Friday, September 30, 2016

Burning Man 2016: "The Liberation of the Earth, the Liberation of Women, the Liberation of All Humanity ..."

Stage at Mandala. Red Lightning Camp.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
NOTE: At Burning Man 2016, I taught my "Yoga of Primal Reality" workshop in the beautifully adorned Mandala space at Camp Red Lightning. I pitched my tent in the company of some wonderful humans at Camp IMAGINEnation. I gifted signed copies of the five books in my Primal Reality series to strangers all across Black Rock City. And while I did my walkabout, I got some important writing done; I will be integrating these new epiphanies into a major work-in-progress. (Look for the announcement on Beltane 2017.) Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this brief photo essay. It consists of twelve images selected from over a hundred that I captured during my sojourn. Each of the images is paired with a vital insight from some great being whose work has touched me. -- Blessings, Richard Power
See also  Burning Man 2011: Primal Culture and Core Civilization as a Moveable Feast  and Burning Man 2012: Between the Wheel and the Fire, Voices in the Whirlwind.

Horned Woman on the Playa. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
"Witchcraft offers the model of a religion of poetry, not theology. It presents metaphors, not doctrines, and leaves open the possibility of reconciliation of science and religion, of many ways of knowing." -- Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess (1979)

On the Playa at Night. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
  “In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.”
-- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (1996)
Unicorn on the Playa. Burning Man. September 2016.

"I am the only Unicorn there is? The Last? … That cannot be. Why would I be the last? What do men know? Because they have seen no unicorns for a while does not mean we have all vanished. We do not vanish. … There has never been a time without unicorns. We live forever! We are as old as the sky, old as the moon! We can be hunted, trapped; we can even be killed if we leave our forests, but we do not vanish. … Am I truly the last?" -- Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn (1982 screenplay)

Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sullivan and the Catacomb Crew. On fire at sunrise.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
"The human race is a very, very magical race. We have a magic power of witches and wizards. We're here on this earth to unravel the mystery of this planet. The planet is asking for it." -- Yoko Ono

Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sullivan and the Catacomb Crew. On fire at sunrise.
Photo Credit: Richard Power

"The Goddess is not just a light, happy maiden or a nurturing mother. She is death as well as birth, dark as well as light, rage as well as compassion — and if we shy away from her fiercer embrace we undercut both her own power and our own growth." -- Starhawk, "She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?" Edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Kaalii Cargill. (2015)

Temple Courtyard, In the Early Morning. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power

“In the Craft, we do not believe in the Goddess ~~ we connect with her; through the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, through trees, animals, through other human beings, through ourselves. She is here. She is within us all” -- Starhawk

Temple Courtyard, In the Early Morning. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power

"Women have been held back and limited throughout the centuries. Creation could not have been rendered, not even considered, let alone be brought into manifestation without woman. She is principal, a powerful energy. She is first." -- Alice Coltrane

The Man Burns. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power

"The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it's the next step of peace that we need to create." -- Vandana Shiva
Woman Sleeping On the Ground At Center Camp
“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires” -- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (1996)

Burning Man, Black Rock City, September 2016.
hoto Credit: Richard Power

 "Truth was the only daughter of Time." -- Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks 

#Earth @Home by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg.
Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
"We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have." - Margaret Mead

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #3: Cauldrons Lit in Rio and Philadelphia

Guardian (8/23/16): "America’s Olympic heroes, clockwise from left: triathlete Gwen Jorgensen, the all-conquering gymnastics team, hurdler Nia Ali, fencer Ibtihaj Muammad, and swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel.Composite: Barcroft Media, EPA, PA & Getty Image." Fair Use.
CNN (8/20/16): "English Gardner, Allyson Felix, Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie of the United States celebrate winning gold in the women's 4 x 100m relay final in Rio. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images." Fair Use.

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #3: Cauldrons Lit in Rio and Philly 

"Brothers and sisters! Brothers and sisters. This is, this is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, as some of his own delegates booed his statement of support for Hillary Clinton. 

If you think there is no way Trump can win, you're underestimating the virulence of the disease. If you think there is no difference (or simply not enough difference) to warrant voting for Clinton, I can only assume that you are ill-informed about governance and all of the many inter-related ways it impacts your life. If you think that this is all gamed out and that Trump has only been allowed to ascend to this position so that we will all be terrified into voting for Clinton, well, I don't know what to say to you, it just isn't that simple. And if you look at this election as nothing more than another instance (perhaps the most egregious) of being forced to choose "the lesser of two evils," you are missing an important truth -- this election is a profound opportunity.

Since my last "Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey" post, three history-shaping spectacles have come and gone: the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite Zika and a coup against the elected president of Brazil, despite all of the troubles that swirl around the Olympics, the 2016 summer games in Rio were a joyous affirmation of life and humanity. The opening ceremony was organized around the planetary emergency of the Climate Crisis, and what we as a species must do about it; and the games themselves, from Track and Field to Gymnastics to Swimming were a powerful testament to the ascendancy of the feminine, particularly U.S. women, particularly African-American women.

Female athletes were responsible for 61 of the 121 medals stockpiled by Team USA in Brazil, marking the second straight Summer Olympics where they finished with more silverware than their male counterparts. If the women of Team USA broke away and formed a sovereign nation, their 27 gold medals would have matched Great Britain for the most of any country – and they would have placed fourth in the overall medal count. -- How the women of the US Olympic team won big and smashed stereotypes, Guardian, 8-23-16

Despite the craven corporatism of much of the party establishment, despite the political naivety of those Sanders delegates who shamefully booed their own heroic candidate, the Democratic National Convention featured many powerful declarations of our common humanity, in particular the speeches of Michelle Obama and POTUS himself; it also introduced a new party platform (strongly influenced by Sanders' representatives), one that articulated reasonably progressive positions on many vital issues, including, yes, the planetary emergency of the Climate Crisis.

But, of course, before both of these life-affirming and forward-leaning events took place, the Zombie Death Cult and its Death-Eater Overlords held their Trumpster fire in Cleveland. The decades-long assault on reason and decency that started with Reagan-Bush and spiked with Bush-Cheney has reached its terminal stage in the abomination / nomination of Trump-Pence.

Now the final stretch of the 2016 national elections is upon us. The hour is getting late.

I will be voting for Hillary Clinton in November. This is not an endorsement. It is just a statement of fact. I am not "with her." I am with Noam Chomsky, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Al Gore, the Mothers of the Movement, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), The Nation's Joan Walsh, AND Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). I am not voting for Hillary Clinton. I am voting for Planned Parenthood, to protect the reproductive rights of woman, I am voting for COP 21, to mitigate the extinction level impact of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD), I am voting for the preservation of Net Neutrality, I am voting for the expansion of Obamacare until it inevitably evolves into Medicare for all, and I am voting for a sane SCOTUS majority that will roll back the abomination of Citizens United and heal the thousand and one cuts dealt to the Voters Rights Act.

And I am not just voting for control of the White House, but for control of the Senate and even the House. In this election, the reign of the Zombie Cult and their Death Eater Overlords can be overthrown. We are on a cusp. The great shift is underway. This much bigger than Clinton, with her neo-liberal economics and neo-con geopolitics. Both of those disturbing inclinations can be mitigated by a powerful progressive caucus within the Democratic Party itself. If Trump is elected (yes it could happen), you have no leverage whatsoever.

Oh, and yes, it will be of profound importance to elect the first woman President of the U.S.A., just as it was of profound importance to elect the first African-American President of the U.S.A., and it could not come at a more poignant juncture in human history

Here are some worthy viewpoints on the choice before us in 2016:

What Sanders Says

On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents. Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment. Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.  -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), L.A. Times (8/5/16) 

What Chomsky Says

1) Voting should not be viewed as a form of personal self-expression or moral judgement directed in retaliation towards major party candidates who fail to reflect our values, or of a corrupt system designed to limit choices to those acceptable to corporate elites. 2) The exclusive consequence of the act of voting in 2016 will be (if in a contested “swing state”) to marginally increase or decrease the chance of one of the major party candidates winning. 3) One of these candidates, Trump, denies the existence of global warming, calls for increasing use of fossil fuels, dismantling of environmental regulations and refuses assistance to India and other developing nations as called for in the Paris agreement, the combination of which could, in four years, take us to a catastrophic tipping point. Trump has also pledged to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, offered to provide for the defense of supporters who have assaulted African American protestors at his rallies, stated his “openness to using nuclear weapons”, supports a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and regards “the police in this country as absolutely mistreated and misunderstood” while having “done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Trump has also pledged to increase military spending while cutting taxes on the rich, hence shredding what remains of the social welfare “safety net” despite pretenses. 4) The suffering which these and other similarly extremist policies and attitudes will impose on marginalized and already oppressed populations has a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will result from a Clinton presidency. 5) Number 4) should constitute sufficient basis to voting for Clinton where a vote is potentially consequential-namely, in a contested, “swing” state ... -- Noam Chomsky's 8-Point Rationale for Voting for the Lesser Evil Presidential Candidate, AlterNet, 8/6/16

What Gore Says

Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush in part because of votes lost to third-party candidates. He has a simple message for fellow climate hawks who are contemplating a third-party vote in 2016: Please don’t. In an exclusive interview last week, I asked Gore what he would say to voters concerned about climate change but dissatisfied with both major candidates and considering voting for a third party, such as the Green Party. He replied: First of all I understand their feelings and misgivings. But if they are interested in my personal advice. I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I urge everyone else to do the same. I particularly urge anyone who is concerned about the climate crisis, sees it as the kind of priority that I see it as, to look at the sharp contrast between the solar plan that Secretary Clinton has put forward, and her stated commitment to support the Clean Power Plan, and the contrast between what she has said and is proposing with the statements of the Republican nominee, which give me great concern ...  I would also urge them to look carefully, as I know they have, at the consequences of going in another direction for the third or fourth alternative…. The harsh reality is that we have two principal choices. And I am supporting Hillary Clinton. Again I respect those who analyze the situation differently, but in my experience it matters a lot." Readers may recall that in the 2000 election, Democrat Al Gore actually won the popular vote but narrowly lost the Electoral College to a guy named George W. Bush in part because of votes lost to third-party candidates — intentional votes for Green party candidate Ralph Nader (and, tragically, unintentional votes for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan). -- Joseph Romm, Think Progress, 8-22-16

What the Mothers of the Movement Say

Geneva Reed-Veal: One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. Sandy, my fourth of five daughters, was gone. No, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest. Six other women died in custody that same month: Kindra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children gone but not forgotten. I’m here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names. Hillary knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing to be here tonight, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. And what a blessing it is for all of us that we have the opportunity, if we seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change ...  Sybrina Fulton: I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this. None of us would have. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven. And for my other son, Jahvaris, who is still here on earth. I didn’t want this spotlight. But will I do everything I can to focus some of that light on a path out of this darkness. Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to comfort a grieving mother. She has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation. And she has a plan to repair the divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This isn’t about being politically correct. It’s about protecting our children. That’s why we’re here tonight with Hillary Clinton. And that’s why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you — all of you — to vote in this election. Hillary is the one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. We leave you what God has given us, strength and peace. -- Read What the Mothers of the Movement Said at the Democratic Convention
Video: Mothers of the Movement speaking at DNC 2016

There will likely be at least one more Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey post to Words of Power before election day (11/8/16).

Whatever your conscience demands of you, VOTE.

-- Richard Power 

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.
Related Posts:

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #2: Lessons of 2000 and 2008

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #1: Of Trump, Snowden and Sanders

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Elizabeth Bast's Powerful "Heart Medicine" Opens Up A Portal to Healing and Revelation

Elizabeth Bast and Chor Boogie speaking on Bast's book, Heart Medicine: A True Love Story
San Francisco Theosophical Society, March 4, 2016
My friend and ally Elizabeth Bast has a deep magic in her.

She is a poet, yoga teacher, yogic lifestyle coach, performance artist, fusion temple dancer, healer, musician, mother, and now an author. Yes, Bast has written a book, Heart Medicine: A True Love Story, and like all of her many other offerings, it is both powerful and beautiful.
Heart Medicine: A True Love Story by Elizabeth Bast
Available from

Drenched in Eros, fueled on Agape, Heart Medicine is a tale of mystical adventure and healing, in which danger, despair, intimacy and revelation thread through each other to weave a new reality for the Tantric priestess Elizabeth Bast and her paramour, the globally renowned spray paint artist Chor Boogie.

Heart Medicine is a compelling narrative that follows these two gifted beings in the desperate race to save his life and their marriage. As the book jacket promises, it is the story of "One Couple's Quest for the Sacred Iboga Medicine and the Cure for Addiction."
"Five days left before takeoff, Chor and I were driving the car, somewhere between the grocery store and FedEx, when quite unexpectedly, I became an oracle for a moment. My lips parted, and an ancient, beneficent being spoke to Chor through me: 'You will be crowned again as king of your Self. You will be able to speak to those who no one else can reach. You will illuminate many.' Gasp. Where did that come from? The words carried a solid confidence that I didn't possess at that moment. I had been filled with fear and cynicism, yet I was proceeding forward with our plans anyway. I couldn't take any credit for being brave. Nowhere else to go, nothing else to do. 'We'll see,' said Chor, likely harboring the same desperate, dismal attitude as I." -- Heart Medicine: A True Love Story, p. 140.

It is auspicious that Bast's book has been published in this Year of the Yang Fire Monkey.

We are all on the cusp of a great shift, all of us, collectively and individually.

Collectively, there is so much to cope with, e.g., the Climate Crisis, which is already ripping the planet's natural cycles to shreds, the related ecocide known as the Sixth Great Extinction, which threatens to annihilate as much as 30-50% of all species by mid-century, and of course, the Mondo Bizarro Trumpster Fire center-stage in the U.S. presidential election, and all of it is seemingly fusing into an echo chamber of catastrophe. Meanwhile, individually, as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, each of us is struggling, clawing, scrapping just to get by, carrying with us the heaviness of all of our wounds, all of our losses, all of our griefs. However wounded, however conflicted, however confused, here we are. We have been brought to this moment.

And a great shift is calling to us. We must rise, we must heal. Simultaneously.

At such moments, portals open. And there are portals opening all around us. Some beings are themselves portals, their very presence offers a threshold for others to cross over into a deeper experience of life. My friend Bast is such a portal. And yes, there are portals that open within portals. Thus, from within the portal of her own being, Bast has brought forth this book, and it too is a portal.

Heart Medicine is a portal that leads the reader on a wormhole journey into healing and self-discovery. Heart Medicine is an adventure story. It invites you to ride the rivers of intimacy and authenticity deeper and deeper into the realm of human relationship. Once inside of the pages of this book-portal, you will be offered a glimpse into the mysteries of plant medicine. Yes, yet another portal for you to step through if you feel called to do so. Like Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote and Psilocybin, Iboga can be experienced as a vehicle for the integration, transformation and expansion of consciousness. These plant medicines have been in use since before the beginning.
Elizabeth Bast and Chor Boogie
Photo by Ananda Ray

Here is another sip ...

 "The warmth returned. The trembling was softer this time. A deep peace washed over me. My mind was a vast tranquil ocean. I felt the sweet arms of Mother God and Father God wrapping gently around me, their adored child. For quite awhile, the medicine felt so subtle, and I felt a sense of relief. Maybe it will be light tonight. Unbeknownst to me then, the medicine was slowly gearing up to gift me with a different kind of roller coaster. It seemed intentional, even destined, that the Bwiti music was reaching me through space and time, on those particular nights, through that device, there in that little makeshift temple in Costa Rica. I felt the benevolent sound healing many layers of my being. The elaborate patterns of the percussion were continually disrupting the habitual downward spirals of my mind. I sent thanks to the musicians, wherever they were. The exuberant music communicated: Life! Life! Life! Keep dancing! Keep drumming! Keep singing! Keep on keeping on! Keep creating, exploring, hunting, feasting, giving, growing, birthing, being, loving, living! Yes! More life! I could see Moughenda in my vision, watching over us like a good shepherd. There was a translucent collective of souls with him. I knew this was his tribe in Africa. They stood behind him, all energetically bonded and supporting him, forming a single being with many hearts. They had become intimate and synergistic in ways that felt alien to my individualistic American culture. I remembered my questions. I wanted to dive deeper into them. I served as my own guide and inquired with the medicine directly. How can I master my mind in order to release my fear? The medicine responded: Imagine yourself to be a redwood tree. Hmm. Interesting answer. I suddenly felt myself to be a redwood tree being grounded, still, quiet, ancient, wise, strong yet gentle, immense yet inconspicuous. I perceived the timeless awareness of the noble tree: watching and waiting, protecting and whispering. My roots stretched deep into the fertile underground internet of Gaia. My branches and evergreen needles reached up and out toward the connected to all. I was so interwoven with heaven and earth that my individual borders blurred into oblivion. I was but a thread in the infinite divine latticework." -- Elizabeth Bast, Heart Medicine: A True Love Story, p. 247-249.

To get a copy of Heart Medicine: A True Love Story, visit

For more information on Bast's many offerings, visit

For a taste of Chor Boogie's amazing art, visit 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Soaring, Sol and Shadow, Incantations on the Far Shore

NOTE: Here are five images from my Instagram feed, crows and gulls soaring in Sol and Shadow, over Ocean Beach; with accompanying excerpts from four of the five volumes in my Primal Reality series. -- Blessings, Richard Power

We exist, simultaneously, in absolute aloneness and utter relationality. We are utterly alone, and yet we exist ONLY as a sum of relationships. This paradox is the divine reality. Every great wisdom teaching, whether of the heart, or the mind or the belly or the root, is framed within this divine paradox, and built upon a foundational realization of this divine paradox. Those who embrace it are on the path of realizing the truth of the universe and the self. Those who resist it are also on the path of realizing the truth of the universe and the self, but they are robbing themselves of the richness that is theirs to spend, and the power that is theirs to exercise, and so it is a more circuitous route. It is as simple as this, at every moment, the choice is ours. It does not matter what choices you have made in the past, they have all brought you here anyway. It only matters what you choose next. And the same will be true in the moment that follows this one. On and on. Yes. -- Richard Power, User's Guide to Human Incarnation: Yoga of Primal Reality (2013), p.65 Ocean Beach. San Francisco, March 2016. #notruthsoutsidethegatesofeden #thegreatwheelturns #wildmagic #shamanicpower #tantrikaknows #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #savagebeauty #tantrikaknows #tantrikaknows
A photo posted by Richard Power (@rgpoweriii) on

Meditation is not stillness, either in the body or the mind. There is no stillness in this universe. There are only ever more refined levels of vibration. Seated meditation, although efficacious, is not the definition of meditation, nor is a mind without fluctuations or tangents the goal of meditation. Meditation is not the absence of movement, either in the body or in the mind. If you do not understand the nature of the process, how will you recognize its results? Meditation must occupy the same space as movement, both in the body and in the mind. Movement is meditation. -- Richard Power, Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future (2015), pp. 118-119 Ocean Beach. San Francisco, March 2016. #whatismeditationreallyis #ancientfuture #cauldronyoga #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #wildmagic #notruthsoutsidethegatesofeden #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #tantrikaknows
A photo posted by Richard Power (@rgpoweriii) on

There is infinite power available to you, at every moment, and in all circumstances. It is the very substance of the universe. It cannot fail you. The trick is that you must decide how to shape the inner vessel with which to receive this power, and of course, you must also have a vision of what you will use it for. It is impossible to undo what has been done, or erase what has been written. But if you draw on the infinite power of the universe to discern the reality of what is, and thereby align yourself with that reality, then you will see your choices clearly, and be free to live from within the ceaseless current of that power for as long as you draw the breath of this life, and yes, of course, beyond. This is not something that you have to turn to any teacher for. This is not something you have to pay for, or work toward. This is who and what you are now. -- Richard Power, User's Guide to Human Incarnation: Yoga of Primal Reality (2013), p.15 Ocean Beach. San Francisco, March 2016. #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #wildmagic #whatismeditationreallyis #cauldronyoga #passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #thegreatwheelturns #shamanicpower #tantrikaknows
A photo posted by Richard Power (@rgpoweriii) on

Time is not linear; nor space three-dimensional. Strange when those who know this, act as if it were not true. If you study history from past to future, or study space by height, width and depth only, then you are just lost in your mind. It is love that frees you from the chalk-line of linear time and the confines of geometric space. Our being is a continuum, vast past, vast future, vast now; intimate, luminous, exquisite. Of course, linear time is acutely real; its reality is relativity, but it is nonetheless real. Likewise, three-dimensional space is acutely real, although relative. The scientist starts from linear time and three-dimensional space and journeys beyond them; the shaman starts from beyond linear time and three-dimensional space and journeys toward them. Both travelers arrive at the same destination in the end; it is called the beginning. -- Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality to An Era of Global Peril (2012), p. 53 Ocean Beach. San Francisco, March 2016. #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #wildmagic #thegreatwheelturns #shamanicpower #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #notruthsoutsidethegatesofeden #tantrikaknows
A photo posted by Richard Power (@rgpoweriii) on

The Primal Reality series includes (in reverse chronological order):
All five volumes are available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For more information on the work of Richard Power, author, speaker, yoga teacher, visit

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Great Wheel Turns: Full Moon. Solstice. June 2016.

Full Moon, Solstice. San Francisco, June 2016.

The Great Wheel rolls on. Ceaselessly. Move with it. The Grail overflows. Lift it to your lips.

Full Moon and Solstice on Monday, 6/20/16 and Tuesday 6/21/16. Yes!

Full Moon on Monday, 6/20/16 at 11:02 UTC, which means 1:02 am in Tahiti, 4:02 am in San Francisco, 7:02 am in Brooklyn, 11:02 am in Timbuktu, 1:02 pm on Copenhagen, 4:32 pm in Varanasi and 8:02 pm in Ulaan Baator (Mongolia).

Solstice at 22:34 UTC on Monday, which means Summer Solstice at 3:34 pm in San Francisco, Brooklyn at 6:34 pm, and on Tuesday at 12:34 am in Copenhagen and 7:34 am in Ulaan Baator, and Winter Solstice at 7:34 pm in Buenos Aires, and on Tuesday at 12:34 am in Johannesburg and at 8:34 am in Sydney. Embrace the polarity.

The Great Wheel turns. Ceaselessly. Move with it. The Grail overflows. Lift it to your lips.

#pearlofgreatprice #luna #solstice #sacredandprofanedances #thegreatwheelturns #gaia #pachamama #shamanicpower #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #cauldron #wildmagic #lifeoftheyogi #passionofthepoet #troubadourskilledbeforetheyreachbombay #strangerinastrangeland #soma #psyche #notacaravanofdespair #yearoftheyangfiremonkey #tantrikaknows

-- Richard Power 

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For information, visit Power's Amazon author's page.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #2: Lessons of 2000 and 2008

Evelyne Axell -- Angela Davis II (1972)

“Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over." -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Thom Hartmann Show, 7/28/15

"There used to be a quip that the United States was a one-party state with a business party that had two factions: the Democrats and Republicans—and that used to be pretty accurate, but it’s not anymore. The U.S. is still a two-party state, but there’s only one faction, and it’s not Democrats, it’s moderate Republicans. Today’s Democrats have shifted to the right," -- Noam Chomsky, RT, 10/9/13

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #2: Lessons of 2000 and 2008

NOTE: For many weeks, I have told myself I need to write you another post about this election cycle, but every week, I have put it off again, hoping somehow that the narrative would change, and I could offer you a different take on it all. But the cycle will soon be moving into a new phase, so the time has come to say something about where we find ourselves at this juncture. There will likely be two or three more posts before the election. It depends on several factors. The narrative is still developing. There are some wicked plot twists coming, perhaps even some mind-blowing ones.

Meanwhile ...

There are some profound lessons to be drawn from two previous presidential elections, 2008 and 2000.  It is vital that you consider these lessons before you make a decision about November.

Lessons of the 2008 Election

In 2008, Senator Clinton ran as if she was the presumptive nominee. But when her weaknesses as a political leader and as a communicator became undeniable, her campaign was overtaken from behind by that of Barack Obama. Of course, Senator Obama was successful because he could operate in two worlds at once, yes, on the campaign trail he could speak with authenticity to disenfranchised multitude (particular young voters) in a way that inspired hope, while at the same he was able to reassure the Party establishment and its Wall Street donors that he would not allow the uprising to get out of control, i.e., he was a centrist who could effectively deliver a populist message. Obama seized the nomination, wisely chose Joe Biden as his running mate and went on to defeat McCain/Palin.

I have a list of bones I would pick with POTUS in an exit interview (e.g., his administration's policies on Darfur, and its treatment of national security whistle-blowers), but in truth the sum total of the bones I would pick does not outweigh the sum total of what Obama-Biden was able to accomplish in spite of Zombie Death Cult control of the House and the Senate for most of the last eight years.

What accomplishments?
  1. Genuine U.S. support for the COP 21 Climate agreement arrived at in Paris late last year. 
  2. Blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline. 
  3. The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), which, although it is not Medicare for all (which is what we must evolve toward), has nonetheless provided allowed tens of millions of poor and low income citizens to get authentic health insurance, and could have been even more successful if it had not been thwarted by Zombie Death Cult control over states like Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Texas and New Jersey. 
  4. Not only avoiding war with Iran, but negotiating an agreement that should result in thwarting Iranian nuclear weapons program,  if left in place and not undermined by factions in Tehran or Beltwayistan. (This deal would not have happened if either McCain or Hillary Clinton had been elected President in 2008. She wanted that conflict, as her Margaret Thatcher moment. Furthermore, this deal would not have happened if John Kerry had not replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary.) 
  5. In February 2015, Obama's FCC adopted his recommendation (made in November 2014) to "reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, treating them as public utilities, like phone service," and thus enshrining the essential principle of Net Neutrality. Well, at least until the next President appoints her or his own FCC
  6. Two worthy SCOTUS appointments, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. And, as a result of Scalia's death, Obama could potentially secure a third SCOTUS seat, throwing the Court back to a 5/4 SANITY edge if a lame duck Senate (or a new Senate controlled by Democrats) decides it would rather confirm Garland than gamble on whoever the next President nominates. The death of Scalia and the potential of a power shift in the Senate would mean end to the madness of treating corporations as persons and money as speech.
  7. Normalizing relations with Cuba. 
  8. Consider this extraordinary moment, the first African American woman Attorney General of the United States striding up to the microphone to commit the full weight of the United State Justice Department in defense of transgender persons in North Carolina:  US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Transgender Law North Carolina May 9, 2016
NONE of these eight positive steps forward would have been taken in a McCain/Palin or Romney/Ryan administration, arguably some of them would not have been taken by Clinton (in particular, scuttling XL Pipeline and negotiating an agreement with Iran). It is also important to note that some of these accomplishments (in particular, COP 21, XL Pipeline and Net Neutrality) were carried through in response to strong pressure from an engaged and growing progressive base. But a McCain/Palin administration would have been impervious to such pressure. Whatever Clinton does or doesn't do if elected, she will be answerable to the engaged and growing progressive base, as she looks ahead to re-election in 2020. If Trump is elected, he will be answerable only to the Zombie Cult and its Death Eater Overlords, IF to anyone at all.

So please don't tell me there is no difference between the two parties. It is a foolish statement.

Diego Rivera - Night of the Rich (1928)
Unfortunately, it is increasingly unlikely that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will be able to do in 2016 what Barack Obama did in 2008, i.e., take down the Clinton juggernaut from behind. Not because Sanders doesn't have the popular support, or is any less effective a communicator. But because Sanders has only half of Obama's winning combination on his side. He has the popular support and the populist message. But he does not have the behind-the-curtain establishment support, he is not a candidate that could or would reassure Wall Street and the lobbying class on the down low. Because Sanders actually is a progressive populist. Which means that the Super Delegates won't be won over by him. They won't defect. Even if/when Sanders wins the California primary. They will stick with Clinton, because she will not chase the money lenders from the temple, e.g., she will not bring back the Glass-Steagal Act. And so Sanders is at a distinct disadvantage in the Byzantine realm of delegate aggregation, and Clinton will probably survive, in spite of her political weaknesses.
Diego Rivera - Night of the Poor (1928)

Bernie Sanders Has Already Won

But whatever happens in July or November, Bernie Sanders has already won. He has raised up a movement, given it language, and framed it historically, and hopefully it will move on beyond his candidacy to drive us toward the great shift we must undertake if we are to survive the deepening challenges that confront us.

Consider the crowds he has drawn on the campaign trail.

"Despite the mainstream media’s repeated assertions that the Bernie Sanders movement is now a thing of the past, enthusiasm from his base only seems to be growing, based on the overwhelming number of people who flocked to his rally in Sacramento this Monday night. Supporters lined up for over four hours to see Senator Sanders outside Bonney Field — some of them even longer. The following video by Our Voice Media shows the massive scope of the line, as the videographers take several minutes to drive from one end of the line to the other. Somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 people were estimated to have been packed inside the stadium, with more than 10,000 more continuing to wait outside." -- Nathan Wellman, U.S. Uncut, Media Silent as Bernie Sanders Packs California Stadium Beyond Capacity. 5/11/16

Consider the strong progressive voices he has forced on to the Platform Committee.

"Sanders has won a sufficient number of delegates—and a sufficient opening in the debate—to influence the shaping of that agenda. And his representatives on the convention’s newly selected platform-writing committee share a commitment to make it profoundly progressive. Take the issue of climate change, as an example. Sanders has secured a place for author, activist, and co-founder Bill McKibben, on the 15-person Platform Drafting Committee—which is responsible for outlining the platform that will eventually be approved at the party’s late-July convention in Philadelphia ... The Sanders selections are all noted progressives: Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, academic and activist Cornel West (the author of the groundbreaking 1994 book Race Matters and a leading member of Democratic Socialists of America), Native American activist and former Tulalip Tribes Vice Chair Deborah Parker (a key advocate for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act), and Arab-American Institute President James Zogby (a veteran of many conventions who was an adviser to the campaigns of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vice President Al Gore and President Obama)." -- John Nichols, Democratic Platform Committee Now Has a Progressive Majority. Thanks, Bernie Sanders. The Nation, 5/24/16

The Sanders campaign has framed the progressive agenda for a new generation, THE transformational generation, AND in the process an authentic movement has begun to take shape, a movement on the right side of history, poised to push in the direction of sanity and survival as we teeter here on the cusp between renewal and oblivion.

"I like the idea of saying, 'We can do much more,' because we can," [Vice President] Biden told The New York Times in an interview ... Sanders' critics -- most notably surrogates for his primary opponent Hillary Clinton and the candidate, herself -- often question how realistic his proposals are, but Biden dismissed that concern. "I don't think any Democrat's ever won saying, 'We can't think that big — we ought to really downsize here because it's not realistic,'" Biden said. "C'mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I'm not part of the party that says, 'Well, we can't do it.'" -- Joe Biden praises Bernie Sanders for 'thinking big', CNN, 4/22/

Lessons of the 2000 Election

What lesson does the election of 2000 hold for us today? The most important lesson of all. The one many of you don't want to hear again. But it is more timely than ever before.

I spent the 1990s defending the Clintons from the "vast right-wing conspiracy" (yes, she was spot-on). And whenever anyone raised an issue concerning one of the Clinton administration's corporatist moves, e.g., so-called "Welfare reform" or NAFTA or the Telecommunications Act of 1996, I would say, "We'll fix it later." But of course "later" never came. Gore never got a chance. Significant sabotage was undertaken in the state of Fraudida, and then Supreme Injustice kicked in and Bush and Cheney were installed as _resident and VICE _resident by a ruling that was tantamount to a judicial coup d'etat (read None Dare Call It Treason).

Yes, yes, but what does this have to do with 2016?

In the final weeks of the 2000 presidential campaign, the shell of a man formerly known as Ralph Nader went around the country saying that there was "no difference between voting for Bush or Gore." No difference. He was unequivocal. He spent some time in the final days of the campaign, in Florida, repeating this axiom over and over: "no difference between voting for Bush or Gore." Seriously. Well, allegedly, the election ended in a electoral college dead heat, and it all came down to Florida, and we were supposed to believe the two campaigns were fighting over just a few hundred votes. There is much more to this story. And I have written about it on this blog, and others have documented it in various ways. But all that's important here is that tens of thousands of Floridians bought into lie being perpetrated by the shell of a man formerly known as Ralph Nader (he is too intelligent for it not to be a willful lie). If even half of those who voted for the shell of a man formerly known as Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, Rove, Baker, Scalia et al would not have been able to steal that election. Seriously.

Which would have meant certainly no mad invasion of Iraq, certainly no malign neglect of the city of New Orleans in the hours before or the days after Hurricane Katrina, certainly no gutting of the budget surplus for a tax cut skewed to the richest among us, certainly no abandonment of the Kyoto Accords and therefore no lost eight years in the struggle to come to grips with the Climate Crisis, and very probably no slaughter of the innocents on 9/11 since Clinton-Gore were already prepping a hit on Bin Laden's lair, and Gore would not have IGNORED the national security council staff and CIA analysts who were warning of imminent attack, nor would Bin Laden have been allowed to escape Tora Bora unchallenged, and on and on and on, no PATRIOT Act, no sanctioned violations of the Geneva Accords, NO TORTURE, no shredding of the Bill of Rights, and on and on ...

Edward S. Curtis - Mohave Water Carrier (1903)
So please don't tell me there is no difference between the two parties. Even now, even if this contest comes down to Trump vs. Hillary Clinton with her neoliberal economics and her neocon geopolitics. Seriously. And I am not asking you to heed me, I am asking you to wait and see for yourself what Sen. Bernie Sanders does should he lose the nomination. What stand will he take? What will he encourage you to do? If you are truly #bernieorbust shouldn't you consider what he has to say before you sit it out or throw away your vote?

And while you are waiting for what Sanders has to say after the Democratic race is decided ...

Consider what the indomitable Angela Davis recently said in the starkest, simplest terms:

Famed activist and academic Angela Davis on Friday urged voters to “do whatever is necessary” to avoid a Donald Trump presidency, Fusion reports. Davis, who is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness at U.C. Santa Cruz, was speaking at the Brooklyn Museum in New York on Friday, where she was recognized for her commitment to advocacy. Davis cautioned against allowing GOP candidate Donald Trump to take the election in November. “We talked about the emergence of new movements, but what we haven’t referred to is the extent to which racism has been revealed and in ways that many of us, who are seasoned activists, had thought to be consigned to dustbin of history,” Davis told a rapt audience. She cautioned against allowing “apathy” to permit “incendiary” people like Trump to seize power. - Bethania Palma Markus, Legendary radical activist Angela Davis: ‘We have to do whatever is necessary’ to stop Trump, Raw Story, 6/3/16

Consider too the sage advice of the great Noam Chomsky, also put in the starkest, simplest terms:

Noam Chomsky has been casting this year’s presidential election in life-or-death terms for the human species. The famed linguist and political scientist last week gave a pair of interviews that painted a dire picture of U.S. politics — which he said had been warped by a Republican Party bent on risking nuclear war and environmental devastation. “The fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history,” Chomsky said in an interview with Democracy Now. The former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said electing Donald Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, could put the future of human existence at risk with his policies — whatever they might be. “It’s hard to say because we don’t really know what he thinks, and I’m not sure he knows what he thinks,” Chomsky told The Guardian. “He’s perfectly capable of saying contradictory things at the same time.” “But there are some pretty stable elements of his ideology, if you can even grant him that concept,” he continued. “One of them is: ‘Climate change is not taking place.’ As he puts it: ‘Forget it.’ And that’s almost a death knell for the species – not tomorrow, but the decisions we take now are going to affect things in a couple of decades, and in a couple of generations it could be catastrophic.” Chomsky, who has praised Bernie Sanders’ policies, again repeated his assertion that he would vote against the Republican candidate. “If I were in a swing state, a state that matters, and the choice were Clinton or Trump, I would vote against Trump,” Chomsky said. “And by arithmetic that means hold your nose and vote for Clinton.” -- Travis Gettys, Noam Chomsky: Trump as president would be ‘almost a death knell for the species,’ 5/23/16

I do not support Hillary Clinton, and I will not. She is wrong on many vital issues, for example, fracking, and she is a tone-deaf campaigner. But I will vote for the Democratic Party nominee, whoever it is, because I understand the difference between the parties, the difference for example between the institutionalization of misogyny versus the funding of Planned Parenthood. But there is much road ahead before we get to the conventions in July, and so much more road beyond that before we get to the November election. There are several plot twists yet to come.

So stay awake. Heed the wise council of Chomsky and Angela Davis. Wait on word from Senator Sanders on the other side of the nomination process.

AND please remember the lessons of 2000 and 2008.

Oh, yes, and I will give the last word to Mac Stipanovich, an actual Republican Party operative who, in this op-ed piece, proves himself to be above all a patriot:

On a personal level, Trump is a boor, a bully, a carnival barker, and an embarrassment. Politically, by intent or instinct, he is a neo-fascist — a nativist, an ultranationalist, a racist, a misogynist, an anti-intellectual, a demagogue, and a palingenetic (sorry) authoritarian to whom clings the odor of the political violence he encourages. He appeals to our fears, preys on our anxieties, and exploits our ignorance. A worse candidate to sit in the Oval Office for the next four years cannot be imagined.
And he is our responsibility. We spawned Donald Trump; now we must stop him. We must deny him the presidency by not voting in the presidential election at all or voting for Hillary Clinton if conscience permits. A drop of a few percentage points in the Republican vote for Trump will be enough, which is why the pressure to conform, to toe the Party line, will be enormous. We cannot depend on our elected leaders to lead us. They, for the most part, will fold like cheap lawn chairs, cowed by fear and fueled by ambition. It’s up to us. Each one of us is being tested, and the choice each of us makes matters, for ourselves, for our grandchildren. As bad as the cure for Trump’s Caesarism will be for the Party and for the country, it will not be bad as the disease, and both will survive. So if anyone asks you, “Et tu Brute?” answer proudly, “Damned right.”Mac Stipanovich, An open letter to my fellow Republicans, St. Petersburg Blog, 5/4/16

See also Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #1: Of Trump, Snowden and Sanders 

-- Richard Power 

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.