THE NEW YEAR AND THE NEW 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 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 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, in fact if you think of your own lives how many times was your Mum's or Dad's presence to make you feel better? 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 that the arts in all 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 balanced health is, they are here to pass on information, give inspiration, receive your comments, suggestions, contributions. Each human beings has at least one of the keys, let's continue our quest!
Year 2 Volume 1
January 2016 Dear Readers and Supporters of THE BADGER, we are back with another volume full of information, rich in keys for life. We also want to wish you the best for this new year, may it be luminous and joyful, above all may it bring us all clarity and awareness. From the deepest part of winter, the light is beginning its slow ascent towards the next equinox, let's listen to each other stories, let's assimilate the wisdom of the year past and launch ourselves into the future. THE BADGER is growing, not just in numbers, but in its structure as well, the magnificent cover photo is by Luis Vasconcelos, our wonderful photographer, it portrays pure light for the beginning of the year, utter beauty exploding into the night time of winter. Such light reminds us also of the ancestors'place, the true north from which we all come, may our journey home be clear and peaceful. New voices will speak in this volume, new videos will entice our hearts, keep in touch with our growing affectionate readers, thank you for your constant presence, keep in touch with us on our fb page: https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine/?ref=hl
Antonella Vicini THE BADGER Editor Front and back cover photo Luis Vasconcelos Graphic Lay out Antonella Vicini
CONTENTS We are made of Music Into the Matter Badger Medicine Taming Waves Poetry Readers' Corner
Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo Fredric Lehrman Paolo Benda Archilocus Renato Tittarelli
Healing with words
Voices from the Stars
Mother Earth Speaks
CONTENTS Food is our Ally and our Pleasure Building our house alive Photo-graphy Travelling Travelling East Crystal songs Deep within Warrior Goddess Quilting Away
Daniele Sampalmieri Fabio Segato Stefano Buzzai Luis Vasconcelos Judy Hayes Raffaella Vicini Jay Schwed Jose Maffina Gabriella Campione Lida Perry
Witnessing Inspiring The Authors
Merritt Moore Adrian Hopfgarten
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 for articles and columns, contacting us via FB: https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMa gazine?ref=hl
WE ARE MADE OF MUSIC Antonella Vicini Photos by Luis Vasconcelos
Was there a sound before silence? What is our sound? Do we exist? A series of questions to start our new year! I believe that everything existing and even what is not existing yet or anymore, vibrates, thus producing a sound, however subtle or beyond our perception. The entire cosmos is alive, vibrant, delighted in its existance and, since we are part of it, we could re-learn to be just as happy in our non independant lives. So much stock has been placed over centuries on our being the only independant beings, at the very centre of our private universes, as if everything had to be subordinate and centred around us. We are but specks of dust, yet we can be happy and conscious specks... Twirling in the immense universe outside, shining in the universe within, appearing and disappearing in a flash of light, this is our existance.....
This January I want to introduce you to the ideas and visions of Joseph Rael, my long time teacher and â€“ I like to believe â€“ friend. His entire life has been dedicated to researching the meaning in his actions, in the events around him, that is why reading and translating his autobiography was such an enlightening experience. (House of Shattering Light, Millichap Books) I am going to let him speak to you in his own words in the following videos funded by the TriS Foundation and shot by Francis Rico of http://www.shamanzone.com/ . Their work and generosity will keep these precious and unique teachings alive. Watching these videos is like listening to a traditional story teller, who will spin his/her tales during the long winter nights in order to entertain and uplift people's souls deprived of sun light. The first one is entitled The Gift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU426Ne2E0Q So now we know that we do not exist, or I can say that we exist for a very short time, like the batting of an eyelid, a measure that was actually used in ancient Indian mythology as opposed to the apparently infinite duration of the eras in the Hindu stories. What is my life like, when I look at it from the point of view of a speck of dust or the ray of light I can catch in the batting of an eyelid? Actually it looks fantastic, it is full of wonder, beauty beyond measure, incomparable joy and amazingly full of harmony. Try it yourself, when we stop being so obsessed with our self centredness and open up to a new point of view, then we are transformed into new people, finally able to fully live and enjoy life.
Having got rid of our self importance we can now walk on the formless path indicated by this second video entitled The Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBM4gqBZNuo The silent gestures invite us to a moment of reflection, of re-connection with all that is, a silence that will only be interrupted by the spontaneous elementary sounds of vowels vibrating in the air. Such amazing resource is inside of us, is part of us from our birth and before, when we could listen to the harmonies created around our mother's pregnant belly. We can instictively access those sounds whenever we are in need: for the benefit of our bodies, minds, emotions and weary spirits. The sounds of the chanted vowels will resonate and reach the furthest limits of our world and beyond. It is up to us to allow this connection to be rekindled in our hearts, Joseph has spent his entire life studying sound and vibration, (two of his books are entirely dedicated to this subject), but I can say that all the teachings I had the good fortune to receive directly from him, or through his books, are centred around this theme. (Being and Vibration: Entering the New World, Millichap Books 2015) And so we come to the last of the videos from Beautiful Painted Arrow, it is an introduction to the Sound Chambers, the special places where people can go and harmonize with the natural sounds coming straight from the heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs63R2OLdhw This information is precious, it doesn't belong to one country, one race or religion, but to all of humankind, since it was a human being, however special he is, who received it and made it his life long mission to apply it in his own life and share it with as many other human beings as possible.
I admire his patience, his courage, his determination and love of people, the only other figure I can compare Joseph with is the Bodhisattva, the being made of enligthenment (as described in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition). Such a man/woman chooses to remain in the world until each one of his brothers and sisters has crossed the river of understanding and has reached the safey of perfect realized wisdom. My heart is full of gratitude for the many encounters that have enriched my life, Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, has taught me how to live and pray in humility and understanding together with nature. Keep singing your heart of music, if you cannot go to a Peace/Sound Chamber, you can build your own in your heart and chant there until the sounds will teach you what you need to learn at that time. Peace of mind, serenity, increased awareness, higher level of energy, these are only some of the results of chanting in this simple and powerful way. We are made of music that only needs to be sung....
In these pages you will see some photos by Luis Vasconcelos who, as usual, has given us an unusual point of view while having a great time on the beach. Thank you Luis! As a way of wishing you all a luminous 2016 this video is inspired by Luis's photos and Joseph's teachings, together with the celestial and joyous music by Georg Frederic Handel, enjoy!
INTO THE MATTER Synchronicity Andrea Exo ...Casuality is only a principle, psychology cannot be exhaustively completed only with causal methods, since spirit lives equally of goals... Carl Jung
...Only love can build a bridge between Physics, Spirit and Psychology. W. Pauli (Physics Nobel Prize) Casuality or sinchronicity? Seeing each object around us as isolated and far from us is the greatest mistake we can make. Hopefully we don't need an incident, such as our neighbour's vase falling on our head, in order to realize the existance of said vase. Nevertheless, the process of photosynthesis keeping us alive by gifting us with oxygen can make us think that some molecules, from the plants we know nothing about, may have become part of our body, giving energy to our cells and supporting our brain with oxygenation. In this instance we are applying the principle of casuality, it is evident, but what is synchronicity? How does it happen?
Synchronicity can be seen as the close connection between mind and matter, between a dream and a deed, between a thought and an event. The starting point is always the same: everything is connected, not just on the physical plane. Karl Jung defined synchronicity as a series of events all happening simultaneously in the same situation, they are not connected by the same cause, but from them a similar if not identical meaning can be inferred. For example, we may dream of a volcano erupting and the following day the news headlines report the actual eruption. Or looking at the phone just before a phone call. Or we feel our head heavy and the following day our partner meets his/her lover.
As we can see these are all phenomena that we have had the chance to observe and feel along the wondrous experience called life. Jung made a difference between the psychic content of the external event according whether it happend in real time in our environment (telephone call), in real time but in a place far from us (eruption), at a different time that could only be checked later (betrayal).
Why does this happen? The question asked by the psychologist is clear: can we connect to chance all these events or is there something invisible to our eyes and our machines that influences our psyche and is in turn influenced by psyche itself? The mechanism moving these levers is objective or subjective? The union of objective and subjective elements is certainly the keystone in order to connect physics and psychology, as well as imagine a universe where there aren't atoms travelling casually in a direction with just gravity and inertia, but precise and organized powers moved by mechanical and psychic structures with clear goals and meaning. Only quantum physics allow us, although only partially, to discern some of the subtle threads connecting everything in a symbiotic relationship. You can find many examples of particles using a kind of teleportation, thus moving other very far away mirror particles, even without any contact. The so called quantum teleport has proved that just the similarity of two atoms can provoke such wondrous interaction. What happens at a subtle level? How can it happen? Jung imagined a universe where matter and time are the counterpart of a psychic continuum, ruled by its archetypes. Such relationship could bring together both quantum physics and psychology in an infinitely colourful tapestry
Sir Roger Penrose, distinguished theoretical physicist from Oxford, imagined that all the information received by any form of life passed through microtubules, thus giving birth to a cellular intelligence. These elements started a new vision in science where science and spirituality started to dance together.
Would Karl Jung be happy with the results so far? Have we finally unified physics and esotericism? Sacred and profane? Have we understood the consciousness that permeates the entire universe and our intente in it? So far synchronicity remains inexplicable, since it cannot be reproduced empirically, even if the quantum teleport has much in common with it. Even if it is impossible to copy each human being in a laboratory, such impossible task of reproducing synchronic phenomena in a controlled situation creates many difficulties to its acceptance. Even if there are always pens willing to write the final answer to mutable situations.
Andrea Exo Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
BADGER MEDICINE Dragon Farming Fredric Lehrman FUNDAMENTALS First of all, it would be pointless to start building barns or fences. Dragons come and go as they please. They are not big snakes that can be charmed by a waving flute. Dragons are inquisitive, and tend to drop by unexpectedly. Or, you can broadcast an invitation. Trust that they will hear you, but do not expect them to send you an RSVP response. You can begin your conversation with them in many ways. The Prince of Bhutan told me that Bhutanese monks on long meditation retreats in caves at high altitudes often come across dragon bones, which they would respectfully retrieve and bring back to be used for medicine. When I asked how they could be sure that these were in fact dragon bones, and not those of some other Himalayan mountain creature such as a snow leopard or a Yeti, he simply said, â€œThe difference is obvious.â€? One aspect of dragon farming is to start to notice them. This is a way of gathering seeds to plant in the garden. There was a children's book (still available) from the previous Millennium tantalizingly entitled:
This implies that you would recognize one if you saw one. But until I started wondering about them I accepted the general modern assumption that they were just imaginary/mythical creatures, sometimes decorative, sometimes fearsome, and would be unlikely to ever appear anywhere in my vicinity. The schooling of modern urban, rural, and even third world children is still largely a kind of twelve-year forced march with timed breaks for “Play” and “Creativity.” The standard school design aims at producing standard children who score high on “standardized tests.” To straggle, to wander and wonder, to be “spaced out”or unique… these are deviations. The best a child can hope for is to emulate another 20th-century children’s book published in 1930, entitled “The Little Engine that Could.” For all you Millennials who spend more time in front of screens than pages, you might not have been read this book over and over by your parents or other literati. The story goes like this: A cute little coal-fired steam railway engine is confronted with a very big hill, and, after some encouragement, starts to chug along to the rhythmic chant “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” picking up speed until in mid-climb it begins to be “I know I can, I know I can, I know I can…”. And coming down the other side I guess it was “I knew I could…. now I can go to college.” A perfect metaphor for primary education in the age of the Iron Horse.
Little did I know, growing up in New York City five minutes from Grand Central Station, that my cultural subconscious was still being shaped by earlier ways of thinking, now largely forgotten. Those steam engines chugging on tracks across Europe, America, and other outreaches of colonialism, flying across the land faster than any man or horse could run, belching noise, fire, and smoke from their heads to terrify the natives and the buffalo, were none other than mechanized robot dragons! I rode them as a boy and lived to tell about it.
Wherever you grew up, the dragons were there, waiting for you to notice them. Thatâ€™s enough for today. If you see a dragon tonight, remember it when you wake up.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
TAMING WAVES Into Radionics part 1
Paolo Benda This time I want to introduce a special part of energy work that overcomes distance: distant divining. This can be done at any distance from the person or place involved, as long as an image is available. History Emile Cristophe, the French leader in this field, was the first to talk about a “sympathetic radiation” that connected things to their images. He affirmed: “ A photography has a link of sympathy that constantly carries specific aspects of what it represents” Therefore, according to Cristophe, the photo or the map of a site are means to be used in order to establish contact between the pratictioner and the object under examination. Once this contact is established, then the pratictioner works as if he/she were in the actual presence of the object/person/place. Another great reasercher was Luzy who affirmed that the divining perception comes from thinking, but virtually materialized thinking, it works almost like a radar. The abbot Mermet, one of the greatest diviner, admitted that there is a “main ray” that the object, like a star, emits in all directions, without any obstacles so that it is perceived by the diviner. Since there are simultaneously many rays emitted by all existing bodies, the Abbot thought about the selective powers of the diviners.
RESONANCE We know that matter is made of atoms and smaller particles in constant movement, we know that such movement produces energy, in the form of radiations. Therefore a scientist speaking of waves will refer to the Hertz, or electromagnetic, or sound, or light ones, etc. and all their frequencies are measurable. Modern developments in physics tell us there are two zones in the universe: one is physical and perceivable by our senses, mainly connected to time; there is another one that is not perceived by our normal physical senses, this is governed by space. At any time of our short existance these two areas are united and integrated with each other. Human beings are complex units, open to the cosmic laws, our bodies do not end with the skin, but expand beyond the visible. We can make here a brief comparison between esoteric tradition and modern tradition: the connection of different shells in any living being. We have the physical body, the energy or etheric body, the mental, causal, akashic and spiritual bodies. When we work in order to re balance a physical body using distant divining we work on the energy body.
I want to underline here that the matter exists indissolubly connected with its vibration. Each cell of the human body is made of smaller parts and each one of them has a specific vibration that can resonate with known or unknown energy sources. The waves and energy frequencies radiating from whatever exists in nature travel accross space and, whenever they meet on their paths other structures with the same chemical and physical characteristics, they make them vibrate at the same frequencies (at the atomic level). This phenomenon happens also in the human body where the cells capture and vibrate at the same wave length of the frequencies emitted by the celestial bodies. This is called resonance, since similar objects, at the molecular level, can vibrate at the same frequency even if are very far away from each other. I also want to add that everything on our planet emits vibratory waves that can be perceived by human beings directly or indirectly through the use of appropriate instruments. It is also important to mention the wave form, since matter emits energy as radiation and a vibration due to the form it takes: the angular refraction, which is the basis of any vibratory emission and has been called â€œoutput wave formâ€?. The modern science of Radionics is based on this concept.
Paolo Benda Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
POETRY θυμέ, θύμ᾽ ἀμηχάνοισι κήδεσιν κυκώμενε, ἄνα δέ, δυσμενέων δ᾽ ἀλέξευ προσβαλὼν ἐναντίον στέρνον, ἐν δοκοῖσιν ἐχθρῶν πλησίον κατασταθείς ἀσφαλέως· καὶ μήτε νικῶν ἀμφαδὴν ἀγάλλεο μηδὲ νικηθεὶς ἐν οἴκωι καταπεσὼν ὀδύρεο. ἀλλὰ χαρτοῖσίν τε χαῖρε καὶ κακοῖσιν ἀσχάλα μὴ λίην· γίνωσκε δ᾽ οἷος ῥυσμὸς ἀνθρώπους ἔχει.
My heart, my heart, distraught by inexplicable worries, Bear up, hold on, defend yourself openly from the many foes coming Endure all such strife up close, never waver; Should you win, don't openly exult, nor, defeated, throw yourself lamenting in a heap at home, But delight in things without exaggeration and, in hard times, grieve not too much : Know the rhythm that holds men's lives.
Archilocus from Paros VIII BCE Translation Antonella Vicini
READERS' CORNER Le porte d'oro della città segreta Trovammo le porte socchiuse dopo un lungo viaggio attraverso deserti e mari aperti navigatori di terre lontane provenienti da porti ed insenature di luoghi semplici ed accoglienti. Arrivammo armati sino a i denti, pronti ad affrontare ogni pericolo ma una volta sbarcati le porte d’oro della città segreta sembravano non avere guardiani eppure c’era odore di vita e di morte ovunque, di grandi amori e di grandi delusioni ma nulla poté fermare l’ardimento dei nostri cuori. All’interno trovammo grandi leoni imponenti, aquile attente e pacifiche, orsi e volpi che ci attendevano immoti da molto tempo. E noi potemmo scorrere come un corteo umano, attraversando file di animali spettatori attenti e riconoscenti del nostro ingresso trionfale. La luce del mattino era lontana, il viaggio sembrava essere giunto verso il termine nulla era come prima, l’alba ed il tramonto, il sole e la luna ci guardavano e noi cominciavamo ad esplorare le stanze della città segreta, antica e viva. Le mura, le iscrizioni, gli antichi segni cominciavano a rivivere e a danzare per noi come se si fossero risvegliati tante storie ed attori silenti in attesa di un pubblico attento e rispettoso del sacro silenzio di quei luoghi. Anche l’oro delle porte della città segreta parlava e danzava la sua lingua sconosciuta invitandoci a proseguire verso la torre del Signore del Tempo. E il viaggio verso il centro dell’Uomo proseguì senza sforzo e senza paura.
The Golden Doors of the Secret City Ajar we found the doors after a long journey through deserts and open seas sailors from far away lands coming from harbors and coves of simple and welcoming places. Armed to the teeth we arrived, ready to face any danger but, once disembarked, the golden doors of the secret city didn't show any guards and yet there was a smell of life and death all around, great loves and as great disillusions, but nothing could stop the boldnes in our hearts. Inside we found imposing lions, peaceful and alert eagles, motionless bears and foxes that had been waiting a long time for us. And we could flow like a human procession, going past rows of animals vigil and grateful crowd of our triumphant entrance. The sunrise was a long way away, the journey seemed to be over, nothing was like before. Sunrise and sunset, sun and moon were watching us and we started to explore the rooms of the ancient, secret alive city. The walls, the inscriptions, the ancient signs started to live again, started to dance for us, as if many stories and silent actors had woken up waiting for an audience aware and respectful of the sacred silence in those places. Even the gold of the secret city doors was speaking and dancing its unknown language inviting us to continue towards the tower of the Time Lord. And the journey to the centre of Man continued without effort or fear.
Renato Tittarelli, Chiaravalle (AN) 15-12-2014 Translation Antonella Vicini
HEALING WITH WORDS TWIRLING DREAMS Antonella Vicini Slowly Jane's dream twirls out of her room in ever widening circles and spirals, lazily taking to the open sky, looking for more space where it can unravel all its potential. Colors and sounds, music and smells, objects, animals, castles and roads, eventually people appear in the dream. Now the web made of dreams has reached the open fields where few cattle at pasture wonder at the amazing fireworks displayed by the dreams. All the dreams from the small village seem to be gathered here. The cows observe in silence and keep munching placidly. Seen from afar it looks like a cluster of colors, many rainbows strung together in one place by a gigantic being. When the moon is high the colors become brighter and seem to take on a deeper shine. What a spectacle! Above the city gather all the million of dreams of the slumbering citizens. They fight for space, they look fiercely colored, intense, passionate, almost violently so, like lightening in a storm they gather up in a sky that never has time to rest in its dark mantle. One dream manages to escape from the city and reaches the countryside. There it can stretch in the deep dark blue. John in his bed smiles and enjoyes the peace. The quick bursts of light are transformed into continuous, pulsating, colored light, shapes are formed. The dream can now take on new quality, images, beauty.
When morning comes the dreams slowly unravel in the early light, leaving behind a magical shining. They have created wonderful worlds, where people genuinely like and respect each other, where light is supported and darkness is welcomed as the other side of light, so that each dreamer can be a complete person. In these dreams there is peace in the hearts of the people and in their actions, so no separation, no hatred of any kinds can be rekindled, not even if so much time has gone by that people may have forgotten the dangers of hatred. From a Garland of Stories Antonella Vicini 2014
I HAVE A DREAM I have a dream…. Many years ago a great political and moral figure used this “incipit” in order to move people’s consciences and give a new dimension to his political path. I also have a dream, I want to dream a new world where female and male energies are in balance, where there is heartfelt respect for different opinions and viewpoints. These are difficult times, we need to stay with our dreams, lest we forget ourselves and start separating from other human beings by judging who is good and who is bad….. It is time to be well informed and go bravely beyond our comfort zone in order to know what is really happening around us and inside as well. If we believe that our spiritual paths are real to us, this is the time to walk our talk and act accordingly. Mystics the world over understand each other and hold the energy to support lives, never to destroy them. Let's embrace what is different from us, so that we may understand it and learn from it, prayers, meditation and keeping our physical/mental/ emotional/spiritual levels as high as possible is the way out of darkness. Much love and light during this dark winter always looking towards the new rising light.
VOICES FROM THE STARS Entering the new era Laura Bottagisio The cycle Jupiter - Neptune This cycle accompanies and frames all the great social, political and economical transformations, as well what moves the collective consciousness. Prosperity Jupiter is the archetype of growth, both physical and emotional, therefore it represents real prosperity. As father of the Olympian gods, he is the generating principle. His symbol is a spyral and a cross underneath it, as if it was affirming â€œ I take from the universe and I manifest into the matterâ€?. Transformation Neptune works deeply and subtly for the evolution of the species, it transforms the DNA and connect us to the highest spheres of existance, thus supporting us in following the divine plan we accepted before our human birth. It governs dreams and the deep waters of the unconscious, its symbol is the trident with a small sphere or a cross, it always represents the whole penetrating matter. Both Jupiter and Neptune herald a change of consciousness, a true metamorphosys, on planet Earth and in the cosmos.
Jupiter and Neptune repeat the sun â€“ moon cycle: Jupiter completes the zodiac in 12 years, while Neptune moves from one sign to another every 12 years, therefore the 2 planets move within the zodiac exactly like the hands in a clock: the division of time 1:12 is still applied on a cosmic scale. We can consider the entering of Jupiter in Virgo (August 2015) as a full moon, since both planets have a high visibility. The cycle Jupiter â€“ Neptune started in 2009 (conjunction in Acquarius) and will continue until 2022 (conjunction in Pisces). Since Acquarius and Pisces are at the end of the zodiac they represent the opening to new dimensions and inner sight.
The opposition of Jupiter and Neptune between Virgo and Pisces will give us the chance to become responsible for our safety and happiness. These two planets offer us a vision of ourselves as fully accomplished. That is why “I must” is substituted by “I will”. Again it is Jupiter in Virgo talking to us about grace and gratitude as a daily practice, in this way the material and subtle dimensions can cooperate. I would like to quote here Antoine de Saint Exupery “Only the heart can see well, what is essential is invisible to the eyes”(The Little Prince).
THE TWELVE SENSES and THE TWELVE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC The path is the passage from the ego to the power of essence: the ultimate goal is to be our own light. The two signs appear in the zodiac at the passage from the season of light to the dark one. Nature seems to be closing down, thus praparing for the new explosion in the following spring. Virgo and Lybra pay attention to details, in order to improve what is not perfect, since imperfections make sure that there is evolution and continuous improvement. The function of both these signs has to do with the re-establishement of the yearly cycle that has to be completed for the good of every person as well as the community.
VIRGO SENSE OF MOVEMENT True rootedness is the deep contact with our bodies, since our bodies are the vehichle that work in the world. The food we choose, the thoughts we have in our mind, the deep quiet of meditation, all of these aspects shape our body. Every single emotion we feel are recicled by our cells and take form, they are embodied in our earthly vehicle when we are born. Each of our cells has its own â€œintelligenceâ€?. Each one of us lives in his/her body and moves in space with it, Virgo helps the good functioning of all our physical and sensory activities, by harmonizing the correct passage of information among cells. So that our body, a true alchemical melting pot, transmutes us into the golden consciousness of divine will. Here there are some exercises for the hands: for tiredness close the right hand, with the thumb away from it, rotate right and left, then move the thumb up and down. For willingness close the fist, so that you own the strength available, keep the thumb out, folded on the fingers, never inside the fist. For direction of our energy: with the thumb and index finger of the left hand touch, one by one, the fingers of the right hand pushing a little from below up.
LYBRA SENSE OF BALANCE The sense of balance, together with the sense of touch, of life and movement, is connected to will and the perception of our inner world. Balance is beautifully described by the tightrope walker, a metaphor of human life suspended between earth and sky. On the rope the walker has no free choice, since the path is made for him/her. The constant research for balance is essential, it requires a strong will to remain committed to the goal, whatever happens inside and out. Philippe Petit wrote in his book on tightrope walking: â€œman of the air, you colour with your blood the magnificent hours of your passage among us. Limitations only exist in the soul of the dreamlessâ€?. He became very famous for his walk between the twin towers in New York in 1974, which he completed in a sky that perfectly corresponded to his birth chart.
Laura Bottagisio Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini A book, some documentaries and films have been made to tell Philippe Petit's amazing story. Here below you can see the links to an Academy Award winning documentary and the recent feature film about his famous walk in New York: (Editor's note AV) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XRlWl8ZmAE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR1EmTKAWIw
Man on Wire 2008 The Walk 2015
MOTHER EARTH SPEAKS Claudia Enrico SEMILLAS/ SEEDS Recently I watched a video entitled “Semillas…” the Spanish word for seeds, a very beautiful video with lovely music, meaningful words and many people singing and dancing. Seeds are the start of every form of Life here on this planet called Earth. Why seeds? Over time my experience as a farmer has taught me a lot. I use most of the time my own seeds (even for fruit trees), they are the sons and daughters of my plants. Why? Because they have all the information about the soil in their DNA code. Thus they know where they’ve been conceived, the sun, the water, and my energy too. They are OGM free and pesticide free. I don't have to spend money to buy seeds or baby plants. I continue a natural cycle and I support the biodiversity of the cultivar of each vegetable and fruit. In this way I continue a tradition my grandparents started in my area with the exchanging of seeds among neighbours. I do it often also to have a better selection of plants according to my personal needs and the type of land I take care of. A few years ago I was happy when I discovered that some people around the world are doing the same, and they also take care about this topic as activists.
I remember some of their names like Vandana Shiva, Grandmother Flor de Mayo and many more. A single seed is a whole world. Like a cell. Itâ€™s a microcosm that will become the macrocosm.
What does a seed do? It can wait sometime a very long time before sprouting. I can share one example that was powerful for me. More than 10 years ago, I went to Mexico and, during a trip to Chichen Itza (a very powerful and beautiful place), I took with me some seeds from a tree I had never seen before, it had such beautiful flowers and leaves. These seeds remained for about 10 years in a box where I collect strange and special seeds. One spring those seeds came again in my hands and I decided to try to plant them. After a few months, when I was almost ready to throw away the pot containing those seeds because they were not sprouting, something magical happened. One of them started to sprout. What a joy it was! I took care of this plant for a few years, especially during the winter time. It grew strong and I put it in the ground. But one year in which we had a bad flood here…..it died for too much humidity. I was so sad!.... Time. What an issue, isn’t it? I know many women and men who feel a deep longing for parenthood but the baby doesn’t come. They try sometime to push hard on the accelerator, putting their health on a very high risk, but the desired baby still doesn’t come. They may adopt one, and then the baby comes. Or they give up on becoming parents, and all of a sudden the baby comes. What is really allowing a seed to sprout? I know many people working as talented artists in different fields. But sometimes they suffer a ”creativity crisis”. They lack ideas, energy, courage, faith, without them they cannot ”create” anything: the seed doesn’t sprout. Sprouting is necessary in order to give birth! I often think about connection with ”God/Goddess”. The ultimate Source of Life Energy in all of the Universe. What kind of relationship do Living Beings have with It? And talking about a ”seed”, what is that allows it to ”sprout”?
I’ve a Vision of all Creatures interconnected with each other, part of the same ”community”. Each one of us plays a role in this magnificent scenario. And it’s up to each one of us to be responsible for our own sprouting and growth. It’s a choice and a path too. When a tomato seed decides to sprouts it starts its own path to become a tomato plant and to create beautiful flowers and then fruits. It cannot become a pumpkin plant! So in this so simple example are held all the teachings for us Human Beings. When we start our Life Path, it’s a choice of reincarnation of course, but it’s a commitment to our destiny too. To become flowers and to produce fruits. Each one of us has this chance.
When I started my Reiki Path I knew it was a deep journey into my Self to go back to my home connection with the Divine Source of Energy. I began to remember who I am and what I’m supposed to do here in this lifetime. I’ve discovered little by little how to allow myself to open my heart and to sprout to a higher frequency level of Energy. And I’m still doing it. The main things I’m still practicing daily are being faithful, patient, open, and loving. I also put into daily practice the first Reiki Priciple: ”Just for today do not worry”. Surrendering and letting flow the Energy of Reiki gives me the inspiration, grace and strength to sprout in every “season” of my life, expanding my Self, growing and evolving. With gratitude
Claudia Enrico 2015 © Edited by Antonella Vicini
Links to the video on seeds and more information https://youtu.be/VjkHK4kWWP8 http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org http://vandanashiva.com
AROMATHERAPY BERGAMOT Calm Mind Renato Tittarelli
The Plant Citrus fruits are very well known and appreciated the world over and used daily in our diets. However, sometimes we forget about one product of the citrus family: the Bergamot. Even if we do not eat it, every day we can taste it or smell it in hundreds of preparations both for cooking and in perfumes. Its botanic name is Citrus Bergamia, it belongs to the family of Rutaceae (citrus). It is very much cultivated in southern Italy especially in Calabria.
Description From a botanical point of view bergamot is a natural crossbreed between lemon and sour orange. The tree grows up to 4 meters and the fruits are picked between November and March. Each bergamot weighs around 100 grams, its color is green-yellow, its valuable essential oil is made by cold pressing the skins, 2.000 ripe fruits are needed to make 1 litre of essential oil.
History Some legends say that the plant was imported by Cristopher Columbus from the Canary islands, via the Spanish city of Berga, hence its name. Other versions talk about its turkish name â€œbeg armodiâ€? (lord's pear). We know for sure that Nicola Parisi was the first to cultivate bergamot in the XXVIII century in Calabria.
AROMATHERAPY The essential oil has a top note, like all the citrus plants oil.
Properties It is used especially as anti depressant. It is also antiseptic, against fever, stomachic, digestive, antispasmodic, sedative, vermicide, healing wounds, astringent, against acne.
Indications Dr. Paolo Rovesti wrote a book in 1960 entitled â€œAromatherapy of bergamot essenceâ€? where he suggested to use it in order to alleviate some symptoms and side effects of cancer of the womb (such as the local infection, pus and genital irritation. It is also used as a sedative of the nervous system, thanks to its agreable fragrance, it is also used for anxiety and depression. As antiseptic it is used to fight staph, balantidium coli, vibrio cholerae, diphteria. It is especially effective for any mouth infection (to be used as mouthwash), skin, respiratory and urinary tracts.
In subtle aromatherapy, according to the alchemic approach, the essence of bergamot is associated to the Sun, Mercury, to the Twins in the zodiac, to the solar plexus cakra, to the Yang, to the elements of air and fire
Warnings because of its chemical components, that react to light and heat, it cannot be used in sun tan lotions.
Revitilizing Mix it can be used to start the day positively with a massage, when we feel tired and without stamina. Essential oils : mint, basel, myrtle, bergamot, lemongrass diluted in JoJoba and almond oil, (2%)
Evening Mix it helps children to sleep, avoids nightmares and relaxes pleasantly. Essential oils of neroli, tangerine, bergamot, chamomile, vanilla, lavander. Let this mix be diffused in the air one hour before going to sleep.
Please take note The information given here is just descriptions, which do not susbtitute the medical profession. The use of plant remedies or essential oils can integrate the doctor's cures, but cannot replace them
ÂŠ Renato Tittarelli Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
FOOD IS OUR ALLY SPICE MEDICINE Daniele Sampalmieri 1. TURMERIC The word spices derives in meaning from Late Latin to define special and expensive goods, since spices have been known and used since the most ancient times. Spices have always moved the world economy, not just for therapy, cooking, or perfumes, but also to honor the gods. Spices are our allies, they are precious for our physical and spiritual well being. I am going to start from my favourite one: turmeric used both in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to fight inflammations. Its origin is in the east, it belongs to the zingibiraceae family, like ginger and cardamom, it grows in areas between 20 and 30 degrees centigrades. In India this spice has been used for 6000 years as medicine, cosmetic and coloring powder. The monks robes were dyed with this root. For Indian people turmeric is a symbol of prosperity and a mean of purification for the entire body. Turmeric contains iron and potassium, it helps the body flexibility, it is excellent for joints and the spine, it lubricates and helps to break the deposits of calcium, it helps in eliminating toxins, thus it supports detoxication of the liver especially.
It also reinforces the immune system, it is anti-inflammatory (excellent against rheumatoid arthritis) and anticancer, since turmeric can block the action of one enzyme which, presumably, helps the development of tumors. It is a very powerful antioxidant, for this reason it can fight against the free radicals, thus slowing the aging process. Turmeric improves the workings of stomach and intestine, thus facilitaitng digestion. Turmeric can be very easily added to our food preparations. We can add green tea, black pepper and olive oil in order to strenghthen its power. 2 tea spoons a day is the optimal daily dose. It can be added to yogurt, vegetable soup, rice, in sauces or in the preparation of Golden Milk: Âź of Turmeric Â˝ of water a cup of vegetal milk (rice, soya, almond, etc) one spoon of agave's syrup Heat the vegetal milk and water to boiling point, turn off the heat, add turmeric and the agave syrup, mix it well and drink.
Basmati rice with Turmeric Ingredients for the rice: basmati rice 5 cloves Ingredients for the sauce: soya cream (5 spoons per person) turmeric (half a spoon per person) curry (half a spoon per person) ginger (grated root) lemon zest (half a lemon) disabled nutritional yeast in flakes 1 teaspoon per person) Place the soya sauce in a pan, add salt and pepper to your liking. Add the yeast flakes, turmeric and curry, mix well and turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and the grated ginger root. Mix again until smooth. Cook the rice in water with coarse Himalayan salt and the cloves. Afterwards place the cooked rice in a small container (with some oil in order to avoid sticking) then place it on a plate and pour the hot sauce on it.
Daniele Sampalmieri Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
Food is our pleasure Bagna cauda Fabio Segato
This is a really interesting, delicious winter salad dish which is a great way of using up all the crunchy winter veg that’s available. It’s proper name is bagna cauda, which basically means ‘hot bath’ in Italian, and the idea is that you have a load of raw or just cooked pieces of vegetable which you dip into a delicious, warm sauce.
The bagna cauda is made with garlic, anchovies, butter, and oil. The components are simmered together until the garlic is soft and squishy, and then the sauce is blended together. Seasonal winter vegetables, raw or cooked, are dipped into the sauce, which is generally served in Autumn/Winter. Adds milk or cream to the mix to make the sauce extra creamy and more special. You can use any vegetables you want, and depending on the season you can do a lighter summer version or a more root-veg-based winter one.
Ingredients For the sauce
6 cloves garlic peeled
300 ml milk
10 anchovy fillets in oil
180 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
For the vegetables
A few young carrots, peeled and finely sliced
A few small raw beetroots, peeled and finely sliced
A few sticks celery, trimmed and thinly sliced, yellow leaves reserved
½ small Romanesco or white cauliflower, broken into florets
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and finely sliced, herby tops reserved
1 handful small beetroot leaves, washed
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and washed
½ celeriac, peeled and finely sliced
Method Firstly, prepare all your veg, because once the sauce is done you’ll be ready to serve! To make your sauce, put the garlic cloves, milk and anchovies into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and tender, keeping a close eye on the pan to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Don’t worry if it spits and looks a little lumpy – simply remove from the heat and whiz the sauce up with a hand blender. Gently blend in the extra virgin olive oil a little at a time – you’re in control of the consistency at this point. If you like it thick, like mayonnaise, keep blending. Now taste it and adjust the seasoning. It should be an incredible, pungent warm sauce.
There are two ways you can serve this â€“ with both you need the sauce to be warm. Either pour the sauce into a bowl and place this on a plate, with the veg arranged around the bowl, or serve the veg in a big bowl and drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the reserved herby fennel tops and celery leaves and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or butter.
BUILDING Our House Alive Stefano Buzzai The best life condition for all beings (human, animal and vegetal alike) happens when nothing constrains or limits its vital functions. Human skin is perfect to facilitate the natural transpiration, the clothes, when made of natural fabrics, allow freely this action. The walls of the houses lived in by men â€“ the third skin â€“ need to facilitate the expulsion of water vapor that accumulates inside. However, the earth and cosmic radiations also need to be free to flow from outside to the inside of the buidling, since they are essential and needed for life. Any building technique that includes inorganic chemistry, especially: coatings, adhesives,insulation, waterproofing, works as an impenetrable barrier to the actions explained above. Even wooden houses can be ecological, but not biological, if they use glue in their making. Kinesiology can help us in identifying the actual biological materials, since the human muscular system reacts with weakness or increased strength when it comes into contact with materials of different kind.
Here are listed some good biological solutions in different buildings:
Straw bale houses they are comfortable, economical, but have many limitations: the structure can only be one floor, its shorter life length, they can be easily attacked by insects and small animals, can only be built in the countryside.
Stone or brick houses they are good, but expensive. They have some limitations since they also use iron and concrete (floors, curbs)which are mandatory according by planning regulations, with possible problems due to electromagnetism and its consequences. They are good as town houses, but only if built a long time ago and renovated with biological materials.
Packed dirt houses They are wonderful! They answer all the needs of compatibility with human beings, they have high levels of comfort, harmony and beauty in daily living. The only issue is indirect, i.e some national laws do not accept them, therefore they cannot be built everywhere.
Hardwood houses without glue they are very good and versatile, they have a good ratio between quality and price, they are probably the best solution for any context, without any negative issues.
Here below we go into more detailes about building hardwood houses without glue: 1. The wood is renewable, the kind used in this type of building is certified with replanting, so that there is always a balance between the trees to be cut down and the alive ones. 2. They can be built in any logistic condition, besides hardwood works well in any kind of climate. It is in fact an excellent insulant and resists both to intense sun and keeps the warmth inside during the winter months.
3. They allow greater creative design freedom than traditional buildings. 4. They have amazing seismic endurance. During an experiment in Japan a 7 storied building was placed on a vibrating platform with a simulation of an earthquake equal to 8.4 degree on the Richter and it come out whole. 5. Great comfort, hardwood dulls effectively the noises from outside, it also filters the fumes and unpleast smells inside the house, it keeps the internal temperature evenly and for a long time, it allows the internal water vapor to transpire outside. 6. They offer noticeable energy savings, as well as a limitation in the CO2 emissions. Adding a PV system together with a highly efficient heat pump as well as radiant clay panels the energy consumption is minimal. Both heating and cooling are uniform, there is a natural regulation of humidity. 7. The speed of building is half the traditional methods. There are no debris from the workings, no noises and dusts are produced either. 8. There is no need for external maintenance, apart from the usual painting fading over time. 9. The hardwood acts as an exceptional filter towards the high frequencies emitted by radio/tv/radar/telephone aerials. 10. The last and most incredible quality of hardwood is its resistance to fire. Obviously it is necessary to call the firemen, but the structure of the panels limits the advancing of fire. After a fire it will be possible to repair the damages with the same materials. Entering a biological house during its constrution we receive a feeling of harmony and unexpected beauty, living in it is a dream now more easily accessible.
Stefano Buzzai Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
PHOTOGRAPHY Luis Vasconcelos The photos shown in this issue of THE BADGER (and in the related video) were taken at the beach, during a September night, by me together with a group of friends, from the Olympus Portugal Photographers Group. This was a photographic creative exercise, with different light sources and long exposure photography. That was a time when I could litterally write with light, as shown by some of the images!
May I add what an exercise that was! The persistance of images on the retina would create these effects, but capturing them with cameras requires amazing skills. When I first saw these images, I was struck by their vitality, the intense light seemed to match the words of so many mystics about the essence of life as one intense flash followed by darkness and then light again and so on an so forth for ever and ever. For this reason I chose these photos as part of my article as well as our cover for this volume, a new year requires a new attitude towards life. Antonella Vicini
TRAVELLING The Challenge of Masada Judith Hayes Recently, with my book group, I had been reading Between the Dark and the Daylight by Joan Chittester in which the author writes compellingly about embracing life’s contradictions and bringing life’s penetrating questions into focus. Each of the chapter titles contains a set of contradictions. While reading the chapter titled, “The Energy that Comes from Exhaustion”, the author touts the value of exhaustion, choosing to exert oneself, i.e. “extend the self rather than save the self.” She uses the example of an athlete who crosses the finish line in utter exhaustion, doubled up in pain and fatigue. The sort of self-sacrifice demanded for such tests of physical endurance prompts an examination of the motivation for such a commitment. The author attributes it to the “joy of achievement”. To drive ourselves to our best in any arena-intellectual, physical, spiritual-is to know outside boundaries we never knew we had. At the same time, it taps into inner depths we never dreamed were there.” (p.68)
When I read this passage, there came to mind an unparalleled experience that I had in June 2014. That year I chose to fulfill a long deferred dream of participating in an archaeological dig. I applied for one in Israel that I knew would be both demanding and top-notch. I joined a group of renowned archaeologists, and scholars, including graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom had participated on the team in previous summers. I sensed that keeping up with such a remarkable and dedicated group would be a truly significant challenge for me, physically, intellectually and emotionally. I was not mistaken. Midway through the dig, the whole team took a long weekend away to explore and study other sites in Israel. We traveled by bus south from Galilee into the Judean Desert, including an extensive visit of the ancient fortress of Masada. I had been to Masada on a previous trip to Israel, and had easily accessed the hilltop fortress on the cable car with that group. I expected to have the same opportunity again. However, I had a surprise in store. The morning of our visit, the professor who headed our group informed me that the group was planning to ascend the Roman siege rampart on foot and it would not be possible for me to join them on the tour, if I rode the cable car. What a dilemma! How would I ever complete the ascent on foot, and, yet, how could I possibly stay behind when the very professor who had led the excavation of the Roman camps was to be our guide? I would have to push myself; I couldnâ€™t willingly forego such an opportunity. As the group stood at the bottom and listened to an explanation of the challenges faced by the Romans in constructing this rampart and their ingenuity in bringing it to completion, I stood in awe of their achievements, wondering if I could scale its heights. Masada was 396 meters at its greatest height.
Many of the Jews who had taken refuge in Masada had escaped the destruction of Jerusalem. An awareness of this fact made the Roman commander, Flavius Silva, even more determined to prevent their escape a second time. Silva first ordered the construction of an enormous circumvallation wall at the base of the mountain measuring 3 kilometers in length and 2 meters thick in places. Roman encampments, eight in total, were positioned along this wall. Today these structures can best be viewed and appreciated upon reaching the heights of the fortress. When the wall was finished, the Romans turned their attention to the construction of a siege ramp to reach the summit of the mountain. This monumental task required thousands of men, both soldiers and prisoners of war. The siege ramp, when completed, enabled the movement of siege towers (one type was 27 meters high and sheathed in iron) and battering rams into position to breach the defensive wall that surrounded the hilltop. Upon destruction of this wall, the Roman forces would enter the fortress and break the last stronghold of the Jewish resistance. The Jewish Zealots courageously prolonged the siege for seven months, much longer probably than the Romans had anticipated. They even built an inner wall of wooden timbers behind the outer defensive wall the Romans intended to destroy. However, the Romans were able to use torches to send the inner wall up in flames, ultimately preparing an opening for their triumphant entry into the fortress. However, while the Romans planned their final assault, the Jews determined to end the siege on their own terms. The Romans would leave the mountaintop emptyhanded without the satisfaction of finding any Jews to murder or take prisoner. Of course, there is controversy about this version of the end, but a discussion of this matter is not the purpose of my writing.
On this particular morning in 2014, as the group started up the rampart, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, one of the younger academics, who was also my field supervisor, stayed behind to offer me companionship and encouragement. This made a significant difference. Knowing that everyone, even those who had nimbly forged ahead, were pulling for me, gave me added incentive. However, it was primarily up to me! I had to dig very deep within myself and tap those inner resources to be able to finish the steady upward climb. When I reached the western gate to the palace complex and passed through its portal, the members of the team who had been patiently awaiting my arrival welcomed me enthusiastically. (Ce lâ€™ho fatta!) For me, bolstered by my own inner strength and the unwavering support of friends, what had seemed impossible, had become possible. I had experienced the joy of achievement and a tremendous bonus â€“ the opportunity that I had so coveted to visit the hilltop of Masada once more at the side of a truly distinguished archaeologist.
Source for Masada:McNeeseTim, Masada,Philadelphia,Chelsea House Publishers, 2003.
TRAVELLING EAST Raffaella Vicini Since the most ancient times people from the Mediterranean area have travelled east to find... the other side of themselves! It may seem that the reasons had to to with commerce (spices, silks, artifacts), but I think that travelling east really means a complete change of perspective in life and its values. My professional life has led me to change my horizons entirely, so I have headed east. For most of my life I lived and travelled in Europe, so I suppose I can define myself as European and Italian, for a few years I also lived in the fabled far west of the most famous movies (Arizona), so it seemed fitting to accept the challenge of a new job in a new continent. My journey started with a short hop from my home town to Istanbul, a city I love and know very well, the real door to the east. In the long hours at the airport, in transit towards my final destination, I could say my heartfelt goodbye to my old life and look ahead towards the new discoveries.
When I arrived in Seoul, I was stunned by its modern skyline, its daring architecture and fashion, the labouriousness of people, their desire for change from a poor past has made this a very affluent nation. The toil, sweat and tears of the many migrants for work and study in the last 50 years have produced a modern country, with a leading edge in many fields. I also had the chance to visit the Hawaii of Korea, the beautiful island of Cheju, it is protected by Unesco for its beauty and atmosphere. Here the rythm is more relaxed and leisure is the rule.
I am really in awe of Japan: the beauty of its many temples with giant statues of Buddha, the immense shopping centres, its intense and yet orderly traffic. But what really struck me the most is the politeness and slow movements of Japanese people. Many years ago I had the chance of seeing some beautiful demonstration of No Theatre in my home town. The movements were beyond slow, they were meant to lead us into a different state of mind, more meditative I would say, so that we could enter in the story and appreciate its subtle nuances. The dancer/actor wore a mask, but her skill was such that the mask seemed to be alive with expressions. Looking at people in the streets of Japan made me think a lot about the lessons learnt then, and a question arose in my mind: will I ever be able to fathom their reasons, to understand this rich and elegant culture? I am glad my job will give me a chance to visit the city of Fukuoka a few more times, in order to discover more of its riches.
When I was in Korea I felt projected into the future and in Japan I found myself in an alternative present. While travelling to China is an entirely different experience. First of all it is like going back in time, I would say about 50 years. The first thing everybody notices is the pollution (it is so bad that I need to wear a mask), there is no attention to details, dirt in the streets, smoking and eating everywhere, rules seem to be absent. Clearly the market for faked products is huge, but so far I have not been able to touch the culture of this immense country, I have only gathered impressions of people and I have to say they have touched my heart with their open and enthusiastic attitude to all things western. Their innocence is refreshing, we seem to have forgotten such spontaneity, the same eyes of wonder
that children have when they look at the
Christmas tree shining with lights. From the far east happy new year
Raffaella Vicini Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
CRYSTAL SONGS Jay Schwed interviewed by Antonella Vicini I have known Jay for a long time, we first met online in the early 1990, in a forum for healers and pratictioners from around the world. We met personally in New Mexico and discussed our paths and where we were heading. On and off we have kept in touch until one day in the year 2000, when a personal loss lead me to call him on skype and he gracefully offered me a session with his crystal bowls. I was familiar with the Tibetan metal bowls, but I had never heard of the effects of these vessels made of precious crystals and capable of resonating with our souls. That night he played for me so that my soul could start the recovery and the long journey back from the boundaries betwen life and death. It was an amazing experience, in spite of the distance, I was uplifted and re-energized, centred again and the journey from grief back to life for me really started that night. I have been trying to have Jay in THE BADGER for quite a while, so I am happy to have his answers to my questions during yet another long skype call, I will let him speak with his own words: At the moment I have stopped giving performances and I concentrate on facilitating 3 days trainings for pratictioners and people who want to support themselves and their communities. For me it is very important to see this shift from empowering individuals to empowering communities. Even if I work on an individual level the results reverberate on the communities that are thus empowered by this work.
This aspect is essential now in all aspects of healing paths. The sound and vibrations raise the frequencies of people in order to bring them back to balance mentally physically emotionally and spiritually, so they feel more centred. Everybody benefits from this change from mothers to be to people in hospice during their final transition. When I begin to play I let go of Jay, so that I can become a clearer channel that elevates me and helps me to let go of the debris of the past. In this way I have become a clearer channel and a more conscious person in thoughts and actions. I have visions when I play the crystal bowls, I can see people's lives and how they can unfold and then I let them see as well what they already know deep down. The higher frequencies of the crystals activate the dormant chromosomes, that need to be awakened. The shamans prophesied that the new earth music would be the crystal singing bowl music. One of my best performances was for a group of deaf people, they could not hear but they could feel the vibration going through their bodies. The sound vibration produced by the crystal bowls touches every cell, each one of them is a cakra, a pulsating energy point. I started this journey in 1994 at the Esalen Institute in California with the tingshas (cymbals), later in the same week I saw my first crystal singing bowl in a book, by the end of the same week I had bought my set of 10 crystal bowls. They called me and have been guiding me ever since. Up until then I was a massage therapist, afterwards I felt empowered to work with groups as well as individuals, thus accepting my higher calling.
The more I work with the higher vibrations the more the veil between human and spirit disappears and allows visions of what is behind it : angels, guides, totem animals, etc. Scientists did research on the legendary 'Whirling Dervishes' who spin in circles to achieve higher states of consciousness and awakenings. They found that this spinning activated the dormant chromosomes associated with clairvoyance, telepathy and other heightened states. They also found that these dormant chromosomes could only be activated while spinning. The singing crystal bowls, as spun around the rim, also activate these dormant chromosomes that result in activation or awakening into higher states of consciousness. At the same time, these vibrations help to restore the cellular activity, in this way each cell can function at a much higher level or at the optimal level. Each cell has its genetic material that becomes fully activated at these high vibrational states. As the cells experience these higher vibrations, they begin to function and remain at these higher levels. Emotions have different frequencies, for example joy has a higher frequency than anger, so if we raise the vibration people shift, without any need to discuss the motives or reasons for the negativitiy. The sounds strengthens also the person's energy field against negativity by elevating the energy level. For example bullies and bullied kids, the entire vibration changes elevating it to a level where there is no conflict possible, this also applies to adults' conflicts and wars. For this reason it is important that the light workes now step into their greatness as light warriors fighting for higher consciousness and empowering people in order to stop conflicts of any kind. Sounds and vibration do something similar to alchol and drugs, the bowls give people a break from their daily reality, everybody has a chance of having inner peace, while with substance abuse people become more vulnerable to negativity.
Sound and vibration shatters people mind sets and allows them, because of the higher vibrational level, to connect more easily to their spiritual guidance. My next goal is to do healing reatreats, week long retreats in special places like Hawaii and Machu Piccu. Then I would like to retire in an elightened community with like minded people and sing for fun with the crystal bowls,maybe somewhere in the tropics. I would describe myself as a creative man, and I help other people to become creative. Many challenges and my life experiences have carved the person I am now, I am happy about my walk in life. We completed our friendly conversation with an aphorism by Jay: â€œI am an empowerer, empowering the empowered to empower empowerersâ€? Followed by a beautiful blue faience bowl being played by Jay: This Faience crystal blue bowl is made of vanadium found in the Mediterranean, it is tuned to the high heart note f sharp, thus it connects all hearts to the one. F sharp is the thymus gland and it helps us all to connect to the one, I follow this tradition because it is significant to my life path.
Jay Schwed Interwiew by Antonella Vicini
DEEP WITHIN Channelling part 2 Jose Maffina
The messages received during channeling can come from Light Beings or our own Self, the Light part in every human being. Spiritual Guides have different kinds of behaviours: some prefer not to give too many detailed information about themselves, even their names and their provenance. This attitude pushes people to pay more attention to the content of the message than other information. The Higher Guides tend to give universal communications, timeless knowledge meant to help all of Humankind. These Guides do not condition our behaviour, they do not scare, they let people decide by themselves what is appropriate for them after listening or reading their messages. As Light Beings I indicate all the positive presences that contact our dimension in order to help us: in this category there are Guide Spirits, Ascended Masters and Angels.
Spirit Guides are disembodied light beings that are in service of human beings. They are always present, even if most people do not perceive them, they are here to help us in any possible way, so it can be easy for us to pay attention to our inner voice and being in tune with them. The Spirit Guides communicate in a simple way, they know what is best for us and try to suggest it to us; their goal is to help each one of us to realize our life task for the current incarnation, as well as to learn the lessons of the life cycle we live in, since it is our evolutive step. They suggest, they do not impose any actions, because free will must be left with each person. They never affirm to be the only sources of information, their exhortations helps us to transform towards our highest potential. It is important to remember that the these beings are at different levels of evolution as well, as well as the channel they manifest through.
Angels are very intense light vibrations, they are direct divine emanations, fringes of light, they are present so that they fly were they are needed. The Ascended Masters are Light Beings that used to be incarnated, at the end of their human lives, since they had evolved perfectly, they stopped the cycle of reincarnations. They can live on any plane of existance, although they have a place where they welcome people who want to receive their teachings; such etheric places are described in Teosophical works and in their own messages. Contact with them happens in meditation and during astral travelling (often in dreams)
During an evolutive spiritual path not everybody wants to become a channel, but whoever has this wish will be able to do it. It is important not to rush and allow the messages the right time to reach us: when the disciple is ready the Master arrives. It is therefore essential to work on ourselves, become brave travellers into the deep. We have dark rooms inside of us where we have left our ghosts, we need to bring them back into the light. We have to let go of all the burdens weighing down our thoughts and our bodies. Channeling is mainly a personal experience, to be lived daily, as an unavoidable inner need. The channel can choose to share his/her skill with others giving his/her received messages. As in oriental mysticism, experience is the base of knowledge. Chanelling is a big responsability, since when a message is shared and spread around people may be conditioned, integrity is essential since there is no governing body checking the accuracy of the text or its fraudulence.
Lee Carrol, who has been channeling Kyron for many years and has written several books, suggests to follow some rules he had read in an article and he also wrote them in one of his books â€œPartnering with Godâ€?. 1. The messages need to be useful for everybody, not just a group. 2. The messages need to have an encouraging content and never an order. 3. The messages cannot push people to abandon their free will. 4. The messages must not violate the integrity of people or their beliefs. 5. The channels cannot pretend to be the only source for an entity. 6. The messages need to give new information, otherwise they are reworkings of his/her personality. 7. The messages need to contain spiritual sugestions and solutions on Humanity's issues. Following these rules will give us the best chance to take advantage of Channelling.
Jose Maffina Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
The first part of Jose Maffina's article on channelling can be found in THE BADGER Year 1 Volume 4 http://issuu.com/antonellavicini/docs/the_badger_october__2015
WARRIOR GODDESS the Bull and the Goddess part 1 Gabriella Campioni My goal in this series of articles is finding supporting elements for the great transition happening in our times through the re-discovery of the most genuine values, thus faciliating the reconciliation and the union of female and male energies. The Goddess Cultures were spread everywhere in prehistoric times, therefore there are no written texts, even the archeologists have debated about the real meaning of their findings. It took Marija Gimbutas to shed new light on these cultures. In these articles I will write a lot about Crete, since this is the richest in archeological findings and it is considered the emblem of those societies. However, when we come to the historical period, with the introduction of writing, the reconstruction is made harder by the many cataclysmic events that changed this amazing island. Therefore the dates are unsure, so that we use myths in order to find some information, especially the Greek ones. Disclaimer I would like to point out that, even if this series of articles comes out of my own research, this work is mostly oriented by my personal interpretations. I do not claim to be telling the “truth”, nor am I a “scholar”, but just a very curious woman. I entrust this study to you readers so that you can find your own interpretations and the Goddess inside you. In the last instalment of my articles you will also find a bibliography.
Knossos, the palace and other mysteries
In 1994 I took part in a meeting in Crete about the Goddess. I didn't know what had pulled me there, it was my first encounter with the Goddess, there were 500 people from all over the world, both men and women. There were important speakers at the meeting, among them also Riane Eisler, the famous author of The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future (Harper Collins San Francisco, 1987). That was a transformational experience for me, since it changed my way of thinking. We visited many places of interest, among the so called royal palace of Knossos, where the famous labyrinth was supposed to have been built for the Minotaur, the half man half bull son of king Minos. It was all very interesting, yet I was perplexed by the way some frescoes and buildings â€œhad been completedâ€? by the original discoverer Sir Arthur Evans, when there was so little left to work with.
So I grabbed a book on the secrets of Crete, its author Hans Wunderlich also examined the place freely, since he was not an academic, yet he was meticulous about his exploration. (source: Hans G. Wunderlich, The Secret of Crete, Efstathiadis Group, Athens, 1987) Here are some of the incongruences he found: The orientatin of the place, essential in ancient times, doesn't relate to life, as in a temple or a palace The hall of the throne is only accessible via long internal corridors, it is mostly in half light and opens on a small courtyard. In Crete the sun shines a lot, why would a king receive in such a gloomy hall? The jars are really big, some could contain a man, they were meant for oil, wine, grain and similar products, but they are difficult to access, since their opening is close to the ceiling and they are lined up pretty tightly. Usually, at the end of a civilization the old buildings are used as quarry for the following ones. This didn't happen in Crete, as if the palace could protect itself, perhaps it was an ancient fame that generated such respect? In some corridors there are long processions of people carrying votive offerings, but for whom? Wunderlich's conclusion was upsetting: the building was used for the processing of corpses and the cults of the dead. The so called queen bath tub is, according to Wunderlich, a sarcophagus where the deceased were placed in a foetal position, or a container for embalming. In Crete no mummies have been discovered so far, but in the museum of Heraklion there is a bronze container with embalming equipment. The processions on the walls were funerals. The funerals were probably performed by priestesses, considering the thousands of statuettes of the Goddess or Goddesses.
Often there were animals associated with the Goddess such as the cat and the snake or snakes held in their hands or on their heads. We will examine them in the next articles. (to be continued)
Gabriella Campioni Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
QUILTING AWAY a metaphor for the creative process of life
Lida Lodi Perry Quilts can be seen as beautiful Mandalas. Some of them are powerful and rich in meaning. I am in Massachusetts, it’s summer, and I am visiting my daughter. I notice on her bed a very colorful quilt. I suddenly remember that I made it years ago and, by some of those exquisite, inexplicable changes of perception, I am looking at the quilt with new eyes, a different perception... What I am seeing is a very big colorful harmonious mandala, and what is really more amazing is that every block is a smaller mandala in itself. My eyes fall on the date embroidered on a corner and I notice that it was finished ten years ago. I look at it with wonder as if I had never seen it before and I realize how complicated, precise, and time consuming the process of creating this quilt had been. I ask myself whatever brought me to choose such pattern. When I feel the drive to begin a new quilt there are several factor at play. Sometimes I am attracted visually and aesthetically by the pattern and the use of the colors, other times I choose an easy one just to use up my “stash” of material, and,sometimes I just know I have to do this particular pattern… because all it holds is promise and potential… It is an interior intuition to which I cannot give words. This particular quilt came out from such particular inner drive and desire.
According to Karl Jung, Mandala is not only an expressive intriguing image from our unconscious, but one of it’s purposes is to give a creative expression and form to something new and unique that does not exist yet. Secondly and maybe more importantly, in the majority of cases what is helpful in restoring the old order, implies at the same time the emergence of some new creative elements. I remember reading one of Jung’s article about mandala and symbols, where he writes that in the personal mandala the center is the person that needs to purify her/himself, by transforming the negative forces within through the construction of the mandala, by meditating being present during this process of awareness of self as a result. What struck me in his writing is his affirmation “While building the mandala from the outside to the inside, the person is concentrated, involved in a deep inner research fundamental for cathartic purification.” What was happening in my life at that time? I look again at the quilt and a flood of memories overpower me. It was the time when I was assisting my partner in his process of dying. I am sitting by his bed at the Hospice, in a large quiet room with a floor to ceiling great window that looks into a small patio surrounded by trees. Squirrels, birds and doves come daily to feed and visit. Soft meditation music fills the silence, no need for words, just us two with each other. I have brought with me the pieces of the quilt and in the muffled atmosphere I am sowing the pieces together. With great care and attention. Every stitch has to have the some length as the next, clean and precise. I feel almost an obsession to do this in an orderly manner… Order, symmetry, harmony with the combination of the colors, all of these elements are essential now. I recognize that this is my meditation, this is my way to keep at bay all of the emotions about the imminent loss, to contain them to give them an expression other than desperation and anger…to find a deeper meaning for this experience. I feel that witnessing the process of dying is also a process of transformation and I need to be present to it through the construction of the quilt as my mandala.
The practice of the Mandala has three goals: a centering effect, a healing action and a growing process. Centering means to catch the essential, the primary value of life. Healing, in this context, means getting rid of the energies that produce imbalance, illness. Growing is the process that bring us or, at times, throws us toward a new dimension and a catharsis. I now look at this Quilt / Mandala, with wonder, amazed that by following my intuition my unconscious gifted me with this tool for my healing and my process of transformation….
Lida Lodi Perry (Mandalas are physical representations of the multidimensional universe, they can be drawn in sand, thus they perfectly portray the impermanent and continuosly changing kosmos, since these drawing in sands are destroyed at the end of the ceremonies they are used for. The actual meaning of the Sanskrit word is “circle”, circle of time – space – lives – etc. There are also painted, sculpted and modelled mandalas, all within the Indian/Buddhist tradition especially. More recently the word mandala has been given to all kinds of “images” where a synthetic story of the universe is portrayed, beyond any constraints of culture of spiritual affiliation. Note by the Editor Antonella Vicini)
Cenzering (compassion) sand mandala
Amitabha (infinite light) painted mandala
NAMASTE ASHTANGA YOGA GIOSIE COLAGROSSI “If matter is mighty, thought is Almighty” – Swami Vivekananda The body reacts to the slightest impulse from the mind, the opposite is also true, for if the body is sick, the mind falls ill as well. If the mind is disturbed, the body will also be troubled. The influence of mind over body is, however, much greater than that of body over mind especially in the field of emotions. Our evolution depends on whether we direct our thoughts positively or negatively, for each of us acts according to her/his own thoughts and reaps the harvest of her/his actions. Strong emotions like fear, anger, hate, jealousy, despair affect the whole of the nervous system , repeated assaults could be harmful to the endocrine glands and may lead to illness, i.e. the expression of the unequal distribution of vital forces throughout the body. Behind every worry there is FEAR. There are also emotions such as hope and confidence, LOVE, joy and happiness that bring peace to the mind and make the nervous system calm and the body healthy. Thus the mind is strong enough to influence the body in every possible way. Physical exercise not supported by mental discipline will not produce the expected results (how can we dream of peaceful and vigorous mind when we allow it to wander in any direction?).
For this reason all the ancient books on Yoga: such as Yoga Shastra, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Yoga Sutra by Patanjali state that Yamas (mental discipline) and Niyamas (mental purification) have to be performed first.
There are five YAMAS: Ahiṃsā अहहहिंसस :causing no injury to any living being through thoughts, words or deeds: Love of the entire creation is Ahimsa. Satya सतत :truthfulness , i.e. saying only what we see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears and understand through our own brain : external and internal truth only. Asteya wealth.
:not stealing anything and not being greedy of others
Brahmacharya ब्रहह्मचतर :chastity, keeping one’s senses under control without being tempted by lustful enjoyment through thoughts, words and deeds. Aparigraha अपररिग्रहह : non-covetousness, abstinence from accepting gifts, i.e. avoiding the tendency of being attached to things and people.
There are five NIYAMAS: Shaucha शशौच : purity, internal and external. First of all mind’s purity, achieved by giving up attachment, jealousy, etc., then cleanliness of body, speech, food (sattvic), place and surroundings. Santosha
: contentment and cheerfulness
Tapas (from the root सप) : austerity, keeping the mind detached and under control bearing pleasure and pain, hunger and thirst with equanimity. Svādhyāya ससस्वाधतस्वात : studying of self and self reflection as well as spiritual books to gain real knowledge, spending time in the company of sages and spiritual people. Īśvarapraṇidhāna ईशसरि प्रणणिधस्वान : total surrender to the Supreme Essence, in thoughts, words and actions. After Yama and Niyama we can start practicing the other Sutras of Patanjali : Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi (to be continued)
Giosie Colagrossi Edited by Antonella Vicini
NOMADS Spiritual Teachings and Civilization Giorgio Milanetti part 2 of 4
The first poem (adikāvya) of Indian literature, Valmiki’s Rāmāyaṇa, (its older parts could be dated to the V or VI century BCE), is particularly keen on celebrating the institution and the dissemination of the values of ‘modernity’ in the wild and tribal setting which surrounded the city of Ayodhya, the ideal metropolis where the legendary ‘kingdom of Rama’ (Rāma-rājya) was established, and which stood as a model city for nearly two millennia. The name of the poem (Rāma-ayana) means literally ‘Rama’s going’, or ‘advancing’ – which we can simply translate as ‘Rama’s journey’. This implies another striking contrast, since the ‘modern’ civilization that is described in the text – characterized by elements that are typical of settled societies – chooses to describe and establish its own values through a literary work that is centered on the description of a ‘journey’.
We need not to go into detail as regards the plot. * Suffice it to say that Rama’s ‘advancing’ covers the whole Indian subcontinent – if not geographically (the question is yet to be cleared), at least by accounting for its main physical features (rivers, jungles, mountains, and finally the Ocean and the island across the Ocean). In addition to it, the poem offers also sketches of the highly diverse components of the local populations, from the inhabitants of cities, to the humble communities that live on the margin of urban civilization, and the wild (and monkey-like) tribes of the jungle.
Significantly enough, the story of Rama’s adventurous journey is placed at the very turning point between the ‘ancient’ and the ‘modern’ civilization – as confirmed by the fact that, according to tradition, it marks the beginning of dvāpara-yuga, a new cosmic era. This means, among other things, that the author(s) of the poem, whom we may identify as the agent(s) or the codifier(s) of ‘modernity’, sought to communicate not only the key elements of the ‘new’ society that was being built, but also, and more specifically, information about the critical re-evaluation of the ‘old’ identitarian features regarding movement, nomadism, etc.
Description, in Indian Epic, usually amounts to prescription. And the elements by which Rama’s journey is described in the poem are particularly clear: 1. it is restricted to a dimension of criticality and exceptionality, since the young prince, exiled from Ayodhya, is bound to remain fourteen years in the wilderness, together with his wife Sita and his brother Lakṣmaṇa. 2. the journey is particularly dangerous and bearer of ominous consequences: the two brothers are frequently confronted by the fierce ‘demons’ (the rākṣasa) who roam in the jungle, threatening and killing the hermits who reside there, while the young spouse, in a dramatic crescendo, is abducted by Ravaṇa, the lustful king of the Rākṣasa (Rāmāyaṇa, III.46-47). In order to retrieve her, Rama has to engage a deadly war, but the rescue of Sita does not put an end to their troubles, since the woman, after her dwelling in the demons’ city, will be twice accused of unduly behavior and finally banned from Ayodhya (VII.42-45). 3. in spite of the inspired descriptions of the intrinsic beauty of nature, the contrast between the values attributed to city and ‘modernity’ and those attributed to tribal or wild life, is regularly resolved with the magnification of the first ones and the delegitimization of the latter.
From this perspective, the establishment of the divine kingdom of Rama in the city of Ayodhya represents the model for a perfect (and rigorously defined) civilization which excludes and/or subordinates any other kind of social organization, moreover it seems a complete reorientation of values, compared to the Vedic celebration of free movement, nomadism and free wandering. As it often happens, however, elements of a given culture that are (seemingly) discarded, find other ways to surface. What we note about nomadism and the values related to it, is that around the half of the first millennium b.C., when the older nucleus of RÄ mÄ yaáš‡a was composed, journeys, wandering and (slightly later) pilgrimages, became both a pet subject of Indian literatures and a central element of spiritual quest. As we may perhaps sum it up: a civilization that has chosen to settle, confines travelling to selected and restricted contexts in order to safeguard and transmit the values it expresses. (to be continued)
Giorgio Milanetti Edited by Antonella Vicini
You can find the first part of this study on Nomadism in India in THE BADGER Year 1 Volume 4 http://issuu.com/antonellavicini/docs/the_badger_october__2015 The extensive bibliography about the above subjects will be published with the last instalment of this article.
Note on the Ramayana
*The Ramayana (Sanskrit: रसमसयणम ) is a Sanskrit epic poem ascribed to the Hindu sage and Sanskrit poet Valmiki. It is regarded as one of the two great works of Indian literature, along with the Mahabharata. The Ramayana also plays an important role in Hindu literature and tradition (smṛti). It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas) and tells the story of Rama (the seventh avatar of the Hindu supreme-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka (Sri Lanka). The story accompanies Rama during his journey and the final re-union of Rama and Sita. The Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma. Editor's note AV
WITNESSING PHYSICS and DANCE Merritt Moore It is a great pleasure to host here a multitalented young woman who lives, litterally in two worlds: art and science! Yet there is no contradiction, since in ancient Greek art was τέχνη and in Latin it was Ars, both words meant what is not natural, but created by human genius. So art and technology, as both children of humanity in its development are not at odds with each other. Merritt's experience will lead you to new spaces of the mind and body.... Antonella Vicini
There are two threads in my life: physics and dance. I am a nerdy physicist by day and ballet dancer by night. Most of the time I conduct experiments in the Atomic and Laser physics lab at Oxford, but the other half of the time I perform on stage (in the past Boston Ballet, Zurich Ballet, and most recently English National Ballet). It’s the interplay between physics and dance (sometimes metaphorically) that I have found liberating. Let me start with my path into dance because expressing myself with words has never been my forte. My parents were worried because by the age of 3, I still hadn’t said a word; however I suppose I did talk eventually. But it was always the bare minimum. I didn’t really have a voice until I was 13, when I stumbled upon my first dance class. In the dance studio I discovered for the first time that I could voice something without struggling to find the right words. The framework of a sentence often feels arbitrary and forced and the words available sometimes limiting, so to dance was a sigh of relief because it had rhythm and texture in its movement.
I could express myself one hundred percent from fingers to toes. I could express that gut feeling that hits so deep in oneâ€™s chest but there are never the right words to describe it. However even though I had found a natural medium for expressing myself, it certainly wasnâ€™t easy. One of the hardest aspects was battling a sense of insecurity. We have all felt insecure at some point. In my case I was comparing myself to fellow dancers, who for the most part started ballet at a very early age around 6. The young dancers are hand selected by the top ballet schools based on careful measurements of their physical proportions such as the slope of the neck and shoulders, the length of their hyperextended legs, the arch of their feet, and of course flexibility. At this point serious dancers drop out of normal academic school and enter ballet academies to train 8 hours a day. When I started ballet at age 13 that was already regarded as middle age, so dance teachers already assumed that I was too old to be taken seriously. I was often ignored and floundering around in the back of the dance studio. It didn't help that the nature of ballet requires that I had to look at the mirror all day in just leotard and tights and try to morph into the unrealistic ballet ideal. It was hard enough to be critiqued daily by ballet masters, but worst of all was when I relentlessly critiqued myself until all I saw were my imperfections. With that mindset, auditions can be traumatizing. Auditions would be held in a large ballet studio with dancers flying in from all over the world. I remember sweating with exhaustion, bleeding from blistered toes, and just dreaming to be chosen among hundreds of amazing dancers from Russia, Italy, Germany, France, China, etc who all had perfect long legs and gorgeous technique. In one memorable year in college, I would fly to Europe every holiday to audition. I went through 24 such auditions and was rejected 23 times.... yet, surprisingly, I love auditions.
I love auditions because I regard it as an offering, giving oneself entirely with mind, body and soul to those who are witnesses in the room. The best way I can explain is with a metaphor from the other part of my life, an image from the physics lab, which has helped me persevere and perform in auditions, onstage, and in everyday encounters. I work with lasers for quantum optics experiments in the Atomic and Laser Physics dept. at Oxford. How a laser works is that it’s a resonant cavity like an empty box with 2 mirrors on either end. When the laser is turned on, a photon, a particle of light, hits an excited atom, which then emits a second photon. Now both of those photons hit two more excited atoms, releasing even more photons. The mirrors are important because they allow the photons to bounce back and forth, continuing this process of creating more light, and exponentially increasing the power, until the light pulse builds up and propagates out with an energy that is far more focused and powerful. In the same way, when I am on stage, I imagine a mirror on my chest. From the stage, I project back to the audience the lights that are shining on me. They have energy that they project to me, and then I give it back to them with the added energy that I have. And it cycles back and forth continuing to build like the light in the laser cavity. This giving lights us up and is unique to the physical connection that comes with live performance, live music, and live talks. The most advanced digital screen can’t preserve the interplay I just described. The content is transferred, but the energy is lost. Especially nowadays when we communicate mostly via text/fb/instagram, this energy we can gain from physical encounters is forgotten. So at auditions, I use to worry “do they like me? I hope they like me. How can I make them like me?” I had to change my mindset to “how can I expand? How can I give energy to them?”.
And this is important to everyday encounter for you as well like at a party when you don’t know everyone or first day of a new school or a new job. Instead of questioning, “do I fit in?” all the worries go away when there is a different focus, especially a focus like giving. It’s this energy, that is continuous… is limitless... is timeless.
Here you can find the links to: a short and fascinating BBC documentary on the advanced experiments in the Atomic and Laser Physics dept. at Oxford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQRvWnxorM and the Dance My PhD Winning video by Merritt Moore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzKdKJn9El4 Editor's note AV
INSPIRING Adrian Hopfgarten What moves us in life? It is mostly Inspiration, whether we know about it or not. In this new column we will read inspiring stories that may push us onwards our own paths. In many traditions Inspiration is sacred, a powerful energy imbuing all our actions, if we only let it happen and follow its lead. This month we will know a little of Adrian's story. AVicini
WHAT MOVES ME TO TELL A STORY Empathy is what distinguishes us from all other beings. Our desire and ability to connect and to share with others sets us apart. What an incredible gift! I am honored and humbled by the experiences, relationships, and stories I have collected by producing and sharing with others. Cheers to all the Badger contributors and members, what we are doing is important. We are sharing the very essence of what it is that makes us human. This past year I finished a feature-length documentary with my business partner and best friend about her return to Bosnia for the first time since fleeing the war in the 1990s. As the only two people invested in this project, it was quite a grueling process and there were times when it just seemed like we would never finish. But we did. Ivanaâ€™s intimate journey into the past allowed her to connect and create a new future with Bosnia and helped her discover the resilience and strength of the Bosnian spirit.
I am so honored to have been a part of her story, and though it was not my own, I felt obliged to help her share the complexity of “going back.” This is a universal theme that stretches across time and space, and inevitably pushed me to reflect on myself. I have learned over my own journey that I will never be fully satisfied in life. Sounds dramatic, but really maybe I am just beginning to understand my own nature. I love people and stories. A listener, collaborator, and producer, I have accepted my own reality: I am always drawn to whatever is next. Sure, there will be moments of complete bliss. I believe that these fleeting moments of satisfaction are so intoxicating that we as humans are compelled to share them. There will also be moments of absolute tragedy and heartbreak, which enable us new opportunities to connect with each other even more deeply. Let’s focus on the precious moments, the ones we hold dear. Martin Luther King writes, “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” Sometimes we need to move beyond the verbal or written word, it seems we cannot even possibly recreate the “magic” of a moment, please forgive me as I try.
Our documentary premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival this past August, and it was truly a life-defining moment. After the opening ceremony, Ivana and I attended a very fancy black-tie party at a posh hotel. We climbed a balcony which overlooked thousands of years of history; there in front of us was an Ottoman clock tower, medieval castle ruins, Turkish and modern minarets, Austro-Hungarian buildings filled with Western friezes and facades, and cold communist bloc-type buildings. Not only had we finished our movie about Bosnia, but there we were, in the middle of all this history-- together.
Suddenly, there were loud blasts echoing in the sky and many people around us (including Ivana and me) ducked in panic…the instant thought of snipers from the war. But then we were delighted by the sight of fireworks above the stunning city and it’s complex history. Absolute ecstasy. I cannot even begin to put that feeling into words, but what I can say is that in that moment I knew I wanted to create and to share all the more. To be “fulfilled" seems like settling… I am always curious of the next thing and whatever it could be, whatever I can become a part of. There will always be “a next” – a new dream to follow, another voice to share, and a new project to take on. It feels liberating to have learned this; I’m at peace with this boundless energy. I feel honored to be a part of the Badger and I close with this: Listen up! Make it. Do it yourself. Invite friends. Share ideas. Embrace your capacity for empathy. Bring "it" to life. Ideas are limitless, but don't be afraid to choose one to focus on. Push your limits, you'll discover your power in the challenge.
Here you can find the trailer of Finding Bosnia : https://vimeo.com/134660931
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. A teacher at heart, be it in school or workshops, I am happy when I can share new visions and face new challenges. I am a professional rebirther and trainer (1987), Reiki master since 1991, stress management and leadership trainer, writer and visionary. I am deeply grateful to all my teachers and elders. Badger Medicine Spirit
Adrian Hopfgarten http://llamamama.video/ Adrian is a filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in social justice documentary and stop motion animation. She is one half of LLAMAMAMA Productions.
Andrea Exo 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 some of his musical pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FmaMRyjF6o https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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.
Fabio Segato Executive chef at Costa crociere, he has an international experience in Micheline stars restaurants, as well as tutors for the new on board chefs. He has a bakery and catering service near Turin.
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.
Gabriella Campioni www.deaguerriera.it is a counselor with 30 years experience in symbology, mythology, psychosomatic approaches and healing techniques. Her favorite fields are the study of the ancient civilization of the Goddess and the functioning of our minds. She gives classes and public lectures, she is also a volunteer at Humaniter, Adult University Foundation in Milan. She translates and writes articles and books, her latest one is La Dea Guerriera (The Warrior Goddess), a symbol of the union of male and female energies, a much needed synthesis of tradition and innovation.
Giorgio Milanetti Giorgio Milanetti is professor of Hindi language and literature in the 'Italian Institute of Oriental Studies' (IISO), at the Sapienza University in Rome. He has published numerous books and articles on Bhakti, Indian poetry, literature and history. He has won prizes for his translations into Italian of Hindi poems, he works closely with several European and Indian universities on didactic projects, as well as many scientific journals. He is a keen mountaineer, curious about the world and its many traditions. He also wrote and directed a movie (“Agnes” with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi).
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 – Puna. Upon her return in Italy, she continued her studies with a degree in naturopathy and iridology (2003 Rudy Lanza Free University). She currently lives and works in the province of Viterbo, so rich in natural and artistic beauty.
Jay Schwed https://www.facebook.com/events/1644517139142961/ Since 1983 he has been a massage therapist, Jay has been a pioneer in this field and has worked in a variety of settings. In 1994 he started to play the crystal bowls. In 1995 Jay was trained as a Reiki Master and in 1997 Jay added to his skills by attending a training program in hypnotherapy. During the last 10 years Jay has been travelling throughout the United States and Canada giving performances, leading workshops and giving private sessions as he assists in raising the planets vibrational frequencies. He has performed at such notable places as The Deepak Chopra Center, The Edgar Cayce Center, A.R.E. , The Agape Cultural Center and The Believe Center.
Jose Maffina was born in Milan on July 1st 1948, she is naturopath and rebirther, with a Master in Psychosomatic and Flower therapy. She is experienced in channelling. Jose holds a column in Italian in the magazine Esthetitaly, as well as a daily program on the web radio www.newliferadio.it . She leads meditation groups using creative visualization, she is also member of the Research Institute Cosmos in Milan. Jose has written books and CD about her work.
Judith Hayes has both her undergraduate and Masterâ€™s degrees in Latin and has taught for an entire career at the secondary level, and briefly the 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.
Luis.M.Vasconcelos https://500px.com/lmvasconcelos I was born for Life in 1952, and in 1974 I was born for Photography, when my country, Portugal, was born for Democracy. I began my career as a professional photographer and photojournalist, in April 25, 1974, when our democratic revolution took place after 40 years of a dark fascist regim. Freedom was born for us, and my photographic dream was born for me. Since then I have been working as a professional photographer and photojournalist. In 2004, I also followed the call for a deepest journey into my personal discovery and growth, learning meditation and Reiki. I got the degree of Reiki Master in 2006, in the traditional Reiki Usui System. Now, after 40 years of work, I have began to enjoy my (active) retirement. I dedicate my time to the ones I love, and to what I always loved to do: Photography and traveling. I am in love with Life !
Merritt Moore is the epitome of a dancing dork. She danced professionally with the Zurich Ballet, Boston Ballet, and English National Ballet while graduating with honours in physics from Harvard and pursuing a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics at Oxford. She was featured as Glamour Magazine Top Ten College Women in 2010, awarded Suzanne Farrell Dance Award in 2011, and delivered a TEDx talk 2013. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, then started her adventures abroad at age 15 by going to School Year Abroad in Italy.
Paolo Benda www.laradionica.it www.paolobenda.it Born in Perugia in 1953, he has experiences in electronics, home automation, informatics, he is webmaster, web designer, researcher, writer and publicist. He is an independent researcher with specific interests and specialization in radionics, biology, biotechnology. He is the inventor and builder of machinery for radionics applied to non conventional medicine.
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.
Stefano Buzzai https://www.facebook.com/Soteco-Costruzioni-Snc-496397857162747/?fref=ts is the CEO of SO.TE.CO snc, a green building company. He is also a passionate researcher of subtle energies and sacred geography. He facilitates meetings on green building and sacred sites where he leads people in order to experience the high energies of earth and sky.
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THE BADGER Quarterly Year 2 Volume 1 We believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food...
Published on Dec 29, 2015
THE BADGER Quarterly Year 2 Volume 1 We believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food...