WOOTW #23 — Now with 270% RDA of Vitamin C!

So the other day I’m thinking, “I wonder if I’m getting enough Vitamin C in my diet?”  Don’t ask me why I thought that.  How should I know?  I mean, okay, I barely eat any fruit at all because I’m all lo-carb and what-not, so I  guess I just thought I should check or something.

And I’m looking at food labels and I see that just 3 of these baby peppers I really like have 270% of the RDA of Vitamin C.  Does that make any sense at all?  That’s twice the Vitamin C of an orange — with 10% of the calories and 15% of the cost.

You know what?  Screw oranges.  You are hereby expelled, dismissed, banished.  I grow tired of you.  Leave me!

Anyway, on with Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.

WOOTW #23 — Another Grappling Conditioner and the Hourglass Meditation

  • Another 10-minute  Grappling Conditioner.  Pick out the heaviest medicine ball you have, preferably 10% bodyweight or so.  Set timer for 10 minutes and complete as many  sets as you can before the timer beeps of 8 Walking Lunges per leg (crushing your medicine ball with a good Cross-arm Clinch the whole time), 8 Get-ups (hugging your medicine ball throughout), 8 Medicine Ball Push-ups, and 8 Splay-n-Punch (you can put your medicine ball down for that).
  • The Hourglass Meditation.  This variant of the Middle Pillar Exercise is actually the second half of a longer exercise called the Caduceus Ritual (if you want the rest, pre-order the martial arts book and you’ll be one of the first people to get it).  (1) Start by standing in a relaxed position with with hands out at your sides like the letter “A” and breathe deeply. Imagine that there is energy in the earth beneath your feet, powerful energy being incubated in the earth, in the form of swirling prismatic colors.  Close your eyes and inhale as you imagine the warm, prismatic light entering through your feet and flowing upward through your body.  (2) Slowly bring your palms together as you inhale and draw the earth energy up through your feet. Bring your hands up to prayer position at chest level. Hesitate with lungs full and airways open as you envision the light filling you up.  (3) Begin to exhale. As you do, slowly part your hands and raise them up into a “Y” position.  Conceive of the prismatic light exiting through your arms, head and hands like a shower of multi-colored sparks.  (4) Continue to exhale as the sparks fall all around you.  Slowly return your arms to “A” position. (5) Hesitate with lungs empty and airways open.  Imagine the shower of sparks and energy re-entering the ground where it came from.  (6) Repeat for as long as you like, but 5 or 10 minutes should be enough to leave you feeling relaxed and present.

WOOTW#22: 4X4 Tires and The Hadouken Meditation

There’ll be no overtures today you bilge rats!  Only gather ’round on the quarterdeck and shut your filthy scupper holes — there’s work afoot.  Arrr!

Why am I talking like this?   Well, I’m just warming up for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Monday the 19th of course!

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #22

This one is an auto tire workout followed by a standing meditation.

  • Auto Tire 4X4s.  Get an auto tire, set a timer for 4 intervals of 4 minutes each, and put on a pair of gloves.  For the first two intervals (8:00 total) complete as many sets as you can of 8 Tire Slams, 8 Tire Push-ups, and 8 Tire V-ups.  Then shoulder the tire and head out.  Go as far as you can — run, jog or walk as your fitness allows — until the timer beeps to end the third interval.  Turn around and try to get home before the timer beeps to end the 4th and final interval.  Take as many 12-second breaks as you need to finish. [Tip: Put your arm through the tire, reach up and grab it palms down.  Hug the tire to your shoulder so it doesn’t bounce.  Switch sides every minute or two.]  If you don’t know the tire exercises, download the tire booklet by clicking here.
  • Standing “Hadouken” Meditation.  Set timer for 8:00 and stand with feet a shoulder’s width apart.  Relax and imagine that you are forming a softball-sized ball of invisible energy between your palms.  Inhale as you gently rotate your hands in one direction; hesitate with lungs full and airways open, then exhale as you rotate your hands back to starting position.  Hesitate with lungs empty and airways open.  Repeat.  [video here and below].  As you do so, imagine the warmth of the energy on your palms and really make an investment in your full attention — you can only get out of it what you put into it.  Intensity is the secret sauce that insures results in everything you do!  This is a great exercise for beginners who struggle with focus during seated meditations, and it’s also a nice change of pace for experienced people looking to let some fresh air into a stale routine.

A Blunder, Some Hunger, and Feeling Younger


Twinkies are not technically food. On the other hand, two or three of these on a cheat day. maybe every six months or so, ain’t gonna kill ya.

When I got back from vacation back in August, I decided to eliminate meat for a week to cut calories and drop the weight I put on.  Worked great — the weight fell off — and so I decided to stick with it for a while.  After a few weeks of meat only 1 day per week, I re-realized what I realized back in 2000 when I gave up being a vegetarian after 14 years:

Not eating meat makes me fat.  

Some people can do it, like the vegetarian bodybuilders I read about online and in all the magazines, but I just can’t.  I get a taste of carbs and my cravings are irresistible.   Meat makes me feel full and curbs my appetite.   And then Mark Hatmaker pointed me to an article about training over age 50.  One of the things the article pointed out was that people over 50 need more protein than younger folks.  Vegetarian experiment concluded!


This is an old drawing I made of the Tree of Life as part of my spiritual project a couple of years back. It’s a little out of whack because that was before I saw Mr. Watt’s post on how to draw one. (https://goo.gl/6GEP08)

While I was poking around some related websites I came across some stuff about how intermittent fasting makes you leaner and stronger.  And then I re-realized something I realized a couple of years ago when I was fasting one day a week for a spiritual project I was working on:

A weekly fast day helps you shred. 

So does bulletproof coffee, it just makes you a grumpy old meanie if you do it two or more days in a row.  So I’m doing a 12-hour fast on Wednesdays — one cup of coffee with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or 2 tbsp of heavy whipping cream at 5 AM and nothing further until dinner at 6 PM.

Coffee is most excellent.

I’m getting a cholesterol check next week.  I’ll post the results.  Can’t see how a tablespoon or two of fat is that big a deal one day a week.  I mean, if I was eating breakfast I’d have two eggs, and if I was having lunch I’d have salad dressing, meat or cheese.  I think net fat is actually lower on fasting days.

Have you tried any of these techniques?  Are you 50+ years of age?  Share your experiences in the comments, please!






The Very Occult Mighty ReArranger

I don’t know why I never listened to this 2005 Robert Plant record, but I’m sure glad I did so yesterday — for two reasons.

First, it’s good.  Really good.  A mixture of blues, world music, and house remix tracks that somehow — to my utter amazement! — manages to homogenize instead of settling into oil and water.

Second, it’s deeply occult.  That’s refreshing, especially when actual, quality, mainstream occult rock is as rare as an honest politician.  Before you cry foul, I’m know that there’s lots of stuff that has pentacles plastered all over it or that makes overt references to topics and theories that some might call occult.  That’s not occult.  “Occult” means hidden.  You ought to have to dig a little!  Mainstream, quality occult rock is on life support.

Thanks to Robert Plant and the Strange Sensations for putting the paddles on it and shocking it back to life.

As proof that the record’s themes are occult I point out that the Wikipedia article totally missed them, saying only that, “It contains a blend of world and Western music influences, with mystical, oblique and somewhat cynical references to religion and destiny.”   Cyclical would’ve been a better word than cynical.  Clearly the occult material was too well hidden for most listeners to notice.

This record is an esoteric, audio grimoire on the natural, recurring cycles of personal and planetary evolution in general, and on The Fool’s Journey in particular.

How it Evokes Recurring Cycles

  • There are twelve tracks — equating to twelve hours in a day, twelve months in a year, twelve houses of the zodiac, and so on.
  • After the 12th track there is a hidden 13th track.
  • In what way can 13 be said to equal 12?  A year isn’t just 12 months — it’s also measurable in 13 cycles of the moon.  So this 12-13 album conjures up the 12-13 measurement of a year (a very occult way of looking at a year, to be sure).
  • The hidden 13th track is a remix of the second track.  So this track pushes us right back into a 12-count cycle, skipping track #1 so that we get 12 steps — over and over and over again, like the ever-spinning wheel of the year.

How it Evokes The Fool’s Journey

What’s the The Fool’s Journey?  As Eden Gray said when she coined the phrase “Fool’s Journey,” in her book “The Complete Guide to the Tarot”:

“The Fool represents the soul of everyman, which, after it is clothed in a body, appears on earth and goes through the life experiences depicted in the 21 cards [22 if you count 0 The Fool.  -ed.] of the Major Arcana, sometimes thought of as archetypes of the subconscious. Let each reader use his imagination and find here his own map of the soul’s quest, for these are symbols that are deep within each one of us.”  [Thanks to Mary K. Greer for the quote.]

Now let’s go spot The Fool’s Journey on the record.

  • Each of the 12/13 tracks equates to a kind of abbreviated Tarot, which is just another version of the Fool’s Journey.
  • Track #1 is 0 The Fool, Track #2 is XIX The Sun, Track #3 is V The Heirophant (reversed?), Track #4 is The Emperor, Track #5 is IV The Emperor, Track #6 is II The High Priestess, and so on.  Don’t believe me?  Listen to the record and you can hear all of these characters speaking.
  • The hidden 13th track is  XII The Hanged Man.  Note that XII The Hanged Man is actually the 13th card in the Major Arcana.  It’s the sacrificial step, the Christ/Buddha/Savior card that comes right before change (XIII Death).  Here we have death, rebirth, and reincarnation.
  • And here again we have the 12-13 theme, thereby linking together the players (the 12-13 songs) to the grand repeating play (the 12-13 year).
  • What’s the “Mighty ReArranger?”  Well that’s God, The One, the Supreme Ultimate.  It’s both the original Arranger (notice how the word has a capital “A” part way through?) and the re-arranger — the First Cause-Prime Mover-Creator-Arranger  and the Teacher-Savior-Redeemer-ReArranger all rolled into one.

What a truly excellent, thought-provoking, amazing record.  Very highly recommended!


1-in-4 Americans, RVA Zinefest, and WOOTW #21

Today’s post is a little ADD.  I’m hopping around like a bunny rabbit jack-hammering a hole in a hot tin roof!

Once again, as I have every year since 2011, I’ll be tabling at Richmond Zinefest on Oct. 1..  Come out, say “Hi!” and buy some of my stuff.  Heck, I’ll even autograph it for you.

1-in-4 Americans will probably not be interested in RVA Zinefest because, according to a recent Pew Research poll, 1-in-4 Americans didn’t crack a single book last year.  Who are these people?

Now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #21.

  • Grappling Conditioner #3.  Warm-up well first because this is a real doozy.  Set timer for 10:00 and complete as many sets as you can of 5 Bag Lifts, 5 Splay-n-Punch, and 5 two-punch combos from mount.
  • Walk your heart rate down to normal for at about 3 minutes.
  • Tarot Meditation.  Set up the Tarot card of your choice and meditate on the image.  [Note: If you don’t have a Tarot card, print an image online.  I made a giant Tarot card using the BlockPosters app so that we could all meditate on the same oversized card at the martial arts club.  You can download and print it by clicking this link.  It prints out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper that you can tape together to make a poster.]   Set timer for 10:00 and assume the meditative pose of your choice.  Focus on the image, empty your mind, and regulate your breathing.  Try to actually enter the image.  Imagine that this image is an artistic rendering of an actual place, and that you are going to go there.  Explore this imaginal realm until the timer beeps.
  • Record your thoughts, experiences and activities in your training log or journal.  All martial artists should keep one.  Do you?

For your convenience, enjoyment and general edification I’ve included a video of the above.  Enjoy!


Standing Rock Standoff

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Seeks Temporary Restraining Order Against Dakota Access Pipeline

CANNONBALL, North Dakota – The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion Sunday for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by Dakota Access Pipeline.

“On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said. “They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.”

After the initial destruction Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline returned to the area and dug up additional grounds in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, Archambault said.

Read the rest of the press release here and then…

go SIGN THE PETITION to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline!


Clinching and Tweaking: WOOTW #20 (with video)

This month at the club we’re working on clinch fighting.  We’re starting out with the basics — pummeling, the thai and cross-arm clinches , overhooks, underhooks, slide-bys, etc. — and by the end of the month we’ll be adding the striking component.

And we’ve started doing something that’s long overdue — we’re now selecting a spiritual focus in addition to our purely martial focus.  Last month it was contemplation.  This month it’s meditation.  What’s the difference between contemplation and meditation?  Well, it’s huge, and if you want to get the low-down, you should pre-order the next martial arts book (links here).

So anyway, we’re tweaking the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week by adding a spiritual component.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week — WOOTW #20

  • Eight Ball.  Select a medicine ball that suits your size and fitness level (I’m 155 lbs and in reasonably decent shape, so I used a #12).  Set timer for 8 mins and complete as many sets as you can before the timer beeps of 8 Medicine Ball Push-ups (on knees if you have to), 8 Medicine Ball Sit-ups, and 8 Medicine Ball Jump Squats.  Take as few 12-second breaks as possible.†
  • Phone Booth Heavy Bag Drill (see video below). Set timer for 3 x 2:00/:30.  Loop and tie a hand wrap around yourself and your heavy bag so that you’re separated by only 8″ – 10″ and you can’t retreat.  Strike the bag with elbows, hooks, knees, and other short range attacks appropriate to the distance.
  • Cool down for 3:00 or until your heart rate is under 100 bpm.
  • Meditation on an Object.  Select an object that interests or inspires you and place it so that it’s at eye level when you are in your favorite meditation posture.  Tarot cards are great objects, as are photos and paintings, but you can use anything you like.  A sacred and/or religious icon, such as a Virgin of Guadalupe candle, a cross, a pentagram, an eye of Horus, a Celtic trinity knot, or what-have-you is also a solid choice.  Settle into your posture, regulate your breathing, and stare at the object.  Relax and let yourself sink into the item. Imagine that it’s a great teacher who’s going to reveal a powerful lesson to you by pulling you into a waking dream.  Allow that dream to unfold.  If it’s a Tarot card or picture, imagine that you are stepping into the image as you slip into the scene and become a part of the action.  Record your experiences in your diary or journal.


† From the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary:  “On shipboard, time is marked by a bell, which is struck eight times at 4, 8, and 12 o’clock. Half an hour after it has struck “eight bells” it is struck once, and at every succeeding half hour the number of strokes is increased by one, till at the end of the four hours, which constitute a watch, it is struck eight times.”