Jul 30, 2010

Not All Gloom and Doom

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Many astrology forecasts and energy reports I’ve been reading recently have been emphasizing the intensity and seriousness of current transits and aspects. While I do feel we are experiencing an intense time period, I do not feel it is all gloom and doom. Here are my thoughts on the current state of things.

Astrological Trends for July 30 - August 5

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Moon in Pisces on Friday, July 30th, increases the possibility of confusion or negative emotions arising as a result of the stressful T-square between Mars/Saturn conjunct in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and Jupiter/Uranus in Aries. The basic issues involved in the T-square are self-growth and freedom, working at commitment and balance with a partner or your inner self, establishing control and power in your career or outer world. Your own natal chart will indicate what houses, or areas of your life, may also be affected now. Generally, this is a tough transit time in some way for everyone. The Pisces Moon advances toward Jupiter/Uranus and you may feel an overwhelming urge to be free of all that currently is. I suggest you escape from the tension by choosing things that elevate your energy or keep you positively focused. If you escape into TV or a movie, stick with humor, inspiration, happy endings and avoid violence, conflict, or sad dramas. On the plus side, a nice Moon/Venus parallel, Mars parallel Jupiter, and Sun contra-parallel Pluto can help to align with your affectionate side, increase your physical energy and stamina, and boost your self esteem. You may find more enjoyable distractions available to you than the TV that both lift your heart and satisfy your need to burn off physical energy.

Saturday, July 31st, is a day that emphasizes personal expression and working things out in a logical and mutually beneficial manner. The Moon in “I am” Aries exchanges supportive energy with the Sun in “I create” Leo. Mars, the planet of action, enters equalizing Libra today and conjuncts Saturn, the taskmaster, in Libra. Mars conjunct Saturn can best be thought of as fire meets steel. When combined, they are cutting, determined, precise, exacting, and they “get-R” done. Many of the finest minds and most accomplished individuals in history had this conjunction in their natal charts. You may not be born with this kick-butt aspect, but you can deliberately focus this energy now in your own life during this transit. Mars and Saturn now sit in the sign that has to do with balance, equality, and relationship. Check your own chart to see where you can best utilize this energy. Mercury in discerning Virgo supports Jupiter and Pluto today, indicating you are able to analyze a situation and find ways to implement steps toward constructive and empowering growth.

Jul 27, 2010


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Initiation Series: John-Luke Edwards

This week we resume our Initiation Series: Curing our Cultural Sickness with out final guest, Reverend Shaman John-Luke Edwards, MA, PhD. 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. John-Luke explains that initiation changes the quality of ones relationship with spirit, forging an intimate relationship that is part remembering what already exists and part noticing in oneself what no longer exists. Sharing stories from his many initiation experiences, we will explore degrees of initiation, the importance of being empty, and the need to sacrifice to allow any initiation to run its full course. John-Luke is an ordained shaman of The Wolven Path, which is a rebirth of an ancient Celtic/Druidic form of shamanism. Shamanic Clergy illuminate the path for others by setting their own hearts and souls aflame; they share, teach, and proclaim the Shamanic way of living. We will discuss the uniqueness of this path, the power of ritual to transform, and the dangers of social niceties along the path of the contemporary shaman. John-Luke's website is www.circleofgreatmystery.com. John-Luke can be contacted at wolfindark@telus.net

This week's guest:
John-Luke Edwards

Reverend Shaman John-Luke Edwards, MA, PhD is an ordained shaman of The Wolven Path, which is a rebirth of an ancient Celtic/Druidic form of shamanism. Reverend Shaman is a title of, both, self reverence; related to the sacrifice of continuous and selfless journey, of learning and shamanic service to the Sacred Earth and Her Children; and of a focused visible reverence for the Sacred Journey of all our relations no matter how they or their journeys manifest. Shamanic Clergy illuminate the path for others by setting their own hearts and souls aflame; they are light bearers and song carriers. Shamanic Clergy learn in order to share and teach; to proclaim the Shamanic Way of living; to be principal agents of the aims and mission of The Society and it ministerial work and officiate at public ceremony.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 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.

Jul 25, 2010


Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

A new discovery at Stonehenge complex:

Scientists scouring the area around Stonehenge said Thursday they have uncovered a circular structure only a few hundred meters (yards) from the world famous monument.

There's some debate about what exactly has been found. The survey team which uncovered the structure said it could be the foundation for a circle of freestanding pieces of timber, a wooden version of Stonehenge.

Jul 24, 2010

Horoscope for July 25-31

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Aries (March 21st – April 20th)
Rams had better sharpen their horns this week and be prepared to take a stand for themselves when it comes to love and career. The T-square in cardinal signs is making life a real balancing act for you this week, Aries. Fortunately, you are full of creative ideas and you have energy to burn when it comes to your work projects. You are determined to advance yourself, your reputation, and your career, but it appears that the area of relationship may be sorely tested now as a result of the demands of the job. Activities with friends or a group are also possible. There is a chance that a false friend is exposed now and other, more supportive allegiances are formed. You will seek counsel from friends at the start of the week, withdraw and contemplate mid-week, and come to a decision on something by the end of this week.

Taurus (April 21st – May 20th)
Romance may be heating up for you, Taurus. Have you been flirting with someone online who lives somewhere you are not? Or maybe you’ve already been doing the long-distance relationship for a while and are now considering a move to another location with an aim to cohabitate. Mated Bulls are feeling restless at home, too, and a vacation or business trip can open the opportunity for a new place to call home. A job offer from afar is also possible now. Despite the positive aspects this week, you may be feeling off-balance and a bit fearful at the thought of change. Take some time to examine what is really causing your unease before you allow self-sabotage to deflect the good things on the way.

Gemini (May 21st – June 21st)
Your ruling planet, Mercury, figures prominently for you this week, Gemini. You are extremely busy now writing or communicating something metaphysical or spiritual that has been a big part of who you are and you are directing your creative energy now toward presenting something to a large group of people. You may be saying or doing things that don’t cater to the crowd or may upset conservative minds. Much of what you are expressing comes from a higher source within you, which grants you an immunity to the criticism or judgment of others. You are ready to be a leader, not a follower.

Astrological Trends for July 23-29

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

The Sun is strong in the heavens on Friday, July 23rd. It has just entered the fixed fire sign of Leo and is actively exchanging positive energy with Jupiter/Uranus in Aries, Neptune/Chiron both retrograde in Aquarius, Moon conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and Saturn in Libra. If that isn’t amplified solar energy, I don’t know what is! The Sun rules Leo, so it has just come home to its throne and expresses its energy in a creative and exuberant manner. You may be some other Sun sign entirely, but today you can’t help feeling like you’ve stepped into the role of a Leo. The Moon/Pluto conjunction brings a potent “do or die trying” energy now, and a mild aspect between the Sun and Saturn in diplomatic Libra early in the day helps you communicate your focused intentions in a no-nonsense way that lets others know you mean business. Mars in practical Virgo is quincunx the retrograde Neptune/Chiron. You may exert energy toward resurrecting or reconditioning something old or worn out, be it an idea, relationship, or object. You just can’t throw something away today that still has potential. The Moon/Pluto conjunction squares Jupiter/Uranus in Aries and, for today, you may be unwilling to consider any other viewpoint or possibility other than your own. This emotional resistance fades as the day ends and the Moon travels on.

I’m humming an old tune, “Words of love, soft and tender, won’t win a girl’s heart anymore.” And another song is competing for attention, “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.” Have you guessed that Saturday, ,July 24th, is leaning toward romance? Venus in Virgo is trine the Moon in Capricorn. Although grounded and stable, those earth signs can have a healthy appetite when it comes to physical pleasure. Hugs, holding hands, and more make them calm and content. You may plan a day or night of pleasure with your partner now or get to flirting in a serious way with a stranger. However, this Moon/Venus aspect is short-lived and won’t cause you to lose your head or your heart over a few moments of pleasure – you want to see love expressed in deeds now, not just words. Venus contra-parallel Chiron creates a Cinderella affect and it is entirely possible to find true love, but a Mercury/Neptune contra-parallel and Mercury in Leo square Neptune in Aquarius advise caution when it comes to words of love. This energy can be extremely seductive, yet impulsive and deceptive. Bring that proverbial grain of salt with you on your hot date.

On Sunday, July 25th, the day begins with the Moon in the later degrees of Capricorn. During the afternoon, the Moon moves into Aquarius as it approaches fullness. The Moon bounces energy off almost every planet today, but it is the flow between the Moon and Mercury in Leo that is responsible for you blurting out your every passing feeling to anyone. You are not alone in this spontaneous emotional outburst phenomenon. Everyone else seems to be emoting wildly, too. It’s not easy to stay calm and centered now, so I advise you stay open to the flashes of creative genius that are pulsing now and be open to meeting a crazy new friend, or more. Venus, the planet of pleasure, and Mars, the planet of action, in discriminating Virgo should prevent you from doing anything you will regret later.

Jul 22, 2010

Jul 20, 2010

Beneath the Pyramids

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

This Red Ice Radio interview is most interesting for the mythology Andrew Collins has connected to his discoveries. It might actually explain, well, everything. I've also appended an interview with the ARE who published his book on the subject.


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Working with Plant Medicine

Author, professor, and peacemaker, Stephan Beyer, joins host, Christina Pratt, this week to discuss the use of plant medicines (plant hallucinogens or entheogens) in shamanism. Drawing on his vast experience as an academic and deep experience as a shamanic practitioner, Steve will talk with us about the personalities of several of the sacred plants used in traditional shamanic healing and ritual. We will explore their relevance in shamanic practices outside of these traditions, the contemporary search for healing and transformation, the "selling of spirituality", and what can we say about authenticity with these powerful teachers. Perhaps most importantly we will discuss these plants as teachers who open to us "the dark and luminous realm of the spirits."

In his new book, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon Stephan seeks "to understand one form of shamanism, its relationship to other shamanisms, and its survival in the new global economy, through anthropology, ethnobotany, cognitive psychology, legal history, and his own experiences with two master healers of the Amazon." For more information go to www.singingtotheplants.com

This week's guest:
Stephan Beyer

Professor and author, Stephan Beyer, brings us a beautiful guide to mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon and the use of the sacred, plant medicine ayahuasca in his new book Singing to the Plants. Stephan holds doctorates in both religious studies and psychology, was a lawyer and a litigator as well as a wilderness guide, peacemaker, community builder. He has worked with ayahuasca and other sacred plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, and huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals; undertaken numerous four-day and four-night solo vision fasts in Death Valley, the Pecos Wilderness, and the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico; and lived in a Tibetan monastery. From these experiences have come books on Buddhism, Tibetan language and religion, and now, mestizo shamanism.

Stephan has long had an interest in wilderness survival in a variety of terrains, especially jungle survival. He explains that "as I learned more and more about the ways in which indigenous people survive - indeed, flourish - in the wilderness, it became increasingly clear to me that wilderness survival included a significant spiritual component - the maintenance of right relationships both with human persons and with the other-than-human persons who fill the indigenous world. Thus I began to explore wilderness spirituality, to learn ways to live in harmony with the natural world, striving, like indigenous people, to be in right relationship with the plant and animal spirits of the wilderness." In addition to studying how indigenous peoples of North and South America survive and thrive, Stephen studies sacred plant medicine with traditional herbalists in North America and curanderos in the Upper Amazon, where Stephan has received coronación by banco ayahuasquero don Roberto Acho Jurama.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 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.

Jul 19, 2010


Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

More reasons to appreciate the inestimable genius of da Vinci:

The enigmatic smile remains a mystery, but French scientists say they have cracked a few secrets of the "Mona Lisa." French researchers studied seven of the Louvre Museum's Leonardo da Vinci paintings, including the "Mona Lisa," to analyze the master's use of successive ultrathin layers of paint and glaze - a technique that gave his works their dreamy quality.

Specialists from the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France found that da Vinci painted up to 30 layers of paint on his works to meet his standards of subtlety. Added up, all the layers are less than 40 micrometers, or about half the thickness of a human hair, researcher Philippe Walter said Friday.

Similar research reported last fall turned up Mona Lisa's eyebrows.

Pascal Cotte said Leonardo built the painting up in layers, the last being a special glaze whose optical properties increased the illusion of a three-dimensional face. Above the glaze Leonardo painted details such as the eyebrows.

Cotte said: "That could explain why the eyebrows have disappeared – they have faded because of chemical reactions or they have been cleaned off."

Jul 18, 2010

A Frakking Doodle?!!!

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

If anyone wants to know why people like Graham Hancock and, oh, I don't know, me, are so frustrated with academic archaeologists, look no further.

Cambridge University experts believe the crudely etched circles are the Neolithic version of a modern office worker's scribbles on a post-it note.

. . .

Christopher Evans, director of the university's Archaeological Unit, thinks the concentric circles were created by one of our early ancestors ''killing time'' as opposed to a work of art.

Mr Evans said: ''I think it was a doodle. I don't think it has any deep and meaningful religious significance.

''In this era of the Neolithic period they had a lot of time on their hands. It could show they were quite bored at times, but we don't know for sure.

''We do know when they weren't out harvesting or planting crops they had to find a way of killing time.

''There are Megalithic tombs with concentric circles like this carved into stones - the circles are a form of Megalithic art and typical of the grooved ware pottery of the time.

Jul 17, 2010

The Faith of Mel Gibson

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Newsweek religion writer Gustav Niebuhr is wondering how to reconcile Mel Gibson's recorded outbursts of violent misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism with his religious fervor and devout Catholicism. To which I say, really? You have to ask?

The man belongs to a church that has for decades gaffed off the seriousness of physical and sexual abuse of children. Now that the Vatican has finally begun to focus its attention on the matter, it has simultaneously affirmed its longstanding position that women are second-class citizens. So we should be surprised that Mel Gibson was recorded saying his girlfriend deserved to be hit in the face while she was holding their infant daughter?

The Catholic Church also has a rather poor record when it comes to Jewish relations. Little things like the Inquisition and its ambivalent and anemic response to the Nazi Holocaust come to mind. Relations between the Vatican and Jews are notoriously strained which has required special outreach from both the current and previous pope. And some of Pope Benedict's recent moves like reviving the prayer to "remove the veil" from the hearts of Jews and convert them to Christianity have not gone over particularly well.

Jul 16, 2010

Ordaining Women and Other Grave Crimes

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Well, that went over like a lead balloon.

The Vatican finally released its new rules on the handling of sex abuse cases. With the updated document they've managed to disappoint survivor groups by completely "missing the boat" and, for good measure, to give women a stinging slap across the face.

The Catholic Church on Thursday revised its in-house rules on sex abuse cases, extending the statute of limitations for such crimes from 10 to 20 years past the victim's 18th birthday and speeding up the excommunication process for pedophile priests. But, curiously, the amended set of ecclesiastical laws also declares that any priest caught ordaining women will be designated as having committed a "grave crime," the same phrase used to describe the abuse of children.

Liberal Catholics pushing for church reform were shocked by the decree. "I find it appalling," Pat Brown, spokeswoman for British organization Catholic Women's Ordination, told AOL News. "To mention us in the same breath as pedophiles is disgusting and hugely insulting to women and the victims of pedophilia. Announcements like this really emphasize the need to keep campaigning for change in the church."

Astrological Trends for July 16-22

The Moon joins Saturn in the last degree of Virgo as it transits into the early degrees of Libra on Friday, July 16th. While it is in conjunction, you are able to assess your feelings in a rational and detached way. An area of your life where you have been applying your sheer force of will and experiencing an almost obsessive desire to control an outcome is the subject of your emotional examination. A T-square pattern between Saturn/Moon and Jupiter/Uranus in willful Aries, and Pluto in authoritative Capricorn is the energy responsible for this frustrating blockage of power. The Moon and Saturn are quincunx Neptune in Aquarius conjunct Chiron in Pisces. These four planetary energies are nudging you to the precipice of a leap of faith. Your logical mind understands now that your solutions to material problems can only be found through a spiritual source.

You can really feel the weekend vibe on Saturday, July 17th. The Moon in Libra enhances mental stimulation and an appreciation of visual beauty, making it an ideal day to do some sightseeing or begin a home beautification project. A pleasant mild aspect between the Moon and Mercury in Leo increases imagination, attention, and delight in anything new, novel, or entertaining. Mars in Virgo is beginning to come into alignment with Saturn in Virgo. From now until the end of July, this planetary duo encourages taking care of business and details; clearing closets and clutter; making plans and budgets; and initiating and maintaining a new health, nutrition, and exercise regimen. That’s because Mars is action, Saturn is duty and resolve, and Virgo is method and practicality. It will give you the strength to cut negatives from your life.

A mix of unusual, enjoyable, and possibly romantic aspects is present on Sunday, July 18th. The Moon shifts from relationship-minded Libra to psychic, sexy Scorpio and is stimulated by dreamy Neptune in eccentric Aquarius, as well as Jupiter (the planet of optimism) and Uranus (the planet of the unexpected), which opens a conduit for quirky emotional impulses to follow. What you do with those impulses is up to you, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that you involve someone a little bit crazy in your plans. There is an increased chance for synchronicity and serendipity to guide your day. An aspect between the Sun in sensitive Cancer and the inspirational planet of Neptune tunes you in to the flow of life today. Put your intellect aside and let your feelings take control.

Jul 13, 2010

Watching the Eclipse

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The human population of Easter Island roughly doubled this Sunday for the best possible view of the total eclipse of the sun.

Tourists and scientists alike descended onto Easter Island to glimpse a solar eclipse that plunged parts of Latin America into complete darkness on Sunday.

The sky over the Chilean island was dark for a total of four minutes during the rare eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking light rays and casting a shadow.


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Outlaw Shamanism in the UK

How do we honor our traditions and still keep our shamanic practices alive and potent? How do we walk that interface between traditional teachings and spirit driven innovation to discover how to rise to the call of what is needed today in an effective shamanic practice? Contemporary shamanic practitioners are a hugely diverse lot. And yet, we are all faced with the same challenge-the need to be effective in our work. Shaman and host, Christina Pratt, will discuss "Outlaw Shamanism," a new weekend class she will be offering in September in Glastonbury, Somerset in the UK. The weekend is designed by Spirit for participants to explore the dynamic tensions in the life of a contemporary practitioner. The challenge in looking only to the past is getting lost in the forms and not recognizing the functions that made the rituals and ceremonies of the past effective. The challenge looking only to the present is practicing forms that no longer function, accepting simplistic "answers from spirit" because there are no standards, and ignoring the effect of communities that do not respect the cultivation and energy renewal necessary for shamanic practitioners to practice with heartfelt power and without burning out. In essence we must learn what to bend and what must be broken.

For registration and information about Outlaw Shamanism contact: office@isleofavalonfoundation.com or www.isleofavalonfoundation.com or 01458 833933.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 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.

Jul 12, 2010

Sexy Jesus

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The Portuguese edition of Playboy has signed its own epitaph with an issue too shocking for the parent company. A series of photos depicting Jesus with topless models has rather unsurprisingly angered many.

Playboy magazine is to pull the plug on its Portuguese edition after it ran a photo shoot featuring Jesus Christ among topless models.

The spread was ostensibly a tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, but Hugh Hefner’s headquarters have reacted with outrage.

The pictures show a long-haired, glowing Jesus watching two models in a lesbian clinch, standing next to a prostitute and looking over the shoulder of a woman reading a book.

Jul 11, 2010


Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The neanderthal genome has been successfully sequenced and it is more heavily represented in human DNA than expected.

Between 1% and 4% of the Eurasian human genome seems to come from Neanderthals.

But the study confirms living humans overwhelmingly trace their ancestry to a small population of Africans who later spread out across the world.


Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 'massive, muscular woman' who may have been a female gladiator during the Roman occupation of Britain.

. . .

Archaeological Project Manager Robin Jackson said: 'When we first looked at the leg and arm bones, the muscle attachments suggested it was quite a strapping big bloke.

'But the pelvis and head, and all the indicators of gender, say it's a woman.'

Jul 10, 2010

Total Eclipse

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Fresh from my inbox, a good article on the current eclipse cycle. This is from astrologer Stephanie Austin and since I can't find the article posted on her website, I'm just going to post the whole thing as it appears in the email. The first paragraph really captures it for me. I've been completely wiped.

I also highly recommend listening to this lecture by Mary Lomando. It's on her podcast page under the heading Mary's Eclipse Update July 2010. (Wow. I just got the strangest tone through my head. By strange I mean different in character than I'm used to. Kind of pleasant actually; a low hum in my right occipital. Interesting.) But anyhoo... Back to the eclipse.

Religious Extremism and Anxiety

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The point that will almost definitely be missed in this story, probably because of the way it's being promoted, reported, and perhaps even in how the study was conducted, is that the extremism isn't strictly of the religious variety.

A series of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who were asked whether they would die for their faith or support their country going to war in its defence were more likely to say yes when they were in anxiety-provoking situations.

The anxiety-provoking situations included being given complex mathematical problems, considering a dilemma in one's personal life, or mulling over uncertainties in a relationship. In all the studies, people who had been exposed to the anxiety-inducing scenario were more extreme in their religious convictions and more enthusiastically attached to their ideals than those who had been in neutral situations. [Emphases mine]

Jul 9, 2010

Astrological Trends for July 9-15, 2010

Here is your energy lookout for the week ahead. Like checking the weather to know how to dress, it makes good sense to check the planetary energy patterns to know how to plan your days. This forecast looks at the current transits of the planets in relation to society as a whole. Your own natal, or birth, chart is also impacted by the current transits, and your own experiences this week will also be affected by your own unique chart pattern. I am available for general readings by phone or text chat at LivePsyche or you can make arrangements for in-depth chart readings here.

You may find your thoughts shifting on Friday, July 9th, as Mercury moves into Leo. While the Messenger waded through the water sign of Cancer, your thinking may have been tinged with emotional overtones and you may have been doing the evasive sideways crab shuffle when discussing certain subjects, all the while waving a slightly threatening claw – just in case you had to protect yourself. Now you experience a rush of courage and are eager to make change happen. Uranus turned retrograde this past week, and you may be thinking things can’t change at all. The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction is activated today by Mercury in its bold new cat suit, as well as Venus, still in ears and tail as well, making change a good possibility after all. Venus is poised to shed her Leo fur and slip into the robes of Virgo, the maiden, tomorrow. Venus is opposing Neptune, indicating that sacrifices can or will be made. I predict you will have a breakthrough born of necessity that arrives in the eleventh hour and breathes new life into an old dream or launches a new one.

Jul 6, 2010


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Shamanic Practioniers Conference in the UK

This week we take a break from our Initiation Series to support our friends and shamanic colleagues in the UK.. Howard and Elsa Malpas of Warrior in the Heart in London are presenting the 4th UK Residential the Society of Shamanic Practitioners Conference with the help of Nick Breeze Wood of Sacred Hoop Magazine. The conference runs September 9-12th at Gaunts House in Dorset, England. Elsa, Howard and Nick all join us this week to talk about the conference, the beauty of Gaunts House's 2000 acres, and the rich and diverse group of teachers and healers who will be presenting that this year's conference. "The conference is a gathering for those honouring the shamanic way. It is an opportunity to share sacred space with people who are dedicated to teaching and practicing the ways of the shaman and bringing that ancient spirituality into the present and future." The theme this year is Dancing with the Cycles of Life and Jonathan Horwitz, a true elder in contemporary shamanism in Europe, will weave the days together with "The Shaman's Thread: The Unseen Rhythms of Life." The days begin with meditations and end in community ritual or ceremony. Your host, Christina Pratt, will be presenting Awakening the Courageous Heart on the 11th. You can find out everything you need to know about the conference at www.shamanconference.co.uk

This week's guest:
Howard & Elsa Malpas
Nick Wood Breeze

Howard and Elsa have been studying and practicing Shamanism since 1983 and during that time have realized that it is more a remembering, an ancient knowing, rather than a learning. Howard and Elsa have been facilitating residential and non-residential Warrior in the Heart courses since 1994 and regard seeing the beautiful journey people are taking into themselves as a gift. Having discovered a passion for living through Shamanism, they simply want to share what they know, and help others to empower themselves.

Howard & Elsa are both UK Directors of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. www.shamansociety.org. Elsa is a Director of The Isle of Avalon Foundation, Glastonbury an Educational Not for Profit Company dedicated to promoting Spiritual growth. www.isleofavalonfoundation.comYou can reach Howard and Elsa at www.shamanicwarrior.com

Nick Breeze WoodNick has worked and met with many medicine people, shamans and teachers of shamanism over the past 25 years. His own practice is a mix of Mongolian, Tibetan, Siberian and Native American traditions. Before being involved in shamanism, he trained as a social worker, working in mental health settings, and completed extensive pychotherapy training in TA, gestalt, NLP and Ericksonian trance work. Nick is the editor, designer, and publisher of Sacred Hoop Magazine. He works one-to-one with people teaching shamanism and sometimes runs small informal workshops from his studio home in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Contact Nick through his website:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 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.

Jul 3, 2010

Mr. Deity: The Long Awaited Prequel

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Maybe it's just that I love a good creation myth, but I think this may be my favorite Mr. Deity episode ever. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Although I do think M. Night Shyamalan made two good, even great, movies, not just one. It's a small quibble but I stand by it.

Pope Benedict: Asleep at the Switch?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

A lengthy feature in the New York Times reminds us that while Pope Benedict (aka Cardinal Ratzinger) has been a radical on the sex abuse issue as compared with Vatican culture, by any objective standard, his efforts have been anemic at best. Some would say ineffectual. Much of the foot-dragging and inattention has been covered on this blog but the Times has turned up some stunners. Like the fact that some abusive priests who should have been laicized weren't simply because the Vatican was concerned about the growing priest deficit.

Another hint of his priorities came at a synod in 1990, when a bishop from Calgary gingerly mentioned the growing sexual abuse problem in Canada. When Cardinal Ratzinger rose to speak, however, it was of a different crisis: the diminishing image of the priesthood since the Second Vatican Council, and the “huge drop” in the numbers of priests as many resigned.

That concern — that the irrevocable commitment to the priesthood was being undermined by the exodus of priests leaving to marry or because they were simply disenchanted — had already led Cardinal Ratzinger to block the dismissal of at least one priest convicted of molestation, documents show.

“Look at it from the perspective of priestly commitment,” said the Rev. Joseph Fessio, a former student of Cardinal Ratzinger’s and founder of the conservative publishing house Ignatius Press. “You want to get married? You’re still a priest. You’re a sex offender? Well, you’re still a priest. Rome is looking at it from the objective reality of the priesthood.”

Jul 2, 2010


Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

There are great many news items I read everyday that I haven't the time or inclination to write about in any depth but still like to pass on to readers. I put them in the sidebar under Headlines but no one seems to notice or comment on them so I've decided to do periodic roundups of the more interesting items.


What do King Tut and Rasputin have in common? Missing penis.

Did someone sabotage the Egyptian king's mummy to hide his less-than endowed genitalia? A new report from The New Scientist presents the possibility of a anatomical conspiracy.

An unknown tribe in Papua New Guinea has been discovered. Once the missionaries and census takers find you, it's all pretty much downhill.

"Their houses are in trees, their life is stone age," said Suntono, head of Indonesia's statistics agency for the Papua region, adding the tribe built ladders to huts in tall trees.

After receiving reports from missionaries, census officials needed to walk for up to two weeks to find the tribe, after travelling by boat from the nearest permanent villages, but still only reached the fringes of their territory.

Jul 1, 2010

Astrological Trends for July 2-8, 2010

Here is your energy lookout for the week ahead. Like checking the weather to know how to dress, it makes good sense to check the planetary energy patterns to know how to plan your days. This forecast looks at the current transits of the planets in relation to society as a whole. Your own natal, or birth, chart is also impacted by the current transits, and your own experiences this week will also be affected by your own unique chart pattern. I am available for general readings by phone or text chat at LivePsyche or you can make arrangements for in-depth chart readings here.

The Moon in gentle, dreamy Pisces on Friday, July 2nd, is happily aspected by Venus in passionate Leo, making it a wonderful day for romantic interludes filled with sentimental fun. Even if you have no lover to share the day with, any activities that include friends or family will make fond memories. Be sure to bring your camera for those Kodak moments. This particular blending of planetary vibrations supports filming, photography and scrap booking, so get that shoebox of old photos and mementos out and turn them into a work of art you will treasure forever. Mercury in Cancer and Mars in Virgo have some minor energy going on between them, resulting in thoughts or conversations about having your physical or emotional needs met.

Dr. Rustum Roy on Real Science

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The great religion/science debate on The Huffington Post continues with Dr. Rustum Roy doing his best impression of Émile Zola.

"J'accuse!" I accuse the sloppy media who have written on "science and religion" topics for generations with grossly imprecise and inaccurate statements amounting to crimes. As a practicing scientists for 60 years known worldwide for my science, I produce data, hard facts (not my opinions) to make my contributions to science, industry, and posterity. In the mass-press treatment of "science-religion" topics, I am insulted by the absurd confrontations engineered by black-and-white print and video media, and the ridiculous, self-anointed representations of the position of "science" we are exposed to, from the most esoteric brand of science.

Who can be said to speak for "science"? First emblazon on your mind that science must have experimentally verifiable facts as its data.

Surely not the likes of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Sam Harris? Not one of whom qualifies as any kind of (hard) scientist. Stephen Weinberg or Stephen Hawkins, whom I respect enormously as brilliant experts in their fields, are distinguished enough in "science," but astronomy and cosmology are not classical science. (Search Google for the list of criteria by the Nobel laureate in Physics, P. Anderson.)


James Arthur Ray Almost Killed Me

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

But I'd go back.

Interviews with survivors of the deadly sweat lodge on Primetime: Mind Games concluded there; with the disturbing revelation that some of Ray's followers are willing to overlook the deaths of three people. That a man one of them describes as "full of himself" was, at the very least, extremely negligent, doesn't trump the benefits they've gained. Brian Essad, for instance, has been learning how to visualize more money to pay bills he can't afford because he's spent so much on Ray's seminars. But he's ready and willing to cough up more dough, even after having witnessed people breaking their hands karate choppoing bricks at another seminar with no medical staff to attend to their injuries. Papa needs a new pair of shoes so he's ready to let it ride.

Whether it's the high pressure sales tactics combined with good, old-fashioned cult "snapping" at Ray's seminars, the lure of promised "wealth" for those who learn to "play full on," or the truthiness of the "law of attraction," Ray still has followers. Others have left in disgust, though, and figures such as Ray's former employee Melinda Martin will be familiar from previous media appearances following the disastrous sweat lodge.

Ray declined to be interviewed for the segment which should come as no surprise. But there is generous use of footage from past interviews and seminars. The more I experience of his personality, the more disturbed I am.

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