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Animal Totems

A coyote in Yosemite National Park, California...

A coyote in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Suomi: Kojootti Yosemiten kansallispuistossa Kaliforniassa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I have a very strong belief that animal totems not only exist but help teach us and guide us as we go through life. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the country or maybe it’s because of my Cherokee heritage. It doesn’t really matter how I came to believe these things. I know that I do and I know that animals do teach me quite a bit. When I was young, I would spend vast amounts of time in the woods alone. I would sit quietly and still and watch what the animals were doing. I would learn from them by watching their movements, behaviors and patterns. I would watch them play and fight. I had some contact with animals that no one else has that I know personally. For example, when I was around 10 years old, I came face to face with a mountain lion. I had an instinctual feeling that she was guarding babies. She was crouched in ready to spring mode. We locked eyes and I felt a curiosity from her. She did not spring on and maul me, obviously. Then when I was 11 years old, I was bitten on the leg by a copperhead snake. I wasn’t watching where I was going and the snake bit my leg. Momma rushed me to the hospital after sucking the poison out herself. You can’t even see the scar any more. When I was in my 20s and on a sport dive, I came face to face with a tiger shark. I’m not sure which one of us was more afraid. We both went in opposite directions. Those are just a few examples of the experiences I’ve had with animals. I have always felt a kinship with the animal totems in my world. Two mornings ago, I was opening the curtains on the back windows of my bedroom and standing about 5 feet from the house and moving closer was a very large coyote. His nose was in the air and he was smelling the feral cats that live outside of my house. It was dawn and he was in full hunt mode. I threw open the window and yelled, “Go Coyote….GO!”. I scared him and he stopped dead and stared at me. I yelled at him again to go and he ran almost to the wood line behind the house. I yelled one more time and he disappeared into the woods. He was very big. I was very shaken. I do not like predators hunting the cats. I also do not like predators of that size being that close to my house. I know there are coyotes close to the house most of the time. I can hear them calling to each other through the woods. Knowing they are out there and seeing them 5 feet from the house are two completely different things. After I had some time to process seeing that coyote that close, I started to think about what coyotes as animal totems mean to me. I was thinking how that applies to my life now and what wisdom I can glean from that encounter. The lessons that they teach us are as follows:

  • Understanding that all things are sacred–yet nothing is sacred
  • Teaching that only when all masks have fallen will we connect with the Source
  • Intelligence
  • Singing humans into being
  • Childhood trust in truth
  • Teaching us how to rear our young
  • Brings rain
  • Ability to laugh at one’s own mistakes
  • Placing the North Star
  • Shape-shifting
  • Teaching balance between risk and safety
  • Illumination
  • Stealth

I am still processing what the main lesson was for me. I have an idea. I may share when I know for sure. Do you see the same animal around you all the time? Do you have encounters with animals that you normally would not encounter? Have you considered that you may be coming into contact with animal totems to teach you?

About the Author

My name is Elizabeth Glass. I enjoy sharing my life experiences, my spiritual experiences and just writing in general. I have been writing…


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Liminal and Liminoid

English: Rock concert at The Hexagon The band ...

Rock concert at The Hexagon The band are Jethro Tull, performing an acoustic number. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Expert from my blog… read more here

Browsing through my library, I recently found some interesting material on the idea of liminality. You’d think I’d know all about this concept; it’s right up my alley. But as things go, I’ve only made note of it until now.

Some quick research on Wiki produced these two links. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in religion and the related idea of numinosity. Of particular interest is the distinction anthropologist Victor Turner makes between the liminal and the liminoid. The one is structured and expected by society, and more like work (e.g. going to Church); the other is free and playful (e.g. going to a rock concert). But both apparently have similar effects. They transport you somewhere out of the ordinary.

This second link is an interview with Talal Asad. I was pleasantly surprised to discover his views on postmodernism and religion. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And it’s always great to find an “established” thinker who’s saying things that you’ve already thought about. It gives you a sense of reinforcement and encouragement. After all, a single innovative thinker is often ignored or marginalized (as has been my experience). More than one, however, and people begin to take notice.

Apart from my personal story, I really believe that humanity would benefit from using all of the intellectual tools we have at our disposal… especially with regard to religion and society.

—MC


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An above average look at the belief in astral projection


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Melding Theological Beliefs – An Honorable Approach towards Religious Strife

By Smith Baker

The education of various faiths in different schools and educational institutions is often carried out in a segregated environment which ensures that children and individuals of the same faith and religious background are grouped together. While the given educative scenario may seem to be feasible and highly productive from the teacher’s perspective, too often it is argued that this form of pedagogy does not result in peacemakers who are able to accept other faiths and grow as adults who have high tolerance for conflicting beliefs.

Educators around the world have therefore proposed a new pedagogical strategy for theology schools suggesting that instead of urging students to steep further into their own beliefs and faiths they should be introduced to a classroom setting that supports a multi-faith culture. Of course religion is one of the most ignored aspects in the American academia but given the immense need to nurture tolerant and peacemaking adults, this practical approach toward theology provides a unique and exciting way to handle the challenges being faced at a socio-political level.

Termed as an unorthodox approach, melding the education of different faiths and religions is an excellent way to preach peace and tolerance to our future generation. We live in an era that is dominated by a plethora of religious misunderstanding and theological strife. If schools and colleges were to adopt this approach, we will be providing the various religious communities across the globe to exist in harmony with each other. In addition, there is also a need to place meticulous focus on curriculum and course development and refinement in order to establish new certification programmes that introduce students to topics such as religious conflict resolution and theological ethics. Such programmes however cannot be run by a single faith and therefore will require a collaborative effort, housing the leaders from multiple sects under one roof.

Despite the numerous benefits of this proposed teaching methodology, the view has not been able to avoid considerable criticism and acrimony from various sects across the globe. A number of leaders in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic community have objected to the approach given the concerns that this educative stance may threaten to dilute their beliefs and the foundations of their faith. Many more have called for a critical review of the curriculum and suggest that the same will hamper adequate education in various institutes.

It is however worth mentioning that this approach towards religion and theology stems from the desire to learn. Melding together the studies and beliefs of different faiths is an excellent way to connect individuals across the globe at larger levels. The effectiveness of the approach however lies in how efficiently and how conscientiously it is executed.

About the Author

Smith Baker – I am Smith Baker, a person who possesses the ability to maintain corporate blog updates. Professionally, I have amassed a considerable…


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Common interpretation and meanings related to dreams about trees or parts of a tree

Image via Tumblr

By Alex B

Dreaming about a tree represents a symbol related to one’s personal life and individuality of the person experiencing this vision. The shape of the tree in a dream is a subjective representation and reflection of this person’s or someone else’s, who is very close to the person, life situation and personal existence with relation to other people’s lives.

A tree in a dream, depending on its kind and state can be a symbol carrying a lot of meanings, both positive and negative, which can be describing dreamer’s body conditions and state, indication about health and physical wellness, ability to grow both physically and intellectually, personal achievements and progress with work as well as connection to the genealogical tree and immediate family or predecessors.

A tree in a dream can also be a representation of how studying and acquiring knowledge is progressing and even how they might affect the life of a person who happened to dream about this symbolic image. It can equally be a simple way for subconscious mind to tell people about their life course and reflect their direct or indirect relationship with others around them (these meanings will largely depend on in what conditions a tree was growing and what kind of a tree shape it has been seen: large, small, a tree with stunted growth, a perfectly shaped or a dwarf tree, a dry or a dead tree).

Tree branches seen in a dream are a symbol of hidden abilities and secret desires or aspirations. Some sources describe dreaming about a tree trunk as an indication of problems related to the dreamer’s spinal cord and basic health conditions which need to be looked at more closely or with more attention. Upper branches and canopy of a tree in a dream point out our connection to the outer space , ability to express ourselves spiritually and find ways to be able to deal with everyday life while relying on a higher levels of cognition and striving for balanced and self-fulfilling future.

Tree roots in a dream are usually what they symbolize in a wake life, they represent basic needs for our existence, connection with ancestors and inner urge to care about humankind or certain people we communicate with on a everyday basis (family, close friends, co-workers or relatives). Tree roots can also be a sign or financial stability and independence, propensity to accumulate wealth and provide for our family.

Tree leaves with all their various shapes, colors and sizes and depending on what state they were seen while dreaming represent subconscious concerns and worries related to personal private life, something we have been going through recently and our current state of consciousness. It is important to note here that even small details in a dream related to tree foliage can affect interpretation of its meaning and help to uncover positive or negative message these dreams may contain.

The overarching meaning related to dreams about trees can be described as development and growth in time, either for an individual or for relationships and personal connections this individual creates in his or her personal life with other people. Some dream interpretation sources make reference to dreaming about a ‘universal’ tree, an entity which represents the universe we exist in and which carries a special meaning when our mind tries to grasp the fact they exist and learn more about cosmic forces or objects in space which perplex and astonish us by their magnitude.

Lastly, dreaming about trees under certain weather conditions or with seasonal patterns can also reveal a multitude of interpretations and symbolic meanings. Many dream interpretation sources describe dreaming about healthy trees with lush foliage as a sign of personal wellness and material wealth, while dreaming about dry trees stripped of foliage signify times of loneliness and hardship. Depending on a season (winter, summer, spring, autumn), dreams about trees are interpreted as symbols related to the beginning of a new relationship or exciting and fulfilling career or less promising or inspiring outcomes, such as periods of hard work and the need to choose priorities in life in order to succeed or being able to handle many things simultaneously.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/common-interpretation-and-meanings-related-to-dreams-about-trees-or-parts-of-a-tree-6772421.html

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Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your…


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The brain and the gut are more connected than you’d think

Intuitives, shamans and mystics have known for many years that the brain is not the entire person. While psychiatrists tend to focus on the brain, this can be misleading. The human being is a whole person, to include body, soul and a relationship with God.

To exclusively focus on the brain seems superficial to some, dangerous to others. Luckily, however, modern research is beginning to realize the inadequacy of purely brain-based psychiatry. Last night I saw this video with author David Perlmutter:

http://tvo.org/video/213114/david-perlmutter-belly-and-brain

At first glance I thought Perlmutter was just another new age, health huckster who will say or do anything to peddle his book. But once he began to speak, I realized he was an intelligent, articulate proponent of the idea that the brain and the gut are intimately connected.

Dont get me wrong. I agree that the brain is crucial. But it’s not alone. It’s part of a total organism located in a physical, social and spiritual environment.

—MC


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“To Tirzah” by William Blake

Originally posted on Stuff Jeff Reads:

ToTirzah

Whate’er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
Blow’d in the morn, in evening died;
But Mercy chang’d Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears:

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
And me to Mortal Life betray.
The Death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

In order to fully grasp this poem, there are a couple religious references which should be explained. First, the name Tirzah “is derived from The Song of Solomon vi.4, and signifies physical beauty, that is, sex.” (Geoffrey Keynes) Also, the words on the robe of the…

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