Ancient Future Past
Neptune, the god of the ocean, the planet of higher love and compassion leaves Aquarius and enters Pisces, the sign of its rulership on April 4th, the day of the New Moon in Aries. Discovered in 1846, it stays approximately 14 years in a sign and takes about 164 years to transit the whole zodiac.
An outer planet* changing signs is an event of great astrological significance, for it signals a corresponding change in the zeitgeist or spirit of the times. Noteworthy in this context is that the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami occurred only one day before Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected change entered Aries on March 12th, and that the advent of Chiron, the wounded healer planet into Pisces on April 20 2010 was accompanied by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and subsequent massive oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico on that very day.
Mere coincidence, or stunning examples of astrological synchronicity in action?
The fact that Neptune’s ingress into water sign Pisces takes place when six planets are also in the cardinal fire sign of Aries adds a dynamic note to the potentially momentous astrological picture. Put fire and water together and what do you get? Hot scalding water, or a healing warm bath? Anger and rage, or tea and sympathy?
Pisces evokes images of the ancient mariner, and the shared understanding that we are all in the same boat, that as individuals, we are just little ego boats cast adrift on the great ocean of life, inherently vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and that we will only make it to the further shore if we all look out for each other, for trials and tribulations stalk us all, young or old, wise or foolish, rich and poor alike.
Aries is the will to action, the drive to plant a new seed, the struggle to break free of the past, the daring and enthusiasm of youth, the self-belief that one person can make a difference, the noble knight who thrills with deeds of danger and passion, the modern woman who lives her life as she sees fit, without needing or seeking the approval of any man. In short, Aries is the hero with a thousand faces.
Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, Aries the first. So this is a time of endings and beginnings. A time perhaps, when everything old becomes new again.
* Outer planets are those that lie beyond the orbit of Saturn, the last planet that can be seen with the naked eye. The currently accepted outer planets are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, though most contemporary astrologers also include the ‘planetoid’ Chiron, which orbits between Saturn and Uranus.
Varij is a former tutor in Philosophy at Melbourne University and a writer for Wellbeing Astrology Magazine. A professional reader of over 25 years experience, he combines compassion and wisdom with a gifted intuition to deliver clear, positive and accurate guidance. Varij has been with the Crystal Castle for seven years and is available for readings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Phone ahead to make your booking. 0266 84 3111
Through the eyes of...Jo Q. Name, nickname and tell us briefly about yourself? My connection to the Crystal Castle goes back quite a while. I used to work in one of the Crystal Castle shops in Brisbane, Crystal Living. For reasons of my own I felt it was time to make a move and decided to move to the area. My arrival here was crazy and fast but in less than week I had a cabin and a job here at the Crystal Castle. It was very synchronistic. My hobbies include singing, writing songs, crystals of course and anything creative and magical.
Q. What do you love about working here and how long have you been on the Castle team?I have been working here for over two years and it’s the energy of the Castle, and the land here, it is quite powerful. The beauty, the nature, the women and the staff I work with. Working here expands your awareness and I feel your spiritual growth, understanding and experience is fast tracked. It’s a quickening of information.
Q. What is your favourite dish from the Lotus Cafe?Thai chicken patties and salad. They are yummy!!
Q. Do you have a favourite statue and why?Yes I do, I have several but for now Avalokiteshvara. It’s the space around the statue too; it is very quiet, beautiful and nurturing. There is something very special about this area; the statue is an embodiment of Quan Yin. Lakshmi too, her space is very lush and magical. Also Durga, she is strength and power, she has been described to me as an Earth Angel.
Q. If you could buy anything from the Castle, what would you buy?Well, I would buy all the ‘Big Crystals’.
Q. What's your favourite crystal and why?That’s a tricky one; I have lots of favourites. At the moment I’m working with Larimar, Blue Lace Agate and Aqua Aura. These are what I am drawn to at the moment, however, it always shifts. Blue Lace Agate for communication and the lymph glands. Larimar, it is such a soothing and calming stone and Aqua Aura is absolutely amazing in its intensity and softness. Intuitively I feel these stones are helping me with my singing, as my music is moving forward.
Q. Do you have a special moment or story about a Castle visitor?Well, this moment was pretty amazing, it blew me away. I was working at the Welcome Hut and a mother and daughter came up to me quietly, they were on their way home. They said, ‘we just want to show you this photo. It’s very unusual’. The picture was of the mother and daughter standing in front of Lakshmi. They had another visitor take the photo for them. In the photo over the top of their heads and Lakshmi’s head was this pink light which then turned into purple light. They were between the light and Lakshmi. There was no way we could see how this light could have refracted from anywhere. It was such a special moment. I have since been shown many photos taken by visitors in places along the Buddha walk showing orbs of light.
Q. When did you get your first crystal and what was it?My very first crystal was from a lucky dip when I was a little girl. It was a Koala pendant with a piece of Opal set in its belly. I thought it was so beautiful, all shiny and I still have it.
Amethyst – The Master Healer
Amethyst crystal is a variety of quartz, well known through the ages as a healing stone. It comes in the most beautiful shades of purple with colour ranging from a soft, pinkish lavender to the darkest and richest of violets and purple, reminiscent of plump ripe heady grapes and sparkling burgundy wine. If you look carefully some amethyst can also contain surprise flashes of red and blue.
Some of the earliest discoveries of amethyst were excavated from the ancient Egyptian tomb of King Djer, who reigned in the 1st Dynasty, approximately 3000 B.C.E. The ancient Egyptians knew amethyst as Hemag and used it to guard against guilty and fearful feelings. Egyptian soldiers wore amethyst in battle in order to retain their courage.
The modern name comes from the Greek "amethóstos", which means, "not to be drunk". In Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine, was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Artemis answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos's desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering. This wine dyed the crystal purple.
The wealthy ancient Greeks and Romans drank from goblets of amethyst, as they believed it guarded against drunkenness. They thought they could drink as much as they liked without suffering from any ill effects! Such goblets gave them added protection against potential assassins, as amethyst was thought to lose its brightness in the presence of poison.
Known as the "Stone of Spirit" or the "Stone of Integrity," Amethyst has long been associated with purity and piety. It is the stone of the Buddha and in Tibet it is popularly used in the making of prayer beads used in the practice of meditation. In Christian traditions Amethyst is also known as the Bishop's Stone and is still part of the official garb worn by Catholic Bishops.
Purple has long been considered a royal color, so it is no surprise that amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels. They were a favorite stone of Catherine the Great. Beads of amethyst have also been found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.
In modern times, amethyst is associated with the astrological sign of Aquarius and with the planet Jupiter. Its element is air, and it is considered to be the stone of faithful lovers.
Amethyst is a Quartz crystal, composed of silicon dioxide with traces of ferric iron. The colouring is due to the presence of colour centres that are created where silicon ions in the crystal lattice of the quartz have been substituted by ions of iron.
The crystal is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses. When conditions permit, it forms hexagonal crystals that are usually grown from a base. These crystals are most often not well developed, and so are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Although most commonly found in geodes, Amethyst is sometimes found as a stalactite.
Amethyst is considered to be a master healing stone. Extremely calming, yet deep, this most dynamic and persuasive crystal can bring a wonderful sense of serenity and peace. It clears intoxication in the sense that it soothes and clears the mind, allowing one to move out of the heavy and denser "intoxicating" earthbound realm into the higher frequencies of Spirit.
Why not try it out? After a stress-filled day or when you are feeling muddled or low energy, experiment by taking an amethyst in your receptive hand. This is your left hand if you are right handed or your right if you are left handed. Breathe deeply and allow the peaceful vibrations of the stone to soothe you.
Amethyst is said to aid in the development of pyschic awareness and is often used during meditation to help open and activate the crown chakra. Some people also recommend sleeping with amethyst under your pillow to aid restful sleep and pleasant dreams.
You can see some of the Crystal Castle’s range of Amethyst in our online shop. We have geodes, clusters, beautiful polished balls, hearts and generators as well as a fabulous range of divine amethyst jewellery. Check them out at http://shop.crystalcastle.com.au/
In these tumultuous times, when the world seems out of whack, it is important that we seek balance in our daily lives. Balance between work and play, quiet times and busy times and a balance between our inner and outer ways of being.
Fluorite is a good stone to clear and align scattered thoughts. When our mind is focused we can make centered and balanced decisions.
In Tarot and Astrology, the ‘Justice’ card and ‘Libra’ both symbolize the scales, denoting the ability to act from a calm and balanced position that allows honorable solutions. In Palmistry a balance between and equally strong head and heart line is ideal in creating wholeness through integration of heart and mind.
A lovely balancing meditation is the ‘Tree’. Drawing in higher energy from above like the branches of a tree and drawing it through the crown chakra downwards, through the souls of the feet and into the heart of mother Earth, sending her love and discharging any excess energy. We are now balanced between heaven and Earth, centered and ready for whatever the day brings us and ready to receive and give equally.
Janey is available for readings at the Crystal Castle on Thursdays and Sundays. Phone ahead to make your booking. 02 6684 3111
The spirit of Larimar reminds us to take more time, slow down, connect with nature and look for ways to nourish ourselves. Larimar teaches us about the power of the goddess, feminine beauty, respect and intuition. Larimar encourages confident and clear communication.
Crystal Spirit Cards have been created here in the Byron Shire by Gitama Day, a close friend to the Crystal Castle owners. Gitama has used the Crystal Castle crystals as the basis and inspiration to the incredible art work for each of the cards. $34.95 per deck/book set.
Crystal Spirit Cards are available for purchase at our online shop $34.95 per deck/book set. http://shop.crystalcastle.com.au/categories/Gifts/Guidance-Cards
‘Developing a personal yoga practice’ with Mark Whitwell
April 3oth and May 1st 2011
"The only reason we choose to do yoga is for the pleasure, the literal pleasure of our systems relaxing and filling with energy. It is not some struggle to enjoy a future result. Take pleasure in your yoga today". Mark Whitwell, Founder of Heart of Yoga.
The Crystal Castle team are delighted and privileged to be hosting Mark Whitwell's first ever workshop in Byron Bay. Over the weekend of April 30th and May 1st and is called "Developing a personal practice" focussing on Mark's particular interest in developing an authentic yoga practice for the individual.
"There is a right yoga for everyone, easily learned. Yoga practice designed correctly for each person results in profound intimacy with every aspect of life. It is intimacy that is the point not meditation, not consciousness, not awareness, not enlightenment, not God realization. But all these arise spontaneously, naturally and unpredictably as “siddhi” or result of Yogic intimacy.”
Mark has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the world. His teachings are based on those of T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, with whom he enjoyed a close relationship for more than twenty years. Mark was the editor and contributor to TKV Desikachar’s book, The Heart of Yoga, and is the author of Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection. He teaches this profound healing power in his work, clarifying the passion and relevance of ancient wisdom to contemporary life.
"The ancient wisdom of yoga teaches that Life is already given to you, you are completely loved, you are here now. It teaches that we are not separate, cannot be separate from nature, which sustains us in a vast interdependence with everything. The universe comes perfectly, and is awesome in its integration and infinite existence. This union is our natural state, this union is Yoga."
Yoga is an ancient, self-empowering practice that utilizes a wide range of tools to enhance well-being and to maintain and restore health. This workshop with Mark is a unique opportunity to work with one of the most experienced yoga teachers in the world to design your own personal yoga practice.
"In Yoga there is no requirement to manipulate the body or the energy in attempt to know the source, rather it is the other way round. We start with the heart that is felt in the simple participation in the union of all opposites. The heart or “hrid” is felt as the place where all opposites are in union and the origin of all opposites, from where the life energy flows, nurturing the physical and all its relationship. Yoga starts and ends with reality participation."
No matter what style of yoga you are currently practicing, you will be able incorporate the insights gleaned from this personal practice development to make your yoga more efficient, powerful, and safe. Everyone, from beginners to experienced practitioners, is invited to attend.
“I tried many different yoga traditions over many years but could never keep up a regular practice. When I met Mark and studied under him, yoga became a joy and a pleasure. After a few months of a simple daily practice, my life felt different in many ways. With Mark’s approach, there is nowhere to go, no higher place to reach, no need to stretch the body beyond where it is comfortable, there’s just a flow and a connection with nurturing source. He teaches from a place of ancient pure wisdom, and is a total joy to be with”.
Managing Dreamer, and Crystal Castle owner.
This intimate workshop has a maximum of 30 places available. It will run from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm each day and the cost is $290. We expect it to fill quickly so recommend that you book now to secure your place at http://shop.crystalcastle.com.au/products/Heart-Of-Yoga-Workshop