Tag Archive | culture

#Omens&Symbols . . . .Kiss Under the Mistletoe

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“Kissing under sprigs of mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, but this
little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years. Many
ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were
known to use it as a cure for everything from menstrual cramps to spleen
disorders, and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted it could be used as a
balm against epilepsy, ulcers and poisons. The plant’s romantic overtones most
likely started with the Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. Because mistletoe
could blossom even during the frozen winter, the Druids came to view it as a
sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike
in the hope of restoring fertility.

~Evan Andrews; “Why Do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?”;

 

 

 

 

Photography: Under the Mistletoe by Berta on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/berta_/11435445545/in/photostream/
Text & image source: Between the Realms https://www.facebook.com/BetweenTheRealms/

#WorldofSymbolism . . . . Handfasting

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Handfasting is an ancient Celtic marriage ceremony
where the betrothed tie a ribbon around their wrists
in a show of eternal love

 

 

 

 

Text & image credit: GODDESS CENTRAL https://www.facebook.com/goddesscentral/

Happy Independence Day, India!

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We wish all our friends in India a wonderful Independence Day celebration. We also use the occasion to share Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s thoughts on True Independence…of course, not for the benefit of Indians only:

“When will we experience true freedom? Only when we are able to experience the pain of others, only when our hearts are throbbing to console others when they are in pain. Only then will India be truly independent.”
-Amma

Photos credit: http://revivenations.org & Amma’s page on Facebook

Profound Love Quotes #8…….big lessons from a little heart!

“No need to show mercy otherwise but Compassion and Love…We are all capable of this kind of compassion, what a world it would be if we were all as kind caring as this little boy…”

♥✿♪♫•*¨*• .¸¸✿ Deepika

Text Credit: Infinite Love on Facebook

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Photo Credit: Infinite Love on Facebook

Marriage and Womanhood!

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Marriages are made in heaven! Marriage is an institution ordained by God! What God has joined together, let no man put asunder! These and many more sayings are pointers to the strong connections between marriage and spirituality.
Even traditional/secular norms and practices have healthy regards for marriage: marriage ceremonies are big events across cultures and marriage creates new family ties with some privileges! The married woman is accorded some respect and liberties in public and work places while, the man of substance caps his achievements with a woman to live happily ever after!
Without doubt, marriage has immense merits and has proven to be one of the best bonds entered into by human beings on earth. If consummated correctly, in accordance with the Will of the Creator, it is a source of blessing for the partners, the offspring of the union and all who are connected with it in a helpful and positive way.
Such ideal marriages occur when two souls recognize in each other matching qualities which like the serrated edges of two boards, when glued together, dove-tail into each other and form a strong, clean and seamless joint.
The qualities are not identical but complementary: the weakness of one partner is the strong point of the other thus, producing a balance in mutual sharing and the impetus for a strong long-lasting bond!
Shoulder to shoulder, they joyfully and voluntarily face the ups and downs of life, drawing love and support from each other as the best of friends and companions. They pursue lofty ideals; not only attending to child bearing, parenting and everyday trivialities but, reaching up to the ennoblement of their spirits.
Marriage is indeed a great opportunity and beneficial experience for mankind!
Enchanted by the glorious stories about marriage the starry-eyed youth dreams of the ‘big day’, the walk down the aisle, flowers, festive decorations, traditional customs and vows! The young maiden is probably the biggest dreamer and her parents/relations, the dream makers! Almost from birth, she is carefully guided and groomed for the ‘right suitor’!
In addition to family subtleties, the maiden is rather brazenly nudged by insinuations from peers, society, culture, and religion! She is constantly reminded that marriage is a sacred mission, a woman’s crowning glory in life and she must do everything possible to avoid ending up as an ‘old spinster’!
With time, either convinced by the virtues of marriage or, yielding to persuasion, the fresh mind invariably accepts marriage as “the lot of all women”.
Years later, seeing what goes on around her in the name of marriage and from personal experience, she would, from time to time, quietly reflect: is marriage really a commandment of the Almighty that must be obeyed? Is a woman damned for going through life unmarried? Does marriage define the womanhood in a woman? Is it really worth all the frenzy and subterfuge?
Let us also pause here to reflect on these questions before the concluding part of this discussion! We hope parents are listening!
Thank you for your time and do have a wonderful week!

 

 

 

Photo Credit: all-free-download.com

Engraved In Gold Series #1…..Love, the soul of Genius!

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“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence
nor imagination nor both together go to the making of a genius.
Love, love love, that is the soul of a genius”
-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Shapes The Intellect

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Shapes The Intellect

Photo Credit: Sun Gazing on Facebook

In our last essay, (Intellect……..Unveiled) we took an overview of the spirit – intellect partnership. Today, we are looking at the origin and stages of this partnership in the life of the human being on earth:

The spirit – intellect partnership starts in the womb. This is obvious as we all know that a child is born a fully-fledged human being complete with spirit, soul and body. However, to understand the origin of the partnership we need to understand the processes of procreation.

Procreation involves conception, incarnation and birth. Conception and birth are familiar processes while incarnation requires a bit of an explanation.

Incarnation is the process whereby the spirit takes on a physical body as its outermost cloak. It is another example of the beauty of seamless synchronization in nature! When a pregnancy occurs, so many activities are set in motion in various directions and realms but, all these have to interconnect, coalesce and lead back to the pregnancy. One principal activity is that human spirits in their ethereal soul forms approach in their numbers seeking an opportunity for earthly experiencing. Nature then sifts through the multitude to select the soul that is homogeneous or has strong karmic linkage with the mother or anchor person, and best suited for this particular body. As the natural selection is going on, a radiation bridge capable of holding different elements is prepared and the embryo keeps growing to the point where it can withstand and sustain a close spiritual bond. The processes continue until all fronts are ready for the next big stage.

The stage is reached at the middle of pregnancy when the embryo’s basic organs have evolved…and so the miraculous happens: the spirit is guided in through the well-known silver cord; the mother feels the first kicks and if open to pure light streams, she also feels the presence of a soul as if merged with her being. Thus, a new human being has taken on form in the World of Matter growing towards his/her earthly birth!

Incarnation therefore takes place mid-way in pregnancy and signals the beginning of the spirit-intellect partnership. It marks such a significant milestone that in the eyes of the inflexible Laws of Creation, any willful termination of a pregnancy after incarnation, is plain murder.

In early life, nature allows the body and intellect a learning/maturity period. During this period, the spirit maintains a rather loose or slackened connection with the body to allow it mature unfettered. The infant body grows and the mind learns through imitative instincts, experiences and later, free will.

This period, which lasts till about puberty, demands the highest concept of motherhood, parenthood and education! The child should be grounded in nature; he/she should be guided to appreciate nature, respect plant and animal life and understand that the elemental beings behind nature are but servants of God, not gods and definitely not malicious and wicked entities. Religion should sharpen the intuitive mind by teaching the virtues through simple illustrations, stories and parables and not through the tortuous memorizing and recitation of scriptures and creeds, or the undue subjection to doctrines and dogmas. Education should prepare the child for a life of self-reliance and creativity without being pernicious and overly materialistic. Balance and moderation should prevail in these matters!
Parents should therefore not regard child-bearing as merely a means of propagation; of extending the family lineage. Rather, it is a sacred duty which must be undertaken only with a deep understanding of what procreation and parenthood are. Blessed is the hand that rocks the cradle with knowledge and discernment.

What becomes of the spirit – intellect partnership now depends largely on the human product that emerges from the period of learning:

If there is a balance between the intuitive and intellectual minds; if the child is aware that this world is but a small section of real existence; if the intellect has not been over cultivated and crammed with purely earthly knowledge, the spirit then finds a handy and harmonious partner in the intellect. The youth finds peace within and grows in the proverbial ‘strength and knowledge of God’.

If on the other hand, the child’s upbringing only made room for bread and butter, science and technology, or ‘survival of the fittest’ instincts; if the intellect is so cultivated that it is raised to an idol, the spirit then finds a disagreeable or unruly partner in the intellect. The intellect takes over as the lord of the manor, suppressing any intuitive perception (voice of the spirit) and living its passions to the full.

In between both extremes above, neither the spirit nor the intellect takes over completely. Instead, there is an internal struggle, a raging calm. Some religions call it the internal personal struggle between good and evil, spirit and flesh or refer to situations where the ‘spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’.

You can then understand the wisdom in the old Cherokee proverb (see our post “The Intellect Continuously Wars Against The Spirit”) which speaks of two wolves within us.

The choice of which wolf to feed is yours and the consequences…………..still yours to bear!