The infinitely small space between you and your dreams

sky

During the time around November 1st, the Commemoration of the Dead Ritual, there were many opportunities to contact and listen to messages from the Beyond. I’ll share one with you, one I heard and interpreted in the Hall of Metals, close to the niche of the Earth portal, while I was guiding a Dutch group of the School of Meditation. The message has to do with dimensions, perceived magnitudes – maybe because I was translating Gnomo Orzo’s new book on Physics and Spiritual Physics How Many Holes does a Ring Have?, so I already had galactic and quantum dimensions and the elasticity of perceptions on my mind. Here is the message:

You who are there, in the world of forms, you think that all your affairs are extremely large and that there are enormous and sometimes insurmountable distances between you and your most precious dreams and desires. A new role, an innovative project, a life change, a new love, a child, an oath, a responsibility: for you these are steps that often scare you. You sense the risk; you worry about the results. You think about the worst thing that could happen… While here, from the Threshold, from the Beyond, we have a vision that helps us to understand that everything is infinitely smaller than that. There is no space, really. You don’t realize this: there is no space between you and your most important actions and missions. Nothing is too big, nothing is impossible, and there is no reason for fear or hesitation. Of course you may always evaluate situations before making sensible choices, but don’t stop yourself from fear of not succeeding, of not reaching the goal. You are already there, and if you open your hand, you will touch victory, Oro (Gold).

 

ITALIANO

Durante il periodo la Commemorazione dei Defunti, attorno al 1 novembre, c’erano tante opportunità per contattare ed ascoltare i messaggi dall’Oltre. Continue reading

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Birthday and the dreamtime

tet

It’s the month of my birthday. This year when I was completing some ritual aspects around the birthday, I thought about this recurrence and how – in our culture and many others – there is this custom of emphasizing and celebrating the moment of your birth.

I have heard that in some indigenous cultures, there isn’t this concept of recognizing the individual birthday, so much so that some Australian aborigines don’t even know their own date of birth. Certainly, recurrences reflect the cultural relationship with time and beliefs around it, and also the balance between individual and collective. In Vietnam, everyone celebrates their birthday on Vietnamese New Year’s Day, which is called “Tet.” They do not place importance on the exact date of birth, and all children become “one year old” on Tet, regardless of their actual date of birth, receiving red envelopes from adults with “lucky money” or “li xi.”

Perhaps it is unthinkable for us to not know our date of birth, but Aborigines have a different context for time altogether. In the hundreds of Aboriginal languages, none of them has a word for “time.” They use the term “dreaming” or “dreamtime” to express an entire world of mythology, cosmology and spiritual vision. In the state of the dream, between sleep and waking, when the mind is in a state of quiet, they find their ceremonies and songs. rainbow serpentIt is a state connected with mythology because deep archetypes and images of wisdom preside. It is a time of ancestral creation and supernatural beings, with the “Rainbow Serpent” moving across the land, bringing fertility, the rain of life, and magic or misfortune in humans. Dreaming is not only ancestral, it is a time that continues even now in a kind of eternal present. So beginning and end, birth and death, are concepts that become diluted in this flow of magic and multidimensional presence.

Even though these ways of thinking are perhaps closer to the natural essence of life and the universe, somehow I find it reassuring, our way of defining recurring events, remembering important days, using calendars and dates. In this way, we have a map of the time territory, a time that can be quantified and gained (or lost), explored and conquered, saturated with significant events, leaving a trace that no one can erase.

The Befana
Quaglia Cocco

 

ITALIANO

Compleanno e il tempo dei sogni

E’ il mese del mio compleanno. Quest’anno quando stavo compiendo gli aspetti rituali del compleanno, pensavo di questa ricorrenza, di come – nella nostra cultura ed in tante altre – c’è questa usanza di sottolineare e festeggiare il momento della propria nascita. Continue reading

Birth Traditions

eggs

As you can imagine, my thoughts are very occupied by the subject of pregnancy and birth in these days (because I am pregnant). A lot of things that I heard over the years about this theme are coming back to mind.

For instance, my mother told me that in Chinese culture, there is a tradition of using dousing to predict the gender of the baby, with a pendulum over the mother’s belly. If the pendulum moves in a line, then the baby is a boy. If it moves in a circle, then it’s a girl. They did this with my mother when she was pregnant with me, and the pendulum moved in a line, so they were expecting a boy and they were a bit surprised when I came out! Perhaps the system measures more than just the physical aspect.

There are so many traditions, beliefs and superstitions about this subject. Here are a few interesting ones that I found from world cultures:

pregnancyChildbirth. To mitigate potential birthing pain, in China the mothers drink a strong herbal potion. In Guatemala they drink a liquid made by boiling a purple onion in beer, to speed up the delivery. In Morocco, the midwife performs a massage on the mother’s stomach and vulva with olive oil and offers her an infusion of herbs such as mint, thyme, cinnamon and cloves.

Opening. In Mexico, they close all the doors and windows during childbirth to protect against negative forces. In India, however, they leave the doors open and the mother’s hair free to symbolize the opening of the womb during childbirth. There is also this practice of openness in Morocco.

The placenta. In Hindu translation, the placenta is considered to be almost alive, as if it were the twin brother or sister of the newborn, and they have a complex ceremony to bury the placenta on the land around the home. In Bali, they also have ancient practices to give value to and bury the placenta. In Cambodia, the placenta is wrapped in a banana leaf and kept close to the baby for three days before burying it.

The name. Many cultures have a practice of naming the child 7 days after birth. In Pakistan and other Islamic countries, the child’s hair is shaved at this time of the aqiqah, the baby is weighed on a scale with gold and silver that is then donated to the poor, and there may even be sacrificed animals. In Egypt, the mother and baby receive religious gifts and jewelry. In Japan this time is called the oshichia. Hawaiian names are unique for each child with deep and powerful meanings, and the names are usually complex to avoid the attention of negative forces.

The bath. In Nigeria, with the omugwo tradition, the grandmother (or aunt or friend) gives the baby his or her first bath as a gesture of solidarity toward the mother, to show the support of the women in the community. In Tibet the pang-sai, or purification of the baby, is a ceremony that takes place 3-4 days after birth with gifts of food and clothing to symbolize a life of abundance, and the wisest person present present choose the name for the baby.

After childbirth. In Bali, newborns do not touch the ground for the first 105 days of life. They are always in the arms of their mother or relatives. In Latin American cultures there is the quarantena, a period of 40 days that is spent just taking care of the baby and breastfeeding, without making any other efforts, not even making love.

meerkatNow that I am entering ever more deeply into our Damanhurian birth traditions: rituals, prayers, godparents, characteristics, Temples and Sacred Woods, I see and appreciate the thought and collective efforts of the community that that come together in synergy on so many levels to welcome a soul who is coming home.

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana

 

Tradizioni della nascita

Come potete immaginare i miei pensieri sono tanto occupati dal tema della gravidanza e la nascita in questi giorni (perché sono incinta). Mi tornano in mente tante informazioni in merito che mi sono arrivate negli anni. Continue reading

Color codes

colors in cultures

This week as I was looking at the images in the Temples of Humankind, I was struck by the colors in the clothes, objects, jewelry and food of the peoples of the world. I thought about how colors speak, how every culture has a different code for using color as communication, with associations and meanings that make it so that a carpet or a scarf becomes poetry without words. Researching the meanings of colors, I have found that:

~ Pink is associated with the feminine and blue with the masculine in many western cultures, while the opposite can be found in Asian cultures. It’s also the case for us at Damanhur: Pan (associated with masculine generative power) has red as a color – and pink by association – and Bast as a representative of goddess energies is connected with the color blue.

~ Mourning is associated with black in the west, while in China and India, the color white is the color of death, and no one wears a white dress at a traditional wedding. Usually they dress in red for marriage, which is a color of fortune. Red is an almost universal color indicating passion. Native Americans think of the color green with love, and Africans blue.

~ Yellow, which is the color of the Damanhur flag, is naturally associated with happiness, optimism, the sun, illumination. In some cultures, it implicates cowardice, while in Japan it represents courage.

~ Green was sacred to the Egyptians, because it represents hope and the joy of springtime. It is often the color of fertility and the earth.

peace quilt~ Blue is associated with divinity, protection, harmony and paradise for the main religions of the world, while in English, “the blues” refers to sadness, depression, and a whole genre of music dedicated to the expression of these melancholic emotions. In German “blau sein” (being blue) means being drunk, and in Russian “light blue” implicates homosexuality, while in Piedmontese (the dialect of Piedmont) “daje ‘l bleu” means ending a romantic relationship.

~ Purple is a color associated with richness and nobility in both the east and the west, partly because until modern times, it was rare to find purple in nature to be able to create pigments. It is also the color of the Catholic liturgy.

~ Orange brings thoughts of energy, vitality, friendship and family. It is a sacred color in Hinduism. For some Native Americans it is a color of healing, and it is also useful for learning. It is also associated with learning in China, as it is for us in Damanhur.

May all of us enjoy the colors of the springtime, in nature, appreciating the diversity of colors and our human diversity.

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana

 
ITALIANO

Questa settimana mentre guardavo gli immagini nei Templi dell’Umanità, mi hanno colpito i colori, nei vestiti, negli oggetti, nei gioielli e nei cibi dei popoli del mondo. Pensavo a come i colori parlano, come ogni cultura ha un codice diverso per utilizzare colore come comunicazione, con associazioni e significati che fanno si che un tappetto o una sciarpa diventa poesia senza parole. Ricercando i significati dei colori, ho trovato che… Continue reading

The year of the Fire Rooster

roosterAnother year has come to completion in the Asian lunar zodiac as well, and on the new moon of January 28, 2017, we passed from the year of the yang Fire Monkey to the year of the yin (still Fire) Rooster. In the western zodiac this would be the equivalent of passing from the influence of Leo to that of Virgo. So from the vivacious, creative and fiery characteristics of last year, full of risks, exuberance and determination – which may have been intense and even tiring for us – we are entering into a new year that is more rhythmic and stable, characterized by communication, brilliance, loyalty, honesty and punctuality.

In the Tibetan and also the Nepalese zodiac, this sign is generically represented as the Bird. The colors of the year associated with the Rooster are gold, yellow and brown, and the flowers are gladiolus, impatiens, and celosia – beautiful, colorful flowers that draw attention, just as the Roosters of this sign do. It is a year to be with others, to listen and to share. Roosters like to tell about themselves and their achievements, to be at the center of attention.

It is a year of power, moving forward quickly, where the impression that you give to others is very important: style, beauty. It is also important to be clear with chosen intentions in projects and relationships.

The challenges of the year will require intelligence and practical solutions, as well as capacity for observation. We need to go beyond the tendency to start things with enthusiasm but then become passive. Faith and patience are necessary in order to move in a direction with perseverance. Generally, it is better to stay with practical and secure activities rather than embarking upon risky operations.

Make the most of the characteristics of this year: motivation, commitment and effort, active energy, self-confidence, courage, charisma, resources and talents, opportunities to improve your health and exercise… and be cautious about diving too deep into criticism, impatience, egoism or closure.

Happy New Year everyone!

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana

rooster1

ITALIANO

L’anno del Gallo di fuoco

Un altro anno è passato anche nel zodiaco lunare asiatico, e alla luna nera del 28 gennaio 2017, siamo passati dall’anno della Scimmia di fuoco yang all’anno del Gallo (sempre di fuoco) yin. Nel zodiaco occidentale è l’equivalente a passare dall’influenza del Leone a quella della Vergine. Quindi dalle caratteristiche vivaci, creative e focose dell’anno scorso, pieno di rischio, esuberanza e determinazione – che potrebbero essere stati intensi e anche stancanti per noi – entriamo in un anno nuovo più stabile e ritmato, caratterizzato dalla comunicazione, la brillantezza, la fedeltà, l’onestà e la puntualità. Continue reading