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Help! I'm a Small-Group Leader!: 50 Ways to Lead Teenagers into Animated and Purposeful Discussions

by Laurie Polich

So you're leading a small group? Your small group can accomplish big things in the lives of your teenagers. And in Help! I'm a Small-Group Leader! you'll find methods and approaches you can use. Foibles and minefields to avoid. Solutions and tips that will help you nurture your small group into a growing community, whatever you goals. Inside you'll discover -- How to put small groups together - How NOT to lead a small group - How to start a discussion -- and KEEP IT GOING - How to ASK QUESTIONS that get responses - Three kinds of BIBLE STUDY questions to ask - How to work with DIFFERENT personalities in a small group - How to help you kids LEARN TO PRAY - 10 ideas for BUILDING COMMUNITY in your small group . . . and to top it off are 20 pages of questions (100 questions, to be exact) that you can use in your small group Bible study, on the most common subjects discussed in junior and senior high small groups. All this in a no-frills, straight-to-the-point style -- perfect for volunteer small-group leaders, or for youth pastors or youth directors to lead their staffs through.

Help! I'm a Junior High Youth Worker!: 50 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Ministry to Early Adolescents

by Mark Oestreicher

To Be a Junior High Youth Worker . . . takes a distinct kind of adult, just as junior highers are a distinct kind of people. Betwixt and between though they may be, early adolescents are as capable of a genuine spiritual understanding and growth as high schoolers. It’s just that junior highers absorb Bible teaching and demonstrate their spirituality—well, differently. Help! I’m a Junior High Youth Worker! is your primer for understanding young teenagers, then teaching them with a mind-set and with methods that fit them. First Things First. Three axioms that define your territory as a junior high youth worker. So Just What Is a Junior Higher, Anyway? The essence of early adolescence: the need for appropriate rules . . . the dilemma of throwing sixth graders and eighth graders together in the same program . . . small is good. Developmentally Speaking. Changes junior highers enjoy and endure cognitively, emotionally, socially, spiritually . . . their changing relationships with parents . . . individuation and hair under their arms. Time to Teach! Your required dose of pedagogy: the case for fun learning . . . ten top teaching topics for middle school ministry . . . how simulations, role plays, and storytelling can be your best teaching methods for early adolescents. Faith Outside the Youth Room. Spiritual discipleship for middle schoolers: they don’t have to be high schoolers to begin forming habits of prayers, service, and outreach. Help! I’m a Junior High Youth Worker! is help at hand surviving and thriving in ministry to early adolescents.

Sadhus: Holy Men of India

by Dolf Hartsuiker

An in-depth photographic study of the ascetic holy men of India• Includes more than 100 striking color photographs of Sadhus, their extreme austerities, and their holy festivals, including the Kumbha Mela• Examines the practices and beliefs of Sadhus from several different sects• Traces the historical and mythological roots of the Sadhus and shows how they have fundamentally shaped Hinduism since remote antiquitySpiritual adventurers, philosophical monks, naked ascetics, or religious transvestites, the Sadhus of India form a vital and unbroken link between the birth of yoga millennia ago and its present-day expression. Numbering in the millions, these mystic holy men are worshipped by the Hindus as representatives of the gods, yet they remain largely unknown in the West because they often live in far-off places, hidden from everyday life. In this full-color study of Sadhus more than 20 years in the making, photographer Dolf Hartsuiker illustrates the Sadhus’ world of ancient magical rituals, religious symbols, and ascetic practices. In his photographic quest across India, the author visited many holy places, attended religious festivals including the Kumbha Mela, and encountered and photographed thousands of Sadhus, befriending several as he was drawn into their inner circle. Sharing more than 100 striking color photographs from his travels, he reveals the Sadhus’ utmost devotion to their spiritual path through meditation practices, yoga exercises, penance, and austerities--sometimes taken to the extreme of prolonged self-imposed silence, bodily mortification, such as holding an arm above the head for years, or even ritual suicide--as well as their profound involvement with the mundane world as healers and teachers or magicians and sorcerers. It is a path of knowledge and devotion, renunciation and realization, sexual energy and spiritual power, divine intoxication and mystical union.The author examines the different beliefs and behaviors of each Sadhu sect, including the “sky-clad” Naga Babas, and traces their historical and mythological roots to show how they have fundamentally shaped Hinduism since antiquity. Revealing the powerful “otherworldliness” of the Sadhus, the author also exposes the mystical beauty that emanates from those who have chosen the path of asceticism in pursuit of knowledge of the Absolute and liberation from all earthly bonds.

Dental Herbalism: Natural Therapies for the Mouth

by Linda A. Straub-Bruce Leslie M. Alexander

A comprehensive practical reference to herbal dental care for all ages • Details the use of 41 safe and effective herbs for the mouth • Explores 47 common conditions that affect the mouth, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, acid reflux, and tooth loss • Provides recipes for herbal toothpastes, mouth rinses, pain-relieving poultices, and teas for prevention and daily care • Examines infant and toddler oral care, including remedies for teething and thrush Our oral health is intimately linked with our overall health and well-being. In this practical guide to herbal dental care, medical herbalist Leslie Alexander and registered dental hygienist Linda Straub-Bruce detail how to use 41 safe and effective herbs for the mouth for optimum oral health, prevention of decay and inflammation, and relief from pain and discomfort. The authors provide recipes for herbal toothpastes and rinses, poultices for pain and inflammation, and teas and tinctures for intervention, prevention, and daily care. They explain how recent research confirms the link between poor oral health and many diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. They examine the risk factors, symptoms, causes, and herbal preventives and remedies for 47 common conditions that affect the mouth, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, bruxism, acid reflux/GERD, and tooth loss. They explore the complete anatomy of the mouth and explain proper brushing, flossing, and tongue-cleaning techniques to prevent tooth decay and gum disease and maintain bridges, implants, and braces. The authors address the importance of diet and nutrition in oral health as well as controversial topics including fluoride. They provide an in-depth chapter on pregnancy, infant, and childhood oral care, including herbal remedies for teething and thrush. Ideal for those looking to improve their own oral health, herbalists looking to address the root cause of systemic inflammation, or dental professionals searching for natural alternatives, this authoritative yet practical guide empowers each of us to reclaim the health of our mouths and sustain a full, strong set of teeth for a lifetime.

Crystal and Stone Massage: Energy Healing for the Vital and Subtle Bodies

by Michael Gienger

A full-color guide to crystal massage for healing, energy balance, and stress release in the physical, emotional, and energetic bodies• Illustrates full-body massage techniques with crystal wands, crystal spheres, polished stones, and amber• Details the healing properties of more than 50 crystals and gemstones and how to select the proper one for a specific condition• Explains how to cleanse and recharge crystal, gemstone, and amber after each massage so energies are not transferred from one person to anotherIn this full-color illustrated guide, Michael Gienger, along with contributors Hildegard Weiss and Ursula Dombrowksy, details the energetics and healing properties of more than 50 crystals and gemstones for use in massage. The book explains how to select the proper crystal or stone to aid healing of a specific condition as well as for relaxation and stress release. It illustrates specific massage techniques with crystal wands, crystal spheres, and polished stones that best utilize the crystal or stone’s properties and shows how to perform a full-body massage that works on several levels--physical, ethereal, mental, and spiritual--depending on how the crystals are applied. Explaining how crystals absorb energy and information during a massage, the guide shows how to cleanse and recharge their energetic fields so energies are not transferred from one person to another. It also details how to rebalance and replenish your own energy after giving a massage.The book also includes a detailed chapter on the harmonizing effects of amber massage, complete with a step-by-step illustrated massage sequence. Amber’s unique electromagnetic vibrations make it especially conducive to creating homeostasis in the body and thus a beneficial addition to any crystal or stone massage practice. With this complete illustrated guide, anyone can enhance their massage practice or self-healing through the powerful effects of crystals, gemstones, and amber.

Norse Goddess Magic: Trancework, Mythology, and Ritual

by Alice Karlsdóttir

A practical guide to the magic of the feminine side of the Norse pantheon • Provides invocations and rituals to call each goddess forth for personal and group spirit work • Details the author’s trancework to discover the personalities and powers of Frigg the Allmother, wife of Odin, and the 12 lesser-known Aesir goddesses associated with her • Offers a comprehensive guide to tranceworking to connect with the deities Combining traditional research on folklore and the Eddas with trancework and meditation techniques, Alice Karlsdóttir was able to rediscover the feminine side of the Norse pantheon and assemble working knowledge of 13 Norse goddesses for both group ritual and personal spirit work. Detailing her trancework journeys to connect with the goddesses, the author reveals the long-lost personalities and powers of each deity. She explores the Norse goddess Frigg the Allmother, wife of Odin, along with the 12 Asynjur, or Aesir goddesses, associated with her, such as Sjofn the peacemaker, Eir the Healer, and Vor the Wisewoman. She shares their appearances in the Eddas and Germanic mythology and explains the meanings of their names, their relationships to each other, and their connections to the roles of women in Old Norse society. She provides detailed instructions for invocations and rituals to call each goddess forth for personal and group spirit work. She also offers a comprehensive guide to ritual tranceworking to allow anyone to directly experience deities and spiritual beings and develop spirit-work relationships with them.

Icelandic Magic: Practical Secrets of the Northern Grimoires

by Stephen E. Flowers

A practical guide to the magical systems of pre-Christian Iceland • Reveals spells and workings drawn directly from surviving magical books from the 16th to 20th century preserved at the National Library in Reykjavík • Explores the history of magic in Iceland through original translations of Icelandic folktales about famous magicians and about legendary grimoires, such as the Galdrabók, the oldest and most complete book of its kind • Explains how to personalize the spells through the creation of unique signs and symbols based on the mythic names of Odin and Icelandic magical alphabets During the Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages, many books of magic were lost as the ancient pagan traditions were suppressed. But in Iceland the practice of recording magical spells in books continued in secret for centuries, on a scale not seen elsewhere. Now housed in the National Library in Reykjavík, these surviving grimoires, which represent only a hundredth of what was lost, reveal a rich magical tradition that continued to evolve into the 20th century. Drawing directly from the actual surviving Icelandic books of magic, Stephen Flowers presents a complete system of magic based on Icelandic lore and magical practices from the 16th century onward. He explores the history of magic in Iceland in pagan and early Christian times and reveals specific practical techniques and ritual templates that readers can adapt to their unique purposes. Illustrating traditional Icelandic magical practices and the Icelanders’ attitudes toward them, he shares original translations of Icelandic folktales about famous magicians, such as the legend of Gray-Skin, and about legendary grimoires, such as the Galdrabók, the oldest and most complete book of its kind. After initiating the reader into the grammar and symbols of Icelandic magic through history and lore, Flowers then presents an extensive catalog of actual spells and magical workings from the historical Icelandic books of magic. These examples provide ready-made forms for practical experimentation as well as an exemplary guide on how to create signs and symbols for more personalized magical work. The author also includes guidance on creating unique magical signs from the 100 mythic names of Odin, which he translates and interprets magically, and from Icelandic magical alphabets, symbols that connect Icelandic magic to the ancient runic tradition.

Have You Ever . . . ?: 450 Intriguing Questions Guaranteed to Get Teenagers Talking

by Les Christie

Have you ever. . .? -Thought you were going to die? (When? Where? What brought you through it? - Been a teacher's pet? (What grade? How did you feel?) - Had a miracle happen to you? (What happened? Who did you tell?) - Said something you didn't mean just to be polite? (Why did you do it? What situation would cause you to do it again?) Inside are 442 more zingers like these, that nudge your kids' memories and get them talking -- perfect for launching small-group discussion, building community, getting a laugh and triggering hard thinking about situations and people that matter most to teenagers. Keep Have You Ever . . .? handy -- stick it in your pocket, your backpack, your car's glove box -- because you'll never know when you need a leading question to get conversation rolling with an individual or a group.

Glocalization: How Followers of Jesus Engage a Flat World

by Bob Roberts JR.

If you want to know where and how the church is going to grow, think local and global. Think glocal. Glocal is Bob Roberts’ term for the seamless connectedness between the local and global. That connection is affecting the church in ways that never could have been imagined in the first-century church, or even the twentieth-century church. And it’s creating unprecedented opportunities for individuals and churches—for you and your church—to live out their faith in real time across the world. Glocalization offers a vision of the unprecedented changes of our times and how they are impacting the church. Discover how these changes will transform the way churches define their mission and how Christians relate to one another and to the world. This provocative book turns the traditional mission-agency model upside down and shows how transformed people and churches can make a glocal (global and local) impact. Glocalization offers an exciting vision for churches and individuals who want to reach this changing world for Christ.

Girls' Ministry 101: Ideas for Retreats, Small Groups, and Everyday Life with Teenage Girls

by Whitney Prosperi

For Girls Only! Fact #1–Chances are that girls make up half or more of your youth group. Fact #2–Ministering to girls presents unique challenges and opportunities. Fact #3–Because of facts #1 and 2, you need Girls’ Ministry 101. This handbook on meeting your girls’ all-important spiritual needs will take you from zero to full speed as you: • Discover secrets of building relationships with teenage girls. • Explore your girls’ worlds. • Recruit and empower volunteers. • Create opportunities for young women to grow. Packed with insights and wisdom from youth ministers experienced in working with teenage girls, Girls’ Ministry 101 also offers ideas for finding and training the right woman for the job, events and retreats, questions to spark conversation, and much, much more. Whether you’re a man or a woman, a vet or a volunteer, Girls’ Ministry 101 will provide you with the tools to make sure that the love of Christ is effectively conveyed to the girls in your group.

Gimme Five: 500 More Ways to Get Your Students Talking

by Les Christie

With more than 500 prompts, Gimme Five is sure to get your students talking, thinking, and laughing as they name their five things—foods they hate, situations that make them cry, favorite television shows, and much more. You’ll find funny stuff, as well as hot issues and scenarios that’ll make your students dig deeper. Whatever route you choose, Gimme Fivewill spark fascinating conversations.

The Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales: The Alchemical Secrets of Mother Goose

by Bernard Roger

Hidden within age-old classic stories lie the hermetic teachings of alchemy and Freemasonry • Explains how the stages of the Great Work are encoded in both little known and popular stories such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood • Reveals the connection between Mother Goose and important esoteric symbols of the Western Mystery tradition • Demonstrates the ancient lineage of these stories and how they originated as the trigger to push humanity toward higher levels of consciousness In his Mystery of the Cathedrals, the great alchemist Fulcanelli revealed the teachings of the hermetic art encoded in the sculpture and stained glass of the great cathedrals of Europe. What he did for churches, his disciple Bernard Roger does here for fairy tales. Through exhaustive analysis of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, Perrault, and others, Roger demonstrates how hermetic ideas, especially those embodied in alchemy and Freemasonry, can be found in fairy tales, including such popular stories as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood as well as the tales attributed to “Mother Goose.” The goose has long been an important esoteric symbol in the Western Mystery tradition. The stories told under the aegis of Mother Goose carry these symbols and secrets, concealed in what hermetic adepts have long called “the language of the birds.” Drawing upon the original versions of fairy tales, not the sanitized accounts made into children’s movies, the author reveals how the tales illustrate each stage of the Great Work and the alchemical iterations required to achieve them. He shows how the common motif of a hero or heroine sent in search of a rare object by a sovereign before their wishes can be granted is analogous to the Masonic quest for the lost tomb of Hiram or the alchemist’s search for the fire needed to perform the Great Work. He also reveals how the hero is always aided by a green bird, which embodies the hermetic understanding of the seed and the fruit. By unveiling the secret teachings within fairy tales, Roger demonstrates the truly ancient lineage of these initiatory stories and how they originated as the trigger to push humanity toward higher levels of consciousness.

Harmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression

by W. A. Mathieu

An exploration of musical harmony from its ancient fundamentals to its most complex modern progressions, addressing how and why it resonates emotionally and spiritually in the individual. W. A. Mathieu, an accomplished author and recording artist, presents a way of learning music that reconnects modern-day musicians with the source from which music was originally generated. As the author states, "The rules of music--including counterpoint and harmony--were not formed in our brains but in the resonance chambers of our bodies." His theory of music reconciles the ancient harmonic system of just intonation with the modern system of twelve-tone temperament. Saying that the way we think music is far from the way we do music, Mathieu explains why certain combinations of sounds are experienced by the listener as harmonious. His prose often resembles the rhythms and cadences of music itself, and his many musical examples allow readers to discover their own musical responses.

Demons and Spirits of the Land: Ancestral Lore and Practices

by Claude Lecouteux

An exploration of the wild spirits that once roamed the lands and inhabited the waters and the pagan rites used to gain their good will • Explores medieval stories and folk traditions of brownies, fairies, giants, dragons, will-o’-the-wisps, and demons • Explains the specific rites performed to negotiate with the local spirits and ensure their permission before building on new land • Shows how these beliefs carried through to modern times, especially in architecture Our pagan ancestors knew that every forest has brownies and fairies, every spring its lady, and every river malevolent beings in its depths. They told tales of giants in the hills, dragons in the lakes, marshes swarming with will-o’-the-wisps, and demons and wild folk in the mountains who enjoyed causing landslides, avalanches, and floods. They both feared and respected these entities, knowing the importance of appeasing them for safe travel and a prosperous homestead. Exploring medieval stories, folk traditions, spiritual place names, and pagan rituals of home building and site selection, Claude Lecouteux reveals the multitude of spirits and entities that once inhabited the land before modern civilization repressed them into desert solitude, impenetrable forests, and inaccessible mountains. He explains how, to our ancestors, enclosing a space was a sacred act. Specific rites had to be performed to negotiate with the local spirits and ensure proper placement and protection of a new building. These land spirits often became the household spirit, taking up residence in a new building in exchange for permission to build on their territory. Lecouteux explores Arthurian legends, folk tales, and mythology for evidence of the untamed spirits of the wilderness, such as giants, dragons, and demons, and examines the rites and ceremonies used to gain their good will. Lecouteux reveals how, despite outright Church suppression, belief in these spirits carried through to modern times and was a primary influence on architecture, an influence still visible in today’s buildings. The author also shows how our ancestors’ concern for respecting nature is increasingly relevant in today’s world.

America: Nation of the Goddess: The Venus Families and the Founding of the United States

by Scott F. Wolter Janet Wolter Alan Butler

Explores how a secret cabal of influential families has shaped the United States according to the principles of sacred geometry and Goddess veneration • Exposes the esoteric influences behind the National Grange Order of Husbandry • Examines the sacred design and hidden purpose of the Washington Monument • Reveals how the three obelisks in New York City depict the stars of Orion’s Belt • Explains how every baseball diamond is actually a temple to the Goddess In America: Nation of the Goddess, Alan Butler and Janet Wolter reveal how a secret cabal of influential “Venus” families with a lineage tracing back to the Eleusinian Mysteries has shaped the history of the United States since its founding. The evidence for such incredible assertions comes from American institutions such as the National Grange Order of Husbandry and from the man-made landscape of the United States where massive structures and whole cities conform to an agenda designed to elevate the feminine within religion and society. The authors explain how the Venus families, working through the Freemasons and later the Grange, planned the American Revolution and the creation of the United States. It was this group who set the stage for the Founding Fathers to create Washington, D.C., according to the principles of sacred geometry, with an eye toward establishing the New Jerusalem. The authors explore the sacred design of the Washington Monument, revealing its occult purpose and connections to the heavens. They reveal how the obelisks in New York City depict the stars of Orion’s Belt just like the Giza pyramids and how the site of one of them, St. Paul’s Chapel, is the American counterpart to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Exposing the strong esoteric influences behind the establishment of the Grange in the United States, they connect this apparently conservative order of farmers to the Venus families and trace its lineage back to the Cisterians, who were a major voice in the promotion of the Crusades and the establishment of the Knights Templar. The authors conclude with the startling revelation that nearly every city in America has a temple to the Goddess hidden in plain sight--their baseball diamonds--exposing the extent to which the Venus families are still at work behind the scenes.

Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer

by Paul R. Boudreau Lloyd M. Dickie

Explains the relevance of ancient myths to the awakening to higher states of consciousness and enlivened experience of the world • Shows how higher consciousness can arise within each of us by following the guidance found in ancient myths • Reveals how myths influence our personal development without our awareness through their influence on our core values and culture • Examines ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hebrew myths, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Osiris and Isis In this study of ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hebrew myths, authors Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau show that many classic myths contain instructions for awakening higher consciousness, allowing access to enlivened experience of the world and awareness of the divine within and around us. Inspired by the work of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, the authors deeply examine creation myths and well-known ancient myths from Mesopotamia and Egypt, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Osiris and Isis. They reveal that these myths are not behavioral morality tales but actual delineations of how a higher order can arise within each of us. The authors explain how these stories teach us to distinguish the heaven within from the earth within us, to find the essential part of our being that provides a link with our higher powers. Spending more than a year onsite in Egypt to personally connect with the myths, the authors explain how ancient storytellers intentionally chose myths as a vehicle for teachings because story has a seed-like capacity to implant itself in the unconscious and influence development without the individual being aware of it. By crafting these sacred narratives, the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians provide tools to awaken to the presence of higher consciousness as well as a road map for the individual to come into conscious alignment with the perpetual unfolding of the universe.

Conversations with Jesus: Getting in on God's Story

by Youth For Christ

Help your students hear what Jesus has to say to them Following the Youth For Christ 3Story® model of evangelism, this 60-day devo presents Scripture to students in daily letters from Jesus. They’ll learn to abide in Christ and connect their own story to God’s story through the daily readings and journaling opportunities. In this daily conversation they’ll discover their role in God’s story.

Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel: Faith, Friends, and Festival Queens

by Brooklyn E. Lindsey

Who you are and who you want to be don’t always match up. Like most teenage girls, you’ve probably spent lots of time in front of the mirror wondering what you’ll be when you grow up—or dreaming of who you’ll become. Is it a supermodel, an actress, a dancer, or is it a businesswoman, a mom, or even a pastor? Brooklyn Lindsey grew up dreaming of being a supermodel. She even had a chance to do some modeling and became a festival queen. Her experiences taught her a lot about what she did and didn’t want in life. But it wasn’t until she became a youth pastor that she realized God had already set her “supermodel” dream in motion. God had plans for her to be a different kind of “supermodel.” God has a plan for you, too—and it’s probably bigger than anything you could ever imagine. Read along as Brooklyn shares stories of triumph and tragedy as an aspiring model, and learn how your faith and your friends play a significant role in who you are and who you’ll become. In Confessions of a Not-So-Super Model you’ll begin to reshape the way you see yourself and the way you dream. You’ll discover that being a supermodel doesn’t always require fabulous hair and a great figure.

Choose Your Top 3: 500 Dynamic Discussion Starters to Get Your Teenagers Talking

by Brian Schulenburg

This collection of 500 discussion prompts will get your students laughing, thinking, sharing, and getting to know each other. From the silly to the insightful, these “Top 3” choices are great for icebreakers, time killers on road trips, and much more. Here’s a smattering of what’s inside: • What are your top 3 fast food restaurants? • What are your top 3 fears? • What are your top 3 cartoon characters? • What are your top 3 names of God? While these prompts may seem elementary, they are effective, efficient ways to get inside your students’ heads and hearts. Think of them as gateway questions that can lead to deeper revelations of what’s really going on with your kids.

Frontiers of Psychedelic Consciousness: Conversations with Albert Hofmann, Stanislav Grof, Rick Strassman, Jeremy Narby, Simon Posford, and Others

by David Jay Brown

In-depth and well-researched interviews with the leading minds in psychedelic science and culture • A curated collection of interviews with 15 accomplished scientists, artists, and thinkers, including Albert Hofmann, Stanislav Grof, Rick Strassman, and Charles Tart • Explores their profound reflections on the intersections between psychedelics and a wide range of topics, including psychology, creativity, music, the near-death experience, DNA, and the future of psychedelic drug medical research After many dark years of zealous repression, there are now more than a dozen government-approved clinical studies with psychedelics taking place around the globe. But what does the future hold for psychedelic research and the expansion of consciousness? In this curated collection of interviews with pioneers in psychedelic thought, David Jay Brown explores the future of mind-altering drugs, hallucinogenic plants, and the evolution of human consciousness. The accomplished scientists, artists, and thinkers interviewed in the book include LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann, psychologist Stanislav Grof, DMT researcher Rick Strassman, anthropologist Jeremy Narby, MAPS founder Rick Doblin, ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna, psychologist Charles Tart, and musician Simon Posford from Shpongle, as well as many others. Demonstrating deep knowledge of his interviewees’ work, Brown elicits profound reflections from them as well as their considered opinions on the future of psychedelic drug medical research, God and the afterlife, LSD and mysticism, DMT research and non-human entity contact, problem-solving and psychedelics, ayahuasca and DNA, psilocybin and the religious experience, MDMA and PTSD, releasing the fear of death, the tryptamine dimension, the therapeutic potential of salvia, and the intersections between psychedelics and creativity, ecology, paranormal phenomena, and alternate realities. In each interview we discover how these influential minds were inspired by their use of entheogens. We see how psychedelics have the potential to help us survive as a species, not only by their therapeutic benefits but also by revealing our sacred connection to the biosphere and by prompting people to begin on the path of spiritual evolution.

Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition: Customs, Rites, and Ceremonies

by Nigel Pennick

A practical guide to the magical history, customs, and practices of pre-Christian Northern Europe • Details the everyday magic of the Northern Tradition, including household magic, protection spells, and the significance of the days of the week • Explores direct natural magic, such as shapeshifting and soul travel, and talismanic or sigil magic, including runes and rituals to unlock the power of crafted objects • Explains how many of these customs continue to the present day In the pre-Christian societies of Northern Europe, magic was embedded in the practical skills of everyday life. Everything in Nature was ensouled with an inner spirit, as was anything made by hand. People believed in magic because it worked and because it was part of the functionality of their day-to-day lives. Many of these practical observances and customs continue to the present day as rural traditions, folk customs, household magic, and celebrations of the high and holy days of the calendar. Exploring the magical pagan traditions of the people now called Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, Slavonic, and Baltic, Nigel Pennick examines the underlying principle of the Northern Tradition--the concept of Wyrd--and how it empowers the arts of operative magic, such as direct natural magic and talismanic or sigil magic. Through direct natural magic, individuals can shape shift, journey out of the body, or send one of their three souls (fylgia or “fetch”) ahead of them. Sigil magic involves the powers contained in objects, which can be channeled after the appropriate ritual. Runes are the most powerful sigils in the Northern Tradition and were used to ward off illness, danger, hostile magic, and malevolent spirits. Emphasizing the importance of the cycles of Nature to the tradition, Pennick explores the eightfold sun dials and the four ways the solar year is defined. He looks at the days of the week and their symbolic association with different deities as well as why particular acts are performed on certain days and what the customary lucky and unlucky days are. He also examines sacred spaces, household magic, protection spells, and the role of music in the Northern Tradition. Explaining all the traditional holidays and activities necessary to honor them, Pennick shows how anyone can participate authentically in the magic of the Northern Tradition if they take care to do things properly, with respect, and on the right day.

High Society: The Central Role of Mind-Altering Drugs in History, Science, and Culture

by Mike Jay

An illustrated cultural history of drug use from its roots in animal intoxication to its future in designer neurochemicals • Featuring artwork from the upcoming High Society exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London, one of the world’s greatest medical history collections • Explores the roles drugs play in different cultures as medicines, religious sacraments, status symbols, and coveted trade goods • Reveals how drugs drove the global trade and cultural exchange that made the modern world • Examines the causes of drug prohibitions a century ago and the current “war on drugs” Every society is a high society. Every day people drink coffee on European terraces and kava in Pacific villages; chew betel nut in Indonesian markets and coca leaf on Andean mountainsides; swallow ecstasy tablets in the clubs of Amsterdam and opium pills in the deserts of Rajastan; smoke hashish in Himalayan temples and tobacco and marijuana in every nation on earth. Exploring the spectrum of drug use throughout history--from its roots in animal intoxication to its future in designer neurochemicals--High Society paints vivid portraits of the roles drugs play in different cultures as medicines, religious sacraments, status symbols, and coveted trade goods. From the botanicals of the classical world through the mind-bending self-experiments of 18th- and 19th-century scientists to the synthetic molecules that have transformed our understanding of the brain, Mike Jay reveals how drugs such as tobacco, tea, and opium drove the global trade and cultural exchange that created the modern world and examines the forces that led to the prohibition of opium and cocaine a century ago and the “war on drugs” that rages today.

The Science of the Rishis: The Spiritual and Material Discoveries of the Ancient Sages of India

by Vanamali Pujya Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha Maharaj

A complete introduction to Sanatana Dharma, the spiritual science of the Hindu sages • Examines how many core concepts of Hinduism, including Brahman, Atman, bhakti, karma, and reincarnation, relate to modern science • Explores the scientific discoveries of the rishis, ancient Vedic sages, and how they have only recently been rediscovered by Western scientists • Reveals the concepts of quantum physics hidden within the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the Puranas Called “the scientists of Hinduism,” the rishis of ancient India were the scribes of the Vedas. They developed the spiritual science of Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, as their way of ensuring the constant renewal and progress of India’s spiritual tradition and culture. Sanatana Dharma permeates every aspect of Hindu culture, from religion to the arts to the sciences. Woven within its Vedic texts lie all of the essential concepts of quantum physics and other modern scientific discoveries. Providing a complete introduction to the science of Sanatana Dharma, Vanamali reveals how the core concepts of Hinduism, including Brahman, Atman, bhakti, karma, and reincarnation, relate to modern science and how the scientific discoveries of the ancient rishis have been recently rediscovered by the West. She examines the scientific principles within the classic stories and texts of India, including the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the Puranas. Within the teachings of the ancient Puranic sages and saints such as Valmiki and Vyasa and legendary physicians and mathematician-philosophers such as Aryabhatta and Varahamihir, the author reveals great scientific truths--not those believed by the ancient world, but truths still upheld by modern science, particularly quantum physics. She explores Desha and Kaala (Space and Time), Shankara and his philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, and the Hindu sciences of mathematics, astronomy, and Vedic astrology. In illustrating the scientific basis of Hinduism and the discoveries of its sages, Vanamali provides a window into the depths of this most ancient spiritual way of life.

In the Company of Sages: The Journey of the Spiritual Seeker

by Greg Bogart

Explains how to successfully navigate the process of initiation, instruction, testing, and self-transformation under the guidance of a spiritual teacher • Explores how to approach a teacher for initiation and the importance of gauging your inner response and feeling of trust and resonance with the teacher • Discusses the process of separating from a spiritual teacher and how to negotiate the emotional conflicts that can arise at this stage • Shares the author's experiences with several remarkable teachers and details lessons learned through testing and confronting doubts and fears In the search for inner awakening and self-realization, a spiritual mentor can be key to advancement. Yet the process of finding an authentic spiritual teacher who resonates with you can be daunting, especially for anyone who has had a negative experience with a guide. Exploring the emotional nuances of mentoring relationships, Greg Bogart details the path of spiritual apprenticeship: the process of aligning with a teacher, establishing a dynamic spiritual practice, and the later stages of separation and finding the teacher within. The author explores the importance of gauging your inner response and feeling of trust and resonance with a teacher and your readiness to receive initiation. He explains how the teacher-student relationship affects the student’s state of consciousness over time and how most students eventually need to become independent from their spiritual guides. Describing emotional conflicts that can arise at this stage, he shows how wise teachers accept our need to separate and graduate while immature teachers try to thwart and control us. Openly sharing his own personal journey, the author illustrates the lasting resonance of his encounters with several provocative spiritual mentors, including Swami Muktananda and Dane Rudhyar. He discusses how some fierce teachers practice "crazy wisdom" to confront our doubts, fears, and fixations and to activate our dormant potentials. Examining practices in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist Yoga, Sufism, and Jewish and Christian mysticism, he also explores the deeper mystical aspects of the guru-student relationship. The author shows how, ultimately, initiation leads the spiritual seeker to find the teacher within and how this can naturally lead to teaching others. Describing nine stages of the spiritual seeker’s journey, the author affirms that a direct path to self-liberation is still attainable through initiation and instruction in the company of sages.

Chew on This: 31 Biblical Devotions into the Heart of Christ

by Dave Ambrose

If you’ve ever watched a dog chew on a bone, you’ve probably noticed how hard she concentrates on it—turning it over, getting a stronger grip, digging her teeth into it. She knows that the best meat is at the center of the bone, so she keeps chewing until she gets to the really good stuff. Believe it or not, that’s not too different than what it means to meditate. Meditation essentially means to chew on something over and over again. Chew on This provides you with something to chew on that will take you deeper—to the really good stuff. The more you chew on Scripture, the more you allow it to nourish you and give you strength. But even more than that, it draws you closer to the God who created you and wants to be in a relationship with you. During this month long devotional, you’ll walk through guided meditations, journaling opportunities, Scripture to chew on, and questions for reflection. All these experiences will help you discover Christ in your everyday life and grow closer to God. Take a big bite and chew on God’s Word for a while. See how good the “good stuff” inside can really be.

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