April / May Astrology Report
The period of this month’s report begins with the Sun in Aries full Moon in Libra, exact on the Monday the 18th April at 12:44 pm, and ends with the Sun in Taurus full Moon in Scorpio, exact on Tuesday the 17th of May at 9:10 pm.
Note, a full Moon always occurs in the sign opposite to that which the Sun is in. So after Taurus, in the yearly cycle of the zodiac it goes like this: Sun Gemini / Moon Sagittarius; Sun Cancer / Moon Capricorn; Sun Leo / Moon Aquarius; Sun Virgo / Moon Pisces; Sun Libra / Moon Aries; Sun Scorpio / Moon Taurus; and so on around the wheel of the zodiac.
The full Moon is a time of maximum light and potential awareness, a time when what was begun at the new Moon two weeks prior is brought to creative fruition. The dominant themes of the current Aries/Libra full Moon lunation are reconciling the desires of self [Aries] with the needs of others [Libra]; and harmonizing the Aries desire for rapid, inspired change with the Libran need for fair and dispassionate consideration of the potential impact of that change on the legitimate interests of all affected parties. With five planets in Aries and only two in Libra, the Arien drive to get things done quickly is likely to triumph over the Libran preference for negotiation and compromise.
According to esoteric tradition, the Taurus/Scorpio full Moon is the most powerful lunation of the year, as the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama the Buddha are all reputed to have occurred under it’s auspices. It is further said that every year at this time ascended masters gather together in the mythical Wesak valley of the high Himalaya to further the evolution of all humanity under the beneficent guidance of the Buddha himself.
Whether literally true or not, we can all make use of the potent rays of this lunation to advance along our chosen spiritual path. Meditation undertaken at this time can be especially powerful in freeing ourselves from the grip of dark obsessive thoughts that bind us to the wheel of suffering. Like a lotus flower whose roots lie deep in the mud, we can grow toward the light and warmth of our inner spiritual Sun and float, if only for a few precious moments, serenely on the waters of life.
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
For quite some time a number of our visitors have commented about how incredibly beautiful the natural landscape is at Crystal Castle and how wonderful it would be to paint, draw or sculpt.
Well, we are very pleased to announce that Crystal Castle will now offer a range of art workshops with the very first one day drawing workshop to be held on Sunday 24th of July 2011with visual artist Sharon Muir.
Sharon has worked as a professional artist for more than two decades. She uses a range of media in her work and her last two solo exhibitions have been inspired by her concern about our diminishing natural world. Her work has been selected for nationally recognised competitions such as the Jacaranda Drawing Award, Prometheus Visual Art Award and Dominique Segan Drawing Award.
Sharon has traveled widely as a freelance art teacher and has taught workshops throughout Australia, including touring outback QLD and NSW for three years as part of the Flying Arts Team. She has also facilitated numerous large-scaled community art projects. A talented and enthusiastic teacher Sharon really enjoys nurturing the creativity of her students.
The drawing workshop will focus on drawing techniques and materials with graphite pencils and felt tipped pens. Weather permitting they will be held outside and participants will have an opportunity to draw from the abundant beauty of nature in the Castle grounds. Sharon will be guiding you to explore the amazing variety of patterns, forms and textures found in nature and to experiment with a variety of techniques in a relaxed but stimulating environment.
Beginners and more experienced artists are welcome. With only ten places available, make sure you book NOW to avoid disappointment.
When: Sunday 24 July 2011
Where: Crystal Castle Grounds
Time: 10.30am – 4.00pm (one hour lunch at your own expense)
Bookings: Click Here
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself, how you came to be in the area and your connection to Crystal Castle.
I first came to the area about fifteen years ago from Germany. I had horticultural experience but of course the environment is so different from Australia and I felt like I almost had to start from scratch again.
I started a hobby nursery with a friend of mine just outside of Mullumbimby where we propagated everything from seed and cuttings. The nursery grew very big and my friend had to move on so I was left to manage it on my own and it became too much for me.
When Naren told me about his plans for the gardens at Crystal Castle I offered to sell my nursery and plants to him. Naren agreed and was excited by the rich varieties and species and because they had been propagated locally.
When we began designing the gardens for Crystal Castle we focused on choosing flowering plants for richness and colour. I was very excited about the plans, so much so that Naren asked me to head up the plant out team and this is how I began work at Crystal Castle.
I have a special connection with the gardens here and I feel I am around all my little children, which gives me such joy. My real aim is to provide people with understanding about the abundance of plants that we are privileged to grow at Crystal Castle and the surrounding area and to also inspire them with their own gardens.
Q. How long have you been part of the Crystal Castle team and what do you love about working here?
I have been working at Crystal Castle since the big plant out in 2005 and 2006 so, about 6 years now. Well, for me of course it is such an incredible team to work with. To work with someone who has such a creative vision is fantastic. It is such an incredible opportunity to be able to live my creativity and to be apart of such beauty for everyone to enjoy.
Q. Do you have a favourite dish from the Lotus Café?
The cakes, oh the cakes are just fabulous!
Q. Do you have a favourite statue or part of the garden?
Yes, the gardens around Lakshmi, particularly the red garden behind Lakshmi. I also really enjoy the gardens around Avalokiteshvara, Vishnu and Garuda. Those parts of the Buddha Walk are my favourites.
Q. If you could buy anything from the Crystal Castle, what would you buy?
Some of the big crystals like the large Rose Quartz in the gardens and the beautiful Clear Quartz generator at the beginning of the Buddha walk too.
Q. What is your favourite crystal and why?
I don’t really have a specific favourite, it changes all the time depending on what I am drawn to.
Q. Do you have a special moment or story about a Crystal Castle visitor?
Not one specific moment but I suppose for me it is just all of the lovely comments and feedback I get from visitors about the gardens and many say to me “When you are finished here can you come to my garden.”
Q. When did you get your first crystal and what was it?
When I was a teenager it was a Turquoise. I still love wearing Turquoise. They say Turquoise helps to protect against physical injury and are good for protection. I heard a story once about someone who fell and instead of breaking their leg their Turquoise broke instead. I wouldn’t want to break my leg, not in my job!
The crystal spirit of Malachite appears as a guardian like figure with two arms opened wide, he is confident, expansive, generous, centered and meditative. He radiates strength and balance.
Malachite asks us to take a look at how you may let yourself down. Malachite offers protection and inspires confidence to move forward and to strengthen your weaker areas. Light and dark are both valid in the context of discovering the inner self. Change does not always feel like a blessing, but it is always fruitful. Malachite offers unconditional love at these times
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.
Gardening ranks throughout the world as the most popular outdoor activity and every gardener knows the joy of watching things grow in the garden. However not so many of us are lucky enough to watch the actual size of our gardens grow. This, however, has been the pleasure of the gardening team at Crystal Castle who are the dedicated caretakers of an ever-increasing area of spectacular natural beauty within the Castle grounds.
Originally the Castle gardens were limited to a small area around the Castle itself and the walk down from the car park. When the Buddha walk was conceived the garden area grew exponentially to encompass this half kilometre walk of mystic statues including the bamboo staircase and the terraced lawns where the Buddha presides.
With the addition of the Rainforest walk and work about to start on the landscaping for the site of Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace, the gardens now spread over 5 acres and provide one of the major attractions for our visitors. It is always a delight to relax amongst the beauty of nature but the added energy of the crystals, the presence of the sacred statues and the beautiful water features seem to create another level of peace and an atmosphere of delight and wonder.
Autumn is one of the most pleasant times for gardening, which is convenient as there is plenty to do right now. The secateurs and shears are getting a good workout as we tidy perennials, get rid of dead wood and cutting back vines. We have been cleaning out an abundance of heliconia plants that have been so successful they have taken over some areas that were designed for other plant varieties. These plants will be made available to the QLD flood victims to start to rebuild their gardens and we will also have some available to buy over the Easter holidays. The proceeds of these sales will also go to aid the flood victims.
Our gardening team fully appreciates the need to work in partnership with nature and to recognise and accept the charms and strengths that the Australian environment has to offer. Our gardens feature many beautiful Australian native plants and we are vigilant to exclude any vegetation that might take over the natural ecosystems.
An interview with our head gardener Pyari is featured in our April e-news and also on our 'Team' Blog page. We will begin to report in future e-news stories the particular delights you can find in the Castle gardens as the seasons change and new plants come into bloom or display.