Saturday, April 17, 2010

Releasing Karma

Karmic Dust Bunnies: A New Look at Stumbling Blocks

When considering reincarnation and the possibility of visiting other lifetimes as a form of improving, or avoiding, this particular life, many ideas come up for consideration. The only power as a creator is in the NOW... the moment you are in. You can use that moment any way you like, which is the beauty of free will. Everything you do with your present moment affects all of your lifetimes. Every choice counts, and we are here to learn the meaning and effect of choice.

Many people currently in the Earth realms have spent numerous lifetimes choosing to experience duality and limitation. Karma was the governing rule which kept that game in balance. Many of us came in this time with a desire to "wake up" and re-member our Essence. The energy currently encompassing the Earth and affecting all our lives makes the journey within, to Truth, much easier than it was in past.

In this channel we get to hear about some new perspectives.

[Excerpt from channel Carla Anderson/IM]
C: It can be extremely effective for a person who has... again we are going to use your words because we don't see it this would call it a blockage - like Carla had with her claustrophobia. She just wanted to know what that twinge was about. If you have someone who has a blockage, or a twinge, going into the timeline and witnessing where the energy stamp came from, outside of this life, is very effective. Let us explain...

Until now a lot of people have incarnated with one particular [karmic] chore, or task. You are [currently] at a time period where this 13,000 year cycle is coming to a close. Millions of souls raced to get here and said, "We will clean up whatever little [karmic] dust bunnies we have in our corners." So, there are a lot of people on Earth right now who have what you might call an issue, or issues. Those issues are not from this lifetime, not from this childhood, not from this set of parents. They are the dust bunnies of 150 other lifetimes.

Very often the only way to get into those corners is to visit the timeline. That is why it is so effective right now. Because there are so many people who came in relatively clear and with a few dust bunnies.

It is important for the majority of spiritual seekers to understand they did not walk into this life wearing a [karmic] suit of armor. Most of the people who are on the planet at this time, who would be seeking these teachings, came in pretty clear - karmically speaking. They have only dust bunnies, not big heavy cages. Remind them of that. Sometimes those dust bunnies can feel really heavy, because you have carried them through so much [of what you call] time. They begin to feel heavy to the human facet of the soul. Remind others they would not be at this choice in their life if they were in a cage with their karma. Their karma has not caged them. They are just cleaning up dust bunnies.

There was a period of time you called the Harmonic Convergence. In that time period the number of souls who chose to glow, to show up for that moment and align themselves with that moment was one of the catalysts which moved everything further along the ascension process. Even then, and that was 20 years ago or more, it was not certain that you would, in fact, make the transition - to Stardom. However, the way the people showed up for that did put a little seatbelt behind you so you could not slide back, regardless of what other experiment and what other system you chose.

Our response to that was to shower Grace - as much as we could, as much as we can! A stream of what you know as the violet flame with the silvery core. What this has done is to help assimilate a lot of dust bunnies. Those little bitty fragments of karma were so minute that we are able to absorb them and send that energy into other ways. So, many, many souls on the planet right now don't have nearly as much karma to work through as they might imagine, because they did not come in with that much. They came in with little pieces from lots of lives, instead of a big chunk. And, you as a Mass Consciousness, invoked Grace.

Let us put it to you this way. You have a saying there on Earth, "As above, so below." What we will say to you - which is very, very important in this time of ascension - "As below, so above." When you consciously bring your self, as an individual, or as a whole, to a particular precipice we meet you there and take up all the slack. We give you this information today to share with others in the future. Remind them, they don't have that much karma to work out. It has already been worked out - both on Earth and in Heaven.

The biggest stumbling block that we can see from here, with most of the people who will ask for the information you have, is to believe that they deserve what they feel when they feel us. Help them know that they deserve it. That it is of them. That it is for them. That it is incessant. There is no where in creation this feeling does not exist. It is theirs. They are the heirs to Unconditional Love. Help them know that. As they are able to embrace their own beauty the dust bunnies will blow out the door on their own.

We hope to see fewer and fewer humans stubbing their toe on the stumbling block of worthiness. It is a matter of writing a new bible. Unfortunately, the words of the Beautiful One were very twisted. Even that served its purpose, so it is only unfortunate in the sense that it is quite engrained, in so many souls for so many lifetimes, that they are not god and they do not deserve to feel the love of god.

At this time, more so than who was your mother, and who did you kill and who did you give birth to and what country did you overthrow, and all of those karmic imprints of the old eons... You are in a new time now. In this new time, the stumbling block is deservedness. For those of you who have been able to see who you really are, and feel what you are really made of, it is your choice and your mission to help the others know they too are the same, in that respect. We are all Love - Unconditional Love.

Carla has a saying for it. "The sun does not judge the surface of the sea before deciding to shine upon it." It is that simple. You are the surface of the sea, the sun is shining, and there is no judgment.

The potency of the information in this segment is clear. We, as facets in the world of forgetting who we Truly are, can walk the path backward, do the work, clear the energy imprints from eons of "perceived wrong doing, and the weight of it on our souls", or we can embrace the magnitude of our Truth, easily forgiving all the misperceptions acted out in the state of forgetfulness. We can simply choose to live from the heart in an ever expanding way.

The former has been the way to move the energy of the former wavelength...until most recently. Now, because of the stream of Grace, and our own conscious thoughts and choices which invoked it, we can "see and feel" our own beauty immediately. The processing really isn't required to the same degree. The difficult portion is our willingness to accept and allow the Grace-filled Gratitude which is in continuous flow through all of creation. This is why you will hear the word "open" so often on the journey within. It is a mater of opening oneself to that which IS.

Once you allow the resonance to wash through you, and accept the loveliness of your own being as a creator of All That Is, you can never again forget the Truth. Your primary motivation becomes sharing it. Any notion of sin fades from perception. The world is forgiven as you see there was never anything wrong. It has all been for the benefit of Source energy and we, the Angels of Earth, have embellished Unconditional Love in new and exciting ways.

Open up and say, "Ahhhhhhhhhh".

This information is made available by Carla Anderson
This information may be freely distributed, when it is published in its entirety, without editing, and full credit is given to the Source and the Channel by including these closing lines of text. IMing, Copyright protected 2010.

Carla Anderson is an author, photographer, traveller, and spiritual channel. She provides useful information and soul coaching on personal and planetary ascension. She offers decades of experience in expanding consciousness, increasing your Lightbody, and coming into full awareness of your spiritual and human potential.

Visit the website and blog for inspirational ideas and practical steps to loose your limiting beliefs and embrace creating the life of your dreams. Enjoy a FREE audio CD ~ 5 Habits for Higher Resonance ~ and develop a daily routine of working with your soul guides.

Shine On~!

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Getting in Sync With Grace

Ask, Accept, Allow - Getting in Sync with Grace

We all have days, or weeks, or sometimes months when we wish things were going differently in our lives. Some days it is hard to respond creatively to the choices of others and the events around us. We tend to become reactive instead of responsive. We listen less and "yeah, but" more. We wrap a little protection around our vulnerable center and tighten up the old screws in the scaffolding so things will not come tumbling down.

Any contraction of energy is not flow. When you hold on to difficult thoughts or emotions you create congestion or stagnation in the physical body. Once the body begins to ache, it is even easier to think difficult thoughts and the cycle begins to perpetuate itself. After awhile the physical or emotional bodies break down and leave you moaning in agony, sobbing in the shower, or both.

Flow is a good thing. You know the feeling of ease and effortlessness. All you need to do is remember it. It can be hard under times of duress - when someone has acted counter to your wish, when your body is in pain, when strong feelings come up for review. These are the times when it is most important to CHOOSE your thoughts. Regardless of which thoughts pop in to your mind, choosing the ones you dwell on is where the real power is.

The equation is simple, more self Awareness = more all around Ease.

The solution is to help yourself to loosen up.

Here are a few things I've found extremely helpful for loosening up. When I keep these ideas in mind and in my walk through life, it is easier to recognize and celebrate the gift, the present, of each moment.

There is no schedule, routine, or discipline required. You don't need to study them or even consider them in any particular order. They are little things I have found useful in remaining optimistic, hopeful, even idealistic about the world we share, and those we share it with. If some part of it tugs at your heart, then let it in, otherwise, let it go.

If you choose to do any of these things periodically or routinely, you will notice a change in your life. Your heart will loosen up a bit and the rest relaxes from there.

Ask "Who am I?"
If you considered the possibility that you are energy using a body to explore the living planet Earth then you naturally want to know who you are. This is a question we, as a human species, have been exploring for eons of time.

Some will people tell you who you are. Some will tell you who you are not. Those who know will tell you it cannot be told, and they will do what they can to assist in your coming to know it.

Remembering who you are, in essence, is the profound experience most people are aiming for. It is why Source energy chose to express in human form, for the RE-Discovery of self.

Here's the skinny.
You are an expression of the energy Source of Creation.
You are the Grace of God - incarnate.
What sensations or emotions do you have when you say this sentence aloud?

"I am the Grace of God - incarnate."

If you have any doubts about the Truth of that statement then I recommend you spend more time asking, with sincerity, from your heart of hearts. Then, quiet the clutter in your mind and listen - with your heart - for the feelings that will change your life.

The universe responds to you in one basic sentiment, "And so it is!"

With this in mind you can begin asking the universe for information on anything, anytime. It is important to remember not to ask "for" things. Each time you ask "for something" you have reinforced to the universe that you do not have it. So, for now, ask for information, guidance, the feelings you can begin to trust for clarity. Simply put, if it feels good, it is right for you.

Accept these three basic truths;
As you become comfortable with asking your inner most heart for information, and learning to understand the responses, you can begin to embrace new pieces of information and trust their authenticity.

You are more than a human body.
Every form has a source of energy flow moving through it. The Source of that energy flow embraces All living things, and more. The energy has consciousness and has chosen to express itself through a human body.

Everyone is an aspect of original source energy. As that energy emanates out from source it divides/multiplies into lots of potentials. Imagine a ray of light that is made up of unlimited number of sparks of light. You, the one you identify with, are a facet of a spark - but you are never separate from the ray. When your facet chose to experience being human, you chose to "forget" that you are part of a spark, that is part of a ray, which is emanating from the core of LOVE.

The other facets of that spark are not in "forgetfulness". They know you as part of them. They know you are in the forgetfulness, and they will do everything they can to remind you of who you really are. You must be willing to seek and FEEL their presence. That feeling comes through the heart, not the head.

You are intimately connected to All That Is.
The Source of energy which created you, created everything. The energy which moves through your body also connects to All things known and unknown by the human experience. All matter and void are aspects of this vast energy Source each resonating with a unique and harmonious frequency. Every wavelength ripples in ways that affect the All.

Liken Creation to a bowl of gravy. There are some large lumps and some small lumps and some soupy parts without many lumps, but all of it is gravy. Anything that happens to the gravy, i.e. more salt or pepper, affects all of the gravy. You are intimately connected to All of Creation.

The Earth is Alive with Consciousness.
One of the most incredible expressions of Source Energy is the planet known as Earth. She is the receptive polarity of the Creative Source. She, like you, consist of billions of micro-cosmic systems all functioning from the same Divine blueprint to grow the whole, as part of an infinite cosmic system beyond our present ability to comprehend.

Consciousness is a key word you will encounter often on the journey within. In fact, it is the reason for the expand your personal consciousness, to increase the awareness you have of each moment.

Earth is far more conscious than you might imagine. You do not have to think to breathe. She does - as do some of the most advanced species on the planet like whales and dolphins. They actually have a thought in order to have a breath. You do not understand the codes embedded in your own DNA. Earth does. She knows her own DNA and yours, the record of everything which has ever happened on the planet - long before the human experiment - is recorded in her cells. Those plants, minerals, and magnetic energy flows are all known to her.

Earth maintains a balance which lovingly allows us to live in disharmony.

How gracious is that?

Once you come to know these three Truths about life on Earth, your outlook on everything which happens in your life is bound, by the laws of energy, to change.

As more people accept these Truths, the resonance of the entire planet changes. Likewise, as the resonance of the planet shifts it becomes easier for more people on the planet to perceive these Truths.

Allow your Other Self to be your Judge.
Each person is here, incarnate in human form, because Spirit wants to know more about life in a body with a forgetful mind - just for the fun of it. We are here to function through the electromagnet energy center of our bodies known commonly as the heart chakra. This is the vibration center which matches unconditional love - the energy of appreciation for All.

Creation appreciates All expressions for they add to the Awareness of the Source itself. To be in sync with the Creative energy of Source, make the choice to truly appreciate - find the gift - in everything. That is the vibration which makes room for Love to Grow.

It is common knowledge among 90+% of humans that we are our own worst judges. Not to mention brutal on each other. The Self of Love's Creation that lives in our heart chakra knows you are Divine energy, in a state of forgetfulness. There is no critique of your choices, except the sincere appreciation that you continue to choose.

Because the infinite source of All Creation knows Truth far beyond what is fathomable for an incarnate being, we thankfully hand over the role of judgment to the grace of compassion. Let's put the Essence Self, that part of the ray which is always aware of the connection to Source, in charge of judgment for a while. After all, the bigger self does have a broader, more informed picture of what is really going on.

So, we surrender the need to belittle ourselves and ask our Soul Self to judge our every word and deed.

Love's Essence says to you:

~ Choose with your heart and you cannot choose wrongly.

~ Choose with Awareness.

~ Choose Highest Good for All That is.

~ If you are not happy, choose again.

~ I love you.

~ Thank you, this whole creation thing is much more interesting with bodies and free will.

~ So, thanks.

~ And Remember, you cannot go wrong if you go Within.

That's it! Are you getting a sense of this thing called Grace? Nice huh?!

Ask - the only way the universe can respond is if you inquire with sincere intent.
Accept - the beauty of who you are within the vastness of ongoing creative potential.
Allow - the Soul self to provide the messages you live by. They will carry you through every trial and deliver you to your own Remembrance.

Now, instead of running a race to keep up with people you don't know, using systems that drain you, measuring yourself against a stick you can never pin down, finally you get a break. Whenever you feel harsh feelings or messages creeping in from anywhere, i.e. wrong, not enough, stuck, unfortunate...

Allow the Essence Self be the judge. Receive a deep breath - or 20. Then, go back to these words of judgment laid out by Love's Essence -

Thank You. I love you!

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are times when we all feel out of sync with Grace. I assure you that if you will take control of your thoughts, tap in to your feelings, and practice the Three A's you will sleep better at night. You will have less stress each day. You will begin to notice positive things happening in your life. You will know more of your own Truth. You will make better choices. And, you will experience more joy and ease in your life.

Embrace your magnitude! You'll feel much better.-- I AM

This information is made available by Carla Anderson. This information may be freely distributed, after contacting the author, when it is published in its entirety, without editing, and full credit is given to the Source and the Channel by including these closing lines of text. IMing, Copyright protected 2010.

Carla Anderson is an author, photographer, traveller, and spiritual channel. She provides useful information and soul coaching on personal and planetary ascension. She offers decades of experience in expanding consciousness, increasing your Lightbody, and coming into full awareness of your spiritual and human potential.

Visit the website and blog for inspirational ideas and practical steps to loose your limiting beliefs and embrace creating the life of your dreams.

Enjoy a FREE audio CD ~ 5 Habits for Higher Resonance ~ and develop a daily routine of working with your soul guides.

Shine On! Carla

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Three Basic Tarot Card Spreads You Should Learn

Tarot card spreads help to make each tarot card reading more effective. By choosing the right spread for your needs, you can make the tarot card reading more meaningful to the person on the receiving end. Here are three different tarot card deck spreads which will help you in three different situations.

The easiest way to setup a basic tarot reading is to have the person who wants a reading just pull one card. This sort of spread is best for those who aren't interested in getting a long answer, but they might want a positive or a negative response, or they might just want another perspective on a situation rather than an answer. By pulling just one card, the meaning can help the person decide whether that meaning is enough or if they might need a more extensive card spread.

A three card spread is a favorite in basic tarot spreads. In most cases, a reading with three cards is used to signify Past, Present, and Future. Once the person has focused on a question and they have chosen their cards, they will look to the cards to tell them about their question in each of these time periods. In the past, for example, the card will point out anything they might have experienced in regards to their issue. In doing this, the issue at hand is extended beyond the present time which can help to create a more concrete direction for the question at hand.

When you want to have something that's a bit more complicated, there are numerous complex tarot card spreads to use. You might start with the Past, Present, and Future spread, but then also pull cards for issues relating to: Self, Family, Love, Career, Money, Children, etc. You can choose as many cards as you like, creating a unique formation. Some like to place the cards in a cross while others use a circle pattern. There are generally detailed spreads in tarot card deck sets, including the Celtic Cross, but often just choosing as many cards as you need is just as effective as a formal spread.

No matter what tarot card spread you might choose to use, know that all of the answers you need will be in front of you. And if you are drawn to pulling more or fewer cards, that's fine. Listening to your intuition is the key to a successful reading.

Julie-Ann Amos is a professional writer. She regularly writes on the topic of tarot-card-spreads and recommends that those with a tarot-card-deck or tarot-card-decks learn basic spreads in order to maximize their tarot reading effectiveness.

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Is a Course in Miracles a Cult?

A topic of sometimes heated discussion in regards to A Course in Miracles is the question of it being a cult. Several prominent authors have made such a claim, but is it true? Before we can definitively say one way or the other, first we need to determine what we actually mean by the word "cult."

Webster's defines a cult as:

1: formal religious veneration (i.e. worship)
2: a system of religious beliefs and rituals
3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious

There are a few more, but for our purposes this will suffice.

Let's take the first one, formal religious veneration. Veneration is simply another word for worship. As you can quickly see, this definition doesn't really help us answer what we mean by cult. Under this definition every religious or spiritual group can be defined as a cult. I'm pretty sure most groups or churches would have a thing or two to say about that.

We have the same challenge with definition number two. Again, if our only criteria is "a system of religious beliefs and rituals," then any and every spiritual path would qualify as a cult. This definition covers everything from Fundamentalist Christianity or the peaceful Tibetan Buddhists to such "radical" Islamic views as those espoused by Osama Bin Laden. Not particularly helpful, wouldn't you agree?

This takes us to number three: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious. Well this certainly clears things up. Or does it? The problem we have is, regarded as unorthodox or spurious according to whom? It all depends on one's point of view. There is no doubt most mainstream churches regard the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) as a cult. Likewise with the Jehovah's Witnesses. Why is that? Primarily because these groups don't adhere to the more traditional interpretations of the Bible that the so-called mainstream churches do. Some people consider the Seventh-Day Adventists as a cult. Of course the Seventh Day Adventists believe that everyone except themselves is pretty much a cult, so it cuts both ways. Moreover, before you can use this definition you first have to determine what you mean by orthodox and you have to define spurious. As you can see it can quickly become quite a project, one definition leading to another and then another ad infinitum.

So where does that leave us? I believe we are left with the more common, if less scholarly, definition. Perhaps the most often cited sign of a cult is a group of people - often associated with one or more of the above definitions - that are under the direction and control of a charismatic leader. We all know the stories of Jim Jones and the jungle, David Koresh and Waco, and Marshall Applewhite and Heaven's Gate but to name a few. But realistically, could we not use this definition to describe just about any religious organization? Think about it... assuming you go to some kind of service, why do you attend the church you do? The most common answer I get is, "I just connect with the minister." Would that not qualify as following a charismatic leader?

Note, however, that cult like control does not necessarily have to include religion, the most famous example being Charles Manson.

Now we can look at A Course in Miracles and see where it stands.

Is it a form of " formal religious veneration"? While it is entirely possible that a group could use it in this way, the Course itself is more of a self-study program than anything else. One can study the Course for an entire lifetime without ever mentioning it to another human being. The focus of the ACIM is to put you in touch with your Inner Voice or Holy Spirit. It really has nothing to do with formal worship.

Is it "a system of religious beliefs and rituals"? I guess you could say that. There is certainly a religious tone to the volume, and if you wanted to define its daily Workbook exercises as "rituals" you would get little argument from me, although I would call them exactly what they are intended to be: exercises in Mind development.

Is ACIM "a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious"? Ah, there's where it gets tricky, doesn't it? It really depends on your particular belief about such things. If you believe that every faith or religion that is not yours is a cult, then there is nothing I or anyone else can say that will change your mind. But, then again, how does everyone else see you? How does everyone else regard your faith? Feeling a bit uncomfortable yet? That's okay; just hang in there, I'm about to let you off the hook.

But before I do, let's talk about the last definition, the so-called charismatic leader. Is there one in ACIM? If there is they are quite well hidden, because I've been a student of the Course for years and I've never met them. Sure, we have our share of teachers that some would label as expert or guru, but that is not how I see them; they're simply people that are a tad further along in their journey than the rest of us and they choose to leave a bit of wisdom behind. But that does not make them a leader by any stretch of the imagination. Gary Renard, for example, is one of my personal "heroes" and is probably responsible for bringing more people into awareness about the Course than any other person, but that doesn't mean that I would drink a cup of tainted Kool-Aid or kill myself in hopes of catching a passing comet just because he said so. (Although I might just hop a flight to Hawaii if he invited me, but I'd still be mostly interested in the beaches.)

Can A Course in Miracles be used in a cult-like setting? Sure it could. In fact, there have been allegations laid against such a group known as the Endeavor Academy in Wisconsin. And while I'm not here to pass judgment on E.A. - I don't even know them - it does go to show that ACIM could potentially be used. But is that really so different than, say, the Bible? It's a known fact that David Koresh could tap dance through the scriptures like Fred Astaire on meth, but I don't see too many churches throwing out the Bible because of it.

Earlier I promised I would let you off the hook. Here's how...

Imagine a giant wall standing before you that stretches as far and wide as the eye can see. And in this wall there are thousands of windows. One window is labeled Christianity. One is labeled Judaism. Some are marked as Baptist, some as Buddhist. One says Fred, another says Nancy. And so forth. Each of these windows is a person's particular belief system, their faith. But here's the interesting thing. On the other side of this Great Wall is a Flame. This Flame we'll call Love. Now we can call it God, Universe, Spirit, Peace or any number of other names; perhaps as many names as there are windows. But every single window is seeing the same Flame. Sure, we might each see it from a different perspective, a different point of view (it is a big wall, after all) but it's really just Love. And isn't that what we're all really after? Not conflict. Not judgment. Certainly not anger and hatred. We all just looking for a little bit of Love.

So is A Course in Miracles a cult? No more so than any other window, my friend, including yours.

James Goolsby is a Minister-in-Training with Pathways of Light, a non-profit organization promoting A Course in Miracles. To get instant access to all of his thoughts on ACIM, including articles, podcasts, and video, as well as an online journal of his ministry training, visit his blog

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Viking Rune Casting Tips and Information

That rune stones work on a deep spiritual level with the subconscious, and it is important to remember that rune casting is not fortune telling. The entire Universe is reflected by the rune symbols, so when asking a question, all spiritual effects are focused upon the runes, and therefore, the chosen rune is not random, but a choice made by your subconscious.

Used by the Vikings who understood the idea of cause and effect and knew that all things were connected, rune casting is a type of divination that is based on an ancient form of psychology. A psychic focuses on a singular issue when doing a reading with rune stones to give a thorough inspection of the past, present and future. What is happening now, and the direction the future is taking, the future is always seen as changeable so there is an opportunity to look at the past.

Although people who are not familiar with the process believe it is delving into mystery, rune casting is not supernatural or mysterious. Rune casting is not considered to be of the realm of witchcraft, spells, or something that tells your fortune. What rune casting does is examines a person and the path that they are on in life, and can try to predict the outcome if a person stays on that path. Dowsing or divination by means of a pendulum or bent stick is a similar thing and can be seen as the manifestation of the subconscious and not a supernatural act. Making sure it is a quiet place as you do not want to be disturbed, to do a rune casting you will need to find a place suitable to cast the rune stones. You should already have boundaries written on the cloth, and it is also helpful if you can face north, then place your rune cloth in front of you on a hard surface. When you are having your runes cast and a reading done, it is important that you decide the question you want to ask, and when your runes are being cast and read you keep that question in mind during the reading.

All runes should be of the same shape or size so that they will not be recognized, one from the other, and once you have decided on the question, mix the rune stones gently in the pouch, until you feel the urge to pick a rune from the pouch. Until you have the right number of the layout you will use, continue to mix the rune stones and draw from the pouch, this is called rune casting. Because each rune can have multiple meanings it is up to the reader to determine what meaning applies to the question thus using your intuition when doing rune reading. A Nors cast is about drawing three runes one at a time, from the rune pouch, they are then laid in a row, when it comes to rune casting, there are different ways to cast, for instance. The third has to do with the future and the outcome of the situation if the present path is followed, and the first rune represents the past of the situation, the second is the present and represents the path the person is on now.

Looking for a good reading then Please go to our website, for more articles and information about rune casting and psychic reading UK.

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The Da Vinci Code And The Holy Grail

The Da Vinci Code, a best selling novel, has garnered a great deal of attention in recent days. The story line consists of medieval theories, legends and lore woven into a postmodern thriller novel with political overtones.

The novel also makes some very serious direct attacks on the Christian faith. Let me emphasize the word "novel" because it is clearly a work of fiction and is not fact.

Any serious scholar who examines this book is drawn to the conclusion that it is mere speculation based on very limited evidence. Uninformed readers, however, are misled by this book and some people even promote it as truth. It is therefore necessary to counter its errors.

The plot of the book is centered on the unproved supposition that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they had a son who became part of French royalty. This story was supposedly suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries.

The book also claims that the Holy Grail is not the chalice that was used at the last supper but is rather the body of Mary Magdalene. I should point out that the Bible does not use the term "Holy Grail" much less define it as the chalice used at the first holy communion at the last supper. The attribution of power to the chalice was done much later in legends formulated in medieval times.

The novel also blasphemously denies the deity (divinity) of Christ. It alleges that the doctrine of the deity of Christ did not originate with Christ Himself but was introduced later and Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325 AD order to enforce it.

It is also alleged in The Da Vinci Code that Christ was deified as part of a larger attempt to assert male dominance and suppress goddess worship. Feminist victimization is a major underlying theme of this book and forms a major political subtext. It is called The Da Vinci Code because Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) supposedly was a believer and propagator of the Mary Magdalene as wife of Jesus rumor.

The New Testament records the fact that Jesus openly claimed to be divine. (See John 5:23, 8:58, 10:30.) The apostles, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, also asserted that Jesus was and is divine. He is equal with God the Father. (See John 1:1,14, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:6-8.)

Only Jesus as God in flesh was capable of dying for the sins of all people. The early church leaders who came after the apostles continued to teach the deity of Christ. To say or imply that Constantine or others invented the doctrine of the deity of Christ in order to promote a patriarchal system is as ludicrous as it is anti-historical.

Christ came to die for the sins of all people. He, in His great love and mercy, took upon Himself the punishment due to all people for our sins. The name "Immanuel," a title of Christ, means "God with us."

Part of the reason The Da Vinci Code denies the deity of Christ is that it relies on the Gnostic Gospels to buttress its claims. A large number of manuscripts of Gnostic Gospels were found in an earthenware jar in Nag Hamadi Egypt in 1945.

Among the Nag Hamadi group of manuscripts was the so-called Gospel of Thomas and the so-called Gospel of Philip. Since these manuscripts are dated anywhere from AD 150 to the third or fourth centuries AD, no scholar, not even the most liberal, regards them as actually having been written by the Thomas or Philip of the New Testament.

Dr. Erwin Lutzer of Moody Church, Chicago Illinois writes about the Gnostic Gospels: "These Gnostic Gospels are non-historical, and even anti-historical; they contain little narrative and have no sense of chronology. They scorn the belief that God would have come in the flesh . . . These documents make no pretense of actually overlapping with the canonical gospels. They are filled with many garbled New Testament quotations along with many foolish sayings that they put in the mouth of Jesus" (page 9 of Dr. Lutzer's booklet Rumors about Jesus: The Jesus of The Da Vinci Code).

Sandra Miesel, writing in the Roman Catholic newsletter Crisis states that in The Da Vinci Code "Blasphemy is delivered in a soft voice."

The allegation that Jesus married Mary Magdalene is outlandish speculation with no biblical support and ironically very little support even in medieval legend and lore. Those who deny the deity of Christ commit the sin of blasphemy and separate themselves from Christ. I pray that people not be misled by The Da Vinci Code.

Bill Nugent has written many articles on Christianity, philosophy and science. He has also written books that give Bible based teaching on sanctification and that caution against the error of legalism. His books are available at his website

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Symbolism and Meaning Behind the Laughing Buddha Statue

The Jolly Laughing Buddha is also known as Hotei or Pu-Tai. He is extremely popular in China where he is also known as the Loving or Friendly One. He is derived from an eccentric Chinese Zen monk who lived well over a thousand years ago and

He is now a dominant feature of Buddhist and Shinto culture. He has a very open and jolly demeanour he was regarded as an incarnation of the Maitreya bodhisattva who will be the Future Buddha. He has large protruding belly and jocular smile have and is known commonly as the "Laughing Buddha."

His features graces many temples, restaurants, and jewellery and has come to represent a Buddha of contentment and abundance. He is nearly always seen carrying a linen sack which is always full and is full with many valuable items, such as rice plants (indicating wealth), sweets for children, food items, or the grief of the world. He is the Buddha of the weak, the poor and children.

Laughing Buddha Wooden Statues

These statues are usually represented by a fat, smiling or laughing bald man in monk's robes and has an exposed pot-bellied stomach symbolizing happiness, good luck, and good fortune. Some statues also have small children at his feet. These statues often have an alm's bowl representing his Buddhist nature.

In other depictions he may be found on a cart drawn by children, or holding a fan called an oogi. All of these features represent him as an itinerant monk who travels taking away the sadness from the people of the world.

Legend has it if you rub his large stomach, it will produce wealth, good luck, and good fortune. He is also the patron saint of restaurateurs, clairvoyants and bartenders. When one drinks or eats too much friends blame it on the Laughing Buddha's influence.

Very Large Laughing Buddhas

In Taiwan there are only four Buddhist temples which have him as their main Buddha. The Treasure Cognition temple in Taichung houses Taiwan's largest statue with his bald head touching the ceiling of the main temple hall.

The Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou China has the largest one in China. It is carved from camphor wood and stands over 60 feet tall, and is gilded with over one hundred ounces of gold leaf.

The Lama Temple which is the only Buddhist temple in Beijing, China has the largest Laughing Buddha carved from single piece of wood.

The Laughing Buddha and Zen

The Laughing Buddha was travelling and handing out sweets to poor children and asking for a penny from Zen monks or the laity he met on the way. One day a monk comes up to him and enquires, "What is the meaning of Zen?" the monk drops his linen sack. "How does one realize Zen?" he replied. The laughing Buddha then took up his sack and went on his way.

Part of Buddhism 101 Project - the most comprehensive Buddhism resource ever created.

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The Aquarian - A Spiritual Adult

The hearts and minds of humanity are now sufficiently opened to be able to feel and to know that there is a link that connects all humanity and all life. This awareness has created a critical moment in the evolution of humanity. Humanity as a whole is now responding to the call from his individual and collective Self, to return to his heritage that is both Royal and Priestly. Under the influence of the planet Uranus that embodies the consciousness of Oneness and is the ruler of this New Age of Aquarius, mankind is beginning to respond to the urge toward Brotherhood.

For eons, mankind has grappled with the questions of his existence, his destiny, and the questions of: Who Am I? Where Did I Come From? What Am I Here to Do? And Where Am I Going? The struggles to find answers to these questions have led to much contemplation and inquiry by some and a feeling of frustration, hopelessness and being trapped by many others.

The confluence of energies now being emitted into our planet by the Spiritual Hierarchy coupled with the high level of human development is providing a suitable environment for the rigorous investigation to these pressing questions. Humanity is demanding more time for self-discovery and reflection. The more the individual knows of himself and of his environment, the greater the feeling of control over his life and his destiny. To gain that control, it is essential that his understanding of the Causal level of his existence and his reason for embarking on this adventure to Earth be realized.

The search for philosophical and psychological explanations for our existence has brought us to a wonderful and expanded mental and emotional level of development. One that now enables us to sense that there is a significant next step in our evolution. There is emerging a great desire to penetrate into an even deeper understanding of life at its Core, which is to reach above and within to find the Source of this Dance of Life.

All through our history, the more intellectually and spiritually advanced of our race have given us glimpses into the deeper realities, which lie behind and beyond the superficial beliefs and understandings of our present realities. Among these advanced souls are Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Francis Bacon and, of course, the elder brother of the Race of Man and leader of Piscean Age, Yeshua Ben Joseph. He is who we in the West call Jesus the Christ.

There are many schools of thought on the origin of Man. One of these ideologies is the ancient Masonic story acted out in the Masonic rituals. I will speak about Masonry at great length in this volume. It is important to understand the importance of this arcane knowledge and its significance to the Age of Aquarius. In this Age, Masonry will be a restoration of these ancient and sacred Mysteries. It will correctly reflect the expressions of the Soul which are the true intent for which the Great White Lodge on Sirius gave Masonry to Humanity. The distortions we have witnessed over the centuries are also reflective of the distortions of the personality expressed as separateness, exclusion and cruelty. Masonry is a gift to humanity and our destinies are inextricably linked to it.

The story of Masonry tells us that just as the Candidate for initiation enters into the Lodge from outside the Lodge, mankind entered into Planet Earth from outside this planet. Man, a spiritual entity symbolized by a circle, descended from his high estate into Earth, symbolized by the square. Spiritual man entered into the Lodge of Earth to unfold his full divinity while in flesh. This is what has been referred to as the "squaring of the circle." In the Lodge, as on Planet Earth, the candidate subjects himself to graded, disciplined training with definite objectives. The primary objective is self-knowledge and with this knowledge, he has an obligation to be in service to all Life. The long years of intense formal and informal training unfolds in his heart and mind a deep understanding of his own nature and, therefore, the nature of all life and his connection to them. He later begins to extrapolate this knowledge so as to contemplate his connection with life in the solar system, the galaxy, the universe and all life everywhere. The Masonic story is occult in its nature. The word occult has conjured up frightful images in the minds of many who are ignorant of its true meaning. The term will increasingly become commonplace since the Age of Aquarius is the Age of occultism and the externalization of the Western Mysteries.

Conversely, we are leaving the Age of Mysticism, which we experienced under the Piscean Age, but we are not leaving its contributions behind. Occultism, which means hidden or secret knowledge was ironically, never hidden since nature lay bare all the so-called hidden mysteries. It was always available for all who were mature enough to "see". The ancients have told us that whatever we are afraid of holds the greatest promise for our liberation. Mankind has tended to be afraid of what he does not understand. To change this pattern, he must seek to know.

In principle, all religions in all cultures have at their core the Masonic blueprint. The form in which it is practiced might be slightly different from culture to culture and reflect the level of consciousness thus far evolved. Over the last fifty years, a large percent of humanity has increasingly expanded his search for the hidden meanings of life. He is also now accepting that his teachings do not reflect the whole truth of his heritage and destiny. It is also true, however, that due to humanity's emotional and mental maturity, he is now better able to understand more. He is now better able to respond to the sensor that is within him to gradually wake up to his true nature.

An examination of the Masonic ritual gives us some clues to the meaning of our life here and helps us answer the great philosophical questions of Life. When the candidate enters the Lodge, he is placed in the Southwest corner, the place of greatest darkness and ignorance. This was also the placement of the Planet in the solar System. The goal then is to move through and around the Lodge to the East by way of the North, where the veiled knowledge, the unknown or mysteries, resides. As the candidate increases in knowledge, wisdom and understanding, he is able to part the veils of illusion and this illumination duly places him in the East of the Lodge, the place of knowledge and Light.

This story of the candidate's journey is analogous to that of man's journey into form, from a place of high estate. It is similarly the story of the prodigal son spoken of in the Bible. He left home and went on a journey into the far country to gain a knowledge he could not acquire if he had stayed at home. Planet Earth is on a similar journey in the Solar System.

For many this idea resonates at the core of their beings because they have never lost the memory and knowledge of their place of origin. Most of our indigenous groups on all the continents have kept intact the knowledge and connection with their ancient home on the Stars. Robert Temple in the Sirius Mystery gives a compelling account of the long history of the Dogon peoples of Mali and their ongoing relationship with the star system Sirius. NASA later confirmed the precise information of the behavior and position of the planet.

Zechariah Sitchin, in his book, The Twelfth Planet gave a researched account of the origin of mankind and our eventual destiny. However, Ageless Wisdom has known all this and more for thousands of years. Mankind is being impulsed all the time to wake up out of his long sleep and to re-discover himself and his home. Man's journey into this human experience is the combined effort of three Great constellations: the Great Bear, Sirius and the Pleiades. They represent the Supernal Triangle of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Mother aspect respectively. Qabalistically, they represent Kether, Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life. These three forces have influenced our experiment and adventure. Humanity is here to discover how far from the center of light he can travel and still make his way back home safely without losing all memory of his origin and his oneness with his fellow beings and all life. These three energies in a step down process express themselves through the three centers closest to humanity: Shamballah, the Hierarchy and Humanity.

The impulse for this experiment came out of the constellation of the Great Bear, which represents the Primal Will or Divine intent for mankind. It is the center from which the idea for creative manifestation originated. It is the lower level of this Will that humanity calls self-will and it is through the medium of the zodiacal sign of Aries that this experiment was initiated. The seven leading Stars of the Great Bear are said to be that of seven constellations from which the seven planetary influences impact our Earth. These make up the seven Rishis or seven brothers of the Great Bear.

Sirius the "dog star" is said to be the "Great instructor of mankind" from which the governance of this planet is orchestrated by the Lord of Action and Reaction commonly known as Karma. The goal of its leadership is the development of cosmic consciousness on the mental plane. Sirius impacts our planet through the influences of Uranus, Neptune and Saturn to provide the conditions for the reaping of souls that is now taking place. The connection with Sirius is, therefore, being felt by a large number of souls due to the advancement of consciousness that has occurred here on planet Earth. The consciousness of Love-wisdom is the focus of this second member of the great supernal triangle. It is from the great White Lodge on Sirius that the work of the Seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law and Order issues. This energy will produce the conditions that will permit the re-appearance on Earth of the Mysteries of Initiation. It is in this context that Masonry will be reformed, understood and become open. The Sun has veiled the hidden planet Uranus but now employs it as the agent through which it focuses its influence like a lens to externalize the arcane mysteries in this Aquarian Age. The sign of Gemini, the sign of relationships, has provided a portal through which humanity came to experiment with relationships between all pairs of opposites. It is under this sign, and from Sirius that the Masonic tradition was given to mankind. Its distinctive symbols of the two pillars of the temple, one white and one black, offers for our meditation the extremes of relationships. The Hierarchy or the Soul level of expression of our planet is the medium through which the Lords on Sirius work.

The Pleiades, the third aspect of the triangle, is referred to as the seven sisters and the brides of the seven brothers of the Great Bear. It is this union of the seven brides and the seven brothers that the book of Genesis speaks of when it refers to "the sons of God who are gone down to lie with the daughters of men." We place the seven sisters of the Pleiades in the sphere of Binah, the Great Mother and in union with the seven brothers of the Great Bear in the sphere of Chokmah. They gave birth to the Sons of men we call the seven planets: Jupiter, Mars, the physical Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon and the Earth. These seven planets express their seven vibrational frequencies or Rays through the seven chakras along the spine to support and nurture physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life on this planet. The Pleiades is situated in the constellation of Taurus, the sign of dense matter and of eventual illumination. Through the influence of Taurus, the aspirant presses on and finally develops the ability to "see". From the cave of this dense matter, the Christ -child is hidden and is later born. The energies of the Pleiades are directly connected with the development of the personality and, therefore, work most closely with the Human Kingdom. The Pleiadean influences later move the aspirant from the Path of Probation to the Path of Accepted Disciple.

These three forces of the Great Bear, Sirius and the Pleiades, working through the Monad or Spirit, Soul and Personality centers, distribute their energies through the twelve signs of the zodiac under the influence of the seven planets. These twelve signs fall into two categories. Seven of these influence the evolution of planetary consciousness on our planet. The other five: Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces, directly influence the development of the five continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and America.

The twelve signs can be configured to form three crosses expressing the triplicity and quadruplicity of the zodiac for every perfected soul that must pass through the metamorphosis of the Cross. The elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water make up the four arms of the Mutable, Fixed and Cardinal crosses. These three crosses represent the crosses that stood on the Mount of Golgotha on which Jesus died.

The four arms of the Mutable Cross are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. This cross is called the Whirling cross, the cross of material change and of the Hidden Christ. Because of its mutable quality it provides the aspirant the fluidity between the pairs of opposites until it takes hold of the soul energy. The infant consciousness of the aspirant is nurtured and provided the opportunity to move from the animal soul to a true aspirant. Symbolically, the Mutable Cross represents the unrepentant thief and the personality development of the disciple. It is in the lower aspect of this Cross that the Nazi chose this symbol as theirs, thereby, expressing at the end of the material cycle of human existence, the false and evil use of matter of which separateness, cruelty and selfishness are key. The whirling "swastika" finally flings the aspirant onto the cross of chosen crucifixion, the Fixed Cross of pledged discipleship.

Mutable or Whirling Cross
When the soul has grown in maturity, it mounts the Fixed Cross known as the Cross of the Crucified Christ. The four arms of the Fixed cross are Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. The man who ascends this cross does so by choice and with full knowledge and cognition of the Path he has decided to tread and with all of its implications. He knows that there is no retreat and so he places his feet firmly on the Path of Return. Symbolically the Fixed Cross represents the repentant thief and the Hierarchy or Soul expression.

The Fixed Cross
Having experienced the deaths of the personality and the Soul on the two previous Crosses, the aspirant now ascends the Cross of Spiritual Death upon the four arms of the Cardinal Cross. Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer takes the now Initiate on to the Endless Way of Revelation. This state of achieved enlightenment marks the beginning of his Cosmic Life of service on the "Higher Way" with all the members of his group. This is the cross of the Risen Christ and all those who stand with the Father at Shamballah.

The Cardinal Cross
When the influence of all four arms of each of the three crosses has produced an effect in the disciple, a transition in consciousness is made from one cross to another. Each transition marks a point of crisis in the life of the individual on his Path of Return. The Seven Rays or streams of force conditioned by the seven energies of the Great Bear and the Pleiades give us the astrological framework within which to work out our own salvation.

The travels of humanity through the signs of the sun and all the Stars of the heavens reflect the suffering, triumph and the miracles of the illuminated man before and after Initiation. It is this challenge for the soul to consciously establish the relationship between the divine intent for man's liberation and his physical experience in matter that beckoned us here.

Name: Etta D. Jackson

This site offers the most current and accurate information on the true nature of the Age of Aquarius with the challenges and gifts it offers. You now have the opportunity to dispel many of the outdated, erroneous information about the ageless wisdom teachings you have heard. Without this information you will not be able to successfully navigate your way though this exciting time.

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The Black Space Experience

The roots of the black space experience date back some 8,500 years when the first lunar calendar was crafted from a bone. Like ancient peoples elsewhere in the world, Africans (sub-Saharan black peoples) “shared the same inspiration and awe of the stars” and “struggled to make sense of it [through] creativity and intelligence” [1] patiently taking “countless generations to watch, justify and map the heavens”[2] and define their relationship with them. According to Dr. Thebe Medupe, a prominent astronomer at the University of Cape Town and the South African Astronomical Observatory, “[Africans] shaped constellations out of stellar patterns and came up with stories about them, …constructed calendars to organize their lives and even erected stone alignments… to follow the sun’s ‘path’ throughout the year.”[3] It was for this reason that Bernard Harris, Jr., the first black astronaut to walk in space stated, “When we look at history itself, you realize that astronomy – the study of the stars – that whole origin… [was] being done by people from Africa. And now I get to fly amongst those same stars” when emphasizing the importance of knowing and understanding history – “If you don’t know where you are and where you came from, you’ll never know where you are going.”[4]

African societies dating back to the ancient times relied on “the stars to predict the likelihood of rain, so they could prepare the land”[5] for planting, for migration (e.g. the Bozo people of Mali “migrate along the delta of the Niger river when the Pleiades transit overhead and begin their fishing season when the Pleiades leave the night sky”[6]) and navigation as well as for determining points in time, leading to the construction of megalith (large stone) observatories and the development of lunar-based calendars, all of which were critical since for them, “knowledge about the movement of the stars [was] a matter of life and death.”[7]

Accordingly the Moon and the stars had a special place in African societies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) “the Milky Way is called ‘God’s clock’ [since] it is orientated east-west during the wet season and… north-south during the middle of the dry season.[8] At the same time, in “central Nigeria… a strong correlation [is] observed between the tilt of the points on the crescent moon and rainfall. As points tilt to the right, dramatic increases in rain[fall occur and] as points tilt to the left, dramatic decreases in rainfall [occur].[9]

Two famous African megaliths that made use of astronomy are Nabta, built between 5500 B.C. and 3500 B.C. by Central African nomads in southern Egypt near the modern-day border with Sudan and Namoratunga II, which was erected in 300 B.C. (aligned to the 7 stars of the Borana calendar – Triangulum, Pleiades, Aldebarran, Belletrix, Orion, Saiph, and Sirius)[10] and stands near Kenya’s Lake Turkana. Based on archeological data, Nabta consisting of “stones aligned with the different rising positions of the Sun… (caused by the Earth’s rotation) [used] to determine the seasons”[11] is perhaps the oldest astronomical alignment in the world, 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. At the same time archeological finds indicate that the Mursi of Ethiopia and Kushites and Bambara of Sudan were also influenced by and “interested in horizon and zenith (sunrise and sunset) events”[12] as were the peoples inhabiting Benin, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

In Benin and Togo, “the Batamalimba people designed their houses such that their crossbeams [were] aligned to the equinox sunrise and sunset” while the Karanga people constructed “a chevron pattern bisected by the solstice Sun” in the Great Zimbabwe stone city that was built around A.D. 400 and completed about A.D. 1350 to mark “important astronomical seasonal events.”[13] In addition, the Pyramids of Meroë built in Kush (now part of Sudan) and the more than 1600 stone circles discovered to date in the lands comprising the Gambia, Senegal and Togo are likely further examples of African archaeoastronomy.

In conjunction with the construction of megaliths, African societies ranging from southern Africa to sub-Saharan northern Africa, also developed calendars based on the lunar cycle. The oldest such calendar, the Ishango bone, dating back to 6500 B.C. that “was found at the site of a fishing village on the shores of Lake Edward which borders the [Democratic Republic of] Congo (DRC) and Uganda”[14] and is believed to have been used for predicting tidal phenomena. At the same time, another early lunar calendar based on a series of concentric circles ranging in number from 29 to 30 was found in “certain caves in Tanzania.”[15]

Even today several African peoples use lunar calendars. Examples are the Borana of southern Ethiopia and northwest Kenya, the Mursi of Ethiopia, the Ngas of Nigeria, and the Dogon of Mali, each of whom either adds an extra month consisting of 11 days at the end of the year or a 33-day month at the end of each third year to compensate for the difference that arises from the 365.25 day solar year (period of time it takes the Earth to complete one revolution around the Sun) in which there are 12 lunar cycles (period of time ranging from the first rise of the new moon to the final setting of the full moon) consisting of 29.5 days each. The Ngas use the term “bergu” for each 29.5-day month and “gamwe” to describe the final 11 days that follow the 12th and last “bergu” of each year. In addition, some peoples in South Africa “still use the same word for month and moon”[16] because of their connotative relationship.

Because of their interest in the heavens and their attempt to create intelligible frameworks around them, Africans also developed myths and legends surrounding celestial bodies and constellations. “The Pleiades and Sirius figure largely in the star lore of the peoples of Mali and Ethiopia… The Milky Way… and Venus… are focused on all over Africa, while the Southern Cross is important to the Zulu, Sotho, and Tswana [peoples] of southern Africa and… recognized as a navigation constellation.”[17]

Examples of these African myths and legends are as follows: The Bushmen who inhabit southern Africa “believe the Milky Way was made by a Bushman girl who wished for a little light and threw wood ashes into the sky [creating] different colored stars by throwing different colored burning roots into the air. [There are also two other stories. One involves] two stars of the Southern Cross, Alpha and Gamma Crucis… The creator had two sons called Khanka and Khoma. One day the two boys went hunting with a family of lions, but the treacherous lions ate the boys. In his anger and despair, the creator made fire and hid it in a meteor disguised as an eland’s horn. The creator called down the meteor and it hit [and killed] the lion. [Afterwards the creator’s] heart was calmed and there was fire for everyone. Khanka and Khoma are Alpha Crucis and Gamma Crucis. [The next is about Pleiades and the three stars of the Orion Belt, in which] …seven daughters of the sky god (Pleiades) were married to a hunter. One evening [he] went hunting [for] zebras (the three stars of Orion’s Belt). He was such a bad hunter that his arrow missed, and because he was afraid of the nearby lion (Betelgeuse, another star) he left the arrow where it lay (now known as Orion’s sword). [Afterwards, being] …too embarrassed to [return] home to his wives because he did not have meat to bring to them, …he [stayed] out… in the cold as the star called Aldebaran.”[18]

In addition to merely studying astronomy, developing lunar calendars, and creating myths and legends about the heavens, Africans also exchanged information and ideas with Islamic scientists following the establishment of protected trade routes in the areas encompassing Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The peak of this exchange occurred during the rule of the Ghana, Mali and Songhay empires (c. A.D. 1200-A.D. 1591) when Islamic traders traveled to African cities in search of gold, the economic standard of their lands after Iranian scholar, Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani wrote in c. A.D. 900:

It is said that beyond the source of the Nile is darkness and beyond the darkness are waters which make the gold grow… to the town of Ghana is a three-months’ journey through deserts. In the country of Ghana gold grows in the sand as carrots do, and is plucked at sunrise.[19]

During the height of this trans-Saharan trade, Islamic scholars established learning centers and introduced the written language, resulting in the creation of thousands of African books pertaining to astronomy and science.

However, it was not until late in the 20th century, some two decades after the United States and the now defunct Soviet Union (USSR) had begun their manned space programs, that descendents of these early African astronomers actually made it into space, much in part due to the efforts of Luke Weathers (b. A.D. 1920), a black World War II veteran with a degree in science and biology and others who had “pressured the U.S. military to train a corps of black pilots at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama… to prove that black Americans… could handle the most challenging… jobs.”[20]

This led to June A.D. 1967 when another pilot, Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. (A.D. 1935-A.D. 1967) with over 2,500 flight hours behind him, successfully completed the Air Force’s Flight Test Pilot Training School at Edwards Air Force Base in California and was named the first African-American astronaut. “Though he never made it into space”[21] dying on December 8th when the F-104 Starfighter piloted by a trainee whom he was instructing crashed, Major Lawrence had participated in the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) Program, a project that “would eventually lead to today’s International Space Station.”[22]

Despite the setback, blacks were not going to be denied their place in space. Following the success of the Civil Rights movement, new opportunities emerged much in part due to improved education and equal opportunity chances. As a result greater numbers of blacks enrolled and were accepted into America’s space program.

History was made on September 18, A.D. 1980 when Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez (b. A.D. 1942), a Cuban of black-hispanic heritage was launched into space as part of the Soyuz 38 crew. “After docking with Salyut 6, Tamayo (a Cuban Air Force pilot) and [his partner Yuri] Romanenko (b. A.D. 1944) conducted experiments in an attempt to find [the cause] of space sickness, and… a cure.”[23] He spent 188 hours and 43 minutes in space before returning to Earth on September 26, A.D. 1980.

This was followed by the August 30, A.D. 1983 launch of Guion “Guy” Bluford (b. A.D. 1942), a U.S. Air Force Colonel who had majored in aerospace engineering and minored in laser physics, aboard the space shuttle Challenger on the STS-8 mission which lasted 145 hours. Upon entering space during the worlds’ first night launch, Guy Bluford became the first African-American astronaut to make the trip.

Afterwards Guy Bluford participated in three additional missions – STS-61-A (October 30-November 6, A.D. 1985 aboard Challenger), STS-39 (April 28-May 6, A.D. 1991 aboard Discovery), and STS-53 (December 2-December 9, A.D. 1992 aboard Discovery). During his career, Col. Bluford who retired from active space duty in 1993, amassed 28 days, 16 hours and 33 minutes in space. Since then Col. Bluford has been inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame (A.D. 1997) and “has spoken before many groups… where he serves as a role model,” all possible because his mother, a teacher, and father, an engineer, had encouraged him and his three brothers to “set their goals high” and because he ignored a school counselor’s advice to”learn a trade, since he was not college material.”[24]

The next black astronaut to make history was Dr. Mae Jemison (b. A.D. 1956), the daughter of a maintenance worker (her father) and teacher (her mother) who earned a BS in Chemical Engineering, a BA in African-American studies, and a doctorate in medicine. Notably, during her years in medical school and participation in the Peace Corps she had provided medical care to persons in Cuba, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Thailand.

When the space shuttle Endeavor was launched on September 12, A.D. 1992, Dr. Jemison became the first African-American woman in space. Following her 7 day, 22 hour, 30 minute mission aboard Endeavor as a mission specialist (STS-47 September 12-20, A.D. 1992), Jemison retired from space flight to found The Jemison Group “to research, develop and implement advanced technologies suited to the social, political, cultural and economic context of the individual, especially for the developing world.”[25] Yet despite her post NASA pursuits, Dr. Jemison in following the encouragement and support given by her parents, consistently encourages African-Americans to pursue scientific careers especially with the space program – “This is the one time when we can get in on the ground floor.”[26]

A third history making black astronaut was Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. (b. A.D. 1956), a private pilot and flight surgeon with a doctorate in medical science and a master’s degree in biomedical science who had dreamed “to look down on the clouds” since he was 8. “I was watching what was happening with the space program, watching these guys go up… people called them American heroes. I wanted to be a hero too,” he declared when thinking back to the infancy of the U.S. space program.[27] On February 9, A.D. 1995, Dr. Harris became the first African-American to walk in space when he and astronaut Michael Foale (b. A.D. 1957) “made a five hour space walk to test thermal improvements in space suits and to hoist a 2,800 pound telescope that would aid… efforts to design [the] International Space Station.”[28] Afterwards, he reflected back to 1963, perhaps the most pivotal year in the Civil Rights movement (e.g. the march on Washington, D.C. where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I have a dream” speech in August, the Birmingham Church bombing a month later that martyred four young black girls, etc.) stating, “Those were some of the best times and worst times. Here on this planet we were fighting for human rights and at the same time we were sending men to the moon.”[29] Appropriately, Dr. Harris dedicated his space walk, which he described as “probably the most wonderful day of my life”[30] to “all African-Americans and to African American achievement.”[31]

During his astronaut career, Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. took part in two missions – STS-55 (April 26-May 6, A.D. 1993 aboard Columbia as a mission specialist conducting “a variety of research in physical and life sciences”[32]) and STS-63 (February 2-11, A.D. 1995 aboard Discovery as payload commander) logging 18 days, 6 hours and 8 minutes in space. Like Bluford, Dr. Harris also serves as an inspiration encouraging “children of all races to follow his example – ‘Don’t be afraid to dream… Get… an education. Be willing to work hard. If you do these three things, there is nothing that you can’t do in life.’”[33]

In addition to the above-mentioned African-American astronauts, others have also pursued and made the journey to and from space. In the process, two – Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D. and Col. Michael A. Anderson, made the ultimate sacrifice – giving up their lives in quest of scientific exploration and discovery for the benefit of humanity. Summaries of these inspirational astronauts are listed below:

Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson (A.D. 1959-A.D. 2003) amassed 24 days, 18 hours, and 8 minutes in space, participating in STS-89 (January 22-31, A.D. 1998 aboard Endeavor) and STS-107 (January 16-February 1, A.D. 2003 aboard Columbia). Tragically Lt. Col. Anderson lost his life when the “space shuttle Columbia and her crew perished during entry, 16 minutes before scheduled landing”[34] at Cape Canaveral.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (b. A.D. 1946) amassed 28 days, 8 hours, and 37 minutes in space, participating in STS-61-C (January 12-18, 1986 aboard Columbia), STS-31 (April 24-29, A.D. 1990 aboard Discovery), STS-45 (March 24-April 2, A.D. 1992 aboard Atlantis as the first African-American mission commander), and STS-60 (February 3-11, A.D. 1994 aboard Discovery).

Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. (b. A.D. 1962) amassed 24 days, 17 hours, and 49 minutes in space, participating in STS-85 (August 7-19, A.D. 1997 aboard Discovery) and STS-98 (February 7-20, 2001 aboard Atlantis).

Col. Frederick D. Gregory (b. A.D. 1941) amassed 18 days, 23 hours, and 4 minutes in space, participating in STS-51-B (April 29-May 6, A.D. 1985 aboard Challenger), STS-33 (November 22-27, A.D. 1989 aboard Discovery), and STS-44 (November 24-December 1, A.D. 1991 aboard Atlantis).

Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D. (A.D. 1950-A.D. 1986) amassed 7 days, 23 hours, and 15 minutes in space during STS-41-B (February 3-11, A.D. 1984 aboard Challenger). Tragically Dr. McNair perished along with the rest of the Challenger crew when the space shuttle exploded minutes after launch on January 28, A.D. 1986 for the STS-51-L mission.

Stephanie D. Wilson (b. A.D. 1966) who to date has amassed 12 days, 18 hours, and 36 minutes in space (STS-121 – July 4-17, A.D. 2006 aboard Discovery).

Based on the growing roll of African-American astronauts, which likely will include Joan Higginbotham (b. A.D. 1964) who is slated for launch this fall, the efforts of Dr. Beth A. Brown, a pioneering African-American astrophysicist, the creation of a “National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme” in South Africa consisting of a collaboration among the country’s “universities and research institutes [that focuses on] honors and masters students [to create a new generation of space scientists][35], and the A.D. 2005 debut of the 11-meter-wide South African Large Telescope (SALT) at Sutherland, “the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most advanced telescope”[36] the black space experience can only grow richer as the future remains bright like the Earth’s shining star, the Sun.



[1] Ancient Astronomy In Africa. Fall 1998. 18 July 2006. []

[2] Jarita Holbrook. African Astronomy. Center for Archaeoastronomy. June 1998. 18 July 2006.

[3] Africans studied astronomy in medieval times. The Royal Society. 30 January 2006. 18 July 2006. []

[4] Kathy Nellis. Trip to the stars rooted in history. 24 February 1996. 18 July 2006.

[5] M. Panther. Africans Studied Astronomy in Medieval Times. 26 February 2006. 18 July 2006.

[6] Jarita Holbrook. African Astronomy. Center for Archaeoastronomy. June 1998. 18 July 2006.

[7] Curtis Abraham. Astronomy and the legacy of apartheid. New 15 January 2005. 18 July 2006.

[8] Jarita Holbrook. African Astronomy. Center for Archaeoastronomy. June 1998. 18 July 2006.

[9] Ngas. Cultural Astronomy. 18 July 2006.

[10] Namouratunga II. Archaeoastronomy Africa. 18 July 2006.

[11] M. Panther. Africans Studied Astronomy in Medieval Times. 26 February 2006. 18 July 2006.

[12] A.F. Veni. Tropical archeoastronomy. Science 213. 1981.

[13] Laurence R. Doyle and Edward W. Frank. Astronomy of Africa. Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. 18 July 2006.

[14] Jarita Holbrook. African Astronomy. Center for Archaeoastronomy. June 1998. 18 July 2006.

[15] Laurence R. Doyle and Edward W. Frank. Astronomy of Africa. Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. 18 July 2006.

[16] M. Panther. Africans Studied Astronomy in Medieval Times. 26 February 2006. 18 July 2006.

[17] Jarita Holbrook. African Astronomy. Center for Archaeoastronomy. June 1998. 18 July 2006.

[18] Curtis Abraham. Astronomy and the legacy of apartheid. New 15 January 2005. 18 July 2006.

[19] John Reader. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. Vintage Books: New York. 1997. 286.

[20] WWII flier paved way for black astronauts. News 4. 10 July 2006.

[21] Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr. Biography. NASA and About, Inc. 2006. 18 July 2006.

[22] Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr. 3 July 2006. 18 July 2006.

[23] Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. 4 July 2006. 18 July 2006.

[24] Nick Greene. Guion “Guy” Bluford – NASA Astronaut. About, Inc. 2006. 18 July 2006.

[25] Mae Jemison. 28 June 2006. 18 July 2006.

[26] Marilyn Marshall. Child of the ‘60s set to become first Black woman in space. Gale Group. 2004. 18 July 2006.

[27] First African-American To Walk In Space Speaks In Palestine. 18 January 2005. 21 July 2006.

[28] 1997 Honorees – Bernard A. Harris, Jr., M.D. Dominion. 2006. 21 July 2006. []

[29] First African-American To Walk In Space Speaks In Palestine. 18 January 2005. 21 July 2006.

[30] Nick Greene. Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., Biography. About, Inc. 2006.

[31] 1997 Honorees – Bernard A. Harris, Jr., M.D. Dominion. 2006. 21 July 2006. []

[32] Nick Greene. Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., Biography. About, Inc. 2006.

[33] Nick Greene. Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., Biography. About, Inc. 2006.

[34] Michael Phillip Anderson. 3 Julye 2006. 18 July 2006.

[35] Space science programme takes off. Science in Africa. May 2003. 18 July 2006.

[36] George Faraday. South Africa to Build Largest Telescope South of the Equator. Africa News Service. 8 July 1998. 21 July 2006.

Additional Sources:

Bail Davidson. The Lost Cities of Africa. Little, Brown and Company. USA. 1959.

Bernard A. Harris, Jr. 11 May 2006. 18 July 2006.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr. 4 July 2006. 21 July 2006.

Frederick D. Gregory. 8 June 2006. 18 July 2006.

Guion Bluford. 15 June 2006. 18 July 2006.

Nick Greene. Dr. Mae C. Jamison. About, Inc. 2006.

Nick Greene. Ronald E. McNair (Ph.D.). About, Inc. 2006.

Robert Curbeam. 21 June 2006. 18 July 2006.

Ronald McNair. 6 July 2006. 18 July 2006.

South African Large Telescope Makes Its Debut. 1 September 2005. 21 July 2006.

Stephanie Wilson. 18 July 2006. 18 July 2006.

William Sutherland is a published poet and writer. He is the author of three books, "Poetry, Prayers & Haiku" (1999), "Russian Spring" (2003) and "Aaliyah Remembered: Her Life & The Person behind the Mystique" (2005) and has been published in poetry anthologies around the world.

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2012 Meteor Impact - An Unavoidable Certainty?

As December 21, 2012 approaches, theologians, scientists and prophets are waiting for the sky to fall... literally. One of the most controversial debates surrounding December 2012 is that of a meteor striking Earth. Even NASA agrees "something wicked this way comes".

Meteors are space rocks; varying in size, meteors often disintegrate upon entering Earth's atmosphere. Hundreds hit Earth every year, but impact is minimal. What makes a meteor strike around 2012 special and why has it attracted attention of NASA and world governments; perhaps because this meteor was predicted thousands of years ago and has struck devastating blows to Earth before.

Lurking in space is an object known as Planet X, Nibiru, or the 10th Planet. Only recently seen by astronomers, Planet X has a history documented in Samarian texts, ancient Mayan writings, the Bible, and predictions of Nostradamus. Known as "Wormwood" in the Bible, scholars believe the passing of Planet X through Earth's atmosphere set into motion the flood of Genesis. They further believe Planet X, or Wormwood, is the force mentioned in Revelation that brings destruction in end times.

Using charts and graphs, mathematicians calculated Planet X comes close to Earth every 3600 years and each pass brings considerable atmospheric change. The Earth observes a cycle of global warming and glacier melting. Sound familiar? NASA first observed Planet X in 1983 using Infrared Astronomical Satellite or IRAS. Since then changes have been documented on planets in close range of Planet X.

Pluto, Neptune's Triton moon, and Jupiter have suffered climatic disturbances similar to Earth's. As planetary temperatures rise, polar ice caps melt with increasing speed and volcanic eruptions increase. Could this be Earth's future? The prediction is a meteor will strike; where does Planet X come into play?

Planet X is five times larger and has 100 times the mass of Earth. Planet X has a gravitational pull so powerful scientists believe recent climatic events, increase in hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes, are a result of Planet X's race toward Earth even though it is over 7 million light years away! These activities will swell as Planet X approaches.

Sometime between 2010-2014 Planet X is theorized to pass through Earth's gravitational field.

As Planet X passes, Earth will stop rotating for three days. After three days, Earth will rotate 90 degrees in less than an hour: the polar shift. This shift results in unprecedented chaos; global winds averaging 200 mph, volcanoes simultaneously erupting, followed by earthquakes resulting in the death of ¾ of Earth's population. Famine, plagues, and wars will follow killing close to another 20% of world population.

The United States is the last country in the world to mention this planetary calamity. Norway and other European countries have been creating underground bunkers for years to keep citizens from harm. Even Russia has recently warned citizens of impending doom.

Will Earth be struck by a meteor in 2012? While the debate continues over meteor, comet, or Planet X, we would be wise to be forewarned that regardless of what is approaching, its potential to radically impact planet Earth is a reality that many fear.

The anticipated 2012 meteor impact event is likely to throw our civilization into utter turmoil but from the ashes of the old rises the new and many now believe that calamity has been averted - Only time will tell.

Jay Robert Edwards is a researcher for all things related to 2012. His passion is to educate and present findings to the public in preparation for this hugely significant time in our planet's history. For more information go to

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Will the Planets Really Line Up in 2012?

One of the many theories about the phenomenon known as just '2012' is that all the planets of our solar system will line up on December 21'st 2012, which coincidentally is also the end of the current cycle in the mysterious Mayan calendar. Apparently this alignment of the planets will lead to one of two things depending on who you ask. Either the beginning of a new age or the destruction of our world! Since the latter option is rather unpleasant, perhaps we should try to find out if the planets line up in 2012!

Some people believe that when the planets of the solar system lines up, it marks the beginning of a new era. The last time the planets were aligned seem to be around 450 years ago, which amazingly coincide with the period in history known as the 'Age of Enlightenment'. This era produced perhaps more geniuses than any other period of time, dragging humanity out of the dark ages and introducing modern science, astronomy, medicine and liberty. It's safe to say, that had it not been for the Age of Enlightenment thinkers, we would be much worse off. The next planetary alignment should be due really soon, but will the effect be the same? Will the planets line up in 2012 and will it lead to a new golden age for humanity? Astrologers think so. This new era; the Age of Aquarius, will be the pinnacle of human evolution according to them.

A more sinister prediction is that the alignment of the planets will simply lead to the destruction of our world as we know it. The gravitational force of the planets, perhaps in conjunction with Planet X, will lead to the earth's poles shifting from North to South and altering the rotation of the planet, causing earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. It may even make the oceans so hot, that they begin to boil.

The 2012 predictions are not easy to figure out. What is fact and what is myth? In the book 2012 Contact, I believe the author has managed to include as much information as is available. It also includes a survival guide, which may come in handy. I suggest you check it out! Also see my hub for more info.

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