Ravens, Ayahuasca, Story Wars, Usual Stuff…..















<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Spoiler Alert: The Egyptian government turned an ancient and mysterious site of interest into a garbage dump, now damaged and inaccessible.<br><br>This is why Western countries have to take on the responsibility of preserving ancient artifacts and ruins.<a href="https://t.co/9LXup6anqA">https://t.co/9LXup6anqA</a></p>&mdash; Tara McCarthy (@TaraMcCarthy444) <a href="https://twitter.com/TaraMcCarthy444/status/981285666079244288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-conversation=”none” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The current ethnic group occupying Egypt appears to have zero to little interest in preserving, understanding, or exploring ancient artifacts and architecture in their land.<br><br>Some say that they fear it contradicting their religious beliefs about how old the world is, thus coverup</p>&mdash; Tara McCarthy (@TaraMcCarthy444) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TaraMcCarthy444/status/981286064420683776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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According to legend, ravens used to swoop onto Britain’s medieval battlefields to feast on the carnage, announcing their arrival with a malevolent shriek that “sounds like it’s from hell,” Skaife says. But that hasn’t stopped him from broadcasting it to the world. As modern Ravenmaster, he’s added a new task to the job description: Social Media Master. With more than 20,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook, and almost 50 million loops on Vine, Skaife seems to have cornered the market on raven-related media. On his various accounts, countless clips of these jet-black birds croak and caw away much to the delight of his followers.

“I have the deepest, darkest Goth followers, scientists, bird lovers, historians, artists—you name it,” Skaife says. “They have a general interest in birds and corvids. So that’s brilliant.”




Fear occurs when we leave the present moment, as fear is based on our perception that a bad outcome with occur.

As fear set in, I performed more and more sets of Wim Hof breathing exercises. Fear occurs when you lose control of your breath, and by controlling your breath you maintain control of your fear.

The day of the ceremony, Nic and I both stretched. He did a bunch of Yoga and I did 10 Wim Hof breaths while holding stretches.

We were ready.

The ayahuasca ceremony.







It has long been assumed by most archaeologist that the Bluestones were transported by people from Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge. This may or many not be true. However, the reasons why anybody should have bothered have not been really discussed, other than suggesting a vague sacredness of the Preseli area. I have no problem with the bluestones being sacred. It’s just that there are some perfectly attractive, and potentially just as sacred, stones in the Mendips or Quantock Hills, say, which are much handier for Stonehenge.

But if the bluestones lay on an existing route to and from somewhere important at the time then their significance can be better appreciated. What if, as in a previous post, traders coming from Ireland with copper to trade avoided the difficult rocky coast of the Pembrokeshire headland by taking a route across the headland from north to south. A route via the Nyfer and the Taf, and therefore passing the Bluestone site of Carn Menyn, seems like a good choice for this. It is interesting to note the concentration of Neolithic and Bronze age standing stones at the northern end of this route.

There is also a second possible route across the headland, further to the east, starting along the Teifi River then crossing a broad section of land to join the Tywi in the south. Again between these rivers there is a concentration of standing stones, although this route does not pass the Preseli Hills.

Perhaps somewhere in this data lies part of the reason why anybody would have bothered to collect the bluestones and move them all the way to Stonehenge. After all they were going that way anyway.

Well, it’s only a thought.

(P.S. by chance “pres” means copper in Welsh. There is no significant copper deposit in Pembrokeshire and this put me in mind of an exciting survival of some ancient name in Preseli. I suspect, however, that the word “pres”‘s etymology can be traced back to the English word “brass”, and so is much younger than Stonehenge. Oh well.)





Psychedelics are having a moment. Clinical trials have found promising results regarding the efficacy of MDMA to treat PTSD, magic mushrooms to treat depression, and ketamine to treat OCD. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have been touting the powers of LSD microdosing to increase productivity and creativity. And ayahuasca retreats—where people ingest the Amazonian hallucinogen in shamanic ceremonies—are gaining popularity among Americans.

But these substances’ benefits don’t make them risk-free—especially not outside the supervision of a doctor or therapist, says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. The risks and benefits of psychedelics depend on the drug, the dose, the frequency with which you take it, the purity, and whether you mix it with other drugs. In general, Giordano recommends sticking to a microdose or, at most, a low dose (see how much this is for each drug below) and waiting at least 10-14 days between doses (except for ayahuasca, where up to three consecutive days pose minimal risk).

So, how harmful are psychedelics, really? Here’s what you need to know about five of the most popular psychedelics recently enlisted for therapeutic purposes.





The Nazca Lines of Peru are world-famous as an ancient marvel (not least due to their central place in ‘ancient astronaut’ theories) – large ‘drawings’ made on the dry desert landscape by moving rocks to expose the ground beneath; so large that they are often only visible as a complete picture by viewing from above.

And now Peruvian archaeologists have announced that they have found more than 50 new ‘geoglyphs’ – not at Nazca though, but in adjacent Palpa province – after being tipped off to possible sites of significance by armchair ‘space archaeologists’.





A few days before his death in Rome in 1564 Michelangelo is said to have destroyed all the drawings in his house. He had done something similar on at least three previous occasions. But despite his efforts more than two hundred drawings are almost universally accepted today as being wholly or in part by his hand, and most experts would argue for a much higher figure. Substantial though these numbers are, it is clear that only a tiny fraction of the drawings that he produced has survived. For example, there are famous studies of individual figures on the Sistine ceiling, but only for three or four figures, though it seems virtually certain that he made similar drawings for every major figure, of which there are well over a hundred. The situation with his other major works in painting, notably the lost cartoon for a battle picture in the town hall of Florence, known as the Battle of Cascina, and the Last Judgment, is just as bad if not worse. About a hundred and thirty of the surviving drawings are currently on show in the Metropolitan Museum, including many of the most famous, in what must be one of the most comprehensive displays ever assembled. It includes examples of all the different types of drawing Michelangelo seems to have produced, from rough pen sketches to completed full-size cartoons, and covers every stage in his career.




The following is an edited version of two transcripts of interviews of Rorion Gracie conducted by James Williams and Stanley A. Pranin of Aikido Journal in the fall of 1994.




A man tried to gouge his friend’s eye out with a spoon, a court heard.

Jamie Orr tried to put the spoon into his friend’s left eye socket after he fell asleep on the sofa.


What would he do to his enemy, if that’s what he does to his friend, eh ?

You fall asleep and the next thing you know, your ‘friend’ is trying to dig your eye out with a spoon…..The police, social services, medical staff, have to deal with that kind of crap every day, and then the courts, prisons and mental hospitals have to contain them, and the population has to be taxed to pay for it all.

Where was I, before being distracted by that ‘news’ ? Oh yes, marty sent a contribution in the previous comments, and posted this interesting video.


So what do I make of that ?

Seems to me, (following Orwell), that if you want to control people, then a good way to do it is to control the story of their past (who they are and where they came from) because the ideas of their past are what provides them with a sense of identity, social coherence, belonging, direction, continuity, tradition, etc.

So there is a sort of vested interest in repeating a story of the past and persuading as many as possible to believe it, even forcing conformity to those beliefs by intimidation and penalties.

Consider, as all children must do at some point, questioning personal identity and how you came to be existing at whatever time and place. And the answer, perhaps supplied by an elderly relative, or by research… ‘Well, your great-great grandfather was so-and-so, and he married such-and-such, and then they moved to wherever, and had five children, and then…’ etc, etc.

I know this from direct personal experience, because when I learned (in middle age) about my detailed ancestry, that knowledge had a remarkable effect upon my own sense of identity and connection to earlier generations and particular localities.

There is a sort of corollary to that, that if your intention would be to destroy social coherence and context, to subvert sense of identity, then you could undermine, conceal or attempt to obliterate someone’s historical and ancestral connections.

I’m not sure if I’ve explained that clearly or sufficiently, but it seems to me like a fairly simple and easy notion to grasp. For example, if you’re born into some Native American tribe, or live in Finland or Nepal or Spain, wherever, with ancestry going back centuries, this provides identity and bonds to locality, and connects to others with a shared story and similar connections to place.

This inevitably leads to Story Wars, because one bunch of people can lay claim to a piece of land by virtue of their identity, and have that claim contested by another bunch of people with an alternative story and sense of identity.

My early education, as a child, was provided to me by teachers who had very definite agendas, which it was impossible for me to recognise at that time. DNA (and much else) had not yet been discovered. The versions of the past that were provided and promoted were, in retrospect, mostly propaganda, i.e. stories that supported certain religious outlooks and political agendas.

It would be very convenient if there were only ONE story of the past which everyone accepted and agreed upon, it would save us a lot of anguish and strife, but unfortunately, we don’t have that option, not least because science is essentially subversive, as new discoveries and knowledge force conceptions and paradigms to be changed.

I was a fan of Robert Graves (poet, classical scholar, notable soldier) for some years and read most of his stuff. But his ‘history’ was built upon ancient Greek, Roman and Irish writings that happened to have survived the centuries. That was what the history of the world looked like in the first half of last century. It mostly began with the Celts and Julius Caesar.

Since then, we now know that there were several thousands of years prior to Classical Antiquity, with all kinds of complicated stuff going on all over the place. And a vast prior period going back to earliest Homo sapiens, maybe 300,000 years ago. That appears to be the mainstream view as accepted in British academia, anyway.

But if your aim is to sustain a coherent national identity, you don’t really want to upset the apple cart with radical new interpretations of ‘what happened’, what you want is more like, for example, Winston Churchill’s ‘This Island Race’. A romanticised, idealised, national myth that makes everyone feel a sense coherence by way of shared heroic identity striving to exist across time.

As I see it, that’s what the marxists and socialist radicals aim to undermine. They have their own mythology, like ‘Workers of the world unite’, which seeks to destroy national identities and force everyone into a cosmopolitan melting pot. Same sort of strategy as the unelected people who control the European Union, who want to dissolve borders and national identities. Like Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution.

Years ago, before I moved here, I did a college course on Countryside Management, which was very disappointing but gave me some insight into how such educational organisations work. Seemed to me that the teachers were told roughly what their job was, to cover certain topics, so that’s what they did, as obedient bureaucrats repeating the approved dogma.

I wanted to get some insight into how the countryside had come to be as it as, (along the lines of say, Oliver Rackham) but that was discouraged. We began with the Romans, ignoring the four or five thousand years of earlier farming, spent ten minutes on Roman villas, etc, and then leaped to the 16th and 17th Centuries and the invention of mechanised agriculture.

It was dismal. My impression was that the guys who get those jobs are quite happy to teach what they’ve been told, collect their salaries and other perks, and have no interest in inconvenient anomalies which might disrupt the story.

On the other hand, we have the far out wacko fringe guys, who live in imagined alternative histories, where there are connections to Space aliens and all that kind of stuff, or where human civilisations go back many millions of years.

Here’s a recent example from Gavin Schmidt (of whom I’m not a fan) of NASA and the Real Climate blog.

Professor Frank was hoping to solve the question of whether any industrial civilisation that rises on any planet in the universe will trigger a shift in their homeworld’s climate. Upon hearing about his research, Dr Schmidt questioned his assumption that humanity is the only time a civilisation has arisen that is capable of affecting the Earth’s climate. Writing in The Atlantic, Professor Frank said: ‘There is a conundrum here. If an earlier species’s industrial activity is short-lived, we might not be able to easily see it.


It suggests the possibility of a string of alien cultures on a single planet which are  literally fuelled by the bodies of the predecessors.

I found that slightly surprising, because those type of rather wild speculations usually come from folk in Moscow (I forget the guy’s name. New Earth Lady, Sophie Ivanova has mentioned that source sometimes), or the Indian Hindu fundamentalists, or other eccentric sources, like Zecharia Sitchin, whom I personally tend to classify as fiction and fantasy.


It would be nice to be guided by the principle of following hard evidence, but unfortunately, when evidence is absent or very sparse (as in the case of fossil remnants of ancestral forms) then there’s room for all kinds of speculation. And there are plenty of folk who are not even convinced by the Evolutionary paradigm at all, for example, Jay Dyer, (whom I rather like for other reasons).

I have mentioned before, how I was heavily indoctrinated with the Roman Catholic story, in early childhood, followed by the Quaker version of Christianity, then a more Anglican or Church of England (actually the Church in Wales) version, all making claims to their own exclusive superiority. Then came atheistic (or agnostic) science and Darwinian biology. It was all extremely bewildering and confusing !

That experience is why I am a fan of Jordan Peterson, because his psychoanalytic interpretations of the biblical stories, whilst not excluding any other interpretations, make a great deal of sense to me.

I believe that we are story-telling animals. We locate ourselves within time and space and make sense of our experiences by way of stories. This inevitably results in story wars, where, rather like football fans, we become attached to our favourite stories, even to the extent that we are prepared to kill and die for them.

I think I can honestly say that most of my life has been preoccupied with these story wars. It used to be simpler, pre internet, because there were fewer influences and so life was rather less complicated. But now the battles are vicious and intense and are probably going to decide whether we meet a terminal cataclysm which finishes us all off.

In recent months I’ve tended to be focussed on the leading edge of all the insanity, that is Twitter, and the overwhelming cascade of new info which arises each day, but really the past is much more interesting in many ways, and is what gives meaning and context to current events and their possible interpretations.

There are several kinds of ancient relics which are not explained by dominant paradigms, and which remain deeply mysterious. One is the mystery of the megalithic stonework, which extends from Japan to Europe, ancient Egypt  and South America, with similar style and the strange protruding knobs.

I guess that there is a possibility that that construction style was discovered and developed independently without any connecting influence. My guess would be that the typical mudhut type of house could have evolved that way, discovered many times by many different peoples. I find it much more difficult to accept that the megalithic structures evolved independently. Nobody seems to have any adequate theory to explain the enigmatic protruberances.

Then there are the weird ‘cart tracks’ which are also widely distributed geographically and equally baffling. And the bizarre elongated skulls. The socalled respectable established academics simply avoid these questions, as if their careers and promotion would be threatened by paying any attention to them at all, which is likely the reason. It’s okay for a professor to be a Marxist revolutionary encouraging social insurrection, but to deviate from orthodox beliefs about human history is off limits. There are exceptions of course. I like John Hawks.

Imagine being born into a culture with a rich legacy of thousands of years of cultural knowledge of coastal resources, and instead of following the ways of your ancestors, deciding to strike into Patagonia, or into the Amazon rainforest, or across the Atacama Desert.

The archaeologists who consider the initial habitation of the Americas have long thought about these logistical issues, and there are no easy answers. But South America may well have been home to a Last Glacial Maximum human population, one that took 4000 years to spread across both North and South America.

The earliest cranial remains we have from both North and South America are surprisingly variable in comparison to later peoples of the Americas. Those skulls suggest the possibility that they represent populations that had already experienced a lot of diversifying evolution by genetic drift. An earlier initial spread of humans across South America might explain that appearance.


What is that building ? What happened to it ?

That must be all for the moment. My health is poor, so I am struggling a bit. Sorry about the Tara McCarthy tweet at the start, I’m unable to get it to display properly, for some unknown reason.

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