Saturday, 30. September 2006
Tibetan Musical Instruments


Tibet stands at the influence of three civilization, the Turko-Mongolian, the Chinese and the Indian. Enriched from time to time by influences from these, its own ancient tradition has developed in high isolation from the rest of the civilized world. This tradition embraces a very distinctive way of life and a music all its own. Music plays an important part in Tibetan life and has three aspects:

• the folk-music - found in the daily lives of the people
• an art music - cultivated especially by professional minstrels
• the sacred chant and instrumental music of the Buddhist Liturgy and other rites - centering around the monasteries.

The Lamas say "Religion is sound". The recitation of mantras, chanting and the playing of instrumental music are fundamental in their worship.

Tibetan Musical Instruments
Category: Music & Voices |

Shiatsu Massage Chair

Our Shiatsu Massage Chair captures the Japanese art of "finger pressure" therapy to relieve stress and strain in the body. Shiatsu massage combines many different techniques of pressure, rolling, kneading, tapping, vibrating, etc. in order to achieve full release of tension that causes aches and pains in the back, neck, legs and feet.

The picture shows you the P-A0006 Massage Chair:

Choose from automatic overall, shoulder, back or lower back programs, or manually choose a fixed point or a general area, and enjoy a wonderful pressure point massage. At the same time, take pleasure in having the buttock, thighs, calves, and feet massaged by the awesome built-in 3D air pressure system. Furthermore, the footrest extends and stretches the knee and ankle joints.




Shiatsu Massage Chair
Oh yess - I want one of those ...
Category: Body & Health | Products & Services |

Friday, 29. September 2006
The Yoga Challenge


For sure that game is not even related to actual yoga, but trying to stay upright by moving your mouse left and right is still quite good fun.

Keep yourself balanced!
How long can you manage to stay?

The Yoga Challenge

Category: Games & Humor | Yoga & Fitness |

The Scotsman’s New Myths & Legends Series

Part 5: Castles
Moat haunted

Our historic strongholds have become intertwined with stories of ghosts and ghouls, offering a fascinating insight into an often bloody past. In the final part of our series on myths and legends, Claire Smith tells tales to make you shiver.

Part 4: Origins
Scotland's Dr Evil?

Did the first King of Scots employ an Austin Powers-style trapdoor to dispose of his Pictish enemies, and was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh really the founder of our nation?

Part 3: Monsters
The one that got away

Nessie has become one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland, with a history stretching from St Columba to The Simpsons. But is it one big hoax?

Part 2: Magic
Away with the fairies?

In the second day of our myths and legends series, Ian Johnston looks at Thomas the Rhymer, the man known as Scotland's Nostradamus, credited with predicting the Battle of Bannockburn.

Part 1: Heroes
A lion of the north?

Long known as the quintessential English knight, there is growing evidence that iconic hero King Arthur was from Scotland, says Ian Johnston.

Glamorous and spooky: Glamis Castle
William Morris, Vision of the Holy Grail, 1890
Nessie himself
Great King Arthur

The Scotsman's Myths & Legends Series
All articles with a Truth Factor ...
What a boring world we would have without these wonderful myths!
Category: Articles & Essays | Myths & Sagas |

News & Stories


Evil acts of sorcery can kill superstitious people only by Pravda.
Lusung, a sorcerer in one of South African tribes, told a man who had committed a crime: “You will die in three days!” Then she sprinkled water and sprayed some red powder around the hut of the condemned man. The sorcerer repeated her incantation for the benefit of the villagers. “Her words were a death verdict,” says Wright in his book. “None of the villagers laid hands on the criminal yet he was found dead three days later,” adds he.


Don't tell Dan Brown ... by The Guardian.
It has taken nearly 250 years for Nicholas Hawksmoor to emerge from the shadows of his more famous collaborators, Christopher Wren and John Vanbrugh, and despite his ascent up the league of great British architects, there is still something of the night about him. Hawksmoor's churches, in particular, have always seemed better suited to funerals than weddings. In modern times, he has become a poster boy for occultists, studious goths and historical conspiracy theorists - he has even been labelled "the devil's architect".

Peek at NSA's Secret Reading List by Wired News.
The Memory Hole, a website dedicated to ferreting out and publishing government documents, posted the indexes from Cryptologic Quarterly, Cryptologic Almanac, Cryptologic Spectrum and NSA Technical Journal on Monday. The lists were obtained following a smartly targeted FOIA request filed by researcher Michael Ravnitzky in 2003.
"This is one of the first glimpses we have had into NSA's own library -- and it’s a safe bet there are some gems in there," said Secrecy News editor Steven Aftergood.

Druid campaign for sacred sites by BBC News.
The druid is spending the weekend in the limestone cave to highlight his cause and to try to "balance the spiritual energies". "Our feeling is that it isn't just modern graveyards that should be considered as sacred sites, but anywhere that a body has been buried with ceremonial intent," he said. "We have formed a little group called Dead to Rights, to work for the return of remains to the sites they were buried in and hopefully have them reburied there with due ceremony."


Strange Moonlight by NASA.
Not so long ago, before electric lights, farmers relied on moonlight to harvest autumn crops. With everything ripening at once, there was too much work to to do to stop at sundown. A bright full moon—a "Harvest Moon"—allowed work to continue into the night.
The moonlight was welcome, but as any farmer could tell you, it was strange stuff. How so? See for yourself. The Harvest Moon of 2006 rises on October 6th, and if you pay attention, you may notice a few puzzling things.

Occult claims clamor for serious study by Mercury News.
A hundred years ago, one of the most ambitious of research projects was launched, a study that linked scholars and mediums on three continents. Its purpose was to discover whether living humans could talk to dead ones. Newspapers described the work as "remarkable experiments testing the reality of life after death."

Some news-links do not last long. In this case please send me a note.
Category: News & Stories |

Thursday, 28. September 2006
The Mentawai


Tribal dancing is used around the world as a form of communication with a dimension beyond that which can be seen. Only the 'sikeireis' (Mentawai shamans) may wear ritual body ornaments and perform these sacred dances. Dressed in full regalia, the shamans are as magnificent as the most majestic birds of the rainforest.
Magical and aromatic plants hanging from their long hair and loincloths; and wearing rattan bracelets and ceremonial aprons fashioned from pieces of red, white and black fabric.

These shamans are ready to invoke their tremendous powers.
They dance, mimicking jungle animals such as monkeys and crocodiles, to reach the ancestral world and communicate with the spirits.

The intricate acrobatic leaps and turns of the monkey dance, a pre-hunt ritual, are performed to honor the spirits of the monkeys and ask them for good luck in the hunt and to seek protection for the entire clan.

The sonorous vibration from the quick stomping of the dancers sometimes drowns out the rhythm of the python-skin drums.

The whole 'uma' rumbles with the deep percussive sound, resonating with the shamans' steps.



Mentawai mythology tells the story of a young boy who transformed himself into the first sago tree, the Tree of Life, ensuring that his people would never run out of food. Today the Mentawai's animistic religion, known as 'Jarayak', is symbolized by a stylized drawing of a sago tree. The Mentawai so venerate this Tree of Life that it is tattooed on the body of every medicine man. Stripes on the legs represent the trunk, long dotted lines running down the arms evoke the branches, patterns on the hands and ankles suggest the bark, and the curved lines on the chest represent the sago flower.

Tattoos are made to please the soul and help the Mentawai achieve perfect harmony with the spirits of the forest.
Monkey skulls, along with those of slain deer and pigs, adorn the beams of all 'umas'. These skulls represent a right relationship with the animals' spirits that assures the clan's safety and a plentiful supply of nearby food. Monkeys are particularly revered because they have anatomical and mythological links to humans; living monkeys are believed to communicate with the spirits of their dead just as men do.

Immerse yourself in the exotic and vivid rhythm of daily life and sacred rituals:
The Mentawai


More about Mentawai shamanism at Native Planet.
Category: Ethno & Shamanism |

Faery & Fantasy Art by Selina Fenech


"Alluring... Arrogant...
In magic she shimmers.

Delicious soft whispers,
Come hither, come hither!

Dark enchantress, wicked delight,
A sentry to lure in mortals by night.

To come away, come away,
Dash softly hand in hand
Slip through the veil
Off to fairy land."

Australian artist Selina Fenech was born in 1981 and has always felt the burn of magic in her heart. Her daydreams of magical creatures and places were irrepressible, and goddesses, fairies and nature spirits started showing up in her artwork from a very early age. She has always had a great love and appreciation of the magic of nature, and frequently gets lost in mythology and fairytales which all inspire her greatly.



While she always loved to draw, she didn't know she wanted to, or could, be an artist for quite some time. When she was sixteen years old she placed a few of her artworks in an online gallery and was amazed when fan mail and print and commission requests started coming in. Always wanting to please, and excited to be sharing her passion for art and magic, Selina began taking commissions and producing fine art prints of her work, and her art career has grown steadily since then, seeing publication in books and magazines worldwide and a range of licensed merchandise.

Faery & Fantasy Art by Selina Fenech

Category: Art & Visions | Faeries & Nature Spirits |

Wednesday, 27. September 2006
Astrology Tools

This site contains:

Click the picture for a larger view

• Today's exact Centaur, TNO and planet aspects, plus sign changes, stations and lunar events.
• Chart Drawings - An attempt to get all of the points onto a chart.
• Full Moons, New Moons, eclipses & occultations in 2006.
• Lists solar eclipses, lunar eclipses and occultations of major planets for chosen years (1201 - 2399).
... and much more.

Astrology Tools

Category: Astrology & Astronomy |

Tuesday, 26. September 2006
Fantastic Zoology

Chinese cosmogony teaches that the Ten Thousand Beings or Archetypes (the world) are born of the rhythmic conjunction of the two complementary eternal principles, the yin and the yang. Corresponding to the yin are concentration, darkness, passivity, even numbers, and cold; to the yang, growth, light, activity, odd numbers, and heat. Symbols of the yin are women, the earth, the color orange, valleys, riverbeds, and the tiger; of the yang, men, the sky, blue, mountains, pillars, the dragon.


The Chinese Dragon, the lung, is one of the four magic animals. (The others are the unicorn, the phoenix, and the tortoise.) At best, the Western Dragon spreads terror; at worst, it is a figure of fun. The lung of Chinese myth, however, is divine and is like an angel that is also a lion. We read in the Historical Record of Ssu-ma Ch'ien that Confucius went to consult the archivist or librarian Lao-tzu, and after his visit said:
Birds fly, fish swim, animals run. The running animal can be caught in a trap, the swimmer in a net, and the flyer by an arrow. But there is the Dragon; I don't know how it rides on the wind or how it reaches the heavens. Today I met Lao-tzu and I can say that I have seen the Dragon. It was a Dragon, or a Dragon Horse, which emerged from the Yellow River to reveal to an emperor the famous circular diagram symbolizing the reciprocal play of the yang and yin.


Not only is it a small dragon that lives in fire, it is also (according to one dictionary) "an insectivorous batrachian with intensely black smooth skin and yellow spots." Of these two characters, the better known is the imaginary, and the Salamander's inclusion in this book will surprise no one In Book X of his Natural History, Pliny states that the Salamander "is so intensely cold as to extinguish fire by its contact, in the same way that ice does"; later he thinks this over, observing skeptically that if what magicians said about the Salamander were true, it would be used to put out house fires.

Fantastic Zoology
A graphical interpretation of Jorge Luis Borges "Book of Imaginary Beings".
Category: Myths & Sagas |

Buddha’s Wheel of Life

Multimedia Tour:


Buddha's Wheel of Life

with Tibetan expert Robert Thurman.


Category: Religion & Early Cultures |

News & Stories


Scientists Discover Most Likely Host Star For Advanced Life by The Guardian Newspapers. (Part 1)
For the average individual, the perennial questions have always revolved around "Who am I?"; "Why am I here on this planet - and at this time?"; "What is my mission on planet Earth?" Indeed, could humans be the only intelligent beings in all the vastness of the universe? Or are we just one humble race, a member of a vast intergalactic fraternity of advanced civilizations?

And: Is there anybody out there? How the men from the ministry hid the hunt for UFOs by The Guardian.
The Ministry of Defence went to extraordinary lengths to cover up its true involvement in investigating UFOs, according to secret documents revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. The files show that officials attempted to expunge information from documents released to the Public Records Office under the "30-year rule" that would have revealed the extent of the MoD's interest in UFO sightings.


People say extremely weird things in their time of dying by Pravda.
Many people ponder their dying days in the course of their life. They try to picture the circumstances and things that would happen to them a moment before they sink into the grave. But nobody has the power to envisage the hand of death. However, people with an exceptional and natural capacity of intellect or ability can see the light in a most amazing manner.

Search for the Big Grey Man of MacDhui by The Herald.
Professor Norman Collie had been returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when he began to hear something other than just his own footsteps. "Every few steps I took I heard a crunch, then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own," he recounted. "I said to myself 'this is all nonsense'. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist."

Searching for the ghost of Blackbeard near Ocracoke Inlet by The Virginian-Pilot.
"One reason I wanted to conduct the paranormal investigation is if we were able to contact Blackbeard, I could have saved a lot of time in my research by speaking to him myself," Duffus said with a grin. "On the more serious side, I wanted to attempt to put an end to the legends, or myths, of his headless corpse walking the lonely beaches along Teach's Hole channel."

On Dreams by OhmyNews.
Every culture attaches different kinds of importance to dreams. Many cultures tend to consider dreams as messages from "gods." To quote one of my high school teachers way back in Cameroon, "there is a message behind every dream." In fact, there is a purpose behind every dream, which can possibly be exploited in an advantageous way. Unfortunately, we never pay any attention to most of our dreams.

Some news-links do not last long. In this case please send me a note.
Category: News & Stories |

Monday, 25. September 2006

© Wolf Rüdiger

"I knew it, I always knew it ..."
Category: Games & Humor |

Religious Photography by Zbigniew Kosc

The monks' republic on Mount Athos is regarded as the center of Eastern Orthodox spirituality. The first monastery on the holy mountain (Aghio Oros) was established by Constantinople just before the year 1000, and the small community of servants of God survived the second thousand years of Christianity better than the Orthodox metropolis on the Bosporus.


This is not merely a result of its relative seclusion and inaccessibility; the primary reason is the monks' unshakeable belief in their mission: to create a center for the Christian faith far removed from the noise and bustle of the world. Today, 20 monasteries are represented in the Assembly at Karyai, 17 of them being Greek, and one each Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian.


Islamic Cairo is a very old area, surrounded by walls dating from the middle-ages, and was once the cultural, religious and intellectual center of the entire Arab world.


Monumental buildings, palaces, many famous mosques and madrasas (religious schools), numerous markets and the oldest university in the world (al-Azhar) still stand witness to a glorious past. But, in the twentieth century Egypt has become a poor third world country and at present Islamic Cairo has fallen into decline, it is full of ruins and has degraded into a living and working neighborhood for the very poorest.

Islamic Cairo

In the northern part of Jerusalem lies the shabby picturesque quarter of Mea Shearim, home of the Hasidim and other ultra-orthodox Jews.


Begun in 1874 outside the walls of the Old City, it was built like a fortress, with its terraces and windows facing inwards. It is populated today almost entirely by east European Ashkenazi Jews. Retaining much of the dress, customs and speech of the 17th-Century ghetto, they are in theological conflict with the "blasphemous" life of the modern state of Israel.

Mea Sharim

More at Zbigniew Kosc Photography
Category: Buildings & Places | Religion & Early Cultures |

3 Gurus, 48 Questions

This is truly a must for all yoga lovers and an inspiration for others.

What is your theory about the origins of Yoga?

T.K.V. Desikachar: Yoga is from the Vedas.

K. Pattabhi Jois: We cannot know for sure the original nature of yoga, but according to what tradition tells us, Shiva first taught it to Parvati, then Parvati taught it to Shannmuka and Shannmuka taught it to Narada. And the first yoga found before the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali was when Adinatha incarnated in this world to provide yoga as a means to liberating man from the world of suffering. Also yoga is found in the shastras [scriptures], in the Bhagavad Gita, and in different Upanishads.

3 Gurus, 48 Questions (PDF)
Interviews with T.K.V. Desikachar, B.K.S. Iyengar & K. Pattabhi Jois.
Published in the
Namarupa Magazine,
Fall 2004.


Related Entry: 1938 Practice with B.K.S. Iyengar and Krishnamacharya
Category: Articles & Essays | Yoga & Fitness |

Saturday, 23. September 2006
Angel of the Thames

Naturally for earlier sightings we have to rely on sometimes unreliable written accounts. As we move into the photographic age we inevitably see more concrete evidence of the Angel sightings.


This etching was made in 1865 and documents the sighting by dozens of workers building the Thames Embankment of the Angel of the Thames.
It is the only such example from that year, although there are other sightings written about from the Tower of London to the current site of Waterloo bridge.

This particular etching is charming for it’s very literal interpretation of an angel. It is clear that the artist has represented what he has read about the incident in his own way.

Among the early photographs is this rather poor shot taken shortly after the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Many people had turned up near Southwark docks after a reported sighting.


This photograph was taken during the Blitz and coincides with an appearance by the Thames Angel to firemen on the night of 12th November 1940.

Angel of the Thames


Possibly the most important sighting to date has been filmed by a TV crew, but is being SUPRESSED by the producers for fear of embarrassing TV Start and telent spotter David Grant.

My partner Leslie has got hold of some tills from the footage, but we're currently under threat of legal action if we show any more.

Why is the evidence being kept back? I have seen the footage and in my opinion it is the best documentation yet.
Category: Angels & Heaven | Myths & Sagas |

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