Blessed Imbolc

Sep 24, 2013

Two Popes?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



In a very strange turn of events, the former pope -- Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI -- has broken his public silence to defend against allegations that he covered up sex-abuse.

The comments - which a victims' group rejected - were made in an 11-page letter to Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had written a book about the problems facing the Roman Catholic Church before the pope resigned in February.

"As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things," said Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope.

Excerpts of the letter were published in the Rome newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday with the former pope's permission.

It was believed to be the first time Benedict has responded to the sexual abuse accusations in the first person, although the Vatican has always said he did much to put an end to sexual abuse of minors by priests and never tried to cover it up.

Even stranger than the public nature of retired pontiff's statement is the fact that it appears to echo a letter from Pope Francis to the publisher of La Repubblica -- or does Pope Francis's statement echo Pope Benedict's?

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is intimacy with Spirit?

True shamanic trance states, those that actually clear the control of the small self, require intimacy with spirit. "Intimacy grows with contact," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt. "Intimacy is an embodied experience, not a virtual one. Your capacity for intimacy with anything-spirit, technology, a lover-begins in the cultivation of true intimacy with yourself, not the self you envision, but the self that you are in this moment." This week we explore intimacy, radical acceptance, and how to cultivate the intimacy with spirit required for deep shamanic currents to move through your life and bring miracles to even the most basic, beginning journeyer.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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

Sep 22, 2013

The Surprising Nature of the New Pope

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Pope Francis created shock waves again this past week with his surprising ability to not hate on entire groups of people. Of all the comments in his interview with fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, what has gotten the most press was his blunt assessment of the Church's relentless focus on divisive issues. The Church is "obsessed," he said, with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

The pontiff reveals much more than the radical nature of his thinking here. He reveals that he has been "reprimanded" for it. By whom, one wonders.

Sep 20, 2013

The Unbreakable Woman in Red

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




For anyone with an interest in Warren Jeffs and his FLDS, this Dateline episode is must viewing. Rebecca Musser -- former wife of Rulon Jeffs, witness for the prosecution against Warren Jeffs, and red wearing apostate -- has written a book. The Witness Wore Red tells the story of her life before and after breaking from the church she grew up in. Musser was instrumental in putting Warren Jeffs behind bars and this Dateline episode gives a fairly thorough overview of the long process of bringing this unrepentant pedophile to justice. The whole show is in the embed above and can also be viewed here. Some of it is hard to take. The "desecrated" temple with its sacred, holy beds is every bit as creepy as other well-hidden rape rooms Jeffs has constructed.

Musser is one brave woman, risking hell-fire and damnation to free herself from total domination by dirty old men of God. One can't help but marvel at the strength of women like Musser, her sister, and other apostates, who have not only found their voices but used them to put a far too powerful sex offender in prison.

In other news, the FLDS empire continues to crumble. The Alta Academy, where Warren Jeffs raped children and taught such unassailable facts as how the moon landing was faked because God would never allow such a thing, is slated for demolition. Good riddance.

Sep 19, 2013

Natural News Notices That TED's Dead

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



"Allow me to be the first to announce that TED is dead," says Mike Adams of Natural News. But Mr. Adams is a little late to the funeral, having only just noticed TED's "bad science" letter of December 7, 2012, previously discussed here. Natural News has observed that among the many areas of inquiry proscribed from the TED brand is any health topic not sanctioned by mainstream science, aka. pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

In that letter, TED says that people who talk about GMOs are engaged in "pseudoscience." Those who discuss the healing potential of foods are spreading "health hoaxes."

The letter also advises TEDx organizers to, "reject bad science, pseudoscience and health hoaxes," meaning anyone who talks about GMOs, "food as medicine" or similar topics.

Natural News overstates TED's policy guidelines. The letter does not say these subjects are banned outright. What it says is that these topic areas are "red flags" that should alert TEDx event planners to likely "health hoaxes" and other "pseudo-science."

That letter sets a bar that few natural health advocates are likely to meet. As stated, not even Einstein's groundbreaking work would have met TED's criteria.

TED has also let TEDx organizers know what it finds distasteful with this letter -- and what could put their affiliation on the chopping block. What organizer would want to test those limits by hosting a "red flag" topic, no matter how well-sourced? TED has made it very clear with its high profile actions against Graham Hancock, Rupert Sheldrake, and TEDx Hollywood that they will silence speakers and pull sponsorship without reasonable notice and without explanation. I repeat: without explanation. Note that Chris Anderson has never bothered to justify the decision to quarantine Hancock's and Sheldrake's talks even when directly asked to do so. What TEDx organizer would want to risk having their fate quietly decided in TED's star chamber?

There is no question that last December's letter and TED's subsequent actions can only have a chilling effect on anything but its nice, corporate-friendly, mainstream science -- no matter how poorly sourced, blatantly incorrect, or incredibly dull.

Sep 17, 2013

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Tribe of the Modern Mystic with Kelley Harrell

What is it really, creatively, effectively like to do good shamanic work these days? How do you manage the demand that every class, ritual, and ceremony be offered online? Where do you draw the line between the old ways that actually worked and the new needs driving our shamanic practices to innovate? Shamanism has adapted through the ages so that it remains a vital and effective option to heal that which wounds us, our families and our environment. Join us this week as author and neoshaman, Kelley Harrell and host, Christina Pratt, for an exploration of the ins and outs and ups and downs of tending our non-local, shamanic communities. Kelley has served her local community in North Carolina and an international client base since 2000 through Soul Intent Arts. 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 we meeting this extraordinary need today?

This week's guest:
Kelley Harrell


Kelley is an author and neoshaman living in North Carolina. Her memoir, Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma chronicles her pivotal step into the role of shaman. She has been on a shamanic path for over 20 years, works locally and with an international client base. Kelly is an Ascension and Usui Ryoho Reiki and Master, an Ordained Priestess by Global Goddess, and she honors the path of the modern Druid in her practices. She incorporates these other trainings, ways of knowing, and modalities into her shamanic practice, Soul Intent Arts, LLC.

Kelley writes the syndicated column Intentional Insights - Questions and Answers from Within, is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, and a contributing book reviewer for SageWoman and The Beltane Pages. She is also the proud founder of The Saferoom Project, a non-profit support network for sexual assault survivors, and their partners, family and friends. She joins us today to talk about her work and the re-release of her book, Gift of the Dreamtime.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 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.

Sep 14, 2013

Television and the Quest for Immortality

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.


Torchwood: Miracle Day begins tonight
Sept. 14 at 9:00 pm EDT on BBC America


I've not been doing much writing lately... obviously. I'm still settling in after our most recent move. But, on my breaks from unpacking boxes, I've mostly been staring at that other box... the idiot box. It was supposed to be passive, relaxing entertainment -- a restorative after long, hard days of hating the entire process of moving.  Instead, I've once again been pulled down a rabbit hole into a network of intertwining symbolism and myth. I pretty quickly noticed that a theme was emerging and that the theme was immortality.

I finally had the opportunity to see Torchwood: Miracle Day when it came on Encore. I'd been wanting to see it since it came out but I don't have or want Starz. The previous Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth was excellent if very, very disturbing. I had wanted to write about some of the symbolism of that series when it aired but after I watched the final episode, I was just too emotionally wrecked and I never wanted to look at the series again. Miracle Day is also very dark. The mythic symbolism is, once again, so veiled, you could easily miss it.

Human immortality is suddenly, inexplicably achieved and the world discovers that it's really very inconvenient. This is not a good version of immortality. It's not an ascension of any kind. It's just an inability to die no matter how sick, old, injured, or executed one might be. But underneath all the gruesome dreariness of that Torchwood sensibility, there are subtle points to some greater themes, which keep this from being pedestrian science fiction of the "wouldn't it be weird if" variety.

As Doctor Who fans know, Jack Harkness's immortality is an aberration -- a fluke that the Doctor finds disturbing and wrong and against the natural order. But there are subtle nods to a deeper mythos. In Children of Earth, for instance, Jack is killed, dismembered and buried in cement, only to be reassembled and resurrected. He has become Osiris. In Miracle Day we again see him playing out a resurrection mythology as he is effectively crucified -- hung by his arms, tormented by townspeople, and put to death, only to rise again... and again and again.

Sep 11, 2013

William Henry on 9/11

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




William Henry has been talking about the symbolism of the World Trade Center Memorial architecture for some time. Above, in the player, is a video blog he did in 2011 which lays the groundwork for his new interview with Mark Gray; also in the player. In it they discuss, among other things, the startling connection between the new architectural vision for Ground Zero and it's relationship Mecca. And, no, it has nothing to do with the radical Islamists who apparently leveled the original towers.

Meanwhile, coincidence?


James Ray: Felon

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.


James Ray Sports Guru-do Upon Release


James Arthur Ray will remain a convicted felon. Arizona's Court of Appeals has granted Ray's request of last week to drop his appeal. It appears that he weighed an attempt at clearing the conviction from his record against the very real possibility of being convicted again in any potential retrial and facing more than the paltry sentence he's already served. He's opted not to risk his recently gained freedom from incarceration.

In documents filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals Thursday, Ray, 55, signed an affidavit stating that he wishes to "avoid any possibility of a retrial and a resentencing."


Had he not dropped the appeal, oral arguments would have begun today. He would have also faced a cross-appeal from the State claiming, among other things, that the jury should have been informed of Ray's duty to act when participants were in distress.

Tom Kelly is unhappy with Ray's decision to let the matter drop.

His local attorney during the trial, Tom Kelly, said he was less than pleased with his former client's decision to abort the appeal. He said he met with Ray, who has remained in the Phoenix area pending the end of his parole, earlier this week.

"I was disappointed with his decision and I believe justice requires a resolution of the points raised on appeal," Kelly said.

But since it appears that Kelly's passion for "justice" does not include his continued representation of the harmonically destitute Ray, who cares.

Sep 10, 2013

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is the Axis Mundi?

The axis mundi is an existential place or point wherein creation and entropy, the essential generative and destructive forces of the universe, exist as one within the Great Mystery. The axis mundi is an important concept in many philosophies and religions and it has a unique relationship to shamanism. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores the axis mundi and why contemporary practitioners often stay on the surface of their practice because they avoid deep relationship with the axis mundi and it's energy. We can use ancient sexual practices to cultivate our relationship with the energy of the axis mundi which is essential to a strong and deep shamanic practice. The axis mundi is not just a mental concept for the shaman; it is both a practical tool and a spiritual awareness. It is the place through which the shaman travels when journeying in an altered and often ecstatic state. Ecstasy is not the purpose of the shaman's journey, however it is often a valuable by-product.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 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.

Sep 9, 2013

The Holy War Against Pop Culture Pagans

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



A trio of pretty, karate trained teens are battling demons around the world. Charmed? No. Worse. Brynne Larson, Tess Scherkenback, and Savannah Scherkenback are evangelical Christian exorcists who have been touring impoverished mining towns in Ukraine armed with nothing but crosses, holy water... and Larson's preacher father. Their efforts at saving these lost souls from the tortures of hell have received mixed reviews... from the director of their documentary.

[Charlet] Duboc said: ‘The way they come across on camera is just the way they were when we turned off the camera, they never stopped the vacant smiling,’ the British film-maker said.

They weren’t horrid, they weren’t unpleasant, they were just a bit creepy. It was a bit like talking to the Stepford Wives, I was like “where are the humans behind this?”’

The girls will be taking their glazed expressions and vapid smiles to the heart of the dragon, which is to say Potterworld, which is to say London. Someone has to protect unwitting entertainment seekers from demonic possession!

Sep 3, 2013

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How to Begin Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic Journeying is not an "out of body experience." When this particular alternate state is achieved the journeyer has "a foot in both worlds." The senses in the physical body and the dreaming body are fully engaged and drawing in the multi-dimensional communication from the invisible world. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores this common misunderstanding along with other misconceptions and expectations that inhibit beginning journeyers. Shamanic journeying is not a mental construct to be understood by the rational mind. Journeying is an embodied practice that requires surrender to the basic discipline. The discipline then frees the mind from ordinary thought allowing the senses, ordinary and extraordinary, to engage with the formless powers and heart felt meaning of the invisible world. The world of the shamanic journey is not here on the surface with the safe and familiar, but requires diving deeper into the realms of dreams, hearts, and the Unknown.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 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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