The Owl Magazine Autumn 2022

Page 1

The

A Sacred Stories Magazine Autumn 2022

Honoring the Dead

Día de Muertos An Algorithm for Healing

LIVING CONSCIOUSLY A SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

OF

SCIENCE

Write for Good THE SPIRITUAL LEVEL OF FORGIVENESS A Pattern Guiding Us Toward

Unitive Consciousness

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

Max Tucci

with


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.

PUBLISHER

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Sacred Stories

Vik Leigh

EDITORIAL TEAM

COLUMNISTS

Ariel Patricia

Franne Demetrician

Lindsey Brooks

Mary Ellen Lucas

sacredstories.com

Laura Staley

Cover photo credit: Noah Fecks 2


The

Come On In & See What's Inside

A Sacred Stories Magazine

features

20

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

26

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

32

Book Excerpt: The Way of Inanna 72 Sacred U Courses 80

3


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


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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

with

Max Tucci

Photo Credit: Jerry Aneglica

6


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

half-Italian, half-Lithuanian.

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

building stands.

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


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Helayne McNorton, Red Buttons , Eva Gabor, and Richard Brow n in the Palm Room at Delmonic o's in

1959

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

nno Oscar

Nonna Sesta and No at Delmonicos

ts and nannies

h their paren Max and Nicoletta wit

9


Up Close and Personal with Max Tucci

Max and Grandma Letty Militana

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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

subsequently died.

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

confusing.

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.

forward.

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?

express myself.

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.

MT: Meditation.

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."

longer.

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

the restaurant.

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

the restaurant.

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

book?"

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

idea further."

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.

through you."

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,

a pleasure.

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



THE SPIRITUAL

LEVEL

of FORGIVENESS by Burge Smith-Lyons

20


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.

lives.

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,

spiritual level.

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

from others.

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

is unconscious.

“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

life.”

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.

26


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

27


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

scientific research.

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

religion.

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

universe.

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

unity consciousness.

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

material.

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

32


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

spirit.

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

Divine source.

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

honored.

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

celebration.

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.

perspective.

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

granted.

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

42


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

each attribute.

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.

accurate results.

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.

everywhere. 49


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,

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

54


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

the people….”

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

None.

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

you emphasize?

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

Churches

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

58


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


LIVING

CONSCIOUSLY by Ariane Somer

60


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

depression.

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


Living Consciously

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

aggression.

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


Living Consciously

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.

close to.

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

65


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


Let's Get Mystical!

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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

Gate One

THE CALL TO SPIRIT THE MYTH The Descent of Inanna

I

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

comfortable.

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

queenly apparel.

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

seven powers.

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

powers.

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

consciousness.

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

majestic beauty.

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.

initiate’s journey.

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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