Friday, April 26, 2013

Creature of the Month - The Fiery Phoenix by Oberon Zell Ravenheart



Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden Phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself,
So shall he leave her blessedness to one
(When heaven shall call her from this could of darkness)
Who from the sacred ashes of her honor
Shall starlike rise, as great in fame as she was
And so stand fixed…
            —Shakespeare, Henry VIII (5.5.39-47)

Cover of Green Egg #81 by OZ

The legend of the Phoenix has given rise to one of the most powerful and empowering metaphors in all of human history—that of miraculous resurrection, or rebirth, following total destruction. The phrase “rising from the ashes” is applied to everything from the rebuilding of cities that have been leveled by war or natural calamities to personal recovery from a devastating tragedy or illness. Even sports teams that achieve victory after a season of defeats are said to rise from the ashes. In Medieval times, the Phoenix was adopted by Christians as a symbol of the resurrection and immortality of the soul, and the eternal life-after-death of Jesus Christ.

Fig. 1. The Phoenix crest of the University of Chicago.

            The Phoenix was a heraldic badge of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). It appears also on the city flags and seals of the American cities of Atlanta, Georgia (torched in the Civil War), Lawrence, Kansas (burnt by Confederate raiders), San Francisco (destroyed by earthquake and fire in 1906), and Portland, Maine (destroyed four times by fire), to symbolize the cities’ rebirths from the ashes. It is also the seal of Phoenix, Arizona, the 5th largest city in the US that sits atop the ruins of the former Hohokam city.

Fig. 2. Flag of Phoenix, Arizona.

            The Phoenix was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible—an appropriate symbol of fire and divinity. In a Greek version of the myth, the Phoenix lived in Arabia next to a well. At dawn, she bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Apollo stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to her song.15         

Fig. 3. The Phoenix emblem attached to the eight trams built in Brisbane, Australia
from material salvaged from trams destroyed in the Paddington tram depot fire.

                In Alchemical symbolism, the Phoenix corresponds to the color red, regeneration of universal life, and the successful completion of a process. According to the Stoics, the Universe itself is perpetually born in fire, dies in fire, and is reborn in an eternal cycle. The Phoenix is but a microcosmic reflection of this cosmology.

History of the Legend
            The name Phoenix (often spelled Fenix in Medieval bestiaries) means “purple or crimson one,” from Greek, Phoeniceus, “reddish-purple.” In various depictions, she looks like a flame-colored synthesis of an eagle, a peacock, and a pheasant. Her legend was spread by the ancient Phoenician traders (taking their name from the distinctive “royal purple” dye which they derived from the purple murex snails: Murex brandaris and Murex trunculus), who sailed throughout the world for centuries before their defeat by the Romans during the Punic Wars, with the coup de grace delivered by Julius Caesar in 50 bce.

Fig. 4. Murex trunculus—source of Tyrian Purple dye.

            The earliest known mention of the Phoenix is by the Greek poet Hesiod (8th century bce), who implies that the Phoenix is already very well-known, and that it lives for a very long time.13 Ionian historian Hecataeus of Miletus (6th-5th century bce) also described the fabled bird, but unfortunately, only fragments survive of his Periegesis (“A Journey Round the World”). The most detailed early account comes from the Greek historian Herodotus (484–425 bce), who claimed to have received it from Egyptian priests in Heliopolis. In the second book of his History, he notes that he did not see the bird himself, and is skeptical of the story. He says: “Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follows: The plumage is partly red, partly golden, while the general make and size are almost exactly like that of the eagle.” 8
                In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder (23 bce -79 ce) says the Phoenix “is as big as an eagle, and has a gleam of gold around its neck and all the rest of it is purple, but the tail which is blue picked out with rose-colored feathers and the throat picked out with tufts, and a feathered crest adorning its head.” 8

Fig. 5. Classic Phoenix

            According to the legend, the Phoenix (of which there is only ever one) comes from Ethiopia, where every 500 years, at the end of her life-cycle, she lays a single egg in a nest she builds of cinnamon and frankincense atop the tallest Date Palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera). Then she sits upon the egg and sings a song of indescribable beauty at the dawn of the day. As the burning rays of the rising sun heat the volatile nest, she fans it with her wings until it bursts into flame, consuming her in self-immolation. Nine days later, when the egg, warmed by the still-glowing embers, hatches, she is reborn amid the ashes. Manius Manilius (Roman Consul 149 bce) dispensed with the egg altogether, avowing that the reincarnated bird miraculously coalesces out of the ashes, appearing at first like a little caterpillar or worm which then metamorphoses into an adult bird.13
            When she attains her full plumage, the resurrected Phoenix gathers up the ashen remains of her parent and former incarnation, plasters them into a hollowed-out ball of myrrh, and wraps the whole into an egg-shaped bundle tightly bound in aromatic leaves. She flies with this packet to Egypt, followed at a respectful distance by a contingent of other birds. There she deposits it on the altar of Ra, the sun god, in his temple at Heliopolis (“City of the Sun”). This event was celebrated in Egypt with major festivities, and heralded as the beginning of a new era.
            Like the Phoenix, the Arabian Cynamolgus, or “Cinnamon Bird,” was also said to bring cinnamon from afar to built its fragrant nest at the top of a tall palm tree, where spice gatherers would then shoot it down with leaden arrows. It was claimed that this was how cinnamon was obtained!

Fig. 6. Phoenix from the Aberdeen Bestiary

Cycles of Resurrection
            Manilius stated that the period of the 540-year astronomical Great Year coincided with the life cycle of the Phoenix, with its last appearance having been in 215 auc (Anno urbis conditae, “Year of the founding of the City;” i.e. Rome, traditionally set in 753 bce). By our present reckoning, then, that documented appearance would have been in 538 bce.
            Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 ce) says in The Annals that former Phoenixes were said to have flown into Heliopolis successively in the reigns of Pharaohs Sesostris, Amasis, and Ptolemy III of the Macedonian dynasty, but he did not give specific years. He notes, however, that the interval between the last two sightings was less than the traditional 500 years, and suspects that the last was spurious: 8
            Sesostris III (Khakhaure) ruled Egypt from 1878 to 1843 bce
            Amasis reigned from 570-526 bce (right on the mark for that appearance of 538 bce, but 1,300 years after Sesostris, not 500)
            Ptolemy III held the throne from 246 to 221 bce (only 300 years after Amasis)
            While 500 years is the period given by Herodotus, and 540 by Manilius, other accounts indicate cycles of 1,000, 1,461, 1,700, or even 12,994 years. Using 538 bce as a starting point, previous and subsequent reappearances would be scheduled for the following years:

500 yrs    540 yrs    1,000 yrs   1,461 yrs   1,700 yrs
1038         1078         1538          1999          2238
  538           538 bce    538 bce      538 bce      538 bce
   38 bce         2 ce      462 ce        923 ce      1162 ce
  462 ce       542         1462          2384*        2862*
  962         1082         2462*                         
1462         1622                                            
1962         2162*                                             
2462*                                         
                                    
            Pliny describes the capture of a Phoenix and its exhibition in the Roman Forum during the reign of Emperor Claudius, which was from 41-54 ce, but this doesn’t fit any cycle.
So if you are wondering when the Phoenix is next due to reappear, you can take your pick of the above years (marked with an asterisk). Personally, I concur with the 500-year cycle, and having been there, I’d opt for 1962 as the “Year of the Phoenix!” Or we can conclude from the historical record that the schedule isn’t all that precise, and the Phoenix is due to return at any moment!

Fig. 7. Fêng Huang pair

The Phoenix in Other Lands
            The Orient has its own Phoenix, known in China as the Fêng Huang (“Red Bird”). Unlike the Phoenix, the Fêng Huang is immortal; it does not grow old and die to be reborn again.  Frequently depicted in oriental art, the Fêng is male and the Huang is female; together the pair symbolizes everlasting love, high virtue, yin and yang, and the primordial force of the heavens. The male represents the solar cycle, while the female represents the lunar cycle.
            These beautiful birds are said to stand some nine feet tall. They have the breast and sinuous neck of a swan, the head and comb of a pheasant, the face of a swallow, the back of a tortoise, and the 12-feathered tail of a peacock. This description fits remarkably well the Ocellated Pheasant, also called Rheinart’s Crested Argus (Rheinarta ocellata), found in central Vietnam and the Malayan peninsula. 5

Fig. 8. Ocellated Pheasant

            The form of the Fêng Huang represents the six celestial bodies, and its shimmering striped plumage displays the five fundamental colors (yellow, green, red, black, and white). Originating in the sun, it will not eat any living thing, including plants. One of the Ssu Ling, the four Spiritual Creatures of China—the others being the Lung Wang (Dragon), the Gui Xian (Tortoise), and the Ki-Lin (Unicorn)—it stands at the South, and symbolizes the season of Summer and the element of fire. Representing the Empress, its rare and auspicious appearance heralds good fortune, peace, and prosperity; but calamity occurs upon its departure.4
            Fêng Huang first appeared to the Chinese emperor Hung Ti around 2600 bce.  Like the Ki-lin, the Chinese unicorn, the Fêng Huang only appears in times of peace and prosperity, usually when a new benevolent emperor ascends the throne. The Fêng Huang nests in wu t'ung trees in the K'unlun mountains, far away from humans. 

Fig. 9. Fêng Huang

            Both male and female birds can sing the sweetest melody in the five Chinese harmonic notes, and it is said that their tune was the basis for the Chinese musical scale. If one plays a musical instrument while sitting under such a wu t'ung tree, the Fêng Huang will bless the musician by adding its own sweet melody to the music.
            In Japan, the same creature is known as Ho-Oo—the Ho being the male and the Oo being the female. Said to be the embodiment of the sun, it comes to Earth as a messenger of goodness, and to do good deeds for people; and this appearance heralds the dawn of a new era. The bird then ascends back to heaven to await the next cycle. Like the Feng-Huang, the Ho-Oo has been adopted as a symbol of the royal family, particularly the Empress. It is supposed to represent the sun, justice, fidelity and obedience.

Fig. 10. Ho-Oo

            From Russia comes the legend of the Zshar-Ptitsa, or Firebird, with shining feathers of gold and silver, and sparkling crystal eyes. Pearls fall from its beak when it sings, and its song can heal the sick and cure blindness. A single fiery tail feather could light an entire room. It grazed in the garden of its owner, Tzar Dalmet, but at night it would sometimes sneak into the nearby orchard of Tzar Vyslav Anronovich to steal his golden apples of youth, beauty, and immortality. The fabled Firebird is the subject of the famous 1910 ballet score by Igor Stravinsky.10

Fig. 11. Firebird caught stealing magic apples, by Kholuy

            The Kerkes of Turkish tradition lives 1,000 years and then consumes itself by fire, arising renewed to live another millennium. This cycle will repeat 7x7 or 49 times until the Day of Judgment comes. The mystical tree Ababel—the “Father Tree” in the Quran—shoots out new branches and vegetation at every resurrection of the Kerkes.
            According to the Jewish Talmud, the Milcham was the only animal not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, and was rewarded with the gift of immortality from the Tree of Life. It lives in a walled city for 1,000 years, at the end of which time it is consumed by fire, leaving an egg to begin a new cycle.

Fig. 12. Milcham

            Persian and Hindu mythology tells of the Huma, a bird of Paradise that dwells in the heavens and never touches the Earth. The Huma joins both the male and female natures together in one body, each having a wing and a leg. Like the Phoenix, it consumes itself in fire every few hundred years, only to rise renewed from the ashes. A compassionate bird, it avoids killing for food, preferring to feed on carrion. Great blessings and good fortune come to any who see or touch it—especially if its shadow falls on them.

Fig. 13. Huma

            Some of the fabulous birds associated with the legend of the Phoenix are gigantic in size, like the Roc of  Madagascar. One of these was the Angka, an enormous Arabian bird, said to be large enough to carry off an elephant. It lived 1,700 years, at the end of which time it burned itself to ashes and rose again. The Arabs believed that they were originally created as perfect birds, but over time, they devoured all the animals on Earth and started carrying off children. The people appealed to God who prevented the Anka from multiplying; thus it eventually became extinct.10

Fig. 14. Angka

            The Simurgh (meaning “30 Birds”) is the magnificent King of the Birds in Arabian legend, representing divine unity. Its beautiful feathers are prized for their healing properties. Like the Angka, it is so huge that it can carry off an elephant or a camel, but it is also known to take human children into its nest to foster them. It dwells in the mountains of Alberz in northern Persia. Similarly to the Phoenix, this wise and peaceful bird lives for either 1,700 or 2,000 years. Some accounts claim it is immortal, nesting in the Tree of Knowledge. It is said to be so old that it has seen the destruction of the world three times over. A bird of the same name attended the Queen of Sheba. It had metallic orange feathers, a silver head, a human face, four wings, a vulture’s talons, and a peacock’s tail.10

Fig. 15. Simurgh

            Nicolo de Conti (ca.1395-1469), a Venetian merchant who traveled for either 25 or 36 years through India, Asia, and Africa, brought back the legend of the Sevienda, which had a beak full of holes. Like the Phoenix, it was consumed by fire, and regenerated from the ashes as a little worm or caterpillar. It was said to be so ancient that it had witnessed the destruction of the universe three times!
            Appearing in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, Garuda is the mystical firebird who serves as the mount of the god Vishnu. Garuda appears as the coat of arms of the Republic of Indonesia (Garuda Pancasila).15

Fig. 16. The Garuda emblem of the King of Thailand and the Thai Government

Sources of the Legend
            Was there ever a real Phoenix—or at least a living bird that gave rise to the legend? As with many other mythological creatures, the legend of the Phoenix is not a simple matter of identifying a single source or species. A number of mythic birds became absorbed into the legend as it grew, and it also contributed to the legends of totally different birds in other lands.
            Perhaps the oldest source of the Phoenix legend is the Egyptian Benu, a heron-like bird with red legs and a crest of long feathers sweeping back from the crown of its head. The word Benu in Egyptian means both Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) and date palm tree. The Benu comes from the Isle of Fire in the Underworld, and brings the Hike—the vital essence of all life. It was said to rise from its burning tree with such melodious song that even the gods were enthralled. Known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, the Benu was associated with the rising sun and the sun-god Ra, reborn each morning in the fiery dawn. It was also identified with Osiris, resurrecting itself from death.15

Fig. 17. Egyptian Benu

            Another inspiration that has been suggested for the Egyptian Phoenix is a spectacular African bird—the flame-pink greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus, meaning “purple wing”). Considered by the ancient Egyptians to be the living representations of the Sun-God Ra, these spectacular birds nest in vast rookeries on burning alkaline mudflats that are too hot for their eggs or chicks to survive. Males and females work together to construct cylindrical nest mounds of mud, pebbles, straw, and feathers. The female lays a single egg in a depression atop that marginally cooler pedestal, which may be as much as a foot tall. The convection currents around these mounds resemble the turbulence of a flame. 16

Fig. 18. Flamingo (Phoenicopterus)

            And still another suggested inspiration for the Phoenix and other mythical birds closely associated with the sun, is the total solar eclipse, when the sun’s blazing corona often displays a distinctly bird-like form that almost certainly inspired the winged sun disk symbols of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. 15

Fig. 19. Total solar eclipse (NASA)

            Another frequently-noted source of the legend of the Phoenix may be found in the strange avian behavior named “anting” by Professor Erwin Stresemann of Berlin in 1935. Various perching birds will pick up ants with their beaks and rub them under their wings and over their plumage, evidently enjoying an intoxicating effect from the formic acid. In 1957, Maurice Burton undertook a study of this behavior, and learned that aromatics and fire smoke were equally effective intoxicants. But the most remarkable behavior involved a tame rook named Niger, who “disported himself in a heap of burning straw:”

With flames enveloping the lower part of his body and smoke drifting all around him, he flapped his wings, snatched at burning embers with his beak, and appeared to be trying to put them under his wings… Every now and then he would pose amid the flames with his wings outstretched and his head turned to one side, looking exactly like the traditional picture of the Phoenix. 2

Fig. 20: Anting bird: Niger rises Phoenix-like from the flames

But the most important component of the legend—and its likeliest origin—may be found in the trade of Bird of Paradise skins from New Guinea, dating from 1000 bce, when the island was first discovered by Phoenician seafarers. The most flamboyantly-plumaged and abundant species, and therefore the most commonly exported, was Count Raggi’s Bird of Paradise (Paradisea raggiana), the male of which sports profuse sprays of brilliant scarlet feathers under his wings. These are activated and agitated in his courtship dance to look uncannily like he is dancing amid flames!11

Fig. 21. Count Raggi’s Bird of Paradise

            What makes this magnificent bird particularly fascinating as a source of the Phoenix legend, however, is not just its spectacular physical appearance, but also the manner in which it was brought to Western attention in ancient Egypt and other civilizations along the Phoenician trading routes. In order to preserve the delicate skins of Birds of Paradise for their transport by sea all the way to Egypt, Phoenicia, and elsewhere, the tribespeople of New Guinea carefully embalmed them in myrrh, molded into an egg-shaped parcel, which they then sealed in a wrapping of charred banana leaves—exactly as Herodotus described. No doubt the delivery of these precious packages to the temples in places like Heliopolis and Tyre was also attended by considerable pomp and ceremony, heralding the return of the sacred Phoenician bird!11

The Once and Future Phoenix
            For many years Morning Glory and I have been studying the lore and imagery of the Phoenix—particularly as it appears in Russian and Oriental depictions. We suspect that there is another element of this wondrous bird that has not yet been considered—an actual living creature that bears the appearance of those iconic images. Since the Phoenix, like the Unicorn, is not a continuous presence on the Earth, but only appears intermittently, a reasonable assumption is that it might have been produced artificially. The most likely prospect is a sterile hybrid of two living birds whose separate features would combine into the classic archetype.

Fig. 22. Firebird Phoenix (tattoo)

            Leaving aside the various species of Birds of Paradise (see above), Morning Glory and I consider the Galliformes fowl to be eminently suitable prospects for such a hybrid. This order of birds contains the turkeys, grouse, quails, chickens, peafowl, and pheasants, of which about 256 species are found worldwide. The entire order exhibits enormous diversity, characterized and distinguished by flamboyant plumage among the males, who are notoriously polygamous. (See above reference to the Fêng Huang as an Ocellated Pheasant.) The ranges of most species overlap considerably throughout Asia, and many have been domesticated for millennia. Although radically different courtship behaviors normally keep the various species from hybridizing, spontaneous hybrids are not unknown in close captivity, and intentional hybridization by breeders has produced many unique varieties.15

Fig. 23. Golden Pheasant

            Among these, the male Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) has the right colors: iridescent flaming reds and golds. Peafowl, on the other hand, have about the right body shape and size, including the long neck, head crest, and tail feathers with distinctive “eyes.” While the iridescent colors of peacocks are at the opposite end of the spectrum—blues, greens and violets—a color mutation of the Indian Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is pure white (and not an albino, as many assume). A hybrid derived from a cock Golden Pheasant and a white Peahen might just result in a progeny looking exactly like the Russian Firebird!
            Perhaps it is time for the fabled Phoenix to return in the flesh…

Now I will believe
That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne; one phoenix
At this hour reigning there.
—Shakespeare, The Tempest (III.iii.27)

Phoenix Magick
If you have experienced a devastating personal tragedy or illness, the myth of the Phoenix can be a powerful vehicle for your own resurrection from the ashes. After undergoing traumatic surgery and chemotherapy for cancer, as well as a series of other major personal calamities, I surrounded myself with images of the Phoenix in various mediums, did meditations to identify myself with the legend, and conducted a ritual of rebirth in which, wearing a Phoenix costume I’d created, I literally rose from beneath a grey cloak made to look like a pile of ashes. I spread my fiery wings and intoned:

I arise. I arise from the ashes, reborn yet again. I am the Phoenix, ever-dying, ever-resurrecting. I am the hope in every heart, never dying, however wounded. I am the dream in every head, never forgotten, however diminished its grandeur in coming true. I am the light in every eye, still shining, however dimmed by remaining open through the darkest times.”

Fig. 24. Oberon in his Phoenix costume. Festival of Fools, Gueneville, CA. April 1, 2009.

Monster Movies: The Phoenix
            In these early years of the 21st century, the legend of the Phoenix itself seems to be rising from the ashes. It has become a recurrent theme and image in popular culture, showing up in books, comics, movies, paintings, and other representations. The immensely popular Harry Potter books and movies feature prominently a Phoenix named Faux (“false”) belonging to Albus Dumbledore, the beloved Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the film Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (2002), the process of immolation and resurrection is dramatically enacted. Subsequent movies featuring Faux are: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (2007); and Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (2008).

Fig. 25. Cover of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), British edition.

            In the 2005 movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, based on the book by C.S. Lewis, a Phoenix bursts into flame and flies low over the grass in front of the Snow Queen’s lines, creating a wall of fire to guard Peter’s retreat.

Fig. 26. Phoenix plastic figurine by Safari Ltd.

References
1.      Borges, Jorge Luis, The Book of Imaginary Beings, 1957; 1967 (Penguin Books, 1974)
2.      Burton, Maurice, Phoenix Reborn, Hutchinson, 1959
3.      Byfield, Barbara Ninde, The Glass Harmonica: A Lexicon of the Fantastical, MacMillan Co., 1967
4.      Christie, Anthony, Chinese Mythology, Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., 1968
5.      Costello, Peter, The Magic Zoo, St Martin’s Press, 1979
6.      Gould, Charles, Mythical Monsters, 1884 (Kessinger Publishing’s Rare Mystical Reprints, www.kessinger.net) (2006)
7.      Hargreaves, Joyce, Hargreaves New Illustrated Bestiary, Gothic Images Publications, 1990
8.      Nigg, Joseph, The Book of Fabulous Beasts: A Treasury of Writings from Ancient Times to the Present, Oxford University Press, 1999
9.      ——, Wonder Beasts: Tales and Lore of the Phoenix, the Griffin, the Unicorn and the Dragon, Libraries Unlimited, 1995
10.  Rose, Carol, Giants, Monsters, and Dragons, W.W. Norton & Company, 2000
11.  Shuker, Karl P.N., The Beasts That Hide from Man: Seeking the World’s Last Undiscovered Animals, Paraview Press, 2003
12.  Silverberg, Barbara, Phoenix Feathers: A Collection of Mythical Monsters, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1973
13.  South, Malcolm, Mythical and Fabulous Beasts: A Source Book and Research Guide, Greenwood Press, 1987
14.  White, T. H., The Book of Beasts, J.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1954; Dover Publications, 1984
15.  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ (2007)
16.  SeaWorld Infobook: Flamingos. http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Flamingos/freproduction.html

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 Nautilus Award Winner

We are very excited to announce that Dr. Jennifer Howard has won a Nautilus Gold Book Award!!!


“Through her depth of experience as a therapist and spiritual practitioner, Jennifer Howard introduces skillful means for loving ourselves for who we are in this very moment, even as we cultivate deeper self-realization through powerful practices of introspection, meditation,and acceptance of our innate wholeness. Enjoy this nourishing and self-empowering book.”
—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Life Visioning

“Wise, warm, illuminating and instructive: this gentle book is for anyone ready and willing to start the wondrous exploration of what it means to be whole.”—Guy Finley, author of The Secret of Letting Go and The Seeker, The Search, The Sacred“Dr. Howard offers you, through her wisdom and book, a chance to abandon your past and create the life you have been searching for. If you are ready to show up for practice, the wisdom contained here can coach and direct you on your healing journey.”
—Bernie Siegel, MD, author of 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and Prescriptions For Living

"Your Ultimate Life Plan makes a practical and inspirational addition to anyone’s library. Filled with meditations and awareness-provoking exercises, this book both reassures you that your life has meaning and then helps you align with your purpose, finding that fine balance between surrender and guided action.”
—Melody Beattie, author of The New Codependency and Codependent No More

More information can be found on our website.  All books are available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and your favorite Indie booksellers.

Coming Soon - Creature of the Week

We're running a little late with our creature post for April so we thought we'd run an amusing creature instead.  This dedicated yogi is rarely seen outside of one's natural habitat, but they seem to have adapted well to an academic ecosystem.


courtesy of Bored Panda

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weird News of the Week


Smart Fabric

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A Petition to ETs

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Elephant Dung Beer

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Miami Invaded by Giant Snails

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A Colic / Migraine Connection

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coming Soon - 5 Minutes to Stress Relief by Lauren E. Miller



We are excited to announce a new book publishing April 22nd from our main press - Career Press.  Here is a first glimpse of the book trailer.  To find out more about the book click here.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Positive News of the Week


Replacing Passwords with Brainwaves

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King of Custom Wheelchairs 

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Reunited 

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5 Ways to Wake Up Happy 

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See What You Dream 

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weird News of the Week


Warp Factor In Reach of NASA Scientist?

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Former US Congress Members Attend UFO Hearings

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Immortality Kits

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Quest for Good Pick-Up Lines Leads Man
 to Help Save Abducted Kids

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Sean Lion's can keep a Beat

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