Mar 19, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Cycle of Transformation: Part Three

We are given so many stories by our culture that limit how we use our power. Often these stories involve what it means to be a man or a woman and what we are allowed or not allowed to do as a result. What if you were given the tools to dismantle every single story except I am one with all things. What would it feel like to viscerally experience your innate divinity, your connection to all living things and that your power and ability to co-create your life in alignment with your purpose is limitless? And then what if you could use that power to create the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible for the next seven generations?

This week Langston Kahn, guest host and a senior teacher at the Last Mask Center, will interview students involved in the third year of the Cycle of Transformation, the 4-year training process offered by the Last Mask Center, which continues in year three with a week-long residential workshop: The Sacred Self. They will explore together the inner transformation required to step up as leaders in their own lives and how their lives have changed and their experience of power, choice and how they use their energy has deepened after three years of being held in this work by a contemporary shamanic community.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Mar 15, 2019

Esoterica



Leader of Alleged Sex Cult NXIVM Hit With Child Porn Charges

Keith Raniere, the founder of an alleged sex-cult that masqueraded as a self-help organization, has been hit with yet another charge, per Reuters: child pornography.

In March 2018, Raniere was arrested and charged with sex trafficking for his involvement in NXIVM, an organization that allegedly brainwashed, manipulated, and blackmailed women into being “sex slaves.” He also, according to new court filings, coerced underage girls into his operation. At a Brooklyn hearing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said that Raniere had sex with a 15-year-old girl who later became his first “slave,” and that he had a sexual relationship with at least one other child.

. . .

In the year since Raniere’s arrest, a growing number of individuals with ties to the operation have been arrested and faced charges. NXIVM’s foundation has also increasingly cracked. In April, Smallville actress Allison Mack, who claims she instituted the ritual of branding sex slaves with Raniere’s initials, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking and forced labor; and in July, Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, former bookkeeper Kathy Russell, and co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter, Lauren Salzman, were charged with racketeering conspiracy for their involvement in a criminal organization. (Since Raniere’s arrest, he’s also been charged with forced labor, wire fraud conspiracy, and human trafficking.)

And, just hours before Raniere was hit with the most recent child pornography charges, Nancy Salzman plead guilty to her racketeering charge, making her the first person from the operation to be convicted. In the courtroom, SFGate reports that she broke down, saying, “It has taken me some time and some soul-searching to come to this place.”

Mar 12, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Cycle of Transformation: Part Two

What if the juiciest parts of yourself, your humor, your creativity, your sexuality were waiting for you in the shadow realms? What if the parts of yourself that had been judged, feared, rejected and repressed were actually necessary for you to live your soul's purpose? What would it feel like to bring those parts of yourself back into your fullness and to transform them into allies through love?

This week Langston Kahn, guest host and a senior teacher at the Last Mask Center, will interview students involved in the second year of the Cycle of Transformation, the 4-year training process offered by the Last Mask Center, which continues in year two with a week-long residential workshop, Dance of the Shadow Self. They will explore together what fears they held in anticipation of delving deeply into heart-centered shadow work, what differentiates shadow work in The Last Mask Community from other approaches and how their lives have been changed by their work.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Mar 5, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Cycle of Transformation: Part One

What if you had a chance to hit the restart button on your authenticity? To peel back all the layers of trauma to reveal the magnificent human being you came here to be? What would you risk pursuing if you knew you would be held by a community to love and support you through the entire process?

This week guest host Langston Kahn, senior teacher at the Last Mask Center, will interview students involved in the first year of the Cycle of Transformation, a 4-year training process offered which begins with a week-long residential workshop, Masks of Illusion and the Authentic Self. They will explore together what brought them to the Cycle, how their lives have been changed by the first year of the teachings and what it's like to be supported in transformation by a contemporary shamanic community.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Feb 26, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Remembering True Initiation: The Initiation Series Wrap-up

In the opening of Curing our Cultural Sickness: The Initiation Series on June 8th, shaman and host, Christina Pratt, presented the hypothesis that the lack of meaningful or functional initiation from childhood to adulthood is at the root of much of our cultural sickness. In the weeks that followed Christina interviewed a diverse range of shamans in the hopes that in hearing about the qualities of the experiences that actually transformed them from many different perspectives we could remember again what true initiation is.

We learned that humility, the willingness to be empty, and asking our questions from that uncertain stance is essential to engage the initiatory potential in experience. We learned that pain, sacrifice, and a willingness to feel are all critical. And finally we learned that allowing oneself to be transformed not once, but at least three layers deeply into ourselves is necessary to even begin to call an experience "initiatory."

Join us this week as we explore all that we learned from these stories of initiation and what that means for our culture going forward.

**This show originally aired August 3, 2010.**

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Feb 19, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Initiation Series: Gretchen Crilly McKay

Sangoma (shaman), Gretchen Crilly McKay is our guest this week in our Initiation Series: Curing our Cultural Sickness. She joins us to discuss her traditional kuthwasa (initiation) experiences in Swaziland, Africa, under the mentorship of Zulu shaman, P.H. Mntshali. It is our hope that in hearing the stories of a diverse range of contemporary initiation experiences-that have functioned to truly transform individuals into shamans-that we will come to remember what initiation truly means.

Gretchen's admitted love affair with Africa, the "home" of her soul, began decades ago. A consultation there with sangoma, P.H. Mntshali-who would become her mentor-revealed that her life had been difficult because she had not followed the path her ancestors had chosen for her. Through the traditional initiatory path of the sangoma, Gretchen became the woman she was meant to be.

Gretchen's private shamanic practice is in Southern California where she seamlessly combines traditional African practices, like throwing the bones, with cross-cultural shamanic practices, like soul retrieval, extraction, and healing with spiritual light to serve her clients and students. Her extensive calendar of classes, apprenticeship & mentoring, and two year advanced training can be found at www.ancestralwisdom.com

**This show originally aired June 29, 2010.**

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Feb 12, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Initiation Series: Michael Dunning

Shaman-healer, Michael Dunning is our guest this week in our Initiation Series: Curing our Cultural Sickness. He joins us to discuss his exceptional initiation experiences with a Yew tree in Scotland and how they transformed him.

It is our hope that in hearing the stories of a diverse range of contemporary initiation experiences-that have functioned to truly transform individuals into shamans-that we will come to remember what initiation truly means.

Michael gradually became aware of his calling as a shaman-healer following a near -death encounter with an elemental spirit in the far north of Scotland. A second near-death experience occurred several years later that entirely destroyed his health. Michael began to experience regular visions, prolonged out - of - body states and intense physical pain. Managing his daily life became a great challenge. He was finally rescued by a friend who lived in a small cottage close to a 2000 year-old, female yew tree. This marked the beginning of a ten-year period of healing and a shamanic initiation through nature, which took place under the vast enclosure of the tree. Michael now teaches Yewshamanism throughout New England where he is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist and teacher.

**This show originally aired June 22, 2010.**

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Feb 10, 2019

Esoterica



Rare half-male, half-female cardinal spotted in Pennsylvania

Jeffrey and Shirley Caldwell have been attracting birds for 25 years with carefully tended backyard feeders. But the lifelong Erie, Pennsylvania, residents have never seen a creature so wondrous as the half-vermillion, half-taupe cardinal—its colors split right down the middle—that first showed up a few weeks ago in the dawn redwood tree 10 yards from their home.

. . .

The anomaly is known as a bilateral gynandromorph. In plain language: Half its body is male and the other half is female. “This remarkable bird is a genuine male/female chimera,” says Daniel Hooper, a postdoctoral fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in an email.

Gynandromorphs, known as “half-siders” among ornithologists, are uncommon but not unheard of. They likely occur across all species of birds, Hooper says, but we’re only likely to notice them in species where the adult males and females look distinct from each other, a trait known as sexual dimorphism. “Cardinals are one of the most well-known sexually dimorphic birds in North America—their bright red plumage in males is iconic—so people easily notice when they look different,” Hooper says.

Feb 8, 2019

Catholic Nuns Are Saying #Metoo

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



The dumpster fire of Vatican scandal continues with the revelation of widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests known of and concealed for decades. In this case it's the Church's own nuns who have been abused, enslaved, shamed, and silenced by the Catholic hierarchy. I would give the Vatican credit for displaying their dirty laundry in one of their own publications, but news of this issue has been burbling to the surface for some time now, and drew increasing scrutiny during the "year of hell" that was 2018.  Putting the issue front and center in their own women's magazine looks to me like spin control, an attempt to get ahead of emerging scandal, but perhaps I'm cynical.

The February issue of "Women Church World," distributed alongside the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, says that religious sisters for years have not reported offences against them by priests for fear of retaliation.

Editor Lucetta Scaraffia writes that the issue “reflects on the theme of abuse, that is, perverse use of touch”.

. . .

The article says that reports of priests sexually abusing nuns in Africa were filed to the Vatican in the 1990s. Yet, nothing changed. Now, as part of the #Metoo movement, and as the sexual abuse of minors comes to the fore, women are beginning to publicly denouce [sic] their abuse.

"If the church continues to close its eyes to the scandal — made even worse by the fact that abuse of women brings about procreation and is therefore at the origin of forced abortions and children who aren't recognised by priests — the condition of oppression of women in the church will never change," Scaraffia wrote.

It is hard to imagine a greater hypocrisy than "forced abortions" in Catholic orders.

Feb 5, 2019

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Initiation Series: Desiree DeMars

Healer, Desiree DeMars is our first guest in our Initiation Series: Curing our Cultural Sickness. She will join us to discuss her own initiation experiences and how they transformed her.

It is our hope that in hearing the stories of a diverse range of contemporary initiation experiences-that have functioned to truly transform individuals into shamans-that we will come to remember what initiation truly means.

Desiree is a co-founder of The Center for Shamanic Healing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Center is dedicated to bridging the ancient and ancestral wisdom of shamanic and spiritual healing with direct engagement with spirit in a contemporary life. Desiree's initiations have occurred over time and place. She travels extensively, often stopping to live for months or years in places that call to her. She began living a holistic life 30 years ago building a green, self-sufficient homestead in Northern Wisconsin. Her holistic lifestyle has evolved into 20 years studying herbal remedies, live food nutrition, several bodywork and energywork modalities, and shamanic healing arts. Her travels have brought her in contact with indigenous healers in Peru, Ecuador, Bali, Hawaii, Mexico and Nepal. If we are really lucky we will get to tell us her story of initiation by scorpion.

**This show originally aired June 15, 2010.**

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Feb 1, 2019

Esoterica



Previously Unknown Tales Of Merlin And King Arthur Discovered Hidden In Medieval Texts

When academic Michael Richardson headed into the University of Bristol’s Special Collections Library, the task was a fairly simple and familiar one: look for new reading materials for the University's MA in Medieval Studies. What he didn’t expect to find was an entirely new rendering of the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Holy Grail.

Found bound inside 16th-century books were seven hand-written parchment fragments that, upon closer investigation, Richardson recognized to contain several legendary names, including Merlin the wizard. He quickly contacted Leah Tether, President of the International Arthurian Society, to see if his finds were compelling. Together, the two found that fragments from the original manuscripts tell the stories of Arthurian legends with subtle but significant differences from traditional narratives.

. . .

The texts are thought to come from the Vulgate Cycle or Lancelot-Grail Cycle, old French texts dating back to the 13th century. It’s believed that Sir Thomas Malory, writer of King Arthur’s most famous account Le Morte D’Arthur, used these texts as the main source for his work, which has gone on to inspire most modern retellings of the legend.

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