The Spiritual Terrain of Soulmate Relationships

by Ariadne Green

Palm Leaf Press, 2006


The meeting of Divine Complements can be a magical event that points a couple directly toward each other’s heart and to the memory of an earlier soul-to-soul connection. The attraction goes beyond a biological urge to mate and procreate and is more than a chemistry of sniffs and smells and sex appeal. It also goes beyond the reasoning “He or she suits me,” in which case we are fulfilling a personal ideal.

Sizing up our soul mate as a potential partner is not an intellectual task. We must succumb to the magnetic attraction, a harmony of spiritual collaboration that is perfectly orchestrated in the moment. This harmony is magnetic, mysterious, entrancing, enchanting and otherworldly. It forces us to take note of the radiant light of the other and the brighter light we create together. We move deeply into a soulful place reminding us of an altogether different place and time, where unity was a given and we were free to dance together in the harmony of God’s love. Though we are still asleep to the details of the real promise and the destiny we co-created long before, for this one moment in time we are awakened to something in our heart that says this is someone special to appreciate. It may even be love at first sight.

From there, hours of conversation may follow, ushering us into familiar places as soul memories trickle in. We may feel that we have known each other’s face, warmth and soul forever. It is true. We are old friends indeed, soulful friends and kindred spirits who waltzed together through many lifetimes. It is likely we shared numerous lifetimes, in which we grew to know each other’s essence more and more intimately. Although our individual personalities are different from one lifetime to the next, the soul of our beloved has a common place in our heart. We have only chosen veils of appearance and personality to hide our identities from each other in this life so we can begin anew the tests of love. Now, only a faint inkling of familiarity remains.

There may be a great deal of serendipity and the magic of synchronicity to convince us that this person is divinely connected to us. Perhaps we lived on the same block or around the corner for the last four years without realizing it and now we meet under a movie marquee that reads “Soul Mate.” The last four digits of our phone numbers may be the same or we may have had the same locker number in high school. One may drive a red Mustang with white interior, while the other drives a white Mustang with red interior. Both our parents might have an aunt in Philadelphia named Mary. We may have twin names like Joe and Josie or Earnest and Ernestine (a phenomenon I have run into more than once). What is even more likely is that we share some of the same interests, complementary talents and visions for the future.

This serendipity may bring us to laughter or to tears, to magical thinking and wondering if God is near. We may consider whether this was “meant to be.” “Am I the one for him, or is she the one for me?” “Where will we go from here?”

Most of the time, these questions can’t be answered with certainty until the heart is secure in knowing that this meeting was definitely meant to be. It may take considerable time, courage, and exploration to affirm the divine connection. For some, the affirmation will come in an instant, and for others the confirmation could take months or years.

Ordinary logic, however, may deny us the opportunity to solidify the synchronicities and serendipity into a meaningful event of lasting significance. It may even dismiss all the magical evidence as sheer coincidence, luck or just plain nonsense. Logic seldom agrees with the heart. In fact, it may chase away the pangs of the heart to maintain some sanity and control. Those who bend to their logical minds may not recognize the spiritual power behind all the miracles that are pulling them toward their Divine Complements. For them, their soul mates remain strangers, just another possibility among thousands.

It is the true spiritual power and combined destiny of Divine Complements that move mountains and clear the path to bring two souls together. Both hearts wish to explore each other as a deeply connected couple, who has reunited after a long absence. The mind will either accept and embrace this profound experience or compromise it by inciting fear, suspicion or denial. It is this push-pull between the mind and the heart that must end in order for the promise between Divine Complements to be fulfilled. The heart must win the battle for love, with the mind surrendering to the knowing that the deliverance of divine complementary partnership was “meant to be.”

I struck up a conversation with a young woman while sipping coffee at Starbucks who shared a dream that shed some light on the authenticity of her soul mate. She and her boyfriend were friends for five years before embarking on a romantic relationship. She told me she wasn’t at all sure that he was the “one” or that she could trust him despite the fact that he had always proved faithful and honest.

In her dream, she was with her spiritual teacher, and another young woman, who appeared to be lost and confused. The perplexed dream character turned out to be confused about what town she was in, though she had some sense that she was in Italy. She asked, “Am I in Rome or somewhere else?” The spiritual teacher showed her on a map that she was in Verona, Italy. She pointed out the streets and sites that surrounded her and commented that they should appear familiar. Both the dreamer and the lost woman exclaimed “Aha!” I asked the dreamer what she associated with Verona and she told me that she had visited there when she was in her 20s and that she considered it romantic and beautiful. She thought that perhaps the dream was pointing to the famous lovers Romeo and Juliet, as Shakespeare’s play is set in Verona. I intuited immediately that her subconscious was letting her know she had found her soul mate. With her mental chatter and doubts, she was denying recognition of the authenticity of their connection. The spiritual guide was pointing to this juncture in her life as an opportunity for commitment between soul-mate lovers who, like Romeo and Juliet, would sacrifice everything to be together. The dream was meant to illuminate her—she just needed some help in understanding what it meant. After I gave her an intuitive reading that revealed why she had delayed recognizing the authenticity of her soulmate, she seemed convinced that less processing and more plunging might be in order.

Author bio:

Ariadne Green holds a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Cal State Hayward and attended Saybrook Institute in San Francisco from 1995-1996 where she pursued a doctoral in Philosophy of Psychology focusing on consciousness studies. She is the author of four books, a dream expert, trained psychotherapist, and spiritual adviser she has awakened hundreds to the mysteries that lie within the labyrinth of their souls so that they might discover their authentic purpose. She can be contacted through her website: http://www.dreamthread.com/dreamthread/free_dream_interpretation.html

Candling for Optimal Health and its Lesser Known Benefits

by Jili Hamilton

Findhorn Press

Chapter 1

History and Use of Candling

Many people who visited our stand at health exhibitions in the early days expressed amazement at seeing a treatment that to them was something granny did when they were children. I have met people from Australasia, all round the Mediterranean basin, Asia and the Americas, as well as many other places, who say that this was a well-known folk remedy in their home country and they are delighted to see it again.

One therapist from Cyprus told me that people in his village used paper impregnated with beeswax and honey to make cones, and it is a therapy much in use even today. As I didn't at the time know why honey was used, his mother was able to tell me that it stopped the cone from burning down too fast. Rolled-up newspaper or tobacco leaves have also been mentioned many times. Each country's traditional method grew out of its most easily obtainable materials. Pottery cones and even reusable glass cones have also turned up.

Whether candles or cones, everyone seems to agree that candling is a very ancient tradition, stretching back for centuries, to the time when folk healers all over the world used the therapy in some form or another. Chinese, Tibetan, Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, and several North American Indian cultures are invariably mentioned as performing candling ceremonies. Traditionally, the Choctaw Indians of the south-eastern United States have used a method that involves blowing the smoke from various herbs through a cone-shaped object into the ear canal, while shamans in the Muskogee tribe of Oklahoma rolled the leaves that grow around corn cobs to use in shamanic candling rituals. In Italy, people used cheese cloth; in India, they used dried-out papyrus seeds for candling.

Many ancient cultures thought of coning as a spiritual practice to clear the mind and the senses, as the pathologies that cause us problems today were largely unknown to our ancestors. Using the ear candles to improve health, therefore, would not have been a consideration. I feel that, even after all these years, we have merely scratched the surface of the many uses for candles.

Today's Methods

Let me say first of all that ear candles are not used for cleaning the ears, as most people seem to think. Our ears (and our auditory system) are constructed in such a way that they work perfectly without any 'help' from us. However, with dietary lapses, stress, medication, and so forth, our bodies don't always function as well as they should. The energies circulate more sluggishly, and people can find that their ears seem 'blocked'. By far the most widespread method of dealing with this is syringing, a process performed in a doctor's surgery whereby a high-pressure jet of water is released into the ear aimed at dislodging and extracting hardened wax-and extremely unpleasant it can be, too, depending on the expertise of the practitioner. Apart from the possibility of perforating the eardrum (rare, but it has been known to occur), people find the more they have it done the more they need it done. The stimulus to the ear is unnatural and very powerful, and the cleansing is perhaps too thorough, causing the body to produce more wax to compensate. This is why people who decide to try the candles to clear blockages will need more than one treatment-it is gentle, and the amount of wax that needs to come to the surface does so only when it is ready. A normal, healthy amount of ear wax is replaced in 24−48 hours, and when the energies are circulating properly the ears don't get blocked.

This is just one well-known use for the ear candles, but it isn't one of the major reasons why people resort to candling. Indeed, those who consult me are suffering from a wide variety of health problems-problems that would not necessarily lead us to think of ear candles as the first line of approach. They have possibly read articles or seen or heard interviews I have given; some have read earlier versions of my book and have learnt that the candles have been used successfully for many different pathologies.

When it comes to treating a patient with a long-standing and/or difficult health problem, a trained ear candling therapist is the best person to advise on the suggested number of treatments to resolve the condition; s/he may also refer the patient to other health professionals, trained in nutritional therapy, cranial osteopathy, and other complementary therapies, as s/he deems necessary. Qualified ear candling practitioners can be found in several countries. They are graduates of professional courses in ear candling (or ototherapy, as it is called in Switzerland) who have obtained a recognized qualification-something that many patients find reassuring (see Candling Courses at the back of this book). The people I have trained all practise other therapies. A first candling consultation should include questions on your lifestyle and basic information on what to avoid and what to do. For example, if you drink 10 coffees a day and one glass of water, the therapist would point out that the reverse is likely to be a better option.

The candles we use in Europe are either thin, hollow linen tubes or cones of varying lengths and sizes impregnated with wax, honey, herbs, and/or essential oils. People often ask if they will be burnt by hot wax. Based on my experience, I can tell you unequivocally that that won't happen with properly produced candles. First, only a small amount of wax is used in the manufacture and, second, the linen or cotton burns like any other material and the candle is designed not to drip or break. NOTE: ear candles with a filter are made in such a way that nothing can 'fall down' the candle and burn the recipient and are infinitely preferable.

If you open the stub of the ear candle left after the treatment, you will find that any residue is lodged between the filter and the burnt part, never, ever between the filter and the ear. This residue comes from the candle, obviously not from the patient's ear, and is a way of refuting any suggestion that the candle draws wax out of the ear; it does nothing of the sort. You will see a little powder residue in the ear after the treatment, but this should be left alone: it will make its own way out.

Whichever brand of ear candle you use, it is essential to read, understand, and follow the instructions. I have prepared a very clear instruction sheet, which I give to everyone who purchases candles from me for home use.

Whichever make you choose, do buy properly produced candles made from pure, top-quality, natural ingredients. Candles with an aluminium lining should never be used, as the dangers of this material (especially when heated) are well known and have been linked to Alzheimer's disease.

It is also important to avoid candles made from paraffin wax as this by-product of petrol, sometimes used to rigidify the ear candle, is highly toxic and can cause irritation. The same can be said for candles made from soy, which is invariably genetically modified (GM). Candles made from organic cotton or linen will be beige or yellowish: those that are pure white are unlikely to be made from natural materials and are either synthetic or cotton bleached with chemicals. As with anything else, candles made from organic materials are bound to have a higher vibration.

How the Candles Work

If we take the view (which quantum physicists now seem to have proved beyond any doubt) that everything is energy, the body is no exception. When the body's energy is circulating properly we are healthy and positive. However, most of us eat food that may have been treated with chemicals and is often full of sugar, salt, and poor-quality fats from processed or junk foods, including vegetable oils such as corn oil, which are too high in omega 6 fatty acids; in addition, we live in polluted environments and lead stressful lives. All of these factors help to lower our resistance and then we fall ill.

One of the primary functions of ear candles is to stimulate the body's energy, which they do very powerfully and effectively. This is why some people who have used candles for one problem, such as migraine, have found to their delight that their sinuses clear, too. Or those who have used them for sinusitis have found their hearing improves at the same time.

The greatest advantage of the candles, therefore, is that they work on the immune system. Debris is carried along a network of capillaries by a fluid called lymph, and it is purified through the lymphatic ganglions, which are found all over the body; when lymph is flowing as it should, it prevents us from falling ill. It circulates through these capillaries in the same manner as blood circulates through the veins, but as the lymphatic system has no pumping mechanism to allow it to circulate, it relies on the movement of muscles to create peristalsis that pushes it around. The whole body receives a boost from candling, which, because it enhances energy naturally, affects the functioning of the lymphatic system (you will find more information on this in Chapter 4). This is also why candles can be so effective for constipated patients as, once the lymph is doing its job properly and removing waste products to be filtered and excreted, patients invariably find themselves having more frequent and easier bowel movements.

Acupressure points, which are found everywhere on the body, are also stimulated in the region of the ear by the candle treatment. If we take the shape of the ear as an inverted foetus (and it was Paul Nogier who discovered this fact in the 1950s), we can find to which zones these acupressure points relate. It is said that pirates had pierced earlobes because, representing the eye reflex, this enabled them to see ships coming over the horizon before the ships' lookouts saw them! It is also a fact that people who have piercings elsewhere on the ear can suffer from certain zones being overstimulated.

An extremely detailed explanation of the way the candles work is given in a paper entitled Ear Candling and Cancer Therapy by Patrick Quanten, MD (UK) and Greg Webb, RMT (Canada), which, with the authors' permission, I have reproduced in its entirety in Chapter 5, so I won't repeat the information here.

A crystal therapist, watching a treatment being given at an exhibition, claimed that she could see negativity being burned out of the aura (the electromagnetic field surrounding the body), and this is one of the more subtle functions of the candle. It is why it needs to be held upright and why getting up too quickly after a treatment can cause a feeling of light-headedness. One of the students on my professional course remarked that for him the act of burning a candle opened the door between the two worlds, and this does fit with what the crystal therapist was seeing.

It is extremely important to rest for 10−15 minutes once the burning has stopped to enable the effect of the treatment to circulate throughout the system. This also happens when we receive a massage or any other complementary therapy: what the therapist has done is to stimulate the energy, and we derive far more benefit from it if we can take things easy for a while afterwards. Therapists understand energy and how it works, but unless someone using the candles understands this, s/he won't really be able to get to grips with the finer points of the treatment. Of course, the physical result will be there, but understanding how energy works opens us up to a whole new way of looking at ear candles.

This leads me to say that the act of candling is the start of a process to get the energies circulating. A positive result does not necessarily happen during the treatment, and the patient may even feel less well afterwards; s/he will have a better idea of the benefits of the treatment after a good night's sleep, or even after another treatment. It is important to bear in mind that the longer someone has been suffering from a particular complaint the longer it may take to get to the root cause. As we are all different, it is never possible to say just how long, but as a general guideline I recommend three treatments over a period of 4−6 weeks to see if the candles can be beneficial for a patient. If they can (and although it may not seem to be so, a worsening of the pathology is actually a positive indicator), further treatments are definitely advisable. If the candles don't appear to be making a difference, then an alternative therapy should be tried, although it should be pointed out that even if the initial problem doesn't seem to have responded, the body has found a more pressing need elsewhere for the energy generated by the candle. Energy flows to where it is most needed, so there will always be some benefit.

Why would a worsening of the condition be considered a good result? With complementary therapies, healing starts from the inside, whereas allopathic medicine is geared toward removing the symptoms and not addressing the root cause. I had a rather frustrating case of a young woman who had taken several courses of antibiotics and wanted to try natural healing methods. She enjoyed the treatment and was booked to return in two weeks. However, although I always explain that complementary therapies take time to work for long-standing problems, that things can get worse before they get better, and gave her an information sheet-something I hand out to every new patient-the act of candling brought out a latent infection. She immediately consulted an allopathic practitioner who gave her antibiotics, and she cancelled her next appointment, telling me she might try again when she had recovered!

The worsening of a condition is a call to listen to what the body is telling us. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is 'caused' through using the candles. There are certain contraindications to treatment, which are described more fully later on: for example, if a patient already has eczema or dryness in the outer ear, the warmth of the candle will dry this out further and cause irritation and discomfort. If, however, someone has an infection that is lying dormant, perhaps already having been treated with allopathic medicine, the symptoms may have gone but the root cause has not been addressed, so the act of candling could well bring it to the surface, which is what probably happened in the case mentioned above. It is certainly not a commentary on 'what the candles did' but a valuable message to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.

When the only physical action of the candles is to sit lightly over the entrance to the auditory canal and send warm energy downwards, it is evident that they can't, in and of themselves, cause illness. The energy circulated by the action of the candles can never do any harm, either: it goes right to the spot where the patient needs it most, and even if s/he decides that the candles have had little effect on the initial problem, it could be that the energy systems of other regions of the body have a higher priority and, once these have been dealt with, the whole system will start to function at a higher frequency. That is where it is essential for a therapist to question the patient when s/he returns because, as I have already mentioned, so many general improvements may have occurred without the patient making the connection with the candles or even noticing their effect.

When people come for a treatment, I advise them against washing their hair the same day or using a mobile phone or an iPod, and in cold weather to bring a scarf or hat to cover their ears on the way home. I received one new patient at a health centre, and when I gave her this information she announced that she already had plans to go to the swimming pool for a swim straight afterwards! This is a contraindication, but it might not be evident to someone who is unaware of how the candles work. Another patient told me she had slept with ear plugs for many years (even when she goes away somewhere quiet) and could no longer sleep without them. She admitted she often had to have her ears syringed to get rid of the build-up of wax. The candles cannot offer much in this case, as our body's intelligence is awesome and complete and no bodily orifice, each having its own particular function, should ever be blocked up systematically and for no good reason. Our cells and our autonomic nervous system never take a break, and essential work is being carried out while we sleep.

Jili Hamilton was born in England and worked a variety of jobs before she earned a diploma in reflexology from the Bayly School in Switzerland in 1988. She then studied many different therapies, including hands-on healing, Reiki, Indian head massage, metamorphic massage, lymphatic drainage, and more. Videos and articles are available on her website and Facebook pages along with details of her latest book, Candling for Optimal Health. www.jilihamilton.com and https://www.facebook.com/candlingwithjilihamilton.

In 1991, she set up a company in the UK, launching ear treatment candles on the British market at the Healing Arts Exhibition in London the same year. She has subsequently demonstrated and given talks on ear treatment candles at the major health exhibitions in England and Scotland, as well as participating in several radio and television programmes in Britain and in Switzerland.

Libro de Lumine and Stripped Verses

By Anthony Crowley

Anthony Crowley's "Libro de Lumine" (The Book Of The Light) is a journey through the beginning of life until death and beyond the various superstitions.Anthony Crowley's "Libro de Lumine" (The Book Of The Light) is a journey through the beginning of life until death and beyond the various superstitions.

I began a whole new creative journey that was a positive turning point in my life and my mind was set in a whole new realistic, philosophical way of inventing my ideas from my thoughts. But I believe it was always inside of me and I could feel my perception becoming enlightened with the guidance and support from my partner, Parul. I realised that I've woken up. Previously, I've always been known for my horror related writings but gradually my creativity wanted to expand into other subjects and genres. Both, personally and professionally, my life is much more positive than it was during the initial time I began to have my books published back in 2010. That was a dark time. It has been a wonderful journey throughout my whole writing career. Writing and creating was always and will always be a positive escape for me. Late 2016 I began writing my second full-length poetry collection. I wanted it to be a fresh start in myself and for my writings. The front cover artwork features a man walking on a stairway towards the light from the darkness. I didn't want to entitle the book with a simple approaching name, so I decided it will be titled Libro de Lumine, which means The Book of the Light. In some way, the collection has a concept feel to it. Many of the included verses coincide into a visual poetic journey from life, death and the speculations that surround the afterlife. Generally, some people believe that we see a light when we depart the earth and others believe it has a whole meaning and belief. It was perfect. The collection begins with the verses, Embryo, Echoes from The Womb and Juliet Is Bleeding. These verses are themed around the beginning of life. I imagined myself inside a womb and how it appeared to me.

Excerpt from "Embryo"-

An amniotic ghost breathes around me

Distant voices tremble upon my road

Reality grasps me towards a light

The next verse in the book is titled Two Faces of Strange. I then imagined myself as a new born and how this new world appeared to me when I entered this new life. There are only a couple of what I would say are very dark verses, such as La Muerte With Love and Necrokillia. I wanted the featured contents to appear in a sequence or timeline. Further onward in the book there's verses like Avidya, Atlantis In Dreams. Avidya is a Hindi spiritual definition where man attains spiritual illumination. Avidya causes man to move further away from the Self and obscure his knowledge of the truth. The latter is themed around a sub-conscious opening within lucid dreaming. Libro de Lumine concludes with a verse, titled The Light. I included three bonus verses into the collection which are titled Eccentricity, Exodus and The Witching Season. Recently, Libro de Lumine was listed as a TOP TEN BOOK at the authors database, AUTHORSdb.com

Excerpt from The Light -

Two paths alongside each other…

One made of light and one made of dark

The first path was alone

The second path was weak

Quiet company of the shadows

A transcending mind becomes bleak


Within an empty chamber, I sit among the dark company of thoughts

I wonder if my life will revel into an oblivion made of black

I can hardly breathe at the witness of my soul departing

Illuminating my whole life travelling persona

I'll forever burn into an everlasting experiment

I absorb the awoken air as I'm taken on a darkened ride

Pathways of light ignite a meditating journey before me

Chakras inside my human maze become lost and isolated

I mentally walk through the wrong doorway

I cannot breathe with no conscious existence

A messenger guides me towards a stairway of light

I subconsciously drift into an extraordinary sense

During the same period when I wrote the book, Libro de Lumine I also penned a new verse, titled Solar Angel. The verse itself was an extra step in a positive direction in my creativity and to express to the world an insight of being a naturist and the naturism lifestyle. I wrote the verse initially for a contest dedicated to clothes free living. I was amazed to learn that the verse won with the majority of votes. During the beginning of 2017 I began writing a series of poetic verses themed around naturism and the great outdoors. This new collection will be an eye opener to many of my readers because of the angle where I decided to go. It is the most positive project I've ever been involved with.

The collection is titled Stripped Verses, which will be published by RFI Publishings. The name came about because of an idea I had about writing a journey in which the only thing that matters is to be the real you, away from the artificial and material trappings in today's society. Even today there is so much ignorance and misunderstandings about naturism. The instant thought that some people imagine is that naturists are swingers or involve themselves in some orgy which is pathetic and harmful bullying. I always wanted to write about naturism and nude living because it is me being me with no fiction, strictly honest and completely stripped. While, writing this book it has been the healthiest and most rewarding work I've ever done so far. The cheapest holiday too! In reference to how my mind visualises each scene and surrounding. Writing in general is an escape but this is the most natural escape I've ever written.

Excerpt from Solar Angel -

Awakening of the sun

embracing the soft innocence of skin

freedom like a bird in flight

I hear the call of the natural wind

Stripped Verses includes other related subjects that deal with body image, positivity, confidence and acceptance. Every one of us at some point have dealt with personal confidence issues in how we look, how we wished we looked, and so on. I wanted to open the human mind and delve inside it and to heal it. I will speak about that later. Go way back to the beginning, way back before technology and clothes, etc. Life and everyday living was simple without the stresses of modern life of how it is now. There's so much social conditioning and falseness aimed at the innocent individual. With Stripped Verses, I also if you'd like, I open the doors into the world of natural living, without labels, without conditioning. The book is a positive escape which hopefully the reader will enjoy and begin to receive some comfort about themselves and the true reality around them. No judgement, no prejudice, but to showcase and express who we are and to never take anything for granted etc.

Excerpt from Dancing Under Waterfalls -

I wandered into a dream

a liberated vision amidst the touch of refreshing grass, so green

Unclothed and protected by this secluded earth

Igniting my senses as I shiver blissfully

While I walk on towards the land of the waterfall

An exciting beginning for my rebirth

My naked body drifts along the crystallised stream

I absorb the chillness of water as it washes away my conditioned skin

The flowing water and the gentle soft breeze

Invigorates my needful tender soul

My personality is reborn into a clarity

I'm an excited, natural, evolving tease amongst the woodland companions

A windfall of water shakes up my nude and natural existence

A child of mother earth awakened within a purified dream

As we know that much of today's popular media is built on lies and profit gains but recently it has been mentioned in the news that naturism makes you happier. It was a research conducted by scientists through a series of tests and surveys in which a certain amount of people participated. I have always known that being a naturist myself is very good for you and it certainly does make you incredibly happy. Not only is it good for your mental awareness it is also healthy for your body. The human body wasn't designed to be covered up in clothes. It is a shame to think that we naturists are going through similar ignorance to what happened with race, gender communities, etc.… The UK law states that public nudity is legal, but it is an offence to cause alarm or distress to anyone. Which to me seems like a double-edged sword because I could be sunbathing and I would be away from an open public society because it is not my intention to be like an exhibitionist, I am comfortable in my own skin and I prefer to live this way.

Excerpt from Awakening Me -

I strolled peacefully along natures path

Further and further away from the textile aftermath

I learnt who I was and what I became

but I always knew they wanted someone to blame

Say if someone approached me and I was minding my own business and suddenly they began to speak negative to me, it certainly changes the law because it is them who are causing the harm and distress. There needs to be a new legislation which will safeguard our lifestyle and to make me people more educated about naturism while gaining our equal human rights. Naturism is about respecting yourself and others while respecting the environment whilst in communal nude surroundings.

Excerpt from The Forgotten Planet -

We have come into this world to wonder why

Born into a condition that someone else left behind

If we followed our own path, the journey would be clear

The wildlife and nature has forever been here

I find it upsetting to know we must be restricted to designated areas like we are aliens. What if the clothed community dealt with what we had to deal with. Naturism is about going back to basics and finding who you are whilst learning about your inner soul and the world around you. I also find that naturism helps you connect to your spiritual self. With Stripped Verses, I also wanted to show the world that this is good for you and it will make you feel happier and there is no reason to be ignorant. I would love to live nude twenty-four days if I can. Personally, I spend as much time nude because I feel comfortable but also I connect with myself and the environment in a much more positive and healthy way.

Excerpt from The Earth Mother-

An artificial world I travelled from

Social conditioning tried to steal my identity

I headed towards a place of natural protection

To find myself and my inner beauty

I've always known from birth who I was supposed to be

My nude awakening was the truth of my reality

You can connect with Anthony via his facebook pages

Goddess 2.0
- Advancing a New Path Forward

by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

published by Megalithica Books,
paperback 188 pages 10.99

You are not alone if you believe domination and authoritarian patriarchy are destroying countless lives and our planet. There is a more sustainable alternative and it's not new. In fact it's ancient. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to secure a more sustainable future. As people lose faith in organized religion, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, as climate change quickly approaches a point of no return, people are leading using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find solutions and sanctuary. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom, and intuition to manifest a new normal. They're practicing partnership, generosity, and compassion to establish a new way of being. They're tapping into their empathy and morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to Goddess, deity, archetype and ideal, to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today. Using the wisdom and activism suggested in Goddess 2.0; Advancing a New Path Forward, we see through the lens of spiritual, cultural and political leaders, old and new, male and female. They share the many ways Goddess Spirituality has grown and matured in the minds of Her advocates to inspire the birth of a new world and usher in a time of security, peace, joy, equality and prosperity for all.

What am I talking about you might ask? Sacred Feminine ideals are the new liberation thealogy. Here's what I mean...

There is no doubt people all over feel under siege considering the domination under which we are attempting to live. Here in the United States, predator capitalism, globalization and bad trade deals for labor resulted in good paying jobs being shipped overseas where corporations could pay workers slave wages, leaving Americans with few options for decent paying jobs. People now work longer hours for lower wages than they brought home decades ago, with many living on credit cards to make ends meet. The elderly suffer little dignity in their retirement while the poor and disabled have slim opportunities or economic security as our tax dollars never seem invested in their quality of life. The vast income disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" grows every year as the latter witnesses the elites immune from accountability for their actions on the uneven playing field. Bankers can destroy the economy and not go to jail while the average person might be incarcerated for a minor offense - but we have to keep those privatized prison cells full! Both political parties have presided over the decimation of the middle class and the largest income disparity in our country's history. The American Dream is all but dead as the poor and middle class are relegated to little more than cannon fodder or consumer status, both fulfilling their roles keeping our corporate masters rich and their greed satiated.

Climate change threatens our security and the health of Mother Earth, our only home, but we ignore the warning signs because it affects the bottom line. The bees are still dying while our acidic oceans face potential mass extinction but corporations are people now, so says the Supreme Court of the United States, and with their immense profits, they are legally buying democracy, leaving the 99% with little to no representation in government. Fracking is being sold across the globe with seeming little regard for the poisoning of our ground water by multi-national corporations, or the growing concern it might be contributing to earthquakes, not to mention the collapse of property values of homeowners as they can set fire to the water from their kitchen faucets.

Failed, yet not abandoned, "trickle-down" economic ideologies and austerity budgets can be blamed for our dangerous crumbling infrastructure, hardly limited to the now-famous lead poisoning of poor children and adults living in Flint, Michigan. Journalism, as the Fourth Estate, or fourth branch of government, protecting democracy, is dead, but not unbiased. Voting irregularities left many people in the United States feeling they must petition the United Nations to monitor our elections during the Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. With corporate interests the priority, "news readers" on the nightly news perpetuate the fear-mongering or divide and conquer strategy, allowing racism and bigotry to fester, and the wrong people targeted as the blame for the chaos, fear and escalating unease, all kept under control, of course, by the ever increasing militarization of our local police forces.

Let's not forget, men still believe they have a religious mandate to control women's sexual lives and what they can or cannot do with their bodies, all under the guise of their concern for women's health and morality, while women in the 21st century have yet to receive social or economic parity in the developed world.

And the sad truth is, as the curator of this anthology, I do not think any of this is hyperbole. I wish it were. The good news is, there is an answer, and more and more people are catching on.

The Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and/or ideal offers humanity solutions and sanctuary, from womb to tomb, from the boardroom and bedroom to the voting booth, as readers will discover within the pages of this book. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to a secure and more sustainable future. As people lose faith in organized religion and bastions of authority, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, people are leading from the grassroots, using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find answers. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom and intuition to manifest a new normal. They're practicing partnership, generosity and compassion to establish a new way of being. They're tapping into their empathy and spiritual morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to the Feminine to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today.

Using the wisdom and activism suggested in Goddess 2.0; Advancing a New Path Forward, we see through the lens of spiritual, cultural and political leaders, old and new, male and female. They share the many ways Goddess Spirituality has grown and matured in the minds of Her advocates to inspire the birth of a new world and usher in a time of security, peace, joy, equality and prosperity for all. Talking about everything from abortion and women's health, to caring economics and new ways of seeing the Divine, everyone in this anthology offers a thread of the new tapestry for humanity's future and we invite you to delve in, dig deep and find your sacred roar!

Meet the contributors: Anne Baring, Starhawk, Carol P. Christ, Riane Eisler, Barbara G. Walker, Cristina Biaggi, Elizabeth and Robert Fisher, Shirley Ann Ranck, Bob Gratrix, Patricia 'Iolana, Nancy Vedder-Shults, M. Isidora Forrest, Karen Tate, Amy "Amalya" Peck, Linda Iles, Andrew Gurevich, Charlotte L. Cressey, Delphine DeMore, Tabby Biddle, Trista Hendren, and Harita Meenee.

For more information, visit: http://www.karentate.com/

Deep Equality - Living in the flow of natural rhythms

by Jocelyn Chaplin


Chapter 2. Turning Ladders into Snakes
p. 29 - 32 Rhythm as the Dynamic of Psychological Freedom

Instead of thinking of ourselves as solid permanent beings, we can describe ourselves as continuously equalising rhythmic processes ... Maybe it is only when we are free psychologically as well as physically that we can truly 'go with the flow.'

Then we can be both strong and vulnerable, sad and joyful, at different times. We are not totally identified with either of the opposite states ... I am suggesting that to be fully human, healthy and alive is to have equalising rhythmic processes constantly balancing in and around us.

Unfortunately, internal as well as external hierarchical structures distort these processes. They can do it directly, as when we feel depressed because we are being put down at work, at home or in society ... Or indirectly, we can have ideas of success and failure which depress us when our lives don't match the ideas of perfection we have set up for ourselves.

Freedom is a complex concept. I am using it in the sense of being empty enough of mental baggage to be fully attuned to equalising rhythmic processes in the moment ... Unconscious rhythmic processes seem to go on throughout nature ... but we have the capacity to attune consciously...

These are 3 approaches to transformation through equalising rhythms.

Conscious attunement. A cognitive approach in which we work out what our main internal and external opposites and hierarchies are....find out which opposites need to be strengthened in order to equalise.

Unconscious attunement through emptying the mind.

Rhythmic attunement between the conscious and unconscious. We bring the suppressed unconscious into consciousness and affect the unconscious through conscious imagination.

Exercise - Think of an area in your life where you don't feel free. It might be that you feel stuck in a relationship or a job.....Then think of the main opposites involved. For example it could be that for you dependence and independence are major opposites. Perhaps you have swung from one to the other unconsciously, as when adolescents separate totally from parents and can then become symbiotically dependent on a girlfriend or boyfriend. Later the same person can swing to longing for complete independence. End of relationship. Instead think of both opposites as needed, but at different times.....How can both opposites be danced with, responding appropriately to circumstances?

Summary - The root causes of much of our illhealth and unhappiness are inner and outer hierarchies and inequalities of one kind or another. The solutions both individually and socially, are equalising rhythms. We can learn to attune to those rebalancing forces more powerfully and become who we are meant to be.

The Author's web site: www.serpentinstitute.com

Rivers of Green Wisdom:

Exploring Christian and Yogic Earth Centred Spirituality

by Santoshan pen name of Stephen Wollaston

Published in the GreenSpirit series in 2016.
There is an urgent cry for us to wake up and re-establish kinship with both our fellow humans and the natural world, with our global sister and brother species, such as many of the endangered and magnificent creatures walking and living on the African plains and living in the world's ancient rain forests. Prophetic voices of our age, such as Thomas Berry, have called for recognition of a single Earth community, a single community of life.

Berry emphasised the importance of 'the great work' that lies ahead. But great changes will only happen when people band together and get fully behind ideas. We only have to look at how the equal rights movement in America led to reforms in legislation. The seemingly impossible can be achieved when we have the vision and driving force of prophets such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. It is a difference between falling apart into hopelessness or finding empowerment through uniting and working together.

Berry termed the new era of spirituality the 'Ecozoic era': an era he believed we were entering, where humans live in mutually enhancing relationships with Earth and the Earth community. This is subtly different to stewardship, as it puts us on a more equal footing with the rest of Nature, instead of seeing humans as the peak of creation. Berry felt that we had lost our links with Earth because we no longer share myths and stories our early ancestors had that helped them find close bonds with the natural world. Yet in the light of contemporary science, most ancient stories and myths have lost their power and relevance to the age in which we now live. Our understanding of how stars, galaxies and organic life came into being no longer matches a lot of their contents (though in some Yogic teachings, everything is seen to emerge from a cosmic form of 'bindu', a source point and centre of energy, which is perhaps comparable to the Big Bang theory).

Because of this, what is now seen as a New Earth/Universe Story(what scientist now know about the unfolding of the universe from the Big Bangto the formation and diversity of life on Earth) was recognised by Berry and the evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme to be needed for humankind to reconnect with its roots and the age old quest for discovering meaning and purpose, why we are here, where we are going and the unique and essential roles we and other species have in a spiritual universe. But unlike ancient creation myths - as Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams point out in their informative book 'View from the Centre of the Universe' - the New Story would have to be a contemporary factual and flexible account that is not solely bound to just one tradition. It needs to be a part of an ongoing search for truth, based on new insights and discoveries, which will help us to build harmonious communities where everyone feels valued, is able to use their abilities, and express their creativity in fertile and supportive environments. On the whole, contemporary western societies have lost somethingessential by no longer possessing shared beliefs and teachings and not realising that those beliefs and teachings can aid us in awakening to significant relationships with Earth. When we have nothing to bring us together or to help us find a deep sense of belonging, we often clog-up our lives with material products we do not need and immerse ourselves in pursuits that lead us away from an authentic spirituality that can profoundly enrich us.

The very first flaring forth of creation, Ellen Bernstein tells us in 'The Green Bible', was seen by early rabbis as the first revelation of God in the universe. Before any God of scripture or God of humans, there has been a God of Nature. For God has been working in and through Nature for longer than any human centred spiritual or religious tradition. Matthew Fox has popularly highlighted teachings that honour Nature and our spiritual and creative being as 'original blessing', which has strong roots in many traditions that affirm our original goodness - the blessing of life and the spiritual gifts we all possess and have the potential for. The poetic first chapter of Genesis, which was possibly written as early as the tenth century BCE, informs us that, "God saw everything that [she/] he had made, and indeed, it was very good" (1:31).

If we consider how various people, cultures and communities have different beliefs and things they value, such as money, power or being compassionate to all beings, we see how these will influence individuals, groups and nations differently. For this reason it is crucial to look at our values and other influences in our societies and communities. Becoming more actively loving- which has associations with the heart chakra, 'anahata', in Indian traditions - is central in the universal wisdom of Jesus and different schools of Yoga. Christianity and Yoga have essential teachings about love, non-harm and suffering, how we need to respond to another's pain with compassion. Any harm deliberately brought against another will hurt us in return, because we ourselves have brought selfishness and violence instead of benevolent qualities into the world in which we are living. The Apostle Paul wrote about awareness of 'the mind of Christ' (1 Corinthians 2:16 and Philippians 2:5), which is about awakening to the same inclusive, loving and caring consciousness as Jesus, and wrote about gaining and being 'nothing' if we do not have love (1 Corinthians 13:2-3). Jesus's teachings invariably focus on a life centred in the immanent presence of the divine and freedom from impractical rules and customs that

restrict displays of forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, kindness and peace-making actions.

The founder of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness and former Catholic monk, Jim Marion, looks at Paul's saying in Philippians ("Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus") in the book 'Putting on the Mind of

Christ'. He draws heavily on Ken Wilber's stages of development and makes masterful links between Paul's saying and Jesus's mention of the Kingdom of Heaven, which Marion sees as a metaphor for a transformed, integral and inclusive state of consciousness and new way of looking at the world.

If we embrace the whole - including Earthly life, the more than human life, and transformative and compassionate actions - in order to untangle ourselves from unhealthy patterns of grasping for things we do not need, or from rejecting wholesome ways of living because they force us to reassess how we view the rights of other people and species, we will arrive at a more centred, nourishing and spiritual place. In the midst of such awakenings we tap into the power of authentic being and instead of obscuring who we truly are, face and work through denied levels and difficult stages and find ways of opening to purer qualities of heart that embrace the welfare of others. Allowing all things and existence to enter into and touch our individual lives deeply, inspires us into wholesome activities and actions, such as giving our time and help freely and unconditionally when external life calls for our assistance.

Other books by Stephen Wollaston aka Santoshan:
'Spirituality Unveiled'
'Realms of Wondrous Gifts'
'The House of Wisdom' (co-authored with Swami Dharmananda)
'Spirit Gems' (co-authored with Glyn Edwards)
'The Spirit World in Plain English' (co-authored with Glyn Edwards)

A Novel Approach to Healing

Angela Delglyn

Available from Amazon

This is an extract:

Balancing Act - being a HSP: In recent years, I've come to understand what it means to be a "Highly Sensitive Person". Through this, I've looked at the bigger picture of my life and seen how and why stress (the biggest factor undermining human health) has affected me.

Because stress levels are determined by ones own sensitivity, being a HSP meant my biochemistry suffered big time, creating a string of mystery health issues over the years that pre-empted my need to develop coping strategies. Whilst I did plenty of research into my biochemistry in order to stabilise my health, the most difficult aspect was to develop the emotional resilience I lacked, being the main source of my high stress levels - something that is common among HSP's.

In order to monitor my energy, I follow my Biorhythms online to see how much energy I can expect each day. I have noticed that when the three main biorhythms - physical, emotional and intellectual - are low simultaneously, I feel totally exhausted for a week with digestion and sleep being affected. At such times, I find it wise to conserve energy rather than resort to stimulants, in order to be ready for the inevitable upswing in energy when the biorhythms rise again.

Physical activity is essential to generate a steady flow of energy throughout the body - the kind of energy surge that releases endorphins and frees up processing space in the liver, thus having a balancing effect upon the whole body. For me, this works best in the morning, for without energy flowing stagnation occurs quickly, both mentally and physically. Activity must be regular if momentum is to be maintained - more so with advancing age.

During unavoidable high stress, herbs like Rhodiola are invaluable to reduce the perception of stress, avoiding the cascade of effects. Phosphatidylserine is useful for mopping up an excess of cortisol that has occurred as a result of prolonged stress. For me, excess cortisol feels like a tightness around the brain, rather like a headache coming on; too much cortisol can perpetuate the feeling of stress as well as prevent restful sleep. Developing the ability to respond to the needs of the body in the moment is essential to break the cycle of stress.

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): This part of the nervous system regulates the activities of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and certain glands, subconsciously. It is regulated by the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus and medulla oblongata. Some familiar activities of the ANS are changes in pupil size, blood vessel dilation, adjustment of heartbeat, sphincter control, rate of peristalsis and secretion of most glands. There are two branches to the ANS - sympathetic and parasympathetic. Many body parts have connections to both branches; one branch stimulates and the other decreases activity. In simplified terms, the sympathetic branch prepares the body for 'fight or flight' and the parasympathetic branch for 'rest and digest'. How our genes are being expressed will dictate how our ANS normally functions within us and so provides a benchmark, so when we function at that part of the ANS scale we will feel at our best. However, there are many factors that affect normal function. Because the ANS affects the metabolic rate, and the metabolic rate affects the ANS, you can guess how food choices create a see-sawing of the ANS, either speeding it up or slowing it down, both of which impact our sense of wellbeing. Whilst the ANS is not as important as the heart in the greater scheme of things, it is at the heart of creating balance,especially for the HSP.

What affects ANS function?

Genetic Inheritance: How our ANS functions is mostly rooted in our genes but not entirely, for there is much we can be exposed to, or choose to do that affects how those genes are expressed. The latter is explored in a branch of science called Epigenetics.

Foods: The main food groups, known as macronutrients, are carbohydrate, fat and protein. Most of us are familiar with the idea of consuming a balanced ratio of foods from each of these groups every day. Now, it is posited that wherever our genes place us on the ANS scale, we achieve a feeling of wellbeing by consuming the appropriate ratio from each macronutrient group for that part of the scale. However, the mixed messages that modern adulterated foods give our bodies confuse and interfere with our biochemistry, creating cravings and disrupting normal function. It's not just about having an eating routine, but being discerning about what we eat if we are to become more conscious of the long term effect upon our wellbeing.

Day to day activities: Eating, working, playing, sleeping, and environment are the active aspects of what can affect the ANS, either positively or negatively.
Belief Systems: Belief systems are the passive aspect of what affects our ANS. We inherit some belief systems during our formative years from our carers and adopt others along the way, but they all give rise to expectations. Whether or not those expectations are met can dictate how we react/respond and therefore what emotions come into play.

Stress: How we each perceive stress is dependent upon the extent of our own sensitivity, and thus how we interpret each direct experience. Stress can build up because of how we emotionally respond (coloured by our inherent belief systems), so it is not fixed and can be changed. How we release stress is a personal thing, but it does need releasing if outbursts are to be avoided. Massage, laughing, dancing and music therapy have all been shown to reduce the high levels of cortisol produced by stress.

Balance & Harmony: For me, balance and harmony is something I have to work at constantly. I use the silence, meditation, nature, exercise and the other tools mentioned in this book. Without those things, I soon fall back into either reacting to life or stagnating within it. I think and feel better when balanced and that's all I'm seeking.

Personal Growth: Growth is a personal choice; not everyone wants it but for me it's what I'm here for. I have a desire to meet my potential and to reach the end of this life satisfied I have done all I can to help myself and others be all that they can be.

For more information: Web address: www.in-form.co.uk

The 21st Century Revolution - A Call to Greatness

By Bruce Nixon


"It's OK for you. We and our children will have to face your generation's irresponsibility way beyond 2050."

A sixth-former.

As a parent, grandparent and fellow world citizen, that is my starting point.

We face the greatest challenges in human history. This book is for people all over the world who want to create a happier, fairer, more peaceful world and prevent environmental catastrophe. It is for people who want to be well-informed. The book will help readers make sense of the situation, find solutions, and decide how they want to participate in bringing about the radical changes that are needed. There is a widespread collapse of confidence in current politics and economics. The challenges are enormous, but so are the opportunities. Change is in the wind all over the world. Change springs out of vision and hope. This book will provide both. When great shifts come, they tend to come fast; the old order collapses quickly. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall.

There is widespread anti-establishment sentiment. The economic policies of the past 35 years are being challenged, especially by younger people; so is the way we have done politics for the past 70 years. Yet radical new policies, large-scale events, and campaigns involving thousands often go unreported in the mainstream media. There is so much positive news the conventional media doesn't give us. That will be remedied in this book.

It is now 23 years since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan on 11th December 1997. Yet decisive action has not been agreed or taken. The 21st annual session of the International Climate Change Conference is to be held in Paris from the 30th November to 11th December 2015. There must be a breakthrough. Sir David King, UK's Special Representative for Climate Change, whilst hopeful of this session, says climate change is the "biggest threat facing mankind at this moment" and reaching agreement is "more critical to the future of our civilization than 1945", when the UN was created following two World Wars.

This year also marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. There are growing calls for radical reform of outdated democratic institutions, and a different way of doing politics. Reform has been obstructed for decades and, in some cases, for over a century. The determination of the suffragist women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries provides a lesson for us. They won the vote. We need to win a lot more.

As George Monbiot says:
"Society moves from the margins, not the centre."

I compare our situation today with the dark days before World War Two. Then, Britain faced a Nazi invasion, a complete takeover of Europe, and world domination. Today, the challenge is even greater: the catastrophic effects of climate change and destruction of the ecological system. In 1940, George Orwell wrote:

"The initiative will have to come from below. … I only know that the right men will be there when the people say they really want them, for it is movements that make leaders and not leaders' movements. And … A real shove from below will accomplish it."
Why I Write - The English Revolution

And so it was and the War was won.

Today, we are again confronted with leadership failure. Leadership will be a major theme throughout this book. The challenges are great. Yet ecologically and economically illiterate political leaders are failing to tackle them. The obsession with unsustainable growth, measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product), on a finite planet we are warming up is madness. It will lead to growing violence, resource wars and migration. Instead of GDP, we need wellbeing as our measure of progress.

A great, big scam robs us and threatens our survival. In 2008, the Western world suffered the worst financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Its primary causes were irresponsible banking and too much lending and borrowing. The recession that followed soon led to austerity policies implemented to varying degrees throughout Europe.

Neoliberal ideology (explained in Chapter 5) has dominated economic policy for 35 years. It has profoundly affected our values and how we treat our fellow human beings. Blatant greed at the top is shocking. Corporate responsibility has become an oxymoron. In this environment, it's hard for companies and their leaders to be responsible and survive.
In the UK, the financial crisis gave the Tory-led Coalition a golden opportunity to decimate the public sector. Austerity, based on ideology, not on sound economics, was forced through by an illiterate government without a mandate to do so. Deep cuts will continue under the new administration. These hindered and continue to hinder recovery and deficit reduction. Every day there has been news of the dire consequences of counterproductive cuts. Whilst the rich got richer, and doubled their wealth, average, real incomes fell by 8%, compared with 2007. For those in work, they still have not recovered. Ordinary people who create wealth are robbed in ways I shall explain.

Similar policies have been implemented in Europe with similar results, adversely affecting young people, particularly in Greece and Spain. Fundamentally, they are the same policies imposed on poor and developing countries by Western institutions for decades.

Greece, with its highly dysfunctional economy in urgent need of reform, is the current most disastrous example: a combination of irresponsible lending followed by insistence on debt repayment and austerity led to deep depression and 25% unemployment. Youth unemployment is 60% (50% in Spain). Finally, in the Greek referendum, 61% of voters decisively rejected a further international bailout from the Troika (IMF, EU and European Central Bank) with continuing austerity attached.

Austerity is like draining a patient's blood to purge the evil humours once thought to cause disease. Of course, all the bloodletting did was to make the patient weaker and more likely to succumb. Luckily, most of us are made of stronger stuff. But millions of people are needlessly suffering; it's a shameful waste of human potential.

These policies will continue unless active citizens demand change.

In the UK, we've allowed ourselves to be conned (helped by campaign advisers, some with dubious connections) and ruled by an out of touch political class, in the pockets of the Big Banks, Big Business, and the super- rich, who, because of dwindling party membership, that used to be millions, fund their campaigns.

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
George Orwell in Why I Write - The English Revolution.

We need a very different agenda. A system based on short-term self-interest rather than generosity of spirit has no future in the 21st century world. The same applies to foreign policy. The recent election campaigning in the UK was based on fear. Instead, we need a vision that uplifts and engages people in a great, new endeavour that creates a prosperous society in which everyone benefits.

As Yvonne Roberts says: "A good state would give each of us the chance to thrive. A dynamic, modern country should not treat its citizens as passive clients, but as agents for a greater change… An opportunity for a genuinely participatory, challenging, creative and active citizenship requires something different from the state than the retail politics of selling 'the offer' to the electorate."

Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass, says: "The mission of government should be to unleash the energy and potential of everyone to transform their workplaces, communities and lives."

There is a growing awakening throughout the world. The story of Syriza in Greece has much in common with Spain's Podemos and Scotland's Independence Campaign. Jeremy Corbyn's surprise bid to lead and transform the UK Labour party is attracting rapidly growing support, especially from younger people. It is part of the widespread rejection of the economic policies of the past 35 years and distaste for the behaviour of political leaders. More is to come.

People are realising that capitalism and democracy in their current forms are failing us. There is a growing rebellion against the current order. Younger people, angry about the injustice of their situation, are opting out of conventional politics and exploring new ways of bringing about change, often bottom up, and creating new businesses. Politics as we know it is a sideshow. The mainstream is happening outside party politics and the daily news. There is a huge discourse on the internet that many people are unaware of. All over the world, people are seeking alternatives. You will read about it in this book.

The need for visionary leadership at every level is greater than ever before. Patriarchal, top-down leadership is obsolete. People want enabling leadership that releases human creativity and bottom-up change. But major transformation will not take place unless many more people get involved and demand change. Far more pressure is needed.
Depending on the choices we make, collectively and individually, we could be at the beginning of a benign revolution or a breakdown of society leading to extremism. This particularly applies to people who feel excluded. Young women and men travel to Syria; others drop out.

I listen to a lot of people in all walks of life in many countries (Chapter 1). What they told me inspired me to write this book. Many are disheartened, angry about the current situation, and feel powerless. Following the results of the recent UK General Election, they are even angrier and more disheartened. It is outrageous that a first past the post voting system results in an unrepresentative parliament, and a Tory government with less than 37% of the vote, representing 24% of the population, continues to inflict extreme policies upon the nation without a mandate. If they do not take this into account, there will be a lot of strife.

Already numerous demonstrations are taking place; many more are planned.
Until nations have a properly representative government, things are unlikely to change significantly for the better.

A lot more of us need to get angry. Anger should never be acted out, but it provides the passion and energy needed for constructive change. The fact is: we need a non-violent revolution - not just in the UK but all over the West. We should be grateful that we can protest, usually without being imprisoned, tortured or shot. Also, we have the rule of law.

"The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet." William Gibson
This future could bring a massive transfer of power away from the grip of government and big business to ordinary people and their local communities, if we choose to make it happen. Being cynical or pessimistic won't help.

The 21st Century Revolution is already happening. Every century has its revolutions, political and industrial. The first two industrial revolutions were based on coal, then oil and gas. The third may be based on solar power, hi-tech, bioscience, the World Wide Web, personal and collective empowerment, and the need to respond to ecological disaster.

In his book, An Optimist's Tour of the Future, Mark Stevenson gives an exciting account of emerging scientific and technological innovations likely to transform our lives and the world as we know it. Many are benign. Undoubtedly, many of these developments will bring enormous benefits, particularly in the area of human health. They could reduce costs and devolve power. However, I am cautious; they could result in the even greater concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few, and further alienation of human beings from nature of which we are part. And these developments will not help unless we are determined to resolve economic inequality, entrenched power structures and act on the urgent need to conserve and sustain a living planet. The danger is we'll be deluded by techno-fixes.

Systems thinking. Central to this book is the idea that the immense challenges we face require whole system change, not partial fixes. Everything is interconnected; we are part of one whole; we are part of nature; we are all one. Systems thinking is the process of understanding how systems influence one another within a whole. It is an approach to problem solving in which problems are seen as parts of an overall system. Thus, rather than reacting to specific parts, as political leaders tend to, with the danger creating unintended consequences, we need to look at the whole system and identify the fundamental issues before creating solutions.

So Part One is a whole system analysis of the current situation. Part Two offers a new, better future, and explores how all of us can make it happen. It includes comprehensive proposals for addressing:
Climate Chaos and destruction of the eco-system
Economic injustice
Resolving conflict without violence
Radical reform of broken and corrupt, top-down politics
And, that key part, what you, the reader, will do

All of which form an inter-related system.

Whilst many of these proposals call for international collaboration, some are specific to the UK, yet equally relevant to other nations. Countries learn from each other.

The next few years are likely to be full of surprises. In the UK, the voting system has deprived many people of their wishes. Of almost 31 million people who voted in the recent General Election on the 7th May, 19 million voted for losing candidates. That's 63% of voters who backed a candidate that didn't win, making the majority of voters feel unrepresented. Out of 650 winning candidates, 322 (49%) got less than 50% of the vote.

The Westminster Village is discredited. That was the clear message of the Scottish referendum. People will vote if they believe it will make a difference. An unprecedented 97% registered to vote in the referendum and 84.6% voted, including 16 to 17-year-olds, for the first time. It was the highest vote in the UK since the introduction of universal suffrage. This has increased the pressure for reform. 44.7% voted for independence. As I write, elections are to be held in Spain, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Portugal and Estonia. Debt and austerity have played a major part in creating a desperate situation in Greece. The Greek election was a strong vote of no confidence in the current economic doctrine. At the time of writing, the results of negotiations between the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and the EU are unknown but are likely to be far-reaching.

We need a great power shift - a peaceful revolution. A revolution is swelling at the moment, as evidenced by widespread and growing protests. They will grow. I hope this book will give many people the desire to participate at an epic moment in human history. Currently, power is held by elites who will obstruct anything they think adversely affects their interests. We need a shift of power to people and communities, enabled by a new kind of slimmer state. We, seven billion people, need to use our power; otherwise little will change.

This book is a call to ordinary people to be great. Through your relationships with others, you can help create the critical mass required to bring about this great transformation. We can be sure revolution will come from the power and creativity of millions of people. If you are not already involved, I invite you to become part of it. If you are part of it, I hope reading this book will give you even greater power. Being well-informed gives people power; it's essential for an effective democracy. People won't be well-informed if they rely on old media. I endeavour to make sense of the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. I describe the radical changes that are needed and suggest what you can do to help.
In the Resources section at the end of the book, I offer you many different ways in which you can play your part. There are suggestions at the end of some chapters. References and links are provided conveniently in the text, rather than at the end of the book.

Hyperlinks are provided in the e-book version. I have quoted from writings that I believe are particularly useful or articulate, thus introducing you to people you may wish to follow, and sources of further information.

Bruce Nixon www.brucenixon.com

Other books and writings by Bruce Nixon
A Better World is Possible - What needs to be done and how we can make it happen
Living System - Making sense of sustainability
Global Forces - A Guide for Enlightened Leaders
Making a Difference - Strategies and Tools for Transforming your Organisation
New Approaches to Management Development
Articles, talks and conference papers: www.brucenixon.com/newwritings.html

More reviews for The 21st Century Revolution - A Call to Greatness

"This is a book jam-packed with solutions - hurrah! And, it all starts with the self; great change calls on each of us to step up and respond to the call of greatness. Whether it be changing our politics, our monetary system, our laws, our business ethics - at the heart of each resides something truly great. Bruce Nixon brings to life not only what is possible, what is already emerging, and also what could yet come into being."
Polly Higgins, Barrister, International Ecocide law advocate.

"This is an amazing book not just because it tells us what's wrong with our society and how to put it right - but because it is full of hope and love for people and our planet. The world is a better place for The 21st Century Revolution - A Call to Greatness, and its author, Bruce Nixon the book inspires me to help make the 21st century revolution happen."
Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

"The greatest problem of our age is disempowerment - part of a political project to shift ordinary people out of power and out of politics, to leave them content to judge their identity by the brand of smart phone they rent. Bruce Nixon lays out the fullest dimension of this disempowerment and its fatal consequences. But he also outlines a way out, a way for all of us to become real citizens in a real democracy. The call to greatness not only refers to our own personal liberation from the shackles of disempowerment, but to the scale of the collective endeavour it will allow us to embark on saving our species. It doesn't get much bigger." Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now

"Read this excellent analysis of what's gone wrong, take heart, and fight for positive change!" Yvonne Roberts, Journalist and Fellow of the Young Foundation

"Don't despair - read this book! We can have a new economic system that works for people and planet, if enough of us meet the current (huge) challenges head-on and summon the greatness that each of us are capable of. Bruce Nixon brilliantly sets out a course of action and hope." Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation

"We need to be both planning for a better world and actively setting out a route towards it. That needs the input of the many and the democratic focus of this book is very much welcome, as is its understanding that our economic, social and environmental crises and the solutions to them are interlinked." Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party of England and Wales

"Bruce highlights the harmful consequences of our debt-based money system and the need to change the way money is created." Ben Dyson, Founder of Positive Money

For more information, visit: www.brucenixon.com

The Numbers, Energy & Magic of Great Britain

Amid the flowering of global and cosmic consciousness, ideas such as borders and nation-states may seem like relics of the old vibration. Yet if a sensitive takes one moment to get out of the house and into nature, unplugging from the noise as they go, they will feel one of the subtlest energies of all - The Land.

The Land is the repository of the vibrations of all the people who ever lived on it. Every tear, laugh, dream and nightmare ultimately settles in The Land. The Land welcomes and rejects as it sees fit. Therefore, to think clearly and feel openly about this nation, we must with The Land which outlives us all.

The EU Referendum is best seen through the lens of The Land. It is not a matter of politics, economics or trade, and it certainly is nothing to do with the various characters - good and bad - who appear on the airwaves. It is to do with The Land. What does the Land want?

The referendum is also a fantastic opportunity to work on ourselves. The self-love which so many quite rightly teach might be extended a little further out from our own auras. After all, what's the point of loving ourselves if we dislike the land in which we live?

Numerology has a great deal to say about the nature of Great Britain, and again we are working with subtle energies. This means that we must free ourselves from what we think the British are, or have done and re-connect with what Britain is. Some will say that all nations are political inventions, but this is not even half true, for an old-school magical principle cannot be forgotten - to name is to give life. The nature, vibration and energy of this country is contained within its name. And numerology helps us to connect with it.

Take the name GREAT BRITAIN. Let A=1, B=2, C=3 and so on, as follows:

(This is the Pythagorean Key for the numerology of English words. Other keys are available).

By transferring each of the letters of Great Britain into numbers, adding them up and then adding up the digits of the result we arrive at the number 7. Therefore, energetically, Great Britain is 7.

Easy Numerology is achieved by understanding shapes. Take a shape with 7 equal sides and 7 equal angles. A 50 pence piece, though not quite geometrically perfect, will show you that if you try to tile a floor, for example, with a set of 7-sided tiles you will always land up with gaps. It impossible for seven sided shapes to sit cleanly and perfectly alongside other shapes. So in essence, 7 is the energy that does not fit, will not co-operate and does not harmonise. This is true for all people born on the 7th, 16th or 25th, and it is the core energy of Great Britain.

Take Scotland, and use the same method. What do we get? 7 again, showing us that the nature of Scotland is to be an awkward, non-conformist energy, within a greater awkward, non-conformist energy.

The European Union, using the same method, sums to 6. This produces the shape of the honeycomb made by bees and is the most mathematically efficient shape for fitting things alongside each other. It is therefore the number of harmonisation, sameness, and togetherness. It should be pretty clear from this that 7 (Great Britain) and 6 (European Union) though sitting next to each other (mathematically and geographically) are very different energies and do not get on.

If we look at the UNITED KINGDOM, then it gets even more interesting. The UNITED KINGDOM sums to 11 - commonly known as a MASTER VIBRATION. 11 brings great things and terrible things. It is the number of the inventor, the thought-leader, and some say the genius, but it is an enormous vibration that is not always handled well. It can bring inspiration and magic, but also division and polarisation. This can be seen in all people born on the 11th or the 29th. Their lives, whether happy or sad, are rarely smooth. This is the nature of the UNITED KINGDOM. It genuinely believes itself to be something rather special, because numerologically it is.

An interesting choice therefore awaits us on 23rd June 2016, to remain or to leave the EUROPEAN UNION. The date of the referendum itself is significant, adding up to 11. (23+6+2016 = 2045. 2+0+4+5 = 11). This is a high vibration day, containing an even higher vibration matter. It is a choice between two doorways, neither of them political, both of them energetic. The consequences of the decision will probably not be seen in our lifetime, seeding decades or even centuries into the future. The choice is for each individual to decide, on the basis of their own karma and their own vibration. But the character of Great Britain and the United Kingdom is much less to do with the decisions made by British governments and much more a matter of energy. Do we want the sameness of 6 or the difference of 7? To be one among many in 6 or to rise to the full potential of the 11? But even beyond that, it is in my view primarily a question of What does the Land want?

This extract is from Richard's latest book Great Britain: The Secret Destiny of the British & Their Isles. It contains the numerology of towns, cities and institutions of Britain, a look at the influence of the Elements on the history of the nation and unravels some amazing 'co-incidences' in this old country. It lays out energetic explanations as to why the NHS and the BBC are the way that they are and looks ahead using a new Numerology and Tarot method, to the coming changes.

It is available to buy here. http://www.thehermitage.org.uk/Great_Britain_The_Secret_Destiny_of_the_British__Their_Isles/

The Truth About Illness, Unhappiness and Stress?

The Truth about Illness, Unhappiness & Stress? is a powerful introduction to the connections between the mind and the body in particular connection to health. Written to guide people into the world of "self-health". Full of case studies and ideas to stimulate the reader into transforming illness, unhappiness and stress. A great tool for anyone interested in holistic well-being.

Extract from: 'The Truth About Illness, Unhappiness and Stress?

Chapter 1 Five Modern Myths

We're going to start by looking at what it really means to take responsibility for yourself. Let's begin by taking a look at five contemporary myths that in our experience are believed by many people.

Myth 1 - I Am A Busy Person Therefore I Am A Responsible Person

We tend to measure responsibility in various ways: for example, house ownership, employment, voluntary work or creating a family. We say that by nature of the fact that "I am a director of my own company", or "I am a parent of three children and hold down a paid job too", or "I am a dedicated nurse working long and unsocial hours" - we are being responsible people and therefore must be taking responsibility for ourselves.

This is not necessarily true. Being a responsible person and taking full responsibility for yourself can be two very different things. Doing anything that causes you dis-ease - whatever the reason and whatever the dis-ease - may be entirely due to your own misunderstanding of what it means to take complete responsibility for yourself.

Phil got up at 5.30 every morning to catch the 6.15 train to work. He generally worked through until 6.00pm and would return home by about 8.30 most nights. Being a caring young dad and a committed employee, he found himself hurrying in both directions to fulfil his obligations; train delays and cancellations were often the cause of great stress.

It wasn't long before he started to suffer from stress and anxiety. Being in that daily state of low-grade panic is debilitating to even the strongest of constitutions. But Phil felt he had to keep up the pattern in order to sustain the happiness of the family and keep his job.

And yet the happiness of his family was already negatively affected because the demands of Phil's job deprived them of much of his emotional support, his company and his friendship. His partner and children accepted his moods and his stress as inevitable and developed coping strategies. But the stress grew and his effectiveness at work was compromised. This didn't go unnoticed by his employers and Phil found himself having to justify his performance on a weekly basis, all of which added significantly to his stress.

So, even whilst he was enjoying the house, the car and the holidays, Phil was also suffering from the stress of supporting such a big house, such a nice car and such expensive holidays. Believing these items to be integral to the happiness of his family, he had started to live under the illusion that his personal suffering was unavoidable. And if the family had looked around them and observed their friends and neighbours they would probably have seen most other people in similar situations and would therefore have accepted that this was how life had to be.

As Phil's stress mounted however, his health problems became increasingly hard to ignore. But instead of paying attention to the ever louder protests from his body or stopping to ask himself or his family what any of them really wanted, he continued his lifestyle unchanged, in the belief that he was doing the best thing for everyone. The result for Phil was the loss of his job and short-term health, something that finally forced him and his family to reassess their priorities in life.

It may be in this simple misunderstanding of the true meaning of responsibility that Phil's dis-ease lay. He was doing what he thought was the responsible thing to do, but he was not living in a way that was in his, or his family's, long-term interests. His health could only continue to fail as long as he continued this apparently 'responsible' yet stressful life.

Myth 2 - In Life Dis-ease Is Inevitable
This is probably a good time to remind you of something that we said in the introduction - remember the bit about not believing a word we say? This is where we need you to be open to a new possibility - don't believe us, just be open, just a little bit, to the radical idea that somehow we may not all have to look forward to periods of dis-ease after all.

A Message From The Body
It is the authors' belief that when we suffer dis-ease it is a sign to tell us that something deeper than just our physical body is out of balance. This sign may come in many different forms; it may be like a big red stop light that forces us to drop everything. Examples of this might include heart disease, cancer, major depression or pneumonia. Or it may be as a small beacon flashing intermittently in the distance in the form of less serious but recurring illness such as repeated bouts of minor depression, colds, allergies, indigestion, migraines, or even a proneness to accidents. Although relatively minor now, if there is a deeper cause which is left unresolved, it is possible that more serious dis-ease will follow.

Dis-ease Is Not Inevitable
So how about this for a radical thought: dis-ease is neither random nor inevitable. Howls of outrage and disbelief? Well, we told you it was a radical thought. But maybe we all play some part in the way that dis-ease develops in our bodies and minds. Furthermore, if this is true, could it mean that there is a way to lessen our suffering?

It could be that we are not meant to live any part of our lives in this unnatural state. Maybe the reason we do get dis-ease is because our internal guidance system is trying to get a message to us about our lives and sometimes the only way it can do this is to resort to physical distress. Dis-ease could mean that something in our life is, or has been, out of harmony with our true needs.

Myth 3 - Other People Cure Us
"WHAT"! we hear you cry. "But what about doctors and surgeons and healers and operations and drugs and all that stuff? Operations are successful and people are fixed. By others. How can you say that it's a myth that other people cure us?"

Just bear with us a minute (and that includes all you doctors, therapists and healers) - provided you haven't already thrown the book in the bin. Here's our take on 'curing' other people.

Is All Healing Ultimately Self-Healing?
It is our suggestion that no one has ever been completely cured by a doctor, therapist, healer or any other form of outside helper. By 'completely' we mean in mind, body and spirit. We believe that the only person who can fully heal us is ourself. This is not to say that a visit to a doctor or healer cannot be beneficial in bringing about a physical improvement; but it is to suggest that such outside intervention may only be a tool that we use along the way to complete self-healing.

Returning briefly to the first myth about responsibility; we would all benefit from erasing the belief that a visit to the doctor means that we are taking responsibility for our health. It is not fair on the medical profession and it is not fair on any one of us. All we do by going for medical help before investigating the possibility that maybe we can do something to correct the imbalance ourselves, is hand the responsibility to the doctor. We say to ourselves "I'm alright now, the doctor's given me a prescription or a referral or an injection." And in that same moment we have handed over our responsibility to get better to someone else. We have not stopped to consider where the imbalance may have come from or what we could do to correct it and consequently our own power to heal from within may have been thwarted.

It is of course true that doctors can prescribe drugs to ease symptoms and halt infection, or they can cut out parts of the body where dis-ease has run amok. But is this really a cure? In terms of dis-ease it may be little more than a delaying tactic. Advocates of modern medicine (and, we repeat, we fully acknowledge the valuable role that the skills and devotion of medical professionals can play in our lives) may point to the people who, following medical treatment, have gone on to lead long and happy lives. Understandably these people are proclaimed as 'medical' successes. Could it be however that these people have also played a part in bringing about their own eventual happiness, their own eventual good health? Could it be that they enhanced the effects of the medical treatment that they received?

Addressing The Cause
How might they have done this? Could they have done it by consciously (or subconsciously) making the changes in their lives that addressed the original causes of the dis-ease? The medical intervention may have 'kick-started' this process, ridding them of infection or eradicating pain, but it is possible that these individuals then either knowingly or unknowingly addressed the very elements in their lives that were causing the problem. Medicine may have been no more and no less than a tool that they used to their own best advantage.

The world is moving so fast now and our demand for an instant cure has gathered momentum. The usual response to feeling a symptom growing inside us is to go into 'fix' mode, immediately taking some action that we hope will halt the development of this symptom so we can get on with our busy lives. Would we benefit more from taking time out to rest and reflect on what the symptom may be trying to tell us?

Barry Durdant-Hollamby
Coach, Author and Producer

About the Authors:

Barry is a personal and business coach, relationship specialist, facilitator, author and record producer. In addition to 20 years of 1-1 counselling/life-coaching and relationship work, Barry has carried out values, communication and strategy work in various organisations and businesses, travelling as far as Kenya in 2013 to train peace-keepers prior to the elections. He's the author of 6 books including a top 5 Amazon best-selling novel 'The Breaking of the Shell' and a book on male psychology, 'The Male Agenda', which was circulated throughout UK prison libraries to inspire inmates. He also co-authored a new psychology of health book, 'The Truth about Illness, Unhappiness & Stress?' with wife Winnie, following many years of coaching clients through serious illness.

Winnie has been practicing as a holistic personal and relationship coach for the past twenty years, specialising in women's development and empowerment. Winnie is also an author, hypnotherapist and artist, and an experienced alternative educationalist, having home-schooled two daughters for 8 years with husband Barry and having performed roles as a mediator and advisor between families and the Local Education Authorities. Winnie has been in the same relationship for over 30 years, and her partner just happens to be her fellow consultant, Barry. Winnie gives talks and workshops on feminist theology, and has created educational courses for young people and adults in exploring links between quantum physics and metaphysics; the meeting of science and spirituality being one of her passions. She also loves music, painting, film, food and being in nature.


'The Lightworkers Circle Guide

- A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' by Wendy Stokes

Would you like to start a group for Lightworkers?

Then this is the handbook for you.
If you are a believer in the Afterlife, you are not alone!
When we make contact with Spirit, we find we become healed. We also become enlightened and our life is enhanced.
This book gives trusted guidance to help you to form your Spiritual Group - from the initial planning stages of your lightworker's circle; including prepapations you need to make and exercises to help you in the initial stages when first meeting your primary guide. It's advice is very thorough, and provides solutions to every perceivable question you may have when forming your group including: how best to run your group in an effective, democratic way; how to select potential members and sound advice on confidentiality both inside and outside of your circle.

This book is an excellent tool for new and experienced mediums. The advice is readable, concise and easy to access through a comprehensive contents section. It covers every perceivable question one may have when hoping to get a group of individuals to form a coherant and complete lightworker's circle.

About the author: Wendy Stokes has trained mediums in home groups for years, working closely with mentors from the spirit realms. A qualified teacher of adults, she has an excellent reputation in her field. All royalties committed to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to protect endangered species.

ISBN 978-1-84694-387-4

Extract from: 'The Lightworkers Circle Guide
- A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' by Wendy Stokes

available from bookshops worldwide in paperback or from Amazon in paperback and kindle format.

The Lightworkers Circle Guide explains how to facilitate a group for channelling, divination and healing. All royalties are donated to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust which helps to protect endangered species from extinction.

Visit: www.wendystokes.co.uk

There are many books and courses available on the subject of leadership - a role which takes place in every aspect of our lives. Like spirituality, it is a subject that can only be developed through experience - not learned from an article or book.

However, written information can provide guidance as to what to look for, and what to avoid!

In our society, we have two approaches to our leaders, either we idolize them - or we reject them! Everyone wants to be a leader, but no-one wants to be led! Though many would like to live without leaders, in reality, we can make no progress without them! The aim of a leader is task orientated and to further the group's development - not their own. Leadership needs to be conducted most especially when the members are not making progress alone. The position of team 'leader' in a small group is also that of manager, teacher, caretaker, facilitator, steward, mentor, guide and coach! A good leader's job is broad and requires considerable sacrifice, expertise and dedication. If anyone thinks this work is easy, they will be convinced otherwise when they read the following list of skills and award marks for each!

Tasks of the leader: anticipating problems in advance; arbitrating between people; articulating what has not been spoken; assigning tasks; assisting others to get the best from their own talents; building strengths and confidence; chastising when appropriate; coaching; consoling; defining the indefinable; demonstrating skills; developing abilities and opportunities; eliminating hindrances; emphasizing and maximizing strengths; empowering and encouraging; ensuring safety; evaluating; focusing on tasks; identifying needs; imparting knowledge; implementing changes; increasing expertise, awareness and competency; listening; maintaining order, ethos, standards, values and boundaries; managing and mentoring; moderating during conflict; monitoring; motivating; negotiating; observing; organizing; preparing; preserving what is good; problem solving; protecting; recognizing opportunities and dangers; refereeing in arguments; reinforcing skills; reviewing; setting an example; supporting those in need; stabilizing the group; taking necessary decisions; and helping all members get the best from their communal activities.

Effective leaders lead by example and should be applauded for their capacity to fulfil many responsibilities with calmness and goodwill. Theirs is the most prominent position within the group, and therefore the leader is usually scrutinized and criticized more than any other member. A leader often suffers from the petty jealousies of others who do not wish for responsibility or commitment. A leader is usually held accountable when things go wrong, so it is not a role to envy!
A leader maintains the smooth running of meetings and implements changes in order to maintain good practice. A leader should also facilitate, and stimulate an increase in the depth of work without pressurizing anyone. A leader often looks after organisational and planning matters, and is aware of spiritual influences and time factors. A leader also has responsibility for the cohesion and collaboration of the membership. Most leaders will fail at some stage to accomplish all these requirements and should be given the group's support for their attempts to do the job to the best of their ability.

Autocratic and self-serving styles of leadership are common in our society, and occur where one person manipulates or bullies everyone else, misusing power until resentful members rebel. Gentler members who are eager for progress end up carrying those who are overly ambitious for personal power - and are good at getting it. Resentment against self-centred leaders is therefore justifiable. An alternative to autocratic leadership is that of rotational leadership as this gives everyone the chance to take this high profile position within the group. If members voluntarily choose certain job responsibilities within the group, this is beneficial. When one person has held a key position for a given length of time, another should be appointed to keep the workload circulating, so that there is an opportunity to be involved with different activities. There are ways of sharing responsibilities fairly, such as by volunteering, by random selection (either spinning a coin or drawing straws), by rote, or alphabetical order.

When a leader is ineffective, the members will suffer, and conflicts will arise and will result in members resigning. Sometimes leadership is not required and the group can be self-facilitating. If a leader does not perform the tasks of leadership, any member can take the initiative and organise what needs to be done, not by being competitive, but co-operative. In groups where no leader has been appointed, one usually emerges.

It is often difficult, without prior experience, to be a fair and aware, yet firm leader. The answer is in mutual negotiation, cooperation and initiative with the whole group building a strong multi-tasking team. Compromise and co-operation are vital parts of the learning process and sharing experiences are part of the learning process. This is a service of self-sacrifice that we offer to others on the same path as ourselves. Everyone can be pro-active and take initiatives on an equal basis with consideration to everyone, even those not present. Questions should be phrased; "Can I suggest…?", "I would like…", "I need…", or "Shall I…?"

Small problems may seem nit-picking, but if one waits, it may be too late to restore stability. A good slogan is 'small errors grow large'. Lack of quality leadership requires a change of leadership! Those who respond well to authority figures show a mark of emotional maturity. Lightworkers recognise the importance of inter-dependency and task sharing. We also appreciate that every member has something of value to offer. It is important to be able to feel comfortable in both roles; that of being led, and that of leader.

All parts make up the whole, and all parts are necessary and have their place. If there is personal incompatibility within the group, interpersonal issues can be resolved by examining what each person expects, needs and wants from the group, and from their leader. Each specific problem could be brought to Spirit for resolution through meditation and prayer for guidance. Adjustments to the method, style and content of the sessions may also be required and expectations and assumptions also need addressing.

Leadership is a position of service but because leaders usually do more work than anyone else does, they sometimes feel the post deserves some form of remuneration. The need for good leadership is present in all aspects of our life. In large groups, it is almost impossible to make consistent progress without a regular leader.

Most groups work through differences and difficult times, and successful leaders take the pressure off themselves by sharing their power intelligently with others. Small, leaderless groups particularly thrive on the basis of communal responsibility. Democratic leadership can only ensure power for the majority over the minority, even if the minority is one person and the majority, two. Where there is dissent, we aim at a win/win scenario, wherever possible.

It is useful to bear in mind that hierarchies frequently abuse power. When this happens, people form alliances, and begin to compete, some might scapegoat vulnerable people in their midst. If an organisation is corrupt at the top, it will, without doubt, be corrupt at the bottom! However, organisations that are wholesome at the top might still be corrupt at the bottom - unless they have an adherence to rules and consistent monitoring of ethical standards. I mention this because every small group still has many of the problems associated with larger institutions. The ultimate aim of life itself is to increase our capacity to care for others and to develop our sense of responsibility to those in need and we can do this in whatever environment we may take part in, such as family, community and work groups.

In emergencies, a majority vote can be taken. The circle is a combined venture and a valuable learning experience for everyone. There are many ways in which all members can be active and can add to their knowledge and skills. We are all responsible for creating the best groups possible, and to be the best we can be within them. Whenever a group functions badly, change is necessary. When all else fails, the old order should be disbanded and a new order formed of fresh, new members.

Extract from: 'The Lightworkers Circle Guide - A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' by Wendy Stokes, available from bookshops worldwide in paperback or from Amazon in paperback and kindle format. The Lightworkers Circle Guide explains how to facilitate a group for channelling, divination and healing. All royalties are donated to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust which helps to protect endangered species from extinction. Visit: www.wendystokes.co.uk