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Reincarnation SPECIAL ISSUE:

Remembering Past Lives

UVA Studies of Children and Reincarnation

Two Unusual Cases of Reincarnation The Buddhist Path

Silence, Reincarnation, and Love

Spikenard Farm Honeybees • Remote Viewing • Dreaming ... and more! JULY 2016


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The number of copies, distribution points, and readers grows with every issue. Our readers consistently use the advertisers’ websites and services, and travel to their locations. Afford STATEWIDE readership for less than you pay for local-only full-color glossy publications! To inquire about our sales specials and place advertisements, call (434) 972-9273 or email : ads@exploreawareness.com. exploring spirituality


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welcome to …

The Awareness family is excited to announce the expansion of our social media presence with upgrades to Facebook (www.facebook.com/ exploreawareness), and Twitter (@exploreawarenes). Please “like” and “follow” us to spread the word and expand Virginia’s community of the spiritually aware.

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NEXT ISSUE – OCTOBER 2016 4

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LETTER FROM THE

Publisher...

“We’ve needed something of this quality for a long time!” I’ve been getting emails and phone calls with versions of the above statement since our first issue appeared in January of this year. Those statements picked up after the second issue that distributed in April when we developed an even more eye-appealing format. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am that you, the readers, are embracing this concept and format. Putting together a spirituality publication that is different from anything readers in Virginia have seen before has been a lot of hard work. It was not easy to find a balance of statewide appeal with regionally specific articles, but from your comments it seems it has been accomplished. Let me take some space here to identify and thank those whose efforts have made this all happen. I’ve been blessed to have on board some fabulous columnists: Nicki Peasley, Krista and Rob Rahm, Bobbie Ann Pimm, and Nick Lasky. Every issue they cover the subjects of exploring spiritual paths, embracing sustainable living, working with your dreams, and explaining the practice of astrology. Including this issue, there have been feature articles by Peggy Cross, Carolyn Daly, Rev. Don Lansky, Patricia Gore, Valerie Sargent, Jim Tucker, M.D., P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., Angela Ford, Roberta Culbertson, Ph.D., and Nicki Peasley. In addition, Alison Ray of The Association for Research and Enlightenment provided an article to round out our premiere issue. The popular regional articles are being handled by Denise Legg, Nicki Peasley, Roberta Culbertson, Ph.D., and me. These articles seem to be very popular with readers in that they give the local feel to a Virginia-wide-community approach. Please feel free to let me know if there is a person, organization, or event in your area that you feel may be of interest. Of course, the production staff has made as great an effort as any to ensure this publication is professionally presented. Caroline Hirst makes all of us writers look even better with her sharp copy editing. The beautiful layouts come from a truly talented graphic designer, Tracy Federico. Coming on board to assist with graphics is Hobby Parent and she’ll present the same level of design as all to date. Just joining the production staff is Pia Donovan, who will fill the position of marketing director and coordinate/build all our social media offerings. Please do bear with us as she catches up in building the website, Facebook, etc. to give Awareness: Exploring Spirituality the digital presence that is needed in modern publishing. Pia will also be writing our book reviews. Unheralded, but indispensible, are those distributing the magazine to locations around the state: Kathleen Legg, Lani Aulicino, Holly Rhode, and Ryan Selove. If I’ve overlooked anyone, please forgive me. I would encourage readers to look at the masthead (next to this letter in each issue) to see the names of all who’ve contributed. Our staff and contributors are growing. Our press run quantities are growing. Our distribution is being strategically developed. More businesses and practitioners are supporting us with advertising. All of this points to a successful and growing publication. Thanks to everyone listed above and to all of you readers and advertisers who have helped prove that this is indeed a statewide spiritual community. May you know Peace.

Ray

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 3

JULY 2016

PUBLISHER & EDITOR

Ray Whitson

ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Carolyn Greer Daly Nicki Peasley COPY EDITOR

Caroline Hirst

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Tracy Federico GRAPHICS

Hobby Parent

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Pia Donovan

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

P.M.H. Atwater Roberta Culbertson Pia Donovan Angela Ford Patricia Gore Nick Lasky Denise Legg Nicki Peasley Bobbie Ann Pimm Krista Rahm Rob Rahm Jim Tucker, M.D. Ray Whitson

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS

Laura George Margaretta McIlvaine Dylan Patrick Smith

For advertising information please call (434) 972-9273 or email ads@exploreawareness.com Awareness LLC P.O. Box 85 North Garden, VA 22959 (434) 972-9273 editor@exploreawareness.com 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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Contents awareness exploring spirituality

JULY 2016

features

columns 8

WHOLE LIVING

Connecting with the Earth BY KRISTA AND ROB RAHM

26

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

Traveling spiritual pathways

Remote Viewing

The Oracle Institute Peace and Conscious Evolution

BY ANGELA FORD

11

14

BY NICKI PEASLEY

33

DREAMING WITH BOBBIE ANN BY BOBBIE ANN PIMM

35

BOOK REVIEW

Life After Life:The Investigation of a Phenomenon Survival of Bodily Death BY PIA DONOVAN

36

YOUR LUCKY STARS

Astrology Unveiled BY NICK LASKY

50 PSYCHIC PROFILE Remembering The Past Lives Buddhist Path regions Debbie Gaimel

BY JIM TUCKER, M.D.

BY ROBERTA CULBERTSON

19

22

38

BY RAY WHITSON

40 42

A Love Story Reaching Beyond the Grave BY PATRICIA GORE

28 6

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Two unusual cases of

Reincarnation

exploring spirituality

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Light Works - Complete Spiritual Healing

THE PIEDMONT

Alchemists Books and Gifts BY NICKI PEASLEY

45

SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA

Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary BY DENISE LEGG

BY P.M.H. ATWATER, L.H.D

30

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

AquaFloat

48

TIDEWATER Deosil - Spiritual Music


- 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

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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

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WHOLE LIVING

Connecting with the Earth BY KRISTA AND ROB RAHM

Keep Cool this Summer with Refreshing Herbal Drinks Cool down with some easy-to-make refreshing herbal drinks this summer. Drinking herbal teas, herb-infused waters, and sipping vinegars, also known as shrubs, can quench your thirst, soothe and refresh your body as well as your mind during the sweltering days of summer. When you have been sweating excessively, your body may feel out of balance, you may begin to feel a little woozy and experience muscle cramping. This is a sign that your electrolytes are out of whack. Electrolytes are the essential nutrients that help maintain fluid balance in the body. You can make your own healthy herbal electrolyte drinks, which support your body’s hydration by replacing the lost vital minerals, nutrients, and electrolytes. 8

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Herbs Rich in Vitamins and Minerals Oatstraw (Avena sativa), Nettle (Urtica diocia), and Red Raspberry leaf (Rubus spp.) are all vitamin- and mineral-rich herbs that are rejuvenating. Red Clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense) are mineral rich, cool the body, and improve circulation. Rose Petals and Rose Hips (Rosa spp.) are cooling and soothing. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citriodora) cool the body by gently dilating the pores so that heat can escape. They also provide excellent lemon flavoring to a blend. Spearmint (Mentha Spicata) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) cool and lower body temperature with the added bonus of adding intense flavor. They also act as a digestive aid. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) all provide vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and impart a nice red coloring to the tea. Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) allow fluids to move easily, are cooling, and add a sweet flowery taste to your drinks. Sage leaf (Salvia officinalis) has an affinity for balancing the fluids in the body where they are excessive. Hot sage tea induces sweating whereas cold sage tea eases excessive sweating.


How to Make a Refreshing Herbal Infusion Tea • Choose a combination of the herbs listed above and place the herbs in a clean pan or quart-canning jar. (1 tablespoon dried herb mix to 1 cup of water*) • Pour boiling water over the herbs, place a lid on for steeping, and let steep for 1 to 4 hours. • After steeping, strain out the herbs and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Serve iced or at room temperature. • For extra electrolytes you can add in a pinch of sea salt and some coconut water. *Please note that spearmint and peppermint are exceptions to this ratio due to their high essential oil content. I suggest using a small amount of each of these herbs for their flavoring and cooling qualities. For the recipe above, we recommend using dried herbs. When an herb is dried the cell walls break down making the vitamins and minerals easier to access. When you then steep the herbs for an extended period of time in boiling water it allows you to extract an even larger quantity of vitamins and minerals from the plant material as the mineral salts are released. I recommend using 1 tablespoon of dried herb to 1 cup of water.

Fruit and Herb-Infused Hydrating Waters – Easy Peasy! Fruits and herbs are a perfect way to add some flavor to your water and get the health benefits of the cooling and hydrating herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Fill your pitcher or container about a quarter of the way full with the solid items from the recipes below. When adding fruit such as lemons, slice the fruit into quarterinch rounds, berries can be added whole, and herbs should be cut into 1-inch strips before adding them to the water. Just add the solid ingredients to the bottom of a pitcher and cover with water. Let infuse for an hour or more and enjoy.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

lemon, lime, cucumber raspberry, mint, lemon lavender flowers, lemon basil, cucumber strawberries, orange, mint, borage flowers blackberries, lemon verbena blueberries, lemon balm, lemon slices blackberries, anise hyssop, lemon balm, crystallized ginger watermelon, mint blackberries, sage, lemon elderberries, lemon verbena kiwi, raspberries, lemongrass, peppermint

The possibilities are endless. Go out into your garden and pick some herbs and fruit to add to your water. It will perk up the taste, cool you, and supply some extra vitamins and minerals while giving you a great tasting drink without all the sugar and calories from commercial drinks.

Shrubs A shrub or sipping vinegar was popular during colonial times. A shrub is an intriguing blend of fruit, sugar, and vinegar that was used to preserve fruit and herbs long after the harvest in an era where refrigeration was not available. Vinegar is cooling and good at quenching your thirst. Combined with fruits, herbs, and a sugar, this vinegar drink is a refreshing treat. There are many ways to make a shrub, but we prefer the method that extracts herbs’ qualities to their fullest potential. How to Make a Shrub • Fill a jar loosely with herb of choice (all the herbs and fruits listed above would be good choices for a shrub). • Cover the herb fully with vinegar of choice. Any type of vinegar will work, but we recommend apple cider vinegar for most combinations. • Let the herbs infuse in the vinegar for 1 to 3 weeks. • Using a strainer and cheesecloth, strain the vinegar and compost the herbs. • Now add some crushed fruit to the herb-infused vinegar mixture. • Finally, add 1 tablespoon of sweetener (sugar or honey), per ½ cup of vinegar. This is now your base for your herbal shrub drink. It is best to store it in the refrigerator. To make your drink, fill a cup a quarter full with the shrub vinegar base. Next, add some ice and top off with sparkling water, coconut water, or just plain tap water. Stir and enjoy this refreshing food as a medicine drink. www.exploreawareness.com

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Light Works

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• Classes, workshops, & group readings • Life Path & Mediumship

There is a plethora of herbal drink combinations that one can make to enhance health and enjoy some cooling benefits during the hot days of summer. Start with a few simple combinations and then over time expand to experimenting with new and bolder combinations. Should you have any difficulty finding any of the herbs above, Forrest Green Farm (www.forrestgreenfarm. com) in Louisa offers a large variety of herbal plants, dried herbs and teas at the Market on the Farm store. Experiment and enjoy!

Krista’s Korner

In Japanese and Vietnamese cultures, legend has it that the following drink was used for longevity and to reduce inflammation in the body.

Juli Richardson

Reiki Master Teacher & Certified Psychic Medium lightworksreiki@aol.com www.lightworks.biz 9116 Center St • Manassas, VA 20110 • 703.926.4499

Red Shiso Summertime Tonic 1 cup water 1 cup fresh red shiso leaves (Perilla frutescens) 1 cup apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice 1 cup sugar Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the shiso leaves. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the leaves out of the mixture. Be sure to squeeze the leaves to extract all the liquid, and then discard the leaves. Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the vinegar and the sugar. The liquid should turn a vibrant pink shade. Simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. To make a cooling, restorative drink, mix one part shiso concentrate with four parts sparkling water or tap water. Serve on ice or at room temperature. 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. www.forrestgreenfarm.com

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named GRILL FLAME, merged with the SRI research program in 1979 and became highly classified. Army funding ended in 1985 and the program was transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and was renamed PROJECT SUNSTREAK.

Remote Viewing

I

BY ANGELA FORD

n the early 1970s, the CIA became concerned about alleged Soviet research into psychic phenomena. Reports filtering out from the former USSR stated that psychic research was being taken seriously. The release of the book Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain led the U.S. Intelligence Community to look into psychic research or else fall behind. The CIA-funded research program began in 1972 at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, Calif., where physicists Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff defined remote viewing as the ability to access and describe a place, person, object, or event that is inaccessible through the normal five senses. Targ and Puthoff then formalized remote viewing while working with the psychics they had on their staff. A person who performs a remote viewing task is called a remote viewer. A remote viewing session is a specific period of time when an actual remote viewing takes place. Two methodologies are generally associated with remote viewing: Extended Remote Viewing, when one goes into a relaxed, meditative state to receive information, and Coordinate Remote Viewing, when the viewer is prompted by encrypted geographic coordinates. In 1978, U.S. Army Intelligence conducted further psychic research and both military personnel and civilians who were thought to possess natural psychic ability were hired to remote view. The army program, which was

Prior to entering the psychic program in July 1986, I worked for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) as a Central American/ Terrorist/Insurgency analyst. I started working for Army Intelligence in 1979 after about a year and a half with the FBI. With my degree in political science, working in foreign affairs was a good fit for me. I had wanted to be an FBI agent but didn’t have the eyesight. While working for INSCOM, I learned that the commanding general, Major General Albert ‘Bert’ N. Stubblebine, professed a strong interest in the mind and the paranormal and commonly sponsored motivational training exercises for fellow flag officers and staff colonels. He wanted his soldiers to learn visualization techniques to raise their performance levels and sent military personnel to The Monroe Institute in Faber, a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, to learn how to initiate out-of-body experiences. Major General Stubblebine was naturally a strong advocate for a secret and experimental psychic program initiated years earlier by INSCOM and managed in 1984 by the DIA. The GRILL FLAME program, as it was called at the time, was to determine whether psychics could add value to the DIA’s efforts to collect information around the world in support of intelligence operations. I knew I had the abilities and I wanted to meet General Stubblebine. The army adheres to strict procedures for communicating with general officers. Those procedures dictate that individuals seeking an audience to express work-related desires, which are not complaints, communicate those desires through an established chain of command. A chain of command is comprised of superiors whose function is in part to review, comment upon, and issue recommendations related to the desire. The latter tier of superiors acts as a filter. I bypassed my chain of command, however, and coworkers at INSCOM facilitated an introduction. Much to my disappointment, Major General Stubblebine retired later that year, but some nine months later I received a telephone call from Ft. Meade, Maryland. After several interviews, I was accepted into the psychic program. Upon entering the unit, I was told I could not channel or do automatic writing. I was told that what I did was a bad habit and that I would be taught the correct methodologies to use. After close to two years, management changed and I was allowed to do what came naturally to me. www.exploreawareness.com

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As a natural psychic who used automatic writing and channeling, I introduced Written Remote Viewing to the unit in 1988. In 1991, the scientific research was transitioned to Dr. Ed May at the Science Applications International Corporation, where the project was renamed STARGATE. The CIA formally closed the program in the fall of 1995. More than $20 million was spent on Stargate-related projects over the course of two decades, with $11 million budgeted from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. Around 23 remote viewers were used. During my time with the unit, I enjoyed many successes. My most celebrated and probably best-known success was finding Charles Jordan in 1989. Jordan was a Special Agent of the U.S. Customs Service in South Florida who was found to be taking bribes to let other people bring drugs into the United States. When he learned he was suspected, he fled. He had been on the run for more than two years when a U.S. Customs Service agent involved in the effort to locate him learned about the DIA’s psychic program and requested its assistance. Because Jordan had been based in South Florida at the time of his flight, he was believed to be hiding either in the state of Florida or somewhere in the Caribbean. All six psychics then assigned to the DIA’s unit were tasked to locate Jordan, but they provided dissimilar information about his current location. Most thought he was in Florida or possibly in the Caribbean, as the U.S. Customs Service imagined. But I wasn’t even in the same ballpark. I related that Jordan could be found in Lowell, Wyo. After looking at a map of Wyoming, my boss Fern Gauvin came to understand that I probably meant Lovell, Wyo. Many times I would phonetically receive a name correctly but would misspell it—a common occurrence in remote viewing. In this initial session, I only provided the location of Jordan in Wyoming. The U.S. Customs Service dismissed my results. Several weeks later, Gauvin asked me if I would work the session again. At this point, I said that one must act quickly if they hoped to locate him because he was on the move. He was moving west. I placed Jordan at a campground that had a large boulder at its entrance. I also sensed an old Indian burial ground located nearby. As the DIA reported my latest information to a highlevel customs official in Washington, D.C., Jordan was being apprehended 100 miles west of Lovell, Wyo. It was years later that I learned customs officials did act on my information. On November 23, 1998, the Discovery Channel aired a reenactment of this case for its program called Mysteries. Customs Agent Bill Green provided information about the case that was not known to me. Jordan mailed a letter to his mother shortly after I conducted my first session. The letter was characterized as a ‘proof of life’ communication, to simply inform his mother that he was alive and okay. Jordan included with the letter a recent photograph of himself. A close 12 July 2016

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examination of that photograph revealed a vehicle in the distant background, which bore a state of Wyoming registration plate. Once customs saw the Wyoming registration plate on the vehicle, they conducted a search for Jordan in Wyoming based on my information. Not long thereafter, a park ranger spotted Jordan at Yellowstone National Park. The previous year, in February 1988, I was able to place hostage Marine Corps Col. William Higgins in a particular building in a specific Lebanon village. He was being held captive by Hezbollah terrorists. French hostage Rudolph Cordes, who was released in 1988, confirmed in a debriefing that Higgins was in that building at that time. Later that same year, I reported Associated Press journalist Terry Anderson in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. He was also being held captive by Hezbollah terrorists along with several others. Although this information was later confirmed through conventional intelligence collection methods, it was not actionable. Anderson was the last hostage eventually released, as I had also predicted, on December 4, 1991. In the 1988 to 1989 timeframe, I reported that hostage Robert B. Pohill was not in good health and that his throat hurt. Four days after his release in April 1990, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. I was able to name “John Livingston” as someone who would help facilitate the release of the hostages in Lebanon. A British envoy named Jonathan Livingston was sent to Beirut for the purpose of negotiating the release of some hostages and succeeded in that role. English hostage Terry Waite credits Livingston as the person responsible for his release. In January 1989, I predicted how Gaddafi would transport chemical weapons to avoid U.S. surveillance and a presumed bombing raid. I said a ship by the name of Patua or Potua would arrive in Tripoli to transport chemicals to an eastern Libyan port. Reportedly, a ship named Batato loaded an underdetermined cargo in Tripoli and brought it to an eastern Libyan port. During the 1999/2000 timeframe, I helped Scott Carmichael, a DIA investigator locate an Australian spy who was working with U.S. imagery analysts in Australia. Australian Jean-Philippe Wispelaere had tried to sell U.S. imagery to the Singaporean embassy. Carmichael wrote a book about the case called Unconventional Method, which is currently available for Kindles and NOOK Books. Angela Ford has been doing psychic spiritual readings for over 25 years. She is known for her channeling abilities. She can be contacted at Sacred Circle Books in Old Town Alexandria, where she gives readings.


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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.

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Peace and Conscious Evolution

Volunteers in Turtle Labyrinth

A

New World based on compassion and cooperation is just over the horizon. Already, it exists in our hearts and minds, and many of us are working diligently to build it! Yet, a major piece of the puzzle is missing—the collaboration and coordination needed to truly manifest the New World. Enter the Peace Pentagon HUB, a networking site that identifies and links organizations and individuals in Virginia who are implementing evolutionary ideas and groundbreaking initiatives. The HUB is the brainchild of interfaith minister Laura George, a former attorney and founder of The Oracle Institute, an educational charity dedicated to building the New World. Located along the New River in the small town of Independence, the Peace Pentagon HUB and the Peace Pentagon have been under construction for years. The Peace Pentagon is a PassivHaus® eco-spirituality center that will serve as the headquarters for the HUB and Oracle’s other operations, which include an awardwinning publishing house, spirituality school, and peace practice. Rev. George readily admits, ”The Virginia HUB is an extremely ambitious project. We’ll need statewide support to pull this off!” The “HUB” concept is not new. In fact, HUBs are popping up all over the world: centralized websites that focus on a core theme foster collaboration among HUB members, and promise exponential results. Yet, the Peace Pentagon HUB is unique because it is based on the “Wheel of Co-Creation” and because futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard is involved with the Virginia HUB and a California HUB under development.

The Wheel of Co-Creation contains 11 major “Sectors of Society” and is based on Systems Theory—the reality that all life forms, all structures are interconnected and interdependent. The HUB will scan, map, and connect people and projects that are actively “building the New World.” Rev. George and Hubbard met at the Building the New World Conference, hosted by Radford University in the summer of 2015. Hubbard visited the Oracle Campus and toured the Peace Pentagon, declaring, “This is a Peace Room as sophisticated as a War Room. A War Room maps enemies and how to defeat them. A Peace Room maps innovations, creativity, and newness, then connects it and communicates it.”

The Peace Pentagon

Peace Pentagon under construction 14 July 2016

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To celebrate the grand opening of the Peace Pentagon HUB, Oracle held an Open House over the 4th of July weekend and officially launched the Virginia HUB


on Independence Day. Currently, the HUB is live and Virginia residents and organizations are encouraged to register as members. The Peace Pentagon HUB also is endorsed by The Shift Network. Philip Hellmich, director of peace at Shift, is on the Oracle Advisory Board, and he too has visited the Oracle Campus. He states, “This is such an inspired, deeply inspired vision. And being here at the Peace Pentagon, I am personally moved by the presence of the land, the architecture, [and] the people. I am just thrilled about what is emerging here at the Peace Pentagon.”

Due to the breadth of the HUB vision, Oracle is putting out a “Call to Volunteers.” The Virginia HUB will require staff to monitor what’s emerging in each of the 11 sectors and to discern which projects merit special attention and reporting at the HUB. Registering at the HUB is easy: New members self-select their favorite sector of the Wheel of Co-Creation, list their current projects, and post their website link, which is seen by other members. • During the first stage of development, the HUB will function as a directory of Virginia organizations and

“The Oracle Institute is building a HUB at the very center of the Wheel of Co-Creation, whose purpose is to build a New World based on what’s working. It will become a model that can be replicated anywhere in the world.” www.exploreawareness.com

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that will enable us to attain dynamic, exponential results.” Already, numerous nonprofits have joined and over a dozen Virginians have volunteered. Please contact Katie@TheOracleInstitute if you are inspired to help build the New World! For additional information please see www. TheOracleInstitute.org and www.PeacePentagon.net.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, Laura George, Philip Hellmich

individuals who are building the New World and will highlight important initiatives in each sector. • During the second stage of development, powerful software will enable the Virginia HUB to operate as a multimedia platform for collaboration and coordination among all HUB members. • When completed, the Peace Pentagon HUB will be networked with HUBs around the world! Explains Rev. George, “The HUB is more than an ‘Angie’s List’ for Lightworkers—it’s a tool for crosspollinating crucial ideas in each sector. Most of us have been working in ‘silos’ and achieving linear results. The HUB will facilitate economies of scale and efficiencies

Wheel of Co-Creation

Community Events

@wanderlustphotography

Family Yoga Hike August 7 | 1p - 3p Three Lakes Parks, Henrico, VA Sunset Yoga Hike August 28 | 5:30p - 7:30p Libby Hill Park, Churchill, RVA

Retreats

Steadiness, Comfort & Joy July 22 - 24 | Yogaville: Buckingham, VA Rejuvenate and Reconnect September 14 - 18 | Ojai, CA

Festivals

Shensara Yoga Festival July 29 - 31 | Luray, VA Midsummer Night’s Dream: Floyd Yoga Jam September 2 - 4 | Floyd, VA

Workshops

Wildly Free To Be July 26 | 5:15p - 8:15p FIT Richmond, RVA August 6 | 12:00p - 3:00p Om On Yoga, RVA Strength to Surrender August 20 | 1:30p - 4:00p The River Power Yoga, Denver,CO Contentment From Within August 21 | 2:00p - 5:00p Karma Yoga Center, Denver, CO

www.greatabidingyoga.com 16 July 2016

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REMOTE FENG SHUI CONSULTATIONS PEGGY CROSS Feng Shui is about you and your life. Have a consultation when: You want to sell your home quickly You are choosing a new home to support your dreams and desires You want to manifest a date or a new spouse Your children are a challenge. You wish to make any life change. PeggyCross.com peggyjoycross@aol.com

www.exploreawareness.com

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Reincarnation is loosely described as the concept that our souls are immortal and that we live many physical lifetimes in a variety of different existences (science now promotes that there are parallel universes). If we believe that the purpose of life is to become more spiritually elevated (more God-like), learning to practice love in all its many forms (compassion, sacrifice, charity, forgiveness, etc.), then how could we possibly practice and master all of those in just one lifetime? Today, serious research is occurring on professional and individual levels that seems to confirm reincarnation as both a spiritual and physical experience. There are many books available on the subject should you decide to learn more. The following pages offer a sample of some of the information available.

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Remembering

PAST LIVES UVA Studies of Children and Reincarnation

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BY JIM TUCKER, M.D.

yan, a boy growing up in Oklahoma, was 4 years old when he began saying he had previously lived in Hollywood. He begged his mother repeatedly to take him back there as he cried about that life. His mother checked out some books about Hollywood from their public library, hoping Ryan would see things in the books that would help him deal better with his memories. As they were looking through one, they came across a picture from an old movie called Night After Night. Ryan pointed to one man and called

him George. He pointed to another one and said that’s who he had been in his past life. The first man Ryan pointed to was George Raft, a wellknown actor in the past, but the second one was an extra with no lines in the movie. Ryan’s mother contacted our office for help in identifying him. Eventually with the help of a Hollywood archivist, we were able to do so. We then talked with the man’s daughter and had Ryan meet her. We were able to verify that over 50 of the statements Ryan had made matched the life of that man. These included his dancing on stage in New York and then www.exploreawareness.com

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working in the movies in Hollywood, a lot of personal details including part of the street name where he lived, and the age when the man died. Ryan said he had been 61, while the man’s death certificate said 59. His children said he was indeed 61, which I’ve since confirmed with multiple census records and marriage listings. So even though the death certificate was wrong, Ryan was right. He is now 12. He’s doing well and no longer talks about a past life in Hollywood. Ryan’s story is a good example of the cases we’ve studied. For more than 50 years, researchers at the University of Virginia have been studying cases of young children who describe memories of past lives. We have now investigated over 2,500 cases from various parts of the world, in remote villages in Burma and India, along with ones in Charlottesville and rural Virginia. It might seem an odd area of study for academic researchers, but we approach the cases with the same attitude of scientific inquiry that scientists use in more traditional areas. And after carefully delving into the details of each case, we have found that some young children seem able to recall accurate details from the life of someone who lived and died in the past.

others report having been strangers elsewhere. Given enough details by the child, including a location, people have often gone to that place and found that someone did in fact live there whose life matched the details provided. Though people are sometimes unable to verify that the child’s statements match any known deceased person, in two-thirds of the cases we’ve studied, they have. In talking about a past life, many children focus on events from near the end of the life. Three-quarters of them talk about how the previous person died. In 70% of the cases, the previous person died by unnatural means, including murder, suicide, accident, and combat. This seems to be an important factor in this phenomenon. Another factor appears to be dying young. The children are likely to describe dying young even in cases that involved a natural death. In fact, in a quarter of the natural death cases, the previous individuals were age 15 or younger when they died. Along with the statements, many children show behaviors that appear linked to the memories they report. Many show great emotion, as Ryan did, in recalling their former life and as they talk about missing their previous family. Many have also shown an intense fear

“Most children start to describe a past life at a very early age—the average is around their third birthday.” Ian Stevenson, M.D., began these studies at UVA when he was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry. Many of the cases he studied were in Asia, because these were places where it was easier to find people who believe in reincarnation. If a child there talks about a past life, families often tell their friends and neighbors about it, and word spreads. Here, many parents are embarrassed by what their children are saying, so they are less likely to tell others. Nonetheless, we are hearing from more and more American parents these days, including a number of families in Virginia.

related to how the previous person died. In the cases in which the previous person died by unnatural means, 35% of the children appear phobic toward the mode of death. For example, a little girl in Thailand hated being in water from the time she was an infant. When she became old enough to talk, she recalled the life of a girl in another village who had drowned. Some children also show themes in their play that appear related to the memories they describe. This most often involves acting out the previous person’s occupation, sometimes for hours on end.

Regardless of where the children live, patterns in the cases tend to be similar. Most children start to describe a past life at a very early age—the average is around their third birthday. Some seem able to discuss their memories at any time, but many only talk about these things when they are in a particular frame of mind, usually during a relaxed time. They typically describe a fairly recent life, with the average interval between the death of the previous person and the birth of the child being four and a half years. The previous person usually lived fairly close by, and almost always in the same country. Some children say they were a deceased family member, while

Some children even have birthmarks or full birth defects that match wounds, usually the fatal wounds, on the body of the previous person. The birthmarks are often unusual in some way, being an odd shape or large size, or puckered or raised rather than flat. Stevenson studied hundreds of such cases, including 18 in which the child was born with two birthmarks, ones matching both the entrance wound and the exit wound on the body of a gunshot victim.

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When children talk about a past life, parents are sometimes unsure how to respond. We recommend that


they be open to what their children are saying. Some of the children show a lot of emotional intensity regarding these issues, and parents should be respectful in listening just as they are with other subjects their children bring up. We suggest that parents avoid asking a lot of pointed questions. This could be upsetting to the child and, more importantly from our standpoint, could lead the child to make up answers to the questions. It would then be difficult or impossible to separate memories

“For more than 50 years, researchers at the University of Virginia have been studying cases of young children who describe memories of past lives.” from fantasy. We do think it is fine to ask general, openended questions such as, “Do you remember anything else?” and it is certainly fine to empathize with a child’s statements (“That must have been scary” when, for instance, a child describes a fatal accident).

At the same time, parents should not become so focused on the statements that they and their children lose sight of the fact that the current life is what is most important now. If children persist in saying they want their old family or old home, it can be helpful to explain that while they may have had another family in a previous life, their current family is the one they have for this life. Parents should acknowledge and value what their children have told them while making clear that the past life is truly in the past. Children’s reports about past lives can certainly be fascinating. Sometimes, as in Ryan’s case, they suggest that inside a young child there may reside an old soul. Jim B. Tucker, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. A boardcertified child psychiatrist, he divides his time between research on past-life memories and patient care in the Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic. His latest book is Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.

Margaretta McIlvaine

Energy Practitioner

Emotional Healing & Self-Transformation Gain clarity and self-confidence Transcend difficult life issues Connect with inner guidance Move towards peace and self-actualization

Phone, skype and in-person sessions available mm@bbtw.org (434) 293 - 9708 More information at www.bbtw.org www.exploreawareness.com

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THE

Buddhist Path Silence, Reincarnation, and Love

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BY ROBERTA CULBERTSON

uddhism is a set of beliefs and life practices that emerged from Hindu and Taoist beginnings some 2,500 years ago in what is now Nepal. It spread from there to southern India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, and Southeast Asia, developing many different forms and becoming one of the world’s great religions. A Tibetan Buddhist sage of the 8th century prophesied: “When the iron eagle flies, Buddhism will go to the West.” Indeed, it has now come West and is one of the fastest growing faiths in America. Unlike many faiths, Buddhism is non-theistic; it has no god or gods at its center. In some schools of Buddhism people appear to worship deities, or even the founder, the Buddha—but these are not seen as divine beings separate from humans, and they are not God. Still, it is

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not quite right to call Buddhists atheists. The Buddha (the fully human but “enlightened one”) was silent on the subject. He did not say there was no God, only that for his purposes the question of belief was not the first task a human faced. He is reputed to have said that if you had an arrow in your heart your first job would be to get the arrow out, not to figure out who shot it or why. Rather than beginning with the divine, Buddhism begins with human suffering and ways to make it stop. Who is responsible for that? The answer is each of us. We cannot rely on a God to help us out of our own messes, because we create them. Buddhism is at its foundation a philosophy of personal responsibility for what we do, know, and feel. How fulfilled we are depends not on belief in a caring power larger than we are, but on a concerted effort to know and experience how the world really works, and what we can expect of it.


Is Buddhism actually a religion, then? Yes and no. Buddhism, like other religions, has a founder, the Buddha, born as Siddhartha Gautama, a royal prince of the ancient Shakya state. It has a large and diverse canon of teachings, a history, architecture, and sacred art. It has rules by which Buddhists try to live, and symbols that summarize these rules. But Buddhism also is different in that it is a set of practices that don’t require that one believe in anything to try them, not even in the Buddha. In fact, the Buddha always said, “Don’t take my word for any of these teachings of mine. See if you experience them for yourself.”

moving with infinite grace, ever changing, and as far from personal desires as the moon is from the Earth. You do this watching through a particular form of meditation that keeps you aware of what is happening around you and within you, and quiets your mind about all the things that are just your mind firing off ideas. Nothing drastic. Just looking more carefully. This is the foundation of Buddhist meditation as we know it today, though since the time of the Buddha many refinements to this basic form of meditation have been added. The Buddha and his followers found that if they

Buddhism is also different in that the set of practices at its core: meditation, compassion, and a good deal of silence, are designed to help us see that all that we believe about the world is wrong. It radically and unrelentingly teaches that the world is nothing like it seems; it is mind, not matter. The places and people we think we know are no more substantial than a dream. Buddhist methods help us do more than know this intellectually; they let us “get” it by having a new, full-body experience of everything— something like the experience of pure light squared or

“Unlike many faiths, Buddhism is non-theistic;

it has no god or gods at its center.” cubed mixed in with a mother’s love for her baby. This is called “enlightenment,” though the words are a little awkward at this level; the truth does not lend itself to our limited human categories. In fact our categories are the source of our confusion and unhappiness, not the world. The world is perfect just as it is. We feel unhappy, lost, lonely, and empty not because the world treats us badly, but because we are confused. We think we are playing checkers when we are playing chess. The Buddha discovered after many years of trying other things that if you could accept the roots of your unhappiness as having to do with a wrong view of reality, and quietly sit and watch your mind produce your erroneous thoughts at breakneck speed, you could eventually move past them and know the world as it really is—that feeling-infused play of light and thought rather than anything solid. The world more closely resembles how the galaxies look from here; it is not a village street. Think of the sky rather than the ground. The whole

could separate themselves a bit from their own desires and expectations and engage in meditation, everything else about their enlightenment would happen on its own. It might take years or even lifetimes, but it would happen, and in the meantime, everything just felt better, and they became kinder, wiser, gentler people. The emptiness they had felt faded, replaced by compassion. Their powerlessness and failures came to seem less important than their love for others as they were. They discovered through their meditation that everything was www.exploreawareness.com

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always changing; no moment was like any other, nor was the next ever really predictable. Desire was a trap. Many Buddhist words have entered normal conversation today as the ideas of the Buddha have made their way to the West through many translations. Defining them carefully is one way to explain Buddhism more concretely. Meditation: “So you sit down and make your mind go blank, right?” “I meditate. I lie on my bed and think about how mean people are to me.” “Isn’t it just really painful?” “I can’t do it. I tried it once and I went crazy after about 10 seconds.” These are all typical misconceptions about meditation. You don’t make your mind go blank. You don’t think about yourself. In some cases pain is interesting to watch, and you can use it. But you don’t have to. If you go crazy after 10 seconds, you are actually learning to meditate. Meditation is a way to begin to see past our categories, and to open the mind to the big space of reality as it is. It begins with calming the “monkey mind.” In the classic Buddhist example, your mind and thoughts are like an anxious monkey in an empty house full of windows. First the monkey runs and looks out of one window, chattering away. You know how monkeys always seem busy or anxious. Then it looks out of another window. A few seconds later, it is at another window, chewing its fingernails and looking worried. Chatter, chatter. It bounces all around and when it isn’t at the windows you can hear it banging around inside.

This is your normal thinking mind. You might think it is you, but a little bit of insight will show you that it is not. Your mind is bigger than your thoughts. Imagine that you step back a little and just watch the monkey. Don’t try to stop her, or direct her. Just let her go, and don’t identify with her. Poor little monkey! Little by little, she will see that nothing bad is going to happen, and most important, she will get bored (this is one of the joys of meditation). Maybe she’ll find a banana in the corner of some empty room and sit down to eat it calmly. This is you coming across something in your mind that you are now calm enough to examine. Maybe it is a real hurt that finally you turn around, face, and feel fully. Strangely, after a while it just vanishes, like the monkey’s banana. Only the skin of a memory is left. This is the way meditation can be, with nothing to struggle about. And the vanishing? That’s you coming into contact with the vastness of your universal mind. So cheer up and have a banana. Letting your mind go blank is possible, but that is dissociation, not meditation. It is easy to go off into daydreams that are totally ego directed. This is not meditation; it is mental goofing off. If you manage to sit and not cause other people trouble, keeping your mind with you, keeping aware of its activity for a few seconds at a time, then that is meditation. If you are just trying and failing miserably, that is also meditation. Like anything else, meditation takes time to learn. That’s why it is called a “practice.” You won’t necessarily notice

‘“Like anything else, meditation takes time to learn.

That’s why it is called a “practice.”’ 24 July 2016

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that you have gotten better—but others will. If people say, “Gee, you seem to be more patient,” or “Would you please go meditate?” you can figure it is working. You are getting closer to relaxing into the world’s fundamental rhythms. Watching the monkey teaches you that your mind is really just flashes of ideas, images, feelings, and wishes that revolve around three or four personal themes that are ultimately boring. As you get bored, you begin to open up to what else is going on in your mind. Something happens as you make meditation a regular or even an irregular practice. You begin to feel less separate and more compassionate. Compassion is how we experience the overall fact that we are part of the universe and not separate from it. We aren’t little monkeys in a big house. We are the house and the mortgage is paid. Compassion, Buddhism says, is a fruit of awakening, and a tool of it. The more you love and connect, the more you relax into the energy that creates love and connection. Karma: “Man, I must have some bad karma!” “You have great parking karma.” Karma is much older than Buddhism, but is central to it. In Buddhism, it does not involve a soul or a self—just the energy of a stream of thoughts and actions that take different births. If you look for your self what do you find?—just a string of ideas about who you are. So, what moves from life to life is not us, but a jumble of thoughts and actions we call our selves. Karma is the effects of our actions over lifetimes. It is the seeds we planted ripening. If you plant a corn seed, you get an ear of corn. You never get a cucumber. The same is true of everything you do. Every act, every feeling, every thought, is a seed. The seed will grow and ripen when the conditions are ripe. Sow anger, reap anger. Maybe this year, maybe next, maybe a thousand lifetimes from now. When something bad happens you are facing the karmic consequence of some harm or hurt you inflicted recently or lifetimes ago. It isn’t punishment. It is just a natural phenomenon, as simple as gravity. It is cause and effect with an infinite and unpredictable time frame. Karma can get very complicated. There are your past lives, the karma of those around you, and some even say the karma of a people or a culture. Karma measures intention and emotions as well as action, and nothing is exempt or flexible. If you were to kill a man who was about to kill a stranger, you would get the good karma of saving the stranger—but you wouldn’t escape the bad karma of killing. When bad karma “ripens,” you take on your difficulties without blaming others, knowing it is the bitter fruit of your own sowing. This is aptly called “burning out” karma, because it hurts so. Karma can explain why others can’t take your help or ideas; the deepest suffering is always karmic. Trying to change another’s karma is like trying to defy gravity or reverse time. Your only choice

is to pray for them, to offer strength and support as they burn out their own karmic pain. But good karma ripens and fades too; good things happen. When our good karma ripens, we must not squander our opportunities to learn, rest, meditate, and love. Reincarnation: “I think I must have been a princess in a previous life. I love nice things!” “You and I were together before, don’t you think? We get along so well.” Reincarnation was taken for granted in the Buddha’s time and was integrated into Buddhism, but with a twist. Remember that there is no soul in Buddhism. There are acts, thoughts, and consequences that create karmic consequences. What is “there” is a stream of karmic energy, called the “mindstream.” Reincarnation is the process by which the mindstream manifests in different entities, like us, into which the mindstream is driven by the karmic desires and traces that make up its energy. People get concerned about maybe being reborn as a monkey or a pig (I particularly fear this one). But the point in the Buddhist view of reincarnation is to stop being reborn altogether. We are reborn because we have karmic traces that drive us into different kinds of lives to work out different karma. If we can see our errors and work through our karmic traces, we can create a mindstream of pure energy—enlightenment. The suffering stops. Then we don’t come back anymore, because we know we aren’t separate, and cease to be so. Our false sense of a separate self dissolves. If we want to help others, however, we delay full enlightenment and stay to help suffering beings. People who do this are called Bodhisattvas, or people of a pure wisdom heart. It sounds like enlightenment or awakening is going to take forever, and life sometimes isn’t so bad, so why bother? Because for some of us the suffering is too great not to try something even if the reward is far off. And because this is a journey of a million steps, each meditation, each karmic trace burned through, each lifetime, is a step forward. You can feel it. Even now, as I sit and listen to the wind and wonder if it is in my mind (which it is) or out there (which it is), and how those two fit together, the questions fall away. I feel my body fade away into space, and it feels fundamentally right. Roberta Culbertson has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and is founding director of Responsible Old Age and Death (r esponsibleoldageanddeath.com), 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. www.exploreawareness.com

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This

Little Light of Mine ENJOY THE SHOW! BY NICKI PEASLEY

“There is a fine line between imagination and psychic intuition.”

T

he world is a giant movie house. And we each have our own theater. We get to pick our movie before we come back down (or out or over or up) to this plane. We watch lots of previews. We must choose our movie carefully because we know it will consume us for a lifetime. What emotions will we experience? What struggles will we endure? What lessons will we learn to meet our spiritual agenda in the evolution of our souls? As we watch the previews with our eternal soul family, we also review past life films and we discuss the roles we will assume this time around. We make sacred contracts. How will the characters in our movie engage and evolve together? Who are we willing to be and what are we willing to do to help each other grow? While our soul family members’ movies will contain the same characters and settings, the themes and conflicts will differ. The movie titles will reflect each soul’s unique perspective, the same scenes generating a range of human understanding and response. This is how it begins. When the human first lands in her theater, the Light is on. In fact, she is the Light. She knows that she is merely watching the film on the big screen. She is separate from the drama. She enjoys and empathizes, but she does not submit to the illusion. As time passes, however, the drama intensifies and she is drawn into the mirage. The allure is overpowering. The Light that once filled the theater dims, until the soul who, at one time, only watched the film forgets the Truth and disappears into the moving picture. In an instant, the theater is pitch black. 26 July 2016

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At some point in the movie, the human experience becomes hard and the soul experiences Fear. Desperately afraid of the dark, she longs to escape her movie, traveling varied paths in her quest to find her way back to the Light. Eventually, if she is truly doing her work, the soul begins to remember who she really is. She recognizes her fear as the discomfort she committed to work through this time around for her soul’s evolution. She remembers being the watcher of this movie she carefully chose once upon no time. And she remembers why she chose it—to ultimately know freedom from the fear and experience herself as Love. At first the Light comes in flashes, then in a flood. The theater is again luminous and she is no longer afraid. She sits back in her cushy chair and watches the Love unfold across the screen of this lifetime. She is pure Awareness. Only for a moment. Until she again becomes part of the illusion. This is the magic and miracle of the human experience. We choose it over and over and over again. There is a fine line between imagination and psychic intuition. That said, I believe that I can remember some of the many conversations I’ve had with my soul family over no time … and I can remember my resistance to coming back this time around. I was afraid of once again being consumed by the illusion. It was my mom’s soul who convinced me. I can hear her whispering to my heart, “We can do this again together.” And my sister adding, “Home is us.” My Earth family waited several years for me to finally land in my mother’s womb, which was the warmest, most beautiful place I’ve ever known. Mom and I have shared many lifetimes alternating between the distinct roles of student and teacher; in this


lifetime, however, we realized the fallacy of that duality. With every breath we take in this giant classroom called Earth, every one of us is an illuminator of the Truth. The roles are just for the credits at the end of the movie. Mom taught and learned through the art of human being and doing. Every day she made an offering of herself to the world through simple yet transformative gifts—a meal, a birthday card, a radiant smile, a piece of sage advice. To witness Mom walking through Life was to glimpse true devotion to soul work and to Love. Her theater was rarely dark.

“This is the magic and miracle of the human experience. We choose it over and over and over again.” When my Mom crossed over last December, I began exploring the world of spirit in a deeper, more personal way. My dreams were becoming more of a reality than my waking life. I felt more at Home walking with Mom on the other side of the veil than I did with my feet on the Earth. Getting back to routine was a challenge. My days felt dense; my body felt heavy; living felt hard. I longed to escape my movie. And then my sister, through the suggestion of Mom’s dear friend, Pi, gave me a book entitled, Conversations with Jerry and Other People I Thought Were Dead, by Irene Kendig. As I read, I remembered. The loneliness of the human experience fell away. I no longer needed to travel between the planes to be with Mom; I could now feel her in the most mundane earthly routines. I remembered that there is only one world and that is the world of Spirit. This human form, while dense, is just another manifestation of Love, one that vibrates at a slower speed in its quest to transform Fear. The veil is a human misconception of separateness. And while we, in form, are in a constant cycle of birth and death, Life is eternal. Now, Mom sits with me in my theater. We hold hands; we laugh and cry; sometimes we eat popcorn. I still slip into the movie often and fall prey to the human inclinations to judge and worry … and forget. But Mom keeps pulling me out of the screen and back into the Lightfilled theater, showing me the simple gifts of each scene and reminding me to listen to my heart, not my head. At times, it feels as if the walls of the theaters are falling down too, as if each movie is just a unique manifestation of one divine source, one projector of Love. As I catch glimpses of other people’s movies through this universal lens, my heart opens to compassion, forgiveness, and the natural flow of life. Until I get sucked back into my own drama … again and again and again. It’s not surprising that movies have been my saving grace

as I’ve endured and embraced the hard work and raw beauty of grief. The all-consuming nature of missing my mom’s voice and fragrance and touch has prompted my escape to Movieland on more than one occasion. There is nothing like the cellular reverberation of surround sound to restore the flow and integration of the body, mind, and spirit. That and those cushy seats (which give whole new meaning to seat of the soul) are more than worth the price of admission. Not to mention the distraction of someone else’s drama on the screen. (And of course the Junior Mints, Mom’s favorite). But then I leave Movieland and return to the real cinema of my life. As I watch my movie, I wonder what title to give it. Maybe the title of our individual movie changes as we grow. Or maybe it’s the same title for everyone’s movie. Maybe it’s simply, Love. Maybe every time we come back to Earth, the movie gets a little less dramatic and a little more easeful. Maybe those soul seats get a little cushier and those Junior Mints a little sweeter. Maybe. What I know for sure is that my feature flick this time around is a good one—5 stars. My supporting actors are the best in the business of life. My storyline gets crazier and more beautiful with every passing scene. I’m loving this film, especially now … in the Light with Mom.

Mom

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. www.exploreawareness.com

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A Love Story

RE AC H I N G B EYO N D T HE GRAV E

I

BY PATRICIA GORE

t was in the early morning hours of Aug. 8, 2005, that I awakened with the feeling that I was falling out of my bed. I tried to move but my body was paralyzed and I could not speak. As I slowly opened my eyes, I was shocked to see many individuals surrounded me. There was an Asian woman standing to my left, who

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appeared to be yelling at me and calling me a name that sounded like “Ho�; with her were two men I took to be her sons, each armed with some sort of spear. At the foot of the bed, a young girl around 10 years old with long blonde hair stood beside three elderly women holding baskets. Peering at me over the heads of the women were several men of various heights.


As I lay there, helpless in my bed, the only thing I could do was pray. I remembered a prayer I had heard used before meditation, and so I recited: “God, please let only those who are equal to or greater than my own spiritual growth come close to me, please make the ‘others’ go away.” Instantly the entities disappeared leaving only a man beside my bed. He appeared to be in his mid-30s, with long dark hair pulled back from his face, he had vivid eyes, and a small frame. He approached me slowly and spoke softly. As I realized that I was now able to move and speak, I became aware that I was about to interact with this man “spirit.” I wanted all the information I could get from him and “proof ” that I was not losing my mind.

I could not believe what I saw. They were married on or about 1864. They were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was established in Missouri around 1840. Many years later I revived my search and found much more information, including Sam and Jennett’s actual gravesites and obituaries.

This gentle loving soul gave me his name—Sam Lutz— and told me that I had married him in 1864. Sam spoke of a long, loving marriage and told me that my name was Jennett. We did not have children because we were both married, in a sense, to our church. He told me we belonged to a relatively new religious movement and that we lived on a farm. Sam expressed his deep love for me and told me he was now acting as a sort of guardian spirit for me. I asked if my son in this life was with me in a previous life. He replied that my son was once my grandfather during my current life. Gradually I came to realize that I was no longer in my bed, but walking beside Sam in a beautiful garden. I felt the intensity of his love for me and mine for him. This feeling of love was so deep and intense that years later I can still remember this feeling. As Sam looked into my eyes, I felt a physical sensation throughout my body, which was beyond anything felt in human life. It was as though my heart merged with his and in that moment my soul seemed to explode. I was one with everything and felt totally loved and cared for. This was the most incredible feeling I had ever experienced. Was this a real encounter with a former husband or just a beautiful figment of my imagination brought to me in a lovely dream? I had to know if the information Sam Lutz had given me could be validated. I knew Sam and Jennett Lutz were married in 1864. They lived on a farm in the west and were “married” to their church. They were involved in what Sam described as “a new religious movement.” I went straight to my computer and began to research old census records but was not at first successful. It wasn’t until I realized that the name Jennett was not spelled with a “G” that I found validating information. I realized very early on that Sam Lutz was a common name, especially around the time of the Civil War. In fact, Sam Lutz of Pennsylvania is a well-known Civil War soldier. He eventually settled in Virginia not far from my present home. However, this Sam Lutz’s wife was not named Jennett. I continued my search until I discovered a family website tracing the genealogy of the Thompson Ulmer family. With one click I was looking at the face of Jennett Thompson Ulmer Lutz, wife of Sam Lutz.

Tombstone of Sam & Jenett Lutz

Sam and Jennett had been married for over 50 years. Jennett Lutz passed away in 1920 and Sam followed a year later. It appears from all I’ve experienced that Sam continues to follow Jennett, that his love, more than merely surviving his death, can still be felt more than 90 years later. Sam Lutz continues to appear to me in dreams and more powerfully in meditations. During a recent meditation, his gaze brought me such a strong, complete feeling of love that it brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing on earth that can compare. This experience changed my perception of reality showing me first hand the depth and extent of the possibilities of the soul, igniting within me the desire to explore, understand, and experience that which I previously never believed possible. Patricia Gore lives in Waynesboro VA is married with two grown children. She works with victims of natural disasters throughout the U.S. www.exploreawareness.com

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TWO UNUSUAL CASES OF

Reincarnatio The following article is a brief excerpt from my book, We Live Forever: The Real Truth about Death, copyright 2004. It refers to the days during the 1960s when I worked part-time as a hypnotherapist specializing in past-life regressions. Two specific cases occurred within a week of each other that were so unusual they quite literally changed how I viewed life itself.

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he daughter of a woman I knew proved to be an excellent subject. She had no agenda, just the desire to see if she could be hypnotized. Much to my surprise, she went deep fast and changed characteristics instantly. No longer was she the young woman I knew, but an Englishman in every respect, older in years, and obsessed with moving from a flat overlooking the Thames River in

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London to a dreary cottage in Ireland. Through hypnosis he was revealed to be a successful barrister who had become a judge, then promptly retired, much to the shock of those who knew him. Unmarried, he had engaged his housekeeper in sorting through a library of books and papers, fine paintings, and other possessions of taste and style. He determined who would get what, saving but a small pile for himself. As my session with him advanced, he spoke of taking what was left to Ireland. In the center of the tiny house he had purchased there, he placed a large, comfortable rocking chair and spent the rest of his days in that chair reading his favorite books, until he died from the cancer that had been growing inside him. What made this hypnotic session so different, even traumatic, was what occurred after the man expired. Regressionists on occasion will allow their client to experience the death they underwent in a given life, perhaps even the funeral, if it seems appropriate in helping that person gain a better understanding of any issue that might be troubling


The story that tumbled out was a sad one. She, a poor barmaid in Ireland, had been raped by a customer, and then shunned, as if the rape had been her fault. She had no family and barely subsisted, giving birth in a dirty hovel. Her boy child was a wonder who deserved a better life and a good future, so she placed him in a basket, which she left on the front steps of an orphanage in a nearby town. She died of starvation soon after, wracked with the guilt of having to abandon her baby.

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is life in the orphanage had been cruel. He was belittled often for being a castaway and teased about his mother, with taunts that even she couldn’t stand him. He ran away as soon as he was strong enough, stole aboard a boat, and landed in England. Resourcefulness won him a series of jobs and enough schooling to apprentice in a law firm. A talent with debates and clever political posturing guaranteed him a lucrative career, but no time for women, which suited him just fine, as he didn’t especially like females. When illness cut short his ambition, he chose the cottage that was directly in front of the orphanage where he had lived as the place to die. He notified the orphanage staff of his action and promised funds for his burial. It was the staff who found his body and buried him.

ion

BY P.M.H. ATWATER, L.H.D

him or her. I had no choice in this case. Suddenly, the man manifested himself as a distinct energy form apart from the now-silent young woman, yet hovering over her. Still another energy form took shape to my left. I could plainly see and hear both forms. Soon they started yelling at each other, screaming. I was dumbfounded. Nothing in my training or years of practicing hypnotherapy had prepared me for this. The second form claimed to be the man’s mother. She had been waiting for this moment to face her son so that she could explain to him why she had given him away soon after his birth. His hatred for her was so vile, his opposition to her sobbing pleas so unreasonably strident, that I forced the issue and became a mediator, giving each ample time to speak while the other had to listen.

Once both entities had a chance to speak, a profound healing and reconciliation took place. The energy forms evaporated when my client regained consciousness. Her eyes seemed as big as saucers as she launched a volley of “oh-my-goshs.” She had hated her mother since childhood without any logical reason to feel that way; she had been drawn to law in college and excelled on the debating team; and she never had a love relationship that interested her, preferring study to dates. The next morning she and her mother listened to an audiotape of the actual regression. The last part between mother and son did not record, only my words could be heard. But to them, that was enough. Again, a profound healing and reconciliation occurred; the past had become the present so that an old wrong could be righted. The intensity of reactions, the utter realness of the session, challenged everything I thought I knew about life and death, reincarnation, and time and space. Not long after, a young man from Northern California made an appointment with me. He, too, was curious about hypnosis and whether there was anything to the notion of past lives. He was unusually receptive and quickly slipped into a deep trance. His consciousness shifted to life in ancient Greece where he captained a large army. A patriot, he relished all aspects of war and soldiering, from torturing spies to killing hordes. He also took great pride in his wife and four children, remaining as faithful to them as he was to his calling. He died in what for him was the glory of battle after 30 years of defending his sovereign.

“A profound healing and reconciliation occurred; the past had become the present so that an old wrong could be righted.” www.exploreawareness.com

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My client moved next in consciousness to a life at the foot of the high Himalayas, where, as an itinerant healer, he roamed from village to village with little but a beggar’s bowl and the rags on his “toothpick” of a body. He never had a love affair or fathered children, but delighted instead in the opportunity to help others, which he did for 30 years. While stumbling along a mountain road one day, he suddenly collapsed. No one offered a hand. He died as if he were but a wad of dust hardly distinguishable from the dirt under foot and sandal.

“A voice spoke that seemed to emanate from a source other than the man’s lips and it permeated every cell in my body.” I was aghast at the story the hypnotized man relayed. So, before I brought him back to full consciousness, I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I could make contact with the all-knowing voice that spoke to me through his mouth. That voice wasn’t like the ones I had heard from previous clients. It was wiser, special. I verbally requested permission to do this, unsure of “who” or “what” might answer.

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Immediately, the room in which the session took place, with me sitting in a chair and him outstretched on a sofa, became incredibly hot. Although it was night, everything began glowing with a light far brighter than that provided by any of the lamps. A voice spoke that seemed to emanate from a source other than the man’s lips and it permeated every cell in my body. I searched the air around me for the source of the voice, but nothing caught my eye. “What do you want?” it boomed. I hesitated; then, gathering my strength, I asked, “The two lives just described to me, what do they mean?” A roar of laughter that seemed to shake the very walls preceded these cryptic words: “Thirty years killing. Thirty years healing. Now, all is well.” Nothing more was offered. The session ended. The man “woke up.” Yet he never looked or acted quite the same after that, nor did I. I was deeply affected by this session and the one before it, so much so that I eventually closed my practice of hypnotherapy, and began my own “inner journey” to the truth of being—the truth of who and what we really are. P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., had three neardeath experiences within three months in 1977. One of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies, she began her examination of the phenomenon in 1978, resulting in 15 books on the subject, and numerous awards for her work atwater@cinemind.com


Dreaming WITH

Bobbie Ann

BY BOBBIE ANN PIMM

Have you ever dreamed of a past life? Have you ever had a dream that took place in the distant past or of being somewhere that had no electric lights, horse-drawn carriages, or dirt-floors? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of being in a ‘costume,’ or wearing old-style clothing, or even using ancient hand tools? Have you ever dreamed that you were someone else? Maybe you dreamed you were the opposite sex or a different ethnicity? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of seeing through someone else’s eyes or that you could do something that you couldn’t normally do in waking life? Have you ever spoken in a foreign language or understood what someone was saying even though it was in a language that is alien to you when awake? Have you ever dreamed of someone that doesn’t look familiar and yet you feel like you know them? They may remind you of someone you know in your life but it is not that individual. Maybe someone has called you by some other name, and yet you knew that it was you who they were speaking to? Each of these types of dreams can be an indication of a past-life dream. Some people might refer to them as ‘karmic dreams’ because they usually deal with our karmic past. Dreams such as these are different than normal dreams. They might seem more real or like you are actually there experiencing firsthand what is happening. You may also just know certain facts or feel certain emotions without explanation. Karmic dreams offer the opportunity to heal by linking the past-life hurts and wrongs with our present life. They can help us understand why we feel, believe, and act as we do today. By revisiting the past and applying what we learn from the dream to our present life situation we can better understand others and ourselves. We can forgive and finally leave the past in the past.

If you have ever met someone and instantly disliked them, then a past-life dream may show you what transpired between the two of you in a previous incarnation. Armed with this new understanding, you can forgive the past and start new in the present—after all they didn’t do anything to hurt you in the here and now. As we dream of past lives, we can dream of potential future lives, too. Futuristic dreams can point out mistakes we are making here and now so that we can heal our present and future selves. If you have a futuristic dream, look for a correlation in your present life and take action now. You may prevent that future life event from taking place. Past-life and future-life dreams are blessings that deserve your fullest attention. The message or lesson they contain can be life-transforming. While they are usually very straightforward, they can also be confusing. I believe the confusion comes from the differences in lifestyle, technology, and communication methods between then and now. The trick is to look for the modern day equivalent to what is happening in the dream, or for a similar situation or behavior in your present life. For instance, let’s take a look at a dream from my dream journal titled, “Cowboys and Indians” dated January 1, 2012: I am in what feels like the Old West. I am with a number of women and I know that we have been captured by Indians. They are taking us somewhere down the river. A cowboy sees me and signals directions to me to the effect of ‘go down the river to the canyon and go up the right bank at the bridge.’ Upon waking, my first thought was that this could be a past-life dream because I haven’t watched any westerns recently. The first questions I asked myself were, “Why a past-life dream about being captured by Indians and rescued by cowboys and why am I having this dream now?” This lead to me asking myself, “Who or what has ‘captured’ me and is leading me somewhere against my will? Am I waiting or hoping for someone to come and www.exploreawareness.com

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‘rescue’ me from a situation I find myself in?” Though difficult to admit, I knew the truthful answer was, “Yes,” and I know I needed to personally take action to change the situation I was in. If you want, you can try incubating or setting an intention to have a past-life dream. You will likely be more successful if you have an emotionally intense reason for having one and also an intention to act on the dream, if you are successful in having one. You should also be open-minded and willing to change something within yourself when you get your answer. A past-life dream can improve your state of being. Whether you have a stressful relationship with someone whom you have difficulty liking, understanding, and/or communicating with, or an irrational fear is preventing you from doing something you want to do, or maybe you have a bad habit or behavior pattern that you can’t break or understand—a past-life dream can help you understand the other person, overcome the fear, or break the habit, which will dramatically reduce your stress and improve your quality of life.

• Define how it is affecting you. • Describe how you or your life would be different if you understood the ‘why’ of the situation. • Be willing to accept responsibility and forgive. • Ask your dreaming mind or Higher Self to give you the dream. • Express your willingness to change and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. • Set the intention to have, remember, and record the dream. • Put your dream journal and pen by your bedside. • You may need to repeat these steps for several nights before you are successful. • Give thanks and take appropriate action when successful. I would love to hear about your past-life dreams and if you were successful in incubating one. Please email me at bobbie@bobbieann.net. ‘Til next time … Happy Dreaming! 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 Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). She is also a consultant for dreamscloud.com and a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (www.asdreams.org).

To incubate the dream, take the following steps: • Just before going to bed for the night, take a few minutes to clear your mind and then meditate on your reason. • Take pen to paper and write down the following: • Clearly define the issue. Be as specific as possible.

PA S S ION , E X P E R I E N C E , I N NO VAT ION

I would love to help you make your next move into or out of the Charlottesville area. Give me a call and lets put the power of Montague, Miller & Co and Leading RE behind your next move! ~Pam

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Enjoy the serenity and privacy offered by this stunning custom home on 2.48 acres just north of Charlottesville. Grand entry, library, music room, luxury master suite and an amazing kitchen. Over 6800 finished square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. $899,000 pamwhorley.montaguemiller.com/mls=537751

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434.227.2414

pamwhorleyrealtor@gmail.com

®

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Book Review

BY PIA DONOVAN

a little more freely, so that a most intriguing facet of the human soul may be more clearly elucidated.” The second and largest section of the work is focused on the 15 commonalities Moody isolated in his research among patients who experienced near-death moments. Most remarkable are the candid accounts from his discussions with a vast number of subjects. The reader is immediately and acutely aware of the unique similarity between cases as the author outlines each near-death experience theme. These themes include, but are not limited to, the patient hearing the news that they have passed, witnessing the presence of a “light being,” travel through space, the presence of a guide, and becoming aware of the effects their passing has on others.

The “father” of the

Life After Life: The Investigation of a PhenomenonSurvival of Bodily Death Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr. Harrisburg, PA, 1975, Stackpole Books First Edition, 157 pages ISBN: 0-06-251739-2 $14.55, Available on Amazon.com If you have ever been curious about what happens to us physically and biologically when we die, Dr. Raymond Moody’s Life After Life, the groundbreaking investigation that began the discussion of the afterlife over 40 years ago, is the place to begin your education. The “father” of the “near-death experience” movement, Moody is credited with changing how we view events that take place after we physically die. Moody’s interest in near-death experiences, or NDEs, began when he was a medical student, an endeavor he pursued after receiving a Ph.D. in philosophy and having a successful teaching career. His unique approach to the phenomenon of the survival of bodily death, as that of a student with no experience in the subject, offers us a rare opportunity to learn in tandem with the author. Moody begins by laying out his interest in the subject and his approach to his investigative work. His noble goal “encourages [the reader] to speak

Moody goes on to identify parallels between near-death “near-death experiphenomena and similar experiences portrayed in ence” movement, the Bible, Plato’s works, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and Moody is credited in Emanuel Swedenborg’s works. These comparisons, with changing how along with the myriad personal accounts cited, aid we view events that in solidifying the validity of post-bodily death experiences. take place after we The fourth section focuses on the numerous questions physically die. Moody has encountered, with the most frequent queries compiled and answered succinctly and honestly. The fifth and sixth parts of the investigation outline his explanations for the occurrence of near-death experiences as well as his impressions of the validity of the accounts. By the conclusion of Life After Life, a concise foundation of knowledge on near-death phenomena is built. With his extensive background as a philosopher, psychologist, and physician, and his interviews with over 1,000 bodily death survivors, Moody was distinctly prepared to lay the groundwork for the subject of neardeath experiences when embarking on this seminal work over 40 years ago. In fact, Moody coined the phrase “neardeath experience” in 1975. Pia Donovan is a wife, mother, writer, and consultant living in Batesville, Virginia.

www.exploreawareness.com

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YOUR LUCKY STARS Astrology Unveiled BY NICK LASKY

What Your Moon Sign Reveals About You Have you been howling at the moon lately? Probably not, but the feeling that question creates within you gives a glimpse into what the moon is about. Of course you know your sun sign, the same sign that you have always known your zodiac sign to be. But in astrology, you also have a moon sign. The moon is moving so quickly through the zodiac that it changes signs about every two and a quarter days. Therefore you will need to know your exact birth time in order to find out which sign the moon was in at the moment of your birth. Whereas the sun represents your identity and how you express your light, the moon represents your emotional body. In astrology, the moon is the most personal celestial body and it indicates your deepest desires, your instincts, and what you need to feel safe and comfortable. It is also said that when you are upset, scared or reactive, you will go to your moon. This means that whatever sign your moon is in and the other factors influencing your moon dictate how you will handle challenging situations. The moon also represents the mother archetype in your chart. Accordingly, the energy of your moon shows how you see your own mother. Someone with a Taurus moon would likely have a mother that was grounded, stubborn, and a great cook, while someone with a Leo moon likely saw his or her mother as dramatic, creative, and full of fire. 36 July 2016

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The different lunar energies are expressed in very different ways. Knowing your moon sign can give you insight into your own subconscious and why you react to things the way you do. Knowing a partner or friend’s moon sign can help you understand their deepest emotional needs and how best to make them feel happy and at ease. Here are the lunar tendencies of each moon sign: ARIES – Assertive. You are a natural leader and react to difficult situations by trying to take control. You can be impatient and may have a spicy temper that flares up from time to time. You tend to be active, independent, and not afraid of confrontations. You have warrior energy and your motto is: “Let’s get on with it.” TAURUS – Steady. Those born with the moon in this sign are blessed as the moon loves to be in the sign of Taurus. You are stable, grounded, and generally calm, just like the bull in the field. But when provoked you will charge, barreling over anyone and anything in your path. You are very sensual and have a deep appreciation for food, smells, music, art, and all things that feel good. Be careful of being too stubborn or materialistic. GEMINI – Changeable. You have a constant need for a change of scenery and your curiosity craves learning and experiencing new things. Very mentally active and analytical, be careful of trying to dissect and rationalize


your emotions as emotions are irrational by definition. You are quick-witted, sociable, and adaptable. On the flipside, you may often experience quick shifts in your emotional state which can make you feel and act like different people, depending on your mood. CANCER – Sensitive. You have the most sensitive moon in the zodiac. Don’t worry, though, the moon rules the sign of Cancer and feels right at home here. You have a deep desire to nest, and both your family and home are extremely important to you. Nurturing and caring, you are in tune with what others are feeling. You get easily attached and will benefit from learning to give space when it is needed. LEO – Dramatic. You have a deep desire for attention and to be seen or heard. Passionate, fun, and self-reliant, you are afraid of criticism and are very aware of how others perceive you. You are loyal, loving, and charming. Others are easily attracted to your energy. Be careful of sensationalizing problems and creating unnecessary drama.

determined, passionate, and seductive. Be careful to use your hidden powers wisely and avoid being manipulative and vengeful. This placement of the moon is very jealous, stubborn, and determined. SAGITTARIUS – Idealistic. Naturally optimistic, you love exploring and crave adventure. Most importantly you need your freedom. You will run away if you feel someone is trying to control you. You have a need to express your truth and your beliefs and love to travel. Remember to take off your rose-colored glasses from time to time, as you can be unrealistic. CAPRICORN – Conservative. You tend to be cautious, serious, and practical. You prefer not to rush into anything and like to take a slow, tested approach to life’s challenges. You have the ability to be disciplined and patient. Be careful of any limited thinking, insecurity, and hiding your emotions. AQUARIUS – Detached. Though you are often seen as cool and steady on the exterior, you are extremely sensitive when no one is watching. Analytical, logical, and cold,

The moon represents your emotional body VIRGO – Discerning. You have a great awareness for the details. You like to know everything so that you can put all of the pieces together as you aspire for perfection. Picky, practical, and critical, you are a great problem-solver and are likely good at puzzles. You have a natural urge to be of service and empathize with the downtrodden and the underdog. LIBRA – Composed. You need balance. You do not like to see others fight or suffer and are a natural mediator and counselor. Fair, easy-going, and friendly, you have an eye for beauty and aesthetics. You prefer to work with others and relationships are very important to you. Be careful not to be dependent on approval from others. This placement of the moon tends to be very logical and indecisive. SCORPIO – Intense. Highly intuitive and mysterious, you feel everything very deeply. You may be overwhelmed by the intensity of your emotions at times. You are very

remember to show others that you have emotions too! You are unconventional and can be quite charming. You also have a need for emotional independence and are easily misunderstood by others. PISCES – Drifting. Your emotional state is in a constant flux and changes according to who you are with, the weather, and just about everything else. You are very sensitive, intuitive, and can be overly emotional at times. Dreamy, compassionate, and romantic, be aware of who you spend your time with as your sign is the most susceptible to be influenced by others. To find out what your moon sign is consult your local astrologer! 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 www.aquarianbookshop.com. www.exploreawareness.com

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Central Virginia

THIS POPULAR ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN OUR JANUARY 2016 ISSUE

AquaFloat

Inspiration and healing with stillness BY RAY WHITSON

WHAT THE STAFF HAD TOLD ME IN THE pre-float review was true … I wasn’t floating very long before I realized that there was little-to-no distinction between my body, the water, and the air in the tank. Periodically during the 90-minute float session I had to curl my fingers just to be sure they were still there! I comfortably floated in complete darkness and the only thing I heard was the internal sound of my breathing. With the complete stillness, my thoughts slowed and my brain became more of a consciousness and less of a computer analyzing input from my eyes, ears, nose, and skin. Tranquil … that’s the state I moved into. Everything in the Charlottesville AquaFloat 38 July 2016

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facility from the reception area to the serene tank rooms is designed to help you get to that level, effortlessly. Floating in contained tanks has been around since the mid-1950s when neuroscientist Dr. John C. Lilly developed it for research in sensory deprivation. It became commercially popular during the 1970s as a way to reach an “altered state” without drugs, but declined in popularity until breakthroughs in relaxation research and sanitation methods caused a sudden spike in the practice about a decade ago. Reputable research has shown floating addresses mental and Owner Ted O’Neill


Charlottesville has a cutting edge facility, the AquaFloat Flotation Center at 925-A East Jefferson St. Owner Ted O’Neill is a licensed pharmacist who came to Charlottesville to escape the manic existence of Miami. He and his wife were drawn to the sense of community offered here. Attending a spirituality group session in 2012, he heard another member speak of a college experience with a sensory deprivation tank and it sparked his curiosity. Researching the concept further fueled his interest and he twice traveled to Chesapeake to experience the new-style tanks himself. After the second float, he was hooked.

filtered three complete cycles between each use, and runs continually after business hours. Each clean and inviting tank room has a shower, which you are required to use prior to entering the tank in order to wash off any oils and lotions on your skin. Every floater steps into pristine water. The water and air in the enclosed tank are “skin-receptor neutral,” which means you lose track of where your body ends and the mentioned elements begin. Gravity disappears. This sensation allows your body and mind’s innate healing powers to emerge. You’ll leave the tank, shower, dress, and then are welcomed to partake of the tea bar and lounge in the comfortable surroundings of the reception area. Believe me, you’ll want to sit and just “be” after the float.

He first considered a tank only for home use, then just a small one-tank business; these considerations then morphed into an “all in” enterprise to bring the concept to the area. Finding the perfect spot, he hired a designer to create a beautiful and roomy facility, which indicates the level of professionalism he brings to floating. The staff, the facility, and the experience itself are more than worth the reasonable rate of $60 per 90-minute session. AquaFloat offers four large state-of-the-art enclosed flotation tanks, with ambient lighting should you want it. The tank contains roughly a foot of water mixed with 850 pounds of Epsom salts. That level of salinity creates a situation in which you don’t just float, but seem to be supported by the water. There is no possibility of drowning and relaxation is almost instantaneous. The salt doesn’t dry your skin, but, instead, makes it almost buttery to the touch. Sanitation is a primary concern of the public, and O’Neill’s center makes it their number one priority. The water is filtered through ultraviolet light, an ozone generating system, and a conventional pool micron filter. These, coupled with salinity three times that of the Dead Sea, create an environment in which it is almost impossible for any pathogen to survive. The water is

One final comment on the enclosed tank: The tank is large and people with claustrophobia consistently report no problems with floating. You are in complete control of the entire experience and can always open the lid as much as makes you comfortable. In addition to the tanks, the AquaFloat flotation center also offers an infrared sauna and Tuina Medical Massage by appointment. Other exciting experiences are on the horizon. This center is not about the 1970s “altered states,” it is completely 21st century and is even referred by medical professionals to reduce stress/ anxiety and physical pain. Visit www.aquafloatcville. com for booking and information. To reach them by phone, call (434) 293-1143. www.exploreawareness.com

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Central Virginia

physiological problems such as stress, anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and high blood pressure. With those conditions rampant in today’s fast-paced lifestyles, the revival couldn’t have come soon enough.


northern Virginia

Light Works

Complete Spiritual Healing MANASSAS WHEN YOU ENTER THE BUILDING at 9116 Center St. in Manassas you’ll find two sets of stairs, one at the front and the other down a hallway at the rear, with each leading to separate areas of suites. It seems appropriate given the dual missions of Light Works and owner Juli Richardson that this center should occupy space at the top of both stairways. The mission statement of Light Works is, “Achieving Health through Mind, Body, & Spirit,” which Juli embodies as a complete spiritual healer: a Reiki master teacher and practitioner, a certified psychic medium, and a certified Angel Messenger. Her unassuming manner belies the training and gifts she possesses and offers in her practice and center. 40 July 2016

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Suite 208 (at the top of the rear stairs) has a reception area, Reiki treatment room, and very comfortable and embracing space where readings are done. Tastefully decorated, every aspect of these three rooms conveys the most peaceful atmosphere that allows you to relax, even if it’s your first time having a Reiki session or a psychic reading. There are wonderful axioms on the walls that also help put you in the mood of being open and receptive to healing and to any forthcoming information. Juli states on her website that often times Spirit (including angels and departed loved ones) will step forward not only during a reading, but also during a Reiki healing session.


northern Virginia

Here are some of the services Juli offers: • Private Life Path & Coaching – Readings to provide insight and guidance from your angels and spirit guides. • Reiki Treatments – Energy work shown to be effective in treating physical, emotional, and/ Owner Juli Richardson or spiritual issues. • Animal Reiki – Complements other forms of holistic and conventional treatments as animals have an innate understanding of energy. • Animal Communication – Receiving information directly from your pets. (Yes … you’ll be surprised at the accuracy.) • Chakra Reading & Clearing – Problem areas can be identified and work done to clear problem areas. The room at the top of the front stairs is known as the Light WorkShop. This is where classes, workshops, and meditations are held, and also where guest practitioners often conduct other events. Workshops and classes that have been or will be conducted include: • • • • • •

Animal Communication Essential Oils Toning Meditations Mandalas Play Date with Inner Child Meditation with Intention … to Connect with Spirit!

Treatment Room

You can visit Light Works’s website at www.lightworks.biz for a complete listing of all services and prices, as well as upcoming events. In addition, Juli does a monthly newsletter that is on the website and can be sent via e-mail. You can also connect on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ lightworksreikihealing/. To contact Juli directly, call (703) 926-4499 or email lightworksreiki@aol.com.

Light Workshop

www.exploreawareness.com

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the piedmont

Alchemists Books and Gifts Richmond BY NICKI PEASLEY

WHILE THE CONVENTIONAL DEFINITION OF “ALCHEMIST” refers to one skilled in the scientific conversion of base metals into gold, the modern definition has evolved into a metaphor for the mystical processes of personal transformation. Jane Hayden, owner of “Alchemists Books and Gifts” is certainly emulating the name of the store she bought 23 years ago. In her current location at Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Hayden has transformed a retail space into an enchanted haven for seekers of beauty, wisdom, and spiritual inspiration. “For most of my life, I knew there were vast and varied paths to Self and to Spirit,” says Hayden. “I wanted to create a space dedicated to self-empowerment, personal growth, and conscious living, where boundaries could be expanded in a supportive and non-judgmental atmosphere.” A modern-day alchemist, Hayden has certainly achieved her mission. Upon entering the store, my senses are 42 July 2016

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Miguel Ruiz Jr. and owner Jane Hayden


A student of art, Hayden speaks of beauty as a divine gift, an important component of her own journey, and a guiding value in her vision for the store. “When we surround ourselves with beautiful things, we are elevated,” she says.

Silk chakra flags

Unlike any store I know, Alchemists offers a feast for the eyes. The openness of the space allows shoppers to flow from the cases of unique and one of a kind, handcrafted jewelry (made locally and worldwide), to the array of whimsical home décor, to the hip and functional wearable art, to the mesmerizing collection of healing crystals and stones, to the aromatic and vibrant allure of candles, soaps, and incense. There is cozy seating throughout the store, creating a relaxing ambiance and an open invitation to stay a while and enjoy. Indeed, surrounded by this kind of beauty, those who enter Alchemists are in no hurry to leave.

Hayden has succeeded in marrying beauty with wisdom through the store’s extensive selection of books on the body, mind, and spirit. Featured authors include Louise Hay, Mark Nepo, Doreen Virtue, Wayne Dyer, and many more. There are four listening stations for customers to enjoy music and spoken audio selections, as well. Artists include Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur, and Steven Halpern, to name but a few. Alchemists also hosts book signings, lectures, and workshops for the spiritual seeker. Well-known psychics, mediums, and tarot practitioners are

available by appointment. Information on upcoming events can be found on Alchemists website www. alchemistsbooksandgifts.com. Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., author of several books on Toltec wisdom, is scheduled to be at Alchemists on Wednesday, August 31, discussing his new book The Mastery of Self. There’s not much, outside of my teenage daughters, that can get me to a mall. But Stony Point Fashion Park, a bit off the beaten path, is not an ordinary mall. It’s as if the energy of Alchemists radiates throughout the rest of this lovely facility. Certainly, the shopping center’s upcoming 50 million dollar upgrade (beginning in summer 2016) will make this destination even more worth the trip.

Those who enter Alchemists are in no hurry to leave. www.exploreawareness.com

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immediately awakened by soothing aromatherapy, soul lifting music, and the natural sounds of trickling water. Hand-dyed silk chakra flags hang from the ceiling carrying the Tibetan prayer “May all who enter here be blessed.” I exhale into the knowing that I am, indeed, blessed in and by this space. The air seems lighter and the wind chimes seem to carry the sweet message, Welcome Home.


the piedmont

Hayden chose the mall location for the potential it affords in reaching the mainstream population. People coming to Stony Point for stores like Anthropologie and Sur la Table will undoubtedly be drawn to be the store window’s beautiful and fanciful features.

Alchemists fairy

“More and more people are opening up to spiritual exploration,” Hayden shares. “There is so much more accessibility to information in this digital age. We want to be that resource center where people who are curious about different paths can walk in and can touch, feel, and browse in person. There’s a positive, light-filled energy that makes people feel good here. Once they discover us, they come back.” I certainly do. And every time, I am elevated by the alchemy of beauty and wisdom Hayden and her wonderful staff have created at Alchemists. I always end my visit at the checkout counter over which the life-size fairy is majestically perched. I smile at her while the sales clerk lovingly packages my gifts for friends (or for myself). As I pass under those vibrant flags, I offer my own prayers and carry this oasis of love in my heart and out into the world. Certainly, the world needs more Alchemists. 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.

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

www.thefigleaf.net 44 July 2016

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exploring spirituality

703.615.2220 thefigleaf444@gmail.com

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.


Southwestern Virginia

Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary Floyd

BY DENISE LEGG

THERE HAVE BEEN OMINOUS WARNINGS in Theories abound on the causes of CCD. One identified news reports that thousands of honeybees are vanishing culprit is chemicals known as neonicotinoids found in without a trace. No dead bees found near the colonies. products used to control garden pests and diseases. The chemicals, called neonics for short, Since the late 1990s in the United attack the central nervous systems of States alone, more than 30% (and for insects including honeybees, killing some unlucky beekeepers, up to 90%) them or making them vulnerable of the honeybee colonies have been to predators and deadly diseases. In disappearing each year, including March of this year, the garden-care many worker bees that are vital to company Ortho announced it will the colonies’ survival and prosperity. stop using these chemicals in its As more and more of the worker products by 2021. bees disappear, their colonies are weakened and eventually no longer Why should we care? able to function. This mysterious phenomenon has been aptly named This decline poses a major threat Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Program Coordinator Alex Tuchman (straw hat) to global agriculture and our future. www.exploreawareness.com

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Southwestern Virginia

Honeybees are one of the world’s leading pollinators. Like tiny farm workers, honeybees carry the pollen from one plant to another as they forage. They alone are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops. We depend on them for one-third of our food supply. Without bees, the produce sections in supermarkets would look bare with up to 50% less fruit and vegetables. Our favorite foods such as apples, carrots, lemons, onions, and broccoli, and honey, of course, would become a luxury of the past. While it is as yet undetermined and unlikely that Albert Einstein once said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live,” whoever actually made this claim is not so far from the truth.

Co-founder Gunther Hauk

sanctuary that helps restore the health and vitality of the honeybee worldwide.

Above: Spikenard Welcome Center Below: Spikenard honeybee plants

Gunther Hauk, an educator, biodynamic gardener/ farmer and beekeeper for nearly four decades, is a wellknown advocate for honeybees. Along with numerous accomplishments, he founded the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary with his wife, Vivian, in 2006. The mission of the bee sanctuary is to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, experience-based research, and provide a honeybee 46 July 2016

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It was a beautiful, crisp spring day when I made my way to the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd, Virginia. When I walked through the archway to the bee sanctuary the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. Pastures, forest, and an adjacent organic farm surround the tranquil 25-acre sanctuary. A yurt stands to the left of the entranceway filled with information on the honeybee. There were fresh tilled beds of rich soil waiting to be planted with “food” for the honeybees. The sanctuary is a biodynamically invigorated landscape in which all beings—plant, human, and animal—are lovingly cared for, protected, and healed. Program Coordinator and Farm Manager/Beekeeper Alex Tuchman led our group on a tour. As we moved closer to the hives you could hear a loud buzzing. The sanctuary currently has 30 honeybee hives. Each hive was, excuse the pun, abuzz with activity. Many of the worker bees were hanging around the entrance to the hive, some were bringing in their load of nectar and some were buzzing around us to determine if we were plant material or not. As he told us, “We are here to serve the bees and not for the bees to serve us.”

What can we do to help support the honeybee? Plant things that bees like. Bees are all about pollen. They collect nectar and pollen from plants for food. They make honey from the nectar. Bees prefer flowers that are


by beekeepers, except for the relatively few free spirit colonies that have swarmed and taken up residence in a hollow tree or sometimes, under the siding of someone’s house. Become a beekeeper and host a natural honeybee hive. Local extension offices offer beekeeping courses. If you’re near the Floyd area, Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary offers classes.

blue, purple, or yellow. Some other bee yummy plants are sage, oregano, lavender, goldenrod, and the dandelion. If possible, refrain from mowing over dandelions until they have gone to seed. Know your honeybee. As one local beekeeper said, “If I had a quarter for every time someone told me they had stepped on a bee nest in their lawn and were attacked by the bees, I could retire.” Those were actually yellowjackets, which are wasps. Honeybees live in wooden hives kept

For more information about the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary visit their extensive website at www.spikenardfarm.org. It is a place of healing, beauty, reflection, learning, and inspiration. Visit them for a workshop, support their work with a donation, attend an event, or volunteer. They welcome everyone to join them in this journey toward saving the honeybee. A Karuna®Reiki Master and Energy Practitioner, Denise has a thriving practice in Southwest Virginia. She is also available for long-distance phone and Skype sessions. You can contact her at www.reconnectingmbs.com or reconnectingmbs.legg@aol.com.

Mother Earth Mysticism Deep Spirit, Deep Connection

Contemporary Shamanism With Rachel Mann, PhD In locations around Virginia For more information go to: www.rachelmannphd.com or email rachel@mettaknowledge.com www.exploreawareness.com

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Southwestern Virginia

Bees prefer flowers that are blue, purple, or yellow.


tidewater

Deosil

Spiritual Music VIRGINIA BEACH ORIGINALLY FROM NORFOLK, Dylan Patrick Smith, known by his metaphysical performance name, Deosil, is a performer, composer, audio engineer, metaphysical practitioner, and an open-minded spiritual being who channels his music from a higher realm. Pronounced ‘de-o-sil’ or ‘je-zil,’ Deosil is derived from ancient Celtic and loosely translates as “in the direction of the sun.” He has been practicing the art of healing through sound for over 10 years. With two music degrees in classical piano studies and a background in jazz piano, arrangement, and electronic keyboard programming, Deosil incorporates his musical knowledge and experience in every sound he creates. His own private production 48 July 2016

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company, Other Realm Music, was established in 2005, and along with healing and metaphysical CDs, he has also published two solo piano CDs. His fascination with meditation, Buddhist chanting, sound healing, and audio therapy has allowed listeners around the world to be engaged in his signature ethereal sounds. His music has reached as far as Australia, through licensing of specific tracks used for instructional yoga DVDs. Most of his music centers around long, sustained chords with sub frequency undertones that help to balance both hemispheres of the brain. He also has been working on brain wave musical patterns that stimulate and induce states of relaxation. There is always piano


Fusing acoustic elements with electronic ambience makes for a very special musical sound in both the studio and live performances. A typical live performance in front of an audience involves the use of a digital grand piano, nature sounds added to the music, Tibetan singing bowls, tingsha ritual bells, tapestries, native flutes, chanting, chakra tonal balancing, ethereal harmonies, slow heartbeat rhythms, and soft synthesizers. He has performed live sound healing shows at several yoga studios around the Tidewater area and has performed many times at the Heritage Store and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, both in Virginia Beach. He also had the good fortune of performing live music during several labyrinth seminars at the now-closed World Healing Institute in Oyster, VA. He has played shows as far away as Knoxville, Tenn., and Omaha, Neb. His music has most recently been used as part of the soundtrack to online seminars for students learning breath control and prana breathing at the Kathleen Barratt Breath Institute in Roanoke. He is an openminded gentle soul who embraces many different beliefs but ultimately uses his music as a channel to bring forth his improvisational style of playing over richly layered structured music that brings the acoustic world and the digital world together. Deosil currently lives in Virginia Beach and has read and studied earth-based religions, Vedic writings, Tibetan mysticism, the teachings of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, Paramahansa Yogananda, and J. Krishnamurti. He is currently working with several yoga instructors, massage therapists, and spiritual healers in the Hampton Roads area to promote his music and use it during their classes/sessions. His CDs and mp3s are available to listen to and/or purchase from these sites: • • • • • •

CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Deosil) Amazon iTunes Pandora Rhapsody Last.fm

For more information or to schedule a concert, contact Deosil at dylanpatricksmith@cox.net or visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/deosilmusic/.

Discography as Deosil

Beyond This Plane Of Existence (2005)

Automatic Music (2006)

A Time Of Change (2006)

Lucid Dreaming (2007)

Centering (2008)

Inside The Microcosm (2009)

Chakra Modes (2010)

Wide Awake (2013)

tidewater

accompaniment that adds a musical depth and emotional aspect to each track. Many of his pieces contain nature sounds (that he records in the field) such as flowing water and birds. All these elements have helped many listeners during times of stress and pain. It is also the background music for many massage therapists in and around his hometown.

Dylan Patrick Smith solo piano albums:

Poetry (2007)

The Song Of The Mist (2011)

www.exploreawareness.com

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Psychic Profile Name: Debbie Gaimel Location: Virginia Beach at The Heritage Natural Market 984 Laskin Rd. Contact Information: (757) 428-0500 ext. 5 to schedule an appointment; (888) 566-9669 for the Psychic Line. Mon 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Psychic Line only. Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 10 a.m.–6 p.m. in-house and Psychic Line shifts See Holistic Center page at www.heritagenaturalmarket. com for schedule times. Rate: $2.75 per minute/$2.35 per minute with free Preferred Customer Membership. Readings are available via The Heritage Center Psychic Line or in-house at The Heritage Natural Market. Experience: A second-generation intuitive, (her mother was a gifted intuitive) Debbie was raised to nurture and develop her psychic abilities. She holds a Masters degree in Counseling Education. She has worked full-time as a professional psychic at The Heritage Natural Market for 20 years. Review: You are going to enjoy your reading from Debbie. Not only is she an experienced and very gifted

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clairaudient, she has a real knack for helping to explain the information that comes through to her. Though she will do “cold readings” (giving information that comes just from connecting with her) she advises clients to come to the session with prepared questions … the more specific the questions, the more specific the responses. In this manner, there is a frame of reference for what comes through and won’t be mistakenly applied or misunderstood as can happen with the cold reading so you’ll get much more effective guidance. Problems in life, concerns about situations, relationships with people, Debbie is really good at bringing forth the desired information. She even senses when to help you zero-in on the answers you seek with even sharper questions than you asked. Give her first names and she seems to instantly know what those people are thinking or feeling in relation to you. Past-life issues holding you up can be identified and animal communication is clear. She has even had success helping to find lost items. You’ll probably find yourself feeling good after Debbie’s reading. Her reassuring sound and delivery will convince you that this is a worthwhile experience. In addition to Debbie Gaimel’s unquestionable abilities, you’ll find The Heritage Natural Market’s Holistic Center offers a variety of charts and reports that can further enhance the reading’s guidance. Past-Life Reports, Child Reports, Karmic Insight, and more can be prepared for you.


Bridge Between the Worlds Spiritual Retreat Center Charlottesville,Virginia

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

Contact us at www.bbtw.org

(434) 293-9708


EXPERIENCE

BALANCE, HEALING, AND WELLNESS

T

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

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:

www.aruramed.org

Awareness Exploring Spirituality July 2016  

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