cherries

The Yoga of Menopause: Part Two

by Susun Weed

 

THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF ESTROGENS

  • Women make estrogens.
  • Plants make estrogens and estrogen-like compounds.
  • Chemicals, especially organochlorines, act like estrogens (xenoestrogens).

Pharmaceutical companies make estrogens from substances such as horse urine, wild yam roots, and petrochemicals. Tamoxifen, used to treat and prevent breast cancer, is a type of pharmaceutical estrogen.

Women make at least thirty types of estrogen, including estradiol, estrone, and estrace. Estradiol is the strongest; it is turned on at puberty and turned off at menopause. Estradiol is positively linked with breast cancer; other human estrogens are not. Anything that reduces the amount of estradiol a woman produces (such as pregnancy, lactation, early menopause, and late puberty) also decreases her risk of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Phytoestrogens counter the detrimental effects of estradiol by competing for the same receptor sites.

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The Spiritual Quest

by T. Y. Chambers

 

I’ve travelled the world
searching for items for my sacred altar

A slab of worn wood 

paint peeled back 
placed in the corner of the room

A reminder to pray
A mirror to my soul
Take me back home to God

Meticulously placed beeswax candles resting in the four corners 
A scattering of Turkish rose petals 
An English yew tree branch
An autumnal cluster of leaves
Our Lady, calmly standing amidst the chaos
Arms outstretched in surrender 
Yes 
Here was my holy altar
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Lockeridge Dene

Around Avebury

by Geraldine Charles

 

Avebury is fascinating! Stonehenge may be more famous, but if I had to choose one monument for interested visitors to Wiltshire, Avebury would win every time.  One reason is accessibility – at Stonehenge you can’t usually walk within the stones without arranging special access, while at Avebury you can walk among them, touch them and follow ancient ceremonial routes.  And where else can you find a pub within a stone circle?!

But there is far more to Avebury than the henge and stones, and even after visiting regularly for years I still have much more to learn. The whole World Heritage Site is huge, stretching from the Neolithic causewayed enclosure of Windmill Hill to the west, while to the east it includes part of the ancient Ridgeway, a trackway used for millennia. Now 87 miles long, the Ridgeway passes many ancient sites such as Wayland’s Smithy and the Uffington White Horse on its way north, but that’s just the modern leisure route: the path once covered a much greater distance, from Lyme Regis on the south coast to Hunstanton in Norfolk. And still there’s more: dozens of round and long barrows, including the famous West Kennet Long Barrow, sacred springs and rivers, and of course the astonishing Silbury Hill. Few who circumnavigate Silbury know that below the ground they tread lie the remains of an entire Roman town, stretching out as far as Swallowhead Springs to the south west. Roman coins and jewelry have also been found at West Kennet Long Barrow. I have so many questions about this - did the Romans share our awe for Silbury Hill and dedication to Swallowhead Springs and the Goddess of the Springs?  Was this a convenient stopping-off place on the long journey to the hot springs at Bath, seen as an extension of that sacred site and perhaps another place to worship Sul, whom the Romans associated with Minerva?
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The First Shaman, by Jim Malachi

The First Shaman

By Jim Malachi

 

In the beginning was the first Shaman who drummed all things into being – even Time itself. She struck Her drum and shook Her rattle and the sound it made echoed in thunderous circles like a lone heart beating throughout the cold dark vast emptiness of space.

By and by, Moon’s face shone reflected upon the surface of Her drum. Moon smiled at Shaman and Her smile lit up the darkness of the eternal night. As She shook Her rattle, jewel-like seeds rose up from it and filled the night sky with countless tiny lights which surrounded Moon, and these became the stars and constellations. Still Shaman was very cold, so She began to beat harder and faster upon the skin of Her drum where now could be seen all of the waters of the oceans and rivers. The force of Her beating upon them created the great waves, pounding surf, and mighty currents. And this time the seeds which fell from the rattle scattered and swirled into the depths below and became every creature that swims and lives beneath the sea.

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Rainbow bird, by Nanri Tenney

The Rainbow Birds

Words by Carolyn Lee Boyd
Art by Nanri Tenney

I will always remember the moment when, just like that, the rainbow birds surrounded me, embraced me in flight, soaring on currents of air that made gliding effortless. Birds of such magnificence could not exist on Earth.  Each individual bird was arrayed in her own unique, luminescent hue and, together, they were a living, flying rainbow mosaic evoking the beauty of all the most stunning visions on the planet.  My soul ached to be one of them. If I were, I wondered, what would my own color be? 

I caught a glimmer below me and gazed down into the reflection of a pond on the ground.  I saw my own face in the water’s mirror, though the face of a bird, not a human, and I understood that I need yearn no more. I only remembered ever being a woman, but somehow I was now a bird, gliding a thousand feet up without fear or regret at the loss of my humanity.  I was awed by my feathers that echoed the azure of the noonday winter sky and the delicacy of my shell-pink beak. 

For decades I had walked on two feet, bound by gravity to the surface of the Earth. The memory of those years weighed on my spirit and I began to descend against my will.  If my arms and hands were now feathered wings, how would I gather the herbs and mix them into potions to comfort and save life, or boil the tinctures to apply as I sat by the rasping shell of a loved one fading from the Earth? Who would care for the children I had midwifed into life and nurtured with nature’s healing plants through every illness?
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“Sekhmet: Transformation in the Belly of the Goddess”, by Nicki Scully

Reviewed by Rose Caruana

 

Nicki Scully is not just a writer, she is the sacred beacon of the Divine roar which Sekhmet emits into this world. 

"Sekhmet: Transformation in the Belly of the Goddess" holds a genuine and powerful message which comes straight from the eternal Goddess. When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I did so in order to reconnect with the energy of this mighty 4,000-year-old Goddess. Back in 2012, Sekhmet clawed herself into my life with all her might, dragging me out of a destructive and abusive relationship which was bleeding me of my spirit. When Sekhmet’s thunderous roar comes booming into your life, you simply cannot say no. This is what Nicki conveys in this wondrous piece of literature.
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