Tuesday, November 30, 2010

History of Santa Claus and Christmas

If you love Christmastime with its lovely candlelit and festive decor and holiday shoppers buzzing about, you'll want to learn more about how this holiday first came about. Where did Santa come from? Is he real?

There's a wonderful site called, fittingly enough, The History of Christmas (thehistoryofchristmas.com). They have wonderful information on every aspect on the big jolly old elf himself as well as how the season first came to be celebrated.

Here's a brief sample of what you'll learn there. And there's plenty more for you to read on your own.

· St. Nicholas really did exist. He was a priest born in 220AD in Italy. He was a rich man known for sharing his wealth with those less fortunate. He was often found helping children. But he did not like the recognition he received for his generosity. So, he began leaving presents secretly for children after dark. Hence, the tradition was born of parents telling their children to go to sleep or St. Nicholas would not come and bring them presents. St. Nicholas became so popular that by the 1400s there were over 2000 chapels and monasteries named in his honor.

· In the 1600s, Christmas took a sour turn. The Puritans banned St. Nicholas and any mention of him. They also banned Christmas celebrations and carols.

· By 1770 St. A. Claus came on the scene in America through advertising efforts.

· In 1812, Washington Irving wrote a book that features St. Nicholas, who had now become one and the same with Santa Claus, riding over the treetops in a wagon.

· An 1821 poem by William Gilley featured "santeclaus" dressed in fur and driving a sleigh led by a reindeer.

· Perhaps the 1822 poem, The Night Before Christmas, is most responsible for giving us the picture we have in our heads of Santa today. It featured a dreamlike story of a jolly old man in red driving a team of 8 reindeer and handing out Christmas gifts to the whole world. He enters the homes via chimney and leaves without being seen.

· By the 1920s, Santa was firmly imprinted on America's consciousness as a fat, old, white haired man with a beard who laughs with a "ho, ho, ho."

· The 1930s saw Santa in print in Coke's advertising. Santa now had a universal image everyone could relate to. And he drank Coke! Who knew? Coke's image of Santa Claus remains to this day the most popular portrayal of the guy from the North Pole.

Kids all over the world welcome presents at Christmas time. Some think they come from Santa Claus, some from a witch and some from a Dutch saint. No matter what their holiday tradition, everyone recognizes Santa Claus as the icon of the Christmas holiday.

Some now feel that Santa has replaced Christ as the reason for Christmas and movements are taking place to "put Christ back in Christmas." Many people object to the spelling of Christmas as "X-mas" thinking that Christ is being crossed out and replaced by an X, but the truth behind that abbreviation stemmed from a time when people were persecuted for worshiping Christ. They put the X to stand in for Christ so they would not be arrested and punished. Christmas today is a joyful holiday when goodwill and cheer is in the air.

Barbara Peterson is a large fan of holidays and any opportunity to host a party, plan a party, or be creative with the festivities. Look for more work by Barbara Peterson for more holidays!

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The Famous Volcano Mount Vesuvius

In this modern day, two million people live in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, one of the most sinister of famous volcanoes. This active mountain has exploded more than fifty times since its momentous eruption in 79 A.D. That eruption buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Since those cities were buried and lost, this volcano continued to erupt about every hundred years until roughly 1037 A.D., when it fell quiet for almost six hundred years.

In 1631, Mount Vesuvius killed four thousand more people. During the recovery work after this eruption, workers discovered the original ruins of Pompeii, that had been buried for almost 1600 years. Three hundred years later, the excavations finally revealed the full story of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

If you stand in the excavated ruins of Pompeii, you can see Vesuvius behind you. It's about five miles away. If you could imagine billowing, huge, black-gray clouds rushing towards you at over a hundred miles an hour, that is what the Romans saw, moments before they were entombed by hot ash.

Mount Vesuvius stands in the middle of an older and large eroded cone named Mount Somma. Half of this is still visible on the east side of Vesuvius.

In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius trembled under a huge earthquake. The top of the mountain split open and the inhabitants of Pompeii were covered with pumice, stones and ash. A river of mud flowed over the city of Herculaneum.

No doubt the people in the cities debated whether it would be safer for them to stay inside or try to outrun the lava and pumice. The buildings themselves now shook violently, and they seemed to be swaying. Many put pillows on their heads as they ran from their homes, dodging the stone and pumice and ash.

The smell of sulfur and the flames of burning lava roared down the mountain, and the dense fumes choked the life from anyone foolish enough not to flee the city. They also saw the sea sucked away and then forced back with a vengeance. It must have looked similar to the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004. They could hear the wailing of children, women and infants and the shouting of men, praying for help or even for a quick and merciful death. It was this devastation of human life that made Vesuvius one of the famous volcanoes, as far as destructive force is concerned.

The people who excavated Pompeii discovered what it might have looked like in 79 A.D. It was preserved in the ash. An oven in a bakery still contained loaves of bread almost two thousand years old! Some of Vesuvius' victims left cavities in the hard ash, when their bodies decomposed.

Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the mainland of Europe that has erupted within the last hundred years. It creates a beautiful landscape, but the danger is always there, under the earth. Vesuvius is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, because three million people live in its shadow. Vesuvius was revered by the Romans and Greeks as being sacred to the god Hercules. The town of Herculaneum, once a city at its base, was named after this god.

Want to find out about fruit carving, grand opening ideas and other information? Get tips from the Knowledge Galaxy website.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

How Do I Know If My House Is Haunted?

You awaken at night to hear footsteps walking up the stairs. Kitchen cupboards are left open, but you know they were closed when you were in there last. Lights turn on by itself. Your keys have disappeared, yet you know that you left them on the table. You smell the perfume or aftershave of someone, but no-one in your house uses that fragrance. What is going on?

All these may be indications that your house is haunted.

In most cases these strange happenings can be rationally explained. The footsteps may be nothing more than noisy water pipes, someone may have left the kitchen cupboard open, faulty electrics could cause lights to turn on by itself, you mislaid the keys when distracted and the smell may be coming in from a breeze wafting past a clump of flowers outside.

The first thing to do if you suspect a haunting is to check whether the cause is something explainable.

Check to see if the phenomenon occurs at the same time each day. This will usually narrow down your investigation. What were you, and other people in the house, doing prior to it occurring?

If you hear knocking or footsteps immediately after someone has taken a bath, it could just be the water pipes or water heater.

In the case of cupboards being left open, make sure that they are all closed. Double check each one, ensuring they are well closed. Then close the door to the room, making sure that everyone in the house knows not to go into it overnight. Are they open the next morning?

Some of the main causes of 'ghostly happenings' are merely pets or animals. People forget that cats and dogs could be responsible for a large majority of spooky events.

Cats like jumping and stretching on things. Often this may cause drawers or cupboards to open. They also knock things off tables or sideboards. Dogs are also known to open doors and knock things over. Dogs walking up stairs or along passages could also sound like footsteps - particularly with the bigger breeds.

Other animals like mice, rats, squirrels, possums or many other animals could also be the cause of unusual sounds or activity. Check to see whether any of these animals have set up home in your roof, walls or garden.

The second thing to do is now get a friend to check out the house for you. Often we live in a 'comfort zone'. so it is easy to overlook things. Explain what you are experiencing and then get a friend to see if they can find an explanation.

If an explanation is still not found, then you may indeed have a ghost in the house. If it is bugging you, you may now want to call a professional ghost hunter. A ghost hunter usually has access to specialist equipment which could still track down a natural, explainable cause.

Stronger signs of potential hauntings:

  • Unexplained Shadows: You see shadows moving in the corner of your eye, but when you look, there is nothing there. Sometimes these shadows may appear human-shaped.
  • Pet Behaviour: It seems that pets are able to 'see' ghosts a lot better than humans. Do your dogs bark at something you can't see? Do your cats stare at a blank wall? this could indicate a ghost.
  • Being Watched: Are you alone at home, but yet feel like someone is watching you? It usually happens only in one part of the house and usually only at a particular time.
  • Being Touched: This is often linked to the feeling of being watched. You can feel a very light touch on your arm or face. You feel like someone has their hand on your shoulder. Sometimes people report something tugging on their hair or clothes.
  • Cold Spots: Nearly everyone has heard of this. As you walk across a room or down a passage, you pass through an area where the temperature is noticably colder or warmer. (Check that there is no aircon on or hot water pipes that go under the floor!)
  • Voices: You sometimes hear muffled voices, a child crying quietly or hear whispers. People also report hearing their names being said.

Definite Signs of paranormal activity:

  • Moving or levitating objects: furniture moving, crockery sliding across a table, pictures falling off the wall, books being thrown from a bookshelf.
  • Physical assault: scratches that appear on your body with no explanation. Hard slaps or hair pulling, yet no-one is around.
  • Apparitions: Seeing a ghostly entity appearing in a room, seeing a mist-like shape moving about, seeing small balls of light moving around the room.

If the ghost hunters have not found clear evidence of the phenomena being of natural origins, the could call in a medium to try and contact the entity. In extreme cases, an exorcist or priest may be called on to cleanse the house and banish the entity.

Don't let your imagination take over! Let common sense prevail!

For the latest news on all things paranormal, head on over to Strange News Daily. For stories and articles on ghosts, haunted houses and other strangeness, pop on over to the Strange News Daily Blog, a place that collects strange stories from the world of the mysterious, unexplained and unknown.
James is an author and explorer with a deep interest in all things paranormal. When not travelling the world in search of the strange, weird and bizarre, he writes about his experiences and the research he has done.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Richard_Smith

Do You Feel That Time is Speeding Up?

Whenever I talk to people these days, they all mention the same thing - time seems to be speeding up. I have heard things like:

"Sometimes it feels that you have just started a week and before you realise it, it is Friday again."

"Has Michael Jackson/Farah Fawcett been dead for a year already?"

"I was last in New York two ummm three ummm can it be six years ago already?!"

I remember when I was a kid and summers seemed to be so long, the school year took forever to be over and waiting for my birthday to roll around to ages. These days it feels like summer lasted only a few weeks, the year seems to fly by and am I really as old as that now?

So what is going on? Is time really speeding up, or is it just my perception of time that has changed?

One long held scientific explanation is known as 'telescoping'. This is the idea that time feels faster when we look back on past events and discover that we underestimated how long ago they occurred.

When you're 8, a year is 1/8 of your life experience. A big chunk. Seems like forever between birthdays.

When you're 20, a year is 1/20 of your life experience. A smaller chunk. Seems like a few months between birthdays.

When you're 60, a year is 1/60 of your life experience. A tiny chunk. Seems like a week between birthdays.

Two researchers, William Friedman and Steve Janssen, conducted a study in New Zealand on this issue. They found that there are very few differences between age groups of the perception of time passing.

This study was corroborated by a German study in 2005 which was conducted with a much larger sample of people. Age accounted for four per cent of the variance in how quickly participants said the last ten years had passed and just one per cent of the perception of time's speed in general.

Another theory is that time isn't speeding up, but rather it's our awareness of everything that's increasing, which gives the illusion that time is speeding up. There is much more to cram into our minds than their was 5-10 years ago.

Time can appear (or the illusion of time) to slow down in a relaxed state of mind, also. Relaxed sleep or meditation can appear to last for hours, but can in fact be merely minutes.

One of the greatest thinkers of our time, Albert Einstein agreed that time was flexible and formed the basis for his theory or relativity. He said that the closer we come to light speed, the more time would appear to slow down for us from the perspective of someone who, in relation to us, was not moving. He called the slowing of time due to motion time dilation.

It is a known fact that our universe is speeding up, as a result from the Big Bang. As our speed increases compared to the rest of the universe, is this having an effect on our own perception of time?

Dmitro Stary and Irina Soldatenko, two Russian physicists from Kiev's Institute of Quantum Physics have developed a dynamic new way to measure the expansion of the universe, and with it, discovered that time appears to be speeding up as well.

The pair spent 30 years developing new instruments, computer programs and doing research into this phenomenon.

A Russian newspaper which reported on this said:

"The major outcome... which was never intended by the scientists, became obvious only during the final stages of the experiment. After conducting thorough analysis of acquired data, they discovered that not only does the Universe expand, but time tends to accelerate as well."

This concept is so new that is unlikely to be peer corroborated and reviewed for at least another 30 years.

Another theory goes like this: For thousands of years the Schumann Resonance or pulse (heartbeat) of Earth has been 7.83 cycles per second, The military have used this as a very reliable reference. However, since 1980 this resonance has been slowly rising. It is now over 12 cycles per second.

This means that there is the equivalent of less than 16 hours per day instead of the old 24 hours. Our clocks still move in seconds, minutes and hours and still click over a full day in 24 hours but due to the earths increased heartbeat, we perceive it to be only two thirds as long or a perception period of merely 16 hours.

Can this frequency jump in the Earth's vibrations be partially responsible for the speeding of time?

One other explanation compared time to the ever tightening spiral of a seashell. As you travel from the outermost edge towards the center, each trip around the center takes less and less distance. So, a day or a year would go faster and faster. Eventually, we will reach a point in the center at which we make a quantum jump through some sort of portal or gate into a changed reality.

Science has seem to proven that time is indeed changing, but it seems to be at a loss as to the why and how much. One thing I am sure of is that to me time seems to be accelerating at an alarming rate.

Do you feel it too?

For the latest news on all things paranormal, head on over to Strange News Daily. For stories and articles on ghosts, haunted houses and other strangeness, pop on over to the Strange News Daily Blog, a place that collects strange stories from the world of the mysterious, unexplained and unknown.
James is an author and explorer with a deep interest in all things paranormal. When not travelling the world in search of the strange, weird and bizarre, he writes about his experiences and the research he has done.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Richard_Smith

Magick More Than Just Wands, Circles and Chants

I have my wand and my robe, my pentacle and sword, the incense is burning and the sigils drawn. What more do I need to do magick? Basics, basics, basics..... Let's go back to the basics people.

Too many people today, think magick is all about material items. "I want a love spell, a money spell, a better life spell" well guess what... unless you have developed the mental capacity to understand how a spell like that works, It will very seldom work. It requires so much thought and energy, so much consideration and adept knowledge, that by the time you attain the level to perform such magick successfully on a regular basis you will realize... it's not magick at all that is all mind games that you do, to either advance you further or hinder yourself from moving on. Material magick is nothing more than an illusion that we have been chasing for millennia, the philosophers stone... fountain of youth. All "Magickal" ways to obtain material and earthly goals, upon deeper study you will realize that these ideas and theories were passed down in code and secrecy that only the true adepts have known.

Just because you created all your magick tools and scribed all the sigils in perfect metals doesn't mean that the conjured spirit will show. Lord knows I've spent countless hours in front of a dark scyring glass to find nothing but my own reflection with a puzzled look. This is an art a skill that must be taken up honorably diligently and respectfully. The power you will harness after training your mind, body and soul will be beyond the need of worldly possessions. So my word of advice, if you're into magick because you are poor, sick, sad, lonely or mentally unstable leave now before you hurt yourself or others more.

What is Magick about then?

Magick is indefinable; the true word has to broad of a meaning to define. Aleister Crowley once said "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will". I am already hearing a lot of you saying "WAIT! You just said magick won't make me rich or fall in love", what I said was magick for the sole purpose of becoming wealthy is wrong and unfeasible due to the time and development it takes, go get a job.

Break down Mr. Crowley's words:

"The Science and Art" magick has both an empirical methodology behind it as well as being adaptable to the inherit energies, needs and desires of the magician. Everyone has their own energy and power and must practice and experiment to find out how to manipulate the energy to be used in magick; this is done by a systematic approach and scientific observation.

"Causing Chang to Occur" spiritual, mental or material? How about all three! Magick manipulates the energy surrounding your "world" your sphere of observation and your perception of that existence. When you learn about magick, you will discover that the changes trickle down from the astral realms, through the subconscious into the conscious and projected out in your perception of the world. You have to start on an energy level to form whatever your goal is. (If I try to further describe this I run the risk of confusing you; everyone must learn to understand this in their own mind).

"In conformity with will" Oh yes! The Free will. We all have an independent and free will, unless our marriages really poor.... If we think about something happening, we are in essence willing it to happen in the simplest sense of the term. Our free will is what sets everything in magick, into motion to create the change. The knowledge of the energies the tools and sigils and cryptic languages possess all help build the power the magician has, until the energy is great enough to start manifesting results.

In essence, if you are wanting to get into magick. Its vocation, a dedication and not to be only played or dabbled with, I have seen numerous people get into studying magick and only come out more mentally unstable, practicing "black magick" or hurting someone and blaming it on the voices in their heads. So please learn, live and study before you get into the really powerful forms of magick. Magick is about your inner soul transforming and refining, about your understanding of the universe. It's about preparing the mind and body to align with the soul to transcend the heavenly spiral.

For more information about magick, the occult, hermetic sciences, astrology and alchemy, Visit: http://www.arcanearchives.com

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The Magical Use of Candles

Candles were a necessity years ago before electricity. Today they've become decorative and aromatic items in many homes. Folk magicians use candles as focal points of power, as well as for the magical energy that flow from their colors and flames.

Candles of particular shapes are sometimes used during rituals with the shape in equivalent to a needed magical goal. More frequently, however, it is the candles color and not the shape that is of importance to the folk magician.

It is accepted by psychology that colors have a strong effect on our subconscious minds and also on our bodies. Prison walls have been painted pink to calm prisoners with violent and or emotional problems. To stimulate healing and reduce the stress and trauma of surgery, hospital rooms are often painted soft shades of blue or green. The color red is used to attract attention as with stop signs, flashing emergency lights and advertising and packaging.

Knowing that color has magical and psychological effects, folk magicians select colored candles that are in harmony with their desired magical needs.

Here is a list:
White: Purification, protection, peace
Red: Protection, strength, health, courage, exorcism, passion
Black: Negation, absorption of disease and negativity
Blue: Healing, psychic, patience, happiness
Green: Finances, money, fertility, growth, employment
Yellow: Intelligence, theorization, divination,
Brown: Healing of animals, homes, housing
Pink: Love, friendships
Orange: Adaptability, stimulation, attraction
Purple: Power, healing of severe disease, spirituality, and meditation

Candles are used as magical tools. The strong effects of candles on the conscious mind can be tested.

Simply take a white candle into a darkened room where you can be completely alone. Light the wick with a match, not a lighter. The act of lighting the candle with a match, in my opinion, is more powerful than if you were to use a lighter. As the match flares up and ignites the wick, sit down in front of the candle. Still your mind and watch the flame as it slowly melts the wax. Breathe softly, slowly, gazing at the candle like a mystic into a crystal ball.

You will find yourself in a slightly different state of mind than when you first took the candle into the darkened room. You may be more relaxed, less stressed and at peace. When you turn the light on this mood will vanish quickly, but you'll have experienced one of the most powerful effects of candles, their ability to alter your conscious mind. Folk magicians have used candles, torches and oil lamps as a focal point for personal and natural power for a thousand years; they are the primary tools that facilitate consciousness shifts. Millions of candles are lit around the world everyday for use in candle magick as well as decoration and aroma.

Natalie Moon

MLM, Network Marketing, Home Gourmet Candle Business


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Candle Colors and Their Meanings

Candle magick is a form of magic that has been used for centuries, and it's one of the most common forms of sympathetic magick in existence. The basic principle is that by focusing your energy on your desires, you can manifest those desires. Using different colored candles can increase the focus and the energy of a particular magickal working, based on the energy that already exists within certain colors. Each color is attuned to a different kind of energy, so by using the correct color, you can increase the power in each working.

Yellow Candles

Yellow is a color of the sun, and is often used in solar-related rituals. It is also used for creative workings, or to gain focus during spells or rituals. It is also a color that works well when you're doing spells to gain the attention of others, or to persuade others, although it's important to remember the free will law before working any type of magick. Yellow's day of the week is Sunday.

White Candles

White candles are lunar, and work perfectly for any moon ritual. In addition to that, the color is universal, so white candles can be used as a substitute for any color if you find that you're out. White candles in magick are often used for seeking truth, gaining psychic sense, and spiritual enlightenment. White's day of the week is Monday.

Red Candles

When you think of the color red, you might think of love or passion. These are a few of the things red candles in magick can be great for. Spells involving passionate situations and matters of the heart can be enhanced with red candles. They're also perfect for fertility, strength, courage, and will power. Red's day of the week is Tuesday.

Purple Candles

Purple is a very spiritual color, and purple candles are great for spiritual workings. These candles work very well with magick that is designed to increase power, financial success, and ambitions. Purple candles are also very helpful for those who are trying to touch the spiritual world. Purple's day of the week is Wednesday.

Green Candles

Green is a color that is associated with financial subjects, money, business endeavors, etc. Using green candles in magick that is related to these topics can enhance those workings. Green's day of the week is Thursday.

Blue Candles

Blue candles can be used for healing magick, wisdom, harmony, and inner light. It is a color that represents peace and guidance. Using blue candles can enhance spells or magickal workings that have to do with these situations or themes. Blue's day of the week is Friday.

Black Candles

Candle magick can be greatly enhanced with black candles. This color represents the unseen, and can help you to achieve deeper meditative states. Black candles can help you sink further into your ritual so as to connect more easily with the Great Spirit. Black is also perfect for banishing magick, including dispelling negativity or negative forces. Black's day of the week is Saturday.

Pink Candles

Pink candles in magick are perfect for romantic situations, and can help you attract a soul mate. The color pink is connected to friendships, feminine energy, and honor.

Brown Candles

Use brown candles in magick when you're trying to uncover what is hidden, or find things that have been lost. The color brown can also help you when you're trying to make a difficult decision. Concentration and financial security can be increased by the use of brown in magick.

There are many complicated rituals that can be done with candles, but a simple ritual involves quiet meditation and reflection. Simply light the candle in a color that works with your desires, and visualize your desired outcome clearly. The candle should be kept in a place where it will not be disturbed, so magickal altar is a good idea.

Michael Blue Eagle is a druid priest and owner of Mystik Spirit, a full-service magical supply shop. Michael's expertise in pagan and druid rituals and magick allows him to assist others in their spiritual path and magickal workings.

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The Symbolism of Hand Gestures in Thai Buddha Images, Statues and Sculptures

There are six mudra or hand gestures which are associated with the Thai Buddha images;

Touching the earth - where the right hand lies on the right thigh with the fingers pointing downwards and touching the ground. The left hand rests in the Buddha's lap. This hand gesture is frequently called "calling the earth to witness," or by occasionally more literally as "Buddha subduing Mara" (the female temptress demon who tried to seduce the Buddha with visions of beautiful women). This gesture therefore is symbolic of the Buddha's renunciation of worldly desire and attachment as the most common moral precept of Buddhism it is by far the most popular mudra.

Meditation -with this hand gesture they are lying flat down nestling in the Buddha's lap with palms pointing upwards. This posture is usually depicted with a seated Buddha and that the Buddha is meditatively disciplining his mind, which is necessary to reach enlightenment.

Charity - the Buddha's right arm is shown extended downwards, and the open palm turned frontwards with fingers extended. This 'mudra' is usually also associated with a standing Buddha. This symbolises the Buddha's and his monks need to receive alms (charity) so that their existence is deemed worthy of support by the lay community.

Absence of fear - either one or both of the Buddha's arms are bent both at elbow and wrist, with the palm outwards and fingers shown upwards. It represents either the Buddha displaying courage in the face of troubles, or encouraging others to do so. When his right hand is also raised it is known as "stilling the animals." both hands being known as "forbidding the relatives". These hand gestures are commonly represented with a standing Buddha, but seated versions also exist.

Reasoning and exposition the arm and hand are positioned in the same manner as in the absence of fear with the exception that thumb and forefinger are joined together. The gesture is made with either the right or left hands (most commonly the right), but cannot be done with both.

The gesture represents an appeal to reason, or teaching. As the Buddha is appealing to our reasonable nature, it is often thought to be the gesture of peace.

The wheel beginning to turn the hands of the Buddha are displayed in front of his lower chest, and with both hands in the reasoning and exposition position, the fingers of the left hand resting in his right. This is a more uncommon gesture as it represents a particular event during the life of the Buddha - his first teachings to his disciples, when he began his life's journey and teaching. It is used for both seated and standing Buddha images.

In the 2500 years since the Buddha's death various different representations of these hand gestures have evolved. For example the "double absence of fear ", with both hands held up in the absence of fear gesture, became common in SE Asia in the 1500s, and is now the most popular Buddha figure in SE Asian countries.

It is sometimes interpreted as "Buddha teaching with reason." Many artists wanted to represent specific incidents in the Buddha's life and so novel secondary hand gestures came into being, for instance "Buddha holding a begging bowl ", or "Buddha being given a mango" and that if a supernatural Buddha able to perform miracles. Many of these are of Burmese origin which subsequently spread to many parts of the Buddhist world.

The Buddha's Face - http://www.thebuddhasface.co.uk

Part of the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project

The most comprehensive Buddhist resource on the web.

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Karma, Karmic Clearing and Ascension - Clearing Some Common Myths

People seem interested in the topic of karma and how one can achieve karmic clearing, with some claiming that karmic clearing is a prerequisite for Ascension. For example, Richard Presser (a channel for "Father God," Jesus, and others) has stated that if you wish to participate in the opportunity that Ascension is, you need to clear all of your past life negative karma. However, there is much confusion circulating on the Internet on karma and karmic clearing. This article attempts to clear up some of that confusion.

It sort of makes sense that Ascension and karmic clearing are related, doesn't it? But it isn't that you need to have your karma cleared for you so that you then have the right or the ability to ascend. It's that raising (ascending) your consciousness (by gaining the perspective of your higher self) will clear your karma. In other words, understanding on a conscious level what your higher self knows about you, your purpose and your life plan, automatically clears your karma.

So don't go out looking for someone to clear your karma for you. Instead, do the work of raising your consciousness. To raise your consciousness (to ascend in consciousness), reconnect and integrate with your higher self.

Furthermore, Richard Presser has claimed that because he and others he knows have been trying to clear their karmic energies for the past "15 to 20 years, seemingly without an end in sight," that it can't be done, and that it won't happen for humanity in the slightly more than two years we have left before the end times--without some sort of outer intervention. He claims that we need beings in the other realms to do it for us, beings who have bestowed upon him and his partner Carolyn a "karmic clearing and rejuvenation command" that will clear your karma for you in less than 10 minutes--and in groups, too.

My response to this claim is: No one can clear your karma for you. (Besides, you will be your own worst judge.)

You clear your own karma by making sense of your life story, by understanding it from your higher self's perspective, from the divine perspective. (This is why reconnecting to that divine part of you is important. Anyway, I think we are done with the "priesthood" playing the role of interveners.)

Richard Presser also says that other so-called channeled sources encourage little in the form of specific actions that will help us prepare for 2012 and what is happening on this planet right now. (This is true, by the way, and it's because they wouldn't know the specifics of something that hasn't happened yet anywhere in the universe anyway.)

Richard Presser says, "There are messages about our space brothers and sisters coming and saving us," but "such action will simply reinforce the dependency that humanity has developed upon others to guide them when in truth, the key aspect of the process...is the reclaiming of the mastery that we all have, the true spiritual greatness and ability that we all possess when we are not within this restricted form of consciousness." (Emphasis mine.)

Right on, Richard! So then why would you need someone else to do a "karmic clearing and rejuvenation command" for you to ascend? You simply need to ascend your consciousness by cultivating a relationship with your higher self--which is also how you gain your mastery.

Actually, all you need is an example of someone who has already done this. You need to know 1.) that it can be done, 2.) how it can be done, and 3.) to follow their lead. Sort of like the 100th monkey idea: One monkey does it, and shares with the others how she did it. Then the others follow, until sooner or later, all the monkeys are doing it.

The first monkey doesn't do it for you; she just shares how she did it. Because then the other monkeys will have the experience of raising themselves up; they will know that they did it themselves. (Which make all the difference.)

Lastly, Richard claims that since the lower energies will not survive the shift into the higher dimensions, it implies that those whose bodies contain the "lower energies" will not survive. But what this simply means is that when confronted by higher consciousness, lower consciousness simply dissolves. (When you get it, your old, false beliefs simply dissolve.) It does not mean that your body is going to "vibrate apart" (explode?) or anything like that. (Give me a break.)

I agree with Richard that right now is a time for action, not for complacency. But the action that is called for is reconnecting and integrating with your higher self, not someone else intervening on your behalf. Reconnecting and integrating with your higher self is how ascension and karmic clearing are achieved.

Are you ready to reconnect with your higher self? Subscribe at http://www.WhatEveryoneBelieved.com/ and receive a free 7-page report on tips for reconnecting and integrating with your higher self. Christine Hoeflich is the author of What Everyone Believed: A Memoir of Intuition and Awakening and Activating 2012: A Practical Guide to Navigating 2012 with Confidence and Clarity--an ebook that raises your consciousness and gives you all the keys to finally fulfill your dreams.

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Are You Being Attacked? Deliverance and Exorcism - Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Are you suffering from unexplainable, prolonged, repetitive or unusual health problems? Do you have constant assaults on your finances, physical health or family and relationships? Do you have addictive behavior or dependency? Do you feel that you will never have long-term loving relationships, never accomplish the dreams and goals in your heart, never have full physical health or abundance, that you always have to watch for the next shoe to drop, that you take one step forward and two steps back, that you are not worthy enough, not smart enough, not good enough? If you said yes to any of the above, you need to recognize where this negative input is coming from, and break the cycle of abuse. You are the one being abused, you are the one being targeted; and it is time to give you the tools to fight back and reveal the unseen forces attacking you and your family - the unHoly Angels.

All Angels were originally created Holy, but were also created with free will, just as humans were. Because of the misuse of free will there were Angels in Noah's day that came to earth and materialized male bodies for themselves."The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose...the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them." (Genesis 6:2-4) This soulless hybrid race of destructive giants God destroyed in the flood. These Angels who left God were then called fallen Angels, evil spirits, unHoly Angels or demons.

They were now on the same side of the fence as the Angel called Satan, who was the first Angel that had rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden. Since the flood, neither Satan nor any of the unHoly Angels are allowed to materialize in physical form ever again. But, they still try to appear as mist, brightness, etc, like a Holy Angel, and they try to control behind the scenes. That is why they look for humans to manipulate to be their "eyes and hands." They want you to do their destruction for them. They want to destroy all that God loves - and that includes the earth, your loved ones...and you. And the demons know they have only a short period of time so they are causing as much confusion and destruction as possible.

How do we get attacked? Our God-given free will is like a bubble or a shield around us. Sometimes we can get holes in this shield. Holes open us up to attack and manipulation. This not only hurts God (because we are his children and an attack on us is an attack on God), but can distract and confuse us from becoming the true potential that God created us to be. When this shield of free will is breached, it is like having a nagging voice constantly whispering in our ear destructive and negative things. This creates a war in our hearts, because we know in our spirit that these things are not really how we want to feel or live our lives. Deep inside our spirit we remember we are sparks off the Divine flame, and were created to have happy, healthy lives full of abundance in all good things. Keep in mind that this negative voice is not you: it is a trick, a lie. And you can shut it down, heal any injured or manipulated areas, and have peace and joy again by doing special Deliverance prayers; these help heal the holes and get off anything on you that is not of light and love. "I had been under the impression that there was something wrong with me. I feel happy now for the first time in a very long time." - A. in TN

Deliverance and exorcism are often ignored in the modern churches, or kept private like a sacred secret to be known by only a privileged few. But it was not this way in the beginning. Every person, no matter what religion they are, must know how to fight against unHoly forces and clean up our bodies, homes and sacred spaces. We have God's Authority to bind and loose by the power of recognizing his anointed representative, Jesus Christ. All the Angels know who this is, including the unHoly Angels, and it is the name that must be used to fight against them. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19, 18:18) Jesus taught his disciples about expelling demons right alongside teaching them about healing the sick and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. "Heal the sick...drive out demons." (Matthew 10:5-8) (Luke 8:26-39) (read more in the article Why Jesus' Life is Important Beyond Religion)

Sometimes the holes in the shield of free will are punched through from the outside. This can occur by physical abuse, emotional abuse, or abuse. Sometimes we punch holes in it ourselves, from the inside out. This can occur by times of high negative emotion such as anger, fear, or even grief; addictions of any kind; willful sin (doing things we know we shouldn't do but doing them anyway-knowing the difference between right and wrong and still choosing to do the wrong); some medications, severe lack of self-confidence, unforgiveness of any kind including unforgiveness towards others, self and even situations, and choosing fear over love.

Having the insight on how manipulation can happen gives you the ability to be more forgiving to yourself and others when actions and words have not been kind. It also helps you recognize what has caused these holes and stop anything that opens you to more attack. "I couldn't sleep at night, and felt anger boil up all the time - I had even called my wife for the very last time - I was at the point of suicide ...Blessed Tiffany and Father Billy Clark prayed a "deliverance" prayer and got rid of a darkness that I didn't even know I had - I even felt lighter afterward - and now I WANT TO LIVE!" J.S. Attorney-at-Law

There are different kinds of prayers for different things; some can be said by anyone, because we are all children of God. But when there is more against you than you know, or for those confused or wavering in faith, you will need a person who is stronger in conviction to assist you in this process of receiving back your freedom. Those ordained with clerical responsibility are recognized by the Holy Angels to have a special authority granted to them through God to cast out demons, and the unHoly Angels know it too. When the prayers are said an invisible war takes place, and the unHoly Angels are battled and removed from you and your surroundings.

You can also say this prayer to cover those under your care - children up to the legal adult age for the area you live in and any of those you take care of such as the elderly and those with severe challenges. The holes in the shield of free will can then be closed. A good priest will also help a person recognize what these holes might be (unforgiveness, addiction to pornography, etc.) so the person can take any weak spots and make them strong once again, and recognize dangerous situations and take positive and healthy steps to avoid or get out of them. Holes in the free will can also be healed through saying prayers called Divine Decrees which were given by God through Holy Stigmata.

Here is a deliverance prayer that you can say for yourself, at any time - and you will be surprised about the clarity you can have and how refreshed and light you can feel without the depression, unworthiness, negative voices, lack of abundance, undiagnosable illnesses, difficulty praying, etc, that might have been pervading your life for years and years. Copy it and carry it with you wherever you go. There is no limit on how often you repeat it, each time it calls in the Holy Angels to fight for you. You can feel peace and joy again!

Deliverance Prayer: "Father, if there are any unHoly Angels in, on, near or around me, I nail, hold them fast and silence them. I decommission, bind and encapsulate them through the Power of the Shed Blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I bring them up to your presence immediately Lord to deal with as you see fit. May you fill any empty spaces and lonely places within me with your love and your light. Thank you Father, In Jesus' name. Amen."

Repeat the prayer as often as you feel the need. Daily, several times a day, whenever you feel any lack of clarity, or experience tension, whenever you feel anything coming against you or anxiety or any negative thoughts come to mind. Remember this is not about fear. "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts."(Zechariah 4:6) And please remember it does not mean that you are a bad person if you need a deliverance prayer. In many cases, it is like having dog poo on your shoe, it is just something you stepped into and are now dragging along with you. Though the initial point of contamination was far behind you, unwittingly you carry it along to your house, your workplace, and into your children's bedrooms, and wonder where the smell is coming from. Remember, the stink isn't you, but you can do something about it right now.

What is the difference between deliverance & exorcism? Exorcism is needed when there is a full on takeover of a person, where they are pushed aside within themselves and darkness is ruling their lives. An experienced priest is always needed here. When our free will is nearly taken from us, God will work to restore the person's freedom to recognize Love without interference, but the representative standing in faith with the person needs to have confidence in God's strength, and know without a doubt that love wins over fear. It is rare that a person is actually possessed. Possession is absolute demonic control of the person.

It is demonic oppression, where the good and normal nature of the person is attacked. But more often it is an evil attachment/affliction that is occurring (deliverance). This is very common. Most people have just attracted evil to themselves from past bad decisions (sin), so it has an actual right to be there, a contract as it were, and it just won't let go. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) But as a redeemed child of God, you also have the right to ask God to remove that contract. You just have to ask, and Divine Love will heal the damaged areas of your free will, and help you become discerning, strong and healthy again.

It doesn't matter how long ago it was, unHoly Angels can attack and attach themselves and they won't just "go away." In fact, rarely do we see only one; they seem to root and call in their buddies when they find a home. Similar to being injured and getting the wound infected, demons often use these damaged places in our armor to dig in and become a wound full of disease. With time we may develop a thin scab over it and think it is over with, but meanwhile the infection under the scab is actually ravaging and eating away at us. Let's take one example; let's say as a child we didn't have a father's love. In that case, our wound of rejection then becomes a rip in our spiritual defenses (shield of free will) and in no time we may pick up the very real spiritual infections of "the spirit of unworthiness," "the spirit of resentment," "the spirit of unforgiveness" or even "the spirit of hatred of men."

The unHoly Angels are usually given the names of the emotions they emphasize. Since they don't have physical bodies, they don't usually have names like George, Ethan, and the like. Typically during an exorcism we call out any demonic spirits by the behavior they display. One of the gifts of the spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12 is the "discernment of spirits." We don't want to give any power to unHoly Angels by referring to them by their personal names, even if we are told them, unless the person being exorcised already knows it themselves, and then it may be used to cast the demon out. The demons desire to have themselves deified or god-like - they want to make their name known. But, all we need to do is recognize what their major attribute is, and call them by that. This is why occult books name many of them, just for the reason of ego, power and personal identity; which is absolutely contrary to the humble nature of Holy Angels who give all the glory and honor to the name of God.

During an exorcism, there is no need to allow any "Hollywood" type demonstrations. Although the demons want to stimulate fear by causing wild antics to erupt around the person being helped (often without the individual having any memory afterward), a wise priest will nail, hold fast, silence, bind and decommission any demons before that happens. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) Having an additional person constantly reading scriptures is nice during an exorcism, and another person or two to help the priest keep the person safe is also recommended.

This will minimize any tantrums or injuries the demons may want to cause the person while they are still occupying them during the fight with the Holy Angels. Love always wins, and the weight will be lifted, and the freedom regained. Again, it is very common to need the prayer for deliverance, but very rare to need the prayers for exorcism. The information given here is to simply show the difference between the two, and that there is no reason to be in fear of either one, for deliverance and exorcism are the cure and not the problem.

Unexplainable, prolonged, repetitive or unusual health problems and constant assaults on finances, physical health or family and relationships are the result of attacks by unHoly Angels. But, there are powerful steps that we can take. Specialty prayers for deliverance and exorcism can give back the peace and joy to our lives that may have been missing for a long time. And with that new clarity comes the confidence, safety, joy and peace that we were created to have as a beloved child of God - and it's only a prayer away.

About the Author: Tiffany Snow carries the 5 marks of the Holy stigmata, and is a documented miracle healer, award-winning author, NDEr and public speaker. Her latest book: "God's Workbook - Shifting into the Light" is available on Amazon.com. Distant healing, deliverances, classes, live teleconferences and more articles are offered through the websites. This article may be reprinted and shared in any form without permission: http://www.TiffanySnow.com 800-535-5474 God's L.A.W. Love Always Wins!

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Exorcism Or Spirit Releasement

Has anyone said to you, "You are possessed by the devil." "Are you possessed?" "What is wrong with you?" Or you might say to yourself:

o "I am not feeling like myself lately."

o "I seem like a different person these days."

o "Something has come over me."

o "I seem to tire easily, but the doctor says there is nothing wrong."

If one of these statements ring true--with you or anyone you know--there is a strong possibility that a spirit attachment could be involved. Spirit Releasement or Depossession may be advisable.
What is a Spirit attachment?

Simply put a Spirit Attachment, (a.k.a. Entity Attachment or Possession) is the invasion of one's body by a discarnate being, or an entity, or by negative energies.

What Are the Signs of a Spirit Attachment?

Entities and negative energies can have varying degrees of influence over the person whose body they are residing in--ranging from a mild energy drain to almost total possession (which is extremely rare). Signs include, but are not limited to:

o Hearing voices

o Sudden cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, certain foods etc.--especially after surgery or a traumatic event--childhood or adult

o Sudden weight gain--especially after surgery or a traumatic event

o Fears and phobias

o Deep sadness for no apparent reason

o Sudden changes in behavior--heightened or intense anger, depression and thoughts of suicide

o Serious illness of unknown cause

o Loss of energy

o Inability to keep one's life working well--many peaks and valleys

o Sudden mood swings for no apparent reason

o Memory and concentration problems--diagnosed as ADD, ADHD

o Unexplained physical problems--pain from an undetermined cause, lupus, fibromyalgia, MS, TMJ

o Migraine headaches

o Night terrors and nightmares

o Panic/anxiety attacks

o Multiple personality type behavior

What Is Spirit Releasement?

Spirit Releasement, (remote depossession), is the process used to release entities from living people. The term 'remote' means that the work can be done from a distance. This is possible because the work is done in the higher consciousness. Releasement can also be done directly with the person wishing the procedure. Remote spirit releasement can be done without the conscious knowledge of the person on whom the work is done, but permission is requested from that person's higher self before the procedure is undertaken.

Who Is Qualified to do Spirit Releasement?

A hypnosis practitioner, who is a Certified Regression practitioner and trained in this procedure and who has knowledge of metaphysics, spirituality, and parapsychology is the only qualified professional to perform a Spirit Releasement.

A Releasement session can be done in 1 ½ hours or as long as 3 - 4 hours--depending on the complexity. Sometimes more than one session is required if there are several attachments, albeit more than one attachment can be released in one session.

How Does Spirit Releasement Compare with Exorcism?

Spirit Releasement is diametrically different from an exorcism. Exorcism, usually performed by a Priest or clergy, is a procedure to cast out demons--using Biblical references and doctrines. Frequently, the person who has the attachment is commanded by the facilitator to confess his/her sins for their demon like behavior. The process is emotionally and physically exhausting--sometimes with lasting guilt, shame, and humiliation associated with the experience. The movie, The Exorcist, based on a true story, is a somewhat exaggerated version of an exorcism.

In a Spirit Releasement process, the hypnosis practitioner accesses the entity through the hypnotized host person. The attached entity uses the host person's voice, allowing the practitioner to talk to the "attached entity," thus, helping them to understand their darkness and release them to go to their proper place in the Light only after they have agreed to go. This prevents the entity from returning to the host or to anyone else. The person leaves the session feeling relaxed and relieved as the weight of the entity has been removed.

In cases of an earthbound spirit entity that is not attached, but is around the person, the entity is simply made aware of its situation and lovingly guided into the Light, usually into the care of a loved one who comes to help in the transition.

Curses and negative energies are removed by severing connections and transforming the energies from negative to positive.

Suggested Reading:

Remote Depossession, Irene Hickman, D.O.

The Unquiet Dead, Edith Fiore, Ph.D.

30 Years Among the Dead, Carl A. Wickland, M.D.

Jesus Christ Super Psychic, T. N. Tiemeyer, D.D.

Healing Lost Souls: Releasing Unwanted Spirits From Your Energy Body, William J. Baldwin, Ph.D.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Author, "101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life." Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical Abuse Prevention and Recovery. As an inspirational leader, Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life's challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening. http://www.drdorothy.net

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2011 Predictions - Will Things Get Better?

This article discusses 2011 predictions about whether things will get better in 2011. It looks at the latest trends in what channeled messages are saying and adds that information to the personal experience and insight of the author (who has had a "head start" in the awakening/ascension process and understands where in the process humanity now stands).

During the last few months, I have observed that many channeled messages from several different messengers have been giving predictions that life will continue to get more challenging in 2011 (and into 2012) before things ultimately turn around for the better on this planet. For example, in a recent channeling, SaLuSa stated that, "After patiently waiting for some major change, you will be shortly entering a new year that holds almost every answer you seek. It will be a most challenging period, as the ways of old will fall away thereby making way for the new to come in."--SaLuSa, 10 November, 2010, channeled by Mike Quinsey

On November 12th, SaLuSa further hinted that, "Let us say that no matter how chaotic things become...out of those conditions you will see what is emerging and realize it is for your good...You have little influence over what is happening, but staying focused within your own light can help make the experience less unsettling or traumatic."

Kryon, channeled by David Brown on October 10, 2010 states that, "A new world is coming dear ones; allow the energies to dissolve the parts of you that no longer serve you and allow yourself to connect deeper and deeper to that part of you, your authentic self, your true self."

These predictions of challenging, traumatic times in 2011 (including the further eroding of national economies) have also been put forth by several other messengers, including Wynn Free. (Wynn Free is in touch with the Ra and Elohim groups through channels Terry Brown and Daphne.)

I am certain these messages are not put out there to frighten us, but to help us understand what is about to occur so that we are ready and empowered for it. I can assure you that it is not going to feel good while we're going through the crises, and you may have no idea how to resolve your challenges, but if you inquire deep within and cultivate a relationship with that part of you that is in touch with Higher Purpose, you will not only get through your challenges, but you'll attain a level of success that is unprecedented. Because the fact is, it is precisely these challenging experiences (and looking within for the solutions) that will eventually create the Golden Age that we yearn for. (That is, if you have the courage, confidence and tenacity to follow through with your inner guidance rather than being incapacitated by your fears.)

This is what the real challenge of the "End Times" is about, by the way, not about some "dark forces" trying to steal your soul. Your soul can never be gotten; your soul is what helped plan these challenges in the first place--for your growth and evolution. After all, after incarnating on this planet for ages, your soul would willingly accept the challenge of a "test" before "graduating" on to a Golden Age, wouldn't it?

I can illustrate this with my own example. In 1985, not long after graduating from an Ivy League engineering school, a work colleague of mine who was "intuitive" (his word) told me that sometime in the future, I would help a lot of people by doing something "new." "New" was the only clue he gave me.

I tried to search for this new thing, I even reread the Bible, but of course I couldn't find it anywhere out in the world. It wasn't until I found myself in a whammy of a crisis over 15 years later, a crisis that nothing or no one outside of myself could resolve, that I began to be clued in to my gifts. I connected deep within and followed through with my inner guidance--which is how I, over time, developed that new understanding that I was to share with the world.

Am I grateful for that crisis? I am now. Before my crisis, I didn't know who I was, or what I was capable of. But now I know. And I know that I can fulfill the rest of my mission.

I can't say that I was grateful while I was still clueless; it was a terrible time. However, when you have an understanding of what is happening, why it is happening, and how to go through the challenge so that you can succeed, it will help the experience not be so dang painful and frightening. Read my interesting story: If I could do what I did, so can you--don't you think?

In summary, as the 2011 predictions of challenges and changes become reality, it will prove helpful to have a deep, big picture understanding of what is really happening.

Are you ready to learn how to prepare for 2012? Subscribe at http://www.WhatEveryoneBelieved.com/ and receive a free 7-page report on how to reconnect to and integrate with your higher self. Christine Hoeflich is the author of What Everyone Believed: A Memoir of Intuition and Awakening--a detailed account of her awakening process, and Activating 2012: A Practical Guide to Navigating 2012 with Confidence and Clarity--a how-to ebook that raises your consciousness and gives you all the keys to finally fulfill your dreams.

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USA and World Predictions for 2012


There will be many smaller and potentially larger wars during 2012. Some of these wars will be difficult to classify as to whether they are civil wars, ethnic wars, class wars, international economic wars and/or religious wars. Most of these wars will focus on the struggle to control petroleum and gas fields, pipelines and oil shipping lanes. The economics of these wars over fossil fuels are controlled by petroleum and gas corporations. Nations who serve the petroleum corporations will use provocation regarding religion and class, in effect fomenting more war. Some of these wars, as in the cases of Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico will ostensibly concern control of narcotic production and distribution, but this is only a cover for exploitation of the nations bordering gas and oil pipelines. There will be civil wars simmering over oppression of people by monarchies, military despots and drug lords.

Of specific importance: 1) Israel will make air-strikes into Iran and Syria as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 2) The United Nations will be requested and pushed to occupy large parts of the Middle East near Israel, all oil fields, pipelines and all shipping lanes. The nations who conduct this occupation of the Middle East will respond to the Security Council. With serious provocations amongst nations a tactical nuclear exchange will be precipitated; the fears of weapons of mass destruction will destroy the economies of the world for all people except the wealthy. The wealthy planners of this war and occupation will lose control of the situation and the world will be dangerously close to strategic and widespread destruction. 4) The USA will back a conventional missile attack on North Korea in answer to serious threats against South Korea, Japan and other nations who are nearby and/or participating in security exercises.


Water will become so scarce, beginning in 2012, that it will weaken many nations. Planned desalination plants, pipelines and reservoirs will become targets for terrorists. Big profits will motivate corporations to employ any technology available to hold water as a controlled substance, keeping populations in complete dependence on their production. Many governments will try to contain the costs of water but corporations will exploit the shortages just as they have for oil. This will be particularly dangerous for regions with little rainfall.


In 2012 many local governments will alter building codes and electricity production policies to allow home-builders to use DC electrical power modules. These modules will use solar and wind production of electricity. This DC (direct current), used for newer and far more efficient appliances, will be stored in low tech batteries. This change in building codes will allow some locales to leave the electric grid.


Peritoneal dialysis will finally gain widespread acceptance in treatment of patients with kidney failure. This form of dialysis will be popularized for home use because it is easier and less expensive for many patients than going to a clinic for hemo-dialysis. Nurse practitioners will increasingly man the health care system as primary providers.


In 2012 long overdue efforts to increase education for a trained workforce will be underway in the USA and other countries. These programs will provide accredited college degrees, educational certifications and proficiency levels in many didactic fields of knowledge - at basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Using the internet many new academic organizations will begin to offer low-cost and free-of-charge courses of study. These academic organizations will offer standardized and objective testing to verify a student/test-taker's attained level of knowledge. The student's identity will be verified during tests. Test scores and personal information will be sent only to destinations ordered by the student, to preserve privacy, just as college transcripts and standard test scores are released now. But these scores, certifications and degrees will be more objective in their assessment of a student or graduate than the assessments now offered by universities and technical schools. And the cost will be minimal, deductible, subsidized or free to student/test-takers. Token charges for tests on secured lines will be made to prevent overly repetitive test taking. Some proctoring or supervision for a minimal fee will be made depending on the nature of the test or examination. The big advancement here is that knowledge and academic achievement will be cheap, effective and available at any internet or telephone connection. The ridiculous costs of studying in another city, commuting, parking fees, university bricks and mortar will all be circumvented. Students, especially working adults with families, will be able to study at their own pace and location for convenience and efficiency. Then governments and corporations will no longer need to complain that they have unskilled laborers. Students will no longer need to go deep into debt and strain family life to make accredited progress in their chosen fields.


In 2012 the costs of food will continue to climb worldwide until individuals and cooperatives grow more food locally. Public transportation will become more popular and infrastructure projects begin to respond to the need for low cost transportation.

In 2012 the USA and many other nations will begin real and legitimate tax reform. Archaic and complex systems of taxation will be streamlined and reformed for a more just and efficient way to fund government's necessary functions. Particularly in the USA, a flat tax program will be adopted to avoid the many unjustly legislated loopholes and criminal evasions. This flat tax will be very effective, easy to enforce, and small in size. The reasons it will be small is that it will be assessed on all transactions by all entities - public or private, individual or corporate, for profit or not-for- profit. Then every organization and person will share equally in paying for the government's function as a protector and regulator of all financial interests in the country. This tax will replace many taxes, especially the income tax. Some less universal taxes will continue - such as on toxic substances like alcohol, tobacco, gasoline.


Many nations including the USA will suffer problems with immigration, especially those with porous borders and ineffective policies. Islamic immigration will be particularly difficult for most nations as long as Muslims are unwilling to assimilate. In the USA a movement to prosecute the employers of illegal aliens by the various state governments will lead to much more effective national reforms and decreases in illegal immigration.

In the USA, among many other nations, a national ID card will be given to citizens, in part to deter the employment of illegal aliens, and in part to provide a verification system for new more democratic voting practices.

Arthur Browning
Arthur Browning began his career teaching technical writing in a small mid-western university for 15 years. He later edited and published a national professional journal for some ten years. He is now an investor. His interests include art collecting, web marketing, art writing.

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The Atlantic Crossing of the Mayflower Pilgrims

After all the troubles with the Speedwell were over, the Mayflower finally set off alone, on September 6, 1620. The weather was good, and the wind remained near perfect for many days. Most all the passengers became very sea-sick. It was not long after that they lost their good wind, and the Atlantic storms hit them in full force. Powerful cross-winds and extremely high seas tossed the 180-ton Mayflower violently. The upper deck started leaking badly, keeping the passengers below deck very cold and wet.

Suddenly the main beam of the ship bowed and cracked, putting the entire voyage in jeopardy. Captain Christopher Jones, his crew, and the leaders of the Pilgrims had serious discussions about what they should do. Should they turn back and just try and make it back to England? Or should they continue on to the New World, and risk their safety and lives?

After long, serious, and heated consultations, it was finally decided they would continue on. Captain Jones knew his ship was strong, and would hold up; besides, they were already more than half the way there. The cracked beam was pushed back into place and supported with a giant screw the Pilgrims had brought from Holland. Many historians believe this giant screw may have come from Edward Winslow's printing press.

The fierce Atlantic storms continued for many more days, however, and for days on end the Mayflower was forced to drift, going wherever the wind would happen to take it. It was during one of these powerful storms that a man named John Howland, about 27 years old, was, with a violent roll of the ship, thrown into the sea. From Gov. Braford's writings: "But it pleased God that he caught hold of the topsail halyards which hung overboard and ran out at length. Yet he held his hold (though he was sundry fathoms under water) till he was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with a boat hook and other means got into the ship again and his life saved." This young man was savied by grabbing hold of a halyyard.

At some point during the voyage, Stephen Hopkins pregnant wife Elizabeth went into labor and gave birth to a son. They named him Oceanus, because he was born at sea.

The Mayflower's voyage was very long and difficult, and the passengers were getting desperate to reach land. Exactly two months into the voyage, on November 6, 1620, a young servant to Dr. Samuel Fuller, named William Butten, died from disease, and had to be thrown overboard. It was a sad day for the passengers, William being the first of the Pilgrims to die.

Just three days later, however, the Pilgrim's sorrow would turn to joy. Sixty-six days after starting their voyage, about 6:30 in the morning on Thursday, November 9, 1620, the two greatest words the passengers could possibly have heard were yelled out loudly and with great enthusiasm.

"Land Ho!" The quiet and calm daybreak was interrupted by the excited passengers joyously trying to get a glimpse of the newly-sighted land in the morning light. At 6:55, the sun began to peer over the east horizon; the day was calm, and the wind was fair. Christopher Jones and his pilots identified the land they were approaching as Cape Cod.

Next up: The Arrival
Copyright 2010 Little Pines Multimedia

Linda Cullum is from Cape Cod, MA, with a second home in Vermont. She is the author of "The History of the Pilgrims: In their Own Words" Ebook, co- written with Caleb Johnson, Mayflower descendent and historian, and "Learn to Sail! with Multimedia!" an Interactive Sailing training CDROM which teaches all aspects of Sailing including Knots, Rules of the Road, Weather with digital video from Sail Magazine, narration, animation and quizzes. Visit her websites at http://historyofthepilgrims.com/ and http://learntosail.net

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Egyptology - Understanding the Difference Between Cult and Mortuary Temples

I got asked a question by a guest who stayed at Flats in Luxor, we were looking at the temple of Hatshepsut which you can see from the balcony. It was perfectly answered by an essay I had to do and he suggested I share it.

What are the differences and similarities between a cult temple and a royal mortuary temple of the New Kingdom?

It is surprising that the terminology used by Egyptologists for many years, to describe the temples, is actually quite difficult to define; this seems to be a recognised problem. There are also slight variations on these terms such as divine instead of cult and memorial instead of mortuary. Should they even be used?

The ancient Egyptians refer to the two varieties of temple differently, "Mansion of Millions of Years" (Hwt-n t-HH-m-mp.wt), for mortuary temples and "Mansion of the God" (hwt-nTr) for the cult temple, but without defining what is actually meant by the terms. Traditional differentiations such as mortuary temples being situated on the west bank and cult temples on the east don't help as there are examples of both on the opposite sides. Some kings also built more than one temple of each type on a different side of the river. For example Tuthmosis III built a Temple of Millions of years at Karnak, on the East Bank, the so called Festival Hall; he also built on the West Bank in the northern Assasif. This temple is also called a Temple of a Million of Years. He also built at Deir el Bahri and dedicated that temple to Amun, so that is an example of a cult temple on the West Bank.

To use the area devoted to the royal mortuary cult as a definition as to whether the temple is a mortuary temple is also problematic. Can the Gurna temple of Seti I seriously be called a mortuary temple when the royal cult is a tiny part off the back of the building which is reached by exiting the temple proper and going down the side to the back on the southern wall. Whereas the main temple has chapels to Osiris, Ptah, Amun, Mut and Khonsu as well as a sun altar which are so much bigger and more prominent. Then there are temples like the Seti I temple at Abydos which, although it does have a chapel dedicated to Seti I, it also has numerous other chapels, which precludes us from saying that if the temple has a chapel to the king, no matter what size, that makes it a mortuary temple. The temple at Abydos is a very special cult temple to Osiris. Consequently, actually defining what is a mortuary or cult temple is fraught with difficulties.

Thankfully for the purposes of this essay other sources are more willing to come down on one side of the fence. The cult temple is the easiest for us to understand for it is the place where a particular god or gods resided and where cultic activities took place, which we might term worship. The mortuary temple, in contrast, was the royal version of the mortuary chapels attached to private tombs, and it's most basic purpose was to provide offerings for the use of the dead king and to ensure his beneficial survival in the afterlife. So for our purposes we can take this simplified definition. Indeed the very first mortuary temple built by Hatshepsut was built on the eastern side of the monument surrounding the tomb mimicking the Old Kingdom mortuary temple on the side of a pyramid. It was just that her structure was the rather large natural mountain.

It wasn't until the New Kingdom that temples were built of stone. Our knowledge of what preceded them or how the design came about is necessarily slim as their predecessors do not survive. Kemp suggests that temple history and design can be categorized as Early Formal, Mature Formal and Late Formal. The temples of the New Kingdom come into the Mature Formal category. It is probable that the layout was similar to earlier temples; there must have always been a special sacred area where the statue of the God resided. This was at a higher level than the rest of the area and the later design of slightly ascending floor level copies this.

It seems as though the overall plan was loosely defined and the selection of, and number of elements, courtyard, hall and sanctuary, was a matter of personal choice. The mortuary temple used these same elements, open courtyard, hypostyle halls, sanctuary, in the same order making the cult temple the inspiration for the mortuary temple. The temple did not only consist of the temple proper but all the ancillary buildings, gardens, storage, workshops and housing. See Fig 1. So both secular and divine requirements could be met. Processional ways, although outside the temple boundaries are an important part of the overall design, where God met the people even if he was hidden in the barque shrine. The temple precinct overall design was also not rigid, although various elements are generally incorporated. For example although it has been diligently searched for, no sacred lake or well has been found at the Ramasseum. So each king would select or emphasis elements he favoured.

As well as following the pattern of a house the temple also followed the design of world around them. Ceilings are covered in stars, columns take the form of papyrus and lotus and maybe that the undulating walls may have been built to mimic the waters of Nun and that the pylons represent the hieroglyph for the horizon. Orientation is generally East to West although there are occasional exceptions like Luxor temple. This meant that the sun would rise and set between the pylons.

The external decoration of the temple shows what the king wanted people to know about him and the internal what he wanted the Gods to know about him. The front of the pylon often shows war like scenes. The king smiting his enemies is a common theme and carries the hidden meaning of the king subduing external chaos in his role of upholder of Maat. The pylons at Karnak have many examples of this. Another common scene is the king being heroic and warlike in a chariot firing arrows against enemies. Various gods accompany the scenes, often the God of the cult temple, a recording God like Thoth or Seshat or an alternative warlike God like Neith or Sekhmet. Often there is a list of captive towns and this would have added a propaganda advantage.

Within the temple the king would be shown making offerings to the Gods, both the God of the temple and other Gods in the pantheon. At one and the same time the king is showing reverence for the Gods and the Gods would be rewarding the king for this act of devotion. Important events in the king's life are often recorded. For example the coronation of the king, examples are at Medinet Habu and Karnak.

The function of a cult temple was to provide a hidden place for the statue of the god and a place of theatre. The temple was a possible site(s) of a Heb Seb or coronation celebration but most importantly it was the house of the God, where he/she resided, where offerings were received, incense burnt, specific clothing worn, dances performed and the God revitalised. Cult temples could be at a national or local level, national ones could host functions like the coronation of the king or his Heb Seb festival.

It was also important for the king to be seen to build temples. The king had to be seen to be offering to the Gods in perpetuity.

Our use of the word priest carries much baggage from our own culture, for example it implies pastoral care of the congregation, teaching the theology and rites of passage such as christenings. These were not aspects of the role of an Egyptian priest. He was a servant to the God and his role was to serve the god. Just like a servant in an ordinary house.

What are the differences and similarities between a mortuary temple and a cult temple? A mortuary temple has a chapel for the benefit of the king and the royal ka. This mortuary temple is the place for offerings and the temple itself is based cult temples. This does not have to be the prime or only function of the temple but can be restricted to a small part of the temple like that of Seti I. The design however is the same for both temples selecting one or more of the various elements from all the possible ones for both temple complex and the actual building.

There are also other, less important differences as well. Rather than God related heads to the sphinxes, such as rams headed sphinxes at Karnak and Luxor temples there are jackal headed sphinxes. Merenptah and Ramses II had dozens of these at their temples and there are still examples on site. There is often a temple palace attached to a mortuary temple. This was not where the king lived but merely a summer house or picnic hut used during ceremonies held at the temple as there were no kitchens.

So it is the function that is different in the two types of temple, not the design, location or elements and this function can be limited to a small part of the temple

A good example of a mortuary temple is the temple of Seti I. The gateway of the first pylon is made from limestone and is decorated. It has two open courtyards with a possible roofed colonnade leading to a portico with three entrances. To the left or southern side of the first courtyard is a small temple palace. It has two entrances and in the middle there is a pillared hall with a flight of steps leading to a window of appearances. These windows allowed the king to appear to selected individuals surrounded by scenes showing power and majesty, often to present costly rewards such as collars of gold.

The second courtyard is at a higher level than the first courtyard and is the Heb Seb courtyard. This courtyard is surrounded by a wall. The right (most northern) entrance leads to an open area with an altar used for the worship of the sun. The central entrance leads to a hypostyle hall with a number of side rooms. Side chapels show the king offering or having libations poured over him.

This then leads to 5 chapels dedicated to Amun, Mut and Khonsu, the Theban triad, with the addition of chapels to Osiris and Ptah. These chapels are decorated with pictures of the barque shrine and the king making offerings to it. Above the entrances are pictures of the god to whom the chapel is dedicated. The central area was decorated with 2 goddesses suckling the king and many scenes to celebrate the 'Beautiful Feast of the Valley'. Seti's temple would have been the first stop on the west bank in this important festival. The King is invariable shown bowing, kneeling or inclined before the gods. The temple lines up with Karnak temple and from the hill behind the temple the first pylon is clearly visible. The hill surmounting the Valley of kings dominates the temple

The left hand or southern entrance leads to a chapel dedicated to Ramses I, who never had time to build his own mortuary temple. To the rear of this sub temple are some fine false doors. Exiting the chapel at the side and going to the back behind the false doors of the Ramses I temple area there is a further chapel for the royal mortuary cult. This is the part that makes it different to a cult temple; there was a specific area where offerings could be made to the king who was buried in the Valley of Kings. The entrance halls are interconnected. The sanctuary floor is higher than those preceding it and the roof is lower, the smallest, darkest place. The roof of the temple has footprints carved into the floor so this must have had some significance.

The temple of Khonsu at Karnak is an excellent example of a cult temple as the design is cohesive being executed by a limited number of kings Ramses III, IV and XII. When there are a lot of kings involved in the design, like at Karnak, the design is harder to see as there are so many additions and reworking. The gateway should be ignored as it is outside the time period being Ptolemaic.

The temple is connected to the both the Temple of Mut and Luxor temple by an avenue of sphinxes leading to a pylon. The axis is south/north which is probably dictated by the need to line up with Luxor temple via the avenue of sphinxes. A similar axial alteration was made at Luxor temple by Ramses II,

This avenue would have hosted the processions between the various temples and an opportunity for the populous to see the barque containing the statue of the God. Inside the pylon is a staircase leading to the top and several 'windows' can be seen at the top.

Behind the pylon there is just one open courtyard with a roofed colonnade, the columns are closed papyrus bud capitals. A set of steps lead to the hypostyle hall, which is lit by celestory windows and contains examples of open papyrus capitals. The columns support a higher central roof with closed bud capitals which support the side roof. The celestory windows are built in to the side wall between the high central roof and the side roofs. The temple further ascends until the area of the barque shrine and ambulatory around it. As the temple floor ascends the roof level descends. Leading off, in the south east corner, is a stairway leading to the roof which has a chapel. There are side rooms and at the back in the smallest, darkest place, the sanctuary.

The interior decoration is of the king making offerings to a selection of gods and barques of the gods, not just to Khonsu. Only the ambulatory and inner chapels were decorated by kings of the New Kingdom, principally Ramses III and Ramses IV. The Theban triad dominate but the other moon god, Thoth is also present. Khonsu is shown both as a falcon headed god with a moon crescent and a young boy with a forelock of youth and moon insignia

There are also important iconic images like the king receiving libations and unification of the two lands. The outside of the pylon is not decorated but if finished would have no doubt show the king smiting his enemies or a similar war like portrayal. The temple would have had a number of statues and there are still some remaining including a baboon which is associated with moon and sun gods.

In conclusion there is no or little difference in design or decoration between a mortuary and cult temple, just the function. Elements such as pylons, courtyards, sanctuaries could appear in both.

If you want to see the temples of Egypt, the tomb of Tutankamun, Valley of Kings or the tombs of the Nobles, Flats in Luxor group can help with your perfect holiday in Egypt. We have large family apartments with private swimming pools, intimate, romantic one bedroom villas and atmospheric flats. There are flights direct to Luxor on EasyJet and please check our Trip Advisor listing for reviews Google Flats in Luxor and Trip Advisor

Jane Akshar

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Egyptian Gods

Birth of the Egyptian Gods
When religion exactly started in Egypt is completely beyond the knowledge of the modern Egyptologist. Evidence show that religion predates the dynastic administration of the ancient land. Egyptians had a god for almost every single nature force or need they had. A god of war, fertility, birth, medicine.. The list goes on and on.

It is obvious that not all Egyptian gods were found at the same time, there was some notable period of time between the birth of each two of them, that time was required for new needs and social aspects of the society to rise.

The Spiritual and Political Power of the Egyptian Gods
Religion dominated most aspects of the ancient lifestyle, and Egyptian politics is no exception. Ever since nations started to shape out, religion, politics and society all influenced each other, and that manifests best in ancient Egypt, where Egyptian gods officially ruled the powerful country through the pharaohs who technically ruled Egypt. So, the protection of the gods by the ruling pharaoh was essential.

On the other hand, gods enjoyed great power within the ancient Egyptian society, and needless to say, most notable was their influence over the ancient Egyptian spirituality. Most Egyptians seem to have believed they needed their gods so bad in order to fulfill every single need in their life, and answer every confusing question about the purpose of life and the mystery of death.

Forms and Shapes of the Egyptian Gods
Ancient Egyptians used objects and forms from their daily life to picture their newly created gods, mostly in forms of animals that were physically or socially powerful, such as the lion which was physically the strongest animal in the country, and the cow whose existence was very important due to the productive side of its cycle of life.

Unlike most religions today that have obvious masculine domination over them, ancient Egyptian deities were so often female deities, actually most important and known deities today are feminine, such as the famous Isis who Cleopatra was believed to be a spiritual daughter of.

Egyptian Gods Under the Abrahamic Swords
After dominating the country for thousands of years, Egyptian deities met their official death on the hands of the Roman Empire, decades after the weak Ptolemaic Dynasty period. The Roman Empire closed all Egyptian temples, which they believed to be spreading "false" religions that conflicted with the Roman beliefs and obvious interests. As Christianity started to take over Egypt, it was getting less and less acceptable for Egyptians to worship their own gods even outside the closed, and sometimes destroyed, temples.

By the time Arabs conquered Egypt, there wasn't much left to be destroyed of the Egyptian religion practices, but still most temples and ritual locations were abandoned since they represented "infidel" ideologies that, as well, conflicted with the interests of the new Arab leaders and armies.

In various places in Luxor, Christian monks were believed to have hidden in the ancient Egyptian tombs and temples to escape the persecution they faced from early Muslims in Egypt, but ironically, they kept on destroying the reliefs of the Egyptian gods from the protecting walls in these places.

Click here to learn more about the various Egyptian gods

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