A Sacred Stories Magazine Autumn 2022
Honoring the Dead
Día de Muertos An Algorithm for Healing
LIVING CONSCIOUSLY A SPIRITUAL RENEWAL
Write for Good THE SPIRITUAL LEVEL OF FORGIVENESS A Pattern Guiding Us Toward
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
WELCOME Welcome to The Owl! A collaborative sharing of contemporary ideas, fresh perceptions, art, beauty, Universal wisdom, and modern inspiration across traditional and nontraditional spiritual and religious teachings. We invite everyone to the table to share in the rich feast of Life and Living.
Mary Ellen Lucas
Cover photo credit: Noah Fecks 2
Come On In & See What's Inside
A Sacred Stories Magazine
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci 6 The Spiritual Level of Forgiveness 20 A Spiritual Renewal of Science 26 An Algorithm for Healing 42 A Pattern Guiding Us Toward Unitive Consciousness 48
Living Consciously 60
in every issue A Sacred Story 4 WisdomKeepers 32 Artist in Residence 38 The Heart of the Matter 54 Write for Good 66
Book Excerpt: The Way of Inanna 72 Sacred U Courses 80
A Sacred Story by Mona Rain
back to the community and fire circle as my dream ended. When I awoke, my higher self knew I was being called by the lineages of Peruvian masters—the altomisayoks. My rational mind reminded me of so many doubts and feelings of unworthiness, and I let the dream calling recede from my conscious awareness.
He appeared vividly in my dream, whispering from behind me. Sister …Sister, where are you going? He was polite, inquisitive …and yet insistent. He hurried to catch up to me as I pursued my journey uphill along a lush path. I turned. I knew his voice, this man. I had met don Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo many times in the waking reality of my life. I had even prayed with him in shamanic community circles and a large shamanic intensive, where I was ceremoniously initiated into the tradition. Years later, I became a sanctioned teacher of shamanism.
don Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo is an altomisayoq. But why was he coming directly to me in a dream? A man of great status in the shamanic world, a highly respected maestro and kamaska curandero of finely honed skills. I deeply admired his wisdom, as did a large international community of shamanic followers.
As I turned to see his familiar face in my dream, my anxiety grew. In the distance behind him, I saw his wife engaging deeply with a large group around an enormous, blazing fire circle as flames leapt into the air. Ah, shamanic community, my thoughts reminded me, treasuring the “belonging” I was witnessing.
I was yet to fully understand the dream calling of the ancestral lineage and how they work through the dimensions of reality that we exist in as multidimensional beings and souls. Over the next four years, I would come to understand. In my waking reality, I fervently continued my explorations of Peru and Bolivia, traveling two to five times a year from Florida to the magical mystery of the lands I loved. They pulled me like a magnet. I walked the land, I communed and prayed with the apus, the mountain spirits, and I set my intentions with my ofrendas, my ritual offerings. I explored the plantas maestras— sacred plant medicines—as I paid reverence
Sister, where are you going? he queried again. Despite my apprehension, I responded with, “I am walking this way. I need to walk this way now,” and pointed to Peru, Bolivia, and the mountains and sacred sites there. He peered into the path that stretched out before me and without speaking, he faded 4
The OWL Magazine
community, fire, and his wife.
to all. I embraced every moment, feeling enormously blessed with Pachamama under my feet and in my heart.
I was whisked to the blazing fire. I felt the intensity of it on my skin! My face was still burning from the heat when I awoke.
I was doing exactly what I had promised don Oscar I would do. Yet within a year’s time, don Oscar appeared in another dream. Sister, where are you walking? Sister, we are over here! And he flung his arm out and waved his entire body in the direction of the blazing fire, showing me the vast community circle again, this time with an insistence in his voice, much louder and much closer.
That dream visitation, that “shamanic calling,” left me transfixed. I now understood the ancestors of Peru were speaking to me about much more of my soul’s work. Sister, when you are ready, we are over here. Those were don Oscar’s words in my dream. The “calling” foretold my destiny within the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, the shamanic community my soul longed for, the place of my service for the next seven generations upon Pachamama.
“Yes, don Oscar, I see you. I am walking this way.” Sister, can I walk with you? he persisted, as he simultaneously appeared on the path by my side. I was shocked and abruptly turned to face him.
Story excerpt from SHAMANISM: Personal Quests of Communion with Nature and Creation
Mona Rain is a sanctioned teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, earth steward and ceremonialist for Gaia-Pachamama. Humbly and with reverence for all, she shares her healing, teachings, and Peru vision quests. chacarunahealing.com.
“Me? don Oscar, you want to walk with me?” I was feeling imperfect, not worthy. Yes! Please Sister, I want to see where you are walking! Oh my gosh, I thought in dismay. Me? I was so honored that he would be interested in my journey. I acquiesced. “Yes, I will show you.” Astutely, his skilled shamanic sight peered between the veils of reality and into my life as we strolled together for a bit. Ah Sister, I see now, he said softly, slightly bowing and honoring my soul’s journey. And when you are ready … we are waiting for you over here. Again, he pointed to the 5
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Photo Credit: Jerry Aneglica
The OWL Magazine
Max Tucci is the author of The
Max & Friends. He is known for being
Delmonico Way: Sublime Entertaining
a food and entertaining enthusiast.
and Legendary Recipes from the
Max is a philanthropist, historian of the
Restaurant that Made New York!
Delmonico legacy, and owns the largest
Published by Rizzoli New York. Max
collection of Delmonico's memorabilia.
is a writer, TV and radio personality,
He resides between New York, Florida,
award-winning producer, and host of
Colorado, and Florence, Italy.
Ariel Patricia: Welcome Max. Please
seem so outrageous. But then at the
tell us, who is Max Tucci?
end of the movie, when the old man dies, everyone he mentioned is at the
Max Tucci: Who am I? Through the
funeral. Each character who was in
journey of life, I've discovered that
his story, showed up. I feel like that's
I am all that is on the spiritual realm.
kind of how my childhood was. It was
On the earthly tone, I’m an author,
an adventure, a beautiful mix of The
host of Max & Friends, producer,
Greatest Showman and Big Fish.
director, Renaissance man, bon vivant, friend, inspirational thinker,
I was born into the Tucci family,
and motivational speaker—boiled
down to a spiritual gangster!
My father's side of the family comes from Firenze, Italy. My mother's
AP: There is so much fullness in life
side comes from Lithuania. Both
in that answer. Let's start from the
sides of my family craved the
beginning. Tell us a little bit about
American dream of freedom and
your childhood, your family of origin.
opportunities. My mother's side, the Tiskus family, craved freedom
MT: I often refer to my life as the
from 1943 occupied Lithuania. They
movie Big Fish, which is about an
were WWII refugees who escaped
old man who shares bizarre stories.
their beloved Lithuania. My mother
The movie is filled with wondrous
spent her first five years of life in a
storytelling, and seldom do people
displaced persons camp in Germany,
actually believe the stories. They
and it was an absolutely traumatic 7
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci
experience. The Tucci side craved
Delmonico’s was a family affair.
more opportunities. My grandfather
My father, Mario; my Aunt Mary;
Oscar had traveled with my great-
and my Uncles, Gigi and George,
grandfather Oreste numerous times
all worked tirelessly there. Their
to the United States, before calling
efforts made Delmonico’s grand
it home. My grandfather knew that
again. By the 1950s, it was the place
America had a lot to offer. He saw
to see and be seen. Celebrities
opportunities around every corner—
filled the dining rooms and private
especially on the corner of Beaver and
clubs. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth
South William Streets in New York
Taylor, Rock Hudson, Gypsy Rose
City, where the iconic Delmonico’s
Lee, Eva Gabor, Cary Grant, Lena
Horne, and countless others dined at Delmonico’s. My father became
America offered to my grandfather
the front of the house, welcoming
the opportunity to take over
guests as my grandfather taught
America's first fine-dining restaurant,
him, “the Delmonico Way,” where all
Delmonico's. The restaurant was
are welcomed to the table.
originally created by the Delmonico brothers in 1827. They had a successful
My father was the producer
run until 1923, when the beginning
and director of my phenomenal
of Prohibition forced them to close.
childhood. We grew up between
My grandfather had daydreamed of
New York City; Greenwich,
owning the building and restaurant.
Connecticut; and Florence, Italy.
His daydreams became his realities. In
I was afforded a beautiful exposure
1926, he purchased the building and
to the finest things that life had to
all things Delmonico related.
offer, because of my grandfather’s, my Aunt Mary’s, and my father's
He breathed new life into the
hard work—and naturally, my
forgotten restaurant. He resurrected
mother's work as well. My mother
it, saved the building, and restored it.
was the first woman to be an
At its peak, Delmonico’s served 1,000
executive vice president of a fashion
lunches a day, which afforded me the
house. Her career in the fashion
sublime childhood that I had.
industry was legendary. 8
The OWL Magazine
Helayne McNorton, Red Buttons , Eva Gabor, and Richard Brow n in the Palm Room at Delmonic o's in
Max in Firenze
Nicoletta and Max with their mother Gina Mario, Oscar, and Mary
The Tucci family on one of man y sea voyages between Italy and New York-Osc ar in the center with Mario to his right and Sest a to his left
Mary and Sesta
Nonna Sesta and No at Delmonicos
ts and nannies
h their paren Max and Nicoletta wit
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci
Max and Grandma Letty Militana
The OWL Magazine
My childhood was lavish. It was the
forty-four, with two children. How she
story of Richie Rich growing up in
missed him! How we all did. Not only
a gated, private neighborhood in
did my father leave us, but he also left
Connecticut with celebrities and
behind the restaurant. My Aunt Mary,
dignitaries as neighbors. And then
who was my father's sister, was also
growing up in Florence, Italy, in my
the “iron fist” of Delmonico's. Mary and
ancestors' majestic villa, which was
my mother now had the responsibility
filled with magic and the refinement
of operating a restaurant that the New
of the Renaissance era, the Medicis.
York Times referred to as "Superlative,
The energy of art, style, power.
a memorable, first-rate experience." These two powerhouse women knew
AP: Max, was there a specific event
they had quite the legacy to continue.
that impacted your life or shaped you
My Aunt Mary, "Zia Mary," became
as a young child?
the cornerstone in my life. She taught me everything she knew about my
MT: Yes. On my eighth birthday, my
ancestors, Delmonico’s, and my father.
father had a massive stroke and
Mary picked up were my father had
left off, continuing to prepare me to take over the restaurant, the industry
AP: How did that affect you and your
I referred to as "the ball and chain."
family? After my father’s death, I was given MT: As a child, I thought my father
new roles in the family which included
was just going away, because he went
father, husband, brother, uncle,
to Italy so often. I thought he was
godfather—every role that my father
just on another trip and was going to
had. And so, as I grew up, there was a
come back. I didn't realize until I was
burden on my soul, those heavy labels,
maybe nine or ten years old that he
those heavy roles that were not mine.
wasn't coming back. His absence was AP: Max, that must have been difficult
and confusing for a young child. My mother, obviously devastated by his
What was your relationship with your
loss, grieved. She became a widow at
mother and her role in your life? 11
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci
MT: My mother always allowed me to
father and thriving and exploring, with
be me and to explore life. She wasn't
my mother, my sister Nicoletta, and
going to allow me to be burdened
my Aunt Mary.
with the workload that my father's AP: So your mother allowed you
death gave me.
the freedom to be you, and your My mother would always say, "It's
aunt provided you the foundational
just the three of us." She had that
legacy of the Tucci family, which was
war mentality because she had fled
a defining and wealth-generating
Lithuania with her mother and her
aspect for you.
father, and it was just the three of MT: Correct.
them. Now, it was my mother, my sister, and I. "It's the three of us, and we're going to thrive," she would insist.
AP: The two dualities of your life came
Never survive—we were going to thrive
from the two women who stepped
as a family and individually.
My Aunt Mary, was a little more rigid.
MT: Yes, I was raised by two powerful
She always wanted me to remember
women. And of course, my beloved
my father, my grandfather, and
nannies, who taught me their wisdom.
the legacy. We would watch Turner Classic Movies together just because
AP: Max, once you realized your father
Delmonico's was in them. She wanted
wasn’t coming back, how did you feel?
to explore the world with me, take me to Italy, take me overseas. She
MT: As a child, I felt angry. The
knew that Delmonico's was already
anger was because the childhood
ingrained in me and how that legacy
that I knew wasn't the same,
was going to continue. She would say,
because my father wasn't present.
"We're going to enjoy life's gifts." She
My thoughts were, "Where is he?
was my Auntie Mame!
Why aren't we going horseback riding? Why aren't we going to
So growing up, I had this beautiful
Italy? Where is he?" So, it was
duality of suffering with the loss of my
confusion rather than anger at first. 12
The OWL Magazine
The anger came later when
be able to go on the horse, ride in the
expectations rose about the roles I was
woods, and kind of just get lost in
to take on. My mother would say, "Your
nature. And I think that played a huge
sister's not home. Come with me, let's
part in why my anger never turned
go find her." My Aunt Mary would say,
into rage, because I had an outlet, and
"When are you going to start working
the outlet was nature.
at the restaurant?" And then, when I got involved in I'm like, "Wait, this is not the life I want!"
photography, I was always in the darkroom creating. I loved to create.
AP: There was a lot of responsibility
In retrospect, horseback riding and
being put on you in different ways.
the darkroom, let's say, really curbed
The roles of the father, the brother, the
any anger and gave me a platform to
restaurant. What age was that?
MT: It's hard to pinpoint exactly when.
AP: You were fortunate to have
I would say my early teens.
supportive outlets that helped you. At the beginning of our interview, you
AP: What impact did the anger have
described yourself from a spiritual
on your life?
perspective. Share how spirituality has shaped your life.
MT: The anger wasn’t an everyday feeling. It was in the moments when
MT: There was always a curiosity. I was
those responsibilities were given to
raised Catholic and then I became
me. I was always involved in horseback
curious about Christianity outside of
riding; my father wanted me to be
Catholicism. I had a wonderful nanny
a perfect English gentleman on
who was very much involved in the
horseback. I loved it so much that
Baptist Church, and she would always
I still ride today. When not on a horse,
read me Bible quotes. At about fifteen
I was in the darkroom. Photography
or sixteen years old, that curiosity
became a passion of mine. Both
deepened to other religions. I started
horseback riding and photography
questioning how are there so many gods
were wonderful outlets for me. I would
and what do god and religion mean? 13
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci
AP: I love that as a teenager you were
about my family's restaurant. I'm
exploring these deep questions. Now
going to let the whole Delmonico
bring us current. What moved you to
world unfold naturally in my life,
become the creative, deeply spiritual
trusting that where I am now is
individual you are today?
exactly where I am supposed to be.
AP: Your father's death had a major impact on the future of the family business.
My name is Oscar Maximillian, and as a child, people would call me OM. I don’t think they understood the
MT: Oh, big time. My aunt had
meaning of OM, but in a yoga class,
worked in the industry since she
I was introduced to it by a special lady
was about fifteen years old, and she
I called Grandma Letty. Sitting there
didn't want to continue it. And my
in her sarong with a flower wreath on
mother was in fashion, and she didn't
her head she said, "Max Tucci, is your
want to continue it. They did the
father Mario Tucci? I was supposed to
best they could, until they could no
be your nanny."
She was supposed to move to Italy with
But as far as business goes, my Aunt
us, but that didn't happen. She became
Mary was always guiding me to
a special ed teacher. Years later, we met
do something with the restaurant.
at her yoga class, and she became such
The way that she structured the
an important person in my life and in
Delmonico brand and the Delmonico
deepening my spiritual path.
legacy was to always remind me of it. I think she ingrained in me a
AP: What a beautiful, cosmic
desire to take it over. I flirted with
connection for you. Let’s loop back to
the idea—Should I do it? Shouldn't
your legacy. You're still a Tucci. Are you
I do it? What should I do? But it was
helping with the family business?
never my passion to want to open a restaurant then. Currently, with the
MT: Yes and no. I’m not running a
writing of my book The Delmonico
restaurant, for now, but I wrote a book
Way, I'm flirting with the idea. 14
The OWL Magazine
AP: Your new book The Delmonico Way:
Her gift to me was educating me
Sublime Entertaining and Legendary
on this rich history of Delmonico's.
Recipes from the Restaurant That
Her role, and the roles of my father,
Made New York is a beautiful tribute to
my grandmother, my grandfather,
your family and the legacy they created
and my uncles—the ancestral role in
for you and the city of New York. Tell us
Delmonico's—was ingrained in me
more about the inspiration for the book.
since the death of my father to her death. So, I have this vault that I've been carrying, the storage unit of Delmonico's memorabilia. At one point I questioned, "Do I just get rid of it?" But when I really started going through all this stuff—the memorabilia, the archives—I was blown away. All the stories, treasures, and gifts; the menus,
MT: Before we can talk about the
the guestbooks, the newspaper
present, we have to revisit the past.
articles, the pictures of Eva Gabor, of
Aunt Mary died when I was in my
Gypsy Rose Lee. What did all of that
late teens, and her death had a huge
mean? The energy of the Tuccis, the
impact in my life. Mary Tucci was the
Delmonico’s, Gypsy Rose Lee, Eva
keeper of the Delmonico legacy. She
Gabor were reaching out to me.
passed that on to me by always telling me the stories and by saving almost
I was in my twenties when I first
everything that was ever printed about
started thinking about creating a
cookbook about the legacy of my grandfather. It wasn't until fifteen
She had menus from the 1800s
years ago that I started wanting to
that were printed on silk, which my
make the book happen. I started
grandfather found when he took over
organizing materials and putting
everything together. 15
Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci
The journey of this book,
Charles says, "Why don't you have a
The Delmonico Way, was and is
an epic journey. I always dabbled into the curiosity of continuing
And I looked at him and paused. My
my dream of the cookbook. The
thoughts raced. Do I say something,
powerful energy of Delmonico's was
do I be still, should I be bold?… All of
always around me. And one day,
a sudden, I blurted out, feeling an
I started turning the daydream into
ancestral push, "Because you haven't
a reality. I made the decision and a
published it yet! My agent is here
commitment that I was really going
and we would love to discuss the
to do this book. And then I looked
into how to do it, and every step led to the next. In the last five years,
I introduced him to my agent at the
I had numerous agents, numerous
time, and he gave me and my agent
leads, and numerous no's. As Sheri
a meeting. At the meeting, Charles
Salata would say, "beautiful no’s."
said, "Here's why the book isn't going
I thought, the beautiful "no’s" will
to work—because it has to be your
lead me to a yes! A beautiful, yes!
experience, what you were taught, everything your aunt taught you
And then when the beautiful yes
that your father taught her, that your
happened, it was magical. It was
grandfather taught them. I need to
actually in the original Delmonico's.
see it through your eyes, through
I threw a book signing party for my
your stories. Not through your
pal Whoopi Goldberg, who wrote
grandfather or the restaurant, but
her book, The Unqualified Hostess.
Charles Miers, who is the head at Rizzoli, New York, came to the book
And then I got it! Charles gave me a
event, and he saw me in action. I felt
gift. He acknowledged me. All these
this energy there, ancestral energy.
years, I was trying to tell someone
I'm in this space my grandfather
else's story, and that's why it could
loved, my father adored, a space
never work. I had to tell my stories,
that my aunt commanded and
my experiences, my knowledge of
worked in. And so, in that energy
The Delmonico Way. 16
The OWL Magazine
AP: Max, it’s remarkable and your book
and I continued the conversation.
is beautiful. Your family legacy, your
Everyone is welcome at my table,
ancestry has shaped you from a young
just like the tables at Delmonico’s
boy. Even though you were able to
that my grandfather set for all. I want
create your own expression of your life,
to be remembered for creating a
you're coming back full circle to the
space in time where people felt seen,
legacy of your father, of your family.
heard, and know that they matter!
What an incredible tribute.
The validations of life that we all want. In a time when things are moving
What do you hope your legacy as Max
so quickly, I took the time to say,
Tucci will be?
"I noticed you."
MT: I would love for it to be that
AP: Max, thank you. It’s been
I expressed love, I expressed light,
FUN FACTS MT: Depends on my mood.
AP: Coffee or tea? MT: Macchiato—preferably in Firenze.
AP: Homebody or globetrotter?
AP: Book or movie?
MT: Both, plus a dash of Gypset. A Gypsy/Jetsetter.
MT: Movies on the big screen. AP: Early bird or night owl? AP: Favorite book or movie? MT: Oh, that's tough, it changes. MT: Favorite movies are The Color AP: Favorite time of day or night?
Purple, Big Fish, and The Greatest Showman.
MT: The quiet of the morning and AP: Beach or mountain?
the stillness of the night.
Photos courtesy of Tucci Family Archives 17
For you, a thousand times over. — Khaled Hosseini
of FORGIVENESS by Burge Smith-Lyons
The OWL Magazine
Forgiveness. The Webster dictionary
we direct them to. So, if you think
defines it as “to go as before.” You
that you’ll be poor and robbed and
might ask, “To go as before what?”
cheated, an actor will come and surely oblige you. Because remember, you
To forgive is to “go as before” the
are the actor, director, and producer. If
incident or upset that you felt about
you recognize that these people that
yourself or someone else, or even God/
you hold grudges against, including
Universe/Great Spirit. There are many
yourself, are actors in your own
levels of forgiveness, but the one I
creation, then it’s really easy to forgive,
want to speak about is the highest
and then life is for-giving love.”
level of forgiveness … unconditional forgiveness and the realization that
This describes unconditional
there is nothing to forgive.
forgiveness, the highest form of knowing that we are all creators of
Many of us do not want to forgive
our own lives. Whatever happened,
ourselves or others because we think
on some level, we created it. If we
that, if we do, we are saying it was
accept that thought is creative, we
“okay” that the person hurt us. That
cannot adhere to that belief only
is not forgiveness at all, because if
when things are going well in our
someone hurt you, it was NOT okay.
Conditional forgiveness is where we say, “I will forgive you, but you’d
Forgiving oneself seems to be the
better not do that again.” This type
most difficult. Guilt and shame are
of thinking stems from believing
the two culprits of the inability to
the illusion that anyone can hurt
forgive ourselves. In other words, if
us without our permission on some
we are feeling guilty or ashamed,
then we need to go within and find out why so we can return to our
The spiritual teacher Babaji says, “We
true nature, which is innocent and
are all actors in our own scripts. We are
accepted. A Course In Miracles says
the writer, director, producer, and lead
“guilt demands punishment.” If we
character for every script. Everyone
feel we are guilty or ashamed about
else plays in our creation—exactly as
something, we will absolutely attract 21
The Spiritual Level of Forgiveness
punishment, either from ourselves or
Obviously, we don’t walk around
saying, “Gee I’m going to sabotage myself today or attract someone to
We create experiences in our lives
hurt me.” Or “I’m going to set myself
that can add to the layer of guilt
up for failure so I can feel guilty and
and shame that we learned during
ashamed.” Shame and guilt can be
our formative years. We “should” on
extremely debilitating, and much of it
ourselves—and it gets messy! We
“should” be a certain way, we think, or we “should’ve” done better by now.
Instead of feeling shame, we might
We might enter into a relationship
think, “I’ve made a mistake in my
and feel we are letting the other
thinking to allow another person,
person down. Or maybe we feel we
including myself, to seemingly hurt
aren’t doing our best at our job, or we
me. I recognize that other people are
are afraid to move forward for fear
merely doing what I invited because
of failing. Often, these feelings and
I’m projecting what I subconsciously
beliefs stem from the programming
believed about myself. Therefore,
we received as children.
neither that person nor myself can hurt me. I’m perfect now, always have been, and always will be.” To support you in believing you are perfect, stand in front of the mirror every morning, preferably naked, just as you were as a baby. You are going back to that time when you were innocent and accepted yourself, before any of these outside influences projected their beliefs on you. Look into your eyes, and say ten times, “I love you.” The whole time you are doing this, you are looking into the mirror and breathing it in. Be mindful of what you are feeling… Be 22
The OWL Magazine
present… Don’t just stand there and
Here is the philosophical question of
repeat the words over and over. That
the day: “If God and the Universe are
defeats the purpose.
perfect and this Great Spirit created me, and I am part of that creation,
Try to see yourself as the little child,
wouldn’t I be innocent and perfect?”
that innocent baby. Put a picture of yourself as a little girl or boy in the
In my teachings around the world,
bathroom where you can see it. Look
I have found that every person—
into their eyes and tell them you
no matter what religion, race, sex,
love them. This helps to reframe any
or culture—wants the same thing:
thoughts that you have had up to this
People want to know that they are
point about beating yourself up. It’s
loved, accepted, and safe, and that
called a “pattern interrupt” because it
they make a difference.
stops that pattern of sabotage for your guilt and shame. A pattern interrupt
At the World Parliament on Spirituality
releases the need to blame yourself
with Marianne Williamson, all of the
and allows you to be willing to see
major religions were represented
the fact that you are innocent and
with seventy-six nations present.
perfect, just the way you are. If you start your day with loving thoughts about yourself, it reminds you that you are innocent. It allows you to accept yourself totally and completely. Suddenly, those triggers that happen to you daily, will not trigger you— either at all or very little—because you’ll be falling in love with yourself again. You’ll be accepting yourself as perfect, yet you’ll still see that you can be so much more. When you stop the self-sabotage, you can begin to unconditionally forgive yourself. 23
The Spiritual Level of Forgiveness
I was a keynote speaker. The Peace
trade. It was incredibly humbling to hear
Initiative we are creating with Peace
a teenager say, “I have a new skin and
Ambassadors around the world has
can finally love myself and create a new
the message of forgiveness, love, and
prosperity. It was powerful to see so many leaders together creating a sense
I encourage all of us to say, “I am perfect
of peace through forgiveness and
and innocent, and I accept myself for
reminding us we are all the same: We
who I am.”
are all human. We have the power to rewrite our When I taught in Malaysia in 2015,
scripts and attract the “actors” and
I had no idea what to expect from this
experiences we deserve in our lives.
primarily Muslim community. I worked
Truly, we are the world.
with children, men, and women. I was
Burge Smith-Lyons founder and CEO of Essence of Being®, Inc., the Healing Forest Foundation, and The Conscious Leadership Academy. For more than 40 years she has helped thousands of men, women, children, and companies globally with emotional and spiritual healing, self-development, communication techniques, relationships, abundance, team building, and leadership development. https://essenceofbeing.com
blown away by their stories of pain, suppression, and injustice. They all were like sponges soaking up new beliefs about themselves, including beliefs that are fundamentally challenged at times through culture and religion. They could honor their culture and, at the same time, realize that forgiveness is a process. They were able to absorb the intrinsic beliefs that we are all innocent, loved, and powerful to create change in our lives. We launched the Conscious Leadership Academy on three continents. In Africa, we built a school from the ground up. I teach live classes there twice a month to more than 300 children, hoping to keep them out of the sex and drug 24
A Spiritual Renewal of Science by Paul J. Mills, Ph.D.
The OWL Magazine
Can science and religion ever be on the same side? Some of the world’s great thinkers have explained why the rift between these philosophies exists and where it might be heading. Some 400 years ago, the relationship between religion and the then-budding western sciences got off to a bad start. The Roman Catholic Church deemed Galileo and Copernicus were heretics because their scientific discoveries challenged religious doctrine and authority. The church decreed that nascent science couldn’t study the non-physical—the spiritual— because scientific ideas and discoveries were contradicting church teachings. As a result, science was hamstrung right out of the gate. An entire world of potential exploration was closed off; the church also lost out as an odd consequence of the decision to keep these areas of knowledge separate. By disavowing interest in the physical world, the Church divorced itself from potentially deepening its own understanding of the mystery of human, earthly incarnation. The legacy of conflict between religion and science continued. Over the centuries, scientists went from knowing the spiritual existed but that it needed to be avoided in their work, to
A Spiritual Renewal of Science
now having entire generations of
consciousness... we are simply
scientists who don’t believe in the
the sum total of our genes.” This
spiritual at all. They disavow that
common and deeply embedded
something exists beyond what we
mindset has greatly limited the
know as the material world, because
potential for meaningful discoveries
their methods can’t prove it exists.
in a broad range of the sciences. Having materialistic scientists means
This active denial of anything but
the individuals that societies have
the physical is commonly called
tasked with using the richness
materialism. Richard Dawkins,
of the scientific method to make
perhaps the world’s most famous
discoveries to provide insight into
materialist, author of The God
the nature of our existence first must
Delusion, wrote, “There is no
deny we have an existence beyond
spirit-driven life force, no soul nor
the material world. 28
The OWL Magazine
The dogma of materialism has
believe in God.” Rupert Sheldrake, he
essentially blocked the scientific
writes, even describes the “scientific
community from exploring all things
priesthood.” This is highly unfortunate
esoteric and mystical, many of which
and in some ways mirrors in reverse
provide deep meaning to and insight
what took place during the birth of
into the experience of being human.
Western science. Today, science not
In his well-researched and fascinating
only avoids studying the spiritual
book Esotericism and the Academy,
but actively denies its existence,
Professor Wouter J. Hanegraaff tracks
thus implicitly ridiculing the very
how all things esoteric and mystical
foundations of the church.
were purged from our philosophical and scientific traditions throughout
To be fair, many materialistic scientists
history. All such topics became
truly believe in their worldview and
the “Other,” to be scorned with
believe science has the responsibility
contempt and avoided at all costs
to protect society from scientific
by academics. Academics who have
quackery. This is an understandable
ventured into these zones, while no
position. Dr. Cassandra Vieten at the
longer persecuted as heretics, are
University of California San Diego
persecuted in new ways, being labeled
thinks humanity has been subjected
“pseudoscientists” or “woo scientists.”
to a collective, post-traumatic stress
They sometimes become objects of
from the dark ages and the inquisition.
campaigns to discredit them and their
She's shared that it’s hard to imagine
how bad it was, how much they relied on the perversions of religious beliefs
Leon Kass, the former chairman of the
to make these terrible choices about
President’s Council on Bioethics, says
the Crusades, the Inquisition, and
the culture of “soulless scientism” is a
other instances of terrible things that
great threat to our human nature. He
were done to people in the name of
defines scientism as “a quasi-religious
faith” that “eliminates all mystery,” “giving purely scientific explanations
Once the enlightenment period
of human thought, love, creativity,
began, there was a kind of collective,
moral judgment, and even why we
unconscious agreement that we 29
A Spiritual Renewal of Science
would never be that blind again
others first encountered the mystical
about our beliefs in the unseen. Many
through the use of psychedelics or
scientists then, think it’s their job to
meditation practices. In some cases,
make sure the scientific endeavor
they were drawn to the mystical by a
does not venture into any of those
profound and abiding desire to know
“Other” topics. While I understand and
themselves and their place in the
appreciate this, discernment is a vital
attribute of good scientists, but closeScientists have reported experiences
mindedness is not.
of transcendence of their personal self Fortunately, not all scientists are
and a union with the universe and/or
materialists who fervently discount the
the godhead, kundalini awakenings,
spiritual. During the past few decades,
clairvoyant perception of what
much has been written about the
lies beyond the material universe,
need to heal the rift between science
perception of the etheric body and
and the spiritual, to heal science of its
chakra system, encountering personal
ideology of materialism. Recently, we
divinities, astral travel, prior lives,
have begun to have insight into the
and permanent transcendence of
actual spiritual lives of the scientists
identity with the egoic self into what is
who are doing this “bridging”
commonly described as non-dual, or
work. They are beginning to share
personal insights and transpersonal, metaphysical, and mystical
I think it's time for science to reclaim
experiences that happened once they
its heritage and turn its attention
were willing to venture beyond the
to fully study the metaphysical and
mystical. What could be a more meaningful gift from a renewed
Some scientists were deeply sensitive
science than to provide humanity with
to nature as a child or had innate
a greater understanding of ourselves
telepathic abilities. For others, it was
and a deep understanding of our
trauma, a mental illness, or a death
spiritual natures? The mystics and
in the family that prompted their
spiritual teachers have been trying
opening into the metaphysical. Still
to awaken us to such knowledge 30
The OWL Magazine
Paul J. Mills, Ph.D. is author of the book groundbreaking book Science, Being, & Becoming: The Spiritual Lives of Scientists. Paul is Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine, Director of the Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, and Former Chief of Behavioral Medicine at the University of California San Diego. He has more than 400 scientific publications in the fields of pharmacology, oncology, cardiology, psychoneuroimmunology, behavioral medicine, and integrative health. His work has been featured in Time magazine, The New York Times, National Public Radio, US News and World Report, Consumer Reports, The Huffington Post, Gaia TV, and WebMD, among others. He’s presented his work at hundreds of conferences and workshops around the world, including at the United Nations.
and experience for millennia. For the scientifically minded, such a science would be able to fulfill its legacy as a method to help illuminate the nature of our consciousness and of the metaphysical and the mystical. Scientific research in these areas now is a repudiation of the premise of John Horgan’s book The End of Science, which argues that the era of truly profound scientific revelations about the universe and our place in it is over. I believe further profound scientific revelations will indeed be had when we recognize that the spiritual is the final frontier for science. In my new book, Science, Being, & Becoming: The Spiritual Lives of Scientists, I share interviews from scientists doing this bridging work. The book’s material is derived from intimate interviews with more than thirty scientists as they describe the circumstances under which they had their transpersonal, metaphysical, and mystical experiences and how those experiences expanded their consciousness, transformed their belief systems about the nature of the world, and changed their scientific work. 31
WisdomKeepers Honoring the Dead Día de Muertos by Mindahi Bastida
The OWL Magazine
Our ancestors build and shape our
When we allow ourselves to live in the
identity, both in the here-and-now and
mystery, we can fully celebrate life in
in the eternal cosmos. Our identity is
all her beauty and manifestation. This
tangible and intangible, matter, and
sounds easy, but it requires a lot of
inner work. First, we need to shift this sense of “me” and “myself ” to a sense
In the tangible, we are also made of
of “we” and “ourselves.” Becoming
the four sacred elements: earth, water,
conscious that we are one more in the
air, and fire (energy). We are made of
web of life is key to this inner work. It
water which blesses us from the time
helps us build our identity, interiorize
we are born, and also when she falls
who we are, and answer within why
softly on our crops or lets us glide on
ancestors matter so much.
her waters. We are made of air, inhaled and exhaled by millions of creatures
When everyone participates in
simultaneously, however unaware we
such a community, observing their
may be of this fact—for perhaps in our
contribution to the common good, it
life we will only observe our first inhale
cultivates a deep sense of belonging.
and last exhale.
This is the most important aspect of identity. When you can proudly say
The life energy that we feel is the
“I am from this community,” you are
warmth generated by the pulsations
acknowledging all that has made you
of all our cells as they co-vibrate with
be the integral being that you are.
galaxies, stars, the Milky Way, the Sun, the planets, the Moon, and with Mother
Our sense of who we are comes from
Earth. Our Earth generously births,
our participation in activities like
nurtures, embraces, and shelters every
fishing, sailing, cultivating, beekeeping,
single one of her earthlings.
weaving, herding, horse riding, cooking, playing music, dancing,
We don’t need to understand rationally
making pilgrimages, partaking in
how all of this has come to be... how
or watching ceremonies, and much
a fish, a fungus, a rock, a mountain,
more. We love playing our part in these
a river, a lake, an eagle, or a star were
activities because they reinforce the
created or what or who they are.
sense of belonging to a group; and we 33
Honoring the Dead, Día de Muertos
acknowledge the way that the group
kind of connection, you remember
produces and reproduces interactions
who you are, you know who you are,
with nature, especially when they
and you celebrate who you are. You
honor the original principles of living
are star dust. You are the balanced
in harmony with everything that is.
combination of the sacred elements. You are at the meeting point of the
Ancestors with strong spirits are
four directions and a dew drop in a
capable of appearing in the dream
fine thread of the web of life. You are
world, and those of us who have the
the result of a sacred “touch” from the
capacity can see, listen, and speak
with them. But there are multiple other ways in which they manifest
It is important to celebrate and
and support us in our life process.
acknowledge our ancestors in general
They help us evolve so that we can
and in particular our direct ancestors
expand our consciousness about
from our lineages.
who we are and what our tasks and responsibilities are in this world. They
Since ancient times, Mexico has
show us all of this in what we dream
honored its ancestors in a major
but also in how we feel and taste, and
celebration that takes place every
in how we act or perform a song or a
year in the month of November. In
dance or any kind of task—especially
the highlands of Mexico, where the
when it is done with care and love. We
Otomi-Toltec tradition prevails, forty
can sometimes even see signals in
days before, in September, utensils
the sky, in the air, in the water, and in
and drinks are prepared and the
minerals. Ancestors are omnipresent,
cempaxúchitl flower is planted so it
ever present, everywhere present.
will be ready for the offerings. In most houses, the offering is prepared at
Our ancestors tell us how to live
the altar, which becomes filled with
in sacred connection. For this, it’s
decorations of papel picado of bright
important to feel beautifully and
colors such as Mexican pink, purple,
it’s necessary to think beautifully,
blue, green, orange, and yellow.
but it’s much more significant to
Flowers, candles, and food fill the
connect beautifully. Through that
space in a beautiful array. 34
The OWL Magazine
The colors, flavors, and aromas that
getting married are received. On
make up the offering are varied,
November 2, older people or adults are
according to the region. The offering
is decorated with flowers. In some places, boughs are prepared. Living
In the first days, the most basic of the
spring water, or holy water, is an
offering is placed: flowers, candles,
important feature. Candles also
water, fruit, and a little food. To receive
are part of the offering; each one
the children, tejocotes, sweet potatoes,
represents the soul of an ancestor.
chayotes, oranges, peanuts, and sweets are set out. Sweet tamales and atole
The first souls are expected to arrive
and a hot chocolate drink are prepared
on October 29. These are the souls of
for them, among other traditional
ancestors who died in accidents. On
drinks. Over the night of November 1
the 30th and 31st we receive those who
and into the dawn of November 2, the
went to the dark space, who died
offering is completed with fruit. Turkey
and did not get a name. On the 1st,
or chicken mole is prepared and drinks
children and those who died without
such as mezcal, tequila, or pulque are 35
Honoring the Dead, Día de Muertos
placed at the altar. Candles are also
petals around the grave takes place at
added to welcome adults.
night. The relatives of the people who have left, both adults and children, visit
At dawn on November 1, a path of
each grave, and the cemeteries become
white flower petals is placed from the
filled with candles and surrounded
sidewalk to the altar. Prayers are made
by the aromas of the cempaxúchitl
with an incense, copal, to prepare for
flowers. It is a spectacular view. This
the coming of the ancestors, and the
memorable experience is a chance to
door facing east is left ajar. Then, at
spend time with the ancestors who have
dawn on the 2nd, yellow flower petals
transcended. During the vigil, the elderly
are placed on top of the white ones.
take care to keep the candles upright, with dignity.
In some localities, breads for the dead— made with pumpkin seeds—are placed
At dawn on November 3, everyone
at the altar, too, as well as the fruits that
returns home and the offerings at the
people liked during their lifetime, such
altar are gathered. Elders say that fruits,
as orange, guava, and boiled camotes.
breads, and drinks have already lost their aroma and their essence, but that
It is important to mention that the
they have to be shared, so baskets are
passing of the dead is not to be
filled with mole, tamales, breads, and
lamented at this time; the holiday is a
fruits and shared with nearby neighbors
ceremony to celebrate our connection
and compadres. Some food is brought
with our ancestors, acknowledging
to the home fireplace or kitchen to heat
that they have transcended. People
it up on the comal (hot clay pan) or
are happy because they are going to
in clay pots. Everybody gathers at the
receive their ancestors, and a deep
dining table to share and complete the
connection is cultivated with them in
that level. There is a tradition in which children ask Some people go to the cemetery
for "their little skull." They go from house
during the day to light candles and
to house asking for a piece of fruit or a
leave flowers. In other places, the ritual
coin to help them enjoy these festivities.
of lighting candles and placing flower
The Day of the Dead is a celebration 36
The OWL Magazine
and an Otomi-Toltec Ritual Ceremony Officer. He is a consultant with UNESCO on issues related to sacred sites and bioculture. Mindahi has also served as Director of the Original Caretakers Program at the Center for Earth Ethics.
of ancestors, but also celebrates the continuity of life. The ancestors return to where they had lived and have an opportunity to contact their relatives. How beautiful it is to live those mystical moments of joy, where our living relatives gather in communion with their beloved ancestors.
Mindahi Bastida is author of ANCESTORS: Divine Remembrances of Lineage, Relations and Sacred Sites. He is the Director of the Original Nations Program of the Fountain, a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi-Toltec peoples, 37
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE by Franne Demetrician
We hear those odds reported on the
“You have breast cancer.”
news, in magazines, in our doctor’s I heard these four words—the words
offices or chatting with friends. And
every woman dreads hearing—on
then we try our best not to think about
August 10, 2022. A few days later, I sat in
them when we sit in that tiny room
a surgeon’s office with my husband to
shrouded in a little pink surgical gown,
learn about my future.
waiting for our annual mammogram. I had sat in that room at a radiology
According to the National Cancer
center, as I do each year, with the
Institute, one in eight women will
slightly shaky confidence that I’d hear,
develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
“See you next year” after the obligatory 38
The OWL Magazine
squashing of “my girls.” But this time, the
right questions, since my mind was
radiologist said she needed an additional
still vibrating with the reality of cancer
ultrasound. Of course, that awakened my
and I could barely manage lucid
spidey senses, but I’d had ultrasounds
thoughts. Most of the cancer had
as a precaution in the past. I thought it
been removed with the biopsy, the
would be fine.
surgeon said, though I would need surgery to remove the rest and some
When she returned, I heard the first
surrounding tissue. Then I might need
truly alarming words: “You need a
radiation and medication. I’d be okay,
biopsy.” They were like a clanging bell
she said. In fact, this was probably
reverberating in my head, and I felt my
a best-case scenario. Hearing that was
stomach drop to my feet. Even with her
a great relief.
assurance that it was probably nothing— and if it was something, it was early
Surgery was on September 12. I feel
and very tiny—I sensed something else
tremendous gratitude for the people
coming. In retrospect, I owe a great debt
who have cared for me – the doctors
to the radiologist who caught a very
and nurses – and for all of those who
slight change from my previous year’s
are supporting me. I am lucky to have
test that prompted her to look deeper.
an amazing family, precious friends, and especially my devoted husband and daughter.
The biopsy confirmed cancer. It's difficult to describe the reaction to hearing that you now have
To keep my perspective throughout
a potentially life-threatening condition.
the process, I have been referring to
I experienced shock, disbelief, and a
my situation as “a little tiny cancer”
sort of mind-numbing catatonia during
or “a blip on my radar” and “nothing
the few days later before we met with
compared to what others have
the surgeon, a no-nonsense woman
been through”. I try to minimize my
with a huge, kind heart.
condition to keep myself from going off the rails. And it’s been helpful.
She set our minds at ease as she
However, when speaking with a good
detailed my case and what was ahead.
friend and cancer survivor recently,
Thankfully, my husband asked all the
she pointed out that regardless of the 39
Artist in Residence
size or scope, cancer is a frightening
• Listen to your body. If something
diagnosis, and there is nothing small
doesn’t feel right, pay attention
or tiny about it. She reminded me that
and seek medical advice. • Love yourself enough to care for
I am equally entitled to all feelings
your body, mind, and spirit.
associated with my diagnosis. It has
• Live your life from as much joy as
been a life-altering, perspective-
you can muster.
shifting, awe-inspiring experience.
• Invite all the energies of Mother I’ve been thinking about how this
Earth and Father Sky to move
journey could become a vehicle for
freely through you and pay
service and waiting for some sort of
attention to how they change your
artistic inspiration to come to me.
So far, I’m not clear how either path will manifest, and I am okay with
Each day is a precious gift. That
waiting for whatever comes through.
might sound trite, but I am here to
I admit that I am still processing the
tell you that it’s the absolute truth.
magnitude of it all. One moment it
The trajectory of your life can change
feels like something I have already
in a micro-second. Take nothing for
moved beyond (although I still have
some follow-up treatment ahead), and the next, I am struck dumb by
Love freely, forgive easily, and be a
what having cancer means. Cancer
mensch. That, my friends, is the fine
has shown up in my family on both
art of living well.
sides. I’ve seen the ravages of it up Until next time.
close. I’ve also witnessed triumph in defeating it and continuing to live life
Rev. Franne Demetrician is an interfaith minister. She has been a licensed holistic health practitioner since 1995 and wrote a spiritually oriented weekly blog from 2015 -2018. Franne is a working artist, photographer, writer, spiritual counselor, mentor, and teacher.
fully. What more can I share with you now, as I continue along this journey? • Women: Get your annual mammogram without fail. 40
AN ALGORITHM for
HE ALING by Jennifer K. Hill
The OWL Magazine
It was kismet. When I met Moon Cho,
people with energy medicine (meta-
we both knew we were soul sisters.
cine) practitioners from around the
Our instant connection included a
world. Om Heals was born.
common passion for energy medicine and an intuitive understanding of
THE GIFT OF ENERGY HEALING
human beings. But it was more than that. Our energetic blueprints—which
Energy healing is a modality based
determine who we are and how we
on the belief that our bodies are
can help one another—seemed to be
made up of energy, and that this
a perfect match. This alignment would
energy can become blocked. When
allow us to work together effectively.
our energy is blocked, it can lead to physical, mental, and emotional
But what was this blueprint, this soul-
problems. Energy healing can help
animating energy of connection?
to unblock this energy and restore
Could it be quantified, or even
balance to the body.
captured in an algorithm, so we could use it to help others?
Types of energy healing include: • Quantum energy healing, which
If ever a time existed when people needed to find their energetic
uses the energy of quantum
matches among the world’s energy
particles to promote healing.
healers, that time is now. As our planet
The theory behind quantum
and its inhabitants go through an
energy healing is that our bodies
unprecedented time of upheaval and
are made up of atoms and
change, more people seek alternative
molecules, which are in turn
healing modalities to help them cope
made up of quantum particles.
with stress and anxiety. This idea arrived
These particles are constantly
at the perfect moment.
in motion and exchange energy with each other. By harnessing
Recognizing that our level of energetic
the power of quantum particles,
connection had provided a deeper
it is possible to promote healing
relationship and experience, we wanted
on a cellular level.
to create a platform that matches 43
An Algorithm for Healing
• Bio energy healing is based on
embodied both the essence of non-
the belief that our bodies have an
intuitional information we used to
electromagnetic field that can be
make effective connections as well as
used to heal. Bio energy healing
the hierarchy of weights we placed on
is said to work by balancing the
energy in our bodies and restoring Using proven matches made in the
our natural state of health.
past, our team ran hundreds of tests, • Chios energy healing uses the
exercising the process to confirm
flow of energy to heal the body.
the algorithm results were valid
Energy flows through the body
and consistent. Minor adjustments
in channels called meridians. In
were made to the algorithm after
Chios energy healing, practitioners
each series of tests, and we created
use their hands to direct the flow
testing benchmarks to make sure
of energy along these meridians
each alteration consistently provides
to promote healing.
TESTING AND REFINING
Our clients answer the questionnaire to help us determine their energetic
We began a six-month journey of
blueprint. This is then used to match
designing a mathematical formula
that person with the practitioners who
to mirror not only our natural
have similar or compatible energetic
intuitive gifts, but to encapsulate the
blueprints. This matchmaking
information we had derived from
process allows the session with the
many years of studying people and
practitioner to be optimized, so
different psychometric programs. We
the patient is most receptive to the
first investigated how each practice
healing and the practitioner can most
determined viability and codified it so
easily provide guidance.
that it was reproducible and therefore could be reliably tested.
DOES IT WORK?
After many spirited discussions,
As this project continued to evolve,
we created a questionnaire that
the algorithm became more refined. 44
The OWL Magazine
Users around the world have engaged
Om Heals.com was co-founded in 2021
in more than a hundred sessions; more
by YouTube influencer, Moon Cho, and
than 92 percent of them expressed
Jennifer K. Hill. Anyone can answer
deep satisfaction with the process.
the program’s questions and use their proprietary matchmaking algorithm to receive their matches, free of charge.
Om Heals began beta testing in December 2021. We gifted sessions
Jennifer K. Hill is an Evolutionary Leader, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and TV host. She has hosted popular shows with Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Rollin McCraty, Dr. Dain Heer, and many other leaders from around the world. After selling her first company in 2018, she recently co-founded a new company in the wellness space, www.om-heals.com
to numerous veterans in the United States. One such veteran shared that the single session he had with a healer on Om Heals made a bigger difference for him than more than thirty years of anger management meetings and PTSD therapy. Om Heals continues to grow. We are creating a community of both holistic practitioners and users that uplifts, supports, and connects people to the Divine healing that is their birthright. 45
Your decision to walk creates the path ahead. — Paulo Coelho
A Pattern Guiding Us Toward Unitive Consciousness by Robert Atkinson, PhD
Perhaps there is a pattern set up in the heavens for one who desires to see it, and having seen it, to find one in himself. – Plato 48
The OWL Magazine
Could there really be a pattern found
Imagine what it may have been
in the heavens and within us as well?
like for the first indigenous people
What would the implications of such
seeking wisdom to live by. They
a universal pattern be for the way we
seemingly observed a “pattern set
might live our lives?
up in the heavens” and wove this understanding of wholeness into the
If such a pattern existed, it would
heart of the stories they told.
emerge and become evident as all things in the universe are seen as tied
Now known as “myths,” their ancient
together, operating according to an
stories established great truths
overarching principle of wholeness.
and held communities together.
Derived from a holistic worldview of
Whether through metaphor, symbol,
balance and unity within the whole,
pattern, or repetition, their narratives
this is expressed in the Hermetic
offered a unifying framework for
principle of “That which is Below
living within the flow of the natural
corresponds to that which is Above,
world around them. These were
and that which is Above corresponds
unitive narratives, essential to their
to that which is Below, all things
individual and collective well-being.
accomplishing the miracles of the One Thing.”
Across many millennia, however, communities expanded, spread
This principle integrates all levels
out, and became more diverse.
of reality from the macrocosm (the
They experienced conflict and
universe as a whole) to the microcosm
disorder. Out of this discord
(i.e., the human being, a miniature
emerged divisive narratives framed
universe) and is upheld by the latest
by a consciousness of duality
science and the earliest spiritual
that maintained separation and
wisdom. It bridges the divide between
challenged the trajectory of the
duality and nonduality. It confirms that
evolutionary impulse. Most of
the individual and the collective mirror
humanity’s history has consisted
one another in their essential nature
of competing narratives fighting
and processes and explains how all
for the minds and hearts of people
things are interconnected.
A Pattern Guiding Us Toward Unitive Consciousness
As we approach a consciousness of
What is “new” is that we now
global integration, a new story of
understand better the spiraling effect
our wholeness is needed to frame
of the evolutionary impulse. We know
this emerging interconnectedness.
what our evolving consciousness
Humanity has arrived at a time when
might be leading us to, and that there
it is necessary, for our own survival, to
might be an innate, archetypal pattern
come together again through unitive
within our unconscious making all
narratives. Such narratives would
this possible. As more of us are now
represent the unified nature of reality.
becoming aware of this as a “new” story of wholeness, there might be a
Because reality always has and
new way of getting to and living in the
will continue to exist as a unified
wholeness that always is.
field—and the earliest mystics and seers saw this and incorporated this
Stories that convey an inherent
understanding into their stories to
wholeness across all life forms, the
live by—the story of such wholeness
natural world, and the entire creation
is not new.
are found in every indigenous culture 50
The OWL Magazine
and mystic way of viewing the
masculine, become more valued when
world. These are designed to
they are viewed as human attributes
lead to the realization of a unitive
rather than as a reason to divide us
consciousness, the goal of our
along gender lines.
evolving consciousness. Unitive narratives are needed now Unitive narratives invite us to
more than ever as we shift our focus
embrace the wisdom of the
from individual well-being to the
complementarity, balance, and
collective well-being of the whole. In
wholeness of seemingly opposing
our time, exclusive emphasis upon any
forces. This is one of the most
one part endangers the whole.
effective ways to recognize unity in the diversity of forms
As we tap into this unitive
and expressions we encounter
consciousness, telling our own
in this world on our way to a
story of how we’ve experienced this
consciousness of wholeness.
wholeness, we become the social
Binaries, like feminine and
artists needed today to ensure Earth’s 51
A Pattern Guiding Us Toward Unitive Consciousness
well-being as a living organism. The Earth reveals to us the necessity of collaborative relationships and dynamic, co-evolutionary partnerships on a planetary scale. Our personal and collective evolution of consciousness depends on the stories we tell. The pattern “set up in the heavens” and imbedded within us constantly assists our conscious evolution, confirms our wholeness on all levels, and helps carry out a process of transformation that is central to mythology, mysticism, rites of passage, and psychology. The universality of this pattern defines inner transformation and serves a greater purpose in preparing us to be transformers of society by guiding us toward contributing to the good of the whole. Collective and individual transformation are so interdependent upon each other that they cannot be separated. This inner pattern identifies the qualities and characteristics of a new narrative of the evolutionary impulse. Within the core pattern 52
The OWL Magazine
of transformation, we can
We are the storytelling species. Let
conceptualize our own journey
us reclaim our identity as whole
from separation to union, from
beings living in harmony with all
the many to the One, toward
things around us and share our
a recognition of our inherent
deeply lived stories of wholeness,
to bring us back together as a human family.
In A New Story of Wholeness, Adapted from A New Story of Wholeness: An Experiential Guide for Connecting the Human Family by Robert Atkinson (November 2022)
along with chapters illuminating the primary principles involved, there is a Blueprint for Living Our Story
Robert Atkinson, PhD, author, educator, and developmental psychologist, is the author of A New Story of Wholeness: An Experiential Guide for Connecting the Human Family and The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness, and eight other books. robertatkinson.net
of Wholeness—a summary of the microcosm of a “pattern set up in the heavens”—that serves as a roadmap of our entire journey to wholeness. This blueprint of the story of our evolving consciousness might help us recognize how our life is part of something much larger. The core outline of this “pattern set up in the heavens”—and within us as well—follows an ancient, universal and, at the same time, new narrative form that we can all reclaim in this critical moment. Living and telling about our own unitive narrative is the important work of conscious storytelling. 53
The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents by Mary Ellen Lucas
The OWL Magazine
A popular nursery rhyme, taught with
several years, many people no longer
accompanying hand gestures, began
identify with a religious affiliation
with “Here’s the church. Here’s the
nor see themselves as religious. As
steeple. Open the doors and see all
of December of 2021, according to
Pew’s research, this growing trend reports three American adults out
Opening the church doors today
of ten consider themselves to be a
would reveal more empty seats than
people, for many Americans are no longer regular church attendees. (For
Without debating the opinions about
purposes of this column, the word
why this happened, I would like to
“church” is used to also encompass
address the Nones who are raising
worship places like synagogues and
children. Questions I ponder: What, if
mosques. “God” is used to encompass
anything, are you teaching your child
Spirit, YHWH, Allah, Buddha-nature
about what is holy or sacred? Who
and other sacred names.)
are we meant to be to one another? Does the social contract reflect the
When church services resumed
sacred contract of how we belong to
after the pandemic, many people
each other? If that language doesn’t
just didn’t come back. According
resonate, then do you teach ethical
to the Pew Research Center, virtual
values—and if so, which values do
attendance had increased, but it
remains to be seen whether online Expanding a Spiritual Vision
services will be maintained or continue to grow.
Just as the view of the cosmos Are You a None?
above us has expanded, thanks to the phenomenal pictures taken by
If you once attended church, but
the James Webb Space Telescope,
no longer do, you would check the
it would behoove us to continue
“none” box on forms. Nones describe
to explore new ways of imagining
themselves as atheists, agnostics or
in order to evolve our spiritual
“nothing in particular.” Over the last
consciousness, expand our notions of 55
The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents
God, and decide what, if anything, the
there are many words for God.
church means in the 21st century. The
Cellist Pablo Casals said beauty
tidy summary of “I’m spiritual but not
and kindnesses are just other ways
religious” needs to be discussed more.
to describe God. “In music, in the
If we want to live meaningfully and
sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of
soulfully, our eyes need to perceive
kindness….I see what people call God
beyond the surface of the ordinary and
in all these things.”
the teachings of religious institutions. If we call God Creative Energy, Love, One day, a seven-year girl I know
or All Goodness, are we describing
emphatically exclaimed, “What a world
an intelligent Source? Do you know
to be born into! There’s a pandemic
how you would explain God to your
going on and a war!”
child when they ask about friends whose families attend church or practice religious customs?
My response was, “True, but that could be why you are here.” She literally sat back in her seat, her
Moving Beyond Brick and Mortar
eyes big as saucers, considering this
new thought. You might find your children are more open than you
Two progressive thinkers—Barbara
expect to having conversations about
Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest,
the meaning of life and the universe,
academic, and author and Wendell
or why we are here.
Berry, a writer and poet—inspire evolution from traditional beliefs.
A Universal Language for God Reverend Brown Taylor said, “The When I create wedding ceremonies for
whole world is God’s House.” But
couples, and they desire prayers, I ask,
what does this visionary concept
“What is the language preferred to
mean, exactly? It means church
address the holy?”
is no longer the only place where God abides, because church is
Young people, more often than not,
everywhere. The sanctuary is open
do not want me to say “God.” But
to everyone. With this mindset, 56
The OWL Magazine
walking in the world would
still do): sustenance, inspiration,
completely shift, because we would
and opportunities for praise and
see the altar as the holy ground we
abundant worship. Walking in the
stand and walk on.
woods with a child can be likened to going to church. Open your eyes to
For almost twenty years, Wendell
see things as they do, with delight,
Berry devoted solitary Sunday
wonder, and gratefulness.
mornings to walking through the woods, simply observing the world.
Growing a Spiritual Consciousness
A Timbered Choir was the book
for the Gift of Life
he birthed from these walking meditations, which he referred
Even if you are a None, it’s important
to as “Sabbath poems.” Walking
to instill in your child what a
in the woods, being in a natural
blessing their precious life is. We
environment, helps invoke the
don’t deserve anything, yet what
awe and wonder of “God’s House.”
a gift we have been given. A child
Often people tell me church
understanding this reverence for
for them now is outdoors. The
life might lead their life as if it is a
natural environment provides
prayer in ongoing thanks to the
what churches did (and some
Universe. The poet Mary Oliver said, 57
The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents
“Sometimes I need only to stand
miracle enough to stagger the very
wherever I am to be blessed.”
stars.” — Barbara Brown Taylor
Despite waning church attendance,
Mary Ellen Lucas, an Interfaith / Interspiritual Minister, believes we can learn to make wiser choices that create pathways of connection and collaboration to ensure a better world for our children. Life on Little Puddle Pond is a series of children’s books she wrote with silly goose playfulness along with meaningful lessons. The books are pre-chapter books and appropriate for children four to eight years old. Available from online retailers worldwide.
I would not want to lose the language of the holy. Sacredness, or what is holy, reveals love. Standing on hallowed ground, love is the communion of connection we extend to each other, to the Earth, and to the Universe to keep holiness alive. “The world needs us to bless, kneel, and recognize the holiness. That we are willing to bless one another is
COMMON SENTIENCE An Uncommon Book Series
Common Sentience is a first-of-its-kind book series that celebrates the mystical experiences that we have as spiritual beings. Each book focuses on a specific spiritual phenomenon written by a renowned wisdom teacher who shares both their deep knowledge of the subject and their personal stories. They are joined by dozens of sacred storytellers who share their true spiritual experiences. Read one or all of the books in this uncommon series… and feel the presence of the Divine in and all around you.
ANCESTORS: Divine Remembrances of Lineage, Relations and Sacred Sites Mindahi Bastida ISBN: 9781945026997 | $16.99 Spiritual leader Mindahi Bastida explains the consciousness of ancestors is interwoven through the web of time and space and we are the synthesis of all that has ever existed. Understand ancient traditions and walk in reverence to feel the deep connection of your ancestors. Learn blessings and ceremonies you can practice today and develop the wisdom to heal ancestral karma. AVAILABLE: SEPTEMBER 06, 2022
ANGELS: Personal Encounters with Divine Beings of Light Tricia McCannon ISBN: 9781945026959 | $16.99 Tricia McCannon, a lifelong mystic, and bestselling author invites you to explore what angels are, and how they connect with us, their purpose, the Nine Orders of Angels, the mystery of angelic lore, and famous angelic encounters from throughout history. Learn how the angels are at the heart of a celestial awakening, and when you call upon them, you begin to awaken the angelic nature within yourself.
ANIMALS: Personal Tales of Encounters with Spirit Animals Dr. Steven Farmer ISBN: 9781945026867 | $16.99 Renowned “animal spirit guy” and bestselling author Dr. Steven Farmer brings the medicine of spirit animals to you and shares how you can connect with them and discern their messages. Discover how these spiritual allies can guard, aid, heal, and guide you in the most unexpected and delightful ways.
ASCENSION: Divine Stories for Awakening the Whole and Holy Being Within William Henry ISBN: 9781958921012 | $16.99 Investigative mythologist William Henry teaches ascension is our quest for wholeness, completion, and ultimately, perfection— which means to be holy and pure of heart. Expand your awareness of ancient ascension writings, sacred art, the Rainbow Light Body, the Blue Pearl, and the hero’s ascension journey. AVAILABLE: DECEMBER 01, 2022
GUIDES: Mystical Connections to Soul Guides and Divine Teachers Marilyn Alauria ISBN: 9781945026973 | $16.99 Psychic medium Marilyn Alauria explains how all of life offers information for your personal journey, and your guides are here to help communicate it to you. Learn what soul guides are, how they connect with you, their purpose, and how they answer the questions inside of you and help you remember who you are and why you are here.
MEDITATION: Intimate Experiences with the Divine through Contemplative Practices Sister Dr. Jenna ISBN: 9781945026911 | $16.99 Acclaimed spiritual mentor Sister Dr. Jenna expands the concept of meditation to the highest level—from simple relaxation to ecstatic union with Source. Her wisdom will enhance your understanding of how listening to your inner silence can help you overcome life obstacles, reclaim your spiritual power, and immerse in the presence of the Divine.
NATURE: Divine Experiences with Trees, Plants, Stones and Landscapes Ana Maria Vasquez ISBN: 9781945026935 | $16.99 Nature intuitive Ana Maria Vasquez leads you into the landscape of remembrance, the era of which ancient teachings have spoken. Learn grounded processes that will move into a state of presence so you can receive clear and concise messages from nature. Practice forest bathing, stone gazing, sacred herbal baths, and work with a medicine wheel to deepen your relationship with our sacred allies.
SHAMANISM: Personal Quests of Communion with Nature and Creation Oscar Miro-Quesada ISBN: 9781958921005 | $16.99 Oscar Miro-Quesada, an earth-honoring ceremonialist and respected kamasqa curandero invites you to the Spirit-honoring way of shamanism. Discover the realm of mystery, magic, and medicine of shamanic states of consciousness. Explore the shamanic healing arts and practices to evolve your soul from the perspective of universal shamanism. AVAILABLE: OCTOBER 25, 2022
CONSCIOUSLY by Ariane Somer
The OWL Magazine
You are what you consume. While
inextricably connected to our states of
we have come to understand that
mind and our emotions.
this principle applies to the food we eat, it extends to many other
Studies by Harvard University have
aspects of our consumption as well,
shown a direct correlation between
including daily media intake and
the health of our gut and the health
engagement with our relationships.
of our brain. The trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract
Each of these forms of consuming
represent the majority of the complex
has a profound effect on our lives
community of microorganisms in our
and wellbeing; physically, mentally
bodies that we call the microbiome.
and spiritually. They affect us as
The healthier our microbiome is,
individuals and as societies. That is
the healthier we are. A healthy gut
why it is paramount for us to take
flora made up of diverse, beneficial
a close and conscious look at what
microorganisms is not only crucial
we allow into our bodies and minds.
for a well-functioning digestion; it also fosters a strong immune
We can most easily see and
system, balances our hormones, and
measure the effects of our
ensures our brains work properly. An
consumption when it comes to
unhealthy gut flora has been linked
food. The well-known phrase
to anxiety, mood disorders, and even
“You are what you eat” is a simple
enough equation: when we fuel ourselves with high quality,
A diet rich in vitamins, healthy fats,
nutrient dense, whole foods, we are
and plenty of organic, plant-based
able to enjoy a healthier, higher-
foods that are high in fiber supports
performance body. When we eat
a healthy gut flora. This kind of food
junk food, empty calories, and
keeps our bodies’ pH levels balanced
highly processed substances, our
and strengthens our natural ability
bodies will deteriorate and get ill.
to perform at an optimal level. We
There is mounting evidence that
can help detoxify and strengthen
our dietary decisions affect more
our bodies, greatly lessening the
than our physiques; they also are
risk of disease, by reducing or even 61
eliminating animal proteins from
But what about the “unwholesome
our diets and adding the occasional
diet” of information we take in?
green juice, super foods, and tonic
The increasingly negative and
herbs to our daily routine.
sensationalist news cycle can have a disastrous effect, wreaking havoc on
Epigenetics, which is currently one
our mental health. Were we to believe
of the hottest fields in life sciences,
mainstream news, our world is under
focuses on the study of heritable
constant threat, rattled by global
changes in gene expression not
instability, viruses, economic woes,
encoded by the genetic sequence.
and wars. News reports make it sound
Epigeneticists believe we can literally
as if we are worse off than ever before.
influence our genes via the food we put on our plates because of
The negative headlines served up by
this surprising truth: Factors such
the news media can warp our sense
as lifestyle choices, behaviors, and
of danger. That’s why many of us are
diet cause chemical modifications
more afraid of being eaten by a shark
around our genes which can switch
than getting into a car accident, even
these genes “on” or “off” over time.
though the latter is statistically much
For example, overeating processed
more likely to kill us.
foods can impact our DNA, triggering those genes influencing
While we do have many pressing
obesity to become “switched on”
problems to solve, there also are
while at the same time “switching
plenty of good things happening
off” genes that affect longevity.
daily. The problem is, most of these positive stories never make it into the
And according to Epigeneticists, the
news. Why? The answer lies in our
repercussions of our choices are far-
biology. Through evolution, our brains
reaching. The decisions we make will
have been wired to pay immediate
epigenetically be passed on to our
attention to anything we perceive as
children and even our grandchildren.
a threat. This mechanism has helped
This means that the fast food you eat
us survive. Unfortunately, this same
today might ultimately shorten the
mechanism has been used to make
lifespans of your offspring tomorrow.
us give rapt attention to bad news— 62
The OWL Magazine
and the commercials surrounding
choices and adjust our information
it—even though bad news is bad for
consumption habits. A good
our mental health.
start is to search out stories that inspire and uplift us and that are
Since the effects of negative news
constructive to the conversation
don’t usually manifest immediately,
about current events. We live
we often don’t see the damage that
in an unprecedented time of
is done until it is too late and we are
information. For better or for
suffering from anxiety, confusion,
worse, we have at our fingertips a
depression, and heightened
constant stream of news coming
at us from all angles, at all times. It is not only an opportunity, but
How can we stop the madness?
our responsibility, to consciously
We don’t have to be uninformed,
choose what we consume.
but we do need to make better
Information alone is not wisdom. 63
you spend the most time with.” In other words, “You are the company you keep,” a concept that originated thousands of years ago in a fable by the famed storyteller Aesop of ancient Greece. Modern science corroborates this old wisdom with some revolutionary, recent findings. Researchers from New York University and Utrecht University discovered that our brainwaves will likely align with those of the people we spend time with. This means that our everyday social interactions provide the platform for brain-to-brain synchrony, adding a completely new level to the meaning of “being on the same wavelength.” Additionally, and perhaps even more profoundly, the Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience at Denmark’s Aarhus University reports Whatever we choose as our source
that our heartbeats can synchronize
for world news, our worldview will
with the heartbeats of those we are
become defined by it.
Another aspect of our lives that
These findings suggest that social
impacts us deeply is our personal
bonds between people manifest even
relationships. As American
more powerfully than we thought. We
business philosopher and best-
are indeed, literally and figuratively,
selling author Jim Rohn wrote, “You
the company we keep. If we spend
are the average of the five people
most of our time around people who 64
The OWL Magazine
complain and are driven by a
we elevate ourselves, we elevate the
worldview of lack and fear, this
rest of humanity.
attitude will eventually impact us
Ariane Sommer, is a critically acclaimed author, vegan biohacker and wellness entrepreneur. She has passionately dedicated the last 15 years of her life to create the ultimate human experience based on the most powerful ancient teachings and cutting edge modern discoveries and technologies. She shares this knowledge on The Superhumanize Podcast, featuring conversations with global thought leaders in health, personal development, science and spirituality. Ariane is plantbased and has coined the philosophy AVAP, the acronym for As Vegan As Possible. Ariane grew up in a diplomatic household in places as diverse as Sierra Leone, India, Spain, the US, Germany and the UK. She presently spends her time between her homes in Los Angeles and Berlin. www.superhumanize.com
in negative ways and might even transfer to us. Setting healthy boundaries in personal relationships, therefore, is important to our well-being. When we keep our mind and energy in a high place and surround ourselves with people who uplift us, we create a powerful source of support that opens our lives up for success and happiness. The things we take in determine what we become, whether for the good or the bad. Let’s choose wisely and not allow our choices to consume us. Let’s consume things that will not only keep us alive, but will ignite within us the fire of passion for life and compassion for other living beings. Our intake of food, love, and information can help us thrive, becoming the best potential version of ourselves. This is the greatest work of our lives. When
Write for Good by Laura Staley
A couple of nights ago, I found myself in an uncomfortable conversation. A man I know kept asking, “How do you experience me? Don’t you experience me as loving?” I quickly discerned these questions came in emotionally loaded. I had committed two months earlier to rigorous truth-telling to myself and other people. My answer to this person revealed a variety of experiences, vivid memories, and reflections as I spoke as honestly and forthrightly as I could. While I began with many wonderful qualities about him, I also shared that I no longer trusted him. I felt scared by his unpredictable anger. I told him he seemed stuck in a “flight and fight” mode. He had spoken about how unsafe he has felt. He also called his anger “frustration,” a common way angry people minimize 66
The OWL Magazine
their impact. He has admitted he has trauma, but then backpedals from this truth by projecting his own feelings onto me. He is struggling to face his own difficult truths.
being bullied as a child by other children, and many more. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and persistent post-traumatic stress can happen to anyone, not only soldiers returning from war zones. People in any of the above situations can be impacted.
I told him, as I have before, “I don’t have the bandwidth for the continued healing of my own past traumas and yours. I just don’t.” He finally heard me and is impeccably respecting my boundaries.
Unhealed trauma lives in the body and the body remembers it, as Bessel Van Der Kolk masterfully describes in his NYTimes bestselling book, The Body Keeps Score. In my own experience, I could eloquently describe my triggers. I knew I got angry. Yet, until I engaged in somatic work, I felt helpless to interrupt my reactions. I could say affirmations in my mind, and write down everything I was grateful for, but these mental/ emotional tools did not stop my intense reactivity. I need to drop into my body to release the layers of past traumas, along with engaging in the other practices I continue to glean from professionals. I had to get support, and I’m very grateful I did and still do. If you know you have unhealed trauma, I urge you to seek professional support from traumainformed therapists.
I will continue my work at a safe distance, so that I can love myself and love this individual. Healthy boundaries matter. Many people on the planet right now are navigating through traumas, past and present. If you are one of them, I offer you some insights I’ve gleaned over the years. Trauma is a shock to the body and nervous system. This can happen during sexual molestation, physical assault, a car accident, a fiery argument with a boss, colleague, or family member, violence, emotional or psychological abuse, scapegoating (consistently blaming and shaming one person for other people’s cruel or unkind behavior), gaslighting (making a person feel they are at fault and the cause of another person’s bad behavior), witnessing the violent assault of a beloved one,
Fight, flight, freeze, and fawn are the four reactions identified so far as the ways a person reacts to a traumatic happening. The amygdala—a small, 67
Write for Good
walnut-shaped part of the brain—fires up when a person gets triggered. Triggers often show up as sensory information related to a past trauma.
engage fully with your own healing and transformational journey. Finally, I offer my favorite version of the Serenity Prayer:
In a professional setting, you can gain tools for the regulation of your nervous system including specific ways you can engage “the Pause” between a stimulus and your body’s reaction. A triggering sensory experience—such as smelling the cologne on someone in a coffee shop that takes you right back to the cologne your rapist wore—can make you react with the same fear you felt during the assault. But therapists can teach you to go to a neutral place in your body instead of reacting with flight, fight, freeze, or fawn.
God grant me the serenity to accept that I cannot change another person, the courage to change the one person I can, and the wisdom to know that one person is me. I wish you deep and lasting healing from the inside out, so you can live with greater serenity, mental clarity, and unshakeable joy.
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately supports people thriving by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, and life. Laura is the published author of four books including Live Inspired which reveals the brave and deep work of self-discovery and her book of short writings and poetry Abundant Heart.
Meditation and movement can support you in healing your trauma. Acting in a theater production, taking improvisation classes, learning tai chi, qigong, and/or yoga, and engaging in rhythmic movement of many kinds— such as walking, running, swimming, bicycling, and dancing—can allow the body, mind, and heart to find greater peace. You can only heal your own unhealed traumas. You are not responsible for the inner work of any other human being, including a parent, a boss, a colleague, a spouse, or your best friend. You can only and forever 68
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Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. — Roald Dahl
E X C E R P T F RO M
THE CALL TO SPIRIT THE MYTH The Descent of Inanna
nanna’s ascension begins with her descent. Things to that point had been going smoothly for the Queen of Heaven and Earth. With
a temple erected in her honor in seven cities, her beloved Dumuzi at her side, and devoted 72
The OWL Magazine
friends attentive to her needs and
she must take these with her as
wishes, she was both powerful and
the armor of a goddess. One by
one, Inanna places these items on her body. Deliberately, as though
But then she realizes that
engaged in a ritual, she dons her
something about her situation
is lacking. Compelled by an intuitive signal that comes from
The process by which she does
her soul, Inanna recognizes that
this is instructive. First, she places
she must submit to her deepest,
the shugurra on her head. She
darkest fears and descend to the
then arranges her bangs across
underworld. An inner pressure
her third eye and places her single
to transform grows within her.
strand lapis necklace around her
Spirit knows Inanna is ready to
throat chakra. Next, she situates
understand the mysteries of the
her double strand of beads at
underworld, but Inanna herself
her breast and dabs alchemical
is not without reservations—she
makeup on her eyes to enhance
cannot yet see the bigger picture.
the allure of her gaze. Then
Confident in the process, however,
she covers her chest with her
Inanna gathers her courage and
breastplate and slips her golden
prepares to leave her holy office
bracelet over her wrist. Finally, she
with its comforts and security. She
puts on her royal robe and picks
gives herself over to the pull of the
up her measuring rod and line.
Great Below. Dressed and ready, Inanna Before she goes, Inanna collects
summons Ninshubur— her wise
seven Divine powers: the seven
assistant, servant, and guide—
me. These are her shugurra, which
to prepare a plan in case she
is her crown; a single strand of
does not come back f rom the
lapis beads; a double strand of
underworld. Inanna knows she is
lapis beads; a breast plate; a gold
venturing into a place f rom which
bracelet; a lapis measuring rod and
no one has ever returned. Always
line; and her royal robe. She knows
respectful of the process of death, 73
THE WAY OF INANNA
Inanna first instructs Ninshubur
and, in The Epic of Gilgamesh, we
to mourn and lament her if she
learn that Inanna had a role in the
does not return. Following that,
death of her husband, which we
Ninshubur is to locate Inanna’s
explore in detail in Gate Seven.
three father figures—Enlil, Nanna, and Enki—to ask for their help in
Ereshkigal is appalled that Inanna
her resurrection. With this escape
presumes she will be allowed to
plan in place, she descends.
leave the underworld once she
First, Inanna comes to the outer
enters. As ruler of this domain,
gates of the Great Below. She
Ereshkigal pauses to consider all
bangs on the door with authority,
that Neti has told her. She listens to
loudly declaring her presence. The
her intuition about what steps she
gatekeeper, Neti, asks Inanna to
must take in response. She then
state her reason for arrival. Still
commands Neti to lock the seven
not entirely sure, she recalls the
gates to the underworld and then to
impending funeral of her sister
prepare to unlock them one by one.
Ereshkigal’s husband, Gugalanna,
She instructs Neti to force Inanna
deciding on the spot to state this
to remove one of her items at each
as her official reason. Ereshkigal is
entry point, so she ultimately arrives,
the Queen of the Underworld.
“naked and bowed low” without her
Neti tells Ereshkigal about the
brazen visitor, describing Inanna’s powerful accoutrement in detail
Neti opens the first gate and
and depicting her breathtaking
instructs Inanna to remove her
presence as larger than life.
crown. He does this at each gate for
Ereshkigal cannot contain her
each of her seven royal attributes.
anger, jealousy, and resentment.
Once Inanna has finally gained
She is described in the myth as a
entry, the judges of the underworld
petulant child who: “slapped her
encircle her. As Inanna moves closer
thigh and bit her lip” upon hearing
to the throne, Ereshkigal fixes
of Inanna’s arrival. We assume that
the “eye of death” 21 upon her and
there must be something deeper
delivers a violent blow, effectively
to her response than just jealousy
killing Inanna. Ereshkigal then 74
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hangs Inanna’s corpse on a
They are neither male nor
nail to rot on the wall of the
female. Enki equips each
underworld. Clearly, Inanna is
one with a specific power to
now at her weakest and lowest
alchemically restore Inanna. He
point. But will she rise?
connects the kurgarra with “the food of life” and the galatur with
Thank Goddess for the Back-Up Plan
the “water of life.” He instructs
After three days and three
in the form of flies. Enki knows
nights, Inanna does not return
that Ereshkigal will be playing
to her temple. The faithful
out the interpenetrating nature
Ninshubur carries out the plan
of life and death when they find
devised by Inanna before leaving.
her, symbolically mourning,
She goes into mourning and
while enduring simulated
prepares a holy lament. She then
labor pains. Her process here
seeks the help of Enlil, but he
underscores the rebirth of
refuses her. Enlil reasons that as
both herself and her sister self
a goddess with many powers,
in the figure of Inanna. Enki
Inanna knowingly ventured into
instructs his two messengers to
the land of no return. She must
mirror Ereshkigal’s birth pains
deal with the consequences on
by repeating the words of her
her own, he says. Ninshubur
suffering, thereby appearing to
then visits Nanna, who responds
support her with compassion
the same way. Only Enki, her
and empathy. Enki knows this
grandfather and the God of
kind gesture will elicit a gift
Wisdom, comes to her aid.
f rom Ereshkigal. He instructs
them to enter the Great Below
the kurgarra and galatur to Moved by compassion, but also
ask for the gift of the “meat”
pride in his granddaughter’s
hanging on the wall.
willingness to face the unknown, he takes dirt from his fingernails
As they arrive, the kurgarra
to create two magical beings—
and galatur find Ereshkigal
the kurgarra and the galatur.
lying naked with her hair 75
THE WAY OF INANNA
spread out around her in a wild
the experience with its rhythm. The
mess, clearly in distress. She is no
spellbinding incantatory process is
longer the composed queen of
every bit intentional. Inanna wants
the underworld. Her discomfort
us to learn with her to reap the
overrides her modesty. Moaning
benefits of her initiation.
in pain, she insists she hurts inside and out. The kurgarra and galatur
As it does throughout her myths,
meet Ereshkigal in her suffering and
the number seven figures
mirror her lament.
prominently in this story. The seven gates Inanna conf ronts are
Astonished at being truly heard
the seven levels of initiation in the
with apparent sympathy, Ereshkigal
process of ascension. They relate
asks: “Who are you, Moaning—
to the seven chakras, which are
groaning—sighing with me?” Then,
connected to the seven notes of the
as Enki predicted, she says, “If you
musical octave. Harmonizing their
are gods, I will bless you, If you are
resonance can directly impact our
mortals, I will give you a gift.” Once
reality. The number seven is also
the kurgarra and galatur receive
reflected in the seven planetary
Inanna’s corpse, they sprinkle the
spheres of the sun, moon, Mercury,
food and water of life on her, and
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn,
Inanna is instantly resurrected.
offering a cosmological map calling attention to these centers within as
THE MYTH EXPLAINED Sacred Sevens
a central aspect of our initiation.
When Inanna opens herself to
seven me, her earthly possessions.
the Great Below, she experiences
The me are also universal laws that
a longing to be reborn. Unknown
govern reality. They are spiritual
to her, this is a move toward
powers and arts of civilization
her initiation into mastery and
that support our physical growth
wholeness. The story begins
and processes. An explanation
with a powerful incantation that
of Inanna’s seven me will give us
immediately draws the reader into
insight into the symbolism and
Inanna adorns herself with her
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significance of your own gifts and
gold bracelet is a symbol of her
wealth and the jewels she has acquired in this life. It is also a symbol
We can interpret Inanna’s crown,
of unity, the circle that connects
or shugurra, as the symbol of her
us—a representation of unity
mastery, not only as a leader to her
people but also on a spiritual level. Placed upon her seventh chakra,
The measuring rod and line relate to
or the crown chakra, it underscores
the ways in which Inanna physically
her role as a spiritual teacher. The
supports her people through
single strand of lapis beads placed
surveying the land for its areas of
at her neck highlights her capacity
abundance. Similar to the staff of a
to use her voice in a commanding
wizard, the measuring rod and line
way. These radiant blue beads,
help Inanna alchemically transmute
positioned to activate her throat
and create. Finally, Inanna’s royal
chakra, relate to her freedom to
robe is symbolic of her cloak of
speak her truth. Lapis lazuli is a
protection. It is also a part of her
stone believed to promote creative
self-expression and communication. The fact that the double strand of
Its seven pleats convey a signifi c ant
beads falls at her breast emphasizes
message about the sacred number
the ways Inanna nourishes her
seven and the way this number
people in activating their own clear
is woven into the tapestry of the
thoughts and expressions.
The breastplate covering her heart
Inanna must relinquish these seven
chakra can be seen as an activator
royal items as she passes through
of this center of wisdom. It both
each gate—a profound teaching
highlights the heart as well as
about letting go of attachment.
protects it. All that she has acquired
Each gate presents an opportunity
as the Goddess of Love is further
for Inanna and, by connection, the
enhanced by this breastplate, which
readers of her myths, to examine the
broadcasts her heart wisdom. The
corresponding chakra in order to 77
THE WAY OF INANNA
END OF EXCERPT
assess any wounding therein, and to bring healing to the area.
Seana Zelazo is a psychotherapist, intuitive channel, spiritual coach, mentor, and teacher. A licensed clinical social worker, Seana began her social work career in end-of-life care as a hospice social worker before transitioning into private practice as a psychotherapist. For the last decade, Seana has focused on providing clarity and support as an intuitive channel, connecting with the higher realms to offer guidance, spiritual coaching, and mentorship.
Wounding in your chakras can accumulate over time and is connected to your karmic issues. As such, what is built up in your chakras may be lifetimes old. By stripping away an item, Inanna is, in eff ect, purifying her wounds. She is symbolically releasing whatever had accumulated therein and, as such, is purifying her chakras. Th is process enlightens us, allowing us to shift toward a higher vibration—the very thing necessary for rebirth. Every time we deepen our healing, we replace the lower vibrational frequencies that were associated with wounding with the higher vibrations of peace, acceptance, and empowerment. Whenever we surrender to anything, there is an element of faith that is necessary. As Inanna releases her me, she surrenders to the laws of the underworld, and demonstrates a faith in herself. Indeed, even stripped naked, she is still equipped with this embodied assurance in herself. 78
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