May 19, 2015

Shadows Before Suicide

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




I've always found the theme song from M*A*S*H to be darkly compelling. Beautiful and melodic, it is an oddly seductive paean to ending it all. Reading the latest from the marvelous Gaby Petris, it occurs to me that for many people, Teal Bosworth Scott Swan's relentless obsession with suicide has a similar allure for many of her followers. She is far more dangerous. When she speaks of suicide as, not only painless, but blissful, she does so without tongue in cheek. Hers is a kind of siren song pulling her many suicidal followers closer and closer to the rocks.

I want to show you a precarious vortex that is massing around the teacher Teal Swan. Within it suffering people seeking an answer are circling. I want to communicate a sense of its dangerous undertow. That pulls people in. And under.

I first became aware of Gaby's writings, when her first post on this topic was recommended to me in a comment on my last post on teal. It is also must reading. When I learned that she was working on a more in-depth piece, my only question was, how can I help? Together, Gaby and I sorted through screenshots we've both collected of Teal Tribe discussions about the suicide option, and about the 22 year-old triber who recently took his own life.

When I really delve into the patterns of teal's communication with her flock, the picture that emerges always proves to be so much worse than I'd thought. I am eavesdropping, I know, as I look at these snapshots of Teal Tribe conversation. I am not a tealer or a triber. I am an observer, a rubbernecker, watching accidents occur in slow motion. And it is an awful thing to see the train coming and be so unable to stop it.

Teal Tribe is brimming over with creative, intelligent, even brilliant, people. Many are also wounded and vulnerable. And, far too many are suicidal.

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How the Trickster Teaches Us

In shamanic cultures around the world it is the Trickster who made the world as we actually find it; not a perfect Eden, but complex, messy, beautiful, and painful. It is the crazy logic of the Trickster, life saving and sacrifice demanding, that can help us to navigate where our blindness, deafness or simple stubborn refusal to do what we know we need to do gets in trouble. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, in this replay of a favorite show on the Trickster. Author Lewis Hyde writes, "The Trickster cannot be trusted. It is a contact that puts us slightly at risk; we open ourselves to disruption whenever we call on him." But it is that opening that allows miracles, the impossible, surprise and the reversal of fortunes. The Trickster reveals the short cuts that allow us to get to the full, loving expression of our soul's true purpose in spite of ourselves.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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May 12, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How to Receive Shamanic Healing

What are the ethics for receiving shamanic healing? Much is written about ethics for practitioners, but is it really ethical to drop all the issues of your life in the lap of any healer and ask them to heal you in one session? Is it ethical to get angry about a session when the healing offered doesn't play into the story you carry about your woundedness? Is it ever ethical to ask for healing, which is always an effort of energy expended, without offering anything in exchange for the healing energy spent on you? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the very prickly issue of the ethics for receiving shamanic healing. This week we slash expectations for magical cures and effortless life changes in the hopes of revealing how contemporary people can come to an ancient healing form prepared, informed, and ready to do what is needed to follow up responsibly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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May 5, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Gift of Shamanism with Itzhak Beery

Every human has the ability to imagine, to learn from dreams, to feel insight and intuition, and to "see" at a distance. "These many forms of visioning are our birth right and they enable us to fully connect to the universe," explains our guest Itzhak Beery, an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher, the founder of ShamanPortal.org, and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle. Itzhak joins host and shaman, Christina Pratt, this week to discuss his new book, The Gift of Shamanism: Visionary Power, Ayahuasca Dreams, and Journeys to Other Realms. Itzhak feels that the Big Shutdown of the Senses in today's media driven, virtual world causes personal and community memory loss that results in the lost of trust in our senses and our innate selves. He feels shamanism reconnects us with nature and our deep inner experiences of wholeness.

This week's guest:
Itzhak Beery

Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He is initiated in Andean and Amazonian shamanism and has trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. He is also an accomplished visual artist and owner of an award-winning advertising agency in New York City.

Itzhak is the founder of ShamanPortal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle. He is on the faculty of New York Open Center and his work has been featured in the New York Times, films, TV, and webinars with Evolver network.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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May 2, 2015

In Which Michael Shermer Finds the Time

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



As I noted here, Rupert Sheldrake challenged professional skeptic Michael Shermer to a debate in 2003. He accepted. And now, a mere twelve years later, that debate will take place.

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who was caught giving critiques of  Sheldrake's work without reading it, agreed to debate Sheldrake... if only he could find the time.

In March 2003, Dr Sheldrake challenged Shermer to a debate, which he accepted, and several times and venues were suggested, but all were rejected by Shermer. As of 2009, the debate has still not taken place.

Well, better late than never. The dialogue, hosted by TheBestSchools.org, commenced on May Day with opening statements from both thinkers.

Apr 28, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Dying Well: Shamanic Wisdom

Dying is part of life; it's that simple. When death is accepted as a natural part of our journey, an extraordinary amount of energy can be set free for you to be happy, discover your purpose, and help others. Shamanism shows us that the end of life is just as important as the beauty of birth at the beginning. Living in fear of death contorts our lives, robbing us of Death as a great ally for how to live well "It is not death but an unlived life that should terrify us," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt, "this becomes ever more clear with each ancestral healing." When we understand how our unlived lives and unreconciled relationships bind us here at death, we understand what is needed to live well. Join us this week as we explore the power in shamanic work, yours or with a practitioner, to transform your fear-based beliefs about life and change the story of your life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Apr 21, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Shamanic Skills for the New World: Part 2

Shamans are made by spirit, through initiation and training, to become the answer to the prayers of the people. What could the world community of shamanic practitioners and healers, contemporary and traditional, become if they truly believed they were the medicine for the illnesses of humanity in their time? Shamans don't just drink ayahuasca, do ceremony in workshops, and heal individual people one at a time. They restore health in communities, balance and harmony to the earth and remedy the old dream where it has, in reality, become a nightmare. Join host, Kate Smith, and her guest, Christina Pratt, as they continue their discussion of the transformations we must engage to become the New People who share the shamanic skills needed for us to create a more beautiful and sustainable New World.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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Apr 14, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Shamanic Skills for the New World: Part 1

What are the next steps that the world community of shamanic practitioners and healers needs to take in order effect cultural transformation on the global level? What could we do if we really believed without a doubt that we are the shamans of our time? Join host, Kate Smith, and her guest, Christina Pratt as they explore the shamanic skills necessary to become people who are able to live sustainably with our environment in deep rapport with Nature, rise to the challenge of living peacefully and intelligently heart-centered, and connected to a Greater Source that truly connects us all. Ancient shamans had the skills to shape the dreams of the people so that they were the living expression of reciprocity and gratitude. What will it take for contemporary shamans to step up to their heritage and become the medicine for our time?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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Apr 12, 2015

Doctor Who and the Approaching Skingularity

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



William Henry believes that we are facing a time of decision. Will we choose to remain fully organic beings or will we merge so completely with artificial technologies that they become part of our very skin? Henry has released an eBook, free to whomever asks for it. I recently received my copy and have only just started reading it and poring over the spectacular images. More information on The Skingularity is Near and how to receive your copy can be found here.

In March, Henry appeared on Coast to Coast AM to discuss our future, what is increasingly possible and what is our true potential. Whether or not you agree with Henry that humans are inherently and organically capable of transforming into light beings, the vision of tech companies to transfigure us through technology should reasonably terrify you. They're wearing us down, though, by promising ease, interconnectedness, and even virtual immortality.

Many of the technologies under development mimic the language, the imagery, and even the properties of cross-cultural resurrection and ascension mythologies. The possibilities entice not only because the promises are fantastical but because they resonate with core archetypes. Henry points out that it may well be a devil's bargain. We may be handing over our fundamental liberty to a convergence of state and corporate power. What looks like an enhancement of human power could really be very cleverly packaged tyranny.

We humans have an instinctual fear of merging with inorganic machines that has long played out in our modern mythologies. The Borg of Star Trek: Next Generation portray our primal terror of losing our humanity and independence to co-optation by intelligent machines. The Matrix trilogy depicts a world lost to our development of artificial intelligence, as self-aware machines reduce humanity to batteries and trap our consciousness in a VR simulacram. But the most direct parallel to Henry's "skingularity" and it's conflict with natural human evolution plays out in Doctor Who.

Apr 7, 2015

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Chemistry of Creativity with Kate Smith

What do you do when the Muse calls and the path to your creative life requires the sacrifice of all that makes you feel safe, protected, and respected in the world. What do you do when a life of deeper authenticity calls for the sacrifice of your hard won rank, priveledge, power and expertiese. When your true calling trashes the life you have been living, how do you find the grace and the footing in a life with no safety rope? Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, and her guest, Kate Smith of Journeysmith, in part five of our series on creativity. Through her shamanic art studio, Journeysmith, Kate creates finely crafted spiritual power tools- drums, rattles and other instruments that bridge ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Kate offers these tools as a way to help others stay true to themselves, re-discover their connection with the earth, and align with all that is authentic in their life's journey.

This week's guest:
Kate Smith

Kate Smith has a BA in Chemistry from Princeton University and a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. For nearly two decades, she worked in academia and the pharmaceutical industry before becoming a 'smith' of shamanic power tools under the tutelage and inspiration of Susanne and Eric Humaidan. Kate has studied shamanism since 2006 with Alberto Villoldo, Christina Pratt and Malidoma Somé.

In 2012, Kate started Journeysmith, a shamanic art studio devoted to creating finely crafted spiritual power tools - drums, rattles and other instruments that bridge ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Kate offers these tools as a way to help others stay true to themselves, re-discover their connection with the earth and align with all that is authentic in their life's journey.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Apr 6, 2015

Rapid Pole Shift in Our Lifetime?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




As I mentioned here, pole shift appears to be underway. It also appears to be happening far more rapidly than has long been predicted by the establishment. In this episode of Dreamland, Linda Moulten Howe interviews UC Berkeley's Dr. Paul Renne about geological data that dramatically accelerates the predicted timeline. Renne worked with an international team of geologists to analyze volcanic ash sediments in a lake bed in Italy. They were able to track the shifting patterns that preceded the last pole shift, the Brunhes-Mutuyama event, and have determined it was quite rapid, probably under a hundred years.

The authors, including Berkeley graduate student Courtney Sprain and her supervisor Professor Paul Renne, are not the first to suggest the last flip was unusually fast, but Sprain says the evidence they have found in the Suilmona Basin, east of Rome, is very clear. “The paleomagnetic data are very well done. This is one of the best records we have so far of what happens during a reversal and how quickly these reversals can happen,” says Sprain.

Volcanoes upwind of the basin, including Sabatini and Vesuvius, erupted frequently during the reversal, and the changing magnetic field can be seen in the sediments laid down. Argon-argon isotopic dating allowed Sprain and Renne to date the ash layers far more precisely than has been done before.

“What’s incredible is that you go from reverse polarity to a field that is normal with essentially nothing in between, which means it had to have happened very quickly, probably in less than 100 years,” said Renne. “We don’t know whether the next reversal will occur as suddenly as this one did, but we also don’t know that it won’t.

We are left with a lot of unknowns. Geophysicists still don't understand why this happens, how frequently it happens, or how varied the effects are. What is clearer is that past events have caused enough thinning of the earth's magnetosphere to allow serious damage from solar and cosmic radiation. This may, in fact, have caused the extinction of the Neanderthals.

A complete write-up of this interview can be found here on Howe's website.
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