An Oracle for Everyone

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Each one of us has an experience of being human that is particular to who we are at our core and what we’ve lived over time. But we also share with each other the peculiar experience of being human, of being a unique consciousness that exists within (and, arguably, without) a body on this planet and in three-dimensional space. Becoming aware of ourselves as existing with a body that is separate from the body within which we were gestated is one common aspect of being human. And once we find ourselves inhabiting a body of our own, we are tasked with learning how to care for and feed that body, which is another commonality of the human condition that we all share.

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.16.10 PMAnother persistent aspect of the human condition is a need for stability; a desire to keep things running smoothly with as few disruptions to our “normal” life as possible. Or, more accurately, no disruptions at all, ever! If you’ve lived as a human for any amount of time, you know that this ideal is far from the reality of everyday life. Most of us live through times of disorder and disarray in our personal lives. And most of us have thought, Wow, if only I’d seen that coming! Because if we had seen it coming, we could have been better prepared and being better prepared would have cut down on the chaos and confusion that resulted from not being prepared and then we could have sailed right through whatever it was like a champ!

Let the Dust Settle!

One method for getting a heads up on what’s coming our way is divination. Divination has been used by humans all over the globe and as far back as we have evidence for human life. There are countless forms of divination, ranging from Abacomancy (through Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.19.13 PMstudying dust) to Zygomancy (through studying weights). Consulting an oracle—someone or something that can connect with the deity(ies) or spirits—has a long history in human culture. You’ve probably heard of the Oracle at Delphi, even if you’re not sure of what exactly it was. Delphi was a location in ancient Greece where a priestess would go into trance and receive messages from the god Apollo. Those messages were interpreted by the priests of Delphi and delivered as prophecies to those seeking answers.

The Oracle at Delphi is probably the most well-known oracle system in western culture, but there are many other oracle systems from many other parts of the world. Some oracles weren’t people, but statues. Typically a representation of a god or goddess, the statue would move or speak or make some kind of sound that could then be interpreted by the experts in such things. In some oracle systems, like incubation, it was the person seeking the prophecy who was the oracle. They would sleep in a section of a temple or other sacred place (sometimes wrapped in a fresh sacrificial animal skin) and receive their answer in dream form.

One of the most ancient oracle methods comes from China and requires that a turtle shell or shoulder blade of an ox be inscribed with a question and then burned until it Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.05.44 PMcracked. The cracks were then interpreted and an answer transcribed. Many African cultures see the oracle as someone with a strong connection to their own spirit double. The diviner and their client may hold hands or both hold a stick and the movement of the hands or stick are interpreted for messages. Some diviners in certain African oracle systems work as pairs, using chains of seed shells cast on the ground, each interpreting the other’s chain and effectively “doubling” the answer. Some indigenous cultures in the Americas used grains of corn for Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.06.55 PMdivination, which were thrown onto a white cloth or into water. The kernels were then interpreted based on where and how they landed. This was actually a pretty common method in many cultures, with variations in what was thrown: sand, beads, shells, stones, bones, dice, and so on.

What’s Your Oracle?

Many of these oracle systems are still practiced today. The stars and celestial events (such as eclipses and comets) have been looked to for information about the past, present, and future by just about every known culture for thousands of years and is still widely accepted as valid or, at the very least, intriguing. Free of the stigma usually attached to tarot cards, oracle cards have become a very popular way of gaining insight into a situation or circumstance. The ever-increasing numbers of oracle card decks, featuring themes from a nearly countless number of inclinations and belief systems, speak to our enduring conviction that there is some way to know what’s happening next. And also to our boundless optimism that we can be, somehow, better prepared for it when it comes. 

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To hear more about oracle cards and how they can work for you, check out the latest Tarot Talk podcast.

If you want to learn more about the types of oracles discussed above, try these places:

Oracles and Divination

http://www.worldhistory.biz/ancient-history/58945-4-oracles-and-divination.html

http://www.psychicstudent.com/types-of-divination/

The Oracle at Delphi

https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/pythia-oracle-delphi-001641

Ancient Chinese Divination

http://www.indiana.edu/~e232/02-Shang.pdf

African Divination

https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/articles/summerautumn2013/silent-voices-african-divination

South American Divination

http://www.faena.com/aleph/articles/divination-by-means-of-maize/

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Thriving on Supplements by Janice Messino

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I live by the idea that the status of my health is mostly maintained by my lifestyle and, to some degree, my genetics. Even so, I know I miss the mark on a balanced diet on many days! To offset those less balanced days, I choose to support my health with specially chosen supplements that assure my body is getting what it needs—not just to live but to thrive. I am not alone in this quest to feel my best. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.00.07 PMAs consumers, we have been misled in a multitude of ways, but many of us have learned better. We no longer blindly accept a prescription; we now know to ask questions. We are learning how to take better care of our health in order to ward off the need for taking a pharmaceutical. We now have easy access to a great deal of health information, making us better-informed patients. And as patients, we have developed a preference for being treated as an individual, not a collection of symptoms. In other words, we have shifted our health paradigm and, in doing so, have become empowered. Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.00.28 PM

As we learn to take better care of our health, the supplement market has expanded to meet our newly-informed needs. This might explain why the supplements market is predicted to grow at a rate of almost 10% for the next seven years and reach a value of $280 billion by 2025. This upswing is, of course, driven by you.

Thriving–or just Surviving?

The late Dr. Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize-winning physical chemist and peace activist, was a wellness pioneer who strongly advocated for high-dose vitamin C for some specific conditions and for a better state of health overall. The daily amount of vitamin C recommended by Pauling was well over the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) set by the Food & Drug Administration. The RDA claims to be a “level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy people.” But, according to a study of 4,700 adults in the US that used only a modest health assessment, less than 3% of participants were considered healthy. If most Americans are not considered healthy, then the RDA’s guidelines inappropriate for most Americans. It seems that the RDA allows for just enough nutrients to sustain ourselves. Pauling campaigned for levels of nutrients that would allow us to feel our best and to thrive, not just survive.Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.06.03 PM

Pauling was not well liked by his fellow health professionals and was often called (at the very least) an unorthodox thinker.  Many years later, his research findings are taken more seriously. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “newer evidence suggests there might be something to Pauling’s heretical claims after all. In fact, a lot of the scientific literature published on vitamin C in the two decades since Pauling’s death support his claims.”

More than 170 million Americans take dietary supplements such as vitamins each year. According to the most recent report from the American Association of Poison control Center’s National Poison Data System (NPDS), not one person in the US died from taking a supplement in 2013. That’s not to say that there isn’t a quality difference between brands. There is! Many supplement companies take extraordinary pride in the production of quality products. To insure safety and effectiveness, supplements should be cleanly sourced and backed by scientific evidence. So, choose a high-quality supplement from a manufacturer and reseller you trust.

 Prescription Death

Unlike the safety of supplements, “about 128,000 people die each year from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death.” In light of the high degree of safety of supplements and the considerable number of well-documented deaths caused by prescription and over-the-counter medications, we might ponder why the FDA isn’t investing more time into making prescriptions safer and less time looking for the disadvantages of supplements.

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According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, prescription and over-the-counter medication accounts for close to 80% of the deaths reported by U.S. Poison Control Centers. Even seemingly-harmless acetaminophen, the ingredient in Tylenol and other pain-relieving products, has a dismal track record. The US Poison Control Centers report that “there are 100,000 calls to Poison Control and 56,000 visits to the emergency room, 2,600 hospital admissions, and nearly 500 deaths per year.” Deaths from properly-prescribed medications taken as directed are estimated at 2,460 per week. That number doesn’t even include deaths from prescribing errors, overdose, and improper use! Clearly, in a side-effects contest between vitamins, minerals, and other supplements versus prescription and over-the-counter medication, nutritional supplements come out on top!Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.19.07 PM

In my supplement-taking regimen, I make it a point to include supplements which can potentially raise my longevity. Cutting-edge research shows that NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a chemical compound found in every cell in our bodies, can promote longevity. NAD is said to slow down the aging process by “mitigating chemical stress, inflammation, DNA damage, and failing mitochondria.” Its neuroplasticity-enhancing effects can reverse some age-induced deterioration, such as the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. NAD seems to have the same wonderful longevity effect that is associated with calorie restriction and exercise, and we can’t get it from our diet, no matter how healthy our diet is. But we can take it as a supplement.

All the evidence points to the benefits of supplements, along with a healthy diet and moderate exercise, to make all the difference in our health and longevity. For more information on how to make supplements part of your wellness practice, contact Create Health, where we follow the latest research and carry only the finest supplements.

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Source for citations in order of appearance:

Global Dietary Supplements Market Industry Trends and Forecast to 2025. Data Bridge Market Research. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-dietary-supplements-market/

Mercola, Joseph. Was Linus Pauling Right About Vitamin C’s Curative Powers After All? Mercola. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/23/vitamin-c-curative-power.aspx

Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). National Institutes of Health. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

Preidt, Robert. Less Than Three Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle. WebMD. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20160322/less-than-3-percent-of-americans-live-a-healthy-lifestyle

Mercola, Joseph. Was Linus Pauling Right About Vitamin C’s Curative Powers After All? Mercola. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/23/vitamin-c-curative-power.aspx

Over 170 Million Americans Take Dietary Supplements. Nutraceuticals World. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2016-10-31/over-170-million-americans-take-dietary-supplements/

Light, Donald W. New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages. Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

Northrup, Christiane. Vitamins Versus Drugs: Which is Safer? Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.drnorthrup.com/vitamins-versus-drugs-which-is-safer/

Schroeder, Michael O. Death by Prescription. US News and World Report. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-09-27/the-danger-in-taking-prescribed-medications

Harrington, Stephen. Anti-Aging Mechanisms of NAD+. Life Extension Magazine. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2018/2/Anti-Aging-Effects-Of-NAD/Page-01

 

Our Love Affair With Pharmaceuticals by Janice Messino

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I wanted to write about “Big Pharma” (aka the pharmaceutical industry) and how the industry affects all of us. I didn’t realize that I was personally affected, especially since I believed that, with my education and background, I knew better. However, in the past I, too, had allowed myself to be taken in. It all started coming back to me—all the drugs that doctors had, at the very least, suggested that I take; the flood of free sample I had been offered,  diagnosis after diagnosis. This was all before I started to take a close look at how I could use supplements, diet, and lifestyle to diminish or remove the physical symptoms I was experiencing. I don’t recall ever being educated by doctors as to how I could help myself through diet and lifestyle. As it turns out, I am not alone. 

According to Fierce Pharma, 9 out of 10 drug companies spend more on marketing than on drug research. CBS News reported in 2016 that the pharmaceutical drug industry spends $5.2 billion annually on drug advertising, a jump of 60% in just four years. This would account for the nonstop ads for pharmaceuticals. All the ads end with the same phrase: “Ask your doctor” about this drug or that. Thus, your doctor is also subjected to an onslaught of pharmaceutical marketing in a variety of delivery methods to the tune of $24 billion a year.

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Sales representatives are the connector, foot soldiers in every drug maker’s attempt to reach us through our doctors. You might think that drug representatives would have a science or medical background, but this is not necessarily true at all. Pharmaceutical sales representatives do not come empty-handed. They visit doctors with samples (how many of you have been given these samples by your doctor who is overly positive about this new drug?), brochures and pamphlets, “swag” (branded products), personal gifts, and invitations to dinner. They may also invite a doctor to “educational” meetings where industry-paid doctors speak about particular drugs. Typically, these meetings are like infomercials; highly biased in favor of the drug with evidence taken from research that was designed, run, analyzed, and funded by the drug company itself. Sales reps are schooled only in promotional material, not in the science or medicine behind pharmaceuticals. To be fair, many doctors will take this into consideration.

The Crimes

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Most drug companies have been fined a substantial amount for ethical issues. For example, Seroquel, made by AstraZeneca, is an anti-psychotic intended to treat schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and has life-threatening side effects. It was being marketed for sleeplessness, dementia, and depression. This is known as going off-label and is a dangerous practice. When a drug is marketed for an off-label purpose, it has not been approved by the FDA for that condition and has not been studied for risks or dosages related to the condition. AstraZeneca did not admit any wrongdoing but settled for half a billion dollars, according to Lew Morris, former Chief Counsel for HHS office of Inspector General.

Just about every drug company has paid out for similar problems; it’s not just one drug company for one drug. According to the Corporate Research Project website,

  • Johnson & Johnson paid out 2.2 billion for criminal and civil allegations involving off-label marketing of a psychotropic drug and kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists to encourage off-label usage;
  • Eli Lilly and company agreed to pay 1.4 billion for off-label marketing of Zyprexa, another schizophrenia drug;
  • Glaxo Smith Kline was fined $3 billion for kickbacks paid to doctors and other health professionals to get them to prescribe and promote Wellbutrin (an anti-depressant) as not just an antidepressant, but as the happy, sex-drive-increasing, and skinny pill. 

This list is but a scratch on the surface of the myriad false claims, marketing fraud, and bribery payouts made by pharmaceutical companies. After all, pharmaceutical companies must make a profit and answer to their shareholders, but at what cost? If you would like to learn more about your doctor and their dealings with the pharmaceutical industry, go to Open Payments Data and search your doctor, hospital, or drug company for more information.

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http://www.revenuesandprofits.com

Sources for data in order of appearance:

https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing?page=0%2C1

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/drug-ads-5-2-billion-annually-and-rising/

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2013/11/11/persuading-the-prescribers-pharmaceutical-industry-marketing-and-its-influence-on-physicians-and-patients

https://www.i-lawsuit.com/seroquel-linked-serious-life-threatening-side-effects/

https://www.corp-research.org/jnj

https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/

https://revenuesandprofits.com/understanding-the-new-pharma-business-model/

 

Lies About Love

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Ah, sweet love!! We all know what it feels like to be in love, even if we’ve never actually been in love. How do we know?? Our media tells us so! Movies, TV series, magazine articles, websites, Facebook, cartoons, TV commercials, print ads, billboards, song lyrics, music videos, wedding pageantry, advice columns, greeting cards, probably even cereal boxes are eager to show us exactly what love looks like, who is supposed to have it, how to know when we have it, how to know when we don’t have it, and what to do about that. The moderators of culture are so eager to inform us about love that, by the time we’re 4 or 5 years old, most of us are fully informed on romantic love (although pretty far away from needing the information).

The Ideology of Intimacy                     Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 11.59.20 AM

Okay, so what are the hallmarks of true love? A group of sociological researchers outlined the following very specific expectations for intimate relationships that are recognized in our society as markers of that very special kind of love:

♥︎ One True Love

This tells us that there is one and only one perfect “other” out there for us; one person who fits us exactly for always and forever. This love is completely unique and irreplaceable. We must relentlessly search for the One and never let go once we’ve found them.

♥︎  Love at First Sight 

This is the idea that True Love can occur without prior interaction, that it is an on-the-spot choice that is clear and decisive. We either know it or we don’t and we can tell immediately. If that doesn’t happen, then what we have is just a passing fancy, not the Real Thing.

♥︎ Love Conquers All

With this aspect, all we need is love! We come to know True Love as the answer to all of our problems. Once we have met the One, we are transformed. It can be a means of salvation, a lifeline. True love also prevails over all obstacles and outsiders. There is nothing that cannot be solved once we have true love!

♥︎ Happily Ever After

This is the clincher—once we have found True Love, we will be happy for the rest of our lives. Unhappiness means that the person we’re with isn’t the One. True Love endures to the end of time and if it doesn’t, it wasn’t the Real Thing and we were just fooling ourselves.

I have no doubt that, if you have been exposed to mainstream Western culture, you are quite familiar with this way of thinking about romantic love relationships. It’s all so obvious, isn’t it? Sure it is! Until you actually fall in love…

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When we actually fall in love, we find that this model of love is full of holes. Real life almost never matches up to this ideal and when the ideal fails to happen, we may decide that we ourselves are unworthy of love or that we are unlovable. Belief in the Myth of True Love can bring about feelings of deep disappointment, frustration, anxiety, stress, depression, or anger. How is that good for us or our partner?

Let’s look at a different model, a model much closer to reality. I call this one the Truths of Intimate Love. Here’s how it goes:

♥︎ Many Loves & Ways to Love

The truth of love is that we can love many people in a variety of ways. We can—gasp!—have the same feelings of love and attraction for more than one person at a time and it doesn’t make us horrible people; it makes us complex, mulitlayered humans. We may also consider that someone who was “right” for us at one stage in our lives may be “wrong” at another stage in our lives. Again, that doesn’t make us horrible people!

♥︎ Love Grows As We Do

Love does not require a sudden illumination or dramatic moment of choice. It may happen by accident, or something that emerges from certain life circumstances, or even just by going along with whatever is happening. Not only that, but more often than not, love is ambivalent or confused. There’s so much to know about another person and so much changes all the time. Some days we’re all in; some days we’re not.

♥︎ Problems Happen

Love alone cannot solve our personal problems or problems in the relationship. Love is not the answer to dissatisfaction with out lives. Love can’t save us from ourselves, erase our destructive patterns, or resolve interpersonal conflict. That kind of thing takes applied intention and problem-solving skills. Relying on love alone will only dig the hole deeper.

♥︎ No Guarantees

Long-term love relationships require open, honest communication. To be in an enduring love relationship, we must be willing to negotiate, compromise, and change. True intimacy is contingent on the ongoing satisfaction of both partners and true happiness is found within. If we aren’t happy, the first place to look is at ourselves, not at someone else who is “making” us unhappy.

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If I’ve burst your True Love bubble, I apologize. I think it’s better that I burst it here rather than you having your rosy expectations come crashing down around you. It’s important to be aware of when your expectations for your partner or your relationship are coming from the Myth of True Love because the Myth is usually a set up for disappointment and disillusionment. Shift your perspective to the Truths of Intimate Love and you’ll probably find what you were searching for. Because your partner isn’t the problem—the myth is.

Interested in learning more about the different types of love? Tune in to Love Is In the Cards (https://www.greeninkradio.com/tarot-talk-with-mystic-kat-1/), for details on nine different kinds of love that we may experience in our lives.

Reference

Lantz, Herman R., Jane Keyes, and Martin Schultz. 1975. “The American Family in the Preindustrial Period: From Base Lines in History to Change.” American Sociological Review, February 40(1):21-36.

Is Sugar Dangerous?

by Janice Messino

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I was eating my daily square of dark chocolate (a quasi-nutritious snack), and it got me thinking. I know that sugar is poison, yet I have a little dark chocolate most days. I know that there have been studies on sugar dependence that have likened it to cocaine dependence. I did some further studying up on sugar and was quite surprised on several fronts. What a knowledge journey this has been! 

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says:

C12H22011“white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22011. The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21N04.  For all practical purposes, the only difference is that sugar is missing the ’N’ or nitrogen atom.”

Reuben is not the only researcher who makes this claim. This alone is disturbing, but the more I dug into it, the more compelling I found the scientific information about the dangers of sugar. I have now become completely turned off by sugar.

Sugar may be killing more people than cholera or cigarettes ever did. If history is any guide, the majority of people in the US will continue to eat or drink excess sugar, spiking their levels despite the life-shortening impact. The public has 

sugar mouth
 lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

been slow to give up their sugar addiction. What I find interesting are people who would not tolerate cigarettes or contaminated water, but have little concern about their sugar consumption. That’s how serious this is.

What’s So Bad About Sugar?

Sugar contains no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes. Sugar exists in many forms besides the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we find at the grocery store.  There are varying degrees of effects from sugar in all forms (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup) and we are consuming more of it than ever before.

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https://www.healthline.com/health/effects-of-sugar-on-the-body

Chronic sugar exposure has been linked to hypertension, Myocardial infarction (heart attacks), dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, fetal insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and habituation (if not addiction). Sugar is metabolized in the same way as ethanol, which is essentially fermented sugar. Thus, the effects of sugar consumption are the same as the effects of chronic ethanol exposure (habitual alcohol consumption); the only difference is that alcohol can lead to even more health issues than sugar.

The health issues related to sugar are not found exclusively in adults. Unbelievably, there is are obese six-month olds! Some researchers point to infant formula as the culprit. Similac infant formula is 43.2% corn syrup solids, and 10.3% sucrose. There is only a .2% difference in the amount of sugar in a serving of Coca-Cola verses Similac—imagine that! Parents who mean well are unknowingly harming their babies. High fat diets don’t hurt us; high sugar diets do, because they are metabolized as unhealthy fats. A low-fat diet may not really be a low-fat diet if there are sugars present in most of what you consume

Solutions for lowering sugar consumption

  1. Get rid of all sugared liquids in the house. Be sure to check all beverages, including juices. There’s no such thing as a good sugar-filled liquid! 
  2. Eat carbohydrates with fiber to slow the rate of absorption and reduce insulin response.
  3. Wait 20 minutes before taking a second portion.
  4. Examine all processed food for added sugar.

Why exercise is important

  1. It improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, which burns calories and brings insulin levels down.
  2. It reduces stress and stress and obesity go hand in hand.
  3. It lowers appetite.
  4. It detoxifies fructose, improving liver insulin sensitivity.
  5. It burns the food you eat so that it doesn’t become stored fat.

I have been shocked by my new understanding of the dangers of sugar to my body and to my family. For more information on how you can lower your sugar intake, thus lowering inflammation and improving your health, please contact me.

by Janice Messino ▪︎ Create Health ▪︎ (860) 970-7383

Sugar cubes on plate

Corliss, Julie. “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease.” Harvard Health Publishing, February 6, 2014. Updated November 30, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021

Reuben, David. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition. Avon Books, September 1, 1979.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth. University of California Television (UCTV). July 30, 2009  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM#action=share

What Will 2018 Bring?

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It’s the big question of the New Year—what’s to come?? Love and romance? Big adventure? More money? Better health? A new home? Great happiness? An appealing exercise regimen?? The possibilities dazzle our imagination, inspiring many of us to set intentions that we solemnly resolve to fulfill with fresh zeal and vigor starting January 1st and continuing throughout the year without fail.

How’s that working out for you?

Setting an intention to achieve a goal has been proven to work remarkably well. When we back a desire with our will and step into the feeling of what we want, we can change our lives. So why can’t we stick to our New Year’s resolutions?? Why does our zeal and vigor fizzle out before February even hits?

Some researchers say that we set big, game-changing resolutions at the new year and, indoing so, set ourselves up fpexels-photo-110473.jpegor failure. Sticking to large-scale goals demands a great deal of commitment and discipline. It’s pretty unrealistic to expect ourselves to suddenly turn on a dime and make all the big changes that we hadn’t been able to manage making any headway on all year. Other reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail are: impatience; not believing in ourselves; little to no social support; time management issues; financial difficulties; not having a plan; or focusing on the negative.

Now what??

First of all, the “new year” is only a new year because we’re told that it is. Western culture has created a division in time called a “year” and January 1 was chosen as its starting point. This is said to have started in 45 BCE with Julius Caesar, who changed the caesars-palace-las-vegas-hotel-casino-40655.jpegcalendar from lunar to solar and set January as the start of the year. The symbolism worked—Janus was the god of gates and had one face looking forward and one face looking back—but the reasoning was weak. January 1st was merely the day that the newly-elected consuls started their year-long term. After Rome fell, some countries set the new year on Spring Equinox; some set it on Christmas day; some set it on Easter. Pope Gregory put an end to the free-for-all by designing a new calendar (the Gregorian calendar, natch), and most of Western culture got on board eventually.

But what are the ramifications of setting the beginning of a new year based on political expedient rather than the wheel of the year? In the northern hemisphere, January is a terrible time for rebirth and renewal! The natural world is largely cold, bleak, and dead.Even in warmer areas, the days are shorter, the sun is weaker, and new growth falters.In the southern hemisphere, January is full blazing summer at its peak. The days are long, the sun is strong, new growth is all around, but it’s not the beginning of anything. It’s the climax before the denouement.

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Is the season the real reason?

Many cultures begin their new year in March or April, a time of year that seems, in the northern hemisphere, far more appropriate to new beginnings. In the southern hemisphere, however, March and April herald autumn and hint at the winter ahead. The new year there would more appropriately start in September or October. But no!! We can’t have half the world on a different year!! That wouldn’t do at all.

What’s a determined intention-setter to do?

The best way to set an intention and have it come to fruition is to follow your own calendar. Know your numerological influences and your astrological chart. Familiarize yourself with the general numerology and astrology of the day, week, month, and year. Set yourself up for success by working with the energy of the natural world and your sacred contracts rather than against them or in complete ignorance of them.

Get started with Mystic Kat’s podcast The Year to Come 2018 for a full year tarot card reading at greeninkradio.com. And maybe make yourself your own calendar à la Julius Caesar. What gives him the right to legislate your renewal? Take ownership of your transformation process and start the year on your own terms!

 

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Elevensies!

Infinity

 

It’s November 11 and that’s 11/11, even in the UK! Yeah yeah, you say, but so what? It’s just a set of two repeating digits. Whatever. In the larger scheme of things, those numbers don’t matter a bit. Do you think animals know what the date is? And what about places where dates are reckoned differently or not at all? And how do we know for sure that it’s really the 11th of November? Maybe somebody lost count way back when and it’s actually two days later?? At any rate, calendar dating is a human construct. Humans just made it up.

Calendar, Schmalendar

Yes, yes, that’s all true. Calendar dating (and time of day, for that matter) is a human construct and, although it’s based on the seasons of the year, basically random. The months could have totally different names and it will still be grim and bleak in the northern hemisphere in January. We could have assigned each day a letter or a symbol instead of a number and the moon will still cycle through its 28-day phases. Hey, it’s the 6th k’in of the 17th uinal in the 13th Baktun, according to the Mayan calendar. There’s no elevens in that!

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But, unless you live by the Mayan calendar or some calendar system other than the Gregorian (which is the most widely used and accepted international calendar system at this time), today IS November 11 because the accepted calendar—and the one you live by—says that it is. You’ve accepted it into your life, you schedule your workouts by it, you make lunch dates according to it; it’s yours!

Okay, okay, you say, fine—it’s my calendar, it holds meaning for me, sure. But only for organizing my life. What’s the big deal about today being the 11th day of the 11th month?

The Big Deal

Numbers aren’t just scratches on a page. Do you have a favorite number? A lucky number? Why? How can one number stand out as more or better than another number? I remember that, when I was a kid, there were several numbers I thought of as very friendly and others that I didn’t like because of their “sharpness.” Silly kid’s stuff or was I on to something? Something like numerology?? 

The most frequently invoked figure for the basis of the ideas behind numerology is Pythagoras. That’s right, of Pythagorean Theorem fame. A philosopher and mathematician in ancient Greece, Pythagoras believed that the natural world and the universe could be understood in terms of numbers. His studies revealed that everything that exists has a sort of underlying mathematical “signature.” If you’ve ever looked into sacred geometry or Fibonacci numbers, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, do it now!

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This idea goes beyond ancient Greece—many other civilizations have noted that all numbers emanate their own particular energy. And that mathematical signature of all things that I mentioned earlier? Many ancient peoples knew that the combined energies of all the numbers in that signature form a sort of vibrational symphony. The signatures of all that is, taken together, give us the song of the cosmos. That’s the Big Deal!

What Do I Do With That??

 

Well, first let’s take a look at the energy of 11. And then double it! Because it’s a double number, 11 is said to be a “master number.” It takes the vibration of the 1 and kicks it up a notch. An 11 as a doubled 1 has a very spiritual vibration and is sometimes referred to as the Spiritual Messenger. It brings messages of enlightenment, insight, intuition, and balance. But on 11/11, that doubled 1 becomes double doubled 1 and now we’re really kicking it up!

When it’s 11/11, it’s a good time to take a look at where you can begin to bring your life into better balance. Where does the see-saw of your life sit on the ground instead of float in the air? The 11th card of the tarot is Justice, the sign of balanced give and take. Does what you get out of each aspect of your life equal what you put into it?? Don’t be afraid to ask for more “give” from others—it’s very likely they they have been looking for a way to serve you! The human systems leans into equilibrium and your over-giving causes a dis-equilibrium that is felt on some level by all involved. And if they aren’t willing to equalize the give-and-take and are all set with their take-and-take, well, maybe it’s time to reassess that relationship.

How else can we work with 11/11 energy? Open up to your intuition. Look for ways to increase and embody your whatever spiritual practice you follow. Realign with your soul’s purpose. Work on opening your inner or third eye. Spend the day being super-aware of the symphony of the cosmos all around you by noting the signs and symbols that are being thrown into your path!

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Karen M. Black http://www.karenmblack.com/intuition-meaning.html

Yeah, But It’s Not 11/11 Anymore

Sure, okay, November 11 doesn’t happen every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work with the 11/11 vibration. Whenever you see the number 11, stop for a moment and breathe. Look around you, listen around you. Pay attention to the moment! Ask your guides or angels or inner being or who/whatever you turn to for guidance for a clear message. Reflect on what you’re dong in the moment you saw the 11 and ask yourself whether or not it’s in alignment with your truth and whether what you’re doing maintains or disrupts your balance.

The number 11 and the 11/11  combination are cosmic reminders. Even if it is later discovered that numbers have no vibrational pattern and no effect on the world around us, pausing to reflect and receive is a powerful tool for self-awareness, growth, and change. When 11 shows up in your life, make it your practice to become conscious, open up to your inner wisdom,  and show up in the present moment! It’s the little things that count the most.

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