About Quaglia Cocco

My name is Quaglia Cocco, which means quail coconut in Italian. I'm a creator and healer, a fire performer, Renaissance artist and once-nomadic novel writer. I am a catalyst. My life is my art. I inspire brave journeys, songs about dolphins, love and manifested dreams. I'm a citizen at Damanhur, Federation of Communities in Italy.

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

A year of being the Befana

befana

Best wishes to everyone on the day of the Epiphany (La Befana)! I have been playing the role of the Befana (fully in the role and no longer an apprentice) for a year now. I still remember the wonder and also the fear that I felt when I received news from Shama Viola that she had chosen me as her apprentice. I remember the day of the official passing of the role, staying up at night to respond with the right action to the first challenge: a letter from Zela and Nilo (Damanhurian children) asking for particular gifts.

Here I share some lessons that I learned throughout the year, listening to the voice of the Befana within and beyond:

I am ready. I am a young Befana. At first I thought maybe too young to fill a role that requires wisdom and represents a mystical appearance in connection with divine forces. However, all throughout my life I have found myself in situations where I didn’t have all the traditional qualifications, although by overcoming doubt and choosing to be there, to do, to act, to learn, to offer myself to others… I find that something always comes together to support: inspiration, synchronicity, the knowledge of the Popolo, mysterious aid, rewards that are proportionate to the courage involved in making the choice.

Listening and communicating. There are messages, always. To receive and to give. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to listen. Sometimes it’s silence. Sometimes it’s an observant eye. Sometimes I need to let go into the flow of connection that is always moving around me. Sometimes I don’t quite understand: why this message, in this moment, and for whom? But I trust in it, and I express it, and the open channel surprises me with synchronic results, like the story of the parking lot blocks and the dome of the Hall of Mirrors!

The broom. Part of the Befana myth says that she is always occupied in housecleaning. Even when she is flying out and about, she leaves the floor clean using her Befana broom. And this represents sweeping away of the problems of the year. It’s true, I have always swept the floor in the spaces around me attentively and a little obsessively. There is a distinct feeling before and after, renewed energy, lightness, a stage that is reopened to welcome new events and presences. The broom is a symbol, and it is also a tool for taking action in the material world.

Happy cleaning and celebration!

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana

befana-quagliaAuguri a tutti nel giorno della Befana! Svolgo questo ruolo da Befana (piena e non più apprendista) da un anno adesso. Mi ricordo ancora lo stupore e anche il timore che sentivo quando ho ricevuto la notizia da Shama Viola che mi ha scelta come apprendista, e il giorno del passaggio ufficiale, rimanendo sveglia di notte per rispondere con l’azione giusta alla prima sfida: una lettera da Zela e Nilo chiedendo doni particolari. Continue reading

Take heart, Popolo of artists.

Even though at Damanhur we hold optimism as a spiritual value, so much so that it is mentioned in our Constitution, and usually I am the first one to wave the optimism flag in any given situation, in these weeks I’m finding it really hard to feel and believe that everything is going in a direction of growth, toward union and peace on earth. Looking at the political situation in the country where I was born (United States), sensing the rage and division that’s behind it, seeing that the movement for protecting the Native American sacred lands and waters of Standing Rock in North Dakota has a lot of support, but also a lot of economic interests in opposition, and victory is not yet certain, knowing that a fire has taken the lives of many young people who were at an event at the Ghost Ship, an artist space in Oakland, California in an area where I used to go when I was living a similar creative life there 10 years ago…

ghost-shipA fire that wouldn’t have started if only a small percentage of the money that goes to wars and oil went to artists and the spaces of beauty and freedom that we create with determination while the cost of rent rises, along with the risk of eviction. It all makes me wonder if there is a reason to feel hope for humanity, if what we are doing at Damanhur is making a difference or if it is all in vain.

With this turbulent cloud of grief and thoughts circling in my mind, I remember that I need to find the energy to go to another dance practice tonight, for a performance of music and dance of the indigenous peoples that we are holding in the Temples of Humankind. In overcoming the inertia, finding the strength to be with my brothers and sisters, to practice and sing and dance, to express ourselves, to laugh, to value the native cultures of the earth, to seek beauty and emotion, continuing to make art and create like we’ve been doing here in Damanhur non-stop for more than 40 years… I find an answer, a point of light and clarity:

Art is an antidote for the shadow that surrounds us and sometimes enters into us. Thanks to art, I’m still alive to write this thing today.

Art is a revolutionary act that is just as important as signing a petition, going to a peaceful protest, voting, taking things to court, changing the law and organizing social change movements.

artistsIf we make art and do what we do every day with a pure heart and consciously directed thoughts, it will change the direction of the events in our lives and all around us. It will change the future of the planet.

Take heart, Popolo of artists!

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana

ITALIANO

Forza, Popoli di artisti!

Anche se a Damanhur manteniamo l’ottimismo come valore spirituale, al punto di averlo inserito anche nella nostra Costituzione, e personalmente faccio sventolare in ogni situazione la bandiera dell’ottimismo, in queste settimane trovo davvero difficile sentire e credere che tutto ciò che accade nel mondo stia andando in una direzione di crescita, verso l’unione e la pace nel pianeta… Continue reading

election time and the illusion of separation

Many people ask me my thoughts about the result of the American presidential election.

gathering-1

There’s quite a lot to say about the need for change in the political and electoral system, going from the obsolete Electoral College to direct popular vote, introducing ranked voting with possibility for more than one candidate per party, so we vote for people who truly reflect our values, not out of fear of the alternative, or the lesser of two evils, or not voting at all to protest the inadequacy of both candidates. Well, here I share a message that I have wanted to write especially to Americans for a long time; I am taking advantage of this moment of debate and emotion to send it out into the waves.

Dear Americans with pure hearts and visions of the future,

Whatever you do, please don’t leave the country.
If you are following your dreams to Canada, Europe or New Zealand, beyond the momentary reaction, then by all means go. Though please let’s not be lured into the divide and conquer plan. I’ve been witnessing the events and media messaging of our home country from this vantage point on the other side of the planet for many years now, and perhaps the distance grants a certain perspective. It seems like so much of the highlighted news trends, even the progressive and liberal-seeming public messages, are carefully crafted to incite separation, suspicion, criticism and blame across all possible lines of race, class, gender, political and sexual identification… from police violence cases to whatever else.
They are seeds, planted, on purpose.
It all serves the forces of control that benefit from keeping everyone who believes in life and love, separate and fighting our own fights in our own corners and even turning against each other. Keeping the numbers down to manageable and manipulable and expendable fringe upsurges.
Please see beyond all the triggers and diversity of anger points and embrace our common humanity, see the light in each others’ eyes, realize that we are one and we ultimately want the same thing… life on this planet to survive and thrive and be a paradise of abundance and true fulfillment with happy children and country-life-1animals and flowers and trees and beauty, clean water and air and food and soil. Nobody wants to live in a war zone and see it all go spiraling down.
At Damanhur, early on, people came together from vastly different places on the political spectrum, some from the extreme left, others from the extreme right, and they learned how to live together side by side, love each other even, or at least see each other as sisters and brothers, see each other not as enemies but as fellow human beings nurturing the same divine spark within, allies – albeit with different perspectives and identifications – fighting for free will and choice, freedom and light for all of humanity, not just those who think and look and dress and talk and vote like me.
We can create this new world of love together, with our neighbors. Recognize the Bodhisattva nature / angelic light / divine spark in everyone you meet today.
This is our home.

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana


ITALIANO

Molte persone mi chiedono i miei pensieri sul risultato dell’elezione presidenziale negli Stati Uniti. C’è molto da dire sulla necessità di cambiamento nel sistema politico ed elettorale, andare dall’ormai obsoleto collegio elettorale al voto diretto popolare, introdurre il voto classificato con anche più di un candidato per partita, per fa sì che si esprimono voti per le persone che riflettano i propri valori e non per la paura dell’alternativa o il meno peggio o il non votare proprio come protesta contro l’inadeguatezza di entrami i candidati proposti… Comunque qui condivido un messaggio che volevo scrivere da tempo sopratutto agli Americani, ho utilizzato questo momento caldo di dibattito ed emozione per inserirlo nell’onda. Continue reading