Blessed Imbolc

Nov 30, 2012

Stargate Skyfall

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



I caught Skyfall over the holiday weekend and I loved it. Daniel Craig continues to bring a gravitas to the role that transitions Bond from outrageous camp to something with surprising depth. And this was probably the darkest yet -- a journey through death and resurrection, as the series reboots itself yet again. This is a bold re-envisioning, exchanging the high tech gadgetry, that has become too ubiquitous to be entertaining, for low tech cleverness. Javier Bardem is just flamboyant enough to be a Bond villain, yet tragic and human enough to be a believable character. He's also consistently brilliant.

The movie is excellent. But the opening credit sequence is a masterpiece.

Leaving aside for a moment the sheer awesomeness of the cinematography and the buttery richness of Adele's voice, what captivated me was the layering of esoteric imagery. It was the genius of the opening credits (posted above) that convinced me to brave the crowds and see this movie in the theater.

As with the recent Olympics, and so much in popular art and entertainment, it's hard to say how much of the symbolism is deliberate and how much is subconscious. But it's hard to believe that a film about a journey through death and rebirth just happens to have one portal image after another by accident.

Nov 29, 2012

Warren Jeffs: The Final Chapter?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



This could be the end of the infamous Yearning For Zion ranch as Texas moves to seize the large property holding from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS. The State contends that the ranch was used to further a criminal enterprise, one aspect of which was the crime for which FLDS leader Warren Jeffs was convicted last year -- molesting underage girls.

Investigators filed a warrant to seize the 1,600-acre ranch in West Texas under state law that allows seizure of property used to commit or facilitate criminal conduct.

According to a 91-page page affidavit in support of the search and seizure warrant served on the ranch in Eldorado, about 300 miles west of Dallas, church members purchased the property for about $1.3 million in 2003 with laundered money and used the property to sexually assault children and hide Jeffs in 2006 while he was a fugitive on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List.

According to the attorney general’s office, the ranch was purchased by church members at the order of Jeffs, who was based in Utah at the time but, “sought a rural location where the FLDS could operate a polygamist compound where the systemic sexual assault of children would be tolerated without interference from law enforcement authorities.”

Jeffs's own records make clear that the ranch, originally referred to under the code name R17, was designed for criminal use. It's far enough from main roads and infrastructure to allow him to skirt everything from building codes to other "wicked laws, un-righteous laws passed by the government that could put us in jail..." I'm guessing those would be those pesky laws against polygamy and sexual abuse of minors.

Nov 27, 2012

Cafe



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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Wisdom of the Healer in Changing Times

The Healer speaks to us of death and rebirth and asks, "What needs to die?" In this time of ending and new beginnings, you must be able to fit through the doors of opportunity that will open for you if you are to find your true place in the New World. Your False Self is just baggage and it's in your way. Our ability to intentionally kill off aspects of our familiar self-to release, surrender, and grow simple-so that we are able to fit through the openings we encounter and plunge ahead in a new way is mastery of The Healer. We must know what to kill off and how. We must allow our faith in the status quo to be broken so that we strengthen our faith that which has heart and meaning and power in an interconnected world. And we must ask for help skillfully, knowing who to go to and how so that we are not consulting the unresolved dead or our own frightened ego. Our ability to move with intention through December 21, 2012 and birth a world truly different than this one depends on the Wisdom of the Healer. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, this week as she explores how to engage the wisdom on the Healer in these changing times.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Nov 20, 2012

White Noise: The Fragrance

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



There are a few fun facts that I learned in aromatherapy school. Our sense of smell, or olfaction, is one nerve synapse away from the limbic brain and clicks rapidly through the amygdala and hippocampus. So smells trigger memories and powerful emotional responses. Olfaction does not go through the neocortex, so there are no words that exclusively describe smells. We borrow adjectives from other sensory stimuli to describe them, like colors, sounds, and tastes. For instance, scents can be green, or loud, or fruity. Now comes a newly created scent profile called "white noise."

Another thing I learned in aromatherapy school is that, while this is a fascinating discovery about our sense of smell, the study described here does not constitute aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of pure plant essences and offers numerous therapeutic properties above and beyond the psychoactive effects of scent. The fragrance industry relies heavily on chemically replicated scents and other derivatives of natural essences and I suspect that is the case here as well. Still. Fascinating.

Mixing multiple wavelegths that span the human visual range equally makes white light; mixing multiple frequencies that span the range of human hearing equally makes the whooshing hum of white noise. Neurobiologist Noam Sobel from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and his colleagues wanted to find out whether a similar phenomenon happens with smelling. [7 New Flavors Your Tongue May Taste]

In a series of experiments, they exposed participants to hundreds of equally mixed smells, some containing as few as one compound and others containing up to 43 components. They first had 56 participants compare mixtures of the same number of compounds with one another. For example, a person might compare a 40-compound mixture with a 40-compound mixture, neither of which had any components in common.

This experiment revealed that the more components in a mixture, the worse participants were at telling them apart. A four-component mixture smells less similar to other four-component mixtures than a 43-component mixture smells to other 43-component mixtures.

. . .

In other words, our brains treat smells as a single unit, not as a mixture of compounds to break down, analyze and put back together again. If they didn't, they'd never see mixtures of completely different compounds as smelling the same.

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Return to the Mother Tongue with Will Taegel

We must engage intimately with our wild heart to participate in shaping a new direction for humanity on Earth. Only through an intimate relationship with nature can we come to know our own true wild-hearted nature. Renowned author and leading edge thinker, Will Taegel, calls us to open our wild hearts and take the next step, to establish a new relationship with the Earth and our local environments. In his new book, The Mother Tongue: Intimacy in the Eco-field, Taegel lays out the necessary path of return to the Earth’s primordial wisdom. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she encourages Taegel to challenge us to enter into deep reflection and question our current beliefs. He shows us how today’s science shows that all life communicates and that our intimate relationship with nature can guide us through these turbulent times. Taegel shares tools to communicate with and learn from the more-than-human world so that we are able to step up t and participate in the fullness of our role in the manifestation of a new era: The Era of Natural Birth. Join us this week as we explore the Mother Tongue Hypothesis and Taegel’s intimate path for successfully navigating our shared global crisis.


Tuesday, November 20, 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.

Nov 14, 2012

Total Eclipse: Views from the Land Down Under

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




Yesterday was the last total solar eclipse we'll see until 2015. Aussies had a great view. The rest of us, not so much. But thanks to the wonders of technology, we can look at some pretty pictures. Is it as good as being there? No. But it's a little reminder of just how small this planet has become.

A total solar eclipse will occur on Tuesday afternoon, when the moon passes briefly between the Earth and the Sun, obscuring the solar rays and creating a 95-mile-wide shadow over parts of the Southern Hemisphere.

Only people who are lucky enough to be in northern Australia or somehow find themselves in the Indian or Pacific Oceans along the path of the eclipse -- where it will actually be early Wednesday morning -- will be able to see the celestial event.

But don't worry if you're not there in the flesh -- broadcasts of the eclipse will be available on several live streams and The Huffington Post is live blogging the event, bringing updates from astronomers and other experts, some of whom are on the ground in Australia.

Nov 13, 2012

Adultery, Pat

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




Remember that great scene in The Crucible when John Proctor is pressed to recall the ten commandments and prove his devotion to God? He can remember them all, save one. He stammers, repeating some, but can't seem to come up with ten. His wife, Elizabeth, quietly chides him, "Adultery, John."

Such was playwright Arthur Miller's brilliant, psychological insight. The husband, whose affair with the young Abigail Williams has set a catastrophic sequence of events in motion, can't remember the commandment that names his sin.

Well, Pat Robertson seems to be revealing more and more of the strange, inner workings of his mind, lately. Last week it was a cringe inducing discussion about Shades of Grey. (Women like pornography? Since when?) And now comes this shameless apologia for the career ending indiscretions of General David Petraeus.

Robertson's reasoning goes like this: David Petraeus "is a man." Paula Broadwell is an "extremely good looking woman" and she was "throwing herself at him."

Such boys will be boys defenses of Petraeus's actions are to be expected... just not so much from an evangelical Christian minister on live television. I mean... has Pat Robertson actually read the Bible? It's only the seventh commandment. You know, that list of moral precepts that Robertson and his ilk have been demanding we all need to get back to?

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Return to Mother Tongue with Will Taegel

We must engage intimately with our wild heart to participate in shaping a new direction for humanity on Earth. Only through an intimate relationship with nature can we come to know our own true wild-hearted nature. Renowned author and leading edge thinker, Will Taegel, calls us to open our wild hearts and take the next step, to establish a new relationship with the Earth and our local environments. In his new book, The Mother Tongue: Intimacy in the Eco-field, Taegel lays out the necessary path of return to the Earth's primordial wisdom. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she encourages Taegel to challenge us to enter into deep reflection and question our current beliefs. He shows us how today's science shows that all life communicates and that our intimate relationship with nature can guide us through these turbulent times. Taegel shares tools to communicate with and learn from the more-than-human world so that we are able to step up t and participate in the fullness of our role in the manifestation of a new era: The Era of Natural Birth. Join us this week as we explore the Mother Tongue Hypothesis and Taegel's intimate path for successfully navigating our shared global crisis.

Tuesday, November 13, 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.

Nov 6, 2012

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Interpreting Your Symbolic Language: Part Two

Traditional cultures have systems or cosmologies that explain the universe. These shamanic cosmologies explain for the people where the world came from, what we are, how we got here, and most importantly why we are here. These cultures also sanction divination systems or tools that the people use within these cosmologies to interpret their dreams, journeys, and visions. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she continues with part two of Learning to Interpret Your Symbolic Language from the Mastering the Art of the Shamanic Journey Series. This week she explores how your symbolic language came into being and why it continues to transform with you. Why you must deepen and stop limiting yourself if you are to deepen and stop limiting your interpretation of your symbolic. Join us this week and learn why a consistent and effective clearing practice is essential if you are to accurately interpret the messages from your guides and create the life you have come here to live for yourself and for the next seven generations.

Tuesday, November 6, 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.


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