Blessed Imbolc

Apr 30, 2012

Analyticial Thought Undermines Religious Belief

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


"Our intuitions can be phenomenally useful, and analytic thinking isn't some oracle of the truth," says Will Gervais, co-author of a new study demonstrating how analytical thought reduces religious faith. His phrasing is inadvertently hilarious. An oracle is, by definition, intuitive, and is the conduit for divine information. And this study bolsters earlier research showing that intuition and faith are as closely linked as the analytical is to not-faith.

The University of British Columbia study not only affirms that analytical personalities are less likely to be religious, it demonstrates that taxing the left brain decreases belief amongst more intuitive personalities.

People who are intuitive thinkers are more likely to be religious, but getting them to think analytically even in subtle ways decreases the strength of their belief, according to a new study in Science.

. . .

Analytic thinking undermines belief because, as cognitive psychologists have shown, it can override intuition. And we know from past research that religious beliefs—such as the idea that objects and events don't simply exist but have a purpose—are rooted in intuition. "Analytic processing inhibits these intuitions, which in turn discourages religious belief," [Ara] Norenzayan explains.

Apr 28, 2012

Robert Schoch and William Henry on the Sun

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Excellent discussion this week on William Henry's Revelations about the sun cycle and just how bad it could get. Robert Schoch is the geologist who researched the weather patterning on the Sphinx and back-dated its construction to some time before recorded history. His work has been extensively cited by Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, and John Anthony West, who sought out his expertise to evaluate the claims of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. Schoch has since turned his attention to Gobekli Tepe, the oldest known temple which was fairly recently discovered in Turkey. (See here)

In this interview he discusses geological, archaeological, and mythological evidence of a civilization ending solar catastrophe in the ancient past. He describes an event that would have dwarfed the 1859 Carrington Event that saw northern lights as far south as Hawaii and set telegraph stations on fire. He is not alone in positing that this may be what the Mayan calendar warns. It also bears mentioning, I think, that one of the Time Monks' most consistent predictions is the meme "sun disease."

Schoch and Henry also discuss the possibility that the weird noise phenomenon, discussed here and here, may be associated with the unusual radiation coming from the the sun. Schoch explains the interrelationship between electromagnetic radiation and sound. We already know that the radiation bursts from the sun can be translated into sound -- like all energy, really -- so it's an interesting theory. There is a very metallic ring to what was recorded here. So this is one of the most substantive suggestions I've heard yet on this issue. 

Schoch is a sober researcher and a scholar so this is a very even-handed discussion. His book on the topic is here and more information can be found at RobertSchoch.com.

Rob Kerby's Pagan Kerfuffle

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Oh, the things I learn when I remember to check my stats! I was somewhat heartened to see, this morning, that the Rob Kerby article I referenced here has graduated to a genuine kerfuffle. I have been writing about the Rob Kerby problem for a while now, notably here and here. And despite having been assured by another staffer at Beliefnet that there would be changes, any change seems to have been for the worse.

In the past couple of days, there have been reactions from The Wild Hunt, About.com, Star Foster, and Beliefnet's Pagan blogger Gus diZerega. And yet, for all the brouhaha, you know what I notice? There is still not one single comment on the article in question. As I've already addressed in my previous posts, comments that conflict with Kerby's world view tend to disappear and my IP was apparently blocked so I can't even leave comments anymore. Well, why would I bother when they're just going to be deleted? But either the programming was changed or Kerby's gotten sloppy because the number of comments is still recorded. As of this morning, there were seven invisible comments, as you can see in the graphic above.

Dare I hope that now that Beliefnet's Pagan blogger has addressed this head on, there will finally be changes at Beliefnet? I'm not optimistic, considering that Beliefnet is now owned by BN Media, which has ties to a swath of Christianist organizations. Their other properties are Crossbridge and Affinity 4. This is something I noted with dismay when I first began to notice the shift in tone on my Beliefnet News feed. I see now that The Wild Hunt was on it from the start and saw the writing on the wall when the acquisition was first made.

Apr 27, 2012

More on Weird Earth Noises

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



I posted something here a month ago on the strange, metallic, booming noises that are being reported around the country. As per Linda Moulton Howe in the Dreamland interview posted above, occurrences of these events is on the increase. Reports are coming in from all over the country, parts of Canada, Great Britain, and other places. And in all of these places no plausible explanation has been forthcoming.

I, personally, have not heard anything like this. From the descriptions in Howe's collection of man on the street interviews, it sounds awful. It's most often compared to train collisions... except that the trains are invisible.

Apr 24, 2012

Cafe

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Shamanic Journeying: Tricks of the Trade

Literally thousands of people around the world have been taught to use the shamanic journey practice to connect with their spirit help and guides since the 1960's. And yet, even with the ease, direct access, and humor inherent in the technique few people are able to step from the basics into a more dynamic practice in which spiritual input becomes part of their everyday problem solving. How to you make that leap? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she shares some tricks of the trade when working with helping spirits. Balance is key as with all practices that engage power. We must balance the inspiration and practicality, the life plan with the unknown, and the hero's journey that we didn't even know we were on with the relationships we have chosen to show up for in our life. The next steps require learning to craft questions that truly work as keys to unlock the wisdom and inspiration of the spirit world. They require accessing your symbolic language without the distortion of knowledge, fear, and emptiness. And they require a willingness to risk who you are and what you know for who you could be if you were to trust the guidance of spirit in your life.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012 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.

Apr 23, 2012

To Suffer a Witch

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Put this in the broad category of things I really don't want to write about. But I'm afraid I have to. In a curious synchronicity I noticed the latest drivel from Rob Kerby on my start page. One of these days I will remove the Beliefnet feed, but a combination of morbid curiosity and laziness has prevented it thus far. (For the back story on the Beliefnet news feed's devolution into a reactionary, bigoted, wingnut megaphone for the Christianist Kerby, see here and here.) Kerby's latest bit of wrongheadedness is a diatribe on the dangers of witchcraft. Why is this synchronous? This may be a little hard to follow but bear with me.

Let me start by saying that Kerby's biggest mistake is in conflating certain third world, tribal fears of witchcraft with Pagan faiths. He expresses dismay at Harry Potter for trivializing the dangers of witchery and at the Cornwall schools' inclusion of Paganism in its religion curriculum. This is the first synchronicity. But even more curious is that I was watching this fascinating video last night which had me thinking about a very particular usage of the term "witchcraft." It's a documentary on shaman and "vegetalista" Don Emilio Andrade Gomez who more than once uses the term witchcraft to describe the dark practice of sorcery. A lot of this could be written off to semantic differences but the distinction is too important to leave to the Rob Kerbys of the world... because that kind of thinking gets people killed.

Apr 19, 2012

Beware of Spiritual Leaders in Orange Jumpsuits

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



You can put religious abusers in prison but you just can't shut them up!!!

Child molester and polygamist Warren Jeffs recently had his phone privileges restored so that he can continue to inspire his flock with "divine revelations." He had previously lost that right amid charges that he flouted rules confining his phone calls to a list of approved family members by being put on speaker phone to address his congregation directly. Despite his incarceration Jeffs seems to be finding ways to call the shots, punishing over a thousand church members by taking away their church-going privileges and even possibly taking away their wives and children.

With or without his phone privileges, Jeffs is getting his message out, having mass mailed a real barn burner to political leaders.

“Let all peoples bow the knee, confessing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Jehovah Christ Ahman Holy Lord over all peoples. Amen,” he wrote.

The revelation, dated March 17, promised floods, winds, earthquakes, disease and other destruction if people refused to repent.

Well, that's a pretty safe bet, considering that those are things are always happening somewhere in the world. What really would have been cool is if all those world leaders had dropped to their knees at the appointed time and all disease and natural disasters had stopped. Then I might have been impressed.

Apr 18, 2012

More Skeletons Tumble Out of the Vatican Closet

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


The Vatican is weighing in on the Mafia issue and has decided that the organization is immoral enough to merit their attention. They have taken their message promoting a "culture of dialogue and legality" straight to Sicily. Such tough talk marks a turning point for the Vatican which has traditionally been a little lenient when it came to organized crime.

The Catholic Church in Italy has often been accused of being too timid towards the Mafia.

Event organizer Bishop Antonino Raspanti admitted that the church "has not condemned strongly enough," the mafia in the past. But "things have changed," he said, and there is no doubt that the "Mafia is anti-human and anti-religious."

Just how timid? Well, as a curious coincidence, this initiative comes just as new questions have been raised about a well-known Mafia don who is buried on Vatican grounds alongside prominent bishops and cardinals. And it isn't just the remains of Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis that police want to dig up.

Why a known-mobster like De Pedis is buried on the grounds of a Vatican church has been the object of much speculation since 1997, when a church maid revealed the tomb’s existence to an inquisitive journalist. The Vatican was always cagey about why the mobster was buried in one of its churches, and ultimately, the church’s silence spurred countless conspiracy theories.  Now, thanks to shocking Vatican letters leaked in the Vatileaks scandal that is rocking the Holy See, the Italian police are less interested in why he’s buried there. Instead, they want to open the tomb to see if the remains of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi are interred with those of the mobster.

Apr 17, 2012

Cafe

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Healing Through the End of Life with Leslie Bryan

"Curing is the successful treatment and resolution of an issue; healing is to bring peace or fulfillment on an emotional, mental or spiritual level, regardless of the outcome of treatment on the body," explains our guest Leslie Bryan. Leslie works in this the realm of healing particularly with people at the end of life. From hospice work to volunteering in a network of healers that serves search and rescue teams to working with the dying in her private shamanic healing practice, Leslie is at the forefront of the integration of shamanic skills back into the process of healing into death. Join host, Christina Pratt and her guest Leslie Bryan as they discuss the art of being with the healing process through the end of life. Leslie is trained and experienced in a range of shamanic and energetic healing techniques and joins us to share her pioneering work with the gravely ill and dying. She is our next guest for the Society of Shamanic Practitioners sponsored interview series. In this series we explore how contemporary shamans are meeting the challenge of their world where the relations of things are profoundly out of balance. It is the ancient role of the shaman in all cultures to tend the balance of things. How are these shamans meeting this extraordinary need today?

This week's guest:
Leslie Bryan


Leslie Bryan is trained in both shamanic and energetic traditions. She maintains a private practice and teaching schedule in New York City and New Jersey. She has a broad range of training from The Foundation for Shamanic Studies to The International Network of Esoteric Healing to Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy and Sandra Ingerman's Teacher Training Program. Hospice and a focus on healing through the end of life comprise a pioneering aspect of her work.

Leslie offers shamanic healing as an adjunct to allopathic, palliative, and/or hospice care as a way to bring healing in life and into the end of life's journey. Since 2000 she has been working with people who are gravely ill or dying. After September 11, 2001 Leslie worked in the Integrated Stress Clinic at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City, and later with CRREW, a network of healers that serves search and rescue teams as well as the community at large.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 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.

Paganism Added to School Curriculum

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


In the Potterverse young witches and wizards begin their magical training at Hogwarts at age 11. And now in Cornwall, 11 year olds will begin instruction in "modern paganism and its importance for many." Education in standing stones like Stonehenge will begin at age 5. All part of a new initiative to integrate the Pagan faiths that have surged in recent years into the schools' religion curriculum.

The syllabus adds that areas of study should include ‘the importance of pre-Christian sites for modern pagans’.

And an accompanying guide says that pupils should ‘understand the basic beliefs’ of paganism and suggests children could discuss the difficulties a practising pagan pupil might face in school.

. . .

Paganism encompasses numerous strands, from druids, who believe themselves to be practitioners of the ancient faith of pre-Christian Britain, to wiccans – modern witches who gather in covens – and shamans, who engage with the spirit of the land.

Despite push-back from local Christians who are dismayed that this "fringe eccentricity" will eat into the time allotted for religious instruction,
the Cornwall Council seems determined to extend its education to the small but growing population of earth-based practitioners.

No word on whether the young students will be trained to deal with those troublesome Cornish pixies.

Apr 15, 2012

Luis Eduardo Luna on Ayahuasca

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.


From Graham Hancock's YouTube channel, comes this brief but informative interview on ayahuasca. Luis Eduardo Luna gives an overview of the chemistry, history of use, and healing properties. As Hancock has explained at length in Supernatural and in numerous interviews, it takes a certain kind of moral courage to take ayahuasca and it is anything but a lazy approach to enlightenment. It has, in fact, been used effectively as a treatment for addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Offered as food for thought.

Apr 10, 2012

Cafe

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Working with Helping Spirits

If helping spirits are present for all of us then why are they so hard to talk to? From a shamanic perspective everyone from child to adult has spirit help, though most contemporary people don’t have any idea how to connect with that help and use it. One of the greatest gifts in the reintroduction of shamanism into contemporary culture is the gift of direct communication with our helping spirits. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the simplicity of working with our spirit help and the complexities that arise as we begin to allow spiritual input to guide our choices in life. Balance is key as with all practices that engage power. We must balance the inspiration and practicality, the life plan with the unknown, and the hero’s journey that we didn’t even know we were on with the relationships we have chosen to show up for in our life. This week we discuss accessing our symbolic language and the things that distort our relationship with our helping spirits like knowledge, fear, and emptiness. And Christina will share some helpful hints in moving your relationship with your helping spirits beyond the basics and out of the shamanic playpen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 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.

Apr 3, 2012

Cafe

Buy at Art.com
Buy From Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is a Power Animal?

What are power animals and why do they help us? Power animals are one of the many ways that shamanic peoples, ancient and contemporary alike conceive of the help that reaches out to humans from The Source. Humans have never dealt well with direct communication with The Source. They tend think that a visit from God will solve everything and then when the visit comes they are overwhelmed in such a way that the message is lost. Humans prefer mediation from burning bushes and angels and things that have faces they can talk to. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the vast realm of shamanic helping spirits and why they tend to help us, in spite of our selves. Helping Spirits come to us in dreams, journeys, meditations, and altered states in the forms of animals, plants, fungi, some insects, fish, mythical beasts and beings, ancestors, deities, elementals, and features of the local geography, like mountains or lakes. All true helping spirits are protective, though they may specialize in their guidance and teaching. All true helping spirits are a voice of The Source. Shamanic skills help us to answer the questions who do you communicate with and how? And, more importantly, how do you know whom to ignore?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 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.

Opinions and ideas expressed in the comments on this page
belong the people who stated them. Management takes no
editorial responsibility for the content of public comments.