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April 5th to April 10th 2004
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MONDAY April 5
Full Moon comment
The hours just prior to a Full moon tend to be tense. It is rather like the build up to a storm. As the clouds gather, we feel edgy and oppressed. Once they break, the sense of relief is palpable. The 'cloudburst moment' in astrology, comes at pretty much the very minute when the Moon reaches maxiumum illumination. That happens at noon (UK time) today. The Moon will still look pretty full by the time we see it rise tonight but the mood should seem a lot less stressful by then.
TUESDAY April 6
No thought for the Day
WEDNESDAY April 7
We all have unwritten contracts with destiny by Mark Winter
Understanding the nature of these agreements is the key to our growth, fulfilment and evolution. Medical intuitive Caroline Myss believes that we can get to grips with the small print of our existence, by learning a new vocabulary, the language of archetypes. Her career of diagnosing illness by looking at the human energetic field led her to conclude that the chakras, our energy centres, contain 'all the data of our biology and biography, and that this energy manifests in patterns of archetypes that affect our lives'. Psychologist Carl Jung first coined the term as a universal symbol present in the collective unconscious, the ever-present sum of all human experience, to which we are all connected. The big four archetypes are: child, victim, prostitute and saboteur. These are universal with both positive and negative traits, but each of us will have many others, such as lover, virgin, pioneer, pirate, story-teller and trickster, resonating in our lives. The child represents dependency and responsibility; the victim empowerment or lack of it; the prostitute our morality and the saboteur how we deal with change. Without understanding these archetypes, which drive both our unconscious and our intuition, Caroline says we struggle to see the bigger picture of what our contract has in store for us. Traditionally, through ritual and religion, we have tried to make our own contracts with the divine.
Cassandra Eason, an expert on pre-Christian religion, views it as a cosmic bank. She says: "We have always given the first fruits of our harvests, the promise of service and in return asked for blessings."
Caroline sees the same exchange across the broad spectrum of everyday life: "Every experience that we have contains purpose and meaning. By finding a way of looking at the symbolic meaning of our experiences, we can face and accommodate the inevitable changes that life brings." Uncovering how archetypes have developed in our lives involves, according to Caroline, "embarking on a journey into the archetypal dimension of life, a dimension of consciousness that contains all of us collectively and, somehow, individually too. The way you express your archetypes is unique to you, but these energies correspond to the archetypes of other people in your life."
THURSDAY April 8
Near Death Experiences by Rupert Sheldrake
As a result of modern resuscitation methods, more people than ever before are brought back from the brink of death. Most cannot remember anything about it. But about 20 percent have the remarkable experience of floating out of the body and looking down on themselves from above, seeing what is happening in the hospital room.
Elizabeth in Portsmouth told me, "I found myself in the corner of the ward up by the ceiling watching several people trying to save me. Later when I was better I told a nurse about the conversations I had heard and mentioned a particular doctor who was wearing an evening suit with a bow tie. She was amazed and said he had been called from an important dinner party." When she was out of her body, Elizabeth said she travelled to a strange place and felt "happy and surrounded by peace and love."
Christine in Bristol recalls, "I was up on the ceiling looking down. I could see the nursing staff looking over me and then I was going through a tunnel of some sorts, all was very light. Suddenly I heard a man's voice telling me to go back."
Other readers have had similar experiences. Often they lose the fear of death.
What is going on? Can the centre of consciousness really leave the body, just as it seems to?
Sceptics try to dismiss these experiences as illusions produced by the abnormal activity of brains starved of oxygen.
Last week I attended a remarkable lecture by an eminent Dutch cardiologist, Dr Pim van Lommel, at a medical conference. He has been studying what happens to patients whose hearts are deliberately stopped during cardiac operations. Within 15 seconds the electrical activity of the brain ceases. With the brain "flatlined", the patient is clinically dead. Such patients have to be revived within five minutes.
Afterwards, some of these patients had a clear memory of a near-death experience. They were conscious at a time when their brains showed no activity at all. According to the standard scientific view, this should not happen. But it does.
Rupert Sheldrake would like to hear from readers who have had near death experiences as a result of drowning. Email Rupert Sheldrake's researcher, firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake.
NEW Rupert's book The Sense of Being Stared At has just been published in paperback in the USA and Canada (Random House, US$13.95) The Sense of Being Stared At : And Other Unexplained Powers of the Human Mind. His website is: www.sheldrake.org
FRIDAY April 9
The Seasons are Changing... by Bernard Fitzwalter
You can tell that the seasons are changing because the winter constellations are disappearing and the summer ones are becoming visible. About an hour after sunset you can see the sphinx shape of Leo, with Jupiter exactly underneath him, high in the South; while further down, quite near to the horizon and a little to the east, is Spica. This star is supposed to be the stalk of corn which Virgo holds in her right hand. Spica is therefore considered a star of good fortune and plenty. When it rises at sunset, which it started to do a couple of days ago, it marks the end of winter and the start of the real growing season for the crops, a message which the grass and weeds in my garden seem already to have taken to heart. When Spica sets at sunset, which is around the end of September, then the harvest should be over, and we have harvest festivals. Of course, the warm weather starts sooner, and lasts longer, the further south you are; but one of the neat things about Spica's position, close to the sun's path, is that its rising and setting at sunset still correspond to the beginning and ending of the warm seasons whether you are in Britain, France, or anywhere else in the Mediterranean, a fact which helped the old farmer's calendars in medieval Europe no end.
Virgo herself is a very old constellation. She is a corn goddess, a mother goddess, a goddess of justice, and much else besides. She occurs in almost every culture and in every era. At some stages in history she has been equated with Mary, holding Jesus rather than corn, but thousands of years before that she was the Egyptian goddess Isis holding her son Horus. It is quite likely that Virgo goes right back to the time when the first farmers learned to plant by the seasons and used the stars as markers to remind them.
Easter bunnies are actually hares rather than rabbits, and the hare was thought sacred to the moon goddess. The first full moon following the spring equinox defines the date of Easter, hence the bunnies. Or is it just a symbol of the way the date of Easter jumps about?
The calendar we use today was devised to correct errors in the previous system, which had begun to slip when compared to the stars. The Orthodox churches in Eastern Europe still use the older calendar, which makes Easter fall on a different date. About one year in four, however, the calendars coincide, and this year is one of them. We're all celebrating together. Happy Easter, everybody.
SATURDAY April 10
Guide to the Secret Meaning of Numbers by John Michell
Amongst those who seek lost knowledge, John Michell is a superstar. I first read one of his books when I was 16 and have been a fan ever since. Years later, when I finally met him, he was giving a lecture about hidden shapes and patterns in ancient architecture. I promised myself, there and then, that, one day, I'd get him to cover that subject on this page. When he first wrote about this topic last year we were inundated with requests for more. Many readers have also urged me to repeat the original series because they were so amazed by it.
So, by popular demand, it gives me great satisfaction to present John Michell's, Guide to THE SECRET MEANING OF NUMBERS click here to read his article: Geometry and the art of creation.