The Owl Magazine Summer 2022

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A Sacred Stories Magazine Summer 2022

UNABANTU NOKUPHILA What the Goddess of Love and War

Can Teach Us About Unity Consciousness


of Angels

The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents

Motherhood ReWilded A Lasting Legacy



Valerie Love

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.



Sacred Stories

Vik Leigh



Ariel Patricia

Franne Demetrician

Lindsey Brooks

Mary Ellen Lucas

Laura Staley



Come On In & See What's Inside

A Sacred Stories Magazine



Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love 6 Unabantu Nokuphila 22 An Evolutionary Path to Peace 40 What the Goddess of Love and War Can Teach Us About Unity Consciousness 48 Motherhood ReWilded 60


in every issue A Sacred Story 4 WisdomKeepers 30 Artist in Residence 36 The Heart of the Matter 54 Write for Good 66


Book Excerpt: The Other Goddess 72 Sacred U Courses 88


A Sacred Story by Linda Varos

Simultaneously, everything in my view shifted as if I’d walked into a movie or a dream. All that was unfolding was totally unfamiliar and out of the ordinary. The movement of each natural area that surrounded me became exaggerated. The trees bent and flowed in one direction, while above and around them, a moving energy field appeared. The wild shrubbery below them was also moving rapidly but at a different speed than the trees. Again, I could see their encompassing and flowing energy field dancing in the sun. Lower than the shrubbery were at least two more layers; the wild flowering plants and the green grasses, swaying to their own music, their energy fields caressing and dancing with them. These energy fields were almost clear; yet they were as easy to see as their movements.

It was springtime and a wonderful time for a 6-year-old to explore the unmarked boundaries of her new home property. My mom opened the curtains and doors wide and invited me to play in the yard as she watched from the kitchen window. Everything outdoors was exploding with life. The grasses and trees were bursting with shades of green so bright it almost hurt my eyes. The shrubbery and plants were so alive you could feel their presence surrounding you. A strong breeze made a rustling sound in the trees, almost overwhelming the melodic warbling of the many woodland birds. Every day I couldn’t wait to run outside, open my arms wide to let the sun bathe me with joy, my eyes opened wide as I touched everything in sight. One day while walking along, I felt drawn to a deeper corner of the property. The tall trees arched over the wild shrubbery and made a semi-circle around the grass and flowering weeds. I stopped in the lime green grass center of this semicircle and stood there, frozen in place as if by command. Suddenly a beam of sun entered directly overhead. As if a bucket of liquid gold love had been poured into me, a loving energy came in through my crown and filled me up. Loving hugs and a sense of complete protection filled my body.

Then all of this zoomed out, and I witnessed everything at once. Like a great symphony, they each played their song, moving at different speeds, yet flowing in harmony together. The beauty was overwhelming. I felt it all vibrating through my body, and the ecstasy of the moment lifted me even higher. I felt awestruck, overwhelmed, ecstatic with the vision and the internal 4

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sensations of tremendous, loving support. In an instant a thought poured in, which sticks with me to this day, Oh! This is what’s happening all of the time, only we don’t see it, and no one talks about it!

feel out of my control, I redirect my awareness to the unseen, parallel field of joyful energy, that symphony of beauty and love. It sparks my knowing again and brings me peace. From these experiences, I have learned to see with new eyes; and to know there is a magnificence that is always waiting to uplift us if we desire and are willing to meet it halfway by joyfully

I simply knew. And I knew it was never spoken of. I accepted this unseen field of energy movement as another reality because ‘the knowing’ struck me deep. It not only enlightened, it uplifted me in such a way that I understood I am forever protected as long as I stay connected to the knowledge that it is, it will always be with me.

opening ourselves to receiving.

Linda Varos is an awakening alchemist, and creator/guide of The Path of Personal Shamanism™. She is a modern mystic, clairvoyant-medium, artist, author, energy healing facilitator, and teacher. Linda has worked one-on-one with clients from all over

This moment in timeless time, gave me an instant awareness of an unseen parallel world that is always with us. My child self accepted it as commonplace, which set the path that has continued to unfold through my entire life.

the globe for more than 40 years. Linda is a contributing author to the bestselling book ANGELS: Personal Encounters with Divine Beings of Light, a book in the Common Sentience book series. Contact Linda at

Because of this experience, and the gift of a wonderful family, I was blessed to live my entire childhood in a complete state of trust, interacting with nature in a ‘friends and family’ sort of way and knowing protection from higher unseen sources was always there for me. Life has provided many gifts and struggles, blessings and lessons learned, errors in judgment, as well as much joy, love, and bliss. In the deepest, darkest moments of conflict, or when things 5



Valerie Love 6

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Valerie Love (aka KAISI) is the author

in Peru, Valerie received the name

of 24 books on practical spirituality,

KAISI, meaning one who plants seeds

magick, the occult, Christian

and nurtures them to grow, a Divine

Witchcraft and the author of the

blueprint for her work of ascending

upcoming book WITCH: Divine

consciousness. As a professionally

Alignments with the Elements,

trained coach, Valerie travels globally

Energies, and Cycles of Nature, a

and leads retreats in exotic and

book in the Common Sentience series.

spiritually charged hot spots for

As an ordained minister of spiritual

women to rise to their zenith and

consciousness, practicing Christian

birth their most magnificent work

Witch, and global retreat leader, her

into the world. She’s affectionately

soul mission is to inspire to freedom.

known as the Divine Midwife of Soul

On one of her Ayahuasca journeys


Ariel Patricia: Valerie, it is a pleasure

VL: I was born to a 19-year-old

to speak with you. Please tell us who

single mom who named me after

is Valerie Love?

her favorite soap opera character, Valerie. We lived in Harlem,

Valerie Love: Thank you. I am a

New York City in my maternal

Divine being of magick, love, and

grandparents' home. It was a multi-

power. My name is Love because

generational experience because

I had a sacred download from Spirit.

I lived with my mother who lived

I live magick, and I am here to

with her parents, and then my

exercise Divine power. That is who

grandfather's parents lived upstairs

I am in a nutshell.

in the building. It was a big family with everybody around all the time,

AP: Valerie, that’s powerful and I hope

lots of people coming and going.

empowering to all that are reading. I am sure there is a story to tell that

One summer afternoon when I was

brought you to the place you are

about three years old, we were

today. Let’s begin at the beginning.

coming back from the supermarket,

Tell us about your childhood.

and my mother met a gentleman 7

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

from the Jehovah's Witnesses

AP: What were you encouraged to

standing on a street corner. Right


away the faith spoke to my mother because she had a lot of questions

VL: They encouraged me to be

about the nature of life and the

a nurse when really, I'm a writer,

universe, and he had a bible to

I wanted to write. So, in high school,

answer her questions. She converted

I settled on taking stenography and

to that faith, and I grew up in the

secretarial science. That is what

cult of Jehovah's Witnesses.

they called it back in those days. High school was where my gifts of

AP: Tell us more about your

writing started to blossom.

experience growing up as a Jehovah's Witness.

One of my high school teachers said to me, "Hey, you can get a

VL: The Jehovah's Witnesses are

scholarship to college." I was like,

very strict. We were not allowed to

"No way. That's not going to do

celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, or

me any good because my mom's

any other holidays. We also weren’t

not letting me go to college." My

allowed to celebrate our birthdays.

teacher talked to my mother.

I didn’t experience holidays or

No, not allowed. I grew up sort of

birthdays again until I left the faith

with an abolishment of the world

when I was 30 years old.

and only the Jehovah's Witness paradigm was what we were

I did everything they told me to do.

exposed to. And that was hard to

They told me to go to school up until

do in New York City.

high school and while I was in high school to study a trade that I could

But one thing that my mother did

apply in the world and make a living.

was she exposed us to culture. She

They didn't allow us to go to college,

took us to the Met, the opera, and

so we didn't go to college. They

the ballet. In New York, there's so

told us to get married to another

much to do and there are so many

Jehovah's Witness, settle down, and

different people. It's a big melting

have a family.

pot, I love it. 8

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AP: It's fascinating, especially in a place like New York City that you can be so separated in a sense from the world. Be in the world, but not of the world. How did that happen? Did you question why your f riends celebrated birthdays or could go to college? VL: It was a total indoctrination. There was one central organization that used to be headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, called the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. You could only associate with Jehovah's Witnesses, and they believed everything that you believed. They keep each other accountable and if you're talking about birthdays or about astrology, things that will never be mentioned, then they would say you need to talk to the elders. 9

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

We were taught that when we went

school activities or have f riends that

to school to not associate with people

weren’t Witnesses?

that are "of the world." We were to do only the minimum to pass our

VL: I absolutely rebelled, and it

classes - no extracurricular activities.

wasn’t about holidays or birthdays.

After school, you went straight home

High school was a huge turning

and you're with the other Witnesses.

point for me. In high school, I was in the drama club, and I was writing.

There was another aspect to it as

I began to experience growth in

well. My mother was very close with

myself, to discover who I am and

all my teachers. The Witnesses have a

my gifts. This was never allowed

protocol and every year in September

before. It was almost like the birdie

when your child starts school, the

hatching out of the shell and that

Witness parents tell the teacher, "This

was when it really began.

is my Witness child. When you're doing Thanksgiving etc., let my child go out into the hallway." We're also religious and conscientious objectors and we don't do the Pledge of Allegiance, so we never had to stand and do pledges. It was almost like being in the world but not really. I don't know if Witnesses are still able to do this

Mrs. Freeman

because the era I'm speaking of was

Valerie Love

1979 Washington Irving High School Yearbook Photos from

the ‘60s and ‘70s. We didn't have the internet or many TV stations for information outside our immediate world.

Something pivotal in my life was when my English teacher Mrs.

AP: Did you ever object or question

Freeman put a note in my student

why you couldn’t participate in

mailbox, "Come to my office at one 10

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o'clock." I was terrified thinking I

that's still a huge jump to who you

did something wrong and bracing

are and the magickal work that you

myself for what was going to

do today.

happen. VL: Ever since I was a little girl, I saw Mrs. Freeman said, "Valerie, your

spirits and experienced things that

writing is amazing. We have this

other people weren't experiencing.

program and it's a three-year

I could look at people and I could

program. You're in the 9th grade and

see what was going on with them.

I pick the top 10 students in the 10th,

I would sit in the Kingdom Hall, and

11th, and 12th grades and they're with

I would look at someone, peering

me for three years. I teach them

energetically, and I could see things.

myself. We'll be reading Chaucer

People were very uncomfortable

and Shakespeare and Poe."

with that. "Tell your child to stop staring at me," they would say.

She was singing the song of my soul when it came to literature

Yet, by the time I turned seven or

and all the books that my mother

eight years old, that was just kind of

would never let me read. But now

beat out of me. "No, no, no spirits,

I would have to read them for school

no anything other than the physical

assignments. Mrs. Freeman changed

world." So, I went f rom being a

my whole world about literature and

magickal child with gifts and

words and the English language.

abilities to being told, "No, that's the

That's my gifting, being a keeper of

devil, that's bad, that's the demons."

the word and writing, speaking, and telling stories, being a lore mistress

My experience was saying one

as I call it.

thing but the information that I was getting f rom the world was saying

AP: So interesting. Mrs. Freeman,

something different. And not just

even her name is symbolic. So now

the world, f rom people I loved. That

you're in high school and your gifts

I would say was the beginning of

are starting to open and you're

the inner conflict between religion

starting to question a little bit. But

and magick. 11

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

AP: Did you turn your gifts off then? VL: Oppressed I would say. AP: Oppressed, an interesting word for a witch. So now you're in high school, you're writing, acting, and more of your creative gifts are turning on. You said you were with the Witnesses until you were 30. How did you go from high school to claiming your path as a witch? VL: It still took quite a long time because our unfoldment is this path of the heroine's journey. Yes, I did

Valerie and her family before Valerie left the Witnesses. L to R front row: Valerie’s daughter and maternal grandmother. Top row: Valerie’s younger sister, her mom, and Valerie.

everything they told me to do even though inside something was really stirring. Yet, all my friends were Witnesses, I only knew Witnesses, and I only lived that life practically all of my life. So it was an extremely difficult

experiences and wanting to write but

extraction. And how it unfolded was

I can’t write because the Witnesses

gradual. So first, after high school,

only get their literature from the

I was working, making money, having

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. As

fun, still going to the Kingdom Hall,

a woman, I also can’t speak and teach

and eventually at 23 years old I got

from the stage unless I’m speaking to


another woman on the stage.

At 29 I was pregnant with my second

So, I couldn’t be a writer or a teacher.

child, my son was two years old,

That was going to be the extent of my

and my husband and I were having

life and I would not have been able to

challenges. I’m also having spiritual

reach my potential. Something about 12

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me knew this and I had a deep sadness.

It was a major unfolding because

There was so much in me, I could feel

when you're that depressed even

it, and I would write in journals, but

getting up and dressed is a big

I couldn't think about writing books. It

deal. It's a God sign. It was giving

felt like a prison and that took me into

me step by step commands in a

a very deep depression after I had the

voice that made me get up and do


it because I was just so lethargic.

Some people say I was in postpartum

I went outside and the sun was

depression. It was hard, it was very

shining. The voice said, Breathe.

hard. I remember going to the

I took a deep breath, and it was

medicine cabinet one day and there

like I had breathed for the first

was a bottle of the 800 milligrams of

time in my life. Was I holding my

Motrin that they had given me after

breath for 30 years?

the baby for pain. And I remember asking myself, How many would it

Then the voice said, Walk. And

take for me to go to sleep and not

I began walking. To this day, I walk

wake up?

as a healing modality, I walk as a meditation.

As I reached for the bottle, something snatched me back. Who's going to take care of the baby? And who's going to take care of Cory, your three-year-old son? My kids pulled me back from the edge and I realized if I was that close to ending my life, I needed to know what was really going on with me. That’s when I heard from my soul. I was laying in bed one day, and it said, Get up. And I sat up and I looked around and it said, Get dressed. 13

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

The voice said, Live or don't live, but

leaving the Witnesses, and that I was

you're not going to do this. This, just

reading these books because she

getting by. That inner teacher and

thought they were very dangerous

guide that we all have, was teaching

books. But my mother found what

me. And it said, Live or don't.

worked for her and now it was time for me to find my path.

It wasn't judgmental in any way. It gave me a choice. It also told me

When a person’s soul wakes up,

I wasn't going to keep doing this half

it's like a bear coming out of

in and half out, just being a zombie.

hibernation, super hungry, so

And that's when I made my decision.

we just started devouring. I was

I'm going to do it. I'm going to live.

devouring books on Buddhism and many other topics. And it was

AP: Valerie, thank you for sharing.

very scary because I kept going

I know your story will help a lot of

deeper. First, I was reading Christian

people. So, you made the decision

inspiration and books on Buddhism.

to live, and you made the decision to

Then metaphysical topics, psychic

tune more fully into your gifts. What

mediumship books, the angel

happened next?

books. One day I was standing in a bookstore, and I wanted to pick up

VL: The first thing I did was start

books on witchcraft and I remember

reading. I couldn't go straight from

something in me said, Oh, no, you're

Fundamentalist Christian to here's

going to the dark side. I was so

how to be a witch, I couldn't do

af raid that I was going to go off an

that. So, some of the first books

abyss or something. But that never

that I picked up were books on

happened. I didn’t grow up with the

Hinduism and Buddhism. They were

concept of hell, as it’s not taught in

safer to me. I could understand the

the Jehovah’s Witness religion. They

teachings of Buddha because he

teach obliteration for those who are

seemed a lot like Christ. The Buddha

unrepentant sinners. I’m thankful

is a symbol of peace and meditation,

I didn’t have hellfire to contend

what can be wrong with that? My

with as I was going through this

mother was very upset that I was

transition. 14

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

The more I pressed out of my little

are a witch, whether we want to be

shell, the more I saw that I didn't die

or not.

and the more it emboldened me. And I kept going. And when I found

AP: You say that you are a

books on witchcraft, I thought, It is so

practicing Christian witch. Explain


that to us.

AP: Bravo to you Valerie for following

VL: A Christian witch is a person

your soul. What did it feel like when

who understands there is nothing in

you found your calling?

the essence of the witch nor in the essence of Christ that is inherently

VL: The calling found me. It found

conflicting or contradictory. They

me because many times I was lost.

gel rather nicely, in my experience.

I didn't know where I was going or

Christian witches resonate deeply

where it was going to end. It was an

with Christ, and each one in their

unfoldment giving me what I could

own way integrates Christ and the

handle at the time. It wasn’t this big

Craft. A Christian witch has three

blinding moment where everything

possibilities in the way you can

became very clear for me and what

come to this path.

I was going to do with my life. The further down the path I walked, the

One is a person who knows they're

more was revealed to me.

a witch, they’re magickal and aspire to Christ consciousness. That's

AP: Valerie, there is fear and

me. I'm a witch, I'm a magickal

misconceptions surrounding witches.

person, I've always been a magickal

Please tell us what a witch is.

person and I resonate deeply with Christ consciousness, love, and

VL: A witch is an emissary of the

forgiveness. Second, it could be

Goddess, a way shower, teacher, and

a person who is a Christian and

healer. A Divine being inordinately

is drawn to explore the magickal

attuned to nature and magic. Witch

arts and sciences. And then third

is a deep inner knowing. We know, in

there are people who weren’t raised

our heart of hearts, that we indeed

Christian, but who love the saints, 16

Up Close and Personal with Valerie Love

or the Bible, or the lore of the Catholic

a scary path, because witches like

Church. They're very magickal, and

the dark, or feel at home in the

they find that Catholicism feeds their

dark. In Sedona, we love going

soul from a mystical perspective.

out in the wilderness and doing

Catholicism is used here as an example

our rituals at night on the red

since it melds magic and Christ well

rocks and having our fires and all

with the accoutrement, rituals, holy

that. Don't be afraid, you can't be

water, exorcisms, and more.

afraid to be a witch. Keep going, something good is waiting for you

AP: Valerie, what would you say to

around the corner. Keep going.

others on the path? AP: Thank you Valerie for sharing VL: If you’re on the path of the witch -

your wisdom and the heart of the

don't be afraid, keep going. It can be


FUN FACTS AP: Coffee or tea?

VL: Early bird.

VL: Coffee.

AP: Favorite time?

AP: Beach or mountains?

VL: 5:00 AM every day.

VL: Beach.

AP: Books or movies?

AP: Homebody or globetrotter?

VL: Books.

VL: Oh, globetrotter.

AP: Favorite book?

AP: Favorite place in the world?

VL: Oh, it would have to be the Harry Potter series. Maybe the

VL: Bali, it's my soul home.

Bible. Bible number two after

AP: Early bird or night owl?

Harry Potter. Just kidding.


The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy. — Henry Ward Beecher

UNABANTU NOKUPHILA “Where people gather at the Mother of Health”

Named by the renowned Xhosa healer-sangoma, Nolita Mngomezulu. Nokuphila embodies the meaning of her name. Her friends call her ‘The Ubuntu Tree’.

Nokuphila lives between the mountain and the sea, the 7th Sacred Site of Cape Town, she resides in the 4th node, the cultural heart and seat of power.


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“In Africa, there lives an extraordinary

living places of rest and blessings,

tree. She is queen of the riverbank.

rekindling, and nurturing the soul.

A monarch, whose story stretches


back millions of years. In tribal cultures, her mysterious ways have fueled myth and legend. They set her apart from other trees. She is a (Wild)

“Hallo there. May I come in?”

Fig, Queen of Africa’s trees.” I wasn’t sure if it was the echoing

—from 2005 award-winning film, Queen of Trees, depicting the mythology surrounding the Banyan Fig Tree, a tree native to Africa and India

sound or the imposing vision of what I saw before my eyes that mesmerized me more as my eyes accustomed to the silhouette of a tall, red-blanketed

Africa is the birthplace of humanity

figure greeting me from outside the

and is also the harbinger of humanity’s

wrought-iron ‘Moon Gate’ by the back

future. To look forward to a vision of

of the Cape Town Medi-Spa where I

shared peace and unity during these

work. Alongside the historic Belmond

fractured times, we simultaneously

Mount Nelson hotel, it was a fitting

need to look back and draw support

frame for my encounter with this iconic

from our elemental anchors that

figure who would assume a semi-

ground and nourish us during great

mythical status over the following

transformations, back toward the

years. The moon gate, a ‘5 elements’

unique Elder Figs, particularly the

iron rendering of the symbols Earth,

grand old Mother Trees.

Water, Fire, Air, and Space inside the gate which my father had especially

African folklore has long revered

built after an inspiration he had from

and worshiped the fig tree as sacred

the ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’

throughout the continent, as well

movie, made for a surreal backdrop for

as being a medicine chest for most

this auspicious encounter.

ailments, physical, cultural, or spiritual. The wild figs have been places of

I soon learned that the gravity-rich

shelter and healing for hundreds of

voice belonging to this beautiful, tall

years. They are peacekeepers and

Maasai warrior and future lifelong 23

Unabantu Nokuphila

friend was none other than Miyere

I felt electrified. Indeed, I had heard

Ole Miandazi from the plains of

of indigenous people dreaming

Tanzania, a Massai Peace Warrior

wisdoms before and was no stranger

activist walking for Peace and Unity

to this phenomenon after several

throughout Africa.

years of traveling and working with a Khomani San family from the Kalahari.

“I come to pay my respects to the

However, it had taken a full six months

Mother Tree who calls to me in the

of walking and effort for Miyere to

place of dreams and who made my

arrive at his dreaming tree and so the

legs move and has brought me here

gate was instantly opened to welcome

to the far south,” Miyere continued

this peace warrior to enter and share

as if this was a normal track of

his indigenous wisdoms and healing


treasure. Approaching the ancient wild fig, Miyere introduced to me in all her arboreal majesty as if for the first time. It was an experience I will never forget. Not that we hadn’t always felt a sense of connection and respect to the ancient wild fig tree. Quite the opposite, yet she kept surprising us with new layers of her puzzle, bringing colorful characters to visit each with a new missing piece. This was clearly a corner piece. “Please never refer to this mother as ‘the tree’ again Ian, for she has a special story and a unique spiritual name. You must uncover that for her work and yours to be made possible. She will reveal her message to you once you start to listen with the ear of your heart 24

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and to walk the way the native people

contains powerful anti-inflammatory

do, to walk on the land in the way that

ethno-botanical compounds and

the earth makes you whole once again.”

has been used for centuries by many communities throughout Africa for

Miyere continued, “She also is a great

multiple ailments from wound closing

medicine tree Ian. My people believe

and anti-venom to whooping cough

that this medicine tree was used by

and even assisting optimal childbirth...

NGAI, the One God, who in his form of

literally a medicine chest in our

creating the world put everything in its

integrated wellness center’s back yard!

rightful place. He used the deep water

What a blessing!

seeking roots of this temple tree to send the cattle down from heaven to earth to

With that sharing Miyere bowed his

live alongside us in peace and harmony.

head; placed one leg angled up to

We thank NGAI always on contacting

balance upon the inside of his other

this temple tree which He imbued with

knee in the style of an African yogi

special medicine in her roots to heal

and entered a silent communion that

both our body and mind.”

lasted several hours.

With that he bowed his head and

“Can you see how this sacred Mother

seemed to commune with ‘the tree’

tree has grown a heart Ian?”

then delicately pulled a little of the hanging root stem off and offered me some before placing it in his mouth and starting to chew... “Make tea or eat and all your swellings will be gone,” he clarified, seeing my amazement. I would later confirm personally and with many visiting clients over the years that Miyere’s assertion that this genus of ficus carica/natelensis 25

Unabantu Nokuphila


“One day when my world work is done and my people and all the indigenous people are safe once again, when we

One day, a feeling of pride while

have moved again beyond borders,

reflecting on having established one

I will return with my spiritual elders to

of Africa’s first integrated wellness

sit around this great mother, and again

centers was put in check by a definite,

we will feel the spirit of our ancestors

although gentle whisper in my mind.

move us. But for now, we have other

I was leaning against Nokuphila and

work to do...

looking at the Cape Town Medi-Spa when the message arrived, very clear,

“While you must start to listen deeply

although its meaning wasn’t fully

to this healing mother, I must walk and

revealed until 10 years later when

carry the no borders exhibition across

I became fully vegan. It is a message

Africa…however long it takes. Just turn

Nokuphila shared with me then and

within like these inside out figs and

one She keeps repeating:

when the time is right, she will answer your questions and support and guide

“Only when the animals and humans are gathered safely under my branches will the true healing begin.”

you as she does all her children.” And so it was, this peace warrior took off and began another walk from Cape Town to Cairo, the “Ultimate Walk for Humanity”, a walk for a thriving,

Nokuphila loves how Dr. Sailesh

interconnected, borderless world.

Rao founder of Climate Healers defines VEGAN as ‘Vitally Engaged


Guardians of Animals and Nature.’

Following Miyere’s first visit Nokuphila

birthing of a post-pandemic vegan

began to whisper her first messages

world will be viewed as the “greatest

and a cascade of spiritual and symbolic

transformation in human history,” and

gifts arrived in the following year,

she has inspired an Ubuntu Pledge to

including the Ubuntu Water Crystal,

support those ready to take this giant

Ubuntu Torch, and the Ubuntu Pledge.

leap for humanity.

She agrees with Dr. Rao, that the


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Unabantu Nokuphila


and it’s called Ubuntu. It connects us all and is a healing gift that holds the

‘I pledge to honor and protect

key to your question.”

all the animals, people, and the planet herself by following an infinitely sustainable, cruelty free vegan lifestyle that heals the climate and restores right relationships in the true spirit of ubuntu.’

MEET NOKUPHILA’S CUSTODIANS “I am blessed to be sharing this

Being chosen as custodian of an

profound moment with our friends

Elder Tree is no small task. Bonding

gathered around the tree at the

with a Mother Tree is a wonderful

Ubuntu Wellness Center. It is

journey of seeding and growth, that

significant that recently a Maasai

blossoms over time, and begins

Warrior dreamed of this sacred tree

with a story.

and walked by foot f rom Kenya to the Cape. The world moves into a

When I first met Archbishop

new phase of global consciousness

Desmond Tutu, I asked a question

as we celebrate the great African

whose brief, enigmatic answer would

philosophy that is Ubuntu: the

in part shape my destiny.

essence of being human. I am what I am because of who we all

“Archbishop, what will save our

are.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

people in South Africa from

December 21, 2012

unending cycles of suffering and violence?”

Nokuphila has become a very real presence in the lives of my vegan

“It’s close by,” he answered, “closer

nutritionist wife Dawn and myself and

than you know. It is here in Africa,

we often begin our days as therapists 28

The OWL Magazine

at the wellness center in silent communion with her. She loves song and gatherings and participating in the healing of all beings. By caring for her over time, and constantly celebrating her, we continue to witness daily blessings and miracles in her presence. Our shared vision of peace, interconnectedness, and compassion remain grounded to this day under her branches. Inspired by vegan visionary visitors to Nokuphila like Dr. Will Tuttle and Phillip Wollen, we believe that the world’s challenges are interconnected and can all only

as a state-registered therapist. Ian established Ubuntu Trust NPO in 2013 to empower vulnerable township women as plant-based gatekeepers to their families and communities. This social enterprise has won multiple awards, including ‘Best Humanitarian 2014,’ ‘Top 50 Global Spas’ and ‘Top 100 Global Healthcare Activators’ at the 2018 World Health and Wellness Congress.

truly be solved if enough of humanity simultaneously adopts plant-based eating and the vegan principles of non-violence 'ahimsa'.

Dawn Macfarlane is a USA-trained plant-based nutritionist, vegan activist, and consultant with over 25 years experience supporting clients transitioning to vibrant health and to become responsible citizens for a healthy earth.

Dawn and Ian are currently busy developing a diabetes reversal program together using affordable healthy vegan foods in Africa which holds much promise and which originated under Nokuphila’s branches in August 2020.

Ian Macfarlane is an entrepreneur, healing practitioner, and vegan activist. Ian established the Ubuntu Wellness Medi-Clinic, Cape Town’s first integrated medical and wellness facility in 2003, where he practices

Instagram: @nokuphila_ubuntuwellnesstree Facebook: @ubuntu108 29


The Nine Orders of Angels by Tricia McCannon


The OWL Magazine

Angels are Beings of Light, who have a hierarchy. This is not a hierarchy in the human sense of the word, meaning a hierarchy of power, money, race, position in society, or human egos, but rather the unfolding of hierarchy that we see in any evolutionary form. The nine angelic orders are arranged in three distinct triads. Visually, they are seen as each angelic order radiating its essence from the throne of God in everexpanding circles. The highest, or first triad of angels sits toward the center, which is closest to God; the second triad surrounds the first triad; and the third triad surrounds the second one. The first three Orders of Angels, or the first triad, transmit Divine energy outward toward the second triad, which then radiates its energy toward the last and lowest triad of angels. Of the six highest Orders of Angels, none of them look human in their natural forms. As true beings of light, each order chooses a form that serves its celestial function, and if or when they need to descend into the lower worlds of time and space, they can choose to adopt whatever form is most appropriate.


The Nine Orders of Angels

The First Triad of Angels

with six wings and a face in the middle

The first triad represents God’s

for Spirit to move into and through

perfection. The three qualities of the

their bodies. The Seraphim’s job is to

first triad are burning love, brilliant

modulate the audible life stream of

light, and perpetual holiness. Of all

God, which then flows out to create

things in existence, love is the Divine

the frequencies that generate all the

power that perhaps transforms us


of their bodies. These are the doorways

most profoundly. This triad includes the Thrones, Seraphim, and Cherubim,

The Cherubim

which are all said to be in direct

The Cherubim are the third Order

communication with Divine unity.

of Angels. These angels look like trapezoid diamonds with a huge

The Thrones

eye of God in the center. Their role

At the center of the circle is Atum,

is to transmute the sound of God or

Sugmad, God, or the Source of all

the audible life stream. The winged

things. From this primary essence

Seraphim send vibrations to the

comes the vibration of love. Thus,

visible light spectrum, which creates

love is the principle expressed by the

144 colors, only 7 of which can be

Thrones, the first Order of Angels. They

perceived in this dimension—the 7

inhabit all the suns in the galaxies

classic colors of the rainbow. But, as

and represent the first emanation

souls move upward into the higher

of light. They sit at the center of all

planes, they can experience more

solar systems, continually giving out

and more vibrancy and color. The

illumination through the sacrifice of

Cherubim are converters of sound into

their own bodies.

light, and they produce the light of the worlds.

The Seraphim

The Second Triad of Angels

The Seraphim are the second Order of Angels, and they express the power of two. These are winged beings and are

This triad includes the Dominions,

not human in appearance. In religious

Virtues, and Powers and represents

literature, they are usually depicted

God’s sovereignty over creation. These 32

The OWL Magazine

three qualities are limitless power,

matter together at the points of

irresistible force, and eternal justice.

intersection. These are nodal points in the gigantic spider web that links all

The Dominions

dimensions together as the weave of

The Dominions are linked to the


creation of the intricate web that underlies the visible universes. They

The Virtues

are the connector beings in the matrix

The Virtues are the weavers of the grid

of dark matter, which is the scaffolding

of dark matter, and they weave with

upon which the visible worlds sit.

the energies of love, light, and sound,

Dominions hold the strands of dark

or music. This largely invisible canvas 33

The Nine Orders of Angels

becomes the scaffolding upon which

The Archangels

all of the visible worlds rest.

The prefix “arch” means ruler, so Archangels serve the Divine as

The Powers

powerful rulers of territories. As

The Powers transmute the waves

one might expect, they express

of light and sound into the building

great leadership abilities and

blocks of atomic matter. This brings

often will oversee or regulate

us into the realm of sacred geometry,

the magnetic fields between

which underlies the structure of all

the various heavenly bodies,

matter. Sound has the power to create

including planets, suns, moons,

forms, and then the sound speeds

and even galaxies. By nature,

up or slows down, depending on the

the Archangels are vast and

dimension, or plane, it’s on.

encompassing, so they can act as “umbrella energies” for large

The Third Triad of Angels

projects, especially if they are humanitarian in nature.

The third triad, which is closest to our worldly realms, represents the external

The Angels

actions of God. In this triad are the

The last tier of the nine Orders of

Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.

Angels is simply called Angels.

These three orders are the ones that

This covers a huge territory, and

usually interact with mankind and

foremost among them are our

where we see the kind of human

Guardian Angels. Every person

forms that we have come to associate

who comes to earth arrives with

with angels.

at least one of these beautiful companions, and some people

The Principalities

may even have two or three

The Principalities, or Archii, are

angelic guides. These angels

initiating energies of change. When

are part of our spirit team and

these angelic beings incarnate, they

are here to assist us with our life

are often mystics, philosophers,

missions. We are loved, nurtured,

scientists, or even explorers of greater

and cared for at the highest levels


whether we are aware of it or not. 34

The OWL Magazine

Tricia McCannon is a renowned American clairvoyant, historian, author, and teacher who has traveled the world in search of answers to the greatest Mysteries of the Ages. As a dedicated researcher and mystical symbologist, she is known as “the Mysteries Expert.” She is the author of five acclaimed books including her newest one: Angels: Personal Encounters with Divine Beings of Light, part of our Common Sentience book series.

As we consider the depth and breadth of the Nine Orders of the Angels, it is easy for us to realize that each of these profound and devoted beings is indeed a “messenger of God.” Each one of them, no matter which Order they belong to, are committed to the creation of the universe, and the spiritual evolution of each one of us. Whether functioning as Guardian Angels or helping in the atomic formation of planets, stars, and solar systems, they will use whatever methods are appropriate to help us to become enlightened citizens of the cosmos. As each soul overcomes the inner and outer obstacles of our respective journeys, we each eventually awaken to our Divine natures. 35

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE by Franne Demetrician


The OWL Magazine

When my Dad died ten years ago,

do it all his life, a life f raught with

we were devastated and in shock. It

many challenges and heartbreaks.

was sudden, and I had no idea how to navigate the ensuing chaos emotionally

“Just keep going.” For some of

and practically. There were many loose

us, that statement results in

ends to tie up with his personal affairs.

the question, “How?” This is the

It was challenging to face practical

question I often asked myself

matters when my heart was broken into

as we moved through the days

a million pieces. I felt the full weight of

and months after his death. It’s a

the loss and felt overwhelmed having

question I think most people can

to address anything but my grief and

relate to, especially in the face of

holding myself and my family together.

the recent incidents in Buffalo,

I felt disabled.

Uvalde, and so many other places worldwide. How do we keep our

As I was showering in preparation for

center when everything around us

Dad’s funeral, I felt overwhelmed with

seems to be crumbling?

yet another flood of emotions and began to cry. This time I felt the loss

New Age advice is usually

and grief full-on and allowed myself to

something like “relax, meditate,

wail. My Dad was beloved by many and

find stillness, breathe, stay positive”

was my hero - the one I turned to when

and an array of pontifications that

I needed a wise voice.

in that moment are not helpful. We are left with the question, “How

I cried out to him, “Daddy, what do we

do I connect to something bigger

do now?”

than myself when my experience at the moment is heartbreaking,

At that moment, in my little shower,

devastating, and excruciatingly

rising through the hot water and steam

painful?” This is the $64,000

cloud, came his advice.


“Just keep going,” he said. I wish I had an easy answer, but this I heard it twice. “Just keep going.”

question lingers in our collective

I knew what he meant as I’d seen him

consciousness as day by day we 37

Artist in Residence

see the losses mounting. Watching

those we love and trust, and seek

the news unfold, I feel my pain in

help to find ways to cope.

response and look to the Heavens tearfully asking the question,

In the book Pillow Thoughts II:

“What do we do now?”

Healing the Heart, author Courtney Peppernell says, “You can’t skip

Going forward with all this

chapters, that’s not how life works.

happening around us requires

You have to read every line, meet

a strategy. We know that life can

every character. You won’t enjoy

and does toss us curveballs. We

all of it. Hell, some chapters will

have a 24-hour news cycle and

make you cry for weeks. You’ll read

rampant social media that sends

things you don’t want to read, have

curveballs coming at us as if it was

moments when you don’t want

Spring training in Florida.

the pages to end. But you have to keep going. Stories keep the world revolving. Live yours. Don’t miss out.“

We need to cultivate the fine art of “keep going.” Each of us will need to find our own safe space,

My final thought is this — when it

practice, and way to be with what

feels like you want to wail and stomp

is presented. But I think one

your feet, arms lifted to the Heavens

important thing we need is each

with the burning question, “What do

other, our communities, and our

we do now?” Listen for the still, small

most intimate and trusted friends

voice that says, “Just keep going.”

and family. And say hi to my Dad for me. These last few years have

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.

resulted in what I call “collective trauma,” and I believe we are all suffering f rom some level of PTSD. Adding the trauma of the most recent news, it’s vital that each one of us acknowledge our pain, share our feelings with 38


TO PE ACE by Robert Atkinson


The OWL Magazine

Living by principles that divide is living

separate from others, except in

with a consciousness of duality. This

our own desired, comfortable,

allows generalizations, stereotypes,

and exclusive groups, and creates

and biases to grow into segregation,

hierarchies, builds systems of injustice,

discrimination, prejudice, hatred,

and distorts the way we relate to each

oppression, racism, and eventually

other and the natural environment.

genocide and war, which endanger our very survival.

The wholeness side of the continuum brings us together as one. Here

However, living by principles that

we view the world with a unitive

unite is living by a consciousness of

consciousness and relate to others and

wholeness. This encourages values

the planet with respect for difference,

that engender respect, appreciation,

integrity, reverence, appreciation,

equality, and cooperation, and leads to

compassion, and collaboration, which

what eventually becomes a pervasive

makes it possible for inclusivity,

harmony and unity in diversity, all

altruism, and love to be writ large.

necessary stepping-stones to peace. This is what the Golden Rule is meant Here we can envision a process

to lead to, unitive justice, global

by which peace and war become

security, and peace on earth, where

opposite extremes on a Consciousness

none of the parts become greater than

Continuum along which all things are

the whole. On the wholeness side of

interconnected and interdependent

the continuum, reality is seen as one,

within a whole. Along this continuum,

and all of Creation as a unified whole,

there are no divisions, only different

what the Buddha referred to when

aspects of one whole representing

he said, “All things originate from one

various attitudes and values, all part

essence, develop according to one law,

of the same reality, that come to

and are destined to one aim.”

prominence depending upon the principles being lived by.

On this holistic side of the continuum, we understand that the imperative of

The duality side of this Consciousness

this moment is seeing each other as

Continuum keeps us apart and

part of the same human family. This is 41

An Evolutionary Path to Peace

where the evolutionary impulse itself

The age-old promise of peace on

leads humanity to greater levels of

earth is what we are evolving into.

advancement toward universal human

What divides us today will be what

rights, gender equality, economic

heals us tomorrow. We are already

equity, a consciousness of world

connected on the consciousness

citizenship, and social, environmental,

continuum, as links in a chain. We

and racial justice, all interconnected

are just looking at the same reality

stepping-stones to peace.

from different places, through different lenses. Further on, in our

We are born with the potential

individual and collective evolution,

to grow toward our inherent

we will all be viewing reality through

wholeness. We all start with this

the eyes of wholeness.

endowed capacity for wholeness that needs to be nurtured and

Adopting a holistic vision

developed, like the acorn that carries

of evolution gives us the

within it the tree it will become. This

understanding that all life comes

is as true on the collective level as on

from the same Source and

the personal level.

is developing toward its own 42

The OWL Magazine

fulfillment, which is meant to manifest

In this holistic perspective, all things

cooperation and harmony within and

go through cycles of birth, growth,

around us. This gives us great hope for

maturity, decline, and renewal.

the future.

Common examples of this are the cycle of the seasons, the rise and

It helps to remember that evolution

fall of civilizations, and the cycle of

in all realms is a gradual process

spiritual epochs.

of growth. Evolution’s trajectory is not a smooth, straight line, as we

Humanity’s collective evolution

witness in this time of lockdowns,

includes periods of struggle and

demonstrations, and confrontations. It

conflict that slow things down,

is rather cyclical, with built-in ups and

but growth spurts follow those

downs. The way to a consciousness

times. This holistic vision of

of wholeness passes through many

evolution, accounting for cycles

cycles of transformation, with adversity

of progress and regress, means

being necessary for progress, and unity

that, over centuries, evolutionary

being the outcome of consciously

advancement can be seen going

confronting opposing forces.

through various stages. After 43

An Evolutionary Path to Peace

millennia of conflict and separation on

This is an unfolding process built

all social levels, having passed beyond

upon the principle of the oneness

the usefulness of unity on just the

of humanity, as noted in this

national level, we are now witnessing

recent statement of the Universal

the arrival of a spiritual springtime

House of Justice, the governing

that is characterizing our time by the

body of the Baha’i international

promise of unity on the global level.


We are entering humanity’s stage

However fitful, the forces working

of maturity, the natural outcome–

in harmony with the spirit of the

and culmination–of where the

age have continued to move

evolutionary impulse has been

humanity towards an age of

leading us.

peace—not merely a peace that rules out armed conflict, but a collective state of being, manifesting unity… [At the same

The sacred story of our time is about the death of old systems that divide and the birth of a new global community that will unite humanity as one family.

time], forces of disintegration regroup and gain ground. [But] the unity of humanity is unstoppable by any human force; the promises made by all the prophets testify to this truth… It is through love for all people that the unity of the world can be realized.

A two-fold process of purging and

World unity is the stepping-stone

reshaping humanity is underway. This

to the age-old vision of peace

will finally bring the opposite extremes

on earth. We have all the tools

of the consciousness continuum

needed to fulfill this promise;

into sharper focus and make the

its realization depends wholly

necessity of living by a consciousness

upon the action we all take

of wholeness crystal clear.

now. To ensure that the rebirth 44

The OWL Magazine

of the planet happens as gently

Adapted from The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness by Robert Atkinson

as possible, love is the sacred activism needed for our time; it is the unifying force that binds the

Robert Atkinson, author, speaker, and developmental psychologist, is a 2017 Nautilus Book Award winner for The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness, and a co-editor of Our Moment of Choice: Evolutionary Visions and Hope for the Future. He is also the founder of One Planet Peace Forum, and StoryCommons, an internationally recognized authority on life story interviewing, a pioneer in the techniques of personal myth making and soul making, and a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation.

universe together. Nothing less than the entire world community working together in harmony will enable us to build the culture of wholeness needed for our collective survival. We are at a threshold never before crossed. Our collective coming of age as a single people is at hand. Our challenge is to disregard the fleeting notions of the day, recognize their sharp contrast to the overriding unifying forces of our time, and take the action most needed by each of us – to work across boundaries, across differences. As greater numbers embrace the idea of global citizenship, as this is reflected in various spheres of action, f rom interpersonal to social, a consciousness of wholeness will become as commonly accepted in the near future as nationalism was in the past, bringing us to the verge of world peace. 45

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. — Maori Proverb

What the Goddess of Love and War Can Teach Us About Unity Consciousness by Seana Zelazo, LICSW

Inanna, the Goddess of Love and War, depicted on a fragment of a stone relief from Mesopotamia c. 2400 B.C.E.


The OWL Magazine

The Sumerian goddess Inanna is waking

Here we see how the transformation

up the hearts of her worshippers from

of any kind must begin with self.

all directions of time to help remind us

Inanna embodies the confidence

of our mission and, by extension, her

and self-love that teaches us how

own—a mission to alchemize separation

to live the change we wish to bring

consciousness into unity consciousness.

about. In the lines: “my eyes scan

Known by many epitaphs, including

the earth, I know the length of it,”

the Goddess of Love and War, Inanna

Inanna commands our attention

offers a nuanced way of living love.

with authority, highlighting

Inanna’s love can uplift by transmuting

her well-honed discernment.

lower vibrational frequency through the

The line: “I travel heaven’s pure

weapons of light she carries on her back.

road,” demonstrates Inanna’s alignment with the highest good,

The wisdom of Inanna is preserved

underscoring that her efforts to

through the artwork and writing of

transform separation consciousness

ancient Sumer, including through the

and fear-based thinking are driven

Sumerian poet Enheduanna (who lived

by love, even in her paradoxical role

and wrote between 2285-2250 BCE)

as Goddess of War. The forceful

whose long poem, “Inanna and Ebih,”

aggression of that role is not

captures the intense impact of the

destructive, rather, it depends upon

heart-centered goddess as a warrior of

her skill as a master alchemist. Akin

love. Enheduanna’s[i] poem channels

to the transmutation of base metals

Inanna and describes the goddess

into gold, Inanna as a warrior, can

in a moment of contemplative self-

transform lower vibration into a

awareness and affirmation:

higher vibration, and love is the flame to this end. Hers is not a

my eyes scan the earth

subtle power, it rages through

I know the length of it

the land to alchemize, like a

I travel heaven’s pure road

summer thunderstorm obliterating

I know the depth of it

oppressive humidity.

even the holy Annuna stand in awe of me

Inanna’s many myths reveal her


powerful attributes. She is a love 49

What the Goddess of Love and War Can Teach Us About Unity Consciousness

warrior who unifies humanity by

shared. While Enki gave Inanna

sharing her gifts with the world.

roughly one hundred me, in “Inanna

In the myth, “Inanna and the God

and the God of Wisdom,” she

of Wisdom,”[iii] we see just how

itemizes the ones which signify her

prepared she is for her role to unite

capacity as a teacher of ascension—

and empower. In this story, Inanna is

the vibrational shift from fear

gifted the me—the spiritual powers

into unconditional love and unity

and sacred arts of civilization—by


her grandfather, Enki, the God of Wisdom (an alchemist himself).

He gave me the staff.

This exchange occurs after Enki

He gave me the holy

gets intoxicated over beers with

measuring rod and line.

his granddaughter. She happily

He gave me the high throne…

takes all the me and begins her

He gave me the princess

journey home. Once Enki sobers


up, however, he realizes what he

He gave me the divine queen

has done and sends threatening


creatures to Inanna to get the me

He gave me the incantation

back. Ultimately, Inanna perseveres.


Significantly, Inanna does not keep

He gave me the noble priest…

the me for herself, hoarding them

He gave me truth. [iv]

in her temple. Instead, upon arrival in her city, she immediately shares

These me are highly symbolic.

all the me with her people, knowing

The staff is a kind of magic wand,

that in doing so she brings her

and it signifies her role as an

people together by empowering

alchemist. In sharing this with her

them, and thus advances the

people, she reminds them, that

consciousness of the collective.

they too can alchemize the old paradigm of separation into a new

Inanna understands that they are

one of love. She takes the holy

not meant to be possessively held

measuring rod and line with her to

for self-aggrandizement or other

the underworld in The Descent of

ego-based drives but must be

Inanna. These sacred tools are for 50

The OWL Magazine

From left to right: Inanna (carrying her weapons on her back), Enki (God of the Watery Deep), Isimud (Enki’s servant). Positioned at Inanna’s feet is her brother, the Sun god Utu. From an Akkadian cylinder seal c. 2300 B.C.E.


What the Goddess of Love and War Can Teach Us About Unity Consciousness

taking inventory of and assisting in

ascension of humanity by moving

negotiating the various initiations

into the higher consciousness

we encounter as spiritual warriors.

of unconditional love. Her will is

The high throne represents

strong, and her power is ironclad.

Inanna’s divine nobility, but by

Her heart’s pull to get the me to

sharing it with humanity, she

her own city to share it makes it

reminds us that we are all divine

so. Inanna’s warrior love ultimately

and can create a queendom of

transforms Enki who comes to see

heaven on earth. The gift of priests

the benefit of what she has done

and priestesses highlights Inanna’s

with the me and no longer wants

role as a High Priestess capable of

them back. He declares:

leading the leaders of light. Finally, the gift of truth provides Inanna

Let the me you have taken

with discernment—the ability to

with you remain in the holy

see clearly. She shares all of these


spiritual powers with her people

of your city…

so they may prepare for their

Let the citizens of your city


prosper, Let the children of Uruk

In the myth, when Enki tries


through force to get the me

The people of Uruk are allies

back, our warrior and her faithful

of Eridu.

counselor Ninshubar fight

Let the city of Uruk be

off the attempts. This is what

restored to its great place.


occurs when we go through a major transformation. In

In Enki’s assertion, we see the

the establishment of a new

power that is Inanna and how

paradigm, it is common to

she is equipped to unite the

experience resistance. Inanna

people of her world. Indeed,

demonstrates warrior strength

her discernment, as captured

in being forcibly loving, never

in Enheduanna’s poetry above,

acquiescing, and keeping her

grants her the ability to see how

intention fixed on aiding in the

to support the collective f rom 52

The OWL Magazine

a higher perspective. Inanna

pressure to change and transform

uses her strong will and warrior

collectively. As a goddess who

force to get what she wants;

prioritizes the actualization of

unity and unconditional love.

what she wants and as a teacher

She understands that this is an

of ascension, Inanna has returned

internal process, and that to

to guide us and our planet to rise

establish this shift we need to

together as one.

turn inward and unify internally.

[i] Excerpts from Enheduanna’s poem, “Inanna and Ebih,” come from the following translation: Meador, Betty De Shong. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.

The clash that occurs when Enki first regrets his decision and tries to get the me back through force, and the ultimate harmony between Enki and

[ii] Meador, Betty De Shong. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009. p.96.

herself, is a reconciling of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. The balancing of the feminine and masculine

but a necessary step for our

[iii] Wolkstein, Diana, and Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. p. 12-27.

individual journey toward unity

[iv] -----. p.16


[v] ----- p. 27

energy within is not only a major aspect of Inanna’s teaching

Seana Zelazo, LICSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, mentor, and intuitive channel committed to helping others live unapologetically by restoring balance through the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. Look for her upcoming book The Return of Inanna: The Unapologetic Heroine in 2022.

Inanna stands up for herself and what she believes in. She defends herself unapologetically but does so in a way that supports all. Humanity is at a crucial moment in our spiritual evolution, as evidenced by the significant challenges that have transpired on our planet over the last several years. There is a palpable internal 53

The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents by Mary Ellen Lucas


The OWL Magazine


Are you familiar with the idiom “out of the mouth of babes?” It doesn’t seem to be used in the vernacular

A ten-year-old boy in conversation

today, but it’s a quaint expression

with his great aunt mentioned a

relevant to today’s column. It

friend from school. She asked what

captures how children, despite their

his friend was like, and he replied,

young age and inexperience in life,

“She’s kindhearted.”

can say the most remarkable things! When a young child expresses a

Surprised to hear his response, she

thought or idea that denotes a

asked, “What does that mean?”

level of maturity and a depth of understanding beyond their years, it

Without hesitation, he responded,

can be startling.

“She’s kind to everyone.”

Television shows and viral

His aunt inquired, “Are you

videos showcase kids saying the


darnedest things. Watching kids who are adorably cute, sassy, and

“Of course, I am. I try to be nice to

unpredictably funny is guaranteed

everyone!” He indignantly answered.

to bring a smile to anyone’s face. This young boy understood what it “Out of the mouth of babes”

meant to be kindhearted. Perhaps

indicates something said isn’t just

he can be a gentle reminder that

ordinary but is rather extraordinary.

we too, can choose to be nice to

A child who utters a pearl of wisdom,


a nugget of truth, can leave an adult Let Your Heart Speak through

with a jaw-dropping sense of awe.

Your Words To hear from an innocent child, one who isn’t jaded or stunted by

“Our marriage is in serious trouble,”

strident opinions is refreshing. Here

was how a client described

are several true examples of children

her frequent fighting with her

voicing wise thoughts.

husband. 55

The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents

Admittedly, and with regret, she told

“Stop fighting! Put your heart in

me that they often fought in front

your mouth.” She shouted over her

of their three young children. They


would both become so heated in the righteousness of their arguments;

My client said she stopped, startled,

that they didn’t notice how upset

amazed by what her little daughter

the children became. Despite being

had articulated.

embarrassed and ashamed, my client couldn’t stop herself from

What a profound understanding

getting hooked into the pattern

by this little one. If mommy’s and

of escalating verbal assaults. The

daddy’s hearts were in their mouths,

day came when their four-year-old

maybe they would stop yelling? If

daughter had had enough.

their hearts were connected to the 56

The OWL Magazine


words coming out of their mouths, even if they were angry with each

A ten-year-old boy told his mom

other, would there be a difference?

that one day he was going to make Words spoken from the heart are

her the best Mother’s Day gift ever!

clear, firm, and can be spoken without

Curious, she asked what he was

blame and venomous anger. Her

planning to do. He replied that he was

daughter’s directive helped refocus

going to make her a robot. He would

my client. It gave her the pause she

build it to look just like his uncle, his

needed to come back to her own

mom’s brother who had died. And

heart, to be responsive, not reactive,

not only would the robot look just like

and encouraged her to connect with

him, but he would make the robot

her husband differently.

sound just like him, too.


The Heart of the Matter for Spiritually Conscious Parents

“This way,” her son explained, “you

ever get shot by them. Only a

won’t miss him so much.”

policeman or fireman should have a gun. No one in prison. You could

Intuitively, the son honed in on

get permission to own a gun from

a tender place within his mom’s

the President if you’re real good

heart. It was a hidden place, not

and older than 15. They really should

talked about, yet compassionately

make a law that all guns are illegal

her son had perceived a sadness.

except for an emergency.”

Instinctually he wanted to help her feel better. Following his

This child who greets the world

compassionate example, we

with f resh eyes, can offer a new

could be looking for ways to

perspective. He places his trust in

help someone else feel better, to

adults and offers what he considers

brighten someone’s day.

plausible solutions. Maybe this sixyear-old’s innocence can prick our



Below is a quote from a six-year-

Children as Our Teachers

old in response to the horrific school shooting in Uvalde,

Parents, family members, and

Texas. His ideas expressed to his

educators provide models of what

mother, who also happens to be

children ought to learn. However,

a schoolteacher, were said with

adults need to learn from children,

grave seriousness. We could all

too. Kahlil Gibran’s poem “On

agree that this ought not to be

Children” found in his book The

this boy’s concern, yet it is. Before

Prophet describes how children

reading his words, please set aside

may be given love “…but not your

the quagmire of political debate

thoughts, for they have their own

around guns.


“All guns should be sent to the

Children’s comments, if we are

President and he should break

listening, may contain golden gems

them so no kid or teacher would

of wisdom that soften our rigid 58

The OWL Magazine

thoughts, help us look afresh, and

occasionally speak with great

see from a different viewpoint,

words of wisdom.

ways to connect with others and

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.

the world. The preceding examples stated by young kids, miraculous, small marvels of wonder, remind us of what it is to be kindhearted, heartcentered, and compassionate. They inspire us to take a step back to see with fresh eyes that solutions are achievable. May our ears and hearts be open to allow ourselves to be wonder struck by these young babes who may




The OWL Magazine

Standing at the kitchen sink

to reclaim their natural wild and

mindlessly washing the 89th dish

sovereign states.

of the day while dinner is cooking, there is a brief reprieve. A vision

Humans as a collective are

of wild dreams; the feelings of the

experiencing evolutionary mismatch

gnawing rumblings of a ravenous

as the demands of our modern

soul; the intoxicating aroma of

lifestyle are at odds with our inherent

potent purpose and potential

genetic programming. We eat, move,

percolating under the surface and...

play, sleep, and learn under drastically

bam, it's shattered by a crying kid

different conditions than our ancestors

and a burning casserole. Dutifully

did—the way we were built to live.

returning to responsibilities; the

Parenting is no different as modern

dream is banished until the next

moms are tamed and removed from

stolen moment. At the end of the

natural ways of being. This is precisely

day when collapsing in a state of

why an extraordinary number of

delirious exhaustion, tomorrow

women are disoriented, disconnected,

is dreaded, knowing it will be

devoid of purpose, diseased, and their

Groundhog Day.

children are collateral damage.

Mothers call this living because

Women have been domesticated

we’ve been told this is the only way.

with conditioned beliefs that motherhood will complete them, yet the overwhelming majority of mothers

What if it’s not?

have never felt more fractionated. In the same way that

Modern mothers are energetically

conservationists work to restore

depleted, emotionally numb,

domesticated ecosystems and

physically stagnant, psychologically

animals to their natural untamed

confused, and spiritually asleep. They

healthy states without human

are simultaneously overwhelmed and

intrusion, so, too, can mothers be

underwhelmed, and the guilt of this

rewilded from a state of being

truth consumes them. Remaining

shackled by fear, siphoned of

stuck in the mythical motherhood

life force, verging on extinction,

fantasy leaves women consistently 61

Motherhood ReWilded

falling short and feeling shameful,

Women no longer derive satisfaction

and at times, suicidal.

from their inherited abilities and gifts. Mothers are barraged with mixed

It’s time to debunk the antiquated

messages about their responsibilities.

myth that contemporary women

Stay home with your baby as long

could be completely satisfied and

as you can, but get back to work

fulfilled in their roles as mothers.

immediately; wake up early to get the

It is this myth that creates shame

house clean before work, but sleep

when mothers are naturally desiring

when the baby sleeps; breastfeed for

more, or for those women who

as long as you can, pump at work, but

cannot conceive children for one

don’t let “them” think you need any

reason or another. Motivated by deep

special treatment; be present for your

insecurity, women are desperate to

kids and never miss a school event, but

find the meaning they lack in their

don’t ask for too much time off from

lives. The truth is that although

work; be the work hustler, the home

children may offer meaningful

manager, the kids' chauffer, the Easter

connections in the life of a woman,

Bunny and Santa Claus and the Tooth

they do not give her meaning. A

Fairy, the Pinterest crafter, the PTA

woman’s identity—whether she has

president, the soccer mom, oh and

conceived children or not—has little

don't forget the sexy wife.

to do with her children. This pressure makes it almost This may be a radical idea for some to

impossible to derive any joy and

fathom. After all, women have been

satisfaction from parenting, let

conditioned for generations to adopt

alone life. This modern world has

the role of selfless martyrs who would

not created a safe space for women

burn at the stake for their children.

to develop a healthy expression

Though women are the natural

of femininity. Softness, grace,

creators and direct channels to Spirit

compassion, contemplation and

as a bridge between worlds, imbued

introspection, prayer and meditation,

with the capacity to usher a soul into

nurturance, healing, intuition, and

this world, doing so does not have to

creativity are not valued during these

come at a personal price.

times. Valuation of a women’s worth 62

The OWL Magazine

and contribution is now measured

to learn from elders, our nervous

by career advancement; financial

systems co-regulate with others, yet

independence; incessant striving,

we are so estranged from our roots

thinking, and analyzing; moving

that we try to function in isolation.

hard and fast; washboard abs; and

Lack of kin connections is a significant

copious amounts of wine to offset the

predictor of health issues.

emotional breakdowns. Though reclaiming the “it takes a What’s more, is that women are

village” mentality is critical, a woman

parenting alone without the

must also cultivate a deep relationship

collective wisdom and support of past

with herself. Nowadays women

generations. Yet biologically we are not

rigidly believe the myth that kids

programmed to do it alone. Humans

should be the center of their worlds.

are a species that evolved to live in

However, motherhood offers women

packs or communities. We are meant

an opportunity to rebirth themselves. 63

Motherhood ReWilded

Rediscovering solace in solitude, curiously exploring the inner landscape, listening to desires and needs, and pursuing passions and interests with as much fervor as she cheers on her kid from the stands, will allow a woman to become reacquainted with her true self while offering an authentic and fulfilled mother to her children. Women have also become estranged from their own emotions. Conditioned to believe that they must portray a calm, collected demeanor at all times, women suppress, deny, avoid, and ignore, creating energetic blockages, nervous system imbalances, and inadequate modeling of emotional development for their kids. If children do not witness their

Modern domestication sets up

mothers emoting true feelings,

mothers to fail by suppressing the

honoring their natural rhythms

very things that make them human—

and cycles, navigating challenging

primal instincts, innate wisdom and

circumstances, practicing non-

intuition, and unbounded joy and

reactivity, and cultivating self-

curiosity. Women are taught to rely on

compassion; they will be inept to do

external navigation systems, while our

the same. When children witness

inherently razor-sharp instincts are

their parents’ genuine humanness,

dulled. Our natural essence is tamed,

they recognize that they, too, have

or worse, shut down. Like a wild

permission to be themselves. 64

The OWL Magazine

animal captured and civilized, the

women to trade domestication for

soul will always long to be free.

wild so they may return to their

If children do not see us blazing

roots, rekindle their instincts, and

our own trails, they will never

reclaim their sovereignty. This is the

learn how to do it for themselves.

path of true health and wellness,

At a time when a generation of

and a mother's legacy for her

children are labeled helpless,


hopeless, screen-addicted robots on

Dr. Kristy Vanacore is a spiritual visionary and modern-day medicine woman who weaves ancient wisdom with modern science to empower families to thrive. A prominent trailblazer in the field of holistic psychology for over two decades, Kristy has revolutionized the mental wellness and personal development industries with her innovative offerings. Kristy is the author of ReWilding: A Woman’s Quest to Remember Her Roots, Rekindle Her Instincts, and Reclaim Her Sovereignty.

autopilot swallowing boatloads of psychotropic drugs—it is imperative mothers model an alternative. Now more than ever, kids need to challenge what is fed to them, ask questions with an open mind and heart, and rebel against anything that threatens to control and stifle their life force. Mothers can model what it means for kids to experience the uninhibited joy that comes with the fullness of their soul’s expression. How healthy and evolved we are as women, is what gets engendered in our children. This cannot be taught with words alone; the lessons must be embodied daily. We can only take our kids as far as we have gone, or are willing to go, ourselves. Children must witness a mother’s rewilding to feel confident in theirs. It’s time we rewild the concept of motherhood by encouraging 65

Write for Good by Laura Staley

Several years ago, driving to the grocery store, my daughter sat in the back seat. Her gentle young girls voice got my attention. “Mom, have you been listening to me or listening to the thoughts in your head?” She gently asked. “Oh, yeah. I was listening to the thoughts in my head. I failed to hear anything you just said, and I want to hear what you said. I apologize. Would you mind starting from the beginning?” Then with my presence, I listened to all she happily wanted to share with me. Have the voices in your head talked louder than the person speaking to you?


The OWL Magazine

In different situations, you might

unresolved emotional pain. In

notice someone says or does

the inhales and the exhales you

something, and then an internal

can notice the sensations in your

criticizer grabs the megaphone in

body. Maybe your stomach feels

your mind.

queasy. You might be clenching your tush and toes. You might

Sometimes like firefighters, these

observe you do not even feel your

voices swarm into the house of

legs. You can only sense your

your mind with hoses and axes,

arms and shoulders. Experiencing

breaking down doors, attempting

your heart and body through

to contain the backdraft. Now,

interoception can open doors

you find yourself distracted by

to deeper layers of healing and

the roar of the fire and the rush

compassionate presence with

of these firefighters. A fiercely

yourself and others.

critical voice berates what you thought the person said, what the

Can you begin to feel your whole

person is wearing, and what this

body when you listen to other

individual just did with their facial


expressions. Your internal voice fills with self-righteousness about

Learning to listen well may

your point of view, all to protect

include sensing your feet, the

you f rom your own fiery backdraft.

soft texture of the socks on your feet, and how cold, warm, or

Did you know that most of the

sweaty your feet are. Embodied

angsty voices in your mind, were

listening means dropping into an

created to protect you from

awareness of your body which can

feeling pain in your own heart?

quiet the mind as you have given yourself a different task.

Opening the door to the heat, the backdraft of hurts in your heart,

Placing your tongue on the roof

and the different sensations in

of your mouth, parting your lips

your body become courageous

slightly, softening your eyes,

internal work to access your own

and bending your knees, if you 67

Write for Good

happen to be standing, allow you

heart, and then practice being an

to access the pause, a space of

embodied listener can become

neutrality in your body. Breathing

a wonderful gift you can share

and listening from this embodied

easily and generously with others

place broaden your capacity to

in your life.

pay attention. Listening with your whole self in “Between stimulus and response,

suspended time and vast space

there is space. In that space

can become emancipation for

is our power to choose our

your being, a most tender love

response. In our response lies our

offering in a noisy, fiery world.

growth and our freedom.”

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.

—Viktor Frankl You can begin to create an embodied space for yourself and other people. When was the last time someone listened to you with rapt attention as though you were the only person in their world? How did you know in your soul that the person heard you? What did this experience feel like? I imagine these individuals, who did the listening, offered an embodied presence of stillness, rapt attention, and gentleness in their ability to hear and hold space for you. To be given this incredible gift, to receive it in your 68

No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn. — Maya Angelou



before I could even explore who I was


and what other paths I might walk hen I was in my late teens

seemed a worse fate than death

and living in communist


Poland, I observed my

girlfriends offering their virginity

I was looking for other examples

to their boyfriends on their 18th

of what a woman was or could

birthday, then witnessed them

be, but the Communist posters

marching to the altar three months

of well-muscled worker women

later because, of course, they had

driving tractors or waving red flags

fallen pregnant. In those days nearly

didn’t appeal to me. My family was

everyone considered this normal. But

intensely Catholic and I often went

for me the idea of being stuck early

to one of the beautiful baroque

in life in marriage and motherhood

churches in my hometown where 72

The OWL Magazine

I found in the soft and opulent naves

At first, I was fascinated by

images of the two Catholic goddesses,

three Greek goddesses whose

the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.

stories I read before going to bed. These were Athena,

I had already begun to feel the surge

Aphrodite and Artemis. I admired

of Eros in all its promise and delight,

Athena because, like her, I loved

so I was not keen on imitating the

knowledge, though I thought

example of the virgin mother. I was

her cold and remote. Aphrodite’s

more intrigued by the portrayal of

sensual touch was attractive to

Mary Magdalene, who was prominent

me, while Artemis added a sense

in Jesus’ story yet somehow rejected

of adventure and independence to

and pushed to the side. I asked

the two other goddesses.

myself, was it because she was not a virgin? Could it be that her life

A bit later, I explored more

was much more interesting and her

magically assertive goddesses

wisdom much deeper than what I had

such as Circe and the Hindu erotic

learned in religion classes? Only later

super-heroines Radha, Sundari

in life did I realize that her presence in

and Kali. I didn’t know back then

Christianity—notable as it was, though

about Inanna or Isis and showed

suppressed at the same time—

no interest in them until many

wasn’t that different to the presence

years later. So, while I watched my

of Eros in our lives. I saw that Mary

girlfriends rushing to the altar,

Magdalene represented the possible

I buried myself in books. In the

unification of Eros and spirit, which

meantime, I was playing with Eros

Christianity struggled to accept.

in my imagination. I wondered what it might be like to be with

It took quite a feat of imagination

a tall, handsome Viking. Being

to construe myself differently from

a playful being, Eros likes to be

what I saw around me. I found

engaged with, even if only in the

consolation in studying the myths


of ancient goddesses, unaware that later in life I would find a source of

At some point I met a Swedish

great wisdom there.

businessman who, out of the blue, 73


showed up in my hometown

I recovered from that ill-fated

and I, knowing nothing about

Swedish affair quickly. My erotic

sensual seduction, took to playing

imagination moved swiftly f rom

with his imagination. It was the

the Viking archetype to a French

time of Elton John’s song Nikita,

libertine archetype, as I explored

and I was not that different

the allure of Frenchmen.

from her—a blonde, dreamy girl

This might seem a rather

walking among Eastern European

flamboyant introduction to

tanks during a time of martial

exploration of the mysterious

law. My seduction of this foreign

avenues of Eros, though with Eros

imaginal worked well enough for

nothing is ever what it seems.

him to jump through the hoops

Eros is as different f rom sexuality

of the Communist bureaucratic

as eroticism is from sex, so Eva

nightmare to invite me to

Pierrakos tells us in her book The

Sweden, based on nothing more

Pathwork of Self-Transformation.

than the short, platonic encounter

The French know this well and for

shared in my hometown. The

that reason prefer to refer to the

affair did not last, as the reality of

beautiful attraction that is the play

living in a Swedish suburb taught

of Eros as erotique, rather than

us he was no Viking and I was not

sexual. Sexual force without the

a Nikita.

erotic element, Pierrakos says, is very animalistc, enjoyable only for

For a while, I thought this to be

a period of time and ultimately

the end of my dream of Eros.

‘utterly selfish’ and meaningless

I returned to Poland to continue


my studies of ancient goddesses until, a few months later, I had

Eros, on the other hand, which

another opportunity to escape the

lives mostly in our imagination,

Communist grayness, this time

manifests as a desire to know

to Paris at a girlfriend’s invitation.

and experience the other. It can

I left Poland with nothing but

manifest as a strong attraction, but

a borrowed suitcase and ten

this is a different level of attraction.

American dollars. Once in Paris,

While sexual attraction can create 74

The OWL Magazine

an intense yet temporary chemistry

the other person better, but also

between two people, erotic

that we have somehow come to

attraction is more focused on the

know ourselves in the process. This

powerful desire to connect with

leaves us mysteriously connected

another, to truly and completely

and bedazzled by the experience

know them. This knowing includes

because it allows us to touch our

sexual union but goes beyond it.

souls and feel a deep if fleeting

Eros, or erotic connection rather

connection with another person.

than chemistry, serves to create a bridge between our being and the

This is a gift that should not be

being of the other on whom our

rejected. Pierrakos calls this ‘the

erotic desire is fixed.

quest for the other soul,’ as the sexual encounter in this case is

Let me give you an example. In an

merely a conduit to the experience

instance of pure sexual attraction,

of a profound connection and

we may experience great sexual

knowing of the soul of another.

pleasure but have no desire to truly

You may not know anything about

know the person. Often we may

the mundane aspects of this other

experience the strange feeling that

person’s life, but you get to know

despite the great sex, we have little

them at a much deeper level, a

to say to each other. In this respect,

level people who have known that

even great sex without a deeper

person for years may never know.

connection is largely meaningless

This is the power of Eros.

and leaves us empty, despite being Yet even Eros, as we well know,

physically satisfied.

wears itself out. Eros loves to be Erotic desire is more fulfilling

playful. Eros loves to be beautiful

because of the presence of a

at all times. Eros loves the new.

deeper connection. For the same

Eros becomes bored if it isn’t

reason, our sexual experiences

constantly curious about the other.

when Eros is present are also

Eros moves on. All the greatest

much deeper and more satisfying.

romances of this world are based

We feel that not only do we know

on Eros and die because of Eros. 75


This is why Pierrakos says romantic

Let me refer you to Pierrakos again:

love is only the final point for those

‘When you find the other soul and

who refuse to evolve spiritually and

meet it, you fulfill your destiny.’

move beyond it. I must admit that without knowing the possibility

Do you dare? Are you prepared to

of something higher, it’s true that

risk all for this ‘complete mutual

romantic love seems like the best

revelation of one soul to another?’

of all possible deals, because what

Because this is what it takes.

usually comes after it is marriage— and few of us know how to sustain

For this revelation to be possible,

Eros in marriage. Alternatively, like

we need to constantly grow and

all great romances, romantic love

move to a higher possibility with

usually comes to an abrupt end.

ourselves and with our partner. This

Fortunately, this is not all we have

requires facing the shadowy parts

available to us. Apart from sexual

of ourselves and healing them.

attraction or the adventurousness

Pierrakos teaches us that truly soulful

of Eros, we also have love. Love,

love is not possible without this. We

Pierrakos tells us, is a ‘permanent

need to grow. We need to attain our

state of the soul.’ What is this

highest possibility. Then, as the great

permanent state of the soul and

tenth-century Tantric philosopher

how we can achieve it? This is

Abhinavagupta once said, ‘You will

the difficult part. We need to be

walk upon this earth as gods.’

willing to do two things: to grow spiritually, which requires us to

In Paris I learned that not even

constantly work on ourselves, and

Eros, without a desire for spiritual

at the same time stay open to Eros.

growth, can hold a relationship for

This also means not being afraid

long. Eros needs to be lived. Without

to completely expose ourselves to

this, life is only a set of mundane

another, including our soul, our

responsibilities. But Eros also needs

darkness, and our ugly parts.

to be entertained at the highest possible level and used to open up

Do you have the desire, the stamina

the new field of divine play, our own

and the courage to do this?

highest possibility. 76

The OWL Magazine

After publishing one article on

beautiful way, several decades later

Eros and spirit, I received many

they met again when the woman

personal confessions of erotic-

was finishing her studies to become

spiritual experiences from readers.

a civil celebrant. She was asked to

They contained experiences

perform her first funeral rites over

through Eros of the mystical that

the body of a man whose body had

happened outside the mundane

been shipped to her location, for

reality of relationships. One woman

reasons unknown to her. The body

shared a beautiful story of an erotic

turned out to be that of her former

encounter that turned out to be

lover with whom she had shared

a moment of self-realization for

the mystical experience triggered

both parties and yet was outside

by Eros.

the understanding of what’s normally called ‘a relationship.’ Like

Another reader, male this time,

many mystical experiences, this

recalled a mystical experience of

one was both life-shattering and

an erotic but not sexual type when

transformative, so that it pierced

he felt the presence of a young

through the walls of the lovers’

Indian woman with long, flowing


hair—first within his own being, then outside himself breathing

Suddenly a new door of perception

at his neck with her hand gently

opened for them and a new, much

resting on his heart. He felt a form

more beautiful holistic and divine

of erotic sensation that shook his

vision of all creation was available to

entire being. He recognized her

them. Their lovemaking experience

as Devi (‘the goddess’ in Sanskrit)

took them out of their bodies and

herself who had come to him in

was later described by this reader

this erotic and beautiful form. For

as a form of grace and benediction.

days he walked the streets weeping

The shattering part of the

with joy, aware that this extremely

experience was also the realization

personal and erotic episode was

that they could not be together,

also mystical in nature and had

as they were otherwise attached

connected him to the feminine in

to other people. In a strange and

its divine form. 77


My own and others’ experiences

into the sea. The story mythically

have convinced me that to

connects Aphrodite’s status as the

entertain Eros at the highest

goddess of beauty with erotic love

possible level, we need to know

by mixing sea foam with sperm.

what shapes the perceptions

This is also the most popular

of Eros in our psyche – and that

image of Aphrodite in Sandro

is why we need to explore the

Botticelli’s painting The Birth of

goddesses of Eros.

Venus. Venus was Aphrodite’s name during the Roman Empire


when Rome conquered Greece

The first goddess that we need to

gods. Astrologically, Aphrodite is

and adopted its goddesses and represented by the planet Venus.

explore is Aphrodite, the Ancient

She is often symbolized by a

Greek goddess of beauty, love,

dolphin, rose, swan or shell.

passion and pleasure. The stories of her birth vary, including the one

There is a certain charm and

told in Homer’s The Illiad, which

sensuality in the stories of

describes her as the daughter of

Aphrodite, which are an unending

Zeus and Dione, an Oceanid or

stream of doomed romances.

ocean nymph. The most popular

This is probably why we so easily

myth comes from Hesiod’s

identify with her or, at least, love

eighth-century BCE poem The

to adore her. She arouses us and

Theogony, in which he describes

her romantic adventures provide

the origins of gods and goddesses.

a background for our own failed

My preference is for Hesiod’s

loves and romances. For example,

version simply because it’s more beautiful.

she was forced by Zeus to marry

Hesiod describes Aphrodite as

same time carried on sexy affairs

the ugly Hephaistos, yet at the with the handsome and manly

born f rom the sea foam near the

Aries, God of War, and many

island of Cyprus, where the Titan

others. Despite being a goddess

Cronus killed his father Uranus

of beauty, pleasure and love, it

and threw his father’s genitals 78

The OWL Magazine

was still not within her powers

by her own desires and in need

to choose her own husband and

of and begging Zeus for help! In

she was often humiliated in her

modern terms, she became the

romantic adventures.

Marilyn Monroe of Olympus— beautiful, yet disempowered and demeaned.

It was not always so. I was surprised to discover that Aphrodite was just another

‘The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite’

version of an earlier goddess from

is one of the hymns presumably

Sumer known as Inanna, or as the

written by Homer around the

Egyptian goddess Hathor. Like

eighth century BCE. Hawthorne

Inanna and Hathor before her,

examines its 293 lines and

Aphrodite was once also known

discovers that, originally,

as the goddess of war and was a

Aphrodite was described as

force to be reckoned with. Then

‘all-powerful.’ She is Aphrodite

something happened to her and

the Golden who ‘stirs up’ sweet

she lost her power.

longing both in gods and humans, including Zeus himself, whom

While researching this book,

‘she deceives at her pleasure.’

I found a wonderful essay by

At a certain point, the fates are

Susan Hawthorne, ‘The Homeric

reversed and Zeus somehow

Hymn to Aphrodite’ in Goddesses

manages to make Aphrodite fall in

in Myth, History and Culture.

love with a mortal man, Anchises

Hawthorne traces the original

f rom Troy. She falls in love and

archetype of Aphrodite as the

desires Anchises so deeply that

goddess of love and beauty, whose

she pretends to be a mortal

power even Zeus was afraid of, but

woman just so she can share the

who was gradually disempowered.

pleasure of lovemaking with him.

The stories of the all-powerful

As a result of this romance, the

Aphrodite were, no doubt, told

hymn tells us, her human lover

and written by someone else.

gains power and status, whereas

From a position of power, she

she is disgraced as a goddess

moved to one of ridicule, trapped

who has fallen for a mortal. The 79


goddess of love, beauty, pleasure

The entertainment and fashion

and desire falls victim to her own

industries have examples of

powers—or her misused and

Aphrodite-like women who

manipulated powers. What was

have fallen from their places of

once her strength has now become

power. These women, although

her downfall.

adored for their beauty, were also ridiculed and humiliated at times.

In one way, we can agree with

Marilyn Monroe was the classic

Hawthorne’s interpretation of the

example of an Aphrodite-woman;

hymn to Aphrodite. It’s no secret,

so were, less tragically, Elizabeth

and painfully obvious to any

Taylor and many others.

woman, that feminine sensuality and sexuality have been hijacked,

On a more mundane level,

along with the whole idea of the

I observed this ‘fall’ the most

goddess. What it means to be a

brutal way when, as a 21-year-old

sensually empowered woman has

woman, I heard two older men

been defined for us by a generation

talking about an older woman

of patriarchs who have oppressed

who had just come into the store

humanity for too long. By humanity,

they were in. They both had

I mean both women and men.

known her in the past as a great beauty and no doubt had desired

In more modern times, this idea

her back then. They pointed at

has been defined by the media

her and with malicious smiles

and Hollywood in a most devious

exchanged comments about her

way. Then, of course, comes the

age and how ‘nothing was left

fashion industry, which again

of the whore’s looks anymore.’

defines women and their beauty

I doubt the woman was ever a

in extremely limiting ways that

‘whore,’ and the epithet probably

damage lives and people’s self-

came f rom their once-f rustrated

image, and which drain the joy

and unfulfilled desire for her. I was

of life away or even stymy the

stunned not only by the vulgar

possibility of being a beautiful and

brutality of their words, but also

sensually empowered woman.

by how they were completely 80

The OWL Magazine

missing her current beauty. The

have we entered into a romantic

woman was radiant and graceful

relationship feeling the irresistible

in an almost ephemeral way,

power of Eros and attraction

and her only fault was not being

only to end up crying and feeling

young. Yet this was enough to

humiliated, left to ponder our

berate her as ‘fallen.’


We can also take a more universal

Perhaps staying in power is

approach toward the idea of the

not the lesson of Eros and love.

‘fall of Aphrodite’ the poignant

Perhaps the whole lesson is to

story of a common sense of

surrender power? But surrender

disempowerment that both

to what? Certainly not to another

women and men experience

person—that, we know, is a

when falling in love and falling

mistake. But to what? Perhaps

into desire. According to the

to the loveliness of Eros itself?

tradition of esoteric Hinduism,

Perhaps to the loveliness of the

we become ‘deluded by our

‘sweet longing’ of which the

own power.’ Instead of being in

hymn to Aphrodite speaks?

charge of our gifts, including the

More often than not, we fall in

gift of love and desire, we ‘fall in

love with this feeling, with the

love’ instead of ‘being in love.’

loveliness of the surrender in

This is what I learned from one

love. The ‘falling’ has its own

Parthasarathy, a spiritual master

rewards, but it certainly also has

from India whom I met while

its consequences.

lecturing for Monash University in Malaysia. He said, ‘Do not fall in


love; rise in love.’ This is a simple and life-changing shift in thinking

When we speak of the loveliness of

about being in love—and yet

Eros, we can’t forget the goddess

I have many examples, as does

Radha, who in my opinion is a

everyone else, of how this is the

spiritualized version of Aphrodite.

most difficult thing to do and

The goddesses of ancient Greece

the most deceitful. How often

are like Hollywood stars, while 81


the Hindu goddesses have a

isn’t that different from the loving

connection to the divine realm,

devotion and merging described

and their actions are focused on

by the Sufi poet Rumi, with whom

the domain of the Self, on spiritual

most Westerners are familiar.

improvement, on achieving oneness with the divine—

In Hindu mythology, Radha never

although this does not mean they

lost her power because she never

don’t have frivolous moments or

sought it. Her devotion is her

never misuse their powers.

power. Her devotion is eventually

In popular Hindu mythology,

transformed into divine love.

Radha was a milkmaid who fell in

Her love spiritualizes her. She

love with Lord Krishna. Although

represents the love and bliss of

she was the wife of another

being within proximity of the

man, she became Lord Krishna’s

divine, which leads her to being

consort. In 12th-century poems

one with the divine. Through this

by the poet Jayadeva, Radha

proximity, she herself becomes

is represented as the goddess


of love and devotion. Radha’s longing and devotion for the

Both Aphrodite and Radha are

beloved are her main attributes.

beloved goddesses because we identify with their love struggles.

Unlike Aphrodite, Radha was

Ah! The misery and ecstasy of

never powerful on her own

romantic love! They do not stop

terms. Quite the opposite, her

themselves when the arrow of

power derives from her love and

Eros arrives. Aphrodite might

devotion for her beloved. She is

become f rustrated when this

the ultimate expression of what in

happens to her, as she is used

Hinduism is called a bhakta, or a

to being in charge, but Radha

person who devotionally worships

just goes for it. She longs for the

a personal god or goddess. The

romantic high. She longs for the

power of a bhakta comes from

erotic high that comes with this.

this devotion, from complete

She spends days dreaming of her

absorption with the beloved, and

beloved, real or imaginary, and 82

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truly and unconditionally believes

intimacy through a romantic

that finding her beloved, being

relationship. She dreams of a

with her beloved, is the most

romantic ‘soulmateship’ at the

important thing in her life. Radha

deepest level.

loves the bliss of romantic love I experienced that feeling after

without bounds.

my divorce f rom an abusive and On a more personal level, Radha

short-lived marriage that forced

represents that part in ourselves

me to redefine what I really

that’s our longing for love,

wanted to give in a relationship

especially for romantic love. She

and what it was that I really valued

longs for her soulmate; and if she

in masculinity. I have always been

doesn’t have one, she longs to

attracted to male energy and

have a soulmate. She is the part of

received the same response from

us that loves being in love.

masculine energy in my life. This relationship was based on a strong

At one level, she can also

and intense attraction. Although

represent our addiction to

that particular marriage was a bad

romance, and she may become

experience, I didn’t want to give up

bored after the romantic interlude

on the loveliness and sexiness of

passes and the more mundane

the merging of the feminine and

realities of the relationship kick in.

masculine in my life. I was very

Instead of facing these realities,

honest with myself at that point.

Radha may choose to move to another romantic high— and

However, I noticed that again and

when that passes, to another one.

again I associated masculinity with

She is that friend who marries

an alpha-type personality that’s

at least four times or who never

often aggressive and, on closer

marries because marriage is too

inspection, in some men a sign of

‘mundane’ for her (or him). On

insecurity. It became clear to me

another level, she might be the

that I did not want that in my life

genuine longing for a ‘true’ love’,

anymore. So I began redefining

a deep sense of connection and

what was really attractive to me. 83


This was not a rational process,

perhaps too much, but that was a

a strategy, a list of things I like in

thing of the past and now he was

men. It was a much more intuitive

happily married to a woman who


had also had an interesting past. Most of all, I was attracted to his

To start with, I gave myself a lot

intelligent face, a certain je ne sais

of space and time away from

qua about his smile, which was

men. I moved in with two other

half-indulgent and half-amused,

women and didn’t date anyone

and to his unquestionable

for some time. Before and after

masculine charm, which I found

work, I meditated a lot. In quiet

irresistible. About nine months

moments, I surrendered to the

later, I met my partner of many

longing for a loving relationship,

years now who pretty much

allowing my imagination to

covers all the qualities I had

flood me with images from

found so irresistible in the man

my subconscious without any

f rom ‘The Portrait of a Casanova,’

intellectual judgement. For

including his male charm and

example, I remembered how


years earlier I had cut out a picture of a man from the men’s

What I am trying to say here is

magazine section of the Canadian

that I surrendered unconditionally

Maclean’s news magazine. I even

to my longing and was brutally

remembered the name of the

honest with myself. I didn’t

article, ‘The Portrait of a Casanova.’

pretend that I wanted a ‘family man’ or whatever my friends told

‘That’s interesting,’ I thought

me I should be looking for. I let

at the time. Then I let myself

myself long for my idea of a new

wonder what it was about the

man and indulged in that longing.

man that I found so attractive. This man was a bit of a rebel in his

This does not mean that playing

profession, a psychoanalyst who

Radha always brings us what

questioned Freud and definitely

we want. A Radha-person may

his own person. He loved women,

experience a continuous feeling 84

The OWL Magazine

of longing, the object of which

has forgotten its true purpose and

may not even be identifiable, and


where this feeling is a sense of something absolutely essential

However, as an archetype, Radha

that’s missing in our lives. It’s

has her longing rewarded one way

important to remember that

or another. She eventually merges

this longing can be sublime,

with the beloved or internalizes

as long as it doesn’t lead to

the beloved and transforms

depression, a constant nostalgia

herself because of the love and

or even whinging. Ideally, it can

devotion, fulfilled or not, that she

be transformed into a merging

feels. Ultimately, her longing is her

with the transcendental, with the

method and her liberation.

divine heart itself. In the Catholic tradition Teresa of Avila, a 16th-

into this category.


On a more practical level, this

The erotic trap happens whenever

longing can also be transmuted

we become addicted to Eros. This

into identification with a higher

can happen in two ways. Once Eros

goal or a good cause of some

withers, we either move on from

kind, such as the feeling of being

one relationship to another with

protective toward animals, trees,

the hope that the new beginning,

children, or some humanitarian

the new person, can bring the

goal of another kind. From my

sweet and exciting feeling of Eros

spiritual mentor, I have learned

back, or we hold onto the person

that all feelings are a permeation

with whom Eros entered our lives

of divine love. Even the ‘lowest’ or

in a strong and powerful way.

century Spanish saint, and in the Hindu tradition Anandamayi Ma, a 20th-century saint, probably fall

most ‘negativity’ feelings (such as sadness, anger or frustration)

Either way is a trap. In the first

are just a form of divine love that

case, we move forever from one 85


partner to another in our search

all boundaries and judgements,

for Eros, which meets us only

in the seductive promise of an

briefly— and the more we

erotic high and the mysterious

move on, the less Eros cares to

longing that fired up my soul. But

manifest for us. In the second

I was also an Aphrodite, deluded

scenario, we become a romantic

by her own power. I walked into

slave to another in the false

the trap of Eros believing I could

belief that this other will bring

control not only Eros itself, but

us the sweet experience of Eros,

also the outcome of the romance.

which is both deeply erotic and

I believed I could control the

spiritual. In both cases, we forget

powerful attraction and not

that the experience of Eros

respond to it again after the first

is within us—that we are the

encounter. ‘One night,’ I thought,

constant factor, not the other

‘that’s it.’ That night lasted seven

person. But in not knowing it is


we who trigger the experience of Eros within us, we falsely

I could have walked away, but

believe it comes from them.

I didn’t. Willingly, impatiently,

We become a willing addict, a

hungrily, I fell into his body. I fell

willing slave.

into the sweetest darkness of desire. Devouring and predatory,

In my life, I have fallen into that

sweet death by desire—no one

trap once. Instead of theorizing

should underestimate its power.

about it, I will describe how it felt, as I have written it and

Desire is not just lust. It is a

published it in many stories.

profound awakening to the

Once upon a time, as a woman

longings hidden in our soul.

in her mid-30s, I met a man

It defies all obstacles, all

who triggered the experience

prohibitions. It’s a mysterious force

of my own Eros. I was a Radha

more delicious than anything

because I was delighted

society can offer as a bribe to stay

in the suspended state of

away. It rules our whole being. We

consciousness that overrides

are captive and want to stay so. 86

The OWL Magazine

Dr Joanna Kujawa is an author, scholar, spiritual detective, and author of her bestselling book The Other Goddess: Mary Magdalene and the Goddesses of Eros and Secret Knowledge. As an active academic for over 20 years, she uses her scholarly training to investigate topics other academics often pass over, such as: Can spirituality and sexuality be experienced as one? Who was the real Mary Magdalene? Is there a lineage of Goddesses now resurfacing in our collective experience of spirituality?

Even lust is a slave to desire. We lust more because we desire even more, because we want to quench the desire, because it gets us closer to the desire, because we can feel the desire at its peak and hope it will last forever—that we will live forever wanting more of the same sweetness, the same pain. We hope the insane longing will keep the desire eating at us like a strange, painful ecstasy that has to be satisfied but never will be. But we do not believe it. We think we will have this one night, and that the next day we will leave it behind and do what we have always done—travel, study, write. Just this one night of surrender to desire, we think. But we do not know what this means, except that it looks us in our eyes and asks, Do you dare to play with me? This is the trap of Eros, seductive in its beauty and dangerous in its power.


Excerpt from True Light

Allow Your Highest Potential to Emerge

Where Learning is Experienced 88

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