Bardo Thodol: The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State, it is often referred to in the West by the more casual title, Tibetan Book of the Dead, a name which draws a parallel with the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, another funerary text.
The Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and the next rebirth. This interval is known in Tibetan as the bardo. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death, and rituals to undertake when death is closing in, or has taken place. It is the most internationally famous and widespread work of Tibetan Nyingma literature.
According to Tibetan tradition, the Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State was composed in the 8th century by Padmasambhava, written down by his primary student, Yeshe Tsogyal, buried in the Gampo hills in central Tibet and subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa, in the 14th century. There were variants of the book among
different sects. The Tibetan Book of the Dead was first published in 1927 by
Oxford University Press. Dr. Walter Y. Evans-Wentz chose this title because of
the parallels he found with the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State is recited by Tibetan Buddhist lamas over a dying or recently deceased person, or sometimes over an effigy of the deceased. The name means literally "liberation through hearing in the intermediate state".
An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the plane of the Earth's equator passes the centre of the Sun. At this time the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.
Vernal equinox and autumnal equinox: these classical names are direct derivatives of Latin (ver = spring and autumnus = autumn). Again, this is from a Northern Hemisphere perspective of spring and fall.
Mabon, the Vernal Equinox or Equal Night is the official beginning of autumn. Annually on this date in the Northern Hemisphere, faces the Sun and receive equal amounts (12 hours each) of daylight and darkness.
Mabon, September 22, 2013 marks the second and final time (the first was March 21st) each year that day and night are of equal in length. The autumn day's grow shorter, the nights longer. Now, is the time when the Earth prepares for the departure of the sun's abundant light, warmth and growth. The planet enters the time when the darkness takes over the light. Tuning into the seasonal activities, the wheel of life connects one with the universal
rhythm. Life is continuously changing, evolving, dieing, and being re-born. Summer is fading. In the orchards apples dangle, red, gold and ripen. Harvesting the vegetables begins, with tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans, potatoes, corn and all the rest pouring from the garden. We reap what we have sown.
Stop by to learn more -
Tara’s View: Don’t Miss Your Luck on Friday the 13th!
Friday the 13th can be a very auspicious day, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to cross paths with success. That’s because on this day the
astral currents are particularly active.
In the world of clairvoyance, Friday the 13th is a very beneficial day, charged with positive vibrations. With that in mind, I’m going to reveal a very simple and effective procedure that will accelerate the progress you make towards attaining the life of your dreams.
Time is too short to stifle your desires. Don’t think small, think big and eliminate your limitations. Doing big things doesn’t require any more energy or time than restraining yourself from doing ordinary things. Think big and big things will happen to you. Think small, and your life will stagnate.
Predictions made during this period are highly charged with the positive energy of Luck, and rarely contain bad news. In contrast to some traditions, which claim Friday the 13th is negative, the predictions I make on this special day are always filled with good tidings in the areas of money, Love, Luck and health.
A Great Concentration of Astral Energy
There are always strong concentrations of astral energy in the Higher Vibratory Spheres on Friday the 13th. These periods trigger huge events, and it’s up to you to profit from them by adopting the right attitude.
You should start generating positive thoughts, especially about a problem you’re preoccupied with, a few days beforehand, whether it concerns Love, money, health, Luck, or your career.
To do, that isolate yourself in a quiet place for 30 to 60 minutes, somewhere you know you won’t be disturbed. Shut your phone off, and don’t make any appointments for the hour or two before and after you practice. Make sure you’re protected from prying eyes. If you practice during the day, try to do it when the sun is at its highest point, or close to it. If you can feel the sun’s rays and heat on your skin, all the better.
Ceremony For Day Or Night
You could also practice around midnight, but you should stop when the clock reaches the midnight hour. That means you should start around 23:00 hrs, a time when the nocturnal energy is most favorable.
Wear loose-fitting clothing you feel comfortable in. Be sure not to constrict your stomach so you can breathe properly.
Try to perform the ceremony at least three hours after you eat, and don’t drink any alcohol.
Get as comfortable as you can, either sitting down or stretched out on your back (which is probably best if you practice at night).
Don’t worry if you fall asleep. Slipping into sleep just means you’ll get a good night’s reparative rest.
Generating Positive Ideas
It’s best to be physically and mentally relaxed when you begin the ceremony, free of stress at least for the moment. Otherwise, actually performing the ceremony will relax you.
Make sure there’s no tension in your back, arms, shoulders and legs. Close your eyes.
Concentrate on your problem, the one that’s been preoccupying you most
lately. As soon as you start thinking about it, you’re going to tense up.
That’s normal, especially if it’s been preventing you from leading the life you want. As long as it’s not resolved, it will create a mental block that will prevent you from evolving.
Visualize all the disadvantages the problem brings you. Don’t be afraid to visualize them, because they’ll be powerless during the favorable periods around Friday the 13th, which last for about 2 weeks.
Even if thinking about the problem makes you uncomfortable, you must go through this phase. If you keep on denying it or running away from it, you’ll end up a loser in the story of your life.
Become The Master of Your Problem
I’ll say it again: even if your problem is a huge hindrance in your daily life, don’t be afraid to visualize it. It won’t have any power over you during these favorable periods, especially if you perform the ceremony of dissolution and transformation described below.
First examine all the negative aspects of the problem, then invoke the Higher Forces and ask them to help you.
Visualize the Higher Forces as white and/or golden waves descending from above, washing away all the negativity connected to your problem. The negative gray or black currents in you are gradually dissolved by the Positive Universal Energy of Light.
I recommend doing this exercise 4 days in a row during the 2 weeks surrounding Friday the 13th. Practice it for 15 minutes the first day, and increase the time by 5 minutes on each successive day. What you need to do is resolutely concentrate on finding a solution to your problem, and visualize it happening.
Friday the 13th: Vibratory Housecleaning
The astral vibrations are at their highest concentration on Friday the 13th. Visualize your problem as dark energy, and then see it consumed by the white and golden rays descending from above, until its vibrations disappear altogether. Then work on dissolving your problem on a material level.
For that to happen, you’ll need to adopt the right behavior, and start putting it into practice right after you complete the ceremony (or the next morning if you do it at night).
Solving your problem on a vibratory level and then emitting negative thoughts about it later on won’t make it disappear.
Starting on or around Friday the 13th, and right up to the end of the month at midnight, you’ll need to emit as many positive thoughts as possible about resolving your problem and dematerializing it in your day-to-day life.
The Ritual I just described is very effective, and will yield excellent results if you do it regularly, whenever Friday the 13th comes around.
Your devoted friend,
by Lizann Bassham
edited and reprinted from her blog “Sacred Cells” at the SageWoman channel on PaganSquare.
A light rain falls in these California redwoods. I am walking back to my nest, the VW camper van that is my home for the next week at Witchcamp. It is dark: no Moon is visible, though Her fullness above the clouds makes Her presence felt, tugging on every cell of my body’s oceans. It is not a cold night, damp but surprisingly mild. I am alone in the sweet darkness, walking to the edge of camp after the opening ritual. I am still barefoot, shoes in hand, and, instead of taking the bridge, I wade into the creek. It flows around my ankles and halfway up my calves. It is also surprisingly warm and so I stop and turn off my flashlight and let my skin do what it does best: feel. There are no more shoes for me at Witchcamp, this is too powerful a place, too powerful an experience to miss anything through the soles of my soul.
The next day someone asks, “Don’t those rocks at the stream’s edge hurt to walk on?” I reply, “I go barefoot a lot. I have Hobbit feet.” But the truth is
that if I walked on those rocks the way I do in shoes, it would hurt. The
faster pace and heavier trod would bruise me. Yet, because I am barefoot, I
walk slower, lighter, with greater intention. And, because I am barefoot, I
don’t have to avoid the mud puddles in those ﬁrst few days of camp before the sun ﬁnally dries out the ground mid-week. I can, with glee and full abandon, splash right in and feel the mud squish between my toes.
As the week progresses we dive into the myth of the Sumerian goddess
Inanna. Together we descend into the underworld realm of her sister, the
goddess Ereskigal. I walk Her descent barefoot. In the story, Ereskigal strips
her sister of something at each of the seven gates to the underworld until
Inanna ﬁnally arrives naked. As we wade deeply in the story, I too relive a
time thirteen years ago when my life was stripped away. The memory is vivid as if it were seeping up from the forest floor through the cells of my soles.
In the myth, motive is unclear, but there is a breach in the sisters’
relationship and Ereskigal casts upon Inanna the eye of death and hangs Her
exposed and lifeless. I remember my own experience of leaving a very successful work position in 2000, thinking I was going to move into a PhD program, one that didn’t materialize. Like Innana, my work, my identity, and my sense of carefully constructed ego, were stripped away. I had to ﬁnally face a pattern of depression and relationship choices that had been shadowing me since college. In the story, Inanna hangs there for three days. I hung in the depression long enough for my eyes to become accustomed to the dark - long enough to realize hanging in the dark can actually be a relief, a repose, a rest, and a place where nothing is required of us. I hung in the dark long enough to realize that the dark is no scarier than what’s up there in the light.
In the myth, Inanna has allies and help, as did I. The god Enki sends flies to the underworld to empathize with Ereskigal who is in constant labor giving birth to the dead. Ereskigal, moved by their empathy, wants to gift them. They ask for Innana’s corpse and reanimate Her with the water of life and the food of life. At the next evening’s ritual, still barefoot, I remember, like Inanna, my own reanimation back to life and the sacred circles of folk who brought me aid, support, and tenderness.
The ascent was in some ways harder than the descent for both Inanna and
myself. Slowly and painfully, I transitioned from one kind of life to another,
one kind of way of being in the world into another, and re-emerged into the
upper world of light, changed forever. Now, I love my current life, and found
myself ﬁlled with love and thanksgiving to Ereskigal for the painful and
cathartic process. Working this myth at camp, I re-emerge barefoot, with
gratitude for the life flowing up through my soles into my soul.
My story is common. Most of us ﬁnd resonance in these ancient myths because to walk the Earth is to love and struggle, to lose and ﬁnd, and to discover our own true power often after being stripped of, or letting go of, something or someone. The pantheons of deities continue to infuse our very cells with the wisdom of these stories, spiral turn after spiral turn, as we walk barefoot through time.
BBI Media News
Publishers of Crone, SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans magazines
Lizann Bassham is both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister. She is the founder and director of Front Porch Spirit, a collective of writers, musicians, artists, and performers. She is a retreat and workshop facilitator, author,
playwright, songwriter and musician, and currently working on a poetry series and women’s journal entitled “In Praise of Aging.” She lives in West Sonoma County in Northern California.
Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-na-sa) marks the beginning of the grain harvest, the first on the Wheel of the Year. The importance of grain of life is evident in virtually every deity structure in every religion on Earth. The entire preparation of grain from seed to harvest parallels the life - in - death and death in - life aspects of the Great Goddess Mother Earth.
By Lughnasadh, the Sun God has already begun his downward journey, facing now toward the dark frost of Winter. The Goddess, however, never wanes. She simply changes appearance. During the season of high Summer the bounty of our planet is in full swing. We reap the benefits of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This is a time when most of us experience exceptionally good health and robust living.
Lughnasadh marks the last hey day of the Sun God. Beneath the Barley Moon the Summer stars we, too, enjoy the expiring passions of the season. Marriages are often entered into at Lughnasadh as well as at Midsummer and as Robert Burns tells us, it is a "happy night" that he spends among the corn fields with his lover. Lughnasadh is a time when the symbolic aspects of life-sustaining elements of grain spill over into every part of life.
The Irish God Lugh is known as the "Bright or Shinning One." He is associated with both the Sun and agricultural fertility since his foster mother died from preparing the lands of Ireland for planting. His festival is in her honor. He is also a God of All Skills and champion of the Tuatha de Danaan or "children of the Goddess Dana." In the Tuatha de Danaan's battle to capture Ireland from the Formorians he swaps a prisoner's life for information on the mysteries of agriculture. His British/Welsh counterpart, Lleu is the yellow-haired son of the Goddess Arianhod. Lleu is both Sun God and God of Grain.
Taken from Celebrate The Earth A Year of Holiday In The Pagan Tradition Laurie Cabot with Jean Mills
Stop by http://www.witchskel.com/goddeu-pg3.html to read how Gwydion saved Lleu from Arianrhod's revenge
LIVE EACH SEASONAS IT PASSES,
BREATH THE AIR,
DRINK THE DRINK
TASTE THE FRUIT
AND RESIGN YOURSELF TO THE INFLUENCES OF EACH.
follow for MORE: http://www.twitter.com/tweetsauce
LINKS AND SOURCES BELOW
When was I conceived? http://www.whenwasiconceived.com
Another conception calculator while the above link is down: http://www.paulsadowski.com/Birthday.asp
(you can also Google "conception calculator" and find a bunch)
Birthday star calculator: http://outreach.jach.hawaii.edu/birth...
Beltane Chant (by Rudyard Kipling):
O do not tell the priests of our arts,
for they would call it sin!
We will be in the woods all night
A-conjuring conjuring summer in.
And we bring you good news by word of mouth.
For women, cattle, and corn:
The sun is coming up from the south,
By oak and ash, and thorn!
(Continue chanting 'by oak and ash and thorn')
The first day of May marks a festival of great importance for all those who follow the Pagan way. We call this day 'Beltane' which means 'Fire of God,' the Sun, renews his gift of Need-Fire to the Earth Mother. The spark of life has once again been delivered.
The Celtic May festival, to celebrate the arrival of summer; from Old Gaelic words meaning blaze-kindling. In Druidic times, two fires were lit, and the tribes cattle driven between them, in a purificatory rite. In later times, young men would leap over fires in tests or displays of energy and virility.
On April 30th in some areas, fires burn from dusk till dawn. Beltane or May Day at dawn wash your face with dew for a good complextion and good luck throughout the year.
BELTANE - The Celtic 'Flower Festival.' Marks the first day of Celtic Summer - the first day of the Light Half of the year.
Date - May Eve/May 1st (psychic high-tide; full moon before May 1st).
Modern Equivalent - May Day, Lilac Sunday, Lady Day Walpurgisnacht.
Celtic Godforms - Belinos, Flora, Bloodeuwedd.
Alignment - Male, Cross-Quarter Lunar
Customs - sexual license among peasants, May Pole erection, gathering flowers, wearing green, Fire Calling, feasting, merry-making.
Symbols - May Pole, daffodils, bright colors, smiling sun.
Sacred Foods - sweets and sugar products, heather mead, cakes, cookies, no meat or fruit.
Threshold - Dawn
Incense - lilac, heather, apple blossom.
Wiccan Spells and Witchcraft
Lions & Lambs --- Using the Energy of Sprinby Leni Hester edited and reprinted from her blog
“Season & Spirit” at PaganSquare.com
The transition from Winter to Spring is a dynamic one, with lots of pulling and pushing as the weather goes from one extreme to the other. In this dance between two opposing forces, we can see the Earth’s changes at their most dramatic. There is increasing light, but the rain-heavy clouds are much darker and gloomier than the bright icy snow clouds of a month ago. Perhaps we see this transition as a movement away from the hardships and struggles of Winter, to the greater ease and gentleness of Spring. Or we feel the movement from the repose and introspection of Winter to the increasing noise and activity of Spring.
While we may welcome the arrival of spring, it’s not uncommon to feel irritable or restless and dissatisfied this time of year.
This transition is very much like waking up after a long sleep. Sometimes it takes some stretching and grumbling and rubbing of the eyes to get fully awake. Sometimes it’s not entirely inviting to get out of our warm bed and put our feet on the cold floor. But we cannot stop the Spring from coming any more than we can stop ourselves from feeling
the rising energy, noticing the excitement (anxiety) just below our skin, as the
world wakes up.
Here in Colorado, the dynamic tension between the seasons is particularly noticeable. My coven’s Ostara ritual last month was canceled due to a blizzard that dumped about eight inches of snow. This is always a busy time of year, with the chores running from shoveling snow to turning beds and pruning trees. But out in the garden, even on the coldest day, even with the plants still dormant, I can feel the energy rising, ready to pop out and drench the world in color and life No matter how much it looks like Winter, Spring is ready to roar inside us.
This is the season to make changes and try to rewrite bad habits. For example, isn’t it silly to try and start a new diet on January 1, deep in the coldest part of winter, just when our bodies most crave heavy, high fat foods? In Spring, we begin to crave the bite of new greens and veggies, we want to cleanse and detox, we long forlighter fare as we shed our Winter layers.
The old tradition of “Spring cleaning” is a very natural inclination. This time of year, I find myself longing to re-organize my entire house for top to bottom. Cleaning out our space can really relieve so much stress and anxiety, of course, but the itch to get clean is not just for our spaces, but ourselves. We respond by getting new clothes or cleaning our homes, but what we long for is to be clean on the inside. Letting go of old bad habits and dysfunctional patterns and routines can be difficult, but the energy of the season truly supports these shifts.
Part of our restlessness as the Winter gives way to Spring, is that we begin to notice things that we were resigned or complacent about, and find we aren’t comfortable with them anymore. Maybe it’s a compromise we don’t want to make, or something in our home or workspace that is not working quite right. Maybe it’s a outgrown relationship, or a desire for new challenges. All the places where we fall short of where we feel we should be, everywhere we see dysfunction and breakdowns in our lives—whether magickal or mundane, personal or professional—these gaps rankle us, and spur us to action. We may wish to re-organize our lives from start to bottom, getting rid of anything that we feel no longer serves us. This time of year, I find I have no tolerance for procrastination and dithering after decisions are made. I also have very little patience with my own bad habits and dysfunctional routines. I want everything that feels like clutter, the feels extraneous and dysfunctional, out of my space.
I know that unless I make sure I don’t over-schedule myself, I will over-commit my time and energy, and then look up suddenly and say, “Wow, when did Spring start? And where has it gone?” If I don’t remember that the impulse to clear clutter out of my house is so amped up right now, I will follow that impulse and get ri of things I might need later. Plugging into the rising earth energy after such a long rest can be exhilarating, and it can be also be overwhelming and uncomfortable.
At times of change and transformation, it helps to get quiet. Do not be fooled by the sudden pop of energy and action everywhere. We still need to get quiet especially when the world gets loud. Don’t lapse on your meditation practice now.
Speaking of meditation, as the weather get nicer, take some time to walk in a park or other natural area. Walk silently and take in the scents, sounds and sensations of the waxing year. Put all your awareness into noticing the life around you, even if much of it is still hidden.
Cleansing and purification are huge elements of the ritual work of this time of the year cross culturally. Clean your house, then purify it with smudge or incense. Open the windows, even for a brief time, to get the power of Air clearing out your space. Sprinkle your space with Florida water, or blessing oils or Van-Van oil diluted in water. If you drop the ball on New Years’s resolutions, now is the best time to give it another shot. In any case, here’s hoping that your spring (and mine) will be full of the energy and light of this dynamic and magickal season. Blessed be!
Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies “Pop Culture Grimoire,” “Women’s Voices in Magick” and “Manifesting Prosperity”. She is a frequent contributor to Witches&Pagans and SageWoman Magazines.
BBI Media News
Publishers of Crone, SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans magazines.