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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Canberra Bound .... Signing Off ...

Times Up! Time to sign off. Time to prepare for the pathway ahead over the next few days. Tomorrow is my very last day in employment in New Zealand. Thursday is our last day in New Zealand. Tonight is my last stint at blogging for a while ....

Many, many thanks for all the wonderful e-mails of encouragement over the last few months. Thanks for the 'wishing us all the best' for our new venture in Australia.

Adios Amigos for a while. In the words of Arnie .... 'I will be back' ....

A Quick Look Ahead ...

Transcript
For Tuesday 11th March 2008
NZ: 10:30pm - 10:57pm

The mystery still continues with no safe return of the Shining Star. The case still receives media attention, but it is now nothing like it was in previous months.

I still receive the overwhelming feeling that Maddie is still very much alive. I trust my instincts. When they are as strong as they have been ... they are rarely wrong. Her current locality remains the 'holy grail' ...

The purpose of the Daily Merlin Insight at this time is to glean some indication of the pathway ahead between now and, say, June 2008. Timing, as always, is the most difficult thing to intuit accurately. Mankind has time as a constraint and a curse ... however, on the levels of higher consciousness, within which higher awareness operates, there is no such constraint. Things 'are' as they are ... all bounds of possibilities intermingle without the tagging of 'past' or 'present' or 'future' . Events and situations are written as 'ticker tape recordings' ... impressions on the ether ...

Using The Servants of the Light Tarot and calling on all higher awareness assistance to guide me ... I now 'open the gate' to perceive the impressions which follow linked with this working.

There are still many outcomes possible with this reality. What is perceived is 'choice' ... it is still very much within the spheres of inevitability that the little girl will be set free. It is most certainly an intention of her custodians to set her free ... but it is under their control. They are best described as control freaks. I perceive they will permit me to describe them in this way. Their eyes have often followed my words ... I know this ... I often sense their mind's eye touching upon the boundaries of my insights. At times they are at a loss on which way to turn until word comes from higher authority which guides them. They cherish the little girl ... and pray for her and her family. It is not their doing. They only do as they are told ... keeping her safe and out of the way. There is much below the surface being brought out. The little girl has been seen as something which generated the disapproval of someone influential. It was sent along a network to quieten this displeasure it seems. This insight is not as strong as I would like it to be. The man glares at me when I look at him with my mind's eye. I perceive someone of given power .. like a puppet himself. His strings pulled by someone out of the public eye. I do not like this sensation which emanates from the puppet or the puppeteer. The view joe public with low regard. Like an inconvenience they perceive them. Too many of them ....

The weeks and months ahead to June I sense:

Six of Spheres
User of Staves
Four of Crescents

Aid with the funding it seems. A long term benefactor. Campaigning for the long term. Not just for Maddie but expanding it to others including those who have been missing for a while. The more awareness raised, the more which can be forced out of the shadows into the open. A covert operation by User of Staves .... the organisation undertaking the instructions of the unicorn though the unicorn is seemingly looking away not involved at all. Not a collaboration at all with the Portuguese ... I do not get this at all. The PJ kept at a distance ... used to get hold of the information on files they have. For there is corruption here ...

The Four of Crescents and the suspected female who I call 'the dishevelled woman' ... someone under scrutiny and suspicion. Wrong moves with wrong statement made ... someone's whereabouts seem to be quite contradictory. A woman seen in and around the complex ... with straggly dark hair ... perhaps black ... on a beach for I glean she may have been walking along the sea's edge on the night. A witness to something which contradicts other information.

I do sense strongly there was a boat brought to shore onto which Maddie may have been placed ... by a woman ... passed to a man ... the boat then slipping out unobserved out to sea to a waiting boat. This boat has since 'disappeared'.

Who were the 'Middle Eastern' family who had a holiday home close by to the complex at the time? They may not be linked but something they may have saw could be interesting in truth.

Three of Weapons
Judgement
Maker of Spheres

Three of Weapons and someone jealous or vindictive towards Gerry & Kate. Someone envious of their position or their life style. I do not trust the someone who 'bears too much make up. Namely eye liner' .... dressed mutton as lamb. Someone trying to be something they are not. Loose lips sank ships ... information passed to the wrong places out of spite. What was confidential was passed on like chinese whispers.

Receipt of word sometime between now and the end of the period in question. Not to build up hopes too much ... it could be the same cul-de-sac ... the Maker of Spheres could be the influence of the Pied Piper still. Another sighting of Madeleine ... this time I sense the possibility of woodland or open spaces. She is walking with a couple of people ...

Image of the Day

Mayan 'Magic'

Mind, Memory, and the Astral Light

The ancients knew of an astral or "starlike" substance which underlies physical matter. The Hindus call it akasa, "brilliant, shining." The Stoics spoke of aether or quintessence, the mysterious spirit-substance which is the protean source of all forms. Theosophists call it the astral light.


The most material stratum of the nonphysical energies surrounding our planet, analogous to the soul of the world, it functions as a complete reservoir of memory containing the record of every impression and event that has ever occurred on earth. Filled with potential prototypes of all thoughts, forms, and beings, its operations are outside the space-time reference that applies to the physical plane. The physical world is in fact an extension of the astral, which latter contains a range of potencies and emanations, thoughts and beings, either benign or inimical to life on earth.

In the cosmos there are many physical, psychic, mental, and spiritual fields -- self-organizing, whole, living systems. Every such field is holographic in that it contains the characteristics of every other field within itself.

Rupert Sheldrake's concepts of morphic fields and morphic resonance, for instance, are in many ways similar to some phenomena attributed to the astral light. All terrestrial entities can be considered fields belonging to our living earth, Gaia, and forming part of her constitution. The higher akasic fields resonate with every part of nature. Various happenings within the earth's astral light are said to result in physical effects which include all natural and human phenomena, ranging from epidemics and earthquakes to wars and weather patterns. Gaia, again, is part of the fields which form the solar being and its constitution, and so on throughout the cosmos.

Like the earth, human beings each have auric fields and an astral body. The fifty trillion cells in our body, as well as the tissues and organs they form, each have their own identity and memory. Our mental and emotional fields influence every cell and atom of our being for better or worse. How we think and act affects not only humanity but Gaia as well through the astral light, the action of which is guided by active creative intelligences. For example, the automatic action of divine beings restores harmony, balancing the inner with the outer throughout nature. We must take responsibility for ourselves, for this reciprocal karmic process is continually at work, and the various circumstances of our lives are the results of its just and impersonal operation in relation to our own activities.

How do the brain and the mind relate to consciousness in these astral or nonphysical fields? Certainly there are different levels of operation of mind and memory reflected in the structure of the brain as well as in our other organs. Pythagoras referred to the brain as the principal organ of consciousness, and in some respects it acts as a switchboard for the physical body in conjunction with the soul. The mind acts on subtle or astral matter in contact with the brain and nervous system. Behind this physical operation, however, is a programmer -- intelligence, mind -- with will power and desire.

As human beings, we draw upon a huge range of frequencies of consciousness. In the theosophical system, mind is the fifth in the scale of seven principles that form our being. As the active focus of our self-consciousness, mind organizes and awakens matter. The higher aspects of consciousness can be described as threefold: atma, divinity; buddhi, intuition or compassion; and manas, intellect, our self-conscious center. The lower aspects are formed of kama, desire; prana, life energy; and the astral and physical bodies. Each of these seven principles is itself sevenfold. Our everyday awareness is generally centered in desire linked with mind.

In the brain, the intellectual aspects of consciousness we are most familiar with are centered in the large cerebral cortex, which is considered the distinguishing feature of the human brain. There are lower and higher attributes to all the brain's layers, corresponding to the frequencies of consciousness. Strangely, one of the highest chakras or centers of consciousness is said to be the pineal gland, a very tiny organ in the center of the brain which Descartes called the seat of the soul and others call the third eye of spiritual vision.

We are all familiar with the lower or primitive human mind connected with the physical animal self of desires and passions. Parts of the brain are associated with various aspects of the entire range of emotional states and mental activities because the brain acts as a receiver-transmitter of thoughts. The brain is controlled by the mind acting through astral and physical matter via the sympathetic vibrations of the chakras and senses. Spirit, with its mental vitality, also works through all these aspects of our nature and can illumine even the physical brain that is in tune with it.

Each human being is a unique individual, with various mental qualities, abilities, and combinations, whether intuitive, analytical, creative, artistic, or psychic. Our mind has stamped the organs of the entire physical body with its individuality. No two brains are exactly alike, no two fingerprints are, just as no two leaves on a tree, or two patterns of stripes on zebras, are. The mind expresses many qualities of our being, but everything depends on where our desires are based and on the overall orientation of our mind, for the intellect alone and uninspired can be selfish, cold, often cruel, even dangerous.

How did human egoity come about? There is a clue in the recapitulation of the human embryo, which reveals a development representative of the lower kingdoms of nature. It implies that the human monad evolved through these kingdoms, developing its soul and individuality, unfolding qualities of mind and free will not exactly like ours but essentially present. Looking over the kingdoms briefly, we see that the mineral begins with very uniform beings sharing a unified consciousness which may form anything from liquids like magma or the oceans, and gasses like the air, to endless varieties of crystals.

Like all beings they have a divine monadic consciousness, and are also overshadowed by higher intellectual agencies. Plants are similar, but their vitality and growth show more intelligent individual expression. They create beautiful forms in leaves and flowers with surprising ingenuity. They, too, as a kingdom are following ancient patterns of memory or instinct. Darwin commented that in some respects the tip of the primary root ``acts like a brain of one of the lower animals,'' while other researchers believe that plants possess the equivalent of a nervous system. That they react to human emotions and thoughts, and respond to other beings and plants, was suggested by Cleve Backster's experiments with the polygraph in the 1960s. There appears to be a telepathic connection that links plants with all other beings; they even seem to remember those who have harmed them or other beings near by.

And what of instincts, those individual and collective patterns of experience of all creatures? There are prototypes of all possible plants and animals, all beings, in the astral light. But look at the marvelous examples, the endless designs that have materialized: not only bodily forms, but also behavioral instincts such as in the bees, adaptations and behaviors like mimicry, or migrations of birds covering thousands of miles. These activities are not simply automatic, they involve spiritual intelligence.

All beings share the same divine potentials, but the higher in the evolutionary scale we go, the greater the intelligence, the greater the emotional range and individuality that beings possess, and thus the more powerful their impact on the astral light. There is also marked increase in the size of the cerebral cortex in the higher animals. Animals and humans share emotional and psychic expression. The emotions are a part of the desire principle. But animals do not possess self-reflective mind able to contemplate its own status in evolution: the dog doesn't ask itself why it is a dog.

We might ask, where does mind individually, and consciousness ultimately, originate? In the cosmos there is only one life, one consciousness, which masquerades under all the different forms of sentient beings. This one consciousness pierces up and down through all the states and planes of being and serves to uphold the memory, whether complete or incomplete, of each state's experience. This suggests that our self-conscious mind is really a ray of cosmic mind. There is a mysterious vital life essence and force involved in the interaction of spirit or consciousness with matter. The cosmos has its memory and follows general pathways of formation based on previous existences, much as everything else does. Aided by memory, it somehow selects out of the infinite possibilities a new and improved imbodiment. When the first impulse emerges, we have cosmic ideation vibrating the first matter, manifesting in countless hierarchies of beings in endless gradations. Born of the one cosmic parent, monadic centers emerge as vital seeds of consciousness, as germs of its potential. They are little universes in the one universe.

Theosophy does not separate the world into organic and inorganic, for even the atoms are considered god-sparks. All beings are continuously their own creators and recorders, forming more perishable outer veils while retaining the indestructible thread-self that links all their various principles and monads through vast cycles of experience. We are monads or god-sparks currently evolving throughout the human stage. The deathless monad runs through all our imbodiments, for we have repeated many times the processes of birth and death. In fact, birth and death for most of humanity are more or less automatic, unconscious experiences as far as our everyday awareness is concerned. How do we think? We can start, for example, with desire which provides the impulse that causes the mind through will and imagination to project a stream of thoughts, which are living elemental beings.

These thoughts take various forms which may result in different kinds of actions or creative results. This is another arena of responsibility, for in the astral light our thoughts circulate through other minds and affect them, but those that belong to us have our stamp and return to us again and again. So through these streams of thought we create habits of mind, which build our character and eventually our self-made destiny. The human mind is an ideator resonating with its past, selecting thoughts and making choices, anticipating and creating a pattern of unfolding. Perhaps we are reflecting in the small the operations of the divine mind which acts as the cosmic creator and architect. Some thoughts or patterns we create are limiting; others are liberating. The soul grows, and thoughts are reused and transformed by the mind, perhaps giving them a superior expression. Plato was right: with spiritual will and worthiness we can recollect the wisdom of the past and unlock the higher mind. We have the capacity of identifying with all beings, experiencing the oneness we share together in our spiritual consciousness, that continuous stream that is the indestructible thread-self. All that it was, is, or is becoming is our karma. Mind and memory are a permanent part of the reincarnating ego or human soul, and of the universe as well.

Awareness of oneness is the most natural condition of our inner consciousness. Intellect and reason are also necessary, but must be illuminated by compassion, spiritual insight, and intuition. The intellect or brain-mind in its association with physical desires is self-centered and enforces our separateness. Most of the harm done to others comes through trying to assert our personal will over them. Our lower egoity must be evolved and transformed through a perception of our oneness in essence with all, which is the key to harmony and brotherhood in action. When we exercise self-conscious free will, there are no guarantees of achieving spiritual growth. Yet the higher self is not corrupted by the activities of the lower mind or by other actions of its vehicles here on earth, and our evolution is part of Gaia's and the gods' evolution.

Developing our higher faculties and receptivity to the inner light are essential to our progress, but doing so means removing all impediments of a personal nature. Our transformation improves all of nature, including the astral light. Indeed, the bodhisattva ideal of selfless work for the benefit of all beings demands expression of our noblest qualities. The supreme self is the center of all faculties and enables each human being to become a god in future cycles. This is the destiny that awaits us all.

(From Sunrise magazine, February/March 2004; copyright © 2004 Theosophical University Press)

Nothing Big Required

Most of us have the feeling that we are here to accomplish something big in our lives, and if we haven’t done something that fits the bill we may feel as if we are waiting. We may feel incomplete, or empty, as if our lives don’t yet make sense to us, because they don’t line up with our idea of major accomplishment. In some cases, this may be because we really are meant to do something that we haven’t yet done. But in most cases, we can let ourselves off the hook with the realization that just being here, being ourselves, is enough.

As we live our lives in this world, we share our energy and our spirit with the people around us in numerous ways. Our influence touches their lives and, through them, touches the lives of many more people. When we strive to live our lives to the fullest and to become our true selves, we are doing something big on an inner level, and that is more than enough to make sense of our being here on this planet at this time. There is no need to hold ourselves to an old idea in the back of our minds that we need to make headlines or single-handedly save the world in order to validate our existence.

We can each look within our hearts to discover what is true for us, what gives our lives meaning, and what excites us. We can release ourselves from any pressure to perform that comes from outside of our inner sense of purpose. Staying in tune with our own values and living our lives in tune with our own vision is all we need in order to fulfill our time here. Our lives are a process of becoming so that we cannot help but cocreate; being who we are, responding to each moment as it comes, we can trust that this is enough.

The Ultimate Sin

Ozzy Osbourne music video



Not one of my favourite singers or songs but I couldn't resist.

Vatican updates seven deadly sins

People who don't pick up their dogs' addition to the environment in the park may be risking more than a fine - they may be putting their souls at risk of damnation, according to a new Vatican list of seven deadly sins for the 21st century. (Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 11th March 2008)

As the seven ancient wonders of the world were matched by seven modern wonders, the seven deadly sins have been given a modern version for a globalised world, announced by a Vatican official yesterday.

Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth.

Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, responsible for absolving Catholics from their sins, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, yesterday.

He did not spell out details but said the original seven deadly sins had an individualistic dimension, while the new seven had a social resonance and showed worshippers that their vices affected other people.

"New sins have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation," he said.

God was offended not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife but by ruining the environment, conducting immoral scientific experiments and genetic manipulation.

Traditional Catholic doctrine divides sins into mortal and venial (lesser) and holds that mortal sins, if unrepented, lead to eternal damnation. The Catholic catechism says "mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law", while venial sin allows charity to subsist but offends and wounds it.

Mortal sins are not officially listed, but include murder, abortion, perjury and adultery. They can be absolved after confession, and Monsignor Girotti has acted to make this more palatable, launching a course to teach priests to be less aggressive in the confessional booth.

He wrote in the newspaper last week that many Catholics found it hard to be open about their sins to their priest, and the new course would help priests to be ministers of reconciliation.

The course includes instruction on "special cases", such as divorcees and homosexuals.

Time's Nearly Up

My 2 hours is almost up. No worries ... I've booked until it shuts at 11.00 pm.

I See Another Pig Flying ..................... !

Daily Mail Headline 'Frogmen resume search of reservoir where lawyer claims Madeleine McCann's body was dumped': Tuesday 11th March 2008 says: Divers yesterday began a fresh search of a reservoir where it is feared the body of Madeleine McCann could have been dumped.

It follows an underworld tip-off that Madeleine, aged three at the time, was raped, murdered and dumped in a lake within 48 hours of being taken from her parents' holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, last May. Lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia received the tip-off and paid for the first search of the reservoir near the town of Silves in the Algarve five weeks ago. The Portuguese Society of Engineering and Construction is helping fund the latest search.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39, say they still believe their daughter is alive.


IMO - In My Opinion
It's been a while since I said it. But I really need to say it again .... 'bollocks' ... to this wanton speculation. There. I feel better for that. I saw another of those wild flying pigs, let loose by its handler ... and remembered the cure to disperse its effect. For good measure let's say it again ... 'bollocks' ... that's better. The one part of the above report which is worth printing is the line 'Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39, say they still believe their daughter is alive.' I believe that too 100%.

Britain braced for second storm front as thousands are hit by flooding and power cuts

Thousands were left stranded, flooded or without power yesterday as 95mph hailstorms lashed Britain. (Daily Mail Tuesday 11th March 2008)

Amid widespread travel chaos, more than 10,000 families were plunged into darkness when trees crashed through power lines.

Homes in Wales, Cornwall and Devon were deluged.

Emergency services were at full stretch for the "perfect storm" - a combination of gale force winds and the high spring tide.

Winds reached 82mph at Berry Head in Brixham, Devon, between 3am and 5am and peaked at 95mph at The Needles on the Isle of Wight at 1pm.

Despite structural damage, organisers of the Cheltenham Festival said the racecourse was undamaged and promised events would begin today as planned. Last night, Britain braced itself for more misery as forecasters predicted there could be more severe gales on the way. The whole of England could once again face winds of up to 80mph and disruption is set to continue on railways and roads.

Potential Of Growth

When we look at a giant sequoia tree, it is hard to imagine that it grew from a tiny seed no bigger than a flake of oatmeal. Conversely, to hold such a small thing as a seed in your hand and comprehend that contained within it is the blueprint for an entire forest of trees that will surpass the human lifespan by centuries is enough to stun the mind into silence. As small as that seed is, we are somehow even smaller.

And yet, we are grown seeds in our own right, originating in our mothers' wombs in a form too small to be seen with the naked eye, imbued with the same miraculous life force as sequoias. We drop our own seeds, in the form of children or creative projects that go on after we pass from the earth and a part of us continues on with them.

The environment in which they grow also influences seeds. A tree on a windswept mountain will have longer branches in the direction the wind blows. A houseplant will grow toward the window where the light comes in. The kind of plant grown is in the seed, but the shape it takes is due to its environment. Similarly, we are the products of both our genetic material and the kind of nurturing we received growing up. At the same time, we are always in the process of growth. Now it is up to us to provide the right surroundings for ourselves.

A lovely ritual to perform as an act of self-love is to plant a bulb or a seed in a pot and allow it to be a symbol of your intention to nurture yourself. Remember that you were once smaller than that small seed. Honor how amazing you have been to get as far as you have. Plant a piece of paper in the soil stating your intention to provide yourself with everything you need now to continue to grow strong and beautiful. Each time you water the seed, or talk to it, or move it to a more beneficial location, you are honoring and fostering your own expansion.

Daily Tarot Card of the Day

It's not the Fool ... !!!

The challenge of what has traditionally been known as the Hermit card is to be able to recognize a teacher in a humble disguise. This font of mysterious knowledge will not make it easy for the student to acquire his wisdom, as it takes time and long contemplation to fathom what he knows. He often speaks wordlessly, or in ancient and barbaric tongues, communicating with the elements, animals and Nature herself.

While the hourglass was an identifying feature on the earliest Hermit cards, more modern ones have shifted the metaphor, showing more or less light released from his lantern. In either case, the Hermit card reminds us of the value of time away from the hubbub of civic life, to relax the ego in communion with Nature.

Represented by Virgo, the Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. This is not a time for socializing; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. Nor is it a time for action, discussion or decisions. It is a time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent during this time of withdrawal. But such times lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.

In regards to people, the Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist, someone the Querent usually sees alone, someone the rest of the Querent's friends and family may not know about. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing. They will help the Querent find what it is they are seeking.

The Hermit is a card of connections and enlightenment. Combined with a desire to just "be alone," the Querent who gets this card is probably feeling impatient with people who disturb their peace or who can't see what they're seeing ("Are you blind?" might be their refrain, or, more typically, "You just don't get it, and I can't explain it to you."). In typical Virgo fashion, they're likely to be grumpy and anti-social. But for the Querent (if no one else!) this is a special time. Like an artist who hides for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece, this quiet time allows all the pieces to fall into place. So go ahead and encourage them to go on late night drives, long walks, hide in their room or go on retreat for a month. When they come back, they'll see everything in a brand new light. It'll be the best thing for them, and for everyone else in their lives.

Canberra Bound ( Well almost )!

Well ... Canberra is firmly on our minds now. Had our 'tearful goodbyes' with our home for the last twelve months earlier today. Keys handed over ... now in a hotel room for tonight and tomorrow night ...

Hotel room is a 'tidy box' with barely enough room to swing the famous cat, so spending next hour or so in a plush & comfortable internet lounge. Laptop plugged in and well, it's the last night of posts for a while.

What can I say? This is it. We are moving ever closer to the mighty edge where the bold leap of faith is to take place!

The Daily Tarot for the day ... for us anyway ... should be The Fool. Thursday night sees us in a new life, and we can't wait!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Transfiguration

A form of 'shapeshifting' ... whereby a physical medium is observed being overshadowed by the face of another seperate entity. It literally means, “Seeing Spirit on the face of another person,” and that the persons features are changed into those resembling a passed over spirit.

This is a very serious connection with Spirit, and not be undertaken lightly. It has been used in recent years as something of an ‘entertainment’, where certain people are taken onto a stage by a medium, and Spirit is brought through... if undertaken in the right setting, usually in a small intimate group, this can bring real benefits and blessings to the relatives of the person who has passed over. But on large-scale in a huge hall with hundreds of people, this can often be confusing and inappropriate to many of the people taking part.

From a personal perspective, transfiguration can induce a very intense and uplifting state of mind. It requires a specific and dynamic energy level to occur. More often than not the achievement of this energy level is somewhat hit and miss. The phenomenon of transfiguration can fluctuate between a definite recognition of a 'loved one' including the medium's own eyes being replaced by the eyes of the 'spirit'; to that of indistinct shadow like details on the face which cannot clearly be discerned by witnesses.

Almost always there is the experience of a 'spiralling out of the body' as the consciousness of the medium is sensed leaving the physical body. This can result in bi-location ... whereby the awareness of the medium is both within the body and outside of the body simultaneously. The part of the awareness remaining in the body will then experience the physical symptoms and characteristics of the occupying spirit.

More often than not these physical traits will be confirmed by those who the 'loved one' was linked to on the earth plane. The part of the awareness outside of the body will more often than not be completely unaware of what is taking place with the physical body.

Transfiguration is a serious undertaking which can have major psychological effects on mediums not totally prepared for the experience. There must always be an agreement between the medium and visiting 'loved one' .... in one sense of the word, transfiguration is a form of 'possession'. Theoretically speaking, if the visiting spirit is a stronger energy than the medium, then it may be possible for the visiting spirit to refuse to leave the physical body after transfiguration. It has never happened to me personally ... each and every time an 'agreement and understanding' has been forged with the visitor to vacate the physical body on request ....

"Shapeshifting"

Shapeshifting is the ability to change the shape of a specific energy field which may pertain to a physical object or something that is intangible. This term is most often used in reference to your ability to change the shape of your body. It is broader sense, it also includes changing your environment.

For most people, shapeshifting may trigger out images of werewolves and cat-people, perhaps because these were most popularised through various stories and movies. While you can shapeshift into anything, throughout history people had most often shapeshifted into different animal forms. The purpose of shapeshifting has never been impressing others, but rather partaking of strength, wisdom or power pertaining to the specific animal and for the sake of gaining some learnings.

All shapeshifting occurs on an energy level. However, depending on the density of the vibration of a specific energy field, the shapeshifting event may be more or less obvious to physical senses. When a complete physical transformation occurs, a shapeshifting is said to be physical. Vast majority of shapeshifters do not undergo a complete physical transformation and may outwardly appear pretty much the same i.e. they will still look pretty much as any human being, and even though they may be some more or less obvious behavioral changes, other people will be able to sense the change.

According to the degree of transformation, shapeshifters are generally divided into two categories: energy shapeshifters and physical shapeshifters. With some, the ability to shapeshift has occurred spontaneously and they may have had a challenge learning how to control it. Others may have invested some time in developing this ability.

To a certain degree we are all shapeshifting all the time because our thoughts and emotions affect our energy field - the energy we project and the energy others perceive. Sometimes we do this intentionally for a specific purpose and sometimes because something affected us greatly and we lost it (just think of a time someone you know has undergone such a transformation that you'd swear he or she is an animal, and the best place place to leave such a person would be at a zoo).

If you look at how your body changes over the years and if you look at people around you - a physical change will be obvious. Not only that people age, but also that you can read their life-story from their bodies, as their bodies have over the years shapeshifted in accord with the thoughts and emotions they held dear. You may even know people who have lived together long enough that they have started to physically resemble each other as their energies synchronized. You may also know people who have over the years began to resemble in some way their pets.

Different styles of kung fu martial arts have been developed based on observation of movements of different animals. To the best of his ability, a martial artist becomes inwardly (on an energy level) an animal whose movements and particular skills he desires to emulate. He doesn't just imitate the postures outwardly, but identifies with the essence of the animal he desires to express.

Your physiology will, on the other hand, also affect your neurological response. For example, standing like a gorilla will tend to activate your reptilian brain and will create an optimal state if you have to engage in physical combat.

In Scandinavian countries, there was a special group of fierce Viking warriors - berserkers. They went into battle "without coats of mail and acted like mad dogs and wolves" (Snorri Sturluson. Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway. trans. Lee M. Holander. Austin: U of Texas P. 1964. p.10). The berserker was often said to change into a bestial form, or at least to assume the ferocious qualities of the wolf or bear.

Kveldulfr in Egils Saga Skallagrimsonar was spoken of as a shapechanger (Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards, trans. Egil's Saga. NY: Penguin. 1976. p. 21), and Hrolf's Saga tells of the hero Bjarki, who takes on the shape of a bear in battle:

"Men saw that a great bear went before King Hrolf's men, keeping always near the king. He slew more men with his forepaws than any five of the king's champions. Blades and weapons glanced off him, and he brought down both men and horses in King Hjorvard's forces, and everything which came in his path he crushed to death with his teeth, so that panic and terror swept through King Hjorvard's army..." (Gwyn Jones. Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas. NY: Oxford U.P. 1961. p. 313).

Another quality possessed by berserkers is immunity to weapons. The berserker sometimes inherently possessed this immunity, while other times performed spells (that's hypnosis) to induce it. Some berserkers also had special powers to blunt weapons by his gaze. Many tales say of their berserkers, "no weapon could bite them" or "iron could not bite into him." This concept of immunity may have evolved from the berserker's rage, during which the berserk might receive wounds, but due to his state of frenzy take no note of them until the madness passed from him. A warrior who continued fighting while bearing mortal wounds would surely have been a terrifying opponent. On the other hand, if you're familiar with "iron shirt" and "iron body" practices from kung fu, you may want to compare the development of such immunity. You can also compare the development of such immunity with the practices from other traditions (e.g. yogis, dervishes, etc.)

The purpose of shapeshifting is, of course, not restricted to physical combat. In daily life you can benefit even more from using shapeshifting to gain internal strength, wisdom and many other qualities which would have a healing effect on your mind, emotions and body - the ultimate purpose being to experience greater inner balance rather than to wrack havoc.

You may already feel a particular affinity to a specific animal. For example, a cat-loving people would most likely feel affinity for shapeshifting into any kind of "big cats", while dog-loving people would most likely feel affinity for shapeshifting into "wolf-like creatures".

Shapeshifting is not restricted to animal forms, not to any creatures existing in the physical realm. Depending on your needs and desire for learning, you may choose different God-forms. In esoteric circles, this is more often referred to as "God-form assumption", rather than shapeshifting. The purpose here is to obtain learnings and to help you develop qualities and attributes within you which are characteristic of a specific deity. You may also experiment with shapeshifting into fantasy creatures, if they possess attributes you'd like to experience and/on enhance within yourself.

Making Contact with Truth

With your eyes shining bright, you penetrate through obscurities and recognize what is happening on the other side of the mountain. You swallow your sound and eliminate your traces, without leaving behind anything whatsoever. Yet you can set in motion waves that go against the current and employ the ability that cuts off the flow. You are swift as a falcon that gets mistaken for a shadow as it soars into the air with its back to the deep blue sky. In the blink of an eye, it’s gone. Point to it, and it comes. Press it, and it goes. It is unstoppably lofty and pure.

This is the way this true source is put into circulation, to serve as a model and standard for later generations. All those who would communicate the message of the source must be able to see through a person’s false personality without blinking an eye; only then can they enter into it actively.

People with the will to reach the Truth must be fully developed and thoroughly polished to be able to go beyond conventions and transcend sects. They can only be seedlings of transcendence when at the subtle level they can see through every drop, and at the expansive level the thousand sages cannot find them.

Old Master Zufeng used to say, “Even Shakyamuni Buddha and Maitreya Buddha are servants of the Way. Ultimately, what is the Way?” How can this admit of arbitrary and confused probing? You will only get what you are aiming for if you realise the Way

In general, a good Zen teacher will energize the indomitable spirit of the great person inside a student and cause them to move ahead into the superior stream so that they cannot be trapped or called back. As a teacher helps people respond to their potential, the process should all be clear and freeing. If the supposed teacher uses contrived concepts of “mysteries” and “marvels” and “the essence of truth,” how can this produce any genuine expedient teachings? If they put a gleam in their eye and strut around uttering apt sayings of doctrines they claim to be absolute reality, this is just one blind man leading a crowd of blind people further into confusion.

When you make contact with Truth, then it covers heaven and earth. Always nurturing it and putting it into practice, you discover an extraordinary state. Only then do you share the understanding that comes from Spirit Peak and Few Houses Mountain.

Who says that no one perceives “the priceless pearl?” I say the black dragon’s pearl shines forth wherever it is.

Yuanwu (1063-1135)

— Excerpt from "Zen Letters - Teachings of Yuanwu"
Trans by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary

Image of the Day

Wai O' Tapu, Rotorua, New Zealand

Reawaken your curiosity

"What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult." -- Sigmund Freud

Why is this so?

Young children possess what Zen calls ‘beginner’s mind.’ They are awed and fascinated with the wonder of the world, open to discovering and experiencing new things. Anything is possible. Life is a great adventure.

For almost all of us, the systems that ‘educate’ us to be adults stifle our natural joy and curiosity. We lose touch with our innate appreciation of life. We forget how to dream.

The blessing is that with attention, patience and love, we can reawaken our sense of wonder. We can again dance with life.

"The mind WILL be free, or it will be dead."-- Grace Llewellyn

Behind The Mask

A classic Eric Clapton song ...



Not had the chance to check out the video before posting ... the internet is on Tortoise speed once more over here ... not able to load a You Tube video ... !!! Thank goodness in a month or two I will be spoilt by super fast Aussie proper broadband lol!

Fierce Winds As Worst Storm Looms

Winds of more than 80mph have ripped through Britain as police warned travellers to use "extreme caution" amid fears of heavy delays. (Sky News Monday 10th March 2008)

Trees were uprooted and buildings damaged across the country after a night of gale-force winds. Forecasters warned the extreme weather will continue across southern England throughout the day.

The highest recorded wind speed so far is 82mph in Berry Head in Brixham, south Devon, while the Needles off the coast of the Isle of Wight experienced gusts of 70mph.

The winds were making their way towards London this morning, with Heathrow being buffeted by 42mph winds. In other parts of the country, gusts hit 63mph along the east coast of Northern Ireland, 49mph in Crosby in Merseyside and 46mph in Birmingham.

Sharing The Full Story

When we are going through a difficult time, we may hesitate to call even our best friends because we don’t want to burden them with our troubles. This can be especially true if we’ve been going through a series of challenges, and we’re starting to feel as if we sound like a broken record. It is important to remember that at times like these our friends sincerely want to be there for us whenever they can. We can always check with them to make sure it’s a good time for them before we start talking, and if it’s not a good time, we can call back at another time, or call another friend.

We know for ourselves that when we have a good friend, we don’t want them to suffer alone when we are just a phone call away. We want them to call us and share their sorrows with us, as well as their joys, because this is what sharing a life through friendship is about. It is at our lowest points that we really need to rely on our friends without worrying that we are a burden. If you are feeling self-conscious about having a tough time, you can bring this fact into the conversation by acknowledging it. Chances are your friend will reassure you that she is happy to be there for you. In fact, rather than feeling taxed, most of us feel better when we have helped a friend simply by listening empathically while they share their feelings.

Without our friends, we would be hard pressed to get through the tough times and celebrate the good ones. If we leave our friends out of our process when the going gets tough, our friendships can begin to feel shallow. On the other hand, when we include our friends in the full story of our life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—we build authentic relationships in which we can be who we truly are. When we do this, we invite our friends to bring their whole selves to the relationship as well.

Tarot Card of the Day: Eight of Chalices

The Eight of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in space.

I am true to myself and will only regret the chances I don't take to seek or follow my hearts desire. I turn away from or make a clean sweep of that which does not honour or sustain my passion and love, and in this, I am not afraid to be alone.

I am empowered to move forward or make space and my gift is letting go.

Burning bridges, moving forwards into new adventures. The past is the past. New experiences the ambrosia which infuses the atmosphere into which I tread. Fresh space ahead of me ... open plains of new possibilities ...

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Image of the Day

The Chalice Well, Glastonbury

Daily Merlin Insight for Sunday 9th March 2008

Transcript
Sunday 9th March 2008
Using Servants of the Light Tarot
NZ: 10:15pm - 10:50pm

'Insights based on the image of "The Shining Star" ... projecting awareness towards her locality at this moment in time to glean anything of significance ...

... also to determine a sense of the road ahead ..."




Everything appears quiet and as per the plan. Under observation are certain spokes of the wheel. I receive the image of the hub of a gold/brass wheel in the back of my mind. A victorian pram and other antique memorabilia. The sight of a stately home or building. A number of elderly people walk slowly along a tarmac path which meanders through well tendered lawns. The sense once more of a glass fronted conservatory ... perhaps a day room ... in this stately home. It houses someone who I again determine as a 'Wounded Healer' ... a retired doctor or consultant. He sits reading papers and watching the world go by in this place. Now whether this 'place' is on the earth plane or I link with someone in the etheric worlds I cannot determine at this time.

But, I hear the phrase 'where in the world do you think this young lady is?' He is questioning me. I sense he is on the other side. He points my awareness in the direction of Derby or Derbyshire ... and a village of dry stone walls and cottages. She seemingly doesn't reside there I feel. But there is a Heart Specialist or Genetics 'Expert' in a small village in Derbyshire ... close to an 'Old Dears Home' in a former stately home. His mode of travel is a very plain white estate vehicle. A Peugeot or a Citroen perhaps. This gentleman has direct links or family links to those who are within the circle of those involved in the major event which is going on. Michael is a name I am given (very common but the middle name is something Germanic and not that common at all. Mike is used to hide that other name). Irish connections and Irish family tree. Other than the McCanns and their close friends ... this is another Irish link which goes towards those who were around at the time of the pilgrimage and other events of celebration. Someone takes it all very seriously. Very unperturbed about the waves made by 'certain' research. To get her back is apparently a very patient game of Chess ... strategy and ethics go hand in hand he claims. Connection to a state somewhere in Russia or former Russia .. Azerbaijan is sensed but there is tension linked to this and a nervous bridge with some rich money man and the furthering of research.

The spokes of the wheel reach far ... seemingly not even connected to the family and their missing girl. But there is the phrase 'universal need' behind this wheel.

The Sun
The Magician
Keeper of Spheres
Prime of Crescents
Eight of Weapons
Maker Of Weapons

A current frustrating impasse. A war of words somewhere. Discussions placing disgruntled person before normally calm individuals. Normally organised these places have been shaken by causes ... for whom the search has been genuine. To those who know 'the score' their attention has been disinterested. There are suspicions in quarters here for where the sun shines that which was in shadow is now in the light. Much has been exposed.

The Magician is a harbinger of change. Seemingly new questions asked about facts appertaining to the glasses on the table ... to the places at the table. To the events relating to the safety aspect. A mock event it will be accused perhaps. Links to other possible sightings in places around the Med. All is out of sequence as a dossier of reported sightings not acted upon could well be brought out into the open.

Nit picking and more speculation. But nothing solid between now and the 12 month threshold. On the surface. But below the surface certain sightings and certain bits of information investigated as a path to the locality of the 8 of Weapons seems to be deduced. But, the real investigation lies hidden to prevent the wrong eyes reading and knowing just where the direction of the hunt could be. Media speculation creates a false trail ... to protect that which is being undertaken.

There is a bearded man who instigated it all ... within his symbolic sacred lodge ... he has the connections and the understanding. He was trusted so could observe all which was going on. Has the knowledge and the foresight of what the upper echelons were planning. The eye could well have been significant after all. A visit from a minister or a representative of a ministry ... discussions relating to security and keeping something 'under wraps' is highlighted here.

The choices made have been extremely harsh on the family. Extremely difficult circumstances decided by others. Using people as a commodity .... people seemingly without conscience. The end to justify the means. The media and its circus used to its full capacity for side steps and subterfuge. There really is powerful influences here. Such influences that have the connections to keep one single child hidden for as long as they decide it is necessary. Covering tracks and hiding 'incriminating information' ... no questions asked when the loyalty to cause and fellow member is concerned. The Prime of Crescents epitomises the likelihood a sighting was indeed MM ... but the cover up has been made to hide the trail. Such is the deception wrapped around this situation.

I still am confident Maddie IS to be found. IS to be released sometime in the approaching future. Time has moved on ... 12 months apart from her family is approaching. I know she has been well catered for ... and the memory of her family is still strong in her mind. New traits have surfaced with Maddie ... traits which sadly her family were not there to watch appear but will experience the joy of discovery when she is returned. It is upsetting and so frustrating that she is still not returned.

A farmhouse appears to figure around her from time to time. An isolated property with red car and a couple of jeeps. There may well be helicopter situated in close proximity .... looking down at the property with the eyes of a hawk ... there are mountains and expanses of trees. Deer do seem to roam in the lands somewhere near. A winding road to the further isolated parts of the estate. The land owner linked as part of a consortium to other properties overseas in Europe and in Eastern Europe. A myriad of localities to take this little girl too. Plus a choice of several sea faring vessels to choose from. This consortium is influential indeed. With all the attention the little girl has made makes her a very valuable commodity indeed. Something special appertaining to her make up has grabbed so much attention ... this is not a straightforward case at all. Great lengths have been gone too in order to keep her hidden and also to find out where she resides. Those with whom she resides is not necessarily the hardest thing to determine.







Real Truth, Real Nature

The natural, real Buddha nature is always inherently complete and luminous; it was thus before our parents gave birth to us, it is thus right now, and it will always be thus forever.

Originally there is not a single thing. Since there’s not a single thing, what is to be called original? If you can see into this, you will save the most mental energy. When divergent thoughts arise, adamantly cut them off yourself. This is expediently called concentration and insight, but it is not reality; this mind itself is inherently concentrated and at once insightful.

Huang-po said, “This mind is always intrinsically round and bright, illuminating everywhere. People of the world don’t know it, and just recognize perception and cognition as mind. Drop perception and cognition, and the road to mind comes to an end. If you want to know the mind, it is not apart from perception and cognition; and yet original mind is not limited to perception and cognition either.”

When you come to this, it is really essential for you to look into yourself; it is not a matter of verbal explanation. The more the talk, the further removed from the way. Those who are successful at introspection know for themselves when the time comes and do not need to ask anyone. All false imagination and emotional thoughts naturally disappear. This is the effect of learning the Way.

A thousand falsehoods do not compare to a single truth. If you are not thus, even if you consciously apply your mind, seeking effectiveness daily, it is all in the realm of impermanence, becoming and passing away.

Generally speaking, on this path it is important to work on real truth. When real truth stamps the mind, the path becomes self-evident. If the mind is not true, then even if you attend lectures everyday and discuss the path constantly, this just provides topics of conversation and is ultimately of no benefit on the path.

So what is the real truth? It is just a matter of looking back into the purity of your own mind in the course of daily activities, not being led astray by anything. That is because the mind is like a monkey, consciousness like a horse: without the tool of great awareness watching them, it will be truly hard to control them no matter how clever your devices.

But when the mind has been settled, so that it merges back into oneness, and all traces of birth and extinction disappear, then you naturally realize basic subtle illumination, thoroughly empty, yet uncannily penetrating and effective.

The spiritual light shines independently, transcendentally liberated from organs and objects of sense. This statement has said it all. If you can understand this, how could I presume to talk a lot?

If the light is not revealed, you need a method. The method is not asking someone to explain; it is not studying scriptures; it is not doing a lot of charitable acts; it is not closing the eyes and sitting as if dead. Just look intently into the question of what your original face is in the course of daily life. Don’t think about whether it is hard or easy, or remote or near; and don’t worry that your own faculties and potential are slow or dull, or that you are too heavily obstructed by past habits. Just go right ahead and do it; after a while, eventually you will bump into it all of a sudden.

Excerpt from Teachings of Zen Translated by Thomas Cleary

The Power of Kundalini

We are born with a source of energy that potentially gives us the power to cleanse and purify our energy bodies, remove karmic debris and helps us to attain enlightenment.

This energy powerhouse has been referred to as the fire serpent, inner heat, holy spirit, sacred flame and inner fire by different spiritual traditions. It has been universally recognized as a potent spiritual force. Although we are all born with this hidden power, in most people the Kundalini remains dormant.

Awaking the Kundalini is important for your spiritual growth because it helps unite you with the Oneness of All-That-Is.

This source of energy is located at the perineum, near the base of your spine, and when awakened the Kundalini rises through your sushumna, the main energy channel in your spine.

It cleanses and purifies your chakras, sushumna, nadis, and other energy channels. By cleansing your energy channels, the Kundalini dissolves negative energies, blockages and other impurities that impede raising your vibrations and bringing in Light.

Removing negative energy from the heart chakra is an important step that allows you to activate and open your spiritual heart and enter the realm of the Sacred Space of the heart. The Kundalini is a crucial element in this cleansing. Serious spiritual practitioners often spend decades of concentrated practice just to awaken their Kundalini because of the spiritual benefits an awakened Kundalini brings.

It is possible for the Kundalini to awaken spontaneously. This may happen when a person does intensive meditation, even if the meditation is not intended for Kundalini awakening. Kundalini has been awakened in women during childbirth and it can also awaken as a result of a fall, especially if the coccyx area is injured. (Know that one personally. It is what happened to me as a child MJ).

Spontaneous Kundalini awakening may result in Kundalini syndrome, a constellation of physical, emotional and mental symptoms created by the powerful Kundalini energy that becomes stuck in areas where the person has blockages. For this reason, it is important to prepare the energy channels properly before any Kundalini awakening is attempted.

Usually the awakening process of the Kundalini takes many years and, if not done properly, Kundalini awakening can be dangerous. In order to be safe, Kundalini awakening requires that the sushumna be opened from the root to the crown chakras and the knots of the major chakras need to be broken through. This allows the powerful Kundalini energy to flow unimpeded through all the energy channels.

If the Kundalini is awakened without preparation, the powerful Kundalini energy flows upwards and becomes stuck in different areas of the body because the sushumna and the knots in the main chakras have not been opened. The Kundalini cannot push through and is misdirected into different parts of the body creating pressure, discomfort and sometimes pain.

Clairvoyant Assessment of Dis-ease

Disease, when looked at clairvoyantly, takes on very specific shapes and sizes in the muscles, glands and organs of the physical and energetic body. Although diseases can be classified as being similar or under the same "umbrella," they carry very distinct energetic patterns that are instantly discernible to a keen observer.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), for example, has been medically diagnosed as a neurological disorder. Energetically, it appears as if electrical wires (the nerves) have been cut and are flailing around like fire hoses with no one at the control. These energy patterns appear where the sufferers are manifesting the disease in their bodies. For example, if they are having problems with their vision and speech, the nerves appear cut in the head and neck area. If they are having problems walking, the nerves will appear to be cut in the legs.

Lupus, also diagnosed as a neurological disorder, has a similar look and feel to MS. In the body, however, Lupus energetically appears as if the nerves are giant rubber bands stretching and moving, almost with a life of their own. There is no "tension" to the nerves and individuals with this disorder often feel as if they have little or no control of their muscular functions.

Parkinson's Disease is also medically classified as a neurological disorder. Unlike the cut or flailing nerves of MS or the loosey-goosey non-control of Lupus, Parkinson's Disease appears in the body as if the muscles of the arms and legs are in constant contraction. It is this contraction that causes the extremities, i.e. the hands and feet, to shake. Try contracting the muscles of your arms and hold them as tight as possible. Look to see if your hands start to shake. This is the energy underlying Parkinson's Disease.

Some diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) energetically appear external to the physical body and are typically seen attached to or in close proximity to a chakra (an energy centre within the body). Although CFS can affect the person as a whole, the effects seem to come and go, and are first felt in the area of the chakra that is affected, moving through the rest of the body from that location.

For example, if the 7th chakra is affected (the energy centre on the top of the head), the person will typically first feel confused and dizzy, and experience blurred vision and an alteration of mental processes. If on the other hand, the 4th chakra is affected (the energy centre located near the heart), the individual tends to feel the effect of the CFS in the lower parts of the body and to feel tired or worn out while their mental activity is not impaired.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), on the other hand, does not appear in the muscles, glands or organs of the physical body nor does it appear in association with a chakra. It instead appears in the aura (the electromagnetic field around the body) as a degradation of the aura. When seen energetically, the aura of an individual with AIDS is typically seen as being yellow to yellow-brown in color and lacking in luster. When the disease moves into its more advanced state, the aura appears to have developed holes or looks as if it is disintegrating. With the natural protection of the aura compromised, individuals with AIDS are energetically more susceptible to contracting contagious illnesses.

This is just a few of the many diseases common in our world today. When looked at, the energetic cause of all disease is a holding on to energy within the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies that is not in harmony with us, while healing is experienced as a letting go of disharmonious energy. An individual can choose to hang on to the issue(s) that are causing the disease, or choose to let it go. It is this letting go that can dramatically reduce the symptoms of the disease, or potentially cure the individual of the disease.

Remember, healing is all up to you!

Missing Spanish Girl Found Dead

Police have found the body of a Spanish girl who disappeared less than two hours' drive from where Madeleine McCann went missing. (Sky News Sunday 9th March 2008)

Mari Luz Cortes was discovered floating in an estuary near the southern city of Huelva, 120 miles from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. The five-year-old vanished on January 13 when she went out to a newspaper stand.

DNA tests will be carried out on the badly decomposed remains, which were identified by her clothing.

Madeleine's parents have offered their prayers and sympathy to the girl's family. Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, sent Mari Luz's parents messages of support after her disappearance. The couple had also planned to include her in their poster campaign in Spain.

Dust in the Wind

Scorpions live in Portugal

Daily Tarot Card of the Day

The Star (or Daughter of the Firmament) is numbered seventeen and is probably the most optimistic and beautiful card in the deck. A beautiful young woman, often naked, is depicted pouring water from a jug into the ground or into a pool by her feet. There are stars in the sky above her.

Stars have long been seen as symbols of hope, regeneration, vision and new life. When this card appears, you know somehow that life is just about to become easier and brighter. Life's forces combine to assist rather than hinder.

Here is the truth about our power - we can join the solid earth of material existence with the flowing waters of spirit and create within ourselves a Universe. We have removed self-criticism and concentrated instead on our skills and strengths. When we regard ourselves with love, humour, tenderness and sympathy, we access the God and Goddess within and we are transformed.

"Every man and woman is a star" A. Crowley

Belief Makes Everything Possible

In order to succeed, you must first believe that you can. The only true limit to your realization of tomorrow will be your doubts of today. The only thing that stands between you and what you want from life, is the will to try it and the faith to believe that it's possible. The moment you carry the conviction of belief, in that moment your dream will become reality. If you think you can, you can.

New Zealand thrash woeful England

New Zealand's unheralded seam attack consigned England to one of their most ignominious defeats in recent history, winning the first Test by 189 runs. (BBC Sport Sunday 9th March 2008)

New Zealand's unheralded seam attack consigned England to one of their most ignominious defeats in recent history, winning the first Test by 189 runs.

The Kiwis declared on 177-9 to leave England needing 300 from 81 overs but Kyle Mills stunned the tourists with four wickets in his first six overs. With the score 36-4 at lunch, England tried to salvage a draw but Chris Martin (3-33) had other ideas.

England totalled a pathetic 110 on a flat track, with Ian Bell 54 not out.

After starting his England coaching career with four Test wins on the bounce, Peter Moores has now presided over a winless streak of seven matches, including losses to India, Sri Lanka and now New Zealand - a team England were expected to beat in this series. But only two Tests remain, the first of those starting on Thursday, for Michael Vaughan's men to salvage something from a tour that is turning into something of a nightmare.

F A Cup: Man Utd 0 v 1 Portsmouth

Harry Redknapp's FA Cup curse struck Manchester United again as Portsmouth won a dramatic quarter-final clash. Sulley Muntari scored the winner from the spot with 12 minutes left after Milan Baros was upended by United's substitute keeper Tomasz Kuszczak. (BBC Sport)

Kuszczak, who replaced Edwin van der Sar at half-time, was sent off and Rio Ferdinand took over in goal.

United went close to scoring, Sylvain Distin denying Michael Carrick on the line and Patrice Evra hitting a post.

The surprise win took Portsmouth back to Wembley for the first time since 1939 for the semi-finals and ended United's hopes of repeating their 1999 treble triumph. For Redknapp, who has previously knocked United out of the FA Cup with both Bournemouth and West Ham, it was another victory over Sir Alex Ferguson to savour.

Paul Scholes, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves all returned to United's starting line-up after the Champions League victory over Lyon - and they met with stubborn and well-organised Portsmouth resistance.

United were understandably furious after six minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly bundled over by Distin as he raced into the area, but referee Martin Atkinson ignored the appeals, to the clear disgust of Ferguson.

Penetrating The Darkness

For as long as humankind has recognized animals as teachers, wise men and women have recognised traits worthy of respect in both wild and domestic creatures. The cultural and spiritual significance of certain animals transcends geographical boundaries, unifying disparate peoples.

Not so the majestic and mysterious owl, which has over many millennia served as the focal point of numerous contradictory beliefs. Though owls have been regarded with awe and fascination, they have also inadvertently served as agents of fear. Since owls are nocturnal, human-owl encounters tended to occur at night and likely when the bird was swooping silently down to earth to grapple with prey. Yet even as some shied away from the owl, calling it an agent of darkness, others recognized the depths of awareness in beautiful owl’s eyes.

In the classical Greek tradition, an owl could often be found perched on the shoulder of Athena, goddess of wisdom, while owls could ward off bad luck in Roman lore. It is in Native American mythos, however, that the owl attains its own unique identity. Owls are patient messengers, bringers of information and the holders of wisdom, and they are capable of seeing the unseen. With their keen eyesight, they can glance into the soul to discern meaning and motive, and they are totems of truth. Unlike our distant forebears, we may never encounter an owl in the wild, but we can nonetheless internalize the wisdom of the owl by attuning ourselves to its most venerable qualities. Fully integrating the medicine of the owl into spiritual existence is a matter of considering how we might open ourselves more fully to the wisdom that can be found in the larger universe.

Should you find your efforts blocked as you commune with the owl, remember that it was not always revered as an icon of wisdom. This denizen of the nighttime has overcome many prejudices in its long association with humankind. To reveal those hidden elements of the self that impact your life for better or for worse, you must often make your way through the darkest parts of your soul as if you yourself are the nocturnal hunter. There is indeed darkness both inside the self and outside the self, but like the owl you can transcend it by drawing nourishment from the insights you receive when you penetrate it.