Archive for July, 2013

Bradley Manning Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy

“After two months of court hearings, Private first class Bradley Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy, but was found guilty of lesser counts on Tuesday. Army Judge Col. Denise Lind charged the soldier with five charges of espionage, five counts of theft and four counts of embezzlement. RT’s Andrew Blake is at Fort Meade, Maryland.”

Find RT America in your area:
Or watch us online:

Well, it’s definitely not a full victory, but at least he’s been found innocent of the most severe charge. I continue to pray that this trial awakens humanity, especially Americans — urging all people to wipe the crust from their eyes and hearts and begin to live according to conscience.

May this brave, Spiritual Warrior continue to remain strong, and may the Judge receive some Divine nudges (not to be confused with the White House’s “new” Nudge Squad). May Army Judge Col. Denise Lind rise above political pressure and mundane or fearful concerns; may she, like Bradley Manning, learn to recognize and honor truth, sovereignty, courage and love of Life rather than senseless, unjustified, rabid, secret and despicable killing and abuse.

May people everywhere regain their hearts and reclaim their minds. May each find and express sparks of the Divine within, re-membering our connection to each other and to every living being. I call upon the Spirit that lives and moves and breathes through us: reveal yourself in surprising ways. Knock on our hearts. Open the floods of compassion. Protect the ones who serve you.

Last Day to Sign Up for July Specials


$77 Medical Intuitive Sessions

Lots of healing in the works these days! As such, I’ve been “informed” that the first July Special is a Medical Intuitive Session sale to help support people getting over that healing hump.

Medical Intuition is the ability to access information about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health through reading the energy field around the body. A Medical Intuitive Session decodes the message(s) from soul to body into language your conscious mind can understand and begin to address. (It is not meant to replace traditional medical treatment, but rather to empower your healing via whatever modality you ultimately choose.) Medical Intuitive Readings are normally $175 per hour or $90 per half hour.

Medical Intuitive sessions purchased today through 7/31/13, will be discounted to $77 per half hour, which can be doubled or tripled for longer sessions.

$44 Reiki Healing Attunements

With all the people around the world facing core issues and finding all the pieces synchronously rearranging into place, it feels like a lot of people are ready to make a quantum leap. Reiki Healing Attunements are not for everyone. If you’re just beginning your healing journey and, for whatever reason (no shame) don’t feel like it’s quite time to embrace all the related mental/emotional/spiritual issues, then a gentler Reiki Treatment seems more appropriate. A Reiki Treatment helps your body to relax so that it can more deeply heal on all levels — at your own pace.

A Reiki Healing Attunement is much more dramatic. It’s not an initiation to become a Reiki Practitioner; however, it is an initiation of sorts. A Reiki Healing Attunement consciously and strongly amplifies your commitment and intention to making a quantum leap — whether that means leaving an illness, situation or recurrent pattern behind. Reiki Healing Attunements are kind of like rocket boosters, providing extra energy to lift you out of the gravitational pull of whatever has held you back. You may not see an immediate (as in that day or next day) result, but the RHA’s function like an initiation ritual, so that at the deepest levels, you know you’ve moved on. Reality unfolds from that place.

As I said above, Reiki Healing Attunements are not for everyone; they’re for people who’ve already done a lot of inner work and honest self-assessment and know they desire the next level — much sooner rather than later. I rarely offer specials on these, but at this time, I’m hearing from so many people at that quantum leap place that I feel called to list this Special, too. Reiki Healing Attunements $44 if purchased on or before 7/31/13 (Save $11 from the usual rate.)

Please contact me if you’d like to sign up for either or both of the July Specials.

Survey: only 15% of farmers would eat GMO food

Oh, Jon, thank you for shining light where the sun don’t often shine …

Survey: only 15% of farmers would eat GMO food

by Jon Rappoport

July 25, 2013

The British survey was funded by Barclays Bank and done in collaboration with Farmers Weekly.

Only 15% of farmers polled said they would eat GMO food. Talk about a blanket rejection. It can’t get much clearer than that.

Obviously, these backward farmers want to protect their own health. Who ever heard of such a thing! How dare they! They’re supposed to follow the party line. They’re supposed to say, “Yum yum, give me some GM.”

Well, funny things happen when people consider their own bodies. They tell you what they really think.

You see, 61% of the farmers said they’d grow GMO crops “if they had the opportunity.” In other words, they’d willingly endanger other people’s health, but not their own.

“Just business, nothing personal.”

Reminds me of the idea of sending government officials who declare war into the field with weapons.

“No, I said the war was necessary. I didn’t say I’d risk my own life out there with all those crazies running around. Besides, I suffer from migraines and my doctor told me I have to avoid stress.”

Or: “Everybody is hereby ordered to go on the Obamacare plan. Except those of us in the Congress who have our own plan.”

The farmers survey should have included the following questions, for the 61% of farmers who said they’d grow GMO crops if given the chance:

“Would you eat what you sell every day of your life?”

“And if not, what is wrong with you?”

On a related note, we have this from Mike Adams at Natural News: “Polls were taken by accomplished scientists at the McGill Cancer Center from 118 doctors who are all experts on cancer. They asked the doctors to imagine they had cancer and to choose from six different ‘experimental’ therapies. These doctors not only denied chemo choices, but they said they wouldn’t allow their family members to go through the process either!”

Oh, and lest I forget, we have the famous vaccine proponent, Dr. Paul Offit, who said babies can handle “10,000 vaccines at once.” Well, since babies have only partially developed immune systems and Offit is an adult, I’d be willing to take a crash course in how to give an injection and pop Offit with 10,000 vaccines, as a test. Why not? What could go wrong?

And while I’m at it—all those clinical trials of new drugs using volunteers who don’t have a clue about what they’re getting into? Seems only fair to include the researchers who developed the drugs and other doctors and pharmaceutical execs as volunteers in the trials. In fact, they should be first in line. If they fall over dead or develop life-threatening conditions, then everyone else will know there’s a slight problem.

Moving along, if the government is spying on all of us, for our own good, and in order to protect the country, then we should spy on them for the same reasons. Let them experience their own programs up close and personal. Long ago, when funding for NSA started to accelerate into the wild blue yonder, the Congress should have offered themselves up on a platter, to set a good example.

“You boys know our phone numbers, email addresses, and where we live and play. So please, spy on us 24/7, because we’re about to let you do it to all Americans.”

No? Am I missing something here? Don’t government officials endanger the nation? Haven’t they already proved that over and over? Shouldn’t they be watched carefully, as you would watch wild animals in a zoo?

The examples keep multiplying, don’t they? Oil spills, radiation leaks from nuclear reactors. Why aren’t the heads of companies and governments involved, who are telling us it’s all okay…why aren’t they living close to the reactors and seas where it’s “so safe?” What could give us greater assurance and peace of mind?

Just trying to be helpful.

What if certain government officials, who’ve been praising programs to fund the resurgence of inner cities, had to live in St. Louis and Detroit and experience the results/non-results of the federal programs?

What if conservative legislators, who’ve never met a big corporation they didn’t love, lived on farms where Monsanto’s vaunted Roundup Ready tech isn’t working at all, and the farmers have to do burn-downs, using far more toxic herbicides, to destroy the superweeds that are thriving and taking over the land?

If you’re a president with a Nobel Peace Prize in your pocket, and you’re ordering drone strikes, wouldn’t you benefit from actually being there and seeing the explosions on the ground and the bodies?

At least the British farmers are being honest. Only 15% would eat GMO food.

Source: GM Watch, “UK citizens reject GM food and even farmers don’t want to eat it

Jon Rappoport

NYC allows doctors to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables as treatment for obesity; FDA declares veggies ‘unapproved drugs’

It was the sanest of times; it was the insanest of times. I am proud to live in a county where the Sheriff stands up to the FDA, but it’s really encouraging to hear about doctors and politicians putting the Big Apple back into NYC. Here’s Mike Adams with the good, the bad, and the ridiculous:

NYC allows doctors to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables as treatment for obesity; FDA declares veggies ‘unapproved drugs’

(NaturalNews) These days, it’s difficult to find examples of government doing anything that makes sense. That’s all the more reason why a program embraced by New York City is newsworthy. Dubbed the “Fruit and Vegetables Prescription Program,” it allows doctors to “prescribe” fresh fruit and vegetables to overweight or obese patients by giving them “Health Bucks” that are redeemable at local farmer’s markets.

See the announcement of this program at the Wholesome Wave website.

This program makes New York City the largest U.S. city to officially acknowledge that fruits and vegetables have a role to play in preventing chronic degenerative disease — an idea that the FDA insists is delusional. According to the FDA, there is no such thing as any fruit, vegetable, supplement or superfood that has any ability whatsoever to prevent, treat or cure any disease.

Sure, the FDA’s belief is ancient history in terms of present-day knowledge about nutrition and disease, but it’s still federal policy. And according to the FDA, the mere “prescribing” of a food as something to prevent obesity automatically transforms that food into a “drug.” Under current FDA regulations, then, NYC is guilty of promoting “unapproved drugs” which are really just fruits and vegetables. But that’s how FDA logic works.

NYC officials invest in nutrition to prevent disease

New York doesn’t seem to be letting the FDA’s outdated delusions stop it from pursuing the “Fruits and Vegetables Prescription Program,” however. Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced the program last week, and by all accounts the program has been met with widespread approval. It allows families that are prescribed the Health Bucks to redeem them for fresh produce at over 140 New York City farmer’s markets.

As WFEV reports:

Bronx resident Tammy Futch said her family has seen positive changes since starting the program.

“My son lost 40 pounds behind this program,” she said, “and also I lost weight doing it with him and also I have my other kids, I have four other kids also doing the program.”

The Prescription Program was started by Wholesome Wave in 2011 and has since been expanded to seven states.

Natural News endorses the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program

For the record, all of us here at Natural News openly endorse this program, and we think it needs to be vastly expanded. To understand why, let’s talk about the role of government and food stamps for a moment.

Right now, 100+ million Americans are on some form of federal food aid. Much of that is through the USDA’s “SNAP” program, often called “food stamps” even though that’s not the official name anymore.

The SNAP program is nothing more than a big government handout to junk food manufacturers and soda companies. That’s because food stamp money can be spent on all the processed junk foods and sodas that make people sick and diseased with conditions like diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and more. Through SNAP, the federal government is subsidizing the foods that cause sickness! Obviously, this also drives up health care costs and deeply harms the overall U.S. economy.

What if we took the federal SNAP program and turned the entire thing into the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program?

What I mean here is to shift the SNAP program so that all processed junk foods are disallowed. Update the rules so that SNAP funds can only be used to buy fresh produce and a few basic staples such as rice, oats, beans, salt and so on.

All of a sudden, you’d see a nationwide shift away from disease and toward vastly improved health. Disease rates would plummet, but so would the share prices of junk food companies like PepsiCo, Kraft and Coca-Cola. You’d also see lower rates of chronic degenerative disease, and this would hurt the profits of the all-powerful drug companies, hospitals and cancer industry profiteers. For these reasons, the food and medicine lobby will incessantly pressure the USDA to make sure SNAP continues to keep Americans sick and diseased. After all, billions of dollars in profits are at stake here, and the drug companies have a powerful lobby.

So don’t expect the feds to do anything other than keep poisoning America through SNAP. That’s the purpose of the program, it seems: to sicken the population and trap Americans in a never-ending cycle of medical dependence while enriching the drug companies.

Cities can succeed where the federal government fails

But on a city-by-city basis, forward-thinking people are starting to fight back against the “industry of death” offered by the USDA and its junk food subsidy programs. That’s why New York City deserves a lot of credit for this particular program: it’s investing taxpayer money directly into the health of people who are on the verge of becoming huge financial burdens on the health care system.

See, for every dollar you spend subsidizing real nutrition in the population — fresh fruits, vegetables or superfoods — you’ll probably save $10 or more in averted health care costs over the long term. Healthy foods are a fantastic investment because they’re cheap to buy but extremely valuable in terms of the lifesaving medicines they provide.

Blueberries, for example, contain natural medicines that help prevent heart disease:

Broccoli contains natural medicines that help prevent cancer:

Tomatoes are very well documented to help prevent prostate cancer:

And turmeric root, often used in curries, is well known to be a powerful treatment for breast cancer:

See the entire list of foods and their health benefits at the new website:

Because of all the astounding health benefits of foods, a typical farmer’s market is a treasure chest of natural medicines that can prevent and reverse cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and much more. It is only because of monopolistic, oppressive FDA policies that the entire medical profession isn’t already “prescribing” fresh produce to prevent degenerative disease.

This is how we beat the federal death sentence: City by city, state by state, prescribing nutrition to prevent disease

Personally, I find it fascinating that NYC is the place where this is happening right now. NYC is normally a pro-big-government city, meaning they should worship the FDA-endorsed idea of feeding everybody chemical medications and junk foods while attacking nutrition and outlawing health claims.

But that’s not what we’re seeing here. With this program, NYC is actually taking a stand against FDA tyranny and the federal government’s “death subsidy” program called SNAP. Perhaps NYC realizes it’s headed the way of Detroit if doesn’t get its long-term health care costs under control. After all, a city that lives on processed food and prescription medications is a city that will inevitably collapse from “disease care” bankruptcy. And right now across America’s largest 61 cities, future health care entitlements are only funded at 6 cents on the dollar.

Perhaps there are enough smart New Yorkers still in charge to realize the only way to have a healthy city is to have healthy people. And that means finding creative ways to get people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables rather than pigging out on nutrient-depleted junk foods. The easiest solution to all this is to just hand out vouchers for fresh produce, effectively giving them to the population for free.

The two areas where government has a legitimate role in handing out benefits

That’s why I think every city in the nation would be smart to implement this program. Although I don’t like the overall idea of any government running around hanging money out to people, this is one exception where it actually makes sense.

In fact, I’ve always believed there are TWO areas where the government has a legitimate role in subsidizing the public:

1) NUTRITION – Fresh produce, superfoods and food-based supplements and non-pasteurized concentrates. Government handouts of nutrition actually save the taxpayers money in long-term health care costs.

2) EDUCATION – A college degree should be a “pay it forward” agreement from one generation to the next. No student who qualifies for a college or university should be denied that education simply because they cannot afford it.

These are smart investments that create a healthier, more prosperous society. But instead of subsidizing these two things, we have exactly the opposite at the federal level: a government that subsidizes junk foods while attacking nutrition. Remember: it is the official position of the FDA that anyone who sells a lemon while claiming that lemon can help prevent scurvy is a dangerous criminal engaged in “drug crimes.”

The FDA’s war on fruits, vegetables and nutrition

The FDA warning letters website is full of examples of this, where the agency accuses nutrition companies of selling “unapproved new drugs” simply because they attempt to describe the health benefits of those supplements.

For example, on this warning letter page, the FDA accuses a company called Naturecast Products of selling “unapproved new drugs” because their website described the benefits of chromium on blood sugar:

Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels by collaborating with insulin in facilitating the uptake of glucose into the cells. If chromium is not present, insulin’s action is blocked and blood sugar levels are elevated. Insulin is secreted in response to the rise in blood glucose levels after the consumption of a meal. Insulin functions by increasing the rate that glucose is taken up by the cells and the [sic] lowers blood glucose levels.

The fact that chromium really does help regulate blood sugar levels is well established in the scientific literature, including in this study:

But the FDA pays no attention to scientific facts. Instead, the agency says that ANY claim, validated or otherwise, automatically transforms a food or supplement into an “unapproved new drug.” And for this reason, Americans are kept in the dark about the scientifically-verified health benefits of nutrients, foods, phytochemicals and dietary supplements.

This is by design. The FDA wants to keep the American people ignorant and sick so that Big Pharma can sell them more drugs and vaccines. The FDA is, in effect, the marketing branch of Big Pharma. It uses its regulatory power not to serve America’s interests, but to crush America’s knowledge of nutrition and health. This is a Dark Ages policy that’s causing untold harm to America.

More cities need to stand up to the FDA’s tyranny

Today even NYC has run afoul of the FDA’s absurd position that foods have no role in human health, but this is precisely what America needs today: a local revolt against federal ignorance about the relationship between food and health.

While the federal SNAP program drives Americans into disease, cities and states need to embrace fruit-and-vegetable programs that can help pull Americans out of the death spiral of junk foods and medications.

And that’s why NYC sets a shining example in this particular case, demonstrating what other cities need to follow if they hope to survive the disastrous collapse of health now emerging across America.

We here at Natural News applaud the efforts by NYC officials to prescribe fruits and vegetables as treatments for disease, and we encourage other cities to join in this effort that pays huge dividends in terms of public health and “sick care” cost savings.

Sources for this story include:……

Learn more:

Water has Memory

Those people familiar with Dr. Emoto’s “The Secret Life of Water” won’t be surprised by this independent study, but imagine the implications! This is why, for years, I have charged my water with Reiki, Runes, and intentions. It’s also why when we select our rain barrels, I plan to paint them with ancient symbols and protection and purification Runes.

People worry so much about chemtrails and radiation. I’m not saying these are not concerns — just that there are multiple ways around a problem. Why not place an energetic filter that Aluminum becomes the perfect organic fertilizer for your plants? Barium becomes love incarnate. Humans are 98% water. Again, imagine the possibilities! Want to change the world? Change your awareness of who and what you are, and your appreciation of who and what that “world” is.

There’s a lovely chant originally written by Z Budapest, which I’ve had stuck in my head for weeks:
“We all come from the Goddess,
and to her we shall return —
like a drop of rain,
flowing to the ocean.”

The sense of interconnectedness this brings feels incredible … and now, is backed by science:

Magical Gardening

Today was a day of call and response with the Universe. A day full of answers to requests just made. A day of abundance, sharing, and lots and lots of freebies! You know I love that. 😉

It actually started yesterday when David’s sister emailed me about how excited she is to can some of our tomatoes at the end of August. David and I don’t do much in the way of canned foods (other than Eden brand beans with kombu), so at first I thought this was just a “for Linda thing.” I figured that canning would be a good skill to learn, but I planned to dehydrate most of our excess tomatoes, as I’ve done the two previous years. The more I thought about it, though, the more excited I got, too. David’s mom is a veteran canner who lived through the Great Depression. Having a chance to learn this old art from someone who really used it to feed her family feels like an honor. Plus, I now have eight tomato plants, several of which are already producing more tomatoes than I can handle. Having a canning option to give away large quantities feels like a relief!

In the meantime, I decided that I’ll need to dehydrate a batch of tomatoes ASAP, because we just have way more than we, David’s parents, our friends and neighbors need right now. There’s nothing quite like a homegrown dehydrated tomato in the middle of winter, though — or even as a thickener for a raw food marinara sauce over kelp noodles. As I pondered the August canning, I sent out a very quick request to the Universe that we get more canning jars before then. Since canning’s not really a lifestyle for us largely raw folks, I really didn’t want to spend any money on these jars.

Well! Not even 14 hours after I made the request, along comes a Facebook post for David asking if anyone in Goshen could use dozens and dozens of extra canning jars of various sizes. Score! We drove about eight blocks and picked up a huge trash bag full of jars and lids. We are ready for August. About two hours later, another older friend of ours came by to look at the gardens. We told her about canning the tomatoes and getting the free jars, and she offered us even more jars that she has “just lying around collecting dust.” We accepted and will add her to the canned tomato gravy train.

Yesterday afternoon, I made the sad call to cut down my Boston Marrow Squash in crates, because the squash beetles had decimated them right after I took their picture for the last garden update. This was a serious bummer, but I have now concluded that squash in crates is not an ideal option, at least not with the potting mix I used. It was too difficult to regulate the moisture properly, which stressed out the plants and made them more vulnerable to attack. I was still feeling a bit sad about my poor squash, when I noticed a missed phone call from our friend who wanted to see the gardens. She had been gifted way too many squash leftover from yesterday’s Farmer’s Market and didn’t know what to do with it all!

free squash

In total, she gave us eight squash, some of which I will dehydrate into zucchini chips and share with her … and some of which will make a lovely steamed summer entree. Nature truly wants to show me her abundance! I’ve lost five squash plants, but apparently, that doesn’t matter, because the free harvest continues anyway. In the above photo, you can also see just some of our many tomatoes awaiting tomorrow’s dehydrator adventure with the zucchini. Our Early Girl plant has another 12 tomatoes that should be perfectly red tomorrow morning.

In addition to the free squash, our friend brought us two bags of basil, right after I got the hit to make and freeze loads of pesto. For some reason, I’m not real jazzed about pesto in the summer, but come winter, I crave it. We have plenty of basil for daily harvesting and the occasional pesto meal, but I was wondering how this extra basil would manifest so I could use up the lemons that need using and make enough pesto for many meals. Enter … free purple basil to add to my own harvest:

free basil

Thinking about all this food prep got me thinking about what else I might want to can, and how the heck to use up all the dandelion blossoms currently crowding our freezer. David suggested I throw them out, since we will have plenty more next year, but let me tell you: that was some neck straining work this Spring! I’m not tossing those babies out. Uh-uh. I’ve got one container of blossoms defrosting so I can make dandelion vinegar, which works as a tonic to help release the calcium in greens. Supposedly, greens eaten with a bit of herb or dandelion vinegar increase calcium absorption by at least 1/3. Nice!

free dandelions for jam

Sooo, with my free dandelions and some apple cider vinegar, after about six weeks in a dark corner, I’ll have a super potent, mineralizing health tonic that will last indefinitely. Click here to learn how to make your own herbal vinegars.

Of course, this barely makes a dent in my dandelion blossoms, so I started looking for dandelion jam or jelly recipes that use birch sweetener (also known as xylitol, or as we call it, “Berkano.”) Sure enough, I found a lavender infused dandelion xylitol jam recipe that will make fine faery use of the smaller canning jars we just inherited. The lavender has convinced me to make a go of this one, and it will make the whole canning process that much more exciting. I guarantee David’s mom has never canned dandelion jam!

The big impetus for relieving the freezer of dandelion flowers really comes from my recent daydreams about our Fall and Winter gardens. Oh, yes, Spring and Summer are just a phase here. I’ve spent all week figuring out whether to make or buy a cold frame and if we need a dedicated winter garden bed. Indeed, we do. The black sides of all our current garden beds should keep the soil warmer for a month on each side of the traditional gardening season, but the InstaBeds and repurposed Sleep Number Bed frame pose some interesting challenges in terms of cold frames. We considered creating a huge hoop house to cover all the beds, but that feels like a bigger project than we want to take on this year.

After much research and weighing cost versus time, I think I’ve decided on a combo raised bed/cold frame unit. Easy assembly. Twelve year warranty on the bed. Two year warranty on the cold frame. This 4′ x 8′ x 10.5″ structure will allow me to plant a wide variety of crops that need to get started before some of my bigger plants have completed their life cycle. Our raised beds have offered so much produce already compared to anything we’ve put in the ground that it seems like a no brainer to start another raised bed with winter crops, rather than try to force our soil into something it’s not (yet).

I’ve been reading Eliot Coleman’s “Four Season Harvest,” and he makes all those Fall and Winter veggies sound so delectable that I’m turning into even more of a foodie than I already am. I started looking at current plants that could make room for new crops in the next couple weeks, and I decided that my cilantro that’s gone to seed will come out (duh), but also that I can pull the lemongrass that has taken over the west side of an InstaBed.

this is from a few weeks ago, but already you can see the lemongrass looking like a huge ornamental in the round bed.

this is from a few weeks ago, but already you can see the lemongrass looking like a huge ornamental in the round bed.

I started thinking about all the carrots I could plant in the lemongrass spot and began researching how to preserve lemongrass for tea and all that yummy Thai soup I’ll crave come winter but not right now. It’s totally doable, but man, those plants are telepathic! I went outside to harvest a little bit for tonight’s stirfry, and I swear that plant drew blood. It has never done that before, but I think it was mad that I’d discard it so easily when it’s so beautiful. The grass part is very sharp, and you do need to be careful with lemongrass. Still, it reminded me exactly of the times I’ve harvested stinging nettles with nary a prick until I’ve heard them say inside my head, “That’s enough now!” Whenever I’ve ignored that message and taken “just a little bit more,” then whammmmm! Those nettles have stung me something fierce. I’m currently negotiating with the lemongrass about the possibility of becoming an overwintered indoor plant — just one stalk to start, and only if she promises to behave inside. No cuts on chapped winter skin!

Anyway, I apparently need to watch my thoughts not only around my plants, but also inside the house. Just like in The Secret Life of Plants, they really are listening and aware. I’m relieved to know that other gardeners and herbalists have had similar experiences with plants and that science appears to support claims of plant telepathy. I know my garden also grows even better after someone comes by and praises it. The next day, the plants and flowers puff up and glow with pride.

Tonight, they got quite the compliment from our friend, whose husband was a passionate gardener until he passed away four years ago. She has been telling me all about his love of plants, wild food foraging and gardening, about how he planted the fruit bushes and trees in Goshen College Woods, and how a chance meeting in a wild strawberry patch led to them finding their delightful lakeside home. She has shared stories to the point where “Lores’s green thumb” has taken on mythic proportions. Tonight she said, “Well, I can’t believe it, but your garden is even more lush than his, and he was gardener his entire life.” My mouth about hit the wood mulch, but I’m sure the plants are happy. Between that vote of confidence and the synchronously arriving eight squash, I feel OK about losing the squash beetle battle. It’s the cycle of life, right? And that loss has underscored something even more amazing, which I already knew but can always realize anew:

We live in an exuberantly abundant, joyful and generous Universe. Remember that. Breathe that in and live it. Then pass it along.

What a magical 24 hours! Blessed Be.

Where Permaculture meets Buddhism

A lovely post by Colette, which ties in nicely with yesterday’s Robert Jensen post, as well as my Joanna Macy references, since she approaches permaculture from a Buddhist background. In this post, Colette shares a letter she received from someone who visited Bealtaine Cottage. Michael describes the special reverence we can all engage in on this planet, truly stepping into a role of caretakers rather than simply takers. A really lovely post!

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Permaculture and BuddhismThere has been hardly a day this Spring and Summer when Bealtaine Cottage has not welcomed visitors.

permaculture and BuddhismOften times I am left exhausted by the challenge of working, to keep production going and keeping a “welcome for all”

Permaculture and BuddhismThere have been occasions when I have had to turn away requests to visit…and I spend time regretting it, but I work on my own and have others to care for at times.

Bealtaine, where Permaculture meets BuddhismThis morning I received an email from visitors who came to see Bealtaine on Friday last.

Permaculture and BuddhismI thought I would share this with you, for what Michael has to say is thoughtful and profound. 

Hi Colette 

This is Michael!

I visited you on Friday with my partner Mairead.

Anyway I just wanted to say thanks again.

You’ve really awakened in me the real magic and mysticism held within our mother earth.

I was beginning to think permaculture was just…

View original post 553 more words

Robert Jensen: Apocalyptic thinking generates hope by embracing both grief and joy

Thanks to Ann at Exopermaculture for finding this gem! It also reminds me of one of my favorite books by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” This attitude of fearlessly facing the various crises we’re in without having an attachment to the results of our actions requires both discipline and compassion. I also love all the beautiful poetry and the focus on grounding.

Initial comments by Ann Kreilkamp:

Rarely do I read something I wish I had been the one to write, not only because it meets so exactly with how I feel, but the way the author lives his life in response to his understanding of our human predicament so precisely parallels my own.

This essay reminds me of the time when I, as what I now label a “violent peace activist,” back in the early ’80s, heard this remark from a grizzled old rancher who lived close to a nuclear test range in Utah: “If we are to blow ourselves up, then at least I will die knowing I have done what I could to prevent it.” I was stunned by his paradoxical attitude: not depressingly cynical, and not foolishly idealistic, but realistic and, above all, ethical. In other words, live as if I don’t know what will happen next, and it doesn’t matter. My actions do not guarantee results. No expectations!

Cecil’s one remark recalibrated the focus for my own life.

Much the same sentiment is offered here, in Robert Jensen’s realistic analysis of our current situation on this planet, and how this overwhelming crisis/opportunity defines who we are and who we can be, once we surrender to its entirety.

We Have to Embrace Apocalypse If We’re Going to Get Serious About Sticking Around on This Planet

To think apocalyptically is not to give up on ourselves, but only to give up on the arrogant stories we modern humans have been telling about ourselves.

July 9, 2013

by Robert Jensen|

Robert Jensen

The following is an excerpt from We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out , in print at and on Kindle (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013):

Here’s my experience in speaking apocalyptically about the serious challenges humans face: No matter how carefully I craft a statement of concern about the future of humans, no matter how often I deny a claim to special gifts of prognostication, no matter now clearly I reject supernatural explanations or solutions, I can be certain that a significant component of any audience will refuse to take me seriously. Some of those people will make a joke about “Mr. Doom and Gloom.” Others will suggest that such talk is no different than conspiracy theorists’ ramblings about how international bankers, secret cells of communists, or crypto-fascists are using the United Nations to create a one-world government. Even the most measured and careful talk of the coming dramatic change in the place of humans on Earth leads to accusations that one is unnecessarily alarmist, probably paranoid, certainly irrelevant to serious discussion about social and ecological issues. In the United States, talk of the future is expected to be upbeat, predicting expansion and progress, or at least maintenance of our “way of life.”

Apocalyptic thinking allows us to let go of those fanciful visions of the future. As singer/songwriter John Gorka puts it: “The old future’s gone/We can’t get to there from here.” The comfortable futures that we are comfortable imagining are no longer available to us because of the reckless way we’ve been rolling the dice; there is nothing to save us from ourselves. Our task is to deal with our future without delusions of deliverance, either divine or technological. This planet is not a way station in a journey to some better place; it is our home, the only home we will know. We will make our peace with ourselves, each other, and the larger living world here.

The first step in thinking sensibly about the future, of course, is reviewing the past. The uncertainty of our future will be easier to accept and the strength to persevere will be easier to summon if we recognize:

— We are animals. For all our considerable rational capacities, we are driven by non-rational forces that cannot be fully understood or completely controlled. Even the most careful scientist is largely an emotional creature, just like everyone else.

— We are band/tribal animals. Whatever kind of political unit we live in today, our evolutionary history is in small groups; that’s how we are designed to live.

— We are band/tribal animals living in a global world. The consequences of the past 10,000 years of human history have left us dealing with human problems on a global scale, and with 7 billion people on the planet, there’s no point in fantasizing about a retreat to Eden.

With that history in mind, we should go easy on ourselves. As Wes Jackson said, we are a species out of context, facing the unique task of being the first animals who will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive, reckoning not just with what we do in our specific place on the planet but with what other people are doing around the world. This is no small task, and we are bound to fail often. We may never stop failing, and that is possibly the most daunting challenge we must face: Can we persevere in the quest for justice and sustainability even if we had good reasons to believe that both projects ultimately will fail? Can we live with that possibility? Can we ponder that and yet still commit ourselves to loving action toward others and the non-human world?

Said differently: What if our species is an evolutionary dead end? What if those adaptations that produced our incredible evolutionary success — our ability to understand certain aspects of how the world works and manipulate that world to our short-term advantage — are the very qualities that guarantee our human systems will degrade the life-sustaining systems of the world? What if that which has allowed us to dominate will be that which destroys us? What if humanity’s story is a dramatic tragedy in the classical sense, a tale in which the seeds of the hero’s destruction are to be found within, and history is the unfolding of the inevitable fall?

We love stories of individual heroes, and collectively we tend to think of ourselves as the heroic species. The question we might ask, uncomfortably, about those tales of heroism: Is Homo sapiens an epic hero or a tragic one? Literature scholars argue over the specific definitions of the terms “epic” and “tragedy,” but in common usage an epic celebrates the deeds of a hero who is favored by, and perhaps descended from, the gods. These heroes overcome adversity to do great things in the service of great causes. Epic heroes win.

A tragic hero loses, but typically not because of an external force. The essence of tragedy is what Aristotle called “hamartia,” an error in judgment made because of some character flaw, such as hubris. That excessive pride of protagonists becomes their downfall. Although some traditions talk about the sin of pride, most of us understand that taking some pride in ourselves is psychologically healthy. The problem is excessive pride, when we elevate ourselves and lose a sense of the equal value of others. When we fall into hubris individually, the consequences can be disastrous for us and those around us. When we fall into that hubris as a species — when we ignore the consequences of the exploitation on which our “lifestyle” is based — the consequences are more dramatic.

What if our task is to give up the dream of the human species as special? And what if the global forces set in motion during the high-energy/high-technology era are beyond the point of no return? Surrounded by the big majestic buildings and tiny sophisticated electronic gadgets created through human cleverness, it’s easy for us to believe we are smart enough to run a complex world. But cleverness is not wisdom, and the ability to create does not guarantee we can control the destruction we have unleashed. It may be that there is no way to rewrite this larger epic, that too much of the tragedy has already been played out.

But here’s the good news: While tragic heroes meet an unhappy fate, a community can learn from the protagonist’s fall. Even tragic heroes can, at the end, celebrate the dignity of the human spirit in their failure. That may be our task, to recognize that we can’t reverse course in time to prevent our ultimate failure, but that in the time remaining we can recognize our hamartia, name our hubris, and do what we can to undo the damage.

That may be the one chance for us to be truly heroic, by learning to leave center stage gracefully, to stop trying to run the world and to accept a place in the world. We have to take our lives seriously but take Life more seriously.

We certainly live in a dangerous time, if we take seriously the data that our vast intellectual enterprises have produced. Ironically, the majority of intellectuals who are part of those enterprises prefer to ignore the implications of that data. The reasons for that will of course vary, and there is no reason to pretend these issues are simple or that we can line up intellectuals in simple categories of good/bad, brave/cowardly, honest/dishonest. Reasonable people can agree on the data and disagree on interpretation and analysis. Again, my argument is not that anyone who does not share my interpretation and analysis is obviously wrong or corrupt; many of the assertions I have made require more lengthy argument than available in this space.

But I hold to one point without equivocation: When the privileged intellectuals subsidized by the institutions of the dominant culture look away from the difficult issues that we face today, they are failing to meet their moral obligations. The more privileged the intellectual, the greater the responsibility to use our resources, status, and autonomy to face these issues. There is a lot riding on whether we have the courage and the strength to accept that danger, joyfully. This harsh assessment, and the grief that must accompany it, is not a rejection of joy. The two, grief and joy, are not mutually exclusive but, in fact, rely on each other, and define the human condition. As Wendell Berry puts it, we live on “the human estate of grief and joy.”

This inevitably leads to the question: where can we find hope? My short answer: Don’t ask someone else where to find it. Create it through your actions. Hope is not something we find, but is something we earn. No one has the right to be hopeful until they expend energy to make hope possible. Gorka’s song expresses this: “The old future’s dead and gone/Never to return/There’s a new way through the hills ahead/This one we’ll have to earn/This one we’ll have to earn.”

Berry speaks repeatedly of the importance of daily practice, of building a better world in a practical ways that nurture real bonds in real communities that know their place in the world. He applies this same idea to a discussion of hope:

[Y]ou’re not under any obligation to construct a hope for the whole human race. What you are required to do is to be intelligent. And that means you’ve got to have an array of examples you want more or less to understand. Some are not perfect, and others are awful, and to be intelligent you’ve got to know why some are better than the others.

If people demand that intellectuals provide hope — or, worse, if intellectuals believe it is their job to give people hope — then offering platitudes about hope is just another way of avoiding the difficult questions. Clamoring for hope can be a dangerous diversion. But if the discussion of hope leads to action, even in the face of situations that may be hopeless, then we can hold onto what Albert Camus called a “stubborn hope”:

Tomorrow the world may burst into fragments. In that threat hanging over our heads there is a lesson of truth. As we face such a future, hierarchies, titles, honors are reduced to what they are in reality: a passing puff of smoke. And the only certainty left to us is that of naked suffering, common to all, intermingling its roots with those of a stubborn hope.

I would call this a hope beyond hope, the willingness not only to embrace that danger but to find joy in it. The systems that structure our world have done more damage than we can understand, but no matter how dark the world grows, there is a light within. That is the message of the best of our theological and secular philosophical traditions, a recurring theme of the best of our art. Wendell Berry has been returning to this theme for decades in essays, fiction, and poetry, and it is the subject of one of his Sabbath poems:

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,
for hope must not depend on feeling good
and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.
You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality
of the future, which surely will surprise us,
and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction
any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.
The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?
Tell them at least what you say to yourself.

This is what I say to myself: Whatever our chances of surviving, we define ourselves in the present moment by what we do. There are two basic tasks in front of us. First, we should commit some of our energy to movements that focus on the question of justice in this world, especially those of us with the privilege that is rooted in that injustice. As a middle-class American white man, I can see plenty of places to continue working, in movements dedicated to ending white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and U.S. wars of domination.

I also think there is important work to be done in experiments to prepare for what will come in this new future that we can’t yet describe in detail. Whatever the limits of our predictive capacity, we can be pretty sure we will need ways of organizing ourselves to help us live in a world with less energy and fewer material goods. We all have to develop the skills needed for that world (such as farming and gardening with fewer inputs, food preparation and storage, and basic tinkering), and we will need to recover a deep sense of community that has disappeared from many of our lives. This means abandoning a sense of ourselves as consumption machines, which the contemporary culture promotes, and deepening our notions of what it means to be humans in search of meaning. We have to learn to tell different stories about our sense of self, our connection to others, and our place in nature. The stories we tell will matter, as will the skills we learn.

Berry’s basis for hope begins with a recognition of where we are and who we are, at our best:

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

In my own life, I continue to work on those questions of justice in existing movements, but I have shifted a considerable amount of time to helping build local networks that can create a place for those experiments. Different people will move toward different efforts depending on talents and temperaments; we should all follow our hearts and minds to apply ourselves where it makes sense, given who we are and where we live. After offering several warnings about arrogance, I’m not about to suggest I know best what work other people should do. If there is any reason for hope, it will be in direct proportion to our capacity for humility and seeing ourselves as part of, not on top of, the larger living world. Berry ends that Sabbath poem not with false optimism but a blunt reminder of how easy it is for us to fall out of right relation with ourselves, others, and the larger living world:

No place at last is better than the world. The world
is no better than its places. Its places at last
are no better than their people while their people
continue in them. When the people make
dark the light within them, the world darkens.

The argument I have made rests on an unsentimental assessment of the physical world and the life-threatening consequences of human activity over the past 10,000 years. We would be wise not to plan on supernatural forces or human inventions to save us from ourselves. It is unlikely that we will be delivered to a promised land by divine or technological intervention. Wishing the world were less harsh will not magically make it less harsh. We should not give into the temptation to believe in magic. As James Howard Kunstler puts it, we should stop “clamoring desperately for rescue remedies that would allow them to continue living exactly the way they were used to living, with all the accustomed comforts.”

But we should keep telling stories. Our stories do not change the physical world, but they have the potential to change us. In that sense, the poet Muriel Rukeyser was right when she said, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

Whatever particular work intellectuals do, they are also storytellers. Artists tell stories, but so do scientists and engineers, teachers and preachers. Our work is always both embedded in a story and advancing a story. Intellectual work matters not just for what it discovers about how the world works, but for what story it tells about those discoveries.

To think apocalyptically is not to give up on ourselves, but only to give up on the arrogant stories we modern humans have been telling about ourselves. Our hope for a decent future — indeed, any hope for even the idea of a future — depends on our ability to tell stories not of how humans have ruled the world but how we can live in the world. The royal must give way to the prophetic and the apocalyptic. The central story of power — that the domination/subordination dynamic is natural and inevitable — must give way to stories of dignity, solidarity, equality. We must resist not only the cruelty of repression but the seduction of comfort.

The songs we sing matter at least as much as the machines we build. Power always assumes it can control. Our task is to resist that control. Gorka offers that reminder, of the latent power of our stories, in the fancifully titled song “Flying Red Horse”:

They think they can tame you, name you and frame you,
Aim you where you don’t belong.
They know where you’ve been but not where you’re going,
And that is the source of the songs.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book is ‘All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic Voice’ (Soft Skull Press). He is also the author of ‘Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity’ (South End Press).

Interview with Susun Weed ~ Plant Telepathy and More

I watched all five parts of this interview yesterday and loved them! “Herb Mentor” interviews Wise Woman Herbalist Susun Weed in a delightful conversation about plant communication, healing relationships with herbs, various traditions of healing, herbal regulation, and more.

People really devoted to colon cleansing may not like part three, but she makes some excellent points about the importance of attitude in healing: do you need “to be fixed” or are you already healthy but looking to get healthier? Are you broken and filthy and can never become clean, or are you looking to add nourishment so that your body can enter into relationship with plants, people, food and the cosmos in order to tap into its own innate healing wisdom?

I very much enjoyed both sides of this conversation, and I trust you will, too!

Timothy Glenn ~ A Celestial Star of David

Yay! It’s always a treat to get a sneak peak at my friend Tim‘s astrological insights. Here they are for you to peruse, too.

Is it just me, or does early June seem like several years ago?! I did a serious double take when I realized that “flipping through the pages of the calendar” referred to weeks, not months or years. My Goddess, I’ve been feeling these transformative times!

Speaking of the Goddess, Tim shares some potent insights about how this “Star of David will open the door for the Goddess, and fling rose petals at her feet.” Tired of a small group of old men lying, stealing, killing and cheating to impose their increasingly fascist patriarchy of domination and control? Yeah, me, too. Buh bye, boys. “The Goddess is alive & magic is afoot!” Even the planets agree.

A Celestial Star of David
The Grand Trines of Summer 2013

By Timothy Glenn

Trine, trine, everywhere a trine: the middle of 2013 is filled with trines, and the trine is generally regarded as the most user-friendly aspect in astrology. At an angle of 120 degrees, the energies between planets will flow more smoothly and gracefully than at any other angle. A Grand Trine requires three mutually trining celestial bodies to form a triangle in the Zodiac.

The major Grand Water Trine reached its peak on July 17. Saturn and Neptune had been hanging out in a cozy trine for weeks on end, just waiting for our favorite Uncle, Jupiter, to come along and fling open some windows of opportunity for anyone ready and willing to receive the benefits.

Many astrologers feel that for an aspect to qualify as a genuine Grand Trine, all three celestial bodies must form their triangle within an orb of two degrees. Otherwise, the structure seems a bit too wobbly to exert a momentous effect. I have tended to be even more stringent. Show me a Grand Trine with an orb of less than one degree, and my eyebrows will go up, along with my enthusiasm. The tighter the orb, the more powerful the aspect.

At its peak on July 17, these three gas giants tightened their triangle to less than four minutes of arc. Considering that each degree of the Zodiac is divided into sixty minutes of arc, this means that the Grand Water Trine of July 2013 maximized its impressive power within an orb of less that one fifteenth of a degree. Wow.

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

As we now enter the last week of July, some people are talking as though the Grand Trine “already happened” and now it’s done. If the Moon had flown through to produce the Grand Trine, then we could say the proverbial fat lady had sung and the ball game is over. But Jupiter, even as the fast guy in this triangle, never does do a fly-by. His twelve earth-year orbit might seem quick when contrasted with Neptune’s 165 earth-year orbit, but Uncle Jupiter always gives us a few weeks to play with his energies every time he makes an aspect to something in our charts, and thus in our lives.

Uncle Jupiter loves triggering opportunity for everyone, and has the habit of blessing everything he touches. His windows of opportunity are not like a game of peekaboo; now you see them, now you don’t. He allows a reasonable length of time for his gifts to be delivered. And not merely windows, but doors and gateways are opening for us now.

In the Beginning…

To help us get a feel for the scope of this astrological event, we could flip the calendar back to the month of June. Mercury had just made its ingress into Cancer on May 31, and then pulled within a five degree orb of influence, beginning to trine Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces on June 1.

On June 3, Venus also made her ingress into Cancer, and later the same day Mercury exactly trined both Saturn and Neptune, forming a Grand Water Trine within an orb of less than half a degree. This began priming the pump. Venus pulled within five degrees of the Magic Spot the following day.

By June 7, Venus had also exactly trined Saturn and Neptune to form a Grand Water Trine, adding a touch of Goddess energy to the brew being prepared. Summer Solstice on June 20 brought the Sun into Cancer, and by June 22, the Sun also drew within a five degree orb of influence to the Magic Spot.

The table was officially set on June 26. Uncle Jupiter Himself did a magnificent cannonball as he splashed his gigantic body into the waters of Cancer, and later that very day, the Sun exactly trined Saturn and Neptune as part of a Grand Trine in the watersigns. The pump was now primed.

July Heats Up

As we flipped the pages of our calendars forward into July, Jupiter moved within his five degree orb of influence, and the power of the Grand Water Trine began to build with gusto. As if this process needed an extra boost, Mars entered Cancer on July 13. The following day, Jupiter tightened the Grand Trine to less than a single degree as Mars pulled within a five degree orb of influence.

Do you really think all this energy would disappear on July 17, as though Mars had simply ignited some flash powder? This would be like saying that when the roller coaster has barely crested the top of that first big hill, the ride is over.

On July 20 through 22, Mars exactly trined Neptune and Saturn, and then capped off its contribution by conjuncting Jupiter. This added a booster rocket to the Grand Water Trine as its energies loosened up and unfolded into an orb of a whopping one whole degree. Excuse the sarcasm, but people thought the Grand Water Trine was finished on July 17? Oh, please.

The floodgates are open, kids. Get out the rafts, kayaks and rubber ducks. It’s time to play.

The Grand Earth Trine

As indicated earlier, the Moon always does a fly-by when it makes aspects. So even though the Grand Trine in the earth signs on July 29 will appear like a flash in the pan, its vigor will enhance the Grand Water Trine as the unleashed energies play out. Besides, this Grand Earth Trine will occur within an orb of less than one degree; nice and tight, just the way we like it.

Pluto crawling along at 9 degrees of Capricorn sets the template on July 29, as Venus in Virgo dances up to 8 degrees. The Moon in Taurus will fly across the 8 and 9 degree mark on that day, providing us with a brief but intense Grand Earth Trine.

Meanwhile, our glorious Grand Water Trine will still be within a three degree orb as it continues to blossom.

Stand Down, Men.

Allowing a relaxed orb of five degrees, these two Grand Trines will form a Star of David in the sky. These earth and water Grand Trines will amplify each other’s potency. However brief, coming and going in a single day, the Star of David will open the gateways for yet more possibilities, propelling the beneficial effects of the Grand Water Trine to an even more profound level of influence.

It cannot escape our notice that all six of the feminine signs are activated here. Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto will combine their essences in a Celestial Star of David, and since a Star of David involves nothing but sextiles, trines and oppositions, the six points of the configuration will be in either all masculine or all feminine signs. The earth signs are feminine. The water signs are feminine. The Star of David will open the door for the Goddess, and fling rose petals at her feet.

The days of the patriarchy are fading away, and the Age of the Divine Feminine is dawning. The Earth Herself is a feminine planet, and Her time has come.

Open, Sesame!

Some of us have been gazing at where this occurs in our personal charts, at the areas of life most likely to be stimulated. Uncle Jupiter is the guy who muscled this cosmic event into fruition, and his imagination stretches far afield. The Universe, also known as The Field of Infinite Possibilities, creates a pretty big playground for Jupiter to conjure up ideas to implement in our lives. The flowers are still being watered by the Grandest of All Trines, and we will see what blossoms where.

The next few weeks will show us new pathways, and will provide us with tools for navigating the unchartered waters ahead. Keeping our hearts and minds open will certainly facilitate the process. Jupiter is reminding us to keep our options open as well.

Timothy Glenn