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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 1

January 2017 Through the red torii (=portal, 鳥 居 , literally bird abode) the boat of pilgrims reach the shore, the pilgrims disembark to pay their homage and admire the magnificent site. The red floating temples, the No theatre, the temples on the land, the lush vegetation and the meek deers grazing around. Such a scene has been happening at Itsukushima Shrine ( 厳 島 神 社 Itsukushima-jinja) since possibly VI CE. The well wishing Torii marks the passage from the daily life activities to the spiritual ones, thus reminding us of both aspects of life. Our theme for this first volume of our third year is Harmony, this is THE BADGER's wish for all our readers, so that we can remember to honor all aspects of life within and without with the same devotion, respect and joyful attitude. Happy 2017 and happy new discoveries with THE BADGER!

Antonella Vicini Director THE BADGERQuarterly LTD Cover photo and graphic lay out Antonella Vicini You can find all past volumes, videos and our blog in our website: http://www.thebadgerquartelyltd.com/ and links on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine/

CONTENTS Armonia Into the Matter

Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo

Dragon Farming

Fredric Lehrman


Kenji Miyazawa

Readers' Corner Voices from the Stars

Adrian Rooke and Laura Bottagisio


Adrian Rooke

Becoming Medicine

David Kopacz

Polis Aromatherapy

Cinzia Brandi Renato Tittarelli

CONTENTS Food is our Ally and our Pleasure Mother Earth speaks Travelling and remembering Travelling East Quilting Away

Daniele Sampalmieri AV Claudia Enrico Judy Hayes Raffaella Vicini Lida Perry

Healing with words

Antonella Vicini

Story Telling

Bianca Veronica

Namaste Dermoreflexology

Giosie Colagrossi Samantha Fumagalli Flavio Gandini

CONTENTS The Nature of Druidry

Philip Carr Gomm

Learning from Pythagoras Witnessing The Authors

Salvatore Mongiardo

The Students from Tarquinia short bios and photos


and links to previous volumes


products and services we believe in

If you want to become one of our authors, send us your ideas: thebadger@thebadgerquarterlyltd.co.uk keep in touch with us at our website http://www.thebadgerquartelyltd.com/ and our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine/

ARMONIA Mens Sana in Corpore Sano Antonella Vicini

A soft sounds pervades the room, all the people present sit quietly, their eyes almost closed in private bliss. The colors of the young women's clothes are in tune with the music they are playing on the traditional instruments, the sounds of daily life seem to have stopped entirely. I am captured and surprised by the peace inside and out, I feel at one with the accords and the people around me. I find a word for this perfect instant of life: harmony. Last summer I was fortunate to travel to Japan, a country I had admired and loved from afar since very early on in my life. Walking its streets, its paths in the numerous temples, shrines and gardens gave me an inkling of what harmony in action can do to our lives, I found that peace, serenity, good will are the results of such meticolous and persistent research for balance. Sitting quietly under a tree I observe the landscape around me, wherever my eyes stop, my mind can rest, relax and recharge, my spirit soars high supported by the beauty I am witnessing. My body, tired by the heat and the long walk, can find solace in the cool breeze under the tall trees, my emotions stop their incessant travel and quiet down in the refreshing atmosphere. I wonder how many people it has taken for this garden to reach perfection? What noble and profound intention is the foundation stone of such an achievement: a human creation in deep harmony with nature its seasons and moods, yet trascending it and giving birth to a new level of life.

How can we achieve it in our daily life? In the midst of so many varied activities and layers of being? I have been asking myself for countless years, I have found several answers, but perhaps the simplest one is the most effective: recreating that inner and outer balance that leads to harmony within and without. The bubbling sound of the water flowing out of a fountain in the early morning light, when the sun pierces the grey winter clouds, bathing me in pure golden light. A timeless instant of pure harmony. How can we achieve that balance? With a healthy mind and body working in unison. MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO As you probably know by reading our Badger, I have a passion for Latin and Greek, those languages are still able to condense many layers of meaning in a very concise, yet effective way. Sanus is an adjective that means originally whole, without divisions, separation, therefore whatever is sanus is a unity, before separation occurs. A healthy mind in a healthy body, this is the most common translation, but a partial one, I want to try and go a little deeper than the first impression. In ancient times, and even not so long ago in the first part of the XX century, there was no division between the use of mind and body, it was clear that, in order to think clearly and in a balanced way, the support of a healthy body was paramount and the basis on which to build a good life. Many researchers have questioned the meaning of mind and its various aspects; here I use it as the sentient aspect common to all human beings. Our capacity to both feel and put together data of life. When our body works, our mind does as well, when we eat good nutritious food, our mind works better and our body is lighter. Why is it then that not all people who exercise so much, eat their fibers and only organic food can be as unhappy as people who do not follow the same healthy lifestyle?

Perhaps the answer is elsewhere. As long as human life has inhabited the Earth, people have seeked wholeness= unity= non division= non separation. Our entire life is a process of returning to unity, the boundless, joyful, peaceful and light unity with all of creation. We may have had a brief perception of it within the space of our mother's womb, yet we wanted and needed to go out of it in order to discover who we are, what we can achieve, how far from our origin we can go.... One day we may look back or around and find there is a lot of empty space between us and the world, between us and ourselves even, lots of holes in the fabric of our lives. Where did the energy go? Where did our childhood enthusiam go? Perhaps down the drain with some of our best dreams and worst experiences. One day we may even wonder : Who am I? What have I become? Nobody can answer that question but you. Yet accross continents and centuries people have found a path of re-union with themselves and all of creation, through celebration of life, re connection and respect for all that exists. By accessing our roots, our ancestors in the land and accross the world, since we partake of all the genes and histories of this wonderful planet, we can tap back into the original harmony of life, that deep inner joyful yes. In traditional cultures the ceremonies of re union and re connection were always celebrated by the entire tribe, we can find our "tribe" and choose to spend some time with them in order to energize our lands, our rivers and trees, so that in return we can receive back our unity, or be helped along the way if needed. I wish you a good journey back to the roots of harmony = unity with all that exists.

Antonella Vicini Badger Medicine Spirit

The great path has no gates, Thousands of roads enter it. When one passes through this gateless gate He walks freely between heaven and earth. Ekai, called Mumon 1228 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krMdSrDIQ2w

Armonia by AV

INTO THE MATTER The nature of demons Andrea Exo

We give ourselves goals all along our lives. They can relate to our loved ones, our work, our hobbies, or any other field, sometimes they become so important that they may be considered equal to our life goal. We need to ask ourselves what are the obstacles on our path and how we can overcome them. Let's imagine we are following a rigid dietary system: we go to a coffee bar and ask for some coffee or tea without sugar. Towards the end of our stay we see a scrumptious cake on the trolley near us. Since we are clear on our goal of losing weight, a hard task that requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment, it restrains us from ordering it. However, the desire and the craving for that taste in our mouth take hold of our mind and our senses. That delicacy has become our demon that can question our entire diet, endanger our health and our doctor's advice, or even worse give us an alibi : "It is only one slice, a cake will not kill me". When we leave the coffee bar we realize the temptation was won, but it did show up. Now the demon is in the window and we need to observe it a little longer...

And what about that time when our partner didn't call us for a while, no answer to our messages or calls, while our anxiety level was mounting. "What could have happened? An accident? Or did he/she forget to call?..." An hour goes by and finally the call arrives, he/she could not asnwer then because he/she was busy with work, but now it is all done and he/she is coming home to us. Is the issue solved? Not in the least! It was not the first time either, the excuse was always the same: the demon of doubt was stirring the apparently calm waters of the couple. Time would not pass, thoughts were agitated so that everything was in doubt: from our outer appearance to our certainties, all the way to our heart and our feelings. Demons and nightmares were present day and night, our appetite was less, our desire to be active waned away. Everything was happening in the centre of our disillusioned heart and it was terribly real, even without any objective proofs. In actual facts the partner was faithful....

Analyzing these 2 different situations we can find some common points: 1. the demon appears following a lack in our life 2. the demon takes something away from us 3. there is an altered perception of time If the cake had appeared near a person who loves savoury better than sweet, or a thin person. If the couple had been more solid the demon would not have been able to create so many ripples. The demons are inside us and own us, they alter our behaviours, they destroy our certainties.

Going back to the coffee bar, we could not help noticing the young man in front of the slot machine. The barman told us he was always there trying his luck. The demons of gambling and money were playing tug of war in tempting the unlucky man. The nature of demons is varied and infinite. Some people carry the demon of hatred, some of greed, some of success, some of lust or play.

Therefore a demon is any obstacle on our path that can undermine our progress. Is the rain before a walk a demon? Certainly not, but our fear of getting wet, so the rain is a limit, an excuse... we didn't really want to go out so much. The plan is skipped, the path changes, but something happens inside of us, not outside. Are people we interact with demons? Certainly not, but if they preach to us what to do with our lives, they behave as such. Emulation is the demon we need to reflect upon the longest. Imagine you are queuing up somewhere, without realizing that there are two open tills where nobody goes, so we remain in line... nobody thinks of doing something different, our evaluating skill dispaears: so that we become flock of sheep instead of individual beings. We are bombarded by many different message in all aspects of life. Each message is a demon that can alter our path, but it can even take root and become the path itself. Therefore lack, emotion, time running slowly leading our thoughts into loops are the first demons we need to fight fiercely. If we are sure of our path, the sirens of advertising will not be heard; if our carreer is going well, the demon of money or ambition will not tempt us; the demons of jealousy, self congratulation and judgement will not even touch us.

Now, at the beginning of the new year, let's try to understand what are our demons and what kind of demon we are for the people in our life. We also carry our message, style, fears, certainties and behaviours that can influence other people, just like a child learns from his/her parents. When a demon interrupts our diet, let's ask ourselves if we were really sure we wanted to complete it. Perhaps the demon of duty (being on a diet) won over the demon of pleasure (eating the cake), in other cases the consequences can be a lot worse. Oppression, war, violence, the demons of destruction. We have the capacity to evoke any demon, since each one of us can be good or bad, tollerant or intollerant, weak or strong. We need to choose every time, but before doing this freely and without conditioning, we need to dispense with many things. Isn't this action of banishing a moment of reflection? Why is it the first exercise in almost all esoteric paths? The demon of curiosity is tempting us now, but perhaps it is better to send it away. Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos! (Away, every evil daimon!)

Andrea Exo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

DRAGON FARMING Ancient Tradition meets the Future Fredric Lehrman Since writing my recent series of Dragon Farming articles for this publication, the world has now been catapulted headlong into the long anticipated phase that the Chinese of old referred to in their paradoxical curse, “May you live in interesting times.” Interesting, indeed. It is as if the whistle has been blown, and the game is on. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer comfortable, as this is not a game for observers. Everyone will be affected directly by the actions of a few, unless we all join in and re engage. As I described in the previous article entitled “Dragon Magic” (see THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 4), the dragons are ready to help us coordinate our diverse skills in the most effective manner. To better define what I mean, I will first recount a few of the actions that led this current challenge/opportunity to upgrade our old habits by forming communities of individuals ready to work together as hybrid coordinated teams, new organisms where individual people support and rely on each other to get done what would not be possible in earlier more competitive times. Several of these sequential events are well known, while others have not been revealed before to the general public. Nevertheless, as so brilliantly identified by the paradigm shifting work of the remarkable scientist Rupert Sheldrake, one small breakthrough leads to an exponentially growing ease of repetition, acceleration, and influence at all levels of nature and society. See “the Morphogenetic Field” and Sheldrake’s The Presence of the Past and other fascinating writings; also, watch this short talk on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BYR32N04sE and the one immediately following after the first finishes.)

I feel strongly that an unusual social experiment designed and executed in 1981 by a truly magical architect in both three-dimensions and higher orders of mischief, the artist/philosopher/mage Timothy Wyllie, set the vector that secretly set off and aligned the following sequence of successful actions that resulted in the bridge from old to new that I have in mind. 1) The “Conference-in Spirit” on the full moon of October 21, 1981, held at 22.00 GMT. Wyllie wanted to explore the hypothesis that a purely virtual meeting of minds could steer the world to a better future. He produced a beautiful foldout invitation that was sent to 200 individuals around the world, asking them to meet at the appointed hour in the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. The invitation included a map of the world with the timezones indicated, and a short summary of the theme of the conference: “FUTURE ALTERNATIVES, as Exercises in Reality Creation.” This title was followed by six short paragraphs of guidelines for thought in preparation for the event. At the very bottom of the disarmingly elegant invitation, in discretely small type, was one more point: “Your presence is requested in Spirit only.”

Wyllie himself was in Cairo that night in a room in the Mena Hotel with a view of the pyramid, and participated from that location. I was alone in my home in Bellevue, Washington, synchronized with the other attendees scattered around the world. At the appointed time, an undisclosed number of people projected their awareness into the Queen’s Chamber within the total darkness of that greatest stone structure. For many it was a profound experience. You can find his full account of this story in an excerpt from his multi-volume memoir. Here is the link: https://books.google.it/books? id=j8FrAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT28&lpg=PT28&dq=timothy+wyllie+the+return+of+the+rebel+angels,+the+Queen %2527s+Chamber&source=bl&ots=2VojcbGjy1&sig=R3s5LGhYYenYkbxQ_G8TjsHJNEE&hl=en&sa=X&q=timothy %2520wyllie%2520the%2520return%2520of%2520the%2520rebel%2520angels%252C%2520the%2520Queen %2527s%2520Chamber&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=timothy%2520wyllie%2520the%2520return%2520of%2520the %2520rebel%2520angels%252C%2520the%2520Queen%2527s%2520Chamber&f=false

Around June 2, 1982, Buckminster Fuller was giving one of his last public lectures in New York. I was there with Marilyn Ferguson, author of the much-discussed book The Aquarian Conspiracy, and maven of a world network of scientists and artists. She introduced me to a tall, Merlinesque Englishman with pure white waist-length hair. “This is Timothy Wyllie. You guys need to talk. You’re both interested in dragons.” She turned and left us.

We tested each other’s “sanity” for a few minutes; to our mutual relief, we each exceeded the boundaries of the conventional limits of that term. Then Bucky’s loud voice filled the room:

“ATTENTION!” So we went back to our respective seats for the second part of his talk. 2) Several days later, on June 6, I found Timothy again at that remarkable meeting (described in full detail in the preceding Badger article mentioned above) in which a dragon made an appearance and explained what its kind were all about. For a parallel experience that happened in 1984 to someone I don’t know, please see: http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00070&ss=1

3) Marilyn’s home on Mt. Washington, just north of downtown Los Angeles. About fifty of her local network of bewildered visionaries had just been inducted into the Gallucci Family, an imaginary but very real voluntary tribe of optimists that had been introduced to the West Coast by the actual “man who stared at goats” (the original, not the famous actor who played him in the movie of the same title). I’ll write more on this in a later article, maybe. In any case, unbeknownst to us, the Gallucci clan turned out to have a Godfather named Marco, and he phoned Marilyn from Boston to ask what the hell was going on. When Marilyn somewhat nervously told him, thinking “O god, what have we gotten ourselves into,” he seemed very pleased and excited to meet us. One thing led to another, and a few weeks later we were having a bi-coastal wedding between the East and West Coast families. To accomplish this we needed to ask the phone company, the notorious “Ma Bell,” to figure out how to hook us all up simultaneously even though the wedding guests were scattered over ten cities from Hawaii to London. This had never been attempted before. The Galluccis were the cause of the first conference call. (More about the Galluccis in a future publication.)

Are you beginning to see how all this connects? From there, things began to accelerate. 4) Sometime in Spring of the following year, I was relaxing on a sofa in the great high-ceilinged living room at Marilyn’s house, with the usual suspects coming and going all afternoon through that hub of culture (imagine Gertrude Stein’s Paris Salon of the ‘20s transplanted to California 60 years later– new decor, same buzz of energetic creativity). Suddenly Marilyn’s voice called out from the other side of the room, saying, “Fred, you’re in charge of this one: what should we Galluccis do on June 6 to celebrate Dragon Day?” I replied, more quickly than would have given me time to think about it, with the words: “We should start World War Three!” We were all shocked into immediate silence. (O god, what have we gotten ourselves into?) A general discussion ensued. By the end of the day we had formulated a plan. If everyone fears World War III, it will eventually certainly take place. But it may be hard to sell the idea of starting it ourselves to get it over with. So we decided to pre-empt it by starting World War IV instead, thereby making WW III obsolete. So we all voted to go with that scenario, and within a few days we had published a manifesto and distributed it by fax (no internet yet) to friends all over the world. The short version: WW IV is a war on Apathy. It will start on June 6 (DDay), and end on August 5 (bombing of Hiroshima). We have those 60 days to enroll a single large army, with no one to fight but Apathy wherever it declines to raise its worthless head. There is only one set of goal posts, and no opposing team.

It was a great idea, and on June 6 we had another international conference call involving perhaps 100 people. By August 5 we had registered over 60,000 people in the game and had a third conference call with participating groups in every continent and many, many cities. The call was simulcast on the radio; it was a very transformative experience. Those dragons were certainly helping us A LOT. They also told us that Gallucci in Italian means “Roosters.” Our job was to wake people up. 5) Do you remember The Harmonic Convergence, August 16-18, 1987? This was the brainchild of Jose Arguelles, who showed up at Marilyn’s one night in 1983 with a small Mayan terra cotta seated shaman figure that he had just found under the sand on the beach at Malibu. We inducted them both into the Gallucci Family immediately. Four years later, Harmonic Conversion was a whole earth success that began the last Katun (20 year period) of the Mayan’s 5126 year long astronomical calendar that had started circa 3114 BC. There were people celebrating and doing three days of ceremonies for the Earth and its inhabitants at all the major sacred sites around the planet. It was the largest coordinated global ceremony that we have record of. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X_P77BdLc0 (Jose continued as the figurehead of this linking of ancient indigenous knowledge with modern science and innovation until his passing shortly before the end date of the old Mayan Calendar cycle, December 21, 2012. People close to him then said he had chosen to leave early so that he could assist from a more advantageous location.) 6) In 1989, after years of fruitless diplomatic wrangling, the Berlin Wall came down purely as the result of increasingly large groups of people walking with that intention in many European cities on one night each week. This pattern has continued to show in events large and small in the decades since. The internet itself is currently its largest expression.

So now, back to the dragons.

When groups or crowds of people act together without a leader, the dragon entity can help to integrate that group into a single intelligent organism. The archetype is displayed in the Chinese New Year celebration as the large dragon mask and body that are danced down the street amidst the noise of exploding firecrackers. Under the long body is a line of men. When the first in line gets tired from maneuvering the large dragon mask, he hands off his job to the man behind him, and then he walks to the back of the group and starts again from the tail. Recently I reconnected after an interval of more than 30 years with an old T’ai Chi friend from New York. He is an illustrator and writer of children’s books, born in China, then came to America as a teenager. He sent me a booklet published in 1988 that explains how the dragon first appeared in Chinese culture. “About six to seven thousand years ago, the forefathers of mankind were living in extremely hard conditions. Unable to find in themselves the power to contend with nature, they believed that certain species of animals possessed such power. Hence the emergence of totems. Each tribe regarded the totem as their ancestor as well as a guardian and a prophet. At that time, there were many tribes scattered all over the land of China, each worshiping its own totem animal. Among them was a tribe in Central China that had the snake as its totem. The tribesmen called their totem the “Dragon” and credited their victories to the protection of the dragon. Whenever they conquered another totemic tribe, they added part of that totem to the snake. For example, when the tribe with the deer totem was conquered, the deer’s antlers were added to the head of the snake. Thus the image of the dragon came a creature with deer’s antlers, camels head, hare’s eyes, snake’s neck, clam’s belly, carp’s scales, hawk’s talons, tiger’s paws, and bull’s horns.” If you read the words of the Dragon in the previous article (“Dragon Magic”) in this series, you will see that that account and description fits well with the more historical description given above. When something like this happens, I take it as a sign that the information I was given on June 6, 1982 was true, and that description is worth repeating here:

“We Dragons are unique among creatures, as we are hybrids of multiple other species. Neither reptile nor bird, we fly without tiring, walk on land, and swim without needing to come up to breathe. Whether very small or very large, we have exactly as many legs as we need and are truly intercontinental and adaptable to any environment. At different times and places, people see us differently, as we take our cues from the local collective mindset. We are ready to serve, and our agenda is to assist the learning process that you would call individual and social evolution. (Among ourselves, we call it “Destiny or Else!” and smile.) Thus wherever individual humans band together for a cooperative venture, we Dragons are the best mentors to help you integrate the dissimilar talents, interests, and skills your project requires. Why? Because we are the embodiment of that integration. If you invite us, we will enfold your team, your crew, business, faculty, platoon, army, theater company, board of directors, or any conscious grouping of individuals for a common purpose, and rewire your extraphysical egoless connectedness and awareness just as your own individual learning efforts build new neural networks in your brain. In closing this subject for now, I do want to note that in the last forty years that I have been studying this Dragon Mystery in world culture, the social image of the dragon in the West has changed from one extreme to its opposite. Dragons used to be dangerous, hostile beasts that gave the chivalric knights a mission: kill the dragon, free the maiden, recover the treasure, and bring safety back to the countryside. Now we find, starting in the 1960’s with “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” that a kinder, gentler dragon meme has emerged, in stories designed for children but appealing equally to adults. Here are some of the recent film titles: Jane and the Dragon; the Never Ending Story; How to train your Dragon; Pete’s Dragon; and a long list of children’s books and more sophisticated adult Dragonalia such as the novel Eragon and the various Dragonology Books of Ernest Drake.

The “Veils between the Worlds” will continue to become more permeable as this post-2012 era continues to unfurl; a new, more consciously perceivable reality is making its subtle irresistible way into our hearts and minds.

In the next series of articles, we will review some predictions from the last 50 earth years to verify that those forecasts and warnings have been accurate. The “delamination" of dimensional worlds has started, and you must decide between the past and alternative futures.

Fredric Lehrman

POETRY STRONG IN THE RAIN (1931) Be not defeated by the rain, Nor let the wind prove your better. Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of summer. Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed by anger. Cultivate a quiet joy. Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you. Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear. A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove's shade. A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day. If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health. If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden. If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear. If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues: Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit. In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy. In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy. Stand aloof of the unknowing masses: Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a "Great Man". This is my goal, the person I strive to become.

Kenji Miyazawa 1896 1933 Translated by David Sulz

READERS CORNER Heart Song Let the way of the heart let the way of the heart let the way of the heart shine through love upon love upon love, all hearts are beating as one light upon light upon light, shining as bright as the sun.

Adrian Rooke

Tanabata song The bamboo leaves rustle, shaking away in the eaves. The stars twinkle on the gold and silver grains of sand. The five-colour paper strips I have already written. The stars twinkle, they watch us from heaven.

Traditional Japanese Song

VOICES FROM THE STARS Jupiter in Lybra Laura Bottagisio

Infinite sparkles of etheric light lived in the ancient skies, invisible they vibrated according to an order placed there to defend the evolution and the seven cosmic laws. Those same laws would manage the entire visible reality that was going to emanate from those sparkles. Worlds, galaxies, stars, planets and their inhabitants: everything was going to take shape according to these seven cosmic laws that, to this day, act and are the foundation of all becoming. Our solar system is also governed by these laws, the Sun is a small star in the infinite cosmic ocean, but it is extremely important for us as source of light and life. It is the hub for the planets revolving around it, it is our centre and it is a direct emanation of the Solar Logos. Each planet carries the voice of a Principle, an Archetype that is manifested into the matter according to the rythm of the planet revolution around the Sun. In the pyramid of the seven universal laws Juppiter represents the Principle of Correspondance: AS ABOVE SO BELOW, AS BELOW SO ABOVE. The way we represent Jupiter gives us the same information, the semicircle indicates the origin of everything, from this starts the sparkle that becomes matter, as indicated by the cross below. The Jupiter vibration works in both the visible and invisible worlds, it is the key in order to understand how to transform the cosmic energy that acts according to the Seven Laws and use it in every day life

Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun, it is the first one of the gaseous ones. Its imposing mass makes it the biggest in our solar system. Its symbolic meanings are expansion, growth, abundance, prosperity. In the astrological interpretation is described as the planet of good luck and protection, of warming nourishement for the soul, the heart and the physical aspects of life. Its cycle is 12 years long, therefore it passes through one sign of the zodiac per year. Now it is going through the Lybra, its passage started in September 2016 and it will end in 2017. What gifts will Jupiter bring to humanity? The astronomical aspect leads to sidereal spaces, it amplifies our perspective on life, since we can enter into contact with cosmic time, thus tuning ourselves to our soul harmonies. From an astrological point of view it helps us to dive into daily life, giving us explanations on what is happening to us in the role we have in life.

Jupiter is now going through Virgo astronomically and in Lybra astrologically. When a planet travels through the Virgo constellation, it will cross in alignement with the stars this constellation is made of, especially Spica, an alpha star. This is also happening to Jupiter, even if it is a planet, it is very visible as if it were a very bright and iridescent star. Jupiter will be in alignement with Spica in 2017 (January, February, March, then later in the year in September). This alignement will place us in direct contact with cosmic breath, because Jupiter carries us in the stellar space time about 250 light years away. This is the distance that separates us from Spica, which is a light blue colored star, bright and magnetic, it is considered a healing energy. Its light blue color indicates the power to penetrate the most emotional recesses of our psyche with its healing flowing feminine energy. The templars built 11 gothic cathedrals, following the the position of the stars in the Virgo constellation. The churches are dedicated to the Celestial Mother, Spica is probably represented by the cathedral of Chartres. This is the life giving vibration of the Mother Goddess. We will be able to activate it thanks to Jupiter which will pump it into the electomagnetic field of our solar system on an etheric level. If we agree to it, we will be able to activate at a deep level the life project we have chosen to complete in this earthly experience, thus benefiting from all our talents.

This event happens every 12 years, but each passage shows a different position for each planet, since they revolve at different speed, thus creating new planetary configurations. At the moment Jupiter is conversing with all the slow planets, those planets are responsible for the evolution of generations and human events on a large scale. We can imagine then dissonant international meetings; Jupiter cannot remain true to its welcoming and benevolent aspect because of its position in Lybra, for the opposition by Uranus in Aries and the squaring of Pluto in Capricorn. On an individual level there may be difficulties connected with having, so this may be a better time for being. We can develop the sense of I as unique and as perfect result of creative evolutuon. The good aspect between Jupiter, Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces will support the growth of healing structures for complementary medicine, especially for the holistic cure of psichological issues and diseases, with a different use of medicines. The individual does not have much of a voice, yet he/she has the chance and the power to change his/her life, thus avoiding to become a pawn to be moved by others. The strengh of cohesion of our own identity is only one: being always in contact with our own Soul! We can achieve it by listening to ourselves, observing what we are, being in charge responsibly with complete trust in the Primary Power of Light that directs the worlds and the entire universe. Jupiter position seems to attract all the planetary forces on itself, it is calling them to re union, so that it can share with them its jovial nature. In such a way Jupiter sheds light on all our parts fused and reflected in each planet.

With Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter is our inner teacher calling all the students eager to start a new path to success. With Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter is our Heart asking us how faithful we are to ourselves, by revealing what used to be secret. With the planets in Acquarius, Jupiter increases our joy of working in harmony with an active and communicative group. With Uranus in Aries, Jupiter chooses the right role in order to be active in the transformation of old situations. With Neptune in Pisces, Jupiter is walking on the Main Path that shows us landscapes of great beauty, gifting us with the desire to open up and trust the new energy that is coming fast and filled with action. If we look at the earth axis we can perceive a different interpretation of Jupiter role in the northern and southern hemispheres. With the autumn in the northern part of the world, we see nature in the fall season is progressively more in touch with the heart of the earth. Therefore Jupiter's richness and prosperity indicates a movement towards our heart, where there is our essence, the meaning of our life on the planet. While in the southern hemisphere, at the same time in Lybra, the season is spring, therefore Jupiter's role is expansion and energetic nourishment. Its gift helps us to dominate the sense of possession and greed, in order to harmonize goods and talents in a common sharing. Everywhere on earth the beneficial support of this planet activates the archetype of joy and shared prosperity and the corresponding faith and trust in universal cosmic love: As Above so Below, as Below so Above.

Laura Bottagisio Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

MAGIC! Around My Heart Adrian Rooke My first heart operation was when I was 21, it came out of nowhere, as a result of some dental work causing an infection which went undetected, until it was too late. I remember overhearing the specialist talking outside of my room, he said I had less than a 15% chance of surviving this crisis. I felt shocked, stunned, I was not ready to die, I had too many plans, hopes and dreams. The panick slowly transformed into peace and acceptance of what was. If i were meant to survive this experience then I would, I did feel like the gods were not done with me yet and so I faced the surgery. I needed an Aortic heart valve replacement and some repair work to the Mitral Valve. It was a 10 hour operation with complications and I moved between life and death the whole time. I found myself outside of my Body, I was later able to report the verbal exchanges between the surgeons, much to their surprise. I hovered above the table aware that if the thin silvery cord attaching me to my body separated then I would be free to move on to revel in this exquisite peace and connection to the all that exists. It was a life changing experience: I died on the operating table and came back, reluctantly, after feeling a strong communication that said it was not my time to die, there was much for me to do and to achieve in this life When I came around after the operation, I was changed forever .

That operation was the beginning of my quest: I needed to make sense of what had happened, I realised that the Adrian I was before the operation was gone forever. I craved to feel once again the peace and connection that I had experienced when I was out of my body. So I started my journey, exploring the various religions, seeking a spiritual connection to validate and grow in order to fulfil what the universe required of me. My first port of call was back to the church where I was warmly welcomed, I was lucky to meet very good people on this part of the path, but there was a knowing it that it was not what I sought, I didn't fit in with the language and the patriarchal ideology no longer resonated with my soul . I spent a while practicing Buddhism which gave me many life enhancing experiences and introduced me to the concepts of meditation and letting go, but again I didn't feel it was my path. I felt that I been to a good party and picked up the wrong coat on leaving, it looked like mine, but it was too small. I turned to Transcendental Meditation for several years, where I found a deep peace and solace, but I was not yet completely content, there was much missing and so onward I went. When I explored the Native American traditions I felt a deep kinship, since I realized that I had always enjoyed that deep sense of love and connection to nature and the web of life. Yet again it seemed a tradition far away it was not for me, although I have deep and lasting respect for all contained within that tradition I am from my beautiful Albion, the lands of which I was constructed and made, the limestone from the Mendip hills and the red clay and rich brown peaty soil of the west of England. For a while I turned to alcohol and drugs in order to seek where I belonged, I was becoming disenchanted and cynical with what seemed to be a crazy world, there was little peace or a sense of purpose I felt lost and afraid.

While I was working in a general store, one day I was given an astrological prediction magazine, doubting its usefulness, I tossed the booklet onto the table in my office, on my return I saw the book was open and immediately I was drawn to a very small advert which said: are you interested in native British spirituality and the revival of druidic practises if so contact this number? My somewhat battered heart leapt and I knew immediately that this was going to be very important in my life . When the first lessons and introduction from OBOD arrived, I felt truly that I had come home, I had discovered a sumptuous feast fit for heroes, life was once again exciting and full of possibilities. Throughout my studies I was given limitless support and introduced to others who practiced Druidry locally, I had found my tribe. As I journeyed through the Bardic teachings, and the old legends and mythology of Britain and Ireland, I learnt many things, I fell even more in love with these lands and the abundant blessings of mythology, poetry and mystery hidden within its hills and trees and rivers. I read the stories of the gods and goddesses stored in the megaliths and standing stones that are rooted along the ley lines of these islands. I learnt to carve Wands and to embrace Magic, all these aspects became as much a part of my life as cleaning my teeth. I moved into the Ovate grade and studied healing and energy, I learnt to talk to and listen to the trees and the dryads, to draw strength in times of need from the healing wells that are peppered throughout these lands and to listen to the wisdom of the guardians of these sacred places. Then into the Druid grade when I developed a love of service to my fellows and to the mother goddess. I found myself teaching others and supporting their individual crusades and pilgrimages. Indeed it has been a great honour and privilege, to serve as a tutor and to be involved as press liaison officer for the order of Bards ovates and druids. I have also had the honour to help facilitate workshops and retreats all over the UK and Europe on the principles and beliefs of modern Druidry.

During one of these retreats in Italy, 3 years ago, I had chest pains and difficulty in breathing, I knew immediately this was going to be problematic and somewhat serious. After much deliberation and procrastination from the medical fraternity, I was finally diagnosed as having acute heart failure. A decision was made to replace the valve that had been fitted 30 years ago as it was leaking badly. Unfortunately my heart was very weak, as a result the doctors didn't think I could get through this operation, it was cancelled twice, because I was so weak. I was asked if I could consider not having surgery and remaining on medications which may have been able to get me through a few more years . It was awful, a living death and so I asked for the surgery to take place stating that I would take responsibility for the decision and the outcome. The surgeons did not realize I had a secret weapon: I had hundreds of people from pagans, Buddhists, druids, Christians circles and many more praying for a successful outcome and my well being. I received reiki from all over the world. I was later informed of several healing rituals that took place for me simultaneously at the time of my operation including several Buddhist monks from a temple in Thailand, druids in new Zealand and Belgium and many other places. I have been very Blessed to have met very special people during my lifetime, with whom I have had deep connections through the practise of being open hearted and love focused, we share a common human language, the language of the heart, the true healer. I survived the operation but it was not as successful as we would have liked with areas of the heart not returning to full use. That said, against the odds, I am still here, although in order to support the heart, I had a pacemaker fitted about 30 days ago to support the areas of my heart that still struggle. I am waiting to see how successful that has been with acceptance of what will be.

I have walked hand in hand with the lord of shadows for many a year, so I have no fear of death, although of course my life is rich and full of love therefore i would continue if it’s meant to be. If it is not meant, then I will journey on with the knowledge I have enjoyed a full and rich life, planted some trees, helped some to recover from addiction in my role as a drug and alcohol addiction specialist, shared myself and my love as best as I have been able to in my own individual way . There is a line from a favourite native american prayer, that ends with: ...make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame. This is a journey we all need to take, the inevitable shedding of our physical reality, I believe there is too much fear in the western world around the topic of Death, we cannot avoid it, it is another part of our experience. We travel with our physical shell as long as we can, when it can no longer hold our soul, the energy of the soul goes back to the source. Because of my highly risky condition, I live every day with the real possibility of death. So I have been given the opportunity to spend more time in my inner world than in the outer one. Every second is sacred, important, and beautiful; every moment is an incredible gift. I concentrate as much as possible on what is important, pouring love into the world to my family to those around me,as unconditionally as my broken heart will allow me to. I experience and share in love and joy, trying to have that deep connection with the goddess so that the light can shine through. These days I spend a lot of time with my family, especially my grandchildren: in their eyes I can see the ongoing and progressive immortality of both myself and the human race.

I love the simple things, I keep looking for something beautiful every day. We need to go back to love, this is the only way forward. Follow the path of love not greed, for when I pass into my next experience I will not take the house, the car, the bank balance, all I have is the love I have given and the love that’s been given to me.

Adrian Rooke Collected by Antonella Vicini

BECOMING MEDICINE Re-Humanizing Medicine: A review of the Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Symposium

David Kopacz I recently attended the 3rd annual Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States. The conference rotates through each of the three Mayo Clinic sites and next year will be in Rochester, Minnesota, October 27-29, 2017.

It was a full circle moment for me ― as I sat listening to the speakers it brought me back to my work on my first book, Re-Humanizing Medicine: A Holistic Framework for Transforming Your Self, Your Practice, and the Culture of Medicine. I felt that I was breathing pure air, rather than what we often breathe in health care settings: a mixture of air and other elements that are neutral and do not nourish and even some elements that are noxious and toxic to the human beings who provide health care and the human beings who receive health care. I felt like the outside was coming inside, the fringe elements were moving inward. Many things that were considered fringe and “unscientific” are now mainstream, such as meditation, yoga, and the arts. This two-day conference blended scientific presentations, inspirational arts programs, experiential work (painting, movement, and canine companions, for instance), and arts performances. The final key note speaker, Liz Lerman spoke about the need for artists to be more explicit about their methods of research. She puts forward the idea of arts research as a valid complement to science-based research. She says that she is working on formulating what arts-based research entails and has started that process in her latest book, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer. In her keynote, she spoke about her work bringing dance into the community for the elderly to form dance troupes. She closed with some of her latest work “Healing Wars” that includes veterans who have lost limbs performing dance.

Another dance troupe was featured at the conference, Roman Baca’s Exit12. Baca trained as a professional dancer, volunteered as a Marine and served in Fallujah, Iraq. Baca says that “Exit12 is Charlie-Mike, Continuing-Mission.” Exit12 performed a mesmerizing series of dances capturing different aspects of the military experience from perspectives of veterans as well as family and society. These performances bring the silent suffering of veterans into movement in the larger arena of society. Examples of performances can be found on the Exit12 webpage.

One of my favourite was a piece dramatizing a veteran coming home from the war back to the civilian world. This piece was set to Gil Scott-Heron’s song, “New York is Killing Me,” and captures the alienation and anger of re-entry into the civilian world. Each morning, Roman Baca and Exit12 offered an experiential workshop called “Moving, Breathing, Creating.” For instance, one morning we learned how to march like Marines, then we did a mirroring exercise with partners. This brought together the contrasting martial movements of challenge and separation with a sense of being one with another human being. Flamenco Por La Vida is a flamenco group that performed and led us through some experiential exercises. They explained that the Spanish word compas means rhythm and this flows through the three elements of flamenco: toque (play – playing of guitar), cante (song), and baile (dance). I realized that there was a hidden theme flowing through this conference – the humanities – flowing into three elements, for instance the Art of Medicine, the Science of Medicine, and the Practice of Medicine. Exit12 led us through “Moving, Breathing, Creating” each morning. Flamenco Por La Vida led us through toque (play), cante (song), and baile (dance). In my presentation I mentioned Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) and our book Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD. Joseph tells us that the Tiwa language word for God is Wah-MahChi, in English this is Breath, Matter, Movement. Moving, Breathing, Creating Toque, Cante, Baile Play, Song, Dance Wah, Mah, Chi Breath, Matter, Movement This idea of the sacred nature of one and three is found in many religions. For instance in Christianity there is the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and the Dove of the Holy Spirit. In Hinduism there is the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva who represent the divine actions of creation, maintenance, and destruction. Shiva carries a trident which can have many meanings, including creation/maintenance/destruction as well as uniting the worshipper, worship, and the worshipped.

The week I returned home from the conference, I came across Manulani Aluli Meyer’s paper “Holographic Epistemology: Native Common Sense” and this paper has a whole page of different three-fold systems of mindbody-spirit conceptualizations from around the world. The action of science is to break the one into the many. We can learn much about separate objects and concepts through scientific activity. However we can lose something through that action. I saw this happening in myself during my medical training and I felt I was becoming dehumanized―I was losing a crucial aspect of my humanity in becoming an efficient medical technician. That is why I developed the idea of a counter-curriculum – a way to put the fragmented pieces back together. However, it is not enough for us to just collect all the separate pieces and expect them to cohere back together. In Re-humanizing Medicine I also point out that there is a compassion revolution happening in medicine. Compassion is the glue, the one thing that brings the pieces separated through science back into a living whole. In order to make this palatable to scientists and physicians I call this “compassion,” however we are really talking about love.

Love is the connecting and healing force in the universe and we need to always put it back into medicine because the practice of medicine and the science of medicine can take the love out of us. Busy schedules, an over-emphasis on technology and interventional techniques, and a continuing drive for greater objectivity (which leads at best to separation and at worst to fragmentation). Maybe this is part of what makes Art-Based Research so important―the flowing interconnection and inter-subjectivity. We can say that this leads to Art-Based Medicine which can complement Evidence-Based Medicine. I also speak of Human-Based Medicine which brings in this subjectivity and human connectivity. Art and the Humanities bring in the heart and spirit of medicine. Heart and spirit are flowing energies of connection that bring us together as whole individuals, as inter-related beings, and as a whole planetary community. Like I said, being at this conference was like breathing the pure and invigorating air. This breath, matter, movement, this moving, breathing, creating, this playing, dancing, singing ― flows through the humanities, animating and re-animating us, humanizing and re-humanizing us. From the perspective of science, the humanities can seem like something optional but not necessary for the practice of medicine. However, from the perspective of fully human beings, medicine without the humanities is just a bunch of pills and scalpels. It is a testament to the human spirit that Mayo Clinic is sponsoring the annual Humanities in Medicine Symposium. Mayo Clinic has three different locations in Arizona, Minnesota and Florida and at this third annual conference, the humanities flowed through Mayo Clinic and out into the world. I found myself focusing primarily on the arts performances as I found those very inspirational, but there was a lot of great work integrating science and humanities at the conference. The full program can be found on the Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Symposium page.

David Kopacz

Useful Links: http://www.mayoclinic.org/ https://ce.mayo.edu/family-medicine/content/humanities-medicinesymposium-2016 http://exit12danceco.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjwFMgsQmBI Baca's story on Ted 2013 http://flamencoporlavida.com/

POLIS LEGALITY IN ACTION! Cinzia Brandi The Volunteer Camps in Corleone with the high school students from Tarquina “Questa terra ora è nostra, ed è giusto e bello che la lavoriamo noi giovani” (This land is ours, it is right and good that we, young people, work it.) With these words a girl summed up the experience of our first camp in 2012, while we were picking tomatoes under the scorching sun. She expressed concisely the meaning of the work we were doing there. The land she was talking about was and still is, since we go every September for a week before the beginning of the school year, the same land that had been taken from the mafia in the area of Corleone, near Palermo. This land has ben entrusted to the Cooperative " Lavoro e non solo", so that every year, between May and October, hundreds of high school students from various parts of Italy come here to use their combined energies for the project " Liberarci dalle Spine" (litterally it means: free ourselves from the thorns). The goal of this project is the creation of awareness among young people that mafia, lack of legality, and corruption are like thorns not just for Sicily, but for all of Italy. Police forces and judges alone cannot win this war, so it is essential for the entire society to mobilize and develop counteractions.

Five years ago, as a teacher of the High School in Tarquinia, I received an invitation to participate in one of the Camps for Legality, so that I could go with my students and give them the taste and pride of being in the first line of an important civic battle for a more united and just society. I am sure the school needs to be in the front row in this engagement, since it has the best tools for a real social progress: its slower pace and the depth of cultural change. The first year there only 4 people besides me, and two were my children! The following years this project has taken off, usually I have between 10 and 12 students with me, sometimes from other schools as well. When we go to Corleone, we pay for our flight there, and we also pay for our stay. We live in a house that was taken from the Grizzaffi family, connected directly to Toto Riina, the mafia boss. In this building there is now a hostel, with many bedrooms, a kitchen and a cafeteria. It is called Casa Caponnetto, as a way of remembering the formidable judge who created the anti-mafia team. Our days are full of activities: in the mornings we work in the fields, mostly picking tomatoes and grapes; in the afternoons we usually meet with local journalists or judges, or we visit some of the places around Corleone. Each place evokes memories of the Italian fight against mafia, such as Portella della Ginestra, where (on May 1st 1947) the band of Salvatore Giuliano, following mafia orders, killed 11 people who were celebrating the day of workers and the victory of the left parties. We are reminded of this tragic event by an evocative monument made of stones with writings in blood red ink. When we visit that area we can also talk directly with the few survivors of the massacre.

One of the places we visit every year and a really touching experience is the small town of Cinisi, where Peppino Impastato was born and died on May 9 1978, killed by the mafia of Gaetano Badalamenti. Peppino came from a Mafia family, but he separated his life from any connection with it, with his "Radio Aut" he was making fun of the mafia and the local political powers. The 100 steps between his house and the home of "uncle" Tano Badalamenti are now marked by ceramic tiles linked to the protagonists of the war against mafia: don Pino Puglisi, Boris Giuliano, il generale Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, Pio La Torre, Giovanni Falcone, Paolo Borsellino, don Giuseppe Diana, the judges Terranova, Chinnici, Livatino‌ All heroes of this long fight.

Wherever we go, we encounter signs of Mafia, but we choose to remember Corleone for the beauty of its landscape, the generosity of all the people, the fertile lands. Meeting local people, especially young ones, sharing the many and also tiring activities in the house and in the fields: these are all lessons in legality, active and good citizenship, real politics.

Cinzia Brandi

Article and Photos Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxApdlwaQQ&list=PLiE2HzNl96rwhJUj2yUlRUtsETj7-S0hq I cento passi (one hundred steps) film by Marco Tullio Giordana 2000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6a-cT6oss I cento passi song by the Modena City Ramblers 2004

AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE Renato Tittarelli Our skin and its affinity with essential oils. Our skin covers our body with a surface of about 1,50 square meter, it is the biggest organ in the body since it regulates the body temperature, it protects us from cold, water, external attacks and harmful substances. The dermis, its deepest layer, contains: sweat and and sebaceous glands, nerve endings, blood and lymph vessels, capillaries. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, a fatty secretion, an oily wax that lubricates the skin, it keeps it soft and avoids our body hair to become weak and dry. The sweat glands allow us to eliminate waste that is water soluble, in a different way the same function is performed by our kidneys, lungs and bowels. It is not by chance that the chemical make up of sweat is close to urine, moreover when we sweat a lot we urinate less and viceversa. Gradual and long exposition to the sun with its ultraviolet rays is very useful to the skin, which becomes darker and facilitates the transformation of dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D.

Essential oils are lipophilic, therefore they are capable of easily pass through the skin barrier, more than a watery substance, since the cell membrane is permeable to their molecules and so are the mucous membranes. Through the skin pores and the hair follicles the essences go through the different layers of the skin, the dermis, all the way to the capillaries, so that they can reach the blood and lymphatic streams. Once in the blood stream, the essential oils can rapidly reach all the organs (between 30 minutes to 2 hours). They will concentrate on the cognate organs that we can define as energy likeness. The essential oils are then digested and they become part of our body, so that, however in small part, they are eliminated like any other waste through our lungs, skin and kidneys.

From the year 2005 there is a European Union law about clear indications of all components on any label for massage or cosmetic products. It is therefore important to check the ingredients, in order to avoid harmful substances, even if our skin can partially protect us from poisoning. Essential oils are an ideal tool to take care of the skin with their aromatic properties. They are easily added with a base oil or a carrier oil, as lotion or ointment, perfume and so on. They have a stronger mental effect when they are plesant to our nose. When these substances are added to a massage oil, they begin to work on the skin in a protective, disinfectant, healing, fungicide way and stimulating cell turnover, thus they deeply influence the immune system.

Thanks to the massage, the properties of the carrier oils and the natural essences will be amplified: the temperature will rise, there will be better blood circulation in the skin and its lower layers, muscles, by stretching and hydrating , warming up and regenerating. Besides the above effects, the local stimulation of the skin, by reflex, will have a very important action on the corresponding inner organs. Just like the researchers and pratictioners of traditional medicine have been affirming and showing the world over. With an improved blood circulation the accumulated toxins will be eliminated quickly, the smooth muscles will relax quickly, the skin will receive more nourishement and it will regenerate itself, the natural aging process will slow down.

Renato Tittarelli

Article and photos Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

FOOD IS OUR ALLY Ancient Proteins Seitan Daniele Sampalmieri Wheat gluten, also called seitan (Japanese: セイタン), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten. Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based foods such as tofu, which are sometimes used as meat substitutes. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy or stringy texture that resembles meat more than other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Wheat gluten first appeared during the VI CE as an ingredient for Chinese noodles. It has historically been popular in the cuisines of China, Japan and other East and Southeast Asian nations. The oldest reference to wheat gluten appears in the Qimin Yaoshu, a Chinese agricultural encyclopedia written by Jia Sixie in 535. The encyclopedia mentions noodles prepared from wheat gluten called bo duo; later it was known as mian jin by the Song dynasty (960–1279). Wheat gluten arrived in the West by the XVIII CE. De Frumento, an Italian treatise on wheat from 1745, describes the process of washing wheat flour dough in order to extract the gluten.

John Imison wrote an English-language definition of wheat gluten in his Elements of Science and Art published in 1803. By the 1830s, Western doctors were recommending wheat gluten in diets for diabetics. The word seitan is of Japanese origin and was coined in 1961 by George Ohsawa, a Japanese advocate of the macrobiotic diet. 100 Grams of seitan contain 25 grams of proteins, 3,8 grams of carbs, 0,30 grams of lipids, 1,5 grams of fibers, 110 kcal, seitan has no fats, nor cholesterol. It is advisable to cook seitan with some kind of legumes, in order to have the correct protein intake. Here is a recipe for a tasty dish with seitan.

Daniele Sampalmieri Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

SESAME CRUNCHY SEITAN Ingredients: Seitan 250 grams Bread crumbs 50 grams Sesame seeds 60 grams White or rice flour 100 grams Cold fizzy water or bier 200 ml Grated lemon zest 5 grams Rosemary 5 gr Oil, salt according to taste Preparation: Cut the seitan in thin slices In a bowl place the bread crumbs, the sesame seeds, the grated lemon zest, and the finely chopped rosemary In another bowl prepare a batter for frying, dilute the flour with fizzy cold water or bier (about 200 ml) and beat until you have a smooth creamy consistence. The batter needs to rest in fridge for at least one hour before using it. Dip each seitan slice in the batter, and use the other bowl to create the crunchy cover with breading. Heat the seed oil in a pan and fry the breaded slices for about 1 or 2 minutes, once they are cooked salt lightly and get rid of the extra fat.

FOOD IS OUR PLEASURE Buckwheat Ravioli AV In winter time we celebrate many festive days and the way to spring is still a long way ahead, so we can indulge a little into the pleasures of dining with our friends and loved ones with some interesting dishes. I have chosen an untraditional recipe that works well for vegetarian and gluten intollerant people, yet it is so delicious and nutritious to make everybody happy. For the RAVIOLI dough 100 grams of buckwheat flour and 1 egg for each person, the ratio will help to make the dough stronger, since there is no gluten in buckwheat, we may need to add eggs. Add little water if needed, a pinch of salt and a spoon of olive oil. Work the ingredients with your hands until you have a firm dough, it will not be very elastic though, like normal flour. While the dough rests you can prepare the filling: Filling ingredients: walnuts, parsley (if you like you can add some cheese) Chop the walnuts and parsley finely, but not into a pulp. Add salt to taste This is a very fresh and unusual filling, if you don't like these ingredients, you can substitute them.

When the dough has rested at least half an hour, you can roll it into long strips. You can choose any shape you like, just remember this dough is not very elastic, so using a mould is easier to cut it into shapes. You may need to use water, or egg yolk in order to glue together the ravioli. Once your ravioli are ready you can think of the sauce for them: Sauce for the ravioli: Orange skins cut in long thin slices, without the white part, unpeeled garlic, so you will have the taste, but not the heaviness, saffron in pistils, not in powder, it is stronger and tastes better (if you cannot find it you can add some turmeric to your sauce) Butter parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley at the end Cook lightly the orange skins in butter with saffron and the unpeeled garlic, add salt to taste. Take out the garlic before pouring generously on the hot ravioli, add some parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, enjoy! Happy winter season! AV

MOTHER EARTH SPEAKS Darkness and Light Claudia Enrico It’s almost the end of the year 2016 now that I’m writing. A leap year. It’s usually said that a leap year could be “evil” and that is a narrow passage to a new level of consciousness. I think that what occurred this year along our Planet could confirm a sort of “tough pushing” in our daily lives and into our way of living, thinking, creating. I’ve been deeply touched by the energies of violence, rage, fear, separation, panic, mourning, deep sadness, hopelessness that have arisen after terroristic attacks, earthquakes and how media emphasized a lot with images and hard words the facts that were so terrible to see and to accept. I often turned off the news because I felt more the violence of the reporters than of the fact itself. I chose to turn myself towards my connection with the Source of Life Energy, that I call Reiki, and to listen deeply to the messages about what was happening in the “ordinary world”.

“When Darkness rises its vibrations it’s just because it wants to meet the Light.” We have been taught for a very, very long time, that we live in a dualpolarity world. Our common mind refers to the reality of what it sees and interprets following the mode "black or white" – "yes or no" – "on or off". That’s the way most computers work. A duplicate of our rational mind which uses the left portion of our brain.

According to this way of working, we automatically tend to exclude a part of the reality when we choose among “black or white”. Exclusion is the beginning of separation. Separation has been well emphasized by some Religions that put Human Beings out of Heaven into a world of misery. We still carry that in our DNA and that has been conditioning our existence, since the appearance of Patriarchal cultures. For millennia our Human Race has been experiencing a very strong lesson to heal, grow and evolve toward a wider consciousness and a brighter Light. There have been passages along the time in which Creativity at its most beautiful has been expressed and shared in the form of Arts, discoveries, knowledge, social rights, technology ….. they have uplifted human evolution, creating a balance in our human path on this Planet, and showing that “We are here to create”. Doesn't this resemble what Mother Earth has practiced since the beginning of time? We only need to look at Nature in this period of the year, close to the Solstice cycle and reaching for Candlemas. These months in our Boreal hemisphere are dedicated to release the energy outdoor – falling of leaves – and entering the dark womb of transformation.

Energy on this Planet works this way, balancing moments of “apparent” death to moments of powerful life. Mother Earth well knows how to deal with this Life Force because She is wise. She has no fear of death because it represents just a necessary passage of transformation of matter into a new one. We know that trees need manure to eat, to sprout and grow, as all creatures do. So dead leaves get rotten. A powerful flood cleans and releases slime to nourish the soil. A “natural” earthquake changes a form that no more serves the body of the Earth to breath, grow expand itself. A violent storm carries the power of Wind and Water, two perfect allies that working together purify the energy of a particular place. A devastating Fire works to burn out toxins and transform the chemistry of the soil, rocks,etc. If we are able to see with different “eyes” we can understand that really “All is well”!

That’s our most powerful lesson and challenge as Men and Women on this Planet. Being able to be wise like our common Mother, using our knowledge to build our life in a healthy, wealthy and creative way. Focusing only on Darkness arises its power. It’s the Law of attraction, and a powerful Darkness can be devastating. So we can choose to focus on Light and shift the point of attraction. The dark night of the soul is a natural process for Human Beings, like Fall and Winter cycles. Entering the womb of transformation is a powerful healing, necessary even if sometimes hard and difficult. Becoming aware is allowing our “death leaves” to get rotten. In this chemical process of our Soul, we often experience loneliness. That’s because our mind is still focused on separation.

Practicing prayers, meditation, Reiki or other spiritual “techniques” improves a lot the healing of our separated mind helping it to enter in a new paradigm of interpretation of our inner feelings. This change is the “manure”, the new unknown matter that will feed our consciousness to blossom, grow, create and expand. Each time we face this cycle of transformantion, we add a new piece to the puzzle of our life. We learn more about balancing the polarity of the Energy in our Being and allowing other wisdom to surface to consciousness. There’s so much more we can experience beyond the obsolete interpretation of the reality. If we try to follow partnership with ourselves, we’ll soon feel “whole”. And we’ll be able to see everything from a wider perspective. Like when you reach the top of a mountain and see on a 360° curve the landscape around you.

So this leap year has been very rich in opportunities to heal and grow. It has offered us the possibility to explore more our relationship with where we come from, our Ancestors, to share more support and love on a new level. We have understood that is time to get together in solid Communities, cultivating our talents and the desire to explore deeper our relationships. We can choose to boldly face the changes of our Planet with a new feeling of responsibility and involvement. We are aware of the need to take better care of our Mother Earth using the blessings of our Father Sky of inclusion and understanding. We can feel grateful for those Souls that have chosen to “sacrifice” their lives to allow us all to “awaken” and see the new Heaven right here and now. Celebrating this passage of our common life experiences on this “boat” called Earth, I feel I want to honor the Nativity of this renewed Christ Consciousness to be the best gift. We as People of this Planet can receive and share the next Christmas under our “Tree of Life”. Peace and Blessings to us all!

Claudia Enrico © 2016 Edited by Antonella Vicini

Article and Photos

TRAVELLING The Path of Remembrance Part 3

Judy Hayes

The Sea of Galilee In March 2013, I finally visited the one destination that had always seemed a bit out of reach, i.e. the Holy Land, including the ancient city of Jerusalem. During this pilgrimage my fellow travelers and I traced the life of Jesus, beginning at the Church of the Nativity and culminating in a visit to the site of Golgotha and the Church of the Holy Scepter. While this trip was filled with profoundly spiritual experiences, none touched me more than the time spent in the district of Galilee. Even now it is difficult to articulate the impact that the landscape of Galilee had on me. At every turn I was reminded of the deep love and concern Jesus evidenced toward his followers, both in his words and, more significantly, through his actions. One of our first encounters with the scriptural Jesus was our celebration of the mass in the church built above the home of Simon Peter. The excavated house visible beneath the glassed floor of the church in Capernaum was a precious reminder of Jesus’ loving concern for Peter and the other disciples. During the mass the Scripture reading recalled Jesus’ compassionate healing of Peter’s mother-in-law who had been afflicted with a severe fever in that very place.

Later, while sailing on the Sea of Galilee in a replica of a ancient Galilean fishing vessel, it was possible for us to be transported back to Biblical times and to imagine Jesus’ rebuke of the wind and the turbulent sea. With his words and actions he restored calm to his frightened disciples, as he did on so many occasions. On another day we walked to the top of the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount to a large crowd that had gathered there. Realizing that the crowd had gone days without food and moved with pity for their situation, he performed the miracle of the loaves and the fishes and shared the abundance with them. Again we were reminded that his generosity had no bounds. Subsequently, a visit to Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalen, reinforced for us Jesus’ message of compassion and inclusion. While reading several passages of scripture related to this woman who followed Jesus throughout his life, all of us reflected upon Jesus’ concern for the marginalized in society and his embrace of the “least” among us. While the aforementioned places brought a deep awareness of the love and compassion of Jesus, our final stop in this region proved to be the most profound of all for me.

Having arrived in a semi-wooded area overlooking the Sea, we were given time before mass to spend in solitude. As I stood reflectively at the edge of the sea where the gentle waters grazed the shore, the story of this setting unfolded before me. It is a story told only in the gospel of John. In this very place Jesus appeared to his disciples for a third time following the resurrection. After a night of fishing with no success, the disciples caught sight of Jesus on the shore. At first some didn’t recognize him. When he instructed them to cast their nets a second time, they were unable to haul them ashore because of the number of fish caught. When Peter realized that the stranger was the Lord, he immediately tucked in his garment and jumped into the sea. As I stood there almost two millennia later, I could almost hear the splash of his landing and sense his eagerness to make his way to the place where Jesus stood. Once on shore the disciples saw a charcoal fire with fish and bread on it. Surely they were attracted by the glow of the fire and all that it represented to them. After extending an invitation to his disciples to dine with him, Jesus himself served them the fish and the bread. To me this is the most evocative story in scripture. It contains many of the lessons that I believe Jesus wished to impart to his disciples and to all of us. Having met the disciples in the place where they were rooted, i.e. Galilee, and in the reality of their daily lives, i.e. fishing, he offered them comfort, encouragement, and optimism. Certainly this is where and how we should encounter our fellow travelers on the journey of life. Secondly, Jesus’ actions were a model of welcome and hospitality. He invited his weary disciples to share in his bounty while choosing to serve them himself. This example of humble and loving service is certainly one that all should strive to emulate. Finally, at this site is an altar where pilgrims regularly come to celebrate mass, and behind it a sculpture of Jesus forgiving Peter for his weakness in denying him three times before his crucifixion. Jesus’ outstretched hand speaks of both forgiveness and blessing. This image tenderly represents the power and effect of unbounded forgiveness.

The power of this particular wooded area overlooking the Sea of Galilee was almost overwhelming. As our liturgical celebration began, there were not many dry eyes in the group. Indeed, experiencing the ministry of Jesus in the very region where it occurred is an opportunity not to be missed.

Judy Hayes

TRAVELLING EAST SINGAPORE Raffaella Vicini Singapore, is a Republic, its name means Lion City, it is also called the Garden City, for its abundant greenery. It is an important gate in Southeast Asia for trade especially. It is only one degree (137 km) north of the equator, therefore its climate is intensely hot and humid. The main island is diamond-shaped and it is surrounded by 62 other islets. Singapore was founded In 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the East India Company; after the establishment of the British Raj, the islands were surrendered to Britain and became part of its Straits Settlements in 1826.It became independent from Britain in 1963. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%, while its greening policy has covered the densely populated island with tropical flora, parks and gardens. It has almost 6 million residents, Singaporeans are mostly bilingual in a mother-tongue language (mostly Malay, Chinese and Tamil) and use English as their common language. I had the chance of visiting it a few times during my journeys and I was impressed by its cleanliness, organization and regulations. I saw enormous shopping malls and elegant areas, reminiscent of the colonial era. One colonial landmark is the Raffles Hotel opened in 1887, the place to stay for the British Raj representatives. Here they invented also the Singapore Sling a very famous international cocktail.

Or you could opt for the futuristic and modern option of the Sands Sky Park soaring, with its infinity pool, at 150 meters high in the sky! I fell in love with Marina Bay with its gardens, the flower dome and the cloud forest, especially the super trees, vertical gardens in bloom. Each one of them is 50 meters high, surrounded by lush vegetation, they provide shade in the day time and are filled with light and sounds at night. There are different parts of the city according to the various origins of its inhabitants, such as Little India or Chinatown. Here you can find the tastes and traditions of those countries amid their opulent shops. The symbol of Singapore is Merlion, the lion on Sentosa island which is an entertainement centre visited by people from all over the world. I was impressed by Singapore's serene atmosphere, where different traditions, cultures and languages live side by side, regulated by very strict rules, yet the ancient wisdom never seems to be far away, it is visible in their respect and love of nature. This is a city where you can find a space for yourself and relax.

Raffaella Vicini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

QUILTING AWAY Even an Old Quilt Has Character‌ Part 1

Lida Perry Last summer, during my vacation in USA, one of my favored pastime was visiting flee markets with my sister. The world of flee markets is fascinating. As I go from stand to stand, I have the experience of entering a time machine, on any given table there are objects from the past, from the rounded shaped toaster of the 50’s, to the tin boxes that held cookies or plum cakes and now can be used to store buttons, or they can become sowing kit or loose change holders. Then there is the table that sends you immediately into the world of CowBoys, and Native Americans. Mostly used leather boots, Stetson hats, hand crafted saddles, beaded moccasins and leather fringed vests. Then, a little distance away a table catches my attention. There are lace table cloths, straw hats, baskets and in one corner on an old rocking chair an old Quilt. At a first glance it seems as if it has been thrown on the chair without a thought, but at a second glance the way it is folded and spread shows that whoever draped it there took some care in doing it. The old quilt has now captured my attention, I approach the table and go to the rocking chair to look at it closely. The saleswoman seeing my interest tells me that it is almost a hundred years old, she shows me that it is signed and dated. It definitely shows its age.

The fabric is worn so thin that you can see the batting underneath, the colors are faded, and the edges are ripped. In some places there are some brown spots… I would like to unfold it, to look at it more closely, but I don’t ask because I am afraid the quilt could be damaged. The lady invites me to spread it out and I do it carefully. As I admire it in all its size, I find myself musing that this quilt could have had a rich and interesting life, and that beyond the worn and old look it has a character that is recognizable. The pattern of the quilt is very simple, just triangles … what was engaging and interesting and gave the quilt it’s character was the colors that were used. The quilter chose to start at the bottom with earth colors, autumn brown, dark orange, rusty hues, purples, as the eye traveled upward the colors changed to many hues of green, changing again to sky blue, all shades of azure that moved into yellow and pink and beige. At the top my impression was that the sky was opening up to my eyes. The way the eye traveled from bottom to top and held the flow of colors was engaging and if I had to give a name to the quilt I would have described it as “From Earth to Sky”. This quilt spoke to me in subtle and mysterious ways, so I decided that I should buy it. At home I opened the package spread the quilt on the bed and what came to mind were two words: “Old and Character”. I am aware that these two words are charged and full of meaning and this old blanket holds some deep symbolism for me: it is a powerful metaphor for my aging process. Do I dare writing about it? Do I have the courage to stop and stay with all the thoughts and feelings that are connected to this theme? I could be entering a territory of which I have no map but only vague perceptions …

I have lived a fairly long life. I believe that it is in the order of things for me to know and accept that I am entering a process that calls me to contemplate deeply and consciously my aging process, and also in this acquire a sense of my character. If I think of my mother and my grand-mother what I remember of them is their unique way to be and to do things, those characteristics I have kept in my mind, in my dreams, as my ideals, my guides, that are present and still working within myself. But what is that something that holds steady, through life’s events throughout a long life? James Hillman says that is the “character,� and he defines it as a configuration of traits, convictions and ideas that have our name and history (Hillman, 1999), moreover he sees a connection between character and aging.

He says that maybe we need to have a long life so that through the years our character has a chance to develop and be built. What is aging is not only our physical body, our organs and functions, this could be a very limiting point of view, but what is aging is our whole nature that trough the years have built our personality, and shaped our habits, ideas, it has molded our character that influences our way to be in the world and in our relationships‌ With this vision then I can look at the decline of the vital energy of my body, and the loss of the sharpness of my mind as something that is connecting and happening underneath, a deeper truth. This can facilitate the search of a comprehensive and more understandable meaning. Understanding aging, not in term of biological processes, tells me a different type of story. My aging is mediated by my own stories and it is essential that I discover the soul within. Hillman suggests that we should consider old age from yet another point of view, not only a process toward death, but as a structure that has its own essential nature and it opens the possibility to explore the senses, beyond the wear and the decline of our strength. Aging is an experience, a state of my existence at this moment in my history, it can be considered as an archetypal phenomenon with its myths and meaning. He also invites us to find a different way of looking at what seem to be only symptoms. We need to be involved in the events of aging with curiosity and courage. Curiosity is that desire to indulge in new ideas that allow us to consider the fearful events in our lives in new ways, with new meaning. I am discovering that aging is not an idea, /concept, philosophy, or just physiology, it really is an experience.

Lida Perry Edited by Antonella Vicini

HEALING WITH WORDS THE MAGIC GARDEN Antonella Vicini Raising her eyebrows she looked up from her busy hands, leaving her work for a moment. Hello, how can I help? Oh, I am just looking around. In such a way I answered her polite offer, since I had no idea why I had entered the shop. I guess it was the attractive medieval building, so common in that area of Italy, but still exotic and intriguing to me. Or maybe it was the pots and plants that encircled the doorway in such a colorful and pleasant way; it was almost an invitation for the weary passersby to enter and discover the many wonders inside. So, like a grown up version of Hansel and Gretel, I had pushed the door, framed with sparkling and tinkling crystals, and entered a realm of reflecting lights, soft classical music, water slowly falling down a wall, an enchanted palace indeed. I was woken up from my reverie by her repeated question: Can I help you at all? I looked at her quiet interrogative face and I realized that she probably had some answers, but I wasn't sure I had the right questions! So I lamely said: Can I look at the earrings? Sure, let me know if any set catches your fancy.

I turned towards the earrings rack. I was dazzled by the shapes and colors, each set looked different from the next. I know, it's just earrings, yet there was something else, I felt then there was a lot more than just shining pendants. I had no idea how much more I was going to find. But I intend to tell you this story slowly, giving it all my attention and time, so you will need to be patient too while you read it. The old lady invited me to look around as much as I wanted: You don't need to buy anything at all. Just enjoy! So I kept looking at all the objects there, after trying on many sets of earrings, I added sparkling necklaces, then bracelets and rings. I was litterally covered in light! I then looked at the big carved mirror on the far wall of the shop, reflected there I saw the old lady looking at me intently, when I turned around to look at her directly, she was bent again on her work. When I swirled around to take a last look in the mirror the entire shop changed. A Fair Lady in medieval robes was standing next to me, smiling she beckoned me to open the door in front of me. I didn't hesitate, curiosity was stronger than concern. When the door in the mirror was touched, it slowly and silently opened wide, the Fair Lady invited me to step beyond the dazzingly lit threshold. I did, I trusted her. I found myself in a room full of mirrors, I knew somehow that each one of them was a door. I asked the Lady how to proceed, she pointed at all the doors with a calm and elegant gesture: They are all open to you, choose one and you will see. I closed my eyes, a mental picture of the bright room came to my inner eyes: only one door was visible then; so I chose it and walked straight through.

I found myself in a vast park, the trees were sparkling green, the flowers shined with incredible colors, the air was vibrant with the waves of their vitality. I almost felt “attacked� by such brightness. Everything was alive! The Fair Lady accompanied me around the long walks and well pruned edges, until we reached the most remote and wildest part of the garden. She indicated that I was to stay there and work on that piece of land. So I did as I was told. I was there a long time: looking after the soil, choosing the seeds, planting them, then helping them to grow into full plants with their flowers and fruits. I never felt tired, nor hungry or thirsty, I was entirely absorbed in my task. When I had my arms full of baskets, laden with fruits and herbs, flowers and leaves, the fair lady reappered next to me. She looked at my corner, now full of vegetation, so beautiful to behold, with a smile of approval, she lightly touched my head.

I suddenly found myself back in the quaint shop, looking at the mirror, where I could see myself wearing a magnificent necklace, it looked alive, as if it was made of flowers, fruits and herbs. The old lady was observing me. She just said: Great choice, that is my best piece, you have good taste! Too dazed and surprised to reply, I eventually managed to inquire about its price. Even if I was sure it was not on display in the shop. The old lady spent some time thinking about it, or so it seemed, all the time she kept watching me. The price depends on the value you attach to the piece you are wearing. Oh- I was taken aback, since I was sure it was far too precious for my purse- I think it is priceless, it is so soft to the touch, it melts with my skin, as if it had always been there. It seems to be made for me. Will you then have it for the price I set on it? - asked the old lady. Yes- I almost screamed, the word was out of my mouth before I could even think it, but I could not imagine to leave the necklace there, we belonged together. The old lady smiled a little and added: Very well then, You have earned it, it is yours. No price, is it free? No, it is not free. It is a gift you have earned with your work in the garden. She said these last words with a mischievious smile that reminded me of someone elses's smile. The old lady looked very much like the fair lady of the mirror. Are you? - I stammered... Am I what? The fair lady of the mirror? With a deep sigh the old lady said: It will take some doing for you to learn.... I have changed my mind, there is a price for this necklace, I think you'll pay it. Please, tell me the price!

The only answer I received was another enigmatic smile, after a while the old lady offered me a seat and started to talk.......

Antonella Vicini from A Garland of Stories 2014

A very happy new year to all our BADGER Readers around the world! This is a good time to tend the soil of our lives, get rid of the weeds and plant new seeds, preparing for spring to come with its songs of renewal. When we are tired and confused by daily life, remembering our inner garden of wonders will support and nourish us. I am sure each one of us has a happy memory of a perfect moment in time, that is our magic garden, to that inner space/time we can always refer to and find new energy for our enterprises, our desires, our passions and joy. May the light of spirit shine on us always. Happy 2017!

Antonella Vicini Short story, comment and photos from the Village of Peonies and Unshu Ginseng, Japan

STORY TELLING INSEPARABLE Bianca Veronica Two little feathered beings What really touches me in observing an animal is the presence of behaviours common to all human beings. I cannot recall how they arrived home. Pepe was slim and strong, he had a beautiful set of shining green feathers on his back from the tail to the wings, his head and chest were bright orange, with various shades. It used to sing with very shrill whistles that resonated in the entire house. Pappa had softer colors, she was more feminine looking and rounded. They were budgies. Fidelity in the couple and choosing to be together for life was their characteristic. For this reason they were called " Inseparable" I used to look after them: water, food, cleaning their cage; I watched them a while and then nothing else. Sometimes I felt the weight of having two little animals in the house. They made a mess around the cage, I had to organize for them to be at someone else's house when we went on holiday, but nothing else and nothing serious. The male looked like a sentinel, always alert and looking around. I didn't know anything about the budgies, I liked their intense colors, I was amused by their sounds: I used to watch them closely in the morning at breakfast time. I had placed their cage near the window in the living room, so in the morning I was enchanted by their antics.

I became more observant with the passing of time, he seemed to be observing me as well. Little by little I started to notice some variations in their behaviours: sometimes they seemed to be angry. Pepe emitted very shrill whistles, he was insulting me for keeping me in prison. He looked as if he were challenging me. Some other times he emitted softer and sweeter sounds, he seemed in a good mood, whispering, he exchanged tender sounds with his partner, he was courting her! The shop keeper, where I bought the seeds for them, was my point of reference and he suggested I added a small box in the cage for a nest! I had not thought about the nest. It was a triumph! From that moment onwards they started a continuos coming and going to the nest that kept them busy all day long. At the beginning I thought I had given them a distraction, but later I realized the nest was the centre of their lives. Their chatting became more intense, like the courting, followed by their coupling. Pepe didn't reproach me anymore, Pappa was very busy, she went in and out of the nest all the time, scraping its bottom: she made a lot of noise.

What were they doing there? I could not contain my curiosity any longer. Taking advantage of their distraction, I peered inside the little house. I was surprised, but it was only one moment. Pepe was furious: I was threatening his territory. I left quickly and added calmly " I will not disturb you anymore". They had build the nest with their own feathers, it was white, clean and soft, round in the middle to hold the little ones, it looked perfect, as if it had been made by compasses. Where did such precision come from? I blamed myself for not giving them anything for their construction, so I placed some woolen strands with some straw and raffia in a corner of the cage. Pappa retired to the little house, she rarely went out, she was incubating! Pepe was clinging just outside and kept looking inside. They were talking all the time, sometimes she left and he went inside. Then one day I saw the eggs on the floor, they had thrown them away, they had not hatched, one egg was broken and one seemed empty.

Taste of freedom After this excititng time, keeping them caged all day would be boring and cruel. They didn't have anything to do, so I started to hate the idea of keeping them in jail. I felt like a jailer, I thought it would be great to see them fly. I decided I would let them fly in the room, giving them some of their freedom. I closed the door of the living room, slowly I approached the cage. I didn't want to frighten them. I opened the door and I left it open with a peg. The chirping stopped. Nothing of what I had imagine happened. At first the budgies remained silent, looking at each other, then they emitted really high pitched sounds and recovered to the bottom of the cage, as in protection. They looked at the empty space, swinging one way or the other, as if in a dance, they could not believe their eyes. I was pretending to read. For some minutes nothing happened.

Then Pepe started to jump nervously in the cage and, after another long while, he went to the door and started to look outside. He was very cautious in leaning out of the cage, he turned back to Pappa. There was an intense conversation between them, then he went again on the threshold and, after telling her to remain safely in the cage (I could not interpret it any other way), he started to explore the place around, choosing where to perch. I was pretending to ignore them, I was full of emotions, while I was having my very slow breakfast. Pepe realized there was no danger, I was not a menace, he found the courage to leave the cage, suddenly he started to fly, with flapping wings to avoid falling, he found a wall without any footholds. I got scared, fearing for him crash into the glass windows, I closed the shutters. I thought I had not given him somewhere to land. The smooth wall was a danger, so there was some confusion in the room. I don't know who was the most upset among us, eventually he landed on a frame and there he could catch his breath. He rested for a while, each of his moves was followed by Pappa with apprehension, she made him feel her presence and she seemed to be giving some suggestions. He was very excited, he was exploring the room, flying everywhere, looking for other places where he could perch. It was the discovery of a new world! When the reconnaissance flight ended, he returned breathless to the cage, he was a winner, happy and satisfied. She welcomed him very excitedly too and asked countless questions. They exchanged much tenderness, they talked a long time. I promptly locked the door of the cage and said " Enough emotions for today". It had been an electrifying day for us all. The budgies remained vivacious all day and the following morning, Pepe looked at me as if questioning me, while he was jumping from one place to the other in the cage. But that morning I didn't have time, because of my work and I decided to wait for a more tranquil moment.

In the late afternoon, as soon as I returned home, my frst thought was opening the cage. I went to it slowly, to avoid scaring them, I opened the little door and moved away. It took less time than before, Pepe waited on the threshold for a short time, he flew straight to the frame where he could land, he was more sure of himself anf less agitated. He found more places to stop. He explored the room more slowly this time, aiming at the places he wanted to perch on. He was always in contact with Pappa who was following his movements. They kept exchanging information with their twittering. I was very happy, I was already hoping that, one day, they would trust me enough and maybe they might land on my shoulder.

Flying lessons The third time Pappa was allowed to go out of the cage. She didn't go through any panic, Pepe had instructed her, there was only some agitation and anxiety. The path was marked, the perches already clear. He instructed her in every movement. He went ahead, then returned to pick her up and they flew together. Observing them flying freely in the room was beautiful, being a wintness of the care Pepe had for his partner was touching, I watched their behaviour full of wonder. Pepe was giving her flying lessons. He was protective and she trusted him completly. I thought "How much attention", comparing their behaviour with a couple in love. The longer I observed the more I liked them, I thought that calling them animals was diminishing them. They were sentient beings, intelligent individuals capable of emotions like me. Opening the cage became a habit. In a few days they became very sure of themselves in flight. They jumped all over the place, their favourite spot was a line from the chandelier. One day, I was so used to letting them free, that I forgot to close the living room door. They flew in the corridor and, before I realized it, they sharpened their beaks on the rigid covers of our art books: I got very angry, but I could not take it out on them. When they were tired they returned to the cage, just like when we go home. Closing the little door was a way to give them back their privacy, making sure that nobody could disturb them. They reminded me to open it and close it when I forgot. They were now part of the family, but their surprises were not over yet....

Bianca Veronica Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

NAMASTE Dharana Giosie Colagrossi Dharana , Dhyana e Samadhi form Samyama : Complete Control. By mastering Pratyahara, the mind is trained to entertain the singleness of thought, so the next step is to bind the single thought to a fixed place. This phase can be reached using something as support: an object, a place (inner or outer), like the Ajna Chakra between our eye brows, or the tip of our nose/tongue, a rose or the flame of a candle. Yoga is a complete lifestyle, a way of cultivating ourselves that naturally leads to meditation. Becoming natural again means returning to our original condition, practicing yoga helps this re unification of body, heart, life activities and every action in daily life. Dharana means concentration (see THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 4), it connects all the skills of being in one action, thus consciously commiting to express or create knowledge through that action. Any gesture we make comes from the cooperation of body and heart, so that the gesture can produce harmony, balance, peace and indicates that all is connected in the universe.

Oftentimes we usa Dharana without awareness, for example when we get fixated on a worry, or a problem, without realizing that our entire body becomes poisoned by these toxins. Practicing Yoga regularly allows us to realize where we are wasting our energy, thus helping us to transform our awareness and, as a consequence, the environment around us. The practice of dharana needs to be performed with the help of breathing that helps us to relax while we focus our inner vision on a specific issue, until we let go of it. Here are some methods : 1. concentrate on the place between the eyebrows, eyes closed and looking inside and high to the root of the nose 2. concentrate on the tip of the nose, even crossing our eyes in order to observe it 3. concentrate on the inner sounds of the body, the heart beat, or other organs 4. concentrate on a mental sound or external vibration 5. concentrate on an object, for example a rose we look at its shape, color, smell, into the smallest details, so that there is no more separation between us and the object 6. concentrate on the candle flame (this practice also helps us to develop our gaze in order to perceive the aura) There are many methods to develop Dharana, what is very important is becoming at one and letting go, surrendering entirely in order allow the detachment, this is the best way to reach Dhyana.

PURIFICATIONS At the winter solstice, just passed, we work on the purifications of the heavy energies created by our thoughts, attitudes, burdens that weigh down our natural beauty. In the five cardinal points east, south, west, north and centre (like the sacred cities of India) there are guardians who can help us get rid of the heavy emotions in order to create more space inside. Here below you can find this practice: In the EAST we kneel and bow, letting go of intollerance towards what is different in cultures, genders, colors, thoughts. We let got of separation that leads us to believe we are many, so we fight each other, while we are One. We raise up thanking the guardians of the East. In the SOUTH we bow, letting go of our selfishness, the attachements to objects, ways of being, beliefs, mental patterns that prevent us from donating our innate beauty. We raise thanking the guardians of the South. In the WEST, we bow, letting go of our anger, the blinding rage that makes us do and say things we would never want to. Such rage that makes us hate and be resentful (these emotions are mostly harmful for us, since they are inside us), the excessive pride that doesn't allow us to offer our hand. We raise and thank the guardians of the west, uniting our hands. In the NORTH we surrender to the earth, leaving with the guardians all kinds of fear (whether known or unknown), fear of being abandoned, of suffering, of going crazy, of living. These are all aspects of the only one: fear of death. This fear can only be won by faith, by trust that gives us the courage to be and live. We raise and thank the guardians of the north.

In the end we bow to the guardians of the CENTRE who give us the ability to forgive ourselves and others, the wisdom to appreciate every moment in life, the chance to express all our potential. Now that the space inside is empty we can fill it with these new qualities and actions. We raise with gratitude and love, Shanti Shanti Shanti

Giosie Colagrossi Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

UNDER THE SKIN DermoReflexology and the Power of Dreams Part 3

Samantha Fumagalli e Flavio Gandini We continue our exploration of dreams and their importance for our awake state. Here below is a reminder of the four different types of dreams from the first part of our work: Every human being, according to the fourfold division has : Physical body - matter Etheric body – vital energy Astral body – soul Causal body – spiritual spark each one oversees specific functions, perceptions, actions and reactions. In dreaming there is a similar division: we have physical sensations, psychic events, memories processing, we perform actions, we react to conditioning. This means we can make a primary distinction among the physical, etheric, astral and causal aspects also during dreaming. (see THE BADGER June 2016, Year 2 Volume 3, followed by THE BADGER October 2016 Year 2 Volume 4)

The third kind of dreams is probably the most important because of the evolutive observations we can make.

The Astral Dream The mental dram has already introduced us to an area of subconsciousness, where the data emerge from under the level of consciousness. However, it is the astral dream that reveals us the vast world of the unconscious, where the dreamer opens amazing doors on his/her inner wealth, ready to be discovered. The astral body is the soul vehicle, dreaming with this body means probing the wonders of the soul, it leads to the rediscovery of its powers and virtues, it helps us to go beyond the boundaries of physicality in order to explore lesser known dimensions. We are talking here about the memories we have of our dreams, that is the conscious material after our awakening. If you cannot remember these dreams do not worry about your soul. Since our souls always work while we are in our physical rest, even if the memories do not pass over the threshold of our waking consciousness. It is important to remember that our souls needs care and attention, just like our physical bodies, if we cannot hear their voices, it may be because they have been neglected for a long time.

These dreams are different from the mental or daily life ones, because of the more vivid and richer contents and they tend to highlight some aspects of our personalities. This is the dream of psyche (from the Greek word soul), it is not necessarily connected to real events, but it can be about personal evolution (with its emotional, sentimental and unconscious aspects), sometimes it can go very far in space or time to connect us to a remote past, since the astral dimension is very wide and does not respect the space/time laws. Even if the vastity of the astral plane can seem unsettling or alien to us, we need to remember that all the experiences we have during our awake or asleep states form our consciousness. Astral dreams can also start from normal daily events, but usually these facts are shown symbolically: there may be some hidden aspects that are highlighted, the weak or the strong aspects in our character, etc. The immense quantity of unconscious material finds its expression in the dream dimension under symbolical and associative keys; since the connections are drawn with all aspects of the universe, the expressive and figurative language uses symbols and terms of various kinds and nature. Preserving or recuperating our memories of these dreaming experiences allows us to establish a connection with personal, collective, prophetic information, or even meeting astral or spiritual beings who want to communicate with us. Since the astral plane is so vast, after its dreaming journeys our souls return and entrust their adventures to the thinking mind, which transfer the contents from the astral to the daily plane. Therefore, we cannot have memories of the astral dimensions, since our dreaming undergoes a complete recoding, in the same way of the physical dimension. Even if this is the norm, there may be some people who can remember their astral plane and even keep this perception during the awake state.

This kind of dreaming supports the development of the metaphysical and metapsychical aspects, because of our dreams we can evolve psychologically and grow a strong astral body, the real vehicle for our dreams. It is our body in the dreamworld, just like our physical one is in daily reality. Our evolution is helped and fostered by our constant conversation with our unconscious, with the memories and interpretation of astral dreams, we can process a great quantity of psychic material, we can find new explanations for our life experiences, and new solutions for new and old issues. When we use this skill voluntarily, we can resolve traumas, emotional blocks, fears, inner and outer conflicts, difficult relastionships, in a way that works according to our personal time and pace.

Lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming is less frequent than astral dreaming, and it is a development of it. For a dream to be considered lucid there must be the awareness of the dreamer both of the dreaming activity and the capacity to act in it consciously. We cannot always modify the events, but we need to be able to act in them consciously. Lucid dreaming or astral travelling are also identified with leaving our bodies, such as in pre death experiences. We will not discuss these aspects, even if it is important to know that astral travelling is a form of out of body experience. Lucid dreaming and the consequent out of body experiences can happen spontaneously or as a result of training in dreaming, or meditation. The first condition for lucid dreaming is a high level of personal energy and the development of the second attention. The first attention is used in wakefulness, by increasing this type of attention we can reach and maintain self awareness in the awake state. The second attention happens in altered consciousness conditions, it is a voluntary alteration of consciousness, it is in fact a shamanic practice used like the ordinary one. During lucid dreaming it is used separately from the physical body. Very few people can reach this state of second attention spontaneously. Usually they are Dreamers, people who are able to enter intensified states of consciousness in order to have control over their dreams. For most people it takes years of training and discipline. Because we need to strenghten the astral body and develop the second attention. Lucid dreaming allows us to retain our consciousness during the dreaming state, therefore all our experiences become as real as our daily ones. This goal is mainly for the shamans, who want to investigate other dimensions, like the spiritual and supersensible worlds.

It is impossible to limit the field of action in lucid dreaming, since the access to other realities is open: moving in time and space becomes the norm. However, these experiences have consequences, uneasy patches and dangers. During this kind of dream we can heal parts of our past, both in this lifetime and before, so that we can complete our karmic debts. We can also get in touch with various entities, spirits, our deceased, Angels, Guides, etc. We will continue to explore more of the dreamworld in our next article.

Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

THE NATURE OF DRUIDRY The Magic of Lewes Philip Carr Gomm Many people feel drawn to Lewes in East Sussex, sensing that it is in some ways magical. Could this be true? The poet Francis Thompson, who lived in nearby Storrington, wrote ‘The Angels keep their ancient Places’ and Lewes is undoubtedly ancient. Let’s see if there are likely to be angels here too… When we consider the magic of a place we need to consider three things: the influence of the Ancestors, the power of the land, and the power that resides in the name of the land. The Influence of the Ancestors – the Past Imagine you are hovering, like a hawk at dawn, over the sea at Newhaven, flying towards the coast and Lewes. The mist from the Ouse obscures your view of the land below, but then as the sun climbs higher the mist begins to clear and you see not the town as it is now, but the town as it was perhaps in ancient times… Beyond the Brookland Basin you see the Mound – like a small version of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire – and then flying towards the castle you see not the ramparts and walls but six mounds stretching to the north-north-east, including the castle mound and Brack Mount, and four others as you fly in the direction of Pells pond. And then you see the Ouse, the Isis, snaking its way across the land towards Anderida, the Waste of Ondred, with the North Downs on the horizon in the far distance. Swoop round to the south-east and fly back past the stone monolith standing where All Saints church now stands; see the water gushing from the sacred spring in Pinwell lane and then turn north and fly up the hill, along what is now Station Street to arrive in the High Street by the castle. As you come to land you find yourself back in the town now – in the early twenty-first century.

Hlaewes – the Place of the Mounds The origin of the name Lewes is popularly explained as deriving from the Old English hlaew, meaning a hill, but hlaew was very rarely if ever used in southern England to describe a natural hill. Instead it was used to denote an artificial mound or tumulus, and could be translated as ‘a mound of importance’ or ‘sacred mound’.

For this reason it has been suggested that Lewes is so-called because of the tumuli which dot the hills to the east and west of the town. But John Bleach’s paper shows there might have been at least seven mounds within the town itself, suggesting that the origin of the name may come not from the sacred mounds outside the town, but from those within it. Hlaew becomes low and lew, and so we have places like Mutlow, Knightlow Hill, Ludlow in Shropshire which means ‘mound by the torrent’, Brinklow, Pathlow – which means ‘mound or tumulus by the path’ – and Harlow in Essex, which is named after a small hill by the railway station, which in ancient times was surmounted by a Roman temple.

The other theory, detailed by Richard Coates, is that the name derives from the Brittonic Lexowias, meaning hillsides or slopes. This exploration of the town’s name leads us to consider the next topic in the trio of ideas I suggested for considering the magic of place: The Power that Resides in the Name of the Land The two great media of magic are sound and light, or sound and image. Students of eastern approaches will know this well in the way that mantras and yantras are used. Behind sound and music lies the power of numbers, as Pythagoras first explained. Light and space are, in essence, governed by number too. Pythagoras was the father of numerology – that ‘science’ that claims it can find the number that is exerting a determining influence through a name or birthdate. You can work out the numerology of your name and of where you live. Lewes according to Pythagorean numerology = 19 = 10 = 1. Number one in numerology signifies a leader, a pioneer. Perhaps that is why Lewes has played such a leading role in the establishment of parliamentary democracy, thanks to the Battle of Lewes, and the rights of the individual, since Tom Paine, author of ‘The Rights of Man’ joined The Headstrong Club here. Perhaps that’s why it has recently become a role model as one of the first Transition Towns. If you know your own number it can be interesting to look at this in relation to your location’s number. Say for example you are a 3 and you live here in Lewes or in another ‘1’ town: that means you are in the optimum environment for you to manifest in the most creative way, your individuality, your unique gift, your pioneering or leadership skills. Whether numerology is valid or not is another issue, but let’s move on now to look at the third criteria for assessing the magic of a place:

The Power in the Land Is Lewes magical because of a special energy that emanates from the land here? When I was giving a workshop on the ‘Sacred Landscape of Sussex’ at Flint House in Lewes, someone mentioned that a New Age teacher called Dick Sutphen had spoken about Lewes being one of the most powerful spots on earth – where there was a ‘psychic vortex’. A little research reveals that Dick Sutphen talks about there being such a place, but not in Lewes specifically, but in Sussex. His book, written over 20 years ago is available as a free e-book on his website. As far as I know it was responsible all those years ago for much of the interest in ‘psychic vortexes’ and for making Sedona a centre for New Age pilgrimage. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s opening page.

The first time I saw Sedona, in 1969, I knew this was a special place, not only because of its magnificent beauty but because of an undeniable spiritual vibration emanating throughout the area. Over the years I’ve become convinced, through my own experiences and the experiences of others, and through extensive research and investigation, that the psychic energy here is greater than anywhere else in the country.

The explanation for this may come from a book called The Romeo Error by biologist Lyall Watson. The following is a quote from that book: “Navigation is bedeviled by the fact that the earth’s magnetic field is riddled with local deviations and irregularities. These faults have been very carefully plotted and the most persistent of them have become quite notorious. One of these lies off the Bahama Islands (the Bermuda Triangle), another in the English county of Sussex, and a third near Prescott in Arizona.”

What Watson is describing is a vortex—a positive or negative “power spot”—where a great concentration of energy emits from the earth. Positive vortexes expand and perpetuate energy; negative vortexes dissipate energy. There are many vortexes on earth, and a good analogy might be to compare them to the acupressure points on the human body. Although there are many vortexes, there are very few major vortex areas; Positive vortexes are charged in one of three ways, according to psychic Page Bryant: Electric: These are “yang,” charged with the male force. When you enter the vibrational field or frequency, you will become charged emotionally and physically. The energy will stimulate and elevate consciousness. It is also ideal to eliminate depression. Some people, however, consider an electrical vortex to be a strain on someone with high blood pressure or heart problems. Magnetic: These are “yin,” charged with the female force. When you enter the vibrational field or frequency, you can expect to open psychically, becoming much more perceptive, for the area primarily affects the subconscious mind Electromagnetic: These vortexes are a combination of electrical and magnetic, or a combination of the yin-yang forces, resulting in a perfect state of balance. When you enter the vibrational field or frequency, you can expect an expansion and elevation of consciousness. This energy is ideal to stimulate past-life memories and psychic activities. ‘Sedona – Psychic Energy Vortexes’ by Dick Sutphen, 1974. page 1.

You can take at least 3 approaches to this information: It’s not true. It’s true. Maybe it’s true. If you think it’s not true, you’ll take heart from this: Sutphen got his information on Sussex from Lyall Watson’s Romeo Error (p170 if you have a copy). Watson in turn gets it from J.A.Keel, since he annotates his source for his statement as J.A.Keel’s ‘Our Haunted Planet’ Neville Spearman, 1971. This book can be viewed online on Google Books. Having run the source of this idea to ground it’s worth quoting: ‘The angels keep their ancient places,’ poet Francis Thompson wrote. Thus there are many haunted places all over the world, shunned by ancient man or made sacred by him. These are precise geographical locations, and anyone digging into the history and lore of such locations will find thousands of accounts of ghosts, demons, monsters, and flying saucers pinpointed within a few square miles and covering a thousand years or more of time. To UFO cultists such places are Windows: entry points for spaceships from some distant planet. Occultists teach that these are Gateways, weak spots in the earth’s etheric envelope through which beings from other space-time continuums seep into our reality. Sussex County in England is one Gateway, as are the Mississipi Valley, the Ohio Valley, and parts of our western States, such as the area around Prescott, Arizona.’

Notice how Lyall Watson has changed the information by the way, keeping Sussex and Prescott, but dropping the Ohio and Mississippi valleys in favour of the Bermuda Triangle. Certainly from a Feng Shui point of view the town seems optimally cited and a practitioner recently told me she believed the town is indeed situated in what Sutphen terms an electromagnetic vortex.

Conclusion It is possible that we live in a power vortex here in Lewes, perhaps at a particular conjunction of leylines. We may live in a place influenced subtly by the fact that it was sacred centuries ago with its seven or more Holy Mounds. It is even possible that this city of the sacred mounds was chosen by the Knights Templar to shelter the Holy Grail in the first Templar church in Britain, which was in Albion Street in Lewes. This church of the Holy Sephulchre was visited by the head of the Templars Hugues de Payen. All these things are possible and may or may not be true.

But what we do know is true is that Lewes is a magical place today: it must be the first town in Britain to have a ceremony shop. It has become the hometown for two of the most wonderful spiritual groups in the world, which are both known by funny-sounding acronyms: SUBUD and OBOD, which is the world’s largest druid movement. What is the best magic of all in this town? It is the amazingly creative people who live here and the rich cultural mix and matrix of consciousness that they produce.

Philip Carr-Gomm Edited by Antonella Vicini

LEARNING FROM PYTHAGORAS Pythagorean Life Style 2. Salvatore Mongiardo I would like to continue my overview of the Pythagorean Life Style with the seven Pythagorean principles, because of them Pythagoras was considered the founder of Magna Grecia 1. Equality and freedom All men and all women are free and enjoy the same dignity. The Pythagoric communities opened to women as students and gave freedom to slaves, it was a big innovation at that time. 2. Community of life and property Pythagoreans used to live in community, giving their money to the treasurers who looked after their material needs. Money and exclusive property was banished. The community took care of the sick and the dying, so that nobody had to face life or death alone, moreover nobody felt the anxiety or fear of not making it financially. Pythagoreans lived in community in a sober, yet efficient, elegant and refined way.

3 Justice Justice is usually considered the foundation for Pythagoric life, but we need to explain this term. In the ancient texts there were two terms: the first one is Dikaiosyne (Δικαιοσύνη), the rectitude, the feeling and practice of justice. This term should be more correctly translated with justness, the virtue leading us toward correct behaviours. The second term is dìkaia (while the first word was a singular feminine gendere noun, this is a plural neuter adjective), also this term is translated with justice, but it indicates rights and duties, we could use then the contemporary term of legality. By using two different words, the Pythagoreans clarified that without justness there cannot be legality, for example : if the law does not respect social justice in sharing the goods, the weak ones remain oppressed by legality itself.

4. Vegetarianism Pythagoras was the champion of vegetarianism, not just because he always refused to eat meat or fish, but especially for the meaning he gave to this refusal: "If you don't dare killing an animal, then you will never kill a man" Vegetarian and vegan people are now about over half a billion in the entire world and the numbers tend to increase. Empedocles, influenced by the Pythagoreans, wrote that eating animals leads human beings to violence, but can also produce disorder in sexual behaviours.

5. Non-competitiveness It is undoubtedly the most original theory of Pythagoras, since it considers competion and victory as evil! They could take part in games and races, but just for fun, without winners and losers. They were not allowed to even watch the Olympic games. They used to say that victory stains the winner, because it separates him from the loser, thus becoming a reason for envy. Winning, being succesful, cultivating one's ambitions were all considered unworthy of a good person, who instead needed to practice harmony. Competion among political parties was also barred, since they could paralyze the city. There had to be only one government and opposition to it was considered a rebellion to be fought against. 6. Friendship Friendship was the founding value of life, it included all living beings: from gods to animals. Filia (Greek φιλία) means friendship, which included also love, affection, tenderness, good will, embraced citizens and foreigners, husband and wife, brothers and sisters, relatives and animals. Many enlightening quotes on the Pythagorean practice of Filia can be found in Iamblicus, especially the exhortation of protecting and caring for the spiritual part in each person. ( Link to the translation of Iamblicus De Vita Pythagorica https://archive.org/details/lifeofpythagoras00iamb Editor's note ) 7. Religiosity The participation and practice of spirituality was very strong among the Pythagoreans, but each one of them used to honor the gods of his/her land, since there was no attempt at conversion. The daily rites were performed without priests Pythagoras risked his life in order to apply these principles to change the world. Thus he died in exile at Metapontum.

Pythagoras loved the stars and created the word kosmos, which means order to indicate the heavenly vault. He was inspired by the order in the heavens and endevoured to apply it here on earth among all living beings.

Salvatore Mongiardo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

WITNESSING The Fields of Legality Cinzia Brandi I am pleased to introduce here the stories of two students of Cinzia Brandi's, the high school teacher the author of Polis (see above). Their fresh way of looking at this volunteer work makes it really worthwhile. AV

The Fields of Legality FRANCESCA, 2015 The experience of the anti-mafia camps has been an education for us all in at least two ways: First of all we have discovered a world oftentimes too far from ours of young digital people: working in the fields, the direct contact with nature and its products. The second result is that we have understood the importance of fighting for our principles and human dignity, we shall never submit to any blackmail!

SARA 2014 I went to Corleone with a group of girls about 2 years ago, If i had the chance, I would do it many more times. I feel I have grown as a citizen as a consequence of that experience. We exchanged ideas with others, we discussed, we got informed, we felt that mafia is a lot closer to us than what we expected. I realized then how ignorant I had been about this topic until that very moment. Those days meant a lot for all of us, I hope the school will continue and expand such activities, because we cannot hide our heads in the ground. We need to know what and who we have around us, we need to be aware of our choices, and fight for what we believe in. Fighting for our ideals is good for our souls, and I believe that even just one person can make the difference. There are many heroes in this long fight, some are known, some aren't, but we need to remember them all! As a way of closing I want to quote a sentence from Giovanni Falcone (a well known judge who was killed by the Mafia of Corleone in 1992):

“Gli uomini passano, le idee restano. Restano le loro tensioni morali e continueranno a camminare sulle gambe di altri uomini.� (Men pass away, ideas remain, Their moral tensions remain and will continue to walk with the legs of other men) My wish is that even only one person may be moved by it out of his/her moral immobility.

Cinzia Brandi Edited and Translated by 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

Cinzia Brandi In 1986 she graduated in Philosophy at "La Sapienza" University in Rome. She lives and works in Tarquinia, where she teaches History and Philosophy at the local High School. She also supports all activities connected with legal studies, she is involved in the teachers'unions and practices active citizenship.

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.

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THE BADGER January 2017  

THE BADGER Year 3 Volume 1 January 2017 We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, phi...

THE BADGER January 2017  

THE BADGER Year 3 Volume 1 January 2017 We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, phi...