To Solve Climate Change, We Need To Recognize Our Unity With All Of Nature | Spirit of Change

Although I am impressed with Trump’s efforts to go after the Deep State, Human Traffickers and Pedophiles, I think he is woefully ignorant of the importance of preserving our environment and Public Lands.  He should visit Native Americans and learn their perspective on making decisions that consider the impact on the next 7 generations. ~PB

To Solve Climate Change, We Need To Recognize Our Unity With All Of Nature | Spirit of Change

Four sacred gifts from indigenous elders hold the key to healing ourselves and our shared environment

By Anita Sanchez, Ensia


As a culture, we tend to think of climate change in terms of its effects on sea levels, seasonal temperatures, and animal habitats. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with those and similar observations, there is one thing conspicuously missing from the way we think about climate change: It is a spiritual issue.

Rather than seeing ourselves as part of the Earth and intrinsically connected to her seasons, cycles and rhythms, our “I am separate” mindset causes us to behave toward the natural world as if we are not connected to it — as if it is something to own, use and dominate — resulting in unlimited resource extraction, pollution of our environment, degradation of our food and water, climate change, the extinction of species, and more.

We already have the technology to solve such problems; what we don’t have is the collective will. And we don’t have the collective will because we don’t have the wisdom.

Thankfully, there is another way to live.

In order to truly solve climate change, we must open ourselves to the realization of our unity with all of nature. Be curious; ask yourself these questions:

  • What problem do I see happening here, right now?
  • How am I part of the problem?
  • Who else can I join to help repair and resolve the problem?

Four Sacred Gifts

In 1994, a group of 27 indigenous elders from the four colors and directions — elders from the North American tribes representing the red and south direction, a Buddhist elder from Tibet represent the yellow and east direction, a Sami elder from Finland representing the white and north direction, and two elders from African tribes representing the black and west direction — came together to offer the people of Earth four sacred gifts. We can use these gifts to heal ourselves and our shared environment. Here are the gifts the elders bestowed upon humanity, along with some suggestions as to how we can view these gifts in relation to climate change.

1. The power to forgive the unforgivable. The indigenous peoples of the world have suffered uncountable atrocities at the hands of occupying nations, including the destruction of our Mother Earth. If indigenous people can forgive, so can we all. They show us that we do not have to be consumed by hating “evil” greedy multinational corporate leaders, corrupt politicians, powerful media interests and the like when it comes to our environmental problems.

Instead, recognizing our role and responsibility to ourselves, our Earth and future generations, we need to free ourselves from the prison of animosity. By acting from a place of forgiveness, we liberate our energy to create a new world, to make the change that our hearts desire. Forgiveness stops the cycle of blame that shackles us to what we don’t want, separating ourselves from each other and the Earth. Forgiveness opens the door for us to concentrate on what we do want. Forgiveness does not mean forgoing justice, does not mean betraying our responsibility to each other and the Earth. It does not mean forgetting. Instead, it is a path to freedom, allowing us to use our individual and collective energy to right the wrongs and bring forth a healed and vibrant world.

2. The power of unity. What happens in China affects the United States. What happens to the rainforest alters the Arctic. When one species of animal or plant becomes extinct, its effects are felt elsewhere. We are indeed interconnected, and the more we are awakened, the more we can understand the power and sensibility of oneness, the more empow

3. The power of healing. Reawakening our connection to nature, the Earth and each other is powerful medicine that can heal many ills. We must reconnect with each other and with the cycles of the natural world, including the movement of weather conditions and plant and animal behavior. Most of all, though, we must reconnect with our true selves. We are meant to be in alignment at the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level. When we are good medicine to ourselves and each other, honoring the spirit that resides within us, the healing that results will be reflected in our external world.

4. The power of hope. Climate change can feel frightening and overwhelming. But no matter how bad things seem, positive change is still possible. Hope is not an illusion; it is a constant and dependable source of energy to support what we want to create: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on our Earth. Focus on what gives you hope, and let that inspire you to be in positive action to reverse global warming.


My uncle from the Osage reservation would draw a circle in the air while saying, “To live as a whole human being is to live in balance, understanding our connection to people, to Earth and to spirit; to hurt one of these is to hurt all of these; to love one of these is to love all of these.” This gave me a clear picture of what is true abundance: the intimate interconnection of all life, and the process of receiving and giving back to this life.

I understood his words to mean that when I treat you with dignity, when I treat you with care — whether at home, in the workplace or in my community — I am showing dignity not only to you but to people, Earth and spirit. I remember as a little girl listening to him and thinking: “Wow, I have a lot of power!” It’s amazing how easy it is to grow up thinking that you do not have that power. You begin to lose sight of what is real, what it really means to be a whole human being and what it means to have this original wisdom. The re-emergence of the felt experience of belonging in the larger consciousness (our collective interdependence and evolution), not only in our own lives but also in our connection to all things, compels action from all of us. Once we truly recognize that everything is connected to everything else, we become owners of a simple and tremendously valuable truth: that we each have the power to effect positive change. This spiritual understanding is the key to creating sustainable solutions to climate change.

Anita Sanchez, Ph.D., Aztec and Mexican-American, is a transformational leadership consultant, speaker, coach and author of the new book The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times (Simon & Schuster). She bridges indigenous teachings with the latest science to inspire and equip women and men to enjoy meaningful, empowered lives and careers. For more information, visit

This article was republished from Ensia.

See also:
How Community-Led ‘Rights Of Nature’ Initiatives Are Protecting Ecosystems
For The Love Of Earth

Astrological Forecast For Fall/Winter 2017 | Spirit of Change

Astrological Forecast For Fall/Winter 2017 | Spirit of Change


“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one” —Dolly Parton

Seeking to make sense of today’s world, so much seems uncertain or beyond reason. An elaborate chorale of cosmic forces have dominated recent months. One key motif is a harmony sounded by conservative Saturn and progressive Uranus. We are evolving, no matter how tough the going. High-minded Jupiter has also been opposing Uranus, straining reason and trust. Another major theme, a discordant square between Jupiter and Pluto, spurs endless debates. Disharmony between Uranus and Pluto, though now easing, still reverberates in power struggles and failing institutions. The stars present openings and opportunities, as well as challenges.

While the Saturn/Uranus trine points to a brighter future, not everyone is willing to go forward. Saturn represents fears, as well as the commitments we make to ourselves and others. Cautious in nature, the ringed planet respects the ways of the past yet also sets us to the task of patiently overcoming life’s obstacles. Uranus trumpets the promise of equality, liberty and fraternity, as well as the potential of emerging technologies. These days, too much rigidity is detrimental to progress.

Jupiter governs principles embodied in laws and religious teachings, as well as learning institutions like colleges and universities. Long distance travel and international relations are also ruled by the giant planet. With both Uranus and Pluto testing Jupiter, is it any wonder that so many longstanding relationships between nations and allies are in flux? Or that some of us feel confused? Despite living in an age of instant messaging and too much information, getting to the truth can be difficult.

Many of these trends continue into fall and beyond, but changes are afoot. As Jupiter begins a new chapter, entering Scorpio in October, Saturn heads into Capricorn as the year ends. Many new realizations, discoveries and commitments are made over the course of the forecast period. Be diligent and stay informed. Double-check stories and sources. Stand up for cherished principles.


A waxing Moon and a forceful fire sign grand trine between Mars and Mercury, Uranus, and Saturn give the first days of the month plenty of liftoff. The rush is on to squeeze every last bit of summer out of the fading season. The holiday weekend is fabulous for fun but keep a sharp eye on the road ahead when traveling, especially late Monday night.

As we return to work and school be prepared to cope with a succession of testing planetary changes. On busy Tuesday the 5th, the Virgo Sun opposes Neptune. Dreaming is good but some will balk at the prospect of facing workplace routines. Mars with its energizing effect enters Virgo just before dawn, helping many people prepare for the day’s demands. During the early morning, mental Mercury resumes forward motion. A new mindset is called for, one that encourages people to embody their better angels.

Later that night, at 3:03AM EDT Tuesday, the full “Harvest” Moon in Pisces is exact. Neptune stands close to the Moon. These stars and the opposing Sun in Virgo are parts of a nettlesome T-square to Saturn. The fire sign grand trine continues to support inspired artistry. Feelings are intense. Gratitude is transformative. There could also be treachery. Look to the future but be wary of those who would divert progress for their own selfish reasons.

The Sun continues into a restorative trine to Pluto late in the week. That same Saturday, the 9th, Mercury enters Virgo. Use heightened powers of discrimination wisely over the next few weeks. Know what is good for you and what isn’t. With Venus in a trine to Saturn on Tuesday the 12th, it should be obvious who is a true ally and friend, and who isn’t. If there are any doubts, the Sun’s square with Saturn on the 13th removes them. It is again time to be realistic about likes and dislikes, and break the patterns of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. A series of uplifting alignments follow.

Harmonious Venus aspects to Jupiter and Uranus open and close the jolly weekend of the 16th and 17th. It’s time to play and enjoy life. Moods grow more reflective as the lunar cycle winds down. The Virgo new Moon on Wednesday the 20th is an invitation to set priorities, plant seeds, make plans and with utmost care, start projects. Five planets are in discerning Virgo: Venus, Mars, Mercury, the Sun and the Moon. There is no point in hurrying. Ideas will evolve as horizon lines expand and contract.

The Sun enters Libra during the afternoon of Friday the 22nd. The Autumnal Equinox, with its perfect balance of daylight and darkness is upon us but the cosmos is sending mixed signals. One step forward, one step back. Mercury’s Monday morning square with Saturn may snarl traffic, underscoring the need for thoughtfulness. Use delays to reconsider and fine tune plans.

Around the 28th, Jupiter’s opposition with Uranus may set off a firestorm of disagreements and revolutionary movements. Pluto resumes forward motion the same Thursday, increasing the likelihood of reordered alliances.


The new month gets an almost instantaneous boost from Mars’ trine to Pluto on the 1st. Those with a will to succeed will not be held back. Partnerships are notably effective this week as Venus overtakes Mars and the two stars meet up at the full “Hunter’s” Moon in Aries on Thursday the 5th. Romantic passions simmer but then cool down over the following weekend. Testing angles leave some lovers feeling star-crossed on Sunday, and when the Sun and Mercury, traveling in tandem, test Pluto on Monday the 9th, a parting of ways could be in the works.

Jupiter begins a year-long visit to Scorpio on Tuesday the 10th, good news for native Scorpions. Sharing and healing are facilitated. Expect new insights into the behavior of partners. Look beneath surface appearances while Mars tests Saturn on the 11th, a day when frustrating morning delays can be costly.

Mercury takes center stage for a couple of days, zipping into Scorpio and conjoining Jupiter on the 18th. Be a watchful observer of obsessive thoughts and feelings. With a Libra new Moon on the 19th opposing Uranus, evolutionary forces are in play. Leaps in consciousness are likely. Political upheavals are also possible, especially after the Sun enters Scorpio on the 23rd and aligns with Jupiter. Squabbles over money and power may break out later the same week. Draw on inner reserves of strength and courage as you face day-to-day challenges.

The Halloween atmosphere, with its Pisces Moon, is suitably spooky. The lunar placement supports being in touch with spirits and delving into the great beyond. Fatigue could be a factor after dark as the Moon goes void-of-course.


Grace accompanies the waxing Moon as November begins. The Scorpio Sun slips into a comforting trine to Neptune while Venus aligns with Saturn to firm up ties. Not everything is peaceful because Venus is also in an edgy opposition with Uranus. Much comes to a head at the emphatic full “Beaver” Moon in Taurus, exact at 1:23AM on Saturday the 4th. Some partnerships crumble, the allure of freedom too strong to resist. The seemingly endless stream of scandals and corruption could reach new levels of absurdity. It’s easy to follow the money when the Sun makes a sextile to Pluto on the 9th.

Saturn forms the last of three trines to Uranus the morning of Saturday the 11th. The angle proclaims the usefulness of technology, provided that progressive voices have their say. Hopes are high and generous impulses flourish over the weekend, when Venus draws closer to Jupiter. The celebratory mood gives rise to strange bedfellows and unexpected partnerships. Appearances may be deceiving as Mercury is at odds with Neptune on the 13th. Don’t jump to conclusions. This and other mixed trends bring minor hurdles until Thursday the 16th when more loving and supportive vibes supply inner confidence. Put your insights to good use, working in tandem with partners on Friday the 17th.

A new lunar cycle gets under way the morning of the 18th. The Scorpio new Moon green lights new journeys and ambitions but with Mars testing Pluto, it’s best to proceed slowly and cautiously. Shift into high gear with the Sun’s arrival in Sagittarius on the 21st. Venus’ sextile to Pluto the same day mends hearts and eases rivalries. Mystical Neptune resumes forward motion the morning of the 22nd, leaving Uranus as the sole retrograde planet. It’s all systems go as Thanksgiving nears.

The holiday of gratitude unfolds under a void-of-course Moon. The relaxed mood is welcomed, and when the Moon enters Aquarius during the mid-afternoon the spirit of camaraderie is awakened. Mental Mercury’s weekend trine to Uranus spotlights possibilities and hopes, but when the Winged Messenger forms a conjunction with Saturn on Tuesday the 28th, it’s time to translate words into actions.


Venus darts into carefree Sagittarius during the wee hours of the 1st. Mars is making an explosive opposition to Uranus so it’s best to be on your toes. Look before you follow the longings of your heart. Saturday the 2nd sees Jupiter magically trining Neptune. Artists and mystics are tuned in to their creative guides. Humanitarian impulses are potent. Empathy is keen. Feelings are magnified by the approaching full Moon.

The “Cold” Moon in Gemini is exactly full at 10:47AM Sunday morning, December 3. It’s a busy day as Mercury also turns retrograde and the Sun and Moon joust with Neptune. Facts can be misreported or misunderstood. Make a point of communicating clearly. Ask lots of questions.

Thoughtfully, with much patience, provide answers. The dust slowly settles. By midweek Mercury is in conjunction with Saturn and sextile to Mars. Those willing to tame their ego in the interest of teamwork can make fabulous headway on the 6th and 7th. Mercury’s subsequent alignments favor a good deal of rethinking and renegotiating during the middle of the month. A fabulous new idea may surface around the 15th.

The new Moon in Sagittarius launches a busy new cycle of being and becoming on Monday the 18th. Close by Saturn, it’s time to apply lessons learned and set ambitious goals. Saturn then makes a significant shift on Tuesday the 19th, entering Capricorn for a two-year stay. The importance of institutions, especially the roles governments and corporations play, will be of increasing concern in coming months.

December 21st brings the Winter Solstice, the Sun’s arrival into Capricorn and the shortest daylight hours of the year. The Sun is also conjunct Saturn, necessitating a review of priorities and commitments. Some karmic lessons are complete. Be ready to walk away from ideas, things and relationships that no longer serve you. If you’ve been on the fence make up your mind as Mercury resumes forward motion on Friday the 22nd. The direction change is also a plus for weekend travel.

Monday the 25th, Christmas Day, sees Venus join forces with Saturn. Long time loves loom large under the alignment. Those who cannot be present are sorely missed, but be grateful for the love you’ve known and shared. As the year comes to a close cosmic energies surge with a waxing Moon. All eyes are on the future during a scintillating New Year’s Eve.


The Full “Wolf” Moon in Cancer is exact the night of the 1st. Excitement is palpable throughout the day. Like an old-fashioned Magic 8 Ball, dreams, reveries and ambitious resolutions arise, fade and resurface. Home and hearth are a cozy backdrop.

Social calendars remain busy and seasonal gatherings brighten the first two weeks of the year. Uranus, the visionary but unpredictable planet of community and friendship, returns to forward motion on the 2nd. Expect surprises. The Capricorn Sun and Venus form uplifting aspects with Neptune and Jupiter before joining up with Pluto on Tuesday the 9th. Love is a compelling, transforming force!

Life is challenging the weekend of the 13th and 14th. There may be last minute cancellations as Mercury passes by Saturn and first Venus, then the Sun tests Uranus. Be ready to adjust schedules and try to go with the uneven flow. Jupiter’s sextile to Pluto on Monday the 15th is a reminder to do the right thing. We all stand as humble equals before the Creator.

The new Moon in Capricorn inaugurates a new achievement cycle on the 16th. Once again it is time to set intentions for the coming weeks. Venus enters Aquarius on the 17th and the Sun follows, arriving in the sign of the waterbearer on Friday the 19th. The deepest part of the winter season is upon us, but the daylight hours are gradually lengthening. Thoughts may easily turn to seed catalogues and dream vacations while restless Mercury forms sextiles to Neptune on the 19th and Jupiter on the 25th. A Mercury/Pluto conjunction on Wednesday the 24th initiates a day of momentous decision-making.

Travelers and truth-tellers receive a boost when Mars forays into Sagittarius the morning of the 26th but plans and opinions may abruptly change when Mercury tests Uranus on the 28th. The month ends with a rare blue moon/lunar eclipse. On Wednesday the 31st at 8:27AM the Moon is full in Leo. Plans may again change but don’t let that stop you. Reclaim your joy. Let your light shine. Get in touch with innermost dreams and desires. Express your creative spirit and follow your passion!


The skies are calm as February begins. Friendships and community ties are bolstered by three planets in Aquarius, the Sun, Mercury and Venus. However, expect groundhogs and other prognosticators to disagree the morning of the 2nd. The Moon is at odds with Neptune and sleeping in may seem like a better option than facing the day’s chores. Social calendars are full the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd but don’t overdo it Saturday night.

Enjoy existing alliances and exciting new flirtations under a nifty sextile between Venus and Uranus on Tuesday the 6th. Another weekend brings another round of mind-expanding opportunities. Look, listen attentively and learn when the Sun tests Jupiter on Saturday, the 10th. Far away places and interesting concepts tempt the imagination as the lunar cycle ebbs.

More surprises come on Tuesday the 13th. Mercury is at odds with Jupiter while the Sun and Uranus harmonize. A quiet Valentine’s Day is fine for low-key lovers. It’s the last day of the lunar cycle. Keep your options open, as the new Moon of the 15th is also a solar eclipse. Things begun around the time of an eclipse rarely go as planned. Nevertheless, there are hopeful signs from on high. Success could depend on being inventive.

The Sun enters mutable Pisces on Sunday the 18th, bringing the first hints of spring. Magic is everywhere on the 21st. Venus conjuncts Neptune during the afternoon and the Taurus Moon gives her support to artistic efforts and expressions of love. Hunker down, simplify and expect a challenging Friday the 23rd. The going gets easier on Sunday afternoon. A gathering of family and close friends can be most enjoyable.

Life is again speedily bouncing along, as the Moon waxes full during the last days of the month. Hearts and minds are resilient but be sure a situation is right for you before making a commitment. Keep looking up!

Eric Linter offers a complete range of astrological services including readings, classes and his “On Top of the Stars Monthly Guide” for making inspired career and personal decisions. Contact Eric at and read his daily forecast on the Spirit of Change homepage at Meet Eric at the Natural Living Expo for his talk “Making the Most of Today’s Stars: Guidance For All 12 Signs” on Saturday, November 11 at 11:30am.

Psychedelic Medicine Is The Topic For Discussion By Marco Torres, Prevent Disease | Spirit of Change

Psychedelic Medicine Is The Topic For Discussion | Spirit of Change

There is a growing body of evidence that some psychedelic drugs can be used to treat a variety of conditions. The potential, the people and the politics are all up for discussion.

Many researchers have been interested in the idea that psychedelics facilitate communication across the brain and, more specifically, how the default-mode network in the brain, arguably science’s best biological correlate of the self, normally works to constrain this.

Psychedelics” are substances with the ability to expand human awareness beyond our normal modes of perception. Some may be the most amazing substances known to humanity, so potent that just 1/10,000th of a gram can send one on a journey beyond time and space, beyond life and death.

Psychedelic Treatments

Carhart-Harris performed the UK’s first clinical trial of psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — for treatment-resistant depression. It was a small trial with no control group, but the results gave cause for optimism, with 5 of the 12 participants no longer clinically depressed three months after the treatment.

In other psilocybin research, one dose was found to help people with life-threatening cancer face death. Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic concoction drunk for centuries as part of religious rituals in South America, has also been found to improve hard-to-treat depression. It contains the psychedelic compound dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

The vine is usually mixed with leaves containing the psychedelic compound DMT (diemethyltryptamine). It causes hallucinogenic experiences, and is made up of a chemical compound that already occurs within the human body endogenously (as well as in a number of plants). This means our brains are naturally set up to process the compound because it has receptors that exist specifically to do so.

While research into psychedelics is still thin on the ground, a meta-analysis of six studies carried out between 1966 and 1970 concluded that LSD was as effective as the standard treatment for alcoholism.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease published results from the first study of LSD’s therapeutic potential in humans to appear in more than four decades. The controlled, double-blind study, which was conducted in Switzerland under the direction of Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser, measured the impact of LSD-assisted psychotherapy on 12 people with life-threatening diseases (mainly terminal cancer). “The study was a success in the sense that we did not have any noteworthy adverse effects,” Gasser says. “All participants reported a personal benefit from the treatment, and the effects were stable over time.”

LSD reduces connectivity within brain networks, or the extent to which nerve cells or neurons within a network fire in synchrony. LSD also seems to reduce the extent to which separate brain networks remain distinct in their patterns or synchronization of firing. Overall, LSD interferes with the patterns of activation in the different brain networks that underlie human thought and behavior.

And Ibogaine — derived from the iboga plant — has been used to treat heroin addiction. MDMA, or ecstasy, was found to help people who have experienced trauma.

Psychedelic drugs are not physiologically addictive and they are not necessarily that pleasurable either. “People often say, as our patients did, that this isn’t a moreish drug. It’s certainly not a hedonic drug,” says Carhart-Harris. “Some even challenge whether it’s a drug of recreation; maybe it’s a drug of exploration.” People taking such substances can have intense and disturbing experiences — aka a bad trip.

Mind And Brain

There are a wealth of ideas about what goes on in the mind after someone takes a psychedelic substance. One is that the ego — your sense of yourself as a separate entity — dissolves, as the brain’s “default mode network” goes offline, and brain areas that do not normally communicate with each other start working together.

Such drugs may also make our minds more malleable and open to new ways of thinking about the world and ourselves, which could help to break the negative patterns often associated with depression. Psilocybin may even offer a window into the consciousness of babies.

Brain scanning technology has allowed objective neuroscience to start catching up with the subjective experiences brought on by psychedelics. Scans have helped us discover that people who under the influence of psychedelic drugs show more diversity in their patterns of brain activity than people who had not taken the drug.

Recent work may have found out how LSD creates its long-lasting trippy effect. And brain scans of frequent ayahuasca users suggest that the visions it induces appear to be as real as anything the eyes actually see. Yet a psilocybin trip may be similar to a dream — they look similar in an fMRI brain scanner.

The People

Many creators of psychedelic drugs famously tested their products on themselves first. Alexander Shulgin, considered the world’s foremost “psychonaut” is among those featured in our gallery of self-experimenters.

Some people hope to derive benefits from psychedelics without the tripping, by taking a low dose daily. Proponents say it improves their work-life and mood. Janet Lai Chang, a digital marketer in San Francisco, who took microdoses of LSD with her breakfast to help her deal with social anxiety. And one of our journalists took part in a trial of MDMA, which included getting his brain scanned after taking the drug. It was quite an eye-opener.

The Politics

In 2009, David Nutt was dismissed as chairman of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. A week after his dismissal he wrote an editorial for New Scientist, urging the UK government to “take careful note of the evidence and develop a rational drug policy.” He lamented that “Some politicians find it easier to ignore the evidence, and pander to public prejudice instead.” Nutt’s editorial provoked a big reaction from our readers.

In the UK today, the many obstacles to psychedelics research prevent scientists from uncovering medical benefits that could destabilise the UK government’s tough stance on drugs, according to Ian Dunt, editor of

While psychedelic medicine is experiencing a nascent renaissance, particularly in the US, the ascension of US President Donald Trump has sparked worries of a renewed so-called “war on drugs.”

Despite this, the renewed interest in psychedelics science, and the necessarily painstaking nature of today’s researchers, make it unlikely that this genie will be squashed back into its lamp any time soon.

This article was republished from Prevent Disease.

See also:
Magic Mushrooms Finally Being Accepted As Viable Treatment For Depression
A History of Medicinal Mushrooms

The Future Of Power By Carol Bedrosian | SPIRIT OF CHANGE

The Future Of Power

Published: October 4, 2016

The late, great historian Howard Zinn wrote in Failure to Quit: Reflections of an Optimistic Historian: “The struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral favor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage and patience.”

I was invited to attend “The Future of Power Dialogue” evening program at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston last week. The Future of Power is a global initiative that explores the future of power — both personally and collectively — through a combination of talks, dialogues and meditation. The program was initiated by Nizar Juma, the chairman of over 50 companies in Africa and Canada. He partners with the Brahma Kumaris, a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. The FOP dialogues have been held in over 60 cities in India and Australia over the past six years, and are now extending to several cities across the United States.

From the World Economic Forum to Harvard Business School, leaders are embracing the idea that reflective practice and inner awareness — defined as soft power — are fundamental to effective leadership in our times. In his new book Subtle Activism, author David Nicol, PhD, catalogues the scientific research linking inner power and social change. Although a hard, survival-based power structure has dominated humanity for thousands of years, a shift in current thinking about power is underway as women share more equally in positions of leadership, and concepts like mindfulness training and diversity awareness are becoming mainstream.

At the event, Mr. Juma shared his extensive experience working with both hard power (guns, laws, money, corruption, privilege) and soft power (cooperation, meditation, humility, courage, truth) and how soft power could readily shift the world. Small group dialogues inspired additional ideas about power. A personal 10-point plan of action to stimulate and encourage soft power in our lives was offered:

1. Control your thinking — We cause such damage to ourselves with negative thinking. Install traffic control over your thoughts; this means to check throughout the day — are my thoughts negative or positive? Are they wasteful or powerful? The more thoughts you have, the less powerful the intellect.

2. Stop anger – Anger causes stress, fear and anxiety. It increases the number of thoughts in the mind and thereby reduces the power of the intellect to respond accurately. Anger depletes our inner power.

3. Meditate daily — This is the most important step. Meditation teaches you to reduce the number of thoughts you have and increase the power of your intellect. Meditation is vital to developing soft power.

4. Don’t give sorrow – Be aware of the words you speak and the actions you perform; they will cycle back to you. If I give sorrow, at some point I will also have to take sorrow.

5. Don’t take sorrow — When others are trying to give you sorrow or sharing the sorrow that they have in their hearts, be careful not to take it on yourself.

6. Stop the blame game – We are responsible for our own thoughts and actions. No one else is to blame.

7. Schedule a meeting with yourself daily — We have become so busy we sometimes forget to take reflection time.

8. Manage your energy well – Break regularly to refresh yourself. This keeps your energy level full instead of going into depletion.

9. Do something selfless everyday — Ask yourself: how can I be of help to someone today? Do this for no reason other than to please someone or to give someone something they need. This simple act will change your thinking process.

10. Control over-dependence on technology — Create an experiment for one day to be without your phone and computer. Can you do it?

“Human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives…To live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” — Howard Zinn

Carol Bedrosian is the publisher and editor of Spirit of Change Magazine.

Experience meditation with the Brahma Kumaris at the Natural Living Expo in the Experience Meditation Room, November 12-13 in Marlboro, MA.

See also:
10 Powerful Affirmations That Can Change Your Life
Second Sight

Astrology Forecast for Fall 2014 By Eric D. Linter

 “The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” — William Butler Yeats

Astrology Forecast for Fall 2014
By Eric D. Linter

August 19, 2014

The trees tell autumn’s tale. From the lush greens of early September to the first flaming leaves, and then finally November’s bare branches, the changes are stupendous. Seaside tourist towns and forest campgrounds seem suddenly deserted, abandoned to hardy locals and the ghosts of summers past. For millions of folks it’s time to stow away summer toys and get back to school or work schedules.

Fewer hours of daylight and the Sun’s passage through Virgo announce that the harvest season has arrived. A mouthwatering cornucopia of apples, pumpkins, corn, squash and other victuals can be seen piled high at an ever increasing number of regional farm stands and markets.

New England’s September and October skies are some of the year’s most perfectly clear and blue. Perhaps it is the Sun’s mid-September arrival in Libra, the sign of beauty and harmony, that stirs my reverence for Mother Nature’s artful handiwork. Who can resist stopping to admire a stately maple adorned in yellow and red? As the Sun orbits lower in the sky, shadows seem to caress treetops, buildings’ faces and other objects of interest. Get out, enjoy the season and celebrate this glorious world we live in.

The unofficial end of summer is early this year. Monday, September 1st is Labor Day. It’s mostly a quiet affair. On the 2nd, after some early morning stresses, agreeable aspects help people ease back into the flow. Life seems a splendid adventure. The Virgo Sun is moving into a beneficial sextile with Pluto during this period. Exact on the 3rd, the aspect may be profitable for some and occasion profound learning experiences for others. It generally supports teamwork. Life’s pace accelerates as the Moon is waxing.

The full “Harvest” Moon in Pisces is exact on Monday the 8th at 9:37pm EDT. Expect the usual histrionics as well as notes of sublime tenderness. A trio of oppositions underlines the rules, or lack of rules, in various engagements. Protect assets. Take time to ponder important decisions. I generally advise against making major changes in the heat of full Moon madness. It will be several days before things quiet down. Even then, mixed trends persist through the middle of September. Mental Mercury in Libra is activating the dangerous Uranus/Pluto square.

Decision-making is easier after Mercury opposes Uranus the morning of Saturday the 13th. Later that same day Mars enters Sagittarius, stirring hearts and impassioning minds. Learning is encouraged and views are voiced ardently. Romance is in the air this weekend as well.

Stay alert and informed of your local weather around Sunday the 21st. Mars tests Neptune that day, increasing the risk of an accident or dangerous weather conditions. You cannot be too careful!

Pluto is also making waves. The diminutive but powerful planet of transformation turns direct Monday evening. At 10:29PM on Monday the 22nd the Sun enters Libra and fall officially begins. This is the Autumnal Equinox, the moment of balance between the forces of darkness and light. A political or business scandal may be a major story this week.

A fresh activity cycle arrives with the Libra new Moon of the 24th. Many new relationships will begin during the next two weeks. Evolutionary voices speak up when Jupiter forms a fabulous trine aspect to Uranus on the 25th. This aspect confers rare talents and genius. Unexpected travel is another good possibility. Broaden your horizons. Go ahead, try new things!

Mercury splashes down into stubborn Scorpio on the 27th and Venus alights in her own sign of Libra on Monday the 29th. These two shifts are late September’s most notable astrological events. Most of us will enjoy a quiet few days.

A stressful first quarter Moon in Capricorn is conjunct Pluto on the 1st. There are likely to be reports of bad behavior by all the usual celebrity suspects during the next week. The Libra Sun is also moving into a sensitive position, square to Pluto on the 4th and opposite Uranus on the 7th. Extremists thrive on this type of chaotic energy. It may seem as though the world has again gone bonkers. Mental Mercury turns retrograde on the 4th, as well. Making sense of insanity seems to be a full time job these days. But with Mercury in Scorpio, the sign of other people’s resources, following the money trail will clear up many mysteries.

Mars in Sagittarius makes fine aspects to Uranus and Jupiter during this first part of October. Truth will come out and with it, some things will be set right. The full “Hunter’s” Moon in Aries is exact on Wednesday the 8th at 6:51AM. This is also a lunar eclipse, with the Moon close to Uranus and her own south node. Karma is sure to catch up with many religious and political figures around this time. Our home planet is in a delicate state. Earthquakes and other global changes may be disruptive but good motivation for enacting new, environmentally responsible and socially just laws.

Travelers off on an adventure and lovers alike will benefit from the sextile aspects formed by the Libra Sun and Venus to Jupiter in Leo. These angles are about having fun. They hold sway from Friday the 10th through Tuesday the 14th. A string of upbeat alignments carry us through the middle of the month. Old friends are likely to reappear around the 17th, when Venus passes by retrograding Mercury.

The Sun enters Scorpio the morning of Thursday the 23rd. Venus follows suit during the early evening. At 5:57PM, the Sun is eclipsed by the new Moon. What a neat package. The Sun is tightly aligned with the Moon and Earth, and Venus in the mix, too! Tune in. Meditate. World financial markets are likely to shudder. As with every eclipse, it’s best to wait a few days for the dust to settle and circumstances to be clarified. The edification process begins in earnest on Saturday the 25th when Mercury resumes forward motion.

Mars begins an important transit through Capricorn, the sign of big business and big government, on Sunday the 26th. Reformers get a boost from trine aspects between Venus and the Sun to Neptune on the 27th and 28th. Artists and romantics can well appreciate the loving vibes. Halloween promises to be a festive one, but over-indulging one’s sweet tooth presents definite risks. Be kind to your teeth and your waistline.

As the new month arrives we are once again energized by a waxing Moon. Saturday the 1st features a relaxing morning and superb social indicators for the evening. A night on the town with a special someone or with close friends is a time to remember. We change the clocks back to Standard Time at 2:00AM Sunday. A solar sextile to Pluto on Monday the 3rd, the day before Election Day (Tuesday the 4th) suggests that incomprehensible amounts of cash will be invested in partisan politics. It’s time we pass laws that remove secret money from our nation’s elections!

The full “Beaver” Moon of Thursday the 6th is exact at 5:23PM. This is another powerful full Moon. The Scorpio Sun is conjunct Venus and Saturn while all three stars oppose the Moon in Taurus. Broken promises and unmet expectations weigh on many minds. Equitably sharing responsibilities as well as resources appears to be the solution to many problems.

Fiery Mars then takes center stage. On Monday the 10th the red planet overtakes Pluto. The conjunction can set off fierce struggles to determine who is in control. On the 12th Mars squares Uranus, triggering a new round of global instability. Other more promising aspects shore up fragile partnerships, but Venus’ conjunction with Saturn, also on the 12th, can signal a heart-breaking end for some relationships. Neptune turns direct on Sunday the 16th. Pay attention to dreams and subliminal messaging.

The Sun passes through its annual conjunction with Saturn during the wee hours of the 18th. Decisions carry the element of finality. While second-guessing will be tough to avoid, the odds are your choice is realistic. The Sun steps into Sagittarius and finds the Moon waiting the morning of Saturday the 22nd. This Sagittarius new Moon always kicks off the holiday season. Travel could be complicated this weekend as Mercury tests Jupiter. The 25th brings more snafus. Avoid journeying on that day if possible.

Friendships are warm but expectations are likely to be overblown the night of the 26th. Our national day of Thanksgiving sees fantastic influences. The Aquarius Moon is a plus for camaraderie and friendship. Helpful aspects to Uranus and Venus help spread joy around the dinner table and beyond into the community. Be ready for travel delays over the weekend. Missed messages and bad weather may again be critical factors as fleet Mercury tangles with Neptune. Err on the side of caution, and keep looking up!

Eric Linter offers a complete range of astrological services including readings, classes and his “On Top of the Stars Monthly Guide” for making inspired career and personal decisions. Contact Eric at Read Eric’s daily forecast on the Spirit of Change holistic magazine homepage at

This article appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Spirit of Change

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