The Wedding Ring

One’s wedding ring is often a person’s most essential item of jewellery, because of the huge significance that it has for its owner. It is meant to denote the love that exists between two people. In most countries, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand - the ring finger, although in Norway, Germany and Russia, it is worn on the fourth finger of the right hand.

It is generally a good idea to have your finger measured by an expert, before buying an expensive ring, because fingers swell and shrink over the course of a life span and a good jeweller will know how much leeway to allow. If the change in the size of your finger is likely to be lasting, it is a good idea to have the ring resized, this is so that it will neither cut into you nor fall off your finger easily.

These days a lot of couples like to go shopping for wedding rings together, because they want to get a pair of identical rings that both of them likes. However, it does not have to be like that. In fact it never was, because the man bought the ring for his fiancee as a surprise. So, if you do not share the same tastes, do not worry about it.

There are hundreds of styles to choose from and several kinds and qualities of metal too. Yellow gold is still the most popular, but there is white gold and specialist golds too like Welsh gold, which is very rare. Besides gold, platinum and titanium are very popular too.

A fast developing trend is for a couple to design or have designed a unique pair of wedding rings. At first, you would think that this would be very expensive, but it is not necessarily so. If you keep your design modest and the stones, if any, equally so, then the rings might only cost 10%-20% more than those off the shelf.

Gold is still the most popular metal for a wedding ring, but silver is starting to gain ground too, although it was always looked on as the poor cousin before. Likewise, diamonds are the still the number one stone of choice, but sapphires are also very popular nowadays. Or you could go for plain bands with something like a Celtic knot design.

Shopping for wedding rings can be fun, but it is easy to go over the top and spend much more than you intended to. You could decide how much you can afford and stick to it, not that that always works either. Expect to pay a lot more for the bride’s wedding ring than the groom’s. This is because the bride’s ring usually contains diamonds, whereas the groom’s is often a plain band of gold.

You could further personalize your wedding rings with an inscription and a date. Personalized, or unique wedding rings often get handed down through the generations. Possibly, yours will too. Or, if you want to wear your grandmother’s handed-down ring, you could personalize it in some way, so that it is both old and yet something of you as well.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Celtic Knot rings. If you have an interest in wedding rings too, please go to our website now at White Gold Claddagh Ring

My Religious Ways In Later Years

In my twenties I continued reading books on philosophy and religion, but I tended towards Buddhism and Hinduism, which seemed very closely related to my family’s spiritualist beliefs. I practiced yoga, but being physically lazyish by nature, I preferred the more psychic exercises.

I meditated. I would not drink alcohol for 48 hours before the evening that I had asked for permission to meditate; then I would exercise, bathe and lie down in a dimly lit room. I used to begin by relaxing my body.

The procedure that worked best for me was to imagine tiny factory workers in overalls at each muscle and, beginning from my feet, I would send them off for luncheon. I would walk them all up into my head and out of my ears so that I was ‘paralyzed’. Then, I imagined a crevice opening up in the middle of my mind and I forced my thoughts jump over it as it grew wider.

Petty thoughts disappeared quickly, but even persistent, deep-seated problems would eventually fall down the crack. Then I would be left alone in me. I never got rid of ‘me’ strive as I might. The next step for me would be to pose a question.

An instance is: ‘How can I tell the difference between a significant dream and my mind just processing the day;s activities?’ Invariably I would see myself, from the back or over head, sitting in a cinema or a theatre alone.

Then someone would be on stage and start a film. The person would commentate and stop and restart the film until I understood the answer to my question. The commentator was nearly always the same one, but if it was not, I made him tell me his name before I would pay any attention.

In this state, people who saw me reckoned that I was asleep, but I could hear each noise that was made in the household and on the street outside. People said I snored too, but I could hear myself snoring.

To this day, if I relax deeply, I snore but I can hear everything and am not asleep. My wife often turns the TV off while I am listening to it. I know that lots of men say that, which makes it more, not less, true. It shows that meditation is natural and that we can all do it if we give ourselves the opportunity.

When I was a teenager, I got into the habit of scribbling my dreams down, because I have the type of memory that remembers things when I have written them down. I can throw the paper away then and I will remember|.

Anyway, I can remember my dreams now without having to write them down, but what is more valuable than that in my mind is that I have always known if I am dreaming. One last thing, when I walk in my dreams it is on two legs but if I run it is on all fours like a dog. Many people have called me ‘wolf’ or ‘bear’ in my life, have they seen something? (My wife says she sees me as a wolf too)’

I do not mean anything weird, but it is something of a coincidence or not? Last year, I was talking to a girlfriend of my wife and she said that she runs on all fours in her dreams too. She was bowled over when I said I did too. How many more are there?

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on a variety of topics, but is now concerned with non-religious beliefs. If you want to know more go to What is Religious Belief?

Catholic Rosaries

If you are not a Catholic, you may not understand the importance of a string of Catholic rosary beads. This is because a Catholic’s rosary beads are an aid to prayer and penance. It is because of this that Catholic rosary beads have the same number of beads all over the world. The beads are counted off as the prayers are said.

Rosary beads are gifted to young Catholics and frequently a set of beads will be handed down through generations as heirlooms. It is considered an honour to get given a set of rosary beads that are decades or more old, just as it would be if a relative left you anything else old and valuable. Old rosary beads can become very valuable, depending on what the beads are made of, their age and the type of metal used to string them together.

The Catholic Rosary is used to matter off the number of prayers said in repetitions in the same way that an abacus is used for counting money. Rosaries have ten small beads followed by a substantial one to indicate that the repetition should be started again.

It is an old style of prayer harking back to when people were less educated. However, beads help the person praying concentrate on the prayer and not on the counting as well.

Most Catholic rosary bead chains have enough beads for five cycles of prayers. This makes it easier for followers of the Catholic Church to say their prayers and do the penances metred out to them by their priest for ‘committing sins’.

In fact, the Catholic Church is losing ground very rapidly in Europe especially in such traditional strongholds as Eire (Southern Ireland) and the southern provinces of the Netherlands. They are also losing ground in Spain, Portugal and America, usually due to the sex scandals involving priests.

Whatever one thinks of the Catholic Church, the pope and the Catholic clergy, rosary beads are a feature of the history of mankind’s development in the West during the last 2,000 years. Whether you see Catholic rosary beads as a symbol of devotion to God or as a symbol of the Catholic Church’s tyranny over scared people, the rosary in itself is an interesting phenomenon.

Some individuals create a hobby out of collecting rosaries because they are widely traded and can be very valuable. It is not unusual for a set of Victorian rosary beads made of a semi-precious stone on a gold chain to go for thousands of dollars at auction.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a number of subjects, but is currently involved with religious beliefs in China. If you would like to kcurrently more go to What is Religious Belief?

The History Of Archery

Bowmen have played a major role in warfare and hunting for thousands of years. Primitive bows were made of a single piece of wood, but composite recurve bows were being made from Greece to China as far back as the second millennium BC.

Recurve bows, those with the ends facing the ‘wrong way’ when unstrung, are more powerful inch for inch in length than one piece wooden bows, which made them more suitable to confined conditions such as on horseback, in a chariot or in wooded areas.

Bits of composite recurve bows, usually made from horn, have been discovered in many parts of the world. Early arrows were made from naturally straight twigs or pine needles with napped flint tips affixed. Wooden bows did not preserve so well and exemplars are rare.

It seems that archery was being developed in the early Mesolithic or late Paleolithic Age. Archery was particularly well developed in some Islamic countries and in Asia, where Zen Buddhist monks used archery as part of their meditation techniques.

In the early days of archery, there were mixed sentiments about archers. In those days, people fought hand to hand with swords and spears and some of the traditionalists thought that archers were cowards because they attacked from a distance out of direct danger. This point is made very obvious in ‘The Iliad’, Homer’s account to the siege of Troy.

There are or were many kinds of bows made to match different fighting or hunting conditions. Some varieties of bow are the; long bow, short bow, recurve bow, composite recurve bow, reflex bow, decurve bow, deflex bow and crossbow among others.

The longbow was extremely difficult to learn to use and the archer needed considerable upper-body strength. The bow was often six feet long with a heavy three foot long arrow. The draw weight for utmost power was about a hundred pounds and the function of the bow on a battleground was as long-range artillery.

The heavy arrows and vicious armour-piercing arrow head would rain down on the enemy from a hundred yards or more and penetrate shields and armour as if they did not exist. Shot horizontally, the three-foot arrow could pass through a couple of people.

In fact, the longbow was so essential to the triumph of Great Britain that a law was passed making it obligatory for men over a certain age to practice with their longbows every Sunday on the village green in order to develop the required skills and upper-body strength in case war came.

The arrows are made to go with the different kinds of bows and the different bows and their specific arrows are suited to different kinds of hunting - whether you are hunting men or animals.

There are essentially two styles of shooting: instinctive shooting, which is very demanding as the archer does not take his eyes off the target, but does not sight down the arrow; and sight shooting where the archer makes use of sights to align the arrow with its target. The majority of people find sight shooting simpler.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several subjects, but is presently concerned with archery recurve bows. If you would like to know more or for special deals, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.

You can Take Advantage of Hydrotherapy - Find out How

When you use water to relax or to help treat a condition it’s called hydrotherapy and it has many benefits and applications. Many people use hydrotherapy every day without thinking but you can also pinpoint a particular problem and use this method for treatment. Whether you soak in a hot tub at the spa or your own bathtub at home, you will immediately start to feel the tension melt away. We’ll be looking at some of the ways hydrotherapy can make you feel better in this article.

One of the most important benefits of warm water is that it opens up the blood vessels and increases circulation throughout your body. This not only instantly relaxes you and helps loosen your joints and muscles, but it also acts as a detoxification process. Adding assorted herbs and salts to the warm water can increase the removal of toxins, however warm water is sufficient by itself. After arising from the water, your internal organs are revitalized and you feel replenished. That’s why hydrotherapy is something that you should practice regularly and not only when you have a specific complaint.

A hydrotherapy treatment option that is really valuable is the wrap. A wrap can be utilized to take care of an array of ailments - not limited to tenderness and fevers. By applying a washrag which is damp with cold water, you can do this by applying it to the most troubled area of the body. The treatment can take effect if a dry cloth is wrapped around the wet one and if they person is also able to loosen up. Wraps should be tight, but not so much so that circulation is cut off. Another option is to wrap up your whole body in a wet sheet, rather than focusing on only one spot. Wraps can be a simple type of hydrotherapy healing method and it can additionally be beneficial to certain maladies, soreness and injuries.

Some people need to be really careful with hydrotherapy because they can have bad side effects, although most people are able to appreciate the benefits. For illustrative purposes, someone who has heart disease should get a hold of their physician prior to using any such treatment, especially if it entails excessive temperatures, whether hot or cold. To benefit themselves and their unborn baby, pregnant women likewise should be careful and talk to their doctors about how to stay out of harm’s way. It is ideal to inquire with your doctor for any medical advice prior to testing out some new form of care, especially if you have a serious disease. In a high number of instances, however, the only extra safeguard that someone needs to take for hydrotherapy is to make sure the temperature is not too hot or too cold.

To come to the point, as time has progressed there have been several good reasons that people around the world have been employing hydrotherapy. By spending money on a hot tub or having a Jacuzzi tub installed or visiting spa, you can relish in the modern day versions of this very old therapy. Being as we only have limited space in this article, we have barely made a dent in sharing with you the therapeutic powers of water. Hydrotherapy can be helpful for almost any condition, whether physical or emotional.

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Astral Travel Techniques - How To Discover The Universe

Astral travel techniques is the phrase used to illustrate common meditation exercises that will help you go through the phenomenal out of body experience, Astral Travel.

The concept of astral travel is not a a different one. It is often in practice since ancient times. The only difference is that during those times the information of astral travel was not open to anybody.

At this time, fortunately astral travel techniques and its rewards are out in the open and any individual can use the knowledge to possess the pleasure of traveling astrally.

Free availability of information, however, does not mean that it may be used without any guidelines or preparation.

So, here are a few primary techniques that may help you put your astral travel knowledge to the best use and experience this awesome phenomenon:

First of all, you must find a calm location where you’re not going to be disturbed by any kind of sound or activity. Privacy with calm is the ideal combination so you can try this out. The ideal time to try would be prior to moving to sleep or after you’ve just woken up.

Make sure you have switched off your phone, draw the curtains and inform folks at home that you should not be disturbed at all.

Using recognized a perfect location, you must ensure that the clothing you wear is actually loose, comfortable and the fabric that you are wearing is breathable. Fact is that perhaps minimal disruptions could compromise the power of your experience, thus the more comfortable and relaxed you are, the better it is.

Another significant astral travel techniques should be to ensure that your body is in line with the earth’s magnetic force or field and that is gained by setting your head to the north and feet towards the south. This is the great placement while you lie on your back with feet a little spread out, arms positioned parallel with palms facing upwards.

Start by focusing on your breathing, focus on experiencing the expansion of your chest when you inhale and exhale. Now when you exhale, focus on the stomach and sense the breath leaving you. Then bit by bit go your attention to each part of your body and you will notice that they begin relaxing alone and become quite loose.

Keep concentrating on your breathing. If you feel your body drifting off to sleep, instruct your mind to stay focused on you breathing. The first few times you practice deep meditation astral travel techniques you may actually doze off. However, with practice you will be able to keep yourself in the state of focused relaxation.

At some point, you will get the state as your astral travel is prepared to apart from your body and start its first astral travel.

Astral travel techniques has many skills to it and the above preparatory steps are vital to your ultimate success.

This was essential information on astral travel techniques and we have even more tips on astral projection guide.

Bringing Out The Quiet Within

In this day and age we rush here and there and everywhere. We live hectic lives. We seem to have little time for ourselves and others. We’re chasing money. We live for our survival, from one thing to the next. And we get so used to being busy that we struggle to be quiet. To relax; to sit still and enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of nature or music or the sun.

Does it have to be this way? No! We can stand back and see what we’re doing and find the way down different paths. Taking in our environment. Taking in what comes from inside us and not always looking for external motivation. Would you want something like this? Quietness: To balance the hecticness?

How do you attain quiet? How do you break the cycle of being caught up in everyday survival? You can of course do this in several ways. You can do this in one fell swoop or you can take it one slow and intentional step at a time.

And what’s more we can take it all the way. It is within the realms of your reality to take on a journey considered as your optimal life. This isn’t to do with money or what you earn or what you do. It has to do with why you do whatever you do.

A sure way to commence this journey is to cut out all the things that you know you’d prefer not to do. And this is overwhelming. Nevertheless, with the necessary courage this is indeed possible.

The first step however, is yours to take. Nobody can do it for you. And so it is for all further steps. The benefits of such a journey are far reaching and do not ever need to end. Ever. Thus your life can become and continue to be an exploration journey, while you uncover things in your life that don’t serve you. These you can drop and thus make discoveries of your preferences, which you can pursue with passion.

Emmanuel van der Meulen is a life awareness coach. He can assist you to understand more about healing the emotions. Request your free optimal life self assessment questionnaire.

Stained Glass Through The Ages

No one actually knows when stained glass was first invented because it happened before people started recording history. However, some historians think that it was first used as a luxury in the homes of affluent Romans in the first century AD. Stained glass was eventually recognized as an art form in the fourth century as Christians began to worship openly and to construct intricate churches in which to celebrate their religion.

On the other hand, some historians demonstrate that there are remnants in pre-Christian ruins that suggest that pagans employed stained glass in their ceremonies. Although we will most likely never really know the origins of stained glass, it is fairly certain that the proliferation of Christianity is directly related to the spread of use of stained glass.

The Gothic Era commenced in the 12th Century and stained glass windows became an important element in the design of cathedrals. It really all started with the novel style of the St. Denis, France, where stained glass windows were used to convey light into the church itself and into the minds of its worshipers. Unfortunately, most of the stained glass in the St. Denis Cathedral was destroyed in the course of the French Revolution, but there are a few pieces left and even some entire windows on display in Europe.

Gothic style stained glass was composed of strong lines, but these increasingly went out of style as the Renaissance began. Throughout the Renaissance, artisans depicted better detail and more delicate colouring in order to add to the realism. Stained glass windows became more like paintings on glass than architectural features and some of the notable elements such as lead lines vanished. Because of the problems in showing the great detail essential to the Renaissance era, the old style, which was original stained glass almost died out.

Since stained glass was used by and large by the Catholic Church, much of the work was smashed during the reign of King Henry VIII after his split with the Pope. However, not only old stained glass windows were damaged, but many of the glass making works were sabotaged too. However, religious strife was not the only cause of the decline of stained glass.

The style of the Baroque era was for more elaborate murals, which meant the use of clear glass. Therefore, many of the remaining stained glass windows were allowed to fall into disrepair, and furthermore not many new stained glass windows were made. In the late 17th century, fashion returned to the Gothic style of architecture, which created a renewed interest in stained glass windows.

Artisans still tried to paint directly onto the glass at first, but later tried to imitate the old leaden frames of medieval times. However, since the earlier methods had not been used for such a long time, they had grown to be forgotten and the artisans of the period were unable to reconstruct the exact designs used in Gothic stained glass.

During the 19th century, La Farge and Tiffany created new variations of stained glass. La Farge was interested in window designs, while Tiffany went into new areas like the Tiffany lamp shade.

These days, stained glass artists are not constricted by religious styles, although much of the work they do involves refurbishment. Modern stained glass is also used as the centre pane in front doors, especially uPVC doors, by rich and poor equally in the West.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with Waterford crystal vases. If you have an interest in Irish crystal or wedding rings, please go to our website now at White Gold Claddagh Ring

Archery As A Pastime And A Sport

We are all being encouraged to get out more frequently, so many people are looking for a reason for doing it. You could choose a spectator sport like football, but that is not really going to do your body much good, you should be looking for a participation sport.

If you are younger, then play soccer by all means, but if you are getting on a bit, you will most likely be looking for a sport that is not quite so strenuous. Men like to take aim and shoot things even if not kill them. Golf is an option, but I want to recommend that you give archery a try.

Archery has the advantage over shooting a gun because it takes some physical fitness. It is not just a question of pulling, sorry, squeezing a trigger. If you take up archery, you will probably want to develop some more upper-body strength, especially if the most strenuous work you have done for the last twenty years is pick up a pen.

Archery is an rounded sport in many ways, depending on how much you get into it. Most beginners will start out by going to an archery club and joining in for the day. People will lend them a bow and show them the safety aspects and the correct way to hold a bow and shoot an arrow. This should give you a good notion of which sort of bow you would like.

After a week or two, you may purchase your own bow and you may move from indoor target archery to outdoor target archery or even field archery, which is virtual hunting. From there, you will almost certainly meet people who take archery a step further. You will meet competition archers, bow hunters and people who assemble their own equipment.

You might find one of these aspects of archery enthralling. You may take up bow hunting or even bow fishing. This will lead you off at a tangent, because you will have to learn about the animals that you hunt. You will have to learn where they live and what their habits are. This involves research.

Or you can take up the archery equivalent of clay pigeon shooting, which is called field archery. In field archery, the archers walk around a course and replica animals or standard targets will become visible at diverse distances. This is enjoyable.

You will also meet people who like to make their own arrows and even their own bows. This is another interesting feature of archery. You can purchase the different components that go to make up an arrow and you can buy a kit to assemble a bow or you can start from scratch with an axe, a knife and a lathe. Again you will need to do a lot of research, in order to get your archery equipment just the way you want it.

This will take you down yet another tangent to archery, but it will improve your understanding of archery, augment your pleasure in the sport and, as they say, add another string to your bow.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece writes on several topics, but is currently involved with longbows for sale. If you would like to know more or for special offers, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.