Orthodox Christianity provides the faithful with many sacred objects of worship, especially icons – artistic depiction of holy figures. It is commonly believed these holy relics possess spiritual powers to perform miracles and protect individuals and even whole country from possible danger.
What is holy icon?
An icon (from Greek “image”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, where the most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. In Orthodox Christianity the icons provide inspiration and connect the worshipper with the spiritual world, sometimes they are called “windows into heaven.”
These objects are important for believers because they depict patron saints, people who are chosen as special protectors or guardians over all areas of life. Traditionally people see them as symbols of how to live a better life. Most of Orthodox Christians understand that they are merely expressing honour and respect for the people and events depicted, and not for the icons themselves.
Since the time of Byzantine Empire the icons had become a major part of worship and devotion among the Orthodox Christianity followers. The walls of churches were covered inside from floor to roof with icons, scenes from the Bible, allegorical groups. Icons were taken on journeys as a protection, they marched at the head of armies, they hung in a place of honour in almost every house etc.
More reverence has been always paid to icons believed to have miraculous origins.
‘Our Lady of Vladimir’
Our Lady of Vladimir
Our Lady of Vladimir is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons. Regarded as the holy protectress of Russia, the icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges of Constantinople sent the newly-painted icon as a gift to Grand Duke Yury Dolgoruky of Kiev about 1131. The beautiful image was coveted by Yury’s son Andrei the Pious who brought it to his favourite city Vladimir in 1155. When the horses that transported the icon stopped near Vladimir and refused to go further, this was interpreted as a sign that the Blessed Virgin wants to stay in Vladimir. To house the icon, the great Assumption cathedral was built there, followed by other churches dedicated to the Virgin throughout northwestern Russia.
In 1395, during Tamerlane’s invasion, the image was taken from Vladimir to the new capital, Moscow. The spot where people and the ruling prince met the icon is commemorated with the Sretensky monastery. Vasili I of Moscow spent a night crying over the icon, and Tamerlane‘s armies retreated the same day. The Muscovites refused to return it back to Vladimir and placed it in the Assumption cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The image was also credited with saving Moscow from Tatar hordes in 1451 and 1480.
One of the most exquisite icons ever painted, Our Lady of Vladimir is imbued with universal feelings of motherly love and anxiety for her child. By the 16th century the Vladimirskaya (as the Russians call it) was a thing of legend. It was even rumoured that the icon was painted by St Luke on the Lord’s table of the Last Supper. The venerated image was used in coronations of tsars, elections of patriarchs, and other important ceremonies of state.
But its most important service was yet to come. In December 1941, as the Germans approached Moscow, Stalin order that the icon be taken from a museum and placed in an airplane and that it be carried around the besieged capital. Several days later the German army started to retreat.
‘Our Lady of Kazan’
Giant Jesus Figure Appears Above Argentinian City
Perhaps this is a sign of the times, many people are losing it…after seeing this image which resembles Jesus Christ. This Christ-like figure, has captivated the internet – yet the mainstream news seems to ignore it. Was this a some kind of projection or digital manipulation of some kind? People are searching for answers, as the symbolism of this simply cannot be ignored.
Let’s face it, the world as we know it is in trouble. Many people are acting bizarre over different issues and some cannot even think for themselves any longer. They are caught up in the phony culture of all material things.
One witness named Monica Aramayo, managed to capture a photograph of this spectacle. What an incredible sight it must have been, to see this in person. Seemingly hovering over top of the Argentinean city of San Salvador de Jujuy (in the northwest part of Argentina) was this Christ-like figure. This area is near the southern end of the Humahuaca Canyon, where wooded hills meet up with the lowlands.
The event took place back on Tuesday, May 14th. The surrounding settlements of Jujuy Province also noticed this giant Jesus in the sky. As seen in the photograph, Jesus appears to be peering out from the clouds, wearing a crown with his arms extended.
The image strikes a powerful pose into the minds of the people. The image of this holy figure, continues to go viral on the internet, as more people learn about it. Some are comparing this image to the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil overlooking the city.
One person named Mariela Romano said, “The Lord will soon come for us all and we should be ready.
Romina Salinas said, “I personally only see the sun coming through the clouds, but people see what they want to see.”
Someone else said: “Thanks for the image that allows us to keep on our path and have a better hope for tomorrow.”
Rather incredibly, not everyone was able to see the Jesus figure in sky. Some wonder if their faith is strong enough. Is this merely an unusual formation of clouds in the sky? Likely not, it is far too amazing to be such a occurance.
Scientists Discover 1,000-Year-Old Shamanic Pouch Containing Cocaine and Ayahuasca
Archaeologists have found evidence of powerful psychotropic drugs inside of a 1,000-year-old leather pouch discovered in the Bolivian Andes. The pouch likely belonged to an indigenous shaman and contained traces of a dizzying array of plant-based psychoactive substances, ranging from coke to the ingredients used to brew ayahuasca, along with paraphernalia used to prepare and consume it.
The pouch—which is comprised of three fox snouts stitched together—contained two wooden tablets for grinding the plants into snuff, a woven headband, and a pipe-like tube with two human hair braids affixed to it that was used to smoke the psychotropic plants.
An analysis of the pouch revealed traces cocaine, harmine, benzoylecgonine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), bufotenine and possibly psilocin, a chemical component of psychedelic mushrooms. The find constitutes the earliest evidence of the ceremonial use of ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew associated with the Amazon jungle.
Ayahuasca is a fairly loose term that describes a range of shamanic concoctions, with the main components typically being harmine and dimethyltryptamine. There has long been a consensus in the scientific community that psychedelic substances were commonly used by ancient cultures for their hallucinogenic effects, but the current find provides proof of their use for millennia.
The expedition and analysis was led by a team from the University of California, Berkeley, who made the find along the now-dry Sora River valley in the southwest of Bolivia back in 2010. There is evidence that humans have inhabited the region at least as far back as 4,000 years.
According to a press release from the university, the “remarkably well-preserved ritual bundle was found by archaeologists at 13,000-foot elevations in the Lipez Altiplano region of southwestern Bolivia, where llamas and alpacas roam. The leather kit dates back to the pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilization, which dominated the southern Andean highlands from about 550 to 950 A.D.”
The find shows that human society was capable of not only using single plants to embark on psychedelic journeys and hallucinations, but were also adept at combining plant ingredients into potent compounds that amplified and lengthened their trips.
Head archaeologist Melanie Miller of the UC Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility announced:
“This is the first evidence of ancient South Americans potentially combining different medicinal plants to produce a powerful substance like ayahuasca.”
The range of different substances has led researchers to believe that the pouch is evidence of a major transcontinental trading zone capable of bringing medicinal plants and substances across great distances.
Miller explained to Science Mag:
“Whoever had this bag of amazing goodies… would have had to travel great distances to acquire those plants [or] they had really extensive exchange networks.”
For example, while some of the chemical traces were derived from plants grown throughout South America, they are not known to have grown in the Andean region where the pouch was found. Likewise, the chemical harmine—a common ingredient in Ayahuasca—is known to only grow in the Amazonian lowlands.
Anthropologist Jose Capriles of Penn State told ScienceAlert:
“We already knew that psychotropics were important in the spiritual and religious activities of the societies of the south-central Andes, but we did not know that these people were using so many different compounds and possibly combining them together.
This is the largest number of psychoactive substances ever found in a single archaeological assemblage from South America.”
“Our findings support the idea that people have been using these powerful plants for at least 1,000 years, combining them to go on a psychedelic journey, and that ayahuasca use may have roots in antiquity.”
***This article (Scientists Discover 1,000-Year-Old Shamanic Pouch Containing Cocaine and Ayahuasca) was originally featured at The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission.
Aliens Among Humans and the Planetary Transmigration
People have always wondered if there’s life in other planets, if aliens ever visited humans and if they left descendants on Earth somehow.
What people don’t always know, is that aliens might be closer than they imagine. They can be next door. According to many different cultures, there are alien souls trapped in human bodies.
What is Planetary Transmigration
In occult philosophy it is said that humans live on seven different planets, evolving continuously from minerals until the soul reaches its final destination, which involves reuniting with God, or unity. In Hinduism, planets are considered living beings and have a specific time to exist. Like all living things, they die at some stage.
When planets cease to exist, the creatures that live in that planet have two possible destinations: if they have evolved enough to continue their journey, they incarnate in a new planet, where they will develop other faculties in order to continue the process of evolution.
However, if some of them haven’t absorbed all experiences that the planet offered – as it is believed that each planet is “programmed” in a way that enables creatures to develop a certain aspect of consciousness – some of them might migrate to a planet to repeat the same experience. This process is called planetary transmigration or transmigration of the soul.
Aliens Living on Earth – Sumerian, Hindu, Egyptian and Mayan Gods Were Extraterrestrials
According to Spiritism theories, a long time ago, a group of extraterrestrials arrived on Earth to repeat the human experience in this planet, since they could not continue the experience with the rest of their fellows. Having completed the human experience before, they were much more technologically advanced than Earthlings.
In many different religions and traditions, there are references to advanced beings that coexisted with primitive humans in ancient times. It appears in the Sumerian tradition, as the gods described in the Sumerian tablets are believed to have arrived from other planet that exploded.
It also appears in the Hindu tradition. The Mahabharata along with the Ramayana, the most important books of Hinduism, bring information about gods that had flying machines and could contact other beings from other planetary systems.
The Egyptian mythology is filled with references to beings with a certain knowledge and technology that could only be consistent with a more advanced civilization. There are also images of flying objects in the walls of Egyptian caves that look exactly like those described in the Vedas.
Mayan mythology also makes references to beings from other planets that arrived on Earth and genetically modified the earthlings, making the primitive human look more like them. Some argue that the Bible saying “God created men in His own image”, refers to these gods that engineered humans, helping in the transition from animal to man.
In short, the same history has been told in all religions and traditions, under different names and with the elements of each culture.
Extraterrestrials and Atlantis – the Lost Continent
Legends tell of aliens arriving on flying machines and genetically modified humans who mixed their DNA with normal humans and then…. what? If the original planets no longer existed, where did they go, and if they stayed, how come there is no trace of them anymore?
There are many possible explanations for that, but one possibility is that when the great cataclysm that destroyed Atlantis happened, the alien technology disappeared under the waters.
They escaped to Egypt, Europe and South America (it’s said that this is what allowed these people to have a great amount of information about alien visitors in their myths and legends) where they lived among humans. Without technology, they died.
The Reincarnation Process – Alien Souls, Human Bodies
Spiritism belief holds that that after death, the extraterrestrial visitors were reincarnated among humans, being born again in human bodies. The reincarnation process is the same for every human being on Earth and with aliens it was no different.
Once born in human bodies, with human limitations, all memories from previous lives were erased from the conscious mind, as it is said that the brain doesn’t support all the information from all incarnations, keeping only what is necessary for one life (the rest remains in the unconscious mind and is never lost).
Until now the aliens continue to reborn among humans. Without knowing their true origins, these people live normally keeping only a slight sensation that there might be much more out there than their ordinary lives.
By Thais Campos
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