Author Archive

Contemporary Spirituality for an Evolving World – Nicolya Christi

Contemporary Spirituality for an Evolving World

Nicolya Christi

We are living in an unprecedented time of change, a new epoch with a new consciousness. We have reached Zero Point in our personal and collective consciousness and are now in a phase of accelerated conscious evolution and manifestation of personal and collective vision. As the current political, economic, and social systems begin to collapse, people are instinctively and intuitively reevaluating their lives and asking what has real meaning and value and what brings them true peace and happiness. Humanity is now poised to establish a unified, co-creative new world that reflects the evolved consciousness of awakened hearts and minds, of collaboration, and of peace.

Presenting a guide for these auspicious times, Nicolya Christi offers psychological and spiritual tools to accelerate conscious and global evolution and initiate a New Consciousness for the post-December 21st, 2012, epoch. She gives an in-depth overview of religion and spirituality, both the old paradigm and the evolving new one, and explains how all trauma results from “empathic disconnection,” which hinders our spiritual growth. She provides spiritual practices to manifest a meaningful connection between Self and God/Source/Creator as well as psychological exercises to heal and integrate the shadow self and dissolve psychological wounds. She offers the first fully written account of the First Nations Peoples’ oral wisdom teachings on the 7 Dark, 7 Light, and 7 Rainbow Arrows for evolving consciousness. She also writes in depth about the evolution of relationship and aspiring to a higher love and sexuality.

Detailing several maps and models for conscious and global evolution, this handbook inspires each of us toward a consciously evolving spirituality and a true and authentic relationship with God/Source/Creator.

Link to website



May 2013

Henry Seltzer

The Astrology of May features Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and two eclipses. Mercury runs through Taurus during the first part of May, being conjunct to the May 9th Solar Eclipse taking place in the 20th degree of that sign, which also conjuncts the South Node of the Moon and makes a quintile aspect to idealistic Neptune. Mercury then enters Gemini, the sign of its rulership, on the 15th, just in time to host the Sun for the powerful Gemini-Sagittarius Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse of May 24th, the third eclipse in just this one thirty-day period, encouraging us to think as well as feel our way through.  Eclipses are more intense lunations – as recent headlines also indicate – making these transformative times that we are currently managing to live through even more poignant and accelerating the drum beat of change.

The big news this month is the converging of Uranus and Pluto for their third encounter of the close kind. This happens on May 20th. There were two previous exact hits last year of their revolutionary and pressure-packed square, out of a total of seven, with reverberations echoing down to the final years of these “Turbulent Teens.”  We are, all of us, caught up in the vice of change and we might as well acknowledge this simple and straightforward fact. No one will emerge in the same condition as they started. The culture itself will undergo massive and radical transformation before we are finished, or else we are finished in quite another sense of the word. We must hang together now in collective action that is both local and ultimately global, or we will dangle separately.

Not only is Uranus in Aries amped up, bringing unique ideas and out-of-the-box strategies to bear, but also Pluto is emphasized in Capricorn, representing societal structure, which indicates that the very bedrock of our individual as well as our collective lives must transform. What is dysfunctional and outmoded in our approach will have to be pruned away. This is also the sign of Saturn’s rulership, and as this two-month period unfolds, Saturn in fading sextile to Pluto begins to make an increasingly close trine aspect to Neptune. We can dream big during this period, and we can also see our dreams come crashing down to a more practical level. When that happens the recommendation is that we do not despair. It is rather – having utmost faith in the universe, whether termed Spirit, or higher Self, or angel guidance – that we choose to rebuild as necessary.

The otherworldly Neptunian archetype is not only aspected by the May 9th New Moon eclipse but also is extremely activated by the May 24th event, when the Sun and Moon in exact opposition make a T-square to Neptune. This is a time when idealism holds sway, and when this can and will be confused with illusion, potentially tinged with self-deception or even outright deception that we might encounter on th part of others. The upside of all this Neptune energy is that we can more fully appreciate that we live in a magical and multi-dimensional world, where everything that we see and hear tells only a small part of the story. As the poet William Blake reminds us, “How do you know but every bird that cuts the airy way, is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five?” And we ourselves are like those birds, when we can suspend disbelief and open our minds to the parts of ourselves that allow us to dream.


ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is the time of your life, Aries, and you must employ it. Coming on the heels of a surprisingly intense start to the springtime, you have before you a great month for looking within yourself and for getting things done. You are exploring all facets of profession and career development, and as you do, consistently finding new wrinkles regarding your work in the world that bring primary focus to those issues that truly matter to your personal evolution, long-term. The rest you are increasingly able to let go. Your finances are on your mind as well, but, again, you win by picking and choosing only those aspects that further your personal evolution. Your ultimate goal is to be all that you can be and to become all that you can, in good conscience, become.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19).  This is an exciting time to be alive, Taurus. You are joyfully participating in higher meaning along with the plain and difficult task of walking your walk as you work your path. You are also finding stern guidance from mentors in your life, who provide one key to your movement forward. Your worldview could be even more dramatically shifting, as multiple epiphanies tumble into your awareness. Along with an openness to compassionate communication within your circle, you possess a powerful idealism as to outcomes and an unwillingness to let anything get in the way of your dreams. You are crossing over, and it makes less and less sense to deny it. In following the impulse of your heart you make it easier to integrate your deeper feelings and for others around you to do likewise.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is a subtly exciting period of time for you, Gemini, as you work your edge and explore the boundary between ideal and real. The first half of the month you are extremely tied to your inner world, engaging in a dreamy time that is also productive of new insight. Then, leading up to the Lunar Eclipse of May 24th in your opposite sign, you are fully re-entering the world of events and social interaction, with the additional advantage of the distinct memory of your time that has been spent in other-dimensional super-realities. You are finding that the more you look, the more you recognize the unseen world within you. The hidden realm within you carries more weight than you might have imagined, informing and underlying everything that you say and do.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is a potent month, Cancer, with the prospect of extra energy as future plans expand in innovative ways. You are cautiously optimistic as you make your move, and as partnership considerations in your life continue to transform. The eclipses of this powerful monthly cycle shore up the spiritual basis of how you see yourself progressing, and symbolize a more satisfying process that could nevertheless feel confusing when seen as a strictly mundane set of circumstances. Your worldview is expanding, although in somewhat nebulous ways. As you make definite advancement toward important life goals you are simultaneously distrustful of that movement forward. You must constantly ask yourself the all-important question of whether your angle of adventure matches your most profound soul purpose, and if so, then take that as a yes and forge ahead.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is a powerful month of new initiatives for you, Leo. Career and public life are truly up for you this month, with the attendant set of logistics and choices for making that happen. There is now more than ever the added subtext that of all your career choices it is only the professional path with plenty of heart that actually interests you; it is your soul needs that are the most urgently calling out to you. You posses an intelligent and forward-looking attitude that takes you far, especially when you allow yourself to recognize that your priorities are changing in ways that were previously unforeseen. It’s always possible to ignore the new mandate and continue with former habits, but the evolutionary pressure upon you is strong, so that you might just need to go with it.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) Your destiny is calling, Virgo, and it is a high-priority message.  Recent depth explorations have given you new perspectives, critical to your chances for true forward movement. Like the extra-high tide that comes only once, this opening can be seized at the flood for great and fortunate progress, or left unanswered. An idealized and almost dream-like experience of relationship is part of this. Even though the temptation is strong to follow the crowd, or your partner, you find when you check inside that you must remain true to yourself at all costs. Illusions glimmer, offset by critical voices within you, but these contrasting factors can be navigated successfully when you keep your eye on the prize. As your radically altered self-expression reveals, you are transforming at the core and there is no looking back.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) Your exciting voyage has only just begun, Libra. You are exploring the world around you through intimate connection with others and a powerful component of that process takes you right back to yourself. It is vitally important for you to recognize the degree to which you are becoming more familiar with yourself in these deeper places, and how that increase in understanding eventually morphs into enhanced feelings of personal security, and a better sense of your own home base. New perspectives come to you rapid-fire in the course of this month’s evolutionary journey of unfolding wisdom. They bring a glimpse of the ideal that you would very much like to aspire to, and might yet find the capacity for. An interesting amalgam of heart and mind takes you both farther out and simultaneously further in.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is an exciting moment for you, Scorpio. You are learning constantly these days, with not all of the lessons planned, although the ones that come crashing in out of the blue somehow still seem to fit. Your evolutionary path is new, and yet also partakes of traditional ways of looking at the world. You are adjusting to a sense of limitation, allowing for it and making it work for you. Key relationships in your life have also taken on a novel form of luster, with perspective changes that are major; some pieces familiar, with a different twist, while others entirely unique in your experience. This is all part of an ongoing metamorphosis that affects everything, and that allows your everyday practice to shine with a subtle light that illumines distant horizons of meaning.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This month represents your next step, Sagittarius, although at least initially things might look sketchier than that. There is a crux of transformational energy directed toward you and through you that allows you to make a significant move. This seems confusing at times, but actually represents steady momentum along the evolutionary arc of personal development that you have long been sensing. Relationship is a huge factor in this transition, and helps you to make space for both thinking and feeling your way through. You are challenged to make use of a growing sense of practical spirituality that is being presented to you by the cosmos, in order that you prosper internally. This creates a lasting adjustment to your relationship dynamic that allows your partnerships to breathe, and the rest of your life as well.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) The adventure continues, Capricorn. This is a difficult period in some ways, as deep transformational change is not an easy path. Acting in accordance with core-level principles becomes a studied artistic expression and remains a work in progress. You are finding that the urge to simply be yourself and for discovering what that might truly mean for you has crucial ramifications for how you set your future course. There is a way that you can remain perfectly happy, in spite of circumstances, in spite of everything; this is an elusive target, requiring a leap of faith. You are setting new standards for accomplishment, which have recently tended toward inner achievement prioritized over outer. Now, this month, you are perhaps beginning to admit this to your conscious awareness as an explicitly stated goal.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) You are turning to the inside, Aquarius, at the same time as you continue to bask in outer world achievement. As you come to understand your own deeper motivation, an evolutionary pressure builds within that inspires you to learn a new language of the soul. Communication and learning are your favorite things, and this is where you are truly at, as information  – amidst a series of profound changes – continues to pour forth from you and to you. The world of events and of outward presentation is one important key to who you are, and yet you are beginning to acknowledge that your performance also rests on another base; a reality orientation of a subtler kind. This one brings your hidden places to light and allows the dark and relatively unconscious parts of yourself to join in and to finally have their voice.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) An unusual season holds sway, Pisces. You are coming into yourself in some very novel and exciting ways, so that you discover a renewed sense of inner purpose. Security is there for you in plentiful supply, with a feeling of extraordinary confidence at the very core of your being that does not correspond to any easily recognizable cause. You seem to be clutching at the void and yet it is creative, graspable, only not in ordinary terms. You require a sort of double-vision to maintain your equilibrium now, a willingness to let the cosmos have its way with you; all the while the deal remains in effect that when you need to return to mundane affairs for this or that particular moment you will be able to.


Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at


Optimal Detox – Christopher Vasey N.D.

Optimal Detox

By Christopher Vasey N.D.


Chapter 4
The Different Illnesses Caused by Colloidal and Crystalline Toxins

Simply knowing that diseases are primarily due to the accumulation of toxins in the body is a good thing on its own. However, it is even better to know how to tell the difference between those diseases that are caused by colloidal wastes and those created by crystalline wastes.

So what do we need to learn in order to best apply this knowledge?

The first step consists of observing what excretory organ is most affected by the disease. Overloads of one kind of waste will target very specific excretory organs. The other eliminatory organs will be spared completely as they do not handle the waste products in question. For example, an excess of colloidal wastes can overwork and make several of the excretory organs that handle these toxins sick; such as the liver and the intestines. But the effects of this overload will have no bearing whatsoever on the organs that eliminate crystalline wastes from the body: the kidneys and sudoriferous (sweat) glands. This is why, when the liver and intestines are afflicted, we are seeing evidence of a colloidal disease (as these organs specialize in the elimination of colloidal wastes). When the liver or sudoriferous glands are suffering from illness, we are seeing signs of diseases caused by crystalline wastes (as these are the organs that are intended to eliminate crystals from the body).

The second way to tell what kind of illness is present–colloidal or crystalline–consists of observing two symptoms: discharge and pain.


Colloidal wastes contain a certain quantity of water and are discharged from the body by the respiratory tract (in the form of colds, bronchitis, and so on), by the sebaceous glands (whiteheads and oozing eczema), and the intestines (in the form of stools).

Crystals are basically hard, dry wastes. When there is an excess amount of crystalline waste in the body, they form deposits in the tissues. For example, these deposits can appear in the joints (arthritis), in the skin (eczema), on the walls of the blood vessels (arterioscleroisis), or in the kidneys (kidney stones).


When an excess of crystal toxins exists, they will compress the tissues, rub against them too energetically, or outright injure them. Crystals are hard and have an angular structure with sharp edges. When they remain stagnant in the body they easily injure the cells by scratching, pricking, and piercing them. At the onset, they will be perceived only as an irritant. Over time, lesions will occur. The inflammation of the tissues makes them extremely sensitive and all the more receptive to pain.

Conversely, colloidal wastes do not possess any of these effects whatsoever and do not cause pain. Their lack of structure sharply reduces any possibility of tissue injury. Being soft and malleable, they do not change the shape of the tissues with which they come into contact, and do not tear or injure them like crystals. To the contrary, they change shape to adapt to that of their environment.

About the Author

Christopher Vasey, N.D., is a naturopath specializing in detoxification and rejuvenation. He is the author of The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, The Naturopathic Way, The Water Prescription, The Whey Prescription, and The Detox Mono Diet. He lives near Montreux, Switzerland.
Optimal Detox: How to Cleanse Your Body of Colloidal and Crystalline Toxins by Christopher Vasey, N.D., © 2013 Healing Arts Press. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International.

Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you? – don Miguel Ruiz Jr.


Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?

by don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

I began my apprenticeship into my family’s tradition in San Diego, California, when I was fourteen years old. My seventy-nine-year-old grandmother, Madre Sarita, was my teacher and the spiritual head of our family. She was a curandera, a faith healer who helped people in her small temple in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood in San Diego, with the power of her faith in God and love. Since my father was a medical doctor, the juxtaposition of the two forms of healing allowed me to see our tradition through different points of view.
Though she spoke no English, my grandmother gave sermons and lectures across the country. My apprenticeship began with translating my grandmother’s lectures from Spanish to English. For many years, I awkwardly stumbled over her words, and my grandmother would just look at me and laugh.
One day, she asked me if I knew why I stumbled. I had all sorts of answers: you are speaking too quickly, you don’t give me a chance to catch up, some words don’t have a direct translation. . . . She just looked at me silently for a few moments and then asked, “Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?”
I looked at her blankly. She continued, “When you translate, you try to express my words through what you already know, what you think is true. You do not hear me; you hear yourself. Imagine doing the same thing every single moment in life. If you are looking through life and translating it as it goes along, you will miss out on living it. But if you learn to listen to life, you will always be able to express the words as they come. Your knowledge has to become a tool that you will use to guide you through life but that can also be put aside,. Do not let knowledge translate everything you experience.”
I nodded in response, but it didn’t dawn on me until many years later what my grandmother was truly talking about. Throughout life, we constantly narrate, or commentate on, everything we do, say, see, touch, smell, taste, and hear. As natural storytellers, we continuously keep the plot moving forward, sometimes missing millions of subplots that are developing on their own. It is like taking a sip of wine and saying, “It’s a bit dry; it has definitely aged well, but I can taste the bark. I’ve had better.” Instead of simply experiencing the joy and flavors of the wine, we are analyzing the flavor, trying to break it down and fit it into a context and language we already know. In doing this, we miss out on much of the actual experience.
This is a simple example of how we narrate life—explaining it, but, more importantly, justifying and judging it. Instead of taking an experience for what it is, we create a story to make it fit our beliefs. During Madre Sarita’s talks, I had to completely shut down my thoughts, because if my mind’s commentary got in the way, I would miss out on her message. With this simple process, my grandmother showed me that if we only see the world through the filters of our preconceptions, we are going to miss out on actually living. After much practice, I eventually learned to close my eyes, shut out the world that existed outside my head, and translate every single word she said accurately.
Seeing beyond our filters—our accumulated knowledge and beliefs—does not always come naturally. We have spent years growing attached to them in various degrees, and they feel safe. Whatever we become attached to can begin to shape our future experiences and limit our perception of what exists outside our vocabulary. Like blinders on a horse, our attached beliefs limit our vision, and this in turn limits our perceived direction in life. The stronger our level of attachment, the less we can see.
Think about your set of attached beliefs as a unique melody repeating itself in your mind. In a way, we are constantly trying to force our melody—the one we have become accustomed to hearing—onto other melodies, without realizing that often the melody is not our own, and perhaps it’s not even the one we want to be playing. If we continue playing only what we know, never opening ourselves to listen to the other songs flowing around us, we are letting our attachment to our particular melody control us. Instead, choose to listen to other melodies playing. Perhaps you will contribute to them, adding a harmony or a bass line and just seeing where the music takes you. By letting go of your attachment to what you think the melody should be, you open yourself to the potential to create a unique and beautiful song of your own composition or a collaboration that can be shared with others.
Excerpted from The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for a Modern World by don Miguel Ruiz , Jr.  © 2013 Hierophant Publishing, distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser. Now available at  and .

don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., is a Nagual, or a Toltec Master of Transformation. He is a direct descendant of the Toltecs of the Eagle Night lineage, and is the son of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and two children.

The Seasons of Self April: Awakening to the Miraculous – Lynn Woodland

The Seasons of Self

April: Awakening to the Miraculous

Lynn Woodland

The Spring Equinox, the official beginning of spring, happened in the third month of March, marking the point where, for the first time in six months, light and darkness are equal. We’ve entered the season where light is on the rise, growing stronger every day, and it can’t help but touch us all and get our energy moving, even if we don’t consider ourselves terribly attuned to nature, even if we never garden, even if it’s still Minnesota-cold out (as it is where I live). When light is rising, we know it in our bones. At the very least, we find we don’t need our Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps as often and notice our houseplants going wild. Every year this time, the presence of light awakens us in any number of obvious as well as deep, primal ways.

Of course, the true rebirth of light happened at the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Yet, winter light is a quiet power, both dormant and pregnant, like the time after conception but before birth. Spring, on the other hand, is for “hatching.” Easter brings with it a riot of candy eggs, baby animals, and Jesus rising from the dead, as Christian symbolism blends with earlier, earth-based, traditions of the solar sun being on the rise.

This energy of birth and beginnings is exciting, fresh, and a bit fragile. There’s an openness and child-like innocence to it; a sense of the world being new and that anything is possible. What better time to consciously cultivate this energy of excitement, fresh perspective, and willing suspension of disbelief, not as a naive first step on the way to a painful crash, but as a creative force? What better time to open ourselves to miracles?

If the pure presence of spring isn’t enough to open your jaded mind to the possibility of miracles, try wading into some of the mind-boggling findings of relativity theory and quantum physics over the last century. Science is now showing us a remarkable new definition of reality in which time and space aren’t fixed, matter isn’t solid and the very nature of matter changes according to the expectations of those observing it. We’re seeing that consciousness in and of itself has the power to affect the physical realm and that minds are joined beyond the limits of time and space. To quote one of the pioneers of quantum physics, Erwin Schrodinger, on the nature of consciousness, “the overall number of minds is just one.” (A good starter book on new science is Taking the Quantum Leap, by Fred Alan Wolf.)

But this article isn’t just about the mysteries of time, space and matter. It’s an opportunity to explore and experience these mysteries first hand. It’s an invitation to suspend disbelief, allow your mind to be boggled and take a leap out of the box of what you think you know because what follows is an exercise in miracle-making.

Going back to Erwin Schrodinger’s idea of “One Mind” and combining that with mounting evidence of the mind’s power to affect matter (on this, check out physicist Helmut Schmidt’s research with random events generators, for starters), and then throwing in what we’re beginning to know about the fluidity of time and space (thank you, Einstein), take a little leap of imagination and consider that, simply through your intention to do so, you could connect with every other mind who has read, is reading, or will read this article. Imagine that, beyond the illusionary limitations of time and space, together we could (perhaps have already?) form a powerful, synergistic force of Mind capable of moving proverbial mountains of matter. (Why not? It’s been documented that prayer said anonymously, sight unseen, on another’s behalf has a statistically relevant, positive impact on physical health. Check out the book, Healing Words, by Larry Dossey, M.D. for more on this.)

So, if you’re still with me, stop for a moment and really imagine this. Envision your mind joining with the minds of all who have read, are reading and will read this article. Imagine us joining in a common intent that every reader now experiences something miraculous this month. (What’s “miraculous?” I think of it as something better than we expected, perhaps didn’t believe to be possible, always win/win, and often showing up through serendipity rather than effort.) As your mind follows along here, already you’ve become more than a passive reader—you’ve entered the process and begun to reshape matter, starting a healing ripple for yourself and countless others you will never know.

Picture this joined consciousness as clear, beautiful, and only positive—an ocean of pure potential having the power to do great good and incapable of doing harm. Imagine that beyond time and space we’ve formed a synergistic, only-for-good, creative force, ready to be directed. You can add your own mind power to this in any way your imagination might suggest: aim a beam of light from your heart to this collective pool and see it grow brighter; hold a heart-felt intention that these many others who you’ll never know now receive whatever highest good best serves them; or simply think and say this to yourself. Imagine you believe this is true even if you don’t. The power of our consciousness magnifies whatever we give consistent attention to so simply holding in mind an imagined reality is akin to planting a seed. Bringing it to mind repeatedly provides the sun and water that nurture its growth.

Now, all that’s left is to have faith. Faith means expecting success and seeing signs of it everywhere and in everything. It’s not a matter of hoping and wishing, which keeps our attention focused on something that isn’t here yet. “Faith” is when we’re so certain the future will unfold perfectly, we feel no need to be attached to it at all. Consequently, faith keeps us very present and at peace in the moment. Once we’ve stopped trying to worry the future into being, the miraculous present happens, with grace and serendipity.

So, instead of looking for signs of your success, which is tinged with an attitude of prove-it-to-me doubt, this month practice finding signs of success. It’s a little like being on an Easter egg hunt. You know without any doubt the eggs are out there. Some may be so obvious you’ll practically step on them, while some you might have to peek behind bushes and rocks to uncover. Play lightly with the possibility of miracles this month and see what shows up when you least expect it!

Lynn Woodland is creator of The Miracles Course, and author of Making Miracles—Create New Realities for Your Life and Our World, from Namaste Publishing, and the. Email her at with your comments and to receive a free video download on the New Prosperity. More at

Healing Wise: The Spirit of Simples – Susun S Weed

Healing Wise: The Spirit of Simples

Susun S Weed


What is a Simple?

A “simple” is one herb used at a time. A “simpler” is an herbalist who generally uses herbs one at a time, rather than in combinations.

Why Use Simples?

Most herbalists I have met — whether from China or Japan, Eastern or Western Europe, Australia or North America — use herbs in combinations. Simplers, like myself, don’t. Why?

Because I believe that herbal medicine is people’s medicine, I seek to make herbal medicine simple: as simple as one herb at a time. Because people worry about interactions between the drugs they take and herbs, I keep it simple: with simples, interactions are simple to observe, and simpler to avoid. Because empowerment in health care is difficult, I want to offer others easy, safe herbal remedies: and what could be easier, or safer, than a simple?

Simples Make Me Think

When I was just getting started with herbs, one thing that confounded me was the many choices I had when I began to match symptoms to the herbs that relieved them. If someone had a cough should I use garden sage or wild cherry bark or pine sap or mullein or coltsfoot (to name only a few of the many choices)? One way out of this dilemma was to use them all. I made many cough syrups that contained every anti-cough herb that I could collect. And they all worked.

As I got more sophisticated in my herbal usage, and especially after I completed a course on homeopathy, I began to see that each herb had a specific personality, a specific way of acting. I realized I couldn’t notice the individual actions of the herbs when they were combined.

It felt daring at first to use just one herb. Would wild cherry bark tincture all by itself be enough to quell that child’s cough? Yes! Would mullein infusion alone really reduce a person’s asthmatic and allergic reactions? Yes! Would sage soaked in honey for six weeks ease a sore throat? Yes! Each herb that I tried as a simple was successful. They all worked, not just together, but by themselves.

The more I used individual herbs the more I came to know them as individuals. The more I used simples, the simpler and more successful my remedies became. The more I used one herb at a time, the more I learned about how that herb worked, and didn’t work.

Simples Are Intimate

When we use one herb at a time, we come to know that herb, we become intimate with that herb. Just as we become intimate with each other by spending time one-on-one, tete-a-tete, simply together, we become closer to the herbs when we use them as simples.

Becoming intimate with an herb or a person helps us build trust. How reliable is the effect of this herb? When? How? Where does it fail? Using simples helps us build a web of green allies that we trust deeply. Simples help us feel more powerful. They help abate our fears, simply, safely.

Simples Are Subtle

Using one herb at a time gives us unparalleled opportunities to observe and make use of the subtle differences that are at the heart of herbal medicine. When we use simples we are more likely to notice the many variables that affect each herb: including where it grows, the years’s weather, how we harvest it, our preparation, and the dosage.1 The many variables within one plant insure that our simple remedy nonetheless touches many aspects of a person and heals deeply.

One apprentice tinctured motherwort flowering tops weekly through its blooming period. She reported that the tinctures made from the younger flower stalks had a stronger effect on the uterus; while those made from the older flower stalks, when the plant was going to seed, had a stronger effect on the heart.

Simples Give Me Power

Using one herb at a time helps me feel more certain that my remedy has an active value, not just a placebo value. Using one plant at a time, and local ones at that, reassures me that my herbal medicine cannot be legislated away. Using one plant at a time allows me to build trust in my remedies. Using one plant at a time is a subversive act, a reclaiming of simple health care.

Combinations erode my power, activate my “victim persona,” and lead me to believe that herbal medicine is best left to the experts.

From Complex to Simple

Take the challenge! Use simples instead of complex formulae. Let’s rework some herbal remedies and get a sense of how simple it can be.

The anti-cancer formula Essiac contains Arctium lappa (burdock), Rheum palmatum (rhubarb), Ulmus fulva (slippery elm), and Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel). Rhubarb root has no possible use against cancer; it is a purgative whose repeated use can “aggravate constipation.” Slippery elm bark also has no possible anti-cancer properties and has no doubt been added to counter some of the detrimental effects of the rhubarb. Sheep sorrel juice is so caustic that it has been used to burn off skin cancers, but it would likely do more harm to the kidneys than to any cancer if ingested regularly. Leaving us with a great anti-cancer simple: burdock root. One that I have found superbly effective in reversing dysplasias and precancerous conditions.

A John Lust formula for relief of coughs 2 contains Agropyron repens (witch grass), Pimpinella anisum (aniseed), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Inula helenium (elecampane root), Pulmonaria officinalis (lungwort), Thymus species (thyme herb), (murillo bark) 3, Chondrus crispus (irish moss), Lobelia inflata (lobelia herb). Witch grass has little or no effect on coughs; it is an emollient diuretic whose dismissal from this group would leave no hole. Anise seeds are also not known to have an anti-pertussive effect; although they do taste good, we can do without them. Lobelia can bring more oxygen to the blood, but is certainly not an herb I would ever add to a cough mixture, so I will leave it out here. Licorice is a demulcent expectorant that can be most helpful for those with a dry cough; however, I do use it for a variety of reasons, among them its exotic origins and its cloyingly sweet taste. Lungwort is, as its name implies, a pectoral, but its effect is rather mild, and its place in the Boraginaceae family gives me pause.

How much pyrrolizidine alkaloid might it contain? Thyme, and its more common anti-cough cousin garden sage, contains essential oils that could both quiet a cough and counter infection in the throat. A strong tea or a tincture of either could be our simple. Irish moss is, a specific to soothe coughs and a nutritive in addition, would also make an excellent simple. But it is elecampane that I would crown. It is not only a specific to curb coughing, it counters infection well, and tonifies lung tissues. Several small doses of a tincture of elecampane root should quiet a cough in a few hours.

Simples are fun. Give them a try.


1. Among the many variables, I have especially noticed that the tinctures that I make with fresh plants are many times more effective than tinctures made from dried plants. My elders tell me that preparations of common plants growing in uncommon places will be stronger as well. Many herbalists are aware of certain areas of their land that nurture plants that are particularly potent medicines.
2. John Lust. The Herb Book. 1974. Bantam.
3. Note that this formula, as is frequently the case, contains an “exotic” herb which Mr. Lust does not include in the 500+ herbs in his book, nor does he give us a botanical name for the plant, leaving us literally unable to prepare his formula as presented.


Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed’s four herbal medicine books focus on women’s health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health. Visit her site for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more! Browse the publishing site online at to learn more about her alternative health books. Venture into the NEW Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.



March 2013 Astrology – Henry Seltzer


March 2013

Henry Seltzer


The Astrology of March features Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Chiron and Pluto. Mercury is still in retrograde from late February, and only escapes its retrograde shadow on the 6th of April. Therefore the entire month of March will be one that partakes at least to some extent of the usual Mercury Retrograde symptoms of missed connections, communication mishaps and mechanical breakdowns. These interesting phenomena can usually be traced to false assumptions or overlooking something on the part of our own mental apparatus, and do not seem to much affect those persons born with Mercury retrograde natally.

Venus, relationship planet and the astrological archetype of beauty and the arts, is also highlighted this month, now in Pisces and there conjuncting Neptune. The March 11th New Moon in Pisces also conjuncts Venus, so that a softer and more compassionate take on inter-personal connection is even more than usual on our minds and in our hearts. Additionally, with the Mercury retrograde period ushering in a more thoughtful attitude, the focus of our meditations will likely be the very nature of our world as a relationship planet, as well as on our various relationships, our soul’s life blood.

The same New Moon that features Venus is accompanied by Mars leaving Pisces and entering into its own sign of Aries, there to come into closer and closer conjunction with Uranus as the second half of this month unfolds. This brings a series of sudden surprises and an extroverted counter-point to the internal energy of the Mercury retrograde. The possibility of accidents cannot be ruled out so that it is best to proceed with caution. We might continue our month-long meditation by focusing on the many ways that we bring one-pointed and self-motivated activity to the altar that relationship provides. When we more closely look, and look truly, we are able to recognize where indeed the very structure of our lives must radically transform.

Meanwhile, Jupiter in Gemini, ruled by both Mercury and, in esoteric terms, Venus, is once again the focus of a yod formation  from Saturn and Pluto – as was found at the time of the Winter Solstice on the 21st of  December, 2012, and also in the chart for the New Year. Saturn with Pluto represents the radical transformation of structures; our own, and in the life of the surrounding collective. The Jupiter emphasis lends an optimistic air to the proceedings as we continue to explore what we need to do – both individually and as a society -  to make the necessary life changes that will enable us to get through this pivotal year, recognizing it as one important turning point of a turbulent decade.

Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is also very prominent in this month’s configurations, being increasingly aspected by Jupiter, and by retrograde Mercury as we make our way through March. This indicates a primary focus on the challenges as well as the rewards of this period. We are caught up in a struggle to accept the necessity of massive change.  There is also the realization that, as we do go along with the flow of the cosmos working itself out through our lives, our relationships must also undergo continual adjustment and repair. It is important to recognize that change opens the door to healing, and is vital, representing the only way that we will be able to make our necessary transition into wholeness.


ARIES (March 20-April 19). You are coming into your own, Aries, although you might not yet know it. The recent cosmic emphasis implies that in order that you take full advantage of your opportunities, it is more important than ever that you make fundamental changes in your mission statement. You are in a good place to aim carefully, and it is vital that, as you do, you take inner priorities more fully into account. With Mercury retrograde all month long, this is not the time to push ahead without carefully thinking everything over, and from several different standpoints. You win when you base your thoughts on your deeper feeling level, making use of the powerful intuitive information that currently floods into your being. There, true information is to be found whenever you can make space and allow it to come in.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19).  It is a brand new world for you, Taurus, as the winter of your discontent begins to fade and you enter into a springtime of renewed opportunity. You are benefiting from recent realizations regarding partnership priorities and how these affect your world view, and, going forward, on your life in general. You are mulling over your actual plans for a more vitalized soul future, but you are still learning how to navigate the incredibly powerful mix of energies that swirl around you. Next month will be a better time to finalize important decisions that are still coming into being – currently stewing in the reflections of a thoughtful March time frame. For now, you do well to continue to watch and wait, and enjoy your growing confidence as well as the trepidation of anticipated new birth.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This continues to be a powerful and an optimistic time for you, Gemini. You have been in an essentially optimistic place, despite being put through the wringer lately. The transformational beat continues into the heart of yet another intense year. You are coming now to a marked shift in your energies, with your ruler, Mercury, retrograding through your sector of career path and productive works. You are entirely serious about understanding your actual life mission, that which will make you not only successful but also happily so, and now is the time to solidify those gains, as you pause to collect yourself. On into April it will be soon enough you to be pressing ahead with a new mandate for a future that you can not only live with, but for.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) It’s an interesting time for you, Cancer. You know you’ve been through something major over these last few weeks, and it is still ongoing, although it might be hard to pin it down exactly what it is. Your emotional center has been rocked; there is an evolution that is taking place within you. The result over this current monthly cycle is a new world view and new vision for where you are potentially heading.  A deep exploration has come about without specific planning, as though a hidden passage through the center of the earth had suddenly opened up at your feet resulting in free fall. Where you will land only goddess knows, but it certainly won’t be Kansas anymore, or anything at all like the place where you began.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is an interesting month of introspection, Leo, with the retrograde of Mercury through your sector of personal evolution, and following the intensity of the last days of February when everything seemed to fall apart only to pull together again in new ways. You have been caught up, for many weeks now, in the exploration of your interior process, leading to a better, further, and deeper commitment to yourself. You are beginning to entertain, in a new way, the idea that you include Spirit as a normal part of your waking life. It suddenly becomes important that you allow family and relationship with others to rise nearer to the top of your priority list. You are digging deep over this month and the next, first preparing, as you refine your purpose; and then, finally, as you are ready, to act.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is quite a time you are having here in the first few months of 2013, Virgo. Now, with six planets in your relationship sector, including Mercury in retrograde, you are deeply committed to partnership concerns, and also to refining and reformulating your viewpoint on life and love. This is a time of plumbing your spiritual depths, and regarding relationship, of both rampant confusion and also the discovery of ethereal beauty emerging, unannounced,  between the lines of everyday occurrences. You could also be discovering that you just can’t push the river, but must let it roll on with a life of its own to which you are merely witness. Even though tempting, you might need to put the attractive magnet of outer world pursuits on hold this month as you sort things out.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) You are seeking fulfillment amidst the ordinary, Libra. You are making a breakthrough to new levels of understanding, of yourself and of where in the world your life could be heading, although the details are more than a bit confusing, mystical and vague. Since Mercury is also retrograde until the first week of April, when you take into account the period of the retrograde shadow, it may be best not to try too hard. You win if you can wait to forge ahead with plans until you have a good sense of what you really want, down within the deepest centers of your being. One stage of this evolving process, when significant others enter even more into your picture, takes place with the Full Moon in your sign during the last week of March.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is an important time, Scorpio, when you are continuing to explore your inner world, and when you have also been feeling your way into a better relationship with your own personal power. When you think that you have the capability of exerting the most control is when, paradoxically, you have the very least. Over the course of this current month, your self-expression and creativity is blazing up in a new fashion that takes your deep unconscious process into better account, recognizing that at base, not everything you do is fully conscious. You are on the way to affirming your path forward in a very different way, one that rather than the misplaced conditioning of an era that has lost its relevance to your present understanding, takes soul purpose more firmly into account.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) You are on a roll, Sagittarius, but it is not all easy. As an intense winter makes way for spring via the dynamic transition point of the recent February 25th Full Moon, you are even more greatly focalized on important interpersonal connections. These include relationships with significant others, and also those with home, family and tribe; where you find that you are reviewing and renewing your priorities. There might be a better way forward than you have previously attempted. This is correlates as well to the psychological  basis of your security, and you might find that in the course of these investigations you are discovering what makes you tick, deep down inside. As you do, you gain a better grasp on a top-to-bottom integration that brings you into closer connection with others and ultimately, with yourself.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This is an interesting time for you, Capricorn, especially for learning new things about yourself. A tremendous transition period has been underway for many weeks, affecting how you see yourself moving forward into the uncertainty of a changed and changing world, and you remain in the thick of it. There is a way that you have never fully explored what might be termed soul purpose to the depth that you are exploring it now. You are refining your perception of what this means in terms of life direction and how you can best respond. With Mercury currently retrograde, it isn’t the time to push the river. The moment for more concerted action will come mid-April. For now, it makes for the perfect time to write down your observations or to discuss them, and to quietly watch and wait.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is an important time of transition, Aquarius, as you more fully explore public persona and simultaneously your role as a creative and free individual. You are examining your position through the wrong end of a telescope, looking in a new way at the details of how you live your life, and it becomes an excellent time to journal or to meditate on these observations. You are very much in the physical world, and yet not really of it. While still remaining the proving ground of practicality, your world has turned into a symbolic statement of how you connect with others around you, and with your own inner universe. You see both these ideas in a kind of double-vision that will drive you mad if insist on simple logic rather than choosing a mystical approach, and simply enjoying the ride.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a powerful time for you, Pisces, one of meditative reflection and self-definition. With the timing of the recent very intense Full Moon in your opposite sign from the last week of February, and the simultaneous retrograde of Mercury through your identity sector, you have turned an important corner. While still engaged with the world, you are spending a large amount of your time simply thinking and feeling. There is a way that you are becoming more aware that, along with recognizing scholarly sources of information, there are vast realms of knowledge concealed within the intimations of your almost entirely unconscious deep intuition. Although you are gaily participating,  socially interacting, this void of profound silence within you might be the one thing that is really worth a listen.


Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at


7 Tips on How to Beat Those New Year’s Resolution Blues & Make Change Stick – Dr. Joe Dispenza

7 Tips

on How to Beat Those New Year’s Resolution Blues & Make Change Stick

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Leading Brain/Change Expert and International Bestselling Author of

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Contrary to what you might think after having set out to keep your New Year’s Resolutions in the past, only to see them dissolve in frustration and failure, the brain is the organ of change. The concept in neuroscience called neuroplasticity demonstrates that the brain alters itself every time we learn something new. Our nerve cells are specially arranged by what we learn, what we remember, what we experience, what we feel and what we envision. Our 100 billion brain cells are always communicating with the rest of our anatomy. If you learn even one new bit of information today, tiny brain cells will make new connections within the living lattice work of your system. In other words, when we really change our mind, the brain changes…and then we can effect permanent, lasting change.

Not more than thirty or forty years ago, there was a unanimous belief in biology that the brain was hardwired, meaning that we are born with a certain amount of neurological connections and the finality in life was that we were going to turn out like our parents. But with the advent of the latest technologies in functional imagery it is apparent that it is very possible to make the brain work differently. In fact, research out of the University of Wisconsin has proven something as simple as attention or focused concentration is a skill just like golf or tennis. In other words, the more you practice being mindful the better you get at it.

In addition, functional imagery has clearly proven that we can also change the brain just by thinking differently. For example, people that never played the piano were divided into groups.The first group physically played one-handed finger exercises like scales and cords, and as a result of the new activity, their brains changed. The before and after results of the functional brain scans showed new areas of the brain activated. In essence, not only did they make a new mind, literally new brain circuits flourished.

However, when a second group was asked to mentally rehearse the same scales and cords in their mind for the same amount of time, they grew the same amount of brain connections as the group who physically demonstrated the activity. Simply put, when we are truly focused and attentive, the brain does not know the difference between what is happening in our minds eye and what is happening in the external world.

So, when you take the time out of your busy schedule and begin to intentionally dream a new reality, focusing on your goal of losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising daily-for example–just remember that your brain is rewiring itself to your desires and your body is being reconditioned in order to prepare itself for that new event. Therefore, if you mentally rehearse daily what it would be like to experience any transformation, there will be internal changes taking place that will begin to help you achieve your goal.

So if you want to Make Change Stick, here are seven initial steps to start you on the path.

Write a clear and simple resolution statement. This tells your brain that you mean it. Make sure your mission statement creates a positive feeling for you. Avoid words such as not and don’t. Make your resolution specific. Instead of saying you want to eat healthier, say, “I will eat a fresh healthy salad once a day so that I look better and feel better about myself.” Your intention is your mental compass. The clearer your purpose, the better you know where you are going and how you will get there.

List strong reasons about why you want to change. This is the biggest secret to making change stick. You should feel passionate about each one of these thoughts. Be specific. For example, if you are interested in losing weight, one reason could be to wear your mother’s wedding dress for your wedding ceremony in five months. If intention gives you your direction, then your sponsoring thoughts are the fuel to get you going each day in your direction.

Create a plan. Then review your actions steps daily. To get yourself in the right state of mind, review your specific behaviors for the day when you wake up in the morning and/or before you go to bed in the evening. This little exercise literally sets up your day so that you stay conscious of your change. If you imagine yourself making the necessary decisions for that day, you will begin to prime your brain to automatically follow your intentions. Your mental rehearsal can install the neurological hardware and software so that you have the circuits in place to use when executing your changes appropriately. For instance, questions like: “What do I have to do to get there?” Write down the steps. “When do I need to have those steps taken?” Decide what steps you can take this day or even right now. Review and remind yourself of the entire plan and then take the first step. Think of this as reviewing your map on your journey to change. The more you do it the easier it is to get to your destination.
Hold yourself accountable by demonstrating change in your entire day. One of the hardest parts of breaking a habit is to not make the same choices you made days, weeks or months prior. When you decide what you are not going to do that day, it will help keep you on task. The biggest reason most people fall short of their vision relates to giving into familiar feelings. Get clear that when those feelings, cravings and bodily urges come up during your day that drive your devilish thoughts to concede, that you have the will to conquer them. This is when you take your ‘new you’ for a test drive. Your daily goals will always be in alignment with your ongoing intention. Think of this step as small destinations or towns you arrive at along your journey.

Create a reward system for yourself. If you can create a chart that you can see or a ledger you review daily and then check your wins off daily, you will begin to make your discipline and changes a new habit….and build a new feeling of self esteem, worth and belief that you are doing it. If however, you fall from grace one day, make the choice to get back into your routine the very next day without wallowing in failure, guilt and self-depreciation. These emotions will surely undermine your efforts and cause you to return to the old self that may have already felt that way for too long. It’s always good to see how far you have come and how you are doing.

Change can be uncomfortable. When we are in the midst of change, it feels unnatural, unfamiliar and uncertain because we are no longer ‘being’ the same person. You are in the unknown. We are changing how we think, how we act and how we feel. Therefore, each day when you begin you must lift yourself into a new state of being and raise your energy. Questions like: “How would I have to ‘be’ today to master my day?” “How would I feel in my future when I am this person?” These are key ingredients. I like to say, “I cannot get up today as the same person who sat down, I must be in a new state of being and live from this level of energy.” Get excited that you can conquer yourself in some way.

There is nothing more satisfying than to have little reminders in your life to keep you on track. Place pictures, notes, word phrases, and/or vision boards where you can see them daily, such as at your desk, on the refrigerator or pasted to the bathroom mirror. You can even play certain motivational CD’s in your car, or MP3 files while you exercise or inspirational music. These will keep you on task by reminding you that what you are doing is important. The more you stay conscious of your future, the more inspired you will be to overcome your present reality.

These are but a few starter steps. There is much more that can be done to ensure that you can Make Change Stick. But simply know that it is possible to change. True transformation is possible–and it is possible for YOU!

Dr. Joe Dispenza is known as one the world’s most prominent brain/change experts and author of the international bestselling books Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind. He was also one of the featured researchers in What the BLEEP Do We Know!? Dr. Dispenza will be leading the Making Change Stick workshop Saturday January 19 in Vancouver with step-by-step guidance and meditation techniques, which will also be streamed to venues across North America, with local facilitators present to help people anchor the concepts. For more information on Dr. Dispenza, his events and his books, go to

Primal Cuisine – Pauli Halstead


Primal Cuisine excerpt



What are the health benefits of eating exclusively grass-fed and pastured animal products? First of all they are leaner (lower in fats), but the fats they do contain are much healthier for you than fats from commercially raised grain-fed animals. When farm animals are raised on lush green grass they absorb the vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals into their flesh, fat, and bones. Grass-fed meat and the accompanying fats are richer in antioxidants, including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Also, they do not contain added hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs.

Almost any food animal we are familiar with can be raised partially or entirely on grass. The most common products are beef, lamb, bison, yak, goat, pork, poultry, and dairy cows. Meat from grass-fed animals has anywhere from two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than from grain-fed animals. Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats, and they play a vital role in the functioning of every cell of the body. Omega-3s are essential for a healthy heart and a superbly functioning brain. They are significant in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. People with a high intake of omega-3s in their diet are 50 percent less likely to suffer heart attack and are also less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, ADD/HD, autism, or Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids, and this national deficiency is reflected in our rising costs of health care.

Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products from grass-fed or pastured animals are among the richest known source of another good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA. Animals raised on fast-growing grass contain from three to five times more CLA than those raised on grains. Much of the CLA is stored in the fat of the animals, and that is why including the fats from the exclusively grassfed animals in our diet is of great benefit to our health. Butter from grass-fed cows contains CLA, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 (activator X). In 1945, Dr. Weston A. Price described what he called “Activator X” as a critical nutrient for optimal health. This “X Factor” has now been identified as vitamin K2. This vitamin is naturally occurring in the fat of ruminants that graze upon green grass. Vitamin K is essential in helping your bones absorb vitamin D.

There is evidence that CLA may be a potent defense against cancer. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. When we switch from grain-fed meat and dairy products to grass fed, we may be able to significantly lower our risk of cancer. This can be achieved simply by including one glass of pastured milk, one or two ounces of grass-fed cheese, or a small portion of grass-fed meat in your daily diet. It’s that simple.

Eggs from pastured hens are also far richer in vitamin D, another important vitamin that we Americans are deficient in today. In fact, Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, suggests that vitamin D could be the single most important vitamin for our overall health and is probably the most important antioxidant in the body. Vitamin D lowers the risk of all cancers, including skin cancers. It boosts the immune system and helps prevent autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, prevents cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Vitamin D also supports healthy brain function and moods and prevents seasonal affective disorders.

What is important to know is that vitamin D is found almost exclusively in the flesh and fats of grass-fed animals and wild-caught fish. The diet of our ancestors included up to 4,000 IU or more of vitamin D daily. Today, the recommended American daily allowance is only 400 IU and is very inadequate for meeting all the cellular requirements of maintaining our health. Synthetic vitamin D is not going to work; we need the natural vitamin D that only sunlight and animal sources (animals exposed to sunlight and a diet of grass) can provide.


Blue Cheese Burger on a Butter Lettuce “Bun”

This delicious burger has no bun. You will never miss it. What makes these burgers so tasty and moist is the caramelized onion.

4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces grass-fed ground beef
2 tablespoons raw cream or milk
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Grilled Tomato Ketsup (optional)
sea salt and twist of pepper
4 large leaves of red leaf butter lettuce
4 ounces Pt. Reyes Blue, raw cow’s milk cheese
Garnish: thickly sliced garden tomatoes, avocado slices, and sweet red onion slices; more Grilled Tomato Ketsup

In a heavy bottomed skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and slowly caramelize the onions until brown and creamy.

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, caramelized onions (reserve some of the onions for garnishing the burger), raw cream or milk, balsamic, and ketsup. Season with a little sea salt and a couple twists of pepper and mix well. Divide the mixture into two balls and then form into patties about 3/4 inch thick.

In a heavy bottomed skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Rare is good.

Place one large butter lettuce leaf in the center of the dinner plate. Place the hamburger in the center of the plate and top with the blue cheese and your chosen garnishes. Add another twist of pepper if desired, and then place the last butter lettuce leaf on top.

Bio: Pauli Halstead has been a Bay Area and Wine Country chef for more than 30 years. She began her culinary career in 1975 when she opened Pauli’s Café in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Now retired, she lives in Nevada City, California.


Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days


Price: $19.95

To purchase this book visit B&,,, or your local bookstore.

Primal Cuisine by Pauli Halstead © 2013 Healing Arts Press. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International.




Susun S. Weed


The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest known healing tradition on our planet. It offers a unique view of health that is woman-centered and deeply empowering to women. This is in stark contrast to orthodox – and most alternative – healing traditions, which are based on male viewpoints which disempower women.

The medicine I learned in school was based on a linear, scientific, male worldview whose truth I did not question. When this medicine failed me, as a woman and a mother, I sought alternatives. Herbs helped me take care of myself and my family, simply and safely, but I questioned the assumptions behind what I was taught. It was clear to me that alternative health care disempowers women as much, or more than, orthodox medicine does. They both actively assume that the norm on which assessment of health is to be based is masculine in gender.

Assuming that a healthy male is the definition of health may not seem like much of a problem, unless you are a woman. This core assumption has hurt, and continues to hurt, women in a multitude of direct and indirect ways, from the deeply personal to the widely political. This assumption leads to attempts to “correct” – with drugs and surgery – physical and emotional states that are normal (and healthy) for women, but not for men.

Consider: Healthy women were given DES (a hormone) simply because they were pregnant – their offspring are cancer-prone.

Millions of menopausal women have been (and are still) treated with hormones in an effort to replace what is “lost.” Does this improve their health~ No. Use of hormone replacement increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer.

Menstruating women need some quiet time alone. Instead they are offered pink Prozac to help them overcome their “depression.”

Women are advised to have their uterus (and increasingly their ovaries, too) removed since they are “not needed after menopause … just places that can harbor cancer.” It is well known that a woman’s sexual response is unlikely to be as strong, and may even be lost, when she loses these vital organs. A century ago, a woman who challenged male authority could be diagnosed as “hysterical” and her uterus (“hyster”) removed (often without anesthesia or disinfectants).

There is more to medicine than the male perspective. I speak for the woman-centered tradition. It offers men and women a new way to think about and create health in all stages of their lives. It empowers women to take charge of their health and their lives, to honor and respect themselves, and the earth. I call it the Wise Woman Tradition.


The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by:

~ Focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible
~ Sharing information freely
~ Offering compassionate listening
~ Renaming her weaknesses as strengths
~ Reminding her that her body is the body of the earth, is the body of the goddess, is the sacred ground of being.


The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women to:

~ View themselves as healthy, even when they have problems
~ Create their own healthy norms
~ Honor their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause)
~ Define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint
~ Connect with other women for personal and planetary healing

Much of modern medicine seems complicated and difficult to understand. Many alternative remedies are also complicated, some are unduly expensive, others require special training and initiations. This disempowers women. The Wise Woman Tradition, by focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible, and by sharing information freely, allows women to feel competent and powerful in taking care of their own health.

The Wise Woman Tradition heals by nourishing the wholeness of each unique individual. Nourishing has three primary aspects: simple ceremony, nourishing foods, and compassionate listening. When women are heard, when we listen to each other, then we feel validated and empowered. Harking back to the consciousness-raising sessions of the 1970’s, and informed by Native American teachings of the talking stick, compassionate listening reshapes women’s stories so they can reshape their lives.

One of the great gifts of the Wise Woman Tradition is the renaming of our weaknesses as strengths. When we allow ourselves to be depressed, outraged, yearning, grief-stricken, confused, fearful, bitchy, and more; when we allow all that we are to be part of us, then we can finally find and celebrate our wholeness/health/holiness.

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by reminding us that we are sacred, that our bodies are sacred. As women, we are the earth. Each one of us lives in the body of the earth. Each one of us comes from this sacred ground of being. And not only are we empowered to honor ourselves, we are empowered to demand that respect from all others.

When women accept orthodoxy’s image of them as constantly in need of help, they accept a powerless position. When women accept the Wise Woman Tradition’s assertion that they are already perfect, already vibrantly healthy, even when they have problems, they assume a position of power. When women create their own healthy norms, they create a place of power in which they can stand, no matter how fast and furious the changes.

When women believe that their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause) are somehow sick or wrong, they open themselves to medical experiments. When women learn that the Wise Woman Tradition honors these states above all others, they find a source of deep wisdom and great power flowing into their lives.

When women define themselves from a male-centered viewpoint, they always loose. When they define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint, they always win. The Wise Woman Tradition offers this power to women, from the Ancient Grandmother’s heart to yours.


Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed’s four herbal medicine books focus on women’s health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health. Visit her site for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more! Browse the publishing site online at to learn more about her alternative health books.


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