I hope you are alright today. This edition of the magazine is the largest by far so far, but it wasn’t planned that way – it just happened! Anyone can send stuff to be considered for publication as long as it’s not offensive and/or racist. Also if anyone wants to place a free advert in the magazine please contact us at: email@example.com Dean
MY NOT VERY SERIOUS STARS
Scorpio 24 Oct – 22 Nov
Your bedroom needs redecorating this month if you want to impress someone you fancy. Hot chocolate may prove to be a better treat at the end of the day than endless glasses of wine. A good time to grow a moustache.
Sagittarius 23 Nov – 21 Dec
You may not be able to get a perfect job at the moment but doing something is arguably better than doing nothing. It is a good time to buy some colourful pyjamas and start going to bed before midnight. Only make a promise if you know you can keep it.
Capricorn 22 Dec – 20 Jan
Although your life seems futile at the moment, don’t despair, as some of your plans will come to fruition this month. An obsession you have needs addressing immediately otherwise it will start to take over your life. A woman with a squint may cause problems for you.
Aquarius 21 Jan – 19 Feb
A person you have always considered to be wise will surprise you with their extreme stupidity and naivety. If you are lonely it is a good time to purchase a yellow budgie. Should you be spending so much money on taxis?
Pisces 20 Feb – 20 Mar
This month is a good one to try and stop smoking if that’s what you want to do. A scratch card will win you a bit of money. It is important to start carrying a clean handkerchief. Change your diet and give your bowels a break.
Aries 21 Mar – 20 Apr
An American tourist will bore you with her bragging, but ignore this as they have the potential to become a good friend. After your birthday, you should start a fitness regime so that you turn yourself into a lean, fighting machine.
Taurus 21 Apr – 21 May
A rich woman may introduce you to new experiences that will enrich your life. Consider shaving your head for a worthwhile charity. Maybe you should now switch to smoking a pipe.
Gemini 22 May – 21 Jun
This month will see a marked improvement in your mood and life will seem worth living again. A new lover will soon come along if you take positive steps to meet someone new and keep an open mind.
Cancer 22 Jun – 23 Jul
Someone with one arm will try and sell you an inferior car but don’t be fooled by their smooth patter. A pregnant woman may really need your help at the moment, but be careful not to get too attached as this would lead to disaster.
Leo 24 Jul – 23 Aug
A transvestite will show you their kinder side and make you respect them. A relative will put you under pressure to get married but you must do what suits you and not just try to please them. Consider changing your shampoo.
Virgo 24 Aug – 23 Sep
It is a favourable time to start looking for a new house and a new start in life. Someone offers to lend you a considerable amount of money but politely refuse as their will be strings attached that will compromise you. Make the best of any sunshine but remember to protect you skin.
Libra 24 Sep – 23 Oct
Why not consider booking a holiday in your own country this month? The third Saturday of the month will be a good time to put your life’s savings on a hot tip someone in the pub gives you. Also consider taking a foreign lover.
ROBIN FISHWICK TALKS A BIT ABOUT HIS WORK AND LIFE (photograph by Maria Alzamora)
Robin, can you tell me a bit about yourself? I was born in Uttoxeter, a small market town in Staffordshire. My family moved to Chesterfield just before my 7th birthday and I came to Leeds in1978 to study Social Policy and Administration at the University. I stuck here ever since. I got involved with the University Folk Society through friends in the late 1980’s where I got to know Matthew McIntyre. He and I were housemates when we were asked to collaborate with Mel Richardson – the late Melvis Paisley- in a production of Beowulf and there I met Sarah Reardon who was playing harp. She was considerably younger than I was and I tried to give her plenty of time to realise her mistake, but she didn’t and 7 years later in 1999 we married. We now have two daughters Rosa (12) and Grace (10) and live in “LILAC” a straw bale co-housing scheme in Bramley, Leeds.
What do you do for a living? I have two jobs which are quite different: I work part time as a Housing Support Worker and part time as a Quaker Chaplain and as the Co-ordinating Chaplain for the Universities’ Chaplaincy in Leeds – that’s for the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.
I have worked in homelessness since 1998, first in hostels and now with a project called the Sinclair Project which provides supported housing for homeless people with drug issues.
Do you think we do enough for our homeless as a society? When I started in 1998 I came to realise that people resorting to homeless hostels were people who had reached a crisis point. We were being presented with an opportunity to intervene in someone’s life when they were forced to reach out for help. It wasn’t just a matter of getting them a council flat – those were still in abundance in Leeds then – it was looking to find ways of helping them thrive once they were rehoused.
So we would be looking at how to ensure they had support with mental health or substance issues once we left them. In other words, homelessness is not just a problem in itself; it is the tip of the iceberg of brokenness and vulnerability. It’s bad enough that now accommodation is becoming harder to find, less adequate and more expensive, but the underlying problems that feed into homelessness are receiving less and less attention.
And the Chaplaincy was that something you always wanted to do? Ha! Ha! Yes, in a way – although life never goes to plan. I was always a religious sort of person, and growing up as a Catholic, had the sense that I ought to become a priest when I grew up. By the time I came to Leeds, I was already aware of some of the diversity of faith, both within and beyond Christianity. I would worship regularly at the Catholic Chaplaincy, Oxford Place Methodist Church and at Emmanuel Church, which at the time was the Anglican Chaplaincy. I also attended services with my Jewish friends. But Emmanuel became my spiritual home and I joined the Church of England with the intention of studying for the Anglican Priesthood. Well, it didn’t happen, and to cut a long story short, 10 years later I joined the Quakers.
I have definitely found my spiritual home in Quakerism, but it wasn’t a good career move as we don’t have a Quaker clergy. By this time I was working for Leeds City Council managing the Travellers Sites, and in 1998 I started working with homeless services. When I was first asked by Leeds Quakers to be a Quaker Chaplain to the Universities it was a voluntary appointment and I worked it round my time off as a hostel worker. It still is a voluntary post but the Chaplaincy Trust now pays me an honorarium for my work as Co-ordinating Chaplain, so I’m there for a lot more of the week. I’m very fortunate in this and in practice much of what I do as a chaplain is generic and mostly I am engaging with non-Quaker staff and students.
Was it pacifism that attracted you to Quakerism? I know you have protested about military action and Trident. More the other way round, probably. I’ve always been opposed to nuclear weapons; I really cannot see how their use ever can be morally justified. But when I first joined the Quakers, I would not have called myself a pacifist. It was the freedom from doctrine which really attracted me to Quakerism. We are a community that is united by something other than any statement of faith we all can agree on.
There are strands in Quaker thought which we pay heed to – we call these our “testimonies”. These are equality, truth, simplicity and yes, peace – but even then, there is no insistence, say, that you declare yourself a pacifist before you can join. But these ideas gradually sink in, and one tends to lead to another. If you believe that we are all of equal worth it becomes harder to justify war, which sets our lives as more important than others. I think that becoming a Quaker has made me look more critically on war as an instrument. I still can’t guarantee that there will never be an instance when I might consider a military intervention to be morally justifiable, but so far I’ve only seen a whole succession of military actions which have gone on to make the situation worse. And as for nuclear weapons, how can anyone, anyone ever justify unleashing a nuclear missile? Even in “retaliation”, the toll of death and suffering on those in no way responsible for the initial action is far too high. And there is so much woolly language like “nuclear protection” or “nuclear umbrella” when of course you are no safer being a nuclear power than not.
You have also campaigned for refugees; do you think Britain is in a position to accept endless numbers of refugees when we are just a small island? I think that fear is a bit exaggerated; there are many smaller and poorer countries than ours who have a much, much higher proportion of refugees than we do. If we have insufficient resources to provide for our population why are we focussing our attention on a few thousand refugees and not on a birth rate that is increasing again? Is it because if you get people to blame foreigners for the fact that the welfare state and NHS are struggling to cope with demand then they won’t ask awkward questions about big businesses not paying taxes and public assets being sold off on the cheap to friends of the government?
But there’s a deeper issue than this which is about humanity not politics. We live on a planet which has finite physical resources such as fossil fuels, minerals and environmental resilience. We do, however, possess resources that are almost limitless, such as passion, imagination and generosity of spirit. Unfortunately we are still living as if the former are limitless and the latter has to be rationed. It is this pettiness that I object to more than anything; the idea that we cannot afford to be generous and we have “enough to worry about” with issues closer to home. I believe the exact opposite; we can’t afford to be small minded and unless we address problems on a global scale we will not prevent them coming to our doorstep.
How many instruments exactly do you play? Not so many as some people think. Basically I can play recorder and get a tune out a lot of things that play like a recorder; tin whistle, bombard, cornemuse, crumhorn, rauschpfeiffe, racket, shenai, zurna, xaphoon, dvojnice, halluci, gralla and ocarina. The other thing I play is guitar and so ukulele, guitarlele and timple. That might seem a lot but I’m hardly a virtuoso on any of them. I do like the different qualities of sound and if I’m playing at an open mic night I can often give people a break from guitar songs.
What do you think happens when we die – is it the final end? I often find myself thinking about eternity, but not in the sense of carrying on for ever. The idea of an afterlife where I would continue to exist as I do now seems to me quite oppressive and narrow. No, I think of eternity as a way of being that is not bound by time. We live together in this cosmos occupying the same present moment as everyone and everything else in it. And we move forward in time at the same rate as everyone and everything else. But time as we know it and experience is not the ultimate reality; it is a finite, physical entity. And yet sometimes we get glimpses of a way of being that is truly timeless. The odd thing is that we often get these glimpses when we are being fully present in the moment.
The other odd thing about this life is that it is segmented; I have my life and you have yours and we each experience “my life” in a way that is more real than the rest of life – even though it’s such a tiny part of it. And yet when we become less bound up in ourselves and give ourselves over to something beyond ourselves – throwing ourselves passionately into something – that’s when we are fully being.
So I suppose I have faith in a way of being that is transcendent of time and transcendent of my own separateness from the rest of existence. I really love this life but I am not afraid of it being finite.
I am of the opinion that free bus travel for OAP’s in Britain should be scrapped and a nominal fee of say 50p per journey should be charged – with the money raised going to help an ailing NHS. It is ridiculous that people are travelling around for free when they could easily afford to contribute something.
I am writing to say that I find vegetarianism and veganism to be illogical as it is normal for one species to eat another species. We are human beings and thus head of the food chain, so we should eat things lower down it. I do however, think that animals should be well-treated and their death made as painless as possible.
Andrew Young, Shrewsbury
Young people driving, is something that irritates me as they often drive in a reckless and selfish way. I do think the age to drink and to drive should be raised to 21. I also think that older drivers should be re-tested etc. for many older people are unfit to drive.
Joanne Forster, Leeds
Does anyone agree with me that the BBC licence fee should be immediately scrapped? The BBC is no longer value for money and advertising is now the way of the world. Don’t we have enough bills to pay?
Dianne Marsden, Birmingham
I am British and think countries like Australia should stop being so exclusive and stop making it so hard for people to emigrate there. Ironically, in Britain we are flooded with often unskilled immigrants and this is also unacceptable. Both Australia and Britain need to find a happy medium.
Tony Smales, London
I think it is absurd that members of the House of Lords are allegedly paid over £300 for signing in for a day’s work in the Lords. It is a privilege and honour to serve in the Lords and it is wrong that already wealthy people claim money that is needed by the country.
John Winston, London
I may be accused of being a male chauvinistic pig but I don’t think the amount of media coverage given to women’s football in the UK is justified. It is a minority sport and is far inferior to men’s football.
Harold Morton, Cornwall
I just want to ask the British people: if we replaced the British Monarchy with an elected Head of State, who had nothing to do with politics, who would they choose? Also how long would they serve for?
Alison Monks, Bradford
I can’t understand all the fuss about what car you drive – for God’s sake it is only a lump of metal designed to get you from A to B. We are all basically the same and pursuing status is a waste of precious time and money.
Ali Friedrich, Coventry
THE FINAL BIT ABOUT MY LIFE BY BRENDA CONDOLL
When I was working everything was going smoothly – nothing to fear. I got a flat in Seacroft, Leeds and had it cleaned, decorated and furnished which took a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, things then began to go downhill and I became ill and had to go into a psychiatric hospital as I was seeing spaceships and hearing voices.
Time passed and I began to recover and got another job, but it only lasted for a while as I got ill again. Things got worse and worse and eventually I had to ask a Housing Association called St. Annes to help me as I knew they helped people with mental health problems.
I now take medication for high blood pressure, my nerves and also for my weak bladder and I seem to be coping with life okay. I have a support worker who comes to see me once a week and I have a friend called Dean who comes to Leeds for me and takes me over to Halifax where he lives. We often go for walks and these benefit me although I have pain in my back, knees and around my waist – I do pray my pain will go and I can live a fuller life.
By Mary Pate
Summer days are here at last
The chilly days of spring have past
The sun seems to make everyone smile
And maybe stop and talk a while
I stand and look and what do I see
My beautiful horse chestnut tree
It’s in full bloom and stands quite proud
It makes me want to shout out loud
Oh how I wish that all could see
My beautiful horse chestnut tree
ALASTAIR BISHOP TALKS ABOUT HIS LIFE
Alastair, can you tell me a bit about yourself? I originally come from South Shields on Tyneside. I left home to go to college and then went to work for the Civil Service in London, for twenty-two years. I then got a transfer to a regional office in Manchester and came to live in Hebden Bridge nineteen years ago. I became a ‘public spending cut’ in 2011 and took early retirement from the Civil Service.
I decided to become a massage therapist and make a professional practice out of something that had been a hobby for twenty years. I’d trained at a college in London and initially just gave it to family and friends – I had no aspiration to do anything else but when redundancy was offered, I thought I would do extra training and qualifications in massage and make a new career out of it. I am thoroughly enjoying myself doing it.
Are you married? / do you have any children? I’ve been married to Janet for twenty-nine years in Sept 2016. We have no children but we have a Labrador called Barney.
What first attracted you to massage? I was on the receiving end of a massage many years ago, in Turkey – the Turkish style of massage is like all-in wrestling and completely different to what’s available in England. After the massage, I felt absolutely great – a weird sensation of being extremely relaxed and extremely invigorated at the same time. So I turned to my wife and said that I was going to learn massage on our return to England. Consequently, I enrolled at night school in London and trained in the Swedish style of massage – you cannot study Turkish style massage in England, and in any case, it takes seven years to learn it!
How long did your training last? It lasted for a year at night school and that’s when I began to treat it as a hobby. But when I left the Civil Service, I did another year at Kirklees College, in Huddersfield, and studied more theory and refreshed what I had learnt before. I then enrolled on an advanced course in Sports Massage at the White Rose College in Leeds – and qualified. Also as an add-on, I studied for a qualification in Indian Head Massage which is not as heavy-duty as a Sports Massage but is very good for relaxation.
Who are your clients? It’s a real mixture of people. I do deal with sports injuries but I also have a number of fairly elderly clients because the techniques involved in sport injuries are also applicable to treat the aches and pains we all experience as we get older.
Where do you work? I do most of my work on a mobile basis seeing clients in their homes, but if clients prefer, I also see them at The Down To Earth Heart Centre in Hebden Bridge where it’s very relaxing and very welcoming.
Do you follow a faith? A good question. It’s hard to give an answer.
You have faith in Sunderland FC don’t you!? There’s a fan magazine for Sunderland called: ‘It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand’ and this sums up my attitude towards Sunderland!
I’m one of the ‘don’t knows’ and although I did have a church upbringing, I don’t go to church anymore.
Do you believe there is anything after this life? I’d like to think so but exactly what I’ve no idea. My mum used to read tea leaves and this has left me open-minded.
When you’re not doing massage, what do you like to do? I’ve been going to the gym regularly for twenty-five years; I’ve always been into sport and played a lot of rugby union, squash and badminton when I was younger. I also walk the dog most mornings and play bridge at Halifax Bridge Club.
What are your hopes for the future? I’m very happy as I am and may it long continue as I have a nice mixture of activities and of friends and family.
How can people contact you if they’re interested in having a massage?
FAITH HAS EYES
Written by Rumbi Mapanga
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:24-27 NKJV)
You might be surprised like I was when I first heard that faith has eyes. Yes I knew about faith but no one had ever explained to me that it had eyes.
Before I explain more about this I will first give you the definition of faith as it is defined in the bible: Hebrews 11:1 says that Faith, therefore, is the substance of things waited for, the evidence of things not seen. In other words faith is the blue print or title deed of things which you have waited for, which you haven’t seen as yet. Faith is what makes those things which are invisible, visible for example if someone book a hotel room in a faraway town and has not physically seen it, the only evidence that they will have when they finally reach their destination is the booking reference number which they got when they did the transaction. Indeed they haven’t seen the physical room but they’re assured that they have a room.
In the same way faith is the substance or weight of those things which you have believed God for. It is the title deed from those things which will come to pass at an appointed place and time. It is also important to note that really bible faith is based on the word of God, not man’s hearsay. The God kind of faith which I am talking about is based on what God said in His word concerning your situation. This means that you have to know His word for yourself.
Moses born a Jew, raised as a son to Pharaoh’s daughter, nursed by his real Jewish mother learnt, as a young boy, about God’s promises to Israel. How God was going to rescue his children from Egypt. He had all the privileges of a prince but he perceived the promises of God and considered them to be of more value than all the riches of Pharaoh. He considered the prize of the children of Israel being free to be a better reward than anything he could ever get or be given in Pharaoh’s house.
The bible said he looked at the prize. Woo wait a minute how could this be since the children of Israel were still in bondage? They were still bond servants making bricks for Pharaoh, their taskmaster who was still trying to make their life harder and harder, so how did they manage to see the reward (freedom for the Israelites)? How was this possible when nothing had changed at all? This was only possible because of His faith in the word which he was taught on his mother’s knees. His faith, trust and conviction that God’s word was going to come to pass made it possible for him to see what was to come. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised the children of Israel would come to pass and considered that to be the blue print of things not yet seen.
This type of faith with eyes to see is not only for Moses and those who are written about in the book of Hebrew, it is also available to us if we dare to believe God on His word that He will do what he has promised. I choose to see myself, through faith, that God has some good plans for me and that those plans will not to harm but prosper me. It might not look like it at the moment, but like Moses I trust the invisible God to perfect everything in my life so that I will have nothing missing or broken in it. Yes like David I am fully persuaded that the Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want therefore even if I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil for His hand and staff are there to comfort me and lead me in green pastures.
My faith in His Word is the blue print of all that I desire. What about you, what type of faith do you have? Do you have the faith with eyes to see what God has promised you? I dare you to go again at the word of the Lord and hold on to it with all that you have and wait on Him and see if His word will go back to him empty handed – for surely it will produce that which He intended it for. His promises are always yes and amen to those who believe. For He will never short change, leave or forsake you.
A COUPLE OF RECIPES FROM JUNE CHARLTON
Moggy (This is similar to Parkin)
Ingredients: 2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
A pinch of salt
2 oz of margarine
2 tablespoons of treacle
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of carbonate of soda in an egg cup full of
Method: Rub the margarine into the dry ingredients. Add
Egg, milk, treacle & carbonate of soda. It should be
Runny when mixed. Pour into a baking tin and bake in
A moderate oven for about 1 hour.
Coffee Walnut Fudge Cake
Ingredients: 6 oz margarine
6 oz castor sugar
Grated rind of 1 orange
3 large eggs
6 oz S Raising flour sieved with 1 ½ tsps. of baking
1 tsps. mixed spices
6 oz currants
6 oz sultanas
6 oz raisins
2 oz glazed cherries washed and halved
3 oz whole blanched almonds
Method: Place all the ingredients except the whole almonds in a
Mixing bowl and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon
Until well mixed for 2-3 minutes.
Place in two 7 inch greased and bottom-lined sandwich
Tins. Bake in the middle of a very moderate oven (325F
160 gas) for 35-40 mins. Turn out remove the paper and
Cool on a wire tray. To fill and ice sandwich, put two
Cakes together with a little of the icing. Spread most of
The remainder on the sides and top of the cake.
Chop all but 8 of the walnuts and press around the sides.
Pipe the remaining icing around the edge using a star
Nozzle and decorate with remaining walnuts.
A RECIPE FROM A PROFESSIONAL CHEFSpaghetti Carbonara (Serves 4)
Ingredients: 100 g pancetta
50 g parmesan
350 g spaghetti
2 garlic cloves (peeled and left whole)
50 g butter
Pepper and salt to taste
Method: Boil water. Finely chop pancetta. Grate cheese and mix
Together. Beat the eggs and season with pepper.
Add 1 tspn of salt to water and cook spaghetti until
Al dente. Whilst spaghetti is cooking, fry the pancetta
With garlic in butter and cook for five minutes.
When spaghetti is cooked, drain and put in with
Pancetta. Take pan off heat and quickly add eggs and
Cheese. Mix together then serve.
- To make vegetarian version use mushrooms in place of pancetta.
LET’S HAVE A QUICK CHAT WITH THERAPIST KATE HERBERT
Kate, can you say a little about yourself? I’m a complementary therapist who supports you to heal yourself. I was originally a biology and environmental conservation lecturer who has a degree in Genetics and Microbiology. I then taught subjects like anatomy and physiology for nearly twenty years before I became a healer – so it’s a weird but necessary mix of experience that I have in my tool box. All my complementary health teachers have been scientists or medical doctors too. I do believe there is a need for western medicine, at times.
As a complementary therapist I will work with you through your medical treatment programme helping you to heal your body naturally at the same time. Thereby greatly improving your health, zest and zing for life. Although if you lead a balanced and healthy life, whilst working regularly with a skilled therapist, we can actually pick up imbalances and difficulties and eliminate them, before they become a disease.
Why did you become a healer? It was a shock to me. I went to El Salvador for a sabbatical year about ten years ago, but before I went I learnt Reiki healing. The Salvadorans at the Institute of Permaculture called me a ‘healer’ but I didn’t know what they were talking about. However, I worked with them for about nine months and lived with them, as they did, in a mud hut; helping them protect their local seeds and educating them about permaculture and sustainability.
When I came back to England I was unable to return to teaching as I had experienced so much of what we do here affecting people on the equator. It felt like wasted knowledge if I did not do something else – something more to do with people, local communities, nature and health for life. Examples of what I saw were the river drying up for three months of the year now, because of global warming. This is the water used for drinking, washing (body and clothes), cooking and cleaning. A vital resource to an indigenous community living on the edge. It was a wonder they were managing to survive. And their staple diet of tortillas and beans is sensitive to temperature change too. So other things such as vegetables and fruits needed to be grown to improve their health, their resilience and to keep famine at bay whilst preparing for climate change.
I went to Findhorn to join the community on my return from El Salvador. One weekend I attended a spiritual healing course. After I did my first healing on a fellow student I had a huge smile on my face, from the inside out, and knew then that I had found what I was born to do.
What kind of healing do you do now? I use lots of different modalities, on their own or in combination. Basically I do whatever you need, in consultation with you, using a method that feels right for you. One is Cellular Energetic Healing (the Barbara Brennan method) which is stronger than Reiki and entails pushing energy through the body – it is more shamanistic and allows you to focus on one specific part of the body.
I have also learnt Esalen Massage which originates from a centre in California where people get massaged on the top of cliff tops by the bay; it’s a really relaxing form of massage which is characterised by passive stretching; rocking movements; rhythmic, deep and flowing strokes; punctuated by deep tissue work and pauses for integration. It almost feels like you are having a workout but in a very relaxed way, as you simply relax through it while your body stretches and unwinds. It can be used for relaxation and relief from anxiety or for more medical problems such as back pain and whiplash injuries.
Could you offer any treatment for Bi-polar and OCD which are two conditions I live with? I think something called Vibrational Medicine would help you. I would treat you on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level – so a totally holistic treatment. You will be given an individual Vibrational Essence that you put on your body to allow it to heal itself.
The cause of the problem is treated, not the symptom. All remedies come from nature and nothing can harm you. Only good things come of this treatment.
Do you do any other types of therapy? I do but they are mainly grouped into massage, spiritual healing (such as Reiki) and Vibrational Medicine.
Do you follow a spiritual path? Yes, I meditate every day, lead a group healing meditation once a week and continually work on myself.
Do you belong to an organised religion? No, I don’t believe in religions as the problem with them is that they have had all these rules imposed upon them, which is nothing to do with the pure energy from the source they originated from. So I don’t believe in stuff like that; I believe in keeping myself pure and having a direct connection to the divine which is possible for any one of us.
Can you offer a definition of the divine? Oh dear. Not an expert on this and feeling way out of my comfort zone here. I believe in the energy of love and that the best healing is love. We must all try and stop the separation between all people. If we made decisions from the heart and tried to be more loving with each other seeing the humanity and beating heart in each other, the world would be a much more beautiful place, where even more magic and miracles could happen.
Would you like to add anything else? Yes, I’m taking a group of about twenty people to Cyprus in September, as I know there is a lot of spiritual work to do there. In the past, I have also taken spiritual tours to Cambodia and Scotland, for example.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future? I hope to continue to do this work. It is a huge privilege to see people’s health improving and see them going out of the therapy room door with a big smile on their face. I want to develop some of my techniques more and may need to write a book to get them more “out there”. To be a healer, you have to be very brave and very bold as there are many people who will just trash what you do straightaway. I wish people would be more open to these timeless, revolutionary and non-invasive techniques that cure people and make them infinitely happier. There is nothing to lose being open-minded about it. It still works whether you believe in it or not! You have everything to gain if you would like better health and more happiness.
How can people contact you? kateherbertenergyhealing.co.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07599722461
By Michael Blackburn
It is always a pleasure to write articles for Dean as I never get a ‘refusal notice’. It’s just a matter of what subject I choose.I could write about miracles which I have seen but everyone would think I was being deluded.
I could write about my Roman Catholic Faith but I could be accused of trying to convert. Heaven forbid! I recall Mother Teresa’s words “My hope is that Hindus will become better Hindus, Sikhs better Sikhs, Buddhists better Buddhists, Muslims better Muslims, Jews better Jews and Christians better Christians”. That is also my hope.So I have decided to write about the most massive thing: ‘The Universe along with Space and Space Travel’. Although it is fifty-five years since Uri Gagarin first went into space and forty-seven years since the first moon-landing these are still the very early days in the exploration of the Universe. Much has been written about what lies ahead but once I have used the known historical information I can use my imagination at all the possibilities.
The Universe is huge! That can’t be denied. How large? We probably don’t know. Our Galaxy is one of millions in the Universe and they all have millions or trillions of stars. Our sun is a star and as stars go ours is not a very special one except that without it we couldn’t exist. We are just far enough away from the sun for life, as we know it, to exist and survive.There is the often asked question “where did the Big Bang” come from? “Those who have religious affiliations will quote God while others prefer to consider the basic means for life to have come from asteroids crashing into the earth. I’m not getting into that argument – make up your own mind. But there is a mind-blowing thing to consider. Before the ‘Big Bang’ there was nothing. But ‘nothing’ means just that. Can we imaging nothing? To get to ‘nothing’ we have to take away space. We can’t assume that it was always there can we? Be careful; trying to imagine ‘absolutely nothing’ can be mind-bending!We start our space journey here on earth. Aristarchus (310B.C. to 230B.C.) was a man who was way ahead of his time. He was a Greek astronomer and mathematician who predicted that the sun was the centre of the then known universe and that the earth went around the sun. He also suspected that stars were other bodies like the sun. He even put the planets in their correct order around the sun. It was to be over 1600 years before he was proved to be correct. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy (85A.D. to 165A.D) didn’t agree and propounded the theory that the earth was the centre of all the celestial bodies and that the sun went around the earth. It’s easy to understand Ptolemy’s mistake. The sun rises every morning in the East and goes down in the West. From that it was assumed that the sun was going around the earth. What Ptolemy hadn’t understood was the earth was rotating on its axis and it was that which caused night and day.
In the 16th century Nicolaus Copernicus was training for the priesthood. At that time it was considered important for priests to learn about the stars. So Nicolaus studied astronomy. By watching the movement of the planets he realised that the sun, and not the earth, was the centre of the then known universe. Later it was realised that our sun is not in the centre but very much on the edge of our galaxy which is only one of many millions of galaxies throughout the Universe.
Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei refined Nicholaus’ work to prove that the planets did not travel in perfect circles but in ellipses. The Catholic Church did not like Galileo’s work. But they were not alone as Kepler found opposition among his fellow Protestants and Martin Luther condemned the new theory. Why were they so opposed? It was due to a literal interpretation of some bible passages. Psalms 93 and 104 give the impression that the earth ‘is set on its foundation’ whilst Ecclesiastic us 1:5 gives a similar impression. Interfering with the Bible was not acceptable. It cannot be denied that the Catholic Church was harsh in their treatment of Galileo putting him under ‘house arrest’ to avoid him spreading his ‘erroneous ideas!’.Since then hardly a month has gone by without a new planet or moon of a planet been discovered. As recently as April 26th 2016 an unnamed moon was discovered around the dwarf planet Make Make which is an icy world beyond the orbit of Neptune. Now the search is on for Planet Nine. This is due to Neptune being effected by a large force somewhere beyond it in space.Since the time of Galileo astronomy has advanced in leaps and bounds by Isaac Newton’s explanation of gravity followed years later by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.That’s as far as I want to go now. There’s a lot more to explore but if you’ve already had enough tell Dean and this will have been my ‘Swan Song’. Otherwise anticipate a further article in next month’s magazine.
May 2016. Ref Wikipedia.
Written by Brenda Condoll
As the spring comes to a close
We can look forward to a warm lovely summer
When we can sit out in the garden and sunbathe
Whilst watching the flowers, fruit and vegetables bloom in colour
We can eat ice creams and ice lollies, salads and barbecues
With baked potatoes; roast peppers and for the meat eater:
Roast chicken, drumsticks, beef burgers, pork sausage
And veggie burgers and veggie sausages for the vegetarian
Oh how I love the British summer if it arrives!
Hands up all those who have heard of Guido of Arezzo? I don’t see many hands going up. That doesn’t surprise me because before today I didn’t know of him myself. Armed with this vital information I feel duty bound to share it. Guido’s full title was Brother Guido. He was a Benedictine monk who invented the first musical notation.
Prior to his notation songs were memorized and passed down from family to family but there was always to possibility of the song changing. Someone might put their own interpretation to the song or sing a higher or lower note than the original. Over decades and certainly centuries the original song would be lost.
What Brother Guido did was to invent four parallel lines right across the page into which the notes could be placed. Placing them higher of lower indicated the way they should be sung. Now the original intention of the song was saved. His system meant that a pupil might learn in five months what had previously taken ten years to acquire.
At that time, church music such as the psalms had to be learnt by heart and it could take two to three years for a cantor to learn his trade. This was excruciatingly hard work and as mentioned above could lead to mistakes and corruption. Guido also invented the scale A B C D E F G. He received an invitation to visit Pope John XIX (1024 A.D. to 1032 A.D.) who saw the benefit of Guido’s work.
Later work would be done to add to and improve Guido’s work including minims and crotchets and the guidance of volume by P or F indicators. Nevertheless Guido had provided the framework.
Mozart once wrote that he would have given all his work for the fame of having composed the Gregorian Preface. He could not have even composed his own work had it not been for the zeal of the musical monk of Arezzo.
You can put your hands down now.
Michael Blackburn May 2016.
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ANNIE CONBOY TALKS ABOUT HER BELIEFS
Annie, can you tell me a bit about yourself? I’m an intuitive medium and psychic, a Reiki master and teacher, Crystal Singer and a spiritual counsellor.
What’s a Crystal Singer? I work intuitively to help promote people’s self-healing by the use of crystals. So a lot of the things that I do are based around helping people get the support and healing energy that they need. I trained as a therapeutic counsellor and work in a person-centred way and I also teach mediumship. I teach people to open up to their natural psychic abilities and then if they want to, teach them to connect with the energy beings that are around us.
Is this centre we’re in today, your centre? Yes it’s mine. The centre which is called The Down To Earth Heart Centre came out of an idea that my guides encouraged me to think about – we don’t have many places that we can retreat to or that can be a sanctuary when we are troubled or when we have questions. It’s quite difficult to know where to go and who to ask. A big part of what mediumship is about developing your spiritual understanding but that also means that it challenges some of the things you believe in. The centre came into being as a place for people to retreat to and have opportunities to reflect/think and to find different ways of dealing with life – the way the world is.
It’s also a place where people can get physical/emotional/mental support as well as spiritual support – that’s the key part of it; we help people to go on a journey that helps them promote feeling better in the world, finding ways to help themself in life.
What do you mean by psychic? Okay, we are composed of parts. We have a physical body which can see and touch, but we also have an aura body – an energy shell. That energy shell has within it sensory equipment just the same as our physical body does. Those sensory equipment organs have become known as our psychic abilities or psychic senses. We are able to read (in a very loose term) energy and sense the energies around us instinctively or intuitively, feeling or connecting to what is happening around us. That comes from what we would call psychic senses.
Are you mainly concerned with things from the past or can you foresee things in the future? Being psychic is just acknowledging the energy flow that we live in. We all have this energy and some of it is static – the physical body is stuck – it is what it is, but the energy that’s around our physical body is part of our conscious being and is constantly moving. It’s like we are living in an ocean of energy and that energy is forever being moved around by the currents so when we actually pay attention to the energy, we can acknowledge not just the energy that’s been through and past us – not just the energy that’s with us right now, but the sense of the energy that’s coming in. So it’s not that we can predict the future but we have a good feel for what is going to happen next.
How do you do this? – it’s not done vocally is it? It comes back to understanding that we’re energy; people who have passed over are energy but it’s a different form of energy to being human and the mind is still there – there’s still an understanding of being in a physical body and like any energy being the spirit of someone who has passed over can choose to communicate if they wish. Also it’s the same way you sense the energy and you train your mind to notice the psychic information that comes through your energy senses – not through your eyes or ears.
Do you interpret this information into thoughts? Yes, it’s like the human eyes – the actual image on the cells is upside down and the brain corrects that and turns it into what we see. In the same way the information of the energy that comes into the psychic senses has to be made sense of by our mind.
Do you think that spirits can be categorized into good and bad spirits? When we have passed over and certainly when we are human, we make choices that harm ourselves or can harm others; good and bad are very difficult terms to define and when you go into the spirit world, you will connect with people who will have made choices that harm themselves or others and there are spirits who didn’t make these kind of choices. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making those same choices in the spirit world and it’s my belief that we can’t see the big picture – what I may think someone has done to harm me may in the end drive me to live a life that is powerfully positive – a blessing in disguise. You are too close to the action to be able to second-guess whether we should consider one’s actions harmful or not.
I am sure that in the spirit world, we take a good, long look at all the actions we have done and also look at the big picture of how things have bounced off those actions. When I connect with spirits, I get the flavour of how they were down here, – but they don’t need to be judged good or bad.
Do you believe in lives before this one? Past lives make logical sense to me as to try and fit the vastness of a spirit being into a physical body for just seventy years, seems very limited. We can’t possibly understand everything there is about love and unconditionality if we only have that one brief go-round. So, for forty years, I’ve been closely involved in past-life work both my own past lives and other people’s past lives. I teach people how to access their past lives and I do past-life readings. Because it’s a continual circuit, we come and live here as humans and then we go back to being spirit and take a look at the big picture.
I’ve talked about what we could have changed or done differently, and we come into a new life with a different view to see what it’s like. So we’ve been born everything and done everything before. I believe what we are evolving towards is being spirits who live unconditional love, unconditional forgiveness, unconditional service and unconditional gratitude i.e. being grateful for having the opportunity to have been of service to our fellow man because we love and forgive him and ourselves. When we have really understood and experienced that, that’s the point at which you ascend out of needing to come back and be human – that’s when you are enlightened and it takes a lot of lifetimes to achieve this.
Do you think there is such a thing as the Divine? I don’t see what the point of it all would be if there wasn’t some over-arching presence. Personally, I feel very strongly that there is a guiding consciousness- one of the ways that my spirit guides have shown to me, is to understand our individual life as being like a brain cell in the mind of the Divine being. There’s billions of brain cells all connected, but we are all doing our own individual thing and have our own role to play.
Do you think we are divine then? Yes, for me we are the Divine. The image that my guides give me is that I am a little neuron in the mind of the Divine but I am a long way from the central part that is sending out unconditional love.
What is the difference between a ghost and a spirit? A ghost, in my opinion, is not actually a spirit and is rather a recorded memory, a remembrance – we are all energy and when things happen that are strongly/powerfully emotional, it sets up a record which is only accessible when we are open enough to perceive it. A spirit is always present and we can open up and sense it at any time.
Do you subscribe to the idea of organised religion? No, but I serve spiritual churches and I am a committee member of a spiritualist church because that’s my service back to my guides. I do think it’s very important to keep places where people access information and learning, open. My personal beliefs are my personal beliefs; I believe in the Divine and always have done. I very much believe that it’s a matter for ever individual. For me, religion is a manmade object. Religious organisations are what men have made and if they bring comfort and support to people that’s fantastic. I however, want to experience the Divine directly and not through a set of rituals or beliefs that someone else says you should do.
I would always encourage anyone who wishes to explore the spiritual side of life to be open-minded and learn from other beliefs. But I feel my connection to the Divine has to be what I feel it is, not what others say. I’m working with guides who encourage me to develop my open-mindedness and the ability to change.
What are your hopes for yourself in this life? The biggest thing I hope for is to be able to help people; one of the things that I think is so difficult is not having your experiences acknowledged and in my process of developing it was hard to find people and places who had a down-to-earth approach to what I was experiencing. Also I don’t believe that experiencing hearing voices is necessarily mental illness and I believe we can all hear voices and see visions – for that person the opening of our psychic senses is locked on open and they don’t know how to selectively control them.
A big part of my future is to educate and share the knowledge, to give the validation – I’m an ordinary, average person same as everyone else, I just happen to be very comfortable knowing that my psychic abilities bring me other information which enables me to live a better life and make better choices with a sense of guidance and support. I also think we should encourage children to realise they are already psychic. If we understood and used our psychic senses all of us would find the Divine within and then we would live a more peaceful life; we would live in that world that John Lennon talked about in his song imagine i.e. with no religion, no countries, and in peace.