THE BADGER The Badger is a fierce animal, very much respected and honored both in Northern American Native traditions and in European Celtic ones. A badger will not let go and will continue tenaciously to look for another way to tackle his/her goal, just like a good healer will not let go his/her search until the best solution is found for the person in need. Badgers have their homes underground, so that they can go to the roots of things, the good healer does the same and keeps looking until she/he can find the most profound reason for a dis-ease or a psychological issue. We use the term healer in the very broad sense of somebody who takes care of a another person, be it a MD, a nurse, a psychotherapist, a physiotherapist, a masseuse, a spiritual healer. Whenever there is a person in need and somebody who takes care of her/him, that is a healer. Sometimes the need is subtler and more profound than a simple medical intervention, the human touch is needed and it really is the Panacea that cures all diseases. We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food and the healing arts are beneficial to restoring that balance, health and sense of worth that each and every human being deserves. We offer you THE BADGER, the persistent healer, all the articles come from experts in different fields, each person has his/her own idea of what a balanced life is, they are here to pass on information, give inspiration, receive your comments, suggestions, contributions. Each human being holds in his/her hands at least one of the keys, let's continue our quest!
Year 3 Volume 2
March 2017 A new season has just started, a new promise of transformation leads us on. It is time to set sail and discover new worlds inside and out, new songs are being sung and beckons us to leave what is known for the unknown. Spring time has always been the beginning of a new season, even if the tradition says the year starts in January, the zodiac tells us differently. Remembering the times and rythms of the earth now brings us a quickening, an awakening of the senses and the desire for travel, contacts, discoveries. May this spring bring novelty to your lives accompanied by the joys of discovery and gratitude for life.
Antonella Vicini Director THE BADGERQuarterly LTD Cover photo and graphic lay out Antonella Vicini
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CONTENTS From Chaos to Light Into the Matter The Dragons Were Ready Poetry
Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo Fredric Lehrman Ludovico Ariosto
Voices from the Stars
Tanya Tewell Renato Tittarelli
CONTENTS Food is our Ally
and our Pleasure
Mother Earth speaks
Travelling Travelling East Quilting Away Healing with words The Perfect Matrix Story Telling Dermoreflexology
Judy Hayes Raffaella Vicini Lida Perry A.Vicini and L.Perry Rosana Liera Bianca Veronica Samantha Fumagalli Flavio Gandini
The Nature of Druidry
Philip Carr Gomm
The Flowering Almond
Witnessing The Authors
Rosana Liera short bios and photos
and links to previous volumes
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Keep in touch with us on our website
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FROM CHAOS TO LIGHT Antonella Vicini ...The gentle sound of the slowly flowing water, the delicate and friendly chirping of the birds on the still barren winter branches.... A moment in time that stands out and re creates the lost harmony of my chaotic living. There and then I am reminded of real life, of the earth supporting my steps, of the sky above my head, the air in and out of my lungs, of the fire within burning warmly, even when I don't notice it. A song to celebrate life, not just a "me centred" life, but LIFE, the very existance of the universe. It takes so very little to be at one, yet it requires a life long commitment, an enormous patience and kindness as well as forgiveness for our stumbling blocks, our moments of apparent stillness, even some defeats and returns to our past ways. Yet on we go towards.....? We certainly have different answers to this question, here I want to remind us all of the famous saying: Know Thyself (and you will know the world) as a good starting point for any exploration. In every corner of our enchanted world there is beauty, the ability to perceive it in all its glory is an essential asset on a spiritual path, since beauty is one door to knowledge and understanding.
When we admire magnificent works of art or wonders of nature our hearts open and real teachings can reach us, since our availability is a prerequisite to receive them. During a recent journey, I had the great luck of being re acquainted with one of my favourite painter: Giambattista Tiepolo (March 1696 March 1770), he was a magician of light and soft colors. Tiepolo had an illustrious career made of great paintings and frescoes that still adorn some of the most beautiful palaces and villas in northern Italy (Veneto). I am no art expert, but I have always been charmed and attracted by the stories told by the Tiepolo family (Giambattista had two sons Giandomenico and Lorenzo who continued his trade) with such grace and poise. The beautiful women, the ardent men, the arms and jewels, all conspire to create an enchanted world climbing up stairs, walls and ceilings, transporting us into a different elegant and forever lost world of harmony and quiet opulence. The incredibly lively faces in his frescoes look straight at us with enticing yet ironic expressions. Are they laughing at us? Perhaps they know something we don't, perhaps they belong to another world, a gentler, brighter, delicate yet very real existance, they invite us in, challenging our limited understanding and experience. Perhaps going to the other side is not so easy, nor comfortable, crossing the chasm from the known to the unknown requires the death of what we used to be or think about ourselves. It is true: it does take courage to jump into the abyss and be our new self. Yet, it is spring time, renewal is in the air... This is a needed step for our survival in this historical period of huge changes, the energy of life is quickening, so movement is essential now. We are at the end of Kali Yuga *, the dark side of our human eras, at the same time this is the fertile ground for the future, we need to concentrate on the light, starting from our individual one, so that the road ahead will be easier to discern, as soon as we open our inner eyes to it.
This is not the time to be uncertain, once the decision is taken, we are pushed to follow it by the needs of our lives. We cannot be indifferent, yet the duty of changing the world in a direct way does not rest with everybody. Each one of us can turn on the light and keep it burning brightly, to be more precise, since we already have an inner light, we only need to look inside, clean it up from the accumulated dirt of daily living, so that we can see its brightness again. Our lights are the lights of the world, we do not need to wait any longer: "we are the ones we were waiting for." This era shows us all the worst and the best of humanity, for this reason THE BADGER aligns with light and supports LIFE in all its forms. As a final note, since the spring season with its promises and soft colors is upon us, I would like to invite you to take a virtual, or a real tour of Tiepolo's paintings, you may feel different after watching the dances forever happening in an eternal present.
Antonella Vicini Note: *Kali is the goddess of destruction and decay, together with Siva, she dances on the burial ground of our egos. She is also the first giver of life, the archetypal mother who nurtures and kills us when our time is complete on earth.
This video has been inspired by a walk accompanied by Tiepolo's frescoes in Udine. The music seemed perfect for them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMAuq9gML2M&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ar4G10t71E This is a very good lesson on Tiepolo's paintings.
INTO THE MATTER Entities Andrea Exo In all the exoteric texts, in initiations rites and in all the most important books on magic, we can find words like angels, demons, seals, ego, invocation, evocation. The more conscious we become, the more we realize that demons and angels are just ways to give names and surnames to aspects of our psyche (as already mentioned in previous articles). We begin to understand how our will can become clear only after de structuring all the behaviours we have used to feed our egos during many years of school and relationships, because they have altered our perceptions and constrained our actions. The laborious design and rituals connected to a seal make sure that our mind is concentrated on the goal and the result, thus activating those archaic mechanisms that will lead us to the final destination without fear of failure due to our insecurities. So that when I invoke courage I also call upon action, banishing any fear. If I invoke coolness in action I also call upon calm around me, thus obtaining serenity. Nevertheless, book after book, year after year, it is natural to ask one question: is there only matter? Are Angels and Demons only psychic ghosts or chemical alterations in our heads? Evil eye, vodoo dolls, incomprehensible events can they only be explained by science? Do miracles exist? Is it possible that after life, once the cerebral electrical connections have ceased, something may survive, even if some diseases (like Alzheimer) have reset what we are and know about ourselves?
Examining seriously such a topic requires not just an article, but very likely an entire encyclopedia. We know for sure that consciousness and thought are indissolubly linked to our senses, just as we know that the energy feeding our brain comes from air, like the food we eat becomes part of our cells. Science tells us that millions of years ago we were stardust. Yet science has not yet understood how we have become the human beings we know now. In the evolution line there are many missing links, some "races" seem to have just apperead from nowhere. Human beings have been stretching their necks, yet they have never become giraffes. Did one day a fish really find a way to go out of the water and not die? How did it do that? How did the genes modified limbs and lungs? Just through trial and error? But if the first ones to leave the waters died, how did communication happen? Was the attempt encoded by the survivors in their seeds so that the progeny received a modified DNA? Perhaps everything is simpler and invisible. According to the classical definition, both Demons and Angels are go between divine and humans and they connect the two dimensions. The divine dimension is connected to the Great Architect of the Universe (according to the Masons), to the Gloria che tutto move" the Glory that moves it all (according to Dante Alighieri), to the Elohim (for the Jewish tradition), etc. It is a limitless concept, it is impossible to contain it with our minds, it is as if we wanted to scoop up the all the water from the ocean with a bucket.
A ghost is certainly a modest apparition of something bodiless. It's a small manifestation of the supernatural world. This is the field where we can go beyond our senses, beyond scientific laws, beyond existence as we know it. Could we build a machine that perceives beyond human senses?
If we think about it, science and research build products that are only extensions of our organs. A telescope is a more poweful eye, a pump is a heart used for different purposes, the antivirus in our pc resembles closely our immune system defenses. Can we build something that can observe a dimension we are not aware of? Is it possible that from that very dimension there can be communication between what is now and what will happen in the future? Is it possible that there is a clone of us made with eternal elements, so that our physical body is only a small reflection of this world and that such a clone is immune to death? This planet, this universe and all the rules at play do they come from chaos or from a conscience that transcends matter? Is this conscience God? Are the energies subtly modelling everything along the centuries its Heralds? We will never know our own death, but only those of other people. This is a good point in order not to despair about our end. However, just as we do not remember the beginning, will we very likely forget our end simply continuing where matter ends?
More than answers we ask questions, but without the questions there are no answers. Isn't this true for everything? Life is the answer to a question. Perception comes as a consequence of existence. Everything alive is a field of consciousness. But if I am a red globule I certainly cannot understand blood in its entirety. We certainly are atoms in the universe. But here is a light: what is above is the same as what is below, therefore these hands now writing this article on the keyboard will have a much bigger corresponding part elsewhere with a vastly different perception of time and senses. This counterpart does not create letters on a page, but entire worlds. Perhaps our ritual, our invocation/evocation, the entire world of magic are nothing but a light itch for a being that moves all. Perhaps with his/her scratching we receive immense gifts and miracles in our microcosm. Brahma exhales, Brahma inhales. In the beginning in this way the universe was born.
Andrea Exo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
THE DRAGONS WERE READY Fredric Lehrman Since the last week of January 2017, the culture cauldron in which the planetary porridge had been slowly warming has actually started to boil in earnest. On every level, one can see and sense an intrinsic unpredictability, and most people are talking about it. Depending on who you are, this meltdown is either scary or interesting. People are gathered at the corners trying to determine which way the wind is blowing; but I suspect that if they all compared compasses, they would find that the north needles would all be pointing in different directions. â€œHoaxâ€? or not, the climate is behaving as if global warming is real. Province-sized chunks of Antarctica ice are falling off the edge of the austral continent every day and melting into the global ocean we all share. Disoriented and starving penguins are making true (not fake) front page news as their aeons-old fishing patterns are being disrupted.* A little searching at the link in the note will show that similar changes have been increasing since 2006. Unprecedented snowfall has been appearing across the northern latitudes in locales throughout the time zones, followed by a quick warming up that causes the massive snow load to melt overnight, flooding the mountain downslopes while the shorelines are being stolen by rising tides. Reservoirs are overfull, dams are beginning to crack, and whole cities (Oroville, California) that depend on those resources are, as I write this, being told to evacuate immediately in case the overhanging reservoir of snowborn water suddenly comes down the hill and chooses their town as the short road to the coast.
Immediate Evacuation Order: Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway In California Expected To Fail Any Moment
Really? Yes, really. Climate anomalies are increasing everywhere. I was informed by a friend in London that her friend in southern Argentina was snowed in at her farmhouse, in spite of the fact that it was supposed to be midsummer down there. Another friend just sent me photographs of unfamiliar snow covering the desert around Dubai in the Arabian Peninsula. And yesterday a third friend passed on the news that the northern Arctic had several weeks this winter where the coldest temperature was a balmy 32 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of the normal deep subzero range. Who is to blame for all this? When the earth starts to quake, all the dishes start to rattle on the table tops and tumble out of the cupboards. When the tornado comes through town, the unlucky houses are instantly disassembled, while friends’ homes across the street are spared. We see this and must now take it into account because we know distant events within moments; as recently as 60 years ago, we would never have noticed these events at all. Because of this acceleration of information flow we have functionally lost our innocence… which means that we can no longer claim that we are innocent. Nor are we guilty, in the old sense of the word. We are suddenly “guiltlessly responsible,” feeling an awakening that starts from within, a soul-driven uprising that Swami Beyondananda years ago named “The Upwising.” http://consciouslifenews.com/swamis-state-universe-2015/1182104/# The spanking new US President-elect began rocking the boat long before the inauguration, which made his swearing-in ceremony seem a minor detail. And before he started his first day of work, a new wave of spontaneous protest swept through more countries than would ever have been so quickly reactive in earlier decades.
So now the good news. When so many very big crowds of marchers show up the next day and have continued every weekend since— serious, enthusiastic, spontaneous, outspoken, and mostly peaceful— it is a global statement of non-acceptance concerning how far off course we have let things go. Coordinated, with minimal planning, or in many cases with no planning art all, it is a sure sign that those dragons I’ve been writing about here are helping to unify the diverse skills and personalities of the many participants into intelligent organisms greater than anyone could have conceived of or predicted. (Please refer to my series of several articles on “Dragon Farming” starting in volume 4 Year 1 of THE BADGER). Let’s call it the Facebook/Twitter Trending Effect that is leaping over the good old “equal&opposite” rule of Newton’s Laws of Motion and becomes evidence of the New Town Laws of Social Media Mechanics, the first of which might read: “If you throw enough tweets into a big enough lake you can cause a tsunami that can crush and/or refine a ‘tremendous’ number of assets.” (NowYOU, dear readers, are welcome to articulate the next group of laws that describe what is starting to go on around us and within us. Keep it positive. Don’t worry. Be happy. No final exam.) Here is a new theory for you to ruminate upon. There they are, the oldparadigm leaders and their followers, in a line that runs from Very Very Bad to Very Very Good. Some of us see the very bad as really very good, while some of us see the opposite. Each one of us lives somewhere along the line between those two extremes. To the new “We, the People” who are ready to start becoming butterfly versions of our former caterpillar selves, all these so-called national leaders are simply performing the service of showing us a social potential for mayhem or miracles. They are sleepwalking through the Past without being present to themselves. They know not what they do. It’s up to us to tell them. As soon as we are clear, they will shape up. It’s one mirror facing another mirror. What you see is what you get.
One of my favorite cartoons shows two caterpillars sitting on some leaves, which they are busy eating. A butterfly sails by. The caterpillars look up as it goes over them. One caterpillar says to the other: “You’re not getting me up in one of those things!”
So here is the butterfly process: One day, for no conscious reason, you realize you have to stop doing what you’ve been doing, because you find yourself irresistibly involved in something you don’t understand and that you never did before. You wrap yourself up in a cocoon without knowing how you did it, and begin to literally fall apart, reorganizing all your cells ….. and one day you climb out, dry out your magnificent, unfamiliar, and magical wings, and begin to fly into a new life.
As a caterpillar, you ate the leaves you walked on. As a butterfly, you help to pollinate the flowers and keep the plants in a creative, productive mode.
It’s a big, big change.
Will Trump be just a President, or could he perhaps unconsciously be formed into a precedent? Will he fall off his Wall as Trumpty Dumpty? Could he become the vicious Emperor Trumpigula? Or perhaps he will play out his inner Trumpelstiltskin, the grim imp who spins straw into gold to induce young girls to give him what he asks for in trade? (The Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpelstiltskin#Plot remarkably says,“He only comes to people seeking a deal or trade.”) Trump certainly has the potential for playing any or all of these characters. To paraphrase Hamlet/Shakespeare, “The play’s the thing by which we’ll catch the conscience of the King.” We will just have to keep improvising our lines to see how this drama plays out. Trump is already a spontaneous disrupter (if he were a dinosaur we could call it a Disruptor) who could only behave as he does if he is not aware of what he is doing. But even the proverbial Fool can be an important force in society. If things work out for the best, he may blunder forward to represent what is referred to in the bible as “The Last Trumpet” of the prophecy of Seven trumpet blasts that are heard at the Apocalypse. And the root word apokalypsis means “to uncover, to reveal.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_trumpets This option laminates the worst and the best outcomes on top of each other, and can be interpreted in opposite ways. The text from Corinthians is the most optimistic, saying: “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last Trumpet.” Now there’s a topic that requires some deep meditation, and cannot be better explained than by looking in a mirror and describing what you see there. Any caterpillar can do that.
Fredric Lehrman *Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3446375/150-000-Antarcticapenguins-die-iceberg-grounding-study.html#ixzz4YushySFn
Penguins die after iceberg smashes into their breeding grounds in Antartica amid fears entire colony could be wiped out”. The Penguin population in the bay has dropped from 160.000 to 10.000. A massive grounded iceberg means they must walk 37 miles to find food. If it remains, the penguins will become extinct in the area, researchers warn.
POETRY ORLANDO FURIOSO Canto 34 (excerpts)
 Poi monta il volatore, e in aria sâ€™alza Per giunger di quel monte in su la cima, Che non lontan con la superna balza Dal cerchio de la luna esser si stima. Tanto Ă¨ il desir che di veder lo
XLVIII Then backed the griffin-horse, and soared a flight Whereby to reach that mountain's top he schemes, Which little distant, with its haughty height, From the moon's circle good Astolpho deems;
’ncalza, Ch’al cielo aspira, e la terra non stima. De l’aria più e più sempre guadagna, Tanto ch’al giogo va de la montagna.
And, such desire to see it warms the knight, That he aspires to heaven, nor earth esteems. Through air so more and more the warrior strains, That he at last the mountain-summit gains.
 Zafir, rubini, oro, topazi e perle, E diamanti e crisoliti e iacinti Potriano i fiori assimigliar, che per le Liete piaggie v’avea l’aura dipinti: Sì verdi l’erbe, che possendo averle Qua giù, ne fôran gli smeraldi vinti; Né men belle degli arbori le frondi, E di frutti e di fior sempre fecondi.
XLIX Here sapphire, ruby, gold, and topaz glow, Pearl, jacinth, chrysolite and diamond lie, Which well might pass for natural flowers which blow, Catching their colour from that kindly sky. So green the grass! could we have such below, We should prefer it to our emerald's dye. As fair the foliage of those pleasant bowers! Whose trees are ever filled with fruit and flowers.  L Cantan fra i rami gli augelletti vaghi Warble the wanton birds in verdant brake, Azzurri e bianchi e verdi e rossi e Azure, and red, and yellow, green and gialli. white. Murmuranti ruscelli e cheti laghi The quavering rivulet and quiet lake Di limpidezza vincono i cristalli. In limpid hue surpass the crystal bright. Una dolce aura che ti par che vaghi A breeze, which with one breath appears to A un modo sempre e dal suo stil shake, non falli, Aye, without fill or fall, the foliage light, Facea sì l’aria tremolar d’intorno, To the quick air such lively motion lends, Che non potea noiar calor del That Day's oppressive noon in nought giorno: offends;  E quella ai fiori, ai pomi e alla verzura Gli odor diversi depredando giva, E di tutti faceva una mistura Che di soavità l’alma notriva. ......... Ma poi che ’l sol s’ebbe nel mar rinchiuso, E sopra lor levò la luna il corno,
LI And this, mid fruit and flower and verdure there, Evermore stealing divers odours, went; And made of those mixt sweets a medley rare, Which filled the spirit with a calm content. ...... But when the sun is sunk i' the salt sea ooze,
Un carro apparecchiòsi, ch’era ad And overhead the moon uplifts her horn, uso A chariot is prepared, erewhile in use D’andar scorrendo per quei cieli To scower the heavens, wherein of old was intorno: borne Quel già ne le montagne di Giudea From Jewry's misty mountains to the sky, Da’ mortali occhi Elia levato avea. Sainted Elias, rapt from mortal eye.  Quattro destrier via più che fiamma rossi Al giogo il santo evangelista aggiunse; E poi che con Astolfo rassettossi, E prese il freno, inverso il ciel li punse. Ruotando il carro, per l’aria levossi, E tosto in mezzo il fuoco eterno giunse; Che ’l vecchio fe’ miracolosamente, Che, mentre lo passar, non era ardente.
LXIX Four goodly coursers next, and redder far Than flame, to that fair chariot yokes the sire; Who, when the knight and he well seated are, Collects the reins; and heavenward they aspire. In airy circles swiftly rose the car, And reached the region of eternal fire; Whose heat the saint by miracle suspends, While through the parted air the pair ascends.
 Tutta la sfera varcano del fuoco, Ed indi vanno al regno de la luna. ......
LXX The chariot, towering, threads the fiery sphere, And rises thence into the lunar reign. .....
Da l’apostolo santo fu condutto In un vallon fra due montagne But led by the disciple of our Lord, istretto, His way towards a spacious vale pursues; Ove mirabilmente era ridutto A place wherein is wonderfully stored Ciò che si perde o per nostro Whatever on our earth below we lose. diffetto, Collected there are all things whatsoe'er, O per colpa di tempo o di Fortuna: Lost through time, chance, or our own Ciò che si perde qui, là si raguna. folly, here.  LXXIV Non pur di regni o di ricchezze parlo, Nor here alone of realm and wealthy In che la ruota instabile lavora; dower, Ma di quel ch’in poter di tor, di O'er which aye turns the restless wheel, I darlo say:
Non ha Fortuna, intender voglio I speak of what it is not in the power ancora. Of Fortune to bestow, or take away. Molta fama è là su, che, come Much fame is here, whereon Time and the tarlo, Hour, Il tempo al lungo andar qua giù Like wasting moth, in this our planet prey. divora: Here countless vows, here prayers Là su infiniti prieghi e voti stanno, unnumbered lie, Che da noi peccatori a Dio si Made by us sinful men to God on high: fanno.  Le lacrime e i sospiri degli amanti, L’inutil tempo che si perde a giuoco, E l’ozio lungo d’uomini ignoranti, Vani disegni che non han mai loco, I vani desideri sono tanti, Che la più parte ingombran di quel loco: Ciò che in somma qua giù perdesti mai, Là su salendo ritrovar potrai. .... Poi giunse a quel che par sì averlo a nui, Che mai per esso a Dio voti non ferse; Io dico il senno: e n’era quivi un monte, Solo assai più che l’altre cose conte.
LXXV The lover's tears and sighs; what time in pleasure And play we here unprofitably spend; To this, of ignorant men the eternal leisure, And vain designs, aye frustrate of their end. Empty desires so far exceed all measure, They o'er that valley's better part extend. There wilt thou find, if thou wilt thither post, Whatever thou on earth beneath hast lost.
 Era come un liquor suttile e molle, Atto a esalar, se non si tien ben chiuso; E si vedea raccolto in varie ampolle, Qual più, qual men capace, atte a quell’uso. Quella è maggior di tutte, in che del folle Signor d’Anglante era il gran senno infuso;
LXXXIII It was as 'twere a liquor soft and thin, Which, save well corked, would from the vase have drained; Laid up, and treasured various flasks within, Larger or lesser, to that use ordained. That largest was which of the paladin, Anglantes' lord, the mighty sense contained; And from those others was discerned, since writ
... He next saw that which man so little needs, As it appears — none pray to Heaven for more; I speak of sense, whereof a lofty mount Alone surpast all else which I recount.
E fu da l’altre conosciuta, quando Avea scritto di fuor: Senno d’Orlando.
Upon the vessel was Orlando's Wit.
 E così tutte l’altre avean scritto anco Il nome di color di chi fu il senno. Del suo gran parte vide il duca franco; Ma molto più maravigliar lo fenno Molti ch’egli credea che dramma manco Non dovessero averne, e quivi dénno Chiara notizia che ne tenean poco; Che molta quantità n’era in quel loco.
LXXXIV The names of those whose wits therein were pent He thus on all those other flasks espied. Much of his own, but with more wonderment, The sense of many others he descried, Who, he believed, no dram of theirs had spent; But here, by tokens clear was satisfied, That scantily therewith were they purveyed; So large the quantity he here surveyed.
 Altri in amar lo perde, altri in onori, Altri in cercar, scorrendo il mar, ricchezze; Altri ne le speranze de’ signori, Altri dietro alle magiche sciocchezze; Altri in gemme, altri in opre di pittori, Ed altri in altro che più d’altro aprezze. Di sofisti e d’astrologhi raccolto, E di poeti ancor ve n’era molto.
LXXXV Some waste on love, some seeking honour, lose Their wits, some, scowering seas, for merchandise, Some, that on wealthy lords their hope repose, And some, befooled by silly sorceries; These upon pictures, upon jewels those; These on whatever else they highest prize. Astrologers' and sophists' wits mid these, And many a poet's too, Astolpho sees.
 Astolfo tolse il suo; che gliel concesse Lo scrittor de l’oscura Apocalisse. L’ampolla in ch’era al naso sol si messe, E par che quello al luogo suo ne gisse: E che Turpin da indi in qua confesse Ch’Astolfo lungo tempo saggio visse; Ma ch’uno error che fece poi, fu
LXXXVI Since his consent the apostle signified Who wrote the obscure Apocalypse, his own He took, and only to his nose applied, When (it appeared) it to its place was gone; And henceforth, has Sir Turpin certified, That long time sagely lived king Otho's son; Till other error (as he says) again Deprived the gentle baron of his brain.
quello Ch’un’altra volta gli levò il cervello.  LXXXVII La più capace e piena ampolla, ov’era The fullest vessel and of amplest round Il senno che solea far savio il Which held the wit Orlando erst possessed, conte, Astolpho took; nor this so light he found, Astolfo tolle; e non è sì leggiera, As it appeared, when piled among the rest. Come stimò, con l’altre essendo a ..... monte .....
Ludovico Ariosto 1516
Notes: Great has been the musical success of the poem, here is the entire musical opera Orlando Furioso by Vivaldi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEny3iXfYCc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goseep3oELk Orlando Furioso (TV series by Luca Ronconi 1st part)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDTvu7bjlwU Orlando Furioso (TV series by Luca Ronconi 2nd part)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acM6Ue0n-6A Giocando con Orlando with Marco Baliani and Stefano Accorsi
PHOTO GRAPHY Luis Vasconcelos's Vision Antonella Vicini Artists never cease to amaze me. After a few months, Luis has returned to THE BADGER with his new experiments on still life, accompanied by a few words: Here I send you my "still life photos" that were born on a rainy day... These photos were created with simply dried skeleton leaves, and marbles. The idea is to create beauty with very simple things... This is still a work in progress. Luis, as usual, is very concise in describing entire new worlds created by these images. I was transported to another galaxy, so close to us, yet sometimes closed to our senses, because we often cannot see beyond the usual box. Luis has created a special mini studio for his new adventure in the micro world which is nothing else but a reflection of the macro world. Here you can really see the great saying in action: as above so below as inside so outside.... Paying attention to the slightest detail, lightening it up, coloring it or going to black and white, isn't that the reasearch that all visual artists go through? On a rainy day, in his home, in a room surrounded by personal memories and books as well as the future of his family, (since his grandaughters sleep there when they visit), listening to his favourite jzz music (Ben Webster's saxophone), Luis has really created home art in the highest sense of the word. Just like in medieval and renaissance time young artists woud join the famous botteghe d'arte (art workshops), where they would live, work hard and, perhaps one day, become artists.
These simple marbles are the building blocks of a mini universe that promises wonders, just as much as its macro counterpart, and just as mysterious....
Antonella Vicini STAR DUST video Antonella Vicini, photos Luis Vasconcelos https://youtu.be/4yyqHNps9AY
VOICES FROM THE STARS SATURN and URANUS The Archetypes of Realization Laura Bottagisio In the year 2016 and 2017 a new planetary configuration activates the impulse towards creation that is innate in all aspects of life. The protagonists of such change are 2 very important archetypes that exchange roles in order to produce the needed evolution from essence into form: Saturn, the archetype of form and time, and Uranus the archetype of substantial change. They work together following a precise rythm: they shatter, disgregate, aggregate; then again and constantly they shatter, disgregate, aggregate, etc. The two planets need each other in order to "renovate the form", thus they open the door to a deeper dimension of our being. In our dynamic becoming, their joint action produces evolutionary impulses which we can fully become aware of. Their abodes are in Capricorn and Aquarius, winter signs, connected to the time when nature is entirely withdrawn and contemplates its hidden treasures that will be brought to light at the right moment. In this way the energy of these planets is manifested: the preparation and concentration produced by Saturn is followed by the action and manifestation by Uranus. This process continues in a beneficial alternation that is needed for the realization of our innate and sleeping potential, until we awake it ourselves.
Saturn Saturn is the planet of concentration, coagulation, precipitation of the ethers that become visible and material. The stability emanated by its energy can be absorbed by all forms of life that want to manifest, thus becoming visible. This energy directs and accompanies the primordial Sound by inserting it in a stable structure, thus allowing it to be full bodied and have such consistency to complete the history of that sound. In the human body Saturn is the skeleton, the framework on which our body takes physical form, by becoming clothing and vehicle for our soul. Since it is connected to the element of earth, Saturn solidifies, produces cohesion, concentrates. Like a laser beam, it focuses the energy in a precise spot: this vibration allows us to frame a goal, to realize a dream, to hold an intention until it is accomplished. It is will in action, as well as the capacity to maintain constant action towards the goal to reach, firmly and with determination overcoming any obstacles on the path. However, Saturn, is the obstacle itself, when we do not follow our imagination and our intuition which are vital and fundamental functions. When we block them we do not allow our emotive waters to flow through and nourish our actions that wither and crystallize on fixed positions, then "precipitate" in the material reality as difficulties, obstacles and diseases. Often Saturn is described as "the planet of trials", the planet directing the action of karma. Since our human awareness is developing we can now understand that there is no karma we need to submit to, there is no before or after. Instead there is a temporal simultaneity that contains all and gives us the chance, if we want it, to cross in one single instant (in one quantum) the energetic channel, thus re establishing balance and harmony. In this perspective the Archetype of Saturn is transformed into glorious rebirth, or glorious ascension.
The heaviness commonly attributed to this planet dissolves and becomes cellular rarefaction, where light can freely emanate, thus Saturn becomes an Inner Guide. Our body remains, but becomes crystalline, the rough stone becomes pure crystal, this is the process for all the people who are deeply in touch with the messages sent by their inner Saturn. If Saturn's voice is still too weak, and cannot be heard well, the disruptive force of Uranus will break the form that keep the intention in prison, it will shatter any pattern hindering the free flow of life in thousands of pieces.
Uranus It was the first planet discovered beyond Saturn, like its neighbour it is surrounded by a ring; Uranus rotates also on an horizontal axis, differently from all other planets. Its peculiarity becomes, from an astrological point of view, a symbol of originality and eccentricity, non conformism and innovation. Its discovery in 1781 was the milestone of a new age for humanity: the industrial revolution and the beginning of an unprecedented technological development that we keep using and creating. Uranus has the same stem of Uragano (in Italian), Hurricane, and this is the image evoked by its presence. The stem UR is very ancient, like the city of UR in Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE, its discovery brought to light the magnificence of the Sumeric and Babilonian civilizations. UR is also the second letter of the Rune alphabet, a symbolic series of signs from northern Europe. This rune incarnates the indomitable force, the ability to face and overcome any obstacle, the inner energy needed to leave the past behind and start over. Uranus knows how to re start the Wheel of Life when, consciously or not, we block its movement, so Uranus shatters the too constricting patterns. Its energy is like lightening that suddenly flashes, disrupts and cracks us open. It is the planet of electricity, acceleration and freedom from ideologies that devour our originality.
When the grounding force of Saturn becomes too strong, thus producing stillness, the hurricane Uranus will bring disarray, revolution, disintegration of what had become too close knit. Suffocating situations, old and outmoded methodologies, unchanged thought forms can be unblocked in only one instant, they may deflagrate like an unexpected bomb. Everything needs to be rebuilt on different basis and assumptions that will be newly created by Saturn. They in turn will become the bearing structure of a new system, new rules, yet unknown paths, situations and opportunities. Crumbling walls are the image of what is happening in us when the energy of Uranus eliminates the anxieties and fears that our mind has created: therefore, Uranus leads to change, it is the planet of prompt action in order to reach the acknowledged sovereignty of the deepest self. It cuts all ties to the past and does not make plans for the future, it simply lives in the here and now, in the infinite eternal present, where the loving vibration of creation can open a passage, free of any limiting constraint. Uranus is close to the elements Air and Fire, in the human body it is connected to the circulatory and nervous central systems. The function of the nervous system is the transmission of electrical impulses so that all cells can communicate with one another, as well as support the activity and movement of the myocardium; our nervous system allows us to be connected to the energy coming from the cosmos and ground it with the Saturnian energy of our bodies. Ouranos was the Sky for the ancient Greeks, Urania was the muse of astronomy. Therefore, Uranus is the first planet beyond Saturn (the guardian of the threshold) that connects us with what goes beyond our physical bodies, opening us towards much wider dimensions. The cycle of Saturn/Uranus is about 45 years. Whenever there is a strong energy connection between them, the Earth is pushed to a radical transformation of the patterns present in society, the arts, the economy... Each person's conscience is called upon to advance on his/her evolutionary path accepting new thought paradigms.
The two planets are getting closer now, they have entered their joined activity at the end of 2016. They are both travelling in fire signs, thus underlining the importance for each of us to change the route of our ship, if it is going to crash against some barely visible rocks. But we can see such rocks when we dive deep into ourselves, observing what we are and what we want to become. Saturn is now in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, they now form a beautiful trigon that will be active until December 2017. This formation brings new opportunities, perfectly adapted to the new fabric of society that is now being created. The magnificent and luminous trigon of Saturn and Uranus will support our rebirth and will be with us all year, since now we can perceive it with our inner eyes and ears. Now it is time to start planning and focussing the energy with clear INTENT that will be able to take roots, develop and grow in the new earth. The main structures of the entire system may fall now, but this is just the loss of old and worn out clothes that do not represent our new identity anymore. As it has been widely written "At a very deep, atomic, level Saturn and Uranus in connection with each other represent the leap of the electron that moves from one orbital state to another. Each change of state of the electron transforms the essential nature of the substance". This can happen to us as well in the situations of our lives, gifting us with a widely modified vision of reality that can be now harmoniously tuned on the Cosmic Wave of Becoming.
Laura Bottagisio Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
MAGIC Adrian Rooke In the Northern hemisphere we celebrate the Spring Equinox around the 21/22 of March. The celtic name for this festival of the sun is Alban Eilir (Light of the Earth as mentioned in previous articles). We are now in that period of the year when it feels that winter has gone on forever. Nature was sleeping through the dark winter time. At Imbolc (beginning of February) we noticed the first stirrings of the mother, small buds on the hazel tree and the pure white beauty of the snowdrops, appearing in the hedgerows, hinting of the new season to come, new beginnings approaching, that said Winter is still dominant and the great hag of darkness â€˜still holds Dominion over the lands, winter will not relinquish its hold without a fight, February and early March have a sting in the tail. Moving into March we see the first of the spring flowers: daffodils, lily of the valley, cherry blossom breaks forth to paint our skyline pink and red, the song birds are back greeting each dawn with their magical chorus,everywhere leaves burst forth from a billion buds, turning our forests into the most incredible, vibrant translucent green. At Imbolc we celebrated the early signs of change, even in the depth of winter. Equinox, the cusp, the light and the darkness perfectly balanced standing as equals in that twice yearly stand of, heralding the time of change, after the equinox light will be predominant. Eventually Beltane will be celebrated when spring has sprung and the forest is green again. The third of the festivals of springtime, blessing the hills and forests with carpets of beautiful bluebells, turning these wondrous lands of Albion into fairyland .
This is a time of balance, it is time to look inside and celebrate with gratitude our survival through winter, a time full of promises for the season to come. This is also a good time for planting and deciding what crop we want to enjoy under the sunshine. Now, looking back into the darkness of winter and harvesting what insights and plans that we can begin to put into action now. While letting go of what we don't want anymore. We can then bury that into the ground and, maybe, plant some bulbs above it, as a sign of transformation. It is good to plant a tree for our descendants, even if we will not directly enjoy its fruits. The symbolic plant of the equinox is the shamrock, the Irish symbol (connected in historic time to St. Patrick). Three leaves correspond to the three rays of the awen, the trinity, the three circles of existence. At this time of the year we want to go out, we feel the sap rising, just like the trees in the woods. We can dance and celebrate in our lighter clothes, opening all the doors and windows to the new season. Spring cleaning: out with old and in with the new! We move from introspection to being outward and travelling to meet people. Visiting parks and green spaces, tending our gardens and planting our allotments. It is for us a time to plants seeds and make a commitment, since we stand at the threshold between light and darkness, this is a good time/place to choose what we want in our lives, what decisions we want to make. Good luck to the hoof and horn good luck to the flock and fleece good luck to the growers of corn with blessings of plenty and peace. Blessing song for Corn, planted in the springtime
By living one day at a time we remain in the moment, and use our time wisely, since it is so precious. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, therefore we have only one day today, and today well lived will create our future good memories of now.
INVOCATION Now at this time of the equinox light and day in perfect balance I stand at the threshold of light and dark though I come to this gateway time after time never come I to the same gateway twice. Today I shall pass once more through this gateway that is ancient yet ever new and enter into the bright half of the year. I leave behind in the darkness all that holds me back and I embrace the light in order to manifest fully in this life upon this Earth. THE WHITE HARE (song) Do you see the white hare? Standing still for a moment There are footprints there Underneath the earth, the lady is sleeping And the lord of the wood Is waiting. Do you see the white hare? Standing still for a moment There are footprints there Underneath the earth The lady is stirring, feel the lady stirring And the lord of the wood is makig the table ready And the lord of the wood is waiting... Do you see the white hare? Standing still for a moment There are footprints there Underneath the earth The lady is rising Feel the lady rising Feel the lady rising Feel the lady rising And the lord of the wood And the lord of the wood And the lord of the wood Is ready.
article and photos edited by A.Vicini
The End of E pluribus Unum? The De-evolution of “Out of Many, One,” to ME First David Kopacz The motto of the United States is E pluribus unum, which is Latin for “Out of many, one.” Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) and I have written about the importance of this motto in our book, Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD. This motto is of crucial importance for helping veterans return home after war and reconnect to their own hearts and to society, which is why Joseph and I wrote about it, but it is also crucial for all of us and the very fabric of democracy―in the United States as well as in the rest of the world. The ability to see our similarities rather than our differences allows us to see that the suffering of others is our suffering and that others joy is our joy. When we view other human beings as “other,” this sense of separation makes violence possible. Peace comes from a sense of unity, not a sense of “otherness.” “The heart of violence is the divided and separated heart,” the heart of violence is “the heart that cannot see other hearts as interrelated and interconnected.”
Violence has its roots in the false idea of separation. Physically we appear separate, but even physically we are in a complex web of life with animals, plants, and the earth. When we begin to speak about human realities beyond the physical: emotion, heart, intuition, and spirit, the idea of ourselves as separate beings no longer makes sense. One can only be violent against someone or something seen as â€œotherâ€? (Kopacz & Rael, Walking the Medicine Wheel, 214).
Currently in the world, we are seeing more division and separation than coming together in unity. The recent order by the president of the United States banning all international refugees and also citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering our Nation of Immigrants is the latest and most extreme example of this. This breaks my heart and it breaks the heart of democracy. I worry for the future because, through my work with Joseph, I know that peace depends upon unity and similarity and that the current mania for separation and division is very dangerous. The rise of nationalism has historically been associated with violence and the rise of totalitarian regimes for the very fact that an over-emphasis on “me first” leads to seeing “others” as getting in my way. We teach our little children, “Don’t rush to the front of the line, don’t push others aside.” We teach our children to respect others, and yet respect has been one of the first casualties in the current national and world-wide Me First Movement. In a very, very short time, the public dialogue has shifted so far toward disrespect and hatefulness that people feel justified in hate and separation speech. We are seeing the rise of nationalism world-wide: Brexit, throughout Europe, the Philippines, the United States, Russia, and Turkey. Nationalism very easily leads to violence against “others” and once the mad dog of nationalism is let off leash, even a country’s own people can all too easily be labeled as “others.” The media, which often serves as a watch dog to power, is often the first to be vilified and silenced. Our institutions of unity and collectivism are being seen as obsolete, holding us back and ineffective. The institution of democracy, the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, these are the organizations that we have created to moderate human selfishness in order to promote peace and equality. Parker Palmer, in his book Healing the Heart of Democracy, writes that democracy is one of the ways that we, as human beings, seek to civilize ourselves. Palmer sees democracy as one of our best tools of civilization and that these tools “constitute the core self-hood called the human heart” (Palmer, 81).
For those of us who want to see democracy survive and thrive―and we are legion―the heart is where everything begins: that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten democracy as openings to new life and for our nation. (Palmer, 10). How much are we the people of the United States of America making decisions from the heart? To what extent are our current elected officials leading from the heart? What will happen to us if we give up on unity, if we glorify everything falling apart? Louis Ferdinand Céline, writing about World War I, wrote that people had become “madder than mad dogs” because dogs don’t worship their madness.
Could I, I thought, be the last coward on earth? How terrifying! … All alone with two million stark raving heroic madmen, armed to the eyeballs? With and without helmets, without horses, on motorcycles, bellowing, in cars, screeching, shooting, plotting, flying, kneeling, digging, taking cover, bounding over trails, root-toot-tooting, shut up on earth as if it were a loony bin ready to demolish everything on it, Germany, France, whole continents, everything that breathes, destroy, destroy, madder than mad dogs, worshipping their madness (which dogs don’t) a hundred, a thousand times madder than a thousand dogs, and a lot more vicious! A pretty mess we’re in! (Céline, Journey to the End of the Night). Céline bore witness to the brutality of World War I and he calls himself a “coward” because he doesn’t want to join in the blood bath of killing “others.”
However, non-violence has been raised to a spiritual virtue and political power by people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. (Céline did succumb to his own madness and cowardice in turning against the Jewish people in the lead-up to World War II, and citing him here in regard to World War I in no way condones his later anti-Semitism). I choose to quote Céline because his phrase “madder than mad dogs, worshipping their madness (which dogs don’t)” keeps echoing in my mind recently. There is something very scary about the Me First Movement in U.S. politics that is worshipping madness, division, and hatred. This is happening in the United States of America―right now, yet it has roots going back over the past decades, and honestly back to the history of the European colonization of this land. Going back to the early days of the U.S. “war on terror,” journalist, Andrew Cohen, wrote “Our journey toward Abu Ghraib began in earnest with a single document -- written and signed without the knowledge of the American people” (The Atlantic, “The Torture Memos, 10 Years Later,” February 6, 2012). Cohen continues:
On February 7, 2002…President George W. Bush signed a brief memorandum titled “Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees.” The caption was a cruel irony, an Orwellian bit of business, because what the memo authorized and directed was the formal abandonment of America's commitment to key provisions of the Geneva Convention. This was the day, a milestone on the road to Abu Ghraib: that marked our descent into torture -- the day, many would still say, that we lost part of our soul. White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales wrote that the Geneva Conventions should not restrain the United States any longer in how we treat prisoners. “In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions”.
I remember this as a very disturbing philosophical position our government took as it eroded the work of many countries and peoples work to prevent war crimes. When we stop appealing to our higher humanity and to our collective sense of ourselves as brothers and sisters―even while temporarily enemies―we not only take away what makes others human, but we lose our humanity as well. This is because humanity is a two-way street of interaction and of unity. Humanity is a state of interactive being and when we take away this human state of being from others (whether they be Muslims, women, African-Americans, American Indians, people with different sexual orientations or identities, or anyone who disagrees with us), we lose our own humanity as well and we risk becoming mad dogs worshipping our madness as we have let ourselves off the leash of humanity. It is difficult to understand the current anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. because anyone who is not a full-blooded American Indian is an immigrant to the United States. The current president of the United States is an immigrant, as are most of us who have come together as one people in the United States. It breaks my heart to see the people of the world turn our backs on the institutions we have worked so hard to create that call forth our higher humanity and work to promote peace. What we are witnessing is a kind of war of the many against the One. William Butler Yeats, writing in the aftermath of WWI, in 1919 captured this spirit in his poem, “The Second Coming,” which includes the lines:
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”
The loss of central cohesion, the centripetal force of humanity, leads to the break-down of our sense of shared humanity paves the way for dangerous economic and social policies and for violence against “others” whose humanity we have taken away, thereby losing our own humanity. Under the new administration, many career diplomats at the US State Department have been asked to leave. One such career diplomat is Tom Countryman who, in his retirement speech said: [hyperlink: https://diplopundit.net/2017/02/02/tom-countrymans-farewell-a-diplomats-loveletter-to-america/ ]
“And we want Americans to know that the torch borne by the Statue of Liberty is not just a magnet for immigrants, it is a projector, shining the promise of democracy around the world. The United States is the world’s greatest economic power, the world’s greatest military power, and with your vigilance, it always will be. But the greatest power we project is hope, the promise that people can establish liberty in their own country without leaving it.” In an interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR on February 1 st 2017, he further expanded on this idea of the Statue of Liberty as a projector. [Hyperlink: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/01/512799958/outgoing-state-departmentofficial-urges-colleagues-to-stay-and-serve ]
I mean that the promise of America is not just that people can come here and build a better life, a free life. But I've been overseas in countries where the American model of democracy has been a powerful inspiration for people to build democracy at home without the need to immigrate to the United States. And if we build walls between ourselves and other countries, we will dim that light forever.
Edward Moran - Museum of the City of New York, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=229787 ]
One of our primary global institutions of peace is the United Nations. The United Nations, formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II, includes 193 states and serves as the earth’s only inclusive organization that promotes peace between countries and condemns violence. The newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley threatened the organization in her first speech, saying that “we are taking names” and repeating that “this is a time of strength” (Somini Senguptajan, “Nikki Haley Puts U.N. on Notice: U.S. Is ‘Taking Names,’” The New York Times online, January 27, 2017). The speeches and positions coming out of the current administration sound more like those of school-yard bullies than of elected democratic officials. “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” this motto of George Orwell’s dystopian society in his book, 1984, warns us about the kind of rhetoric we are now hearing from the Nation of Immigrants. The ME First Movement does not play well with others and it distorts facts and reality to suit its needs. The only thing more dangerous than a bully is a group of people blindly following a bully. Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) was recognized by the United Nations in a 2/20/89 letter for his work promoting peace through building Peace Chambers on four different continents. What Joseph has taught me is that the work of peace is spiritual work, and spiritual work is what makes us true human beings. Peace requires us to be seekers of our common goodness, our common shared humanity. The place that we find this common goodness and unity is in our hearts.
If we remember E pluribus unum on the Great Seal of the United States, we will remember that we are called to work toward an ideal that moves us from our many individual identities into a larger Union. E pluribus unum is Latin for “Out of many, one.” This identity is not just the social body of peacemakers, it is also the mystical and spiritual identity of visionaries and mystics. This is the realm of unity that Joseph is familiar with as a visionary and healer. (Kopacz & Rael, 215).
If we focus on separation and division, we not only destroy peace, we promote violence. This is why Joseph and I say that we all must move from seeing each other as “other” and move toward seeing each other as brother and sister. This is why we cannot give up on E pluribus unum―within the myriad of forms, we must always be seeking the spiritual unity of humanity and the cosmos.
David Kopacz NOTES: Editor's note: here you can find 2 links to Joseph Rael's songs, the first one is a song of brotherly/sisterly love, the second one is called Seeds of Peace, please feel free to learn and sing them for your own inner peace and for our world. AVicini.
1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1bD0cosFOk 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HadINb8UEwc
HUMAN Tanya Tewell The two paintings included in this issue feature different aspects of the same woman. One aspect is straightforwardly sensual and the other is more subtly nuanced and spiritually complex. In both paintings, she embodies great strength and has an earthy, fleshiness that is communicated in her form and movements. I worked with this model for several years and was impressed by her ability to communicate emotional states through body movements. She has a theatre and music background and understands the importance of both the bold and subtle gesture in wordless communication. At times, ideas for paintings became a collaborative process of developing some emotive or psychological aspect of our modeling sessions together.
The first painting, â€œThe Talking Wallsâ€? is a very large painting which was done over a period of two months. As is much of my work, it was initially inspired by the fading, crumbling pentimento of wall paintings in Italy. The figures to the left are loosely based on figures that I have studied in various sites in southern Italy. In their ghostly aspect, they are rooted in the distant past. The woman depicted on the right is a bold and sensual being, planted firmly in the present, yet she is permeated by the background of the wall texture which is symbolic of the past. The colors and skin tone are warm and saturated. The purposeful use of color is always an effective mean of communicating emotion. The dramatic gesture is her fearless embodiment of past and present and an open acceptance of her female physical body. The ideas that I am exploring in this painting are of a more generalized nature with themes of the strong female form predominating.
The second painting, â€œThe Center of the Hiveâ€? also involves the portrayal of a strong female form but is more particular to the individual character of the model. She values herself and her place in the world. She is the central unifying principle of life in this painting. Aspects symbolizing the natural world and the wellspring of wisdom emanate from her and surround her. She is the queen here and literally her skin is the color and texture of honey. Honey is, of course, such an amazing substance and the honeycomb such an ingenuous construction in nature. The desert landscape that transverses her body and a portrayal of a Navajo wise women on the left of the figure are important references for me. When I lived in Arizona, a Navajo medicine woman was a significant influence in my life. I met her in the most fortuitous way through a Navajo student of mine. The winged figures represent evanescent energies and synchronicities of all kinds. Many of these representations have developed over many years. The longer that you work as a painter, the more certain significant symbols recur and a personal iconographic dictionary of images seem to emerge organically. At least, this is true for many artists that I have studied and observed. The cross currents of the places that I have lived in the Southwest U.S. and in Italy seem to fertilize the imagery and give birth to new forms. Through my painting, I try to understand and assimilate the various cultural norms and forms and find the common threads that can unite them. It continues to be vital to me to use strong female figures as metaphors for these ideas.
AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE Renato Tittarelli
Methods The aromatherapy massage has developed in the XX century especially in France and Britain, then in the rest of Europe, including the best elements from different traditions both eastern and western. It has also absorbed elements of humanistic psychology from the Esalen Institute in California by offering massage techniques that work both on body, mind and spirit. We can find aspects of yoga and tantric traditions that support control of the breath, the following peace and the awareness of very slow movement. The vital flows and points used in acupuncture are also taken into consideration, as well as the discovery of the physical blocks and the character armours that impede our vitality discovered by Reich. In the aroma alchemical massage we use elements from the following massage techniques: swedish, neuromuscular, manual lymphatic drainage, foot reflexology, Reichian massage, Californian massage, sensitive massage, kinesthetic massage, shatsu.
Psychological effect of the essential oils The re discovery of the psychic balancing and healing action of the plants and essences follows the developments of modern aromatherapy. These are the new fields of reasearch and study: aromacology (science of essences), psychoaromatherapy (use of fragrances to manipulate mood, with the goal of bringing about an enhanced sense of well-being), subtle aromatherapy (mind-body-spirit healing practice used to promote and maintain good health, to work on an energetic level and on energy bodies, supporting meditation and spiritual practices), alchemic aromatherapy (the use of essential oils as catalysts of transformational processes). All these approaches are widely spread and used thanks also to the psycho neuro endocrino immunology (the study of the effect of the mind on health and resistance to disease) and quantum physics. Here below you can see a general list of situations and the essences used: AGGRESSIVNESS: jasmine, roman chamomile, rose, sandal, citron, ylang-ylang. DEPRESSION: basel, benjamin, bergamot, jasmine, melissa, clary sage, ylang-ylang, rose. ADDICTIONS: jasmine, rose, clary sage, patchouli, ylang-ylang. COLDNESS: fennel, geranium, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang. ANGER: benjamin, roman chamomile, lavander, marjory, clary sage, neroli, ylang-ylang. HYSTERIA: benjamin, roman chamomile, lavander, marjory, clary sage, neroli, ylang-ylang. MELANCHOLY: basel, bergamot, grapefruit. PANIC: geranium, jasmine, roman chamomile, melissa, clary sage, neroli, rose. SHOCK: melissa, neroli, mint. STRESS: benjamin, bergamot, fennel, melissa, clary sage, rosewood, sandal, Atlas cedar, cinnamon. SADNESS: bergamot, grapefruit, melissa, orange, rose, clary sage, myrtle.
Renato Tittarelli Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
FOOD IS OUR ALLY Cereals and the 7 main Planets Daniele Sampalmieri Cereals are the main source of food for both men and animals since the most ancient times. The name cereal means pertaining to Ceres, the Latin name of the goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. She taught men how to cultivate the land. In the Greek world she was known as Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth, she was also connected to the seasons, as well as life and death. The life of entire nations was structured around cereal crops. Around 3000 BCE there were already wheat selections in Egypt. CEREALS contain very important nutritious qualities when they are wholemeal, therefore it is always best to use these products unrefined. The outer bran is rich in fibers, the inner seed in micronutrients, the endosperm in amino acids. So the organic whole meal seed is rich in anti oxidants, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
It improves our immune defenses, reduces inflamations, helps in protecting cells from free radicals, facilitates the workings of the bowels, prevents cardiovascular diseases. The best cereals are produced according to organic and biodynamic agriculture. According to Rudolf Steiner's studies it is important to eat byodinamic food thus respecting and being in harmony with the Earth ecosystem. HARMONY BETWEN DAYS, PLANETS AND CEREALS: Sunday is the day of the sun, the day of the lord. The cereal is Wheat also called Sun Gold The purpose of this day of rest is reflection and inner viewing. All cereals are the sun's progeny, wheat especially is found all over the earth, just like its nutritive properties are harmonically found in all the parts of the body. Monday, the day of the Moon Rice is connected to this day, since it lives in the water, it is intimately connected to the moon, queen of tides. Monday inspires us to reflect and examine the intentions we have before our actions, it is the right time to process what we have received during the festive day and program our week with awareness. Tuesday, day of Mars In ancient times it was the god of war. Barley is the cereal today. It encourages us to action, courage, movement, as well as meditation, since it was one of the main staples in the diet of Greek philospohers and Roman gladiators. For the Greeks barley corresponded to man marrow, so it could stimulate strength in action, in body and mind.
Wednesday, the day of Mercury The smallest planet and the closest to the sun. Millet is the connected cereal, the smallest kind of cereal. The god Mercury was considered capable of transmuting and healing both in trade and eloquence. Millet infact works on the organs that connect us to the outer world: skin, hair, senses. Thursday, the day of Iupiter The supreme God. Rye is the connected cereal, it was very well known in ancient times, because it was strong even in bad weather. It is well known for its stimulating action on the liver. Iupiter, father of the gods, is magnanimous, organized and wise, so he can give humans steadiness in standing and developing energy. Friday, the day of Venus Oats is the connected cereal. Venus was the goddess of beauty and love, governing over whatever is beautiful and artistic, she is the mother of all growth and sprouting. Venus is the goddes of fertility in constant contact with the fruits of nature. Oats is perfect for this function, since it still maintains the closests tie to life building forces. Besides it also remains green the longest. Saturday, the day of Saturn He was the god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. Corn is the connected cereal. Saturday is the end of the week, it requires evaluation which in turns needs sobriety on thinking and vital energy. Corn is one of the most energetic cereal, it is therefore perfect to recharge our energy, especially after a long working week.
Daniele Sampalmieri Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
Purple Rice with green apple Ingredients: 350 grams brown rice 400 grams purple cabbage 70 grams shallot 100 grams green apple 80 ml white wine 50 grams soy butter 15 grams disabled nutritional yeast extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper according to taste Preparation: cook first the brown rice, stop the cooking when it is "al dente" leave it aside to rest. Cook the shallot in a pan with olive oil until is turns pale yellow. After about one minute add the finely sliced purple cabbage and a pinch of salt. After 3 more minutes add the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. At the end blend it until you get a smoothe cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked rice to the sauce, then the green apple sliced in cubes and mix well. After about one minute turn off the stove, mix the soy butter and the disabled nutritional yeast. The dish is almost ready to eat. Add some parsley and ground pepper. You can also add some slices of apple, as well as fried apple skins.
FOOD IS OUR PLEASURE Claudia Enrico A quick and super salad to help our spring cleaning! Spring Sprout Salad Ingredients: 1 cup sprouts (mungo beans, alfalfa, fenugreek sprouts) 1 cucumber 2 Tbsp fermented crauts 1 Tbsp Arame seaweed 1-2 fresh green onions Â˝ cup edible purslane or dandelion leaves 1 tsp plum vinegar EVO olive oil Soak Arame seaweed in a small pot with little water. Slice cucumber and fresh green onions. In a bowl put the sprouts, cucumber, fresh green onions, wrung out Arame sliced, purslane or dandelion leaves, crauts. Season with plum vinegar and olive oil. This is a perfect and balanced nourishing salad and an amazing detox.
Claudia Enrico 2017 ÂŠ
MOTHER EARTH SPEAKS INITIATION Claudia Enrico Anchoring Heaven on Earth is part of our Initiation as Human Beings. The Divine Source of Life Energy needs us to be able to share Its gifts. So we must enter in a space of acceptance of such an experience. However, we are not always able to do that due to the limited perception of our minds, our education and culture. Often our personal life-paths have been disrupted and damaged by traumas and suffering, so we’ve lost faith, hope, courage, or we have been raised to be agnostic and sceptical and such “stuff” is nonsense. We’re in the middle of an Evolutionary Vortex. Can you feel that? We are the witnesses of the New Era of Wisdom. We are the Creators of the Future for ourselves and for the next Generations. So we need to prepare ourselves. There are problems, and we insist on solving them. Why don't we try to “dissolve” them? What is still missing? Let's flash back to our childhood: what do we remember about it? Was it nice, playful, joyful? Do we remember the first time we rode our bicycle? Or our first school day? Do we hold in our heart some special moment in which we did something for “the first time”? Then let's move along to our adolescence. Do we still feel the taste of the “first kiss”? Do we remember the first time we said “NO” to our father or mother in an attempt to manifest our thoughts, rights, power and so on? Is our memory still connected to the experience we had in our teens in feeling and seeing our body transforming inside and out?
How many times have we gone through “silent initiations” and we’ve been thrown into a new “energetic” awareness without knowing the process that was happening inside? Many so called Primitive Tribes, still surviving in this modern World, have been forever practicing initiations as a way to grow and evolve: from girl to woman, from boy to man. But what is an initiation? What is its goal? There is a process that belongs to the Life Force, its purpose is the constant creation of new life forms, new awareness, new wisdom, new abundance, new joy, new bliss, new prosperity, new peace. This is an unstoppable process that occurs in everyone and everything on this Planet and, I suppose, in other Worlds. On this Earth we have the blessings of being protected and supported by a quality of the Divine Energy that we call Mother Nature. She carries the peculiar aspects of the Female side of the Energy. Her task is to hold, to nurture and to protect Life. She, as a living mother, takes care of Her children and, as a good mother, She teaches Her lessons to them. Sometimes learning a lesson is tough! But it is always meaningful and helpful. The process of learning often includes a healing process too. Healing means “to let go of what no more serves to personal growth and evolution”. Letting go means also “letting God”. Getting rid of our personal “ego limited mind” is often a long healing process, but each time we receive a lesson, we have a chance to enter into a new space of comprehension and healing, to move forward into a new cycle of our growth. Clearing our mind clarifies our thoughts, beliefs, conditionings, paradigms. This process re-sets our subconscious mind with healtier programs. Did you know that almost 90% of our mental processes are held by our unconscious programs? (I invite you to read on this topic Bruce Lipton – The Biology of Belief ). Healing our mind further will improve our connection with our deeper Self and with Divine Energy.
Why do we have to do that? In my previous article I wrote about the two polarities that rule our world. (See THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 4). Healing represents a very good way to bypass the separation created by polarity, it also allows to create unity, wholeness, integrity. I’ve been taught for many years, during my experience as a Reiki Student and Teacher, that there are many “ways” to support healing and growth, and for me Reiki is the best! Healing processes occur to save our Soul. When the healing goes deep into the already phsycal ailment, the outcome can be death, a part of the natural process of life, since the soul had gone too far away from "Home". In Reiki (Usui Shiki Ryoho) we experience a series of Initiations. The first time I met Reiki I experienced what Initiation really means as a rite of passage. In my personal life experience, I’ve often forgotten the awareness of my “first time” in doing or experiencing something. As many, I flew along my life missing something in terms of understanding what was happening to me, what was going on. The Reiki Initiaton allowed me to begin a new path in my life, it gave me the possibility to “anchor my Heaven on this Earth”. What a gift! It really seems that Initiation is a necessary step for everyone, whether it is unaware, or consciously embodied. It is said that Human Beings are at the top of the evolutionary piramid. If it’s so, we still have much to learn. I would like to give you an example of what I’ve seen and experienced in terms of Initiation as a farmer in my garden. There are little tree frogs (Hyla arborea) in my garden, one of them decided to make its home close to the sink in my barn. It decided to live in a container I use for knives, spoons and forks for my cats feeding.
It has been there since last summer and so I’ve provided it with a little swimming pool to bathe in. I’ve seen it splashing there several times, it was nice and tender to see such trust from it, for me interacting with an amphibian became important. Who says we cannot communicate on a “deeper level” with everyone and everything?. Some days ago it started to sing, after a long period of prayers and Reiki to ask for rain in my area, since we had suffered from a bad drought and had had many fires in the hills behind my land. Other frogs soon responded. Within a few days rain came to water us all! According to some Native American Indians Tribes, the Frog carries the Medicine of “Purification”. Purification is and was an essential part of Initiation Ceremonies. Mother Nature is always communicating and supporting us. Purification and Initiation I invite us all to pause for a moment and meditate on these topics: we constantly need purification, we long for conscious Initiations. Let’s have open eyes to see what our common Mother is trying to teach us. Don’t ignore that. Be open. Be wise. Be Natural. And so be it! Peace & Blessings to us all.
Claudia Enrico © 2017 Article and Photos Edited by Antonella Vicini
TRAVELLING The Gift of Trees Judy Hayes Since I have written about my travel experiences in past volumes, the question may arise as to why I am writing now a reflection on trees. Yet, there is a connection. While in Rome in 2016 I visited the church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and chanced upon an exhibition of recent works by the Italian sculptor, Settimo Tamanini. This stunning exhibition celebrated the variety and majesty of God’s creation through the medium of art. In his own words the artist attributes his inspiration to the wonders of nature, particularly the trees: “I have drawn inspiration from the tree, already present in the first pages of the Bible and in deep harmony with the Universe. This is how the ‘Trees of Great Mothers” (fruit trees from Palestine) were born as powerful sculptures in pure copper wrought through blown flames and fire. The Garden of Eden which is in us all.”
*Baudelaire wrote: Nature is a temple in which living pillars Sometimes give voice to confused words. Man passes there through forests of symbols which look at him with understanding eyes.
I quote from his catalogue: "The sheer scale of Settimo Tamanini's Trees of Great Mothers: Fruit Trees from Palestine, entices the viewer to contemplate their rich symbolism through the physicality of an immersive experience, echoing the call of wisdom in nature itself. From the almond tree – Tree of Amazement – to the fig tree – Tree of Hospitality – Tamanini references the rich history of trees in the biblical narrative tradition. Of the almond tree he writes: ‘The almond tree is the first among the trees to blossom. It is par excellence the sign of spring and rebirth.’ Tamanini remarked: ‘Art as a way towards beauty represents a great challenge and responsibility for contemporary artists: that of offering, through its universal language, a visible image of the fertile and silent activity of invisible wisdom.’ This exhibition, planned for the Lenten season of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, coincided with the call to custodial care of Creation issued in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si'. The gifts of a tree are many: it may provide shade, offer protection from the elements, supply nourishment, serve a medicinal purpose or prevent the erosion of the soil. But its greatest gift to the earth is its restorative beauty and its ability to touch the human soul with powerful emotions. These are gifts too precious to ignore.
One of the trees in the exhibition was the almond tree, a tree that provides edible fruit, as did all of the trees on display. To only acknowledge that aspect of the tree does it a great disservice because it is so much more. With its riot of flowers, the almond tree, among the first to bloom, is a harbinger of spring and the promise of new life after a long winter. While the eyes feast on its canopy of flowers, the soul feels the stirrings of hope and optimism. Such is its gift to human beings!
It is not difficult to imagine the pomegranate tree as a symbol of unity. Within it are its many seeds, representing all of its potential. These seeds are those found within an individual as well as the individuals who are bound together in a community. The combination of many joined in one is a powerful force. In the Pope’s encyclical, we as Christians are called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbor on a global scale.” The Pomegranate is a perfect image for the unity and communion of which he speaks.
The olive tree, gnarled, seasoned, long-lived, prolific is one of the most striking sculptures in the exhibition. The sturdiness and steadfastness of its trunk appears in sharp contrast to it narrow, almost fragile leaves. In the Mediterranean world, it is possible to find stands of olive trees that have lived for hundreds of years. As a result of this longevity, this important tree has come to symbolize the virtues of tenacity and perseverance.
The majestic chestnut tree, distinguished by its abundant fruits, has long been a symbol of generosity. In Italy, in the autumn hills, it is possible to see people by the side of the road gathering chestnuts and filling bags with them. Surely such a tree should be prized for its gifts.
Throughout creation history trees and humans have had a symbiotic relationship. No tree illustrates this better than the fig tree, also featured in this exhibition. In ancient Rome stood a fig tree, known as the Ficus Ruminalis, to mark the place where Romulus and Remus had been washed ashore by the Tiber. This tree took its name from the Latin, ruma, meaning “mother’s breast”, referring to the she-wolf who suckled the twins. Hence, the fig tree became a symbol of good luck and fertility.
A remnant of this veneration remains in cultures that celebrate spring around a May Pole. A tree is brought from the forest back to the village. In his renowned book, The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer tells us that “the intention of these customs is to bring home to the village, and to each house the blessing which the tree-spirit has in its power to bestow.” This exhibition was a powerful reminder that beauty offers sustenance to the soul as well as the eye. Trees speak to us of the importance of deep roots and mirror the human need to soar and lift ourselves toward the heavens. For all of these reasons, we should commit ourselves to cherishing and protecting the beauty manifest in trees.
Judith Hayes NOTES: Source: The Meaning of Trees: Botany-History-Healing-Lore by Fred Hageneder. *The quote is from the presentation by Elizabeth Kwant for: Settimo Tamanini: Trees of Great Mothers - Fruit Trees from Palestine, 2016. Alla Radici Della Vita / To the Roots of Life that was shown in the Church of St Ignatius, Rome from 18 February - 3 April 2016.
From the artist's website: http://www.mastro7.it/it/arte-orafa-trento/opere-creazioni-artigianali/ Trees of Great Mothers - Fruit Trees from Palestine, 2016. Alla Radici Della Vita / To the Roots of Life was shown in Church of St Ignatius, Rome from 18 February - 3 April 2016. Image 1: Almond Tree “Tree of Amazement”, 2016, pure copper blowtorched and forged by fire, 350 x 350 cm. Image 2: Olive Tree “Gethsemane Tree”, 2016, pure copper blowtorched and forged by fire, 350 x 350 cm. Image 3: Pomegranate “Tree of Prosperity”, 2016, pure copper blowtorched and forged by fire, 300 x 200 cm. Image 4: Chestnut Tree “Tree of Generosity”, 2016, pure copper blowtorched and forged by fire, 500 x 450 cm. All images copyright © Mastro 7 by Pierluigi Cattani Faggion.
TRAVELLING EAST The Moon and the Star Raffaella Vicini
While reading my previous articles on my travels in Asia, my mind returned to my very first trip to the fabulous east: Turkey. It was summertime in 1981, I wanted to visit some Turkish friends I had met during my first holiday in London in 1977. Here we are, beginning of a very hot August, ready to board the plane for Istanbul. It was even my first flight, so my emotions were really high. My sister, as usual, insisted on an early start, so we had to wait 5 hours at the terminal, but it didn't matter, we were going to Constantinople, the ancient capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, so we were really going there and leaving from Rome itself! I was very happy, not just because I was travelling with my sister and her husband, not just because I was going to meet again my friends after 4 years, but also and perhaps mainly because I was finally going East. At the time I felt like a pioneer, since not many Italians were going there at that time, unless they had different reasons. When we arrived I felt welcomed by its open arms, just like our friends'. It was intensely hot, the city was shining under the sun with its mosques, minarets, the chaotic and unruly traffic on the roads and in the sea, the millions of people. Different perfumes, people in unusual clothes (now they do not seem so strange anymore), the muezzin calling people to prayers, multicoloured spices, the Grand Bazar with its intricate alleys a city within the city, shops of all kinds with rugs, ceramics, gold and jewels
I was dazzled and could not stop looking trying to make sense of it all: kepab's vendors, donuts carried on the head by boys and women, grilled or boiled corn on the cob, tea offered in every shop, even on the ferries crossing the Bosphorus, and then raki the typical alcoholic drink, it is so strong that it can only be drunk mixed with water (a little bit of water, then a sip of raki, then water and so on..) The Topkapi palace, the sultan's abode with its harem and its thousands rooms filled with beautiful and precious objects, the magnificent Blue Mosque and Haja Sofia in front, the Galata tower, remembering the sea filled with colors according to the time of the day, it was a breathtaking view.
After Istanbul we continued our journey towards the coast of the Aegean sea, a trip full of discoveries for me and my friends who didn't yet know the beauty held in those places. We travelled back in time to the Greek and Roman times, when the cities of Ionia, the ancient name for this part of the world gave the world both poetry (the Iliad that tells the story of Troy) and the first philosophers. The first stop was Assos, at the end of a full night bus trip, lulled to sleep by traditional music and frequent offerings of typical Turkish cologne, so that we felt refreshed all the way through. When we arrived we realized how spectacular this small village was, on the top of the hill we had tea in a bar with tables made out of Greek capitals... the walls were cyclopic... it was a feast for an archeologist. By the sea there was only our hotel with restaurant, more a shack than a proper restaurant, but the food was fresh out of the sea.
The sea was amazing, so beautiful, intensely blue, so much so that I cannot forget it even after so many years. The beach was made of huge white shining boulders, a magical place indeed.
We rested there for a few days, because we were waiting for one of our friends who was changing car, we traveled in his previous car, so we were sure he was going to buy a bigger one... But we were in for a surprise: he arrived with a Volkswagen Beetle! And there were 6 of us with luggage.... The jokes started and so the laughters, 3 in front and 3 in the back seat, our luggage on the roof and the tailgate kept open with a rope attached to the roof, to avoid overheating...... that was the beginning of an epic journey in the hot Turkish summer. And so we went to Troy, where we looked at the shores from the walls of the city, where so many heroes had been sung in unforgettable poems; then to Ephesus, where the great Heraclitus lived and offered his cryptic vision of the world when the sages were still looking for one comprehensive explanation of the entire world.
We travelled south to Izmir, the ancient Smirne; then we went to Dydima, where the important sanctuary of Apollo was situated, here people had come for centuries to receive oracles, as famed as those of Delphi itself. We went to Miletus, Ephesus and Pergamon, eventually, we reached Halicarnassus, now Bodrum. Each place we visited was a dive into history: the battles, the stories, the empires, the culture and beauty of the past was overwhelming, the sea welcomed us with its transparent and crystalline waters. The people we met were always nice to us, kind and hospitable. The food was spiced and hot, yet it was very tasty filling our taste buds and our bellies with the flavour of a shared experience. All our senses were involved: sight, hearing, smell taste, touch. Every thing, every corner, every stone was there to be seen, listened to, touched and smelt. Everything was special and authentic.
Bodrum was the last part of our on the road journey. Even at that time there were special rules in the city, since it was a tourist attraction. Bars, shops and restauants used to stay open until late at night. There I saw a great female singer who turned out to be transgender, the first one I had ever met. She had a beautiful voice and was extremely nice to me. That was the last leg of the most exhilarating journey I have ever taken in my life. Since then I have been several time to Turkey, visiting my friends and other parts of this beautiful country. However, that first time with the image of the ancient Costantinople at evening time, when the moon kisses the Bosphorus on the reflected image of the blue mosque and a little star smiles in the sky is and remains unforgettable.
Raffaella Vicini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
This article is dedicated to my friends on this journey as a way to celebrate 40 years of friendship (Thank you Mehmet, Umit, Arzu, Antonella, and Rob on the other side)
QUILTING AWAY Even an old quilt has character…and a rich story Lida Perry In my last article I wrote and described an old quilt found in a flea market. Now I would like to continue this conversation, by taking into consideration the general concept of old, that is independent from the process of aging. “Old is a condition that has nothing to do with age” (James Hillman,1999)* I was attracted to the old quilt as we are drawn to old things, objects, places, we go to Rome and admire the Colosseum, we visit Athens and we are mesmerized by the Acropolis and the old temples…. These things become more precious because of their character, without the connotation of death and age, even though the walls might be crumbling and the stones at times fall and the whole structure becomes vulnerable, nevertheless, they hold the fascination of age. I hold the quilt and I see that the fabric is thin, threadbare from over use, but it holds time, it is as if it could keep back change, and as all old things it is closer to a state of permanency. Old is much more than a word or an idea, it is more a composite of layers of life experiences, of personal stories, of our values which carry the image of “oldness”.
As I seat at my work table, while quilting, often my thoughts are drawn toward the past and I find myself reviewing my personal biography: I read it as a story, and at the same time as a critic, an appraiser, a judge and a defendant. In this activity I separate the different layers, the tottering body, the accumulated wisdom of past experiences, the forgetfulnessâ€Ś these are parts of an image that is my character. I am part of the human complexity and I cannot be identified by only one layer. This old quilt lasted in time as we, the elders, have lasted many years, sustained by the instinct of self-preservation and differently from the quilt or other old things, we need to transit from lasting to leaving. What we need to let go of is a set of attitudes and ideas that have outlasted their usefulness, ideas and expectations about our body, about our minds. It is time to surrender to our own innate intelligence, the characteristic of our human nature. If we can really let go we no longer just see things, but look at them in a different light. As our sight diminishes and we cannnot clearly see the details, we can then perceive and have a sense of a different and deeper nature of things. Our senses might be impaired or imprecise, but the imagination can still singâ€Ś As I look at this old quilt with new eyes I notice the repetition of a pattern, the triangle is the only shape repeated many times. Old people like to repeat stories or describe situations that have happened to them. I remember my mother and how she loved to tell her stories about events of her youth, particularly of my fatherâ€™s life or my grand-parents. After an initial irritation at listening again and again to the same stories, I realized she enjoyed the story telling. In repeating them she tried to convey the tradition of our family. Repetition is the essential element of the oral tradition since it passes on, through the stories, the energy of generations past to the new generations and this process becomes our cultural heritage that is so preserved.
At another level old people like to feel that they are heard and also in telling the stories they give meaning to their past and their daily events which are transformed to something lasting, like stones on which we can build new traditions. Just as the triangles and their repetition have made up this quilt. Old age is not a concept, but an experience of our human nature.
Lida Perry Edited by Antonella Vicini *From : The Force of Character and the lasting life. â€œJames Hillman.Ballantine Books-Random House Publishing Group. 1999
HEALING WITH WORDS A Path into Wisdom Antonella Vicini and Lida Perry The young man walking slowly with his defective foot, finally reached the fabulous city where his destiny would be revealed. He had met many people running away from that place where the ominous animal was fiercely standing. He knew there was no chance for him to go beyond it without facing its terrible fangs. Then the voice resonated inside him as well as echoing in the distant valley behind. Who is the creature walking with 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at midday and three legs in the evening? Man, man is such a creature. When we are little we crawl on all fours, then we walk on our two legs and when we become old we need a stick to support and help us. The riddle is solved, the plague is lifted the Sphynx can leave the city. The young man becomes a hero....
Regardless of the terrible destiny that awaits Oedipus in Thebes, we liked the story of the Sphynx as a way to introduce our new creature, a course on becoming elders.
In tribal societies the older members of the clans were considered the wise people, therefore aging was recognized for its value of accumulated experience and information to be passed down the generations (the stick!). In the western and some of the eastern world we seem to have forgotten the respect due to the people who have crossed the same paths we are walking now. It is time to grow up, to wise up to the ways of the world, the real world beyond the veil of enchantment placed on our senses. This path of growth is available at any age, so we can be wise and innocent like children are, we can be enthusiastic and passionate, yet sage and vibrant. Some people say that by becoming wise we can give meaning to all the experiences of life. Others affirm that our paths become conscious after our fifties... We believe that the path into maturity = wisdom is open at any age. In our world so focussed on youth, we spend our time being obsessed with remaining forever young. Often we resist our own growth and transformation, since we think the natural development of our lives may deprive us of important parts, rather than welcoming the changes as new, deep and rich meanings for our human experience on earth. We will walk together on a path of reflection and deepening of our connection to our roots. Thus, we will get in touch with the eternal wisdom that belongs to all of humanity and all stages of life. We look forward to listening and answering your questions
Antonella and Lida Information and contacts can be found in our advert pages at the end of the volume.
THE PERFECT MATRIX Rosana Liera One night I was shown the matrix. It is not easy to describe with words such an experience, even less so writing about it. Nevertheless I think it is important to share the events as they happened. At that time I used to live in the countryside, I loved to sit alone in the evening enjoying the cooler temperature, with my cats for company. I loved the peace of those moments. When the moon was shining the entire landscape was lit by its special light and it felt that even time might stop in contemplation. That June evening, the air was serene and soft, with the smells of wild herbs and hay. In the silence of the land the orchestra of crickets resounded with their usual songs, while in the distance only the horned owl answered with its hypnotic and rythmic note. In the distance there was the sea, with its lunar reflections giving the scene a sense of unreality. I was completly absorbed by the scene around me. I remember I felt attracted to a semicircle of fruit trees around my house, as if I aw them for the first time. Suddenly I felt the need to stand up and walk. I crossed the fruit orchard in all its depth and continued fast in the almost complete darkness, all the way to the end of the fields. I heard an angelic voice inviting me to go on. So I climbed over the fence and unhesitatingly entered the thick Mediterranean maquis, making my way through shrubbery and bushes. After a short walk I found myself in a clearing surrounded by tall trees and I looked around. At that point I felt encouraged by the angels not to be happy with just the surface of things. Everything seemed to have stopped, I held my breath, then the nearby and silent flight of a nocturnal white winged bird of prey upset that temporary balance. For an eternal instant our eyes met and I opened myself to vision.
At first I saw the spirits of nature living inside the trees, accompanied by the spirits of wild grasses, then I discerned luminous lights that became more intense, they were thickly connected with each other, forming a multicolored web. That wonderful, impalpable fabric permeated everything and I was entirely wrapped in it. Space itself was an emanation of that mysterious substance. It exuded a sound of unheard purity and radiated all around a warm tenuous light, drawing faint flutctuations in the air, as if it was re defining new and subtle balances. Sudden flashes attracted my curiosity, so I noticed that, on every knot in the web, there was a small mass of spherical light, more intense and changeable. Each one of these was an access door to a new dimension, that, in turn, opened to infinite other dimensions, in a cascading effect. I felt my mind becoming lighter and entering gradually in a state of deep relaxation and increased perceptual sensitivity. I cannot describe the ecstasy produced by these images. Slowly the spheres started to take on new shapes. At first I could not see anything but shining opalescent shapes, burning with light. Then I recognized them: sublime, in all their beauty, with their wide iridescent wings. I understood that that web was God's Matrix and the Archangels themselves were the custodians, the intimate rulers. Like supreme architects, they supervise every aspect of its functioning and, through it, they realize the divine plan. I penetrated then into the depth of the vision and I was able to contemplate a myriad of particles, shining with light, that kept appearing and disappearing incessantly. They behaved as if they were intelligent and seemed to react with my thoughts, making the web vibrate and expand from within, like a swarm of bees.
I was in front of the essence from which all phenomena receive life, the unified field that Einstein looked for all the time until the last moments of his life, the transcending reality yearned for by all mystic traditions. The Archangels had shown me the substance of the universe. They wanted me to understand how everything, including our consciousness, is an essential part of this immense fabric pulsating with life. Material existance is only a partial reflection of a wider truth, if we want to really make a difference in life, we need to learn and know the laws of spirit and energy that pervade each thing.
Rosana Liera Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini NOTE Excerpt from: (“La Matrice Perfetta” – Estratto da ROSANA LIERA, L’Arcangelo Raphael.Visione e Guarigione, Edizioni Il Punto D’Incontro, Vicenza 2014, pp.23-26) Photos Antonella Vicini
STORYTELLING Inseparable Chapter 2 Bianca Veronica Reiki is great Their first attempt at progeny had failed, but they didn't give up. I cannot recall if the courting started immediately, but I do remember they made their nest four more times, before I realized they needed help. The eggs didn't hatch, so once more they threw them away. I picked one up and found a small chick inside, I was shocked and sad. Something was not working, the chick probably wasn't strong enough to get out of the egg. How could I help them? Helping them with Reiki would have been a great experience, but how could I go about it? They were always so vigilant, I could not invade their territory. Reiki is powerful, I thought, energy flows and treating their nest could work. During breakfast I observed them, they spent a lot of time in their nest, there was a lot of noise there. Their coupling was happening inside the little house. One day I saw Pappa hatching, so I realized that was the right time to help her. I placed my hands on the sides of the little house, as close as possible to the nest and I let the energy flow. The heat in my hands was intense, the request of energy was so strong, that I could not interrupt the flow. The eggs were absorbing Reiki. I repeated the treatment for a few days; then the request of energy decreased, it seemed there was no need for anything else. I was satisfied.
My daughter Giada was 8 years old then, she was looking at me with trust, she probably thought I was doing some kind of magic, and she asked me: "Mum, do you think they will be born this time?". "We shall see, I hope so, but we need to wait". One morning there was great excitement in the air, Pappa came out of the nest and was chirping modulating her voice. Pepe was next to the little house and was looking inside, then there were some cheep cheep, it has happened! The chicks were actually born. " Reiki worked, Reiki worked!" I announced the good news to everybody. I was very happy!
The nest was always their centre of attention. I had to wait a long time before having a glimpse of the little ones. I didn't want to scare them. A few days after the birth, Pappa and Pepe flew around the room, the great stress of hatching and the first care for the chicks was over. When I went close to the cage I saw three little chicks, I was very quick, since Pepe started shrieking like an eagle and returned immediately to the cage. I closed it and left.
Adolescents Now there were five of them. The little ones were lively and mouthy, with their bright colors. The roles in the couple changed, scoldings and cuddles were alternated. The little ones were a handful, so Pappa e Pepe had many discussions: Pepe defended his territory, while Pappa defended the chicks, there was continuous bickering, the space had become too small for all of them. I brought home a new cage, but I didn't know how to separate them.
I decided to trust observation and intuition, as I always do, so I placed the cages one next to the other, so that they could get used to the new aviary. The chicks, even if they looked smaller, were perfectly formed and seemed ready to go out. I left the cage open and I did the same with the new one, I was curious to see what would happen. After the excitement of flight Pepe and Pappa slipped into the new cage. The little ones looked at the parents for a while, then they left the cage for the new adventure. There were no difficulties, since they had seen how to fly from mum and dad. In the room there was much excited chirping, seeing them free was really impressive. I placed the food and bisctuis for the little ones in the new cage and I waited for them to feel hungry. When the time came they parted naturally. The parents returned to their old home and the children settled in the new one. The separation had happened without traumas, no more jelousies or arguments to defend the territory.
The days went by with their regular pace: what used to be exceptional became routine. The little ones became adult, the room became and aviary. I often forgot to close the door of the corridor and the birds were happy to fly around the entire house. I was happy with such joy and their freedom. In the summer I moved the cages outside on our terrace. They would suffer from the lack of freedom, but there were many other birds they could talk with. Outside it was very pleasant, the temperature was warm, the plants were full of flowers. One afternoon, while I was about the house without a real goal in mind, I was attracted by the intense shrieking of the birds, I looked out of the balcony: Pappa and Pepe were looking at me while emitting very shrill sounds, they were trying to see what was happening outside, as if they were looking for something. I checked to see if any pigeon was threatening their cage, but everything seemed in order. At that point my neighbour called me telling me that my budgies had landed on her balcony. The cage of the little ones was empty and the door closed. "How is this possible?" I asked myself, I was so surprised. I checked again the doors, they were all closed, and there were no other exits. Other neighbours called telling me that the birds had moved from one balcony to the next. The little ones were flying around looking for the right terrace, while the parents were calling them with shrill sounds. I was knocking on all doors, from balcony to balcony trying to find them. Eventually a lady gesticulating showed me that one of them had landed on the communal garden, I run downstairs with a table cloth. The little one was resting on the grass. I threw the table cloth on it, before it could take flight again, at least I had recuperated one! When I was placing it back in the cage, I saw the othe two flying to the trees in the public park near my house, so I thought "It's over now". I kept looking at them in their flight, they were beautiful, very fast and were flying with great expertise. I was proud of them, I just hoped they would adapt to the cold winter temperatures.
In the end I realized the little ones must have learnt how to open the cage. There was no other explanation: they had watched and memorised the action I did every day, how intelligent! In the following days I felt alternatively grief and happiness. I felt like a mother whose children take their lives into their hands and leave home. The budgies had shown their enterprise and intelligence by conquering their freedom. For a while I didn't open the cages, the escape had been a trauma for everybody. They used to talk a lot among them. They seemed to be getting on well, all three of them. I was wondering if the little one was a male or a female, but I was very far from imagining what would happen in the following days......
Bianca Veronica Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini NOTE: the first part of the story can be found in THE BADGER Year 3 Volume 1
UNDER THE SKIN DERMOREFLEXOLOGY AND THE POWER OF DREAMS Part 4
Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini After completing our previous considerations on astral journey or lucid dreaming, we want to continue in our exploration of dreams, entering the dream world.
An important witness of lucid dreaming. Besides the many tales we may all have heard or read about lucid dreaming, we have chosen to quote here the direct experience of a very well known person in the western world:
Carl Gustav Jung, from Memories, Dreams, Visions, 1961, Chapter XI Although there is no way to marshal valid proof of continuance of the soul after death, there are nevertheless experiences which make us thoughtful. I take them as hints, and do not presume to ascribe to them the significance of insights. One night I lay awake thinking of the sudden death of a friend whose funeral had taken place the day before. I was deeply concerned. Suddenly I felt that he was in the room. It seemed to me that he stood at the foot of my bed and was asking me to go with him. I did not have the feeling of an apparition; rather, it was an inner visual image of him, which I explained to myself as a fantasy. But in all honesty I had to ask myself, "Do I have any proof that this is a fantasy? Suppose it is not a fantasy, suppose my friend is really here and I decided he was only a fantasy would that not be abominable of me?" Yet I had equally little proof that he stood before me as an apparition. Then I said to myself, "Proof is neither here nor there! Instead of explaining him away as a fantasy, I might just as well give him the benefit of the doubt and for experiment's sake credit him with reality." The moment I had that thought, he went to the door and beckoned me to follow him. So I was going to have to play along with him! That was something I hadn't bargained for. I had to repeat my argument to myself once more. Only then did I follow him in my imagination. He led me out of the house, into the garden, out to the road, and finally to his house, (in reality it was several hundred yards away from mine.) I went in, and he conducted me into his study. He climbed on a stool and showed me the second of five books with red bindings which stood on the second shelf from the top. Then the vision broke off. I was not acquainted with his library and did not know what books he owned. Certainly I could never have made out from below the titles of the books he had pointed out to me on the second shelf from the top. This experience seemed to me so curious that next morning I went to his widow and asked whether I could look up something in my friend's library. Sure enough, there was a stool standing under the bookcase I had seen in my vision, and even before I came closer I could see the five books with red bindings. I stepped up on the stool so as to be able to read the titles. They were translations of the novels of Emile Zola. The title of the second volume read: "The Legacy of the Dead." The contents seemed to me of no interest. Only the title was extremely significant in connection with this experience.
Four dreams for four bodies: The 4 types of dreams we have examined correspond directly with the four layers of human beings: physical, etheric, astral, spiritual. Who is dreaming? The division we have mentioned simply aims at understanding how the different parts of ourselves process dreams, so that we can interpret our dreams with greater awareness. Physical: here the main elements are our physical sensations, so physical material needs or desires percolate through the dream state. Etherical: here we talk about vital energy and our thinking ability, considering our disposition and emotions. We can find dreams connected to our daily living with their moods and attitudes. Astral: here we have the real dreaming power, we can say that in the astral level we are in the realm of the soul, desires, thoughts and unconscious processing. In our astral body we receive data from the phyisical and etheric level, as well as elements perceived directly in the astral plane.
We can find here personal collective, recurring, evolutionary, premonitory contents, etc. This is the reason for the variety and oddity of the astral dream contents. Causal: here we are still in the spiritual level, we can observe the awakening of active consciousness, will and memory during the dreaming state. Through a real evolution of the soul and the astral body we can achieve conscious dreaming, such as astral journeys or lucid dreaming. Considerations We had to simplify dreams in 4 categories in order to interpret them, but in reality often there are many different elements in the same dream: physical, mental and astral. Rarely we find spiritual or lucid dreams with physical or mental aspects, but this is not a rule, since lack of personal energy may mix or change the levels. It is useful to identify, whenever possible, the dominant aspect of the dream. We could ask ourselves if the dream is mainly mental, or phsycal, or astral. We also need to add that a dream can often be interpreted at different levels, therefore, after the recognition of the main aspect, we can examine each elements according to their respective aspect. We, obviously, refer to the dreams that come to us through our memory. Forgetting an astral dream does not mean we have no soul, but maybe our energy level is too low for us to remember it. Everything happens at the right time, when we are ready for something new, it will manifest again. Preparation, interest, patience, the dermoreflexology keys we will mention later on will be extremely useful in leading us where we want and are able to go. The stronger the memory of our dreams the more developed is the continuity of consciousness. Consequently astral dreams will increase in number, allowing you to experience a new dream clarity. The visible consequences in daily life make this already an important result. Being able to have frequent lucid dreams is a sign of increased personal power and abundant energy, because it assumes that self awareness is present both in awake and dreaming times.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” (William Shakespeare, The Tempest) and again : ...the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast. (William Shakespeare, Macbeth)
Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
NAMASTE DHYANA Part 1 Giosie Colagrossi
The Major aims of Meditation are: 1. controlling the habitual dispersion of Consciousness and cultivating the capacity to concentrate fully on objects, ideas, points, forms, sounds, light, colours and identifying with them. 2. realization of Divine Consciousness in all its attributes 3. individualising the plans not yet understood 4. purification of Inner Nature and Perfection in work 4. development of occult capacities 5. Supramental Transformation Sitting comfortably, with our back straight, eyes closed, half closed or open, observing your breath, repeating a mantra, tongue towards the chin, all these aspects are preparation for meditation, but they are NOT meditation yet. Meditation is a state of conscience, it happens suddenly, when it does it is out of Time, it is an ineffable Joy... " We cannot find Truth, but Truth finds us, we can only get ready for it: can we invite a guest we do not know? No, but we can tidy up our home, so that when the Guest arrives, we are ready to receive and acknowledge him/her."
Healthy food, Seva (service to others), Asanas (positions), a mind calming breathing technique (for example Ujjiay Pranayama), Dharana (one point concentration), all these practices prepare us to live Dhyana (meditation) with awareness and without expectations. My first guided meditation with an Italian teacher (thank you Tullio) lead me to observing my body sitting upright in an armchair, with a sense of lightness and limitless joy, it was a great emotion, like returning home... The first mantra I experienced was So Ham (ससो ऽहम म which means "I am That" in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality). Sometimes just looking at Ramana Maharishi's photo allowed me to experience peace, happiness, presence and, above all, heart. For several years I practiced transcendental meditation: repeating the mantra morning and evening, observing the mind and its thoughts as if they were at a different level from the mantra. I became aware I could observe the mantra while it was repeated, then sudden silence, inside and out, just the present without fluctuations: Being, just Being.
Even if this practice had become like breathing to me, after 15 years I started to practice a vocal mantra belonging to a different religious tradition. The mantra is Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo and it belongs to the Japanese Buddhism. According to a Japanese teacher, Masahiro Oki, " Ho Dai Moku = recitation is a mantra from Yoga, a prayer that considers the divine origin of each being inviting us to a life of reciprocal prosperity"
Om shanti shanti shanti
Giosie Colagrossi Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
THE NATURE OF DRUIDRY TREE MEDITATION Philip Carr Gomm In the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids we work with many methods of meditation. Here is one, inspired by the deep peace of the trees, that you can practice, either as a spiritual exercise in its own right, or as a prelude to prayer, ritual or other meditation or movement work. Its purpose is to help you feel centred and grounded, and to help you deepen your experience of being in your body and in relationship to the natural world. It encourages the flow of life-force, cultivates peacefulness, and harmonises Heart and Mind. Each element of the meditation may be experienced for as long as you wish, and once you have mastered the simple sequence, you can deepen your experience by dwelling for a longer time on each part of the meditation. Begin by standing or sitting, and becoming aware of the environment around you. If you are not outside in a natural setting, you can imagine yourself in one - such as a forest or woodland grove. Now move your awareness to your body, and start to move the focus of your attention slowly down from the top of your head, relaxing into your awareness of your body as you do so. Relax your eyes and mouth, release any tension in the shoulders, and gradually move your awareness down through your torso and legs to the soles of your feet. Feel your feet planted firmly on the earth. Imagine roots travelling deep down into the soil, and sense these great strong roots spreading wide and deep beneath you.
Feel the nourishment and energy from the earth travelling up these roots now, until you sense again the soles of your feet. Feel the energy flowing up your body as you move your awareness slowly, with love and acceptance, up your body: up your legs, your thighs, your torso and arms, your chest, your neck, your head. When you reach the top of your head, just let go of this movement of awareness and rest in an awareness of just Beingâ€Ś still and calm, breathing in and breathing out. Now you will move your arms slowly in a particular way, as illustrated in the following diagram, and as described in detail in the text that follows:
When you feel ready, raise your arms, not forwards in front of you, but out to either side of you, palms facing down. Let your arms float up effortlessly as if they doing so of their own volition, floating up until they are parallel to the earth. As they reach this position at shoulder-height, turn your palms to face upward, and as you do this, move your arms back a tiny amount - just a centimetre or so - and enjoy the sensation this gives of opening your chest, your heart: welcoming the world. Imagine your arms and hands are like the first great boughs that mark the beginning of the crown of your tree. Sense the branches and leaves of your crown moving in the sunlight and sky above. Stay in this position as long as you like, and then slowly move your arms up until your fingertips touch above the top of your head, sensing as you do this the top of the crown of your tree. Enjoy the stretch of this movement, and then retrace the movement: slowly lowering your arms down on either side, palms facing up until they reach shoulder-height, at which point they turn downwards, and continue in one flowing movement down, until fingertips meet at the groin, at the mid-line of your body.
As you move your arms down to this position allow your awareness to move towards the earth and a sense of your roots, and then feel the energy of the earth flowing up the trunk of your tree, in other words your legs, until it reaches your hands, at which point your hands begin to travel, fingertips touching, up the mid-line of your body to your chest. Pause at the chest and let your fingertips touch your body. Then bring your fingertips up to the brow to touch there. Then raise the fingertips right up as high as they can go, to repeat the stretch above your head to the top of your crown. Stay there as long as you wish, and then repeat the sequence twice more: separating your fingertips and sweeping your hands down with palms up, flipping your palms to face downwards at shoulder level until your fingertips meet just in front of your body, then bringing them up again to touch heart and brow before stretching up to the crown. On the third and final sequence, after stretching up above your head, lower your arms and bring them to rest on either side of you. Then just rest in stillness for a while, open to your awareness, sensing yourself breathing in and breathing out. When you are ready to finish this phase, give thanks to the trees, and gradually allow any sense of having roots, branches and leaves to dissolve as you become fully aware of your own body. At this point you can choose to finish the practice, or you can enter deeper into the stillness, either by sitting down or by staying upright, and using whatever technique you prefer for this phase of meditation. Alternatively, if you are using this practice as a preliminary to a movement meditation such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, you can now move into that phase of work. Even on your first attempt to perform this meditation, you will probably notice the sense of calm and grounding the exercise brings. Stretching outwards seems to open the heart and engender a feeling of gratitude and openness to life. Stretching upwards seems to help one feel aligned, and touching heart and brow can feel very powerful, bringing into our body an awareness of the goals of the Druid: Love and Wisdom.
As with any meditation technique or spiritual practice, the more you work with it, the more benefit you will receive. To begin with, you may be concerned with following the sequence of the exercise correctly, but once you are familiar with this you will be able to relax into it and can take more time with each phase. You can then - if you choose â€“ build on the basic practice, by - for example - touching the belly as well as heart and brow, or performing the meditation facing each of the cardinal directions in turn, or by using the sequence to refresh your body and energy field during prolonged sessions of meditation or contemplation.
Philip Carr Gomm " The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children " Note: In this page you can find several different meditation and the one explained here as well: http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/meditations/
PYTHAGORIC WOMEN Women's dignity in the Pythagorean world Salvatore Mongiardo When we think of Greek women we are used to imagine them wrapped in beautiful tunics with the typical hairstyle of the time. This was true for the imporant occasions, but their daily life was very harsh. They were locked in the gynaeceum (among the ancient Greeks the part of a dwelling used by women); They spent their time looking after the house, the children under the unchallenged domination of their husbands. Pythagoras, from Magna Graecia, respected women, he was probably influenced by the different cultures he had encountared during his journeys. In the Pythagoric vision of life women are clearly superior to men for their highest sense of justice. Pythagoras used to affirm: The writers of stories acknowledged the women's sense of justice because they lend clothes and jewels to a woman in need, even without witnesses and without arguments or lawsuits... while, if we wanted to mention this about men... nobody would admit it, since it is alien to the nature of men. (Iamblichus, 55) Women are the natural custodian of social justice, which we could also define as justeness or fairness. In other words, while men accumulate, women share.
From this high concept came also Pythagoras' recommendation to women considered very close to what is sacred: They had to prepare with their own hands what they intended to offer to the gods, taking it on the altars without help from the slaves: buns, sweets, fava, beans, incense. They were not supposed to honor the deities with blood and death. (Iamblichus 54) This clear message was well received by the inhabitants of Kroton: After Pythagoras had reached Italy and lived in Kroton... he spoke to the young ones... the adolescents... subsequently to the women, because of him there started an association of women. Iamblichus 18 We also have many texts on Pythagoras' ideas on women sexuality with his revolutionary ideas: 1. Pythagoras, after descending into Hades, saw men who were punished for not wanting to be with women. (Diogenes Laertius 8, I, 21) 2. About the pleasures of Venus (Pythagoras) says: Cultivate the pleasures of love in the winter, not in summer. (Diogenes L., 8, I, 24) ... When asked about how many times it is advisable to have sexual relationships, it is said that Pythagoras answered: When you want to be weaker than oneself. (Diogenes L., 8, 1, 99) 3. Pythagoras used to say that men need to make sure that they only have sex with their wives. (Iamblichus 48) 4. The inhabitants of Kroton, after Pythagoras' speech.... left the concubines they used to have, according to local custom. (Iamblichus 50) 5. It is also said that Pythagoras told how in the land of Kroton loyalty of men towards their women was well known to all: because Odysseus had refused immortality from Calypsus in exchange for abandoning Penelopes. (Iamblichus 57) 6. (Pythagoreans) ... considered precocity to be avoided... There are many aspects of human life, according to them, that it is best to learn later in life: among them there is sexual intercourse. (Iamblichus 209).
For Pythagoras nature has given women irresistible sexuality that needs to be lived in married life and without exaggeration, the sexual act is in itself free of any guilt. Teano, Pythagoras' beautiful wife, who had also been his student, admitted explicitly about having no restraints during lovemaking. If somebody was suprised by her open attitude, she would add: For this reason I am called woman (Diogenes L., 8, I, 98). Pythagorean Women's dignity, the natural custodians of justice, of what is sacred, of sexuality help us to understand both ancient history and our present as well.
Salvatore Mongiardo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
THE FLOWERING ALMOND Settimo Tamanini One day a Desert Father asked an old black withered tree: â€œTell me about Godâ€? the (almond) tree flowered. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you Maestro Tamanini's work, which you can also admire in the article Travelling By Judith Hayes. He has answered some of my questions and the result is his first article for THE BADGER.
Starting from my family, this conversation has given me the chance to think about the archaic farming world I come from. It was a self sufficient microcosm deeply connected to the earth; I feel lucky I have memories of my childhood when everybody lived off the earth. My Father was for me and example, he was committed to his family, to all of us, he looked after our extended matriarchal family. He was able to do all the jobs: from farmer to astronomer, from lumberman to carpenter, from mason to midwife... Back then, the houses were factories of many crafts. There was even a forge, I still remember the magic ritual for lighting up the fire that my father taught me when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Each tool was precious, because they were very expensive. My Father used to recycle the metal left over from the second world war by making it into daily objects. The enchantment of fire, the perfume of coal have impregnated my senses. When I was 10 years old I met Homer and the wondrous Achille's shield made by the god Hephaestus, those readings have moulded my life. In 1957 I entered the workshop of my teacher, the chisel master Vittorio Benetti, in Trento. Since that day I have chased my dreams, nightmares, desires into the precious metals and stones so that they could live in an eternal substance.
My passion for metals has become my profession, now it is my reason for living, I do not work anymore: I live. I follow my curiosity and I find fulfilment in the creation of objects that have a meaning, since in the materials there is the artist's DNA. Gold is the sun, the man, the luminous bridge between matter and spirit; silver is the moon, the woman, the mystery of her creation; copper holds all the iridescences of the universe. I followed William Blake's suggestion that a jewel holds the infinite in the palm of the hand. In a very small space the jeweler needs to concentrate the preciousness of stones, the strength of the metal working with both craftmanship and humility. I have used my hands as tools in order to transfer from an idea into a jewel the truest dreams of humankind: light, beauty and eternal life. My continuous search has lead me from jewelry to the macrocosm and power of sculpture. From the ideal world of jewels, I have chosen to face the magnitude of sculpture, Michelangelo used to say that each work of art has its size. Here I could give life to matter by creating presences that attract, involve and reveal more to the viewer. The archaic art, since it is in such profound harmony with the universe, brings out the primordial forms that lie dormant in my bones. Again and again I am confronted with the great enigma between matter and spirit. When I work with fire there is a complete physical involvement, since I can feel the heat on my body. Here enters the fire with its ancient purification, destruction and rebirth valences. The Trees of the Great Mothers attempt to express all this. The motivation for my trees are the feelings generated by personal memories, for example the tree of Generosity (the chestnut) is a homage to my maternal Grandmother, who looked after 17 children. Whoever sows courtesy will reap friendship, whoever plants kindness will reap love. (Basilius of Cesarea III CE)
The tree of Joy (the grape) represents the native grapes of Teroldego (lost in the XIX century to a parasite) from my region (Trentino), it is made of pure copper blown and torched. The burning bush is the image of the virgin that was before, has been and will always be. My inspiration are the sacred books that are my source of intelligence, wisdom and knowledge. The latest inspiration I am currently working on comes from Salvador DalĂŹ, since he also wondered about moving from the two dimensions of painting into the three dimensional work of sculpture.
Settimo Tamanini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini Link to the video on the Exhibition of Trees of the Grandmothers. https://www.facebook.com/LaudatoSiRoma/ Catalogue of the exhibition: https://issuu.com/gioiellimastrosette/docs/libro_mastro_7_-_laudato_s__
WITNESSING A Story of Transformation Rosana Liera This volume I am pleased to introduce Rosana's story, she is also the author of the article The Perfect Matrix. Her life story is a wonderful example of transformation into the light. Her books and workshps touch many people.
As far as I can remember I have always been able to contact spiritual entities, even as a child. The spirit world has always given me support, even when I had to make difficult decisions, I knew I was protected and something/someone was there in charge, leading and defending me. My perceptions became stronger during the first trip I took to South America, perhaps due to the emotions connected to my birth place. I found the places I used to love during my childhood, those places I had had to leave so quickly, when my family moved to Italy. I entered a mystic union with nature, receiving the spiritual initiation of the "Camino Andino" from the ancient shamans of Machu Picchu. More and more often I lived through events that were probably perceived as weird from the outside. I could hear and see things that were not visible to others. I realized that I had psychic abilities: every time I slept in a new place, I was woken up by some "presence" that was asking for help. I had the intuition that such a gift I could be useful for people, even if i didn't yet know how.
Before these experiences I had spent 20 years of my life travelling around the world, changing continents and jobs. My choices have always been made according to my desire for freedom and research, so I have a had a full and complete experience of life. I have had the most humble of jobs, as well as the highs of success. I have been a visual artist as well, receiving many awards and international prizes. I have become a member of the â€œInternational Committee of Artists for Peaceâ€?, I have worked with several Hollywood celebrities, some Grammy Award winners, I have promoted the ideals of peace and culture with NGO acknowledged by the United Nations. My animation film "Les Chasseurs des Poisson" has been seen around the world and in 2002 it was proclaimed in Hiroshima as a cultural and visive heritage for peace and an artistic document against violence.
Art has been a very important part of my life, like a faithful partner. It has given me the chance to dig deep into myself, especially at difficult times, and it has given me the opportunity to be in contact with people. Even now, even if in a different way from the past, it is still an important mean of spiritual expression. When I lived in Los Angeles I realized my potential as medium and healer. There I decided to use these qualities in service of people, after developing them since childhood and with over 15 years of studies, journeys and practice of holistic disciplines. That was an important time of self acceptance that probably prepared me for the great transformation ahead on my life path.
It happened in 2009. I was returning home after an evening out with some friends, when something unexplainable happened. I do not know exactly why, but I lost consciousness. I only remember a sudden joy pervading me, then I saw the scene from the outside.... the headlights on... the car on the side of the road without any damage... my motionless body, collapsed on the steering wheel... The darkness of night became light, a feeling of peace was all around me and was raisinig me up. I was entirely wrapped in a white cloud and I could discern some luminous shapes in front of me. I saw them hovering in the air and slowly revealing themselves to me. In that moment I realized I was in the presence of an angelic vision. There were many of them, full of light and love. I felt a deep desire to be re united with the divine light and in that instant I knew I was ready... From the silence of the group a powerful voice came: " Are you sure?" I raised my eyes and was blinded by such intense light. Two bright eyes full of compassion met mine. A beautiful and noble being rose among the angels. His face shined, golden hair was like a halo around him, his majestic wings were silhouetted behind. His shape emanated intense white light that penetrated everything. His voice was heard again: " I am here for you. What do you wish?" he said in a voice as soft as a caress. He looked at me with infinite love and nodded, looking around he added: "Is there anything not yet completed?". Actually, in my heart, I still had 2 wishes I had not yet been able to realize. "You can still do what you desire" he said with a smile. His presence infused warmth and a great sense of serenity and love. I thought that it would be impossible to leave that bliss and return to life on earth, but he reassured me: "This time it will be different". So I came back to my life here. That first encounter has changed entirely my relationship with life.
The archangel Michael has revealed to me the differences between reality as seen through our human eyes and the immanent truth that rules all. He gave me information about the changes in my life and a series of suggestions to follow. Since that time I have started to feel that presence near me, I have been able to understand and share the meaning of the angelic intervention on earthly life for everybody's happiness. My mission in life, so far, has been helping others to be in direct contact with the angels, by sharing their teachings, with as many people as possible. It is essential for our human spiritual evolution that people can contact and develop personally the powers connected to the angelic energy. The angelic vision is an experience of extraordinary intensity, it cannot be compared with any other etheric entity, both as a sensory and spiritual experience. The angels are made of sublime light and beauty, their presence emanates divine energy. To this day the contact with them has never been interrupted, I keep communicating with them on a daily basis. Since that night a door has been opened in my perception, a passage to the higher dimensions of consciousness.
Rosana Liera Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini Photos Antonella Vicini
Antonella Vicini http://badgermedicinespirit.wix.com/tirthayatra Writer and editor of THE BADGER, author of Talking with Gods, Sages, Fairies.... (a novel published in 2014). Steeped in classical and indological studies, I have spent all my life learning from people as well as from the ancient texts that keep revealing their immortal, thus contemporary teachings. I am happy when I can share new visions and face new challenges. I am a professional rebirther and trainer (since 1987), Reiki master since 1991, stress management and leadership trainer, writer and visionary. I also lead workshops on shamanic journeying and soul healing. I am deeply grateful to all my teachers and elders. Badger Medicine Spirit
Adrian Rooke I am a person centered therapist specializing in addiction and the consequences to family, I counsel the bereaved, and supervise other counselors. I am also a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. I am a member of the spiritual companions and practice as a celebrant conducting Handfastings and funerals. I have been a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids for over 20 years, where I have served as the press officer for 12 years and a Tutor for many years. I have an interest in Wicca.
Composer, pianist, Italian teacher. Andrea "EXO" Garella began studying piano at 9 years old under the guidance of Walter Ferrato who shared with him the art of improvisation and composition. Between 16 and 20 he reaped the fruits of his studies with long concert tours. In everyday life he works in education and training in the field of safety. He is also a licensed designer for mechanical and thermotechnical projects. He has always been interested in occultism and esoterism. He is about to publish a book where he will delve into these studies connecting such Masters as H.P. Blavatsky, Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung, A. Einstein, Jeremy Narby, C. Castaneda,Rick Strassman, Jean Dubuis and more. Here you can find one of his musical pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FmaMRyjF6o
Claudia Enrico www.joyfullrecipes.com has been a Reiki Master Usui Shiki Ryoho since 1995. She practices and teaches Reiki classes. She has been Managing Director of the Reiki Magazine Italia™. She wrote a recipe book “Le ricette per la gioia” (Verdechiaro Edizioni) and she has participated in conferences and meetings sharing her experience and message of health and well-being. She is now an Energetic Nutrition Consultant. She lives and creates in Sanremo-Italy and she’s a free Spirit.
Daniele Sampalmieri born in Ancona, Italy. After his technical studies, he spent several years studying Yoga, Integrative Rebirthing, Meditation, Shamanism, Ayurveda, Nutrition and Cooking. He has lived in many countries because of his work in the food and beverage field. His home is in Kenya, he has been exposed to many cultures and even had the chance of living with some tribes. In the last 2 years he has devoted his attention to the Alkaline nutrition and Vegan cooking.
David R. Kopacz, MD The focus of my work is bringing creativity, spirituality, and healing to my work with clients as well as to the larger challenges that face health care and society. I work at Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Seattle in Primary Care Mental Health Integration and have an appointment as an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. I am board certified through the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, the American Board of Integrative & Holistic Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Medicine. I have worked in a number of practice settings over the years. Prior to moving to Seattle I spent three and a half years in New Zealand where I worked in Assertive Community Outreach at Manaaki House Community Health Center and also served as Clinical Director at Buchanan Rehabilitation Centre.
Fredric Lehrman http://www.nomaduniversity.com/ is one of the original “Wealth Psychologists” who looked deeply into the subconscious habit patterns that may either support or thwart personal financial success. He began teaching these insights in the early 1970’s, and his seminars, articles, and coaching have been the launch point for many of today’s best known experts and authors ever since. Fredric’s personal career has included intensive study with master teachers in many disciplines, and professional success in music, psychology, martial arts, photography, and global entrepreneurship, networking and innovation. He founded Nomad University in 1974 as a way to expand the concept of education as a life-long individual path of self-directed learning. The ideas he articulated then are now starting to appear in new schools all around the internet-connected world of the 21st century.
Giosie Colagrossi after some years in England and Germany, she discovered India, where she lived and worked for 6 years. In 1988 she became a Yoga teacher in India with the Master Svamiji Ravi Shankar, there she taught in various schools and universities such as Sholapur, Bangalore, Gulbarga, Trivandrum, Simla, New Dehli,Calcutta and Puna. Upon her return in Italy, she continued her studies with a degree in naturopathy and iridology. She currently lives and works in the province of Viterbo, so rich in natural and artistic beauty.
Judith Hayes has both her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Latin and has taught for her entire career at the secondary level, and briefly at university, in the United States. She also has taught Latin for two years in Viterbo, Italy as faculty of the School Year Abroad program. She made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2013 and last summer joined an archaeological excavation in the Galilee region of Israel.
Laura Bottagisio www.laurabottagisio.com is an astrologer and seeker. She started studying astrology at the beginnings of the 80's with Lisa Morpurgo, she later worked with the Cosmos Institute of Milan, where she learnt about the theory and practice of Vibrational Waters. She has attended seminars with gerard Athias and Jp Brebion on new medicine and bio analogy. She shares her discoveries in her blog. She also creates tableaux with recycled materials, in this way she creates images out of emotions and inner worlds.
Lida Lodi Perry https://www.facebook.com/lidaperry?ref=profile Lida was born in the North East of Italy (Vicenza) after graduating from a teacher Institute she came to the USA, where she continued her education at the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Psychology and later a Master in Social Work. She worked for many years at a drug clinic in the local hospital. In 1984 she went back to Italy to work with abused children as a director of a residential facility. She moved on to work as a supervisor and Psychologist at Milan Cancer Institute where she is still consulting, while having a successful private practice as psychotherapist. She was also cofounder of the Rebirthing Institute with Antonella Vicini, she became a Reiki Master in 1992, she is still active with the local and international Reiki community.
Philip Carr Gomm http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/ Philip lives in the wide open landscape of the South Downs in Sussex, England, with his wife Stephanie. In his teens, he began studying Druidry as a spiritual path with Ross Nichols, the founder of The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. Later he took a degree in psychology from University College London, and trained in psychotherapy for adults at The Institute of Psychosynthesis, and in play therapy for children with Dr Rachel Pinney. He also trained in Montessori education with the London Montessori Centre, and founded the Lewes Montessori School. In 1988 Philip was asked to lead The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, and he combines this role in the Order with writing and giving talks and workshops.
Raffaella Vicini Born a double Scorpio, she has a degree in Law and has been working as lawyer for about 20 years. Her rational side has lead her to the law, while the deep, profound and mysterious side of her soul has guided her towards a path of personal growth (Rebirthing, Reiki, Yoga and other techniques). She loves to travel and learn about different cultures, she has met people of all colours, creeds, languages, learning and sharing their experiences.
Renato Tittarelli www.risoessenza.it www.renatotittarelli.it is a spiritual seeker and holistic practitioner. He has been teaching and sharing about non conventional medicines for the last 30 years: integral yoga, shiatsu, meditation, spiritual healing, numerology, alchemy, naturopathy, aromatherapy and massage. From 2000 has started to divulge more of his work in Italy and abroad working on the scientific as well as alchemical and hermetical aspects. He is the founder of SOAM (School of Holistic Aromatherapy and Massage), Didactic director or the Professional School of Aromatherapy in Livorno.
Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini http://www.vega2000.it/ http://www.dermoriflessologia.it have been researching for over 20 years in the field of psyco-alchemy. They are the creators of DermoReflexology and DermoAlchemy. In 2000 they founded the Association Vega for the study and publication of the new discoveries. Their professional course in DermoReflexology has been acknowledged by ASI/CON since 2012 as part of the natural and holistic arts.
Salvatore Mongiardo www.nuovascuolapitagorica.org born in 1941 at Sant'Andrea Jonio, he got his degree in Italy and his master in Germany and France. He worked in international marketing for many years, then he devoted his attention to writing. He investigates on human destiny and the deep reasons for violence. Since 2015 he has been the director of the New Pitagoric School.
Bianca Veronica Born in Sicily, Palermo, now living in Rome. The main themes of my life are the reasearch of the meaning of life, love for the arts, desire to help other people. For these reasons I have devoted my life to natural therapies, art therapy, painter, Reiki Master since 1995. I have started to write for an ancient memory that keeps calling me.
Rosana Liera www.rosanaliera.com is an internationally acclaimed award-winning artist, author and psychic. She has become member of the "International committee of artists for peace". Her work as a therapist combines her innate psychic and healing gifts with the knowledge acquired in her many journeys, and with 15 years of practicing several holistic disciplines. In 2009, after a near-death experience, Rosana started communicating with the angelic realm. Since then, she offers everybody the chance of meeting their angels and to rediscover their spiritual potential through her books, conferences, seminars and concerts all around the world. She is author of several books, dvd and courses on this topic.
Settimo Tamanini http://www.mastro7.it/ Internationally acknowledged artist, he specializes in jewels and sculpture. Still working in his native Trentino, close to the mountains, he has spent all his life researching and applying his discoveries in the beloved gold, silver and copper of his art work.
Tanya Tewell is a Professor of Art at a Middle Tennessee State University in Tennessee. She has taught at the college level for almost thirty years in painting, drawing, and artistic anatomy. Her teaching experience has also included working with gang members in South Phoenix, artists on the Navajo reservation, and prisoners on Death Row in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions and ten solo shows. She has also initiated, directed, and participated in painting murals in South Phoenix, Punta Allen, Mexico, Muro Leccese and a very large mural for the former art building at Middle Tennessee State University.
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THE BADGER Quarterly Year 3 Volume 2 March 2017 We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spiritual...
Published on Mar 7, 2017
THE BADGER Quarterly Year 3 Volume 2 March 2017 We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spiritual...