7 Festivals before the end of May !

Well the festival season has certainly kicked off early for me this year.

Back in the UK at this time of the year, I would be sitting close to my log stove looking forward to Bearded Theory in May, the first major festival of the season.

When I arrived in Bali 2 weeks ago I was immediately involved in Sarawasti Day.

NTB - Bau Nyale 2

Next month (date yet to be confirmed by the Sasak priests) is Bau Nyale, Festival of the Seaworms in neighbouring Lombok. Each year thousands of seaworms come to the surface at selected beaches in East Lombok. The locals believe, that the Nyale are not just regular seaworms, but are considered as sacred creatures that bring prosperity to those who honor them, or misfortune to those who ignore them. This belief was based on a legend of princess Mandalika.

Having fun with us.

We are also planning a motorbike expedition over to the remote island of Sumba, two islands away in time for the Annual Pasola Horse Festival on March 8th. The island is famous for its Sumba ponies descended from ancient Mongolian stock.

Sumba and Sumbawa ponies are today used for pack, riding, and light draft work. They are incredibly strong, and many are ridden by men in games of lance throwing despite never reaching 13 hands high. Young boys also ride the ponies bareback in traditional dance competitions, maneuvering them in patterns as instructed. The knee of the ponies are decorated with bells, that chime in rhythm to the drumming. All of the local cowboys gather annually for day of jousting and racing.

Pasola, roughly translated, means spear game.  And the event does, indeed revolve around a game that involves spears, as well as throwing them at people while on horseback.

The origins of this festival are unknown for the most part, with many legendary tales to explain its beginnings.  Others believe it evolved from some sort of peaceful dispute resolution.  Either way, it has now become integral to the celebration of harvest time on the island.  Its popularity has grown such that it brings in huge crowds from not only the local islands, but from all over the world.

Two groups get together, generally divided by clan or region.  They ride horses, bareback, and carry several blunted wooden spears with them.  Two pairs of these horsemen take their place on each side of a large field then proceed to charge toward each other, the way one might in a western-styled jousting tournament.  When they get within range of their opponents, the spears fly.  After a time the field is filled with people, all hurling spears and trying to either unseat their enemies or to wound them or their horses.

As is to be expected, even blunt spears can cause damage.  Injury is a given when it comes to the Pasola War Festival.  Most just sustain bruises or get knocked from their horses, but there have been cases of people losing an eye or even dying in pursuit of this tradition.

The spilling of blood is not considered a bad thing, however.  The blood lost during this tournament is believed to fertilize the Earth and lead to a fruitful harvest in the future.

It sounds spectacular and an event I have been meaning to catch for years.

field of battle

Then of course we get into the big Balinese Festval season. Nyepi (Balinese New Year) falls on March 12th this year, Galungan on March 27th and then Kuningan on April 8th – but I’ll be posting on them later.

It looks like I’ll be popping back to the UK in May so will as usual get to meet friends old and new at Bearded Theory to swap winter stories, and bond with my tribe again. And with any luck the Levellers will be there this year so it won’t matter if I miss Beautiful Days !!

7 Festivals before the end of May. Win !!!


Open Source Clean Energy available now !


OK this post is a little off topic, but has enormous significance for the well being of remote and indigenous communities globally.

Back in the Forest of Dean a group called STAND have been campaigning against the building of a massive new Nuclear Plant on the River Severn. As part of this initiative I  have been researching alternative low tech energy systems, to allow local people to reduce their power consumption, and for remote communities, to stay off the grid.

The Keppe Motor is a new technology for electric motors based on the principles in Keppe’s book The new physics derived from a disinverted metaphysics .

In summary with this technology 1 *20w solar panel can run 10 Keppe ceiling fans, whereas 1 conventional ceiling fan requires 100w to run. Watch this video (skip to 10m if you are busy right now) and do the maths yourself.

small Brazilian community   have published all the instructions on how to make this motor in a small low tech workshop.

While I’m here in Bali I’m planning on working with a local electrician to see how easy it is to make one of these motors from their manual. I will keep you posted as the project progresses.

This group of beautiful people have been living in community for 40 years following the non-denominational, all-encompassing “Trilogy” philosophy, which is at the basis of their living, and even of their science, and all their work. It is what enables them to work through their “pathologies” in a constructive and meaningful way. Every community — be it business, religious, academic, club, or even a whole village — could benefit from the principles that Trilogy inculcates in their daily lives.

The Motor Technology

It was the Trilogy philosophy that spurred the invention of the Keppe motor, primarily by Cesar Soós and Roberto Frescalli, with directive influence of Dr. Keppe. The motor has some amazing attributes:

  • Pulses, like a heart beat, so its electronic emissions are healthy and promote healing, rather than pollution.
  • Emits ozone, for yet more health benefits.
  • Runs just above room temperature, so its coils can be wound on wood or plastic, reducing the cost of construction. No ventilation of the motor is required for cooling.
  • Is very easy to build, being something that a skilled high school student could accomplish.
  • Is super-efficient, consuming on average 1/3 of the electricity of motors of equivalent output, and that is at the peak efficiency of those motors.
  • Constant Efficiency: Its efficiency doesn’t follow a peak curve shape, but is linear, optimal at all outputs, from lowest to highest.
  • Overunity: The advanced versions of the motor, being worked on in R&D, exhibit efficiencies above 100%, which has been verified by two independent labs of high credibility. One documented 137% efficient. That’s not enough to “self loop, with energy left over for practical use,” but it demonstrates that the mechanism is somehow harvesting free energy from the environment.
  • This would make a great community project — something that a group of people who want to work together in a loving, group setting, could tackle and feel good about doing.
  • May be able to self-loop: When told about the concept of the self-looping motor-generator systems, Cesar immediately started thinking about how he could do this with the advanced versions of the Keppe motor. He knows how to adjust the phase angle very easily. Perhaps by the end of the year he will accomplish the self-looped system. Then you wouldn’t need a power cord. The motor could power whatever you needed, without an input plug, as it would pull the energy from the surroundings somehow.

They’ve had several offers of large investment to take this into mass production, but they have turned these down, both because the proposing party wanted too much control, and because they want to keep this accessible to lay people to take on as a project.

So it’s Australia Day again…. Shame On You Australia

According to Wikipedia Australia Day is ” ..celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).”

For me (and many Australians, black or white) this is akin to Britains being asked to celebrate August 10th AD43 as “Brittania Day”, to commemorate the arrival of  general Aulus Plautius who served as first governor of Britannia.

Or, more recently, for Germans (Jew and Gentile alike) to be asked to celebrate  the evening of November 9th 1938 as “Kristallnacht”

Yesterday I am reliably informed, my Murree friends in Kuranda, Far North Queensand,  sitting peacefully in the public park (the only patch of their own country where they are still “tolerated”) were asked gently by the local sergeant to “move on now lads. We don’t want any trouble like last year…”

What happened last year down at the Australian Tent Embassy, Canberra beggars belief.

“The people who initiated those violent acts, the people who were involved in those violent acts are responsible for the violence that was there,” Julia Gillard told media the next day. Indeed they were, and we all look forward to the police officers responsible being charged, particularly this one : Australia Day Police Violence 2012

Read the full story here :  Tent Embassy – Fact vs Fiction

But, since last year, in this so called democratic country, the Racial Discrimination Act has been effectively repealed to make way for the $3.4 billion Stronger Futures Policy

These measures include:

  • Prohibition of consideration of Aboriginal customary law and cultural practice in criminal sentencing. This makes Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory the only group of people in Australia for whom the court cannot consider the cultural circumstances of an offence.
  • Blanket bans on alcohol on Aboriginal Land, despite consistent opposition from the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the NT (APO NT) who have said, “The decision regarding alcohol restrictions should be for relevant residents to make… The principal effect of these widely flouted laws has been to further criminalise and alienate many residents”.
  • Increases in penalties for possession of alcohol on Aboriginal Land, including 6 months possible jail time for less than 1.35l of pure alcohol and 18 months for more than 1.35L of pure alcohol.
  • “Star Chamber” powers by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) for investigations in Aboriginal communities, including removal of the right to silence.
  • Special powers that allow police to enter houses and vehicles in Aboriginal communities without a warrant, on ‘suspicion’ of possession of alcohol.
  • Makes laws allowing for information to be transferred about an individual, to any Federal, State or Territory government department or agency, without an individual’s knowledge or consent.
  • Blanket bans on “sexually explicit or very violent material” on Aboriginal Land, making it a crime to possess pornography.
  • Commonwealth control over regulations in Community Living Areas and town camps.
  • Continued suspension of the permit system in Aboriginal townships, in direct contradiction of APO NT who have said that: “communities on Aboriginal Land feel as though they have lost control… the flow on effects are overwhelmingly seen as negative and counterproductive to community safety”.
  • An expansion of the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) means parents whose children miss school more than once a week will have their welfare payments slashed. This comes despite consistent concerns raised by Aboriginal families of inappropriate education in Aboriginal schools that is failing to engage their children.
  • The Stronger Futures “jobs package” includes 50 new ranger positions and 100 “traineeships”. But this will not compensate for the more than 2000 remaining waged Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) positions that the Government will cut by April 2012; the final attack on a vibrant program which was the lifeblood of many communities, employing upwards of 7500 people before the NT Intervention.
  • Proposed amendments to the Social Security Act will see further attacks on the rights of welfare recipients. These measures will initially be targeted at Aboriginal people in the NT, but have national implications, especially in areas such as Bankstown or Shepparton where Income Management is being rolled out from July 2012.

Shame on you Australia.

Saraswati Day – Bali


Couldn’t sleep so headed down to the beach at 1am to discover thousands of Balinese in traditional dress. Tonight is Banyu Pinaruh apparently, the festival of knowledge. The beach was littered with offerings and every few minutes large groups of boys and men were running down into the surf chanting and cleansing themselves – “inside and outside” as one very serious lad of 15 told me.

I sat on the beach for an hour chatting with everyone and as usual learning so much about this incredible culture. They shared with me some traditional medicines which are only prepared on this day, and some incredibly tatsty rambutans (large lychees)
Most of today they have spent in the temples cleaning and dusting off the lontar (bamboo strips inscribed with the sacred Sanskrit texts) and reading them with the help of the elders.
Tomorrow is Saraswasti day, to celebrate the goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts…. an auspicious day to choose my new ukelele I was told !
I feel so blessed being here.
How could you not ?
Not a single foreigner on the beach.
Om Swast Swasti Swasti Om xxxx
Read more here if you are interested :