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Your Color Vibe for Monday, 9/01

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Monday, September 1:   Dark Salmon Pink

Can you feel it – the change in the air? It is as though overnight everything shifted and rearranged itself. What is going on? Today brings many questions and few answers. These questions are to make you take notice and take action. The energies are flowing more freely and even more chaotically right now, and it is important that you are grounded and centered in WHO you are. This is a time for direction so step back from the day and take a moment to meditate, to journal, to go within. You are needing a firm foundation right now, and you know what that is, but it takes some activity on your part to establish it. Pay attention to signs today and be open to your dream messages.

Astrology: Chiron Symbolism

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Sun opposite Chiron 9.1.2014

The moon is void of course this morning and will be entering Sagittarius shortly, where it will then be applying to make the 1st quarter Moon by tomorrow morning.

The sun is meanwhile applying to oppose Chiron this week. Since I rarely mention Chiron it might be a good day to discuss the chirotic archetype.

It’s good to know a few basic things about the story of Chiron…

Chiron was a centaur and a masterful healer and teacher of the healing arts (including astrology!). Centaurs were wild and often unpredictable creatures, half man and half horse, and mostly ruled by their lower halves (though there were also highly civilized centaurs..they were rare!). Centaurs were known to crash parties, and to be completely unruly savages. Chiron stood out among them because of his birth…he was an immortal, given his horse half by his father Cronos (Saturn).

As the story goes, Chiron was accidentally wounded during a fight between the centaurs and one of his students, Heracles. The fight was caused in large part because of alcohol (wine). Though Chiron had nothing to do with the fight, he was accidentally wounded in the thigh by one of Heracles poisoned arrows (which had venomous blood from the hydra on the tip). Injured by his own student with a mortal poison, Chiron was suddenly in a precarious position….he would now have to live forever (immortal) with an incurable suffering (the mortal poison of the hydra).

Chiron decides that he will offer himself up in the place of Prometheus and trade his immortality for Prometheus’ life. Prometheus (for those who don’t know the story) had been chained by the gods to the side of a cliff for stealing the fire of the gods on behalf of humanity. The gods agree to Chiron’s offer, and after Prometheus is set free they also decide to release Chiron into the heavens and make him into a constellation (an important signal for all astrologers!).

At the heart of this story is an incredible teaching that gets lost with all the hype about the phrase “wounded healer.” This phrase should be put onto the temporary “ban list” of astrological jargon. Because the real message of this story is about chaos versus reason, about guilt and innocence by association, and the division between the gods and humanity or between mortality and immortality.

First Chiron is a centaur. He belongs to a class of half men and half animals. They are unpredictable…sometimes highly civilized, and other times, especially around alcohol, highly volatile. Like the image of the centaur in the Sagittarius constellation, centaurs are an image of the basic human dilemma…the primitive qualities of instinct, hunger, and the death and sex drive (the libido we might say), versus the “higher” rational faculties. The Sagittarian dilemma is almost always about the desire to expand and evolve “upward” against the lower aspects of animal nature…hence the Sagittarian relationship to religion, higher philosophy, and travel, as well as the classic Sagittarian hedonism or “party animal” side. Chiron is an immortal in the centaurs midst…we might say he is somewhat “above” the classic daily dilemmas of centaurs. And yet, once wine is involved (the classic centaur downfall) and the other centaurs go bananas, Chiron is accidentally wounded. He is brought “down” by their comparative “lower” qualities. It doesn’t seem fair at all. And in fact, it’s his own student that ignorantly shot him (can we see the symbolic resonance with the Gospel stories here?!). Doubly unfair!

But here’s the thing about “fairness.” Life isn’t always fair. Not even to the gods. And all this talk about wounded healing doesn’t mean much unless we can grasp this part of the myth. LIfe isn’t always fair…not even for the gods.

Prometheus is another great example of the unfairness of life. By all accounts he thought it was “unfair” that the gods should have higher knowledge (fire) and the humans should be left out in the dark. So he steals the fire and brings it to the people, but he’s punished by the gods as a result. Prometheus is therefore the perfect mythic character for Chiron to take the place of, specifically because Prometheus is a human who didn’t believe it was fair that the gods were “higher up” than the humans, while Chiron, an immortal and a god, is someone who needs something that only a human like Prometheus has….the ability and willingness to die for something “higher” than himself.

The message of the story of Chiron, who is placed into the sky as a constellation after trading his godhood for Prometheus’ life, is again that life is not first and foremost about fairness. Nor is it as simple as humans striving toward the perfection of the gods. We learn by Chiron’s situation that there is something about mortality, something about the “poison of the hydra” (an image of deep humanity), that can set even a god free from the burdens of his immortality (normally THE coveted prize!).

This story isn’t working on us unless it offends something of our higher sensibilities…unless it squashes something of our spiritual ambition, points to an all together human place that nags on painfully…a place we keep trying to fix, evolve, or enlighten…

With Chiron its this exact spot…this point where we feel most flawed, truly “less than” some image of the gods, that we have to start imagining as the entry point for what the gods most desire.

A quick example: I have Chiron in Taurus, right on my ascendant. For me it’s always been the feeling that my concern with how I look, physically, appearance wise, and whether or not I have a socially pleasing (Venus ruled) persona is a kind of lesser or lower quality about me…like my desire to look and appear pleasing is a tremendous curse or vanity that I simply can’t get rid of…

I once had an ayahuasca ceremony where I had a visionary experience with Chiron in Taurus on my Ascendant…the gist of the message was pretty simple: this is something you’re not going to change about yourself. You’ll find more peace if you accept it and then do your best to look and appear socially pleasing. The nagging feeling that you ARENT these things (that you aren’t socially/physically pleasing) won’t necessarily go away, nor will your feeling that you should not be preoccupied with such subjects…but your sense of humor about all of this will grow, your ability to suffer the suffering of it with more creativity will grow, and you’ll naturally help others to deal with the same complex situation.

This is what we astrologers mean by “wounded healer,” I think. It’s not that you’re MORE special because of your suffering, or not that you first must suffer before you become some kind of enlightened being. No. We need to let this kind of jibber jabber go. Wounded healing is a phrase that implies paradox. There is something about you that is NOT as high as it should be…and yet it’s in exactly this “lower” place that the GODS need something from you. In truth, the gods need and want to care about things like social and physical appearance. In truth the gods need vanity and recklessness and all our other “lower animal” faults. We’re so quick to say, “it’s the heart that matters, not what’s on the outside.” But this cliche misses the Chirotic mark (which looks like a skeleton key, by the way!). For Chiron there is nothing under the human sun that may not be necessary or valuable for the sake of the healing of the gods or for the god/human relationship. We’re always so quick to think it’s about the healing of the humans TOWARD the divine or TOWARD the gods. Chiron is a fantastic reminder, a revolution in the field of archetypal awareness, that the healing can flow in reverse. The gods frequently go “lower” in order to get something they need for the sake of their own healing, or release. Chiron’s death creates a NEW archetypal awareness…in much the same way the death and resurrection of Christ in the gospel stories creates a new religious paradigm…not of final “divine” redemption for humans from their “sins,” (too bad its been twisted that way! just like the ‘wounded healer’ twisting of Chiron!) but of the death of a god whose healing could only come through human mortality, chaos, and complexity. The real gospel message is that a sickly god was healed through an entirely human situation, including a brutal human death. That same god, resurrected like Chiron, becomes a new myth that goes directly into the stars….in fact the birth of the highly chirotic Jesus was heralded by eastern astrologers who followed a “star” to his birth place.

To close…as the Sun moves to oppose Chiron this week, look at your life and look at where you feel most “human,” most lowly, most in need of some “higher” quality. Imagine that it’s in this exact place that a wounded GOD is receiving a HUMAN healing. I know for me, and I suspect for many people, this sickly god is rather Christian in nature. Regardless, how can we allow this sickly god to receive its human healing…no longer fighting so intensely with this aspect of our humanity?

Prayer: Help me to reconcile the god in me to the humanity in me. Not through some kind of hedonistic extreme, but through a gentle, persistent, good humored and imaginative acceptance of all that resides in the depths of my soul.

To learn more about the Nightlight Astrology School, or to follow Adam Elenbaas:


Some Health Hints

Monday, September 1st, 2014

21 Health Hacks Everyone Should Know

Aug 31 • Do It Yourself, Natural Relief


21health hcks sqWhether it’s curing a throat tickle, resolving your headache in minutes or experiencing supersonic hearing, these 21 tricks are proven methods of fooling your body to achieve a desired result, whether that’s relieving pain or just having fun.

1. Cure a Tickling Throat

When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, especially if it serves as a health remedy. Take that tickle in your throat: It’s not worth gagging over. Here’s a better way to scratch your itch: Scratch your ear. “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm,” says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. “This spasm relieves the tickle.”


2. Experience Supersonic Hearing

If you’re stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It’s better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.


3. Calm Yourself With Cold Water

Nerves getting the best of you. Take a deep breath and spash cold water on your face. This triggers the mammalian diving reflex that is genetically in all animals including humans. The lower temperature of the water and you holding your breath also causes your body to think it’s diving into cold water. This reflex allows you to use oxygen more efficiently.


4. Overcome Your Most Primal Urge To Pee

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about what ever turns you on. Thinking about sex and arousing fantasies preoccupies your brain, so you won’t feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.


5. Feel No Pain While Giving Blood

Love donating blood but hate the needle prick? German researchers have discovered that coughing during a needle stick can lessen the pain. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.


6. Swallow Your Horse-Sized Supplements

Those huge health supplements are sometimes a pain to swallow. Want to swallow more than one at a time without gagging? Try this trick to get them down: take a drink of water, and tilt your head forward instead of backward. The capsule should float, and will be at the back of your throat, ready to swallow.


7. Clear Your Stuffed Nose

Forget Sudafed. Here’s an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure: Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you’ll feel your sinuses start to drain.


8. Fight Acid Reflux By Sleeping Position

Worried that chilli will repeat on you tonight? Try this preventive remedy: “Sleep on your left side,” says Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you’re on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity’s in your favor.


9. Cure Your Toothache

Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.


10. Make Burns Disappear

When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natual method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.


11. Stop the World from Spinning

Feeling dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance–the cupula– floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. “As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises,” says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

12. Unstitch Your Side

If you’re like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.


13. Stop A Nose Bleed

Put some cotton on your upper gums–just behind that small dent below your nose–and press against it, hard. “Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose,” says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. “Pressing here helps stop them.”


14. Make Your Heart Stand Still

Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It’ll get your heart rate back to normal.


15. Thaw Your Brain Freeze

Press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. “Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too,” says Abo. “In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache.” The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.


16. Prevent Near-Sightedness

Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. “It’s usually caused by near-point stress.” In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles–like the eyes–into relaxing as well.


17. Wake Up a Limb That Feel Asleep

If your hand falls asleep while you’re driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It’ll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so stand up and walk around if they fail you.


18. Impress Your Friends

Next time you’re at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He’ll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that’s a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French. By misaligning his hips, you’ve offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body’s ability to resist.


19. Breathe Underwater

If you’re dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first–essentially, hyperventilate. When you’re underwater, it’s not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it’s the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin’ ain’t right. “When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity,” says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. “This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen.” It’ll buy you up to 10 seconds.


20. Encode Long-Term Memory

Your own! “If you’re giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep,” says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.


21. Relieve a Migraine Instantly

The next time you are about to reach for some pills to get rid of your headache, use your thumb and forefinger and pinch down on the muscle on the web of your hand (thumb on the back of your hand and forefinger underneath) and press for 2 minutes. Repeat. Most headaches and migraines will ease after just 4 minutes. This shiatsu point addresses headaches by dispersing stagnant Ki (i.e. blocked energy) and moving blood in the head, neck, and other parts of the body.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

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RE: The Pineal Gland

Monday, September 1st, 2014

10 Questions About the Pineal Gland That Add to the Mystery of Spirituality

April 11, 2014 | By  

Pineal Gland -1Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The  pine cone shaped, pea-sized pineal gland, located in the center of the human brain, is an organ of tremendous interest these days. To many spiritual seekers it is the ‘seat of the soul‘ and the ‘third eye,’ the anatomical part of the human body that acts as our spiritual antennae, connecting us to the non-physical, spiritual planes of existence. However, to many scientists and rigid materialist thinkers, it is strictly an endocrine gland responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin, a substance which, among other things, aids in the regulation of our circadian rhythms.

Far from cased closed, this small, but intriguing piece of the human organism is the source of endless discussion and consideration, as many people believe that by cleansing, detoxifying or decalcifying the pineal gland, one can more readily achieve spiritual states of consciousness and can experience with greater depth and clarity.

Of course naysayers who disregard the possibility of the existence of any spiritual dimension to life and to the pineal gland are quick to point out that no scientific evidence has proven that the pineal gland is in fact the organ responsible for spiritual experience. Yet, many people who’ve developed the subtle awareness and inward reflection required to connect to the spiritual qualities of humanity can clearly sense that something profound takes place within the area of the brain where the pineal gland sits, including visions, intuitive thoughts, vibrations, harmonic resonance with certain sounds, and other mystical phenomenon.

As the debate between science and spirituality carries on, the pineal gland sits at the center of the brain enticing both spiritual adepts and naysayers alike to take a closer look into the mysteries that make human beings spiritual creatures capable having psychological experiences that evade validation by modern scientific research methods and modes of thought.

Here are 10 questions about the pineal gland that add to the mystery of spirituality:

1. Is the pineal gland the evolutionary remnant of a literal third mammalian eye that moved into the center of the brain and changed functions from gathering light to entraining rhythms in accordance with information gathered by the retina?

2. Why do the visionary states of consciousness induced by psychedelics and meditative practices seem to be centered around the very part of the brain where the pineal gland sits?

3. If there is no connection between spirituality and the pineal gland, how is it that the 6th chakra (Ajna chakra), according to ancient Hindu tradition, is located precisely where the pineal gland sits, and has for centuries been associated with the ‘mind’s eye,’ the eye of intellect and intuition?

4. Is there a connection between the spiritual promise of the pineal gland, which is shaped like a pine cone, and the Pigna, the colossal bronze pine cone statue of ancient Rome which now sits in a courtyard in the Vatican?

5. Does the pineal gland produce the body’s natural supply of DMT, dimethyltriptamine, a chemical compound that produces incredible visionary effects when consumed in concentrated form or in the Amazonian medicine Ayahuasca?

6. Does the pineal gland release massive doses of DMT when a person dies, or when a person nearly dies, which causes the mind to have near-death experiences, or causes the soul to return to source?

7. What is the significance of the fact that the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Eye of Horus, strongly resembles the anatomy of the middle section of the brain and upper cortex, centering on the thalamus and the pineal gland?

8. Why is the pineal gland the only organ in the human body that calcifies and solidifies with age?

9. If the pineal gland has little effect on consciousness, why is it that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, diseases which cause them to be severely psychologically disconnected from the ‘real world,’ have pineal glands that are much more calcified than those of ordinary people?

10. Why is it that following the methods of pineal gland decalcification and cleansing often bring genuine results to people who are seeking heightened spiritual experience, and why do these practices often result in people being able to more easily remember dreams and lead them to feel more connected to ‘source?’


There certainly is more to the human spiritual experience than just having a decalcified pineal gland, however, in our modern culture, which has grown spiritually bereft, the pineal gland holds special significance as people look for any possible technique or enhancement to the human body and mind that can assist them in re-connecting to divinity.

Some of these questions are better suited for serious scientists and laboratory research, however, simply pondering the role that human anatomy plays in spiritual experience can expand our awareness of the connection between the health of the body and the health of the spirit.


Shamanic View of Mental Illness

Monday, September 1st, 2014

What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

August 22, 2014 | By  

ShamanStephanie Marohn with Malidoma Patrice Somé
Waking Times

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé. These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

On the mental ward, Dr Somé saw a lot of “beings” hanging around the patients, “entities” that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–”the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains. “More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world.”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé. “Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.” The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive. In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé. “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.”

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a “sweep”) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes. “When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.” Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, “fuses” aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies

Alex: Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. “I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world,” says Dr. Somé.

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal, Dr. Somé reports. He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients . . . . He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people. “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the West as in his community in Africa. “Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental” disorders in the West is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.” What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because “most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it.” The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the “mountain energy” are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé. “They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

When it is the “river energy,” those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community. “To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it.”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the West, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the West is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals . . . It might be the issues of anger and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains. “If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with an ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process “trigger enlightenment” in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” he says. “The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.” The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness rather than regarding the person as a pathological case gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states. Dr. Somé.

Excerpted from:  The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, or The Natural Medicine Guide to Bi-polar Disorder, pages 178-189, Stephanie Marohn (featuring Malidoma Patrice Somé).


Your Color VIbe for Sunday, 8/31

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Sunday, August 31: Mellow Yellow

Old contacts can be part of the hexagram today as someone, somewhere, and/or something can literally come out of the woodwork to get in touch with you. Interestingly, you no longer feel any affiliation with that person, place or thing. That realization can bring you some peace of mind. It can also open you to a greater sense of where you are going as you find yourself no longer tied down to that particular vibration. And vibration will be very important today. Be aware of the sounds around you. Some you cannot miss; others will be subliminal. Also, the light that you see glimmering at the edge of your vision is an indication of things to come. You have made it this far. You have done well. Tomorrow holds a promise for you, so get ready for a surprise.

A little light action in the backyard a few nights ago:


People Looking Like Their Pets

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Why do people look like their pets? It’s in the eyes.

A recent study finds that people can pair pet owners with their dogs simply by looking at photos of their eyes, but scientists aren’t sure how we’re able to do this.

See the resemblance? (Photo: Tambako The Jaguar/flickr)

If you were provided with photos of a random set of people, as well as separate photos of those people’s dogs, chances are, you could match up the right person with their pet.
How? Scientists think it has something to do with the eyes — they’re just not sure what exactly that something is.
Sadahiko Nakajima, a psychologist at Japan’s Kwansei Gakuin University, has been trying to figure out how people are able to match pets with their owners at a rate greater than chance could account for.
He considered the obvious: Maybe men are simply more likely to own large breed dogs. Perhaps women with long hair are more likely to have dogs with long, floppy ears.
However, even when experiments are designed to exclude these superficial characteristics, people are still able to match strangers with the correct pets.
In a 2009 study, Nakajima found that participants could not only match photos of pet owners with their dogs by facial appearance alone, but they could also recognize which randomly paired dog-and-owner photos were fake.
This clued Nakajima in that something about facial appearances was giving participants hints at which dog belonged to which person, so he designed an experiment to determine what part of the face was responsible.
He created test sheets that each included 20 sets of dog-human pairs. One sheet featured actual dog-human pairs while the other had randomly matched pairs.
dogs look like owners experimentThe photos were basic headshots cropped at the shoulders, and the photos sets included an equal number of male and female owners, as well as a variety of dog breeds.
The 502 Japanese undergraduate students who participated in the study were randomly assigned to one of five different groups. Each group received test sheets that had been “masked” in a different way.
In one, the humans’ eyes were covered, and in another, the dogs’ eyes were. One also showed only both the dogs’ and humans’ eyes, while another covered their mouths.
The control group received photos that showed the full faces of the humans and the dogs.
Those who saw the unobstructed faces were quite good at determining which human-dog pairs were fake, and 80 percent were able to select the real-life human-dog pairs.
The group that received the photos with concealed mouths were also fairly good with 73 percent making the correct matches.
However, when the humans’ eyes or dogs’ eyes were covered, participants’ ability to select the right human-dog pairs fell to statistically chance levels.
But those in the eye-only group proved to be almost as good as selecting the real-life human-dog pairs as those who viewed the unobstructed faces. Seventy-four percent chose the correct pairs by looking at the eyes alone.
This finding was so surprising that Nakajima duplicated the study with an entirely new batch of participants and this time, 76 percent picked the right pairs.
As Nakajima notes in the study, because all the human models were Asian, they all had similar dark-colored eyes, so there must be something else — some shared look — that clues people in to what dog belongs to which person.
He’s not sure what it is about the eyes that communicates a shared bond, but this isn’t the first study that’s found people are able to extract psychological cues from the eyes.
In fact, a 2009 Tufts University study found that participants were able to discern a stranger’s sexual orientation simply from looking at photos of people’s eyes.
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Siberian Quakes & FLoods Due to Mummy’s Curse?

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Could a mummy’s curse be causing earthquakes and floods in Siberia?

The 2,500-year-old remains of a Siberian woman may have to be reburied because locals insist the mummy’s anger must be appeased.

Locals believe that removing the Siberian Ice Princess from her final resting place may have opened a door to the kingdom of the dead. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

After the mummified remains of a beautifully adorned, 5th-century BC woman were discovered in Siberia’s Altai Mountains in 1993, the find was heralded as “one of the most significant archeological discoveries at the close of the 20th century.” But recent earthquakes and floods in the region have locals believing that removing the ice princess from her pallid slumber may have angered her, as well as opened some kind of ghastly gate to the underworld, reports the Daily Mail.
The superstition has garnered so much momentum that the Council of Elders in Altai, a group representing native Siberians in the region, has passed a vote to rebury the mummy’s remains, a decision apparently accepted by local governor Alexander Berdnikov. A ban has already been imposed on further archeological digs in other burial mounds in the area.
The irrational fervor comes at the heels of recent flooding — the worst seen in over 50 years — and earthquakes that have imperiled the region. According to the local Altai peoples, who are not genetically related to the mummy (also known as Ooch-Bala), the purpose of the elaborately decorated corpse in her burial chamber was “to bar the entrance to the kingdom of the dead.” Now that she has been removed, an entrance to the underworld has been left open.
“Naked and defenseless, Ooch-Bala is freezing from inexplicable shame,” claimed campaigners. “Who puts the naked corpse of their mother on public display? She knocks into our heart, seeking compassion. She is cold from evil indifference.”
Aside from objecting to the mummy’s original exhumation, the native people in Altai also objected to plans to display her in a glass sarcophagus in a museum within the city of Gorno-Altaisk.
The mummy, also known as Princess Ukok or the Siberian Ice Maiden, is particularly significant because of the highly artistic tattoos that adorn her body, which reveals much about her ancient culture.
“Compared to all tattoos found by archeologists around the world, those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated, and the most beautiful,” said Natalia Polosmak, the researcher who originally excavated the mummy. “More ancient tattoos have been found, like the Ice Man found in the Alps — but he only had lines, not the perfect and highly artistic images one can see on the bodies of the Pazyryks.”
Princess Ukok’s tattoos include fantastical mythological animals like a deer with a griffon’s beak, a Capricorn’s antlers that are decorated with the heads of griffons, and a spotted panther with a long tail and the legs of a sheep. She was also buried with six horses, saddled and bridled — possibly representing her spiritual escorts to the next world. The elaborate burial is likely a symbol of her high status, possibly as a folk tale narrator, a healer or a holy woman.
The museum is reluctant to give in to the superstition that these remains are infected with a mummy’s curse, but it seems likely that this beautiful mummy will eventually be reburied, left to decay in the permafrost.
Read more:

Rainforest Fungus Eats Polyurethane

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Fungus Discovered in Rainforest Capable Of Eating Plastic Pollution

One of the biggest problems facing the earth, plastic pollution, could soon meet its match if students at Yale University are able to breed a recently discovered plastic-eating fungus on a large scale.

Plastic pollution, exemplified by the giant floating island of trash the size of Texas in the Pacific ocean, is highly detrimental to the world’s ecosystem because it breaks down extremely slow. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, plastic doesn’t actually biodegrade:

“Plastics do not biodegrade, although, under the influence of solar UV radiations, plastics do degrade and fragment into small particles, termed microplastics.”

This presents humans with a challenge that must soon be met, considering much of our plastic trash ends up in the ocean where it breaks down into toxic microplastics, winding up in sea life. Not only is this dangerous to the sea life, but it’s also dangerous to people because we end up consuming these very fish which we are poisoning with our trash.

Many groups and organizations have been formed to clean up plastic that ends up washing ashore on our beaches, but the vast majority of plastic pollution ends up in the ocean. The planet has a growing addiction to cheap and industrious plastic, increasing in use exponentially every year with no end in sight.

This is why the discovery of plastic-eating fungus is so exciting. According to Inhabitat,

On an expedition to the rainforest of Ecuador, students from Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry discovered a previously unknown fungus that has a healthy appetite for polyurethane. According to Fast Company, the fungus is the first one that is known to survive on polyurethane alone, and it can do so in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment, which suggests that it could be used at the bottom of landfills.

The discovery was published in the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers were also able to isolate the enzyme responsible for decomposing the plastic.

It isn’t exactly clear how this fungus will be implemented in bioremediation, but one can picture floating plastic islands covered in mushrooms which will eat the entire trash pile then sink into the ocean.

It’s also important to wean ourselves away from petroleum based plastics because they require many resources just to manufacture, and pollution doesn’t start or end with the trash in the gutter. Many other sustainable options are available which could used instead, like hemp based or other plant based plastics.

Image credit:


Importance of Affirmations

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

The power of I AM in healing, forgiving and moving through difficult situations

(NaturalNews) Humans are a gifted, blessed species with a level of spiritual free will that often goes unused in modern day society. It’s easy to feel doubt, to feel less than capable, letting time pass us by.

But humans have more power than they are led to believe. The great I AM pulsates through everything with confident divinity. Every passing moment, a person’s reality is created by a magical and synergistic blend of beliefs, intentions, thoughts and actions. Negative experiences from the past can skew one’s future reality by distorting their beliefs. The beliefs humans carry around initiate the trajectory for what may or may not come into their future reality. To let go of the old and embrace the new requires one to let go of past experiences, adopting a new mindset of hope.

As world-class rock band Rush puts it, “The future disappears into memory, with only a moment between. Forever dwells in that moment; hope is what remains to be seen.”

Subconscious affirmations guide our world view and what we attract

Each person’s subconscious mind holds a culmination of affirmations that play quietly, over and over inside their head. These thoughts make the person feel a certain way, influencing how they see the world around them. These affirmations may be negative or positive and may stay with a person, as long as they let these deep embedded thoughts remain a part of them. These affirmations are often derived from past experiences, or they may be stored because the person holds tight to the opinions of other people.

What we do to others, we do to ourselves

Every action that we engage in, every word that we breathe, every intention that we conjure, is sent out into time and space in our waking universe. What we do to others, what we do to the planet, is what we ultimately do to ourselves. This is how the human race is connected. When one gossips about others, they are only bringing more gossip upon themselves, into their reality, perpetuating a cycle of negative emotions. When one hurts another, the victim can choose to forgive, effectively ending the cycle of pain. This is why it’s important for humans to be mindful for what they ask into their lives, treating each one of their own thoughts and actions with caution and reverence. The golden rule applies: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The power of I AM and I CAN in healing, forgiveness, and accomplishment

Two of the most powerful affirmations in the universe are the phrases “I AM,” and “I CAN.” These simple phrases can be turned into guiding principles that strengthen a person’s ability to heal, to mend relationships, to forgive, to move through difficult times.

A person defines who they are by consciously declaring the I AM’s in their life. With concentrated, precision-thought and mindful meditation, positive I AM’s can transform a person’s life, by opening up new doors, opportunities and relationships. Reality can change for anyone willing to move boldly in faith.

I CAN is a similar powerful set of guiding beliefs. What is the human race capable of if they embrace the power of I AM and I CAN positively? How do humans limit their own ability to learn and grow by holding onto negative affirmations and bitter accord?

As Rush so eloquently puts it, “The treasure of a life, is the measure of love and respect — the way you live, the gifts that you give.”

What are you telling yourself each day? I AM? I CAN?

How do you treat others?

What are you telling the universe to bring into your existence?

Learn more: