Saturday, February 18, 2012

week 7-"D"- Dancing

Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archaeologist's have found traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9,000 year old Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC.

Dance has been a favorite past time of mine (right along with music) for as long as I can remember. It is a great way to exercise, relieve stress. It is also an art form that generally refers to movement of the body. It is usually rhythmic and done with music. It can & has been used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.

Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans. It is also performed by animals such as in mating dances. One of the earliest structured uses of dances may have been in the performance and in the telling of myths. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for one of the opposite gender. It is also linked to the origin of "love making." Before the production of written languages, dance was one of the methods of passing these stories down from generation to generation.

Gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are sports that incorporate dance, while martial arts kata are often compared to dances. Motion in ordinarily inanimate objects may also be described as dances (the leaves danced in the wind).

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance can be participatory, social or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Dance movements may be without significance in themselves, such as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a gestural vocabulary/symbolic system as in many Asian dances. Dance can embody or express ideas, emotions or tell a story. Another early use of dance may have been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Dance is still used for this purpose by many cultures from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert. Sri Lankan dances goes back to the mythological times of aboriginal ying yang twins and "yakkas" (devils). According to a Sinhalese legend, Kandyan dances originated 250 years ago, from a magic ritual that broke the spell on a bewitched king. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dance.

Dancing has evolved many styles. Break dancing and Krumping are related to the hip hop culture. African dance is interpretative. Ballet, Ballroom, Waltz, and Tango are classical styles of dance while Square Dance and the Electric Slide are forms of step dances.
Every dance, no matter what style, has something in common. It not only involves flexibility and body movement, but also physics. If the proper physics are not taken into consideration, injuries may occur.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

week 6- "C" - Chanting

Sound is power !!

This week for my second "C" I have chosen chanting. I guess it really doesn't suprise me that I am drawn to chanting and it also it goes right along with last weeks posting of Calliope as she was known as the Muse of music & poetry.

I firmly believe that the sound of Mantras can lift the believer towards the higher self. When reciting the Mantras, the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you to power and strength. For me personally I have been able to open & strengthen my lungs more & have not had any problems with my asthma since I have started chanting. I tend to feel very energized & almost "buzzy" when I am done chanting.

Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe and fear. Therefor it is said & believed that the sacred utterances or chanting of mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness. It is said they give us the power to cure diseases; ward off evils; gain wealth; acquire supernatural powers; worship a deity for exalted communion and for attaining blissful state and attain liberation.

Mantras are Vedic in origin. The teachings of the Vedas consist of various Mantric chants or hymns cognized by different seers or Rishis from the Cosmic Mind. Since the Vedas are impersonal and eternal, the exact historical date of the origin of Mantra chanting is hard to arrive at. For example, every Mantra in the Vedas, Upanishads and various religious traditions (sampradayas) within Hindu religion begin with Om or Aum - the primordial sound, the sound that is said to have its origins at the time of the creation of the cosmos - also referred to as the 'Big Bang'.

The chanting of Om in Transcendental Meditation has now received widespread recognition. Mantras can be used to treat tension and many other difficult diseases that are yet to come. The Brahmvarchas Shodh Sansthan, research center for integration of science and spirituality in Shantikunj, Haridwar, India, is the one place I've read about which carries out extensive experiments on 'mantra shakti'. The result of these experiments is used to testify that Mantropathy can be used scientifically for healing and environment cleansing.

There are many schools of thought on the methods of chanting. A Mantra chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, is sure to bear the desired result for physical and mental well being. It is also believed by many that the glory of Mantra chanting cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can be experienced or realized only through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra. Being someone who loves music of all kinds I just feel naturally drawn to the chanting with the different instruments & hand clapping. My whole body just comes to life with so much energy weather I'm just practicing the mantras or just listening to a mantra cd.

It is important to have complete faith in the recitation of Mantras. It is primarily through faith - aided by strong will - that one achieves one's goals. A sound body and calm mind are essential for the chanter of Mantras. Once you are free from worries and have achieved stability in mind and body, you will derive maximum benefit through the recitation of Mantras.

There are many people who have recorded CD's of chanting that you can purchase or listen to for examples on how to do this or to learn how. Some of my favorites are... Guru Dev, Deva Premal, Russil Paul, & Robin Renee (who does chanting plus other music as well).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Week 5 -C- Calliope

This week I have decided to blog about Calliope. She is one of the nine Muses in Greek Mythology. It is said she is the eldest & most distinguished of the Muses. She is the Goddess of music and poetry. She has a beautiful voice that inspires brilliance in debate and makes even the wimpiest of poems resound with epic meaning. She is considered the inspiration for heroic or epic poetry such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey as well as other epic poems such as Beowulf.

Most images of Calliope depict her wearing a golden crown, carrying a roll of paper or book, or holding a writing tablet and stylus or quill.
She is also considered a patron of persuasive speaking. So she would be a good one to call on if you are giving a presentation, speech or joining the debate team. She may also be a very good patron for people running for office.

I have read that she has many children with different Gods... Carybontes who was fathered by Zeus, Hymen, Ialemus, and Linus fathered by Apolo, Rhesus by the River Strymon, the Sirens, Orpheus, and Oeagrus. All of these children with the exception of Rhesus had something to do with music or poetry.

Calliope had a special weakness when it came to Achilles. She taught him to entertain and enhance the morals of his friends by singing at their feasts.

Among all of this she is also considered very fair. According to one myth she was called upon by her father Zeus to be a mediator between Aphrodite and Persephone on who would be able to have the human-made-immortal, Adonis. Calliope decided that his
time would be split between the two during specific times of the year. Persephone wanted him as he had died and was to come to the underworld with her, Aphrodite wanted him as her plaything. So here Adonis comes back for Spring and Summer for Aphrodite and returns to the underworld for Fall and Winter, giving us another story of the turning of the seasons.

Colors: Red, Gold, Blue, Light Brown, Orange, Ivory

Symbols: Stringed instruments, Quill and parchment, Golden crown, Books, Scrolls, Sword

Scents/Herbs: Orange, Lemon, Dragon's Blood, Spearmint, Clove, Carnation

Gemstones: Amber, Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Celestite, Fossils, Garnet, Red Jasper, Lava Rock, Tiger's Eye, Turquoise

Celebrations: President's Day (USA), Memorial Day, Election Day, Independence Day, Any celebration dealing with a person in office or celebrating a historic battle.

Patron of: Bards, Business People, Cheerleaders, Coaches, Debate Team Members, Mascots, Newscasters, Pep Squad, Politicians, Public Speakers, Rally Leaders, Sales People, Solders, Spiritual Leaders, Spokes People, Teachers

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 4 "B" - Boji Stone

I had no intention of doing this weeks blog on crystals or stones of any kind, I had planned on doing balance - which is something I try very hard to keep in my life. But then life happened & some things went terribly wrong this week so I didn't get around to writing my blog until now, which is saturday morning at 12:24 am. I read through some of the other blogs while sitting at the hospital with my best friend today & I noticed a blog on balance so I thought I would go in a kind of different but similar direction. So here we go.

Boji stones originate in the United States and in Britian. These stones grow like mushrooms & have a strong earth connection, but the stone may disintegrate if left in the ground or exposed to the weather. It has been said that they are the most effective grounding stone of all stones. They gently but firmly return you to Earth and into your body, grounding you to the present. They are extremely useful for people who find it difficult to have more than a toehold in incarnation. Bojis have a strong protective function and are very useful for overcoming blockages. Boji stones are balancers and energizers and a pair balances the male-female energy within the body and aligns the chakras and subtle bodies.

It is said that only 1 male stone grows for every 7 female stones. The males stones appear to be rough and protruded while the females look smooth. These stones are best used in pairs but sometimes you may see a female Boji made into a pendant.

The most common of the stones are blackish brown in colour and shaped like a small flattish sphere. Their size can vary from about the size of a penny up to almost the size of a golf ball. In my experience the average size I have seen is around that of a 50 cent piece.
You can also get Rainbow Boji Stones. These are just as they sound in that they have rainbow colours running through them, most likely due to another mineral or crystal running through them. They are much harder to come by and much more expensive.
Blue Boji Stones have a high but grounded spiritual vibration. They are extremely useful when taking journeys out of the body as they facilitate traveling and guard the body until the soul returns.

Physically they stimulate the flow of energy through the meridian system inside your body.
Mentally, Boji's bring your attention to mental imprints and hypnotic commands from the past. boji Stones can be emotionally stabilizing, but they tend to insist that any necessary work be done first.
Psychologically, Boji Stones throw light on blockages at all levels. They clear blocked emotions and heal hurtful memories. They also reveal negative thought patterns and self-defeating behaviors for transformation. Going to the cause of psychosomatic disease, as stated above they dissolve blockages in the physical or subtle bodies. Holding a Boji Stone will align you to your shadow self, bringing up its repressed qualities so that you can gently release them and find the gift in them.

HEALING - heal energy blockages, relieve pain, and encourage tissue regeneration. They are useful when physical energy is low or when the condition is intractable. On a subtle level they realign the chakras and repair and reenergize "holes" in the auric body.

POSITION - Hold a pair of Bojis in your hands for 10 minutes or so, or place over a blockage or painful point. You can also grid around yourself when meditating.

I feel that by holding a Boji in each palm and placing a crystal between the thumb and index finger of each hand you can greatly enhance the experience. There are many different combinations that can be used but here are a couple that I have used regularly:

Herkimer diamonds - this greatly enhances the opening and linking with the crown chakra especially, and generally sends a blast of positive energy through each chakra along the way!! Do not try this is you are generally quite spacey; you will need very good control of your energies before you try this one !

Black tourmaline - this really brings you back down to earth! It will also help disperse and release any blockages you have.

As with all crystals and stones Boji need TLC and cleaning although many websites and books say that they dont. I like to use incense or sage to produce a smoke and "cleanse" them with it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Week 3 - B - Beryl

I racked my brain trying to decide what to do for my first "B" week & finally decided on Beryl.
This crystal comes in many different colors... pink, golden, yellow, green, white, & blue.

Its appearance is a Prismatic crystal that may be transparent & pyramidal and can come in any size. It is readily available in any form but may be expensive. It has been found in the United States, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Chech Republic, & Norway.

When used for healing, Beryl aids the organs of elimination, strengthens pulmonary & circulatory systems and increases resistance to toxins and pollutants. Beryl is a sedative stone. As an elixer it can be used to clear throat infections. Some of the different color Beryl aid different systems which I have listen below the attributes.

The attributes of Beryl is that it can teach you how to do "only" what you need to do. This stone is the one to use when you have a stressful life and when you need to shed unnecessary baggage. It can help you to tune into your guides to find out what you need to be doing. Beryl represents purity of being & it can help you to actualize potential. It is also an excellent stone for scrying & is often used for crystal balls. This crystal opens and activates the crown and solar plexus chakras. Psychologically, Beryl can enhance courage, stress relief, and calms the mind. Mentally with its abilities to filter out distractions and to reduce over stimulation it encourages a positive view. It discourages over analysis and anxiety. Emotionally it reawakens love in those who are married but jaded.

In addition to the generic attributes, there are a few colors have additional properties.

Golden Beryl - a seer's stone and is used for ritual magic. It aids scrying & magical workings. This crystal promotes purity of being. It teaches initiative andindependance & stimulates the will to succeed and the ability to manifest potential into reality. It also open the crown & solar plexus chakras.

Morganite (Pink Bery) - attracts love & maintains it. This crystal encourages loving thoughts and actions, creating space to enjoy life and living. As a pink crystal it activates and cleanses the heart chakra, calms a stressed life, and benefits the nervous system. It can also help you to recogonize the escape routes, closed mindedness and egotism that blocks spiritual advancement. It can assist you in becoming aware of the disreguarded needs of the soul. Morganite also in recogonizing unfulfilled emotional needs & unexpressed feelings. This crystal is a powerful stone for dissolving conscious or unconcious resistance to healing & transformation, clearing the victim mentality and opening the heart to receive unconditional love and healing. It holds the emotional body stable while psychosomatic changes take place. Used in healing, Morganite treats stress and stress related illnesses. Oxygenating cells and reorganizing them, it treats TB, asthma, emphysema, heart problems, vertigo, impotence, and lung blockages.

Bixbite (Red Beryl) - opens and energizes the base chakra.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week 2- A = Aventurine

While reading through last weeks wonderful blogs I was also trying to decide what to blog about this week & suddenly the word was all full life in my brain -> Aventurine.

I have always been drawn to crystals & most any sparkly things but Aventurine is one of my favorites but I was never sure why until I started reading about it some more. I found out that it is the star sign for Libra, which now partly explains why Im drawn to it, I'm a Libra. It is also said to be the Planetary stone of Taurus.

Aventurine is a translucent to opaque variety of micro-crystalline quartz. It contains small shiny minerals which give the stone a sparkly effect known as aventurescence. Inclusions of mica will give a silverish sheen, while inclusions of hematite give a reddish or grayish sparkle.This crystal has been found in India, Chile, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Austria, and Tanzania. It is a 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Many have often mistaken this mineral for amazonite or jade.

There are different colors of Aventurine from green, peach, brown, blue and a creamy green. Besides its uses in jewelry, it has been used for ornamental purposes like vases, bowls, and figurines.

Aventurine has been used as a lucky talisman & is also said to be a popular stone for gamblers.

Green Aventurine is the stone of luck and chance. It is said to increase perception and creative insight. It is a heart chakra stone.

Blue Aventurine is an Aries stone that opens the third eye chakra. It is a powerful mental healer that increases vitality and a positive outlook. This stone assists in self-discipline and developing inner strength.

Yellow Aventurine opens the third eye chakra. It is often used to balance emotions and male/female energies.

Red Aventurine opens the root chakra. It can assist in creativity, and help you to see the possibilities in new opportunities.

I carry a small piece of aventurine with me most of the time & I also use it in conjunction with Reiki sessions because legends have said that it is an all-purpose healer. It is used to reduce stress, develop confidence, imagination and improve prosperity.
A legend from ancient Tibet says that aventurine was used to improve nearsightedness and to increase the wearer's creativity.
Many believe that aventurine has the capacity to calm a troubled spirit and bring about inner peace, therefor many say this is a great stone for teenagers.

Friday, January 6, 2012

So I've decided to become involved with the Pagan Blog Project for many reasons which I wont get into right now but I'm sure they will come out at some point in the weeks to follow.

This week is the letter "A" and I have chosen affirmations. I guess I should start with explaining just what an affirmation is. Basically every thought you think & every word you say is an affirmation. Unfortunately there are "negative" affirmations as well as positive ones as with many things in our lives & the negative is many times more easy or more frequently remembered.

Let me explain a little about myself so as to show how I use affirmations. I am my mothers only child BUT I have MANY step siblings - same father. I grew up as an only child in an abusive (emotionally, physically, & sexually) household. Being beaten many times a week for small infractions, being told many times a day that I was fat, ugly, lazy & to shut up - nobody cared what I had to say. I always looked for the good in EVERY situation so in a way the beatings & what not were the only attention I would get so it must be ok right ? yeah I know weird thinking but in a kids mind it was what it was). So my world became my room & books & music. I became with drawn & stayed to myself. I quickly learned when to smile & be jolly because if I was not people would question why & that would just be reason for another beating. So as soon as possible I got out of that household, but the things I had been told all my life were right in my mind 24/7 so I continued to stay to myself so nobody could hurt me. So eventually I did learn I was hurting myself so I set out to change that. I tried opening up & making friends, sometimes it worked & sometimes not. I finally found a group online & they were having a "get together". It sounded interesting so I made up my mind I was going & that I did. I was greeted by very friendly, caring, nonjudgmental people who welcomed me into their group. That first night was a real eye opener & we had a discussion on body shapes ( I am over weight & very self conscious about it) & how many of the pagan goddesses were obese & how that was considered beautiful. So I went to bed that night thinking of that conversation. Since then I have continued with the group as it is "home" to me & have learned MANY things.

OK I'll stop rambling & get back to my affirmations. Since that meeting I have incorporated affirmations into my daily life. When I first started there were post it notes everywhere with things written on them that I was thankful for. I could be found many times a day talking to myself in front of a mirror also. Now, when I wake up, I stretch & wake up all my muscles & basically say good morning to them & thank them for what movements I can still do (I am partially disabled & parts of my body just don't work as they used to). I then proceed to thank the Goddess for my body, life, family & many other things I am thankful for. Sometimes I listen & sing along with CD's to help me with some affirmations since I deeply love many types of music.

So there are many ways one can use affirmations... thinking them, writing them, singing them, talking to yourself. So be creative open yourself up to new & wonderful experiences & enjoy them BUT remember to try to keep them positive.