It has been far too long since this blog has received the proper amount of attention from me, and for that, I apologize.  In my defense, several wonderful changes have occurred for me, the most important of which is also the most time-consuming.  Named for my beloved Grandma, Eleanor Rae Swift made her entrance into the world this past June.  Coincidentally, my mother and aunt were participating in the closing ceremonies at the annual Dowsing Convention, and many people I love and respect, as well as many strangers, were chanting and sending energy to us during my labor.  4.5 hours and no drugs later, Ellie joined me in the tub, calm and wide-eyed, and Drew and I couldn’t be happier.  Since then, she has befriended all sorts of people, and always astounds strangers with how alert and of-the-Earth she is.  Intuitive friends sense that she is meant for great things, and – despite perhaps being biased – I can’t help but agree.  She is teaching me as much as I’m teaching her, if not more, and I am thankful I was able to honor my grandmother in such a special way.

To ease my way back into better utilizing this forum, I will share a few resources and tips that I found essential during my pregnancy.  I have to add that mind-over-matter was the secret to my success.  I had a wonderful pregnancy and amazing labor.  Any and every expecting woman is capable of the same.

  • Anything by Ina May Gaskins.  I have a friend who read Spiritual Midwifery, but I only read her Guide to Childbirth, and it helped me to better realize that there was nothing to be nervous about.  As women, our bodies were designed for this purpose, and can accomplish it beautifully if we allow ourselves to follow our instincts.
  • The Business of Being Born.  When I first mentioned the idea of a having the baby at home or at a birthing center, Drew’s response was, “Hospitals.  It’s what they’re made for.”  After seeing this documentary, his tune changed.  Each birth is different, and I am by no means opposed to or judging women who choose to deliver in hospitals, but if that is your desired location, at least be aware of the potential decisions you may face.  For me, my experience in a birthing center with midwives was more wonderful than I can describe.
  • Drew and I used the Bradley Method to educate ourselves, but whatever system is preferred, I found that taking classes allowed me to have complete confidence that my partner knew exactly what to expect for a variety of potential situations, how to assist and relax me, and better facilitated our communication throughout my pregnancy and labor.  I could not have had the amazing experience I did if not for him.

The American Society of Dowsers is having their annual Dowsing Convention in Killington, Vermont this year.  I have a special soft spot for this event, because it was my first true exposure to a community of powerful, supportive, and wise dowsers.  I highly encourage you all to check out the Convention Booklet and explore the pre-convention workshops.  You can learn from masters about everything from spiritual empowerment, to shamanic crystal work, to labyrinth building, or attend one of the dowsing schools for different levels of instruction.  New information is constantly being added regarding the workshops during the convention proper, and there are topics of interest for everyone.  People of all ages attend, and I have never been around so many people emanating positive energy and (it sounds cheesy, I know) unconditional love.

The keynote presentation will be given by Russel Targ, a fascinating man who was involved with the creation of the laser for peaceful uses, and helped develop remote viewing for the US government in the 1970’s and ’80’s.  His speech will focus on ESP and remote viewing as a spiritual path, and how by using these abilities, we can work towards discovering who we really are.

A few of the many wonderful presenters include:

  • Marty Cain, an amazing lady and labyrinth builder.
  • Joey Korn, who has made remarkable connections between the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and the energy lines he dowses in nature and made by us.
  • Ellie Drew, a spirit messenger who focuses on conscious manifesting.
  • Adhi Two Owls, a shaman who works with sacred objects and their energies.
  • … keep checking dowsers.org for more!!

Nuts for Coconuts

Throw away your Canola oil, dump the soybean down the drain, and if any of you still use Crisco, Santa’s bringing you coal this year.  It can be tempting to save a buck and choose the cheapest oil at the market, but what you save in the grocery aisle, you’ll pay to your doctor a hundred times over.  Where would you rather see your money go?

It can be difficult to maneuver through the maze of propaganda regarding a “healthy diet”, especially since much of what we read is engineered by special interest groups, influenced by international trade, and subject to government bureaucracy at its best.  Through one of many negative P.R. campaigns intended to boost the sales of domestic products like soybean oil, we were taught that animal and other saturated fats were causing our cardiac downfall, and a switch to unsaturated fats was our healthiest alternative.  To see the flaw in this logic, we must only look to areas of the world that ignored these notions and maintained their traditional diets; many Mediterranean, Inuit, and Polynesian peoples who ate fats and oils from nuts and animals, as they had always done, remained healthy and continued to flourish.

Have you ever wondered why some leftovers get a “stale” taste after only  a few hours – even when refrigerated?  Chances are they were cooked with unsaturated oils (veggie, flaxseed, sunflower, olive oil, etc.) which literally became rancid.  Fresh unsaturated oils are even worse:  once eaten, the combination of heat and oxygen causes the oil to oxidize and it quickly goes bad inside your body.  One of coconut oil’s many boons is the molecular stability of its saturated fats.  It won’t suffer this heat damage, and won’t become rancid even after one year at room temperature.

Without delving terribly far into the wonderful world of medium chain triglycerides, myristic acid, ethanolamide, and fatty alcohol ether sulphate, I’ll summarize some of the salient benefits provided by coconut oil.  I encourage you to explore the resources posted throughout this article, and really examine what you’re putting into your body.  Consider the processes used to make your cooking oils, and where the ingredients are coming from (for example, anything containing Canola oil is made from Rapeseed oil, which is poisonous to living things).  As always, when in doubt, dowse it!


  • Alzheimer’s & Other Degenerative Diseases: Linked is an interesting and personal case study that argues for future research on coconut oil and its ketone bodies (or ketoacids) and their ability to prevent and treat a number of degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, drug resistant epilepsy, and more.  Additionally, the antioxidant properties in coconut oil help to prevent premature aging and other degenerative diseases.
  • Bones & Teeth: Because of its ability to improve the absorption of essential minerals, including calcium and magnesium, coconut oil aids the development of strong bones and teeth, and is useful for women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.  It also stops tooth decay.
  • Diabetes: Coconut oil assists in controlling blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin.  It helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
  • Digestion: Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil, and can prevent various stomach and digestion related problems, to include irritable bowel syndrome.  The saturated fats contain antimicrobial properties that assist the body in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other causes of indigestion.  This oil also helps the body to absorb other nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Hair Care: Massaging the head with coconut oil will ensure the scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry.  It is an excellent conditioner and provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair.
  • Healing & Infections: When applied on infections, coconut oil forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and virus.  The oil is also effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
  • Heart Disease: As a result of misleading propaganda, we have been led to believe the saturated fats present in coconut oil are bad for the heart.  However, this oil is actually beneficial because it contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other heart related problems.
  • HIV & Cancer: Studies since the 1920’s have shown an association between the consumption of unsaturated oils and the incidence of cancer.  Additionally, the antiviral properties reduce the susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients to infections.
  • Hypothyroidism: Coconut oil is known to stimulate the thyroid. The linked article is something everyone should read, because many of us don’t even realize our thyroids might not be performing properly.  Symptoms of low thyroid function include cold hands and feet, low body temperature, sensitivity to cold, headaches, insomnia, dry skin, puffy eyes, hair loss, brittle nails, achy joints, constipation, mental dullness, fatigue, frequent infections, hoarse voice, ringing ears, dizziness, loss of libido, and weight gain.
  • Immunity: The antimicrobial lipids, capric acid, caprylic acid, and lauric acid have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties to strengthen the immune system.  Our bodies convert lauric acid into monolaurin, which helps us fend off diseases and infection – the only other thing in nature that contains a similarly high concentration of lauric acid is breast milk!!   According to the Coconut Research Center the oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, cytomegalovirus, and SARS, bacteria that causes ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and is also an effective treatment for the fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.
  • Kidney & Liver & Pancreas: The medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids help to prevent diseases because they are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver.  This reduces the burden on the liver and prevents the accumulation of fat.  The oil prevents kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps in dissolving kidney stones.  The pancreas also benefits from a reduced work load and the the symptoms of pancreatitis can be combated or prevented.
  • Skin Care: Excellent as a massage oil, it acts as an effective moisturizer on all skin types, with benefits comparable to mineral oil (only without the risk of mineral oil’s side effects).  Coconut oil delays wrinkles and sagging skin, while also helping to treat a variety of skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections.  Additionally, coconut oil reduces our body’s need for vitamin E, whereas unsaturated oils actually deplete our reserve.
  • Weight Loss: Everyone wants the miracle weight loss treatment – here it is.  The short and medium chain fatty acids help to take off excessive weight.  This oil is easy to digest and helps the thyroid and enzyme systems to function properly.  It increases the body’s metabolism by removing stress on the organs, allowing more efficient energy usage.  In the 1940’s, farmers tried to use coconut oil to fatten their cattle because it was so cheap, but it only made the animals lean and active and with an increased appetite!

Resources for further information:

Coconut Research Center


Dr. Mercola:  The Smarter Oil Alternative

Dr. Weston A. Price Foundation:  A New Look at Coconut Oil

Clear the Clutter

Posted below is an article I wrote for a wonderful association that is about to take off.  Look for more information about ARC in the near future!

Clearing the Clutter:  Organizing Your Life from Inside-Out

For years I saw how clutter was affecting myself and my family.  I was a witness to what sages have said for years:  your outer life reflects your inner life.  If you have a cluttered home, it’s likely your mind is cluttered as well.  If your office is a disaster, chances are, your career is a mess too.  If your emotions are running rampant, your physical body is probably also in a state of chaos.  However, there is certainly hope for all of us who were not born with the gene for organization or the ability to relentlessly purge our material possessions at will.

Logically, when tackling any sort of “dis-ease”, one would look to the cause and (with the exception of a large chunk of Western medical practices) seek to cure the source in order to alleviate the symptoms.  This can be overwhelming, especially for those who have not yet built a nourishing support system around themselves.  Creating a change in our operating procedures is often something we see as a pipe dream, or place on a pedestal as something we could have “in a perfect world”.  Well, I have news for you:  You’ll never get there with that attitude, but you CAN get there, and it’s easier than you imagine.  You must stop wishing it could be, and start seeing that it is.  This is the first step towards creating the life you want to live.

Step 1:  Change the Vocabulary:  No More Negativity – Even the Subtle Kind!

How often do you hear yourself or others claiming defeat before you’ve even started?  Something like, “I could never go back to school – I’m a terrible student”.  What about, “I wish I could start my own business, but the bank would never give me a loan.”  “How can I get my house clean without taking a month off of work?”  Or, “It figures Joe got the promotion instead of me.  I am never recognized for my hard work.”  These comments may seem harmless, but they are like little maggots eating away at what we are truly capable of.  Such loathsome creatures may conjure a grotesque image, but how much more monstrous is it to set ourselves up for failure?  Our conscious mind gets into the pattern of repeating these despicable worms of conversation until our subconscious takes them for reality.  That’s the beautiful and ugly truth about our subconscious mind:  it doesn’t judge, it doesn’t reason, it just executes the programs we feed it.

Once we realize how much control we actually have over the course of our lives, it is a wonderfully liberating sensation.  We have the power to destroy our old patterns of self-loathing and malfunction and create new blueprints for success, happiness, love, and everything we’ve ever wanted out of life.  We must learn to let go of the “Woe is me” terminology that pervades our conversations.  In the beginning it takes some discipline; those little larva of negativity are often so engrained in our day-to-day lives we don’t even see them anymore.  We fear failure and disappointment so much that we set our expectations lower and lower to avoid being unable to meet them, when we only end up striving for less and less.  Well, no more.  Today’s the day we reset our convictions.  Our past dissatisfactions will be looked upon as the learning experiences necessary to get us where we are today.  From now on, we won’t fear reaching for the stars.  We won’t be ashamed of lofty goals.  We won’t be prisoners to our former images of self-worth.

We must be diligent, and whenever we come across one of our old habits of doubt we must immediately correct it with an affirmation of what we want, what we know we will have, not what we fear will happen.  “I can get my degree.”  “There are people who believe in my business and will help me finance it.”  “My house will be clean in a month.”  “I work hard and strive for excellence at my job.  I will get the recognition I deserve.”  The old ruts we were stuck in will erode, and a new path will soon appear, leading us toward our goals.

Step Two:  Change the Nouns:  People, Places and Things

Your new, life-affirming attitude will affect several areas of your existence.  Many of us feel a natural desire to hold on tight to the old, familiar symbols of our past.  Have these people, places, and things served us well?   Perhaps some of them have, but many of the golden nuggets that could help us the most have been so mired in dirt and grime that we may never have noticed they were there.  It can be scary, but we must be open to letting go.  We cannot make room for the new happy, successful, and loving lives we yearn for without first shedding the patterns and nouns that are holding us back.

The Law of Attraction is a valuable lesson to apply as you decide what should stay and what should go:  negative will attract negative, just as positive will attract positive.  By adopting a positive outlook on life, many of the negative influences that may have surrounded you will fade into the background, while others you may need to consciously push away.  Are the coworkers you sit with at lunch prone to gossip and complain?  Does your family demean you and belittle your goals?  Are you in relationships where you are not consistently treated with the kindness, respect, and love you deserve on every level – emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual?  You may notice yourself shifting away from some of the people who have been in your life for years.  For some, such as close friends and family, it is worth communicating your new outlook, and sharing your wish to be surrounded by positive, constructive, and supportive people.  Many of your loved ones may not even realize they had adopted the same pessimistic outlook you once had.  You can assist in encouraging a propitious change, which they will then continue to spread, like ripples radiating outward from a stone tossed in the water.  However, not everyone wants to change, or wants to help you change.  These are the people you must not be afraid to let go.  Take the lessons they have taught you, and shed these relationships to make room for new ones that will help you grow and evolve towards the life you want.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those you have identified as positive influences in your life, and, under no circumstances, should you ever settle for a relationship that is abusive or harmful to any aspect of your being.  You deserve the best life possible, and these derisive people are the anchors that keep you from moving forward, from reaching your highest aspirations.  You can’t change them, but you can change yourself, and you can love yourself enough to leave them behind with your old life, as you step into the wonderful person you are supposed to become.

The places in our lives will go through the same growing pains as our relationships when we make the decision to live to our full potential.  Perhaps our workplace is not promoting growth, our social haunts are surrounding us by our old destructive habits and acquaintances, or our living situation is perpetuating harm.  Incorporating new environments can be beneficial, such as places that strengthen and balance our physical selves, like yoga studios, swimming pools, or a bike path through the park.  Spiritual havens, whether a church, temple, mountain, or forest will help us reconnect with the divine spark inherent in us all.  The language of connection doesn’t matter:  God, Goddess, gods, the Divine, the Unnamable, animal spirits, tree spirits, fairies, even quantum physics helps us to understand that there is something that links everything in the universe.  Wherever we find this community of connection, and whatever device of semantics we find comfort in using to describe it, it will serve to affirm our new lifestyle of positivity, love, and happiness.

One of the most noticeable, and often one of the most difficult changes we can make is to shed the “stuff” cluttering our lives.  We’ve talked about the negative patterns, the people, and the places that weigh us down, but what about the physical items that often overwhelm us?  I know what it’s like to be in a house with every inch of space occupied by “things”; you never fully feel at ease.  As with everything else, it is impossible to enjoy the items that we love, when they are surrounded by so many other things we’re apathetic about.  It is here that the overwhelming sense of “How will I ever straighten this out?” can stealthily overcome our best efforts.  Additionally, the kindest of intentions by loved ones to assist the process don’t always help, because the patterns that make us want to collect and amass are still present.  The mess will only dissipate once we first get rid of the ethos that created it.

How do we become packrats?  For some, it is the Depression Era mentality we were taught by our parents and grandparents of “waste not, want not”.  Why throw that twisty-tie away when I might need it in a few years?  What if I gain or lose weight and these clothes fit me again?  What if I use these plastic soda bottles to make mini-greenhouses for the garden I want to start (but haven’t)?  In a world quickly filling with disposable everything, this is not necessarily a bad thing – but it must be peppered with limits and organization.  For example, yes, it is good to reuse plastic bags.  However, do we have somewhere to keep them?  Do we have a limit on how many we really need to keep?  Are there steps to take to avoid amassing so many in the future?  If we create boundaries, we can still feel we are prepared for any potential situation while preventing plastic-bag-chaos.  By setting aside a box to fill with bags, we know right where to put them when we come home with one.  They will not be spread out all over our kitchen, in our drawers, on the floor, and in the closets.  We will know right where to look when we need one, and when the box is full, we won’t get that anxious feeling of “But what if I need one??” as we throw the extras away.  In addition, by utilizing reusable bags when we shop, we can prevent being inundated with more in the future.  This sort of plan can be applied to everything that falls in the “What if I need it someday?” category.

Nostalgia is another reason for holding on tightly to mementos.  We may not be able to remember every occasion when we were children, playing with our friends or siblings, and so we keep items that jog these memories.  They may be the actual toys we had as a child, or perhaps similar toys we saw at a yard sale or store that evoked those same feelings of safety and being carefree.  Some of us enjoy being able to relive these parts of our lives by physically touching, smelling, and viewing an object, reading old letters, or recreating environments.  These attachments can be painful to break, and often lead to regret, frustration, and anger if the objects are removed without our approval (even if by well-meaning loved ones).  However, this is yet another scenario of being unable to truly enjoy and honor the items that mean the most because of all the other junk that surrounds them.  Don’t worry; there are strategies that can help.

We will never be able to live in a clean, organized, and inviting house until we are ready to make the changes in ourselves.  The mess was created by our mindset, and can ultimately only be fixed by clearing the mental clutter, and putting order to the chaos oozing into every aspect of our lives.  Our living space is a mirror of our life, and we need not feel overwhelmed at its appearance.  We must change our attitude, and see it as a barometer for the wonderful shifts that are occurring, the detrimental patterns we are destroying and the beneficial ones we are creating.  We are in control of our lives, regardless of our pasts.  The universe wants to help us, and will give us back what we put forth into it.  By allowing ourselves to shed the habits, people, and places that are no longer serving our new goals and aspirations, we will be able to conquer the physical clutter of things.  No more “I wish I could”.  You can.

Step Three:  With the Mental Clutter, Goes the Physical Clutter

You’ve already done the hard part.  Consciously deciding to shed negativity from all areas of your life, from your speech, to your relationships, to your hang-outs makes this next part icing on the cake.  Now you get to create the home you’ve always wanted, the visual reminder of your new fabulous life.  Don’t give in to the dread of starting – no one expects you to do it all at once.  However, by creating a plan and implementing systems, you’ll be finished in no time.

There are four questions that must be answered for every item in your house, and, while there is no right or wrong, honesty is essential.  You must commit to be truthful with yourself, whether you like the answer or not, or you will never be able to accept and love who you are, and grow into who you want to be.  I recommend doing the easy stuff first – the obvious trash or items with little personal attachment.  Don’t get stuck arguing with yourself.  If you can’t answer these questions in less than 2 minutes, move on, and come back to it later:

1.  Do I love it?

  • Not, “Oh, I kind of like this” or “Well, I used to love it.”  Do you currently love this to the point you would endanger your life to rescue it from a burning building?  If you answer yes, keep it, find a home for it (we’ll get to that part soon), and move on to the next item.  If you don’t love it, move on to question 2.

2.  Do I need it?

  • This one gets tricky.  It doesn’t mean, “Do I need it in three years when I finally get to that project I’ve been meaning to do for the last decade?”  It means is it essential for your everyday life.  If you haven’t looked at it in the last six months or more, which can be easy to do if you have lots of clutter, really ask yourself if that electric wok will get any more use than the skillet you normally use.  If it will, keep it, find a home for it, and move on to the next item.  If it won’t, move on to question 3.

3.  Would someone else love or need it?

  • This is not meant to be a philosophical treatise about the merits of your favorite alarm clock that only needs a spring or coil or something replaced, or the doll that you loved into oblivion as a child that someone somewhere may someday love.  Honestly assess the item:  Is it trash?  Is it worth donating or selling in a yard sale?  If you have someone specific in mind who you know loves that ugly lamp Aunt Frieda gave you, or you have boxes of perfectly good clothes that are out of style or don’t fit – great.  They can go to a friend or a good cause.  However, don’t be delusional:  If Aunt Frieda’s lamp doesn’t work and can’t easily be repaired, trash it.  Whatever you decide, on to question 4.

4.  When will I get rid of it?

  • This question is often overlooked and yet vital to success.  It’s not enough to decide you don’t want something anymore, you must follow through.  Just like deciding to go back to school, or starting a business, or making any other lifestyle choice you want to implement, you can’t go halfway and stop if you want to achieve your goals.  I recommend setting up a schedule:  Set a day every week where you will take whatever you’ve decided to trash to the dump, and whatever you’ve decided to donate to the appropriate charity.  Be vigilant, and stick to it.  Don’t let a week go by where you didn’t take at least one bag of junk out of your house.

Now that you have a system, make it quick and easy to utilize.  So often we decide we are too tired, or not in the mood to sort and clean.  This is where discipline and follow through come in, and where we decide that we can make the changes we want to continue to see flourish in our lives.  Schedule time everyday – before work, after work, when the kids go to bed, whenever – and set a goal of sorting for 15 minutes.  Set a timer or make a short play list so you’re not watching the clock.  If you go longer than your allotted time – fantastic!  If you don’t, at least you made a little dent that will continue to grow.  Additionally, put three boxes in every room marked Trash, Donate, and Relocate.  Sometimes we come across things and recognize we want to get rid of them, but are busy with another task, so we return the items to the mess to deal with them later.  Don’t just put it down anymore!  Assess the item, and put it in one of the boxes.  If you’re busy and you know you want to keep the item, use the relocate box, but follow through:  when the box is full, find homes for everything in it with no exceptions.  If everything you want to keep has a proper place to live, it won’t end up spilling out onto counters and floors.  This is especially true for the stuff that we think we will need later – it may not have passed the “need” test of question 2, but it is easier to justify keeping it if it has a place to live that will prevent it from constantly being in the way.

Nostalgic items are the hardest to part with, and no one is saying everything must go.  However, by clearing away the less meaningful junk, we can create a space to honor the items we truly love.  We can choose a few pictures out of a box full of childhood snapshots and hang them on the wall, or hang shelves to display family heirlooms.  For collections, maybe we don’t need to keep every doll, but could just keep one or two of the most special and donate or store the rest.  Sometimes it is even enough to spend time with an object and write down the memories and feelings it evokes, for that is what we are actually seeking.  It’s not the snow globe we love, but the uncle who made us feel special by giving it to us.  By recording those sensations, and perhaps even attaching a photo of the beloved object, we can let go of the fear that we will have nothing left to jog the memory of that uncle’s love as we let go of the actual object.

Clearing the clutter – both inward and outward – is an emotional process.  It can be scary to let go of patterns, people, locations, and objects that we have come to associate with our identity, the very core of who we are.  We may wonder if there will be anything left when we tear away layer after layer.  Relax.  These old habits and tendencies don’t represent who we truly are – they are simply things we did, ways we acted, emotions we felt, objects we owned.  None of it defines us, and none of it will limit us unless we let it.  We each have the ability to take the lessons we needed to learn from the past, and create the future we want most for ourselves.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, support, and encouragement along the way, because we are not simply isolated beings, but a community of people striving to better one another and ourselves.  Feel empowered and enjoy the new clutter-free you!

Worth its Salt

For the love of mud, throw out your Morton’s!!!  (Or at least put it under the sink for future use scrubbing tea stains out of porcelain.)

I could spend days expounding on the pros and cons of Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, and [cringe] table salt, but instead I’ll attempt to limit my usual verbosity and give you the highlights, plus some resources for further reading that go into greater depth.

Back in the day, 300 plus million years ago or so, the primordial ocean contained the only living organism on Earth – a halophilic pink algae that created the first oxygen on the planet, providing an atmosphere in which the first multi-celled organisms could be born.  Over millions of years, the pristine pre-Cambrian ocean slowly evaporated, exposing the rising sea floor that would eventually become the Himalayan Mountains.  Great fields of brine deposits sat under the stars for millions of years, absorbing cosmic energy until they were finally subducted under the Asia plate.  Deep in the Earth, where the tectonic pressure was just right, the salt deposits spent a few more million years and crystallized into lenticular crystal beds.  As with all crystals, such as diamonds, the more geometrically perfect the shape is, the higher the information content, and the more valuable the crystal.  The importance of a superior crystalline structure for our bodies is that the energy released from dissolving these crystals can be transferred to your cells and tissues, and the trace elements within them can be easily absorbed and metabolized.

You may be wondering:  Why does this mean I should trash my table salt?  Cogitate on, dear reader…

Since life was formed in the ancient primordial ocean, our bodies reflect that chemical makeup.  We unequivocally need salt, and our blood and tears contain the same percentage of salt as the ocean – which is certainly no coincidence.  Salt was in use long before the earliest history was recorded, and has been valued in economic, political, religious, and social spheres of culture all over the world and for thousands of years.  And yet, today we seem to fear it – medical sodium stigmas urging us to shun the use of the very building blocks that brought us into existence.

Tsk, tsk.

While it is true that too much sodium is difficult for our bodies to process, this isn’t entirely the fault of salt.  90% of the world’s salt today is being used for industrial purposes that require sodium chloride, and so it is chemically “cleaned”.  Through the use of ingenious marketing, we’ve been convinced of the advantages of then adding back in potentially toxic iodine and fluoride – often along with several other dangerous preservatives (calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide are often added to improve the ability of table salt to pour).  Our bodies no longer recognize this manufactured “salt”, and actually see it as an aggressive cellular poison.  This unnatural form is added into every preserved and processed food you eat, and in order for your body to try and metabolize table salt crystals, tremendous amounts of energy are sacrificed.  Additionally, inorganic sodium chloride can prevent the body from reaching an ideal balance of fluids and can overburden your elimination systems.  For every gram of sodium chloride your body can’t get rid of, 23 times the amount of cell water is needed to neutralize it, causing cellulite, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, kidney and gall stones, asthma, cancer, heart disease… the list goes on.

Many people believe sea salt is a healthier alternative to table salt, which is correct – in theory.  However, today our seas are polluted and used as dumping grounds for toxins such as mercury, PCBs, and dioxin, not to mention the growing frequency of oil spills.  Many sea salt producers use concrete basins for the seawater to evaporate, allowing chemicals from the concrete to leach into the salt, and then continue to refine it – rendering it nutritionally void.

The underlying point of this post is to recommend that we all go back to the basic building blocks of life – luckily those can be found in Himalayan pink salt.  This salt, imbued with the 84 elements found in our bodies and containing the energetic vibrations present when life on this planet was formed, can not only cleanse and restore balance to our systems, but benefit us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  By creating and regularly ingesting sole (pronounced so-lay), replacing our cooking and flavoring salt, using salt lamps, and even bathing in it we can quickly undo the damage of processed table salt and numerous other toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis.  A few of the myriad benefits are:

  • Supplying the body with the natural energy stored in the crystals, which the body can hold for up to 24 hours.
  • Balancing the alkaline/acidity in the body and normalizing blood pressure.
  • Dissolving and eliminating sediments which lead to stones and various forms of rheumatism and arthritis.
  • Lowering cravings for addictive additives.
  • Helping with skin diseases by cleaning from inside out.
  • Increasing the quality of sleep.
  • Increasing energy, concentration, and brain activity.
  • Assisting weight loss.
  • Enhancing good will, elevating moods, and diminishing negativity – bringing greater peace of mind.
  • Activating the heart chakra, and stimulating self-love.
  • Stimulating and preserving the acupressure/acupuncture meridians.
  • Augmenting strength during physical activities.
  • Taking a half an hour bath with Himalayan pink salts (at the right concentration: approximately 1%, which is the same as our bodily fluids) can achieve an osmotic exchange, initiating homeostasis.  It’s basically like being in the womb again, and has the same effect on the body as a three day detox!!

There are many other benefits on several different levels that can be achieved by incorporating Himalayan pink salt into your lifestyle.  For further information, check out these resources:

Salt is born of the purest parents:  the sun and the sea.

~Pythagoras (580-500 BCE)

Stripped of all its natural elements, the unnatural crystals in common table salt are isolated and dead.
Stripped of all its natural elements, the unnatural crystals in common table salt are isolated and dead.

With the ocean becoming increasinly polluted, the irregular crystaline structure of sea salt becomes disconnected from the natural elements surrounding it.

With the ocean becoming increasingly polluted, the irregular crystalline structure of sea salt becomes disconnected from the natural elements surrounding it.

This himalayan salt crystal is in a harmonious state, full of life.  The crystalline structures are balanced and connected to the mineral elements, which are easily metabolized by the body.
This himalayan salt crystal is in a harmonious state, full of life. The crystalline structures are balanced and connected to the mineral elements, which are easily metabolized by the body.

In an age where doctors prescribe pills for every symptom and urge vaccines instead of healthy living, I can’t help but feel that the general population is being suckered into a false haven of medical bliss – especially since Time magazine reported last year that almost half of the doctors in their study prescribed placebos anyway (unbeknown to their patients)!  Additionally, it is becoming increasingly common for overdoses or a lethal combination of drugs to be prescribed accidentally as a result of inadequate communication among a patient’s caregivers.  This is tragic and unnecessary.  While I’m not advocating forgoing all medical treatments on principle, it’s painfully obvious that Western medicine addresses symptoms instead of sources, and places little value on prevention.  As a result, I generally promote a proactive approach to health incorporating a few simple remedies that have been recognized for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  If the choice is between consuming the latest synthetic chemical craze on the market, or using a few ingredients already in my kitchen – it’s no contest.

Pablo Neruda lauded the lemon as “the diminutive fire of the planet“, and the Ayurveda similarly notes the fruit’s value as a “promoter of gastric fire”, along with many other beneficial qualities.  The Romans used lemons as a cure for all types of poison, and the palace of the Sultan of Egypt and Syria prized it for its medicinal virtues during the late 12th century.  British sailing ships carried lemon juice six hundred years later to prevent scurvy, although the sailors became known as “limeys”.  The oblong fruit is readily available worldwide, and – despite being used today mainly as a flavoring agent – still contains a myriad of daily applications from a deodorizer to a healing wonder.

Ann Heustad, R.N. wrote an informative article explaining the science behind the extraordinary number of ailments lemon can assuage (did you know it is one of the only foods on the planet that has more anions than cations in its atomic structure?  (That means it’s negatively charged, like saliva and bile**.))  Pulling from that article, the American Urological Association, the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, and other holistic sources, I’ve compiled a few health benefits and fun facts related to this orbicular wonder.

  • How to choose a lemon:  The thin-skinned specimens are preferable, because those with thicker peels will have less flesh and juice inside.  Choose lemons that are heavy for their size and feature peels that have a finely grained texture.  They should be fully yellow, and void of wrinkling, soft, or hard patches.  Fresh lemons are available year round and will stay fresh at room temperature (away from sunlight) for about one week.
  • How to consume a lemon:  There are a variety of ways to reap the benefits of lemons.  Lemon oil extracted from cold-pressed lemon rinds is effective for cleaning, deodorizing, disinfecting, applying to the skin, etc.  Fresh lemon juice (not pasteurized) can be imbibed directly, although it is usually best to dilute it in water to protect tooth enamel.  (Pure lemon juice contains acid, and is acidic to the taste, but leaves off alkaline residues in the body – making it a useful remedy for all symptoms of acidosis.)  In general, if you are in good health and weigh less than 150 pounds, squeeze the juice of half a lemon (approximately one ounce) into a glass of water and drink this mix twice a day (one whole lemon per day).  If you are over 150 pounds, squeeze the juice out of an entire lemon into a glass of water and drink twice a day (two whole lemons per day).  This mix can be diluted to taste, or sweetened with honey, agave, or cinnamon, or taken in conjunction with ginger, aloe vera gel, or olive oil for specific ailments.  The temperature of the water should be hot to detox (as a diuretic or immune booster), cold to stop excessive bleeding, or lukewarm for general consumption.
  • History:  Lemons are thought to have originated in China or India about 2500 years ago.  They were first brought to Spain by Arabs in the 11th century, around the time they were also introduced to Northern Africa, while the rest of Europe was exposed to the fruit by Crusaders returning from Palestine.  Christopher Columbus brought them to the New World on his second voyage in 1493, and they have been grown in Florida since the 16th century.  Additionally, they were highly prized by miners during the California Gold Rush for preventing scurvy (as with sailors) and were in such demand people would pay up to $1 per lemon, which would be expensive even today!
  • Properties:  Lemons act as an antiscorbutic, antipyretic, and astringent, as well as a good alkalizer, acid neutralizer, and antiseptic.  Fresh juice serves as a diuretic – helping to flush out toxins and bad bacteria (without wiping out all the good bacteria in the process, as fasting does).  It is thought to prevent and treat many infections, hasten wound healing, and temper high fever.  An excellent source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, lemons are rich in potassium, limonin, phosphorous, proteins, citric acid, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, A & P, bioflavinoids, coumarins, and mucilage.  The strong antisceptic properties have been well-researched, and the kill-rate of lemon oil was 99.96% against airborne bacterial pathogens, to include meningococcus, typhoid bacilli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococcus, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and more.  There is no known virus or bacterial agent that can live in the presence of lemon oil for any length of time.
  • Arthritis, Rheumatism & Gout:  High uric acid in the body can lead to arthritis and rheumatism – lemon juice flushes out these toxins.  Results reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases have shown that lemon can protect against inflammatory polyarthritis (involving two or more joints) and arthritis.  For rheumatism, take one or two ounces of lemon juice diluted in water three times a day (one hour before meals and at bedtime).
  • Asthma & Respiratory Disorders:  Lemon assists in dislodging phlegm and soothing coughs and bronchial inflammation – especially when taken with honey, or when gargled with.  For asthma relief, take a tablespoon of lemon juice one hour before each meal.  In cases of insufficient oxygen and difficulty breathing, mountaineers have relied on lemon for its alkalizing effect on the circulatory system, which increases the oxygen levels in blood.  Sir Edmund Hillary even admitted his victory over Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemon.  This is also why lemon is valuable in cancerprevention: cancer cells hate oxygen and can only grow in low oxygen environments.  
  • Burns:  If applied to areas of burns it can fade the scars, and – as a cooling agent – it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
  • Corns:  A slice of lemon bound over a corn overnight will greatly relieve the pain, and will dissolve hardened lumps of skin.  This works internally too, and drinking lemon juice with water can facilitate the removal of stones.
  • Dental Care:  Apply fresh lemon juice on areas of toothache to alleviate the pain, while massaging it on gums can stop gum bleeding.  It gives relief from bad breath, inflammation of the tongue, canker sores, and other gum-related problems, such as gingivitis, and is an excellent cleanser for the mouth.  Although undiluted lemon juice may be injurious to tooth enamel, when diluted, the vitamin C content helps considerable in calcium metabolism, which is useful in maintaining the health of the teeth and bones.
  • Digestion:  Although lemon is often thought of as acidic, it is a highly effective cleansing agent and blood purifier, and aids in curing many digestive problems when mixed with hot water, including biliousness, nausea, heartburn (all you need is a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water), and disorders of the lower intestines, like constipation, worm infestations, or urinary tract infections. Lemon juice in hot water has been widely advocated as a daily laxative, and expels wind from the digestive tract.  For stomach ulcers, take one to two tablespoons of aloe vera gel before the lemon water (gastric juices in the stomach are four times as strong as lemon juice.  Start with weak lemon juice, and build up the concentration.)
  • Flu, Common Colds, Sore Throat & Other Disease:  Lemon juice prevents or restrains the flu and colds by boosting the immune system, purifying the blood, and providing antioxidants that fight free radicals.  It can prevent diabetes, scurvy, infections, viruses, and has even been known to cure hepatitis, malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid, and other deadly diseases.  The antibacterial properties will alleviate sore throats and coughing by gargling frequently with straight or diluted lemon juice.  Drinking a mixture with honey, ginger, or cinnamon added will boost the immune system and push the anaerobic (unfriendly, oxygen-hating) bacteria out of your cells.  Additionally, lemon also helps to break fevers, by increasing perspiration.
  • Hair Care:  Applied to the scalp, it can treat problems like dandruff, hair fall, and more.  It also adds a natural shine to hair when applied after rinsing shampoo.
  • Headaches:  Lemon, when mixed with coffee, is thought to help treat malaria and has also been proven effective for headaches.
  • Hiccups:  A trick I use is to take a lemon slice, coat it in bitters, and roll it in sugar.  Eat the meat of the fruit (which is surprisingly palatable due to the sugar) and voila!  No more hiccups.
  • High Blood Pressure & Heart Disease:  Free radicals in the body can damage blood vessels and change cholesterol, making it more likely to build up in artery walls, but vitamin C helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.  The potassium in lemons is helpful for people with heart problems, and controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea by acting as a sedative for the nerves and heart, and allays troublesome palpitation.
  • Internal Bleeding, Hemorrhaging & Excessive Menstruation:  Lemon has antiseptic and styptic properties, and the vitamin P strengthens blood vessels and can prevent and stop internal bleeding.  Lemon juice taken in water that is as cold as possible will stop it, while placing cotton with lemon juice inside the nose will stop nose bleeds.  The juice of three or four lemons a day (taken one lemon at a time) in cold water will check excessive menstruation.
  • Kidney & Gall Stones:  Studies by the American Urological Association concluded that lemon juice can cure kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which can prevent the formation of crystals.  Drinking lemon juice with olive oil helps to flush out gall stones.
  • Liver:  It is a natural strengthening agent to the liver enzymes when they are too diluted, and also helps to fix oxygen and calcium in the liver by regulating blood carbohydrate levels, which, in turn, affect the blood oxygen levels.  It acts as a tonic to the liver by stimulating it to produce bile, making it ready to digest the days meal.  Dilute lemon juice in hot water and drink a glass one hour before breakfast every morning.
  • Mosquito Repellent:  Essential lemon oil on the skin acts much like a citronella candle, and can repel mosquitoes and some other insects.
  • Pregnancy:  Lemon juice will help calcium metabolize, which helps to build bone in the child.
  • Skin Care:  Being a natural antiseptic medicine, it can cure problems related to the skin, including stopping the pain of sunburn, insect bites, and bee stings, and can be used as an antibiotic on cuts and other areas of infection.  Lemon juice can also be applied for acne and eczema problems (apply fresh juice and let it dry, then rinse with a mixture of water with a few drops of olive oil) and for warts (apply essential oil daily until gone).  It is an anti-aging remedy that can remove wrinkles and blackheads, as well as a skin lightener that can remove freckles and other discolored areas.  Drinking lemon juice mixed with water and honey can bring a glow to the skin.
  • Weight loss:  Lemon facilitates weight loss due to its purifying properties.  It stops the putrification of matter trapped in your stomach and intestines and flushes it out, along with other toxins that prevent your organs from operating effectively.  By allowing your organs to perform their normal functions efficiently, other weight loss measures – such as eating a well-balanced, organic diet and exercise – will have more noticeable effects.  I don’t recommend the “Master Cleanse” diet (lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup) because (apart from the inevitable hallucinations) all of the good, aerobic bacteria that are necessary for the intestinal bacteria’s flora to digest properly is flushed out along with the bad, anaerobic bacteria.  Incorporating lemon into your daily routine is a safer way to detoxify your body with no known side-effects or allergens.

Please consult a licensed caregiver and use common sense before doing anything drastic that may adversely affect your health.

**Heustad’s article points out that all foods are considered cationic with the exception of fresh, raw lemon juice, and that some have suggested the reason it is so similar to digestive enzymes is due to the low amount of sulfur in lemons.  It should be noted that pasteurized and packaged lemon juice is cationic (and often contains preservatives) and, therefore, ineffective as a health remedy.

the ethics of being


I won’t stand on my soapbox for long, but I want to emphasize the moral compass necessary to be a good dowser and a good human.  Ethics don’t depend on religious preferences or life circumstances; it’s as simple as the Golden Rule we all learned as children.  With all the knowledge of the Universe at our fingertips, we have a responsibility to guide our actions with the highest standard of personal integrity, compassion, and love.

Here is a beautiful set of guidelines to inspire awareness of our actions – both good and bad.  It is not limited to one tribe, culture, or ethnicity, but is for everyone.

Native American Code of Ethics:

  • Rise with the sun to pray.  Pray alone.  Pray often.  The Great Spirit will listen, if only you speak.
  • Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path.  Ignorance, conceit, jealousy, and greed stem from a lost soul.  Pray that they will find guidance.
  • Search for yourself, by yourself.  Do not allow others to make your path for you.  It is your road and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
  • Treat the guests in your home with much consideration.  Serve them the best food, give them the best bed, and treat them with respect and honor.
  • Do not take what is not yours, whether from a person, a community, the wilderness, or from a culture.  It was not earned nor given.  It is not yours.
  • Respect all things that are placed upon this earth, whether it be people or plant.
  • Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes, and words.  Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them.  Allow each person the right to personal expression.
  • Never speak of others in a bad way.  The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
  • All persons make mistakes, and all mistakes can be forgiven.
  • Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body, and spirit.  Practice optimism.
  • Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us.  It is part of your worldly family.
  • Children are the seeds of our future.  Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons.  When they are grown, give them space to grow.
  • Avoid hurting the hearts of others.  The poison of your pain will return to you.
  • Be truthful at all times.  Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
  • Keep yourself balanced.  Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical Self – all need to be strong, pure, and healthy.  Work out the body to strengthen the mind.  Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
  • Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react.  Be responsible for your own actions.
  • Respect the privacy and personal space of others.  Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects.  This is forbidden.
  • Be true to yourself first.  You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
  • Respect others’ religious beliefs.  Do not force your belief on others.
  • Share your good fortune with others.  Participate in charity.

I also recommend exploring the British Society of Dowsers Good Dowsing Practices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Ethics for the New Millenium – a beautiful discourse on how to incorporate love and compassion in your life, regardless of religion or dogma.