Thanksgiving


Gratitude is a way of living….beyond Thanksgiving!

Thank You for this moment…..

“Water has a memory and carries within it our thoughts and prayers. As you yourself are water, no matter where you are, your prayers will be carried to the rest of the world.”  Masaru Emoto

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” Christiane Northrup

“Learn to be thankful to everyone, to the entire creation, even to your enemy and also to those who insult, because they all help you to grow.” Amma

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer

“We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world” Helen Keller.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” Aldous Huxley

“Let every step you take upon the earth be as a prayer.” Black Elk

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

November


The month of November is named for the number “nine”. This is because the original early Roman calendar had only ten months. The months we now know as January and February did not exist 3000 years ago. Nine is considered the sacred number of completion. November is the month before December and the Winter Solstice, a time of rebirth.

In today’s calendar, November is the 11th month of the year. Eleven is another significant number in the evolution of human consciousness. Eleven was the first number that could not be counted using the ten fingers of our early ancestors. It marked the beginning of a new cycle, a new way of thinking, a sort of letting go. By opening their minds to the concept of 11 they were able to expand human consciousness.

Hands

The number 11 is symbolic of a sacred gateway. This gateway is connected to divine creation (Mother/Father, Heaven/Earth, Yin/Yang, Dark/Light, Night/Day etc…) as it takes two to create one. The number 11 is a birth portal for the creation of something new.

In sacred geometry the Vesica Piscis is formed by the intersection of two circles whose center points exactly touch. It is also symbolic of creation and is seen as a birth portal.

37 Portal of Life - Sacral8x8

The Vesica Picsis symbolizes the portal of the human creation that correlates to the sacral chakra located in the reproductive system. Its compliment is the third eye chakra that serves as the portal for divine creation located in the prefrontal cortex.

27 Third Eye Chakra8x8

The words Vesica Piscis literally means “bladder of a fish” in Latin.

To Pythagorean’s it meant “measure of a fish.”  For students of Pythagoras (Greek philosopher circa 570 – 490 BCE) the Vesica Piscis represented the intersection of the world of the divine with the world of matter and the beginning of creation. To Pythagoreans all of creation was based on numbers and by studying them one could achieve spiritual liberation. Thus forming the foundation for sacred geometry.

St. Augustine (Christian theologian in Algeria circa 354 – 430 ACE) began using the Vesica Piscis to represent Jesus and the Holy Trinity, as defined by the Council of Nicaea.  Jesus was often referred to as the “fisher of men.” A stylized version of the Vesica Piscis is often called the “Jesus Fish,” by Christians.  Ichthys is the Greek word for “fish.”

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The number 153, appears in the Gospel of John (21:11) as the exact number of fish Jesus miraculously caught. This appears to be a direct correlation to the mathematical ratio of 265:153, the square root of three. The mathematical ratio of the height of a Vesica Piscis to the width across its center is the square root of 3 or the number 265:153.

The Vesica Piscis is also known as a mandorla, which means almond in Italian.

According to Exodus (37:17-22), Moses received explicit instructions on how to build a Menorah, a ceremonial oil lamp fashioned after an Almond tree.

Menorah

The Menorah symbolizes the immortal and divine Tree of Life. According to Jewish mysticism the Menorah is encoded with a diagram to help people return to the Garden of Eden.  The central trunk (oneness) has four almond buds with an almond blossom on top. Three branches extend to the left (feminine) and three branches to the right (masculine).  Each branch has three almonds buds with an almond blossom on top.  In total there are seven almond blossoms that provide light and twenty-two almond buds that mark the path through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.  This diagram was kept secret for hundreds if not thousands of years.

43 Soul Tree - Root8x8

Twenty-two (22) is a mirror reflection of the eleven (11) sefirot or divine emanations that receive and reveal both masculine and feminine knowledge to become whole or one. This  path through the Tree of Life represents the journey through the eleven (11) sefirot as a soul travels down the Tree of Life into human form. When the human/soul reaches the red dot, called Malkuth, it becomes a fully realized human who has lost its memory of being a soul.  It is from this place of being fully human that man has the choice to travel up the tree through the eleven (11) sefirot regaining his memory or connection to his divine soul  This realization is called Daat or enlightenment.  The Kabbalistic Tree of Life inspired the creation of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards in the Tarot that represents mankind’s circular journey through life.

The Sanskrit word for mandorla is Yoni.  Yoni is considered the source of life: a divine passage of the soul from spirit to matter. It is seen as a symbol of the sacred feminine.

For Muslims the mandorla is seen as the womb of the universe, which holds the sacred black stone or ovum of the universe. The black stone is believed to have fallen from Heaven to Earth to mark the place where Abraham was asked to sacrifice Ishmael, his first born son.  This place is known as Mecca.

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The Black Stone is the most sacred object is Islam and is placed in the East corner of the Kaaba in Mecca.

Muslims get ready to pray at Haram Mosque, Saudi Arabia.

When pilgrims perform the Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the highlights is to walk seven times in concentric circles around the cube-shaped Kaaba pointing to the black stone each time they pass. This symbolizes the seven days of creation.

Carl Jung (1875 – 1961), a Swiss psychiatrist, viewed the human psyche as “by nature religious.” Meaning that people naturally want to feel connected to something beyond themselves. In doing so, beliefs and religions have formed over time based on myth, metaphor, history and story.

Jung saw that the human psyche operated on four primary planes: Self, Personal Consciousness, Personal Unconsciousness, and Collective Unconscious. It was from the place of the Collective Unconscious that he saw the formation of Archetypal patterns, based on the universal experience of being human.

The more awareness we can bring to these patterns we enable ourselves to heal the collective wound stories of men and women.  By awakening the Collective Unconsciousness we can transform it into Collective Consciousness.

The use of numbers has always had a profound effect on our psyche. When we see 11:11 on our digital clocks it triggers the unconscious memory. It is a calming and supportive pattern that reminds us to move forward.

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November is a symbolic gateway that reminds us to create a new way of seeing.

August


August

August in the Western Mind

The month of August is named for Augustus, Julius Ceasars’ grandnephew, who defeated Marc Anthony and Cleopatra and subsequently became the emperor of Rome.

The Roman Senate decided that he too should have a month named after him (July had just been named for Julius Ceasar). Not only did the Senate name a month after Augustus, but it decided that since Julius’s month, July, had 31 days, Augustus’s month should equal it: under the Julian calendar, the months alternated evenly between 30 and 31 days (with the exception of February with 29), which made August 30 days long. So, instead of August having a mere 30 days, it was lengthened to 31, (they shortened February to 28) preventing anyone from claiming that Emperor Augustus was saddled with an inferior month.

August in the Eastern Mind

Yin and Yang

The “August Ones” also known as the Three Sovereigns (2852 – 2205 BC) were seen as mythological Shamans or Sages (wise ones).

Heavenly August One – who represents the “light/masculine” or Yang energy.

Earthly August One – who represent the “dark/feminine” or Yin energy.

Human August One – balances  Yin and Yang energy through human form.

August reminds us to find balance between the opposing forces of natures…

August is the month that brings us the last days of Summer before we begin to prepare for Fall and Winter.  It is symbolic of the waning cycle of life as we prepare to cast off what does not serve us in preparation for the release of Fall and the symbolic rebirth of Winter.

mountain-sunset

Enjoy August by heightening your awareness of what you want to bring into your life now…

12/21/2012


“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.”  – Hamilton Wright Mabie

January 1st….the cycle continues

The creation of the month of January is credited to the Roman King, Numa Pompilius in 600 BC. Numa added Inauarius and Februarius to the 10 month-long “Romulus” calendar created in 800 BC. Inauarius was celebrated as the first month of the revised 12 month calendar beginning in 200 BC. Prior to that the year began in March in honor of the Spring Equinox. Inauarius is pronounced Januarius, meaning month of Janus.

The New Year was originally celebrated by the Greeks, Romans and Europeans on the Winter Solstice on December 25th. When Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar in 46 BC he choose January 1st as the first day of the year in honor of its namesake Janus. The Gregorian Calendar was instituted in 1582 AD, by Pope Gregory the XIII, as a way to bring order and importance to the “Christian” calendar throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. As the Conquistadors moved into the Americas during the 1500’s they brought this calendar system with them.

“When one door closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us”. – Helen Keller

The month of January is named after the ancient Greek and Roman god Janus.  Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, a gateway or doorway. He was seen as having two faces: one looking to the past and the other looking to the future.  His counterpart is Juno, the goddess of June.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Einstein

Ancient Roman Sculpture of Janus

2012 has much to teach us if we keep our minds and hearts open

Popular culture has made 2012 infamous with the prophetic “End of the Mayan Calendar” or “End of Time”.  The Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs and Toltecs were advanced civilizations that lived in Central America possibly dating back as early as 6000 BC. They were intrepid travelers who followed the stars to help navigate their way from Africa to South America. Their calendar system shares similarities with the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Hindu and Chinese calendars. Each followed a lunar calendar, a solar calendar and a star calendar.

Aztec Calendar Round – Mexico

By having multiple calendars they lived with more awareness of natures ongoing cycles. Their concept of time was circular versus linear based on the rotation of the earth and the changing positions of the sun, moon and stars. These calendars were sacred to their culture and everyday life. Each day held an intention on multiple levels.

Lunar Tzolk’in Calendar – the word Tzolk’in means “the count of days”. The moon phases became the perfect way to count a day.

A monthly lunar cycle

They noticed that the gestation or creation of a human baby took nine moons or 260 days. They also noticed that 13 moons created one solar year or solar cycle. To honor both of these aspects of the moon they took the number of 13 moons in a solar cycle and divided it into the 260 days of creation which equaled 20. (260 divided by 13 = 20) This made the numbers 13 and 20 equally sacred. This became known as the “sacred round“. Each of the twenty “days” had a name and held a specific meaning. This 20 day cycle would repeat itself 13 times, each progressive cycle was assigned a number along with the day name which became known as a trecena cycle. The Tzolk’in calendar was used to determine the time of religious and ceremonial events plus divination.

Solar Ha’ab Calendar – was made up of 18 “months” lasting 20 days (18 x 20 = 360) plus a period of five days known as the Wayeb or “nameless days” (360 + 5 = 365) this was equivalent to one solar year. Each of the 18 months plus the period of Wayeb was given a name and meaning that corresponded with the seasons.

Alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth

Calendar Round – combined the lunar Tzolk’in with the solar Ha’ab into a 52 year cycle. These 52 year Calendar Rounds lasted approx. one lifetime. Basically each day of a persons life was given meaning based on the combination of these sacred calendars.

Long Count Calendar – since the Ha’ab only lasted 52 years, the Mayans developed a long count calendar for forecasting future events and historical dating. The Maya name for a day was k’in. Twenty of these k’ins are known as a winal. Eighteen winals make one tun. Twenty tuns are known as a k’atun. Twenty k’atuns make a b’ak’tun.

A bak’tun equals approximately 394.3 solar years. The Mayans set their creation date at approx. 3114 B.C.

2012 A.D. marks the end of the 13th bak’tun (13 x 394.3 = 5126).  This places the end of the 13th bak’tun on approx. Dec. 21, 2012. The Winter Solstice is seen as both the beginning and end of each calendar year.

2012 is not the end of the Mayan Calendar

13 bak’tuns is the end of a cycle that jumps up to the next level of counting.  13 bak’tuns = a pictun, and 13 pictuns = a kalabtun and so forth. It is an ongoing cycle…..as one cycle comes to an end another begins….

The Precession of the Equinoxes 

“For centuries, man believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Centuries later, he still thinks that time moves clockwise.”  – Robert Brault

The precession of the equinoxes, also known as a Platonic Year, is caused by the slow wobbling of the earth’s polar axis. The earth’s polar axis completes one full precession (moving backwards or counterclockwise) approximately every 26,000 years.  The spring and fall equinoxes were chosen by ancient astronomers to track this precession. Monumental stone structures were created throughout the world that functioned in part as markers or astronomical instruments of this phenomenon.

The Great pyramid of Giza, Egypt. Built circa 2500 B.C.

The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Machu Picchu in Peru and Kukulcan’s Pyramid in Mexico were all used to track the precession of the equinoxes.

Chichen Itza, the Mayan Temple of Kukulkan in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Built circa 650 – 800 A.D.

At Chichen Itza, a “serpent of light” is revealed every year at the exact time on the Spring Equinox. This serpent of light represents Kukulcan or Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent God that lives in the Milky Way.

Precession can also be measured relative to other fixed stars. The stars have been reliable sign posts for the basis of many beliefs and cultures throughout the world. For this reason, ancient cultures aligned themselves with certain stars based on their relative brightness at that point in time. Some of the most famous “stars” are Sirius, Venus, and the Sun, along with the Zodiacal constellations and other star systems such as the Pleiades and Orion.

Polaris our Northern Pole Star…..

Pole Stars are the stars that mark the North and South aspect of our Earth’s axis.  Right now our northern axis points to Polaris which means “Pointer”. Polaris is the only one of the Pole Stars that comes as close to the exact point of our actual North Pole. In 2012 it will be 1º away, reaching its closest position of .5º’s in 2100. Then Polaris will slowly begin to move away. Our Pole Star changes slowly over the course of 26,000 years in accordance to the precession of the equinoxes as the earth rotates on its axis like a top.

The Big Dipper is the constellation Ursa Major, The Big Bear. The two stars at the end of the bowl of the Big Dipper are called the “Pointer Stars” because a line drawn between them points to Polaris, the North Star. – © 1995 Jerry Lodriguss

The next pole star for the Northern Hemisphere will be Alrai or Gamma Cephei, in 3000 A.D. and then Iota Cephei, in 5200 A.D., Denab will follow in 10,000 A.D. Our earth has had two “North Stars” in the past including Thuban around 3000 B.C. in the constellation Draco, and in 12,000 B.C. Vega in the constellation Lyra. They too will cycle back after Denab. In total we have 6 different stars that comprise a “ring” of stars that take turns being our North Pole Star. But again, Polaris is the only one of the six that is the most exact, which is why we are so aware of it now.

The Southern Hemisphere does not have as many options, currently they do not have a South Pole Star, the Southern Cross constellation has been the best constellation for the past 2000 years.

The Earth’s magnetic field showing the axis point and the North and South Poles

The Galactic Alignment and the Sacred Tree of the Mayans

To the Mayans the Sacred Tree or World Tree was thought of as the pole or axis that runs through the center of our earth. The idea of a galactic alignment is thought to be when the North Pole or Sacred Tree lines up with the galactic center of our Milky Way on the Winter Solstice.

In 2012, on Dec 21st, the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice position will be in the constellation of Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the constellation that holds the center of our Milky Way. There is a growing black hole located in an area called Sagittarius A. It is approximately 26,000 light years away from our solar system. The earth’s wobble also causes the position of the seasonal quarters (equinoxes and solstices) to slowly precess against the background of stars and the constellations of the Zodiac. For comparison, 2000 years ago the constellation in this position on the Winter Solstice was Capricorn.

The 13th bak’tun cycle of the Mayan calendar ends and a new one begins approx. on the Winter Solstice of December 21st, 2012.  Polaris will be 1° from our actual north pole, pointing directly into the center of our Milky Way possibly at a growing black hole.

Do these markers indicate that this the end of time??

According to NASA this alignment is nothing to worry about. Our earth has been dancing within this alignment for several years now. An example of this is that on Dec. 21st, 2010 our Sun and Moon lined up that evening to create a total lunar eclipse, Polaris was pointed in much the same direction as it will be in 2012 towards the center of our Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius. I remember that evening feeling the beauty and awe of a total lunar eclipse yet I am still here today writing this blog. This makes me pause and think of how linear time has influenced our culture by perpetuating fear….

“Time is making fools of us again.”  – J.K. Rowling


Prague Astronomical Clock installed in 1400 A.D.

The Illusion of Maya and being Present in the Now

“Apart from thought, there is no independent entity called “world.” Just as the spider emits the thread out of itself and then withdraws it, likewise, the mind projects the world out of itself and then withdraws it back into itself.” – Ramana Maharshi

The Hindu word “Maya” could be seen as a root word for the “Mayan” civilization. There is no historical evidence of this, but it is an interesting theory to ponder. There is a great deal of similarity between the cultures and evidence does exist that the early Indus Valley people were travelers by land and sea. Some speculate that the culture divided after the formation of the Veda’s and the caste system. Could these early people have come to the Americas and influenced the Mayans?

Before the Vedas were written, around 1500 B.C.  the early Hindu culture worshipped a female trinity made up of Devi the Divine Mother Goddess, Tara the Earth Mother Goddess and Maya the Goddess of Illusion.

Maya was often depicted as a spider who weaves the web of illusion in the present world we live in. The present is illusive because we are continually walking between worlds, going through doors and gates. We weave our own reality together based on our perceptions and projections.

Hindu Symbol of “Om”

In the Hindu symbol of Om, Maya is seen as the semi circle on top which separates the dot from the other three curves or levels of consciousness. This dot signifies the fourth state of consciousness that illuminates the other three.  Maya in the present moment prevents us from reaching or the realization of this highest state of bliss.  This is how we get caught in our own web of judgement and fear. Maya is an illusion, we are the spider. By staying out of judgement or duality and stepping into a place of oneness we are able to see the past, present and future all at once.

May we linger at this gate and breathe in the beauty of the moment. As we move forward may we step out of fear and into love….

Namaste and Munay….Laural

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”  – Ellen Goodman

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”  – Anaïs Nin

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

9/11


“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Theresa

September 11th, 2001, a day that changed our world.

The day after 9/11, I was inspired to begin researching the origins of world belief from 20,000 BC to present day, in search of our shared roots. The Tree of Life became a touchstone for my personal healing and the archetypal journey of mankind. Along the way, the number seven became a guiding symbol, which curiously is what September is named for.

This year, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the full moon of this “seventh moon” month falls on September 12th, 2011. September 12th was the day that marked the beginning of my healing journey toward peace, that quickly became my passion. The Full Moon is a beautiful reminder that we are one, as we connect with the larger family tree we all share.

So what does the word September mean?

September is originally from the latin word “septum”, meaning “seven”.  It was used to describe the “september mensis” or “seventh moon month”.

Lunar calendars are still in place, based on ancient traditions and sacred time.  Within the Judaic and Muslim community, the lunar calendar plays a primary role in everyday life. Christians use it to determine the date of Easter, a formula created by the early Roman Church, so it would never coincide with the Jewish Passover.

The roots of the Monotheistic Family Tree:

Abraham is seen as the father of all three monotheistic beliefs (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which basically means the belief in one God. Up until the time of Abraham, there where multiple beliefs with Gods/Goddesses that represented ancestors, elements of nature, the sun, the moon, the stars etc… Each continent had its own unique belief system based on the natural world around them.

Abraham was born in Sumeria around 1800BC, the area we now know as Iraq. He traveled throughout the Middle East as a merchant with his wife Sarai. He began following the guidance of a voice that came from the beyond, a voice he named YAHWEH, who he saw as the one and only creator God.

Sarai, Abraham’s wife, was not able to bear him a child, which Abraham desperately wanted. During a merchant trip through Egypt, the Pharaoh gave Sarai a female companion named Hagar. Sarai then gave permission to Abraham to conceive a child with Hagar.

Abraham’s firstborn son was named Ishmael. A few years later Sarai surprisingly gave birth to Isaac. Eventually Sarai became concerned that Ishmael would inherit his father’s wealth instead of Isaac. She asked Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out to the desert, a place now known as Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

What happened is interpreted differently by Judeo-Christians who follow the Book of Genesis and Muslims who follow the Islamic Qur’an.

According to the Book of Genesis, Hagar and Ishmael are cast out to the desert when YAHWEH speaks to Hagar letting her know that Ishmael will be the father of a great nation. Later, Abraham is asked to prove his loyalty to YAHWEH by sacrificing his favorite son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem. After Abraham binds his son with a rope he is told to stop because his loyalty to YAHWEH is proven.

According to the Qur’an, Abraham is asked to sacrifice Ishmael, his first-born son, in Mecca. The story is similar to the Book of Genesis, same outcome, different son, different place and a different name for God, Allah.

Both stories demonstrate the shared lineage of Abraham and his loyalty to one creator God. His family tree continued to grow through the legacy of his sons, who went on to become the fathers of the Ishmaelites (Muslims) and the Israelites (Jews) and also (Christians) through the Jewish lineage of Jesus.

What is most interesting is that Moses, an Israelite married Zipporah, an Ishmaelite. Moses is a central figure in all three monotheistic beliefs. The Qur’an speaks of Moses more than any other Prophet or man. Moses is seen as the great Prophet and lawgiver for all three beliefs. In actuality Israelites and Ishmaelites worked together and fought together for thousands of years.

On the Seventh Day he rested….

(The seed of life, sometimes referred to as the creation matrix, contains six circles representing the six days of “creation”. The middle circle is the “resting” point or seventh circle)

Monotheistic cultures see the number seven as sacred.

Judaism – “It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested” – Exodus, 31:17

Jews recognize Saturday as the Sabbath, the day of rest. The word Sabbath means completion, to cease or to rest. It is from the root word for “seven”.

Christianity“And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:3

Christians define this day of rest as Sunday. Sunday was named by the Romans long before Christianity was created to honor the Sun, but after the Roman Empire converted to Christianity they replaced the concept of the “Sun God” with the concept of Jesus being the “Son of God”.  This was also another way to separate from the Jewish Sabbath (Jesus was Jewish, as were most of his early followers) from the newly forming Roman Catholic Church.

Islam“He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself on the Throne. He knows what enters within the heart of the earth, and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven, and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wherever you may be. And God sees well all that you do” – Qur’an 57:4

Muslims do not recognize an official day of rest, but they do observe Friday as an official day of prayer and assembly called Jumma.

In summary, all three faiths agreed on the concept of the seven days of creation but they each interpreted and created a separate day to honor it: Judaism – Saturday, Christianity – Sunday, Islam – Friday.

So where exactly did the idea of seven come from?

Among the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians there were seven planets that could be seen with the naked eye. They included the Sun and the Moon along with Mars, Mercury, Jupiter,Venus, and Saturn. This observation formed the concept of seven as a sacred number, especially among the Western mind. The seven days of the week were then named after these seven planets based on Greco-Roman translations: Sun – Sunday, Moon – Monday, Mars – Tuesday, Mercury – Wednesday, Jupiter – Thursday, Venus – Friday, Saturn – Saturday.

In Hebrew the number 7 means Sheh-bah, which means completion. Hence it is the root of the word Sabbath, the seventh day of rest.

To the Greeks, 7 was referred to as Hepta or the seven sided Heptagon. From this came the creation of the Heptatonic Scale which was based on seven musical notes. The Greeks also held the belief that their were Seven Sages or Wise Men that lived before the great flood. These seven sages influenced Judaism and subsequently all three monotheistic faiths.

Judaism – the Seven Branched Menorah, is “a light unto the nations.” – Isaiah 42:6.

Christianity – the number seven is used more often than any other number in the Bible except “one”. “When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light” – Jesus – Luke 11:34

Islam – “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. Light upon Light!”
 – Quran 24:35  

During Muhammad’s “Night Journey” he traveled through the Seven Heavens of the Tree of Life and received the word of Allah, through the Archangel Gabriel.

So why does “light” play such an important role with the number seven?

Light has always been connected to the concept of God, whether it is the light shining from the Sun, the Moon, the Stars , a Fire. Light is life-giving. Our modern understanding of light and color begins with Isaac Newton in 1672AD. He was the first to understand how to refract white light with a prism into its component colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Due to pressure from the church, Newton followed the pattern of seven based on the seven days of the week and the seven notes of the musical scale. He then identified a seventh shade called indigo that fell between blue and violet.

Modern day artists use the color wheel originally set up by Isaac Newton based on the original six colors. The seventh “color” is actually white “light”. The absence of light is the color black.

(The “Color Wheel” as the “Seed of Life”.)

Ancient Hindu yogi’s identified another sort of “Sacred Wheel” they called a “Chakra”. The Chakras are seen as energy centers within our body that are affected by emotional and physical factors. The goal of the yogi was to clear and open these chakras so that the life force energy would flow unobstructed allowing for spiritual union and physical health. These chakras also work in harmony with the concept of seven, the colors of the rainbow, the musical scale and white light.

So where is the all leading?

During the last ten years of research and pondering how we are all one, I have created a way to look at the number seven in combination with world belief and our energetic body. I like to refer to this as the “Tree of Life” within us.

There is also an eighth chakra that surrounds us reminding us that we are “one”.

1. Red – Root Chakra – Indigenous Belief/Feeling Grounded

2. Orange – Sacral Chakra – Taoism/Harmony of Opposite Forces of Nature

3. Yellow – Solar Plexus Chakra – Hinduism/Life Force Energy

4. Green – Heart/Soul Chakra – Buddhism/Love with no Conditions

5. Blue –  Throat Chakra – Judaism/The Power of the Spoken Word

6. Violet – Third Eye Chakra – Christianity/Inner Knowing and Trusting our Intuition

7. White/Light Violet – Crown Chakra – Islam/Connection to Source

Tens years later….a vision of oneness for the future

May we begin to see how we can sing a new song, paint a new picture, and create a new story of peace within ourselves and each other for the next seven generations…

May loving kindness be what guides us….

For more information visit www.treeoflifewithin.com

Prayer Beads


“The mystic discovers symbols. . . symbols are windows through which we can view the essential nature of our being.” – Ngakpa Chogyam

 

Prayer Beads and Knots from around the world

Sha sha – The first beads were grooved pebbles, bones, and teeth made over 40,000 years ago and had talismanic and symbolic meaning. “Sha” is the Egyptian word for luck.  These beads were used as a way to pray or divine by casting them on the ground or wearing them for good luck. Divination was man’s earliest way to communicate with spirit. Stones, beads, sticks, shells, leaves, metal coins etc…were all used as tools for divination. Eventually divination gave way to prayer beads or talismens that people could wear and carry with them.

Japa-mala – Means “muttering chaplet,” which refers to a prayer beads function as a means of recording the number of prayers said. In addition to helping keep one’s place in structured prayers, prayer beads also symbolized the commitment to a spiritual life. With their circular form, a string represents the interconnectedness of all who pray.

Mala – Buddhists and Hindus use 108 beads divided into four sections of 27 by three resting beads. The mala is used for counting mantras, chants or prayers. Preferred woods are sandalwood or sacred wood from the Bodhi tree. The Meru is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the guiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala. It also stands for the wisdom that comes with emptiness. Mala means “rose” or “garland” in Sanskrit. The earliest known mala is around two thousand years old.

Shiva Malas have beads made from rudraksha (Shiva’s eyes). Vishnu Malas usually use beads made from the tulsi (Holy Basil) The 108 beads represented the cosmos, in which people multiplied the sum of the twelve astrological signs by the nine planets.

Twenty-seven-bead smaller wrist malas were created to prevent the prayer beads from touching the ground during prostrations.

In Tibet, malas of inlaid bone originally included the skeleton parts of holy men, to remind their users to live lives worthy of the next level of enlightenment. Today’s bone malas are made of yak bone, which is sometimes inlaid with turquoise and coral. The 108 beads represent the number of worldly desires or negative emotions that must be overcome before attaining nirvana.

Baha’i  – consist of either 95 beads or 19 beads strung with the addition of five beads below.

Chinese Su-chu – Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108-beads, which has three dividing beads, so the su-chu is divided into three parts of 36 each.

Jewish Tallit – Jewish Prayer shawls are made of wool and linen or silk with fringe all around its rectangular shape. Five knots that create four tassels called tzizit are attached to the four corners of the shawl.

The tallit indicates obedience to a passage in Numbers 15:37-41. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”

Catholic Rosary – The person widely believed to have introduced prayer beads is Saint Dominic, after he had a visitation by the Blessed Virgin Mary. And Thomas of Contimpre first called them a rosary, form the word rosarium or “rose garden,” since the faithful used strung rose petals and beads made of crushed rose petals to count prayers. A rosary is divided into groups of 10 beads, called decades, a Catholic repeats the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” prayers as he or she marks off the beads with the fingers while meditating on the life of Jesus and Mary.

Roman Catholic rosaries have 150 beads, the same number of psalms in the Bible. In the twelfth century, religious orders recited together the 150 Psalms as a way to mark the hours of the day and the days of the week. Those people who didn’t know how to read wanted to share in this practice, so praying on a string of 150 beads or knots began as a parallel to praying the psalms. It was a way that the illiterate could remember the Lord and his mother throughout the day.

Eastern Orthodox – use knots and beads. Shorter knotted ropes are worn on the wrist. Often made of wool, the Greek prayer ropes – called kombologion have 33, 50, or 100 knots. Russian chotki have 33, 100, or 500 knots. Sometimes the faithful use bead strands resembling a ladder (each end of a bead touching two parallel strands), which signifies the soul making its ascent to heaven.

Islamic Tasbih/Masbaha/Subha – Islamic Prayer Beads consist of 99 or 33 beads. During the Prophet’s time, date stones, olive seeds and pebbles were used to make tasbish beads. Muslims use strings of 33 or 99 beads with one “leader” bead, which represents the 99 names of Allah found in the Koran and the one essential name.

Muslim prayer beads include markers after the 33rd and 66th beads representing the word “praise”. Masbaha or subha is from the Arabic word “to praise”. Often subha are made of wood, or from date pits produced in the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

Native American – first used seashells, bones, wood and quills for their beadwork. These tiny beads were called “little spirit seeds” by some tribes, who felt that they were a gift from the gods.

I – Ching/ Feng-Shui Coins – A Chinese coin that is round with a square hole in the center representing the union of heaven and earth (the circle represents the heaven and the square represents the earth). The yang side has 4 characters while the yin side has 2 characters.  Coins are generally arranged in sets of three, tied together with a red ribbon, symbolizing the unity of man, earth, and heaven. Some have theorized that counting prayers naturally evolved from the abacus, the Chinese counting instrument that also used round beads or coins.

African – beads represent the qualities of spiritual wisdom, the power of the gods, and the gods themselves. The Yoruba believe that using beads in ritual or on ritual objects will enhance their power. Diviners wear special bead necklaces that identify them as spiritual leaders and enhance their power.

The Masai find beads so meaningful to their culture that their language includes more than 40 words for different kinds of beadwork.

Huayruro Seeds – (Ormosia amazonica) plant is native to Peru, and has been an important part of Peruvian culture for centuries. Huayruro seeds are found in pods in the tall trees of the Peruvian rainforest. The solid red seeds are seen as feminine, the red and black seeds are masculine. Together they bring balance, prosperity, health and good luck.

Watana – Peruvian glass beads thread along a braid of seven colors of the rainbow. It represents our journey from being human to being a star person and back to human. The beads are set on each side representing our true nature as having both masculine – father and feminine – earth mother energies.

Connecting to our circular nature allows us to open our hearts and minds to the unlimited potential of what came before and what lies ahead. I encourage you to create your own unique set of “beads” as you reconnect to the sacred circle.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”  ~ Meister Eckhart