Saturday, December 31, 2005

New moon - New Year

Here in the Southern Hemisphere the 13th New Moon of 2005 falls on New Year's Eve so we have the opportunity to take the new lunar energy into our intentions and celebrations for the new calendar year.

Here is what Claudia from says about this new moon in Capricorn.

"The New Moon planetary set-up says loud and clear... "Before moving forward, you must look back."

As the new year begins, Saturn, ruler of Capricorn and planet of lessons and constructive activity continues to move in reverse till the 5th of April. This means that you have time (and you must) get your ducks in a row, face the truth of what it's going to take to put your plans and dreams into action and leave unrealistic notions behind. The lunar journal for this month was created to help you do just that.

The push-pull effect of the ongoing stressful planetary energies is opening you to new possibilities while making you aware of unacceptable limitations. You're cautioned not to move too quickly, but to reflect on how you're managing your resources (time is a big one) and your responsibilities. Determination, commitment and self-discipline are basic requirements that will help you let go of all that's not working.

The coming year will show you that all your choices have consequences. We'll be coming out of a powerful universal "7" year of wisdom and understanding... an inner voyage into an "8" universal year of success, satisfaction and personal power so take note of how you conceive of, hold and utilize power.

The stressful gale force winds of change that have been blowing for the last 3 months are building to an irrevocable turning point and the status quo in your life is definitely due to permanently change big-time. Here's another guarantee... you'll reap what you've sown and be paid back for work well done. You can discover the opportunities for change coming up for you personally in 2006 with a reading.

Here are some questions to help you use these stressful energies in the most positive ways:
1) Where do you want to be a year from now?
2) What memories will help you on your journey?
3) What must you be responsible and accountable for?
3) What's essential for your journey to be successful and fulfilling?
4) What are your personal values and what have you been voting for with your feet and your dollars?
5) What enduring forms of self-expression will you create?

You're being asked to review selfish agendas and to be sure your intentions include love, humor...and joy. It's time to get in touch with your inner calling ...what you hold dear and want to share with the world.

Capricorn is signified by two different animals presenting you with two different choices regarding the way you use your power. First is the mountain goat seeking to climb the mountains in life by making sure every step is solid... leaving nothing to chance. However, this goat can be overly focused on power-grabbing tactics and selfish personal goals.

Second is the seagoat or mergoat. This animal strives to be a responsible servant for the good of all. Rather than seeking to find security through control over external resources... including people and the environment...the goal is self-mastery.

These are those interesting and exciting times we all asked to live in.... a time when every feeling, thought, word and action creates a reality. Determination, commitment and self-discipline are basic requirements that will help you let go of all that's not working so you can manifest what you truly want. It won't necessarily be easy, but know this... the rewards will be huge.

With Love, Best Wishes for a Happy New Year and Many Moonlit Blessings, Claudia "

You can subscribe to Claudia's fortnightly moon watch email at
Blessings and a Happy New Year from me too

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas Present


(sent to me in an email)

On July 22nd I was en route to Washington, DC for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr.Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately.I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.

When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr.Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital."My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.

By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart.They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.

The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere.

He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.

Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms.


By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.

In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home.

Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused, and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.

The story is not over (smile)!

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy.. I have something to tell you." At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.

"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but you couldn't hear me.. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."

"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.

"Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me.

"They did?"

"Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you "I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room.

The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly.. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.

Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white."

"Did they say anything?"

"Yes," he answered. "They told me the baby would be all right."

"The baby?" my wife asked confused.

Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."

My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.. "Then what happened?" she asked.

"We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.

"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy," he added.

"And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck, and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay. The story went on for an hour.

He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy.. You have a plan.. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much"

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond hisability when he talked about his birdies.

Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies."

Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.

You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into our lives and quickly go...Some people become friends and stay a while...leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts . and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present! Live and savour every moment...this is not a dress rehearsal!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Poet declines banquet with Mrs Bush

Thank the goddess for women who speak up for what they believe in.

Here is an open letter from the poet Sharon Olds to Laura Bush declining the invitation to read and speak at the National Book Critics Circle Award in Washington, DC. Sharon Olds is one of most widely read and critically acclaimed poets living in America today. Read to the end of the letter to experience her restrained, chilling eloquence.

No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame by Sharon Olds

Friday, November 04, 2005

Satisfied song writer - Phoenix rises again

I used to sing with a group of women called the Voices of Gaia.

We were a varied group both musically and individually, but united in our love for the earth and inspired by our journey of discovery of our feminine nature. The group went through a variety of metamorphoses but while I was a member there were usually eight of us. We met twice a week to rehearse for a number of years and inevitably we were much more to one another than just a group of women that sang together.

The Voices of Gaia were my first women's group. It was with these women that I began to appreciate the immense nourishment and support that women can provide for one another. We laughed, cried, bitched, partied, worked, shared, hated and loved one another. Our career culminated in an epic journey half way across the globe to perform at the Woman and Earth conference in St. Petersburg in the middle of winter. Eight women, three children under five and one husband/father/onemanband. It was quite an adventure! More on that adventure.... But afterwards there didn't seem to be anywhere left for us to go and the energy of the group as a singing collective gradually dissipated.

Whilst I was with the group I wrote a number of the songs that we performed. One in particular is called Phoenix and in true Phoenix style this song has recently risen again!

Phoenix is about the jewels that can be found by facing up to challenge. It is quite a challenging song to sing. Our recording of it was pretty good (you can hear the song here) but it lacked the grunt that I felt the song deserved.

So I was delighted when vocalist Andrew Cox (whose band contains the same, now ex-husband/father etc. that backed us on our Russian tour) asked me recently whether they could perform it. Andrew Cox is an excellent vocalist with a great range and heaps of grunt.

'If anyone can sing Phoenix,' I thought to myself 'Andy can'.

And he sure can. I have just listened to the recording that the band have posted on their website and my whole body is grinning. I feel as though my child has come of age and found it's true calling. A song has found it's singer. It is a very delicious and satisfying feeling.

Thank heaven's I didn't have to hold on to doing it myself!

You can listen to the latest incarnation of Phoenix (now called 'Burn Me') at the Andrew Cox band's website. Turn up the volume and see what you think!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New moon in Scorpio

The Moon is New at 9° Scorpio
Tuesday Nov. 1st at 5:24 PM PDT; 1:26 AM GMT (Nov. 2) .. and at 10.26 on the second here in NSW Australia.

For a few months I have been subscribing to a newsletter from a site called that pops useful information about the moon into my inbox just before the new moon and the full moon.

This is what the author Claudia says about this new moon

"Somethin's gonna change and what you don't know will hurt you. You're headed for a journey into the world of your shadow and what's stuck down there is about to be seriously shaken loose.

First of all, as if the Scorpio Moon's energy isn't intense enough all by itself...every planet except one...Jupiter...changes direction between now and Christmas. This further intensifies this already intense energy and shakes up the status quo.

Next... The planets are moving into a stressful pressurized pattern called a Grand Fixed Cross and you'll be feeling the influence over the next 2 months.
The message is that something's gotta give. It's a cosmic plot to get you to let go of all that's no longer useful and that includes inflexible ideas, constant needs for others' approval, outdated values and priorities, and negative ingrained emotions. You can look forward to the demise of some very old and perhaps very destructive habits. The realization to be reaped is that power is not outside of you, but within you.

Now for some re-e-e-ally BIG news. Jupiter...the largest planet in our solar system... has moved out of Libra and into Scorpio until November 23rd. Jupiter shines a giant searchlight down into your emotional basement. What's been hidden in those lead-lined footlockers deep in your emotional psyche preventing you from dreaming BIG and feeling fully?

The really GOOD news is that Jupiter brings angel power you can call on to help you transform negative emotions and expand your spiritual connection. This month's lunar journal gives you a real head start on navigating this energy successfully and utilizing it to your best advantage."

I thoroughly recommend Claudia's lunar journal as a great way to stay tuned in to the energy of the moon and to record your journey through the lunar month. Check it out or view a 7-page sample at You can subscribe to her newsletter as well.

I have also just received Shekinah's beautiful moon diaries and moon cycle charts for 2006. They are filled with seasonal and lunar information and are now available in both Southern and Northern Hemisphere editions. Check out the moon magic range at in the moon diary pages. Wonderful Christmas, Solstice and New Year gifts!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Disha's Death Celebration

Yesterday I attended the death celebration for a very beautiful woman.

For many of us it is hard to marry the word death with celebration. Ma Anand Disha was a sannyasin (a devotee) of Osho and Osho is very clear that death is as much a matter for celebration as anything else in life. He describes death as a final let go, an ultimate surrender of the body vehicle, an opportunity for the spirit/soul to merge again with the oneness of existence.

A sannyasin myself for many years, I have attended a few death celebrations.
But yesterday I didn't want to go.

Disha was such a truly precious being.
She had a way of making everyone feel like her best, most beloved friend.
Dying so suddenly and so young (she was 36) it just didn't seem fair, it didn't seem right that the world, that we, that I in particular was bereft of the beauty of her presence and the unconditional love that she radiated to everyone she came in contact with. I didn't want it to be true. And I didn't want to celebrate.

But I founds some friends to drive with and went anyway.
And I am so grateful that I did.

The celebration was held at Samasati, the exquisite rainforest property that Disha shared with a group of friends. We arrived and were directed to the house where she had lived and where her body was laid out in a bed of petals. One by one the many many friends walked through in silence.

It was a sad sad shock for me to see her body, so still, peaceful and beautiful, and so very clearly no longer the home to the radiant being that was Disha.
Not there, so where?
I grieved her absence with my tears.
From her room we were led out on to her veranda, perched high on the steep side of the valley with an extraordinary, expansive view over the rainforest below. The valley, the birds soaring and wheeling in the late afternoon light, the peace, this felt more like Disha.
The promise of hope, like a tiny shimmer of light flickered through my aching heart.

Back out on the front lawn, chai and cake and other goodies were available. Old friends and complete strangers sat and sipped in silence, hugged and chatted. United by our connection with one gorgeous woman, hearts open, tears so near to the surface, this was a tea party with such sweetness and softness. Here you are again Disha.

As dusk fell we lined the path to the Samasati meditation hall and showered the body with more rose petals as it was borne by her friends to the hall. Gathering around the body there was space for sharing and an opportunity to speak of Disha and to her. Delightful, funny stories of special moments with her, heart-rending acknowledgement of the grief and loss felt by those close to her. What a roller coaster ride of feeling. Better to ride it than fight it I began to realise. Nice one Disha.

As the sharing drew to a close Disha's mother Nandan read for us the message to her friends, that Disha had written in her Will.

"I love you beyond the form of this body, I know there is so much more than this physical domain and I trust this mysterious existence...

I am eternally grateful that I have been so blessed to live this beautiful life. It could not have been more beautiful and I could not have felt more loved by you all. I am eternally in love with you in my gratitude and sweet preciousness and I pray you will be at peace and happy after my body has gone .. and enjoy every day of your precious existence."

Oh Disha. How many of us, at 36 years of age, have written words to sustain our friends and beloveds after our passing. Thank you, you clever, wonderful woman.

The evening progressed with more surges of joy and sadness, punctuated with food, connecting, silence, singing and readings from Osho. Finally at about midnight we took Disha's body into the small meditation room and cleared the big hall for dancing.

It was on the dance floor that I really found her again.
She loved to dance and it seemed as if she said "Oh goody, now the party is really starting!"
I felt her as a swirling golden light dancing all around, above us, through us and within us.
Light dancing in the 'direction of bliss' (the meaning of her name).
I started to understand, this is what the celebration is about.
And this is where Disha lives on.
Here in my heart, inspired and reminded by her beauty to look at the world full of love and to dance with her into bliss.

Thank you dear Disha .....
and thank you so much to all the friends and beloveds who orchestrated her wishes and created such a wonderful, heartfelt celebration of her death.

For more about Disha, pictures and messages please visit Rupda's beautiful website

For some of Osho's discourses on Death and more about death celebrations visit

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I love Google

Except when I don't of course! - Like when I am trying to get it to take notice of my client's site and it prefers ghastly spam filled pages to my lovely unique content rich site.

But I love Google as a resource to find things out.

'What is the speed of light, Mum?' asks my 8-year old.
"I don't know" I say, "Let's Google it!"

And we do and then we know.

The other day I was working on my father's website. He is quite a well known academic who has developed an alternative theory of language and communication called Integrational Linguistics. Working on his website can be quite challenging as every nuance of the language used is important. I need to keep checking back with him to make sure I am not misrepresenting what he is trying to say as I modify some of the text to make the site more Search Engine spider friendly. So far so good, until yesterday when I received his comment that he did not want to be held responsible for the apostrophe in some text that I had altered "'s role in defining communication" '

Now I know I should know the difference between it's and its - being a linguists daughter an' all! But I didn't.

Until I Googled it. I just copied and pasted 'apostrophe in it's' into Google and found a great page provided by the Oxford University Press called How do I know when to put an apostrophe in it's?

Problem sorted.
Thanks Google.
Now please will you understand that is the definitive site on Roy Harris's work, over and above any of the numerous catalogues and book stores selling his books.
That would be great!

Friday, August 05, 2005

All publicity is good publicity

I recently discovered an extremely unfavorable review of my website. For some reason though this guy's comments don't bother me much. Maybe it's because he can't spell ridiculous!

Here's what he has to say

"Good god. It's amazing how far you can go when you ignore that little voice in your head that points out how rediculous you are being. This is the worst of feminism, wicca and neo-pagan sexuality rolled into a Geocities-style website. I have rarely seen a site so ... crap."
by CastorQuinn, Aug 11, 9:02pm, 2004

Strong words Castor! Something we said must have touched a nerve I'd say.

You can check out other sites CastorQuinn likes and doesn't like at his stumbleupon page

You could also check out and see if you agree with him!

If you don't already know about StumbleUpon it's worth checking out. StumbleUpon offers a downloadable toolbar that you can use to rate websites that you visit and which takes you to sites that others have rated highly in the categories that you are interested in. In it's own words "It is backed by a community of members who explore and review sites they like. These reviews help everyone discover the best sites and meet like-minded people." I have "stumbled upon" some great sites using their toolbar.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A wise old bird

"Go to the people at the top—that is my advice to anyone who wants to change the system, any system. Don’t moan and groan with like-minded souls. Don’t write letters or place a few phone calls and then sit back and wait. Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind—even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants."Maggie Kuhn, born one hundred years ago today.

With the slogan "Do something outrageous every day," Kuhn organized and founded the Gray Panthers in 1970 to advocate the rights of the elderly. The National organization continues to be dedicated to social change with both "age and youth in action."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shopping - A Sacred Feminine Practice

Last week four of us from my women's group (see - women's culture) went on an outing. As we drove up the coast we marveled at the fact that we had been meeting most weeks for over four years, had laughed, cried, danced, meditated and shared our deepest hearts with one another - but we had never indulged in the quintessential feminine spiritual practice of shopping!

It was time to turn that one around!

Just the presence of four women dedicated to shopping seemed to make people happy. 'Are you girls all shopping together?' asked the angel at the checkout of the first store delightedly, and with very little prompting proceeded to give us fabulous advice on the best places to visit next.

Her suggestions were spot on. If there is one thing that makes women happier than great new clothes - it's great new clothes at bargain prices. When we hit the factory outlet stores unkind observers might have described it as a feeding frenzy. But the astute on-looker would have been able to see that they were witnessing a religious experience. Great joy was all around.

The best part about shopping with girlfriends is that the sisterhood is greater than the sum of the parts. We all returned with at least one item we would never have found or tried on, let alone bought if it hadn't been for the others. My enduring memory will be the expression on my friend's faces as I put on a particular cream lace jacket. Before I turned to look in the mirror I new I would have to buy this item.

Mirrors can distort, my own perception can be very critical ..... but the eyes of my sisters don't lie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Aging gracefully?

I think humour is the answer - especially the ability to laugh at yourself!

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.
-Cora Harvey Armstrong
The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
-Helen Hayes (at 73)
I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.
-Janette Barber
Old age ain't no place for sissies.
-Bette Davis
Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
-Caryn Leschen
I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited

Monday, July 18, 2005

Holiday fun with a young scientist

It has been school holidays here in australia and I have been enjoying some quality time with my son. One of our favorite holiday activities has been carrying out experiments from a science experiment booklet that I downloaded from the net.
Our best experiment so far was one in which we used a piece of ordinary paper to seal the top of a full bottle of water and then were able to turn the bottle upside down without spilling a drop! The mileage we gained impressing friends and family from that experiment alone was easily worth the $9.95 and there are 99 other experiments in the book.

More information for budding scientists.

A self portrait of my young scientist!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cooking by osmosis

Do you ever come out of a movie and still feel as if you are in the story? Yesterday I went to see Mr & Mrs for a bit of eye candy and some light relief and found myself wondering if the car would blow up when I put the key in the lock to go home! I even get it with good books.

Actually it can happen whenever I immerse myself in something. Recently I have been working on a web site for vegetarian chef and recipe book author, Nadine Abensur. I have been so absorbed in Nadine's world, and in particular her recipes and lifestyle, that I swear my cooking has improved. I whizz around the kitchen being a gourmet vegetarian chef with delectable results. Maybe it all comes down to attitude.

I am also totally in love with the way Nadine writes. She lent me a copy of one of her books "The Cranks Bible" and I keep "forgetting" to give it back. How can you resist someone who talks about onions with this sort of passion ...

"White onions have an almost unbelievable sweetness to them and so are not as sharp as regular onions, though still unmistakably, tear-jerkingly pure onion."

White onion tart with parmesan

or confesses ...

"I have an unending passion for fennel. Even here, where it is covered in cream, I feel sure that its digestive properties shine through. "

Braised Fennel Gratin

and lays it on the line ...

"There is a mantra that those of us who ever did home economics (was there ever a more alienating name for the art of cooking?) at school were taught - pastry equals half fat to flour. Mediocre pastry perhaps. Good pastry equals at least 60 per cent fat to flour. Now that's worth getting your fingers sticky for."

Nadine's Pecan Pie

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Different views on menopause

I adore this article - Black Women's Views on Menopause Different
by Daniel J. DeNoon.

In a study of 43 black women in two cities experiencing menopause symptoms most of them said their best sources of information about menopause didn't come from doctors or nurses.
They put great stock in how their mothers or other older women in their communities had managed menopause symptoms.
It's not that the women didn't trust doctors. The doctors, it seems, simply weren't on the same page.

Is it a page or a paradigm baby?
What a blessing that these women have still got (some) women's culture.

The researchers go on to talk about a symptom of menopause that the women in the study described as a 'rage'
"The women said they had taken enough and had earned the right to be respected and treated well and not have to take 'crap' from others anymore," Alexander and Ruff note. "But frequently rude or irreverent treatment by others was experienced, and this produced a 'rage' in the women."

Go Grumpy Old Women!

The black women in the study were very reluctant to treat their menopause symptoms with hormone therapy. Instead, the women seemed to prefer nondrug menopause treatments such as changes in clothing, diet, and exercise; alternative/complementary therapies; and prayer and spirituality.

Why now sista's - them's some darn sensible ideas!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Herbal commentary from wise woman Susan Weed

In view of the threat posed by Codex Alimentarius on our access to natural healing resources I believe it is wise to inform ourselves as much as possible about herbal lore and wisdom. Susun Weed is an excellent authority in this area. Here are some tips from her newsletter. If you live nearby you could even drop in.

"With summer solstice in the past, the days grow shorter, though the heat increases. I enjoyed some purslane -- one of my favorite wild greens -- this morning with my eggs. Which made me remember my daughter's delight in
growing and eating purslane when she was young. Lots of you eat your purslane, but have you ever used it to soothe bee stings, bug bites, and sunburned skin. It works great.

The cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) is getting out of hand in my garden, just like she does every year, that wild old woman. Join me on Saturday July 23 for Amazing Artemisias, a class devoted to her and her amazing sisters: wormwood, tarragon, sagebrush, sweet annie, and southernwood. I'll even send you home with your choice of some dried cronewort (to use as smudge or in a dreampillow), or a cronewort root to take home and plant in your garden.

Our moonlodge this month is on July 22, the day after the full moon. How special that will be. Come sing and dance and share women's power with me and the apprentices. We'll be the ones on our knees harvesting purslane and smiling."

Check out more in the July edition of Susan's ezine Weed Wanderings

Contents include
Healing Wise: Plantain: First Aid in Your Backyard by Corinna Wood
Mother & Child: Shamanic Midwifery part 2 by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Your Intuitive Dreams: The Color Orange by sHEALy
Empower Yourself: Traditional Diets part 2 by Sally Fallon
Wise Woman Wisdom: An Herbalist’s Notebook part 1 by Robin Rose Bennett
Anti-Cancer Lifestyle: Splenda (Sucralose) by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Goddess Speaks: What is Sacred by Waynonaha

Friday, July 01, 2005

Lost in translation

Just for a bit of light relief (which I need it after wading through thigh high water yesterday!!) check out Lost in translation which uses the Altavista translation software to translate your phrase back and forth between five languages.

I tried it with "I love you" and it returned me "Master to him"!?

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Yikes - flood water has reached the second step at my back door. I might have to head for higher ground.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Environmental responsibility - you can do something right now!

Using calculators designed by former CSIRO scientist Joel Fleming, a new Australian company, Climate Friendly, measures how much greenhouse gas an individual or a business emits every year and invests in clean energy projects on their behalf. The green investments – including wind farms and shower head exchange programs – save as much
greenhouse gas as the sponsor is emitting, effectively neutralising any overall damage to the climate.

“Carbon dioxide emissions from our homes, businesses, flying and cars are slowly raising the world’s temperature,” says climate friendly director Madeleine Lyons. “Global warming has led to more floods, droughts and other extreme weather events, and the endangering of species including polar bears, coral reefs and butterflies.”

More information
Global warming - Early warning signs
World wildlife fund

A lot of people say they care about climate change, but they don’t know what to do about it. Instead of waiting for governments to cut growing greenhouse emissions we can now take the matter into our own hands. Even if you don't live in Australia (where Climate Friendly are based) you can still take part, and support our planet by making your home and your business carbon neutral.

via Mitra

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Turn your brain off to orgasm

Women may be able to fool their partners by faking an orgasm but a brain scanner will catch them out every time, according to a report presented to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Researchers analyzed the different parts of the male and female brain that are activated and deactivated during sexual stimulation.

When women genuinely achieved an orgasm, areas of the brain involved in fear and emotion were deactivated. Those areas stayed alert however when women were faking it. The researchers also found that the cortex, which is linked with consciousness, is active during a fake orgasm but not during the real thing.
"The deactivation of these very important parts of the brain might be the most important thing necessary to have an orgasm," said Holstege. "It means that if you are fearful or at a very high level of anxiety, then it is very difficult to have sex because you really have to let yourself go," he added.

The researchers found less deactivation in the males in the areas of the brain linked to emotion and fear when they were sexually stimulated.

Complete article by Patricia Reaney

The Goddess Test

According to the The Mythological Goddess Test that I found on my surf for all things feminine, goddess-like and generally woman related,
I am
66% erudite, 87% sensual, 58% martial, and 33% saturnine.
(I thought percentages were supposed to add up to 100?)
and therefore have the attributes of the goddess Isis

"This Egyptian supreme Goddess is certainly the most influential deity on subsequent cultures. She was the ideal figure of womanhood, usually compared with the Greek Goddess Demeter or her Roman version, Ceres.

Isis was one element of a Holy Trinity, the remaining two figures being her brother and husband Osiris and their heroic son Horus. She was the Goddess of Magic for her brilliance, as well as the Goddess of Love because of her tenacious devotion.

She is often shown with wings, curving to caress coffins and sarcophagi of many a king. In certain papyri she is shown with her falcon wing headdress, covering her ears. One of her sacred symbols is the sistrum, a musical instrument that was believed to ward off evil spirits. Isis' sistrum was carved bearing the image of a cat and was representative of the Moon.

Isis was the High Priestess and an omnipotent magician as well as the only being ever to discover the secret name of Ra. She invariably carries the ankh, the symbol for eternal life. Her name is, by the rules of numerology, adding up to the number “2” and she just so happens to be depicted on the tarot card “Key 2 – The High Priestess”.

Rather flattering.
I might take that on!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Coughing and Kegeling

I'm finally out of quarantine - yeah - but still coughing - boo!

Apparently even after the main bug (Bordella Pertussis) has died the little neuron-toxins that it has released stay hooked in your trachea and continue to irritate for some weeks. I'm taking demulcent herbs and all things smooth and slippery to help unhook the little nasties.

Meanwhile the coughing has given me a great opportunity to check how effective my Kegeling efforts have been since last winter.

I am one of the 1 in 3 women who experience urinary stress incontinence post child birth.
Urinary what?

Urinary stress incontinence
incontinence = not being able to contain or hold on to
urinary = pee
stress = well you know what stress is .. not the psychological kind but the physical kind e.g. pressure

Coughing does a great job of putting stress on the bladder.
And for us one in three that results, as often as not, in an annoying and potentially embarrassing 'loss'.

Which is where the Kegels come into it.
In the 1940's, gynecologist Arnold Kegel discovered that stronger pelvic floor muscles (PC or Pubococcygeus muscle) meant better bladder control for women.

He recommended exercising these muscles, hence contractions of the PC muscle are often called Kegels. One of the great side effects that women who did these exercises regularly discovered was an increase in pleasure during intercourse and for some their first orgasm.


I've been kegeling on and off for eight years since my son was born and it certainly takes more stress than it used to for me to lose control of my bladder. This latest bout of coughing has been fairly pee-free although I have had to resort to wearing my lovely planet friendly cloth pads on a few occasions.

Mmm. I can also report that my sexual pleasure has been steadily on the up although I haven't particularly thought until now to attribute that to my Kegeling efforts.

Recently I discovered a whole new take on Kegels ... but I'm afraid that is going to have to wait until another blog/day.

For more info see (among other places)

Also my new song Do The Kegel

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Minangkabau - a matrilineal culture

The Minangkabau ethnic group is indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia.

According to
wikipedia their culture is matrilineal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter. Religious and political affairs however are the province of men!

Now that makes real sense to me.

Think about it. If you were creating your own society and you had to choose whether to base inheritance on masculine or feminine progeny (and you wanted a system with the least likelihood of arguments and difficulty), would you choose to try and identify the offspring of men or of women?

No, no, no - this woman is my mother not that woman!
Oops I made a mistake - actually I gave birth to that child but never realised it!
I don't think so!

We have adopted an old joke in the area where I live.

How do you define confusion?

Fathers day
in Mullumbimby.

Codex alimentarius - Still hunting witches?

Codex Alimentarius Commission?
Never heard of it?

You and most of the rest of the world.
It's worth starting to listen out.

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the early 1960s to set standards for food safety and to "harmonize" the laws of member nations.

"It was created to promote food safety in international trade. It is on the brink of becoming an Orwellian bureaucracy - far worse than the worst fantasies of the one-world conspiracy theories." Article by Henry Lamb

"Currently, compliance with the complicated and destructive regulations of CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is voluntary but can be enforced by trade sanctions imposed on the World Trade Organization. In July, 2005, these regulations will become mandatory for all WTO members ... once it gets here, it will be illegalto buy, sell, recommend or use any but 28 ultra-low dose nutrients, natural supplements, herbs, enzymes or other natural treatments whether you are a licensed health professional or not. The only legal health option left will be the pharmaceutical one." Health Warning: Codex Alimentarus is Coming

These regulations, which have been passed quietly and without effective public notice, have grave and devastating impact on health freedom. Here in Australia they have already been approved. Many valuable healing herbs are now restricted or illegal. A sinister subtle takeover.
A further attack on ... well ... nature.
And you thought witch hunting was over.

Now the earth is a witch and we still burn her
Stripping her down with mining and the poisons of our wars
Still to us the earth is a healer, our teacher, our mother
She's the weaver of the web of life who keeps us all alive
She gives us the vision to see through the chaos
She gives us the courage
It is our will to survive

From Burning Times by Charlie Murphy
Full lyrics here

Good places to do more listening

Health Supreme

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Women's culture

Have we forgotten something?

In our struggle for equality with men.

Have we missed a crucial part of the picture
... a whole flip side of the coin?

Western "civilization" is a man’s world.
Women have struggled and in many areas succeeded in developing their masculine skills in order to successfully, survive, compete and excel in this masculine oriented culture. All credit to us.

But does it make us happy? Do we offer our greatest gifts? Does it serve the bigger picture?

And where is the world, the way of living, that is designed to support the feminine, that is home, nurturing, supportive, safe, natural for women? That acknowledges our unique (and very different from the masculine) qualities.
What of our cycles? The stages of a woman's life, maiden, mother, crone. During our fertile years, what of the monthly ebb and flow of our womb’s life nurturing lining. How could we imagine that we can stay full and nourished in a world that ignores these vital changes in a women's body and feeling nature. Our conditioning has been so compelling that we manage to believe that we have to squeeze our flowing, rhythmic nature into a narrow uniformity of weeks and weekends.
No wonder there is such an abnormally high ratio of disease in our feminine organs. Did you know that 12 hysterectomies are performed every 10 minutes in the USA? That hysterectomy is the second most common major operation performed in the United States (and many other countries) today, second only to .. you guessed it ... cesarian section!

Where is our women’s culture?

Are we missing a huge and vital portion ?
Are we missing the fact that we have lost all sight, all knowledge and even the sense that there should exist a women’s world to complement this man’s world?

If we have, then where it was lost/forgotten historically?

Did it start in the slow, subtle transference of allegiance from mother goddess to the one (masculine) God? .... alluded to (among other places) in Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent" , described in Susan Weed's article - The Goddess is Alive

Was it confirmed in the burning of the witches - the complete eradication of huge bodies of knowledge about birth, herbs and healing?
Was it compounded in the break up of the extended family during the industrial revolution?
Many traditional cultures retain their women's culture. But we are much smarter, more civilized, more modern then they. Aren't we?

What did you learn from your mother , your grandmother, your aunties and cousin's, your female lineage?

What women's culture is not (although it could be)

Knitting circles
Coffee mornings
Alone keeping house
Mothering in isolation

What might it be, then?

I’m not advocating that we turn the clock back and deny all the successes of the (civilized) masculine world (!@$)

But women urgently need to find a way home, a way to nurture our essential selves to revitalize and regenerate, to relax, to feel known and understood, recognized and deeply honored, to regain our self worth, our sense of beauty and dignity no matter what age or shape our body’s form might be, to share and to hear and to learn from women’s story, her-story, myths and mysteries, to sing and to weave, to create and to give birth, to laugh and to dance, to grieve and to celebrate, to delight in our bodies sensual feeling nature, to recognize that here are a myriad of facets to the diamond of women’s culture and these jewels can only be gained in the company of other women.

What can we do?

Rome wasn’t built in a day

We can start by taking time out on a regular basis to connect deeply with other women.
I don’t mean a coffee and a chat about the kids or even a d&m with a girlfriend about our problems or our love life, although those are good things to do. I mean a space and time set aside (and with intention made sacred) for women to gather and nurture one another with touch, acknowledgment and loving reflection. A time for body oriented expression, dancing, massage, sensuality, rage and delight. A place where it is OK to be exactly who we are.

I have had the privilege of being part of such a group that has met weekly for the past four years. It is the well that I drink from that nourishes and revitalizes me and gives me the strength to carry on. I have felt sick when I arrived and left feeling well. It is the place that I can come happy or sad, ebullient or broken-hearted and I will be seen and loved and leave refreshed. It is place where every facet of my woman-self is welcome. It is my place, my women's culture.

I will write more about this and other things and if this blog could support women to start to reconnect with one another and themselves in this or any other way then I would be a very happy camper. That is my intention and my heartfelt wish. So may it be.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Whooping cough - why I didn't vaccinate

"How come you have whooping cough?" I hear you ask.
"From your son? Why didn't you vaccinate him? How irresponsibe!"

In my view it was the responsible choice not to vaccinate.
It was an informed decision. I spent many hours researching vaccination while I was pregnant and talking to a variety of people about it. I decided that the potential damage to my child's health from vaccination outweighed the potential benefits. I committed to informing myself about the symptoms and treatment options for the relevant illnesses so that I could identify them if they showed up in my family.

Overall I felt that I trusted the information collected by tireless dedicated individuals struggling to make sense of adverse reactions that their children had had from vaccines, over the slick promotional material fed to doctors by extremely wealthy pharmecutical companies. I also felt an intuitive affinity to the idea that many homeopaths and chiropracters hold that the classic childhood diseases provide important stepping stomes in the development of a healthy immune system.

There is a lot of detailed information for parents wishing to inform themeselves about vaccination choices available from the, Australian Vaccination Awareness Network and others that you can reach from these.

It strikes me as bizarre that no-one has taken on Jock Doubleday's offer of $20,000.00 (U.S.) to the first medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO who publicly drinks a mixture of standard vaccine additive ingredients in the same amount as a six-year-old child is recommended to receive under the year-2000 guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See the full details I guess there was more money in selling the vaccines!

And regarding the strengthening of children's immune system check this out.
"There is increasing evidence that having an acute infectious disease of childhood strengthens and matures the child's immune system and that having acute diseases in childhood is protective again chronic disease including cancer, asthma, certain skin conditions and auto-immune disorders." Full article here

When in doubt - look for the positive

I'm in quarantine.
Two weeks nursing my eight-year old through whooping cough...
.... and now I've got it myself.
It's a choice between antibiotics (which apparently won't alter the course of the illness but stop me from being infectious) or two weeks in isolation - Yikes! - my worst nightmare.
I chose the nightmare.
Or is it?
The upside is - I finally get around to starting my blog.

When in doubt - look for the positive.
I'm working on making that my motto.