Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Wednesday, 22. August 2007
Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason
Brand new stuff today!
Here you can watch both parts of Prof Richard Dawkins' new documentary "The Enemies of Reason" - following on from his attack on religion, "The Root of All Evil", in book form "The God Delusion" - sold a million copies (!). In his new television series he sets his sights at the whole new age carnival, including astrology, tarot, psychics, homeopathy and other 'gullibiligy'.
Dawkins is horrified that 25% of the British public has some belief in astrology – more than in any one established religion – and that more newspaper column inches are devoted to horoscopes than to science.
The gullible age by The Sunday Times.
Now the evolutionary biologist has turned his wrath on "new age" alternative therapies, describing them as based on "irrational superstition". Prof Dawkins says that alternative remedies constitute little more than a "money-spinning, multi-million pound industry that impoverishes our culture and throws up new age gurus who exhort us to run away from reality".
New age therapies cause 'retreat from reason' by The Telegraph.
So how many of these practitioners are crooks? “The psychics, I think, mostly are,” he says. “But with one spiritualist I couldn’t make out if he was a charlatan or not. It’s possible that they sort of know that they’re cold-reading, but they still think it’s the spirits channelling through them.”
Richard Dawkins and the New Age fakers by The Times.
Part 1, aired on Channel 4, 13 Aug 2007:
Prof Richard Dawkins tackles the epidemic of irrational, superstitious thinking which is blotting the light of logic and evidence. After garnering tips on psychics' entirely earthly trade secrets from the illusionist Derren Brown, Dawkins attends a seance and confronts the medium. Time and again, the interviewees appeal to personal revelation or second-hand anecdote to justify their belief. -- Channel 4
Part 2, aired on Channel 4, 20 Aug 2007:
Prof Richard Dawkins looks at how health has become a battleground between reason and superstition. A third of us now spend a total of over 1.6 billion a year on superstitious alternative remedies, but 80% of them have never been subjected to properly conducted trials. -- Channel 4
Richard Dawkins - The Root of All Evil?
Tuesday, 21. August 2007
Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People
This interactive online exhibition by Smithsonian, The National Museum of Natural History, is a MUST. Don't miss the videoclips!
See also: Origins of the Ainu | Ainu Legends | Find Your Way by NOVA online.
Category: Ethno & Shamanism |
Monday, 20. August 2007
Fairy Magic: Seeing Fairies
Folklore holds that fairies cannot be seen or noticed in any way unless they want you to observe them. That’s true to some extent, but developing “fairy sight,” the ability to perceive fairies, is easier than one might think. In this article I’ll share with you some of my fairy experiences, and how I’ve increased my ability to notice them.
Who are the fairies?
Fairies include a wide range of beings who populate nature and live in homes and buildings. Many people think fairies are tiny beings with wings, but they come in all shapes and sizes, from small balls of light to little humanoid beings to towering, angelic figures. There are different races of fairies, just as there are different races of humans.
Why contact fairies?
In earlier times, contacting fairies was not seen as a desirable activity. Fairies were believed to be dangerous and unpredictable, even hostile toward humans. They might kidnap you, bewitch you, play tricks on you or steal your children. Today our attitude has shifted: it is not only desirable but necessary to have an understanding of the beings in the natural landscape and in our homes and machines. In turn, fairies have responded with increased openness to mutually beneficial communication and work.
Knowledge about fairies and the ability to discern them is useful in personal spiritual work and also in paranormal investigations.
Read more ...
Category: Faeries & Nature Spirits |
Your Personal UFO
It's been the dream of every future-looking child since the 1900s - a personal, flying car! Now, this may no longer be part of a dream ...
No, the "M200X volantor" is not an alien invader. It's built for two. Basic models will hover about 10 feet off of the ground. And it is priced to move, at a low, low $125,000 (options not included). A fully-stocked model, including higher flight-ceiling and a "rescue configuration capable of docking with skyscrapers" will run more like $450,000.
They expect to make the Volantor available for purchase in 2008.
And yes - huh - I want one of those ...
For your "personal UFO" flight see also:
Just Too Cool: Interview & Podcast with Paul Moller, inventor of the flying car.
Moller Discojet brochure from 1974
Sunday, 19. August 2007
On this occasion, pilgrims from every nook and corner of India - speaking different languages and dialects, wearing distinctive markings on their foreheads, donning various types of dress and observing different manners and customs - meet together for a holy bath in the sacred waters. Wave after wave, the pilgrims formed a veritable river of humanity that flowed unto the banks of the Ganges at Allahabad to celebrate the greatest spiritual festival ever held - Kumbha Mela, the world's largest act of faith.
You may also like ...
The Kumbh Mela: An Indian Odyssey
Sacred site festivals in India, called melas, are a vital part of the pilgrimage tradition of Hinduism. Celebrating a mythological event in the life of a deity or an auspicious astrological period, the melas attract enormous numbers of pilgrims from all over the country. The greatest of these, the Kumbha Mela, is a riverside festival held four times every twelve years, rotating between Allahabad at the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati; Nasik on the Godavari; Ujjain on the Sipra; and Hardwar on the Ganges. Bathing in these rivers during the Kumbha Mela is considered an endeavor of great merit, cleansing both body and spirit. The Allahabad and Hardwar festivals are routinely attended by five million or more pilgrims (13 million visited Allahabad in 1977,18 million in 1989, and nearly 24 million in 2001) thus the Kumbha Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world. It may also be the oldest.
Two traditions are in circulation regarding the origin and timing of the festival: one that stems from ancient texts known as the Puranas, and the other that connects it with astrological considerations. The following chart gives the astrological periods of the four melas, and the years of their most recent and near future occurrences:
When Jupiter is in Aquarius and the Sun is in Aries during the Hindu month of Caitra (March-April); 1986, 1998, 2010, 2021.
When Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and the Sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha (January-February); 1989, 2001, 2012, 2024.
When Jupiter and the Sun are in Leo in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August-September); 1980, 1992, 2003, 2015.
When Jupiter is in Leo and the Sun is in Aries, or when Jupiter, the Sun, and the Moon are in Libra during the Hindu month of Vaisakha (April-May); 1980,1992, 2004, 2016.
Read more ...
Saturday, 18. August 2007
A profusion of color surrounds me as I sit on my deck: the bright-orange day lilies lining my street, the deep-blue summer sky, the forest-green trees reflected in the lake, plus the red, yellow, orange and rose flowers in my own yard. Colors provide us with some of life's simple pleasures, as Alice Walker rightly noted in her novel The Color Purple: "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
It has symbolic significance on religious paintings — for example, on Tibetan thangkas, medieval Christian canvasses, and Hindu yantras. It shouldn't surprise us to learn that color can also connect us with our inner vision in divination.
Visual stimuli contain two main elements: shape and color. Many visual divinations depend on identifying shapes. Color can provide similar oracular guidance, but I think it affects us in a deeper, more emotionally charged way. Why else would we talk about feeling blue? seeing red? being green with envy? calling someone yellow (cowardly)?
For Color Cards, Clothes Oracle, Food Colors ... Read more ...
Friday, 17. August 2007
Yoga for cold feet
Transcript of this video:
A lot of us have cold hands or feet and simply put up with it. Whilst persistent problems should be referred to your health practitioner, yoga can be very useful in restoring blood flow to the extremities – especially if you practise inverted postures in a way that is very relaxed and open.
Inverted positions which can be practised in a restorative way include:
setu bandha sarvangasana - bound bridge pose on bolsters or long, folded blankets,
halasana - plow pose,
adho mukha svanasana - downward facing dog.
These poses assist in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system response, which, in turn, assists the blood vessels to dilate, improving the overall circulation to the entire body. The inverted postures also make use of the force of gravity to promote venous return and, similarly, keep the cardiovascular system functioning optimally.
Head-down postures also stimulate baroreceptors (blood pressure sensors) in the neck and upper chest. This triggers a powerful reflex (the baroreflex) which inhibits the sympathetic nerves, causing the muscles surrounding blood vessels in the fingers and toes to relax. Relaxed muscles and soft tissue mean improved penetration and saturation of oxygenated blood.
Practise these postures supported by props to allow for complete muscle relaxation and comfort. Stay in each posture for a long, uninterrupted period of time to avoid additional stress or activation, and to allow plenty of time for excess norepinephrine that is circulating in the bloodstream to break down (this can take an hour or more).
Supported plough pose (halasana)
Begin lying on the floor with the knees bent. Straighten the knees to a 90 degree angle to the torso and press your arms firmly into the floor. Lift the hips and legs away from the floor and move them slowly over your head. If the feet do not touch the floor then ensure the hands remain on the lower back to support the weight of the legs. Relax as much as possible and do not move the head once the legs are lifted.
Remain here in a relaxed way, maintaining a smooth breath for as long as possible. Aim to remain in the pose for 2 to 5 minutes.
To release, bring the arms and hands to press firmly into the floor, and use the abdominal muscles to control the descent of the legs and spine.
Supported bridge pose (baddha setu bandasana)
Begin lying on the floor with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor. Ensure the feet and knees are hip width apart and the neck is long, shoulders moving away from the ears. Inhale, and then exhale to lift the hips off the floor. Rise onto the balls of the feet to acquire a little more height and then gently place a block, bolster cushion or stack of folded blankets under the sacrum.
Return the heels to the floor and relax in the pose, letting the pelvis be supported. Hold the pose using a deep, smooth breath for 2 to 5 minutes. To release, lift onto the balls of the feet and gently remove the support before unrolling the spine back to the floor.
These supported, head-down poses will not only warm your hands and feet, they will also leave you calm and refreshed.
You may also like ...
Yoga for Feet
Yoga for Energy
Yoga for Hypertension
Yoga for your next flight, DVT
Yoga: Sun Salutation
For more use the search function on the left.
Category: Yoga & Fitness |
Gessner’s Historiae Animalium & Topsell’s Beasts and Serpents
Animals - both - real and imaginary.
Swiss physician, naturalist, and author Konrad (Conrad) Gesner lived from 1516 to 1565. He published four volumes of the comprehensive Historiae Animalium between the years 1551 and 1563.
The Historiae included both real and fantastical animals. Each entry described the animal from Greek, Roman, Arab, and medieval sources, and added contemporary observations. A detailed woodcut depicted each animal, some made especially for the book, and others drawn from printed sources or borrowed from scientific colleagues.
Page through a virtual copy of Gessner's Historiae Animalium
or use Turning The Pages Gesner Gallery
Conrad Gesner's Thierbuch, Vogelbuch, Fischbuch, Schlangenbuch, De Scorpione - Reproductions of books.
Born in 1572, Topsell attended Cambridge before becoming a clergyman in the Church of England. He published 'The Reward of Religion' in 1596, and 'Time's Lamentation' in 1599. In 1604 Topsell became curate of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, a position he held until his death.
In 1607, Topsell published his magnificent illustrated work 'Historie of Foure-footed Beastes, Describing the True and Lively Figure of Every Beast'. The book was closely based on the 'Historiae Animalium' of Swiss author Conrad Gesner. In 1608 he followed it with 'The Historie of Serpents; Or the Second Booke of Living Creatures', which also drew on Gesner's Historiae. The woodcuts for both of Topsell's books came directly from Gesner's pages.
Topsell authored one more religious work in 1610 called 'The Householder'. He served as vicar and chaplain in various areas of England until his death in about 1638.
The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents by the University of Houston Libraries.
Thursday, 16. August 2007
Diableries are wonderfull examples of the fascination for death in 19th. Century photography and made with a lot of imagination and humour. Death in photography is seen in many different ways but here we see the subject in a less serious interpretation.
Click the picture for a larger view
Diablerie Introduction by Thomas Weynants.
To my knowledge, only one book is devoted interely on these fascinating views, written by Jac Remise, the same author of the well known "Magie Lumineuse" illustrating the Pre-cinema.
This book mention 72 different Diableries as one complete set. Perhaps this is true, Although I feel that some of the views do not all belong to one single set. Several other views mentioned in the 139 title list could be part of the majority of views depicted in Jac Remise's wonderfull publication.
Diableries : La Vie Quotidienne Chez Satan a la Fin du 19e Siecle. by Jac Remise.
Publisher: André Balland. Place Published: France. Date Published: 1978
Visual index: 72 different Diableries as one complete set.
Same set in stereo examples.
Other Stereo diableries NOT in the book by Jack Remise.
Most of the Stereo Diableries are anonymous, although 25 images depicted in the book have a signature in the plaster. The same names are occasionally also found on the diableries in the extented diablerie list wich proves their connection.
Three different names are found in the plaster of the "72" series. Hennetier (14), Habert (10), Cougny (1). I supose these names where not the creators of the Diablerie series but the sculptors who made the mouldings on demand. Cougny turns up only one time. Hennetier is mostly seen in this set and also in the other Diableries, subsequent to the number 72.
"Les odalisques de Satan"
View in 3D
"Le tribunal de Satan" Sculpture de Habert, 1863
More pictures at La collection d'appareils photo anciens de Sylvain Halgand.
Category: Demons & Devils |
Wednesday, 15. August 2007
Haiti UFOs - A Hoax
Last week, massive debates have been sparked online after witnesses recorded what appeared to be a pair of UFOs flying over the Caribbean island of Haiti.
Two pentagon shaped craft flying low over palm trees on the island were 'captured' on film and the footage, posted on Youtube, and have triggered speculation on the internet that a real UFO has been spotted.
It's entertaining, even if it's fake.
Now it can be proven that it is a hoax. The reason is that the palmtree background comes from the procedural landscapes associated with a video program called Vue 6. See these landscapes in Quicktime.
Please guys, no more fakes, some of us take this subject seriously. You have a great talent, but wouldn’t it be better if you sent these videos to a film studio? Maybe they would appreciate your skills more and perhaps even give you a job, that way you can still keep doing it and make some good money at the same time. -- American Chronicle
Shortly before those Haitian/Dominican videos, one of the biggest Youtube UFO sensations of 2007 was this one, allegedly from a source within the Italian Air Force.
That was quickly dismissed by the actual publicizer, Paola Harris, on UfoUpdates: "This old Film Footage I have been showing for 3 years and It was given to Us Italian Researchers… not By the Air force. It is our Technology."
Aliens? Our technology? Or also a fake? Here is the complete story:
That Italian Air Force UFO video by forgetomori,
based on the original dossier (in French) at ufofu.
The LA Times has uncovered the creator of the UFO over Haiti video:
Barzolff814? Why, he was the person who had posted the No. 1 Haiti video!
Barzolff, Sam said, wished to remain anonymous, but he was prepared to share the full story of the videos. I agreed not to reveal his real name. Then I was all ears as Sam began parroting into the phone the words I could hear Barzolff saying in the background.
The 35-year-old Barzolff is a professional animator who attended one of the most prestigious art schools in France and has a decade of experience with computer graphics and commercial animation.
It took Barzolff a total of 17 hours to make both the Haiti and Dominican Republic videos. He did it all by himself using a MacBook Pro and a suite of commercially available 3-D animation programs, including Vue 6. The videos are 100% computer-generated.
It came from outer space by David Sarno, Los Angeles Times.
Barzolff called the results of his experiment "entertaining, thrilling, completely addictive, and a little scary."
But the best thing is: Sarno asked 'Barzolff' if he could provide some sort of confirmation that he was indeed responsible for the video. 'Barzolff' posted another video called 'Naughty Grannies' on YouTube.
News & Stories
Pressure grows on Norway's psychic princess by Aftenposten.
Princess Martha Louise's story continues.
She admitted, though, that she can understand that "very many people have problems" understanding her venture. "I have a role as princess, and I understand that many are provoked when I move out of that role," she said. But she dismissed media criticism as "bullying," adding that if she'd attempted such a venture centuries ago, "I'd probably have been burned at the stake."
Gathering Draws Hundreds Hungry For UFO Evidence by CBS4. (With Video)
Story of the UFO symposium in Denver.
UFO investigators, or UFOlogists, say they're not prone to believe every flying saucer story they hear. Still, they say the photos and reported sightings are hard to ignore: they could possibly be secret military inventions or alien visitors.
"This is a real phenomenon. We don't know what it is, but it's absolutely real."
Another U. K. Wheat Formation in August 18th Countdown by Earthfiles.
Map reveals ancient urban sprawl by BBC.
The great medieval temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once at the centre of a sprawling urban settlement, according to a new, detailed map of the area. Using Nasa satellites, an international team have discovered at least 74 new temples and complex irrigation systems.
Can a blind psychic really see into the minds of murderers? by Daily Mail.
Adapted from Second Sight by Sharon Neill.
Sharon Neill, 42, who lost her sight at birth, is one of the best-known psychic mediums in Britain. In her new autobiography, Second Sight, Sharon describes how she first discovered she might be psychic, and how as a teenager she identified the events surrounding the abduction and murder of a girl.
On the hunt of Faeries by Whitehaven News.
Lapis lazuli - decorative, medicinal and sexy by Turkish Daily News.
Deep blue beauty and royalty!
Lapis lazuli has not only been considered royal, it was thought to have also had occult powers. We see it used in religious ceremonies such as any conducted from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and as a holy stone with magical powers. The stone was part of the pantheon of minerals that was thought to cure fevers and get rid of depression and melancholy.
Some news-links do not last long. In this case please send me a note.
Category: News & Stories |
Tuesday, 14. August 2007
If you listen to and like George Winston, Vangelis, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, David Lanz, Enya or other New Age piano and instrumental music, you'll love Yanni. Some New Age music artists play guitar, flute, harp or just piano. Yanni uses a full orchestra.
Enjoy a little taste of heaven!
To the video above: 1997, Yanni became one of the few Western artists permitted to perform and record at the Taj Mahal in India. Later that year he performed at the Forbidden City in China. From these two events he created his live album and video, Tribute, which was released in the same year.
To the next video: Yanni's breakthrough commercial success came with the release of his album and video, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, which was filmed on September 23, 1993 at the 2,000-year-old Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, Greece, and released in 1994.
Enjoy also at the violin Karen "Lady in Red" Briggs ...
Next is a rare complete music video of Yanni's composition "Desire" from the Live At Albert Hall, London concert. Featuring Yanni, Pedro Eustache, Karen Briggs, Charlie Adams, and Ming Freeman.
If you are a true Yanni fan, you'll find the difference/addition in this video compared to other "Desire" videos online.
Another rare complete music video of Yanni also live from the Albert Hall, London:
And last but not least: A Yanni Interview. He talks about his creative process, his 'If I Could Tell You' album, his Florida home, his recording studio, and performing at the Taj Mahal and the Forbidden City, his website and his fans.
Although many fans and critics call his music "new age," Yanni himself has distanced from that label. In his autobiography, Yanni devotes an entire chapter to the subject, stating that he prefers to call his music "contemporary instrumental."
Yanni - The Official Website (with Yanni Radio)
Yanni Music at Last FM
More Clips at YouTube & Google
Category: Music & Voices |
Monday, 13. August 2007
The Moon Sign & Health Problems
The Moon represents the more impressionist side and the inner feelings and emotions portraying us from within. It indicates how we express our nurturing instinct and the style of immediate emotional-feeling response to experiences.With an altogether mysterious side, Moon shows our hidden aspects.
The Moon goes through all the Zodiac within its 28 day cycle and enters a new zodiac sign approximately every 2 1/2 days. The position of the transiting moon (moon's current position) helps determine the general moods of people.
Now let's have a look to health problems shown by the moon:
The body's ability to function is ruled by the moon. The biological material we inherit at birth is dealt with by the sun, but how well it all works is the moon's department. The sign the moon occupies at birth will always be important in health considerations and its aspects will tell us much about what can go wrong--and why. This is in addition to any information we can obtain through the study of the person's sixth house, of course.
As a general rule, it has greater influence over women and deals with the entire female reproductive function, pregnancy, nursing and menopause. It is the primary indicator of fertility and tells the astrologer whether the woman will bear children and about how many.
In a man's chart, however, the moon points to the same areas of the body that it does in the female: the breasts, stomach and abdomen. It also has influence over the endocrine system in both sexes although it does not carry sole rulership in that area. Swelling and fluid retention belong to the moon, as well as sweating (too much or too little).
There is also another point to be mentioned. All moon positions partake of the cross - that is, all cardinal moons can produce any of the cardinal-type problems, all fixed moons can produce symptoms of any of the fixed signs and so also, the mutable signs. For instance, a Leo moon can have a Taurus throat problem as well as an Aquarian circulation difficulty or a Scorpio irritable bowel and the resultant diarrhea.
Health for each moon sign: Read more ...
Sunday, 12. August 2007
Angels in History and Cultures
They are the link between heaven and earth: Who are the angels, where do they come from and what is their purpose and meaning? Why is it that now more people than ever before are reporting angelic experiences?
This documentary is an exploration of the enduring mythic and symbolic presence of angels in human history for more than three thousand years. Further an exploration of their influence on humankind and society both in the past and in modern times. Includes interviews and information about peoples personal experience with angels, and visits 'New Age' seminars where meditations leads seekers to their guardian angels.
It's similar to the movie 'Entertaining Angels Unawares' - but this docu is probably the original, an Opus Television production for S4C.
"Behold, I send an angel to you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared." - Exodus 23:20-21
"For every soul, there is a guardian watching it." - The Koran
"There is an unseen hand, a guiding angel, that somehow, like a submerged propeller, drives us on." - Rabindranath Tagore
"Make yourself familiar with angels, and behold them frequently in spirit for without being seen, they are present with you." - Saint Francis de Sales
Saturday, 11. August 2007
Category: Games & Humor |