Sunday, March 22, 2015

History Of Kabbalah The Story Of The Book Of Zohar

History Of Kabbalah The Story Of The Book Of Zohar

By Bnei Baruch

Zohar means Radiance, and The Book of Zohar is the fundamental book in the wisdom of Kabbalah. It is the key enabling one to reveal the spiritual part of the universe, hidden to our five senses, and the Upper Force that governs everything and brings everything into being.

It was written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, or Rashbi, a great Kabbalist who lived in the 2nd century CE. Rashbi attained all the wisdom that was to be recorded in The Book of Zoharwhile hiding from the hostile Roman authorities in a cave in Northern Israel. Together with his son Rabbi Elazar, Rashbi spent 13 years living in this cave, eating fruits of a carob tree and drinking water from a nearby source. In that time, the father and son had attained all the degrees of the spiritual world, and were able to feel the Upper Force or the Creator with utter clarity.

13 years later, Rabbi Shimon and his son reemerged from the cave, assembled a group of disciples, and wrote The Book of Zohar along with them. Kabbalah explains that ten men were necessary to write this unique book, because their souls corresponded to ten spiritual forces called "Sefirot." Only together were they able to create the common spiritual vessel able to perceive the highest degrees of the spiritual world.

Therefore, when The Book of Zohar describes Rabbi Shimon and his students, it actually refers to the qualities that exist in the spiritual world. The ten sages had attained these spiritual qualities through their souls and were able to record them in a book.

The book was written in a special way. Rashbi knew that the text had to conceal its spiritual content, because this information was intended for those who would live two millennia later-us. This is why he had one of his students, Rabbi Aba, write it. Rabbi Aba was able to put the spiritual information in a concealed manner. He wrote The Book of Zohar by listening to Rashbi and recording what he said in a way that an uninformed reader could comprehend only the shallowest, most external layer of the text. For instance, here is how the book starts: Rabbi Chizkiyah opened, "It is written, as the rose amongst the thorns." The text is beautiful and poetic, yet requires a spiritual attainment in order to decipher its true meaning.

Hence, when we read The Book of Zohar without the needed preparation, it appears as a series of fantastical tales and legends. And to learn how to read it properly, we should start with the writings of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, also called Baal HaSulam, after his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar. Baal HaSulam composed a comprehensive, accurate, and systematic interpretation of The Book of Zohar. His goal was to unveil the book to the public and make it suitable for the souls of our time.

The Book of Zohar was to be concealed for two thousand years, waiting for humanity to desire spirituality. And this is happening in our time, when more and more people are asking about the purpose of their very existence. That is why The Zohar is now becoming revealed to all by the great Kabbalists who have concealed it until now.

Bnei Baruch, is the largest group of Kabbalists in Israel, sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah with the entire world. Study materials in over 25 languages are based on authentic Kabbalah texts that were passed down from generation to generation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Spiritual Meaning Of Palm Sunday

The Spiritual Meaning Of Palm Sunday
As Passover approaches, I noticed an increased interest in the post The Spiritual Meaning of Passover. A "spiritual Passover" takes place whenever one decides to remove a sinful behavior in one's life. Removal of evil is the first step on any spiritual path, and deliverance from hell. For anyone enslaved to a sinful behavior - which is symbolized by the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt - one's will is enslaved by evil spirits. For we are not truly individual beings - all of our thoughts originate from the spiritual world, and it is our choice whether we follow the heavenly world or the one from hell. This is the true origin of human free will.

As I already discussed the symbolism of the Passover ritual, what is the spiritual meaning of Palm Sunday which preceded Passover? Palm Sunday commemorates the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem:

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: " Hosanna! ' Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!"

Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

"Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt"."

His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. (John 12:12-16)Some skeptics may just say that Jesus did this as he was well versed in scripture. However the prophecy of Zechariah is more remarkable from the statement that comes right after it:

"He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth" (Zech. 9:10)The Jews of course expected a literal king to restore the kingdom of Israel, not realizing that his kingdom was spiritual - his kingdom on earth is the church. And the Christian Church honoring Jesus certainly spans from sea to sea and is found in every corner of the earth. Who could have predicted that?

Most who read this passage state that the reason why Jesus rode in on a donkey into Jerusalem was to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, and will get no further than that. If we ask questions like, WHY a donkey? And WHY honored with palm branches? No one will answer. Because hidden behind these literal historical events, and the prophecies predicting them, is a hidden spiritual symbolism. It is only when one understands the spiritual symbolism can this be applicable to everyday life.


Every person, object or animal has a spiritual symbolism, signifying something about the inner psychology of the soul. There is a correspondence between every material thing with a more eternal, abstract spiritual idea. A donkey is mentioned along with an ox in the tenth commandment:

You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife,

nor his male servant, nor his female servant,

nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's. (Ex. 20:14)The tenth and final commandment speaks concerning desire for material things - thus it is mentioned last, for the desire of material things is furthest from following God (the first commandment). In a more general sense, the tenth commandment speaks against the love of self and the world, which opposes everything in the 10 commandments. But note the pattern in the commandment: first house and wife, then male and female servant, then ox and donkey. So why such word order? Again, even the order of the words has a spiritual meaning. Things will either relate to that of the will or doing good, or it will relate to that of the thought or knowing the truth:

By house is meant all good in general, by wife all truth in general, by manservant affection for spiritual truth, by maidservant affection for spiritual good, by ox affection for natural good, and by ass affection for natural truth. These are the things which are not to be coveted, that is, which are not to be taken away from any one, and which are not to be harmed. That these things are meant in the internal sense, is because the Word in that sense is for those who are in heaven, inasmuch as those who are in heaven do not perceive the Word naturally, but spiritually, thus not house, nor wife, nor manservant, nor maidservant, nor ox, nor ass, but the spiritual things that correspond to them, which are the goods of love and the truths of faith. In a word, the external sense or the sense of the letter is for those who are in the world, but the internal sense for those who are in heaven, and also for those who are in the world so far as they are at the same time in heaven, that is, so far as they are in charity and faith. ("Heavenly Arcana", n. 8912).To explain this symbolism further would entail yet further word studies on house, wife, servant, ox, and so on, which Swedenborg amply explains in "Heavenly Arcana". The word order show degrees of order from highest to lowest: good and truth itself; then the spiritual affection for good and truth which are servants as these affections serve what is good and true; then finally, the natural affection for what is good and true. The natural affection is lower than the spiritual affection, and the spiritual affection is lower than that of love and truth itself. For example, everyone has a natural desire for friendship. Within this natural desire, there is hidden a spiritual affection for what is good and true inside people. Hidden within this spiritual affection, is the love of God himself, who is the origin of good and truth. The house and the wife can be said to be in the most internal sense God's dwelling in heaven and the church, for the church is the bride which teaches people the truth. "Materialism", and "capitalism "which promotes it, destroys these spiritual affections.

The ox and the donkey are animals which represent the lowest natural desires of any person. Animals, in general, represent affections, as opposed to plants which in general represent truth. So why should it be declared that the Messiah should ride on a donkey when entering the city of Jerusalem? The reason is: TO ENTER THE CHURCH (JERUSALEM), ONE MUST SUBORDINATE ONE'S NATURAL DESIRES TO THE DIVINE TRUTH (THE KING ON THE DONKEY).

To ride upon an ass was a sign that the natural was made subordinate, and to ride upon a colt the son of a she-ass was a sign that the rational was made subordinate. That the son of a she-ass signified the same as a mule, has been shown above (at the passage from Gen. xlix. 11). From this their signification, and because it belonged to the highest judge and to a king to ride upon them, and at the same time that the representatives of the church might be fulfilled, it pleased the Lord to do this ("Heavenly Arcana", n. 2781.8).And this is the reason why in the Old Testament there are so many laws given concerning one's ox and donkey:


So what of the palm trees, what do those signify? Palm trees were used in rituals from ancient times. It was one of the trees to be used in the Jewish feast of tabernacles:

YE SHALL TAKE FOR YOU IN THE FIRST DAY THE FRUIT OF A TREE OF HONOR, SPATHES OF PALM-TREES, and a branch of a dense tree, and willows of the torrent; and ye shall be glad before Jehovah your God seven days (Lev. 23:40)Moreover, it is said that King Solomon carved angelic cherubs, palm trees and flowers for decorating the temple of Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:29, 32). And palm trees were used also in Ezekiel's new temple (see Ez. 41). But that is not all, this symbol is very ancient. Here is a carving of angelic beings taking fruit from a palm tree from ancient Assyria:

Here is another example from ancient Assyria:

There are many more depictions of the sacred palm tree, which can be drawn from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. There was once a shared symbolism across the Middle East, and this was from a more ancient revelation that had preceded Abraham and Judaism. Some of these symbols, such as the palm tree, survived in Biblical scripture. But it is so ancient that all of these meanings have been lost. What does the palm tree signify? Why would it always be portrayed in the temple? Here is what Swedenborg had to say:

[the signification of "palm-trees" as being the goods of the spiritual church, which are the goods of truth; and because by "palm-trees" are signified goods, by them is also signified the affection of good, and the consequent delight, for all delight is from the affection of good. ("Heavenly Arcana", n. 8369)And there is another interesting comment on the passage from Leviticus:

Ye shall take for you in the first day the fruit of a tree of honor, spathes of palm-trees, and a branch of a dense tree, and willows of the torrent; and ye shall be glad before Jehovah your God seven days (Lev. 23:40); by "the fruit of a tree of honor," is signified celestial good; by "palm-trees," spiritual good, or the good of truth; by "a branch of a dense tree," the truth of memory-knowledge; and by "willows of the torrent," the lowest truths of the natural; thus by these four are signified all goods and truths in their order. ("Heavenly Arcana", n. 8369)So its beginning to make sense: first comes the subordination of the natural man, our lowest self, and bringing our selfish desires under control. Our lowest self is signified by the donkey. A spiritual affection for the truth is signified by the palm trees: this is the second step after purification or repentance from sin. And the third step? God's spirit begins to dwell within us: this is signified by Jesus riding on the donkey as he enters Jerusalem. This is something that I had described in The Three Steps of Spiritual Development. The three steps are:

* Repentance from one's particular sins, turning away from them. This is the purification stage (represented by Passover).
* Living by the truths that are learned (represented by Pentecost).
* Acting out of love: love comes first instead of truth (represented by the feast of Tabernacles).

So the first act for any spiritual path is to bring the natural person under control - that is controlling one's desires, and fighting against them. If we are not willing to acknowledge a sin as a sin, and just ignore it, we are stuck outside the door. But repentance brings us into the door of the spiritual temple. Thus Jesus rides on a donkey when he enters Jerusalem. What does he do next? In the synoptic gospels, he cleanses out the temple of money changers. This is what happens to us when we cleanse our inner selves of material desires.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Buddhist Beliefs

Buddhist Beliefs
1. I repute that the Exceptional is at once divine and can be described as Sunya, a vastness or lather of void.

2. I repute in the Four Imperial Truths: 1) that pilot is universal; 2) that ornamental is the writer of suffering; 3) that pilot may be ruined by the obliteration of desire; 4) that to end ornamental one necessitate make the Eight-Fold Walkway.

3. I repute in the Eight-Fold Walkway of on the right side belief, on the right side aims, on the right side wording, on the right side accomplishments, on the right side stance, on the right side try, on the right side mindfulness and on the right side meditation.

4. I repute that life's aim is to end pilot set down the obliteration of own footing and absorption dressed in illusion, the True.

5. I repute in the "POOR WALKWAY," living not strictly, avoiding extremes of grandeur and plainness.

6. I repute in the greatness of self-giving love and humanity near all creatures that keep on, for these hem in treasure more than the pliant of offerings to the Gods.

7. I repute in the purity of the Buddha and in the sacred Scriptures of Buddhism: the Tripitaka (THREE BASKETS OF GRAVITY) and/or the Mahayana Sutras.

8. I repute that man's Absolutely Human being is divine and eternal, yet his characteristics is subject to the transpose that affects all forms and is therefore short-lived, dissolving at administration dressed in illusion.

9. I repute in dharma (THE WAY), kismet (WRITER AND EFFECT), new beginning, the sanga (BROTHERHOOD OF SEEKERS) and the condition on Gain as an stop to end the spherical of fire up and death.

Books in PDF format to read:Anonymous - Hypnotism Spells

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - Three Lives

Reeves Period - Asatru In Offhandedly

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - I Hope


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rose Ariadne Original Confident Beauty Spell

Rose Ariadne Original Confident Beauty Spell
Here is the first in the easy witchcraft spell series, and it works best when done in the light of a full moon...1. You'll need a small hand mirror, the items you normally have on your altar, an extra handle of your favorite color (representing yourself), and a small charm or figurine that you find beautiful (it represents your attractiveness and beauty, both inside and out).2. Create your sacred spaces, cleanse your area, cast your circle, and all of the other things laid out for you in the Mystical World Of Ancient Witchcraft.3. Light your deity candles, and as you sit in the light of the candles (and the full moon) begin by looking at yourself in the mirror. As you are gazing at yourself, focus on all of the positive features you have... don't let ANY negative thoughts enter your mind. Look at your skin, your nose, your mouth, your eyes...acknowledge each part of your face and recognize how unique and special each part is. You came from the earth, you know, and the earth is truly beautiful - how could you be any less?4. Now, as you continue looking into the mirror, say: "I recognize myself, Rose Ariadne (or whatever your name is), as being a unique and beautiful person from the tips of my toes to the top of my head - and everywhere inside."5. Hold the mirror in your left had, as you light YOUR candle. Place the charm next to the candle, at it's base.6. Tilt the mirror so that you can see your candle, and the charm in it's reflection. Now say :"This candle represents me, Rose Ariadne (or whatever your name is). And this charm is my beauty on inside and out, that nobody lays claim to but me. For I am unique and special. As I see both of them in this mirror of light, so they are both a part of me. Myself, forever together with my beauty. No words will change it, no thought disband it. And so it is. So mote it be!"7. Blow out your candles, open your circle, and put things away... all the while think about the spell you just cast, and the feeling of confidence that has welled up inside of you. Focus on that feeling, remember how it feels, and make a promise to yourself not to let it go... but if you ever falter, and negativity takes hold in you again - this ritual will always be there for you to instantly rebuild your confidence... Rose has been practicing different forms of Witchcraft for over 27 years. For more information on easy witchcraft spells visit her site The Ask Rose Ariadne Witchcraft Site

The 12 horoscope signs and the art of seduction

Follow the advices and attract the person you desire. The following advices are quite general. You can consult Tarot or psychic for personal questions. To Seduce an Aries Man The type of woman who can attract an Aries man is one that demonstrates a sense of independence and is bold, adventurous, or spontaneous. They'll respect the freedom of a woman like this. They admire strength and courage. Aries men enjoy a challenge, and may find it enjoyable to be seduced by an assertive woman, while offering sufficient resistance to make it interesting. Seduction of Taurus Taurus man prefers a woman who is cute, cuddly, calm and comfortable, and shows affection with caresses and kisses. They prefer women who are easy-going, earthy and sensuous, and not too independent or energetic. To Seduce a Gemini men Gemini men are attracted to women who are clever and changeable and can keep them guessing. They can be drawn to average looking women who are witty and interesting, and certainly more than to the beautiful but dull sort. To Seduce a Cancer Man The type of woman who attracts a Cancer man is one who will comfort and care for them. A woman who feeds a Cancer man and makes him feel loved may soon see them sharing her home, since home is where they most want to feel wanted and cherished and comforted. To Seduce a Leo Man The type of woman who attracts the Leo man is one that they can feel proud to be seen with -- one who makes them look good just by having her on his arm. A woman who is gorgeous or dramatic or regal or aloof turns them on. To Seduce a Virgo Man The type of woman who attracts the Virgo man in search of company always appears well groomed and conservatively dressed -- and, above all, has an air of propriety. They are very particular, and desire nothing short of perfection in their potential mates, which can leave them out in the cold more often than not. To Seduce a Libra Man The type of woman who attracts the Libra man has lots of class but isn't too formal at the wrong times. She can be sort of sophisticated but not terribly stuck-up, sort of picky but not too particular, or any one of a number of contradicting categories, as long as she is utterly sincere in her attentions and has no hidden agendas for the relationship. To Seduce a Scorpio Man The type of woman who attracts the emotionally volatile Scorpio man is very vital, passionate, and intense. They rend to go for dynamic and powerful types of women who aren't indecisive, weak willed pushovers. To Seduce a Sagittarius man Sagittarius men like the type of woman who is honest, direct, and reliable -- basically a lover who is also a friend. They like a woman who's playful one minute, and philosophical the next, but always happy. To Seduce a Capricorn Man The type of woman who attracts a Capricorn man is socially acceptable and somewhat formal or aloof -- not to mention quite serious about success and status. To Seduce an Aquarius Man The type of woman who attracts an Aquarius man is intelligent, independent, free spirited, and a good conversationalist. Should she keep him guessing, or be a bit unconventional, she'll fascinate him, but if she's too emotional, he'll pass. To Seduce a Pisces Man The type of woman who attracts the withdrawn Pisces man is romantic and emotional, sensitive and passive. Should she be intriguing or mysterious or able to make him feel secure, she could be just the one for him. Pisces men are fond of secret love affairs, as well as people who need help or emotional support. To Seduce an Aries Woman The type of man who attracts an Aries woman is brash and bold, daring and direct, and has a sense of adventure. They are drawn to macho types or men in uniform. They seek competition and challenges, so they prefer authoritative men who are hard to get. Aries women are attracted to winners, in sports or business or any form of competition. To Seduce a Taurus Woman The type of man who attracts a Taurus woman is the classic strong and silent type. Men who are down-to-earth appeal to her, and it may be important to her that he likes animals or nature in general. A man who can cook, cuddle, and care for her physical comforts is of great interest to her. To Seduce Gemini Woman The right man for the Gemini woman is clever and changeable, and a great conversationalist. Communication is very important to her, so the man who can share information and ideas is sure to be well regarded. To Seduce a Cancer Woman The right man for the Cancer woman is protective, security-conscious, sensitive, and understanding. If she finds that he makes her feel safe and secure, she'll feel herself drawn to him. To Seduce a Leo Woman The right man for the job of taming the Leo lioness is one who radiates warmth and shows his affection in a physical way. They are even more interested if he happens to be rich or famous or powerful or gorgeous (or all of the above) so that she can share the spotlight with her new love. To Seduce a Virgo Woman The type of man who attracts the Virgo woman is intelligent, impeccably mannered and groomed, practical, and reliable. Neatness and cleanliness are the single most important factors here for the approval of a Virgo lady. To Seduce a Libra Woman The type of man who attracts a Libra woman is charming, polite, and well dressed -- it also helps if he's good looking, romantic, and a bit old-fashioned as well. They tend to respond to mental and verbal flirtations more so than the crude physical kinds. To Seduce a Scorpio Woman Scorpio women prefer a man who appears intense or inscrutable, and has a kind of magnetic charisma about him that hints at smoldering sexuality and unexplored depths of unbridled passion. To Seduce a Sagittarius Woman The man who attracts a Sagittarius woman is one who displays high moral and ethical standards, and lives up to their ideals of honesty and integrity. They want honesty, friendship, and fun from a potential mate. To Seduce a Capricorn Woman Capricorn women are after a man who seems serious, aloof, and detached, and somehow projects an inscrutable personal aura. They want a man who's ambitious and socially acceptable, and they are drawn to money, status, and power. To Seduce a an Aquarius Woman The type of man who attracts the Aquarius woman is intellectually interesting, logical, open-minded, and willing to experiment. A man with ideas and insights fascinates them to no end. Aquarius women are even more attracted if he seems unconventional or unpredictable or just unusual in some way. To Seduce a Pisces Woman The Pisces woman is after a man who is romantic, sensitive and either an imaginative dreamer or just lost and confused. The idea of a secret love affair can excite and entice her, and mystery intrigues her. You can also develop your own Tarot and psychic reading ability to find the solution to your specific questions. The simplest way to develop your psychic ability is through listening to your intuitive voice. For example, you can do your own Tarot card reading, and then ask yourself what these cards really mean. Trust your own psychic ESP! After all, no one can be a better Tarot reader than yourself. How to Seduce the 12 Horoscope Signs was written by Elaine Fung. Elaine Fung is an expert in horoscopes and psychic subjects. In this article she provides us with useful tips to seduce any person we like just by knowing his zodiac sign. This is a public article, so, please feel free to use our content and give credit by linking back to us.

Making Book Of Shadows Spell Book

If you make your own Book of Shadows, you will be able to harness more power from it.To make one, you need a plastic 3 ring binder, some batting, some fabric, and some glue.Lay the binder on the table so that it is open. Put the batting underneath and mark where you will cut the batting so that it can be glued to the outside of the binder.After you are done marking the batting, you want to use your scissors to cut the batting around the outline you made.Next, you want to lay the open binder back onto the batting. Now, lift up one end of the binder and put hot glue around the outside edges. Then press the outside edge of the binder to the batting to attach it to the binder.First do one cover, then the binding, and then the other cover.In the end, the batting should be securely fastened to the binder, and should come to the exact ends of the binder covers.The binder should open and close easily.You will now cover the binder and batting with the fabric that you selected. Lay the binder and batting covering on top of the piece of fabric. Make sure you select an area of the fabric that will give you the look that you want on the outside cover of your book of shadows. (In other words, position the binder onto the fabric so that the fabric will look how you want it to on the cover)Next, take your felt tipped marker and mark the fabric to 2 inches around the binder.Using the scissors, cut the fabric around the lines that you marked. You should now have a piece of fabric the perfect size to cover the binder with (with your 2 inches of cushion around the edges).Next, lay the binder and batting cover it, on the fabric you cut out. Make sure you have an even 2 inches of fabric around the binder (lay the binder open).Lift up one end of the binder and put hot glue around the edges of the batting. Now bring that end of the fabric up to the batting and pat it flush with the glue you placed on the batting. Gently rub the fabric smooth.Do the same thing with the binding, and with the other cover of the binder.When this step is complete, the fabric should be glued around the outside of the batting on your binder. You will still have the 2 inches of fabric around the binder hanging free. We will deal with that in step 6.Now lay the binder open on the table in front of you. Start with one of the edges of fabric and stretch it over the inside of the binder. Make sure it is taught.Once you can see how far it will stretch, place hot glue on the inside edge of the binder and gently stretch, and rub the fabric over the glue so that it sticks.Do this for each of the 4 edges of the open binder. In the end the 2-inches of fabric around the binder will be glued to the inside edges of the binder, but the corners of the fabric will still be up. We will deal with those in step 7.Next, clip each corner of the fabric with scissors so that it folds neatly over into the inside corner of the binder. Once it looks good, use the hot glue to stick it to the inside cover of the binder.Repeat with each of the 4 corners.You've now got a nicely covered (and cushioned) Book of Shadows. Your next step is to cover the inside of the covers so that they look nice.Cut your poster paper into 2 squares. Each square should be large enough to completely cover the inside of your binder.Next, cut 2 pieces of fabric. Each one should be big enough to cover one side of the poster board pieces. You should have about 1 inch extra of fabric around each edge of the poster board.Lay the poster board pieces on top of the fabric pieces you cut out. Gently fold over the edges of the fabric and use white glue to attach them along the edges of the poster board.Using scissors, trim the corners of the fabric, and gently fold them under (like you did for the binder corners), and use white glue to stick the corners neatly to the corners of the poster board pieces.Finally, place the covered poster board pieces with the fabric side facing up - down on the inside of the binder.Use hot glue to glue the edges to the inside of the binder so that your insides are covered with the same fabric used to cover the outside of your Book of Shadows.You are all done! Congratulations on your new Book of Shadows.The secret now is to decorate the outside of your book of shadows with items, pictures, colors, and symbols that define and are special to you. Use things that create good emotions deep within you.Creating your Book of Shadows in an image of yourself will allow you to draw maximum energy from your Book of Shadows when you do your Magick work.All that is left is to get some 3 holed paper to place into your book of shadows, and you can begin writing your Magick work in it's pages.Record your journey through the world of Magick, and also don't forget to try to use it as a Magick diary, recording your experiences in life each night before going to bed.The more positive energy you put into the creation of your Book of Shadows, the more power you can draw from it when doing your spells and rituals. Rose has been practicing different forms of Witchcraft for over 27 years. For more information on creating book of shadows spells visit her site The Ask Rose Ariadne Witchcraft Site

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Inside Out Church And Economics Of Evangelism The Why Of Planting

Last weekend I had a fun time at the Christian Universalist Association celebration in Oklahoma City, first Friday night as part of the Restoration Nation father's day annual celebration, and preaching by Carlton Pearson of New Dimensions in Tulsa, which is now worshipping at All Souls Unitarian Church after a few years of worshipping at Trinity Episcopal after losing members and its building when it was megachurch Higher Dimensions. And Then Saturday at the UCC Church of the Open Arms for the CUA celebration. I was invited to talk about church planting, especially the incarnational organic way, as a way of growth. The CUA is interested in church planting in a variety of ways including house churches, and it is also starting moves toward its own ordination process as part of leadership development that could be helpful in starting such church plants.

The folks at the CUA seemed a bit worried that their first celebration wasn't attended by more people; some 30 for their part of the weekend event it seemed, but it was an ecumenical event and good sharing on Christian Universalism which is more widespread of course than such numbers would indicate. People were talking about higher gas prices and the economy for low turnout and that is always a factor. But then I think there is also the old issue of universalism and committment to institutions (they said a lot of folks also weren't too crazy about hooking up with another organization if it is interested in furthering its organization and assets, especially many universalists in the more charismatic side of the movement who are spirit-led and tend to be wary of institutions.) There's all of that I think too; another way UU and pentecostalists are brothers and sisters of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity :).

I was thinking that the problem is likely that they didnt have more in attendance but that they weren't small enough; kicking movements off these days I think is more a matter of retreats than revivals, more a matter of going deep in relationships with a tribe of folks; the same kind of dynamic that will kick off church planting movements. More small group sharing than large scale proclamation. But the CUA is young and its right that an ecumenical movement is bubbling up all around its concerns; the very ecumenical nature of it might be an ironic stumbling block to people taking on another organization; they are already sensing a coming out inside their own circles and tribes and don't need another.

My thoughts anyway coming from an admittedly church planting perspective.

What I was struck with in preparing for my presentation was that instead of spending so much time on how people are doing things organic and incarnational these days, and what we are up to here in Turley, OK, as I have done in different ways since I started doing workshops back in the early 90s on this, is that I could have spent much more productive time focusing our attention on the why of church planting movements. Especially with universalists. You have to counter from others, and know deeply within your own communities, why it is vital for universalist salvation believers to be involved in planting. After all, the argument goes, why plant a church, why try to attract people to a church, if you are going to see them all in heaven anyway one of these days. What is it that would require me to make such a sacrifice, to make such a committment, if the reward for that committment is no more of a payoff than if I don't make such a sacrifice and committment. If you want more of this economic basis of religious committment, of course, spend time with the wonderful books, provocative books, by Rodney Stark, now of Baylor.

I often talk about culture trumping theology; well, marketplace culture might trump it all.

But as I told them this last weekend when I did get into that most important why of planting such churches, regardless of the multiple ways of how, is that we need to plant such churches, such God communities, precisely to counter that marketplace quid pro quo kind of spirituality. Just because it is reality doesn't make it true spiritually. That kind of worldview on religious committment is precisely what the church, that body of people making Jesus visible in the world, is called to counteract against by creating communities of the opposite value, encouraging disciples to be faithful for a different reason, and to know the benefits of that counterliving are rich indeed. We need to create more and different churches of universalist salvation because it should be a part of our spiritual discipline, our walk with Jesus, to reflect and embody Jesus' values which were communal, missional, getting outside of one's self and acting radically other than the Empire way of acting and thinking and relating. We need to plant such churches, such missions, because we do so from the deepest part of our being in response to the gifts of love the God of Love has given to us, so that this God of Love and not the God of Fear is the one that is made visible in the world. We plant them because we aren't complete and whole if we don't in our spiritual life, for the shape of love is a pouring out into another, the same way God incarnates the world. As Paul Ricouer says, its the Absolute Absolving.

The early church, all those universalists like Paul, knew that the spread of their churches was a core religious necessity because it was the way they did what they were called to do, to participate in Christ, in growing the body of Christ, as Christ grows them. It is the ultimate way of relating to those who are unlike us, which is the way of Jesus. We do it because if we don't there will be more hell on earth, and for that, somehow someway, we will be held accountable.

And remember this all leads to the next understanding that this doesn't mean that what we plant will have to look and be and act like what we understand church to be now, especially if we think of it in those terms as permanent building, set name, paid preacher and staff, set worship time, etc. etc If we think of it in those terms then the chasm that opens up before us between our resources and reality will paralyze us. But if we look with other eyes and other perspectives, then it becomes doable, and is catching. Our God wouldn't have it any other way; if it is done in such a way it seems to engender burnout or despair, then you know it isn't what God is seeking.

Well, thats a few notes I remember making from the short why part of the conversation. Next I will post more on the how. But that stuff, with some changes, you have heard from me before. But it will be another fresher look at the Inside Out Church.

Type rest of the post here

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Christmas Tlm Mass Schedule In The Greater D C Northern Virginia And Baltimore Metro Areas 2012 Check For Updates

UPDATE: 24 DECEMBER, 2012, 2:15 PM





* 10:15 AM, Priory of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Charles Town, WV

To add to this calendar, please send an email to mastersarge "at" bluebottle "dot" com or post a comment below!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Understanding The Pain Of Infertility

Understanding The Pain Of Infertility
It is probably an understatement to say that, in a culture like ours where it is assumed that a person cannot understand something unless he has experienced it for himself, it is controversial for a mother who managed to have four babies in six years to write such a post. But the fact remains that I have had a thought or two on this subject jumbling around in my head for quite some time.

Some of this has been connected to my own pain of losing a pregnancy, the twin of one of my children, and being unable to nurse. I considered these things as "tastes" of the real pain, which is the pain of not being able to bring forth fruit at all.

Infertility has become so widespread that any mention of Mother's Day has become controversial within the church. Instead of recognizing the mothers present, our congregations are compelled to acknowledge the sensitivity of infertile women on such a day. This pain is real, and it smarts on Mother's Day.

I remember sitting through a Mother's Day sermon once, and the pastor was going through what must be one of the standard passages for those men who choose to preach about family life on Mother's Day:

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.

The LORD bless you from Zion!

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!

May you see your children's children!

Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 128And another is like it:

Unless the LORD builds the house,

those who build it labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,

the watchman stays awake in vain.

It is in vain that you rise up early

and go late to rest,

eating the bread of anxious toil;

for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,

the fruit of the womb a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

are the children of one's youth.

Blessed is the man

who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame

when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127The particular pastor I was listening to on the particular Mother's Day of which I was speaking took the sociological route {something I've heard more than once} to help his congregation understand the significance of children to an agrarian, tribal culture. He explained what sort of blessing children, especially sons, were to these people, how they were an economic benefit to their families.

It's not that anything he said was wrong, but I did leave the sermon thinking that he missed the point. After all, the passage is quite objective. The children of a righteous man are "defined" as a reward. They don't magically become such at the age of eight when they can finally be of substantial assistance to their father in the fields; they are blessings from the moment of conception. A table surrounded by the bobbing heads of toddlers is a joy and reward to a righteous man, regardless of whether they are of any financial benefit.

I don't mean this to be a criticism of the pastor, for I believe he was trying his best to get across the blessing of children in a culture where children are seen as the complete opposite, as an imposition and inconvenience. This is the culture which, as standard procedure, takes unnatural and extrordinary means to avoid having babies.

It is this culture, with its inappropriate view of children, that brings such pain to infertile women. Think about it. A culture that doesn't value children thinks that the infertile woman should count her sterile womb as some sort of blessing. I have experienced a tiny taste of this myself, when we saw visible sighs of relief upon hearing that we were unable to have more children.

Our culture subtly sees the infertile woman as "blessed", which is the complete opposite of what Scripture says.

The tragic result of this is that a barren woman in our culture has no comfort and few comforters.

Why in the world, our culture says, is there cause to cry about the fact that you'll never get morning sickness, you'll never have pregnancy weight, you'll never stay up with sick toddlers, you'll never go on a boring field trip, and you'll never face a rebellious teenager?

What our culture overlooks is that bearing fruit is the most natural thing in the world, as much for a woman as for a tree. It is what we were designed to "do", and everything about us screams this truth in our ears when it doesn't go right. "Think" about the creation of woman:

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY AND FILL THE EARTH and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Genesis 1:27-28God created mankind and exhorted them to be fruitful. In a perfect world, this would have happened without incident. The presence of sin made things complicated, but it didn't change what a married woman was intended to be:

The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:20Her very "name" identified her as a fruitful being.

But here we are. The world isn't perfect, and some women never become mothers, or have a really hard time becoming mothers. And this is "painful". It's painful because it isn't "natural" {thank you, Mr. Kern, for affirming this thought to me}.

I remember how I struggled with bitternness when I was unable to nurse my babies well. Measuring powder and water into a bottle and shaking them up was like a slap in the face every single time. This was the most "un"natural way in the world to feed my infant, and I knew it, and so I struggled. Everytime I nursed the baby, I dreaded having to give a supplement afterwards. I tried to be grateful that I wasn't born in some other age, when a mother's insufficient milk supply would mean the death of the child, but the truth was that, for a very long time, I couldn't get over the fact that my body wouldn't do what it was "obviously" designed to do.

This example of nursing problems can lead into the idea that women who require fertility treatments in order to conceive {even though they "can" conceive and bear a child and "are" mothers}, experience their own type of pain. It is not natural to require extensive tests and treatments in order to have children. And needing these things adds a dynamic to the marital relationship that can bring tension.

Until we understand this fact, that infertility in its many forms is "against the design" of the woman, we won't have the proper compassion. Instead, we will say something truly stupid, such as reminding her how many thousands of dirty diapers she'll never have to change.

So what is compassion? What is the alternative to empty platitudes? The answer is probably prayer. We all encounter the pains of a fallen world; sin weighs heavy upon the whole world, and infertility is not unique, nor is it modern:

Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

I Samuel 1:8Hannah's heart contained "bitterness", Scripture tells us, and she begged the LORD to look upon her "misery". I find it interesting that Scripture never condemns her for this. And because it doesn't, we need to rethink any temptation to tell an infertile woman to get over it. Get over what? "Her very nature?" This is not an easy obstacle to overcome.

This does not mean that a woman cannot find comfort in Christ. She can. It does not mean that she can not learn contentment. She can. But far be it from the rest of us to sound the clanging gong of Job's comforters. Rather, may we mourn with those who mourn, and pray for joy in the morning.


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