Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hatha, the Union of Sun & Moon


A student of the great Indian poet Kabir once asked him, "Kabir, where is God?" His answer was simple: "He is the breath within the breath." To understand the profound implications of Kabir's reply, we need to look beyond the physical components of breath—the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other molecules that stream in and out with our every inhalation and exhalation. Beyond this breath—yet within it—is prana, the universal vital energy that is quite literally the stuff of life.

For those of us who practice yoga, the challenge is to harness this energy so it can fuel our physical, mental, and spiritual development. To do this, we need to look deeply into the mysteries of the mind and the subtle body. Fortunately, the early practitioners of Tantra voyaged into this inner landscape, mapping the many ways energy circulates within us. Among their most important discoveries were the nadis, the vast network of energy channels that makes each individual an integrated, conscious, and vital whole.

The Sanskrit word nadi derives from the root nad, which means "flow," "motion," or "vibration." The word itself suggests the fundamental nature of a nadi: to flow like water, finding the path of least resistance and nourishing everything in its path. The nadis are our energetic irrigation system; in essence, they keep us alive.

According to many Tantric texts, the human body contains 72,000 nadis that channel prana to every cell. Some are wide and rushing; others are a mere trickle. When this system flows freely, we are vital and healthy; when it becomes weak or congested, we struggle with poor mental and physical health. The practices of hatha yoga are so effective because they strengthen the flow of prana in our bodies, invigorating the current so that it carries away obstructions that block the free flow of energy.

Because nadis—like the chakras (psychoenergetic power centers), prana, and other aspects of the subtle body—don't show up under microscopes, medical science has relegated them to the realm of the merely metaphorical. But traditional yogis believe that the subtle body is real, and that understanding it and working with it complement and counterbalance the emphasis on gross physical anatomy that predominates our current yoga culture.

Three nadis are of particular interest to yogis. The sushumna (most gracious) nadi is the body's great river, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, passing through each of the seven chakras in its course. It is the channel through which kundalini shakti (the latent serpent power) rises up from its origin at the muladhara (root) chakra to its true home at the sahasrara (thousandfold) chakra at the crown of the head. In subtle body terms, the sushumna nadi is the path to enlightenment.

The ida (comfort) and pingala (tawny) nadis spiral around the sushumna nadi like the double helix of our DNA, crossing each other at every chakra. If you visualize the caduceus, the symbol of modern medicine, you'll get a rough idea of the relationships among the ida, pingala, and sushumna nadis. Eventually, all three meet at the ajna (command) chakra, midway between the eyebrows.

The ida nadi begins and ends on the left side of sushumna. Ida is regarded as the lunar nadi, cool and nurturing by nature, and is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality. The color white is used to represent the subtle vibrational quality of ida. Pingala, the solar nadi, begins and ends to the right of sushumna. It is warm and stimulating by nature, controls all vital somatic processes, and oversees the more masculine aspects of our personality. The vibrational quality of pingala is represented by the color red.

The interaction between ida and pingala corresponds to the internal dance between intuition and rationality, consciousness and vital power, and the right and left brain hemispheres. In everyday life, one of these nadis is always dominant. Although this dominance alternates throughout the day, one nadi tends to be ascendant more often and for longer periods than the other. This results in personality, behavior, and health issues that can be called ida-like or pingala-like.

Ida-like individuals have lunar, or nurturing, qualities but may lack the verve to sustain a strong yoga practice. They are full of potential, but unless they develop their pingala side may never manifest that potential in either worldly affairs or spiritual development. Pingala-like individuals have solar qualities: type A personalities, lots of creativity, abundant vitality. But unless they develop their ida side, they may lack the quietude, introspection, and receptivity necessary to yield to the grace of spiritual awakening.

Creating Equilibrium

Bringing ida and pingala into equilibrium is a major focus of hatha yoga—so important, in fact, that the term hatha symbolizes this balance. Although the word hatha literally means "forceful" in Sanskrit, it is composed of ha and tha, two esoteric bija (seed) mantras that have arcane meaning and power. Ha represents the solar qualities, the vital force, of pingala; tha represents the mind and the lunar qualities of ida. Balancing sun and moon, or pingala and ida, facilitates the awakening and arising of kundalini, and thus the awakening of higher consciousness. In fact, some yoga teachings hold that as long as either ida or pingala predominates, sushumna stays closed and the power of kundalini lies dormant.

The most powerful method of balancing ida and pingala is Nadi Shodhana, alternate-nostril breathing. (Literally, the Sanskrit means "nadi cleansing.") This practice is effective because the ida nadi is directly connected to the left nostril, and the pingala nadi to the right. A few rounds of this basic Pranayama technique at the end of an asana practice are an excellent way to help restore equilibrium between the two nadis and to compensate for any imbalance you may have inadvertently caused during your practice.

To practice Nadi Shodhana, sit in a comfortable meditative position. Make a fist with your right hand, then partially reextend your ring and little fingers. Lightly place the pad of the thumb on your nose just to the right and below the bridge; lightly place the pads of your ring and little fingers on the corresponding flesh on the left side of your nose. Gently pressing with the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril, exhale fully through the right. Then inhale fully through the right, close it with the thumb, release the left nostril, and exhale through it. Inhale through the left nostril, close it with the fingers, release the right nostril, and exhale through it. This completes one round of Nadi Shodhana.

In addition to using Nadi Shodhana, you can experiment with using the asanas themselves as a method of balancing ida and pingala. At the beginning of a practice, sit and observe your breath to see which nostril—and, hence, which nadi—is dominant. (If you can't tell, try a few rounds of alternate-nostril breathing—it should be immediately clear which side is freer and which feels more inhibited). If the left nostril dominates, ida is in charge, and you might consider focusing your attention on invigorating asanas—such as backbends, standing poses, inversions, and twists—to engage the pingala nadi. If the right nostril dominates, the cooling, calming energy of seated poses and forward bends might be most beneficial.

You can also bring awareness of ida and pingala into any asana practice by pausing between poses to notice which nadi dominates your breathing. Notice your mind-states as well; you will find they closely correlate with which nadi is ascendant. Are you agitated and active (pingala-like) or calm and receptive (ida-like)? Through this checking-in process, you can begin to identify which poses activate one nadi or the other, and which are particularly effective—for you, at least—in creating physical and emotional equilibrium. You'll also be developing your awareness, deepening your practice, and clearing the way for your spiritual growth.



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Sunday, January 28, 2018

There is no one way or one path



Instead of trying to be provocative about my beliefs just because other people tried to force theirs on me, just be as understanding as possible because they were raised to be that way.

There is no one way or one path, never let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong and never tell anyone they are doing it wrong!

You don’t have to hide your beliefs but you don’t have to slap people in the face with them either.

Don’t get hung up on titles. Because they will change as well as your beliefs. In this I am speaking of light and dark. Because in the womb is darkness and in that darkness is the cell in which all life begins.

Be dark, be light, be balance…

Follow your own intuition. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Don’t stop learning. Knowledge is power. Use it.


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Friday, January 26, 2018

Why Men Cannot Be Witches


If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You may have found yourself stirred by the title of this article, perhaps curious or maybe even outright offended. Well, let me quickly assure you that the title is meant as a joke. Of course men can be Witches!

What this article is really about is a behavior I’ve noticed a lot: the tendency for people to comment on articles without having actually read them.

Why is this a problem?

  • The reader doesn’t get all the information or context of the article which leaves them confused at best and misinformed at worst.
  • The author receives comments that clearly indicate the individual hasn’t actually read their article which is annoying at best and shitty at worst.

The moral of the story?

If you’re going to comment on an article, please read the whole thing.

So, if you are one of the lucky few who managed to click and read this article, we congratulate you! Although we do apologize for the misleading headline. In the meanwhile, have fun sharing the article and seeing who manages to chair a discussion without ever reading it. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Key Symbolism and Meaning


The first lock with key was discovered in Egypt and dates from about 3000 BC. It was made of teak wood, measured about 60 cm and controlled the access to a temple. It could be actuated by means of a curved key, provided with pins, with lengths and specific provisions. The principle of the Egyptian lock was extremely innovative and influenced the field of the locksmith around the world.

Some keys dated from the second millennium BC. were indeed discovered in Iran, Morocco, India, Africa and China.

This system also influenced the Romans whose keys were made of bronze. 

Medieval Europe largely operated and realized goldsmith masterpieces. It was at this time that the first keys with rings appeared, depicting religious buildings facades.

But it was during the Renaissance that the art of locksmithing peaked. During this period, the key was a full-fledged artistic object and had finely crafted rings. It was not unusual for sculptors and artists, in Italy in particular, to propose very sophisticated models of keys to master locksmiths, which could take years of work. Sometimes characters and faces were well represented in finely crafted rings. In France, King Louis XVI, who was himself a locksmith, possessed an extraordinary workshop and regularly indulged in this passion.

Picture above: The key to the Petit Trianon. Given to Marie-Antoinette by her husband Louis XVI in June of 1774. When he gave it to her there was a ribbon on it with 531 diamonds.

The Victorian era was a period in which the artistic side of the key yet rubbed its security function, but over time, with huge advances in metallurgy of iron, the key radically transformed and lost its beauty and finesse to become only functional.

Today, despite the emergence of electronic locking systems, the key still withstands modern technology thanks to its reliability and simplicity.

The Symbolic Meaning of Keys

Keys have represented various spiritual symboligies for as long as man has had locks. They are connected with gateways and portals, doorways to the unknown, knowledge, mysteries, powers, initiations, new ways, forbidden things and answers to curious questions.

keys represent knowledge and success. They can open doors which are closed to other than the key holder. Possessing a key gives a person access to locked rooms. The key is also a symbol of freedom and liberation.

Keys have been used as a symbol of authority and power for ages in many societies and ceremonies around the world.

They are often associated with various literary idioms, specific deities or spiritual figures, and are often used as part of charms or other magical tools. 

In modern romantic notion a key necklace may symbolize “the key to my heart”. 

Let’s look at some spiritual figures that are most often associated with keys:

Janus is the two-faced Roman god of gates. He could look in both directions at the same time. All doors have an entrance and an exit. He was the gatekeeper. He could see the past as well as the future. Janus was the beginning and the end. He was wisdom. He could grant success and new opportunities. He is sometimes shown carrying keys in his left hand and his staff in his right hand. The month of January is named after Janus.

In Christianity, the visage of Saint Peter holding the keys to the gates of Heaven can be easily found in religious art from Christendom to the modern era. 

A newly consecrated Pope will receive two diagonally crossed keys in silver and gold. This emblem symbolizes supreme authority and the “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”. The crossed keys are shown in the coat of arms of the Holy See.

In Voodoo practices, Papa Legba, often depicted as an elderly man with a cane, a dog and keys is also a gatekeeper, acting as a liaison for those between the spiritual and the physical realms. He is said to speak every human language and be a conduit between the mortal and deities, allowing for communion and safe passage if travel into the astral planes is granted.

Lord Ganesh in the Hindu spiritual path is the great elephant god, the mover of obstacles and for this reason very often associated with keys. Commonly locks or keys can be found with a Ganesh design on it to symbolically representing the unlocking of a path or knowledge. Ganesh is associated with wisdom and spiritual knowledge, making him not only a prime example of key symbolism but also a deity, like so many others, associated with journeying.

Hecate, a goddess often described as the Queen of the Witches, is another underworld deity associated with gate keeping and keys. Much like Papa Legba and Saint Peter, she holds the keys that allow passage into the spiritual realm.  She is a great protector and is associated with keys, and dogs among other things. Trivia is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Hecate, goddess of the three-way crossroads.

Anubis, the dog headed ancient Egyptian god of the dead was often associated with keys. He would escort the soul of the dead to the underworld after its heart had been weighed and measured.

There are about 20 additional Chinese deities for the protection of city walls and all associated with keys.

Korean mythology has another two and Hindu religions include the solar deity Pushan, who not only oversees the journey of the dead but is also responsible for journeying and cattle care.

In other paths like Santeria, voodoo both Haitian and Louisiana paths there is Ellegua who is a messenger god.

Key Superstitions

Earlier it was not uncommon that Jewish midwives would place a key in the hand of a woman giving birth. Preferably the key should be to a synagogue. The sacred key was meant to “unlock” the infant and ensure a safe delivery of the baby.

In Eastern Europe there was a superstition that a key brought good dreams to the owner. The key had the power to prevent all bad dreams. To make this work a key was hung upside down on the wall over the bed.

In Ionia, located in present day Turkey, there was a tradition to bury the dead with an iron key. It was important the dead could unlock the door to the Underworld.

And in Japan, the key is a symbol of prosperity because it opens the rice granary. In tales and legends, it marks the steps of purification and initiation.

The Ceremony of the Keys

The Ceremony of the Keys is quite famous. It takes part in the Tower of London every single night. It is a gate closing ritual performed by Yeoman Warders, often called Beefeaters.

The chief Yeoman Warder carries a candle lantern and the Queens keys. This ceremony is a very old tradition. It has been performed every single night at 21:52 for the past 700 years.

Earlier it was more about securing members of the royal family and other important people staying at the Tower of London. Today it is mostly about securing the crown jewels.

This ceremony is extremely popular. It is possible to attend, but you will have to book your ticket months in advance. They do not allow any pictures to be taken.

Girl Scouts Key Symbolism

In the Girl Scouts there is a tradition to have a ceremony when a girl scout advances from one level to the next. When a Junior Girl Scout advances to the Cadette Girl Scout she is presented a silver key.

The leader declares:

”I present to you a Silver Key, which symbolizes that you are seeking to unlock the doors to Cadette Girl Scouts a as you begin work on the Silver Leadership and Silver award.

Wear it as a symbol that you are passing through the doorway to new experiences where you will gain an understanding of your own self-worth and individuality. Now as Cadette’s, let us recited the Girl Scout Promise and Law.”

Skeleton Keys

Skeleton keys are keys that can unlock multiple locks. Some call them pass keys. The name skeleton keys came about because the keys have been filed down of its essential parts. Some people also call antique keys for skeleton keys.

Skeleton keys are used as amulets and talisman all over the world. They are used to help the owner make all their innermost and important dreams come true.

It could be in any area; love, finances, career, exams. The skeleton key is there to assist you see possibilities and solutions. It opens the doors of opportunity so that you can reach your goal.

Key Charm and Key Necklace

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

The symbolism of the key is quite obvious; it opens a door. It is a symbol of opening the door to your heart.

A key charm or a key necklace is a popular gift to give on important birthdays as the 16th, 18th and 21st birthday. It symbolizes opening doors for a brighter future. It represents opening of the doors to a successful career and new possibilities.

Many may wear a key charm or necklace when looking for a job or a change of work place. It is believed to be an amulet that will assist the wearing find doors of opportunity.

Some people will buy a key charm for themselves when they move into a new home. This will ensure a happy home.

In Japan it is not uncommon to find charms made up of three keys joined together. The three keys are said to unlock the secrets to wisdom, life and love.


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Friday, January 19, 2018

Let Them Judge



Your opinion is not "the truth."

Your perception is not "my nature.” 

Realize what you judge or view is a mirror into your true self. Your judgement is the extension of your innermost relationship to self. 

You are not a person defined by anyone's adjectives, but with that being said, you are the adjectives you give away. 

What people describe you as is revealing a deeper truth or secret of their own character, therefore, let them judge.

If you observe without emotion, you will understand who someone is through their unrighteous classification of you. 

They are sharing their secrets openly, if you listen without taking offence, you will see into the crevices of someones most personal and well hidden truths. 

The darkest recesses of their mind, where the presence of division spawns is where one can discover the glamorous and terrifying reality of who they are; underneath the insults camouflaged as projections, descriptions, and judgements of another is where the latent transforms into the known.


Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The differences between Luciferianism and Satanism


While the two groups do have a lot in common, Luciferians view themselves as separate from Satanists.

From the Luciferian viewpoint, Satanists are primarily focused on the physical nature of man, exploring, experimenting and enjoying that nature while rejecting endeavors to rise beyond it.

Satan is an emblem of carnality and materiality. Luciferians view Lucifer as a spiritual and enlightened being. And while Luciferians do embrace the enjoyment of one's life, they accept that there are greater and more spiritual goals to be had.

Many do see Satan and Lucifer as being different aspects of the same being, the carnal, rebellious and material nature of Satan vs. the enlightened and spiritual Lucifer.

Luciferians do not particularly see their acts as rebellion, but rather are motivated by their own merits. If they believe in a literal Lucifer, they pay him/her respect rather than worship, acknowledging he/she has many things to teach rather than finding themselves subservient to him/her.

Luciferians put more emphasis on the balance of light and dark.

Satanism and Luciferianism are both highly individualized philosophies. There is no single set of beliefs, rules or dogmas for either group. However, some generalities can be made.

In general, both Satanists and Luciferians: Talk about human beings as gods, having mastery over themselves and the planet.

Satanists and Luciferians support creativity, excellence, success, freedom, individuality, and enjoyment and reject dogmatic religion.

Sharing sets of ethics, some of which include showing respect to those who deserve respect and leaving people alone who have caused them no grief.

Both of these groups are considered left-hand paths, which is focused on self-determination and the power of the self, rather than right-hand paths which submit to a superior force.

While Many Satanists and Luciferians do believe in a supernatural power, they see their relationship as more of a partnership, ''never subservient.''



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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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