Chapter 4 - Christmas Revelations

Coin of Caesar

Julius Caesar took control of the Roman Empire in 49BC. He ruled for 5 years, and was assassinated in 44BC by a conspiracy of senators led by Brutus. They felt he was becoming too powerful - Rome was supposed to be a republic, a form of democracy, without kings or dictators. But in February 44BC Caesar had made himself 'dictator for life' - in Latin, DICTATOR IN PERPETUO. He had coins minted with this message around the edge (DICT PERP for short). The coin to the right also says PON MX, which stands for PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, meaning the Greatest Priest. This title is still used today by the Pope.

Clearly Julius Caesar was getting too big for his boots. And it was his downfall.

In ancient Rome, the most valuable coin was made of gold and called an aureus. An aureus was worth 25 silver denarii.

Eye of Horus

The eye of Horus was a symbol used by the Egyptians for magic amulets worn during life or on a mummy. They were also painted on ships. The eye was supposed to give protection against evil spirits.

For more info click here.

 

 

Carnelian is a stone found in the desert, which was used for jewellery by the Egyptians. Its colour varies from dark brown red to red-orange to a brighter red. It symbolised the blood of life.

  

             carnelian stone                           Tutankhamun's pectoral - with carnelian,

                                                                     also lapis lazuli and turquoise.

 

Some pictures of gold and carnelian jewellery in the Liverpool Museum

More on the stones used by the Egyptians.

 

 

Shamans

 

Check out the wikipedia entry on shamanism. Saves me some typing.

 

 

Transcendental Meditation

 

or TM for short, is real - I didn't make it up. Check out www.tm.org. It is supposed to give you lots of benefits. I have to admit I never seriously tried to learn it. I had a go in my 20s but found it too hard to concentrate. But I did have a patient once when I was working as a clinical psychologist (1989-1991), a businessman who went on a two day course to learn TM. It cost him 180 to learn this:

Repeat the word ka-ring over and over in your head for 20 minutes.

That's it!

Oh yes, plus you have to sit comfortably and stare at a candle or flower.

Well worth 180, huh?

 

Factoid: the filmmaker David Lynch is crazy about TM. He claims if everyone were to do it it would bring about world peace. Hmm...maybe I should try it again.

If you do, let me know what happens!