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Maxine Taylor

Astrologer

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Maxine Taylor is a pioneer in astrology. She was integral in getting astrology legalized in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the first person in the country to be a licensed astrologer. 

She graduated from the University of Florida in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in education. After getting her degree she moved home to Miami, Florida to teach at Miami Senior High School for two years before moving to Atlanta. That is when her life totally changed. She found herself on a houseboat in the middle of Lake Lanier with a group of people, most of whom she’d never met. A lady much older than Maxine started talking to her about astrology and told her everything that was going on in her life, based solely on her sun sign. A sun sign is the position of the sun during the time of one’s birth which then distinguishes you as either Leo, Virgo, Cancer etc. 

“It blew me away” Maxine recalled, “It sounded like she knew me.” Maxine was a self-proclaimed skeptic, bringing in previous prejudices, but when the woman started talking, Maxine’s mindset totally shifted.

Later in the week, she was at the supermarket and picked up a book on astrology that had a forecast for the upcoming year, depending on your sun sign. At this point, she was jobless after leaving her job at Miami High and was living “hand-to-mouth.” In that book, it stated that for her sign, all of her financial problems would be solved by the 18th of August. Sure enough when the 18th came around she received her 800 dollar retirement check from Dade County Florida. Maxine recalled, “It took me maybe two minutes to call information and get the phone number of the American Federation of Astrologers.” She was fascinated and determined to find out more.

She began researching astrology, and as she was studying, it came to her out of the blue that she was to be the one to legalize astrology. This would not be an easy task or one for the faint of heart because astrology, as it still is in many places, was considered on-par with fortune-telling and there was strong opposition to its practice. Everyone told her she would never accomplish that in the middle of the Bible belt and her response was, “Oh yeah? Watch me.” 

Maxine continued on studying and taking classes until she was eventually invited to be a part of the Advanced Astrological Study Group of Atlanta. The time had come, and she knew it was time to push for astrology’s legalization. She earned a meeting with the DeKalb County commissioners in November 1969 through persistence and diligence. They granted her the first official business license to practice astrology ever issued in the state of Georgia.

Since receiving her license, Maxine has co-founded multiple organizations such as the Metropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society, the Atlanta Institute of Metaphysics, and the Atlanta Board of Astrological examiners. She also made regular appearances on CNN as an on-air pundit for astrology, even being interviewed on The Larry King Show. She is currently on the board of the American Federation of Astrologers. 

From our conversation, it was evident that Maxine is an exceedingly gracious and generous person. She does not seem to be driven by monetary motives but rather the desire to help others understand events that are happening and upcoming. When we spoke, the first thing she did was ask me about myself, my goals, and my ambitions. While she looks out for herself, she has made a career out of helping other people make sense of events in their life both good and bad. Maxine is a strong believer in the law of attraction and as a result likes to focus on the positive with her clients. She practices what she preaches, and that belief and positive outlook carries over into her personal life as well.

As of late she is focused on spiritual coaching/healing, doing readings, and keeping with the times. She has a YouTube channel (Maxine Taylor) where she posts videos multiple times a week in an attempt to reach out and touch as many people as possible. 


Visit MaxineTaylor.com

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GRAM Mag Sets NOW AVAILABLE!

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GIVE THE GIFT OF GRAM

You can now order sets of our
printed magazines. Give the gift of
knowledge this year to your friends,
family, or yourself and only pay
the shipping and handling.

What a deal!

Set includes 9 vintage GRAM Mags
(2019-2020)

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Turmeric

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Turmeric is a root vegetable commonly used as a spice in various Indian and other cultures’ dishes. Turmeric is in the zingiberaceae family, as is ginger. The turmeric plant is native to the southeastern region of Asia and commonly harvested in places like India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, and Taiwan. It is responsible for curry’s signature orange color, and its vibrant pigment will give essentially any meal an orange hue. 

Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin, and curcumin has been shown through research to offer anti-inflammatory and other therapeutic benefits. The scientific name for the turmeric plant is Curcuma Longa, and likely where the name curcumin comes from. When people are talking about the health benefits of turmeric, they are referencing curcumin so you may hear the two names used interchangeably. Curcumin is part of a group called curcuminoids, with curcumin being the most active and the most beneficial for health. Flavonoids are another substance found in various plants and give these plants their color. Curcumin is a flavonoid and is responsible for providing that bright orange color to turmeric. In addition to providing aesthetic value, flavonoids are also strong antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published a study done by Sanjaya Singh and Bharat B. Aggarwal of the Cytokine Research Laboratory at the world-renowned cancer hospital, M.D. Anderson. The study found that curcumin suppressed NF-κB, a protein complex responsible for controlling inflammatory responses. In other words, turmeric shuts off the body’s inflammatory response. Anti-inflammatories can be beneficial for many different ailments, including chronic pain and digestive disorders. A lot of CBD companies even put curcumin in their products because of its benefits. It is believed to be a synergistic pair with complementary therapeutic properties. The thought is that the two plant medicines are powerful on their own; as a combination, they can deliver even more anti-inflammatory and medicinal benefits. 

Many people simply add turmeric to their dishes as a way to easily incorporate it into their daily routine. It is pretty mild in flavor and can be added to many dishes without changing the overall taste too drastically. Some say that turmeric isn’t strong enough on its own to receive the anti-inflammatory properties that curcumin provides, and therefore recommend a curcumin supplement. Research varies on that, so in the end it is just up to personal preference and your doctor’s approval. Curcumin supplements come most available in capsules. Pregnant women can safely use turmeric as an addition to their food, but should avoid taking high-dosage supplements. Those who are interested in supplementing with curcumin products should talk with their doctor first. 

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center did another study in 2007 exploring curcumin for cancer treatment. The study found that curcumin inhibits ovarian cancer growth and angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels). It does this by targeting and manipulating the NF-κB pathway, the same protein complex responsible for controlling inflammatory response. According to a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The nuclear factor NF-κB pathway has long been considered a prototypical proinflammatory signaling pathway, largely based on the role of NF-κB in the expression of proinflammatory genes including cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules.”  

The trend with curcumin seems to be it’s ability to control inflammatory responses in the body. It does this by multiple pathways, but a commonly researched one is the NF-κB protein complex. Because this pathway is able to be manipulated by curcumin to encourage anti-inflammatory expressions, its potential for successfully treating various ailments is there.

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Psilocybin + Magic Mushrooms

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When many think of plant medicine, specifically those plants with psychoactive effects, they think of “magic mushrooms,” or fungi containing psilocybin and psilocin that can cause hallucinations depending on the dosage consumed. In many states, there are active efforts to decriminalize these otherwise scheduled substances, lowering penalties for their use and possession. But what value do psilocybin-containing mushrooms offer? New research suggests a range of therapeutic and psychological value ranging from the treatment of substance abuse to anxiety and depression management.  

What are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic Mushroom use dates back to 10,000 BCE and references continue throughout the era. Their modern popularity began when the term “magic mushroom” was coined by two etnomycologists who learned of a Harvard study on local doctors in Mexico using these substances, noting the substance’s ability to affect the nervous system. These findings were eventually published in Life magazine in 1957, and the term became the universal reference for psychoactive fungi and truffles, specifically those containing high concentrations of psilocybin and psilocin.

Psilocybin & Psilocin: The “Magic” in Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybin and psilocin are part of a family of psychedelic compounds found in magic mushrooms. Psilocin is pharmacologically active, and psilocybin is converted into psilocin when consumed or activated. Similar in structure to serotonin, there are more than 50 species of mushrooms and a variety of truffles that produce both the precursor, psilocybin, and the psychoactive compound, psilocin. Unlike LSD, magic mushrooms do not affect dopamine receptors, solely targeting serotonin sites

How are Magic Mushrooms used?

Magic mushrooms are often used for recreational, therapeutic and medicinal reasons. “Effects range from mild feelings of relaxation, giddiness, euphoria, visual enhancement (seeing colors brighter), visual disturbances (moving surfaces, waves), to delusions, altered perception of real events, images and faces, or real hallucinations.” Recreationally, this is often known as “tripping.” As an alternative health option, these fungi are being used for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and trauma, as well as psychological disorders such as substance abuse disorders, and science is beginning to back the potential for these applications.

Research on Mushrooms

Evaluations of currently available scientific studies suggest a growing number of therapeutic benefits and treatment options. “In the past few years, a growing number of studies using human volunteers have begun to explore the possible therapeutic benefits of drugs such as psilocybin…looking at psilocybin and other hallucinogens to treat a number of otherwise intractable psychiatric disorders, including chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency.”

Magic mushrooms have been respected as a “safe & natural healing sacrament for millennia throughout Mexico, Central America and the world,” and are known to be beneficial for depression, recidivism (the tendency to repeat past transgressions), and encourages openness, creativity, as well as personal and spiritual growth. UCLA and NYC have done studies on the applications of magic mushrooms in the treatment of end-of-life anxiety and other studies have backed up the use of psilocybin and psilocin in the treatment of substance use disorders, depression (especially in cases of terminal conditions like cancer as well as treatment-resistant depression), and reducing depression and anxiety overall.

Best way for people to consume?

When it comes to the consumption of mushrooms, advice on dosage is about as specific as it was with cannabis under prohibition. Consumers must purchase on the black market and are subject to whatever may be available. 

“Recreational doses range from 1–5 grams of dry mushrooms depending on the species and individual strength of the specimens… After ingestion, the psilocybin is enzymatically converted to psilocin. Absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract, hallucinogenic effects usually occur within 30 minutes of ingestion with a duration of effect of 4–6 hours.” 

My recommendation as someone who has used magic mushrooms both for recreational and therapeutic purposes, is to grind the mushrooms into a fine powder and either encapsulate them in small increments and/or combine with lemon juice. Capsules will allow you to titrate your dosage as needed with a recognizable increment, while lemon juice will expedite onset time.  

The Legality of Magic Mushrooms

In the United States, psilocybin is a Schedule I controlled substance, with no accepted medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. In contrast, the Drug Policy Alliance states that “Physically, psilocybin mushrooms are considered to be one of the least toxic drugs known.” With that being said, local efforts such as Decriminalize Nature – Oakland and Decriminalize Denver have pushed for and successfully passed initiatives and legislation to reduce penalties and make enforcement a low priority, as was done in the early days of cannabis activism. This has spurred multiple local and international efforts to “Decriminalize Nature,” efforts that we learn more about in this month’s feature.

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