The Koru Symbol
Written by Sora Nalani

The Koru is a symbol that fascinates me. The first time I saw it, it seemed to draw me in, whispering it's secrets, asking me to understand it. It is like a wave, but gentle and fragile in its form. As I researched the Koru, I found much that spoke to me and although I had originally intended to write about something completely different, this quiet stylization was what inspired me. And I also follow what inspires me, because I believe that in inspiration the divine is found. The Koru is a symbol that comes from New Zealand's Native population, the Maori. It is a symbol that represents a fern frond, before it has unfurled. Each fern shoot has a tip, which is curled over, that will unfold to become a fernleaf. It is a symbol that is heavily used in Maori art, from jewelry to carved wood, often in interlocking complex patterns. It is a symbol used in celebration, and homage painted in a pattern called Kowhaiwhai, which is comprised of interwoven Koru designs on tombs, monuments and the rafters of meeting houses. It is a deeply symbolic form, one that is aesthetically pleasing, in beauty and simplicity.

The Koru is a symbol that contains within a perfect example of the 'Golden Mean', a mathematical ratio (1 : 1.618) considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing. The Golden Mean is a proportion that has been used throughout time to built histories most spectacular architecture, such as the Egyptian pyramids and the Greek Parthenon because it is a ratio that is thought to contain within the essence of the sublime. By building using the Golden Mean, man approaches perfection, perfect balance, and as such approaches the divine. The Golden Mean is the basis for sacred geometry, which shapes the universe. It has been used in famous paintings, such as 'The Last Supper' by Leonardo Da Vinci and can be found all throughout nature, in shells, in flowers and in fern fronds. The Golden Spiral, formed from the Golden mean, has no beginning and no end representing constant expansion. The Golden Spiral is the template of growth, the formula for evolution, for it is the only growth pattern that if continued is not doomed to failure. The Golden Mean represents harmonious relationships and as such brings harmony to the mind and body. There is no end to the lessons that can be learned from the Golden Mean but to me it represents the spiritual journey, and this symbolism extends to all that contain this ratio within, such as the Koru.

The Koru holds many symbolic meanings. Firstly, it is a representation of new life. This seems obvious, as it is a stylized graphic meant to represent the new shoots of the fern. It is a symbol of beginnings, the undeveloped potential for all of life's endeavors. Further, it is a symbol of renewal, brining to mind the lush growth of New Zealand's wet forests. I believe that the Koru carries within the idea of transformation, much as birth represents the transformation from one state of being into another. More than just literal birth though, the Koru represents creation in all it's forms, the unfurling of new ideas and opportunities all throughout life. It brings with it hope and endless possibility. The Koru represents growth and vitality, which is clearly visible in the hearty and vigorous growth of new shoots. It symbolizes health and is used in decorative works to embody the magic of life, growth and well-being. Much like a new fern shoot, arising from the ground to reach towards the light, the Koru represents the search for enlightenment, a striving for the divine. It is a symbol of deep spirituality, carrying the secrets of the universe in it's Golden Spiral. Because it contains the Golden Spiral the Koru is a symbol of cycles and change. It is a reminder that all things live,die and are reborn, that life continues endlessly. As in all things, the blueprint of the universe found within. It represents the sacred geometry of life, renewal and eternity.
To the Maori of New Zealand, the Koru is also a symbol of interconnectedness from one life to another, linking generation to generation. The roots a symbol of whence one came, the deep genetic and cultural histories that are the basis of each of us, while the leaves reach skyward, shaping generations to come.
The Koru holds many secrets and meanings, and perhaps the most important of all, is the beauty of simplicity. A symbol can be unwrapped, exposing infinite layers of meaning, but sometimes what is most important is that it's pure design brings a feeling a great happiness and rejuvenation. Scientific reasons aside, some times a symbol is valuable simply because one likes it.

Chakras – Part Two
1st/Root Chakra, Muladhara, Kundalini
Written by Sagesse Abiona

Your 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the tailbone, the base of the spine.

This Chakra represents Tribal Power: Lessons Related to the Material World. (1) The first chakra is the foundation of emotional and mental health. Your connection to traditional familial beliefs supports the formation of identity and a sense of belonging to a group. The Sacred Truth 1 for this Chakra is: All is One. You are connected to all of life. Every choice you make and every belief you hold exerts influence upon the whole of life.

Organs that are affected by the Root Chakra are the Base of the spine, legs, bones, feet, rectum, and immune system. When this Chakra lacks balance it can show as chronic lower back pain, rectal and immune disorders, depression, multiple personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictions, sciatica, and varicose veins.

Issues needing to be balanced for the Root Chakra include Physical family and group safety and security, ability to provide for life's necessities and stand up for your self, feeling at home, social and familial law and order, abandonment fears, family bonding, identity, tribal honor code, support and loyalty. When this Chakra is healthy a person may feel grounded, centered, belonging, pride, fully alive, able to trust, independent, determined, trusts in self and others, secure, patient, constant, ambitious, passion, commitment, survival. If this Chakra has too much energy, a person may feel/be greedy, egotistic Egotistical, domineering, bossy, addicted to wealth, greedy, highly strung, hyperactive, and addicted to self, violent, dishonest, and cunning. If too little energy a person may find that they can't reach goals, they have a lack of confidence; they feel unloved, not grounded. They may be suicidal, weak willed, sometimes feeling sexually inadequate, fearful, frustrated, alienated, and separate.

The Root Chakra is represented by the color red, black Its element is Earth Its Gemstones are Garnet, smoky quartz, black tourmaline, and hematite, red stones are - Ruby, Bloodstone, Black Onyx, and Smoky Quartz. Jasper, obsidian Its Essential Oils are - Clary Sage, Rosemary, and Cedar wood, Clove, Frankincense, Rosewood, Cypress, Marjoram, Myrrh, Black Pepper, and Ginger

Some treatments with color for the Root Chakra: place the appropriate gemstone or colored cloth over the chakra or gaze at, visualize or meditate on the associated color. Sit in or look at light of the color. Use Red for - Depression, lack of energy, ungrounded, low blood pressure, bladder infections, shock, poor circulation, cold, impotence, back pain, legs and feet. Use Green to counter act Overactive symptoms: Physically aggressive, belligerent, impulsive, inability to recognize limits, hyperactive, reckless. Place a piece of green material or scarf or crystal aventurine or jade on chakra and/ or gaze at or visualize green. If the Chakra is under active, it will show red symptoms: Manipulative, overly cautious, power conscious, possessive, needing approval, craving excitement, overly tired no energy.
How can you balance this chakra? (2) Dancing is very good for grounding. In the summer, go barefoot. House cleaning and cooking is also grounding. Hug a tree; take care of your plants.

Some Questions for Self-Examination 1
1. What belief patterns did you inherit from your family?
2. Do all of them still have authority over you?
3. What superstitions do you have? Which have more authority over you than your own reasoning ability?
4. Do you have a personal code of honor? What is it?
5. Have you ever compromised your sense of honor? If so, have you taken steps to heal it?
6. Do you have any unfinished business with your family members? If yes, what prevents you from healing your family relationships?
7. List all the blessings that you feel come from your family.
8. If you are a parent, what qualities would you like your children to learn from you?
9. What tribal traditions and rituals do you continue?
10. What tribal characteristics within yourself would you like to strengthen and develop?

Affirmations to Promote Healthy and Balanced Chakra Function
First Chakra - I feel safe and secure in the world. All of my needs are being met.

Your Daily Practice for keeping your Root Chakra balanced (3)
- Morning
Each day is a new beginning. Your task today is to learn the practice of consciously entering your body and your day. Begin by focusing attention on your entire day from morning to evening.
Review your plans for today:
• Think about where you need to be and with who you need to be.
• Do you feel stressful about this day or do you feel comfortable?
• Do you feel prepared for today's events?
• Are you projecting fears and expectations into this day?
Your First Chakra
• Allow the truth 'All is One' to penetrate your body
• Drop your attention to the root of your spine.
• Feel yourself magnetically connected to every part of life:
o the fragrance of the earth
o the oceans and rivers
o the air
o your family and friends
o the planet
• Identify your fears for today and pull them into your consciousness.
• Acknowledge the strength of the energetic circuitry connecting you to all life.
• Visualize that strength replacing your fears for today.
• Standing tall.

Your Daily Practice (3)
- Evening
As you prepare to enter sleep, review how you used your energy during the day, how you invested your spirit, what you learned about the investments you should or shouldn't have made.
Review the events of today:
• Think about how you feel about yourself and your life now that the day is over.
• Ask yourself, "How do I open myself to receive guidance as I sleep?"
Your First Chakra
• Focus on the base of your spine, your connection to Gaia, force of nature.
• Place your body in a relaxed position and request Gaia, “Watch my body and give me guidance as I seek to resolve the issues I've put forth".
• Take a deep breath and imagine your spirit beginning to lift and leave your body. Feel yourself unhooking as your energy begins to move through all your Chakras, out the top of your head.
• Stand over your body watching it sleep and then allow your spirit to let go, with the blessing, "I'll see you in the morning".

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