It was already very cold at the beginning of December when I received a harvest of bright red cactus fruits responsible for this beautiful jam. The finished product was worth getting stabbed by the fine, hair-like glochids on the outside of the red fruits. The glochids went right through the gloves and through a dishtowel, with no problem. Ouch! I didn't want any of those deadly barbs in the jam.
The jam has a sweet but mild taste--a bit like red pepper jelly. The fruit was completely matured on nopal cactus paddles growing on the sunny hillside of a redwood forest.
I think the jam goes wonderfully on toast with butter. But it mixes well into almond butter, too. I've also mixed the cactus fruit jam with bright fruity flavors such as pomegranate juice, mango pulp, lemon juice, orange-flower water and honey, until the mixture resembles a thick dark-pink paste. I poured that onto frozen cherries and topped it off with full-fat coconut milk mixed with cacao powder, sprinkled with chopped nuts.
These bright flavor combinations aren't just exotic dessert creations; they are designed to combat some of the worst of S.A.D, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Due to lack of sunlight exposure, the body lacks sufficient levels of Vitamin D, melatonin, serotonin, and other vitamins, affecting mood levels and sleeping habits. 75% of the people affected are women. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real diagnosis, and a major form of depression.
The worst months for S.A.D. are December through February. During this time, people may feel sluggish, lethargic, or unable to find interest in usual activities. People affected might experience cravings for sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. The unfortunate drawback to having those cravings is that sugar and carbohydrates (that quickly turn to sugar in the body) deplete the body of serotonin, a neurotransmitter or "electric signal" in your body's nervous system that should keep your mood regulated, should have kept you responding properly to the world's stimuli, and should help you connect with your memories. But the sugar and carbs you want to eat will actually prevent you from behaving and feeling the way you normally might. Instead, you are depleted of complex vitamins and minerals.
So the individual with Seasonal Affective Disorder must be on the lookout for the false desires for slices of raspberry pie and instead focus on some concrete remedies.
Some people benefit from:
1. Adding omega 3 fatty-acids. Most of these "good fats" are found in fish, krill oil, and algae, but one version is found in grass-fed meats, eggs, and certain nuts, such as walnuts. People who suffer from depression or a history of cardiovascular disease may want to take 10 times the normal daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids as a preventative measure. Omega-3 fatty acids not only prevent heart disease, but by reducing inflammation in the body they can eliminate many of the body's diseases.
You can either eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon or invest in a good-quality bottle of fish-oil pills. The omega-3 fatty acids found in either food or supplement form have shown to be effective.
2. Eating citrus fruits.
Citrus fruits boost the immune system and contain plenty of vitamins such as potassium and B vitamins.
Potassium can easily be depleted. It's an electrolyte. Potassium allows the neurotransmitters such as serotonin to flow smoothly. B vitamins are necessary for the body to generate energy. These vitamins (the full B complex) are mostly made up of enzymes that help the neurotransmitters flow successfully in our body, sending the correct signals to our central nervous system, telling us when to sleep, when to laugh, when to run, how to react correctly at a given moment.
And because citrus fruits such as the lemon are packed with fiber, they help us go to the bathroom regularly. Plus, they help your body eliminate waste efficiently. The citrate levels lemons contribute to the kidneys can remove kidney stones.
3. Consuming foods containing folate (increase dopamine)
Folate comes from the Latin word follus, meaning leaf. That helps me to remember dark leafy vegetables as a main source of folate, one of the B vitamin group so important to human health. Deficiency of folate can lead to depression and confusion. Folate can also be found in strawberries, walnuts, and hazelnuts. But the folate in spinach, brussel sprouts, and especially bananas increase our dopamine production. Like serotonin, dopamine is a neurotransmitter, sending out signals to the body to act. Too much dopamine and the body feels impulsive. Too little and the body feels sluggish. People with S.A.D. don't get enough folate.
4. Taking in more B-vitamins--the B complex.
There are 8 B vitamins in the complex, or B group, and they include folic acid and biotin. The B vitamins help us to feel alert and positive, and to give our appearance a healthy outer aspect to reflect that. Lack of B vitamins may result in confusion, anemia, and depression, as well as flaky skin, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. The B complex can be found in milk, cheese, oily fish, dark green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds.
Eating a daily ounce of nuts and nut oil (increase serotonin)
Nuts contain varying degrees of selenium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins. Eating an ounce (which is the size of a deck of playing cards) of nuts per day is a great choice on so many levels. Nuts help regulate the serotonin levels in the body, the neurotransmitters that regulate mood levels and behavior.
6. Engaging in phototherapy
The fastest remedy for Seasonal Affective Disorder is to engage in continuous phototherapy sessions. Having a light box or phototherapy box in your home will mimic natural light, causing the neurotransmitters in the brain to lift the mood, confusion, or other symptoms of S.A.D. Even phototherapy glasses are effective and may be more convenient too.
So, what of my craving for an exotic treat earlier? Was that S.A.D.'s effects compelling me to pour more sugar into my bowl, or were there any health benefits for Seasonal Affective Disorder in the concoction?
Mango and pomegranate both have plenty of vitamins including B vitamins, as well as electrolye-balancing potassium. Their bright color comes from antioxidant-rich polyphenols that act as natural brain, heart, and overall protection from degenerative diseases. They help reduce inflammation, major cause of disease.
Coconut milk is high in calories. But consuming a cup a day can replace missing electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, ensuring heart health. Coconut milk helps with digestive problems, fatigue, and anemia (a lack of red blood cell production), common in people with S.A.D.
Raw, unpasteurized, non-heat-treated honey is full of enzymes and antioxidants to boost immunity, improve sleep, reduce indigestion, and reduce blood sugar, ironically. Raw honey is worth the extra expense if you buy honey at all.
We know about the benefits of lemon for digestion and elimination. Citrus fruits generate energy in the body.
Cacao, raw cacao powder, is a major source of magnesium, which protects the heart. Cacao has many of the B vitamins, and it has so many antioxidants in its profile that they haven't been fully explored yet. But we know that cacao boosts the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, making us feel better. Like the honey, it needs to be in a raw form to yield the protective benefits.
That leaves cherries and nuts.
Cherries' color comes from anthocyanins, a form of antioxidants that protect the cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation. They also boost melatonin, the sleep regulating hormone.
And we know that nuts contain levels of magnesium, folate, and other B vitamins, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in walnuts. All benefits for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
So, if you think you are affected by this disorder, have mood, sleep, energy, or digestive problems, especially during the winter, then I would recommend increasing the Omega-3 fatty acid intake, the folate intake,the B complex intake. A lightbox or phototherapy is said to cure the disorder if used correctly and consistently.
By November, I am already freezing cold. I live in California! How much more difficult to live in Alaska where climate and temperatures tend toward the cold year-round.
I wonder if any of this information resonates with you personally.
As for me, if I don't make immediate in-roads into dark leafy vegetables and oily fish, supplementing the exotic desserts, a lightbox is the next step.
If you listen to my podcasts then you know about this cat. This is the amazing angel who came into my life and has been helping me to be a better person ever since.
She is more of a "person" than I am; she has more humanity. This lovely soft creature, with her gentle ways, stays by my side, never deserts me, teaches me about unconditional love.
She has endured years of my neglect when I didn't feed her regularly and didn't reach out to touch her. I was scared of her. I thought she might scratch me. But she would never hurt me. Sometimes I spend hours focusing on my own needs and then I look up and there she is.
She's heard all my heart's sad secrets.
This cat is free to roam, to come and go. Nowadays she spends plenty of time indoors--I think she's about twelve years old. But when she goes away, I can call to her--even in my mind--and she shows up.
I'm trying to learn from this little one about how to give the same unconditional love to the people closest to my heart. That kind of constant, unyielding devotion is so hard because the people we love so much hurt us and it's hard to keep selflessly giving. The first instinct is to hurt back. But that devotion is what you do for love.
Keep guiding me, little pig. Make me a better person.
"Everything moves in cycles," said a neighbor I know. He's extremely old. I often stop on the street to talk to him and I feel impatient because it takes a long time for him to respond when I ask him questions. He walks slowly. He moves his head slowly. He fishes around in his pocket slowly, for treats--like cough drops, which he offers like candy. But, he makes comments that continue to resonate with me long after we say our hello.
He looked up at the branches above us as he said this. I agreed with him. "Uh huh". I said. "Yeah. Soon we'll be seeing the blossoms coming out on the trees here. About a month from now."
I wished him a good day and went on.
Yes, the world consists of cycles. Just consider our human existence: birth, youth, middle age, old age, death. We see ourselves moving through personal/social/emotional cycles: being child-like, playing; becoming responsible, working; retiring, enjoying the fruits of our labor. Within those cycles we live out other cycles: up, being active, going to bed. Within the cycle of a single day we cycle through all sorts of feelings: wonder, fear, contentment, excitement, anticipation, boredom, concern.
And within our daily cycles our pets hum along on their cycles, eating and sleeping and going for walks or running around the wheel in the cage. Wild animals fight and fornicate and foster young and forage for
I could go on and on describing the cycle of the people to work and back and the cycle of the traffic on the freeway, the pack and crush of the morning and the lull in the late evening when people finally, with exhausted heavy sighs, throw down their bag or backpack or briefcase and begin the first evening cycle. Go to the bathroom. Get a drink. Eat. Sit in front of the television.
We could pretend we were crows flying above the town, across the freeways and over the people in their houses. Fly over the park and see the trees bare of branches during their winter cycle. Someone has set up a sleeping bag in the only dry corner of the park. The rolling cart is covered with a blue tarp. But don't swoop down for a closer look. Rise higher.
Lights go on in houses. The sky darkens to squid-ink. Where is the moon? It is barely perceptible. Yesterday began the new moon cycle, and still the world gives birth to the very barest sliver of light. Everything moves in cycles.
From our heliocentric point of view, we here on Earth and the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun, which is the center of our universe. We know how long our yearly cycle takes around the sun: 365 days. See Saturn up there with its big rings? It takes about 10, 755 days to go around the sun. That's a long cycle, from Earth's perspective. We watch it come around. It takes about 29.5 Earth years to do that. Can you see Pluto in the picture above?
No. We have eight planets pictured. Pluto was recently demoted to a "dwarf" (sounds like a "Lord of the Rings" travesty!). If you could see Pluto, it would be all the way to the right of the picture, since they've been lined up, and it would be very small. Pluto takes 90,553 days to go around the sun. That's a long time to wait to shout "Happy New Year!" We have to live for 248 Earth years to see Pluto make a full cycle round. Some living beings have been around on our earth to experience this though.
Astrologers study the alignment of the planets in our solar system (including the "dwarf", as well as asteroids in the solar system and fixed star constellations). With today's software programs, it's easier than ever to observe planetary cycles, both historical and projected ones, and not only that, but to research in detail particular synodic cycles, which they believe impact us in our collective and personal lives.
The Greek word "synodos" means assembly, or meeting, and is used in astrology to refer to the conjunction of two outer planets in our solar system as they make another cycle around our sun from our perspective. When the planets conjunct, or meet up, astrologers connect these periods of time historically with periods of significant change or upheaval in our political, social, or cultural sphere.
Yesterday's new moon, seen from our crow's eye view, occurred on a solar eclipse point and again, from an astrologer's point of view that was significant. Every new moon gives a month's fresh cycle but a new moon on a solar eclipse point may extend into six months of the collective energy--or longer.
What's even more interesting from an astrological standpoint is that this new moon occurred in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn, right next to the slower moving outer planets Saturn and Pluto, which, as it turns out, are approaching their synodic cycle point in Capricorn. Even the planet Mercury entered into the sign yesterday, slipping into the first degree of Capricorn prior to the eclipse.
It isn't unusual for several planets to reside in the same zodiacal sign for a brief period during their revolution around the sun. During a certain part of each year, you'll see the sun, the moon, and Mercury traveling together, and sometimes, Venus is there. But to have two slow-moving heavy-hitters like Saturn and Pluto, only nine degrees away from an astronomical conjunction, is pretty awesome.
They will make their conjunction on January 10th, 2020, approximately one year from now.
If you've come to this site and are still reading I suppose you enjoy stories about the paranormal and scientific experiments. Here's an interesting experiment that happened once:
A "spiritualist" named Marc Edmund Jones worked with a blind psychic, Elsie Wheeler, in the early 1920s to develop a deck of "symbol cards"~ various phrases that conjured up images~associated with the 360 degrees of the zodiacal wheel.
Jones merely held up a blank card toward the blind woman, who spoke aloud the image she saw in her mind's eye. Her words have today remained as insightful references for the astrologer that includes the symbology in a reading. They are known as the Sabian Symbols.
The conjunction of Saturn and Pluto will occur at 22, almost 23 degrees of Capricorn, also conjoining Mercury. The Sun will be just behind at early 22 degrees. You should try to get a look through a telescope. I don't know how well you'd really see Pluto. It's very far off.
Elsie Wheeler's Sabian Symbols for 22 and 23 degrees of Capricorn are:
"A soldier receiving two awards for bravery in combat"
"A woman entering a convent"
If you are a student of astrology you might know that Saturn and Pluto are named after Greek gods and their astrological personalities are similar to the planet. Saturn is known as cold and forbidding, restrictive, but stable. Pluto is dark and secret, full of hidden parts to mine and plunder. The sun, Helios, is bright, warm, passionate, life-giving and Mercury is fast and eager to commute and converse and make a deal.
In a tight conjunction, with these four planets are so intensely stuffed together, you might look to see deep conversations going on in the collective and in our own lives during this cycle (even now). Those conversations may be very serious. They may relate to our ego-selves as we have to take a private look at what is worth the long haul and the test of time before pushing forward. Are we truly being brave in our decisions or winning only for the medal at the end of the game?
Uranus at 2 degrees of Taurus is squaring the synodic conjunction. Let's check out Wheeler's Sabian Symbol for the degree. I'll include both degree 2 and 3 since Uranus is halfway through its cycle:
"An electrical storm".
"Natural steps lead to a lawn of clover in bloom"
Aspects such as squares denote struggle or challenge; crisis points that force change. As the planet of revolution and new ideas, Uranus' pressure point at the time of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction may force an upheaval--again both externally in society or in our day-to-day personal lives. Taking "natural steps" after an "electrical storm" gives one the image of getting bearings after an unexpected shock. Finding fresh ground again.
Neptune in Pisces is at 16 degrees, forming a supportive angle called a sextile.
Wheeler's Sabian Symbol for the positions 16 into 17 is as follows:
"An Easter parade"
Neptune is the boundary-less, watery planet of imagination and dreams and vision and inspiration. This could be a time of checking in with ourselves as to whether we are feeding our souls and spirits enough. Are we inspired or just trudging through life? Is there too much restriction? Do we get down to work for worthy ideals, or have we lost passion for a cause? Isn't Easter the celebration of Jesus' resurrection? The Sabian symbol of "An Easter parade" may be calling on us to celebrate a "resurrection" within ourselves. Pluto is the god of the underworld. The dead go there. Astrologers may tell you that a Saturn-Pluto conjunction requires a "death" of some sort, especially a death of an old structure or old long-lasting circumstance. The rebirth, the upheaval, may feel like an electrical storm. But what a fresh lawn may be coming, who knows?
When I see the old man, and I will, I will mention the conjunction of the the two major outer planets coming up next year and ask him if he knows anything about that cycle. After all, he reminded me that "Everything moves in cycles". The old man sometimes sees me on the street but doesn't talk to me at all, even if I say, "Hello!" and smile widely. Then I pretend I'm not hurt and embarrassed and just move on. I tell myself he's just a jerk. But I know something is wrong. Either this old man is senile or depressed, or hard of hearing (or perhaps a bit of all three). He is a human being who needs compassion and connection in his life. We all need more of those feel-good moments. I can sense that with my "inner eye" like Elsie Wheeler. I don't need a chart or a telescope or anything like that. Is there someone in your neighborhood who doesn't know he's one of your teachers? Reach out a bit more.
Happy New Year, everybody. Welcome to your next cycle.
On my home page I've included a quotation from Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, who suggests that the second half of a human life is devoted to letting go of one's ego.
Jung referred to the ego as the "I" one uses to refer to oneself. It is the self that perceives and experiences all external worldly matter and stimuli. The conscious self uses this ego-centered "I" to describe life; for example, in the sentence, "I have seen an enormous set of waves crashing on the beach." Jung acknowledged that there could be another consciousness within us, another "personality" altogether, but having no evidence for this (and he was a stickler for scientific evidence and proof before he established his conviction) he claimed it was impossible to know for sure.
Of the fact that we possessed an unconsciousness, he was convinced. Jung believed there was a part of us that could not state in "I" sentences things our ego did not know, because our field of knowing simply was not readily cognizant. His peer and mentor Sigmund Freud recognized this part of the unconsciousness as the id.
Why did Jung suggest that we ought to let go of our ego?
In a 1935 seminar entitled On Nietzsche's Zarathustra, Jung refers to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, a text extolling the virtues of the superior human being who overcomes his sense of mediocrity and social constraints by recognizing his power to will himself to greatness. In his seminar, Carl Jung refers to Nietzsche's text and appears to warn his own listeners to avoid the power of the "crowd" and the tendency of a human to sell himself to the crowd. Jung writes that "the man who is needed, is the one who has not sold his soul to an organization."
In modern psychology, the ego is defined as the part of us that knows things, that aspires, that wants to achieve dominance, a personal sense of reality, a primitive selfish drive to survive. Certain Eastern perspectives such as Buddhism teach that the annihilation of the ego is the path to transcendence and the elimination of suffering.
Is it possible to annihilate the ego completely?
I can't answer that question. I can,however, examine Jung's suggestion of letting go of the ego in terms of of several modern definitions of the word:
1. The ego as a "knower": If the part of us that speaks with the pronoun "I" to explain our perception of the world is a fixed and constant state of human communication, then by all means, we must be ego-centric in terms of communicating our experience of life to ourselves and to others. This knowing part of the ego states "I am _________", "I see __________", "I feel ________", "I think ________". While that part of us is not always a harmless ego being, and we are responsible for what we communicate, if we return to Zarathustra, who was also known as Zoroaster, we note he was an ancient prophet who argued that humans were responsible for their behavior, and that making morally correct choices was part of our free will as human beings. Thus, as ego beings, perhaps we need "ego" as a healthy internal regulator. Without ego, we may not identify with the world. We may lose sense of ourselves as being tethered to its reality, or of any sense of wrong and right at all.
2. On a similar track, if ego is a "personal sense of reality", should we let go of some aspects of what we perceive to be real? What do we identify with when we look in the mirror? Do we say to ourselves: I see an old man, tired and worn out. I am that person. I have no energy. This is who I am? When we watch the evening news, do we identify with the reality of the images and the information that we are being given? Does our ego perceive a reality such as this: The world is hateful. Things are taking a turn for the worse. Here comes the apocalypse? Or, when we move around in society, and observe people and organizations that appear to be successful, rich, and happy, does our ego shape our reality in this way: I need this car. I want to be thin. I must make more money. I've got to get this latest technology or I will fall behind? Jung would be right, I think, in this case, that a healthy ego developed in the first half of life should lose its grip on the power of the crowd mentality. A mirror image is not a definitive picture of a whole person. The evening newscasters cannot define the state of humanity in one short hour. The latest phone in my pocket will not ensure my grip on today's reality.
3. The ego, in the deeper sense that indicates a human primitive fear of death and the very urge to survive, is the "I" that makes sure we look both ways before crossing the street. This is the ego that urges us to put on a jacket and shoes in the bitterest cold winter--because we know that frostbite is a potential life-threatening situation. If we lose this ego-self, who will protect our deepest instinct to survive? Perhaps ego is at the least a safety mechanism we mustn't lose entirely.
Carl Jung was interested in the individual as a part of a collective. He recognized that societal constraints and mandates influenced our perception, our ego. He believed that the "crucial question" was to achieve, "by hook or by crook" a "higher level of consciousness". Whether I completely understand Carl Jung's works from start to finish or agree with his ideology, I (here using that ego-centered pronoun again) think the conversation worth exploring. Hence this post.
Any thoughts? To what extent do you think we ought to "let go of our ego"?
I pulled the Queen of Wands from the deck this evening, after shuffling as I meditated upon the question: What is the important lesson that my visitors and I can take with us as we move out of the year 2018 and into our future? I wanted to examine what this year has taught us, and what card would appear as a summary, not only of our experiences, but of our achievements, too, to guide our steps as we move forward.
The Queen of Wands has reached the mastery of her suit. For this reason she sits on a throne. She is a queen of all that she surveys; she is in control; she is a leader and she commands respect and authority.
First, lets look at the suit of wands. Wands are the suit related to fire. Fire is energy, light, growth, passion, the sun, and creativity. From the journey of the Ace of Wands to the Queen, the fire of the wands have inspired an idea in you this year. This has been a year of decision making too, and perhaps even hard choices in the name of personal creativity rather than satisfying other people's wants and needs. There may have been petty arguments along the way that left you drained. Perhaps you were engaged in these pointless battles at work or with other groups of people. You may have felt, in 2018, that you had to defend your creative right to do what you wanted to do or even live according to a belief system that didn't sit well with family and friends. You may have made choices based on hunches this year, or split-second decisions that left people who thought they knew you well shocked by your seeming change of heart. As the year came to its close, in October and November, perhaps you were doing some deep soul searching. Perhaps you felt as though you just couldn't handle the pressure; you couldn't carry the weight. Escapism and distractions aplenty may have taken you off your track.
The Queen of Wands showing up at the end of 2018 is a strong message reminding the reader that you have "reached mastery" after a long creative struggle.
Look at the imagery of the card. She (it does not matter if you are a man or a woman reading this post--the message remains the same) sits proudly upon her throne now. Her legs are spread quite widely. She is not embarrassed to take up space in this world, as she might have been long ago. That time has passed. In one hand, she holds a sunflower, emblematic of the power of solar energy, life of the sun. "Seize the day", the flower reminds us. In the other hand, she grasps the wand, sign of her suit. It is already showing signs of growth. Take this to be a sign that the creative ideas you conceived of in 2018 are already growing. Be the leader of your vision with no apology and gaze into the future as this queen does. See the lions on her tapestry? Lions live as part of a pride. They are not afraid to fight for their share, and for their loved ones. It takes great courage to be a queen. Yellow is her color. Yellow is the color of wakefulness. Students keep a bright piece of yellow paper on their desk in order to achieve a higher score on math tests, you know. Taxis are yellow to draw attention to themselves. Do not be afraid to draw attention to your cause in 2019.
Did you see the black cat at the base of her throne?
This is not a sign of bad luck.
The Queen of Wands has a black cat (another leonine symbol) with her as a familiar. Although she is surrounded with golden sunlight and lives for the light of day and the beauty of her creative dreams, her cat never fails to remind her of the dark struggles, the lonely nights, the inner terrors, and the negativity that threatens to creep in at the periphery of her mind when she becomes too ambitious or loses touch with the true purpose of her goals. You see, the Queen of Wands did not reach the mastery of her suit by losing touch with her subjects, or her higher purpose. She knows she is connected to earthly matters as solidly as the foundation of her throne grounds her. And she is aware that she owes her position to the higher realms as surely as the tapestry above her reaches into the sky.
The Queen of Wands is a confident, passionate, powerful card to draw for the end of 2018. It would appear we've achieved quite a bit.
Several days ago I was outside at night, thinking, worrying. This is normal for me. Once the sun goes down, the thoughts get deeper. I tend to brood, and I spend plenty of time alone, so nothing stands between me and my mind. As the night wears on, some thoughts take up more time than others. On particularly intense nights, I stay up for hours thinking. I think about myself and the people in my life, I think about problems, I think about the past and mistakes I've made. I worry about things that may or may not happen in the future. I wonder if hypothetical realities I can't prove yet really exist. I reach out to those supposed realities and try to connect with them even if I haven't yet proven their existence, because I do have some evidence, especially during the darkest part of the night, that there is something there with me. You might call it an entity, or spirit, or otherworldly thing. I have had too many experiences, coincidences, and synchronicities in the last year alone to dismiss them out of hand. I consider myself to be a rational individual, intelligent, thoughtful and with feet firmly planted here on planet Earth.
You may share similar feelings and experiences to mine.
If you've read my blogs and listened to my podcasts then you know a little bit about me. I apologize for not getting more podcasts up. It is a serious goal and I intend to move forward with it. Each podcast is particular to a topic, which I like to write about before recording. They are meant for you, but also the act of blogging and recording is a way of helping myself to think out loud and share some of my experiences from those nights, which are all at once both painful, confusing, and spiritually rewarding.
I find it so much easier to share with you. I have tried to talk to my "nearest and dearest" about some of my--what can I call them to make them more accessible to you, reader? They are different every time. Should we call them "mystical experiences"? "Spiritual experiences"? I can tell you, and here I will probably lose some readers, but you were never meant to be at this website in that case, that I've experienced what Dr. Charles Tart, formerly of the Stanford Research Institute calls ESP. My close friends and my parents, as you can imagine, didn't embrace my experience. Nor did they tell me to rush to a psychiatrist. But I think they assume I am overly hopeful and imaginative with my storytelling.
Now, extra-sensory perception apparently takes on many forms, and I am not familiar with all of them. I'm no expert in the subject, not by a long shot. But maybe in the last 10 years at least, and probably well before that, into my childhood, when I wasn't really paying attention, and definitely in the last couple of years, I've experienced several forms, I think: pre-cognition, clairvoyance (apparently a kind of old-fashioned term. I think it's called "remote viewing" now), telepathy, just to name a few. Researchers who study these subjects say that they believe all human beings possess the capability to use these "perceptions", to a greater or lesser extent. Again, whatever experiences I've had have sprung naturally from the moment. I never "practiced" to get a particular experience. They have occurred just as I've woken from a dream, occasionally during the day, but almost always at night.
I don't know if this is ESP, but there are animals (wild, untamed ones) who visit me repeatedly, and do communicate with me. About a year and a half ago, I began to get visits from a bird I thought was a red-tailed hawk, my local hawk who lived in the trees steps from my home. But this bird visited me at night, and screamed overhead at me when I was near a person or a situation that might spell trouble. At first, I didn't put two and two together. But as the weeks and months wore on, not only did I realize she was warning me in advance (she literally gave me only seconds to act in each case), but I also realized she was an owl. She was a barn owl! Red-tailed hawks are not active at night.
I didn't actually see her. I only heard her. She shrieked and then flew off into the night. She did this, for example, when my (very strange) neighbor was hiding in the trees in the darkness and harassing me with a laser light. She flew right over him, exposing his position. She actually did this several times to him until he no longer tried to hide behind bushes and trees. Later, in another part of my neighborhood, she flew overhead one night, shrieking aloud just before a group of young men pulled up in a car and joined some another group of men who were heading toward me. I hadn't seen them. I was looking at my phone. It was late. Her arrival and noise gave me seconds to look up and get out of the way. Maybe I was in no danger. But I walked away very quickly. I wasn't taking any chances.
Once, in the light of a full moon, I saw her full shape against the night sky. She was greyish-white and quite large with a wide wingspan. I've never seen her again "in person", though. What a private being. So mysterious. Just for the record, I've read that a number of cultures all over the world regard visits from owls, and barn owls in particular, to be spiritually significant. Not all cultures regard barn owls to be positive omens, and some believe visits from barn owls to be omens of death, but I have never once felt that she wished ill on me in any way. If anything, I think she recognized me, more than once, and wanted to connect with me. I don't know why.
This owl has continued to reach out to me. She doesn't always "warn" me. Her greeting call is softer, but a barn owl screech is still harsh-sounding. A barn owl territory is generally about 19 square miles. I looked that up. So it wouldn't be unusual for her to fly miles away from where I encounter her, here, at my home, but I think it's unusual that she has found me and greeted me twice, at some distance from my home. I know it's her. She found me when a friend and I were down by the river, about a half a mile away from my home. I recognized her "soft" call. So, that's not a big deal, you might say, but she also found me three miles away from home at another person's house, when I was alone in the backyard, in the dark. She flew low and called out, and then left.
She hasn't visited me for a few weeks. The last time, she flew over my garden and called out. I called back to her, "good night!" I want to see her again. I have the distinct feeling I'm not in charge of these visits though. I think she is looking out for me. She must feel I need looking out for.
I wanted to share the story of the owl as a start because many of my spiritual experiences are not only very personal but are difficult to explain and I'm not sure where to begin. Maybe I can save more for another entry. But I wanted to be vulnerable with you at least a a little bit here.
Until 2017 I was a business professional who had a career that spanned decades. I have two degrees from educational institutions. But I was disillusioned with my life, with the work I was doing and the beurocratic structure I never really believed in anyway. How could I continue to plug away at a life that didn't resonate with me? I am not suggesting that I have decided to become a full-time psychic now. That is illogical and I am a logical person. For one thing, I don't direct or force these events. If anything, they are spontaneous, natural experiences. For another thing, I can't imagine how I could make a living from doing anything other than sharing my spiritual path, if that's what it is, with other people.
In the year 2000 one of my clients said her mother was an empath. I didn't understand what that meant. "It means she can feel other people's feelings at the same time they're feeling them." she said. "Sometimes she gets overwhelmed because it's emotionally exhausting. She has to shield herself, especially in large crowds." I've thought about that comment since then. Have you, reader, ever felt someone's emotions before they spoke of them? Or, for example, have you ever felt a sympathy pain, the way men feel pregnancy labor pains? When my sister was pregnant, years ago, I once felt her pain exactly when she did. That was an eerie experience. We laughed about it then. We didn't think about it as spiritual or anything. It was like a joke.
I've had experiences, and maybe you have too, where I've heard a voice in my head (my own, I suppose) saying something, and then minutes later heard my friend say the very thing the voice in my head said, word for word. And it wasn't a statement I could have predicted. That's called pre-cognition. I've experienced such things several times. From what I've heard, pre-cognition is more accurate if it happens quickly, as I've just described, within a minute or so. However, I had an experience of pre-cognition where a thing I heard in my head did not come true for several years. But I knew at the time it was dead true and it did come true. Researchers say that is not common.
Several days ago I was thinking, worrying, as I told you at the beginning of this post. The reason for my worrying is irrelevant, but after a while, I finally convinced myself that I needed to face my future confidently. I told myself to go "head first, straight into the future!" No sooner had those words crossed my mind than a meteor shot across the sky. I had never in my life seen one like this. With a glowing orange head, it streaked brightly in an arc, with a white tail. This was no passing shooting star, here and then gone. The meteor lasted several seconds and took my breath away. I took it for a sign that I must absolutely head straight into the future with few regrets, and in fact, I had been thinking at that moment also about the planet Mars, and how it will be entering its home sign of Aries almost immediately as 2019 begins, imbued with its full strength, action, assertion, and fire.
The historically famous Greek philosopher and teacher Socrates said that he had a voice in his head, which he called a "daemon", and which we might call either conscience or an angel speaking to us, or any number of different interpretations. This "daemon" was present throughout his life, he said, and both advised and warned him during life situations when he wasn't sure which way to turn, or what to do. The voice also spoke to him on the day he died, when he was sentenced to death by a jury of Athenians in his hometown. They charged him with, among other crimes, poisoning the minds of his students. Socrates claimed that his "daemon" told him not to resist this charge and to die on that day. He died.
I wonder about Socrates and his "daemon".
I have been paying more attention this year to my inner voice. I do not always follow its instructions (and Socrates always did) but repeatedly, I have been getting the message to stop making choices based on fear. Instead, I am being asked to make choices based on my heart.
That sounds easy.
It is not.
It is easy to make fear-based choices, I tell you. They happen very quickly and they are reactive rather than responsive. Unfortunately, when I make fear-based choices, I know immediately I have made the wrong choice. Making heart-based choices, on the other hand, requires naked courage, especially in our world that rewards materialism, ego, ambition, arrogance, and other outward shows of success. Heart-based choices are not concerned with such things, and to the outside world, the individual may appear poor, humble, untitled, unattractive, an outcast. I'm afraid to make heart-based choices. But I'm being asked to stop choosing fear. I'm actually frozen by my fear, sometimes. Are you? You wouldn't be able to tell if you saw me on the street. I'd look as cool as cool can be. Like rock and roll.
My uncle died of ALS seven years ago. I believe he is watching over me from time to time. The other night I looked at his photograph. It was a tough night, oh yeah. He grinned at me. We have the same smile. He was always smiling in pictures. Like me he was a solitary individual. Fucking terrible disease. I'm so sorry he had to suffer that way.
The winter solstice is tomorrow. The sun enters zero degrees Capricorn and we have the darkest day of the year. Fitting, I suppose, for this post. It was a dark post after all. On the next day, we will have a full moon in the opposite zodiac sign, in Cancer. It's a dark time for those in the Northern Hemisphere and it's an emotional time, and as it's a full moon, astrologers say its a time of culmination, which generally means ending. For me, as I look back at 2018, I can't share with you my total journey because, like you, it's my personal path I'm on. Only I can tread it as only you can tread yours. I feel quite sure we have many experiences in common though. We are human. We have been challenged and tested all the way down the line and there is more to come, isn't there? I can't imagine we'll be given more than we can bear. Plus, it seems to me as if there are friends and helpers and advisors on our path to help us along. I suggest you keep an eye out for them.
Am I a spiritually or morally perfect being, whatever that means? No. I'm constantly screwing up. I make mistakes all the time. I break society's rules. I do things I know are the wrong things: In my relationship with myself and with my loved ones and I hate it, because the real me wants so desperately to be perfect (don't you?) and to have the most beautiful and loving life with the best, most harmonious relationships I could ever achieve. Each morning I wake up and that does not happen. Why do you think I spend my nights brooding and wondering about life's mysteries? Sometimes I'm so angry because (you and) I know damn well that we aren't going to get the answers we want, the love we think we deserve (at least, that ideal love we've created in our mind), the idyllic world we should be living in.
And then a voice tells me not to be fearful. Getting out of my head space and writing to you tonight took heart courage. When I wake up tomorrow the light will be shining and I'll feel, once again, like a daytime person.
With kind thoughts,
I've always been fond of investigation. When I was a child I enjoyed reading books about characters who solved mysteries through tracking down clues and pushing into unknown places to discover answers. Inquiry, probing, asking questions, these behaviors led to conflict but also solved dilemmas. At school I enjoyed laboratory experiments and practice tests, as long as they led to answers I could learn something from. At the least I needed to come away with a sense of wonder and excitement from the experience. Maybe you felt the same way.
In school we learned about the "scientific method": Observation of an event or phenomenon leads us to make a hypothesis about it. Thus, we set up an experiment in order to analyze the ensuing data, and come to our conclusion as to whether the hypothesis was correct.
But that's just the basic outline. The way scientists actually go about streamlining the actual scientific process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data is applied using science-specific frameworks, and I say this because we classify science into three main categories: natural (such as biology and geology), social (such as sociology and anthropology), and formal (such as mathematics and robotics).
I'm not going to detail the scientific process here, mainly because it's not my main topic of interest, but also because it's a multi- dimensional topic that would overwhelm this entry. Suffice it to say that the basis of the scientific method in determining whether something is indeed science is to complete valid research, using the scientific method as outlined above, done by "experts" whom I will talk more about in a moment, and moreover, that the experiments' results should be reproducible under the same conditions and verifiable by another or other experts, thus proving the hypothesis valid.
As an example of scientific experimentation, and one considered sound by medical experts, we look at the health trials that are labeled "randomized", "double-blind", and "placebo-controlled" (RDBPC).
What does this mean in terms of the scientific method?
A "randomized" experiment breaks the patients up into groups before the treatment, randomly and haphazardly, on purpose, so that no subjective grouping can influence the outcome of the results at the outset.
When the experiment is "double-blind", this means that neither the clinicians providing the treatment nor the patients receiving the treatment are aware of their status. They don't know what group they belong to (other then perhaps a letter, such as Group C), or whether they are receiving a particular class of treatment or not, until the study is complete.
A "placebo-controlled" experiment must include the administration of a real treatment (the hypothesis treatment) and a fake treatment (the placebo) to one randomized group each.
So in returning to the idea of the scientific method, medical scientists who use the above RDBPC clinical trials are considered to be operating at the gold standard of their field in order to obtain valid results. Results that are true.
And as a child I loved characters in these types of books who discovered the truth--But I was captivated most by mysterious fictional stories that involved the paranormal. Books such as The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs and Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco chilled me. I wanted to encounter a terrible adventure, too, one that would rock me to the core--but not kill me. Later, I read many of the Gothic classic novels. It was clear that society, then and now, generally shunned "psychic phenomena" as unreal and untrue and yet people couldn't seem to get enough of it.
Students major in subjects such as psychology, a subset of which includes transpersonal psychology, focusing on studying mystical states, trances, and altered states of consciousness, to name a few topics. Psychology is considered to be a branch of the social sciences. Its testing must be put to the scientific method in order to be proven valid.
This very concept raises all sorts of questions. Can the objective testing methods of scientific inquiry be used to determine more about what is true of "psychic phenomena", such as mystical experiences?
Have you ever had a mystical experience? It has been described. variously, as deeply personal, hard to put into words, identity-changing, and a direct spiritual experience.
Again, I'm not going to go into detail about how psychologists have gone about applying their methods under these or other circumstances. Even mathematicians have had difficulties reproducing exact circumstances in testing situations. Quantum physicists have observed the lack of distinction between subject (me) and the object (thing being observed) in a laboratory. They have seen the influence of the first upon the second. Therefore what is reality, What is real, becomes a serious line of inquiry.
Furthermore, it is well-known that historically, at least in the last 100 years or so, that status and prestige are everything in the world of medical science. Scientists (and physicists) are known as the "high priests" of society, to take a quote from Jeffrey Mishlove, clinical psychologist and PhD in parapsychology from Berkley. In a discussion with former professor and colleague Charles T. Tart, professor of psychology, Davis, Tart agrees that "scientific experts", and in particular physicists, " [They]...tell you what reality is...They're not looking at the spiritual side, but they've got the prestige." And "...they can drop a nuclear weapon on you if you disagree."
This is not to say that science, as opposed to pseudoscience, is untrue. We have science to thank for understanding more about the way our bodies work, being able to predict weather patterns, creating technological innovations, and so much more. Our standards of healthcare are infinitely more advanced than they were five hundred years ago.
And yet, in the course of your your own life, you are the expert.
The branch of psychology is interested in individual psyches, and how they develop, and why they develop in such a way, and what a psyche is anyhow. Transpersonal psychology is concerned with the human spiritual experience; for example, what is mysticism? does suffering give meaning to our lives? Can reincarnation be real? Is remote viewing possible? Can precognition be validated? What is achievable and measurable through altered states? What about lucid dreaming?
Researchers are working on using the scientific method to obtain evidence showing that results can be measurable.
For example, in the New York Times Bestselling nonfiction text Why We Sleep, written by Matthew Walker, PhD, a study completed by researchers in 2013 confirmed that individuals in a state of lucid dreaming were able to communicate during their dream-state, not bodily, but by eye movements that showed regions of the brain on an MRI scan connected to participants' voluntary hand movements made in a dream-world. Dr. Walker speculates that this ability to harness dream-time could be either creative or destructive, depending on how society chose to address this "power".
Another, more well-known study involves the use of an EEG machine (electroencephalography machine) to test the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks during their meditative states in order to determine if meditative practices could have benefits for brain function and even health care in general in so far as reducing early death and high costs of health care. The machine measured electric brainwaves and noted, among other data, that brain activity did change with meditation, that the brain pathways opened up to be able to learn new things (cognitive development), and to enhance auditory levels. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1697747/
Finally, you might never believe that researchers would attempt to gather, analyze, and interpret reincarnation data, and yet that's just what a team has done at the University of Virginia. They have documented over a thousand cases of past-life accounts, by children who claim to have lived previous lives in other locations, and who have given specific information which has been tracked down and verified. med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/publications/academic-publications/children-who-remember-previous-lives-academic-publications/.
I can't vouch for the validity of these studies, but I bring them up in today's entry because I love studying, solving mysteries, and experimenting, and part of the journey to finding conclusions is learning about these experiments. I'm not afraid to say "I don't know". Then again, I'm not an expert, either. Today's so-called scientific experts, the "high-priests" of our society, whose role it is to determine science from pseudoscience, as well as to tell us what reality is, have seemingly much control over our life perspective, over what is true.
Remember Socrates? He was an ancient Greek philosopher. We have an educational method named after him, the "Socratic method". In essence, the method involves a roundabout dialogue among individuals in order to determine the truth of a matter by examining the nature of any thing, testing its characteristics, consistency (ex: of what does this thing called love consist?), its weak areas, what it isn't and so on. The Socratic method works well for psychology. Socrates used to ask his students to dialogue about a particular topic (presumably until they had exhausted it and found out its true nature) and so in psychology too the gradual understanding of the nature of the concept becomes its definition.
Any psychologist will tell you they are not the "high-priests" of the scientific expert world. They are not viewed that way. People call psychology the "soft" science.
Scientific method or no, where would you place a subject such as transpersonal psychology? Of what does this thing exist?
Is it healthy for us to indulge in a spiritual lifestyle? Do you need proof, or do you think you have proof?
Can we use the scientific method to identify more about what is true in these areas?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for being here.
An infusion can be defined as "a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking tea leaves in liquid" (Oxford Dictionaries). In the case of my infusion, pictured above in my garden, I've chosen three elements, not necessarily "tea leaves", and I've infused them in oil for a slow "cold infusion" in the windowsill of my home over a period of four weeks.
Would you care to learn more?
The three elements suspended in oil are: comfrey root, calendula, and chamomile, and they are are infusing day by day (in the gentle late afternoon sunlight) in two oils: organic calendula-infused oil and expeller-pressed walnut oil.
Making tea is an example of an infusion. It is a very old practice, older than ten thousand years. When you make coffee, you are also extracting chemical components of a plant. This is called percolation.
Herbs can be infused in water, oil, or alcohol. The herbs can be heated. They can be infused for a long or short time. The methods are used to extract the active ingredients of the plants you've chosen.
I've chosen three plants that have synergistic qualities. That means they work together so that the total effect of their components is greater than their individual effects.
Comfrey roots are the dried root of the comfrey plant. The plant grows widely in Britain and in North America. It has been used for centuries and is known as "knitbone" and "boneset" because of its ability to bring together skin (and in some cases even damaged bone) due to its active ingredients, such as allantoin, which assists with wound healing, and mucilage, a thick, gluey substance, that forms a protective layer over the skin (Warning: Do not consume comfrey root orally. It has been known to cause liver damage). Comfrey root, used in a salve, can heal bruises, treat wounds (not open sores), assuage sprains and torn ligaments.
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, looks like yellow daisies, and when used in salves and oil infusions is great for treating skin problems such as exzema, inflammation, insect bites, and acne. It's a wound healer; it closes wounds faster. During the American Civil War and World War I, calendula flowers were placed directly on the wounds of soldiers to hasten healing. Today we have studies and randomized trials that support calendula's antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Chamomile tea is a known remedy for anxiety and depression. It gently lifts the mood and calms the mind. On the skin, chamomile fights swelling, redness, and irritation, so its a wonderful herb to add to a salve or infused oil, as it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
I have two Ball Mason jars filled with the comfrey root, calendula herb, and chamomile herb, in equal parts of three, infused in mostly calendula-infused oil and some walnut oil. I was lucky enough to find the calendula-infused oil at my local herbal grocery store. Both oils are "carrier oils", which carry the herbs' chemical components onto the skin. Oils have varying thickness, aroma, absorption, and so on. Calendula-infused oil should contain the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents of the calendula herb already within it, ready for skin application. Walnut oil is supposed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.
Around the middle of December of this year, I will uncap the jars, strain the oil through clean cheesecloth into a jar using a funnel, and then add vitamin E oil to the mixture. This will help preserve the shelf-life of the comfrey/calendula/chamomile remedy.
I will then add some of the oil to a mixture of natural beeswax, organic shea butter, aloe vera, and glycerin to produce a salve. A salve is a semi-solid medicinal ointment that can be applied externally to the skin in the case of a rash, a cut (not an open wound) that needs fast healing, a burn, a bruise, or even a torn ligament or a sprain.
Because I used walnut oil in the salve and the oil, I will have to provide a warning label for those who have any allergies to nuts. And because comfrey root cannot be used internally, due to potential liver toxicity, I will also have to add another warning: "for external use only".
I look forward to the finished product. Last year around this time I made an infusion of hibiscus flowers and chamomile flowers in rosehip oil, to be used as a facial oil. I only made a small amount, and the resultant oil was a lovely golden-red color. The chemical extraction, after six weeks, was strong, but it didn't smell wonderful. Major pharmaceutical companies will add dyes and perfumes to make your expensive facial oils and lotions more appealing. I added a few drops of organic lavender essential oil, known to have a wonderful smell, and also to have antibacterial properties on the skin, to the hibiscus/chamomile facial oil. It was wonderful and I used every last drop.
Comfrey root doesn't necessarily smell like much of anything. Some root preparations smell awful; this root is less smelly. Calendula is known to smell light, woodsy, aromatic, and resinous (that means like a resin or a sap). Chamomile has an apple-like smell. I imagine that the apple-smell of the chamomile will dominate the preparation. People who make salves and creams for purchase generally want to perfume them, so customers don't turn up their nose in disgust. If anything I might add drops of chamomile essential oil to the salve to increase both the overall efficacy of the salve but also to make the salve pleasantly wearable, as a light apple-fragranced medicine.
I think the final product will be well worth waiting for and no doubt highly effective for all sorts of skin ailments. I'm fascinated to see what effect the comfrey root may have on painful muscles and/or joints. Winter months are particularly difficult for arthritic, inflamed joints. I am including a link to the US National Library of Medicine Overview Article on comfrey here.
Wishing you all a happy November. Please click on the "Contact Me" link and let me know what you like best about this site. Stay tuned for my next podcasts and blogs.
For more information, please visit my podcast: "Planets in their Home Signs".
Here I am showing an event chart dated from the second week of November
2018, showing Saturn stationed in its home zodiac sign of Capricorn and
Jupiter stationed in its home sign of Sagittarius. These planets are at their
Astrologers claim that Saturn, planet of restriction, duty,
and responsibility, is in perfect position to "help" us reach goals through
hard work and perseverance, through 2020.
In addition, Jupiter, planet of abundance, luck, and growth, is in the
perfect position to "help" us boost our growth and faith in certain areas
of our lives: spiritually, materially, and personally, through 2019.
Where do these transiting planets fall in your birth chart?
The existence of trees in general pose a great deal of interest to me in my daily life. Silent and all-powerful, their presence is a continual reminder of the sacred in nature.
Just to stand below a mighty tree is to feel at once protected and fearful, awed and humble. I sleep each night surrounded by redwood and pine trees--sometimes their branches seem to wave in time with the sound of the ocean.
Old and venerated trees such as the yew, oak, fig, cypress, cedar, and olive are the guardians and sentinels of time. The ceaseless passage of life moves through them. Half of their being reaches out to the sky, the other half grips footholds in the foundation of the land: hungry, thirsty, curious.
The oldest-known trees alive today are more than 4800 years and still persisting. I imagine that civilizations have risen and fallen across the world in the course of the tree's lifetime and it mystifies me to imagine how the tree remained rooted in a single spot, presumably enduring all manner of upheavals. Five thousand years' passage of time can bring flood and drought, fire and ice, storms of all kinds, human and animal ravages, insect infestation, fungus, bacterial infection, the list goes on. Still, the tree stood, and grew, and lived on.
To me, and no doubt to others before me, trees stand testament to the capacity of any being to withstand. Because trees appear silent and immobile, yet they are always moving even in the smallest of ways, they teach patience, listening skills, and attention to detail. Trees live on, long after humans and animals have lived out their lifetimes. They are ancient teachers. We use tree-related words to describe growing and learning, as well as failing: "cultivate", "branch out", "disseminate", "stand tall", "the mighty have fallen".
Since ancient times, people have gathered under trees and at groves to hold important events. Mystics and prophets speak of sacred events taking place near venerated trees.
My father's ancestors can be traced to Northern Wales.
Between Snowdonia and Denbigh on the map of Wales lives one of the oldest trees on the earth: a yew tree known as the Llangernyw Yew, cuurently located on a church site.
Many ancient trees in Britain are sited on or near churches or graveyards. Generally, the trees came first. It seems the yew tree is especially associated with the subject of death.
This yew tree is between 4 to 5 thousand years old. Age not always easy to determine. Dendrochonology uses tree ring samples and radiocarbon dating, but is not an exact science.
In the 1990s, the trees's age was determined and the church's oil tank was removed from between its massive trunks. Legend has it that the church is inhabited by a yew tree angel called an "angelystor" that records the impending deaths of all the local parishioners each year.
Great Britain in particular has gone to great lengths to protect and preserve its historical and ancient trees. In addition, many people still tend to pay great respect to the legends and mythology surrounding tree lore. Ancient trees are not pruned or cut down without careful planning and forethought.
From tiny seedling to giant protector, a tree watches over us as we live out the cycle of our lives. What are the oldest trees in the world teaching me about survival?
Put down some roots.
Reach for sunlight.
Everything moves in cycles.
Nutrients are essential.
Have some flexibility.
Be quiet. Listen.
I'm not alone.
...I'm still learning from trees. Fascinating and awe-inspiring beings. What is your experience?