ODYSSEY Issue 3 • 2016
Conscious Lifestyle Digimag
A RESILIENT HEART ODYSSEY 1 •
CLINICALLY PROVEN NATURAL MEDICINES
ODYSSEY 2 •
ODYSSEY 3 •
Features A love affair with Egypt 16 Ancient sites 22 Prophet of our times 28 Resilience from the heart 32 Longevity & wholeness 36 Meeting the wizard of Oz 40 The soul of psychiatry 44
Conscious Lifestyle Digimag
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Issue 3 • 2016
Volume 40 • No.3
The problem with GMOs 50 Natural hair care 61 Chinese medicine & cancer 64 Bacopa 70 Why we detest indifference 90 Gardening 100 Gondwanaland 104 Paulo Coelho 124 Publisher Inspired Spaces Media Publishing House cc Reg No 2001/014555/23 Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or staff. Copyright Material published in Odyssey, including all artwork, may not be reproduced without the permission of the editor. ISSN 0256-0356
inspired spaces media ODYSSEY 5 •
I see that 2016 has been designated the Year of Co-Creation. This makes me wonder whether most of us realise the power of these words let alone how to work in such a co-operative way. When
I cast my eyes over the local and international news it is hard to be thrilled by the evident lack of harmonious co-creation taking place. Fundamentalists and polarisers are having a field day, it would seem. And it may even appear that we are beholden to these fanatics. Yet this does not have to be so and it should be challenged at every turn. It is the time for those who seek tolerance, harmony, peace and prosperity for all to come to the fore. And when you look carefully it is also very evident how the 'once bitten, twice shy' populace is rising up against seemingly powerful yet immoral corporations, as well as against the unjust and short-sighted political systems that are merely hanging on by their finger nails. Basically, decision-makes who are totally swept up by the self-centred strategy of vested interests will be exposed and those who understand the honour of serving all citizens ethically and equally will be the inevitable victors. At least we would hope that to be the case – if not, then the inevitable global changes that we are already experiencing will be all the more severe. Returning to the topic of co-creation, those of us who have committed ourselves to what might loosely be called 'working for the light' have the twin tasks of retaining our focus on the light, however that is for us, while dealing with wave after wave of turbulence and negativity that are accompanying the death of the old and the birth of the new. Co-creation in this context means, then, first
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keeping our centre, while feeling out and staying with the eddies, flows and direction changes of the seemingly chaotic energies of this time. But, the upside is that while what we are asked to do, what we need to do, may seem difficult to the point of impossibility, allowing the very same forces that are inducing the changes we are experiencing in virtually every aspect of life to guide us from within, is the secret to 'going with the changing tides'. And despite the chaos and upheaval, despite the difficulty and the challenge, those forces driving change at every level are intrinsically benign; life will support life and we shall be supported as life on the planet changes. Tricky as things may be, then, it is important to rest in the deeper wisdom that is the unfoldment of the universe both at the collective level and for each one of us. With these words we wish you peace and harmony – and enjoyment of another issue of Odyssey lovingly brought to you by us.
Silke and The Team
A New Story of Humanity Findhorn Foundation
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. Work is love made visible. - From Khalil Gibran's The Prophet on WORK
Meditators & Hermits Communal farm Gathering all Hermits, meditators and wood-be-Hermits We are searching for like minded souls to share a lifestyle managing communal land. Not restricted to men. Each person must be able to invest and think out of the box.
Contact Marc 061 758 3232
ODYSSEY 7 •
ABOLISHING CHILD MARRIAGES Malawi's Chief Kachindamoto has broken up 850 child marriages in three years, and banned sexual initiations of girls. But she hasn't stopped there as she has also made the leaders annul any existing underage unions, and send all of the children involved back to school. While marrying under age 18 in Malawi has been illegal since early 2015, children can still be married under so-called 'customary law', meaning with parental consent and overseen by traditional leaders,
For the full story click here.
3D PRINTING BRINGING NEW LIFE TO ISIL-DESTROYED RUINS In August 2015, Islamic State militants destroyed most of the Temple of Bel in Syria, an ancient gateway that connected the Roman Empire to Persia. The 2 000-year-old temple had previously been designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO, and that honour is perhaps part of the reason members of the group decided to blow it up. Now, as a symbolic gesture of remembrance and solidarity, the surviving arch will be recreated by the world’s largest 3D printer and the duplicate models will be erected in London’s Trafalgar Square and New York City’s Times Square. Recreating the surviving arch on other continents will be the work of Institute of Digital Archaeology's. Alexy Karenowska who explains that preserving cultural heritage is nearly as important as protecting human lives. 'Of course all of this stuff takes second place to human life,' she said, 'but these cultural objects are very important to give a sense of place and community.'
For the full story click here.
NATIVE AMERICANS HAVE HAD 700 ACRES OF COASTAL CALIFORNIA RETURNED For generations, members of the Kashia band of the Pomo tribe have been landlocked. For the first time in 200 years, the coastal tribe will once again have unmitigated access to the sea. The current owner of the property near Stewart’s Point has entered an agreement to sell the 700-acre, mile-long stretch of coast back to the Kashia, with the help of $2m pledged by county leaders and a variety of coalitions, including the Trust For Public Land. The sprawling piece of land included groves of old redwoods, hilltop views, Native American archaeological sites and the precipitous cliffs opening up to the Pacific Ocean just north of Salt Point State Park. The land is currently owned by Bill Richardson, who says the scenic region has been in his family’s name since 1925. The agreement allows Richardson to live out the rest of his days in his family’s home, which will eventually be converted into a museum. The open space designation of the property will allow Kashia tribesmen and women to come and go as they please for ceremonies, without having to ask permission. The deal will preserve the land as open space while giving the control to the Kashia who plan to preserve the land and return the forests to resiliency.
For the full story click here.
ODYSSEY 8 •
THE SIXTH SENSE? Many animals across the spectrum of life, from birds, bees and sea turtles to lobsters, frogs and fish, have been shown to utilise the Earth's magnetic field for navigation. And if they can do it, why can't we? Joe Kirschvink, a geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, has been pondering this very question and has begun testing humans to see if they too have this subconscious sixth sense. Kirschvink is pretty sure they do. But he has to prove it. Determining whether this neural activity was evidence of a magnetic sense or something else is the real question. For instance, even if the human brain responds to magnetic fields in some way, that doesn't mean that this response is being processed as information by the brain. There's also the mystery of what mechanisms are in place within the brain or body that receive the magnetic stimulus. If the human body has magnetoreceptors, where are they? So the next step for Kirschvink will be to identify that mechanism.
For the full story click here.
A HORSE's HEALING POWER Wether or not you believe in holistic medicine, one thing is certain: there is just something about the relationship we humans have with animals that is absolutely incredible. And when that relationship is used to help a human feel better? You can actually see the results with your own two eyes. In Brittish Columbia, there is a special horse retreat known as Equinsity Retreats and it is meant to help people’s souls feel good again. While to some people it might seem silly, others swear by it. The horses on this 325-acre estate were bred to love humans, but for the most part they’re absolutely free and wild animals. Each visitor is given a personally tailored experience with the animals based on their interests or therapeutic needs. There’s no denying these gentle giants have a calming effect for all those around them. Even those who live with anxiety about the large animals have the chance to work through their fears with the expert staff. Click here for more.
QUANTUM CAMERA SNAPS GHOSTS? By utilising a process that Einstein famously called 'spooky', scientists have successfully caught 'ghosts' on film for the first time using quantum cameras. The 'ghosts' captured on camera weren't the kind you might first think; scientists didn't discover the wandering lost souls of our ancestors. Rather, they were able to capture images of objects from photons that never actually encountered the objects pictured. The technology has been dubbed 'ghost imaging'. Like twins separated at birth who are later reunited, two laser beams revealed invisible objects in a display of their weird quantum connection. Quantum cameras capture ghost images by making use of two separate laser beams that have their photons entangled. Only one beam encounters the object pictured, but the image can nevertheless be generated when either beam strikes the camera This technology could eventually lead to improved medical imaging or silicon chip lithography in hard-to-see situations. For instance, doctors might use this method for generating images in visible light even though the images were actually captured using a different kind of light, such as infrared.
Click here for the full story.
ODYSSEY 9 •
EVIDENCE SHEDS LIGHT ON MAYAN'S DISSAPEARANCE Minerals taken from Belize's famous underwater cave, known as the Blue Hole, as well as lagoons nearby, show that an extreme drought occurred between AD 800 and AD 900, right when the Mayan civilisation is thought to have disintegrated. After the rains returned, the Mayans moved north – but they disappeared again a few centuries later, and, the sediments reveal, that disappearance occurred at the same time as another dry spell. Although the findings aren't the first to tie a drought to the Mayan culture's demise, the new results strengthen the case that dry periods were indeed the culprit. That's because the data come from several spots in a region central to the Mayan heartland, said study co-author André Droxler, an Earth scientist at Rice University. For the full story click here.
NATURE'S EQUATION There's something intuitively and aesthetically gratifying about a simple equation that can be applied to so many different things in nature. Laplace's equation (shown above) contains only five symbols, and yet it can be applied to everything from electromagnetism to the gravitational field to fluid dynamics to heat conduction. The equation is named after Pierre-Simon Laplace, a French mathematician often listed as one of the greatest scientists of all time. Interestingly, the equation is so applicable that, unlike many other thinkers of his time, Laplace famously claimed to have no need for the hypothesis of God's existence. For the full
story click here.
ODYSSEY 10 •
PARALLEL WORLDS MAY EXIST A new theory explains many of the bizarre observations made in quantum mechanics, and physicists are saying it could prove the existence of parallel worlds that interact with our own. Though still speculative, the theory may help to finally explain some of the bizarre consequences inherent in quantum mechanics. The theory is a spinoff of the many-worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics — an idea that posits that all possible alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual, though parallel, world. One problem with the many-worlds interpretation, however, has been that it is fundamentally untestable, since observations can only be made in our world. Happenings in these proposed 'parallel' worlds can thus only be imagined. Click here for more.
Russia’s metro stations captured in EPIC photographs Moscow and St Petersburg may be known for some of the stunning architecture lining their streets, but most people probably don't realise there's a whole other world of luxurious historic design tucked away underground. The recent exhibition 'A Bright Future' by Canadian architect-turned-photographer David Burdeny, reveals the cities' historic metro stations in all their awe-inspiring beauty. For more click here.
Einstein’s gravitational wave theory proven Albert Einstein’s last unproven theory has finally been confirmed. Gravitational waves – ripples in space-time – have been confirmed to exist after decades of research and experimentation. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) proved Einstein’s theory with the observation of waveforms created by the collision of two black holes, an event long predicted but never before measured. Click here for more.
THIS PLANET SHOULD NOT EXIST The planet KELT-4Ab shouldn’t exist. This alien world is a ‘hot Jupiter’ – a huge gas planet that orbits closer to its parent planet than Mercury does to our Sun. Not only that, but it has three suns – an incredibly rare and thrilling discovery. Astronomers hope that KELT-4Ab may provide crucial clues as to how hot planets like Jupiter exist at all. The KELT-4 system is only 680 light-years away from Earth, and the relatively close distance will allow astronomers to probe the system further for potential answers. Click here for more.
ODYSSEY 11 •
THE HOLISTIC FAYRE, BOTHASIG
August 13 Bothasig Comunnity Hall, Bothasig, CT Local artists and therapists will be attending with an array of jewellery, crystals, incence sticks, books, lucky bamboo, candles, Go Green products and more. Local authors Laverne Schwimmbacher and Han Gibson Davies will be promoting their books while various local artists will display their art on stage. There will also be a food quarter offering a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods plus banting snacks. Click HERE for more.
Cape Town International Kite Festival October 29-30 Muizenberg
Africa's biggest kite festival offers affordable, feel-good, family fun with free kite-making workshops daily, including specialist sessions with master kite-maker Ebrahim Sambo. With a market, food trucks and tea garden there are plenty of food options, or bring along a picnic and let your spirit soar as you watch some of the world’s most amazing kites embrace African skies. Click HERE for more.
Symphony of the Soil gala screening August 14 Labia Theatre, Cape Town
An exclusive gala screening of award-winning documentary Symphony of the Soil is being hosted by the Labia Theatre to raise funds for Soil for Life. Tickets are R200 per person and include a glass of Stellar Organic wine and yummy plant-based snacks. Join MC Nik Rabinowitz for an entertaining ‘green’ evening and help change the world one garden at a time. Contact Soil for Life on 021 794 4982 or email@example.com for more details.
ODYSSEY 12 •
SPRING WEEKEND September 2 - 4 Bot River, CT
The close-knit wine-making community of the small town of Bot River, is set for its annual Spring Weekend which promises an authentic bouquet of all things exceptional and exclusive to this unsung Overberg gem. On the weekend, the farms dotted along this 10km enclave – a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town – will entice visitors with their true talents and tastes. Click HERE for all the details.
CAPE TOWN FLOWER SHOW October 27 - 30 Castle of Good Hope, CT
The show's aim to artistically display the brilliant diversity of the Cape’s flora and will provide inspiring, contextual, and relevant information and help promote the importance of sustaining our local biodiversity as a precious natural resource. It has been designed around green credentials. The goal is for the show to become one that is integrally associated with Cape Town as a world class destination. Click HERE for more.
WOMAN'S WINTER HEALING
August 13-14 | Cape Point Join a circle of women at a tranquil retreat center nestled in the flowering indigenous beauty at the foot of the Cape Point mountainscape and embrace the inherent healing wisdom that lies within. Allow yourself to be held by three medicine women offering their care, service and expertise: Tass Two Crows Flying, Tessa Ashbury-Taylor and Anna Prinsloo. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for all details.
ODYSSEY 13 •
ODYSSEY 14 •
ODYSSEY 15 •
A Love Affair with
Egypt Michelle Leske's love affair with Egypt started in November 2011 when she visited there for the first time. She felt that it was like returning home – it was familiar yet strange, magical, mystical and life changing. In this article she shares the inner lessons learnt.
ODYSSEY 16 •
experienced in Egypt, I decided then that this was the place that I would love to take
groups of people, to assist them to release fear and move into a space of love and freedom. I released so much fear and opened my heart wide. I learnt tolerance and celebration of a culture that was completely new to me. The lifestyle is so different in Egypt. The people are kind, very kind. They go out of their way to assist you in any way they can. They become your best friends in a blink of an eye. Egypt is noisy, busy, over-populated and hot. Although the country is set in a desert, one tends to forget that. The Nile provides ample water supply and is used to create beautiful gardens, lush crops and serenity, in a place that is bustling with noise all the time. Egypt is a land of mysteries. There is an ancient holiness to it. Just look at the size of the pyramids and the temples. These were built in the time when high tech machinery was not used. This was a time when people living on earth, used their power of manifestation. They used anti-gravity devices. They had a wisdom far superior to what the current human population has on earth now. They revered the earth. They revered the Gods and brought them into every part of their daily lives. This is why they were so successful in every aspect of their lives. This energy still lingers there. It is there for all of us to access. It is there for us to assist us to move into a higher vibration. It is there to assist us to release fear and move into a place of love. The Goddess Tour to Egypt in March 2017 is intended to firstly heal ourselves and secondly, but not less importantly to create Balance. A balance of male and female energy, in a world where male energy is dominant. This male energy has been dominant for centuries now. All the wars, greed, poverty, violence, and addiction indicates we are operating from ego rather than soul. When we operate from soul, there is no need for fear, war, greed, addiction, competition, borders, and passports. We see with the eye of love, the eye of god and everything is perfection. We become nurturers, peace makers, intuitive and love. That is our aim. To become love. How do we balance the masculine/feminine energy of our people? We heal ourselves. We balance our feminine energy. Once this is done,
ODYSSEY 17 •
once we have found our inner
the Mother Goddess. She
goddess, we spread that
gave birth to Isis and Osiris.
healing out to the world. The
The goddess Nut was widely
very energy of the goddess is
known for her spectacular
contagious, and what better
way to heal the world? The
kindness. The myths of the
very nature of the goddess is
goddess Nut instruct us to
love. So that is the solution
never give up our hold on
i propose. For all the ego in
our precious dreams. She
society right now, we need a
reminds us to persevere and
balance. We need a whole lot
to accept the help of others when we need it.
we need open hearts.
Hathor: She is known as the Golden One. All the
There is a multitude of female energy in Egypt. All the
Goddess contain aspects of her because she is and holds
goddesses are there and available to us in the etheric. All
all the aspects of the Goddess. Essentially she is known
we need to do is ask. Connect. Be open and willing. It is
as the Goddess of Music, Dance, Joy, Motherhood and
not difficult. It is about surrendering.
Love. She is the daughter of Ra the Sun God and Nut the
The Pilgrimage Goddesses
Sekhmet: The Powerful One. Protector of the
Goddess of the Sky.
Isis: The Egyptian goddess of rebirth remains one of the
Pharaohs. She was said to breathe fire at the enemies of
most familiar images of empowered and utter femininity.
the Pharaohs. It is important to remember that Pharaohs
Isis was called the Mother of Life, but she was also known
had achieved Ascension status. Thus they were living
as the Crone of Death. Her immense powers earned her
examples of how we should live our lives in order to
the titles of 'The Giver of Life' and 'Goddess of Magic'.
achieve our Soul Purpose. Sekhmet may seem terrifying,
The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has many gifts to share
but she was a Warrior of Light and Love, protecting
with modern women. Isis embodies the strengths of the
feminine, the capacity to feel deeply about relationships,
In addition to the Goddess, we will be asking for the
the act of creation, and the source of sustenance and
presence of the Ascended Masters, Mother Mary and Mary
and gives birth to the sun by day. She is also known as
of feminine energy. We need surrender, we need love, and
Nut: The Sky Goddess. She swallows the moon at night
So the invitation is open to you to assist to heal. Join me in Egypt if you dare to be the Goddess. O
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Centre for the Fleur de Lis GNOSIS :
THE MYSTERY & MASTERY OF ME PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR LIVING IN CHALLENGING TIMES We are living in the most challenging of times. Nothing seems certain any more â€“ and all the old ways of being appear to lead only to more difficulty and strife. And yet this is the dawning of a new age for humanity, one in which each and every soul is intended to be free and fully manifesting all their gifts and the full promise of their being. So how do we deal with these conflicting realities? How do we navigate successfully through a changed and changing worldly conditions? And who are 'we', the ones that have chosen or been chosen to be here now, at the changing of the tides and the great shift in humanity which has for so long been predicted? This intensive is designed for people who want to know and who are ready to hear about what is crucial for these times â€“ and that is a deep and well-rooted knowledge of the self. GNOSIS: THE MYSTERY OF ME is not a quick-fix, catchy-phrase, ra-ra toe-dip into the murky waters of self-knowledge, but rather a full-bodied plunge into the depths of our being. It is not a feel-good exercise in glib but impractical sound-bites. It is not a motivational event. It is designed to provide those who attend with their full measure of needed tools and means to explore the inner truth of themselves. This intensive should help participants such that they are more adapted and adaptable to shifting conditions both within themselves and external to them. It is meant to equip each and every person who participates with practical ways to unfold the mystery that lies within, such that questions like 'Why am I here?', 'What is my life purpose?' and 'What is my next step in life?' may be answered. These answers need to come not from some external 'authority' but from within and from one's self. This process is what is meant by GNOSIS.
INTENSIVE DETAILS Day 1 – Saturday 9.30 12.00 13.00 14.00 15.00 16.00
: Welcome : Gnosis – what it is and what it is not : LIGHT LUNCH BREAK : Discussion & Exercise : Meditation : TEA BREAK AND WALK IN PARK : Q & A with St Germain
Day 2 – Sunday 10.00 12.00 13.30 15.30 16.00 17.30
: Who rules your roost : LIGHT LUNCH AND WALK IN PARK : Meditation as a path of love & intimacy with the inner divine self : TEA BREAK AND WALK IN PARK : The key to your inner balance : Wrap-up & final Q &A
COST : R2000 for Saturday & Sunday
(R1000 deposit to be paid by August 19th to ensure your place)
WHEN : Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 August, 9am-6pm WHERE : Centre for the Fleur de Lis*, Kirstenhof, Cape Town CONTACT : 021 701 1186 or email email@example.com Places : 15 people only – booking essential Bring a journal and pen, plus suitable comfortable clothing
FORTHCOMING EVENTS JOURNEY WITHIN – CHAKRA AWARENESS & ACTIVATION September 24-25 This 2-day Intensive is designed to give all who come the building blocks of experiential understanding of how their chakras work and why we even have them. Participants will be given the opportunity to learn how to manage their own energy systems in order to help them optimise their responses to life – both inner and outer.
AN INITIATION INTO THE SEAT OF THE SOUL October 29-30 This 2-day intensive is designed to allow participants to experience the activation and functioning of the 'Seat of the Soul'. The outcome should be an ability to fine-tune aspects of their being in a manner which brings themselves out of the shadows of self-doubt and uncertainty and into the full light of each person's personal gifts.
* The Centre for the Fleur de Lis is facilitated by Silke & Chris Erasmus under the guidance and auspices of St Germain, hierarch of the current age and foremost teacher of the great global spiritual awakening taking place at this time.
RAISINGAN THE ODYSSEY 22 •
Astounding archeological discoveries are being made with great frequency. With the help of modern technology and the odd happenstance, we are un-earthing some amazing finds that give us insight into how life was hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years ago. We look at a few recent sites.
NCIENTS THE ANCIENTS ODYSSEY 23 •
VIKING village Pre-construction excavation at the site of Norway’s upcoming Ørland Airport expansion has turned up a treasure trove of artefacts dating back to an era before the Vikings ruled the land. Researchers uncovered the post holes and fire pits for three large 'longhouses' that would have stood at the centre of the village. Among the garbage, they found a number of Iron Age artifacts that offered insights into how the locals lived, including jewelry and pieces of glass.
Roman villa A British family made an astounding archaeological discovery by accident. Below the grounds surrounding the Irwin family’s farmhouse hid an 'extraordinarily well-preserved' Roman villa. Archaeologists are curious as to why the villa wasn’t torn down after the Roman empire collapsed. Further research could help ascertain how the people then inhabiting Britain, so far from the centre of the Roman Empire, reacted when it fell.
ODYSSEY 24 •
Kazakhstan earthworks NASA has released photos of some curious formations
in the ground in Kazakhstan, and even the space agency’s scientists aren’t really sure what the patterns are all about. The formations, known as the Steppe Geoglyphs, are thought to be around 8 000 years old and consist of at least 260 designs, which are carved right into the ground, as well as small mounds of dirt assembled into shapes and patterns. NASA hopes to help unlock this mystery.
MEXICAN GHOST CHURCH The ghostly ruins of a 16th-century church have emerged from the depths of a reservoir in Mexico. Abandoned around the late 1700s, the church, known as the Temple of Quechula, was flooded by a dam in 1966. However, the recent drought plaguing the southern Mexican state of Chiapas has dropped water levels so severely that the magnificent temple has risen out from the waters.
ODYSSEY 25 •
KING TUT's dagger According to a team of Egyptian and Italian researchers who used X-Ray analysis, the blade on King Tutankhamun's knife, originally excavated in 1922, is composed of iron, nickel, and cobalt – a composition that matches the Kharga meteorite that fell west of Alexandria. This team’s finding seems to jive with a term that began to appear in hieroglyphics that translate's roughly to 'iron of the sky'.
JACKPOT OF GOLD Diamond miners recently discovered the wreck of a lost 500-year-old Portuguese ship after draining a man-made lagoon on Namibia’s coast. While shipwrecks are often found along Africa’s Skeleton Coast, this one just so happened to be loaded with $13m worth of gold coins. Among other artifacts, the team also uncovered five anchors, part of a ship's compass, pewter tableware, 50 elephant tusks and the skeletal remains of some crew members.
ODYSSEY 26 •
BOSNIAN PYRAMIDS Independent analysis from five separate Institutes of materials have confirmed that the Bosnian Pyramids contain high quality man-made concrete construction material eliminating all sceptical claims about the authenticity of these pyramids. The site of the Bosnian 'Pyramid of the Sun' has a team of over 200 interdisciplinary scientists from all over the world doing scientific analysis on not only the nature and age of the building materials, but also determining how the energy of the pyramid was used by the ancient scientists for applications beneficial to humanity ranging from geothermal transportation, climatology, and advancements in human physiology and health. With a height of 220m, this pyramid is the largest on Earth.
ODYSSEY 27 •
Prophet for Our Times In this extract from the book Prophet for our Time, David Lorimer shares some insight into the life and teachings of Peter Deunov. This is his editor's note from the 2015 edition.
t is a real delight to be able to offer this book in a new edition after nearly 25 years, and I am most grateful to Wayne Dyer for his introduction. Can it really be 30 years
since I first read the work of Peter Deunov while teaching French and philosophy at Winchester College in the summer of 1985? I have been immeasurably enriched by his teaching, and I hope you, the reader, will be similarly inspired by this book. The Iron Curtain hid the person and teaching of Peter Deunov (whose spiritual name is Beinsa Douno and who was called The Master) from the outside world in the decades following the Second World War. When Prophet for Our Times
and The Circle of SacredDance were originally published in 1991, I expected many spiritual people in the West to be ready for this extraordinary rendering of the profound mystical meaning of Christianity. The book was not unsuccessful, with all copies eventually sold, but it was not reprinted. It seemed that insufficient people were prepared to heed the words of
ODYSSEY 28 •
'A person who asks love of others, but does not himself give it, cannot be loved. Always be the first to give love and it shall be given to you. As long as you do not give your heart first, you will be far from love.' - Peter Deunov a virtually unknown spiritual teacher from an obscure
crediting them did not arise before printing. It is now
Balkan nation. However, since the collapse of communism
appropriate to name them, not only out of gratitude
in 1989, Peter Deunov has become a well-known figure
for their work, but also to attest to the experience and
in Bulgaria, and seekers of truth throughout the world
knowledge that went into it.
are increasingly drawn to his teaching. Although the
The psychologist Krum Vazharov, who was a close
conditions are much more fertile now, I never expected
disciple of Peter Deunov, set the themes and structure
Prophet for our Times to be republished. That this should suddenly happen now, through the influence of Wayne Dyer, is a great example of the need for faith and patience, and that the Spirit truly works in mysterious ways. The Bulgarian disciples (the word uchenik means both student and disciple) who worked on the book were not originally acknowledged. The country was still under Communist rule when I returned to England with the manuscript in the autumn of 1989, so their anonymity was a necessity. Although the Bulgarian democratic revolution took place soon afterwards, the question of
of the book. The quotations inside were almost all selected by him, with his mentee, Dr Maria Mitovska, also contributing. When Krum had settled on what to include, he translated it from Bulgarian with an English teacher, Vessela Ilieva. Afterwards I went through the entire text and then did the necessary editing with Maria Mitovska as well as writing the original introduction. In 1991 brother Krum passed away, shortly before the book went to print. When Maria phoned me with the sad news, we decided to dedicate the book to him. I can now acknowledge the critical role of these dedicated disciples, Krum Vazharov, Maria Mitovska and Vessela Ilieva, who risked much to
ODYSSEY 29 •
pass on this teaching to the West. I have since returned to the Bulgarian mountains many times, most recently last summer, and remain good friends with Maria, who continues to work at spreading this teaching to those who are ready. I hope that the republication of this book will help to bring Peter Deunov to a wider contemporary audience. Much of my own work over the last 30 years has been at the interface between science, spirituality and the frontiers of consciousness (see www.scimednet. org). Although orthodox neuroscience still resists the idea that consciousness or mind might be non-local and able to operate independently of the brain, there is good evidence that this can and does happen – for instance in cardiac arrest near-death experiences. Such experiences
Love resolves all contradictions. Without love, man cannot make sense of his existence. - Peter Deunov
also open up inner worlds and dimensions beyond the physical, and indicate that we need a wider and deeper
that no one knew of his whereabouts. Lulchev therefore
world-view if we are to understand the true nature of
returned and informed the Master, who left the room for
reality and human life. I believe that many more people
a while. When he re-entered, the Master said, 'Krichim.'
are now open to such a possibility. Peter Deunov, who
Lulchev then travelled to the remote town of Krichim, at
consciously inhabited these interpenetrating realms, can
the foot of the Rhodope Mountains, where he found the
help lead us into a way of life that is simultaneously more
Tsar, who was astonished to have been discovered. Upon receiving the message, Boris returned to Sofia
mystical and more natural. There is one important story that was missing from
and rescinded the directive so no deportations occurred.
my original introduction that I would like to add now. If
In postscript, Tsar Boris was summoned to meet
you look on a chart showing the number of deportations
Hitler to account for himself, and died in August 1943,
and deaths of Jews during World War II, you will find 0
in mysterious circumstances, shortly after returning from
against Bulgaria – and thereby hangs a tale. Although
Germany. His wife and children, however, survived the
some 11,500 Jews from Bulgarian-controlled territories
executions that followed the Soviet invasion of Bulgaria
in Thrace and Macedonia were deported to Treblinka, the
in September 1944, and lived in exile after the post-War
48 000 Bulgarian Jews were all saved.
abolition of the Bulgarian monarchy in 1946. The former was
Tsar Simeon II (now Simeon Saxe-Coburg and who had
considerable public outrage and a strong movement,
reigned as a minor between 1943 and 1946) served as
supported by the Church, to protect Bulgarian Jews.
Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005, one of only
However, Tsar Boris III was also under pressure from the
two monarchs in history to become head of government
Nazis to agree to deportation and went into hiding after
through democratic elections.
signing a directive to this effect.
Although we still live in an uncertain and violent
Methodi Konstantinov was a disciple of Peter Deunov
world, it is important for us to be moving in the
who worked for the Bulgarian government. Being a
direction of a culture of love, wisdom, truth, justice and
Polish speaker, he was given instructions to travel
virtue envisaged by Peter Deunov. We
with the Jews to Poland and act as a translator in the
can each make our own individual
concentration camp to which they were being sent. He
contribution, however small, to this
immediately went to Peter Deunov to inform him of what
ideal, and I hope that reading this
was happening. The Master told him to find Lyubomir
book will give you some inspiration and
Lulchev, a follower of the teaching and also one the
encouragement along your path.O
Tsar's advisers. When Lulchev arrived, Deunov told him to warn the Tsar that, 'If one Jew is sent from Bulgaria to a concentration camp, not one trace of your dynasty will remain.' Lulchev tried to locate the Tsar, but discovered
ODYSSEY 30 •
Prophet of our Time is available from Hay House. Click here for more.
ODYSSEY 31 •
Resilience from the
If you've ever been on a journey of any kind, then you know the routine. To prepare for the trip, you first get an idea of where you're going. You check the weather conditions, study maps, and then pack what's needed to keep your routines alive while you're traveling. The key here is that when you know where you're going, you know what to take with you. And when you find yourself going somewhere you've never been, you prepare for the unknown. In this extract from Gregg Braden's book Resilience of the Heart he looks at having the power to thrive in life's extremes.
ODYSSEY 32 •
e're all on a journey, and it's a big one. Our journey is leading us to a place no one has ever been. There
are no travel guides or Internet trip advisors to tell us precisely what our destination looks like. There are no time-tested lists to tell us what we'll need when we get there. Rather than planning a temporary excursion to an exotic place that we can return from after a few days, we hold one-way tickets. This is a different kind of journey altogether. We're not just going to another location somewhere on Earth. We're going to another world hidden within our everyday lives – and it's the choices we're making today that are taking us there. Together we're barrelling down the fast lane of a superhighway that's crossing the boundaries of traditional beliefs, religions, and habits of the past. In doing so, we're also blowing right past the limits of what we thought was possible. These very experiences are our passports leading us to the new world that's emerging before our eyes.
Our Destination I can't say for sure what our destination will look like. After the dust settles and we learn to adapt to our changing climate rather than trying to control it, after new and sustainable economies replace those that are fractured and failing today, after we embrace the technology that provides every bit of the energy we need without the devastating side effects of fossil fuels, I can only imagine what our lives and the world will be like. And when I do, I see a better place for us all. I see a world where we've raised the standard of living for everyone, rather than lowering it for many in order to support only a few. I see a world where the differences in the colour of our skin and the religion we believe in are obsolete and using the threat of war to solve our problems no longer makes any sense. I see a world where our love of co-operation is greater than the fear that drives us apart. And I see the shift in thinking that makes each of these things possible. To get to that shift, however, we must begin by recognising the realities that we face and the
ODYSSEY 33 •
promise that they hold. A good place to begin is by acknowledging the fact that we're living in a time of extremes.
A Time of Extremes We're living in a time when we can expect big things to happen – big shifts in the world and big changes in our lives. And just to be clear, the extremes I'm talking about don't necessarily have to be only bad things. And they don't even need to be good things for that matter. It's just that they're big things. And big things are happening all around us in our lives as well as our world. While I'll describe the reasons for the extremes in the upcoming chapters, the key here is that we're
realist. I am under no illusions when it comes to the
living a rare era of transition.
huge amount of work that it takes to find our way
We're living the emergence of a new 'normal',
into the new world that lies before us. Our ability to
and the success of our transition hinges upon our
successfully meet the challenges that are converging
willingness to acknowledge the shift, and our ability to
in our lives begins by our acknowledging what may be
embrace it in a healthy way. Our globalised culture of
the most obvious yet difficult question we could ask
jobs, money, markets, and resources means that it's
of ourselves: How can we deal with the issues unless
now impossible to separate the extremes in the world
we're willing to acknowledge the issues?
from what they mean in our everyday lives. The crisis of climate change is a perfect example of this connection; the record-setting droughts caused by shifts in global weather patterns translate directly
Everyone Is on the Journey
we pay for food at our local markets. The extreme
A big difference between trips that we may have taken
debt and failing economies on the other side of the
in the past and the big journey that we're on now is that
planet translate directly into higher costs at the gas
today we don't get to pick our travelling companions.
pump and higher ticket prices for the buses, trains,
The reason is simple: Everyone on the planet is part
and taxis that take us to work each day. Because of
of our journey. No one can be left behind. Our world
these and other extremes, bank loans have become
today is so deeply interconnected on so many levels
less available, and the interest we're being paid on
that it's impossible for the transformation that's
our savings, checking, and retirement accounts hovers
emerging in one part not to show up in other places
near an all-time record low zero percent. The global
as well. I've seen this firsthand in my travels to some
slowdown of industry translates directly into the loss
of the most remote and isolated places remaining in
of jobs and job security in our local communities.
the world – like Tibet, for example.
These are the kinds of extremes in the world that
In 2005, following a number of previous pilgrimages
are creating big changes in our lives. Among the many
to the monasteries of the Tibetan Plateau, I saw for
uncertainties they bring, though, there's one thing
the first time the eerie glow of cell phones illuminating
that we can be sure of: our lives are changing in ways
the dark recesses of centuries-old buildings as they lit
that we're not used to, not prepared for, at a speed
up under the robes of the monks and nuns.
The Key I'm an optimist by nature. I see real reasons for optimism in our lives. At the same time I'm also a
into scarcity of seasonal crops and the higher prices
that we've never known.
Our willingness to embrace this simple question is the key to developing more resilience in our time of
For the people living in these secluded monasteries, their former world based in isolation is now on a path of newly found connectivity. The new technology promises that their world, and their lives, will never be same.
'In the past, we’ve all been led to think of ourselves, our nations, our religions, and our lives in ways that have that helped us make sense of our world – through stories based on what our families and communities accepted as true at some given point in time. If we’re honest with ourselves and acknowledge that the world is changing, then it makes sense that our stories must change as well.' - Gregg Braden A Crisis in Thinking We don't need to go to Tibet, however, to see the evidence of how dramatically the world is shifting. Change is reflected everywhere, both in the ways in which things in our lives work, as well as in the ways things of the past no longer work. The old era of an oil-based economy, for example, is giving way to a new economy based upon cleaner forms of energy that are more sustainable. The old ideas of centralised production of our food from corporate farms half a world away is giving way to the new, healthy, and sustainable production of food from small farms that invigorate local economies. The old practice of creating wealth from industries that destroy our planet is giving way to new, socially responsible models of investing. And as the world of the past slips away and the new one emerges, the clash of new against old highlights another, even greater crisis, one that we all face, yet which we'll probably never read about or hear discussed in the popular media. It's a silent crisis that's like the proverbial elephant in the room – something that everyone sees yet no one acknowledges. Arguably the greatest crisis that we face in our time of extremes is a crisis in thinking. And our thinking is the very key to the way we deal with our needs in the new normal. You and I are being tasked with something that's never been done. We're being challenged to radically shift the way we think of ourselves and our relationship to one another and the world, and to do so faster than any generation in history has ever done before. Our willingness to think differently will be the key
to the success of our journey. And while it's definitely a big journey that we're on, it's also a very short trip, because the world we're travelling to is already here. It's with us right now.
We Have the Solutions Fortunately for us, the technology to solve the biggest challenges we face has already been discovered. The biggest problems we could ever imagine are already solved. The advanced principles are already understood. They all exist in this moment, right here, right now, and are at our fingertips. All that stands between us and the new world – where energy is abundant and comes from clean sources accessible to every member of our global family; where clean, healthy food is plentiful and accessible to every mouth on the planet; where every human is able to obtain the basic necessities to live a comfortable, meaningful life – is the thinking that makes room in our lives for what already exists in our world. The question that we must ask of ourselves, and now answer, is this: are we willing to embrace the thinking that makes such possibilities a priority? Will we allow the deepest truths of our relationship to ourselves, to one another, and the earth to become the passport for our journey? The key to our transformation is simply this: the better we know ourselves, the better equipped we are to make our choices wisely. O
Resilience of the Heart is available through Hay House. click here for more.
ODYSSEY 35 •
ODYSSEY 36 •
Longevity is an aspiration of many these days. People are desiring to increase their stay on earth for a variety of different reasons. 'Who wants to live forever?' as Freddy Mercury sings, has spurred on scientists to create the ultimate life increasing formula. The question now is, will your life expectancy be determined by a drug or something far more sustainable? Helen Hansen takes a look.
ODYSSEY 37 •
ne cannot entertain a life of many decades without wellness – the two go hand in hand; one supporting the other. Relaxation is one of
the essential ingredients. When your body is relaxed, it can provide powerful support for the organs, systems and brain. Reality check: Stress. We do, and are designed to, endure strain and tension. Stress is useful when it is transformed into an experience that will benefit the mind and body. As physical vitality increases, the mind is activated. Vice versa is also true. Chemical reactions in the brain, along with energy in ones physiology, affect the state of consciousness which in turn results in an emotional position. Wholeness is restored through a gentle balance between the body, mind and emotions. Being whole means there is equilibrium in all of your areas of existence. Wholeness breeds wellness, once it
Releasing baggage of any kind, no matter how big the trauma or how small the reactive pattern, can wipe out poor conditions forever. This translates into emotional freedom, mental stability, creative empowerment and physical vitality. A sure path to optimising divine longevity.
blossoms it will send currents of support throughout your life, providing opportunities that flow and grow. Longevity
Demartini, human behaviour specialist, says: 'When you
Wholeness Training uses the most effective techniques to
perceive yourself as fulfilling [your] mission you grow in
practice wellness and master wholeness.
Imagine living a long life of actualising your dreams.
That said, eating with awareness is a sure way to
All your years you are filled with inspiration, creativity,
optimising one's living experience for what we put in
balanced physical health and mental clarity along with
our bodies is reflected in our moods, our mental ability,
awareness and compassion. You radiate brilliance, you
on our skin and many other areas. The physical body,
attract abundance and you experience love. Now, keep
which is the primary digestive system for incoming solids
that thought in your mind's eye, write it down if you can,
and liquids, is our home here on earth. Picture a solid
and, if you would like to manifest it, read on ...
house with no roof. The rooms, furniture and décor
compromised if emotional stress, past hurts or negative
When our different brain hemispheres are at equilibrium
thoughts regularly invade our space.
there is no place for extreme emotional reactions. High
A balanced body aids a balanced mind and vice versa.
emotions tend to result in reactive behaviour, rather
To know which one to focus on is rather like asking,
than responsive attitudes. This imbalance spills over
'Which came first, the chicken or the egg'? Both are
into our physical body. It is well documented that our
supportive of each other and need the other to be stable
psychological state affects our immune system. In his
to function optimally. As much as the mind benefits from
book Quantum Healing, Dr Deepak Chopra, alternative
nutritional reenforcement so, too, it requires conscious
medical professional, states, 'We could just as easily say
experiences to thrive. Imagine eating wholesome, organic
that the brain and the immune system are not like each
foods while your thoughts are cycling in negativity. What
other – they are each other, because they operate within
will happen to the chemical reaction of the food in the
the same chemical network.'
body? Unfortunately, the nutrients cannot be maximised
balance our minds and fulfil our destiny through a physical experience. The term destiny not only refers
from outside. Likewise, our physical health will be
Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
When we meet our highest values we automatically
trimmings will continually be damaged by the weather
in such a situation, defeating much of the effort of healthy eating.
to a destination in the future, it relates to the actions
of here and now. When human beings do not fulfil their
Destructive thought patterns are one of the biggest
destiny, or do what they love, they are prone to becoming
catalysts for disease in our current world. Take a moment
stagnant, despondent, uninspired, depressed, ungrateful
to consider that everything started with a thought, this
to self or others, and a host of diseases transpire. Dr John
magazine you are reading was once just an idea, today
it is tangible. This is the journey of thoughts. It begins in the metaphysical and travels through the different
one will rule the outcome? The subconscious.
realms to finally reach the physical world. Have you ever
said to someone, 'I knew that was going to happen'. In
To align the goals of the conscious with the behaviour
that statement, you are acknowledging the ability of your
of the subconscious one solution is to programme the
hindbrain with the forebrain. This takes awareness and
In one of my workshops, I put the imagination to the
perseverance to establish a new habit. Another option
test. One person closes their eyes and visualises him/
for mind-body balancing is to call upon the mid-brain to
herself being as heavy and strong as a mountain. Two
harmoniously connect the upper and lower hemispheres.
other people then attempt to lift the individual. Typical
Also known as the limbic system, the mid-brain contains,
exclamations are, 'Oh my word; she is so heavy; I can't
among others, the hypothalamus, amygdala and links to
lift him.' Then the same individual visualises their being
the nervous system. This is where emotional memories
as light as a feather floating in the breeze. Once again,
are stored. When past hurts, traumas or current stresses
the other two try to lift this person. Now, what is heard
are rife in the limbic, the connection between the
is, 'She is so light. I can't believe it.' This exercise is a
prefrontal cortex and the hindbrain is intermittent.
wonderful way to experience how quickly a thought can
Clearing limbic imprints from as far back as birth can be
begin to transform into reality.
helpful for brain optimisation.
You may be asking, 'What about all the dreams I
Releasing baggage of any kind, no matter how big
have about travelling, changing careers, finding my
the trauma or how small the reactive pattern, can wipe
soulmate? Why are none of these coming true if thoughts
out poor conditions forever. This translates into emotional
are so powerful?' Consider this, which thoughts of
freedom, mental stability, creative empowerment and
yours are most frequent, the uplifting ones or those
physical vitality. A sure path to optimising divine longevity.
that are harmful? Which ones do you believe most? are compelling, no matter how much they may damage
Longevity Wholeness Training
us. Furthermore, most people are not aware of the
Longevity Wholeness Training uses proven methodologies
majority of the conversations that play out in their head
for balancing and improving one's physical, emotional
day after day.
and mental landscapes. When there is equilibrium in the
Reoccurring thoughts stem from the subconscious; they
The subconscious hemisphere of the brain, also
whole being this will stream throughout the individual's
known as the hindbrain, is the dominating processor,
life creating experiences that flow and grow. This is the
housing habits, patterns and reactive emotions. This
basis for health and wealth manifestation. O
part of the brain can deal with more than one thousand impressions per moment, while the conscious part of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, can only deal with a handful. Dreams and aspirations originate in the conscious hemisphere, however this area is in operation less than ten percent of the time. So think about this, if one's conscious intentions are not aligned with one's subconscious actions the two will be out of synch. Which
The next Longevity Wholeness Training Workshop will be on Saturday and Sunday 15, 16 October 2016 at the Woodlands Conscious Living Centre, Muldersdrift. Cost per person is R1500, including lunch. For more information or to make a booking, please contact Helen Hansen on 072 409 7664 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See ad below.
ODYSSEY 39 •
the wizard of oz meeting
ODYSSEY 40 •
As Issac Asimov said, 'The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not: 'Eureka. I've got it', but rather 'Hmm, that's funny.' Throughout his life, this phrase has been Harry Gamble's ever-present friend and benediction. He found it to be the essence of his experience as a human being. Here he shares his journey into practical metaphysics.
y greatest breakthroughs, whether spiritual,
competitive nature of sport and playing it at national
physical, emotional or creative have always
levels was something that I always found distasteful and
been found with an 'isn't that funny' and a little
soon pushed me out of team sports, where the level of
chuckle; often a hearty laugh, especially when it's been a
competition eventually destroyed the love of the game.
bit of a trying experience. Metaphysically it is a little pearl
Although I was always a good student, there was still
of absolute truth. For – any of you who have dabbled
that constant desire to be closer to the spiritual, closer to
with some sort of self-exploration – will know, it's at the
something I could not name or see.
moment that we finally let go of what we think we know,
Growing up in Cape Town may be one of the reasons
that the answer finally presents itself from the depths of
that my path was one more of mysticism and inner
our inner being; from our intuition.
reflection; the mountain and the seas around the Cape
My spiritual journey has been one fired more by
are magical and mesmerising, and afforded a young
mysticism than by the burning desire to cast down a
romantic the perfect climate in which to find a way to be
facade and look behind the curtain. I always felt there
close to the divine, without needing a man-made structure
was something greater, something divine and all I wanted
or dogma to get in the way of that communication. As I
was to get as close to it as I could. I was fortunate to
tramped through Newlands forest, Deer Park, climbed up
have a religious mother and a scientist/engineer father.
the mountain, surfed for hours all around the peninsula,
From both of these powerful, highly caring parents I was
I was constantly in a space of reverie for everything I
given the opportunity to constantly explore and assess
saw. But, at around the age of 15 or 16 I began to read
my relationship with God/Goddess/All That Is. I was
Hesse and Castaneda with ardent fervour. I discovered
given free rein to find inspiration in places like the Lord
Israel Regardie and other books on magical teachings.
of the Rings, The Bible and the writings on Zen and the Mysticism of Herman Hesse. With my mother passing away when I was young, I was taught the invaluable lesson that even those who believe they are near to God may leave us early, with a life incomplete. And, I was shown that no matter how brief our stay here, it's up to us to make our visit on earth one of quality. With my father's choosing of a new wife, I was taught that we must all heal and move on. My stepmother showed me how to uncover my own creativity and how to take a stand on being myself, with no compromises. I excelled in all the areas that I was expected to excel in at school, taking on leadership roles and playing sport for the shear love of the physical activity; although that did not mean I didn't like winning. However, the
These books were simple confirmations of what I knew to be true; that there is a great work to be done, far greater than simply choosing a career and settling down to produce the next generation of the species. So, from the ages of 15 to 18 I completely immersed myself in books, either directly or indirectly dealing with the esoteric, the metaphysical. By the time I was eighteen I had read a lot, but what I found frustrating was that the practical modern application was missing. I wanted to know how to get closer to the 'I am what I am' which these books spoke about. Of course, when you ask the Cosmic for something, duck. Not long after my 18th birthday my stepmother took me to see an aura-somist. This woman looked like Glenda 'the Good Witch' in The Wizard of Oz, a first in a series of
ODYSSEY 41 •
'hmm, that's funny'. To cut a long story short, her dousing
with a brochure for a course called 'Esoteric Mastery
rods told her I needed calcium and then she assisted
Stage 1'. Following my intuition, I decided to attend the
me to choose an aura-soma bottle and a blue tachyon.
programme. It was brilliant. It was structured completely
The aura-soma bottles carry two natural oils with colours
around practical metaphysics. But that is not all. The
linked to the chakras. I was instructed to mix the oil and
programme was being run by a young fellow, who was
add it to my chakra points and to add it to my bath.
a student of the guy who had created the program, a
This I did. My step-mother gave up on the process and
Mauritian sorcerer who lived in Australia. And this guy,
thought it was just silly hocus-pocus. But on New Years
Patrick Desplace, was visiting the country during the
eve of 1999 I finished the bottle, while staying in the
programme. I remember arriving on the third night of
mountains in Du Toits kloof. I put the last few drops on
the programme, and there he was, slightly balding with
my body and then, on a whim, immersed myself in the
long white hair in a ponytail, standing on the veranda
water of a beautiful mountain stream. Inside my head, as
welcoming people into the session. I parked my bike
I completed it, there was this booming voice that said: 'It
and headed up the stairs and my heart jumped right into
is done.' And I felt as if something had been lifted from
my throat – it was the clown from my dream, and there
me. It was also as if the entire mountain came to life, and
he was in the flesh, and I had never seen him before
I could sense the nature spirits laughing with me. Quietly,
in my life. Well, that first meeting was the beginning
in my heart I said to myself: 'I want more of this and I
of an incredible friendship and a lifelong adventure in
want to offer this feeling to everyone I meet, I will find
metaphysics. I now offer courses inspired by what Patrick
a way to do so.'
created, blending my own uniqueness into them. I have
Well, as I said earlier, when you make a pronouncement,
had many more moments like that one, where indeed,
duck. That night I had an incredible dream. It started with
all I can say is, 'Hmm, that's funny.' And as Harry Potter
me opening the gates to a huge fairground. Inside the
says: 'I love magic.' O
gates was a clown doing the most outlandish pirouette. His harlequin suit was made of the colours of my aura-soma bottle – orange and blue. And he was grinning at me in a rather disturbing way. Next minute, I was running down the street I grew up on in Constantia. I was being chased by the kalidahs from the Wizard
of Oz. I managed to climb onto one of the plain trees along the street. This plain tree stretched over the wall of a friend of mine from childhood and I was about to drop from the tree into his garden when one of the kalidahs launched itself into the air and grabbed me by my right arm, terrifying me into waking consciousness. As
thought 'Hmm, that's funny' and forgot about the dream and went back to sleep. Until a month later, when my stepmother came home
ODYSSEY 42 •
I am running a number of Metaphysical programs, both in Johannesburg and over the web, from now until the end of the year. I am also assisting to facilitate a world adventure with fellow teacher and friend, Louis Franco. We already have a group of almost 40 metaphysicians from all around the world working with us, and we will be travelling somewhere exotic for the culmination of the course. So that promises to be incredibly fun and magical. The only prerequisite for the world programme is that you attend one of our foundation programmes. So, if you are ready to Know and are ready to find more Happiness, Love and Laughter in your Life, as I have found, then please be in touch. I also see people for private consultations either in person or over Skype. You can find out about my programs on www.adventure-learning-live.com or you can mail Melissa on melissaneuss@ mweb.co.za for bookings and details. Alternatively, you can call me directly on 082 435 8293 for a catch up.
'Growing up in Cape Town may be one of the reasons that my path was one more of mysticism and inner reflection; the mountain and the seas around the Cape are magical and mesmerising.'
Holistic Reflexology Consultations with Melissa Neuss Melissa’s passion is to make it possible for her clients to shift and heal their specific physical, mental and emotional ailments. In concurrence with the mind-body-soul connection your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing all affect each other and therefore holistic reflexology is about healing YOU, not your illness. Investment 1 Session = R350 5 Sessions = R1400 (if paid in full on the 1st session) Sessions lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
For bookings and more details contact Melissa 076 833 1059 or email@example.com (Melissa is based in Douglasdale JHB)
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ODYSSEY 43 •
soul of psychiatry
ODYSSEY 44 •
Very few psychiatrists venture into the domains of spirit and soul and a materialistic science is the order of the day. This may be as the spiritual component or spirituality refers to an ultimate or alleged immaterial reality which encourages people to discover the essence of his or her being. Psychiatry is based on the disease model and 'treated' with medications that do not cure or heal but transiently improve some symptoms and bring on side effects in their wake. Dr Fawzia Moola takes a look.
ODYSSEY 45 •
sychiatrists, by definition, are healers of the soul. But with the advent of pharmaceutical influence psychiatrists have now become 'pill pushers'. I
believe that soul has been left out of psychiatry for a number of reasons. One being historical and the influences of Descartes and Newton focusing on the dualistic concept of mind and matter being separate. Secondly with the powerful influences of pharmaceutical companies, monetisation and business became the order of the day. Thus there was just no time to explore the concepts of soul in psychiatry. It is easier for most psychiatrists to reach for the prescription pad rather than explore the rich ramifications of soul. Besides, all the training given to psychiatrists focuses mainly on medications as the healing modality. In fact pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in medical schools and most CME (continuing medical
Pharma has used its financial power to mould psychiatry into something that serves corporate needs, not the best interests of patients. And the massive investment in genetic and neuroscience research has yielded practically nothing of clinical value for our patients.
education) courses are run by the pharmaceutical always at odds with the prevailing paradigm of psychiatric
companies. The author remembers the overseas trips and lavish
dogma and goals of the mental health systems, which
dinners that psychiatrists were inundated with by such
lack respect for the living reality of the psyche, routinely
companies. Initially the author revelled in this until she
violate human rights (through psychiatric coercion) and
had a heart-wrenching realisation that there was no
refuse to validate spiritual emergencies as normal life
benevolent motive behind their actions.
Big Pharma was manipulating psychiatry for the
As an aside, Roberts was consequently unable to gain
purpose of selling drugs and making a profit rather than
employment in either the government or mental health
true health and healing.
sectors and instead became a private practitioner, writer
Every human being has an innate need for love
I shall be using the term soul to describe that quotient
do I belong? Who do I love and who loves me? What do
of the Godhead that enlivens every human being. It is
I believe in and what do I hope for?
not a question of 'having' a soul, but of 'being a soul'.
These are questions, rarely addressed by psychiatrists
Psychiatry is peopled by individuals with soul and thus the
(soul physicians), mainly because of monetisation of their
soul of psychiatry is a conglomeration these individuals'
time and following the medical disease model.
unique and transcendent characteristics.
Certain psychiatrists however do follow C G Jung's
Psychiatry too comes from the Greek word psyche
pioneering spirit in his writings about 'Psychiatry – the
which means soul. However psychiatry is still trying to
art of healing the soul'. They tend to understand that
attain credibility within the medical fraternity and in this
crisis resolution can take place through compassionate,
'we are nothing but our genes' culture, the focus is on
non-judgmental space in which crises, trauma and
On the other hand, when psychiatrists engage their
conflicts can be worked through in the context of the
patients with open minds, and when the patient senses
person's unique story and distinctive psychospiritual
that the psychiatrist is genuinely concerned to help them
profile. Dr Maureen Roberts in Australia is a case in point.
make sense of the deepest questions of life and death,
She believes that the whole person – psychospiritual
spiritual disclosures are often readily and appropriately
and physical, conscious and unconscious – needs to be
forthcoming. Being familiar with transpersonal concepts
respected, nurtured and responded to if crisis resolution
helps with this. Since nothing need be ruled out as
is to occur. (See more here)
impossible, the experiences the patient brings can be
Dr Roberts and other soul-cantered psychiatrists are
ODYSSEY 46 •
and international consultant.
transcendence and relationship. Why am I here? Where
worked with as authentic and meaningful. We cannot say
When psychiatrists engage their patients with open minds, and when the patient senses that the psychiatrist is genuinely concerned to help them make sense of the deepest questions of life and death, spiritual disclosures are often readily and appropriately forthcoming.
finds itself in a pernicious position. Pharma has used its financial power to mould psychiatry into something that serves corporate needs, not the best interests of patients. And massive investment in genetic and neuroscience research has yielded practically nothing of clinical value for our patients. In fact, we have gone backwards. The narrow focus on biological research has led to a profound neglect of the social, cultural and psychological and spiritual dimensions of mental illness. The New York Times carried a story in 2011 in which a psychiatrist spoke of having to train himself not to get too close to his patients and 'not to get too interested in their problems'. His role was simply to check the diagnosis and adjust meds. What we have to grasp is that when we put the word 'mental' in front of the word illness, we are doing something important. We are delineating a territory of human suffering that is primarily about relationships,
anything with certainty about the nature of soul since it is
meanings and values. And, while we cannot experience
shaped by culture and belief. How it is perceived depends
anything without a functioning nervous system, a
also on one's state of mind. In ordinary consciousness, it
knowledge of the brain will not help us a great deal in
is experienced as the spiritual attribute of the self. Some
understanding the nature of this territory.
hold that the soul is immutable, unchanging and perfect
The brain is a necessary, but not a sufficient cause
in its essence while others see the soul as making an
of human experience. We are embodied beings but we
are also encultured. We grow to become human in the
All medicine should be bio/psycho/social/spiritual.
midst of language, culture, history and relationships with
Illness is never just a biological phenomenon – more than
others. These shape the way we experience ourselves
80% of health outcomes are determined by economic,
and how we encounter the world around us and cannot
social and behavioural factors.
be reductively explained in biological terms.
And the psychosocial part is especially important in
We must get back to treating the whole person, not
psychiatry. As Hippocrates pointed out 2 500 years ago, it
just his brain circuits. The brain is involved in all we do
is more important to know the patient who has the disease
and what we are, but it is also itself influenced by our
than the disease the patient has. Yet in all our teachings
psychology, social context and transcendent experiences.
the disease model is focussed on, especially since we use
And we must equally counter those who err in
the DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual) for psychiatric
diagnosis. This tool is used also by policy makers, health
psychosocial reductionism. Mindless psychiatry and
insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry as
brainless psychiatry are equally misguided and harmful.
well as clinicians and researchers.
The ideal would be a merging of the many amazing
Controversy always plays out around the DSM because
modalities of healing, from energy medicine, to the use of
at best it is a collection of data and focusses on mainly
entheogens for healing. On that note many patients are
arriving at a diagnosis. The individual's symptoms are
exploring Reiki massage, craniosacral therapy and visits to
categorised, criteria applied and diagnosis reached, all in
shamanic practitioners and alternative healers.
one hour of assessment. Psychiatry has also embraced,
With the decriminalisation of cannabis in many
mainly, the biological approach, which leads to an
countries, this plant holds great hope for treatment
inadequate treatment and assessment of the individual.
and the CBD2 component is also thought to assist with
There is evidence that, to a large extent, psychiatric
the symptoms of psychosis. Psilocybin from 'magic
care has become equated with the provision of a DSM
mushrooms' has been highly researched in the treatment
diagnosis and a prescription. I believe that psychiatry
of depression and ayahuaska, the entheogenic South
ODYSSEY 47 •
American (mainly) brew, has shown robust health
bio photons. This supports scientifically the concept of
chakras and energy bodies.
I would refer to the research done by Dr Rick
The healing of the soul of psychiatry, I believe, lies in
Strassman and his book DMT the Spirit Molecule. Others
exploring these very transcendent tools and moving away
who have looked at the 'soul' are Stanislav Groff
from monetisation and control by the pharmaceutical
(psychiatrist) and his work with holotropic breath work
companies. From personal experiences, medications only
and even LSD.
'put a band aid' on symptoms with no healing and create
Fascinating for the author is the work done by Professor Fritz Albert Popp and others around DNA and
The Ignorance of Hirana
major side-effects from these medications. This in no way translates into healing. O
Dr Fawzia Moola
Self-published • 9781 5088 0326 3
This book is written as a novel. But, beyond some fictionalised, or semi-fictionalised, characters in it, the story it tells is one of truth – and it is a truth that is very hard to tell in a globalised world in which some of the largest and most powerful multinational corporates are the same 'Big Pharma' as this book cites as having a 'malignant agenda'. It is likely to be a shocking read for anyone who automatically thinks that merely because a person has qualified from a renowned medical school and are practicing psychiatry that they are necessarily 'on the side of the angels' and are helping people get over their mental problems and issues. Dr Moola is a psychiatrist by training and profession. Now work out why this one is written as a novel and you will understand how to read this book – perhaps as an inside-out view of one of the greatest on-going scandals of our age?
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
Jeffrey A Lieberman with Ogi Ogas
Weidenfeld & Nicolson • 978 1 7802 2701 6
It is true that psychiatry has come a long way in a relatively short time – it was still the case in the late Victorian era that 'lunatics' were locked in icy cells, dunked in ice-cold water (the 'shock' of such treatment was meant to 'bring the patient round to normal thinking'), shown off as freaks at carnivals and suffered a variety of similarly demeaning and dehumanising abuses. But that does not mean the psychiatry, as the 'orphan child of medical science' has yet come in from the cold. In fact, as this book shows, it still has a very long way to go, caught as it is between the contradictory requirements of treating each human being as an unique individual while attempting to pretend to be an orthodox 'science' in the hard sense of that word. While the author believes psychiatry is finally emerging as something of a late-bloomer which at last is able to claim is place as a 'science-driven profession that saves lives', a reference to psychiatry's modern reliance of neuro-pharmacology for its efficacy, there is still a vast and evident divide between the actual understanding of the underlying mechanisms of mental ill health as opposed to manifest biochemical disturbances in affected people such a those suffering depression, a condition becoming ever-more widespread in Westernised cultures. Psychiatry might be strong when it comes to manipulating brain chemistry with greater efficacy and finesse. But it remains weak to the point incompetence when it comes to addressing the deeper causes of what makes people into the complex, often contradictory set of reactions, responses and emotionalpsychological-spiritual adaptations that even high-functioning well-adapted members of society are, beneath the socially-acceptable veneers required of us in modern life.
ODYSSEY 48 •
Water doesn’t come from a tap. Water goes on a long and complicated journey to get to you.
Visit journeyofwater.co.Za to learn more about where your water comes from. Photo © Hougaard Malan
ODYSSEY 49 •
The problem with As once was the case with climate change, there are scientists apparently on both sides of the pro- and anti-genetically modified organisms (GMOs) debate. Ordinary citizens, looking to professionals for guidance, are being exposed to ever-more alarming arguments from both sides. How much of the 'truth' are we being told? How much is propaganda, distortion and outright lies? How much is even known about some of ODYSSEY 50 •
the less obvious and long-term effects of GMO production and consumption? Who should we believe? And what are the real, measurable risks of eating and using GMOs? There seem to be few definitive and easily-found answers – and no lack of apparently 'absolute' contradictions of claims both for and against GMOs. Here is your guide to the current state of knowledge on GMOs. What you do about what you are about to read is up to you. ODYSSEY 51 •
he underlying issue for the majority of people
engaged in the GMO debate is whether splicing
(laboratory-based) studies which are or should be used
genes from different organisms into major staple
to assess GMO foods in particular.
Few people have even a couple of these specialised fields under their belts, let alone the gamut mentioned,
produce their own internal insecticide and to tolerate
all required to provide what might pass for a 'balanced'
high doses of herbicides to which they have been made
viewpoint on what is one of the most hotly debated topics
albeit indirectly, for literally thousands of years through
selective breeding, cross-breeding and plant splicing.
To be fair to the GMO industry, many scientists with an
The results of all that, even before genetic engineering
apparently authoritative right to speak to the subject of
became something we could directly engage in, has been
GMO safety and utility in the modern world are in favour
a massive increase in crop yields of all kinds, as well as
of GMOs. But, despite a recent letter to Greenpeace by
hugely increased productivity of animal livestock produce
over 100 Nobel Laureates who favour GMOs – specifically,
as measured in the output of meats and animal products
they favour one GMO in particular, Golden Rice, which
such as dairy.
has been promising for two decades to replace endemic
We are today, as a consequence, feeding far more
Vitamin A deficiencies among hundreds of millions who
people – usually using intensive, industrialised farming
eat rice as a prime staple; a 'promise' that has yet to
techniques that include much mechanisation at each step
convert to successful field trials – there are also equally
of the agro-industry process – while using proportionally
authoritative scientists, researchers and institutes which
much less land, and at costs mostly much more affordable
are on the whole anti-GMOs, or at least arguing for much
to a greater proportion of people than was the case in
more caution in their 'real-world' applications. So who exactly are these people who support GMOs
That's all good, right?
(putting aside the Nobel winners just mentioned, most
Well, the answer, typical for this touchy subject, is
of whom are not specialists in this subject, and who are
both a yes and a no. The yes answer has to do with feeding more people less expensively and with greater efficiency.
making their case largely on humanitarian, rather than technical, grounds) and how many of them have direct or indirect ties to the vested interests of the GMO industry?
The no answer has to do with the collective impacts
The answer seems to lean towards the majority of
of agro-industrial processes – including, but not limited
those speaking out in favour of GMOs having at least
to, reduced nutritional value of mass-produced foods,
some connection to this already powerful and potentially
residual toxicity on and in foods of agro-chemicals used
super-massive global industry.
in their production, plus the inclusion in most intensively
For one thing, the GMO industry globally is represented
farmed animal produce of growth hormones, antibiotics
by a very small handful of major agro-industry giants
and trace toxins used to treat disease organism and
which have teams of in-house specialist and which
parasites. Beyond these known risks, there is the
pay for the great majority of allegedly 'independent'
nagging idea held by many people that direct genetic
scientific assessment of the safety, or otherwise, of their
engineering is somehow 'messing with nature', and doing
so in a dangerously naïve fashion, despite the technical sophistication of genetic engineering.
In the USA the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears strongly inclined towards being supportive of
The problem for people not steeped in the intricacies
GMOs in general, along with the use of specialised
of the issues raised above is that in order to properly
herbicide and insecticide solutions that run automatically
assess the emerging data on GMO foods, and to put
in tandem with GMO food production.
these into context, one ought to be expert in many fields,
supporting genetic technology that allows GMOs to
crops is a good idea or not. Along with that is the
The pro lobby says humans have been gene tampering,
including, but not limited to, agronomy, agro-industrial
practices, genetics, endocrinology, oncology, biology,
A vocal band of anti-GMO scientists and members of the
pathology, animal husbandry (modern and historical),
general public simply don't agree that GMOs are either 'not
animal and human health in general, ecology, toxicology
anything new', that they are not inherently dangerous to
– and even in the methodologies of properly-conducted
animal and human health, eco-systems and biodiversity,
'Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals.' The Institute for Responsible Technology – anti-GMO activists and that their fellow-running herbicide and pesticide
pressure from the US agencies such as the FDA and
solutions are not necessarily dangerous to people who
the EPA to give Roundup/glyphosate the green light for
The USA, being a world leader in GMOs, is closely
The result is that there is a huge divide between the
watched by government agencies and decision-makers in
pro- and anti-GMO lobbies globally, such that these parties
numerous countries, some of which take their lead from
seem to be talking right past one another.
what is seen as a far more capable and resource-rich
So, for instance, in the USA, a large proportion of
country's determination on what ought to be considered
citizens (by some estimates, around 40-50%, by others,
'safe' for people to eat.
larger even than that), many communities and some
But the FDA has come in for some fierce and apparently
states and local authorities are actively and vocally not
soundly-based criticism for being overly industry-friendly
in favour of GMOs, while these crops and plants have
when it comes to the explosive GMO debate, with critics
been in essence given the thumbs up by relevant federal
pointing to what they described as a 'revolving door' of
high-level private sector and oversight body appointments
This division is causing a growing schism of views,
involving the same people who simply must have, on the
seldom if ever resolved, and increasingly polarised by
face of it, a conflict of interests.
contradictory 'evidence', each cited by contenders for and
Even the usually more pro-active Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not been left untouched by this aspect of the controversy.
against as 'proving their case'. In fact, the case is far from settled. But there is a growing body of evidence, and a mounting list of
The EPA hid leading GMO-producer Monsanto's secret
authoritative determinations, leaning with increasing
studies on its GMO-conjoined herbicide glyphosate (known
weight towards a much more cautious approach towards
commercially Roundup) for years, until scientist Anthony
GMOs and the wider implications of their unfettered
Samsel, with the assistance of his US Senator, pried it out
of the agency. He discovered that animals fed even small
In short, GMOs, and how they are grown, may well
amounts of glyphosate (Roundup's declared and most
turn out to be a much more complex and dangerous
concerning active ingredient) ended up with cancer and
undertaking than at first thought, conventionally speaking.
tumours in virtually every organ and gland.
'We must have GMOs to realistically be able to feed
In the light of which last year's declaration by the
today's global population, and that will be ever-more
World Health Organisation that glyphosate is a 'probable
true into a future with a population touching 9bn people
human carcinogen' comes as no surprise – if anything,
by sometime between 2035 and 2050,' says the GMO
that WHO determination may be considered rather late
in the day, likely in part as a consequence of a lot of
'And besides which, there has been no definitive proof
ODYSSEY 53 •
that GMOs are inherently unsafe – just the opposite,' adds the GMO lobby, despite some recent damning research findings. If GMOs actually do safely increase yields, and dramatically so, as the pro-GMO lobby insists, then there exists a powerful logic to their baseline rationale for GMOs to be widely used in a hungry and resource-stretched world. But, in counter-point, there is a growing body of scientists – some of them formerly of the pro-GMO camp – which simply don't agree with either the underlying assumptions of the GMO industry statements, both in terms of their safety and general impact on eco-systems
means GMO crops are as vulnerable to too little water as
and on wider biodiversity, as well as whether or not they
actually produce higher yields sustainably.
Putting aside productivity issues for a moment, food
Some GMO crops, specifically maize, have been produced
produced using chemicals (including organic chemicals
to be 'drought resistant', which they may be when rainfall
made available through traditional composting) is not
drops by 5-10%, perhaps even helping somewhat when
especially new, and in that the GMO lobby is correct –
expected seasonal rainfall is down by up to 20%. But
chemicals, in one form or another, have been used to
these so-called 'drought resistant' crops have almost all
reduce crop losses to weeds and pests and to improve
failed during the world's latest El Nino experience, which
yields, for a very long time, likely from early on in
is still waning, having caused swathes of the world,
agriculture's long history. Using animal manure to improve
including most of Sub-Saharan Africa, to be plunged into
crop productivity is an obvious example.
a severe heat wave and fierce drought – the latter coming
A good local example of low-tech insecticide
in some regions on top of several previous years of lower
applications is the use of khakibos (Tagetes munita)
rainfall and drought brought on by global warming and
in southern Africa as an effective insecticide. Khakibos
contains natural pyrethroids which are anathema and
It has not helped that the most vulnerable people –
lethal to the great majority of insects and food crop pests.
subsistence farmers – have had, in many places where
Other well-known toxins, such as DDT, are effective
the heat and drought were the worst in memory or on
but also seriously harmful to a wide range of life-forms,
record, to subsequently endure tremendous floods as
including ourselves, and to the eco-systems which are
another aspect of ongoing climate change has played
exposed to them.
itself out. But that is another story.
So where do the insecticides and herbicides necessarily
So it is fair to ask how so-called 'drought-resistant'
used in GMO food production sit on that sliding scale?
maize fared in the seriously drought-affected regions
The answer seems to be emerging that they are indeed
where such crops are grown (like South Africa) during
toxic to both animal and human life. They persist in
the recent drought.
the environments in which they are used and, in trace
The answer is 'hardly any better in some cases, and
but cumulatively significant quantities on and in the
no better in the majority of areas, than so-called standard
GMO products which they help optimise, as well as
maize'. In short, virtually all maize which was not irrigated
bio-accumulate up the food chain and into humans, which
has died in the hard-hit growing regions, regardless of
further intensifies their effects over time.
any alleged 'drought resistant' qualities. This is because
The proof is to be found in a clutch of recent studies
'drought resistance' is obviously a relative term and this
that have shown traces of glyphosate – the herbicide
genetically-imported ability, in so far as it is real, has only
used with all GMO products coming out of Monsanto, one
been relevant in circumstances where rainfall is merely
of the largest multinationals with huge investments in
slightly to a little below average. Anything climate-wise
GMO production globally – being found in human urine,
outside of a small incremental resistance to lower or
breast milk and umbilical cords in populations exposed to
more sporadic rainfall (and greater environmental heat)
relevant GMO products.
As cited earlier glyphosate, one of the world's mostly widely used herbicides and likely easily found in your local hardware or gardening outlet, has recently been classed by the World Health Organisation as a 'likely human carcinogen'. This finding
Recent Developments There have been a number of significant recent developments in the GMO and related substances saga, including: •
has been agreed with by concerned international researchers worried about what is behind the rapid spread of cancers in modernised human populations. Consequently, instead of the usual 15-year license to distribute and sell glyphosate, the European Union has
just given Monsanto a much-reduced 18-month renewal of its license in some EU states (many already ban the product
domestically) while the WHO finding on this product's effects on human health are further investigated. Indications at present are that when
its current 18 month EU license is up, glyphosate will be banned in the whole of the EU, a major blow to Monsanto and the GMO movement there.
And there are plenty of other places in the world where local authorities are increasingly wary of GMOs.
Most recently, Burkina Faso joined some 38 other nations globally where GMOs are not welcome, with its decision to refuse GMO cotton production in that country.
In Burkina Faso cotton is more valuable in economic terms than its gold. As such, the West African country has decided to turn its back on some aspects of biotech farming, banning Monsanto's geneticallymodified cotton on the basis of poor crop quality, let alone on any issues of bio-safety. Burkino Faso is Africa's biggest and the world's 10th biggest cotton producer. In April it announced its intention to give up Monsanto's GM cotton as it had proved 'uneconomical'. So this country's decision is not based on local community resistance or even fears about the potential negative effects of widespread GMO production, but purely on GM technology's current efficacy
Under pressure from various consumer groups, the US Senate recently rejected HR Bill 1599 that would have made labelling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) voluntary. Referred to as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by opponents, the bill would have favoured corporations over consumers. Pro-GM lobbyists are trying to role back a reversal of the DARK Act as we publish this article. A small group of activists and bloggers in a state with less than 0.2% of the US population (Vermont) forced some of the biggest food producers in that country – namely Kellogg, General Mills, Campbell Soup, Mars, and ConAgra – to commit to labelling GMOs, not just in their state, but nationally. Citizens of the Hawaiian Islands just avoided a bill that would have forced residents to succumb to pesticide spraying without any say. South African authorities and agro-industry GMO producers each year spray glyphosate indiscriminately over both cannabis and food crops, despite the wholesale destruction of inter-cropped staples being grown by many of our country's poorest farmers, and despite the known risks of wind-drift, downstream contamination and secondary processing contamination with traces of glyphosate (mainly) and other known herbicide toxins. The German beer industry is in shock after finding that 14 different popular beer brands have traces of the 'probably carcinogenic' herbicide, glyphosate – key ingredient in Monsanto's best-selling weed-killer Roundup. Russia recently announced a ban on all US corn and soy imports due to genetically modified crop contamination. Monsanto isn't too happy about what they are calling 'rumours' linking its larvicide to microcephaly, the shrunken head and brain-damaged baby phenomenon currently being blamed primarily on the Zika virus. Those 'rumours' are strong enough, though, that the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil is suspending the use of pyriproxyfen – a chemical added to drinking water to stop the growth of mosquito larvae. Rio Grande do Sul Health Secretary Joao Gabbardo said that, despite the fact that a relationship between the larvicide and microcephaly has not been proven, the 'suspicion' that there may be a linkage had led the decision suspend the use of the chemical. As frequently is the case when it comes to such matters, there is an official difference of opinion. Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Castro said that the larvicide supplied by his ministry presents no danger to the public, adding, 'That is a rumour lacking logic and sense. It has no basis. (The larvicide) is approved by (the National Sanitary Monitoring Agency) and is used worldwide. Pyriproxyfen is recognised by all regulatory agencies in the whole world,' said Castro.
ODYSSEY 55 •
in that environment when it comes to cotton. This determination by one small African state cuts every bit as deep as the determination by other countries that GMOs have neither been proven to be safe for animal, human and ecological well-being, nor superior to long-used heirloom varieties or those crops which have been more 'conventionally' developed through traditional cross-breeding or selective breeding. This is because the pro-GMO lobby has been 'taking it as read' that GMO crops, when properly produced with their accompanying herbicides and in some cases plant-producing insecticides (which is another area of concern), simply have not performed as advertised.
– for anyone to be able to definitively call whether certain
In some cases, as thousands of the poorest Indian
GMOs, in and of themselves, are inherently safe or not.
subsistence farmers have found to their cost, their GMO
In reality, and based on laboratory work with rats
crop outputs have not even been remotely equivalent to
(where GMO foods are usually safety tested, at industry
GMO industry promises and in many instances yields have
cost, for just 90-days) it may be that some GMOs are
been far lower than with heirloom varieties.
less safe than the industry says they are and are likely
Part of the problem seems to be that while GM crops can produce higher yields, at least initially, the
Famously, a French researcher who had conducted
accompanying herbicides in particular cause a range of
many 90-day rat trials on GMO food safety, paid for by
problems, including a die-off of soil micro-organisms
major GM industry players, and who had previously found
necessary for sustained, healthy crop production. In due
no negative effects on rats fed GMO foods in limited
course, crops yields fall as the soil literally 'dies' and,
time-scale trials, extended his testing to two years. To his
eventually, the GM crops are producing much less than
surprise and the GM industry's dismay, he found a variety
their heirloom predecessors.
of disease conditions, including some cancers, starting
Consequently, suicides among subsistence farmers in
to appear in his test subjects. And these rats had not
India have skyrocketed to the point of alarming both local
even been exposed to the usual trace amounts of GMO
and national authorities there. With respect to the GM cotton determination, Burkino Faso researcher Jean-Didier Zongo, a geneticist from
Naturally, the GM industry was more than unhappy with such findings and a great deal of effort has since
Monsanto provided insufficiently tested seed varieties
gone into 'disproving' the validity of this research, even
during experimental planting in 2003.
though it came from one of the industry's previously much-relied upon standard food safety research labs.
turned their backs on GMOs. These two countries together
So are GMOs safe to eat (the toxic residue issue
represent roughly a third of the human race among
aside)? The answer is: 'No-one really knows – yet. But,
their citizens. Russia won't even allow GMO crops to be
increasingly, it looks like maybe, possibly even probably,
imported, so strong are feelings there.
they are not.'
an 'experiment in the wild'
is that of long-term human, animal and ecological safety
are including GMO variants, most notably white maize
In South Africa, where a growing number of staple crops
associated with GMO production, not even counting the
(99% of all white maize produce locally is GM) along with
impacts of accompanying or co-produced herbicides and
increasingly wheat, potatoes and other staples, citizens
are forced to endure what has been described as a 'mass
This is simply because GMOs have not been used
to accuse Monsanto of 'criminal' acts, alleging that
One issue, pooh-poohed by GMO apologists and enthusiasts,
herbicides found in commercially-produced GM products – it was the genetically altered food itself that was being
the University of Ouagadougou, has gone so far as
It is no accident that both Russia and China have also
potentially disease-causing in their own right.
GMO experiment in the wild', whether they like it or not.
long enough – nor in the absence of other potentially
The SA Department of Health (DoH), along with
troublesome and disease-causing modern agro-chemicals
the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
(DAFF), seem entirely to have bought into
the industry's argument that 'GMOs and their chemical co-production agents are safe (for human consumption), and are more productive and better' than non-GM crops. But about 10 years ago, when the DAFF was challenged about its lack of transparency in granting GM crop licenses, a court ruled that records related to such decisions must be made public. This led to the revelation that that department officials were not even bothering to check up on claims of biodiversity and other safety, as made by the GM industry regarding GM crop production and the use of accompanying herbicides. In some instances the claims made and the findings cited in papers lodged with the DAFF were in direct contradiction with each other.
successfully argued for GMO licensing in SA, while in effect lying or being deliberately misleading about the bio-safety aspects of these genetically-altered crop variants and their co-travelling agro-chemicals.
If it is true that our own government watchdogs are being so easily 'captured' and co-opted by the likes of Monsanto, the question may well arise among ordinary citizens as to what they
Glyphosate not the only GM-linked toxin Atrazine, another widely-used compound associated with the GMO industry, is a dangerous endocrine-disrupting weed killer. More than 60 million pounds (about 27.3m kgs) of it are sprayed on American crops each year – second only to Monsanto's glyphosate. Europe recently banned Atrazine. And based on recent findings, it appears that though reluctant, US regulators may be forced to do the same as their EU colleagues. Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an official report voicing concerns over the many ecological risks of atrazine. Now the EPA has opened up a comment period – running to August 5 – as it conducts a fresh review of this dangerous pesticide. Atrazine is so potent that male frogs exposed to low levels of it can turn into female frogs – producing perfectly viable eggs. It's been linked to breast tumours, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and to prostate cancer in people. Yet this chemical is being widely-used on American maize/corn fields – and it's regularly found to be contaminating drinking water supplies. In the US citizen action groups like the Food Revolution Network are teaming up with Environmental Working Group (EWG) to demand that the US EPA ban atrazine once and for all. Click here to join with the call to ban atrazine
can actually do. 'Why bother, if GMOs are already so widespread and the genie is effectively out of the bottle,' goes that line of thinking. The answer is to be found in what lay behind the recent EU decision to give Monsanto only an 18-month (and likely its last) license to distribute and sell glyphosate in some EU states. It was not the newest truly independent science (though this has helped enormously) which swung the pendulum among EU regulators to in effect begin the process of outlawing glyphosate in the EU where it is still allowed. It was the collective voice of the people, mainly through Avaaz, which was the key element in the EU regulators' mounting concerns about the compound effects of GM crop production. This much was admitted when the recent ruling was made. Leading EU politician Pavel Poc said: 'Avaaz is indisputably the driving force on glyphosate.'
'Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe,' according to the Non-GMO Project. 'In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.' ODYSSEY 57 •
Whether or not you routinely sign up to Avaaz petitions we in South Africa live in a constitutional state in which we enjoy enshrined and inalienable rights to protest and take action against what we citizens deem to be inappropriate or outright dangerous decisions by our regulators and law-makers. That means you can take a range of democratic actions to have your voice heard on this subject, from joining street demos through signing relevant petitions, to making phone calls, sending emails and generally bothering officials, from the Minister on downwards, as well as speaking up on TV and radio shows, on social media and anywhere else you can find.
(almost all of whom consume large amounts of GMO white
which can reasonably be argued to be potentially harmful
maize meal), and most animals involved in agro-industrial
to you and your family, your personal opinion is as valid
production of food.
as that of any so-called authority.
demonstrate GMO 'food' to be extremely low in nutrition
emotive terms like 'Frakenfood' thrown around rather
and routinely contaminated by trace quantities of
liberally, may yet prove to be overly dramatic, the
herbicides like glyphosate which tend to bio-accumulate
underlying worry about the as-yet unproven and but
in animal livestock and then subsequently in human
possible 'unanticipated negative outcomes' seem, with
beings who eat herbicide-tainted animal products.
the passage of time, to be gaining serious traction.
South Africa is the only country in the world that
Consequently the number of countries where GMOs are
has allowed all its primary staple foods to be genetically
banned outright is rising not falling. At the time of going
modified either on total or in large measure. Since 1998,
to print, the number of countries to have banned GMOs
GM production of maize in particular has grown by leaps
outright was 38, with yet more countries and states
altogether or on specific crops.
no choice or alternative whatsoever even if the products were correctly labelled. This is totally undemocratic and unacceptable. It smacks of outright food fascism,' says
under Resources at the end of the article) with more
Mariam Mayet, Director of the African Centre for Biosafety.
'We are outraged that South Africa – the only country in the world to permit the cultivation of a genetically
And these studies form but a sample of the
modified staple food – continues to do so despite a large
information now pouring out globally from universities,
and growing body of scientific evidence pointing towards
ethical scientific research institutions (where the findings
severe potential health risks of consuming GM crops,
are not merely paid for by vested interests) and some
including maize,' she adds.
governmental research establishments, and which have been or are being acted on by countries and governments
that actually care about their people in the first instance.
In the light of these emergent facts, which build on the
Despite this globally growing trend against GMOs,
still-unresolved but mounting unease about potential
in South Africa anti-GMO lobbyists point to the fact that
longer-term ill effects of GMOs on environments, food
a growing number of GMOs are being allowed to be
crops and livestock and therefore, ultimately, on human
grown here essentially unchecked as 'beyond belief and
health, one has to ask what our legislators and agricultural
completely without justification'.
administrators are thinking.
The SA government's position on GMOs is seen by GMO
If your choice of political and religious affiliation,
opponents as 'especially heinous' in that GMOs are largely
freedom of speech and of association are entrenched
'The majority of South Africans are not only eating GM maize without their knowledge and consent but have
There are several recent articles worth reading (see links specific information to fill out the details of the summary
This is being done despite reports (see below) that
Indeed, while some initial fears around GMOs, with
considering both local production and import bans, either
used to feed our poor and disadvantaged communities
In the presence of emergent GMO health threats
ODYSSEY 59 •
against GMO food production in South Africa. Beyond this step, influential and important parties have questioned South Africa's Agriculture Ministry and relevant officials on their thinking with regard to the case for and against GMOs, so far without any meaningful response. Now, we are able to reveal that the Human Rights Commission is about to be called upon to act based on the alleged 'gross human rights violations' involved in the great majority of South Africans being the unknowing and unwitting subjects of what amounts to unrestricted GMO
staple food production. in our constitution, along with the right to relevant
With the involvement of civil society on as many levels
information and to make informed health and lifestyle
as possible, and with as many voices speaking to and
choices, why are the majority of South Africans eating
at decision-makers as possible, it may yet be within our
foods with known associated health and other problems
collective power to stop and limit the harm being done –
without being explicitly told that there are a growing
and the potentially enormous harm still to be done – by
number of known risks, and many potential but largely
a 'free-for-all' scenario of what amounts to unrestricted
and unmonitored GMO production and consumption in
The answer would seem that most people don't even realise what they don't know.
this country. It is our view that ordinary South Africans are
Therefore we urge each one of you who reads these
unwittingly and without their express permission, being
words, and the associated research and substantiating
used, in effect, as trial guinea pigs by the global GMO
material we have cited (there is a lot more besides), to
industry, which fact is in and of itself shameful.
begin voicing your concerns.
It is also thought by anti-GM activists that South
We at Odyssey Magazine believe that such opinions
Africa is seen by the global GM industry as strategically
should at least be informed first – and not one-sidedly or
the primary entry point to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa,
with a highly dubious lack of transparency on the part of
where GM products have yet to be widely embraced.
those in government who decide what is or is not safe for us to consume. In the end, if a growing number of consumers won't be heard by their government and its regulators on a key
All this is happening despite the likely and known negative impacts listed in this article and in the face of a growing body of valid and reliable scientific research on these matters.
issue, they can vote at the ballot box and with their wallets.
If that is all true, and we strongly believe it to be so
They can insist on proper and accurate GMO labelling on
based on the evidence we have to hand, then the only
food products, along with adequate enforcement. They
question is what you, each one of you who reads this
can avoid GMO products outright or, as in the case of local
article, will do about this parlous and unhappy state of
white maize products, insist the government enforce a
certain minimum production of non-GMO white maize to be produced, without contamination, for consumers who
Now that you know, the choice of action or inaction, of speaking out or being a silent victim, is yours. O
don't want to run GM-associated food risks.
public protector, the president & the human rights commission The Public Protector's office has been approached for action on the subject of GMOs by senior figures, some in Parliament, others representing both Traditional Health Practitioners (of which there are over 200 000) and Traditional Leaders who are collectively almost universally
ODYSSEY 60 •
resources • GM Crops Now Banned in 38 Countries Worldwide • Why 19 Countries In Europe Have Completely Banned GMOs • Russia joins more than 30 other countries that have banned the import of GMOs • http://naturalsociety.com
natural hair care Oneka is a Canadian range of certified natural shampoos, conditioners and shower gels. It's name is derived from the Native North American tribe the Mohawks whose word for water is Ohne:ka. The name Oneka was chosen to reflect the importance of manufacturing natural personal care products while being very conscious of water. We take a look.
ODYSSEY 61 •
he idea behind Oneka is that it reaches beyond great looking hair, no compromise on quality, and sources ingredients known to be readily
biodegradable. The plant ingredients used are grown on Oneka's certified organic farm, as well as carefully selected wild harvested herbs from the surrounding boreal forest. For the co-founders Stacey Lecuyer, a previous sufferer of eczema for over 20 years and Phillipe Choinier, who had an extreme allergy to synthetic fragrances since infancy, Oneka is a way to express their desire to see positive change as well as make people's lives better by developing and producing all natural personal care products. The Oneka farm operates on the fundamental principles of permaculture. Taking an all-natural approach with sensitivity to the land's needs as well as sustainable production – the foundation of permaculture is to create systems and methods that are permanently beneficial to the environment and society. The botanicals are farmed
The botanicals are farmed and harvested in a way that will add to the quality of the land and its ecosystems, rather than deplete and harm them.
and harvested in a way that will add to the quality of the land and its ecosystems, rather than deplete and harm them. All the products are free from the use of sulphates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. And for the exceptionally hyper-allergic and sensitive scalps and skin, the range also includes an unscented (neutral) option. The full range carries the eco-cert certification and its biodegradable formulation is completely gluten-free and vegan friendly. The packaging is recyclable, again highlighting the range's true commitment to the care of the environment. Every formula contains wild harvested herbs and certified organic ingredients that are specially chosen because of the amazing benefits they offer to your hair. The shampoo, conditioner and shower gels all come in 500ml family size recyclable bottles, as well as 60ml sizes, handy and easy for travel.
Goldenseal & Citrus – Energising The boreal plant goldenseal has tonic and purifying effects. Excellent for hair health, citrus and ylang-ylang essential oils will leave your hair shiny and gently infused with their aroma. Ideal for fine hair that is lacking in lustre, volume and in need of a boost.
Angelica & Lavender – Hydrating The fatty acids and tannins found in angelica have nourishing and healing properties. Lavender regenerates
ODYSSEY 62 •
the hair and soothes the scalp. This formulation is particularly loved by those with dry hair.
Cedar & Sage – Invigorating The cedar, known for its antibacterial properties will refresh your hair, working in perfect harmony with the hemlock's stabilizing qualities. The sage will help balance sebum production while the burdock and nettle extracts invigorate the scalp. If suffering with oily hair or just in need of a deep purifying cleanse, cedar and sage is the perfect choice.
Unscented – Neutral A gentle product from the Oneka line perfect for extremely sensitive and hyper-allergic scalps. Hemp seed oil and burdock root extract enrich the formula with their soothing and strengthening properties. Whether you are bathing in a freezing river or in the comfort of a steaming bath, the performance of these products will surprise you. You can also be sure, when you choose Oneka, you are truly choosing natural and contributing to a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life. O
Available online tocara4.co.za or call 021 702 3617 for nearest stockist. See ad, right, for a special offer exclusive to Odyssey readers.
ODYSSEY 63 •
Ch i ODYSSEY 64 •
M e d e i s c e i n
& Canc e
Developed over three thousand years ago, the medical system of Chinese medicine (CM) is underpinned by a philosophy of holism. In essence, that means that the human is interconnected with her/his environment. Within the body, this concept of holism is extended to explain how the body functions, how the various organ systems inter-relate, and the inter-relationship between the mind, emotions and the body. The following article explaining the use of Chinese medicine in cancer treatment has been authored by Associate Professor Kylie O'Brien, Director, Integrative Chinese Medicine Centre and Director of Education, National Institute of Integrative Medicine (Australia), and Professor Daniel Weber, Consultant, NIIM Integrative Chinese Medicine Centre (Australia).
here are some fundamental concepts in CM that underpin its practice. First, there
is the theory of yin/yang, being the idea that the universe is constructed from and by two mutually dependent yet opposite primary forces – yin and yang – which are
necessary for life. At a basic human level these concepts are used to explain the functioning of the body, harmony and what happens when there is illness, as well as why there is disharmony. Put simply, when there is health, there is a balance of yin/yang and when there is illness, the dance of these opposing but complementary yin/yang forces is out of balance. The second basic concept in CM is that of Qi. Qi (sometimes spelt as chi) is a subtle life force or energy that flows through the body via special pathways called meridians, as well as in the blood. Qi regulates, nourishes and sustains. When Qi is adequate, it protects the body against external pathogens, and ensures the normal physiological functioning of the body. When Qi is deficient, particularly over a prolonged period of time, chronic diseases such as cancer may occur.
Treating cancer Chinese medicine may be used to assist in the treatment of cancer, often as an adjunct to conventional medicine. The two main modalities are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. There are many Chinese herbs and their active constituents or 'isolates' which have been
ODYSSEY 65 •
found, through scientific research, to have anti-cancer
(to chemotherapy agents) and act synergistically with
properties and which address several of the pathological
particular chemotherapy drugs2,4,6.
mechanisms or pathways that occur in cancer . For 1
example, ß-elemene, an active constituent of Curcuma
wenyujin. The Chinese herb Wenyujin is used as an anti-cancer drug in China2. ß-elemene can effectively inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death)3. Also, gambogic acid, isolated from the resin of the Garcinia species including Garcinia hanburyi (Chinese herb Tenghuang), has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-pyretic and anti-cancer activities and has been shown to be able to kill cells (it is cytotoxic) of a variety of malignant tumours including breast, lung and liver cancers and glioblastoma2. Laboratory research in cells and animals has demonstrated that some of the anti-cancer mechanisms of Chinese herbs include inducing apoptosis and differentiation, inhibiting cell growth, enhancing the immune system, inhibiting development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) that occurs in cancer, inhibiting tumour metastasis and invasion, and reversing multi-drug resistance2-5. Other herbs have been found to reduce the toxicity associated with chemotherapy and is able to sensitise chemo-resistant cancer cells
ODYSSEY 66 •
'Patterns of disharmony' When Chinese herbs are prescribed (for any disease or condition), these are typically individualised to the patient according to what is known as the underlying 'pattern of disharmony'. In CM, a disease can have several patterns of disharmony, each of which is characterised
In the case of Chinese herbal medicine treatment of cancer, particular herbs are often included in a medicinal formula because of the anti-cancer properties that have been demonstrated through scientific research and not just based on traditional theory. In this way scientific knowledge is adding to traditional knowledge about herbs (based on hundreds of years of experiential evidence).
by particular signs and symptoms, reflective of the
forms of Chinese herbal medicine also include the
underlying aetiology (root cause) and pathogenesis (or
'isolates' or 'active constituents' of particular herbs and
course) of the disease.
are typically in tablet or capsule form.
Someone diagnosed with breast cancer may have a different pattern of disharmony compared to another
woman diagnosed with the same disease. Chinese herbs
Acupuncture works by stimulation of acupuncture
are typically combined in a medicinal formula of anywhere
points (acupoints), which are very specific points along
between two and 12 herbs (sometimes more), and are
meridians. Meridians are special pathways that are both
not typically used on their own. Herbs may be in raw form
on the surface of the body and within the body through
(cooked up in a pot with water to form a 'decoction'),
which the Qi circulates. In acupuncture, the certified CM
or in pill or powder or liquid form. The herbs chosen by
practitioner inserts very fine, disposable acupuncture
the CM practitioner will address not only the disease, but
needles into acupuncture points that are chosen according
also be tailored to the pattern of disharmony; this is truly
to CM theories to address the pattern of disharmony;
tonifying or regulating, nourishing and sustaining.
In this way, Chinese herbal medicine differs from
Each acupoint (and there are more than 365
Western medicine and Western herbalism. In the case of
'acupoints' on the body if the ear system is included) has
Chinese herbal medicine treatment of cancer, particular
several specific therapeutic functions. Acupuncture has
herbs are often included in a medicinal formula because of
been proven to help with lymphedema7 (fluid build-up
the anti-cancer properties that have been demonstrated
after surgery), it can relieve the symptoms of dry mouth
through scientific research and not just based on
(known as xerostomia)8 as well as relieving chemotherapy
traditional theory. In this way scientific knowledge is
– induced nausea9.
adding to traditional knowledge about herbs (based on
Readers should note that 'dry needling' is not the
hundreds of years of experiential evidence). Modern
same as classical Chinese medical acupuncture. Ensure that your acupuncturist is a certified and properly
Both Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can be used to treat many of the symptoms and signs that accompany cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment such as (but not limited to) cancer-related fatigue, digestive problems, sleep problems, depression and pain
qualified Health Practitioner. Both Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can be used to treat many of the symptoms and signs that accompany cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment such as (but not limited to) cancer-related fatigue, digestive problems, sleep problems, depression and pain10.
Herbs, chemo & radiation In China, Chinese herbal medicine is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as after treatment11. This practise is not as common in Western countries, and this is likely to be largely due to the unfamiliarity of Western medicine practitioners and oncologists with Chinese medicine. As more Western oncologists become familiar with CM, however, this is changing. Research indicates that physical activity has been found to be not only beneficial in preventing cancer12,13, but in reducing the risk of dying from cancer and all-causes14-17, and physical activity is advocated by major cancer organisations in Australia and the US, as well as other countries, for cancer sufferers18. Chinese medicine has its own forms of exercise that may be beneficial in those with cancer – these are Tai Chi and Qi Gong. They
ODYSSEY 67 •
Chinese medicine has its own forms of exercise that may be beneficial in those with cancer – these are Tai Chi and Qi Gong. From the CM perspective, they promote the flow of Qi around the body, through a series of sequenced movements.
are both gentle forms of exercise that promote flexibility
and stretching, and can help strengthen particularly the leg muscles. From the CM perspective, they promote the flow of Qi around the body, through a series of sequenced
movements. Both have a meditative component to them, where practitioners focus on their breath as they perform the movements (most of which actually have
an underlying martial arts application). Importantly, exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong can help with stress reduction.
It is important that cancer sufferers (and their families too if necessary, as they are often also under significant stress) consult a registered Chinese medicine practitioner.
Not all acupuncturists are qualified in Chinese herbal medicine. In contrast, the practice of 'dry needling' is largely unregulated and the training is comparatively very short. Registration requirements vary from country
to country, but those wishing to use CM must ensure that they have consulted adequately trained and registered practitioners, both for their own peace of mind and to
ensure that they are receiving the best possible treatment regime which CM and associated practises may be able to offer. O 14.
References 1. 2.
ODYSSEY 68 •
Weber D. Botanical Oncology; isolates. Sydney: Panaxea Publishing 2015. Tan W, Lu J, Huang M et al. Anti-cancer natural products isolated from Chinese medicinal herbs. Chinese Medicine 2011; 6: 27. Available at URL: https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/ articles/10.1186/1749-8546-6-27 Dai Z-J, Tang W, Wang-Feng Lu W-F, et al. Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of ß-elemene on human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Cancer Cell International 2013; 13:27 Ruan W-J, Lai M-D, Zhou J-G. Anticancer effects of Chinese herbal medicine, science or myth? J Zhejiang Uni Sci B 2006; 7(12): 1006-1014. Zhang DY, Wu J, Ye F et al. Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and prostaglandin E2 synthesis by Scutellaria baicalensis. Cancer Res. 2003; 63(14):4037-43.
Nautiyal J, Banerjee S, Kanwar SS, Yu Y, Patel BB, Sarkar FH, Majumdar AP: Curcumin enhances dasatinib-induced inhibition of growth and transformation of colon cancer cells. Int J Cancer. 2011, 128: 951-961. 10.1002/ijc.25410. Cassileth BR, Van Zee KJ, Yeung S, et al. Acupuncture in the Treatment of Upper-Limb Lymphedema. Cancer. 2013; 119(13) 2455-2461. Simcock R, Fallowfield L, Monson K et al. ARIX: a randomised trial of acupuncture v oral care sessions in patients with chronic xerostomia following treatment of head and neck cancer. Ann Oncol 2013; 24(3): 776-783. Ma L. Acupuncture as a complementary therapy in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2009; 22(2): 138-141. Ying L. Traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. Ann Palliat Med 2013; 2(3): 141-152. Cohen MR. Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Chinese Medicine in Lung Cancer; Chapter 9 in Lung Cancer Choices, 2nd Edition. Caring Ambassadors Program Inc: 2014: 123-134. Available at URL: http://lungcancercap.org/wp-admin/ Lung_Cancer_Choices_2nd_Edition.pdf Lahart IM, Metsios GS, Nevill AM, Carmichael AR. Physical activity, risk of death and recurrence in breast cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Acta Oncol 2015; 54(5): 635-654. World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute of Cancer Research. Food, nutrition, physical activity and the prevention of cancer: A global perspective. 2007, Washington: American Institute for Cancer Research. 2nd Expert Report. Available at URL: http://wcrf.org/sites/default/files/Second-Expert-Report.pdf Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Saxton J. The impact of physical activity on all-cause mortality in men and women after cancer diagnosis. Cancer Causes and Control 2009; 20: 225-231. Lee IM, Wolin KY, Freeman SE et al. Physical activity and survival after cancer diagnosis in men. J Phys Act Health 2014; 11(1): doi:10.1123/jpah.2011-0257 Holmes MD, Chen WY, Feskanich D et al. Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. JAMA 2005; 293: 2479-2486. Moore SC, Lee I-M, Weiderpass E, et al. Association of leisure-time physical activity with risk of 26 types of cancer in 1.44 million adults. JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 16, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1548 National Cancer Institute Physical Activity Fact Sheet. Updated 2009. Available at URL: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/ causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet [accessed 30 May 2016]
Wing’s Herbal Synergy the 'Practitioner-only', Integrative, Evidence-Based Medicine Company
For over 20 years Wing’s have supplied practitioners with PANAXEA – a revolutionary and unique brand of medicines of the finest quality herbal and nutraceutical ingredients. Practitioner-Only: We never sell our products retail, understanding that serious medicines require professional prescribing and support, with a pharmacopoeia of 369 medicines to prescribe from, a practitioner is a vital part of the process. Integrative Medicine: Investigates the multi-factoral causes of dis-ease. The practitioner and the patient form a team working towards an integrated protocol of treatment. The priority is to support health using the least toxic and most beneficial approach; this does not exclude symptomatic treatment of disease, where appropriate. Evidence-Based Medicine: 'The conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.' (Sackett, 1996). Wing's supply cutting-edge research and information to keep practitioners abreast of all the very latest advancements in the natural medicine industry. Herbal Synergy: Plant constituents may provide a ‘super additive’ biological effect when combined, as opposed to being just the sum of their individual parts. eg 1 + 1 = 5, not 2. Williamson (2001) Ulrich-Merzenich et al. (2007) In working with us you will discover the finest and most efficacious Integrative Medicines, uniquely formulated from the highest quality Chinese, Ayurvedic and Western herbs along with single molecule extracts. 'Medicine of all types must be a rational, experiential and empirical science, which through the contest of ideas and their dialogue provides the best treatment for those that suffer. Treatment of disease requires evidence of efficacy, safety and efficiency.' Dr Daniel Weber (pictured).
Please contact us to find your nearest prescribing practitioner. Call Toll Free: 080-202-88-88 email: email@example.com
ODYSSEY 69 •
Bacopa helps memory
ODYSSEY 70 •
In the modern world, with pill-popping becoming the norm, it is important to know that there are still herbs on the local market that are effective, gentle on the body (when used properly) and with proven track records, both in the traditional system from which they have originated, and in terms of modern clinical trials. Bacopa monnieri is one such herb. We take a look.
acopa monnieri is the scientific name of a plant widely used on the Indian sub-continent and known there as Brahmi. There are, literally, hundreds of years of reports and tracts of the applications for bacopa in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as still employed by most Indians, and in many other parts of the world, including South Africa. Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) occurs naturally across India and has a long history of medicinal herbal use there in a range of disorders, particularly those involving anxiety, intellect and poor memory1. Bacopa is
and suggests that they influence cholinergic
however, it has been reported that bacopa also has an antioxidant effect in the rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus2.
Numerous human clinical studies have been conducted, demonstrating that even in middle to older patient groups, improved memory retention as a result of using bacopa was achieved. One
conducted in the usual double-blind, randomised,
currently being marketed in Western
method beloved of Western clinicians,
countries, including South Africa, as
included participants aged 40 to 65
a memory enhancing agent. Studies
years. In this study participants had
have shown that the herb contains
various memory functions tested as
many active constituents, including
well as levels of anxiety measured.
a number of alkaloids and saponins,
There were three testing sessions:
however, the major constituents are
one prior to the trial, one after three
the steroidal saponins, Bacosides A
months on the trial, and one six
weeks after the completion of the trial. The results showed a significant
effect of bacopa on the retention
There are few published scientific
of new information. Follow-up tests
studies on the effects of bacopa
showed that the rate of learning was
on memory in humans (despite
unaffected, suggesting that bacopa
a significant amount of empirical
decreases the rate of forgetting
evidence on its positive use in
newly acquired information. Tasks
Ayurvedic medicinal applications);
assessing attention, verbal and visual
short-term memory and the retrieval
of pre-experimental knowledge were
studies have shown that bacopa
unaffected. Questionnaire measures
improves the rate of learning in
of everyday memory function and
a brightness discrimination task
anxiety levels were also apparently
and in a conditioned avoidance
task, that it improves retention,
The last result – that participants
as demonstrated by retention of
reported no significant change in
learned information and reduction
their levels of anxiety – goes against
of time in relearning, and that it
one of the main traditional uses of
this herb in Ayurvedic medicine.
There may, however, be a more
shock and scopolamine. This latter
complex link to this effect of the
finding involved administration of
herb in that people who may have
the extracted Bacosides A and B,
ODYSSEY 71 •
The case for bacopa being effective in memory improvement has been made both empirically through its long-term application as a widely-used Ayurvedic treatment, and now clinically. or students who under pressure fail to
Its designation as a 'nerve tonic' is important because
remember what they have learnt, may well
its tonic action in the brain and the nervous system makes
in both instances have had reduced anxiety levels due
it useful in situations of stress, anxiety or in nervous
to the main effect of bacopa, prevention of the loss of
exhaustion, which are increasingly prevalent in modern
If you were concerned you were losing your memory,
Of crucial importance is bacopa's ability, as used in
or were worried that what you were studying was not
Ayurveda, to act as a 'cognitive activator' that facilitates
'sticking', and then had bacopa given to you with positive
quicker learning, recall and improved focus. It is known
memory-related results, it stands to reason that your
for resolving that 'tip-of-the-tongue' phenomenon where
anxiety levels would decrease.
one knows something but, simply can't recall that fact or
Perhaps more work needs to be done to understand
word on demand.
exactly how this anxiolytic effect of the herb works, and
As such, this function is extremely important for those
whether or not there is more to its purported anti-anxiety
required to be at their best mentally, either in boardroom
effects than the merely psychological impact of having
or classroom settings, especially during high-intensity
improved memory where the loss of memory or inability
situations such as while making a presentation or writing
to remember vital material was causing worry.
to the flow of such memories, allowing faster and more
The case for bacopa being effective in memory
complete recall. The fact that bacopa acts as an anxiolytic
improvement has been made both empirically through
(reducing anxiety), and regardless of the mechanism at
its long-term application as a widely-used Ayurvedic
work, is useful because there is a lot of fear and worry
treatment, and now clinically.
for people with diminished memory. This is a unique
Long-term use of bacopa seems to open the door
Bacopa's first known mention is in an ancient
characteristic of bacopa and an advantage over another
Ayurvedic text in 800BCE and is classified by Ayurvedic
cognitive enhancer, ginkgo, which does not appear to
medicine under 'Medhya rasayana', relating to medicinal
plants, which rejuvenate intellect and memory. It is
For those with demanding lives, bacopa has the
important to realise, in our electronic age when one can
advantage of improving cognitive function, calming the
look up virtually anything with a few clicks, that for a
mind and improving adaptation to stress. For instance,
culture that relied heavily on word of mouth to pass down
bacopa's ability to improve a calm focus of mind helps
its teachings and traditions, a sound memory was vital.
students learn and retain information better, improving
Bacopa was therefore considered an important part of the
their exam performance.
Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia and viewed as a 'restorative agent' for memory, as well as assisting throughout life.
Ancient though it may be in terms of its long history of safe and effective use, bacopa may well be a substance
Bacopa is generally used in Ayurveda to assist with
of our age, given the increased stresses on all of us when
sensorial development in early life, mental and brain
it comes to how our nervous systems are coping with
development in middle age and spiritual growth in latter
an overload of information against an anxiety-producing
years. In this system it is viewed primarily as a 'nerve
backdrop of rapid change in almost every sphere of
tonic', assisting in improvement or maintenance of a
human activity. O
range of intellectual and nerve-related functions.
For more info on Flordis products click here, or see ad on page 2.
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.
ODYSSEY 72 •
Resources: 1. Singh and Dhawan 1997 2. Bhattacharya et al, 2000 3. Steven Roodenrys et al, 2002
ODYSSEY 73 •
r e t n i w y o j n e
y a w e v i t c a e th
Fitness expert, Elana Meyer, former Olympian and leading nutritionist, Andrea du Plessis, tell you how to embrace the cold season
ODYSSEY 74 •
njoy winter as much as you enjoy summer. To do
and fight illness is to take garlic, which has antimicrobial
this, you need to keep your immune system in
qualities. 'Introducing fresh garlic or a garlic supplement
tip-top shape. Did you know that staying active
into your diet will help your body combat bacteria that
is one of the tricks to stave off seasonal colds and flu?
invade and infect sinuses and lungs,' says Du Plessis.
And Vital, South Africa's largest vitamin and nutritional
Garlic is extremely effective at deactivating certain
supplements manufacturer, has just the right vitamins to
enzymes that are needed to help bacteria multiply.
keep you fighting fit through the chilly months.
And if you do come down with a cold or the flu, you
'The body relies on optimum nutrition to protect itself
can help reduce the severity and duration of the infection
against invading cold and flu viruses as winter arrives,'
by taking vitamin C, which also guards immune cells
explains Andrea du Plessis, Vital Health Foods' nutrition
against degeneration during the illness.
expert. Being active and exercising can increase your body's needs for Vitamin C by 50% per day. Vitamin C is therefore a key element in active winter
About Vital Health Foods
health. 'Make sure to up your intake of vitamin C, as
Vital Health Foods is Africa's largest vitamin and
combined with the colder temperatures in winter, your
nutritional supplements manufacturer. Operating from
body will not have enough vitamin C to prevent and
a large manufacturing plant in Kuils River, Cape Town,
reduce the effects of any infections,' says du Plessis. Vital
the six-decade-old business manufactures and exports
Maxi C Vitamins contain 1 000 mg of Vitamin C, which,
a comprehensive range of products that is vetted by
taken twice daily when exercising, will fulfil your daily
several industry quality standard organisations. All Vital
products are manufactured to Good Manufacturing
Next, you must build up your immune cells. Zinc is
Practice (GMP) quality standards, are audited by the
crucial in stimulating the immune system, as it boosts
Medicines Control Council of South Africa (MCC), the
immune-cell production and activity. It's also essential
Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and the
to maintain zinc quantities during exercise. 'Long-term
British Retail Consortium (BRC). The company is home
endurance training has been shown to significantly
to a team of in-house scientists who develop formulas,
reduce zinc levels, which in turn affects muscle function,'
test them and manufacturer supplements under the
explains Elana Meyer, former Olympian, 'so taking a
scrutiny of a dedicated quality assurance and regulatory
zinc supplement will not only help elevate your immune
team. Consumer advice is offered, with a helpline run by
system, but also help prevent muscle fatigue.'
qualified dieticians that offer free advice and assistance.
Another great way to increase immune-cell production
For more info visit www.vital.co.za
ODYSSEY 75 •
easing back pain in style
Back pain may be directly linked to foot problems caused by uncomfortable shoes, according to one of the country’s leading shoe companies, Barker Footwear, which has re-launched a soft-soled and stylish range for men who spend long periods on their feet. We take a look.
ODYSSEY 76 •
tanding throughout the day may damage your feet if your shoes are not a comfortable fit. This may affect the rest of your body, causing fatigue as well as leg and lower back pain,' said Barker Footwear sales
manager, Gary Gilder.
How to fit shoes •
Gilder said Barker had revived and improved the top four selling styles of
you age, fit your shoes
the Softred range due to popular demand. He said the range, characterised by genuine leather uppers, provides maximum comfort for those who spend their days on their feet or who are seeking gentle-fitting leisure footwear while
Shoe size may change as carefully.
Shoe sizes may vary depending on make and
maintaining a stylish look.
style. Running shoes may
'The Softred offers a full poron foam sock for added comfort. Some of the
not be the same size as
range have a padded topline and they all have a soft and flexible sole which moulds to the foot. It’s the perfect shoe for comfort for feet which are exposed
office footwear. Try on your
to hard, unyielding floor surfaces for long periods,' said Gilder.
shoes before buying them.
Barker has been producing handmade quality welted and stuck-on leather
One foot is often larger
shoes for over 80 years and is part of one of SA’s largest shoe companies, Bolton
than the other -- ensure
your shoes fit the larger
Gilder said men often ignored foot and ankle pain or problems which could have a negative knock-on effect on the rest of the body, including the legs and lower back.
Walk in the shoes to make sure they feel right. The
'There are 26 bones in your feet – about a quarter of all bones in the
heel should not slide up
body. The feet also contain 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your feet have to bear your full body weight daily so taking good care
and down when you walk.
of them and selecting a soft and comfortable shoe is vital,' he said.
When standing, there should be about one
The Barker Softred shoe range is available nationally at selected independent retailers at a recommended retail price starting at R1199. For more info visit www.barkerfw.co.za
centimetre between your toe and the end of the shoe. •
Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot.
Don't buy shoes that are tight in the hope that they will stretch.
Soles should give solid footing and not slip. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.
About Barker Footwear Barker Footwear was established in 1933, when Ernest Barker from Earls Barton in England brought a small group of skilled craftsmen to Cape Town to set up a shoe factory in the shadow of Table Mountain. This successful venture was further reinforced in 1952 when the company acquired the rights to manufacture shoes under the Crockett & Jones brand. Its products have since become sought-after by the discerning South African man. In 2013 Barker was acquired by Bolton Footwear, one of Southern Africa's foremost footwear companies with a proud tradition of quality shoe making.
ODYSSEY 77 •
HARMful plastic microbeads banned President Barack Obama closed off 2015 by signing into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act banning the manufacture and sale of tiny pieces of plastic found in soaps, toothpastes and body washes in the United States. Eight trillion of the pinhead-sized microbeads are released into waterways every day in the US alone where fish mistake the beads for food and absorb toxic chemicals, which, in turn, are harmful to those who eat the fish. The powers of the Act will come into effect on July 1, 2017. 'These microbeads are tiny plastic, but make for big-time pollution,' said Republican co-sponsor of the bill Fred Upton. 'We will fight any activity that puts our beloved Great Lakes in jeopardy.'
the aids epidemic may have just met its match Scientists at Temple University in Philadelphia may have made the ultimate breakthrough on the path to curing HIV/AIDS. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique, the team managed to eliminated HIV-1 DNA from T cell genomes in lab experiments and prevented reinfection after the cells were re-exposed to the virus. It’s a huge leap towards the goal of curing the disease that has killed over 25 million people since the 1980s. Treatment has come a long way in the last few years, yet the scientists said antiretroviral drugs, which can regulate the disease, are not a permanent solution. As soon as a person stops receiving the treatment, their cells are once again open to the infection, and the virus usually progresses into AIDS. At this point, doctors are able to keep the virus at bay, but not cure it.
ODYSSEY 78 •
Photographer captures motherhood's 'taboo' There has been a lot of public outcry as to wether or not mothers should breastfeed in public. While the act is a normal part of life, it seems most people have a problem with it and are, in fact, disgusted by it. Photographer Ivette Ivens has taken to the lens to capture the moment in splendid high definition in an attempt to convince naysayers of its beauty, as well as to 'normalise' this part of every human's life. 'I want people to look at it as if it was a cat nursing her baby kittens. Or any other mammal, if you’re not a cat person,' said Ivens, adding, 'Forget the covering up, nursing in a public bathroom, age restrictions. It’s between a mother and her child.'
Click here to view her website
NATURAL HOMEMADE COUGH SYRUP 1. Gather your ingredients • 4 oz (1/2 cup) honey (preferably raw and local) • 4 oz (1/2 cup) warm filtered water • 1 lemon • 1 medium onion • 2 cloves of garlic • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
2. Banish the germs with natural antimicrobial foods • Honey: A natural antimicrobial ingredient, honey helps kill the bad bacteria that makes you sick. It also works to relax the muscles in your throat, which is perfect to combat a pesky cough. • Onion and garlic: Raw onions and garlic also help fight the sick bugs. They lose some of their potency when heated, so it’s ideal to steep this cough syrup without cooking. (A quick-prep method is included for emergencies, though!) • Oregano: This is a powerful antimicrobial herb, so it adds a healthy boost to your cough syrup, as well as enhances the flavor. Fresh sage and thyme have similar properties.
2. Pack your jar Slice the onions, garlic, and lemon. Herbs can remain intact, if using. Place the herbs at the bottom of the jar, with the sliced items on top. Press everything down gently to ensure that it will be below the surface of the liquid, once it’s added.
4. add honey and warm water 5. Steep, strain, store and serve as needed Make sure the lid is airtight and leave to steep overnight at room temperature. Strain the solids through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and reserve the liquid. If you’re in a huge rush, you can skip the jar and put everything in a small saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the onions just begin to soften, but your concoction will be slightly less potent. Your natural cough syrup can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a week. A spoonful of this natural cough syrup will help soothe a sore throat and ease cough symptoms. Because of the honey, the syrup should not be given to infants under 1 year of age, but it’s perfectly safe for older babies and children. It’s best given straight by the spoonful.
ODYSSEY 79 •
THE TROJAN ALLERGEN Researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have come up with what they think might be an easier and quicker way to treat – and possibly cure – allergies and allergic asthma than the typical treatment of allergy shots. The researchers have taken a tiny amount of the problem substance and encapsulated it in a shell, creating a biodegradable nanoparticle that's injected into the body. The approach has been used in autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and celiac disease, but this is the first time it has been used in allergic diseases.
ODYSSEY 80 •
CHRONIC PAIN and EMOTIONAL STATES Head: Headaches or migraines can be brought on by the stress of day to day life. If one gets chronic headaches, they need to take some time for themselves. Not just once, but daily. Relieving the body of stress may help to ease any head pain.
Neck: Contrary to popular belief, neck pain does not mean kids are driving one crazy. Pain in the neck signifies the need to forgive. It may be forgiveness of another person or even forgiveness of one’s self. It is important to think about the things one loves about themselves and others to fight this pain. Shoulders: Shoulder pain is a sign that one may be carrying a heavy emotional burden. Basically, they are shouldering everything. Try to think of ways to solve this emotional problem or share the load with trusted friends or family.
Upper Back: Lack of emotional support can manifest in upper back pain. Maybe one does not feel appreciated, or they are holding back feelings of affection. If one is in a relationship, maybe have a discussion about feelings. If one is single, it might be time to branch out.
Lower Back: Lower back pain may signify someone has financial worries. Try to sit down and focus on managing money better or hire a financial planner. It might also be time to ask for that well-deserved raise.
Elbows: Arm and elbow pain may mean a lack of flexibility. Maybe one is resisting the natural changes that are occurring in their lives. Try shaking things up and going with the flow. Attempting to fight change only brings trouble.
Hands: A lack of friends or reaching out may cause pain in the hands. Try making new friends or going to lunch with work associates. Spend some time actively meeting new people. Hips: Fear of moving, change and waiting to make a big decision could all cause pain in the hips. Make the changes one needs and move on needed. Also, make a choice and stick with it! Knees: Knee pain may mean that one thinks too highly of themselves. Spend some time volunteering and remember that all people are mortal. No one is free of imperfections.
Calves: Emotional tension, stress or jealousy may be the cause of calf pain. It may be time to let go of any big stressors in one’s life or to dump the jealousy.
Ankles: Ankle pain may mean one needs more pleasure in his or her life. Take some time to pamper yourself or spice up your love life. Indulge a little bit! Feet: Depression can lead to foot pain. Depression is hard to beat, but there are some things one can do to fight back. Try a new hobby or adopt a pet. Find something that gives joy!
ODYSSEY 81 •
The launch of the 2016 International Year of Pulses in South Africa took place recently in the beautiful city of Cape Town at Greek restaurant Mezepoli. Guests included Nuala Lawlor, the Trade Commissioner of the Canadian High Commission, media, pulse partners and clients.
mother city launches pulses to South Africa
The menu demonstrated the versatility and flavour of many pulse dishes, including falafel, bean salads, hummus, chickpea and pasta rice, as well as a warm lentil salad. David Lever of AGT Foods Africa presented the benefits of pulses to the global community, which include sustainability, health, water and the environment. 'Including pulses in your diet will protect you against a number of illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They addresse global malnutrition as well as obesity, due to its low cost and nutritional value. The amount of water used to produce pulses is far less than any other crops,' he said. Maryke Gallagher, president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA), spoke about the many health benefits of pulses. Beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas are nutritional powerhouses that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from six months to toddlers, teenagers, adults and the elderly. They are a good source of protein, iron and calcium and everyone should incorporate them into their diets. Guests received a copy of the newly launched pulse recipe book Just so Easy, which features many interesting pulse recipes. People realised just how easy it is to cook with pulses and were inspired to go home and prepare pulse dishes for their families.
Everyone can get involved, visit http://iyp2016.org/ for more info
ODYSSEY 82 •
AEROFARMS set to build world's largest indoor vertical farm AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg is trying to build an agricultural empire out of an old paintball arena in the blighted urban neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, just 45 minutes outside Manhattan. AeroFarms joins a host of other companies seeking to grab a foothold in the burgeoning indoor vertical farm industry. As traditional outdoor agriculture suffers, there has been a rise in demand for locally-grown, fresh, organic products, and the fresh greens and herbs that a company like AeroFarms can deliver tend to fetch a premium over lesser quality alternatives that come from farther away. Once the Newark farm is up and running, the 21 336m2 indoor facility will produce 75% more yield than a traditional outdoor farm of the same size. This is in part due to the indoor vertical farm’s ability to stagger crops regardless of season, giving 22 crop turns each calendar year.
For more info visit www.aerofarms.com
BIODEGRADABLE PACKAGING COULD REPLACE PLASTIC Designers from Japan have created a prototype design that could completely change the way we deal with product packaging. The design group, AMAM, calls their project Agar Plasticity, which explores the use of a seaweed-derived substance called agar as a biodegradable substitute for conventional plastic packaging. The group found that by boiling certain types of algae and dehydrating the resulting soup, it is possible to create a variety of shapes and textures that could replace plastic film or foam packaging. For example, the frozen solution takes on a soft, cushioning structure, and when it’s compressed, it forms a plastic-like film. Agar is traditionally used as a food thickening agent and vegan gelatin replacement, as well as various applications throughout the medical and scientific fields. Not only is the source of this plastic material completely sustainable and biodegradable, but when it breaks down in the environment, it can actually help improve surrounding soil by increasing its water retention properties. This prototype material is so impressive, it walked away from Lexus International’s fourth annual design competition with the top prize of 2016.
For more visit www.lexus-int.com/lexus-design/
How to Make: Edible Utensils You Can Eat After Using. Cut down on plastic waste with Yuka Yoneda's DIY recipe for edible cutlery you can make at home.
ODYSSEY 83 •
ways to keep food cool without a refrigerator MITTICOOL The MittiCool was originally designed by potter Mansukhbhai Raghavbhai Prajapati for use by people in rural areas. This homey refrigerator is made completely of clay and requires no energy, keeping food cool using evaporation.
WAKATI In developing countries, about 45% of produce goes bad before the farmers can ever get it to market. Wakati solves this problem by simply using a litre of water per week and solar power. Produce can be preserved so more food reaches more people, and farmers earn more money.
STORING VEGETABLES IN SAND Sand works to prevent moisture from rotting the fruits and veggies. Just fill a cardboard or wooden box with sand, fill it with your veggies, and place it in a cool place like a basement or pantry so the produce will stay fresher for longer.
WELTEVREE'S GROUNDFRIDGE The Groundfrige, which as the name implies, is installed underground and covered with a layer of dirt about three feet thick. An early adopter program is currently underway in Belgium and the Netherlands, but Weltevree hopes to bring the Groundfridge to the rest of the world in late 2016.
Bio Robot Refrigerator Rather than using cool air, the refrigerator of the future could employ odorless, non-sticky biopolymer gel to chill food. Yuriy Dmitriev decided to develop a new idea for refrigeration that was a finalist in Electrolux Design Lab‘s competition.
COCA COLA'S BIOCOOLER Coca-Cola teamed up with Leo Burnett Colombia and the International Physics Center to design a Bio Cooler (albeit as part of a marketing campaign) that operated when users watered the plants growing on top of the device. The water evaporated inside the cooler, chilling the drinks inside.
eCOOL Four friends in Denmark came up with the perfect way to cool off their beers without electricity. They designed eCool, an off-grid cooler placed about three feet underground to keep the heat out in the summer and frost out in the winter so beers are always prime temperature.
ODYSSEY 84 •
BIODEGRADABLE WATER BOTTLE – an eco-alternative to plastic Ari Jónsson, a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, recently showcased his project at DesignMarch (a design festival in Reykjavik, Iceland) that combines red algae powder with water to create a biodegradable bottle. His innovative solution to the problem of plastic pollution is agar, a substance made from algae. Agar dates back to the 1650s, when a Japanese innkeeper tossed out extra soup and saw it gel together overnight. It made its way into microbiology labs in the late 1800’s and is still used today to separate molecules. To create a bottle out of algae, Jónsson mixed powdered agar with water. The resulting mixture had a wobbly, jelly-like consistency. He heated it before pouring it into a cold mold. The mold was swirled inside a container of ice water until the agar formed a bottle. Just a few more minutes of refrigeration, and the bottle was ready for use. The algae bottle retains its unique shape until it is empty, and then it begins to break down. It’s an all-natural alternative to plastic, and Jónsson says drinkers can even chew on the bottle if they enjoy the taste. Agar is often used as a vegetarian or vegan substitute for gelatin in desserts, and is both safe for the environment and humans. 'I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make, use, and throw away every day. Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?' asks Jónsson.
A Lesson to the World from Woody Harrelson Woody Harrelson released a video explaining just why we should support products and companies that resonate with our values and the planet – a message which many people might not have heard otherwise.
'Economically, many folks don't feel they can afford organic. While this may be true in some cases, I think more often than not it's a question of priority. I feel it's one of the most important areas of concern ecologically, because the petrochemical giants – DuPont, Monsanto – make huge money by poisoning us.' - Woody Harrelson
ODYSSEY 85 •
Wholesome Nutrition for You Ian Craig & Rachel Jesson
How not to die Michael Greger MD
Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 43230 600 7
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more. He explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives. The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The fifteen leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn't have to be the case. By following Dr Greger's advice, all of it backed up by strong scientific evidence, you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to live longer. History of prostate cancer in your family? Put down that glass of milk and add flaxseed to your diet whenever you can. Have high blood pressure? Hibiscus tea can work better than a leading hypertensive drug – and without the side-effects. Fighting off liver disease? Drinking coffee can reduce liver inflammation. Battling breast cancer? Consuming
Few people would dispute the fact that there is a bewildering array of books available on the business of eating, fitness and nutrition, many of them, unfortunately, with (hidden) vested interests in the food industry and singular theories. But every now and again a refreshing and ethical book based on sound, proven scientific principles comes onto the market, which is more than just another trendy diet book. Wholesome Nutrition is such a book. In it, nutritional therapist and exercise physiologist Ian Craig and his co-author, health food specialist and sports scientist Rachel Jesson, cover in detail the emotive topics of nutrition and health from a scientific perspective. They neatly unwrap all the jargon and pseudo-mystique, offering sensible, practical, economical everyday dietary approaches in a book that's not only enjoyable and informative to read, but at the same time accessible to all South Africans who care about optimum health and the business of living life to the full. And most importantly, Wholesome Nutrition stresses the fact that we are all different, and therefore a one-sizefits-all approach is counter-productive to good health.
ODYSSEY 86 •
Macmillan • 978 1 5098 2080 1
soy is associated with prolonged survival. Worried about heart disease (the leading killer in the US)? Switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet, which has been repeatedly shown not just to prevent the disease but often stop it in its tracks. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting edge nutritional science, these doctor's orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives.
Periodic Fasting: Lose Weight, Feel Great, Live Longer Annchen Weidemann & Annaret Brand Struik Lifestyle • 1 43230 424 9
Studies have shown that eating significantly less for limited periods of time produces better results than sustained dieting, and that reducing calorie intake is beneficial for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Periodic Fasting introduces the concept of eating normally for five days, followed by two days of restricted eating (also known as the 5:2 diet). During fasting, the body uses its inherent healing capacity to restore our health and well-being. Unlike many popular diets, periodic (intermittent) fasting puts you in control of what you eat. It's as simple as eating normal, healthy meals on non-fasting days and making sensible choices on fasting days. It requires no special diet foods or supplements, so everyone in the
family can eat the same meals, making this an ideal weight-loss programme for families with differing nutritional needs. Includes guidelines and menu plans for fasting and non-fasting days, examples of meals and snacks that make up the 600 calorie limit on fasting days, and sixty tasty and nutritious recipes for breakfasts, lunches and dinners with variations on how to adapt the dishes for fasting days. The recipes as pictorially beautifully laid out and appear most inspirational.
The Naturalista: Nourishing Recipes To Live Well Xochi Balfour Headline • 978 1 47223 244 1
If you have ever felt the stress of 21st-century living wrap itself around your heart and turned to a double espresso and a faint hope that tomorrow will be better, then this book will show you how to slow down, listen to your body and find a more natural, holistic way of life. Xochi Balfour changed her life from her little London kitchen and, as The Naturalista, has been blogging about her experience of balancing and simplifing her life in harmony with the natural world. Without recourse to expensive ingredients, all-consuming cleanses or dramatic diets, Xochi has taken the principles of naturopathy and created a way of life, from a gentler way of eating to simple beauty recipes as well as bringing relaxation and mindfulness into your everyday routine. Her food is gluten-
and dairy-free and predominantly plant-based, but straightforward and delicious, her skincare recipes can also be made from kitchen ingredients and her techniques for everyday mindfulness can be fitted into the busiest of lives. Her recipes include power balls and energy bars, raw chocolate, sea salt and pistachio fudge, corner shop turmeric and coconut dahl and beetroot falafel as well as a glutenfree carrot and flax bread. For your body, there is a rosewater facial spray, passion fruit and papaya face mask and lavender and shea butter body lotion, while for your home, Xochi will show you the benefits of barefoot earthing and how to make your own incense. This is truly a bright and beautiful guide to natural living in the modern age.
It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes Gwyneth Paltrow Sphere • 978 0 7515 5549 3
Gwyneth Paltrow is back to share more than 125 of her favourite recipes that can be made in the time it would take to order take-out (which often contains high quantities of fat, sugar, and processed ingredients). All the dishes are surprisingly tasty, with little or no sugar, fat, or gluten. From easy breakfasts to lazy suppers, this book has something for everybody. Yummy recipes include Chocolate Cinnamon Overnight Oats, Soft Polenta with Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken Enchiladas, Pita Bread Pizzas, Quick Sesame
Noodles, and more. Plus, an innovative chapter for 'on-the-go' meals (Moroccan Chicken Salad Wrap, Chopped Salad with Grilled Shrimp, and others) that you can take for lunch to work or school, to a picnic, or to eat while watching soccer practice.
GMO – OMG: Is This The End Of Real Food A film by Jeremy Seifert What a gentle approach I found in this documentary. Especially because this is a very tricky subject matter. I found Jeremy most sincere, on behalf of his children, in investigating the reality behind the source and manipulation of almost all the food we all eat. It does not really matter any more in which part of the world you are based either as GM food is found almost everywhere. Jeremy has the courage to speak to farmers for and against GMO seeds as well as scientist and those in that very industry. Even when he did not get the answers to his seemingly innocent questions, that said more than enough. So this documentary is not about 'in your face activism', but it is most certainly gently addressing the seriousness of this major conundrum we all face. So the answer is to educate yourself, insist on full labelling on all food items, buy local and organic and cook your own food. This is therefore a most relevant and important documentary to see. Available from www.wisdomtonourish.com
ODYSSEY 87 •
all in good time Sue Fuller-Good is a Specialised Physiotherapist with over 25 years clinical and corporate experience. She investigated balance in and around the spine in her Masters thesis and has worked with the pelvis and lower back ever since then. Her love of yoga has brought her a unique and very deep understanding of the body and the mind. She shares some thoughts with us. ufficiency. What an amazing life-changing concept.
For me it's time. I am time poor and I feel like I
We have been so programmed to believe that
fight with time and am always rushing. In reality, it is my
there is not enough and so we have to compete
perception that time is in short supply!
and drive and rush and struggle. Imagine how different
I have tried the last few weeks to say this to myself
everything would be if we could truly trust that there is
every time the robot is red, or I am sitting in traffic. As I
sufficient of everything.
take in the meaning of the words I am saying, I can feel
myself sighing my breath out and letting my shoulders
Sufficient safety and security
relax. It doesn't take long for my suspicious subconscious
mind to change the tune in my head and get my body
all uptight again. But in time, I know I will change my
mindset if I am persistent enough.
Sufficient intelligence and knowledge My mind truly boggles at how differently we would
live, eat, raise our children and work if we really could integrate the concept: there is sufficient. My advice is to try this: say to yourself as many times a day as you can: 'relax, there is sufficient ....' You can substitute the dots for whatever you most fear is in short supply.
ODYSSEY 88 •
The Benefits of Delayed Gratification
The concept of delaying gratification is so unfamiliar in this world that we live in. I wonder if it is a worthwhile thing to strive for? I always look to the body and therefore to nature for my answers and when I look there, it is clear to me that
waiting is integral to getting things perfect. We can speed up the way we heat food and get information, but it still takes 9 months' gestation for a baby to properly form. We can instantly warm a room or connect to the other side of the globe, but it still takes several months for Winter to pass. If you graze your knee or cut your hand, it will take a week to 10 days for the wound to heal, and there is no way to make it speed up. I wonder how life would feel if we could allow things to take the time they need to take and be patient with them? I know that when I run the mantra: 'slow and steady' in my head, it helps me. Impatience changes our posture, our breathing and our physiology and in many instances it actually doesn't speed anything up. It is said that the most valuable form of wealth in this modern world, is the wealth of time. It seems that we may be investing more wisely in our wealth if we slow things down. This may require doing less, but at least we would appreciate the things we are doing. Try to reflect today on what you could use, to practice following nature and delaying the gratification so that you can get the outcome just perfect and enjoy the journey along the way. The breathing pattern that goes with patience is slow, deep and steady. The posture that goes with delayed gratification is upright and centred. Maybe we could start by changing our bodies so we can set the scene for ourselves. Try it. Decide what you are willing to delay the gratification on, shift your posture and change your breath, and through conscious awareness, be patient. Let it take the time it needs and be in the process as it unfolds slowly. O
For more about Sue and her work see ad, below.
Holistic Wellness Centre • • • •
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ODYSSEY 89 •
WHY WE DETEST INDIFFERE It's one of the biggest pet hates in the world. It's something most of us have come up against at some point in our lives or even deal with on a regular basis. It's something that most flesh and blood human beings just cannot handle: being ignored. Cherie Roe Dirksen looks at indifference.
ODYSSEY 90 •
ENCE ODYSSEY 91 •
was astounded, back in 2006, when I watched that metaphysically mind-blasting documentary, What the Bleep Do We
'Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.'
Know? Do you remember it? Its abstract concepts about reality and beyond begged me to stop and rethink my whole life – something I'm sure most viewers had to undertake to some degree. What really struck a chord were the experiments on water by the now late Masaru Emoto – I was especially awed by the three bottles of rice trial. In this particular test one bottle was marked 'I love you', one marked 'I hate you' and the third bottle was just ignored. In the experiment the one marked 'I love you' endured whilst the bottle labelled 'I hate you' decayed but not to the effect of the bottle that was disregarded completely – which was the most ill-affected jar as it started to rot first. This test reiterated the widespread belief that even being hated is better than being unnoticed. You often find this with children – particularly in the case of the middle child (but not isolated to) who lacks the attention of the first born or 'baby' of the family. This child tends to strike out in a negative manner because even this type of behaviour is receiving a response from the parental figure albeit an undesirable reaction. Why? Because we humans tend to recoil at the thought of alienation more than anything. Loneliness or the fear of being alone is one of the top causes of depression.
- J K Rowling
Origins of the Effects of Aloofness
ODYSSEY 92 •
doesn't even bother to take the time out to let you know they're going to be late or cancel an appointment – that friend or family member who only calls you when they need something. Does this behaviour sound familiar? I say 'behaviour' because that's what it is – don't confuse a person's actions for who they truly are. The cause for me outlining this is because someone very close to you may be doing this – someone you may love dearly. It could be a childhood friend, family member or, God forbid, your boss/colleague (someone you may have to see on a daily basis). You may feel you can't reciprocate and ignore these people indefinitely because at some point you still have to deal with them on a regular basis.
Surviving the Cold Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool and sanity whilst navigating people with the propensity for indifference: 1. Ascertain whether they are truly ignoring you. We live in a world that is fast-paced, social media riddled
Some say the fear of indifference dates back to prehistoric
and it's all hectically time consuming. We have sore
man for the reason that when a member of the clan was
thumbs, tired red eyes, brains that feel like they're
shunned, it meant certain death to the individual. Ergo we
bulging at the seams and ridiculously over-packed
all have a strong innate sense to stay alive.
diaries. Bear in mind that some people can't handle
However, barring our primitive instincts to survive, it's
technology quite as well as others – some are like a
just darn-right annoying to deal with people who display
duck to water and others like a walrus floundering in
the traits of indifference – which is also disguised as
a bath. Some people may have trouble texting (this
apathy, disregard, insensitivity, disinterest, negligence,
is justifiable and sometimes an embarrassing feature
nonchalance, coldness or detachment. This is especially
as some fingers are too large for itsy bitsy phone
irksome when you're trying your best to be in your integrity
buttons) or they don't want to admit their eyesight is
and treat others with the antithesis of indifference – such
not what it used to be. Some messages can and do
as attention, kindness, compassion, concern and interest.
get lost in cyberspace, so always ask if your note was
I'm sure most of you know at least one person who
received. Some folks legitimately have memories like
never seems to have the common courtesy to reply to a
sieves and can't remember dates, calls or promises
message or e-mail, or lets you down frequently and/or
made. This is not indifference as much as it is just
being human. Always try to ascertain the truth by
they could just be a jerk – just remember that even
asking the person for an explanation and try to keep
jerks have reasons for their behaviour. Some people
your temper if it's not a response you want to hear.
purposefully play games and others do it on a more
There are always going to be people who go out of
oblivious level. Regardless of what you sense, find
their way to be punctual, friendly and helpful and
out or pick up on – if the relationship is one-sided
then there are also always going to be some who
and toxic, you have every right to walk away. It
just don't have the aptitude for social etiquette, no
would just be better for you to do it from a place
matter how this may frustrate you. It's better to get
of understanding and compassion and not out of
over the disappointment now than have to suffer
resentment or anger. This is not to help the other
years of questioning others' upbringing or tearing
person as much as it is to help you. Letting go and
your hair out at the roots as to why people don't
detaching from a place of love and compassion will
act the way you do. Getting perturbed is not going
help you to move on far more than letting go out of
to change what is, it's just going to rob you of your
rage and animosity. 3.
'Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.' - Dalai Lama
Try focusing on what really matters.
A great way to move on from people who don't live up to your expectations is to focus on the ones that do – those friends and family members who are there for you and support you through thick and thin. If you don't have many people like that in your life, go out and find them. Try innovative activities that will attract new and exciting relationships or friendships. Go on that trip you've always wanted, join the local hiking club or grab a book and go sit in a coffee shop – there are infinite ways to meet fresh and exhilarating peeps. There are people waiting to meet
serenity. Try to accept that some people aren't quite
you everywhere, in every nook and cranny – it's
as efficient or mindful as you are in this moment.
your job to discover them by grabbing life by the
That may offer you some peace of mind and it gives
'short and curlies'. Life can be filled with excitement
them space for improvement and non-judgment in
and amazing people if you allow it to be. Affirm
where they're at in their lives right now.
daily that you are going to attract fantastic things,
2. Try to find compassion and understanding. This is
situations and people into your life.
quite a difficult thing to do because we may still be feeling hurt or neglected by the person. There
Being ignored can hurt us but trying the tit-for-tat
could be a valid reason for the person's indifference;
approach can hurt us even more. Stay true to yourself
however, this does not excuse the behaviour. Finding
and your moral ethics.
compassion merely gives you a sense of closure if it
If you have to deal with someone of an indifferent
is indeed a relationship that you need to walk away
nature who you can't get away from (such as a co-worker
from. By setting boundaries or walking away, you
or family member), you can emotionally detach from
are doing what you need to for your own well-being
them and handle future encounters with the necessary
and it should come from a place of not wanting to
responses without letting them make an impact on you.
intentionally harm or punish the other person – you
We can't control how other people act and you
are exercising compassion for the person and where
definitely can't win universal appeal. The only thing you
they are at on a conscious level. It could be that
can control is how you feel about yourself. So, know
the person is shutting down because they have
when to set boundaries and when to walk away. O
issues with parents who shut them out of their lives (repeating past relationship traits unconsciously) or
Visit Cheris' website: www.cherieroedirksen.com
ODYSSEY 93 •
Fynbos Fairies Antjie Krog & Fiona Moodie Umuzi • 978 1 4152 0903 5
Antjie Krog and Fiona Moodie pay homage to one of the natural wonders of the world with Fynbos Fairies. It is for its fynbos – fine-leaved, shrub-like vegetation – that the south-western and southern Cape has been named one of the world's six plant kingdoms: the Cape Floral Kingdom. At less than 90 000 square kilometres, it is the smallest floral kingdom on earth. Yet it is home to 8 600 plant species, some 5 000 of which occur nowhere else in the world. Fynbos is a mixture of four plant types: protea shrubs, heath-like ericas, reed-like restios and different bulbous plants. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains 69 of the world's 112 proteas, 526 of its 740 ericas and, among bulbous plants, 96 of the world's 160 gladiolus species. Table Mountain alone boasts almost 1 500 fynbos species. With Fynbos Fairies, Krog (one of South Africa's foremost poets) and Moodie (illustrator of more than 15 children's books), both of whom regularly walk on the slopes of Table Mountain, pay homage to one of the natural wonders of the world. Inspired by Cicely Mary Barker's A World of Flower Fairies, Krog began the process by writing poems that each featured a plant and at least one imaginary little being. Moodie meticulously researched the features
ODYSSEY 94 •
of each plant, insect and little animal depicted in these pages. The fairies and other imaginary beings in these pages are her own creations, but the flowers and creatures she copied from nature. Also available in Afrikaans as Fynbosfeetjies. Be assured that this beautiful book will become a collectors item.
Quest: The Journey Continues Aaron Becker Walker Books • 978 1 4063 6081 3
Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy. A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Coloured markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually
captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.
Alices's Adventures in Wonderland: A Colouring Book Macmillan • 978 1 5098 1360 5
The book is a beautifully produced colouring book, with black line illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, taken from the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the LookingGlass, with added decoration and imagery to stimulate the imagination and soothe the mind, as you lose yourself in Wonderland. This gorgeous colouring book, from the original publisher of Lewis Carroll's beloved masterpiece, features all of Wonderland's favourite characters, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and, of course, Alice herself – just waiting to be brought to life with colour.
Homecoming Michael Morpurgo Walker Books • 978 1 4063 4107 2
In this involving tale, master storyteller Michael Morpurgo revisits the 'landscape of his memories', telling of his boyhood in the idyllic village of Bradwell fifty years before. The village is a stone's throw from the sea and is peopled by quirky characters such as the three Stebbing sisters, the white moustachioed Colonel Burton
and Bennie the village thug. But the heroine of this story is the serene Mrs Pettigrew, who lives in a railway carriage down in the marshes with her dogs, donkey, bees and hens. Industrial reality intrudes when plans are made to build a nuclear power station on the site of the marshes, endangering Mrs Pettigrew's home and the gulls, owls, kestrels and thousands of insects and plants which also belong there. A village battle ensues for and against the environmental hazard of the power station, and the young Michael finds himself caught up in the sad fate of Mrs Pettigrew and the landscape of his boyhood.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Kate DiCamillo Walker Books • 978 1 4063 6066 0
A timeless tale by the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, complete with stunning full-colour plates by Bagram Ibatoulline, honours the enduring power of love. 'Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart.' Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was
lost. Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes' camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle – that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.
The Finisher David Baldacci Macmillan • 978 1 4472 6300 5
Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but a forest filled with danger and death. And she always believed it – until the night she saw Quentin Herms run away. Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave – he was chased. And he left behind a trail of clues that point to a dark conspiracy at the heart of Wormwood. To follow the clues will attract the attention of influential people willing to kill to keep their secrets. If Vega wants to stay safe, she just needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. There's only one problem – Vega Jane never walks away from a fight. Master storyteller David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable heroine who must think fast, hit hard, and defy all odds to uncover the truth.
The 39-Storey Treehouse Andy Griffiths Pan Macmillan • 978 1 4472 8158 0
Andy and Terry are once again inviting readers to come hang out with them in their astonishing 39-story treehouse (it used to be 13 stories, then 26 stories, but they keep expanding). And this year they will have even more time to jump on the world's highest trampoline, toast marshmallows in an active volcano, swim in the chocolate waterfall, pet baby dinosaurs, and go head-to-trunk with the Trunkinator, since Terry has created the greatest invention that he – or anyone else – has ever invented, a 'once-upon-a-time' machine that will write and illustrate their entire book for them. Join New York Times bestselling author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton on another wild storytelling adventure in a series Publishers Weekly described as 'anarchic absurdity at its best.'
ODYSSEY 95 •
OLD CHURCH TRANSFORMED INTO SKATE PARK When old, historic buildings avoid destruction by being transformed into something new and invigorating for the community, you know we are doing something right as a society. The church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, was originally built over 100 years ago, yet had become crumbling and near-forgotten. The collective Church Brigade teamed up with Red Bull to remodel the space into a hip skate park called Kaos Temple. The final touch was bringing in famed artist Okuda San Miguel to paint every square inch of the interior with bright, geometric shapes, breathing life into the reimagined space. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign and the support of Red Bull, the project had enough funds to make the final product truly remarkable. After a week of painting the Kaos Temple was ready to impress both professional and amateur skaters. A refreshing blend of old and contemporary, Okuda wants people to know that this skate park is a destination for everyone: art aficionados, history buffs, skaters, and anyone with a healthy curiosity.
FIRST AFRICAN-INSPIRED RPG Game design and the gaming culture might not be synonymous with Africa, but a Cameroonian startup is set to change that perception with the release of its inaugural African-themed game, 'Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan'. Aurion is the product of Kiro’o Games, a startup founded by Madiba Olivier in 2003. Inspired by the games that shaped his childhood, Olivier found that there was a need for a game that African people could relate to. Along with his team of Cameroonian graduates, Olivier tapped into African folklore to create Enzo Kori-Odan, a traditional leader who is granted power by his ancestors, which he uses regain control of the Zama kingdom. The game is an action role-playing game that combines African myths, tales and traditions into a gaming experience. 'The history of our continent is rich. We took inspiration from local Cameroonian traditions, like the Ngondo festival celebrated by the Sawa people, and we also incorporated symbolism adapted from that of the Akan people of Ghana, specifically the Adinkra writing style,' Olivier was quoted as saying.
ODYSSEY 96 •
Cosmic Kids Cosmic Kids Zen Den is a series to help kids with mindfulness from the same people behind Cosmic Kids Yoga. On their YouTube channel you can find videos on Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.
DISCOVERING A LOST MAYAN CITY
ASTHMA-CAUSING MEDICINE A new study has found a link between home medicating babies and the development of asthma. According to a study conducted by Bristol University, there is a strong link between paracetamol and asthma – with results indicating that children who are given the painkiller as babies are a third more likely to develop asthma as a child. Mothers taking paracetamol during pregnancy are said to have the same effect. Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study also considered the reason why the children were taking paracetamol in the first place, to see if that could have caused the asthma. Despite these variables, they still found a strong link between use of the painkiller and the respiratory condition.
Using an unprecedented technique of matching stars to the locations of temples on Earth, a 15-year-old Canadian student says he’s discovered a forgotten Maya city in Mexico. Images from space suggest he may actually be onto something – but some experts are saying it’s something much simpler. William Gadoury, a teen from Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, developed an interest in archaeology after the publication of the Maya calendar announcing the 'end of the world' in 2012. After spending hours poring over diagrams of constellations and maps of known Maya cities, he noticed that the two appeared to be linked; the brightest stars of the constellations overlaid perfectly with the locations of the largest Maya cities. After studying 22 different constellations, Gadoury noticed that they neatly corresponded to the locations of 117 Mayan cities located in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. When looking at a 23rd constellation, he was able to match two stars to known cities – but a third star remained unmatched. Using transparent overlays, Gadoury pinpointed a location deep in the thick jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. What needs to happen now is a ground expedition, but that won’t come cheap, nor will it be easy. The location of the site is in one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Mexico. While this is quite fascinating, and the fact that a young boy has managed to identify these correlations, there are a few (perhaps jealous) scholars who are already trying to disprove his theory. Thomas Garrison, an anthropologist at USC Dornsife and an expert in remote sensing, says the objects are relic corn fields. And David Stuart, an anthropologist from The Mesoamerica Center, University of Texas at Austin says the whole thing is a 'mess'.
ODYSSEY 97 •
Forgotten Spiritual Truths About Raising Children
1. Do not consider them as our property; instead, look upon them as beloved guests, who only need our assistance and not our control; 2. Give them a sufficient amount of freedom so that they can earn experience from the world themselves; 3. Allow them to experience more and more things by and for themselves; 4. Do not teach them things about which we do not have direct personal experience and which was received from our teachers; 5. Teach them not to take anything for granted just because it was proclaimed by a person regarded as authority by the society around them; 6. Allow them to be doubtful of anything and everything until they gather personal experience about it; 7. Help them to remain free so that they will be open to any new experience available to them; 8. Share with them your own experience; 9. Create for them an environment in which they have a lot of opportunities to laugh and live a joyful, cheerful life and enjoy life as much as possible; 10. Offer them our own example, and show them how is it possible to live a conscious and alert life.
FAMILY MATTERS This video may be just an advert for a food company, but the message that is conveyed is universal and should be heard. MasterFoods asked a few Australian families one simple question: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose? What they uncovered surprised everyone. With the demands of modern life and workloads continuing to increase, the campaign acts as a timely reminder that dinner is more than just a meal, it's a chance to connect with the people who matter most in all our lives.
ODYSSEY 98 •
In Celebration of Loving A New Life 'This video by far is one of my most precious creations. I made this video under very different, difficult circumstances. During the time that my very first grandchild was being brought into this beautiful existence we call life I was unable to be present for his birth physically. So instead of wallowing in anger, guilt and regret, I channelled that energy in a positive way to create a celebration of his new life. My son named his new son, Weston Beau in honour of his deceased brother, Beau. Yes I am a grieving mother and will always be, but that brand new baby boy, my first grandson, has really indeed helped with the feeling of loss. My humble advice to you on those days of feeling down is to stay busy, like take up a new hobby, crafts or get close to nature. My relationship to nature is my strongest healing tool ever. Learn to appreciate the little things and KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Have fun and know you are loved. Just give up the negatives and live and focus in the positives. Relax and enjoy. Love, Light and Joy. Elizabeth.'
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Renewin gardenin values We all have our own set of values that drive our actions in certain directions, and, for Sarchen Bassingthwaighte for example, she values authentic gardening. You may ask how gardening can be anything but authentic, right? But, as she explains in this article, here’s the conundrum: if you follow the conventional gardening narrative you will have become inauthentic through poor gardening practices, even probably using toxic poisons and chemicals, and it shows in your garden too.
ODYSSEY 100 •
g our ng ODYSSEY 101 •
nyone with even a slightly trained eye will notice the tell-tale dark green foliage that is the result of chemicals; the leaves that are quick to go limp
at the first sign of stress, the sclerosis or yellowing of plants and constant disease and pest problems. Nobody wants this, yet this is what you’ll get if you follow conventional wisdom – which is to say, no wisdom at all. Ancient wisdom has some value, but conventional wisdom does not. The best value system, however, comes from self-exploration and good observations, which leads to improved values. However, in order to engage in this process I contend that you have to resign yourself to the fact that conventional wisdom needs to challenged. And then, if you accept that there is at least the possibility of an alternate value, you will open yourself to evolving towards natural gardening. What if you too could see the evidence of wholesome life in your garden? What if you too could lift some soil and see it teeming with earthworms and other life, feel the crumby humus-textured soil they create, and learn to recognise it. What if you too could smell the earthy smells and the volatile-filled air; be uplifted by these subtle experiences and quickly learn the principles of vibrant natural gardening. And it is easy. But first you have to face this challenge: the fact that everything you know about gardening is more than likely incorrect and practically every bit of gardening advice you have received may have limited value. For example, consider the supposition that you should copiously compost several times a year. Ask yourself how exactly this enhances your garden and
building: greens, carbons, life and trace elements. I
whether this has truly worked for you in the past. And
have written about this many times before and made
how would you determine the value even if you wanted
reference to the scientific study in this regard many times
to? What is compost? Do we even truly know what it
too but it is worth doing again. See this link for scientific
validation: www.vimeo.com/137406440. If you adapt
Consider the possibility that the compost you buy is
these four simple building blocks of greens, carbons, life
not compost in the fullest sense of its intended meaning.
and trace elements then you will add tremendous value
It is many things but it is not compost, and yet we are
to your garden, your health, your budget and your sense
made to believe that a large part of our answer lies in
spreading tons of the stuff each year. On the other hand, I contend that we should be
ODYSSEY 102 •
Another related note on value pertains to the relationship between soil and fresh foods.
putting building-blocks in place in our garden beds to
People are often confused that I consider salads
make real live compost in situ, right there, just as nature
bought in restaurants and supermarkets a lower value
does it. Compost being generated all the time just where
food given that salads are typically meant to be healthy.
it is needed is a simple process that can build upon
However, when salads such as these are presented to
itself in as quickly as one season, and can accumulate
me I think to myself; 'here comes my bowl of water,
exponentially from there on, ad infinitum.
chemicals and poisons', because these foods are very
What would these building blocks be? At Natural
watery, have little to no nutritional value and are laced
Gardening Principles we have categorised four building
with chemicals and poisons from modern agricultural
blocks that form the back-bone of supercharged soil
practices. I therefore almost never buy basic herbs,
tribes – some of whose members lived to 100 years old.
What if you too could see the evidence of wholesome life in your garden? What if you too could lift some soil and see it teeming with earthworms and other life, feel the crumby humus-textured soil they create, and learn to recognise it. What if you too could smell the earthy smells and the volatile-filled air; be uplifted by these subtle experiences and quickly learn the principles of vibrant natural gardening.
One of these tribes ate all their food within one hour of picking. Real freshness was their key to longevity. (For your interest there was another group that grew their foods at high altitudes, and another group that ate fermented cabbage high in micro organisms which is good for gut health). If the indigenous group in question ate their foods within one hour of picking then we need to consider re-defining the word 'fresh' because according to them fresh was not a minute longer than one hour. I guess it has something to do with the fact that we are made of 99.9% energy, and freshly picked foods still have this intact, a life-force that can be energetically imparted to our living cells perhaps. So, whenever I can, I grow my own basic herbs, lettuces, spinach, tomatoes and peppers. I grow them according to natural gardening principles to maximise their nutrient and energetic quotient; and then I eat them within an hour of picking. Besides anything else, it enhances the taste of my meal. The foods I mention here can be grown in a very limited space so virtually any interested person can do this whether living in an apartment or small home. In addition to the health value you can consider the rand value. R20 for a plastic punnet of parsley versus. snipping some hardy parsley from your garden for free. I hardly have a grocery bill because I just can’t bring myself to buy basic fresh produce when I can quickly grow my own, costing me almost nothing and which I have upgraded to superfood status because of the way I have grown it.
salads and vegetables, and if I do buy them I try to buy
If you are not gardening naturally but have said to
organic. But even organic is not all it is cracked up to
yourself that you wish to, I suggest you challenge the
be because organic producers do not get vetted for the
status quo, enhance your values and see what happens.
nutritional value of their crops in exactly the same way
If you want it badly enough your mind will commit to
that conventional farmers do not. Organic products are
it and you will not look back. It is really easy too; no
largely defined as such because of their exclusion of
conventional scientific knowledge is required, no need
chemicals and poisons but not by the nutritional value of
to understand NPK ratios, pH scales, pesticide calibration
their foods. Obviously there is more nutritional value in
and so on. In fact, the less you know, the more malleable
organic foods compared to conventional agricultural foods
you will be towards natural gardening principles, and the
but there is very little when compared to foods grown
smoother your migration will be. Well at least, that is the
naturally in mature soils.
goal of the natural services, products and information
In addition, the produce that you buy has been harvested at least two days or more before it is sold to you, and this is the fresh produce I am referring to, not cold storage produce. Furthermore, fresh produce is typically stored in fridges under neon lights in supermarkets, which all have high electro-magnetic frequencies and most certainly degrade the foods. In relation to the value of true freshness I have this study to share: Tests were done on various indigenous
that we at Natural Gardening Principles are committed to delivering. O
Attend Sarchen’s talks and visit their show garden at the Cape Town Flower Show from 27-30 October where they will be showcasing Supercharging Soil. CONTACT: Landscaping - Arlo 083 435 3197 Maintenance - Charles 083 445 0310 For any other questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
ODYSSEY 103 •
African heartla Most people might want to be somewhere north of the Limpopo River – perhaps even of the Zambezi – to be declaring that one had been 'in the heart of Africa'. But just a little time at Gondwana Game Reserve's Tented Eco-Camp gives a sense of reaching back across 250 million years of time to when this land on the southern tip of Africa was somewhere in the centre of the Gondwanaland super-continent.
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ODYSSEY 105 •
hat has happened to the 11 300ha of (most recently) former cattle-grazing farmland, now being transformed into a leading private
game reserve boasting all the so-called 'Big Five' among numerous other re-introduced species, between the ancient era of Gondwanaland and what we find today is far too vast a tale for these pages. But there is a deep sense of ancientness, as one puts one's foot onto the ground. The very geology – mixed, complex and speaking to unimaginably large events occurring over spans of time that we short-lived humans find nearly impossible to wrap our heads around – declares 'out loud' some of this ancient land's extraordinary history. At various times, it has been much as today, some version of scrub, heath-like and sprinkled with what most of us still call acacias (there is a new term, the Aussies having won the right to that name, but we won't bother with that since the rest of us know what an acacia is). Today, Gondwana Game Reserve's piece of Africa is described as part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, featuring fynbos comprised of some 2 000 species of Proteacae (proteas) and 5 000 species of Erica. But this land has also seen many other climate,
The game on the reserve runs from elephants, rhino and lion, through hippo, impala and wildebeest to zebra and springbok, among the other 'usual suspects' of the African bush; the lone springbok in the reserve currently hangs out with the impala for safety from lions and Cape leopards, but it is about to become part of a small springbok herd soon to call this reserve home.
vegetation and animal regimes. It has been variously lush and perhaps swamp-like, red-stained desert, and all but drowned under vast ancient waterflows which have carved out wide riverine sculptures that have over the ages softened and rounded to give the terrain a pleasing mix of (at a distance) gentle undulations and, where
Some amazing camera trap video footage from Gondwana Game Reserve
exposed as on cliff-sides, dramatic, layered depositional bands that contribute entire chapters running into the millions of years each which make up the back-story of this aged land. Owner Mark Rutherford explains that the vision for this place is in part to honour its ancient roots as a piece of a yet greater and older continent than even Africa; it is a way of putting our frequently short-sighted human
purchase and, almost most importantly, the introduction
perspectives into appropriately humbling context.
of a wide variety of animals.
With the first purchase of farmland in 2008 – more
The game on the reserve runs from elephants, rhino
has since been bought and yet more is in line to expand
and lion, through hippo, impala and wildebeest to zebra
the reserve still further – the programme of action has
and springbok, among the other 'usual suspects' of the
been a combination of returning the land to a more
African bush; the lone springbok in the reserve currently
pristine state, while progressively building the business
hangs out with the impala for safety from lions and
of the reserve.
Cape leopards, but it is about to become part of a small
There are some 96 private villas dotted about, but
ODYSSEY 106 •
springbok herd soon to call this reserve home.
they have been craftily located, and one hardly notices
Located about an hour out of Mossel Bay in the
them except on some approaches to the reserve's main
Southern Cape, the reserve in its varied past likely hosted
lodge, Kwena, which opened in 2010. These have helped
all of the creatures now located there, and quite likely
fund the development of the reserve, additional land
many others too. But already if feels like so much of
ODYSSEY 107 •
the rest of Africa, especially in those parts of the reserve where the obnoxious black wattle alien invaders have been eradicated. The battle with the ever-resilient black wattles is an ongoing affair and owner Mark is not convinced that the 8% eradication achieved so far – with excellent results as far as increased natural water flow and availability are concerned – will mean that all the black wattle in this reserve, and in the planned extensions to come, will be gone in his lifetime. That, he says, is a job that may have to be finished by the next generation. While it is more than commendable that Gondwana's owners and management have committed themselves to ridding this piece of Africa of this horribly destructive species (thoughtlessly imported, among other invasives, from Australia), and have combined with a charcoalmanufacturing plant on the neighbouring property in an excellent piece of optimal local resource management, Mark is realistic about the fact that in some places the
Those wanting to get into what Africa is all about don't need to go anywhere further north, east or west because not only does Gondwana Game Reserve have a real right to call itself part of the African (and before that Gondwana) heartland, but it has everything going on that one could hope for.
wattle dominates waterlines and ravines and is virtually impossible to easily clear. But he and his team are determined to do whatever it takes.
Eco-logical That's why it's eco-logical for the latest phase in the
camera footage. The point is really this: those wanting to get into what Africa is all about don't need to go anywhere further
and nestled in a fold in the land on the valley floor, this
north, east or west because not only does Gondwana
five-tented initiative is designed to be almost completely
Game Reserve have a real right to call itself part of the
off-grid – and very much down into the detail and dirt of
African (and before that Gondwana) heartland, but it has
an active eco experience.
everything going on that one could hope for.
Opened in October 2015, the five large, comfortable
In our short stay, we saw lions – a gorgeous
twin share tents set on raised platforms each with a
dark-maned male and his two fine females, one with a
bathroom and covered deck area, are matched by two
fresh kill in her jaws – and all the rest of the major Africa
additional tents for staff and a recreational communal tent
game one might expect. All, that is, barring the extremely
which includes kitchen, lounge, working computer station,
shy local leopards, which are even more solitary, smaller
and indoor and outdoor dining. There's a hang-out area
and rarer than their more northerly cousins.
featuring hammocks and a plunge pool, as well as an
And we also saw, some up close and personal, the
outdoor shower, just in case you want to take in views of
numerous other species, footed and winged, which are
the bush while you get clean.
clearly thriving under the caring hands of the reserve's wildlife management team.
runs all-year around. The program is designed for 6 days
and 5 nights, which is longer than the usual duration for
It is difficult to take what was an extremely personal
most game reserve visitors – but then this eco-experience
experience – you, the bush, its creatures and some few
is not for folks wanting to lounge around all day in 5-star
other humans – and turn that into a travelogue that does
comfort being waited on and going for the odd game drive.
not read like the usual sort of thing. That is because it is
It is, in fact, all about getting people directly involved,
tracking through movement-activated still and video
Eco Camp. Located some distance from the main lodge
every Monday with departure midday on Saturday and
game counting and GPS locating, and wildlife activity
reserve's development to be the setting up of its Tented
There is an active Conservation program which starts
invertebrate and amphibian surveys in freshwater sources,
specifically not 'the usual sort of thing'.
whether that be helping out with the alien (black wattle)
Gondwana's Eco Tent experience is for people who
eradication campaign, which continues relentlessly, taking
want to get their hands into the ancient dirt of Africa,
ODYSSEY 109 •
step in her rich and fertile mud, sweat over obstinate pieces of nasty black wattle, while marvelling at Africa's exceptional beauty. There were magnificent sunsets with the majestic Langeberg Mountains, blue- and purple-hazed in the distance. There were fresh mornings with the rich odour of Africa's timeless soil in the nostrils. There were soaring birds of prey, apparently nonchalant ellies unconcerned by our presence, nervous wildebeest on a night-time drive, along with unidentifiable shining eyes in the Africa darkness. There were puffadders, beautiful in their southern range brighter markings and slightly smaller than their northern counterparts, but every bit as deadly, and a few unfortunate slangsteekers, maligned over hundreds of years by farmers associating their common occurrence with fang marks from puffadders or maybe Cape cobras when trying to understand what had happened to dead livestock. It was and is, in short, Africa, old and new. Certainly long wheel-based Landies, with inquisitive humans jounced around in their seats over potholes and ruts, were not once part of this landscape any more than the black wattle which plagues it. And there weren't luxury eco-tents, drawing their energy from the sun or low-impact resources. As old as this land is, there weren't even humans for great stretches of its past. In terms of getting to know Africa through direct contact with its geological and ecological pre-history, there are equivalent places one may go, but few that pack so much into a relatively small piece of our aged and venerable continent, motherland to all humans. And in terms of getting into the nitty-gritty of off-grid living and working practically with conservation and eco-awareness top of mind, there are even fewer places one could look. But it is Africa. The nights can be bitterly cold and the days brutally hot. And, if you get it wrong with one or other of the big (and some of the small) animals and creatures of this place, it will bite you. So you must come prepared, both for the conditions and what you may be called upon to engage in as far as activities are concerned, as well as for the wildlife. Above all, though, you must take with you a sense of adventure – not only because there is some fantastic game viewing to be had and some practical, hands-on involvement in eco-conservancy, but because once one is on the ground and among the plants and animals, it feels almost like going back in time to experience some long-lost aspects of Africa as it was in an age before humans had over-run it.
ODYSSEY 110 •
Gondwana's Eco Tent experience is for people who want to get their hands into the ancient dirt of Africa, step in her rich and fertile mud, sweat over obstinate pieces of nasty black wattle, while marvelling at Africa's exceptional beauty. In terms of getting to know Africa through direct contact with its geological and ecological pre-history, there are equivalent places one may go, but few that pack so much into a relatively small piece of our aged and venerable continent, motherland to all humans.
Gondwana Game Reserve Reservations: Tel +27 21 424 5430 Email: email@example.com Website: www.gondwanagr.co.za Gondwana Game Reserve, Herbertsdale Road (off R327) Mossel Bay, Western Cape, 6505 GENERAL INFORMATION ü The Lodge opened in May 2010 ü 14 Kwena Lodge Rooms, 2, 3 and 4 Bedroom Luxury Villas ü Private meeting space up to 30 delegates
KWENA RESTAURANT, BAR & LOUNGE (Available to Kwena lodge and Fynbos villa guests) DYSSEY • 111 ü Kwena Restaurant seating up to 60 guests ü Outside Dining
ODYSSEY 112 •
review Bloomsbury • 9781 4088 7038 9
It is difficult to know how, exactly, to review a book by an author such A C Grayling. A renowned academic, professor of philosophy, his word should be good enough for just about anybody and therefore his writing should illuminate and define his subjects. And in large measure, no doubt they do. But what can you say when such a scion of academia makes the very subject of the book one in which he indulges a long-standing philosophical piece of nonsense which is only widely accepted in today's world because of its place in making possible the thinking of our (still largely) Newtonian paradigm. Despite Einstein's relativistic insights, the Newtonian paradigm still forms of the basis of most thinking and educated people's worldviews. What then, is this 'piece of nonsense' which is referred to? It is the Cartesian myth of 'I think therefore I am'. Were it not so embedded in our collective psyche as some kind of extraordinarily profound insight, such a comment might be written off as unsophisticated argumentation issuing from a 1st year philosophy student's mouth. Yes, Descartes, among many others, helped pave the way for our modern day's systematic, empirical thinking, which in turn has helped us develop a powerful body of sciences with their resultant and even more impressive technologies (and a whole host of associated and serious global problems.) But it is also an obvious fallacy. One cannot prove one 'is' by virtue of the supposed 'fact' that one thinks. Descartes, in attempting to find a solid a priori ground from which to proceed with regard to logically addressing some of mankind's most enduring and difficult questions, including 'what do I know for sure?' decided, rather arbitrarily it has to be
said, that while he could not 'prove' his bodily existence, the fact of his thinking seemed more persuasive to him as a proof of his being. But one can't think, as Descartes was doing in his famous cogito ergo sum phrase, without a brain and accompanying body. It seems childishly obvious, but when a leading professor of philosophy trots out this old haggard bit of inadequate conceptualisation as a prime underpinning exemplar of the 'age of reason' one must be forced to reconsider just how 'reasoned' is such an age. Indeed, the so-called modern-day paradigm, as so obviously espoused by this author, is so out of date (111 years and counting) by later evolutions of thought, such as Einstein's special and general theories of relativity, let alone by the yet stranger and more bizarre constructions of how things work a la quantum mechanics and string theory, one is tempted simply to toss this tome aside as outdated. To use Einstein again, and to paraphrase, one cannot solve the problems created by one's thinking with more thinking of the same kind. This book, as esteemed as its author may be, is merely 'more thinking of the same (Newtonian) kind' and as such you may well be better off spending your time doing something else than read it – it's certainly not going to provide any blindingly revelatory insights into how to solve our world's and our many personal and social complex problems. As to Descartes, he has his place in history and that's where he needs to stay – he would be utterly lost in today's world in which we know from physics that 'stuff' isn't even stuff, but mostly empty space with the potential for something to maybe be, sometimes, somewhere. This book, its author and its contents pertain to an era gone by and holds a perspective no longer applicable – unless we want more of the same thinking that has got the world into the mess that it's in today. This critique may appear overly harsh – and it does pick on a single point out of a great many made in the
The Age Of Genius: The 17th century & the Birth of the Modern Mind A C Grayling
work. But that single point underlines a major problem in the so-called 'mainstream' world view which is supposed to be based on absolutely logical, provable grounds – but simply isn't. Indeed a great many of our collective problems/challenges may be laid squarely at the door of the essentially 19th Century perspective of the author. And it is that perspective which is the real problem here – aside from any issues of philosophical constructs which now stand out as perhaps remarkable in some fashion in their time, but whose time has long since come and gone.
ODYSSEY 113 •
The Deeper the Sorrow, the Stronger the Spirit Alexandra Levin Heartspace Publications • 978 0 9924 3383 3
It is no accident that the very first of the Four Nobel Truths discovered by Buddha in his quest to know 'self', and thereby to understand the workings of the universe as experienced at the human level, was that 'Life is Suffering'. This, he explained, is because in life we are attached to so much, including life itself, whereas all things are transitory and temporary, including life. Attachment to the way things are or the way we want them to be, then, automatically leads to suffering when things are not as we would have them or change into a condition we do not want to accept. Therefore, determined Buddha with relentless logic, be not attached. In this book the author has interviewed a number of people – some of them fairly well known locally – each of whom has endured one form of extreme experience or another. Each has known, or continues to experience, severe or chronic suffering of various kinds. Each shines a light on how they, in their own ways, have used suffering to deepen their soul connection, first with their own inner selves, and then with others and universe as a whole. From holocaust and tsunami survivors through assorted other types of survivors (one could say all those interviewed have 'survived' some severe life
ODYSSEY 114 •
lessons) the author takes us through a journey of over 20 people from very different backgrounds and holding widely divergent worldviews but who have all experienced a deepening of their experience as spiritual beings living human lives of flesh. If you are currently feeling that life has let you down, that you have too much to carry and too much pain to bear, this book may help you find a way when you think there is none. See ad on pg 112.
Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London Catharine Arnold Simon & Schuster • 978 1 4711 2570 6
This is a great book for understanding Elizabethan London and the society contemporary with that of the person now routinely credited with the authorship of what are called the 'Shakespearian plays', otherwise known as William Shakspere (with various spellings of the last name). It is a great book from that perspective, but it is based, as is so much ostensibly 'academic' research on the obviously preposterous notion that a fellow of little means and less education, who could hardly sign his own name, was capable of the works that now travel under his name – but with a growing body of leading performers, historians and doubters questioning the entire edifice that has become the (much mythologised) story of the 'Bard of Stratford-on-Avon'. It is fundamentally annoying, for anyone who has
made a study of the subject, to even pretend for the sake of conformity that Shakspere, the dramatists and, according to Ben Johnson's edited collective works of this supposed author, writer of what we today call the Shakespeare works, that the controversy around who was the real author of these works, among the greatest in English even global literature, is blithely ignored. For the record, there are a number of much more likely contenders, the most likely by a country mile being Francis Bacon, who is also likely to have been Elizabeth's first unacknowledged son, brought up in the household of Lady Anne Bacon, one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting (but all whose living expenses and university education were paid for by Elizabeth, without suitable conventional historical explanation of this fact). There is so much to the Shakespearean authorship debate – a huge academic issue in the 19th century but now largely pushed to the fringes by Dons and other academics with too much skin in the game to even consider alternative authors – that it totally overshadows what this book may have to offer. Perhaps, for the interested, this book may provide a context within which the much more interesting subject of whether Bacon wrote these plays or not (he almost certainly did) and where the proof lies (in the First Folios themselves, according to one cipher, ciphers being a favourite
have been translated in virtually ever language on earth and which are still held to be among the supreme achievements in literature of any time or culture. Elsewhere in these pages we have commented on that controversy. In reading this book, if one does, the constant thought in the back on one's mind ought to be: 'How could a man barely able to write his own name legibly be the same person who wrote such timeless words?' It is an excellent question which even the most steeped in Shakespearean studies cannot adequately answer.
form of secret communication used extensively by Bacon), and why Bacon chose to use WS as a front for his work. Those issues together weave a far more fascinating tale of intrigue in the court of Elizabeth, especially revealing the harsh realities of political life at that time. This book is premised on an essentially made-up story around the character and life of W Shakspere, which is largely fictional since almost nothing historical is know about this personage. But for Bacon's choice of him as a front for the plays and sonnets which Bacon penned, almost certainly Shakspere would have passed from the pages of history unnoticed and uncelebrated.
The Millionaire and the Bard Andrea Mays Simon & Schuster • 978 1 4391 1823 8
This is a great detective story about millionaire Henry Folger who went about on an obsessive search for the First Folio of 36 'Shakespeare' players published in 1623, some seven years after their named and ostensible author William Shakspere died. In retelling the saga of that search, this book serves well the history of the works themselves. As to the allocation of authorship, that is increasingly a contentious subject, given that the person we know today as William Shakespeare had virtually no background or education to enable him to write such masterpieces that
L'art de la Simplicité: How to Live More With Less Dominique Loreau Orion • 978 1 4091 6385 5
This is a lovely little book about simplifying our lives – how to do that and what it does for us. And what it does is helps us live more connected, fulfilled lives, precisely because living with simplicity makes living all the more enjoyable; it brings us back to ourselves and away from the devices, technologies and multitude of distractions and external requirements of what we are pleased to call 'modern life'. So if a better life is to be found in a simpler life, then the simple thing to do is suggest that if the sound of this book resonates with you, get it and read it. If not, then don't.
Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome Reba Riley Howard Books • 978 1 5001 2567 6
In her 29th year, the author was struck by an existential problem: she was desperately ill and her religion was not helping her at all. Instead she sought to seek out and understand 30 different religions by her 30th birthday. The result is this book, humorously presented. The author wound her way through a wide assortment of beliefs and believers, of dogmas and dogmatists, and faiths and the faithful. In the end, she found that the best way to 'find ourselves', or perhaps that should be 'find our spiritual selves',
is first to get lost, just as the author did. Behind the writing is a gentle and compassionate spirit which is perhaps the most important thing about this book. If you are or know of a seeker who has yet to find their way, this book may be a great starting point.
Awakening the Heroes Within Carol S Pearson Elixir • 978 0 0625 0678 8
For those wishing to work with themselves and others on a deeper level, there can be no better entry into the complexity of the human consciousness than to understand the role of archetypes in the making of who we are (and who we are not). The idea of archetypes has derived in large measure from the work of Carl Jung who rejected initial work by Freud and moved into greater depth and textuality of the human consciousness, especially that party (almost always unconscious in large measure) in which archetypes play out their role. To make this simple, archetypes are like the skeletal structure of your consciousness – they form the shape the framework on which the rest of you is built. The outer aspect – your personality and adaptation techniques to the world around you – are derived directly from these archetypes, which this author reduces to a core number of 12. Other authors and teachers work with similar archetypes though often using more than the 12 in this book – the major arcarna of the Tarot card deck numbering 22 is a good example of a fuller field of archetypal references. Be that as it may, this one will introduce you to the innocent, the orphan, the warrior, the caregiver, the seeker, the lover, the destroyer, the creator, the ruler, the magician, the sage and (most misunderstood of all) the fool. It is overall a well done piece of work and even though you may read it, learn from it and graduate to more subtle and deeper understandings of our complex selves, it will serve you well whether you are already somewhat educated in these matters or merely starting out.
ODYSSEY 115 •
Make Your Home: 75 Decor and Lifestyle Projects Germarie Bruwer & Margaux Tait Struik Lifestyle ISBN 978 1 43230 514 7
Make Your Home incorporates 75 creative and inspirational décor and craft projects for around the home. The authors love taking everyday items and give them a twist. Up-cycling and re-purposing are key terms in their design lexicon. As they say: 'Trends come and go, but you have to live in your home, so make it a comfortable space that can grow and change with you.' Through their innovative ideas, inspired use of materials and ability to reinvent ordinary objects, the authors present projects suitable for all craft and décor enthusiasts, from beginners to those with more advanced skills. Whether you prefer to tackle projects with a handsaw and cordless drill, craft paper and scissors, or a sewing needle and delicate trim, there is something here for everyone. Plus there are ideas for adapting the projects to suit your own style and needs. From storage solutions to paint techniques, through knitted rugs and upholstered seats, to stamped tiles and outdoor seating, there are ideas to brighten and enliven your home and outdoor spaces – all showcased via beautiful photography, concise instructions and an appealing design.
Crochet Home: 20 Vintage Modern Crochet Projects for the Home Emma Lamb Struik Lifestyle • 978 43230 658 8
Transform your home with this collection of beautiful crocheted home wares by talented crochet designer and blogger Emma Lamb. Choose from 20 retro-chic patterns to prettify your home such as quick to stitch gorgeous flower garlands, vintage inspired blankets and throws, and delightful doilies and cushions. Whether you are new to crochet or an experienced stitcher looking for wonderful new project ideas, this book is sure to appeal. Emma's technique for combining colours and subtle but stunning designs makes these projects stand out from other crochet titles. Includes techniques and crochet charts as well crochet patterns.
Creative Colouring Mandala Expressions Valentina Harper Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 4323 0734 9
Boho Paisley Colouring Book Debra Valencia Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 4323 0738 7
Flowering Mandalas Colouring Book Thaneeya Mcardle Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 4323 0735 6
Modern Flowers Colouring Book Debra Valencia Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 4323 0737 0
I kick myself for not having thought of adult colouring books first. What a wonderful idea and, when used, most calming indeed. Wonderful for all seasons, but especially good for the introspective winter months. Great for young and old. Enjoy.
ODYSSEY 116 •
Spirit of Kundalini Desert Rose
Catch Desert Rose in Mozambique for a 3-night Sound to Silence Retreat from 1-4 September. R3500 / person sharing Cost includes accommodation, all meals and workshops. (Excludes all transport)
I have been an avid follower of the wonderful music produced by Lynne and Yusuf. Whatever they produce touches the heart and promotes deep inner contemplation. And to see them in person and to witness their public performances evokes profound spiritual reverence. All of the tracks on this CD are profoundly inspirational and should be listened to again and again, be it as a meditation tool or even during therapeutic situations. Yusuf recently stated that: 'This will be the first time, to my mind, an African Continent music group has produced a Kundalini Mantra CD and is therefore challenging the big names in the industry such as Deva Premal and Snatam Kaur. And the good news is that the largest distributor of yoga music, Spirit Voyage, has confirmed their distribution of the new CD after listening to a two minute sound byte of Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.' While I may be thoroughly biaised I can confidently say that this music comes highly recommended. To purchase please go to www.desertrosemusic.co.za
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE
Elm Dew Earth: Realms of Light Volume 2 – Orchestral Piano Elm Dew Earth: Realms of Light Volume 2 – New Age Harp Composed, Produced And Performed by Fabritszia Margit Gosztola This piano music is gentle, melodic and inspired by all beautiful things in nature, as well as drawing from the devic energies within the animal, angelic and elemental worlds. I have it on when I work, when I want to sleep peacefully and even at the start of our meditation classes. This lady is hugely gifted and it is amazing to see that this all stems from her own inner being. These two cds are part of a series and if you love piano and harp music then this is most definitely for you. Let us support our local artist, especially when the music is so professional and deeply pleasing to the ear. For more email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their YouTube channel HERE for samples.
ODYSSEY 117 •
Life Cards – M H Misplon
My childhood days were spent in the small town of Carnarvon in the Karoo. This beautiful town gave me the freedom to lose myself on the plains of the Karoo. It was these times that stood still and became infinite for me. Times I was able to listen to Nature's sweet voice. Every time I saw a wild animal it made me feel special because I always felt I was looking into the eyes of God when I made that eye-to-eye contact with the animal. Special times indeed. Later in life I completed my drama studies and started living in cities with very little contact with Nature – I felt my life-line was blocked. It was devastating for me. I tried many 'things' to relieve this – Tarot Cards, American Animal Cards, Angel Cards but nothing resonated with me. I continued my search and at last have come upon something that fulfils my need perfectly. Life Cards. These cards are inspirational and uplifting. They are true for all creeds. I met Michael and Penny many years ago and came upon them again when they lived in Murraysburg, a small village near Theefontein, the farm I am now living on with my teacher, the Griqua Healer – Oom Johannes. We then had the fortune to be able to visit them more often. They do strong and ethical work in the healing field and many times it was their wise words, that came from their hearts, that was the life line that saved me from drowning and helped me grow spiritually. Life truths are always simple and when someone says them to you, you always feel: 'I know this, I just needed to be reminded'. Michael and Penny have just brought out a pack of LIFE CARDS and if you have ever looked for wise words with life-truths to guide you, here is the answer. I choose a card and spend the day contemplating it – sometimes I might keep it a week or more until I have a realisation for myself. In these cards I can see and feel how spirit has guided Michael to write down these truths and share them with us, mankind. I encourage you to use them and move forward in life. Review by Antoinette Pienaar, author of The Griqua's Apprentice and Kruidjie Roer My. www.kriuerkraaikoning.co.za
We have SIX packs of LIFE CARDS available to give away. All you have to do is email email@example.com with your full contact details to stand a chance of winning.
LIFE CARDS A SET OF 50 CARDS CONSISTING OF UNIVERSAL ETHICAL TRUTHS THAT HAVE BEEN CHANNELED AND HAND WRITTEN TO CARRY THROUGH TO YOU THE TRUE SPIRIT ENERGY OF THE MESSAGES.
YOU ARE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR OWN LIFE. A GOOD LIFE IS ALL ABOUT
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. LIFE CARDS WILL HELP
Bongiwe Agencies Ω ODYSSEY 118 •
R320.00 per set
TO ORDER CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org | +27 (0)44 873 0251
'We are not here just to survive, make money and live long, we are here to live and know life in all of its richness, variety and many dimensions.' - Ronnie Muhl
Facing Our Fears Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' The problem with this statement is that fear never dies. For us the task is not
Dealing with fear is about taking action. If the fear we are facing is of a physical nature, then
waiting for fear to die, but to face our fears while we live,
we should let the fear guide us in the direction of what
and yet for many of us this is far easier said than done.
action should be taken, but if our fear is psychological,
Fear is one of those emotions that can have a
then as a general rule we should push through it. Feel
devastating impact on our life and it is incredible how it
the fear and do it anyway. Remember that we cannot
can manifest itself in our physical being. Slight fear and
control our fear, but we can control our response to it.
anxiety causes mild physical changes like butterflies in
Fears diminishes as skills improve. As we develop our
the tummy, raised heartbeat and clammy hands, whereas
competence, we develop our confidence and we reduce
intense fear can literally stop us in our tracks.
our fears. Someone once said, 'there is only one fear and
So how do we face our fears?
that is the fear of being afraid'. In the words of Dan Millman: 'Fear is a wonderful
How do we learn to let fear become our guide, our
servant, but a terrible master. Like pain it can alert
adviser and our friend? If we consider that most of our
and advise you, but may also cloud or limit your life.
battles are fought in the caverns of our own psyche
Fear appears in many guises, such as “I'm not really
and deep within our own soul, then we need to learn
interested in doing that”, or “Why bother?”, or “I can't.”
to embrace fear. We need to become the master of fear
Your everyday fears of failure, of rejection, or even the
and not the servant. It needs to become our friend and
fear of being yourself are not walls, but hurdles. Courage
not our foe.
is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it.'
Just Do It We have all heard the phrase 'So much to do and so
things first.' I believe we can do and see it all, if we learn
little time to do it in'. Isn't this an expression that we've
to prioritise and become very clear about what it is we
all heard so many times before? For those of us who
want out of life. Sadly, however, most of us spend more
are adventurous, outgoing and determined to do an
time planning our annual holiday than we spend planning
enormous amount with our lives, this can be a terribly
our lives. How would it be to reach the end of our days
frustrating thought. The more we study, the more we
without any regrets, having done and seen it all, and to
realise how little we know and the more we travel, the
be thoroughly 'used up'?
more places we find there are to visit.
Get out and do it.
So how do we 'do' and 'see' it all? Steve Covey puts it so beautifully when he says, 'Put first
ODYSSEY 119 •
What a time to be alive People say that your best years are your naughty 40s and that it's the youth of your old age. Our resident astrologer Margarita Celeste looks at this time through celestial eyes.
ODYSSEY 120 •
Women are often in their full feminine power, sexually mature and a lot more secure than in our 20s or even our 30s – this often goes for
What no one mentions, is the initiation into this decadent and delicious decade. The midlife crisis is a whisper behind closed doors, a raised eyebrow, a silent suffering. It heralds imminent divorces, or meeting our true soulmate, leaving our careers and carving out an entirely new existence. It means moving to a new country, a spiritual pilgrimage, a mature relationship with our almost grown up children. It's a time of breaking, shaping, making, renewal. It's often when we truly begin to understand and know who we are, a time when we start heading towards true self knowledge and self awareness. A time when we let go of our baggage, realising that it really no longer serves us. Intimations are never fun, and of course the planets have much to do with it, as they always do. Studies have attributed this time to what is called the U-Shaped
Curve, a rise and fall in happiness over our adult years, and astrology supports this fact by way of the planetary cycles that are occurring at this time. We all remember our Saturn Return, as a time of maturing, and this midlife period is similar, but because we are older, more
At around the age of 41, transiting Uranus makes a square aspect to our birth Uranus. Uranus was discovered in the French revolution, and therefore was assigned the qualities of the time – independence, shocking uprising and rebellion, sudden change, becoming an individual, going against conformity, acting abruptly, cutting things off, extreme change, eccentricity and sometimes, the quality of sudden, striking intuition.
mature and can handle more, we get hit with many more challenges than when we turned 30.
illness, control, greed.
Between the ages of 36 and 41, the outer planets –
When transiting Pluto aspects our birth Pluto, between
that is, the planets that we cannot see with the naked eye
the ages of 36 – 40, we can expect to feel disempowered
(Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), in their movement around
somewhere in our lives. We can expect difficult endings
the zodiac, make certain aspects to their natal (birth)
and transitions, the need to take control, sometimes
place in the chart. So, travelling Uranus aspects (triggers)
death or illness, becoming obsessed with someone or
natal (birth) Uranus, travelling Neptune aspects natal
something. We often enter counselling, a positive action
Neptune, and the same for Pluto.
to take during a Pluto transit, in which we are given the
This means that these travelling, or transiting planets
tools to transform and take our power back.
trigger certain, let's say, lessons, that need to be
We encounter people who try to control us, hold
integrated into the personality in order to march ahead
power over us. We can fall into a dark hole of obsession,
with the rest of our lives. Saturn joins the party right
or we can choose to transform. Pluto can create the
at the end, sealing in the experiences and giving us a
greatest positive change in our lives, if we let it, if we
sense of boundary and structure, pushing us to accept
become vulnerable, realise our humanity, work from the
the responsibilities that have come our way over this
heart and not attempt to control the outcome, the person
period. Let's take a look at exactly when these aspects,
or the situation. Ultimately, Pluto gives us the ability to
or triggers happen, and what they potentially means for
truly let go, in every sense of the word. We emerge, light
each of us :
warriors, triumphant, blazing with the purification of our
Usher in Pluto, darkest of all the planets. Pluto was
discovered around the time of the First World War.
Then, at around the age of 41, transiting Uranus
Therefore, he's given the characteristics of that dark
makes a square aspect to our birth Uranus. Uranus
period in history – death, endings, trauma, destruction,
was discovered in the French revolution, and therefore
power, obsession, darkness, transformation, change,
was assigned the qualities of the time – independence,
ODYSSEY 121 •
shocking uprising and rebellion, sudden change, becoming an individual, going against conformity, acting abruptly, cutting things off, extreme change, eccentricity and sometimes, the quality of sudden, striking intuition. Uranus is different, above all, it's not like anything else. It triggers the part of us that screams to be different, to be independent, to March to the beat of our own drum, not not listen to any authority but our own. Sounds romantic and wonderful at first, but Uranus can wreak some pretty bad havoc on our lives. It's the planet that makes our husbands buy a motorbike, trying to break free, causes sudden divorce, affairs – all attending to escape the mould that our lives have become. Uranus causes us to seek something that defines us, allows us to truly express our individuality. Uranus is our saviour when we are complacent, dead, apathetic. It wakes us up with an icy splash of water, a jolt of electricity, a shock to the heart. We need Uranus in our lives, else we would
When Neptune triggers us, we feel as if we are floating along a fog of uncertainly, nothing seems real and we have an intense need to escape the reality that is facing us. We struggle to find a handhold in anything real, and here we can lie to ourselves about our situation, or have others deceive and lie to us.
continue to sleep in a dead slumber. Next up, at around the same age, we have transiting Neptune aspecting our birth Neptune. Neptune was
Neptune, King of the ocean, threatens to drown us in
discovered around the 1850s, and assigned the
his watery depths, and we are pushed to swim, and keep
characteristics of the time, just as Uranus was. Hence,
our heads above water.
Neptune attained the qualities of glamour (film just
Lastly, Saturn comes in to round it all off, around
came out, along with photography) confusion, deception
age 44. Saturn, our tough love teacher, the setter of
(everyone was a charlatan, speaking to the dead, raising
boundaries, the planet signifying responsibility, pressure,
spirits, doing seances), addiction (this was the time in
insecurities, fears, brings us worldly challenges right that
which deadly drugs such as opium, cocaine and heroin
the end of all this change.
were popular), spiritualism (see, seances) and psychic ability.
ODYSSEY 122 •
Saturn comes in the form of moving house, changing jobs, going to court – anything that takes on the
When Neptune triggers us, we feel as if we are
responsibilities and the practicalities of the issues we
floating along a fog of uncertainly, nothing seems real
have been experiencing. It gets us to make sure we are
and we have an intense need to escape the reality that
following through, pushes us despite our fears toward the
is facing us. We struggle to find a handhold in anything
final goal. It aspects natal Saturn via an opposition, like a
real, and here we can lie to ourselves about our situation,
stand off, and in the beginning, we may feel as if we will
or have others deceive and lie to us (cue, cheating
crumble, that we can't take any more. Oh, but we can.
husband, or wife). Neptune challenges us to find an inner
We can, and we will. And once we have, we will realise
spiritual strength, to define and cut away the dross and
the great gifts that this teacher had to bring us. We will
eventually gives us the sailing skills we need to navigate
truly, finally, be in our skins, most comfortably, most fully
our wayward ship in order to find safe haven once again.
and most wholly. O
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ODYSSEY 123 •
ODYSSEY 124 •
flections n the age acting like the previous generation
In the Mojave Desert one often comes across notorious
what is truly important
A man approached Abu Said A'bil Khair, a great Master to whom are attributed many miracles.
ghost towns; constructed near gold mines, they were
'You are the most powerful of all men,' said the man,
abandoned once all the gold had been extracted from
'because you can walk on the waters of a river, fly to the
the earth. They played their part but with the gold gone,
tops of the highest trees and move from the West to the
it made no sense to continue to inhabit them.
East in less than a minute. I came here to be at your
When we walk through a forest, we also see trees
service for the rest of my life.'
that have fallen down once they have played their
'There is nothing interesting in those things,' replied
part. But, unlike the ghost towns, what has happened?
Abu Said A'bil Khair, 'the ducks also walk on the waters
They have opened up space for light to penetrate, they
of the river, the birds are capable of flight and the Devil
fertilise the soil, and their trunks are covered with new
is able to go from West to East in less than a minute. If
it is because of those things that you came all this way, I
Our old age will depend on the way in which we live. We can end up like a ghost town. Or like a generous tree, which continues to be
am not interested in your services.' He paused for a moment, enjoying the embarrassment of the man, and then continued, 'These things hold no
important, even after it has fallen to the ground.
value, they are merely used to educate and discipline
the kite and the wind
man. You should only honour those who, in spite of
Dr R Brasch comments: 'We must remember that we are
night to defend what they believe in, who are gentle
not the only ones that are facing an almost solution-less
to others, who marry and don't allow themselves to be
problem. However, the same way a kite can only take
beaten by the common difficulties in life, who work from
flight when it is against a wind gust, our worst problems
dawn to dawn to take care of their families and never
serve to elevate us to a higher step. We cannot forget
having to live in deplorable conditions, fight day and
that others have also gone through the same unbearable
'Every time you encounter a person like this, look to
times that we are going through, and they made it. If they
serve them for a time, because that person is certainly in
can do it, so can we.'
need of some help.' O
©Translated by Michelle Artimez • Travel with Paulo through his blogs, visit www.paulocoelhoblog.com
ODYSSEY 125 •
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ODYSSEY 126 •
ODYSSEY 127 •
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Enquiries: Allan 079 183 8430 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.love-fire.co.za
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ODYSSEY 128 •
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In our third edition of 2016 we look at all matters of the heart and mind. Enjoy South Africa's leading conscious lifestyle digimag.
Published on Aug 3, 2016
In our third edition of 2016 we look at all matters of the heart and mind. Enjoy South Africa's leading conscious lifestyle digimag.