We have just entered the seventh month (Aug 7 – Sept.7) of the Chinese year, known as the month of the “Hungry Ghosts” and is seen as the lowest , yin point of the year. During this time, the gates of the lower realms are opened and the hungry ghosts are free to roam the earth in search of food, entertainment and mischief. This seems to be an accurate portrayal of the current state of our Covid world! The Hungry Ghost Festival comes at a time of year when the moon is full near the end of summer. In many ways, this festival is reminiscent of Halloween or the “Night of the Dead” in Western countries.
Cultures from Europe to China have traditional days of the dead or ghost days that are thousands of years old that were part of the tribal folk religions before the advent of Christianity in Europe and Buddhism in Asia. In Britain, Halloween originated from the traditional holiday of Celts who believed that the last day of October was “the day of the dead” or “the ghost day” when ghosts crossed over the boundary between the living and the dead. Cultures throughout Asia from India to Cambodia to Japan share similar beliefs about the August, and these traditions seem to date from before Buddha.
Celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival is all about looking after hungry, discontented, wandering souls. These are ghosts without families to care for them or people who died because of unfortunate events like pandemics, war, murder or suicide. Families do everything they can to placate these unhappy spirits with gifts of food, money and other supplies. Though primarily intended to prevent these ghosts from causing trouble in their own lives, the customs of Ghost Month do raise a certain mindfulness about making space in our world for those who have fallen out of society. This year the actual festival day falls on September 2, 2020.
Even though the outer energy of the month is very yang – hot and dry – it is believed that the dark yin inner forces overpower this yang energy. The resulting imbalance of excess yin chi attracts ghosts and wandering spirits who thrive in such an atmosphere.
Reflecting on this phenomena, I was reminded of the importance of having a balanced yin/yang relationship in our environment. I remembered the research I did several years ago on on Phillip Callahan, the world renown ornithologist and entomologist. His work focused on soil, stones, water etc. and their magnetic quality. Paramagnetic stone is yang – slightly attracted to magnetic energy and diamagnetic stone is yin – slightly repulsed by magnetic energy. I think it’s a perfect time to revisit this valuable information.
During World War Two, while stationed in Ireland as a radio engineer, Callahan became intrigued with the 13 round towers he found in the countryside. He noticed that around the towers, the plants, grass and trees were extremely healthy and that the farmers even brought their sheep to graze around the towers. Through experimentation, he discovered the towers were paramagnetic antennaes placed in diamagnetic or low paramagnetic areas to increase the fertility of the soil. The atmosphere, rocks, stone, and soil (inorganic) tend to be paramagnetic, while plants, water and most organic forms including humans tend to be diamagnetic. The two forces work hand in hand.
Callahan found that the ancients built their round towers, pyramids, stupas, cathedrals etc. with highly paramagnetic stones like granite. He discovered that both the shape of the structure and the paramagnetic qualities of the stone worked together to imbue plants, animals and humans, the entire environment, with health and well being. He postulated that paramagnetic soils facilitated the flow of electromagnetic forces from the atmosphere to plants.
However, he began noticing that where there was low paramagnetism in the the soil, agriculture was more difficult, and there was more political strife and warfare in the region. He became fascinated by this phenomena and decided to fly to many global areas of strife (war zones like Yugoslavia) to measure the paramagnetic quality of the soil. Every “hot spot” he tested had low paramagnetic qualities as well as low readings of the Schumann magnetic resonant waves (they go hand in hand.) To test that his hypothesis was correct and it wasn’t just the mismanagement of the land or the mindless placement of human structures causing the effect, he decided to visit some headhunter tribes in the Amazon!!
In the river delta, where the soil was deep and extremely paramagnetic, he found gentle, friendly natives living, but when he traveled upstream to where there was almost no soil, just thin dirt over networks of roots, he measured very low paramagnetic energies. The natives here were extremely hostile headhunters!
These findings show how important good, healthy paramagnetic soil is to our well-being. The current use of tons of pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, and EMF towers are resulting in the destruction of our environment. Without strong paramagnetic minerals in our soil, we become ungrounded and our cultures tend to fall apart. We see this happening globally and need to change our current environmental mindset for our survival. I think during our current Covid condition, many of us are are realizing how important our health, and the health of the planet is for our survival!Read More...
Yesterday, we entered into the Blue Water Sheep month. The contentious, clashing energies of the Water Horse are starting to wane, During Blue Water Sheep months, our emotions usually become more reflective and introspective. The sheep, being one of the most yin signs, is seen as the most creative, gentle and intuitive of all the animals. They do not like to create waves, but to quietly go along with the flow. This is a month to truly reflect on what is important.
Getting a good night’s sleep during this pandemic has been difficult for many of my friends and clients. In “normal” times, forty nine percent of Americans report difficulty in sleeping. Anxiety and stress over waking up during the night and not being able to go back to sleep, often leads to taking prescription sleeping pills etc., The pills then lead to their own problems and it is a downward spiral.
After implementing all of the Feng Shui principles such as placing the bed in a good location, having their head pointing in the right direction, taking the mirrors out of the bedroom, removing all electronics, having adequate darkness and the right colors, air, and basically balancing the qi in the bedroom, I found there were still clients who could not sleep through the night.
So, through research on this problem, I was amazed to rediscover the sleeping patterns of our ancestors. They didn’t sleep in one eight – hour chunk. That is a modern invention – a modern myth! They used to sleep in two shorter periods over a longer range.
The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, a professor of history at Virginia Tech. He wrote about the history of sleep in a very engaging book called “At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past.” In it, are hundreds of references scattered throughout literature, court documents, and personal papers that show the practice was common knowledge.
Ekirch found this sleeping pattern died out a around the time of the Industrial Revolution when everyone and everything became more regimented. Our ancestors practiced what is known as “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Thistwo–piece sleeping period lasted approximately twelve hours. They would go to sleep for approximately four hours and then wake up for three – four hours hours and then go back to sleep for another three to four hours. In the in between twilight hours, people would read, write, pray (religious manuals had special prayers for the mid-sleep hours,) talk, have sex or get up and go visit neighbors. The first four hours produced the deepest sleep. It was a period of unusual calmness- unlike the anxiety we experience today upon waking up at 3 three in the morning and thinking we need to get back to sleep for our physical and mental well-being!!
Two sleeps per night may have been the method of antiquity, but tendencies towards it still linger in our DNA! It may be the answer to a lot of our current health problems.Read More...
June 2020 is ruled by the Water Horse, Ren Wu, which starts June 5th and ends July 5th. The element of the month, water, brings an inner clash with the inherent fire energy of the monthly horse and on top of that the horse clashes with the yearly rat energy! We are going to see massive change and conflict this month. But, looking at our current situation, the oppositional energies seem right on target. Change does not happen in a static situation. Change comes through chaos and crisis. The Chinese see the symbol for crisis as being a combination of the signs for danger and opportunity. In the 2020 yearly newsletter, I wrote about how this year is an echo of 1960 – (the 60 year cycle of the White Metal Rat that introduces a whole new way of looking at things.) I said, politically, 1960 was a year that introduced a decade of the most tumultuous and divisive energies the United States had
ever seen, marked by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, antiwar protests, political assassinations and the emerging generation. President Kennedy, who was the youngest man to ever hold the office, was elected that year in a contentious battle. During his 1959 campaign, he brought in his vision of hope by saying, “In the Chinese language, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. In this current time of crisis, it is important to allow this ancient wisdom to resonate. In this newsletter, I am going to explore the magic of copper – known alchemically as the “Substance of Venus.” With our current Covid situation, it is important to remember what our ancestors knew – copper kills germs, fungi and algae! With all of the toxic antibacterial soaps and lotions surrounding us, it is important to look for natural, alternative solutions. Here a really interesting article from Vice –
Copper surfaces kill 99% of all bacteria including the super bugs found in hospitals today. This is the reason many hospitals are installing copper doorknobs and door plates. Copper is also increasingly being installed in commercial and residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units to inactivate air-born pathogens. Thousands of years ago the Egyptians were aware of the antibacterial effects of copper and used it in their plumbing systems. Humanity is finally reclaiming this knowledge and is increasingly installing copper piping in both their homes and businesses. An average home in America today has 469 pounds of copper in it. (more…)
Xin Si (Yin Metal Snake) starts May 5th, 2020 and ends June 4th. 2020. The snake is a fire sign and marks the beginning of summer. Sitting on top of the snake this year is the element yin metal. This means we have a yang metal water rat year and a yin metal fire snake month.
The image of the golden snake can be a beautiful jewel shining in the summer sun or a shiny dagger! Although the snake is known for its beauty and elegance, it has a dark side that attracts secret agreements, secret actions, shady schemes, and a powerful desire to make things happen whatever the cost. It is interesting that we have had the metal element ruling for the last two months, and metal rules the lungs.
The fire and metal energy of the month are in an opposition cycle (fire melts metal) and this might help fuel the pandemic, but on another level may aid us in navigating the unknown. Yin fire is symbolized by candlelight and may offer us a spark of guidance at the end of the tunnel.
I love the ancient Chinese drawing above of Fuxi and Nuwa. They created humanity and were pictured as androgynous snakes – Fuxi holding a compass (to measure heaven) and Nuwa holding a square (to measure Earth, while contemplating the two ruling animals (rat and snake) this month, I realized how differently they are perceived in the West and the East. In the East, those wishing to pay a woman a compliment and acknowledge her beauty are accustomed to say: “My dear, you are a real snake!” — a pleasantry most likely to be misinterpreted in the West!! Likewise, the Chinese may call a person who is quick witted as being “shrewder than the Rat, while in the West, calling a person a rat means you don’t trust them. (more…)Read More...
This 3rd month (April 4th to May 5th), in this White Metal Rat year, is ruled by the Golden Metal Dragon or the Golden Shen Lung. There are three great spiritual dragons in Chinese cosmology and Shen-Lung is the Rain God who controls rain, wind, thunder and lightning. Dragons stand for the yang or the positively charged masculine forces and their sound is that of thunder. It is interesting that Traditional Chinese Doctors believe viruses are “pathogens carried by the wind” into weakened bodies (plant, animal, or human) and that Shen Lung, who controls the wind, rules this month.
The Chinese character for thunder is a dragon pictured under a raincloud. This golden rain dragon is associated with fertility and is known for creating sudden changes. Believing deeply in the fertilizing power of rain and sudden weather changes in the spring months, the Chinese held elaborate rituals to to avoid offending him, for if he grew angry or feltneglected, the result was bad weather, drought, floods, thunderstorms or illness. To placate him, they created clay dragon images and carried them around the region while reciting special incantations. It was a form of sympathetic magic. They believed “like attracts like.”
Although the spiritual Geng Metal Dragon energies can represent purity and precision, they can also be inflexible, unbending and combative with little regard for the feelings of others. This ruthlessness can result in a rapid rise to the power of authority, which is being demonstrated worldwide right now. Often it falls to the Metal Dragon to state the difficult truth that no one else will raise. This month, we must stay cognizant of the predicament we are in, and strive to maintain balance amid all of the contradictory chatter and fear surrounding us. (more…)Read More...
The month of March is always ruled by the rabbit or hare. It is an animal that epitomize gentleness, refinement, elegance and is rarely angry, hostile or aggressive. It is also are known for longevity, discretion and bringing good luck.
Since this month also brings the magical doorway of the Spring Equinox, I was reminded of the mysterious image of the three spinning hares. It is a fascinating circular motif or meme of creation appearing worldwide at sacred sites from the Middle and Far East to Africa to the churches of Europe.
The hares, which were considered androgynous or hermaphroditic until recently by most cultures, generally live alone. But there are certain times of the year when they congregate in mass (for unknown reasons.) One of these times is the Spring Equinox. It brings a certain energy and the hares go crazy – jumping and boxing! They become as mad as “a March Hare,” or the famous “Mad Hatter” in Alice in Wonderland.
They don’t build their homes in burrows like rabbits, but instead make little nests (like a bird nest) in the grass on the ground. Another oddity about the hares is they give birth to baby hares that are fully furred and have open eyes. The Mother builds a nest not only for herself, but one for each baby. From the day these babies are born, they are very self sufficient! (more…)Read More...
The Chinese New Year of the White Metal Rat begins January 25, 2020 and ends February 11, 2021. It ushers in a new day, a new year, a new 12 year cycle, and a new 60 year cycle. The Chinese celestial zodiac begins each cycle with the sign of the rat which is based on an approximate Jupiter orbit.
The rat is seen as a very special animal because it is half yin and half yang. He is designated as such because he has four fingers (yin) in front and five toes (yang) behind. Each animal rules two hours each day. The rat hour, however, crosses two days- from 11p.m. to 1 a.m., so he contains both late night and early morning energies – ending and beginnings.
Each part of a cycle is ruled by a celestial animal and one of the five elements – water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. 2020 is ruled by a yang white metal element (heaven) sitting on top of the rat (Earthly Branch.) The yang metal is connected to steel, armor, weaponry and strong wind. The rat is is the water element, but being a rat (yin/yang animal,) it contains yin water within and yang water without! In the zodiac, it is classified as a yang animal. (more…)Read More...
In 2019, the Chinese New Year 2019 begins on Tuesday, February 5th and ends January 25, 2020. The year of the Yin Earth Pig (Ji Hai) follows the Year of the Yang Earth Dog, 2018, (Wu Xu) and is before the long-awaited year of the Yang Metal Rat (Geng Zi) in 2020. The pig is the end of the 12 year lunar Chinese astrology cycle and the rat is the start of a fresh new cycle. There is however a much larger 60 year cycle. This cycle pairs each of the 12 animals with one of the five elements; water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. So, if we go back 60 years to 1959, or even 60 years earlier to 1899, we can get a feel for what the year of the “yin earth pig” holds in store for us.
I am calling it the year of the “Muddy Brown Pig” because the two main elements are yin earth (soil) over water. The Yin earth sitting on the yin water Pig provides a very unstable foundation.
This pig is seen as the farm pig and is very different from the much coveted ”Golden Pig.” It is energetically a weak year of transition. If we go back to 1959, we see it was a very yin year, but then the next year, the “Yang Metal Rat” thrust us into the cultural revolution of the sixties! (more…)Read More...
February 15th, 2018 ushers in the Year of the Male Brown Mountain Dog. This year is not ruled by a dachshund, poodle, or terrier, but by a strong, stubborn, powerful, straight-forward, tough, conservative, no nonsense Dog, who is resistant to change. The underlying elemental energies are yang earth (mountain) over the yang earth (mountain) energies of the Dog. Picture a huge fixed mountain sitting on top of another fixed mountain. These energies are extremely different from last year’s crowing and strutting Rooster.
For the last few years, the fire element has been prominent in the world. First, we had yang fire (solar), then, last year we had the yin candle fire (lunar), and this year we have the fire entering “the grave.” We will not have the exuberance of fire energies again until 2025! Starting next year, we are entering a period ruled by water and metal.
In the Four Pillars of Destiny, the Dragon and Dog are said to be the rulers of the gates to “Heaven and Hell. The Dog is related to the underground; death, spiritual, occult and conspiratorial matters. It is interesting that in Greek mythology, Cerberus the dog, guards the gate to Hades and in Egyptian mythology, Anubis the dog, guards the gate to the Duat. Garm is the name of the Norse Dog who guards the underworld gate. The dog seems to be the chosen animal to guard the gate to Hell. President Trump is a Fire Dog – something to think about! (more…)Read More...
Since we have just passed through a major yearly portal, the fall equinox, I decided to revisit a really interesting newsletter article I wrote in 2014, with some new updates. In both Feng Shui and Vastu, and many other cultures, the vital importance of doorways as transitional or transformational points was always part of the wisdom teachings. The masters taught that “to enter through a doorway, you must become the doorway,” or “to enter the room, you must know how to open the door.” These are cryptic ways of saying that you must be in in resonance the threshold you are crossing in order to gain access to another dimension or reality. This concept holds true for all planes from physical to spiritual.
I was excited to find a scientific study done by researchers at the University of Notre Dane that explored the “doorway effect.” It was entitled, “why walking through a doorway makes you forget.” The researchers found when testing participants that their responses to questions were both slower and less accurate when they walked through a doorway into a new room than when they walked the same distance within the same room. They were two to three times as likely to forget what they were supposed to do after walking through a doorway and walking through multiple doorways increased the error rate even more! “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away, “ said coauthor Gabriel Radvansky.
One of the their most amazing discoveries was that the phenomena held true whether the participants were navigating virtual worlds or real world settings! The implications of this are mind boggling to say the least. It brings to mind all of the scientific discussions currently about simulation. This knowledge has been with us from time out of mind and like so much ancient wisdom, we have just forgotten it! (more…)Read More...