Thursday, 31. January 2008
Starry Night Gadget

The Starry Night gadget below will show you the position of the stars in your location. Click 'Toronto, Canada' at the top of the gadget to enter your zip code, or enter your latitude/longitude coordinate. The view will change to show your sky. Find your exact geo position go here (very fast), here or here.
In German here.



Cool! Get your own: Starry Night Gadget!
Category: Astrology & Astronomy |




News & Stories

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Could there be proof to the theory that we're ALL psychic? by Daily Mail.
That is what Dr Roe is investigating. A parapsychologist based at the University of Northampton, he is examining whether it could indeed be possible to project your "mind's eye" to a distant location and observe what is going on - even if that place is hundreds of miles away. And though the research is not yet complete, the results have been tantalising. His early findings suggest that up to 85 per cent of people may possess some form of clairvoyance - the ability to "remote view". And he believes that with only a modicum of training we can all sharpen our psychic skills. "Our results are significant," says Dr Roe.

Easter Island: the future's not set in stone by The Telegraph.
As the first luxury hotel opens on Easter Island, Michelle Jana Chan reports from a location that's not as isolated as it was. They must have been even more of a surprise for the 18th-century European explorers who stumbled across this craggy outcrop, especially when, on closer inspection, the adventurers spied the forbidding backs of giant stone statues standing sentinel along the coastline. Captain Cook wrote in his journal in March, 1774: "This is the farthest we have come."

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Is There a Third State of Being? by ABC News.
They call it resuscitation science. The line between life and death is shifting. Historically, doctors have defined clinical death as the point at which either the heart irreversibly stops beating or the brain shows no signs of activity according to Dr. Benjamin Abella, the center's clinical research director. "But researchers … now believe there's a third state of being that hovers somewhere between life and death -- a place where most of the body's cells are still alive, but neither of these two classical signs of life are present," Dr. Abella said.

Video: Gandhi's Ashes Spread by National Geographic News
Sixty years to the day after his assassination, some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were scattered across the Arabian Sea Wednesday. Descendents of India's iconic, nonviolent leader took part in the ceremonies.

See the video right here: Gandhi's Ashes Spread



Gravity: the 'Holy Grail' of physics by BBC.
Isaac Newton wrote down his theory of gravity in 1689, and his equations are used to this day to send space probes to the outer edges of our Solar System. So what could possibly be wrong with our understanding of it? There are problems with Newton's theory, however. It doesn't quite describe the orbit of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, and as Newton knew very well it has nothing to say about what the force of gravity actually is.

Mystery of missing Da Vinci sequel by Times Online.
He wrote The Da Vinci Code, which became one of the bestselling books in history. For an encore, Dan Brown is serving up another literary mystery, though not the one his fans had hoped for – what on earth has happened to his next book? Almost five years have passed since Brown’s epic account of Vatican skulduggery and long-hidden secrets stormed to the top of bestseller lists around the globe.

Last glimpse inside ancient enigma by BBC.
Old Egypt hands could be forgiven for thinking that the terrible shark's fin that I'm talking about is the sort of thing that looms in your windshield as you're driving through the suburbs of Cairo. But they'd be wrong. Or they'd be half-right. Silbury Hill is a pile of chalk just off the A4 in Wiltshire but it's been called "Europe's answer to the pyramids".

Video from the site: Inside Silbury Hill (10:31). Click the Play button.




Supernatural studies in the material world by San Francisco Chronicle.
One doesn't typically get the chills during a PowerPoint presentation in a well-heated conference room. But ghost stories were the hot topic at a two-day event in San Francisco's Cowell Theater billed as the first scientific conference on the afterlife for a general audience. Take, for example, a tale spun by "Professor Paranormal" Loyd Auerbach, a former teacher in the now-closed parapsychology department of Pleasant Hill's John F. Kennedy University, about a ghost named Lois.

Vegetarianism proves to be perversion of nature by Pravda.
To produce a cell is not an easy process for the human body. Being a parent to all cells, a human being is supposed to be responsible for all of them. The human body is unable to generate all substances necessary for the production of cells. It has only 12 or 20 protein amino acids required for the process. The remaining chemicals are supposed to be delivered with food. Each and every human cell is supposed to be supplied with first class animal protein.

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Haunted America: The Stanley Hotel by The Anchor.
The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colo., has nearly a century of history. The hotel was also the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel, the setting for Stephen King's masterpiece The Shining. It has also hosted some famous names such as Stephen King, Theodore Roosevelt, and even the Emperor and Empress of Japan. But the Stanley may be hosting more than just guests. It has been the site of numerous reports of supposed hauntings.


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




Wednesday, 30. January 2008
Be at Ease

Enjoy a relaxing atmosphere!

Pictures by Hans Georg Leiendecker
Music by Amethystium - 'Fable' from the Album 'Evermind'

Category: Art & Visions | Music & Voices | Poetry & Inspirations |


Rose Window

These circular windows, often found in medieval churches and Gothic architecture, are generally ornamented with stained glass and stone tracery laid out in round, radiating, shaft patterns. Since the pattern often resembles a rose with radiating petals, the term 'rose window' is often misattributed to the flower; in fact, the 17th century name likely stems from the Old French word roué, meaning wheel. What role did the crusaders play in the spread of this decorative window style?

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Colored window in the church "Himmelfahrtskirche" Dresden-Leuben, Germany (1901)


What is the meaning behind a rose window? Many contemporary authors wax on about Jungian psychology and the rose window as a mandala, which represents the "expression of human aspiration towards wholeness and coherence." [2, p.10] Mandalas have existed in Eastern religion and philosophy for centuries, and in modern thinking, the medieval rose window serves much the same purpose. The rose window operates on many levels: spiritual, meditative, and emotional. Abbot Suger's observations underscore how deep an emotional and spiritual chord is struck by the play of light that passes through the glass. The instructional aspect of rose windows is plainly visible by the subjects chosen for display in each petal--the medieval calendar year, the virtues and vices, the saints, etc.

In much the same way the center of Eastern mandalas depict the "godhead" or divine aspect of the world, so do rose windows. Typically Christ or the Virgin and Christ are found in the central rosette of most windows. In eastern philosophy, there are many paths to reach the divine, and these are represented by "gates" at the cardinal points of the mandala. By the same token, saints depicted in the petals of a rose window can be seen as intermediaries (or paths) to Christ.

Simply following the tracery with the eye and taking in the patterns found in a rose window can put one into a very calm or meditative mood. Meditation is very much like and is be very conducive to prayer. Although placing one into a meditative or prayerful state may not have been a direct intent of the rose window, it is certainly a benefit!

-- The Rose Window by THL Eldred Ælfwald

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Wagon Wheel Rose Windows of the Medieval Norman Cathedrals of Puglia


The Rose Window
Painton Cowen's website, with many good images of rose windows.

Tips & Tricks to Gothic Geometry - How to design a rose window.

Geometry of the North Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral by Michael S. Schneider.
See also The West Rose Window of The Cathedral Of St. John The Divine in New York City and The Rose Window of Grace Cathedral San Francisco.

Wagon Wheel Rose Windows of the Medieval Norman Cathedrals of Puglia
Great photos by Adrian Fletcher.
See also The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres.

More History, Style and Reginal Examples at Wiki.

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North Rose Stained Glass Window at Chartres Cathedral, France


"Sacred architecture is not, as our time chooses to see it,
a 'free' art, developed from 'feelings' and 'sentiment',
but it is an art strictly tied by and developed from the laws of geometry."
-- Fredrik Macody Lund
Category: Buildings & Places | Symbols & Geometry |


Tuesday, 29. January 2008
Mythweb: Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Mythology

Mythweb is a website that covers the basics of Greek mythology. Its offhand narrative style and comical cartoon illustrations make it an entertaining refresher for myth-lovers of any age.

Writer Joel Skidmore and political cartoonist Mark Fiore teamed up to produce the most eye-catching portion of the site — the Heroes' stories. Here, you'll find short and snappy recaps of the stories of Hercules, Perseus, Odysseus and more, complete with colorful snapshot cartoons, some of which are animated. The site also features profiles on the major Greek gods as well as short takes on the familiar stories of King Midas, Atlas, Tantalus and others, explaining how they are still relevant today.

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If a hero is properly defined as somebody who does something dangerous to help somebody else, then the heroes of Greek mythology do not qualify. They were a pretty selfish bunch, often with additional antisocial tendencies thrown into the bargain--in other words, not exactly role models for the younger generation of today. But knowing their names and exploits is essential for understanding references in literature and even popular culture today. So let's recognize and celebrate Hercules and Perseus and the others by their proper dictionary definition: "In mythology and legend, a man or woman, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his or her bold exploits, and favored by the gods."

Illustrated Stories of the Heroes of Greek Mythology

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There you'll see an icon for the hero Jason, who was in line to become the king of Iolcus before his wicked uncle usurped the throne. As a child Jason was entrusted to the protection of a kindly centaur. This creature, half-man and half-horse, saw to it that Jason got an education suitable for the great quest that lay in store for him. This was nothing other than to journey to the furthest ends of the known world in search of a magical golden fleece guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.

The myth of Jason, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece


Son of the supreme god Zeus himself, Hercules was the greatest of the heroes. To atone for a crime committed in a fit of madness, he was challenged to perform a series of heroic tasks, or Labors. Among them were retrieving the golden apples of the Hesperides from a dragon-guarded garden at the far end of the world, killing the many-headed monstrous Hydra, and bringing the hellhound Cerberus up from the underworld of the dead.

The myth of Hercules


As told by the blind minstrel Homer in his great epic The Odyssey, the tale of Odysseus is one of the highlights of Greek mythology. The Trojan War has finally come to an end after nine long years, and now the hero must make his way home to his faithful wife and son. But the homecoming will be long delayed as Odysseus faces perils like the enchantress Circe who turns his men into animals, giants who bombard his ships to smithereens, the angry god Poseidon who stirs up a hurricane, and the one-eyed Cyclops who wants Odysseus for his dinner.

Homer's Odyssey

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And then there's a complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology, a handy (and searchable) index of characters and terms. So if you don't have time for the full story and just need to know who exactly the Harpies were, or whatever happened to Orion, this is the place.
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics |


SpellSpace - Free Tarot Readings

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You must be serious and think deeply about your question, issue and problem when you start shuffling your cards. If you think about too many things at once, then your reading can be confusing.

Click on the cards three times to shuffle three times. This allows your energy, thoughts and questions to come into the cards. Then click on the cards one last time to shuffle and lay out your reading. Click on any of the cards to reveal your reading. The reading is laid out in the traditional Celtic Cross and we walk you through each of the positions, starting with a current situation going on in your life.
Then click on "next position" to walk you through each of the 9 positions.


SpellSpace - Free Tarot Readings
NOTE: Do this for entertainment purposes only (with a little bit of live and learn along the way ... ) enjoy!


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Category: Tarot & Oracles |


Monday, 28. January 2008
Spectacular Sky Show: Venus, Jupiter and the Moon

The most spectacular celestial sights over the next couple of weeks are reserved for the early morning sky. Two bright planets will converge, then be joined by the moon.

Kenneth L. Franklin (1923-2007), the former Chairman and Chief Astronomer at New York's Hayden Planetarium, would often make reference to our "dynamic and ever-changing sky."

Such an eloquent description certainly fits our current morning sky, for these final days of January and the first days of February will be an exceptional time for predawn sky watchers with a beautiful pairing of the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter. They will appear closest together in the dawn sky of Friday, Feb. 1, and a few mornings later, the waning crescent moon will later drop by to join them.


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Before sunrise on February 1,
Venus and Jupiter will appear low in the southeastern sky,
as seen from midnorthern latitudes.


Dazzling "double planet"

For the past several months, dazzling Venus has been prominent in our morning sky. And about a week ago, brilliant Jupiter also began to emerge from out of the glare of the Sun.

The two planets are currently rising out of the east-southeast horizon about two hours before sunrise.

From now through the end of January, the gap between the two will noticeably close, until on Feb. 1 they'll be separated by just over one-half degree, which is roughly the apparent width of the moon (The width of your fist, held at arm's length roughly corresponds to 10 degrees). Jupiter will shine brilliantly at magnitude -1.9, yet it will appear only 1/7 as bright as Venus, which will gleam at magnitude -4.0.

Together they will make for a spectacular "double planet" low in the dawn twilight. In the mornings thereafter they will appear to slowly separate, but before they have a chance to get too far apart the moon will join the picture.

Celestial summit meeting

At last quarter (half) phase on Jan. 30, the moon will stand alone, high toward the south at sunrise. But with each passing morning, as it wanes to a slender crescent, it will shift toward the east, ultimately into the same region of the sky as our two planets.

Early on Sunday morning, Feb. 3, the moon will sit well off to the west (right) of the planets. On the following morning, Monday, Feb. 4, the show will reach its peak when, about 45 minutes before sunrise, Venus, Jupiter and the moon — the three brightest objects of the night sky — will form a striking isosceles triangle, with the two planets 3 degrees apart and the moon marking the vertex of the triangle just over 5 degrees below the "dynamic duo."

Imagine the astrological significance that the ancients might have ascribed to a celestial summit meeting such as this!

You might want to check your southeast horizon in advance to make sure that there are no tall trees or buildings that might obstruct your view of the moon which will be sitting very low to the horizon.

Like a painting, this celestial tableau might, at first glance may appear rather flat and one-dimensional. But by gazing at this scene long enough, our minds can perhaps picture these objects strung out across the solar system, along our line of sight as they really are.

Beyond our moon — figuratively a stone's throw away at 247,000 miles (397,000 kilometers) — we first reach Venus, about 510 times farther out, or 126 million miles (203 million kilometers) from Earth. The lesser gem flanking Venus — Jupiter, largest of all the planets — is nearly 4 and a half times more distant than Venus at a distance of 560 million miles (901 million kilometers).

Generally speaking, at least for the immediate future, conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter will come in pairs. The first conjunction takes place in the morning sky, followed about 10 months later by another in the evening sky. Then, after about two and a half years, Venus and Jupiter are again in conjunction, again in the morning sky.

When Venus and Jupiter next get together, it will be in the evening sky late next fall, on Dec. 1. After that, we'll have to wait until May 2011 (morning sky) and Mar. 2012 (evening sky) for the next set of Venus-Jupiter conjunctions.


Source: Nightsky by Space.com

See also:
Venus Image Gallery
Jupiter Image Gallery
Category: Astrology & Astronomy | Events & Meetings |


Kalighat Pictures: Indian Gods

Eye Candy! Digitized Kalighat paintings from 19th century Calcutta, created as inexpensive souvenirs for Hindu pilgrims visiting the famous temple of Kali.

Kalighat Pictures: Indian Gods - 26 illustrations, circa 1875, by the Oxford Digital Library. Click on 'Open Item'.

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Balarama, brother of Krishna
Category: Art & Visions | Gods & Goddesses |


Sunday, 27. January 2008
In Search of Myths and Heroes: The Queen Of Sheba

'In Search of Myths and Heroes' was a four-part PBS series with historian and author Michael Wood. He embarks on a set of "on the ground" adventures in search of the world's most famous myths: the Queen of Sheba, King Arthur, Shangri-La, and Jason and the Golden Fleece. The series examines not only why legends were created but how they have been used -- both politically and culturally -- over the years, and why we still need them today.

'The Queen Of Sheba' was the the first episode of his series. Immortalised in the Hebrew Bible, the Muslim Koran and in many Christian traditions, the tale of the Queen's journey to Jerusalem to meet (and sleep with) King Solomon has been told and retold for nearly three thousand years, right down to Hollywood. In Africa and Arabia it is still told today, and one of the features of these films is their use of storytellers to counterpoint Michael's travels on the ground.

His journey starts on Easter night in Jerusalem and takes us round the Red Sea to Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia, and the lost world of Axum, the little-known first civilisation of Black Africa. In the Yemen Michael explores the stunning monuments of Marib, the earliest civilisation of Arabia. Still virtually unknown to the outside world these are sure to prove eye openers to the TV audience.

But Michael is also looking for a living story, and on the journey he discovers the legend of the Queen of Sheba alive in Arabia and Ethiopia, where she is still viewed as the mother of the nation, whose son brought the mythical Lost Ark of the Covenant back to Axum - where it still resides today!

"Hollywood made Sheba the lover of Solomon", says Michael, "and they made her white. In Africa she's black-and a woman of power; in Arabia she's half woman half demon. But the tale of her transformations -from exotic and mysterious alien to eternal female, from fantasy mother and lover, to cloven footed demon- is a parable of so many women of power throughout history!"
-- Maya Vision International, Michael Wood's production company.


Enjoy 'In Search of Myths and Heroes: The Queen Of Sheba' by BBC / PBS, 2005.
Duration: 59 minutes.



Related Entries:
Queen of Sheba - Behind the Myth (another video)

In Search of Myths and Heroes: King Arthur
In Search of Myths and Heroes: Jason And The Golden Fleece
In Search of Myths and Heroes: Shangri-La

You may also like:
Explore Four Powerful Myths: In Search of Myths and Heroes by PBS.
The Queen Of Sheba by Michael Wood, BBC.
The Story of the Queen of Sheba - Understanding the Legend by Awakened Woman e-magazine.
BBC: The Story of Africa with a subsection on the Ethiopian Sheba story, including some interesting bits of audio.
The Queen of Sheba and Her Only Son Menyelek (I) or, The KEBRA NAGAST translated by E. A. Wallis Budge.
Category: Movies & TV | Myths & Sagas |


Saturday, 26. January 2008
Be Your Own Doctor with Foot Reflexology

Like Acupuncture or Acupressure, Reflexology is a science of stimulating specific points on the surface of the body (e.g., on soles), which have a correspondence or a link with the internal organs.

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However, unlike Acupuncture, no needles or special instruments are required.

You can treat yourself in your own home, at any convenient time.


  • Are you tired of medicines?
  • Do you wish to treat minor ailments yourself?
  • Do you lack drive and vitality?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?
  • Do you frequently take ill?
  • Do you wish to retain youthfulness forever?
  • Do you want to increase your sexual power?

Then turn to Reflexology. The book gives laymen and professionals alike, a step by step guidance of pressure therapy to preserve health, alleviate pain and control/cure diseases.


Be Your Own Doctor with Foot Reflexology
by Dr. Dhiren Gala, Dr D.R. Gala, Dr. Sanjay Gala.
Navneet Publication, 2005 | 140 pages | PDF | 16.2 MB


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Click the picture for a larger view
Category: Body & Health | Books & Magazines |


Awakening the Third Eye

A step by step method to awaken the third eye and engage spiritual vision. A manual packed with practical information and techniques on clairvoyance, dowsing land energies, psychic sleep, perceiving acupuncture meridians, psychic protection and grounding. The book also presents a number of fundamental principles of the Clairvision work.

Introduction:
This book describes a systematic process to open the third eye.
It has been written for those who cannot be satisfied with only an intellectual understanding of spiritual realities and who wish to gain access to direct experience. The development of spiritual vision requires the patient building of some new ‘organs’ of energy, of which the third eye is an essential member. These new structures are not physical, nevertheless they are very real and tangible. Once fully developed, the perceptions coming through them appear clearer, sharper and far more substantial than those coming from the physical senses.
A number of techniques will be described which aim at a methodical cultivation of this new form of perception.

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Awakening the Third Eye by Samuel Sagan.
Clairvision, 2007 | 290 pages | PDF | 1.5 MB
Category: Books & Magazines | Meditation & Mind |


Friday, 25. January 2008
Positive Vibrations of the Day

The power of nature is truly magnificent!
Relax and enjoy this amazing footage.
Music by Oliver Shanti & Friends - Sacral Nirvana (Nature) from 'Tai Chi Too'.

Category: Poetry & Inspirations |


Tasseography

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy or tassology) is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments.
Did you know that your coffee cup holds clues about yourself, your present and your future?

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Coffee Tasseography:
Fortune Telling with Coffee

It has been done for more than a thousand years in many areas of the world. The most common form of tasseography that is done today is tea leaf reading. Normally, I prefer to do tea leaf reading. I think that the tea leaves are a little bit bigger and it is a less messy process. Sometimes, however, people will specially request coffee-ground reading. Both work the same way: after drinking the liquid, the grounds of coffee or leaves of tea that are left behind in the cup create the symbols that, interpreted well, may be the psychic key to a person's future.


This activity requires at least two people. Although some people believe that they can read their own fortune, many do not. I don't even bother trying to do my own. To me, it's only entertaining as a group activity.

Many people consider this an occult practice. Personally, I don't think that there is anything supernatural or evil about it, but I also don't recommend putting much faith in it either way. I advise that it be enjoyed as entertainment only. Please don't make important decisions based upon fortune-telling of any kind.

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Image with permission from PS-Magazine


Setting up
Choose the old-fashioned kind of coffee cup, similar to a tea cup. It should be rather shallow and wide. You should choose a white or light-colored porcelain cup; never use a black mug.

Preparing the Coffee
Normally, by the time you drink your coffee, there are no grounds in your cup. So I'll tell you how to go about preparing the coffee.

Boil water. Use the same amount of coffee that you normally use. You should not attempt to do this with pre-ground, canned or instant coffee - the coffee will probably taste unbearable and you may end up drinking too many coffee grounds, leaving you with nothing to work with.

Measure your coffee. 1 tablespoon for every 6 oz. of water is a good ratio, but you make it to your own taste. Boil the coffee on the stove top. This doesn't make the best tasting coffee, but if you don't boil the coffee grounds, the grounds will float in your coffee cup and make it difficult for you to drink the coffee.

Pour the coffee into the cup without filtering the coffee grounds. Most of the coffee grounds should settle to the bottom of the cup. If you don't have enough to obscure the bottom of the cup, you can manually add a spoonful of grounds from the coffee-pot into the cup. Add sugar and milk to taste. You can stir the drink as much as you'd like. This will stir up the grounds, but they'll re-settle on the bottom of the cup a moment later.

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Image with permission from PS-Magazine

Drinking the Coffee
Drink the coffee and enjoy a good conversation. As you near the bottom of the cup, try not to swallow the grounds. You can use your lips as a sieve to strain the coffee. One technique that I recommend is to try to stay ahead of the coffee grounds. When you are trying to consume the last of the liquid, turn the coffee cup slowly while you are drinking so that you can strain the liquid from the grounds. Drink as much of the liquid as possible.


The Ritual
People seem to like a certain amount of ritual to their entertainment, so I've created one, although I don't think that it is required. After drinking the liquid, I have the subject turn the coffee cup over onto the saucer, then turn the coffee cup three times to the right. The subject should then put his or her hands on the cup and make a wish.

Vibes
Part of "fortune telling" in general, and coffee cup reading in particular, is tuning into the "vibes" of the subject.
For me, it's a a pulsing of my blood and a feeling of warmth, as if a wave is running through my arm. If you don't feel anything, you might try to jumpstart the process. Ask the subject to concentrate on his/her wish, and to send that message to you through his/her arm and hand into your body.

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Symbols and Significance
The interpreter (or psychic, as the case may be) should hold the cup in one hand, and hold the left or right hand of the subject. The interpreter will be looking for images in the coffee grounds. The process is similar to gazing at clouds and "seeing" symbols and images in your mind's eye.

When I read a person's cup for the first time, I usually see some sort of a tree. Sometimes it is an oak, sometimes a willow or palm. I interpret this to be the person's tree of life. A heavy root structure (or lack of it) tells me that about the person's relationship with the family. Sometimes I'll see a tree that leans to one side or that is lopsided, indicating that the subject is concentrating too much energy in one area of his/her life.

Other symbols can be interpreted, with varying significance. I usually use my imagination and past experiences to interpret the symbols. Here is a (very) short list of my interpretation of some common symbols.

Apple: Fertility and creativity.
Arch: Money in business matters.
Bread: Nurture your desires, hopes and dreams.
Bridge: A major decision needs to be made - which way should you go?
Camera: Someone is attracted to you.
Coins: Money is on the way.
Diamonds: A marriage proposal is expected? If the person is married, this may be a symbol of money and material wealth.
Flowers: Flowers indicate happiness.
Genie Lamp: Your wish will be granted.
Harp: Traditional romance.
Heart: A love affair, if the heart is broken or misshapen then the person is broken-hearted.
Knots: Concern over something, take care that it does not negatively affect your health.
Road: Creative opportunities are bringing you to another level.
Ship: A business opportunity is presenting itself.

[Note: See the link to the symbol guide below]

Meaning and Time
Not all cups tell the future. If the subject is wary of "fortune telling," the cup will be a general cup, and often the cup will be general if this is the first reading for the subject. Sometimes too, the cup may not be about what will actually happen, it will instead reflect what the subject wants or fears will happen in the near future.

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Image with permission from PS-Magazine

If the cup holds overwhelmingly negative symbols: symbols of death and treachery, the cup is probably a manifestation of the subject's fears, not what will actually happen.

If the cup is about the future, however, the placement of the image in the cup is important to understand. I believe that the cup relates to only about 4 months into the future. The images at the bottom of the cup relate to something that is farther away, while the rim represents the present time.


Conclusion
I don't believe that events are predetermined; I think that people make their own reality and future based upon a series of everyday actions and decisions. The reading merely represents an opportunity for the subject to examine the way that subject spends his/her energy. Thus, fortune telling gives the subject insight into him/herself in a new way. Your coffee clutch will really enjoy this fun little exercise, and it can start some unusual discussions that give you great insight into the hopes, dreams, concerns and fears of friends.

Source: Coffee Tasseography – Fortune Telling with Coffee by Margaret Wallauer.


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You may also like:
Tasseography - How to Read Tea Leaves, with huge Symbol Guide.

Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves by 'A Highland Seer', from Project Gutenberg.

Telling Fortunes By Tea Leaves by Cicely Kent, 1922.

The Future In A Cup: Tea, Or Coffee? by Sahar Huneidi.

Turkish Coffee Cup Reading by PS Magazine.


Tassegraphy:

Category: Readings & Divination |


Thursday, 24. January 2008
Shakuhachi

Transcript of this Video:

In the 1970s, Australian Andrew MacGregor heard the unique sounds of the shakuhachi flute on a rock and roll recording by Leon Russell - and he loved it.

Andrew followed that sound to its source and became a student of Japanese master Tadashi Tajima, and then a teacher and an internationally renowned performer.

The shakuhachi flute gets its name from its length, being originally one foot (isshaku) and eight units (hassun). Traditional shakuhachi flutes are crafted from bamboo, but modern flutes are often made from wood or plastic and, according to Andrew, can be of an excellent standard.

"The quality of the sound of a shakuhachi is really a function only of the internal dimensions. Some people say that the bamboo gives it a special character but, according to acoustic theory, it doesn’t really matter and our students use plastic flutes and they sound wonderful."

A well-made plastic flute is perfect for a beginner and about one tenth of the price of a bamboo flute.

Playing the shakuhachi requires extreme concentration. Players focus on each note – its shape, sound and quality – and this focus can induce a meditative state. "If you think too much about the meaning of the music and get caught up in the emotion of the sounds, the point is kind of lost," Andrew explains.



A shakuhachi only has five holes but you can play almost any pitch by covering half of the holes or using different fingering.

"With a shakuhachi you make a sound by blowing across this blowing edge which is made by just cutting the bamboo on an angle, and it’s called the utaguchi, the singing mouth of the flute. It’s a little bit like a recorder. The recorder has a voice box which directs the air exactly over the edge, but we have to do that ourselves so sometimes it’s very difficult to get started, but if we direct the air exactly onto that edge we can get a sound.

"And once we get more confident with that we have the added advantage that we can change the sound by changing the way we blow and you can’t do that with something like a recorder.

"So we can make a nice round sound. Or by changing the way we blow – changing our embouchure – we can make that sound a little bit harder; we can make it breathy, like the wind blowing through the bamboo leaves in a forest. Or we can make it violent."

It is a difficult instrument for beginners, as even a note is hard to achieve at first, but the rewards of learning to play outweigh the difficulty. Playing a shakuhachi is relaxing and uplifting. The extended out-breath needed to form the note relaxes both the muscles and the mind. Playing the instrument requires both discipline and creativity.

The instrument itself is extremely expressive and many people play for self-expression. There are so many different sounds you can get.

"As a performer, you have to be a little bit careful because as one of my teachers says, ‘Andrew, only monks play for themselves’."

As a performer you have to remember you have an audience!

Often the music of the shakuhachi, particularly traditional Zen Buddhist compositions, tells a story or describes an image, and the player focuses on this to inspire their performance.

"We’re taught these pieces in great detail and we have to follow exactly the way our teacher plays it. But once we learn it, we internalise it, and we create our own image and we mix that with out own life biography, and the piece can change quite dramatically from teacher to student. And especially when you are performing, it’s very important, I think, to rise above your personal issues and the mundanity of everyday life and try and have an image that is universal and comes from something greater than ourselves at least."

You always have your own image, whether you are communicating to the universe or to an audience. This is what makes the playing individual.



You may also like ...
The Shakuhachi Forum - World Shakuhachi Discussion.
The Shakuhachi Blog - Infos and Clips
Category: Music & Voices |


News & Stories

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Native Americans' full moon names for 2008 by MSNBC.
Full moon names were bestowed by the Native Americans of what is now the northern and eastern United States. A few hundred years ago, those tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. Here is a listing of all the full moon names, as well as the dates and times for 2008. Unless otherwise noted, all times are for the Eastern Time Zone.

Texas UFO Mystery Solved? by CBS11TV. WITH VIDEO.
The mystery of the Stephenville UFOs might have been solved. Today the Air Force Reserve said on the night of January 8, ten F-16 fighter jets were conducting training flights in the area. Many of the suspected UFO sightings took place on that night. Originally, the 301st Fighter Wing at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base said none of its jets were in the area that night. In a statement today, a Wing spokesman says they made a mistake and that jets were flying in the Stephenville area that evening. The Air Force no longer investigates UFOs.

Also: Military Offers Reason For UFO Reports by NBC5i. Also with video.

Life on Mars? Amazing photos from Nasa probe reveal mystery figure on Red Planet by Daily Mail. WITH PICTURES. And here is a video.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has set the Internet abuzz with claims that there really is life on the red planet. Others may well feel that it is simply an optical illusion caused by a landscape. The image was among many sent back to Earth by Spirit, Nasa's Mars explorer vehicle which landed there four years ago. Initial inspections revealed nothing unusual, but closer examination by amateur astronomers has thrown up this intriguing picture.

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The festival of love - of nature by Haaretz Isreal News.
As in the calendars of other ancient cultures, the traces of two astronomic and climatic time axes can be found in the Hebrew calendar: the axis of Equinoxes, which connects the Vernal equinox, March 21, and the Autumnal equinox, September 21; and the axis of the Solstices, which connects the shortest day, December 21, and the longest day, June 21. The intersection of the two axes dissects the calendar year into three-month quarters.

UFO Viewing Tips by CosmicLog.
Ten days after the first sightings of lights in the sky over Texas, tales of UFOs are still sparking speculation. One of the witnesses, Steve Allen, is offering $5,000 for a good picture of the flying object - but he hasn’t bought any of the photos or videos offered so far. “The pictures weren’t worth a damn,” he told me. On Saturday, he and other witnesses are gathering to pool their accounts for a national UFO organization – but there’s always a chance the Texas sightings will fade into the distance, just like the O’Hare UFO sighting over a year ago. What's the best way to document a sighting? Here are some tips.

The truth is out there... and it's a bit of a letdown by Yorkshire Post.
The Ministry of Defence is about to open its UFO files, but the contents threaten to reveal more about Cold War blunders than extraterrestrials. The truth often has a habit of disappointing. When the Ministry of Defence announced it was going to parcel up all the reports it had ever made on UFOs and send them to the National Archive it created a wave of excited chatter in chat rooms and web blogs devoted to all things paranormal.

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Sleeping prophet Edgar Cayce saw the rise of Soviet Union in 2010 by Pravda.
He predicted two World Wars, their start and end dates, the economic crisis in 1929 and the following economic growth in 1933. He also foretold the defeat of Germans at the Kursk Bulge, the fall of fascism and the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War. They called him the sleeping prophet, as he made his predictions while asleep. He would close his eyes, fall asleep and begin to prophesy. When awake, the prophet would remember nothing of what he had spoken about at night.

South Jersey prison attracts paranormal attention by Delaware Online.
In the basement of the old jail in Mount Holly, John Kurkis probes the inky darkness with a sound recorder and an infrared thermal thermometer. He's hunting for ghosts. Every now and then, he snaps a digital photo, hoping to record an orb, a wisp of ectoplasm passing by, or even a rare vortex. A member of South Jersey Paranormal Research, Kurkis helps probe spooky houses, historic buildings and cemeteries looking for evidence of the hereafter. "I've been interested in it for years," said Kurkis, 39, of Deptford.

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Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened?
by Wired Magazine.
David Kushner puts together the strings that connected two artificial intelligence (AI) researchers. They were both Canadian. They both sought to advance AI. They both arranged similar programs to develop AI. They both had connections to AI proponent Marvin Minsky of MIT. They communicated. They committed suicide in nearly identical manners four weeks apart. Coincidence? Or is there an unknown danger in AI research?


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


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