Blessed Imbolc

Nov 30, 2013

Cardinal Dolan on Losing the Culture Wars

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that Pope Francis had resigned and been replaced by yet another pope. How many retired popes, I wondered, could Vatican City accommodate? Would this become the new normal in the Catholic Church? And what about the Malachy prophecy? Because it looks very likely that Pope Francis is, in fact, Peter the Roman. Mostly, I was just really disappointed because I like this pope. He's not perfect but his heart is in the right place.

I was somewhat relieved to find this morning that Francis was still the pope and all was, more or less, right with the world. But then I was disheartened to hear that Cardinal Dolan was on Meet the Press spinning like a top. Because it's never about the regressive views of US bishops. It's about how they're being unfairly portrayed in media. Why oh why do they have so much trouble getting their message across?

They're not anti-gay says Cardinal Dolan. That's just how they've been "caricatured" by the media, simply because they're so pro "traditional marriage." But they've been "outmarketed," says Dolan.

"When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion molders that are behind it, it is a tough battle.”

What the round-faced, red-hatted one never seems to understand is that if you're for something to such an extent that you want to prevent everyone else from doing differently, you are by definition, "anti." And Cardinal Dolan is "anti-anybody" who wants to get gay married. But he seems somewhat resigned to the fact that the "stampede" of same sex marriage support is crushing formal Catholic opposition.

Nov 26, 2013

On Watching Piers Morgan Interview James Ray -- UPDATED

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

 photo JARonPiersMorgan1_zps82e6605c.jpg
Yes, Ladies! He's keeping the hair. Natch!

*See Update Below*

Well that was about insufferable.

Piers Morgan had an opportunity last night to hold James Ray's feet to the fire in a way that Arizona prosecutors could not. But it was Ray who was in control of that interview. Morgan could have had Ginny Brown on to offer a counterpoint, but Ray would not allow it. He would only deign to appear if he was the only guest. Why James Arthur Ray, convicted felon, is such a hot media property that he gets to set his terms is a mystery to me.

Morgan continued in the long CNN tradition of playing passive apologist for James Arthur Ray. This is, after all, the news organization that lost interest in covering the trial as it became increasingly apparent that Ray was going to be convicted. And that he's a horrible, horrible person.

For 45 minutes, Ray emoted for the camera about the totally unforeseeable events of October 8, 2009 and how painful it's been for himself and his family. Said Ray:

I think the most difficult thing I can ever imagine is investing your entire life in helping people, and then finding them getting hurt. It's just the antithesis of anything that I had ever stood for or wanted. [emphasis added] And so that anguish has continued every single day since that moment.

And much like when Lululemon announced that brutal murder was antithetical to their values, I gotta wonder why anyone would need to spell that out. Is Ray afraid we'll all think he asked his genie to bring him death and destruction? 


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Shaman in Love

One of the great stressors in life is intimate relationships, both the having them and the not having them. We can cultivate intimacy with ourselves through our relationship with spirit in shamanic practice, but how does that renewed intimacy translate into our relationships with lovers, friends and family? For many the changes brought on by a healthy shamanic practice created great chaos in our most intimate relationships, which can then challenge the sexual sustenance and financial stability of our lives creating even more stress. How do we love in a healthy way? How do we maintain right relationship with our self, with spirit, and with those we love all at the same time? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she dives into the rich, nourishing, often frustrating, frequently heartbreaking realm of relationship.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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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 21, 2013

Colbert's Alpha Dog of Yoga

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Stephen Colbert skewered Lululemon's Chip Wilson the other evening, naming him Alpha Dog of the Week. For more background on the yoga tycoon's misogynistic, fat-shaming, racist blather see here and here.

Nov 19, 2013

Da Vinci's Music

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Slawomir Zubrzyck performs on his viola organista.

Just when you thought you knew how brilliant da Vinci was, you find out he was even smarter. Painter, sacred geometer, scientist, flight engineer, aaaaaaannnd musician.

As if all his other accomplishments were not impressive enough, it should be noted that according to his early biographers, Leonardo da Vinci was also a “brilliant musician,” who was a talented player of the lira da braccio.

According to award-winning biographer and author, Charles Nicholl, Leonardo must “have excelled” since the biographers “the Anonimo” and Vasari insisted Leonardo:
”...went to Milan, probably in early 1482, [where] he was presented to the Milanese court not as a painter or technologist, but as a musician.”
The lira da braccio was not the lyre of ancient antiquity, but rather a forerunner to the violin. Leonardo excelled at playing this instrument, and was, according to Vasari:
”...the most skilled improviser in verse of his time.”


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Questing for a Dream Worth Living with Sparrow Hart

"For millennia, people have entered the wilderness to encounter the Spirit, to seek their direction, purpose, or medicine," explains our guest Sparrow Hart, author of Letters to the River-A Guide to a Dream Worth Living. "Each of us has a unique voice, a song we must sing, a vision we must enact. Each of us has the capacity to contribute joyfully, making the world a better place." Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt explores the vision quest with Sparrow, Founder of Circles of Air, Circles of Stone, creator of the Mythic Warrior Training, founder of the annual Men's Wisdom Council at the Rowe Conference Center, father, and author. He 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. In Letters to the River Sparrow places the struggles and crises we currently face - personal, political, moral, ecological and spiritual - within the context of a mythic and heroic journey and in that act, shows us a way to the New World.

This week's guest:
Sparrow Hart

Founder of Circles of Air, Circles of Stone, Sparrow Hart undertook his first wilderness rite of passage in 1971, a five-month solo pilgrimage in the Cascades and Canadian Rockies, and enacted his first vision quest in 1980. Sparrow has been leading 6-8 vision quests per year in Vermont and the American Southwest since 1987 and the completion of his training at the School of Lost Borders with Steven Foster and Meredith Little, authors of "The Book of the Vision Quest".

He is a father, writer, creator of the Mythic Warrior Training, founder of the annual Men's Wisdom Council at the Rowe Conference Center, and a frequent workshop leader around the country. His work is firmly in the tradition of "joining Earth and Sky;" bringing spiritual life out of the heavens and into the nitty-gritty issues we face daily, and affirming the sacredness of the emotional, imaginative, and sensual landscapes we travel on our individual soul journeys. He is the author of "Letters to the River: A Guide to a Dream Worth Living".

Hart's work comes out of his own experience. His personal journey includes a wide range of shamanic practices; apprenticeship with the Native American teacher, Sun Bear; dream exploration; the twelve steps; psychodrama, inner child work, and a long immersion in the Toltec and Castaneda tradition. He aspires to be a simple human being, a man on his journey, a person of the earth; and he's recognized as having a unique ability to make the ancient teachings of the connectedness of all life relevant to our modern and personal worlds.

Tuesday, November 19, 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.

Nov 16, 2013

Lululemon's Law of Attraction Fail

What has Lululemon done to law of attract its shrinking stock price?! Numerous ham-fisted efforts to shrink women down to nothing perhaps?

The yoga-wear retailer is both alienating current customers and "making it tough" to get new ones, an analyst at Sterne Agee, Sam Poser, wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. Poser downgraded the company's stock and sent Lululemon shares downhill 4 percent to $66.24 on Thursday afternoon.

"We believe that the core Lululemon customer has been alienated and will begin to look for yoga and active-wear pants from the likes of Nike, Under Armour, Athleta and numerous other brands," Poser wrote.

Lululemon did not respond to a request for comment.

Poser singled out the "mouth of the chairman," pointing to the recent controversy surrounding Lululemon chairman and co-founder Chip Wilson. In an interview on Bloomberg TV last week, Wilson attempted to address recent reports of issues with the company's yoga pants, which customers said were too sheer and easily pilled.

Wilson blamed the pants' problems on women's bodies, sparking outrage from consumers.

Yes ladies. Even women thin enough to fit Lululemon's yoga pants might be too fat to not rip them apart.

Nov 13, 2013

Who and What is Teal Scott?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Because Teal Scott speaks for God!

Comment Overflow: I can see that a number of people are having trouble finding the newest comments for this post. It's not very well marked. So if you are wondering why you can't find where a comment you've just posted has gone, it's now on Page 3. Comments 201-400 can be found on Page 2. Comments 400+ can found on Page 4.

Several weeks ago I followed a link to the blog of one Teal Scott, self-described Spiritual Catalyst. I was pulled in for a bit. At first blush it struck me as the very open, honest disclosures of a psychic sensitive in a lot of pain. I can certainly relate to the challenges of being a super-sensitive in a jagged world. Teal was writing about her latest man trouble, about repeating abusive patterns in relationships. Yea verily, sister!

But as I clicked through a few more pages and tried to trace the narrative, things became increasingly convoluted. And was she really disclosing this man's identity? Wait, was he disclosing his identity on her blog? This man she was describing as a psychopath? That seemed most peculiar. And what was she really saying about the workings of spirit? It was something of a jumble, which would be fine, if she weren't relaying it all with such authority and certainty.

My bullshit meter was blinking red. I closed the tab and forgot all about Teal Scott.

A Facebook friend put her back on my radar when he posted one of her video lectures the other day. This led to a very frank discussion about spirituality, sexuality, sexism, and whether or not Teal Scott is a total fraud.

Nov 12, 2013

Massive Heart Integration

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message.

Breathe into your Heart

I don't usually do things like this but the system is blinking red. Over the past couple of days this has come up in multiple readings as well as in my own process. There is some sort of mass integration underway. I don't know any other details. It's not anything I've read anywhere. I just keep seeing it. It's playing out in different ways for different people, as naturally it would, but it's in every case some version of a massive influx of new energy, soul parts, previously inaccessible components of our SELVES, that can be and need to be integrated now in a new way. Grounding this energy is important but it's not enough. The important thing is to breathe into the heart center whenever we have a few free moments to focus on it.

There are also feelings of emotional and psychic overwhelm for a lot of us. Taking a few moments to breathe into the heart as well as grounding into the earth is tremendously helpful in navigating this new dynamic.

Blessings to you all.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How do we ReDream our Life?

How do we redream our life when a spouse dies, a beloved sibling, or perhaps a child? How do we redream a life of love and relationship after a nasty, divisive, inequitable divorce? How do we redream life after time at war destroys our sense of the core goodness of humanity? Where do we begin when all that matters in life is tattered and in a shambles all around our feet? We accept that the Void is present and welcome The Original Dreamer into our life. And then we learn again to dream, just as we did as a child; we learn to dream reality into form. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores how we recover dreaming as a conscious act when the dream we have dreamt from childhood goes terribly awry. Join us and discover the art of dreaming well.

Tuesday, November 12, 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.

Nov 10, 2013

Once Upon a Time There Was a Voiceless Mermaid

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I've told many people through the years that there are two ways to read Women Who Run With the Wolves. The first is bibliomancy, which is to simply let the book fall open to a random page and begin there. The other is to read it in order from the beginning, but to do so on no particular timetable and to take it up only when the spirit moves. To do otherwise is to find the book impenetrable -- nigh well unreadable. This is something many women have told me about their attempts to read it. But trust me, I would say, read it only when you feel it calling to you from the shelf and what had been a thick tangle of far too many words will be magically transformed into the most lucid, meaningful prose you've ever indulged. Read past the point in the book you were meant to read on any particular occasion and it will once again look like something written in a foreign language.

I read the book from front to back. It took me well over a year. But each time I picked it up it was a flawless reflection of that moment in time. Not only was the text the perfect insight into an experience I'd just had or some realization that had only just begun to dawn, it came accompanied by sometimes comical Jungian synchronicities. Like the time a boisterous, eccentric old woman in a restaurant bumped into my table and sent my chicken dinner clattering to the floor just as I was reading about Baba Yaga and her house on its crazy chicken legs. Some were far less humorous. One evening I felt moved to open the book again after I returned from the emergency ward. I had very nearly lost the tip of my finger to a confrontation with a trailer hitch. With my unbandaged hand, I removed the bookmark and found myself staring in disbelief at a story called "The Handless Maiden." A few short months later I was pregnant with my daughter. The day after she was born, the World Trade Center fell down and the realization that her father would almost certainly be heading off to war was inescapable. To anyone who's read that portion of the book, the parallels would be hard to miss.

As I enjoy my new favorite show Once Upon a Time, I find myself once again seeing the line between dreams and reality becoming blurred. After taking in a number of episodes from the first season, it occurred to me that I should grab the book I sometimes refer to as "the oracle" from the shelf and more deeply consider some of the rich themes that emerge between the lines of the show's deceptively pedestrian dialog. Book in hand I sat down to watch the next episode which turned out to be "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." In it one of the residents of Storybrooke has some very strange encounters with a wolf. It causes him to begin awakening in the dream as the viewer learns that the wolf had been his constant companion during his life as the Woodsman in the Enchanted Forest. I ran my hand across the gold embossed wolf on the cover of my book and just shook my head at the wonder of it all.

Nov 5, 2013


Around the Web, Around the World

"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Why Are We Afraid to Live Well? Part Two

We must first change what we want if we are to release our fears of living well. We must decide that we want the path of our soul or our destiny more than we want to fulfill the roles that define who we are and who we should be. The good wife, good provider, perfect child, excellent lover, good girl, bad boy-whatever the role is, it's and roles which means it is something we have learned to do to survive. Fear-based survival roles are never big enough or wholehearted enough for real life. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she continues to explore a shamanic approach to learning to listen to your soul in ways essential to cultivating fearlessness and passion for a life lived well. Just because your culture has failed you doesn't mean you need to continue to fail yourself.

Tuesday, November 5, 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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