1.01.2017

Creative people’s brains really do work differently

”The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.”
oddface

12.18.2016

How childhood trauma could affect your life expectancy, relationships and mental health

This is an important article. If you feel you’ve suffered from childhood trauma, please get help and support. Please take it seriously. This is a common thread in many of the readings I do for people, and all of us deserve to find peace and happiness in our lives. Mindful Meditation is a fantastic method for dealing with these issues.
If this is you, please reach out and GET HELP.

Article by Sarah Young:
“Childhood abuse can create long-lasting scars, damage our perception of the world and set our brains to self-destruct until we are well into our 50s, say experts.
While the relationships that we form at a young age help us to develop, if they are destructive, they can negatively impact the rest of our lives.
Research has shown that childhood trauma, ranging from sexual abuse and parent’s divorce to alcoholism in the home, actually increases the odds of heart disease, stroke, depression and diabetes later on in life.
Furthermore, it also increases risky health behaviors such as smoking or having a large number of sexual partners, and even contributes to a lower life expectancy.
The study revealed that those traumatized as children, with six or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), died nearly 20 years earlier than those who had none.
As well as physical affects, these experiences are known to increase the risk of poor psychological health later.
Children who suffer trauma often grow to distrust others as a result of being betrayed by the very adults who are supposed to nurture and protect them, according to the Australian abuse support group Blue Knot Foundation.
Similarly, a study of more than 21,000 child abuse survivors age 60 and older in Australia revealed a much greater rate of failed marriages and relationships, with abuse survivors more  likely to rate themselves “not happy at all” or “not very happy.”
Other problems people with a history of child trauma are more likely to experience include depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, addiction to gambling and shopping, and low self-esteem.
Despite this, there are a number of therapies and tools known to help trauma survivors such as mindful meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy. “

12.06.2016

Love for Oakland

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I’m so moved and saddened by the lives taken in Ghost Ship fire Friday night. When I first heard the story, I understood exactly what it was, because myself and many of my friends have attended gatherings like these many times around the Bay Area. They are exuberant, liberating, creative, inspiring and energizing events for the underground artistic community. To me, they are the heartbeat of the Bay Area, and communities everywhere. I’ve personally been inspired musically by attending these events.
But I wasn’t ready to start seeing the faces and hearing the back stories of the people that perished. I feel rocked to my core this morning; helpless and grieving for the young lives lost. To me, the artists, writers, performers and musicians of this world are hugely important and VITAL – especially as the world is becoming more conservative and protectionist. The world desperately needed to hear more from these brilliant kids, who had their whole lives in front of them.
You can read some of their stories here.
What can be said? What can be done other than to grieve? There is something each of us can do for the ones we lost. We can speak up. We can get disciplined and get to work. We can express ourselves. And we can DO OUR ART. I’m picking up my guitar today in honor of them.

11.19.2016

Neptunian Direct

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Neptune Direct in Pisces today at 8:38pm Pacific
Excellent day to float around your house in a creative dream world, do Magick, draw, paint, write and ESPECIALLY make MUSIC!
Neptune, planet of fantasy, dreams, spirituality, clairvoyance, movies, divine power, spiritual strength, and the occult is standing still over our heads this weekend. It has been moving backward for the last several months and will turn forward, or Direct this evening at 8:38pm. When a planet is standing still or “stationing” overhead, it’s energy is more concentrated than usual, and greatly impacts our personal lives and society at large.
The influence this weekend is powerful because of this stationing – AND the fact that it’s happening IN Pisces – Neptune’s natural home. It’s cold and raining where I am; the two qualities of elemental WATER, which inspire us towards imagination, music and creativity. We want to stay in and watch movies or daydream – both very Neptunian activities. Pay attention to any intuitive insights or flashes of inspiration you receive, because the air is crackling with divine communication. The only thing to watch out for is escapism – don’t overdo drugs or alcohol right now because it will backfire on your efforts. Tap into the deep, spiritual eddies flowing around you, and embrace the current of Love. Write out your dreams because they contain powerful keys of inspiration and self knowledge.
From Mystic Medusa: “Neptune peeps can be hideously alluring, charming and yet deceptive. Haute Neptune is great art, mystics and people such as Jesus Christ. Low Neptune is, well, out of it. Neptune energy infuses your perceptions when you’re drunk or otherwise escaping or enhancing reality.
Some peeps give their whole life over to Neptune, never a particularly good idea.
You need to master Saturn before you can ‘do’ Neptune satisfactorily.  Neptune always makes me think of the kind of beach that has a steep drop all of a sudden and you can go from bopping about in the shallows, shore in sight, to swimming with slippery, deceptive and potentially dangerous sea monsters.
Neptune can break your heart. Via drugs, alcohol, madly escapist tendencies or those strange, addictive romances some people get hooked up in where the feelings evoked are nothing short of religious…but it’s basically hopeless.
Sometimes i get people emailing me who are clearly in the grip of Neptune – not drunk (?) but wanting my idea on when someone they last saw eight years ago but still hold our hope for might return. Or the classic someone-married scenario. I always want to tip an urn of Saturn-chilled ice water over them but nothing works when Neptune has gotten a grip.
You can have Neptune strong in your chart – in which case you need to get some good Saturn habits strong to augment the good qualities of Neptune – or you can have a powerful Neptune transit going on that renders you temporarily Neptunian. When you’re Neptunian, you get easy access to other realms – ghosts, visions, angels, spirit guides….dark matter maybe. You will have a Muse. You will be exquisitely sensitive….like a Medium. Every night your R.E.M. mind is a like a blockbuster epic movie.
So how Neptunian are you?  Do you have the “easy” or “challenging” aspects of Neptune to other planets in your chart. Never mind the sextile to Pluto. We’ve basically all got that one. Think more of what Neptune is doing to Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Ascendant.
Or are you having a Neptune transit?  For the next two years, Neptune hangs out in the late degrees of Aqua/early Pisces…So that’s your key Neptune zone. Also, if you’ve got anything in a late Fixed sign (Leo, Taurus, Scorpio) or early (up to three degrees) of a Mutable (Virgo, Saggo, Gemini) consider that Neptune haunted as well.
Also, how many of you got nearly drowned by a Lower Neptunian? Or had Neptune break their heart? I think it happens to lots of peeps when they’re young.”

10.26.2016

Reclaiming The Radical Legacy of The Witch



Article by 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about witches. Not just because top ten lists of hot tv witches and sexy Halloween selfies currently swamp my social media feeds, but because my tables and shelves are currently so laden with herbs, plants, berries, phials and bottles that if an inquisitor of old were to enter, I’d find myself quickly tied to the stake. And while this worry seems remote, it’s a plain fact that women in third world countries are still hunted down, tortured and set aflame for the crime of witchcraft.

Sure, the witch is emerging from the world of taboo and shadows onto the world stage. Sure, she’s being touted as a feminist icon  – a “powerful feminine model free from male influence or ownership”. But I’m not so sure. Because how can it be that the witch, once associated with everything transgressive and beyond the realm of normative society, is now so trendy and positively mainstream?  Is it really a feminist step forward that W magazine declared Fall 2016, the season of the witch, replete with pouting models in gothic dresses, chains and black lace underwear?

And while many believe the witch of the middle ages was a spectre created by the church, I believe she was real. Yes, many put to death were just ordinary women who practiced folk magic, herbalism and midwifery, but many were powerful spiritual leaders of the indigenous, animist faith traditions of the old world – and their magic was earned through a lifetime of spiritual discipline spent in communion with nature.

And I worry her make-over into nubile fashion siren not only obscures this history, but her true relevance as a role model to us today. One that if resurrected, would be just as subversive and dangerous to the powers that be. 

Today the witches tall black hat and burbling cauldron have become icons of Halloween kitsch, but they were once hallowed items of the holy women and priestesses, the healers and herbalists, the oracles and diviners of old Europe. Their conical hats and cauldrons date back to the 2nd Millennium BCE and were connected to the female shamans of the Indo-European peoples.



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Their cauldrons (as well as crystal balls and magical wands) were still being used thousands of years later by the “witte wieven” or wise women, the sibyls, seers, and female druids of Celtic, Anglo Saxon, and Norse traditions of the middle ages.

According to Max Dashu, author Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion,  these “dream-readers, sooth-sayers, and herb-chanters, fire-gazers in Switzerland, or water-gazers in France and Spain”, practiced “all the elements of shamanism: chants, prophecy, healing, weather-making powers, and shapeshifting”. Legends tell of their sacred cauldrons in which “they simmered mysterious herbs to produce a drink of immortality and resurrection.”

These women were the guardians of the earth, the protectors of the sacred groves, lakes and springs, from which they derived their magical power. And until the middle ages they were highly respected, sought out and consulted for healing and divination by common folk, nobility and clergy alike.

But according to Barbara G. Walker , it was during the 14th century that the Catholic Church, during its relentless expansion and appropriation of sacred land, began to distinguish between witchcraft, perpetrated by women, and sorcery, a legitimate pursuit of men.


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While books on sorcery were condoned well into the enlightenment, female witches in contrast were said to “magically injure crops, domestic animals, and people, and in general “outrage the Divine Majesty”. And thus their religious practices (as described by Dashu) of “sitting-out” on the land “gazing, listening, gathering wisdom” were extinguished by a priesthood that sought to bring nature, magic, women (not to mention their land and property) under male control.

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These women did not go easily, or take usurpation of their holy sites and old ways lightly – it took the Church hundreds of years to hunt them down. And so it seems likely, at least to me,  that the stereotype of vengeful witch, casting curses and blighting crop, was real, at least for the church. She must have been the original eco-feminist, fighting the patriarchy with one of most powerful tools at her disposal, magic. And the Church took it pretty seriously indeed.”