Laws of Dharma: 10. Absence of anger (khroda)

There is a version of what we call ‘anger’ that is indispensable for our survival. We see it glinting like fire diamonds in the eyes of a mother in the wild who has just given birth. Even as she’s licking the afterbirth off her new cub’s fur, she looks up at you and you know…

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The Laws of Dharma: 9. Truth (satya)

You might be wondering why law number 9 seems, at first glance, identical to law number 4, Honesty. But the satya kind of truth is a much wider and deeper subject than merely getting your thoughts, words and deeds lined up in a row. It is a quality that emanates palpably from those who have…

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The Laws of Dharma: 8. Knowledge (vidya)

The meaning of the value of knowledge could be misconstrued if we don’t understand how the word vidya was meant when the Vedic rishis composed these Laws of Dharma. Vidya comes from the same Sanskrit root from which the Greeks took the word ‘vision’. It is about a vision of the cosmos that is holistic…

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The Laws of Dharma: 7. Reason (dhi)

I regard the path of human life as that of the mythological hero who has taken incarnation here to face his or her trials in order to reach enlightenment. And so viewed through that lens, reason is the Fragarach sword of discrimination and analysis which at the very least, stops our adversaries dead in their…

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The Laws of Dharma: 5. Sanctity (shauch)

My shamanic training first began on a Greek island in 1995, when I was initiated into huna kane: Polynesian shamanism. It continued at my guru’s south Indian ashram, three years later, with shamans from Mexico who had been trained by the same nagual that had taught “Carlos Castenada”. Finally, back home, I followed an intensive…

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The Laws of Dharma: 3. Piety (dama)

The word piety must have been misapplied a million times over the past two millennia. You can see it clearly when you zoom out and look at the timeline of the religion of Christianity. At first, it was impious to be a Christian and not recognise the emperor of Rome as a god, and so…

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The Laws of Dharma: 2. Forgiveness (kshama)

For most of my life, I found it nigh on impossible to even consider forgiving those who crossed me. I realised eventually that it was something to do to my Mum’s saying, whenever we children fell out with anyone: “Shake hands, and forgive and forget.” “Why would I ever want to forget how that person…

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The Laws of Dharma: a touchstone during turbulent times

I spent a lot of time in India during the Nineties, studying the Vedas. It was then that I came across the ancient Laws of Dharma. These are otherwise known as natural laws, because they are based on universal principles which govern, alchemically, every single thing that is alive in this universe – and that…

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Sewing our shadows back on

In my article for Beltane, I explained the star story that underpins the play about Peter Pan. In it, I show the connection between Tinkerbell and Jupiter, who governs the metal tin, and the sign of Sagittarius. (This is all explained much more fully in Stories in the Summerlands). But in brief, J. M Barrie’s…

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Beltane, May Day and the story written in the stars that fall on the Summerlands

This year, we will miss the colour and gaiety and music that usually fills the streets of Glastonbury at Beltane on May Day. When we are in better times, folk come pouring into the Summerlands from far and wide to join the throngs following the red and white dragons as they are drummed through the…

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