In Latin, Solstice means “Sun Stands Still”. It was called this because for a few days on Dec 21st, the Sun appears to stand still in the sky, reaching the same height in the sky each day. To the ancients who marked celestial events, to make sense of their world, this was a special time. The Sun stood still, and we can celebrate that it will return to us, and that there will be light coming back into the world. We understand more about our world today in terms of science and knowledge, but nevertheless, these ancient traditions can be a thread that we can weave into our lives today, individually, with friends or family. Rituals can be used to make us feel better, and bring continuity into our lives. Even if you are not a pagan, or shaman, you can tune into the solstice, and do a small, private ritual for yourself. Yule is another term used for Solstice celebrations.
There is a Scottish Gaelic word that describes the depths of winter: an dubhach, “the gloom”. However, the majesty of winter can be considered far from gloomy. There is a time for activity and there is a time for quietness. Try this meditation on or around the solstice - observe the silent earth, the sleeping seed, and marvel at the lengthening of days. Be inspired by the earth around you, and plant seeds of your own. This meditation will help to put you in tune to the energies of the season: the need for reflection and the power of awakening...
I’ve been in Hawaii for a number of months now but as warm as it is here, I cannot help but fantasise about a cold autumnal November in the UK, full of fireworks and firelight. Woody, spicy scents, roasted chestnuts, warmth of a bonfire, exploding colours against the night-sky, the whizz and whee of a catherine wheel.
In the Tarot, I not only work with cards but I also work with the elements. The above visualisation captures the essence of fire. Fire symbolises our inner spiritual light and our passion. It represents our ability to activate, our drive to create and the power of transformation. Fire is our life force - our sexual energy. It burns, produces heat, energises. Think of the act of burning a log, throwing it in the fire and watching it crack and sizzle before finally being reduced to ashes. Fire changes its form. We can use the element of fire literally or metaphorically, to help us change or activate something. It is what moves us in our lives.
In ancient mythology, the Moon ruled side by side with the Sun god or goddess, and was seen by some as more important than the sun, because of its wisdom, guidance and spiritual knowledge.
The Moon affected so many aspects of life and the personality, that it was often considered to have much power,.Shes been given different names throughout history because of this. Here are just a few of the names: Selena, Phoebe, Cynthia, Artemis, Hecate and Diana. Artemis, in mythology, is considered the absolute female archetype, the supreme mother and nurturer of the planet. This is best seen through the three phases of the Moon. The waxing Moon represents the youthful maiden, the full Moon is the Mother Goddess, and the waning Moon is the wise old woman.
You may well have heard this crystal referred to asThe Reiki Stone', or seen it when you go to visit a healer. It is believed to have a gentle but powerful energy and is frequently used in energy healing, or to support the process of distance healing. Known to be a calming stone that eases and heals the heart chakra, some people like to wear it on a pendant near their heart. It is considered to heal the metaphysical inner child and is felt to enhance your perception of your immediate environment. You might like to have it in your bedroom too, especially if you're having difficulty sleeping - let its calming properties permeate your environment whenever you're feeling particularly stressed. The Mangano Calcite Crystal is believed to be the stone of forgiveness and thought to be useful at dispelling arguments. You can even use it to help you to see the other side of an issue or arguement.
Colours: Pale Pink
Zodiac Sign: Libra
The days are finally lengthening again; there is warmth in the sunshine, and we can look forward to welcoming all green and growing things before much longer. On the Spring Equinox, day and night are of equal length across the globe. Below is an excerpt from 'Earth Magic - Oracle Cards', by Steven D Farmer, to celebrate the return of Spring...
'You thought this passage you have been through would never end. Just as certain that the light of the world fades every few months, it makes its return, and the Earth rejoices. The fresh breath of spring sweeps away the cobwebs acquired from the absence of the light. The light is now obviously increasing as Nature begins to emerge in all her many forms, shapes, and colours that remind us of the continual cycles of Earth Mother.
Sequencing individual genomes does not help predict future disease in humans, and most people carry about 400 mutations in their genome.
Two interesting articles have recently been published about this topic. Many researchers have believed that by sequencing individual genomes, we would be able to predict what likely diseases that person may get in the future. This is similar to a plot in the movie Gattaca, where genetic profiles were tested, and people were assigned jobs or work based on their genes and mutations.
On the shortest day of the year, at dawn, a thin finger of dawn light passes into the aperture of Brugh na Boinne, otherwise known as Newgrange in Ireland. This megalithic enclosure was erected long before the Celtic peoples arrived in Ireland. We can all experience the wonder of this day if we rise before dawn to trace the track of the sun's turas on this, the shortest day of the year. Midwinter day gives the least period of light, followed by the greatest period of darkness. For those who watched the heavens in ancient times, it must have seemed as if the sun were standing still or diminishing entirely. Nearly every culture has its own special celebrations to encourage the light on this day. Here is one that we can perform.
Thank you Simon Cowell! I don't usually have a reason to mention Simon Cowell, of X-factor fame, but he was recently in the news because he hired an energy healer to heal the energy in his home in California after a period of sickness. He revealed this fact to his 3.9 million Twitter followers last month. Someone had told him about house healing, after he became ill from nervous exhaustion. The healer, named Sandra Kendrew, charged