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 goal, just like a good healer will not let go his/her search until the best solution is found for the person in need. Badgers have their homes underground, so that they go to the roots of things, the good healer does the same and keeps looking until she/he can find the most profound reason for a dis-ease or a psychological issue. We use the term healer in the very broad sense of somebody who takes care of a another person, be it a MD, a nurse, a psychotherapist, a physiotherapist, a masseuse, a spiritual healer. Whenever there is a person in need and somebody who takes care of her/him, that is a healer, in fact if you think of your own lives how many times was your Mum's or Dad's presence to make you feel better? Sometimes the need is subtler and more profound than a simple medical intervention, the human touch is needed and it really is the Panacea that cures all diseases. We believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food and the healing arts are beneficial to restoring that balance, health and sense of worth that each and every human being deserves. We offer you THE BADGER, the persistent healer, all the articles come from experts in different fields, each person has his/her own idea of what balanced health is, they are here to pass on information, give inspiration, receive your comments, suggestions, contributions. Each human beings has at least one of the keys, let's continue our quest!
Year 2 Volume 2
March 2016 The sprouting of seeds, the first gems on the still bare trees, the glory of the first daisies, the vibrant green of the grass, these are the heady and magnificent signs of the renewal of nature. May this season, with its attention to purification that always precedes a beginning, bring you your heart desires, the newly conceived ideas gestated over the long darker months so that you can give birth to fresh projects, enterprises, ideas and creativity in your daily life. New authors, new stories for this season of beginnings, have a wonderful and joyful spring. Antonella Vicini THE BADGER Quarterly Editor Thank you for your constant presence, keep in touch with us on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine
Antonella Vicini THE BADGER Editor Front and back cover photo Luis Vasconcelos Graphic Lay out
CONTENTS Tirthayatra Into the Matter Badger Medicine Taming Waves Poetry Readers' Corner Voices from the Stars
Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo Fredric Lehrman Paolo Benda St. Francis of Assisi Adrian Rooke Laura Bottagisio
Mother Earth Speaks
CONTENTS Food is our Ally and our Pleasure Building Photo-graphy Travelling Travelling East
Daniele Sampalmieri Antonella Vicini Stefano Buzzai Luis Vasconcelos Judy Hayes Raffaella Vicini
Laura Cuttica Talice
Quilting Away Human
Lida Perry Tanya Tewell
Samantha Fumagalli Flavio Gandini
Hagal Renato Mancini
The Nature of Druidry Witnessing The Authors
Philip Carr Gomm Milena Screm
short bios and photos
and links to previous volumes
products and services we believe in
If you want to become one of our authors, send us your ideas for articles and columns, contacting us via FB https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine
TIRTHAYATRA A Healing Journey Antonella Vicini The walk had been really hard this time, the progress slow and laborious. Her breathing was strained and weary, Maria felt all the years past weighing on her like lead, almost impeding her ascent. Almost,but not quite. Stronger than the grief, the fear of falling and the added weight of 30 years, stronger was her willpower, her sincere desire to reach the top and look at the beloved land once more. Her personal pilgrimage had been delayed for years by the many changes in her life. Maria stopped as soon as she saw a bench, but she chose to stand next to it and look at the landscape around her: the vast sea dotted with small islands, set among the beautiful green pastures and woods. This view was familiar to her, as if she was born here, etched in her heart (after her first ascent exactly 30 years earlier, as she reminded herself once more). Shrugging her shoulders, Maria left some of her useless baggage at the bench and kept walking, there was a very steep part ahead. Speaking quietly inside, she encouraged herself with a simple reminder: Just one step at a time, slowly and firmly. One step at a time she reached a second bench, the view was even more beautiful, since the grey sky had opened to offer sunshine over her path and on the top, now visible ahead.
Thanking for her ascent so far, Maria resumed her slow progress. When she was closer to the top, with the wind howling in her ears, her clothes flapping around her, she turned once more to contemplate the road now behind her. Memories started to come back of many such ascents, of a forgotten new yearâ€™s eve on top of the hill, of all the things she had learnt and shared from that heart place. Maria saw faces, stories, nuggets of her life and the lives of many people connected to hers by bonds of trust and respect. So much had happened in those 30 years: the loss of love, the gaining of a much deeper love, the friends, the teachers, the many students, the places visited and all the paths had brought her back here, where it had all started. When she felt complete with the vision of her past, Maria turned around and reached the top where she stood, bravely facing the cleansing wind. With its expert hands, the wind massaged away her losses, her fatigue, even the pain in her tired legs. Then it pushed her forward, so that she could see the other side of the mountain. The sun was shining brightly. Maria looked around in wonder, eventually she sat on a stone. Silently thanking for the gift of making it all way up, she prepared herself for a different kind of prayer.
There was nothing to ask, but much to be grateful for. Maria realized during her quiet time on top of the hill that she felt complete and whole, she was herself again. All the memories, the places and the people from her past had given her back a piece of herself, somehow forgotten or lost along the way. She felt the vastness of the space both inner and outer, without worries or concerns, but with a quiet and smiling awareness of being entirely there, present to herself at last, never to abandon her side again.
JOURNEY OF PILGRIMAGE All my life has been a pilgrimage of sorts. Little did I know that, when my Sanskrit Professor offered me to write a dissertation on the sacred places of Mathura (the birthplace of Lord Krsna), I would start a life long journey to the essence of pilgrimage. I dutifully translated the two obscure texts I was given (that phase alone took 1 year, talk about commitmentâ€Ś). I also compared them to a third text, an even more ancient one, so that I could check all the information, the discrepancies, similarities and so on (that part took another year!). When all the texts had been translated and examined, I started to study all the places mentioned in my 2 original texts, (obviously they had never been translated before). Many more months went by, the geography of the land was becoming familiar to me by then, the exotic names related to plants, stones, sacred tools, statues, places and local legends became part of my daily world. I was studying all the time, intrigued and fascinated, thus travelling further and further away from what I knew into the unknown mysteries of pilgrimage. At that time I thought I was a good philologist, I wanted to become an Indologist, I craved a university career and recognition, even fame in the very small world of academic elite. Life was going to push and pull me elsewhere, but in the almost 3 years I dedicated my energies to the dissertation (a 200 page book) those were my goals. I can recall that I studied everywhere: at my desk in Italy, in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, even at Barcelona University perusing a very ancient Sanskrit dictionary. Books were never far from me, the real heavy duty ones, no digital stuff was available then.
The books had beautiful covers and great paper when they came from Europe or America, but I loved dearly my Indian ones, which already had a vintage look even when brand new. But I am rambling away from the centre: PILGRIMAGE.
The Tirtha तर is the place of pilgrimage, originally a ford in the river, where people can safely bathe (subsequently the name was given to all the places where people could bathe and worship). The most sacred ones seem to look back towards their source. The word comes from the Sanskrit stem TR = to go across, so literally this is the place where we can go from one bank of the river to the one in front. What do we do when we perform this action? We leave behind what we know and cross towards the new, hence the second word Yatra (journey) both physical and mystical. In a tirtha the person bathes in the waters, thus purifying himself/herself, then he/she gets in touch with his/her source, the spirit that informs all life, whatever sect or cult the pilgrim followed. This was the meaning of the ritual ablutions. The stem TR is the same found in the - now famous – word avatara, अवतर, a being who chooses to cross the universe, thus descending from the purity of spirit into a human body, in order to re-establish the lost balance of dharma* धर, the root of all existence. Avatar is now used in so many different instances and virtual worlds to have become a common, albeit misused term. Yet something of the ancient meaning remains, since the avatars of today travel across worlds in order to represent our dharma in virtual worlds that actively simulate possible futures. Instead of bathing in the waters of the sources, these avatars point at the future, the place where the river will meet the sea and change forever.
To this day, people the world over, continue to go to sacred places of pilgrimage. Sometimes they have a miracle to ask, sometimes they simply want to be in places where the energy is crystal clear and accessible, well beyond any mind constriction. Sometimes people discover the only real and most powerful Tirtha: the heart. When they do, they bathe in it and their entire lives change. They are imbued with spirit which becomes the driving force in their daily lives, whether they know it or not, with or without their conscious consent. Those aware pilgrims who continue along the path will reach their peaceful destination, even if the journey may be rough at times. This is a life worth living
Antonella Vicini Photos and article by AV A homage to Glastonbury and its magic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcKwkKiQCH4 * Dharma from the stem dhr= to hold firmly, like a root holds a tree, in the same way the law holds together our social life. There are countless works in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions about the theory and practice of Dharma. The most famous outside India is probably the Bhagavad Gita.
INTO THE MATTER From Parents to Children Andrea Exo Across time and space sacred texts have told us stories of miraculous events and celestial phenomena which had no explanation for the cultures of the time, this fascinating world has often lead us away from the miraculous quality of the events in our daily lives. Discovering the difference between earth and sky has made lightning less picturesque than Zeus and his bolts, yet such an energy is still impossible to capture or contain, leaving more challenges for our descendants. One of the most prodigious event is generating life: every religion, cult, sacred or esoteric text has generation as it as its pivotal centre. Isn't through the womb and the knight pouring into the cup that â€œall things are generatedâ€?? Everything starts from what is infinitesimally small. Let's look at our breathing, we can feel our heart beating in silence, our perception of of the air in our lungs is possible through every small cell. Even without entering debates about dogmas, such as the survival of the soul after death, we can easily observe, like the first Gnostics used to do, that the Child is the Father taking form by grace of the Mother. In this way we can see in the newborn's look the expressions of those who came before him/her. There are entire generations in every child.
Giving birth is such an improbable event in the universe, that so far we have not yet found another world where this may happen and there are no proofs there may be the right conditions for it. What is more sacred than consciousness? What miracle is more intense than matter that goes from unconsciousness to consciousness to such a degree that thought inquires on itself, thus becoming object and subject of the inquiry itself? How far will we push ourselves in such exploration while remaining human? Even if the miracle of life doesn't astound the masses, yet it creates many debates.
For some having a child becomes an obsession, as if not having direct descendants provoked forces to be awakened that go well beyond common sense and love for the child, they become the voices of the unrestrained ego that demands its small immortality. Technology has helped us here, making the embryo a sort of gadget that can be implanted in a woman or another, even in future artificial wombs, so that any connection between child and mother-father is lost, together with any kind of spirituality. I certainly do not want to concentrate my attention on the ethical or moral aspects of the practices that lead a cell to become a life, but the subtle aspects are worth analizying. Oftentimes we hear grandparents talking to their grandchildren: â€œYour mother/father used to do the same!â€? Is character handed down by DNA? Certainly not, DNA shapes the senses and connectes them to the brain in the image and likeness of the original two projects. For this reason, if the external stimulus is similar, the reactions will be similar for generations. It is said that the fruit never falls too far from the tree, in such a way the child will replicate the parents in many aspects. This connection, if it is cultivated with love, creates a deep empathy among people of the same family, but before blood lines, before anything else comes Love: the perfect initiation, the goal of any discipline dominated by the Art. Could one day an artificial body substitute a flesh and bones one? Are we just electric signals from our senses, well organized in our brain? If we observed the miracle from such a perspective, killing would become just cutting the power off, the same way we switch off an appliance. Can we be convicted for this kind of action? Perhaps, there is more....
Going back to the newborn child, if we punish harshly whoever crushes a life, shouldn't we also ask ourselves questions on the Heart that is needed to turn it on? Isn't the union of sun and moon that gives us vital light? In the same way in which we can have artifical light and we can live without the rays of our precious star, we can procreate without the appropriate body parts. In a similar way the blinds will see without eyes, deaf people without ears, already a heart can beat without flesh. Is life without sun a real life? If the sun is the Pangenetor of our world, isn't the father the same for the child? Is it correct that before birth it is already decided who the child will see and whom he/she will not, even if they had given him/her life and form? Summing it all up the issue is not how the miracle happens, nor is the technology, the issue is life and what makes us alive.
The issue has always been Love or its absence, spirit or its absence. Without these it is useless to return to see, to feel or even to be born and die. What makes us human is not an electric signal that stimulates neurons, but how we use our life and the happiness that comes from it is the centre of everything. Before EGO, before reducing everything to pure mathematics. If we want to remain Men and Women perhaps we can ask ourselves if it is still Love guiding our steps and if we are giving the new generations their due respect.
Andrea Exo Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
BADGER MEDICINE Dragon Farming (continued) Fredric Lehrman HEMISPHERIC RE-WIRING
Dragon Farms cannot be set up according to surveys or blueprints. They involve true organic architecture, incorporating the intuitive Feng Shui of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house with the experimental artistic spontaneity of a Jackson Pollack or John Cage. Let the landscape sprout the building, within the ordering force of the forest or desert or city. This is design at the border of the known and the unknown, where seeing the visible form pops open (silently) a window into a place that precedes language and sets loose the waking dream. This “dreaming” or intuitive listening winds its way through and around the “solid” walls, and in its undulating motion of thought begins to resemble what we call “Dragon.” The essence of these creative exercises is an equivalence of object and perception of the object, somewhat like the infinite sequence of reflections in facing mirrors, or as in watching a security camera video that shows you the image of yourself watching the security camera, and so on ad infinitum. These cascading visual echoes are the scales of the virtual dragon, the “dynamic form” that philosopher Suzanne Langer detected behind the material world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNpcI1rEQUk Frank Llyod Wright 1933 Fallingwater House
Machu Picchu dragon landscape, dragon city built by the Incas.
This line of thinking speaks to the bridge between the veils, the Elf Queen on her snow-white horse with little silver bells woven into each lock of braided mane that chimed as she came â€œriding between the worldsâ€? of the Celtic faerie land. Where can we hear the music that Bach/Brahms/Berlioz/Bowie may have dreamed but never got around to teaching us? Those works are alive in the libraries of ElfLand.
Hello, hello!… come back to this page and continue reading. So, continuing on with decorating your Dragon Farmhouse with “stuff,” remember, dragons like sparkly objects that modify and refract light… they collect them. Once you start thinking about dragons you will notice things that didn’t catch your attention before. Be selective in your choices, and only bring onto the premises items that a dragon would tweet about to friends and relatives. These “crystalline objects” function like natural transducers to receive, process, and amplify signals from adjacent universes both galactic and sub-atomic. As for scale, dragons are neither big nor small. Einstein was relatively astute about that. The plan of “Build it and they will come” was also connected to a diamond, wasn’t it? * Sports teams are dragons. That’s enough to muse on for today. Relax and hang out. We’ll pick you up from here next time.
(TO BE CONTINUED) Editor's note *Field of Dreams 1989 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ay5GqJwHF8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SB16il97yw
TAMING WAVES Into Radionics part 2
Ghaumery and De Belizal, important researchers at the beginning the XX century, affirmed that geometrical shapes can upload and emit the Earth magnetic flux, if they are orientated towards the magnetic North. We can find these concepts, although expressed in a different way, in the Chinese Feng Shui which has been based from the very beginning on the desire to acknowledge the power of nature and life in harmony with it. In 2500 BCE we already have evidence of such kind: the imperial officials used to explore the lands chosen for building houses, in order to avoid places exposed to malignant spirits, disease or possible accidents, called the dragon's veins. In radionics, shapes are important, especially when we start to work with the "witness" concept, since they allow us to work with people, places, situation, etc that are fare away from us.
These are the principles on which the use of witnesses is based: The first postulate of sympathetic magic states: Any action directed towards an atom or infinitesimal part, even if it is separate from the original body, will be felt by the entire body. This is the concept of witness. The second postulate â€“ the principle of Resonance: All things and all beings are in constant relationship with their "witnesses" ; whatever reaches the "witnesses" reaches them as well and viceversa, at any distance. This is the the law of similars. Third postulate â€“ The listening The results obtained will be directly proportional to the good or imperfect conditions of the receiver, as well as the emanating power. The state in which the treatments are performed are connected to their results.
WITNESSES Witnesses are those elements that are identical in quality, that is in radiance, to the bodies under study,research or analysis. There can be strong witnesses : they are samples of the whole, for example part of the metal or fluid under research. If we are working with a person, they can be saliva, hair, nails, etc; however recently it has been discovered that a photo or a person's signature carries his/her kind of energy, therefore making them strong witnesses. Cesare Bardeloni, well known in the field of radionics, made many experiments on witnesses, realizing that human writing can be used in order to identify a person through the personal wave that can be measured every time. Therefore, for Bardeloni, writing is personal energy that â€“ through the physical movement of the hand â€“ carries out the thought wave in a graphic form that corresponds to the word without sound. We don't know what kind of instruments Bardeloni was using at the time, but he concluded that writing determines the rythm of the individual vibration expanding in space, we can determine in which direction we can find the subject when we are in "attunement". Bardeloni affirms about witnesses: "Each drawing vibrates in the same way as the represented piece of land" The weak witnesses are maps, plans, clothes or accessories from a person. Sometimes the witnesses need to be made artificially: vials are used with a substance that is impregnated of energy waves that represent the substance under examination.
How to use witnesses When working outdoors, it is important to hold the witness in the same hand with the pendulum. If we work on a table it can be touched with the other hand. Some pendulum are empty, so that the witness can be placed inside. A signature or a photo can be photocopied and have the same effect as witnesses. It is important to avoid polluting the energy of the witnesses with other people's energy or radiation of any kind, therefore it is important to keep all the witnesses in different envelopes (black, if possible), or wrapped in tin foil, in order to avoid reciprocal interference.
Paolo Benda Edited and Translated Antonella Vicini
POETRY Canticum Fratris Solis Laudes Creaturarum Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore, tue so’ le laude, la gloria e l’honore et onne benedictione. Ad te solo, Altissimo, se konfàno et nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare. Laudato sie, mi’ Signore, cum tucte le tue creature, spetialmente messor lo frate sole, lo qual è iorno, et allumini noi per lui. Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore, de te, Altissimo, porta significatione. Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora luna e le stelle, in celu l’ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle. Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per frate vento et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo, per lo quale a le tue creature dai sustentamento. Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sor’aqua, la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta. Laudato si’, mi' Signore, per frate focu, per lo quale ennallumini la nocte, et ello è bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora nostra matre terra, la quale ne sustenta et governa, et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba. Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo tuo amore, et sostengo infirmitate et tribulatione. Beati quelli ke 'l sosterrano in pace, ka da te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati. Laudato si’ mi’ Signore per sora nostra morte corporale, da la quale nullu homo vivente pò skappare: guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali; beati quelli ke trovarà ne le tue santissime voluntati, ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male. Laudate et benedicete mi’ Signore' et ringratiate et serviateli cum grande humilitate »
San Francesco ca 1224
Canticle of the Sun and Praise of all Creatures Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To You, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name. Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and You give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful. Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which You give Your creatures sustenance. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs. Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by You, Most High, they will be crowned. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them. Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve Him with great humility.
READERS'CORNER Solar Eclipse at Stanton Drew Shadows descend across this ancient timeless place, of standing stone, stirring deep hidden memories of a time when old, and now forgotten Gods, trod these ancient paths. The darkness races across the land , like hares before a storm, the noble hawk unceremoniously flees to its high nest, heart frozen in confused terror. The stones loom more strange in this twilight world between worlds, whispering of ritual and death, through eon upon eon now past into space dust. The soft southerly wind caresses my inner ear with the mystical magical chanting of the old priests and guardians of this sacred place. Arianrhod begins the retreat to her coal black diamond studded throne, this was here moment frozen in time, like dew drops at midwinter,fleeting powerful, but always destined for brief magnificence. Lugh,tentatively, guiltily reclaims his right to shine in golden splendor over this land called Albion. In the hedgerows the sap begins to rise the buds begin to burst forth, the primrose basks in bejeweled splendor, spring has returned . Blessed Be.
Adrian Rooke Spring Equinox 2015
VOICES FROM THE STARS The Archetypes are changing: Saturn part 1 Laura Bottagisio Recognizing Saturn true voice it is not always easy, because it shows us, in a realistic and detached way, what we need to let go of and what is ripe in and out of us. Its glyph is a cross with a wave that represents matter in its time cycle. Saturn is the last of the planets visible to the naked eye, so it is the connection between the closer and faster planets and the slower ones, those set in the depth of space. This planet represents, more than any other, the three passages faced by humankind during our evolution, both as individuals and as species: awareness, knowledge, consciousness. These may seem just simple words, but they contain the deep meaning of our evolution, as well as our responsability in passing the information to the future generations, so that life can continue on earth. In such way all the ancient traditions and knowledge can be handed down through the centuries and millenia, thanks to the progression due to Saturn's cycle in its orbit around the sun.
Saturn was visible clearly in the night skies of over 2000 years ago, when Jesus was born, it was part of such an important planetary configuration that some scholars believed it to be the comet. Saturn was mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts, even earlier in AssyrianBabylonian sources, as the supporter of radical changes in society and in spirit matters. From this point of view Saturn can be assimilated to the prophet of the invisible god, because its nature and function want to give roots in the Earth to what comes from the cosmic depths, so that it can mature and evolve through the generations. In the Sumerian language its name was Anshar, often portrayed standing on the back of a bull, in order to underline its deep connection with the Earth and its function as reference point for any human progress. Stones, rockes, minerals are all its symbols. In stone the invisible hand of god has written the 10 commandments, the law that has sprouted good roots into the earth. With the stones transformed into menhirs people built magic circles, in close correlation with the solar movements. Those circles were perfect â€œmachinesâ€? for connecting with cosmic frequences, as well as for healing and strenghtening the positive energy on Earth. These are only some examples of the mediating function of Saturn between Earth and Sky, between physical and spiritual.
To be continued
THE TWELVE SENSES and THE TWELVE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC In the temperate climate belt around the Mediterranean sea, where the art of astrology started, the Zodiac perfectly mirrors the seasonal transformations of nature. The most evident sign of change is reflected in our food: since the seasonal products have the nutritional elements best suited for the different times of the year to keep us well balanced and in good health. After the autumn aequinox the sun is lower and the colors turn from green to warm yellow, reddish and orange, at the end of this process the leaves fall leaving bare and unadorned nature around us. The plant world is the meeting place between earth and sky. The astral and planetary energy enters the leaves and reaches the roots giving its cosmic nourishment, while the healing energy of the earth climbs up from the roots and becomes a gift for us through the fruits, reconnecting with the sky. This exchange seem to stop in the cold period of the year, when the plants shut down, nature seems to be silent, static and non productive. The earth actually returns to herself, in its pulsating heart, where it meets its light centre at the winter solstice. This path is a dark tunnel leading to the tresure room, the king's hall where immense riches are preserved, they need to be discovered, brought back to the light, to be gifted and worn, so that they can be admired. The signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius/Archer invite us to feel the desire for that treasure inside each one of us, to discover our light and enlighten our entire life.
SCORPIO SENSE OF SMELL What sense was absolutely necessary for our ancestors when entering dark unknown places? Obviously the sense of smell. Smell is connected to our ancestral part, at the beginning of time when the cerebral cortex was not predominant. Smell is connected to the limbic system, which regulates our affections, especially the hippocampus, that is the area of memories. For our ancestors, before the homo sapiens, even before the erectus, smell was the sense that guaranteed their survival and ours as well. Edible food could be recognized via the sense of smell, hostile environments avoided, with smell men could follow their preys and find food, or avoid the bigger predators; those ancient progenitors could smell an approaching storm in order to find shelter. All mammals, to this day, still use the sense of smell, and – until we developed the neocortex – we were not so different from them. In the Talmud (Berakhòt 43b) it is said: “Smell is the only sense from which the soul has pleasure, while all the others give pleasure to the body” According to the Midrashim, the smell was not directly involved in the original sin connected to the tree of knowldge. In fact in the Book of Genesis it is said that Eve “saw that the fruit was good” and Adam “ listened to his wife's voice” and they both touched it and tasted it. But smell had no direct role, because it is the most spiritual of all senses. It allows us to discover and differentiate very subtle realities, which are hidden to the other senses. The Kabala explains that God, in order to create the worlds, made a restriction: he veiled his presence within the space-time that was going to host the universe. He had to do this or the creatures would not have been able to resist his splendor. Nevertheless, such restriction opened the way to a sense of lack, need, or even the inability to perceive god's presence. But the restriction has only hidden some part of the divine, in the empty space there is an impression of his presence, something that can be compared metaphorically to a perfume.
So what the eyes cannot see, the ears cannot hear, is recognized by the sense of smell, even if there are no clear, evident, logic and irrefutable proofs of god's existance, the spiritual smell discovers its perfume, it discovers the traces of his presence. This is the smell of rose or violet that some people can perceive when they are in high places, where some saints lived or there were apparitions. All these descriptions are part of the Scorpio symbology, this sign is associated to November, the month that most shows the naked nature, so that a parallel reality can be perceived which is invisible to the physical eye, but present to the soul's sight. Every smell we perceive puts us back in touch with our emotional world. Intense and heady perfumes, delicate and sweet perfmues lead us in the lands of the soul, where we can discover or re-discover states of being that expand our awareness and make us feel well. Unpleasant and acid smells, pungent and nauseating smells remind us of fermentation, decomposition and putrefaction of matter, we usually stay away from it, since it reminds us that everything is perishable and it will dundergo such transformation with death in order to be reborn in a new form. Perishing and being reborn are the keys to the secret of life: when we die to ourselves we let go of the masks we are wearing, thus recognizing the light pulsating inside us. Scorpio is the sign of initiations to the â€œsecond birthâ€?, the rebirth we seek and want. Its glyph describes the four phases of the alchemical process: its three vertical lines hint at the three passages to be faced in order to be purified and transformed (nigredo, albedo, citrinitas), while the fourth line, with its freeing tip, represents the last phase (rubedo) when everything is transformed into light, since rubedo is vital fire, the shining and precious gold. This is the fourfold process that accompanies the transmutation of matter, be it solid, or fine subtle energy, like our thoughts.
SAGITTARIUS SENSE OF SOUND The fourth and last phase, the rubedo, is the expanding heat and vital force red color, the same as fire which is the element of Sagittarius, its deepest essence. The tip of the Scorpio, sculpted in matter in order to pierce darkness and be reborn in light, now becomes a bright arrow projecting in the infinite cosmos where everything is sound. This is the primordial sound of Divine Logos that becomes solid matter through the galaxies, the stars and planets, as well as us individual and sentient beings. Matter encloses the power of this Sound, it vibrates in us, even when we cannot hear it. Once we are out of the darkness, we are free to listen to the sound of our soul that is constantly tuned on the celestial harmonies. In the same way our planet is in tune, the heart of Mother Earth vibrates at Light frequency which is the sound of our cosmic mother, the origin of all life forms. The Archer is the return to our divine origin, in the zodiac this is the night house of Neptune. This planet is the great archetype of potentials without boundaries, magic that exceeds and rules matter, Neptune appears for the first time in Sagittarius, as a confirmation that, before accessing the beauty and harmony of the spheres, we need to overcome the previous eight stages or challenges that Earthly Life asks us to face in order to get rid of what is superfluous, to be born new, without attachments. Thanks to the sound we can name everything and give it a soul, the naming gives an imprint, in our name we recognize ourselves and we are identified by it. Along our many lives we have had many names, vibrating in different ways, each name has a specific tune that vibrates each time it is pronounced, that sound accompanies our entire life Changing our name means changing identity and be initiated into a new life. This happens to people in show business as well as in the spiritual path (monks, nuns...)
There are colors and sounds in the cosmos comprising thousands of harmonies, they are channeled through ourselves and produce instinctive emotions, they will produce conscious thoughts that will take form in language and action, where Time rules. In such way life flows. The arrow of Sagittarius points towards the infinite space reflecting, through Neptune, this intagible yet powerful sound of the universe which â€“ through us â€“ is clothed in matter and becomes creative word, in perfect tuning with our soul, our ever present inner guide.
Laura Bottagisio Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
MAGIC! ADRIAN ROOKE Interviewed by Antonella Vicini The wind is bitterly cold, although the sun is partially shining over Stanton Drew, a magnificent set of stone circles just outside Bristol, UK. I cannot find here the grandeur I recognized in Stonehenge, where the massive stones suggest immense strength and superhuman powers, here everything is smaller, immersed in the deep green of the grass and trees around, yet there is something that attracts and intrigues me, as much as the man who has lead me here, Adrian Rooke, a well known figure in the O.B.O.D. (Order of Bards Ovates and Druids). He traces a circles for us to be in and say our prayers without interruption, in this sacred space I will ask my questions and listen to his story.
Adrian's story I didn't find my path easily, it really was a gift from the gods, when they saw me wandering in the woods, utterly lost. Since childhood I have wanted to have contact with some form of god, I was the only one in my family, no one else was interested, but me. I chose to go to church, since I was looking for some kind of connection to the source of all things. The church I attended was very strict, so there was not much space for freedom of thought.
Whenever I thought of god for me it was female, the goddess, it made more sense, since women create life, it felt right for me, even if it was not accepted at the time, especially in the church. I used to have Hindu friends, so, whenever I went to their place, I was fascinated by the incense and the statues of Ganesh and Siva, I loved them. When the Pastor in the church I was attending had a complete turn towards catastrophic, I decided to leave the congreagation, since I have always believed all religions had something to give, none of them could be entirely negative. When I became a teen ager I started to be interested in drinks, drugs and women, losing touch with religious practice, but I still wanted to be somehow connected to spirit and â€“ for this reason â€“ I was always reading about different religions and traditions. At 21 a major heart surgery caused me to have an out of body experience, when I felt a deep connection with the world, because of it I resumed my search again. I needed to feed my soul. So I started a period of intense practice: Transcendental Meditation for many years, Buddhist mantras, shamanic rites, I was always trying to find solace and a sense of belonging. I met many good people that way, but it felt like wearing someone else's cloack not mine. So I continued my search; about 25 years ago I found by chance a little booklet about Druidism, although I had always been interested in druids, I felt they were magical beings, like the ancient stones I had always been connected to. Whevener I watched on tv the annual gatherings of Druids at Stonehenge, my heart skipped a beat, so touching that was for me. I remember that I had looked everywhere, even a charity that was called The druid friendly society.... I desparied to find the real druids, so I asked in my prayers to find them.
At that time I run a general store, one of my customer, with whom I used to talk a lot about esoterysm, gave me a magazine where I saw this line: "Are you interested in the revival of native English spirituality and Druidry? If you are, please contact..." I still remember the ad by heart, because it was the sign I had been waiting for, I immediately contacted them and received the pack from OBOD: that was the beginning of my path. I received one of the first packs, there weren't many people back then, and I realized I had finally found a framework within which to work, learn and grow. In the end what really matters is to be oneself in order to be a druid, in a closer relationship with the earth and the world around.
Stanton Drew I first discovered it when I was about 7 or 8, the site is close to my uncle's garage, so I often used to visit on Sunday afternoons. I kept seeing these stones and coud not understand what they were about, I felt they were looked after by the local spirit (genius loci), since the stones looked huge to me then. For me it was a magical place and I knew that my destiny was connected to these stones. At times, I seemed to have almost forgotten them, but whenever I came here to see them, it was like coming home, I felt they were my personal friends. When I started to work with the elements of stone and the earth I went back to the circle and I was welcomed as somebody who could make them come alive again, so it was a mutual need. I spend time here regularly, often I am entirely alone. I came recently on a full moon night: the whole place was illuminated by effervescent white silvery light, this amazing show of beauty was just for me and the spirits around. Sometimes I wonder why few people spend time here, but I have come to think that this place keeps people at bay, so not everybody can really "see" it in its full power. Once I did an initiation here, I called in the spirits and I felt the place was packed wth people. I was almost afraid to open my eyes just in case they were there... all the ancestors had come out to witness the ceremony, it was one awesome moment. One of those times that only happen once in a lifetime. To sum it up: I keep an eye on the stones and they keep an eye on me. The stones feed my soul and I give them my honor reverence and respect, being in their company is pure joy. I use the stones to connect with my gratitude, I cast a circle and I bless them with the elements, I like to make a ritual of the time I spend here.
One day, after a ritual, an old lady approached me, I half expected the complaints that so often I hear about us pagans. Instead she surprised me when she told me that she was happy about what we were doing, because the old stones were waiting to be woken up! From an historical point of view: Stanton Drew has 3 stone circles, a burial chamber, 2 causeways and the river (which used to have a different path). For some it was a Moon circle, I personally think it may be so. The bigger circle was massive and may have had a roof on it, it would have been enrmous, like an archaic cathedral. The first circle was for initiation, the third one is on the hill with a panoramic view of the valleys around. There is there a neothilitic structure of unclear usage on top, from there you can see the other circles and the valley of Bristol. In ancient times people came here as pilgrims to visit the circles, there are energy lines between Avebury, Stonehenge and Stanton Drew. It was built around 3000 BCE, some say even earlier, up to 5000 BCE. Druidry I live my druidry on a daily basis, and it lives me, it is integrated in my daily life. I have had again major heart surgery recently, so I know I am more than a body. I live surrounded by my ritual objects and I live the way I want, it is all in service: for this reason I am a celebrant and a counsellor and I think my relationship with the elements and the awen* has made me a better pratictioner. I meditate daily and this discipline expands my energy body thus maximizing my capacity to work with other people. I want to repeat this: the main thing is to be of service to people and the planet. I spend as much time as possible in nature, the last heart surgery was a reminder of beauty in life, sitting in awe of the creation is essential, because the simple things are the most important.
I always feel connected to the animals and the all the elements of nature. Instead of dwelling on the negative, I choose to dream a new dream, where we can live as brothers and sisters, where we don't pollute the world, where we fight for what is right, we go and plant trees if needed, grow plants, bless them and these are the things that validate my life. All of this comes from my druidic experience. Not all human beings can do magnificent things, but all human beings can do small things magnificently! This is what we do: we gaze at the moon.
Adrian Rooke Interview and photos by Antonella Vicini Editor's Note *Awen litterally is a Welsh, Cornish and Breton word for "(poetic) inspiration". In the Welsh tradition, awen is the inspiration of the poet bards. Emma Restall Orr, founder and former head of The Druid Network, defines awen as 'flowing spirit', 'Spirit energy in flow is the essence of life'. In respect for nature you can watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM
MOTHER EARTH SPEAKS About Community Claudia Enrico My being has been transformed by my experiences with the energies of Nature and the Earth, and has enabled me to be in touch with its strength and purity. It has been a fundamental passage. What I’ve perceived and felt widened my horizons, and my heart began to open. I started to find fragments of myself, and I also found fragments of crockery in the ground. This experience has really been significant. Once, while I was tilling the soil, I saw among the little stones something that really was not a stone, but a fragment of crockery, perhaps a coffee cup or a saucer. I picked it up because I liked its color and its sketchy pattern, which allowed me to picture the motif of the entire object. I set it aside and I began a collection of things I’ve found by chance in the soil, which surfaced after a rain, and were enlightened by the sun just to catch my attention. As though I were a young archeologist I investigated the origin of these fragments of crockery, and I discovered that my grandfather, many years ago, got rid of coffee cups, dishes, and pots that were chipped or broken by throwing them to the ground. According to his philosophy they should have blended with the soil and sooner or later they probably should have dissolved. I’ve found many of these fragments, spread everywhere in the ground. Often they were pieces of the same crockery. Of some of them, looking at their pattern, I could still picture the whole object. Of others, maybe one day I will put together several pieces and, who knows, perhaps the original shape.
For many aspects of one’s existence, this experience becomes an interesting metaphor. To put together the pieces of oneself, of one’s acquired knowledge, allows one to have a more homogeneous vision of the picture of one’s own life. The found unity, and the greater feeling of completeness, helped me to better understand the purpose of my life, and what direction to follow. I’ve been able to see what my gifts are, to discover my talents, and also to honor them by sharing them with others. From “Fragments” - Le ricette per la gioia by Claudia Enrico Verdechiaro Ed. ©
Putting together the pieces: sometimes it takes a whole life to do so. We often feel something is “missing” but we don’t know “what”. Is it missing because I lost it or because I haven’t found it yet? In the times we live in, many referral points have disappeared. Human values like respect, honor, caring, protection just to name few, seem an old fashioned way to relate among us, animals and Nature. People often are far, very far from their original well being which is supposed to be a natural condition of the human existence on this Earth. As we well know: separation from the Divine Source of Life is the main cause of disease and discomfort. Separation this is the name of the problem. Internet and the Social Networks, tablets, smartphones are creating a new way to increase this separation between Human Beings. These technological tools are very helpful if they are well used. On the contrary they could creates lonely islands of individuals who are constantly fixing their attention= their energy on a small screen, totally detached from the reality of the world. Is it a kind of escape from one’s own emotions or thoughts or reality? Instead of going toward healing and resolution of our inner feeling of separation, we risk to be blown away from our true consciousness as Divine Beings embodied in a fantastic physical temple. I’ve been thinking about all that, once more after a personal experience, when I was very close to a dear friend of mine who recently passed away. I started to have clearer in my mind that often separation starts from a lack of Community.
Community inside oneâ€™s own body is a natural condition. Our cells work together for a common purpose that is the life and wellbeing of our body. But each Human Being needs a Community outside and around as well. Being alone inside means being alone outside too, not having a feeling of belonging to an outdoor Community brings a feeling of uselessness in oneâ€™s own life. Sometimes it is difficult for us to ask for help and support, as if we didn't deserve it. We try to be so selfishly independent that we fight hard for life, instead of living lightly.
We need to enter in alignment with our inner Community in order to go back to the Community with other Beings. “Community is able to raise vibrational and spiritual immunity” as Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith says. Isn’t it an interesting statement? That’s what we need more as Human Beings: Com-Unity coming back to the union with the Spirit inside and outside. Putting together the lost or missing pieces of our Soul.
Just have a look at Mother Nature in this time of spring to better learn another Life lesson. New Energy vibrations are raising the frequency of the soil, the plants, the animals around us. The entire garden is awakening and it is beginning to blossom. I’ve been looking at the almond-tree in my garden, the first blossoming tree of this period. It’s full of flowers and bees and other impollinators are buzzing all over it. It seems to my eyes just the perfect representation of what a Community means. The petals of each flower are protecting the inner part of it and with their beauty and scent are attracting the impollinators. There are thousands of flowers working together for the purpose of reproduction. Soon many fruits will appear, each one protecting the seed of life inside them. Bees are working hard to do their work and to bring pollen to their beehives, their place of Community. I receive all this Beauty in my heart and I feel so grateful. I feel I’m a ”member” of this living Community. My invitation is to go back to this feeling of membership to Life. Inside…outside…all around…forever! Namaste!
Claudia Enrico 2016 © Edited by Antonella Vicini
AROMATHERAPY AND ALCHEMY Massage and Aromatherapy Renato Tittarelli ALCHEMY TODAY Alchemy is a path of knowledge, already well known some thousands years before Christ in the entire ancient world. Alchemy has been one of the columns of western civilization up until the XVII century, it has advanced the development of medicine, remedies and cures, even today it can help people who want to maintain a well balanced physical and spiritual health. There is a spiritual alchemy, inner or mental, that is different from the metallurgical and vegetal – spagirical – which are defined as external. Carl Jung defined alchemy*: “ Today we are able to detect how alchemy has paved the way for psycology: on one hand leaving as its legacy, without intending to, in its abundance of symbols, a series of symbolic representations that are precious for the modern interpretation methods; on the other hand, since its conscious goal was synthesis, it indicated the same symbolic processes that we can find in our patients'dreams. “ C. G. Jung studied alchemy for about 30 years, so much so that he considered it a metaphor for the psycoanalytic therapy, for the evolution of life and humankind, thus placing it in the same class of medical science, although preserving its mystical and esoteric nature. The term esoteric is used here as hidden to the crowds, an attitude that helps in elevating the deep knowledge of reality, thus leading us beyond the limitations of the senses and the ordinary mind.
From the point of view of curing body and mind, St. Hildegard of Bingen (one of the first holistic practictioner in the Middle Ages) believed alchemy's goal is to re-establish Viriditas = Vitality. From the soul point of view C.G. Jung affirms alchemy facilitates the path of the soul individuation. Therefore we can affirm that alchemy is a path of transformation, that implies an inner path, it is not accessible to everybody, nor it is easy to transmit or comprehend. Alchemy means also transmutation, metamorphosys, or in psychic and energetic terms : it is a path towards change of a higher quality. The ancient tradition is not easy to access, since the practitioners kept their secrets well guarded, as a way to protect themeselves. In this article we will examine how the alchemic methods can be applied to the aromatherapy massage, which we will call from now aromaalchemic massage.
Holistic Aromatherapy It is a modern method, based on the ancient knowledge of pure essential oils, from aromatic plants, and used in a personal growth process. As you have read in the previous articles**, the natural essential oils can be used in a variety of ways: from health, to cosmetic, to perfumes, to food and prevention of common diseases. Aromatherapy only uses pure and natural essential oils, without diluting them, nor reconsctructed, nor adulterated. Even if they are often called oils, the essential oils have no vegetal fat in them. The definition of oil is due to the distillation process since, after it, the oils separate from water and dissolve in vegetable oil. Sometimes they are also called volatile or etheric oils. The term essential oil goes back to the renaissance and it is strictly connected to the development of the distillation techniques used during the alchemical process. Distillation implies a process of purification from coarse to subtle, volatile substances are separated from non volatile ones, what can decay is separated from what is incorruptible, in order to achieve the Quintessence, the meaning, the essence of any thing. Systems of extraction In steam current extraction is preferred if the aromatic part of the plant is in its leaves, roots, or bark, such method ensures a long duration and supplies essential oils. The extraction by cold pressure is used mostly for citrus fruits, from this the essence is produced. Chemical extraction with alcool or hexane is used mostly for flowers and supplies the absolute essence. Extraction with a fat or enfleurage, used for delicate flowers, supplies the enfleurage oil, although it has almost disappeared for its high cost,
The essential oils can be identified with their Latin botanical name and divided according to chemotype (when present), i.e. the main chemical components in that botanical species. The chemotype will determine specific actions and the market value. We can compare the essential oil to a drop of light, this is the true identity of the healing intelligence present in the plant or flower.
The alchemical aromatherapy massage â€œDaily health is guaranteed by a daily aromatic bath and a balsamic massageâ€? Hyppocrates. Using the principles of alchemy: understanding the energetic and symbolic aspects of nature, purifying, revitalizing and regenerating the dense matter and the coarse aspects of human nature. In such a way the alchemist imitates nature: studying, transforming, freeing the energy in matter and in our consciousness.
ÂŠ Renato Tittarelli Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
** Articles on Alchemy and Aromatherapy can be found in THE BADGER Year 1 Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and Year 2 Volume 1.
Food is our Ally SPICE MEDICINE
Daniele Sampalmieri 2. Chilli, Cumin, Coriander
CHILLI Chilli is commonly used in cooking, but not everybody knows its beneficial properties. Capsaicin is the main active principles, it stimulates and increases the blood circulation, it is the active, spicy hot element. Chilli is antirheumatic and antibacterial, it facilitates the production of gastric juices, it contains minerals, flavonoids and vitamins, among them vitamin C. It stimulates the metabolism and the digestive process, it's well known for its cleansing properties. Chilli helps us to keep the sugar levels low, together with the above mentioned support to blood circulation, it is good for the heart and helps maintaining your ideal weight, since it burns the excess fat and eliminates toxins via perspiration
CUMIN Cumin is a spice from India and the Eastern Mediterranean area. Its cultivation needs high tempertuare, for this reason it is cultivated in India, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Mexico and Chile. It is rich in iron, it reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, it helps in resisting against diabetes, it improves the immune response and counteracts osteoporosis. It contains several antioxidants. Cumin also detoxifies the entire body, it improves the digestion and assimilation of nutrients, it counteracts abdominal swelling and intestinal gas. Its essential oil is useful for the respiratory tract. It is also used in cosmetics for detergents, toothpastes, mouthwash, stimulating massage oils. It is also used in tincture, essential oils, herb teas and extracts in phytotherapy. Cumin has been used for thousands of years in many dishes and sauces like Curry and Masala. In the middle ages it was used widely in baking all over Europe. There are traces of its use in Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman cooking. It is excellent in seasoning potatoes, vegetables, in marinating with olive oil and/or soy sauce. It can be lightly roasted with some olive oil, in order to enhance its flavour.
CORIANDER It is also called Chinese parsley. Its fruits are rich in essential oils, linalool and flavonoids. Coriander is antispasmodic, it facilitates digestion and reduces intestinal swelling, that is way it is useful in case of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. It regulates the gastric juices, facilitating the correct digestion and assimilation of food. In herb teas and infusions counteracts mycosis and bacterial infections in the urinary tract. Since it is energizing and a stimulant, coriander is also useful for tiredness and slight depression. Fresh coriander (also called cilantro) should be washed right before using it since it is highly fragile. It is best cleaned by placing it in a bowl of cold water and swishing it around with your hands, this process will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge, then remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water, and repeat this process until there is no dirt remaining in the water. Coriander seeds can be easily ground with a mortar and pestle. You may wish to first soak them in cold water for ten minutes and then drain them, as this process will revive their fragrant aroma.
Daniele Sampalmieri Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
COCONUT VEGETABLE CURRY Ingredients: Onions 10 grams Carrots 25 grams Potatoes 25 grams Courgettes/Zucchini 25 grams Peas 25 grams Raisins 10 grams Chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric
Basmati rice Soy yogurt Fresh Mint Tomato sauce Fresh Chilli Coconut cream
Preparation: Cut the vegetables (carrots, courgettes and potatoes) into small cubes SautĂ¨ onions with olive oil, then add the carrots, the potatoes after one minute, then the courgettes last with a pinch of salt, a spoon of sy sauce and spices. (The amount of spices is subjective and according to your taste, I usually add half a tea spoon for each spice) At the end of cooking, add the previously steamed peas, the raisins, coconut cream, then serve with basmati rice (about 80/90 grams) Last add the yogurt and mint sauce with the spicy tomato sauce. Mint Sauce Preparation Mix the content of a jar of soy yogurth, add 5 leaves of fresh mint, a pinch of salt and a teas spoon of olive oil. Spicy Tomato Sauce Preparation Cook your tomato sauce adding salt, olive oil, a pinch of coriander and fresh chilli.
Food is our Pleasure La Torta Pasqualina (Easter Vegetable Pie) It is traditional in Italy to have special food for Easter Monday, this is the first day out after winter time, a meal in the open air is the forerunner of many such occasions in the warmer season. I want to share with you a tradition from my home region in Italy: Liguria, a thin slice of land between the sea and the hills behind, its cuisine is as varied as any other region, what makes it special is the abundant use of aromatic herbs that give distinctive smell and aroma to every dish. Perhaps the most important Ligurian contribution to Italian and world cuisine is pesto made with fresh basil, pine kernels, pecorino cheese and â€“ of course â€“ olive oil. But today I invite you to try this delightful vegetarian dish, in a region so poor in meat, vegetarian dishes abound.
(chard vegetable pie)
FOR THE PASTRY: you can buy filo or puff pastry, or make puff pastry yourself if you have time. Once you have it you will need to divide it in 4 parts: 2 bigger and 2 smaller, from each part you will make 2 round or square thin layers (according to the size of your baking tin). FOR THE FILLING: There are 2 different kinds of traditional Pasqualina: with chard (big green leaves and thin white stalks) or artichokes, they are both good, but my preference goes to chard, so here it is for you: Green chard 1 onion Prescinseua cheese (or ricotta mixed with fresh pecorino cheese) Marjoram (fresh if possible) 3- 4 Eggs for the stuffing, 4-7 eggs to be placed on the pie. Olive oil After washing well the chard, cut the green leaves and the stalks, in a pan let the finely onion cook until transparent, then add the sliced chards, add salt to taste, let it cook for a short time. In a non stick baking tin (or use grease proof paper) place carefully the thin layer of your chosen pastry (using one of the 2 bigger parts), make sure it adheres well to the bottom, add olive oil to the layer in the tin. Then place the second layer (from the 2 nd bigger part of pastry) and make it adhere to the previous one, now add the chard, you can choose to use it as it comes out of the pan, or place it in a mixer (for a smoother texture).
In a separate bowl mix the Prescinseua (a tipical Ligurian curd, a little on the acid side) with eggs, salt, marjoram and either fresh pecorino or ricotta cheese (using just ricotta and fresh pecorino cheese is just as good, if you cannot find the Prescinseua). Now pour the cheese mix in the baking tin on top of the chard, then create some small depressions in the surface where you will place one egg each (the number of eggs depends on the size of the tin and the number of people you want to share your Torta Pasqualina with). With the remaining 2 parts of pastry, made very thin as well, you will cover the top, making sure to seal it well around the edge, remember to pour olive oil on the first layer, so that the second one doesn't stick to it (you can use the oil spray to avoid over greasing it). Seal well all around the edges of the tin, so that it will puff up during cooking. Bake for at least 40 minutes, the time will depend on the size of your pie. Let it cool down before eating so that all the tastes mix well together, traditionally it was cooked the day before the outing, since it is easy to carry and it tastes delicious when cold. Happy Spring!
BUILDING OUR LIFE ALIVE A Gift from Venus Stefano Buzzai For this volume of THE BADGER I would like to describe a gift for each reader, but, before anything else, I want to add here some more information about me: 1. Besides building houses, I have been involved in studying the energy fields around us. Every body, alive or not, as well as every substance visible or not vibrates with a specific subtle frequency. The disciplines that communicate with such frequencies are: Dowsing,the art of perceving the frequency of a certain substance with a direct connection with it. Radionics, the art of acting via the connection with a certain substance Geobiology, this art is the product of the previous two. With well defined information in Geobiology and the sensitivity needed to act on it, it is possible to perceive subtle frequencies both from the earth and the cosmos. We can understand what influence these energies can have on human beings, animals, plants, buildings and places. Moreover we can also find out if these frequencies can disturb our health and/or lead us to energetic imbalance, thus showing us what actions are needed to bring back energy balance and harmony.
2. In the Julian calendar, Easter Sunday was the first Sunday after the spring full moon, after the spring equinox, that was usually indicated on March 21st. Such convention was not astronomically correct. With the Gregorian calendar, and subsequently with precise algorithmic calculations, the precise Easter Sunday was calculated between March 22 nd and April 25th. Therefore Holy Friday will happen accordingly
3. Venus is the only planet that can send us negative radiations, according to its position. On Holy Friday* we receive from Venus very strong negative electric green radiations, this is the killing ray, it mummifies. On that day the Catholic Church has identified the passion and death of Christ. The eggs produced and hit by the ray on that day lose any inner vital function, since the ideal external shape of the shell (with its two opposed and different spheres) concentrates in the centre the rays coming from outside, when Venus leaves that specific place in the sky, the energy accumulated inside the egg is very useful and beneficial. The hens don't hatch on that day, they know it would be useless. But this is a gift for us, in fact the inner energy stays concentrated and can be sent out.
We can take advantage of it in two ways: drinking the raw egg, since it is perfectly edible, or leaving it in a room that will receive energy for a long time. In the bioenergetic measurement scale, in Bovis Units, in everyday eggs the level is 6.000 to 6.500 Bovis Unit, while the Holy Friday eggs show a 270.000 B.U.! I have checked these values directly and also its effect on people with Kinesiology tests. It will be important, since most of us do not produce our eggs to acquire them from trusted producers and have them checked by a serious operator in dowsing or kinesiology. This is the reason for the Easter Egg, where its intrinsic energy, sacred and divine origine are hidden, while only the earthly blessing is accepted. I have quoted above the study by Georges Prat**, the great French geobiologist who passed away in 2015. His teachings have given me a chance to access the “high places” of sacred geography.
Stefano Buzzai Translated and edited by Antonella Vicini
*Editor's notes: Friday was called the day of Venus (Venerdì in Italian, Vendredi in French, Viernes in Spanish) **For Information on Georges Prat, here you can find his website http://www.georgesprat.com/
PHOTO â€“ GRAPHY Luis Vasconcelos and
Antonella Vicini A misterious being calls us from the depth of the jungle. What is it? When we look closely we discover it's a sweet and harmless cyclamen, just about ready to bloom. Luis' art is so delicate and acute that it can see what we often overlook, both in the small and grand landscapes of life. Luis captures many details that, once fixed within his frame, hypnotize us with their beauty. His small cyclamen thus becomes a herald of both the mystery and bounty of nature, its generosity, its eternal charm, its refreshing and always new fairness. In his images on the cover and in this article is represented all the love that nature still bestows upon us, however unaware or ungrateful we may be. For this reason the video I have created is accompanied by an alluring piece of music, fittingly entitled Two Lovers: since between the lover and the beloved there is a deep communication that goes beyond words and mental understanding. Let's hope this spring we will all become more aware of our necessary connection to the love (and reason) of our lives: Nature.
Antonella Vicini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d05QevidH8U&feature=share
TRAVELLING Hawaii Between the Mountains and the Sea Judy Hayes After recently walking through a heritage site on the Big Island of Hawaii, I paused on a bench to empty my open-toed shoe of the natural material that had accumulated during the walk. I emptied it onto the bottom of the other shoe so that I could study the debris. I was fascinated by what I found. What I saw there became a metaphor for the Big Island of Hawaii that I would like to share. If you look closely at the picture, you will see pieces of black lava, white coral, seashells, a crab claw and pebbles of many shapes and colors. Like the island itself, all of these individual pieces have been brought to their present state by powerful natural forces as well as by human habitation.
Consider first the black lava. The Hawaiian Archipelago’s highest and largest volcanic mountains, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, dominate the landscape of the Big Island, itself created from the sea floor by thousands upon thousands of volcanic eruptions. Ancient and recent lava flows cover large swaths of the island but there is much more to see than lava. In other areas, due to natural forces, the lava has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis and is now masked by deep valleys of lush foliage and waterfalls. Everywhere one goes on the Big Island there are reminders of these powerful forces of nature at work. A visit to Lava Tree State Monument recalls how the Kilauea Volcano in 1790 disgorged a flow of lava up to 10 feet in depth through the rainforest, enveloping the indigenous ohia trees before receding. The lava then hardened, incinerated the trees and left lava molds that still exist today. Two of the volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauaea, are among the most active on earth and, consequently, the Big Island is constantly changing and growing, shaped by ongoing eruptions. One of Kilauea’s most destructive events occurred in the early 1990’s. In 1990 its flow turned toward the historic fishing village of Kalapana where, by the end of summer, the entire community, including a general store, a church and 103 homes was buried under 50 -80 feet of lava. Even now lava oozes from Kilauea’s eastern rift zone and its action is monitored daily by a team of experts with sophisticated technology. Lest you think that these volcanoes are only forces of destruction, it should be noted that Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes, is also a goddess of creation. In recent years the flows from Kilauea have added a significant amount of shoreline to Hawaii’s southern coast. In fact, this creative energy seems to pervade the entire Volcanoes’ region. When one visits the area, one notices a plethora of artists’ workshops and galleries. It seems as though the creative energy of the volcano is embodied in the spirit of the people as well. Another possible outlet for this creative energy, and one that is of particular interest to me, is the use of lava to design and nurture beautiful gardens. Observing these works of art, one can see firsthand the creative energy latent in the lava.
Turning now to the white coral and the crab claw in the original picture, I glimpse the awe-inspiring expanse of the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the Big Island. Undoubtedly, the pieces of coral on my shoe originated in one of the living reefs located off the western shore of the Big Island. It was probably ground up and cast ashore by the powerful force of the waves that often pound these shores. The coral reefs that surround the Big Island are home to a complex ecosystem and a staggering diversity of marine life. We humans need to be careful stewards of these exquisitely fragile environments. To lose them would be to lose one of our earthâ€™s greatest treasures.
The lava and the coral on the sole of my shoe are reminders that the Hawaiians inhabit a land wedged between mountain and sea. In fact, they are so aware of their position between these two great forces that they use them as reference points when responding to a request for directions. If you ask a Hawaiian for directions, you learn that the place you want to visit is either makai ( seaward) or makau (toward the mountains.) There is a Hawaiian legend that, in my mind, speaks to the significance of the mountains and the sea in Hawaiian culture. It is the story of a particular flower, called the naupaka. According to the legend, Pele, the goddess of volcanoes and fire, was infatuated with a young man who was already in love with a beautiful maiden. Unable to gain his affection, Pele became enraged and drove the young man into the mountains, hurling chunks of lava at him. Her sisters, however, took pity on him and turned him into a flower that has only a half circle of petals. Then Pele turned her fury toward the young maiden, driving her to the sea, where Peleâ€™s sisters transformed her into a flower possessing the other half of the circle.
The two halves of this flower are forever separated, one found along the seashore and the other in upland mountains. However, when the two halves of the naupaka are brought together, they form a perfect flower, a picture of completeness, balance and harmony.
Such a myth that captures the yearning for oneness between mountain and sea makes perfect sense in a place where approximately 11% of the land mass is above sea level with the rest reaching depths of 18,00 feet below sea level. As you can see, the Big Island is truly a remarkable place and well worth an in-depth visit.
TRAVELLING EAST The Bronze Buddha of Nanzo-in Raffaella Vicini
Visiting Nanzo-in temple in Japan is an incredible experience, a site made of spirituality. This place shows us that it doesn't matter how ancient a place is (since it was completed in 1995), what really matters is the devotion of the people who go there often enough (over a million a year) in order to make it a haven of silence and contemplation. This complex of buildings and beautiful gardens is a centre of Shingon Buddhism, that is open to all Buddhist schools and all people, westerners included. Nanzo-in temple was originally located on Mt. Koyasan, but local antiBuddhist authorities threatened to destroy the temple in 1886. After a decade of efforts the temple was moved to Sasaguri in 1899. Nanzo-in temple is the main location among the 88 temples that make up the Sasaguri pilgrimage route, one of three famous walking pilgrimages in Japan.
In every corner of this park there are altars, statues, deities, rocks, waterfalls. Water flows among thousands of gods, demigods, candles, incense, prayers, devotion, utter tranquillity, respect. The entire area is an immense temple with infinite shades, where people can touch their deities, wearing hats and scarves, writing prayers on wooden tablets to be left hanging near the statues like ex-votos. Pilgrims light up candles and incense, so that the air is full of their scents.
The reclining Buddha statue, known as either Nehanzo or Shaka Nehan (Pari Nirvana, i.e. Buddha at the moment of death, or entrance into nirvana) is 41 meters long, 11 meters high, and weighs nearly 300 tons. The interior holds ashes of Buddha and two ancient Buddhist monks, Ānanda and Maudgalyāyana. Those relics were a gift from Myanmar as a way of thanking for the donations of medical supplies to children in Nepal and Myanmar. 1,300 monks from Myanmar and Nepal attended the unveiling of the reclining Buddha statue in 1995. Inside the sculpture there are containers of sand from each of the 88 shrines that make up the Shikoku pilgrimage, they are stored below bricks within a narrow hallway. The Buddha is immense, his face emanates serenity and peace. Everything emanates light here. After admiring it from all angles outside, we can also enter its body: two elderly ladies help us to write a prayer on a wooded stick, then – after talking off our shoes – we can walk slowly and silently on the red carpet inside, up to a place where we climb a few steps. On the higher floor there is a small altar where we can leave our prayer sticks. The same elderly lady tells us to touch a rope and the reproduction of the Buddha's feet, entirely decorated, while we say prayers every time. At the end of this simple, yet touching ritual, we can go back towards the exit. I am not sure I can describe the mystic aura of the temple, a place where I could stay hours in silence, simply contemplating the infinite; suspended in a space without time, far away from the lights, the sounds of the world, the noise of our words, too many words that disturb the stillness of pure bliss.
At Nanzo-in temple I could breath grace, the infinite beauty of life and the gratitude I felt for being there in that moment. The beauty of prayer surrounded by silence, no sermons in the temples, only prayers and silence, each person immersed in their spirit. It doesn't matter if the images correspond to what we know or not, to what we are used to or not, to what we have grown up with or not. This is the beauty of spirit which is entirely free to express itself so that we can be what we really are: the essence of ourselves.
Raffaella Vicini Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini Here you can find a video on a slow tour of Nanzo-in temple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT4VQFmHFyM
MEETING my Spiritual Guide Laura Cuttica Talice How can we talk about meeting ourselves? This kind of encounter is best understood with the passing of time, when we learn how to read the signs that had always been there, but only experience teaches us how to recognize them. I will tell you my story, since each one of us has his/her own, and each soul goes through some fundamental experiences that we all need to go through, because they help us to evolve. Some of us are born under the star of art, of war, peace, science, adventure, etc, thus each soul - during its millenary path â€“ pursues its destiny, according to the characteristic of the different eras in which the soul is in a physical form. I was born under the star of magic: the ability to invent, to create something that didn't exist before, thus making it real, in order to help others in unusual and decisive ways, as only magic can do. This attitude usually involves fighting, because nobody understands nor helps whoever does things in an unusual way, or believes in things other people don't. Therefore, I have had very interesting, difficult, challenging experiences with little or no public acknowledgment at all, but with much love and gratitude from the people I had helped; their reaction has been the only one that has mattered to me accross the centuries.
I recall an episode in the XIV centuries when I used to root out brambles in a very impervious part of Piemonte (Italy) in order to make it ready for cultivation. In the XVIII century I was a Sioux woman, a brave and skilfull warrior, when I was young I used to defend our lands, while as an elder I used to take care of my people healing diseases and wounds. I was also a visionary, i.e. I gave my visions to the people, so that they could make the best decisions. In this lifetime, when I was little, I could feel the immensity around me, as well as my smallness, since I could not understand why it was so, I kept asking myself: Who am I? But I could never find an answer.
My early curiosity has been a pillar in my life, since it has generated the desire to find answers to that question, this was the motivation behind all the extraordinary experiences of my entire life. My first discovery was reincarnation, I had had many past lives, I found out about the main ones that have been like mirrors for this one. What I write about is not connected to any religious belief, but this is my understanding of the many experiences accumulated in years of inner and outer research. I believe my discoveries are not at odds with any religion.
Each one of us has a spiritual guide, it can be the spirit or energy of a deceased person who decides to help a human being, because of their connection of love, commonality of experiences, or deep cultural ties. I am writing what I have experienced myself, this is not the truth, but what I have learnt from my spiritual guide. My guide is a man who has been with me on an energy plane since my birth in this lifetime. We are together in the same magic. He has already gone through all the female and male experiences, thus completing his human path, he is waiting for me to go into the light together. I have already completed my male experiences and I am on my way to complete the female ones as well.
In the world of spirit time and space do not exist as we understand them. Our limited human senses cannot comprehend the grandeur and the simplicity of life in spirit. The soul takes on a body in order to go through the experiences that are needed to be complete or to be purified, thus becoming ready for the journey into the light. I don't know anything else. My guide, since he is my other half, represents my evolved personality, the same kind of man I would have liked to have met here on Earth. During my lifetime I have also understood that my goal was not only that, however human and understandable that is, but I was here to become conscious and able to give help to both men and women, so that they can be free to evolve, get rid of old fears or conditionings that have become obstacles to their development. This task was very complex and difficult, I didn't understand it when I was young, but only when I met with my guide who has explained to me the reason for the troubles and obstacles on my way.
First I had to understand my potential, I wanted to be sure I had one, this was a long process that lead me to study and enter a new profession. Such a path was providential, it helped me to start and get rid of my shyness and the fears so typical of Cancer, the shiest sign of the zodiac, protected by the Moon, Mother energy. I received much energy to achieve all my goals from my rising sign the Leo, the fire protected by the Sun, Father energy. Following my curiosity and the question "Who am I ?", since I felt like the ugly duckling, always so different from my family and the other ducklings as well, I started on my journey in order to become a psychotherapist. The ugly duckling eventually became a swan, with some understanding of life, but still very far away from the truth.
Whoever is born different from the masses will do things differently for his/her entire life. He/she will do things in an unusual way, so things will be more difficult, as I mentioned earlier. This path is not by chance, but is chosen by the person before his/her birth, it is confirmed by the birth chart that tells the entire story of the person. Being different from our families is positive, if we give value to curiosity and start researching the reasons for such a difference. Some enlightened parents have begun to understand and appreciate the richness of being different, since this is their children's treasure that needs to be discovered, protected and developed.
The difficulties along the path are an incentive for the soul that wants to know itself and evolve, so that â€“ after a time of elaboration â€“ it moves on to a full discovery. In order for this to happen we need a spiritual guide, sometimes it happens through sudden and unforeseen events, that bring emotions, traumas, like an earthquake they change people's lives that cannot be the same any longer. Such powerful events touch people in one or more of the sensitive areas of life: health, finances/job, feelings. Whoever is in the middle of the problem knows that he/she was not consciously responsable for what has happened, yet he/she had been feeling uneasy, passively suffering, without doing anything to facilitate a change of some kind. The traumatic event can be the motivation to face the problems, the obstacles, to find the courage to ask ourselves some questions. The most important one is this: What is this event teaching me? Nothing comes our way to harm us, even if it looks like it. The life we have chosen has to be lived fully, in this way we open the door to the most unthinkable events, those that give us deep emotions and lead us to understand what the mind alone cannot grasp.
Laura Cuttica Talice Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
WARRIOR GODDESS the Bull and the Goddess Part 2 Gabriella Campioni There are more animals we need to examine in connection with the female goddesses:
The cat There was among the Egyptians a female cat, Bastet, sometimes with a female body. Originally it was a sun deity, it was honored for her power, strength and agility. She protected health, fertility (for humans, animals and fields alike), human pleasures (dance, music, sexuality). Oftentimes she held the utchat, the cat's eye, which is also called Ra or Horus eye. It was a hamulet, probably deriving its power from the cat's ability to see in the dark and its keen sense of smell, therefore it could protect from bad actions, as well as guide humans into the sacred mysteries. In alchemy it was the guardian and the guide to other worlds, but travellers needed to ingratiate its favours; this may be the reason why it was on the head of the statuettes, like a torch on the miners' helmet, to this day it is a companion for channelling, since it indicates which way to go. Bastet had a magnificent temple, an entire city Busbastis (for the Greeks) ad many rituals including a processions of barges on the river and orgiastic rites.
The dead cats were imbalmed and buried with honor in a nearby necropolis, their owners shaved their eyebrows in grief. Their killing could result in the death penalty. Cats used to accompany men during hunting, their Egytpian name was Miao. Subsequently, with the Greek influence, the cat became a lunar deity, connected to humidity, femininity, the night. Nowadays the geobiologists teach us that this feline feeds on the negative energies of the earth, if your cat prefers one place of the house, it is probably better for you to avoid that spot. It is also a great energy healer, since it likes to sit on the parts of our bodies that are in pain. In the middle ages it was considered the companion of the devil, if a woman had a cat, especially a black one she was immediately considered a witch....
The Snake The snake has many symbolic meanings, among them "skin shedding", i.e. re-generation and its ability to penetrate the earth as if the snake could fecundate it. We could say that this could be a phallic symbol that shows us how the priestess has integrated in herself also the male principle, she is a Warrior Goddess, as her ieratic and proud posture shows. Since antiquity the poison from snakes was extracted in order to make remedies. What if snake poison was used for embalming, as well as the therapies performed by the traditional women healers? As Wunderlich affirmed. A very ancient representation, present both in alchemy and hermetism, is the Ouroboros, the snake in a circle with the tail in its mouth.
Just looking at it we can see life as a cycle: what we call the end is in fact a beginning, or we could say that the end and the beginning coincide. Death is always connected to rebirth in a new dimension, for this reason our ancestors used to bury the dead in a fetal position, entrusting them to the earth = womb for a new gestation and birth.
I need to underline here that the Goddess represents life in its totality, including death. The Earth is both womb for the creatures continuosly generated and their tomb underground. For this reason the seed needs to die in order to be born as plant; we as children need to die in order to become adults, so that at any given moment we die to the past and we are born in what we become. The Ouroboros, perhaps more than any other symbol, suggests that the opposites are complementary and essential to each other: if you eliminate one, you also cancel the other. Therefore, refusing something is just a rational mind product, not in harmony with Life. What we consider dead, smelly, rotten is nourishment for other forms of life. For example carbon dioxide, which is a mortal toxin for animals, is vital provision for plants and viceversa with Oxygen. If there were no animals to use the Oxygen the plants would die and viceversa. In this way we have a sustainable system. The second element to consider in this shape is the space inside the circle , the circle as a surface, but this is a "place" without dimensions that indicates life in its essence, in all its possibilities. This is the Greek Kaos in its original sense, an empty space that is full, it exists before anything else, it is imperishable. Inside it there are all the pasts, all the presents and all the possible futures: therefore we can choose what to live, or have lived... Here we find all the possible dimensions: what is here, what is beyond, planets, galaxies, worlds that have never been discovered and may never be found. Here we find our ancestors, our descendants and ourselves: we were there well before our birth and we will continue to be well beyond our death. There is all the becoming, continuosly moving yet static... Opposites always coincide.
This "place" is the most precise representation of the goddess and of the Mystery of Life. At this point I have some questions: If the snake has so many divine meanings, why has it become the symbol of devil? If it was the attribute of the Goddess and her priestesses how did it end up under the feet of the Virgin Mary? Where do the horror and disgust for this animal come from? Are they innate or induced?
I suspect that this is the product of a very long process of denigration of both feminine symbols and attributes, such a process started with the progressive invasion of the Warrior Gods, about 1500 years BCE. That means over 3000 years when the snake has been crushed under Mary's feet as much as women were crushed: deprived of their dignity, their participation in social life and their own lives, not just during the witch hunting periods. I would like to understand what happened and find clear elements for a cycle now close to its ending. I believe that the Warrior Gods arrived in a situation of crisis. For many thousands of years we had "studied" the female energy and power, it was time to "study" the male ones. This phase needed a shorter time, but we could see its ups and downs, now we detect a new crisis, therefore a change is necessary again. I think this change requires the Goddess feminine power, in order to awake and unite it in sacred bonds with the God, the masculine principle. A kiss of love will re awaken both. I would like to underline once more that feminine is not just in women, as much as masculine is not just in men: we have parts of both, so that we can develop them to their full potential.
Gabriella Campioni Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
Part 1 of this article can be found in THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 1 January 2016: https://issuu.com/antonellavicini/docs/the_badger_january_2016
QUILTING AWAY The River Flows and …always finds the way to the sea Lida Perry Every year, I facilitate a group in Tuscany. First we go to the hot water springs for a session of a breathing technique that brings greater awareness, and then we experience a session in cold water in a small river. This is one of my most satisfying activities, because working with breath and water is very powerful. Often before taking a group for the cold water session, I go to the site, a small river among the Tuscan hills, half hidden among the pines and the chestnut trees. A scouting tour to check on the level of the water, and if the place offers the fundamental guarantees for a successful session. “ It’s a early summer afternoon, I am here at the river, well maybe it is a little pretentious to call it with such a name, but I cannot call it a brook either, it would be reductive. It's a warm day, it's good to be in the shade of the larches that are flanking the shores. I choose a rock to sit on. From that position my eyes travel to the surroundings and eventually to the water, I contemplate it; there is something hypnotic, magic in its flowing that silences the mind, sharpens the senses and slows the breath in a continuous and natural rhythm. I feel captured by its flow that is not as continuous and drowsy as a big river, but its path is full of unexpected obstacles and obstructions. It's a flowing rich of sounds: splashes, gurgling; it is vital, and energetic. I observe the water and its path, there are places where the flowing is smooth, then it seems to stop when it meets a rock, and then it slips into a small pool and eventually it resumes the rush, and immediately finds another course to pursue its journey.
At times there are places along the shores where branches and leaves are trapped among the rocks apparently keeping the movement of the water, but the water slips, pushes, seeps between the cracks and finds a way to keep on flowing to resume the rush and go over the obstacle.
The water flows and always finds its way to the valley, toward the sea. While I was setting on the rock and musing, I had the feeling that I was seeing something familiar, something known and something already experienced. I realized that what I was beholding was the exquisite symbolic representation of our process of evolution, of personal growth. I recognized it within myself and I know I have been able to witness it with every person that I have met in my work as a psychologist. Some feel stuck in some muddy pool, without a way out and they think that they have lost their vital drive. Others, at the first obstacle in their process, believe that they cannot find a way out or a solution, they lack the trust in themselves and the capacities to face the difficulties. Some others are caught in the maze of their thinking, lost in the labyrinth of their rationalizationâ€Ś
Most of us at some point in our lives feel we have lost the connection with our vital source, the trust in our process, the awareness that the answers are not outside. We have forgotten that the innate power of our nature is to strive always, no matter what the circumstances are, towards the best manifestation of our potentialities. We forget that the movement toward evolution is unstoppable. Some of the practices that I know: Reiki, Rebirthing, the sacred dances, create the connection with our source, restore the trust so that we can tap into vital energy, letting it flow freely, easily and in a conscious way into oneness!
Lida Perry Edited by Antonella Vicini
HUMAN Tanya Tewell I have included images of four paintings for the spring issue of THE BADGER. The main thematic arrangement is the inclusion of the human figure in some kind of natural matrix with plants, birds, trees, insects, water, and natural events. These compositions have personal metaphoric and symbolic significance for me and will be explained in more detail in the rest of this article. The first painting entitled “The Glimmering She” involves an idea of the “Super She,” the nature goddess that is both nurturing and destructive. I wanted both women to embody the dual aspects of this idea like two sides of the same coin. The woman in the foreground, covered by honeycombs and bees, is always associated with the queen bee in my paintings. This symbol completely suits her dominant and fiery personality. The woman behind her is more secretive and passive, lying in wait in the web. The honeycomb and the spider web are both elegant, amazing, and functional examples of natural creations. This painting also explores the idea that we often glorify everything that is “natural” while not really acknowledging the destructive power and unforgiving elements always present in nature. As we live in a very isolated area in Tennessee and kill animals for food and see other animals kill for food and dominance, you realize this in an intimate and personal way. There is always a sacrifice to be made in nature. Sometimes it is in blood, or energy, or time.
We live in a part of the country that is subject to extreme storms, floods, and tornados that can destroy entire neighborhoods in a matter of minutes. It is a hard lesson to learn that permanence is an illusion. The second painting entitled “Layers of Time” features one of my favorite models who has a very classic face reminiscent in my mind of some of the faces of Etruscan or Roman women on vase or wall paintings that I have studied. This woman always embodies a very mysterious and provocative air. There is a very faded figure on the wall behind her that is taken from a wall painting in Pompeii. It is for me always a shimmering and transitory figure that speaks of distances and layers of time. The dragonfly in front of the female figure also is a symbol of change and impermanence. It is a strong sign of spring and early summer here where we live. Our house is between two large ponds and the frogs and dragonflies are everywhere in the spring. There is also an implied watery element in the lower half of the painting. The birds are also symbolic of the ephemeral nature of our existence as well as the subtle skull behind the women and the more visible skeleton echoing her gesture. When I couple the skeleton with a vibrant image of a person, I always think of the Mexican saying ‘death is our most loyal companion.’ This is not said in a morbid or defeatist way but as a reminder to live life now, to celebrate life. The third painting with the working title of “Aglow” is an attempt to capture the inner radiance of this particular young woman who was a student of mine. She stands in front of a window looking out at a spring rain and the light behind her is attracting the moths, but I also felt it was her glowing face attracting them as well. This young woman possesses a special quality that draws people to her.
They flutter around her like moths, but not to be extinguished in the flame. She is personified here as a nurturer, someone who brings out the beauty in other people. After I did this painting of her, she discovered that she was pregnant and subsequently, gave birth to her daughter on the first day of spring. Thus, I thought it appropriate to include this image for this issue. As far as technical information in creating this painting, all of the raindrops streaking down the window in front of her face are three dimensional. I painstakingly formed them with a clear acrylic gel and then painted on top to give the feel of refraction.
The last painting that I will explore is entitled â€œPersonal Entwinementsâ€? and features the woman with the classic face shown also in the second image. For me. this painting is almost a kind of archetypal symbol using a very elaborate tree of life. The tree of life as a metaphorical symbol is ubiquitous in so many cultures and spiritual traditions, it is almost an another way of representing humanity itself. For me, this image is about a particular person who is very strong and noble but can also speak about a more universal quest for higher consciousness and spiritual renewal. This piece, for me, is about the circular path of renewal which also entails failing and falling and not understanding what is happening in your life or the lives of others. The whirlpool represents this chaos, being drawn in over oneâ€™s head. The way the figures are entwined around the strong central figure, which is more like a grounding pillar, speaks to me about the spiritual quest which is never a clear or straight path. The central figure is the hope that we find our way eventually. The landscape is taken from my memories of living in Arizona. The sky is immense there and at night, it is a deep blue instead of black.
The sense of space in the desert is something that gets into your consciousness permanently and always gave me the feeling of lightness, possibility, and hope. Even in remembering my experiences there, I can feel this wonderful sense of openness all over again.
NOMADS Spiritual Teachings and Civilization Giorgio Milanetti part 3 of 4
Let’s take into account the Śramana tradition, that represents a crucial starting point of Indian asceticism. Śramanas were wandering ascetics, who basically contested the Brahmanical tradition founded on ritual and sacrifice. Many scholars consider their views as a fundamental contribution to the development of later currents of philosophical thought, both Hindu and non Hindu, from Buddhism and (especially) Jainism to the Upaniṣads. The Buddha himself is sometimes considered both a representative and a reformer of this tradition, whose adepts used to practice a life of restriction and effort (√ śram) in order to achieve enlightenment and freedom from the fetters of human life. The life of the Buddha – that was largely described and commented upon by Buddhist authors and by the later Buddhist tradition – is particularly instructive for the values it explicitly describes (and prescribes) with regard to the dichotomy ‘settled life-wandering life’. In a sense, it could be read as an unambiguous refusal of household life, as we learn from the Majjhima Nikāya and other sources:
«Before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisattva, I thought: ‘Household life is crowded and dusty; life gone forth is wide open. It is not easy, while living in a home, to lead the holy life utterly perfect and pure as a polished shell. Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness’ Later, when still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.» This and other similar passages authorize us not only to specifically interpret the opposition between the first and the later stages of Buddha’s life as a metaphor for the contrast between settled and nomadic life, but also to establish a causality link between the condition of homelessness and the possibility of spiritual quest, ‘as if’, in the perspective of early Buddhism, a wandering life were a prerequisite for achieving spiritual progress, or ‘as if’ exterior movement were the condition for interior development.
This equation may perhaps be perceived as an excessively simplified assertion, but it corresponds fairly well to some key elements of Buddha’s original teachings and to the early Buddhist enquiry into human nature. From another point of view, the same correspondence between exterior and interior dynamics may introduce us to a concept (expressed by the Italian scholar Fosco Maraini): travelling as a means to «pass over a wall of ideas» («scavalcare un muro d’idee», Maraini, 1963: 28) – a notion that should be understood not just in a cultural sense, but also in a psychological, or better, epistemological perspective. Only journeying, crossing distances, in fact, allows human beings to compare, reflect upon, experience, and, possibly, open themselves up to the unknown.
With reference to the origins of Indian civilization, this concept may perhaps help us to better understand the emphasis Vedic authors put on pulling down walls as a condition for free and unobstructed movement. On the other hand, in a broader perspective, we may also affirm that Buddha’s statement about household life as crowded and dusty and «life gone forth» as open air represents a motto that many traditions and many great spirits in India and elsewhere would have gladly subscribed. We may even hypothesize that Rāmāyaṇa and early Buddhism (which are roughly coeval) might represent two different answers to the same epochal crisis. On the one hand, we have in fact a poem that metabolizes and institutionalizes the change from ‘old’ to ‘new’ values, giving this change a political dimension and describing the establishment of an ideal society where any individual has a fixed place and a fixed role (without concealing, however, the dramatic losses this process brings about). Buddha’s teachings, on the other hand, emphasize the necessity of a ‘private’ (as opposed to ‘political’) answer to the same critical change, recommending an integration of exterior behavior and interior dynamics – from ‘right view’ and ‘right speech’ to ‘right concentration’ – whose complete enunciation may be found in the celebrated Noble Eightfold Path (āryāṣṭāṅga-mārga in Sanskrit). You may not miss the metaphor that is implicitly contained in the name: in Buddhism, interior dynamics represent an itinerary: progressing towards enlightenment means following a path, a road (mārga). We are again on the move.
The ideal of an orderly domesticity in a settled society is explicitly discarded in favor of the institution of a congregation of wandering monks and nuns who convert and instruct lay disciples, regardless of the social position of the latter (which explains why Buddhism, and not Hinduism, may be considered a universal religion). Buddha’s teachings offer interesting clues for unorthodox interpretations of the process of settlement that gave Indian civilization its ‘new’ identity. The core of Buddhist doctrine focuses in fact on the notion of the falsehood of any permanent ‘I’ or ‘ego’ – a concept that was later elaborated also in the Bhagavad-gītā, one of the most famous Hindu texts.
In this regard, we may hypothesize that the Buddhist emphasis on the necessity of the dissolution of the ‘ego’ might also be understood within the ‘movement-settlement’ dynamics, and more specifically as an element aimed at implicitly counterbalancing the consequences of settlement. We may perhaps even infer a connection between the introduction of settled agriculture and the establishment of what we may call an ‘urban’ civilization (both based on the property of land) on the one hand, and the ‘sedimentation’ – as we may say – of a progressively stronger ‘ego’ loaded with both psychological and ethical features, on the other. We have evidences for this from various sources.
As an instance, we may quote a few verses from the celebrated Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa, one of the major Vedic Puraṇas, which describe the origin of urban civilization in a strikingly dramatic (and seemingly post-modern) way: «Those kalpa trees [‘trees of desire’] were commonly produced which are called houses; and they brought forth every kind of enjoyment to those people. At the beginning of the Treta age the people got their subsistence from those trees. […] Afterwards in course of time those people grew covetous besides; their minds being filled with selfishness they fenced the trees round; and those trees perished by reason of that wrong conduct on their part. Strife sprang up in consequence; their faces felt cold and heat and hunger. Then for the sake of combination and resistance they made towns at first.» (Pargiter, 1904: XLIX.27-35, pp. 239-240). As we may note, this text introduces apparently unconnected elements such as selfishness, private property (deriving from human misappropriation of nature) and the institution of urban society as strictly related to each other – which seems to highlight not only the intrinsic aberration of nature’s exploitation and of a settled (and urban) life based on it, but also the necessity of a more integrated approach to the problems of ‘modernity’, yesterday as well as nowadays. One might reasonably wonder why Buddhist monks, who originally were bound to continuously move on, soon got settled.
Giorgio Milanetti Edited by Antonella Vicini Part 1 can be found here: https://issuu.com/antonellavicini/docs/the_badger_october__2015 Part 2 can be found here: https://issuu.com/antonellavicini/docs/the_badger_january_2016
NAMASTE ASANAS Giosie Colagrossi Asanas (positions) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are intextricably linked. We can only perform a movement together with breathing: we start moving the body inhaling (Puraka), we reach the final position exhaling (Rechaka), we hold the position allowing the breath to flow naturally, while in some positions we need to hold the breath (Kumbhaka). Then we let go of the position inhaling, thus allowing our bodies to be present to ourselves, to the sensations in our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts (if they are present), we become one with what is represented by the asana (from the Sanskrit stem as= to be, to stay quietly and steadily). This is the goal: Being.... One. Practising Yoga requires the physical exercise together with the metaphysical aspect of it, only pairing movement with stillness, breathing and relaxed concentration we can reach the perception of balanced and harmonious consciousness. Some positions promote a meditative state, other improve and preserve good health and stamina.
As a beginner it is important to follow some basics instructions working with an experienced teacher. The best times are early in the morning and before sunset, in a clean and open space (if possible in nature), with our minds vigil, present and quiet. The more we practise, the more we become aware of the different parts of our body/mind, as well as our internal organs, muscles, tendons, bones, nervous system, different heartbeats. Some positions are not appropriate if there are specific physical problems. Before practicing the asanas there is always a warm up and after them there is Yoga Nidra, a conscious relaxation. The perception of the movement and stillness is the difference between new and experienced pratictioners, since the positions are the same. There are thousands of asanas, according to the ancient Indian tradition there over 4.000.000 positions. It is also important to compensate the energy developed through an asana, with a counter position, in order to be balanced. It is also essential to respect our bodies, without forcing them, since the conditions change due to our vital, mental, emotional state at any given time. Letting go of any resistance to change: practising Yoga really means to surrender, letting go, allowing and welcoming change.
After the winter stillness a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual awakening is needed. Such awakening can be supported by breathing exercises of Pranayama (we will discuss them in later articles), such as Surya Bheda â€“ Chandra Bheda (Sun Moon breathing): In order to begin place the index and middle fingers of the right hand on the third eye (Ajna Chakra), then close the right nostril with the thumb and exhale from the left nostril, then inhale from the same nostril. Close the nostril with the ring and small fingers, for a few seconds hold the breath, then open the right nostril and exhale, keeping this rythm for a few minutes. Complete by exhaling from the right nostril in order to complete the cycle.
Certainly a sequence of energy awakening is the salutation to the sun Surya Namaskar that needs to be performed in the morning before eating (like all the positions, except the "digestive ones") and never in the evening to avoid disrupting our sleep. The salutations and/or sequences can have from 3 to 12 positions.
In the salutation to the sun, Surya Namaskar, some positions are repeated, each one of them is connected to a Mantra that helps deep meditation: 1. Namaskara mudra in Thadasana Om Mitraya Namah 2. Ardha Chakrasana Om Ravaye Namah 3. Padahastasana Suryaiya Namah 4. Anjayasana Om Bhanaveya Namah 5. Parvathasana Om Khaghaya Namah 6. Barundasana OmPushneya Namah 7. Bhujandasana Om Hiranya Grhaya Namah 8. Parvathasana Om Marichaye Namah 9Ajanayasana Om Adithiaya Namah 10. Padahastasana Om Savittreya Namah 11. Cardha Chakrasana Om Akaya Namah 12. Surya Namaskara Mudra Om Bhaskaraya Namah
All the Mantras can be sung and then the Surya Namaskar is performed, or 4 Mantras and one sequence, then 4 more and another sequence, in the end the last four Mantras and a third salutation. I wish everybody a good practice Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Giosie Colagrossi Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini
Here you can find some videos to help you with your practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFForlkCE_4 Surya Namaskar practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtO2fRmh8D Surya Namaskar practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQH0R0nM5-U Surya Bheda Pranayama https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMtMw-IlWeU
UNDER THE SKIN Dermoriflessologia速
Soul Reflexology Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Every one of us is born in a specific place and time, our families also are not destined by chance and will have a lasting influence in our lives. The new incarnated spirit will need to know the environment around, before knowing himself/herself, one of the essential goals in life. We can start from the observation of a new born in order to find out what happens to him/her and how he/she can transform the events in experience. The first task is the discovery of the material world around him/her. During the first year of his/her life there is not much chance of independent movement, so his/her world is small and made of few, selected objects. So the new born looks at him/herself, sucks his fingers or toes, the puppet placed in his/her bed by a loving relative. He/she endevours to discover the material world and to recognize the faces of the people he/she most frequently sees. That's why he/she may cry when there is a new face: he/she has not recognised it and doesn't have the means to face a possible danger. The danger called UNKNOWN. The unknown is the worst fear encountered by human beings, not just as a child, but as an adult as well who is scared of change even at a mature age.
Let's continue with baby steps: he/she now is 18-20 months old: he/she can walk, move with greater ease and more space to explore. So a new research starts, not just connected to the material world, but also to the forces around: what kind of strength is needed to move a heavy object, to run a certain distance, the child discovers that effort is tiring to the point of exhaustion at times. These circumstances put the child in touch with the discovery of the etheric body, the life energy, bio energy. Adults usually support and encourage these activities, later in life they will tell him/her that sport is good, moving is healthy, although probably they don't explain that giving oneself some boundaries is healthy as well, so not to fall into excess. Now we look at a teen ager, his/her research will lead to explore emotions and feelings, the world of the soul that handles and rules these functions. At this point the adults intervention is a set of limitations: some feelings need to be hidden (not to seem weak), some need to be moderate (not to appear violent), some are to be avoided (not to be unpleasant) and so on... When the exploration touches the feelings the rules placed into action by the adults usually come from their families or the social circle they belong to.
So who can help us in discovering the world of feelings? Sometimes we are alone, sometimes there is an expert who gives us guidelines, but cannot enter the different stories. So the kids will probably go to their peers for advice. Even more difficult it is the process of self individualization that starts from a series of questions: Who am I ? What are my behavioural rules? What is my task in life? Will I commit to the task given? There are beliefs in our society that we may take for granted, but they may not correspond to our real vocation. Moreover, if the previous stage of understanding our feelings and recognizing our soul voice has not been completed, it is next to impossible to have significant results later in life. However, this is not the end, even if our formative years are way behind us, we can still communicate with our unconscious and ask for help, in other words asking our souls the simple questions: Who am I? What do I feel? Dermoreflexology helps us to find these questions as well as many others. Folllowing the map of our skin, we contact some access gates, thus opening the way to the spiritual part of us. In this way we can get to know ourselves. Here is an example, by stimulating the area shown in the image, there will be a regression, that allows us to see some past events, in practical terms this is a key to access the process of recapitulation described by Carlos Castaneda*.
In the photo you can see that the area chosen is the back of the left hand, the first phalanx of the index finger, the access door to our memories. This area is a circle, about 9 millimeter of diameter, 10 in a man. On this area apply a metallic spyral (silver plated copper wire) rolled into tight and uniform coils. Its is a clockwise spyral, its ending goes towards the thumb. It can be kept in place by a plaster for 3 or 4 consecutive nights. There will be dreams from the past and spontaneous memories resurfacing during the day as well, they will offer hints for a re-examination of the events. So we will have another chance to discover more about ourselves: how did we behave? What did we feel? What instincitve reactions moved our behaviour? Instead of conscious choices? This is just a small taste of dermoreflexology, in our next article we will tell you more about this journey from the skin to our consciousness.
Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini *Carlos Castaneda,1925-1998, was a writer and anthropologist who described his apprentiship with Native teachers in his books. His work in the 60's and 70's was very successful, it is still worth reading.
DRUIDISM A Philosophy for Life Introduction part 1
Hagal What is Druidism? I think it is a life philosophy, like many others in pre-Christian Europe. Alongside the many cults that helped people in regulating their lives and their relationship with the outer world as well as the inner one, philosophy was also taught. This discipline looked for answers about epistemology, metaphysics, ethics as well as giving ideas and subjects for reflection on how people could live. Christianity has dominated our culture for 2000 years, so that we didn't need to ask ourselves questions like: â€œhow should I live?How can I find peace of the mind in my daily life?â€? because the Bible offers answers to all, without much space for personal philosophical research. This is a special time in history, where our growth and sensitivity as human beings, with the great changes in society and mixing of cultures, races and religions pushes us to to find answers to the many questions asked by the world around. Science has answered many questions on a physical level, but we feel the need to still research, using the tools offered by philosophy. For this reason many people have approached philosophical movements, such as Buddhism, as I did myself long ago.
However, it is important that we also remember the ancient traditions of Europe: Greek, Roma, Celtic, German, to name a few, since they are still relevant for their proximity to our way of thinking. Druidism comes from the Celtic culture, it is very alive, even if we know very little of the ancient Druids.
When a person decides to start on a spiritual path, that means he/she has been called. My path into Druidism was making peace with the woods, an environment most of us has lost contact with. I think that attention to what is around me was the biggest teaching I received from Druidism After travelling extensively and in depth around the world, I felt that my research was leading me back to my roots in the European continent, so I decided it was time for me to learn more about Druidism. I found significant similarities with other philosophies of life, yet the deep roots I feel with this land (Piemonte in Italy), made me realize that it was time to stop here, in a protected place, in order to experience the flow of life.
Druidism is the natural spirituality of our culture, evolved through the millenia on the European continent. It is made of the soft spring fogs, it is revived by the summer storms, it is nourished by the falling leaves in autumn, it is kissed by the winter ice. Druidism speaks with the energy of the moorlands and the prairies, it whispers with the wind among the oaks, it glides with the buzzard high over the rocky peaks, it buzzes with the hornets' dance. Its simplicity asks only an acknowledgment of the natural world, the earth that nurtures us, our ancestors, so that a sacred place can be created inside, where we can reach the gods (whatever they are), in order to thank life and love. It is the flow of life, the power of nature, that attracts us towards the tradition,guiding us inside it. Its spyrals and currents are like the cycles and tides of life that raise and fall, yet continuosly creating: these are the exquisite sources of inspiration sought after by the tradition.
Hagal Edited and translated by Antonella Vicini
THE NATURE OF DRUIDRY MYSTICISM Philip Carr Gomm
We all know that Druidry is a magical path, yet an interest in mysticism, and in the use of contemplation, meditation, and devotional practices that foster the aims of the mystic, has always been present in the modern Druid movement. The mysticism in Druidry is based upon the experience of changes in consciousness: feelings of Oneness, of union with Spirit, God or Goddess, and the world of Nature, and it is perhaps best qualified as ‘Nature Mysticism’ or ‘Natural Mysticism’, to distinguish it from approaches that emphasize only union with Deity, or even a separation from the physical world in the pursuit of the Divine. One of the beauties of Druidry is that it is not a dogmatic or formulaic approach – no ‘one size fits all’, and those of us who follow the Druid way are encouraged to craft our own practice in accordance with our inner guidance, our needs and wishes. One person may feel more drawn to the magical, another to the mystical, but I’d imagine most of us need a mixture of both approaches, just as we need a range of practices to bring a sense of wholeness to our personal and spiritual lives. The philosopher Ken Wilber* writes that we leave out any one of these practices at our peril: meditation, psychological – particularly interpersonal – work, some form of ‘sacred’ movement or exercise, and a study of spiritual teachings.
To that list we might add some form of devotional practice and frequent drinking at the well of Bardism – the world of myth, story, poetry and song. Each of these practices informs the other, so that the world of the Bard can inspire us towards meditation, for example, while meditation can enable us to appreciate more deeply the offerings of the Bard. Sacred movement, such as Qi Gong or Yoga, can be a meditation in itself, and ensures we ground our awareness in our bodies, while meditation without psychological enquiry, as Wilber stresses, can provoke imbalances which negate its value. The OBOD** course in Druidry attempts to incorporate psychological work with teachings on meditation and an encouragement of the Bardic arts, but although there are some movement exercises suggested, a distance learning programme cannot effectively teach a system of psycho-spiritual physical exercise. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, have all been developed over centuries to fulfil our need for such an activity, and perhaps one day specifically Druidic systems will be developed. All the attempts to create a specifically Druid method of sacred movement raise the issues of validity, which apply equally to any attempts to offer methods of Druid meditation. Are such attempts valid, when so many other highly developed systems already exist? And are they not ‘fake’, having been so recently invented, while the Eastern systems are clearly genuine having been around for centuries? As regards validity, a method that is valid is one that works, however young or old it is.
Contemporary Druidry is a flourishing creative spirituality that is inspiring people the world over. Druidry has specific features which help to define what it has become and how it is evolving. In particular, Druidry has developed into a spiritual and philosophical approach that embraces embodiment, that does not deny the gifts of the physical world and the body. In addition, it cultivates both inwardness and outwardness â€“ an appreciation of the inner and outer worlds that fosters an engagement with the Earth and with community as much as it encourages an exploration of the depths of the soul and a merging with the Divine. The evidence of the centrality of this approach can be found in Druidryâ€™s love of Nature, its reverence for the Earth, and its cornerstone of ritual observance: the Eightfold Wheel of the Year. These characteristics define Druidry and they also tell us what it is not.
The ethos of Druidry is specific: it does not attempt to subjugate, transcend or deny the body. There is no emphasis on the illusory nature of the physical world. The goal in Druidry, and hence in meditation for Druids, is to enhance our engagement with our embodied life, not to distance or separate ourselves from it.
Humans have been borrowing from each other since the first person used anotherâ€™s flint or axe. Scratch the surface of any religion or tradition and you find it is made up of a number of influences or elements. Examine a ritual text or liturgy and you can see the bricolage at work. We naturally understand the common sense in not reinventing the wheel, even though we might adapt and embellish the wheel we make for ourselves. Mindfulness, the focusing of awareness on the breath, the scanning of our body awareness as practised in Vipassana, for example, may all be sourced in Buddhism, but Hindu and Jain scholars will say that such practices were already in use before the arrival of the Buddha, and if any of the theories of our common Indo-European ancestry turns out to be true, and the ancient Druids drew their teachings from the same well as the Brahmins or Jains, then in using these techniques we are indeed drawing from the source of our tradition as Druids.
Whether or not this is historically the case, the reality is that there is nothing more natural than scanning our body with our awareness, sensing our breath, letting go of outside distractions to settle our restless minds and hearts, to come to a sense of stillness. And if we do find ourselves using techniques that seem to have originated elsewhere, we can embrace them in that same warm spirit of inclusion shown by the Benedictine monk Bede Griffiths who lived in Bangalore as a ‘Christian Yogi’, and became known as Swami Dayananda (‘Bliss of Compassion’). This spirit of inclusion, of Universalism that happily recognizes the gifts that come from many different sources, can be found right in Druidry. Here we find that mystical experience is not confined to the few ‘adepts’ or ‘evolved souls’ who stand out from the masses (an image fostered in both Eastern and Western spiritual literature) but that a democratisation exists, or has perhaps occurred in modern times. Everybody can access altered states of consciousness, unforgettable moments of bliss or insight, that suggests the mystical state is a natural one within everyone’s reach.
Philip Carr-Gomm (Foreword to the collection Contemplative Druidry edited by James Nichol)
https://vimeo.com/45185590 Notes and editing by Antonella Vicini *Ken Wilber is an American writer, philosopher, and public speaker who has had great influence on world psychology and philosophy especially with his Integral vision of the world. http://www.kenwilber.com/home/landing/index.html **OBOD is the acronym of Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, here you can find more information about their activities: http://www.druidry.org/
WITNESSING AT THE SOURCE OF SELF WITH BREATHWORK
Milena Screm I am pleased to present a new voice in our Quarterly, that of an old friend and collegue who was with me, Lida Perry and a few others at the very beginning of Rebirthing and Complementary Techniques in the 80's in Italy. It was all new for us and our country, here are her personal reflections on her path, both past and present.
Thirtysomething years ago, when I was very young and curious, after experiencing Rebirthing in Italy with Janabai Harrison, due to a series of synchronicities, I found myself in Campbell Hot Springs, Ca (USA), where I met Leonard Orr. *
After training with him, I also experienced the work of Sondra Ray, Bob Mandel, Jim Leonard, Phil Laut, Stanislav Grof**.
Before these experiences I had had an artistic schooling, chosen following the thrust of my creativity; I also developed a research linked to interiority and, thanks to the experience in this field, later in life I organized and ran relaxation courses. The power of breath was for me a fascinating discovery, a love that lasts to this day. Thanks to the breath I became more aware, especially of my body and my emotions, parts of me that I learned to honor for their intelligence and energy. My creativity and intuition developed further; the urge to explore life, relationships, work through the "lens" of breath filled me with joy and enthusiasm. Breathing is simple, easy, natural, it doesn't "pollute", has no side effects, it is always with us, we can use it anywhere. By its nature it is linked to emotions: when a strong emotion pervades us, breathing is altered; but you can also go on the reverse path: change the rythm intentionally and receive benefits in your state of mind and mood. I fell in love with breath with great passion. Before meeting Rebirthing, I had taught Sophrology (Caycedo) and Autogenic Training (Schultz). So It was natural for me to add the practice of conscious, connected breathing to my teaching, thus beginning a personal and professional research that has not yet ended. In the '80s, in Italy, Rebirthing was known by a small number of people, the world of Osho's communities and among Babaji's *** followers. It was a wonderful adventure to work with Rebirthing, in those years, it was like opening the road to the energy of breath.
There were few teachers and schools, so I opened mine and, step by step, I created a model of Rebirthing that corresponded to my feelings, my culture and my intuition, by integrating a psychological approach that would help people process the experience of the breath sessions: Counseling (according to C.Rogers' lesson), with its system of values, communication and interpersonal skills. This happened in the early 90s. At the same time, I also felt the need to expand and be more flexible about the themes explored in Rebirthing; it was important to work on birth and other traumas, but there was also something else, such as the chance to bring out to consciousness deep inner resources and qualities. In addition to this, I had the desire to honor all breath approaches, because in each one I could find positive outcomes. For all these reasons I decided to use another name for what I was teaching and I chose the word "BreathWork". I was amazed to realize that other professionals in the world, around the same time, had felt the same need. Shortly after, I.B.F. International Breathwork Foundation was born. My school - INSIGHT - is a point of reference in Italy for anyone who wants to become a Counselor specialized in BreathWork and BodyWork. I train groups of professionals who have a common denominator: love for breath, passion for life, respect for people.
The three-year training I offer is very demanding and it requires that people commit to personal growth, as well as professional training: we take to heart our being, knowing, doing. In addition to the three-year professional training, we offer individual sessions, specialized courses on stress management and emotions, mindfulness seminars and classes.
Each historical period has its own characteristics and its specific social needs, including the current ones. Today we have much more comfort, more wealth and knowledge than in the past, yet the need to raise awareness is increasingly necessary. Over the last thirty years we have created an impressive body of globalization that affects many cultural patterns. The differences between the Eastern and Western cultures matrixes now are clearer and there are more points in common, this has happened with exchange and integration of elements. Philosophy, psychology and other sciences have been deeply influenced by these transformations, as well as the development in interest for breath and its potential on a physiological and energetic level. I see a lot of potential in this seed, as well as hope.
In my life the encounter with breath has lead me to realize the spiritual purpose of my existence, myself as a person, to contribute to the evolution of other people, to carry with humility the seeds of awareness and integrity into the world. I am grateful to every person, teacher and student who have crossed my path.
ÂŠ Milena Screm 2016 Edited by Antonella Vicini Editor's notes: *Leonard Orr was the original discoverer of Rebirthing, after his long years of practice with Indian Pranayama and Krya Yoga. ** Sondra Ray with others opened a school of Rebirthing connected to relationship (Loving Relationship Training RLT), Jim Leonard and Phil Laut created another school called Vivation based on 5 elements for a successful session, Stanislav Grof, an important psychiatrist, also worked in this field with his Holotropic Breathwork. *** Haidakhan Babaji was a spiritual teacher who appeared in northern India and taught publicly between 1970â€“1984.
Antonella Vicini http://badgermedicinespirit.wix.com/tirthayatra#! Writer and editor of THE BADGER, author of Talking with Gods, Sages, Fairies.... (a novel published in 2014). Steeped in classical and indological studies, I have spent all my life learning from people as well as from the ancient texts that keep revealing their immortal, thus contemporary teachings. A teacher at heart, be it in school or workshops, I am happy when I can share new visions and face new challenges. I am a professional rebirther and trainer (since 1987), Reiki master since 1991, stress management and leadership trainer, writer and visionary. I am deeply grateful to all my teachers and elders. Badger Medicine Spirit
Adrian Rooke I am a person centered therapist specializing in addiction and the consequences to family, I counsel the bereaved, and supervise other counselors. I am also a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. I am a member of the spiritual companions and practice as a celebrant conducting Handfastings and funerals. I have been a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids for over 20 years, where I have served as the press officer for 12 years, I have also been a Tutor for many years . I also have an interest in Wicca.
Composer, pianist, Italian teacher. Andrea "EXO" Garella began studying piano at 9 years old under the guidance of Walter Ferrato who shared with him the art of improvisation and composition. Between 16 and 20 he reaped the fruits of his studies with long concert tours. In everyday life he works in education and training in the field of safety. He is also a licensed designer for mechanical and thermotechnical projects. He has always been interested in occultism and esoterism. He is about to publish a book where he will delve into these studies connecting such Masters as H.P. Blavatsky, Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung, A. Einstein, Jeremy Narby, C. Castaneda,Rick Strassman, Jean Dubuis and more. Here you can find some of his musical pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FmaMRyjF6o https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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.
Fredric Lehrman http://www.nomaduniversity.com/ is one of the original “Wealth Psychologists” who looked deeply into the subconscious habit patterns that may either support or thwart personal financial success. He began teaching these insights in the early 1970’s, and his seminars, articles, and coaching have been the launch point for many of today’s best known experts and authors ever since. Fredric’s personal career has included intensive study with master teachers in many disciplines, and professional success in music, psychology, martial arts, photography, and global entrepreneurship, networking and innovation. He founded Nomad University in 1974 as a way to expand the concept of education as a life-long individual path of self-directed learning. The ideas he articulated then are now starting to appear in new schools all around the internet-connected world of the 21st century.
Gabriella Campioni www.deaguerriera.it is a counselor with 30 years experience in symbology, mythology, psychosomatic approaches and healing techniques. Her favorite fields are the study of the ancient civilization of the Goddess and the functioning of our minds. She gives classes and public lectures, she is also a volunteer at Humaniter, Adult University Foundation in Milan. She translates and writes articles and books, her latest one is La Dea Guerriera (The Warrior Goddess), a symbol of the union of male and female energies, a much needed synthesis of tradition and innovation.
Giorgio Milanetti Giorgio Milanetti is professor of Hindi language and literature in the 'Italian Institute of Oriental Studies' (IISO), at the Sapienza University in Rome. He has published numerous books and articles on Bhakti, Indian poetry, literature and history. He has won prizes for his translations into Italian of Hindi poems, he works closely with several European and Indian universities on didactic projects, as well as many scientific journals. He is a keen mountaineer, curious about the world and its many traditions. He also wrote and directed a movie (“Agnes” with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi).
Giosie Colagrossi after some years in England and Germany, she discovered India, where she lived and worked for 6 years. In 1988 she became a Yoga teacher in India with the Master Svamiji Ravi Shankar, there she taught in various schools and universities such as Sholapur - Bangalore – Gulbarga – Trivandrum – Simla –New Dehli -Calcutta – Puna. Upon her return in Italy, she continued her studies with a degree in naturopathy and iridology (2003 Rudy Lanza Free University). She currently lives and works in the province of Viterbo, so rich in natural and artistic beauty.
Hagal Renato Mancini
is a physiotherapist with a long experience in the study and care of the body. He has worked with doctors and institutions to develop massage original techniques, as well as pursuing his spiritual path that lead him around the world back to his roots in Celtic culture. He is the founder of a publishing house and KeltoiRadio, he is also the leader of the Italian Druidic Order, closely connected to the OBOD in Britain.
Judith Hayes has both her undergraduate and Masterâ€™s degrees in Latin and has taught for an entire career at the secondary level, and briefly the university, in the United States. She also has taught Latin for two years in Viterbo, Italy as faculty of the School Year Abroad program. She made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2013 and last summer joined an archaeological excavation in the Galilee region of Israel.
Laura Bottagisio www.laurabottagisio.com is an astrologer and seeker. She started studying astrology at the beginnings of the 80's with Lisa Morpurgo, she later worked with the Cosmos Institute of Milan, where she learnt about the theory and practice of Vibrational Waters. She has attended seminars with gerard Athias and Jp Brebion on new medicine and bio analogy. She shares her discoveries in her blog. She also creates tableaux with recycled materials, in this way she creates images out of emotions and inner worlds.
Laura Cuttica Talice www.coachingevolutivo.it A proud mother and grandmother, rejoicing in her family, her masterpiece. Laura is a certified pshycotherapist, hypnotist, sexologist, life coach, above all she is now an Elder and shares her wisdom in order to help people find their life path. She loves jazz, mountains, unusual jobs, her rose garden, living between the sea and the countryside.
Lida Lodi Perry https://www.facebook.com/lidaperry?ref=profile Lida was born in the North East of Italy (Vicenza) after graduating from a teacher Institute she came to the USA, where she continued her education at the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Psychology and later a Master in Social Work. She worked for many years at a drug clinic in the local hospital. In 1984 she went back to Italy to work with abused children as a director of a residential facility. She moved on to work as a supervisor and Psychologist at Milan Cancer Institute where she is still consulting, while having a successful private practice as psychotherapist. She was also cofounder of the Rebirthing Institute with Antonella Vicini, she became a Reiki Master in 1992, she is still active with the local and international Reiki community.
Luis.M.Vasconcelos https://500px.com/lmvasconcelos I was born for Life in 1952, and in 1974 I was born for Photography, when my country, Portugal, was born for Democracy. I began my career as a professional photographer and photojournalist, in April 25, 1974, when our democratic revolution took place after 40 years of a dark fascist regim. Freedom was born for us, and my photographic dream was born for me. Since then I have been working as a professional photographer and photojournalist. In 2004, I also followed the call for a deepest journey into my personal discovery and growth, learning meditation and Reiki. I got the degree of Reiki Master in 2006, in the traditional Reiki Usui System. Now, after 40 years of work, Ienjoy my (active) retirement, I am in love with Life !
Milena Screm http://www.insightformazione.it/ Supervisor Counselor & BreathWorker. Founder and president of INSIGHT School of BreathWork Counseling, in Milan (Italy) Author of fourteen books in psychology, published in Italy, France and Spain, among which: “BreathWork” (1998), “Autogenic Training” (1989,2012), “Rebirthing & Water” (1994), “The history of Rebirthing” ( 1992 ), “Rebirthing, breath for renewal”, this was the first book published in Italy on rebirthing (1989, 1993, 2011).
Paolo Benda www.laradionica.it www.paolobenda.it Born in Perugia in 1953, he has experiences in electronics, home automation, informatics, he is webmaster, web designer, researcher, writer and publicist. He is an independent researcher with specific interests and specialization in radionics, biology, biotechnology. He is the inventor and builder of machinery for radionics applied to non conventional medicine.
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 ofThe 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.
Stefano Buzzai https://www.facebook.com/Soteco-Costruzioni-Snc-496397857162747/?fref=ts he is the ceo of SO.TE.CO snc, a green building company. He is also a passionate researcher of subtle energies and sacred geography. He leads meetins on green building and sacred sites where he leads people in order to experience the high earth and sky energies.
Tanya Tewell is a Professor of Art at a Middle Tennessee State University in Tennessee. She has taught at the college level for almost thirty years in painting, drawing, and artistic anatomy. Her teaching experience has also included working with gang members in South Phoenix, artists on the Navajo reservation, and prisoners on Death Row in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions and ten solo shows. She has also initiated, directed, and participated in painting murals in South Phoenix, Punta Allen, Mexico, Muro Leccese and a very large mural for the former art building at Middle Tennessee State University.
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.
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AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING with
RENATO TITTARELLI Rome October 2016 This 2 plus 3 year course will give you the complete methodology, the theory and practice of aromatherapy massage, as well as the use of essential oils. The course will start in October 2016, two preparatory workshops will be held in May and September, please contact us for details. At the end of the course the succesful participants will become legally recognized pratictioners in Aromatherapy.
CONTACT US AT www.risoessenza.it
SACRED OGHAM ADRIAN ROOKE
Every Breath You Take The T’ai Chi Factors & Their Application in Everyday Life with Fredric Lehrman Senior Student of Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing Sat & Sun, April 2-3, 10:00am-6:00pm Bastyr University 14500 Juanita Dr. NE Kenmore WA 98028 Mastery of the ancient Chinese practice of T’ai Chi is a life-long and life lengthening study. Yet one can benefit immediately from even a single introduction to the principles behind this ancient practice. Who should take this class? Any adult. There is no upper age limit. Even if you have a physical challenge, you can always use these practical insights. What should I wear? This is not a strenuous class; wear what is relaxed and comfortable. Flat shoes are fine. Beginners through advanced are welcome. You can learn these “T’ai ChiFactors” and make them part of your daily life. If you blend them into your normal activities, you will become progressively more relaxed and more aware. As stress unwinds, your energy will increase; you will see improvement in your health, your mood, and your productivity.
Contact Fredric Lehrman directly if you are interested in sponsoring an event in your area.
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THE BADGER in
THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 2 March 2016 We believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy,...
Published on Mar 27, 2016
THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 2 March 2016 We believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for everyday life, spirituality, philosophy,...