Nov 13, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Courageous Heart, Part 2: The Wisdom of the Warrior

Courageous Heart Series-Part 2 of 4: The Wisdom of the Warrior So what does it take to live your life with a courageous heart? To choose to live fully and completely, to disconnect yourself from the seductions of the day, and to surrender to the call of your soul is nothing short of an act of spiritual warriorship. And not one act, but the ongoing actions of a person oriented in life to face his/her fears willingly and then do whatever it takes to walk the path.
The path of the Spiritual Warrior moves in the Emotional Body and cultivates mastery of self through the willingness to look honestly at what lies in the Shadow. Shamanic skills allow us to transform the enemies we find there into an ally. These allies return to us bringing our humor, sensuality, innate gifts, sexuality, and other passionate aspect s of the self we have judged harshly. "What would you do today if you knew you would die tomorrow?" If the answer is "nothing," your courageous heart awaits.

**This show originally aired March 11, 2009.**

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Nov 11, 2018

James Arthur Ray and His Business of Death

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




"The fact that he would do this suggests to me he hasn't learned all that much -- the idea of trying to turn what he did into somehow generating money by the redemption book or whatever.... I think this is just rubbing salt right back in the wounds for all of them and the people who are either financially ruined or mentally damaged by that entire event..." ~ Connie Joy, author of Tragedy in Sedona


It appears that James Arthur Ray has a new book coming out, and I say "appears" because I can find no record of it anywhere but on his website. Yet Ray has already kicked promotion of this book into gear, pitching The Business of Redemption on his local FOX, CBS, and ABC affiliates. As a former book publicist, I find this whole thing very odd. Normally, media appearances would not be scheduled until the pub date, when finished books are in stores and available for purchase. This book doesn't even have a pub date, only vague allusions to "next year."

I looked at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and found no listings or pre-order options for this book. That is something that is generally set up well in advance by publishers. But that's the other piece of information that seems to be missing. There is no mention of a publisher. My back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me that this is a self-published book and a poorly coordinated one at that. I am speculating somewhat, but unless I miss my guess, Ray is counting on pre-orders through his website to fund the production of finished books, hence the vague pub date, which is probably contingent on how many orders come in and when.

This leads us to the most disturbing aspect of this venture. Why start promotion of this project in October, the very month that three people died on his watch? Not for the first time, Ray's attachment to this tragedy seems more ghoulish than respectful, let alone repentant. I mean... what did that press release look like?! Did he send it out on October 8th? I would not put it past him.

Nov 6, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Courageous Heart, Part 1: The Love of the Healer

Courageous Heart Series-Part 1 of 4: The Love of the Healer So what does it take to truly and fully live a life of Authenticity and Purpose? It isn't enough to start focusing your intention now and using your mind to make a new life happen. There is a place for the mind and its clarity. However the much more powerful organ of manifestation is the Heart.
This week we begin a four part series exploring the four aspects of the self that must work together for you to discover your soul's true purpose and life it. The heart offers powers to clear out of addictive patterns. This gives us access to shamanic skills to work with Life-Death-Rebirth intentionally to clear the way and create energy for the new. As we manifest the new, fear, resistance and Shadow always arise. We will explore the many ways that looking at fear and shadow from a shamanic, not a psychological perspective, can make the path through that scary place obvious, probably challenging, but ultimately joyful.

**This show originally aired March 4, 2009.**

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Oct 30, 2018

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Teens, Shamanism, and Hidden Worlds with Sandra Ingerman

Our children are inherriting vast challenges to their future played out in the environment, the ecomomy, family dysfuction, and heightening social devisiveness. What if we taught our children the basics of shamanic life: that we can co-create our life with spirit and that spirit help can guide us to do what feels impossible. What world would they co-create? This week much loved, shamanic teacher and author, Sandra Ingerman, joins host, Christina Pratt, to share her new young adult, novel, "The Hidden Worlds" co-authored by Katherine Wood. In this story the middle school protagonists deal with their self doubt, insecurity, and puberty while the navigate hidden worlds and finding the help and magic needed to deal with a toxic disaster in the middle of their lives. This story is seamlessly packed with lessons about everyday, practical shamanism in the real world of contemporary teens.

This week's guest:
Sandra Ingerman


Sandra Ingerman Sandra Ingerman, MA, is a licensed therapist and the author of numerous books including How to Heal Toxic Thoughts, Soul Retrieval, and Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins. She is also the author of several lecture programs produced by Sounds True. Sandra lives in New Mexico and can be found online at www.sandraingerman.com.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Oct 23, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Children and Shamanism: Teens

Shamanism is misunderstood, occasionally maligned, and still considered to be on the fringe even in alternative circles. Yet contemporary practitioners remain undaunted and the range of resources on shamanic practice continues to grow in books, gatherings, podcasts, and classes. What was a solo path for many only a decade ago, often filled with frustration, doubt, and reinventing the wheel, can now be shared with mentors, peers, and viable community. A new resource for teens has been published by author and shaman, S. Kelley Harrell, called "Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism: A Beginners Map Charting an Ancient Path". Join us this week as we continue our exploration of shamanism and children. Kelley shares her book and ways to make learning about shamanism less about acquiring techniques in how to do it and more about learning how to incorporate and deal with the changes it brings to everyday life.

**This show originally aired on May 27, 2014**

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Oct 21, 2018

Each Zodiac Sign’s Secret Ambition

It has long been said that opposites attract, and many astrologers believe that a sign’s “secret ambition” can be uncovered by looking directly across the zodiac wheel. Then there’s the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Do the zodiac signs imagine their opposite signs leading the life they themselves can only dream of? Let’s find out…

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

Secret Ambition: to link arms with a significant other and bring about reconciliation and justice on a global scale, while singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in 2-part harmony

Actual Job: enforcer for The Mob in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, while moonlighting as an insult comic

TAURUS (April 20-May 21)

Secret ambition: to be a sex therapist turned private investigator who operates an embalming parlour in what used to be Amityville House

Actual Job: wardrobe stylist for UPS

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Secret ambition: to be a freelance animal trainer and bungee jumping coach working aboard a cruise ship travelling to all seven continents during the course of each year

Actual Job: computer programmer working in the basement of a nondescript building in Manhattan, Kansas

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Secret Ambition: to be a ruthless, over-achieving real estate developer who stops at nothing to ensure his rise to the top and works in a high rise that makes Trump Tower look like a pre-fab storage building

Actual Job: nursing assistant working with disadvantaged children in Liberia

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Secret Ambition: to be a radical, eccentric and utterly mad scientist and inventor working behind the scenes to overthrow the status quo

Actual Job: personal trainer for people who would rather be at a fine restaurant eating brownie sundae cheesecake

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22)

Secret Ambition: to be a psychic ghost-whisperer gypsy traveller in a billowing silk caftan who teaches lucid dreaming in a parallel universe.

Actual Job: professional copy editor in Gothenburg, Nebraska

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Secret Ambition: to rule the world as the leader of a military dictatorship in a country where bullying is a much sought-after degree at national universities

Actual Job: guidance counsellor at a middle school who works as a referee on weekends

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21)

Secret Ambition: to be a salt-of-the-earth farmer who operates a seed-and-feed store and teaches 4-H participants how to raise longhorn cattle in Tyler, Texas

Actual Job: research assistant to a mortician named Miss Cleo

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21)

Secret Ambition: to be a best-selling author and Grammy-winning songwriter with multiple personality disorder

Actual Job: church secretary

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19)

Secret Ambition: to be a stay-at-home parent, home-schooling ten children plus a couple of neighbour kids, while filling orders for baked goods sold through an Etsy shop

Actual job: know-it-all IT manager

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18)

Secret Ambition: to be a cardiologist and reality-show personality, with a side job as emperor of a small country

Actual Job: social worker with responsibility for 100 cases

PISCES (February 19 to March 20)

Secret Ambition: to be a Nobel-prize-winning scientist in the highly specialized field of taxonomy while operating a home-based data processing company

Actual Job: psychic ghost-whisperer gypsy traveller in a billowing silk caftan who teaches lucid dreaming in a parallel universe

Sources: Tell My Tarot, Karen Black

Oct 16, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Creating a Crucible of Transformation

Humans have an amazing capacity for change if they choose to access it. Even transformation, which is change we cannot go back from, is accessible when we risk engaging our hearts in the process of changes and allow inspiration to take over our minds. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, this week as she explores the elements required to create a crucible of transformation in our hearts and why our vulnerability as our great super power. Straight up, humans hate change... and they really hate transformation. But shamanism, with its robust relationship with the Trickster, offers us skills to be clever in the face of fear, to risk the Unknown when faced with the certainty of repeating patterns, and to be vulnerable so that we can engage the wisdom of our courageous hearts.

**This show originally aired on November 11, 2014**

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Oct 9, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Critical Acts of Celebration

The point of our practice whether spiritual or shamanic is the Celebration of Life. What is a shamanic view of life if it is not about the interconnectedness of all life and the celebration of the sacredness and beauty in that energetic reality? Whether it is an ancient hunting practice that celebrates the power and attributes of the bear after the kill or a contemporary Hmong shaman in Minneapolis celebrating the passing of a soul from the realm of the living, celebration is used to communicate with the spirit realm. It is the means by which we communicate completion or reconnection. Celebration is also used to mark, ground, and integrate a significant life transition or initiation. Without celebration of "the journey" it is as if the story never happened and we cannot harvest the gifs gained or the story never ended and we cannot move onto the next great adventure. Celebration is critical in the dialogue between humans and spirit that honors the sacred miracle of all life.

**This show originally aired on August 12, 2009.**

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Oct 2, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Book of Ceremony with Sandra Ingerman

Ceremony allows us to bring the sacred into ordinary life. Ceremony has been used by cultures around the world for tens of thousands of years to help people navigate change and help communities welcome new cycles of life in, even as they release the old. Ceremony, skillfully designed and performed, creates a bridge between the ordinary everyday of life and the world of the unseen power of the universe. In short, it's a way to get help. World-renowned shamanic teacher and author, Sandra Ingerman, joins host, Christina Pratt, to share her new book, "The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life." Join us to explore how we can use ceremony in our time to manifest our passions and to grow beyond the limiting beliefs at the heart of many of our shared cultural systems.

This week's guest:
Sandra Ingerman
Sandra Ingerman Sandra Ingerman, MA, is a licensed therapist and the author of numerous books including How to Heal Toxic Thoughts, Soul Retrieval, and Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins. She is also the author of several lecture programs produced by Sounds True. Sandra lives in New Mexico and can be found online at www.sandraingerman.com.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Sep 25, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Getting Unstuck Part Four: The Lies We Tell

We all experience stuckness at some point in life and there is an art to getting out of it. You can become the person who accesses the latent power in your mess and effectively redirects it into living your deeper purpose. But not if you persist in lying to yourself. There is an, unconscious lie being propagated in our inner narrative about our capacity for healing and transformation. In part four of the "Getting Unstuck" series, host and shaman, Christina Pratt, draws on 30 years of successful trauma healing and deep-state transformation to exposes the lies that are alive and well and growing in the contemporary healing dialogue. She shares how the crazy logic of Trickster thinking teaches us to hear our own lies as messages from our fragmented self.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Sep 18, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Moving into the Deep Water: Update

We all need to learn to swim in the black water. It is the deep water of life where we are no longer in control. We must surrender ourselves to life on its own terms and learn to swim. The blue water is the shallow water of life, where our actions simply maintain our status quo. So if we are to create change in ourselves, we must actively gain those skills and learn to apply them. What then is required of us if we are to change our world? In the spring of 2018, host and shaman, Christina Pratt, asked this question and begin a new series of online courses designed to be an answer. Where are we in this exploration into the deep water of what it means to be human in this time of constant change, great challenge, and infinite opportunity?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Scorpio Lovers

October 23-November 22

Most compatible: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn, Pisces

Scorpios are ruled by both fiery Mars and destructive Pluto, and this reflects their two relationship modes. Scorpios love intensely but also fight intensely. Scorpio relationships are certainly never dull.
New Love
When looking for love, Scorpios like to be pursued. They will send clear signals that they are interested, but will rarely make the first move as they want the affirmation of being pursued and wooed. They love the intensity of meeting someone new and like to go all out when it comes to the initial dating process, both giving, and expecting to receive, over the top gestures of affection.
Budding Relationships
Scorpios fall in love fast and hard, but even after they have found someone they have intense feelings for, they will be reluctant to drop the persona they present to the world and share the deep font of emotions that they keep bottled up underneath. When Scorpios do finally let their guard down, it is a big deal for them, and if their partner fails to recognise that, the walls can come up again quickly and harder than before.


Sep 11, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Getting Unstuck Part Four: The Lies We Tell

We all experience stuckness at some point in life and there is an art to getting out of it. You can become the person who accesses the latent power in your mess and effectively redirects it into living your deeper purpose. But not if you persist in lying to yourself. There is an, unconscious lie being propagated in our inner narrative about our capacity for healing and transformation. In part four of the "Getting Unstuck" series, host and shaman, Christina Pratt, draws on 30 years of successful trauma healing and deep-state transformation to exposes the lies that are alive and well and growing in the contemporary healing dialogue. She shares how the crazy logic of Trickster thinking teaches us to hear our own lies as messages from our fragmented self.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Sep 4, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Gift of the Dreamtime with Kelley Harrell

For those of you interested in shamanism you can experience a shaman finding her shaman legs, reshaping the workings of her mind, and awakening her courageous heart in the re-release of Gift of the Dreamtime. For the rest of you this is a story of healing. It is an inspiration for those who have suffered great trauma, like incest, chronic violence, or the soul loss induced by the daily, normal horrors of war, and refuse to be hobbled or accept anything less than the life you came here to live. Join us this week as author and neoshaman, Kelley Harrell shares her experiences and insights with host, Christina Pratt. Kelley has served her local community in North Carolina and an international client base since 2000 through Soul Intent Arts. In her own words, “My path of shamanism is original and claims no culture other than the one of my creation. I do not seek to teach a branded path of shamanism, but to present the map for you to create your own. Through private sessions, classes, and Distance Mystery School, I’m here to create a new tribe of support for children and adults whose lives are blessed with an uncontainable inner knowing. This is The Tribe of the Modern Mystic.”

**This show originally aired July 22, 2012.**

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Aug 28, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Runic Book of Days with Kelley Harrel

"Our most challenging task as humans is finding meaning in our self and the world around us," says Kelley Harrell, author of Runic Book of Days. This means, how do we stand, fully conscious in our personal power in our everyday actions of life? In her new book, Harrel offers the runes as a contemporary tool to assist us in answering that question. The runes are an ancient, deeply revelatory oracle that captures the essence of the process of the soul embodied and then delivers the wisdom needed to live it in small, relatable morsels. Join us this week as modern shaman and author, Kelley Harrel, joins host, Christina Pratt, to explain that to work with the runes systematically through the seasons, allows a cycle of initiation to emerge.

This week's guest:
Kelley Harrell


Kelley Harrell is an author and modern shaman in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. A lifelong intuitive and deathwalker, she has worked with a local and international client base since 2000. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies, and is an ordained interfaith minister. Her work is Nature-based, and is focused through the lenses of animism, Seiðr, and Druidry. She works closely with the Elder Futhark Runes and divine Nature Spirits of eastern North Carolina. Her shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts. Kelley advocates for social justice through sacred activism, and is vigorously involved with the worlds in and around her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Aug 26, 2018

Esoterica



Satanic Temple statue unveiled at the Arkansas State Capitol

Dozens attended a rally held by the Satanic Temple at the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

The rally comes after the Arkansas legislature approved the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.

During the Satanic Temple's Rally for the First Amendment, a more than 8-feet-tall Baphomet statue was unveiled.

. . .

Following the installation of the Ten Commandments monument, the Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit to have its statue placed on the same grounds in the name of religious pluralism and the First Amendment.

During the 2017 legislative session, the Satanic Temple sent a letter to Arkansas legislators asking for lawmakers to sponsor a bill that would allow a Baphomet statue on Capitol grounds, but not one lawmaker responded.

Aug 21, 2018

In Pennsylvania, A Reckoning

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



The headlines alone make make my gorge rise:


Disney World! Who would knowingly help a pedophile get a job at Disney World?!!! The Catholic Church, that's who.

Like people all across the country, and probably much of the world, I have been processing, over the past week, the horrible revelations to come out of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on priestly abuse throughout the state. At least 300 "predator priests" abused at least 1,000 children (their findings acknowledge that the actual number is probably much higher), over a seventy year period. And the Church establishment, as it has done in so many dioceses around the world, conspired to keep it all covered up. They moved offending priests around to different jobs many of which still gave them access to minors, they hid records under lock and key, and they threw the victims under a bus. Same story, different state. Yet somehow this time feels so much worse.

If the Catholic sexual abuse scandal that came to light in 2002 slowly unspooled through news reports, Pennsylvania's grand jury report landed like an atom bomb, dropping its online horrors all at once. With some redactions, the report was readily available for everyone to read and share: the accusations of sexual deviance, shameless lies and deceitful churchmen.

"What we have now is people freely expressing their outrage on Facebook and Twitter," said Greg Kandra, a Catholic deacon in Brooklyn, New York. "The anger is palpable. This is like 2002 on steroids."

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Wild Fires, Climate Change, and Shamanism with Ana Larramendi

As the wild fires rage throughout the western North America for another season, how do we respond? The destruction is real and truly devastating, and, at the same time, we are the creators of this scenario. Where is our responsibility and how to we exercise it? From a shamanic perspective a human is one of billions of organisms that inhabit and make up the planet we call Earth. To the elementals and nature spirits we are all part of the community of living things. Our most effective actions will be as part of that larger community. Join us this week as practitioner, Ana Larramendi, joins host Christina Pratt to explore how we can use our shamanic skills to assist nature in doing the corrective measures needed to balance what is out of balance. How do we ask the permission from the land spirits to intervene? And what do we do when we are told "no"?

This week's guest:
Ana Larramendi


Ana Larramendi has spent her life weaving together her spirituality with nature skills to create a skill-set of tools for land healing and teaching students to detect and heal earth trauma. Of Spanish and Basque ancestry and born in Spain, Ana is a full-time shamanic teacher and healer, at The Hollow Bone, a private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. She offers a full range of shamanic healing forms, space clearing, and various land healing practices and offers a range of shamanic course work and her Earth Tenders Apprenticeship for more advanced practitioners.

Ana has been studying shamanic traditions since 1989 and is an international teacher of shamanic healing practices. She is a minister, public speaker, Vision Quest leader, wilderness enthusiast, ceremonialist, chef, translator and an initiated mesa carrier in the Inka tradition. Ana has studied extensively with teachers from many traditions including: Alberto Villoldo, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Sandra Ingerman, Angeles Arrien, Betsy Bergstrom, Tom Cowan, Dr. Larry Peters, Marko Pogaĉnik, indigenous Alto Misayoqs of the Andes, and Weather Shamanism with Nan Moss and the late David Corbin. She also studied for 6 years with Tom Brown Jr. of the Tracker School, learning tracking, survival and wilderness awareness skills.

Ana has been a lecturer for the University of Wisconsin Medical School, as well as teacher and Peruvian guide for Madison Area Technical College. She is a founding member of the Society for Shamanic Practice and was a keynote presenter for their first annual conference in 2005. Ana's work has been published in The Journal of Shamanic Practice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Aug 17, 2018

What Astrology Says is in Store for the Second Half of 2018

For me, 2018 has passed in a whirlwind, and as we approach the end of the year I am feeling the pressure to move forward with my ambitions and goals. While I am a firm believer that we shape our own destinies, knowing how the stars will influence what is happening in the world and in my life helps me prepare and better deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that cross my path.

This may be especially important in the second half of 2018, which promises to be a time of change, regardless of your zodiac sign. Find out what your sign can expect in the coming months to help you maximise your potential as the year draws to a close.


Fire Signs – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

While you have probably felt like you have had a lot on your plate in the first half of the year, in the latter part of 2018 you may suddenly feel like you have more time on your hands. But don’t let your energy levels and focus drop. Invest this time in hobbies and creative outlets that have taken a back seat so far this year.

But while you are powering through, don’t forget to take time to relax. With Mars in retrograde you might feel drained of energy, so implement self-care routines to help you stay on an even keel.
With Uranus moving into the Taurus constellation, you might see some big, and possibly shocking, changes at the end of 2018. While worrying will be inevitable, these are changes that you need in your life, even if you can’t see it right away. Take this as an opportunity to step back and really understand what is important to you, and how these unexpected changes might be a blessing.


Aug 14, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Power of Blessing

Blessings are the way to give life to that which you value, to give it strength and help it to survive and to thrive. Through blessings we can give life and protection to what is new and uncertain. They are a way to give strength to that which doesn't have strength yet, like a new story for a new world, and to give it time to take shape and build resonance. Blessings can be a formal, complex ritual process or a simple act of love, like calling on the spirits of the family totem to protect a child as she leaves for school. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the power of blessings and how we can use them with intention to create change in these challenging times. Blessings call on energies of the invisible world, like elementals, nature spirits, and angels, and ask for their participation in our lives in specific ways. Whether simple or grand, our blessings are most powerful when they are an expression of a deep relationship with spirit, one that we have already cultivated with our faith, gratitude, and practice.

**This show originally aired August 30, 2016.**

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Aug 7, 2018

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The Power of Faith

Faith does not require religion and is often stronger without it. Faith is the power to stand in the Unknown with uncertainty and discomfort and take a new step forward anyway... and then another... and then another. It is the power to do what hasn't been done and what feels impossible. We must cultivate the capacity for faith, barrels of it, or we will not be able to be the change that we seek. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, this week as she explores faith and the need to cultivate faith that does not inspire separation from others via religion, race, or nationality. To rise to the challenges of our time we must know without ever getting proof that we were born to be the medicine for the illness, disease, and unrest of our time. And that it will require faith, again and again, to surrender who we are for who we could become so that we can be that medicine. Faith is power.

**This show originally aired August 23, 2016.**

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Aug 6, 2018

Teal Swan: Cult or Movement?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



People keep calling teal the c-word, cult leader, and dammit, she's addressed this! Way back in 2014, she put this matter to rest, with a blog post addressing, point by point, the cult criteria that she in no way meets. Earlier that year I had written a blog post, myself, comparing her organization to a number of cult criteria checklists, and I came to a different conclusion. I started blogging about teal way back when, because I saw a number of red flags that warned of a cult in formation, starting with the coerced, public "confession" of her ex-boyfriend to "sociopathy." Since that time, she has grown ever more culty and her long-sought mainstream coverage has acknowledged that fact. She did not help herself with her own commentary in the recent podcast series "The Gateway," wherein she told Gizmodo reporter Jennings Brown:

I have the perfect recipe for a cult. Perfect. Recipe.

No, her foray into mainstream press coverage has not gone well and now comes an article from Vice, which puts her cult leader status and her disturbing position on suicide under a microscope. And irony of ironies (note the correct use of the term), the cult expert Vice interviewed for the article is the very one whose checklist teal used to exonerate herself in that blog post, Janja Lalich, PhD. Unlike teal, Lalich appears to have concluded that teal meets the criteria of a cult leader, a dangerous one.

Though Teal has denied cult allegations, her massive social media influence and controversial practices around depression and suicide—sometimes encouraging students to imagine their own deaths in detail—have placed her on the dangerous side of Lalich’s cult radar.

. . .

Lalich sees this kind of dramatic therapy as a way to manipulate vulnerable people. “They can get very unstable, and that’s what she’s counting on,” she said. “Cult leaders will always get their people to what I call ‘reframe their lives.’ They reinterpret their lives so they see everything from before the cult as messed up, and only by staying with the cult leader will they get straightened out.” (To this day, many members of the “Teal Tribe” say they are only alive today because of her teachings.)

Jul 31, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is a choice to see beyond the surface of instant gratification. Gratitude is not a luxury for people who get what they want, but a requirement for anyone who wants the help of spirit with the impossible. When we are without gratitude we are without perspective. The visionary capacity of the heart slips into doubt, we fixate on what is not working, and blame others for our problems. When we orient in gratitude, we are forced out of an attitude of entitlement and blame. Only then can we see the affects of our own internalized racism, sexism, and other systems of hatred and fear. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the power of gratitude and why it is necessary in these challenging times. Gratitude must be made concrete through action and intent. The power engages when you show gratitude at all times, make every gesture of your life a labor of love and retribution for the gifts you receive and will receive.

**This show originally aired August 16, 2016.**

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jul 29, 2018

Esoterica



Beautiful photos! Full moon eclipse and Mars

Earth flew between the sun and Mars this week, so, during yesterday’s total lunar eclipse, the moon and Mars were close. Photos from the EarthSky community here.

. . .

Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe, wrote: “Conditions were very good for observing the eclipse and yielded many of the usual Blood Moon photographs. However, when photographing the approaching umbra just before it had completely encroached on the moon, a beautiful vivid blue ozone fringe which lasted for just a few minutes appeared. The attached animation, which consists of 21 still photographs taken between 9:13 and 9:22 p.m. local time using highlight instead of shadow detail exposures, presents a rare and unusual view of this lunar eclipse phenomenon which usually just imparts a pale bluish tinge to the last directly illuminated portion of the moon (as is shown in the conventional picture taken at about the same time).” Read more about the ozone fringe seen during lunar eclipses.

. . .

Helio C. Vital in Saquarema, Brazil, saw the eclipse at moonrise, when the moon was still low in the sky. He wrote: “The moon was very low during totality (9 degrees above the horizon only at U3)! I first spotted the moon some 25 minutes after its rise as I had predicted. Such delay was due to the fact it was thousand of times dimmer than the usual full moon when it crossed the horizon. The moon was many times darker than Mars when I first glanced it, only 5 degrees above the horizon at 17:48 (UTC-3h). It was a therefore a dark eclipse not due to recent major volcanic eruptions, but due to the fact the moon crossed the center of Earth`s shadow where the shadow is very dark. What a nice show the totally eclipsed moon and Mars in opposition (only 7 degrees apart) put on over Saquarema! Nikon CoolPix P900 camera using its Moon Mode.”

Bottom line: Photos of the total lunar eclipse of July 27, 2018 – longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century – from the EarthSky community. During this eclipse, the planet Mars was near the moon and brighter than it had been since 2003.

Jul 24, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is Shamanic Healing? Some Case Studies - Part Two

Shamanic healing describes a particular set of healing forms. Many diverse cultures practice these healing forms in ways are culturally specific and still functionally the same. For the practitioner, "shamanic healing" defines not only the function of the healing form, like the retrieval of a soul part, but also the means by which the practitioner accomplishes that function. This is critically important in today's healing landscape because we all share all the same healing issues of ancient people while having invented several new ones. We need shamanic healing now more than ever. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, shares stories about shamanic healing in everyday life while navigating the troubled waters of appropriation, culture exchange, and listening to inner voices.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jul 19, 2018

Esoterica



Drone Reveals Massive Stonehenge-Like Circular Monument in Ireland

A drone flyby has revealed a prehistoric henge, or circular monument, in a field next to the  5,000-year-old passage tomb at Newgrange in Ireland. The new henge is the fourth one discovered near the Newgrange tomb.

The discovery comes as archaeologists, in a separate discovery, have unearthed a mysterious prehistoric structure – thought to be a ceremonial Neolithic avenue aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the spring and fall equinoxes.

The high ground around the Newgrange passage tomb, beside the Boyne River about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Dublin, is already celebrated as a Neolithic "graveyard" and ceremonial center.

. . .

The finds reveal the importance of the area to its ancient inhabitants 5,000 years ago — more than 100 years before the Neolithic stone circle at Stonehenge in England was built, and about 400 years before the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, archeologists said.

Jul 17, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How to Receive Shamanic Healing

What are the ethics for receiving shamanic healing? Much is written about ethics for practitioners, but is it really ethical to drop all the issues of your life in the lap of any healer and ask them to heal you in one session? Is it ethical to get angry about a session when the healing offered doesn’t play into the story you carry about your woundedness? Is it ever ethical to ask for healing, which is always an effort of energy expended, without offering anything in exchange for the healing energy spent on you? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the very prickly issue of the ethics for receiving shamanic healing. This week we slash expectations for magical cures and effortless life changes in the hopes of revealing how contemporary people can come to an ancient healing form prepared, informed, and ready to do what is needed to follow up responsibly.

**This show originally aired on May 12, 2015.**

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jul 10, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is Shamanic Healing?

What is a shamanic healing in the 21st Century? Host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores this question in three parts. First we will explore the healing that comes from work with a shaman and how that integrates into all the other healing options available to you in the 21st Century. Being a contemporary consumer of health care in the USA is a challenge. In many ways working with a shaman can help you to orchestrate the rest of the options from the clarity and personal truth of your own core needs. Next we will explore the healing that comes from developing your own relationship with helping spirits. In other words, how does learning the basic shamanic skill set help you to heal your self and your life, which then reenergizes your overall well being. Finally we will explore the healing that comes from engaging in life from a shamanic perspective and the transformations that might get you to that place. Much of what ails us culturally can be healed by rediscovering our core values and deep loves, finding others who share them, and recommitting our lives to living from what has heart and meaning. This week we explore “what is shamanic healing”, what could it be for you, and how to weave that into your very contemporary life.

**This show originally aired March 8, 2011.**

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jul 5, 2018

Esoterica



Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital

Some conquistadors wrote about the tzompantli and its towers, estimating that the rack alone contained 130,000 skulls. But historians and archaeologists knew the conquistadors were prone to exaggerating the horrors of human sacrifice to demonize the Mexica culture. As the centuries passed, scholars began to wonder whether the tzompantli had ever existed.

Archaeologists at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) here can now say with certainty that it did. Beginning in 2015, they discovered and excavated the remains of the skull rack and one of the towers underneath a colonial period house on the street that runs behind Mexico City's cathedral. (The other tower, they suspect, lies under the cathedral's back courtyard.) The scale of the rack and tower suggests they held thousands of skulls, testimony to an industry of human sacrifice unlike any other in the world. Now, archaeologists are beginning to study the skulls in detail, hoping to learn more about Mexica rituals and the postmortem treatment of the bodies of the sacrificed. The researchers also wonder who the victims were, where they lived, and what their lives were like before they ended up marked for a brutal death at the Templo Mayor.

"This is a world of information," says archaeologist Raùl Barrera Rodríguez, director of INAH's Urban Archaeology Program and leader of the team that found the tzompantli. "It's an amazing thing, and just the kind of discovery many of us had hoped for," agrees John Verano, a bioarchaeologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, who studies human sacrifice. He and other researchers hope the skulls will clarify the role of large-scale human sacrifice in Mexica religion and culture—and whether, as scholars suspect, it played a key part in building their empire.

Jul 3, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is Shamanic Healing? Some Case Studies

Shamanic healing describes a particular set of healing forms. Many diverse cultures practice these healing forms in ways are culturally specific and still functionally the same. For the practitioner, "shamanic healing" defines not only the function of the healing form, like the retrieval of a soul part, but also the means by which the practitioner accomplishes that function. This is critically important in today's healing landscape because we all share all the same healing issues of ancient people while having invented several new ones. We need shamanic healing now more than ever. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, shares stories about shamanic healing in everyday life while navigating the troubled waters of appropriation, culture exchange, and listening to inner voices.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Jun 30, 2018

Crazy Wisdom, Uncomfortable Questions

Crossposted from Amora Obscura



The Party

In 1975 during a seminary in Snowmass, Colorado, respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Naropa University, and originator of Shambhala Buddhism, hosted a Halloween party. Two attendees, a couple named William Merwin and Dana Naone, mingled for a bit before retiring early for the night. According to witnesses, Trungpa was irritated that the couple had left early, and he ordered his followers to bring them back to the party “at any cost,” but William and Dana refused to return. According to one witness, negotiations between the guru and the couple went on for a few hours. An angry crowd of partygoers gathered outside their door, threatening them and attempting to break into their room. Tensions escalated until a chair was thrown through the glass balcony door in an attempt to force them out.

William and Dana were then escorted down to the party by Trungpa’s guards. Their guru reprimanded them, directed racially-charged remarks toward Dana, and threw a glass of sake in William's face. Then, they were asked to remove their clothes. When they refused, Trungpa ordered the guards to do it for them. They were stripped naked as Dana screamed for help, begging for someone to call the police. No one did. When another attendee tried to intervene, witnesses say that Trungpa punched him in the face. Dana alleged that Trungpa repeatedly hit the man who was stripping her because he was taking too long.

William and Dana were not the first attendees to be stripped that night. A woman named Persis McMillen had been forced out of her costume by the guards earlier in the evening, and was left feeling violated, "sick," and "really trashed out." An attendee named Jack Niland had also been targeted by Trungpa. The guards removed his clothes and threw him into a pool.

Once William and Dana were fully disrobed, the couple held each other, helpless and exposed. William Merwin allegedly implored, “Why us? Why are we the only two people in this room standing here naked in front of you?" So, the other guests removed their clothing, too. At Trungpa's behest, the dancing resumed, as if nothing had happened.

Jun 26, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Mythical Beasts and Weirdness: Working with Helping Spirits

A mythical beast is a beast that we believe never existed in physical form, like dragons, the basilisk, and the phoenix in the Harry Potter novels. But never is a long time. If they never existed, then why do similar mythical beasts appear in different stories the mythology of peoples who never spoke or met? Whether you believe they were real or are imaginary, mythical beasts are very special helping spirits to work with in shamanic altered states. "You need to pay attention," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt, "There is a quality of being not of this world when we engage the mythical beasts. But we work with them because they remind us that our souls are not limited to this world either. Mostly we engage the mythical beasts to grow up and stop acting like our silly, violent, consumerist culture has anything to do with the real reality and why we are here.

**This show original aired June 21, 2016.**

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jun 19, 2018

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mainstream — UPDATED

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.


The Gateway: Gizmodo's New Podcast About
Controversial YouTube Guru Teal Swan (TRAILER)

The Gateway is a six-part series about Teal Swan, a new brand of spiritual guru, who draws in followers with her hypnotic self-help YouTube videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Some followers move to Teal’s healing center—a spiritual startup in Atenas, Costa Rica—where they produce content and manage social media accounts. Teal insists her therapy saves lives, but her critics say Teal’s death-focused dogma is dangerous.

**TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with suicide and other awfulness.**

Episode Reviews: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6
Further Update: Teal Tribe Kerfuffle
Another Update: In which teal lies about Cameron... again

Last fall Gizmodo gained incredible access to teal's operation. Reporter Jennings Brown not only interviewed teal several times, he was allowed to take a crew into Philia, her retreat center in Costa Rica, to observe one of her high ticket Curveball retreats. The result of his year-long investigation is a six-part podcast series that is by far the most extensive profile of teal yet by a mainstream media outlet. Days before Gizmodo first interviewed teal, she was interviewed by reporter Addison Nugent for OZY, an international, online magazine. The interview was uncomfortable for teal, which she expressed immediately, and somewhat intemperately, on her blog. Neither the resulting OZY article nor "The Gateway" podcast series — which began airing at the end of May and has aired three episodes to date — have been mentioned by teal or her team.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I was interviewed by both reporters and my statements appear in both pieces.)

The day ends.  The house falls into the dark silence of sleep.  The next morning we board a plane to Paris.  I have one more interview to do; a segment for the provocateurs section of OZY.  This interview marks the end of this European tour.  I have five minutes to change my outfit before the camera is switched on in our hotel room.  The style of this interview is not what I expected.  There are two different styles of interview, one is supportive and the other is antagonistic.  In a supportive style interview, you are already going into the interview being loved.  The entire structure of the interview is set up to make you look good.  In an antagonistic style interview, the majority of the focus is placed on challenging you.  No one holds your hands in support in this type of interview.  Instead, the interviewer gives you the opportunity to fight though the power of narration to earn people’s good opinion by putting you on the spot.  The interview started off with this: “I have interviewed spiritual leaders from everywhere and many of them have been doing this for more than 30 years and to be honest, none of them have the amount of controversy, hatred and dedicated antagonists as you do.  There is so much written against you out there in the world, they call you things like ‘the suicide catalyst’, why do you think that is?”  In an antagonistic style interview, you spend your time trying to answer questions while simultaneously trying to caretake the vulnerable aspect of you that feels targeted and like hiding under a blanket while sucking its thumb.  Sometimes the interviewer is already biased against you and is simply setting up the interview as a trap to make you look bad so their pre-conceived, concrete concept of you can then be shared by the world in order to make them feel personally validated.  But if the interviewer is genuinely non-biased, the antagonistic style of interview often leads to the best content.  Nonetheless, it is always awkward when this style of interview ends because everyone acts as if nothing just happened and everyone is really friends when in reality both you know and they know that it was an antagonistic interaction that made all parties involved socially uncomfortable.  I decided to order minestrone soup after the interview was over to comfort myself and take a bath before I fell asleep. [all emphases added]

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Plants and Elementals: Working with Helping Spirits with Daniel Abney

Elemental Spirits are often ignored as we reach for helping spirits in the vast range of land spirits, from the smallest garden sprite to the great mountain spirits and all the many manifestations between. And yet the spirits of the elements are constant teachers of balance and flow, the two fundamental energetic principles for physical health and mental well-being. Join us this week as geomancer, Daniel Abney, joins host and shaman, Christina Pratt, to explore our health and its relationship with the plant and elemental spirits. In our addictive rush to the altered states offered by the plants like ayahuasca, San Pedro, and peyote, we miss the powerful medicinal force of plants as helping spirits and the exceptionally direct and wise restorative force of the elemental spirits.

This week's guest:
Daniel Abney, LMP


Daniel discovered a strong relationship with plant spirits and elemental spirits through his exploration of shamanism and decades of dedicated spiritual practice. Today he offers himself as a geomancer and healer to the energies of the earth, the elementals, and the plant spirits who are often set awry by unconscious human action. He is a founding member of Last Mask Community and is regularly called upon to work with the earth elements at the retreat sites and ritual locations that house the Last Mask Community's work and teachings.

Daniel's massage training commenced at the Brenneke School of Massage in 1992. He has been active in advanced training and certifications since, accumulating over 3000 hours of formal massage education. Daniel's curiosity and fascination with the human body and its amazing and beautiful inter-supporting systems is the inspiration for his drive to keep studying and learning.

**This show originally aired June 14, 2016.**

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jun 12, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Working with the Spirits of the Land with Ana Larramendi

"Nature communicates through energy, not words. It communicates with us through signs, symbols, omens, and feelings," explains our guest Ana Larramendi of thehollowbone.com. Ana joins host, Christina Pratt, this week to share her wisdom and experience in communicating with the vast range of spirits of the land, from the smallest garden sprite to the great apu spirits of the volcanic mountains of the ring of fire. Ana cautions that our human tendency to approach all experience from an anthropocentric perspective is our greatest hurdle in communicating with our most abundant and ever present helping spirits. We need to slow down, be silent, visit regularly, and always engage with gratitude and respect. When we help the spirits of the environment around us they are able to help us live more vital, vibrant, and interconnected lives.

This week's guest:
Ana Larramendi


Ana H. Larramendi has spent her life weaving together her spirituality with nature skills to create a skill-set of tools for land healing and teaching students to detect and heal earth trauma. Of Spanish and Basque ancestry and born in Spain, Ana is a full-time shamanic teacher and healer, at The Hollow Bone, a private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. She offers a full range of shamanic healing forms, space clearing, and various land healing practices and offers a range of shamanic course work and her Earth Tenders Apprenticeship for more advanced practitioners.

Ana has been studying shamanic traditions since 1989 and is an international teacher of shamanic healing practices. She is a minister, public speaker, Vision Quest leader, wilderness enthusiast, ceremonialist, chef, translator and an initiated mesa carrier in the Inka tradition. Ana has studied extensively with teachers from many traditions including: Alberto Villoldo, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Sandra Ingerman, Angeles Arrien, Betsy Bergstrom, Tom Cowan, Dr. Larry Peters, Marko Pogaĉnik, indigenous Alto Misayoqs of the Andes, and Weather Shamanism with Nan Moss and the late David Corbin. She also studied for 6 years with Tom Brown Jr. of the Tracker School, learning tracking, survival and wilderness awareness skills.

Ana has been a lecturer for the University of Wisconsin Medical School, as well as teacher and Peruvian guide for Madison Area Technical College. She is a founding member of the Society for Shamanic Practice and was a keynote presenter for their first annual conference in 2005. Ana's work has been published in The Journal of Shamanic Practice.

**This show originally aired June 7, 2016.**

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Jun 10, 2018

Teal Swan Down Under



Her ladyship Teal Swan recently voyaged to Australia as part of her international career as a spiritual leader on the world stage. She met with some challenges, courtesy of Australian customs agents, but such is the price of fame.

Ironically my trip here this time started on that note.  It turns out that we didn’t procure the correct type of visa for this trip.  I’ve become big enough that like any celebrity, I will be made an example of if anything is not exactly as it should be.  As a result, I had the worst experience of my international career upon arrival.  After a 15 hour flight, I was separated from the rest of the team and I was taken to a white jail like room with a window looking out at a collection of officers all debating what to do with me and making phone calls and reviewing security tapes.  For hours, I was interrogated, cross-examined, threatened and then shamed for not knowing better in my position as a ‘leader of something that is so much bigger than myself’.  I ended up in tears.  I came so close to not being let into the country, sent back to the US and being banned for years from re-entering, it is actually mind blowing that someone made the final call to let me in.  It is so strange to experience the contrast that comes with fame.  On the one hand some people and some places give you special treatment and special welcome.  On the other hand, some people and places oppose you as if you are a monster.  Being treated like a criminal for hours upon arrival was a bad way to start the trip.  It was a genuinely traumatizing experience, not just for me but for the members of the team who traveled with me.  It was one of those defining moments where you have no option but to move up to a different level.  I can no longer travel to any part of the world without involvement from immigrations agents and special invitations.  I so hate this aspect of the society we have created.  After that experience, I completely get the fear that the Mexican immigrants in the United States live with every day.  It is a fear that no one should ever have to live with.

I'm pleased to report that Mistress was able to turn that situation around and went on to have a lovely, successful trip. She was even able to "meet and greet" attendees of her workshop "The Mirror." It is always amazing to witness the way she absorbs energy from her adoring fans. Even on such an exhausting trip, she emerged as lovely and renewed as Lady Bathory. But it does not come without risk. Mistress has many enemies and such events must be scrupulously vetted by her security team. Mistress marshals on, through thick and thin, because, as she says, hers "is a mission worth dying for."

Jun 5, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Deities and Archetypes: Working as Helping Spirits with Langston Kahn

Deities have a long history of engaging as helping spirits with people in shamanic altered states. What does it mean when a deity enters your journey scape? How do we navigate cultivating right relationship with a being who has a living tradition and long history with humans, expects certain protocol we may not know or understand, and has their own agency? And how do we know the difference between big, intense energies like deities and archetypes and why should we bother with them? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, and her guest Langston Kahn of Occupy-Your-Heart.com, as they discuss how to navigate right relationship with deities and archetypes, the distinction, the cautions, and ultimately, the gifts that they offer to those who are willing to step out of the safe constructs of the mind and enter the deep waters and intense currents of a nonordinary life.

This week's guest:
Langston Kahn


Langston Kahn is a shamanic practitioner specializing in emotional clearing and radical transformation. He stands firmly at the crossroads, his practice informed by the western modality of Inner Relationship Focusing, initiations into traditions of the African Diaspora, the contemporary shamanic tradition of The Last Mask Center and the guidance of his helping spirits and ancestors weaving it all together.

Langston has studied and facilitated Inner Relationship Focusing, developed by Ann Weiser Cornell for the last 8 years. He has completed 5 years of training with Christina Pratt in the Cycle of Transformation and also serves on the leadership council for the Last Mask Community, a community of contemporary people striving to live in alignment with ancient shamanic beliefs and principles in a way that answers the unique challenges of our time. Additionally, he holds initiations in several traditions of the African Diaspora.

Langston, who is centered in New York City offers sessions in emotional clearing and shamanic healing and classes both in person and online.

**This show originally aired on May 31, 2016.**

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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May 29, 2018

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Ancestors and Descendants: Working with Helping Spirits

Why would I want a working relationship with my ancestors when I can’t stand my own relations? Fair question when so much addiction, depression, social pressure, and sexual dysfunction gets handed down generation to generation. What we fail to understand is that our break with our Ancestral Helping Spirits is in large part why we experience such illness and abuse of power in our family lines. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores how we cultivate a strong working relationship with true ancestral helping spirits, avoid ghosts, use our relationship with our ancestors to mend our feelings of alienation, isolation, and loneliness. As we learn from those who have gone before us we can properly reach to the descendants to learn to ask for more from life and more from our selves.

**This show originally aired on May 23, 2016.**

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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May 27, 2018

Esoterica



A controversial study has a new spin on the otherworldliness of the octopus

Octopuses are strange, smart creatures that certainly seem alien—what with the tentacles, camouflage, and shape-shifting skills. Still, the idea that they actually came from outer space would seem to fall strictly into the realm of sci-fi; an update of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, say.

But in these interesting times, real life reads like fiction. Recently, a group of 33 scientists worldwide—including molecular immunologist Edward Steele and astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe—published a paper suggesting, in all seriousness, that octopuses may indeed be aliens.

The paper, published in the March issue of the the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, is controversial, obviously, and the vast majority of scientists would disagree. But the paper is still worthy of discussion—for one, as a thought exercise, because outlandish ideas are often initially rejected. And in provoking us with seemingly bizarre theories, it forces us to acknowledge that there are aspects of life on Earth for which classic evolutionary theory as yet has no explanation.

. . .

The transformative genes leading from the consensus ancestral nautilus to the common cuttlefish to squid to the common octopus can’t be found in any pre-existing life form, the authors say.

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