seaweed flakes)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 tsp teaspoons hemp seeds
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.  These amounts are just a guideline and adjust seasonings to your taste.

Pixies

Pixies are the whimsical and tiny fairy creatures often depicted in Victorian fairy paintings and the popular work of artist Cicely Mary Barker.

Pixies do often have wings, and love dancing and playing games. They’re also fond of flowers and gardens. Pixies are often drawn to laughter, children, and merrymaking. Tinker Bell from J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is a pixie.