Janis Ian: A “Songwriter’s Songwriter”

Janis Ian (born Janis Eddy Fink, April 7, 1951) is an American songwriter, singer, musician, columnist and science fiction author.

“She was younger than forever.

She was older than goodbye.”

Wiki- “Born to a Jewish family in New York City, she was primarily raised in New Jersey and attended East Orange High School in East Orange, New Jersey and the New York City High School of Music & Art. Her parents, Victor (a music teacher) and Pearl, ran a summer camp in upstate New York. In that Cold War era they were frequently under government surveillance because of their left-wing politics. Ian would allude to these years later in her song God and the FBI.

As a child she admired the work of folk pioneers such as Joan Baez and Odetta. Starting with piano lessons at the age of six or seven, Ian, by the time she entered her teens, had learned the organ, harpsichord, French horn, flute and guitar. At the age of 12, she wrote her first song, “Hair of Spun Gold,” which was subsequently published in the folk publication Broadside and was later recorded for her debut album. In 1964, she legally changed her name to Janis Ian (her new last name being her brother Eric’s middle name).

At the age of 13, Ian wrote and sang her first hit single, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)”, about an interracial romance forbidden by a girl’s mother and frowned upon by her peers and teachers. Produced by George “Shadow” Morton and released three times from 1965 to 1967, “Society’s Child” finally became a national hit upon its third release after Leonard Bernstein featured it in a CBS TV special titled Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution. The song’s lyrical content was taboo for some radio stations, and they withdrew or banned it from their playlists accordingly; in her 2008 autobiography Society’s Child, Ian recalls receiving hate mail and death threats as a response to the song, and mentions that a radio station in Atlanta that played it was burned down. In the summer of 1967, “Society’s Child” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, the single having sold 600,000 copies, and the album 350,000.”

An astonishing performance by 16 year old Janis on the Smothers Brothers show…

“Ian relates on her website that, although the song was originally intended for Atlantic Records and the label paid for her recording session, the label subsequently returned the master to her and quietly refused to release it. Years later, Ian says, Atlantic’s president at the time, Jerry Wexler, publicly apologized to her for this. The single and Ian’s 1967 eponymous debut album were finally released on Verve Forecast; her album was also a hit, reaching #29. In 2001, “Society’s Child” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors recordings considered timeless and important to music history. Her early music was compiled on a double CD entitled Society’s Child: The Verve Recordings in 1995.

“Society’s Child” stigmatized Ian as a one-hit wonder until her most successful single in the United States, “At Seventeen”, a bittersweet commentary on adolescent cruelty, the illusion of popularity, and teenage angst, as reflected upon from the perspective of a 24-year-old, was released in 1975. “At Seventeen” was a major hit, receiving tremendous acclaim from critics and record buyers alike—it charted at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It won the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female beating out Linda Ronstadt, who was nominated for her Heart Like a Wheel album; Olivia Newton-John; and Helen Reddy.

Ian performed “At Seventeen” as a musical guest on the debut of Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975. The song’s album, Between the Lines, was also a smash and hit #1 on Billboard’s Album chart. It was quickly certified Gold and later earned a ‘Platinum’ certification for sales of over one million copies sold in the US. Another measure of her success is anecdotal: on Valentine’s Day 1977, Ian received 461 Valentine cards, having indicated in the lyrics to “At Seventeen” that she never received any as a teenager.”

This was one of my dad’s favorite songs; I nearly wore out the album as a kid and still have his 45…

“Ian reached the pop charts only once more after “At Seventeen” (“Under the Covers”, #71 in 1981), though she had several more songs reach the Adult Contemporary singles chart through 1980 (all failing to make the Top 20, however). She walked away from her CBS contract in 1982 while it still had three albums to go. Ian deliberately spent much of the 1980s and early 1990s without a record deal. During the 1982–1992 period she continued to write songs, often in collaboration with songwriting partner Kye Fleming, which were covered by the likes of Amy Grant, Bette Midler and Marti Jones. She also studied under acting coach Stella Adler and struck up a close friendship with her, which continued until the latter’s death in 1992.

Ian finally became one of the first “indie artists,” resurfacing in 1993, with the release of Breaking Silence and its title song about incest. She also came out as a lesbian at the time of the release of that album. On 6/25/1993, Ian appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where she performed a “new” version of “At Seventeen” about Jerry Seinfeld.

Ian’s album, Folk Is The New Black, was released jointly by the Rude Girl and Cooking Vinyl labels in 2006. It is the first in over 20 years where she did all the songwriting herself.

Other artists have recorded Ian’s compositions, most notably Roberta Flack, who had a hit in 1973 with Ian’s song “Jesse”, also recorded by Joan Baez and Dottie West; Ian’s own version is featured on her 1974 album Stars (the title song of which has also been oft-covered, including versions by Cher, Nina Simone and Barbara Cook). Other artists who have recorded or performed songs written or co-written by Janis Ian include Amy Grant, Jeanette Dimech, Sheena Easton, Michele Pillar, Mel Torme, Michelle Wright, Bette Midler (“Some People’s Lives,” a song written by Ian and her then-partner Kye Fleming, became the title song of her 1990 album), Jann Arden, and Japanese singer Shiina Ringo (covered Ian’s breakthrough Japanese hit, “Love Is Blind”).

Ian continues to tour, with a round of concerts scheduled for the United Kingdom in the Spring of 2014, and a series of appearances in the US after that.” 

My all-time favorite Janis song…Enjoy!

2014 Tour Dates

Janis Ian on Facebook

Freedom of Public Space & Art

Gary Yarbrough speaks about the power of street art and public space and its effect on humanity to spark reflection and its ability to transcend socio-economic boundaries in society. 

TedX -“Gary is very passionate about street art and as a recent Sociology and Urban Studies graduate, he’s interested in exploring ways to make public space more accessible and meaningful to all. Along with three other UBC alumni, Gary launched the popular street art app “Curb,” which uses crowdsourcing to discover and promote street art.

 Source – “At the TEDx Terry Talks conference in 2011, Gary Yarbrough came in first place in an audience contest for an idea he presented about crowd sourcing street art. Two years later, and the recent UBC graduate in Sociology and Urban Studies has developed a popular app called “Curb“, which attempts to make street art more accessible to people everywhere. 

Excerpt from an Interview with Gary - “Yeah, I mean I grew up all over the world so it’s kind of why I can open my eyes a little bit to so many of these opportunities. Not that I see more than other people, but I am just excited by the different opportunities that are posed around the world. Especially in the developing world, because there’s a lot of voices that we haven’t heard from that I think is going to be really exciting to be hearing from and everyone sharing in the next little bit, so it’ll be an exciting time I think.”

OUR STORY

It all started with an idea…. what if we could crowd source street art?

“At curb we feel strongly about connecting the dots, particularly dots that when connected promote artists to create great pieces on our streets and support the public appreciation of such talent. We see opportunities to bridge gaps between artists and their works, issues and their discussion, and aficionados and their networks. We believe in public domains and the powers of free.”

The story of curb lies at the intersection of our understanding of the world and our beliefs

  • People love to snap and share photos of things that inspire them throughout their day, everyone likes to think they are the type of person to stop and smell the roses
  • Smartphones can pull in GPS data attatch that information to images
  • Street art is hotter than ever, with both talented under exposed artists and excited and appreciatve fans growing in numbers fast
  • Art is a powerful influence that can change the world

Learn More About Curb

Curb on Facebook

 

Stagecoach Mary

Wiki- Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary (c. 1832 – 1914), was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States, and just the second American woman to work for the United States Postal Service.

Fields stood 6 feet tall and weighed about 200 lbs, liked to smoke cigars and she usually had a pistol strapped under her apron and a jug of whiskey by her side. Born a slave in Hickman County, Tennessee around 1832, Fields was freed when American slavery was outlawed in 1865. The Native Americans called Fields “White Crow” because “she acts like a white woman but has black skin.” Local whites did not know what to make of her.

One schoolgirl wrote an essay saying: “she drinks whiskey, and she swears, and she is a republican, which makes her a low, foul creature.” 

 “Born a slave somewhere in Tennessee, Mary lived to become one of the freest souls ever to draw a breath, or a .38.” -Gary Cooper

Brown Girl Collective – “Mary’s mother Susanna was the personal servant to the plantation owner’s wife, Mrs. Dunnes. The plantation wife also had a daughter who was born within two weeks of Mary, and named Dolly. Mrs. Dunne allowed the children to play together. Over the years Mary was taught to read and write and the two girls became best friends. At sixteen, Dolly was sent to boarding school in Ohio and Mary was left all alone.

Mary’s father worked in the fields on the Dunnes’ farm. He was sold after Mary was born. Mary’s mother wanted her daughter to have a last name, so since her father Buck worked in the fields, her mother decided her last name should be Fields. So thus Mary Fields came to be. After Mary’s mother passed away, Mary became the head of the household at the young age of fourteen.

After Dolly went away to boarding school, The Civil War began. The slaves were left to fend for themselves. It was during this time that she learned many life survival skills. She learned how to garden, raise chickens and practice medicine with natural herbs.

Around the age of 30 Mary heard from her dear friend Dolly. Dolly was now a nun and was renamed Sister Amadaus. The Sister asked Mary to join her at a convent in Ohio. Mary immediately began her twenty-day trip from Tennessee to Ohio. Mary remained with the Ursuline Sisters for many years – even when Dolly relocated to the St. Peter’s Mission in Montana. Mary never married and she had no children. The nuns were her family. She protected the nuns.

Mary wanted to follow her friend to Montana, but was told it was too remote and rustic. However, that all changed when Mother Amadaus became ill with pneumonia and wrote to Mary asking for her support and healing. Mary wasted no time and departed for Montana by stagecoach in 1885. At 53 years old Mary started her new life in Montana. Mary helped nurse Mother Amadaus back to health. The sisters were all in amazement of this tough black woman. Mary was no stranger to rolling a cigar, shooting guns and drinking whiskey. She grew fresh vegetables that were enjoyed by the Sisters and the surrounding community. Mary was forced to leave her beloved mission and the Sisters after a shooting incident. Mary shot in self-defense, and was found innocent, but had to find a new home.

Wells Fargo had the mail contract during that time and was looking for someone for the Great Falls to Fort Benton route to deliver the U.S. Mail. It was a rough and rugged route and would require a person of strong will and great survival skills to maneuver the snowy roads and high winds. Mary immediately applied at the ripe age of 60 years old. It was rumored that she could hitch a team of horses faster than the boys half her age and due to her toughness, she was hired! Mary became the first African American mail carrier in the United States and the second woman. Mary was proud of the fact that her stage was never held up. Mary and her mule Moses, never missed a day and it was during this time that she earned the nickname of “Stagecoach,” for her unfailing reliability.

The townspeople adopted Mary as one of their own. They celebrated her birthday twice a year since she didn’t know the exact date of her real birthday. Mary Fields was known as Black Mary and Stagecoach Mary. She was considered an eccentric even in these modern times. She was six feet tall and over 200 pounds. By the time she was well known in Central Montana, she had a pet eagle, a penchant for whiskey, baseball (which was a new sport at the time) and a heart as big as the gun she was famous for carrying. Mary wore a buffalo skin dress that she made herself – you might say she drew attention wherever she went – even in a small western pioneer town. Mary was a local celebrity and her legend and tales of her adventures were known by surrounding communities and neighboring states.

Gary Cooper (the actor) had his mail delivered by Mary as a young boy in Cascade County. As an adult, he wrote about her for Ebony Magazine in 1955. Her wrote of her kindness and his admiration for her. The famous western artists Charlie Russell drew a sketch of her. It was a pen and ink sketch of a mule kicking over a basket of eggs with Mary looking none to happy.

Mary retired her post in 1901 and passed away in 1914. She is buried at Highland Cemetery at St. Peter’s Mission. Her grave is marked with a simple cross.

Cheryl Glenn as “Stagecoach” Mary Fields in the August 7, 2010 presentation for Filling in the Gaps in American History (FIGH), Inc. at the NYS Museum.

A Whisper To A Roar

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

- Voltaire

“As the powerful documentary A Whisper to a Roar demonstrates, Voltaire’s warning has never been truer than it is today. This film spotlights the perilous plight of pro-democracy activists in five countries as they mobilize against authoritarian governments that have been very wrong, in some cases for a very long time…”

Maria Tall Chief: Prima Ballerina

Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief (Osage family name: Ki He Kah Stah Tsa; January 24, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was considered America’s first major prima ballerina, and was the first Native American to hold the rank.

“If anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away” 

Named for her paternal and maternal grandmothers, Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief, known as “Betty Marie” to friends and family, was born in Fairfax, Oklahoma, on January 24, 1925, to Alexander Joseph Tall Chief (1890–1959), a member of the Osage Nation, and his wife, Ruth (née Porter), of Scottish-Irish descent. Porter had met Tall Chief, a widower, while visiting her sister, who was his mother’s housekeeper at the time.

As a child, Ruth Porter had dreamed about becoming a performer, but her family could not afford dance or music lessons. She was determined that her daughters would not suffer the same fate. Betty Marie was enrolled in summer ballet classes in Colorado Springs at age 3. She and other family members performed at rodeos and other local events.

At age five, Tall Chief was enrolled at the nearby Sacred Heart Catholic School. Impressed by her reading ability, the teachers allowed her to skip the first two grade levels. Between piano, ballet, and school work Tall Chief had little free time, but loved the outdoors. In her autobiography, she reminisced about time spent “wandering around our big front yard” and “[rambling] around the grounds of our summer cottage hunting for arrowheads in the grass.”

In 1933, the family moved to Los Angeles with the intent of getting the children into Hollywood musicals. The day they arrived in Los Angeles her mother asked the clerk at a local drugstore if he knew any good dance teachers. The clerk recommended Ernest Belcher, father of dancer Marge Champion.

Bored with school, Tall Chief devoted herself to dance in Belcher’s studio. In addition to ballet, which she had previously been doing all wrong and went back to square one, she learned tap, Spanish dancing, and acrobatics there. She found tumbling very difficult, and eventually quit the class, but later in life put the skills to good use. The family moved to Beverly Hills where schools offered better academics. At Beverly Vista School, Tall Chief experienced what she described as “painful” discrimination and took to spelling her last name as one word, Tallchief. She continued to study piano, appearing as a guest soloist with small symphony orchestras throughout high school. Continue reading

Voices of Nonviolence: Little Town of Bethlehem

Source – “Little Town of Bethlehem examines the struggle to promote equality through nonviolent engagement in the midst of incredible violence that has dehumanized all sides. Sami’s story begins as a young boy living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank; Yonatan’s starts on an Israeli military base; and Ahmad’s begins in a Palestinian refugee camp. 

Their three stories are interwoven through the major events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starting with the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics and following through the first Intifada, suicide bombings in Israel, the Oslo Accords, the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin, and the second Intifada. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad each describe the events from their unique perspective, interjecting personal reflections and explaining how these events led them to become involved in the nonviolence movement.

In Bethlehem, the city where it is said that God became man, Sami just wants to be seen as human. First learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a teen, he began lecturing about nonviolence in high school. Later, Sami traveled to India to learn more about Gandhi. As the result of his discoveries, he founded the organization Holy Land Trust to promote nonviolence in the Palestinian community.

“When you struggle together, you change the paradigm. There’s still struggle…but it’s not This Side or That Side. You are struggling together to find the solution. And in that, there is very real HOPE…”

Yonatan embraced his father’s legacy as a pilot in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and fulfilled his own dream of becoming an IDF helicopter pilot. However, his journey led him to the astonishing decision to join with 26 other IDF pilots who publicly refused to participate in missions that would lead to civilian casualties. Co-founding the organization Combatants for Peace, made up of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants, Yonatan struggles to reconcile his love for his country with his growing opposition to the Israeli occupation.

After studying in Spain, Ahmad returned to Bethlehem to become a nonviolence trainer. Despite the daily challenges of living in a refugee camp, Ahmad remains committed to his community and risks his life and livelihood in nonviolent actions to bring an end to oppression.

For their work, Sami and Ahmad have been labeled as “Israeli collaborators” by some within the Palestinian community, and are seen as a threat to security by the Israeli military. By refusing to participate in offensive military actions against Palestinian civilians, Yonatan has been branded a traitor by some Israelis and can no longer work in his homeland.

All three men have had their lives threatened by members of their own communities as a result of their work. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad continue to embrace their common humanity and equality for all, daring to have the hope that peace in the Holy Land can be achieved through nonviolent struggle…

“They did it by discovering common ground in the nonviolence movement…”

Discussions on nonviolence -

The Square

I watched the documentary, “The Square” on Netflix today and was absolutely blown away by it.  It is a very complex documentary and it touches on issues that every one fighting to make a change in this world can probably relate to: Disorganization, facing overwhelming odds, risk of imprisonment, death…renewal and hope for a better world. I will give fair warning tho – this isn’t for the faint of heart or those who can’t focus on subtitles. It is POWERFUL in so many ways...it is sickening, discouraging, harsh, beautiful, terrifying uplifting, inspiring…what an emotional roller-coaster. I get chills all over again even now as I am sifting through the YT clips to share.

The one thing that struck me more than anything as I was watching, was just how right the ideas behind the Common Ground movement are. No matter what some of our differences may be, it is absolutely imperative that we start learning to look past them and turn our focus to what we have in common with each other. The whole world seems to be edging towards a roaring, revolutionary period as more of US, the peons of the world, get fed up with being stomped on by more and more of THEM – the current power-system holders. As things stand worldwide, THEY can stomp us with sheer force in 2 heartbeats…WE can only stand strong and “win” if we stand arm in arm, tight…Together…

“The Square movie is a documentary about the Egyptian revolution behind the headlines. Follow a group of activists in Tahrir Square, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience…”

“If you take out people & put people just like them from the same circle, from the same regime, then you didn’t take down the regime, you took down people…”

“Our main problem as revolutionaries, most of the time we only object and say, “No” and we never offer alternatives…”

Filming “The Square”

Guerrilla Gardening With Seed Bombs

Permaculture – “Guerrilla gardening is a global regeneration movement, bringing colour and life to desolate and forgotten urban areas. You don’t need a garden to participate. Those involved take it upon themselves to brighten up neighbourhoods, roadsides and wastelands.

As well as brightening up urban landscapes, guerrilla gardening brings people together for a common cause. So why not get involved and regenerative your local area with these DIY seed bombs? With a mixture of compost, clay, seeds and water, these little ‘bombs’ are easy to make and will bring colourful flowers to grey urban areas.”

Don’t forget to use seeds from native flowers to your area!

The Man Who Lives Without Money

“Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual, and that independence is really interdependent.”

True Activist – “Think you couldn’t live without money? Irishman Mark Boyle challenged this notion and here’s how he finds life with no financial income, bank balance, and no spending.

“If someone told me seven years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal.” According to Boyle, the plan back then was to ‘get a good job’, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society he was successful.

Like most individuals raised in a consumer-driven society, he never second guessed those goals. For a while he had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company and even had a yacht in the harbor. If it hadn’t have been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, he’d still be pursuing the same life. “I’d still be doing it today. Instead, for the last fifteen months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch”.

The change in life path came one evening on the yacht while philosophizing with a friend over a glass of Merlot. “Whilst I had been significantly influenced by Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then.”

The two friends began talking about all the major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labor – and wondered which of the issues they could best devote their time to. Mark didn’t feel he could really make any difference, however “being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean”.

That evening, though, a revelation came through: “These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause. I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment, and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems.”

Boyle believes that the degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means most people are completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ they buy.

It can be agreed that few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalized format.

“If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it today” is one of Mark’s examples as to why it’s important a reconnection with natural/source living is established. “If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor. If we had to clean our own water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it”.

The above arguments all honestly assess the undervalue most objects now have. With convenience at our fingertips, most don’t consider where their trash product or unwanted items go.

Deciding to be the change, this then spurred Mark to fully dive into his new viewpoint and give up money, which he only planned on doing for a year. “I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive. I adore food, so it was at the top. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there are far more”. Full Article

~ Free ~

~♫~ I don’t know where I belong
I got no place to call my home
All the people all around me
Just can’t see the things that I can see
I’ll find a friend
Someone who’ll help me understand
That life won’t always be this bad
And there’s no reason to be sad
Because I’m free
What the fuck?
Just my bloody luck
I’m drowning in a sea of fools
Tortured by their stupid rules
I don’t mind
I leave all that behind
I quit my job and quit my school
And do just what I wanna do
I’m free… ~♫~

~♫~ Everywhere
People point and stare
A happy freak they think it sucks
I don’t fit inside their box
No 9 to 5
I just live my life
Forever playing with my toys
I’m not like other girls and boys

Because I’m free
I’m free
Exactly where I wanna be
I’m free
So please don’t bother me

I wish I could find the words to let you know
That it’s okay
You don’t belong inside the herd
Forever children we will play ~♫~

Waste Land: 99 Is Not 100

We watched this documentary yesterday afternoon…if you are looking for a bit of inspiration and beauty, take time to watch this. Once again, I am blown away by the incredible acts of kindness that people are capable of…and by the capacity for love and hope in the midst of…a garbage heap. ~Reb 

This is an extract from the documentary “Waste Land”.

“Waste Land” is an award winning documentary by director Lucy Walker – An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom. Vik collaborates with the brilliant catadores, pickers of recyclable materials, true Shakespearean characters who live and work in the garbage quoting Machiavelli and showing us how to recycle ourselves.

~♥~

~♥~

~♥~

The Fifth Sacred Thing

The Fifth Sacred Thing by dreamnectar
dreamnectar.deviantart.com

I’ve read “The Fifth Sacred Thing” three times over…I love everything about the book. The strong heroes and heroins; the eerie possibility that this is our future…and that at the end of it all, there is HOPE. I have my fingers crossed that this will be one of those rare occasions when the movie doesn’t fall 10,000 miles short of the book.

“The Fifth Sacred Thing is an upcoming feature film based on the best selling novel by Starhawk, and is set in 2048, where an ecotopian San Francisco defends itself from invaders using nonviolence and magic.”

The Value of Art in this Time of Transition

“We live in a culture where everything tastes good but nothing satisfies.” 

― Daniel Pinchbeck

TEDx – “Daniel Pinchbeck’s talk at the TEDxChelsea conference, held June 1, 2012 at the School of Visual Arts. The conference theme was “The true value of art is seldom what someone is willing to pay for it.”

“Daniel Pinchbeck is the executive director of Evolver Holdings, which includes evolverintensives.com, realitysandwich.com, evolvereditions.com, and evolver.net. He is the author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002), and Notes from the Edge Times (Tarcher/Penguin, 2008). He is featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Mangusta Films. He writes a monthly column for Dazed & Confused.”

 

The Warrior Women of Asgarda

“Katerina Tarnovska is a Ukrainian preschool teacher, a kickboxing world champion and a self-proclaimed descendent of the legendary warrior women of the Amazon. In 2002 she founded Asgarda, a martial art exclusively for women that is inspired by the tribal traditions of the Scythian Amazons. In the past decade, more than 1,000 ladies have been entrusted with the teachings of the Asgarda, which Katerina says is the only fighting style specifically tailored to the female form.”