How to Astral Project

How to Astral Project

By Ezmeralda Lee

Astral projection is the ability to essentially, have the soul leave the body while still retaining life. It is a basic temporary way to leave the body and still experience things. There are several ways to do this, one way is through lucid dreaming, another is through meditation and relaxing, and there are other ways to get there through altered states of consciousness. Not everyone can or should astral project. It is really not known, however, who is capable of doing it before they try it.

Difficulty:  Challenging

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

A quiet, peaceful room

Extreme concentration skills

A method to follow

Lots of practice

A meditative phrase

Patience

Guidance from someone skilled in projection

 

1.  One of the most common forms of astral projection is through lucid dreaming. You may have done this before and not even been aware of it. This state is basically the state of mind that you get while dreaming, but you are fully aware of what is going on around you.

2.  For projection to work properly, the body must be fully relaxed. One of the best ways to do this is through meditation. This requires eliminating all outside influences, and complete focus on your chosen phrase that you repeat over and over. This prepares you for projection because essentially your spirit gets bored and wants to move around and do something else.

3.  Once you have practice with meditation, you are ready to move on to the next state. This state of mind is basically the body being asleep, while the mind is still awake. This occurs through the repeated meditative phrase, continually repeated over and over, and by physically relaxing each part of the body one at a time. Eventually you will reach the altered conscious state.

4.  Once you have reached the altered conscious state you are ready to project. This can happen differently for each person, so it can be hard to describe. Some people “look for the light” while others keep focus on their meditative phrase. Whatever the way it happens for you, the important thing is to not think about it too much. This will cause a break in the projecting, sending you back to your body.

5.  Going back to your body can be a painful experience if it happens too suddenly, so it is important to focus on going back slowly. Again, this is something that is different for everyone, so over time you will find the way that is best for you.

Tips & Warnings

• It is best to arrange for some kind of walkthrough from someone who is familiar with projection before attempting. There are a lot of places a guide can be found, from different groups around the world to the Internet.

• The only way to be able to achieve projection is to practice, practice, and practice!

• Astral projection has the potential to be very dangerous. Do not attempt without proper research and the guidance of someone who has already done it before.

• Coming out of the projected state can be painful, so be sure to try and recover slowly, otherwise your heart and other organs might not be able to take it.

 

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Spell To Upset The Plans of A Foe

SPELL TO UPSET THE PLANS OF A FOE

To upset the plans of a foe, buy a thick white candle and carve it into the rough shape of a human being. Write the name of your enemy on a strip of paper using red ink, and wrap the paper around the chest of the wax image. Hold it in place by thrusting a steel pin through the chest of the figure. Think hard of your enemy as you insert the pin. Tie a length of red thread around the feet of the image, and suspend it upside down, saying:

 

“As this image of [enemy’s name] is overturned,
so are the plans of [enemy’s name] overthrown.”
 

Leave the image suspended. From time to time bat it with your hand to make it twist and swing, and repeat the charm.

by: Donald Tyson

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

By

Ever wonder if Facebook is reading your posts? Well, it is—or, its computers are, at least. And if you say the wrong thing, you could be locked up.

That’s the takeaway from a recent Reuters article, which recounted a case in which Facebook’s software detected a man in his thirties allegedly trying to set up a meeting with a 13-year-old Florida girl for sex. From Reuters:

Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor.

Facebook’s chief security officer told Reuters that the company’s monitoring software uses actual chats that led to sexual assaults to predict when another might occur. This is eerily similar to the hypothetical software I discussed in an article last month on whether police could arrest people based on suspicious-looking Google searches. I noted in the piece that while the idea might sound far-fetched, the technology already exists, and it might even be legal.

In Facebook’s case, the scanning hasn’t stirred outrage—probably because it seems to be focused on catching sexual predators. There are two reasons why online predators make sense as an initial target for automatic-monitoring algorithms. First, soliciting sex with a minor on the Internet is a crime in itself, not just a prelude to a crime (like, say, searching Google for ways to murder someone in their sleep). And second, sexual predators are unlikely to elicit much sympathy, so the public is more likely to tolerate intrusive means of nabbing them. Facebook is fighting creepy with creepy.

The key to the technology’s success—from a public-opinion standpoint, and possibly from a legal standpoint—is avoiding false positives. Arresting an innocent person based on a Facebook chat would surely cause controversy. So according to the Reuters piece, Facebook dials down the algorithm’s sensitivity, to minimize the chances of this happening.

It seems clear that this technology has the potential to do some good. But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that it represents a further erosion of our online privacy, one more serious than selling our personal information to advertisers.

Tips to Avoid 6 Common Travel Scams

Tips to Avoid 6 Common Travel Scams

By Samantha, selected from DivineCaroline

Travel season is heating up along with the weather, which means scammers  are  bringing their A-game in hopes of separating you from your money.  Whether  you’re taking the kids to Disneyland, spending a romantic week  in Aruba, or  heading to Duluth for your cousin’s wedding, you need to  know what to look for  to protect yourself.

The fact is, travel scams vary widely, from pickpockets to legal resort  charges—don’t assume that  legitimate businesses can’t legally scam you, because  many can and  will. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that Americans are   tricked out of $10 billion per year in travel-related scams. From shady  cabbies  to too-good-to-be-true vacation packages, here’s what to be  aware of:

Time Share Scams

If you live in the U.S. you’ve probably gotten calls for a free or   incredibly cheap vacation to Mexico or some similar warm destination  with the  caveat that you sit through a time-share presentation.  Seems reasonable, and who wouldn’t  want a vacation home for which they  don’t have to pay full price or maintain?  The problem arises when you  succumb to the hard sell, and then are never able  to actually use the timeshare because it’s oversold. Many of the timeshare condos are illegal,  or nearly so, and you could  lose tens of thousands of dollars with no  recourse but to complain to the BBB.  If you are interested in a  timeshare, do your research and go through a  reputable company with good  customer reviews.

Surprise Fees

Surprise fees and charges are a problem in all corners of the travel   industry, from hotels and resorts to airline tickets. Travel companies  are  legally allowed to quote ridiculously low prices and then tack on  fees for  things you expected to be included, such as use of the gym or  pool, or the  ability to check your bags. Even if you don’t use the gym  or pool, resorts can  require all guests to pay their “resort fee,” which  can make your vacation a  lot more expensive than you expected. Experts  recommend using a travel agency  that will give you an “all in” quote so  you know exactly how much you’ll be  paying before you go.

Rental Car Scams

When you rent a car, you are given the opportunity to look for and  report  damage before you drive it off the lot so that you aren’t charged  for damage  you didn’t cause. However, some shady companies count on  your either not doing  the inspection, or not noticing hidden damage such  as under the car so that  they can charge you for it later. Customers  can also be charged a “loss of use”  fee and most will suck it up and  pay, but then the car—damage and all—is  returned to the fleet to gouge  the next person who comes along.

Cabbies

Cabbies, especially in foreign countries, are notorious for overcharging.  They can do this by setting the  meter for the night/weekend rate during  a weekday, quoting an unreasonable  price, or “dropping” your large  bill, then switching it for a hidden, smaller  one and accusing you of  underpaying. You can protect yourself by calling a  reputable cab company  from your restaurant or hotel instead of hailing one on  the street, and by knowing the going rate in advance.

In Las Vegas, a common taxi scam is for the driver to unload your  bags in a  hurry and then drive off without you realizing that one of  them is still in the  trunk. It pays to always be alert and on your toes  when traveling, especially  in Vegas.

Imposters

A typical way travelers get scammed is by people pretending to be  someone  they’re not. For example, it’s becoming increasingly common for  scammers to  call hotel guests in the middle of the night claiming to be  the front desk.  They say there was a problem with your credit card and  need the number again,  counting on the fact that you’re too sleepy to be  suspicious.

In other countries, scammers will pose as “tourist police,” and demand  to  check your wallet for counterfeit money. They’ll look official and  may even  flash a badge, but after they disappear you’ll realize your  cash went with  them. “Hotel inspectors” in Europe may ask to check your room—one  distracts you while the other  helps himself to valuables left on the dresser or  desk. Don’t let them  in, even if they look official.

Summer Vacation Shysters

Summer is a busy time for scammers and con artists, and they work in  a  couple of different ways. Fake travel companies will advertise   too-good-to-be-true package deals to college students who want to go  somewhere  awesome for their summer break and don’t have the patience or  experience to do  their research. The students will buy the cheapest  deal, and then the company  will disappear—with their money.

Another common ploy is for scammers to check Facebook or other  social media  for young people who post about their vacations. They can  get a remarkable  amount of information about people that way, and then  they will contact the  grandparents by email, claiming to be the  traveling grandchild in need of wired  money. If you ever get a message  from a loved one who is traveling and needs  money, always call and speak  to them directly before sending it.

Avvo.com is a  free  social media platform that provides a health and legal Q&A  forum and  directory which rates and profiles 90 percent of all doctors  and lawyers in the  U.S. Avvo recently launched “No Question Left  Unanswered,” a campaign aimed at  providing trusted answers by licensed  doctors to a million consumer health  questions in 2012.

The Fruit That Works Like Viagra

The Fruit That Works Like Viagra

Here’s a stimulating study: researchers at Texas A&M University found  that watermelon may have similar effects as Viagra.  The scientists credit  a variety of ingredients that collectively stimulate blood vessels and may  increase libido.

Watermelon contains a variety of nutrients like beta carotene and  phytonutrients like lycopene (which research incidentally also links to a  healthy prostate) and citrulline.  Lesser-known citrulline is still being  studied to determine its health effects but researchers find that it relaxes  blood vessels in the same way Viagra does.

Says Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable  Improvement Center in College Station: “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which  relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile  dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.”

When citrulline is consumed, it is converted to arginine in the body.   Arginine is an amino acid that is well known for its beneficial heart,  circulation, and immune system effects.  It is also beneficial for obesity  and type 2 diabetes.  Dr. Patil adds: “Watermelon may not be as organ  specific as Viagra but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug  side-effects.”

Subscribe to my free e-newsletter World’s  Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips,  recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that you had a year — 365 days, 8,760  hours, 525,600 minutes — to do anything you please, with $100,000 to cover your  expenses. Would you travel? Would you continue working and give the money to  charity? Would you take the time to simply do nothing, maybe go on retreat?

Last week, Mallika encouraged readers to consider what they would do if they  had a year off. I have to say, my first inclination was default to the  “make-the-world-a-better-place” answer– give it to charity, of course! I mean, I  know this may sound crazy, but I love working. Even if I had a year off, I don’t  think I could bring myself to drop my job and do nothing. So if my ideal year  would include working anyway, why not give it away, especially when we know  that contributing to others’ happiness is a much greater source of joy and fulfillment than anything  money could buy?

But as I thought about it more, I remembered the words of a friend I have who  keeps trying to convince me of the important of “leisure” and “pleasure” in my  life. I know, foreign concepts for the modern workaholic, right? A few months  ago, when I went to visit her in Miami, her assignment for me was to get a  pedicure once a month — which has been surprisingly difficult for me to actually  follow through on. I have a hard time slowing down, relaxing, engaging in an  activity simply for the sake of enjoying it.

have always wanted to travel. I’ve never ventured outside the  US (not even to Mexico or Canada), and I’ve long wanted to visit other cultures  — learn about how they find happiness, purpose, and meaning in their lives.  Taking a year off for travel… now that would be cool. But would it be  fulfilling? Would I be mentally, physically, and spiritually satisfied with  taking a year off to travel?

What if, I thought, I could combine those three things somehow? Create a  year-long project that would combine the work I love (writing), giving back  (service/charity), and the leisure (travel)? What would that project look  like?

Here’s what I came up with. If I had $100,000 to take a year off, this is  what I would do:

  • Take a writing tour of charity organizations in four different countries  around the world, spending three months deeply immersed in each community
  • Listen and learn about how each organization’s programming is benefiting the  community and transforming individuals’ daily lives
  • Document the experience through a series of articles that synthesize  personal stories, scientific research, historical background, etc
  • Highlight major social issues affecting underserved communities  (poverty, violence against women, water shortage, climate change,  HIV/AIDS, etc) and what people are doing to help
  • Record interviews with staff, volunteers, scientific researchers,  and other involved professionals at each nonprofit to shed light on best  practices
  • Compile all the articles into a book at the end of the year

So that’s my dream year. Heck, maybe that’s my dream life. I think it’s a  good recipe for happiness: find meaningful work, connect with people, give back  to your community, and take time to enjoy the ride. I guess, really, you  don’t need $100,000 to do that.

What about you? What would your dream year look like? What do  you think is a recipe for a happy year and fulfilling life?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving  person to do whatever — whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a  nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of home. To enter,  you can fill out the application on their Facebook.

Today’s Runes for July 9th is Othila

 Othila is the homeland. Land was the purest form of immovable wealth in Norse civilization, distinct from the movable wealth represented by Fehu. This rune speaks of stability and safety stemming from inheritance, both material and genetic. With respect to the question asked, consider the background of the people and families involved

Today’s Runes for July 7th is Algiz

Algiz can be easily recognized as the antlers of the elk that it represents. The elk can represent victory, but is much more appropriately associated with the thrill of the hunt itself. This rune therefore can portend vigor and success in active endeavors. Also, this rune seems symbolic of a hand with outstretched fingers – a protective hand. This hand may suggest that you will be shielded from things negative – the problems still exist, you are spared the brunt of their force.

Good Monday Morning, My Dear Friends!

Moon & Witch Comments & Graphics Good Monday Morning, my dear friends! I hope your day is off to a great start. I hope most of you are on a long extended vacation. I remember hearing on the News, most people would be off the 4th, 5th & 6th. Boy, a break like that, you won’t never want to go back to work. I know after a long vacation, I use to have to kick myself in the rump to go back. I just stopped to think if I missed going to work, hmm? Consider my family’s auto shop moved 60 miles in the opposite direction of my home, No! At first I enjoyed it. The business was only located 20 miles away from where I live. That was great. I loved going to work. In that type of business, you meet all types of people. It was definitely interesting. Then I don’t know what happened to cause the move. I guess it was a bigger garage and my cousin jumped on it. My hubby and I helped move that greasy, nasty crap, YUCK! I worked at the new office for about 6 months and I decided I had it. My cousin told me he was going to have to decrease my salary. Yeah, right! I guess he thought I was going to work for my health, lol! Anyway, I hit the road and never looked back. So thinking about now, heck no, I don’t miss work, lol!

Well let’s get down to business. I ran across this lovely chant I wanted to share with you this morning. I do not know the author. If anyone does, please contact me and I will credit it. I hope you enjoy it.

Shed, Release

Whatever It Takes, Whoever You Are.

Heal The Wounds, Erase The Scars

Allow Your Hearts To Be Wide Open.

Shed, Release, Return Unbroken

How Many Times Have You Gone Within.

Only To Find Yourself There Again

Shed, Release, Return Unbroken.

Know Thyself This Truth Be Spoken

Shed, Release, Return Unbroken.

Know Thyself This Truth Be Spoken

~Magickal Graphics~

6 Government Surveillance Programs Designed to Watch What You Do Online

By David Rosen, AlterNet, Printed on June 13, 2012

President Eisenhower was right on point about the military-industrial complex, but he could not have predicted the emergence of the massive surveillance state — combining the government and private sector — that bolsters it.

Sadly, neither President Obama nor his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has the desire or moral courage to fight the growing power and influence of the Corporate Security State.  We are witnessing the integration of spying on two levels, the government level (federal, state and local) and the corporate level (via telecom providers, web services and credit card companies).

If you are a user of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Craigslist or another popular site, the U.S. security state is watching you.  An increasing number of federal agencies are employing sophisticated means to monitor Americans’ use of social networking sites.  Federal entities from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Department to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are involved in developing programs to track the American public online.

Here is a brief summary of some of the other programs.

1.  Justice Department. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a report from the DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section, “Obtaining and Using Evidence from Social Networking Sites,” that describes how evidence from social networking sites can reveal personal communications that might help “establish motives and personal relationships.”

It reports that monitored data from such sites can provide location information and “prove and disprove alibis.”  Perhaps most illuminating, it advises agents that “going undercover” on social media sites can enable law enforcement to communicate with suspects and targets, gain access to nonpublic information and map social relationships.  The DOJ document notes that Twitter retains the last login IP address, but does not preserve data unless legally required to do so.

2. The IRS uses a variety of social media sites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and Second Life to investigate taxpayers.  It seems to have started this practice in 2009, providing agents with special training on social networking.  The EFF posted the IRS’ 38-page training that offers detailed tips to agents on how to conduct searches, locate relevant taxpayer information, narrow down and refine results. 

3.  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is seeking a tool that integrates all online information, including web searches, Wikipedia edits and traffic webcams.

4. The Defense Department has solicited proposals through DARPA for a $42 million “Social Media Strategic Communications” (SMISC) program, a tool that tracks social media and weeds out information.  It has set four goals for the project: (i) to detect, classify and measure the development of ideas, concepts in hidden social media messages; (ii) specify the structure of the campaign and influence in social media sites and the community they create; (iii) identify the participants and intention in conducting a social media campaign of persuasion and measure its effect; and (iv) develop an effective counter-message to an identified campaign carried out against the enemy.

5. The FBI is soliciting a bid for a program that seems very similar to the DHS social-network monitoring program.  Dubbed the “FBI Social Media Application,” the program would have “[the ability] to rapidly assemble critical open source information and intelligence … to quickly vet, identify and geo-locate breaking events, incidents and emerging threats.”

In the FBI’s 12-page solicitation, it requests a program that can quickly identify, display and locate alerts on geo-spatial maps and enable users to summarize the “who, what, when, where and why” of specific threats and incidents.  Going further, it seeks to not simply detect “credible threats,” but to identify those organizing and taking part in gatherings and to predict upcoming events.  According to the FBI, “Social media will be a valued source of information to the SIOC [i.e., Strategic Information and Operations Center] intelligence analyst in a crisis because it will be both eyewitness and first response to the crisis.”

An FBI spokesperson insisted, “[We] will not focus on specific persons or protected groups, but on words that relate to ‘events’ and ‘crisis’ and activities constituting violations of federal criminal law or threats to national security. Examples of these words will include lockdown, bomb, suspicious package, white powder, active shoot, school lockdown, etc.”  Rest assured, much like the assurances voiced by the DHS, the FBI insists that its monitoring won’t be used to focus on specific individuals or groups.

6. Department of Homeland Security. A more aggressive monitoring program was recently revealed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) when it secured from the DHS a list of approximately 380 keywords that the agency tracks.  The allegedly threatening terms were found in the DHS’ Analyst Desktop Binder, part of its 2011 Media Monitoring Capability (MMC) program.

These terms are organized into nine categories:

Agencies – 26 terms, including “DHS,” “FBI”, “CIA,” “Air Marshal,” “United Nations” and “Red Cross”;

Domestic security – 52 terms, including “assassination,” “dirty bomb,” “crash,” “first responder,” “screening” and “death.”

Hazardous materials – 34 terms, including “hazmat,” “nuclear,”  “leak,” “burn” and “cloud.”

Public health – 47 terms, including “ebola,” “contamination,” “wave,” “pork” and “agriculture.”

Infrastructure security – 35 terms, including “AMTRAK,” “airport,” “subway,” “port,” “electric” and “cancelled.”

Southwest border violence – 65 terms, including “drug cartel,” “decapitated,” “gunfight,” “marijuana,” “heroin,” “border” and “bust.”

Terrorism – 55 terms, including “Jihad,” “biological weapons,” “suicide attack,” “plot” and “pirates.”

Emergencies and weather – 41 terms, including “disaster,” “hurricane,” “power outage,” “ice,” “storm” and “help.”

Cyber security – 25 terms, including “cyber terror,” “malware,” “virus,” “hacker,” “worm,” “China” and “Trojan.”

The DHS has been engaged in monitoring social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn as well as blogs since at least 2010.  Its effort is run through the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS), National Operations Center (NOC), and is entitled “Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness (Initiative).” Its ostensible purpose is to provide situational awareness and strengthen its common operating picture.

The scope of DHS’ practice of social monitoring was unexpectedly revealed in a special congressional hearing, the House Subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Intelligence, headed by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), in February.  Two DHS officials, Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan and Director of Operations Coordination and Planning Richard Chavez, raised the representatives’ ire by appearing to be deliberately stonewalling on the scope and practice of the agency’s social media surveillance.

Most disturbing, the DHS reps appeared unsure about the monitoring program’s goals, how the gathered information would be used and whether it would be shared with other agencies.  In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, Reps. Billy Long (R-MO), Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) joined Rep. Meehan in chastising the DHS officials.

Under intense congressional probing, DHS reps revealed that the keywords chosen for monitoring were drawn from commercially available, off-the-shelf database programs that were customized to meet its specifications.  The agency was particularly interested in determining first witnesses to breaking events like the 2011 Tucson shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others and the January 2012 bomb threat at an Austin school.

The DHS reps insisted that data gathered was only used to confirm other news reports and that information on private citizens was not being collected.  In addition, they claimed that that all personally identifying information was regularly scrubbed from the agency’s servers.

Few should feel comforted by the DHS assurances.  At the House hearing, it was also revealed that the agency was involved in what appears to be an ongoing campaign to monitor the actions and beliefs of individual Americans engaged in community-based political activism.  It compiled a report, “Residents Voice Opposition Over Possible Plan to Bring Guantanamo Detainees to Local Prison-Standish MI,” that tracked community reactions to the proposed location of Guantánamo detainees in a local Michigan prison.

The DHS report is part of the EPIC documents acquired through a Freedom of Information request.  It details that information was gathered from a variety of sources, including newspaper articles and responses, blogs by local activists, and Twitter and Facebook posts.

The House hearing also shed light on the DHS practice of outsourcing keyword tracking of social media through a sole-source contract to the giant defense contractor, General Dynamics. In 2011, General Dynamics had revenues of $5.5 billion of which 84 percent ($4.6 bil) came from government contracts.  Earlier this year, it’s Advanced Information Systems division was awarded a $14 million DHS contract to (in the words of a press release) “provide constant and continual watch operations for critical communications to the agency’s National Coordinating Center.”  In addition, it will “identify the possible impacts of potentially disruptive events.

In keeping with the prevailing ethos of corporate unaccountability, it turns out if the General Dynamics employees are found to have misused the information garnered from a social network user, including a journalist or public figure, the employee must take a training course or, worst case, lose his/her job.  No criminal penalties are specified.

A word to the wise, Big Brother is watching you.

View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/155764/