Magazine cover for "common ground" October 2012 issue, featuring a colorful abstract watercolor and headlines about women's issues and ecofeminism.

October 2012

The Women Issue

This is a goodie. Lots of great stories, starting with an insightful interview with Dr. Vandana Shiva. In traditional India, where women were expected to blend into the wallpaper, she is as outspoken an eco-activist as you can imagine. A physicist who worked with nuclear reactors, she later switched her focus to becoming an activist and seed crusader. Having been a scientist and author, she was invited to early meetings with agribusiness leaders who laid out the master plan for corporate seed ownership. Apparently, they confided to the wrong person, since Shiva was repulsed by such a devilish plan—the equivalent of owning life. Seeds being the essence of life, she stood up in fierce defense of Mother Nature and hasn’t stopped. I think you’ll enjoy this interview and learn plenty about the sanctity of seed—God’s creation.

As with many earth activists, Vandana’s eyes are turned to California, where voters will weigh in on Prop. 37, the initiative to label GMOs in food. One of few stories in this issue written by a man, Antonio RomanAlcalá has contributed a story about four brave women—Pamm Larry, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Zuri Star, and Susan Lang—who in separate styles are battling for something they strongly believe in: food containing GMOs should be labeled. We couldn’t agree more.

I want to thank senior editor Carrie Grossman not just for her terrific essay—more of a poem—titled “Becoming Woman: A Journey Toward Fullness” (like all her pieces, a must read) but also for her lead in generating many stories for this issue.

Carrie worked with Dr. Claudia Six to provide a piece that we hope will help women disconnect calories, shame, and self-loathing. Claudia gives valuable insight to an acute problem in our society. I also want to acknowledge Joanne Cohen for her piece, “Healing the Feminine from Within,” as well as Zoe Fry on hers about feminine values in action. Though longtime friends of mine, this is the first time Joanne and Zoe have contributed to Common Ground. Something tells me it won’t be the last.

Thank you, Aninha Livingstone, for your piece on women’s ancestral roots and to Cassandra Vieten for your piece on mindful mothering. And while I wish I could thank every contributor, I absolutely must thank Melissa Harris for her wonderful cover painting.

There are plenty of amazing events we look forward to. Deepak Chopra is speaking as part of CIIS’s speaker series concurrent with Dr. Gabriel Cousens’s visit to Oakland. Meantime, the SF Vegetarian Society throws its shindig in Golden Gate Park next to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The AcroYoga Festival at Fort Mason looks great, with a yoga rave on the final evening. Bioneers at the Marin Civic Center is a must, as is the Science and Nonduality conference, both in San Rafael. Halloween is coming up, and the Giants are playing in the post season. Go, orange and black!

Thanks for supporting our advertisers—the best. The next issue, themed “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” commemorates our 38th anniversary. By then, perhaps we’ll know more about our political future and whether GMOs will be labeled. Food issues are bipartisan—please vote for Prop. 37.

Vote for Mother Earth,


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