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awareness exploring spirituality


Virginia’s Meditative Walkways

The Essenes

New Age Beginnings?

Tibetan Medicine

Eastern Medicine In Charlottesville

Astrology Explained • Introductory Yoga • Alternative Healing ... and more! APRIL 2016




ibetan medicine is one of the oldest and most profound healing traditions in the world, combining the philosophy, science and healing practices of a truly holistic and compassionate medical system to create and maintain a healthy mind and body. This four thousand year old system of healing has much to offer our contemporary world; a world that is often described as suffering from stress related illnesses. Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center 201 East Main Street, Suite G Central Place at the fountain Charlottesville Downtown Mall Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

Offers wellness healing therapies: ❋ Ku-nye (Tibetan medicine massage) ❋ Hor-mey (Tibetan hot oil poultice) ❋ Me-tsa (Tibetan moxibustion) ❋ Num-chuk (Tibetan hot oil therapy) ❋ Del-wa (Tibetan heat therapy) Offers education/trainings: ❋ Mind, Body, and Spirit in Tibetan Medicine ❋ Healthy Diet and Lifestyle in Tibetan Medicine ❋ External Healing Therapies (Ku-nye and Hor-mey) ❋ Compassion Meditation ❋ End of Life Care in Tibetan Medicine 2

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For wellness consultations, healing, and education/training instructions please call: ☛ Tibetan medical physician in residence: (434) 465-0847 or (434) 960-8400 For questions or to volunteer to assist in our non-profit projects, call: Gyaltsen Druknya, president: ☛ (434) 989-8230 ~ or ~ ☛ Bobbi Grant Llewellyn, LCSW, BCD, RN: (434) 960-8400

Visit our website for more details:

welcome to …

This free publication is being distributed across the state of Virginia to connect spiritual communities and to enhance individual spiritual journeys. Thanks for making our first issue a great success! We welcome writers to contact us with story ideas. Write us at;

Awareness LLC

P.O. Box 85 • North Garden, VA 22959 or E-mail

To advertise with us; Call (434) 972-9273 Or E-mail:




I am writing this just days after the attacks in Brussels. I am writing this during presidential primaries where some use religious exclusion and fear in pursuit of an office that brings a “peaceful exchange of power.” I am writing this as news develops of a suicide attack aimed at killing Christians and Muslims in Pakistan. It’s as if the world has just given in and allowed hate to rule. These are times of tremendous change where everything seems to affect everyone in the global community. People don’t generally like the discomfort of life changes, and that breeds fear and hate. It’s enough to make anyone feel discouraged and saddened. But then I thought of the wonderful healing taking place on personal levels, the kind that doesn’t get the coverage or sensationalism that hate does. It’s the kind of grassroots change that gives me hope that this time of hate will pass. It is hope in the form of a friend of mine, Bill Rhode: a deeply religious man and, without question, a true patriot. Though feeling his way through a very challenging personal life change, Bill has been, and continues to be, an inspiration and a true asset to his community. Sometime ago, Bill organized and continues to be the motivation behind a monthly gathering of a group of men primarily drawn from an Episcopal church in Scottsville. A diverse and keenly interesting mix of beliefs exist in this group, which meets to discuss issues not only of a religious but also of a transcendent spiritual nature. Last month, one of the members reported having attended an open house of an Islamic mosque in Charlottesville, and made the observation that “… they’re just like us.” That’s all it took for Bill to arrange for the group to attend this month’s meeting at that very mosque, hosted by its imam. Bill was doing his part to learn, understand, and build bridges instead of building walls, and he invited the group to join him. I was in attendance and can tell you that it was wonderful. We all sat in the imam’s office asking questions of each other, sharing our beliefs and perspectives, and finding so much mutual experience in our life paths. This was as it should be, people sitting together, getting to know each other, learning that the differences and distances are not as big as imagined once we talk in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. There was no fear and no suspicion. While being given a tour of the mosque, several of us commented that everyone should have the opportunity to attend such a meeting. It wouldn’t have happened for us if not for Bill. This is how real change occurs, one mind at a time. Bill is not only an asset to his local community, he is an asset to our global community. May you know Peace, Bill!



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exploring spirituality


APRIL 2016


Ray Whitson


Carolyn Greer Daly Nicki Peasley COPY EDITOR

Caroline Hirst


Tracy Federico GRAPHICS


Roberta Culbertson Carolyn Greer Daly Nick Lasky Denise Legg Nicki Peasley Bobbie Ann Pimm Krista Rahm Rob Rahm Valerie Sargent


Margaretta McIlvaine Paula Mekdeci

For advertising information please call (434) 972-9273 or e-mail

Awareness LLC P.O. Box 85 North Garden, VA 22959 (434) 972-9273 Copyright 2016 by Awareness LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written consent of the publisher. All pictorial material reproduced in this magazine, whether in a produced ad or by itself, has been accepted on the condition that it is with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer or the artist concerned. As such, Awareness LLC is not responsible for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising out of publication thereof. The views and opinions expressed by the writers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of ownership or management. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and although every effort has been made to present accurate information, we do not in any way accept responsibility for the accuracy of or consequences from the use of this information or for the businesses and organizations presented herein.

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April 2016


Contents awareness exploring spirituality

APRIL 2016



Richmond’s Belmont The Enigmatic Branch Library Essenes


Consciousness on the Shelves BY NICKI PEASLEY


Labyrinths Hypnosis and the Virginia’s Meditative Akashic Records Walkways A PICTORIAL


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Healing Mind, Body, and Spirit BY VALERIE SARGENT


columns THIS LITTLE LIGHT 8 OF MINE Traveling spiritual pathways BY NICKI PEASLEY






Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center

WHOLE LIVING Connecting with the Earth






Rising Phoenix Holistic Center

YOUR LUCKY STARS Astrology Unveiled





Aquarian Bookshop




SOUTHWESTERN 44 VIRGINIA Roanoke Community Acupuncture

PSYCHIC PROFILE Marie-Claire Wilson



TIDEWATER Unity Renaissance of Chesapeake


April 2016




“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”


– HENRY DAVID THOREAU enry David Thoreau has been one of my wisdom teachers since high school, a saint who lived among the trees, an image I call upon when I need grounding and solace from the noise of the world.

My adoration for Thoreau has led me to explore Native American culture and its deep appreciation for the natural world. I’ve been inspired by the indigenous people’s way of living life as a series of rituals and rites of passage, all tied to the marriage of Earth’s wisdom and Spirit’s power. The vision quest, for me, is the most intriguing and elusive of native traditions. It consists of ceremonial rituals that involve spending time alone in nature in search of a vision to guide one’s life direction and awaken one’s consciousness. It is an experience in which one steps over a threshold, literally and figuratively, into wild landscapes and the wilderness of one’s very own soul. It is a hero’s journey that allows one to ask questions and find answers. A journey in which every Earthly wonder that crosses one’s path carries with it a potential message for life. While the vision quest is most often a rite of passage for adolescents, I heard the call in middle age to embark on this adventure, to go into the woods and confront only the essential facts of life … to learn … to live. While Thoreau lived his whole life as a vision quest, I would


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settle for just one night in the wilderness of my soul … on the Appalachian Trail of Truth. It was a cool November morning when I filled my backpack with a sleeping bag, a journal, matches, a water bottle, and a bag of almonds. My friends Steph and Heath, experienced Appalachian Trail hikers, agreed to travel with me as my human guides, graciously respecting my desire for silence and solitude. While adolescents go into the woods to discover their life’s purpose, power, and place, my questions for Spirit revolved around the Ego’s role in my spiritual journey, the difficult process of reconciling surrender and will, and the desperate search for freedom in a chaotic world. As I stepped over the threshold into my vision quest, my question emerged, “How can I better allow Spirit to flow through me?” At first, I allowed my head to guide me, actively searching for the messengers who might carry my answers. What might that rock over which I tripped mean? Was the bird singing to me? Did the initials etched in that tree represent a person in my life? Aware of my unnecessary effort, I smiled … and fell into my heart, in prayer. My gaze softened, my pace slowed. I walked lightly on the Earth and listened for her wisdom. She answered me through the energetic system of my body. With gentle force, She spun through my chakras, reminding me of my truest colors. She began at the base, anchoring me to the red clay that lay beneath the November leaves. The clay spoke firmly, You are of this place, an artist of human being. I felt my feet root more deeply into the Earth, This is your home, for now. Walk the Beauty Way. And so I walked until my eye fell upon the vibrant orange of one leaf barely hanging onto a branch. To

the seat of my soul, the leaf whispered, You hold the entire universe within you. Release your shame, your old stories, and become One with the All of it. And with one parting breath, the vibrant orange fell and faded into the ocean of the ancient, leaf-covered path. With the freedom that is born from release, I allowed the sun to dance over me, its golden rays expanding and contracting to convey my next message, Allow your light to shine, unattached to Ego or outcome. Live simply. Dance. For a moment, the sun hid behind a cloud, resting, and then shone again more brilliantly than ever. As my body found its joyful rhythm, I twirled myself into a moss-covered tree. I embraced it, my heart beating against the soft green. Addressing the ears of my heart, the moss spoke, Surrender to Love. Always and always. And we merged, the tree and I, in gratitude for being alive. Breathing deeply, I looked to the spacious blue of the sky. And, at once, I felt the vulnerability and power of being human, the responsibility to create change. My throat opened with the sound of Om and in it, I heard the whole sky, Speak your truth and listen deeply to others. A wisp of a cloud danced across the blue. Be a vessel for clarity. When we arrived at our camping destination, I sought out a space, distant enough from the other hikers, but close enough to Steph and Heath that I felt safe. Immediately, I was annoyed by the human sounds reverberating across the camping terrain. I had gone into the woods to escape the noise of society and here I was surrounded by it. There was a familiarity in this discontented state; I had felt this way before … at church. Smiling, I recognized Spirit at work again, reminding me of what I had forgotten in the past few months. Reaching spiritual bliss alone in the purity of a natural setting is easy. But it is in the messiness of community in which one truly experiences God. Suddenly, I was grateful for the noise, the opportunity on this vision quest to see beyond myself, to hear God in the laughter and banter of my fellow humans. Mindfully, I ate my almonds and drank my water and let the noise wash over me like a love song. I had never built my own fire before; that was always my father’s job … and then my husband’s. As I busied myself with the task of gathering wood and arranging it within the circle of stones, I heard the nagging voice of fear, What if I can’t start this fire? And then the bigger question, What if I fail? As I lit the first of many matches I would use to start my fire, I felt the overwhelming love of Spirit, Trust in yourself and surrender to me. You are enough and you are never alone. As if on cue, a camper downstream belched, providing some comic relief and reminding me to take myself

less seriously. From my laughter, my joy in being alive, a blazing fire erupted. I crawled into my sleeping bag and watched the flames of red, orange, and blue playing like children. As my eyes grew heavy, I turned on my back and looked up, through my third eye, at the indigo sky. At once, I felt a deep and sacred connection to everything and everyone. For a moment, I could see as God sees. I fell asleep with a prayer on my lips, May we all be safe, healthy, happy, at peace. Amen. In the morning, I awoke with the aches familiar to the middle-aged human body after 8 hours of sleeping on the ground. My mind got to work making its lists of the responsibilities that awaited me at home. The peace of the night before was a distant memory until I sat up and saw the sun rising behind the mountain, its violet rays lighting up the sky. The sun whispered, Open to your divinity, dear one, and embrace your beautiful humanity. I stood up and let the violet light cascade over me, warm and nurturing. I invited Spirit to once again spin through my chakras—my truths exploding in a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. My original question then swirled into my consciousness: How can Spirit better flow through me? She answered, Move through your life with Heaven in your feet. Take the wisdom of the natural world into your days. And know that I am always with you. I packed up my things and began my descent down the mountain, this time alone, with Thoreau in my heart. I imagined living his life, the solitude, the silence, the purity of the natural world all around him, always. I was surprised to feel an emptiness within, a longing for community, for the chaos of the world. Not as a distraction from my inner life, but as a means to a keener awareness of what it means to be human. When I got to the threshold, over which I would symbolically re-enter the world, I heard my heart sing with more questions … questions that would be answered as I danced through my busy days with Thoreau in my heart and Heaven in my feet. I am always with you. An educator by trade, Nicki Peasley is a student and storyteller of life and a teacher of love, both inside and outside of the classroom. She lives in Richmond with her husband, three children, and their chocolate lab, George Bailey.

April 2016


Dreaming WITH

Bobbie Ann


Why Bother Interpreting Your Dreams? Dream interpretation is a lot of work and what will you get from it? As with everything, there is a negative and a positive to working with your dreams; and, believe it or not, the negative side is the positive side also—or at least it leads to it. The Negative Side The negative is that you may come across a side of yourself you really don’t like or are afraid to know about. When I first started paying attention to my dreams, the negative side jumped up at me and screamed. It screamed loudly and often. I couldn’t get away from it, no matter how much I denied it, no matter how hard I tried to run, there was no getting away from it—the TRUTH— the TRUTH of who I am, and why I am who I am. You may discover you aren’t (always) the “Miss Goody Two Shoes” or “Mr. Nice Guy” you profess to be during the day. You may discover your childhood was not all ice cream, roller-skating, and amusement parks. You may end up shedding light on dark places and recalling secrets long repressed. This is scary stuff. I won’t lie— listening to and learning from your dreams is definitely not all peaches ‘n cream and red roses. So, if it’s not all rosy and wonderful, why should you bother?

The Positive Side The fact is, once you have faced and accepted the negative, you can move on. Then the positive comes into play. You go through a metamorphosis or catharsis and become YOU—the you that you were always meant to be. Who was it who said, “The truth shall set you free”? It’s true, really. You will become truer to yourself and therefore, you will find you are happier. Your dreams deal with all aspects of life: physical, emotional, and spiritual. They can help you break bad habits, improve your health, repair relationships, guide you in your career, strengthen your connection to Spirit … and more. Your dreams hold the answer to whatever 10 April 2016


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problems you are dealing with (or neglecting) in life, but you must pay attention and act on what you learn to benefit from them.

Where to Begin? Some dreamworking techniques can take time and practice to learn and others require a group of individuals working together. However, there are a few that are easy to do by yourself or with a friend. If you have a dream that you want to understand better, I suggest you start with one or both of these simple techniques. Technique #1: Retell the Dream. Write your dream down in as much detail as you can recall. Keep to the details of the dream and don’t include extraneous or explanatory details. As always, write it in the present tense, as if you are experiencing it as you write. Give your written dream to a trusted friend and ask them to read it over once silently. Then, retell your dream as they read again what you wrote. You should not look at what you have written while you are retelling the dream. Your friend should listen carefully to what you are saying and compare it to what you have written. Ask them to make note of where what you say and what you wrote are different. You might leave out details but more likely than not you will add more. What you leave out and what you add are probably very important to what the dream is related to or what it might mean to you. Your friend should also note what parts of the dream you have a problem repeating, whether your voice cracks, for instance, or if you pause or have difficulty finding the right word, whether you become more emotional or more distant or matter-of-fact while speaking. The details of the dream in these parts are probably important to the meaning as well. You should also note your own physical responses when telling the dream. At which point do you get butterflies or feel queasy or light-headed? Where in the retelling do you physically change position or want to move? Where do

you start tapping your foot or drumming your fingers? These physical responses are also telling you something.

Technique #2: Word Association. This is probably the simplest way to work with a dream, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. It can be very eyeopening. It is best to work with a friend, but it can be done alone, too. Take a piece of paper and make a table of three columns. In the first column make a list of all of the objects, places, actions, and emotions in the dream. Put the list down for a while and put the dream out of your mind. Give the list to your friend and ask them to read off the words, one at a time. After each word, you say the first thing that comes to mind. It may be one word or a phrase. Don’t think about it—just say it and your friend should write down whatever you say in the second column. It’s better to not do them in the order they are listed. When all the words are read and you’ve recorded your associations, go through the items in the second column the same way. Whatever associations are made should be recorded in the third column. Now rewrite your dream. Only this time wherever the words in the first column appear in your dream, you will substitute the word(s) in the third column. This new version will not be grammatically correct and may seem nonsensical. Don’t worry about that—the language of your dreams aren’t grammatically correct and are

nonsensical, too, aren’t they? As you reread the revised dream you will likely have an “A-HA!” moment or you may get a strong physical reaction. You can rewrite the dream using the associated words in the second column, but usually the third column is more revealing.

The Next Step Whichever technique you used, take what you have learned and apply it to yourself and your life. Why are you having this dream at this particular time? What happened the day before that might be related? Who did you see? What did you do? Compare the emotions you felt in the dream to something in your life that made you feel the same way. Remember your dreams are about you. So even if it’s about someone else, it’s really about some aspect of you and your life. I’d love to hear about your experience using one or both of these techniques! Until next time … dream on! Bobbie Ann Pimm lives in Albemarle County. She is a dream educator and the author of Notes from a Dreamer…on Dreaming: A Personal Journey in Dream Interpretation, available at createspace. com (paperback) and (paperback and Kindle). She is also a consultant for and a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (

April 2016



Connecting with the Earth BY KRISTA AND ROB RAHM

The Wild Weeds of Spring Spring is my favorite time of the year. It is the season of new beginnings. As the sunlight and warmth return, nature puts forth a multitude of leaves and greens in great abundance. People tend to have more energy and exhibit signs of hope and renewal that they see reflected around them in nature. During the winter, we indulge in heavy foods that bring us comfort and warmth. The winter holidays are filled with traditionally rich foods that leave our bodies and organs feeling stagnant and sluggish, and our livers overworked. As spring arrives, however, we naturally tend to crave lighter foods that have natural detoxification qualities. We develop yearnings for salads, fresh greens, sprouts, spring vegetables, and fruits. When we learn to embrace a seasonal lifestyle, using our intuition and awareness of what we need, we nourish our whole being: mind, body, and spirit. 12 April 2016


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Spring is a great time to wild harvest some of the bounty that nature has to offer us. For the non-gardener, the wild weeds of spring are a great opportunity to get outside and use some of the abundant gifts of nature. These wild weeds are easy to identify and don’t require a big commitment to a garden. For the gardener, using spring weeds allows you to find some value in those pesky plants that so commonly invade your garden beds as the weather warms up. Weeds tend to grow in disturbed ground. They fill in space where humans or animals have left their mark. These “weedy” plants often colonize and restore nutrients back into the soil actively healing the land. We can curse these weeds for invading our gardens and manicured lawns, or we can trust and accept nature’s wisdom and its bountiful gifts. Remember to use a field guide or go on a plant walk with an experienced wildcrafter when you first start learning and harvesting wild plants. It is best to harvest plants from areas that have not been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals. The following wild weeds are just a few of the many tasty and nutritive greens found easily here in Virginia. Chickweed (Stellaria media): Harvest leaves anytime before setting seed. It is one of the best tasting wild greens of spring. It can be found in abundance and the taste is so mild and somewhat sweet that you can eat it raw. It is high in iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, potassium, and is a natural diuretic, to name but a few of its qualities. You can include it in salads, stir-fries, soups, and use it to make pesto. You can also infuse Chickweed

in apple cider vinegar or olive oil for 4 weeks and then strain for a mineral rich vinegar or oil to use throughout the year. Chickweed is high in saponins that help break down walls of fat cells, which makes it a great aid to the dieter. Chickweed also relieve allergies. Soothe red, sore, itchy eyes by applying a chickweed infusion—just simmer fresh leaves in water for 10 minutes and strain. Chickweed can even work wonders on eye infections such as pink eye. Once you start to use chickweed, you will wish it were here year round. Unfortunately, as the heat of summer sets in, chickweed tends to fade away. I like to freeze bags of fresh chickweed and chickweed pesto to use later in the year.

in most recipes. Dandelion makes an excellent natural diuretic and it is high in potassium, a mineral that we normally lose in urine. Violet (Viola odorata): Harvest young leaves and flowers. High in vitamins A and C, Violet contains rutin, a bioflavonoid that strengthens capillaries and is good for treating varicose veins. Add fresh young leaves and flowers to salads, infuse flowers into honey, or use the flowers to make a beautiful and delicious violet-colored jelly.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Use leaves and root. Dandelion contains high levels of vitamins and minerals. It can be used as a spring tonic to purify the blood, and benefits digestion and the liver due to its bitter qualities. Use greens and chopped roots in stir-fries, make a mineral rich vinegar by infusing leaves and/or roots in apple cider or balsamic vinegar, add leaves and roots to soups, and use cooked greens to replace cooked spinach

Nettles (Urtica dioica): This plant is known for its stinging hairs and often gets cursed rather than being prized for its exceptional nutritional benefits. Always use gloves to harvest nettles. Harvest while leaves are young before flowering. Nettles will lose their sting once cooked. Nettle plants are a great mineral accumulator and a nutritional powerhouse with high levels of vitamins A, C, D, and K, iron, calcium, potassium, trace minerals, and protein. Cook the leaves for stir-fries, add to soups, make pesto, and add to quiches and lasagna as you would cooked spinach leaves. To use vinegar to pull out the most





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minerals, simply infuse the fresh leaves in apple cider vinegar for 4 to 6 weeks, then strain and use in cooking. Dry the fresh leaves and use them later for a wonderful vitamin and mineral-rich tea. With antihistamine qualities, nettles can also provide seasonal allergy relief and give nutritional support to the immune system. Eating wild weeds helps maintain strong bones, improve overall digestive and immune function, and provides vitamins and minerals from a natural source (instead of synthetic supplements). Making use of these and embracing the wholeness that nature offers is a great way to improve your health. Learn more about these plants, other beneficial herbs, and recipes on how to use them at the classes at Forrest Green Farm (

Krista’s Korner Chickweed Pesto 1 cup fresh chickweed leaves 1 cup parsley 2-3 cloves of garlic 1/2 to 1 cup olive oil 1 cup parmesan cheese grated ½ cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon pepper Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Use on vegetables, pastas, rice, quinoa, on Panini sandwiches, or as a fish or chicken marinade. Can be frozen for later use. Pesto appetizer: Place some soft goat cheese or homemade yogurt cheese on a cracker or celery and top with a dollop of pesto. Yum! You can substitute dandelion leaves, basil, or young nettle or violet leaves to replace the parsley or chickweed in this recipe. Krista and Rob Rahm purchased a farm in Louisa, Virginia, in 1992. After many years of learning to live off of the land, learning and using herbal medicine as their primary health care, and making farming their fulltime occupation, the Rahms began a new mission to empower others with the knowledge to achieve Whole Living and supply products and classes to support this purpose. 14 April 2016


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ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR SPIRITUAL FREEDOM? If you * Like Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle * Don’t like being told what and how to believe * Want to connect with like-minded people in an inclusive community that honors all spiritual traditions regardless of race, creed, religion or sexual orientation


Then Check Out A Positive Path to Spiritual Living (434) 978-1062 Sunday Celebration Services: 10:30 AM 2825 Hydraulic Circle Charlottesville, VA 22901 Event Videography Archiving Services 2d Design & Illustration

April 2016



Belmont Branch Library




s more and more people are beginning to integrate varied spiritual practices and belief systems into their religious foundations, spirituality is becoming a mainstream topic. We are living during a time in which there is as much talk about “consciousness reform” as there is about educational, political, and economic reform. While venues like yoga studios, metaphysical stores, and focused on raising awareness are excellent sources of information for spiritual seekers, how might the public library accommodate its patrons in this area? I sat down with Barbara Booth, branch manager of the Belmont Library (one of the nine Richmond Public 16 April 2016


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Library locations), to inquire about the demand for spiritual publications. Booth agreed that there is a growing interest in spirituality. “At this branch, we get a lot of people inquiring about yoga, mindfulness, meditation. People are seeking healthier and more balanced lives.” Located on the edge of Carytown, Belmont Library serves many young families, senior citizens, college students, and even homeless people who need a safe and welcoming place to come during the day. Booth reflected, “There are times in life—becoming a new parent, entering adulthood or retirement, having tough times—when people are more open to seeing and seeking.”

To meet this demand, the library’s growing collection of spirituality-based publications includes classic authors like Merton, Augustine, and C.S. Lewis, as well as contemporary writers like Brene Brown, Mitch Albom, Glennon Doyle Melton, Anne Lamott, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Gilbert, Henri Nouwen, Pema Chodron, Annie Dillard, Anne Patchett, Mary Oliver, Barbara Brown Taylor, Rachel Evans, and Booth’s favorite, Eckhart Tolle, who, she said, opened her eyes even wider to the rich world of spirituality. She credits Belmont Branch Library Manager Barbara Booth

April 2016


“Regardless of what one reads, books nourish our spirit.

Whether our interest is in romance, history, or adventure, all reading is a path into one’s spirit. Books serve as mirrors to reflect the world we know, as well as windows though which we can see worlds we have yet to explore.”

are so filled with technology and science. This isn’t a bad thing, but people are reaching for some balance with spirituality. Spirituality softens and humanizes us.” Booth also reminded me, “Regardless of what one reads, books nourish our spirit. Whether our interest is in romance, history, or adventure, all reading is a path into one’s spirit. Books serve as mirrors to reflect the world we know, as well as windows though which we can see worlds we have yet to explore.” As a former educator, Booth believes this to be especially true of children’s books. Indeed, those seeking to deepen their self-understanding and widen their lens on the world need not limit themselves to the spirituality section of the library. There are portals to awareness on every shelf. In the end, Booth offered, “We are pleased to offer the free Awareness: Exploring Spirituality magazine to our patrons. The focus of this publication is spirituality, not religion. Some people find spiritual connection through a specific faith or practice. Others connect through a variety of other avenues. Richmond Public Library is happy to be one of them.”

Library Spirituality Titles

Melissa Schutt, Collection Development Manager, with accommodating the needs of her library patrons. Booth is also excited to have just ordered a monthly publication called Mindful for the Belmont branch. Currently, Booth is working with the Chrysalis Institute, exploring ways the library might partner with this awareness raising organization (featured in the last edition of Awareness). Booth commented, “Our lives 18 April 2016


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An educator by trade, Nicki Peasley is a student and storyteller of life and a teacher of love, both inside and outside of the classroom. She lives in Richmond with her husband, three children, and their chocolate lab, George Bailey.

Free Classes 6:30pm Sunday, April 10 Walkabout Outfitters, Carytown

Workshops Strength to Surrender Workshop 5:30p - 8:30p | April 1 Yoga Stone, Big Sky Montana


Teacher Trainings YoKid Teacher Trainings April 15 -17 & June 10 -12 Retreats Steadiness, Comfort & Joy May 25 - 30 Bocas Del Toro, Panama July 22 - 24 Yogaville, Buckingham, VA Ojai Retreat September 14 - 18 Ojai, CA

Events Wanderlust Pre-Festival Event Om On Yoga April 28th | Richmond, VA Wanderlust Snowshoe June 3 - 5 | Snowshoe, WV Shensara Yoga Festival July 29 - 31 | Luray, VA Floyd Yoga Jam Sept 2 - 4 | Floyd, VA - Culinary Herb Plants - Medicinal Herb Plants and Trees - Heirloom Tomato Plants - Pepper Plants: large variety - Flowers: decorative and edible - Pollinator and Bee Friendly Plants A complete list of our plants can be downloaded from our website

Forrest Green Farm

(540) 967-1165

Growing, tending, harvesting, and preserving herbs are our passion. Our herbs are harvested by hand, then our products are made in small batches resulting in an extremely fresh and high quality herbal line. Available online and at our Market on the Farm Farm is open Thursday - Sunday 9 to 5

April 2016





everal years ago a psychic told me that two friends and I had once lived together as Essenes, an ancient Middle Eastern esoteric group. On the screen of my mind, a picture began to come into focus; I saw love expressing itself in words of wisdom, knowledge and history, words that must be preserved lest the generations to come be ignorant of the sacred secrets given to us by our Creator. Was this picturing a creation of my imagination, a half-forgotten memory of a life lived in another time, another place, or was it a combination of both? When the idea of really getting to know and understanding the Essenes came into my thoughts, I felt it was my mission, an obligation to myself, to fit together the pieces of the puzzle until the many conflicting accounts describing the life, customs, and belief systems of these mysterious people made sense. Often when one hears the word Essene, the first image that comes to mind is of celibate men living in a commune near Jerusalem, in an ocher-colored desert, set between a wall of caves and the banks of the Dead Sea, in a village known as Qumran. The word Essene translated from Greek means “holy ones.” As described by Philo (20 BCE–50 CE), Pliny the Elder (24–79 CE), and Josephus (37–100 CE), not only was this community void of women, but women were declared unclean. Have scholars been too limited in their definition of Essenes due to the writings of

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exploring spirituality

those Roman historians? Was the Qumran sect the only Essene community that existed in the vicinity of Jerusalem at that time? To me, this would be like defining Christianity by examining the belief system and rituals of one congregation, in one church, of which one was never a member. These questions are especially puzzling when you read The Book of Enoch (a biblical prophet), the works of present-day researchers Rev. Guilhem Raphael and Olivier Manitara, “The Isaiah Effect” by Gregg Braden, or the readings of the world-renowned psychic, Edgar Cayce. They all contradict the descriptions of the Essenes of Qumran as espoused by the same period writers mentioned above. According to these modern works, both research and psychic readings, early Essenes came into existence not far in time and space from what is known as the Garden of Eden and were called the Children of Light. This would mean the Essenes existed long before Noah and the great flood. In fact, Enoch was Noah’s grandfather, so this was long before the Pharaohs ruled Egypt, long before Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and led the Children of Israel to the Promised Land, and, certainly, long before Essenes established a settlement called Qumran. According to Enoch, Raphael, and Manitara, and also in passages found in the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran, the Essenes, which included women, migrated throughout the world sowing seeds of ancient wisdom that would one day grow and blossom into the countless religions that exist in the world today. Manitara states that almost all of the principal founders of what would later be called Christianity were Essenes including St. Ann, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, and Jesus. In Cayce’s Reading 254-1, May 1941, “Cayce on Mary, the Mother of Jesus & Essene Preparation,” Cayce states, “This was the beginning of the period where women were considered as equals with the men in their activities, in their abilities to formulate, to live, to be channels.” Cayce provides

The word Essene translated from Greek means “holy one.” insight into how holy women were chosen and trained by the Essenes and includes specific details. For example, when asked how old Mary was when she was chosen, Cayce answers, “Four; and, as I would call, between twelve and thirteen when designated as the one chosen by the angel on the stair.”

of their day, were due, not so much to deliberate fabrication, but to a difference in timeframe, location, sect and dogmatic doctrine of their day ingrained in their perspectives.


If we accept the work of Raphael and Manitara and the words of Edgar Cayce, this group of Essenes had to live somewhere in the vicinity of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. So, why were they not mentioned by Philo, Pliny the Elder and Josephus? And, if Jesus was an Essene, why, according to my “Popular Concordance” (an index of the Christian Bible) were the Essenes never mentioned in the Christian Bible? I later discovered in Braden’s “The Isaiah Effect” that there were several sects of Essenes during the time of Jesus that included Ebionites and Nazarites. Perhaps when the Bible mentions Jesus of Nazareth, they are not referring to a town, as I had understood, but a sect of the Essenes.

here is, however, some agreement as to the beliefs and customs of the Essenes. For example, they were a nonviolent people who believed that peace was their path to God. They made no weapons, but carried them when outside the complex for protection. They were agrarian and vegetarians; accumulated no individual wealth and shared everything, including clothing. They bathed daily and considered the human body a holy temple where God resides. Women were honored, highly regarded, educated, and treated as equals. Embedded in their writing is encoded, esoteric scientific knowledge that we are only now beginning to understand as quantum physics.

From my often contradictory and confusing research, I have arrived at conclusions that resonate with me. I believe the discrepancies reported by different historians

Describing the spiritual beliefs and customs of the Essenes and describing the belief system and customs of the Cathars, a peace-loving community in southern

April 2016


The New France, is like Age may in describing the same fact be as people. Perhaps we are. As the Greek translation for old as Essenes means “holy the Greek word Encoh. Katharoiones,” translates to Cathar, which means “pure ones.”

Now, if we accept the evidence that the Essenes from Jerusalem likely migrated to the south of France, and if we are open to the myth that Mary Magdalene, an Essene, accompanied by a child, sought refuge from those who felt threatened by her association with Jesus, it is likely she would seek sanctuary among her own people, the Cathars. According to Cathar legend, a boat with no oars, carrying Mary Magdalene, a girl named Sarah, and a secret later protected by the Knights Templar, drifted ashore near Marseilles about 40 CE. She settled near Rennes-leChateau, a village of mystery, where Mary Magdalene was held sacred and known as the Black Madonna. These peace-loving people were persecuted by the soldiers of the Inquisition and walked into the flames of death rather than deny their faith or reveal their secret.

The Council of Nicea, in 325 CE denied the world ancient wisdom by cherry-picking Christian texts, eliminating any scripture or text that did not fit in with Emperor Constantine’s desire to control illiterate masses through religion. The Gnostic Gospels, found in the Nag Hammadi Library, which included the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Truth, and other ancient gospels, were condemned as heresy and those who dared to accept them were branded heretics. Although this is perpetuated even today, I believe big changes in perception will occur as more ancient texts are unearthed. Researchers speculate there are many more to be discovered. Translated without bias, those now available state that the Children of Light shall overcome the forces of darkness, prophesied in the Dead Sea Scrolls, not by war, but by enlightenment. The Gnostics, Cathars and Essenes saw as their goal to live always in a state called Pleroma (fullness) or by a term we use today, the Christ Consciousness. So perhaps the essence of the Essenes beats in the hearts of all who strive for peace as a path to the Creator. “The New Age” may in fact be as old as Enoch. Carolyn Greer Daly spent a career restoring paintings and now devotes her time to a book study group, like-minded friends, and work as an associate editor of this publication. She has been involved in spiritual pursuits for over 40 years and lives in a stone house in Brightwood, Va.

Suggested Reading

“The Isaiah Effect” by Gregg Braden

“Jesus and the Essenes” by Dolores Cannon

(Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony, 2009)

(Ozark Mountain Publishing, 1999)

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“From Enoch To The Dead Sea Scrolls” by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (IBS International, 1981)


Virginia’s Meditative Walkways A PICTORIAL


abyrinths are believed to have existed since prehistoric times and have always had an association with the mystical, religious, or spiritual aspects of human life. Long incorporated in the floors of many religious churches and temples, the explosive growth of the modern spiritual movement has seen a resurgence in their popularity and availability. Symbolically isolated from the outside world, a labyrinth pattern is walked in meditative silence, generally while focused on a problem, issue, or concern, by one seeking guidance or understanding. Virginia is blessed with an abundance of beautiful labyrinths, most available to the general public. A wonderful resource for finding one near you is; just go to the “Locate a Labyrinth” tab and type in your location. On the following pages are five labyrinths located in the main regions of the state. Enjoy the journey!

April 2016


Central Virginia


of Charlottesville 2825 Hydraulic Road Charlottesville, VA 22901

The Shalom Labyrinth offers a peaceful meditative walk. Available to the public anytime. Contact information: Rev. Don Lansky (434) 978-1062 24 April 2016


exploring spirituality

northern Virginia


Evangelical Lutheran Church 8712 Plantation Lane Manassas, VA 20110

The Bethel Prayer Labyrinth with stylized Luther Rose in the center. Available to the public anytime. Contact information: Pastor Jeff Wilson (703) 368-3943

April 2016


the piedmont




3527 Ellwood Ave Richmond, VA 23221

The Chrysalis Outdoor Labyrinth is located in Sherwood Park, at the corner of Westwood Avenue and Loxley Road. Available to the public anytime. Contact information: The Chrysalis Institute (804) 359-0384 26 April 2016


exploring spirituality

Southwestern Virginia


Episcopal Church 120 Church St N.E. Blacksburg, VA 24063

The Labyrinth at Christ Episcopal Church was built as a response to the April 16, 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech. Available to the public anytime. Contact information: The Very Rev. Scott West (540) 552-2411

April 2016





215 67th St Virginia Beach, VA 23451

The Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Labyrinth offers a spectacular view from the front of the historic hospital building. Available to the public anytime. Contact information: (757) 428-3588 28 April 2016


exploring spirituality


April 2016


Hypnosis AND THE

Akashic Records Healing Mind, Body, and Spirit BY VALERIE SARGENT


he expansive growth of individual spirituality has more and more people looking deeper within for answers to their health issues. Holistic, alternative, and complementary healing are becoming more popular as many step back into a sense of self-empowerment and listen more closely to their bodies. The terms holistic, alternative, and complementary healing have often been used interchangeably, and all of them can be used for physical, emotional, and mental healing. • Holistic healing embraces the larger definition of treatments and practitioners who do not work within the system of conventional Western medicine, called allopathic medicine. Holism promotes the belief in treating the mind, body, and spirit together rather than simply treating a person for a specific illness or injury.

• Alternative healing refers to the methods of treating illness or injury in ways other than allopathic medicine. These include practices such as hypnosis, traditional Eastern medicine, homeopathy, and herbalism, and require practitioner certification. • Complementary medicine is a combination of allopathic medicine and holistic or alternative healing. 30 April 2016


exploring spirituality

One form of holistic treatment combines a certified hypnotist, Akashic Record reader, and intuitive healer. These methods, which can be used individually, are combined to treat the body, mind, and spirit together, and provide for deeper levels of healing as it relates to a physical, mental, and/or emotional issue. Hypnosis is the term used for the state of mind that occurs naturally between being awake and falling asleep. It is a natural state of selective, focused attention that can be obtained under the direction of a trained practitioner. When hypnotized, one is able to be in touch with the subconscious, the part of the self that knows all and remembers everything. In this state, the client is able to access deeply buried memories and is open to positive suggestions. The possibilities for healing are limitless. While hypnotized, one stays aware and conscious while being deeply relaxed. The client hears the sounds inside and outside the room, and, at will, can come out of the trance at any time. The mind is quiet, and the subconscious is available. The Akashic Records are opened as the client is being hypnotized. The purpose is to access personal information to amplify and deepen the level of healing. The healer intuitively receives valuable information related to pertinent issues that need to be addressed during the session. The client is able to recall memories from this life, and potentially past lives, while the healer

gently helps to address and often resolve the issues that are being brought forth. An experienced healer uses a combination of learned skills during a session, based on client needs. The Akashic Records, or “The Book of Life,” exists on the spiritual plane and contain the entire history of every soul since the beginning of time—every feeling, thought, word, action, and intent that has ever occurred is recorded. The Records are interactive in that they have tremendous influence upon our everyday lives, relationships, feelings, and belief systems, as well as the potential realities we draw toward us. Work within the Akashic Records can be powerful and deeply healing. The Records are accessed through intention and the client’s willingness to trust that the conscious awareness is making a subtle shift into the dimension of the Records. An open mind is key to successful work within any alternative healing method. Every session of hypnosis within the Akashic Records is unique. It generally begins by talking with the client to ascertain what she/he would like to accomplish. This can be anything from managing weight to simple curiosity about past lives. There is no protocol or prescribed way that a session goes other than beginning with the opening of one’s Records and deep relaxation leading to hypnosis. Once fully hypnotized, the client and healer begin the journey into memories, typically with one from the client’s youth that connects to their intention for the session. After that, the direction the session takes depends on what healing the client is seeking. Hypnotic sessions are fascinating as they can go in many different directions, unless there is a set intention to address a particular issue. Some clients meet their angels, guides, or departed loved ones. Clients have visited the realms of deep space and the very deep subconscious. The most interesting sessions are those where the soul and subconscious direct the client to the best place for resolution or healing. On occasion, a client requires past life regression hypnosis, which is always intriguing. There is no limit to what can be addressed with hypnosis or the Akashic Records. Always confirm that you are dealing with a certified practitioner.

The Akashic Records figure prominently in the works of the world-renowned psychic, Edgar Cayce, known as “the sleeping prophet.” He frequently referred to information in the Records during his readings.

Valerie is an accomplished and experienced certified hypnotist, Akashic Record reader, and intuitive healer of over 20-years, currently working on a Masters Level course in hypnosis. She is also an artist. She lives in Charlottesville and travels to see clients and offer workshops. Contact her at or

April 2016


Your Lucky

STARS Astrology Unveiled BY NICK LASKY

What Can Astrology Tell You? Those skeptical about astrology should be reminded of something financier J.P. Morgan once said: “Millionaires do not use astrology, but billionaires do.” This is because those with the most money take many measures to ensure that their bank accounts continue to grow. One method that is always reliable is astrology. The truth is, astrology is an actual science and has a profound effect upon everything and everyone on this planet. Who else knew this? Plato, Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, Teddy Roosevelt, Madonna, and the late Nancy Reagan—just a few of the influential people that are known to have used astrology. So what is astrology, really? Astrology is simply the study of how the energy of planets and other celestial bodies affect us here on earth. It is a collection of archetypes, patterns of human behavior, which can be projected onto anything here on earth, such as medicine, business, and

psycholog y. Not only can you apply these archetypes to these fields in regard to the whole of society, but also to you personally. If you have ever read more about astrology than just the horoscope column in the paper, then you will have heard of a “birth chart.” Your birth chart is like a 360-degree photograph of the sky at the exact moment you were born. In this picture you can see the respective positions of the planets and the other celestial bodies. However, this concept of a birth chart is not only limited to human births. It can be applied to everything, such as meeting someone for the first time, signing a contract on a house, opening a business, and giving a speech, to name just a few. Why are these birth charts so important? Because for the rest of your life, your business’s life, or the duration of your relationship with a friend, that birth chart will never change. For you, the individual, your birth chart can give insight into personality tendencies, hidden fears, innate talents, life challenges, probable events, information about your children, and even what your destiny is in this lifetime. In the realm of health, your chart can show you in what parts of the body you are likely to have medical issues, when your health is in jeopardy, and the proper channels to direct energy in order to avoid any health problems. For business, your chart can tell you certain difficulties you are likely to face, where your strengths lie, and what type of people to work with in order to create the most success. As for psychology, your birth chart reveals emotional wounds you are likely to be holding onto, what motivates you, and the predominant methods that you use to interact with other people.

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Now, let’s examine how astrology can help you! Let’s take another look at that J.P. Morgan quote about the billionaires who use astrology. It is known that many successful Wall Street brokers consult astrologers. Why? Because the stars also influence the financial markets. For instance, astrologers know that Jupiter, the planet of expansion and growth, has a big influence on global markets. In particular, when Jupiter goes retrograde (when it appears to move backwards in the sky), it tends to have a negative effect on the market. Now Jupiter is not the only indicator of the markets, there are a large number of astrological factors that influence the financial cycles. In fact, there are astrologers that specifically focus on financial markets and make prediction books each year that wise investors like to use.

You can discover all these things by looking at different parts of your chart, such as which sign a planet is in or which house a planet is in. In astrology there are 12 houses, that is, sections of the chart that together contain the full spectrum of the human experience. Each individual house represents a different area of life, for instance, the second house rules your money, the fourth house represents your family, and the seventh house rules your relationships. In addition to the signs and houses, you may look at the relationships that your planets are having with each other. For example, a person born with the Sun in the sign of Capricorn would behave very differently than someone who was born with a Capricorn Sun with the planet Uranus a couple degrees away. The Uranian energy would give the normally serious and conservative Capricorn person a more unorthodox and eccentric personality. And I want to make one thing definitely clear: you are not just your Sun sign! Although the Sun is one of the most important parts of the chart, there are many other archetypes that you embody based on other planets and influences in your chart. For example, you may have heard of something called an ‘Ascendant’ or ‘Rising Sign.’ This is the degree of the zodiac that was on the eastern horizon at the moment you were born. While your Sun represents your ego, your ascendant shows how others see you and how you show yourself to the world.

What about health? The Father of Medicine from Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, once said, “A physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician.” This is a ridiculous statement considering the current educational curriculum of our medical practitioners. But was he on to something? For example, we know that the gravitational attraction of the Moon helps to create the tides of the oceans. As the Moon pulls on the water in the oceans it also has an effect on the water within our bodies. This knowledge can be applied to surgery. Astrologers know that you should avoid any surgery to the parts of the body that are ruled by the current placement of the Moon. For example, if the Moon is in Aries, it is recommended

Your birth chart is like a 360-degree photograph of the sky at the exact moment you were born.

April 2016


not to get any facial surgery at that time. This is because in astrology, Aries rules the head. Therefore when the Moon is in Aries it has an extra pull on the head, and if you get surgery on your head at this time you are much more likely to have inflammation. Instead, you would want to choose a date when the Moon is farther along in the zodiac to give you ample time to recover before the Moon returns to Aries. From a psychological standpoint, using astrology can give you amazing insights and understanding. In many ways astrology was the precursor to psychology, giving people a means to study themselves and the human experience. Astrology can assist you on your path of self-discovery and help you understand the deeper influences that generate your desires, emotional needs, and relationship tendencies. Ever wondered why you keep playing out the same patterns over and over again? Your chart will not only show you the unconscious drives and tendencies that cause these cycles, but also how you can evolve past them!

astrological archetypes and energies to just about everything! Couples seeking a happy marriage will often consult an astrologer to pick the best wedding date. If you have never gotten your birth chart read, please go and see a good astrologer and I guarantee you will learn things about yourself that you never knew before. In the words of one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, “Oh the wonderful knowledge to be found in the stars. Even the smallest things are written there … if you had but skill to read.” Lucky for you, there are thousands of astrologers ready and willing to put their skills to use to help you!

Business, health, and psychology are only three areas in which astrology can be helpful, but you can apply

Nick Lasky is a professional astrologer, psychic, and healer at the Aquarian Bookshop in Richmond. Nick is the founder of the Society of Awakening Souls, an organization at UVA and the Aquarian Bookshop for students seeking spiritual awakening. Contact Nick at

Valerie Sargent

Certified Hypnotherapist & Akashic Records Reader

P resent moment guidance for the life experience you desire. • • • • •

Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy/Akashic Records Intuitive Healing/Energy Work Custom-made Intuitive Soul Portraits Monthly Group Akashic Readings 34 April 2016


exploring spirituality


Valerie is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Akashic Records Reader & Intuitive Healer. Guided by her intuition, Valerie is able to hypnotize you while in your Akashic Records.

Notes from a Dreamer…on Dreaming by Bobbie Ann Pimm Available in paperback at Use coupon code 9GQ3UHE4 at checkout for a 15% discount Also available in paperback and Kindle format on (Note: discount code will not apply) You may also enjoy my artwork available on Etsy Use coupon code AWARE10 and receive a 10% discount with a minimum $100.00 purchase

Human Design BringTheForth YourSystem Light

We each have a unique design. Find out yours with the Human Design System. This system is able to show us our individual design through a synthesis of bio-mechanics, science, cosmology, and profound esoteric knowledge.

Basicabout Hatha Yoga Classes What will you learn yourself?

* Geared towards beginners & returning practitioners * Offering gentle poses with minimal physical stress * Improve flexibility, posture, strength and balance Experience


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To learn about our Personal Reading Services, please contact Anne-Marie at, Margaretta McIlvaine - Certified Yoga Instructor

Classes start May 2016434 823-1385 Check the site for class schedules and workshops (434) 293 - 9708

April 2016


BASIC YOGA 36 April 2016


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TREE POSE (Vrikshasana)

The main benefits of this pose are building balance and concentrating the mind. It strengthens the legs, opens the hips, spreads the chest, and opens the shoulders. It also helps with osteoporosis by building strength in the balancing leg. Place the foot on ankle or knee if necessary.

Central Virginia

The Power of Water Tibetan Medicine Comes to the West BY ROBERTA CULBERTSON, PH.D.


directly from the sky. Failing that, drink water that has been infused with the energy of sunlight and wind. The water in the bottles you drink is dead water—from the earth and the dark. It can’t give you energy.” I listen to Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, director of the Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center in downtown Charlottesville, and I learn something about water I had never suspected. I imagine the high mountains and clear streams in which the Tibetan notion of water as energy was formed, and I am young and ignorant again. On a cool, dark February morning in Charlottesville, I walked from the gloom of the day into the quiet funk of a downtown office building on its day off. I marched down a stuffy hallway, past the offices of small businesses and professionals, into a suite of rooms seemingly from another planet. I was to attend a talk by and then visit

with Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen of the Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center, and I felt as if I had walked into a sliver of Tibet with an American air. No ordinary office, the place was warm and suffused with a lovely golden light. Tibetan tangkas (ritual paintings) hung from the walls. A well-appointed stepped altar of red and yellow silk covered one wall of the room, a large computer monitor, another. In the next room, more tangkas, featuring images of the body, its energy lines, elements of diet and nutrition, and much more, hung on a large rack. A massage table with attendant oils and warmers gave another room a relaxing but serious feel. This is where healing happened, I supposed, for Tibetan medicine puts much emphasis on massage, oils, herbs, and moxibustion (heating therapy using an herb burned close to the skin) for the treatment of illness. Tea was served.

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Central Virginia

I breathed in the scented air. I was in the presence of a great tradition with much to teach that was far different from my own—we rarely combine altars and treatment spaces in Western medicine. When I took my first step into Tibetan views of food and drink I stepped into another conceptual world altogether. “We don’t look at nutrition as you do,” Dr. Kunchok said. He has a Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA and knows how we Westerners think. “You look at the body as flesh and bones and you study nutrients. We study energy. We study what energies different food has, and we look at the individual’s energy needs and match the two. We study body types and constitutions of body energy. What I need to eat to remain healthy and what you need will be different because our energy is different. We need to find ways to balance our internal energies, and we do so by eating foods and drinking liquids that are capable of boosting one energy and cooling another, as we need it.” Suddenly my own approach to eating—vintage 1960s four food groups with a thin layer of health nut—felt rather simplistic. “We use food as medicine. Tibetan medical theory promotes healing through changing the diet. It seems complicated, but it is actually very logical and easy to follow. ” Dr. Kunchok gave a rollercoaster ride through the basic structure of Tibetan food science. He began with the

Hor-mey treatment

five fundamental energetic elements of all phenomena: earth, water, fire, air, and space, and linked them to our experience of different tastes. What we taste in food is different qualities of energy. These qualities not only make foods taste different, but also give them different capacities to nourish us. Foods interact with each other as well, producing subtle energy repairs or causing us trouble. For example, lettuce is sweet (earth)/bitter (water and air), and cooling. It is good for regulating the bowels. I hadn’t thought of lettuce as sweet/bitter. But it is, don’t you think? And cooling? That morning in Charlottesville, Tibetan medicine, a system thousands of years in the making in a culture dedicated to the deep study of spiritual and other energy forms, blossomed in a few Western minds. I was lucky to be one of them. “When I first began studying what is called ‘complementary medicine’ at UCLA,” Dr. Kunchok said, “I noticed that Tibetan medicine was not included. Ayurveda medicine from India, yes. Chinese medicine, Japanese Reiki and Shiatsu, yes, but not Tibetan. Tibetan medicine has a long scholarly tradition and an unbroken line of exploration and development. It treats illness, and also explains the body and its energy needs so as to prevent illness. It connects the spiritual and the mundane, and the mind and body. It should be available in the West. So I started the Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center.” Dr. Kunchok established Arura with the involvement of the University of Virginia and the UVA Medical Center to develop Tibetan medical approaches to

Dr. Kunchok 38 April 2016


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of China, and a professor at the Shang-Shung School of Medicine in Conway, Massachusetts.

Arura will focus on four areas, according to Dr. Kunchok. “The first two are very concrete: the Tibetan approach to Diet and Nutrition; and the Mind/Body connection. For Tibetan medicine, the mind and body connection is the core—we cannot treat one without the other because they are constantly in interaction. The third and fourth are more spiritual. Tibetan medicine had its origins in traditional Tibetan practices, and then was advanced and codified in Buddhist monasteries. We will have trainings in Compassion as a part of health and mental wellness, and teach Tibetan knowledge of Death and Dying.”

While the Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center is a place for education and research, it is also a healing center for the public, with a particular focus on the aging. Dr. Sanggee Bohm joined its staff to offer consultations on diet, nutrition, and mind-body practices including meditation. Dr. Sanggee will also provide healing consultations and Tibetan Medicine external therapies. He offers the Tibetan hot-oil poultice treatment (Hormey), Tibetan moxibustion (Me-tsa), and traditional Tibetan massage (Ku-nye). When Dr. Kunchok is in residence, the process of educating Americans on the theory and practice of Tibetan medicine continues in class. Classes, consultations, and healing treatments are open to all. You’ll find information on the Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center’s mission, offerings, and program dates at

Dr. Kunchok is a visiting professor at the University of Virginia Department of Medicine. In addition to his doctorate, he holds master’s degrees in Primary Health Care Management and International and Intercultural Management, and is a professor and Tibetan Medical Doctor at Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College in China. He is also an advisor of the Arura Tibetan Medical Group in the People’s Republic

Roberta Culbertson has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and is founding director of Responsible Old Age and Death (, dedicated to planned aging and timely death in the name of families, society, and the environment. Also a long-time student of violence and its effects, she is the author of Dangerous Worlds: A Spiritual Guide to PTSD.

Versatile artist, illustrator, graphic, product and web designer

Jane Skafte Art and Design

April 2016


Central Virginia

Western needs. “Most Western diseases these days are chronic, and come from lifestyle,” he explained. “Tibetan medicine is very good with chronic illness and it offers a technically advanced and holistic approach to health. I call this a ‘lab school,’ where we will work with UVA to observe scientifically how Tibetan medicine works in a modern setting.”

northern Virginia

Rising Phoenix Holistic Center Spirituality in a Historic District Manassas

Practitioner Bonnie Mazaris

SOMETIMES A DOOR IN A UNIT of a nondescript business center opens to the most unexpected surprise. Step inside Rising Phoenix Holistic Center at 9028D Prince William St. in historic downtown Manassas and your eyes and senses will be treated to colors, fragrances and items of interest in every direction. Opened in July 2014, owner Tracy Causley used her background as a

40 April 2016


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museum curator to decorate a lively showroom and create a visual energy that matches the level of healing and spiritual nourishment available at this center. Not only has she focused on offering retail items with an emphasis on real functionality, such as singing bowls, pendulums, crystals, and card decks, she keeps in mind how overwhelming metaphysical shops were as she began her own spiritual

Practitioners of different modalities offer their services in the treatment rooms. Reiki, intuitive healing, psychic readings, aromatherapy, astrology … practices not previously found in this area of Manassas. Not only are these and other services available, the real emphasis of the center is on educating in those same fields, allowing individual spiritual growth in most any area of interest. There are a wide range of introductory classes and certification programs available: Reiki, yoga, meditation, feng shui, spiritual healing, crystal healing, and many more. Visit the website www.risingphoenix. com or call (703) 392-9200 for information on the continuous series of instruction.

Perhaps one of the most unique programs developed is the Rising Phoenix Adventures. Described as intentional travel to places known to allow a receptive mode for spiritual development, the program is currently booking a July 2016 cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. Known as “the heart chakra of the world” the islands are the perfect setting for the seminars titled “Activating Your Intuition.” Participants will be taught to harness intuition, remove blockages that prevent trusting inner guidance, and improve intuitive sensitivity. The setting could hardly be more inviting. The training could hardly be more empowering. There’s an infectious enthusiasm about Tracy Causley that even just a brief conversation with her reveals. It is reflected in this wonderful center and all it offers. The name Rising Phoenix is symbolic of the ability to create anew the person you want to be … that energy is within those walls.

Owner Tracy Causley

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northern Virginia

journey. There are signs explaining what the items are and how to use them, and the staff is fully capable of answering every question. The signs are an indication that learning is what this operation is truly about.

the piedmont

Aquarian Bookshop Richmond



has been a centerpiece of Richmond’s metaphysical community for over 30 years. Lacy and Jim Holzgrefe opened the shop in 1983. Under their ownership, the Aquarian became Richmond’s “meeting place for the New Age.” Since then, the Aquarian has changed ownership twice and is currently owned by one of America’s premier psychics and the star of Court TV’s “Haunting Evidence,” John J. Oliver. Under John’s direction, the Aquarian Bookshop has evolved into arguably one of the top metaphysical shops anywhere. Upon entering the Aquarian, it feels as if you have been transported to another world full of magic, wonder, 42 April 2016


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and excitement. As John puts it, “I fell in love with the Aquarian the first time I walked in and met Lacy. I am still in love with the wonder and magic of the Aquarian. It is a privilege to be part of this creative spiritual community.” The current motto of the shop is “There is always something NEW at the Aquarian!” The shop is always evolving and constantly rotating new and exciting merchandise. This is all possible due to “V,” the Aquarian’s interior designer and store manager. Coming from New York City, V brings his own unique style and creativity to the Aquarian, all the while running a very disciplined business. The Aquarian is known for its selection of crystals,

Every festival draws big crowds and is a great reason to head to Richmond if you live out of town. The next festival will be May 14–15 and the theme is “Greek Gods and Goddesses.”

One thing that sets this store apart is its fully functioning apothecary. Equipped with magic candles, oils, herbs, bath salts, incense, and powders, the staff can help you with all of your magical needs. The apothecary offers a customizable candle-carving service that is known to assist customers in manifesting things such as a new job, the perfect house, or a new lover. In addition to the essential and fragrance oils, it also offers a selection of “conditional oils” for various situations and can even custom blend oils to suit specific needs. The spectrum of these conditional oils is quite extensive with offerings such as “Uncrossing,” “Sweet Success,” “Psychic Visions,” and “Fiery Wall of Protection.”

Right across the parking lot is the new Aquarian Crystal Gallery, under the same ownership. There are huge, high-vibrational crystals sitting in every corner. The Gallery presents some of the most amazing and rare specimens the Earth has to offer. Though only a year old, it is already a must-see destination in Richmond. In the same building you will also find a healing room and a large classroom space where many of the workshops and events take place. There is a new Pilates & Thai Yoga Studio inside the Gallery run by Sylvia Nofsinger. Sylvia teaches weekly classes and offers private healing sessions as well. To learn more about Sylvia and the other healing offerings you can find at the Gallery, go to the “Healing Center” section of the website.

The Aquarian also offers an unusually wide selection of spiritual professionals. These include psychic readings, tarot, runes, astrology, numerology, palmistry, mediumship, dream interpretation, past-life regression, and more. To learn more about readings and the current professionals available, go to www. Readings are available in store or over the phone in 15-, 30-, or 60-minute intervals. There is an extensive and eclectic mix of classes and workshops each month. You can find classes on psychic development, astrology, tarot, meditation, crystals, candle carving, dream interpretation, shamanic journeys, channeling sessions and wire-wrapping, just to name a few! Nick Lasky, a psychic and astrologer at the shop, offers a weekly guidedmeditation as part of a local spiritual community he calls the Aquarian Society of Awakening Souls. The donationbased group gathers every Sunday afternoon at 5:30 to discuss spirituality, awakening, and to share in conscious community. A full listing of all the upcoming offerings is on the website. Twice a year the Aquarian hosts the Psychic Festival— the biggest of these in Virginia with over 50 readers and healers donating their services. The festivals are benefits for the Baby Girl Project, a nonprofit organization that builds schools for children in Kenya. These events are always exciting and entertaining. Each one has a unique theme such as “Renaissance” and “Aliens for Africa.”

The Apothecary

Lori, a regular customer of the shop, says, “I feel so blessed to have this one-of-a-kind shop in Richmond! The incredible array of classes, enormous selection of crystals and the quality of the readers is unparalleled.” So whether coming in for a reading, crystals, magical supplies, yoga, a class or a healing session, there are endless reasons to visit the Aquarian Bookshop. It is conveniently located in the heart of Carytown at 3519 Ellwood Ave., across from Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market. You can call with questions or book a reading at (804) 353-5575 and can reach the Gallery at (804) 2575575. You may also stay updated with classes and other news on the Aquarian’s Facebook page. Have you let the magic into your life yet?

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the piedmont

incense, books, candles, jewelry, statuary, pendulums, tarot cards, tapestries and other metaphysical supplies. Many people step into the Aquarian just to feel the energy or pick up the “good vibes.”

Southwestern Virginia

Roanoke Community Acupuncture Treatments Available for Everyone BY DENISE LEGG

THE ROANOKE COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE’S (RCA) mission is summed up in their logo, “Affordable, accessible, available acupuncture for everyone.” Deann Bishop and Nicole Kaltz, both private acupuncture practitioners, were frustrated by the typical, and lessthan-affordable private session cost of $60–$200, and

felt there should be a better alternative. Because of the cost, many of their patients had to stop before their recommended course of treatment was complete. Together they searched for a solution. Integrating her experience gained from living in Asia, Bishop proposed opening a clinic using the community setting model, which offers acupuncture on a sliding fee scale, and unconventional hours of operation in a large, open treatment room. In this spirit, the RCA clinic opened its doors in 2011 and has been a resounding success ever since. RCA practitioners are licensed and governed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine. They offer acupuncture based on a sliding fee scale of $20–$45 with a one-time $10 intake fee for your first appointment. RCA also has extended hours to meet the needs of working patients. How does it work? You consult with a practitioner who then inserts hair-thin disposable needles for your specific health need. You settle into a recliner in a large, open clinic room for about 45–60 minutes. Soft music plays in the background and you are part of a community Patient receiving treatment

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Contact Roanoke Community Acupuncture at (540) 9819170 or for more information. This community model has been so successful that Bishop and Kaltz recently opened a second community

For more than 3,500 years, acupuncture has been providing relief to people around the world. Originally developed and practiced in China, this system of healing draws on the belief that a life force, or energy, called Qi (pronounced chee) circulates through our body, from the top of our head to the soles of our feet. Acupuncture is then used to balance the flow of Qi and stimulate our body’s natural ability to heal.

For more than 3,500 years, acupuncture has been providing relief to people around the world.

Treatment Room

What does getting “needled” feel like? The five most common descriptions are heavy, achy, electric, tingly, and warm. These sensations are usually experienced when the needle is first inserted and quickly dissipates within seconds. People often comment on how relaxed they feel during the entire treatment. So, should you try it? The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization are among those organizations who recognize that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of many different medical conditions such as pain, depression, anxiety, arthritis, just to name a few. It is also considered a preventive tool to disease and assists you in maintaining optimum health. As the old adage goes, “there is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” Acupuncture works, and, so, this safe, natural, drug-free way of whole body healing is worth a try!

acupuncture clinic in Lexington. Check out their website at Both clinics offer volunteer opportunities. By volunteering, you can even earn a voucher for a complimentary community acupuncture treatment. For more information about becoming a member of their volunteer staff you can contact Rita at (540) 981-9170 for the Roanoke location and Devin at (540) 463-1062 for the Lexington location. A Karuna®Reiki Master and Energy Practitioner, Denise sees clients primarily in Southwest Virginia, but also is available for longdistance phone and Skype sessions. She is currently studying to be a Woman Shaman Priestess. You can contact her at

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Southwestern Virginia

of patients joined together by their intention to heal. Powerful. The day I visited the RCA clinic room, it was full of patients covered with cozy blankets and gentle snores wafted through the air.


Unity Renaissance of Chesapeake Love and Compassion in Action

EVERY TUESDAY AFTERNOON, TONY PORTEN heads over to Thurgood Marshall Elementary School to meet with someone special: 8-year-old Damien (not his real name), the 2nd grader Tony is tutoring. Tony helps Damien with his math and reading, but says, “Sometimes I realize he is teaching me as much as I am teaching him.” Through Damien, he has come to know what life is like for a young boy being raised by a single mother in a low-income household. And it has touched his heart in ways he never imagined. Tony is one of nine volunteers from Unity Renaissance church ( in Chesapeake, Virginia, who tutor one or two Thurgood Marshall Elementary students each week. The tutors say they have come to realize that even a small offering of their time can change the course of a young person’s life. Thurgood Marshall Elementary has one of the highest poverty rates among schools in the area. Unity Renaissance has “adopted” the elementary school as part 46 April 2016


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of its expanded community outreach activities. Over the past few years, Unity Renaissance has significantly increased its support to people in need in southeast Virginia. Current initiatives include: • Serving breakfast on the streets to the homeless in Norfolk, in collaboration with the Catholic Worker, a local charity, the first Saturday of each month; • Providing support to prison inmates, including books, magazines, supportive letters, and, in some cases, personal visits; • Conducting an ongoing program called Diaper Drive to donate diapers for children and adults in need; • Collecting and distributing coats, socks, toiletries, and other items for the homeless, and attending seminars on how to approach and noninvasively communicate with them; • Collecting and providing school supplies, stuffed animals, Christmas gifts, and gift cards to low-income children and families;


• Chaperoning dances, appreciating the teachers, and in other ways supporting the staff and faculty at Thurgood Marshall Elementary; • Meeting with women at a local domestic abuse shelter to provide support, and contributing spiritual materials, toiletries, and other items for those women and their children; • Creating and giving flannel and crocheted “prayer shawls” to people needing physical or emotional healing; and • Bringing gifts and singing Christmas carols at the Virginia Home for Adults on Christmas day each year. “We are blessed to have a very caring congregation,” says the Rev. Paula Mekdeci, senior minister at Unity Renaissance. “They love to serve and they love to give. We are finding more and more ways to ‘love thy neighbor.’” Judy Hackmann, director of Community Outreach at Unity Renaissance, says the vision for Community Outreach is, “A community that is uplifted and empowered through our love and compassion.” “If someone in our congregation has an idea for an outreach project, and it fits with the church’s capabilities, we ask that individual if they would like to lead it,” says

Linda and Elizabeth preparing food for the homeless.

Judy. “If they agree to be the program champion, we tell them to go for it.” In this way, congregants gain leadership experience while spearheading a project they care about. “In the past few years we have consciously expanded the number of ways we work with people face to face,” says Rev. Paula. “When you look into someone’s eyes and hear about their situation, it’s very heart opening. It changes their lives, and it changes ours.”

As is the gardener, so is the garden.

April 2016


Human Design Human Design is a multi-faceted system drawing on Eastern & Western astrology, the Jewish Kabbalah, the Chinese I’Ching, the Hindu chakra system, and quantum physics.

The freedom that The Human Design System offers us is to learn our INNER sources for success and to follow what we ‘hear’ within. Once we start living true to who we are designed to be, life becomes much easier.

Experience the joy of

being you!

Our promise to our community With a commitment to our diverse neighborhoods, we promise to provide our community with compassionate, comprehensive, and expert care to meet the unique physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each dying patient and those who love them. If you or someone you love could benefit from hospice services, call us today at 1-800-975-5501 or visit Hospice of the Piedmont Sharing the Journey in Central and Northern Virginia since 1980 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300 | Charlottesville, VA 22911 48 April 2016


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To learn about our Personal Reading Services, please contact Anne-Marie at 434 823-1385

We each have a unique design. What’s yours?

Psychic Profile Name: Marie-Claire Wilson Location: Arlington Contact Information: (877) 847-7330 (toll free) or Rate: 15 minutes $45, 20 minutes $60, 30 minutes $80, 45 minutes $95, 60 minutes $110 Experience: Over 35 years of offering intuitive readings to an international clientele. Originally from Marseilles, France, Marie-Claire comes from a family lineage of intuitively gifted women. After earning a degree in philosophy and literature, she moved to Switzerland where she spent years under a mentor developing her intuitive and psychic abilities. It was then that she devoted herself exclusively to spiritual pursuits and metaphysical studies across Europe. Marie-Claire has won numerous awards for her psychic abilities and has appeared on radio and television in Europe and the United States. Review: You quickly become accustomed to a beautiful French accent as you begin your reading with MarieClaire. Her tone is very friendly and you’ll be comfortable receiving the information she gives you. Frequently, she uses a Tarot deck of her own design, and she is known for the accuracy of her work. As a matter of fact, she confidently offers that you should evaluate her accuracy

yourself. Expect strong predictions through her from Spirit. She is direct and professional, but uses discretion in conveying with complete honesty the information that comes forward. Love, health, career, and relationships of all kinds—she can access the information you seek. Your reading will begin with Marie-Claire picking up general information about you or what is unfolding in your life. Following that, she will ask you for any questions you may have about any issue you wish to cover; don’t hold back, her insights offer a clarity you’ll find useful. Even answers about departed loved ones come quickly. She cares about people, and it reflects in how she conveys the answers. When you’ve exhausted your questions (be sure to prepare them in advance, in writing, so you’ll not forget something important), Marie-Claire then provides you with especially unique information regarding your Spirit Guide or Angel. This can give you a feeling of real connectedness. Following that, some information about past lives may be revealed. Most likely it will have something to do with what is transpiring in your current life. Trying to take notes will probably only bring incomplete recall. As with any phone reading, you may want to use a speakerphone feature and tape it for future review. This will help you accept Marie-Claire’s challenge, “Evaluate My Accuracy for Yourself.” You’ll understand why she has so many loyal clients.

April 2016


Awareness LLC is distributing this publication in five Virginia locations.

We need help!! Northern Virginia (Fairfax/Manassas _ Sales) Northern Virginia (Alexandria _ Sales/Distribution) The Piedmont (Richmond area _ Sales) Southwestern Virginia (Roanoke area _ Sales) Tidewater (Hampton/Newport News area)

Work as an independent contractor; your own boss, set your own hours, and help grow this publication at the same time.

For more information write; Awareness LLC P.O. Box 85 North Garden, VA 22959 or E-mail Please include resume or experience and indicate geographic area of interest in your correspondence. 50 April 2016


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Explore−Live− Enlighten at Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. −

Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach

Discover a depth to yourself that makes life so much more meaningful. Gain insight into your soul’s purpose and full potential. Visit Us in Virginia Beach and Attend a Free Activity or Conference Visit the organization founded by America’s mostdocumented psychic and the “father of holistic medicine,” Edgar Cayce (1877-1945).

Coming to A.R.E. HeadquartersVisit HeadquartersVisit Visit

While here, you can enjoy: • Metaphysical Library • Bookstore and Gift Shop • Holistic Health Center & Spa • Free Daily Lecture, Tour, and Film • ESP Testing and Meditation • Monthly Psychic Fair • Japanese Style Garden • Stone Labyrinth • World Class Conferences • Weekend Workshops

Visit Us Online at Visit to try a free issue of Venture Inward magazine and view free videos, learn to meditate with a free online course, review our holistic health database, download a free app to interpret your dreams, and more.

Browse a FREE Issue of Venture Inward at!

Online events and self-study courses are available at A.R.E. Members have access to exclusive online video conference recordings, and all of Cayce’s psychic readings in an online database!

Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.

Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.

215 67th Street Virginia Beach, VA 23451 • 800-333-4499 or 757-428-3588

Bridge Between the Worlds Spiritual Retreat Center Charlottesville,Virginia

Multi-purpose Facilities Transformational Classes Relaxing Spa Offerings Private Lodging Available A Serene Venue for Seminars, Personal Retreats and Weddings

Contact us at

(434) 293-9708

Awareness Exploring Spirituality April 2016