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THE BADGER The Badger is a fierce animal, very much respected and honored both in Northern American Native traditions and in European Celtic ones. A badger will not let go and will continue tenaciously to look for another way to tackle his/her goal, just like a good healer will not let go his/her search until the best solution is found for the person in need. Badgers have their homes underground, so that they can go to the roots of things, the good healer does the same and keeps looking until she/he can find the most profound reason for a dis-ease or a psychological issue. We use the term healer in the very broad sense of somebody who takes care of a another person, be it a MD, a nurse, a psychotherapist, a physiotherapist, a masseuse, a spiritual healer. Whenever there is a person in need and somebody who takes care of her/him, that is a healer. Sometimes the need is subtler and more profound than a simple medical intervention, the human touch is needed and it really is the Panacea that cures all diseases. We believe all artistic expressions in their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food and the healing arts are beneficial to restoring that balance, health and sense of worth that each and every human being deserves. We offer you THE BADGER, the persistent healer, all the articles come from experts in different fields, each person has his/her own idea of what a balanced life is, they are here to pass on information, give inspiration, receive your comments, suggestions, contributions. Each human being holds in his/her hands at least one of the keys, let's continue our quest!


Year 3 Volume 3

July 2017 Spider Grandmother is considered the creator of the world in South Western Native American traditions, such as that of the Navajo and Pueblos, including Hopi. She created the stars in the sky by taking a web she had spun, lacing it with dew, throwing it into the sky, in such a way the dew became the stars. The poem in this volume also uses the symbol of spinning our web searching for our connections to the worlds within and without. Summer time is the perfect moment to open our bodies to nature and receive the strength and joy we need for the months ahead. We can look at our fellow travellers: two leggeds, four leggeds, the winged beings, the creepy crawlers, the insects, plants and stone people as helpers on our way. Happy discoveries

Antonella Vicini Director THE BADGERQuarterly LTD Cover photo and graphic lay out Antonella Vicini

You can find all past volumes, videos and our blog in our website: http://www.thebadgerquartelyltd.com/ and links on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine/

CONTENTS Connections Into the Matter The Secrets of Music Poetry

Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo Fredric Lehrman Walt Whitman

Photo Graphy

Luis Vasconcelos

Voices from the Stars

Laura Bottagisio

Becoming Medicine Aromatherapy

David Kopacz Renato Tittarelli

CONTENTS Food is our Ally

Daniele Sampalmieri

and our Pleasure

Claudia Enrico

Mother Earth speaks

Claudia Enrico

Travelling East

Raffaella Vicini

Summer Reflections

Antonella Vicini

Angels Story Telling Dermoreflexology

Rosana Liera Bianca Veronica Samantha Fumagalli Flavio Gandini


Giosie Colagrossi

The Nature of Druidry

Philip Carr Gomm

Celebrating Italy Witnessing The Authors

Salvatore Mongiardo Antonella Vicini short bios and photos


and links to previous volumes


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CONNECTIONS Antonella Vicini Relationships, connections, ties, ropes, chains, bonds of love.... There are many ways to describe our interconnectendness. If I look at my life from this point of view, I can see all the connections to my family, my friends, my teachers and students, the people I care for, the strangers in the streets. If I look closer, I can see the connections to my physical body and its billions of cells, atoms, functions, to my emotions with their infinite variations, to my mind with its multifaceted layers of thinking both in linear and circular time, to my spirit and there the links seem to have no end. If I imagine to look at myself from a distance all I can see are these connections of different colors, depth, vibration and intensity, they stretch from a pulsating core out to infinity, but... But, if I look better, I see uncountable beings just like me, they are all pulsating and linked to infinity. From this perspective, we are really all one. All connected to each other, all beating together: human beings, animals, plants, stones, the elements... It is time to see ourselves, the people around us, the nature that still supports us and all that exists, as interconnected, so that when one being does something good for whatever surrounds us: whether it is another human being, the environment, one animal or a plant; this action then reverberates in the fabric of the universe bringing more beauty and harmony, healing and balance.

While walking on this planet with its mountains and deserts, rivers and oceans, plains and hills, we have infnite sources for reflection, for understanding, for a deep sense of calm and serenity that comes from recognizing our common nature, at one with every living being. In our own bodies we contain all the elements, the building blocks of the universe, in our microcosm we have the same storms and quiet we witness in the sky and at sea, within ourselves we truly have all the keys to our happiness and despair, health and disease, enlightenment and darkness. We only need to choose and act on our choices. In the last decades of the past centuries there used to be a sticker that run: Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty In these apparently darker times the practices of kindness, gentleness and respect become extremely important, especially when they come from the heart, our personal door to the spiritual world. Seeing Beauty in all that exists, even what we may initially dislike out of fear of lack of knowledge, changes entirely our mind set, allowing for growth and transformation to occurr. Caring for our own beings with hearts wide open to all other beings in their different paths and stages of development is the first act of love that, again, radiates all around in ever increasing circles of beauty. Happy summer trails!

Antonella Vicini NOTE: The photos in this article were taken during a journey accross Northern America, some places still show us the interconnectedness of all beings in their stark and spiritual beauty. Just some examples of nature's allure.

INTO THE MATTER Cogito ergo sum Andrea Exo Life or thought, this is the dilemma! Oftentimes we discuss about life, after life or eternal life. Some people dream of rejoining their loved ones, some want to reincarnate as a famous actor, some want to contemplate god, but there is much confusion on the nature of such life. This turmoil comes directly from the word “life” itself. What makes us alive? Well, we are alive because we breathe and our heart beats, that's for sure. But is it enough? I don't think so. If our heart beats, but we are asleep in dreamless sleep, we do not even realize what is going on around us. Actually, we don't notice anything. Our eyes close and open again. Hours go by, but for the sleeping person it is only an instant. The same happens to a person in a coma who might wake up months or years later. From this premise comes the mother of all questions : “What makes us alive?” The immortal aphorism by Cartesius (Rene Descartes 1596 – 1650) reminds us Cogito Ergo Sum = I think therefore I am. The sentence was criticized for its implicit relativism: a person certainly exists even when he/she is not thinking and just sleeping; however, here we are talking here about the soul, so the objection is rejected. It would be probably be more correct to ask ourselves: “Is there thinking after death?” self awareness and consciousness depend on the mind, without the mind it's game over.

And what is thought? Thought is energy. There are not any machines that can visualize thoughts yet, but through complex MRI the different functions performed by the brain can be measured as heightened electrical activity. This point is fascinating: even if we cannot yet use “the force” like the Jedi in Star Wars, altering our thoughts from fear to relaxation and viceversa produces a real storm of particles in our brain.

H.P. Blavatsky often spoke about electricity as “ fire”, the centre for everything. In a cryptic note written in “The Secret Doctrine” she affirms: “Even science has to accept the existance of the astronomical Central Sun, because it cannot refute the presence of a central body in the middle of the Milky Way, an invisible and mysterious point, the centre of attraction of our Sun and the Solar system. But this Sun is differently considered by oriental occultists. While kabbalists and western jews, as well as some pious modern astronomers, declare that in this Sun divinity is present in a special way. The oriental initiates affirm that, since the supra divine essence of the absolute unknown is equally present everywhere, this central Sun is the univerlsal centre of Life/Electricity. This is the tank where the divine radiation is concentrated, as already differentiated at the beginning of each creation. Even if in a neutral, or laya condition, this is nevertheless the only Life Centre, both of attraction and continuous release.”

This seems to be a theory about a source of all energy, as Dante Alighieri used to say in the Paradise of his Divine Comedy: La gloria di colui che tutto move, per l’universo penetra e risplende, in una parte più o meno altrove. (The Glory of who moves all, penetrates and shines in the universe, in some parts more than others) Like a powerful transmitter “animates” every single thing even before it is manifested. We are diseased with science, knowing the “why” of each thing and each event is consuming and wearing us down. Nevertheless, thanks to our thoughts we can imagine the most incredible things, like going to Mars, and then transform our thoughts into actions. Could our thoughts, so deeply connected to our senses and bodies, have a more subtle nature? More ethereal? Perhaps we can find the answer comparing experiences: Now I am writing for THE BADGER and article that is visible to my eyes, but it is not on paper, it is made of electrical currents that stimulate the pixels on the screen. When I send it by email, some waves (completly invisble to our senses) send the code that compose this article to another machine that will receive it, then making it visible to the eyes of the receiver, however still intangibly. Once we have understood how wifi works, let's raise our eyes to the sky. We can see pulsars and a quasar: these are huge centres of energy that emit pulses (pulsars) and all kinds of radiations (quasars). If thought is energy, electricity moving among the synapses, it may be possible that (according to Hermes Trismegistus) “As above so below” the cosmos think? Could the enormous amount of exchanges among particles, neutrinos, matter, antimatter, radiation and more, could all of these be a stellar wifi? And what if the entire solar system were only the nucleus of a cell and we the small mitochondria?

Let's consider this: from a minute spermatozoon and its counterpart the ovum the entire “temple of God� is born, our body. What if humanity was destined to evolve until it can create the universe? Proportions don't count for life to happen: the most majestic tree comes from an invisble seed. Wasn't the universe extremely small before blooming? Are we perhaps made in the same image and semblance of the central sun, of the universe, therefore of God?

In the end there is a fascinating hypothesis about immortality: if thought, the real unique essence of our beings, were energy that takes form in another place and we simply received it like a tv broadcast....wouldn't the program continue if the tv set broke down? Isn't our body, with its sensory organs, a simple receiving machine? All our life, our memories, our dreams are born from perception. The difference between being asleep and awake is the difference between perceiving and not perceiving, being unconscious and conscious, dead or alive. Yet, certainly, while we sleep the world keeps spinning as does the transmission when the receiver is off. What if reincarnation was just this? The same flow of energy (the “eagle's emanations� as explained by Carlos Castaneda in The Fire from Within) that appears again. A new body that receives an ancient song...

At this point our memory comes into play: are we because we think or because we remember? If we asked ourselves what we did 4000 days ago, we would not know. We do remember our first kiss, but who did we give the hundredth to? At 70 we may forget even our second partner, let alone all the places we have been to. Actually, even if we forgot the previous day every day, we would simply be.

Our name does not identify us, nor our past and the proof is in our dreams. How many times have we had a different aspect in dreams? Or a different life, partner, family? Yet it was still us, even if, while trapped in Morpheus' arms, we could not remember anything of our “awake� life. We may be chained or in the smallest of cells, but if we dream to be a bird we fly high in the sky. And, as Morpheus says to Neo in The Matrix: Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? We could not wake up, but thinking is existing, thinking is awareness, thinking is identifying. Besides thought is intangible, its source is energy, while the sensory organs create the illusion of what is real and what is not. Since we perceive less than 5% of what surrounds us and the tools we have reproduce such limited range, let's enjoy the transmission in the best possible way. The universe, the solar centre, is practically eternal, there will always be many tv programs. If what we do is interesting, perhaps that song will never end...

Andrea Exo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

THE SECRETS OF MUSIC an introduction Fredric Lehrman Music is the preverbal language of our perceived sense of thought and time. A painting may be a static image in its final form, but the process of painting is a creative journey in time, a melodic composition of colors and shapes. Silence is a special kind of music. It is the blank page on which our thoughts appear. If we are poets, we use words in sequences that are timed over spaces of silence, carefully chosen words that have intrinsic characteristics such as pronunciation, meaning, rhyme, rhythm, intonation, accent, and subliminal reference to our silent senses of color, texture, temperature, taste, aroma, distance, relationship, emotion,and shifts of energy within and without. A whole symphony can exist on a small memory chip, but it is silent until experienced within the time continuum. A composer can experience a whole inner concert before anyone else can hear it, and then translate it into a shared space by performing it through any vibrating body capable of transmitting the intended nuances of that specific sequence of vibrational patterns. Our ears translate a certain range of vibrations into specific tones, just as our eyes translate a more rapid set of vibrational frequencies into the silent shifts of colored light from infrared through ultraviolet, the visible-tohumans rainbow spectrum. Other species may perceive a different range of colors and sounds that we may never see or hear. Do wolves listen to higher frequency symphonies played by insects which we perceive just as the scratching sound of the locust orchestra?

Anyone who has experienced the magical display that I was privileged to see on my first night in Alaska, pulled from sleep at 3:23 AM by my host shaking me with the words, “Get up! There’s a fire! Grab your coat!” and then rushing me outside onto a balcony with no escape route, until my half-asleep mind and the freezing air made me say, “Where’s the fire?” “Look up!” she said. Racing across the whole expanse of silent darkness overhead was an immense theater curtain flapping wildly in some distant wind, pleated folds of luminous color, purple, blue-green, red, yellow, completely silent except for a barely audible crackling of space electricity. The Aurora Borealis, perhaps the first and most cinematic display seen by the first humans as a vision exciting terror or ecstasy, is still the greatest show on earth. Music can be an internal creative experience, or an externally-audible induced reactive experience which can be playing in our minds whether we are focussed on it or not. We can pay attention to the music, or forget about it by thinking about something else. We classify that mode of nonconscious ambient listening as “background music” in a movie theater or “elevator music” in a high-rise office building. But wherever we are, music is available to us, given freely by the sounds of Nature. Throughout the ages, pre-literate communities have evolved forms of music peculiar to their local surroundings and culture. To understand that language, it is helpful to acknowledge the primary source that gives us the elements that make up our simplest melodies. What are the first sounds? Let me name some of them without claiming that this is a complete listing. Before we are born, we hear the rhythm of our mother’s heartbeats, changing with her emotions and actions, her moods, and her sense of wellbeing or anxiety, as well as breathing and digestive noises that ore part of our embryonic world. Those sounds are received along with a changing context of shared chemistry, hormones and neuropeptides that signal her moments of safety or stress.

We can also hear outer sounds before birth— her voice, the voices of others, random exterior sounds of life going on, and even music itself if it is played within the range of our hearing. The soundtrack of the womb is with us for 9 months, and comes to us continuously through the surrounding liquid of the placenta. There are also many personal accounts by both parent and child of a familiar piece that was played frequently by the mother or father in close proximity to the developing fetus, and the quieting effect that specific piece would have on a crying infant in their first year of childhood. This changes radically as we are born. Emerging into a larger space, perhaps quiet and dark in a home birth, or blinding and strident in the hospital birth that most of us have gone through in the last 150 years, we fall form our warm liquid womb-room into a new world of gravity, cold, with raw sounds of non-living materials and dry surfaces. The unique sounds of the traditional five elements of Chinese wisdom are added to the organic sounds of voices of humans and animals. Earth/stone, water, wood, fire/air and metal each have their distinctive qualities, easily distinguishable again after having been introduced to them once. Tap two metal objects together, and then contrast that sound with two wooden objects. Then listen to the same note being played on two different flutes, one metal and the other wood. Both instruments are activated by the breath of the player, but wood will always sound like wood and metal will sound like metal. A sliver flute sounds different from a flute made of gold, a bamboo flute different from one of boxwood. The sounds of each instrument are made up of the characteristics of the specific physical materials and the way those materials have been combined to allow the largest range of oscillating frequencies to pass through to be released into the surrounding space. Most violins are made of wood, but only a few are recognized as great violins that inspire the skills of great violinists. And the same violin will sound quite different when played with different violin bows. So all the elements that go into producing the sound can be recognized in the sound produced.

Just as the “voice” of each instrument is expressed through the “nature” of its physical composition and design, so the physical voice of the human singer is a product of stature and personality. Larger bodies and larger larynxes will be able to give more power to lower tones, whereas very high sounds are associated with smaller instruments and smaller vocal cords. Size matters.

Fredric Lehrman

POETRY A Noiseless Patient Spider A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman (From Leaves of Grass 1891)

Ode to Summer O thou who passest thro' our valleys in Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer, Oft pitched'st here thy goldent tent, and oft Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair. Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car Rode o'er the deep of heaven; beside our springs Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream: Our valleys love the Summer in his pride. Our bards are fam'd who strike the silver wire: Our youth are bolder than the southern swains: Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance: We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy, Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven, Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.

William Blake

1757 – 1827

PHOTO GRAPHY Luis Vasconcelos's Arte Xavega Antonella Vicini These are my photos of the "Arte Xรกvega", a traditional Portuguese fishing technique from the beach. This consists of small boats very well adapted to sail through the waves from the beach. The fishermen enter the sea, from the beach, and launch the nets at about 500 to 1000m from the beach. Then the boat comes back onshore, and the fishing nets are pulled to land by tractors, and by hand, making it very interesting team work. There, also some quite nice photos at sunset with thousends of seagulls. Shimmering under the sun, the freshly captured fish offers itself as another fascinating subject for Luis' exploration of the world. The screaming seagulls fly low in order to catch some tidbits here and there, while the powerful machines roar into life in order to download the boats and fill the boxes ready for the market. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Luis is capable of seeing it in our daily life activities and sharing it with us all through his enchanted lenses. Let's follow his latest journey into the beauty of fishing and working in the open air, as we can see in his photos, the sea is open to many more activities than our walks and swimming.

Antonella Vicini This video has been created with Luis Vasconcelos' photos:


VOICES FROM THE STARS More Saturn and Uranus and Chiron Kiron, silent mediator of healing processes Laura Bottagisio United by one destiny that sees them as protagonists in the planetary stage, Saturn and Uranus will be with us in the future months with a beautiful triangulation they form in the sky. The Earth, Saturn and Uranus travel their orbits around the sun at different paces: the Earth takes about one year, Saturn about 30 years, Uranus 84 years. Every 45 years these three cycles form a geometric shape that astrology defines “beneficial� (see the previous article in THE BADGER Year 3 Volume 2) since the etheric energy takes on a material form and viceversa. The transformative process, that happens in the core of the form through the action of Saturn and Uranus, can mature and evolve thanks to the energy of a celestial body that has its orbit between these two planets and was discovered in the 70's of last century (October 18 1977). In its ellyptical path, it activates one or the other planet, in a perfect alternation that brings light, supports and nourishes the energy needed to produce transformation. In the astronomical world this celestial body has been classified as an asteroid and called Chiron.

In the world of symbols, Chiron is the mythical centaur, a half god who could die in his mortal form, thus transforming his wound that could not be healed. This myth teaches us that only by accepting the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth as well as becoming grounded in our physical reality, we can transform the pain and sufferings of life. Chiron's astrological symbol reminds us of a key: that key opens all doors to healing!

Let's see how we can access it: Uranus shatters, Chiron breaks up, Saturn aggregates. The form is shattered into pieces, broken up and re aggregated in an incessant regenerative process of becoming that works at all levels of human existance in the same way: from the thick physical layer to the more ethereal mental and emotional ones. The actions performed by Saturn and Uranus are easier to understand, but Chiron's work is subtler, so much so that it could go by unnoticed. What is its support? The real meaning of disaggregate is to deprive of cohesion. Therefore, when Uranus revolutionary strength shatters, at this point the disintegration of the old matrix-matter begins. Every particle frees itself in order to express its energetic potential and take on a new form, thus contributing to shaping a new matrix. Both the real transformation and healing happen in this phase. The following one is the restructuring of the new form thanks to Saturn aggregating force.

Not understanding or knowing the real meaning of the events in our lives, thus not interpreting correctly the messages that life is giving us, makes it difficult for us to let go to this flow of transformative healing. We tend to stop on what we know, those things we can control, even if we feel uneasy or in pain. Change disturbs us because we do not know it. By doing so we remain attached to old patterns, we make Saturn aggregating force work constantly, so that it will implode, experiences become crystallized and they have no way to mature and evolve. The discovery of a celestial body unveils its presence, hidden until then, even if it had existed for a long time. Such event is in complete synchronicity with evolution. On an energy level it stimulates and forces human consciousness to improve, because it has become part of the symbolic meaning of the archetype connected to the discovered planet. The archetype of the asteroid Chiron is the healer who becomes wise by embodying within himself the vital power of the earth energy. This is the regenerative force of Mother Earth that gives life and sustenance to matter as well as our bodies.

Therefore, real healing goes through letting go of the cellular memories where we have stored all our emotional traumas (old and new), they need to be shattered, disaggregate and aggregate in a new state of being. What a wonderful process! Chiron was discovered when it was in the first degrees of the astrological Taurus. It had been in opposition to Uranus for about one year, the two planets were working together to dismantle the bearing structure of those times. Besides, Chiron was in a orbit closer to Saturn in Lion, where it was preparing the future paradigms for a new collective consciousness. As written above, it was 1977, in those years the economical model based on consumism entered a crisis, at the same time many new children of the new humanity were born, they were called Indigo, then Rainbow, Crystal and Diamond children. People in their forties now come from the Indigo generation and they have the opportunity to place the foundations for the new world. In 1990 Anne and Daniel Meurois-Givaudan wrote in their book Meeting with Him: “ During the next 40 years, the majority of the world population will feel some kind of physical and psychological anxiety, to the point that it will not be able to divert its eyes and heart from what is essential. This will be a blessing that will allow human beings to rediscover the infinite possibilities offfered by nature within and without. There will be a time when material and immaterial will not be differentiated, science from spirit, because every discovery will lose the title of invention.� It cannot be denied that we are now living in this phase of upheavel and lack of balance, where so many people live in terrible situations. Accepting to leave the pre made patterns that keep us on rules not based on divine laws is extremely important now. These are the messages clearly expressed by the movements of the planets.

Chiron is at the end of Pisces, Saturn at the end of Sagitarius and Uranus at the end of Aries: what a great revolution they are performing together! While Chiron takes away substance from the emotions to the point where they can be transformed and healed, Saturn and Uranus light the fire of a new level of consciousness. The fire activated by the two planets is burning everywhere, it brings unforseen and unforseable changes. This fire is both activating and drying the situations or thoughts that have been part of the structure of our shadow for so long, covering us in false illusions and beliefs.Chiron represents the wound that is our door to the world, as well as the healing that will cure it. In its transit in Pisces, together with Neptune, it is giving support to the soul desire to re connect with the invisible, spiritual frequencies. Chiron leads us into the inner land where the primeval wound in our emotional body, our essential note can find a new harmony. In this unknown territory there is only one enemy: our own shadow, that part of us which has not yet met the light of the heart. Chiron has the key to open the door of the heart, there our emotions can find nourishment and transmute from lead to gold, from rage to courage, from addiction to understanding, from pride to sharing. Like experienced builders, we are now called to put together, step by step, a bridge of light designed by Saturn and Uranus, a bridge that connects all the frequencies of our subtle bodies. This is what is happening now, or could happen if we allowed it. In 2 years time, Saturn and Uranus will leave the fire signs in order to enter Capricorn and Taurus, two earth signs that make real and complete the projects, Chiron will then go into Aries, thus healing our wound completly. Let's activate our light in our inner temple, making sure it stays on forever.

Laura Bottagisio Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

BECOMING MEDICINE Veterans, Vairagya & Vast Self David Kopacz “Vairagya (vairAgya, ववैररागग) – detachment or dispassion; indifference to the pleasure that results from success or the disappointment that results from failure.” Vairagya can be taken to mean transparency – one passes through the world, but is not attached to pleasure or pain, success or failure, one does not create suffering through striving after desires. This is an advanced spiritual state that is paired with the term, abhyasa, अभगरास, which can mean practice. “Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility.” Many Veterans describe a sort of negative vairagya state with the emotional numbing and detachment that often come with military training and combat exposure. Anyone can get to this state of “nothing means anything” and “I don’t care about anything,” but trauma brings this state about quickly and thoroughly. I hear this complaint from Veterans quite frequently and I have come to think of it as a sense in which the person has returned “home,” but the heart or soul is still missing, still journeying elsewhere. This leads to a person who is physically present, but emotionally numb and distant and detached. Life becomes a series of irritations to be avoided rather than a never-ending waterfall of surprises of pleasure and pain.

In the positive sense, vairagya means a transparency, like a waterfall that experiences things and experiences passing through it, but continues to flow and fall and remain in its essence. This positive state allows one to fully experience the depths of life and then to move on to the next experience without clinging or avoiding life. There is the sense that life passes through one rather than one running toward or away from life. It is said to be a state of peace and calmness in the positive sense, but in the negative sense it is living death where one walks through life as a ghost or a shade, unattached and unaffected by the human experience. The shift between negative vairagya and positive vairagya is subtle, and yet it is the difference between feeling dead and feeling alive. Krishnamurti, in his Notebooks, writes of such states. “Whatever actions one has to do in daily life, the shocks and the various incidents should not leave their scars. These scars become the ego, the self, and as one lives, it becomes strong and its walls become almost impenetrable,� (Krishnamurti’s Notebooks, 16).

The early entries in the Notebooks sound like they could have been written by a Veteran with sleep problems, as the early entries often speak of waking up in various states of pain and agitation, although they also speak of waking up in states of clarity and peace as he gives himself over to the spiritual process unfolding. “Woke up about two and there was a peculiar pressure and the pain was more acute, more in the centre of the head,” (3). Insomnia, while very common in Veterans, is also a symptom or stage in the spiritual evolution of the individual. If handled skillfully, insomnia can become a tool for spiritual growth, otherwise it can become a living hell. Krishnamurti writes that, Destruction is essential. Not of buildings and things but of all the psychological devices and defences: gods, beliefs, dependence on priests, experiences, knowledge and so on. Without destroying all these there cannot be creation. It’s only in freedom that creation comes into being, (45). This is the idea that the old has to pass away before the new can arise.

It is somewhat similar to what Peter Levine speaks of in his book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, when he describes trauma as a biological circuit that has not been completed. Levine believes that our human capacity of higher, logical thought can interfere with the processing and completion of emotional circuits with trauma. He watched animals “shake it off,” after trauma and he believes that this physical shaking helps clear the trauma circuit and reset it. This is another exercise that can be done – shaking it off, even literally doing crazy dancing and moving around and shouting, allowing whatever is within to move its way through so that the neurological circuits can reset. The Sufis speak of the term, fanā, which means annihilation. This is the kind of destruction that Krishnamurti is speaking of, annihilation of the ego, of the part of ourselves that tries to control life and only seek pleasure and avoid pain. Life is both pleasure and pain. Avoiding both, one is in a state of negative vairagya. Accepting both, without clinging or avoiding, is the positive state of vairagya. Through a practice of acceptance and of using insomnia as a spiritual tool, one can reach states of peace. “Last night woke up with that sense of complete stillness and silence; the brain was fully alert and intensely alive; the body was very quiet,” (Krishnamurti’s Notebooks, 16). In these states there is an opening into, rather than a closing off or shutting out of experience and it can lead to states of ineffability. “It’s as though everything stood still. There is no movement, no stirring, complete emptiness of all thought, of all seeing. There is no interpreter to translate, to observe, to censor. An immeasurable vastness that is utterly still and silent…There is really nothing that can be said about it,” (Krishnamurti’s Notebooks, 15). With the word “vastness” we enter back into Joseph Rael’s domain of the Vast Self. This is a word that he uses interchangeably with God or Divine Presence. “All of my teachings tie into the reality that there is a Seer seeing everything. We call it God, the higher power, or whatever. It is simply the Vast Self seeing itself creating itself,” (Sound, 1).

The Vast Self leads us to an experience of reality, of what is, and yet our wounds, scars, and attempts at rational control of life interfere with our ability to experience this state. Through the practice of vairagya, we can create vast spaces within ourselves that allow us to move more deeply into our integral nature and at the same time to move beyond the confines of our ego’s pain and pleasure that come from our sense of separation from ourselves and the world. To me the body (including the feelings) represents the land, the Vast Self. The thought and the brain are what come out of the Vast Self, but then the brain sits up there on its throne and wants to run things, control things. That is fine for a while, but eventually it has to understand that it is not independent and it has to merge and come together in the vastness of the Vast Self in order to touch reality…The rational mind tells us that whatever it cannot understand is not real, and that misconception is what separates us from God, (Rael, Sound, 2-3). To return to the traumatized Veteran, emotionally detached and unfeeling and uncaring – this actually can be taken to be the first step to spiritual enlightenment, the first step to becoming a visionary, the first step to becoming your own medicine. This is the negative state of vairagya where nothing is important and nothing means anything. The work now is to shift from a negative to a positive state of vairagya, in which everything is just as it is, in which life is both pain and pleasure and one can feel completely and intensely alive as one passes through life and life passes through one. I am writing this in the early morning. I woke up and couldn’t sleep and eventually got out of bed at about 4 AM. I put on my bathrobe, grabbed the warmest blanket, went downstairs to sit in my big purple chair. I held Krishnamurti’s Notebooks in my hands. For a while I didn’t read, I just sat there, in a state of agitation and yet also realizing that there is no place for me to run, no place for me to hide, I worked to accept the state of who I am and where I am and what I am feeling. Eventually I read a few words – the passage about scars becoming ego and the passage about the stillness and vastness.

I said, involuntarily, “click,” as I connected Joseph’s teaching, Krishnamurti’s writing, my current psychological and emotional state, my work with Veterans, and my spiritual studies around the word vairagya. Then it was said again, “click,” and I felt within me a connection and desire to get up and write a section for Joseph’s and my book on “Veterans and Vairagya.” So here, I sit at my desk at 6:03 AM, (December, 18, 2015) listening to Anoushka Shankar’s album, “Home.” I think about this concept of “home” a lot in my work with Veterans and also in my life, having moved around and lived in different places, having moved to New Zealand and having moved back to the States, but to a new part, to Seattle, now just over two years ago.

There are times where I feel that anywhere can be home and times where I feel that nowhere is home. I experience this sense of internal displacement and disorientation and I often empathize with the Veterans who I meet who speak of their own, much more massive and traumatic displacement of a sense of home. When we do the hero’s journey class, we talk about all the different things that “home” can mean: a place, a person, a country, a building, a connection to self, a connection to others, just to name a few. For the spiritual seeker, home comes to be found in the Vast Self, as the source of all being and all experience. The loss of a sense of home, the sense of negative vairagya and disconnection, these can be steps on the spiritual path. What is it that makes the shift from negative vairagya of disconnected lack of caring to positive vairagya which is the bliss and joy of consciousness and being? It is the heart, it all depends on the station of the heart. If one is in a state of uncaring detachment, that is negative vairagya. If one can attain a state of caring transparency, then one is truly in a state of positive vairagya – then one can taste Oceans of Vastness that contain all things and out of which all things arise and to which all things return. The work, the practice (abhyasa) takes the form of becoming capable of God (as Henry Corbin says), or we could say of becoming capable of experiencing a sense of Vastness even as we experience the pain and limitation and wounding of our limited forms and personalities in the world. Yesterday I went to the homeless Veterans Stand Down. The first Veteran I met had already tried a lot of standard treatments – medications, therapy, breathing exercises. He said, “I know how to breathe, I know how to relax, I just can’t stand people. If I could just go to a mountain somewhere with my books and not have to ever talk with anyone, I would be happy.”

I said that it sounds like what he needs is a monastery, a monastery for Veterans. “Yeah, he laughed, but everyone has to take a vow of silence, I don’t want anyone talking to me. I wouldn’t mind doing some work, cooking, maybe even making beer!” We laughed and brainstormed a bit about this and both agreed to keep our ears and eyes open for someone who has a vacant monastery that they would give to Veterans. While the idea of a Veterans’ monastery (heavy on the silence, light on the religion) may be far-fetched, the idea of it is so perfect for what so many Veterans need. Medications and psychotherapies and breathing exercises are some help, but what many Veterans need is a supportive space for the soul, a space to allow the shaking off and processing of the trauma and the negative disconnection, a place that allows space for the new, for the Vastness to arise. What is needed is a place of quiet support, stillness, and silence. While it may be difficult to fund such a place off in the mountains, I thought about Warren Gohl and Mike Lee who run the Veterans’ Sweat Lodge (inipi) down at American Lake VA. That is what they create there, a sense of shared stillness and quietness, a place where Veterans can be alone with their thoughts, together. It is a sacred space of purification. I thought to myself, “How can we get more Veterans down there? For that matter, how can I get down there more often?” I kept thinking and realized that we all have a place like that, a place that is Vast, and it is a place that we do not have to travel to and yet it is a place that can be very difficult to get to. I have heard the saying, often in a Native American context, that the longest road is the eighteen inches from one’s brain to one’s heart. Parker Palmer writes of the two ways that the heart can break: it can shatter (its sharpness causing pain and injury to self and others), or it can break open (creating space for compassion and connection). Maybe this is like the state of negative or positive vairagya, determined by how the heart breaks? Our hearts can be difficult terrain and no one knows this more than Veterans. I am fond of telling Veterans that something is both good news and bad news – everything is always both!

Bad news: “Your heart is broken, you are disconnected, you don’t care about anything and every day you have to drag yourself through the motions of pretending that you give a shit.” Good news: “Your heart is broken open, you have opened yourself to new connections, you have wisdom and perspective, you can see through what is not important, now you need to enter into the Vastness so that you can feel in your bones what is of utmost importance to you.” Bad news: “It takes work.” Good news: “Joseph says work is worship, so you will never run out of spiritual practice.” To close this section, we will end with two writings. The first is a poem by Stephen Crane, who wrote the Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage. The second is a diary entry by the twelfth century Sufi mystic, Ruzbihan Baqli and his own notebook, The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master.

David Kopacz In the Desert In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, “Is it good, friend?” “It is bitter—bitter,” he answered; “But I like it “Because it is bitter, “And because it is my heart.”

Stephen Crane

61.The Vastness of the Heart I saw him on the streets of the hidden with something in his hand. I said, “My God, what is this?” He said, “Your heart.” I said, “Has my heart such a station that it lies in your hand?” He gazed at my heart, and it was like something folded up, so he spread it out. And my heart covered the space from throne to earth. I said, “This is my heart?” He said, “This is your heart, and it is the vastest thing in existence.” Ruzbihan Baqli

NOTES: 1. Dennis Waite, Sanskrit for Seekers, 171. 2. http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11216.htm Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16: of Patanjali Practice and Non-Attachment Two core principles: Practice (abhyasa, 1.13) and non-attachment (vairagya, 1.15) are the two core principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests (1.12). It is through the cultivation of these two that the other practices evolve, by which mastery over the mind field occurs (1.2), and allows the realization of the true Self (1.3). Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13). To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time, without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience of the eternal core of our being. Vairagya/Non-attachment: The essential companion is non-attachment (1.15), learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self. They work together: Practice leads you in the right direction, while nonattachment allows you to continue the inner journey without getting sidetracked into the pains and pleasures along the way. Supreme Non-attachment: Gradually, non-attachment expands to the depth of the subtlest building blocks (gunas) of ourselves and the universe, which is called paravairagya, supreme non-attachment (1.16).

Eventually the three

gunas resolve back into their cause during deep meditation, leading to final liberation (4.13-4.14, 4.32-4.34).

AROMATHERAPY AROMA-ALCHEMIC MASSAGE Renato Tittarelli After many months, our journey around the basic elements of aromaalchemic massage ends with this last part on the connection between astrology and alchemy. It has been a pleasure to share some information about my life long passion and work, I invite you to read the previous volumes in order to have detailed information about this discipline and I look forward to your questions. Here you can find a general bibliography as a basis for your own explorations and some notes on Alchemy and Astrology. Alchemy and Astrology Paracelsus, doctor, alchemist and astrologer from Switzerland (1493-1541) used to say that “ (the doctor) needs to evaluate the medicine according to the stars, in order to understand both superior and inferior stars. Since medicine is without value if it doesn't come from the sky, it needs to descend from the sky... For example what pertains to the brain is lead there by the Moon, what influences the spleen flows there under the influence of Saturn, what is around the heart is lead there by the Sun. In the same way the kidneys are governed by Venus, the liver by Jupiter, the bile by Mars�.

Classical alchemists loved to write and wanted to be read, but they didn't want to be understood. The reason for such attitude is in the nature of Alchemy itself, the Sacred Art, the Secret of all Secrets, therefore it had to be protected from the curious crowd, from people unworthy of it and from the uninitiated. The alchemists used symbols a lot, since they were trying to shield some of the meanings hidden in their teachings. Many symbols come from the animal world, both real and imaginary, like the phoenix or the unicorn.

Astrology gives a fundamental support to the hermetic symbolism. The connection between planets, deities and metals belongs to the most ancient times and entered alchemy as such: Sun (Apollo) gold, Moon (Artemis/Diana) silver, Mercury (Hermes/Mercury) mercury, Venus (Aphrodite/Venus) copper, Mars (Ares/Mars) iron, Juppiter (Zeus/Juppiter) tin, Saturn (Saturn) lead. The twelve signs of the zodiac find precise correspondance in the equivalent phases of the Magnum Opus (Alchemy) which need to be performed in different moments of the year.

According to the abbot Pernety (1716-1801): “ The zodiac of Philosophers it is not the same as that of the heavenly sky. The signs of the Philosophers are the operation of the Magnum Opus that need to be performed in order to reach their autumn, the last season of their year, because in that time the Philosophers reap the fruits of their labour”.

Renato Tittarelli

article and photos Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

Bibligraphy in Italian R. Tisserand, Manuale di aromaterapia, Roma, Ed. Mediterranee, 1998 S. Fischer-Rizzi, Profumi celestiali, Milano, Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 1995 S. Fischer-Rizzi, Aroma-massaggio, Bolzano, Ed. Tea, 1996 J. Valnet, Cura delle malattie con le essenze delle piante, Firenze, Ed. Giunti-Barbera, 1988 C. Duraffourd, J.C. Lapraz, J. Valnet, Cura delle malattie con piante e aromi, FI, Ed. Giunti, 2004 F. Perugini Billi, Fitoterapia, Azzano San Paolo (BR), Ed. Junior, 2004 M. Di Leo, Fitoterapia, Padova, Ed. GB, 1997 M. Méssegué, Il mio erbario, Milano, Ed. Arnoldo Mondadori, 1971 M. Méssegué, Uomini erbe salute, Milano, Ed. Arnoldo Mondadori, 1976 M. M. Junius, Alchimia verde, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 2005 F. Firenzuoli, Gli oli essenziali, Vicenza, Ed. Il Punto d’Incontro, 2002 V. J. Vogel, Erboristeria e medicina naturale dei pellerossa, Milano, Ed. Rusconi, 1998 B. Jensen, Intestino libero, Diegaro di Cesena(FC), Ed. Macro Edizioni, 2002 G. Conforto, La futura scienza di Giordano Bruno, Diegaro di Cesena(FC), Ed. Macro Ed., 2001 L. Solmi, La medicina di Santa Ildegarda, Milano, Ed. Riza, 1999 C. Soo, La medicina taoista, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 1993 O. Mickhael Aivanhov, La pietra filosofale, Tavernelle (PG), Ed. Prosveta, 2003 G. Capriolo, A. D’Elia, L’energia segreta delle acque, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 1996 R. Zamperini, Energie sottili, Diegaro di Cesena(FC), Ed. Macro Edizioni, 1998 Jamuheen, L’arte di vivere in risonanza, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 2000 P. Satyananda Sarawati, I chahra, Torino, Ed. Satyananda Ashram Italia, 1987 S. Satyananda Sarawati, Kundalini tantra, Ed. Satyananda Ashram Italia, 1994 S. Satyananda Sarawati, Yoga Nidra, Ed. Satyananda Ashram Italia, 1986 I. Illich, Nemesi medica, Milano, Ed. Boroli, 2005 M. Harnen, La via dello sciamano, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 1999 S. Ingerman, Il recupero dell’anima, Spigno Saturnia (LT), Ed. Crisalide, 2001

M. Newton, Il Viaggio dell’Anima, Bologna, Ed. Elfi, 2002 C. G. Jung, L’uomo e i suoi simboli, Milano, Ed. TEA, 2007 T. Dethlefen, Il destino come scelta, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 1986 T. Dethlefen, R. Dahlke, Malattia e destino, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 1988 T. Dethlefen, L’esperienza della rinascita, Roma, Ed. Mediterranne, 2004 C. Myss, L’anatomia dello spirito, Milano, Ed. Arnoldo Mondadori, 1996 E. F. Poli, Anatomia della guarigione, Milano, Anima Edizioni, 2014 L. Dossey, Il potere curativo della preghiera, Como, Ed. RED, 1996 B. Rieder, F. Wollner, Dizionario degli oli essenziali, Limena, (PD), Ed. Daigo press, 2003 L. Cozzi, M. Bertona, L’aromaterapia, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 1996 M. Bertona, Il grande libro dell’aromaterapia e aromacosmesi, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 1998 R. Balz, Il potere curativo degli oli essenziali, Vicenza, Ed. Il Punto d’Incontro, 1999 P. Davis, Aromaterapia sottile, Diegaro di Cesena(FC), Ed. Macro Edizioni, 1997 S. Price, Tutte le tecniche di aromaterapia, Padova, Ed. Meb, 1985 L. Miller e B. Miller, Ayurveda e aromaterapia, Vicenza, Ed. Il Punto d’Incontro, 1999 F. Wollner, Manuale del profumo, Colle Val d’Elsa (SI), Ed. Editrice Nuova Fortezza, 1996 N. Grosjean, L’Aromathèrapie, Paris, Ed. Albin Michel, 1999 N. Grosjean, Aromaterapia per animali, Torino, Ed. Amrita, 1993 N. Grosjean, Aromaterapia naturalmente, Torino, Ed. Amrita, 2002 B. Brigo, Aromaterapia dalla A alla Z, Milano, Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 1998 L. Satanassi, H. Bosch, Manuale di fiori ed erbe, Sarsina (FC), Ed. Humus, 2001 F. Geri, Aromaterapia e massaggio, Milano, Ed. Riza, 2001 M. Valussi, Il grande manuale di aromaterapia, Milano, Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 2005 M. Valussi, Dispensa Corso professionale di aromaterapia, Pomaia (PI), Ed. Flora s.r.l., 2002 M. Valussi, Dispensa Corso professionale di aromaterapia 2, Pareto (AL), Ed. Flora s.r.l., 2003 L. Fortuna, Aromaterapia, Brescia, Ed. Mediamax, 2003 L. Fortuna, Aromaterapia per l’anima, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 2005 L. Fortuna, Aromaterapia per la mamma ed il bambino, Milano, Ed. Xenia, 2006 L. Savo, Profumi di benessere, Limena (PD), Ed. Daigo Press, 2005 F. Nocentini, Prontuario di Aromaterapia, Limena (PD), Ed. Daigo Press, 2010 R. Tittarelli, Corso di Aromaterapia on-line, Roma, Ed. Centro di Ricerca Erba Sacra, 2005 R. Tittarelli, Aromaterapia Olistica, il viaggio degli aromi, Asti, Ed. Quantic Publishing, 2011 Materiale informativo Primavera-Life e Flora Copyright © Maggio 2016 Renato Tittarelli

FOOD IS OUR ALLY SUMMER MENU Daniele Sampalmieri For our summer volume both our cooks offer you a summer menu, have fun trying out their dishes! Buon Appetito AV STRAWBERRISH SALAD Ingredients: Lettuce 40 grams Strawberries 50 grams Vegan cheese or Feta cheese 40 grams Corn 20 grams Pumpkin seeds 4 grams Gomashio 8 grams EVO according to taste Balsamic vinegar according to taste Preparation: Cut the cheese in cubes, then the strawberries, leaving some for the decoration Cut the lettuce in thin slices Place all the ingredients in a bowl Pour olive oil, vinegar and gomashio according to taste GOMASHIO: is a dry condiment made from unhulled sesame seeds and salt.

SUMMER SCENTED FUSILLI Ingredients for 4 people: Fusilli 400 grams Small tomaotoes 200 grams Peas 200 grams Carrots 140 grams Black olives 50 grams Avocado 40 grams Fresh mint 6/7 leaves Basel cream EVO according to taste salt and pepper according to taste Preparation: Cut the carrots in small cubes Cut the tomatoes in four parts Cut the olives in halves Cut the avocado in small cubes Place all the ingredients in a big bowl Add the boiled peas and corn grains Add also the mint leaves in pieces and the basil cream Cook the fusilli “al dente� and cool them in cold water Add the cooked fusilli to the bowl adding oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well then decorate with basel leaves This dish should be served cold.

BASEL CREAM: With a small blender mix 80 grams of fresh basil with 2 spoons of edible deactivated yeast or 4 spoons of parmesan cheese, 6 spoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste.

ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO Ingredients for one person: Zucchini 100 grams Fresh lemon juice half a lemon Small tomatoes 50 grams Vegan seasoned cheese or parmesan cheese 40 grams Almond crumble 5 grams Fresh basil 4/5 leaves Evo, salt and pepper to taste Preparation: Cut the zucchini in thin slices Place them on a plate Add EVO, salt, pepper and lemon juice Add the tomatoes cut in pieces, then the crushed almonds, the seasoned cheese in shards, the fresh basil leaves and add a little more oil to taste.

Daniele Sampalmieri Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini

FOOD IS OUR PLEASURE A Summer Menu Claudia Enrico Summer is upon us with her beautiful gifts. Let’s have a delicious and simple Summer Menu to celebrate Nature crops and our Healthy LifeStyle. Here are my suggestions, enjoy the preparations and the tasting!

BREAKFAST Cocoa Muffins without sugar… Ingredients: (12 Muffins served) 1 and ½ cup spelt flour 3 Tbs EVO (extra virgin olive oil) 2 Tbs raisins soaked in water 2 Tbs toasted pinenuts 3 Tbs cocoa powder 1 Tbs baking powder ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp clove powder candied orange and a hint of vanilla seeds water or vegetal milk (oat, almond milk for the best results) Directions: In a bowl pour EVO, add raisins, pinenuts and mix. Gently add spelt flour and cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, clove powder, candied orange, vanilla seeds Then begin to mix with water or vegetable milk. Mix till having a soft creamy dough. Fill muffin cups and bake at 360° F (180° C) for about 25-30 minutes.

Almond Milk preparation: Ingredients: 1 cup raw almonds 2 cups water One blender Directions: Soak almonds overnight in a bowl of water. Then rinse and put then into a blender with water. Mix for about one minute. Put the mix into a cotton bag and squeeze the milk into a bowl. You can see the beautiful video of my dear friend Federica Rotta who shows how to do that at https://youtu.be/VpQOmB-bexc (in Italian), or the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSdt1jaUYLg (in English).

BRUNCH Sumptuous salad Ingredients: 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup grapes or blueberries 2 cups mixed salad as: arugula, beets, spinach… ½ cup red bell pepper 1 apple 2 tsp Chia seeds ½ cup tofu sliced EVO Himalayan Salt Directions Cut all the ingredients in small pieces and then put them in a large bowl and toss them with EVO and a salt.

SUPPER Beluga Lentils Ingredients: 1 cup beluga lentils 1 avocado 2 cups rice noodles 1 sheet Nori seaweed Tamari sauce 2 Tbs pickled red peppers 1 Onion EVO 1 lemon Salt

Directions In a saucepan sautè the onion in EVO and then add Beluga lentils for few minutes. Add some water and salt and let it stew for about 20 minutes lid covered. Boil in water rice noodles and rinse them. In a large dish put beluga lentils, rice noodles mixed with Nori seeweed cut in stripes. Cut avocado in slices and toss it in lemon juice. Put it on the dish. Add tamari sauce in a little bowl and pickled red pepper as side dish. Itadakimasu! Buon Appetito!

Claudia Enrico

Photos and Recipes Edited by Antonella Vicini

MOTHER EARTH SPEAKS About Love Claudia Enrico “If you want to become full, let yourself be empty – Lao Tzu” This is my beginning today, trying to breathe inside my inspiration and energy, in the humble attempt to write something about one of the major issues of Human history: LOVE! It seems to me that in the last decade our history on this Planet suffered many iniquities, violences, dramas, wars, in the name of something that I have not yet been able to understand. Reading back to what History taught us, it seems that it has always been this way. So does it mean that Humans Beings haven't changed? Have we been repeating the same pattern since the beginning? No. I can’t accept that! I see that many good things have happened in our human history, because we can experience something that has a great power, something that change things, something we often don’t understand but we feel as very intense: LOVE! So… May I take your hand and guide us into a short journey together, to discover the “origin” of such an “ecstatic” energy?

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha” Every day is a good time to begin our story. When you wake up in the morning you have your “rituals” and your breakfast, and then go to work. From your private place, that’s your house, you enter in the “big flow”, the Matrix and then you meet your daily challenges. Like a boat sailing from the harbor leading to the open sea, you face the waves of “something” that will surely stir up your Being. Depending from what you’re going to do, you will meet people and many “stimuli” will touch your energetic body during the day. Then you’ll be back “home” tired and overwhelmed most of the time. What is missing here?

If you’ve chosen to live this way, day after day you will deplete your energies and you will get sick. Modern lifestyle is something that is leading people to become crazy. Stress is the main symptom that one is almost “border line”. This is not living but “surviving”! Running our lives in this way leaves a short space to the experience of Love. There is no time to love oneself, one’s own partner, kids, friends, pets, Nature…. God. Yes, God! The “Inventor” of Love…..! It has been given to us as a very precious treasure, dwelling in our heart, to be able to savour it every moment of our life with joy. This Energy we call Love is pure Light, it's Spirit in motion trying to find a way to be felt, expressed and shared. Have you ever been “in Love”? Have you ever risked to look like a fool for Love? Did you ever dare to feel yourself completely “alive”? So I invite you here and now, to pause for a moment and to breathe inside yourself deeply and to listen and to feel. The moment you’ve decided to enter this physical World through your body, you performed a miracle. You let God to do Its job. You accepted to accomplish your mission on Earth for a high purpose, that is “to produce Love”. Like a farmer you’ve committed yourself to seed Love, to let It grow, to harvest It and to share It with others. I’m almost sure that the core beliefs of all Religions on this Earth profess that. But our Human Nature has to face a polarized World and so most of the time we forget that mission and commitment, and we go very far away from Home. Far from Home means for me to be “disconnected” from the Source. And when it happens, little by little, life seems to loose meaning, interest, purpose, clarity, joy, happiness, beauty, health…..

I’ve been watching a movie recently that was very interesting about the topic of Love. A young married couple was losing each other due to constant attention and use of smartphones and tablets, even after work, at home. So they decided at a certain point to make a choice and to put in a container the smartphones the moment they were back home, and to begin again to date themselves. They spent good time together going for a walk in the park, having dinner together, going to the theatre…. Nice things that they were almost ready to forget and that allowed them to experience and cultivate Love anew. They also had some problems but in the end they were able to face them with courage and they were also a very good example for their friends and colleagues. So, isn’t it interesting that Human Beings are misunderstanding completely what really means “to be connected” to the Web and what is the truth of this experience?

In Nature spiders weave their webs to capture insects and to eat them. So I’ve always been suspicious about the Web and what is its real purpose. I like the many good possibilities that it offers, and I’m grateful to be able to use it. But I still see the damage that it is creating, faster and faster, in capturing people attention and sucking them into a space that is not real and physical. I see how it’s able to let people become addicted to a virtual reality where feelings, emotions and experiences are shared just clicking a digit that draws a heart on a screen. I have been living for 21 years in daily contact with Nature, even so, I still need to see and hug a friend to share with him/her that I love him/her. “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing….. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. “ (From The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer)

I invite us here to “remember” where we come from and what we are really here for. We are not just here “to do things”, but to learn how we feel while we are doing them. Feeling is the “Invitation” to experience Love again. Even when we need to go through tough lessons, because Love is not a prize. Love is the Force that sustains Life. Mother Nature constantly teaches us to see, experience, live, feel the Love. All Living Beings, Creatures from this Earth are made with Love. We are too. Let’s remember that to practice it for ourselves, for each other in order to be really part of this Web of Life. We can allow ourselves to be captured again by this Web of constant Love pulsing and growing. Let’s again tune in with Earth’s heart beat. Then, we will soon be back Home, renewed, whole and complete. My invitation is “to empty” our minds and to allow the Heart to “be full” again. Let's open another door and experience deeply the meanings, the effects, the different qualities of this beautiful Holy Gift we call Love. With Love.

Claudia Enrico © 2017 photos and article Edited by Antonella Vicini

TRAVELLING EAST Peace Bell Raffaella Vicini I am once more in the Asian seas, travelling between China and Japan. Every time I am here I can discover new and fascinating aspects of this immense continent. One of the ports where I have stopped this time is a Japanese island called Ishigaki (石垣島 Ishigaki-jima). It is a very small island about 300 km north of Taiwan, so it is much closer to China than to Japan. The Island is famous for its beaches and the coral reef underwater, together with the more famous Naha Okinawa they are called the Japanese Hawaii. Both islands are in fact tropical, their vegetation is lush, there are mangrove woods, the temperature is already very hot from June onwards, the beaches are white and the deep blue crystal clear waters are filled with countless types of fish. When I first arrived in the Okinawa district, I was surprised by such a landscape, but the two islands are more or less on the same parallel of the famous Hawaii islands. During my latest walk in the streets of Ishigaki, before the arrival of the tourist crowds, I found a small garden that made a big impression on me.

Inside the garden I found the Peace Bell. Its presence made me stop and reflect, because I thought how much this bell should be used in every country, island, city of the world. We could play the bell to say Enough to all the wars made only for economical reasons, to the hatred among countries fuelled only by incessant greed. When will human beings stop killing themselves? Because this is what we do with wars: we kill ourselves, our precious essence. Every time blood is shed, a piece of our vital lymph leaves the earth and we cannot recuperate it. When we destroy something, whether it is a country, a city, a whole nation, when we are blinded by our power crazy desire to win, we actually become poorer. How many times will that bell be played in vain? When will we “civilized human beings� lower our weapons to welcome whoever comes to enrich our lives? Each one of us is important in his/her own special way. It is essential now to learn from our mistakes of the past, from the useless, lost, painful wars. A tiny island of Japan has declared no to nuclear war, well knowing its devastating effects on the land and its people. This little island with its bell gives us a lesson on peace, when will we do the same in the western world? When will the dove of peace be able to fly freely, and not be sculpted in marble only? I want to play my bell, and you?

Raffaella Vicini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

Learning from the Gods Antonella Vicini There is one ancient god that for me represents the power of summer and the contradictions of the south: the mighty lord Siva in his dancing posture. Dancing on the burial ground he slains the demon of ignorance under his feet, Siva dances through the reverberating vibrations of the drum he is holding, Siva holds all the fibers of the universe in his many hands and his rythm is like our breath, raising and falling like the tides of the sea, Siva is man and woman, ancient and young, darkness and light, he is all the contradictions and all the emotions, and yet he is the supreme yogi, the ascetic being able to withstand the impact of the river Ganga (Ganges) when she reached the earth with all the strenghth of her long journey accross space and time. In love and compassion for humankind in need, Lord Siva gathered the waters, full of nourishing life and knowledge, and let them trickle slowly to the earth. Siva is lord of fire and destruction, the elimination of all scores of all old attitudes and ways of being that have become a hindrance to our paths. Siva means benevolent, he is lord of fertility and life, of dancing and playing of great art and sensual pleasures.

We can learn a lot by comparing our plights to Siva's life so much larger than ours. There is a human quality in Siva, as well as a clear path to transcendence, that allows us to imagine that one day we will be able to dance on the ground of our fears and let go of the world we know in order to create/live in the world of spirit. South is the summer, the midday, the heat that warms us up and liquefies the ice, when the season is in its ripe time, the fields yeld their fruits and we are lost in the details of daily living and coping with the thousands voices of our existance. This is the direction of emotions, of feelings of all kinds, from the deepest love to the most violent hate. Energies in motion, they accompany and colour our lives, they are the strongest ally and worst enemy at the same time, in this moment they are revealed by the intense light and heat, that uncovers all our secrets and opens the path for our next discovery, if we are willing to take the steps. On the medicine wheel we have now reached the small mouse, with its short sighted view of the world. This is the time to look closely at who we really are, sometimes drowning in the many voices of our contrasting feelings and sensations, but at the same time hanging on the daily chores of our lives that give us balance and grounding. At those times when many memories rush for attention to grab centre stage of our consciousnes, we will be able to make sense of all this tumult with the calm presence that comes from the daily discipline instilled in our lives. When every action we make is filled with meaning and performed with our total presence no past concern or future worry can overwhelm us. In many traditions emotions have a a place and space to be expressed and honored, but almost never they are to be given in to.

Energies in motion: like waves they pass through our beings sometimes like soft breezes, sometimes like hurricanes, and yet we are more than our emotions, an ever present observer of what is happening to us, with benevolent eyes and a soft smile of understanding, since this is really our first trial on the way to knowledge and yet, if we look towards our ancestors we can still "see"/ “feel� their loving presence, they place us here for a reason, part of the game of life is finding that reason. This is our first and perhaps biggest challenge: acceptance of the human condition of being divided in many fragments deriving from our often conflicting emotions, from this first step comes the learning process of finding the common thread in order to really "be present" to ourselves. Under the scorching light of the sun we usually expose our skins to be pleasantly tanned, in the same way we can open our feelings and allow for a full observation, the shadows cast now are intense and deep, like the colours surrounding us. When we really open to the light we discover the beauty of our many emotions and their apparent confusion disappears. This is also the season of relationships, of connections represented by the number 2, when we are not solitary anymore, but we open to others and reconnect with our emotions. For this reason the heat of the summer is also the time for gathering with friends in honoring the bounty of nature in ceremonies that are full of gifts. Gratitude is an essential part of life, sometimes it springs out of us spontaneously, sometimes it needs to be cultivated as a healthy attitude towards all of creation and our experiences.

Antonella Vicini (Excerpts from Mahakala, Wheel of Seasons Copyright 2015)

ANGELS Rosana Liera

Connecting When you first encounter your angel that moment is always full of beauty and deep emotions. When we are with ourselves, when we listen to our hearts and we finally recognize our guardian angel's voice. A sudden and unexpected joy takes us and moves us deeply. The only requirement is our sincere desire to learn in order to achieve this awareness. Angels tell us that each one of us owns the key to our destiny, each one of us knows the most intimate secrets connected to it. Each human being has a different way to connect to the invisible, therefore it is important to learn what works best for us. Another basic principle is the recognition of the different presences and energies that live in the spirit world.

Receiving In order to fully receive the angels'messages in their purity and honesty, we need to let go of our expectations. Angels can guide us in many different ways, some of them are very simple and essential. We can recognize an angelic message for its overflowing joy, its moving quality, the smile it will produce on our faces, the warmth, trust and strenghth it will grant us on our paths. As soon as we approach their world with sincere curiosity, the angelic forces will become more evident in our lives, Sometimes, in order to re inforce our faith, they may send us reassuring signs of their presence. At times it will be some writing, a lighted sign, sentences in a book, or the music and lyrics of a song that we keep humming. Often we receive signs through other people, or through our bodies with heat or shivers of cold. The stronger the connection with them, the clearer and more frequent the signs will become, until we can hear their voice in our heart.

Listening Listening to our angel's voice is certanly the moste intense and intimate experience. We need to pay attention to this voice, because if we ignore it we may not hear it again. It is thus essential to know if there are any thoughts that place an obstacle to our communication. There is no fear in this perception and in sharing it with the people around us. Many people already can hear the angels'voices and their sound vibration, even if sometimes they may not be aware of them. In the same way we receive and interpret the most minute pieces of information coming from the outer world, we can capture the subtle signals coming from the depths of our souls. At the beginning it may be a subtle perception only, almost an intuition, later on, if you give it time and space, that voice will speak to your awareness. Listening with intent, we have the chance to discover an inner world we may have ignored so far. This path is open to everybody, it is an innate quality that only needs to be re discovered in order to become fully aware.

Being In order to understand when we are in the presence of angels we need to check the physical sensations we have. As mentioned above, we might feel shivers along our body, a diffused warmth, especially in the shoulder and chest area. We may feel also serenity, a deep all pervasive sense of calm, a profound joy without any apparent reason for it.

There is also the typical sense of embracing peace that often accompanies the angels'presence, paired with delicate aromatic flowery perfumes. Sometimes they may come to our consciousness through lightening intuitions. When we talk about angelic presences, most people have very conventional ideas. The angels know our complex and variable minds, so they will take on semblances that are easy for us to recognize, according to our beliefs and spiritual paths. They may even take on human forms or come into our dreams. Sometimes, when our mental defenses are lower, they may reveal themselves to us in all their ancestral splendor, as wonderful visions and sudden flashes of light. Going into our inner space, there we can meet the angels: we are here to be happy and conscious souls, forever united in God. By being open and positive the angels will reach out to us.

Rosana Liera Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini Photos Antonella Vicini (Excerpts from Rosana Liera, “Anime e Angeli, Guided Meditations�, Anima Edizioni, Milano 2016)

STORYTELLING Inseparable Chapter 3 Bianca Veronica The forbidden fruit One day, after some hours of freedom, Pappa returned to her cage to rest. After a while, also Piccola returned in hers, but she wasn't her usual self, she was chirping, calling, she was restless. At first Pepe landed on Piccola's cage, he seemed to be looking for Pappa that was in the small house. Jumping around with ease, he glided into Piccola's cage like an acrobat. Chirping and rituals followed that I didn't understand at first, but later they became clear when I saw them coupling. "You betrayed Pappa!" I said, rather disappointed. Pepe returned home jumping and looking around like a little bully, flaunting assuredness and whistling. He seemed to be saying: "Pappa, I am back". She was in the little house and was not responding to his call, nor was she going out of the door. I was observing them and I interpreted that silence just like a betrayed and offended wife would do. I was unashamedly on her side. Pepe called her many times, but she didn't move. Then he entered the little house. It was pandemonium! They were scuffling inside their "family home", the little house seemed on the verge of exploding any minute. Pepe was thrown out unceremoniously. She followed soon after him and furiously shrieking like an eagle! He went into a corner. It was a real outburst of jealousy. I was on Pappa's side, so I decided to open the cages one at a time.

Having a bird flying around the house had become a pleasant habit. One day I realized that the window was open, I was surprised to see that Piccola had not gone out. I thought she knew her lesson. However, I realized that my distraction in leaving the window open also held a silent challenge and the unexpressed desire to give back the freedom to that little bird. And so it happened, perhaps she was called by the other birds, perhaps she felt ready to face the world, so she took flight. This time the separation was not painful. Actually I was glad for her, I felt rewarded by the emancipation of my winged friends. I imagined she would be reunited with her brothers. Winged Beings The seasons were coming and going, following their eternal cycle, eveything seemed to flow calmly. One morning I noticed there was something wrong, Pappa was very quiet, she stayed on her own, sweelling up like a tennis ball.

I asked the man who had sold me the birds, I returned home with some remedies, but the situation seemed to worsen instead of improving. Pepe was looking after her, he was always near her. The following morning I found her on the floor of the cage, she had no strength left to stand on her perch. On the day after, I expected the worst and I was really worried when I saw Pepe in a corner of the cage with his wings open. Pappa was not there, I thought for a moment, maybe Pepe was sick too. I went closer and what I saw moved me to tears. She was dead in a corner, he was protecting her with his open wings, like a small hut, moving here and there as if he was performing a funeral dance. I left him alone to complete his ritual. When he let go a little, I opened the cage, he moved unwillingly, his attention was on his partner. Every time I approached the cage, he went in again, he didn't let me touch her. After a while I managed to pick her up and place her in a handkerchief. He was around me to prevent me from taking her away. For some days Pepe seemed sad, he didn't sing much. At first I thought of giving him another partner, but I didn't. Would he settle down in a new situation? One morning, while I was having breakfast, he landed on the table, he had never done it before. He was wary and cautious, he didn't come very close, he was checking me. He was looking and speaking to me in his language made of modulated phoneme in different tones. That day my breakfast was very long, I stayed on to see how far he could go. "Cici", as I had started to call him imitating his chirps, "Now we need to become good friends, you can only talk with me". He seemed to understand. I placed some crumbs on the table inviting him to come closer. The grieving period was over. So we continued like this for a while. Sometimes he brushed my head while flying. I hoped one day he would land on my shoulder, but it never happened, he could never really trust me completly.

I never closed the cage again, he was always free. Spring returned and then summer. The window was often open. One morning I saw him on the balcony: my heart jumped in my throat, I didn't move and stopped breathing because I didn't want to scare him. Perched on the railing, he turned to look at me and then flew away towards freedom. He had waited for me to say his good bye. Life is an eternal becoming, the environment, the behaviour, the context, the actions done and those not done, they all form the texture of existance. They produce stimuli and modify events, ways of thinking, acting; the consequences cannot be foreseen. Are we more animals than what we think, or are animals more human than what we think?

Bianca Veronica Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini NOTE: The first chapters of the story can be found in THE BADGER Year 3 Volume 1 and 2.

DERMOREFLEXOLOGY and Personal Growth Flavio Gandini and Samantha Fumagalli Know Yourself, says the inscription on the Temple of the Delphic Oracle. Self individuation (Carl Gustav Jung), Crystallizing the permanent centre of Gravity (Georges IvanoviÄ? Gurdjieff), going beyond the planetary influxes (Astrology), Cakras alignement (Indian spirituality). All these definitions basically agree on the strategies in order to achieve personal growth. This development can be summed up in a process of simple words: The sun at the basis of the drawing represents our birth. From that moment on the ascending phase of knowledge starts, as indicated by the red arrows. The first part of the adventure will be the discovery of our Physical body. This process will accompany us from childhood to our last moment, it will register all the changes connected to our development and aging. The final goal is the identification of the precise signals coming from our inner organs and the understanding of the original reasons. We would become aware of the mechanisms of Cause Effect within us. It is not an easy task, yet it is possible.

Nosce te ipsum, from the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore di Bergamo (1524-1532). Greek Philosophy, entirely absorbed by ancient Rome, has continued to have its influence also in more recent times.

The second step refers to the knowledge of the Etheric Body, the concrete representation of our permeating vital energy. Vital energy goes hand in hand with our survival instinct, which is clear in our ability to adapt to the surrounding environment. Evaluating our energies and learning how to mange them is not an easy task, yet it is doable.

The third step is the knowledge of the Astral Body, the vehicle of our soul. Therefore, we examine the emotional processes, what happens inside when external circumstances provoke feelings and moods. This goal is even more difficult to achieve than the previous ones. Both the organs and vital energy can be somehow measured and quantified, feelings and emotions can have such complex nuances to make impossible their definitions.

The fourth and last ascending step of the journey is Consciousness of Oneself, this is an intrinsic aspct of the Causal Body. Our self consciousness means knowing exactly who we are, why we have become in such a way, what might have tarnished our real personality. As a consequence, it will require us to make an agreement with the previously listed elements, eventually it it will ask us to remain loyal to such an agreement, whatever happens. To put it simply: after discovering who we are, we will strive to achieve the best for ourselves. In order to make this leap in quality we would need to do our research, cataloguing all the data received, and analysing them in depth. It is not an impossible task, in fact it would be in our best interest to do it with full commitment.

SELF AWARENESS In our daily life it means knowing what we are our real emotions, feelings, attitudes, inclinations. The first elements we can find are the information supplied by what other people say about us, mainly our families, friends, teachers... For example: “ You have always been so difficult, you used to cry a lot”. What if, instead of being a difficult person, you had an unidentified intolerance to some food? Therefore, the very first operation to complete is a general cleaning of what has been said about us, not what we know directly, but even the unspoken. Some of these aspects have to do with the family, social and environment habits and attitudes. The same cleaning would be needed for the dynamics among people, if we have been exposed only to fighting, we will not be able to change our mode of behaviour until we can experiment a different and more efficient way of communicating through open dialogue. Morevover, within the family, often there are special expectations that have nothing to do with the actual features of the person's nature, or the idealization of some famous people that have nothing to do with ourselves. Sentences like “ He will be an architect”, said of a newborn baby; or the desire to become a basketball player for a person who is below the appropriate height required only lead to frustration later in life. The same would apply for a young man who is well versed in communication, but his mother would like him to become a monk because of her vow, or a person in love with nature and agriculture can end up as bank manager in order to have a solid financial future. Carl Gustav Jung (1876-1961) never stopped analysing himself and his personal story, to the point that he sculpted in stone the images of his ancestors, in order to understand the nature of his forefathers, thus clearing the family history.

Gurdjieff offers us a clue towards our personal centre of gravity by moving our point of view. In such a way we can see details and different perspectives for our lives. Any movement of the view point will facilitate a new enrichement, until we can discover our multiplicity, our individual entirety. At this point we will be able to adopt our real centre, that can now become permanent, because it is not hidden by deforming filters. The result can be called wisdom and can be obtained only after eradicating what is not in line with our sincere and pure being. Dermoreflexology offers a precise map of the access doors to our unconscious memories, therefore it can facilitate a full recapitulation of any aspect of our lives we want to examine. Such recapitulation offers 2 important advantages: the precise definition of the topic and the use of dreams as a way of regressing to the point in time we are interested in. The first aspect delimits the field and avoids us getting lost along the way, the second allows for the enormous richness of details to return to us with a minimal involvement of the rational mind. Such messages and memories will be then examined during subsequent treatments. In order to complete this overview, we have a personal observation to add: if we had a magic wand, would we choose to enable our clients to fulfill their potential and to become realized like the Eternal Father (using religious terms) or Mother Nature (in biological terms), or would we try to make them different from what they are? Do we need to answer the question? We hope not!

Flavio Gandini and Samantha Fumagalli Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

NAMASTE Dhyana 2nd part the practice

Giosie Colagrossi I don’t sit in Meditation expecting or anticipating anything, I don’t expect any good experience, I simply stay here, now… Noises are not disturbances, I don’t feel them as disturbance or bother, I simply accept every sound as part of life… If my head is bending down, I don’t resist, I let it fall… Thought is also part of Meditation, I don’t resist, I just watch and let that be… This month I am taking you on an inner journey for our yoga practice, please follow the instructions below: “Let’s close our eyes… Feel the whole body … Become aware of our whole body… our feet… our legs.. our back ..and spine… chest…arms.. shoulders.. throat…head….top of our head… we are the body…. Become one with the body.. totally… skin…nerves…flesh …and bones… Become aware of the breath… Are we the body or do we have a body?... We are not the body but we are the breath… It is the breath that keeps the body alive, the cells in the body alive… The body is suffering wear and tears every day… cells are dying and new cells are coming… The body is ever changing..

Pay more attention to the breath that keeps us alive… Note the breath…the breath changes… the volume of the breath… the temperature of the breath… It is the same breath that has been with us since our birth… The breath is always been with us whether sleeping …or dreaming… walking.. or talking… happy ..or sad...all through… We have not been aware of it so far. Let's pay more attention to the breath… The mind wanders here and there…let's bring our attention to the breath …without any effort… Bring the mind more closer to the breath…The breath is constantly changing.. and changing… Just keep going…be aware of the breath… Do not resist anything…any thought or emotion… Be with the breath…. We are not the breath but something that is watching the breath… Lead the mind to the nostrils… From the nostrils to the eyes…

Become aware of the eyeballs.. It is this mind that through the eyes visualizes…sees the objects… Feel the eyes closed.. Locate a point deep inside your skull.. behind the eyes…a point…deep inside the skull ..from where the mind is projecting… Be aware of the centre point in the skull… Relax….relax…. Slowly…slowly...open your eyes… Ask YourSelf this question:Who Am I? Are we the body or do we have a body? If our finger is cut, have we cut OurSelf? We have body, mind, breath.. but we are not that…we identify ourselves with the many personalities inside us…we need to know Who we are….” So… let’s close our eyes again… Sit confortably…easily…rest the back…. and keep the mind alert… aware…

“Feel the breath … imagine a point in the centre of the chest … It is a tiny…little light …that is expanding… more and more…from the centre of the chest to the arms…and all around the body…we are that light…we are becoming bigger and bigger, we are occupying the entire room… the entire house…the road among the houses… we see every person, tree, animal becoming smaller … we are flying in the air like a light balloon… over the roofs…over the entire village…we reach the moon… we are on the moon… become one with the moon…we are the moon…coolness of the moon…expand more and more…and more…sun… the heater of the sun…go beyond the sun…million and million of stars….become one with the stars….go beyond the stars…go further …and further…entire galaxies…nebulos.…we are the Space between the stars… we are the infinite Space….become One with he space…we are the Space…. Stars…moon…come dawn…come dawn… clouds…we are passing though the trees and mountains as a beautiful cloud….come…..now we are touching the ground…the grass… we become One with the ground …and a blade of grass.. Be aware of a tiny… little… gain of a particular sand … we become One with the tiny little sand… Become aware of a tiny little point…a navel…in the chest…on to the throat…in between the eyebrow…without much effort…top of the head… back in between the eyebrow… on to the throat…back to the chest… Become aware of the breathing in the chest….Become aware of the entire body

Each one of us is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest: Smaller than the smallest atom and bigger than the infinite Space…..” ASATO MA SADGAMAYA TAMASO MA JOTIRGAMAYA MRITYOR MA AMRITAMGAMAYA AUM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI Thanks to my beloved Guru

Giosie Colagrossi Edited by Antonella Vicini

THE NATURE OF DRUIDRY Seeking Teachings Everywhere Philip Carr-Gomm Despite the richness that we find in the Druid tradition, such as the teachings of the eightfold wheel of the year, the myths and the old stories, the fact remains that when we look for a detailed exposition of the spiritual constitution of the human being and the universe, and of detailed methods for exploring these, it is in the teachings of the East, of the Dharmic traditions, that we find the most satisfying and helpful material, which in recent years have to a great extent been enriched with the insights of Western science and psychology. Excitingly, this situation does not have to present us with a dilemma. It does not have to force us to choose between following an Eastern or Western path. It does not force us to abandon any cultural allegiances, or sense of connection to our native landscape, or sense of indigenous spiritual heritage, in order to seek wisdom or methods of spiritual transformation from distant lands or an apparently alien culture. From a spiritual perspective, we all emanate from one source – Deity, the spiritual source of all Being. From a historical perspective, there is convincing evidence that the cultures and spiritual heritage of India and of the Celtic lands, and much of Western Europe, emanate from the same place of origin – probably in the area around the Caspian sea. Our ancestors moved both northwest and southeast from this region many thousands of years ago, forming a great arc of connection that runs from the rugged coast of northwest Ireland to the shores of the Indian Ocean. To bathe in the teachings and heritage of both ends of this rainbow that stretches across continents is to come home to our common source. In Druidry, we often use the image of the salmon swimming upstream to depict our souls returning to the source of our ancestral wisdom. With this understanding, whether we are swimming to the source of the Ganges or the river Boyne, we are travelling in the same direction.

If we are born into, or live in one part of the world, it will often feel natural and fitting to absorb and follow the spiritual culture of that land, the heritage of that place and of the people who live there, but we are also members of one family, and one race – the human race – and if we believe in reincarnation, we will have lived in different lands which followed different customs and religious traditions, and those experiences will be part of our heritage too in this life. I believe that many of us are experiencing a real need now to weave our threads together, to unite the disparate strands of our memories and yearnings, of the wisdom and teachings found in both East and West. Now that we have the knowledge of all ages available to us in the World Wide Web, perhaps we can even open ourselves further than just including ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ in our sense of heritage, to allow ourselves to draw upon the entirety of the Perennial Wisdom Tradition. Perhaps we can start using instead the term ‘the World Wide Wisdom Tradition,’ agreeing with the teachings of the Dzogchen Tantra when it suggests: ‘As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers, seek teachings everywhere. Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze, seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered. Like a mad one beyond all limits, go where you please and live like a lion, completely free of all fear.’

Philip Carr-Gomm


CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF ITALY July 2017 Salvatore Mongiardo

Dear friends, We gather for the first time to celebrate a great event in history: the birth of Italy between the gulfs of Squillace and Lametia, this event happened about 4000 years ago. The abundant sweet waters and the rain, the snow on the mountains, the temperate climate, the lush vegetation and the fertile lands supplied their fruits all year long. When grain started to be cultivated the Oenotrians stopped breeding cattle, the King Italus gave them his name and so he founded the First Italy. The new nation was based on syssitia, the communal banquets when they offered an ox made of bread. Pythagoras took it as a symbol of the end of violence. Italia, Italia, shouted Pythagoras when he first saw Kroton, upon his arrival as a boy from Samos. Italia, Italia, he shouted again, when he arrived as a mature man in Kroton, where he opened his school. The Italic tribes living around the Greek cities during Pythagoras time had 5 distinguishing values that made them different from any other nation: FRIENDSHIP, FREEDOM, COMMUNION OF LIFE AND MATERIAL GOODS, WOMEN'S DIGNITY, VEGETARIANISM. Pythagoras processed and blended the above values with mathematics and philosophy, thus Megale Ellas (Magna Graecia) was founded.

We want to celebrate those principles especially in this day and age. These 5 founding values are not an optional, they are eternal guidelines, they are as sound as mathematical laws: such was the discovery made by Pythagoras. Five, like the the tips of the pentagonal star, therefore he called it Hygeia, health.

There is an order in the universe, as there is an order in ethics, if it is not respected we live in a badly organized society, as we can see everywhere in the world. Italia, Italia, shout the people arriving from Africa on their precarious boats, when they first see our coasts. Like Aeneas arriving from Troy, like the Greek colonizers, like Pythagoras, they also look for safety in this country. It is impossible to have all the african continent in this small peninsula, but it is possible to save all the 7 billions of people living on planet Earth. This is the miracle now possible with the Ethical Made in Italy! We, the New Pythagoric School, we are the direct heirs of that First Italy and Pythagoras, we urge all beings to act with free mind and pure heart in order to create a new mankind. The birth and re birth of Italy are an ideal that can open for us new horizons of light, joy and serenity. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, these are rights for all of us, but they can be realized only by respecting the universal laws of the ancient Italic ethics, the same ones Pytagoras understood and codified. Evoè

Salvatore Mongiardo

Crotone, 2 luglio 2017

Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

NOTE: with great pleasure we also share the information about the event for the rebirth of Magna Graecia (8 15 July 2017). There will be a kayak crossing between Taranto and Reggio Calabria, with events in every port touched and a final one in Kroton, where the two sailors will meet and celebrate this new adventure. The Ionian sea is called the Philosophical Sea. I invite you all to join us in this event in order to share the seeds of this rebirth.

WITNESSING Antonella Vicini In the silence of the room a man starts crying, it is not the wailing of an infant, it is not the temper of an adolescent, it is not the anguish of old age, but the powerful sound of recognition. I stand next to him and hear the sound of the earth opening in a deep canyon. I feel his tears falling on his land that can now be fertile again. It is a profound moment, everybody and everything stand still as silent witnesses of this event. I am deeply touched by the depth near and around me, I also feel blessed by what is happening and continues to happen in an eternal moment. I do not know what paths this unknown man has walked, what people have crossed his steps, what experiences have made him arrive in this place at this time, yet here he is and nobody needs to know except him. I have been touched once more by the light wings of spirit, by the beauty of remembrance, by the strength of unity. Being at one is a goal and a way of life, today I have felt it when the unknown man was opening up to his new life. When we do something in the sacred time/space of ceremony we do it for all present as well as all absent people. In his tears were thousands of years of male unexpressed anguish, the grief, the loss, the need to open the dam holding a vast lake of tears. He was not just crying for himself, but for all the men of the past, the present and the future, who will be freer in their expression. I am sure his life will be transformed in ways I cannot even imagine, I know he also changed mine.

There is a point in life when we break up or life breaks us. That place can be very painful, it certainly is uncomfortable. When all the aspects of our lives fall apart in front of our newly opened vision/comprehension. Nothing is solid anymore, life past and present, relationships, jobs, connections become liquid, almost transparent. And we are (alone) at the crossroad. Sometimes, we may think we are alone and the only ones on earth to suffer through all these labors, but we are not. Part of the path into the unknown is recognizing and honoring the help and support all around us. Sometimes it takes forms we would never expect. Yet it is there, we only need to ask! Asking is the first step. It can be a humbling experience, like kneeling in front of the majesty of creation, yet this inner kneeling is one more door into the unknown, a very surprising and rewarding one. We can then go back to what we knew and felt at ease with. But usually, such a move doesn't work in the long run. There are no right or wrong choices, these are just reflections on that delicate, tender place where our personal universe ends and we don't yet know if there is ever going to be another one. Right on the brink of the abyss, we are allowed all our fears, hesitations, doubts. Yet, yet... What moves us on? I believe we need: *a super human intent *a will beyond our limits *a profound faith in spirit. Let's look at all these aspects: Super Human doesn't mean a marvel action hero life style. The Latin word super indicates what goes beyond human. What we really need to do is going forward beyond our limited human experience and dive into the unknown.

Not knowing used to frighten me for a long time, until one day I realized I had no joy left in my life, because I had closed the door to what I didn't yet know. At this point we need clarity on what is our intent and we can ask: Am I here to bring joy, solace, help. Or am I here to foster anger, separation, discontent?... Both lists are endless, but we can ask ourselves: What makes my heart sing? What makes me free to fly in spite or because of the many engagements of life? Nothing can tie us down, if we are really free inside, otherwise we will find ourselves in the darkest of cells without a way out and with the most cruel of jailers: our own selves.

With clear intent comes a strong will that doesn't waver amid the temptations to fall back into the old ways. This kind of will requires daily discipline. For this reason, having a spiritual practice makes a huge difference. There is no need for complex rituals, it is enough to be grateful every day for the chance to be alive and aware. The more we practice gratitude, the stronger we become in our intent, so that our will can stand many setbacks without losing its focus. The bottom line, or the beginning point, is faith in spirit, whatever name we prefer to use for the powerful force that holds us and the universe together. When we reach faith, or if we start from it, we will have already taken a conscious or unconscious leap into the unknown. This is uncharted territory, where the rational mind is ill at ease, so what we need is a new mind. And so the cycle is endless, when we are broken, we finally have an opportunity to put ourselves together in a different way, when we realize the sum of our parts is much wider than what we used to know as our body/mind/emotion/spirit unity. Like many cultural heroes, we are broken, dismembered, we go through the fire of life that transforms us by burning away what we don't need anymore and we return to life completly new.

Antonella Vicini


Antonella Vicini http://badgermedicinespirit.wix.com/tirthayatra Writer and editor of THE BADGER, author of Talking with Gods, Sages, Fairies.... (a novel published in 2014). Steeped in classical and indological studies, I have spent all my life learning from people as well as from the ancient texts that keep revealing their immortal, thus contemporary teachings. I am happy when I can share new visions and face new challenges. I am a professional rebirther and trainer (since 1987), Reiki Master since 1991, stress management and leadership trainer, writer and visionary. I also lead workshops on shamanic journeying and soul healing. I am deeply grateful to all my teachers and elders. Badger Medicine Spirit

Composer, pianist, Italian teacher. Andrea "EXO" Garella began studying piano at 9 years old under the guidance of Walter Ferrato who shared with him the art of improvisation and composition. Between 16 and 20 he reaped the fruits of his studies with long concert tours. In everyday life he works in education and training in the field of safety. He is also a licensed designer for mechanical and thermotechnical projects. He has always been interested in occultism and esoterism. He is about to publish a book where he will delve into these studies connecting such Masters as H.P. Blavatsky, Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung, A. Einstein, Jeremy Narby, C. Castaneda,Rick Strassman, Jean Dubuis and more. Here you can find one of his musical pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FmaMRyjF6o

Claudia Enrico www.joyfullrecipes.com has been a Reiki Master Usui Shiki Ryoho since 1995. She practices and teaches Reiki classes. She has been Managing Director of the Reiki Magazine Italia™. She wrote a recipe book “Le ricette per la gioia” (Verdechiaro Edizioni) and she has participated in conferences and meetings sharing her experience and message of health and well-being. She is now an Energetic Nutrition Consultant. She lives and creates in Sanremo-Italy and she’s a free Spirit.

Daniele Sampalmieri born in Ancona, Italy. After his technical studies, he spent several years studying Yoga, Integrative Rebirthing, Meditation, Shamanism, Ayurveda, Nutrition and Cooking. He has lived in many countries because of his work in the food and beverage field. His home is in Kenya, he has been exposed to many cultures and even had the chance of living with some tribes. In the last 2 years he has devoted his attention to the Alkaline nutrition and Vegan cooking.

David R. Kopacz, MD The focus of my work is bringing creativity, spirituality, and healing to my work with clients as well as to the larger challenges that face health care and society. I work at Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Seattle in Primary Care Mental Health Integration and have an appointment as an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. I am board certified through the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, the American Board of Integrative & Holistic Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Medicine. I have worked in a number of practice settings over the years. Prior to moving to Seattle I spent three and a half years in New Zealand where I worked in Assertive Community Outreach at Manaaki House Community Health Center and also served as Clinical Director at Buchanan Rehabilitation Centre.

Fredric Lehrman http://www.nomaduniversity.com/ is one of the original “Wealth Psychologists” who looked deeply into the subconscious habit patterns that may either support or thwart personal financial success. He began teaching these insights in the early 1970’s, and his seminars, articles, and coaching have been the launch point for many of today’s best known experts and authors ever since. Fredric’s personal career has included intensive study with master teachers in many disciplines, and professional success in music, psychology, martial arts, photography, and global entrepreneurship, networking and innovation. He founded Nomad University in 1974 as a way to expand the concept of education as a life-long individual path of self-directed learning.

Giosie Colagrossi after some years in England and Germany, she discovered India, where she lived and worked for 6 years. In 1988 she became a Yoga teacher in India with the Master Svamiji Ravi Shankar, there she taught in various schools and universities such as Sholapur, Bangalore, Gulbarga, Trivandrum, Simla, New Dehli,Calcutta and Puna. Upon her return in Italy, she continued her studies with a degree in naturopathy and iridology. She currently lives and works in the province of Viterbo, so rich in natural and artistic beauty.

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.

Philip Carr Gomm http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/ Philip lives in the wide open landscape of the South Downs in Sussex, England, with his wife Stephanie. In his teens, he began studying Druidry as a spiritual path with Ross Nichols, the founder of The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. Later he took a degree in psychology from University College London, and trained in psychotherapy for adults at The Institute of Psychosynthesis, and in play therapy for children with Dr Rachel Pinney. He also trained in Montessori education with the London Montessori Centre, and founded the Lewes Montessori School. In 1988 Philip was asked to lead The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, and he combines this role in the Order with writing and giving talks and workshops.

Raffaella Vicini Born a double Scorpio, she has a degree in Law and has been working as lawyer for about 20 years. Her rational side has lead her to the law, while the deep, profound and mysterious side of her soul has guided her towards a path of personal growth (Rebirthing, Reiki, Yoga and other techniques). She loves to travel and learn about different cultures, she has met people of all colours, creeds, languages, learning and sharing their experiences.

Renato Tittarelli www.risoessenza.it www.renatotittarelli.it is a spiritual seeker and holistic practitioner. He has been teaching and sharing about non conventional medicines for the last 30 years: integral yoga, shiatsu, meditation, spiritual healing, numerology, alchemy, naturopathy, aromatherapy and massage. From 2000 has started to divulge more of his work in Italy and abroad working on the scientific as well as alchemical and hermetical aspects. He is the founder of SOAM (School of Holistic Aromatherapy and Massage), Didactic director or the Professional School of Aromatherapy in Livorno.

Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini http://www.vega2000.it/ http://www.dermoriflessologia.it have been researching for over 20 years in the field of psyco-alchemy. They are the creators of DermoReflexology and DermoAlchemy. In 2000 they founded the Association Vega for the study and publication of the new discoveries. Their professional course in DermoReflexology has been acknowledged by ASI/CON since 2012 as part of the natural and holistic arts.

Salvatore Mongiardo www.nuovascuolapitagorica.org born in 1941 at Sant'Andrea Jonio, he got his degree in Italy and his master in Germany and France. He worked in international marketing for many years, then he devoted his attention to writing. He investigates on human destiny and the deep reasons for violence. Since 2015 he has been the director of the New Pitagoric School.

Bianca Veronica Born in Sicily, Palermo, now living in Rome. The main themes of my life are the reasearch of the meaning of life, love for the arts, desire to help other people. For these reasons I have devoted my life to natural therapies, art therapy, painter, Reiki Master since 1995. I have started to write for an ancient memory that keeps calling me.

Rosana Liera www.rosanaliera.com is an internationally acclaimed award-winning artist, author and psychic. She has become member of the "International committee of artists for peace". Her work as a therapist combines her innate psychic and healing gifts with the knowledge acquired in her many journeys, and with 15 years of practicing several holistic disciplines. In 2009, after a near-death experience, Rosana started communicating with the angelic realm. Since then, she offers everybody the chance of meeting their angels and to rediscover their spiritual potential through her books, conferences, seminars and concerts all around the world. She is author of several books, dvd and courses on this topic.

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A PATH INTO WISDOM Becoming an Elder with Antonella Vicini and Lida Perry A path of reflection and deepening of our connection to our roots. We will get in touch with the eternal wisdom that belongs to all of humanity and all stages of life.

4 online sessions appointments with our lives ways to observe our lives steps into the mysteries + 1 final session to connect all the experiences The first 4 online sessions will be held every 2 weeks, the fifth will happen one month later, completing the circle of experiences. We will “meet� using Skype Please contact us at




Quilting is the art of creating very colorful quilts, using small pieces of fabrics stitched together preferably by hand, in different colorful and amazing patterns. My Quilts are stitched and quilted by hand to assure a more precise assembly and even thickness. It takes time to create a quilt: for a single bed at least 3 months are needed.

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THE PATH OF THE RED ROAD A Powerful Tool for Transformation

Through these beautiful and unique cards Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) shows us the Path of the RedRoad. A great wisdom teacher, Joseph Rael, imparts a personal message to each of us in the individual revelations of the cards.

Beautiful Painted Arrow (Joseph Rael) helps us understand through the blending of two languages, two separate realities, that we each come as a gift to life. . . . His use of sound in the practices he offers is very illuminating and special.”

Brooke Medicine Eagle on “Beautiful Painted Arrow”


CALABRIA UN MARE D'AMORE e NUOVA SCUOLA PITAGORICA Propongono dall'8 al 15 luglio 2017 l'evento dedicato alla RINASCITA DELLA MAGNA GRECIA Traversata simultanea in kayak da Taranto e Reggio Calabria e ricongiungimento, con gran finale, a Crotone. La navigazione avverrà sempre pagaiando sottocosta. Vanessa coprirà il tratto da Reggio a Crotone e Francesco quello da Taranto a Crotone. Le tappe, con partenza al mattino ed arrivo nel pomeriggio, condizioni di meteo e mare permettendo, saranno le seguenti: Da Reggio Calabria a Crotone: Partenza da Reggio Calabria ed arrivo a Melito Porto Salvo: sabato 8 luglio. Arrivo a Brancaleone: domenica 09/07. A Locri: lunedì 10/07. A Monasterace: martedì 11/07. A Soverato: mercoledì 12/07. A Catanzaro Marina: giovedì 13/07. A Le Castella: venerdì 14/07. Arrivo finale a Crotone: sabato 15 luglio in contemporanea al kayak proveniente da Taranto. Da Taranto a Crotone: Partenza da Taranto e arrivo a Metaponto: sabato 8 luglio. Arrivo a Policoro: domenica 9/07. A Marina di Amendolara: lunedì 10/07. Ai Laghi di Sibari: martedì 11/07. A Mirto Crosia: mercoledì 12/07. A Torretta di Crucoli:: giovedì 13/07. A Cirò Marina: venerdì 14/07. Arrivo finale a Crotone: sabato 15 luglio in contemporanea al kayak proveniente da Reggio Calabria. L'arrivo sarà salutato da altre barche che accompagneranno i kayak nel tratto finale e seguiranno serate di festa e manifestazioni, che saranno comunicate per tempo. Il Mare Jonio è chiamato Mare della Filosofia perché sulle sue coste è nata la Magna Grecia ad opera di Pitagora, che unì la sua sintesi filosofica allo stile di vita degli abitanti dell'Italia di allora. Il successo fu così strepitoso che ancora oggi la Magna Grecia è considerata uno dei grandi fenomeni della storia. Con questa “passeggiata”, che fa tappa ogni sera in una delle antiche colonie della Magna Grecia, noi intendiamo prendere coscienza di quei valori eterni che diedero splendore alla nostra terra e si ripropongono oggi al mondo intero per una vita individuale e sociale degna di essere vissuta. Ogni sera accoglieremo allo sbarco i nostri due naviganti, Vanessa e Francesco, e poi insieme festeggeremo per far rinascere una nuova era dopo la grave decadenza alla quale le vicende storiche ci hanno portato. Chiediamo a ognuno di andare oltre le angustie del presente e diffondere, partecipare, favorire quest'evento, che intende riscoprire i tesori di sapienza della nostra cultura per il bene di tutti. Un caloroso abbraccio e un invito a unirvi a noi per spargere sulle nostre rive semi di rinascita.

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October 2017

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THE BADGER June 2017  

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

THE BADGER June 2017  

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