THE BADGER November 2018

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


Year 4 Volume 4

November 2018 Dear Readers, what an adventure this has been so far! I spent a long time preparing and working on my penmanship before daring to start this endevour: THE BADGER Quarterly. During my years as Rebirther, Rebirther Trainer, Reiki Master, coach... I had always had a dream: to be able to share the keys to wellness that can be found in the nooks and crannies of our every day experience of life, so that they could be available to all people who were seriously seeking them. to give voice to those seekers who had something to share, those out of the spotlight and, for this reason, they are not always easy to reach, because real spiritual work does not require a stage. From the tiny circle of interested people who, surprisingly to me, read our Volume 0 in November 2014, we have now reached over 100.000 contacts from all over the world. I hope this number will increase and will become an active community encircling the earth with its brilliance. In order to celebrate the completion of the four points on our medicine wheel we are creating a special publication: THE BADGER ANTHOLOGY with articles chosen by all our authors, this special volume will be available for download and/or in a printed form, it is a once in a lifetime occasion to have THE BADGER in a physical form. We look forward to sharing it with you soon, it will make a great gift!

Happy Autumn, let's enjoy this energy of introspection and action when the bear goes into its cave to dream the new visions for the year to come, we feast on the bounty of summer and pray for the new cycle to be even more fruitful and abundant. And Happy Winter time, when the sun restarts its joyous run towards summer time, this is a time for story telling, sharing and enjoying our lives.

Antonella Vicini Director THE BADGER Quarterly LTD

Cover photo by Luis Vasconcelos Graphic lay out Antonella Vicini

You can find all our past volumes, videos and our blog in our website: and links on our Facebook page:

CONTENTS Beyond Limits Into the Matter An Apolitical Report Poetry Voices from the Stars

Antonella Vicini Andrea Exo Fredric Lehrman Matsuo Bashō Laura Bottagisio


Adrian Rooke

Becoming Medicine

David Kopacz

Quilting Away Photo – Graphy Human

Lida Perry Luis Vasconcelos Tanya Tewell

CONTENTS Travelling

Raffaella Vicini

The Nature of Druidry

Philip Carr Gomm


Jo Dunbar

Food is our Ally



S. Fumagalli e F. Gandini

Entertaining Interlude

Cesira Borromei

The Tale of the Immortal Child The Authors


short bios and photos


and links to previous volumes


products and services we believe in

Keep in touch with us on our website

and our Facebook page QuarterlyMagazine/

BEYOND LIMITS Antonella Vicini Photos by Luis Vasconcelos A thought has been circling around my mind for a while: What are my limits? Can I go beyond them? Why are there limits? What is a limit? I went to my dictionary as I always do when I want to understand something that seems obvious, but it isn't, or I wouldn't have a question. Limit comes from the Latin word Limes which means threshold. A limit, then, is the threshold of something else, usually unknown to us. The threshold is where my home ends and the outer world begins, or the other way round. The threshold is the step between what I know and what I still ignore. In ancient and modern times alike the bride was lifted accross the threshold of her new married home/life, litterally lifting her off the ground, so that she could glide into her new role supported by her supposedly loving partner. So the limit/threshold is also a passage between states: from childhood to adolescence, into adulthood, then old age and the second most intense threshold: death. All the limits we feel between states of being/phases of life have to do with us gliding, or stumbling, or falling from one state to the next. These are just perceived limits, they do not really exist, they are doors opening to the new, never to be feared.

Think of how many times you opened an unknown door, allowing life to surprise you and gift you with the unexpected. How much poorer your life would have been, if you had not crossed that threshold, how much smaller and limited your existance would have been! Conversely, think of all the times you chose not to cross the threshold for whatever reason. What were the consequences of your decision? Did you like your life so much not to jump at the opportunities offered, beyond the threshold of your limits? I know what I am writing about. I often didn't even dare to look at the threshold, I didn't want to know what my limits were: fear and anger were running my life. When I finally managed to harness anger into clear intention, I didn't realize that fear was still running the show behind the scenes. It has taken me almost a lifetime to make peace with it. Long ago I was asked how long I wanted to wait before being happy. I have to confess that I often deceived myself into believing I was happy, but I was not honest with my Self. There was always something missing, something not really working out for me: it showed in my personal and professional life, in my finances, in my health and even in my spirituality. Then one day I made a decision and followed through. I decided to share my life path and the gifts I had received on it with as many people as possible*, in this way the gifts of Reiki and Rebirthing, as well as the shamanic paths became public with the many years of practice, contemplation, teachings and, above all, learning.

THRESHOLDS The first threshold is birth, of course, when we leave the realm of infinite possibilities to incarnate in one definite body: body = body/mind/emotion/spirit. This is a most delicate moment, it requires the same care and devotion inspired by prayers, since a new incarnated soul is entering the physical world for the first time. From Rebirthing I learnt how to honor this time and transform its messages into permanent gifts. From Reiki I received the way to support mothers in this profound time of transformation From the Shamanic path I became aware of the great love our Ancestors bestow upon us during our incarnation. If I keep digging into daily life I realize also how much easier it is to go beyond my perceived limits, if I can consider them as thresholds towards a different state of being. For example: If I want a new job, I will check what prevents me from getting it (lack of experience, preparation, training, etc) and I can tackle each aspect until I am ready for the new position. If I feel weak physically, I will give myself a reiki treatment so that I can contact the deep reasons for my condition, I will then find the therapist/doctor who can best help me in this phase of my life, thus overcoming that limit. If I am afraid of something, I will start preparing myself, so that I can face it, not allowing my fears to take the driver's seat. If I feel low, I will look for and contact the people who can help me in feeling happier and more alive, they will remind me that there is no limit to joy. I will do the same for them, if and when needed.

In this lifetime I have not had the great joy of delivering a child of my own, but I have had the honor and immense pleasure of being present for many people during their rebirthing process, when they blossomed and flourished again. I was born, like everyone else, with a family, a destiny, a set of skills and talents; after many years when I took it all for granted, I started asking myself some healthy questions. Among them the most prominent have always been: Why Was I born? Why am I here? I do not claim to have understood it all, but I have a better idea now and the questions do no matter so much anymore = another limit has been overcome! Since we do not matter so much anyway... Sometimes I imagine life as an obstacle course: here we are, ready and strong at the beginning of our journey, so we run, we jump sometimes we even break through the obstacles. After a while, we may feel tired, our body may be full of bruises, we forget why we are in this race. So we start looking around and either we see help or more obstacles. If we choose help and decide to ride the horse that has been patiently waiting for us since the beginning of our life, we will feel supported, loved, nurtured and filled with divine energy. The horse here represents the many forms of healthy support we can find along our life path. If we choose to see more obstacles, we will be devoured by our limits/limitations, our life will become very constricted, building strength in order to overcome these obstacles will be much harder to do and often we will succumb. Freedom from self imposed limits is the highest goal in spiritual terms, it is a daily effort, I almost wrote battle and, however much I hate war, I have to admit there is no other way than fighting every inch of the way in order to achieve such freedom and the joy it brings with it. It is not by chance that so many spiritual paths describe medicine people or sages as warriors, because our first and only real battle is with ourselvels.

And so, in the end, we are still on our obstacle course that has turned into a wonderful meadow, rich in flowers and fruits, tall trees, mountains and water in the background. The horse gently nudges us forward, so that we can glide over the threshold into transition and the new phase of our existance. The last door needs the same care, love and devotion of the first one, we are now ready to leave this physical form in order to restore our unity with the universal spirit, for another life time or forever. I sincerely hope that, when the time comes for us all, we will be able to remember and start next lifetime from the awareness of this meadow.

Antonella Vicini * Note In such a way THE BADGER was born! Thank you for allowing me to share it with you, dear readers. Thank you for taking to heart all the keys so generously gifted by the many talented authors of THE BADGER. These 4 years (as well as the preceding preparatory ones), have changed my life for the better, they have taught me how to question, face and challenge my limits. I am a different person now because I went beyond them, stepping over the threshold and diving into the unknown that is now populated by newly familiar faces and voices. This is the best gift I can give you straight from my heart. The BADGER QUARTERLY has been a journey on the medicine wheel and through the seasons. From 2019 and the next 4 year cycle we will publish 2 volumes a year, in order to capture the essence of the Equinoxes, those elusive and brief moments of balance between seasons, periods of our life, events, emotions. Our 4 year Anthology will be available soon for download or in a printed form, it is the best gift you can give yourself.

INTO THE MATTER The Key of the Universe Andrea Exo Some time ago I had a chance to observe a friend and discuss with him about a topic I care for a lot: lost love. I have spent a long time pondering about it, since in my own life I have been relentless in my search for it, to the point that I moved 13 times and changed 5 different regions in order to find the right match and form my own family. Only when we adapt to change, after letting go of the past, real love can fill our lives. Here below, is my attempt at showing the path towards real love and growth from unawareness to a fully conscious choice.

The pain compressed his fragile heart, now devoid of any hope, like an eggshell ready to shatter in thousands of pieces in the dry and deserted places he had filled with passion. Dry dust from burnt wood, vibrations of a lost embrace, salted water for thirsty lips that seek, but cannot find love in the brief moments between infinite and finite that we call life. What had made him so desperate? What had transformed a diamond into a stone? Looking at his eyes you could see the double energy that can both change the world and lose hope into despair, as well as feel the most noble of feelings, the highest art, heaven on earth. Sulphur that does not burn, water that does not quench, wind that does not caress the skin. Pain tantalized his resigned heart to such an extent that he would deny spirit, making him drown in matter, forgetting light and surrendering to apathy. Yet, in spite of everything, he still wanted to light up that passion which he had followed down so many roads. He was looking and tormenting himself kiss after kiss, look after look hoping to solve his problem, forgetting the real cause.

Mirror without reflection, sun that does not warm, sky without stars... Nothing ends before its beginning! What is the reason for such oblivion? Fear. The pain compressed his trembling heart like an eggshell ready to shatter in thousands of pieces, forgetting that only after shattering a new life can blossom. Only after leaving its protection the new born can begin to perceive a new light, a new love. What is the meaning of looking for the causes of life, of heaven and earth? What's the point of studying mystical traditions and esoterism if we cannot surrender first to the truth? Whoever carries love in his/her heart, such a person has the tastiest wine in his/her chest, the sweetest essence, but that chalice can be broken or stolen, so that the best drink becomes the most bitter of poisons. Besides, love is not unchangeable, it follows the seasons, it can become hatred, just like life can transmute into death. Is there a meaning in the fear of losing something we never owned? Is there a meaning in fearing death, if we were not able to be fully alive?

Fear was feeding pain to his fragile heart, so he could almost feel pleasure in being condemned. Is this the road to perdition for many souls? Going back again and again to those places, now empty, where the passion of love was burnt, trying to evoke a lost warmth, a dead sun. Dwelling in far away memories, instead of the present, old benches instead of new swings, dry leaves instead of new roses. He denied god, but he was still looking for a miracle. He was chasing the person who could lighten his burden, lit up his flame and erase his fear. Yet this is not how things work: because the chalice of Love requires every drop from oneself. "Love is the key of the universe, the double that becomes one until it is nothing." Getting lost in order to find onself, forgetting in order to have new memories, surrendering unconditionally in order not to defend oneself. Without having any good or bad intentions, no expectations, nor any claims: sometimes it is sunny, sometimes it is cold and rainy. Life requires both in order to renovate itself. Pain was slowly receding from his heart, now shattered in thousand of pieces, forgetting all the broken promises, in new places where flowers were ready to bloom. Destruction was needed for a new creation, death for resurrection, surrender for victory. There was only one last trial to overcome: whoever seeks will find it if he/she knows what he/she wants. This is not possible without knowing oneself. There is in fact a second truth: the mirror never lies:

"The only path to win over fear is to look at it straight in the eyes, your eyes" His heart could see light again, he forgot his broken shell and started walking on the new paths that passion had started to paint...

Andrea Exo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

AN APOLITICAL REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD Fredric Lehrman In my article published in THE BADGER, Year 2 Volume 4 (in the last quarter of 2016), I started to talk about a new pulse of innovation that is moving in waves across all aspects of life on this planet. I spoke of social experiments in the 1980’s with the “Morphogenetic Field,” newly identified and named by scientist Rupert Sheldrake, and the rippling echoes of new discoveries and new insights as we approached the end of the 20th Century. Those novelties are, in the post-2012 Now, fairly common occurrences in the cultural Zeitgeist in the sense that “unimaginable” things are happening more frequently and are being noticed and discussed all over the world, with some alarm, combined with a shrug. The language is something like this: “I can’t believe what’s happening. It’s just one thing after another, and I don’t think any-one knows what’s actually going on. Oh well… just keep rowing your boat.” Is the world as we know it ending, or is a new world beginning? My short answer is “Yes, both.” We are in transition, and while “the old” can’t hold on much longer, “the new” is more than we can explain with our bag of old assumptions and beliefs. It’s a sense of “freefall,” and our wings have just started growing. The physical infra-structure is in disrepair, and we are floating in a river of debt so deep that we wonder whether we will ever get back on firm ground.

On what can we rely? I have noticed in the last few weeks that many people seem to be losing track of time itself. I used to be very sure of which day of the week I was waking up into or going to sleep from. But for about the last two years I have been wrong almost half the time. I’ve mentioned this to some friends and find that they have sensed the same thing happen-ing to them. Last year I sold my home of 37 years and had to put most of my stuff in storage until I knew where I would be living. I had no obligation to stay in Seattle, although it is a beautiful part of the world to have as a base, and I was not under pressure to find a quick permanent solution. Almost nine months later I’m still not committed to any specific shelter. My “womb” time is almost over. I’m ready to start the journey to my new world, and, like clockwork, this next week I will begin consolidating my three storage units down to two and then to one, so that I can stop paying rent for my things and start focussing on my next big pro-ject. I sense it is like reincarnation without the traditional stop at the motel of death. I have to reinvent myself because everything has changed. I’m a musician. I can re-member when we listened to recordings at 78 rpm. Then came a big improvement, vinyl records that spun at 33.3 or 45 times per minute; some were pop singles, and the 12” variety had enough room for a whole symphony or concert. The sound quality was amazing, with most of the surface noise gone. What could ever be better? Then about 25 years went by and cassette tapes appeared, easy to carry in a Walkman and listen through earphones while walking the dog. That lasted about 15 years until they were gradually displaced by digital CDs, by far the best thing imaginable for con-venience, capacity, and sound quality (yeah, yeah, I know, analog is better if you can tell the difference). Well, you know the rest. Those machines and formats are gone (you can barely find someone who can repair them) although some are coming back as a retro salute to subtle qualitative features of sound and nostalgia. The early mainframe computers have shrunk down to the dimensions of a small notebook, “memory” the size of your thumb can hold whole libraries, and YouTube has almost made it possible to see/hear/learn everything without ever leaving the house.

The point is that this all happened very fast, in one accelerating century, from tele-phone to radio to automobiles, airplanes, movies, TV, computers, solar power, digital cameras,, and now electric vehicles, drones, driverless everything, and virtual assis-tants named Siri and Alexa… What’s next! The compression seems to be of time itself and everything in it, which is to say that consciousness is processing more than ever before. The new is flowing into and dis-rupting the old. It is, by definition, a con-fusing time, where different orders of aware-ness are being pressed together to give birth to someone new, something we will not fully understand until our own brains can perceive the new signals. I think the signals are already everywhere but we haven’t developed the full capacity to see and hear them. Each new generation of children will know less of the past, but be more able to perceive what is now ready to be known. My “objective” evidence of this seems to present itself as an increasing frequency of what used to be “coincidence,” or random chance events that seem unlikely to happen by pure chance. Karl Jung preferred the term “synchronicity” to designate a purposeful cluster of separate events that seem too meaningful to be random, yet, so far as we know, are unrelated in any way that classical Western science can explain.

Here are some things that have happened to me in just the last week: Three days ago a friend was very frustrated about the complications of setting up an account that would allow him to buy Bitcoin, the first of the new wave of “cryptocurren-cies” that may soon alter how we conduct business, ushering in a money system that will level the playing field between the individual, the big banks, and world govern-ments. He had paid two different consultants to explain to him the most efficient way to get started, and each of them had told him essentially the same thing, so he followed their instructions.

He submitted all the required personal identification information and financial profiles, as well as transferring large amounts of money to the recommended financial ex-change, but he was repeatedly stalled and prevented from actually buying any actual Bitcoin. No explanation was given for the delays, no advice was offered about WHY the funds were being held for so long, and after three weeks of emails and no contact with a live person at the exchange, he was very exasperated. He was about ready to give up, and wrote to the exchange to tell them to return his funds immediately. As he was telling me all this, my phone rang, and it was a man I had met two years ago at a lecture in another city. As far as I knew, this man was a naturopathic healing prac-titioner, and we had never discussed finance in the one or two brief conversations that took place when we met. He knew that I had expertise in financial psychology, the emotional issues that people attach to money. But this time he started right away to tell me that he had been working intensively with cryptocurrencies. So while my friend listened on another extension, I explained the situation to my caller and asked if he knew anything about how to get a working account open. He laughed, and said “Yes, I know EVERYTHING about that!” In three minutes he had given us the simple steps, told us to forget the first company (he said “All the insiders are fed up with them too”) and told us to let him know if we needed any further help. We immediately put his plan into action, and in less than three days my friend was able to start buying various cryptos easily and without any of the hassles he had been confronted with before. Was this juxtaposition of good fortune chance, or synchronicity? Then tonight, I was taken by an old friend to a new Japanese restaurant in a new town. By the time we were ordering, all the tables were full, so a young man approached a woman who was dining alone at the table next to us and asked if he could join her. They were only two feet away, so while we were talking we could also hear their con-versation, catching bits of it here and there.

He told her at one point that he had studied Arabic in college, and then had gone to Cairo for a year to work and practice speaking the language. They talked about this for perhaps a minute or two. Driving back from the restaurant, we were listening to music, but as we arrived at our destination I uncharacteristically switched the radio to a talk station while my friend car-ried some groceries into the house. The host was asking the guest about his years as a major newspaper reporter during the coup d’état in Egypt that occurred early in the Obama presidency (this was the kind of job the young man at the restaurant had been interested in) so I sat and listened for the last few minutes before the program ended. Then my friend came back to the car and asked what I was doing. I told her about the broadcast, and she was very surprised because she too had noticed only that part of the conversation at the neighboring table. Chance, or synchronicity? This kind of thing used to happen once or twice a month, but now it seems to be sever-al times each week. As you can see from these two examples, the only commonality is that the likelihood of this kind of thing happening is small, and these two have very lit-tle in common in terms of “significance.” The first example was practical, timely, and ex-tremely helpful. The second was simply odd. But nonetheless, the increase in the numbers of such unexplained connections sug-gests that something is changing in “The Force” (Thank you, George Lucas… do any of you Millennials remember him?). In folklore and Ancient Wisdom terms, this is when the “Veils between the Worlds” become more transparent, and time itself seems to be-come both discontinuous and elastic. Remember the story of the frog that will sit without moving in a pan of cool water that is heated up very slowly, and may perish because it does not realize that it should jump out.

Water begins to bubble for a long time until it finally starts to boil, and then it becomes steam and vanishes into the air. But with the kettle of culture, we are all in the water; our molecules are beginning to bubble with higher frequencies, allowing us to “tune in� to broadcasts at the next table we couldn’t perceive until the Universe reminds us of what it wanted us to hear.

Now is the time to start talking with your dragon, as a new world is at the doorstep. The dragons are right out there, closer than Uber or Lyft, and they know how to take you where you want to go.

Fredric Lehrman

Note This is the direct link to the article mentioned:

POETRY Autumn Moonlight Autumn moonlight a worm digs silently into the chestnut. Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694 Osaka) An Autumn Wind, a clash between the poems by Matsuo Bashō and Allen Ginsberg.

Winter Solitude Winter solitude In a world of one color The sound of wind. Matsuo BashĹ? (1644 – 1694 Osaka)

He was a famous poet of the Edo period, probably the most known of the Japanese Haiku* Masters. "Haiku" is a traditional form of Japanese poetry which consist of 3 lines poems. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

VOICES FROM THE STARS Uranus in Taurus: The Second Birth Laura Bottagisio As explained in my previous article, the planetary aspects are changing. The passage of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, respectively, in Scorpio, Capricorn and Taurus are modifying our life balance and situations, sometimes drastically, sometimes with our consent. Each one of these planets has its specific orbital rythm, according to its distance from the sun. The most significant passage is certainly Uranus, which is the furthest from the sun, since it completes an entire zodiac wheel in 84 years, thus it transits through each sign for 7 years, while Jupiter takes 12 years and Saturn almost 30. After 84 years, Uranus returns to Taurus, this sign opens the triad of Earth Signs, its imprint onto the new becoming has the taste of a "biological reprogramming". What does this mean for us? What kind of energetic and evolutionary impact can have on us? Let's imagine that we are in the space occupied by Taurus in the zodiac, let's pay attention to our sensations. In that space we received the conditioning that needs to be acknowledged and brought to the light, what was not resolved in our previous incarnation and was left in the womb of mother earth, now we can pick it up and solve it, unravelling its meaning in this lifetime.

Everybody will be able to perceive and receive useful information about his/her individuality; we will all feel attracted by the very essence of this sign, so deeply connected to generate and welcome Mother Earth. The values of Taurus are best expressed in the season we call May, the first part of the word MA is the same sound of Mother (the o sounds in English still corresponds to the word Madre, Mater, etc) See the Symbols of Sacred Science by RenĂŠ GuĂŠnon when he talks about Matter and Matrix...The magic of Life on Earth! Mother Earth combines and mixes all the elements needed for the physical vehicle where the soul takes residence. Taurus is the maternal womb, where the seeded egg can nest and receive the nutrients needed for its growth in order to become a human being. Taurus is then the cauldron where something mysterious happens: an alchemical process in which life reproduces itself. The first mandatory action that the soul needs to perform in order to produce such magic is taking possession of the body where it will live. The strong sense of possession of Taurus people comes from this important biological input. As soon as the zygote nests, it inherits the genetic imprint of the ancestry that the soul, now ready to incarnate, will elaborate during his/her life experience. Both genetic and cosmic inheritance give us a body, the latter is hidden and covered by our personalities, where conditioning and genetic automatic responses will surface in time. Taurus is an earth sign on the cross of fixed signs, the cross of desire and incarnation. Together with the other fixed signs: Leo, Scorpio and Acquarius, it gives substance to our flux of desires and the soul desire to enter the matter in order to solve and dissolve the ancient karma that is carried along as a burden to be lightened up and transformed.

First Birth In our physical bodies, at the cellular level, are written the memories that we have chosen to free, thus re establishing harmony with all there is. The attraction between Taurus and Scorpio produces a sexual desire used by Life to ensure there is human progeny on Earth: the physcial union of man and woman is governed by such biological push. On the other arm of the cross Leo/Aquarius there is an energetic potential that will manifest in the circulatory and nervous systems. In the dynamics of these four signs we can read the creative process of life: attraction, the sexual union, the formation of the physical vehicle during pregnancy, eventually the birth to this life.

Since this is the foundation of incarnation, this is the most represented cross in all cultures: In the Christian tradition it refers to the 4 Evangelists: Luke Taurus, Mark Leo, John Scorpio, Mathew Aquarius. In the Celtic tradition it represents the 4 intermediate doors of the season cycle, where invisible forces operate to shape energy, which manifests in the four pivotal moments : Solstices and Equinoxes. At the moment of the entrance of Uranus in Taurus: May 16 2018 all the four signs of the fixed cross were occupied by planets that activated it in order to make it fertile for the time to come, i.e. for the 7 year transit of Uranus. On a practical level this means a complete transformation of our lives. Uranus is the Archetype of clear cuts, it supports and leads all kind of change and it obliges to start over so that evolutionary talents, needs, desires can surface and become present in reality. Uranus obliges us to a change on our course of action that is totally unforeseen, as much as the means and tools that this revolutionary path will offer us. In the fixed cross, Uranus rules over Aquarius, its primary meaning is the cutting of the umbilical chord, an action that is essential for the survival of the newborn. We need to cut any ties with the previous situations, if we want to face something entirely new. We humans are very aware how difficult this is. In my personal interpretation of the elements of the Zodiac in connection with the 22 Major Tarots, Uranus is the Fool who is only pushed forward by his/her soul, since it cannot be held by any past tie, it leaves on a journey without a fixed goal, with as little as possible in its bundle, free and crazy!

In order to exit the world of rules and structures, which we have also contributed to build, we need to acknowledge and put into motion that "magical" part of us that has remained silent for a long time and only follows divine laws. This creative genius flashes through us and puts us in direct contact with the creative and propelling forces of Light that are already present in each one of us. When Uranus enters Taurus it behaves like a plough: opening the soil, airing the dirt and giving it new oxygen. It brings to the surface the stones, the roots of infesting plants that need to be eliminated, above all Uranus prepares and fertilizes the soil for the new seeds and harvests. In the same way, it becomes active in us: it brings to the surface what we need to leave forever, what has led us so far, so that we could solve our karmic past, but that is not needed anymore. This mass is mostly made up of family conditioning that have led us to roles which are not useful to us anymore and are often opressive and boring. Uranus in Taurus is an amazing chance to pay our past bills and prepare ourselvese to live clean in the future. This can happen like a wind, a blow, a hurricane or a tornado, according to what we learnt from Uranus in Aries in the seven previous years, when we learnt to let go of the ego centered defences and attitudes, so that we could use our personality in service of the soul. We still have this chance, since Uranus is retrograde in Aries from November 2017 to March 2019, when it enters definetly into Taurus. The daily routine can be re arranged by minor incidents (such as electrical or electronic devices that suddenly stop working, or break up in our relationships with greater or smaller intensity). All of these incidents teach us the art of detachment: so we can learn to live intensely each moment in our daily life, where we can make each moment magic with the freed light that lives and flows through us. This is our second birth, not a rebirth, we have now a chance to be born again fertilized and generated by our Inner Parents. Our masculine and feminine polarities are united in the integrity of the reawakened consciousness, they become our Father and Mother, thus forming the new metaphysical vehicle through which we can manifest our soul in all its beauty. We will be supported in this endevour by other planetary positions that will be discussed in the next articles.

Alchemical Union

If the Sun represents Gold through the alchemical transmutation, Uranus represents the way to achieve it. U – RA -NUS becomes One thanks to Ra, the well known Egyptian god of the Sun. In simple words: it is time to let our light shine, to root it well in us and to share it constantly in our daily actions, allowing Life to place us in a state of wonder with its beauty. Have a Good Life!

Laura Bottagisio Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

Second Birth

MAGIC A MEETING OF CULTURES Adrian Rooke I am looking at my computer, musing by myself how to describe a most wonderful, actually the most incredible weekend I have just returned from. A coming together of two different, yet so similar faith systems: Hindus from around the UK and druids from the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. We shared our cultures, incredible rituals, songs, dances and, most important of all, we shared our open hearts and our love for humanity and diversity. We gathered in the beautiful grounds of Beaumanor Hall in Loughborough Leicestershire, surrounded by a panoply of trees now donning their autumn garb radiant in red berries and golden leaves. To start the proceedings we had a full Druid opening ritual, calling the quarters, blessing the circle with fire and water, after each part of the druid ritual, we had a blessing and a prayer from the Hindus. The whole ceremony was a natural merging together. Then, we participated in an ancient Hindu Fire Ceremony dedicated to the many names of the Sun God. This was probably one of the first times in the UK that this ceremony has been experienced. Each of us was spooning sacred Ghee (clarified butter used in Hindu rituals) into fire bowls to celebrate the 13 names of the Sun God. It was awesome, I was deeply impressed by this part of the ceremony.

After this initial ceremony, the weekend opened up with talks and sharings. I gave a talk on the Ogham, the beauty of sculpting wood and our relationship to the tree kingdom. Both days were rich with the sharing of our wisdom and delicious food, culminating in a song and dance evening around a fire surrounded by a giant ancient Yew tree some several thousand years old. We were blessed by the spirits of place and the weather, as the storms abated for our evening entertainment. We completed the gathering on Sunday with the awareness of a new and profound connection between our groups. We also shared firm promises that, goddess willing, we will meet again next year around the old Yew tree in the spirit of love and open heartedness.

We concluded our druid ceremony by singing the chant : “Round and round we go we hold each others hands ,round and round we go we hold each others hands, weave our lives in a circle, our love is strong and the dance goes on. Our love is strong and the dance goes on .. “ We were asked to write a poem to express what we felt whilst meditating in the grounds, here is my meagre offering: Face kissed by Sun’s lips, Breath of summer passed lingers, faintly oh so faintly in the rain washed winds that dance around my sunshine loving soul. I see the Rowan Tree, hung heavily with the red fire of long ago dreams. Dreams of a time when the world seemed made of simple truths and butterfly wings. Still I sat and wondered: are the old Gods listening to the plaintive cry of the dragonfly?

Adrian Rooke Edited by Antonella Vicini

BECOMING MEDICINE Ancient Ways David Kopacz I write this whilst sitting at a restaurant called the Botanist, in Alderley Edge, Manchester, UK. I have been in the UK about a week and a half now, starting in Kent, driving across to Cardiff, out to Pembrokeshire, through St. David’s, Aberystwyth, Holywell, and then on to Manchester. I have visited 15th Century castles as well as walked lands that were built upon by people who have receded back into the mists of time―walking up Little Solsbury Hill, St. David’s Head (Penmaen Dewi) to see stone circles, and to the burial chamber of Pentre Ifan. These are some of my ancestral homelands―Wales and the British Isles. I have been thinking lately about the how the land is ancient. There are human pasts here that have long been forgotten: Stonehenge, standing stones, burial mounds, foundations of buildings long since fallen into disrepair. The weather during our trip was beautiful, warm and sunny, only one day of rain – however this continued into a drought and this drought led to the land revealing secrets of past human habitation in Wales. Circular and rectangular patterns of ancient foundations were visible when the surrounding land dried out at a faster rate. * I know that my ancestral roots are from this region, about half of my genetics and family history trace back through the UK and Western Europe, about 30% Welsh/Irish/Scottish. I also have about 40% Eastern European and I have not been able to get very far back on that side of the family.

Most of the documented history we have now began with the Roman invasion of the British Isles, but there were people living here for thousands of years prior to the Roman invasion. These are the people often called “The Celts.” The Celts are a somewhat controversial topic, some people feeling passionate about this pre-Christian heritage, and others, academics mostly, saying that no such people existed and are more a fantasy than a true people and culture. This question of who we are and who we were is the heart of what I am reflecting upon. Our identities as Americans, or Europeans, or Englishspeakers, or Caucasians are just snap shots in time. While they seem like solid identities, when we look at the history of human beings, these identities are only the briefest tip of the iceberg of who we are. Just under 350 years ago and there were no such things as “Americans” (this is the easiest shorthand for what people of the United States of America call themselves, but it is really not factually correct as anyone from North and South America could call themselves “Americans”). Prior to the arrival of British, French, and Spanish colonists, North and South America were peopled by a multitude of tribal cultures.

It is believed, based on Western science, that these peoples arrived here over the Siberian land bridge some 10,000-12,000 years ago and that this arrival of the Clovis culture peoples led to the extinction of many of the massive mammals such as elephants, camels, and rhinoceri.

Looking back to the British Isles, they were connected to mainland Europe through the now submerged Doggerland. Whatever we call these pre-Roman peoples of these isles, we know that people of the Bell-Beaker culture traveled here from the continent during the bronze-age. Even further back, there were Neolithic peoples here, but we know little beyond what we can conjecture based on artifacts. We know that Neanderthals, a separate species than Homo sapiens, lived in Europe for tens of thousands of years and they are now gone, although their DNA slumbers within our own genetic code (1.8% of my DNA traces back to Neanderthal per the National Genographic project).

Our memories of our histories are but brief wisps of smoke on the fires of our identities, reaching back through endless migrations and wanderings, all the way back to Mother Africa, some 80,000 years past. What we can know with our minds, our memories, and our knowledge just scratch the surface of who we are and where we come from. We fight over things like language, religion, skin color, and economics, and yet these things are such superficial trifles when viewed against the backdrop of our history as a species. We human beings move across landscapes, calling them “home” and believing that they are “ours” and that they do not belong to those we call “others.” In fact, the land is not ours, but we are the land’s, we are of the land. This is the meaning of the term “indigenous,” being of the land. We are all from this Earth, we are made up of the organic chemicals and compounds of the Earth and after we die, we return to the Earth. This is why many indigenous people say, the Earth is our Mother, Mother Earth, she has given birth to us and we return to her when we die.

Ancientness. We cannot even imagine properly what this is and what it means to be ancient. My travels here give me just a taste of it, as I have gone to places that are less and less recorded and documented. I have searched through books, academic and speculative, to try to get some idea of what came before, and yet there are gaps in time and even what seems to fill those gaps seems like conjecture―scientific or otherwise. My work with Joseph Rael has given me more appreciation of ancientness. Cultures, such as the Southern Ute and Picuris Pueblo, which have a connection through a living indigenous lineage, teach an appreciation of the ancient past. In his visions, Joseph often goes back into the ages, back into the pre-history of the land. We are made of the land, perhaps there is a way for the land to teach us about ourselves, about what we are made of and about where we are living in our journeys, wanderings and wonderings.

I had a dream, one of the first nights here. I was in a large circle of people, ringing a lake. We were going around the circle, telling a little about ourselves. There was a sense that I was a teacher and that the ring of people around the lake were young learners, students. Then there was a crow in front of me, mainly black, but with some white on the wings. The crow and I beheld each other, contemplated each other. Then there was a scene, the crow was flying in the sky. I was dancing and I was wearing something like the Eagle Dance clothing of the Pueblo people. A fierce storm came with lightning and thunder and I kept teaching and talking about the dance and the storm. Then, later, there was a scene in which I was being reprimanded for putting the lives of the students in danger and being so caught up in the storm. I felt that the storm and the dance were so much more important than the things that are usually taught and yet the authorities did not see it that way. We often get caught up in the storm of history, only focusing on the large and dramatic events and we lose track of the everyday weather between historic upheavals. Perhaps we are living in such as storm of history at the moment.

I am having a coffee at the Botanist, in the “secret garden” and there is a little English robin hopping about. Perhaps what we are lacking in modern society is this connection to ancientness. Without it, we forget who we are, we forget where we have come from, and we create partial identities that do not allow room for all that we are and all that we are possible of becoming. We can rediscover our ancientness by opening a door inside of us that we have closed off. We can rediscover our ancientness by learning to listen to that which we are made up of and that which we are standing upon. We are ripples across the sea of life―there are those who came before us and there will be those who come after us. One of the books I read whilst traveling was James Canton’s Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain. He ends his book of wandering and wondering about ancient Britain and it leads him back to Europe. “I had dug ever deeper into the minds and beliefs of those souls who lived upon these lands thousands of years before us and it had become ever more evident that to understand the ancient British ways and practices, you had to see these lands in relation to Europe. Eight thousand years ago, Doggerland had physically linked Britain to the continent. Then Britain had become separated. In the Neolithic Age, while there had certainly been a sense of cultural practices being shared across these islands, as the spread of stone circles and the development of agriculture illustrated, Britain had been more isolated, then more inward looking. By the Bronze Age, travel had extended beyond voyages around the islands of the Britain and Irish archipelago…I saw a map of prehistoric Britain and Europe before me with a series of black lines criss-crossing and steadily enmeshing the land, which signified the journeys made in distant times, the movements of highly skilled people, of gold and tin, of the finest flint arrowheads, of Bronze axes and swords, of jet and of jewellery…and of astronomical instruments…I would venture over the seas, beyond the prehistoric worlds of Britain to those of mainlands Europe…” (321-322).

If we dig far enough back into the past, we will find that we are all one family. Scientist speak of Mitochondrial Eve**. If we look at Mitochondrial Eve’s initials, “ME,” we find that she is the same as us and we are the same as her. She also has the same initials of another parent of ours, Mother Earth.

David Kopacz

NOTES: * Pictures of these echoes of the past can be seen on the Atlas Obscura website article “The Hidden Cropmarks of Wales, Revealed by a Drought,” by Sarah Laskow, July 11, 2018. **See Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene: An Intimate History, 338-339

QUILTING AWAY NAMIBIA: A TRIP TO A MAGIC LAND Lida Perry For the past ten years I have travelled extensively in the Asian countries, from Sri Lanka to Nepal, from Bhutan to Indonesia and Vietnam…. I had wonderful experiences that have touched me in many ways, they have also widened my horizons and my approach with people of other cultures. I have exhausted the countries to visit …in the Asian continent.. But there are other continents and there is Africa… I have been somewhat conflicted at the thought of going to Africa. The idea elicits in me some uneasiness, I have vision of thick jungles, snakes and dangerous animals lurking everywhere… at the same time, deep within me, there is a part that wants to face this challenge. It is stirred by some of the stories my father used to tell us about his years in Somalia and Eritrea during the Italian colonial wars in the 30’s. Stories not about the war but the places, the people, the energy, and in his words transpired his longing and his desire to return… I read somewhere that some people that visit Africa come back with what is called “the African Sickness” the symptoms are described as a deep yearning and longing to return. When a friend called and asked if I wanted to go to Africa I found myself responding without a second thought that I would gladly join her on the trip to Namibia. The 13 days trip would begin at Windhoek the capital of Namibia and in a counter-clock pattern cover in the north The Etosha Park, (one of the biggest natural park in Africa) proceeding to the East to the Skeleton Coast and at the end of the trip to the South and the desert.

“ I am going to Namibia."

The trip to Windhoek is just a blur, I am excited and impatient to leave the airport and go outside for the first taste of this new adventure. The temperature is cool, very pleasant and I remember that we are now in the southern hemisphere and for Namibians this is winter. I am impressed by the efficiency and orderliness of the transition from the airport to the two brand new SUV and the drivers who will be our guides throughout the trip. After a quick lunch, finally we are on our way, 300 km, to our first stop. The Africa I am seeing is very far from the image I have had. The black top roads are in good condition the town we cross are well kept with strong signs of development. Construction sites are scattered everywhere. We leave the towns, the residential and commercial centers, the scenery is changing.. the landscape is becoming barren, thorny bushes, the trees have very small leaves and are few and far between, the grass is burned by the sun.

We finally stop at the lodge where we will spend our first night. Most of the lodges in Namibia are part of the National Department of Parks of Namibia and owned by Germans who in the past colonized it. All the lodges we stayed at were built with particular attention to the landscape in which they were sited. So most of them were built to blend with the configuration of the land. If there were rocky mountains the lodge was built with the same rocks and in one particular location some of walls were the side of the mountain itself. If the land was the savanna the material used were chosen so the buildings would blend totally with the brownish colors of the landscape. Namibia seems to be very committed to protect and appreciate the beauty of their gifted nature. “I am tired by the long hours of driving, and with my eyes still filled of the images of the savanna, I sit outside on the porch and suddenly I am aware of the silence. I believe there are many types of silences with different characteristics, could be deep, ominous, tense, heavy, and this has a very particular quality. It is a silence that is vibrating, pulsing, breathing‌ it is as if the earth is breathing into the sky and I could sense its rhythm. I am captivated in this immense wonder of nature. The sky is a deep blue dome, brilliant with thousands of stars that seem in total harmony with the vibration of the silence. I have never seen such a bright, clear, alive night sky, it is overwhelming. This is Africa, Namibia, here the earth shows its magnificent work of art and I have the inkling that this is just a small preview of a bigger and enchanting production.â€? After hours and hours of travel the landscape seems the same and at the same time is ever changing in some not so subtle ways. The grass of the bush at a superficial look seems just burned, dry, but after a more careful observation I can see that it has different shades of yellow and different textures. The horizon changes, it could be uninterrupted for miles then a ridge of mountain appears, it almost seems an optical illusion because the horizon remains vast and uninterrupted, where it meets the sky there is a sense of freedom, almost a glance into the boundlessness of the Universe.

“ We stop for a break, to take pictures and stretch our legs. Maybe for the first time I notice the ever present breeze. To me it does not feel like an ordinary breeze… I can describe it as clean, transparent, pure, warm with a touch of freshness, it makes the grass dance, shimmer, vibrate with its touch. It’s a calming and relaxing experience, I am gently touched by the breeze and by the gentle warmth of the sun. I bask in the perfection of this moment.” We are now traveling on hard yet smooth white roads, in this dry season it is very dusty, the bushes on the side of the road are so white that they seem covered with frost. We meet many termite mounds, dead trees, some of them appear as sculptures made by nature. This white scenario is made more evident by the contrast of the sky, intensely blue and terse, and the difference is a chromatic feast for the eyes. “We enter the Etosha Park and we finally see the first animals. A group of giraffes. The giraffe I think is the most elegant, beautiful, harmonious in its stride of all the animal habitants of this park. A couple stopped in the middle of the road looked at us then continue on their walk with incredible grace. They captured my heart.

After the giraffe there was quite a parade of other animal, zebras all different in their stripes, impalas, the amazingly graceful running springboks, and many other kinds that I had never seen or heard of before. All of them are the rightful dwellers of this land, we are the guests, maybe not always welcomed! What a feeling of gratitude to be able to see them in their home!

At sunset we stop at a water hole and I see my first herd of elephants. A family. I am sorry for not being able to know more about them and the way they communicate. During the time at the water hole observing their interactions I could imagine that they were “talking to each other" especially the old male who seemed to have a lot to say, and it was fun to make up a story about what he was telling them..." Leaving the Park we left behind the landscape that at times seemed lunar or a set from an science fiction movie and we approached the coast. The air changed from dry and warm of the interior to the humidity and the charm of the morning mist of the Atlantic Ocean. Away from the ocean the land continues to change in its appearance, shapes and colors go from light beige to shades of sand color, to the bright brown of the mountains rich of quartz and pirina. Every part of Namibia has its own magic and allure, different in its characteristics but basically holding the same promise to be prepared for yet another spectacular show‌ The Dunes

“We are at the edge of the desert and here it is, one of the biggest dune of the area. It’s about 300 meters high. (as a building of 10 or more floors). It is impressive, with its high ridge it rises imperiously it invites me and at the same time challenges me to climb it. I take up the challenge and take off my shoes. In one hand a bottle of water and around my neck the camera. The sand is warm I start to climb, head on but after a while my legs hurt and I have difficulty in breathing, so I stop and decide to change approach, I climb sideways and never look up to see the top, so step after step I reach the end of the climb! The view is breathtaking, I take in the sinuous and gentle forms of the dunes in constant evolution. The wind blows constantly and raises the sand that is laid always in different points. I muse that if I were to see this climb as a metaphor for this phase of my life, it would tell me that now to reach the ultimate goal I need a different approach, not head on as in my youth but an easier way, present to the moment with every step and not concern with the end goal.�

We are at the end of our trip, one last challenge a ride in a small Cessna airplane over the dunes.

“I am at the small airport where two young pilots are giving us the last instructions, what to do and not to do on the plane, and with the aid of a map show us the terrain that we would cover. The airplane seems very small, like a toy, a mere 4 seater. We lift off and the view become larger and larger as we climb. Soon (the view) is breathtaking, it’s the late afternoon and the light has taken the golden quality that is an inkling to the sunset. I can feel my heartbeat and I have tears in my eyes in holding the magic of what I see. Am I really having this experience? The land beneath me is without boundaries, I can see forever. The ridges of the dunes blend one into the next and in the light of the late afternoon their colors change from red to dark copper, from purple to black and again to a golden yellow in a chromatic performance that only Nature can stage. My soul leaps before this apotheosis of Nature that is Sovereign and transcends time and space. The view holds a stillness and a sense of eternity that touches me deeply. There is also a primordial and eternal generative energy, maybe it was here that the ancient seed of life begun on planet Earth, hopefully it will continue to nurture and generate." At the end of the flight I have in my eyes and my soul the powerful experience of remembering my deepest roots and the consciousness that here in this planet we are guests. Maybe the meaning of the “ The African Sickness” is the longing to regain the memories of our primordial origin… Namibia is indeed a Magic Land!

Lida Perry Edited by Antonella Vicini

PHOTO GRAPHY Hands Luis Vasconcelos ... Life is made with Hands.. When you were born there was a pair of hands pulling you out... I’m talking to you with my hands... Hands are deeply inside our Life. You love with Hands, and you can hate with ands too. Hands can caress you or beat you... We work with Hands too... In this series of amazing photos Luis Vasconcelos explores our relationship with matter, with the substance of reality. Strong working hands they show our presence in life. In Italian we say "sporcarsi le mani " getting our hands dirty when we get involved in something. So these hands are really here to show us how to commit to life and not to restrain from it. With our hands we start acting in the world, so that we can agree with Krishna who says in the Bhagavad Gita: "I am always involved in action". In this way Luis' hands show us the way of karma yoga!

Antonella Vicini

HUMAN Tanya Tewell The two paintings that I have selected for this issue of “The Badger” are obviously complementary in content and color schemes. In fact, both paintings should be read as one visual conversation around some central ideas. The first painting of the standing woman entitled “Holding the Line” and the second painting, of the woman in profile, “Gathering Energy” are portrayals of strong women taking center stage. Thematically, everything evolves around them. The backgrounds on both paintings are derivations from wall paintings in Pompeii featuring Faunus/Pan or Satyr figures. A wise woman or matron is in the first painting and a boldly striding death figure, who is also female, is in the second painting. The hand gesture of the robbed matron in “Gathering Energy” signals a check on the energies of the Satyr. In both paintings, there is a depiction of a leering, intrusive sexuality through various figures in the background that does not seem to effect the women in the foreground. The women portrayed in the paintings are grounded, untouchable, and serene in their power. In these complementary artworks, I wanted to make a more modern statement about intrusive sexuality using ancient images. This dynamic has, of course, not changed that much between men and women over the ages, except that now, more women are outspoken about inappropriate and unwanted behavior from men. However, I do not want to turn this article into a polarizing discussion about these issues but to explore meanings through more universal imagery which has the advantage of time and cultural distance.

The Faunus/ Pan figure has ambivalent meanings for me because he can symbolize an energy connected to positive forces and cycles in nature, but pushed to another kind of characterization can become more of an ogling satyr whose hyper-sexuality seems more of a threat and less integrated into life-affirming natural forces. However, that being said, I understand that both characterizations are important illustrations of various aspects of human nature and there is much to be learned from both. The two words that come to mind are integration and excess—the integration of the senses into the matrix of nature and, on the opposite end of the continuum, the excessive stimulation and consumption through the senses, not just involving sexuality, but all aspects of interaction with others and the environment. The sweeping death figure behind the women in profile in “Gathering Energy” is barely contained in the background and threatens to overwhelm the composition. This certainly reflects my belief about certain excessive approaches in life that can lead to spiritual and physical death. In the United States, it is on gross and depressing display everyday on the news with our strutting Satyr in Chief displaying this death wish over and over for everyone to see. If you are not of that mind set, It is difficult to find balance and some small measure of serenity (but that is probably another discussion, altogether.) There is a famous quote from the Pre-Romantic poet and painter William Blake which is “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom…for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” There have been many interpretations of this statement with many focused on Blake’s belief that passion tempered with instruction is how we can find wisdom and balance in life. For me, painting and the teaching of art serve as the balancing forces in my life.

Through my work and the research that I am able to do in Italy, I find a better understanding of the historical continuum of man-made forces and our internal dynamics as represented by myths, stories, and images, which illustrate our struggle with various factors in the psyche. In these particular paintings, I chose to explore how mythic expressions of sexuality can be part of the natural flow in life or one that can cause so much destruction-the road of excess and no wisdom, to paraphrase Blake.

Tanya Tewell

TRAVELLING EAST Looking into the Sun Raffaella Vicini From my office on board my cruise ship, I can see the sea. It may seem strange to mention it, because I work on a ship that it is surrounded by the sea. But when working on board, people very much appreciate a window in the cabin (called porthole) or in the office, because not all the offices have one and to see the sun you have to go outside in the open decks. Inside there only artificial lights, air conditioning, music and crowd and you can easily forget that outside there is the sky and the light. I’m lucky because I have a window in my office from where I can see the sea, the sunset and the sunshine. Sometimes I turn around my chair and I look at the sky with thousands of colours, the clouds with different shapes, the waves running one after the other. I can lose my eyes in the beauty of the sea and the sky fantasizing stories and adventures. What was it like for the first explorers to cross the unknown seas only with the guidance of the stars? They didn't have electronic instruments, no satellites, no radar to help them, only their nautical charts (maybe not even correct at that time) and the stars showing them the north and the other directions. What was it like to discover new worlds after crossing the high seas? After so many days at sea, finally they discovered a new land. Which land was it? India, Asia, South America, Africa? What they were going to find there?

Tribes or civilized people? Gold or precious stones? Wonderful trees never seen before, animals never encountered until then, colours so different from their home countries, entirely different food, new languages to learn, new habits to understand‌ How many treasures the new unknown land was going to give them? What a thrill, what a surprise!

The sun now is becoming red going down into the water, it is evening here in Asia, bringing its light to another part of the world, now in USA is almost morning. What a miracle every day, the sun disappears from my eyes but shines into someone else eyes in another part of this wonderful Earth. What a miracle life itself is: we were born, we grow, we learn from the ancestors, from those who discovered places before us, we have that history inside our bones, we are the results of many centuries of experiences and trials and errors; if we stop for a moment we can even listen to their words reminding us to take care of the earth, to take care of ourselves for now and for the future. TERRA!! TERRA!! TERRA!!!

Raffaella Vicini Edited by Antonella Vicini


Working in the Circle Philip Carr-Gomm This volume we look at how we can work magically with the circle to enhance our lives and our spiritual practice. Some time ago I was at the One Tree Gathering that is held every year in Leicester. Members of the Hindu and Druid communities had come together for a weekend of sharing, and spiritual and cutural exchange.* We began with two ceremonies – an ancient Brahmninical one in which each of us offered many spoonfuls of ghee to the fire, and a Druid one. Afterwards, I pointed out how our Druid practice has been influenced by Hinduism. When I was young, the circle was consecrated with fire and water, but not the people standing in the circle. Today, in most ceremonies, participants waft the smoke from the consecrating fire (usually incense) over their faces as it passes by them, and hold out their hands to receive drops of water as the circle is blessed. This is exactly what occurs in Hindu ceremonies.I wonder whether the change in practice has occurred because some people copied this from their experience in Hindu temples and others have then copied them. Or perhaps, more intriguingly, it has occurred spontaneously and naturally as a basic, universal, response to the elements? The Druid circle is one of inclusion rather than protection, although that can be evoked too. It becomes symbolic of the world, the sun and moon, the horizon, all of humanity. At the same time it can create a sense of limitation, containment, focus. It can help us reduce the distraction of the outside world. It can ‘clear the decks’ for us. In our meditation we consciously develop our sense of being seated within a circle to help us find peace and calm.

How to use the circle in a practical way We can use the circle both as a sense of protection from outer influences, a sense of focus since we leave outside the disturbing thoughts. The circle in a ceremony invites the entire world to participate, it is a symbol of universality. In druidry the circle is one of inclusion where we invite everybody to be together in this way. Gathering, welcoming, bringing in, focus and containment. Focus and containment, the chalice and the blade. At the beginning of the ceremony we welcome the sun as the centre of our attention. At the end of the day we welcome a bonfire, that becomes our focus. We are bombarded by information and events, so we may feel overhwlemed and in pieces, so the circle of light can helps us to focus again.

Exercise: Becoming aware of being seated in silence, maybe with closed eyes if you want, become aware of the sounds far away and close by, any sounds from our own body: breathing, heart beat. Breath deep from the nose in the belly, hold in and breath out through the mouth, repeat three times. Become aware of being seated in the forest in the sacred grove of the druids, feel the stability of the earth, feel the healing energy of the earth bringing a sense of peace and calm, sense the trees around you, they bring stability and calm, they are your roots in the ground, trunks are solid like our bodies and the branches in the sky above breath in energy of the trees, our brothers and sisters they exhanchge energies with us. See the sky, breath in the energy and clarity of the sky its vitality, the energy of the sky and earth meet in the centre of our being. Feel drawn to a little bag of stones in your pocket, place it on the ground near you, feeling the smooth pebbles, stretching out put one pebble on the earth in front of you, then a second one and put it on the right, gradually do it with all the pebbles creating a small circle of pebbles a circle all around, starting on the right. Having completed the circle, sit back and sense the circle around you, find the centre of the circle, it will be deep inside. See if you can locate it in your body or energy field, it may be seen as a point of light. You can control its size, make it become bigger, glowing with light, change its color too. Then let go of it and feel the entire body, the aura is radiant with light bask in the sense of light, every cell is bathing in this light, healed by it. Then return to your body and return to the circle of stones and gather them up anticlockwise after letting go of the light. Then seated with the little bag of pebbles, feeling the trees around, the earth beneath and the sky above in the sacred grove return to the awareness of your room . Stretch fingers and toes and open your eyes

The sense of calm and peace brought by the circle reinforces the feeling of being in the centre of the circle, so we feel centered again

Philip Carr Gomm Edited by Antonella Vicini *See Magic by Adrian Rooke

APOTHECARY Hops (Humulus lupulus) Jo Dunbar Hops are often found tangled in the hedgerows as escapees from hops fields, now long gone. For the herbalist, hops offers many opportunities for rebalancing and comforting our patients. Hops cones are rich in phyto-oestrogens (plantbased oestrogens) and as such, are used for two particular reasons – to reduce the menopausal flushes, and to enhance the natural size of a woman’s breasts. This herb is absolutely perfect for women who have reached the age when their oestrogen levels start to decline, and their sleep is badly disrupted with hot flushes and drenching sweats. Very many women find that they are woken every few hours, so hot and soaked in perspiration that they need to change their bed linen and stand at an open window to cool down. Once the flush has passed they are wide awake and can't fall asleep again. It is very debilitating. Hops, not only supplements the declining oestrogens, thereby reducing the hot flushes to almost none at all, but it is also deeply relaxing, thus allowing her to quickly to drop off to sleep again. Hops can be combined very nicely with some sage from the garden and a few flowers of red clover to provide a very effective menopause tea. Hops offers another wonderful service to the modern human in the form of relaxing spasms in the gut and promoting the flow of digestive enzymes, and as such is very helpful for those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

When you drink a cup of hops tea, or some tincture, you will immediately notice the bitterness. Although unpleasant to taste, our stomachs recognise the bitterness as a signal to secrete digestive enzymes. In the meantime, the liquid quickly slips into the bloodstream, and is taken to the brain which is calmed and sends messages back to the gut that it too can relax. The muscles unclench, digestive enzymes flow, the person relaxes, and irritable bowel symptoms melt away. If you can find some hops, you will notice that in early September the prettiest little cones have formed. Once they have reached full size, you can harvest them. If you have a spare pillow case, do fill it with hops cones and lavender flowers, and use this as a sleeping pillow if you have trouble with insomnia. Some people like to include Wormwood sprigs to enhance their dreams. IBS Tea: 1 cone of hops flowers 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds 3 slices of fresh ginger 1 chamomile teabag

Jo Dunbar

FOOD IS OUR ALLY Autumn Feast Antonella Vicini Every year, when the season changes, it is a good idea to cleanse oneself and prepare for the new challenges and gifts of the season to come. Going from the long sunny days of summer to the shorter and darker days of autumn requires much attention to the needs of our bodies that have enjoed and basked in the open air activities of summer time. Eating what is in season now facilitates the cleansing and preparation required. So instead of eating the exotic fruits and vegetables offered by the big chain stores, let's look for the small farmers' markets or their equivalent in different countries, so that we can find what is available in the season. In southern Europe, right now we still have some of the summer fruits, while we can already taste the magnificent grapes that purify our humors with their sweet liquid that will eventually become wine when harvested for such purpose. Herbs of the field and salad are also here to help us clean up the excesses of summer eating and prepare the body for the needs of a colder a climate. Let's look at these fruits: Oranges, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pears, plums, grapes, later in the season we will find also: chestnuts, persimmons, pomegrenates, tangerines. Some of these fruits will accompany us throughout winter time. The vegetables: Cabbages white and red, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, spinach, fennel, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, potatoes, leeks, beetroot.

The best way to cook these vegetables is steaming them lightly, or briefly stir fry them, so that they retain their crunchiness, their taste and healing properties. Adding just a little bit of EVO will give taste, without changing their natural flavour. They can be used also for the preparation of great vegetables pies, both with and without a supporting crust.

Vegetable Pie: FOR THE FILLING: Green chards or kale onions or shallots rice milk and rice flour clarified butter, or very little EVO salt grated parmesan cheese FOR THE CRUST: Buckwheat and corn flour (eggs) EVO pinch of salt Clean well the vegetables of choice, if the chards have hard parts, cut them out and steam them lightly before placing them in the pan together with the leaves cut into long and thin slices. Beforehand you will have already stir fried the onion or shallots until they look transparent. Once all the vegetables are in the pan, stir fry quickly and let it rest, add salt to taste at the end of the cooking. You can prepare a tasty white sauce with the clarified butter and rice flour first, for the base of the sauce, then add rice milk and some grated parmesan cheese for taste. Once the sauce has boiled let it rest a short time while you prepare the crust, if you want one, but this recipe works also without any crust. The crust is made of non wheat flours so that it adds its intense flavour to the pie. Work the flours together with some water and EVO, add a little salt. If you cannot make it work for you, you can add one or two eggs that will act as glue, like a savoury short pastry.

Buckwheat is not very flexible, since it contains no gluten, so you cannot work it for too long, otherwise it breaks. As soon as the dough is formed, let it rest a short while and then flatten it down in the baking tin with your hands and/or a small rolling pin. Place the stir fried vegetables on top of the dough and add the white sauce, sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top of it and place it in the oven at medium to high temperature, the time will depend on the size of the pie. The ingredients are all cooked, except the crust, so 30 minutes at a medium temperature are enough. Enjoy!

Antonella Vicini

UNDER THE SKIN Alchemical Initiation in small steps Part 1 Nigredo Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Western society has a wonderful ability in rationalizing concepts, but this talent is also its weak point. When we look for a rational explanation for everything, we run the risk of believing any pseudo-scientific affirmation... The interesting aspect of rationality requires that any intuition needs to be proved and repeated. We want to use this second aspect, in order to show the close links that connect the concept of initiation in alchemical traditions with our results in Dermoreflexology in the last 20 years of our experiments in this field. Alchemy offered 3 main steps on the psychic initation path, or we can define it a path of enlightenment, if we look at the completion of the evolutionary process: Nigredo, Albedo, Rubedo. We will examine them from three different viewpoints: the alchemical concept, Dante's experience in his Divine Comedy, the dermoreflexology path.

NIGREDO Nigredo, "the raven head", the "skull", or "black work" this is the phase of destruction, or putrefaction. The alchemist destroys all the dangeorus and disgragated elements that are present in in his/her subtle bodies (mental and psychic). On the mental level, the initiate destroys all his egos (the many aspects of his/her external personality, yet not his/her real identity) that we can call, according to Carl Gustav Jung, the self. On the psychic level, he/she will destroy all the crystallized, unprocessed and unresolved emotions. These experiences are present in our unconscious memory (for this reason they cannot be resolved on a mental level), they have not yet found an explanation, nor a solution. The destruction of the external egos and the emotions during the stage of Nigredo lead the physical body to the end of tensions, that are usually kept active by ego and disgregated emotions. Such a process of disgregation can be activated through self observation, understanding how the different egos, the various personalities and the emotions are formed. Such elements often crystallized during childhood and adolescence, via family and social conditionings. If you are thinking now about the re capitulation mentioned by Carlos Castaneda in his work, this is a correct connection. These elements need to be destroyed, since they take away free will from people, instead they force him/her into needs produced by lack that come from what they learnt around them and consider correct, because they are practiced by most people around them. By observing them, he/she becomes aware of what has happened and he/she can then destroy them consciously in order to purify such subtle matter (mental and psychic bodies) in a conscious way during the subsequent alchemical phase. The time in which we live through the Nigredo is tragic, devastating, upsetting and destabilizing, because all the things we used to found our life are in doubt and destroyed. Only after complete destruction there can be a new step.

Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy describes with great precision both the time of life and the feelings of Nigredo, right at the beginning of his work: Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita (1) mi ritrovai per una selva oscura (2) ché la diritta via era smarrita. (3) Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte che nel pensier rinova la paura! (4) Tant’è amara che poco è più morte; (5) ma per trattar del ben ch’i’ vi trovai, dirò de l’altre cose ch’i’ v’ho scorte. Io non so ben ridir com’i’ v’intrai, tant’era pien di sonno a quel punto (6) che la verace via abbandonai.

When half way through the journey of our life (1) I found that I was in a gloomy wood, (2) because the path which led aright was lost. (3) An ah, how hard it is to say just what this wild and rough and stubborn woodland was, the very thought of which renews my fear! (4) So bitter't is, that death is little worse; (5) but of the good to treat which where I found, I'll speak of what I else discovered there. I cannot say well how I entered it, so full of slumber was I at the moment (6) when I forsook the pathway of the truth. (Divine Comedy Inferno Canto 1) (1) entering adulthood, this is the time when the existential questions clamor for an answer (2) darkness represents what is unknown, as well as a dive into the unconscious (3) the usual path, that used to offer certainties and lack of surprises is not part of our path anymore (4) description of disgregation (destruction) (5) qualification of disgregation (6) sleep? Dream? Unconscious push? These are the elements that define what does not belong rationally to our perceived real existance

The Alchemical Elements of Nigredo: Colour : Black Process: Solvet, i.e. Destruction of the elements Symbol: Raven or Death Metal : Lead Planet : Saturn Energy : Masculine, destroying Element: Earth – Water

Nigredo in Dermoreflexology

When a person reaches this time of dissatisfaction, sometimes psychosomatic expressions of feeling bad, then the nigredo leads to a "black" outlook on life, sometimes the question can be " Why is this happening'". After such a question people can choose to work with dermoreflexology. The way we proceed is through a partial nigredo: we activate one aspect of the situation, while the rest remains in light. We facilitate the opening of memories so that they can become conscious, one episode at a time. By doing this we help the person in remembering all the details of a situation, both directly during the treatment and in dreams. When the episode has enough details for the person, it it time to destroy all the attitudes and behaviours that were a direct consequence of such experience. Together with the fictitious personalities all the crystallized emotions vanish as well from the psyche.

The destruction of the external egos and the correlated emotions leads the physical body to the end of tensions, since these were kept running by the facade personalities and the disgregated emotions.

Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

ENTERTAINING INTERLUDE “HORI OSHI” Death of a Japanese Tattoo Artist Cesira Borromei 5 Emma had remained immobile, her eyes on the mirror. The man was young, elegantly dressed. He was wearing a dark blue coat, but the detail that had left her breathless was his oriental aspect. "Ms. Massaro?" he asked the mirror. "Yes" she answered, while recuperating her cool. "Who are you? And how did you enter this place?" "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nakano, a criminal police commissioner from Tokyo. Please forgive me, I knocked, but since nobody answered and the door was open I came in. I hope I didn't scare you. I see that you are packing, I imagine you are leaving, are you not?" "Yes" blurted out Emma " I am going back to Rome, my work is done here and I need to present my research to the Institute of Sociology I work with." " A sociologist, very interesting. Could we please have a short chat? " "Yes, sure – sighed Emma – let's sit here. I am almost happy to meet you, I would have felt really bad if I had not talked with the police. But can you please explain to me why are you from Japan and how did you find me? " " You need to know that I am taking part in an international operation, Mr. Andrea Barbieri's studio was under surveillance because his friend Hori Oshi, the friend you found dead, was involved in drugs and was in Milan to make contact with some important elements of the northern mafia.

This operation had a goal: capturing the entire organization. Last night my men saw you entering the studio right after Andrea Barbieri, so when you left this morning, I followed you by byke. A few hours later the old man Hori is found dead in the studio. Barbieri has disappeared; could you tell me what were you doing there alone with a corpse until this morning? Please answer my question." "Sure, you are right – said Emma very confused – I admit the circumstances are against me, but my explanation is completly innocent. I was there for an interview with Barbieri on behalf of my Institute. I was drugged with a cup of tea. This morning at dawn, when I woke up, I discovered the body in the room next to mine. I was so schocked that I only thought of running away, later I didn't call the police because my story sounded so absurd that I was sure nobody would have believed me. Can you believe that i didn't know those 2 men and that I know nothing of drugs?" Emma asked sobbing. Nakano was looking at her without speaking, while she felt tears coming up her eyes. "Please say something, I am ready to follow you to the police station". She was getting ready to go, when the man gestured to her: " Wait, I would like to believe you, but I need a good will gesture on your side. You are in a big mess, so helping me is going to be to your advantage. Did you see or hear anything that might help me?" " No, I don't think so, actually I am sure" " We are looking for something that Oshi has taken with him from Japan. It is a very important element that Barbieri probably took away when he fled. I am asking you to help us in finding him, he is very dangerous and suspicious, but I will be with you, yet I cannot be too conspicuous, as you can see I am easily recognizable. Besides I would prefer to work without the Italian police. I didn't mention you to them, please help me and you will have no problems, as if what happened last night had been a bad dream. What do you say?" Emma had been listening shaking in fear. " I know nothing, how could I find that man? I am not a police man and I am afraid." "Please relax – said Nakano – we can work together, you have nothing to fear.

Could I please have something hot to drink? I got really cold last night" "Sure, I am sorry" Said Emma while standing up. Only then did she see the bandage on the left hand of the man. "Are you wounded?" "Nothing serious" answered the man with a grimace, immediately hiding the hand in his coat. " I am going to make an american coffee, it is light and tasty", she offered. A few minutes later they were both sitting at the table in the kitchen, drinking slowly, while the aroma of coffee was helping her to relax. Emma was observing the man without being too obvious. He seemed young for a commissioner, rather elegant, but he had nothing of a policeman, or maybe he had something cold in his eyes, something criminal. She had heard that policemen and criminal have things in common. "Try to remembe r Nakano was saying – did Barbieri say anything relevant during your brief meeting?" "No, he spoke very little, useless information, but wait... wait – said Emma – I have a vague recollection of a telephone call. I could not say if I really heard it or I dreamt it. Somebody was speaking of a man named Mark. He was telling him he needed his help. Then the man talked about a strange name like.. panther maybe... then he added that, yes, the boat could be a good hiding place. This is all, can it be useful for you? " Nakano's eyes had had a sudden shining, but they immedately returned cold and impassible. "We shall see, I have an idea" he said.

Cesira Borromei Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

NOVA SCHOLA PYTHAGORICA The Tale of the Immortal Child Part 1 Salvatore Mongiardo 1. Once upon a time, there was a very curious child, he was handsome and intelligent, with long flowing reddish blonde hair. They used to call him the long haired one. His eyes were blue and green like the sea and the sky, his body slim and tonic He was born about 2600 years ago in Samos, an important Greek island near the Turkish coast. His family was wealthy, his father Mnesarcus was a rich merchant from Tirus. He became citizen of Samos after bringing grain to the starving city during a famine. Well loved and highly esteemed, Mnesarcus chose to trade in rings for seals, a typical famous Samyan product. In Samos he met and married Parhtenides, an extraordinary woman. She was beautiful, with an acute intelligence and a loving attitude. On a business trip together, they visited Delphi, the most important oracle in Greece. The Pythian priestess told the couple they would have a child who would become the greatest thinker and teacher of humanity, he would be a guide into a new world, his words woould enchant everybody. A few months later, when Parthenides realized she was pregnant, she decided to call the child with a name reminiscent of the prophecy, therefore the child was called Pythagoras: the one announced by the Pythia.

Since early childhood, the child lived in a rich and stimulating environment, in contact with many different cultures. Samos was at the intersection of many routes,so ships arrived daily carrying goods and ideas from near and far away countries. Mnesarchus spoke many languages and travelled widely in order to sell his sought after seals made of semi precious and precious stones. In Samos there were quite a few fleets, one of them belonged to Policrates, who would soon be part of the child's history. Meanwhile Pythagoras' family grew with the birth of brothers and sisters. When he was 6 he already showed amazing skills. He could understand very complex reasonings and asked questions that the adults around him were not able to answer. 2. The city states (poleis) developed quickly accross the Mediterranean Sea. Athenians, Spartans, Corinthians, Calcidians and the Samians themselves reached the coasts of Italy, France, Spain. Their trading routes expanded together with the customs, rituals, ideas of different people. One area will become a very important example of fusion between the pre-existing culture and the Greek one: the area in Italy now called Calabria. Many different nations used to live in this region: the Ausonis, Lametis, Conis, Morgetis, Osciana, Sicans and Enotrians. The nature of the land with its rich forest, huge mountain chains, abundant rivers, fertile plains and natural ports on the coast had facilitated the start and development of many different cultures. Around the year 2000 BCE those populations united under one king, his name was Italus, the region (so far called Enotria) was known as Italy after his name. He unified the different tribes in a free, egalitarian and just society. When the Greeks arrived on the Jonian coasts of Italy, they found a very different culture from the rest of the Mediterranean. Women were free, agriculture was flouroshing, the sense of equality was well known.

While in some areas the Greeks fought against the local inhabitants, such as in Sibaris. In other areas the Greek culture mixed with the local one, especially in Kroton. The Greek colonizers were in fact young men capable of rowing long distances, when they arrived in a new place they used to marry the local women. In Kroton the women kept their freedom after their weddings to Greek men, thus breaking the Greek custom of keeping women closed in a separate area of the house, devoted only to the care of the children. Italic women's freedom was not just a custom. Zaleuco's Tablets, the first written laws in the western world, remind us that the Locrians were not allowed to have neither male or female slaves: thus freedom, from an Italic custom, had become a law written in Greek. 3. The ancient city of Kroton, founded in 743 BCE had a free society: men and women lived together in harmony, there was no slavery, the rule of fairness: that is equality for everybody was the foundation of daily living. In this fertile ground the arts and sciences could prosper: Democedes and Alcmeon started the scientific and medical studies. The athletes from Kroton won many sporting events in the pan hellenic games, especially the Olimpic games. The city became famous accross the Mediterranean sea, attracting commerce and merchants from overseas. Mnesarcus used to travel frequently to Tarantus, Sibaris, Kroton, Locri and Siracuse to sell his famous seals. His son Pythagoras, when he was about 10 years old, won his mother's concerns and left on a journey with his father. They went to Taranto and the rest of Apulia first. When they arrived in Kroton, Pythagoras was deeply touched by the lifestyle and the customs of its inhabitants. The beautiful women could walk around on their own, there were no slaves, the atmosphere seemed exciting and full of promise. He saw the young people training for the athletic competitions, as well as the abundant commerce in the marketplace.

However, one small thing caught his attention above all: it was a small ox made of bread that a woman gave him as a gift while he was walking in the market. She explained that the bread was made in that shape to thank the ox for its hard work in the fields. That bread was an ancient tradition of the Italic people, the symbol of Italy itself; it was made with the first grain reaped, around the beginning of July, and it was eaten at the "Sissizio" the communal banquet started by King Italus, during the meal the grain was divided in equal shares. When Mnesarcus completed his business there, the ship left for another polis and the return to Samos. Pythagoras remembered Kroton fondly. 4. He started to study with even more commitment, since he was so curious and interested in learning. Among his teachers there were the Samian musician Hermodames, the Sirian Pherecides who was a scholar in myths, cosmography and natural sciences. He was taught to study the lyra, Homerus and other poems, how to look at the sky and he travelled as well with his teacher. Eventually Pherecides realized that, the almost 18 years old, Pythagoras needed more advanced teachers. So Pythagoras travelled to Miletus, in Ionia (now Turkey), to attend Taletes' school. The school was very interesting for Pythagoras, he was introduced there to astronomy and geometry. Both the old Taletes and his first pupil Anaximandros help Pythagoras in his education, eventually they suggested a trip to Egypt to complete his preparation. When he returned home, he found Policrates, the rich merchant he had met earlier in his life, as tyrant of the island. Policrates understood that Pythagoras could be a precious ally for his governement. However, he soon realized that Pythagoras didn't like the tiranny, so he decided to send him to Egypt, where the young man wanted to go, since this move tied up well with Policrates' plans to have a stronger alliance with the Egyptian power.

So in a few weeks time, after Policrates' letter to the Pharaoh Amasi had received a positive answer, Pythagoras went to Egypt where he lived for about 20 years. He was introduced to the cults in the temples and he became a priest himself. He studied arithmetics, astronomy, cosmography. He learnt the Egytpian ieroglyphs and analized the religious beliefs on life, death and the sacred cults. The long years in Egypt gave him a great culture. When he was already famous he went to Babilonia, the capital of the Persian empire, at the court of Cirus the Great. Persia had recently become one of the biggest kingdoms of the world. Many scholars lived there in all the different fields of human knowledge. Pythagoras was impressed by the many different theories coming both from the near and far east. In the middle of the VI BCE new ideas were coming from India with Siddhartha's teachings (Buddhism), Jain Mahavira's (Jainism), In China Lao Tze's (Taoism), Confucius' (Confucianism), from Persia itself the Zoroastrism with its idea of Good and Evil in eternal fight. Pythagoras had been trying to find a mathematical sense of life, the reasons of human behaviour and the great mystery of death. The Asian doctrines were in line with his way of thinking, yet something was missing. He certainly was interested in Zarahtustra and Zoroastrism, but he was not satisfied, since it was impossible – according to this school – to defeat evil entirely. The same lack of conviction put a shadow on his connections to the Caldeans and the Magis, as well as with Epimenides and the Orphic path. He was looking for the truth, a universal doctrine that coudl be valid beyond time and space, equally true for all people.

Salvatore Mongiardo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini


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

Adrian Rooke I am a person centered therapist specializing in addiction and the consequences to family, I counsel the bereaved, and supervise other counselors. I am also a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. I am a member of the spiritual companions and practice as a celebrant conducting Handfastings and funerals. I have been a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids for over 20 years, where I have served as the press officer for 12 years and a Tutor for many years. I have an interest in Wicca.

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

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

Fredric Lehrman 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.

Laura Bottagisio is an astrologer and seeker. She started studying astrology at the beginnings of the 80's with Lisa Morpurgo, she later worked with the Cosmos Institute of Milan, where she learnt about the theory and practice of Vibrational Waters. She has attended seminars with gerard Athias and Jp Brebion on new medicine and bio analogy. She shares her discoveries in her blog. She also creates tableaux with recycled materials, in this way she creates images out of emotions and inner worlds.

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

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

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

Cesira Borromei My childhood was spent among the fog of the milanese province. I studied languages at the Catholic University there, but I dropped out of school when I moved to Rome, over 50 years ago. I write to avoid boredom and pain, so I can use all my self irony. I have travelled most of my life for work and leisure, with my partner, then alone. At the moment I “do not live� in Tuscania.

Jo Dunbar Medical Herbalist for over 18 years , hypnotherapist for over 10 years. She founded Botanica Medica herbal apothecary. She has reached Druid level (member of OBOD). Author of Spirit of the Hedgerow, winner of the 2016 Local Legend spiritual writing competition, finalist in the Wishing Shelf book awards, author of Stress, Burnout and Fatigue (Self-published), and How to Cope Successfully with Candida (Wellhouse Publishing). Leader of many workshops in herbal medicine over the years. Currently running Magical Forest retreats with Adrian Rooke .

Lida Lodi Perry 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.

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

Luis.M.Vasconcelos I was born for Life in 1952, and in 1974 I was born for Photography, when my country, Portugal, was born for Democracy. I began my career as a professional photographer and photojournalist, in April 25, 1974, when our democratic revolution took place after 40 years of a dark fascist regim. Freedom was born for us, and my photographic dream was born for me. Since then I have been working as a professional photographer and photojournalist. In 2004, I also followed the call for a deepest journey into my personal discovery and growth, learning meditation and Reiki. I got the degree of Reiki Master in 2006, in the traditional Reiki Usui System. Now, after 40 years of work, I have began to enjoy my (active) retirement. I dedicate my time to the ones I love, and to what I always loved to do: Photography and traveling. I am in love with Life !


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THANK YOU! Thank you for reading our magazine, our tribe of committed Badgers is growing steadily, as I am writing this piece we have reached over 110.000 contacts! Thank you! I want to thank the new and old authors who have added their voices and experiences to this great adventure, so that we can be better heard and received.

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

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


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

A quilt can be a very precious gift for a wedding, a special occasion, or for a significant person. Visit my Facebook Page

Many of my quilts can be reproduced but not copied.


THE PATH OF THE RED ROAD A Powerful Tool for Transformation

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

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

Brooke Medicine Eagle on “Beautiful Painted Arrow”


"Le Ammoniti " Earrings and Bracelet, Silver

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SUBSCRIPTIONS one volume = 8 Euros You can subscribe on our website by clicking on the donate button Thank you for supporting


See you for our next issue of


March 2019

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