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ODYSSEY Issue 1 • 2016

Conscious Lifestyle Digimag








INSIDE Features When herbs become drugs 14 Cannabis oil 24 Optimising optimism 35 Ramtha: The initiate's journey 38 Hypnosis: No degree required 42 After the light bulb moment 46 The art of Sun Gazing 56


Conscious Lifestyle Digimag

Cape Town Head Office

P O Box 30946, Tokai, 7966 Tel 021 701 1186 between 09h00-13h00 or email or



Editor & Art Director


Silke Erasmus

Kevin Rule


Advertising & Accounting queries

Chris Erasmus

Silke Erasmus

Issue 1 • 2016

Volume 40 • No.1

Visionary Art: Jean-Luc Bozzoli 60 Mystical France 66 Getting to know Bacopa 72 The world peace diet 74 Green fingers 80 Astro guide 88 Book Reviews 78, 84 Paulo Coelho 97 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



editorial ODYSSEY 6 • 


2016 began with a bang. Wild stock-market swings and some major crashes, notably China's. Currency and exchange rates moving in equally exaggerated and unpredictable ways.

recent COP21 conference hold-out nations like the

The global economy staggering along, its future

thought for the consequences both immediate and

uncertain. Oil has come tumbling down to sensible

long-term, is on its way out.

figures, but consumers are, for the most part and in

In its place is coming a new way of being – but the

most places, including here in South Africa, not seeing

chaos is such that it is hard to see and hear the birth

the benefit. Donald Trump, despite a loss in the

of that new way through all the confusion and noise

opening round of the US Presidential party nomination

caused by the dying throes of the increasingly useless

battles, is still riding high – at least in his own mind

and damaging 'old order'.

and that of his weirdly loyal supporters – presenting

Which is what makes things appear very complex,

the planet with the truly awful aspect of 'The Donald'

because what part of what we see and hear each day,

and bizarre hairstyle strutting about the world stage

as the world around us changes at a rate never before

pumped up with arrogance and aggression. Syria

experienced by humanity, is to be warmly welcomed

remains a disaster zone, with refugees fleeing in

and which are to be thrown into the waste-bin of

ever-greater numbers to overwhelmed neighbouring


states and to ever-more conservative European

No-one, or at least, hardly anyone, seems to know.

countries, some of which are on the verge of

And so most people, including many who read this

closing their borders. Putin continues to flex his

magazine, are confused, anxious and deeply worried

bullying muscles to show that Russia is resurgent in

for their children's lives – and even their own lives

international geo-politics.

and livelihoods.

All this while at home things are sliding from bad to

Such is the nature of global change at the most

worse as far as governance and proper administration

fundamental level – the level, in this instance, of the

goes – as readers of this edition will discover when

human consciousness which gave birth to the old way

they read our definitive story on what exactly is

of seeing in which the entire universe was 'made for

happening with regards to the Zuma government

mankind' to exploit and despoil as 'he' saw fit.

trying to make out that dietary supplements and

The new consciousness speaks instead of 'man' –

healing herbs, most of which have been used for

being a hold-over of a paternalistic, male-dominated

centuries and millennia with complete safety, are

past which, to be frank, cannot be over soon enough

suddenly equivalent to thalidomide.

– but of humankind, with the emphasis on the 'kind'

So what on Earth – or in Heaven or even Hell, for that

part of that word. Instead of the standard 'he', or the

matter – is going on?

masculine form in all instances, people are realising

It is a good question and not merely on South

the power of the archetypal 'she', the feminine divine,

Africans' lips, but on those of many people around

so long suppressed in Western culture and still so in

the world.

large parts of the world.

The answer is both simple and complex. The simple

In the new awareness, both men and women are

part is that we are literally witnessing the death of

being called to rise to a much higher order of ethics

a system of economics, politics and a way of doing

and thoughtfulness about how they live their lives,

'business as usual' which is so outdated that at the

what they do with their time, how they spend their

United States and Australia had, finally, to admit that global warming was not only real, but that it was upon us already and causing widespread devastation. The old way, in which mankind treats the natural world and its inhabitants, and routinely many members of our own species, as mere resources to be utilised, ravished, depleted and discarded at will, without

money and who they elect as their leaders.

present are deeply uncomfortable for the greater part of

Even with all the negatives listed above, and which are


causing so much fear, there are so many positives that

No doubt there will be much thrashing about, more

we could not possibly list them here – it would just take

conflict and mayhem and continuing idiocy in high places

up too much space.

and low. But that does not mean that what is happening

The very fact that these words can be written, and read,

is not all for the good.

literally around the world is part of that. There is an

In fact, Odyssey has been pointing out for years, decades

undeniable crying out around the planet for more equality

even, that this process was inevitable, that it was

between sexes, more equitable distribution of wealth and

imminent and, now, that it is upon us.

access to health care, more respect for nature and the

But we have also been saying that we should stay

planet's diminishing resource – and, in the end, when all

as calm as possible amid this great storm of change,

the words for the changes we are seeing are synthesised

remembering even when the howling winds of discord

into a single concept, for more awakened consciousness.

and dissent shake us to our roots, that what we are

Despite all its pain and difficulty – and there is no lack of

witnessing is the birth of a great and golden age of much

either of those aspects – this is the dawn of the time that

increased wisdom and insight.

humanity has always dreamed of; a time when people,

Why do we say that? Because the very processes which

no matter what their circumstances, may become the

have been here described, painful and worrying as they

fullness of the promise of each new baby's first howl

are, are also the very same that any woman who has

as it emerges from the womb into this still gorgeously

given birth can testify are experienced when a new babe

beautiful world.

comes into the world.

People speak of saving the planet. But the planet, despite

There is fear and anxiety, pain almost beyond endurance

our human depredations, will be just fine. If humanity,

and the whole process is literally a life and death affair.

as a collective, is foolish enough to fail to heed the very

But when that newly-arrived child, filled with all the

obvious signs that say a major change in conduct and

possibilities held dear by virtually every man and woman

thinking is required for us to survive, more or less intact,

who has ever breathed, is safely swaddled and in its

then we simply won't. And when our species crashes –

mother's arms at last, then we know that it was all worth

perhaps even permanently, or to the point where the


survivors of such stupidity are thrown back into the stone

And so it is for all of us as we watch the next great new

age – then Mother Nature, or Gaia, if you prefer, will

era for humanity, and the planet itself, dawn.

quickly recover.

Therefore we say to you all, our good and gracious

It is not so much the planet that is at risk, though

readers, be as peaceful as you can manage, as positive

we might just be dumb enough to detonate nuclear

as you can be, and as hopeful as your conditions and

warheads on each other, but it is human civilisation and

your awareness of what is coming will allow – and know

its many and varied cultures which may be damaged

that all is well, despite the doom, gloom and naysayers'

beyond repair.


Yet, despite this possibility, the signs are that there is a

The sun will rise tomorrow and life will go on. It is up to

global awakening sufficient to ensure that the worst will

each one of us to ensure that it is we who measure up

not happen; and perhaps, in spite of ongoing fear-based

to the promise that each new day brings so that every

thinking and greed-driven short-sightedness, we might

new life that comes into this world has a better future to

even be seeing enough people in enough places choosing

look forward to.

to make deep enough changes that something far better than a worst-case scenario will unfold in our lifetimes. Sure, the planet is warming faster than we can quit our carbon addiction. And certainly the upheavals of the

In Peace, Love & Light Silke & her team ODYSSEY 7 • 



RETURN TO ORIGIN Take a tour of one of the most ecologically rich coastlines in the world, False Bay, which is designated a Mission Blue Hope Spot. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Craig Foster educates the crew on the inhabitants of this ecosystem, and guides them through the chilly waters to experience kelp forests, sharks and other marine life. Watch

the video below, or click here for more.

PROVING GOD A new documentary film series is being produced by filmmaker Frank Huguenard that focuses on healing and consciousness. The first film in the series, The Physics of The Soul has just been released and makes a clear, logical and convincing argument for how the conventional worldview for any biological organism is inherently incomplete without accounting for a conscious, innately intelligent, vital force governing homeostasis and regulating health. The film features such notables as Dr Bill Bengston, Dr Larry Dossey, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Dr Norm Shealy, Adam Curry, Bruce Lipton PhD, Garrett Moddel PhD, William Tiller PhD, Dr Stuart Hameroff and author Gary Zukav. The film, which is intended for a mainstream audience, takes a look at placebos, studies in consciousness and some of the history of modern science, but it’s real strength comes in the form of questioning the legitimacy of experimental design. Said Huguenard about his approach to the film: 'I didn’t want to do yet another film on random number generators and double slit experiments, that’s been done over and over again.' Rather than attempt to prove scientifically things that can’t possibly ever be proven, such as reincarnation, out of body experiences, near death experiences and so forth, the film instead argues that materialism itself has been falsified.

See the trailer below.

Everything is Connected The video above is a talk by Tom Chi who explores how, at a fundamental level, we are all deeply connected. By merging biology, cosmology, physics and chemistry, Tom shows how we influence each other far more than we might think. In other words, Tom looks at the idea of human connectivity from a scientific point of view across time and space – bringing a tangible aspect to the age-old, spiritual idea that we are one. Tom Chi is one of the most brilliant people in America. He was one of the early co-founders of Google X and built the first Google glass prototype.

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.' - Chinese Proverb



THE LAW OF ATTRACTION While it is true that you can apply the Law of Attraction to your love life, career, health and financial well-being, author Andrea Schulman believes that having a solid foundation of understanding is critical to using it with success. In an effort to explain the Law of Attraction in an easy and straightforward manner, she has posted this 20 minute video tutorial below to illustrate what it is, how it works and how you can use it to your advantage in life. She hopes that this video will bring a little life to this universal law, and make it easier to understand and apply.


MORPHOTEL Italian engineer and architect Gianluca Santosuosso has come up with an innovative idea of a futuristic hotel which will literally float around the world. Should Santosuosso's concept come to life, it will cause an enormous change to the cruise industry, because, while it might seem similar to a luxurious cruise ship, this hotel will have a spine that will be able to shapeshift according to the ocean currents, changing its form according to them. His concept will be 800m long and will draw power from the waves as well as solar energy in order to operate – combining self-sufficiency with eco-friendly technologies. Energy will be stored using solar panels as well as the movement of waves. Along with this energy rainwater will be collected, filtered and stored, and sea water will be desalinated.

For millenia, humans have known that certain objects in the night sky moved while other stars stood still. We now know these travelling objects are our neighbouring planets. But precise calculations on their movements remains a fuzzy area of history. However, a new clay tablet from ancient Babylonia (between 350 BCE or 50 BCE) shows that astronomers back then may have used advanced geometrical techniques – pushing back the 'discovery' of these principles as far as 1 750 years. In particular, it demonstrates the use of what we now know as Mertonian mean speed theorem, a 14th Century discovery that essentially was used to calculate the motions and velocity of an object across space and time. On these astronomical tablets the geometrical figure describes how Jupiter's velocity changes with time, so the figure is defined in time-velocity space, not in real space, the space in which we live. For the full story click here.

Click here for more.




PLANET NINE Growing evidence is pointing to a new planet lurking in the far reaches of our solar system about 10 times the mass of Earth, which may have an orbit 20 times further from the sun than Neptune. The distance of Planet Nine from our sun would be quite extraordinary. It would take this far-out world 15 000 years to loop around the sun, in a strange elliptical orbit. Scientists have yet to catch a glimpse of this planet, but believe the chances are extremely high that it exists given contextual clues gleaned from the orbits of other known bodies. If it does exist, it will be just the third planet discovered in our solar system in modern times, following Uranus (1781) and Neptune (1846). The first bit of evidence pointing to Planet Nine comes from the curious orbits of six Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) that have been discovered in our outer solar system. Even though these KBOs are all moving at different speeds, they're on elliptical paths that all point in the same direction. To put this coincidence in perspective, the odds of it happening by chance are roughly 0.007%.

THE SOLAR SYSTEM TO SCALE IN A DESERT A group of friends discovered there were no proportional models of the solar system with complete planetary orbits – most portray the planets and moons as too close together. So they decided to build one. On a dry lakebed in Nevada, the group constructed a model by drawing circles in the desert around a 1.5m sun and a marble-sized Earth small enough to get lost in filmmaker Wylie Overstreet's pocket. The result is a stunning work of land art that allows viewers to see the full circle of the Earth with their own eyes.

For the full story click here.

For the full story click here.

MIND CONTROL Lisa Park is an American-born, Korean-raised artist living in New York who uses bio-feedback devices as a tool to investigate her inner states and emotional states. These performances explore the possibilities of self-monitoring her physical and psychological states to create an audio-visualisation of herself. By combining EEG scanning with speakers and pools of water to visualise her thoughts and emotions, she exposes her brain patterns to the world. In the video, left, she has outfitted 48 vibration pools, each with a speaker that vibrates according to Park's brain wave-interpreting algorithm, which tranforms intense signals from Park's Emotiv EEG headset into intense vibrations in the pools of water atop speakers.




Rhodes' Colossus In a move reminiscent of recent fantasy spectacles such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, a collective of European architects has proposed to build a 21st Century version of the Colossus of Rhodes – the ancient Greek statue erected on the island of Rhodes in 280 BCE. The new statue would stand 500-feet tall and serve as a cultural centre as well as a lighthouse. The Colossus stood as one of the tallest structures of the ancient world until an earthquake brought it crashing down in 226 BCE, but now, a group of architects, civil engineers, and archeologists from around Europe want to build a modern version of the statue, five times taller than the original.

For the full story click here.

If you haven't seen it already, since January 20 our five closest celestial neighbours, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, will be aligned in the night sky for the first time in over a decade. To get the best look at this phenomenon, try to find an open field and a dark sky. At the very least get a clear view of the sky and hope that it's not cloudy. Then look toward the moon and follow its path toward the horizon. You should be able to see the planets (which are generally less twinkly than stars) shining brightly in the sky. Savvy astronomers may notice that the alignment of the planets in the sky does not follow their order from the sun, (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and dwarf planet Pluto), but you'll be glad to know that the planets' order from the sun hasn't changed, but rather the path and plane that they follow around our star means that when we see them, Saturn kind of jumps in there after Venus and before Mars. The planets will be visible before fading by Feb. 20. Need help locating the

planets? Try one of these free apps for stargazers here.

DIGITAL DIVA Imogen Heap has been a pioneer in the music industry for decades – one of the first artists to brave the 'self-published' route and, since 2011, has been using her futuristic digital gloves called Mi Mu to control the sound of her voice. Her latest innovation is a musical platform called Mycelia, which proposes using blockchain technologies, similar to those used by the digital currency bitcoin, to distribute data related to music. The data would include the audio for the song as well as lyrics, photos and details of the instruments played, much like an old-fashioned album sleeve.

Check out the video above to see Imogen explain her device.




Inner Goddess Retreat

Temenos Retreat Centre, McGregor | 11-13 March A weekend of discovering and rebirthing your Goddess Power and natural, instinctive nature by Coach, Facilitator and Speaker Celeste Du Toit. Reclaim your self-love, balance, feminine power, beauty and sisterhood. R2 950 includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner. Reservations +27 23 625 1871/ For information: * Stay 13 March FREE!

ArtMode 5th Edition

Auto Atlantic MINI (Cnr Heerengracht & Hertzog Boulevard, CT) 25 Feb, 7pm - late Delivering a feast for the senses, ArtMode 5th edition will be collaborating with Auto Atlantic MINI Cape Town for a February 2016 event that is sure to kick off your social calendar in style. This eventwill bring together 15 talented artists, for an evening of iconic art, superb entertainment, great food and a truly unique experience taking place at an equally modern and surprising venue - the Mini Cooper showroom and on the Foreshore. Visit for more


Runs until 24 Feb Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, Wynberg Tickets available at Artscape Box Office, Dial-a-Seat and Computicket

Natural Farming and Meditation Retreat

March 6 - March 13 • Gwexintaba, Lusikisiki, Wild Coast, Transkei MEDITATION: A calm mind and peaceful emotions. Release stuck energy and tension in the body Lifting your vibration. Develop techniques to reach the silence within you on demand to deal with difficult situations in life. • Sunrise Japa AAA meditation • Sunset Japa Ohm Meditation • Yoga Nindra Meditation • Breathing Meditation • Working with the thinking mind • Working with the feeling in the body • Trust and Faith meditation • Forgiveness NATURAL FARMING: Understand and Fall in love with the nature of Nature. Growing your confidence with theory and practical experience to kick-start your food garden or food forest. • Soil Building • Chicken Tractor • Plants




new law makes all

herbals AND supplements 'drugs'



Odyssey Magazine has always stood for the rights of individuals to make their own informed choices about the medicines and medical systems that they use. But a new law, an update of the law imposed on novel chemical drugs in the mid-1960s in the wake of the thalidomide disaster, has effectively made all of South Africa's rich herbal traditional medicines into drugs – along with the herbal pharmacopoeias of China, Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world. And that is not all. The newly-signed Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act may also cover all other complementary therapies of any tradition, new or old, under the same sweeping all-encompassing definition of medicines which is entirely ill-suited for such treatments and designed rather for Western-styled allopathic, chemical-based and synthesised drugs. We take a close look at this new law which threatens to destroy South Africa's once-thriving complementary and alternative medical (CAMs) treatments industry – or effectively put it, and our rich heritage of healing plants and natural medicines, into the hands of foreign-owned 'Big Pharma' corporations.




lthough yet to be formally promulgated at the

health product manufacturers, distributors and suppliers

time of writing, the Medicines and Related

– who point out that such a determination will render

Substances Control Act (formerly Bill 6 of 2014,

the new law obviously incompetent, on the face of it,

on which we have previous reported) was signed into law

under the South African Constitution as being arbitrarily

by SA President Jacob Zuma in January.


Ostensibly, this law is meant to harmonise certain

Either way, the new law will immediately face

aspects of the medicines and related substances industries

Constitutional and other legal challenges which, experts

in South Africa and to set up and empower the SA Health

say, will render it 'effectively dead in the water on birth'.

Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), an over-arching

All this is because the 'powers that be' within the

body under which all medicines, modern and allopathic

DoH have simply failed to attend to the long history of

or ancient, traditional, herbal or any other form, will fall.

negotiations and agreements on how to manage and

The problems with the law are manifold and

control CAMs (including TAMs) between government and

far-reaching. For one thing, it is entirely unclear whether it will cover Traditional African Medicines or not. The legal secretariat of the Department of Health (DoH) has, on

the various stakeholders of an industry that just a couple years ago was worth an estimated R9.8bn, now only about half that. In part this drastic collapse of the local CAMs industry is

the government will face what will amount to a citizens' uprising, led by tens of thousands of traditional healers and their millions of patients and clients – upwards of 80% of South Africans still rely heavily on TAMs for a large part of their health treatments separate occasions in the past, specifically and publicly

because of the encroachment of foreign interests into the

said it both does not cover Traditional African Medicines,

SA CAMs market and in part because of 'closing down of the

as used by SA's estimated 250 000 traditional practitioners,

CAMs industry space' which has been on the cards since

and, in stark contrast, that it is meant specifically to cover

the DoH unilaterally and without adequate consultation, as

these substances.

is required, issued legally bogus regulations in November

If it is meant to cover such Traditional African Medicines (TAMs), there is certain to be the most strenuous objection by the several bodies under whom the African

of CAMs (with no mention of TAMs, either explicitly or implicitly) in the new law, and just prior to its signing by

this law represents the 'twin evils' of allowing foreign

President Zuma, was an obvious move to head off the

imperial control over the African pharmacopoeia and

legal challenges that the DoH knows are coming. But reliable sources tell Odyssey Magazine that the same DoH officials who have been driving the entire

In that case, the government will face what will

process along – determined to have CAMs, and quite

amount to a citizens' uprising, led by tens of thousands

possible also TAMs, forced into a straight-jacket of

of traditional healers and their millions of patients and

regulatory restrictions appropriate only for high-potency

clients – upwards of 80% of South Africans still rely

allopathic drugs with dangerous side-effects – are already

heavily on TAMs for a large part of their health treatments.

saying (privately) that the obviously unlawful regulations

On the other hand, if the new law does not cover TAMs,

which the department issued in November 2013 will be

it will be attacked by groups like The Traditional & Natural Health Alliance (TNHA) – a grouping of complementary


The withdrawal, at the 11th hour, of the definition

bodies' spokespersons have told Odyssey Magazine that

simply will not allow.


formally put onto the statute books.

Traditional Practitioners are organised. Some of these

imposing a new form of 'medical apartheid', which they


2013 which aimed to achieve what this new law has now

enforced. The view from inside the DoH is believed to be that,

as the founding law for all allopathic drugs is so broad in its definition of medical and related substances, they are free to include CAMs and even TAMs under its ambit, if they so wish – and, allegedly, they do. A good deal, therefore, depends upon any new regulations which the DoH comes up with. For its part, the DoH is simply not saying much of anything to anyone, though industry players have been told by department officials that new regulations are on the way, but without, as usual, any indication as to whether the relevant officials have listened anything which industry and traditional healer representatives have said to them on the subject.

Direct attack on officials Beyond





challenges that the new law faces is the high probability, under consideration by the TNHA and others, of a direct attack on the regulators and officials who have devised the previous and impending regulations on the grounds that these regulations were – and the new upcoming set are likely to be – obviously far better suited to control the pharmaceutical drug industry rather than supplements and a wide range of other complementary therapies. This is not an obscure law which may or may not affect 'a few sangomas' and those 'relatively rich folks' who like to maintain their health with supplements, as some might think – it will affect, in the end, virtually every single South African and likely, say those opposed to it, not in a good way. Similar and regulations almost identical to those withdrawn from the new local law at the last minute have, for example, already been put into place in parts of Europe and Canada. In the latter case, where, like South Africa until recently, the CAMs industry was thriving, some 20 000 CAMs products have disappeared off consumer shelves as result. Those opposed to what the DoH has been trying to achieve with it inappropriate CAMs (and possibly TAMs) regulations say the Canadian case points to the likely future in South Africa. In Canada, as well as some of the European countries similarly affected, the CAMs industry had been flourishing over the last 25 years or

The new law in a nutshell

The Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, formerly Bill 6 of 2014, is the 18th incarnation of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965). That originating law was specifically meant to deal with new pharmaceutical compounds and came in the wake of the thalidomide disaster which resulted in tens of thousands of babies being born as a result of this early anti-nausea pregnancy medication causing malformation of legs and arms in fetuses. The then Minister of Health Dr Albert Hertzog specifically cited the reasons for the introduction of Act 101 of 1965, saying that it was meant to deal with pharmaceutical drugs only. Subsequent iterations of the law as amendments have maintained the integrity of this legislative lineage until the introduction of Bill 6 of 2014, now signed into law as the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act. In November 2013 the Department of Health released, without fore-notice of any kind, a set of regulations promulgated in terms of Act 101 of 1965, which defined complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) into Act 101's ambit – a move cited by many lawyers and legal scholars as obviously ultra vires (illegal) in that the governing law was not designed for an entirely different industry to that for which it had originally been intended. Bill 6 of 2014 was the current government's effort to rectify that situation so that the newly amended version of the founding legislation (Act 101 of 1965) would now be viable, ostensibly, as a controlling legislative mechanism for the CAMs industry. But legal scholars and lawyers believe the amendment is still flawed, aside from the Constitutional issues being raised against it, in that it has veered away from its founding legislative intention. This element of the new law may also be challenged in court, as and when the new law is brought to bear and the first legal cases in terms of its novel elements are brought before the courts.



so, during which the pharmaceutical industry has run

appear to be in default on several fronts – and it is

into ever-increasing consumer headwinds of diminishing

understood from unimpeachable sources that at least one

revenues, as allopathic medicine patents ran out allowing

and probably two different groups of affected parties are

generic production at much lower costs, as well as

likely to drag these officials into court, even if necessary

growing resistance among consumers to its side-effect

through private prosecutions as is allowed under SA law,

laden products.

and make them account for their failures.

This pattern was abundantly clear, especially to the

This could mean that everyone involved, from the

'Big Pharma' entities, as a growing number of citizens of

Minister of Health, through the Director-General in that

these countries – as here in South Africa – were choosing

department and every other relevant line official, might

to avoid allopathic medicines if they could, preferring

find themselves trying to explain the inexplicable – and

the much safer alternatives of complementary medicines

face heavy penalties and possibly losing the right to ever

and of traditional medicine (mainly herbs) with very long

again hold public office, if found guilty.

track records, some running into millennia, of safe and effective use.

The shock-waves of such an outcome could rock the Zuma administration to its roots, setting a precedent for

But in Canada and those EU states where regulations

line government officials of every stripe and in every

very similar to those which the local DoH has issued have

other government department, from national through

'We are thinking ways of fighting this law in court. It's simply more apartheid medicine all over again, just imposed from a different angle. Whether such a law comes from whites or blacks, or any government representing them, is irrelevant.' - Chief Richard Kutela been imposed, that trend has been halted and even

regional and down to local councillors, to face the wrath

reversed as once all-allopathic pharmaceutical giants have

of angry citizens who choose to take them to legal task

launched into the 'green fields' of CAMs and, in South

for maladministration.

Africa's case, potentially also TAMs.

The battle is not over While the DoH bureaucrats – and, allegedly, their 'pals

'Medical apartheid'

in Big Pharma International Inc' – may be rubbing their

For their part, most of the organised traditional

hands in glee over the fact that President Zuma has

healers (some 220 000 are members of one of several

ignored an impassioned plea by traditional healers, in the

representative bodies) are adamantly opposed to the

form of a letter to him which Odyssey has seen and which

new law, whether it supposed to relate to them and their

asked him not to sign this obviously faulty law, the battle

products or not, as they see it as part of an organised

over SA's enormously rich natural healing plant heritage,

effort from beyond this country's borders to hijack South

along with all other forms of CAMs, is far from over.

Africa's rich and diverse complementary health resources,

For one thing, in South African law any officials – such



mainly its healing herbs and plants.

as those in the DoH who have shepherded this law into

Representing perhaps the oldest grouping, in cultural

reality over loud and rationally argued protests, even

terms, is the Cape Bush Doctors, a grouping of San and

into the Houses of Parliament and its portfolio committee

Koi ancestral traditional healers.

on health – are liable to severe censure if they fail to

Brian Ras Kora Damonse, chairman of this group, says

act transparently, in good faith and in consultation with

they are in the process of registering practitioners around

affected parties.

the country, with some 2 000 from the Western Cape

With respect to this new law, the officials involved


And this could happen, regardless whether or not the National Prosecuting Authority wishes to prosecute them.

registered and many others in process.

This bill will certainly affect all forms of herbalism and natural therapies

He, as with most other traditional healer organisational

just imposed from a different angle. Whether such a

leadership to whom Odyssey has spoken on this issue, is

law comes from whites or blacks, or any government

adamant that the law simply 'won't be allowed to stand'.

representing them, is irrelevant. It is not acceptable to us

'As an organisation we are completely opposed to

and should not be by anyone. We will not allow ourselves

this law. It's an infringement of our Constitutional rights

to be bullied by 'Big Pharma' whose medicines are not

to use our indigenous medicines. We believe it is going

working any more. Now they want to use our medicines

to allow foreign pharmaceutical companies to take

for their own gain (through this law). This move smells

ownership of our indigenous medicines and we will not

of the work of 'Big Pharma' through and through and we

and cannot stand for that. Therefore we shall fight it.'

won't stand for it.'

Chief Richard Kutela, of the SA Traditional Doctors'

Phephsile Maseko, National Co-ordinator of the

Union, representing over 6 000 traditional practitioners,

Traditional Healers' Organisation, agrees, but adds that

agrees with that assessment fully, adding that not only

the law and how it has come into being has created a

does his organisation oppose the law, but that they see it

great deal of confusion.

as a neo-apartheid piece of legislation.

'On the one hand we are told, through the DoH, that

'We are thinking ways of fighting this law in court.

we should not be too worried about this law as it does

It's simply more apartheid medicine all over again,

not apply to us (African Traditional Practitioners) or our



medicines, and that another law is going to apply to us

the registration of even long-standing Africa (or Chinese

and our medicines. But we know nothing of this other

or any other) traditional medicinal products.

law as yet and so we are deeply unsure about what this means.'

According to Rees, 'Bill 6 was designed to restructure the irregular CAMs regulations promulgated under Act 101

But she agrees with other traditional healer body

(in November 2013) and put the control of all medicines

representatives who see the new law as being, in effect,

and health supplements of any kind under a single

a repeat of 'apartheid medicine' because, if it is true that

governing authority, the SA Health Products Regulatory

an entirely different law will be introduced to control

Authority (SAHPRA).

what some might call 'white' CAMs and another for

'But there is a fundamental problem with this

'black medicines', then it is obviously the case that the

approach: either the new law incorporates control of CAMs

government has engaged in anti-constitutional behaviour

and Traditional African Medicines (TAMs) or it doesn't. If

in passing this piece of legislation. This view is based on

it does, then there is a question over the jurisdictional

the fact that two pieces of legislation for different cultures

adequacy of the new law, since the founding law (Act 101

but for similar medicines would be an overt violation of

of 1965) was not generated by the need for, and did not

Section 16 of the Bill of Rights in SA's Constitution of

have the intention of, controlling these entirely separate

1996, specifically the Equality Clause.

industries, practices and substances.

The Health Products Association of South Africa issued a statement on the signing of Bill 6 into law saying that the current situation is unclear and may or may not spell the demise of small complementary products manufacturers and suppliers 'It looks like apartheid medicine to us, so we definitely

'But if it includes CAMs, and not TAMs, then the law

reject it and will oppose it, even if the government intends

runs foul of Section 16 of the Bill of Rights in that it is

introducing another piece of legislation meant for African

overtly discriminatory.

Traditional Practitioners and their medicines. We are

'We told the DoH in April 2015 that if they legislate

awaiting what the government will do but we are also

(referring to Bill 6 being passed into law) then we

consulting our lawyers on this issue,' added Maseko.

will litigate. And so we will, even though the Portfolio

Constitutional & procedural flaws

definitions of elements covered by this law in a bid to hold

The opposition to the new law will also come from

off legal attacks on it. The reason is that, like the original

organised CAMs representative bodies such as the TNHA

law itself, the new version is still wholly unacceptable

whose secretary-general Anthony Reese said was already

because its definition of medicines and treatments is

consulting lawyers with a view to attacking the law on both

so broad as to render everything from oxygen, water

Constitutional grounds (it is, prima facie, discriminatory)

and food as "medicines" and advice to a friend as a

and on procedural grounds, in that there was both

"psychological treatment". 'In any case, we've demanded that the DoH's

affected parties – and what consultation there was prior

regulations as promulgated (irregularly) in terms of Act

to its passing had been utterly unrepresentative.

101 in 2013 be repealed altogether as these regulations

that the law represents a major push by 'Big Pharma'



of CAMs in Clause 1 of the new law which gives the

inadequate and an almost entire lack of consultation with

Rees goes much further, though, and suggests


Committee on Health has removed the offending definition

are clearly relevant to pharmaceutical drugs and not to CAMs or TAMs.

interests in the USA to drive an agenda in which only

'At the time of its passing, when Act 101 was debated

large pharmaceutical corporations will be able to afford

in Parliament in 1965, the then Minister of Health Dr

Hertzog said it was specifically aimed at patent medicines, meaning pharmaceutical compounds and concoctions.

HPA Position

To apply that law to the CAMs and TAMs health sectors is

The Health Products Association of South Africa has

therefore legally untenable, we are told by our lawyers,

issued a statement on the signing of Bill 6 into law in

and we will contest it for that reason alone.

which it too says the current situation is unclear and

'We will challenge this new law the minute someone

that, depending on how the issue of CAMs is dealt with by

is charged under it for any aspect of the CAMs or TAMs

SAHPRA (which will be jointly funded by government and

elements it covers or aims to cover. We have told the

the private sector) it may or may not spell the demise

Medicines Control Council that if they act against any of

of small complementary products manufacturers and

our members – or even any other party associated with

suppliers in favour of large pharmaceutical players.

our sector – or against any CAMs or TAMs, as treatments

HPA President, Norman Fels, says in the statement

alternatives, we will litigate on Constitutional grounds

that there is 'no need to panic at this stage', though many

in that this will be discriminatory and/or constitute an

in the CAMs industry are indeed already deeply panicked.

arbitrary regulatory infringement.

'This Act empowers the formation of the new

'We have challenged the DoH to say what exactly

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority

this law will control and whether it is meant only for

(SAHPRA),' he explains. 'The future of Complementary

pharmaceuticals, or if, as originally intended by the DoH,

and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) ultimately depends on

it will also cover CAMs and possible also TAMs. That was in

the new regulations, which have not yet been published.'

a letter to the Director-General written a year ago, and we

SAHPRA is to replace the Medicines Control Council

are still awaiting a response. It is quite possible that the

(MCC). According to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, it

officials involved realise that they are caught in a bind in

will be 'an independent organ of state', funded by both

that any answer they give will result in a legal challenge

the state and the private sector. The target date set by

likely to succeed.'

the Department of Health (DoH) for establishing SAHPRA is



1 April, 2017. The SAHPRA mandate has been extended to include the regulation of CAMs. The lack of a specific definition of CAMs could, however, result in 'some controversy', says Fels.

underground.' Fels stresses that the HPA has been requesting regulations for more than 30 years, but insists that these need to be CAMs-appropriate, fair and transparent.

'The DoH had inserted a definition of CAMs into

Applying allopathic standards to dietary and natural

the draft Amendment Bill which was passed on to the

health supplements is, he says, 'like applying airbus rules

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health,' he adds.

to bicycles'.

'But, just prior to this Bill being signed into law, the CAMs

'Ideally, CAMs should have its own directorate/registrar

definition was removed. We are still waiting for the final

and this is what we intend to fight for under SAHPRA,' he

CAMs Regulations, containing a revised definition of CAMs.'


According to Fels there are two conflicting views relating

It is now an open question as to whether the

to the anticipated publication of the CAMs regulations. One

government, and in specific the bureaucrats in the DoH

view is that any CAMs regulations published would once

who have been driving the 'CAMs and TAMs are the same

again be ultra vires and unconstitutional, as Act 101 is

as medical drugs agenda', see that not only is their new

now devoid of a definition of CAMs, thus removing the

law fatally flawed, but that they are also destroying a

legislative basis for CAMs regulations.

once-thriving domestic and job-creating industry, as well

be ready for a full-blooded fight if you are one of those who believes it is your right, and not that of the government, to decide on what medicines, or supplements or herbs or whatever else you choose, to put in your body This is the view held by the TNHA, the African Traditional Healers' leadership with whom Odyssey

Magazine has spoken, representing over half of all registered traditional healers, and many independent players in the SA CAMs industry. The other view, says Fels, could claim that the definition of a medicine in the Act is all-embracing and sufficiently broad to include CAMs – thus empowering the Minister to create various categories of medicine via regulation. 'These conflicting views may have to be decided in a court of law,' states Fels.

Money rules The deciding factor regarding the availability of specific supplements will, says Fels, be financial.

is going to be a very significant legal battle arising out the intransigence of the DoH officials behind this piece of legislative over-reach. And it may well reach much farther afield than the supplements and other similar substances industry, with far more at stake than the future of SA's CAMs and TAMs. For some parties to whom Odyssey has spoken, the looming legal battle may well be the beginning of a 'clawing back from creeping control through bureaucratic fiat' of our hard-fought-for rights, won at such high cost, as are entrenched in the country's Constitution. Watch this space for more as this saga unfolds – and be ready for a full-blooded fight if you are one of those who believes it is your right, and not that of the government, to decide on what medicines, or supplements or herbs or

If these requirements are similar to those pertaining

whatever else you choose, to put in your body. O

of compliance. Many will, therefore, be forced to go


Either way, though, one thing for is for sure – there

compliance vis-à-vis safety, quality and efficacy of CAMs.

entrepreneurial companies could not afford the costs


with what amounts to a foreign-owned 'hostile hijack'.

'Of great concern are the requirements and costs of

to allopathic medicines, there is little doubt that small


as threatening South Africa's natural healing substances

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cannabis oil   helps 'untreatable' epilepsy girl



Most people outside of Belgium won't ever have heard of Sofie Voncken, a 6-year-old girl who appeared in June, 2015, on an episode of Koppen on the Flemish television channel VRT. Sofie has lived since she was three with a particularly severe form of epilepsy that unquestionably changed her life forever. Suffering from what is called the invisible variant of the disease, she has had the full spectrum of the most advanced conventional medical treatments, from drugs through diets, and many hospitalisations, all without any sign of improvement – until her desperate parents, out of all other options, tried cannabis oil. This is her story, as told by Patrick Dewals.




eople around her usually do not see that something is wrong with Sofie. But a 24 hour electroencephalogram (EEG) showed that Sofie's

brain was, when this test was done, showing constant epileptic activity during her sleep. While awake the epileptic activity fell back to a lower level of intensity but was still present an alarming 85% of her waking hours. Although the outside world could not observe much unusual about Sofie, her continuous epileptic activity meant she had to handle 'severely jumbled' communication brain signals constantly. So it is pretty easy to understand that many of the children with her condition are trapped in their brain development and often make no progress at all. In Sofie's case it means that she has the development of a three-year-old kid at the physical age of six and a half years. This is hardly surprising because the high rate of epileptic activity in her brain had not left any normal time for learning. Epilepsy not only creates stagnation but remains a very dangerous disease in the first place. The plucky Sofie seemed more than once inevitably destined to become a fatal victim of her still largely mysterious illness – a frequent outcome for those young unfortunates who have this condition – but fortunately so far she has

From January 2012 the doctors and professors who were in charge of Sofie and her family decided to medicate the then three-year-old girl using their standard array of epilepsy medications. This initiated a period of what might be described as a sickening and unceasing rollercoaster for her and her parents.

survived, despite being in constant danger that one of her seizures will be her last.



From January 2012 the doctors and professors

It is therefore no wonder the life of little Sofie moved

who were in charge of Sofie and her family decided

away from normal play and kindergarten activities to a

to medicate the then three-year-old girl using their

regular routine of consultations with doctors, professors

standard array of epilepsy medications. This initiated a

and ever-stressful hospitalisations. It is also not difficult

period of what might be described as a sickening and

to understand that, in addition, Sofie's whole family

unceasing rollercoaster for her and her parents. Between

suffered and is still suffering under these tragic and

January 2012 and the recent past, Sofie has been

difficult circumstances. To see your daughter in lasting

given a vast list of various medicines – almost entirely

agony creates immense stress and that is no different for

without any discernable or measurable improvement in

the Voncken family. Sofie's parents are in a permanent

the underlying condition of her brain function. The child

state of alertness, and her twin sister, Sara, doesn't

swallowed several anti-epileptic drugs, whether or not

always get the necessary attention a 6-year-old needs.

in combination a benzodiazepine, and followed various

The care for Sofie is ubiquitous and Jean-Pierre, Sofie's

diets. But Sofie's epileptic attacks were not gone, nor

dad, was thrilled when he could choose a few years ago

even significantly improved, and she still needed regular

for an early retirement and became full-time caregiver to

emergency hospitalisations of various durations when the

his daughter.

condition flared up. When I ask Jean-Pierre what all the drugs and

No medical help

diets brought as positive results, he replies remarkably

However, when Sofie's story was on the episode of

laconically: 'Nothing.' Forty-five months of taking

Koppen last June, the toddler was doing much better. This story is about how that improvement – without the assistance of all the doctors, professors and other experts who have tried unsuccessfully to treat her conventionally – came about.

prescription medication and eating often not very appetising diets had provided no significant improvement. When a professor on the team of doctors at the Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium, proposed in May 2015 to start a ketogenic diet, he says he thought

Sofie Voncken (with glasses) with her twin sister Sara and parents

that such a diet was the last thing he could imagine would

this Belgian academic hospital the decision-makers didn't

help Sofie. But her long-suffering parents tried it anyway.

want to honour this request of a very anxious father and

The ketogenic diet should have shown improvement after

there was nothing left for the Vonckens other than giving

10-12 days, but there was none. The diet finally lasted 27

Sofie cannabis oil in their home by themselves.

days and still did not bring the least relief. 'It's criminal

Consequent to the obvious inability of the conventional

what my daughter had to endure during this diet,' says

treatment options to help his daughter and to treat her

the father, clearly affected. By then even the medical

condition, Jean-Pierre had for some time been browsing

team treating Sofie was becoming distraught, especially

the internet not just to study his daughter's illness, but

when they had to inform her parents that, as medical

also to search for possible alternative treatments that

professionals, they were out of options.

had delivered a favorable outcome in epilepsy anywhere

'They told us to prepare ourselves for the worst.

in the world.

This is not something you want to hear as a parent,'

In time, he discovered parents in the same predicament

said Jean-Pierre. Fortunately Sofie's parents had one last

as he, most of them in the United States. As a last resort,

option of their own – one that none of the medical team

these parents had given their epileptic children cannabis

treating her were aware of and which the hospital where

oil, which has no intoxicating side-effects, and the results

she was being treated, when they heard what this option

were almost universally amazing. Also via the internet,

was, wanted nothing to do with it.

Jean-Pierre met another Belgian family with an epileptic

Cannabis oil – the last option

child and who also had not had favourable response to conventional medications. This family had used – albeit

Jean-Pierre had told them the last option to help his

illegally – cannabis oil to treat their sick child and they

daughter was cannabis oil. He had even suggested

too reported amazing results. So at the moment that the

to them that they should give cannabis oil to Sofie in

doctors in the hospital had no other treatment options,

the hospital under their supervision and that they (the

Jean-Pierre knew the time had come to play his last card.

doctors treating her) should monitor the results. But in

He bought a bottle of cannabis oil for €36 (about R600),



The Vonckens risk a judicial punishment for having and administering cannabis oil to their very sick daughter. 'We risk seven years imprisonment,' Jean-Pierre acknowledges. But as severe as such a punishment may be he seems not to be especially bothered. On the contrary, the man does not hesitate to tell his family story to the media.

enough for 70 days of treatment.

relentless restlessness that left her exhausted. Following

time for the family.. From September 2014 until May

the cannabis oil treatments, she has much more energy

2015, when the cannabis oil treatment started along with

and the focus to continue her positive developmental

a drastic reduction in most of her regular medications,

progress. And last, but not least, since the beginning

were 'very heavy' for Sofie's parents and the child herself.

of the cannabis oil treatment she needed no more

'It seemed like we were on a non-stop hospital admissions

traumatising hospitalisations. These positive changes

routine,' says Jean-Pierre. 'During this time Sofie floated

in Sofie's health status are not an illusion – numerous

more than once between life and death,' he adds. But

other family members and acquaintances echo what her

then came the day of the first drop of cannabis oil, May

parents are saying.

27, 2015. 'From the first drop, the effect was spectacular.

Noticeably, her doctors and those involved with her

We are very confident that it is the cannabis oil that is

former conventional treatment are deadly silent on the

the cause of our daughter's health improvement. We are

subject of her near-miraculous recovery using a substance

now seeing a playful child, a child that wants to discover

that many doctors are either wary of or outright afraid of

the world and spontaneously takes books. All of this was

because it remains illegal in their country – or they simply

new to us.'

don't know about its positive effects on this and a variety

Tremendous progress During the four months Sofie used cannabis oil prior to



of other intractable conditions, or perhaps because they just don't want to know about such effects.

my interview with her parents she had made tremendous


progress. She stopped almost all of her conventional but

Nevertheless the Vonckens risk judicial punishment for

non-working medications. Only a benzodiazepine, which

administering cannabis oil to their very sick daughter. 'We

must be phased out very gradually, was still part of her

risk seven years imprisonment,' Jean-Pierre acknowledges.

medical regime because an immediate stop can initiate

But as severe as such a punishment may be he seems

unwanted side-effects caused by withdrawal from the

not to be especially bothered. On the contrary, while his

drug which she had been taking three times a day. At

behaviour may be technically unlawful and could provoke

the time of writing she was nearly completely off this

possible imprisonment, the man does not hesitate to tell

medication too, taking a much-reduced dose once a day

his family story to the media.

and was due to come off it altogether. In addition, a little

'We do this openly. First of all, we want to help our

girl who had almost stood still for four years in terms of

daughter Sofie, but we want also to reach other parents

cognitive and motor development now not only plays,

of children with epilepsy and inform them about the

moves and discovers things, but she is even going to

possibility of using cannabis oil. But I also always try

school as well. This is only possible because, although

to persuade them to do this under the supervision of a

she still has little epileptic seizures once in a while, they


are very few and she is sometimes spared of them for


hours were filled with severe epileptic seizures and

The period that preceded this event was an intense

days and even weeks. Moreover, her nights are now

Medical proof

finally revitalising – as opposed to the previous period

In July 2015, six weeks after starting the cannabis oil,

under conventional treatment during which her nighttime

a new 24-hour EEC collected from Sofie showed clearly

The Vonckens story grabs us undeniably as humans. It also presents us with a scientific paradox. To begin with, we must realise that science has been given a 'divine halo' in the modern Western world – it is the 'new religion', especially medical science for those with life-threatening and intractable diseases such as Sofie's.

that the brain waves were much more stable. In fact,

it this way, and 'Professor Y' sees it in a complete other

they had never been so stable. But for the doctors and

way. Both are undoubtedly very educated people but

professors in Leuven it was not enough evidence to say

their conclusions can vary in a significant way and both

that the cannabis oil worked. To conclude this, they want

conclusions are called 'scientific' (usually because, with

Sophie to be off all medication, only using the cannabis oil

medical treatments, they have conducted the standard

and then undergoing another 24-hour EEC. Presumably,

double-blind, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed trials). In

this test will be carried out within a few months and will

today's pharmacology and medicine, treatment protocols

provide the doctors with new information – and perhaps,

are not based solely on the science but also on ideological

or even probably, the incontrovertible medical proof

and market considerations. In certain cases, medications

that, illegal or otherwise, cannabis oil works for Sofie's

which, according to the current Western scientific

condition far better than their conventional therapies had

procedures are tested and approved, do not always work.


Some of them might even be harmful to humans. Others

Despite a four-year-long hellish battle with little

approaches, unrecognised by Western science and using

effective help from the Belgian medical establishment,

'untested' substances such as cannabis oil, have been

Jean-Pierre is not vindictive towards the medical and

shown, as in Sofie's case, to work in practice – or at

political decision-makers who would have, if they had

least the very least, prove not to be harmful, unlike the

had the means to, kept cannabis oil away from Sofie, and

conventional drugs commonly used for such conditions

thereby continued the torture she and her parents were

which all have serious and even dangerous side-effects.

going through.

Moreover, the stubbornness with which some doctors

'Do you want to sue the government?' I ask him. 'No,

are inflicting painful treatments on their patients is

but to Koen Geens, (Belgian) Minister of Justice, and

frightening, while on the other hand they prefer not to

Maggie De Block, Minister of Health, I would like to say

be involved with an 'unrecognised' approach, as Sofie's

you have to stick out your neck to help these children.'

case shows, because they fear the professional and legal

Scientific paradox

consequences of stepping out of line with their peers. But should physicians not at least study and consider

The Voncken's story grabs us undeniably as humans. It

such options, for the sake of the health of their patients,

also presents us with a scientific paradox. To begin with,

if nothing else? And it make also be asked, what of

we must realise that science has been given a 'divine halo'

the healers' oath to 'first do no harm' when medical

in the modern Western world – it is the 'new religion',

practitioners choose a conventional but probably harmful

especially medical science for those with life-threatening

treatment over an unconventional but almost certainly

and intractable diseases such as Sofie's. So, as with the

harmless approach?

church in the Medieval period, people dare not openly to doubt the 'wisdom' of so-called scientific knowledge.

Cannabis science

But it is striking how a deeper investigation shows us

What makes cannabis science even more complex is the

how scientists paradoxically rarely find a consensus on a

fact that cannabis (as a medicinal oil) is still illegal in

particular subject – and more especially so when it comes

much of the world, mainly because of persistent pressure

to a subject like medical cannabis which is fraught with

through the UN of the United States Federal authorities.

legal, social and political landmines. 'Professor X' sees

Many doctors are also not considering it as a treatment



because of the lack of knowledge – few, if any medical

heavy penalties for use in cases such as Sofie's. Are you

journals have been prepared to go out on a limb and

still with us? And this was only in the US. Could it be that

publish positive results of medical cannabis applications,

the medical world today is experiencing a paradigm shift,

though this is changing with increasing pace of late.

but is not yet aware of it?

If one follows the story of cannabis as a medicine, then one knows that there are globally-respected scientists

Change is coming

who are having remarkably contradictory – to the

There is indeed an undeniable shift in the world's

conventional attitude – views on cannabis as a medicine

medical establishment towards seeing the wide range

(see this article for more on this subject). As bizarre as

of conditions not well helped, or in some instance not

it may sound, if you are looking for a qualified doctor in

helped at all, by conventional treatments, but which are

Western medicine that recognises the medical properties

well-documented to have been significantly improved or

of cannabis (specifically the oil) you will probably find one

even cured by cannabis. Even President Obama said in

in the US rather then in Belgium (or South Africa or many

a documentary by neurosurgeon Dr Sanjay Gupta that

other countries).

one should follow the science in the case of medicinal

The story is more complex because, while a growing

cannabis and not one's political ideology.

number of US States, as well as doctors throughout the US,

When I asked Mr Voncken about the impression

are recognising the medical value of cannabis, the Federal

he had on the knowledge about cannabis (oil) among

authorities there are still stuck somewhere in the medical

the doctors, professors and other medical caregivers

past, 'fighting the war on drugs'. This is ironic when it is

he met on his way to finding a form of relief for his

considered that fully one third of all hospitalisations and

daughter, his answer was: 'They know zero point zero

deaths under medical treatment occur because iatrogenic

about medicinal cannabis.' This ignorance explains why

(meaning doctor- or treatment-caused) factors, mostly

there is no real scientific debate on medical cannabis in

the side-effects of properly administered conventional

Belgium. Ignorance reigns. But, even in Belgium, cracks

allopathic (Western-style) drug regimes. Twenty-three

are starting to appear in this wall of ignorance. There is

of the USA's 50 states now have a medical program

a non-profit association called Medcan which is fighting

based on cannabis running on state level. This means

to have medicinal cannabis legalised. Contacts between

that a patient with a prescription from a doctor can

Medcan, university hospitals and the government have

buy medical cannabis in a dispensary. In 2014 alone, a

been made and in the near future Medcan will even be

dozen US States made it possible for epileptic patients to

invited to share their findings and knowledge with MPs

purchase cannabis oil to help to deal with their disease.

during a parliamentary committee hearing on the subject.

But in these medicinal cannabis-friendly States one can

Not only witnesses or experts such as Jean-Pierre will

also find doctors who are against medicinal cannabis

be heard, but also physicians who are members of the

and, in addition, there are still 15 other US states that

association and who recognise the medical properties of

do not allow any medical program using cannabis as it

cannabis will testify. O

is considered to have 'no medicinal value' and medicinal cannabis is still an illegal drug at the Federal level, with



For info on Medcan visit

The Heemskerk Declaration Fields of Green for ALL (FOGFA), a local non-profit company that engages with policy-makers in order to construct South Africa’s cannabis future in all of its varied facets, was honoured to be invited to the Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants (GFPPP) held in Heemskerk, The Netherlands, recently. They joined 60 farmers and their representatives from 14 countries in an old castle for three days of intense dialogue and shared experiences. All present were concerned with the dire consequences of the prohibition of the coca leaf, the opium poppy and the cannabis plant. We take a look.


he outcome of the forum is contained with The

louder and louder. With the help of an Eastern Cape

Heemskerk Declaration and this is a seminal

environmental attorney, FOGFA have joined with other

document outlining the plight and demands

organisations in the area to begin the legal process of

of farmers affected by the failed 'war on drugs'. Our

holding the SAPS to account for their actions. You can

discussion groups were guided by researchers and

read the letter here and we will inform everyone of the

facilitators from the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the

progress of our communication.

process was democratic and flawless, especially given the

Myrtle & Green Network member, Dr Marlon Germon,

number of languages and cultures present at the forum.

attended RUN2016, a conference on drug policy that is

More about the forum on the GFPPP Facebook page.

part of South African Drug Policy Week took place in Cape

The delegates were divided into groups and given

Town from at the beginning of February. FOGFA were

themes and questions to guide the process. The main

given the opportunity to speak at a dedicated Cannabis

themes dealt with were:

side event and Myrtle addressed the forced eradication

• Forced Crop Eradication

issue and also gave feedback from the GFPPP and an

• Traditional and Medicinal Uses

outline of 'The Trial of the Plant'.

• Sustainable Rural Development & Political Economy • Drugs & Conflict

It is imperative that we make our voices heard ahead of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session

In preparation for this forum, FOGFA compiled a

on Drugs (UNGASS) to be held in New York in April 2016.

comprehensive report on Forced Crop Eradication in

The Trial of the Plant remains the only way to force our

South Africa, which suggests that the South African

government to hear the truth about cannabis but we will

police use the international conventions as an excuse for

find ourselves at a crossroads when it comes to actually

the continued poisoning of our land and its citizens with

changing the law. This is the job of the government and

glyphosate sprayed from helicopters. Many of you will

now is the time to engage with policy-makers from all

have seen our short documentary from February 2015

over the world to make sure that we map the road ahead

'Police in Helicopters'. South Africa is the only country that

very carefully. O

still uses aerial spraying for illicit crop eradication. This is an issue that needs to be shouted about,

Visit for more



Centre for the Fleur de Lis In January 2015 the Centre for the Fleur de Lis was launched in the suburbs of Cape Town. This is a Centre that works directly under the auspices of St Germain. Regular meditation classes are held within closed circles. If you are interested to find out more please do not hesitate to speak to Silke Erasmus. Dependent on demand, new classes will be created for those interested in being studious of both life and of the self. Contact Silke on 021 701 1186 for more.

SOUL / LIFE READINGS Is your life no longer making sense? Are you troubled by what is going on either in your immediate world, the planet at large or both? Have things that used to make sense become confusing? Are you being overwhelmed by thoughts, feelings, dreams and/or events in your life? Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, in your relationships or in your work? To answer these and any other life/soul issues, an opportunity has been provided for direct conversations, including questions and answers, with St Germain and other highly-evolved souls. Booking required. For more info or to book, please speak to Silke on 021 701 1186 Duration: +/- 2 ½ hours Location: Kirstenhof, Cape Town Cost: R500 Please note that Soul/Life readings are not psychic readings, but direct interactions with advanced souls whose purpose is to facilitate each individual's self-awakening. Participants are advised that they are required to take full responsibility for the fundamental life changes that often follow readings.



Know Thyself Those who would like to ‘Know Themselves’ and who wish to systematically build-up meditational skills are welcome to contact us. Especially if you wish to be in the ambit of St Germain and his high-level communications. Classes begin formally on 16 March and will from then on be every Wednesday evening from 7 – 9/9.30 pm for 3 weeks of the month. Cost: R300 per month

Youth Group Meditation classes Teenagers and young adults who wish to be part of a bi-monthly meditation group and who are older than 16 are welcome to contact us. Classes will run on Saturdays from 11-1 pm. This is specifically for young people who wish to understand themselves, the purpose of life and why things are as they are. Those attending will be taken on a journey of inner exploration including meditation techniques, self-awakening processes and group discussions. Cost: by donation



A public talk by Silke Erasmus

Chris Erasmus channels St Germain

DATE: 24 Feb

DATE: 23 March

VENUE: Erin Hall, Rondebosch

VENUE: Erin Hall, Rondebosch

TIME: 8-10pm

TIME: 8-10pm



TOP 20 UNDER 25 2015



Lessons in disruption from inspiring young South Africans






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OPTIMISM To live a complete life, the Spanish say, you must achieve three objectives: write a book, plant a tree and raise a child. The common requirement for all of these is optimism: a belief that the future will nurture your creation when you are no longer here. Nick Inman looks at starting the year by thinking about what you are thinking.




few years ago I wrote a book recommending

without realising it.

optimism as a good way to see the world. When

The news is often more morbidly entertaining than

I told people what I was doing they would often

informative. And any journalist will tell you that disaster

take a step back – literally. It was as if I was arguing for

makes better news than celebration. Relaying horror

the impossible. Why would I want ignore reality in this

stories is good for big business and for politics. Anxious

way, they would exclaim: I only had to look around me

customers buy more stuff to soothe their emotions and

at all the wars and misery to disprove my thesis. There is

voters are quiescent when they are scared. The pessimist

something wrong about being cheerful while there is so

hears his beliefs confirmed – there is ever more crime and

much suffering in the world, was the implied view.

violence and abuse – and stops asking questions.

Circumstances seemed to prove they were right

The optimist, however, examines the source of his

and I was wrong. Just as I was sending The Optimist's

information to know who is delivering it to him, how and

Handbook to my publisher, the global financial crisis

why. More importantly, he tries to see things in context


and in balance. It is easy to forget that there have to

But I was not and am not deterred. You can always

be opposites (how would we know virtue if we didn't

find good reasons to throw your hands up in despair

know vice, peace if we didn't know war?) and there are

but let's get one thing straight to begin with. Bad things

cycles to all affairs – which should always remind us that

happen all the time and the true optimist doesn't wriggle

'progress' and 'development' are loaded words and when

out of this. 'If way to the Better there be,' wrote Thomas

we assume that things should go in a particular direction

Hardy, 'it exacts a full look at the worst.'

we are setting ourselves up for a fall.

Optimism is not an easy choice. If you want to play

Optimism, though, is more than an assessment of

safe in any argument and not expose yourself to ridicule,

facts. It is an attitude and it can take a consciouss effort.

be a pessimist.

The optimism/pessimism argument often comes down to

The difference between the two stances is often

an assumption about human nature (are we inherently

summed up as seeing the same set of facts in different

nasty?), a belief in human potential and a vision of the

ways: either the glass is half full or half empty. But any

long term. Things can take time.

thinking optimist or pessimist will point out that it is not

It is often argued that it is easy to be an optimist if life

that at all. It is the assessment of the facts that counts

is good to you but the truth may be the exact opposite.

– the contents of the glass can be measured exactly –

One of the most eloquent essays on optimism was written

followed by a judgment of which way things are heading

by the deaf and blind American woman Helen Keller.

– is there water to endlessly refill the glass or should we

Another famous optimist was Nelson Mandela, who spent

treat this as the diminishing last half glassful? On balance,

27 years in prison for his political beliefs, knowing that

going by the evidence alone, should we hope or despair?

the regime that had put him there could not last forever.

The first challenge, then, is to see clearly what is going on. We get most of our information about world events

The lucky and well-off, on the other hand, can be deeply fearful and suspicious of the future because they risk losing what they have.

through the mass media and social media. All the

Optimism has to be a deliberate and conscious choice

information we receive in these two ways has been

and there are two reasons to opt for it, the personal and

pre-selected and filtered by somebody before it gets to

the public.

us. Mostly we do not consume facts that we can and do

Positive thinking is in your own self-interest. Studies

check. We accept summaries, judgments and narratives

have shown that optimists are better equipped than

that save us from thinking too hard. In other words,

pessimists to recognise and adapt to 'negative' information

we feed on other people's obsessions and bias, mostly

and to take action to avoid risk or danger. They also tend to rebound faster from bad luck and setbacks which they are likely to reclassify as 'challenges'. Optimists cope better with suffering – they have an innate will to make the best of the situation and know that despair serves no useful purpose. If you have to live with pain or struggle with depression, optimism is really your only option.



When Robinson Crusoe is coming to terms with being shipwrecked, and swinging between the will to survive and the temptation to crumple in despair, he decides to let reason be the judge. He made two lists of the good/bad, encouraging/discouraging aspects of his situation – just the facts as he sees them without trying to load them with emotion – and came to the logical conclusion that he should be grateful to be alive, was not in immediate danger and well supplied with all the provisions he needed to sustain him until he was rescued. Optimism is almost certainly good for your health, although it is difficult to prove the link. It makes sense that a positive outlook has a physical effect on your cells and boosts your immune system. If nothing else, it motivates you to go out and get exercise or to eat well. Optimism is good for the world too. You could say, we have no other option. 'What right do we have to be so pessimistic, and blind, and not moving, when people are dying on our watch?' asked the economist Jeffrey Sachs in a Reith lecture: 'Cynicism is our worst enemy today. We must build on our successes, not feed our doubts. If we believe that war is inevitable we will end up at war. If we believe that extreme poverty can't be solved we will end up letting millions and millions of people die.' Optimism is the quality of the activist, the campaigner, the instigator of co-operation or innovative solutions. As a disposition towards co-operation, compromise, construction, changing an enemy through force of argument rather than force of arms, it offers an alternative to the politics of division, confrontation, complacency, exploitation and short-termism. The first step towards resolving any problem is believing that it can be solved in a 'positive sum game' in which everyone involves wins. The second is to expect to solve it and the third is to do something about it. This requires that you motivate yourself to overcome any obstacles that get in the way of a solution. At the same time, it is important not to be tempted to delegate our optimism to someone else or something else. To believe that we can trust science to fix everything that troubles us – climate change, human mortality and such – is to take a step away from taking responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. We must always bring ourselves back to the here and now and be neither wildly fanciful nor depressingly doom-laden.

Optimists cope better with suffering – they have an innate will to make the best of the situation and know that despair serves no useful purpose. If you have to live with pain or struggle with depression, optimism is really your only option.

A few years ago, the editor of Wired, Kevin Kelly, pointed out the difference between hope and its opposite: 'As Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi once said, "There is more good than evil in the world-but not by much." Unexpectedly "not much" is all that is needed when you have the power of compound interest at work – which is what culture is. The world needs to be only 1% (or even one-tenth of 1%) better day in and day out to accumulate civilisation.' This 'positive margin' is all we need to do great things in the world on a personal or global level. We have good reason to hope or expect that intelligence will win out over stupidity; empathy over selfishness; and communal courage over ostrich mentality. Maybe not by much, but enough. And that is all you need. O



the initiate's journey to the

MASTER TEACHER The following is an excerpt from: Ramtha, Evening with Ramtha on the Field.




have set up this school from elder times in which the

or by some limpid pool.

initiates were either selected by a master teacher, their

In the hopes of keeping

fathers sent them, or the initiates started the journey

your mind on finding your

from a different part of the world to find the teacher and

master so that destiny

the school, a super school set apart from the madness

and that silver cord of want and desire will not be broken

of the marketplace. They had to live through the journey,

by anything that harms you, along the way you learn to

the desert, and hostile tribes of robbers, highwaymen,

be clever and outwit any danger. You learn to then pass

and merchants to find it. We could take all of that and

from one land into another land, from one principality into

put it in modern-day terms: deceivers, the marketplace,

a land that is forested with all of its creatures, predators,

the highway, and people surviving on a day-to-day

its indigenous people, and its tribes.

basis. Imagine trekking across some forbidden, arid

So many great initiates in antiquity walked those

continent and having to spend your night under the stars

paths that went through the jungles and forests which led

the fire lives in a few. If they are lost along the way, it will be reflected in another life. In today's civilisation all of these horrors and terrors are now confined within a city block, on a freeway, or the Internet, so nothing changes. It changes form but it doesn't really change. The students who walk through all of these landscapes to find their teacher are the ones who are going to make it out of here, and they live in the future. They live elsewhere. In coming to school, your life is like the journey and romance of students leaving their homeland, their father's house, their mother's house, looking for greater knowledge – a desire of destiny that is a future place that lives in the mountains somewhere – and finding it. That is where they are going. They are finding that silver thread, their lifeline, that unfolds them into the future and their destiny and takes them through all of this morass. You only had to move here from Illinois, New Jersey, terrible jungle, Los Angeles – lost angels, literally – and you are here at school. Coming to the great school and knocking on your master's door is about finding that silver cord and remembering why you came here. In this modern-day romance novel where teachers are very rare to find – a lot of wannabe people out there are stopped along the way – the true journey of becoming extraordinary is what you have come here to find. As I said in the old days in your time, the Antichrist, the saboteur, is the personality. The structure of the personality is a very dangerous place. It might as well be the jungles of India, the arid places and the forests of Turkey, the highwaymen, the robbers, the treacherous people, and the unsafe shadows. It might as well be all of that, because it is. The personality is all the knowledge to the highest peaks in Turkey, the highest peaks of the

you know in your father's house and your mother's house.

roof of the world, those meadows with ferocious beasts,

When you walk right outside that door, all of the world will

with indigenous tribespeople and cannibalistic monkeys

be based upon what you learned in your father's house

on the scent. If you are endeavouring to have no scent,

and your mother's house. It will be in your genes. It will be

eat no meat and you will not smell like it. Initiates had

in your culture. It will be in your neighborhood. The entire

to learn to keep their silver cord connection unbroken to

world is contained on the doorstep of your father's house,

reach the door of the master's abode. This is all a true

your mother's house. Isn't it interesting that the whole

story. This has all happened.

world, the whole future, is framed by the experiences,

If you survived the journey to get there, it allowed

those things that happened to you right outside of your

you to already own the world of highwaymen, robbers,

father's house before you even started the journey to

deceivers, social consciousness, and fear. To be

the master in the Far North. Your whole world and your

absolutely caught up in the imagination of your fear,

opinions are based upon what you learned in your father's

thinking that the shadows that lurk under the moon are

house and your mother's house. Just imagine the whole

all treacherous, would nearly cause your heart to break in

world, billions of planets, the journey from here to the top

one night. Living through the treachery of shadows cures

of the mountain where the great school is, all of it can be

it in the mind as well.

assumed by the people who live in that house. They base

The long journey to the high places of knowledge, which supersedes common human beings, is born, and

their whole interpretation on where they have lived. That is their world-view.



Great students who came into this life took the journey to find their teacher. They had to make the journey and traverse continents, cross raging rivers, be a part of villages, indigenous peoples, highwaymen, robbers, deceivers, and be afraid of shadows at night. People speak with absolute certitude about something

them as destiny to the master's house. In the mind of the

they know nothing about. They say, 'You are never going

master, the master picks up that cord and knows they are

to make it. You are going to go there to India or to that

coming. Then the initiation is happening to the student

great mountain. You are never going to make it.' Their

who is going through all these perils and overcoming the

world-view is based upon that house. The moment they

fears of their mind, their world-view, and their thoughts.

take a hundred steps away from their father's house, their

How they thought things were isn't necessarily the way

world-view is about to change.

they are at all. Their father's house has now disappeared.

Great students who came into this life took the

By the time the student arrives, the student's greatest

journey to find their teacher. They had to make the

celebration is that he has found his master teacher and

journey and traverse continents, cross raging rivers,

the master teacher accepts him into the class. A whole

be a part of villages, indigenous peoples, highwaymen,

different work can now begin because the student is

robbers, deceivers, and be afraid of shadows at night.

already here and the deconstructing of his world-view or

What allowed them their connection to find their master

his personality was overcome, which started a hundred

teacher in the great school hidden in the mountains at

yards from his father's house or the hovel he left behind

the roof of the world was abiding that silver cord that

to make the solitary journey to find the Great Work and

kept their mind arriving at their master's house at the

the school.

end of the journey. When they were afraid at night, all

The greatest of our students then would be those who

they thought about was that door opening and entering

really have worked on deconstructing and mastering the

to begin the work of the higher order, the Great Work,

concepts of who they thought they were and changing

to understand themselves in a deeper, more meaningful

in their mind to become who they are. Their ideas don't

way. They are initiates of the Great Work. When their

have to go through the personality anymore. They are

minds went to that imaginative door – not knowing what it

simply ideas that are taken, initiated upon, the body

looks like but knowing that it opens and they get to come

then experiences them in life, and now we have a whole

in – they were able to have a world-view that transcended

different perception. We are two hundred yards outside

the campfire in Turkey outside the forests and being

of our father's house, and we will make it. We will make

robbed, or indigenous people asking where you are going

it to Turkey. We will make it to the mountains, from the

and saying you will never make it across the river, across

mountains across the river, and from the river into the

that desert, and that landscape. The world-view of those

long desert. From that we will exist through those tribes.

people ends there but the initiate's doesn't.

We will not be eaten by wild animals. We will not be

This is not an allegory. It is a true story. It has always

hunted down. We will not be drowned by raging waters,

happened to a select being, a select few, whether initiated

by the torrents of life. We will have a world-view that will

by their parents to study under a teacher in a school far

change all the way to where we rap on the door of our

away or by the students themselves who have elected to

master's house. By the time we arrive there, we will have

come here to this school. The one thing they are clear

already conquered everything that our personality was –

and know is that there is knowledge they have come here

everything. O

to find, and they are going to find it. They make their way here, which means that the silver cord has connected



For more info visit, or see ad, right.

Copyright © 2008 JZ Knight. All rights reserved.




no degree required

Protectionism and vested interest doesn't rule the roost when it comes to self-improvement, though sometimes they try. Renowned hypnosis expert Andrew Newton reports.


friend has started to put on weight. Already she's up three dress sizes. She's having a hard time with her boyfriend and her whole life seems as if it's

falling apart. What should she do? She wants to talk about her problems and I listen. As a friend, of course I do my best. I listen to her. I talk to her. I give her the benefit of my advice. Every atom in my body screams 'move on; don't allow that no-good psychopath ruin your life; most important, comfort eating is not the answer!' Hold that thought. I'm not a marriage counselor. What am I thinking? I've often heard it said that free advice is seldom cheap. But the wrong advice can be even more costly. Even if I try my best, my friend isn't necessarily going to listen. My friend won't be able to move on with her life until she can bring herself to accept the real truth of her situation. She will continue making excuses for



her partner's bad behaviour and continue the downward

some time later, you wake up, remembering nothing

spiral until she eventually reaches the bottom. Only then

about what has been said, and walk away from the

will the slow process of recovery begin.

session cured of whatever it was that ailed you when you

It's part of the human condition that people tend not

walked in.

to listen to or follow good advice. Most of the time they

This is a misconception. At least 90% of hypnotherapy

have to learn the hard way, by their own (often painful)

is just plain therapy. Only about 10% of hypnotherapy

experience. A lesson hard learned is a lesson remembered.

is hypnosis. The key to good therapy is the ability to

But what if there was a short cut to this realisation, one

listen to the client. More important, the most vital part of

based on sound psychological and humanistic principles?

therapy is letting the client discover their own solutions

Actually there is and, as an experienced hypnotherapist,

to their own problems. In other words, therapy is just like

I know that the answer has been staring me in the face

having a chat with your friend, except you're not making

since my friend first started to talk to me. Moreover, I

the mistake of actually offering advice. Once your friend

know that I can fix her damaged emotions and repair her

comes to her own realisation, it's plain sailing from there

self-esteem in about an hour.


Most people think that Hypnotherapy means sitting in a chair while the therapist tells you that you're feeling

Simple solutions

sleepy until you end up in some kind of trance. Then,

There are some astonishingly simple and straightforward



ways to make this happen – you just don't know what

hypnosis, there follows a great deal of play-acting and

they are at the right moment. Just imagine how powerful

amateur theatrics. Stage-hypnotised subjects are fully

a solution is going to be if it's reinforced with a quick

aware of what they are doing and some deliberately play

session of hypnosis. And just imagine how much better

up for laughs. All this has given a false impression of what

your friend will feel if you could accomplish this in 10

hypnosis is really about.

minutes. Surprisingly, some of the easiest things to deal with

there the similarity ends. Hypnotherapy is very different.

in hypnotherapy are the most severe traumas. The

Its success derives from allowing the client to identify

techniques are just as easy to learn as they are to apply,

what it is that makes them feel bad and recognise the

and results can be super-quick, not to mention spectacular.

cause of their anxiety or distress (mindfulness) and to

No form of therapy can ever erase the memory of a tragic

do something about it. It's always the client who decides

or life-changing event, but hypnotherapy can create

what is to be done about it and not the therapist. As said

emotional distance – the client will still remember the

earlier, it's an easy ride from there on.

incident, but after just one session, it won't hurt any more or perhaps not nearly so much.


that giving a client a very simple mantra to repeat six times a day, for instance 'every day, in every way, I'm

talking therapies and it still remains the market leader.

getting better and better', would very quickly have a

There is a very good reason for this – hypnotherapy offers

profound and positive effect on a client. And that's

the client an opportunity for rapid change, a quick-fix

hypnosis. No trance, no fairy dust, just close your eyes,

solution to even some of the most complex problems.

relax and repeat and reinforce the message.

The best news is that it's easy to learn the principles and

Some psychologists in South Africa seem to think

techniques needed to be able to do this problem-solving.

that only psychologists should be allowed to practice

No smoke and mirrors or mumbo jumbo, no woo-woo

hypnosis. The irony is that extremely few psychologists

'magic' and no hypnosis.

even understand hypnosis, let alone practice it.

No hypnosis? Didn't I just say that you could make

The same was true in America where several states

the solution more powerful if it was rounded off with a

banned the practice of hypnotherapy, although not stage

10-minute hypnosis session?

hypnosis, which is, again, ironic. Then, in the 1960s,

This is because – wait for it – hypnosis doesn't really

a group of free-thinkers started NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-

exist. That's right, your read that correctly – hypnosis

Programming) which is in effect – you may have guessed

doesn't exist. And here's why.

it – hypnosis by another name. They just changed the

Most people's experience of hypnosis comes from watching


The great French psychologist Emile Coué discovered

Hypnotherapy remains the most popular of all the

What hypnosis isn't


Therapeutic hypnosis utilises the same process, but

name and hey presto, before you could say 'one, two, wide awake' everyone was doing it. The existing petty rules and regulations became redundant.

stage hypnosis – the hypnotist weaves his spell over an

And that is my philosophy. Hypnosis as a stand-alone

unsuspecting group of volunteers who then proceed to

phenomenon does not exist – and because it does not

cluck like chickens and conduct imaginary orchestras. But

exist, it cannot be defined. Because it cannot be defined,

stage hypnosis is very different from clinical or therapeutic

it cannot be controlled or regulated. Telling someone

hypnosis. Certainly the subjects performing on the stage

to relax does not constitute hypnosis, and yet that's all

have genuinely experienced hypnosis, but after the

hypnosis is – just pure relaxation.

Then, once you have the person's undivided attention

of persuasion and attraction found in hypnosis, as do

the mind becomes open to positive suggestions that

politicians, and yet I don't hear the psychology elite

help and encourage the individual to put problems into

getting over-excited about that. As a generalisation,

perspective, retake ownership of their feelings and

psychologists have no real understanding of hypnosis.

emotions, and, eventually, their lives. None of the easy,

And hypnosis is something that the vast majority of them

simple mental gymnastics needed for this are practiced by

will never use.

psychologists – all these tools and techniques have been

Anyway, enough said on that. I'm going to teach

discovered or invented in the last two decades and are

hypnosis and the hell with it. In fact I'm going to teach it

available to anyone.

and then tell everyone to do exactly what I do with most

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of books,

of my clients, and that is to take hypnosis and put it over

tapes, DVDs and so on dedicated to self-improvement.

there in the corner. In fact, let's forget about hypnosis

Almost without exception, they utilise the techniques of

altogether and do some creative relaxation – that's much

hypnosis and teach the reader to do the same. And why

more effective. Problem solved. O

not? Advertisers use the very same subtle techniques

See ad below for info on Andrew Newton's SA tour.




after the light bulb moment Imagine you’re in a dark warehouse, searching for something on the shelves. It is pitch black and you only have a tiny flashlight. You can only see what the flashlight illuminates; it is a struggle but you make do. Then someone turns on the floodlights and the whole warehouse lights up. Suddenly you realise how much you were struggling with your tiny flashlight – there is a whole big warehouse with hundreds of racks you’ve never realised were there. Celeste Du Toit investigates. ODYSSEY 46 • 



fter your moment of brilliantly illuminated perception of what really lies beyond your flashlight’s reach, the floodlights dim again, and

you’re back to seeing only what you can with the little flashlight. But now you know what lies beyond that limited light. So either you become settled in the darkness again and eventually forget about the bigger warehouse, or, you might get a little frustrated, knowing – yet not being able to see. That is when I get excited, because when you get frustrated it means something is bound to change. What has been seen can never be unseen. Pain over your current circumstances is a signal that you need to change something – a danger sign. We are conditioned to ignore it, but ignoring it means we will eventually get hurt (or more hurt). Big ouch. So you’ve decide you want to change and take action. You’re all inspired. But you need to know what to change and the change needs to be sustainable. So where do you start? I’d like to share nine principles that I use in my personal development toolkit, which may be of value to you:

Take responsibility The cornerstone is to make the full commitment to growth or healing, because at times it may not be comfortable. You may have to stretch your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone. Many of us long for freedom – free from limiting beliefs, preconceived ideas, and attachments, all of which may cause pain. But the moment we are ‘free’, we become responsible – nothing or no-one to blame. The road to freedom might require more guts than what we care to admit, but for those who dare to travel down it, immense satisfaction awaits.

Understand what drives you What are you passionate about? What drives you and gives meaning to your life? This is the ‘why’ behind what you want to achieve – your core values. Your values compel you to do some things and avoid others. People fail to achieve their goals because their goals do not meet their core values. They miss the mark because they do not understand what drives them.



Not loving ourselves manifests in a constant search for validation and external approval. As children we love

Just for a moment, imagine how wonderful it would be to not have to carry the load of your limiting beliefs. So get down to business and zap those limiting beliefs. Understand your behaviour patterns and change them.

ourselves, but as adults so often this self-love is buried very deeply in the subconscious. True empowerment requires a subconscious change, an identity shift. And this is not easy.

Recognise when you’re spiralling down and change it Change your vibration. When you are stuck and feeling ‘low’ it may be hard to get inspired, so learn what takes you from a negative to a positive state. Get out of that stuck feeling, and generate new possibilities for yourself.

Transform totally Speak up for yourself, and be authentic. Look at all areas of your life – spirituality, relationships, health, finances, intimate love and recreation. A holistic view and true, sustainable personal growth means you are looking at every aspect of your life and constantly striving for growth and balance in mind, body, spirit and emotions.

Take action Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing. Learn and apply. This is where you carve a vision for your life. Do what it requires and focus on growing every day.

Communicate truthfully with yourself

Make small changes, but do it constantly. Like the famous slogan: (just) do it.

something or somebody that isn’t real. The worst is we

Understand and manage your environment

lie to ourselves too. And we build safe, seemingly secure

You can change negative thoughts and patterns, but they

comfort zone around these lies. What lie have you been

are like weeds. They became your beliefs in the first place

telling yourself?

so don’t allow them to grow back. Take an honest look at

Some of us have been wearing a mask for so long that we forget it’s a mask, and we continue to act out

Get a grip on obstacles

your resources and support structures. Let go of energy thieves (things, places and people). Know who to ask

Just for a moment, imagine how wonderful it would be

for help (and don’t be afraid to ask), and learn how to

to not have to carry the load of your limiting beliefs.

manage your resources, including your time.

So get down to business and zap those limiting beliefs.

So back to that warehouse – do you prefer to stumble

Understand your behaviour patterns and change them.

around in the dark, or let someone guide you to apply

If you need help changing them, get help. You’ve

these principles? O

recognised them as illusions; now learn to change your patterns, thought processes and beliefs.

Shift your subconscious This is about you, your self-worth, self-love and self-esteem. Self-love does not equate to being ‘self-ish’.



Visit for more. See ad, right, for info on Celeste's retreat.



23rd Global Inspiration Conference 2016 from 1st - 8th of July - Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay

The GIC is a unique annual event organized by the International Breath work Foundation (IBF); the worldwide networking organization for Breath work practitioners and those interested in the healing power of Breath work. The conference is a rich and rewarding experience fueling your enthusiasm to live a fuller, more creative and courageous life. There is something magical about spending seven days in the company of people who are excited about growing, learning and developing deeper awareness. Participants repeatedly express amazement at how much of this can happen during one week at GIC. The event brings together respected keynote speakers and teachers who present a rich and diverse range of workshops each day. In addition to learning from these sessions, we dance, breathe, hug, hold and share in honesty. The environment fosters great respect for each individual, providing a safe place to express our deepest thoughts and feelings about our selves, each other and the world. The event can be seen as a celebration of life, and attracts a diverse group of people: young and old, academic and creative, from all parts of the world. The resulting environment promotes healing of divisions, deepening of understanding and growing togetherness. We welcome anyone who feels inspired to participate in this gathering, regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey or the extent of your breath work experience."


When I hear abundance, I hear and feel gratitude! Gratitude for what is and what I already have is the root of all abundance and success. It all started from the moment that every cell in the cell structure of my body understood that giving is the same as receiving. The joy of giving and not controlling where the giving goes... it is giving your love and your goods with no strings attached...Then the giving energy comes back…, like a boomerang … faster and stronger ... in abundance. It becomes materialization of what you think about, trusting that all there is, is also there for you. It is the law of attraction, because energy knows that by giving it to you it will get divided again and roll its way to different hearts and hands. Let’s share our gratitude and breathe South Africa in abundance. Marie Rose Windels Organizer GIC2016 ODYSSEY 50 • 


VENUE: The “Boardwalk” is a 5 star Hotel, looking upon the Indian Ocean, located in the Nelson Mandela Bay 10 minutes from the airport. It offers a swimming pool on the top floor, a Spa Center with a fitness club and an indoor heated swimming pool. The Royal status of the hotel with Wi-Fi, electronic billboards, event- and workshoprooms give the necesZARy infrastructure for a successful GIC2016. 140 sea facing guestrooms and balconies give a view on the openness of the Oceans.

Conference fee for the Global Inspiration Conference: IBF Member: 5.625 ZAR Non IBF Member: 6.375 ZAR Early Bird: Discount 750 ZAR if you pay total conference fee before 29th of February (Exclusively for South African participants) Children below 18 years old, accompanied by a paying adult, don’t pay any conference fee! Payment details and instructions will be send after your registration.

Accommodation in the Boardwalk Hotel – full board: (ZAR = South African Rand) From Friday 1st of July 2016 diner till Friday 8th of July 2016 lunch

Single room - price per person Double room - price per person ZAR 13.200 ZAR 9.025 20 single rooms available Who do you want as roommate? As valuta may change during the year, the accommodation needs to be paid in South African Rand. Children till 12 years old: pay ZAR 400 (sharing room with adult) Children as from 13 years old are considered as an adult. Payment details and instructions will be send after your subscription. Travel and travel expenses: to be organized by yourself For extra days in the hotel: 1 extra day in the Hotel in half board (breakfast and dinner) is pricing room per person divided by 7



DAILY PROGRAM: Daily Program and messages will appear on Electronic Billboards within the hotel. 7:00 9:00 11:00 11:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 18:00 18:30 20:00 21:30

Breakfast for participants staying in the Boardwalk hotel and free time on the beach Group meetings, logistics of the day, exercises and workshop presentations Tea and coffee break IBF’s AGM meetings and workshops Vegetarian, chick- and fishtarian lunch for conference participants Keynote speaker, 1 hour 3 hour workshops by highly qualified breath workers Tea break Keynote speaker, 1 hour Vegetarian, chick- and fishtarian diner for participants staying in Boardwalk hotel Disco and other voluntary activities boosting the communication among GIC-ers

What’s also on the program:

Creative Living Festival on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of July 2016: Port Elizabeth's own Holistic Health Expo will be held on 2nd and 3rd of July 2016 at the Boardwalk Hotel, in conjunction with IBF’s 23rd Global Inspiration Conference 2016. This successful festival invites exhibitors to present their products and healing disciplines to interested parties and the general public. One can experience a variety of treatments eg: reflexology, aromatherapy, Indian head massage and much more. Open Arena: Demonstrations of yoga, tai chi, ethnic dancing from various cultures, and more, will entertain the folk who are not attending the set program throughout the weekend. All visitors will be able to attend the International and National Keynote Speakers lecturing at the GIC2016. For those interested in the Holistic Health Expo contact the Organizers Maria Markides. Tel:0027(082)5508922, Evy Evlambiou, 0027(082)8231525 email:

O2Day on the beach - On the 5th day a special O2day will be held on the beach and will surprise each of the participants. The song OXYGEN IN A BOTTLE will simultaneously be released and sung on the beach. The whole of South Africa is welcome to join in. Our globally expanding Breathing-circle with 1500 members all over the World shall go…“Guinness book of records” during this day.



Hosted by Natalia Brown and Marie Rose Windels

Big lottery at the end of the GIC : All attendees get a lottery ticket.

One of them will go home with this unique O2CHAiR

(Offered by “InnovZen” - value 9.600 euro)

“The only breathing chair in the world”

And so many more surprises … For keynote speakers and the different workshops, please have a regular look on our website to see the updated list.

A bit more about Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro,

Named after Nelson Mandela, has the most beautiful and empty beaches in a superb climate. They call it the friendly city, because of its openness, but also the windy city, thanks to the winds that refresh the air constantly. Rain can come in as a fine sparkling shower, refresh your face and disappear in a hot sunny afternoon.

Loads of people do their morning business early in the day with a great cup of cappuccino and a cup cake. Here and there you meet people on the run stretching or doing taïchi before their daily task. The warm waters and the radio station of Algoa Bay provide the perfect swimming; kite -and wind surfing, snorkeling and canoeing conditions. Dolphins and whales sew the waves in play and harmony. The Architecture profiles Victorian-, Art Nouveau and Art deco buildings ... They are the largest Art clusters in the whole of Africa.

A number of Flora and fauna destinations lie within commuting distance: Maitlands, Skoemakerskop, Baviaanskloof and the game reserves. Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is an all-year round destination due to its sunny weather and warm climate.

POSTGIC: Staying in South Africa after the GIC.

You will be able to enjoy more of the beauty of South Africa. We have South African Tours available after the GIC: 3 days Johannesburg and environment 6 days Eastern Cape This info is (will shortly be) available on the website.



BREATH AMBASSADORS: The following Breath Ambassadors will carry out our GIC2016 to the whole of South Africa and more… Penny Fraser and Dr Maboea Dimakatso for Johannesburg Professor Rona Newmark for Capetown

Evy Evlambiou, Chlubi Noma and Maria Markides for Port Elizabeth

Dr Alternatif Tembile Ndzingi, our Host Health Haven National Bay TV at Dstv More information will be added on the website…

Updates, registration and more news on our website: For questions and subscriptions please email us on: All information about IBF: Please like us on Facebook:

Marie Rose Windels Organizer GIC2016 South Africa



Malek from Mozambique @ work the sand-sculpture of the GIC2016

Leon Hugo GIC2016 photographer

 The GIC is an international event of celebration of the breath, learning and sharing of the latest breathing and other techniques with information contributing to both personal and global evolution.  It is the annual coming together for the IBF membership and others who feel drawn to taste and participate in this most successful of Breath work gatherings.  Participants at the GIC include leading professionals in Breath work and other practices aimed at healing and the expansion of consciousness.  It brings about great opportunities for personal and professional connections.  Anyone can present his/her work during this unique and exciting program, which is organically created day by day.  The friendly atmosphere build at every GIC creates an ideal environment for families and children.

Join us @ the 23rd Global Inspiration Conference 2016 1st till 8th of July - Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay Register right now: email:

COME TO PORT ELIZABETH, the FRIENDLY WINDY CITY and have an unforgettable experience Thank you for joining us in this International Breath Event President IBF: Mrs. Véronique Batter, the IBF Admin Team and the IBF National Coordinators GIC Organizer : Marie Rose Windels ODYSSEY 55 Assistants: Geert De Vleminck, Jean Vandersmissen • 






Once you've kicked off your shoes and got yourself firmly grounded, sun gazing is an ancient practise that is also fast regaining popularity, presumably because it's also healthy, natural, easy, simple to practise, sustainable and doesn't cost anything. Author and speaker Bridget Edwards tells us why this ancient modality is so good for us.


he sun has always been revered and even worshipped by priests and shamans of ancient cultures like the Aztecs, Egyptians and even in

Asian society, and for good reason too because the sun or sunlight is the source of all life and a basic nutrient. The ancients considered the sun vital for elevated vibrations, where joyful states of being or spiritual advancements would naturally occur, thus also aiding physical transformation and healing too. The sun, directly or indirectly, energises, nourishes, recharges and revitalises all life, specifically the physical body. Think about why we enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine, and in particular those sun-drenched beach holidays. The sun can affect our moods. Many people feel happy and healthy when exposed to the sun (even in small doses), and gloomy after several consecutive cloudy, grey and rainy days. Those who live in areas where sunlight is minimal can suffer from 'winter blues', a type of depression also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and light therapy is often required. Vitamin D, 'the sunshine vitamin' is critical nutrient for your body. Vitamin D is only produced in the body via the sun. But, Vitamin D supplements are a poor substitute for direct sunlight. The daily practise of sun gazing provides the body with necessary Chi or Prana (life force energy) and, when absorbed through the eyes, can help to reduce such issues as stress, worry, anxiety, fear, anger and sadness, among others. According to India's Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) sun gazing can apparently balance emotions within the first three months (up to 15 minutes) of practising, and is said toheal the body of many conditions within 3-6 months (15-30 minutes), and from 6-9 months (30-44 minutes) regulates the necessity for large intakes of food, claim practitioners. Obviously these results vary from person to



Golden rules to follow strictly when sun gazing 1 Do not increase your daily sun gazing activity by more than 10 second increments per day. 2 Do not gaze into the full sun after the 1


hour of sun rise, or before the last hour of sun set. Sun gazing during these specific times is necessary because that is when the UV rays are minimal and therefore considered safe.

3 Stand bare foot on the bare earth when sun gazing. Do not stand on cement, bricks or grass. The bare earth is the best for effective sun gazing. 4 Sun gazing is not recommended for everyone, in fact it is not recommended at all. Do your own thorough research. Satisfy yourself 100%, and take complete responsibility for your own actions and choices. The information supplied here is for entertainment purposes only.

person, and are dependent upon where you practise, and

clouds or thundershowers. Some weeks I've missed 3

the consistency of your daily practise.

or 4 days of sun gazing. When that happened, I simply

In an article on Sun Gazing, Carolanne Wright

picked up where I'd left off once the weather was more

writes: 'Scientific research supports the advantages

conducive for sun gazing. It is essential to keep a daily

of sun gazing. According to Dr Edward F Group III of

record of your times so you always know the exact and

the Global Healing Center, a few perks of the practice

specific time of your sun gazing activities, like 2 minutes

include enhanced production of melatonin and serotonin.

40 seconds so the next sunny day will become 2 minutes

Research has found that when direct sunlight enters

50 seconds.

the eyes it moves through the retinohypothalamic tract stimulated to secrete both melatonin and serotonin, two

How to practise Sun gazing

hormones that regulate sleep/wake cycles and positive

Sun gazing is simply that; gaze directly into the sun as

states of mind, respectively. Melatonin is also a potent

it moves over the horizon either within the first hour of

antioxidant which slows the ill effects of ageing.

the sun rising above the horizon, or within the last hour

and continues into the brain. The pineal gland is then

Increased pineal gland size

before the sun sets. Standing bare foot on the earth, it is essential to start your first day of sun gazing looking directly into the sun for just 10 seconds. Then build up

Bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic

in 10 second increments per day thereafter, for example:

pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age

day 1) 10 seconds, day 2) 20 seconds, day 3) 30 seconds,

– compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sun

day 4) 40 seconds, day 5) 50 seconds and day 6) 60

gazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. Brain scans

seconds (1 minute) etc until you reach a maximum of 44

of a long-term, 70-year-old practitioner revealed a pineal

minutes per day, which can take approx 9 months if you

gland three times the size of an average man.

have uninterrupted sunshine every day. Practising sun


gazing every day means you'll reach 15 minutes within approx three months, 15-30 minutes within about 3-6

Sun gazers report heightened vitality. Dr Group believes

months, and 30-44 minutes within about 6-9 months.

this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin.

This methodology is based upon HRM's protocol which I

Sun gazing also curbs the appetite and aids in weight

initially followed. O

reduction. When we don't receive enough sunlight, vitamin D levels drop which leads to weight gain. Cravings

Further info can be found by clicking on the links

for carbohydrates and sugar also increase due to low

below which I found after much searching on the

serotonin, triggering false hunger signals. The benefits

internet. Note: I do not endorse any of these people

of the practice are substantial, but it isn't for everyone. As Dr Group points out, 'sun gazing is an interesting practise that touches the spiritual and psychological realms, which are very personal things. Everyone is wired a little differently. If you choose to partake, do your own research, be careful, be cautious, and document your experience.' If it isn't obvious by now, sun gazing may well be an ideal daily practise for stress reduction for some people, though not all. Here is my personal feedback after several months of sun gazing where I reached 45 minutes a day with no negative side-effects. The positive effects included the requirement of less sleep and less food intake, as well as feeling decidedly less stressed, worried and fearful. I

or their practises, I am merely sharing what I've come across. It is essential that you continue to do your own independent research into sun gazing:

• • •

Video – tips and protocol Solar Healing Centre – home of HRM Sungazing with Mason Howe Dwinell, author of

The Earth was Flat: Insight into the Ancient Practice of Sungazing

• • • •

NASA confirms 'super human' abilities Health benefits of Sungazing Sungazing – a Complete Guide and Resources Safe Sungazing

felt more balanced, calm and centred as a result of sun gazing. Unfortunately with summer's weather conditions,

For more info on Bridget, please visit her website

my daily routine was interrupted by occasional rain,





voyage to ODYSSEY 60 • 



A French artist living in the Pacific Islands for the past 46 years, Jean-Luc Bozzoli has spent thousands of hours immersed in the 'holographic' undersea world of wild dolphins and whales, sharing the visions and wisdom they awaken within us through his art. This art reflects the expansive multi-dimensionality of our inner worlds. These are frequencies of the finest communications at the cellular level. In the process it gently moves us beyond the limits of linear reality. Jean-Luc's unique and beautiful art includes the cetaceans with advanced sacred geometries and encoded noetic messages that speak directly to your multi-dimensional higher self, morphing, evolving and touching hearts with beauty and with inherent ethereal memories. His fluid and colourful vibrational art resonates with you, like 'hyperdimensional' stargates, opening to advanced worlds of great beauty where the symbols convey light languages directly into your body and your etheric cosmic self. In the process we are gently moved beyond the limits of linear reality, merging with a greater love. All babies remember the multidimensional life before birth, and then within a few years the memories disappear into many cultural/social systems, but Jean-Luc has kept his fascination to embark into inspiring adventures and inner journeys. The art on these pages are his experiences. Jean-Luc is also the producer of audio-visual presentations entitled Dolphin Connection; Starseed; Transmuteo and his latest films of Voyage to Infinity with Dragons and Whales. To see more of Jean-Luc's art and DVDs visit

infinity ODYSSEY 61 • 


Galaxy Play

Sirian Gates



Constellation Gates

Multiple Truths



Calm Lake

Deva's Spirals



Lumeria Tops






Tourism is the ultimate leisure activity. That's how it's sold to the 1 135 million of us that trot from country to country every year contributing 9% to the world's GDP. What could be more desirable? You get away from home. Give your everyday life the slip. Chill out and pamper yourself as far as your budget will allow. Freed from your workplace you can concentrate on superficial things and, above all, stop thinking. You leave your brain behind and look forward to being entertained. Nick Inman investigates.






or the last 25 years I have been doing my part to contribute to the ethos of the tourism industry. I churn out travel guides that get tourists where

they want to go and make their trip as easy as possible. I find them somewhere nice to stay and eat, and sum up the local castle or cathedral in a few paragraphs of succinct historical and architectural detail. But at the back of mind has always been the same thought: shouldn't travel be a fulfilling, life-enhancing experience rather than merely an agreeable but empty pleasure? That is, after all, why I got into travel writing in the first place. My earliest journeys were life-changing experiences. They were made in the '70s, before religion, politics and war became entwined in the way they are now. And also long before the mobile phone, the internet, GPS, budget flights and the availability of cheap city breaks transformed travel into something you don't have to think too hard about. A trip then took commitment and in

Any trip is an opportunity not to wallow in the shallows but seek out the depths of human experience; not to empty your head of meaning but to fill it up.

return for my investment I expected to get rewards in the form of excitement and learning .

– are not the facts and figures pertaining to it, or what

and on the way took local transport into the middle of

the experts opine – but how it affects the individual

a then peaceful Afghanistan to see the giant Buddhas

visitor. What I would want as a visitor to, say, the Mayan

at Bamiyam (deliberately destroyed by the Taliban in

temples of Palenque, or the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul are

2001). Later I lived for several weeks in the cheapest,

clues as to how to read the building in a way that makes

spartan hotel you can imagine, down the road from the

sense to me.

magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra. The difficulty in getting to such places, and of being

person and with the time and circumstances of the visit but there are certain ways which help the stonework talk

made the experience of being there all the more powerful

to you.


any sacred building with an open, receptive mind; with respect, reverence and awareness; with a readiness to

another way to travel. I was paid to spend time studying

perceive other dimensions; there will be an interaction

the pyramids of Mexico, the sacred sites of Jordan and

between the two of you, 21st C human traveller and the

the Holy Land and the great cathedrals of Europe in great

building which is an ancient repository of spiritual wisdom.

detail. Conscientiously but always on a tight schedule, I

There is a double benefit to be obtained from

rolled up at each sight with a clipboard and checklist in

travelling with a mystical rather than material attitude.

hand determined to answer every last question. I needed

One is that many tourist attractions are also living, sacred

hard facts. I wasn't there to dream about anything

sites and you cannot fully comprehend them without

speculative, nebulous or difficult to describe in words.

understanding the metaphysical motivation behind them.

my readers. I had become skilled at reducing great sacred

You will only ever see half a church if you take it entirely at face value.

buildings to handy summaries but in the process I wasn't

The other benefit is that you won't come back home

saying anything about the essence of the place: how it

the same person. Something will have changed ever so

felt being there and the thoughts it inspired in me.

slightly because of the contact with the place you have

I realised that I was getting things the wrong way around. The data was easy to collect and broadcast but


From experience, I am convinced that if you approach

In the 1990s, my travel guide work introduced me to

But I began to wonder whether I wasn't short-changing


The experience of any place varies from person to

so utterly disconnected from everything familiar to me, and I did not return home the same person who had set


what matters about a place – particularly a great temple

In the summer of 1976 I travelled overland to India

visited. All this suggested to me that I needed to write a new



kind of travel guide that starts with commonly-agreed reality but goes for beyond the geographical and physical to explore realms of the invisible, intangible and ephemeral. The subject of my mystical guide book is France, where I live. This may be the country that gave the world anti-clerical revolution and Cartesian thinking but

choose your destination carefully, humble yourself

it is thick with things of esoteric interest. I have found it impossible to go anywhere without coming across some

knowledge is not easy to put into words but it doesn't

little curiosity or mystery crying out for investigation

need to be put into words. It is assimilated in an intuitive,

To begin with, there are the prehistoric cave paintings

non-verbal way.

of the Dordogne and Pyrenees and the enormous number

Initiated people of old knew how to code this

of megalithic monuments (particularly in Brittany).

knowledge into building and how to gain access to it when

Between them they represent thousands of years about

needed but we have forgotten these skills because we

which we know very little. The art and the stones are

have invested so heavily in consumerism and materialism.

open to any interpretation you want to give them.

Worse, we no longer consider such perennial, esoteric

The middle ages, too, left many riddles. Most obviously there are the various routes of pilgrimage

wisdom important because it does not make us richer or supply us with electronic gadgets.

that head across central and southwest France towards

But we have great need of this other way of

Santiago de Compostela on the Atlantic coast of Spain.

perceiving reality and travel is the perfect way to access

Why would pilgrims have wanted to go west when the

it. Itinerant mysticism leads you to a missing part of

focus of Christianity was to the east. One theory is that

yourself not normally active in your routine life. Every

the route was originally one of esoteric initiation rather

time you go away from home you effectively set out on

than devotion.

a pilgrimage and this automatically leads you towards a

Then there are the Cathars – a heretical sect that

different mental state.

flourished in the Languedoc in the 13th C, suppressed with

This doesn't have to mean that a holiday becomes

ferocity by the Catholic Church – and the Templars –

hard work. But you will get far more out of it if you

created by French knights and eventually suppressed by

approach it not as a search for sensation but for meaning.

the king of France, leaving behind them stories of secrets

Any trip is an opportunity not to wallow in the shallows

and treasure.

but seek out the depths of human experience; not to

At the same time, an extraordinary number of

empty your head of meaning but to fill it up.

Romanesque churches were being built, many of them

If you choose your destination carefully, humble

covered with inscrutable carvings. Next came Gothic –

yourself, make sure to be fully in the present and not

born in the north of France, around Paris and reaching its

pressed for time, who knows what transcendental truths

apogee in Chartres cathedral, a symbol-hunter's delight.

you may perceive?

In the Renaissance, astrology was rediscovered, the tarot came into its own as a tool of divination and alchemy flourished. Several chateaux have been dubbed 'philosophical residences' for their alchemical decorations. The more I looked about me, the more I saw. It was

A Guide to Mystical France shows you how to travel geographically and psychically to a wide variety of places – some ordinary-looking, others with extraordinary stories to tell – all of which promise access to other dimensions. O

as if I was seeing into parallel dimension, a wider and deeper reality, that is largely ignored or even feared by academia but deserves to be explored. Sometimes I found myself heading for the famous sights – Carnac, Notre-Dame in Paris, Mont St Michel, Lourdes, Rennes le Chateau – but I also found plenty of less well-known places with intriguing stories to tell. Always I was aware of a semi-hidden knowledge or wisdom within reach if I tune my mind to it. This



A Guide to Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites by Nick Inman is published by Findhorn Press. Visit for more, and to buy the book click here.



ating lots of fruit and vegetables as a young adult may lower the risk of heart disease in middle age, a recent study by the American Heart Association (AAH) has found.

The study, published in the AAH journal Circulation, found that people

between 18 and 30 who ate high volumes of fruits and vegetables were 25% less likely to have plaque in their arteries 20 years later. It found people were at their healthiest when consuming between seven and nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day. In SA, 210 people die from heart disease every day -- the country’s 11th biggest killer. SA Nutritional Consultant, Vanessa Ascencao recommends a diet comprising whole foods and fresh fruits and supplementing with potent superfood and multi-nutrient Marcus Rohrer Spirulina for immunity, energy and overall good health. Spirulina is clinically proven to help balance blood sugar levels, promote heart health and assists in reducing inflammation and hunger. Read two studies about spirulina’s proven benefits for health conditions linked to heart health here and here. In addition, Ascencao suggests the following: •

Manage stress: stress may increase adrenaline which may overwork the heart

Eating lots of fruit and vegetables as a young adult may lower the risk of heart disease in middle age, a recent study has found. SA nutritional consultant, Vanessa Ascencao, shares her tips on how to improve heart health.

Get active: daily exercise helps keep heart disease and stress at bay

Eat a healthy mix of good quality proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates and fibre. Increase intake of nutrient-rich dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli and asparagus which are packed with fibre and vitamins A and C

Increase omega-3 fatty acids which are naturally anti-inflammatory. They include fatty fish (salmon & tuna), avocados and nuts

Limit or exclude fried foods and meat which may raise bad cholesterol and contribute to clogged arteries

Stop smoking: cut down on salt and alcohol and drink more water

Sleep more as this helps lower the heart rate and blood pressure

Learn to identify the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke

 4

FOUR lucky readers stand the chance to win TWO Marcus Rohrer Spirulina bottles. Simply send your full contact details to to be put into the draw. Marcus Rohrer Spirulina is available at most Clicks, Dis-Chem and major pharmacies For product info visit:, or call 021 785 3683 Find Marcus Rohrer Spirulina on Facebook here



Getting to know

Bacopa Getting to know a medicinal herb is much the same as meeting somebody new. First you get to know their name, hear where they come from and find out what they do, which allows you to begin to understand a little of their personality and uniqueness that sets them apart from others. Of course, some become a favourite. Naturopath and nutritionist Karen Latter would like to introduce you to one of hers: Bacopa monnieri.




acopa monnieri' is somewhat of a formal introduction, using the herb's two Latin names (also known as 'bionomial nomenclature'). I could have been less specific and used its common Sanskrit name 'Brahmi',

that has been used by everyday people for thousands of years. However, such informality may lead to confusion, as another plant with a quite different character, Centella asiatica, can also be referred to as Brahmi. So, for the purpose of getting to know this herb, I will use 'Bacopa'. Bacopa has its history in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, which forms its name from 'Ayu' meaning 'Life' and 'Ved' meaning 'Science'. Bacopa's first known mention is in an ancient Ayurvedic text in 800BC and is classified under 'Medhya rasayana', relating to medicinal plants, which rejuvenate intellect and memory. For a culture that relied heavily on word of mouth to pass down its teachings and traditions a sound memory was vital. Bacopa was viewed as a 'restorative agent' being the primary choice to rejuvenate memory as well as assisting through the lifespan from sensorial development in early life, mental and intellectual development in middle age and spiritual growth in latter years. To understand what Bacopa can do we must look to its known actions of usage. These have been identified through observation of Bacopa's effect as a medicine and also through its scientific evaluation in the laboratory. In Ayurveda medicine, Bacopa is primarily regarded as a 'nerve tonic' to improve the function of the nervous system. This is an important distinguisher, because its tonic action in the brain and the nervous system makes it useful in situations of stress, anxiety or in nervous exhaustion, which are increasingly prevalent in modern life. Of crucial importance is Bacopa's ability to act as a 'cognitive activator' that facilitates quicker learning, recall and improves concentration. I see the value of this in clinic with my older patients who struggle to remember a 'word' (for instance the name of a friend's grandchild), feeling it's on the 'tip of their tongue'. Long-term use of Bacopa seems to open the door to that memory, allowing them to recall such information faster. The fact that Bacopa acts as an anxiolytic (reducing anxiety) is useful because there is a lot of fear and worry for people with diminished memory. This is a unique characteristic of Bacopa and an advantage over another cognitive enhancer, Ginkgo, which does not appear to reduce anxiety. For those with demanding lives, Bacopa has the advantage of improving cognitive function, calming the mind and improving adaptation to stress. For instance, Bacopa's ability to improve calm focus helps students learn and retain information better, improving their exam performance. Bacopa can also be useful in children who suffer from inattention, as it appears to facilitate learning and concentration. Its ability to calm also has value in overactive types. This is currently being evaluated using Flordis' KeenMind in a clinical trial conducted at Swinburne University's Centre for Psychopharmacology in Melbourne (see for more). By 'getting to know Bacopa', we become acquainted with an ancient herbal medicine that is a tonic to our brain and nervous system. And, where facilitating memory, concentration and learning have never been more important, this new friend is well-suited to support us in our demanding modern daily lives. O

For more info on Flordis products click here, or see ad on pg2.




Eating for

health harmony spirituality


You may not yet have heard much of Dr Will Tuttle and his take on eating not merely for personal health but for improved spirituality and for social harmony, but chances are you will be hearing more from this cutting-edge author soon enough. The following is an extract from his new book, The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony.



'The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.' - Mahatma Gandhi


his book is an attempt to illuminate our culture's

its members a reduction of essential feelings and

story and to present the outlines of a more

awareness – and it is this process of desensitisation

empowering understanding of our world. The

that we must understand if we would comprehend

key to this understanding lies in comprehending the

the underlying causes of oppression, exploitation, and

far-reaching implications of our food choices and the

spiritual disconnectedness. When we practice eating for

worldview they both reflect and mandate. At first glance

spiritual health and social harmony, we practice making

it may seem unlikely that such a potent key could be

certain essential connections that our culturally induced

found in the pedestrian place that food occupies in our

food rituals normally require us to block from awareness.

culture, but if we look closely, we begin to realise that

This practice is an essential prerequisite for evolving to

our shared cultural reality is profoundly affected by the

a state of consciousness where peace and freedom are

attitudes, beliefs, and practices surrounding food. There


are amazing unrecognised social, psychological, and spiritual consequences to our meals that ripple through

Cultural change

all aspects of our lives.

We are in the midst of a profound cultural transformation.

Intimate food

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the old mythos underlying our culture is collapsing. We are realising that its

Food is actually our most intimate and telling connection

core assumptions are obsolete and, if followed further, will

both with the natural order and with our living cultural

result not only in the ecological devastation of our planet's

heritage. Through eating the plants and animals of this

intricate and delicate systems, but in our self-destruction

earth we literally incorporate them, and it is also through

as well. A new mythos, affirming co-operation, freedom,

this act of eating that we partake of our culture's values

peace, life, and unity, is struggling to be born to replace

and paradigms at the most primal and unconscious levels.

the old mythos based on competition, separateness, war,

As children, through constant exposure to the complex

exclusion, and the idea that 'might makes right'. Food is a

patterns of belief surrounding our most elaborate group

critical key to this birth, because our food habits condition

ritual, eating food, we ingested our culture's values and

our mentality profoundly – and because meals are the

invisible assumptions. Like sponges, we learned, we

primary way our culture replicates and promulgates its

noticed, we partook, and we became acculturated. Now,

value system through us. Whether this birth of a new

as adults, finding our lives beset with stress and a range

mythos and more evolved spirituality and consciousness is

of daunting problems of our own making, we rightly yearn

successful will depend on whether we can transform our

to understand the source of our frustrating inability to live

understanding and 'practice of food'.

in harmony on this earth. When we look deeply enough, we discover a disturbing force that is fundamental in

The practice of connecting

generating our dilemmas and crises, a force that is not

Our cultural predicament – the array of seemingly

actually hidden at all, but is staring up at us every day

intractable problems that beset us, such as chronic

from our plates. It has been lying undiscovered all along

war, terrorism, genocide, starvation, the proliferation of

in the most obvious of places: It is our food.

disease, environmental degradation, species extinction,

Diets, food & consciousness

animal abuse, consumerism, drug addiction, alienation, stress, racism, oppression of women, child abuse,

While debates rage over which diets are best in terms

corporate exploitation, materialism, poverty, injustice, and

of health and longevity, this book is not about diet in

social malaise – is rooted in an essential cause that is so

this usual sense, but is an exploration into the profound

obvious that it has managed to remain almost completely

cultural and spiritual ramifications of our food choices and

overlooked. In trying to solve the social, environmental,

the mentality underlying them. By placing humans at the

and individual problems we face while ignoring the

top of the planet's food chain, our culture has historically

underlying cause that generates them, we are treating

perpetuated a particular worldview that requires from

symptoms without addressing the root of the disease.



Such efforts are ultimately doomed to failure. Instead, we need to build a web of understanding and awareness that helps us see the connections between our food choices, our individual and cultural health, our planetary ecology, our spirituality, our attitudes and beliefs, and the quality of our relationships. As we do this and act on this understanding, we contribute to the evolution of a more harmonious and liberated shared experience of life on this beautiful but misunderstood planet. I believe that until we are willing and able to make the connections between what we are eating and what was required to get it on our plate, and how it affects us to buy, serve, and eat it, we will be unable to make the connections that will allow us to live wisely and harmoniously on this earth. When we cannot make connections, we cannot understand, and we are less free, less intelligent, less loving, and less happy. The most crucial task for our generation, our group mission on this earth, perhaps, is to make some essential connections that our parents and ancestors have been mostly unable to make, and thus to evolve a healthier human society to bequeath to our children. If we fail to make the connection between our daily meals and our cultural predicament, we will inevitably fail as a species to survive on this earth. By refusing to make this essential connection, we condemn others and ourselves to enormous suffering, without ever comprehending why.

The call to evolve Though I spent the first 22 years of my life eating the large quantities of animal-based foods typical of our culture, I've spent the past 30 years or so exploring the fascinating connections and cause-effect relationships between our individual and cultural practice of using animals for food and the stress and difficulties we create for each other and ourselves. I've discovered that the violence we instigate for our plates boomerangs in remarkable ways. It becomes immediately obvious, though, that our collective sense of guilt about our mistreatment of animals for food makes recognising this basic connection enormously difficult. Eating animal foods is a fundamental cause of our dilemmas, but we will squirm every which way to avoid confronting this. It is our defining blind spot and is the essential missing piece to the puzzle of human peace and freedom. Because of our culturally inherited behaviour of abusing the animals we use for food and ignoring this abuse, we are exceedingly hesitant to look behind the curtain of our denial, talk with each other about the consequences of our meals, and change our behavior to reflect what we see and know. This unwillingness is socially supported and continually reinforced.



Though I spent the first 22 years of my life eating the large quantities of animal-based foods typical of our culture, I've spent the past 30 years or so exploring the fascinating connections and cause-effect relationships between our individual and cultural practice of using animals for food and the stress and difficulties we create for each other and ourselves. I've discovered that the violence we instigate for our plates boomerangs in remarkable ways.

'The world is his who can see through its pretensions. What deafness, what stone-blind custom, what overgrown error you behold, is there only by sufferance – your sufferance. See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it a mortal blow.' - Emerson Our behaviour invariably reflects our understanding,

are called to allow our innate mercy and kindness to shine

and yet our behaviour also determines what level of

forth and to confront the indoctrinated assumptions that

understanding we are able to attain.

promote cruelty. While we are granted varying degrees

The calling we hear today is the persistent call

of privilege depending on our species, race, class, and

to evolve. It is part of a larger song to which we all

gender, we are all harmed when any is harmed; suffering

contribute and that lives in our cells and in the essential

is ultimately completely interconnected because we are

nature of the universe that gives rise to our being. It is a

all interconnected, and socially-constructed privilege

song, ultimately, of healing, joy, and celebration because

only serves to disconnect us from this truth of our

all of us, humans and non-humans alike, are expressions


of a beautiful and benevolent universe. It is also a song of

This exploration is intended for readers of all religious

darkest pain and violation, due to our accepted practices

traditions as well as those who do not identify with

of dominating, commodifying, and killing animals – and

any particular tradition. Like the Golden Rule, which

people. In order to confine and kill animals for food,

articulates a principle that is pronounced by all the world's

we must repress our natural compassion, warping us

religious traditions and is intuitively accepted by people

away from intuition and toward materialism, violence,

of every culture and persuasion, the principles discussed

and disconnectedness. The song of the new mythos that

in this book are universal and can be understood and

yearns to be born through us requires our spirits to be

practiced by all of us, whatever our religious affiliation

loving and alive enough to hear and recognise the pain

or non-affiliation may happen to be. A moderately open

we are causing through our obsolete food orientation. We

mind and a willingness to make connections are all that are needed to apprehend these principles, and to see that they never contradict our deeper religious teachings or our spiritual yearnings, but always fulfill and illumine them. The song of our necessary evolution and awakening is calling. Achieving the deeper understanding this song requires lies in uncovering connections and relationships that have been hidden or chronically ignored. A journey is required, and this is the adventure of discovery that beckons. O

For more info on The World Peace Diet visit




The Natural Cook: Eating the Season from Root to Fruit Tom Hunt Quadrille Publishing • 978 1 8494 9418 2

The Natural Cook is an inspirational book for the way we eat now. It puts fresh, flavoursome, veg-focused food centre-stage, and features recipes that make use of every ounce of an ingredient. Each of the 26 seasonal 'hero' ingredients featured is represented first by three simple cooking techniques that teach you how to make a delicious simple dish. These techniques are then followed by three world-inspired recipes, which make use of the prepared ingredients as well as drawing in other seasonal fruit and vegetables. At the end of each recipe, the 'Cook's Notes' give clear tips and ideas for turning uneaten extras into other delicious meals, ensuring that absolutely nothing is wasted. Hunt is an acclaimed eco-chef, and author. He founded the Forgotten Feast, a campaign working on projects throughout the UK, to revive British cooking heritage and help reduce food waste. He also owns Poco, an award-winning restaurant in Bristol and now in London. Hunt is an official chef of Feeding the 5 000, a global event, which aims to highlight food waste by feeding more than 5 000 people with



delicious food that would otherwise have been wasted. He works closely with various food charities. Keeping true to his zero-waste ethos, he cooks from 'nose to tail' or as he calls it 'root to fruit', using every part of a fruit and vegetable, foraged foods and gleaning vegetables from the land. Visually, a stunning book.

More Life's a Beach Cottage Neil Roake Jacana Media • 978 1 4314 2256 2

More Life's a Beach Cottage is the third cookery book in the series featuring a collection of best holiday feasting recipes. It is as beautiful and quirky and set to follow in the successful footsteps of the author's previous publications. Roake explains: 'This third Life's a Beach Cottage offering includes some tasty "OMG, I can easily make that" recipes and some "WTF, that looks hard" ones – but there are no OTT airs and graces (life's a just too short). Don't stress about following every recipe to the letter. This cookbook is just your springboard for culinary creativity. Many of the recipes were sourced on my travels abroad and all are big on flavour – there's nothing "shy" here. Expect muscular curries, potent cocktails, desserts that argue back and deliciously robust salads.' So take

off your shoes, bring out the wine, put on the music and let Roake take you through More Life's a Beach Cottage.

The Banting Baker: Low Carb High Fat Treats Catherine Speedie Jacana Media • 978 1 4314 2266 1

The Low-Carb High-Fat diet, known more colloquially as the Banting diet, is not just about upturning the food pyramid and thus the conventional wisdom around food and nutrition that has ruled for the last 40-odd years. It's about waking us up to what our bodies are naturally 'wired' for in terms of optimal sustenance and body weight. It's about realising that along the trajectory of commercial and industrial 'progress', we've lost sight of our humanness – our basic biology, if you will. That said, giving up carrot cake is not so easy. Sweet treats and baked goods are deeply associated with comfort, time out and good times, rewarding us after a day's hard work. The good news is that we don't have to deny ourselves these little pleasures. This book will hopefully show you that the low-carb highway is not about deprivation but about substitution. Once you've got your head around it, stocked up your pantry with the right ingredients and armed yourself with a spirit of adventure,

you'll discover that you can create the most sublimely satisfying goodies. The Banting Baker introduces the reader to low-carb logic, as well as how to soak nuts and seeds and make meal and butter from nuts. It includes recipes for breakfast, snacks, breads, wraps, pizza as well as sweet treats. Speedie is the owner of Gingko, an organic and 'clean food'-oriented restaurant, bakery and catering business, and the creator of Primal Chow, a brand dedicated to the world of Paleo and Banting goodies. A passionate traveller, she brings flavours from all over the world into her cooking, believing strongly that food must be delicious and nutritious if it is to be fulfilling on all levels.

The Earth Diet: Your Complete Guide to Living Using Earth's Natural Resources Liana Werner-Gray Hay House • 978 1 4019 4497 1

Beauty queen Miss Earth Australia Liana Werner-Gray got a wake-up call at the age of 21 when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening health issue. Realising that health issues were holding her back, including in her entertainment career, she decided to change her lifestyle. Through juicing and using the whole-

food recipes shared in this book, she healed herself in only three months. This success inspired her to create the Earth Diet and make information on the incredible power of plant-based and natural food available to others. She has since used her recipes to help thousands of people with diabetes, acne, addictions, obesity and more. When you get the essential vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients your body needs, you can't help but feel better. In this book, you'll find more than 100 nutrient-dense recipes that provide proper nutrition. The Earth Diet is inclusive, with recipes for every person, ranging from raw vegans to meat-eaters. It also features specific guidelines for weight-loss, boosting the immune system, increasing your energy, juice cleansing and more. If you're looking for great-tasting recipes to help you live your healthiest life ever, then this book is for you.

(or two), but what's the real cost of that meal? The rates of chronic disease – specifically diseases like diabetes, caused by our lifestyles – have grown exponentially in recent years, edging medical expenses ever higher while threatening to give America (and the rest of us) the first modern generation to actually live shorter lives than their parents. Unfortunately, finding good nutrition is no walk in the park, with more and more Americans (and the rest of us) living in cities, far from a farmer's field. To overcome distance and undercut price, we rely on industry to put dinner on the table – yet this system has valued efficiency and short-term profits over our health and the health of our environment. So how do we keep America and the rest of the world thriving? Congressman Tim Ryan may have a soft spot for chicken wings and ice cream, but he also knows the joy of farm-fresh produce and the feel of soil between his fingers. Here he presents easy, actionable steps that anyone can take, from starting a herb garden on your windowsill to helping implement food education in your child's school to petitioning your elected officials. Ryan also introduces some of the current food revolutionaries who are shining examples of people who saw a problem with how we think about food today, rolled up their sleeves, and raised a crop of positive change. The common sense ideas in these pages come big (replacing dilapidated neighbourhoods with farms) and small (sitting down for a fresh, healthy meal with your family), and each will help you improve the quality of life for you and future generations.

The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries and the Return of the American Family Farm Tim Ryan Hay House • 978 1 4019 4640 1

Today a buck gets you a quick burger




Green Fing ODYSSEY 80 • 


Odyssey Magazine would like to welcome to our list of contributors Sarchen Bassingthwaighte, who will be our garden guru for the editions to come.

n gers


t is a relief to have an outlet like Odyssey where I can authentically convey the principles of gardening that I have come to learn through trial and error,

and against what was taught through the tertiary educational system. These principles need to be shared through an outlet that fully embraces the new paradigm, such as Odyssey is doing, a paradigm that you will come

to see my principles also reflect. It does not matter what the discipline or modality; whether it be healing, food, fitness, personal productivity or any life endeavours such as gardening; as one evolves and elevates in consciousness one will come to the understanding that everything is connected, and when this knowing becomes integrated within the self an authenticity develops and your intuition expands; and finally you drop the intellect and proceed to innate wisdom. This is my goal with gardening and this is where I aspire to bring gardeners to. So, as I proceed to share what I have learnt during the hard knocks of my gardening life you will notice from time to time that the discussions may expound a little to encompass broader aspects of universal principles, a gradual understanding of which is necessary to layer upon the more tangible and fundamental How To instructions; and eventually you will claim the 'green finger' capability that is your birthright but which was taken away from you through artful manipulation of a higher agenda that you will come to see with time. As I said, what I will come to convey has been personally learnt through trial and error and some research; however I have not followed any particular course of action. To this day I have not read a single permaculture book because if I start to delve into other specifics I lose my connection to self and my creative voice diminishes along with my authenticity. Rather, when you verify certain practices for yourself you will



have everything you need and you will not require a scientific paper to prove anything to you. Real results created by you in your garden are what you will enjoy, and yes, the scientific results are in any case there for you too. So my story is simple: after receiving a BA degree at the University of Stellenbosch I

realised I wanted to garden and therefore took a National Diploma in Landscape Technology from the Cape Technikon, most of which was a waste of time. After entering the field of exclusive garden management I realised everything I had been taught was pretty ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst: Yes there were initial results, but they were short-lived. Problems in gardens started to occur in as little as two to three years after taking over the maintenance contract from a landscape contractor. A 14-year period has followed which has been an intense time of putting the pieces together, to a point where I can gradually start to disseminate some of the information. However, I am equally confident that I am simultaneously also only starting to learn now. Life and nature is like that, and thank goodness too otherwise we would all soon start to suffer the

I have transformed gardens of all genres; from extremely classical and precise to rustic and natural in appearance – and everything inbetween. All you require is a deep inner conviction that you want to go natural and an acceptance that this is a journey. You have to let go of the notion that a pill for fast relief, or a chemical/poison for fast garden results, equates to long term healing and vitality; because the side effects both in our body or gardens can have devastating and compounded negative long term effects.

terrible stress of boredom. I have transformed gardens of all genres; from

long-term effects. We simply have to observe the

extremely classical and precise to rustic and natural

state of agriculture and peoples' health today to

in appearance – and everything in-between. All you

know that something is terribly wrong with how

require is a deep inner conviction that you want to

we have been doing it to date. Somebody has been

go natural and an acceptance that this is a journey.

selling us a serious manure sandwich and it is time

You have to let go of the notion that a pill for fast

now to re-examine everything for ourselves and

relief, or a chemical/poison for fast garden results,

claim some degree of sovereignty; in our gardens,

equates to long-term healing and vitality, because

in our health and in our sense of well being. O

the side-effects both in our body or gardens can have devastating and compounded negative

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Nature-friendly Products & Info





The Utopia Experiment: Surviving the Apocalypse but Losing Your Mind Dylan Evans Picador • 987 1 4472 6138

This book, a true story, should be an absolute must-read for anyone harbouring fond notions about 'going off-grid' and living in endless natural bliss, sans virtually everything we take for granted as part of 'modern life'. Former robotics expert Evans decided after a visit to the ruins of the Mayan civilisation, to see, in real-time terms, what it would be like for a group of survivors of a more-or-less complete collapse of Western civilisation who had the 'good fortune' of foreseeing what was coming, and who had already opted out of 'modern life' and set up what he called the Utopia Experiment. The detailed journey that he and his group of volunteers went on makes up the body of the book. But beyond some success in recreating 18th century pre-industrial life aside, the cost for the author was literally his sanity. He is not the first to go down that rocky road. Around the world, there have been hundreds of such communities, set up for real, not merely as an experiment, as in this case, which have literally fallen to pieces in short order – and most haven't even tried to live fully 'off-grid'. The issues of group and personal dynamics, driven by underlying personal and personality issues not properly processed and



thought through by the participants, seems almost always to be the cause of the breakdown and break-up of such ventures. It takes a great deal more than a naïve longing for the allegedly (but not actually) 'simpler life' of times gone by to make such a community work. In this case, the author lost everything, including his psychological balance, having sold his home to finance his utopian adventure, which turned out to be much more of a psycho-emotional trial than expected. In the end, which is where the book starts, it proved more than he could handle, leaving him broke, broken and self-hospitalised after barely a year of 'post-apocalypse' living. Read this one and think long and hard about what really makes communities work before launching into anything of its kind.

The Optimist's Handbook Nick Inman Harriman House • 978 19056 4129 1

Turn on the TV or radio, or do the equivalent online and you'll be overwhelmed by negative news. That's because we are more connected than ever, and there's a lot happening everywhere. Some of it is about climate change and what is associated with that rapidly unfolding saga, which is mostly inconvenient at best for us humans, but which is escalating into something much more than that. Other 'bad news' elements include seemingly endless scandals of corruption and abuse

reaching from the highest levels of governments and corporations, through the celebrity world, to every-day people. Much of the news is simply about human beings being human, which is to say, trying hard but getting it badly wrong at least some of the time. Economic news is confusing and worrying. Political news is mostly even worse. Then there are all the racial, religious and ethnic conflicts and associate dislocations and problems. And then there are the really scary issues around future water and food security. The list goes on and on, and seems to be getting longer and worse by the day. Well, all that's just the old 'squeaky wheel' getting attention in the media, as it has always done, even when the only 'media' were the local gossip-mongers. According to Inman, though, there are many positives for every negative – it's just that either we don't notice them or they don't get talked about, broadcast or covered nearly as much as all the sensational (and fearinstilling) 'bad' stuff. If you've ever felt that what you are fed by mainstream media was in some fundamental way flawed, then you should read this book and find why you were right all along. Yes, there's plenty to worry about, but you can also focus on all the good things going on. This great little book is filled with facts and arguments which will silence the doom-sayers in some measure and give you a sense that, in the end, the good does indeed not only balance out the bad, but there is more good than bad.

 2

The Third Chimpanzee (for young people) Jared Diamond Oneworld Books • 978 1 7807 4748 4

Pulitzer Prize-winner Diamond presents in this fine and stimulating book an overview of how the human animal has risen from a rough equality with our fellow great apes to become the primary species of the planet. In a sweeping assessment of how we got to be who we are today, Diamond also looks at what we are doing that doesn't work (any more) and what changes are needed for the species to make it to the next level of our ongoing evolution. Excellent and scientifically sound, this one is for those who wish to see the bigger picture through a well-educated scientist's eyes.

7 Letters & 7 Years and Stand Mandisa Mndela Jacana Media • 978 1 4314 2223 4 & 978 1 4314 2222 7

'We rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces faith and faith never fails us.' This, in summary is the philosophy of this local woman. She has turned adversity and hardship into the triumph of the spirit. In these two autobiographical books, she explains how she has journeyed through hard times to a deeper understand of herself, and therefore

her fellow humans and of the universe in which we find ourselves. Excellent for a refreshing take on dealing with our troubles in a way that makes us stronger and better people.

The Greatness in You Seanaphoka Tsapi Reach Publishers • 978 0 8697 0775 3

The author says this book has been written with the sole objective to inspire, motivate, encourage and empower you to reach your optimum potential while discovering the unlimited possibilities of your life. Described as 'an unconventionally classic self-help book', the subtitle is: 'How unleashing your infinite potential unlocks infinite possibilities for you.' While there are few hyperboles thrown in there, the book does indeed set out to achieve what the author intends. As with all such self-help literature, the end result, however, depends much more on the application of these and other known ways to develop yourself than it does on the strategies and methodologies described. But this one might be just the one that resonates for you.

Hey! Who Am I Really? Conversations on the Nature of Life and Reality Yacoob Moosa Self Published with Reach Publishing 978 0 6206 5209 4

Written as a Socratic dialogue between the lead character, Ahmed, a young university student, and, for the most part, his father, this book is set within the context of Islam and tries to use the Koran's spiritual teaching to frame today's world, as seen through a younger person's eyes. It's an excellently novel way of conveying to both non-Muslims and practicing Muslims much of the deep wisdom of those teachings, using original Arabic script with translations thereof to make the vital points along the way. A fresh take on the universe and its maker, with a distinctly modern spin but firmly based in Islamic tradition. This one is also an excellent way for those not versed in the Koran to get to grips with the elements of that faith little mentioned by the maniac mullahs who want to revert 1 000 years to a time of Crusaders and Infidels invading their holy places.

We have TWO copies of Hey! Who am I Really? to give away. Simply send your full contact details to silke@ to stand a chance of winning.




SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Mary Beard Profile Books • 978 1 8466 8380 0

This one is clearly for the history buffs, especially those with a strong leaning towards academia. Covering over 1 000 years of Roman history in some 600 pages, this is no light read nor does it skim over the complex and confounding story that is the rise and fall of this once great empire. You will not find a clearer and more thorough coverage of Rome than this – and it's readable too.

Sex on Earth Jules Howard Bloomsbury • 978 1 4081 9343 3

National Geographic describes this one as a 'refreshingly self-aware exploration of the most intimate moments in nature', which pretty well sums it up. The subtitle is: A Journey Through Nature's Most Intimate Moments, confirming the NG was probably on the right track with its assessment. Covering everything from pandas and pelicans (both featured on the cover) to just about every other creature that engages in mating and sexual reproduction, this book strips away any illusions one might have held about the nature of sex, its role in evolution as a primary driver and why just about everything more evolved



than an amoeba engages in this activity. Great for the naturalists and anyone wanting to really understand why sexuality and humanity will never be divorced, no matter how far we evolve.

The Great Scientists in BiteSized Chunks Nicola Chalton & Meredith MacArdle Michael O'Mara Books • 978 1 7824 3414 6

This great little books, with its rather cute Victorian-feel dust cover, spans 2 500 years of scientific discoveries and the great scientists behind them. Some you will obviously know – like Newton or Einstein – but there are plenty of surprises too, like Aryabhata, who weirdly outlined trigonometry in verse or 15th century rabbi Abraham Zacuto, whose prediction of a lunar eclipse saved the life of Christopher Columbus. This is one of those books which will either appeal or not, but if the former, there many gems to be found within these pages.

Stress Gone! Bridget Edwards Expand Your Mind Publishers 978 1 7720 4306 8

The subtitle of this one is: How to Identify and Reduce Stress Easily. Given the current circumstances of

planet Earth and that of the great majority of its human occupants, the claims of both title and subtitle might be an over-reach. However, there cannot be any harm in pointing out, to those very few who do not already know this intimately, that stress can have extremely serious and deleterious effects on one's health, well-being and state of mind and consciousness. That being said, there are no doubt some lessons to be learnt in this book for everyone, even those among us who are working hard at reducing our stress levels – or at least on their degree of reactivity to the all-pervading stresses that seem to be multiplying and invading every corner of just about everyone's life.

To All The People Of the Planet Brett Austin Reach Publishers • 978 0 6206 4469 3

On one level this is a book about a grossly overweight man who starting eating and living correctly and consequently lost 45kgs, thereby claiming back his self-esteem, his life and his sense of purpose. On another level it is a missive to everyone on a better way of living that may well be generally applicable. Chapters include, You Are What You Eat, Perseverance is 100% Self Control and Tune In To a Powerful Frequency.

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There are also some harsh truths and some 'wonderful truths' explored as, along with the author, the reader seeks their 'new beginning'. This one may be just the thing for the person looking for the inspiration to make some longoverdue changes in their way of living and being.

We have TWO copies of To All The People of the Planet to give away. Simply send your full contact details to silke@ to stand a chance of winning.

The Book of Human Emotions Tiffany Watt Smith Profile Books • 978 1 7812 5129 4

The subtitle here is: An Encyclopedia of Feeling from Anger to Wanderlust. There are all the obvious emotions to be found within these pages, but also a few cuties like cyberchondria, which is defined as an anxiety about 'symptoms' of an 'illness' fuelled by internet 'research'. And that pretty much gives you the picture.

Wild Awakening: 9 Questions that Saved my Life Mary Daniels Hay House • 978 1 7818 0583 1

This book is an uplifting and moving


story of how a series of events culminated in a single defining moment that changed a young mother's life forever. Standing on Tower Bridge, holding her baby, ready to jump, was Mary Daniels' darkest moment. This book tells the story of what happened next, the journey to 'self' that she never saw coming and the discovery of nine simple, yet powerful questions that truly saved her life. An inspiring speaker, powerful storyteller and original 'wild woman', Mary reveals 9 powerful questions that not only saved her life, but have gone on to become a transformative process for so many others. Whether you are new to the world of personal growth or looking to deepen your spiritual journey, this process has an amazing way of meeting you where you are at, and naturally guiding you to where you want to be. All it takes is nine minutes each morning. This is the ideal guide for real people, living real lives, who are looking for a 'doable' daily practice for lasting change.

We have THREE copies of Wild Awakenings to give away. Simply send your full contact details to silke@ to stand a chance of winning.

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Body Calm Sandy C Newbigging Hay House • 978 1 7818 0560 2

This book introduces you to a powerful way to use the mind-body connection to help your body heal and stay healthy. This transformative technique gives your body the rest it needs to recover and remain healthy while bringing about greater harmony within your heart, mind, body, soul and life circumstances. In the book, Newbigging helps you to discover: the research that proves meditation is essential for self-healing, staying healthy and even living longer; the seven secret sources of stress and bad health; quick-start cures for reducing stress and increasing serenity; and Newbigging's five comprehensive directories listing physical conditions and their probable mind-based causes. With the Body Calm Meditation technique for daily practice and the Embodying Exercise for resolving specific issues, this book shows that you really do have the power to enjoy a calmer mind and a condition-free body – and that achieving it can be so much easier than you may think.

We have THREE copies of Body Calm to give away. Simply send your full contact details to to stand a chance of winning.




ASTRO GUIDE FEB 2016 Astrology is a wonderful tool for understanding ourselves, our loved ones and the people we interact with in life. It helps us grow and gives wisdom, clarity and acceptance while helping us understand the cycles of our life and the unfolding of the promise in our birth chart. It helps us by giving us insight into the times of change in our lives, and ensures that we can therefore benefit from certain periods in our life. Margarita Celeste continues to provide Odyssey readers with an exclusive horoscope.



Aries: Dear Aries, February finds you focused

So put the books down and bring out the paints

on your short-term goals, and you have the

you thought you'd never pick up again. You're

will this month to pursue what you want with

not normally an emotional sign, but this month

grit and tenacity. Your ruler Mars is in one of

sees an upsurge in the feeling barometer and

his own signs – Scorpio – which makes him

one way to deal with it is by processing your

strong and powerful. Mars will retrograde into

feelings through art, dance and play. Your inner

Sagittarius in March, so make the most of this

child is wild to get out, so indulge him or her.

powerful time. You now have the ability to

Be aware of over the top feelings of romance

point your arrow, shoot it and follow it straight

and keep your head – you could be inclined

to its target. You are also going to experience

to push a little far in many ways. Use your

an influx of ideas, seemingly out of nowhere,

gift of objectivity in all things. Also watch for

and I would advise you jot them down, for

power games – keep the games fun, and don't

even if you can't put them into motion right

allow them to become dark or manipulative for

now, there will come a time in which you will


look back and wish you had the insight you have now. The downside of this process is

Cancer: Cancerians will find themselves

that people may think you behaving slightly

extra-focused on getting a routine into place

erratically, especially those you work closely

over the month of February. After the fun and

with, as well as those at home. It's ok, you can

indulgence of the festive season, you could

be the mad genius too – that quality is not only

be feeling like you need to shape up and find

reserved for Aquarians.

some self-discipline. It is a good month indeed to take care of your body so I would encourage

Taurus: Beautiful bulls, you might be feeling

you to renew that yoga contract and start

rather adventurous this month with your ruler,

juicing again. It's a month where you could

Venus in carefree Sagittarius – perhaps you are

also be feeling somewhat low, but you know

even feeling a little itch to go out exploring the

what Cancer – nothing ever lasts, so lay low

world. However, I would advise you wait a little,

for a while, find something to do every day that

as this month sees you tied up in affairs at

gives you a sense of satisfaction, so that by the

home – perhaps looking at property or moving

time this cycle is over, you are feeling renewed

home is on the cards for you. You are a sign

and refreshed, as well as stable and grounded.

that resists change, but I would use this time to

The time you take to self-reflect – even if it

scratch that adventurous itch and maybe make

feels a little dark – is never time wasted, for as

a few changes here and there – at your own

much as we need to work on the outside, our

pace, of course. If you do decide to make some

world will always reflect to us what is inside.

changes, just be careful of incurring debt or of

So, Cancer, time to do some work – inside and

people being in debt to you – that sort of thing

out. You won't regret it.

is never very pleasant in the end. Keep it tidy and you will be grateful that you did so. Lastly,

Leo: Leos have been so very busy having

be very conscious of whatever you're putting in

fun and being social, as well as climbing the

your body, as well as your emotional state, as

career ladder, that your relationships have

both could become out of balance for the next

perhaps just been trundling along, without

few weeks.

much attention given to them. Now is the month to turn your full focus onto your partner,

Gemini: Things are heating up in the romance

and pour some love out of that great big heart

department for you, Gemini – how exciting.

of yours into this area of your life. Long walks,

Have you met someone new perhaps, or are

picnics, quality time spent together, is time

you finding yourself receiving lots of attention?

well spent. The Sun, your ruler, traverses the

Just enjoy it – you are bound to have some fun

opposite sign of Aquarius this month so you

this month, and will be feeling extra-creative.

may be feeling like a fish out of water with so



much focus on 'the other'. It will pay off Leo,

you like bees to a honeypot. The only thing

I promise, and you can learn so much from

I'd warn against this month is overreaching

this shift in focus. We all have a little to learn

yourself – financially as well as emotionally.

from the water-bearer, and in that opposite

Rein those impulses in Libra and your ship

sign, you can learn to bring into balance the

is set for a bright horizon indeed.

qualities that you already have inside you – such as universal brotherhood and a love of

Scorpio: You're on fire this month

humanitarianism – to become a well rounded

Scorpio. With Mars in your own sign, there

and fully integrated human being.

is nothing you can't do. You have the tenacity, the will and the strength to get

Virgo: Jupiter will be traversing Virgo for

exactly what you want. Wonderfully, this

quite some time to come, which means that

all reflects in your career over the month

Virgos will be experiencing a growth cycle

of February, and this is the area in which

– just don't expect it to be massive leaps of

you are set to shine and rise very quickly

growth, as Jupiter is quite uncomfortable in

to the top. There really is no stopping

the opposite sign of his home, Pisces. However,

you, and you're being noticed for it. It's a

this is still a beneficial time, if you use it wisely

good time to invest in your image as well,

and integrate the lessons this great planet

Scorpio, perhaps you could go and buy

has to teach us. February may feel quite

yourself a slick new wardrobe to suit your

challenging; with Mercury your ruler still in

rising status. Your energy levels are good,

his shadow period after being retrograde, you

and you can endure a lot this month, but

will find yourself turning inward in times of

be careful of burning out while you burn the

confusion and darkness. Here is where you will

midnight oil. A piece of advice for February,

find strength and resilience to face the month.

Scorpio, is to stay humble – power can be

The theme to be wide awake about is much

a heady drug and you can all too easily

to do with power – who has it, and how we

find yourself hooked. Always remember to

manipulate it. True power belongs to those who

share the power and you will be assured

don't want it, who don't chase it. Cultivate this,

of success.

and you will always be empowered, dear Virgo. You have the ability this month to think bigger

Sagittarius: After what has felt like

than usual, to come up with ingenious solutions

some heavy responsibility lately Sagittarius,

to problems; those are your gifts, so use them.

you're finally headed for some much needed relaxation time. This month is all about



Libra: Adventure beckons you this month,

receiving, and you are sure to be basking

Libra. The pull of adventure is so strong you

in come much-needed love, especially from

can almost taste it. You're dreaming of broad

your social circle. Speaking of socialising,

horizons and new experiences, and with Venus

this is definitely the month to be out and

your ruler in the carefree sign of Sagittarius,

about and connecting with people near and

it really is time to spread your wings and do

far. It is also a very good time to be thinking

things you have never done before. Break open

of planting some seeds for success – is there

the shutters of your mind and roam previously

some idea, dream, goal or wish you have

unexplored lands, even if from the comfort of

been thinking about recently? Well, perhaps

your home town. Go and do something you've

now is the time to manifest it, with a little

never done before. Pick up a hobby or study

help from your friends. Perhaps it involves

something new – indulge your spiritual side

some travel – literally your favourite thing.

and book some workshops. It's a great time for

Just be a little cautious Sagittarius, and

that, Libra. People are also responding to you

watch the pennies. Debt can pile up ever

very positively, somehow you're just finding the

so easily and if you're not careful, that little

right words to say which is drawing people to

molehill can turn into a mountain. But all in

all, this is a good time for growth and you have

new beginning for you in this month of

the ability to really put your mind to something

new beginnings. It is a month to actively

and learn all you can from it.

make your dreams a reality through hard work. If you feel sometime during

Capricorn: Out of all the signs, Capricorns

the month a little disheartened or down,

are arguably the strongest. The mountain goat

lift your head up dear Aquarius. Look to

lives in harsh climates, and gets much from

your friends for support, and let them

nothing, yet thrives in a situation in which most

give you love. In fact, just open the

of us mortals would crumble. This a month in

doors of your heart and allow the love

which you will be tested, Capricorn. Things

to pour in from every angle. Think of it

are going to feel rather intense in many ways,

as a storehouse for the energy you are

and you won't quite be able to fully articulate

constantly giving to everybody else. We

in what way they are intense as things feel

all have to top the bank up sometime.

a bit murky and confused. The trick is, with quicksand, not to fight but to relax and soon

Pisces: I'm not going to stress the

enough, you will find a way out of this cycle.

importance of keeping your eyes wide

Themes of power, sacrifice, loss and ultimately

open while Neptune traverses Pisces,

transcendence – if you learn the lessons –

and of keeping your boundaries intact,

are paramount over February. Try not to feel

for that is a lifelong lesson for all fishes.

disheartened and above all, don't lose yourself

I will say that you need to keep a beady

or abandon yourself. You have the ability

eye on your finances, and not let a single

to come out of this quite brilliantly, without

penny slip your notice. Jupiter, your ruler,

compromising yourself. It is an excellent time

is still retrograde in Virgo and I'm sure

to pick up a serious spiritual practice that will

it feels like any kind of growth lately is

tide you over – with you being such a practical

hard to come by – even on the financial

sign, I would advise that you find something

side. I do see that you have more clarity

that grounds you and nothing that has even a

this month than usual however, and I am

whiff of airy fairy.

confident that you will be managing your finances just fine. You have renewed

Aquarius: Happy Birthday Aquarius. Mighty

energy to get some new projects started

Sun is finally in your sign and it really is your

now, and seem to have a good sense

time to glow brightly for the entire world to

of direction. It will also be important

see. Even though the Sun is uncomfortable

to sit down with your partner and draw

in its opposite sign, all that really means is

up a good action plan for your shared

that you tend to focus on others more than

finances going ahead. There may be a

on yourself. However, now it's time to learn

nice little influx of financial support, but

from your opposite sign, Leo, and just bask

you must manage it wisely. Waste not,

in the attention you're getting. A New Moon

want not Pisces. That really is the motto

in Aquarius on 8 February promises a brand

for the month for you.  O





FOR A POS 1 2 3 4 5

Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and

doubters and believe that success is impossible, or you can trust that, with faith and an optimistic attitude, all things are possible.



success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships, and success will find you.

Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a ‘Thank-you Walk’. It will create a fertile mind, ready for success. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

8 9

Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts

Remember that outside circumstances and events

or things you cannot

have no power over you. You create your world

control. Instead invest

from the inside out.

your energy in your purpose, people and the

Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with words of truth and encouragement to keep yourself moving forward.



Don’t chase dollars or

Post a sign that says ‘No Energy Vampires Allowed’. Gandhi said, ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.’

positive present moment.


You don’t have to be great to serve, but you have to serve to be great. Look for opportunities to love, serve and care.

Ronnie Muhl offers some great advice for the year ahead

SITIVE 2016 11

Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.


There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.


Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.


Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you’re not leading.

15 16 17 18 19 20

Read more books than you did in 2015. I happen to know a few good ones.

Don’t seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.

Focus on ‘Get to’ vs ‘Have to’. Each day, focus on what you get done, not what you have to do. Life is a gift and not an obligation. The next time you ‘fail’ remember that you aren’t failing, you are becoming. You aren’t failing, you are growing. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.

Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life, so make the most of it and enjoy it. ODYSSEY 93 • 



Miriam Platt Attunement Practitioner Reiki Master Teacher Miriam has completed in-depth Attunement training in the United States and Canada, and has been offering Attunement since 1980. She has been practicing Reiki since 1991 and teaching since 1997. Miriam is deeply committed to the principles of these life-enhancing services and has great respect for both systems, having experienced and witnessed the natural and profound manner in which healing, transformation and inner growth can occur.

Constantia • 021 794 3601 •




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EMAIL or visit Long distance readings also available via skype or telephonically

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White Eagle Lodge wisdom for life A modern day Mystery School, based on the Ancient Wisdom Open Sunday meetings at 10am in Cape Town: 2nd Sunday: Erin Hall, Erin Road Rondebosch Also at Fisherhaven, BFN, Gauteng, KZN

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The new book by Rose de la Hunt, previous editor of Odyssey Magazine. Love-awakenings, experiences, encounters, explorations, discoveries, musings, revelations. 'Extraordinary and profound.' Includes mini-gallery of author's paintings. In selected shops / outlets.

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THEHUMANCONDITION Covering the Sun with One’s Hand

A disciple sought Rabbi Nahman of Braslaw: 'I will no longer study the sacred texts,' he said. 'I live in a small house with my brothers and parents, and I never have the ideal conditions to be able to concentrate on what is important.' Nahman pointed to the sun and asked his disciple to place his hand in front of his face, so as to hide it. The disciple did that. 'Your hand is small; however, it was able to block entirely the strength, the light and the majesty of the huge sun. The same way, small problems are able to give you the necessary excuse not to go on on your spiritual search. 'Just as the hand has the power of hiding the sun, mediocrity has the power of hiding your inner light. Do not

'No, it is his fault, he never pays attention to what he does,' answered the wife.

'One moment,' said the priest, 'We are always blaming one another for things we never did and we end up carrying a burden that does not belong to us. Did it occur to you that the robbers are the ones guilty of the robbery?'

God and the Love of Man A man went up to the philosopher Ramanuja and asked him: 'Show me the way up to God.' 'Have you ever fallen in love with someone?' 'Fallen in love? What does the great master mean by that? I promised myself never to get close to a woman, I run from them like someone tries to escape from a disease,' he said. 'I don’t even look at them; when they pass, I close my eyes, so I am always concentrated in my spiritual

blame others for your own incompetence.'


Who is to Blame?

your entire life, had a moment of passion that left your

A couple went on vacation and as they returned, they found their home broken in; the robbers had taken everything. The husband blamed his wife, saying the doors had not been secured. She affirmed he had forgotten to lock the door. A long discussion took place, until the neighbours called a priest to calm them down. 'It is her fault – she has always been negligent,' said the husband.

'Think back to your past and try to recall if you never, in body and your spirit filled with fire.' 'I came here to learn how to pray and not to learn how to fall in love with a woman,' said the man. Ramanuja stayed in silence for a moment and finally he said: 'I can’t help you. If you have never experienced love, you will never be able to experience the peace of a prayer. Therefore, go back to your city, fall in love, and seek me again when your soul is filled with happy moments.' O

©Translated by James Mulholland • Travel with Paulo through his blogs, visit



Odyssey Magazine - Issue 1, 2016  
Odyssey Magazine - Issue 1, 2016  

In our first issue of 2016 we look at the ongoing saga of the benefits of cannabis oil as well as the new Bill passed into law that could se...