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Blog - Category: Spirituality

Three Faces of the Healing Goddess

As we observe the world today, there are numerous aspects of life that can benefit from both modern day and ancient healing principles. Even in a modern world with advanced technology, it is often beneficial to look to ancient wisdom for insight on how to live with a higher quality of life and spiritual intention. Many are exploring the ancient teachings of the Divine Feminine for answers.

In the history of humanity, healing goddesses are honored in every major culture and religion in the world. The skills and gifts of these deities are known to be varied and significant -- to include improving health and healing sickness, creating fertility, facilitating ritual, alleviating suffering, interfacing with the plant kingdom and acting as patrons of the arts. Looking at this list, it is easy to see that ancient forms of healing are still relevant and much needed in today’s world.

Those who study the goddess traditions are familiar with names like Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom, music, art and learning. Others invoke the compassionate heart of Kuan Yin , the female Buddha, in their spiritual practices. Practitioners working in the healing arts use the powers of the Earth Mother in her many forms. Mother Earth or Mother Nature, sometimes known as Gaia, focuses on the life-giving, nurturing aspects of nature. She is described as the Creatress of all life and is associated with the moon, stars and the sea. Homer, the Greek poet, referenced her: “I shall sing of Gaia, Universal Mother, firmly founded, oldest of all the Holy Ones.” In the Christian tradition, Mary, Mother of Christ, is referred to as the Divine Mother of all creation, guiding us on our path to discover our “Christic” spiritual self.

The nurturing qualities of these goddesses remind us that we are all children of the Divine. In our relationships or practices with the Goddess, it is important to remember that we are all children of this universe. Through the guidance of the Sacred Feminine, we can find many answers to our life’s challenges. In truth, all the goddesses we revere are one and the same healing force in her many aspects and transcendental beauty.

Today’s healing goddesses offer solutions for our quickly changing healthcare system. Many are looking for forms of healing that don’t come with an endless list of side effects or other disease-causing factors. Individuals are now turning away from pharmaceuticals and looking beyond traditional medical approaches for a solution for their symptoms of physical and emotional pain. Our population is becoming acutely aware of the many diseases caused by stress. Individuals who are in search of alternatives will often encounter many ancient techniques enveloped in the work of modern-day healing arts practitioners.

In a visit to a contemporary healing goddess, the patient or client might be given herbs or even a specific yoga practice instead of a pain reliever or pill for indigestion. If the client reveals a significant emotional component in their illness, they might be advised to engage in dance or visual arts therapies. Other forms of sound healing use primitive instruments or voice techniques, such as chanting. The participant might be invited to participate in sacred rituals that have been used since ancient times and discover that their current-day healing potential is immense.

The three faces or healing aspects of the goddess refer to three aspects of the human being. All of these must be addressed in order to have a complete healing or transformation of body, mind and spirit. In this view, medication alone only addresses one aspect of the experience of dis-ease. Looking deeper to find the emotional component or the physical stresses that have caused the breakdown in a once healthy individual is the secret to a complete regeneration of the human form. When supported by a vibrant subtle body and energetic field, the healing powers of the body become miraculous.

However, there are times when traditional medical treatment is an absolute necessity. There are many goddesses in today’s healthcare system who continually try to re-introduce the ancient methods and work in concert with the advanced technological/diagnostic approach of today. Every field should be acknowledged for their contribution in alleviating suffering. We must continually search for ways of healing the whole human being.

In the early days of civilization, the Goddess overseeing the plant kingdom was revered for the abilities she had in alleviating the most serious health challenges. Today, extensive study continues in the many options for the use of medicinal herbs. The ancient systems—Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and Native American wisdom offer great curriculums in this area. It is important to realize that if the destruction of the earth continues, many of the natural cures may be lost. We can choose to turn to natural substances first before succumbing to dangerous drugs. While they may alleviate symptoms in a short time, “quick fixes” seldom bring a complete healing—and in many cases can lead to a dependency on the substance that was supposed to be the cure.

There are many ways we can experience a “return to Eden.” Visiting our forests and pristine waters, listening to the exquisite sounds found in nature, all are healing aspects of the natural world we are bound to protect. It has long been known that there is a great potential in the healing power of sound. Looking at ancient spiritual traditions, Tibetan singing bowls, bells and gongs, quartz crystal bowls and native instrumentation were all used to bring the “energy bodies” back into harmony, thereby aligning the various aspects (body, mind, emotions) to heal the whole person.

Today, the technique of chanting is still used by Ayurvedic and yogic health practitioners. In these studies, some of the Sanskrit words used are labeled specifically “healing mantras.”

In addition to the mantra itself, the sound was also depicted in sacred geometrical patterns called “yantras.” Some of the ancient practitioners of the healing arts were adepts, who were able to see the patterns created by the sound. They chose to record them in intricate drawings that have been with us for thousands of years. These images now have an amazing connection to the recent research of the last fifty years which has led us to the discovery of a new science known as “cymatics.” Through the use of a device known as a CymaScope, the vibrations of sound frequencies can be seen in water or other substances, revealing their unique geometries. Many of these sound-made-visible images called “cyma glyphs” have an astounding resemblance to the ancient yantras. Hearing and seeing sound can have a profound effect. Today’s neuroscience suggests that our nervous systems benefit greatly from healing tools that address all of our senses.

The combination of certain frequencies has proven to create a language which can speak to our cells, helping them remember their original healthy resonance. While the ancient sounds (such as OM) are primordial, the modern researched frequencies are also a natural way to assist the cells in returning to their vibrant health. Through “entrainment” with the resonances that have been proven to positively affect the physical and energetic bodies, there is a release of the stressful disease-causing factors which prevent the return to vibrant health.

Pioneers in sound healing, such as Dr. Hans Jenny and Dr. Peter Guy Manners, were researching combinations of healing frequencies that could positively affect the human form. Originally called “cymatic therapy,” we now utilize a technique called “Cymatherapy” which is delivered with devices whose innovation grew from the original instrumentation used by these doctors and scientists. Using the frequencies generated by new instrumentation along with the modern-day images, (cymatic glyphs) we can see the sounds that heal us, much the same as ancient meditators could see the mystical symbols of their holy visions.

While there are other valuable sound healing choices on the internet, (to include recordings of nature and other musical tones or single frequencies), the most highly researched form of sound healing available to us today involves actually applying sound to the body trans-dermally. This same technique was first experimented with by Dr. Peter Guy Manners who had spent years developing the specific frequency patterns to be generated with his device, utilizing an applicator for addressing designated areas of the body. The early ideas and the devices have now been more fully developed and they can be accessed in a much greater capacity by today’s sound therapists, using the ancient texts for identifying the pathways of healing for these modern applications.

In the last decade, researchers like Joie Jones from UCLA, have proven the existence of the meridian pathways, as recorded in the ancient Chinese medical texts. Discoveries like these have opened doorways for other approaches to administering sound to the body. If we return to the ancient wisdom and oldest medical systems known to humanity, the maps for transmitting energetic healing to the body are there for us to learn from. Now advanced sound technology devices can deliver frequency through the feet and hands, providing sound nutrition to the entire physical form through these portals. Sound—from sacred chants to modern day advanced sound technology—can be an effective tool for bridging the knowledge of the ancient healing goddesses with all the new “sound science” is discovering.

At any time, we can return to the healing powers and mystical gifts of the Goddess as we continue to evolve in consciousness. We can choose to be respectful of the ancient traditions while making amazing discoveries about the natural world that is opening up in front of us, with each new scientific discovery. A combination of the mystical and scientific truths will net us the most complete vision of what our human experience can be.

 

Worlds Beyond: Reishi Mushroom and the Evolution of Conscious Life

Reishi is a tree fungus that is highly revered throughout the history of Asian herbalism. The Japanese name, reishi, is most commonly used. In China it is called lingzhi, and the Vietnamese name is linh chi; all of which mean “soul/spirit mushroom” or “supernatural mushroom.” Reishi is said to support a long, vibrant and beneficial life, and has earned the titles “mushroom of spiritual immortality,” and “good luck herb.” Its Western pharmaceutical name is Ganoderma lucidum, so named for its shiny upper surface. 

Reishi is a member of a class of tree mushrooms called Polypores, due to their fine porous bottom surface, as opposed to the gilled underside of most common and edible mushrooms. Polypore mushrooms grow in forests on dead wood. Hi quality semi-wild ganoderma is grown outside on cut logs, and commercial varieties are cultivated in controlled environments on moistened rice, oats, hay, and other substrates, with varying degrees of quality. [1] Polypore mushrooms are generally not edible, as the cellulose is tough and fibrous, with a lignin structural matrix similar to cork wood. The fruiting body and mycelia are used to create reishi products, but the fruiting body is thought to be the most valuable part for health. Cracked spore and spore oil products are recently available, but I believe breaking the spore cell wall is destructive to reishi’s natural design and intention. 

Polypore mushrooms include varieties of reishi that vary in color, and its many cousins (ex. Ganoderma Oregonese), chaga (Inonotus obliquus), maitake (Grifola fronderosa), Phellinus lintaeus and turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor). These mushrooms are found growing in many regions, with ganoderma varieties occurring almost universally around the world.   

Many studies have proven the effectiveness of polypores for supporting general immunity, [2] but reishi is also said to enhance spiritual perception. This illustrious reputation was cultivated over thousands of years of experiential observation, and a great deal of Asian art and literature has documented reishi as a spiritual herb, although modern scientific analysis has not developed the mechanisms to evaluate these properties. 

Ancient Chinese folklore attests that one who takes reishi can attain immortality, and that regular consumption can “initiate benevolent cycles of health.” My favorite saying is that reishi is a “bridge between Heaven and Earth.” We can view this in the scroll painting below. 


In the lower portion, people are dwelling on Earth, sipping tea and walking in the forests. The venerable Lao Tzu leads a group of young scholars. Quan Yin ponders harmony in natural beauty, and young lovers revel under the trees. In the center, a reishi mushroom grows on a rock, and above, the Emperor and Empress dwell in the Imperial Palace and ascended Immortals ride celestial dragons among the clouds. Reishi is said to imbue immortality when taken regularly. “Celestial Immortals” have been described throughout Chinese literary history. Many of these Immortals are still said to dwell in the high realms of China’s five sacred mountains. The Queen Mother of the West, China’s Matriarch, lives atop Kunlun Mountain and holds a reishi mushroom in her lap. Historically, writings in the Shennong Bencao, possibly dating to 5975 B.P (before present) state that reishi can “prolong life so as to make one an immortal.” Ge Hong (1734 B.P.) created an elixir with gold reishi that was sought after by Emperors. He stated that reishi could pertain to “an intermediate dimension between mundane and transcendent reality,” and that the mushroom could “produce geniehood.” Li Shizhen (437 B.P.) stated that it could “lengthen life to that of the Immortal fairies.” 

Since discovering reishi, I have sought to decipher the possible biochemical pathways responsible for its purported spiritual enhancement and its ability to support long life. I began with the impressive modern research on reishi’s immune-supporting potential. Analysis reveals polypores contain a class of powerful polysaccharides called Beta 1-3-6 glucans, which are found to activate cytokines, special enzymes that penetrate and invigorate white blood cells, or macrophages ~ our body’s primary immune defense agents. When macrophages are empowered, the immune system will be engaged in cellular protection from anti-microbial activity through phagocytizing and general blood cleansing. Reishi also contains organic germanium (up to 6000 pts. Per mil.), and is high in triterpenes, also called ganodermic acids, which comprise the bitter component and are measureable as the therapeutic biomarker [3] (bitter is better). 

When the body’s internal defenses are strong, we feel safer and protected, which relieves the adrenals of stress from worry and insecurity. When empowered, we are confident and willing to engage in life’s adventures. This optimistic attitude can brighten one’s light. Confident people will attract many friends and admirers, and in time, we become “The Light,” inspiring those around us. We then find we can help people, and we receive help. Thus, we unveil the “benevolent cycles of health” mentioned before.  

This represents a potential psycho-somatic side benefit of taking reishi, but, mushrooms are also known to affect the psyche and perception in ways that aren’t yet scientifically documented. Reishi does not induce psychotropic experiences, but it appears to expand perception. So, let me attempt to explain some possibilities for this potential, as well as delve into many mysteries around the origins of life on Earth and the role advanced fungi may play in consciousness.

Some revelations may exist in the study of Astrobiology. Many Mycologists believe that mushrooms are extra-terrestrial life forms, due to their taxonomic sovereignty, and because fungal spores are capable of surviving space travel; mushroom spores are microscopic and light enough to drift out of our atmosphere and into space (gravitropism), potentially making Earth a cosmic fungal sporulation lab (the spores are initially launched from the fruiting body cells through ballasting processes that may involve diamagnetic electrostatic repulsion, propelling them high enough into the air to be caught in wind currents).[4]

Beginning in the 1970’s, Astrobiologists proposed that basic archaea and much prokaryotic (single celled) life is extra-terrestrial, having originally blown into our atmosphere or arrived in blocks of ice and on meteorites.[5] In the case of the mysterious red rain of Kerala, scientists discovered the tinting was caused by moisture capturing an extraterrestrial algae that was drifting into Earth’s atmosphere. The event was preceded by a sonic boom that may have been from a meteorite that entered our outer atmosphere and exploded, dispersing the algae.[6] Such microbes are called extremophiles, due to their resilience under heat, cold and pressure. Extremophilic organisms are now thought to be responsible for seeding planets with biologically active life.   

During Earth’s early stages, it is thought that bacteria sought refuge from solar radiation inside the permeable fat walls of algae cells, forming colonies that eventually created cooperative intercellular organelles and mitochondria, leading to the rise of complex multi-cellular (Eukaryotic) life. [7] I discussed in my book Threshold to the 4th Chakra that it is unlikely that bacteria alone created these cellular components. Bacteria remain in their own kingdom and perform many symbiotic actions within their milieu, but they do not become functioning DNA of larger organisms. These scientists overlook another important kingdom responsible for the rise of complex life; fungi may have supported the development of microtubules of cellular cytoplasm ~ the information transport system of the cell. By this, I believe that bacteria, algae and fungi combine to create higher life forms.   

Fossils reveal that Earth’s earliest masses of carbon material, called stromatolites, were composed of lasagna-like layers of algae and bacteria, enabling nitrogen fixing, molybdenum oxidation and other important components for life. As this material decomposed, “carbon substrates” formed, creating a medium conducive to fungal sporulation, and tiny filaments of mycelia permeated the substrates, creating nutrient-delivery systems that were remote, thus introducing the conscious transfer of information. I believe that without fungal mycelia, life would merely be composed of tiny organisms living and dying to create sandwiched mounds of matter. While bacteria and algae do function consciously, they would have continued within this cooperative environment into perpetuity. It wasn’t until mycelinating fungi created neurologic systems that symbiotic multicellular life with higher consciousness evolved. 

Cytoplasm in eukaryotic cells has no physical similarities to colonized bacteria, but does resemble fungal mycelia in structure and function. In fact, they can hardly be distinguished, as revealed in the images below. On left is a Human neurological cell and right is fungal mycelia. Both are information-transport networks. 

 

And now, for the mystery question; if fungi, bacteria and algae combined to create higher conscious life, when and where did this original evolution take place? If these microbes, archaea, diatoms and spores have been transported to Earth over potentially vast distances and time-travel, then where did they come from? The only answer we can assume is: everywhere. 

Earth’s oldest rock samples (approx. 3.5 billion years B.P.) contain fossilized cyano-bacteria (algae-mimicking bacteria).8 This indicates they evolved somewhere long before Earth’s atmosphere was established. These considerations imply that Earthly life follows a pre-established order that is symbiotic with all life in the cosmos, and indicates a universal Blueprint. Every celestial body in the universe may be dusted with bacteria, algae and spores, and, depending on a planet’s proximity to a star, they will begin a long process of creating and regulating an atmosphere conducive for life, where evolutionary patterns will progress to create environments and organisms that share common biology with our planet.

Then again, we must ask, where did all this begin? We can only humble ourselves in the face of this mystery, but we can also know that there are worlds beyond - before and after, for, if these lifeforms arrived on early Earth, they must have evolved on planets identical to ours. As mentioned, bacteria are functional symbionts of biological activity; algae create oxygen atmospheres, which, along with bacteria can congeal to create carbon substrates, but the advanced fungi appear to be the harbingers of consciousness, allowing organisms to cooperate and contemplate life, and by which Humans might even someday discover and communicate with life on other worlds.   

We have long known that mushrooms benevolently affect consciousness. Reishi is not psychotropic and does not alter perception, but benefits mental clarity and helps instill a reverent attitude. Reishi enhances spiritual enlightenment, and seems to “weave us into the mycelial web of life.” The subterranean relationship of fungi with plants is called mycorrhiza. Humans attempted to sever ourselves from this relationship through disassociation with the ground (pavement, shoes, tires, etc.). Protracted taking of reishi appears to resuscitate our connection to everything else; plugging us back into our Earth. Nature is calling us to reunite for common survival, and that is why I believe reishi and other tonic herbs and superfoods are emerging in our consciousness that this time.

It is relatively simple to create and maintain the microenvironments and conditions for growing our own reishi, therefore, it cannot be controlled, usurped, sequestered or denied from us. Wild reishi is a world-wide phenomenon that could never be exhausted or endangered, therefore, we all have access to this lifechanging messenger. By taking reishi, we could quickly experience the rapid unfoldment of our higher stage of evolution, which could metaphorically correlate with the 4th Chakra energy of the Heart - the energy of giving. Of reishi’s five colors, the red reishi is associated with the Heart. Curiously this is the variety that is revealing itself to us as we walk in the woods, and is even seen growing on trees in city streets.  

The timing is impeccable for our advent into a higher phase of evolution, as Earth will not continue to provide the seemingly inexhaustible resources we have been used to consuming. Now, as we take reishi, we understand our destiny as propagators and managers of life on Earth rather than simple usurpers and consumers. In our pending advanced evolutionary phase, we begin replenishing the fruits of Mother Earth. We will be required to redirect the majority of our activities to collective remediation of nature. Our unfolding awareness of reishi carries the messages of this new empowerment. After twenty years of personal use and observation, I believe that taking reishi, along with other tonic herbs and a wholesome living-food diet will provide the accelerated progression of our evolution into caring beings that live symbiotically with our planet. As more people take reishi, we may quickly and effectively adapt to and apply the changes that are immanent, and the Human race and our world will be healed and preserved.

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