Baal Shem Tov – Master of the Good Name

Israel Ben Eliezer, later known as The Baal Shem Tov (The Master of the Divine Name, var. Master of the Good Name), was born on August 27, 1698 to Rabbi Eliezer and his wife Sarah. They lived in the small village Okup on the Russian-Polish border. Both Rabbi Eliezer and Sarah were already very old when their first child, Israel was born.

Baal Shem means “Possessor or Master of The (Divine) Name”, which contemporaries and subsequent followers conferred upon him. Martin Buber (in Tales of the Hasidim) explained more kindly: ‘One who lives with and for this fellow-men on the foundation of his relationship with the Divine’.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Devotion in Music

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. In his childhood he was given an extensive religious education which was to profoundly influence his works, particularly where he obtained employment as organist and master of choir in various churches. He once wrote a short note to himself” “Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is present“.

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Astrology 19 Feb – 5 March 2015

In this fortnight we will see the beginnings of “Crowded House”, with many planets arriving in Pisces. It gets more crowded there during the first part of this year. Jupiter is the only planet outside the axis of Rahu and Ketu, and plays an important role in providing protection, balance and a calming influence. Mercury becomes a bit of an important focus as we look to the deeper influences of Rahu and Saturn. While Valentine’s Day has passed (it was miserable for many) this fortnight brings its challenges in patience, purity and perseverance. There are a number of occasions where we may rise to the challenges and build up our character bank.

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Apprenticed to A Himalayan Master – A Yogi’s Autobiography

Apprenticed to A Himalayan Master – A Yogi’s Autobiography is a book which brings to life matters rarely touched on, the wandering Nath masters who live for hundreds of years, the existence and encounters with Mahavatar Babaji and other legendary great spirituals. It is a book which enlightens the heart and raises deep questions within about personal spiritual practice. While this is simply an autobiography, it touches the core within. This book is a well-described narrative of wanderings with a great spiritual master through the Himalayas, and accounts of the many spirituals and great teachers encountered.

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Valentine’s Day reflections: Venus, Divine Love and Prayer

Valentine’s Day is upon us again, and we give some astrological thoughts about Valentine, the planet of Love – Venus, and Divine Love. Venus is the dispositor of love and generosity, and love, of its own nature, gives of itself, from one human to another, it is a making of sacred space within for the other to be. And between persons and the Divine, it is turning to the Divine with love for the Divine.

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