Founder Sarida Brown recalls the beginnings of Caduceus and, together with current editor Simon Best, remembers some special issues.
As I began to recall the early days, the reality of ‘Caduceus Journal’ flooded into my awareness as constellations of remarkable contributors, advisers and designers flowed through my heart’s memory.
Initiators, explorers, teachers and communicators of transformation in consciousness, healing, science, ecology, arts – all touched by the yearning to resolve apparent paradoxes into deeper/higher knowledge and unity, both in their particular fields and in service to humanity and the planet.
How did Caduceus start? In summer, 1985, I was on a 6-day, individual retreat, camping high in the French Alps, guided personally by Pir Vilayat Khan. On the last day he asked me to contemplate how I could serve in life. The answer came clear: to create a magazine about healing that represented all traditions, holistic and scientific, of all ages and regions (an innovative approach for that time); it was puzzling because I’d never written, nor edited, nor run any business.
New Year, 1986: a gathering of about eight friends at my Sufi guide, Rabia Joyce Purcell’s centre, Barton Farm in Bradford-on-Avon. Still puzzled, I recounted my guidance and the group said, ‘We’ll do it’. A wonderful designer, Charles Hill, offered to design a leaflet and the template. June, 1987, around a garden table at David Lorimer’s, Lyn Macwhinnie proposed the name Caduceus, in part because it denoted freedom from any specific group. I had no idea what a house editing style was, so editor Ian Macwhinnie designed one.I had no idea what a business plan was, so we managed without one – in pre-publication subscriptions we received exactly the amount needed for the first issue, which came out in August, 1987.
This was before computers: Carol typed the copy on a typewriter and Roy pasted columns and graphics onto pages to be photographed at the press. There was no Internet: people relied on us for information about leading edge topics and luminaries, courses, events and books.
Caduceus was soon valued for its pioneering exploration of themes that had been ignored or considered taboo. For example, in Issue 9, Leo Sides (a wonderful, heart-full man) broke through the silence about AIDS, at that time still a disease for which there was no medical alleviation or cure – Leo, and his friends, subsequently died of it.
Issue 13, Intuition. Issue 14, Dying – at that time, summer 1991, death was a no-go subject; the quality of articles and quotes are still riveting and relevant. Issue 18, Surviving and Transcending Abuse – again, definitely at the time an unmentionable subject. Issue 20, Birth. Issue 25, Anger. Issue 26, Love. His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote an article, World Peace, to celebrate our 50th issue (actually in issue 51). Issue 54 (Winter, 2001-2), The Spirit of Afghanistan. So many great contributors to honour, from all holistic fields. Issue 12 (Winter, ‘90-91) was our first colour cover, but it was not until no 65 (Winter, ‘04-05) that we produced our first, full-colour issue. Just before that, in 2002, we launched our website.
I called Caduceus Journal my dervish, who required that I stay awake at all hours, on many levels, giving me the richest dervish teaching. I feel awe at the privilege I have been given in this lifetime of editing Caduceus, gratitude to the spirit of Pir Vilayat who opened this opportunity for me, humility when I think of such wonderful people who have contributed to the Journal over the years, and admiration and deep appreciation for Simon, editor since 2006, for his skill, intelligence and dedication.
I took over the reins from Sarida with issue 67, after she had decided she wanted more time to pursue her other interests. At first it continued to be produced at her house in Leamington Spa, but in due course I carried on producing it from my then home in Midhurst, W Sussex.
Among some special issues, I recall issue 71, which highlighted tributes to Eileen Caddy, co-founder of the Findhorn community, among which were two articles by Mike Scott, of The Waterboys, who had lived next to her at Findhorn in the early days – and now here, in issue 100, also remembers Jay (p 5). No 71 also featured the stunning revelations of cymatics, which we have continued to cover in articles by pioneer John Stuart Reid.
EMR hazards are a long-term interest of mine and so have featured in many issues, including this one. Similarly, we have covered many health areas including vitamin D, iodine, raw milk, seaweed, cholesterol and statins, vaccines, Fukushima radiation and ozone therapy. Issue 97 was devoted to the latest theories and research into cancer, one of our most important issues. On the spiritual side, subjects have included Jesus’ family and its Glastonbury connections, Yogananda and Kriya Yoga, the warnings of the Kogi Indians, the mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel, sacred geometry, shamanism and the spiritual effects of sound and light.
The way forward
This issue is a watershed in many ways. When I took it over in 2006 its finances and prospects were buoyant but the ‘08/’09 recession undermined the situation significantly, as it did for many niche market publications. Some went online only to save costs, others simply ceased. Caduceus could have gone digital only, but readers made it clear that most preferred to read a print version. So, it continued in that form, but it came at a cost – letting go the advertising manager, subscriptions/diary secretary and other help. This was a struggle but I was determined to keep it going.
And so it has continued to be; we have no wealthy donors nor business sponsors, unlike some other publications. But the effort has finally culminated in this 100th issue which, with gathering the tributes to Jay, has involved a huge amount of time and work to make it one of our best issues to date.
But the way forward has to be to ask each reader to become more actively involved in helping to promote Caduceus if it is to survive and expand. This means asking you to promote it on all social media available to you. Caduceus has limited resources to promote itself online, but certainly wants and needs to increase its presence; this would be multiplied many, many fold if you, the reader, helped in as many ways available to you. After each issue Jay would email his entire network about it, which always resulted in new subscriptions. I would ask you to follow his example and do what you can to help Caduceus to thrive again.
Since writing the above in issue 100, we have covered many topics, up to the current issue, 108, that include: Sleep; Vitamin C preventing infant vax damage; Vitamin D benefits to prevent Covid (issue 104); glyphosate damage; Ivermectin treats Covid; Water (issue 106), including Deuterium-Depleted water to treat cancer, 4th Phase water, and Molecular Hydrogen health benefits; Spike protein detox, Importance of IR in sunshine, and Sadguru Sri Sharavana Baba (issue 107); Weaponizing the weather (issue 108), how the heart really works and the Open Air Factor.
Full current and back issue contents can be viewed on our website below and from the free, downloadable PDF under the Back Issues menu on the site. For more information on Caduceus please contact Simon Best on 01373 455260.