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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 5 Volume 1

March 2019 Dear Readers, After the darkness, the Light returns to the Earth, carrying its promise of warm weather and new harvests. This is the Spring and Summer Volume 2019 of THE BADGER. Since this is the first volume of our new cycle, the first voices you will find in this volume are those coming from ancient traditions, their authors share their beautiful contributions with us. May this new season bring you what your heart desires and may you sow the conscious seeds of your ever evolving future.

Antonella Vicini Director THE BADGER Quarterly LTD

Cover photo by David Kopiecz 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 Equinox in Harmony

F. Rico

Spring Time

G. Rael

Subtle Geometries


From the Beginning Poetry Into the Matter Voices from the Stars Becoming Medicine Magic Quilting Away

F. Lehrman W.Wordsworth E. Montale A. Exo L.Bottagisio D.Kopacz A.Rooke L.Perry


P.Carr Gomm

Under the Skin

F.Gandini S.Fumagalli


Jo Dunbar

Travelling East


Entertaining Interlude


The Tale of the Immortal Child

The Authors

S. Mongiardo

short bios and photos


and links to previous volumes


products and services we believe in

EQUINOX IN HARMONY Francis Rico This Equinox occurred on March 20th 2019. We call it the Equinox, it’s a global moment, one that we all share. It’s the same moment, occurring in all of our world’s different time zones! So in New York it was at 5:58pm, in Cusco, Peru and in Montana, USA, it’s 3:58pm. In Hawaii about an hour after noon – aloha! At 10:58am the morning of Thursday the 21st in New Zealand. And so on around the world at the same time. Equinox = Equal length of night and day. This is the moment when the harmony of night and day reveals the not-sosecret love affair between light and dark: with each cherishing the other the dark so warmly embracing the light - and the light joyfully rushing in to meet the beloved dark. Obviously, this is not the polarized and terrified dualistic thinking of contemporary spirituality and religions. This Equinox is an opportunity to experience for yourself something so much more feral, dynamic, and energetic than what is offered by our Western definitions of balance: this is the gift of harmony. To experience this cosmically vast harmony, it’s necessary for us to step out of our notion that our planet is going in circles around the sun. We’re not going in circles, we’re vortexing!

The reality is that we are spiraling around our sun, as our solar system spirals around our galactic center, on a wing of stars. And our galaxy is spiral dancing with other galaxies within the expanding spiraling cosmos that is the vortex of infinity within totality. Back home, even our DNA is a spiral! And we are at the center of the spiral. And we’re simultaneously a flow of spiraling energy around the ineffable center of our being. You are a vortex! So, let’s just admit it - in truth, we're not precariously balanced on a razor’s edge – and we’re not standing at the edge of a precipice. Yet, it sure LOOKS like that!

Current scientific projections affirm that at this point in time, we have 12 years to the end of all wildlife on our planet. We have 12 years to an irreversible entry into global catastrophic environmental and weather changes that will end civilization as we’ve known it. And meanwhile – at this very moment - we stand in the center of a field of expansive possibilities – and we are here as artists of spirit, capable of bringing harmony and benefit to every aspect of life, by flowing with the beauty to be found in each moment. This is who you are. This is what you are being called to offer to life. With this Equinox, we find ourselves included in the harmony that is at the center of the cosmic choir of life. And, finding this harmony completely retunes our capacity to bring harmony to the shared circumstances of all of our lives. Wild creatures included.

So - here’s the gift of love in action for our world that you can bring to this pivotal moment: gather with friends and family - gather in as wild and beautiful a place as you can find. Yes, your backyard is just fine! If you are alone, you are with us! After talking things over - acknowledging your gratitude and respect for the realities of our lives, for our joy, and for our grief – move together into silence. In the deepening silence, take an inner step into alignment and connection with the harmonies of Creation - these are the harmonies found in your own heart! These are the harmonies that sing out pure and sweet from within the deep presence of Being. Feral blessings, with love!

Francis Rico Edited by Antonella Vicini

SPRING TIME Geraldine Rael Spring, opens the door of AWAKENING .... Step aside and say: Welcome, into my being so that I may help to heal myself and heal others. It is CRITICAL right now! It is critical, all over the World, to achieve balance between the feminine and the masculine. The more we can bring us back into balance, the greater our World can become. We are dedicated vessels given life by our Creator. As created vessels, each one of us has a responsibility to spread kindness, respect, love, caring, empathy to all beings. We must continue to voice all the positivity we can. We must do this in our own chosen way, no matter what your spiritual background is, after all we are related to all that is .... We have celebrated the Equinox on March 20th 2019 together with a Super Moon, this is a perfect combination of balance between the Sun and the Moon. This is FEMININE time, supported by the MASCULINE. All Spiritual Communities honor the Spring Equinox and the full Moon with some type of Ceremony and prayer. You can connect to this energy with your intentions so that they may be spiraled into the powerful energy of awakening. You can use Tobacco, Corn Meal, burn your Sweet Grass to bring in the Angels, the ways to honor this time are endless...

This is a Super Moon and a rare and powerful event with the Equinox landing on the same day. We have an opportunity, a portal through which this power comes through, to set some intentions for potent and inspired new beginnings. All those things you have been dreaming about can now be supported by the fertility of this Equinox. The power of this full moon will energize whatever we put into motion. So we honor both of them. What do we want to plant seeds for, to give birth to, to have manifest in our lives? How are we willing to take disciplined action to make it happen? What are we willing to change, give up and push through to move forward into a new landscape?

Photo by Marco Iorio

A Practical Approach Every positive thought creates a pathway in the brain. The more we feel gratitude, the easier it becomes – and we’ll attract more to be grateful for. To help keep our gratitude practice fresh and exciting each day, we can try the below unique ways to say “thank you.” Meditation/prayer is the perfect path to making gratitude a daily habit that elevates every aspect of our lives. By practising a positive approach to life with gratitude and celebrating the events of nature, we create a world of peace around us.

Geraldine Rael Edited by Antonella Vicini

SUBTLE GEOMETRIES Antonella Vicini Subtle geometries are drawn in the clear blue sky by blackbirds that can't keep formation, but are constantly scattered around by the gusty northern wind sweeping the countryside. Like a giant broom it moves everything: trees, plants, animals, humans, the tiles on the ancient medieval roofs, the lamp post dangerously oscillating, as well as people's feelings. I have always loved the wind, it is an essential part of life: when things become too static, solid and apparently immovable, here comes the wind to mess up the cards, offering us the chance of a new beginning, or at least the hope for a fresh glance at our lives. I was born in a windy city by the sea, but I only realized the power of wind when I first lived in a city far away from the water. There I met people who "became tense and easily upset" when the wind finally and so rarely blew its way into the city centre. Later on, in another city, the wind managed to penetrate sometimes, although in a tamed down way, in order to soothe the excessive heat of high summer. There is intense power in wind. In many traditions it is associated with female power. Here below you can find a story connected to wind, perhaps it is a dream...

After the long walk up the mountain, Sheila was tired, but the wind was howling beautifully, so she decided to find a sheltered ledge and stay a while to feel its power. While she was meditating she fell asleep. The wind took that opportunity to enter her womb and light it up with many flashes of light, as if that usually small, yet cavernous, organ had become an enormous hall full of shining light. Sheila saw her womb as huge as a cathedral, wherever the wind was touching it, she could discern beautiful walls and columns of light. She realized the power of harnessing the wind, like so many other women had done before her: the power to create both the life of her progeny as well as art, beauty, music, projects, healing... She was amazed by the endless possibilities, but the wind kept howling. Suddenly her entire body was wind, swept away by its strength, its power, its enlightening quality. Sheila turned her head on her side and realized she now had a hard beak, her entire body in fact had become that of a crow. Without reflecting on how this had happened, she took flight, supported by strong wings that knew how to navigate the winds. She flew above the mountain she had been climbing earlier; she was attracted by the sun and she flew higher, riding the streams of air rising from the earth. Higher and higher she flew above the the clouds, above the atmosphere, she didn't think how could a crow fly so high with little or no oxygen, she just enjoyed the magnificent divine ride. She observed the beautiful blue green orb and sent much love to it, perhaps one day she could return to it, but not today. Sheila eventually woke up in her bedroom, looking at the familiar things of her daily life. Had it been just a dream? It seemed much more vivid than that. She opened her mouth and something fell out: a delicate blue flower she had never seen before. She smiled and placed it in her favourite vase.

Women riding the winds have been known since antiquity, even my beloved Apuleius (II CE) in his long tale of Metamorphosys tells the story of a witch turning herself into a flying crow. I believe that the power of women has only now been tapped into in a conscious way, there were too many fears before both for men and women. It is time to spread our wings, ladies, and lead humanity towards its next goals, developments, evolution. It doesn't matter if we are rich or poor, have degrees or are illitterate, we all share the same deep wisdom and power, we only need to scratch the surface in order to know what the next steps are. The time has come to help men and take our share of the burden in steering humanity in new and amazing directions.

Antonella Vicini

FROM THE BEGINNING Fredric Lehrman We start learning before we are born. Even without arguing for the possibility of “Past Lives,” I have evidence that we enter the world with information that some of us may not recall until long after the day of our birth. We take for granted various stimuli for the developing fetus: the feeling of floating in a warm, dark, liquid environment of amniotic fluid; sounds of our mother’s breathing, heartbeats, and general body processes; the motions of her physical actions of walking and all her normal activities, including sleep; and the muted voices and noises of everything she is hearing. At a certain phase in our growth we may start to kick against our nearest surfaces, often to the delight of our parents as a message that we are indeed there. Months before birth, we are listening. Melodies our mother or father played or sang, or even just listened to frequently during the months of our pre-natal womb residency can be remembered and recognized by the infant months or years later, often with emotional associations. This is a wellknown and frequently observed reaction. But there are other things that the developing fetus may notice. Many years ago, I worked with an adult client who suddenly experienced, without hypnosis or chemical influence, hearing what he thought was a conversation between his parents that took place in the sixth month of his mother’s pregnancy and six months into his own self-realization project of “embodiment.” This information surfaced for the first time in his conscious memory in 1983. He was in his forties, and was a very successful and wealthy real estate developer. He had made his fortune through wise purchases of undeveloped land around the intersections of a new interstate highways.

I was introduced to him in a famous restaurant in my new hometown of Seattle. In the course of the evening he asked about my work, and he was curious to try for himself a new kind of self-exploration technique that I had learned, a simple process of relaxing and breathing easily with eyes closed, to raise the oxygen level in the body. He wanted to try it, so I told him that it was best to have a guide for the first few sessions, because otherwise he might just fall asleep without someone to remind him to keep breathing. The next morning I came to his palatial city residence. Once he had chosen where in his home he felt the “safest,” I had him lie down and gave him the guidelines on how to do the breathing process. I let him know that it was fine to stop briefly if he needed to ask me any question or report anything that he was experiencing. We could talk, and then he could resume the process without any loss of value. After about twenty minutes of easy gentle breathing he drifted off for about a minute, so I quietly said his name and asked, “What’s happening?” It took a few seconds for him to respond, but when he did he kept his eyes closed, and said, almost in a whisper, “I’m listening to a my parents talking.” He was quiet again for another minute, then opened his eyes, and said, with some emotion, “That was strange.” Although their voices were slightly muffled, he said that he was able to understand their words with his adult mind, even though he had no explanation for how an unborn fetus three months before birth could have remembered those filtered sounds. He said it was like being an adult watcher who could easily interpret the language he would soon be learning in his first years out in the world. He said that his father and mother were worrying about whether they could support the costs of a new child in the family. It made him feel guilty about being a burden on them. He had never been consciously in touch with those feelings about himself before, but he felt that somehow he had interpreted their words as he heard them, and maybe that was why, as a child, he had already set his mind to amass great wealth.

After the session was complete, I asked him if his parents were still alive, and he said “Only my mother.” So I said, “Why don’t you call her and ask her if she remembers having concerns about not being able to afford the costs of having a new baby? Say as little about it as possible, and then see what she says.” He called me later that day, amazed. When he stated his question, his mother had immediately become quiet, and then said “Why are you asking me about that?” He told her that he was just trying to explain a “daydream” memory of hearing them talking about him in this way a few months before he was born. His mother then asked him what he remembered, and when he told her, she was also amazed, because the timeframe was correct and she did remember some heated arguments about how to manage the household when there was already financial stress, because it was during World War II and certain things like milk were being rationed and becoming more expensive. In explaining this to him, she used some of the exact phrases that he had reported to me during our session. In telling this extraordinary story to you now, I am not assuming that we can explain it in terms that would satisfy an innate skeptic. But it does imply that something must account for the inexplicable, beyond a minute chance that this was just a lucky coincidence or a subconscious guess. We must consider the possibility that this spontaneous accurate memory of pre-natal awareness could be a common ability to which we all might have access, if we were to allow it.

The particulars of this unexpected “revelation” on the part of the client suggests that several things would have to be correct in order for this story to be true, at least according to the criteria of “science.”

Let’s make a list:

1- A developing fetus, inside his mother’s womb, not needing to breathe or eat to survive at that stage, receiving nourishment and oxygen automatically from the mother through the umbilical cord, was able to hear enough of the sound of the parental voices to be able to store that sequence of pure speech tones without any conscious understanding of the language. 2- This imprint on memory also must have included some emotional stress elements that were embedded in the tones of their voices. 3- Somehow, almost 50 years later, the same individual was able to suddenly hear that specific memory “soundtrack” and decode its meaning in the native language that he learned after he was born. Let’s now just put those possibilities on the shelf, and consider some things that we all share. For most of us, our life began by being dropped, pushed or pulled onto a strange planet inhabited by unfamiliar beings, most of whom were initially complete strangers. The immediate thing we had to learn right away was that it was urgent that we do something we had never done before, and that our lives depended on it. Everyone seemed to be nervously wanting us to do this unknown thing. If you are reading these words, you can relax. You made it. One way or another, you started to breathe, and you haven’t stopped since then, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. That absolutely necessary respiratory function, if humans are to survive outside the womb, seems encoded as a primal cellular reflex; it comes as standard equipment. We did not have to buy it or even copy it from someone through observation. The same intelligent code that formed our body and turned it on when it was time for planetary exploration is still an absolutely amazing talent that we each bring in with us. Now, fast forward…

Starting out, we didn’t know how to do anything. We were surrounded by a bewildering storm of new sensations. changes, objects, and people, most of whom we had never seen before, and by interacting with all of that we gradually built some impressive skills in those early years. How did we figure out how to communicate a need, a statement, or a question? How did we learn that first word? Or to stand up, walk, and not fall over? Or to get the food into our mouth and not into our nose? To get dressed, tie our shoes without thinking about it, and so on? And all of this without knowing how to read, write, or having ever heard such strange words as “syntax” and “grammar?” The sheer volume of our early learning is mindboggling. Yet we were slower to master some of those basics than many young animals, who can stand and walk within hours or even minutes of their birth. Anyway, somehow, piece by piece, we managed to assemble a few parts of an endless jigsaw puzzle, one that we are still working on today. While many of its specific parts are similar to items in other peoples’ puzzles, there are always subtle variations in detail, size, sequence and emphasis that show up to identify things, like the unique fingerprints we leave unconsciously on everything that we touch. We are always learning. When we play with another child, even if we haven’t started to talk yet, we are learning from each other, because we are exposed to new things; we have different parents and a different living environment. Even two people watching the same event see it from a different angles. We instinctively try to define things by comparing what we are seeing now to everything we have seen before. Little by little, we accumulate a memory library influenced by others. We also, by our very presence, contribute to the memory libraries of our parents, our friends, or anyone who notices us. Day by day, we wonder about events that make a strong impression on us, and continue to compare everything we find with everything we already know. Interaction, reflection and repetition are the elements forming our first internal language. Our “personality” comes into focus around this process, and unless we box ourselves in with accumulated dogmatic attitudes, our learning continues to evolve and expand day by day and year by year for our entire lives.

By the time we are five years old, we have probably mastered enough basic skills and words with which to communicate and interact with others in an intelligible way. If you have learned by then to use a knife and fork, or can button your clothes and tie your shoelaces while you are talking to someone, you have integrated a great deal of your knowledge to a stage where you are able to function “automatically.” This is a tremendous display of innate intelligence, and you should be proud of yourself. One way or another, you had pieced together some complex details and guidelines in your immediate neighborhood (your family home, in most cases). Had you been allowed to continue in the same way you would probably have built from there until you had added (learned) whatever skills you needed to function in relationship to the limits and opportunities of life as you encountered them. But for most of you reading this article, that self-educating learning mode was interrupted: you were expected (required) to start a special adventure known as “schooool.” Now, if “School” had truly been an extension of your opportunities to discover new things, it would have been a worthwhile learning experience in every way. But for most of us, it was an environment that imposed some confusing and often damaging conditions. For those of us born in modern society in the last 70 years, unless you were the rare type of child who flourishes in that particular set of rules, the School system put new and “unnatural” pressures on you from the start. By definition, you were thrown into a system where “pass/fail anxiety” was considered “par for the course.” This accepted condition of “Compulsory Education” is quite unhealthy, unnatural, and intimidating; it is permeated by an underlying message that you are “not alright” as you are; you must be “educated” so you can be “acceptable,” get a job, and earn a living. Like calves brought to the slaughterhouse, we obediently followed the others, took our seats, and sat still while a teacher told us what we must know in order to be “ok.” Those of us who didn’t fall into step with this were definitely not ok.

I remember feeling that something was not right as soon as I entered first grade in a New York elementary school in the middle of Manhattan. Preschool and kindergarten had been socially challenging for the first days, but lots of fun after that. The emphasis there was on listening to stories, playing games, moving to music, and getting to know each other better. The hours went quickly, lunch was pretty good, and my mother would take me there and pick me up a few hours later. Then everything stopped for the summer, and I said goodbye to most of my new friends and returned to civilian status. But very quickly it was September and it was time for “First Grade.” My mother continued for a few weeks to take me to the new elementary school, but the building that housed it was more “industrial” (not like a home) and intimidating with its stairways, elevators, long hallways, and metal classroom doors. Instead of sitting on the floor in circles, we were assigned a personal desk with a top that opened to keep our pencils and papers, and we began the long process of learning to read and write and calculate. What struck me the very first day was that the desks were rectangular, arranged in straight rows, and all facing towards the front of the room in a larger rectangular pattern. From there we learned not to make noise or move around, to raise our hands and wait to be called on to say something or ask a question, and to pay attention to the teacher who would usually be explaining something we didn’t understand yet. The particular topic would go on for 50 minutes, which seemed an eternity, and then we had a short break before the next subject started. In 1880 America, a law was passed that made it compulsory for all children to be enrolled in school through age 10. It was not until around the beginning of the new millennium that I found, in a used bookstore, an old paperbound volume from 1957 that was entitled “The Twelve Year Sentence: a critique of compulsory education in America.” It consisted of several lectures by concerned teachers delivered at a conference of educators that was held in an eastern city. They all were troubled by some of the aspects of this kind of educational incarceration. Many of you reading this probably had some similar experiences of your own if you think back to those early school days.

*** It was only after I had finished college and two years of graduate school that I noticed something that is intrinsically important to understanding what this discussion is all about. Once you notice it, it is very obvious, but in all my years in classrooms no one ever said anything about it. If you look at a human face, or a flower, or any organic living form, you will see that there are no straight lines anywhere in that body. Everything is curved. Everything is a section of a wave, or a spiral.

We grow. We learn. We heal ourselves. We feel. We care. We breathe in and out, our hearts pulsate, and our rhythms change with our moods. We are works-in-progress, not gears in a machine. The rectangular divisions of space that we make and live in are not alive. There are no straight lines in organic, pulsing nature. Yet we pass our lives in boxlike rooms and with rectangular windows and doors that we take for granted. But whenever you see a straight line or a precise angle, you know that that thing does not breathe or grow organically and live a life in nature. Only snowflakes and crystals display those geometric precisions. And they did that without going to any school. The word “education” is based on the Latin educare, starting with prefix “e-” as in “exit” meaning “a way out.” The second part of the word, also Latin… “ducare…” means “to lead, pull, or draw out.” So the process means to coax from within the best qualities and abilities that are already there.

But what we mostly experienced in school was not that, unless we had a very good and inspired teacher. What should have been “education” (to cultivate one’s own potential) was in fact “indoctrination,” which means to “put a teaching into someone.” We are told that unless we learn this teaching, we are not alright and will “fail the course.” We are subjected to a series of “standardized” tests, and we must “cram” for that exam, otherwise we will not pass. “Standardized” means that everyone must learn the same things. Now here is the major yet obvious problem with this idea. Do you really know any “standard” people? Even twins are not exactly the same. Nature prefers variety, and proves it through non-repetitive snowflakes and maple leaves, produced every year in the billions. No two snowflakes or leaves are completely identical to any of their “classmates.” Maybe it would be a good idea to revise our present concept of education to follow living process, rather than force everyone to fulfill the same categorical requirements. Shouldn’t education be for discovery, not for approval? Wake up, everybody. You can recover from your indoctrination. We’ll continue with this discussion in the next half of this article six months from now. But I leave you with a question that you can try out on yourself and on others. Most of us will remember being asked as a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” How did you answer? What thoughts came to your mind? Now imagine what effect it would have had if, instead, you had been asked this different question by an adult when you were little: “Tell me, what did YOU come here to do?”

That question evokes (calls forth) a different kind of answer, and will guide you to your personal best abilities and contributions to the world. That is the true purpose of education. You do not need to try to wear someone else’s shoes. Your uniqueness has a purpose.

Fredric Lehrman

POETRY Daffodils, I wandered lonely as a cloud I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

(1804, revised 1815)

I Limoni Ascoltami, i poeti laureati si muovono soltanto fra le piante dai nomi poco usati: bossi ligustri o acanti. Io, per me, amo le strade che riescono agli erbosi fossi dove in pozzanghere mezzo seccate agguantano i ragazzi qualche sparuta anguilla: le viuzze che seguono i ciglioni, discendono tra i ciuffi delle canne e mettono negli orti, tra gli alberi dei limoni. Meglio se le gazzarre degli uccelli si spengono inghiottite dall'azzurro: più chiaro si ascolta il sussurro dei rami amici nell'aria che quasi non si muove, e i sensi di quest'odore che non sa staccarsi da terra e piove in petto una dolcezza inquieta. Qui delle divertite passioni per miracolo tace la guerra, qui tocca anche a noi poveri la nostra parte di ricchezza ed è l'odore dei limoni. Vedi, in questi silenzi in cui le cose s'abbandonano e sembrano vicine a tradire il loro ultimo segreto, talora ci si aspetta di scoprire uno sbaglio di Natura, il punto morto del mondo, l'anello che non tiene, il filo da disbrogliare che finalmente ci metta nel mezzo di una verità. Lo sguardo fruga d'intorno, la mente indaga accorda disunisce nel profumo che dilaga quando il giorno più languisce. Sono i silenzi in cui si vede in ogni ombra umana che si allontana qualche disturbata Divinità.

Ma l'illusione manca e ci riporta il tempo nelle città rumorose dove l'azzurro si mostra soltanto a pezzi, in alto, tra le cimase. La pioggia stanca la terra, di poi; s'affolta il tedio dell'inverno sulle case, la luce si fa avara – amara l'anima. Quando un giorno da un malchiuso portone tra gli alberi di una corte ci si mostrano i gialli dei limoni; e il gelo del cuore si sfa, e in petto ci scrosciano le loro canzoni le trombe d'oro della solarità .

Eugenio Montale (1920


The Lemon Trees Listen: the laureled poets stroll only among shrubs with learned names: ligustrum, acanthus, box. What I like are streets that end in grassy ditches where boys snatch a few famished eels from drying puddles: paths that struggle along the banks, then dip among the tufted canes, into the orchards, among the lemon trees. Better, if the gay palaver of the birds is stilled, swallowed by the blue: more clearly now, you hear the whisper of genial branches in that air barely astir, the sense of that smell inseparable from earth, that rains its restless sweetness in the heart. Here, by some miracle, the war of conflicted passions is stilled, here even we the poor share the riches of the world— the smell of the lemon trees. See, in these silences when things let themselves go and seem almost to reveal their final secret, we sometimes expect to discover a flaw in Nature, the world's dead point, the link that doesn't hold, the thread that, disentangled, might at last lead us to the center of a truth. The eye rummages, the mind pokes about, unifies, disjoins in the fragrance that grows as the day closes, languishing. These are the silences where we see in each departing human shade some disturbed Divinity.

But the illusion dies, time returns us to noisy cities where the sky is only patches of blue, high up, between the cornices. Rain wearies the ground; over the buildings winter's tedium thickens. Light grows niggardly, the soul bitter. And, one day, through a gate ajar, among the trees in a courtyard, we see the yellows of the lemon trees; and the heart's ice thaws, and songs pelt into the breast and trumpets of gold pour forth epiphanies of Light!

Eugenio Montale Translation by William Arrowsmith

INTO THE MATTER The Immortals Andrea Exo After the Cybernetic bodies and the hybrid between men and machines, the era of the breed came, in fact this started the offspring of immortals. It was a simple concept, its implementation was rather more complex. Each human being is born with a genetic heritage that tells the story of our genealogical evolution over millennia. Although all the information is there in order to produce a new being in the shape and form of Mother and Father, their memories are not part of the inheritance. At the beginning, the memory upload was used for the quick learning of skills and/or information. For example: if the user needed to pilot a plane the instructions could be uploaded and, once the process was complete, he/she could start flying the plane. The following step was the extraction of the entire memory of an individual and grafting it in another person. The first attempts were disastrous with bipolar disorders, conflicting personalities, etc... Imagine waking up suddenly with all the memories of another person in your life: his/her loves, pains, life and death. Rejection was sure to happen. Nevertheless it was understood that such a rejection was due to the lack of kinship with the users, as well as the worst experiences, which were erased away. Failing cloning, generating a genetically similar offspring was easier. The new child was let to grow in a state of mental stasis, until the body was grown into adulthood and could withstand the upload.

This process ensured that the parent would survive in the child both in "body and spirit", the process also vouchsafed the immortality of memory. When the mirroring of mother or father was complete the parents were terminated, in such a way the previous experience of the old body was finished and there no legal problems of double identities. The genetic renewal was guaranteed by the different partners in subsequent relationships, so that this facilitated the evolution of experiences. Some men wanted to be cloned in women and viceversa, this practice eased the understanding between the sexxes as never before. The living welcomed the new era with joy. However, the ones aspiring to a new life, the new borns, saw their lives plundered of their right to a new existance. Could the old never die? Could the new never blossom? Group of rebels started to meet, they were fighting for the children's rights, in fact the children were never born somehow, they were the object of the father/mother reincarnations. Life is memory, but to a new body did not correspond a new soul What could be done against so much selfishness? How to light up children's smiles by freeing them from such stasis?

War started soon and with it the first horrors. The auhorities defended the immortals, who were rich enough to afford the treatment. The captured rebels were reprogrammed with the worst sufferungs uploaded in their memories, untile they turned mad. Torture stopped being a torment on the body and became the consumption of the psyche. There were rebels sabotaging the establishments, in order to wake up children of stasis while others were sabotaging the minds of the rebels. War ended suddenly in an unexpected way: when the seventh generation was reached, both mothers and fathers' memories were annhilated by the minds, only apparently in stasis, in fact they woke up suddenly and cancelled the parasitic memories. The genes had been codifying the antidote in their DNA, so that the the generational turnover could return to its original state. So the horror finished. Igne Natura Renovatur Integra

Andrea Exo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

VOICES FROM THE STARS Van Gogh and the Sun Flowers Laura Bottagisio

On September 20th 1846 a new planet was discovered, the second one after Saturn. It had been there all along, orbiting around the Sun, waiting for Humanity to integrate its message in his/her consciousness. It was called Neptune, god of the seas and the oceans, the Archetype of our inner waters that ward immense treasures to be found, just like the depths of the oceans. Neptune was discovered while it was passing retrograde al the end of Aquarius, still on the threshold of its kingdom, ready to return to the dissolving waters of Pisces. This is the last sign of the zodiac sequence, it opens us to infinite time and space. For Humanity it shows the time to access the Unconscious, the unknown territory of thousand chances, in order to bring to the light noble talents or pains, so that they could not be hindrances anymore. In those years Neptune was well positioned in the centreal decade of Pisces and governed all its apsects, it mixed the vast waters of the fathomless Collective Unconscious and slowly opened a narrow passage for inspirations and foward looking visions that some men were able to capture, made conscious and realized according to their specific individuality. In a few years time these important people were born: Vincent Van Gogh (1853), Sigmund Freud (1856), Nikola Tesla (1856).

Freud explored the inner movements from a mental point of view and developed psychoanalysis, a method used to understand the signs sent by the unconscious through its symbols. Nikola Tesla patented over 300 inventions and was defined the Saint Patron of modern electricity (Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius Marc Seifer) And Vincent Van Gogh? He was born on March 30th 1853 with his Sun in Aries, sunny, fiery, passionate sign, its life energy starts the new season at every return of the wheel of seasons. In spring time Life recreates and regenerates itself, thanks to the formidable boost given by the Aries force to Nature. Aries opens the passage, it has all the disruptive strength needed to manifest something that is not yet in the world of Form, it works on all the realms: mineral, vegetal, animal and human as well. Therefore, it needs powerful allies that are capable to contain and carry all this process.

As you can see from the chart, the Sun in Aries for Van Gogh was isolated, without support, at the mercy of Neptune in Pisces, which is isolated as well! The Sun, planet of individuality, and Neptune, planet of fade, are respectively in the two signs of Beginning Aries and End Pisces, without any chance to communicate with each other. No planetary force can help to talk, they walk on different paths, they are both excessive in their ways of expressing themselves, as it is well shown in the life of the artist.

Only in its painting Vincent finds the tool needed to put in communication the impetuous passion from the Sun, together with the his intimate emotional world connected to the transcendent Neptune. His production is vast and all his paintings are uniquely spectacular. Here I want to examine only his Sunflowers. From 1887 to 188 he paints 11 pictures with sunflowers, heliotropic flowers. His urgency to represent them seems to indicate his continuous research of his own identity that his neptunian side is constantly dissolving. Without clear boundaries, without a definite role, the personality is watered down into the sea of the unconscious so rich in suggestions, the yellow of the sunflowers loses its limits and becomes the golden yellow of the harvest in the sun drenched grain fields. The brush strokes are intense, straightforward, immediate and create an unending movement so much so that they resemble sea waves in an infinite neptunian ocean. In such a way transcendence and immanence find their point of union. This is what he wrote to his brother Theo: "And in a painting I’d like to say something consoling, like a piece of music. I’d like to paint men or women with that "je ne sais quoi" of the eternal, of which the halo used to be the symbol, and which we try to achieve through the radiance itself, through the vibrancy of our colorations." To Theo van Gogh. Arles, Monday, 3 September 1888, Letter 673

166 years have gone by since Van Gogh's birth, now just like then, Neptune is in the second decade of Pisces, more or less the same degrees, because these are the years it takes to complete the complete Wheel of the Zodiac. Neptune entered Pisces in 2012, it is producing the same passage of consciousness, but at a higher level of evolution. On March 21st, the day of the Spring Equinox, the Sun enters Aries and the same dual energy is activated. If the Sun in Aries represents the terrestrial identity and Neptune in Pisces the celestial one how can we live the magical moment of the Spring Equinox which will be accompanied by Neptune in Pisces for a few more years?

For us, human beings of the third millennium, the new jump in consciousness includes our full, aware and active participation in the Divine Plan lead and directed by the Creating Light itself that can evolve through the form in which we have identified ourselves. Our physical body is the sanctuary of the divine sparkle of light. The Sun in Aries can now activate that sparkle in each one of us through its desire for harmony and abundance offered by the Sky. The Celestial Powers together are displaying all their Strength in order to re awaken in us the Divine Principle which is able to dissolve the false promises that go against evolution. Let's recognize that we are children of the Light, each one of us with different talents to explore, they are unique, therefore they cannot be compared or manipulated. This is our only and true identity.

The planets in unison are telling us out loud, theirs is not a whisper anymore, but the powerful primordial Sound of Life. The beginning of the Sun in Aries in 2019 is accompanied by the first full moon of the solar year, the one that decides when is the Easter Sunday. This underlines the need for the union of the opposites in order to progress and support the development of the Grand Plan that is leading us towards the Consciousness of Unity. The union of Sun and Moon, Masculine and Feminine can only happen if we confront each other and we get rid of our dual nature (produced by the ego and supported by the rational mind). Recognizing the affective patterns that ties us to the past, thus hindering our freedom, is a gesture of love towards ourselves and those who are in our hearts. Neptune has been reached by Mercury which is so at ease in Pisces, that it will stop for a long time there, in order to absorbe all the teachings of the deep water god. Mercury is a fast planet, here it represents the pupil who learns and is open to receive the heart wisdom. The real change in consciousness consists in "jumping" seamlessly from one dimension to the next, thus carrying in our three daily dimensions our divine sparkle: this is the quantic leap. "Creating is manifesting a Divine Idea into Matter, a Revelation of Spirit, that is expressed through human beings in this plane of Reality. This is the first subtle and fundamental Event of the creative process..." Like Sunflowers, let's turn constantly towards our inner Sun, our divine guide that pushes us to create thoughts and actions that produce opening, benevolence, sharing and joy in life. Have a Good Life!

Laura Bottagisio

March 2019 Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

BECOMING MEDICINE “Words Create Worlds” In Memoriam of those killed in the Christchurch Mosque Shootings

David Kopiecz “Words create worlds.” These are the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, here is the full quote, remembered by his daughter, Susannah Heschel: “Words, he often wrote, are themselves sacred, God’s tool for creating the universe, and our tools for bringing holiness — or evil — into the world. He used to remind us that the Holocaust did not begin with the building of crematoria, and Hitler did not come to power with tanks and guns; it all began with uttering evil words, with defamation, with language and propaganda. Words create worlds he used to tell me when I was a child. They must be used very carefully. Some words, once having been uttered, gain eternity and can never be withdrawn. The Book of Proverbs reminds us, he wrote, that death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I am writing this the day after 49 people were killed in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. I have a personal connection to New Zealand, having lived there from 2010 – 2013. I visited Christchurch days before the second earthquake in 2011. I have a series of selfies my wife and I took walking across the courtyard in front of the Christchurch Cathedral, which was destroyed in the quake. Since leaving New Zealand, I have been working with military veterans. The way I conceptualize my work is that I am helping to guide veterans from a war culture of the military world to the peace culture of the civilian world. It can be a tough journey after speaking words of war to speaking words of peace.

During this work, I was befriended by Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow), who has been working for world peace since the 1980s when he had visions of Sound Chambers, Peace Chambers: circular structures, half above ground, half below ground, with men and women chanting for peace. He has created over 50 chambers for peace across four continents. Working with Joseph has reinforced and shaped my identity as a psychiatrist who is not just treating mental illness, but is supporting cultural transitions and transformations, and is creating peace. Joseph would agree that “words create worlds.�

He often talks about the power of sound and speech. When we were working on our book, Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD, Joseph would tell me, “I am my brother’s keeper.” As I contemplated this saying, I realized he was not just stating a worldview of many indigenous people—that we are all interrelated and connected—but that he was also speaking an antidote to the first murder documented in the Bible. After Cain killed his brother, Abel, God asks Cain where Abel is and Cain says, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”With these words an identity of separation is created in the Biblical tradition. Joseph, in saying “I am my brother’s keeper,” is using words as an antidote for an illness of separation which is once again becoming an epidemic in our world. “Words create worlds.” J.M. Berger, author of Extremism, would likely agree with this statement. Writing for the Atlantic, he writes of the dangerous impact of publishing and thus publicizing the words of mass murderers. “It is far past time to reconsider the standard for publishing such manifestos. That does not mean we should abandon the search for meaning. But manifestos are rarely simple confessional documents. They are works of propaganda, just like ISIS beheading videos and al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine. Like those publications, journalists should report on manifestos, but they should mediate their propagandistic intent instead of blindly amplifying it. ... We have only begun to suffer the cost of these writings, crafted with an intent no less lethal than their authors’ violent crimes.” We find ourselves in a war of words. I try not to use the word enemy. To think of someone as an enemy is to make them “other” and this is the very root cause of violence, hatred, racism, and bigotry. To meet violence with violence or hate with hate does not create peace. Rather than enemy, I think opponent is a better term. The United States fought wars against England, Japan, and Germany. They were our opponents during the wars, but they are not our enemies.

Consider the relationship between Gandhi and Jan Smuts. Smuts was the only person to sign the peace treaties ending both World War I & II. He advocated for the League of Nations following World War I. Yet, earlier in his life, he was a proponent of apartheid and he had a worthy opponent in South Africa on this: Gandhi. While Gandhi was imprisoned he made Smuts a pair of sandals. He returned the sandals for Gandhi’s 70 th birthday, writing: “I have worn these sandals for many a summer, even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man.” These two men struggled against each other for their beliefs, and yet they were not life-long enemies. Smuts literally walked in Gandhi’s shoes. We can wonder if this influenced Smuts’ later 1926 book, Holism and Evolution, in which he coined the word, “holism” (the concept of not seeing things through separation and isolation, but as component parts of a larger whole).

In this war of words we are struggling with our own darker natures, as well as the darker nature of all humanity. It is human nature to view ourselves as separate tribes and clans and peoples based on the superficial colour of our skin or which football team we support, or which religion we belong to. Yet there is also a deeper truth that we are all one, we are all interconnected, sharing the same Earth. The findings of scientists about Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam tell us that we all are, literally—not just figuratively—brothers and sisters. This war of words is a struggle about what kind of world we are going to create: a world in which everyone is equal and everyone has a place and a voice, or a world which is only for some people, a world where some people have more rights than others. This is a struggle of words and world-views which is being waged in the hearts and minds of all human beings on planet Earth as we try to come to terms with our interrelatedness and oneness. Gerald Arbuckle, a Catholic priest and cultural anthropologist (who is from New Zealand and lives in Australia) has been studying the effects of loneliness and isolation and the resurgent rise of fundamentalism in our world. He calls this a “global epidemic of fundamentalism both religious and political” and he defines fundamentalists as “boundary-setters . . . marking themselves off from others.” Arbuckle sees “A typical fundamentalist leader is a populist, homophobic, charismatic, authoritarian man who likes to bully” this is a personality type that is only all too common in positions of power across the world. To see ourselves as excessively separated from others opens the doors to discrimination, racism, and violence. Separation leads to loneliness and authoritarian and fascist movements promise a way out of loneliness through belonging to a tight-knit in-group based on an exclusionary identity opposed to another group or culture. Fascisms power comes from having an “other” who is an enemy. We should be very suspicious of the use of this word “enemy,” for instance in hearing the press called the “enemy of the people,” which is an age-old fascist trope.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s response to these recent killings was this: “Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.” New Zealand is geographically isolated, tucked away in the South Pacific, it has a strong anti-nuclear policy, refusing to allow nuclear U.S. warships into port. In New Zealand, the police do not openly carry guns. One former patient of mine, a teenage refugee from the Balkans, told me, “As soon as I saw the police here in New Zealand do not carry guns, I finally felt safe after years of war.” Now we have had a major act of terrorism in New Zealand.

In the United States we have debates over gun violence. Second Amendment Rights advocates always argue for more guns after gun violence, but research on gun ownership and gun violence shows that guns are more likely to be used in suicide or against someone in the home than they are against a violent “other.” In the United States, powerful lobbies and ideologies actually banned scientific research on gun violence for fear that it will lead to restrictions in gun ownership. How do we respond to gun violence, terrorism and acts of hatred? Research for individual gun ownership does not support that we should all arm ourselves. The suspected killer in Christchurch, a 28 year-old, Australian born man targeted this gun debate and wanted to fuel the flames. Reporting in the New York Times states: “Writing that he had purposely used guns to stir discord in the United States over the Second Amendment’s provision on the right to bear arms, he also declared himself a fascist. ‘For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist’ he wrote.” We should take a closer look at this word, “fascist,” including its current manifestations and history, because it is like a disease that our global civilization has had a recurrence of in recent years. Duke professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Omid Safi writes of these killings, “This terrorist attack is not an aberration. This is not about mental illness, it is not about one person. This is where all the antiMuslim, anti-immigrant discourse over the last few years leads to.” Safi sees the roots of these killing in the ideas and words of white supremacy and he anticipates the gun rights arguments that “guns don’t kill people, people with mental illness kill people.” Yet when we have the confluence of easily accessible lethal means and a growing epidemic of violent words, there is an increase in violent actions. “Words create worlds.”

Nietzsche warned us that those who fight something risk becoming the very thing they fight, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look too long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.�

Clarrissa Ward, from CNN, sees a similarity in the ideas and words of the far-right and terrorist organizations. “To me, there’s almost a symbiotic relationship happening right now between extreme terrorists on the far-right and between some of these other terrorist organizations that we’re more familiar with. The other thing that’s interesting, and disconcerting, frankly, is how much of the language and ideas he [the Christchurch killer] talks about have also seeped into mainstream political rhetoric. He talks a lot about the idea of invasion, that Muslim migrants are invading white Western countries. He talks about the birth rate, the idea of replacement, that white culture is being replaced. We’ve heard such words coming from the President of the United States. We’ve heard them coming from far-right governments in Europe, whether it be Italy, whether it be Hungary. . . . When you look at the zeitgeist and the rise of the far right in Europe and the US, ideas that were once considered as taboo to talk about are now being flaunted and public discourse invariably sets a tone.” Ward raises this disturbing spectre that Western Democracies are at risk of becoming our enemies—state-sponsored terrorism and extremism. The disturbing rise of far-right ideologies and words is being supported at the highest levels of governments across the globe. Over the next year, I would like to write about some of these topics of how our “words create worlds.” In working with Joseph Rael, writing our next book, Becoming Medicine: Pathways of Initiation into a Living Spirituality, I felt compelled to write about the responsibility of mystical, visionary, and shamanic experience— that we must work toward “Spiritual Democracy.”

At its deepest point, mystical experience leads to an awareness that we are all one and this comes with a responsibility to challenge words of separation which ultimately lead to fascism. Mystical experience is a pathway that leads us to question who we are and gives us a responsibility to use our words wisely to create worlds where we are becoming the medicine that our world needs. As Rumi says, “We are the pain and what cures the pain.�

David Kopiecz Article and photos of New Zealand by the Author

MAGIC First Celebration of the Year Adrian Rooke The first celebration of the year for me is the ancient Anglo Saxon traditional ritual that is making a strong come back in my area, the west of England. It is the tradition of wassailing, singing praises to and giving blessings to the spirits and Dryads of the apple orchards, that are so prolific in the west of England. These celebrations traditionally take place on the 12th night after the Winter Solstice, falling on the 5th or 6th of January. It was with much merriment and load noise that I led a procession of some 35 folk from the barn adjacent to the farmhouse, (where hot mulled spiced apple juice and cider was enjoyed by the participants) down a fire illuminated pathway through the orchard of over 60 trees to the oldest tree that was to receive our grateful thanks and hopes for a good harvest this year to come. Our Goddess of the Land and stunning young Wild Lord of the Woods followed after myself and my co facilitator Jo, to the apple tree, where we all loudly sang under the night sky: "Deep into the earth I go, deep into the earth I know, Deep into the earth I go, deep into the earth I know, Hold my hand sister, hold my hand Hold my hand brother hold my hand."

We blessed the tree with fire and water. Then the goddess thanked the tree for its bounty, placing bread dipped in cider into the branches to encourage this year’s abundance. The Wild Lord and Lady gave each of the gathered ensemble a drink from the sacred chalice, where the cup was raised and a shout of "Wassail"(good health ) was met by all the others responding "Drink hail" (Drink good health ). Then we spiral danced around the old tree and to a new sapling just planted, and sang to the old apple tree and new: "New apple tree, old Apple tree We’ve come to wassail thee To bear and to bow apples anow Hats full, caps full Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs"

This beautiful ceremony, with children laughing and playing with sparklers and a big bonfire blazing, was concluded in the barn with a feast that our ancestors would have been proud to participate in. Many of those gathered enjoying their first pagan celebration. The general consensus was we had been involved in something that was both fun and very profound, and if the gods were watching our revelry then methinks they would have been very pleased indeed.

Adrian Rooke Note: The tradition of orchard visiting wassailing refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.

QUILTING AWAY A Journey into Healing…. Lida Perry “I am going to India, to an Ayurvedic Clinic, do you want to come with me?” This was the essence of a conversation with a friend of mine with whom I have traveled and shared many adventures around the world. I trusted her implicitly so I agreed with great curiosity and enthusiasm. My traveling friend had suggested we stayed for at least 21-24 days in this specific clinic, where she had stayed the year before, with professional staff well experienced in the Panchakarma purification program. I had some vague ideas about Ayurvedic medicine and the little I knew was through the experience of one of my students that had gone to India for training as an Ayurvedic Operator. I remembered that she had spent 21 days after her training, for a Panchakarma purification program, and had come back looking healthy and revitalized. I began reading about Ayurvedic Medicine and the more I read the more I became intrigued by its approach. It seems to mirror some of my beliefs about the interconnective relationships between body-mind and energy. One of the articles I read said: “Ayurveda is India’s gift to mankind. It is one of the ancient medical systems.

Ayurveda is the Veda of Ays: Ayus means life activities, Veda means knowledge. It gives great importance to the cure and prevention of disease. It helps the protection of health through treatments involving the three functional mechanisms (doshas, dhathus, malas*). Functional thinking of the mind, diet restrictions, life style modifications and the use of herbs as medicine. Each individual wants to live a long life. Ayurveda advises a complete program that may change life for a healthier version of living.” As I read more articles the principles of this ancient medicine became clearer. “Individuals are a perfect combination of the five elements: air, fire, water, and earth. At our conception these combination of the five elements was set for each one differently. Thus the body of everyone represent a unique balanced state of five elements. Due to the influence of ecological, nutritional, emotional, etc the constitution my vary. If these imbalances stay for a long time, it may result in ailments in the body. Ayurveda is a pathway to maintain a powerful natural equilibrium of mind and body to explore qualitative life in an organic way. Ayurveda’s Vision states:  Individual is an exclusive entity  There is no general therapy or medicine suitable for one and all  Prevention is the finest fundamental measure to sustain a healthy life  Change in Food and life style practices are good remedies for many health problems. The objectives of Ayurveda is to provide a total feeling of wellness:  Physical wellness targets the steadiness of internal physiology  Mental wellness aims to preserve the mind vibrant  Spiritual wellness means to maintain a complete life with total responsibility to oneself and to the environment.

There were also more information about its origin and the specific philosophies. Although, what I had read was enough to strengthen my conviction that this trip had arrived at the perfect time. For the past few months I had been feeling as if my body was muddy, my energy sluggish and my mind cloudy. Physically my neck shoulders and back were rigid and painful, I also suspected a beginning of arthritis. My thinking focused more on what I was missing rather than what I had to be grateful for. I wanted to feel light, clean, energetic and mentally sharp, and for my body to recuperate its best form and energy. The trip was easy to organize. I would meet my friend in Italy and together we would travel to the District of Trivandrum in the Kerala region, the cradle of Ayurveda Medicine.

The welcome at the clinic was warm and efficient. Almost immediately I saw the doctor for a first interview, after listening to my symptoms, he said that the next day he would have a complete personalized program with all the remedies for my specific needs, as well as a team of three massage operators that would accompany me through the whole process of the Panchakarma treatment. I settled in my room, a large space with bathroom, an air conditioner and a net around the bed that gave the room a very tropical look. There was a large terrace with a very pleasant view over a well kept park, shaded by palm trees, brightened up by all kind of orchids and tropical flowers and surrounded by pleasant bungalows for the other guests. The next day I met my team, three women that would take care of my body with three different massages per day, one hour each, that hopefully would help ease the tensions in my body and the pain in my junctures. From that moment on I entered a process that had many levels some obvious and some unexpected. I soon learned that in the Institute/Clinic the time was articulated around the personalized program, some of the activities that were part of the process could not being ignored or dismissed for example: the morning meeting with the doctor, the massages, the treatments to the joints in the privacy of my own room. Also the herbal remedies were offered on the second day to be taken at certain hours of the day all with a specific function according to my goals and needs. The first week was programmed with a procedure of deep cleansing inside and outside the body. Deep vigorous massages that left my skin tingling and tender, and every morning for the first 5 days I was invited to drink half a glass of some kind of oil followed by warm water and a slice of lime‌

In these first few days I feel disoriented, tired from the trip and the jet lag, from the new routine, the strange food, so I have to face some of my resistances, some of my intolerance for the process that is underway. I am surprised by the deep and profound rigidity I feel in my body, especially my shoulders and back. The first few treatments I imagine are aimed at relaxing my muscles, and open up my body to the beneficial effects of the warm oil that was mixed with different herbs, and medicines that were part of the my healing goals. After the morning session of massages I feel exhausted, intolerant with myself for feeling tired, sad, nervous and rigid. I realize that I am looking at a familiar theme. All my adult life I have been very demanding of myself and this cleansing process is an opportunity to heal it with compassion. I also realized that it is difficult to let go, to take in the caring touch of the women that are stroking me. Memories from the past, emotions and the thought that I have been very hard on myself, came up very powerfully with a lot of sadness.

In retrospect I see how, given the space, the time, the healing process and a supporting environment I, or anybody, can allow herself to look and see dynamics and parts of oneself that usually are not so present in one’s consciousness. I remember having read somewhere that our cells hold the memories of everything we feel and have experienced… so when the body has a chance to relax let go of the tensions and resistances that we hold in our muscles what comes to awareness are old feelings and memories stored there. Only then there can be a reconciliation and healing. Keeping a diary, sharing my dream with my friend, going to the nearby ocean helped to go beyond this difficult time. I am over the first week. The body seems to respond to the treatment, I feel more tonic, I sleep better. Some of the treatment have changed, for few days I had what is called Shirovasthi, warm oils poured slowly over the forehead for over 40 minutes. It’s advised for quieting the mind, healing the throat and paralysis. During the Shirovasthi treatment I feel my mind slowing down and I seem to enter another dimension, no thoughts, instead a deep sense of peace and gratitude, the awareness that I really have all I need and there is no motive to resist or fight life, because I am always in the right place at the right time and life is always supportive. Such a sweet sensation, I allow myself to be taken care of, to be trusting, this is such a good feeling! The next two weeks are easier, I am able to open my body to the varied massages, the bath of warm oil is a wonderful experience, feeling the warm oil being poured all over my skin, it‘s as if all the sadness, the toxins, the tensions and the longing slid away. I enjoy feeling a new energy moving inside me, it’s like a warm fire that gives me energy and also comforts me. I have a new clarity and sharpness of mind and a deep excitement for what life might bring me.

Then came it was time to leave. I feel deep gratitude for all the people that were part of this experience, so deep and special, their kindness and loving care made this process a truly healing journey. Panchakarma, a deep process of purification, and for me it purified and healed many parts of me, it cleared my body and I regained my vital energy and inner fire.

Lida Perry Edited by Antonella Vicini

NOTES *A Dosha (Sanskrit: दष , doṣa) is one of three substances that are present in a

person's body according to Ayurveda. Beginning with twentieth-century literature, there was an idea called "The Three-Dosha Theory" (Sanskrit: त दषपदश , tridoṣaupadeśaḥ). Authoritative Ayurvedic treatises describe how the quantity and quality of these three substances fluctuate in the body according to the seasons, time of day, diet, and several other factors. The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily bio-elements or doshas called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vāta or Vata (wind) is characterized by the properties of dry, cold, light, minute, and movement. All movement in the body is due to properties of vata. Pain is the characteristic feature of deranged vata. Some of the diseases connected to unbalanced vata are flatulence, gout, rheumatism, etc. Pitta (Fire) represents metabolism; It is characterized by heat, moistness, liquidity, and sharpness and sourness. Its chief quality is heat. It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and enhance metabolism. Unbalanced pitta is primarily characterized by body heat or a burning sensation and redness. Kapha (Water)is the watery element. It is characterized by heaviness, coldness, tenderness, softness, slowness, lubrication, and the carrier of nutrients. It is the nourishing element of the body. All soft organs are made by Kapha and it plays an important role in the perception of taste together with nourishment and lubrication.

Dhātus ( from Sanskrit धधतत dhātu - layer, stratum, constituent part, ingredient,

element, primitive matter) in Ayurveda, the seven fundamental principles (elements) that support the basic structure (and functioning) of the body. Rasa dhatu (Lymph) Rakta dhatu (Blood) Mamsa dhatu (Muscles) Medha dhatu (Fat) Asthi dhatu (Bone) Majja dhatu (marrow (bone and spinal)) Shukra dhatu (Semen) Traditional texts often refer to the above as the Seven Dhātus (Saptadhātus). Ojas is known as the eighth Dhātu, or Mahādhātu (superior, or great dhātu). Malas (metabolic waste substances) these substances, product of the metabolism, need to be eliminated daily in order to have balanced health. Pureesha (stools), Mutra (urine), Sweda (sweat).

Quotes and image from Wikipedia

Ayurveda is a system of healing that was originated in India thousands of years ago. Historical evidence of Ayurveda could be found in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In Rig Veda, the oldest of the vedas, over 60 Ayurvedic preparations were mentioned that could be used to help an individual in overcoming various ailments. The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that. Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. Ayurveda is a science in the sense that it is a complete system. It is a qualitative,holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy and system of healing the whole person, body and mind. This system evolved at a time when philosophy and medicine were not separated; hence philosophical views have strongly influenced the Ayurvedic way of thinking. The word, Ayurveda, derived from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, means "Knowledge of Life". Ayurveda's basic principle is the concept that you are capable of taking charge of your own life and healing. As per Ayurveda there are three main energies that combine to form all things in the universe. These are recognized as being fundamental to all life and are seen in the processes of growth, maintenance, and decay. Their actions are named anabolism, metabolism, and catabolism in the western sciences. This page is quoted from:

THE NATURE OF DRUIDRY Creating the Life You Want Philip Carr-Gomm Every year, for the past twenty-five odd years, Stephanie and I have undertaken an exercise which we have found to be incredibly helpful in creating the lives we want to lead. It began as an informal review on New Year’s Eve soon after we started living together. We looked back on the year that had passed, and then we talked about how we wanted our lives to unfold in the year that was about to begin. Each year we developed this exercise, which many people undoubtedly undertake informally. Such an activity feels very natural, and of course the idea of the New Year’s resolution arises automatically out of this process of looking back on the year that has been, and then forward to the year to come. But as we developed the exercise, we started to experience the fact that once we built on, intensified and elaborated, the two fundamental activities the exercise engages – of reviewing and envisioning – it became an experience that was truly magical, truly creative. It became, in essence, a means for us to create our future. Let’s dive in and explore this in detail, so that you can make use of it yourself, or adapt it in ways that feel right for you.

‘Visible and invisible, two worlds meet in man.’ So said the German poet Novalis. As humans we stand at a threshold – between the visible, remembered world of the past, and the invisible, unformed world of the future. The past we cannot change, the future is filled with possibility. Like Janus, the Roman god of transitions, thresholds and beginnings, we have the ability at any moment to look both ways before stepping forward into the next phase of our lives. By doing this, we are not trying to control our future, which we cannot do since many unforeseen events will occur to surprise us. But we are trying to become more aware of the gift of free-will, of our ability to choose which direction to take, which choices to make in life, and as a consequence to take a conscious intentional role in the creation of our life, rather than acting as passive consumers of life, or worse – simply as victims of the flow of events. THE JANUS RITUAL You can use this technique at any moment in your life – but there are certain times when it feels particularly powerful to do so: when a new year begins; on a birthday; at a significant time in the wheel of the year, such as on a solstice, equinox or Celtic fire festival; or when you are going through a major transition and you can feel one period in your life ending, and you are perhaps unsure of the new phase that is to come. So you’ve chosen a time you want to do this. The important thing is not to rush things. Ideally, you need to dedicate two separate times to go through the exercise. Stephanie and I go through this ‘Janus Ritual’ once a year, usually spending one evening reviewing the year that has passed, and then another evening envisioning our year to come. To be truly effective the exercise deserves respect and time.

Part 1 The Review an Alchemical Process "To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it…" Margaret Fairless Barber A common complaint these days is that our lives seem to rush by so fast that we hardly have time to stand still and take stock of all that has happened. This is why meditation, stillness, retreats, are of such value in our modern world. Experience feels a little like food, in that it needs to be digested, appreciated, ruminated upon, in order that its nutrients can be incorporated into the essence of who we are – so that it can deepen our soul, and so that we can learn from it – rather than simply ‘coping’ with it. Here is your chance. Dedicate an evening to nourishing yourself – to looking back. If you have left a career or relationship you might be looking back at that. If it is a birthday or New Year’s eve it will probably be the year that has just passed. Use your diary or calendar to help you remember, use your photo collection too if it helps. If difficult times lie behind you, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to let the memories arise as they wish to arise. If pleasant memories arise, allow yourself to enjoy them, to re-live the joy these experiences brought to you – the feelings they invoked, in their colours, sounds, tastes and warmth. As well as revisiting the period chronologically, you may choose to follow tracks of memory: how was my physical health over this period? My love life? My intellectual and cultural life? My social life? My career? The lives of those I love? The life of the world around me? You may want to start by just allowing the memories to arise in whatever order they surface, only consulting your diary when you have exhausted the memories that appear spontaneously. You might like to distil the period into a series of photographs – literally with your photo album choosing say a dozen photos to depict your year – or as a series of images in your mind. Finally, having looked at the review period in as much detail as you can, survey the period from a different perspective: back up and look at it as a whole, in one sweep. What are the words that come to mind that would describe it? Are there overarching themes?

At least two things are happening as you perform this part of the exercise. Firstly you are consolidating your experience. Rather than experiencing your life as an unending stream of sense impressions, you are pausing, climbing on to the river bank, and gazing back at the last part of your life to learn from it and grow from it. Secondly, you are giving your psyche the chance to perform something it is naturally good at, if given the chance: alchemy, which could also be described as art. Just as the alchemist takes ‘base matter’ and turns it into gold, just as an artist takes raw materials and transforms them into beauty, so the psyche is able to transform our experiences – developing and refining our sense of self, and our consciousness of meaning and purpose. Since these processes of consolidation and refinement are important, major tasks, it makes sense to allow plenty of time for this part of the exercise. Enjoy it and take as much time as you need! Once you have done this exercise more than once, there is another step you can add to the review process: include the visioning goals you created the last time you did the second part of the exercise. Each year, when Stephanie and I do the exercise, as we come to the end of reviewing our year, we look at what goals we envisioned for the year that is ending. Some of them we will have achieved and we can review what was involved in that achievement, others will not have been fulfilled and we can wonder why that was and decide whether to carry them over to the next year. It can also be fruitful to ask yourself what happened that you didn’t envision or foresee, and how differently your life turned out to the way you had envisioned it.

Part 2 The Visioning "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens." Carl Jung It is tempting to want to follow the review process with this next stage in the same session, and you can of course do this, but often this creates a sense of pressure in the review process – the ambitious part of the psyche is keen to get on to the next step of planning the future and short changes us on savouring and consolidating all that we have experienced in the period under review. So ideally wait a day or so before moving to this second phase. There are many ways you can undertake this process of envisioning in this next stage, or this next period or year in your life. Here is one way: use the structure of the five elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Spirit to help you create your future. Light a candle to symbolise beginning – new light, a new start. Open yourself, first of all, to the vision of a year or period in which the very best occurs for you and those around you. You might do this with a prayer, a wish, a feeling of warmth and love – whatever comes naturally to you. Get a feel for how you would like the coming time to be – its qualities. Write these down to ground the ideas. Then begin with Earth, and ask yourself (or yourselves if you are doing this as a couple, family or group) what you would like to achieve, resolve or create for your body, your health, your home, and your finances. Then with Water – what would you like to achieve, resolve or create for your relationships, the life of your heart, your social life? Air – what would you like to achieve, resolve or create for your cultural and intellectual life, for your life of learning and growing? Fire – what would you like to achieve, resolve or create for your creative life? Spirit – what would you like to achieve, resolve or create for your spiritual life?

Once you’ve written down all that you can come up with – using this structure or in whatever way you like – ask yourself if your heart’s desire is here in the list – your most important wish, your greatest hope. Use the quote of Jung above to make sure you are responding to the inner song of your heart, as well as to down-to-earth practical wishes too. Keep what you have written in a safe place, so you can refer to it in the future, and whenever you choose to undertake the exercise again. Finish by visualizing a joy-filled time ahead of you, and then blow the candle out, imagining its light travelling into the future you have envisioned.

Make a note in your diary to look at what you have written in three months time. This can really help to keep you on track. And in fact reviewing your notes every quarter, say at a festival time, is really helpful. Wishing everyone a very happy and blessed Equinox! At this point of balance – this time of equal light and darkness – may you find your equilibrium and that magical place between the inbreath and outbreath; a gentle, mindful pause before the season turns towards the rush of summer or the release of winter.

Philip Carr-Gomm

UNDER THE SKIN Alchemical Initiation in small steps Part 2 Albedo Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini The Great Work of Alchemy is often described as a series of stages represented by colors: nigredo, a blackening or melanosis, which we discussed in our previous article (THE BADGER Year 4 Volume 4) albedo, a whitening or leucosis rubedo, a reddening, purpling, or iosis Albedo, or whitening, comes from the Latin word Albus that means white. This word is used to indicate the reflective aspect of light. While during the nigredo all the elements are destroyed and disgregated into one substance, during the Albedo this matter is purified. In the Alchemical symbology the lead of Nigredo becomes silver during the Albedo. This passage indicates that the mental* and psychic bodies begin to vibrate at a higher frequency, due to the purification, thus discharging the tensions from the physical body. Through observation and purification, the alchemist begins to understand the importance of being present to him/herself, working on transforming the elements of the many disgregated personalities in total presence. On an emotional level the alchemist does not run away, nor does he/she react to external influences that can activate his/her emotional wounds. He/she learns how to see and observe them in order to dissolve them. This is the beginning of a process of integrity, this is a compulsory moment in order to access the final phase called Rubedo.

Dante Alighieri continued his symbolic narration of his alchemical path facing Albedo in the Purgatory and Rubedo in the Paradise. Here we only quote the beginning that briefly describes the process: Purgatorio Canto I Ma poi ch’i’ fui al piè d’un colle giunto, là dove terminava quella valle che m’avea di paura il cor compunto, (7) guardai in alto, e vidi le sue spalle vestite già de’ raggi del pianeta che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle. Allor fu la paura un poco queta che nel lago del cor m’era durata la notte ch’i’ passai con tanta pieta.

E come quei che con lena affannata uscito fuor del pelago a la riva si volge a l’acqua perigliosa e guata, (8) così l’animo mio, ch’ancor fuggiva, si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo che non lasciò già mai persona viva. Poi ch’èi posato un poco il corpo lasso, ripresi via per la piaggia diserta, sì che ’l piè fermo sempre era ’l più basso. Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l’erta, una lonza leggera e presta molto, (9) che di pel macolato era coverta; e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto, anzi ’mpediva tanto il mio cammino, ch’i’ fui per ritornar più volte vòlto. Temp’era dal principio del mattino, e ’l sol montava ’n sù con quelle stelle ch’eran con lui quando l’amor divino mosse di prima quelle cose belle; sì ch’a bene sperar m’era cagione di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle l’ora del tempo e la dolce stagione; ma non sì che paura non mi desse la vista che m’apparve d’un leone. (10) Questi parea che contra me venisse con la test’alta e con rabbiosa fame, sì che parea che l’aere ne tremesse. Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame (11) sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza, e molte genti fé già viver grame, questa mi porse tanto di gravezza con la paura ch’uscia di sua vista, ch’io perdei la speranza de l’altezza.

E qual è quei che volontieri acquista, e giugne ’l tempo che perder lo face, che ’n tutt’i suoi pensier piange e s’attrista; al mi fece la bestia sanza pace, che, venendomi ’ncontro, a poco a poco mi ripigneva là dove ’l sol tace. (12)

But after I had reached a mountain’s foot, At that point where the valley terminated, Which had with consternation pierced my heart, Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders, Vested already with that planet’s rays Which leadeth others right by every road. Then was the fear a little quieted That in my heart’s lake had endured throughout The night, which I had passed so piteously. And even as he, who, with distressful breath, Forth issued from the sea upon the shore, Turns to the water perilous and gazes; So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward, Turn itself back to re-behold the pass Which never yet a living person left. After my weary body I had rested, The way resumed I on the desert slope, So that the firm foot ever was the lower. And lo! almost where the ascent began, A panther light and swift exceedingly, Which with a spotted skin was covered o’er! And never moved she from before my face, Nay, rather did impede so much my way, The time was the beginning of the morning, And up the sun was mounting with those stars That with him were, what time the Love Divine At first in motion set those beauteous things; So were to me occasion of good hope, The variegated skin of that wild beast, The hour of time, and the delicious season; But not so much, that did not give me fear A lion’s aspect which appeared to me. He seemed as if against me he were coming With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger, So that it seemed the air was afraid of him;

And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings Seemed to be laden in her meagreness, And many folk has caused to live forlorn! She brought upon me so much heaviness, With the affright that from her aspect came, That I the hope relinquished of the height. And as he is who willingly acquires, And the time comes that causes him to lose, Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent, E’en such made me that beast withouten peace, Which, coming on against me by degrees...

Dante Alighieri Divine Comedy Purgatory Canto I (7) At the end of Nigredo the alchemist comes to a fixed point, there he/she can choose to climb or stop. As in all ascents, the effort required is great, but the most important part is making such a decision. (8) Taking a breath and finding hope are the two keys that can facilitate the choice of starting up the path again (9) (10) (11) The menacing and frightening animals represent the fears we all carry with us. (12) the fears seem determined not to give us a way out :”Go Back or Die”

Alchemical Elements of Albedo Colour : White Process: It coagulates, i.e. Union in a substance that vibrates at a higher level than the elements destroyed by Nigredo Symbol : the Swan Metal: Silver Planet : The Moon Energy : Feminine, creative Element: Air

Nigredo in Dermoreflexology In dermoreflexology we purify the events, following this order: – Objective evaluation of the event, considering the previous circumstances, the motivations of the protagonist, the actions of all other people present, the subsequent emotions lived by the person. – Character exam of the different people, especially those who had the biggest role in activating the unresolved emotions of the protagonist. – Close examination of the lives of all the people involved, in order to understand if some past events of his/her life have conditioned his/her behaviour. – Understanding actions done by other people, thus applying a new point of view in order to evaluate the events. The reviewed and examined matter is then purified from preconcieved ideas, the psychic body begins to vibrate at a different rate, leaving the Theta waves, in order to approach the Delta frequency, in this way it lets go of the tension in the physical body, acquiring at the same time real consciousness. Through observation and purification, the person begins to understand the importance of being present to him/herself and seeing events in a different perspective.

This capacity becomes manifest also in daily life, thus improving the person's ability to evaluate subjectively all the events while they are happening. The beasts described by Dante, i.e. our fears of unknown situations lose their power and the ancient fears become alarm signals that can be used to survive dangers. These beasts represent also the less known aspects of our Shadow, they are there to “protect� us, but they can only do that if we recognize, understand and accept them. To sum it all up: in this second phase, besides the direct contact with our own feelings, our soul part (re union of male and female aspects) we have the first direct contacts with our Shadow side.

Samantha Fumagalli and Flavio Gandini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini NOTE In our description of the human being, the mental body is not considered as self determining, rather as a magnificent processor of elements coming from the other 4 bodies (physical, etheric, astral, causal).

APOTHECARY Horseradish Horseradish has an extremely pungent odour, as anyone who has grated it knows very well. This is caused by the sulphur rich mustard oils, contained within its tissues, that help to protect it against being eaten by animals. The mustard oil is actually harmful to the plant, so it is only released when the animal chews it. This is the same for slicing versus grating. A sliced horseradish root is quite mild, but when grated, the vapours will almost blast your head off. As such, it is very inhospitable to bacteria, and has been used in many traditional societies as an antibacterial agent for bronchitis and cystitis. During the winter months, most of us develop chest infections, but often these persist in spring time as well, leaving us with thick sticky phlegm in our lungs. This provides an ideal environment for bacteria to breed and soon the person is very ill and debilitated from coughing day and night. We hear more and more that antibiotics are not working anymore, so we must turn back to our friends, the plants for help. Horseradish has a double action. The heat provided by the mustard oil causes the blood vessels in the lungs to dilate, and this loosens the phlegm which is clogging up the lungs. The sulphur components have very powerful anti-bacterial qualities, and they kill the infection. So now the phlegm is loosened and more easily expectorated, and the bacteria is killed off, leaving the lungs clear of the infected congestion which was literally suffocating the patient.

My Horseradish Recipe: 200ml of water poured in a saucepan, then bring to the boil Add 140g of sugar – I used brown, but white is fine. It is just a preserving agent. As much grated horseradish root as will fit into the solution. Put the lid and turn off the heat. Allow to extract over-night. If you take the lid off, you will learn the power of horseradish!! Strain through muslin the next morning and take a teaspoonful in a little water 3 to 4 times a day to clear your cough.

Jo Dunbar


Raffaella Vicini This time I’ve changed my embarkation destination: instead of China and Japan, I am still in Asia, but closer to Europe: THE EMIRATES First of all some historical and geographical data: During the Hellenistic period, the area was known as Arabia or Aravia (Greek: Αραβία). The Romans named three regions with the prefix "Arabia" Arabia Petraea (Stone Arabia) : the area that is today southern modern Syria, Jordan, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. It was the only one that became a province, with Petra as its capital. Arabia Deserta (Desert Arabia): was the desert interior of the Arabian peninsula. Arabia Felix (Fortunate or Fertile Arabia): was used by geographers to describe what is now Yemen, which enjoys more rainfall, it is much greener than the rest of the peninsula and has long enjoyed much more productive fields. The history of the Arabian Peninsula goes back to the beginnings of human habitation up to 130,000 years ago. A Homo Sapiens fossilized finger bone was found at Al Wusta in the Nefud Desert, which indicates that the first human migration out of Africa to Arabia might date back to approximately 90,000 years ago. While the stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic age along with fossils of other animals discovered at Ti's al Ghadah, in northwestern Saudi Arabia, might imply that hominids migrated through a "Green Arabia" between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago.

Considering the antiquity of the Arabian sub continent, it is amazing how modern it feels to be here. The United Arab Emirates, are very young states they did not even exist until the 70's of last century! They have one thing in common; they are very rich because of the petrol. The difference is the way they use their prosperity.

Dubai and Abu Dabhi are

big towns where everything is very

expensive and luxurious. They are a mixture of experiences for children and adults as well, everything is created to surprise, to be remembered. Here famous architects from all over the world can really express themselves with new ideas and new styles as well as apparently limitless funding. The BURJ KHALIFA in Dubai is the highest building in the world with his 148 floors (to enjoy the view from up there the cost is around 125 EUROS) with underneath a big square with musical fountains. The famous 7 stars HOTEL BURJ al- ARAB is the most expensive in the world, it contains the highest hall which becomes blue at night time. There are wide roads with 6 or 7 lanes on each side, bridges, amazing amusements parks with high rollercoasters, villages where you can find all kind of restaurants and products from all over the world. The Gold Souq in DUBAI is unimaginably rich: tons of gold, diamonds in all different karats and shapes, shining everywhere, we could lose track of time trying to see everything‌ There are huge shopping malls with an Aquarium where we can dive with a cage among sharks and other fishes, or Sky Mountains where we can ski on snow... Amazing Hotels with restaurant and bars on the top floors of high buildings, or crazy discos on the beach. We can see Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris in great quantity driven around by young emirs.

The huge white marble Gran Mosque of the Sceic Zhaied in ABUDABHI is the biggest one in the Islamic world. It is a real experience, especially at night time when blue light envelopes the Mosque. The Sultanat of Oman, is totally different. The Sultan decided for his country a discrete, low profile. There are NO skyscrapers, the buildings can have a maximum of 5 floors and they are all white or sand gold. The country is very rocky it looks like the moon in some parts, but behind the rocks, there are hidden lakes with pure water. The sea is full of different kind of fish and you can easily see dolphins. The people in Oman are very friendly and the food is very tasty and fresh. No richness is shown off, even if this Small Country might be the richer than others.

Qatar is an even younger country. Doha the capital is getting bigger and busier. There is a very long promenade by the sea with characteristic wooden boats, called katari, and flowerbeds all along. On the other side, the city center with high buildings and great parks (something you do not find in Dubai or Abu Dhabi) that make it a modern city that pays attention to people's needs. All these countries are deeply linked to the desert, the only trees are palm trees, for this reason parks are special, they give a green space for people to breathe, especially in summertime when the temperature can reach 50/55 degrees Celsius. All these states are inspired by western culture but keeping very tight links with their traditions and past. Women are still wearing black dresses (some have the face covered): if you want to visit a mosque women have to cover the whole body and head. The desert is magic. You can do the jeep safari and enjoy the riding up and down the dunes, admiring the unlimited desert. I prefer to look at the immensity of the desert, the silence, the movement of the dunes with the wind which is extremely fascinating.

Under the stars, looking at the sky, the silence of the desert expands our senses making us feel a part of the whole, a part of the earth where we can dream, see everything and hear unknown sounds coming from the ancestors. Feeling the beat of the universe is an unforgettable moment. Enjoy the ride.

Raffaella Vicini Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini

NOVA SCHOLA PYTHAGORICA The Tale of the Immortal Child Part 2 Salvatore Mongiardo 5. After meeting and getting to know so many people and nations, cultures and customs, he decided to go back to Samos, his home. At first he received a very warm welcome from his family, but happiness didn't last very long. In fact the old tyrant Polycrates, with his despotic and authoritarian character, was incompatible with Pythagoras open way of thinking. He had returned in order to organize a school on the island, to share his knowledge and find answers to unresolved questions. Polycrates tried to involve Pythagoras in the governing of Samos, but the philosopher loved freedom, justice and the calming silence of the northern mountains called Kerkis. He came to realize he would not be able to start his universal school in Samos, nor could he apply his vision of a pacific and serene life. After much deliberation, he decided to leave. His final destination would be his new home, the city where he would start his school and a new society. At this point he remembered the place that had so postively impressed him when he was a young man travelling with his father: Kroton. Kroton, in the meantime, had become a point of reference for medicine, it held a recod number of olimpic medals and was famous for its healthy climate.

Pythagoras was attracted to the Italic aspect of Kroton: the values shared by the King Italus so long ago, corresponded to his behavioural and ethical model for a new society. The high level lifestyle available in Kroton came also from the Italic mothers who lived according to principles so close to his own. In the year 532 BCE, at about 44 years, Pythagoras arrived in Kroton for the second time, he was accompanied by his friend and assistant Zalmoxis. The inhabitants of the city were glad to see him back, since he had become famous accross the Mediterranean area as one of the wisest scholars of the world. 6. At first he spoke to women and young people, then he was welcomed by the town council where he enchanted the entire group of politicians with his words while explaining his project in depth. For the first time the word "Philosopher" (lover of knowledge) was used. Pythagoras explained that such love was not made of abstract or theoretical information, but rather it constituted the art of living. In Kroton people used to live better than in other places (perhaps without even realizing it) due to the influence of the Italic habit of freedom and friendship. For his plan Pythagoras needed to start a school: a community of life and knowledge that would influence the Italic and Sicilian regions, then Lucania, Apulia and Campania, eventually Greece itself and from there it would spread everywhere. The town council accepted his offer and so the project started. In a few months the philosopher attracted and chose many people who showed a deep understanding of his mission. He also accepted women in his association. Together with his friend Demokedes and the medical school of the town, they explored new ideas, new social and ethical paradigms, empirical and rational studies, in this way the scientific method was born.

After the first year, in 530 BCE there were already 600 followers of the Pythagoric School; as a consequence, many of them decided to live together in a Pythagoric community near the temple of Hera Lacinia. Around that time Pythagoras recognized in the young Theano the perfect life partner to share the values he believed in. They had 4 children. The ethical goals of the School: teaching the correct behaviour that leads to harmony, also pushed Pythagoras to select carefully the people admitted to it. Only the people with a high degree of freedom and a sincere desire to learn in order to elevate themselves, not to be the best in class, could take part in the activities and researches. In order to single themselves out the Pythagoreans called themselves "esoterics", the intimate ones, those who know the secrete knowledge. They also chose a 5 point star as a symbol to recognize each other. Unfortunately this symbol has been used over time in situations and for goals very far from the Pythagorean ideals. 7. Pythagoras continued his main work: influencing the political life of Kroton and the surrounding cities where Pythagorean communities were spreading rapidly. Besides the words "Philosopher" and "esoteric", he also introduced the word "Kosmos" referring it to the stars, and not only to the order of deployed armies. He also added "mathematics" the knowledge or learning that was not only limited to numbers, as it happened later on; it is this word that identfies Pythagoras as a mathematician of numbers, instead of philosopher and political man, which were his main characteristics. He could use numbers to demonstrate mathematically the correct approach of his ethical and behavioural systems, since such a life style, aimed at being in peace with oneself and the world, has immutable rules, just like numbers do.

He used to teach 5 main ethical principles for a correct human behaviour: Freedom (EleutherĂŹa) of all human beings, because without it crime and degradation prevail. Friendship (Filia) or love for everybody, from gods to human beings and animals, making sure to be friends even with the enemies. Community (Koinonia) of life and resources, in order to eliminate any conflict and competition. Dignity for Women (Gyne) since she always divide in equal shares regardless of gender. Bread (Artos) which indicates the refusal to kill animals and the subsequent choice of a vegetarian lifestyle, since this is at the foundation of peace: if you do not dare killing an animal, you will never kill a human being. Consequently, harmony, friendship and love are columns of any human being. Vegetarianism leads to non violence towards other human beings. Women have a higher dignity than man in dealing with the sacred rituals, because they are the preservers of justice and its divine origin. Freedom is the essential condition for a civilization that flourishes with values. Freedom is essential for developing a richness of values. The Pythagorean way thus became one with the Italic principles that had so much influenced the life and of the Italic people, especially in Kroton. The followers of the Master (Didaskalos) were considered real apprentices (Mathethes) and their number kept growing. The results of their researches went from mathematics, to the law, from cosmology, to medicine, to music... One day Pythagoras managed to demonstrate mathemically an already common knowledge: he proved that the sum of the square surface of the cathets in any right triangle is always the same as the square surface of the hypotenuse. Pythagoras offered a bread in the shape of an oxen to thank for this discovery. Once more he used geometry in order to indicate that even ethics had precise as well as immutable rules, if they were observed they would lead to the end of any killing.

8. The ideas and lifestyle of the Pythagorean School of Kroton influenced many other cities and spread accross the Mediterranean sea. So that Megale Ellas, or Magna Grecia indicated the greatness of the philosophical school, its thinkers, judges, public assemblies, artists, doctors, scientists. Pythagoras was managing directly the city of Kroton, so his dream was becoming reality. Hundreds of people went regularly to Kroton to learn from the Pythagorean school. That beautiful atmosphere hid serious conflicts. In the school the women were offering the gods buns made of flour and honey, this was an open critique of the official cult of the city, where oxen were sacrificed in the temples. Both the official priests and the rich people in town did not like the free and egalitarian attitude practiced by Pythagoras and his followers.

Besides, the politicians had also been put aside, since the Pythagoreans wanted every body to live according to their universal model that was not object of discussione due to its perfect nature. The neighbouring city of Sibaris was not involved in the Pythagorean culture, actually quite the opposite, it was well known for its love of luxury and gluttony, lack of freedom and slavery. When, in 510 BCE, many aristocratic people from Sibaris sought refuge in Kroton the relationship between the two cities waw ruined for good. Pythagoras was against the war, yet he believed the refugees had to be protected because they had asked protection in Kroton, even if those same people had killed his followers in Sibaris. Some of the Pythagoreans accepted the war and an army from Kroton won against Sibaris. The city was destroyed and swamped under water. The entire world cried the loss of this once prosperous city that had been a prosperous crossroad among Greece, Etruria and the Middle East. 9. Kroton reached its highest peak then, yet the relationship between Pythagoras and the citizens was ruined. There was a conspiracy that used some political decision as an excuse to persecute Pythagoras and his followers, it was followed by a revolt where many followers were killed, while some managed to escape, Pythagoras was one of them. The crisis was beyond repair, the Pythagorean communities underwent a slow decline. Pythagoras looked for a refuge and, eventually, found it in Metaponto. There he lived near a temple where he tried to mend the relationship with his chosen town and his community, but his old age and the discouragement due to those sad events had made him weaker. After leaving instructions to his remaining followers, he died. His life, lived coherently according to his principles, left a profound mark everywhere in the ancient world. Thanks to his followers the Pythagorean ideas were well known. It is not by chance that around 440 BCE Perikles re opened the Pythagorean school in Kroton and the sworn pacts were taken to the temple of Apollo in Delphi.

Among the many students of the Phytagorean School there was also Plato, who attended for 7 years the School in Kroton, where the followers of Pythagoras had written down the oral teachings of the Master. Plato bought those books and, in his dialogues, preserved the essence of the Pythagoric School in order to change the world. Plato accepted twice the invitation of the tyrants of Syracuse, since he also wanted to change the politics, but it was not possible and he risked his life twice. In the end Plato realized, in his Letter VII, that the problems of the world can be solved only if the rulers become philosophers or if the philosophers become rulers. 10. However the context was changing rapidly. A new patriarcal and authoritarian power was knocking on the doors of the world in order to find its space: Rome. The city seemed unstoppable, even if some Pythagorean influence was present in its most educated circles. Even if the world was going in the opposite direction from the words of Pythagoras, his immortal ideas survived in many religions and ideology: to this day thinkers, scientists and philosophers still find inspiration in his model. Living in harmony with oneself and society this is the disarming and contemporary quality of his thought, now it is as valid as then as a basis for a world of peace. His message is alive and kicking to this day and beyond.

Salvatore Mongiardo Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini Note This tale is based on the three, more complete, lives of Pythagoras: Iamblichus Pythagoras Life, Porphyry Life of Pythagoras, Diogenes Laertius's Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. Since then 25 centuries have gone by, on November 30 th 2015 a woman and 4 men founded the New Pythagorean School. We are convinced that a new beneficial cycle can start for humanity: applying the ethical rules described by Pythagoras we can make our planet Earth our pacific and shared home. ŠNuova Scuola Pitagorica – All Reserved Rights


“HORI OSHI� Death of a Japanese Tattoo Artist Part Six Cesira Borromei On the floating house Andrea and Mark were silent. The night had gone quickly and so had the whisky. "If I didn't know Oshi is dead and you are a mentally healthy person" said Mark " this story would sound like a drunk's tale" " I used to think the same, I had hidden the cardboard roll from Oshi in the oven, around 10 pm I felt hungry and my fridge was empty. I told Oshi to stay put and not to open to anybody, since he was tired and just wanted to organize his material and go to sleep. I went to a nearby trattoria, so that I could be back before midnight in order to meet a sociologist reasearching tattooes. When I was about to leave the restaurant, the storm started, I had just returned home, I was sure Oshi was sound asleep, when somebody rang the door bell. It was the sociologist I was waiting for, she was as wet as a rag, although I had hoped the bad weather would make her postpone the appointment, instead she was there and I could only let her in." "When did you realize what had happened?" Mark asked. "When I entered my room to pick up something dry for Emma to wear. Everything was upside down and Oshi was on the floor, I went closer and I saw the sticks thrust in his chest. I touched his throat, but there was nothing to do. I run to the bathroom because I felt sick. I had to be quick and think on my feet. I had to leave the place quickly, but the studio might be under surveillance, besides I didn't know if the lady waiting for me was involved or not.

I looked at my face in the mirror, it was covered in sweat. I tried to compose myself and I had an idea. In the medicine cabinet there was a powerful sleeping draught, used by a friend who had stayed with me during his tumultuous divorce. I added quite a bit of it to Emma's tea; after a very short time she fell deeply asleep, so I packed a small bag, I got the rolled package from Oshi, I called you and I left the building through the green house at the back, I reached my car in the garage and you know the rest"

That morning Emma was reading the newspapers, she had woken up early, she had worn a pair of velvety comfy pants, her favourite jumper and her friend's Vilma's jacket. For a moment she had thought of Vilma with sincere envy, since she certainly was under the sun on a beach in Goa. She had bought two newspapers, biscuits and milk at the store, as well as duck pate for cats, so Orfeo would be happy too. She read that the police had discovred the name of the famous tattoo artist, he was expcted in Amsterdam as a guest at a world meeting of tattoo artists. There weren't many news, but there was a mention of the Japanese mafia. There was nothing about her, apparently the Japanese police commissioner had kept his promises. Emma took the notes for her research and started to work in order not to think about the horrible story and to pass the time. Soon it was evening. When it was 10 pm, Emma entered the bar. In the afternoon she had done quite a bit of shopping. She had been to a second hand boutique, she was now dressed in a short black leather skirt, with a black polo, fishnet stockings, short boots, silver hoops that she had found in a market stall. She chose to wear heavier black make up for her eyes and fire red for her lips. Her short hair looked spiky with all the gel she had used. Above her outfit she was wearing a long black leather coat she had found in the wardrobe, a relic of the sixities. She looked at her image and approved what she saw.

When she entered the tattoo bar in the Brera zone, she realized she was dressed like a novice compared with the young people there. The place was already packed with a crowd from 20 to 50 years old. The young kids had every possible color hair, earrings and piercings all over, you could not even tell apart their gender. They wore heavy boots, dressed mostly in leather and studs, as well as fringes like Hell's Angels. They wore huge rings, sometimes you could see some of the heavily tattoed skin of the arms. Emma was fascinated, even the walls were covered with images of famous tattoes and the signature of celebrated tattoo artists. The space was occupied mostly by a long mahogany bar with a brass footrest, behind it there was a busy attractive girl with arms covered in tattoes and a very small top. Behind the beautiful Liberty cash desk was standing a man in his sixties, his head was completly shaved and he sported two pirate earrings. From his belly hugging shirt came out muscular arms covered in two coloured drawings made by an amazing artist. Emma had been researching tattoes for quite a while, so she had become a sort of expert on them. That bar was on the list of her visits in order to complete her research, besides the owner was the president of the Italian Tattoo Club. She approached the bar and was surprised by her reflected image. "What would you like to drink?" the young girl asked her. "A very dry Martini" she knew that the most common drink there was beer, but she could not stand it, she very rarely drank, but if she had to make a transgression, at least she would drink something she actually liked. "Who is Tommaso?" she asked raising her glass. "It's the owner, that fat guy at the cash desk" was the girl's answer with a smile and a vaguely foreign accent. "Are you new here? I have never seen you before" "Yes, I am from Rome, I am driving to Amsterdam to the convention, I am here to meet some friends, so we can travel together". " Right, let me know if you have some more space in the car. I need ot go there too, it is a very important meeting. I have a drawing by Hunky Punky and I need to have him finish it for me". " My name is Edith" said the girl shaking her hand.

Emma shook her hand saying " My name is Emma, I will let you know". Next to the cash desk there was a stool, so Emma sat there showing her legs, but the owner didn't seem to be interested in her. She observed the man he was talking with: he looked ruggedly handsome, 35 years old, intelligent eyes, beard, a golden earring on his left ear lobe. He wore a blue cachemire coat and his telephone showed from his pocket. There didn't seem to be any tattoes, but she bet he had a seagull somewhere and, since she was on her second Martini, she might be able to find out. Emma had realized she was tipsy and in a very good mood, so she had to concentrate in order to listen to what they were talking about. There was jazz music in the background, the two men were talking about the crime, the topic of the day. "I am sure Andrea is innocent" the unknown man was saying "if he is staying hidden, he must have his good reasons, perhaps he is in danger too" Tommy continued " To think that Hori Oshi was going to take part in a European convention for the first time. At first they wanted to stop the event, but then they decided to transform it into a commemoration of his art showing drawings, tattoes, as well as people who are wearing his work on their skins. I also have one of his works, look". Thus speaking he showed his forearm where a carp was swimming among waves. "There is only the external part, it will never be completed, pity". He added.

Cesira Borromei Edited and Translated by Antonella Vicini To Be Continued

HAPPY READING I wish you really serene and happy readings with THE BADGER. Our effort has always been to offer you nourishment for mind, body, emotions and soul; we will continue to do so. May our publication be a strong tree with long roots, so that you can build what you desire. Stay tuned for more events and the publication of our first 4 years Anthology. With respect and gratitude for your presence

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.

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.

Francis Rico Musician, feral shaman, and author Francis Rico combines ancient and modern wisdom assisting clients, students and fellow adventurers in awakening to the gift of their lives. His book, A Shaman's Guide To Deep Beauty, shares stories and lessons from a lifetime of dedication to the shamanic pathways and teachers of indigenous wisdom traditions. As a guide to the world's sacred sites, Francis brings insight, humor, and music along on every journey. His home lies in Northern California, where he shares the beauty of the wild coastal mesas, cliffs, and ocean.

Geraldine Rael I am a Native American woman of Ute and Peublo descent, I am the oldest daughter of Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow. In the Winter of 2018 my Fathers gifted his Sacred Dances, to me in order to carry his Visions into the future, the way he intended:“After the seeds have been planted, Mother Earth and Father Sun wake them out of their dream time that they may become.� As his eldest daughter of his lineage, I will do my utmost to keep his Visions, as he set them forth: watering the seeds so carefully and lovingly sown through his Dances, his living art and his teachings. Many blessings.

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