Tag Archives: magic

Fan Girl Lament: Will There Ever Be a Harry Potter 8?

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 5.25.25 PMIt was a normal day on my Facebook feed yesterday until I saw that an old acquaintance from high school had posted this article quoting JK Rowling saying that she was 75% done with an eighth Harry Potter novel.

Begin instant fan-girl freak out immediately.

I scrolled right past the April 1, 2013 date at the top of the story. Began clapping my hands eagerly at “more details to come during Rowling’s press conference in Scotland” and was already tweeting “PLEASE LET IT BE MARAUDERS! #HP8 #LETITBETRUE” before I got to Daniel Radcliffe’s alleged statement that he was itching to get back into the Potter world. Honestly, that’s when I should have known something was up. I have basically been cyber stalking Dan since I saw Kill Your Darlings. I’ve seen every interview he’s done over the past three months and if one thing has been clear it has been his desire to establish himself as an actor outside of the Potter universe. (However, there is so much to be explored in the wizarding world outside of Harry. Like I said, MARAUDERS. NOW. PLEASE.)

I was in the middle of leaving my mother a voicemail that I would need my Hufflepuff (and proud) scarf express mailed to Los Angeles – not to worry that it was 91 degrees last week, fandom trumps comfort in every instance – when my friend and trusted Potter expert Terri Schwartz tweeted this helpful (and soul crushing) article from MuggleNet (the internet’s most trusted HP source). Their points were so accurate. I finally noticed that date. Daniel would never be interested in reclaiming his Potter title. Why would such an obscure website have such a hot story? More importantly, why would they be so cruel to play with our emotions that way? It’s November, not April! How dare they!

Begrudgingly, I closed my make-your-own-wand tutorial and began to sulk.

The Intent theme this week has been fantasies, and to be invited back to the Wizarding World for one more adventure probably tops the list of mine. Every birthday I still naively wish for my letter for Hogwarts to arrive. You know, maybe they have a late bloomer night-college for adults campus or something. I started reading these books when I was 10 years old – I am now 24. What is it about Hogwarts that still has me (and millions of others) still captivated  a decade and a half later?

It’s more than the fact that magic and flying broomsticks are awesome. Harry Potter taught kids like me, and people the world over, that under dogs can surmount any obstacle as long as they have integrity, faith in their friends, and the belief in themselves and their own intelligence over shortcuts and darkness. Harry Potter taught us to reach for the light. For seven books and eight movies we were able to travel to a magical world where we could all be heroes. Two professors from the University of Vermont published a book earlier this year on the political impact the Harry Potter series has had on millennials. In a national survey they found that young people that grew up reading the books tend be more open to diversity; politically tolerant; less authoritarian; less likely to support the use of deadly force or torture; and more politically active. Harry Potter has fulfilled its role as the ultimate fantasy for the current generation – it provides us with an encompassing escape and returns us to the real world with a desire and motivation to be better than we already are.

“The stories we love the most will always live within us,” JK Rowling said at the premiere of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, “so whether you return by page or by screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” You may not be writing another book right now, Jo, but we’ll eagerly accept the invitation back any time.

And the Magic of Harry Potter Continues! J.K. Rowling’s Next Film Project

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If you were among the millions in the world devastated by the end of the Harry Potter book and film series, then take heart. The wizarding world of Harry Potter will be back onscreen in no time! (Just without Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang.)

We know, it sounds crazy. How can you have a “Harry Potter” movie without Harry Potter and co.? If you’re a devoted fan, then maybe you already know…

J.K. Rowling is teaming up with Warner Bros. to develop a new film series based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, one of the textbooks Harry and his classmates read at Hogwarts. By the title you can probably guess what the book is about. The film series will bring the book’s supposed author, Newt Scamander, to the forefront, cataloging his adventures in the same magical world Harry and the gang call home.

As Rowling said in a press release:

It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt…

As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.

Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.

The Harry Potter phenomenon is so pervasive, so ingrained at this point, we wonder if the world has even conceptualized yet how much the series has changed our culture. Sure, you could say, “It’s just a kid’s book! It’s a fad!” But then you remember that this “fad” has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, available in 73 languages, and it persists in popularity even 15 years after the first book was published. Sometimes it’s hard to know the impact a book will have in the years to come.

Whether you’re a fan of the books or not, who doesn’t love a good fantasy movie? We look forward to whatever magic Rowling and Warner Bros. come up with together – witches, monsters, broomsticks and all!

What do you think about the significance of Harry Potter in modern culture? Let us know in the comments section below!

This Is What Real Love Looks Like

Burning Love -- Spring Botanical Red Tulip Flower“Real love is something so deep, so energizing, that you will not know it unless you experience it. Love is an expression of energy, not something that is transacted. Tell me one thing: can you love people when you meet them for the first time?”

(From the audience: No Swamiji! We don’t even know them, then how can we love them?)

Exactly! This is what you think. Let me tell you, with a little bit of intellectual understanding and meditation, you will realize that you can love anyone without a reason! You can love the trees on the road, you can caress them and feel the energy flow from you. You can love people whom you pass by on the road without even knowing them. Love is actually your very being, not a distilled quality that you possess.

Nothing is as misconstrued as love is today. Today, love is more of a transaction. If someone says something nice to you, you love him; tomorrow if the same person falls short of it, you don’t love him that much or you probably hate him.

Even your lifelong friend, with whom you chat everyday on the computer, will seem suddenly not-so-close if he says something that goes against your approval. Where is your love at this time? It has suffered temporarily!

It is just games that you play; a game in which love and hate surface alternately and interchangeably. And this love-hate relationship is not love at all. Be very clear. It is simply your reaction to a person or a situation, that’s all. This is what we call love. This is not real love. It is subjective love, that’s all.

Real love knows no object. It is simply there whether there is an object or not. Real love is the subject itself. It does not know any object. You are the subject and you have become love, that’s all. Any object that comes in touch with it, feels it. Just like a river flows naturally and people enjoy it at the different places that they encounter it, real love exudes from a person and the people around him will be able to feel it.

There is absolutely no room for conditioning in real love. The energy in you should overflow and express itself as love. It is then that you can break through the highly knotted boundaries of relationships and express yourself beautifully, as a loving being!

In order to discover the quality of your being, that is love, two things can be done. The first thing: repeatedly listen to words like these so that they create a conviction in you about real love; so that a space is created in you for the process of transformation. Second thing: meditate so that the transformation can actually happen.

In practical life, when you go deeper and deeper into relationships, you will understand that all that you feel is not real love, but just some form of give and take. It is all just adjustment, some compromise, some duty-bound feelings, some fear, some guilt. It is all there in the name of love.

Meditation will take you beyond these mis-understandings of love. Meditation will work at the being level. That is why it is a shortcut! When you have to go through life and know it by yourself, it will take you a lifetime. But with meditation, a space opens inside you to experience these things clearly for yourself, whatever your age may be.

Just understand this one thing: when you are able to love without a reason, you will expand like anything. Your world will suddenly seem larger than life. It will be so ecstatic. You will become an energy source to yourself and to others. You will be so overflowing that the energy in you has to touch others. There is no other way. Others will be naturally drawn to you.”

 

Originally posted September 2011

It isn’t happening.

it

Do you know what happens when a dragon is born into the world?

Do you think it is the dragon that, upon breaking his shell, swivels his head around on its long, shaky neck to look around, to see, to learn? Do you think it is the dragon that has to be taught how to live life on the other side of its egg? Do you think it is the dragons that needs training? Knowledge of survival in the reality it entered? Knowledge gathered by others? Ways, means and paths established by others?

Do you think it is the dragon that must fit itself into the life it entered?

Well, that is not what I think.

I think that as a dragon is born it is the world that holds its breath in anticipation and excitement. I think that when the sharp horn of the dragon’s nose shutters its egg with a loud crack it is the world that shakes and shudders in reaction and wonder. I believe it is the world that opens it’s eyes wide in wonder at the new creature that emerges into it.

I think it is the world that learns.

I think it is the world that learns how to live when a dragon is present. It is the world, it is the life that changes, opens and shifts when the dragon presents it with its way. Its own way. A way that has never been seen before for the dragon’s way is its magic, and magic is originality and uniqueness.

You might think that life happens to a dragon – I believe it is the dragon that happens to life.

Wicca 101: Witches, Magic, and the Art of Intention

What is it with witches and wizards? We love them, hate them, persecute them for hundreds of years, and glorify them in wondrous stories of magical worlds and flying broomsticks. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores the wizarding world of Wicca in the hopes of dispelling some common misconceptions about this rapidly growing religion.

We’ve come a long way since the witch trials of Renaissance Europe and the American colonies,  but prejudice lingers. In some parts of the world witch hunts are a daily reality, with individuals harassed, beaten, shunned and occasionally even murdered for bearing “witch-like” traits. Harry Potter is a fine and beloved fantasy around the world, but how would we treat him if he were real? Witchcraft is acceptable in the realm of fantasy, but could we make room for it in the muggle world, too?

The world has had centuries to work on religious tolerance for pagans and Wiccans, but we continue to fail in making an accommodation to their traditions. Ancient European paganism, Hebrew mysticism and Greek mythology are just some of the forebears cited by Wiccan texts and oral histories. The inclusion of a feminine divine also leads historians and archaeologists to draw a line of ancestry from ancient fertility cults to contemporary Neo-pagan traditions, of which Wicca is probably the most organized and certainly most widely recognized.

Historians in the 19th century began writing about the connection between earlier traditions and groups purportedly practicing underground magic at the time. In 1951 the United Kingdom joined the rest of Europe in repealing remaining anti-witchcraft laws, just in time for the publishing of civil servant and amateur anthropologist Gerald Gardner’s book Witchcraft Today. In his book, Gardner declared himself a practitioner of a heretofore unknown religion “Wicca,” which he dated back to the Stone Age. The religion swiftly gained momentum, with many neo-pagan traditions branching off from it in the decades that followed.

John William Waterhouse: Magic CircleThere is no single sacred text, governing body, or outlined doctrine in Wicca today, and beliefs and practices vary widely from practitioner to practitioner. But certain themes crop up repeatedly in rhetoric and at modern gatherings. Connection to the earth and nature’s rhythms is key, as is reverence for both the divine masculine and feminine, sometimes as the Goddess and God but often as a merging of creative forces in the Universe. Wiccans and pagans also tend to revere the directions (East, South, West, North and Center) and elements (Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit), perform rituals that coincide with seasonal cycles (equinoxes, solstices, and moon phases), and believe in reincarnation.

Even more fundamental is adherence to a fundamental ethic called the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” Essentially, the community trusts its members to make their own decisions, hold their own beliefs, and act in such a way as to harm none – self and environment included. Similar to The Golden Rule known to just about every religious tradition throughout history, The Threefold Law is prominent in Wicca, as well, and teaches that energy released into the world will return to the individual three times as powerful, for better or for worse.

Wiccan magic, often referred to as “the Craft,” is largely grounded in intention and ritual. The word “magic” stems from both the Old Persian term for “sorcerer” but also the ancient Greek word for “art.” Consider, then, that the artist, actor, or carpenter utilizes magic as much as the magician does in transforming natural resources into entirely new expressions of creativity. Just so, Wiccans harness energetic influences and elements in order to manifest certain intentions. Easier said than done, right? But at the end of the day isn’t it a lot like praying or repeating positive affirmations? More mainstream, but equally magical in essence.

What are your thoughts on Wicca and magic? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to receive updates about all our latest episodes, and have a magical day!

photo by: deflam

Hey, Smarty Pants! 5 Articles to Nourish Your Brain.

As thoughtful, spiritual people, we tend to emphasize the heart and soul. The brain is the realm of reason, but the heart…This is the home of spirit and love and connection. Well, it’s time to give your brain some love. It helps you solve tough problems, formulate creative thoughts, and move your body around in all manner of ways. How wonderful to have a brain!

Why forget when you can remember? Everything. Here’s a super practical, fun action plan to boost your brain strength and keep those memories close.

How to Remember Everything (Greatist)

Blueberries and avocados are great – but here are some other ways to feed your brain. Try curiosity for breakfast, exercise for lunch, and positivity for dinner.

8 Ways to Feed Your Brain (MindBodyGreen)

Did you know negativity can impair brain function?! Protect yourself against party poopers.

3 Ways to Defend Your Brain Against Complainers (Care2)

Remember those piano and violin lessons you bemoaned as a child? Well you can thank them now for that strong, healthy brain of yours.

Music Boosts the Brain (HuffPost)

And finally, our brains aren’t all science. When you approach life with positivity and optimism, you feel happy, your brain is more agile, your body is healthy, and your soul is expanded. Pure magic.

The Magic of Pure Optimism (Positively Positive)

What is Enlightenment?

"We are always chasing happiness. We want to be happy all the time. The shortest way to be that way is to become enlightened!

 

Let me tell you what it means to be in the state of enlightenment. This is my personal experience.

 

The enlightenment keeps me in tremendous ecstasy 24 hours, 365 days a year. The word ‘ecstasy’ is not enough to describe the bliss I am in. Scientists say that whenever pleasure is stimulated in your system, a hormone called dopamine is released. Doctors call the point where it is released as the D-spot. When the chemical is released, our body is flooded with enormous energy.

 

When I am in the state of enlightenment, the idea of boundary, a limiting factor for most of us is lost. The feeling that my body ends here and the rest of the world starts here is absent. Everything is mine. The sensitivity with which I feel my body is the same that I feel for the whole cosmos.

 

My first experience with this kind of joy happened when I was a mere teenager. When I experienced it for the first time, the heightened sense of ecstasy lasted only for a few days. It gave me the first experience, the first glimpse. But after enlightenment, I live continuously in this heightened ecstasy. I am always in bliss day in and day out. It does not diminish, reduce. It just is. There is no time where I am not in this state.

 

When I became enlightened, I could no longer be judgmental. I only have compassion for everyone and everything. Merely by my physical presence, I radiate energy that will touch everyone.

 

With enlightenment, the basic idea of sex disappeared. The idea of being either male or female died. Though I have a male body, I can never identify with a male or female body. The truth is I am holding on to my body delicately, just like I hold a handkerchief, with my fingertips.

 

My mind doesn’t exist. I am like a tape recorder that plays when it is switched on. When it plays, you hear the sound. When it is switched off, there is silence. Similarly, when I stop talking, a space is created. There are no words here. There is only silence.

 

There are thousands of enlightened masters living on planet Earth. Their energies are all one and the same. Only their expressions are different.

 

Let us all strive towards enlightenment. Let us all partake the ecstasy and bliss that is eternal. Let all of us be in Nithyananda – eternal bliss."

 

Join us: http://www.facebook.com/eNithyananda

Visit Us : http://www.amazon.com/Paramahamsa-Nithyananda/e/B004W24N5K/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=enintent-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

STANDING MAN

 STANDING MAN

Standing man.  On a pavement in London. Face and clothing caked with blood. I stopped my car abruptly and leapt out.  As we waited for the ambulance I discovered he was 15 years younger than the 45 he looked to be at first glance – perhaps it was the ordeal taking its toll (although his gaze hinted at other traumas beside), one which had begun 20 minutes earlier when someone struck him above his eye as if with an axe, leaving a terrible and deep gash. Nobody on this busy street had thought to stop, whether driving or walking by. I gently placed both my hands on either side of his chest and placed my face where I thought he could see it easily. He was unsteady, in shock, trembling as he fought to stay upright, one arm outstretched as his hand kept a desperate grip on the top of the low wall next to him. No alcohol on his breath, his clothes though drenched bright red were otherwise unremarkable; he was clean-shaven. He slowly brought his head up, his expression flooding with gratitude, his eyes reaching out to me. I gave him such warmth that I could, holding and enfolding him with my presence. A man wandered over to admit he had been surveying the scene for some considerable time prior to my arrival; he retreated in the face of my sudden inability to make small-talk.  Even as the ambulance-man took him away, standing man continued turning towards me, speaking his thanks with his body as much as with his voice, which I found I was instinctively matching with every gesture and look of reassurance I could muster. I resumed my drive. I didn’t feel it was an episode typical of my city – leave alone the affluent area in which it actually took place. Regardless; standing man and I will always be joined together in that brief moment of shared humanity.

 

aladin London August 29 2011

www.aladin.me

 

STANDING MAN

 STANDING MAN

Standing man.  On a pavement in London. Face and clothing caked with blood. I stopped my car abruptly and leapt out.  As we waited for the ambulance I discovered he was 15 years younger than the 45 he looked to be at first glance – perhaps it was the ordeal taking its toll (although his gaze hinted at other traumas beside), one which had begun 20 minutes earlier when someone struck him above his eye as if with an axe, leaving a terrible and deep gash. Nobody on this busy street had thought to stop, whether driving or walking by. I gently placed both my hands on either side of his chest and placed my face where I thought he could see it easily. He was unsteady, in shock, trembling as he fought to stay upright, one arm outstretched as his hand kept a desperate grip on the top of the low wall next to him. No alcohol on his breath, his clothes though drenched bright red were otherwise unremarkable; he was clean-shaven. He slowly brought his head up, his expression flooding with gratitude, his eyes reaching out to me. I gave him such warmth that I could, holding and enfolding him with my presence. A man wandered over to admit he had been surveying the scene for some considerable time prior to my arrival; he retreated in the face of my sudden inability to make small-talk.  Even as the ambulance-man took him away, standing man continued turning towards me, speaking his thanks with his body as much as with his voice, which I found I was instinctively matching with every gesture and look of reassurance I could muster. I resumed my drive. I didn’t feel it was an episode typical of my city – leave alone the affluent area in which it actually took place. Regardless; standing man and I will always be joined together in that brief moment of shared humanity.

 

aladin London August 29 2011

www.aladin.me

 

Shopping For Nirvana To Create Your Sacred Space

You don’t have to be a Holy Man in Varanasi, India on the banks of the GangesRiver to tap into spirituality of your own sacred space. What I learned from my recent trip to India is that the heart of every Indian home has a sacred space. What that means to us in the West is up for interpretation. In Feng Shui it is your Bright Hall or foyer that ushers in positive Qi energy and provides a base camp for sacred objects and magical greeters. The entryway is where good vibes accumulate and then disperse throughout your home or office. That is why I suggest an important and powerful statue be placed as a focal point when you walk in (we are not talking about religious symbolism but spiritual vibration.)  

What you want to do is create your own shrine or artistic still-life that is welcoming to you and your guests and as you enter that says, “Welcome. I am glad you are here!”

My favorite cast of characters includes Buddha, Ganesh and Quan Yin. Buddha radiates serenity, makes you feel good and blesses your home.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of prosperity blesses success because he removes obstacles. Every Indian home and business places Ganesh in their entrance to make sure all new projects are successful.

And Quan Yin is the goddess of compassion and mercy that invites loving energy. She protects women and children with grace and joy. When I went shopping for Buddha with my mother for her

Aspen house, we came home instead with this Quan Yin statue (seen below) because this apparently was the energy she needed. She sits in the foyer and invites happy healthy loving energy into our family home and that’s what a magical greeter is all about.

Anita Rosenberg is a certified Feng Shui expert and BaZi Astrology Master who lives and works in

Hollywood. www.AnitaRosenberg.com

 

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