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ODYSSEY Issue 1 • 2018

Conscious Lifestyle Digimag

HERE COMES

THE POLAR SHIFT ODYSSEY 1 • 

DIGIMAG


2nd Southern African Con 17-18 november 2018 | cape town, south africa

Dear Colleagues, it is an exciting time for integrative medicine, as we emerge from a rough initiatory few years into a time of exponential expansion, which is pioneering growth, innovation and adaption in healthcare globally. The objective is to facilitate the advancement of science and research and providing advice on new policy. Whether you're a patient or a practitioner, we invite you to join this growing community in our mission to promote safe, effective, evidence-based, holistic, patient-centred health care. Integrative Medicine recognises the holistic and unique nature of human-beings, which encompasses physio-energetic information systems. It investigates the multi-factoral causes of disease. In this approach the practitioner and the sick individual form a team working towards an integrated protocol of management best suited for that person. The priority is to support health using the least invasive and most natural approach; this does not exclude symptomatic treatment of disease, where appropriate. The theme of this year's conference has therefore aptly been named: "Pioneering the Future of Healthcare", and we look forward to bringing you some of the cutting edge innovations in IM as well as providing you with some new clinical pearls to take home to practice. IM is now more than ever an exciting area to work in, and its forums like these that enable us to share ideas and to be inspired by some of the global leaders in the field. SASIM has long been at the forefront of developing this field within South Africa, and has had to confront many a time of challenges and changes. We are

meeting each of these changes with growing support, both nationwide as well as globally, and are very excited to host this congress as a means to continue doing that. I hope that you all feel as proud and honoured to be such an integral part of this paradigm shift as I am. Our first congress in 2017 fired up our members who came together in a most remarkable way to not only make the first congress a great success but to set the stage for an equally successful 2nd Southern African Congress of Integrative Medicine to be hosted at the NH Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West, Cape Town. These congresses are important because they allow for dialogue amongst colleagues, bring new faces and ideas together, showcase the remedies available in South Africa, bring international speakers with a wealth of clinical experience and generally point to the innovative and creative side of the integrative model. As the story of IM unfolds, I'd like to invite each of you to attend this conference. You are each pioneers and thought leaders, your vision, your knowledge and your experience, it all adds magic to this gathering that helps us pave the way to the future. We look forward to your engagement throughout the congress and urge you to take this opportunity to enjoy the magnificent city of Cape Town while you are here! My most sincere respect and thanks to each of you.

Dr Leila Sadien Congress Chair SACIM Vice-Chairperson SASIM www.integrativemedcongress.com


ngress of Integrative Medicine www.integrativemedcongress.com

MEET OUR SPEAKERS David Arthur (RSA) Clinical Pharmacist – B.Pharm (Wits), MPS, ABAAHP Diplomate, Board Certified (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), Faculty MMI/SA, A4M

Dr Bernard Brom (RSA) Inaugural Chair SACIM & Founder President SASIM. Started the first South African Journal of Natural Medicine 1996.

Dr Ernest Buitendag (RSA) MBChB(UP), DipFamMed, DA(SA), FCA(SA). Dr Buitendag spent time in General Practice and Emergency Medicine in countries such as Saudi

Dr Dhesan G Moodley (RSA) His current Functional medicine focus is on hormone replacement, weight loss management, the treatment of autoimmune conditions and the management of chronic conditions.

John Parker (RSA) Specialist Psychiatrist in OPD and Medium Term Care at Lentegeur Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UCT.

DR Michelle Perro (USA) Veteran pediatrician with over thirty-seven years of experience in acute and integrative medicine.

Arabia, Lesotho and Antarctica.

DR Felice Gersh (USA) A Princeton University graduate, a USC Medical School educated physician, double Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Integrative Medicine.

Dr Louise Lindenberg (RSA) Runs an integrated medical practice based in Durbanville, Cape Town and also consults in Johannesburg on a regular basis.

DR ALY COHEN (USA)

Dr Carolyn Coker Ross (USA) Internationally known author, speaker, expert and pioneer in the use of Integrative Medicine for the treatment of eating disorders, obesity and addictions.

Dr Robert Saper (USA) Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1988 and the UCSF Family Medicine Residency in 1992.

DR KOJO CAREW (SIERRA LEONE)

Board certified rheumatologist,

Consultant Family Physician; President and

integrative medicine specialist,

Founder Integrative Medicine West Africa;

and environmental health expert

CEO Blue Shield Medical Services SL; Board

specializing in arthritis, immune system disorders and women’s health.

Examiner for the West African College of Physicians


INSIDE Features The Great Flip 16 Oneness University 18 Ancient Wisdom 28 One Spirit Medicine 32 Leopard Warrior 40 TRAVEL: The Gates of Hell 44

ODYSSEY

Conscious Lifestyle Digimag

Cape Town Head Office

P O Box 30946, Tokai, 7966 Tel 021 701 1186 between 09h00-13h00 or email publisher@odysseymagazine.co.za or silke@odysseymagazine.co.za www.odysseymagazine.co.za

ODYSSEY 4 • 

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Editor & Art Director

Design

Silke Erasmus

Kevin Rule

silke@odysseymagazine.co.za

volkev@gmail.com

Publisher

Advertising & Accounting queries

Chris Erasmus

Silke Erasmus

publisher@odysseymagazine.co.za

silke@odysseymagazine.co.za


Issue 1 • 2018

Volume 42 • No.1

Bottled Water & Micro-plastics 52 Complimentary Medicines 56 Book Reviews 62 Community Power 76 Astro 2018 80 Paulo Coelho 84

Publisher Inspired Spaces Media Publishing House cc Reg No 2001/014555/23 Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or staff. Copyright Material published in Odyssey, including all artwork, may not be reproduced without the permission of the editor. ISSN 0256-0356

inspired spaces media ODYSSEY 5 • 

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editorial

Dear readers I would like to express my sincerest apologies for taking so long to produce this edition of Odyssey magazine. At the beginning of this year I had a rather severe fall and injured my back, resulting in me taking months to heal. I am happy to say that I am running at full steam again and the body is a truly wondrous self-healing machine. I have been deeply humbled and currently I experience a deep sense of gratitude. All that remains is for me to share these wise words by Rumi below. For in the end of the day the answers we so desperately seek can always be found within: 1.

The wound is the place where the light enters you

2.

There is a voice that doesn't use words, listen.

3.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere, they are in each other all along.

4.

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world, today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

5.

What you seek is seeking you.

6.

In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.

7.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

8.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

9.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?

10. If you find me not within you, you will never find me. For I have been with you, from the beginning of me.

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11. Love is the bridge between you and everything. 12. Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you? 13. Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. 14. It's your road and yours alone others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. 15. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. 16. Stop acting so small, you are the universe in ecstatic motion. 17. Be patient where you sit in the dark, the dawn is coming. 18. I know you're tired but come, this is the way. 19. These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them. 20. Your heart knows the way, run in that direction. 21. Know that one day, your pain will become your cure. 22. Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder. 23. Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. 24. Actually, your soul and mine are the same, we appear and disappear in each other. 25. The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself, everything that you want you already are. May you enjoy this magazine as much as we have enjoyed creating it. May you all have a blessed time ahead.

Silke and the Team


David Whyte recites Derek Walcott's 'Love After Love'

The Reality of Truth Full length movie

Michio Kaku: What Life Will Look Like in 20 Years

Is There Life after Death? 50 Years of Research at UVA

Graham Hancock On Why His TEDx Talk Was Banned

HAPPINESS Animated Short Film by Steve Cutts

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INSIGHTSOUT

MIND EXPANDING DOCUMENTARIES THAT WILL DEFINITELY HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE The following list of documentaries compiled by Collective Evolution showcases films that may inspire a new outlook on the world we live in. There were so many to choose from that compiling this list proved challenging, however, each one of these films stands as prudent commentaries offering valuable insight into the wonders and workings of the world at large.

Hungry For Change

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Hungry For Change exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve and how to escape the diet trap forever.

100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well – with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. This doccie is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health.

Fed Up Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. Fed Up is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig, Fed Up will change the way you eat forever.

Tiny Tiny is a documentary about home, and how we find it. The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a 'tiny house' from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into homes smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream.

Cosmos Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, in a departure from the type of material he is best known for, pays homage to Carl Sagan’s award-winning and iconic Cosmos with this docu-series. Through stories of humankind’s quest for knowledge, viewers travel across the universe. Scientific concepts are presented clearly, with both skepticism and wonder, to impart their full impact. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts, and Sagan’s original creative collaborator, Ann Druyan, serves as an executive producer.

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Forks Over Knives Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr T Colin Campbell and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn.

Cowspiracy Cowspiracy is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it.

SAMSARA Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, Samsara takes the form of a non-verbal, visionary inspired guided meditation. From the mundane to the extraordinary, prepare for a journey around the world like nothing you’ve seen before.

For the full list click here.


PHOTOGRAPHING THOUGHTS

COSMIC MATTER

In the 1960s, a Denver-based psychiatrist and a man who believed he could take photographs with his thoughts staged a series of experiments with Polaroid instant film. Dr Jule Eisenbud and his test subject, Ted Serios, a former bellhop, were trying to prove that a psychic projection could manifest on film. All of the photographs from the experiment are held in the Special Collections of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and have recently been digitised. Now anyone can browse the results of the experiments, and decide for themselves if they believe in 'thoughtography'.

If you thought that identifying all of the states of matter was 'old science,' you might want to think again. Matter continues to surprise us, as a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently demonstrated. They have proven the existence of a whole new form of matter called Excitonium, a finding that legitimises a theory first posited nearly 50 years ago. Excitonium is a material made up of particles known, appropriately, as excitons, which are themselves composed of escaped electrons and the holes they leave behind after they escape. This unusual condensate exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena and has the power to get matter to act as a superfluid, superconductor, or even as an insulating electronic crystal. Basically, excitonium is what you get when an electron becomes so excited (such as when a photon is absorbed by a semiconductor) that it jumps over to another energy band. Upon jumping over, it leaves a 'hole,' or empty space from whence it came. Calling these absences 'holes' is a bit of a misnomer, however, because the holes are hardly passive, empty spaces. Rather, they end up acting much like positively charged electrons do, attracting the electrons that escaped. They are holes that desperately miss what once filled them. This resultant attraction between escaped electrons and their holes is what forms excitons.

For more click here.

For more click here.

THE HUM OF THE EARTH Beneath all the hubbub of life, the Earth is constantly humming. Attempts have been made to record it in 1959, but it took another 40 years to confirm that the Earth is always emitting a background noise, even when there aren't any earthquakes. This hum, or continuous free oscillations as the scientists refer to it, is the vibration of the Earth expanding and contracting. It has been confirmed that these oscillations are happening, at least on land, but 70% of the planet is covered by water, and we need to know what's happening there, too. Thanks to an international team of scientists who have successfully recorded the Earth's hum from the ocean's depths, we now know it does. For the full story click here.

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INSIGHTSOUT ODYSSEY 10 • 

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six of the world's most beautiful churches From glorious European cathedrals featuring massive stained glass windows and organs, to tiny chapels tucked away in the mountains, beautiful churches are in the eye of the worshiper. Whether you're looking for classic Gothic masterpieces or unusual spiritual retreats, these churches all offer tremendous beauty from their bell towers to their amazing backgrounds. To view the full list, click here.

Saint-Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine: Saint-Sophia Cathedral was named for the famous Hagia Sophia

St Peter's Basilica, Rome: Numerous artists designed St Peter's, including Michelangelo and Bernini.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Narino, Colombia: The edge of the Guáitara River and the tip of the Las Lajas Sanctuary are separated by 100m.

Grundtvig’s Church, Copenhagen: The high ceilings in Grundtvig’s Church are known for their smooth, flowing lines.

Borgund Stave Church, Borgund, Norway: Only 28 stave churches remain in Norway, including Borgund Stave Church.

Gergeti Trinity Church, Gergeti, Georgia: Gergeti Trinity Church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.


My Life After 44 Years In Prison Otis Johnson went to jail at the age of 25. When he got out at 69, he rejoined a world that was starkly different from the one he remembered.

Follow Your Heart 'Better a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.'

WERE MOST OF OUR PIONEERING SCIENTISTS SPIRITUAL MYSTICS?

Earth’s slowing rotation could cause huge earthquakes in 2018

Things have drastically changed since Galileo was placed under house arrest for his scientifically accurate views, simply because they threatened the beliefs put out by the Catholic Church at the time. Things are different in the sense that the religious and spiritual communities are much more open to information and evidence that help us to understand the true nature of reality. Many religious and spiritual teachings are actually being confirmed by science, and that is evident by the list below. It’s truly amazing, especially in the fields of neuroscience and quantum physics, just how much knowledge our ancient cultures had regarding the true nature of reality. In many cases, modern day science is in fact catching up to this ancient knowledge. Science can take us far, but only so far, as we are burdened today by scientific dogmas and an industry plagued by corruption.

For more click here.

The Earth’s rotation is usually incredibly consistent, but it does go through brief spells where it rotates a tad slower than normal. The change would never be noticeable to anyone if not for the precise equipment scientists use to measure it and it only affects the length of the day by milliseconds at most. These temporary dips are a well-documented phenomenon, but they never last long before the Earth starts to speed back up again. During these periods, the researchers say that major earthquakes happen with much greater frequency. In an average year we expect a little over a dozen of these types of quakes around the world, but in years where the Earth’s rotation slows that number spikes to has high as 30. In 2018 the Earth is expected to reach its slowest rotational speed before picking up the pace once more and that could spell doom for earthquake-prone regions. For more click here.

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cosmic

INSIGHTSOUT

219 MORE EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED

merging galaxies act like a cosmic laser

NASA recently added a whopping 219 potential planets to its increasing number of known worlds outside of our solar system. Of the new batch, it is believed there are 10 Earth-like planets, consisting of temperate, rocky worlds. One such planet, called KOI 7711.01, shows the most similarities to Earth. The potential planet is only 30% larger than Earth, and orbits a star, like our own sun, that’s 1 700 light-years away. It lives in the 'golden region' around its star, too, meaning it may get enough solar warmth for liquid water to exist on its surface. The catalogue of observations has given scientists enough information to begin practicing exoplanetary demography, which refers to the observation of a number of otherworldly populations as a whole rather than as individual studies.

Take a look at this eyeball-shaped galaxy above and you might think that it looks ordinary enough, but look a little closer and you'll find something extraordinary. The mysterious galaxy, IRAS 16399-0937, is actually an enormous cosmic laser. This is the most detailed image ever taken of the galaxy, which sits 370 million light-years away from Earth. One reason it looks relatively innocuous is that IRAS 16399-0937's laser does not fire in visible light; it fires a microwave beam instead. This technically makes it a 'maser' (a microwave laser). Or rather, it's a megamaser, due to its galactic size. The two galaxies that make up IRAS 16399-0937 likely looked very different from each other before their merge began. The southern one appears to be a starburst region, where new stars are forming at an incredible rate. Meanwhile, the northern nucleus hosts a black hole that is around 100 million times the mass of our sun.

For more click here.

For more click here.

EGYPTIAN ARTIFACT FROM SPACE A study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in December of 2013 found that the earliest known (according to the study) iron artifacts that date back to circa 3200 BC, from two burials in northern Egypt were made from meteoritic iron, and shaped by careful hammering of the metal. Professor Thilo Rehren from Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar was the lead author of the paper. They used x-ray methods which determined the old beads were not magnetite, which can often be mistaken to be corroded iron due to similar properties. For more click here.

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SCIENCE FICTION TO SCIENCE FACT Researchers in China just teleported the first object ever from the ground to orbit. A year ago, a Long March 2D rocket was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert containing a satellite called Micius, named after an ancient Chinese philosopher. The team created the quantum network in order to use it to teleport objects from Earth to orbit. Recently, the Chinese research team presented their initial findings from their first experiment. To conduct the experiment, the researchers created two entangled photons, then beamed one of them to the satellite while keeping the other at ground level. They then measured them both to ensure they were still entangled, confirming they could teleport protons using this method.

For more click here.

DETECTED: SOLAR SYSTEM-WIDE MAGNETIC FIELD New data from NASA's Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun – calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail. A rounded heliosphere could come from a combination of factors. Data from Voyager 1 show that the interstellar magnetic field beyond the heliosphere is stronger than scientists previously thought, meaning it could interact with the solar wind at the edges of the heliosphere and compact the heliosphere's tail.

For more click here.

BIZARRE SIGNALS FROM DEEP SPACE Thanks to the ceaseless march of technology, agencies like NASA and other scientific bodies from around the world have been able to teach us a lot about space. We now get regular news about new planets from other star systems, we know what makes many of our nearest planetary neighbours tick and we’re learning more than ever about how Earth formed long before life existed here. But space still holds many secrets and fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most tantalising mysteries of the cosmos. A recent FRB 'sighting' comes from Australia’s Parkes Observatory where three distinct radio bursts were detected in rapid succession. The mystery of where fast radio bursts come from has fascinated scientists for a long time, but a few theories are currently leading the pack. For more click here.

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cosmic

INSIGHTSOUT ODYSSEY 14 • 

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NEW IMAGES OF JUPITER In 2011, Nasa launched a space probe called Juno which is currently orbiting Jupiter. Juno finally began its scientific investigation of the planet when it entered orbit on July 5, 2016. The mission aims to learn more about how the planet formed, its composition, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and its mass distribution. On Friday, September 1, the JunoCam collected more images of this magnificent gas giant from its seventh science orbit, and NASA put the raw images online. Source


BEAUTIFUL IMAGES FROM THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE When it comes to the Universe itself, perhaps no better views have come, ever, than those from the Hubble Space Telescope. Across a myriad of objects, Hubble's eyes have shown us the Universe as we've never seen it before. Source

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EarthEnergy

THE GREAT FLIP

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Earth’s magnetic field is decaying at such a rapid rate that scientists think the poles may flip. New research shows the most significant weakening is happening under Africa, in an area called the 'South Atlantic Anomaly'. We take a look at this strange phenomenon under Africa threatens to flip Earth’s magnetic field.


s well as giving us our north and

A 

Geophysical Research Letters, has shed

south poles, the magnetic field

light on the alarming phenomenon.

blankets the Earth, protecting it

To put the recent changes into

from solar winds and cosmic radiation.

context, the researchers gathered

Without it there would likely be no

data from sites in southern Africa and

life on our planet today. However, the

compiled a record of Earth’s magnetic

forcefield has weakened significantly

field strength over many centuries.

in the past 160 years and scientists

The researchers gathered their data

have suggested that it could be in

from ancient African clay remnants

the process of flipping. Effectively this

dating back to the early and late Iron

means a switch in magnetic polarity

Ages. These artefacts allowed them

and would see compasses point south

to study past magnetic fields using

instead of north.

'archaeomagnetism'.

Strangely,

actually

'When you burn clay at very high

happened numerous times in the

temperatures, you actually stabilise the

history of the planet, occurring roughly

magnetic minerals, and when they cool

every

years.

from these very high temperatures,

Approximately 40  000 years ago, it

they lock in a record of the earth’s

attempted to switch before snapping

magnetic field,' one of the lead

back into place. This NASA illustration

researchers, John Tarduno, explained.

200  000

this

to

has

300  000

captures the enormous disruption to the fields during a reversal:

They discovered that the magnetic field in the region fluctuated several times in the past 1600 years. This leads them to believe that the SAA is the most recent display of a recurring phenomenon in Earth’s core beneath Africa that then affects the entire globe. 'We’re getting stronger evidence that there’s something unusual about the core-mantle boundary under Africa that could be having an important impact on the global magnetic field,' Tarduno concluded. Lead author Vincent Hare added

The birthplace of pole reversals

that their data does not necessarily

The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA),

now know this unusual behaviour has

which stretches from Zimbabwe all the

occurred at least a couple of times

way to Chile, is of particular interest

before the past 160 years, and is part

to scientists because of its dramatic

of a bigger long-term pattern,' he said.

weakening over the last 160 years. The

'However, it’s simply too early to say for

field is now so weak that it’s hazardous

certain whether this behaviour will lead

for satellites to enter that region.

to a full pole reversal.' O

predict a complete pole reversal. 'We

It’s thought that the SAA might be a harbinger of an impending pole reversal but very little hard data on reversals exists. However, a new study from the University of Rochester, published in

Resources • www.rt.com • onlinelibrary.wiley.com • www.rochester.edu

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consciousness

Sustainable development for your consciousness

ODYSSEY 18 • 

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The O&O Academy is a school for the transformation of human consciousness. The courses offered by the Academy bring together a grand unification of the 'Power of Source' with the 'Power of One Consciousness' to take an inward journey from living in 'I consciousness' to 'One Consciousness'. Prof Noddy Jinabhai takes a look at this work.

ODYSSEY 19 • 

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T 

he O & O Academy was founded by two generations

match, where life keeps repelling us, if we just want to

of world-renowned spiritual leaders. Sri Amma

get up again. There are times when we think the universe

and Sri Bhagavan, come together with their son

is our enemy, which has conspired against us or at best

and daughter-in-law, Krishnaji and Preethaji, modern philosopher sages, to create this magnificent school for

wants to teach us a 'lesson'. Alternatively, life can be a great adventure with many happy surprises around every corner. Then you greet the

the transformation of human consciousness. Sri Amma and Sri Bhagavan created Oneness

great unknown with confidence and anticipation rather

University as a way of transformation through the Power

than fear. Your life begins to unfold in a miraculously

of Source. Krishnaji and Preethaji created One World

mysterious way, and the universe becomes your

Academy as a way of transformation through the Power of

benevolent friend. This is a beautiful life.

One Consciousness. O & O Academy is the coming together of both these Powers. At O & O Academy seekers undertake a profound, transformational,

inward

journey

from

living

What are synchronicities?

in

Synchronicities are significant coincidences. Synchronicities

'I-consciousness' to 'One Consciousness'. According

are beautiful, positive, and coherent events that happen

to this approach, as one evolves on this path of

in harmony with your purpose. It feels as if the randomly

awakening, life overflows with abundance, impossibilities

moving universe, in response to the yearning of your

become realities, relationships are built with love, and

heart, creates extra patterns and brings together the right

organisations are directed by a spiritual vision. The

people and situations to support you.

seeker's journey culminates in becoming a 'Philosopher Teacher' who serves as a guiding light to the world.

Spiritual science

When you experience a magical moment, you call it luck or coincidence. If you experience two such moments, you speak of a lucky streak. If they become part of you for an extended period of time, you think you are a lucky

Students learn directly from the co-founder of O & O

child. If they happen to you every day, in unbelievable

Academy, Preethaji, about the spiritual science of creating

frequency, then you have entered the magical life of

synchronicities through awakening to the Power of One

synchronicities. Live a life of synchronicities.

Consciousness. It is taught via livestream by the faculty members who live a life of dedication and service to humanity. Students are taught to discover and master three important zones of synchronicity: 1. The healing zone to experience regeneration and physical health 2. The love zone to attract, sustain and strengthen love 3. The power zone to create wealth and enjoy abundance. Each student learns a powerful, transcendent tool and practice that enables them to create synchronicities.

Source & synchronicities 'Source and Synchronicities' (S & S) is a powerful two-day course that opens students to a life in which synchronicities are 'magically' attracted. The Source has always been given a variety of names: Divine, Holy Presence, Cosmic Consciousness or Universal Intelligence. In this course, one may connect directly to the Source, giving you access to unlimited power. Consciousness is the basis of all existence. It is the fundamental essence of everything that is. Sometimes it can feel like we are in an endless boxing

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Sometimes it can feel like we are in an endless boxing match, where life keeps repelling us, if we just want to get up again. There are times when we think the universe is our enemy, which has conspired against us or at best wants to teach us a 'lesson'.


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'Source and synchronicities' in the new South Africa As a new leadership is ushered in our country with a powerful message of renewal, serving our people and transformation – each one of us as individuals need to reach deeply into our soul to unleash the energy to serve this higher purpose. We have a long and proud tradition of Ubuntu, of caring and self-less service rising above adversity to visioning and creating a society free of racial oppression, inequality and poverty. Each of these shackles has their source in our individual and collective consciousness. Freedom from these mental shackles, challenges are to go within to explore the landscape and the architecture of this consciousness – to move from Radical Economic Transformation to Radical Human Transformation. To seek such freedoms requires us to go within and draw powerfully from the traditions of Ubuntu, satyagraha, ahimsa and satyam to breathe life into our communities to manifest the new reality. Thus, the source of the spirit of Ubuntu is the indomitable urge of an individual to push aside their negative thoughts, circumstances and limitations to rise up to unleash the full potential of the Human consciousness to manifest prosperity, health and powerful haling relationships.

VUCA Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, as a complex, is the dominant paradigm of the current period in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). VUCA is characterised by conflicting values and beliefs, this conflict fuelling uncertainty and inner turmoil resulting in negative, destructive, violent behaviours. This pathway from inner turmoil to negative behaviours and actions can be altered by intercepting it at its source – the mind, both conscious and unconscious. So, the critical challenge is to seek tools and mechanisms to harness this Source energy and channel it to fulfil the four goals of human life. The S & S program aligns us to the Higher Sacred Self, or our personal Divine, to promote harmony, health and abundance. The spiritual evolutionary cycle is the golden principle or thread to guide us through this turbulent VUCA world driven by the fear instinct for survival and domination towards self-gratification. This powerful fear instinct – residing in the parietal lobes of the primitive brain – was essential in the early evolutionary period to ensure survival of the human species. In the present period

ODYSSEY 22 • 

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where humans are the dominant species on the planet, with minimal threats to their existence, this fear instinct periodically erupts to wreak havoc on society through killings, civil unrest, wars and genocide. This phenomenon of VUCA permeates our entire social fabric and profoundly influences and shapes all dimensions of our existence – both our inner world of consciousness/awareness and values/beliefs as well our external world of the economy, politics, environment and the educational systems. Hence the quantum of achievements is in direct proportion to the degree of awareness we exhibit in our daily life and ability to sharply focus our energies on our goals and not be distracted by VUCA.

Inner & out worlds There is a powerful dialectical relationship between this inner world of consciousness and the outer world of manifestation governed by the unforgiving laws of the universe and nature. The quintessence of this relationship is the enormous capacity to harness and focus the various dimensions of these mental, emotional, spiritual and physical energies of the mind to manifest growth and development on a colossal scale in the external world. Manifesting the four goals of human life by harnessing this power of the mind and consciousness fulfils an

The source of the spirit of Ubuntu is the indomitable urge of an individual to push aside their negative thoughts, circumstances and limitations to rise up to unleash the full potential of the Human consciousness to manifest prosperity, health and powerful haling relationships.


ODYSSEY 23 • 

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eternal need for humans to find meaning and purpose

eliminate gender and sexual violence, protect children and

in life.

women against abuse and trafficking, reduce corruption

Having a powerful connection with the Source promotes alignment of our inner values and goals to their external manifestation with minimal disruption by the forces of VUCA. The net effect of this bond is a continuous, powerful flow of synchronicities in our life resulting in abundance and wealth consciousness, harmonious relationships and peak health.

– ultimately contributing to the fulfilment of the UN's 17 SDGs.

Poverty, diseases, abuse know no boundaries, class or race. The S & S teachings are universal, embracing all cultures and traditions, promoting individual transformation for collective global benefits.

Network

The S & S Program provides this critical alignment

Globally the S & S programs are co-creating a network of

between the Source through our inner world of

awakened individuals, families and communities – united

consciousness and its fulfilment through our life goals in

in building a harmonious sustainable human-centred

the external world. It allows us to transcend the world of

planet free from greed, anger and hatred. The world we

VUCA, manage our emotions and feelings, focus the four

live is a product of our individual and collective actions

dimensions of creative energies to lead fulfilling, enriched

– the same actions emanating from a source of love,

and productive lives.

compassion, humility and caring can transform it. Poverty,

A Harvard Business Review (HBR) article 'Managing

abuse and disease can be eradicated by conscious,

energy not time' has become the new mantra of the

committed individuals, awakened to their full human and

corporate world as articulated by the Energy Project,

Divine potential, willing to share and nurture each other.

which talks about the four types of energies – physical,

As we examine the inner dynamics of our mind and

mental, emotional and spiritual, needed to fuel high

the architecture of our consciousness, we become aware

performance. All are necessary, none is sufficient by

of the different levels that exist within our awareness

itself. Since organisations are dynamic living systems,

and their impacts and trajectory in the external world.

the Energy Project challenges everybody to become a

To harness this knowledge, we need to distinguish

Chief Energy Officer managing their inner self to manifest

between the technology and science of consciousness.

abundance in the outer world. The specific outcomes of the S & S course are to assist individuals to be in alignment with their inner purpose, lead fulfilling lives, in harmony with society and nature – co-creating productive life-sustaining communities. Globally wars, conflicts, environmental degradation, abuse and exploitation will diminish as competition, greed and domination are eroded to be replaced by an embrace of diversity, creating a sustainable (human) universe. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations (UN) envision a

world of zero hunger, reducing poverty, advocating for safety, security, human values and rights to protect and promote human and environment development. The S & S Program provides the tools for individual and collective transformation, unleashing the full human potential and creativity through radically new pathways and alternative paradigms for human and environmental development. Global transformation starts with individual awakening in consciousness – resulting in a massive shift in collective consciousness. Significant examples of the power of this collective consciousness in action are the campaigns to protect the environment against climate change,

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The specific outcomes of the S & S course are to assist individuals to be in alignment with their inner purpose, lead fulfilling lives, in harmony with society and nature – co-creating productive life-sustaining communities.


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The technology relates to our ability to learn and use the tools, approaches and methods of the Art of Living and co-creating our world; the science relates to understanding Laws of the Spiritual Universe.

Journey into awareness

Understanding the architecture and dynamics of consciousness

The Journey Into Awareness (JIA) programme

and applying it in our lives is the primary function of the S & S Course

is an inner journey leading to outer abundance.

and will help us to shift the trajectory of our lives in a productive

The journey is an immensely powerful, radically

fulfilling direction.

life transforming and extraordinarily magical

From 'I' to 'One'

journey

shift from 'I' consciousness to 'One' consciousness. The former

This is a spiritual offering like never before

self-centric consciousness was vital for human survival driven by the

and ought to be an unforgettably magnificent

powerful 'fight-or-flight' fear-fuelled instincts to ensure dominance

experience for every seeker, providing the

over all the species on the planet. However, as humanity ascended

coming together of the Magnanimity of the

the ladder of supremacy, conquering all living species to emerge as

Divine and the Power of Consciousness.

care and sharing resources for the collective good.

Here are some of the special features of this 8-level journey: •

and bounty. You will awaken to the

The Oneness Blessing, also known as Deeksha, is a direct transfer

unlimited potential of Consciousness and

of intelligent sacred energy, which initiates a shift in perception and

experience fundamentally transformative

the realisation that the sense of a separate self is an illusion. This is not just another concept, but an experience of oneness with all of creation and with the Divine Presence.

states of being. •

that epitomises the pinnacle of spiritual

brain. There are 16 centres in the brain responsible for definitive fear, compassion, love, joy, separation, connectedness, creativity,

evolution. •

you move from existence to living, life

certain centres and the deactivation of certain other centres, thus change causes the heart to flower and the mind to quiet.

overflows with abundance. •

bring about a neuro-biological shift to

of the mind, bringing clarity and spontaneous feelings of love,

transcend lower states of I-consciousness

joy, peace and inner silence. This change in perception dissolves

and to move into higher states of one

negative patterns, releases traumas stored at the cellular and Eventually, the process brings a permanent end to personal suffering and full awakening to the very highest states of consciousness. In relationships the Oneness Blessing enables a greater sensitivity and connectedness with the other, freeing the mind from the limitations of your judgments and conditioning. Success and prosperity on all levels begin with consciousness. The Oneness Blessing increases the capacity to understand the principles governing life, and to appreciate true bounty of the universe. O

Contact Prof Noddy Jinabhai at n.jinabhai@gmail.com

You will receive Deeksha from the Golden Orb at the sacred Oneness Temple to

The Oneness Blessing frees the senses from the constant chatter

energetic levels, and facilitates deep emotional physical healing.

As you get established in the state of Oneness, possibilities become realities,

learning, etc. The Oneness Blessing results in the activation of bringing about a shift in the perception and experience of life. This

Your journey will culminate in the most profound experience of Oneness – a state

The Oneness Blessing initiates a neurobiological change in the experiences like sensory perception, emotions of jealousy, hatred,

You will lock into the Source or the Divine and experience immeasurable benevolence

Deeksha

• 

transformation,

Campus in India.

world has given way to the urgent cry of humanity for compassion,

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abundance,

Spiritual evolutionary cycles are guiding human consciousness to

the dominant force, the utility of the fear instinct in the pre-modern

ODYSSEY 26

into

transcendence and oneness offered at the

consciousness. •

You will have the gift of going through sacred

meditations

and

interactions

directly with the founders of O & O Academy.

For more info about the course dates, accommodations and registration see ad, right. Visit www.onenessza.com or give the Facebook Page a like at

facebook.com/Oneness-UniversitySouth-Africa.


July 7 & 8 • Enter a Life of Synchronicities

• • •

Experience the Power of The Limitless Source Expand the Power of Your Mind & Consciousness Master the 3 important zones of synchronicity: 1. Healing zone to experience physical health 2. Love zone to attract and sustain love 3. Power zone to create and enjoy abundance

Course Fee R 1500 (all venues)

Johannesburg: Sunset Boma, 79 Main Rd, Blue Hills – Midrand Contact Nerisha 071 871 0314, jhboneness@gmail.com Port Elizabeth: Famhealth Medipark - Gelvandale Contact Punji 082 851 8414, punji@ballmail.co.za Durban: Saptah Mandhir Reservoir Hills Contact Shahir 072 994 9594, onenesskzn@gmail.com   Noddy 082 774 0836, n.jinabhai@gmail.com Newcastle: The Pines Wedding & Conference Village, Amajuba Park Contact Natasha 083 777 4959, curarwellness@gmail.com

Visit our website www.onenessza.com or our Facebook Page facebook.com/Oneness-University-South-Africa for more

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

ODYSSEY 27 • 

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THE FUTURE OF

THE ANCIENTS

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Throughout history, the wisdom of the ancestors of many indigenous peoples has been passed on, generation after generation, family after family. As we look at the crises happening across our strife-torn world today, we find ourselves searching like never before for solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Gabriel of Urantia believes the ancient ones had a key – in Lakota it is said, 'Mi Ta Ku Ye O Ya Sin,' – 'we are all related.' In this article he looks at the wisdom of the ancient ancestors moving into the twenty-first century.

I 

n presenting this article, I would like to state that I am not intending to teach you my philosophy of reality – what my books, music, community, and life represent. Instead, I feel

that I must share two simple points that many Native American elders are now seeing and teaching in their vision quests and sundances. I am presenting to you a common enemy and enemies. Perhaps some of you have heard negative things about me as a spiritual leader and/or about the community I founded, known as Global Community Communications Alliance. In response, I would like to only say that the same media who demonised the Native Americans for three hundred years on Turtle Island, as well as the American Indian Movement (AIM) recently again, since the modern Wounded Knee, have done the same thing to me and our alternative community. Why do they do this? Because any one individual or group who has a different alternative lifestyle than the dominant culture is a threat to the government that controls the masses. All over the world the indigenous peoples, the poor, the peasants, the people of the earth are battling the same enemy: the corporate powers – the profit-motivated and power-hungry leaders of the world who care not for any children of this planet except their own. They care not for the environment, nor for the sustainability of our world for future generations. They look with a greed-limited vision, making decisions disregarding the needs of the world's populations and instead serving themselves, building their materialistic personal 'dreams' while the world deteriorates day by day. Worse yet, these corporate powers have amassed an arsenal of puppets to perpetuate their

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vision of a 'new world order' (a cloaked yet actually tyrannical world), using their pawns of the media and bought-and-paid-for governments to blur the truth, presenting to the masses their candy-coated distortions, propaganda, and lies. My immediate ancestors in Italy were farmers. They grew olives. When Mussolini came to power the Fascists took their land. My grandfathers and fraternal grandmother came to America. My father's father worked in a steel mill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the open hearth. He lost his leg in an accident and died in his mid-forties. My maternal grandfather worked in the coal mines, and my maternal grandmother was from a family of farmers in Scotland who lost their land to the King of England. I was born and raised in a 'blue-collar' American family. My father was a decorated war hero from World War II. We experienced, like most of the world's struggling families, the worries of keeping a roof over our head and food on the table. For generations, my ancestors strove to provide a better life for their children, despite the odds set against them by those in power who sought to keep them and so many other families impoverished and oppressed.

We can no longer separate ourselves based on our metaphysical theological differences. We must begin to see the bigger picture. In some places around the globe today, the indigenous are joining together in solidarity as is evident in Quebec, Canada and even in the US in Seattle, Washington. These efforts are beginning steps of the Spiritualution our planet so desperately needs.

Today this condition of struggle to meet life's basic needs continues to exist world-wide. In Nigeria the Ogoni

the Earth, once believed to be the center of the universe

people fight for their land, as courageous leaders like

thousands of years ago, is actually just a spec of dust in

Ken Saro Wiwa are tortured and murdered, all backed by

the universal cosmos. Truth is ever-expanding, and our

America's Shell Oil. In Chiapas, Mexico, the indigenous

minds need to begin to grasp a more cosmic perspective

Mayans (the Zapatistas) fight for their survival because

as we become true planetary citizens of this earth.

oil and other precious materials have been found on

In looking for a spiritual answer to our world's

their sacred land. In Chechnya the same sad scenario

problems, I would like to give this quote: 'We must know

exists. The peoples' choice for President, Khozh-Ahmed

our Creator better than our enemies.' Additionally, I'd

Noukhaev, was demonised by the media while a puppet

like to share the definition of Spiritualution, a word that

new world order president was enstated. If you have

I coined:

the opportunity, I suggest you see the very well done

Spiritualution is a movement of millions inspired by Divine Administration. True revolution is the spiritual fusion of the heart/earth/star knowledge teachings of the old ways of the ancestors with the latest revelatory cosmic teachings of ascension science and the physics of rebellion in Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation as revealed in The Cosmic Family volumes. It is the realisation by five hundred million starseed, who have not been able to fit into the present system, that they have lived before and know that they have a point of origin from another universe.

French-produced documentary about this atrocity, titled

The Making of a Republic. A Chiapas elder said, 'We must incorporate the past teachings into the present.' What did he mean by that? One interpretation is that today indigenous people must use technology for the advantage of their people. Some modern inventions – including developments in artistic fields and other career choices – are needed in order to best serve the indigenous peoples and genuinely meet their needs. Modernisation in many areas is wise and can benefit the masses if done without materialistic conformity. In the area of spirituality, I would say this Mayan elder meant that the spirituality of the past must be joined with the knowledge of scientific facts of today. For instance,

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I believe we must begin to unite planet-wide, for on our Mother Earth many forms of genocide exist in the ever-demoralising globalisation of the new world order. Where once majestic trees stood, now stand Coca Cola and McDonald's signs. The military of various governments,


often backed by the United States government, comes in

At the opposite extreme of all love and goodness is

and destroys the livestock of the indigenous so that they

a dark entity who controls all the dark spirits. This entity

have no food to eat for their families. Courageous men

also has many names, but what is important for us human

like Marcos and the murdered martyr Che Guevara are far

beings is that we know the difference between the two

and few between. The world is crying out for real leaders,

voices of good and evil; light and darkness. Native American

men and women who put the welfare of others first, before

tribes call the leader of the dark spirits by names such as:

satiating their own desires and needs.

tsv-s-gi-no (Cherokee); madjahando/'evil power' (Abenaki);

We can no longer separate ourselves based on our

aatinloska or aattobiilachi (Alabama); Matchemenetoo/'bad

metaphysical theological differences. We must begin to

spirit' (Shawnee); Lavaihoya/'the talker' or Masaw/keeper

see the bigger picture. In some places around the globe

of the Third World until he fell into self-importance, then

today, the indigenous are joining together in solidarity as is

Taiowa (God) made him ruler of the underworld; later he

evident in Quebec, Canada and even in the US in Seattle,

got a second chance and God made him ruler of the Fourth

Washington. These efforts are beginning steps of the

World (Hopi).

Spiritualution our planet so desperately needs.

This same leader of the dark side – according to the

Native Americans and the indigenous worldwide

Fifth Epochal Revelation (which is a new language for the

understand the difference between 'good spirits' and

Fifth World) – is called Caligastia. He is of an order of beings

'bad spirits;' good guys and bad guys. They see the

known as Secondary Lanonandek Sons, and he has a great

hierarchy that exists on the other side and know that

army of soldiers of many fallen celestial tribes. Millions of

the Great Spirit controls all the good spirits. There are

them are unsuspecting humans who carry out his orders of

many names for the Great Spirit in indigenous cultures,

greed and separation of the star tribes.

including: Ta Ja She La or Ta Ku Wakan (Lakota);

To battle this evil one, we must walk together through

Wakan-Tanka (Dakota); Taiowa (Hopi); Ktsi Nwaskw or

the old dark wilderness into this time of the purification with

Tabaldak (Abenaki); Ah-badt-dadt-deah (Crow); Agudar

new spiritual eyes and ears. We must not have animosity

(Aleut); Orenda (Iroquois); Manitou (Algonquian); Ma'heo'o

towards each other. Our ancestors on the other side are

(Cheyenne); and Wako'da (Omaha) to name a few.

waiting with patience and praying for our unification against

However, many tribes believe that it doesn't matter what

those who took away their land and starved and murdered

you call the Great Spirit but rather that it is important to

their children. Like the spirit of Crazy Horse, we must save

know that the Great Spirit is a personality and that this

our strength to fight the true enemy and enemies of the

Creator has a will, a destiny, for all free-will creature life,

Earth Mother, and perhaps most of all, like the spirit of

known on this planet as human beings. The Native teacher

Sitting Bull, all of the Star Tribes must now join together to

Sun Bear said, 'Does your religion grow good corn?' I

dance the dance of true unity for a new age – it is the sacred

challenge you to think bigger and seek higher thoughts; to

sun dance of hope for our children and grandchildren.

examine your own philosophies and beliefs, in hopes of us

Remember what our ancestors taught:

all uniting to stop the pain and tremendous suffering of our

Mi Ta Ku Ye O Ya Si. We are all related. O

brothers and sisters worldwide, to end the evil.

Gabriel of Urantiais one of the most unique and distinct spiritual leaders and authors of our time. His work provides wisdom, cosmic absolutes, and answers to the questions of the seeking soul. He is the co-founder of Global Community Communications Alliance, a multifaceted global change nonprofit, comprised of approximately 120 change agents from five continents. Gabriel of Urantia also co-founded The University of Ascension Science & The Physics of Rebellion located on the campus of Avalon Organic Gardens and EcoVillage. His lifelong devotion to God and service to humankind has led him through many levels of spiritual growth resulting in his founding innovative and highly successful programs for helping others to ascend spiritually so they can heal and prosper as ascending souls of God. Gabriel of Urantia has been very active for the last 30 years in trying to get governmental legislation against Internet misrepresentation and degradation of character stopped on the Internet. He appreciates your prayers to help activists all over the world against this kind of character assassination. Click here for more info.

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shamanism

ONE SPIRIT

ODYSSEY 32 • 

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T MEDICINE

ODYSSEY 33 • 

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Medical anthropologist, psychologist and practicing shaman Alberto Villoldo Ph D has inspired, illuminated and guided countless people along their path to wellness and enlightenment. In this extract from his book One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness, Villoldo introduces us to a powerful practice based on ancient healing methods supported by the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience.

E 

verything was going well for me. Professionally I was at the top of my game, a best-selling

I had picked up a long list of nasty micro­organisms,

author with 12 books to my credit, a researcher

including five different kinds of hepatitis virus, three or

and medical anthropologist with a Ph D in psychology, a

four varieties of parasites, a host of toxic bacteria, and

teacher and healer with a following worldwide. The Light

assorted nasty worms. My heart and liver were close to

Body School and the Four Winds Society that I founded

collapse, the doc­tors said, and my brain was riddled with

had grown exponentially: more than 5 000 students had

parasites.

gone through our training in energy medicine or had

When I heard the words, 'It's your brain, Dr. Villoldo,'

accompanied me on journeys to the Amazon and the

I sank into despair. The irony was, I had just published a

Andes. And those were just the accomplishments the

book entitled Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of

public could see. Close to my heart were the many inner

Enlightenment. The doctors advised me to seek the best

gifts I had received on my spiritual path, including the

medical care available and immediate­ly get my name on

most precious gift of all, a beloved partner who walks the

a liver transplant list. But where was I going to find a

path beside me.

healthy brain?

Just when it looked as if life couldn't get any better,

After the conference, my wife, Marcela, was going on

I was stopped in my tracks. Suddenly I was in a fight for

to the Amazon to lead one of our expeditions working

survival that called on everything I'd learned in 30 years

with jungle sha­mans who have journeyed beyond death. I

of studying with some of the world's most gifted healers.

stood in the departure wing at the Cancun airport, staring

You see, I am also a shaman, trained in the ancient

at my options: Gate 15, the flight to Miami where I would

healing ways of indigenous peoples in the jungles and

be admitted to a top medical center for treatment, or Gate

mountains of South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

14, the flight to Lima and the Amazon, where I would

Clearly the Amazon rain forest is not the Beverly

be with Marcela in the land of my spiritual roots. All my

Hilton, so when I tell people what I do, they often say,

test results indicated I was dying; the doctors had even

'Are you nuts?' I understand their concern. The way of the

said, 'You should already be dead.' Miami was the logical

shaman is not for everyone. The training is rigorous and

choice. But in that moment I summoned up the courage

demanding, and it extracted a heavy price.

to put my future where my mouth was – to live what I had

I was in Mexico, a keynote speaker at a conference

taught to so many. My journal entry for that night reads:

on shamanism, when without warning, I found I couldn't

Felt like it was the last day of my life. I was overwhelmed by sadness at the thought of leaving this beautiful earth, and I had to give a talk to 15O people. I knew I had to go to the jungle with Marcela. Otherwise I would be checking into a hospital in Miami, looking for my medicine in the wrong place. Now I am with the woman I love, returning to the garden where I first found my path. In the Amazon, the shamans welcomed me lovingly.

walk a hundred feet without collapsing in exhaustion. Friends chalked it up to my crazy travel schedule, but I knew something was terribly wrong. A few days before the trip I had received a head-to-toe check­up, complete with a battery of tests, from medical specialists in Miami. When I called my doctors from Mexico, the news was not good. Apparently, during my

ODYSSEY 34 • 

DIGIMAG

years of research in Indonesia, Afri­ca, and South America


I would have to draw on everything I had learned walking the shamanic path: all the healing practices, all the techniques for growing a new body by awakening stem cell production in the brain, heart and liver.

These men and women were friends who had known me

But regardless of what happens, you will be healed. You

for decades. And who knew me better than Mother Earth?

will not walk out of the jungle into your old way of being.

She received me as only a mother can. As I pressed my

I could feel the life force draining out of me. When

body to hers, she spoke to me: 'Welcome home, my son.'

I gazed into the mirror in the half-light of the Amazon

That night there was a ceremony with ayahuasca,

dawn, I saw that the luminous energy field around my

a brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine that

body was thin and pale, not glowing brightly as it should

shamans use for visioning and healing. I was too weak to

be. My face had the same gray pallor I had seen on

participate and stayed in our hut near the river. Marcela

patients who were dying.

went for us both. The bond that unites us is reflected

I wiped my day planner clean, cancelling every talk,

in how we say I love you to each other: 'Desde siempre

every lec­ture, every class. The first speaking engagement

y para siempre' – 'Since the dawn of time and forever.'

I cancelled was in Switzerland, where the renowned

I could hear the shaman whistling, and his haunting

Brazilian healer John of God was on the program. I had

songs wafted across the river to me as I went into a light

never met John, but I knew the head of his organisation.

meditation.

A few days later I got a call offering me a distant-healing

Hours later Marcela returned smiling. Pachamama – Moth­er Earth – had spoken to her throughout the night: 'I make ev­erything on the earth grow. I am giving Alberto a new liver. He knows how to heal everything else.' Pachamama was expressing her love for me and gratitude for bringing so many of her children back to her. In giving me a new liver, she was giving me life. The next day I wrote in my journal:

After morning yoga a luminous being appeared to me in broad daylight. She walked out of the river, and I saw her as if in a dream – a feminine spirit who touched my chest and told me that I was a child of the Pachamama and would live many more years, and that she would look after me, as my work on the earth is not yet done. My return to the Amazon was the beginning of a return to myself. But first there was an enormous amount of work to do. I was gravely ill. I had to become a traveler on a healing journey in a way that I had demanded of others. And I had to remind myself: There are no guarantees here, Alberto. There is a difference between curing and healing. You may not be cured; you may die.

session. Afterward, I wrote in my journal:

John worked on me with his entities, and I sensed a great spirit at the head of my bed. I could feel a tangle of ropes being removed from my liver, thick fibers being pulled out. Other enti­ties worked on my heart, while still others performed a spiritual 'surgery' on my brain. It knocked me out. I could not get out of bed for the next 24 hours. From the Amazon, Marcela and I flew to Chile and our Cen­tre for Energy Medicine, where we conduct intensive workshops. The monastery/retreat is in the Andes, near Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas. The mountain is the reason we settled here. In the old Inca language, aconcagua means 'where you come to meet God'. This is exactly what I needed. It was time for the meeting I had been postponing for so long. I had only one focus now-healing-and I had to be wholehearted about it. My body was a road map of the jungles and mountains where I had worked as an anthropologist, picking up the lethal critters that had taken up residence inside me. The jungle is a living biol­ ogy laboratory, and if you spend

ODYSSEY 35 • 

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The spiritual medicine I received from the shamans was pow­erful, but I had to complement it with Western medicine. The doctors put me on a worm medication and antibiotics to kill other parasites. My brain was on fire with inflammatory agents and free radicals produced by the medica­tions – I would have to detox my brain to avoid going completely mad. enough time there, you become part of the experiment.

There was no place to hide. I saw the madness;

I knew anthropologists who had died of the diseases I

others saw it. But, as always, there was another side

now harboured.

to the pain. The fathomless depths to which my spirit

Actually, the virgin rain forest of the Amazon is free

sank were matched by the flight of my soul. I began to

of most diseases, but to get to it you have to go through

understand who I had been since the beginning of time

filth-ridden outposts of Western civilisation. The Indios

and who I would be after I died. The gnawing fear was

knew better than to foul their nests and their drinking

matched by divine love. I dwelt in both worlds, belonging

water. Meanwhile, the white man surrounded himself with

to nether. I wrote in my journal:

a sea of garbage and sewage.

Buddha left the palace of his childhood after he saw death, disease, and old age. I have lived with these three grim reapers and have struggled to leave the palace of ignorance and ar­rogance that I built. I have surrendered to the pain and the ecstasy. There is no way to adequately describe the place of darkness I reached, but the 16th century mystic John of the Cross must have understood it. From his prison cell he wrote: 'There in the lucky dark, darkness far and wide; no sign for me to mark, no other light, no guide except for my heart – the fire, the fire inside.' I, too, was in a prison, with my soul on fire. I had a dream: I am in our cottage, in a kind of cloister. I am waiting for a spiritual treatment. The healing by water is already done, but the one I am waiting for, the initiation by fire, is not ready yet. I was the patient who should have died, and now I would have to look death straight in the eye if I wanted to live. I would have to draw on everything I had learned walking the shamanic path: all the healing practices, all the techniques for growing a new body by awakening stem cell production in the brain, heart, and liver. I called my friend David Perlmutter, a renowned neurologist who was my co-author on Power Up Your

The spiritual medicine I received from the shamans was pow­erful, but I had to complement it with Western medicine. The doctors put me on a worm medication – the same type I give my dogs – and on antibiotics to kill other parasites. The problem was that the worms themselves harboured parasites, so when I killed the worms, they released their parasites into my brain, which be­came very toxic. The situation was dire. My brain was on fire with inflammatory agents and free radicals produced by the medica­tions and the dead and dying parasites. I would have to detox my brain to avoid going completely mad. My brain fog and confusion were glaringly evident when I tried to play Scrabble with Marcela. That game became the barom eter of my mental health. I could not access words. And then I started losing my sense of self. I panicked: What if I forget who I am? What if I lose my consciousness of self? Madness stared at me from the horizon – I saw it, felt it, breathed it. It sent naked fear into every part of my being. Ironically, it was fear of losing myself that saved me. Over the next three months, I simply observed the madness I was expe­ riencing. The shamans (and Buddhists) have a powerful practice of self-inquiry that starts with asking, Who am I? Then, after a while, you begin to inquire, Who is it who is asking the question? So I began to ask, Who is it who's going mad?

ODYSSEY 36 • 

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Brain. Together we craft­ ed a strategy using potent antioxidants to trigger the production of neural stem cells to repair my brain. What followed over the next


months were countless illuminations to clear the imprints

I found solace in my dreams. But in spite of all the

of disease from my luminous energy field, along with

spiritual gifts I was receiving, my body still felt wretched.

intravenous infusions of the antioxidant glutathione

I feared I was ex­hausting all the life force that remained.

to detoxify my liver, soul retrievals to recover parts of

This is the energy meant to be used at the end of life,

myself I had lost to trauma, and out­-of-body experiences

in order to die consciously. As the Bhagavad Gita says,

in which my spirit took flight into the Bud­ dha fields,

'Whatever the state of being I that a man may focus upon

the bardos, the heavens. Energy moved, flowed, met

At the end, when he leaves his body, it is to that state of

obstacles, and flowed again. I was caught up in the highs

being he will go.'

and lows of fighting for my life. Time drifted by like a

I continually asked myself, Where is my focus? I could

sluggish river, and I stepped out of it, knowing I had to

feel my mind teetering on the edge of the precipice. A

make friends with eternity. In my journal I described one

journal entry reads:

soul retrieval:

Suffering is greatest when you believe you are at the end of your existence and face your annihilation. I have discovered the spiritual world, the continuation of life, and embraced it. Today I told myself, 'I'm just going back home. It might be hard – birth was not easy – but I'm going back home. I am blessed, for I know the road. I have been shown the way so many times. In shamanic ceremonies I have died a dozen deaths, have seen my body rot and wither, and have gone to the stars. Heaven and hell are both familiar. But just as the spirits did when I was two years old, they're saying that my time is not yet.'

I strike the drum softly and journey to the lower world to attempt to do a soul retrieval for myself. I know it's not a good idea. The shaman who treats himself has a fool for a patient. But I know the Guardian, the Inca Hwiscar, and he leads me to the chamber of wounds, where there is a pool of blood that trig­gers memories from my childhood of bloodshed in Cuba during the revolution. I find a little boy who tells me his agreement with God is that he will never die, and that is why he cannot leave the hell he is in. I tear up that soul agreement and draft a new one that says, 'Life and death and rebirth live within

This time, however, I knew I had a choice. I could

me.' The child is happy and joins me. We then discover a

choose to remain in the world of Spirit. But the spirits

ten-year-old boy, som­ber and serious, who explains that

were telling me that my work was not done. I would

he must stay behind to look after the little one. The little

have to return to ordinary life. My mind led my body

one had received lifesaving blood transfusions at the age

deeper into a state of collapse, and then into my ultimate

of two, when he got hepatitis C from a contaminated

surrender. That's when I knew that something big was

needle. I tell the ten-year-old that the little one is with

about to happen. But first I had to visit the realm of the

me now, and the older boy smiles.

dead. I dreamed:

That night, I had another dream:

Marcela and I are at a ferry terminal. There are many

I am with friends looking at a grave full of flowers. I

peo­ple waiting to board. We have a small boat just for us,

am buried there. My friends say I can stay there if I like.

one that belonged to my father. People help us launch our

But I tell them I won't need this piece of earth. I see my

boat, which I know how to pilot because my father taught

soul rise from the ground.

me. Not my human father, but the heavenly Father.

ODYSSEY 37 • 

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I've been reluctant to share my healing journey until now. People tend to be skeptical of 'miraculous' recoveries. When any­one asks, 'What brought you back from the edge of death?' I usu­ally say, 'The grace of Spirit.' That's true, but I know there's more to it than that. If grace were the only factor in getting better, we would all be in outstanding health. I am preparing to cross the great water to the land of the ancestors in my own craft, not with all the others

I am leading a group on a tour bus. We come to a

taking the ferry. I am making my journey to the land of

monas­tery with many empty rooms. In one room, there

the dead but not with the dying. I am going with my

are some al­tars with candles on them. I light a candle,

shaman wife.

leaving some coins, and then walk down a spiral staircase

There it was: I had a new mission in life – to be a

carved out of rock. As it descends, the staircase narrows.

shaman. But wait. Hadn't I answered the call to be a

I reach the ground, and as I squeeze through the exit,

shaman a long time ago? I'd even written a book about

I realise that the group won't be able to fit through the

it: Shaman, Healer, Sage. But writ­ ing a book doesn't

opening. The meaning seems clear: I must find another,

make you a shaman, any more than writing a cookbook

less traveled path. I need to go alone.

makes you a chef or having a spiritual library makes you

Again, I was at a choice point. I did not have to stay

a spiritual adept. For years I had been a spiritual guide

on earth; I could return home. The last time I had been

but not a master. I was like the wilderness scout who can

offered this choice, I was just a child, scared and in pain,

find his way through the forest but knows little of the

but now my fear of the Great Journey had passed.

destination. I wrote in my journal:

For years I was like Moses, helping others to the Prom­ ised Land but not being allowed to enter myself. Now that has changed. I am already in the Promised Land. I have been al­lowed entry. And I discovered that the door has always been open, that it was my pride and anger and fear that had kept me out. Now Spirit was offering me another lifetime within this one. I was being called to step fully into my destiny, this time without self-importance, without the subtle seduction of worldly accom­ plishment. The externals of my life might not change, but my attitude had to. A new contract with Spirit was required. I felt liberated. I was free. That night, I dreamed: I am inside a breathing machine and friends are saying good-bye. I am unable to move or speak, but I am in bliss. They turn off life support. I have to pull myself out of the breath­ ing apparatus to come back to life. I realise I can find eternity without dying. I rip the tube out of my mouth and breathe. I am alive. I understand that miracles organise space-time for healing to happen.

ODYSSEY 38 • 

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That was followed by another dream:

And then I realised that I did not have to die literally. I could die symbolically. I could stay and heal myself so I could help and heal others. Once I made that choice, I began reinhabiting my ordinary senses. I felt my spirit sinking roots into my body once again. Awe and wonder returned, as my brain fog began to clear and I saw that stewardship of all life and the earth was my path. My return to health lasted more than a year. My good friend Mark Hyman, a physician who wrote The Blood

Sugar Solution and 10-Day Detox Diet, helped me put together a nutritional plan for healing. It included green juices in the morning and superfoods and supplements that boost the body's self-healing systems and detox the liver and brain. I completely changed the way I eat. Today, I'm fully recovered. More accurately, I'm beyond recov­ered. I'm a new person. My mind is functioning at a higher level than it has in decades. My brain is repaired, and so is my heart. And I have a new liver – not a transplant, but my own liver, fully regenerated. In Power Up Your Brain I wrote about the science of neuroplas­ticity and how we can trigger the production of


neural stem cells that repair the

and antidepressant medications and relaxation techniques

brain. During my health crisis I

available, we don't seem to be able to fix the problem.

became my own experiment of

Meanwhile, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, autism, and

one, in the process discovering

Alzheimer's disease are increasing at an alarming rate.

that it's not just the brain that

Close to 70% of Americans are overweight, and one in

produces stem cells. Every

three children born in America today will develop type

organ in the body does, and

2 diabetes by the age of 15. Fifty percent of otherwise

we can learn to turn on these

healthy 85-year-olds are at risk for Alzhei­mer's disease.

repair and healing systems

Alzheimer's is being called type 3 diabetes, linked to a

to grow a new body that's

gluten-rich, wheat-based diet and a stressed-out brain.

healthier and more resilient. At

And these are just a few of the diseases that are killing us

the same time, I also drew on

prematurely and compromising our quality of life.

the energy medicine taught to

Our ancestors in the Paleolithic era, as well as many

me by the shamans, removing

of the tribal cultures I have lived with in the Amazon and

the imprints of disease from

the Andes, did not, as we often assume, lead short and

my

field

brutish lives. They enjoyed healthier life spans, fewer

and guiding my body toward

luminous

energy

incidences of warfare and violent crime, and less stress

optimal health.

than the people who came after them, including us. What

I've been reluctant to share my healing journey until now.

accounted for their health and well-being? A primarily plant-based diet and One Spirit Medicine.

People tend to be skeptical of

One Spirit Medicine can help you avoid the illnesses

'miraculous' recoveries. When

that are ravaging civilisation today. The shamans of

any­ one asks, 'What brought

old were masters of prevention. You do not have to be

you back from the edge of

gravely ill to root out physical, emotional, and spiritual

death?' I usu­ ally say, 'The

suffering and restore balance to your life. Using the

grace of Spirit.' That's true, but I know there's more to it

principles and practices offered in these pages, you can

than that. If grace were the only factor in getting better,

feel better in a few days and begin to clear your mind and

we would all be in outstanding health. What brought me

heal your brain in a week. And in just six weeks you can

back from the edge of death was One Spirit Medicine –

be well on your way to a new body that heals rapidly and

and you don't need a miracle to be healed by it.

ages gracefully, and a brain that supports you in forging

One Spirit Medicine is based on ancient shamanic healing methods going back to our Paleolithic ancestors 50 000 years ago, backed by the latest breakthroughs in modern neuroscience. I first encountered these practices many years ago, during my fieldwork in the Amazon and the Andes. But these traditional practices are being confirmed today by what we're learning about the body and the brain. For the last decade, together with physicians Mark Hyman and David Perlmutter, I've offered this program to clients who come to our weeklong retreats for detoxification and heal­ing. They leave with body and brain restored. Now, in One Spirit Medicine, I

a profound connection with Spirit and experiencing a

offer you an opportunity to grow a new body using the same techniques. My health crisis was more extreme than most. But the fact is, we're all in a life-and-death struggle with the toxic forces of modern life that throw our health and well-being

renewed sense of purpose in life. One Spirit Medicine can give you all that, just as it gave it to me. O

One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness is available through Penguin Random House Publishers. Click here for more.

out of balance. Many of us feel stressed-out physically and emotionally, and won­der why, with all the anti-anxiety

ODYSSEY 39 • 

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Leopard Warrior

The Making of a Sangoma

ODYSSEY 40 • 

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John Lockley is one of the first white men in recent history to become a senior sangoma in the Xhosa tradition in South Africa. It took him 10 gruelling years from 1997 in post-Apartheid South Africa to 2007. This is his story.

M 

y book Leopard Warrior is my story of illness, healing, redemption and hope. It is both a memoir and teaching, helping people to access

a hidden culture that has been misunderstood for over 300 years. In essence it is a story about a miracle, the miracle of a white middle class guy receiving the calling to become a sangoma and then being trained in an ancient way by an indigenous healer, a senior Xhosa sangoma who took the form of my my teacher, MaNgwevu. She doesn't speak English and to begin with I didn't speak isiXhosa. What drew us together was our shared sangoma dreams, our red blood and our humanity (Ubuntu). The word Sangoma means 'people of the song or drum' because we use rhythm and song to go into trance and connect with the other world to bring back messages to help the living. The word 'Shaman' is an ancient word, originally referring to traditional Siberian healers who used plant medicine, rhythm and song to go into altered states. Shaman is now synonymous with traditional healers the world over who work as 'spirit doctors' to bring harmony and balance to the world. A key factor with all shamanic traditions is that they are all 'called' via a series of mysterious circumstances involving dreams, accidents and illness. The sangoma culture is one of the oldest; living shamanic cultures in the world today. A key element is the calling illness known as 'ukuthwaza'; no-one chooses to become a sangoma. Accepting the calling is a way to bring healing from the 'thwaza' illness, which in my case was relentless leaving me sick and debilitated for over seven years. I received the calling at the age of 18 to become a sangoma, during the height of apartheid in the early 90s. My calling was plagued by ill health. I got tick bite fever twice, glandular fever, hapatitis, bilharzia. I was swept out to sea. I snapped my leg, broke my toe. I was so sick it felt like I had 1000 volts of electricity in my stomach, I had a near fatal accident, I couldn't sleep. I lost weight, I went to doctors but no-one could help. I had exhausted the 'white' options. I had to wait almost 10 years to find my teacher in one of the poorest townships in the Eastern Cape. MaNgwevu, predicted my arrival in a dream. The night before I met her she dreamt that the great Spirit, uThixo came to her and said she needed to prepare herself to train someone to become a senior sangoma like her, and that this person will come from another culture. When I walked through her gate she knew instantly that I was the person she had to train. And when she gave me a divination session she spoke in detail about the last seven years of my life where I succumbed to the 'calling' illness or 'ukuthwasa'. My first experience of divination with a traditional

ODYSSEY 41 • 

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sangoma in the form of MaNgwevu was something I will never forget. My body shook as I sat before her on the floor. To my side sat a translator of the isiXhosa language. Electrical impulses of deep knowing cascaded down my spine as MaNgwevu described long years of illness – accurately and in detail saying how lonely I felt inside and how some days I just wanted to die. I simply nodded, overcome with emotion as I took in the smells of strong herbs and the sight of animal skins hanging from ochre-coloured walls. Then MaNgwevu stopped speaking and simply looked at me. Her eyes pierced through my soul, and in that moment there was no MaNgwevu or John Lockley. There was just the divining wind flowing like water between us. 'What took you so long to come to me?' MaNgwevu asked. 'Apartheid, mama,' I answered. 'Ahh, Thixo, Nkosi yam, siphantse saphulukana nawe,' MaNgwevu said, her voice brimming with with pain and concern as tears slid down her cheeks. I turned to my translator. 'She says, 'Oh Lord, my God, we almost lost you.' (excerpt from Leopard Warrior). Mama asked me one question, 'Do you want to become a sangoma?' I said I didn't know what a sangoma was. As a white boy during Apartheid I was only fed the negative dogma, that sangomas were witchdoctors working in shady, superstitious ways. She told me a sangoma was a healer. That when I accept the calling my ancestors would work through me healing my body and then give me the ability to heal others. I would become stronger and be able to heal people in all different ways. This sounded good to me, so I said 'yes'. The next day she gave me my first white beads as a sign that I was a sangoma initiate and her apprentice. And, as they say, the rest is history. Within Leopard Warrior I recount my 10 years of apprenticeship. The apprenticeship involved learning about the three jewels of sangoma practice; dancing (xhentsa),

Never judge someone for what they look like and for the life they are leading. Just because you don't understand a culture does not mean that it is worthless. Respect all of life for everything is connected. An animal can save your life as well as listening to your dreams. All dreams have the potential to open up hidden worlds within and around you.

plant medicine (amayeza), and divination (vumisa); how to see a person's sickness. Like university involving stages and years of progression, the apprenticeship involved a

ODYSSEY 42 • 

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your arm red blood flows, we are all one human race'.

number of stages where I moved from a junior apprentice

A key motivation behind writing this book was to tell

or 'umkwetha' to a senior and finally a full sangoma known

people the truth about sangoma culture from my own

in isiXhosa as igqirha elikhulu. Each stage ended with an

eyes. For too long sangomas throughout South Africa

initiation and each initiation worked like medicine making

have been demonised and belittled by mainstream culture

my mind, body and spirit stronger. What I learnt most was

as black magic practitioners working in superstitious and

about 'Ubuntu bobuntu' (the depth of humanity) and how

primitive ways. This has resulted in many sangomas

we are all one human family regardless of skin colour. As

getting pushed into poverty and onto the edge of

we say in Xhosa, 'you cut my arm red blood flows, I cut

society. I have stood by the graveside of many of my


that is not English or Western has been a gift for me. In order to understand my environment in the township and rural areas in the Eastern Cape I have had to learn to listen, not just to what people are saying, but the way they are saying it, their body language. This has opened up a whole world to me that further inspired me to write this book. Respect everyone and everything, and always listen to your dreams. You never know if the person you are speaking to is a highly accomplished spiritual master, priest or king. They might look like a beggar or work as a car guard, but they could also be a senior sangoma or traditional leader respected by thousands. Never judge someone for what they look like and for the life they are leading. Just because you don't understand a culture does not mean that it is worthless. Respect all of life for everything is connected. An animal can save your life as well as listening to your dreams. All dreams have the potential to open up hidden worlds within and around sangoma colleagues who have died from poverty and

you.

poverty-related illnesses. I wanted to debunk this notion

I came up with the title of the book Leopard Warrior

and instead say, that sangoma culture is the hidden gold

as a call for the reader to become a spiritual warrior,

within South African society. Sangomas are the traditional

what I call a 'Leopard Warrior'. My special forces soldier

monks and nuns of Southern Africa and should be treated

patients from 1 Military Hospital in the early 1990s as well

with the same level of respect and dignity as people in

as sangoma colleagues inspired me with the idea of a

Asia treat their Buddhist monks and nuns.

'spiritual warrior'. It is a call for the reader to look at their

My apprenticeship came with many gifts and

dreams and the hidden places in their soul and listen.

teachings. I recount them in my book and some of them I

Listen carefully to the natural world outside them, the

can summarise here. Never judge someone by what they

wind in the trees, as well as their inner world. It is a call

look like. In my experience a person receives a calling to

to befriend their own pain, shadows and darkness, and to

become a sangoma regardless of their skin colour, age or

not project it onto the world outside leading to war and

culture. In the same way an Anglican or Methodist priest

what we experienced as 'Apartheid'. Apartheid is all about

receives a vocation in South Africa regardless of their

division, us and them. Being a 'Leopard Warrior' is seeing

skin colour. I am a sangoma, my skin colour is secondary.

the whole, that all of life is connected. We all need one

I have also learnt the power of language. I see so

another, and every

much misunderstanding between people in South Africa

life is sacred. O

because they don't know one another's language. The more I learn the Xhosa language the more I understand the people. Just speaking a few words in someone else's language can break down the barriers between you and allow you to enter into their world. Being in a culture

Leopard Warrior is sold internationally and published by Sounds True (a US multimedia publishing company with the mission of disseminating spiritual wisdom) and can be bought via Amazon. com and most leading book shops in South Africa. To find out more about John and his work/ retreats worldwide look at his website, www.johnlockley.com or contact New Horizon Distributors here.

ODYSSEY 43 • 

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travel

The Gates of Hell Opened  .................... but only just

ODYSSEY 44 • 

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PHOTO CREDIT: www.ethiopia.travel

Curiosity leads to an adventurous spirit and a way of interacting with the world which enables discovery and learning. Learning can only happen if we are curious to discover, which implies we don't already know everything there is to know. In fact the first stage of learning requires us to become consciously incompetent. Sue Fuller Good has lived most of her life sensing how extraordinarily much she doesn't know and this has led to a lifetime quest to learn more and a very adventurous and exciting life has followed.

ODYSSEY 45 • 

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M 

y curiosity crescendo'd in November last year.

ODYSSEY 46 • 

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the duration of the trip.

I had been invited to join a group of women

I arrived at 5 am in Addis Ababa not knowing who I was

called 'Women on a Mission'. They are mostly

looking for or how to find them. It's not a big airport and 9

based in Singapore, but they hail from all over the world.

fellow travellers all carrying bikes and wearing team jackets

They have a common desire to help and uplift women and

are not that hard to spot and before long we were loaded

children who have been the victims of war and violence.

in a bus and heading for our hotel in the city.

Every year they go on a pioneering mission, tackling

I set about discovering the women I was to travel with.

something that has never been done before in order to

Again my spirit of curiosity stood me in good stead as I

raise funds for and awareness of, the plight of downtrodden

engaged the daunting task of finding out who these people

women from around the globe.

were and what their hidden treasures were. Overwhelmed

I was deeply honoured to join the group and was

is a good way to describe my emotional state that morning.

inspired to do what I could to help. Here in SA one in five

But after a day touring with these women and meeting the

women who dies in Gauteng, dies from domestic violence.

Ethiopian government minister in charge of women and

This situation is very close to my heart and I didn't even

children affairs, visiting a shelter for abused women and

hesitate to take my place. I was so keen to go, I didn't

eating delicious local food, I relaxed. Anticipation started

care where it was or what it was about. I didn't even really

to unfurl in my belly. I stuffed any remaining apprehension

research the place I was visiting. Most of the information I

down my throat and took the next step into the unknown.

attained before leaving came from my partner and friends

We left the capital city for Mek 'ele well before dawn

who spent their time finding out what I was planning to do.

the following day. We had to fly 11 bikes (our mountain

'Why the Danakil?, is a question I have been asked a

bike guide, Rachael also had a bike) on a small plane,

thousand times. There is a certain intrigue when a place

meet our new Ethiopian guide and the 5 drivers who would

is called the Gateway to Hell. And there is a certain lure

accompany us into the desert, assemble our bikes and

when it is called the most inhospitable place on earth.

drive from Mek' ele to the starting camp Ahmed Ela. It was

What is such a place really like?? It is located in the Afar

a busy day. We arrived at Ahmed Ela, the northern camp

Region of north-eastern Ethiopia near the Eritrean border.

of the Danakil Region, at dusk and set up camp. We were

It is part of the East African Rift System, a place where

filled with excitement and felt pretty shocked by the first

the Earth's internal forces are currently rupturing three

onslaught of the oppressive heat. It was 38 degrees that

continental plates, and creating new land. The Danakil

night as we tried to sleep on mattresses and rustic wooden

Depression sits along fault lines, and so is often disturbed

cots under the stars. The noises of the night made sleep

by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The result: an ever

hard to enjoy. There were several camel trains passing us

changing landscape, new fissures that spurt out molten

on their way to the salt lake nearby and their drivers who

lava, sulphuric acid and toxic fumes. The other fascination

cajoled and moved the camel train. These are not sounds

is that a few people do in fact call this place their home.

any of us were accustomed to hearing as we slept.

The Afar people, I couldn't wait to find out how they could

At first light we woke and started to prepare to leave.

live in such a place and what gave them the resilience to

Amazingly it took us till 8am to get sorted and breakfasted

survive where even most plants couldn't live.

and we gaily rode off into the desert, headed for Dallol. This

I bought a bike and started training as hard as I could

is a cinder-cone-shaped volcano, twenty-three kilometres

in July 2017 and by November, I was as ready as I would

northeast of Ahmed Ela. The cycle across the salt plains

ever be. I packed and left in a daze, because it's not easy to

was extraordinary and really easy. We met our hot spring

leave your life for 11 days when you are a Mum, a business

guide Arata, in my case changed shoes and hiked up to the

owner etc and when you will be unreachable in any way for

luminescent hot springs. We indulged in the experience,


feeling pretty relaxed about the cycle and what lay ahead.

shirts and trays to fan the sick and kept a through the night

We noticed the heat, as one does at 45°C, but somehow it

vigil on our burning team mates. We were over joyed and

didn't set off any warning bells for us.

so relieved to find that they had all turned the corner back

Dallol was formed in 1926 by a phreatic eruption. Groundwater, heated by magma creates, a steam eruption without lava. It is created by hydrothermal activity. These

to relative health by morning. Only the unaffected were allowed to ride the next day. The rest reluctantly travelled in the Jeeps.

eruptions led to a series of spectacular, bubbling sulphuric

We made better plans and left earlier in the morning

acid pools, with an immeasurably low PH and a very high

after that. We stopped every 10 km on our rides and drank

salt content. This region was below the sea millions of

plenty. Drinking hot almost boiling water is hard to do. But

years ago. We saw springs that had not been there a week

the consequences of not doing it were dire. We rode without

ago, Dallol is constantly changing and extremely unstable.

camel packs to help us cool down and we all took better

We had to follow our guide's footsteps for fear of slipping

note of how our bodies were coping. We had 6 days to go

and touching the hideously acidic water, which would have

and each day we were riding further from medical care and

burnt off a limb in no time had we got near. Imagine seeing

further into the deep unknown. We had been deeply shaken

before your eyes how changeable the earth really is and

by our catastrophic first day and we recognised we couldn't

how insignificant we really are.

afford to make the same mistakes again. We all adopted a

After indulging in our touring, we went across to the

growth mindset: we were here to do a mission, not risk our

salt mountain and investigated the incredible sight of these

lives. Our drive to make a contribution to the planet couldn't

'mountains' created by the flow of the river through the

override our drive to survive. After that we only had Rachael

parched landscape whenever it flooded. The salt deposits

get heat stroke (and hers lasted 3 days.) and everyone else

had created these mountains. Wow. Extraordinary, just

seemed to be able to cope. Or they coped until gastro set

like a landscape from Mars. We climbed and explored and

in and we went back into a state of catastrophe.

only thought of getting back to camp when it was almost mid-day and a stifling 50°C.

I was one of the lucky few who never got heat stroke or any other sickness. I think my life's work in listening

The team dropped like flies as we rode and they felt

to my body and tuning in to it's voice stood me in good

themselves becoming increasingly distressed. By the time

stead. It's hard to share what you know when you don't

we rode into camp only four of us were still going and it was

know what other people don't know. It comes so naturally

2.30pm. We had been warned to avoid the midday heat but

to me by now to listen and respond to my body's needs. I

we didn't know what we didn't know and nothing could have

never realised other people weren't doing the same thing

prepared us for the onslaught of heat stroke that struck

I was doing. This was one of the greatest lessons I learnt

more than half of the team as the afternoon progressed.

from the whole experience. Your own self-preservation has

One girl fainted and scarcely regained consciousness until

to come first. If it doesn't, you will be knocked down. It's

the early hours of the morning. Others vomited, were

not success at all costs and neither is it achieve the goal

delirious and almost all burned with fever. It was horrific.

no matter what. There has to be humility and re-evaluation

Heatstroke is very dangerous, it can be fatal. We were

every step of the way. I am more inspired than ever to stay

5 hours away from medical care and it wasn't simple to

tuned into my body's voice and keep my drive to achieve

just drive to a hospital. You have to get permission from

and my drive to make a difference firmly in perspective. If I

the chief of the region before you can travel through the

leave it up to my ego, the balance will never be found and

Danakil, and you need security guards and a militia man.

disaster may present.

If one Jeep left with the sick people, who would guard the

Every day from that disastrous first day only four people

rest of us? Those of us who were unaffected, used wet T

got to the finish line, but that was all we needed. We were

ODYSSEY 47 • 

DIGIMAG


a team and everyone had a role. We didn't all have to do everything. We had extra ordinary diversity in our team: we could use each person's talents and strengths to get the expedition done. It was fascinating to see how when everyone used their strengths the whole team got closer to achieving it's mission. We had an Ethiopian guide, Mull'eh who was incredible. He knew the region and the people so well and he was a magnificent leader. Christine was a leader too, she had a way of making people feel really great about themselves and she was a master at getting media coverage and great photo's. All of this is vital for fund raising. Jenny kept us all laughing, Valerie, kept everyone in line and kept the time schedule and the

There is no way to distract yourself there. You are stuck feeling what you feel: there is no cell reception, it's too hot to read or sleep, you can't eat or drink. So you feel.

logistics happening as they should. Vittoria, kept harmony and peace, Milena made sure we didn't sweat the small

jostling and disagreeing a bit. These challenges made

stuff. Rachael helped us with our bikes and made sure

me feel quite lonely and excluded. Even although I

our bikes weren't destroyed as they were slung on and

understood, I struggled and felt like an outsider who

off the roofs of the Jeeps. I played medic and took care

didn't belong.

of the sick. Jacqui, although very sick on two occasions,

Remember, there is no way to distract yourself there.

reminded us to remain Britishly calm and sanguine.

You are stuck feeling what you feel: there is no cell

Prittika, nurtured and complimented everyone, making

reception, it's too hot to read or sleep, you can't eat or

certain everyone felt seen and appreciated for who they

drink. So you feel. That was the hardest part for me.

were and for what they did. Katernia got on with the job

I realise how I avoid feeling the unpleasant emotions

of cycling with zero fuss and in her Swiss-French fashion,

in my life, because I just get busy and distract myself,

she brought clarity and calm. We had cooks and drivers

immaculately. You can't put human beings together

and security people. We became a high performance

under stressful conditions (and these were excessively

team in time and we made history. We crossed the

stressful conditions) and not expect some interpersonal

Danakil Depression on our bicycles. No-one has ever

challenges. These were highly self-mastered women and

attempted that before and in truth I hope no-one ever

so for the most part we did astonishingly well.

does in the future either.

ODYSSEY 48 • 

DIGIMAG

We sat one afternoon whiling away the time,

For a team to form and perform in only 10 days and

miserable with the impossible heat and flies, waiting to

accomplish something extra ordinary is mind blowing. I

see the volcano Erta Alle at dusk and in the dark, trying

was deeply surprised that we moved through the stages

to chat and enjoy each other's company. This was the 4th

of forming, storming and norming quite fast. There wasn't

afternoon spent in this way, in a row and I just wanted

much politeness at the start, everyone except me knew

to weep. I have no clue who else felt the desperation and

each other so we could almost eliminate the first stage of

the degree of it that I did, but it was a really low point

team development. Some people knew each other really

for me. I had developed a weak left hand. I had no idea

well. There were some intense moments of storming.

why. I couldn't see a cause for the symptom and I was

I was glad to understand, that this conflict is essential

literally terrified of what this meant for me and my life.

and can't be eliminated. For the team to transform and

I couldn't do anything with my hand and I couldn't help

succeed we had to pass through the human stage of

running scenarios through my mind of what catastrophic


pathology underpinned this. Somehow I could still cycle

and lunch in a 'restaurant'.

although with extreme difficulty, but I feared this ability

We left the restaurant with it's fans and cold water

to continue may not continue all the way to the end. In

and beers, reluctantly and made our way to the 'Riviera

hindsight, it was possibly stress, but it was a nightmare

of Ethiopia'. The salt lake looks just like the ocean and

in my state. I tried to share my experience with a few

has little beaches on it's shores. We swam and washed

people, but in each case I received a blank stare in return

our bodies in the salty water. It was wonderful although it

for my news. I guess everyone was busy with their own

stung terribly on our scratched and cut legs. We washed

fears and symptoms. As it happened within a few weeks

and cleaned in the hot springs next to the lake as best we

of returning, my hand strength came back to normal.

could without polluting the water with soap and shampoo.

Thankfully..

That night we bought a slaughtered a goat and

Seeing the volcano made it all worthwhile. What an

braaied the meat as we danced to Ethiopian music from

amazing experience to encounter a place like that and to

broken speakers and felt like heroes. Our drivers, cooks

be there all alone with just our team and the marvel of

and guide were as thrilled as we were and it was a

nature. It's hard to find words to explain it, so I will just

celebration to remember. An adventure like no other and

include a photograph for you to use to imagine it.

a life experience that changed us all forever.

We descended the volcano that night back to base

What shocks me, whenever I think about the trip is

camp. Some girls were afraid of the damage the fumes

that all the people we met are still there. We came, we

from the volcano may do to their lungs and they wanted

looked and learnt and we left, back to our complex and

to descend as soon as possible. I wanted to sleep up there

comfortable lives. They stayed and they will continue to

and experience the energy and the sounds overnight. We

stay as they have for the last several hundred years. They

had rented camels to bring our mattresses and night

stay, unchanged by us, although we were so changed

bags up to the top and in a heartbeat, poor Mull'eh had

by them. They remain unchanged by technology or

to find more camels and get us back down. I felt we were

the information age and in hundreds of ways, I think

behaving like spoilt brats by even asking.

they have peace that few of us ever find. They live in

Nevertheless, we returned to the base camp in a

the moment and they live at one with nature. They live

howling gale of hot wind at 1am. I was so tired I could

with discipline and they live with faith. I returned home

barely get myself onto my mattress. Every time I turned

challenged and exhausted, confused and inspired. I still

my scarf under which I was sleeping, blew away and at

struggle to make sense of all that came up for me during

times my mattress blew away too when I got off it to go

my visit, but I keep finding new perceptions and deeper

to the 'loo'. What a night. And we woke once more at

understandings which were my treasures I brought home.

dawn to get on our bikes for our last and longest day of

I stay in touch with Mull'eh and the deep respect that

riding. We had first to cycle down the volcano which was

developed between us persists and I hope always will. I

real mountain biking and great fun, but which hurt if you

stay in touch with the WOAM girls and I dream of being

fell, because the rocks are hot and sharp. Then we had to

included in a future mission. I just pray it will be slightly

do 40km through the desert to the edge of the Danakil.

less exacting. I won't hesitate to take my place on a

We made it, we did it and never has a cold beer tasted so delicious or so wonderfully cold. We stopped for beer

future mission, should I be lucky enough to be invited again. At least I won't be the stranger when I go. O

Holistic Wellness Centre • • • •

Physiotherapy Sport & Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Mindfulness & Lifestyle Coaching Corporate Training & Wellness

011 463 0229 • bodybrilliance.co.za

ODYSSEY 49 • 

DIGIMAG


ADVERTORIAL

BLOCKTHECOLD New research has shown that Vitamin C supplementation may shorten the duration of colds. Let's have a closer look.

A 

nalysing two randomised trials, scientists from

If you have a cold, drink

the University of Helsinki, Finland, found that

plenty of hot water with

compared to placebo, 8g of vitamin C administered

lemon and honey, green

on the first day of the cold shortened its duration by an

tea or chicken soup to

average 19%, while the second study showed taking 6g

help relieve congestion and dehydration.

of vitamin C a day shortened colds by 17%. 'Self-dosing of vitamin C must be started as soon as

Increase intake of fresh

possible after the onset of common cold symptoms to

fruit, vegetables, herbs

be most effective,' said head researcher Dr Harri Hemilä.

and spices.

Research also shows vitamin C may also be helpful

Increase intake of good

in supporting immunity, protecting cells from free

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radical damage and cardiovascular and chronic disease,

coconut oil, seeds and

promoting muscle repair and generally contributing to

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improved health.

Take a good probiotic to

Additionally, studies show that liposomal encapsulation

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your

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nutrients in the body, including vitamin C. Liposomes

sauerkraut, kefir and plain yogurt.

are tiny, 'nano-sized' fat soluble bubbles made from phospholipids which protect against degradation in

Drink

lots

of

water,

the harsh digestive system. A study shows improved

exercise daily, manage

concentrations of vitamin C in the body through liposomal

stress and aim for at least eight hours of sleep a

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Nutritional expert Vanessa Ascencao says Liposomal Vitamin C has shown to be significantly more bioactive

Avoid sugary food and drinks and heavily processed or oily food.

than ordinary vitamin C supplements. She shares the

ODYSSEY 50 • 

DIGIMAG

following tips for the winter season:

Liposomal Vitamin C is available nationally at leading

Increase intake of vitamin C, B, D, zinc and echinacea

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DIGIMAG


Bottled water and

micro

plastics

With the intense water-shortage in the Western Cape, parts of the Northern Cape and other areas in and around South Africa, plus the prospect of a lot more of the same yet to come, both in the Southern African region and many other locations and regions around the world, water has become a big deal. Now one study has shown that 93% of sampled bottled water carried microplastic particles – a truly alarming revelation. Included are some of the most popular brands of bottled water in the world. We take a look.

T 

he world's most popular brands of bottled water

microplastic particles per litre, according to the report.

are contaminated with microplastics, according to

The researchers found an average of 10 particles/l, mostly

new research by Orb Media, a non-profit journalism

larger than 100 microns (0.1mm), which is slightly wider

organisation based in Washington, DC, USA. Researchers tested more than 250 bottles from 11 brands purchased in nine countries: Brazil, China, India,

Microplastic dangers

Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand and the

Research is unclear about where those microplastics 'go

United States. Microplastics were found in 93% of bottles

in your body' or what they do, biochemically speaking.

tested, which included major brands such as Aquafina,

Consequently, even the so-called 'experts' are not sure what

Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino.

risks these microplastics pose to those who ingest them.

The study, led by microplastic researcher Sherri Mason

A 2016 report from the European Food Safety Authority

of the State University of New York at Fredonia, found

said the vast majority of consumed microplastic particles

plastics including polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene

likely pass safely through the body. But other studies have

terephthalate (PET). The researchers believe that some or

questioned whether the particles can stay in the body

perhaps most of the microplastics came from the packaging

and perhaps even lodge in various organs, or remain in

or the packaging process.

circulation in the bloodstream.

'The data seems to suggest that at least some of the

'What we do know is that some of these particles are big

plastic contamination may be coming from the industrial

enough that, once ingested, they are probably excreted, but

process of bottling the water itself,' the researchers

along the way they can release chemicals that cause known

explained. Most of the microplastics were either from the

human health impacts,' said Mason, one of the researchers

bottling process, the bottle or the cap, they added.

involved in the study.

This is to say that the water inside the bottles was the

'Some of these particles are so incredibly small that

least likely to have been the microplastic-carrying culprit –

they can actually make their way across the gastrointestinal

but it cannot be excluded as a contributor either.

tract, across the lining, and be carried throughout the body,

Contamination ranged from zero to more than 10 000

ODYSSEY 52 • 

DIGIMAG

than a strand of hair.

and we don't know the implications of what that means for


health our various organs and tissues.' However, some researchers don't think consuming plastic is necessarily a serious health issue. 'Based on what we know so far about the toxicity of microplastics – and our knowledge is very limited on that

research there to tell us,' said Gordon. 'We normally have a "safe" limit. But to have a safe limit, to define that, we need to understand if these things are dangerous, and if they occur in (bottled) water at concentrations that are dangerous.'

– I would say that there is little health concern, as far as

Gordon, along with other water researchers and

we know,' Martin Wagner, a toxicologist at the Norwegian

experts, point out that there's a much greater threat from

University of Science and Technology, was quoted as

water where supplies may have been contaminated with

saying.

sewage, industrial effluent or even rain-borne contaminants

'I mean, that's quite logical because I believe that our body is very well-adapted to dealing with such non-digestible particles.'

WHO to investigate

washed from air-polluted skies. But, in light of this most recent look at what actual is in our bottled drinking water, a large number of the many hundreds of millions who, by choice or necessity, drink much or even all their drinking water from plastic

The World Health Organisation will reportedly launch its

bottles, the immediate concern is whether or not there

own review of the possible risks of microplastics in drinking

is a lingering and growing danger from the presence of

water as a result of reports on this study.

microplastic particles they consume.

Bruce Gordon, co-ordinator of the WHO's global

'The public are obviously going to be concerned about

initiatives on water and sanitation, said the most important

whether this is going to make them sick in the short term

issue was health-related – whether ingesting microplastics

and the long term,' added Gordon.

over a lifetime can have a measurable impact on health. 'When we think about the composition of the plastic, whether there might be toxins in it, to what extent

There is no clear answer as yet, but watch this space – we shall advise Odyssey readers further as this unfolding saga develops. O

they might carry harmful constituents, what actually the particles might do in the body – there's just not the

Source: Bottled water & microplastics

ODYSSEY 53 • 

DIGIMAG


THE HEALING POWER OF BAOBAB Inspired by the abundant riches that come from the baobab, EcoProducts has created BaoCare™, a 100% pure and natural skin healing range using the rare baobab oil as its foundational hero ingredient. Baobab oil is a rich amber-gold oil cold-pressed from the small brown seeds found within the fruit pod of the baobab tree. Baobab oil has a unique fatty acid profile with exceptional quantities of Omega 6 and 9. These essential fatty acids are known to maintain elasticity, soften and smooth the skin and naturally regenerate new skin cells. Baobab oil has been clinically proven to deeply moisturise and hydrate the skin as well as reduce trans-epidermal water loss. Each BaoCare™ product combines organic wild harvested Baobab oil with natural plant extracts known for their skin healing properties. These expertly blended skincare solutions also contains essential oils known for their beneficial aromatherapy properties.

There are 5 products in the range: 1. BaoCare Tissue Oil: Enriched with Vitamin E, this tissue oil is especially formulated as a deeply nourishing oil for very dry skin, scarring and stretch marks. 2. BaoCare™ Eczema Skincare: Baobab oil is boosted with anti-inflammatory Calendula and Schizandra, excellent for stressed, sensitive and hyper-reactive skin. 3. BaoCare™ Baobab oil: With its light, natural, slightly nutty scent, this rich amber-golden oil is suitable for those sensitive to fragrance. 4. BaoCare™ Radiance: This rich and luxurious blend of oils deeply hydrates and moisturises. Jojoba increases elasticity and softens skin and pomegranate extract protects against damage from UV light, promotes collagen synthesis and skin repair. 5. BaoCare™ Acne SkinCare: A synergistic blend of Tea Tree, Calendula and Evening Primrose – well-known for their soothing, skin-balancing and anti-microbial properties and high levels of linoleic acid.

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www.baocare.co.za


WHAT IS GOING IN YOUR HAIR? Millions of men around the world may be using the wrong shampoo, according to new research. Are you one of them? Let's take a look.

S 

urveys conducted in South Africa, Germany,

dandruff. And, of those with a dry scalp, only 35% are

Hong Kong and Singapore, found that an average

using a moisturising shampoo.

one in four men surveyed had a dry scalp and

Klenk, who discovered that a caffeine-based formula

most of them are using an anti-dandruff rather than a

helps counter hair loss* in men and women, has now

moisturising shampoo to address the problem.

developed Alpecin Hybrid Caffeine Shampoo for dry,

In South Africa, a survey by independent market

sensitive and itchy scalp. The 'hybrid' comprises a gentle,

research company, Insight Survey, commissioned by

moisturising shampoo combined with a caffeine formula

Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, found that 24% of men had a

to 'fuel' the hair and help counter hair loss*.

dry scalp and two thirds of them are using anti-dandruff shampoo.

Dandruff and dry scalp are very different conditions, says global hair expert, Dr Adolf Klenk. 'Dry scalp causes

www.plantur39.co.za •

dry flakes and is often itchy. Many men think this is dandruff and try to fight the problem with an anti-dandruff

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shampoo which may be worsening the problem. 'A dry scalp needs a mild, moisturising shampoo,

For more info visit www.alpecin.co.za and

Facebook and Twitter

whereas dandruff is largely the result of an oily scalp,

Facebook and Twitter.

requiring a completely different solution,' said Klenk. The South African survey found that 71% of all 1011 respondents mistakenly believe a dry, itchy scalp causes

*

without a result of a medical condition

ODYSSEY 55 • 

DIGIMAG


health

CAMs breakthrough DOWN UNDER In Australia, an effort to label all alternative (traditional, complementary) medicine products as 'based on pseudoscience' has failed. The implications for complementary medicines (CAMs) in South Africa are far-reaching as local authorities have closely followed their Australian counterparts. We take a look.

ODYSSEY 56 • 

DIGIMAG


T 

raditional

remedies,

many

much

older

than

mainstream medicines, have been defended as appropriate, and can include health claims in

Australia, a country that had been leading the way into the darkness of 'the only medicine is allopathic – everything else quackery'. The Crazz Files, a major defender of health freedom in Australia, reports: 'In a major win, the Federal Government has ignored the Australian Greens and anti-complementary medicine activists like Doctor Ken Harvey... and passed a reform package that protects traditional medicine. 'The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No 1) Bill, which passed Parliament on February 15, supports positive claims for complementary medicines based on traditional evidence, and abolishes the current complaints system. 'Greens voters were shocked to learn Greens Leader and General Practitioner, Senator Dr Richard Di Natale was aligned with skeptics, whose platform is: "There is no alternative to [modern] Medicine". 'One of his (Dr Di Natale's) "concerns" was that people were being "misled" by traditional claims about the effectiveness of complementary medicine. He, and the skeptics, wanted labels on complementary and traditional medicines to state: "This traditional indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and there is no scientific evidence that this product is effective". 'The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told Di Natale: "I think it is offensive and disrespectful to those who practice traditional medicine".' For some, particularly those using Chinese medicine, the history of practising in that traditional medicine paradigm goes back thousands of years. This system has been extensively refined, practised and documented and in many cases incorporated into mainstream medicine. 'So, a statement required by the Australian government that the indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and that there is no scientific evidence will be seen as arrogant and insensitive to those practising and using traditional Chinese medicines,' Senator McKenzie said.

Modern Medicine Modern medicine is based on a so-called scientific system that is the 'only valid system', according to medico-legal hardliners. It is the primary health system employed in Australia, America, and virtually all countries in the world – except where there are established and much older primary health care systems which fall under CAMs or traditional medicines.

ODYSSEY 57 • 

DIGIMAG


People who watch the news or read mainstream news have the impression that 'scientific' medical research is remarkably valid and always progressing. Doctors and medical bureaucrats ceaselessly push this view. But they are concealing a dark truth. According to Australian health blogger Jon Rappoport, two editors of two of the most prestigious and respected medical journals in the world agree with that startling (to some) assertion. During their long careers, they have read and scrutinised more studies than any doctor, researcher, bureaucrat, or so-called medical blogger. And this is what they have written: 1. 'It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.' (Dr Marcia Angell, NY Review of Books, January 15, 2009, 'Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption'). 2. 'The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness... 'The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of 'significance' pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale... Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent...' (Dr Richard Horton, editor-in-chief, The Lancet, in

The Lancet, 11 April, 2015, Vol 385, 'Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma?') There are many ominous implications in these two statements. One is that incompetent, error-filled, and fraudulent studies of medical drugs – for example, published reports on clinical trials of those drugs – would lead one to expect chaos in the field of medical treatment. And by chaos, it is meant that the drugs involved cause

ODYSSEY 58 • 

DIGIMAG

Perhaps the 'armour' of Westernised so-called 'scientific' but often fraudulently marketed or researched big pharma medicines is showing cracks with the Aussie decision to step away from the 'American' model of health to include something gentler, time-tested and more relevant in our South African context. widespread death and severe injury. According to this Aussie health blogger, there is a conspiracy of silence covering up the already-reported widespread death and grievous harm which has been reported. For example: On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Starfield study, 'Is US health really the best in the world?', published in The Journal of the American Medical

Association (JAMA), came to the following conclusion, among others: 'Every year in the US, correctly prescribed, medical drugs approved by the FDA kill 106 000 people.' Thus, every decade, these drugs kill more than a million people. On the heels of Starfield's astonishing findings, media reporting was rather perfunctory, and it soon dwindled. No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing 'Medicalgate' investigation. Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action. This, despite it being known and reported in medical literature that upwards of a third of all hospital-treated


Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it? It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that 'it would not be interesting to readers'.

Training Physicians are trained to pay exclusive homage to peer-reviewed published drug studies. These doctors unfailingly ignore the fact that, if medical drugs are killing patients suffer from a worsening of their health condition

a million Americans per decade, the studies on which

– or even death – from properly prescribed and taken

those drugs are based must be fraudulent. In other

medical drug treatments. All in all, those parties who

words, the medical literature is suspect, unreliable, and

could have taken effective steps to correct this ongoing

impenetrable.

tragedy preferred to ignore it. On

December

6-7,

2009,

Which is exactly what the two esteemed medical blogger

Rappoport

interviewed Dr Starfield by email.

editors quoted above – Marcia Angell and Richard Horton – are saying.

Here is an excerpt from that interview:

If you know a doctor who enjoys sitting up on his high

Q: What has been the level and tenor of the

horse dispensing the final word on modern medicine, you

response to your findings, since 2000?

might give him the quotes from Dr Angell and Dr Horton,

A: The American public appears to have been hoodwinked

instruct him to read them, and suggest he get in touch

into believing that more interventions lead to better

with Angell and Horton, in order to discover what has

health, and most people that I meet are completely

happened to his profession.

unaware that the US does not have the 'best health in the world'. In

the

medical

research

Local scene

community,

In South Africa we continue to battle on under a regime

have your medically-caused mortality

imposed by those apparently obsessed with turning every

statistics been debated, or have these

time-honoured treatment, indigenous to these shores

figures been accepted, albeit with some

or others, into either 'a sham' or forcing such to be

degree of shame?

registered in a costly manner much more appropriate to

The findings have been accepted by those who study

dangerous allopathic treatments.

them. There has been only one detractor, a former

Recently regulatory changes and re-organisation

medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention

appears to not have altered this picture in any significant

for claiming that the US health system is the best there

manner, with local 'authorities' appearing to be entirely

is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in

hoodwinked or under the baleful influence of international

medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his

'big pharma'.

constituency). Have

health

Given the reality of 'state capture', and the openness agencies

of

the

federal

of some officials to tainting determinations based on

government consulted with you on ways

personal enrichment, one can only but draw the inevitable

to mitigate the [devastating] effects of

conclusions as to why our own African Traditional

the US medical system?

treatments, plus those from China and elsewhere, many

No.

with long-established and proven safety and efficacy

Are you aware of any systematic efforts,

records, are being dealt with in this manner.

since your 2000 JAMA study was published,

But perhaps the 'armour' of Westernised so-called

to remedy the main categories of medically

'scientific' but often fraudulently marketed or researched

caused deaths in the US?

big pharma medicines is showing cracks with the Aussie

No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot

decision to step away from the 'American' model of health

of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death]

to include something gentler, time-tested and more

than I calculated.

relevant in our South African context. O

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food

The Olami: Simple Nourishing Fresh cookbook from Nirit Saban of the popular deli on Bree Street, Cape Town is all about simple, nourishing, wholesome food. Olami, a word used in Israel, means global, universal and worldly, and Nirit’s recipes open the door to many fusions and intermingling flavours from the Middle East to South America. A book that keeps in mind the local, the recipes with easy-to-source ingredients make it accessible to everyone. Have a look at these tasty recipes.

Basic tomato sauce In the beginning of the week at Olami we prepare our basic tomato sauce. We order our tomatoes the week before, usually a combination of Roma tomatoes and regular tomatoes, and ripen them at the shop until they are bursting red, juicy, soft, sweet and tart.

Ingredients •

5 tablespoons sunflower oil

4 red chillies whole

8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 kg tinned whole peeled tomatoes

1 kg ripened fresh tomatoes

1 sprig of rosemary

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Method In a large pot, warm the oil, then add the chilli and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes on a medium heat. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 40 minutes. Taste the sauce as you go and check if you need to add more salt or sugar as tomatoes always differ slightly in their acidity and sweetness and it’s necessary to keep track of that difference and adapt the balance as you go. With a hand blender, blend the sauce until thick and creamy, cool down completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Hummus with roasted mushrooms Hummus is our butter, our main spread here at Olami. We bring in pure raw tahini from Israel to make our hummus – it makes the world of difference to use good quality tahini. To get that smooth creamy texture I’ve discovered the trick is to whip the tahini before adding it into your chickpea mix when blending. You can go crazy with all sorts of hummus combinations.

Ingredients

make your tahina paste. In a

Hummus

mixing bowl add the tahini, lemon

500 g raw chickpeas

juice, two cups of water, salt

1 tablespoon baking soda

and garlic, whisk well for at least

2 cups raw tahini

1 minute, check seasoning and

½ cup lemon juice

thickness and add more water if

1 teaspoon cumin powder

necessary.

3–4 cups water

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

Salt

Roasted mushrooms

500 g mushrooms

4 tablespoons marinating oil (see page 20)

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Handful of chopped parsley

Olive oil

Add toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts and a few pinches of paprika to jazz it up (optional)

Methods 1. Soak the chickpeas in water and

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Marinate the mushrooms with the marinating oil, lay on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Lower the temperature of your oven and roast for 25-35 minutes at 200°C. In a blender, add a few good scoops of the cooked chickpeas and blend for a minute. Add one full cup of the tahina mix and blend for a further minute, repeating until you have used all the ingredients. When

serving,

depending

on how many people you are

half a tablespoon of baking soda

feeding, spread the hummus

overnight. Rinse the following

on a large flattish serving plate

day and immerse in a hot pot of

and make a slight dip in the

boiling water with the other half

middle of it, creating a border

tablespoon of baking soda. Cook

around the plate and then pour

until the chickpeas are super soft

the roasted mushrooms into the

and almost breaking apart, strain

centre. Lastly sprinkle over the

and cool.

parsley and a few good drizzles

While the chickpeas are cooling,

of olive oil.

Published by Jacana Media, RRP R330

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reviews New Pizza: A Whole New Era For The World's Favourite Food Stefano Manfredi Murdoch Books • 978 1 7433 6888 6

Taking pizza back to its roots and introducing a new world of flavours. While Italy, and more precisely Naples, is pizza's spiritual home, it's fair to say it has become one of the world's favourite foods. Pizza comes in many styles round, square, a metre or more in length, thin, thick, filled, fried or sweet, with a crust that's high or low, soft or crunchy. And the quality of the pizza is defined by the quality of the flour, the dough and the ingredients for the topping. In his book, awardwinning chef Stefano Manfredi takes pizza back to its roots. He uses stoneground, unbleached, wholewheat flour and tried-andtested methods for kneading and proving pizza dough, showing step by step how to create the healthiest, tastiest base for your pizza. Next comes an incredible range of toppings, the classics like margherita or seafood pizza, and then a delicious range of new styles including lamb belly, ricotta and Mediterranean herbs, pickled lettuce, capers, olives and tomatoes, Roman pizza with figs, prosciutto and balsamic, the amazing Peking duck

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roll pizza, fried pizza with pork belly, ricotta and provola and delightfully named 'Pillow of Dreams', a chocolate indulgence dessert pizza. To top it off, there are features with five of Naples' finest pizza chefs and sprinkled throughout are stunning shots of the beautiful city of Naples, the local growers and their produce. Stefano Manfredi's New Pizza takes pizza back to what it used to be a healthy and delicious fast food for everyone to enjoy.

Israeli quiche), Cardamom Butter Biscuits And a Tarte de Saint Tropez. Rachel's recipes range from the super simple (ginger squares) to the slightly more complex, including a show-stopping Celebration Cake. Whatever you're after, there will be no deflated soufflés or dry sponges in sight.

Home Baking Rachel Allen

4th Estate • 978 0 0081 0051 3

Harper Collins • 978 0 0081 7982 3

Rachel's recipes always work. Her legions of fans know that they are in safe hands with her. And nowhere is it more important than with baking. Here, in this gorgeous new book, she combines simple yet brilliant techniques with delicious flavours. With over 140 easy-to-follow recipes, Home Baking caters to your every baking need or whim. Whether you're after something traditional like the perfect birthday cake, the crispest brandy snaps or the crumbliest cheese swirls, Rachel has a fail-safe recipe. Or perhaps you're looking for something a bit more unusual, in which case you'll find undiscovered gems such pashtida with aubergine, feta and mint (an

Made at Home: The Food I Cook For The People I Love Giorgio Lacotelli From Tuscan tomato and bread soup to monkfish stew, simple spaghettis or lemon and pistachio polenta cake, Made at Home is a colourful collection of the food that Giorgio Locatelli loves to prepare for family and friends. With recipes that reflect the places he calls home, from Northern Italy to North London or the holiday house he and his wife Plaxy have found in Puglia, Made at Home is a celebration of favourite vegetables combined in vibrant salads or fresh seasonal stews, along with generous fish and meat dishes and cakes to share. Early every evening, Giorgio's 'other family', the chefs and front of house staff at his restaurant, Locanda Locatelli, sit down together to eat, and Giorgio reveals


the recipes for their best-loved meals, the Tuesday Pizza and the Saturday 'Italian' Burger. In a series of features he also takes favourite ingredients or themes and develops them in four different ways, amid ideas for wholesome snacks, from mozzarella and ham calzoncini (pasties) to ricotta and Swiss chard erbazzone (a traditional pie), crostini to put out with drinks, and fresh fruit ice creams and sorbets to round off a meal in true Italian style.

Feed Me Vegan Lucy Watson Sphere • 978 0 7515 6859 2

Packed with comforting, easy-tomake and totally delicious recipes, Feed Me Vegan shows you can be vegan and still have your cake (and mac and cheese, and lasagne, and pancakes) and eat it. Passionate vegan Lucy Watson has you covered with tempting meals from breakfast to supper – as well as all the sweet treats and snacks you need in between! Enough to turn the head of even the most dedicated carnivore, Feed Me Vegan is full of tasty, satisfying vegan fare which will have everyone asking for seconds. Whether you're already a full-time vegan, considering making the

switch or just trying to cut down on meats, fish and dairy, this book is sure to add new favourite recipes to your repertoire.

reference, Jane's Delicious A-Z of Vegetables is a one-stop guide to growing any type of vegetable organically.

Jane's Delicious A-Z of Vegetables Jane Griffiths

Farmageddon in Pictures: The True Cost Of Cheap Meat Philip Lymbery

Sunbird • 978 1 9202 8997 3

This book is a detailed organic growing guide to the most commonly-grown vegetables – plus many new and unusual ones now available. The book has in-depth information on how to sow, plant, feed, water, protect, harvest and eat them, as well as save their seed for future generations. Ten years ago growing your own food was a fringe activity. Gardeners were lucky if there was more than one shelf of vegetable seedlings at their nursery. Much has changed since then. The food growing trend shows no sign of slowing down as, increasingly, people realise how easy, healthy and gratifying it is. This book includes the many new techniques, knowledge, products and ideas that Jane has discovered in the years since her first book came out. Written in her quirky, practical style and lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs for easy

Bloomsbury • 978 1 4088 7346 5

Farm animals have been disappearing from our fields as the production of food has become a global industry. We no longer know for certain what is entering the food chain and what we are eating – as the UK horsemeat scandal demonstrated. We are reaching a tipping point as the farming revolution threatens our countryside, health and the quality of our food wherever we live in the world. Farmageddon is a fascinating and terrifying investigative journey behind the closed doors of a runaway industry across the world – from the UK, Europe and the USA, to China, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. It is both a wake-up call to change our current food production and eating practices and an attempt to find a way to a better farming future.

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reviews HUMMOUS & CO: Middle Eastern Food To Fall In Love With Michael Rantissi & Kristy Frawley Johnathan Ball • 978 1 7605 2765 5

The many fans of Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co often ask Michael and Kristy for the recipes they cook at home. In this, their second book, there are recipes for every kind of gathering – speedy and delicious midweek dinners, a family barbecue with plentiful salads that burst with flavour, or a Sunday slow roast of cumin-spiced lamb shoulder, with Persian cranberry rice pilaf and tangy vegetables. But wait, there's more-dips, relishes, rubs and spreads from Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey that turn a simple piece of fish or meat into a feast. And there are authentic teas and sweet treats that are beyond dreamy – Jaffa tea cake with marzipan or pistachio and rosewater cake with plums and mascarpone cream. And, possibly most sublime of all, there are the vegetables-scorched onions with pomegranate molasses, steamed leeks with spinach and haloumi, roasted pumpkin with dukkah and

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minted yoghurt. And of course there's the perfect hummus recipe, guaranteed to bring everyone to the table.

Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition Kate Hudson Harper Collins • 978 0 0626 8576 6

SOLO FOOD: 72 Recipes For You Alone Janneke Vreugdenhil Johnathan Ball • 976 0 0082 5667 8

Solo Food is the first cookbook that celebrates cooking for yourself. Many people love to spend hours in the kitchen for their family or friends, but eat a pizza in front of the TV if they're alone. Janneke Vreugdenhil shows that cooking without the other mouths to feed can be extremely satisfying. You don't need to take anyone else's tastes into account; you and you alone know exactly how long you like your steak to be cooked and you can go ahead and enjoy that delicious pasta with prawns and smoked whiskey tomato sauce. Solo Food is an exciting and personal, inspirational cookbook with 72 recipes that you'll love putting on the table.

Celebrate all of the special moments in your life, big and small, with this warm and welcoming, illustrated lifestyle and entertaining guide, complete with delicious, healthy recipes, from actress, fashion icon, entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author of Kate Hudson. In Pretty Happy Kate Hudson shared her wisdom and advice for living a healthy, strong, and mindful life. In Pretty Fun she shares her philosophy behind gatherings, how to be in the moment, make them uniquely yours, embracing occasions to just be together. A beautiful, fun, and nourishing guide filled with dozens of dazzling color photos, fabulous recipes for healthy and even some more indulgent snacks and beverages, and infused with Kate's mindful and healthy approach to life, Pretty Fun will help you plan a year of special events, while remembering the healing power of gathering and celebration.


EAT SMART: Over 140 delicious plant-based recipes Niomi Smart Jonathan Ball • 978 0 0082 7648 5

Great, healthy food has never been so easy, creative and fun. This is plant-based food is for everyone. Eat Smart focuses on natural food, using everyday ingredients that will work wonders on your well-being. And the recipes are simple to make and can fit into your daily life. Inspired by cuisines from around the world, Eat Smart reveals how to use plant-based ingredients to make mouthwatering, nutritious meals. Covering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, baked treats and drinks, this book is for anyone who wants to feel amazing from the inside out. Wake up to a Tropical Smoothie Bowl, for example, whip up a Roasted Fennel, Lentil and Fig Salad for lunch, and finish off the day with a Mauritian Curry with Coconut and Coriander Rice. And there are plenty of snacks and desserts to feast on too – try Beetroot Cake with Chocolate Ganache or a Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Whether you're out

and about, eating with friends, or recharging at home, this is delicious food that will help you look, feel and live better. You'll be surprised just how delicious eating smart can be.

Gourmet Guide: Top South African Restaurants, their Chefs and Recipes Jenny Handley Performance Management 978 0 6207 7127 6

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Each year they honour the best food and wine books internationally. The ground-breaking JHP Gourmet Guide has been selected as a winner to represent South Africa in the Professionals Category in the International Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. In May 2018 the guide will be competing in it's category for The Best in the World Award, in China. The guide features over 90 top South African restaurants and recognises the

top 21 by awarding them with one, two or three-plate status, South Africa's equivalent to global star status. This striking, glossy guide is a must-have for travellers and food lovers with the signature recipes from the top chefs in SA making it a keepsake. The team working yearround on the guide are proud and honoured by this accolade. Jenny Handley, author and curator of the JHP Gourmet Guide(tm) says: 'I would like to extend thanks to all the chefs and restaurants who made the beautiful content possible, to our international partners – Swiss International Air Lines and Taittinger – for believing in the concept, and to our distributors, evaluators, the production team and supporters. Every one of you are part of our marketing team – it will not be long before every food-lover in SA and those visiting, know the value and significance of a restaurant being plated.'

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food

3-hectare desert farm in Jordan Vegetables are sprouting in the desert at the Sahara Forest Project’s recently inaugurated launch station in Aqaba, Jordan. The project draws on the sun, saltwater, and carbon dioxide to grow food and generate clean energy and freshwater. The new three-hectare launch station will be able to grow around 130 000 kg of vegetables a year, and produce over 5.5l of water a day. The Sahara Forest Project is centered around the core technologies of saltwater-cooled greenhouses, concentrated solar power, and desert revegetation practices. They’ll pave the way for larger facilities at the Aqaba launch station, which already boasts thriving greenery.

Full Story

golf course becomes urban farm A former golf course in New Orleans’ City Park has been transformed into the city’s biggest urban farm – Grow Dat Youth Farm. The seven-acre sustainable farming nonprofit features a low-energy Eco-Campus built with seven recycled shipping containers and designed by Tulane University architecture students. The urban farming and leadership program teaches local youths how to sustainably grow fruits and veggies that are then sold to CSAs, local restaurants, and markets, as well as donated to neighborhoods lacking access to healthy, fresh food. Grow Dat Youth Farm has a long-term lease for seven acres of land in New Orlean’s City Park and is currently growing on two acres with plans for expansion. Full Story

this vertical farm can grow 16 acres of food Food deserts, lack of arable land, and the frozen months of winter are all obstacles we face in our mission to keep people fed. Urban Produce is excelling in this mission by licensing its patented indoor vertical farming technology, which can produce 16 acres of organic, leafy greens in just 1/8 acre of space. The Urban Produce system allows microgreens and wheatgrass to be grown in large quantities indoors, no matter the changing weather patterns outside. The conveyer belt system swings plants past air, water, and nutrient distribution points, reportedly using 90% less water and 80% less added nutrients than conventional farming. Another added perk is the plants require no pesticides or herbicides, thanks to the controlled environment. Full Story

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Futuristic Japanese indoor vertical farm Philips Lighting has launched the latest in its indoor vertical farming experiments, with trials at two Japanese facilities – with one growing 12 000 heads of lettuce a day under horticultural LED lighting technology. Indoor farming is a growing trend in urban centers, where farmland is not prevalent. A wide variety of herbs and greens can be cultivated in climate-controlled environments under LED lighting, for an energy efficient food production method that connects local folks to freshly grown produce. The efficient vertical farm setup saves not only land and energy, but also water, and Fuji Farm’s harvests can be picked, packaged, and on store shelves in under two hours.

Full Story

Now you can have your wrapper and eat it too Evoware is a new company that makes plastic sachet and packaging from seaweed, edible bio-plastic. A real solution to end plastic waste that mostly comes from food and beverage packaging. This edible bio-plastic can be used for sugar sachets, coffee sachets, seasoning sachets, burger wraps, rice wraps and not limited to semisolid and liquid packaging like shampoo and lotion sachet. It has a two year shelf life without using preservatives, is biodegradable, dissolves in warm water and is 100% nutritious. It can also be customised for different taste, colour and brand logo. Not only is this plastic good for our earth, it’s also good for our body. www.evoware.id

Future Food Design Awards The growing use of GMO corn has been devastating for local farmers in Mexico who rely on the crop not only for food but to make a living. Corn, the world’s most planted grain, is the star of most Mexican meals due to the over 62 varieties that exist. Each of these varieties has its own flavour, colour and grows at a particular altitude. For Mexican product designer Fernando Laposse, the threat to the livelihoods of farmers whom he grew up visiting gave him a chance to try and help them through his project called Totomoxtle. 'I am trying to create a new form of employment,' he said while explaining that the project uses corn husks to make a veneer that can be used in architecture and furniture design.

Full Story

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reviews

The Assassination of King Shaka: Zulu History's Dramatic Moment John Laband

Jonathan Ball | 978 1 8684 2807 6

In this riveting new book, John Laband, pre-eminent historian of the Zulu Kingdom, tackles some of the questions that still swirl around the assassination in 1828 of King Shaka, the celebrated founder of the Zulu Kingdom and war leader of legendary brilliance: Why did prominent members of the royal house conspire to kill him? Just how significant a part did the white huntertraders settled at Port Natal play in their royal patron's downfall? Why were Shaka's relations with the British Cape Colony key to his survival? And why did the powerful army he had created acquiesce so tamely in the usurpation of the throne by Dingane, his half-brother and assassin? In his search for answers Laband turns to the Zulu voice heard through recorded oral testimony and praise-poems,

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and to the written accounts and reminiscences of the Port Natal trader-hunters and the despatches of Cape officials. In the course of probing and assessing this evidence the author vividly brings the early Zulu kingdom and its inhabitants to life. He throws light on this elusive character and his unpredictable intentions, while illuminating the fears and ambitions of those attempting to prosper and survive in his hazardous kingdom: a kingdom that nevertheless endured in all its essential characteristics, particularly militarily, until its destruction fifty one years later in 1879 by the British; and whose fate, legend has it, Shaka predicted with his dying breath.

The Dalai Lama's Little Book of Mysticism His Holiness the Dalai Lama Penguin | 978 1 8460 4564 6

Mysticism is popularly understood as becoming one with God or the Absolute.

Here in this inspirational book are the Dalai Lama's thoughts on: The nature and meaning of mysticism; how we can live lives infused with mystical experience; and how mysticism can result in both personal and social change. The book consists of four sections that provide an accessible introduction to the Dalai Lama's core teachings on the mystical path: Introduction, Quotations, Lecture on mysticism by the Dalai Lama and the Glossary. This is a book for fans of His Holiness and anyone interested in developing a rich and meaningful inner life.

An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division His Holiness the Dalai Lama

William Collins | 978 0 0082 7842 7

In this urgent 'appeal to the world', His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses our time of division, calling on us to draw upon the innate goodness of our shared humanity to


overcome the rancour, mistrust, and divisiveness that threaten world peace and sustainability. Working with trusted collaborator Franz Alt, the Dalai Lama calls on the better angels of our nature to tackle a wide range of contemporary issues – from war, violence and intolerance to climate change, global hunger and materialism. Applying the techniques and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism – from listening and contemplation to meditation and nonviolence – His Holiness provides a roadmap forward. Brief yet profound, this book is an inspiring message of love and optimism that can truly change the world.

Skollie: One Man's Struggle To Survive By Telling Stories John W Fredericks Penguin | 978 1 7760 9199 7

In 2016 South African film audiences were mesmerised by the film Noem My Skollie, which was written by – and based on the life of – John

W Fredericks. In this book Fredericks tells the full story on which the film was based. Growing up in a dusty township on the Cape Flats, Fredericks formed a gang with his friends, and at the age of seventeen he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to two years in Pollsmoor prison. There the number gangs vied to initiate him into their ranks, but he resisted their advances, offering instead to help them pass their time by telling stories. And so he became the prison 'cinema', drawing on his storytelling abilities and cementing his ambition to become a writer. Written in a powerful and authentic voice, this is a gripping memoir of life on the Cape Flats, of prison and gangs, and of one man's struggle to survive all this by telling stories.

The Little Big Things Henry Fraser Forward by J K Rowling Orion Books | 978 1 4091 6778 5

Being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated

is optional. Henry Fraser was 17 years old when a tragic accident severely crushed his spinal cord. Paralysed from the shoulders down, he has conquered unimaginable difficulty to embrace life and a new way of living. Through challenging adversity, he has found the opportunity to grow and inspire others. This book combines his wisdom and insight into finding the gifts in life's challenges, and will resonate with anyone facing an obstacle, no matter how big or small.

Mozart's Starling Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Little Brown | 978 1 4721 5305 0

In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely bond between one of history's most controversial characters and one of history's most notoriously disliked birds. Part natural history, part story, Mozart's Starling will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.

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reviews

Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With The Ever Living Poet Edward Wilson-Lee

William Collins | 978 0 0081 4621 4

Investigating the literary culture of the early interaction between European countries and East Africa, Edward Wilson-Lee uncovers an extraordinary sequence of stories in which explorers, railway labourers, decadent émigrés, freedom fighters, and pioneering African leaders made Shakespeare their own in this alien land. Exploring the unexpected history of Shakespeare's global legacy, Shakespeare in Swahililand is a breathtaking combination of travel, history, biography and satire. It traces Shakespeare's influence in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya – where Cambridge lecturer Edward Wilson-Lee was raised. From Victorian expeditions in which the Bard's works were

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the sole reading material, Wilson-Lee shows how Shakespeare's works have been a vital touchstone throughout the region. The Plays were printed by liberated slaves as one of the first texts in Swahili, performed by Indian labourers while they built the Uganda Railway, used to argue for native rights, and translated by intellectuals, revolutionaries and independence leaders. Revealing how great works can provide a key insight into modern history, these stories investigate the astonishing poignancy of beauty out of place.

The Word Detective: A Life in Words from Serendipity to Selfie John Simpson Little Brown | 978 1 4087 0673 2

Language is always changing. No one knows where it is going but the best way to future-cast is to look at the past. John Simpson animates for us a tradition

of researching and editing, showing us both the technical lexicography needed to understand a word, and the careful poetry needed to construct its definition. He challenges both the idea that dictionaries are definitive, and the notion that language is falling apart. With a sense of humour, an ability to laugh at bureaucracy and an inclination to question the status quo, Simpson gives life to the colourful characters at the OED and to the English language itself. The book will speak to anyone who uses a dictionary, 'word people', history lovers, students and parents.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging And The Courage To Stand Alone Brene Brown Penguin | 978 1 7850 4175 4

In this book, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased


polarisation. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging. Brown argues that we're experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.

The New Wisdom: The Esoteric of the New Age for Light workers and Healers Nic Kolbe Empowered Whole Being Press 978 1 5136 1879 1

This is a good book if you wish to understand many an inevitable point of discussion and/or confusion in this day

and age regarding healing and knowing oneself. Nic explores subjects such as karma, ascension, the guru principle, psychics, the afterlife, chakras, meditation and so much more. While these teachings stem from a particular school of thought, they have universal application and are therefore most useful for the serious student of life and self. Here is the link for Amazon UK for book orders from South Africa. https://www.amazon.co.uk/ New-Wisdom-EsotericLight-Workers-Healers/ dp/1513618792/ or contact Bruni Lubbe at Book Den, Windhoek for more info: bruni@bookden.com.na

Maybe it's You: Cut the Crap, Face your Fears, Love your Life Lauren Handel Zander

out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Zander walks readers through the innovative step-by-step process that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of her clients, and explains how anyone can achieve amazing things when we stop lying and finally start keeping the promises we make to ourselves. Whether readers want to find love, succeed at work, fix a fractured relationship, or lose weight, Zander's method will offer a road map to finally get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, and Lauren's own hard-won lessons, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.

Piatkus | 978 0 3494 1748 6

This is a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure

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reviews

Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn A King's Obsession Alison Weir Headline Publishing Group | 978 1 4722 2763 8 In this second novel of Alison Weir's epic Six Tudor Queens series, the acclaimed author and historian weaves exciting new research into the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's most infamous wife, a woman ahead of her time whose very life – and death – forever changed a nation. Born into a noble English family, Anne is barely a teenager when she is sent from her family's Hever Castle to serve at the royal court of the Netherlands. This strategic move on the part of her opportunistic father also becomes a chance for the girl to grow and discover herself. While history tells of how Anne Boleyn died, this compelling new novel reveals how fully she lived.

The Last Tudor

Philippa Gregory

Simon & Schuster | 978 1 4711 3305 3

At just 17, Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king's half-sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block, where Jane transformed her father's greedy power-grab into tragic martyrdom. 'Learn you to die,' was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine's pregnancy betrays her secret marriage she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister's scaffold. 'Farewell, my sister,' writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth's suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy the queen, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger, but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Queen Elizabeth?

CIRCE Madeline Miller

Bloomsbury 978 1 4088 9007 3

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child – not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power – the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

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Long Valley is an eco-community nestled in a secret valley, up in the mountains, 7kms from Robertson in the Western Cape. The trustees (the farm is owned by our registered Breevlei Toe Trust) are united around an eco-ethos, living with a gentle footprint on the land and creating a healing ambience for the future. Some of us were friends already when we set out and other connections were built on the farm. Professionals from a background of teaching, engineering, publishing, natural health, coaching, ministering and yoga are learning the radical path of doing right by the earth and each other and growing food sustainably.

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY The 93ha of open nature gives a spaciousness that allows visitors and residents to reflect, grow and heal during their time at Long Valley. Our voices have equal weight and we hear each other. Decisions translate easily into action when they come about authentically. We are offering a share of Long Valley Farm for R1.2 million.

For anyone interested in buying a share please contact Zann: zann@iafrica.com For more info on the farm visit www.longvalleyfarm.co.za call 023 626 6836 / Zann Hoad: 083 418 0980 or email Pritam: pritam.khalsa@gmail.com ODYSSEY 73 • 

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reviews

The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What’s Right in Front of You Kelly Boys Sounds True • 978 1 6220 3997 5

At home or work, do you find yourself in similar conflicts or situations again and again? Do your relationships seem fine – but you sometimes wonder if those around you might disagree? On an immediate level, have you ever wished for greater clarity, depth, and delight in all of your experiences? 'It’s much easier to see the unconscious and self-defeating habits of others than our own,' Kelly Boys notes, 'and perceptually, to miss so much that’s happening around us.' Drawing upon neuroscience, meditation research, true personal accounts, and more, The Blind Spot Effect invites us into this

hidden world. What unfolds is both a learning journey and a practice guide to bring our own unseen dimensions to light, learn from them, and help others along the way.

To Be A Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power Robert Augustus Masters Sounds True • 978 1 6836 4128 5

Many men – despite achieving great jobs and lifestyles – find themselves burdened with dissatisfaction, disconnection, and self-doubt. Robert Augustus Masters has helped thousands of men work through such issues, by facing their unresolved wounds and shame, bringing their head, heart, and guts into full-blooded alignment. With To Be a Man, this acclaimed psychotherapist and relationship expert offers a ground-breaking and deeply

insightful guide to masculine power and fulfilment. If you’ve read your share of popular advice on relationships and being a man – but realise on a gut level that it’s going to take some serious inner work – To Be a Man is a fantastic entry into the modern challenge of embracing a mindful, considerate, passionate, and fully embodied masculinity.

The Simplicity of Cozy: Hygge, Lagom & the Energy of Everyday Pleasures Melissa Alvarez Llewellyn • 978 0 7387 5632 5

Make cozy your way of life with this guide for connecting to the positive energy of simple, everyday moments. Known around the world as hygge, lagom, and other similar terms, cozy and balanced living helps you improve your health, happiness, and spirituality by

Available at Exclusive Books, Wordsworth Books, Bargain Books and selected bookshops countrywide

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understanding and feeling the frequency of people, animals, places, and situations.

Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One Gustavo Ferrer Sounds True • 978 1 6836 4044 8

When we are thrust into the role of caregiver for a loved one who is in the process of dying, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yet it’s a situation millions of us face every year with virtually no sort of preparation or guidance. With Graceful Exit, Dr Gustavo Ferrer offers an all-in-one resource for anyone tasked with managing the end-oflife care of a loved one. It’s the last news we want to hear – that someone we love is dying. Yet it’s an inevitable

part of life. In this book, Dr Ferrer offers this much-needed guide through the medical, legal, financial, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of dying and death.

Llewellyn’s Little Book of Meditation David Pond Llewellyn • 978 0 7387 5418 5

Calm your mind, sharpen your focus, and expand your awareness with the power of meditation. Llewellyn’s Little Book of Meditation is your ideal introduction to using meditative practices to improve your life. Explore the origins of meditation, the different types and how to use them, how to overcome any difficulties, and more.

Hawaiian Shamanistic Healing: Medicine Ways to Cultivate the Aloha Spirit Wayne Kealohi Powell & Patricia Lynn Miller Llewellyn • 978 0 7387 5049 1

Aloha refers to the divine spirit of love that flows through all things. In this book, you’ll learn how to cultivate the Aloha spirit with Hawaiian philosophy, Ho’oponopono, Lomilomi massage, and other traditional medicine ways. Join authors Wayne Kealohi Powell and Patricia Lynn Miller, longtime students and practitioners of Hawaiian bodywork and shamanism, as they show you how to create space for miracles and open up to the healing energy of the divine.

For trade enquiries contact New Horizon Distributors at info@newhorizondistributors.co.za or 021 447 2436

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PositiveChange

Community Pow

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ower Groups

Ever wondered how you can change the world without having to march on parliament or chain yourself to a tree? Cherie Roe Dirksen has discovered a powerful new way to effect positive change by starting small.

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I 

recently bit the bullet and started a Power of 8 group within my local community. You'd think that a small village in the Klein Karoo wouldn't have

many 'new-agers', would you? Wrong. I have met some awesome like-minded souls since I moved here – almost four years ago now – and when I began my group I was exposed to more deliciously spiritual individuals.

What is a Power of 8 group? It's a concept that best-selling author, Lynne McTaggart, has come up with – you can read more about it in her book The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World. Lynne is renowned for conducting intention experiments with a huge amount of success. She even goes on to say that, 'the greatest untold truth of all is that group intention has a mirror effect, not only affecting the recipient but also reflecting back on the senders.'

Why 8? Well, Lynne McTaggart believes that 8 is the magic number for manifesting. It's no surprise that in numerology the eight signifies infinity, balancing of karma and mind over matter. The American radio presenter, Art Bell (in collaboration

that each deep breath you take and let out is done so

with Neil Slade), did a mass consciousness experiment

through the heart area – you do this three times) and

with listeners on Coast to Coast AM on July 7, 1998. Their

then we began our visualisation. We had a photo of the

intention was to bring rain to a parched Florida. The result

gentleman, who we would be sending the healing energy

was they got massive rainstorms.

to, placed in the centre. I set my timer and off we went.

We are powerful creators and when we get together, we can co-create with speedy efficiency.

First try, first miracle

and visuals that they had experienced and then we went on to have tea and cake (you've got to make these things fun.).

us) but we still went ahead. Just remember: any group,

When we met for our second meeting (we meet once

albeit it two of you, will have an amplified effect. Don't let

a month), our friend gave us some sad news. Her partner

the numbers put you off – if you don't have 8 members

had been diagnosed with cancer and they were to begin

then start with who you do have.

treatment soon.

Our group intention was to visualise the healing of a

Within two days of our meeting, we all got a whatsapp

local man who was one of our member's partners. This

from her saying that her partners new test results had

soul had been through over two years of suffering and

come back and, miraculously, there was no cancer

general health decline. He had no idea what was wrong

anymore. They, thankfully, hadn't even begun treatment.

with him but kept on manifesting more and more health

All that was apparently wrong with him was that he

issues. He wasn't an old man (I believe he's in his fifties)

needed an iron injection?

We sat in a circle, did a short 'breathing through the heart chakra' technique (which merely involves imagining

• 

The group reported back some wonderful energies

didn't have all eight of our group present (there were 7 of

couple of years.

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(which is the time that Lynne McTaggart suggests).

My first meeting took place a couple of months ago. We

but he had been practically bed ridden over the past

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The actual visualisation meditation took only 10 minutes

We were all amazed and thrilled. We will never know if our group intention was the cause or catalyst for this healing but we all sure felt good about it. My friend reported later that he was up and about


The more peace, abundant, healing and loving thoughts you send out into the world, the more that will mirror back in your life. It's not that you are denying the truth; it's that it doesn't have to be your truth if you don't choose it to be. Everyone is entitled to choose and create the reality they wish to experience. creating things in his workshop which she said he hadn't

lack, so we wanted all the locals (victims and perpetrators

been able to do for years.

alike) to experience abundance in all forms and to have

What Have You Got to Lose?

a sense of trust reignited in the community. We then reported back, via our whatsapp group, anything along

The media and our social networking feeds are usually

the lines of the intention that was happening to us or

full of bad news. We get bombarded with the negative

around us. Suffice to say, the whatsapp group was alight

every day. However, the truth is that you don't need to

with stories of trust and abundance that month. It was

buy into it. The more peace, abundant, healing and loving

truly remarkable to see the change when we shifted our

thoughts you send out into the world, the more that will

perspective from what we didn't want to see to what we

mirror back in your life. It's not that you are denying the

did want to see.

truth; it's that it doesn't have to be your truth if you don't

In our last meeting, one of our group members

choose it to be. Everyone is entitled to choose and create

admitted that she thought the whole idea of a group like

the reality they wish to experience.

this was a bit 'woo-woo' when she was first invited. She

Why not start consciously choosing to see positive

said that she is now a firm believer after all the positive

change by starting a Power of 8 group? It's really easy

things that have transpired in our group and we've only

and you'll benefit in more ways than you can imagine.

met three times.

I love my group meetings – we get to share positive experiences, advice and wisdom is offered at large, we

All you need to do is gather a group of open-minded individuals and let the magic take place. O

get to socialise and have a laugh together and everyone reports feeling elated after our sessions. Every time we meet, we take turns in offering an intention. In our second session, a lady from the group wanted us to hold a space for trust and abundance in our village as we had had a series of petty break-ins and fear was running rampant. We know that this was caused through

Cherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author/columnist, multi-media artist and musician from Barrydale, South Africa. To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com.

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astro

2018 Fortune Career Health Love

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2017, the 'Year of Fire' has ended, and many have reported back feeling a touch bruised, but mostly in one piece. Great achievements and strides have been made on a personal and professional level for most of us, and even if we are exhausted, we are also proud. 2018 has arrived in a hurry, and we are given a fresh new page to begin anew. Margarita Celeste takes a look at what we can expect.

T 

he Year has begun rather gently, astrologically speaking at least, with Saturn moving into his own sign of Capricorn. For those of us who

have many planets, or even just our Sun in the previous sign of Sagittarius, we can feel the burdens lift, the restrictions lighten and life seems little brighter – and we are older and wiser. For all of us, learning about our boundaries around our truth and living it and about our freedom and how we choose to wield it, as well as finally understanding that we are our own inner gurus, these have been themes for the last few years. Now, as Saturn moves through earthy Capricorn, it's time to mature and grow up, to put the things we've learnt to use in a practical, structured way. It's time to set realistic goals, and work steadily to achieve them, not searching for instant gratification. It's time to take responsibility, having learnt that we are our own best teachers; we now begin to crystallise these lessons in the material world. Saturn in Capricorn doesn't fluff around – he wants results and he wants success and to achieve – perhaps we need to look at our definitions of success, because what success may be to some, looks like failure to others, and so we are the ones solely in charge of drawing where that line is and being secure enough to declare that this is what we find fulfilling – despite what others might think. This year has a very material theme to it, wherein professional achievement and money play a big part as per Saturn the Taskmaster in Masterbuilder Capricorn, and Uranus moving into Taurus. Uranus is a rebel, the eccentric, the motorcycle riding, pot smoking, brilliant and individualistic cool cat. Uranus is about freedom – no matter the cost, and nevermind consideration for anyone or anything else. One can imagine what Uranus might do in the money and security orientated sign of Taurus, affectionately referred to as the 'boring' sign, due to the desire for stability and comfort. Uranus is going to shake things up substantially here, and the growth of Cryptocurrency is a marvelous example of Uranus in Taurus. Those in power financially will have to relook and reinvent how money is handled, and the world is ready for it. Expect financial chaos, leading to greater freedom, with Saturn in Capricorn lending grounding and stability. Earth signs in particular can have great success with these two planets – although Taureans need to be warned that their worlds are about to be shaken up and things turned upside down, which is always a bit scary

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for these security orientated signs. Capricorns of course can also find themselves challenged with Saturn, but these mountain goats are hardy enough to handle, nay, thrive, as Saturn travels through this strong sign. Virgos might just get a free ride, as they happily shoulder extra responsibility and learn to balance it with freedom. To soften this material theme, we have Jupiter in powerful, depth-orientated Scorpio trining a gentle and compassionate Pisces Neptune all year, letting compassion light the way in these times. We could expect to feel deeply inspired, in touch, our intuition heightened and our hearts just that little bit more tender and more open. We might yearn for more connection and merge with what we know as a Higher Power and we are more open to that merging. The Water signs – Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio – will feel this energy even more intensely and will become even more deeply attuned to their inner worlds, heart centres open and ready to receive and grow. Mercury will Retrograde three times this year only, usually being four, all in fire signs, and so we are forced to slow down at certain periods and review our actions, look at where our energy is being directed and would need to be careful of rash words said in the heat of the moment.

Jupiter will be in powerful, depth orientated Scorpio trining a gentle and compassionate Pisces Neptune all year, letting compassion light the way in these times. We could expect to feel deeply inspired, in touch, our intuition heightened and our hearts just that little bit more tender and more open. We might yearn for more connection and merge with what we know as a Higher Power and we are more open to that merging.

Two huge heavenly happenings this year include both Venus and Mars going retrograde. With both planets

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better for what lies ahead.

being significators of relationships, we can certainly

Aries and Scorpio Suns or Ascendants might feel this

expect some trouble in paradise. Old lovers appear, old

energy more intensely and should carefully watch their

conflicts are rehashed and we are demanded go look at

actions and decisions over this period, and be warned

our values once again and see where we are not being

that they might not have as much energy as usual.

integral to ourselves and our needs. We could be selfish

Venus, lady of love, dances back from Scorpio, a sign

with Mars going backwards, aggressive, argumentative,

she struggles in, to Libra, a sign she rules and loves. The

tired, unmotivated and snappy, whereas Venus retrograde

beginning of this period, in October, can be challenging

might shine a light on the challenges in our relationships,

indeed as we are faced with our romantic shadow side,

make us say or do things we regret – as well as give us

our jealousy, possessiveness, need to control and fear of

money problems. Combining that with Uranus in Taurus

being left. Things can feel deeply intense and we have

and Saturn in Capricorn, we are well advised to wisely

to be ever so careful of love that is toxic, passionate,

manage our money this year.

yet unsustainable. When in Libra, things lighten a great

The Mars retrograde ushers in the Venus Retrograde,

deal, we are freed from the shackles, feel like celebrating,

from the early degrees of Aquarius to the late degrees

flirting and playing – and we do, until she goes once

of Capricorn, and this only happen every two years – we

again into Scorpio. Love games are to be avoided now,

might find ourselves arguing over our ideals and hopes,

as we might burn up in the heat of these flames, and we

becoming opinionated and stubborn, becoming rigid

have to have a serious look at what we define as love

and stiff – we learn where we are inflexible and are

and if that really is true – or are we substituting passion

challenged to drop our armour and be more vulnerable.

and excitement for the deeper connections that we might

The last time Mars went retrograde, it was 2016, with

well be afraid of. How do we value ourselves? Do we sell

many of us feeling that burn, exhaustion and loss of

ourselves short? Are we inviting worthy lovers to us, or

motivation. Looking back, we can prepare ourselves

taking whatever we can get, afraid to be alone? Do we


find ourselves unbreakable. Capricorn Sun and Ascendant people will feel this energy very strongly and are advised to gear up and batten down the hatches, as they are set to change a great deal through intensified life circumstances over the next several years. The Eclipses this year are also certain to have a strong effect on most of us, with a total of five this year. They mostly happen in the signs of Aquarius and Leo, shadows of the eclipses in 2017, particularly the August Eclipse, and so we need to look at where this axis lies in our own birth charts, to understand in which areas of life we might be experiencing both an expanding and contracting effect, where things are being potentially taken away from us, intensified, triggered, where old wounds are being scratched open, past life debts and potential to heal. We need to look at group dynamics versus me, and where this needs balance in our lives. If we have any personal planets in these signs, we might experience enormous upheaval, new beginnings and painful endings. Those born as Aquarians or Leos might feel the year full of powerful and dramatic endings and beginnings as their life paths shift and their identity evolves – it won't be easy but it will be worth it if they work hard. Lastly, the Nodes move into the Cancer / Capricorn need to be worshipped to feel valued?

axis, staying there until 2020. We have to study our

Librans and Taurean Suns and Ascendants will feel

own charts and understand where these houses lie, as

this energy very strongly, and should be cautioned to

the themes across them will be around security, both

tread ever so gently, prepare for the storm by making

emotional and physical, nurturing, boundaries, goals,

themselves aware and not making any rash decisions

and aims. We are asked to self-nurture and create good

when it comes to love.

habits for ourselves, balancing the inner parent inside

Pluto is trundling along still in Capricorn, and now

us and within our relationships, learning more love of

with Saturn here too, we should study carefully where the

self, releasing patriarchal attitudes, playing more, being

house of Capricorn lies in our charts, as these are areas

vulnerable and tender rather than hard and rigid.

in which we can be completely changed and transformed,

As for me, well, I have returned back to work with

much like a piece of coal put under enormous pressure,

a bang, and can happily say that I am buzzing with

hopefully resulting in a beautiful and pure diamond.

consultations, courses and plans for 2018. I am entering

It won't be easy, and we might have to face some

2018 a touch more gently now, as my Saturn Return

losses or setbacks, and we will definitely have to

has ended, and will slowly once again begin to offer

restructure this list of our lives, but afterwards, we will

workshops as I regain energy for the year ahead. O

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Paulo's Column

SHORT

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STORIES


The Dilemma of the Wise Chuang Tzu

The man walked down the main street in his town. He saw beggars, cripples, and people in a state of misery. Unable to live with so much suffering, he implored to heaven above, 'God, how can you love human beings so much and at the same time do nothing for those who are suffering?' 'I did something for them,' a voice said. 'I made you.'

Administrating the Plants Anonymous

A man who was very proud of his garden was desolated to see that it had been infested by a blight of dandelions. Try as he might, he just could not get rid of them. In despair, he called the local Department of Agriculture. 'What should I do?' After a long silence, he received the answer, 'We suggest that you learn to love them.'

Goodbye

Richard Marius During the atrocities that accompanied the Bolshevik revolution, thousands of people were arbitrarily arrested, beaten, stripped and executed with a shot in the back of the head. According to one witness, 'at the most tragic moment in our lives we have an absolute need to not feel alone. So most of the victims asked to say goodbye – and since there was nobody nearby, they embraced and said farewell to their executioners.'

Closer to God Anonymous

'Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.' – Paulo Coelho

One of the most disconcerting – and delightful – of the master's teachings was to repeat, 'God is closer to sinners than to saints.' And he explained his words in this way: 'The Lord above has a thread that connects Him to each and every human being. When you do something wrong, this thread is cut and God ties a knot. The more sins, the more knots to the thread and the shorter it grows, so the person draws ever closer to His mercy.' O

©Translated by Michelle Artimez • Travel with Paulo through his blogs, visit www.paulocoelhoblog.com

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Odyssey Magazine - Issue 1, 2018  

Welcome to our first edition of Odyssey Magazine for the year 2018. Within these pages you can enjoy fantastic stories of travel, conscious...

Odyssey Magazine - Issue 1, 2018  

Welcome to our first edition of Odyssey Magazine for the year 2018. Within these pages you can enjoy fantastic stories of travel, conscious...