Monday, 30 June 2014

tree and well


"Nordic mythology presents the same eternal image in the story of the poet-shaman Odin (or Woden), who must hang on the cosmic tree for nine days and nine nights to receive a sublime revelation. He ascends the Tree to surrender to the streaming of cosmic currents through its leaves and branches. Through this ordeal he acquires the runes, a secret alphabet composed of divinatory symbols. The runes represent the generative formulas of all possible languages, the bases of all verbal and written expressions in which human knowledge can be captured and transmitted. By his ordeal the "tree-hung" shaman acquires the magical power of language, but still needs access to the transcendent wisdom that will use language for its instrument. 

For this second endowment, Odin must descend into the underworld, to the root of the Tree, and drink from the miraculous Well of Mimir. The name Mimir is related to the Latin memor, hence Mimir’s Well has been called the “well of remembrance”. Ralph Metzner explains:
It was said that to drink from this well would give one knowledge of the beginnings and origins of things — of humans, of life, of the worlds... In German translations, the term used to describe Mimir’s well is marchenreich, “filled with stories” — a clue that to drink from the well was an experience that involved both visioning and storytelling. Stories tell us about our past, and visions tell us about our future. To drink from Mimir’s well, then, is to enter into a state of consciousness of recollection, where we can remember our evolutionary origins, our relatedness to the realms of animals and plants, and our primordial nature as children of Earth...

. . Nordic myth says that when Odin came to the Well of Mimir, he was confronted with a test by its guardian. The giant demanded an act of surrender before allowing Odin to drink at the Well. To gain illumination by mystic memory, Odin must surrender one of his eyes. Hence this shaman became known as the One-Eyed Seer. 

The myth teaches that we must surrender our one-sided way of seeing and understanding, the preclusive rational mentation of the left brain, in order to realize the poetic-visionary faculties of the other eye, the right brain awareness. Curiously, the left-brained mentality, when surrendered, does not go away. According to the Icelandic Eddas, “when the giant Mimir, or other gods of knowledge-seeking shamans, drank from the well, they would see Odin’s eye looking back at them.”  Sunk to the bottom of the well, the sacrificed eye (the rational faculty, Odin's left eye) keeps seeing. 
At this point it would appear that the higher teaching of the myth proposes an arresting thought: if we peer deeply enough into the well of ancestral wisdom, the rational, left-brain thinking with which we are so identified and in which we invest the sole validity for knowing how the world works, will be there peering back at us. Here the myth conveys a key survival lesson:rationality is not precluded from the deep-level transrational knowing of ancient seership, even though the rational limits of cognition must be surpassed for that deeper knowing to become experiential. This paradox was uniquely understood in the tradition of the Gnostics, pagan spiritual teachers who asserted the basic complementarity of rational and visionary knowledge.

John Lamb Lash

lunar apogee

The distance between the moon and the earth varies over an approximately monthly cycle.
This evening at 17.11 BST the moon was at apogee, it's farthest point from the Earth.  In the process, the barycentre which is the centre of shared mass of the Earth and the moon, moves up and down within the Earth itself, an interesting phenomena.  It's interesting to follow these movements and see how they correspond to our experiences and feelings.
The data are here:

p.s. Later in the evening I went fro a walk around the village and saw the sunset crescent of the moon and a deer who stopped to look at me before running off into the fields.

magnesium and raw chocolate

cacao pod
In the last few days, I have wanted to make a concerted effort to lighten up my diet after a period of excessive travel and time in cities, which I tend to react to by eating heavier and even numbing foods. I have wanted to eat primarily fruit and blended foods for a while so what to do about chocolate?  I have been happy over the last few years that i can be sure I am getting enough magnesium, a crucial and very often deficient mineral, especially for women, because I eat raw cacao.  Then I thought through the inverse of this that I have been relying on raw chocolate for my magnesium and I wondered if chocolate cravings would go if I supplemented with magnesium directly.   I suspect a lot of women crave chocolate for its magnesium content amongst other things. 

Fortunately we have a great magnesium supplement in the form of 'magnesium oil'  Magnesium “oil” is is not actually an oil but  a highly saturated solution of magnesium chloride in water along with other trace elements. It has an oil like texture and is easily absorbed into the skin.  It can either be sprayed onto the skin or sprayed into water and drunk to supplement with it.  Anyway it has worked in the way I intended and while I have enjoyed the occasional chocolate smoothie I feel much more satisfied nutritionally without reliance on one particular food.  Raw cacao is  a great food in my opinion especially if mixed with other herbs and medicinal foods but it's wise to avoid overeating as with any food. It's worth checking out what magnesium is good for and how many conditions  are related to magnesium deficiency  You may be as surprised as I have been.  And by the way thanks to Jasmine Barratt for reminding me how crucial magnesium is and also how widespread deficiency is.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

figs in somerset

It seems many people don't know how well fig trees can grow in southern England.  The key is to get a variety that thrives in your area.  I just bought this young tree at nearby Wells Market - the grower took a cutting from a fig tree in her own garden which is producing abundant fruit, the cutting was only taken last year and already it has got this far!  In order to produce plenty of fruit the roots of fig trees need to be contained.  This can be in a pot or if grown in the ground with bricks or stones surrounding the roots.  

I love the energy of fig trees, there seems to be a special affinity between them and humans. Figs have many great nutritional properties, mineralising, alkalising, cleansing and neurotransmitter boosting. Apparently in the wild, figs are the fruit of choice for most primates, they will seek them out over other fruit, and of course they have significance in various sacred texts.

swans on the river Brue

swans on river Brue

views of our village

on a sunny summer evening

Church Lane

The Fish House


The Mendip Hills

an unholy row

I love our village.  Every time I go for a stroll I come across something I have never seen before, its quite surreal.  It's so peaceful yet so much going on behind the scenes, also so much history, so much beauty and so many nice places to walk.  Walking is my favourite exercise and really lifts my mood (apparently it's partly to do with the spirally motion in the human body when we walk) Anyway the other evening whilst out and about between stints of computer based work I was astounded to come across this hilarious historical account on a poster board opposite the church...reminiscent of a Blackadder episode...

electricity of touch

traits of an empath

30 traits of an Empath
The Mind Unleashed

1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath
Empaths are having a particularly difficult time at the present time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emantated into the world from the populace.
TRAITS OF AN EMPATH by Christel Broederlow
Empaths are often quiet achievers. They can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes. They are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times quite frankly. They may have few problems talking about their feelings if another cares to listen (regardless of how much they listen to others).
However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. They may even appear ignorant. Some are very good at “blocking out” others and that’s not always a bad thing, at least for the learning empath struggling with a barrage of emotions from others, as well as their own feelings.
Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.
Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place. Talking things out is a major factor in releasing emotions in the learning empath. Empaths can develop an even stronger degree of understanding so that they can find peace in most situations. The downside is that empaths may bottle up emotions and build barriers sky-high so as to not let others know of their innermost thoughts and/or feelings. This withholding of emotional expression can be a direct result of a traumatic experience, an expressionless upbringing, or simply being told as a child, “Children are meant to be seen and not heard!”
Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. The thoughts and/or emotions can eventually becoming explosive, if not crippling. The need to express oneself honestly is a form of healing and a choice open to all. To not do so can result in a breakdown of the person and result in mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.
Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and may have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another’s ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.
You will find empaths working with people, animals or nature with a true passion and dedication to help them. They are often tireless teachers and/or caretakers for our environment and all within it. Many volunteers are empathic and give up personal time to help others without pay and/or recognition.
Empaths may be excellent storytellers due to an endless imagination, inquisitive minds and ever-expanding knowledge. They can be old romantics at heart and very gentle. They may also be the “keepers” of ancestral knowledge and family history. If not the obvious family historians, they may be the ones who listen to the stories passed down and possess the majority of the family history. Not surprisingly, they may have started or possess a family tree.
They have a broad interest in music to suit their many expressive temperaments, and others can query how empaths can listen to one style of music, and within minutes, change to something entirely different. Lyrics within a song can have adverse, powerful effects on empaths, especially if it is relevant to a recent experience. In these moments, it is advisable for empaths to listen to music without lyrics, to avoid playing havoc with their emotions!
They are just as expressive with body language as with words, thoughts, and feelings. Their creativity is often expressed through dance, acting, and bodily movements. Empaths can project an incredible amount of energy portraying and/or releasing emotion. Empaths can become lost in the music, to the point of being in a trance-like state; they become one with the music through the expression of their physical bodies. They describe this feeling as a time when all else around them is almost non-existent.
People of all walks of life and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of one being empathic, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!
Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!
Here are the listeners of life. They can be outgoing, bubbly, enthusiastic and a joy to be in the presence of, as well as highly humorous at the most unusual moments! On the flip side, empaths can be weighted with mood swings that will have others around them want to jump overboard and abandon ship! The thoughts and feelings empaths receive from any and all in their life can be so overwhelming (if not understood) that their moods can fluctuate with lightning speed. One moment they may be delightfully happy and with a flick of the switch, miserable.
Abandoning an empath in the throes of alternating moods can create detrimental effects. A simple return of empathic love–listening and caring compassionately without bias, judgment and/or condemnation–can go an incredibly long way to an empath’s instant recovery. Many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them. They literally have no idea that another person’s emotions are now felt, as one’s own and reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed, alone, etc. The need to understand the possibilities of empath connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around them.
Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind. This can certainly prove beneficial for others in their relationships, in the workplace, or on the home front. Where there is a will, there is a way and the empath will find it. The empath can literally (likely without the knowledge of what’s actually occurring) tap into Universal Knowledge and be receptive to guidance in solving anything they put their head and hearts into.
Empaths often are vivid and/or lucid dreamers. They can dream in detail and are inquisitive of dream content. Often they feel as though the dreams are linked to their physical life somehow, and not just a mumble of nonsensical, irrelevant, meaningless images. This curiosity will lead many empathic dreamers to unravel some of the “mysterious” dream contents from an early age and connect the interpretation to its relevance in their physical life. If not, they may be led to dream interpretations through other means.
Empaths are daydreamers with difficulty keeping focused on the mundane. If life isn’t stimulating, off an empath will go into a detached state of mind. They will go somewhere, anywhere, in a thought that appears detached from the physical reality, yet is alive and active for they really are off and away. If a tutor is lecturing with little to no emotional input, empaths will not be receptive to such teaching and can (unintentionally) drift into a state of daydreaming.
Give the empath student the tutor who speaks with stimuli and emotion (through actual experience of any given subject) and the empath is receptively alert. Empaths are a captivated audience. This same principle applies in acting. An actor will either captivate the audience through expressing (in all aspects) emotions (as though they really did experience the role they are portraying) or will loose them entirely. Empaths make outstanding actors.
Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. What may initially start as, “Oh, what a coincidence”, will lead to the understanding of synchronicities as an aspect of who they are. These synchronicities will become a welcomed and continually expanding occurrence. As an understanding of self grows, the synchronicities become more fluent and free flowing. The synchronicities can promote a feeling of euphoria as empaths identify with them and appreciate the connection to their empathic nature.
Empaths are most likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. NDE’s (Near death experiences) and or OBE’s (Out of body experiences) can catapult an unaware empath into the awakening period and provide the momentum for a journey of discovery. Those who get caught up in life, in society’s often dictating ways, in work etc., can become lost in a mechanical way of living that provides very little meaning. All “signs of guidance” are ignored to shift out of this state of “doing”. A path to being whole again becomes evident and a search for more meaning in one’s life begins.
These types of experiences appear dramatic, can be life-altering indeed, and are most assuredly just as intensely memorable in years to come. They are the voice of guidance encouraging us to pursue our journey in awareness. Sometimes, some of us require that extra assistance!
For some empaths, the lack of outside understanding towards paranormal events they experience, may lead to suppressing such abilities. (Most of these abilities are very natural and not a coincidence.) Empaths may unknowingly adopt the positive or negative attitude of others as their own. (This, however, can be overcome.) Empaths may need to follow interests in the paranormal and the unexplained with curiosity so as to explain and accept their life circumstances.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

raw food and culture

My talk at this year's UK Rawfest:

So, we're reclaiming our bodies from unnatural foods. But what about our minds? Are we still feeling trapped by cultural dogmas, disempowered and confused by dietary rules. Have you ever heard some new expert nutritional revelation and realised that you knew that intuitively all along? What story are we living by? Is it empowering us and connecting us to the source?

In our 'normal' left hemisphere dominated condition as humans we need nutritional facts to set us on our way. Using the best of this knowledge to nourish our entire neural system with the undamaged fats, amino acids and other compounds in foods that have not been heated above biological temperature we can heighten our levels of perception, intuition, empathy, creativity etc. What are the crucial dietary elements we need and what techniques can we employ to support and hasten this process? What are the implications for our culture? Can we transcend fear based/limiting cultural conditioning and create a living culture based on connection with the life force, nature and the Earth and genuine empathic connection with each other and live the lives of our dreams?

the bond of the heart

from the Biology of Transcendence by Joseph Chiltern Pearce

"Our problem as an encultured people lies in the combination of our lack of individuality and our isolation from our heart.  Seekers of various goals gather in groups, thinking that through sheer number they will force the gates of wisdom, spirit, community.  But group mind can't  give community, no matter the numbers, and can only replicate its boundaried conditions.  Community arses in any situation for that individual who has broken from group ind into the bond of the heart"

heartmath freeze frame

The Five Steps of "Freeze-Frame"
1. Recognize the stressful feeling and freeze-frame it. Take a time out.
2. Make a sincere effort to shift your focus away from the racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you're breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. Keep your focus there for 10 seconds or more.
3. Recall a positive, fun feeling or time you've had in life and attempt to re-experience it.
4. Using your intuition, common sense and sincerity, ask your heart, "What would be a more efficient response to the situation, one that will minimize future stress?"
5. Listen to what your heart says in answer to your question. It's an effective way to put your reactive mind and emotions in check and an in-house source of common-sense solutions.
-- from HeartMath, "From Chaos to Coherence"

hindbrain before forebrain

From the Biology of Transcendence by Joseph Chiltern Pearce:

'Our response has always been "Once I take care of these basic needs, I will attend the higher" which action creates needs unending and a shift into the hindbrain.  So we miss the best of both worlds,,.Our new mode of being has been give in our new neural structures...'


'Stories are the fire we carry to each have hope and continue the quest, but also to maintain humanity."  Bobette Buster, Do Story

the goddess frowns...and smiles again...

Torrential rain, thunder and lightning in the area over the last couple of days (I live nearby) replaced the beautiful sunshine and vibrant heat prior to this debatable event.....

Glastonbury Festival 2014

I litter picked after the festival in 2011, a sea of nylon tents and equipment is left behind by festival goers, along with various white powders and miscellaneous messes.  The many cans dropped are trodden into the ground and need to be dug our afterwards with tent pegs.  I really enjoyed working hard at this job after the festival in glorious sun, on the earth with the vigorous exercise of this task, and probably a lot more than I would have enjoyed the festival!  It was so satisfying relieving the land of all this debris (every last bit must be removed before the cattle can be safely returned to Worthy Farm) and I was very proud to be one of the last litter pickers kept on for the month.  The Goddess smiled...

lost civilisations and the war on consciousness

Graham Hancock speaks out.

on the ‘wild’, human imagination and tribal peoples

My sentiments too...humans are part of the natural life of the Earth

"How the western concept of the wild and conservation policies have affected tribal peoples, by Joanna Eede

The grasslands of America’s Great Plains stretch for miles across the sagebrush steppe of South Dakota as far as the Black Hills. It was here, in 1980, that acres of spruce trees and creek-carved canyons were declared a ‘wilderness’ reserve by the U.S. government.
To the indigenous North American Indians, however, the area was not wild; nor was it a ‘wilderness’. ‘We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth as ’wild’,’ said Luther Standing Bear of the Oglala Lakota Sioux people. ‘To us it was tame. Only to the white man was nature a wilderness.’ In a few words, Luther Standing Bear had articulated two very different approaches to the natural world.

Hupa fisherman, US. 
© Edward Curtis

The concept of ‘wilderness’ has long existed, in Western culture, as a place of pristine natural beauty — unpolluted by human life: an Eden sanctuary, an antidote to urban living. During the 19th century such ideas were reflected in art of the time. ‘In wilderness is the preservation of the world,’ wrote Henry Thoreau. For naturalist John Muir, communion with nature served to wash his spirit ‘clean’, while the photographer Ansel Adams’ photographs of Yosemite national park famously contained no sign of human life.

In attributing other-worldly qualities to nature, however, and in seeing them as sacred spaces where God lives but man must not, ideas developed which were arguably at the root of conservation policies. ‘For decades, the idea of ’wilderness’ has been a fundamental tenet of the environmental movement,’ wrote the historian William Cronon. Such policies adversely affected the indigenous tribal peoples for whom such ‘wild’ places were merely ‘home’.
It was in Yosemite that the world’s first national park, which had been cared for by the Ahwahneechee people for generations, was established. Yellowstone National Park was subsequently created in 1872, when the government evicted the Indian tribes who are thought to have lived there for more than 11,000 years.
Yosemite Valley, US.
© Chensiyuan/CC BY-SA

Today there are an estimated 120,000 protected areas worldwide, covering nearly 15% of the world’s land surface. Conservation is undoubtedly vital when the biological diversity of the planet is so threatened. But the sorry backdrop to these statistics — the story that is overlooked in the desire to preserve the ‘wild’ — is one of intense human suffering. For in the creation of reserves, millions of people — most of them tribal — have been evicted from their homes.

In India, hundreds of thousands of people have already been displaced from parks in the name of conservation, while in Africa mass evictions from protected areas have taken place, including the Batwa ‘pygmies’, who were forcibly moved from Uganda’s Bwindi Forest in order to protect the mountain gorillas and the Waliangulu people of Kenya, who once lived in the Tsavo Park area. ‘This variant of land theft is rapidly emerging as one of the biggest problems confronting indigenous peoples today,’ says Stephen Corry of Survival International.

Kenyan plains, home of the Maasai.© Mariëlle van Uitert/Survival
For tribal peoples, it matters little whether the theft of their homelands has been for conservation or commercial reasons. Dispossessing indigenous owners for conservation may appear more benign, but for tribal peoples the consequences are similarly catastrophic. Once separated from their lands, tribal peoples begin to lose the traditions, skills and knowledge that together weave the tapestry of identity; thus follows a profound decrease in mental and physical health.

Lands are equally ‘divorced’ from the indigenous owners. 80% of the world’s biologically rich areas are the territories of tribal communities who, for millennia, have found ingenious ways of catering for their needs and maintaining the ecological balance of their surroundings. Such sustainable principles are evident in the health of the Amazon: much of the rainforest that lies outside tribal reserves has been denuded, whereas within indigenous areas it largely remains intact. Similarly, the only remaining rainforest on the Andaman Islands is found within the Jarawa peoples’ reserve. It is often precisely because ‘wild’ places have been looked after by their indigenous guardians that they have been chosen by conservationists as reserves.

Two Jarawa relax by the coast of the Andaman Islands. 
© Salomé/Survival
Thinking has undoubtedly moved on since the days of Yosemite and attitudes have changed even since 1964, when the US Wilderness Act stated that, ‘a wilderness is hereby recognized as an area where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.’ The adoption of the U.N.‘s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples inac 2007 stated that tribal peoples need to give their ’free, prior and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands.’ Dr. Jo Woodman of Survival believes that, ‘a new vision of conservation exists in which tribal peoples are recognized as the rightful protectors of the land.’ Only recently, the Indian government scrapped its policy of expelling tribal people from wildlife-rich areas in order to convert them into national parks.

But there is still a long way to go. Tribal peoples continue to be left out of discussions concerning the protection of their homelands, despite the fact that so often it has been they who, in the words of Davi Kopenawa, ‘preserve the flood plains, the hunt, the fish and the fruits.’ Corry thinks that the conservation of biodiversity should only be promoted with the consent of the indigenous. ‘Protecting ecosystems does not mean protecting them from the people who have always been their guardians,’ he says. ‘Conservation rights shouldn’t trump tribal rights.’

There may also be room for a broader cultural objective; one which lies in reshaping the popular idea of ‘wilderness’ in western thinking, by acknowledging the ancient interrelationship of man and the natural world. For destructive attitudes are born partly of dualistic ideas; in emphasizing the separateness of man and nature. ‘Any way of looking at nature that encourages us to believe we are separate from it is likely to reinforce irresponsible behaviour,’ says William Cronon. The world’s tribal peoples still intuitively grasp this symbiotic relationship better than most; in the words of Davi Kopenawa, ‘The environment is not separate from ourselves; we are inside it and it is inside us.’ "

Yanomami hunter darts quietly through the Amazon.

personal time management

with Brian Tracy


1. core goals - personal, business and self-development
2. plans of action
3. work from a list, make the night before
4. priorities
Prioritisation: What impact will accomplishment of this task have on my future?  Futurity of decisions is the key to measuring their value.
5. concentration and the ABC method
6. deadlines, motivation with consequences, with lots of room to spare but also a forcing system
7. time log, the carefully you allocate your time the more successful you will be
(Success has been defined as the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.)
8. procrastination - positive and negative, overcoming the tendency to do urgent tasks rather than important tasks, develop a sense of urgency, break the task up into manageabe pieces
9. delegate
10. meetings - use time well, start on time and finish on time, if someone not there at beginning assume they are not coming
11. interruptions ( most people have no goals and do not value their own time or yours...)
12. key result areas - what am I here to accomplish?
13. batch tasks - more effective and enjoyable, taking advantage of the learning curve
14. neatness - a clear workspace increases productivity by 20 - 40%
15. getting chunks of time and study 1 - 2 hour a day, use 'transition time'
16. telephone - get on and off fast, "what can I do for you?"
17. punctuality
18. paying close attention
19. efficiency - work simplification, work faster, more important tasks, things better at, fewer mistakes, team work
20. the magic of saying 'no'
21. balance - what is the purpose of time management? ...don't lose sight of it... to improve the quality of your life: health, peace of mind, relationships.

Friday, 27 June 2014

wave from the north

ALDA: Ancient Icelandic word in the Kalevala: wave, tremor, pulsation. The Lady of the Labyrinth explains:

YMIR, the "frost giant" nurtured on the streams of milk (Organic Light)  from the Great Cow Goddess = the Anthropos, "dismembered" -- that is, individuated into ethnic groups, tribes, language-defined peoples who combine in an "orchestral" expression of true humanity. 

"Frost" is a runic code-word for the snowflake-like patterning of the mycelium template of the Anthropic plasm. Picture it, in brilliant white. The edges of the snowflake patterning radiate rainbow hues of purple and amber but the mass of the template is bone white.

John Lamb Lash

compassion and desire

I love this piece from What I see is that when we are genuinely reconnected with our feeling senses we feel what others feel, we experiece empathy, and then we naturally wish for them to feel good, rather than needing a conceptual moral framework to adhere to. That does not mean of course it's always possible for us to enable others to feel good but we will naturally tend to behave in a way that is helpful rather than unhelpful - from our own desire.

"Miranda Shaw says that Vajrayogini liberates the mind from self-referentiality. I prefer the more emotively toned term self-involvement. This is the primary fixation of narcissism, the terminal psychic disease that goes pandemic at the end of Kali Yuga. Self-involvement is exclusive and excessive preoccupation with what affects a person, with little or no regard for what affects others. Meaning, no regard for how the self-involved person affects others, or even how the other person is affected by anything at all. Many behaviors blatantly demonstrate this type of callous self-involvement. Normally, we call such behavior selfish, self-centered.

For instance, a supposed friend shows no concern for the death of your cat. Trivial example, which could be multiplied into the thousands. Then there are non-trivial examples: someone you know and love shows no concern for your highest aspiration, what you seek to achieve in life, or what you have achieved. The self-involved person is never impressed. Such people are only interested in how you affect them. Self-involvement is the basis of using and abusing, controlling and manipulating others so that they only affect us as we would wish them to. It is a crass and sickening behavior, desolating to witness.

I like the term self-involvement because it indicates that a selfish person is involved or enmeshed in something that prevents them from other kinds of involvement, reaching toward the world and other beings, or toward nature, Gaia. In a healthy state of affairs, human beings get involved with each other. They may handle it badly and make mistakes, or get over-involved, but the basic willingness to reach out and be involved is sane and rewarding to both sides. Love is involvement with the life of another. Over-involvement is called codependency, and this is also rampant in our time. But over-involved codependency always stems from an initial self-involvement that is not seen or admitted. People are codependent, appearing to base their reality on others, because they selfishly think that this tactic will pay off, it will serve their self-involvement and egocentric neediness in one way or another. The codependent gives away self in order to extort something for self—a rotten bargain for all concerned. So the two behaviors are intricately related, and routinely enforce each other.

Some individuals can resist codependency: their self-involvement is so deep and intricate that they can't engage enough with another person to develop or express codependent attitudes. Extreme self-involvement produces behavior that isolates the self-involved person and desolates others who care to reach that person. Isolation is the greatest social and emotional plague of our time. It is a blatant symptom of the global virus of narcissism, which I define as excessive self-concern based on the lack of a genuine sense of self. Without a genuine sense of self, you cannot relate honestly and openly to others and you sink into a black hole of self-concern. Such is the gruesome paradox of narcissism.

So how does Vajrayogini come into all this? I would guess that she is the devata who intervenes most deeply in the territory of self-involvement. Mirroring BY the other and TO the other and the realization of voidness are "co-emergent" in the enlightened state. Blissful Freedom involves recognition of the Other. Direct realization of shunyata,Void, comes in the awareness that no single thing or being stands alone. You and I exist only in relation, involved with and reflected to each other. I relate, therefore I am. When I care and relate, I realize my own existence and simultaneously surpass it.

When I reach out to another, I do not merely connect with another part of me, myself, and I, theoretically over there— although what I encounter IN the other is a real transposed mirroring of me. Because something exists that really is other, union can happen. Even fusion. In the liberating voidness of enlightened awareness, you only exist in the immanent flux of relationship. Voidness is not emptiness, but absolute contingency, total interdependence. It is impossible to mirror anything if you are overly self-involved. Self-involvement is mental and emotional obtusity, desolated and desolating.
To be mirrored in the gaze of another, you must realize they are other. One and other come into union, but they are not a unit, not the single same thing. That is the wonder of union: it is the uniting, mirroring, or fusion of two distinct things or beings. Vajrayogini teaches mirroring, the attribute of Buddhic awareness calledAkshobyha, and shows the way out of self-involvement. This pointing is central to the sacred instruction of this devata."

John Lamb Lash

"The Measure of Compassion

How she does it is really fascinating, I find. She uses pleasure and passion to break the self out of its self-involvement. Passion, even grand passion, is the most effective tool in her kit. A grand passion will break someone free of self-involvement, when nothing else will. The nature of passion is to surge and expand, to reach out endlessly. This is also the tonality or dynamic signature of the CRAB. This small, amorphous constellation has the look and feel of a spiral nebula that expands before your eyes.

The unity of desire and compassion is Vajrayogini's leading instruction. The desire to please another person, for instance, is a force sure to undo self-involvement.

"Desire is the measure of all compassion," is one of the five principles of Kala Tantra. This is dakini syntax, an exact and rigorous teaching.

This teaching means that the way you express and live out your desire shows how your compassion really works. Compassion is the ability to feel how another is affected, either by what you do, or by anything at all. Feeling what the other feels is not feeling for them (there's codependency) but with them: com- means "with"; or even better, through them. You can hurt someone and still feel compassion for them as long as you recognize what they feel in being hurt. Compassion is not a state where you are beyond hurting or harming anyone, either intentionally or otherwise. It is the attitude of total responsibility toward how you affect others. But it is not responsibility for what others do with that affect. How they receive or manage it. That is their responsibility.

Compassion in Kalika terms is not an altruistic or transpersonal approach to life: it is desideristic, desire-based. The obvious objection to the pleasure-based or hedonistic ethos of Kala Tantra is this: if you just do what you desire, and what pleases you alone, you will selfishly ignore others and how you affect them. But the Kalika teaching is, you can do no good for others, no matter what you think you're doing for them, unless your compassion comes straight out of your desire."

John Lamb Lash

Thursday, 26 June 2014

do story

"...with the internet boom of the 1990's there followed in 2003  the viral explosion of social media.  With it a new deceiving conceit arose: that anything worth knowing is available at our fingertips.  This immediacy has, curiously, made people less curious about discovering the world, at least in any depth...What this means is that today's children may know the facts but not the context in which they happen.  As they are no longer being shaped by a storytelling world, they seem to lack the will to dig deeper, preferring to surf in the immediate."  Bobette Buster, Do Story

Monday, 23 June 2014

the monuments of culture

"One definition of a prophet is a person who threatens culture's power structure by holding up a mirror to its folly and showing where such folly leads...culture kills such a prophet, and, having killed the prophet to be rid of his threat, that culture then builds a "monument over the prophet's grave"

The Biology of Transcendence by Joseph Chiltern Pearce 

breathing the divine air

from The Biology of Transcendence by Joseph Chiltern Pearce p180
"In the years following this I had many experiences resonant with that major one, and these grew in depth and frequency.  But some part of me seemed to have been cut off and lost and I have never again known anything equal to the enormity of that greatest fusion when I was forty.  Later I was to read the remarks of Bernadette Roberts about "breathing the divine air" for weeks and the shock on having to come back into the ordinary world; she spoke unabashedly of finding this earth a living hell by contrast"

I can feel what she is getting at but also that its not the earth itself that is hell but the customary state of mind of the humans abiding on it that can make it that way compared with the paradise that is experienced by a different but suppressed part of us.  Also the phenomenon she describes supports the view that it would be wise to turn our attention to ways to sustain connection to cosmic consciousness and so  avoid this kind of trauma so often experienced by those who spontaneously or deliberately have these experiences.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

elder by the brue

The glorious abundance of elders in the summer sunshine along the River Brue near our home in Somerset.

We are using the elder flowers in our recent 'brew' of jun, soon to be released, our favourite flavour so far.  I am very excited to be planning  an elderflower collecting mission tomorrow for the next batch.  My father used to brew his own special elderflower and elderberry wines and beers which were noticeably if mildly psychoactive as well as intoxicating.  He used to give them to us as a remedies for colds too.  On reading Stephen Harrod Buhner's books on Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers this is making sense. Many plants become psychoactive in a good way when fermented.  For most of my life I found it hard to adequately explain to people about the concoctions I grew up on and the impact they had on us.  My father grew up in the Welsh countryside in the 1920's and 1930's, in conditions that we would no longer expect to find in Britain. It is very exciting to be, without even intending to, connecting into my father's legacy of ancient knowledge.

'Both flowers and berries were made into an ointment by boiling in lard and used to cool burns, insect bites or skin wounds and infections. The flower water was used as a skin tonic for brightening the complexion and as an eyewash.

   Tonics from the water strained from boiled leaves and flowers or berries, depending on the time of year, were well proven and relied on to help in cases of fevers, flu’s and colds. Because it's a diuretic, this decoction was also used in cases of intestinal inflammation and kidney problems. Many concentrated modern syrups can be bought as cold remedies. Hot elderberry wine, with plenty of sugar is still used for relief of colds and sore throats.'

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

flower and wilderness

Flowers and wilderness reclaim my parents back garden in Nottingham after two years without tending. Bees had nested in the garage roof.  It was quite magical, as are my parents in the dreaminess and wisdom of later years.  What a wonderful experience to know them beyond their role as parents.  I would love to help them restore their short term memories.  I really think it is possible.

knight of round table remains

In Anglesey 'A team of historians and archaeologists proceeding to an excavation on a small island off the north west coast of Wales, have discovered a 6th century britto-roman sepulchre, possibly associated with with a knight of the Arthurian legend. The tomb held an intricately decorated stone sarcophagus, engraved with a latin inscription that reads: “King Pellinore, son of King Pellam, ruler of the kingdom of Listenoise, Knight of the Round Table”. - See more at: '

'The large complex was at first thought to have been a roman temple, but a more thorough search of the area enabled the team of Scottish scientists working on the site, to determine it was actually a mausoleum. It took the team more than five weeks of research to finally locate and recover the sarcophagus, entirely carved out of a single block of granite.

King Pellinore is a well-known character of the Arthurian legend and was not, until now, believed to have been based on an historical person. He is most famous for his endless hunt of the Questing Beast, a strange creature has the head and neck of a snake, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion and the feet of a hart. He is said to have been actively tracking this monster when King Arthur first meets him. He is also known for breaking the sword Arthur had withdrawn from the stone, while beating the king in a joust.

This puzzling new find is already raising a lot of questions among the scientific community. Modern scholarship has generally assumed that there was some actual  person at the heart of the legends, though not of course a king with a band of knights in shining armor.  Most experts agreed that it was likely based on some warlord who gained fame as a warrior battling the Germanic invaders of the late fifth and early sixth centuries, while some experts thought the story was entirely fictitious. O.J. Padel for example, in “The Nature of  Arthur“, argues that “historical attributes of just the kind that we find attached to King Arthur can be associated with a figure who was not historical to start with.” The discovery of this new tomb, if it proves authentic, could bring a surprising end to a centuries old debate concerning the authenticity of the story, and give rise to a whole new wave of archaeological digsites.'

twelve signs

Debra Silverman's brilliant portrayal of the twelve 'star signs'.  Although based on theoretical pie slices of the sky, divorced long ago from the positions of the actual constellations, the signs of the zodiac do correspond very acccurately to personalaity types, especially if you take into account positions of the moon and other planets which may be in other signs.  Deeper matters of destiny can be divined by reference to the positions of the planets and sun in the real sky at the time of birth.!woman-acts-all-12-zodiac-personalities/c1rgv

what plants can teach you

Recognize how the beauty, intricacy and sentience of plants can be a guide to your own awakening and transformation.

A decade ago, the notion that plants respond to their environment in ways that look like conscious behavior, or at least reflect “intelligence,” would be dismissed as fringe. But today this approach is supported by solid science, and that changed perception is transforming how we understand and relate to all of Nature.

Legendary ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna has dedicated his life to exploring the intelligence of plants. He recognizes that the healing potential of plants is far greater than our materialist society acknowledges. In this unique live, interactive video course, Dennis will share with you the many ways we can learn from plants, and the wide range of wisdom they make available to us.

He has invited some of the leading experts in the emerging field of plant intelligence to help you understand, integrate and learn to use the most recent research from this exciting field. They include:

Chris Kilham - Author and educator, Chris is the FOX News Medicine Hunter, is on the Medical Advisory Board of the Dr. Oz Show, and is Explorer in Residence for Naturex, conducting medicinal plant research for the largest botanical extraction company in the world.

Stephen Harrod Buhner - Senior researcher for the Foundation for Gaian Studies, he is the award-winning author of 19 books, including, most recently, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm.

Tony Wright -  Co-author of the underground sensation, Left in the Dark, now being released in a revised edition as Return to the Brain of Eden: Restoring the Connection between Neurochemistry and Consciousness.

Dayna Baumeister - Co-founder and Keystone of Biomimicry 3.8 and The Biomimicry Institute.

Simon G. Powell - Author of The Psilocybin Solution and Darwin’s Unfinished Business: The Self-Organizing Intelligence of Nature.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

twenty four hour challenge

a great story well told

'Narrative is our cultures currency. He who tells the best story wins.' Bobette Buster

Thursday, 12 June 2014

these people are us

American Holocaust of Native American Indians.

It happened to the native peoples of Britain too a long time ago.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

regaining our supernatural brain power

A chance to listen to Tony Wright, author of Return to the Brain of Eden:  Restoring the Connection between Neurochemistry and Consciousness.(formerly published as Left in the Dark).
 'Was our brain meant to evolve in a different way? More powerful?  Connected to the cosmos? Have we been led astray by religion, main stream media and the powers that be?  What will it take for us to return to our state of autonomy and enlightenment? Tony is a consciousness researcher who studied horticulture and plant biochemistry at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.  He lives in Cornwall, England.'

Regaining Our Supernatural Brain Power 06/11 by Supernatural Girlz Radio | Spirituality Podcasts

psychedelics and sanity

'This very world that glamorizes war, violence, commercialism, environmental destruction, and suffering has outlawed some of the most profound keys to inner peace. The War on Drugs is not based on science. If it was, two of the most deadly drugs on earth-alcohol and tobacco- would be illegal. Those suffering from trauma have become victims of this failed war and have lost one of the most effective ways to heal.
Humanity has gone mad as a result.'
Amber Lyon, investigative journalist

Saturday, 7 June 2014

two fates for humanity

Physics is fate. The physics you adopt determine your fate. Basically, there are two options, Gaian physics which is empirical and observational and can be tested without instruments, and the physics of the experts and authorities, composed in mathematics and models, dissociated from real time events. Plotting the course of correction with Gaia is both a practice of distinction, showing the difference between these two fates, and a participation in the fate of the Wisdom Goddess, the imaginable future of the earth.

John Lamb Lash

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

tree hugging

from natural news:

Tree hugging, that much maligned hippy generation idea, has now been shown to have scientific validity after all. Contrary to popular belief, touching a tree does make you healthier. In fact you don't even have to touch the tree to get better, just being within its vicinity has the same effect.

In a recently published book, Blinded by Science, ( the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees improve many health issues such as; mental illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression and the ability to alleviate headaches.

Countless studies have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological effects in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants. They demonstrate that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas.

A large public health report that investigated the association between green spaces and mental health concluded that "access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental capital and wellbeing".

So what is it about nature that can have these significant effects? Up until now it has been thought to be the open green spaces that cause this effect. However, Matthew Silverstone, shows that it is nothing to do with this by proving scientifically that it is the vibrational properties of trees and plants that give us the health benefits and not the open green spaces.

The answer to how plants and trees affect us physiologically turns out to be very simple. It is all to do with the fact that everything vibrates, and different vibrations affect biological behaviours. It has been proven that if you drink a glass of water that has been treated with a 10Hz vibration your blood coagulation rates will change immediately on ingesting the treated water. It is the same with trees, when touching a tree its different vibrational pattern will affect various biological behaviours within your body.

This vibrational idea is backed up throughout the book by hundreds of scientific studies to provide overwhelming proof that tree hugging after all is not such a crazy idea. Not only is it good for our health but it can also save the Government a lot of money by offering an alternative form of treatment that is free.

One report concluded with the following: "safe, green spaces may be as effective as prescription drugs in treating some forms of mental illnesses".

Wouldn't it be nice to hear from now on that doctors treat some forms of illnesses by suggesting a walk in the park rather than taking a packet full of pills.

Learn more:

It seems the transcription of DNA is where we deviate from the source...and where we find clues to the emergence of a very different and happier sense of self for the human species.