Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween and All Hollows Eve

The Origins of the Festival: Halloween seems to have grown around the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half. Samhain was in part a sort of harvest festival, when the last crops were gathered in for the winter, and livestock killed and stored. But the pagan Celts also believed it was a time when the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through. A celebration much like our Halloween, with bonfires and feasting on apples and nuts and harvest fruits, was part of pagan worship for centuries. The Britons celebrated in honor of their sun-god with bonfires, a tribute to the light that brought them abundant harvest. At the same time they saluted Samhain, their "lord of death," who was thought to gather together at last the souls of the year's dead which had been consigned to the bodies of animals in punishment for their sins. The practice of wearing spooky costumes may have its roots in that belief: dressing up as a ghost to scare off other ghosts seems to have been the idea. The Romans celebrated the same kind of festival at this time in honor of their goddess Pomona, a patroness of fruits and gardens. 

About All Hallows Eve
It was in the eighth century that the Catholic Church appointed a special date for the feast of All Saints, followed by a day in honor of her soon-to-be saints, the feast of All Souls. She chose this time of year, it is supposed, because in her part of the world it was the time of barrenness on the earth. The harvest was in, the summer done, the world brown and drab and mindful of death. Snow had not yet descended to comfort and hide the bony trees or blackened fields; so with little effort man could look about and see a meditation on death and life hereafter.
Apparently how you spent the vigil of All Saints depended on where you lived in Christendom. In Brittany the night was solemn and without a trace of merriment. On their "night of the dead" and for forty-eight hours thereafter, the Bretons believed the poor souls were liberated from Purgatory and were free to visit their old homes. The vigil for the souls, as well as the saints, had to be kept on this night because of course the two days were consecutive feasts and a vigil is never kept on a feast.
Families prayed by their beloveds' graves during the day, attended church for "black vespers" in the evening and in some parishes proceeded thence to the charnel house in the cemetery to pray by the bones of those not yet buried or for whom no room could be found in the cemetery. Here they sang hymns to call on all Christians to pray for the dead and, speaking for the dead, they asked prayers and more prayers. It was in Ireland and Scotland and England that All Hallows' Eve became a combination of prayer and merriment. Following the break with the Holy See, Queen Elizabeth forbade all observances connected with All Souls' Day. In spite of her laws, however, customs survived; even Shakespeare in his Two Gentlemen of Verona has Speed tell Valentine that he knows he is in love because he has learned to speak "puling like a beggar at Hallowmas." 

Where the Name Comes From
The name Hallowe’en is a shortening of All Hallows’ Even, or All Hallows’ Evening. All Hallows is an old term for All Saints’ Day (Hallow, from the Old English “halig”, or holy, compared with Saint, from the Latin “sanctus”, also meaning holy, or consecrated). In the original Old English, it was known as Eallra H?lgena aefen.

The classic Hallowe’en jack-o’-lantern, a carved grinning pumpkin, is both a new and an ancient practice. Originally, it seems to have come from an old Irish legend of a man called Stingy Jack, a miserly farmer who played a trick on the devil but was too stingy to go to Heaven and too clever to go to hell, so as punishment was cursed to wander the earth, lighting his way with a candle inside a hollowed-out turnip. When the tradition moved to America pumpkins were used instead of turnips.
Trick or Treat
On All Saints’ Day. The idea would be that the beggars would say prayers for the souls of the dead in exchange for food. “Guising”, disguising oneself as a ghoul to fool evil spirits, also took place. Begging at the door grew from an ancient English custom of knocking at doors to beg for a "soul cake" in return for which the beggars promised to pray for the dead of the household. Whether this directly led to the practice of children dressing up as scarecrows and ghosts and going door-to-door demanding sweets with menaces is unclear. It is possible that the tradition emerged independently in America. The first recorded use of the phrase “trick or treat” stems from 1927.

Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.


Día de los Muertos Quotes and Images

Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Inner-Child and Our Physical Body

The inner-child may also be referred to as the subconscious mind or the Unihilipi. Most of us have never given it (inner-child) a moments thought. We live our lives immersed in external stimuli and spend little to no time to check-in with our inner-self. 

Being neglectful of our internal state of affairs is deterimemtal to our physical and psychological wellbeing. 

Our subconscious is responsible for the function of the involuntary systems of our bodies. It also holds all of our memories, experiences and thoughts from the beginning of our creation. The concious mind is generally unaware of the workings of the subconscious yet it (the conscious mind) is directed and sustained by the the subconscious. 

"The autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system or involuntary nervous system) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system that functions largely below the level of consciousness to control visceral functions, including heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), sexual arousal, breathing and swallowing. Most autonomous functions are involuntary but they can often work in conjunction with the somatic nervous system which provides voluntary control."

It is important to spend time everyday with your innerself. You don't need to be a Reiki Master, Yoga Master or Guru to connect with your inner-child. You just need an open mind guided by an open heart and a commitment to love. 

Here is a simple exsersise I do with my energetic meditation group to connect with our inner-child about our physical bodies. If you are inspired you can try it at home on your own. 

Meditation for connection to the physical self

Make sure you are well hydrated and well rested prior to meditation. Find a place where you will not be disturbed. Turn your electronics off. (Mobil phone, computer, etc) Find a comfortable position either seated or laying-down  (If at anytime you become dizzy or you experience "the spins" just open your eyes and look straight ahead. Don't move until the dizziness subsides.)

1. Close your eyes. 

2. Inhale deeply into your belly slowly. Fell your belly rise. 

3. Hold the breath for a moment. 

4. Exhale the breath slowly. Feel your belly flatten. 

5. Hold the emptiness for a moment. 

6. Repeat until you feel your body and mind in a relaxed state. (Careful not to make yourself "light-headed".)

7. Once you are in a more relaxed state begin to check-in with your physical body. Visualize your body from head to toe and scan for any pain, discomfort, or tension. 

8. Each time you find a place that feels a difficulty, breath in a deep cleansing breath filled with white light. If the pain is in your foot, direct the breath to your foot. Bring white light to the area with every inhale and let the pain and stress leave your body with every exhale. Remember that love is a powerful healing tool. Make "I love you" and "Thank you" your mantra as your breath in cleansing white light and exhale that which no longer serves. 

9. Continue to check-in throughout your entire body. Spend as much time as needed in each area. 
Take your time, there is no rush.

10. Complete breathing meditation by inhaling white light through the top of our head and bring the breath down your spine through your legs and exhaling out the bottoms of your feet.

11. Thank your subconscious for guiding your conscious attention to the places in your body that needed healing, love and balance. 

12. Remember to drink plenty of water and keep your love and gratitude mantra (mentally repeating, I love you & Thank you) going throughout the day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

November's Love and Gratitude Boutique

Love and Gratitude are the greatest gifts we can give and receive. As we enter Fall most of us think about changing leaves, Halloween costumes, getting back to school and turkey dinners. While autumn encompasses all those things it is also a wonderful time to give  thanks to the people that make a difference in our lives. 

Lapis Lazuli - Quick Reference
Thankfulness opens our hearts, expands our minds and shows us that even the most mundane experiences are filled with wonder. My blog post "Gratitude, the balm that soothes the soul" includes a ten-minute talk and video presentation that is a feast for the eyes and food for the soul. The images elicit wonder and stir the imagination. Louie Schawrtzberg combines his images with the words of Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast in this moving and breathtaking piece titled “Happiness Revealed”. And the attitude of gratitude is at the root of our deepest joys.

November is a wonderful month to focus on the things we are grateful for. If we are lucky we have family and friends that enrich our lives. Mana Keepers' wants to help you honor these special people with beautiful gifts inspired by Mother Nature. 

Our boutique will be open for three dates in November: 11/9/14 - 2 to 5pm, 11/15/14 - 6 to 10pm (In the Flow Studios Arts), 11/23/14 - 2 to 5pm.

Amazonite Properties - Quick Reference
Mana Keepers has a large selection of stone hearts. The perfect way to gift a lifetime of love and gratitude. We offer nature-made/nature-shaped stones as well as nature-made/artist-shaped stones from all over the world. Dewdrops Images brings the healing power of Mother Nature into everyday lives.

We have hard to find crystals and minerals as well as traditional favorites, nature inspired artwork, photography and music. 

Amethyst Proporties - Quick Reference
Dolphin Totem - Quick Reference
Here are some of the pieces we'll have available. You can use the link under the picture for information about the stone properties.

Red Jasper - Quick Reference
Aqua Aura Meaning - Quick Reference

Adding a little sparkle to your Spring garden

Shiva Lingam Stones: Quick Reference
Hematite Properties - Quick Reference

Malachite - Quick Reference
Clear Quartz Properties - Quick Reference 

We hope you'll stop by, enjoy some tea and maybe find that perfect "thank you" gift. I'd be grateful if you would help get the word out and share as inspired. Thank you, Mahalo, Gracias, Salamat po, Merci
Mana Keepers La Mirada
11/9/14 - 2 to 5pm
11/15/14 - 6 to 10pm (In the Flow Studios Arts)
11/23/14 - 2 to 5pm

For mor info email or visit our Facebook event page at

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chakra Basics

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates as wheel or disc. A chakra is a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy. The chakras are like spinning spheres of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column. Six of these wheels are located in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the middle of the forehead. The seventh is beyond the physical region above the head. Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. 

Seven major chakras or energy centers exist, located within the subtle body. Practitioners of Hinduism learn that the chakras interact with the body's ductless endocrine glands and lymphatic system by feeding in good bio-energies and disposing of unwanted bio-energies. 
Much of the original information on Chakras comes from the "Upanishads", which are difficult to date because they were passed down orally for approximately a thousand years before being written down for the first time between 1200–900 BCE.

The Seven Major Chakras

Muladhara: The Base Chakra or root chakra is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. This centre is located in the region between the genitals and the anus. Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it relates to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight and flight response when survival is under threat. In males, there is a muscle located in this region that controls ejaculation. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell and the ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the kundalini. Muladhara is symbolised by a lotus with four petals and the colour red. Key issues involve sexuality, lust and obsession. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.

Svadisthana: The Sacral Chakra is located in the sacrum and is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle. Svadisthana is also considered to be related to the genitourinary system and the adrenals. The Sacral Chakra is symbolized by a lotus with six petals, and corresponds to the color orange. The key issues involve relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Svadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.

Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. Manipura corresponds to Islets of Langerhans, which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Symbolised by a lotus with ten petals. The color that it corresponds to is yellow. Key issues governed are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.

Anahata: The Heart Chakra is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It produces the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Anahata is symbolised by a lotus flower with twelve petals. Anahata is related to the colors green or pink. Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra relates to communication and growth through expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Symbolised by a lotus with sixteen petals. Vishudda is characterized by the color light or pale blue, or turquoise. It governs such issues as self-expression and communication. Physically, Vishuddha governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.

Ajna: The Brow Chakra (also known as the third eye chakra) is linked to the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and awakening. Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the color white, indigo or deep blue. Ajna's key issues involve balancing the higher & lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level.

Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra is generally considered to be the chakra of pure consciousness. Its role is somewhat similar to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness. Symbolized by a lotus with one thousand petals, it is located at the crown of the head. Sahasrara is represented by the color violet and it involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of the body. Sahasrara's inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with "beingness"

Endocrine system
The primary importance and level of existence of chakras is in the psyche. However, chakras have a physical manifestation as well. There is a relationship between the positions and functions of the chakras and of the various organs of the endocrine system. There is a marked similarity between the positions and roles of the chakras, and the positions and roles of the glands in the endocrine system, and also by the positions of the nerve ganglia (also known as "plexuses") along the spinal cord (branching to plexuses by endocrine glands or organs), interconnecting the two systems. Chakras have their physical manifestation in the body as these glands and their subjective manifestation as the associated emotional, mental, and spiritual experiences.

Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.