Saturday, November 25, 2017

Embracing Your Inner Witch

Becoming a Witch isn't something we acquire. The Witch is already within us. She is someone we become ready and willing to embrace. Someone we realize we ARE.

When a woman embraces her inner witch, she finds new strength. She is overtaken by true serenity. She creates order where there was none before. Her eyes have now been opened.

Witchcraft is the magick of the Earth itself. It is the essence that can bind life together.

Witchcraft is more than just a practice, it is a way of life. A way of looking at the physical and spiritual as a collaborative source of manifestation. We are in tune with nature, in tune with ourselves and in alignment with our all-knowing inner witch.

Witchcraft involves being willing to understand and embrace your true self. It is about exploring your light and learning to celebrate your darkness.

A wise witch knows the shadows come from the light.

Witches seek the sacred knowledge the rest of the world has already forgotten.

Witches work with the truth of the Earth itself.

A Witch awakens within herself qualities of the elements and forces of nature.

Witches escape to the forest to listen to the whispers of nature itself...

Some of the best advice you will ever hear will come from the forest.

Magick is an art; using reality and the world as its canvas.

An experienced witch does not rely on karma. She relies on magickal justice.

Cursing and healing. Left Hand path and Right Hand path. Black and White. Desiring and Repelling. They are all part of the same circle. All interlocking forms of spiritual, magickal and transformational work. Human energies in the spiritual, coming into the material world through perfectly natural means.

There is no such thing as White Magick or Black Magick. If you are participating in magick, you are interfering with the natural order of how life would have developed without your hand in it. You are manipulating reality to suit your own personal needs. Regardless of whether you perceive it as "positive" or "white light", you are manipulating life. If you are afraid of this responsibly or are intimidated by this statement, I encourage you to reexamine your belief structure. Witchcraft requires confidence and courage.

There is nothing more powerful than a witch who knows how to contain her power. Standing comfortably within its mystery and allure.

Our deepest fear is NOT that we are incompetent women. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond physical measure. It is our radiated spiritual strength that most frightens us…
And empowers us!

You are the most powerful tool in your life. Use your energy, your thoughts and your magick wisely!

- Quotes by Dacha Avelin (Embracing Your Inner Witch: The Maidens Guide to Old World Witchcraft / Old World Witchcraft: Pathway To Effective Magick)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Holiday Feasts and Lucid Dreaming

Today US celebrates Thanksgiving, the traditional harvest meal to celebrate family and friends. And most of us that sit at the Thanksgiving table will probably want a serious nap after eating. While the tryptophan in turkey is often blamed for this holiday nap effect, actually it’s more complex than that.

What is tryptophan? It’s an essential amino acid. Turkey has tryptophan. But so do the buttered biscuits, the cheese, the deviled eggs, and aunt’s famous garlic mashed potatoes.  Other meats like chicken, ham, fish and beef are high in tryptophan, too. It’s well represented in the dessert category, as well, including chocolate cake, pumpkin pie and banana fritters.

But all this tryptophan is not directly responsible for the family exodus from the dining room to the den. Actually, that’s probably due to old-fashioned carb-loading.

Here’s how it works. All those carbohydrates spike your insulin levels. This stimulates the uptake of large amino acids in the bloodstream — except for tryptophan. This gives you a suddenly high level of tryptophan in the blood, which crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the central nervous system. From here all that excess tryptophan is synthesized into serotonin. Much of this serotonin is further transformed by the pineal gland into melatonin–and it’s the melatonin that brings on the snooze.

Bizarre Dreams and Lucid Dreaming

What really interests me about the tryptophan-melatonin partnership is that they can bring on bizarre and vivid dreams. About ten years ago, dream researcher Tracey Kahan and associates from Santa Clara University ran a two-week study looking at changes in dream content after taking 6mg of melatonin supplement, compared to placebo. The melatonin-subjects’ dreams were analyzed to contain more “transformations of objects” and “overall transformations.” Kinda trippy.

There’s also a heavily documented link between melatonin and REM latency, the time between REM sleep phases, which is the stage of sleep most remembered dreams come from. Coming full circle, Tore Nielsen and company (2010) from the Montreal-based Dream and Nightmare Laboratory have noted an association between the REM sessions that follow long latency periods and the increased level of nightmares and disturbing dream imagery in general.

This REM effect therefore could make melatonin a potential aid for inducing lucid dreaming, albeit it bizarre and nightmarish lucid dreams. More weirdness in dreams means more chances to recognize “This is creepy and weird–hey, I’m dreaming. And I can fly!”

So is this really all by random chance that traditional harvest feasts involve carb-loading and tryptophan-rich foods, served for days-on-end with the seasonal sleep-overs of close family and friends?  I argue that harvest feasts also function as dream incubation sessions. Our culture has set us up to live together, dream together, and share it all in the mornings — just like the old days, if only for a night or two, before we go back to our neolocal lives.

So when your aunt says, “More potatoes, hon?”, that’s an invitation to dream a little deeper tonight.

Yes, ma’am.

Also read:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Subterranean Worlds of Inner Earth

According to mythological traditions, underground sites were mostly referred to as entrances to the underworld and we find such references all around the world. Although most of us think of the ‘underworld’ as a representation of ‘hell’ and therefore an imaginary or spiritual place for ‘bad’ people, in reality in ancient religions that wasn’t the case. 

The underworld was a place where the dead would go, but it was a place with physical entrances, guards, buildings and cities, and a place that a few mortals could visit and even communicate with the dead souls, gods, kings or the armies of the underworld. In a few cases though, according to the legends, they could even resurrect a dead person.

One of the most famous underground cities is the city of Agartha, a legendary city that is supposed to be in the center of the Earth. Central Asia is the origin of those legends and the race inhabiting this underground realm was called the Agharti. Theosophists refer to Agartha as a vast complex of caves and an underground network that was inhabited by the Asuras.

Shambhala (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘place of peace’) is another famous holy place that for some is supposed to be a spiritual ‘paradise’, but for others it is suggested to be a real underground city with references of people that have actually visited it. Legends mention that the King of Shambhala traveled to India to meet Buddha and listen to his teachings. One major difference with Shambhala is that it is supposed to be a holy place in comparison to Agartha, which is a place of demons. According to Helena Blavatsky, Shambhala is located in the Gobi Desert.

In Hindu mythology there are legends of a race called the Nagas, serpent like intelligent creatures with human faces that live in underground caverns. Those creatures are described as ‘children of Gods’ who got married with human kings and queens and are supposedly spiritually advanced. Similarly, in Chinese legends dragons are not the ugly flying beasts that we believe today, but wise creature that would be mentors of kings and creators of kingdoms. Many Tibetans are mentioned to have entered those caves of the Nagas that expand miles and miles inside the mountains of Asia.

The Hopi Indians maintain that their ancestors did not arrive from the north, nor by boat, but instead climbed onto the surface from the underworld. The specific place of emergence of Hopi legend lies deep inside the Grand Canyon, an enchanted opening from the mysterious recesses of the earth.

In the Mayan mythology we have the mythical underground city of Xibalba, ‘the land that the sun goes down into’ which was inhabited by superheroes and Gods, a civilization that supposedly vanished around the Middle Ages. The entrance to this world was thought to be located in Guatemala and description of the structures and locations within Xibalba are described in Popol Vuh.

In Greece, we have the myths of Hades and the Underworld, a realm where gods and heroes lived. God Pluto was the God of the Underworld which had many different sections including the Elysium and Tartarus.

In Irish legends we hear about the people named Tuatha De Danaan (People of the Goddess Danu), a race who moved underground when another race arrived on the island. According to the legends they came to Ireland in ‘dark clouds’ and landed on the mountains of Ireland. Those people in today’s myths are referred to as fairies.

In Norwegian legends we have the Dwarves, beings of the underground associated with craftsmanship. Different races of Dwarves that were the ones that supplied the Gods with weapons.

In Egypt, we have references of the historians Herodotus and Strabo of a colossal underground temple that contained 3,000 rooms full of paintings and hieroglyphs, a lost labyrinth yet to be found.

Many occult organizations, esoteric authors, and secret societies concur with these myths and legends of subterranean inhabitants, who are the remnants of antediluvian civilizations, which sought refuge in hollow caverns inside the earth. 

Assuming that the myths are true, and the Earth is partially hollow, how could life survive underground? How would organisms receive the ventilation required to breathe miles below the surface? What would provide the light needed to see, or to cause the photosynthesis necessary for the plant life that allegedly exists in these inner worlds? Are there any known sources of sustenance available that could provide for a large human population? What evidence is there that a sustainable biosphere could exist miles below the surface, totally isolated from the nourishment and the established life cycle provided by the sun? Where are the entrances to inner earth, and which races live there? 

Author and anthropologist, Robert Sepehr, explores these questions and attempts to unlock their riddles, which have eluded any serious consideration in mainstream academia. 

Numerous endevours have been undertaken to access the interior of the earth. Polar expeditions and battles, such as Operation Highjump, still remain largely classified, and have been shrouded in secrecy for decades, but scientific revelations validating the rumors surrounding these covert events, and their implications, are finally being exposed to daylight. 

What are the mysteries of inner Earth?

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 book on the left bar of our site.

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The Man Who Tried to Weigh the Soul

In 1907, a Massachusetts doctor named Duncan MacDougall performed an unusual series of experiments. Intrigued by the idea that the human soul had mass, and could therefore be weighed, Dr. MacDougall put together a bed fitted with a sensitive set of beam scales, and convinced a series of terminally ill patients to lie on it during the final moments of their lives.

MacDougall was nothing if not detail-oriented: He recorded not only each patient’s exact time of death, but also his or her total time on the bed, as well as any changes in weight that occurred around the moment of expiration. He even factored losses of bodily fluids like sweat and urine, and gases like oxygen and nitrogen, into his calculations. His conclusion was that the human soul weighed three-fourths of an ounce, or 21 grams.

It’s hard to imagine these experiments getting any serious attention from the scientific community today. But the lines of thinking that led to them — and the reactions they generated — remain with us to this day.

A Year in the Spotlight

The results of MacDougall’s study appeared in The New York Times in March 1907. The article set off a debate between MacDougall and the physician Augustus P. Clarke, who “had a field day” with MacDougall’s minuscule measurement techniques.

Clarke pointed out that at the moment of death, the lungs stop cooling the blood, causing the body’s temperature to rise slightly, which makes the skin sweat — accounting for Dr. MacDougall’s missing 21 grams. MacDougall fired back in the next issue, arguing that circulation ceases at the moment of death, so the skin wouldn’t be heated by the rise in temperature. The debate ran all the way to the end of 1907, picking up supporters on both sides along the way.

For four years, all was quiet on the MacDougall front, but in 1911 he graced The New York Time’s front page with an announcement that he’d upped the ante. This time, he wouldn’t be weighing the human soul — he’d be photographing it at the moment it left the body.

Although he expressed concern that “the soul substance might become [too] agitated” to be photographed at the moment of death, he did manage to perform a dozen experiments in which he photographed “a light resembling that of the interstellar ether” in or around patients’ skulls at the moments they died.

MacDougall himself passed away into the interstellar ether in 1920, leaving behind a small band of ardent supporters, along with a far larger group of physicians who seemed incredulous that this farce had gone on so long. Members of the public settled down on one side or the other, and the discussion fell off the radar.

Except that it never really did — at least not completely.

A Legacy of Oddity

References to MacDougall’s experiments continue to spring forth in pop culture every few years, from the Victorian era right up to today. The idea that the soul weighs 21 grams has appeared in novels, songs, and movies — it’s even been the title of a film. Dan Brown described MacDougall’s experiments in some detail in his adventure yarn The Lost Symbol.

Mention the soul-weighing experiments to a person who’s into parapsychology, and you’ll likely hear a murmur of approval; after all, the idea of scientific proof for the soul offers comfort in much the same way that tarot readings and hotline spiritualists do. Even among more skeptical folks, it’s a topic that comes up now and then in late-night discussions: “Wasn’t there once a guy who tried to weigh the soul…?”

The experiments’ actual results, and their failure to achieve acceptance as scientific canon, are entirely beside the point. Science has gone one way, and pop culture another. Functional neuroimaging has tied every conceivable function once associated with the soul to specific regions and structures of the brain. Physics has mapped the linkages between subatomic particles so thoroughly that there’s simply no space left for spiritual forces.

And yet…

The idea of weighing the soul remains with us. It’s romantic. It’s relatable. It speaks to some of our deepest longings and fears that gripped MacDougall’s readers back in 1907 and still captivate us today.

A Different Kind of Eeriness

To understand why MacDougall wanted to weigh the soul — and why he thought he could — it helps to understand the environment in which he operated. His work is rife with terms and ideas recognizable from early psychological theorists Freud and Jung. There’s a lot of talk about “psychic functions” and “animating principles” — a grasping for the precise scientific language to describe consciousness, and life itself, in a world still ignorant of fMRI and DNA.

We’re still profoundly ignorant today, as any honest scientist will tell you. Certain behaviors of quantum particles still baffle the brightest minds; and we’re still a long way from understanding exactly how our brains do most of what they do. We keep looking for the dark matter that constitutes more than 80 percent of the universe’s mass, but we haven’t actually seen a single atom of it or know where, exactly, it is.

And in all these dark corners, we still find people looking for the soul. Some claim we’ll eventually discover it among quantum particles. Others insist it’s got something to do with the electromagnetic waves our brains generate. Most scientists reject these claims. But these researchers and theorists soldier on, unwilling to give up hope that one day we’ll be able to weigh, measure and quantify the hereafter.

MacDougall’s work resonated, and continues to resonate, not because of what he found (or failed to find) but because of what he suggested. The simple idea behind the experiments was appealing, and for many who followed the debate in The New York Times, that idea alone was enough to make MacDougall’s work worthy of discussion.

But in 1907, as today, the real, testable, verifiable universe continually proves to be much stranger than anything parapsychology can dream up. How are photons both particles and waves and yet somehow neither? How can there be so many planets in our galaxy, yet so few that harbor life — we think — as we know it? The universe is full of real unsolved mysteries, whose real answers are out there somewhere.

We don’t need the souls of the dead to craft a haunting series of experiments. The measurable, physical universe is more than eerie enough.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sinister Sparkle: 10 Mysterious & Cursed Gemstones

They're beautiful but deadly. Here is a collection of terrifying accessories that have killed their owners, or driven them mad — at least according to legend. From the Hope Diamond, to a stone that was almost worn to a recent Academy Awards, here's our list of the most cursed pieces of real-life jewelry.

The Hope Diamond

Tantalizing beauty, rare color and impressive size are just trivial attributes of this most notoriously infamous diamond Jewelry.

Arguably the most famous and most cursed precious gemstone in history. Rumor has it the original stone was stolen from a Hindu idol and acquired by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

The Hope Diamond has been blamed for a laundry list of tragedies, including but not limited to: beatings, stabbings, murder, insanity, and suicide. In fact, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette owned the fancy blue diamond during the French Revolution and their beheadings.

The last person to privately own the diamond – an American socialite named Evalyn McLean – had her daughter die of an overdose, her son die in a car crash, and her husband leave her for another woman. The trustees of her estate sold the Hope Diamond to Harry Winston, who eventually donated it to the Smithsonian. It remains there to this day, so you can view the Hope Diamond’s rare, deep blue coloring whenever you’d like.

The Black Orlov Diamond

Also referred to as "The Eye Of Brahma Diamond" this stone was allegedly stolen from one of the eyes in a statue of the Hindu god Brahma in Pondicherry by a monk. Which would explain the curse, and the many suicides to follow the owners of this black diamond.

In 1932, a diamond dealer took the Black Orlov to New York City to try and find a buyer for the famous stone. He killed himself by jumping from a skyscraper just a few months later. 

The next owners were two Russian princesses, Nadia Vyegin-Orlov (whom the precious stone was named after) and Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky, who both committed suicide (months apart) by jumping to their deaths from buildings in Rome in 1940. 

The diamond was later cut into three smaller pieces in an attempt to break the curse by Charles F. Winson. Most famous is 67.5 carat Black Orlov pendant set into 108 diamond setting suspended from a 124 diamond necklace that has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Natural History Museum in London and many more. 

The actress Felicity Huffman was supposed to don the necklace at the 2006 Academy Awards, but mysteriously decided against it. Smart move.

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond

“He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God or woman can wear it with impunity.” With such an ominous warning in old Hindu transcripts regarding this fine stone, one can only be too cautious about it. 

The allure is not just that this huge diamond stands tall in the British Royal Crown, now displayed at the Tower of London, but the tantalizing history that follows it. Fought over by rulers all over the world, the Koh-i-Noor has a particularly bloody history. Its early history is 5,000 years long, where it was captured and re-captured by India, Persia, the Afghans, and the Sikhs. The Koh-i-Noor’s curse is rumored to only affect men; women are immune to its bad luck.

The whopping 739 carat rock in uncut form has traversed many hands; from the memoirs Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, it once belonged to Rajah of Malwa but stolen in 1306. 

The British Royal family acquired it in 1950 with the reign of Queen Victoria and since then it has only been worn by women of the royal family, including Queen Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Mary of Teck and the late Queen Elizabeth to heed the legend.

The Delhi Purple Sapphire

This jewel was discovered just 30 years ago by Peter Tandy, curator at the Natural History Museum in London. Found inside the museum's "mineral cabinets" the gem was supposedly sealed up in several boxes, surrounded by protective charms and came with a warning:

“Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea.”

Many suspect the gemstone (which is not technically a sapphire) was part of the looted treasure stolen from Temple of Indra in Cawnpore during the bloody Indian Mutiny of 1857. The cursed quartz was brought into England by Bengal Cavalryman Colonel W. Ferris, who eventually went bankrupt, as did his son (after he inherited the stone).

It was then purchased by writer Edward Heron-Allen, who later claimed it brought him nothing but bad luck. So he gave it away to friends, who promptly returned it after experiencing mountains of misfortune including a singer who lost her singing voice (forever!) after possessing the stone. Gem Select even claims that Heron-Allen threw the Delhi Purple Sapphire into Regent's Canal, only to have it returned a few months later (after a dealer bought it from a local dredger). The jewel was eventually sealed up and sent away to the family banker with the instructions that it should stay forever locked away until Heron-Allen's death. Only after three years after his death would his banker be allowed to donate it. And under no circumstances was Heron-Allen's daughter ever allowed to touch or possess the stone.

The Sancy Diamond

The Sancy is a 55.23-carat pear shaped diamond with a pale yellow hue. Like some of the other cursed diamonds on this list, the Sancy Diamond was allegedly stolen from India. A French soldier sold the Sancy to King James I of England, who actually wore it as a good luck charm. 

The Sancy Diamond is believed to be cursed because it has disappeared and reappeared so many times in its history.

At one point, the diamond was “stolen” from a messenger and believed to be lost to thieves. However, the Sancy was found just a few days later in an unexpected place. Medical examiners discovered that the diamond was inside of the messenger’s stomach during his autopsy. He had swallowed it so that the robbers who murdered him would not steal it.

The Lydian Hoard

The Lydian Hoard is a collection of elaborate jewelry, plates, pots and other golden pieces. But the brooch and necklace from the Hoard have caused its owners nothing but trouble. 

A part of King Croesus' treasure, the loot dates back to 547 B.C. But in 1965 (when it was discovered in an dig in the village of Güre) is when the real trouble begins. The treasure was found in the tomb of an unknown princess, and promptly looted by just about everyone. 

Over 150 relics were ransacked. Almost all the looters met with sickness, bad luck and death.

The Regent Diamond

Famous for decorating Napoleon’s sword, the 140.64-carat Regent Diamond has a faint blue hue. The diamond originally rose to fame after it was – you guessed it – stolen from India. The slave who stole the Regent from India’s Golconda Mine is the origin of its curse.

To swipe the diamond, the slave had to hide it in an open wound on his leg. He then hopped a ship for Europe in hopes of selling the diamond, but the ship’s captain got word that the slave was carrying an extremely valuable gemstone. The ship’s captain murdered the slave and sold the diamond himself, starting its long history of being handed down through generations of French royalty.

Nowadays, Regent Diamond can be found not in a slave’s leg wound, but rather on display at the Louvre, along with the Sancy Diamond mentioned earlier.

The Shah Diamond 

This rough-looking lasque-cut diamond has a dark and violent history. Ever since the 16th century it has been at the center of many usurps and invasions, with each new shah and conqueror seizing it from his predecessor and transferring it to their own headquarters. 

As a result, this diamond has made its way from India, to Persia, to Moscow. 

Three shahs have even engraved their names in it, making it even more mysterious and unique. This cursed diamond is displayed today in the Kremlin building, along with the Orlav diamond, where they are both exhibited as one of the seven famous gems.

La Peregrina Pearl

La Peregrina (literal translation “the pilgrim” or “the wanderer”) has most certainly wandered the hands of many rich, royal and famous. Never has history seen such a tumultuous token of love for the possessor suffers heartbreak. 

Discovered in the Gulf of Panama in 16th century, this large pearl was a gift from King Philip II of Spain to his betrothed Queen Mary of England before their marriage as a token of his love in 1554. 

Queen Mary also nicknamed Bloody Mary, for ordering execution of hundreds of Protestants during her reign, was abandoned by King Philip and died without an heir. After her death La Peregrina was given by the king to Elizabeth I, Queen Mary’s half sister, when he proposed to her. 

It remained with the Spanish Royalty until Napoleon Bonaparte seized the Spanish crown and the pearl. 

The Pearl came in to much lime light because of its legendary owner, the glorious Elizabeth Taylor. It was Valentine’s gift from then husband Richard Burton. We all know her infamous scandalous romantic liaisons which seem to never last for long. And while she got married for total eight times the pearls remained with her throughout her topsy-turvy relationships.

Black Prince’s Ruby

They might call it a ruby but this fiery red rock isn’t a ruby at all. It in fact is a large spinel, a hard glassy mineral worth much less than a ruby gemstone, giving it its infamous name “The Great Imposter”. 

This blood red ruby has a bleeding yet glorious history. The first record dates back to 14th century when it was pillaged by Don Pedro the Cruel, emperor of Seville, Spain from the Moorish Kingdom of Granada. From one conqueror to another the “ruby” was next famously owned by the Black Prince – Edward of Woodstock, so known because of the his success in the battlefield during the Hundred Year’s war. The next conqueror with yet another success at war was King Henry V who had set the Black Prince’s Ruby in his helmet and wore it when he defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt. The gem passed on to British Royalty who almost lost it twice but now is sits regally at the dead-center of the Imperial State Crown of England exactly above the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.

With such scandalous and blood trodden history build on castle of lies, deceit and desire for power, is it much of a surprise that these fine piece of gemstones jewelry carry with them bad luck and ill will? 

Some legends surrounding these artifacts might be hyped for the curses they carry but it sure makes for an intriguing bed time story.

Also read:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Healing Power of a Cat’s Purr

A Brief History of Cats

Although dogs are commonly called man’s best friend, cats have been taking care of humans in their own way for just as long. Back in 2004, archaeologists found the remains of a young wild cat buried with a human. The site, located on the island of Cyprus, is believed to be 9,500 years old. (CNN)

Before this discovery, Egyptians were thought to be the first group of people to keep cats as pets. They also worshiped them. Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of war and protection. She was initially represented as a woman with the head of a lion or a sand cat, but as the culture evolved, so did her image. Later depictions of Bastet were of a woman with the head of a domesticated cat. (Source)

Egyptians were not the only group of people that worshiped cats. Norse farmers left offerings to cats to ensure a good harvest. Farmers worshiped the Chinese cat god Li-Shou for protecting their fields from rats and mice. Ovinnik, the Polish cat god, watched over domesticated animals and chased away evil spirits. (Catster)

If you are seeing a theme here, you are not mistaken. Cats have played a key role in the developmental history of humans. They became domesticated at around the same time we became farmers. Without them, our crops would have never survived, and we would have never advanced.

Now they are helping us in different ways.

Do you ever get the feeling your cat knows when you’re unwell, and even where it hurts? If you have a headache, he seems to know to settle down by your head. If it’s a stomachache, he’ll come and sit on your abdomen. And all the time he’s there, he purrs and purrs and purrs!

We all know a cat’s purr is relaxing and stress-reducing, but science has shown it can also be physically beneficial. It’s not just the sound of purring that’s important, but the vibration it produces.

Scientists have known for many years that vibrations at specific levels or frequencies cause healing changes in the body. These vibrations can induce bone growth and regeneration, so that bone fractures heal faster and weakened bones begin to strengthen and rebuild. Higher frequency ranges increase production of the body’s natural anti-inflammatory compounds, thereby reducing joint pain and swelling. Evidence suggests that these frequency ranges can repair muscles, tendons and ligaments, which has led to their use in sports medicine and gyms around the world, especially in the former Soviet Union where so much of this research has been conducted.

Various veterinary studies, meanwhile, indicate that cats rarely suffer bone or joint-related diseases, including hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament problems. Even bone cancers, such as myeloma or osteosarcoma, are almost unheard of in cats. There’s even a popular saying amongst veterinarians: “If you put a cat and a bunch of broken bones in the same room, the bones will heal.”

It took researcher Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, a specialist in the field of bioacoustics at the Fauna Communications Research Institute in North Carolina (FCRI), to put two and two together. Bioacoustics is the study of the frequency, pitch, loudness, and duration of animal sounds as they relate to the animal’s behavior. Based on her research, Muggenthaler has proposed that purring is nature’s way of endowing felines with an evolutionary healing advantage.

Purring takes energy, and cats purr not only when all is well, but also when they are giving birth, hurt or scared. There has to be a very good reason for expending the energy needed to purr, especially when the cat is physically stressed or ill. In other words, the act of purring has to be somehow contributing to its survival. Nature doesn’t usually select traits without this evolutionary survival advantage, which means that contentment purring just doesn’t make the grade. There has to be another reason for it and Muggenthaler set out to find it.

She recorded and measured the purrs of 44 felids (members of the cat family), including cheetahs, ocelots, pumas, domestic cats, and servals. She found that all these cats generally purr in the range of 20 to 140 Hertz (Hz). Some are as high as 150 Hz but the average housecat comes in at about 25 to 50 Hz.

Interestingly, research has shown that exposure to frequencies at that same 20 to 50 Hz induces increased bone density, relieves pain and heals tendons and muscles.

Bone and joint problems may not be the only illnesses helped by a cat’s purring ability. For example, respiratory problems associated with heart disease are almost non-existent in cats. In fact, respiratory problems resolve quickly once purring is activated. In 1973, Dr. T. F. Cook published an article called “The Relief of Dyspnea in Cats by Purring” in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. (Dyspnea is the condition of difficult breathing). It seems a dying cat had such trouble breathing that the vets were considering euthanasia. But when the cat began to purr, it started breathing normally. The very act of purring appeared to open up his air passages.

Other healing mechanisms associated with purring include large skin-tissue grafts that take quickly in cats without necrotizing. Domestic cats also tend to be less prone to postoperative complications following surgery. The list goes on and on.

In effect then, by changing the frequency of their purring, cats may be fine-tuning their healing abilities, a distinct evolutionary advantage. It is this unique advantage that has probably given rise to the notion of cats having nine lives, since they seem able to survive conditions that normally kill other animals, such as falls from heights. When researchers looked at the records of 132 cat falls from an average height of 5½ storeys, the found that 90% had survived. The record height for a cat falling and surviving is 45 storeys!

As Muggenthaler concludes, “An internal healing mechanism would be advantageous, increasing recovery time and keeping muscles and bone strong when sedentary.”

The extrapolation of this research may prove vital for human health too, and studies that expose tissue to frequencies of 20 to 50 Hz are ongoing. In 1999, for example, Dr. Clinton Rubin discovered that this exposure creates the robust striations associated with increased bone density, suggesting applications for osteoporosis, particularly in post-menopausal women and the elderly.

Ukrainian and Russian researchers discovered the benefits of vibratory stimulation many decades ago and have employed these techniques in sports training and medicine. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, many of the treatment devices used by the Soviets have made their way into Western gyms and physical therapy treatment centers.

Even the space program has benefited from the research. This breakthrough could help astronauts, who generally lose bone density in zero gravity, to maintain healthy bones and resist the problems of atrophy in outer space.

But it’s the cat’s “healing by association” that people find most interesting – that ability to sympathetically help cure illness in people simply by being around them. For instance, many individuals swear they can ease or completely eliminate their migraine headaches simply by lying down with a purring cat next to their head. And studies have shown that people with cats, especially senior citizens, have lower blood pressure and can live longer than people without cats.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chaos Magick: Unlocking the Power of the Subconscious Mind

Chaos Magick is a form of manifesting, which caters to the individual, and borrows from other belief systems – as the central belief in chaos magick is that “belief is a tool”.

Chaos magic is hard to define because it is an idea rather than a set of rules for magical practice. The core of chaos magic is that the practitioner is free to adopt whatever works for them. This understanding comes from the perspective that it is not necessarily the ritual or path itself that has any inherent magical qualities, but the practitioner themselves.

So a practicing chaos magician (or chaote) may choose to incorporate Thelemic rituals and beliefs alongside Wicca or Voodoo or whatever else they choose.

Chaos does not come with a specific Grimoire or even a prescribed set of ethics. For this reason, it has been dubbed “left hand path” by some who choose not to understand that which is beyond their own chosen path. A Chaos Magician will use the same spells as those of other paths, or those of his/her own making.

Mastering the role of the sub-conscious mind in magical operations is the crux of it, and the state called “vacuity” (gnostic state) by Austin Osman Spare  is the road to that end. Anyone who has participated in a successful ritual has experienced the “high” that this state induces.

According to Wikipedia:

Some common sources of inspiration include such diverse areas asscience fiction, scientific theories, traditional ceremonial magic, neoshamanism, eastern philosophy, world religions, and individual experimentation. Despite tremendous individual variation, chaos magicians (sometimes called “chaotes”) often work with chaotic and humorous paradigms, such as the worship of Hundun from Taoism or Eris from Discordianism and it is common for chaotes to believe in whatever god suits their current paradigm and discard it when necessary. Chaotes can beagnostic or atheist. Some chaos magicians also usepsychedelic drugs in practices such as chemognosticism.

According to chaos practitioners a computer is the central tool for connecting the followers, building virtual knowledge libraries and it also could be used for the simulation of the online ritual environment.


Sigils are a technique that is exclusive to Chaos Magick, and if you are truly interested in higher learning, Sigils are a great way to begin experimenting with the power of the subconscious mind altering your reality.

Sigils are an occult method of bypassing the “nay-saying” conscious mind and implanting desires deep within the unconscious mind. This lets you use the full range of your mind to make a desire real, rather than constantly second-guessing yourself.

They were invented in the early part of the 20th century by the magician and outsider artist Austin Osman Spare, often called the grandfather of chaos magick, who developed his technique from the work of medieval magicians like Cornelius Agrippa. They have formed the central technique of the entire occult world ever since.

Because most people can’t access their unconscious mind deliberately, with techniques like sigils or self-hypnosis, they are unable to produce the “magical” results of those who can access and direct the power of their unconscious.

The theory goes like this: the conscious mind is not directly capable of performing magic (in fact, it inhibits magic,) so the subconscious mind must have the magical intent implanted in somehow it so that it might "unconsciously" manipulate aetheric information to bring about the result.

Servitors (Tulpas):

Servitors are somewhat independent energetic or thought creations. A chaos magician would create a servitor with a particular intent, such as protection. This servitor then functions semi autonomously in order to fulfil it’s purpose.

Servitors are often created in familiar forms that reflect their function.

Advanced magicians can create complex servitors that are capable of learning, maintaining and feeding itself and can even acquire personality and a form of sentience.

Chaos Magick Star

The Symbol of Chaos originates from Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion stories. In them, the Symbol of Chaos comprises eight arrows in a radial pattern. In contrast, the symbol of Law is a single upright arrow. It is also called the Arms of Chaos, the Arrows of Chaos, the Chaos Star, the Chaos Cross, the Chaosphere, or the Symbol of Eight.

There are a number of traditional symbols that have the same geometrical pattern as the symbol of Chaos, such as any of various eight-pointed stars, the star of Ishtar/Venus, the Eastern Dharmacakra and the Wheel of the Year, but none of these were symbols of chaos and their limbs are not arrows.

The '8' of Wands in Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck features prominently an eight-pointed star with arrows at the ends. Crowley described the card as representing "energy" scattering at "high velocity" that had managed to create the depicted eight-pointed figure.

Moorcock said about his version,

The origin of the Chaos Symbol was me doodling sitting at the kitchen table and wondering what to tell Jim Cawthorn the arms of Chaos looked like. I drew a straightforward geographical quadrant (which often has arrows, too!) – N, S, E, W – and then added another four directions and that was that – eight arrows representing all possibilities, one arrow representing the single, certain road of Law. I have since been told that it is an "ancient symbol of Chaos" and if it is then it confirms a lot of theories about the race mind. 

Chaos theory suggests that small changes at the beginning of a trajectory will create large changes in the distant future. This is often called the butterfly effect.

The chaos star has – as one would expect from a star that symbolizes chaos – very distinct interpretations. Because many people understand the word chaos to represent a negative situation, the symbol has been used in pop culture to mean evil, negativity, and destruction.

On the flip side, the chaos star can represent the idea of many possibilities, as opposed to a single arrow that shows one path as law. In this interpretation, the star is really a beautifully positive and inclusive symbol, and urges open-mindedness and tolerance to other’s experiences, along with creativity and an lovely blend of different possibilities.

Quotes on Chaos Magick:

“Nothing is true; everything is permitted.”

"Remember that the chaote understands that belief is a choice, there is no inherent value in anything, aside from that which you create for yourself. This includes beliefs on topics such as religion, politics, sexuality, etc which is often culturally ingrained and may be challenging to examine".
 – Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic

“…if you want a one line definition with which most Chaoists would probably not disagree, then I  offer the following. Chaoists usually accept the meta belief that belief is a tool for achieving effects; it is not an end in itself.”
– Peter Carroll

“Chaos is not in itself, a system or philosophy. It is rather an attitude that one applies to one's magic and philosophy. It is the basis for all magic, as it is the primal creative force. A Chaos Magician learns a variety of magical techniques, usually as many as s/he can gain access to, but sees beyond the systems and dogmas to the physics behind the magical force and uses whatever methods are appealing to him/herself.”
– Mark Chao

“The Chaos Magician seeks to understand the natural laws behind the workings of magic, and the reasons behind the use of ritual in the performance of a magical working.”
– Jaq D. Hawkins, Understanding Chaos Magic

“Chaos Magick is an extraordinary deconstruction of magick, semantics, and psychology designed to  eradicate consensual belief structures and, using the energy freed by this act, glimpse the fractal contours of reality.”

“Chaos Magick is in essence shamanism devoid of culture.”
– The Heretic Heathen, on alt.magick.chaos

“Rather than trying to recover and maintain a tradition that links back to the past (and former glories), Chaos Magick is an approach that enables the individual to use anything that s/he thinks is suitable as a temporary belief or symbol system. What matters is the results you get, not the "authenticity" of the system used. So Chaos Magic then, is not a system it utilises systems and encourages adherents to devise their own, giving magic a truly Postmodernist flavour.”
– Phil Hine,Condensed Chaos

“Henceforth, whilst there are a great many theories and models proposed as to how, or why, magic works (based on subtle energies, animal magnetism, psychological concepts, quantum theory, mathematics or the so-called anthropomorphic principle) it is not a case that one of them is more "true" than others, but a case of which theory or model you choose to believe in, or which theory you find most attractive. Indeed, from a Chaos Magic perspective, you can selectively believe that a
particular theory or model of magical action is true only for the duration of a particular ritual or phase of work.”
–Phil Hine, Prime Chaos

“Chaos Magick does not use a concrete theoretical focus, the emphasis in Chaos Magick is on the Doing rather than the Explaining…Thus, in Chaos Magick a system of belief is a means to an end and is not an answer to the mystery of Life, the Universe and everything.”
– D. J. Lawrence, The Chaos Cookbook“

“…Chaos magick should be all about, getting out there and doing it. Sometimes it is also all about thinking about how to do it, and thus creatively inventing marvellous and sometimes scary new ways of how to do it. And then damn well doing it!”
–Francis Breakspear, Kaostar!

Chaos Magick reading list:

  • The Book of Pleasure by Austin Osman Spare
  • Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic by Peter Carroll
  • Liber Kaos by Peter Carroll
  • Practical Sigil Magick by Frater U.D.
  • Hands-On Chaos Magic by Andrieh Vitimus 
  • Prime Chaos by Phil Hine
  • Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine
  • The Pseudonomicon by Phil Hine
  • Visual Magick: A Manual of Freestyle Shamanism by Jan Fries
  • Chaotopia: Sorcery and Ecstasy in the Fifth Aeon by Dave Lee
  • Chaos & Sorcery by Nicholas Hall  

  • Promethea by Alan Moore 
  • The Invisibles by Grant Morrison 

(You can find some of these book on the right bar of this site)

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Still Small Voice by Samael Aun Weor

There exists a particular mystical sound that the yogi must learn to hear. The Aztecs knew this mystical sound. Let us remember the hill of Chupullepec (The hill of the cricket).

In ancient Rome, during the time of the Caesars, the cricket was sold in golden cages at a very high price. Magicians of ancient Rome bought crickets in order to employ them in practical magic.

If we have the cricket close to the head of our bed when we are meditating on its beautiful song, we will hear the ‘slill voice‘ in the instant of slumber. This phenomenon is equivalent to the phenomenon of two pianos that are equally tuned. If we play for example, the note TI on either piano, the other piano will repeat the same note without the touch of the human hand. This vibratory phenomenon is very interesting, and it can be proven by anyone. This exact phenomenon also happens with the mysterious sound of the cricket. There exists in the human brain the music sound that resounds when the cricket sings. It is a matter of affinity and vibration.

Whosoever hears the ‘still voice‘ can travel instantly into the astral plane at any time. If the devotee concentrates on the sound of the cricket, or if the Yogi meditates on the sound of the cricket and goes to sleep while listening to the sound of the cricket, suddenly the same mystic sound, tone or ‘still voice ‘ will resound within his brain, and the doors of mystery will then be opened. During this instant, the Gnostic can rise from bed naturally and depart from his home in the astral body.

Every devotee must learn how to hear the ‘still voice’. 

The devotee can perform marvelous wonders and prodigies with this mystical sound.

If the devotee wants to hear this mystical sound his concentration must be perfect. To begin with, the student will hear many sounds, yet, if he concentrates intensively on the sound of the cricket, eventually he will hear this sound and will attain victory. We inevitably attain illumination with this mystical sound.

With the grace of the Divine Mother, every devotee can have the joy of hearing the mystical sound that grants us the instantaneous projection of the astral body.

The devotee who wishes to perform these practices with success must meditate internally until he truly feels the state of slumber. You must know that every esoteric exercise of meditation, if practiced with a lack of the sleepy state, is useless, sterile, because it damages the mind and harms the brain.

Therefore, internal meditation must be intelligently combined with the sleepy state.

If the Gnostic student does not have this marvelous cricket when practicing this exercise, then he must pronounce the letter ‘S’. This letter must be pronounced like a fine and delicate whistle, like this: ssssssssssssssssssss (lips opened and upper and lower teeth together).

Behind this fine sound dwells the ‘still voice ‘ that permits us to project instantaneously in astral body.

The devotee should be in a very comfortable position in order to practice correct internal meditation.

-The Yellow Book, Samael Aun Weor (Find his book on the right bar of our site)

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

North America’s largest Witchcraft collection has its first major exhibition

On Halloween evening, dozens gathered in Kroch library for the opening of “The World Bewitch’d,” an exhibition — on display through August 2018 — exploring the history of witchcraft.

The exhibit features a variety of rare manuscripts, photographs and historical movie posters and is known to be the largest witchcraft collection in North America. The exhibit holds over 3,000 objects on superstition and witchcraft in Europe, mostly acquired in the 1880s but spanning multiple centuries of artifacts since the 1400s, according to the Cornell University Library website.

Kornelia Tancheva, co-curator of the exhibition, said the purpose was to show what witch-hunting actually meant in the original context and how it was reinterpreted in popular culture.

In her opinion, the broader significance of the exhibit is its connection to the modern day.

“There are a lot of accusations of witch-hunting in our present time, and it’s really interesting to see how anybody who feels that they are wrongfully persecuted for political, social, religious or whatever reasons, employs the trope of witch-hunting,” she said.

Anne Kenney, the other co-curator, said that the persecution of witches reveals a theme of scapegoating that is relevant in many other contexts.

“When you want to blame others for things, you blame it on something that is beyond your control, and the powerful become the victims is a very interesting twist,” she said.

The collection was started by Cornell’s very own cofounder A.D. White, who collected rare books and manuscripts. Since then, the collection has grown dramatically. The popular culture portion, most notably, was started in 2012, Tancheva said.

“It’s not just a single, finished collection of material, it’s something that’s very much alive and we continue to add to it,” said Anne Sauer, director of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

“This is the best witchcraft collection in the country,” Tancheva said.

“When I first picked the Nuremberg Chronicle up, I went, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m holding this book,’” she said.

The stories of the women who were tried for witchcraft are Kenney’s favorite portion of the exhibition because these demonstrate the ordinariness of the women being accused of witchcraft.

“They were seen as possessing so much power but they were really powerless,” she said.

“Prior to 1500, most sorcerers were men because they were seen as powerful agents — think of Merlin — but as the ecclesiastical leaders began to think of a new form of witchcraft, it was the more powerless people whom the devil contacted to do his work,” Kenney said. “So they were not independent agents, but slaves of the devil. That powerlessness really became associated with women.”

Among the five featured books in The World Bewitch’d that were published before 1500 is the first written on witchcraft. Dating to 1471, it is still in its original binding. It was soon followed by the notorious demonology tome Malleus Maleficarum, first printed in 1487, of which Cornell has 14 Latin editions. “The book was second only to the Bible in terms of sales for almost 200 years,” Kenney explained. It not only served as a touchstone for subsequent treatises, it was used as the basis for how trials were conducted.

“It is mainly cited today for its misogyny in identifying women as being witches,” Kenney added. The text claims that women consort with the devil due to their uncontrollable carnal lust, and thus sex with the devil was a big part of supposed demonic pacts. Although there were exceptions, like Dietrich Flade, a city judge who spoke out against the barbarity of witchcraft trials in the 1580s (the minutes of his own trial are at Cornell), the majority of those accused and tortured were women. The World Bewitch’d uses its exhibition narrative to focus on seven individual women, and find their voices and stories in court records, depositions, and the surviving imagery.

These centuries-old manuscripts are joined by contemporary objects, including newly acquired film posters that show recent portrayals of witches, from the malicious figures in Rosemary’s Baby to the heroic wizards in Harry Potter. Familiars, the small animals that accompany witches, reappear in cinema through the forms of cats and owls, as does the trope of witches flying on broomsticks, which dates back to 1451.

“There’s the contemporary twist where witches in popular culture now are more powerful, whether they do good or bad things, whereas in the historical material, most of the women who were accused of being witches were powerless, they were victims of a mania that was occurring,” Kenney said. And that mania is difficult to comprehend without examining the religious, societal, and political forces at work in the 15th and 16th centuries. Estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 for the number of people burned, hanged, and otherwise executed for witchcraft.

“Most Americans know about the Salem Witch Trials, and not to diminish the horrible aspects of that, but only 19 women were hanged,” Kenney stated. “There’s this whole bigger story of witchcraft that is not very well known.”

The exhibit opened on Halloween in Kroch Library and will remain open until Aug. 31 2018.

See their Digital Witchcraft Collection to view 104 English language books from Cornell’s Witchcraft Collection.

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