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Interpretation of Dreams

Have you ever woken up confused and in a rush from a baffling dream that you just cannot get out of your head? Well, you are not alone. Dreaming is a mysterious natural reflex of our unconscious mind. And while nobody really knows why we dream or interpret what our dreams mean accurately, the dreams we have follow a standard pattern which when studied can reveal the dreamer’s psychological profile. There has been huge debate in the past whether dreams have actual meaning or if it is a trick played by our brain. While some believe it is our mind tricking us, other experts view dreams as our subconscious communicating with us. 

While experts are unsure whether dreaming incorporates an actual meaning or not, the matter of interpreting dreams has gained huge popularity. It wasn’t until the late 1900s that people started acknowledging that dreams may have something to do with our psyche and conscious actions. Since then, a number of studies and books have been published highlighting the topic. One such book called “The Dream Game” by Ann Friday, breaks down dreaming patterns and provides insights to readers on how to interpret their dreams. 

According to research conducted by Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton, dreamers tend to remember details about their dreams that best satisfy their biases. Meaning, you are more prone to remembering a dream that either involves someone you dislike or someone you like. Similarly, in their research, they found that most individuals they studied believed that dreams were nothing but a simulated product of the conscious actions and happenings around them, having no real meaning or value. At night, our logical and critical zones in the brain are suppressed by the emotions and thoughts collected over the daytime. Our brain processes these emotions from our subconscious and develops a random simulation. Whether dreams are pure imagination or an expression of unfilled urges as mentioned by Sigmund Freud, the study found that dreamers are nonetheless heavily influenced by their dreams even though these dreams do not serve a concrete purpose. People are prone to believing their dreams and acting on them. For example, if you dreamt of being very successful one day, chances are your mind will accept it as a reality and build a mental atmosphere so as to encourage you to accomplish that. Similarly, having a sad dream may result in a bad mood in the morning and ultimately the whole day is ruined.

Whether dreams have a meaning or not, we will never find out. It is one of those things that is dominated by personal beliefs and understanding but it is fair to say that by interpreting dreams, we can understand a person’s mental and psychological state.

Chinese Astrology

Back in the time when early humans could not keep time and had no absolute knowledge of seasons, they would refer to the bright constellations at night to predict what the future holds for them. By studying the stars and their movement, humans could suggest when the new season was about to begin. Based on this study, they would hunt and sow vegetables at a particular time. The lifestyle of early humans was heavily reliant on the study of stars, it is fair to say that astrology decided their fate. Today, the human race has modernized, we are now aware of our surroundings and know which seasons come when and we prepare and act accordingly. To put it into perspective, we would not have had information about the seasons and their timing if it were not for our ancestors that studied it.

Even today, Astrology plays an important role in predicting one’s future and knowing what one’s fate holds for them. Astrology today however may not be as popular as it was before and some cultures still follow centuries old traditions. Similarly, the Chinese are avid followers of Astrology. So much so, they have their own unique charts that are much different from what is followed elsewhere. In their version of astrology, dating back to the Han Dynasty in 200 BC, it consists of unique elements such as the ten celestial ordinals and a combined calendar that gives information about both the sun and the moon, amongst many other unique elements. The building block of the Chinese astrology lies in the historic and traditional Chinese culture such as the five-element theory and the famous Yin Yang concept of philosophy.

The concept of the Chinese version of astrology is based on knowing the position of the important planets as well as the position of the sun and the moon in addition to the zodiac sign according to the individual’s birth month. An individual’s destiny can be predicted. Similarly, in the case of zodiac signs, they too are very different to the Western signs. The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals in comparison to the Western zodiac signs that include animals and other symbols. Moreover, the Chinese zodiac signs are a result of the study of the star Jupiter, whose movement around the sun was divided by the Chinese into 12 sections. 

One famous concept in the Chinese astrology is the concept of four pillars with the help of which an individual’s destiny can be known. These four pillars refer to the year of birth, the month of birth, the day of birth and finally the hour of birth. The pillar of year provides information regarding a person’s relationships and family while the month provides information about their childhood. Similarly, the day and the hour provide crucial information that can be studied by the astrologer in addition to other information provided by your birth and zodiac to predict your destiny.

Human Sacrifices Today

In India, people tend to believe in different rituals and traditions, including human sacrifices. Due to advancement in technology and awareness of morality, most people condone such practices, but they still exist in remote areas.

Recently, a heat wave took place in the country, which was known as the deadliest heat wave in the past 100 years. It killed around 2500 people as the temperatures raised so much that the streets began to melt. The average temperature during the heat wave was around 50 degrees Celsius.

The death that seems to stand out the most is the murder of a man named Thepa Kahria. He was a 55-year-old laborer who was found in a pool of his own blood by neighbors in a small village. However, only the man’s body was found and his head was not. The head had been buried in a farm nearby as a ritual to summon rain and decrease the heat which had taken over the country.

The murder was committed by a group of people known as the Orkas. They were the ones who sacrificed the laborer and buried his head in the farmer’s field in exchange for good weather and to save their crops from the heat.

In the West, the practice of human sacrifice is very rare, yet it still does exist. A boy was found in the river Thames in London with his limbs and head dismembered and only his torso appeared to be floating through the river. Poison was found in his intestine which linked it to old African witchcraft.

Most people use human sacrifice in Asian countries as a way to increase the intensity of sexual pleasure. However in the Hindu faith animal sacrifice, and in extreme times, human sacrifice, can be a way to make their lives better.

People that preach this practice, tend to get into the minds of those who are uneducated and gullible. It is so common that around 128 cases of human sacrifice were reported in just Uttar Pradesh, a state within India in just 4 months.

An example of this is that of a couple who desperately wanted to have a son. They consulted local preachers who suggested this barbaric act to them. They then kidnapped a 5-year-old boy and took him to a river. The priest chanted over the body, while they mutilated his body. They then killed the child and washed themselves in his blood to increase fertility and the chances of having their own child.

Modern-day human sacrifice is only prevalent due to lack of education and due to people’s gullibility as they are not aware of the rules of human civilization and do not know better. Evil preachers tend to manipulate them into such acts and people being like sheep tend to follow them blindly.

Modern-Day Human Sacrifices

Human sacrifice is the belief that you sacrifice a human life in return for favors from God or those you believe to be the supreme power. The early exposure most of us may have had to human sacrifice were through animated versions in cartoons where the character is to be sacrificed in the volcano to suffice the Gods and give good weather or water back to the community. However, in real life, it’s not simple and in all honesty, it’s very terrifying.

The ways people sacrifice individuals these days, may not seem like sacrifice but more like murder, but in the traditional sense of giving up a human life to get a favor from God, they can be classified in the same category. Many people tend to kill women for their God. In the religion of Hinduism, women were burnt alive when their husbands passed away. A human life was sacrificed in turn as they believed that widows were a bad omen in society and considered it best to kill them alongside their spouse. Even in the Pakistan and Afghan religion, the concept of honor killing can in some ways be classified as a human sacrifice. Men kill women if they are caught having a relationship, wanting to marry for love or even talking to a man that is not a blood relation. Men in this society believe that they are doing this in the name of God and will be rewarded for this deed sufficiently.

Many African countries that are involved with voodoo magic still practice this horrendous act. A boy was found in 2001 floating in the River Thames. His limbs and head had been clean cut off and his torso had been drained of blood. Later in his intestines, the poison which was found was linked back to African voodoo. People believe if they sacrifice somebody, rain or good weather will come their way. Another instance in India showed a laborer of 55 years being killed to get good weather so the crops could be watered and grow well. This was done close to the monsoon season which meant rain came soon after. This made the people believe that their dreadful act had worked and God had sent rain for that reason.

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In African countries, the concept of witch doctors exists. Today the witch doctors use the elderly and children as payment. The witch doctors sacrifice these poor individuals and harvests their organs for their purposes. Human sacrifice is also very common in voodoo magic as also practiced by many witch doctors. Women who are infertile are told to wash their bodies with the blood of a child to get pregnant.

Many may think that this horrendous act is far from our world and does not exist anymore but that is far from true. In rural, uneducated and underdeveloped areas, this activity still takes place and people are being killed. This shows us that even today when technology has evolved and man has been on the moon, we believe in superstition and traditions that do more harm than good.

Eastern State Penitentiary Ghosts

Eastern State Penitentiary is known as one of the most haunted places in the world and has earned its reputation due to the supernatural sightings and incidents that have occurred there. The Eastern State Penitentiary opened its gates in 1829. It was a prison which was designed by architects to keep around 252 prisoners each with their own solitary confinement cell. Solitary confinement is one of the harshest punishments given to a man intending to fill them with remorse and guilt, the result causing many prisoners to go insane.

In the early times the prisoners were unwanted women and men from society with murderers and killers alongside them. However, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, prisons were made to be reform centres rather than houses for the unwanted. Eastern State Penitentiary had running toilets, sky lights to let in sunlight, heat and a bible.

However, the loneliness was too much for the prisoners to bear. Even when they worked around the penitentiary, prisoners were forced to wear big and heavy masks around their face which led to no talking or communication. It was too much to bear for some prisoners which is why they often took their own lives.

One of the most famous prisoners was the notorious criminal and gangster Al Capone. He was put into prison for hiding a deadly weapon and carrying it. This led to his arrest. In the prison, he had a nice cell with a desk and furniture and even a radio. Even then he believed he was haunted by the ghost of James Clarke, who was a victim in the St. Valentines massacre which Al Capone was part of. This showed how solitary confinement started to play with the minds of even the most hardened of criminals.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a prison warden named Herbert Smith was in charge, nicknamed “Hardboiled” because of his harsh and strict treatment of the prisoners. At this time, the prisoners were not in solitary confinement, instead each cell was shared between 2-3 prisoners. Hardboiled’s way of punishment was tough. He would dunk prisoners into cold water and then hang them onto walls for the night. This was harsher during the winters and he even sometimes constricted inmates to chair, not letting them move for days. It even included starvation.

There were two murders of guards at the prison and people say that their spirit now haunts the prison. Today the prison is open to tourists all through the year. It is a prison that is known for its haunted stories, however, if it really is haunted or was it in the prisoners’ mind is still unknown.

Practicing Shamanism

Shamanism is a practice or a set of beliefs that people hold, which suggests that a shaman is a person who holds healing and restorative powers, while he is someone who can travel between the realms of the spirit world and the actual physical world. Shamans are said to have a huge role to play in society and are known as higher beings by those who believe. However, the practice of shamanism comes with a few dangers that can be harmful to our society.

It is not a belief that can be taken lightly. The shaman needs to have a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the techniques used and how to ground themselves. If they do not, it could result in various disasters. People believe that when a shaman spends too much time out of their body and in other realms, they may find themselves feeling disconnected and ungrounded from the physical world and the life they lead here. This will then lead to an imbalance between the energies of the two worlds, hence causing trouble for the shaman. This is why having a proper balance between the two worlds is essential for shamans to maintain. This will keep them connected to both the worlds and keep them grounded on Earth.

The main risks, however, arises when a shaman in training believes that they may be ready to implement a technique, but they are not. This can not only hurt the shaman themselves but also the person they are trying to heal. It is best that the shaman is fully trained before they practice on people, to protect themselves and others from any harm they might do. The practice would then require them to be concentrated, have discipline in their life and be doing this for a purpose.

It is suggested that people who do have a history of psychosis or neurosis should stay away from shamans and the concept of shamanism as it can easily be triggered and lead to something worse. This is because the feelings of discomfort and being out of control may seem to take over the person’s body. This may be a very threatening situation to some and can trigger some non-benevolent beings in some other realm.