What is Karma? Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton’s law of ‘every action must have a reaction’. When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly. This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able eradicate it.
This law of cause and effect is not punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning.
A person may not escape the consequences of his actions, but he will suffer only if he himself has made the conditions ripe for his suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether the laws are man-made or universal. To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma andreincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws.
1. The Great Law
“As you sow, so shall you reap.” This is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect.”
If what we want is happiness, peace, love, and friendship, then we should BE happy, peaceful, loving and a true friend.
Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us.
2. The Law of Creation
Life doesn’t just happen. It requires our participation.
We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
Be yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have in your life.
3. The Law of Humility
You can’t change something if you refuse to accept it.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to benegative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.
4. The Law of Growth
“Wherever you go, there you are.”
For us to grow in Spirit, it is we who must change, and not the people, places or things around us.
The only given we have in our lives is ourselves, and that is the only factor we have control over.
When we change who and what we are within our hearts, our lives follow suit and change too.
5. The Law of Responsibility
Whenever there is something wrong in my life, there is something wrong in me.
We mirror what surrounds us, and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
We must take responsibility for what is in our life.
6. The Law of Connection
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance, as they were both needed to accomplish the task.
Past, Present and Future are all connected.
7. The Law of Focus
You cannot think of two things at the same time.
Because of this, when our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
8. The Law of Giving and Hospitality
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
Here is where we put what we CLAIM that we have learned into actual PRACTICE.
9. The Law of Here and Now
Looking backward to examine what was or forward to worry about the future prevents us from being totally in the here and now.
Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, and old dreams prevent us from having new ones.
10. The Law of Change
History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
11. The Law of Patience and Reward
All rewards require initial toil.
Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
True joy comes from doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.
12. The Law of Significance and Inspiration
You get back from something whatever you have put into it.
The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
Lackluster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire, the Whole.
This is the time of year to start making light, fresh, healthy fare. I love this delicious, high-protein bowl for meatless Mondays and for serving to our vegetarian friends. Don’t skip the dressing. It’s tart and lovely and absolutely makes the dish.
for the roasted veggies:
~ preheat oven to 400 degrees F. ~
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and blotted dry
1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium yellow or white onion, coarse chopped
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
In a large mixing bowl, toss the chickpeas, cauliflower, onion, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, salt pepper and garlic until everything is well coated. Spread out on a large baking sheet with a lip (also known as a jellyroll pan) and roast for 45-55 minutes in preheated oven. Toss every 15 minutes during cooking time. The veggies are done when they’re tender and a deep golden brown color around the edges.
for the dijon parsley dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon raw honey
Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, parsley and honey. Once the veggies are completely roasted and golden brown, toss them with this dressing while they’re still warm. Sprinkle on a little more fresh pepper. Serve.
Full moons are always energetically powerful, deeply creative and also intensely magical times.
A full moon happens when the sun, earth and moon line up in that order, and the sun’s light shines directly onto the moon. It is also a time when the lunar energy is at its most intense.
Therefore, when we have a blue moon, which happens when two full moons occur in the same month, we are empowered more than ever.
All full moons bring us in touch with our emotions, our sensitivities and our inner-selves.
When we are in tune with the natural energetic currents of nature, we can combine our own energy forces so that we have an extra surge, which helps to push us in the right direction.
This blue moon is a powerful one and it is signalling that it is time for us to take control and take the power back from areas of our lives that have been roaming free and taking us down a road that lead to nowhere.
Everything from our past is about to be illuminated and areas that desperately need focusing on will be brought to our attention and during this blue moon, there will be no looking away.
We will meet with certain issues that have been haunting us face-to-face and rather than being fearful, we should see this as an excellent chance for growth and transformation.
We will be seeing ourselves in a new light and this will mean we will question everything around us.
As we acknowledge and take ownership for all that we are being shown, we will also begin to realise that everything that is in our lives is our own responsibility and that other people have their own paths to follow. We cannot blame other people for influencing ours, neither can we try to influence or alter anyone else’s.
As the truth becomes more apparent, we will also start to see behaviours of ours that have fallen out of character with who we are at our core self. We get too caught up in what other people are doing or what we think they should be doing and this not only holds us back, it prevents others from learning their own lessons and discovering what they need to too.
We are all given this one unique life and by bringing in a little more unconditional love and acceptance of others, we can also practice letting go of expectations at the same time.
This is an extremely challenging and testing time as we begin to see ourselves, and others, in a brand new light. However, through seeing things with more clarity, we are also awakened to what it is we truly want from life and also, who and what we want surrounding us.
We are being given a window to look through so that we can revolutionise our lives and in doing so we will see that we have been making excuses for certain people that we are connected to and these particular people have been limiting us from pushing forward and making alterations that have prevented us from shining.
It is not just people that have been holding us back, we have become stuck in a rut in many areas of our lives, and the blue moon’s energy will give us that extra surge to pull ourselves out and shake the dust from the attachments once and for all.
If we take a deep breath and head off on this once in a blue moon journey, we will soon find that the people and situations that do not offer mutual love, support and acceptance will gently drop by the wayside and this will leave an abundance of space for new, interesting and exciting people or opportunities to take their place.
The people who do stay beside us on our paths will be there because they have chosen us, and we have chosen them to walk side-by-side with, and they are not there through convenience, laziness, or because we are afraid to see the truth. These types of people are also “once in a blue moon” connections and, therefore, we should fully appreciate their places in our lives and show gratitude.
This blue moon is our time where we can all take the opportunity to be illuminated as brightly as the moon so that we can be energised, radiate and glow.
We will begin to see that world as quite literally one huge playground of love, fun and adventure and we do not need to remain captured any longer with our wings firmly clipped.
We can start fluttering our wings in preparation for take-off, as if we are willing to take the leap, we will discover that we have the ability to fly high and also to venture out to explore the paths that have been ready and patiently waiting for us.
The only thing that has been stopping us from reaching our goals and dreams is our self!
No more days should be wasted waiting for things to magically change. We are the ones that can create those changes as we have all the magic and creativity within. We just need to believe in ourselves, to be brave and rise like the phoenix from the ashes and we are capable of soaring. We can achieve everything our hearts desire with a little hard work, determination and—more than anything—self-belief.
All we need to do is to listen to our intuition, pay very close attention, hear every word that it is saying to us and with every ounce of strength we can gather we must put everything we have into making these dreams a reality.
We must let go of old stories we tell ourselves about how impossible it is to achieve what it is that our hearts and souls desire. We must break through old patterns and behaviours that have kept us stuck, remaining in the darkness and waiting for someone else to turn on the light.
We have to pull the switch—no one else can do it for us. It is up to us.
Not tomorrow, or the next day. We must take the first small step right now and just place the first foot down and embark on the journey we have been waiting to begin.
Once we do, our passion, determination and the momentum will kick in to carry us along.
This blue moon is the wind beneath our wings that we have long been waiting for.
We just have to close our eyes, sit under the moon glow, listen to our inner selves, make the wish that has been repeating in our minds and the rest, quite simply, will be magic.
Positivity, trusting our intuition and self-belief is key.
We can do this!
A blue moon only occurs approximately every 2.7 years and its energy is 12 times more powerful than a regular full moon. It is a rare phenomenon that should not be missed.
This is a once in a blue moon opportunity with maximum energetic effect that has the capacity to heighten the powerful outcome of anything we ask of it, if our intentions for the outcome are right.
This is one magical and mystical opportunity most definitely worth taking!
“You have no control over how your story begins or ends. But by now, you should know that all things have an ending. Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. Every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.” ~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
No one gives voice to monsters and misfits quite as well as author Clive Barker. Since his short fiction first bled across the genre landscape thirty years ago, he has become synonymous with a particularly beautiful and horrific brand of dark fantasy. He’s enjoying a bit of a cultural revival this year thanks to the releases of the long-awaited final novel in the Hellraiser universe and the equally anticipated director’s cut edition of his cult film,Nightbreed.
Nightbreed and the novella it was adapted from, Cabal, are so enduring, editors Joe Nassise and Del Howison have just releasedMidian Unmade, an anthology of short fiction told from the perspective of—and in the empathetic spirit of—Clive Barker’s misunderstood creations. While entertaining on its own merits, as any anthology containing original stories from Seanan McGuire, Nancy Holder and David J. Schow would naturally be, Midian Unmade is best appreciated by Barker fans.
So where can one begin an education in all things Barker? By going back to the beginning, of course.
Books of Blood Volumes One to Six are essential genre reading. Presented within the framework of a paranormal detective investigating the haunting of a house, the dead speak through scratched letters on the skin of a phony medium a collection of stories so widely well-received and reprinted, you might have watched an adaptation of Barker’s early work already. Especially if your 80s and 90s horror game is strong.
Vampires, ghosts, demons of varying levels of capriciousness, monster children, and corrupted souls parade through tales notable not just for their lurid violence but also for their rich prose and touching empathy for outsiders. With thirty mostly excellent stories to choose from, picking the best is difficult. The first “official” short story is one of the most memorable—at least to an admittedly biased New Yorker. “The Midnight Meat Train” takes place in the Bad Old Days of NYC, seen through the eyes of a recent transplant:
“He had seen her wake in the morning like a slut, and pick murdered men from between her teeth, and suicides from the tangles of her hair. He had seen her late at night, her dirty back streets shamelessly courting depravity. He had watched her in the hot afternoon, sluggish and ugly, indifferent to the atrocities that were being committed every hour in her throttled passages.”
But the worst blasphemy resides in the bowels of the earth at the end of a journey that is one of New Yorkers’ worst fears: falling asleep and missing your subway stop late at night.
While “The Midnight Meat Train” is a very specific kind of fear, “Dread” concerns itself with a most universal emotion. Two students obsessed with fear conduct twisted experiments on classmates to provoke a primal response to a compelling and inevitable conclusion. “Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament” is a poignant story of a suicidal housewife suddenly “gifted” with the ability to change people’s body shapes with her mind. Soon to be a film starring Game of Thrones‘ Lena Headey, it’s the latest in a long line of Books of Blood film/TV adaptations seen in Rawhead Rex, Tales from the Darkside, Quicksilver Highway, The Midnight Meat Train,Candyman, and Lord of Illusions.
Art by Jonathan Taylor
But if there are any stories from Books of Blood that are absolute must-reads, they are “Human Remains” and “In the Hills, The Cities.” Nowhere in Barker’s fiction are his themes of alienation and awe more on display, nor his word-craft as tight. I can imagine how starved so many readers were for something beyond the suburban, heterosexual spookiness in a pop fiction world reigned over by Dean Koontz and Stephen King before they discovered Clive Barker. This isn’t a knock against King, who was a vocal advocate for Barker’s career, but King has his niche and Barker has his, which is more frankly erotic, urban, and underrepresented. If you’ve ever felt that your own emotions and insecurities were a thousand times more frightening than any demon-possessed car or pissed-off clown, “Human Remains” will get under your skin and stay there. In this mournful take on vampires, a doppelgänger may or may not be more alive than the rentboy he feeds off of.
“In the Hills, The Cities” closes out Volume One of Books of Blood and honestly, for me, the subsequent stories never reached its literal heights, its impossibly grand scope. What starts out like so many cautionary tales—two lovers quarreling on vacation in a foreign country—spirals up and out as they stand witness a ritual so bizarre, so incomprehensible, so loaded with personal meaning and political allegory, it’s impossible not to be swept up in its wake and left speechless after the final line. Truly, it is a perfect example of a perfect fiction. If you read nothing else of Barker, read this.
“Cheeks of bodies; cavernous eye-sockets in which heads stared, five bound together for each eyeball; a broad, flat nose and a mouth that opened and closed, as the muscles of the jaw bunched and hollowed rhythmically. And from that mouth, lined with teeth of bald children, the voice of the giant, now only a weak copy of its former powers, spoke a single note of idiot music.
Popolac walked and Popolac sang.”
It’d be criminal, of course, to maintain that Barker’s subsequent books were less revelatory than his impressive debut.
From the film Hellraiser
1986’s The Hellbound Heart was the catalyst for Barker’s first big-time foray into another medium he’d go on to dominate. Jaded adventurer Frank Cotton has tried losing himself in every drug, every orifice, every evil offered to him. But he at last meets his earthly release in a sinister puzzle box, the key to a dimension of sadomasochistic tortures ministered by a scarred and pierced Hell priest in leather robes. While I was not enamored with the recent sequel, The Scarlet Gospels, I would without hesitation recommend the graphic body horror, kink, and existential dread of The Hellbound Heart and Hellraiser. Few celluloid baddies are as iconic—nor as poetic—as Pinhead, played with refined cruelty by Douglas Bradley. The franchise continued without Barker at the helm, but you’d be advised to ignore all of the movies after the third installment. There’s some suffering too awful to bear.
Barker’s next feature film was 1990’s Nightbreed. Horribly mangled and badly marketed by the studio, the horror fantasy has been re-released in a director’s cut at last. While I haven’t found the film to age nearly as well as Hellraiser, Nightbreed still remains essential Barker viewing for its menagerie of imaginative creature and makeup designs and a particularly chilling performance from horror director David Cronenberg. I guess it’s not enough that the Canadian auteur has to give us nightmares in his own movies, but casting him as the creepy Dr. Decker was extra cruel. And inspired.
1995’s Lord of Illusions showcases a stylistic leap for Barker as a director and a storyteller. It’s a dark and slick film noir that meshes Hollywood glamour with black magic. It’s the first film appearance of Detective Harry D’Amour, a world-weary detective that Barker has revisited in novels The Great and Secret Show, Everville, and The Scarlet Gospels. Standout scenes include magician Philip Swann’s thrilling final illusion and standout performances from Scott Bakula as D’Amour and recently deceased actor Daniel von Bargen as cult leader Nix, who has risen from his grave to “murder the world.” The movie was also sampled copiously in Canadian industrial band Frontline Assembly’s club hit “Colombian Necktie.” (I think Barker would approve of this factoid.)
Lord of Illusions remains Barker’s last completed film. But the author has been busily writing in different genres and mediums, including Clive Barker’s Undying, a gorgeous PC game notorious for its awful gameplay mechanics.
The Thief of Always is a wonderfully creepy middle grade book perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’sCoraline. 10-year-old Harvey Swick is swept off to the wondrous Holiday House of Mr. Hood and his creepy servants. When Harvey learns that Mr. Hood’s magic comes with a terrible price, he must save himself and his friends. The book is also illustrated with ink drawings done by Barker himself. It’s unbelievable that this hasn’t been made into a movie yet, though whispers of it swirl up from Hollywood every few years.
Barker has a multitude of fantastical worlds in his brain and a number of his novels deal over and over again with the theme of these better, more colorful, more dangerous, more madcap and seductive dimensions pressing up against or existing parallel to our own. Does one start with the World Fantasy Award nominee Weaveworld, the fan favorite The Great and Secret Show, or, my pick, Imajica?
When the author claims it as his favorite, too, it’s hard to say it’s not essential.
This doorstopper-length fantasy is epic in the truest sense of the word. Earth is the isolated Fifth Dominion, one of five connected worlds overseen by God and whose secrets are unlocked by Maestros—including Jesus Christ—who sometimes work to reconcile Earth with its sister Dominions. Or not. It’s also the story of Pie Oh’Pah, shapeshifting, genderfluid assassin and Pie’s beyond-complicated relationship with a man named Gentle. Barker says that working onImajica became an obsession. It reads like a hallucinatory meditation on God, faith, metaphysics, love, sexuality, gender, equality, terrible beauty and gorgeous violence. And it’s a standalone!
Clive Barker in his art studio
But if you like your fantasy series combined with torturous waiting for the next novel, Abarathas you covered. It’s the author’s most-current obsession—that return to Hell notwithstanding—and it has the distinction of featuring Barker’s lurid, nightmarish and lovely artwork. Barker has become a prolific illustrator and (very NSFW) photographer as his film and novel output has unfortunately lessened over the years. A splendid collection of Barker’s paintings can be found from the excellent fine art curators at Century Guild.
While Barker himself has largely retreated from public appearances due to poor health, he stands poised to return to fiction and film more regularly with promised next books in the Abarat world and a reboot of Hellraiser. Barker’s influence can be seen most explicitly in the early-90s era of new dark fantasy and horror authors, which included Poppy Z. Brite, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Neil Gaiman. But his legacy is most clearly felt in all fiction that isn’t content to define evil in stark contrast to good, instead letting the mysteries of darkness speak for itself, no matter how uncomfortable on unfathomable those shifting boundaries can be to mere mortals.
Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering book reviews, gaming news and TV, includingGame of Thrones. She’s also discussed entertainment for Boing Boing. A student of the 2008 Clarion West Writers’ workshop, her short fiction has appeared in ChiZine. Follow her on Twitter.