The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Lingering With Intent

There is something about lingering that is good for the soul. To linger has a time-honoured feel about it. Indeed, the word derives from the Old English word langan meaning ‘to prolong or lengthen.’

Nowadays, to linger has taken on some additional meanings: to delay going, to depart slowly (often reluctantly,) or even more disparagingly – to loiter with ill intent.1

So, let me reclaim the word and its soulful sense.

When we linger, we have the opportunity to slow down, to remove ourselves for a short while from the hustle, bustle, and rush that pervades life today. When we linger, we have the chance to reflect and consider, without the distraction of our consumption-oriented culture.

Yet, we must be intentional about lingering. Our culture wants us to do all but slow down. Our culture entices and coerces us into going quickly from one thing to the next with little, or no, interlude or respite. To remove ourselves from this merry-go-round we must be intent on doing so. We have to make an active choice to disengage and to linger.

Slowing down and reflecting allows us much easier to make contact with our very core selves – our soul. In doing so we discover that our soul benefits, which in turn strengthens our intentional resolve to linger.

If we combine our lingering with doing so within nature (in a forest glade, beside a waterfall, on a mountain top for example) then our soul is even greater fulfilled.

Two and a half thousand years ago the esteemed Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu noticed this saying that ‘nature does not hurry but everything is accomplished.’ Very wise man that Chinese philosopher.2

Hence, if you find a stirring within your soul that encourages you to slow down, sit quietly, or simply stop, then listen to that inner voice. It is your inner tutor (in-tuition) speaking, and it knows what you need.


1. An etymological note. Do not be tempted to think that there is a link between the word linger and the word malinger then be assured that they are not etymologically related. Malinger derives from Old French and means sick, haggard, or the pretence of sickness.

2. Lao Tzu (6th century BC) is credited with writing the Tao Te Ching and the name Laozi is an honorific often translated as the Old Master.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

From Revolution to Arms Exports

"Pots and Pans" Revolution, Iceland
When we think of “revolution” four are likely to come immediately to mind: French, American,
Russian, and Chinese. This is unsurprising, given that these four revolutions receive a lot of attention in our history books and our education system.

They were also violent revolutions.

In France, an estimated 20,000 men and women were killed during the Reign of Terror. In less than five days during the 1792 September massacres at least 1,500 people were killed at the hands of Parisian mobs.

In America it is estimated that 6,800 Americans were killed in the war itself, with a further 17,000 dying from disease because of the war (12,000 of these as Prisoners of War.) On the British side, there were some 24,000 casualties.

The Russian Revolution saw massive deaths, with up to 10 million lives being lost, the majority of these being civilians.

China’s revolution resulted in more than 700,000 combatants killed, and up to 3 million casualties. A further 3 million civilians also were either killed or maimed.

Now, I ask you: which are the four countries in the world who are the largest arms exporters?

If you answered, the U.S.A., Russia, France, and China you would be correct. Between them they account for almost three-quarters of the world’s arms exports. The U.S. leads with 40%, followed by Russia (16%), France (11%), and China (5%.) In 2022, this trade contributed to global military spending of $2.2 trillion.1

Is it a coincidence that the four major violent revolutions took place in the same countries that now dominate the world trade in armaments?

This question may be unanswerable, although it would seem plausible that a nation founded upon violence would go on to be a large player in the global arms trade.

Furthermore, perhaps it is no coincidence that conflict (both inter-national and intra-national) continues to default to violent means, when most of our history lessons continue to give precedence to the four “big” (violent) revolutions.

Yet, there are dozens of examples, worldwide, of nonviolent revolutions. These get little attention in our history, and hence in our consciousness. Fascinatingly, many of these nonviolent revolutions are known by imaginative and colourful names – attesting to the creativity with which nonviolence lends itself to. To name but a few: the Velvet (Gentle) Revolution in Czechoslovakia (as it was then named,) the Rose Revolution in Georgia, or the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and Orange Revolution in Ukraine (inspired by the Rose Revolution.) The Baltic states ousted their Soviet Union authorities with a Singing Revolution. The most intriguingly named revolution is the Pots and Pans (or Kitchenware) Revolution in Iceland during 2009-11, named after demonstrators banged pots and pans outside the Althing (Icelandic parliament.)


1. SIPRI Yearbook 2023, published 11 June 2023. SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) is the world’s leading peace disarmament, arms control, and conflict resolution research institute. It was founded in 1966.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Wild Yoga - Book Review

Wild Yoga: A Practice of Initiation, Veneration & Advocacy for the Earth 1 is an unusual book. It is not just a manual of yoga practices. It is not simply a manifesto of environmental activism. It is not solely a poetic celebration of beauty and love. It is not even the author’s personal autobiography. It is all of these. And in the combination becomes more than the sum of all.

Rebecca Wildbear clearly states her aim in writing the book as being to ‘open you to unordinary ways of perceiving and awaken your inherent connection with the place we all most deeply belong to: the Earth.’

Does she succeed? That is for you, the reader, to decide. I would be surprised, however, if by the end of the book, your answer is ‘no.’

The background to this book is the environmental destruction and despoilation of our natural ecosystems. But this is not another recounting of the damage we (humans) are foisting upon the Earth - although Wildbear does not retreat from such descriptions where necessary.

This is a beautifully written book. It is highly personal – Wildbear writes openly of her experience with cancer for instance. She opens to her vulnerability, and to her dreams, visions, and soul-infused encounters with nature. She writes too, of the experiences of others whom she has guided or shared experiences with. She asks that we, the reader, open ourselves to similar encounters.

Rebecca Wildbear has been a teacher of Wild Yoga since 2007, she is a river guide, and has worked with Animas Valley Institute2 since 2006 where she has guided dozens of people on vision quests and other ecological and soulful programs. Her life story and her work provide her with an abundance of personal experiences, stories, understandings, and connections with which to write this book.

Each chapter has three sections. The first section is an exploration of some aspect of our environmental/social reality. Wildbear takes us into dark caves, has us negotiating river rapids, or climbing to the tops of trees. Her writing is visceral and somatic.

The second section offers a number of self-directed experiences that the reader can undertake to enable us to more fully experience the wonders and mysteries outlined in the first section.

In section 3 Wildbear guides us through a yoga pose that connects us somatically with the themes of the chapter.

This book could be read as a personal manual or workbook. Wildbear, however, is keen to ensure that we do not become stuck in personal growth; she exhorts us to a collective experience of our reality and responsibility.

Drawing on the power of prayer (without ascribing that notion with a religious fervour,) Wildbear tells us that ‘our prayers need to stretch beyond the individual. Soul making is a collaboration tied to the fate of the Earth, asking us to descend into the collective dark night of our planet.’

That we are in the twilight of a dark night of the planet is now a given. That we must descend into the darkness is unavoidable. That we must do so collectively is crucial.

If there is to be a way in which the human race descends into the darkness and emerges into some unknown, and unpredictable, future, then it will be the writings of people such as Rebecca Wildbear who will help guide that descent and emergence.


1. Rebecca Wildbear, Wild Yoga: A Practice of Initiation, Veneration & Advocacy for the Earth, New World Library, Novato, California, 2023. Rebecca Wildbear provides links to where her book may be purchased on her website (

2. Animas Valley Institute is a Colorado institute founded by eco-psychologist Bill Plotkin in 1980. The Institute provides nature-based programs that ‘evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter – the revelation of a larger personal story that whispers to us in moments of extraordinary aliveness.’

Thursday 6 July 2023

Oroboros Bites

The subject of this blog forms the premise of a book currently in the planning and research stage. Globally, we are in a mess. We are in a mess environmentally, socially, politically, economically, and any other “…ally” you can think of. To not see this, or acknowledge it, is to deny our current reality.

The mess we now find ourselves in has not arisen in recent times, as some would suggest. Our predicament predates the Industrial Revolution, and was in place long before we began emitting tons and tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Our predicament is not simply one of climate change, although some would suggest this. Climate change is a symptom of our predicament, not a cause of it.

Our predicament arose long before the socio-economic ideologies of capitalism and socialism were formed. We had started on the road towards this mess well before the Enlightenment, well before the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Indeed, our predicament was in place even before most of the modern religions of the world existed. Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Confucius, and other such great religious teachers were born long after the first steps were made leading towards this mess.

Many argue that the Industrial Revolution, and the start of our reliance on fossil fuels, is the origin of our predicament. Certainly, that revolution did not help, yet we can trace the roots back even further. The genesis for our predicament even predates the Agricultural Revolution, notwithstanding Jared Diamond’s assertion that the ‘advent of agriculture…(was) the worst mistake in the history of the human race.’1

All the reasons noted above for how we got into this mess are about what we (humans) have done throughout our history. Whether it be the political systems we have setup, or the technological inventions, or the fossil fuel industry, or even our religious systems; all these are about how we act in the world. Our predicament is more closely related to who we are and how we view the world, each other, and ourselves. Our cultural psychology and spiritual core have a lot more to do with the mess we are in than do the ways in which we manifest our psycho-spiritual being.

Our predicament is rooted in three interlocking disconnections: disconnection from nature, disconnection from each other, and disconnection from our own selves. Which came first, although an interesting enquiry, is ultimately of little import, as the three are so interconnected that the starting point is now irrelevant.

The image of an ouroboros is one way to indicate these intertwining feed-back loops.

The ouroboros (snake eating its own tail) is an ancient symbol found in ancient Egypt2 where it represents the disorder within which the orderly world sits and signifies the world’s periodic renewal. The ouroboros is portrayed encircling Ra and Osiris and together the entire motif depicts the beginning and end of time.

The ouroboros then, as a motif for our predicament, is a fitting one, as it is difficult to see any outcome for our predicament that does not entail some sort of global renewal.3 It is also fitting to note that the snake is biting its own tail. It can be said that our journeys of disconnection from nature, each other, and ourselves, have now ‘come back to bite us on the bum.’4

These three disconnections should not be read in literal terms, rather they refer more to our ways of thinking, our worldview. They are paradigms rather than specific events or even sequences of events.

Mention should also be made of the use of the word predicament (a more sophisticated word than mess.) Predicaments are not like problems, not even like complex problems. Problems tend to have solutions, whereas predicaments do not. Predicaments have outcomes.5 Predicaments are inherently chaotic and, as Chaos Theory tells us, the outcome is unpredictable, uncontrollable, non-linear, and is turbulent. Exactly what is happening!

Furthermore, often solutions offered in a predicament tend to contribute to deepening the predicament. There are many examples of this approach today. From techno-optimism to geo-engineering, from so-called green renewable energy to the prepping bunkers of the billionaires, all these rely on greater use of technology. Such belief in technology is a sign of techno-addiction. As we know, addictions are very hard to give up.

If we are to withdraw from our techno-addiction then recognising our core disconnects (from nature, from each other, and from our own selves) is the first step upon our way to recovery.



2. First found in a funerary book from the tomb of Tutankhamun in the 14th century BCE

3. Renewal often has a positive sense about it. Here, I am attributing neither a positive nor a negative attribute to the world. We simply do not, and cannot, know the sense of any future renewal.

4. The term ‘come back to bite you on the bum’ appears to have originated in Australia and refers to an action performed in the past now having dire consequences for the person who performed the original action. Collectively, we could think of this as our collective karma.

5. See Erik Michael’s excellent blog ( for an explanation of the difference between problems and predicaments.