Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

As Within, So Without

Posted: March 10, 2014 by phaedrap1 in Occult, Spirituality

“We are what we eat”. A well-worn phrase, but a true one. Our physical constitution depends absolutely on the provision from external sources of all of the various nutrients – be they water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, mineral or vitamin – that our body requires both for short term metabolism and for long term growth, repair and adaptation.

Similarly, although less obviously, we are what we breath – the constant exchange of air via lungs and bloodstream internalizes, binds or solubilizes and distributes our gaseous environment throughout our body as a constant and essential process, maintaining appropriate pH balance, partial pressures and oxidative potential both inside and outside every cell.

Less obvious still, but just as inevitable and essential for the maintenance of the body, is the constant exchange of etheric energy – of “chi”, “prana” or “num” between the internal and the external environment.   Much of the focus of holistic therapeutics is on extending our awareness of the body beyond the biochemical, biomechanical model, embracing the reality of each person as an interwoven complex of body, mind and spirit, with patterns of health and dis-ease moving between and influencing each level, the “above and below” mirroring and patterning each other and allowing powerful healing to occur throughout the system with even the gentlest and least intrusive of therapeutic attention.

The mystery traditions hold that spirit moves into matter for self-expression, experience of all manner of relationship, and consequent self awareness, development and evolution. Patterns and energy forms held by the individual spirit are expressed from the higher vibrational bodies through the increasingly dense levels of consciousness down into the mental, emotional, etheric and finally physical bodies, where the soul can experience itself in an intense and inevitably self-reflective fashion. Imbalances and traumas held in any of the vibrational bodies will gradually move into matter, becoming manifest in the physical body and the outer worldly life where issues can be experienced and interacted with in a tangible form. Healing can therefore often be most effectively directed towards the source of the trauma and imbalance rather than at the more obvious, outer level, and herein lies the virtue of therapeutic strategies that address the more subtle, patterning levels of the human consciousness complex.  Ultimately, all levels can be brought into balance through healing directed towards the subtle energies of the spirit itself, although this may in some cases involve a longer and less immediately dramatic shift in outer circumstances than the “magic bullets” of a more symptomatically-oriented approach.  These concepts are no longer new to us, and the language of holism as applied to the individual is becoming more widespread and sophisticated. We are still more culturally conscious and skilled with the relationship between body and mind than we are with the interface with spirit however, and this is especially true in the context of environmental parameters influencing health.

It is not sufficient to look at the individual alone and out of context with their environment when addressing health, healing and wellness. We exist in relationship to every aspect of our lives and environment – to place, to circumstance and to other people. Biological membranes are semi-permeable. There is no real isolation from that which is around us – rather a constant exchange occurs. We are what we eat – nutrition is an essential and grossly overlooked aspect of healthcare and wellness strategies. We are what we breath. These things we understand and embrace, even though we may be lazy in acting on their implications. But the third element of spirit – elusive and often given only lip-service even in allegedly holistic therapeutic models, is almost entirely neglected in the environmental context.   Metaphysically speaking, the body of the earth is no different from the body of a person. That is to say, as well as having a tangible, physical body, it also has an etheric body, an emotional body, a mental body, and higher spiritual bodies. The individual human is in relationship with each one of these at our own, corresponding level. This is also true at the community and cultural level, in which the collective energetic consciousness of the human community interacts with the energy field of place.   Primal and indigenous cultures had a keen awareness of and a rich relationship with the spirit and consciousness of place, and took this into consideration above and beyond all other factors in directing the focus and activity of the community.

The consequence at a cultural level of having shifted our paradigm in relating to place as something having only a physical, material nature is apparent in the environmental crisis that surrounds us on all sides. Any amount of reducing consumption, recycling and re-using will not solve our problems – nothing less than a paradigm shift to reconnect with the spirit and consciousness of our environment will bring us back into right relationship. At an individual level, the consequence of “wrong relationship” with place is that of geopathic stress.

Geopathic stress is typically defined as prolonged, repeated exposure to damaging earth energies. Consequences include disease and dysfunction of a repeating or chronic nature, unresponsive to therapeutic intervention and typically showing up after a move to a new domestic or work location. Sleeping long and waking tired, and other dysfunctions of biological rhythms is typical. Geopathic stress is most easily identified and assessed through dowsing, kinesiology or vega analysis, and the energy fields causing it relate to various tangible and intangible elements in the earths structure, both physical and energetic. Essentially, earth energies are the “chi paths” or meridians of the earth’s energetic body – similar to those worked with by Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners in the practice of acupuncture. These planetary chi paths have gone by many names – they are dragons, they are spirit paths, they are song lines, they are energy leys or ley lines, they are the shamanic “lines of the world”. They also follow underground water courses, faults and fractures, and mineral and crystal seams.   Energetically aware cultures have sought out power centers, where the earth’s energies are strongly focused, for spiritual practices including healing and divination. By contrast, they place their domestic sites where the dragons’ breath is sweet and gentle.   Spending extended periods of time in the path of either strong or grumpy dragons creates stress and trauma to the equivalent energy body of the individual, with consequent imbalances developing in the mental, emotional and physical bodies. In addition to the direct effect of the earth’s energies on the human etheric body, place memory – mostly human psychic and emotional residue – impacts the human emotional body, and our higher spiritual bodies can be affected by spirit presences, both human and non-human that are place associated.

Healing and energy balancing can be directed towards place and environment in exactly the same way as towards an individual, and indeed many therapeutic techniques need little adaptation for use in working with landscape.   What is mostly lacking is the awareness of this level of relationship. In growing back into this awareness, there are two cautionary considerations. Firstly, energy fields that are harmful to a person may allow other species to thrive. Fruiting trees and many domesticated animals are injuriously affected by the ‘yin chi” associated with underground water for example, perhaps the source of 85% or so of geopathic stress as it affects humans. Medicinal herbs, members of the nightshade family, burrowing animals, bees and insects and everything that lives in your compost heap simply adores such energy however. Geopathic stress is a condition of unaware relationship, of people placing themselves in what are for them adverse locations. It is certainly possible to change and balance such energies to render them harmless to humans, however if we do this on a planetary scale we will be creating desert conditions for many other species, with awful karmic consequences for ourselves. Balance, balance, balance. Secondly, it is important to be aware that while the spirit of place does not have the pro-active consciousness of free will granted to humans, it has vastly more psychic mass and inertia than we do individually. Healers are well aware of the potential for their own energies to become imbalanced or traumatized through interacting with the imbalances and traumas of their patients and clients. This potential is vastly greater when working with imbalance and trauma in the landscape, and collaborative efforts, such as Fountain Groups, where healing is directed into the landscape by groups sitting together in meditation with healing intent, are very valuable in offering support and increasing effectiveness. The practice of relating to and working with earth energies and the Spirit of Place is called geomancy – literally translating as “divination of the earth”. There are many ancient traditions of geomancy, including that of the Native American and the ancient Celt, the Greek and the Roman, the increasingly popularised Chinese tradition of Feng Shui, and the Hindu tradition of the Vastu Veda. All of these are codes of practice relating to their own culture and time period, and much can be learned by their study. Our challenge today is to reconnect, re-engage, and create a contemporary geomantic paradigm, based on the central, generic and universal principles, contemporary to our own culture, language and symbolism, vibrant, vital and accessible to all.

Copyright © 2014Patrick MacManaway. All Rights Reserved.

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Your Aura And How It Affects Others

Posted: March 8, 2014 by phaedrap1 in Occult, Spirituality
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  Have you ever noticed people who simply make you feel good by just looking at them?

Have you ever observed someone for the first time and knew there was something off with this person, even though that particular person never said a word to you? As more experiments are conducted within this field, we are finding more and more astonishing results.

 

For example, Russian professor Konstantin Korotkov found that upon death, the human aura will continue to change for approximately 72 hours after being pronounced clinically dead.  Korotkov stated, “We are developing the idea that our consciousness is part of the material world and that with our consciousness we can directly influence our world.”

You can’t hide your aura

Everything you know and see can boil down to energy. Plants, trees and even inanimate objects such as gemstones, can exhibit an aura. Your aura is a body of energy generated around you. It is basically the world’s best detector of human emotion and can show the “real you” no matter how hard you try to hide it.

For example, I was at a conference a few years ago and noticed the aura of the woman who was taking publicity photos. Her aura was a dark red. I asked the woman I was with if she could see this photographers aura as well, and she confirmed the same color.I then said to the photographer, “Hi, how are you doing?” to which she responded how she was out late the previous night and was really tired today.

Her aura, however, said that she really didn’t want to be there that particular day.

Even without seeing her aura, one could sense her energy, which may be more apparent to empaths than to others. Perhaps empaths are more sensitive to the auric field?

Empaths and the auric field

Your aura reflects the energy that you are currently experiencing as well as your overall psyche and emotional state of being.

Empaths are affected by other people’s energies and have the innate ability to intuitively perceive and feel other people. While we all have this ability, some people are more in tune to it than others.

This, in turn, may help to explain how auras and energies can affect other people for what seems to be no apparent reason. For example, an empath will take on the energies of everyone, including the good, the bad and the ugly energies. A skilled empath will acknowledge them and will know how to discharge or deflect these energies while most people unknowingly absorb them.

Kirlian photography of the aura

Through Kirlian photography, the human aura can be photographed. The colors of your aura reflect the colors in the chakra system. The lower three chakras are red (base chakra), orange (sacral chakra) and yellow (solar plexus chakra) while the higher four are green (heart chakra), blue (throat chakra), indigo (third eye chakra) and violet (crown chakra).  Kirlian photography is a collection of photographic techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges. It is named after Semyon Kirlian, who, in 1939 accidentally discovered that if an object on a photographic plate is connected to a high-voltage source, an image is produced on the photographic plate. The technique has been variously known as “electrography”, “electrophotography”, “corona discharge photography” (CDP), “bioelectrography”, “gas discharge visualization (GDV)”, “electrophotonic imaging (EPI)”, and, in Russian literature, “Kirlianography”.

How the color of your aura can help you

As mentioned, the aura follows the colors of your chakras and will give you an idea of where you are at and what you can do. Keep in mind that there are no “bad” aura colors because we can learn something from each color. If your aura is in the lower three chakras (red, orange or yellow) then chances are, you are undergoing physical plane experiences that relate to survival, sexual or emotional issues.

MessageToEagle.com via Gregg Prescott, M.S. /in5d.com.

As Above So Below

Posted: September 28, 2013 by phaedrap1 in Occult, Spirituality
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To understand the healing power behind 432Hz, you must first learn about another frequency, 8Hz. It is said that 8Hz is the fundamental “beat” of the planet. The heartbeat of the Earth is better known as Schumann resonance and is named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann, who documented it mathematically in 1952.

Schumann resonance is a global electromagnetic resonance, which has its origin in electrical discharges of lightning within the cavity existing between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This cavity resonates with electromagnetic waves in the extremely low frequencies of approximately 7.86Hz – 8Hz.

The “ordinary” thought waves created by the human brain range from 14Hz to 40Hz. This range only includes certain types of dendrites belonging to brain cells, predominantly within the left (the more rational) hemisphere of the brain, which is the center of activity.

If the two hemispheres of our brain are synchronized with each other at 8Hz, they work more harmoniously and with a maximum flow of information. In other words, the frequency of 8Hz seems to be the key to the full and sovereign activation potential of our brain.

8Hz is also the frequency of the double helix in DNA replication. Melatonin and Pinoline work on the DNA, inducing an 8Hz signal to enable metosis and DNA replication. A form of body temperature superconductivity is evident in this process.

On the musical scale where A has a frequency of 440Hz, the note C is at about 261.656 Hz. On the other hand, if we take 8Hz as our starting point and work upwards by five octaves (i.e. by the seven notes in the scale five times), we reach a frequency of 256Hz in whose scale the note A has a frequency of 432Hz.

According to the harmonic principle by which any produced sound automatically resonates all the other multiples of that frequency, when we play C at 256 Hz, the C of all other octaves also begins to vibrate in “sympathy” and so, naturally, the frequency of 8Hz is also sounded. This is why (together with many other mathematical reasons) the musical pitch tuned to 432 oscillations per second is known as the “scientific tuning.”

This tuning was unanimously approved at the Congress of Italian musicians in 1881 and recommended by the physicists Joseph Sauveur and Felix Savart as well as by the Italian scientist Bartolomeo Grassi Landi.

In contrast, the frequency chosen in London in 1953 as the worldwide reference frequency and which all music today has been tuned to, has come to be defined as ‘disharmonic’ because it has no scientific relationship to the physical laws that govern our universe

According to the above information, playing and listening to music that has been tuned to 432Hz would make your body, and the organic world which surrounds it, resonate in a natural way. This would fill you with a sense of peace and well-being, regardless of the kind of song chosen to play or listen to.

Opening your ears for music that has been tuned to the “scientific” 432Hz frequency would benefit the entire planet and everyone who lives on it, while listening to music tuned to the “disharmonic” 440Hz frequency does harm by causing stress, negative behaviors and unstable emotions.

Listening to 432Hz music resonates inside your body, releases emotional blockages, and expands consciousness. 432Hz music allows you to tune into the knowledge of the universe around us in a more intuitive way.

Karol Jankowiak is an artist, technologist, independent sound researcher, and educated philosopher. He is the founder of Attuned Vibrations, where he promotes the healing 432 Hz and other alternative tuning methods. Born with sensitive ears and natural curiosity, he left corporate life to help and assist others in rediscovering their true potential as vibrational beings.  Visit Karol’s website, Attuned Vibrations, or follow him on Facebook.
– See more at: http://www.thehealersjournal.com/2013/06/05/how-to-harness-the-healing-power-of-earths-natural-vibration-with-sound/#sthash.OuL0B69g.dpuf

Secrets of Siberian Shamanism

Posted: June 12, 2013 by phaedrap1 in Occult, Spirituality

By MICHAEL HOWARD

Today, especially in New Age circles, the term ‘shamanism’ is often used in a generalised way to describe all kinds of indigenous magical practices in a wide range of cultures worldwide. It has also been projected back into a past that it never had, so we can find modern books on so-called ‘Celtic shamanism’ and even ‘Ancient Egyptian shamanism’. Modern writers on the subject such as Dr. Michael Harner have also created what is called ‘core shamanism’ or ‘urban shamanism’. 

This takes the essence of shamanic beliefs and practices and repackages them in a safe, sanitised and often diluted form that is acceptable for Western seekers of alternative spirituality. In this article, however, we examine and describe the real ‘core shamanism’ as it has been practised for hundreds of years in its homeland of Siberia and the Turkic-speaking areas of Mongolia, and where it is now being revived.

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries the area known as Siberia was colonised by the Russians. They were led there by its abundance of wild animals that created a flourishing trade in animal skins and furs. The Tsars used the income from this enterprise to boost their economy and access the foreign currency that helped create the Russian empire. The influx of Russian hunters, fur traders and merchants drastically affected the local population, which consisted of many different tribes. By the 1900s the native population had dwindled to about 10% of the total people living in Siberia. Along with the fur traders there also came missionaries and, in later times, anthropologists. The former were interested in converting the indigenous population to Orthodox Christianity, while the latter wanted to study their tribal culture, spiritual beliefs and ritual practices. Both these groups of outsiders contacted the tribal shamans of Siberia and, for totally different reasons, recorded and commented upon their religious observances.

The earliest references to magical practitioners that could be described as shamans in fact date back to the 13th century. It was then that the first Western travellers penetrated Central Asia and visited the court of the Mongol rulers. The explorer Marco Polo, for instance, met magicians who were healers and could diagnosis diseases by the use of divination. Polo says they became possessed by what he described as “a devil,” who then used their vocal chords to speak through them.

However, it was an English explorer called Richard Johnston in the 16th century who first described what sounds very like the activities of shamans proper. He reported witnessing a tribal priest wearing animal skins and playing a drum “shaped like a great sieve” in “devilish rites.” During the ritual the drummer fell into a trance and was possessed by “evil spirits.”

In 1692 another Western explorer, Nicholas Witsen, described seeing a “shaman” or “priest of the Devil.” He was clad in ritual regalia, consisting of an antlered head-dress and a richly decorated robe, and chanted and beat on a drum to attract the spirits. Generally, reflecting the Catholic culture they came from, these Westerners regarded the shamans as fanatical “devil worshippers” who forced their ignorant and uneducated followers to serve evil spirits and demons.

What is Siberian Shamanism?

The meaning of the word ‘shaman’ is shrouded in linguistic mystery and various explanations have been put forward for its origin. One theory is that it is possibly derived from an ancient Chinese term for a Buddhist priest or monk. The Oxford English Dictionary defines its meaning as “a priest or witch-doctor [sic] of (a) class claiming to have sole contact with gods etc.” It says the word comes from the Russian “shaman” and is a translation of the Tungusion word “saman.” In Siberia and Mongolia, shamanism was known as Tengerism, meaning a reverence for sky spirits. It reflected an animistic belief system where everything in the natural world was alive, permeated by spirit force or, in simple terms, inhabited by spirits.

These spirits had to be respected and appeased or else the land would become infertile and barren, the animals relied upon for food would disappear and eventually the world would come to an end. To achieve this essential and vital balance between humans, nature and the spirit world, a magical specialist was required and the shaman took that role. He or she acted as an intermediary or middle person between humanity and the Other, and a caretaker of cultural and magical tradition. Their job involved conducting blessings, especially on new-born babies, performing rituals of protection, divining the future, healing the sick, exorcising ghosts and demons, overseeing the burial of the dead, and generally communicating on behalf of the tribe with the spirit world and its denizens.

Initiation into the shamanic cult could be achieved in several different ways. The easiest was the hereditary route where magical knowledge, power and skill were passed down from grandfather or father to son or, more rarely, from grandmother or mother to daughter. Sometimes children were chosen at a very early age or even at birth by the spirits and instructed by them through the medium of visions and dreams. Young people who suffered a serious illness or disease or from epileptic fits, were introverted and dreamy, or had any form of mental condition or disability, were regarded as natural shamans who had been specially chosen by the spirits.

In later life those who felt a strong calling to become a magical practitioner would retreat from society, usually to a remote place in the wilderness, and undergo a vigil during which they invited the spirits to contact them and teach them the shamanic ways. When a person was actually taken on by another shaman as his assistant or sorcerer’s apprentice, a formal initiation rite was often carried out. The candidate offered an animal sacrifice, called on the spirits to aid them in their task, took an oath of loyalty to their shamanic master or spiritual clan, and accepted the special ritual regalia of a shaman’s office.

Often these initiations by either another shaman or the spirits involved a traumatic visionary death and rebirth experience. Sometimes this included a journey to the underworld, meetings with deities and the would-be shaman’s body being dismembered and then put together again.

The ritual regalia given to the new shaman reflected the fact that he or she was a special person who was separate and different from other members of the tribe. Siberian shamans wore robes made from animal hide and fur and decorated with embroidery, bird’s feathers, silk tassels, ribbons, bells, small mirrors, jewellery representing symbolic motifs such as the World Tree, and assorted metalwork such as copper discs. Headwear consisted of a conical or pointed cap made from felt or fur or the antlers of a reindeer. Some shamans wore iron-shod fur boots so when they stamped their feet they could drive away evil spirits.

The majority of shamans carried a ritual drum similar in shape to the traditional Irish bodhran. These were made from an animal skin stretched over a wooden frame and decorated with feathers and magical symbols representing spirit journeys to the Otherworld or the shamanic cosmology. The drum was very important and represented the symbolic and magical steed that enabled the practitioner to travel from Middle Earth to the realm of the spirits. It was also a magical object in its own right that contained and focused spirit force or energy. By playing it the shaman could both attract spirits and exorcise them. In addition to the drum a magical staff was often carried. This was made of either wood or metal and was decorated with feathers, bells, ribbons and the pelts of small woodland animals.

Different Types of Shaman

Although Westerners used the generic term ‘shaman’ to describe all the tribal magical practitioners of Siberia and Mongolia, in practice they were divided into several different types, categories or classes with specific magical duties and responsibilities. Using English terminology, these included ‘conjurors’ who summoned and controlled spirits, prophets or psychics who foresaw the future, sorcerers who practised ‘black magic’, trance-workers who travelled in spirit form to the Otherworld, healers who were experts in folk medicine and herbalism, and guides to the dead who laid out corpses and conducted funeral rites.

The shaman-healers were often female and they specialised in health matters connected with human and animal fertility, sexuality and children. They were recognisable by their distinctive skirts made from animal hide and brightly coloured woollen hats. Instead of the ritual drum used by the male shamans, they carried a silk fan and prayer beads. Unfortunately when Buddhism came to Siberia and Mongolia many of these female healers were ruthlessly persecuted and exterminated by the misogynist monks. As a result their extensive knowledge of herbs and plants used for natural healing was either lost completely or taken over by Buddhist healers and only practised in a debased or diluted form.

Another female practitioner was the shaman-midwife, who inherited her power from the maternal line of familial descent. As well as ensuring that babies entered this world safely in a physical sense, she was also responsible for their spiritual protection from evil influences during birth and their well-being as children. In this sense she took on the role of a human fairy godmother. Immediately after a birth the shaman-midwife cut the umbilical cord and then purified the new-born baby with salt water and fire. Any (female only) witnesses to the birth could only be present if they had first been ritually purified by the midwife with fire and water. During the first few weeks of a baby’s life it was very important that the proper rituals were performed to protect the child until its spirit was fully established in the material world. If they were not performed properly then the baby’s spirit might return from whence it had come. These essential rites were the responsibility of the shaman-midwife and her assistants.

Another type of shamanic healer was a bone-setter who called upon spirit guides to help them in their healing work. They mainly repaired broken and dislocated bones and torn ligaments, healed back pain caused by spinal injuries or disease and also skin infections such as boils, rashes, psoriasis and eczema. These gifts were inherited from the paternal side of the family and, because the bones of the human body were considered to be spiritually ‘masculine’ in nature, these shamanic bone-setters were always male.

Most of the shamans worked with what modern New Agers call animal allies or spirit-helpers in animal form. These entities assisted them with their magical work and also taught them. For instance, the shaman-midwives described above worked with an animal spirit in the form of a mountain fox. The first bone-setter is supposed to have been taught his skills by a snake so that creature was sacred to the clan. Other shamanic practitioners were assisted by reindeer or wolves for attacking and destroying evil spirits, and ravens for getting rid of diseases. Other important animal spirit helpers included owls, wild ducks, geese, squirrels, bears, frogs and toads, dogs, seagulls and eagles.

One of the most important and respected types of magical practitioners was the shaman-smith. In all cultures all over the world from Europe to Africa the smith took a central role in tribal society and was regarded as a powerful magician or sorcerer because of his mastery over fire and skill in working with metal. There are many legends about blacksmiths making pacts with demons, gods or the Devil or tricking and outwitting them to acquire their skills. There are also many smith gods in ancient mythology who were magicians, made weapons for the Gods or acted as cultural exemplars by inventing agricultural tools. In Siberia the shaman-smiths made and magically consecrated the ritual metal objects used by other shamans. They were only chosen by the spirits and instead of a drum they used their anvils to communicate with the spiritual realm.

‘Black’ & ‘White’ Shamans

As well as the different types of magical practitioner, the shamans were also divided into two separate, but sometimes overlapping, categories – ‘black’ or ‘white’ shamans. The former were regarded as the most powerful of the two and were sometimes known as ‘warrior-shamans’ because they battled evil forces and were consulted as military advisors. They obtained their power from the north (possibly the North Pole or the North Star) and could be easily identified as they always wore black robes with very little, if any, decoration. The primary function of the black shaman was to deal with demons and the dark gods on behalf of their clients. In this role they were hired to curse their enemies and blight their crops and livestock.

In wartime the black shamans attached themselves to the army rather like the modern padres and helped to win battles using their occult powers. In peacetime they took a more positive role as diplomats, political advisors and emissaries and they oversaw the preparation and signing of treaties with the appropriate magical rites. Black shamans were greatly feared, even after their deaths. In the 19th century when a famous one died she was placed in a coffin made from the ‘unclean’ wood of an aspen. Her corpse was then nailed down with aspen stakes so she could not become a ‘night walker’ and haunt the living.

In contrast, the so-called ‘white’ shamans obtained their magical power from a westerly direction, the home of the benevolent deities and spirits. They operated at a tribal level almost exclusively as healers and diviners and they only had dealings with beneficent entities. It was their role to pacify angry or evil spirits, exorcise them if they possessed human beings and help the tribe live in harmony with their natural environment and the spirit world. To this end on a physical level they were often employed in an administrative role to oversee tribal affairs.

The Yurt, the World Tree & Spirit Flight

In Siberian and especially Mongolian shamanism the yurt, a traditional dwelling constructed from a framework of wooden poles covered with animal skins and with a central smoke-hole in the roof, was a microcosmic symbol or representation of the universe. For this reason all movement inside the yurt was conducted, if at all possible, in a deosil or sunways direction. This also reflected the traditional direction of movement used in shamanic rituals and dances. The centre of the yurt, where a fire burnt in a hearth and was seldom extinguished, was symbolic of the actual centre of the world or universe. The column of smoke that drifted up from the fire and left the yurt through the central smoke-hole in the roof was symbolic of the axis mundi – the World Mountain, World Pillar or World Tree. This links the underworld below with the heavens above and ends at the North and Pole Star around which all the other stars revolve in the night sky.

The shamans believed in three worlds of existence connected together by the World Tree or Tree of Life. They were the lower world or underworld inhabited by the dead who are awaiting reincarnation, the middle world or Middle Earth, the material plane of existence in which human spirits are incarnated, and the upper world or Heaven, the dwelling place of the Gods. Numerous non-human spirits also inhabit each of these three worlds. The shaman can access these other worlds in trance by means of spirit travel. His soul body ascends the column of smoke from the fire and passes through the aperture in the roof of the yurt. It is interesting to note that in medieval times European witches were supposed to fly to their Sabbats by ascending the chimney on their broomsticks. It is obvious that this was not done physically so they also were practising a shamanic type of spirit flight.

Shamans can also fly through the air when they spirit travel, either by shapeshifting into the form of birds (such as geese) or by riding on the back of a flying deer, horse or some other large animal. Again, there are many woodcuts dating from the Middle Ages depicting witches riding through the night sky on the backs of goats and rams. Sometimes the shaman visited the spirit world by ascending the World Tree itself or by travelling along a rainbow. This is another symbol that is found in Northern European paganism where a rainbow bridge connects Midgard (Middle Earth) with Asgard, the realm of the Gods.

One of the methods used by the Siberian shamans to achieve trance and spirit travel was the hallucinogenic fungi amanita muscaria or fly agaric. This red capped white-spotted toadstool has a symbiotic relationship with both birch and fir trees, which grow profusely in northern and arctic climes. It is so closely associated with magical properties in myth and fairy tales that it is frequently depicted in illustrations to modern children’s stories about woodland elves, faeries and goblins. Fly agaric is reputed to be able to open up the ‘crack between the worlds’ and experiments in the 20th century by the two well-known ethonomycologists Gordon and Valentina Wasson revealed the ethenogenic qualities of this most famous of ‘sacred mushrooms’.

In Siberia fly agaric was sometimes fed to reindeer and then the animal’s toxic urine is drank. The shamans said that taking it put them in touch with the spirit of the plant, who appeared as small mushrooms with eyes and arms and legs attached. Needless to say that in large quantities fly agaric is highly poisonous and can be deadly. It must, as with all hallucinogenic plants used in magical practice, be used in small quantities, treated with respect and only taken after the proper spiritual preparation and then only under expert supervision. It should also be noted that in many countries fly agaric and other psychedelic fungi are classified as dangerous drugs and the possession or partaking of them is illegal.

In common with indigenous folk beliefs in the West, it was accepted in shamanism that the spirit world was not entirely separated from the material one. There are special places in the natural environment – sacra loci – where the two realms meet and touch and interconnect. These can be a sacred mountain or hill, a stone, a river, a lake, a forest or any natural landmark in the countryside. While the shaman may be able to access such ‘gateways’ or ‘portals’ between here and there easily, lesser mortals may be unaware of them or, if they are sensitive, they may feel they are ‘different’ or ‘other’. Spooky places, whether natural sites in the landscape or buildings, associated with folklore, paranormal phenomena and hauntings are usually spirit gateways.

In shamanistic belief all inanimate objects were inhabited or possessed by spirit energy or force who controlled their environs. Some shamans taught that living beings, especially human ones, could have more than one spirit inhabiting their physical body. Many accepted that humans had an etheric, astral or spirit double and this could be projected in trance or spirit travel to roam over the Earth and also enter the Otherworld. The shamans believed that the soul of a human being resided in a spherical or ovoid energy field that surrounds each of us. It is probably what Western occultists would refer to as the auric field or aura. It was this energy field that was attacked by demons or black shamans when they psychically attacked their victims and in that way they could cause illness or death. It was the task of the white shaman to redress the balance by healing the damaged aura and if possible bring the victim back to full health.

Earlier we saw how animals were important clan totems and spirit guides to the shaman. Before the 20th century and the rise of industrial scale food production, hunting was widespread on the Siberian steppes and in the forests. Unlike Christian belief, it was accepted without question that animals had souls and when hunting them down and killing them it was essential that their sprits were respected and appeased. If they were not, disaster and misfortune could befall the hunter, his family and tribe. When a hunter killed his prey it was always despatched quickly, cleanly and without cruelty. Before it was killed the hunter apologised for having to do so and after death its remains were treated with care and respect. The same rule applied to domestic animals. A master animal spirit ruled each species and prayers and sacrificial offerings of incense and fire were made to them before the hunt began. Hunting purely for pleasure, as practised in the West, was an unknown concept.

Buddhism & the Stamping Out of Shamanism

Despite the early arrival of the fur traders and merchants in Siberia and Mongolia, shamanism survived. In the 16th century, however, a Mongolian ruler called Altan Khan invited a Tibetan Buddhist mission to the country. His motives were political as he wanted to consolidate his own position as the supreme tribal leader by claiming to be the reincarnation of the great Kubla Khan. The Buddhists agreed to recognise his claim and in return the Khan gave the head of the Buddhist Order the spiritual title of Dalai Lama, which of course exists today even though the present holder is in exile in India. As a result of the Khan’s one conversion, he passed laws banning shamanic rituals and granted the Buddhist priesthood a special status in society and privileges that were not granted to the shamans.

In the 17th century attempts were made by the Mongolian rulers to eradicate shamanic survival entirely. The black shaman brotherhood refused to submit to the new religion and many were killed. Some of the white shamans came to an accommodation with it. This led to the creation of a third way called ‘yellow shamanism’ that submitted to the control of the lamas and combined shamanic beliefs and practices with Tibetan Buddhism.

During the 18th century in Siberia, Buddhist, Orthodox Christian and Muslim missionaries attempted to convert the native population and opposed the practice of all rival religions. Considering their modern peaceful and pacifist image, the Buddhist monks were the most severe in this respect and they hunted down shamans, beat them and destroyed their sacred sites, replacing them with their own image-filled shrines. The Russian Orthodox Church also forced the pagan tribes to accept baptism at the point of a sword and they flogged or imprisoned anyone who dared to practice shamanic rites such as divination and animal sacrifice.

Despite this religious persecution, shamanism survived the forced conversions and it continued underground in remote rural areas. Sometimes shamanic elements were incorporated into an unorthodox form of folk Christianity that flourished despite the censure of the priests. This movement produced hybrid sects who coincided their sacrifices with Church festivals and made offerings to saints. Some shamans accepted the patron saints of Russia, SS George and Michael, as their deities. St Michael was even given the honorary title of ‘Master of the Shamans’ and blood sacrifices were made to his icons.

After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, shamanism had a brief revival as the power and influence of the Orthodox Russian Church and Buddhism in Siberia faded away. However, with the beginning of the bloody Stalinist regime in the 1920s, the new policy of agricultural collectivism caused drastic changes in Siberian society. The Soviet communists regarded the shamans as an example of primitive superstition and social inequality and they were condemned as enemies of the state. There are horrific stories of KGB agents throwing shamans out of helicopters to prove to their followers that they could not fly and also randomly executing them by firing squad. In 1980 the central government in Moscow claimed that shamanism was extinct in Siberia.

When Professor Ronald Hutton of Bristol University visited Siberia in the early 1980s he was told by experts in the field that there were no more shamans alive and shamanism had died out. At the time he accepted this, but later he came to believe that a number of former shamans had managed to survive the pograms. With the collapse of Soviet communism in the later 1980s and early 1990s there was a revival of traditional culture among the ethnic peoples of the former USSR. Professor Hutton has described an encounter by some British musicians visiting Siberia in 1997 with a person who claimed to be a hereditary shaman. He said he had inherited his powers and knowledge from his grandfather, who had been a blacksmith, and he used his skills for healing and exorcising evil spirits.

Tengrism

In the 1990s a neo-shamanic movement known as Tengrism arose in Central Asia and the new Russian Federation. It quickly organised itself and now claims a rather inflated membership of 500,000. One of its prominent leaders is a Kyrgyzstan Member of Parliament called Dastan Sarygulov, who also runs an international scientific centre for Tengrist studies. Its members have a political agenda and attempt to spread their beliefs and ideology in government circles. Apparently they have had some success as a former Kyrgyz president and the present President of Kazakhstan have both declared that Tengrism is the natural and national religion of the Turkic population.

Unlike the shamanism of former times, Tengrism is a monotheistic form of religion with a cosmology that is suitable for the modern world. It is firmly based on trendy ‘green’ or environmental concerns and believes that humanity should live in harmony with the natural world. Forgetting or ignoring the persecution of the past, it also preaches tolerance towards other religions and seeks to co-exist with them in the spirit of interfaith. Strangely it is also a religion without dogma, prayers or a priesthood. The American academic Marlene Larvelle, who has studied Tengrism, claims that it has been influenced by the atheism of the Soviet years and contemporary ideas about modernity. Its political agenda calls for a recognition of Turkic national ideals and the ultimate unification of all Turkic-speaking peoples.

The revival of shamanism in its modern Tengrist form would seem to hearken back to a romantic past that probably never existed in reality. Its increasing popularity among urban Russians is based on an idyllic image of yurts on the steppes, a nomadic lifestyle and living in harmony with nature. This is in direct contrast to the struggle of daily existence in a modern neo-capitalist and corrupt society governed by autocratic rulers.

An inner desire to reconnect with the natural world and follow spiritual values in a technocratic consumer society, a romantic view of the past and an urge to ‘save the planet’ is also the driving force behind so-called ‘urban shamanism’ in the West. However, the Siberian shaman and his Mongolian counterpart were not so much interested in preserving the environment than surviving day by day appeasing the spirits they believed inhabited it. In that sense the shamanism of the past was an essential part of daily life.

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Select Bibliography

Dr. Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Princetown University Press, USA, 1972)

Professor Ronald Hutton, Siberian Shamanism and the Western Imagination (Hambledon and London, UK, 2001)

Terence McKenna, Food of the Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution (Bantam Press, USA 1992)

Marlene Laurelle, ‘Tengrism: In Search of Central Asia’s Spiritual Roots’ in Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst, www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/3837 (22 March 2008), and www.tengerism.org.

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MICHAEL HOWARD has been studying occultism, magic, folklore and witchcraft for over forty years and lives in England. He is the editor and publisher of the witchcraft magazine The Cauldron and can be contacted by writing to BM Cauldron, London, WC1N 3XX, England or emailing: mike@the-cauldron.fsnet.co.uk.

The Human Energy Field

Posted: May 18, 2013 by phaedrap1 in Spirituality
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The Seven Levels of the Human Energy Field and Corresponding Chakras

Each level of the Human Energy Field has a corresponding chakra, a spinning vortex receiving and exchanging energy from the Universal Energy Field. Each chakra has its own unique frequency.

1.Etheric Level and Base
The Etheric Level is a structured level, the matrix upon which the physical body is formed and appears as lines of blue and grey light. Through the base chakra we are connected to the earth’s core energy and when it is functioning well we feel grounded and safe. This chakra develops during our early years from birth to 5 years and it is here that much healing can take place by revisiting early life experiences.

2.Emotional Level and Sacral
The Emotional Level is a fluid level with multi-coloured clouds of light and is responsible for emotions about the self and self image. This chakra too develops during our early years when we start to take notice of the people and environment surrounding us and our belief patterns begin to emerge. We begin to feel pleasure and our sense of sexuality begins to develop. A nurturing environment is needed for healthy development of this chakra. Lack of these basic needs can lead to wounding on this level resulting in the inability to express ourselves fully.


3.Mental Level and Solar Plexus
A structured and ordered level appearing as lines of yellow light. This level contains the blueprint of the logical mind, containing our thoughts and beliefs including those that no longer serve us well. Healing on this level can help us release old thought patterns, clearing the way for new experiences, allowing us to fully realise our potential in this lifetime.

4.Astral Level and Heart
The Astral Body, a multi-coloured fluid level. All our past experiences are held here including past lives and relationships. Blockages on this level can result from the absence of love and we can become stuck, unable to express unconditional love and relate in a healthy way to others. Much healing takes place on this level, clearing the debris of both past and present experiences. Healing on this level helps develop love and compassion for the self which is then mirrored in the way we relate to others.

5.Template Level and Throat
The Template Level, blue in appearance and is the gateway between mind and body. Here is the expression of self, our truth, where we hold the blueprint for our creative contribution throughout life.

Blockages form on this level as energy makes its way up through the body and past experiences and events start to form in our consciousness. We may “swallow them down” as a way of avoiding feeling them. Sound healing is regularly used to help release blockages on this level.

6.Celestial and Brow
The Celestial Level appearing as multi-coloured particles The task of this chakra is to assemble information from the other chakras into a meaningful pattern. Here we develop our consciousness and when this chakra is open and flowing we attain self-knowledge and wholeness. Connection to the Angelic Realm and Divine Love occurs on this level.

7.Causal and Crown
The Causal Level, a level of golden light which encompasses all the other layers of the Human Energy Field and where we feel our connection with The Divine. On this level we feel the perfection of what is, and know that all is as it should be.

Source: Positive Light

Balancing of Chakras

Posted: May 18, 2013 by phaedrap1 in Occult, Spirituality
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The human form is linked into multiple aspects of itself, each section expressing a range of frequencies or vibrations, within a network of zones of energy, spheres within spheres.
Chakras are energy vortexes in our emotional. mental and spiritual bodies. The physical body is a series of separate, yet related systems of energy. This system is referred to in the ancient texts as the Chakras. A Chakra is the interface point between the physical and non-physical form. They lie along a linear pathway (along the spine) from the Crown Chakra, located at the top of the cranium, to the Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine. There are over 72 Chakras on the body of which 22 work with our inner self, including the 7 primary Chakras (six emotional and one spiritual) with colors representing the 7 Rays. Activation and balance of energy flow in Chakras allow the body system to be at optimal with the higher self.
There are 22 chakras in the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Six emotional chakras, seven mental chakras and nine spiritual chakras.

The seven core chakras function as pathways for energy that flows through subtle channels in the spine and govern the endocrine system through the etheric body.

 

Each Chakra acts a transformer within the body. The purpose is to bring into the system a higher frequency of vibration, from the subtle portions of the Matrix Grid, into the thicker frequencies for purification and healing of negative energies. There are seven endocrine glands, each with a vibration and color, and one is assigned to each of the seven primary Chakras.
7 PRIMARY CHAKRAS & ENDOCRINE SYSTEM (GLANDS)

Head Centre. . . Pineal Gland
Centre between eyebrows. . . Pituitary Body
Throat Centre. . . Thyroid Gland
Heart Centre. . . Thymus Gland
Solar Plexus Centre. . . Pancreas
Sacral Centre. . . The Gonads
Centre at the base of the spine. . . Adrenal Glands

 Each color expresses a range of frequencies that fall within specific wavelengths of radiant information. The colors of the visible light system are just above Infrared and below Ultraviolet. The Chakras are specifically designed to act as one level of a tuning antenna, aligned with a note on the scale of seven. They intercept specific wavelengths of energy containing radiant information and bring that information down into the density of the body structure to utilize. Additionally, more refined tuning occurs at the molecular level, as genetic receptors receive information at an even greater level of vibration frequency.
The spin rate of the Chakras is a part of the fine tuning of this system. The higher chakras spin faster than the lower ones. There is a direct relationship between each individual chakra center and the specific ranges of energy within the human/creation Matrix. The chakra is the interface point, the energetic organ linking various aspects of the physical body to its non-physical counterparts…i.e. the Matrix Grid.
It is through this interface that the reality of the human experience becomes apparent. The human being is not the individual and independent being as we perceive. The body is connected to one level of an interlocking series of grids. These grids, having seven sections or sets of vibrations, with seven levels of knowledge in each section, are ranges of experience referred to as Dimensions.
Only the Root, Solar Plexus and Crown Chakra are able to access and receive energies from the Higher Self. Any other Chakra can receive these energies only after they have been filtered through one of these three Chakras.
Through aging, illness, and absorption of negativity in your life, the Chakras begin to collapse into the body and slow their rate of spinning. the ancients knew of this and designed mantras and meditation techniques to maintain the vitality and spin-rate of the chakras. A chakra activation (and balance) meditation practice is recommended daily (or at minimum once a week).
Opening and activating your chakras allows your Kundalini energies to flow up the subtle channels to your crown. It is important to first work on opening up your subtle channels (Nadis) through special physical and pranayama breath exercises. Once your channels are open, clearing the chakras will allow the energies to fully open up and charge your system. Even sexual energies can be directed up to the crown as the Kundalini energy is activated during sexual arousal.

MessageToEagle.com – There is no doubt plants are special in a number of ways. We have previously seen plants that can make music and sing.

Plants are very much alive. Not only do they dislike human noise but they also posses the capacity to learn and communicate.

Researchers have also discovered that plants and humans have more in common than previously thought. Plants possess a number of amazing properties and they can “behave” similar to us.

Another astonishing property is that plants possess intelligence. They can sense danger and know exactly how to avoid predators.

Even more amazing is the fact that although plants are actually deaf, they can feel, see, smell and remember. Not to mention that they are also altruistic!

Recently researcher made another surprising discovery. A group of scientists from the John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia, UK asked themselves why rose petals have rounded ends while their leaves are more pointed and they noticed something unusual. Their study revealed that the shape of petals is controlled by a hidden map located within the plant’s growing buds.

 

Leaves and petals perform different functions related to their shape.Leaves acquire sugars for a plant via photosynthesis, which can then be transported throughout the plant. Petals develop later in the life cycle and help attract pollinators.

In earlier work, this team had discovered that leaves in the plant Arabidopsis contain a hidden map that orients growth in a pattern that converges towards the tip of the bud, giving leaves their characteristic pointed tips.

In the new study, the researchers discover that Arabidopsis petals contain a similar, hidden map that orients growth in the flower’s bud.

 

However, the pattern of growth is different to that in leaves — in the petal growth is oriented towards the edge giving a more rounded shape — accounting for the different shapes of leaves and petals. The researchers discovered that molecules called PIN proteins are involved in this oriented growth, which are located towards the ends of each cell.

“The discovery of these hidden polarity maps was a real surprise and provides a simple explanation for how different shapes can be generated,” said Professor Enrico Coen, senior author of the study.

 

Can we imagine a world without flowers? Flowers are beautiful, offering us delight in their colour, fragrance and form, as well as their medicinal benefits. Flowers also speak to us in the language of the plant form itself, as cultural symbols in different societies, and at the highest levels of inspiration.

In this beautiful and original book, renowned thinker and geometrist Keith Critchlow has chosen to focus on an aspect of flowers that has received perhaps the least attention. This is the flower as teacher of symmetry and geometry (the ‘eternal verities’, as Plato called them). In this sense, he says, flowers can be treated as sources of remembering — a way of recalling our own wholeness, as well as awakening our inner power of recognition and consciousness. What is evident in the geometry of the face of a flower can remind us of the geometry that underlies all existence. Working from his own flower photographs and with every geometric pattern hand-drawn, the author reviews the role of flowers within the perspective of our relationship with the natural world. His illuminating study is an attempt to re-engage the human spirit in its intimate relation with all nature. More here

The team of researchers confirmed their ideas by using computer simulations to test which maps could predict the correct petal shape.

They then confirmed experimentally that PIN proteins located to the right sites to be involved in oriented growth, and identified that another protein, called JAGGED, is involved in promoting growth towards the edge of petals and in establishing the hidden map that determines petal growth and shape.

 

There is a hidden map inside flowers…

Unlike animal cells, plant cells are unable to move and migrate to form structures of a particular shape, and so these findings help to explain how plants create differently shaped organs — by controlling rates and orientations of cell growth.

From an evolutionary perspective, this system creates the flexibility needed for plant organs to adapt to their environment and to develop different functions.

Isn’t nature amazing?

MessageToEagle.com – The g-tummo meditative practice controls “inner energy” and is considered by Tibetan practitioners as one of the most sacred spiritual practices in the region.

Monasteries maintaining g-tummo traditions are very rare and are mostly located in the remote areas of eastern Tibet. Now, a group of researchers can show for the first time that it is possible for core body temperature to be controlled by the brain.

The scientists, led by Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences found that core body temperature increases can be achieved using certain meditation techniques (g-tummo) which could help in boosting immunity to fight infectious diseases or immunodeficiency.

Published in science journal PLOS ONE in March 2013, the study documented reliable core body temperature increases for the first time in Tibetan nuns practising g-tummo meditation. Previous studies on g-tummo meditators showed only increases in peripheral body temperature in the fingers and toes.

The researchers collected data during the unique ceremony in Tibet, where nuns were able to raise their core body temperature and dry up wet sheets wrapped around their bodies in the cold Himalayan weather (-25 degree Celsius) while meditating.Using electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and temperature measures, the team observed increases in core body temperature up to 38.3 degree Celsius. A second study was conducted with Western participants who used a breathing technique of the g-tummo meditative practice and they were also able to increase their core body temperature, within limits.

Applications of the research findings

The findings from the study showed that specific aspects of the meditation techniques can be used by non-meditators to regulate their body temperature through breathing and mental imagery.

The techniques could potentially allow practitioners to adapt to and function in cold environments, improve resistance to infections, boost cognitive performance by speeding up response time and reduce performance problems associated with decreased body temperature.


The two aspects of g-tummo meditation that lead to temperature increases are “vase breath” and concentrative visualisation.

“Vase breath” is a specific breathing technique which causes thermogenesis, which is a process of heat production. The other technique, concentrative visualisation, involves focusing on a mental imagery of flames along the spinal cord in order to prevent heat losses.

Both techniques work in conjunction leading to elevated temperatures up to the moderate fever zone.

Assoc Prof Kozhevnikov explained, “Practicing vase breathing alone is a safe technique to regulate core body temperature in a normal range. The participants whom I taught this technique to were able to elevate their body temperature, within limits, and reported feeling more energised and focused. With further research, non-Tibetan meditators could use vase breathing to improve their health and regulate cognitive performance.”

MessageToEagle.com

HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – The tsunami that engulfed northeastern Japan two years ago has left some survivors believing they are seeing ghosts.

In a society wary of admitting to mental problems, many are turning to exorcists for help.

Tales of spectral figures lined up at shops where now there is only rubble are what psychiatrists say is a reaction to fear after the March 11, 2011, disaster in which nearly 19,000 people were killed.

“The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami,” said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki, one of the areas worst-hit by the waves touched off by an offshore earthquake.

“We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places.”

Hara said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might only now be emerging in many people, and the country could be facing a wave of stress-related problems.

“It will take time for PTSD to emerge for many people in temporary housing for whom nothing has changed since the quake,” he said.

Shinichi Yamada escaped the waves that destroyed his home and later salvaged two Buddhist statues from the wreckage. But when he brought them back to the temporary housing where he lived, he said strange things began to happen.

His two children suddenly got sick and an inexplicable chill seemed to follow the family through the house, he said.

“A couple of times when I was lying in bed, I felt something walking across me, stepping across my chest,” Yamada told Reuters.

Many people in Japan hold on to ancient superstitions despite its ultra-modern image.

Yamada, like many other people in the area, turned to exorcist Kansho Aizawa for help.

Aizawa, 56, dressed in a black sweater and trousers and with dangling pearl earrings, said in an interview in her home that she had seen numerous ghosts.

“There are headless ghosts, and some missing hands or legs. Others are completely cut in half,” she said. “People were killed in so many different ways during the disaster and they were left like that in limbo. So it takes a heavy toll on us, we see them as they were when they died.”

In some places destroyed by the tsunami, people have reported seeing ghostly apparitions queuing outside supermarkets which are now only rubble. Taxi drivers said they avoided the worst-hit districts for fear of picking up phantom passengers.

“At first, people came here wanting to find the bodies of their family members. Then they wanted to find out exactly how that person died, and if their spirit was at peace,” Aizawa said.

As time passed, people’s requests changed.

“They’ve started wanting to transmit their own messages to the dead,” Aizawa said.

Shinichi Yamada said life had improved since he put the two Buddhist statues in a shrine and prayed. He still believes the statues are haunted, but now thinks their spirits are at peace.

By Ruairidh Villar and Sophie Knight | Reuters