Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How Do I Cultivate Emotional Well-being? Part Two

What we are taught about emotions in the "developed, Western world" will make the majority of us sick over time. This is the core teaching from a shamanic point of view. And perhaps more importantly, the second teaching says that emotional well-being is possible for everyone. It simply requires the discipline to break old patterns and the courage to risk trusting new ones. In other words emotional well-being requires warriorship of the heart. It takes great courage to let go of the over extended, empathetic coping mechanism of the child-after all, it saved your life. But the very same orientation in the world leads the adult into chronic poor health, coping addictions, and damaging relationships. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt and she continues to explore why we are so confused about what emotional well-being is and how we can use shamanic skills to cultivate the emotional health and intelligence needed to live with authenticity and compassion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 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.

Into the Darkness

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Late tonight we will be treated to a total lunar eclipse. Slate has a detailed writeup on where and how to view it.

Do you live in North America, South America, Australia, or eastern Asia? Then you get to see a lunar eclipse on the night of April 14/15! And while North America is the best place to watch—we’ll get to see the whole event—the real action doesn’t begin until 05:58 UTC on the 15th, which is just before 02:00 EDT, so it’s a bit late. You might just want to stay up for it, though.

It will also be broadcast live by the Griffith Observatory.

But this is just the attention getter for a series of celestial alignments that astrologers are claiming is one for the books. This Easter will bring with it a collective crucifixion as a Grand Cross in the Cardinal signs.

I'm not an astrologer, but I wasn't surprised to read any of that. My fear is that it lines up all too perfectly with a sense of nameless dread that I've had for months. As I was discussing with some lovely people on this thread (search page for: earthquake), what I keep getting from my guides is "major global realignment."

"Gospel of Jesus's Wife" Papyrus Authenticated

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



The papyrus fragment that touched off a firestorm because it refers to Jesus's wife appears to be authentic. Tests of the papyrus fibers and ink confirm that both are of ancient origin.

For two years, researchers carried out a number of tests, including two radiocarbon tests, microscopic imaging, and micro-Raman spectroscopy, to examine the fragment.

One of the radiocarbon tests indicated that the piece of papyrus must have originated from some time between 659 and 859 CE. Using micro-Raman spectroscopy, researchers confirmed that the ink's carbon character matched with similar samples of other old papyri fragments. The handwriting was examined, and imaging scientists assessed the damage caused to the document to examine if there was a possibility of the document being forged or doctored.

After weighing the evidence, the scholars and scientists agree that the GJW fragment is old and definitely "a product of early Christians, not a modern forger," according to a press release from Harvard Divinity School.

Dr. Karen King, who announced the discovery in 2012, hopes the findings will change the conversation from debate over its authenticity to its historical relevance. That seems doubtful as it is still meeting with resistance from some academics and the subject matter is so charged.

Homeless Jesus

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



A public art installation in an affluent North Carolina suburb is causing some consternation amongst the locals. One woman even called the police when she noticed what appeared to be a homeless person sleeping on a bench outside St. Alban's Episcopal Church. Another complained in a letter to the editor of the local paper. But the vagrant cast in bronze is artist Timothy Schmalz's conception of Jesus.

Some neighbors felt it was an insulting depiction of the Son of God, and what appears to be a hobo curled up on a bench demeans the neighborhood.

The bronze statue was purchased for $22,000 as a memorial for a parishioner, Kate McIntyre, who had loved public art. The rector of this liberal, inclusive church is Rev. David Buck, a 65-year-old Baptist-turned-Episcopalian who seems not at all averse to the controversy, the double-takes and the discussion the statue has provoked.

"It gives authenticity to our church," he says. "This is a relatively affluent church, to be honest, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society."


. . .


"We believe that that's the kind of life Jesus had," Buck says. "He was, in essence, a homeless person."

No kidding, huh? Isn't it funny how people forget that. Just as they forget that he told people to sell all they owned and give their money to the poor. (Luke 18:22 and Matthew 19:21)

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

How Do I Cultivate Emotional Well-being?

Health in shamanic terms requires the interaction of body and spirit, mind and emotion. There is no physical health in shamanism apart from the dynamic interaction of all four aspects of being a human. A shamanic diagnosis addresses these four aspects of the human simultaneously, while also looking back to past events that could be a cause of dysfunction now. The interaction of the four aspects of being human was understood to be so deeply essential for health that shamanic peoples built the maintenance of all four into the social fabric and ritual structure of their cultures. Nowhere is this more challenging for us to understand accurately than in the realm of our emotions. This week host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores our twin tendencies to either indulge or deny our emotions and how this distorts our understanding of what it means to be truly sensitive, empathic, or unconditionally accepting. Join us as she shares teachings from the helping spirits for cultivating emotional well-being in support of bringing your gifts to the world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 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.

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Ancestral Healing and the Spirits of the Land

Traditionally "the ancestors" are helping spirits that assist the living in creating a world the descendants are honored to inherit. Yet in our immediate past and present are deep ancestral patterns of colonization, slavery, dominance of one group of human over another, and massacre for land and the resources held within the land. Unresolved human patterns repeat again and again until they are reconciled. The presence of this type of unresolved ancestral pattern can cause chronic disease, family patterns of addiction or abuse, or personal issues like chronic depression, hopelessness, and despair. "And these patterns can be held in the land," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt, "causing those who live on the land to unconsciously avoid the very things they need to do to heal and to release the illness of the past. Ancestral healing is needed to allow people and the land to heal and grow bountiful for those who are coming.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 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.

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is Shadow Work?

What is Shadow Work, really? Psychologically speaking the Shadow is an unconscious aspect of one's personality that the conscious ego judges, fears or rejects to the degree that it does not identify the Shadow as part of the itself. Shadow work implies not only a shift of consciousness or insight, but also the transformation of the relationship that is dominated by judgment and fear. When people talk about doing shadow work they are largely talking about gaining insight through noticing shadow behaviors. "But shadow behaviors are not the Shadow itself self," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt. "The focus is on a symptom and not the source. This means the sincere work of transformation results largely in a spiritual bypass. This relieves the conscious ego, which will not need to change after all, and leaves the Shadow Self largely intact, to undermine our conscious efforts and lay out a seductive path of self-destruction yet again."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 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.

Cafe

Buy at Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Adults in a Culture of Children with Sparrow Hart

What will it take for men and women to return from their respective circles, respective retreats on the mountain, and respective "Wisdom Schools" and begin to seriously work together to create a world our descendants will be happy and proud to inherit? Join us this week when Sparrow Hart, author of Letters to the River-A Guide to a Dream Worth Living, joins host and shaman, Christina Pratt to explore how we move from a culture of adult children focused on "me" and materialism, and gender wars into a culture of adults who are passionate about the gifts they have to give, committed to something larger than their self, and longing to come together to create a better world. Sparrow, a father and author, leads Vision Quests year round, is the founder of Circles of Air, Circles of Stone, creator of the Mythic Warrior Training, and founder of the annual Men's Wisdom Council at the Rowe Conference Center.

This week's guest:
Sparrow Hart

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 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.

Bill Maher on Noah and his Genocidal God

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.




I like Bill Maher. His New Atheist views less so. I think his views on religion are often under-informed and facile. That said, I find little to disagree with in his latest anti-religious rant. It is a little frightening that so many in the US take Biblical myths literally. Maher claims that 60% of Americans believe Noah's Ark is a true story. I assume this isn't in the sense that it is reflective of similar catastrophe myths found around the globe or that it probably derives very directly from the Sumerian legend of Utnapishtim.

The statistic Mahar cites most likely comes from a 2004 ABC poll. That same study found that literal belief is strongest among evangelical Christians, much as one would expect. But this is always the problem with New Atheist arguments. They focus on their direct nemeses, those as dogmatic in their views as they themselves are. And, in fairness, there really is no arguing that literal belief in this story poisons our thinking for the central reason Maher states. This Old Testament god they worship is a genocidal maniac. Belief in such a god sets the stage for all manner of cruelty and consciously or unconsciously justifies atrocities.

Joseph Campbell has said much the same and I have cited the following more than once. Maher just says it funnier.

[The Bible is] the most over-advertised book in the world. It's very pretentious to claim it to be the word of God, or accept it as such and perpetuate this tribal mythology, justifying all kinds of violence to people who are not members of the tribe.

The thing I see about the Bible that's unfortunate is that it's a tribally circumscribed mythology. It deals with a certain people at a certain time. The Christians magnified it to include them. It then turns this society against all others, whereas the condition of the world today is that this particular society that's presented in the Bible isn't even the most important. This thing is like a dead weight. It's pulling us back because it belongs to an earlier period. We can't break loose and move into a modern theology.

One of the great promises of mythology is, with what social group do you identify? How about the planet? To say that the members of this particular social group are the elite of God's world is a good way to keep that group together, but look at the consequences! I think that what might be called the sanctified chauvinism of the Bible is one of the curses of the planet today.

Cafe

Buy at Art.com


Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Life and Death: Authenticity in Shamanism

Those who engage in life and live it to its fullest, die many, many small deaths. When we live fully, learning, healing, and expressing who we truly are then the person we have been is regularly outmoded by our growth. Death is necessary if we are to move authentically in the world. Nowhere is this more important than in our shamanic practice and our choice of shamans to help us. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores our misconceptions of what makes shamanism "real." Authenticity in shamanism requires the sacrifice of contemporary sense of entitlement. Authenticity requires sacrifice of the old mind and ideas of individuality and separation for the greater awareness of the interconnectivity of all things. Authenticity requires sacrifice of the old heart and feelings of selfish, need-based love for selfless surrender to the calling to serve the people and the planet and the times we live in.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 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.

Anthony Peake on Philip K. Dick and the Nature of Reality

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Note to self: Read more Anthony Peake and Philip K. Dick.

Sometimes I think the only way to tell the truth is to write SF and Fantasy. This is a fascinating interview... more of an Anthony Peake monologue with a few interruptions, really, and all the more excellent for it. Recommended.

Pope Francis Sex Abuse FAIL

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



Pope Francis has delighted many, myself included, as the kinder, gentler pontiff. But I've said from the outset that when it comes to Catholic leadership the sex abuse crisis is where the rubber meets the road. So when His Holiness addressed the crisis with the same tired rap we've been hearing from Church apologists for years, he brought predictable disappointment and outrage.

When challenged in an interview about his less than proactive response to the crisis, his reaction was to rest on the laurels of all the progress the Church has made. And in a second thoroughly typical reply he deflected criticism of the Catholic Church by making vague statements about how badly everybody else has handled the issue.

“The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that moved with transparency and responsibility,” the pope continued, arguing that most abuse occurs in the home or other community environments. “No one else did as much. And yet, the church is the only one being attacked.”

Does the Catholic Church train its clerics in self-righteous blame throwing?

I suppose if fighting one costly legal battle after another to protect files, cataloging decades of complicated schemes to protect pedophile priests, can be called "transparency," the Catholic Church could be called transparent. I just don't think most people define it that way.

Rhode Island Legionaries to Face Lawsuit

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



A lawsuit against the Rhode Island chapter of the Legion of Christ will proceed. A previous lawsuit, discussed here, here, and here, was dismissed on the basis that the plaintiff lacked legal standing to bring the suit. That case is on appeal. As discussed Mary Lou Dauray's lawsuit inspired reporters to seek and win a treasure trove of documents pertaining to the Legion of Christ. They revealed the organization's long history of concealing its founder's many abuses and its pattern of extracting large sums of money from its devotees.

Enter Paul Chu whose father also willed a sizable donation to the Rhode Island Legion.

A federal judge in Rhode Island has agreed to let a lawsuit move forward against the Roman Catholic religious order the Legion of Christ, turning down an attempt by the disgraced order to end the lawsuit brought over a late Yale University professor's $1 million bequest.

. . .

It's the second lawsuit making its way through the courts in Rhode Island that raises questions about how the Legion secured large donations from elderly supporters. The other is in state court and involves around $60 million left by a wealthy widow. It was dismissed because the judge found the woman's niece did not have standing to sue, but a state Supreme Court appeal is pending.

In the federal lawsuit, Chu, the son of retired mechanical engineering professor James Boa-Teh Chu, says his father was wrongly coerced, defrauded and deceived into signing over $1 million to $2 million to the Legion before he died in 2009. He says his father, who lived in East Providence, R.I., was led to believe the Legion's founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, was a saint, even as the Vatican was investigating serious sexual abuse allegations about him.

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Visions and Illusions: Authenticity in Shamanism

Are your visions just illusions? Are your dreams really just fantasies? How do we know that our connection with spirit is authentic? Regardless of type of altered state, whether waking or dreaming, light or deep, induced by rhythm or sacred plants, ultimately it will have to be made intelligible through the mind. And the contemporary mind is filled to over-flowing with many things, mostly all entirely not shamanic. The contemporary, Western-trained mind is not prepared for authentic shamanic experience. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores what makes shamanism of any kind "authentic" and how we cultivate the connection with the invisible world necessary for the accurate interpretation of the information found there. Authenticity in shamanism is more than a set of skills with an academic pedigree or a bloodline or being one of the chosen messengers of Aya. Authenticity in shamanism requires sacrifice of self.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 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.

Sexy Jesus, Pt. II: The Gallery

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.


Well, it took years, a Portuguese sex symbol, and a trending hashtag, but they finally got there. The major media has noticed the strange tendency to portray Jesus as the sexy white guy he almost definitely wasn't. Well, he might have been sexy. We don't really know. But white, not so much.

Son of God has been doing big box office as the striking Diogo Morgado reprises his role from The Bible. But strangely it seems the first time the press has seriously entertained the question: Why is Jesus so sexy?

It's something I've been asking for quite some time. Why is Jesus always hot? He was kind to prostitutes and adultresses, so the story goes, but never had sex with any of them. He never had sex at all. Any suggestion that he may have sends the Vatican into a full-blown tizz.

There is something deeply disturbing about these endless portrayals of Jesus as a very handsome -- and emotionally available -- but asexual man. Yet, Jesus has been dead sexy down through the ages.