Archive for June, 2009

New Reiki Article

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

If you are interested in reiki, there is a new reiki article on my website – The Sacred Usui Reiki Symbols – which you should find interesting to read. Some of the information can be found in my reiki two manual, which gives more information on how the symbols are used in practice.

~~~C

Happy Double Month!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the leap month started on June 23. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is reconciled with the solar calendar, occasionally a leap month has to be inserted. The month is considered to be a leap month because there is no solar centerpoint (such as the Sun entering Cancer at 90 degrees) within that lunar month. (Please see my first article on calendars for more explanation of the Chinese calendar.)

The leap month is considered to be a double of the lunar month before it. This leap month is the 5th Double Month, which means we have two Horse months this year. The Double Month is generally considered to be lucky in the Chinese lunar calendar. So, hopefully a little luck might come your way, especially for those born in the month or year of the Horse.

As mentioned previously, the Chinese calendar is set according to Chinese Standard Time. The lunar months start on the new moon, which means that there was also a new moon earlier this week. The new moon this month occurred on June 22 at 3:35 p.m. EDT (which is June 23, 3:35 p.m. CST, thus the lunar month started on the June 23).

Upcoming calendar events and dates are:

July 7 – full moon at 5:21 a.m. EDT and lunar eclipse at 5:38 EDT; Mead Moon (folk name for the full moon); 6th solar month in the Chinese calendar, Slight Heat segment; Holly month in Graves’ calendar
July 8 – Spear month in Kondratiev’s calendar
July 11 – Hot Winds month in the Lakota calendar
July 21 – new moon at 10:34 p.m. EDT and solar eclipse at 10:35 p.m EDT
July 22 – start of the 6th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, known as the Sheep month in Chinese astrology
July 23 – Great Heat segment in the Chinese calendar (occurs when the Sun enters Leo, which according to EDT occurs July 22 at 12:36 p.m. or July 23 at 12:36 a.m. Chinese ST)
August 4 – Hazel month in Graves’ calendar
August 5 – full moon at 8:55 p.m. EDT and lunar eclipse at 8:39 p.m. EDT; Corn Moon (folk name for the full moon); Salmon month in Kondratiev’s calendar

The next pagan festival after the summer solstice is Lughnasadh on August 1st (if you are traditional) or on August 7th (if you want to observe the astronomical significance of the festival; I am of the opinion that anciently it was celebrated when the Sun was in 15 degrees Leo).

You may note a certain theme in the names of the calendar months in this cycle – predominantly hot! We have Slight Heat and Great Heat in the Chinese calendar and Hot Winds in the Lakota calendar. Tied into this time of heat, we have the theme of hunting in Kondratiev’s calendar (Spear month and Salmon month) and themes of cultivation in the full moon names of Mead and Corn. This is definitely the height of the harvest season, and perhaps you may want to celebrate with some mead or corn! (I’ve already started on the corn. 😉 )

The next calendar update will be at the beginning of August, the time of Lughnasadh.

~~~C

Reiki Books Available on lulu.com

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I recently decided to make my reiki manuals one and two available for purchase through lulu.com. If you’re interested in reiki, already a practitioner, or a reiki teacher, you should find my reiki manuals interesting to read. It is a blend of Western reiki and Japanese reiki based on the training I received in Western reiki and my research into Japanese reiki. Only manuals one and two are available right now. I am still working on the third manual. I put it aside about a year and a half ago as I was mulling over some things in my head. In any case, I hope to get that done by the end of this year and will be putting that on lulu.com. I also have a “regular book” that I am planning to write on reiki that I hope will catch a wider readership. To see everything I have published on lulu.com, go to my storefront – http://stores.lulu.com/brighidsflame.

Because I could not decide on the covers I wanted for the manuals I opted for two different covers for each manual. There are also two different binding versions for each manual. You may purchase a spiral bound version or a perfect bound version. The spiral bound version is ideal for note-taking and studying. The perfect bound version is great as a reference copy. Both versions are 8.5″x11″.

Here are the two different covers for reiki manual one:
Reiki Manual One - cover 1
Reiki Manual One - cover 2

and for reiki manual two:
Reiki Manual Two - cover 1
Reiki Manual Two - cover 2

To quickly purchase one of my manuals, use the buttons below. They will put the manual directly into your lulu.com shopping cart.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual one (cover 1, spiral bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual one (cover 2, spiral bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual one (cover 1, perfect bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual one (cover 2, perfect bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual two (cover 1, spiral bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual two (cover 2, spiral bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual two (cover 1, perfect bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Click this button if you want to purchase reiki manual two (cover 2, perfect bound version)

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

A little note regarding my decision to self-publish my manuals:

Why is self-publishing better than the traditional mass-market publishing? The reason I chose to self-publish is that the majority of the revenue goes to the me as the author. If you appreciate the value of what I personally put into writing my books, you will like the fact that what you are paying goes to me rather than the “middleman”, that is, the retailers. Through lulu.com 80% of the net income (sale price minus manufacturing costs) goes to me, 20% goes to the lulu.com. Contrast that with mass-market publishing, where the retailer marks up the price by at least double their costs. This is the formula for selling retail:

Manufacturing costs plus author’s revenue (that would be the royalties I’d want) plus retail markup (this is double manufacturing costs plus author’s revenue) = sales price

Contrary to what some people may believe, books published on the mass-market aren’t necessarily better books than self-published books. (The gods only know how many books I put back on the shelf after flipping through them.) By supporting independent publishers like myself, you are encouraging people who honestly love to write. Part of the reason there are so many pointless books in the retail bookstores is that some people write simply to turn a buck or two. It’s very annoying. So please, please support independent publishers! Thanks.

~~~C

Book Nook

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Ah… it’s been another busy couple of months.

Here’s a couple of novels I finished reading recently:
30 Days of Night – Rumours of the Undead by Steve Miles and Jeff Mariotte
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

and a couple of comics:
30 Days of Night – Return to Barrow
Buffy – Time of Your Life (Season 8, volume 4)

Following is a list of books that I’ve started reading:
Winter’s Heart (book nine of The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
Three Against the Witch World by Andre Norton
Gormenghast (the sequel to Titus Groan) by Mervyn Peake
Rogue Squadron (book one of Star Wars: X-wing) by Michael A. Stackpole
A Clash of Kings (book two of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (as of today, I am on part three of book two, page 443)
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

I mentioned that I was putting a few books aside for now. I think for now I am putting Ursula LeGuin’s Always Coming Home aside for now. I think it will be more likely that I will read either The Left Hand of Darkness or The Dispossessed before I finish Always Coming Home when I get back to reading LeGuin novels.

Here is a review of The Sum of All Men (book one of Runelords) by David Farland:

I didn’t actually finish this book because I was disappointed with the story line so far. I think I read the first 100 pages or so. I don’t really buy into the scenario of people seeing how great and glamourous Raj Ahten is to the point that they decided to throw down their weapons and surrender to him. I sort of feel cheated, like he copped out of having to write a decent battle scene between the two armies (which seems strange to me as the overall writing is decent enough).

Then, there is the supposedly “strong” heroine who verbally threatens to risk her life by taking up arms in the battlefield if it was required, but deep inside wouldn’t really. For someone who trains in martial arts and lives its philosophy, suffice it to say the heroine of the novel was a big disappointment for me. Clearly, the author thinks some women can look strong, but really must not be that strong mentally or physically in reality.

I really enjoy George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time much better than this novel. Seeing as I still have some ways to go with Martin’s series, still have to catch up with Jordan’s series, and have a few other books that might be more interesting to read than Farland’s, I doubt I will be inclined to finish reading this novel by Farland any time soon.

30 Days of Night – Rumours of the Undead was a decent story. The story isn’t going to be anyone’s favourite, and it really should be read as part of the 30 Days of Night continuity. The overall 30 Days of Night series is intriguing. I will have to see how well I like it after reading through a few more of the graphic novels.

A Kiss of Shadows (book one in the Merry Gentry series) has Hamilton’s typical flair for sarcasm, humour, and adventure that is familiar from her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. The difference is that the Merry Gentry series is more romantic in nature and very sensual (to put it mildly). I am more interested in this series for Hamilton’s depiction of the faery world. So far it is intriguing and she has built a full world with lots of different, not just characters, but species. Intriguing.

Yay, Buffy! What can I say? I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer – the ultimate kick-ass girl. But what happens when Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Fray the Vampire Slayer? Oh no! Time warp! If you are a Buffy fan and haven’t been reading the season eight comics, you really should pick up Time of Your LIfe (volume four of Buffy season 8). I love the art in this series and the whole series is overseen by Joss Whedon. This is stuff you wouldn’t have seen in a TV series.

And speaking of Buffy, I finally got the last Buffy Omnibus – volume 7. “Oh happy happy joy joy!”

I recently went back to reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. I’m on book nine, Winter’s Heart. I am a little more than a third of the way through, but then got into another one of those crazy writing phases where I write almost non-stop and my brain keeps jumping topics so I have to accomodate by working on more than one writing thing at a time. (Yes, my brain really does work that way sometimes. Some days I wonder that I make any sense at all!)

~~~C