Thursday, September 28, 2006

Paranormal survey

Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia is conducting an online survey of the paranormal.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, take a few minutes to complete this survey designed to help shed light on what types of experiences people are having (or not having as the case may be).

By paranormal the survey means experiences that cannot be explained using the current laws of science. These events include premonitions, out-of-body and near-death episodes, telepathy and apparitions. Many people believe in the paranormal but this survey is not about beliefs. It is about what people ARE and are NOT experiencing. The survey is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether they have or have not experienced the paranormal. The survey is anonymous and will take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Survey Link

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The lunar effect

Does a full moon make you feel like partying? Do you feel more energetic during a waxing moon? Either way, Making plans around the phases of the moon can lead to many things, from good business deals to more lustrous hair.

Roch Voller, who works in the psychiatric emergency department of Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital, understands first-hand the meaning of the term "the lunar effect". He always expects more patient aggression when it's a full moon.

Voller isn't alone in believing in the lunar effect.

A 1987 study by the Journal Of Emergency Medicine found that 92 per cent of nurses found full moon shifts more stressful and believed they should be paid more to work on those nights.

It seems it's not just those prone to lunacy who are affected.

Shareholders are also influenced. A 2005 study by the Journal Of Empirical Finance found stock returns were consistently three to five per cent lower around the full moon than on the days around a new moon.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bollywood portrays baby Krishna

Bollywood too has been contributing to the wider knowledge of mythology. After the phenomenal success of 'Hanuman' last year, Hindi film world would again witness one of the greatest heroes of all times, Krishna, an richly animated musical, aimed at children.

It's always entertaining to hear the stories of Krishna again. This becomes especially exciting when it is presented in an animation format, with Krishna in his childhood.

'KRISHNA', tells the story of Lord Krishna's birth, his childhood spent in Vrindavan and his slaying of Kansa, the evil ruler of Mathura. The film features various adventures of his childhood, including his clashes with demons like Pootna, Trinavarat and many more. This animated feature also brings to life Lord Krishna's naughty aspects like stealing butter, and other adventures.

Kannum vittum, onam unnanum

OnamThe Onam festival traces its way back to Hindu mythology and the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is a festival of colours, flowers and celebration as King Mahabali is welcomed back home.

The Vamanamoorthy temple (photo) in Kerala, is believed to be the very location where Asura king Mahabali offered his head to MahaVishnu's Vamana avatar to place the third feet of land that the noble king granted the brahmin boy.

Ceremonial celebrations at the temple go on for 10 days coinciding with the Onam festival.

On the ninth day of Uthiradam and the tenth day of Thiruvonam, the caparisoned elephants at the temple are taken in a procession to the music of Panchiratalam - the five instruments played by about 60 artisans.

The Pookkalam or flower carpets are the very soul of the Onam festival.

Arrangements are made in every home to welcome not just King Mahabali but also the peace, prosperity and happiness that he symbolises.

Mythology in the sand

Sand sculptureThe beautiful reproduction of the Last Supper is made of sand, just one of the exhibits in the International Sand Sculpture Festival (FIESA) 2006.

The sculptures were constructed in two months by 40 sculptors, all with a mythological theme. Scenes of Greek, Celtic, Scandinavian, Assyrian, Indiana, Egyptian and African mythologies were displayed to the public during four months.

FIESA is a mega-exposition of sand sculptures made by internationally recognized sculptors in an exhibition area of 15,000 square metres with sculptures up to 15 metres in height. This year 35,000 tons of sand were been used to create theme of “Mythologies”.

Black cats and luck

There are many tales of shape-shifting black cats in communication with the Devil in European folk-belief. But black cats have a positive image as well. Charles I owned a black cat. Although we usually associate spaniels with the English king, he looked upon his cat as great good luck and lived in fear of harm befalling his little companion.

The day after the black cat died, Charles was siezed.

There are many cat charms relating to ships and the sea. Fishermen's wives would keep a black cat at home to prevent disaster at sea, these cats became very valuable and were often stolen. For good luck, cats were kept on board ships. If a sailor were approached by the ship's cat it meant good luck, but if the cat only came halfway and went away again it meant bad luck.

The very worst thing to happen, guaranteed to raise a storm and bring bad luck to everyone, was to throw the cat overboard.

More on Animals in Mythology

The Bat and Death

Being associated with death means being associated with rebirth. The appearance of a bat signifies the need for transformations, for letting go of old habits or ways of life and adopting new ones. Bat shows how change is necessary although it can be painful to let go of the past. As an animal of night and the dark it can also guide people through the darkness of confusion and help them face their fears.

The Bat means the opportunity for change and transformation, a coming out of the dark and being reborn. When you meet a bat, welcome him as the Blessed Bringer of Change.

More on Bats in Mythology

Celebrant versus Celibate

I had a strange reaction from a clerk in the post office who was bemused when I dropped in to pick up a parcel sent to me. It was a biggish box, and the address had Reverend clearly written in front of my name.

Clerk : I didn't know you were a priest.

Me : A minister, yes. But chiefly I'm a Funeral Celebrant.

Clerk : A celebrant? I thought you had children.

Time flies

Time flies. It certainly does.

I've spent the last four months doing a Funeral Director's course, which is quite different from the grief counselling. But all tied in with my celebrancy.

Back to the blog .............