History and mystic lore by Madonna, aka Crystal Oracle and Crystal Castle team member
Many people’s first thought about crystal healing is that it is just a ‘New Age’ phenomenon. However, when you delve further into the modality, it is possible to see that humanity has long admired crystals for their natural beauty and their associated healing and protective qualities.
Throughout the history of the world, many diverse cultures sensed that stones had ‘magical’ powers and considered them to be gifts from the heavens. The Babylonians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Aztecs, the Tibetans, the Africans and the many peoples across the Americas recognised the healing powers of crystals and gems.
One of the earliest written records concerning the use of crystals for their healing properties comes from an Ancient Egyptian papyrus dated around 1600 BCE. It noted the use of lapis lazuli, malachite and red jasper beads worn around the neck for therapeutic effect.
Our own Australian Aboriginal dreamtime myths speak of a mystical substance — the maban — (believed to be quartz crystal) from which the wise men (called karadjis) obtained their magical powers.
These and many more cultures have valued gems as a key to attain enhanced levels of vitality, wellbeing and spiritual attunement, much as we do today.
Even the legendary civilisations of Avalon, Atlantis and Lemuria (Mu) whisper down the corridors of time about the mystical powers of crystals. It is often said that many souls who were healers in those times have returned to earth now to assist in the evolution of the consciousness of the planet and all her inhabitants.
Today, crystals are recognised by the modern world as energy conductors and they are used in computer chips and high precision equipment.
Crystals generate, store, regulate, transmit and transform energy.
Sunday 24th March
Qigong (Chi Kung) is a gentle and enjoyable exercise system based on traditional Chinese medical theory. It develops and integrates mind, body and breath to cultivate vital life energy and promote lasting health, vitality and longevity.
Qigong offers physical, mental and spiritual development to benefit all-round health and enhance one's experience of daily life. Practice increases co-ordination, alignment, stability, balance, flexibility and core strength. It relaxes the body, calms the mind and improves focus, stamina and self-confidence.
Shirsha Marie is the Founder and Senior Instructor of Byron Bay Martial Arts, which she established in the heart of beautiful Byron Bay Australia, in 1986. She has expert knowledge and experience in fields of health and martial arts which focus on energy cultivation.
Shirsha is able to deliver the subtleties of Qigong with depth and insight, which enhances all aspects of student practice - including meditation. Her refined skills and clear instruction make Qigong accessible and enjoyable for everybody.
In this one-day Qigong workshop you will learn genuine Qigong health practices that are suited to all ages and levels of fitness. Beginners are most welcome.
Included in the workshop are:
* Qigong Warm- Up Exercises & Self Massage – For Awakening Vital Life Energy
* Qigong Exercise Set ~ The Eight Treasures - Healing Exercises for the Organs
* Qigong Breathing Technique ~ The Crane Breath - Restoring Internal Energy
* Qigong Healing Meditation ~ The Inner Smile – Balancing the Organ ‘Chi’
10.30am to 1pm: Qigong Warm-up and Self-Massage, The Crane Breath.
1pm to 2pm: Lunch
2pm to 4.30pm: The Eight Treasures, The Inner Smile
‘Through Qigong and Taiji I have experienced a profoundly deeper sense of myself and my world. It is a powerful vehicle that brings my mind into union with my body, my life force and into resonance with 'the heartbeat of life'. My 5 years training in the Byron Bay dojang have been a wonderful blend of informative instruction and interesting learning. Shirsha is a brilliantly talented instructor who, after 25 years of teaching these arts, not only brings her passion to her teaching, but embodies grace, patience and the rare ability to transfer her knowledge whilst retaining impeccably, the integrity of this extraordinary form. Shirsha teaching qigong is so amazing, we just had to bring her here to the Crystal Castle for you to experience, an unusual and special opportunity to be in a workshop situation with such an extraordinary teacher’.
Sono King, Creative Director & Crystal Castle owner.
When: Sunday 24th March 2013
Where: Crystal Castle/ Discovery Room
Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
Cost: $174Cost includes Lunch, Drink, Entry and your own copy of ‘The Eight Treasures' Dvd.
Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th March
After headlining Byron Spirit Festival, Mark Whitwell returns to the Crystal Castle for a two day workshop 'Developing a personal practice'
This workshop is a unique opportunity to work with one of the most experienced yoga teachers in the world.
No matter what style of yoga you are currently practicing, you will be able to incorporate the insights gleaned from this personal practice development to make your yoga more efficient, powerful, and safe.
You'll also learn to integrate breath, asana, and bandha as a seamless process and as you deepen into this understanding, personalised for you, you discover more completely that yoga is your direct connection with reality - an entirely abundant, regenerating, and nurturing power.
Everyone is invited to attend, from beginners to experienced practitioners .
This intimate workshop has a maximum of 25 places available.
We expect it to fill quickly so please book now to secure your place.
When: Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th March
Where: The Discovery Room / Crystal Castle
Time: 10.30am to 4pm
Cost: $295.00 for the two day workshop
According to the great “teacher of our teachers” T. Krishnamacharya, yoga must be adapted to the individual, not the individual adapted to the style of yoga. For your yoga practice to be most fruitful, it must be in harmony with your body type, age, health, and even cultural background.
“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.
Click here for more information about Mark Whitwell.
Monday 11th to Sunday 17th February
With the Tibetan Buddhist monks from Sera Mey Monastery in South India
Join us at the Crystal Castle as we welcome the monks from Sera Mey Monastery for the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala.
“The Medicine Buddha is the Buddha of healing. He heals not only physical sickness but also mental sickness like anger, pride and jealousy. The mandala is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism and is a sacred form of art used by Tibetan monks & artists, & is translated as ‘circle of harmony. It is a palace, and all of the patterns in the mandala have symbolism and meaning.” Geshe Ngawang Gedun, Sera Mey Monastery in southern India.
Join the monks each day at 10.30am for chanting and meditation to invoke the divine energy of the Medicine Buddha, who resides within the mandala itself. The mandala is, as such, a divine palace of residence.
The monks request the Medicine Buddha's blessings for healing for all beings; for the people who come to see it; for the local community and for the region; for our country and for the world.
Daily Program Monday 11th to Saturday 16th
10.30 - 11am ~ Meditation and chanting
11am – 3.30pm ~ Medicine Buddha sand mandala creation
3.30pm to 4.30pm ~ Dedication prayers
Sunday 17th February
10.30 - 11am ~ Meditation and chanting
11am – 3.30pm ~ Medicine Buddha sand mandala creation
3.30pm ~ Dissolution ceremony of the sand mandala
After the sand mandala is finished you are invited to join the monks and collectively pray for peace and harmony in the world.
Click here for more information.
Free Entry for all until midday!
The Crystal Castle is proud to be a part of the UPLIFT 2012 Festival, in Byron Bay. Coinciding with the final days of the 5,125-year cycle of the Mayan calendar (December solstice 2012), UPLIFT 2012 focuses on the opportunity for sustained positive change.
The festival will be broadcast to an international audience via live streaming and will also serve as one of the anchor hubs for the global event Birth2012, founded by leading evolutionary Barbara Marx Hubbard, and will unite a massive global audience on December 22nd. www.birth2012.com
Given that Byron Bay, Australia is one of the most eastern points in Western civilization, it will be the first continent to welcome the light of this new chapter of global cooperation and co-creativity.
The Crystal Castle Connection
We will be synchronizing with the festival on Saturday December 22nd with the 'Crystal Castle UPLIFT DAY' to be held here in the grounds of the Crystal Castle.
Saturday December 22nd - Gates open at 9am (NSW time)
Morning Meditation With The Gyuto Monks
9.15am – 9.45 The Discovery Room
Jonathan Goldman - The Science Of Sound Healing
10am -11.30 Live streaming from the Uplift festival
Sound healing expert Jonathan Goldman will launch his 24 hour 'Chant for Mother Earth' live from Byron Bay on Friday 21 December. This global chant will be initiated at the exact time of the summer solstice (10.11pm) and will resonate across the world for 24 hours so people everywhere can join in this sonic wave of unity and healing.
‘Refresh the Spirit' Ritual By The Gyuto Monks12pm – 12.45 The World Peace Stupa
Gyuto Monks- Jab Khru Ceremony1pm – 2pm The Discovery Room
Whether taken as a healing, a cleansing, a blessing or simply a meditation, this powerful tantric ritual can really shift or move things right along in your life. Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok, one of the original pre 1959 Tibetan elders from Gyuto Tantric Monastery offers this final opportunity before returning to India. Open to all adults.
Singing In The Divine with Leandra
2.30 pm -3.30 Begins At The Discovery Room
Sound alchemist Leandra will guide you on a journey of sacred sound in the beautiful gardens of the Crystal Castle. You need no experience, please join us in the power of sound.
Chicchan - Crystal Singing Bowls
4 pm – 5 pm The Discovery Room
Be part of a Sacred Sound Meditation with Chicchan and her crystal singing bowls. 'We are Divine Beings of Light and Love; spirals of Light and Sound, radiating vibrant colours and harmonious vibrations. Let us come together with our intentions to become One Heart and One Consciousness in this, Humanity's evolutionary quantum leap in Time and Space'. Chicchan
Crystal Castle Open For You Until 6.30 pm !
The Crystal Castle will remain open until 6.30pm for your enjoyment and extended shopping hours. The Lotus Café will be open until 5.30pm.
Join us here at the Crystal Castle on this auspicious day of inspiration, celebration and positive action for change.
This is a free Crystal Castle event, with Free Entry until midday.
After midday, normal admission applies, but once inside, everything offered is Free ! (Jab Khru by donation)
Uplift 2012 - Thursday 20 to Sunday 23
December 2012 - Byron Bay
UPLIFT 2012 is a festival presenting conscious leaders from all walks of life - science, economics, hip hop music, medicine and more - who come together to unite, enquire and discover a new paradigm where the collective wisdom and consciousness of us all can shine freely and reveal a whole new way of living together.
Click here for more information about the UPLIFT 2012 festival
"Build it and they will come"
And come they did as almost 1,500 people filled the Crystal Castle’s amphitheatre for the grand opening of our extraordinary Kalachakra World Peace Stupa. The date was October 27th 2012, determined auspicious by our spiritual guide for the project, Gen Lama of the Gyuto monks of Tibet, and amazingly, exactly 365 days from the day that construction started.
'The sight of so many people filling, for the first time ever, the amphitheatre that we built 8 years ago, was truly amazing.” said Naren. “It seemed as if it had been waiting for this event. It was such a joy to see everyone placing their hands on mother earth as the Arakwals welcomed us all to country.”
It was a rich event, a colourful and peaceful day of ceremony, song and Tibetan butter tea, always overseen by the impressive blue and gold structure of the Stupa itself. Elyjah McCleod was our fabulous MC and there was honouring of the amazing input from so many different people, including hundreds within the local community, who have supported and co-created this wonderful project. The Gyuto Monks, as always, brought their joyful peace and depth of spirit, not to mention their amazing harmonic chanting, and the Kings’ daughter, Ayla, moved many to tears with her beautiful acapella rendition of John Lennon's Imagine.
‘The Kalachakra Stupa is very significant - wherever we build or construct them, these Stupas will bring peace, help in avoiding natural disasters and bring harmony and peace among the people” said Mr Sonam Dagpo, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's representative in Australia as he officially opened the monument. “For Buddhist believers this is a place of pilgrimage, but for the non-believers this is piece of Buddhist architecture to look around and a very good place to have inspiration, peace, and happiness.”
Once the ceremonies were complete people waited in lines to take their turn to walk around the Stupa and spin the beautiful brass prayer wheels, each containing thousands of handwritten prayers to add wings to their peaceful intent.
Sono read out the dedication plaque : “This Stupa is dedicated to love and peace for all beings, to freedom for the Tibetan people and to their sacrifice in the name of peace. The hopes, dreams and commitment of the community have motivated and nurtured the creation of this sacred structure, designed to last for over 1,000 years. May Peace Prevail”.
On Sunday night over 200 people returned for the Full Moon Fire Puja, and the stupa was lit up for the first time, under the full moon, with the yak butter stupa sculpture dissolving in flames over several hours. It was a truly magical night of completion.
Thank you so much to everyone who came and shared your love and goodwill, and if you weren’t able to be there in person, you can get a taste of the magic in this great video created by Sharon Shostak from our local paper the Echo –
There are also lots of photos on facebook now – come and “like” the Crystal Castle and see this colourful, historic day.
Colour is a universal, cross-cultural language that holds memories, feelings and develops the imagination. Indulge your senses as Julie guides you on an experiential personal journey using the language of colour.
Explore colour in a deeper way, through visual meditation and creativity through colouring. Connect with your colours, express through feelings, intuition and then colour your own 'visual meditations' or 'doorways' to your unique expression.
Experience special meditation techniques using colour and imagery to learn about the language and vibration of colour, as it connects to us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Using Julie's Journey in Colour cards, you will be given insights into your purpose and creativity, develop your intuitive awareness and balance emotions to discover a playful way to the spirit!
These processes can be useful as tools to use in our personal and professional lives and also for Art therapists and Counsellors.
When: Saturday 24th November
Time: 10.30am - 4.30pm
Price: $159 ~ Includes lunch, coffee or tea, entry and your own set of Julie's Journey in Colour Cards to use for future inspiration.
Online booking facility is now closed. You may still book in on Saturday 24th in person at the Crystal Castle. Please ask for Jo at 10am sharp.
Facilitator ~ Julie Pretyman
Julie became a school teacher in 1975 and taught for 15 years before exploring her interest in art. This led her into creating very expressionistic, colourful paintings which then led into the most exciting journey of her life!
As she 'tuned' into the vibration of colour, the paintings became meditations and tools for spiritual awareness. The 45 Kaleidoscope cards were created and became part of programs for both adults and children.
Julie has taught both adults and children in workshops in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.