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Crystal Skulls: Power, Mystery, Legend

Skull The new Indiana Jones movie is generating lots of excitement among fans who have come to love the adventure of digging for great lost treasures and the stars of these movies. This latest release is also creating a new awareness of crystal skulls and lots of intrigue regarding the mystery and legend of these real archaeological oddities.

Are crystal skulls the storehouse for ancient knowledge, encoded with the secrets of the universe, with the key to a better future?

Crystal skulls have been uncovered, primarily, in various ancient ruins in Mexico and Central America. Much mystery surrounds these discoveries: who made the crystal skulls, how where they designed and created, what purpose do they serve? The skulls have unusual properties: holographic images form inside the skulls, unique energy fields are measured within or around the skulls. Many people feel the skulls have special powers: some have been healed in the presence of a skull, some feel their life can be improved just by holding a skull.

Recently the SciFi Channel ran a two hour documentary entitled Mystery of the Crystal Skulls. They explored the true history of the legendary relics, (and specifically the infamous Mitchell-Hedges skull) exhuming the myths, legends and controversies surrounding them. Among the questions addressed: Could the skulls be ancient Mayan prophecies of doom, relics from the Lost City of Atlantis, or store a vast knowledge of a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization? Watch the following clip of the documentary.

Want more? You can schedule a Crystal Skull Event for your group with an organization that will give a 3 hour presentation that delves into various theories about the origins of the crystal skulls and their ultimate purpose. They can also arrange for private sessions with a skull.

If you wish to be part of the adventure of searching for crystal skulls, meet Joshua Shapiro, a real crystal skull explorer with 25 years of experience. Think of him as a real life Indiana Jones. You can follow his on-the-road experiences by reading his journal. You can see crystal skulls at various museums around the world, for example at the British Museum.
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Related items:
Crystal Skulls: Interacting with a Phenomenon
The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls: Unlocking the Secrets of the Past, Present, and Future
The Adventures of Indiana Jones - The Complete DVD Movie Collection


Natural Skin Care

New Skin-Care Products with Natural Ingredients
Give your skin some health food with products containing mushrooms, grapefruit, and other garden ingredients (from RealSimple.com).

Pomegranate
The hundreds of ruby-colored seeds inside pomegranates were once thought to symbolize fertility, and given the fruit's proven powers as a strong antioxidant, it has given birth to a huge number of products, including designer juice and high-end skin-care creams.

The pomegranate's power comes from ellagic acid, a type of polyphenol, which is an antioxidant found in red wine and green tea. Antioxidants seek out and neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that come from the environment (pollution, UV rays) and from the body's natural aging process. Ellagic acid has been shown in some studies to neutralize free radicals more effectively than the other polyphenols found in green tea and red wine. It's also more stable in skin-care products than some other antioxidants, like vitamin C, which can lose potency when exposed to light and air.

Find It In:

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Moisturizer SPF 15, $30, murad.com
Murad Energizing Pomegranate Lip Therapy SPF 15, $16, murad.com
Archipelago Pomegranate Creme for the Hands, $26, 800-399-4994 for stores

Grapefruit
Until the 19th century, grapefruit was grown purely as an ornamental fruit. Rarely eaten, it was known only for its looks - an interesting harbinger of its modern-day promise to improve ours.

A 2005 study by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, in Chicago, showed that the scent of grapefruit on women made them seem an average of six years younger to men. Grapefruit's main use in skin care, however, is as a citric acid. Like any alpha hydroxy acid, citric acid loosens the bonds between skin cells, allowing dead ones to fall away, revealing smoother, more radiant skin.

Find It In:

Fresh Pink Grapefruit Petite Soap, $12, fresh.com
Boots No 7 Radiance Revealed Exfoliator, $10, Target

Mushroom
No wonder the Super Mario Brothers got a jolt of evil-fighting power whenever they ate a mushroom. Mushrooms have long been used in Asian cultures as remedies for everything from low energy to cancer.

The extract of several Japanese mushrooms has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can affect collagen in the skin and contribute to changes associated with aging, such as the appearance of fine lines. Reducing that inflammation keeps skin cells vital and functioning and also suppresses irritation so that other active ingredients, like antioxidants, can do their jobs.

Shiitake mushrooms have multifaceted benefits for the skin. They contain antioxidants that block proteins known to cause cell breakdown; they provide chemical exfoliation; and they also contain kojic acid, which has a lightening effect on age spots and discoloration, making skin appear brighter over time.

Find It In:

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Serum, $65, origins.com
Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, $20 at drugstores

Pumpkin
Despite its prevalence in favorite sweets, such as pies and muffins, pumpkin is quite acidic. And the enzymes in pumpkin act like salicylic acids, chemical exfoliants that encourage skin cells to turn over more rapidly.

Pumpkin is also a carotenoid, a derivative of vitamin A, which is indicated by its orange color, and that makes it an antioxidant in addition to having exfoliating properties.

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc and have been used as a natural remedy for acne. Studies show that zinc has an effect similar to that of the common antibiotic tetracycline.

Find It In:

Jaqua Pumpkin Papaya Purée Enzyme Face Masque, $16, jaquabeauty.com
Joico Skin Luxe White Pumpkin Renewing Body Cleanser, $12, 800-805-6426

Bamboo
Bamboo is one hardy plant. Not only is it one of the fastest-growing plants on earth (some species grow more than three feet a day) but its strength and sustainability have also made it a favorite of architects looking for environmentally friendly building materials.

Although the Chinese have used bamboo for centuries (the hardened secretion from the stalks has been taken internally to treat asthma), its popularity is only now growing in the United States. Bamboo pulp is being woven into fabric that retains antibacterial qualities even after it is washed. And in skin care, finely milled bamboo powder is used as an exfoliant in cleansers and scrubs. The smooth bamboo particles are less harsh than the scraggly, uneven grains made from salt and nuts, making it safer and less irritating to sensitive skin.

Find It In:

Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub for New Skin, $33, clarins.com
Red Flower Japan Ohana Gingergrass Bamboo Scrub, $62, redflower.com


Mystery of Stonehenge Solved

Stonehenge England's Stonehenge has always been surrounded by mystery. How did it come about? How was it constructed? How could it be so perfectly aligned? What exactly was it for? Well now, according to AOL, archeologists digging underneath the site have discovered that Stonehenge was a burial ground. (Some of the) mystery solved!

The date of the cremated remains found at the site seem to be as old as 3000 BC and continued for at least 500 years when the giant stones around the circle were being erected. Read more on AOL. Stonehenge was also, apparently, a settlement with between 300 and 1000 homes.

Of course there are still many mysteries surrounding the site. I am still awed at how precise the stones are laid in terms of planetary placements.
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Related reading:
A Brief History of Stonehenge: One of the Most Famous Ancient Monuments in Britain
Stonehenge Complete, Third Edition


The Mighty Light

This has so many beneficial applications - especially now with all of these terrible weather related catastrophes around the world.

Solarlight The MightyLight -- "a waterproof, portable lamp that runs on solar powered batteries" is changing the lives of poor people in India who might otherwise be in the dark. Designed by Matt Scott as a class project in his senior year at Stanford University, the MightyLight is a safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative to kerosene lamps. Using light-emitting diodes -- LEDs -- as its mode of illumination, some 10,000 MightyLights have so far been distributed by Matt's company, Cosmos Ignite.

The benefits of artificial light to "remote areas of developing countries, where some 1.6 billion people -- about a quarter of the world's population -- still live without electricity," are, of course, huge. For example, in the Philippines, where terrorist activities have thwarted efforts to expand the power grid, a group called Amore is training locals to how to create their own solar, wind or hydro power. The results: "Fishermen now have a few more hours of light in which to mend their nets. Markets stay open longer. Children have more light to do their homework."

Most important, "when villages see their life improving they're less likely to give refuge" to terrorists, who also have fewer opportunities to work under the cover of darkness. Meanwhile, the technologies that enable innovations such as the MightyLight keep getting better. As Matt Scott observes: "Most other lighting technologies are static, but LEDs will continue to improve ... We can now offer more light for the same wattage," he says. However, even with such improvements, a MightyLight costs $40, "more cash than most Indians have on hand," although about the same as several months' worth of kerosene (a MightyLight lasts for years). So, microlenders are stepping in to help bridge that gap.
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Related reading: The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future.


June 2008 Horoscope

Gemini June brings a rush of retrograding planets -Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and Jupiter - that cajole us to upend the landscape and (hopefully) bring about meaningful change. Will you plant as you go or just toss around some mud?

ARIES   (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Retrograding planets set your June off to a rousing start. Not only can Rams reinvigorate their corporate ascent, they may decide to change their entire life path and try something entirely new. Don’t jump into anything permanent now though. There is still too much going on that changes in the next few weeks. For now, stay loose and take a long lunch.

TAURUS   (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
June provides Bulls with opportunities to expand their base of operations worldwide. One small idea leads to another even greater one. Not only can you reach out and make your opinions known, your ideas manage to seep into the group consciousness and move things your way. Will you go overboard in your zeal? Why the heck not?

GEMINI   (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
Twins are usually glib, chatty and flirtatious. But now, it is wiser for you to weigh your words with golden charms to give them greater heft. June is a good time to consolidate your dreams and desires and focus on what you truly value. This cannot be done quickly or superficially... even though you would wish it to be so.

CANCER   (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Relationships undergo extensive change this June. Did I say “change”? Perhaps it is more like an upheavel. Blame it all on a plethora of retro planets that stir up your honey pot. Crabs can go from the apple of someone’s eye to the pit if they try to boss the course. To insure a happy outcome, try to give more than you get and give it all with a happy heart.

LEO   (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
If you think that you can continue to glide along in your job by doing as little as possible, think again. Lions love to delegate to their minions. But times are changing. June is the time to demonstrate more of your initiative, enthusiasm and pluck (at least just enough to fool the powers-that-be). Do more than just show up. At very least offer to make the coffee.

VIRGO   (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
Let your imagination soar! Fun has a way of getting entirely out of hand this June. Virgins discover various ways of getting into mischief and can gleefully squander their assets on wasteful tawdry times. This is bad? But who will pay the piper when the music stops and the bill comes due? Enjoy every libidinous opportunity but keep your dollars ... and good sense.

LIBRA   (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
There is more happening around the house than usual especially if you are in the mood to spruce your nest. Adding some new decor, moving or adding (or subtracting) a roommate will fill your June with activity and stress. Libras should study all the possible outcomes before they take action. Or leave it to fate and see what is left on your doormat.

SCORPIO   (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
It would be so easy for Scorps to while away the summer in time wasting pursuits but that would be a mistake. In fact, June can be a very productive time for you, should you decide to make an effort. The most effective use of your time will be in the research arena - using your smarts to strategize and reach the most receptive audience. Once found, cash in!

SAGITTARIUS   (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
It is time to calculate your net worth and find ways to increase it. Archers are not usually obsessed with money but it would be a good thing to use at least part of June to plan a revised investment policy. Ask advice, create a sustainable budget and maybe even ask for a raise. Retirement should not be a life time away, although right now it feels like it.

CAPRICORN   (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
Your entire persona is going to undergo a dramatic change this June. Not only are Caps chaffing to do something new and totally out of character, they are also primed for success. This is a potent combination that should not be deferred. The only risk is doing too much too fast without the right planning. Don’t dissipate your best efforts. Think first, then take action.

AQUARIUS   (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
Is there something going on behind the scenes that will prove to be interesting and useful to you? I don’t know but if you don’t sit back and listen to the background noise you will miss it. Aquarians have a psychic moment or two through June. You can use it as a parlor trick or as a strategic advantage. Hmm, guess which one gets you what you really want?

PISCES   (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Friends are ready willing and able to turn up the frantic fun this June. Fish with a few good ideas find themselves in the center of the party planning and the director of all the action. Don’t sit back and wait for things to come to you. Get out there and make your fun happen. Can things go too far and get out of hand? We can only hope so!

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Three just-published books of interest:
Five Medieval Astrologers contains translations of five astrological treatises by Medieval astrologers: Albumasar: The Book of Flowers, an anthology of rules for Mundane Astrology; Ptolemy: The Centiloquy; Hermes Trismegistus: The Centiloquy; Bethen: The Centiloquy; Almansor: The One Hundred and Fifty Propositions.
Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology good for professionals and beginners.
Rulers of the Horoscope: Finding Your Way Through the Labyrinth, a practical and thorough treatment on the meanings of all aspects of planetary and house rulerships.

(c) 2008 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Can’t get enough? Join the blog: thestarryeye.typepad.com Lichtenstein’s astrology book "HerScopes" is an international sensation. Buy it and feel the vibration.