Page 1

Issue 1 • 2014



SA's leading integrated living mag

astro Alzheimer's = diabetes 3







Occupy Love you can heal your heart

ODYSSEY  the honeyMoon effect








INSIDE Features

Self & Beyond

Occupy Spirituality 18 You Can Heal Your Heart 24 Make 2014 Your Year 28 Minding Your Own Business 32 Featured Artist: Fiona Almeleh 38 The Astro Elements & You 44 Feng Shui in Design 50 E-Squared 58 The Honeymoon Effect 64 Romantic Love 69

White Tantric Dreams 75 Angel Awakening 86 Being Stress Free & Happy 98 Mindful Living: Gratitude 134


GreenWorx An Alternative Way of Life 78 DIY: Your Garden Guardian Angel 90 Be in FLOW 130

SA's leading integrated living mag


Cape Town Head Office P O Box 30946, Tokai, 7966 Tel 27 (0) 21 713 0018 / 712 4665 082 579 7915 Fax 27 (0) 21 715 2809 Fax to email 086 640 1091



Editor & Creative Director

Assistant Editor

Silke Erasmus

Lenard Roos

Executive Editor & Publisher

Studio Manager

Chris Erasmus

Kevin Rule


Marketing & Advertising Director

Garry Doel

Marianne Boulle

Issue 1 • 2014

Volume 38 • No.1

Natural Living


Maria's Tips 94 Natural Weight Loss 100 Natural Health News 105 Company Profile: Yungskin 108 Is Alzheimer's Type3 Diabetes? 110 Brainy Herbs 118 Plant Medicine Healing 124

Company Profile: Quorn 148 Coconut Oil: A real superfood pt 1 152 Product Promo 160

Travel Bartholomeus Klip 142

Advertising Consultant Melody Kelly-Claesson Accounts Tracy Lee Nash

Directory 16 Hot off the press 106 Reviews 56, 74, 170 Paulo Coelho 172 Classifieds 174

Publisher Sacred Spaces Publishing House cc


Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or staff.

Fashion Director: Risa Knight (the army group)

Copyright Material published in Odyssey, including all artwork, may not be reproduced without the permission of the editor. ISSN 0256-0356

Photography: Stephan Schacher (

Make-Up/Skin Printing: William Lemon (Art Department) Hair: Earl Simms (Kramer + Kramer) Model: Amanda Lopes (1 Model Management, New York) Creative Director: Justin Solitrin for Tokion Magazine



Jenna Pope

editorial DARE TO DREAM – TO LOVE DARE TO CREATE THE NEW When you take a moment to observe what is going on in the world you can easily see that corruption, greed, corporate dominance and blatant disregard for this beautiful earth of ours, as well as her people as a whole, is ruling. However at the very same time, 'the people' are rising up everywhere, determined to reach for new meanings and ways of doing things. All over this pulsating earth, a new culture of compassion and spirituality – that is open and inclusive – is being born. It's all about love. This culture of love (and, consequently, shared power) is at the core of our evolutionary journey and is key to our survival on this precious planet. From this place, we can begin to truly manifest the principles behind Occupy Love (an offspring – or possibly for many – the root of the wider Occupy movement), as an important part of who we are individually and collectively. Peace starts in our hearts, in the hearts of each and every one of us. It begins every day, in this very moment, right now, in your very next breath. And it is a choice. A choice being made by many more than one might expect, which inevitably means that there is a rapidly emerging global, heart-centred community that dares to dream of a world that works for everyone and all of life. Velcrow Ripper – director of the documentary Occupy Love, says: 'In 2014 we will rise up like never before. We will rise up with compassion, action, and consciousness. We will rise up rooted, like trees. We will rise up connected, like mycorrhizzal fungi, a rhizome spreading, cracking, shattering the cold concrete of a consumer culture bent on self-destruction. We will rise up symbiotic, interdependent and independent, free-thinking and open-hearted, throwing our mind, body, heart and spirit into service to the



{ Peace starts in our hearts, in the hearts of each and every one of us. It begins every day, in this very moment, right now, in your very next breath. And it is a choice. n

We will turn the tides, correct the course, re-align, re-design, re-vamp, re-jig it all before the jig is up. Then we'll dance a jig.

{ greatest good in this time of greatest crisis. We will turn the tides, correct the course, re-align, re-design, re-vamp, re-jig it all before the jig is up. Then we'll dance a jig. The time is now to seize the day before the day seizes us. The time is now, not a moment too soon. We will laugh in the face of cynicism, and dare to be radically optimistic, against all odds, because nothing less will do. We will open our hearts with empathy to those still locked in fear and apathy, for those who have lost their way, for those who mock us in our loving, for they are us, and we are them. There is no separation. To love them is to love ourselves, and until we practice self love, the journey will be incomplete. We are the 100%.' In this first issue of 2014, check out our cutting-edge articles on Occupy Spiritually and Occupy Love. According to Bucko and Fox, authors of Occupy Spirituality, a new spirituality is emerging which is energising young and old alike – they call it 'occupy spirituality'. This emerging spirituality emphasises the importance of incarnating one's special gifts in service of compassion and justice. It puts the accent on joy, sensuality, celebration and heartfelt aliveness. It is activated by discernment and animated by a democratic way of being. On a related tack, Andrew Harvey's Sacred Activism Institute's mission statement reads: 'When the joy of compassionate service is combined with the pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social, and political institutions, a radical divine force is born: Sacred Activism.' 'If this movement is to be successful, it needs deep, transformative spirituality because, as you said before, democracy needs spirituality, community needs spirituality, and ultimately, economy needs spirituality, or else we will keep coming up with solutions that eventually will be hijacked by our reptilian brains and used in service of aggression and greed,' says Occupy Spirituality co-author Adam Bucko. And as Velcrow Ripper says: 'As you go through your day, allow your actions to spring forth from this beautiful place. Remind yourself to return to your heart, your breath, this space. Creating a sense of spaciousness allows your actions to come from a true place, not from the fear and anxiety that often percolates near the surface, but from the calm depths of the "knowing heart".' So, as we bravely walk into 2014, after a truly challenging 2013, we have the choice to either occupy our conscience, open our hearts and live in love – or to follow the depressing culture of conquer-and-divide along with that old-fashioned and polarising us-versus-them mentality. The choice is yours and mine.



At The Front Paulo Coelho, is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, among them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. This is his exclusive article for Odyssey Magazine.

Feng Shui in Design Simone Burstein is a highly experienced, internationally trained Feng Shui Consultant and interior architect who assists her clients organise their space using her 'insightful, inspiring and pragmatic' approach. Burstein is a graduate of Interior Architecture from Wits and has over 30 years of experience.

The Elements & You


Dianne Garven is a Sagittarius with her Moon in Leo as well as her Ascendant. She has had an interest is the stars and their meaning for as long as she can remember. Dianne studied with leading SA astrologer, Rod Suskin, and has been practicing as an Astrologer for the past 10 years, which she says has enriched her life immensely.



Make This Your Year Colleen-Joy Page is a fulltime professional speaker, author and trainer and the creator of the internationally accredited InnerLifeSkills life and business coaching courses.

Plant Medicine Healing Roger Metcalfe is a freelance writer/photographer interested in the fields of technology, medicine, relationships and the environment. He runs his own film production company and is now moving into the field of solar energy. He is a former diplomat and TV executive and is currently reading for his Masters degree in Communication (Wits).

A Journey of the Heart Fiona Almeleh is a visionary-intuitive, empath and life consultant. For over 20 years she has facilitated creative expression through new ways of seeing as well as decoding the symbols and messages that are held within the subtle energy field.


On issue 6, 2013 The edition is lovely. Well done to the Odyssey team for the dedication to Madiba. I feel very honoured to be present in the same edition (Vital Light). Chris sure was fortunate to meet Madiba a few times. Here's to you and to all at Odyssey for taking the leap this year, going digital, and reaching the numbers you have. Toni Blumeris Wow, what an awesome edition. Thank you also for the wonderful and special coverage for Miss Earth SA – it is greatly appreciated. Wishing you and the entire team an amazing year ahead, Fond wishes, Catherine Constantinides

The format is the best I’ve come across; one can jump right to the page one wants, or flick through the pages as one does with print magazines. Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan Campaign Against Canned Hunting Left: I will certainly distribute far and wide – it’s an excellent magazine. May 2014 bring with it every success Caroline Konstant Right: Such a lovely issue. Kelly Thuynsma

What a gorgeous issue Silke, thank you. Tracey McDonald

Thanks so much for the review – really is a brilliant issue that I am enjoying. Kanchana Moodliar This is fantastic. Thanks so much. Kathryn Frew, Ramsay Media

It looks really awesome. Fiona Bromfield, Reflectionz: Through the Power of a Horse

Humanity’s Team is very grateful to you for placing this article. What a fabulous edition – all of the articles look amazing and the cover is stunning. It is a precious keeper indeed. I am astounded about the Spirit of uBuntu that is coming together through Mandela, and through all of us now. I honestly believe that all of the African Angels are working together right now. Thank you for the wonderful part that you play in creating integrated living in society. uBuntu mabande (may the spirit of oneness be with you). Anna-Mari Pieterse



{ { Parasites in the body politic that have us conveniently convinced that their inhuman nature is our human nature. Swami Beyondananda on Sociopathogens


Starpath spray coating lights up roads in UK



The Netherlands are testing a smart highway concept where glow-in-the-dark paint would be used on the roads to denote lanes, traffic markers and even cold weather conditions. Over in the UK, a company called Proteq has come out with a similar idea for a photoluminescent spray coating that could illuminate roads enough that street lamps could be removed and money and energy could be saved. The waterproof coating is called Starpath and it absorbs light during the day and then glows at night. Instead of the coating being used as a communication tool, Proteq sees the technology being used all over the road as a source of light for night driving and, with anti-slip properties, it can also reduce accidents. The paint is non-reflective and comes in 11 colours. The technology is being given a test run at the Christ's Pieces park in Cambridge where it has been sprayed on 1 600 square feet of walking paths. The process only took 30 minutes and the paths were open for use after only four hours. 'Our surface works best over tarmac or concrete, predominantly tarmac, which is the main bulk of the UK path network,' say the folks behind ProTeq.


Proteq Starpath

money does grow on trees For the first time, scientists have found gold naturally incorporated into a living organism. Published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have confirmed that particles one-fifth the diameter of a human hair have been discovered in the leaves and branches of eucalyptus trees. During the search for water, the gold finds its way into the eucalyptus from the soil via its root system. Since the gold can be toxic to the plant, scientists hypothesise that the tree moves the metal into its leaves and branches in order to sequester and expel the material. The gold cannot be seen with the naked eye but can be detected with the help of special x-ray technology. The eucalyptus trees themselves are unlikely to incite a gold rush. Research leader Mel Lintern told the Brisbane Times that even if 500 trees grew over a gold deposit, they would only produce enough metal to fashion a small wedding ring. However, the presence of the element could help drillers detect seams of gold without having to cut into the earth. According to the Daily Mail, discoveries of gold deposits have halved in the last decade, and the quality of the metal has decreased. Planting eucalyptus trees could be a more enviro-friendly and cost-effective way to search for gold hundreds of meters below the surface.


Scientists Find Gold Growing On Eucalyptus Trees Disclose TV


Teachings of Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian saint by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Babaji between 1861-1935.


One of the World's Oldest & Tallest Wooden Structures Kizhi Pogost is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site in Russia that contains a trio of ornate 17th century church buildings made entirely of wood, without the use of nails, and they've withstood the test of time. Even today, the 22-domed church on the site is one of the world’s tallest wooden structures. Two domed timber church buildings and an octagonal wooden bell tower were constructed on Russia’s Kizhi Island in 1714. The Church of the Transfiguration is the most ornate, featuring 22 domes and reaching nearly 40m in the air. Impressively, the church was built using interlocking wooden joinery instead of nails. The nine-domed Church of the Intercession is just as impressive – reaching some 35m tall, the church sits comfortably as one of the taller wooden structures in the world. Each dome is made up of hundreds of diamond-shaped wooden tiles layered together to form the bulbous shapes. Both churches are made from a combination of pine, spruce and aspen wood, and they’ve withstood weather extremes throughout the centuries. Kizhi has become an impromptu home for timber structures – in the '50s, several other historic wooden buildings from Karelia were relocated to the island.

I believe Hitch McDermid at TEDxFiDiWomen

Hitch has, over the last four years, begun an intensive meditation practice and become a believer. He's felt higher energies that he cannot explain guide him in beautiful and mysterious ways.





The Problem is Civil Obedience

Matt Damon, a lifelong friend of Howard Zinn and his family, read excerpts from a speech Howard Zinn gave in '70 as part of a debate on civil disobedience.



EcO3Spray Sanitizing Spray Bottle

Turns water into ozone, enabling it to kill all known bacteria. It was selected from 300 entries as one of the Top 20 Most Viable Water Technologies at the 2013 Global Water Summit.




Peace Poles The above message, written in almost every known language, appears on more than 200 000 Peace Poles in nearly every country on earth. Peace Poles are hand crafted monuments made of wood, metal, stone or other elements. Poles usually have four or six sides. The message, sometimes referred to as a prayer, 'May Peace Prevail on Earth', is displayed in the language of the country where the pole is placed and repeated in three or more languages on the sides of the pole. This universal message for world peace began in Japan with Masahisa Goi who was deeply affected by the destruction caused by the atomic bombs during World War II. In '55, the peace message came to him while he was in a state of deep meditation and prayer. He felt a need to spread this prayer throughout the global community in the pursuit of inner and outer peace for all. The movement gained momentum in his home country, and in '76, Goi instituted the Peace Pole Project.



Vertical Cemetery The untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the '59 classic Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Starring Angelia Jolie. Released: 14 March 2014.

Freshwater Reserves discovered Under the Ocean Scientists discovered vast aquifers of fresh water underneath the sea. A study published in the December 5th edition of the journal Nature reveals the existence of nearly 120 000 cubic miles of low-salinity water beneath SA, North America, Australia, and China. This figure amounts to a volume 100 times greater than all of the fresh water used since the beginning of the 20th century. According to the UN, half of the globe will be struggling to find clean, fresh sources of water by 2030. As countries begin to ramp up their efforts to build desalination plants, the discovery of fresh water below the sea may help ease the pressure on exploding populations. The water became trapped in its present location hundreds of thousands of years ago back when oceans were not nearly as deep. Scientists hypothesise that rainwater could have seeped through the ground and deposited itself into aquifers. When the polar ice caps began to melt around 20 000 years ago, the level of the sea rose and layers of either clay or sediment protected the reservoirs from salty contamination. Accessing the water may prove difficult. Drilling comes with a whole host of enviro-concerns including ecosystem damage and salt intrusion. The reserves would also need to be used sparingly, because once they are tapped they will not be replenished until sea levels drop once more.


A Royal Danish School of Architecture student created this vertical graveyard to provide a solution to the growing demand for burial space in Norway. The tower is encased within a metal exoskeleton and it has graveyards on every floor that provide space for eternal rest in the sprawling urban sky. The design is an entry in a contest launched by the Nordic Association for Graveyards and Crematoria last year to develop innovative solutions to providing future burial space. McSherry’s modern design blends in seamlessly with the urban landscape, appearing like any other downtown skyscraper. The vertical graveyard is topped with a permanent crane, so more and more floors can be added as needed. Each floor would be dedicated to a specific religion and would address the need for different customs. Although McSherry's design didn’t win, the flexible high-rise could have a place in the future as cemetery plots fill up. It gives new meaning to the idea of a final resting place in the sky.



light producing plants Taking a cue from fireflies, scientists have created the world's first light-producing plant. Bioglow's autoluminscent plant, the Starlight Avatar, glows in the dark and could usher in a new era of living lights – engineered to produce its own light. Missouri-based Bioglow has been working on light-producing plants for a number of years. Starlight Avatar is an auto luminescent plant that generates light through its own pathways and does not require UV light or chemical additives. The plant was made by taking an ornamental Nicotiana alata plant and introducing the light-emitting pathway from marine bacteria into its chloroplast genome. The modified plant then glows a soft blue-green in the dark, although not bright enough to read with. Bioglow foresee a time when the plants are used as decorative landscaping that could eliminate the need for night time lighting and decrease electricity use. The plants will come in their own cultivation boxes and are expected to produce light through their life-span, which lasts about 2-3 months.

Shift Happened


Now It's Time To Celebrate The Evolutionary Upwising

Making Music with the Brooklyn Bridge

Artist, Di Mainstone, transforms NY's Brooklyn Bridge with the Human Harp, an instrument that allows one to physically 'play' the bridge.



Drunvalo Melchizedek: Mayan Ancestors

Melchizedek speaks about the indigenous Mayan elders and the significance of the Mayan prophecy for all of humanity.

28-29 March. CTICC. The hugely popular event, now in its 14th year, brings more than 40 international and local artists to perform over two days on five stages. Erykah Badu, among others, will perform.

Cape Town Carnival Fanwalk


Cape Town Jazz Festival

15-16 March.

Somerset Road, Green Point. Themed 'Imagine', it is an invitation to create and participate. The FanWalk will be filled with fun, food and folk enjoying the freedom of their city streets. The Carnival after-party includes DJ Fresh.

Africa Burn

28 April-4 May. Tankwa, Karoo. The culmination of a year’s worth of planning, anticipation, dreaming, building and creation that comes together to create Tankwa Town – a temporary city formed from the imaginations of its participants. Nothing will be sold for money at the event, goods and services can only be bartered.

Constantia Craft Beer Project 1-2 March. False

Bay Rugby Club. Expect 20 craft brewers, local wineries, slow foods, food trucks and The Kiffness live.

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM live 20 & 22 March. Johannesburg and

Bloemfontein. Legendary SA jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim and his US band Ekaya will once again delight local audiences with performances.

Visit their Facebook page for all the details.

Design Indaba

28 February.

Women's Innovation Trade Fair

6 March. CTICC. Themed 'Igniting Economic Possibilities for Women' it offers a platform for women to share knowledge and experience to make a positive impact in society and on the economy.

Modern Buddhism

Tuesdays. Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre. Meditation Classes. Johannesburg. Explore the mind, how to connect to your heart and cultivate inner peace.

CTICC. Offering designers and creative businesses the unique opportunity to showcase their products and services, both to industry buyers and the general public. www.




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the buddhist retreat centre - IXOPO, KZN Bodhi Khaya is a peaceful haven that offers retreats covering everything from Art to Zen. Nestled at the foot of the Witkransberg in the beautiful Overberg region, Bodhi Khaya boasts 217ha of indigenous fynbos and milkwood forest. Connect with nature, kindred spirits, your own heart. Only two hours from Cape Town, Bodhi Khaya is a welcoming spiritual home to all. • A New Look at Mindfulness and Compassion with Rob Nairn supported by Lucy Draper-Clarke 28 Feb 2014 - 4 Mar & 05 Mar - 10 Mar While these are two separate 5-day modules offered, it is recommended that participants attend the full 10 days. A New Look at Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight can help us see how we don’t really understand mindfulness until we bring compassion training into our lives. For more info on these & other retreats visit Spiritual Counselling Adult life counselling • Children's trauma counselling • Children's spiritual counselling Marriage counselling Victims of Abuse Eating Disorders • Divorce/Death Egyptian Reiki healing Zelda - 072 262 7118 Weekdays- 09h00 to 19h00 *Saturdays/ Sundays -10h00 to 13h00

temenos retreat centre, mcgregor In the sweet territory of silence we touch the heart of mystery. It is the place of contemplation, and the place where we connect with the deep knowing, and to the deep wisdom way. Situated in the heart of the village of McGregor and surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, Temenos offers peace and tranquility. Explore our secret contemplative gardens and find secluded corners for your own private reflection. • YOGA RETREAT with Jill Lambert | 24 – 28 Feb • The Zen of Seeing | 28 Feb - 2 Mar Photography as Meditative Practice • DETOX INTERNATIONAL | 7 – 14 March Join this renowned international team who will assist & support you both physically & mentally as you embark on a detox program. For more info visit



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bodhi khaya retreats 2014 Bodhi Khaya is a peaceful haven that offers retreats covering everything from Art to Zen. Nestled at the foot of the Witkransberg in the beautiful Overberg region, Bodhi Khaya boasts 217ha of indigenous fynbos and milkwood forest. Connect with nature, kindred spirits, your own heart. Only two hours from Cape Town, Bodhi Khaya is a welcoming spiritual home to all. • Living a Higher, New Life with Bernie Prior | 26 Feb - 3 Mar Living a higher new life means to commune and communicate the deep within. This powerful retreat covers Life, Love, Truth and Creativity. • Open the Heart and Still the Mind: Embracing Change and Loss with Sue Cooper | 7-9 March This weekend retreat will explore one of our biggest challenges in life: the integration of change and loss. • Zen Retreat with Antony & Margie Osler | 20 - 23 March The word Zen means meditation, meditation means to wake up. Join Antony and Margie Osler on this simple meditation retreat. • Manifest Abundance Retreat brought to you by The Journey | 4-6 April Join this powerful process that sweeps you clean of the myriad blocks that have held you back. Uncover your soul's deepest vision for your life. For more info on these and other retreats visit

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'When the student is ready, the teacher appears' ODYSSEY 17 • 





the last and best hope A growing number of people believe that the last and best hope for an endangered humanity is in a worldwide, grassroots revolution of love-in-action. Nothing less will deconstruct the now lethal omnipotence of the corporations; nothing less will send a signal to their lackeys, the politicians of all parties, that business-as-usual is no longer acceptable at any level; nothing less will galvanise the devastated heart of humanity, paralysed as it is before the immensity of the problems of its own making. It is to inspire such a revolution that Andrew Harvey wrote The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism. In this foreword to the book Occupy Spirituality, he argues that time is running out for the human race, and the stakes are desperately high.






erhaps the greatest sign that such a revolution is possible was the outbreak, inspired by the Arab Spring, of the Occupy movement. For all its

disorganisation, lack of coherent goals, and occasional lapses into violence, the Occupy movement sent a worldwide signal that young people are sickened by the bankruptcy and terrible inequality of the capitalist dream of endless growth; they do not want to live in the soulless, degraded world it has engendered; and they are prepared to put their lives on the line for a more just and sustainable world. And even though the powers-that-be – in an unholy alliance between the banks and government – quickly tried to dismantle the movement, many of us who had despaired of the young, realising the disastrous situation they are in, and rising to meet it with courage and vision, were given fresh and lasting hope. The book, Occupy Spirituality, offers a brilliant and

profound meditation on the Occupy movement, its

Adam Bucko

'The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money...Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics.' - Adam Bucko



goals and real achievements, and on what needs to

impassioned young; hungry for a way out of terminal

happen next for humanity to have a chance of surviving

disaster and for a way of life commensurate to their

the chaos exploding on all sides. It is in the form of a

hunger for a new way of being and doing everything.

dialogue between a fiery, radical master theologian and

Three essential suggestions for young sacred activists

prophet in his early '70s, Matthew Fox, and a young

arise from Matt and Adam's dialogue. The first is that

sacred activist, Adam Bucko, who has devoted his life

they really grasp the epochal significance of the Occupy

to helping homeless teenagers and who co-founded the

movement and what a radical break in the long, stifling

Reciprocity Foundation. Both share a passionate love for

paralysis and anomie it represented. The second is that

the Christ, humanity's most challenging revolutionary of

we all learn quickly from its improvisatory, haphazard

love-in-action, while being open to all authentic forms

mistakes: the next wave of radical protest will have

of world spirituality; both remain soberly optimistic and

to have a far deeper and more sustaining spiritual

fertile with creative, vibrant, and exciting challenges and

foundation, a far wiser organisation, and far more

suggestions. The beauty of the dialogue between these

coherent and comprehensive goals to be effective. There

two extraordinary human beings lies in its immediacy,

is no time left to fail: the next wave of protest will have to

honesty, mutual nakedness, and radical passion for justice

have the inner depth and outer cohesiveness of the great

in all realms of our world. Adam and Matt's dialogue

transformatory movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther

mirrors the open conversation and communication that

King, but on a worldwide scale. The third suggestion

urgently needs to take place between elders honed

is one that echoes again and again through Matt and

by sometimes brutal experience and the wise and

Adam's conversations: it is the urgency of building on the

inspiration of 'occupy' and starting such a movement immediately. Both Matt and Adam know that any further denial, despair, and procrastination will only permit the destruction of our world to become terminal. Although the occupy movement was, in its large-scale activities, effectively detoured, nevertheless, astonishing and largely unreported underground work by many inspired by it, continues. Teams of former occupiers played an extensive role in helping those afflicted by Hurricane Sandy; others have continued to set up brave alternative communities and to do battle with our often Matthew Fox

absurd legal and political systems to help immigrants and homeowners

broken by foreclosure debt. The passion and vision of the Occupy movement, as Matt and Adam make clear, was not destroyed: it lives on in flames of sacred activism that it is Occupy Spirituality's intention to fan into a transformatory forest fire. Bucko's desire to create a global movement of sacred community living, which he calls HAB, will be immense nourishment and

OCCUPY SPIRITUALITY: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

inspiration to young people seeking another way of

Adam Bucko & Matthew Fox

life and a living spirituality as a base for wise, radical

North Atlantic Books • 978 1 5839 4685 5

action. I call on all my fellow spiritual elders to do

Named one of the 50 best spiritual books of

everything in their power to support it.

2013, this book is a call to action for a new

An excerpt from Occupy Spirituality by Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2013. Reprinted by permission of publisher. Available here.


era of spirituality-infused activism. Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems – economic, political, educational, and religious – discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to re-evaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process, building a more sacred and just world. Incorporating the words of young activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world. Each chapter is construed as a dialogue between Fox and Bucko, and as we listen in on these familiar, yet profound, conversations, we learn about their own journeys and discover a radical spirituality

The Forum at Grace Cathedral — The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus; The Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox; and Adam Bucko

that is inclusive, democratic and relevant to the world we live in today.





oin acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper on a journey to the heart of the global revolution

that is erupting around the planet. From the Arab Spring to the 'European Summer', from the Occupy movement to the global climate justice movement,

Occupy Love asks the question: How could the crisis of today become a love story? It is a profound portrait of an extraordinary season of social change, as well as ecological crisis and upheaval. Woven throughout the action-oriented backbone of the film is a deep exploration of public love and compelling stories of an emerging new paradigm. Featuring some of the world's key visionaries on alternative systems of economics, sustainability and empathy, inluding Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Jeremy Rifkin, Bell Hooks and Charles Eisenstein – Occupy Love is a brilliant exposé of the love that is fueling the creation of a new reality. Occupy Love captures the heart of the movement that is sweeping the planet in response to today's economic and environmental crises. 'Philosopher-filmmaker' Ripper travels to history-making hot spots, repeatedly asking the question, 'How can crisis create a love story?' The answer is surprisingly obvious and positive: it already has. Scenes include the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, Spain's Indignado movement, Occupy Wall Street NYC, The Maple Spring in Quebec, and indigenous activists at Canada's Alberta Tar Sands. The film explores the aspects of this uprising that take the form of what Martin Luther King Jr called 'love in action' while exploring the meaning and importance of 'public love' – the love of humanity and the love of the planet. For more check out the Occupy Love SA facebook page

Occupy Love trailer



The 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival will take place at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street in Cape Town from Thursday the 27th of March to Sunday the 30th of March.

This exciting inaugural event brings the best local and international documentary films focusing on enviro-issues to Cape Town. The Festival offers Capetonians the opportunity to enjoy the latest crop of world-class enviro-documentaries, many of which are very unlikely to ever make it onto the commercial cinema circuit in SA. Documentary films represent a powerful medium for communicating the growing ecological challenges with which we are faced today – from climate change and pollution to plummeting biodiversity and diminishing natural resources. The films selected for the Festival programme offer revealing – often shocking – insights into these crises while presenting inspiration for change and encouraging audiences to tackle them in their own lives. Many of the films featured expose ugly problems, but also suggest solutions and encourage action.

The Cape Town Eco Film Festival is a project of While You Were Sleeping, an NPO dedicated to bringing documentary films with important environmental, social and political messages to SA audiences.

Press contact Andreas Wilson-Späth | 021 671 4364 | 084 749 9470 Dougie Dudgeon | 021 424 1313 | 082 560 2296

The official Festival programme will be released on Monday the 24th of February. | | | | simply Leading the eco-lifestyle


Festival partners | | | |




The perfect blend of affirmations and powerful thoughts to help you have a loving experience of grief.

With a perfect blend of Louise Hay's affirmations and teachings on the power of your thoughts to help you have a loving experience of grief, You Can Heal Your Heart is inspiring an extraordinary new way of thinking, bringing profound love and joy into people's lives. Not only will you learn how to harness the power of your grief to help you grow and find peace, but you will also discover that, yes, you can heal your heart.




n You Can Heal Your Heart, self-empowerment

most likely hurting – and that's something we don't

luminary Louise Hay and renowned grief and loss

wish to take away from you. But this time can be a vital

expert David Kessler have come together to start

window, not only to heal your pain, but, if you feel each of

a conversation on healing after loss. Louise and David

your feelings fully, to also begin to release it. One of the

discuss the emotions and thoughts that occur when a

biggest problems is that you might try to push aside or

relationship leaves you broken-hearted, a marriage ends

ignore your feelings. You judge them as wrong, too little,

in divorce, or a loved-one dies.

or too much. You carry a lot of bottled-up emotions, and

The pain of losing someone you love is part of life, but suffering doesn't have to be. David shares three insightful

anger is often one that is suppressed. In order for it to heal, however, it must be released.

lessons about healing after loss in this excerpt from You

We're not speaking only about anger associated

Can Heal Your Heart. A broken heart is also an open heart. Whatever the circumstances, when you love someone and your time together ends, you will naturally feel pain. The pain of losing a person you love is part of life, part of this journey, but suffering doesn't have to be. Although it's natural to forget your power after you lose a loved one, the truth is that after a breakup, divorce, or death, there remains an ability within you to create a new reality. Let's be clear here: we're asking you to change your thinking after a loss occurs – not to avoid the pain of grief, but to keep moving through it. We want your thoughts to live in a place where you remember your loved one only with love, not with sadness or regret. Even after the worst breakup, the meanest divorce, and the most tragic death, it is possible to achieve this over time. That doesn't mean that you deny or run away from the pain. Instead, you let yourself experience it and then allow a new life to unfold – one where you hold the love dear, not the sorrow. Here's where our real work begins. There are three main areas we'll be focusing on throughout this You Can Heal Your Heart:

with death, but about any time we feel anger. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the renowned grief expert who identified the 'Five Stages of Grief', said that we could feel anger, let it pass through us, and be done with it in a few minutes. She went on to say that any anger we feel over 15 minutes is old anger. Of course, anger is only one of the emotions that arise. When a relationship ends, when divorce happens, and even when a death occurs, we are left with so many feelings. Feeling them is the first step toward healing.

Allowing old wounds come up for healing


Your loss will also be a window into your old wounds, and like it or not, they are going to come forth. Some of them you may not be aware of. When you're going through a breakup, for example, you may think, 'I knew he wasn't going to stay'. In a divorce, you may believe that, 'I don't deserve love', or when a loved one dies that, 'bad things always happen to me'. These are negative thoughts that stretch beyond the current loss. It's certainly helpful to take advantage of grief as a time to reflect on the past with tenderness – but to relive

Helping feelings




If you're reading You Can Heal Your Heart, then you're

it over and over is painful and non-productive. That's what you tend to do when you just go back without an intention of healing.

You Can Heal Your Heart ODYSSEY 25 • 


Where did these negative thoughts originate? The answer is that they originated in the past and weren't healed with love. Together we'll shine a light on those old wounds and negative thought processes and begin the healing process with love and compassion.

Changing distorted thinking about relationships, love, & life When you grieve any loss, you apply your current thinking, which, at its best, is often distorted. What do we mean by that? It is when your beliefs are coloured by the wounds of childhood and shaped by hurts from past relationships. Distorted thinking is often moulded by your parents and others in your life who did the best they could, but also carried their own distorted thinking from their childhoods. All of this worked together to form the current self-talk in your mind as you think your same old thoughts over and over again. Then you bring this old thinking, the negative self-talk, to your new loss. This is why we human beings so often talk to ourselves without love and tenderness after we've just lost someone we cared for deeply. We blame ourselves, we throw a pity party, and we even feel that we deserve the pain we're now experiencing. How do we break the cycle? Read on to learn about the importance of positive affirmations and their powerful effect on distorted thinking.

The power of affirmations to heal grief Affirmations are statements that reinforce a positive or negative belief. We want to raise your awareness of the negative ones you might use and gently invite new, positive ones into your life. In your thinking, you're always affirming something. Unfortunately, when your thinking is distorted, you're usually repeating negative affirmations. We're going to lovingly introduce positive affirmations to your grief and your life. These positive statements may feel untrue when you first use them. Let them in anyway. You may be afraid that we're trying to take away your grief or diminish it in some way, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Your grief is yours to feel, but positive affirmations can take away your suffering as well as heal some of your old pain and negative thought patterns. Your negative affirmations are untrue, yet you have no trouble feeling those. Many people unconsciously repeat negative affirmations, being so cruel to themselves when they're hurting. One of the main goals we hope to accomplish in

You Can Heal Your Heart is finding a way to change that



Your negative affirmations are untrue, yet you have no trouble feeling those. Many people unconsciously repeat negative affirmations, being so cruel to themselves when they're hurting. repetitive negative thinking for good. As you read the positive affirmations in You Can Heal Your Heart, be sure to apply them to your own experiences. Apply them to your thought patterns – your beliefs, how you view the world – using them to undo your limited, negative thinking. Some affirmations may resolve your old wounds from the past to help you process your current ones so that you can finally fully heal with love.

The gift of life after loss We're sure you know how to end a relationship. You know how to end a marriage. You even know how to end a life. But do you know how to complete a relationship or a marriage? Do you know how to complete a life? This is another aspect we hope to teach you as we journey together. There are unexpected gifts to be found in life after loss. These may seem like new concepts to you, but the truth is that not all relationships are meant to last. Some will last a month, others a year, some a decade. You'll feel pain when you believe the one-year relationship should have lasted five years. You feel pain because you think the 10-year relationship should have lasted 25 years. The same is true of marriages. Can you think of a marriage as a success when it ends in divorce? Well, it can be. It can be perfect for the experience that you and your spouse needed. Even when life ends, there is a rhythm. It is sad, of course, because you want more time with your loved one – that's only natural. But there are only two requirements for a complete life: a birth day and a death day. That's it. We all arrive in the middle of the movie, and we leave in the middle of it. We want to hold on to the connection to our loved one who died; we want to keep our memories – and we can eventually release the pain. Our ultimate wish is for you to discover that no matter what you're facing, you can heal your heart. You deserve a loving, peaceful life. Let's begin this healing process together. O Visit

Apply affirmations to your thought patterns – your beliefs, how you view the world – using them to undo your limited, negative thinking.


Louise Hay, founder of Hayhouse books

 5

You Can Heal Your Heart Three Takeaways by David Kessler

We have 5 copies of You Can Heal Your Heart to give away. Email here with your name and postal address by 10 March 2014 to stand a chance to win.



Life Coach Expert

a M

y   o s i u h r t     ye e k

Isn't it time for us to take time to make space to breathe? Where is our attention? Wherever that attention is, that is where we will spend the year. Colleen-Joy, Odyssey’s expert life coach shares practical wisdom to make 2014 a year for you. ODYSSEY 28 • 




odern life is very demanding, have you

through the reeds on the river banks. Who can judge

noticed? Emails flood our in-boxes shouting

the wind or the reeds for the different sounds made by

for our time. Adverts try to grab our attention.

the movement? But unconscious desires can also steal

People want our energy and money. Time is ticking, too fast. We’ll blink and this next year will be done. If we don’t consciously stop and really ask ourselves important self-coaching questions, the tide of life will sweep away yet another year, or another 10 years.

'But Colleen', you might ask, 'I usually have many desires, not just one?' Yes, that’s why we want to ask 'What is the most important one to you?'

Don’t lose your marbles – make every year count

Is Pac-Man running your life?

If every year is a marble, and you are lucky enough to

In the shopping mall of life, we can easily be consumed by

have another 20, 30, 40 or 50 left. Picture holding those

our inner Pac-Man. Do you remember the old computer

precious marbles in your hand right now. Come on, try it.

game Pac-Man? Pac-Man is hungry to consume, but

Open your hands and imagine holding the marbles. Each

every pill he eats is not enough. He is on a never-ending

marble is one summer, each marble is one year. How

pursuit for more, but is never satisfied for long. There is

many chances are there to make those marbles count?

nothing wrong with this, but at some point we might get

Make this year’s marble count. Don’t lose your marbles.

tired of our inner Pac-Man. Happiness born from external

How to make sure that this year is your year? Ok, so it’s all about asking the right questions. Yip. The secret is in the questions we ask. Every question starts us on a quest, that’s why they call them 'quest-tions'. So the question to ask yourself, and not to skip over quickly, but to really ask. Then really think about and find a true deeply authentic answer is this. Why ask this question? Because our attention is on Image:

our attention away.

what matters to us. So isn’t it wise to be conscious about where our attention is? Like tuning in to a radio station, your attention determines what you are tuned into. Make sure you want the radio station you are on. So ask: 'What do you really want?' No one can answer this for you. It’s got to come from your core, from your truth. The true answer will light you up; will bring an open feeling to your body. Anything less than a true answer will either feel flat or constrictive. It’s no good going into action until you find clarity on this for yourself. And we all have different answers here. There is no 'right' answer, only an honest one. So ask yourself,

sources is never lasting and this can lead to immense suffering. When we ask, 'What’s the most important thing?' we challenge ourselves to start looking deeper than Pac-man. You see, Pac-Man believes that he is incomplete, and so he must consume external things in an attempt to complete himself. But this never lasts long and so he is never truly satisfied. What’s this got to do with us? Well do you want your year to be a Pac-Man year, of chasing external sources of happiness, or do you want this year to be your year? You are not Pac-Man, even if it sometimes feels like it. You are not your desires – desires rise and fall inside of you. You are whole and complete, but this is difficult to know when our attention is always directed into the world. It’s almost impossible to know when we are endlessly chasing external objects. So what do you really want?

Inspiring & revealing practical self-coaching exercise Here is a wonderful InnerLifeSkills coaching exercise

'What do I really want?', 'What is the most important

which my ILS Trainers and I teach. Grab a paper and

thing for me?'

pen and spend 10 minutes doing this now to discover

To go a little further along with this, you might want

something really interesting and potentially very freeing.

to add, 'What would make the pain or struggle of life

1. Write down the first answer that pops into your mind

worthwhile, truly?'

when you ask, 'What do I really want?' Got that down?

Each heart, each soul, each of us is called to listen

Ready? Now we are going to ask one set of questions

to this inner call. On the journey of life dreams, desires

again and again. Keep going until you feel like a deep

and longings will play though us like the wind plays

inner truth is found.



'My Hearts Desire Is …' (Write that down here. From now on I’m going to call this your heart’s desire, but you use your own words). It doesn’t matter if your heart’s desire is to play better golf, achieve enlightenment or buy a new hand bag. As long as it’s honest.

2. Now take a moment to imagine that you have your heart’s desire. Imagine that the seeking is over, you have it completely and totally, 100%, forever. Just breathe that in and make it real for yourself. From that reality now ask: 'What does having this give me, inside of me that is even more important?' Feel and think about it. What’s the deeper gift of this, inside of you? Now write that down. 'My heart’s desire gives me … inside of me.'

3. Now take the new quality that you have found and repeat. Imagine that you have this new quality 100%, completely and totally, absolutely. Ask again: 'What does having this give me, inside of me that is even more important?'

4. Whatever new deeper quality you find, repeat the same question, really taking your time to feel and experience each level. Once you have done that a few times, or until it feels like you are finding a core, deeper aspect of you, stop. Really breathe in that 'core quality'.

5. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about the 'core quality': Knowing that this ('core quality') is inside of you, even right now, how can you remind yourself that it is always there? What happens to your heart’s desire if you know you are ('core quality')? How can you live your ('core quality') this year and make this your year?



Everything is to lead you to you All desires ultimately lead us to a deeper desire, a desire for you. Everything is leading you to you. To the deepest truth of what you are. You are not Pac-Man. That’s a fundamental confusion and a very painful one. We just get a bit distracted when we’re confused by one simple thing – when we think that we need an external thing (person, object, state, feeling, and such) to bring us an inner quality of being. But while our attention is outside, we miss the truth. The truth that everything we seek is 'what we truly are'. Wisdom reveals that ultimately all desires, whether a desire for security, love, nice new shoes, spiritual experiences, financial prosperity, is a desire for the realisation of what we are. Whole, complete and free. But this is just talk until it is known in the heart. To make this your year, ask often, 'What is the most important thing?' When the answer is an external thing, ask, 'What if I had an abundance of that, what would I then feel inside of me?' Whatever your answer is, it is already there. It is there now. It is waiting for your attention. It is inside of you. When we find this again and again, Pac-Man ends his reign over our lives and we are moved by something other than hunger for wholeness. Every marble, every year becomes a gift. And the gift is the presence of your true self moving as life free to sing in abundance and harmony with life. O

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MINDIN  YOUR OWN BUSINESS We become ineffective when we assume or adopt the burdens of another. It is time to recognise 'what is thine and what is mine'. Natalia Baker explores.



have recently encountered several individuals who

they were their own, weighed down by worry and anxiety.

have been unduly involved in other people's troubles,

For three days I was with a woman who constantly

carrying their burdens and life challenges as though

referred to her son. She was obviously deeply concerned


but unable to let go and get on with her own process. My

mother says to her son, 'Get up and get ready for school.

intuition guided me to ask her his age. 'Forty-nine,' she

You're going to be late.' 'But I don't want to go,' he

replied. I was reminded of the delightful story in which a

replies. 'Come on,' she encourages him. 'Look, mum, the



boys are mean to me. They don't like me and I don't like

and to honour another enough to allow them to live what

them and I repeat, I just don't want to go.' 'But you have

the soul wants to feel, experience and know. We cannot

to go. You are the headmaster,' says the mother.

direct it, neither can we protect another from it.

When we are not in the shoes and skin of another it is

The soul is on a journey in this earthly dimension

not possible to understand their path. Could I remind you,

to experience the fullness of life in order to come to

we cannot even see our own. We simply step forward

the point of understanding the self and undertaking the

trusting we are moving towards some goal which we may

growth and achievements agreed on for this lifetime.

or may not have consciously created. There are many

It may seem senseless but it is not for us to judge

who simply resign themselves to the unfolding of their

whether it is illogical, useless, lacking understanding,

lives, hoping everything will turn out right.

even unforgivable, irresponsible, close to lunacy, causing

There is no way in our humanness we can have an inkling of the need for certain experiences in the journey

suffering and pain to themselves and others, for it is still unknowable to us.

of another. It is only the wisdom of the soul which can

I recall many years ago interacting with a woman

lead someone into what they have to go through for

whose talented, powerful, creative son was into drugs.

their growth and development. Life is a mystery, it is

She had a clear inner connection. In a meditation she

unknowable. Who are we to try to direct the knowing of

communicated with his soul. She was told that this

the soul? All of us are finding our way, some successfully,

chapter, and it was but a chapter, was a necessary

some not so successfully, through the unknowable, the

learning for him before he was able to take up his great

unexpected, the surprises, disappointments, fears and

life purpose. I felt moved by her ability to let go and allow,

joys. We have to let it flow, let it be. For ourselves or for

yet still be firm and clear.

another, we have to be in the fullness of the experience

Let me explore this further from an experience in my

talks & workshops • feb-march 2014 FEBRUARY 18 TALK: 2014 - ARE YOU READY? Somerset West 19 TALK: THE COHERENT FIELD OF LOVE Muizenberg 20 PSYCH-K WORKSHOP - CHANGING YOUR LIFE Somerset West 25 PSYCH-K WORKSHOP - CHANGING YOUR LIFE Marina da Gama 26 TALK: THE BARRENNESS OF A BUSY LIFE. WHAT TO DO? Muizenberg





own life. When my youngest brother died, his son came

only did I become more relaxed and simply an observer,

to live with us and my husband generously paid for him

free of blame and judgement, but without negative

to do a four-year university course. At one stage my dear

input the atmosphere in the house improved as did the

nephew replaced his studies with rugby, beer and girls.

relationships with my nephew and husband. A short while

I was distraught as his marks plummeted. My beloved

later, the young man was back to his studies and all was

spouse could be very tough, actually ruthless, and I


knew if my nephew did not produce acceptable academic

It would be valuable to look at whether the fears

results, the funding for his studies would be withdrawn.

and anxiety we carry for another is in truth fear and

It was then I learnt a big lesson. In my anxiety and

anxiety for ourselves. If we did not have these feelings

concern I was not accepting, allowing or respecting my

for another, we would be able to come to a truly loving,

nephew's journey or the lessons he had to learn. After

compassionate non-attachment. It is we who need the

all, he was 21, and surely he was responsible for his own

healing, and our burdens of sorrow and concern for

choices and decisions? Maybe his lesson was to learn the

another are loud signals that we are not yet whole and

consequences of his actions. Who was I to protect him

there is work to be done. In this cycle there are many who are going through

from that? Somewhere I had read that when we try to be

particularly stressful and challenging times. It is not easy

tolerant, which I had been trying to do, we still carry

to lose an income, a job, a house, a relationship, to be

negative emotion, which I was drowning in. If we could

suffering with ill health and in some cases all of these at

shift into allowing, we are in acceptance and not adding

one time. However, there is an initiation, a passage of

our dose of dense energy to the 'problem'.

life. I have heard it aptly referred to as a de-structuring

I became allowing and the results were amazing. Not

process and in some teachings, a hurricane. It is when

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It would be valuable to look at whether the fears and anxiety we carry for another is in truth fear and anxiety for ourselves. If we did not have these feelings for another, we would be able to come to a truly loving, compassionate non-attachment. It is we who need the healing, and our burdens of sorrow and concern for another are loud signals that we are not yet whole and there is work to be done.

Life is not easy for those with a loving heart who find it difficult to understand and experience another's pain. It is especially difficult for women and mothers who break their hearts at what their children go through but it is all part of the great experience of life, bringing us to the point where we understand only love exists and love will heal all. Until this is learnt a soul will fall and knock its head again and again. So let me re-iterate: no suffering or struggle is in vain, for everything there is a purpose, although it may not be knowable or understandable to us. Perhaps it is important to step back, become an observer and see another's passage as a season. These are always changing and lives go through different phases to complete a cycle in different ways. No winter, no exquisite summer lasts for eternity. Allow another their barren, cold season with

all that we have held most dear is stripped away in order to arrive at our core. It is a re-building of the self onto a solid foundation so that we become secure in ourselves not reliant on exterior things to determine our identity. It is to come to the consciousness where we feel love, expansion and freedom. When that understanding comes and the penny drops, there is a complete turnaround but until then the soul has to go as far as it can into the depth of the experience. Someone was relating how a very successful, wealthy, ruthless businessman has just undergone this rite of passage. He lost everything. A much kinder, gentler and more humble human emerged who discovered a love and care for his family, which he had never expressed before. While his family and friends stood around feeling desperate for him, his soul knew what would bring him to the Self.



respect and honouring, love and compassion but let go the mantle of over-concern and anxiety. It does not serve you or the other. O

ABOUT Natalia Baker A leader of consciousness, metaphysical teacher, professional public speaker, author, regular contributor to digital and printed magazines, tv and radio broadcaster, retreat and workshop facilitator, counsellor. See adverts for more info on her talks, workshops and CDs. Tel/fax: +27 (0) 21 788 2900 (Skype: Natalia_Baker) Facebook

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A Journey o ODYSSEY 38 • 


Fiona Almeleh is a South African visionary artist. Her work titled, Portfolio of Light, entails 'colour, creativity and our multi-dimensional self'. This is her story.

of the Heart ODYSSEY 39 • 



verything learned, whether by transmittance or experience, dwells in the Earth's sacred repository; the library, if you will, of shared understanding

and wisdom and none of this vital and living information would be available or possible without change. All creative work represents an initiation of sorts; new ground; a challenge to grow and transform, and it is this arena we share with all nature.

Attuning to nature, her rhythms and laws draws us close, inviting us through her veils to subtler, elemental realms, while helping us attune to our own essential natures.

Where our awareness is, there we are. What has brought us to that awareness is our constant 'I'. Regardless of the theatre, actors and props of our lives, something complete has summoned a focused, sensory and conscious wakeful presence in us and when aligned with this, 'We are, That, We Are', and knowing this, changes everything in our current and local environment, both inner and outer. There is no separation and our experience of our 'I Am' gently brings us home to 'All that Is'. These star bursts of illumined truth punctuate each and every human life – and this radiance, and radiation of connection, illumines the path to full Divine reunion; the ultimate dance of creative potential. Attuning to nature, her rhythms and laws draws us close, inviting us through her veils to subtler, elemental realms, while helping us attune to our own essential natures.

Come & play Come play in the garden of life. Here everything you see



holds the promise of greater seeing and every colour is a doorway to experiencing our multi-dimensional self. As we enter more deeply into the vast depth of our self, we, through patience and awareness, hone our ability to receive finer and finer impressions. We discover that much of our guidance is forthcoming from beings who do not reside in 3D reality, and are therefore unseen by most. This experience of mentorship is not validated through our five senses but rather the fine tuning of our awareness and sensitivities. As we transcend the limitations of the ego we again find ourselves at home in the higher heart. The journey we embark on is vital for there to be realisation of this greater Self. Colour has always represented a language that describes and defines who we are, and by engaging with colour more consciously we can bring balance back into our lives, restore lost energy and re-empower ourselves at the deepest level. For, in fact, we, ourselves are living

As we transcend the limitations of the ego we again find ourselves at home in the higher heart. The journey we embark on is vital for there to be realisation of this greater Self.

down, gathering misinformation in its path, and as a result have been taught to see less through fear-based beliefs and responses. It's only when we align with our sovereign selves something quite remarkable begins to take place. We start seeing the world energetically, but more importantly, seeing ourselves and all life as totally interlinked. There are no higher or lower levels of being but simply finer or denser vibrational realities. It is within this experience that each one of us, freed of illusion, is

and breathing colour. Each moment, colour communicates

able to journey into realms we, previously, could only

the very essence of our being to the great web of life;

dream about. We find ourselves in the great 'Dream

including all the attendant emotions and mental activities

Time', consciously co-creating at whatever level we have

of our impermanent personalities.

attained through our own focused efforts.

We in our present state see less than 10% of the

The function of our pineal gland is paramount in

known universe because our vision currently works

this exploration and endeavour. This tiny little master,

within a limited range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

cone-shaped gland is directly involved with our higher

Even though we don't see radio waves, it does not

mental functioning as well as the creative and imaginative

mean they do not exist. For so many ages we've

processes. It has been associated in many traditions

accepted a system of learning that has been passed

with our divinity and the connection between our earthly




Portfolio of Light A Journey of the Heart

Did you know? bodies, minds and finer realms of being as well as with intuition and inspiration and, more profoundly, mystical experiences. It is our gateway. Maintaining a healthy pineal gland is paramount to achieving access to our multi-dimensionality. Each one of us can facilitate this process by choosing healthy lifestyle options. Our dietary and enviro-choices impact directly on the functioning of the pineal. There is a great deal of information on the internet regarding what specifically contributes to the calcification of the pineal and the different methods and modalities for the de-calcification

The pineal gland is a cone shaped gland, directly involved with our higher mental functioning as well as the creative and imaginative processes. It has been associated in many traditions with our divinity and the connection between our bodies and spirit.

of it. Anything that assists in this de-calcification process is important because it can result directly in an enhanced state of well-being. Being relaxed and at peace activates

When we allow colour to speak, it links us with

the specific brain-wave patterns that allow one to achieve

the thoughts, energies and emotions that wish to

expanded awareness. Listening to sound healing music

communicate themselves and when we add creative

enhances the gamma wave pattern and activates and

expression to this flow, a great door opens, not only to

stimulates the function of the pineal.

our healing but also to an enhanced awareness of every

A healthy, functioning pineal may also directly influence

aspect of our lives. We learn through self-expression

the way we dream, where our dreams become more vivid

the colours of our strengths and weaknesses and are

and lucid. With this comes the possibility of seeing more

gradually able to align ourselves with the sacredness of

clearly, being more conscious and more fully aware within

nature. Here we discover that we are an essential link in

the dream experience. In our wakeful state we then take

this beautiful and colourful miracle called Life.

this heightened awareness into our current reality and find ourselves more open to exploring other possible realities and outcomes. With an intention to primarily

'We cannot escape this recurring reflection of the truth.'

do no harm we can, through being compassionate and heart-centered, collaborate and contribute to the greater

It is only by choosing to live in the heart now, that each


of us can embrace an integrated approach to thriving.

At this time most of humanity relates to the seven major rays of the rainbow spectrum; red, orange, yellow,



This enriches and promotes prosperity and community wellbeing.

green, blue, indigo and violet. Each of these colours

By fully owning one's life and entering the source

represents a quality of being – love, wisdom, faith, peace,

of one's being through compassion, we truly live our

purity, justice and freedom. It is these positive qualities

authentic selves, radiating those colours into our world

that form the foundation of our highest desires.

that will ultimately transform and support the healthy

Dancing with Colours Fiona Almeleh is a visionary intuitive, empath and life consultant.


'Don't hide your heart but reveal it, so that mine might be revealed.' Mathnawi

or over 20 years she has facilitated creative expression through new ways of seeing as well as decoding the symbols and messages

that are held within the subtle energy field. Her emphasis is on integrated self-empowerment and alignment through creativity, compassion, deep love, peace, respect and honouring of the Divinity in all.

co-existence of all life. Every colour is sound and every sound is a colour. Life thereby becomes a dance of colours and mirrors. Everything we experience carries the energetic messages and signatures of colour. We are, so to speak, living, colour-coded beings. As a result, we have the full 3D earth spectrum to explore the higher wavelengths of colour. The invitation is to let go into who you are, through soft eyes. We have to step out of our lower personality and it's egoic attachment to outcomes.

'It is the Light that makes possible for us our own self-conscious intelligence'. Seeing requires emptiness and non-identification. The process of seeing transports our awareness through the veils of time and density. When we still the mind and allow a channel of communication between what is seen and ourselves, our sense of aliveness through this interaction can be likened to the reflective surface of water in a calm lake. We mirror both ourselves and that which is seen. In that instant we share the vision. It is only in this space of suspended thought and judgment that we can experience

Having experienced some of the courses and classes offered by Fiona, I can honestly say, 'Here is one, whose heart shines out into the world, with the greatest love and understanding of the human journey. She teaches and advises from a place of humility, honesty and integrity and, of course, humour, guiding and empowering those in need.' Carol George (Munay Tusuq)

the incorruptible truth of being. When we respect and honour the universal laws that govern the province of our evolving spirits, we gain access to what appears as the miraculous, but, in fact, is the natural order and occurrence of an ascending soul. This journeying reveals colours that take on a quality and radiance hitherto unknown and unimagined. They offer the possibility of maintaining us at a higher or finer level of awareness and experience. We therefore, are quite simply, only limited by our perception and in this understanding we see that perception is the key to our ultimate freedom. By inviting a deeper connection to all life, we set ourselves upon a path of enlightenment. Here we can play with colour and invite it to play back with us. Within this stream of creativity we are transported to a place of knowing and unity. O Visit





ach element has certain qualities that are uniquely

draw that energy into their lives through the people they

associated with it. These qualities are derived

associate with or activities they take up. What can also

from the actual physical 'elements' as found

happen is that, when an element is not well represented

in nature. The element qualities, and the balance of

in a chart, the person can almost behave in a manner

elements in a person's natal or birth chart, give us a very

that over-expresses or over-compensates for that missing

strong indication of a person's temperament and manner.

element. For example, a person who may have little or

There are 12 signs of the Zodiac and four elements,

no Air represented in their chart could talk excessively,

so there are three signs for each element. Signs of the

particularly when nervous – Air represents our ability to

same element harmonise well with each other as they

converse and style of communication.

are of the same nature. And to take it one step further; Fire and Air are expressive energies, therefore they have compatibility, Water and Earth are receptive energies and share compatibility. Naturally, then, Water and Earth are contradictory to Fire and Air. We must also remember that every person has all the elements represented in their natal chart. It is the balance of the elements that indicates their temperament and manner. In cases where one element is not represented in the chart, and this does happen, one would then see that person either




The Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, and follow in that order. First of the Fire signs, Aries, which can be interpreted in astrological terms as 'fire of the head', the untamed fire of impulse and emotion, or summarised as the 'Fire of personality'*. The second of the Fire signs

Elements play a very important role in astrology. The balance of the elements in the Zodiac comes from ancient Greek philosophy of the universe and all things. It is the concept that everything is made up of a combination of the four basic elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Astrologer Dianne Garven reports.

is Leo, which translates to the 'fire of the heart', or the

it, it can burn.

steady controlled fire of affection*. The third of the fire

A keynote for Fire energy is 'inspiration'. The Fire

signs is Sagittarius; it represents fire of wisdom and

energy represents the spiritual side of our nature. There


is a joy in living to those born with a strong influence of

The element of fire represents the energy of life

the Fire element in their natal chart. They can be forceful,

and spirit. It is an outgoing energy, energising and

ardent and extremely impulsive. They can be much

transforming. If you think of a fire burning, either in a fire

focussed in the moment, but in the same way that fire

place or a veld fire, it has the ability to transform what it

can spread quickly from one place to another, fire element

touches, and so too fire energises us. But too much of it

can follow a train of thought, moving from one thing to

can also cause destruction. Fire energy is associated with

the next very quickly, rather than sticking to an idea and

self-motivation, so the Fire signs are naturally the most

following it through to the end.

self-motivated. Fire doesn't need much to burn. It is an

Another quality of fire that is not often noted, is that

energy that is action-orientated. Fire signs are also more

is can be dependant and clingy. After all, fire cannot

concerned with the question of identity, self-discovery

exist without fuel, is completely dependent on that fuel –

and self-expression than any of the other elements. The

something to make it burn – and it can be very difficult

Fire element is intense and it radiates great warmth and

to put a fire out sometimes. But once all the fuel has

light, but if you get too close to it, or have too much of

been consumed, fire will die. Fire element is, of course, prone to intense emotions and passion; the emotions of either intense anger or intense joy are most comfortable for this element. But as its nature is, it can move from one to the other very quickly. Fire also has a tendency towards 'all or nothing'; it is a masculine and one-pointed energy. When fire gets going, it will run full steam ahead. With those in whom the Fire aspect is strong, it may be said that 'when they go, they go'. But when they stop, they stop. That is, they will run out of fuel and drop dead with exhaustion. Fire needs to cultivate moderation. Fire energy regards honesty highly and has little tolerance for dishonesty, in fact their honesty can sometimes be brutal and hurt or destroy others, although

The element of fire represents the energy of life and spirit. It is an outgoing energy, energising and transforming.

the hurt is unintentional for the most part. People with a strong Fire element in their charts need the sun and being outdoors is very important for them to recharge. The sun is, of course, the ultimate representation of the Fire element. Those with strong element of Fire are direct, positive in outlook and outgoing; they pour the Fire of self into living.




The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, in that order. The first earth sign, Taurus, represents endless patience, loving willingness to build slowly but solidly, and for keeps*. The second Earth sign, Virgo, represents practical efficiency and productivity, with endless patience

They can become so grounded that they cannot accept the unseen spiritual world has any value at all. The journey for Earth element is to learn to ground the spiritual energy in the material world. Earth element recharges through connecting with the earth, so they make great gardeners, farmers, horticulturists, viticulturists, builders and potters.

where detail is concerned*. The third of the Earth signs, Capricorn, represents responsibility and persistence, authority, practicality, initiative and common sense*. The Earth element has to do mainly with the material affairs of the world. They are practical and cautious. After all, Earth does not move fast when it moves. Earth is solid and stable, at times immovable. The keynote for the Earth element is 'practicality'. It represents the earthy, solid, reliable and responsible side of the personality. Earth represents substance and physical form; it is concerned with our need to interact with the material world. It is passive and receptive and must be acted on and formed by external forces. It is the most stable and concerned with issues of worth and value. Earth signs have the most even temperaments and are extremely difficult to provoke into action. Don't forget though, yes, it takes a lot to get Earth moving, but once moving, even slowly, the sheer weight and mass of the Earth element can be a formidable power to stop. Earth element is practical, relates primarily to the physical and tangible and can struggle with understanding abstract concepts. Things need to have a practical application for the Earth element. It must have or be of use to have value, or it must have material value to mean something to them. Because Earth element relates so strongly to the tangible, they are therefore very sensual. They enjoy things that stimulate the senses and communicate best

through their sense of touch, taste and hearing. Earth element may not easily express their feelings, however they do experience the full range of emotion, but because or display their feelings as they need to be processed and considered before expression. Earth element, unlike Fire, is not that concerned with self and/or emotional expression. Earth can become very attached to the physical plane and can therefore become possessive of what they deem 'theirs'. Because of this, they tend to be hoarders as well. It is a short step from enjoying the material world and pleasures that come with it to identifying with these trappings and losing sight of our true spiritual purposes.



they are slow to move, they won't impulsively act on

The journey for Earth element is to learn to ground the spiritual energy in the material world.


The Air signs are, in order, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The first Air sign, Gemini, represents the intellect, it is symbolically the light changeable breezes of spring – the gathering and the scattering of knowledge*. The second Air sign, Libra, is associated with great storms and high winds followed by calm, it is the balance of wisdom gained through experience – 'experience' being the operative word. It represents symbolically active intelligence or judgement*. The last of the Air signs, Aquarius, represents the intuition made constant through the use of will. It is the sign of inspiration. Symbolically it represents the cold electric air of winter. Air energy is

mostly concerned with knowledge, communication and interaction with other people, just as the wind touches everything, moves around and mingles. It represents the mental and social realms of life. It moves across the surfaces sometimes with speed, sometimes more gently, connecting everything that it touches. The element of Air is most comfortable with abstract ideas and concepts, symbols and all forms of communication. The Air element also has the greatest affinity to modern communication

Diplomacy, friendliness and communication are the main themes for the element of Air. Air signs are

positive and creative, for the most part*.

Diplomacy, friendliness and communication are the main themes for the element of Air.

technology. It is objective and capable of having the greatest amount of perspective. The Air element can be extremely insightful and have tremendous foresight, with advanced ideas and solutions, sometimes too idealistic or ahead of their time. These are our brilliant minds. But

while Air element is full of wonderful ideas, they are not

Air signs recharge through social and mental activity,

always that successful at implementing these ideas. They

but they can also be drained by it, as a strong stormy

are thinkers, not doers – that is left up to the Earth signs.

wind can die very quickly. The Air element type also

The Air element person is mainly concerned with

enjoys the mental challenges of things like games and

relationships and our place in the universe in relation


to others, and not only the human species. Gemini relates the individual to their environment, Libra relates

energy, so it deals with expression through the mind or


intellect. So it is rational and logical, therefore not all that

order. The first, Cancer, is the symbol of the Cosmic Mother,

individual to individual and Aquarius relates individual to society. Air element is also mainly an extroverted

comfortable with emotions in general, but particularly intense emotions. Preferring to detach from this type of interaction, retreating to the mental abstract realms with which Air element types are more familiar. Let's not forget, Air moves along the surface, it does not like to penetrate too deep.

The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, in that the sign of human family, active, living and vital fertility. It can be expressed as the ocean – restless, tossing waves of emotion*. The second, Scorpio, represents control and mastery of emotions through loving will. Symbolically one could say they represent stagnant but deep waters of lakes and marshes, often hidden, which need to be



brought to the light and transmuted*. The last of the Water signs, Pisces, represents wise use of our emotional nature and compassionate understanding. Here the symbol would be the ocean again, now still and deep, all

encompassing, but this aspect may also be illustratively described as clear rivers and streams whose smooth surfaces reflect that which is above*. Water element is unstable, reflective, responsive and fertile. The keyword for water is 'emotion'. Water is of expression. Water element is receptive and introverted energy. It is responsive and fluid, it sinks and seeks the lowest, deepest point and it will continue flowing unless it is contained. Water has no shape or structure of its own, rather it takes the shape of its container. And just as it can be cool and inviting on hot summer days, it can be cold, icy and harsh in the long dark winters. The Water temperament is empathetic, caring, very perceptive and deeply intuitive. It has a very strong sense of others'

concerned with our emotional vehicles and the astral level

The Water element relates to our deepest most primal emotions and the needs and longings of the soul.

feelings and can sometimes struggle to differentiate between theirs and others feelings. It has the tendency to take on others emotional burdens; boundaries can often

be an issue for the Water element. The Water element

is letting go, to truly release the pain and negativity of

operates almost entirely on the level of feelings, which

painful experiences in order for the healing process to

can often cause confusion.

be complete.

The Water element relates to our deepest most primal

Water signs feel the most deeply of all the elements,

emotions and the needs and longings of the soul. It also

but they are not always able to communicate the extent

connects to our deep unconscious and subconscious

and depth of these feelings, as words do not come easily

minds. The things we know and/or understand through

to them. Water is regarded as a 'mute' element – quiet

perception rather than rational understanding. The Water

and reserved. Water element types often struggle to

element is irrational, instinctive and entirely emotional.

find appropriate ways to communicate and express their

As with Air, Water also seeks to connect, but unlike Air

feelings. Ultimately words are inadequate, and some

that prefers the surface, Water wants to connect on a

things can only be communicated energetically for a

very deep level. Water energy is concerned with healing

Water sign.

and the power of emotional and spiritual healing. Water

Water signs recharge through intense emotional

relates to and is comfortable with all realms of emotions.

connections. Often people with strong water element are

It is a retentive energy; Water remembers each and

drawn to the oceans and beaches. O

every emotional experience, no matter how painful or difficult. A hard lesson for Water element types to learn

*Source: Astrology, a Cosmic Science by Isabel M Hickey


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Philosophy ODYSSEY 50 • 


Feng Shui in


When it comes to Feng Shui, it is simply not possible to over-state the importance of the external macro environment, as in mountains and rivers in the vicinity of your home or property, as well as what type of 'Favourable' or 'Unfavourable' cardinal directions and numbers apply to you, otherwise known as the Life Gua Method. Feng Shui practitioner Simone Burstein reports.



The Life Gua system of divination can be applied to yourself, interpersonal relationships, your home and workplace


f you want to Feng Shui your house yourself, what

and for the Qi. The main door is considered the 'Qi Mouth'

should you be looking at? A good classical Feng Shui

of a home.

practitioner will always look at these natural features,

Accordingly, it is extremely important to make sure

known as landforms, before he or she evaluates the Feng

that you have a good main door as this will go some way

Shui of the property. These forms dictate the quality and

towards ensuring you have good Qi entering the property.

type of 'Qi' (some spell the word chi, but both spellings

The main door is considered the primary reference point

refer to inherent life energy or force) that influences the

in any system of classical Feng Shui.

area and property.

The kitchen is where food is prepared and so it is

In addition to the forms, which determine if there

also extremely important. Food is what nourishes us and

are positive or negative Qi in the area, or if the Qi flow

gives us energy and strength to go about our endeavours.

is somehow being blocked or repelled, there are certain

Hence, the kitchen should be located in a suitable sector,

formulas to be considered.

so as to ensure the vibrant health of the residents.

These formulas, which are techniques and calculations

Finally, the bedroom is where we spend time resting

for determining the energy map of an area or the

and sleeping. Out of 24 hours a day, most people spend

property, help to qualify the forms, assess the quality of

between 6-8 hours in their bedroom. As such, it is

Qi and provide a fuller picture of the Feng Shui situation.

important that the bedroom is located in a place that is

Finally, when it comes to the property itself, classical

conducive for rest, recovery and sleep with stable and

Feng Shui practitioners will always zero in on the three most important factors: the main door, the kitchen and the bedroom. In fact, when it comes to evaluating the property itself, without looking at the macro environment and the

rejuvenating Qi. If you can look at nothing else, make sure that the above three factors are well taken care of and you would have taken some important positive steps towards improving the Feng Shui of your property.

formulas, these are the three areas that should be given priority.

Feng Shui-It-Yourself For the average person, evaluating the external macro

Important areas Why is it, you may ask, that only the main door, the kitchen and the bedroom are considered important? The main door is given significant priority because this is the entrance to the house, for the residents of the property



environment and landforms is not something they can or want to do so, in that case, they should call in some expert help. But if you want to Feng Shui-It-Yourself, what then can you do? Look at the house itself in tandem with a simple

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I have selected the Life Gua Method because firstly, it is a safe method with minimal negative side-effects. Secondly, it is quite easy to use and usually brings about at least a modest improvement. Thirdly, it is a system of Feng Shui that produces very steady improvements over time, and therby is suitable for people residing long-term in a property.

Method Begin with your year of birth. Add the two last digits together. For example, 1968 = 6+8=14. Then reduce to a single digit by adding them together: 1+4=5. If you are female add 5, so 5+5=10, and then reduce it to a single digit: 1+0=1. So your personal Gua number is 1. If you are male, subtract the number from 10. For example, 10-5=5. Reduce to a single digit and your personal Gua is 5. If your personal Gua happens to be 5, you assign the number 8 for females and number 2 for males as there is no number 5 in the Gua table. Once you have found your Gua number, match it to either the East Group or the West Group directions. From here, you can derive your personal 'Favourable' and 'Unfavourable Directions' (a slightly misleading description, as further explained). A complication is that each of these directions is not just merely 'favourable' or 'unfavourable'. There are specific types of energies in each direction, which are suitable for a specific use or function. For example, the 'Sheng Qi' direction taps into 'Life Generating Qi', suitable for increasing work performance and vitality, while the 'Tian Yi' direction taps into healing energy that is favourable for health or rejuvenation.

There are specific types of energies in each direction, which are suitable for a specific use or function.

The technique known as the Life Gua Method is derived from a system of Feng Shui known as the Eight Mansions or BaZhai. It is premised on the theory that every individual is imprinted with certain energies at the time of his or her birth, based on the planetary influences and magnetic fields exerting an effect on the Earth. These energies are unlocked or maximised when used in tandem with certain directions.



Which direction then should your main





favourable direction should be given priority? What if you're a husband and wife, each from a different group of directions? Do you sleep in separate bedrooms? Or do you sleep in different directions on the matrimonial bed? Imagine a husband and wife having to sleep facing each other's feet just to tap into The 'Fu Wei' direction represents calming energy

their Favourable Directions at night. As I have said many times, Feng

The 'Yan Nian' direction is all about communications relationships



interpersonal the


Shui does not make you do silly, frivolous or strange things in the name


of Qi, as it were. It was not designed

direction is best used for calming,

so that couples would have to sleep

peaceful and relaxing activities, such

in separate rooms just to tap into

as meditation, personal cultivation or

their personal favourable directions.

just a good night's sleep.


Let's take an example to give you an idea of how to make use of the Life



outcomes such as the above do not stem from the system itself.

Gua Method. For example, a female

The Life Gua system has its function

born in '57 will have a Gua number

and purpose within the broader 'Eight

of 8. She belongs to the West Group

Mansions' system. It does not mean

of Directions, thereby her Favourable

the Feng Shui is nonsensical or that

Directions are South West, North West,

the Eight Mansions is a flawed system.

West and North East. Her personal




Unfavourable Directions are South,

simply hear about the favourable

North, East and South East.

and unfavourable personal directions part of Eight Mansions Feng Shui and

How then do you apply this

assume that personal directions are the

information to your property? One

be all and end all of Eight Mansions, or

way is to check to see if your main

even of Feng Shui.

door taps into any one of your Personal Favourable Directions.

Obviously, that's not the case and this system of understanding inherent

You can also make use of this

energy flows and associations requires

system in the bedroom, by making sure

extensive study, having been developed

that your bed headboard faces one of

over millennia. For a full Feng Shui

your Personal Favourable Directions.

analysis, you would be well advised to

You may have noticed that if

take the advice of an experienced and

two different persons from different

qualified practitioner so that you may,

direction groups share a house, the

with minimum fuss, extract the best

Life Gua method creates a dilemma.

outcomes for you and your loved ones

Let's say from your Gua number, you know that you are part of the East

from the choices of where you live and how you live within that space. O

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In this book by the author of the bestselling Kuan Yin Oracle, Fairchild offers a truly unique approach to crystal healing, combining the natural healing properties of each crystal and its ‘crystal angel’ or ‘spirit’ with divine guidance channelled from heavenly angels such as Archangels Raphael, Gabriel, Metatron & Melchizedek. Together they help you bring your spirit and body together as one and live with more peace and prosperity, passion and purpose. Each chapter deals with a powerful precious stone and its heavenly angel and features a range of sacred rituals and processes to help you fully harness the healing potential of that stone, deepen your connection with yourself and the divine guidance supporting you and tap into the many gifts hidden within you. You will delve deeply into a variety of topics including love, power and protection, eating and body image, self-esteem, addiction, feminine/masculine balance, wealth and prosperity, connecting with divinity, speaking your truth, dealing with your emotions, developing your spiritual talents and much more.

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'People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being. Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early.' – Paulo Coelho





Pam Grout is the author of 16 books, three plays, a TV series, and two iPhone apps. She writes for People magazine,, The Huffington Post, and her own travel blog. In this extract from her book E-squared she introduces us to nine DIY energy experiments that prove your thoughts create your reality.




wo months before I turned 35, my long-time boyfriend dumped me for a 20-something law student with dark roots. Keep in mind

that this was about the same time the single woman/asteroid study came out, the one that publicly revealed that women over 30 have roughly the same odds of walking down the nuptial aisle as they do of being sideswiped by an asteroid. After several days of lying in bed and staring at my ceiling fan, I came to the conclusion that I had two choices left. I could either slit my veins in a warm bath or sign up for a month-long work-study program at Esalen, the self-improvement mecca in Big Sur, California. Knowing how my roommate at the time despised messes, I opted for Esalen. On the second night there, I met a handsome former surfer named Stan who convinced me to spend the evening listening to the ocean crashing against the cliffs. We finally fell asleep in one of the massage rooms, huddled together to stay warm. Not that it worked. April winds off the Pacific can be ferocious, and even with our combined body heat we practically froze to death. Come to think of it, it would certainly have solved my messy suicide dilemma. If Stan hadn't been so cute and I hadn't been so desperate to get over the jerk who'd tossed me aside like some empty bag of Doritos, I probably would have excused myself and gone back to my insulated sleeping bag. But I stayed until the next morning when the 'dawn's early light' revealed that the whole time there'd been a space heater next to the mat where we'd been huddled. A space heater we could have turned on and used to keep warm. In a nutshell, that's what this book is about. There's a space heater – or rather an invisible energy force – that's constantly available for our use, and we haven't bothered to turn it on. Most of us are totally oblivious to the fact the 'space heater'

even exists. We think of life as a random crapshoot. C'est la vie. Those of us who do know about the space heater (that is, the energetic field that gives us the ability to shape and design our lives) don't understand how it works. We've heard rumours that praying turns it on, that good works keep it going. But no one seems to know for sure. This guru tells us to chant. The next one suggests meditation. The one from last year insisted we clean up our thoughts and increase our vibrations. So which is it? Is the energy



'Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.'

force really that vague and mysterious?

early-morning jog, I suddenly got it.

And why does it only work sometimes?

Those thoughts were exact clones of

At best, it's finicky and fickle, certainly

comments my mother often made when

nothing you can bank on.

I was growing up. And even though

- Albert Einstein

Or is it? What I'd like to suggest is

there was no evidence to support those

that this invisible energy field is 100%

fears in my own life, I had downloaded

reliable. It works every time, like a math

them straight into my consciousness

principle or a law of physics. Two plus

without even being aware of it.

two always equals four. Balls dropped

Needless to say, that wasn't a

off roofs always fall. Your every thought

paradigm that served my highest good.

always affects physical reality.

I consciously rewrote the paradigm

If you've read The Secret or been

that ran my financial life to: 'I can

in metaphysical, spiritual circles for

afford anything I want. In fact, I am so

any time at all, you already know your

prosperous I never need worry again.'

thoughts create your reality, that there's

As an independent freelance writer, I

a power in the universe that can heal,

also appointed God as the CEO of my

and that you and you alone design your

career. I figured there was no way I

own life. Unfortunately, there's still this

could run this fickle writing business

tiny little problem, this one itty-bitty

with the faulty wiring and negative


thoughts I'd downloaded from my

Most of us, in fact, are still operating out of the mental architecture of our ancestors. We think we're running our







mechanical worldview has been proved

We think we're affirming our intentions

defective, it's still deeply ingrained

and creating new possibilities, but in


reality we're simply recycling old tapes,

Neuroscientists and psychologists tell us

knee-jerk conditioning, and automatic

that 95% of our thoughts are controlled

behaviours, most of which we picked up

by our pre-programmed subconscious

before we were five. We're like Pavlov's

mind. Instead of actually thinking,

dogs, simply reacting to patterns we

you're looking at a 'movie' of the past.

picked up before we had the intelligence

If you weren't immersed in this nonstop

to choose wisely. Most of the thoughts

riot of fragmented, old-school thinking,

we assume are our own are really

you'd be modifying your life at will.

the invisible and largely unquestioned

You'd have no fear around money, you'd

beliefs we downloaded from others. So

have nothing but beautiful relationships,

we pit our positive thoughts against our

and you'd be so ecstatically content that

old, disempowering programming.

it would never occur to you to pick up a





book like E-squared.

that force that always affects physical

Quite frankly, I'm glad you did. My

reality, has been hijacked. Not long

little book will prove to you once and for

after I graduated from college, landed

all that your thoughts have power and

a job, and was running my own affairs,

that a field of infinite possibilities awaits

I noticed negative thoughts about

your claim. It will help you rewrite the

money dive-bombing for my attention.

outdated thinking that drives your life.

I found myself worrying, wondering if



lives with brilliant ideas and thoughts.

In other words, our consciousness,

Pam Grout discusses E-squared

past. Clearly, I needed a new energetic






running out of money was imminent,

argument, the same grand argument

questioning whether or not I could

you've read about in all the other

afford the new bike I wanted or the new

books about changing reality, this book

computer I needed. One day, during an

has nine easy-to-try experiments that

offer real-time proof. It gives you the

call up Sears (American department

opportunity to move from 'knowing' your

store chain) and say, 'Oh, just send me

thoughts create reality to witnessing it

something I like.' Likewise, you wouldn't

happen on a daily, decision-by-decision

call a plumber to fix your toilet with this


proviso: 'Just come whenever you feel

learn to use this field of potentiality (I

The nine energy principles presented

like to call it the FP) to your advantage.

in this book will confirm that the FP is at

Because energy is invisible and because

work in your life whether you're aware

we're still operating from old-school

of its existence or not. You'll learn that

principles that put materiality first, we

it's more profound than physical laws

haven't learned to truly harness this

and every bit as dependable as gravity

fundamental building block.

– once you learn to be definite and

'My fingers are being pried off all I think I know. Certainty is very useful, but it can really close your mind off to the true light.'

At this point, it's still a theory.

like it.' Yet that's how most of us interact

Seeing with your own two eyes that

with the field. We're wimpy, vague, and

you change reality simply by observing

don't have a clue how it actually works.

it will rewire your brain and divest

E-Squared not only explains how

you from old conditioning. Learning,

the FP works, but it provides nine

through scientific experimentation, how

experiments, each of which can be

deeply you are connected to the field

conducted with absolutely no money

of potentiality will literally set you free.

and very little time expenditure, to

Quantum physics defines the field

prove that thoughts are actual physical

as 'invisible moving forces that influence

'things'. Yes, you read that right. It says

the physical realm'. In my book, you'll


For 21 days, roughly the time it

crystal clear in your intentions; agree

- David O Russell,

takes to do the experiments in my

to set deadlines, and get over this crazy

book, you have the rare opportunity to

illusion that something – you're never

American film-maker

develop a conscious relationship with

even sure what – is wrong with you. To

energy (even matter, said quantum

effectively work these spiritual laws, you

physicist David Bohm, is nothing but

have to 'get it' deep down in your bones

'frozen light') and learn to transform and

that the universe is bountiful and that,

parlay it into anything your heart desires

at all times, it has your back.

– whether it be peace of mind, money, or a more rewarding career.

I don't remember the exact moment I started conducting DIY experiments

The nine experiments in the book,

with my life. I do know it had become

most of which take a short 48 hours

increasingly clear to me that all the

or less, will prove that the FP, like

spiritual theories and books and classes

electricity, is dependable, predictable,

that I was so fascinated with were

and available to everyone from St

basically worthless without my full

Francis of Assisi to Barbara Walters.


They'll prove what physicists over the

What I know for sure is that the best

past 100 years have discovered – that

way to understand a spiritual principle,

the field connects all of us, and that the

maybe the only way, is not to read about

reason we control our lives is because

it in a book or to hear a speaker explain

every thought we have is an energy

it from a podium, but to put it into a

wave that affects everything else in the

framework that demonstrates how it


works. Seeing it in action, as you will

But, like electricity, you do have

in these experiments, leads to complete

to plug into it. And you do have to

and certain conviction. And that's the

quit being so gosh-darned wishy-washy.

only thing that will radically release you

Nobody in his or her right mind would

from 'old school' mental architecture.




The 'Dude' Abides Principle

8 The 101 Dalmatians Principle

This is the basic principle, the foundation upon which

This all-important spiritual principle states: 'You are

all the others rest. Basically what it says is, 'There is an

connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.'

invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.'

Scientists call it non-locality.

2 The Volkswagen Jetta Principle

9 The Fish & Loaves Principle

When you begin to think about something – you draw it

This principle states: 'The universe is limitless, abundant,

into your life. Every thought we have, every judgment we

and strangely accommodating.' It will also prove that your

make, impacts the field of potentiality. In fact, reality is

fears are pointless and that maybe it's okay to take a big,

nothing but waves of possibility that we have 'observed'

deep breath.

into form.

3 The Alby Einstein Principle Even though this principle: 'You, too, are a field of energy', is one of the cornerstone spiritual principles, it actually first came to light in a physics lab. Yes, it was scientists who discovered that, despite all appearances to the contrary, human beings are not matter, but continually moving waves of energy.

4 The Abracadabra Principle It's actually an Aramaic term that translates into English as, 'I will create as I speak'. It's a powerful concept. This principle simply says, 'Whatever you focus on expands', and in the experiment you'll learn that there's no such thing as an idle thought and that all of us are way too cavalier and tolerant of our minds' wandering.

5 The 'Dear Abby' Principle This principle states: 'Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.' By re-aligning your consciousness, you can access reliable answers to every request you ever make. The reason you don't know this is because you've taught yourself the most unnatural habit of feeling separate, of not being in communion with the FP.

I hope it's comforting to know that you won't be the first to use your life as an experiment. When the late, great R Buckminster Fuller was 32, he decided to conduct an experiment to see what one penniless unknown individual might be able to do on behalf of humanity. Dubbing himself 'Guinea Pig B', he dedicated himself to bringing about change in the world. At the time he started the experiment, he was what you might call a 'nobody'. Bankrupt and unemployed, he had a wife and baby to support. His first child, the baby's older sister, had just died. He had been drinking heavily. His prospects didn't look promising. But he decided to cast aside the past, to give up limiting thoughts. He wanted to know, 'What could one person do to change the world?' For the next 56 years, he devoted himself to his unique experiment. He took risks. He asked, 'What if?' Not only did he become an architect, an inventor, an author, and a great leader of men, but between 1927, when he launched the experiment, and his death in '83, he wrote 28 books, received 44 honorary degrees, registered 25 US patents, and literally changed the way humans see themselves. That's what I hope E-Squared will do for you. I hope it will change the way you see yourself. I hope it will inspire you to conduct an experiment with your own life, to use your energy to become the most fantastic, the most joyful, wondrous, beautiful, tender human being you possibly can. O

6 The Superhero Principle This experiment is governed by the principle 'Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter'.

7 The Jenny Craig Principle Your thoughts about yourself and your food are in a constant dance with your body.



Pam Grout




The following is an excerpt from Bruce Lipton's (pictured) The Honeymoon Effect: The Science Of Creating Heaven On Earth, chapter, Our Drive to Bond.


f you're a survivor of multiple

When our biological drives are

wonder why you keep trying. I can

not being fulfilled, when our survival

assure you that you don't persist just

is threatened, we get a feeling in the

for the (sometimes short-lived) good

pit of our stomach that something

times. And you don't persist because

is wrong even before our conscious

of TV ads featuring loving couples on

minds comprehend the danger. That

tropical islands. You persist, despite

gut feeling is being felt globally right

your track record and despite dismal

now – many of us are feeling that

divorce statistics, because you are

pit in our stomach as we ponder the

designed to bond. Human beings are

survivability of our enviro-damaged

not meant to live alone.

planet and of the human beings

There is a fundamental biological

who have damaged it. Most of this,

imperative that propels you and

as explored in The Honeymoon Effect, focuses on how individuals can create or rekindle wonderful relationships, but in the final chapter I explain how the energy created by 'Heaven on Earth' relationships can heal the planet and save our species. That's a tall order, I know, but we have at hand an extremely successful model for creating healing relationships that I believe will ultimately lead to the healing of our planet. As the ancient mystics have said, 'The answers lie within.' The nature and power of harmonious relationships can be seen in the community of the trillions of cells that co-operate to form every human being. This might at first seem strange to you because when you look in the mirror, you might logically conclude that you are a single entity. But that is a major misperception. A human being is actually a community made up of 50 trillion sentient cells within a skin-covered petri dish, a surprising insight I explain further in

every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with




you're thinking about it consciously or not, your biology is pushing you to bond. In fact, the coming together of individuals in community (starting with two) is a principle force that drives biological evolution, a phenomenon I call spontaneous evolution, which I cover in depth in the book of the same name.1 There are, of course, additional biological



to ensure individual and species survival: the drive for food, for sex, for growth, for protection, and the ferocious, inexplicable drive to fight for life. We don't know where or how the will to live is programmed into cells, but it is a fact that no organism will readily give up its life. Try to kill the most primitive of organisms and that bacterium doesn't say, 'Okay, I'll wait until you kill me.' Instead, it will make every evasive manoeuvre in its



power to sustain its survival.

failed relationships, you may

It is beyond our imagination to conceive of a single form of life that exists alone and independent, unattached to other forms. Lewis Thomas




Robert Sapolsky The Uniqueness of Humans The Honeymoon Effect. As a cell biologist, I spent many hours happily studying the behaviour and fate of stem cells in plastic culture dishes. The trillions of cells within each skin-covered human body live far more harmoniously than feuding couples and strife-ridden human communities. This is one excellent reason why we can learn valuable insights from them: 50 trillion sentient cells, 50 trillion citizens living together peacefully in a remarkably complex community. All the cells have jobs. All the cells have health care, protection, and a viable economy (based on an exchange of ATP molecules, units of energy that biologists often refer to as the 'coin of the realm'). In comparison, humanity's job – figuring out the logistics of how a relatively measly seven billion humans can work together in harmony – looks easy. And compared to the 50-trillion-celled-co-operative human community, each couple's job – figuring out how two human beings can communicate and work together in harmony – seems like a piece of cake (though I know that at times it seems like the hardest challenge we face on Earth). I grant you that single-celled organisms, which were the first life forms on this planet, spent a lot of time – almost three billion years – figuring out how to bond with one another. Even I didn't take that long. And when they did start coming together to create multicellular life forms, they initially organised as loose communities, or 'colonies', of single-celled organisms. But the evolutionary advantage of living in a community (more awareness of the environment and a shared workload) soon led to highly structured organisms composed of millions, billions, and then trillions of socially interactive single cells. These multicellular communities range in size from the microscopic to those easily seen by the naked



It isn't your hormones, your neurochemicals, your genes, or your less-than-ideal upbringing that prevents you from creating the relationships you say you want. Your beliefs are preventing you from experiencing those elusive, loving relationships. eye: a bacterium, an amoeba, an ant, a dog, a human being, and so on. Yes, even bacteria do not live alone; they form dispersed communities that keep in constant communication via chemical signals and viruses. Once cells figured out a way to work together to create organisms of all sizes and shapes, the newly evolved multicellular organisms also started to assemble into communities themselves. For example, on the macro level, the aspen tree (Populus tremuloides  ) forms a superorganism made up of large stands of genetically identical trees (technically, stems) connected by a single underground root system. The largest known, fully connected aspen is a 106-acre grove in Utah nicknamed Pando that some experts contend is the largest organism in the world. The social nature of harmonious multiorganism societies can provide fundamental insights directly applicable to human civilisation. One great example is an ant, which, like a human being, is a multicellular social organism; when you take an ant out of its community it will die. In fact, an individual ant is really a suborganism; the true organism is actually represented by the ant colony. Lewis Thomas described ants this way: 'Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves... engage in child labour... exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.'2 Nature's drive to form community is also easy to observe in mammalian species, such as horses. Rambunctious colts run around and irritate their parents just as human children can. To get the colts in line, their parents nip their offspring as a form of negative reinforcement. If those little bites don't work, the parents

In relationships between two people there are actually four minds at work. Unless you understand this, you’ll be 'looking for love in all the wrong places'.

move on to the most effective punishment of all – they

dealing with something where we are simply unique –

force the misbehaving colt out of the group and do

there is no precedent out there in the animal world. Let

not let it return to the community. That turns out to

me give you an example of this. A shocking one. Okay.

be the ultimate punishment for even the friskiest, least

You have a couple. They come home at the end of the

controllable colt, which will do anything in its behavioural

day. They talk. They eat dinner. They talk. They go to

capacity to rejoin the community.

bed. They have sex. They talk some more. They go to

As for human communities, we can fend for ourselves

sleep. The next day they do the same exact thing. They

as individuals longer than a single ant can, but we're

come home from work. They talk. They eat. They talk.

likely to go crazy in the process. I'm reminded of the

They go to bed. They have sex. They talk. They fall

movie Cast Away, in which Tom Hanks plays a man who

asleep. They do this every day for 30 days running. A

is marooned on an island in the South Pacific. He uses his

giraffe would be repulsed by this. Hardly anybody out

own bloody hand to imprint a face on a Wilson Sporting

there has non-reproductive sex day after day and nobody

Goods volleyball he calls 'Wilson' so he can have someone

talks about it afterward.3

to talk to. Finally, after four years, he takes the risky step

For humans, sex for propagation is crucial until a

of venturing off the island in a makeshift raft because

population stabilises. When human populations reach

he'd rather die trying to find someone to communicate

a state of balance and security, sex for propagation

with than stay by himself on the island, even though he

decreases. In the US, where most parents expect their

has figured out how to secure food and drink – that is,

children to survive and also expect that they themselves

how to survive.

won't be out on the streets with a cup when they're old,

Most people think that the drive to propagate is the

the average number of offspring per family is fewer than

most fundamental biological imperative for humans, and

two. However, any population that is threatened will

there's no doubt that reproduction of the individual is

initiate reproduction earlier and reproduce more – they're

fundamental to species survival. That's why for most

unconsciously doing the calculation that some of their

of us sex is so pleasurable – nature wanted to ensure

children are not going to survive and that they'll need

that humans have the desire to procreate and sustain

more than two children to share the load of helping to

the species. But Hanks doesn't venture off the island to

support them when they're old. In India, for example,

propagate; he ventures off the island to communicate

though the fertility rate dropped 19% in a decade to

with someone other than a volleyball.

2.2, in the poorest areas where families face tremendous

For humans, coming together in pairs (biologists

challenges to survive, the rate can be three times higher.

call it 'pair coupling') is about more than sex for

But even in societies where the drive to reproduce

propagation. In a lecture entitled The Uniqueness of

is curtailed, there is still an incentive for coupling

Humans, neurobiologist and primatologist Robert M

because the drive to bond trumps the drive to procreate.

Sapolsky explains how unique humans are in this regard:

Couples who don't have children can create wonderful

Some of the time, though, the challenge is we're

relationships, and many make a conscious decision not



to have children. In Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to

Living Childless by Choice, author Laura S Scott explores why some forgo the experience. Scott starts off the book with a conversation with a friend's husband, who was at the time a new dad: 'So why did you get married if you didn't want kids?' Huh? Love... companionship, I blurted. His question startled me, rendering me uncharacteristically short of words... He cocked his head and waited for more, his curiosity genuine. In that moment, I recognised just how strange I must have seemed to him. Here was a person who could not imagine life without kids trying to understand a person who could not imagine a life with kids.4 Scott started researching the subject and found that according to a 2000 Current Population Survey, 30 million married couples in the US do not have children and that the US Census Bureau predicted that married couples with children would account for only 20% of households by 2010. Scott also did her own survey of couples who are childless by choice and found that one important motive for not having children was how much the couples valued their relationships. Said one of the surveyed husbands, 'We have a happy, loving, fulfilling relationship as we are now. It's reassuring to think that the dynamic of my relationship with my wife won't change.'5 Perhaps if more people realised that coupling in higher organisms is fundamentally about bonding, not only about the drive to reproduce, there would be less prejudice against homosexuality. In fact, homosexuality is natural and common in the animal kingdom. In a 2009 review of the scientific literature, University of California at Riverside biologists Nathan W Bailey and Marlene Zuk, who advocate more study about the evolutionary impetus for homosexual behaviour, state, 'The variety and ubiquity of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals is impressive; many thousands of instances of same-sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation have been observed in a wide

 2



Did you know? Bruce Lipton was once an agnostic scientist who turned into a Rumi-quoting scientist who believes that we all have the capacity to create our own Heaven on Earth and that eternal life transcends the body. range of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks, and nematodes.'5 One example is silver gulls; 21% of female silver gulls pair with another female at least once in their lifetimes and 10% are exclusively lesbian.6 Since we're driven to form bonds, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, we need to understand how nature intended us to bond, which is the topic of this The Honeymoon Effect. Until we successfully learn how to couple, how can we follow the example of cells to create larger co-operative communities? Until we successfully learn how to couple better, the next stage of our evolution, wherein humans assemble to form the larger superorganism humanity, is stalled. If ants can do it, so can we humans. O 1

Bruce H Lipton, PhD., Steve Bhaerman, Spontaneous Evolution

(Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2009). 2

Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

(New York: Viking, 1974), 11-12. 3

Robert Sapolsky, The Uniqueness of Humans (Stanford University

Class Day Lecture: June 13, 2009). 4

Laura S Scott, Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless

by Choice (Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2009), 5

Nathan W. Bailey and Marlene Zuk, Same-Sex Sexual Behaviour

and Evolution, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol 24, no 8 (June 10, 2009): 439-46. 6

Bruce Bagemihl, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and

Natural Diversity (New York: St Martin's Press, 1999), 554.

We have 2 copies of The Honeymoon Effect: The Science Of Creating Heaven On Earth to give away. Email here with your name and postal address by 14 March 2014 to stand a chance to win.


Romantic Love

'Everything begins, endures and ends with love. It is the background theme of our lives and it could well be the foreground. It is the presence we take for granted and forget to credit for our very existence. It is everything,' explains Nicolette Lodge as she takes a look at the notion of romantic love.




he love that humanity has become fixated on is

failure? Should they no longer perform all the tasks they

romantic love and it is the advertiser's dream. It

need to, to sustain your well-being, you will fall apart.

is a huge fantasy that our egos buy into, wishing

It's not difficult to see that you would certainly feel

to believe in 'happily ever afters' and a life of being

threatened and unloved the minute they gave up this

pampered and pleasured without having to do any work.

unsustainable act. This is the saddest thing that lovers do.

Romantic love is an attachment to things in the

They give the responsibility of being loved to their partner.

physical realm. High on the list are: sex, touching, being

This is the very reason lovers fight. They perceive each

close to another human being in the flesh, so to speak,

other as the holder of the key to each others' happiness

whispering sweet nothings (which are empty promises),

and self-fulfilment and they begin to feel jealous and

lots of praising and complimenting, the giving and

threatened that they do not control their own happiness

receiving of material gifts, staged dinners and dates, lots

and love. They fight over issues of mistrust and fear, of

of kissing, and so on. Think about it. All of these things

losing something they actually willingly gave away (the

take us away from ourselves. With romantic love, we are

ownership of their own love and self-esteem) and trying

choosing to fuse ourselves with another human being. We

to own and protect something they never owned in the

temporarily lose our identity and find ourselves buying

first place (their partner's love). It is all an illusion.

into this pseudo, make-believe unreality.

The sooner you realise that you are the master of

You cannot find love to complete you in the form of

your own love and happiness, that you are one with spirit

another human being, because love is inside every one

and that you are complete, the sooner you will enter the

of us. You cannot find your other half, because you are

state of loving bliss, of oneness with all of creation. You

already everything you need to be. You are complete. If

see, love is not a feeling; it is a state of being. The warm

you are buying into romantic love, then you are being

inner feeling of bliss that accompanies this state of being

fooled by your ego into believing the biggest lie. The lie

is often confused with 'love'. When your ego searches for

Don't buy into the Hollywood fantasy of fake love. All you need to do is go within, go deeper and source your bottomless well of self-love. This love is divine. This love is unconditional and doesn't need anything to grow it or complete it. It is more than enough and the more you access it, the more it is replenished. It never runs out. is that you are alone and separate and that you need

the end result of the feeling, you miss real love, which is

someone else to complete you. You are not separate. You

spirit. You cannot have the experience of real love when

are not alone. You are a handful of multidimensional light

you are in ego. The feeling of 'love' you have when you

and love. You are created in spirit/god's likeness. You

are in romantic love is a false sense of power caused by

have all of God's qualities, just on a smaller scale. You are

the merging of two egos. Real love is feeling contented

love and you are connected to God's universal love. Now

within, not loving or hating yourself, rather, it is being in

I ask you: 'If you are love, how can you seek love from

a state of empowerment as the observer of your feelings.

another to complete you?' All you need to do is open the

You are not in need of romantic love, because that is

doors of your heart and allow the love within to immerse

a short-lived phase of courting, which is always followed

you and fill you up.

by a reality check when the pendulum swings to your

If you are seeking love to build you up, then you're in

Romantic love is best described as vampire love

in the light. If you are looking for someone to give the

because it is never satisfied, it always craves more. It is

responsibility of completing you, you are relinquishing

needy and controlling and requires lots of work, gifts and

yourself from your own duty to fulfil and love yourself.

effort. Romantic love is the perception that you can own

When you do that, you give the other person your

another person. 'I will love you forever, I swear. You are

power and the key to your happiness, and you become

mine and I am yours. I would die for you. You complete

their prisoner. How crazy is that? This is the reason that

me.' And on it goes.

conditional love swings to hatred so easily.



shadow side, exposing your weaknesses and fears.

ego and fear, living in your shadow side and not walking

Romantic love is an illusion. It is steeped in all kinds of

Can you see that by loving someone conditionally

expectations of what your lover is and should be doing for

because they complete you, is to set yourself up for

you. It's all about getting and taking. With romantic love,

there often seems to be the expectation of cut flowers and dates and candlelit dinners and lots of caressing and kissing and tantric love-making. There seem to be so very many expectations of expensive gifts and lots of effort in planning and staging the perfect event. You will attract failure time and again if you pursue this impossible illusion of perfection. Can you see that by needing the perfect sunset, the perfect meal, the perfect gift, the perfect love-making in order to feel loved and appreciated, you are setting yourself up for great disappointment? How often do we hear people complaining that their partner is not romantic any more, because the act they put on to entice them in the first place, has become an impossible chore to sustain? With romantic love, you expect your partner to be the person you're not capable of being. This kind of love is not love at all. It is vanity. It is material and it is steeped in ego and greed. You will notice that romantic love is an addiction to the feelings of being connected to love. When you focus on searching for romantic, loving feelings rather than being love, you miss love completely. It isn't rocket science to fathom that relationships based on romantic/conditional love cannot endure beyond the short term. Anything that is based on material desire is transient and falls into the category of the ego. It is only a matter of time before the short-lived pleasure of the holiday or meal together is consigned to the photo album of past memories, setting the ego loose to scavenge for yet another quick fix. Don't buy into the Hollywood fantasy of fake love. All you need do is go within, go deeper and source your bottomless well of self-love. This love is divine. This love is unconditional and doesn't need anything to grow it or complete it. It is more than enough and the more you access it, the more it is replenished. It never runs out. Remember, you cannot own another person. They cannot make promises to be with you and love you forever in the physical realm. No human being will ever be there for you for the whole duration of your Earth visit. You are inter-reliant with all other beings, but cannot merge with any as one. You have to fulfil and complete yourself. You






yourself. O

Excerpt from Forgiveness: Your Gift of Love to Yourself by Nicolette Lodge. Reprinted with kind permission by Quickfox Publishing. For more info see next page.




author profile

'My life is this incredible experiential journey. I am passionate about encouraging others and bringing joy into people’s lives. All I want to do is help people to self-love, to self-heal and to free themselves from the conditioned suffering of their minds.' ODYSSEY 72 • 


Cape Town-born Nicolette Lodge, author of Forgiveness: Your Gift Of Love To Yourself, first followed a career path as a classical ballet dancer, but soon became disillusioned with the world of dance. She sold her only possession – a car – and backpacked, solo, overseas. It was during this time staying at various youth hostels that she found her connection with humanity. We take a look at her journey.


uring her travels, she rubbed shoulders with youth

crystals, metamorphosis and more to help nurture self-love

from across the globe and was overwhelmed by

and self-worth in her clients.

all the caring she felt. Having had such a narrow

After her Mom died, Nicolette sought the counsel

perspective of what life was all about from her years as a

of a psychic to confirm the direction of her purpose,

protected ballet girl, her eyes were opened.

and to see if she was on the right track with her book,

Returning to Cape Town with a dream of finding her passion, she soon found that destiny was closing the doors to opportunity for her there. She tried to break into modelling, walking the streets with her portfolio, doing sleazy test shoots with photographers whose only intent was to get her into bed. She lasted a week as a barmaid, scantily clad as a cavewoman, but the earth didn’t move and opportunity wasn’t forthcoming. She visited Johannesburg on a whim for a friend’s wedding a few months later, and from there on, destiny opened its arms to her. She found herself gaining experience in so many different professions, including a career in AV production and working in sales. When she settled down and married the man whom she had met at her friend’s wedding, she and her hubby decided that she would be a dedicated stay-home mom. This challenged Nicolette because with no earnings she had no money to join a gym, and decided to qualify as an aerobics instructor so that she would be paid while getting herself back in shape after the birth of her two sons. Gym training progressed to personal

Forgiveness, which she planned to write. 'The message came through that my book is going to heal the unforgiveness in my family’s bloodline seven generations back and seven generations to come. Finally, I could see purpose in my Mom’s suffering, because if I can reverse the "unforgiveness" in my family bloodline, so can others.' Nicolette teaches that love and forgiveness are one and the same. They exist because of each other. You can’t have one without the other. 'The reason people battle to forgive is because they don’t love themselves unconditionally. And when you love yourself with all sorts of conditions and limitations, you love others the same way. As within so without. It is paradoxical because conditional love isn’t love at all. The reason that humanity judges and fears and mistrusts one another, is because they judge themselves as unworthy. They don’t love themselves. We each need to look within and that is the purpose of my book, I take my reader on a journey to self-discovery and self-love by helping them peel away all the layers of conditioned prejudices with which we have buried our true natures.' O

training and the universe sent Nicolette many clients with health issues, as well as a lack of self-love. This was

Nicolette conducts talks and workshops in Johannesburg

of great concern to her as she knew that her job as a

where she now resides. She speaks on

personal trainer would never be fulfilled until she could

a range of topics and utilises different

change her clients’ frame of mind. No matter how hard

modalities to get her message across.

they trained they would not love themselves because

She is an intuitive writer and speaker

they were searching outwardly for external fixes – for the

and lover of all things natural. She

perfect body, life, soulmate – you name it.

writes a weekly inspirational blog

Nicolette’s training changed pace as she sought ways

and you can also follow her on

to help her clients in body, mind and soul. She started

twitter. Visit her website

including massage, acupressure techniques, meditation,

and like her facebook

breathing, yoga, muscle activation, positive affirmations,



Love Birds Trevor Silvester

Fidelity Thich Nhat Hanh

Coronet • 978 1 444 740875

Parallax Press • 978 1 935209 91 1

Subtitled: 'How to Live with the One you Love', the cover blurb states: 'The revolutionary book about love-types'. The author is a qualified hypnotherapist and couples counsellor of over 20 years, and has come to believe that most people don't separate because they don't love each other, but because they can't live with each other. In this quirky and original take on relationships, Silvester relates people to birds. There are quizzes to define whether you fall into either the sky-bird – swift, nightingale, dove and owl – or ground-bird – peacock, robin, swan, kingfisher – category. You will then find out how to 'spot' a potential 'nest' mate, and what the combination with your partner – or ideal partner, if you're single – will be like; sub-categories include How they Love, and In the Bedroom, among others. Sylvester promises to help you 'focus on understanding each other like never before and making that understanding the basis and birth of a more enriching relationship'.

Subtitled: 'How to Create a Loving Relationship that Lasts'. Hanh is one of the best-known Buddhist teachers in the world. His best-selling books include, Happiness and Peace Is Every Step. He lives in France where he gardens, writes and teaches on the art of mindful living. Hanh on mindful breathing practice: 'Breathing in, I calm my body; breathing out, I smile; dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.' Chapters include: True Love, Intimacy, The Roots of Desire; Transforming Loneliness and Suffering; Understanding and Forgiveness; Three Keys to Happiness; The Four Elements of Love; Our True Vow, and Fidelity. A pocket-sized book at 139 pages which tends towards the ascetic perspective of life, but will certainly appeal to your inner Buddhist, should you resonate with the very pure vibration it emanates.

8 Habits of Love Ed Bacon

Simon & Schuster • 978 1 84737 769 2

Grand Central Life & Style • 978 1 4555 2670 3 Subtitled: 'Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind'. Bacon has served as Rector of All Saints, an urban Episcopal parish in California, which serviced thousands of congregants. He has also discussed 21st century spirituality on Oprah's Soul Series. Chapters include: The Habit of Generosity; Stillnness; Truth; Candor; Play; Forgiveness; Compassion; and Community. Love, says Bacon, assures us we are not alone despite the adversities of life. Love goes on to say to him: 'Together we will transform this world into a masterpiece of justice – we will enchant the world with our song of perseverance and peace'. 'Bacon's book has left me tingling with excitement – what seemed far too idealistic begins to seem doable even by the likes of me,' says Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 'It's the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance. It's the dream afraid of waking, that never takes a chance. It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give. And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.' Amanda Mc Broom, The Rose.



Love for No Reason Marci Shimoff

Subtitled: '7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love'. Shimoff was featured in The Secret DVD. Foreword my Marianne Williamson. 'There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; no door that enough love will not open; no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love will not topple. It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how great the mistake – sufficient realisation of love will resolve it all. If only we could love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the universe.' (Emmet Fox).This is a highly inspiring book, overflowing with affirmations, that practiced regularly will re-ignite loving passion in your, and thereby others', and/or your partners, lives, like a benevolent runaway blaze. Also includes stories by 23 luminaries in the field of body, mind and soul wellness.


May the long time sun shine upon you All love surround you And the pure light within you Guide your way home Gaelic blessing



Tantric dreams

White trantric Yoga is a meditation and yoga system that is not yet widely known, though Odyssey Magazine has previously looked at the topic. In this article, by Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa, of Toronto, Canada, we take another look at this growing system of self-development and awareness.




hite Tantric Yoga is an empowering personal practice based on the ancient teachings of the mind. A White Tantric Yoga workshop

is a unique opportunity to come out of a self-imposed box and look at life with new eyes, renewed insight, a broader perspective, and an enhanced appreciation of its underlying possibilities. Generally, tantra has to do with relationships. Black tantra teaches how to manipulate another person; red tantra teaches physical and mental sexual techniques; while white tantra works to achieve the excellence of the individual and the perfection of interpersonal relationships. Every day we see the psychological, social, and spiritual trauma of our society eroding the basic unit of civilisation – the relationship of trust and love between loving partners. Relationships and family life are increasingly difficult to initiate and maintain; the ambiance of relationships, expressed in the health and happiness of the couple, along with the values and consciousness of the children, are often tragically burdened. White Tantric Yoga rebuilds the relations of men and women on the basis of universal principles and allows the merger of these two polarities on the physical, mental and spiritual planes. While tantra is practiced to great benefit with your partner, it actually works on your inner planes. You can practice with a relative, friend or a stranger. Two men can work together, or two women. It helps us find unity and relationship beyond the circumstances and fluctuations of any individual personality or the collective society.

PARTICIPATION In a White Tantric Yoga session, the group organises itself into pairs. These couples then arrange themselves into

throw in the towel? Or do we go to a higher level beyond

double lines, rows of women opposite rows of men, each

the discomforts of meditation – the wandering mind, the

sitting on the floor on a blanket or sheepskin.

aching hip, the leg that has gone to sleep – where we

A day-long session consists of six to eight tantric

understand that things just happen and that the mental

'kriyas' – interactive meditations with the partners

distress and exasperation of the moment doesn't really

assigned a specific posture and mantra for each one.

solve or help anything or anyone; that, in fact, it cannot,

Participants will either sit face-to-face, stand, or sit back-to-back. Once they have been instructed in the



never has, and never will.

details of the kriya, they assume the posture and begin


the meditation or visualisation. Eyes may be closed or

To make things even more interesting in a White Tantric

open, and sometimes they look into each other's eyes.

Yoga workshop, and unlike any other kind of meditation

The interesting part comes later, when the discomfort

experience, there is a strong interpersonal element – and

sets in, as is known to happen – maybe halfway through

that s/he is usually sitting right in front of you. Partners

an hour-long meditation. This is where we find deep

want to help and inspire one another, as much for

coping mechanisms. Should one muscle through on the

self-benefit as for mutual benefit. Sometimes it is plain

basis of ego and tough it out? Should one give up and

amazing just what we will do to keep up appearances,

whereas, left to ourselves, we would not bother to make half the effort. Although this motivational effort might ordinarily seem corny, contrived, and quite unenlightened, in an intense meditation experience, a little macho

Not that all the White Tantric meditations are physically challenging. While you might occasionally find yourself holding your own, or your partner's hands up in a tantric mudra for a seeming eternity, at other times you might simply be sitting with your partner in a silent, peaceful reverie.

KRIYA ACTIVITY Some kriyas work on more subtle facets of the personality. Images may blur before the eyes or hallucinations come and go. The handsome young man before your eyes can suddenly become a wizened old fellow. That plain-looking gal becomes a goddess, radiating unearthly splendour. Sometimes whole lifetimes flash before your eyes. Many people find it a real high to be a part of a White Tantric experience, with everyone making an effort to rise to the pinnacle of human possibility and make the effort towards sheer effortlessness. It can also send tingles up the spine to experience vibrating with up to a hundred or more voices chanting melodious Eastern mantras in rhythm with emboldened determination. What does this White Tantric Yoga do? It breaks through subconscious blocks, allowing one the freedom to have mastery over the mind. It helps let


long haul.

A one day meditation workshop ...let your spirit soar!

pride or female shakti power can actually serve participants well over the

go of obsessive thoughts and patterns of behaviour so that you can live free in the here and now as your real self.

STUDYING WITH THE MASTER White Tantric Yoga cannot be taught and it cannot be learned. It is to be experienced in the presence of the Mahan Tantric, the Master of White Tantric Yoga. It is understood within White Tantric Yoga circles that there is only one Master of White Tantric Yoga at any given time. Yogi Bhajan himself spent time with a Mahan Tantric, Sant Hazara Singh, during his youth in India. That mastery passed to Lama Lilan Po of Tibet. From him, the sacred trust of White Tantric Yoga passed to Yogi Bhajan in 1971. Yogi Bhajan left the rich legacy of these sacred kriyas with facilitators he personally trained and trusted. The facilitator acts as a conduit and holds the space for the event. We have found that one-day tantric courses continue to provide strong and sustained healing. Every person seems to get what they need to move beyond their subconscious blocks. Yogi Bhajan says: 'White Tantric Yoga cleanses the subconscious mind of neuroses. It is a science of unison and brings you from the many to One, from darkness to light. Many people who previously had a very dirty subconscious mind had it become clean, and now

24 May 2014 Cape Town Early Bird R999 till 28 February then R1300 Payments to: 3HO Foundation SA Nedbank Blackheath Branch 158205 Acc # 1967040192 Reference Full name & WTY Send proof of payment to


they can relate to their Oneness with God.' O

This year's South African event will take place in Claremont, Cape Town in May. See ad, right, for more details.






An Alternative Way of Life


'At Long Valley Farm we offer space, a considered ethos, the sharing of resources, off-grid energy capacity, plentiful food gardens and perennial pristine water directly from its source,' say Pritam Khalsa. This is her story.


We're committed to enviro-supportive building, with the kindest footprint – offering dwellings discreetly nestled into the landscape – allowing nature to be the focus and experience at the farm.

ustainability informs the new economics. It is also a path to abundance, spirituality and living in harmony with the whole. At a time when we are

blessed with enviro-friendly inventions like never before in history, shareware and love and light streaming onto the planet, infusing our being and thoughts, lifting our consciousness, we also quest for elegant and sustainable solutions to our everyday necessities. Every aspect of our life, from vocation to quality of ingredients to foods, fittings and furnishings needs to be investigated in the light of: is it right, is it enjoyable, does it harm, and is it sustainable? Post peak oil is within reach and energy needs to be as free as possible, non-imposing and renewable. Service delivery is forever more sketchy and conditional while the boundary between simple need and common greed is blurred, making our essential needs a potential avalanche which cannot be satisfied. The result is that deep down we feel frail, distrustful, insecure and out of control. With sustainability as our lens and bias, we have the opportunity and privilege to research each aspect of life anew. It has been done many times over, yet at present time, is still a very alternative path – a path that is best discovered with like-minded innovators. We can learn from the abundance in nature and graceful human interactions and team spirit. We have lived at Long Valley for three years now. From a dry, windswept, kikuyu-overgrown, terraced

Hari Bhajan Singh, Pritam's son, on Arangieskop, overlooking the farm

farm and valley, we now have fantastic topsoil, rich in earthworms and countless niches of fertility and plant life.

spoke of it, five other parties immediately joined and with

We started to search for the right place in 2008 – a

some searching, a suitable farm was found and agreed

perennial clean river and the absence of commercial

upon. Perhaps the 'first generation', we, the founders at

farms nearby were chief criteria. The moment we

Long Valley, bring this project into manifestation.



R550 000 and another five at R1.1m; five shares are currently still available. The vision is for a permaculture food forest (500 trees are planted), windbreaks, vegetable gardens,





centre, a labyrinth and accommodation. So far, we have a camp sanctuary and two guest rooms at the old farm house. We have eclectic backgrounds with different spiritual inclinations – vegetarian and non-vegetarian, but ultimately are united through an ecological ethos. We make decisions by consensus as we found this an honest way of being with each other, lest the energy in the eco-village become

Sustainability measures We’ve initiated our evolution towards a conscious, sustainable lifestyle by thinning out invasive and non-indigenous tree species

The farm is 93ha and has space for 10 trustees where five shares are available at

and replacing them with indigenous trees and windbreaks on the farm; planting hundreds of fruit trees; learning the art of cultivating and nurturing abundant permaculture food gardens and fencing them; and implementing solar energy and water harvesting.

The way to deal with the transition the world is going through at the moment is to simplify and find what makes your heart sing – so we can be authentic and anchored. Pritam

blocked. We invite you to experience the serenity and sample this lifestyle by visiting Long Valley and meeting the trustees. O Visit

Long Valley Farm is surrounded by many kilometres of untouched hinterland and the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve



Finding your true nature Long Valley Farm is just five kilometers outside Robertson in the Western Cape, hidden in the folds of the Langeberg mountains. The farm offers unspoiled land in the embrace of the towering 1.6km high Arangieskop. Surrounded by many kilometres of untouched hinterland and the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve, it’s a biodiversity hotspot. Long Valley Farm is open to guests and folk who want to come and work with nature, individual retreats or groups. Some accommodation in the old farmhouse, or else camping by the rugged, yet lovingly and conscientiously appointed campsite next to the 'white noise' crispy clean rushing river. Buck and otter occasionally visit, too. Our three horses keep watch and are curious and friendly. Two gardening pigs are entertaining, too. You can assist in the abundant and nurturing tasks in the gardens, join us for wholesome vegetarian fare in the farmhouse, you can bring and share, and you can self-cater at the camp site. All of this is possible. You are invited to join daily early morning yoga and meditation. Please enquire about our rates here. Pritam and Har Bhajan from Earth Products are Kundalini Yoga teachers and trainers. You can see Pritam for Emotional Freedom Technique sessions and Akara Numerology. You can see Alison for Trauma Release Exercises. There is also a biology and woodwork teacher residing on the farm. Find your true nature at Long Valley Farm. Meet and work alongside the trustees. Discover their passion for a natural, sustainable, simple, sophisticated lifestyle with a soft and enviro-friendly footprint.

 1

Stand a chance to win a four-day stay for two at Long Valley Farm in a comfortable tent in the camp sanctuary, with a daily yoga class and whole-foods vegetarian lunch included. Email here with your name and postal address by 10 March 2014 to stand a chance to win.

Long Valley Farm welcomes volunteers knowledgeable in gardening & building




Exploring Life's Myst ODYSSEY 82 • 


Are you seeking spiritual fulfilment? Does it feel like you are scratching on the surface of something really big, glimpsing shards of illumination, but just not breaking through? Have you been asking questions that conventional society simply cannot answer well enough to satisfy your hungry mind? Do you feel like there is more to this life than meets the eye? Do you have a thirst for information on all things spiritual? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then read on.



e have entered into the Age of Aquarius, 'the Age of Outpouring', represented by a person pouring water out of a pitcher. This is

symbolic of the outpouring of knowledge to all who are ready and able to receive it. The complication with this is, however, that we can often be overwhelmed with so much information that it becomes difficult to ascertain which of it is true and good, and which is not. At Knights Crux, we aim to assist with the detangling of this confusing web of information, providing the true seeker with some tools to obtain clarity on the puzzling mysteries of this journey called life. One of the ways in which we do this, is with our FLAME

lectures. The acronym stands for 'Font of Learning And Mystical Enlightenment', which beautifully describes the intention of these lectures. Through our lectures we share thought-provoking philosophies and metaphysical knowledge to assist seekers on their spiritual journey. This 'Age of Outpouring' has resulted in more and more of these mystical truths being revealed to those ready to receive them. In fact, some of these are becoming common knowledge and accepted by many. As science begins to explain paranormal phenomena, and as human beings evolve spiritually, more of this knowledge is being revealed. The FLAME lectures explore some of these mysteries and lesser known truths in more detail. Here, like-minded people discourse on and obtain information on topics such as mystery schools, the five-fold metaphysical path, karma, reincarnation and worlds beyond our planet. Here, we tread fearlessly in philosophical areas that baffle many, hoping to spark a keen interest in people to know more, to question more, to learn more, to delve deeper into the mysteries of this life, and thus unravel the invisible threads that, unbeknown to us, have tied us for so long to a blind existence. This spiritual journey requires an unrelenting striving for higher knowledge and fearless curiosity about the essence of life. The FLAME lectures provide a welcoming environment for sojourners on this road, encouraging the questioning mind to interrogate knowledge that is shared. Here we provide an alternative view to that presented by ordinary society, in an attempt to awaken to awareness that spiritual being inside all of us – a being that has been slumbering in ignorance of its true nature and purpose for a long time. The lectures provide an insight into what we may call reality and what is actually real. The Hindu concept of Maya describes this world as an illusion, with the purpose of human beings to awaken from their mundane and limited existence



into a spiritual existence which is in fact true reality and permanent. This physical world seems permanent and real to us, but quantum science has shown us that at the subatomic level, this seeming solidity vanishes, leaving us trying to comprehend this disturbing paradox. There is so much that we do not know about this planet, about human beings, where we came from or where we are going, and why. But, as this outpouring continues and, in fact, speeds up, the more our eyes are opened to other possibilities, and the more we are able to receive the truths that were formally hidden. And the

This spiritual journey requires an unrelenting striving for higher knowledge and fearless curiosity about the essence of life.

more we see, the more we understand. The more we

this path, namely Mysticism, Magic, Alchemy, Cosmic

understand, the more we are able to receive. However,

Astrology and Kabala. Some of the other topics that

guidance is required, for the spiritual journey is not an

will be presented are: initiation into and the purpose of

easy or instant one. It requires dedication and resolve.

the mystery schools; the connections between karma,

The FLAME lectures can provide some of this guidance to

reincarnation and free will; other worlds in our galaxy;

the traveller in search of truth, providing the signposts

the Tree of Life; and ultimately why we are here in the

to prevent them getting lost on the often convoluted and

first place.

confusing roads they may find themselves on. During 2014, the lectures will focus on the five-fold

If you are a true seeker, join us on this profound journey of discovery into the mysteries of life. O

metaphysical path, providing an overview of what it is and means, as well as detail on each of the aspects of



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angel awake ODYSSEY 86 • 


'My first awakening to angels occurred when I was 42. My marriage was ending and I could not see any future ahead for me. I was full of misery and victimhood so no wonder I attracted people who battered me emotionally. But that was the person I was then. It simply would not happen now because I have changed thanks to angelic intervention.' Angel doyenne Diana Cooper reports on her journey into the realm of angels.



lthough I had no religious, psychic or spiritual background, nevertheless I called out to the universe from the depth of my soul for help. Actually I cried out, 'If there's anything out there, show me – and you've got one

hour.' Immediately a beautiful six foot tall golden angel stood in front of me and pulled me out of my physical body. We flew together and it showed me many things. Finally we flew together over a hall full of people with rainbow auras and it told me I was on the platform and that I was to be a spiritual teacher. When it brought me back it was exactly one hour later. I have to confess that, even though I had been touched by an angel, I still continued to be miserable and full of fear. They did not wave a magic wand but patiently and persistently they continued to try to help me. A few weeks after the angel visitation I was once more feeling dejected and depressed and I thought, please send me a sign. I looked up and to my astonishment there were huge hands in the sky, cupped as if to hold me up. I could see them as clear as day and I knew it was a message from the angels that they were helping me. It gave me great comfort. The weeks went by and my life was slowly coming together but I worried about everything. Oh, how I worried. One day I was sitting at the back of a hall listening to a speaker. I didn't know what she was talking about as I was too consumed with anxiety. I asked the angels to please help me. At the end of the talk a stranger who had been sitting at the front came back to talk to me. He said, 'I'm sorry to intrude on your thoughts but I couldn't help tuning in to them and the angels asked me to tell you everything is going to be alright.' Well, I thanked him and do you know what? I continued to worry. So much so that, a few days later I was looking into a shop window in grey lashing rain which matched my mood. 'I need help again,' I murmured. Once more, a stranger came up to me and said, 'I've been told to tell you that everything is going to be alright.' The same words. And this time I did begin to believe. I finished my training as a hypnotherapist and saw clients in my little home. I was often aware of angels around them but strangely never thought of communicating with them. I married for a second time but suddenly it became blindingly clear to me that I no longer wanted to be with my husband. Could I cope with a second failure? I decided to sleep on it and by the morning I knew it was over, so I sold the house and moved again. It was now 10 years after the first angelic experience and I was starting a new phase of my life. As I lay in the bath and asked for guidance, to my astonishment an angelic voice replied like a golden thought directly into my mind. 'We want you to tell people about angels.' I was completely horrified and replied that I didn't want to do that for people would think I was crazy. Then the angels said the words I have never ever forgotten. 'Who is doing your work? Is it your ego or your Higher Self?' At that point I agreed I'd do it and jumped out of the bath. With a towel round me I sat on the bed and three angels stood in front of me, rather like shining lights and gave me information about the angelic realms. I wrote A New Light on Angels based on what the angels told me. When Thierry from Findhorn Press phoned to say they would like to publish the book I suggested it would be great to get it out for Christmas. He laughed and said that was impossible. I responded that if the angels wanted the book out by Christmas they



would arrange it and then I didn't give it another thought.

enfold me. Archangel Raphael was helping me. And he did

Five weeks later the finished copy was in my hands.

help me all the way there and back.

After A New Light on Angels had been published I was invited to appear on Richard and Judy, a morning TV show. As I was about to go on air they asked if I would mind having my aura photograph taken. I naturally said that I would be delighted. As I sat down in front of the machine I asked my angel to step into the photograph, thinking that people would sense its light. To my shock and that of everyone else, my angel and guide impressed themselves onto the aura photograph. You could see the round head of the angel, a gold bar reaching to my guide and rays of golden light pouring through the picture. As a result the telephone service was in meltdown as the program received 114 000 calls – and I was asked to return the next day because so many people wanted to talk about their angel experiences that they had never dared to speak of before. The angels were certainly expanding my work. Since then the angels have been with me on a daily basis, giving me information, helping to smooth my life. I love the way the Archangels step in to assist in big ways and small. For example, there was the time I left my friends' house quite late and discovered to my horror that the roads were covered in sheets of ice. My friends suggested I stay the night at their house but I wanted to get home so I put my faith in Archangel Michael. I always ask him to protect my journeys but this time I said, 'Please, please Michael, the conditions are very bad. I need extra protection getting safely home tonight.' At that an extraordinary thing happened. It was as if a bright blue light had been switched on in front of the car. It shone all over the road in front of me and to either side and stayed there so that I could see it as I drove through the side roads. When I reached the main road it seemed to switch off but I am sure it was just that I could not see it. I am sure Michael showed me the light to comfort me but also to let me know that his blue light is very real and visible when we call it in. Raphael is the angel of travellers as well as a great healer. I was caught in the volcanic ash debacle (of a few years back) when the flights were cancelled. I had to reach Ireland so I crossed England to catch a ferry. I was stressed out. As I passed through London praying I'd catch my train to the ferry, I felt these great emerald wings


Diana Cooper

When I pass over what will I be most proud of? It almost goes without saying that my greatest pride and delight are my three children and five grandchildren. Once a year we have a week's holiday together in a nice hotel where we can relax and enjoy each other's company – and it is wonderful. We walk and talk and eat and swim – and play. It is healing and regenerating and I love it. I have two achievements that stand out for me in life. One was letting my house and flying to Australia for six months when I was 60 with just a back pack. Every day was guided by the angels as I travelled across the whole country, met amazing people and had a fabulous time. I wanted to meet Aboriginees and was invited into their homes and schools. I was touched by the wisdom and power of forgiveness of those gentle people. I returned home for the first World Angel Day in London, a thousand-seater, that was fully booked three months in advance. I wrote a book encapsulating my experiences in Australia, The Codes of Power and set up the Diana Cooper School, starting to train others to teach about angels and ascension. I never returned to my old house. I sold it and eventually moved to Dorset where I have lived for 12 years. The second achievement was walking the 800km pilgrimage trail, the Camino, across France and Spain, which was an amazing adventure. Two years ago I fell in love – with a small white dog called Venus with one brown ear and a brown patch over one eye. She has changed my life as I walk her in the local forest twice a day and here I have met so many elementals as well as people. My book about Venus will be published later this year by Hay House. So my days are spent writing, walking Venus my dog or with friends. I love to have people living in my home and usually have a lodger or two to chat to and enrich my life. Now I am on the move again. My house is on the market and I am in search of a new beginning somewhere else. I wonder what will happen next? O See ad, right, for more.

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Diana Cooper is No 32 on Watkins Magazine's annual list of most spiritually influential people in the world, which includes religious people, film makers, politicians and writers. Diana received an angel visitation during a time of personal crisis, which changed her life. She enables people to access their spiritual gifts and psychic potential and also connects them to their own Angels, Guides and Masters.

On this workshop, Diana will connect you with the awesome realm of angels, unicorns and elementals. Through these wondrous light beings you will: • Open your heart and improve your relationships with colleagues, loved ones and children. • Attune to abundance and financial fortune. • Learn to help the animals of the world. • Connect with the love of Lady Gaia so that you feel safe and looked after. Work with the elementals. • Meet the unicorns, who will open your channels more fully.

Diana is well known for her work with Angels, Orbs, Atlantis, Unicorns, Ascension and the Transition to the new Golden Age. She has written twenty spiritual books that are in 27 languages, as well as 4 children's books. Diana is also the founder of The Diana Cooper School, a non-profit organisation which offers certified spiritual teaching courses world-wide.

Diana will anchor the light of several archangels within your energy system and explain how this can enable you to access your 5th dimensional blueprint. Your will receive Mother Mary's aquamarine cloak of love, healing and compassion which will fill you with divine feminine qualities. JOHANNESBURG Saturday 3 May 2014

DURBAN Sunday 4 May 2014

CAPE TOWN Saturday 10 May 2014

The Wanderers Club, 21 North Street, Illovo Time: 9am - 5pm

The Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge. Time: 9am - 5pm

Conference Centre, Kirstenbosch Gardens Time: 9am - 5pm

COST: R650

COST: R650

COST: R650

Diana has some wonderful new offerings and insights. To help you afford some of these, we’ve decided not to offer lunch on the workshop but to reduce the ticket price by R100.

Click here to book online now at: Please book early as seating is limited. Visit our website where you can now also pre-order Diana's books, CDs and cards to collect on the day of the workshop.

Click here to view her products

Breakfast with Diana Come and enjoy breakfast with Diana and 40 like minded people. This breakfast is an opportunity to spend time with Diana in person, hear more of her experiences and spiritual insights while enjoying a delicious breakfast. Bring your questions, your books to sign and join us in conversation! JOHANNESBURG 1 MAY 2014 Centre Court, The Wanderers Club, Illovo Time: 8.30 - 11am COST: R450 BOOK YOUR SEAT



The Blue Zoo, Mitchell Park, Morningside

The Wild Fig, Valkenberg Estate, Mowbray

Time: 8.30 - 11am COST: R450

Time: 8.30 - 11am COST: R450




'We're all kissed by angels but some of us never think to pucker.' Terri Guillemets


Your Guardian ODYSSEY 90 • 






wanted to make this angel in concrete, but fabric hardener and clay is a great alternative, creating a softer look. Although fairly large,

this is less complicated than you may think. Any large item needs an inner support of some kind and I chose to use wire and mesh. For a smaller or simpler figure, you could use a pole in a block of wood or concrete. The wonderful thing about making a figure like this is that it forms its own personality as you're going along, no matter what your original idea was. I've used green hardener and copper-gold highlights creating a verdigris effect. 1 My armature started with an upturned metal bin,

though you could start with two wire circles, one slightly smaller than the other. For strength, wrap the gap between them with wire mesh. Thread wire through the top and hook it underneath the rim. Work out how high the angel should stand and bend the wire to form the shoulder, neck and head. Continue on to the top of the other side and hook it

What you'll need The wonderful thing about making a figure like this is that it forms its own personality as you're going along, no matter what your original idea was. Wire and wire cutters Base on which to work – mine is a recycled upturned bin Polystyrene and sharp craft knife Masking tape, toilet roll centre tubes and aluminium foil Gloves, and plastic covering for your work surface Fabric hardener and container Cling film Air-drying clay powder compatible with fabric hardener Fabric and lace Copper-gold pigment powder (or paint), paintbrush and varnish

to secure. Repeat from front to back, excluding the

n Angel

We show you how to create a garden sculpture with a wire armature and fabric hardener.



4 5

shoulder shaping. Add a circle of wire in the chest area.

5 I also added a tie detail to the dress with thin strips of

Form two wing shapes with wire and hook onto the body

fabric. Different coated textures can be added by painting

from the shoulder and chest circle at the back. Add arm

the fabric surface and pasting it on – I even used some

shapes to each side. Keep the wire in place with masking

of the bits that had fallen from my gloves as a texture at

tape. Carve a head shape from some polystyrene and

the bottom of the dress.

keep it in place in the head area with masking tape. My polystyrene was recycled but you could use a polystyrene ball or even scrunched up aluminium foil.

consistency. Cover a small bowl with cling film and a layer of clay. Place hardener-soaked fabric onto the clay

masking tape. Join the hands together with tape – they

to strengthen, scrunching the edges for effect. Set aside

can remain flat as they will eventually balance the bowl.

to dry – remove the cling film after a while to allow the inside to harden too.

gloves – this is a messy business. Pour hardener into

7 While you're at it, make a small heart with the clay,

the container and dip the fabric into it, making sure it is

adding an impressed detail with a stamp or other textured

covered. Remove the fabric; squeeze it out so that it is

item – mine was an old earring. Add this to the middle of

saturated but not dripping. Wind the fabric around the

the chest area with textile hardener as if it is a medallion

figure so that the body is completely encased. Exclude

on a chain.

the wings for now. (I started using bronze hardener and

8 Paint the head with hardener and cover the face

then changed my mind). Have fun practicing draping and

with clay, modelling it slightly to shape the eyes, nose

modelling the dry fabric onto the figure; play around with

and mouth. When you're happy with the features, add

shapes and folds. As before, saturate your fabric with

a weathered stone look by rubbing dry clay onto them.

hardener, and add it to the figure, creating a sense of

Brush off the excess and buff the clay to make it shine. 9 Add hair by immersing cotton threads or string into the

4 Dip lace into the hardener and, in the same way, drape

hardener and, as before, squeeze out the excess. Pull it

it onto the wings and the figure to add more detail and

about to make a 'tangle' and arrange it on the head.



too sticky – add more powder or hardener to adjust the

foil and toilet roll tubes which you can hold in place with



6 Make air-drying clay by adding hardener to the powder

and mixing well. It should be easily workable and not

2 To give the armature more shape, pad it with aluminium

3  Cover your work surface with plastic and put on your



When your figure and bowl are dry, highlight the




Every garden needs a statue, and since I didn't want a gnome, I thought I'd make a guardian angel instead.

textures and folds by dry-brushing with copper paint or pigment powder mixed with varnish.

Paint the underside of the bowl with hardener and place onto the hands. The hardener acts as glue and will hold the bowl in place. Varnish the entire angel for outside use. O

This project came from Outside Art: Craft Projects For Your Outdoor Living Spaces, ISBN 978 1 920479 56 5, available here.




It's a tense, busy and trying world in which most of us live. In these days of austerity, unbalanced budgets and intensifying stress at every level, happiness seems to have taken wing and left for better places. Maria Ascencao reports on how to achieve and maintain happiness – regardless of what is going on in the world around us.

Happiness ODYSSEY 94 • 



ust because 'times are tough' and we are all

majority of sufferers were unhappy before they became

apparently working harder for longer to achieve, it

seriously unwell.

would seem, less – and, for most, for less reward –

The same applies to many heart patients, stroke

it does not mean we all need to fall head over heels into

victims, cancer patients and most of the lifestyle-

the 'trough of despond'.

associated chronic conditions that affect the auto-immune

Actually, hard times can make us assess or re-assess

system like rheumatoid arthritis.

where we are headed in life, why we are on a particular

On the other hand, there is literally a whole library

life path in the first place, what we want out of life and

of studies showing that happiness – and some of its

what we are doing with our lives.

manifestations like laughter in specific – are closely

That reconsideration may lead to new goals and

associated with improved health, improved overall

targets – or a new way of looking at long-standing goals.

psychological well-being, improved enjoyment of life even

At the core of this experience is an opportunity to assess

when stress is around, and greater resistance to disease

what we've achieved, what the cost has been, what the

and recovery from it, when it strikes.

rewards have been and whether it has all been worth the effort or not.

So we are clearly dealing with two sides of the same coin. It seems, then, in this hyper-stressed and not very

Not surprisingly, a growing number of people are

happy modern world, that we should re-evaluate the

fundamentally reformulating their lives, sometimes even

value of happiness. That there is an International Day of

radically – dropping off the grid, going the self-sustaining

Happiness on March 20 is an opportunity to at least try

route, growing their own food and reducing their

to be happy for a day, though it is also obvious that one

engagement in the hectic lifestyle they are leaving behind.

should try to be happy for more than a day in the year.

It is a radical step to go so far, but then some people

Ok, so let's say you are convinced from what has

need to. Many are the numbers of once high-flying

been said above, and from your own experience, that it

executives who have given that little bit too much just too

is better to feel happy than not to feel happy. How, you

often and then find themselves in the grip of ME, otherwise

may ask, does one spontaneously 'feel happy'? You may

known as Yuppie flu or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

have a lousy job or a lousy-paying job or no job at all.

In essence, this is a collapse of the immune system,

You may have a home but also a huge mortgage you are

along with the endocrine system, all caused by too much

finding increasingly difficult to cover, along with the other

stress, fast living, poor diet and overburden of toxins.

costs of living. You may have a car, but can't afford to fix

There are viruses involved in this condition usually, the

it, and so on.

most common being Epstein-Barr Virus (known commonly

There are many other forms of unhappiness than

as glandular fever or the 'teenage kissing disease') and

those described here, of course. Your particular variety

Cytomegalovirus, a nasty creature.

of unhappiness, if you are unhappy, may have to do with

But the real problem beneath all that, and which is

ill-health (yours or someone close to you), heartache

common when CFS patients are analysed, is that they are

of some kind and the whole long list of the shocks and

all universally very unhappy. Yes, they are unhappy to

bumps, as Shakespeare put it, to which all flesh is heir.

be sick, obviously. But studies have shown that the great


We are all going to experience pain of loss and hurt

it's not a pipe dream ODYSSEY 95 • 


at one time or another. But there is no need for that to

hinging your happiness on other people's perceptions of

turn our lives into an unending saga of tragedy and defeat.

you is that it is based on a false assumption – no amount

Unhappiness does not have to have reign over our lives,

of manipulating, make-up, retail therapy or any other

turning even potentially happy moments into unhappy

superficial change will control what others think of you.

ones because of the lingering poison of past defeats,

And what they think of you, when you step back for a

upsets or whatever.

moment, becomes essentially irrelevant when it comes

At its core, happiness lies in the hands of the person

to the question of your own happiness. It is your own

experiencing – or its lack. It is a state of mind that

self-opinion that counts. And it is self-opinion that most

helps transform unpleasant experiences into learning

people find to be the most critical of all voices they

opportunities – and which allows the resulting unhappiness

hear, even if this voice is only heard as that repetitive

that naturally comes from such moments to be quickly

close-looped tape playing in one's head about how you are

transmuted into new insights, new understanding and

not good enough; that you are too fat or too thin, or too

even new opportunities in life.

this or too that, but never just right.

This means that when things are 'bad' we quickly

One is not talking about self-satisfaction, which is

move past these moments and get on with living fruitfully

just as much a delusion as self-hate. One is talking about

At its core, happiness lies in the hands of the person experiencing – or its lack. It is a state of mind that helps transform unpleasant experiences into learning opportunities – and which allows the resulting unhappiness that naturally comes from such moments to be quickly transmuted into new insights, new understanding and even new opportunities in life. and engaging with life vigorously and optimistically. It

accepting yourself for who and what you are, 'warts and

also means we are ready to make the most of 'happy'

all', as they say, and then, if you are not happy with all

moments, when we experience love, for example, or

aspects of your being, working on those you can change.

there's a new birth in the family, or a marriage or some such event. Changing one's mindset, for example, from the more

going to be good looking, wealthy etc. We are all different.

'cool' post-modern attitude which could be characterised

But if there is any reason to our being here in this world

as 'ironic-chic', which is inherently sarcastic, cynical and

right now, then it follows that you are meant to be, just

overly worldly-wise, might be one's first step along the

as you are.

road towards being chronically happy, as opposed to being chronically unhappy. But such changes are not easy. For one thing, there's



Not everyone is going to be a size 1, or whatever dress size is considered the chicest this season. Not everyone is

If there are parts of you that are amenable to being changed – like your mindset, as the prime example – then you can and should set about changing that.

peer and social pressure to consider. You may be accused,

This is the beginning of the road to being increasingly

apart from anything else, of taking 'happy pills' as an

happy with yourself. From there, being happy with others

explanation for your switch from perpetually grumpy, if

and being in the world, naturally follows, even when

that's how you present yourself to the world. There will be

being in the world can be hard and challenging at times.

comments and questions.

And, especially in the hard and challenging times, a core

But other people's opinions are ultimately among the

attitude of gratitude for what and who you are and a

least important parts of your world, even though you

positive attitude towards life combine to help you deal with

may not yet fully realise that. You see, the problem with

these difficulties in a far quicker, more effective manner.

Supplements & food There are some other practical steps that can be taken: Ensure you are eating the right food and in appropriate amounts. Beware of using food and oral gratification as a substitute for true happiness Go for live, fresh, organically-grown food produced by people who love what they are doing and eat such food with gratitude and enjoyment with each and every bite, you are well on the way to a much happier way of being. The 'full tummy satisfaction' that may be temporarily achieved from eating a saturated fat and trans-fat rich burger and chips is short-lived and followed by a much longer period of negative inputs from the body. This works at every level, from digestion through to brain chemistry. You can also help deal with our overload of stress using natural, non-addictive calmatives such as chamomile, just about every member of the mint family of plants, valerian (usually the root) and a few other well-known calming tonics and herbs. If you are very depressed or have been under extreme pressures, you can help your brain and body, as well as your psyche, by taking something like 5HTP, a serotonin precursor, which will help your brain produce the correct amount of neurochemicals for pleasure, sleep and feelings of well-being. All these inner aspects of life suffer when we are chronically unhappy.

Sleep & exercise equation: High-quality, deep sleep is heavily under-valued in the modern world for its ability to restore body and mind to optimal functioning. Just getting enough good sleep

funk'. Sufficient exercise is also a requirement. A half-hour vigorous walk each day is enough to do most people most of the good they would get from a much more rigorous training regimen. A little bit of yoga to help stretch out those ligaments and muscles, which naturally tighten up when we are under pressure, is also excellent, along with swimming, low-impact aerobics or a stroll in the forest, along a beach or on a mountain, at least once a week.

Supplements One should really underscore any and all the above steps with a regular intake of high-quality supplements. There are many trace elements which are simply lacking in most of our food, even that which is grown organically. Magnesium is an excellent example, with the great majority of people living 'modern lives' being magnesium-deficient at a sub-clinical level that then makes them tired, listless, prone to cramping, and to bad moods, even. A regular intake of a broad spectrum supplement with some specific additions which a health professional can help you figure out would be an ideal way to ensure you have all the little bits and pieces your body needs to defend itself, repair damage, deal with invasive organisms and, after all that, set you up to at least have a chance of experiencing happiness. My personal choice is Marcus Rohrer Spirulina as it contains all the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs.

Sleep and exercise are key elements in the happiness


can sometimes pull someone right out of a 'negative

The rest, as the saying goes, is up to you – and much of that will be what you allow to rule in the space between your ears; along with what you allow to take up residence in your heart, since an angry or resentful heart simply cannot resonate with the lighter vibrations of happiness. O

Marcus Rohrer Spirulina is nature’s most power-packed multi-nutritive which not only nourishes the body but also promotes the natural cleansing processes leaving one feeling stronger and more energetic. It’s been proven to contain higher concentrations of nutrients than all competing brands. Also available at health stores, pharmacies, Dis-Chem, Clicks, Pick n Pay, Medi-Rite, Wellness Warehouse and Springbok Pharmacy. Visit or or call 011 516 1700 for more.

We have FIVE super health hampers valued at R1000 each to give away. Email here with your name and postal address by 25 March 2014 to stand a chance to win.




happy being stress - free &



Laughter Coaching is an innovative tool that helps individuals either at work or at home to release stress and develop coping mechanisms in challenging times. This is achieved through practical and easy-to-use techniques that are fun and that can be applied every day to shift your mood instantly. Shareen Richter reports.


aughter coaching makes people feel happy ‘for no reason’ and teaches them how to achieve this state of being whenever they

'Stress-Less' Laughter & Happiness


Are you feeling stressed? Need a boost?? Want to feel awesome??? This workshop will help you to de-stress, laugh and feel happy!!!

choose, regardless of whether or not they be in the grip of

negative emotions such as depression, enduring stress or feeling like they are just not coping with life

Laughter Coaching achieves extraordinary positive outcomes by:  Eliminating mental & physical stress;  Motivating individuals;  Making individuals feel happy, calm and relaxed to enable you to cope with life's challenges;

 Increasing energy levels, productivity & relationship;  Helping deal with conflict, anger and frustration. Through this method we learn to laugh not because we are happy but to make us happy. Laughter Coaching is powerful when done in organisations and it helps individuals and teams to achieve:

 Happiness at work  Gratitude  Positive thinking  Effective conflict resolution & communication  How to choose to be happy  Stress management tools  Productive work environments  Health & wellness  Team cohesion The genius of Laughter Coaching is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, and is not restricted to any religion, culture, gender – and can be used by anyone from the secretary through to the CEO all in the same room. It can be used for Conferences, Team Building or staff training. O For more info on this simple but powerful technique:

Come and get equipped with tools to make you feel  Energised   Stress free   Motivated   Rejeuvinated   Positive   Happy 

BOOK NOW Sunday 2 March 2014 Johannesburg 10:00am – 12:00pm CONTACT Gina

011 784 5478 • 082 802 9749, visit their Facebook page or follow on Twitter.




It has never been more evident that food plays a major role in health and on how we feel and look on a day-to-day basis. Vanessa Ascencao, consultant to Litha Pharma, reports.


henever possible eat real food – seasonal, local, minimally processed, organic produce that is alive with enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.

If you are a meat-eater, I recommend purchasing your animal protein locally from distributors that practice

Many people don't eat out of hunger, they eat emotionally, so this is another very critical component of weight-loss.

sustainable feed, organic, non-hormonal, non-antibiotic farming.

Skip the fat free

Have regular treats Once you're loving yourself madly and realising that

You know that healthy fats are good for you, but if you're

you only want the very best foods in your body, it is

like most people, you still reach for fat-free whenever

absolutely ok to treat yourself to some soul food. Allowing

possible. It's a habit that many of us picked up when

yourself a few small treats here and there will not only

low-fat diets were the craze in the '90s – and it's been a

make you happier, it will also make it more likely to stick

tough one for people to break.

with healthy eating in the long-term. You will soon start

When most people think of eating fat, they think it will make them fat. But surprisingly, it's really just the

making these treats yourself as your old ways and eating habits no longer serve you.

opposite. Because not only will eating fat make your skin softer, hair and nails healthier and cushion your joints, it's also what helps you get full at a meal, gives you long-term energy and keeps you from craving unhealthy stuff an hour after you last ate. Include more healthy fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and coconut into your diet, and you'll soon find your cravings decreasing, your appetite normalising and weight-loss becoming more effortless than ever.

Go alkaline – go green Aim for a balance of 80% alkaline to 20% acidic foods in your diet. Your body has a narrow range of pH at which it functions in a healthy manner, and when you eat foods that are metabolically acidic, you throw off that balance. Plant foods are highly alkaline and should make up the bulk of your diet. Acidic foods include: animal protein, corn products and bi-products, dairy, soft-drinks, sugar and corn syrup, beer and coffee.

Your Weight-Lo

Action plan Getting healthy to lose weight

ODYSSEY 100 • 


Did you know? Fat-free treats, sugar-free custard, sugar-free hot chocolate and rice cakes – meal replacement diet shakes are all not doing a thing for your health.

Go organic Organic produce helps you avoid toxic pesticides and chemicals that build up in the plant foods, and organic food may be much higher in mineral content, due to higher quality soil that is not over-farmed. If you do eat conventionally-grown produce, be sure to wash it well using a plant wash or diluted apple cider vinegar.

Eliminating dairy Unfortunately, dairy is one of the worst foods you can eat. It is one of top eight most allergenic foods. In fact, the World Allergy Organisation has identified cow's milk allergy (CMA) as a 'world-wide public health problem'.

It contains the protein casein, which the human body has extreme difficulty processing. Dairy and acne are an interesting correlation, as it may be one of the causes for it. It contains the sugar lactose, which causes digestive symptoms in up to 30% of the population.

oss ODYSSEY 101 • 


Nutrition wisdom Author, Michael Pollan (pictured), shares his advice. Don't buy cereals that change the color of the milk. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. One way to enjoy these foods is to make them, healthily. If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't. It's not food if it's served through the window of your car. It's not food if it's called by the same name in every language (ie, 'super' brands). The banquet is in the first bite. Economists call this the law of diminishing marginal utility. When you realise the real pleasure in food comes in the first couple bites, and it diminishes thereafter, that's a kind of reminder to focus on the experience, enjoy those first bites, and as you get into the 20th bite, you're talking calories and not pleasure.

Cow's milk may also contain contaminates like hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals that increase your body's toxic load. Dairy products often contain packaging migrants, which are toxic substances from the packaging that seep into the dairy products themselves. For example, one study in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that approximately 10% of butter samples purchased randomly at Dallas grocery stores were contaminated with polybromiteddiphenyl ether (PDBE), a flame-retardant linked with thyroid and neurobehavioural changes.

Eliminate gluten Gluten is a sticky grain protein found in wheat (and spelt), rye, and barley. It is also present in numerous other products, including soy sauce, gravy, beer, rice milk, malt, and many flavorings. Gluten is very difficult for the human body to process. In a significant portion of people consuming gluten, it triggers an immune system response that ranges from an allergic reaction (up to and including anaphylaxis) to damaging the intestinal villi that absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. In extreme cases, people with coeliac disease (an auto-immune form of gluten intolerance) may sustain such severe damage to their villi that they are rendered completely incapable of absorbing nutrients from food.

Staving off unhealthy habits Awareness is key – what works for one person may not work for the other. Many people don't eat out of hunger,

ODYSSEY 102 • 


they eat emotionally, so this is another very critical component of weight-loss. Stress, emotional upsets, and different triggers in life will make people eat. If you have a winning formula and you feel good, exercising but not killing yourself, and are enjoying your food, then stick to that. Taking a good natural vitamin supplement is also essential to keep your body nourished. Supplements such as Marcus Rohrer Spirulina are great for better immunity and increased energy. The really important part is to listen to your body, it will tell you if you're on the right track and remember what works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you as there are too many variables involved. If you're eating a nutrient rich diet, you won't crave anything, your blood sugar levels will be stable, you will have energy and you will look good.

It's all about diet Diet is 90% of your weight-loss results, so therefore exercise should be enjoyable, achievable and definitely included in a healthy lifestyle. It is good for you on so many levels – cardiovascular health, muscle tone, mood, energy, sleep patterns, sex drive, hormones and blood

Did you know? Drinking a single can of diet carbonated drink each day can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, reports a recent study published in The Journal Of General Internal Medicine.

For when you need to feel beautiful inside and out Giving you the energy and vitality to build the happiest memories


Contains Iron, necessary for energy-yielding metabolism.


Certified by:

Vitality Endorsed/Researched by:

An effective source of bio-active vitamin B12 and manganese which contribute to a normal energy-yielding metabolism. Spirulina helps boost energy levels through detoxifying and protecting against toxins. Grown in particularly alkaline conditions, and is an alkaline nutrient source which may help combat acidification and improve vitality. High in “bio photons” (much more so in fact than sun ripened fruit) and in this way increases the energy level of a consumer who uses it regularly.

Availability Marcus Rohrer Spirulina¨ is available at health shops, independent pharmacies, Dis-Chem, Clicks, Pick n Pay, Medi-Rite and Springbok Pharmacy. Visit or call +27 11 516 1700

Part of Litha Healthcare Group Limited

Marcus Rohrer Spirulina®: Pure nutrition from nature, for life. ODYSSEY 103 • 


Applied Kinesiology


If you have a winning formula, feel good, are exercising, and are enjoying your food, then stick to that

Listen to your body – it will tell you if you're on the right track. If you're eating a nutrient rich diet, you won't crave anything, your blood sugar levels will be stable, you will have energy and you will look good. sugar balance. You don't need to kill yourself in the gym for an hour. You can walk the dogs, play with your kids, climb the mountain, go for a cycle, do a yoga or dance class and even do the Argus. The choices are endless, but do what you enjoy.

What about excess skin and flab? If you followed a nutritional and exercise plan that wasn't extreme this wouldn't be an issue at all. If you are very overweight and lose weight too quickly, excess and loose skin is a concern. This is why it is important to follow a plan that includes exercise and foods that support the weight-loss process and feed the body.

Feeling good When we feel good about ourselves and believe we're worth our own effort, leading a healthy lifestyle becomes much easier. So remember, being overweight is not the cause of why someone is unhealthy, it's a symptom. Furthermore, weight-loss is not synonymous with health. We have to realise that the end doesn't justify the means. We should get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. O Visit or Marcus Rohrer Spirulina SA

ODYSSEY 104 • 


Lose your fat fast and healthily with the all natural Kinesio HCG Weight Loss Programme. Weight gain can be due to many factors, the most commonly acknowledged being poor diet and lifestyle habits. But frequently it can also caused by undetected subclinical syndromes, such as thyroid, high cortisol, insulin resistance, and candida. The new used together with kinesiology to detect underlying syndromes, can recondition the body’s metabolic state. If the protocol is followed 100%, keeping the weight off permanently is possible.

Odyssey readers get 20% discount off their first 3 sessions.

For more info contact Toni Blumeris (M.SocSc) Psych

011 782 4834 084 467 8664 Johannesburg

health news


A California media and technology company called Not Impossible is using 3D printing to provide hands and arms for amputees in South Sudan and the war-torn Nuba Mountains. In November, Not Impossible printed a prosthetic hand that allowed a teenager to feed himself for the first time in two years. Mick Ebeling recently returned home from Sudan's Nuba Mountains where he set up what is probably the world's first 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility. More to the point of the journey is that Mick managed to give hope and independence back to a kid who, at age 14, had both his arms blown off and considered his life not worth living. Just prior to the trip, the now 16-year-old Daniel was located in a 70 000 person refugee camp in Yida, and received version one of his left arm. What was the first food Daniel decided to eat unassisted? Chocolate.


In a breakthrough for the effort to cure blindness, researchers at the University of Cambridge have used an inkjet printer to print living retinal cells for the first time. The cells could be built up and used to replace defective eye tissue. Professor Keith Martin from Cambridge’s neuroscience department is hopeful the development will bring them one step closer to treating retinal diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Human trials are still a distant prospect for the team, but if they were to prove successful, Martin sees no reason why this technology couldn’t be applied to other areas of neural repair. Before long, many of us could be walking around with a slew of 3D-printed body parts to compensate for health problems and other afflictions.

future-gen heart

USA Today has reported that renowned French surgeon Alain Carpentier thinks he has an answer to chronic shortages of organ donors. Carmat, the French company he founded, has invented what has been called the world's first fully-artificial, self-regulating heart (unlike Robert Jarvik's artificial heart first transplanted in 1982). Carpentier's creation was successfully transplanted into a 75-year-old, recently, who is said to be responding favourably. Made from a range of bio-materials that include bovine tissue, the heart is less likely to produce blood clots, and also much less likely to be rejected by the host. Initial trials will determine whether patients can survive for at least a month with the artificial heart; if successful, people who receive them may be able to live a relatively autonomous life just like traditional transplant patients.

ODYSSEY 105 • 


Hot Off the Press

Outdoor rugs

Robert Thomson is pleased to introduce a new range of outdoor rugs to SA. With advances in technology these rugs are extremely durable and can be left outdoors permanently to face the harshest South African elements. Designed by leading European designers such as Javier Mariscal and Roman Esteve for premier Spanish  manufacturer, Vondom. Outdoor rugs were one of the biggest trends through the European summer – they bring a space together, give a chance to add splashes of colour and offer a soft  'The proven powers of nature'. Specifically clinically foot experience for comfort. Available nationally.  proven to enhance memory retention and recall; concentration and focus; and mental clarity.  Available without prescription at leading pharmacies  and health shops and


clinically proven natural medicines

 The Queen of Love  'Fabulous', 'fantastic', 'over the top', 'quirky', and 'stylish' – these are some of the words to describe The Queen  of Love Chair – intricate Baroque detailing on giant proportions. Made of durable polypropylene, The Queen of Love Chair is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Precision manufactured in Italy and available exclusively and in a wide range of fun colours.

ODYSSEY 106 • 



Beauty Booster 1. Physician’s Formula – pH Matchmaker pH Powered Lip Gloss. Available at selected Dis-Chem stores. 2. Wet n Wild – MegaLast Liquid Lip Color in Red my Mind. Available at selected Clicks stores. 3. Le Jardin – Eau de Toilette. Foschini. 4. Broadway – imPRESS Press-On Manicure in It Girl. Clicks, Dis-Chem and Foschini. 3


Rose Day Cream When applied to slightly damp skin, Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream is rich in consistency and penetrates the layers of your skin to where it is most needed. Perfect for very dry sensitive skin, Rose Day Cream softens any tough epidermal build up due to over-exposure to sun or harsh cosmetic use.


Pigment Corrector Treatment

To correspond with the launch of this new product, QMS Medicosmetics has devised an advanced 90-minute treatment to help repair and protect the skin from hyperpigmentation. For optimum results a minimum course of three treatments is recommended as well as the at home use of SkinTone Light Serum. Available at selected QMS Medicosmetics Salons and Spas and


Para'Kito is a French product and comprises a range of bands and clips, to protect against mosquitoes. Either a 'band' or a 'clip' is purchased and a 'pellet', containing the essential oils formula, is fitted into the pellet holder on the device. Each pellet lasts for 15 consecutive days. This pellet can be purchased separately in the form of a refill therefore making it easy to use and cost-effective. The band can be fitted around one's wrist or ankle, and the clip can be placed on tents, clothing, belt buckles, shoelaces, prams and cots to accommodate customer preferences. Para'Kito works by masking human presence to mosquitos with the patented diffusion process of the essential oils formula in the pellet.

ODYSSEY 107 • 


company profile

One of the more exciting skincare products to hit the market recently, Yungskin Organic Face Cream, is now available to people who are serious about restoring their youthful looks and boast a naturally beautiful skin tone. We take a look.

Yungskin C

ommonly known as 'acupuncture in a jar',

eco-travel & accommodation, spiritual activities, among

Yungskin Organic Face Cream was developed

others), all aiming to promote a healthier lifestyle and

by Dr Philip Sherwin of Cape Town and is the

harmony between us and the environment.

result of 30 years of research to achieve and sustain

Yungskin Organic Face Cream is a world first and

holistic, excellent health and beauty through natural

has been specifically infused and energised using a

practices and treatments. Dr Sherwin is a renowned

high-tech quantum-formulated process to stimulate and

Homeopath, Naturopath And Acupuncturist with over 40

enhance meridian and acupuncture points in the face at

years experience in his field. Together with his business

a deep cellular level to provide visible and lasting results.

partner Carl van der Linde they founded Holistic Life in

The product has been designed to stimulate targeted

2013 consisting of three prominent divisions: Yungskin

face-lifting points on the face, neck and around the eyes,

Cosmetics; Yungskin Supplements; and Lifestyle (which

resulting in the regeneration of the skin's natural vitality

include alkaline water sytems, rebounder, green living,

and youthfulness.

Acupuncture in a jar?

During his practice as an Acupuncturist in the UK in the '70s, Dr Sherwin thought of an alternate, non-invasive and painless method to achieve the same face-lifting results his many patients enjoyed following invasive painful)

ODYSSEY 108 • 


traditional (and



treatments. His aim of achieving 'acupuncture in a jar'

the manufacturing and supply chain processes can

gained momentum when he applied quantum energy

accommodate orders of a substantial nature in a relatively

science and cellular stimulation principles, through a

short space of time, ensuring adherence to high quality

process known as Radionics, with remarkable results.

standards and the personal attention of the Yungskin

Since its introduction to the market in South Africa

team at all times.

recently, Yungskin has received rave reviews and praise

Yungskin subscribes to an ethical and moral code and

from customers who enjoyed outstanding results in a

believes in a holistic approach towards the improvement

short period of time.

of human health and life, and the preservation of animals

One 'unexpected' additional benefit of the face cream is that it reduces pigmentation and sunspots. Various customers reported on a marked reduction in appearance of marks to the extent that their friends enquired if they had any 'facial procedures' done to remove these marks. Positive feedback has been received from women of both African and European descent. Various requests from the market led to the development and introduction of three more Yungskin Organic Creams for the eyes, neck and hands, all of which are based on the same principles of Acupuncture and Homeopathy as with the face cream. These products were introduced to the market over a period of three months towards the end of last year and already the Eye Cream and Hand Butter have sold above expectation.

and the environment. Yungskin is an online business and products are not available through retail outlets. Some beauty salons are, however, stocking the products after having achieved great results with trial runs with certain customers. This year will also see the appointment of carefully selected Yungskin Agents who will represent the brand in various geographical areas in SA to offer a Direct Sales service to customers. Agent contact details are on the Yungskin website and will be updated as new agents are appointed. All orders dispatched are confirmed via email to the customer, confirming order details and a tracking number for easy reference. Orders are dispatched via postal services, cost of which are included in purchase price for orders of R395 or more. One of the objectives is to have a global footprint and the process of selecting and appointing suitable international agents is in progress. Readers can learn more at or contact for enquiries.

Yungskin Organic Face Cream is manufactured in Cape Town by a company that only produces organic and natural personal care products. Only the finest available ingredients are used, some of which are imported. Yungskin products contain no chemicals or substances harmful to the body or the environment and absolutely no testing is done on animals. The energy infusion process is personally done and overseen by Dr Sherwin, duly assisted by his business partner, Carl van der Linde. Although Yungskin is not a typically mass-produced product, all care has been taken to ensure that

ODYSSEY 109 • 


Is Alzheimer's Ty

DID YOU KNOW? Studies began to appear in 2005 that revealed a shocking correlation between insulin and brain cell deterioration, and major breaks were made around Alzheimer's prevention.

ODYSSEY 110 • 


ype 3 Diabetes ? Today we are faced with the epidemics and pandemics of chronic illnesses, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and so many others. What we know is that most of these can be prevented, managed and even treated using the correct nutrition. Alzheimer's disease has long been perceived as mysterious and inevitable, untreatable and something that some of us are predisposed too. Food is a powerful epigenetic modulator – it can enable or hamper our DNA, thus regulating the expression of many genes. Leading experts have begun to understand the correlation between what we eat and our state of health, we are finally beginning to understand the damaging consequences of our Western diet, and especially sugar consumption and its impact on our brain. Vanessa Ascencao reports.


interfere with insulin's many roles. This is 'good news' in

When you eat carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in the body, your blood-sugar levels sky-rocket. High blood-sugar levels also create inflammation, further causing your brain's health to weaken. Over time, a diet high in sugar translates into the accelerated death of supple, healthy brain cells.

some respects because where there is knowledge about

of diet-induced diabetes. It starves your brain, tangles

e know that our typical Western diet is a fast-track not only to obesity but to Type 2 diabetes and other preventable, non-communicable diseases,

which now account for more deaths worldwide than all other causes combined. We also already know that people with diabetes are at least twice as likely to get Alzheimer's, and that obesity alone increases the risk of impaired brain function. What's new is the thought that, while diabetes doesn't 'cause' Alzheimer's, these two conditions may have the same root: an over consumption of those 'foods' that

underlying causes there is the opportunity for prevention.

Ditching sugar It now turns out that Alzheimer's could well be a form

and twists vital cells, and for decades it has been misrepresented as an untreatable, genetically-determined disease. This devastating illness shares a strong link with another sickness that wreaks havoc on millions of

ODYSSEY 111 • 


The fact that Alzheimer's can be associated with low levels of insulin in the brain is the reason why increasing numbers of researchers have taken to calling it Type 3 diabetes, or diabetes of the brain.

An interesting study In a recent report in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Mayo Clinic researchers showed that individuals favouring carbohydrates in their diets had a remarkable 89% increased risk for developing dementia as contrasted to those whose diets contained the most fat. Having the highest levels of fat consumption was actually found to be associated with

individuals – diabetes. Most people know that a diet high in carbohydrates is correlated to serious diseases like cancer, heart disease,

an incredible 44% reduction in risk for developing dementia.

and diabetes. What we haven't always known is the serious effect sugar has on our brain health. When you eat carbohydrates, which break down into sugar blood-sugar levels also create inflammation, further causing your brain's health to weaken. Over time, a diet high in sugar translates into the accelerated death of supple, healthy brain cells. We already know that diabetics are at least twice as likely to experience dementia. The cells of your brain can become insulin-resistant just like other cells in the body. What was once considered a mysterious accumulation of beta amyloid plaques characteristic in the Alzheimer brain is now associated with the same lack of insulin that negatively effects cognition. We all know that individuals affected by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have a notable resistance to insulin. Type 1 is caused by the body's inability to produce insulin, and Type 2 is caused by the deterioration of the body's insulin receptors and associated with the consumption of too much refined carbohydrate like processed grains and sugar. When studies began to appear in 2005 that revealed a shocking correlation between insulin and brain cell deterioration, major breaks were made around Alzheimer's prevention.

ODYSSEY 112 • 


insulin in the body. We all need insulin: in non-diabetics, it's released to help cells take in the blood sugar (glucose) they need for energy. But the cells can hold only so much; excess sugar is first stored as glycogen, and – when there's enough of that, as fat. Blood sugar doesn't actually come only from sugar, but from carbohydrates of all kinds; easily digested carbohydrates flood the bloodstream with sugar. Insulin not only keeps the blood vessels that supply the brain healthy, it also encourages the brain's neurons to absorb glucose, and allows those neurons to change and become stronger. Low insulin levels in the brain mean reduced brain function. Type 1 diabetes, in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, accounts for about 10% of all cases. Type 2 diabetes is chronic or environmental, and it's especially prevalent in populations that over-consume hyper-processed foods. Diabetes causes complications too numerous to mention, but they include heart disease. When the cells in your brain become insulin-resistant, you start to lose memory and become disoriented. In short, it appears, you develop Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's as Type 3 Diabetes


The idea that Alzheimer's might be Type 3 diabetes has

ago, that an odd form of protein was taking the place of

therefore been around since 2005, but the connection

normal brain cells in some patients who demonstrated

between poor diet and Alzheimer's is becoming more

dementia. How those beta amyloid plaques (as they're

convincing, as summarised in a cover story in New

called) get there has been a mystery. What's becoming

Neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer noticed, over a century

Scientist entitled 'Food for Thought: What You Eat May Be

clear, however, is that a lack of insulin – or insulin

Killing Your Brain.' The studies are increasingly persuasive

resistance – not only impairs cognition but seems to be

– and unsurprising when you understand the role of

implicated in the formation of those plaques.

in the body, your blood-sugar levels sky-rocket. High

Alzheimer brain is now associated with a lack of insulin that negatively effects cognition

Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Brown

is one of the same plans offered to those looking to

University, has been working on these phenomena in

decrease their risk of Alzheimer's disease. This dietary

humans and rats. When she blocked the path of insulin

prevention plan includes foods that are low in sugar

to rats' brains, their neurons deteriorated, they became

and high in healthy fats, which creates a rich, healing

physically disoriented and their brains showed all the

environment for the brain.

signs of Alzheimer's. The fact that Alzheimer's can be associated with low levels of insulin in the brain is the reason why increasing numbers of researchers have taken to calling it Type 3 diabetes, or diabetes of the brain. Studies have shown that brain cells shrink and become tangled from high blood-sugar levels over time. This means that your sugar intake could be drastically affecting long-term brain health, inherently increasing the likelihood of developing lesions in the brain, which are linked to the deadly disease process we call Alzheimer's. Compelling reports have shown that the nutrition plan offered to individuals seeking Type 2 diabetes prevention

Fat – the ultimate brain food Two forms of fat that are vitally important for brain health are cholesterol and saturated fat. Saturated fat is a fundamental building block for brain cells. It's certainly interesting to consider that one of the richest sources of saturated fat in nature is human breast milk. Similarly, cholesterol is vital for a well-functioning brain. Cholesterol functions as a brain protective antioxidant. It is the raw material from which our bodies make vitamin D, a fundamental player in preserving brain function. In addition, cholesterol is the precursor for the sex

ODYSSEY 113 • 


hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – all

carb, with a high reliance on starchy tubers such as

of which contribute to healthy brain function.

yams, and sugary tropical fruits such as banana and

While the brain constitutes about 2-3% of our total

papaya. The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy at

body weight, an impressive 25% of the body's cholesterol

85% carbohydrate, mostly from sweet potato. Finally,

is found in the brain.

the Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate

In the US, the FDA has begun requiring consumer

at over 90%. All of these cultures are fit and lean with

warning on certain cholesterol-lowering medication

practically non-existent rates of neurological disorders

related to memory decline. It has been shown that in

and other modern chronic disease. What's the point? The

the elderly, those people whose cholesterol levels are

quality of their carbs – natural unprocessed whole foods

the highest may have as much as 70% risk reduction for

with very little actual sugar.


Gluten & your brain

There's no denying that as we age chronologically, our

peer-reviewed literature that now indicates that gluten

body ages right along with us. Research is showing

consumption leads to the amplification of a specific

that you can increase your chances of maintaining

protein called zonulin which increases permeability of

a healthy brain well into your old age if you add

both the gut and blood-brain barrier as described by Dr

these 'smart' foods to your daily eating regimen:

and research scientist who has been an international leader in the treatment, research and education of coeliac disease and other gluten-related disorders. He states that gut permeability activates inflammation and inflammation is a cornerstone of some of the most pernicious brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. What is so compelling in a very positive light is that this occurs in all humans and may be the key to a vast number of human maladies including a vast number of other inflammatory disorders as well as autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.

Carbs Not all carbohydrates are created equal – there are many traditional cultures with high carb intake and low or non-existent rates of neurological disease. If carbohydrates cause neurological disorders, one would expect to see high rates of dementia and similar diseases in populations where carbs constitute a significant portion of the diet. But, as it turns out, many of the cultures that maintain the lowest rates of neurological and other


Blueberries. 'Brainberries' is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these tasty fruits. Pratt, who is also on staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, says that in animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

Organic coffee: I'm a big fan of coffee, and super thankful that it's not only savoury, but brain-healthy as well. Not only does coffee activate our Nrf2 pathways, helping to fight off oxidative stress and protect against neurodegenerative diseases, but recent studies have found that high levels of coffee consumption can be associated with up to a 65% reduction in risk for dementia.

inflammatory disease rely heavily on carbohydrate-dense

Wild salmon. Deep-water fish, such as salmon,

dietary staples. For example, the Hadza of north-central

are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are

Tanzania and the Kuna of Panama obtain a high percentage

essential for brain function, says nutritional expert

of their total calories from foods that are high in natural

Ann Kulze, MD. Both she and Pratt recommend

sugars, such as fruit, starchy tubers and honey, yet they

wild salmon for its 'cleanliness' and the fact that

are remarkably lean, fit and free of modern disease.

it is in plentiful supply. Omega-3s also contain

Other examples include the Kitava in the Pacific


The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet.

Here we must defer to the most well respected

Fasano, a world-renowned paediatric gastroenterologist


Smart food

anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that

Islands, Tukisenta in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,

provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and

and the Okinawans in Japan. The Kitavan diet is 69%


A respected peer-reviewed literature now indicates that gluten consumption leads to the amplification of a specific protein called zonulin which increases permeability of both the gut and blood brain barrier as described by Dr Fasano (pictured), a world-renowned paediatric gastroenterologist and research scientist. He states that gut permeability activates inflammation and inflammation is a cornerstone of some of the most pernicious brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease.

Avocados. Avos are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. Avos' main constituent is a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood-flow, which converts into a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure and hypertension is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure should promote brain health.

Get enough DHA: Your body is only minimally able to make DHA, a critical fatty acid for brain health. So supplementation is key in this regard. My supplement of choice is Marcus Rohrer Spirulina.

Coconut oil. Coconut oil is known as a rich source of beta-HBA, is one of our brain's 'superfuels.'

Tumeric or turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We can thank turmeric for protecting our mitochondria (thanks to its role in stimulating antioxidant properties), and it also improves glucose metabolism – both of which are essential for reducing one's risk for brain disease. Try to get 350mg twice daily.

Dark chocolate. Let's end with the good stuff. Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties, contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration, and

Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, says Pratt, explaining that

stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. O

higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older. Add an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds,

For more articles from Vanessa, see or email

cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut

Key references: NIH: Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk

butter, almond butter, and tahini.

of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia and The Whitehall II Cohort

Eat food that expires: If it can go bad, it's

and Neuronal Stress in Worsening Alzheimer's Disease • Detailed

good for you. If it stays good, it's bad for you.

Study; Rhode Island Hospital: A Link Between Brain Insulin Resistance summary by Dr de la Monte: Alzheimer's: Diabetes of the Brain?

OTC Pharma has three months supply of the super nutrient Marcus Rohrer Spirulina to give away to a lucky winner by liking page and comment on the page about why you would their like to try this miracle of nature. For more info also visit

ODYSSEY 115 • 



The Universe Inside You Brian Clegg Icon Books • 978 1 8483 1353 8

With the subtitle 'The Extreme Science of the Human Body from Quantum Theory to the Mysteries of the Brain', you'd be inclined to think that this book is a text book for third year physics students, but in actual fact it is for anyone wanting to explore science without being bored by academic jargon. Crammed with interesting facts, this sequel to his best-selling Inflight Science, Clegg explores mitochondria, in-cell powerhouses which are thought to have once been separate creatures; how your eyes are quantum traps, consuming photons of light from the night sky that have travelled for millions of years; your many senses, which include the ability to detect warps in space and time, and why meeting an attractive person can turn you into a gibbering idiot.

ODYSSEY 116 • 


The Infinite Mindfield: The Quest to Find the Gateway to Higher Consciousness Anthony Peake

The Awakening Human Being: A Guide to the Power of Mind Barbara Berger

Watkins • 978 1 7802 8571 9

O Books • 978 1 8469 4835 0

As its starting point, this book uses the widespread historical belief that the pineal gland, also known as the 'third eye', is a profoundly important organ. It links this to the various myths, originating in ancient Sumer, that 'dragons' or 'serpents' have guided humanity and presents evidence that these beings are symbolic of DNA. It is now understood that DNA gives off a form of light known as bio-luminescence. This information-rich 'inner light' needs an organ of sight to process it – that organ is the pineal gland. It is through this small organ that we 'perceive' the inner worlds of lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, hypnogogic imagery, near-death experiences, astral travel and the kundalini experience. Using information from the leading edges of modern science, this book presents a startling new hypothesis that these 'inner worlds' are as real, or possibly even more real, than the reality we experience in waking life.

Best-selling author Barbara Berger’s new book is a practical spiritual handbook that offers readers a complete guide to the awakening consciousness that is emerging on planet Earth. In this book, Berger not only maps out the incredible power of mind, but she explains how to use this power wisely. The message of the book is very relevant for everyone in this time of economic and ecological crisis because it offers a roadmap of how to use so much of the information that is floating around today in many spiritual books. It’s a major work and the best Berger has written so far. The promise of this book is that it shows readers how to find a way out of suffering by waking up to the nature of reality and the nature of mind to find the peace and happiness they seek in the present moment.

SUPER BRAIN: Unleash the Explosive Power of Your Mind Deepak Chopra & Rudolph E Tanzi

neural pathways in the brain, and thereby we can transform it into our most powerful tool for achieving health, happiness and enlightenment.

Rider • 978 1 8460 4366 6

Two pioneers in health – Dr Chopra and Prof Tanzi, one of the world's foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer's – share a bold new understanding of the brain and a prescriptive plan for how we can use it to achieve physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In his bestselling books Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and Re-inventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, Chopra reveals 'the forgotten miracle' – the body's extraordinary capacity for change and renewal. Now, Chopra focuses his attention on a part of the body undergoing intense study and radical re-evaluation: the brain. No one is better able to share the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience than pre-eminent neurologist Tanzi and, together, the authors present a new vision of the brain together with a practical plan for how to use it to achieve higher levels of success and fulfilment. They contend that by using techniques and skills such as mindfulness, intention and meditation, we can create new

Think! Before it's Too Late Edward de Bono Vermilion • 978 0 0919 2409 6

The world is full of problems and conflicts. So why can we not solve them? According to Edward de Bono, current thinking cannot solve world problems because current thinking is itself the problem. And this is getting worse: we are so accustomed to readily available information online that we search immediately for the answers rather than thinking about them. Our minds function like trying to drive a car using only one wheel. There's nothing wrong with that one wheel – conventional thinking – but we could all get a lot further if we used all four. De Bono examines why we think the way we do from a historical perspective and uses some of his famous thinking techniques combined with new ideas to show us how to change the way we think. If we strengthen our ability and raise our thinking level, other areas of our life

– both personal and business success – will improve. De Bono is the master of the original big 'concept' book and his enticement to us to use our minds as constructively as possible should appeal to a whole new generation of fans.

The Apocalypse of the Mind: Transforming Ego into Stillness of Consciousness Melissa Lowe O Books • 978 1 8469 4430 7

In this book, Lowe identifies practical elements that support the shift from enduring states of consciousness to stillness of mind. Grounded in Jungian theory and Eastern thought, the book draws on the author's personal experience and other scenarios, as well as themes from popular culture, to illustrate the process the ego encounters as it undergoes consciousness transformation. The book offers readers reflective exercises to incorporate an understanding of their unconscious material, and deep rooted solutions to address genuine transformation. PS: Click here for some cool brain excercises

ODYSSEY 117 • 



brainy HERBS

Our Earth Goddess Jane Griffiths looks at herbs for mindfullness, mental alacrity and memory.


e all have those moments; we've walked all the way upstairs to fetch something but by the time we reach the top, we've forgotten what it is we came for. Or the hunt for the car keys

while desperately late for a meeting. People tend to associate memory lapses and forgetfulness with growing old. However, there are other factors, such as stress, medication, alcohol or drugs that can cause this in younger people. These herbs can give our brains – no matter their age – a boost. Not just sharpening our memory but increasing mindfulness and mental functioning.

Gotu kola

Gotu kola, commonly known as pennywort, is the ultimate brain-boosting herb. Legend has it that the Tai Chi master Li Ching-Yuen was 256 years old when he died in 1933. His secret? Drinking a daily herbal tea that included gotu kola and ginseng. In the garden: Once established, this spreading, low-growing herb with its kidney-shaped green leaves will need little attention. It is an ideal ground cover in a herb or vegetable garden as it forms a dense mat that retains moisture in the soil. Gotu kola is a semi-hardy perennial, preferring moist, tropical climates. It survives light frost but needs protection against severe cold. Grow it from a seedling or propagate from a runner with at least one nodule on it. Once established, it will spread by sending out runners, but it doesn't become invasive. In summer it bears small clusters of pinky-red flowers underneath its leaves.

Healing properties: The Chinese name for gotu kola translates into 'the fountain of youth'. A 10th century king claimed it was gotu

kola that gave him the stamina to satisfy all 50 women in his harem. And its Indian nickname is 'food for the brain'. This gives an idea of the properties of this remarkable herb. It detoxifies, and it improves circulation, mental balance and functioning. It is used to aid meditation, relieve stress and increase spiritual understanding. How to use: Infusion – drink up to three cups a day to relieve stress and anxiety, detoxify the system, strengthen and restore the nervous system, increase mental alertness, encourage balanced moods and improve memory and circulation. Tincture – as for infusion, but stronger.

Cautions: Excessive use can lead to itchiness and headaches. Avoid this herb if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, have an overactive thyroid or are taking sedatives.


Rosemary is the go to herb for sharpening your memory. When I first

ODYSSEY 118 • 


ODYSSEY 119 • 


started growing herbs and vegetables, I planted them around an existing large rosemary bush. Years later it had became so old and straggly I had to remove it. The following spring, a rosemary branch appeared – growing out of the middle of my vegetable garden wall. I have left it to grow and it is now a quirky feature in my garden. In the garden: Native to the Mediterranean, rosemary now grows throughout the world. Although its preferred climate is hot and dry, it does well in more temperate zones. There are many varieties, some trailing and unruly, others compact and bushy, with flowers ranging from pale mauve to dark purple. It is difficult to grow from seed, so rather purchase seedlings or propagate from an existing plant, using layering or cuttings. Choose the spot to plant it carefully; it is a large perennial and can live up to 20 years. Cut it back in late spring. In frost areas, avoid cutting it back in autumn. Healing properties: Rosemary has a multitude of medicinal uses, ranging from treating depression and baldness to improving memory and circulation. How to use: Infusion – (leaves) to ease depression and to improve memory and circulation.


Despite its popularity in the kitchen, sage has been used for far longer as a medicinal herb than as a culinary one. In ancient times, sage symbolised wisdom, good health and long life. In the garden: Sage comes in a variety of colours, sizes and scents, from the deliciously sweet pineapple sage, with its bright red spiky flowers, to purple, tricolour and pale green varieties. Native to the Mediterranean, it needs well-drained soil and plenty of sun. It likes being pruned in early spring, which not only keeps it healthy but also maintains its shape. After five years or so, sage becomes woody and straggly and needs to be replaced. Grow new plants from the parent plant by layering. Healing properties: The Latin name of this herb means 'to heal' or 'to save'. The Chinese revered it so much they were willing to trade four times the weight of fine tea for sage. Sage improves mind functioning – particularly memory as it increases the chemicals that encourage information exchange in the brain. How to use: Infusion – to increase memory, lift depression and ease nervous exhaustion (especially in the elderly).


Mugwort is an ancient magical herb, used to fend off evil

ODYSSEY 120 • 



People tend to associate memory lapses and forgetfulness with growing old. However, there are other factors, such as stress, medication, alcohol or drugs that can cause this in younger people. These herbs can give our brains – no matter their age – a boost. Not just sharpening our memory but increasing mindfulness and mental functioning.


Gotu Kola




ODYSSEY 121 • 


spirits and venomous thoughts. Travellers also put it in

love with a woman if he accepts her gift of basil.

their shoes to prevent them becoming weary on long

In the garden: There are more than 60 species of


basil, ranging from tender annuals to hardier perennials

In the garden: Mugwort can become a bit of a

with a strong, camphor-like scent. The main culinary

menace in the garden as it spreads quickly. Either grow

basil is sweet basil, which comes in various shapes

it in a container or bury it in a bottomless pot to prevent

(from small purple-leafed bushes to large green-leafed

it spreading. It doesn't mind poor soil as long as it is well

mammoth varieties) and flavours (from citrus-scented to

drained. Plant in full sun or semi shade. It will die back

liquorice-flavoured ones).

in winter in colder areas, but pops up again in spring. It

Basil likes a protected site with well-drained soil. It

is a straggly perennial that benefits from being trimmed.

prefers full sun but doesn't mind some afternoon shade

Healing properties: Mugwort is a powerful

in summer. It can be grown from seeds or seedlings. Sow

metaphysical herb. It is a common ingredient in smudge

basil seeds in modules and transplant the seedlings into

sticks, used to smoke out evil spirits and stagnant energy

larger pots, so they can grow bigger while waiting for the

in houses. It is best known as a dream herb, enabling

weather to warm up. Basil likes hot weather – I usually

you to remember your dreams more clearly as well as

wait until early October before planting the seedlings out.

enhancing dreams and trances. For this purpose it can be

Basil and tomatoes are good companions in the garden

taken internally, or fresh leaves can be placed under the

as it improves the flavour of tomatoes. Basil also repels

pillow. It is also a calming herb for nervous conditions.

insects and flies and helps to prevent mildew on cucurbits

How to use: Infusion – (leaves) to increase

(this plant family includes pumpkins, squashes, marrows,

mindfulness and dream recall. To calm jittery nervous

cucumbers and melons). Don't plant rue and basil near

conditions and insomnia. Decoction – (roots) as for

each other – they will both suffer.

infusion, but stronger.

Healing properties: Basil is an uplifting herb, good


for treating depression and mental fatigue or to improve

No herb garden should be without basil. It is one of the

How to use: Infusion – mix with honey and lemon for

most popular and widely-grown herbs. This is a herb long

an uplifting drink, or infuse on its own to treat mental

associated with love, and a man will supposedly fall in

fatigue or to improve concentration. O


BRAIN-BOOSTING TONIC WINE This wine contains rosemary and sage to improve memory, gotu kola and black pepper to sharpen concentration and basil to relieve tiredness and give the mind strength and clarity. • • • • • •

10 black peppercorns ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves ¼ cup fresh gotu kola leaves ¼ cup fresh basil leaves ¼ cup sage leaves 1 bottle of good red wine

Crush the peppercorns and bruise the herbs in a pestle and mortar and then place in the bottle of wine and reseal. Keep it in a dark spot for two weeks, shaking every day. Drink a small cup every evening. Visit Jane's Delicious Garden at or email Jane on

Photographs: Jane Griffiths & Keith Knowlton. SOURCES: Jane's Delicious Herbs – Sunbird Publishers, a division of Jonathan Ball Publishers.

ODYSSEY 122 • 


CapeNature is the public institution mandated to promote and ensure biodiversity conservation within the Western Cape. CapeNature manages most of the mountain catchments and nature reserves that supply ecosystem services to the citizens of the Western Cape. This requires good scientific data, a sound understanding of fynbos ecology and commitment to the principles of integrated biodiversity management and planning.

ODYSSEY 123 • 



 Plant Medicine

Healing  in the 21 Century st

 Where does the Truth Lie? ODYSSEY 124 • 


The human race has over-run the planet and our species has lost connection with nature, animals and plants, and, ultimately, with itself. Most humans have not fully grasped the fact that as the Earth becomes damaged and polluted, so do we damage and pollute ourselves. Clearly we cannot separate our own health issues from those of the planet which sustains us. The fact is that we are inextricably part of one large, interconnected, delicately balanced ecosystem, to which we are oblivious at our peril. Roger Metcalfe reports.


s the oceans, rivers, streams and all fruits of the soil become polluted and modified, so do our own physical bodies, bloodstreams, cells and tissues become

compromised. It is not surprising that our well-being suffers as a consequence. The way man is plundering and ravaging the earth not only increases suffering of body, mind and spirit, but at worst points to our own eventual extinction. This exploitation and lack of respect for precious resources is exacerbated by the profit-driven fields of agriculture, food, industry, energy and medicine to name but a few. Rapid technological development is a further impediment to health, with information technology offering the only ray of hope. With rapid access to a vast and fast growing database of new information, awareness levels are rapidly shifting. This inevitably leads to a transformation of consciousness.

Reconnecting with planet Earth A recent two-day conference called the Khanyisa Psychoactive Plant Conference served as a powerful reminder for us to reconnect with the plant world and our planet. Held in Johannesburg, international speakers emphasised how closely consciousness was linked to health and healing and how we do not necessarily have to succumb automatically to the massive, multi-billion rand, modern medical machine. A few years ago a well-known US endocrinologist and author, Dr Deepak Chopra, was quoted as saying: 'We have created an overwhelmingly wasteful, expensive, frightening and often inhumane medical system based on the myth that healing resides in the hands of professionals. We have ignored our own power to heal, and become blind to the subtle signals of discomfort and imbalance within our bodies.' Healing and health is a conscious activity and we need to return to simple awareness, and to the earth in order to reclaim much of our natural healing ability. Dr Keith Scott-Mumby (MD MB ChB, PhD) in his book How

to Survive in a World without Antibiotics was adamant about our natural healing abilities: 'Healthy individuals with a vibrant immune system and a positive mental attitude will not succumb to pathogens, no matter how vicious they are. We are in balance with Nature. She has invented nothing we cannot handle, if our defence mechanisms are working properly. Always remember that; it is important.' We must remember that diseases often develop because individuals, over time, weaken themselves by a counter-productive lifestyle and negative habits. These include toxic overload, malnutrition, body neglect and stress. If we avoid these factors, or correct them in time, there is little reason to fear disease. Maintaining good health is like driving a car. To reach our destination we need to make small but constant corrections to

ODYSSEY 125 • 


the steering wheel. If we neglect to do this we inevitably

profound. Enough to shift a paradigm or two in intelligently

leave the road and are compelled to do serious damage

open minds.

control. In health terms, corrective action involves paying

In the same way that the mind alone can create a

daily attention to reducing toxic load, a balanced diet,

painful skin blister, mind, through intention, can equally

vitamins, exercise, fresh air, sunshine, sleep and all the

represent a powerful healing force on several levels.

good things our beloved mothers used to nag us to do.

This is a form of mind over matter, and undoubtedly

Failure to pay attention to these basics inevitably leads to

the same mechanism that drives the placebo effect, which

gradual loss of health. Medically we then have no option

also operates on several levels – physical, emotional,

but to take (for example) our advanced cancer or blocked

mental and spiritual, for a start. Maintaining a balance

coronary artery to an oncologist or a heart surgeon. This

between these various states of being surely points the

is serious damage control, and invariably, the symptom

way to true healing and quality of life.

not the cause is the focus of attention. to fall into a state of 'dis-ease'. However, in too many

Silver bullets & alternative therapies

cases, lack of health is the result of a lack of awareness.

Modern medicine is continually looking for that 'magic

We've become so disconnected from ourselves and from

silver bullet'. The truth is that many such bullets already

our environment that we have no idea how to direct the

exist, and are proving to be highly effective for many

flow of inner intelligence to where corrective healing is


Clearly there are a myriad of causes for the body


A new healing paradigm While modern medicine's contribution to humanity is beyond question, there is a growing awareness of an alternative paradigm regarding health and wellness. On one level medicine is a good barometer of how connected we are with ourselves. Being conscious is

According to credible, medically-endorsed research, many alternative therapies, including plant medicine, are proving to be highly effective, with the patient experiencing minimal to zero side-effects. During the psychoactive plant conference the alternative spotlight fell on plant identification, historical practices, extraction methods, intelligent dosing and actually curing or reversing conditions.

surely the new form of primary health care. The only way

One of the first rules of alternative medicine is to

we can possibly take responsibility for ourselves begins

remove any toxic load, which makes eminently good

through awareness.

common sense. This cleansing before treatment is

The psychoactive plant conference was a clear

achieved through various practices including colonic

indication of this growing awareness. It was certainly not

irrigation, enemas, fasting, saunas, deep breathing,

a gathering of pot-heads, and I was impressed at many of

yoga, meditation, balancing pH level and drinking plenty

the young participants with whom I spoke. An attractive,

of pure water. This is quite a different approach to

20-something woman delegate (whose parents are both

allopathic medicine which more often than not focuses on

doctors) had clear views about illness: 'The ills existent

symptomatic relief and chronic treatment (often for life)

in modern society are (often) created by our own psyche

rather than returning the patient to good, natural health.

and therefore the treatment of these illnesses is to dive within the psyche. To heal from within the mind.'

All treatment should lead to a cure; not become an end in itself.

While one could unpack this topic further, this reflects how the next generation is already thinking. The deeper implication is that we need to reclaim our own natural ability to heal and maintain a good state of well-being. The mind is clearly more powerful than we realise. I once witnessed a hypnotist place a cube of ice on his participant's forearm saying it was a red hot coal. Apart from the painful reaction, the raised welt was visible even after the performance had ended. Amazingly this blister was real, caused by nothing less than a thought or a belief. The implications of this remarkable anecdote are

ODYSSEY 126 • 


The above image reveals how most natural or alternative medical practitioners view modern medical procedures. Is there not a win-win solution to this dilemma?

Contemporary medicine – a walk down the dark side Perhaps doctors and pharmacists need to swallow a bit of their own medicine at this point. Sadly, too many of today's medical practitioners have an unfortunate know-it-all, dismissive attitude to new or ancient forms of healing and this doesn't help their cause, patient relations or their own development. Too many medical practitioners appear resistant to information outside their spectrum of training, perhaps unconsciously trapped in the western scientific industrial paradigm. Admittedly, an increasing number of doctors are open to alternative therapies. One medical doctor friend has a telling email by-line that reads: 'Think ecology as a metaphor for everything. Find the point of balance.' Interesting thought. Our body, like planet earth, is now being viewed as a closed, yet balanced ecosystem. Is this the beginning of a paradigm shift? A re-cognition? Without prejudice to the heroic contribution modern medicine is clearly making to humanity, let's take a brief but hard look at the dark side – the side that may well be driving this groundswell of change towards natural medicine.

The bad press today's medicine is receiving on an increasing scale, and to which it seems generally oblivious, is that the downsides of its practice lead ultimately to needless suffering. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) itself admits that preventable medical errors (or

negligence) is the third leading cause of death in the US, after cancer and heart disease. What is this? The




companies; doctors' rooms with 'revolving doors'; medical malpractice; unnecessary surgery; preventable medical errors; the cumulative damage caused by ionising radiation; chemical damage through chemotherapy; and the virtually indestructible 'superbug' which has arisen out of the indiscriminate prescribing of antibiotics, a problem often compounded by inadequate hospital hygiene and management. Preventable Medical Errors: Integrative doctors such as the controversial Dr Joseph Mercola remind us that in the US preventable medical (iatrogenic) errors are the third leading cause of death, after cancer and heart-disease. Just give yourself a moment to properly digest this astounding, alarming piece of information. Do we not see the red light flashing? According to the most recent (2013) research into the cost of fatal medical mistakes, 210 000 Americans die from preventable hospital errors each year. But if one includes deaths related to diagnostic errors,

ODYSSEY 127 • 


errors of omission, and failure to follow guidelines, the

The conference did not waste time condemning

number skyrockets to an estimated 440 000 preventable

allopathic medicine, but focused exclusively on the many

hospital deaths each year.

virtues of plant medicine. I even sensed a complementary

This excludes the cost of physical/emotional suffering

undertone. The gathering included a critical mass of

and related complications, impossible to quantify in

well-informed, well-researched, enthusiastic attendees.

monetary terms.

The several Q&A panel discussions revealed many who

The same IOM report confirms that an estimated 30%

were chemically-literate, legally-informed, intellectually-

of all medical procedures, surgery, chemotherapy and

sophisticated and scientifically well-grounded. These

radiation (including tests and medications) may in fact be

were citizens of planet earth who were fully prepared

unnecessary, and this at a cost of at least $750b a year.

and able to take responsibility for their own health and

New hope from plant medicine The recent Khanyisa Psychoactive Plant Conference

quality of life. Such a conference represents a powerful groundswell of change in the field of medicine.

medical tunnel. This conference focused on plant medicine,

Plant medicine: trick or treat?

its history, the psychoactive effects of certain plants and

At this particular conference there was a strong accent

the breath-taking spectrum of healing modalities. This

on psychotropic effects of certain plants and fungi. But

two-day event, attended by several hundred participants,

the 'Holy Grail' was less about getting high and more on

took place symbolically in the shadow of the giant

how certain plants contributed to our mental, physical,

Johannesburg General Hospital, at the Linder Auditorium.

emotional and even spiritual well-being, right down (or

revealed a possible new light at the end of this dark

The gathering of experts was impressive and the

was it up?) to the evolution of consciousness.

approximately 15 speakers hailed from Europe, the US,

The fact remains that psychotropic effects of plants,

Australia, Africa and South America. They included many

more often than not, go hand-in-hand with their healing

PhDs, chemists and internationally best-selling authors

or curative effects.

such as Graham Hancock who took the audience back to

When talking to such 'plant practitioners', it crossed

lost and rediscovered civilisations 20 000 years ago and

my mind that it may well be the shift in consciousness


itself which can effect, or at least contribute to, countless well-documented, astounding yet fairly effortless cures.

A cure for cancer The field of plant medicine is vast, so let us take a look at just one ancient form of healing, that of cannabis and hemp oil. For a century the world has been seeking a cure for cancer, and believe it or not, such cures exist. Unfortunately, because of the stigma and illegality of cannabis (plus the threat to modern medicine) there has been widespread suppression and discrediting of this natural source of healing. Once the modern medico-legal fraternity





remarkable, well-researched benefits of cannabinoids, humanity will almost The diagram above divides cannabis into its seven chemical components.

ODYSSEY 128 • 


certainly enter a new age of peace,

health and prosperity. Hemp oil is a concentrated extract derived from the cannabis plant. This modern formula was given credibility by a Canadian activist named Rick Simpson, who initially made the oil as a way to get the medicinal benefit of cannabis without smoking the plant and getting high. It wasn't long before he (and many doctors) realised that hemp oil was a highly effective way to harness the healing properties of cannabis. As he himself says: 'I want people to know how to cure themselves'. In some advanced cancer cases, hemp oil will be less effective because the body's internal organs will already have been damaged or destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but even then hemp oil has still saved lives. Hemp oil has also been proven to be highly effective when applied topically for treating skin cancer and burns. The preferred strain for medical use is Cannabis indica. Cannabis sativa is what gives the mental high, so indica is preferred for body-healing applications. Hemp oil and especially raw cannabis are able to treat an astounding range of conditions. Although he is credited with having helped thousands of condemned cancer patients to return to perfect health, Rick Simpson's successes have not come without problems. Recently the Canadian authorities invaded his property, confiscated many items, and issued a warrant for his arrest. Curiously, since he had never sold his treatment (he gives it away for free) Rick Simpson was charged with 'drug trafficking' (as opposed to selling, dealing, pushing or profiteering). The sad reality is that the profit motive has, in many cases, overtaken medical ethics in most Western countries and big business like the pharmaceutical industry, will go to virtually any lengths to prevent competition from natural products they can't easily patent.


In the same way that the mind alone can create a painful skin blister, mind, through intention, can equally represent a powerful healing force on several levels. This is a form of mind over matter, and undoubtedly the same mechanism that drives the placebo effect, which also operates on several levels.

Rick Simspson documentary: hemp oil that cures diseases repositories of medical knowledge. Rapid information retrieval and increased awareness (through such conferences) implies that the old style of one-sided doctoring has already begun to change. In future, doctors and pharmacists will have to deal

So what's the point of all this you may ask? Let me

with an increasing number of well-informed, self-aware

pull together some narrative threads and draw a few

patients (probably A and B income group), who will

conclusions. The Psychoactive Plant Conference was the

not fail to challenge existing paradigms. The future of

first of its kind in SA and clear evidence of a new trend in

medicine will be driven by unlocking truths which are right

the field of healing, health and medicine in general.

in front of us today, even if this means (paradoxically)

Natural medical practitioners are the first to

tapping into ancient plant medicine and cures.

acknowledge the good done by modern medicine. Dare

Only once we reconnect with ourselves, the planet

I say their approach is integrationist? Perhaps safer to

and the plants that sustain us, will we ever solve the

leave it at 'complementary'.

serious imbalances that have been inflicted on nature and

Doctors and pharmacists are no longer the sole

on us as a whole. O

ODYSSEY 129 • 



Be In 'My Name is Justin Friedman and I am for the love of water – based on the fact that we are made up of over 70% water. What I am really saying is that I am for the love of you, me and this planet. What a powerful idea. If we had to integrate this into our day-to-day lives how much care, respect and love there would be for each other and the environment? Isn't this the collective shift we would like to see for ourselves and other species?'

ODYSSEY 130 • 



along with branching flow patterns that

LOW is indeed about just such a

water takes, is actually the lowest

collective shift. It was designed

energy pathway or the path of least

as an open source concept to

provide a platform to unify different

resistance. Are you going with

sectors of society around water

the flow in your life? Are you

– including government, local

following the synchronicities and

provincial and national, media and

being attuned to the path of least

civil society, in a decentralised

resistance? What's fascinating is

approach, using nature as our

to explore this in your own life. If

model, measure and mentor.

you listen you can feel when there our

are barriers to flow and how to be

love for water, this serves as

more attuned to the flow and find

a stepping-stone to live a more

your way.





heart-based way of living. Water

What does it mean, to be in

is the ultimate leveler and reminds

flow in your life? Are you spinning

us how vulnerable we are. FLOW

in a vortex? Are you stuck in

also seeks to bring awareness

an eddy? Are you piled up with

to the systemic nature of water

debris? Are you rushing along in

and how it connects all segments

a smooth current? As soon as you

of life including our modern day

can release the need for control


and trust in the whole perhaps


then we are in flow?

health, sanitation and agriculture. FLOW is not just an opportunity

Bruce Lee said: 'Be like water

to unify around our love for water.

making its way through cracks. Do

We can also take it one level

not be assertive, but adjust to the

deeper to see what we can learn

object, and you shall find a way

from water specifically in terms

around or through it. If nothing

of its qualities. For example how

within you stays rigid, outward

does water actually FLOW?

things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless.

Vortex flowform

Shapeless, like water. If you put

Water moves in a natural vortex

water into a cup, it becomes the

flowform and so does the blood

cup. You put water into a bottle

in our bodies as it moves to and

and it becomes the bottle. You

from our heart and around our

put it in a teapot, it becomes the

bodies. If you look at the patterns that our blood makes

teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water,

moving into and out of our hearts – it's very similar to

my friend.'

the patterns you find in the flow of water in natural

And so recognising that our natural state is FLOW

water courses. The movement or flow of water and the

requires a deep trust and alignment – and a realisation

flow of blood in our hearts is in resonance through these

that we are indeed a part of nature, in resonance with

forms. So we may deduce that our heart, where our love

nature. The flow of water on earth and in our blood is

is centred, is in resonance with the flow of water in our

reflected in unity by the patterns of flow of the large and


small in our universe. Most of all it is reflected in the flow

We are, then, quite effortlessly at one and in love with water. This same pattern is revealed in the spiral galaxies and the movement patterns of electrons that make up the atoms of our being.

through our hearts – reminding us all that in love, we are very much in unity and in the harmonious flow of life. I invite you to share your story of FLOW in your life using the #forloveofwater handle. O

The flow of water reveals more about flow in our lives too. Constructal theory shows that the vortex flowforms,

For more info visit

ODYSSEY 131 • 



WATCH THIS! The Journey Of Water

Know your footprint

Do you know where your water comes from? Visit www. to find out where your water comes from wherever you are in SA. This site will also provide you with information on the threats facing your water source and what you can do to save water at home.

Top 10 Water Tips

Cape Town named SAs Earth Hour Capital

International experts have selected Cape Town as SA’s Earth Hour Capital in recognition of the city’s actions to address climate change. The title is awarded as part of the global Earth Hour City Challenge, a collaborative effort between the WWF and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, which aims to highlight and reward cities that are prepared to make substantial long-term efforts to combat climate change. 'We are exceptionally proud of Cape Town’s contribution to building a sustainable future that both protects the environment and improves the lives of citizens of SA,' says WWF-SA CEO Morné du Plessis. Cape Town is one of 33 finalist cities competing for this year’s Global Earth Hour City title from among 163 entrants, six of them South African. Having selected national Earth Hour Capitals for each of the participating 14 countries, the expert jury will scrutinise the information supplied by finalist cities to identify the overall Earth Hour Capital. The title will be awarded at the Earth Hour City Challenge Conference and Awards Ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, in conjunction with the international conference GLOBE 2014.

ODYSSEY 132 • 


1 Be aware of your direct water footprint. Conduct a water audit at home, determine your monthly water use from your municipal bill and set goals to become more water efficient. Monitor your use and keep track of your progress. 2 Fix leaks at home and report public water leaks to your local municipality. An estimated 37% of water is lost from leaks in urban supply systems and last year, water leaks costs SA about R7.2bn. 3 Make your garden water-wise by planting indigenous, drought-resistant plants which require minimal watering. Additionally, only water your garden very early in the morning or after sunset to reduce unnecessary evaporation. 4 Channel rain water from gutters into your garden and swimming pool and invest in a rain water tank. Using rain water minimises the losses from piped systems and this is untreated so has a lower carbon-footprint. 5 Install a grey-water system and recycle water at home. Generally, 40-60% of household water is used for non-essential purposes, such as watering gardens and filling swimming pools. 6 Ditch the bottled water. It takes 3l of tap water to make 1l of bottled water. Overall, SA has world-class quality drinking water so only drink bottled water if you are travelling or unsure about the quality of water in your area. For more info on the quality of water in your town, visit 7 Do not pour toxic paint, solvents, chemicals, poisons or pesticides into stormwater, sewer drains or normal rubbish. Find out where your nearest hazardous waste site is and dispose of polluting substances responsibly. 8 Identify and remove invasive alien vegetation from your garden and local wetland. Protect and keep your local freshwater ecosystems pollution-free. If you see someone polluting water call the Blue Scorpions. 9 Be water-wise and purchase water-efficient devices and water-saving appliances. Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher and washing machine to save water and energy. 10 Cut down your food waste. We consume most water we use, indirectly, through the food we eat and things we buy. For instance: to produce one kilogram of beef requires 50 000-100 000l of water. A glass of beer requires 170l water to be produced, a litre of milk 1 000l and a pair of jeans 11 000l.

World Water Week 2014 World Water Week (WWW) takes place in Stockholm, 31 August-5 September and is hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). World Water Week has been the annual focal point for the globe's water issues since '91. Every year, SIWI provides a platform for over 200 collaborating organisations to convene events at the event. In addition, individuals from around the globe present their findings at the scientific workshops. and Download the Overarching Conclusions of the World Water Week 2013, here.



Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.


Steve Maraboli

Anders Berntell, Director, Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden

series ODYSSEY 134 • 



'If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you", that would suffice.' These words by the German philosopher Meister Eckhart remind us of the profound power of gratitude and why it is at the centre of almost all forms of spiritual practice. Pam Lancaster, a master practitioner at Miraval, reminds us that the ability to experience and express gratitude opens the heart, and more surprisingly, even the brain, since it re-orders the patterns in which our neurons fire, directing them to more automatically seek positive emotions.

ul living

ODYSSEY 135 • 



ratitude helps us to understand that our existence

We may move through many levels of happiness

is a gift – it is so powerful, and yet so simple,

within the course of a lifetime, or even a week, but the

that it's one of the greatest healers we can

good news is that each time we experience joy, our body

invite into our lives. In the most basic sense, gratitude

remembers it. Our central nervous system then has the

begins with an appreciation for the world around us,

memory to draw upon, making us more likely to find that

an emotion that can be literally felt in the heart centre.

blissful state again. It's widely acknowledged that trauma

It's an expansive feeling that reminds us that we're part

can be stored in the body, where it is readily retriggered,

of something bigger than our selves, whether it's the

with the effects becoming more powerful each time they

community right outside our door or nature all around

are drawn to the surface, but the states of balance, joy,

us. Humans are energetic beings, and the same divine

appreciation and wholeness work the same way.

purpose is pulsating through us all. Gratitude allows us to

While we might understand our trauma triggers and

feel this interconnection and makes us become, in turn,

devise strategies to avoid reactivating them, few of us

more generous of spirit. When we begin to value our own

think about what we can do to consciously evoke positive

existence as a gift, it's an easy step to see that all life

memories and the 'vibration' around them. By consciously

forms are part of that same gift and to look for ways we

connecting to the gratitude you feel for an experience,

can be of service to our fellow beings. We expand beyond

the body/mind continuum instils a frame of reference

focusing on our own desires and problems and begin to

that enhances our awareness and trust for that vibration.

see that every experience is there to teach us something.

This stimulates our ability to recognise that vibration with

Even challenges and difficulties have a morsel of wisdom

more ease. In other words, once you've acknowledged

that we can choose to utilise. When we really embrace

joy, really luxuriated in it and expressed gratitude for

gratitude, our lens gets bigger, and we can show up in

the experience, you know what it feels like and the

the world as beings of love, integrity, inspiration, and joy.

circumstances that took you there. So in the future your

If there's such a thing as a spiritual short-cut, it

mind, body, and spirit will recognise the cues earlier and

probably lies in those two magic words found in all

return to that state of joy faster, much like it's easier to

human language: thank you. The ability to recognise

retrace the steps of a journey you've taken many times

the good things in life and express gratitude for them


is the key to mental health and our most direct path to an optimism set-point, a level of joy that comes naturally

The vibrational energy of nature

no matter what our circumstances, and spontaneous

Nature helps us reboot, so one of the simplest ways to

appreciation is certainly more automatic for some people

reconnect with the joy-based parts of our brain is to

than for others. But think of it like flexibility; we may have

spend time outdoors. Just a short walk outside can have

an innate range of motion, but we can certainly practice

a healing effect if we're fully connected to the sensory

stretching ourselves within that range, and likewise, we

experiences. The colours, the textures, the smells and

can all strive to stay at our highest possible levels of

sounds will stimulate our energy centres. Remember

gratitude and joy.

how earlier we spoke of gratitude as being a sense of

happiness. Admittedly, research suggests that we all have

Our body remembers joy

ODYSSEY 136 • 


interconnectedness and seeing that we're part of a larger whole? Nothing connects us to that wider world faster

Since joy and gratitude are so closely linked, one of the

or more pleasurably than spending time in nature. In a

ways to develop our capacity for gratitude is to expand

vibrational sense, we become attuned with the plants,

our capacity for joy. As a culture, we spend a lot of time

the sun, and the animals – and they remind our body

and energy alternately chasing happiness and wondering

of its own innate intelligence and ability to heal. In

if it's even possible. The reality is that it's less about

nature, everything has a vibration that encourages the

seeking joy than it is about developing our ability to

human body to be vibrant, so it counterbalances the

en-joy, less about the circumstances of our life and more

pressure of modern life, where we are often surrounded

about how we perceive them. Rather than thinking of joy

by unnatural vibrations: electrical appliances, computers,

as a beautifully wrapped gift we can hold in our hands,

cell phones, TVs, social media. We're around beeping,

it's more helpful to think of developing our ability to enjoy

ringing, buzzing machines all day, to the degree that I

the small activities of each day.

recently saw a report that city birds were becoming so

affected by all the cell phone noise that they're beginning to sing ringtones. All this artificial vibrational stimulation has numbed us out as a culture and left us overwhelmed. If even the birds are confused, it's not surprising that we humans are disconnected from the more subtle energies of nature. But time spent outside in solitude and silence can restore our equilibrium with surprising ease. If you work in a city, eating lunch in a quiet, tucked-away corner of a park can have a calming effect, and if even this sort of respite isn't available, meditations that guide you to imagine yourself in a peaceful place create many of the same benefits of actually being in that place. There's a reason why so many gratitude meditations, including the one described later in this chapter, begin with a visualisation of walking through a beautiful outdoor setting. We have to consciously create chances for the body to discharge tension because most of us can't count on naturally finding them amid our daily lives. To add to the problem, this constant low-grade stress is a relatively new phenomenon, and our bodies haven't yet developed skills for coping with it. Just as the brain evolved to recognise danger, it also learned how to recognise when the danger has passed. With regards our ancestors, once the predator was gone – either because he'd been outrun or defeated, the human would relax completely – and the generated flight-or-flight hormones would leave his system. In today's world, where stress is more chronic, we have to devise ways to help our body release stored tension. Being in nature – walking on the earth, feeling the sun, exchanging gases with the plants around us – restarts the natural energy flow. I'm not talking about wearing headphones for music, or taking a friend so you'll have someone to talk to, or training for a marathon and constantly monitoring your time. It's easy to be outside and still not notice, much less appreciate, your surroundings. I'm talking about taking some time every day to connect with the natural world and let it work its magic upon you. Our bodies crave these chances to recycle energy and purge tension. They need an energy that is greater in mass and in openness to help them do this, but it can happen with ease and grace if we put ourselves in the right environment.

How do we extend gratitude throughout our daily lives? Because of the cyclic nature between the two qualities, accessing joy can lead us to gratitude, but expressing gratitude can also lead us to joy. While it's always good to employ nature, meditation, and integrative therapies to open the joy centre, it's equally effective to start with acts of

All acts on behalf of others are actually acts of gratitude, and all expressions of gratitude are a form of mindfulness meditation, because when you're focusing on the good things in life you aren't obsessing about the past or fretting about the future.

ODYSSEY 137 • 


gratitude and trust that they will likewise expand the heart. As we've discussed earlier, acts of appreciation are more automatic for some people than others, but we can all develop our capacity for gratitude. It may sound hokey and overdone, but keeping a gratitude journal is a self-help cliché for a very important reason: it works. In one psychological study, participants were divided into three groups and told to keep journals for nine weeks. The first group described things they were grateful for, the second described things that annoyed them, and the third wrote down neutral events about which they had either mixed feelings or none at all. Not surprisingly, at the end of the study the gratitude group unanimously reported feeling better about their lives. A gratitude journal doesn't have to be elaborate. Simply keep a notebook by your bed, and each night list five things that happened that day for which you're grateful. If you also start each day with a gratitude meditation, as in the example below, you're essentially bookending your day with appreciation. Our brain may be programmed to always be looking for the mastodon on the horizon, but we can reprogram it to become

dramatic peak experiences, and so we may lose sight of the abundance all around us and the many blessings

mastodon on the horizon. A gratitude journal can

meditation is our chance to pause, take a breath, and

not only note the good things in life, for which you

acknowledge that everything we could possibly need is

are becoming more consciously grateful, but can

already here.

also serve to remind us that the vast majority of

Our gratitude meditation begins by settling in and taking

our worries and dark predictions don't come true.

a few slow, conscious breaths. When your body has

Other ways we can develop our gratitude muscle involve other people. For a week, focus on passing along only good news instead of bad, thus turning potential gossip into a celebration of other people's accomplishments. Since discontent can be contagious, socialise with people who are upbeat

begun to relax, picture a beautiful spot in nature. It may be somewhere you've actually visited, or it may be an imagined mountain path, open meadow, or seashore. Ask yourself 'What am I grateful for?' and note the first thing that arises to mind, whether it seems grand or small. Ask the question again, and then again, allowing a flow of images and faces to come to you. Simply saying 'I am

rather than complainers. Send a letter or make a

grateful for...' over and over may constitute your entire

call to a teacher who encouraged you in the past,

meditation, but if you get stuck or your mind begins to

a mentor who showed you the ropes, or a coach

drift, it can be helpful to contemplate certain categories

who helped you develop discipline. Saying grace

of blessings.

before a meal is a wonderful gratitude practice and

The first can be people: your ancestors, your parents

can be a simple but effective means of fostering

who have given you life; teachers who have inspired you;

appreciation in your children, especially if you not only express thanks for the food but for all the farmers, truck drivers, grocers, and cooks who


culture sometimes defines spirituality only in terms of

that are present in every moment of the day. A gratitude

also worth a moment of gratitude.


In our busy lives, we often take things for granted. Our

equally aware that on most days there isn't a

A day without illness, crime, debt, and disaster is


Meditation for Gratitude

family members who have provided an extended network of support; gratitude for your friends, co-workers, spouse or lover, children, pets; and for the citizens of the world.

helped to bring it to your table. Finally, helping others can be one of the surest ways to develop appreciation for how lucky you are. After a day volunteering, we're more likely to appreciate the food on our table, the ease with which our bodies move, our sight and hearing, our access to education, and the closeness of our families. And while we're helping others, the benefits to our own life are immeasurable. Studies show that three things have the ability to increase our lifespan: exercise, volunteering, and belief in a higher power (whether this belief is expressed by attending a house of worship or through prayer and meditation). But of this life-extending trifecta, helping others does the most to help us too. Older people who volunteer are 44% less likely to die each year than those who don't, surpassing even the 30% lifespan increase earned by exercising or sustaining a religious

Or you might focus your gratitude on your body, thanking it for all it does for you, how it supports you, moves you, and allows you to sense the world. Extend the gratitude slowly and methodically from top to bottom, thanking the eyes that see and the ears that

practice. Service to others doesn't mean you have to make a grand gesture, like selling your home and joining the Peace Corps. Small consistent acts can awaken gratitude, especially if they're performed with consciousness. Donate blood,

hear, and moving your appreciation all the way down to

hold the door for someone, walk your elderly

the feet that support you as you walk across the earth.

neighbour's dog, pay a co-worker a compliment,

Another route is to let your mind move through the

or bring your spouse a cup of coffee. Or here's a

events of your day, expressing gratitude for each one.

bold thought: even if it's for just a few minutes,

You awakened in a comfortable bed, with a roof over

give a friend or your child the gift of your full,

your head. Your legs were strong enough to carry you to the sink where you found an unlimited supply of fresh water. Express gratitude for the food you had for breakfast, the car that carried you to work, your safe passage across town, the fact you have a job, the people you know there. When you mindfully play a mental tape of all the activities of your day, you will see there are unlimited blessings contained even in a

undivided attention. All acts on behalf of others are actually acts of gratitude, and all expressions of gratitude are a form of mindfulness meditation, because when you're focusing on the good things in life you aren't obsessing about the past or fretting about the future. There's no one perfect way to gain enlightenment, but if I had to name just one thing that will open

simple act like going grocery shopping or driving your

your heart every time,

kids to school.

I would say that it's

After spending a few minutes in this way, expressing


appreciation and thanking life for the many blessings it has given you, gradually allow your breath to deepen, and begin to stir. You might want to set the intention that you will spend the rest of the day more mindful of the beauty around you and more appreciative of the people and opportunities that come into your life.

For more info click here. Mindful Living is published by Hay House and available here.

ODYSSEY 139 • 



Pan-seared Duck Makes 4 servings 4 duck breasts, trimmed of fat and sinew ½ c. Granny Smith Apple Chipotle Chutney (recipe below) 1 medium roasted sweet potato, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick ½ tsp Miraval Oil Blend (3:1 mix of canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil) 1


tsp Kosher salt


tsp freshly ground black pepper


Directions: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly season the duck breasts on both sides with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the duck and ¼ teaspoon oil; sear on both sides for 1½ minutes each, turning once. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 4 minutes, then flip the duck over and continue cooking until medium rare, about 4 more minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and let rest in the pan for 3 minutes. Preheat a sauté pan over high heat. Lightly season sweet potato slices with kosher salt & pepper and place in sauté pan with remaining oil, searing on both sides until crispy and brown, about 1½ minutes per side. Use a spatula to turn them so they don't crumble. To serve, place the sweet potato slices in the middle of each plate and cut the duck into thin slices on a bias. Arrange the duck slices on top of the sweet potatoes, spoon 1 tablespoon of the chutney over the top of the duck and serve.

Granny Smith Apple & Chipotle Chutney Makes 1 cup; Serving Size: 2 tablespoons ¾ cup peeled, seeded, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apple 2 Tbsp thinly sliced dried apricot 2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice 1 tsp minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce Pinch mustard seeds Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and the liquid is reduced by three-quarters in volume, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm until needed or refrigerate for up to one week. Extracted from Mindful Living, published by Hay House and available here.

ODYSSEY 140 • 


ODYSSEY 141 • 




ODYSSEY 142 • 


us Klip

Just over an hour's drive from Cape Town, Bartholomeus Klip welcomes you with its wonderfully restored Victorian homestead, friendly staff and peaceful country atmosphere. Resident chef Louise Gillett (who has recently published her first cookbook) serves excellent, imaginative food with a focus on local produce and award-winning wines from the region. Odyssey Magazine visited recently. This is our report.


his renowned getaway, located in the scenic Riebeek Valley just a bit further than a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of Cape

Town, is on a little more than 4 000ha of private nature reserve which boasts over 500 head of game, a working farm, wheatlands, flocks of sheep and a buffalo breeding project. No more than 10 guests are present at a time, so quietude and serenity come with the package. Despite the numerous activities available either on the farm itself or nearby, which range from walking, hiking and mountain biking to canoeing and bird-watching, many visitors go to Bartholomeus Klip for the peace and quiet in elegantly rural comfort. Bartholomeus Klip offers an outstanding base for further exploration of the Cape's Winelands. There is a long history of hospitality at Bartholomeus Klip, which shows in the welcoming smiles that greet guests and the relaxed atmosphere of the homestead. We were encouraged to make the house our own, which we did, taking seats in one of

ODYSSEY 143 • 


the reception rooms where an open fire crackled in the fireplace while we browsed through a wide selection of coffee table and reference books on everything from the San, First Peoples of this land, to the healing plants of the fynbos kingdom. The farmhouse has a feeling of longstanding solidity, an anchor into the land away from the crazy lifestyle of the city which most of us experience. It's hard to say how much one can enjoy just stopping and sitting on the broad verandah that winds around the house, enjoying late afternoon winter sunshine. There are four double rooms with bathrooms in the beautifully-furnished farmhouse and one separate suite outside, with its own secluded verandah looking over the veld and up to the mountains which lie beyond. Finishes everywhere are luxurious and stylish, with crisp cotton bedding, elegant fabrics and Victorian-style bathrooms.

The reserve, which was established in the '70s, has

You can explore the unique blend of agriculture

abundant herds of eland, springbuck, black wildebeest,

and conservation, and learn about the buffalo and

zebra and bontebok, as well as other animals, such as

quagga breeding projects on the farm. Cycle through

baboons, bat-eared foxes, lynxes, and smaller species

the farmlands or the reserve, canoe or windsurf on the

of antelope. Several different leopards have been

lake-sized dam, swim in the circular salt-water pool, go

photographed in the reserve by trail cameras, usually

birdwatching, or hike through the wonderful variety of

at night time.

the fynbos. Or, perhaps best of all, just switch off and

Although fynbos in this region is naturally poor in

absorb the timeless peace of Bartholomeus Klip. That's

birdlife, there are some ostrich, once farmed here in

what we did – aside from reading up on Bushmen,

large flocks at the height of the ostrich feather boom

healing plants and related matters.

in the 1870s, which today are one of the leopard's

But if you feel the need, there are many different

favourite foods. The magnificent black eagle (correctly

things to do at Bartholomeus Klip. Mountain bikes are

known as Verreaux's eagle) nests in the mountains,

provided for cycling through the reserve or along the

and the enormous dam near to the farmhouse has a

farm roads through the wheatfields, and there are plenty

spectacular array of water birds; some resident like the

of wonderful routes to choose for walks. They also,

fish eagles and the kingfishers, and others, such as the

almost uniquely in this area, offer archery, which is, not

pelicans and the spoonbills, being less regular visitors.

surprisingly, proving very popular.

Flamingos have also been seen in some of

Down at the dam guests can take to the water in

Bartholomeus Klip's smaller dams and there are a host

canoes and kayaks, or go windsurfing, freshwater fishing

of interesting large and small birds out in the reserve

or bird watching.

and on the wheatlands, including large flocks of the blue

Most guests take advantage of morning and evening

crane, SA's national bird.

nature drives through the reserve with experienced

Perhaps the most important inhabitant of the reserve,

rangers, where there is always something different to

however, is a far smaller creature: the endangered

discover. We have to admit that we did not – simply

geometric tortoise, one of the world's rarest reptiles,

relaxing and destressing were the main points on our

safe here in its last remaining viable habitat near Cape

agenda during our all-too-brief visit; along with enjoying


some really scrumptious food, of course.

If you can make the time and if there's space

For the more roving types, some of the most

available, do not hesitate to go visit the place and its

picturesque parts of the Cape are all in easy reach,

friendly folk. We can recommend this getaway as among

including Riebeek Kasteel and Tulbagh, as well as the up

the very best we have experienced anywhere. O

and coming wineries of the Swartland or, slightly farther afield, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

ODYSSEY 144 • 


For more info visit

ODYSSEY 145 • 



Cider and fynbos-honey roasted pork Prepare the pork the day before you intend roasting it by patting it dry with paper towel, then refrigerating it uncovered in a roasting pan. This will help crisp up the skin. To prepare the pork: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sprinkle salt over the skin of the pork. Pour the olive oil and water into the previously used roasting pan. Place the pork into the roasting pan, skin side up. Bake for 20 minutes until the skin starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to 190°C and bake for another 90 minutes. The skin should be crisp and the meat succulent and pink, not bloody. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. To make the jus: In a saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat until it starts to caramelise. Add the cider and chicken stock and let the mixture boil for 20 minutes to reduce by half. Whisk in the butter before serving. The butter will give the sauce a good shine. For the apples: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Carefully score a very shallow line around the circumference of each apple; be careful not to cut through the apple’s flesh. This ensures that the apples will not burst in the oven. Place the apples in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and drizzle over the melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes until the apples are golden brown and cooked through. To assemble: Place the pork on a serving platter, drizzle over the jus and arrange the cinnamon apples on the side. Serves 8 Chef’s note: The pork’s cooking time is 20 minutes per 450 g or until the juices run clear.

Walnut pie For the pastry: Place the flour, castor sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg and pulse to combine. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a few tablespoons of water until the desired consistency is reached. Remove the pastry, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cut off two-thirds of the dough and wrap the remaining dough in clingfilm and refrigerate. Roll out the dough on the floured surface. Press the dough over the base and against the sides of a 20cm tart tin, prick the base a few times with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. To make the filling: Heat the sugar in a saucepan over low heat until it turns a caramel colour. Turn off the heat but keep the saucepan on the warmed plate and add the chopped walnuts. Add the cream while stirring continuously. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To assemble: Remove the pastry base from the fridge and evenly spread the hot cream mixture over it. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie. Place the lid over the pie and seal the edges by pinching the dough together. Prick the centre of the lid with a fork and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and decorate with walnut halves. Bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve with dollops of crème fraîche. makes 1 standard-sized pie Chef’s note: Walnuts can be substituted with pecan nuts, as they are very similar. Pecan nuts are a bit milder and sweeter than walnuts.

ODYSSEY 146 • 


Pork • • • •

3 kg rack of pork, scored salt to taste 2 Tbsp olive oil ½ cup water

Cider & honey jus • ¼ cup fynbos honey • 440 ml cider • 2 cups brown chicken stock • 50 ml chilled butter

Apples • 6 pink apples • cinnamon sugar (50g sugar mixed with • 2 tsp ground cinnamon) • 100 ml melted butter

Pastry • 175 g cake flour • 75 g castor sugar • 100 g salted butter at room temperature • 1 small egg, lightly beaten

Filling • 100 g castor sugar • 90 g walnuts, roughly chopped • 50 ml double cream

To assemble • extra walnuts, halved • crème fraîche

ODYSSEY 147 • 


company profile

make one change Quorn is one of the most widely available meat alternatives in the world. Their brand of healthy, sustainable and delicious soy-free, meat-free products has been leading 13 international markets including the UK, USA and Australia. We take a look at this solution to a growing global demand for protein that was recently launched in South Africa.


o, what is Quorn's secret? Mycoprotein – a

the same family as truffles – that grows naturally

healthy vegetarian protein that is an excellent

in soil and can be produced in a similar way to

source of dietary fibre, is low in fat and

the production of yoghurt.' According to Finnigan,

saturates and contains no cholesterol or trans fats

the discovery was ground breaking at the time, as

– is their answer. It contains all of the amino acids

although micro-organisms were used a great deal in

that are essential for adults and is low in sodium.

food production – such as yeast for bread, fungi for

It also adds an unparalleled 'meat like' texture

chocolate and cheese, as well as bacteria for milk

to food without the use of soy. This progressive

fermented products like yoghurt – this was the first

new product is unique to any other meat-free,

time it was considered as a primary ingredient.

high-protein product currently available.

The story



'potato-topped pie' sold in Sainsbury's. It quickly

Quorn's Mycoprotein was first discovered in the

became one of the country's biggest food brands,

1960's when people feared the world's food

and a household name not only in the vegetarian

production would not be able to cope with the

community but among all food lovers and healthy

expanding global population and that people would


starve. At the time a British philanthropist and


It took 20 years of intensive development before Quorn first hit the shelves in the UK in 1985 as a

businessman, Lord Rank, led a project to discover

Part of the solution

a new source of protein for human consumption.

Quorn is a sustainable, healthy alternative to meat

'The quest to discover the first new food

and soy products. 'In today's world we find ourselves

since the potato,' is how Tim Finnigan, Quorn's

in an even more pressing situation than they did

Director of Research & Development, describes

in the 60s,' says Finnigan. 'We are once again

Lord Rank's pioneering thinking. 'It was a project

facing a food security crisis fuelled by exponential

of great technical and commercial speculation,' he

global population growth and by an ever-increasing

said. 'Ultimately, this team of top scientists found

demand for meat, especially from the East. The

Mycoprotein, a tiny member of the fungi family –

world's population is expected to increase even

more dramatically, from 6 billion today to nine billion, by 2050,' he said. 'The greenhouse gases from the production of ruminant livestock (cows & sheep) is estimated to be 11% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, and is expected to increase by 70% by 2050.' 'Millions of people living in poverty suffer from malnutrition, while in the first world, millions more suffer from health issues related to over consumption, bad food choices and obesity,' said Finnigan. 'What are we going to do about the 9 billion challenges we face in the next few decades? At Quorn we believe in being part of the solution.'

Environmentally-friendly & efficient The production of Quorn is more environmentally friendly than the production of meat, and it is much more efficient. Finnigan said: 'An analysis of the 'lifecycle' of the Quorn production process by the Carbon Trust concluded that Quorn pieces and Quorn mince contained significantly less embedded greenhouse gasses than the meat equivalent – and in the case of Quorn mince at least 10 times less.' And, he said, it is much more efficient to produce.

The easy, healthy alternative The Quorn range offers more than 100 products, ranging from chicken style fillets to vegetarian mince and ready-made meals, nine of which are available in South Africa. With Quorn you can lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle by enjoying foods that are tasty, wholesome and, as Quorn foods are completely meat-free, much more cost-effective than eating meat. Food lovers can enjoy all their favourite meals the healthy way, vegetarians can get the nutritional benefits of meat and dieters can reduce their fat and calorie intake in an enjoyable and sustainable manner.

Quorn is now available at selected Checkers, Pick 'n Pay, Spar and other good food stores nationwide throughout November. For more info visit click here, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. For recipes featuring Quorn product see overleaf.

ODYSSEY 149 • 


s e p i rec ODYSSEY 150 • 


Southern Style Chicken Burgers & Roasted Vegetable Wraps Serves 2

Preparation time:

10 – 15 minutes

Cooking time:

10 – 20 minutes

Total time:

20 – 35 minutes


• 250 g (1 packet) Quorn Southern Chicken Style Burgers • 1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips • 1 small red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips • 1 small courgette, cut into batons • 1/2 red onion, cut into wedges • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil • 1/3 cup (83ml) low fat Greek style yoghurt • 1 tsp (5ml) lemon zest • 2 large wraps, warmed • 1 cup (250ml) rocket leaves Method: Cook the Quorn Southern Chicken Style Burgers according to the back of pack instructions. Place peppers, courgette and onion on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 18 minutes. Combine yoghurt and lemon zest, spread over each wrap. Place some rocket down the centre of the wraps, top with cooked vegetables and sliced Quorn Southern Chicken Style Burgers, wrap to encase filling and serve. TIP: Readymade Tzatziki can be substituted for the yoghurt and lemon.

Quorn BBQ Dippers & Tangy Coleslaw Pita

Quorn Mince Bobotie

Serves 3 – 4

Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes

Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes

Cooking time:

35 – 40 minutes

Cooking time:      20 – 25 minutes

Total time:

45 – 55 minutes

Total time:          30 – 40 minutes



• 300 g (1 packet) Quorn BBQ Dippers • 1/4 head red cabbage • 1 small red onion • 1 small red chilli • 1 big handful of raisins (about 25g) • A pinch of English mustard powder (optional) • 1 tsp (5ml) runny honey • 5 tbsp (75ml) low fat Greek yoghurt • 1 lime • 4 wholewheat pita breads Method: Cook the BBQ Dippers according to the back of pack instructions. Remove and discard the woody core from the cabbage, then slice the cabbage as finely as possible and put it in a large bowl. Peel and finely slice the red onion, half, deseed and finely chop the chilli and add to the bowl along with the raisins, mustard powder, if using, and honey. Spoon in the yoghurt, squeeze over the juice of the lime and season to taste. Mix everything together and set aside. Warm the pita bread. Serve piping hot Quorn BBQ dippers, in pita bread with tangy coleslaw.

Serves: 4

• 2 slices wholewheat bread • 2 onions, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil • 300 g (1 packet) Quorn Mince • 1 Tbsp (15ml) mild curry powder • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) dried mixed herbs • 1 tsp (5ml) allspice • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fruit chutney • 1 heaped Tbsp (15ml) sultanas • 200ml homemade vegetable stock • 4 bay leaves • Freshly ground black pepper For the topping: 2 Tbsp (30 ml) fat-free milk, 2 free range eggs

Method: Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak. Meanwhile fry the onions in the olive oil, stirring regularly for 10 minutes until they are soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and then stir in the curry powder, herbs, spices, chutney, sultanas, stock and 1 of the bay leaves with freshly ground pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes then add the Quorn mince and continue to cook whilst stirring for 2 minutes. Squeeze the water from the bread and beat into the meat mixture until well blended. Tip into an ovenproof dish. Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning then pour over the meat. Top with remaining bay leaves and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

ODYSSEY 151 • 



Coconut oil

A True Superfood part i

ODYSSEY 152 • 


Coconut (Cocos nucifera) belongs to the palm family (Arecaceae). Grown in abundance in Malaysia, Polynesia and southern Asia, Spanish explorers named them cocos, meaning 'grinning face', because of the three little eyes on the base which they thought resembled a monkey. Once rare and exotic, coconut in its various forms is now easily and widely available. Coconut oil, it turns out, is one of nature' true superfoods. We take a closer look.


lassed as a fruit and frequently confused as being a 'nut', the coconut, despite its name, is actually a one-seeded drupe. In Sanskrit,

the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha – or 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living' – because nearly all parts can be used including its 'water', milk, flesh, sugar and oil. Even the husks and leaves are used as materials in furnishings and decoration. Palm trees produce coconuts up to 13 times a year and although it takes a year for the coconuts to mature, a fully blossomed tree can produce between 60-180 coconuts in a single harvest. In the past, there was strong propaganda by the corn and soy oil industries against coconut oil because it was hurting their business and their profits. Their allegations were that due to coconut oil's high saturated fat content it was harmful to one's health. Yet this oil has been used extensively in tropical countries like the Philippines, Thailand, and India for generations with no known adverse side-effects. Coconut oil was also very popular in the western countries like the US and Canada but they succumbed to the propaganda and cut back on its use, though this trend began to reverse in the last decade during which the anti-coconut propaganda was questioned and seriously looked into. What was discovered under


In the past, there was strong propaganda by the corn and soy oil industries against coconut oil because it was hurting their business and their profits. Their allegations were that due to coconut oil's high saturated fat content it was harmful to one's health. Yet this oil has been used extensively in tropical countries like the Philippines, Thailand, and India for generations with no known adverse side-effects.

close scientific review has brought back coconut oils' popularity.

Benefits So what's so good about coconut, and more particularly its oil? For one thing, it's a great source of natural electrolytes, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The health benefits of coconut oil are truly numerous, and there is not a single valid reason not to incorporate this amazing superfood into your diet.

In particular, rather than posing a heart and cardiovascular risk, as per the anti-coconut propaganda, coconut oil offers protection against high cholesterol and heart disease.

ODYSSEY 153 • 


The health benefits of coconut oil are truly numerous, so be sure to incorporate this amazing superfood into your diet

Let's begin with the propaganda mentioned above. The saturated fat in coconut oil is different from that in animal products, because it is plant-based. Used raw, unheated and sans cholesterol, it's the perfect replacement for butter in recipes. And, when heated, it has a high smoke point, which means it won't break down during normal heating. Therefore, less carcinogens are produced as well, as compared to many other oils. Coconut oil also improves digestion and is valuable to your immune system due to its antiviral and antifungal properties. The fatty acids in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily metabolised and used as energy by the body. Research suggests that these fatty acids may boost your metabolism, promote weight loss, and increase HDL, the 'good', protective cholesterol in your body. The many professed benefits and applications of coconut oil also include hair care, skin care, stress relief, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, as well as improved dental care and bone

ODYSSEY 154 • 



If the oil is in its solid form and you want to use it topically, just melt it down to its liquid form. You can do this by putting some in a small bowl and putting it in the sun, or by putting the bottle in warm water, or heating some in a container over a low heat. Under no circumstances use a microwave. A microwave will change the molecular composition, as it does with food.

strength. The benefits of coconut oil are derived in part from the presence of lauric, capric, and caprylic acids in it and the antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties inherent within the oil. Our bodies convert the lauric acid into monolaurin, which fights the viruses and bacteria associated with herpes, flu, HIV, listeria, and giardia. Despite coconut oil being more than

Coconut milk can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It's a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

90% saturated fat, most of which are medium-chain triglycerides, the lauric acid is the chief contributor to its assimilation. It also is rich in linoleic acid, oleic acid, polyphenols, which are responsible for its fragrance and taste, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, and organic sulphur. In particular, rather than posing a heart and cardiovascular risk, as per the anti-coconut propaganda, coconut oil offers protection against high cholesterol and heart disease. In general, consumption of coconut oil is linked to healthy cholesterol levels in that it tends to increase HDL cholesterol levels, while lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels. Lauric acid in coconut helps in preventing heart problems, high blood pressure and in reducing injuries in the arteries thereby effectively preventing atherosclerosis.

Energy & weight loss

Immune system Coconut oil is also a powerful immune booster, aiding the body in natural regeneration and healing from a variety of ailments without the need for drugs or surgery. Coconut oil contains the antimicrobial fats, lauric, capric, and caprylic acids, which is converted into monolaurin and that, in turn, is used for treating Candida albicans, fungal infections, athlete's food and also bacterial infections such as measles, influenza and hepatitis C. Through its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, coconut oil also protects against cancer and HIV, kills bacteria and parasites such as tapeworm, eases acid reflux, aids in regular bowel function, lowers the risk of haemorrhoid episodes, heals and relieves intestinal symptoms, soothes earaches, and protects against liver degeneration.

Coconut oil is extremely easy for you to digest due to the medium chain fatty acids, which are digested differently than other fats, and don't require much strain or use of the pancreas. The nutrients and energy from coconut oil are quickly absorbed and put to use, making it an efficient energy source. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil eliminate the bad bacteria in our digestive tract, allowing for stability and relief from constipation problems, including IBS. Rather than having to be mixed with bile from the gallbladder in order to be digested and assimilated, MCTs are absorbed directly by the liver, which converts them into a substance known as ketones, or ketoacids, that feed the brain and protect against brain atrophy. Besides helping to boost energy levels naturally, these same ketones are also believed to promote fat loss and help in the absorption of other nutrients like vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The only time the body produces ketones is when you fast or consume MCTs, which is why coconut oil is uniquely suited to

help you naturally achieve your weight-loss goals while simultaneously boosting energy levels. It is a win-win situation for those who are overweight or obese, and few foods besides coconut oil provide this dual benefit. Coconut oil promotes healthy functioning of the thyroid gland as well.

Anti-cancer food A 2006 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that regular consumption of virgin coconut oil can significantly increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes inside the body. This study and others have identified polyphenol compounds present in coconut oil as the likely active ingredient responsible for this action, which renders coconut oil as a powerful anti-cancer food.

Liver & kidneys Coconut oil reduces the work load on the liver and prevents the accumulation of fat; it helps dissolve kidney stones; it is useful in treating pancreatitis; helps with mental fatigue by massaging the head with it; it is effective in utilising blood sugar, thereby preventing and treating diabetes; because it facilitates the body's absorption of calcium, it strengthens the teeth and stops decay.

Brain Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats from coconut and other sources are not unhealthy, but are in fact needed by the body to prevent and treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Paediatrician

ODYSSEY 155 • 


and caregiver Dr Mary Newport, MD, knows first-hand how important saturated fats are for healthy brain function, having published a study in 2008 documenting her successes in treating her husband's brain degeneration with coconut oil. 'Our cells can use ketone bodies as an alternative fuel when glucose is not available,' explains Dr Newport in her groundbreaking paper. 'Brain cells, specifically neurons, are very limited, more limited than other cells, in what kinds of fuel they can use to function and to stay alive. Normally, they require glucose (sugar), but they can also use ketone bodies.' It is argued that coconut oil can stop dementia and Alzheimer's disease and maybe even reverse many other neuro-degenerative disorders by simply eating coconut-related foods. It is all backed by scientific research and touted by many natural healthcare professionals like Dr Bruce Fife and Dr Russell Blaylock. The scientific data is crystal clear – coconut foods can dramatically improve brain chemistry and cognitive function. Consuming coconut oil will not only help improve the functioning of the brain, it can also help boost memory. Memory loss and mental disorders are caused by chronic inflammation and excess oxidative stress, all of which is combated effectively with coconut oil.

Cooking Coconut oil is also a healthy oil to use for cooking, as it won't turn to a harmful, cancer-associated trans-fat at high temperatures. Being an oil and not something that would be consumed frequently in more than minute quantities, coconut oil is extremely beneficial over a long period of time. One can easily buy cold-pressed organic coconut oil and take around 20ml daily; you can add it to smoothies or mix it into yogurt.


Coconut milk Creamed coconut and coconut milk are made in a way surprisingly akin to their dairy counterparts. Coconut flesh (the white part) is grated and soaked in hot water. The coconut cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The remaining liquid is squeezed through a cheesecloth to extract a white liquid that is coconut milk. By repeating this process, the coconut milk becomes thinner. The thicker version is used for desserts and rich sauces. Thin coconut milk is used for cooking curries and soups. Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose-free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

DIY coconut milk Try making your own coconut milk from desiccated coconut, using just water and unsweetened coconut flakes. Heat the water (make sure it doesn't boil), add the flakes and blend. Pour through a colander to filter out the coconut pulp, then squeeze through a cheese cloth to filter out the smaller pieces of coconut. Use immediately or store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Coconut water Coconut milk is different to coconut water. The latter has received a great deal of attention for it's perceived health benefits, and is an important treatment for acute diarrhoea in the developing world. Research suggests the clear liquid has the same electrolyte balance found in isotonic drinks, proving useful for rehydration or after long periods of intensive exercise.

Coconut flour Coconut flour is a healthy way to add decadent coconut flavour to baked goods. As for the health benefits of coconut flour, it packs a whopping 5gms of fibre per two tablespoons (with only 2gm of total fat). Coconut flour has health benefits for people with diabetes, as adding coconut flour to baked goods lowers the resultant food's glycemic index. O For more info, see Dr Mary Newport's book Alzheimer's Disease: What If There Was A Cure?

Therapy for Alzheimer's Treatment Dr Mary T Newport at TEDxUSF

ODYSSEY 156 • 


In our next issue we will focus on some of the many other benefits of coconut oil and related products as we look at their application to hair, beauty and general household uses.

Coconut Products

Coconut Blossom Sugar

Wellness Coconut Blossom Sugar is made from the sugary sap of the coconut palm. It's a lower-GI alternative to cane sugar that gives you an anti-ageing antioxidant boost. Click here.

Coconut Water Quinn's Pure Coconut Oil

Refined coconut oil is the safest and most effective cooking oil. Use coconut oil to moisturise skin, and remove blemishes and on your hair to combat dandruff and condition. Consume coconut oil in its recommended quantities to boost energy levels and it may even assist with weight-loss. Refined coconut oil (RBD – refined, bleached and deodorised) can be used to replace vegetable oil for cooking and baking. With RBD oil all the phytonutrients have been removed so it is tasteless and odourless. Product of Mozambique.

Dis-chem Lifestyle Food

Dis-Chem Coconut Oil, available in 400ml.

Coconut water is the clear liquid that comes from the inside of whole, young green coconuts with hints of natural sweetness and nutty flavours. It is loaded with vital nutrients, amino acids, minerals and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Click here.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a distinct coconut flavour and aroma, and is a creamy, solid oil highly adaptable with many applications. Cholesterol free. Add to curries, salads, use as a substitute for butter or add to smoothies, shakes and yogurt. Click here.

Coconut Flour

Naturally low in carbohydrates and high in nutrient content, coconut flour is a healthy alternative for baking and cooking. Coconut flour is made from the meat of the coconut that has been dried and ground into four. Click here &

Coconut Shreds & Desiccated Coconut

Organic, fine desiccated coconut and coconut shreds that can be used in baking, as a snack and in cereals or other foods. Click here &

Products here are available from

ODYSSEY 157 • 


Trek Cocoa Coconut Protein Flapjack

Organic Coconut Milk Powder

Mix this Organic Coconut milk powder with water to make a nutritious vegan milk. Free of lactose, gluten, soya and cholesterol. Subtle, delicious and perfect for smoothies, hot drinks or on its own. Recommended for all ages. Consists of 50% partially defatted coconut pulp, acacia fibre (prebiotic), dehydrated rice syrup, natural vanilla and coconut flavours, and coconut flower nectar. Certified organic and proudly South African. Click here.

Treat yourself to a healthy and nutritious snack with this natural cereal bar made from real coconut chips, gluten-free oats, protein crunch and a dash of dark chocolate. Trek Protein Flapjacks are deliciously healthy, giving you an energy boost and keeping you fuller for longer. Couple that with a coconut and cocoa flavoured snack break and you have a yummy tropical delight. What’s more they’re all handmade, gluten and diary-free. Natural and made overseas. Click here.

Amaizin Organic Coconut Milk

Top seller of 2013

This organic coconut milk is dairy-free and full of flavour; perfect for various dishes, desserts and cocktails. Very thick and rich in flavour. You only need to use a small amount in a dish. Unlike anything from the supermarket. Certified organic and made overseas. Click here.

Crede Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil (also known as coconut butter), cold-pressed from the white 'meat' of the coconut, consists almost entirely of the saturated fatty acids lauric acid and myristic acid. Its unusual fatty acids profile means that coconut oil cannot contain harmful transfats, since these can only be created out of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The high content of saturated fats makes coconut oil ideal for frying, since it is extremely stable at high temperatures. Coconut oil also has a very long shelf life (up to two years). Certified organic and proudly South African. Click here.

Products on these pages are available from and are suitable for vegans

ODYSSEY 158 • 


Good Life – Organic Toasted Coconut Chips

Coconut chips are great for snacking, baking or as an ingredient in granola, trail mix, and so on. These chips are made from 100% organic coconut with nothing else added. No sulfites, sugar or preservatives. Certified organic and made overseas. Click here.

Earth Products Coconut Desiccated Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar

Produced from coconut palm blossoms, coconut sugar is a great tasting, mineral rich, low-GI cane sugar alternative. It's certified organic and unrefined and has a rich toffee like flavour. Coconut sugar can be used 1:1 as a replacement for brown sugar in any recipe. Certified organic and made overseas. Click here.

Crede Milled Coconut Flour

This pure coconut flour from Crede is the gluten-free baker's best friend. Simply use it as a substitute for ordinary flour, and whip-up a range of wholesome wheat-free baked goods your family and friends will love. Made from freshly milled coconut meal, this low-GI flour is the perfect diabetic-friendly alternative to ordinary wheat flour, and it’s suitable for those with gluten intolerance. The mild coconut flavour also makes it a firm favourite with health-conscious bakers everywhere. Natural and proudly South African. Click here.

This desiccated coconut is a product of Sri Lanka. Desiccated coconut is a rich source of lauric acid – antifungal, and antimicrobial; it's also a rich source of dietary fibre. A natural product. Click here.

Kapruka Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Kapruka Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest oils you'll find on the market, thanks to its high levels of essential fatty acids and enzymes. It's a nutritious alternative to butter, margarine and ordinary cooking oil, and it has a wonderful unique taste that makes it a favourite in the kitchen. It's also a potent natural beauty treatment for the hair and skin. Certified organic and made overseas. Click here.

Cocopure Coconut Flour

Introducing a new natural and delicious alternative to wheat and grain that is full of dietary fibre, is low-GI and is a good source of protein. Cocopure flour is the finest flour, which provides fantastic health benefits and guarantees the tastiest, low in carbohydrates baked food. Contains 31% more fibre than wheat bran and three times as much as wheat flour. Certified organic and proudly South African. Click here.

ODYSSEY 159 • 




Cocolife coconut water is nature’s most powerful natural rehydration agent and is taking the world by storm! Abundant in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, coconut water makes a wonderful energy drink. In particular, coconut water has less sugar and sodium content compared to most sports drinks, while packing more potassium, calcium, and chloride, which makes it a better choice to rehydrate, replenish and boost the body's energy levels after any strenuous activity or workout. Cocolife, through the use of the latest and most hygienic systems, is a world-class product that provides the perfect preservative-free drink for runners, sportsmen, fitness enthusiasts and children. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Great for slimmers Rehydrates naturally Rich in essential electrolytes Fat free Preservative free Cholesterol free No added sucrose More potassium than a handful of bananas A natural balance of minerals Alkalinizes your system High in Vitamins Superb for use by serious athletes Well worth getting addicted to A taste that kids love A great addition to the school lunch A nutritious low calorie alternative to fruit juices Kind to teeth

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The Natural Effect

How natural is your 'natural' food? Most people believe that 'natural' products are free of pesticides and genetically-engineered ingredients. And some people believe that 'natural' food is actually better for the environment than organic food. But the truth is a whole other matter. In fact, many of the products that claim to be 'natural' are filled with stuff you would never find in nature – including chemical additives, high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified organisms. It turns out that 'natural' and 'organic' mean very different things. Even though this video is a spoof, it makes a very important point and people could benefit from having this info.

Helpful ways to better afford organic food on a tight family budget One of the biggest complaints among ordinary families trying to eat healthy is that clean, organic food is simply too expensive, and thus out of reach for the average budget. But eating right does not have to break the bank, especially when you know what to look for and how to shop for it. Here are some helpful tips for maximising your food budget while still being able to afford the best foods for your family: Buy local. Many of the foods sold at your local farmers market are likely grown using organic methods. Take advantage of generic organic. If the grocery store is more your style, be on the lookout for store brand organic products, which are popping up all across the country. Buy in bulk. You can also look for organic items sold in bulk, as purchasing in higher volumes will almost always translate into lower costs. Grow your own food. If you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may also consider planting a few things of your own.

ODYSSEY 160 • 


VINEGAR TIPS Enjoying a salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing is one of the most popular ways to use vinegar in the kitchen. But that’s just the beginning. Regular and flavoured vinegars are versatile recipe ingredients that add flavour and distinction, and can also contribute to good health. To make basic vinaigrette salad dressing use 1 part white distilled vinegar to 4 parts oil. Make creamy vinaigrette by adding some plain or whipped cream (or dairy alternative) to a mixture of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts oil. Tenderise meat with white distilled vinegar. Use it in marinades or when slow cooking any tough, inexpensive cuts of meat. When poaching eggs, add a little white distilled vinegar to the water. The whites stay better formed. For extra tenderness with boiling ribs or stew meat add a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar.

The power of words

Most people have heard of or seen Masaru Emoto's experiments with water where he claims that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. But what about on food stuffs? A recent experiment in the States sure has the internet buzzing with interest. The sceptical family boiled white rice and put it into clean, glass canning jars. After tightly twisting on the lids, they labelled the jars 'love' and 'hate' in black permanent marker. Every day for two months they spoke to the jars conveying the emotion that was labelled on them. Phrases such as 'you are such pretty, white rice' and 'we are so glad you live here' to the jar labelled 'love', and in cruel, hateful voices said, 'you are ugly' and 'we don’t like you', among other harsh things, to the 'hate' jar. At the end of the two months, the 'love' rice was still fluffy and white – not a single trace of the black rot, but the mean, unkind, callous words turned the 'hate' rice into a soupy, disgusting mini-swamp. So how was the rice affected? The vibrations of their voices carried through the glass jar to the water in the rice and the rice responded. It sure is an eye-opener to just how very important our words are. A thoughtless word can linger in the memory, replayed over and over. Fortunately, so can a word of encouragement or praise. Both, the negative and the positive, take their effects and leave their marks. See for more.

To add a zesty new taste to fresh fruits such as pears, cantaloupe, honeydew, or others, add a splash of rice or balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately to prevent the fruit from becoming mushy. Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water containing a spoonful or two of white distilled vinegar. When boiling or steaming cauliflower, beets or other vegetables, add a teaspoon or two of white distilled vinegar to the water to help them keep their colour. This will also improve their taste, and reduce gassy elements. This also works when cooking beans and bean dishes. Make pasta less sticky and reduce some of its starch. Add just a dash of white distilled vinegar to the water as it cooks. Give some extra zest to your white sauce by adding ½ teaspoon of white distilled vinegar. Remove kitchen odours that come from burnt pots or when cooking certain foods by boiling a small amount of water with ¼ cup white distilled vinegar so that the steam circulates throughout the room. Make onion odours disappear from your hands by rubbing with white distilled vinegar. For more tips visit

ODYSSEY 161 • 


Visionary Art


South Africa

ODYSSEY 162 • 


Oliver Barnett – 'Emoto'

Origin outdoor electronic festival was held recently, which is one of the highlights on the events calendar in Cape Town. The festival has a long history of recycling almost 99% of the waste generated at their events. They have an efficient recycling team on site that work throughout the weekend and also feature recycled artwork around the venue. Here we take a look at two of the local visionary artists featured at the event.

ODYSSEY 163 • 


Top: Oliver Barnett – 'Aqualibrium' • Below: Oliver Barnett – 'Zeomorph'

ODYSSEY 164 • 


Top: Oliver Barnett – 'Saturnalia' • Below: Oliver Barnett – 'Icetrope'

ODYSSEY 165 • 


This spread: Aumega (Julian Graham)

ODYSSEY 166 • 


ODYSSEY 167 • 



Spirituality Is Key To Kids’ Happiness A professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, and his colleagues Ben Coleman and Judi Wallace have conducted a study which suggests that spirituality is key to children’s happiness. Over the past few years, scientists have been able to measure the affect of positive emotions and feelings of joy within our biology, so it is key to find out what best produces these feelings within us. 320 children aged 8-12 were assessed to examine the relationship between spirituality and happiness, from both public and private schools. You can read the full abstract and study for methods used here. The study concluded that children’s spirituality, not their religious practices (such as attending church, praying, and meditating), was strongly linked to their happiness. The results parallel studies of adult happiness and suggest strategies to enhance happiness in children. The authors found that the children who said they were more spiritual were happier. In particular, the personal (meaning and value in one's own life) and communal (quality and depth of inter-personal relationships) aspects of spirituality were strong predictors of children’s happiness. Spirituality explained up to 27% of the differences in happiness levels among children. Researchers have identified many ways in which spirituality enhances and promotes subjective well-being. One of these ways of enhancing well-being is to increase personal meaning in one’s life. Spirituality may produce a sense of meaning that is worth living or dying for. Next time you are feeling down ask yourself, is this feeling coming from a place where you feel you are lacking something? Because the truth is, all you need is within you, and it has been there all along. For the full article click here

ODYSSEY 168 • 


Mister Sengi's Very Big Friend

Charles de Villiers, Illustrated by David du Plessis Random House Struik • 978 1 7758 4010 7

This heart-warming bedtime story about an elephant-shrew, Mister Sengi, and his quest for greater stature, takes children on a magical moonlight tour through the bushveld. Encounters with animals both helpful and menacing carry the reader on to the fairy-tale ending, which sees Mister Sengi safely tucked up in bed. This companion volume to David du Plessis' earlier Mister King's Incredible Journey (also pictured above) will enchant children with its delightful illustrations. Du Plessis' carefully observed animals evoke both the peace and the terror of the bushveld, and the captivating images will become firm favourites with small children. Sure to become a regular choice at bedtime. The 'Activity Book' (sold seperately) has 32 pages of pictures to colour and puzzles to solve, as well as a double-page spread of colourful stickers that aims to promote recognition of shapes, patterns and sequences; develop hand-eye co-ordination; introduce numbers and letters; offer an assemble-it-yourself paper toy; impart some basics about sengis and other bushveld life; and generally fosters a regard for nature. There are also links to a website where further puzzles can be downloaded to prolong the fun. Click here for more.

Small Voices, Big Dreams 2013 A global survey of children’s views on peace, violence, heroes and happiness. The fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance, is one of the most comprehensive polls of children's views in the world. Last year's survey asked 6 499 children in 47 countries about their views on peace, violence, heroes and happiness. Says Jim Emerson, Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance: 'It is clear from the results that the 6 499 children who participated are not cocooned from the effects of violence that exist in their respective countries. At just 10-12 years of age, they are aware of its causes and have considered views on how they would prevent violence in their communities.' This graph, right, shows a few of the results from the survey with developing countries represented as green, and developed as blue.

ODYSSEY 169 • 



Just do it. I'm sure Nike, the Greek Goddess of victory, will be happy to help you take action to realise your dreams, desires and purpose.

The Goddess Bootcamp Would Our Legacy Survive? Richard Graupner Balboa Press/Hayhouse ISBN 978 1 4525 5550 8 Richard is a chemical engineer, a reiki master and body talk practitioner. His life views are influenced by the wisdom of ancient civilisations, energy knowledge and philosophy. This book is a novel about what life would be like after a global cataclysm similar to the ones which have been speculated to befall ancient civilisations before us. The writer is intrigued with how humanity will react to such changes, and thereby, the story incorporates powerful lessons that Richard believes mankind is ignoring at its own peril. The writer also assures the reader that this book will not leave you unaffected. The protagonist is a woman based on the writer's daughter, who they deem to be 'supremely blessed to have in their lives'.

The Goddess Bootcamp

Kagiso Msimango MF Books/Jacana ISBN 978 1 9206 0104 1 Subtitled: 'Okay Is A Four-Letter Word. You Are Meant For More'. 'There are two types of woman – goddesses and doormats' (Pablo Picasso), is quoted on the cover. Kagiso wanted to: 'Write a book for woman, the world's greatest untapped resource, to give them permission and a very practical way to claim their song and belt it louder than Aretha.' This book promises to empower, inspire and support you to upgrade your life, to one filled with pleasure, passion and purpose. An endorsement quotes: 'This book feeds part of yourself you didn't even know

ODYSSEY 170 • 


was starving; you will not just get what you want from life but what you didn't even know you needed.' Some chapters include: Happen to Life; Change Only You; It's Not All You; Free Your Heart; Exalt Your Body; Say 'Yes' to Life; Learn to Receive Graciously; Say 'Yes' to Pleasure; Travel Light; Mind Your Language; Love You More; Remember Yourself; Live on Purpose; Just Do It, and Commit to You. 'If you are broken, depressed and in need of rescuing, then this book is not for you. If, however, you are okay, fine, not bad, and/or alright, then you need The Goddess Bootcamp,' says Kagiso.

Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life's Magic Mike Dooley

Beyond Words/Atria Books ISBN 978 1 5827 0314 5 Dooley is the NY Times bestselling author of Infinite Possibilities, has had his work translated in 25 languages and featured in the acclaimed DVD The Secret. 'You can't know where the Universe will enter your affairs – only that it will. So, pitch your pitches, take baby steps and enjoy the journey.' The author offers a step-by-step strategy for channelling our energies to bring about major life changes. Chapters include: Understand Your Power; Chart Your Course; Take Action and Delegate; Leverage the Universe; Align Your Beliefs; Engage the Magic and Adjust Your Sails. Subscribe to his inspirational mailer, Notes from the Universe here – for example, 'Patience isn't about knocking on one door until the dang thing opens. It's about knocking on all the doors' and, 'When pondering the vastness of the cosmos from where you now sit, please keep in mind that it goes even further inward than outward. Yep, you're deep.'

On the Great Leap of consciousness in the '60s: In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make (Beatles).

The Shamanic Path to Quantum Consciousness

You Can Only Achieve What Is Possible Dawn Mellowship

O Books • ISBN 978 1 8469 4109 2 Subtitled: 'A Self-help "Antidote" to our Self-help Culture'. Dawn is a journalist for a health and lifestyle magazine, ethical stylist and reiki teacher. 'Nothing is without a price and the price we must accept, or else, we heighten our own suffering and become burdened with our regret. Without the guidance of our souls we are left out in the cold. The world is a dark and lonely place. If our souls guide our existence we are richer than all the gold, we have love, compassion and genuine happiness,' says Dawn. This book is well worth picking up as the author's approach cuts to core issues in a no-nonsense way, imbued with spiritualism, noticeable from her experience in energy work. 'It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities' (Josiah Charles Stamp). 'God wants us to cherish, love and nurture ourselves. We become closer to God by thinking and living the right way. This amounts to following our intuitive guidance,' says the author.

Awakening the Planetary Mind Barbara Hand Clow Bear & Co ISBN 978 1 5914 3134 3 Subtitled: Beyond the Trauma of the Past to a New Era of Creativity. Barbara is a ceremonial teacher and author of The Mayan Code, The

Pleidian Agenda, Alchemy of Nine Dimensions and Liquid Light of Sex. Like most Bear & Co books, this is very well-researched and contains a wealth of information. Subjects covered include: the cycles of the stars; the Great Cataclysm and the Fall; the bicameral brain and the Sphinx; the story of the Prediluvial World; geomancy and primordial memory; Catal Hüyük and Noah's flood; the fallen angels and the stones of the Ica; the stargate conspiracy, the Kosmokrater, Goddess alchemy and the Heliopolitan mysteries. On bringing the divine into everyday life: 'The archetypes that filter divine forces into this world reveal themselves by art and symbolism, the library of collective human evolution that links us to the divine realms,' says the author. This deeply shamanic work will resonate with those that have an interest in arcane history and indigenous wisdom. Highly recommended.

The Shamanic Path to Quantum Consciousness Laurent Huguelit

Bear & Co • ISBN 978 1 5914 3167 1 Subtitled: 'The Eight Circuits of Creative Power'. Laurent is a shamanic practitioner and teacher, founder of L'Outr-Monde centre for shamanic practice and a member of the European faculty of the Foundation of Shamanic Studies. This book is 'dedicated to tomorrow's shamans for whom all this will no doubt be self-evident'. The author views reality through the lens of the eight circuits of power, first

ODYSSEY 171 • 


Paulo's Column

at the

Robert Fisk at the Internazionale a Ferrara festival

ODYSSEY 172 • 


the front

'Robert Fisk, maybe today's most famous war correspondent, told me one day that as he returned from the Iran-Iraq front by train, one of the soldiers asked him: "Did you like the war? It is great, isn't it?" Journalists who risk their lives to cover armed conflicts around the world have always intrigued me,' says Paulo Coelho. In this column he wonders what leads them to risk their lives to such extent in their profession.


hristina Lamb, from the Sunday Times, interviewed

two children, a country house. While they are occupied by

me one day. When I found out she was a

that, they are like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they

foreign correspondent in Afghanistan we ended

don't think, just keep moving forward. They purchase a

up changing roles: I began asking the questions. Christina

car, sometimes even a Ferrari. They believe that is where

served as a thread to one of the main characters of my

the meaning of life is, they just never question it. But in

book The Zahir, but it was another foreign correspondent,

spite of everything, their eyes show a sadness they don't

also in charge of covering Afghanistan, who told me about

even know they have. Are you happy?'

a conversation she had with her husband. On a nice

'I don't know.'

Sunday morning in London, she told him her decision:

'I do not know either, if everybody is unhappy. People

'I want to be a war correspondent.'

are always busy: working beyond hours, taking care of

'You are crazy. You don't need that. You are working

their children, of their husbands, of their career, of the

on what you want, you earn well enough and even

diploma, of what to do tomorrow, what needs to be

beyond your needs for living.'

bought, of what it is necessary not to feel inferior, and so

'Let's say then, I need to be on my own.'

on. In short, just a few people told me: "I am unhappy."

'Is it because of me?'

The majority says, "I am great, I got everything I desired."

'No. I love my man and he loves me.'

So I ask: "What makes you happy?" The answer: "I have

'So what is this story about war, in a forgotten place

everything we dream of – family, home, work, health."

of the world? Don't you have everything?'

I insist: "So then life's meaning is work, family, children

'I do, I do have everything a woman may desire.'

– who will grow and leave you – wife or husband – and

'What then, is wrong in your life?'

will become more friends than true people in love. And

'That is exactly it. I have everything but I am

work will end one day. What will you do if this happens?"

unhappy. I am not the only one: all through these years, I lived with or interviewed several types of people: rich,

Answer: There is no answer. They change subjects.' 'But why this story about going to war?'

poor, powerful, laid back. In all eyes that crossed mine,

'Because I think at war, humankind is at its limit, one

I read an endless bitterness. An unhappiness that they

can die the next day. Your outlook changes. Everything

not always accepted, but it was there, regardless of what

changes. We are capable of the most barbarian and

they were saying.'

heroic actions.'

'Nobody is happy, in your opinion?' 'Some people seem happy: they simply don't think about it. Other ones make plans: have a husband, a home,

I don't know if it is a good explanation. But it is the explanation of my friend, who at the moment I write this column, is back on the front in Afghanistan. O

©Translated by James Mulholland • Travel with Paulo through his blogs, visit

ODYSSEY 173 • 




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'Most people see the world as a threatening place and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.' - Paulo Coelho ODYSSEY 175 • 


Odyssey Magazine - issue 1, 2014 LO-RES  

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