Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Sacred Power of Menstrual Blood


Documentation of many lineages of Tantra and Tao mention the deliberate cessation of the menstruation for women as a way to conserve energy. 

It is often compared to the loss of energy that a man experiences after ejaculation, and thus a woman is encouraged to strive to end her bleeding, just as a man learns to prevent ejaculation. In the Tao lineage this practice is referred to “slaying the red dragon”.

There are lots of practices in Tantra and Taoism that assist in diminishing menstruation, also there are lists of foods to avoid. With this knowledge some advanced tantric yoginis even manage to stop their menstruation, so as not to lose their ojas or power.

On the other hand, many goddess-based lineages focus deeply on the menstruation, referring to it as a woman’s moon time. Stories of women gathering together at this time in a “red tent” to enter the mysteries of the feminine invoke images of a time in which to bleed was to enter a time of wisdom and intuition.

Some speak of how women have an opportunity once a month to awaken, through entering the collective female pain body that is accessible to them prior to and during their bleeding days.

Some shamanic paths suggest that women have an opportunity men do not have, to enter the mysteries of the underworld each month as they bleed. Men, they suggests, can only access these realms by partaking of the poison path, herbs and plants that induce deep altered states. A woman does not require such substances if she knows how to use her moon time wisely.

In tribes women were asked to report their dreams during their moon time to medicine people, because it was considered that women have increased psycic abilities during this time.

It’s very powerful to perform a ritual during menstruation.

So, with such contrasting points of view, how is a woman to view her moon time?




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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Origins of the Magicians


By Robert Sepehr

The Medes were people of Indo-Iranian (Aryan) origin who inhabited the western and north-western portions of present-day Iran. By the 6th century BC (prior to the Persian invasion) the Medes has established an empire that stretched from Aran (the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to Central Asia and Afghanistan. Today's population of the western part of the Iranian Plateau (including many Persian-speakers, Kurds and Azeris) consider themselves their descendants.

Apart from a few personal names, the original Aryan language of the Medes is almost entirely unknown, but it was most likely similar to the Avesta and Scythian languages (photo-Indo-European/Iranian). Herodotus mentions that" "The Medes had exactly the same equipment as the Persians; and indeed the dress common to both is not so much Persian as Median".

Eventually, the older tribes of Aryan Iran lost their district character and amalgamated into one people, the Iranians. In Arabic texts, as in the Greco-Roman tradition, Zoroaster is the "founder" of the Magicians, Arabic 'Majusya'. There are many views on the timeline for Zoroaster's life. The traditional Zoroastrian date for Zarathustra's birth and ministry is around 600 BC Green sources placed him as early as 6000 BC. Zoroaster spoke of duality and ceasing balance at the end of time; his goal, was to show humans their connection to one source of light and consciousness. According to the Zend Avesta, the sacred book of Zoroastrianism, Zoroaster was born in Azerbaijan, in northern Persia.


A Magus was a Zoroastrian astrologer-priest from ancient Persia, and was also referred to as a sorcerer or wizard. The terms magic and magician derive from the word "magus". The English term may also refer to a shaman. The Greek word is attested from the 5th century B.C., as a direct loan from the Old Persian "magus".

Profesor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, Victor H. Mair, provides archaeological and linguistic evidence suggesting that the Chinese "wu" (shaman; witch, wizard; magician) was also loanword from Old Persian magus "magician; magi":

The recent discovery at an early Chou site of two figurines with unmistakably Caucasoid or Europoid features is startling prima facie evidence of East- West interaction during the first half of the first millennium Before Current Era. It is especially investing that one of the figurines bears on the top of his head the clearly incised graph (cross with potents) which identifies him as a "wu" (shaman; witch, wizard; magician).

The Aryan, or Indo-European, root appears to have expressed power or ability. This meaning continued, e.g. in Greek "mekhos" (see mechanics) and in Germanic magan (English may), magts (English might, the expression "might and magic"). The original significance of the name for Median priests, thus, seems to have been "the powerful". The modern Persian "Mobed" derived from an Old Persian compound magu-pati "lord priest".


The plural "Magi" entered the English language ca. 1200, referring to the Magi mentioned in Matthew 2:1. The singular following only considerably later, in late 14th century, when it was borrowed from Old French in the meaning magician together with magic. 

In Farsi, Magi is 'meguceen', which meaning "Fire Worshipper", and it is the origin of the word "magician". While, in Herodotus, "Magos" refers to either an ethnically Aryan member of one of the tribes/peoples (ethnous) of the Medes, or to one of the Persian priest  who could interpret dreams, it could also be used for any enchanter wizard. 

In Hellenism, "Magos" started to be used as an adjective, meaning "magical", as in magas techne "ars magica" (e.g. used by Philostratus). Sources from before the Hellenistic period include Xenophon, who had first-hand experience  at the Persian Achaemenid court. In his early 4th century BC Cyropaedia, Xenophon depicts the Magicians as authorities for all religious matters, and imagines the Magicians were responsable for the education of the emperor-to-be.

According to to Robert Charles Zaehner, author of the book, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism:

We hear the Magi not only in Persia, Parthia, Bactria, Chorasmia, Aria, Media, and among the Sakas, but also in non-iranian lands like Samaria and Egypt. Their influence was also widespread throughout Asia Minor. It is, therefore, quite likely that the sacerdotal caste of the Magi was distinct from the Median tribe of the same name.

Extracts from the book Occult Secrets of Vril (chapter 7: Magicians) by Robert Sepehr.


About the author:
Robert Sepehr is an author, producer and anthropologist living in Los Angeles, CA.
He specializes in linguistics, paleogenetics and archeology.

Find Robert Sepehr's books on the left bar of our site.



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Working with your Projective and Receptive Hand



PROJECTIVE ENERGY:

Projective energy is the process of directing energy. Your dominant hand is used to project, to send energy out. Hold your wand or athame in your projective hand to project your spell out into the universe. Use your projective hand to consecrate items, infuse energy into objects and send healing vibrations.

RECEPTIVE ENERGY:

Perceptive energy is the process of receiving energy. Your off hand is used to receive. Hold items in your receptive hand to draw and absorb energy from them. Use your receptive hand to ‘feel’ the energy of an object, hold a person’s projective hand to receive energy from them.

Some examples:

Let's say you want to charge your quartz crystal on the next full moon. You would stand outside under the Moon. Hold the quartz crystal in your projective hand. Use your receptive hand to draw the energy of the Moon into your hand, down your arm, through your body, down your projective arm, through your projective hand, to charge the stone. Make sense?

Most of us are healers in some capacity, while you may find you naturally work with both hands during healing, you should be concentrating on sending that energy with your right hand (or dominant hand) and receiving it with your left (or “weaker hand”).

During meditation try holding your left hand with the palm up to facilitate receiving energy as this is one of the many places you will receive energy.

If you are able to use both hands equally, you want to spend some time sensing the energy in your hands, and determine which one you feel more comfortable using to send energy.


Just for fun. How to create a ball of energy:

1. Slap your hands together or rub them briskly to awaken the energy.

2. Bring your hands to a relaxed prayer position in front of your face but do not let them touch.

3. Focus all your energy into the center of your palms and begin to feel the sensation of a magnetic force.

4. Try to imagine a small ball of chi or light energy forming between your hands.

As your palms close in towards one another, you should notice a subtle feeling of resistance much like two magnets trying to push away from each other.

Separate your hands slightly and then close them again. Do it slowly. Practice this often so that you become familiar with how the energy feels. Later on, you’ll notice it within your body.


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Friday, January 5, 2018

Energy: Grounding, Centering, and Shielding


"Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. Breathe in and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe; breathe out and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, breathe up all fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself." - Morihei Ueshiba

Energy plays an important role in everything we do. It is the power that animates the physical world, causing the sun to shine, our bodies to move, making trees and plants grow and flourish; and it is the force that flows within us, the primary source of our emotions, thoughts and spiritual life. When stress, injury, and negative feelings disrupt our flow of energy, our quality of life is diminished – even if we are not aware of it!

With careful practice and meditation, we can learn to sense the energies within ourselves, and bring them into balance so that we may embrace our highest good.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to balance physical and spiritual energies is a technique known as “grounding and centering.” 

Grounding

When you ground yourself you are either shedding your excess energy or replenishing yourself to balance your energy levels. 

Grounding helps to prevent the body from becoming too tired or energetic and can replenish your energy after doing spiritual work or magick.

Here are some things you can do to help bring you back down to earth:

  • Eating healthy & balanced
  • Drinking water
  • Walking barefood
  • Laying on the floor 
  • Hugging a tree
  • Sunshine/Moonlight
  • Hiking in nature
  • Yoga, Qigong, tai chi etc.
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Gardening
  • Animals
  • Being purposeful
  • Carrying/working with crystals 
  • Visualization 

Example of visualization:

The easiest and most helpful thing to imagine when you are trying to ground yourself is tree roots! Just imagine you have great long sturdy roots coming from the base of your feet (which should remain flat on the floor during the visualization), or, from the base of your spine if you are sitting directly on the floor. Just let these roots go right down in to the earth below and let them anchor you onto the earth. 

Colour can also be quite helpful, deep earthy colours such as red, brown and terracotta are always good. Again just imagine that this colour surrounds you. You can imagine it as light or a cloak or blanket, whatever is easier for you.

Centering 

"When you have a disease, do not try to cure it. Find your center and you will be healed. There are some things that can be sensed but not explained in words." – Taoist proverbs

Centering is a foundational skill for energy work. 

Centering allows someone to centralize his or her power someplace inside the body. 

This is beneficial because when casting a spell, or doing energy healing you will be able to access one center of power instead of your power being spread across your body. 

Some teachers often compare this to “saving money in the bank for a rainy day.” Everyday you put a little energy in the bank. Then when you’re old or sick you have a nice big savings stored up and you can use it to stay healthy, active and vibrant.

Most people center themselves in the navel and I suggest that for now you do as well, but when you are more advanced you can put your center of power anywhere you wish. Some don't recommend  storing it in the heart and head. And some claim that the most effective place to store energy is in the bone marrow of your entire body from head to toe.

At the end of any energy work, make certain to bring your dispersed energy back to your navel (or center of choice). This is very important. You don’t want your energy stuck up in your head or heart, as this can cause scatteredness and emotional problems—even Qi psychosis could result.

Basic technique to connect and feel your Tantien:

Sit down.

Place your fingers on your belly at the height of the hara, 2cm under the navel.

Breath in and push your fingers away from your belly with your muscles.

Breath out, the muscles that pushed your fingers out relax, and let the fingers go inside the soft muscles towards the center.

Let your exhales and the movement inside be longer than the inhale.

At the end of the long exhales, feel a contraction, in the center, inside your belly.

Stay there, a bit, until you feel the need to inhale again.

Then, with the next inhale, push your fingers away from the center again.

When you start to control the movement of the muscles, out and back in, you can remove your fingers.

Pushing your Tantien forward in your lower belly with the inhale and bringing it back to the center with the exhale, is the basic exercise for all the inner techniques of chi.

Practice this one as much as you can and your Tantien will become stronger and more present from day to day.

Shielding

I actually think this is the most important of the three skills, but unless you are grounded and centered, you′re not going to be able to shield very well. Once you are grounded and centered and put up your shield, then it will be harder for someone to knock you off your equilibrium.

Shielding is pretty much just what it says it is. It′s your suit of psychic armor that you put around yourself so that no one can impose their energy onto you, nor leach your energy for themselves. You′ll sometimes hear people talk about ‘psychic vampires.′

These are often people who drain the energy from those who are not properly shielded—sometimes without even knowing that they are doing it. Have you ever been in a room with someone and left feeling absolutely exhausted? They′ve drained your energy. Shielding can help you with this, whether it is in a magic circle, or just having to deal with a bombastic colleague or neighbor.

Ways of defense and clearing:

  • Visualizing a force-field
  • Visualization of white light
  • Aura cleansing
  • Using positive affirmations
  • Smudging
  • Meditation to strengthen the aura
  • Mantra or repeated prayer
  • Salt baths
  • Essencial oils and herbs
  • Protective imagery/jewelry/crystals
  • Magic

For more information read my article: The threat of Psychic Attacks.


Tips

When you first start to ground, center, and shield you may feel that it′s all a bit complicated, but I promise you that if you remember to start every morning, this way it will become second nature to you. 

Remember, there′s really no one right way to do this. We′re all unique. There are many techniques for grounding, centering and shielding and it is wise to look for those that work best for you.

Do you have a favorite technique? Tell us in the comments! 


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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Saturn in Capricorn


On December 19th, 2017, just days before the Solstice, Saturn entered Capricorn. Every 2.5 years or so, Saturn enters a new sign, encouraging us to own our stories in a specific style and area of our lives.

Here until 2020, Saturn in Capricorn will be teaching us a great many things about the effort it takes to mature and the importance of making that effort without expectation of what will be received. To Saturn in Capricorn, the work is the reward. Self-respect is the reward. Mastery is the reward.

Saturn transits teach us to take responsibility for ourselves. At the outset of a Saturn transit, we might feel like the world is a cold place. If we are mature, we will at some point come to the realization that we cannot always pass blame for the problems in our lives. We need to reach within and pull out our own inner strength — to rely on ourselves.

Saturn transits can also be considered times of conservation in whatever area of life that Saturn is affecting. We generally build up our reserves and conserve our energy during these periods. Delays and little but irksome problems might be experienced. Things break down, our needs often go unmet by others, we often feel misunderstood and even left out, we tend to find others harsh and unsympathetic (although this is often a perception thing – we, in fact, may be lacking a sense of humor), and we often feel burdened or put upon.

Saturn aims to cut out excessive or overdone expectations. Saturn gives us a dose of realism.

Depression can be a byproduct of heavy Saturn transits. However, if we focus our energies into meaningful endeavors without pushing too hard for recognition or support from others, we can fight the inclination towards a gloom-and-doom attitude. 

Saturn reminds us of reality and the need for greater self-discipline. 

Re-organizing the area of life represented by the house or personal point that Saturn is “hitting” can lead to great rewards. Remember that Saturn transits do not completely flatten us, by all means. Instead, they slow us down, force us to live in the here and now, keep us from taking unnecessary risks, and help us to build and structure our lives in ways that will benefit us later.

On a global level, Saturn in Capricorn is going to be shining a light on authority figures. People in power, or people who have authority over others, are really going to have to ensure they are acting ethically and for the greater good, or Saturn may have to intervene and show the way.

Although Saturn rules Capricorn, Saturn and Capricorn are not the same energy. Life doesn’t necessarily become more Capricorn. In fact, the more negative expressions of the sign of Capricorn, such as excessive materialism, pessimism, and rigidity, are things that won’t work for us now. These become glaring under Saturn’s stern eye. In some manner, we are bound to see that there is a price to pay for these behaviors, or it will become extremely clear that we have lost too much time, energy, and happiness on these things. Even so, Saturn invokes a craving for the positive qualities of whatever sign it inhabits or planet it touches. 

We’re now striving towards more order, integrity, discipline, patience, and perseverance.


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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Yule Goat Pagan Tradition


The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origins go back to ancient Pagan festivals.

Yule was the name of a winter festival that occurred in December and January on the German lunar calendar. 

While a popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr it goes back to common Indo-European beliefs. The last sheaf of grain bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things Yule goat (Julbocken). This connects to ancient proto-Slavic beliefs where the Koliada (Yule) festival honors the god of the fertile sun and the harvest. This god, Devac (Dazbog), was represented by a white goat, consequently the Koliada festivals always had a person dressed as a goat, often demanding offerings in the form of presents. 

Other traditions are possibly related to the sheaf of corn called the Yule goat. In Sweden, people regarded the Yule goat as an invisible spirit that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that the Yule preparations were done right. Objects made out of straw or roughly-hewn wood could also be called the Yule goat, and in older Scandinavian society a popular Christmas prank was to place this Yule goat in a neighbour's house without them noticing; the family successfully pranked had to get rid of it in the same way.

The function of the Yule goat has differed throughout the ages. 

The earliest tradition of the Yule goat (Julebukk) was a pre-Christian pagan ritual. During the Yule holiday, they would disguise their appearance by dressing in a goatskin and go from house to house carrying a goat head. 

In a Scandinavian custom similar to the English tradition of wassailing, held at either Christmas or Epiphany, young men in costumes would walk between houses singing songs, enacting plays and performing pranks. This tradition is known from the 17th century and still continue in certain areas. The group of Christmas characters would often include the Yule goat, a rowdy and sometimes scary creature demanding gifts.

During the 19th century the Yule goat's role all over Scandinavia shifted towards becoming the giver of Christmas gifts, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule goat. In this, there might be a relation to Santa Claus and the Yule goat's origin in the medieval celebrations of Saint Nicholas. The goat was then replaced by the jultomte (Father Christmas/Santa Claus) or julenisse during the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, although he is still called the Joulupukki (Yule goat) in Finland.

German and Scandinavian immigrants brought this tradition to America. Though the practice of Julebukking may be dying out in Europe, it can still be observed on occasion in rural communities in America with large populations of people of Scandinavian descent, such as in Petersburg, and Ketchikan, Alaska.

Burning the Gävle Goat

In Sweden and other Nordic countries the Christmas contender for Santa is the Yule Goat. Giant straw goats up to 17 meters tall are being erected all over those countries every December. The making of one goat requires 3-4 tons of straw. The most famous goat of all is the Gävle goat, which was even put into Guinness book of records in the middle of 1980s. 

Christianity overthrew Thor, but spared the goats. Since then, the goats played the role of the modern Santa Claus, giving out gifts to the obedient children. The peasants always had some straw to spare and to make goats out of it. However, this didn't last for long, since the church announced goats to be henchmen of Satan, and urged everyone to burn them, which gave birth to a new tradition.


Both of these traditions survived, and while the installation of a straw goat pleases the local authorities, the burning of it is very upsetting for them. Somehow, destroying the goat by all means possible without getting caught became a weird tradition among the citizens. The authorities try their hardest to make sure that the goat is safe or at least will survive until Christmas – they organize 24-hour policemen watch, set video cameras to broadcast the goat day and night at a website, where everyone can go and check if the goat is still standing. They hire guards, firemen, volunteers, fireproof the straw with chemicals, but to no avail. Most of the times, the tricky citizens come up with all kinds of ways to bypass the police and set the goat on fire or destroy it using other means. 

Since 1966, the giant goat in the town of Gävle has been burned 23 times, in a few instances in mere hours after being erected, and sometimes even before it was completed. Besides that, a couple of times it was smashed into pieces, and once even run over by a car. The goat attack of 2005 sparked the biggest wave of goat burnings in Sweden, when many cities' goats went up in flames. 

In 1986 the authorities of Gävle decided to built two goats and place them in two different parts of town, however both goats suffered the same inevitable fate. One goat survived an arson attempt in 2009, but was eventually stolen, and the other one was attempted to be thrown into the water, and then torched, after the webcam sites were attacked. 

Nowadays, people place bets on the goat's survival. The goat arsonists are rarely to be caught, however, once, a 51 year old American spent 18 hours in jail for being suspected in the goat-burning of 2001.


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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Io, Saturnalia! The Pagan Roman Winter Solstice Festival


Saturnalia, the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar. Dedicated to the Roman god Saturn. In Roman mythology, Saturn was an agricultural deity who was said to have reigned over the world in the Golden Age. In the Greek myths, Kronos (Saturn) was the Roman Deity of Time and an ancient Italian Corn God known as the Sower.

The Saturnalia festival has an astronomical character, referring to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. Saturn, represented by the sun at its lowest aspect at the winter solstice. The earth is cold, most plants are dead, and it was believed that the sun might also be approaching death. 

Saturnalia celebrated the sun overcoming the power of winter, with hope of spring when life would be renewed.

Originally celebrated on December 17, Saturnalia was extended first to three and eventually to seven days. Remarkably like the Greek Kronia, it was the liveliest festival of the year. 


Saturnalia festivities began with ritual and sacrifices in the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, signing, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, slaves were given temporary freedom to say and do what they liked, and certain moral restrictions were eased. A mock king was chosen (Saturnalicius princeps); the standard greeting during this period was “Io Saturnalia!”. There is a theory that Santa Claus’s ‘Ho, ho, ho’ has its origins in this cry of “Io”.

Many of the decorations involved greenery - swathes, garlands, wreaths, etc - being hung over doorways and windows, and ornamenting stairs. Ornaments in the trees included sun symbols, stars, and faces of the God Janus. Trees were not brought indoors (the Germans started that tradition), but decorated where they grew.

People were just as likely to be ornamented as the trees. Wearing greenery and jewelry of a sacred nature was apparently common, based on descriptions, drawings, and the like from the era. 


Although probably the best-known Roman holiday, Saturnalia as a whole is not described from beginning to end in any single ancient source. Modern understanding of the festival is pieced together from several accounts dealing with various aspects. 

The Saturnalia was the dramatic setting of the multivolume work of that name by Macrobius, a Latin writer from late antiquity who is the major source for information about the holiday. 

In one of the interpretations in Macrobius's work, Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun", on 23 December.

The popularity of Saturnalia continued into the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, and as the Roman Empire came under Christian rule, many of its customs were recast into or at least influenced the seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmas and the New Year.


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