Sacred Places

Shamanic Transformations edited by Itzhak Beery

shamanicShamanic Transformations

edited by Itzhak Beery

Book Excerpt

19 


Baby, I Was Born This Way 


Linda Star Wolf

I was born into a loving family and grew up with the good, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth Christian folks of rural western Kentucky. Although there was fundamentalism, there was also an innate closeness to the land and family. I spent most of my childhood outside with my grandmother Mammy Jones. Mammy recognized my overly sensitive nature and psychic gifts and treated my “strangeness” as something to be proud of. She taught me that it was part of God’s gift to me. She protected and cultivated my gifts, helping me see, hear, and interpret the world around me with shamanic eyes. She showed me the connection between the spiritual world and the natural world. Mammy Jones infused me with her own special brand of faith that even though I was different, I was special.

Mammy also taught me to connect with the dream world. In the mornings as we ate breakfast, she always asked me about my dreams. We talked about what I saw and what it might mean. A few months before my twelfth birthday, I saw Mammy’s death in a dream. It terrified me and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was afraid that if I spoke it, it would come true. The following morning at breakfast Mammy sensed that I was upset about something and eventually got me to talk. She assured me everything would be okay. A few weeks later she became quite ill and her health declined rapidly. She eventually agreed to go to the hospital, but she never came home. My beloved Mammy was gone.

The loss of my grandmother was not only a shock but it became a huge psychic wound for many years. I secretly blamed myself for her death, believing that somehow seeing the vision of her death in my dreams had made me responsible. The pain of losing her was insurmountable. Although I knew my parents loved me, Mammy Jones was the person in my life who really saw me for who I was.

As a teenager I couldn’t deal with my gifts without Mammy to guide me, so I wandered in the underworld for a long time. In my confusion, hurt, and grief, I ignored my sensitive nature as much as possible. I developed several dysfunctional patterns for dealing with life, including addiction to substances, which resulted in a near-death experience before I was twenty years old.

The addictions turned out to be blessings in disguise, eventually leading me to a path of soulful sobriety in my late twenties. I found that I was a natural wounded healer. I became an addictions counselor, but I sensed there was something more than what was being offered in mental health and treatment centers for these folks who were a lot like me. I understood that many of them were using substances to block out emotional pain and repress sensitive spiritual souls. I was determined to discover what that “something more” was–not only for me but for others seeking lives that were addiction free, yet not restricted to the status quo.

This yearning led me to a path of radical transformation, reclaiming my lost soul parts through the healing power of breathwork and eventually entering the shamanic path. Through breathwork journeying I began to feel a call toward Native American, Mayan, and other indigenous teachings. A Cherokee friend and teacher encouraged me to listen to a guided journey every day with the intention of finding a grandmother spirit who could help me heal my grandmother wound and give me the guidance to truly find myself and walk my path. During one of those journeys, a Native American grandmother I had never seen before came into my vision. She held my head in her lap and stroked my hair, calling me Gentle Star Wolf. I saw her face as clear as day, and she felt incredibly real. When I came out of the journey, I was not sure if she was someone real whom I needed to find in this realm or if she was a
guide from the spirit realm.

It was to be several years until I tracked her down in the physical world–or perhaps it was she who tracked me down. One day I traveled to the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in upstate New York. As I got out of my car, Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch opened the door to her back porch and walked toward me. Taking hold of my shoulders, she looked penetratingly into my eyes and said the words that would change my world forever: “What took you so long?”

I looked back at her in shock. Even though there were others close by they ceased to exist in that moment. There was only the two of us, suspended beyond time and space. The whole world went into slow motion and eventually I found my voice, saying, “It would have helped if you had told me your name and where you lived.”

“You were supposed to use your Wolf nose, eyes, and ears to sniff me out,” she said with a wry smile. Then she added, “I gave you a name. What is it?”

I answered shyly in a questioning manner, “Star Wolf?”

Her face lit up and she said very firmly, “Yes. That’s right. Now come on inside and let’s get to it.”

There have been many shamanic moments of death, rebirth, and wisdom given to me during this life journey of almost sixty years. But my epic, “no turning back” moment came that day on Grandmother Twylah’s porch when time stood still and I looked into the eyes of the woman whom I had seen in my vision. Up until that point I waivered back and forth between faith and doubt about my mystical experiences and psychic gifts. When I met Twylah, the worlds collided and all doubt fell away. From that moment forth, I was able to embrace my shamanic spirit and calling.

Bio: Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pagè. He has also trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. The founder of ShamanPortal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on the faculty of New York Open Center. The author of The Gift of Shamanism, he lives in New York.
 
Shamanic Transformations edited by Itzhak Beery © 2015 Destiny Books. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
 
Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days
 
Price: $18.95
 
To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore.

CREATING YOUR PERSONAL ALTAR—By Sonia Choquette

personal altarBOOK EXCERPT:

CREATING YOUR PERSONAL ALTAR

By Sonia Choquette

To genuinely tune in to your Spirit and feel its guiding force, it’s important to make it a central part of your life—something you want to turn to automatically without pause or hesitation. One way to help you achieve this is by creating a personal altar in your home and sitting quietly in front of it every day for a few minutes (preferably during peaceful moments in the morning).

There is no right or wrong way to set up an altar—just follow your intuition. What you create should reflect your deepest, most genuine Self. An altar is meant to be a visual reminder for you to go within through prayer, meditation, contemplation, song, or intuitive listening. Set up your altar as a place where you can anchor your attention inward, detach from the outer world for a moment, and instead tune in to the subtle forces of love and guidance arising in your heart. Your altar serves as a place that helps center your awareness on your inner voice and the guiding flow of love and support flowing from Divine Source to your Higher Self and on to you.

An altar is far more than a beautiful “thing” to look at. It is an active doorway to your beautiful guiding Spirit in many profound ways. Sitting at your altar trains your conscious and subconscious mind to let go of familiar mental patterns (which have habitually controlled you) and tune you in to the subtler, more loving, au- thentic frequency of Spirit. When you sit in prayer or meditation in front of your altar, you’re teaching your mind to relax and surrender to the higher power of the Spirit within.

Altars also serve as energetic portals, or openings, to the realm of Spirit. When you enter the sacred energy surrounding an active altar, the veil between the worlds thins and the heavens open up. If you consistently hold the intention of connecting with your Spirit as you sit at your altar, you’ll be “spirited away” into a beautiful higher realm. At first, the shift may be so subtle that you hardly notice the changes through your senses, but with repeated visits, your perception of this heightened vibrational frequency will become stronger. And no matter what you may be thinking about when approaching your altar, your mind will quickly be- come calm, quiet, and clear as you settle before it; and your heart will open as your vibration shifts to one of pure loving-kindness.

With daily practice, you’ll actually feel yourself entering this sacred opening to the spirit realm the moment you approach your altar; it feels very similar to what you might experience when you approach an altar in a church, temple, or other holy place. If you haven’t felt this or don’t think you’re energetically sensitive enough to feel it, be patient. Sitting for a few minutes each day in the energy of your personal altar will heighten your awareness, and you’ll start to feel this higher vibration. Also, the more you sit in prayer or meditation before your personal altar, the more the energy itself builds.

The shift in vibration around your altar is strengthened by regular, intentional acts of meditation, prayer, song, chant, and contemplation. If there’s no holy inner work going on, the vibration of Spirit won’t be present and the portal won’t open. It will simply be something pretty to look at, but it won’t possess Divinelife force. Therefore, I encourage you to create your altar with holy intention, reverence, and enthusiasm.

Where to Place Your Altar

Making room in your home for an altar might not seem like the easiest thing to do, especially if you live in tight quarters, but with a little creativity, it’s not difficult. Ideally, you may want to set up your altar in a room that’s not used every day, such as a spare bedroom or dining room, or simply clear a small area in any room. A personal altar doesn’t require a lot of space—that’s not the point. It can be one square foot in size and still open up a tremendous portal if it was created by your heartfelt devotion, love, and intention to connect to your Spirit. I know one woman who shared a two-bedroom apartment with six people, so space was at a premium. She created a small altar on a Kleenex tissue, and no one touched it. If the Spirit is willing, the way is made easy.

My personal altar is in my bedroom. I set it up on a small table in front of the window, and it’s one of the first things I see every morning. I love it and always start my day there. It emotes a powerful healing force, enabling me to become grounded and centered on what is important. As I sit at my altar I feel God’s love surrounding me. My husband, Patrick, created his own altar in his office on a tall, slim stand. His altar is very different from mine and reflects who he is, which is exactly what it should do. So know that you can certainly have more than one altar in your home. Each family member can set up his or her own unique space—and I believe that everyone should! It’s an easy and meaningful way to create a private, sacred portal between you and your Divine Spirit.

What to Place on Your Altar

What you put on your altar is of great importance, as each item must speak directly to a significant part of your inner being and Spirit. Choose whatever energetically resonates with you and touches your heart. For a lot of people, this may mean including a picture of a spiritual figure, such as Mother Mary, Jesus, an Ascended Master Teacher, the Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Kali, or the Dalai Lama. Select images or things that really move you in some inner way—those that you feel hold meaning for you at this time. From time to time you may want to change what is on your altar— replacing old items with new ones as your outward life and inner landscape change. The key to creating a powerful altar is feeling. So in addition to using images of holy or inspirational figures, also include photos of the people you love, such as your family, friends, and even your pets.

You may also feel inspired to place images and totems from nature, such as seashells, stones, animal bones, or feathers on your altar, as these may carry meaning for your Spirit. You might be drawn to placing beautiful living things on your altar, such as fresh-cut flowers, fresh herbs and spices, or a bowl of clean water that’s changed daily to symbolize the holy waters of our loving Mother-Father God, the Source of All Life. Your options are limitless. Be creative, use your imagination, tune in to your intuition, and know that anything goes, as long as it holds meaning for you.

Another way to enhance your altar and make it an ever more powerful one is by adding some natural crystals, especially quartz. Often dismissed by energetically insensitive people as “silly New Age trinkets,” crystals are, in fact, extremely powerful living energy tools that can cut negative cords, remove unhealthy energetic attachments, clear energy fields, and amplify your personal intentions. They’re essential in many fields today, including technology and medicine; valued for their power and precision; and work with subtle realms of energy in profound ways as well.

Other wonderful objects to place on your altar are bird feathers, which also seem to somehow suddenly find their way to you once you decide to procure one. Feathers are universal symbols of Spirit and represent the Divine Self in flight. All living things, particularly birds, sense when you’re in the process of transforma-tion or elevating your personal vibration as you return to personal power and will show support by offering up their feathers. So pay attention as you move through the day, and don’t be surprised if a feather finds you.

Bells, chimes, and rattles are other powerful tools to place on your altar, as they serve to call out to the Divine for guidance and support. Sacred hand drums are also potent tools for connecting with your Spirit and can be placed near your altar for use in connecting with your guiding light. Using these items actually calls your powerful Spirit forward, which is why they’ve been incorporated into almost all spiritual ceremonies throughout the ages.

 

Sonia Choquette is a world-renowned author, storyteller, vibrational healer, and six-sensory spiritual teacher in international demand for her guidance, wisdom, and capacity to heal the soul. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Answer Is Simple … among other books; as well as numerous audio programs and card decks and published in over 30 countries. Sonia was educated at the University of Denver and the Sorbonne in Paris, and holds a Ph.D. in metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. She resides with her family in Chicago. www.soniachoquette.com

 

The preceding excerpt is adapted from the new book Tune In: Let Your Intuition Guide You To Fulfillment and Flow by Sonia Choquette.  Published by Hay House ©2013 (Available Sept. 9, 2013) and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com.

 

 

 

No Reservations by Reagan McGuire

No Reservations

by Reagan McGuire

 

“Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with which destiny have ordained that you shall live.” 

~ Marcus Aurelius

 

My passenger sat stoically, a traditional Navajo woman she spoke little, if any, English.  The lines and valleys etched into her dark red face confessed to a long life spent outdoors in the harsh Arizona sun.  The only emotion she showed was smiling at me through broken teeth.

One could tell silence was a major and welcome part of her life.  As we traveled along the brightly colored sandstone formations that blanket the Navajo and Hopi Reservation, I had time to do something I rarely had time to do while driving in town… reflect.

It came to me I have constantly changing views of Arizona from many perspectives as I move about the state.  There is no joy greater to me than driving around an area called the Painted Desert.  It is in this ancient place; in that timeless land abundant in tradition and solitude, I feel most at peace and at home. The Dineh, which means ‘The People’, have become friends and family and over the years I have grown to respect their life and their ways.

Many of the lessons I have learned come from a direct view of the world taken from simple observations of how my native friends relate to the world around them.  Such as; the rain was falling softly from above one fine spring day as I arrived at my friend Lonnie’s Hogan located out in the Navajo Lands.  Lonnie’s greeted me by looking upward and declaring that “Father Sky was making love to Mother Earth.”  This refreshing way to see how water nourishes the land has changed how I see rain.

I am blessed to have a ten year old adopted Navajo granddaughter.  I will call her Angel, because, if there are angels, she is one.  There isn’t a direct translation of the word ‘angel’ from English to the Navajo language.  They would probably be called “dyin bl naala’a”, meaning messenger of the holy people.

When she was five years old my little Angel climbed up into my lap and stole my heart.  Through the years as I have watched her grow she, like my son Jesse, has taught me how to love unconditionally.  I held her when she was sad, held her when she was glad, and wiped the tears from her eyes when the other children teased her too much.

Being vulnerable was something my heart understood and through that window I came to see that an underlying proposition I clung to, was wrong.  Love was possible for a spirit broken by life’s twists and turns.  To fully realize love we must have the courage to be imperfect.  I could sense through these encounters, I was shifting into another phase of life, a place unknown but not frightening.

Angel’s unspoken message to me has been to see the world as fresh and new in every moment.  Her natural Zen nature, something to be envied by the most practiced Monks, is always perfectly in the moment, no matter what that instant brings.  Never bothered by yesterday’s business or tomorrow’s worries, it appears as though Angel simply arrives at any space in time, not deciding it in advance.

Reflecting on the beauty that surrounded me as I drove the Navajo woman to Chinle, her very presence in my car itself echoing Thomas Carlyle’s quote, “A silence as deep as eternity…”  I wondered if when my granddaughter got older she would dress in the traditional Navajo clothing my passenger was wearing.  Would she stay on the reservation as an adult?

Learning the Navajo language at her school in Kayenta has Angel very excited.  She was very determined, with all the ten year old enthusiasm she could muster, to teach me every Navajo word she had learned, over the phone, the last time we talked. Would learning her Native language bind her to her people in ways that compelled her to live on these lands?  I wondered if it was right for me to even be weighing these issues but I am compelled by love to ponder my Angel’s fate.

The shack on the hill where I dropped the old Navajo woman off on that bumpy dirt road demanded years of maintenance to make it whole.  Metal heaps of once functional transportation littered the property setting up the arbitrary boundaries of her domain.  A large Crow on the fence spoke loudly its displeasure at being disturbed. Skinny dogs, chickens and goats moved aimlessly about, not really concerned if we were there or not.  I wondered if the old woman noticed.  I wondered if she cared.

Poverty, woven deep into the very fabric of her life for so many years, reigned supreme in this land.  Many times this story has been told from lonely hilltops and valleys where dreams and visions drift away like fallen leaves in the wind.  Where a people’s hopes have died and wither on the tree.  Maybe accepting it for what it was brought certain serenity to it all.  Maybe I am the impoverished one and this Native woman has obtained riches I will never come to know.

Over the years as we held hands and collected bugs, lay in the dirt watching clouds pass by and built boats to float on streams, if the rains came.  Angel’s sense of wonder at the sheer beauty and complexity of life has constantly made my heart smile.  Tragically not all has been well.  Angel’s 33 year old mother and 24 year old aunt died in a car wreck two years ago.

I do not see Angel often since the accident; her father took her deep into the reservation.  I miss her but she needs to be with her people. That little Navajo girl has opened my eyes to seeing the world in a new way and forever will testify to the power of trying to capture that innocence we have lost.  I have learned the meaning of life is not spelled out in words. Life is about being alive in this world in each and every moment for that is all we have or ever will have. That means beauty is in the experiencing.  It is in this present moment l sense Angel’s little hand in mine.  I miss her so.

On the long drive home to Flagstaff from Chinle it also struck me that I have unlearned so many things over my years of living here.  When I first traveled the Navajo Nation, I looked at the landscape as a bleak barren land, thinking I would go mad seeing the same view every day. Through Angel’s youthful eyes I learned what the Greeks knew thousands of years ago, you never step in the same river twice.  Now every time I looked out at Mother Earth I see her in a different way.

The sky is our father, the earth is our mother and all life is sacred. It can be no other way.  It pleases me to think I am finally growing up enough to see with the eyes of a child.

Feng Shui Tips for the Kitchen by Denise Lynn

Feng Shui Tips for the Kitchen

by Denise Lynn

 

The preparation of food is an act of the soul, it connects us to the great cycle of life and reminds us that we are dependent upon the abundance of the earth to survive and thrive. Within the kitchen this relationship is ritualized throughout the day, every day, as meals are prepared, shared and consumed. This room also symbolizes your health, abundance and financial resources because the kitchen is where you connect with what sustains you and keeps you alive.

• Make sure your stove is clean and isn’t surrounded by clutter. A dirty stove is thought to deplete energy and drain finances. The burners are most important, but a regular cleaning of the oven and broiler is also recommended.

• Use all of the burners. Only using one or two burners may suggest you are not utilizing the full potential of the abundance which is available to you.

• Broken burners should be fixed immediately. This applies to anything on the stove that doesn’t work, such as the oven light, fan, clock, oven hinges, or cracked or broken knobs.

• Don’t leave empty pans on your stove, as this is believed to symbolize a lack of abundance.

• In Tibetan feng shui, the burner in the far left position is considered the most important, as it symbolizes prosperity. Make sure you use this one occasionally.

• The stove shouldn’t be right next to the refrigerator, if at all possible. (If it is, then put something made of wood, or a photo of trees, on the refrigerator to soften the effect of  this inauspicious placement.) The reasoning is that the cooling properties of the refrigerator symbolically dampens the warming aspect of the stove. However, the fire energy becomes stronger when wood is added. Thus, the picture of something wood balanced this energy.

• You shouldn’t be able to see the stove from the front door. This is considered very  inauspicious. If so, hang a wind chime, curtain, round-cut crystal, or a mobile between the door and the stove.

In the kitchen there is natural conflict between Fire and Water. The oven, stove, microwave  and toaster represent Fire. Water is represented by the sink, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. If the oven and sink are on the same wall, they should be separated by counter space if possible.

• Take the garbage out daily. The garbage should not be immediately visible when you enter the kitchen. Place the garbage can in a pantry or under a sink.

• Keep counters as clutter free as possible.

• There shouldn’t be any obstacles to movement in the kitchen. The cook should be able to maneuver quickly and easily throughout the kitchen.

• Generally bright, vibrant light is much better than dim light, and halogen or incandescent light is better than fluorescent.

• Toilets are considered inauspicious and shouldn’t be facing the kitchen. (If so, place a curtain or beaded curtain in front of the door and keep the door closed.)

• In traditional feng shui, an aquarium shouldn’t be in the kitchen because the water element symbolically puts out the fire element of the stove.

• Knives shouldn’t be left out on the counter, especially if they face toward anyone entering the kitchen. Put them away. (However, in a butcher block is okay, if it feels good to you.)

• If there are multiple doors into a kitchen or if, in fact, the kitchen is a passage between rooms or if it’s an open kitchen, the “chi” may be too fast, and it may be hard to hold on to money, or there may be discord between family members. As a suggestion, place wind chimes, mobiles, or faceted crystals in the doorways. Visualize peace and prosperity as you place these objects.

The most important key to great feng shui in your kitchen is paying attention to your intuition. It’s always the best guide, no matter what the feng shui “rules” are.

 

Denise Linn is an internationally renowned teacher in the field of self-development. She’s the author of the bestseller Sacred Space and the award-winning Feng Shui for the Soul, and has written 16 books, which are available in 24 languages. www.theMysticCookbook.com

SOJOURNS of the SOUL

Book Excerpt

One Woman’s Journey around the World and into Her Truth

By Dana Micucci

Taken from Chapter Two:

The Heart of Angkor

Surrender

Each day, Bob and I and the other conservators return to the conservation house in Siem Reap for lunch. We dine in a modest room at a long table on delicious grilled fish, rice and vegetables with a subtle sweet and sour flavor, which the Cambodian cooks prepare in an adjacent open-air kitchen that also happens to accommodate three toilets! (I try not to think about this.) I enjoy conversing with Isabel, a French architect, Juan, a charismatic stone specialist from Guatemala, and Nala and Sophea, two bright young Cambodian architects. It feels good to be part of a community, after focusing so much on my work and being alone at the bungalow each night. Sometimes we eat dinner together, too, after which Bob and Norma, a generous, good-natured woman who looks after me with a quiet maternal charm, invite me to their apartment upstairs for a nightcap. We relax on the veranda with a few beers and talk and laugh about our travels. The nights are humid and extremely dark, infused with the sweet scent of jasmine and illumined only by the distant glimmer of starlight.

After lunch one afternoon, Nala, Sophea, and I take a walk along the dirt road near the conservation house. Recent graduates of Cambodia’s School of Architecture, they are petite, attractive, and clever. Sophea is slightly taller and more reserved than Nala, who asks me many questions about life in America. Their English is excellent, and they have radiant smiles. Of course, I’m also eager to learn from them. Though they were just children during the Khmer Rouge’s reign, they still remember the chaos and destruction. Sophea’s father, a doctor, died in the genocide, as did many of their relatives.

“I worry so much,” Nala says. “The situation here is still not stable. I’m afraid everything will be taken away from us again.” Her face tightens with anxiety. Sophea nods in agreement, her eyes tearing.

“I’m sorry.” I don’t know what else to say, realizing that any attempt at consolation must seem empty and inadequate.

Sophea links her arm in mine. “Don’t worry.” She smiles lovingly.

“I wouldn’t blame you for not liking us very much,” I say, ashamed.

“Who, you mean the Americans?” Nala asks.

“Yes, all of us who contributed to what happened.”

“Oh, no, we like the foreigners,” Sophea says.

“Cambodians think they are good people,” Nala chimes in, without the slightest trace of resentment.

I’m surprised by this unexpected show of compassion and forgiveness.

“C’mon,” Nala grasps my other arm. “Let’s go to the temple!” She points down the street to a whitewashed bell-shaped structure crowned with a tapering spire.

“But what about the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot?” I ask. “How can you forgive them?”

“What’s done is done,” says Sophea, waving her hand as if banishing forever all painful memories. She meets my eyes with a sparkling smile.

“Married?” Nala asks.

“No, not yet.” I’m surprised yet tickled by her instant familiarity.

“Good. Neither are we,” Sophea says.

“Men. Too much trouble!” Nala giggles.

“But you must have a boyfriend.” I glance at each of them. “You’re both beautiful.”

“No boyfriends,” Sophea states flatly.

“Not good to have a boyfriend unless you want to marry,” Nala adds.

“I understand. So you are true feminists,” I tease. Then I realize that this word likely does not exist in the Khmer language, so I explain it.

They nod in agreement, and we burst out laughing as we walk arm in arm to the stupa. Once inside, we light some incense sticks and place them before the Buddha statue, which is surrounded with additional offerings of colorful flowers and fruits.

“We came last week,” Nala whispers, as she and Sophea bow their heads in prayer. “When our friend died.”

“Hepatitis,” Sophea adds solemnly. “We all passed around a candle and blew the flame toward her ashes in a jar.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Because we are blowing in her spirit for her next life,” Nala replies.

“We don’t believe life ever ends,” Sophea reflects. “Unless you become enlightened and don’t have to reincarnate.” In Cambodia, I have been continually reminded of the fine line between life and death. At times, the two have seemed almost indistinguishable.

The following morning, we all take an excursion to Rolous, one of the oldest temple sites at Angkor, dating to the ninth century. It is less intact than the others and further afield. We are planning to spend the day there, and Norma has packed a picnic lunch. Though I’m excited about the adventure, I have never been so anxious about a casual drive through the countryside. For about an hour we bump along in the scorching heat in a big pick-up truck. The dirt roads are particularly rough as we head into what seems like an infinite no man’s land of dry, lifeless fields. We pass several military checkpoints and bunkers with machine guns pointed toward the road. I shudder as a tank rolls past. Again, the reality of this lawless, war-scarred country weighs heavily. And again, I wonder what I am doing in such a strange, inhospitable place. I remain slightly on edge the rest of the day, as we wander about the ruins inspecting the preservation work.

For more information on Sojourns of the Soul and author Dana Micucci, visit:

www.danamicucci.com

A Christmas Message – by Paramahansa Yogananda

A Christmas Message
Let Us Rejoice
By Paramahansa Yogananda

The following excerpt is from The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda

(Copyright (c) 2004, Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles. Reprinted with permission.)

Let us make this Christmas a real celebration of the birth of the holy child by striving to realize the consciousness which he attained.

Let us make this celebration an uplifting and spiritual experience.

Let us not for a moment forget the one whose birthday is being commemorated while in our zeal we go about the joyful and exciting preparation for the happy festivities.

Let us use this occasion as a new impetus to inspirit us on the Christ-path of truth and love.

Let us use it as an opportunity to express the Universal Christ-love for all people and all creatures-exalted and lowly, near and far, large and small, known and unknown.

While we are remembering the physical birth of the baby Christ Jesus, let us realize his eternal loving presence in omnipresent Christ Consciousness, which is always with us no matter where we are or what we are doing.

Let us resolve anew to discipline ourselves-to control our bodies, our minds, and our emotions-and to strive ever toward Christ understanding.

Let us establish the Prince of Peace consciousness as our inner ruler, that we may meet our crosses and tests of life with power, victory, and tranquility.

Let us meditate until we perceive the Infinite Christ reigning in our own hearts.

Let us learn to love those who love us not; and to forgive those who do ill against us.

Let us break all our mental boundaries of color, creed, and nationality, and receive all-even our inanimate and animal brothers-in the endless, all-embracing arms of our Christ Consciousness. This will be a true and fitting celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ to this earth.

Let us rejoice and give thanks for this wonderful gift of light and love from the Great Giver.

Peace. Joy. Peace.

The White Goddess of Albion

The White Goddess of Albion

Weaving Together the Spiral of Time

by Heather Clewett-Jachowski

Since 2005, I have been called to the magical enigma of the crop circle phenomenon in England. The crop circles have assisted me in bridging the mythical realm of the wisdom keepers with the energetic world of intuitive healing and integrating this into my private practice as a shamanic life coach, www.InkaVisions.com. Every season has brought me invaluable insights and deepened my wisdom. The 2011 season is a good example of this.

Dragon Path Expedition

Journal Entry May 2011:

I was leaving a much needed private dinner at one of Wiltshire, England’s gourmet restaurants with my husband and co-leader of the 2011 Dragon Path Expedition tour, Bert Janssen, when we had one of those magical, mystical experiences that have, throughout the ages, created and shaped the myths and legends of Albion, which means the White Goddess or Great Britain.

We were half way through the Dragon Path Expedition tour and had spent our dinner discussing the next few days. Usually, when we have a tour in England, we’re chasing crop circles, but our Dragon Path Expedition is a non-crop circle tour. This Expedition, focuses on power places, medieval cathedrals, and the Michael and Mary ley lines.

West Kennet Long Barrow            

Avebury

Salisbury Cathedral

The Mary and Michael ley lines snake their way across the English countryside following a linear heading, the ‘old straight track’ as it is sometimes called, from Land’s End in Cornwall to Hopton in Norfolk.  Their trajectory, the average of the two lines courses, is known as the Michael alignment.  Some legends say these lines are the source of all the magic in the English landscape.  Many modern day researchers identify them as the Ida (Mary), Pingala (Michael), and Sushumna (Michael alignment) lines of the Yogis.

I can testify based on my many experiences that, wherever these lines intersect with ancient sites, man-made structures, or crop circles, magic happens! The Michael alignment also has another name borne of mysterious legends. In ancient times, it was called ‘The Dragon Path.’  For thousands of years in England, these fascinating creatures of power and magic, the Dragons, have been entwined with the legends of St. Michael and St. George.  Now, they are the namesake of our tour, Dragon Path Expedition.

Although this is our non-crop circle tour, secretly we were both missing that crazy crop circle-chasing adrenaline. At dinner, we agreed that if a crop circle was formed during the remaining days of the tour and met several conditions, we’d take the group into it. We were both certain that even if a formation appeared, it would never meet all our conditions.

The Conditions:

  • The formation would have to be  located next to a power place,  cathedral, or dragon Line
  • We’d need enough ‘free time’ in the itinerary for us to go to the formation
  • There’d be plenty of safe parking for our cars
  • The formation had to be on the same side of the road as the parking
  • The farmer would need to welcome us into the formation

As we left the restaurant, I was ruminating about the rest of our itinerary and all of our conditions for going into a crop circle. Slowly smiling to myself, thinking that even on a “good” circle-chasing day, those conditions are rarely all met.

I was just about to say something about this when I l saw two small white birds sitting in our lane about a car width apart.  “Watch out!”

The Volvo went into a slide.  A quick right turn set the antilock brake system to screeching. I flashed back to a slalom downhill ski race I had seen recently on TV. The announcer sounding like an auctioneer, “He’s through the top gates. He’s 30 seconds behind the winning time. He’s about to do his famous ‘slice slide’ through the gates knowing that if he barely kisses one of the poles, he will be disqualified.”

Our Volvo was doing a slice slide through these two white birds like they were the poles on a slalom course. My heart was pounding as I gripped the sides of my seat so hard my hands cramped. As I let go of the seat, Bert and I looked at each other.

“What was that?” he asked.

I shook my head, “I don’t know.”

We sat quietly as we drove through rural roads. Roads with fields of crop on both sides; roads with some of England’s most intriguing crop formations from this and past seasons.

2011 Crop Circles

We were heading to our favorite night watch location called ‘the tires’ at the East Field. Even though we weren’t chasing circles with our tour, we’re still croppies at our core, and maybe tonight we’d witness something extraordinary. We were about a mile from our destination when, majestically and gracefully, a white owl did a rolling dive and flew in front of our car as if guiding us somewhere.

Knowing this must be a messenger, Bert, increased the speed to keep up with the white owl.

Suddenly, the owl mysteriously disappeared. As if the car were driving itself, we took a sharper than usual left turn and began heading up Knapp Hill. We saw the white owl perched on a fence post looking straight at us. Bert slammed on the brakes, pulled off the side of the road and we got out of the car.

It was a crisp evening with an electric feel to the air. An excitement began to build, as we approached the owl. Without a sound it spread out its wings and, looking like a stealth fighter jet, flew a few feet off the ground away from us.

Within seconds, I was seeing the ground get closer to me and then further away. I realized I was seeing through the eyes of the white owl as it flew over the undulating ground. I knew where it was going. It was heading to the East Field. As I stood in the night air, putting together the last ten minutes of wonder and chase, I asked myself some questions.

First, how did we end up on the Knapp Hill Road when we were heading to the East Field? Second, would we have corrected this mistake without the white owl, who was sitting on the fence post, looking like a sentry, radiating to us that we were on the wrong road? We ran back to the car and in true Starsky and Hutch style, we were back on the road with the pedal to the metal and another slice slide to the left, over the knoll and safely at ‘the tires’ over-looking the East Field.

The East Field

The owl was not to be seen. Had I made a mistake about what route the owl was showing me? We sat at ‘the tires’ for 20 minutes talking about the evening and the significance of white birds. We decided to head back to the hotel for some sleep since we had to be up at sunrise for our visit to Stonehenge.

We were heading back down the same road and, as if out of nowhere, our white owl guide was back, flying lead again in front of the car. Not wanting to lose track of our messenger this time, Bert accelerated to keep up with the owl. It made a swooping left turn onto a dirt road which borders the side of the South Field. We followed.

As the owl circled overhead, Bert exited the car to get a better look. I was retrieving a flashlight from my back pack when I looked up the dirt road to where Bert was standing.

South Field dirt road

What I saw made me instantly jump out of the car.

“Bert, are you alright? Are you Ok?” I shouted as I ran towards him, scaring off the owl. Running past Bert up the crest of the dirt road, I must have looked like a mad woman.

Bert came running up the dirt road, “What are you doing?” he managed while bending over, grabbing his knees and panting.

“Didn’t you see it?”  I whispered, short of breath myself.  ”It was huge!”

“See what?” Bert asked with an inquisitive look and more than a ripple of surprise in his voice.

“That huge black, wild-looking cat-dog animal that came out of the South Field and crossed the road right here! It disappeared into the grass field on the other side.”

I went on to explain its characteristics; it had a large square head with pointed ears, glowing red eyes, huge feet with long, pointy claws, and a body about six feet long. It was completely black as the darkest night and moved like it was stalking prey, the way a large wild cat moves.

Hound Of Hell on crest of South Field dirt road

“I thought it might hurt you, that’s why I came bolting out of the car.”  Bert thought it was cute that I ran up there to protect him with my little LED flash light. Ok, well maybe it wasn’t the best plan, but my intentions were good.

We looked around for the next half hour. We didn’t find any tracks, which should have been prevalent since the ground was wet and you could see our footprints. We looked all over the grass field with our binoculars trying to detect any movement. We looked where the animal came out of the crop to see if it had bent any wheat stems. It seemed as if this large, black animal wasn’t in this dimension. There were no tracks, no bending of crop, no movement in the field, and no circling white owl overhead.

We slowly, uneventfully drove back to the hotel.

End of Journal Entry

‘What kind of interesting experience will the Universe bring the group today?’ ran through my mind as I poured cups of coffee into my very sleepy body to make it to Stonehenge at sunrise.

We arrived at the guarded parking lot of Stonehenge and showed the guards our reservation. The barriers were removed, and our cars allowed into the parking lot.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and must be booked a year in advance. It’s a great honor to go inside the stone circle of Stonehenge. The guard escorted us into this cathedral of stones while giving us the very long do’s and don’ts list. Actually, there is only one Do. Do enjoy the stones by only looking at them or taking pictures of them. The long list of don’ts starts with – do not touch the stones at any time for any reason. I let a small chuckle escape because the do’s and don’ts remind me of the conditions that we agreed upon for taking the group into a crop circle.

After our magical time in Stonehenge, we drive to Salisbury to visit St. Thomas Church and Salisbury Cathedral.

We’re about to enter St. Thomas’ Church when one of our participants says she was reading a book late last night, and kept feeling compelled to share a certain part of it with the group.

After digging through her purse, she opened a little book about legends and myths of Albion

“Here it is,” she said, “the legend about the Hounds Of Hell.” She stood on a bench outside the church to show everyone the pictures.

I almost faint. It is a picture of the large, wild black cat-dog I saw last night. I get this strange voice in my head as if I am transported back in years; I’m hearing one of my shamanic teachers discuss the concept of circular time.

“This is where time bends and loops backwards and forwards on itself. Physicists call this non-local. A shaman recognizes this is sacred time, and that here she can influence events across space and time. She knows there is no now versus then. There is no difference between here and there. Everything happens simultaneously everywhere. It’s like a dream where you get in a taxi in Paris, and at exactly the same time you get out of that same taxi in New York.”

Thinking about this idea of non-local time, I’m wondering, what occurred first? If time loops and bends on itself, did I see the Hound of Hell in the book first – 12 hours after I saw it come from the South Field? Did the future occur before the past? Is time circular in Albion, like it is for the shamans? And, why did the messenger, the white owl, want me to see this legend? Why did the white owl ensure I was in the right place at the right time?

Consumed with my own thoughts, we enter St. Thomas’ Church, and I begin explaining the symbolism in two stained glass windows. Far off in the distance, I hear myself saying the Dragon stands for life force, prana. I can hear my voice, but I’m aware I’m only catching a few sound bites here and there as if I’m still caught in between the tick and the tock racing around in the circle of time. It’s as if I’m on some kind of autopilot while I explain, “Spiral…symbol that is found all around the world etched into stone, a labyrinth laid out on the ground…seen in nature from the shape of galaxies to sea shells to the pattern of a falcon’s dive. Spirals have been primary Goddess symbols since the late Paleolithic, when they were marked on tombs. Dragon…life force, Ch’i…a symbol for the Goddess…For the Christian mystics, the earthly aspect of the Holy Spirit is symbolized by the Dragon, and the white dove is a symbol for the heavenly aspects of the Holy Spirit.”

As we left the church for Salisbury Cathedral, I was thinking about all the other beliefs around Dragons. Some researchers, like Jung, believed that the Dragon is a symbol for our unconscious. Other researchers that study Alchemy believe Dragons have their roots in that science. There are so many interpretations of the Dragon, from so many disciplines, since the beginning of time. I wonder what the ‘real’ meaning is.

I soothed my ever inquiring mind during this walk to the Cathedral by reminding myself that I was on the Dragon Path Expedition, and there were a few more days left for messengers and messages.

Two packed days of power places later, it was our last afternoon of the Dragon Path Expedition.

We were following the feminine Dragon Ley Line called Mary through the Avebury complex, or the serpent temple as most researchers call it.

Avebury

Mary leaves the circular sanctuary of stones and travels roughly one mile away to gently caress Silbury Hill with her bluish electric serpentine energy before she heads across the street to run straight down the axis of West Kennet Long Barrow.

Silbury Hill

The Long Barrow is a five-chambered sanctuary built in a perfect isosceles triangle, and tall enough to stand in. It’s the oldest and longest, Long Barrow in Britain, and fortunately still available for everyone to enjoy. The fifth chamber can hold about 20 people and is a perfect stone sanctuary for a shamanic journey. The West Kennet Long Barrow was built around 3650 BC.

Thousands of ceremonies have been performed in this exquisite stone cathedral, and the drumming awakens all the ancient voices.

West Kennet Long Barrow

Legends say that the barrow is often visited by a white shadowy creature sometimes called the White Goddess accompanied by a large white dog.

As we were walking to the Long Barrow, I was thinking about the last few days, wondering to myself what will be the focus of the shamanic journey inside the Long Barrow today?

I like to let the shamanic journeys in sacred power places be spontaneous and not pre-meditated. The anticipation of not knowing what I’m going to say makes for a more powerful experience for all in the journey. I was curious about what the guardian of the sacred temple would be saying to me and hoping that it would be the White Goddess whispering into my ear today.

As we approached the top of the knoll that the Long Barrow sits on, there’s an angle that looks like a Dragon’s head with its teeth sticking up and out of the mouth.

I was showing our group the Dragon’s head so they could take photos, when I happened to briefly glance over to the West Kennett fields below the Long Barrow.

I burst out with an excited joyful voice, “What’s that?”

Bert turned and looked. He pulled out his binoculars, and a smile appeared on his face. He said, “That, my love, is a new crop circle, and in the middle of it is a sign with a money box on it that reads, Welcome to the corn circle. We would welcome a donation.”

He pivoted, looked at me and said, “It’s amazing, but all the conditions we set to go into a crop circle have been satisfied.”

The formation was in a field next to a power place that we were visiting. There was plenty of safe parking, and we didn’t have to cross a busy road. The parking and the circle are on the same side, and we have time in our schedule later today. Finally, the farmer is welcoming us into the formation with his sign and donation box.

Bert could see through his binoculars that the formation was a perfect spiral. With an arm around my shoulder, he pulled me aside and said, “We should let them go in.  After all, they are on the Dragon Path Expedition.”

I looked towards the formation and was deep in thought about all the connections. The Mary Dragon Line goes straight through the axis of the West Kennet Long Barrow, runs down the hill across the field, and through the center of the crop circle. The formation was in the shape of a beautiful perfect spiral which is also the symbol of the Dragon, the Goddess, and more.  I smile to myself, as I think, ‘Of course, it has to be a spiral.’ What other shape would let us know that the CircleMakers are communicating with us during the Dragon Path Expedition?

We had started the tour lecturing about how the Dragon’s ancient symbol as a spiral is found all around the world etched into stone, painted on walls, laid out on the belly of Mother Earth in labyrinths around the world, and much more.

West Kennet spiral crop circle

Just like with the Hound of Hell, what came first? The CircleMakers creating the spiral formation or us naming the tour the ‘Dragon Path Expedition’? Also, in what order did the conditions occur for going into a crop circle, us creating our conditions or the CircleMakers informing us, backwards in time, of the conditions at the West Kennet formation? I had suspected at Salisbury that there’d be more messengers on this tour, and I knew this crop circle was one of them.

Of course, that crazy frantic circle-chasing feeling started to pulse through my veins, and I agreed that we should all go in.

And so after the shamanic journey and a visit to the Adam and Eve stones, we did.

Adam and Eve Stones

The crop circle was a perfect spiral in young green barley which feels like the wings of angels as you brush your hands over the top of it. This formation was so precious, that none of us stepped off the tram lines.

Pole shots of West Kennet spiral crop circle

Tram lines are made by the tractor when the field is initially planted with the crop seed, and then used for fertilizing later on. No one dared to actually explore the formation. Everyone had the feeling that they were in the Holy of Holies.

It was an amazing transcendental experience with a group of people that are on a non- crop circle tour.

On the final morning of the tour as we’re closing the circle for the May 2011 Dragon Path Expedition, one of the participants said to me with a twinkle in her eye, “What does it all mean – all the different experiences – backwards and forwards in time?”

Startled, I looked at her, and I knew she was another messenger. I gave her a hug and said, “I’ll let you know when I know.”

After all the goodbyes, I spent the rest of the day processing her question.

What did it all mean – all the different experiences – backwards and forwards in time? I sat down in the lobby of the hotel to map out the clues: Dragon, white owl, Hound of Hell, Dragon Lines, West Kennet Long Barrow, and the spiral- shaped crop circle.

First, I wrote down everything I knew about the white owl. King Arthur’s queen was named “Gwenhyfar” which meant “white owl.” The Arthurian legends in Albion-Britain are interwoven with the never-ending quest for the Holy Grail, the chalice of immortality. Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom had a companion white owl on her shoulder, which revealed unseen truths to her. Native

Americans associate the meaning of white owl with wisdom, foresight, and keepers of sacred knowledge. The Celts believed that the white owl was a mysterious, magical, sacred animal associated with deities of the otherworld and was, and likely still is, a guide to and from this realm. This made me remember that the Celts also believed the Hound of Hell is a guardian to the otherworld.

In Welsh mythology, there are the hounds of Annwn. Annwn is the otherworld of Welsh folklore.The Annwn of medieval Welsh tradition is an otherworldly paradise, and there is this persistent myth of the cauldron of Annwn. Some say the cauldron is a source of everlasting life itself, just like Arthur’s Holy Grail.

The white owl is associated with the Goddess and wisdom as well as being a messenger between the worlds. The otherworld is a place, outside of our ordinary time, where the cauldron of Annwn, or the Holy Grail, is guarded by the Hound of Hell.

Could it be that the white owl is the one who brings an initiate the invitation to enter Annwn? Is it possible that the white owl is one of the gatekeepers to Annwn who can open the doorway? If the white owl opens the gateway, does the guardian of the cauldron of Annwn, the Hound of Hell, make the decision who gets into the otherworld?  Was Gwenhyfar, the white owl, one of the messengers that brought the knowledge of the cauldron of Annwn or the Holy Grail, to Arthur? Did Gwenhyfar, invite me to enter Annwn?  And, if so, what was the decision of the Hound of Hell? Since the spiral, which is a symbol for the Goddess and universal life force, was imprinted as a crop circle into the West Kennett Field, could it be that there is a gateway into Annwn in the ancient Long Barrow of West Kennet? Is that why the grail myths are woven into the very fabric of Albion herself?

Is it possible that information from the future can ripple backwards, information like the Hound of Hell in one of our participant’s books, the spiral- shape of the formation at West Kennet, and the conditions that must be met for our tour group to go into a crop circle? If so, who or what from the future was trying to get my attention?

Reminding myself what the shamans think about time, that it is fluid and flows backwards and forwards simultaneously, I wondered if this is the way time behaves in Albion as well– sacred and circular? If this invitation to Annwn is true, then time will tell, but not necessarily time in the future.

Since I have many more questions than answers, I have to go back to the White Goddess. I must go back to Albion, the white owl, and the gateway to Annwn. I invite you to travel with Bert and myself to Albion on our 2012 Dragon Path Expediton.  Come with us to meet the white owl and accept the invitation of the White Goddess through the doorway of Annwn.

You can find more information about the 2012 Dragon Path Expedition and Crop Circle Tours to England at www.CropCirclesandMore.com .

See you in Albion, home of the White Goddess!

The Circle Of The Grail

The Circle Of The Grail

Following The Dragon Path

by Heather Clewett-Jachowski

Journal Entry, August 2010:  It is a cold starry night around 11:30 pm.  Off in the distance, over a small hill about a mile away, I hear what sounds like bongo drums being played in a circle.  Boom, boom, boom.  A pulsating, throbbing sound, getting closer, getting louder.  Then like a metallic shark in the landscape, a Puma helicopter rises above the hill and accelerates towards me.  Circling overhead again and again.  Diving lower and lower towards me, towards the crop circle I am standing in.  Towards the ‘scorpion’ crop circle in the famous East Field of Wiltshire England.  All around me there is an electrical sound like high tension wires buzzing on a damp day.  I instinctively circle around the Puma as it spirals closer and closer to me.  Then I see it, an orange sphere of light off in the distance next to a hedgerow.  In the local pubs, they call it an ‘amber gambler’.  It looks like it is alive, breathing in and breathing out.  Getting smaller in diameter and then larger again.  The Puma turns towards the hedgerow, but the amber gambler disappears into thin air, giving the impression that it is somehow smarter than the helicopter.  I smile.  In tonight’s aerial game of Cat and Mouse, the mouse (wins) again!

Wiltshire, England, has been home to most of the world’s amazing crop circles for over 30 years.  These artworks of simple beauty and complex geometries have always been interwoven with great mysteries.  The 2010 crop circle season was no exception impressing its own enigmatic creations into England’s fields including spectacular new 3-D designs.

Crop Circle "Worm Hole"

Crop Circle "Cubical Cross"

Now it is the end of the season, only a few days before I leave England and head home to Sedona, Arizona.  I am sitting in a quaint little pub called the Waggon and Horses in Bechampton.  A near perfect England summer day is coming to an end, and the sun is approaching the horizon bathing the landscape in a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors.  I do a lot of my thinking in this pub, mainly because one of the two energetic ‘dragon’ lines, the Mary line, goes straight through it. The Mary and Michael ley lines snake their way across the English countryside following a linear heading, ‘old straight track’ as it is sometimes called, from Land’s End in Cornwall to Hopton in Norfolk.  This trajectory, the average of the two lines courses, is known as the Michael alignment.  Some legends say these lines are the source of all the magic in the English landscape.  Many modern day researchers,  identify them as the Ida (Mary), Pingala (Michael), and Sushumna (Michael alignment) lines of the Yogis.  I can testify based on my many experiences that, wherever these lines intersect with human made structures or crop circles, magic happens!  The Michael alignment also has another name born of mysterious legends.  In ancient times it was called, ‘The Dragon Path’.  For thousands of years in England, these fascinating creatures of power and magic, the Dragons, have been intertwined with the legends of St. Michael and St. George.

St. George

Thus, with a pint of Guinness and inspiration from the pulsating, shimmering, bluish energy of Mary, I decide to write down all the clues from this season to see if I’ve overlooked something: The 3-D crop circles near ancient Hill Forts, the ‘missing’ crop circles in Wiltshire, Dragon Prints, the Knight Templar’s Holy Grail quest, and the Mayan calendar cycles of time.  Another season of patterns in the field, and another year of great mysteries.

As the sun sets,, nature becomes quiet as if it must give way to the place between light and dark. The simple yet complex patterns of downed and standing crop woven into unique 3-D shapes push themselves back into my conscious mind.  I begin putting the pieces of the 2010 season’s puzzle together.  Feeling a sense of timelessness, I recall how the past, now, and the future kept dancing around each other in this season. How these cycles of time, circles of time, were forcing us to change our relationship to what we thought we knew about crop circles.

For example, the Dragon prints from 30 years ago resurfaced this season.  To make sure we didn’t miss this point, the CircleMakers created a heart-touching crop circle consisting of two spectacular intertwined Dragons at Stanton St. Bernard on August 8, 2010. This circle was located just a few minutes away from a field peppered with several Dragon prints.  How strange it is that it’s only been in the last 5 years (which is the precise time I’ve been traveling to England and visiting crop circles) that I’ve heard about these prints. I believed these little prints were just a crop circle ‘myth’, but the 2010 season proved me wrong.

Dragon Crop Circle

These Dragon prints, which are small circles usually containing all of the bio-physical anomalies of authentic crop circles, such as blown crop nodes, elongated crop nodes, bent crop stems (as opposed to broken crop stems), etc., were appearing in many places this year.

Dragon Prints

In mystical England, the legends say that Dragons, in a state of Samadhi, are still guarding the Dragon lairs of West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury stone circle, Silbury Hill, and many more sacred sanctuaries. All of these sacred sites are on, or very near, the Dragon path.  Is it possible that these little prints are the Dragons of antiquity waking up from their long sleep, and walking through the landscape?

While I sit and ponder in the quaint little pub, another unique feature of the 2010 season comes to my mind.  The crop circles were ‘missing’ from their usual resting place in Wiltshire, England. They were replaced by Dragon prints. I recall that in early July two questions kept coming to me.  Where had the crop circles gone? And, why had they disappeared from Wiltshire?

In retrospect, I know that the crop circles of 2010 were almost exclusively nestling themselves in the protective embrace of England’s ancient Hill Forts. Archaeologically, there is evidence that people lived on some of these Hill forts in the early Bronze era, which is around (3200-3000) B.C.  This time period called to mind the Mayan Calendar since this is the date when the 4th Sun, or world, ended and the 5th Sun began.  According to this calendar, we are rapidly approaching the end of the 5th Sun on December 21, 2012.

Daydreaming away, I find myself reliving the first two weeks of August 2010 and the events that helped me ‘see’ outside of linear time, and connect the dots of the 2010 season.  I am back on the Stone Avenue driving from the Avebury stone circle, which is called the Serpent Temple, to the Sanctuary. The Stone Avenue follows the Michael Dragon line towards the head of the Serpent or the Sanctuary.  It is the first day of August 2010, and it is already nearing the end of the 2010 crop circle season.

It’s been a strange summer in terms of the crop. At the start of this summer, England was weeks behind in crop growth due to a wet and cold May. , Incredibly, in the beginning of August, the crop growth is weeks ahead of normal harvest schedule due to a heat wave in June and July. To the left and right of my car, the golden fields of wheat and barley are being shaved bare. Already harvested fields are now being tilled, awaiting their upcoming, well-deserved sleep and renewal in the long cold winter months. Even at this point, I was wondering, what was going on? Was I missing some clue?

Driving the Stone Avenue, I still did not see (all of) the connections, but I had an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach. A feeling that’s like having a hunch there’s a surprise party planned for you, but not knowing  when it’ll happen.   I had this surprise party butterfly feeling and it let me know that a major hint was just around the corner.  A dose of patience, and then, finally then, I would see all the connections of the 2010 crop circle season. I always tell myself that every crop circle season is like a big game of Clue. However, instead of looking for who did it, which room they did it in, and how, it is much more of a multi-faceted, multi- dimensional game of who, what, where, when, and especially why.

It’s like I am flipping through a calendar day by day.  In my mind’s eye, I am carefully studying all the notes scribbled down on each day.  When I arrive on August 13, 2010, I stop flipping.  On this day a magical crop circle at North Down, near the Bechampton Roundabout, was imprinted in the field.  A relatively simple but very elegant crop circle, with a beautiful lay, and a design that looked like a chalice or grail cup.

Grail Cup

The formation was placed exactly on the Michael alignment, the Dragon path, that runs from Lands End to Hopton.  Again, I see myself standing in the middle of the grail cup formation and following the alignment towards Avebury.  Following it even further, I come across Temple Farm, one of the first English strongholds of the Knights Templar. The Dragon path goes through the grail cup formation and through Temple Farm! It connects the two. Of course that is it. I feel a nervous sensation in my stomach. The formation is telling me to connect the dots by following the Dragon path, and to recall the grail legends of the Templars.

One of the most famous stories, found around the globe in one form or another, is about a knight questing for the Grail. In the western world we call the story, Parsifal and the Holy Grail. Parsifal is this dashing-looking young man who eventually becomes a knight, and spends his life questing for the Holy Grail.  Parsifal finds his way to the grail castle and meets the Fisher King, only to make his first mistake.

When Parsifal is presented with the opportunity at the castle to ask the right question, he says nothing.  Nothing at all.  Parsifal doesn’t ask any question, let alone the right question. Because of that, he spends many long years slaying dragons, saving maidens, and searching for the Grail. Finally towards the end of his life, when Parsifal is exhausted and feels as if he has lost his soul, he is guided to the grail castle one more time with a little help from his friends. This time at the grail castle, Parsifal asks the right question: “For whom does the Grail serve”?

Moving my thoughts away from Parsifal and back to August 13, 2010, I fast forward to the time of leaving the grail cup formation with Bert Janssen, my husband and a renowned crop circle researcher.  As we were walking out of the field, a tall, young, strapping lad with shoulder length reddish- blonde curly hair, and brilliant star-like blue eyes came bouncing over to us like an excited Cocker Spaniel. “Bert” he said. “Bert Janssen, I have a great treasure to show you.”

He simultaneously puts one hand into his pocket to pull out a small box, and shook Bert’s hand with the other.  As he took out the box, he explained that he works for a company that digs big deep holes. Once these holes are dug, steel bars are hammered into the ground making a strong anchor for heavy, tall commercial buildings to be erected.

Bert and I looked at each other inquisitively. Both of us knew what the other was thinking. From the film, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, we were both hearing the same phrase, “Get on with it.”

Right then, the young lad exclaimed, “And this, is what I found in one of these large deep holes.” He opened the box with great care and secrecy as if the contents were extremely fragile and for Bert’s and my eyes only.  In the box under what seemed like an infinite number of layers of tissue paper, then wrapped in a red piece of silk tied with a white cord, was a Templar Cross made of metal.  Bit by bit I am beginning to see what connects all the dots of the 2010 crop circle season.

Templar Cross

This all happened just a few hours ago. Being in the grail cup crop circle, recognizing the Dragon Path alignment with Temple farm, and then seeing an old Templar Cross made of metal. Since then, I drove a mile north of the crop circle to the Wagon and Horses pub in Bechampton, sat down and started reflecting.  Now the sun has set, night is announcing itself and a full moon is rising. I am wondering how long I have been, like Merlin, living backwards in time and daydreaming about the 2010 crop circle season?  Seconds?  Minutes?  Hours?  I look down at the paper, and in great big letters I see that while I was daydreaming, and perhaps with a little help from Merlin, sprawled across the page in large bold letters is – “What is The Right Question?”

My mind begins to race.  It is true, the 2010 season was sprinkled with answers, but can it be that we need to look backward and forwards in time simultaneously for the right question? That we need to follow the Dragon path backwards to the Dragon prints of 30 years ago, backwards to the Grail quests of the Knights Templar, and backwards to the ending of the 4th Sun and beginning of the 5th sun, while at the same time looking at the present and what’s to come?

Like a mad scientist I am thinking so hard it feels like my head is about to ignite. What is the right question?  Is it as simple as Parsifal’s question?  For whom does the Grail serve?  If so, what is the Grail, and why are the crop circles of the 2010 season wanting us to remember something about it?  Where is the Grail? Are the Templars attempting to communicate with us through these beautiful, mysterious patterns in the fields of England?  What is it from our past, which like the Dragon prints, wants our attention by resurfacing in our 3-D reality now?

I need to go back to Wiltshire, England for the 2011 season.  I need to go back to the Dragon lairs of Avebury, and West Kennet Long Barrow. I need to reconnect with the ‘amber gamblers’ and the Michael and Mary Ley lines.  I need to ask the Dragons of antiquity, Merlin, and the CircleMakers:  What is the right question?  I need to re-experience the magic.

I invite you to travel with Bert and myself to England for the 2011 crop circle season. Come with us on our quest to experience the real-time mysteries while they are unfolding in the ancient and mystical landscape of Wiltshire, England.

You can find more information about the 2011 Crop Circle Expedition to England

at www.CropCirclesandMore.com

See you in England on the Dragon path!

Heather Clewett-Jachowski, founder of InkaVisions, practices the ancient techniques of the Q’ero, the Shamans of Peru. With many years of intensive research, several energetic healing technique credentials, and a degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics, Heather guides and coaches her clients in re-establishing control over their own life design and to reconnect to their original perfect blueprint. By applying her combined healing techniques and knowledge, Heather elevates her clients’ life to sustainable balance and harmony, reactivating their purpose and sacred calling.

www.Inkavisions.com • InkaVisions@hotmail.com • 928.203.9122

Angel Valley: 8 Lessons

Angel Valley: 8 Lessons

“Individuals are important because we carry all the knowledge inside ourselves.  We don’t need somebody else.”

Angel Valley, Sedona Arizona

It was a warm, spring day when publisher Holly Luky and I ventured out to Angel

Valley to talk with co-owner Amayra Hamilton about the tragedy that happened there,

how she had fared through it all and what her journey of healing has been like: both for

her and the land she tends.

Amayra Hamilton is tall and statuesque, with clear blue eyes brought out by the

clothing she’s wearing. Her speech has the lilting quality of a native Dutch speaker.

“What better place to connect with Spirit than in nature?” asks Amayra. “That is

what we have here, in abundance. We help people to connect with nature. What we feel

is the advantage here is that it’s so pristine. The power of the earth is that it cannot be

wiped out.”

Amayra feels people are drawn to Angel Valley by nature and the healing energy of

Sedona. “We attract a lot of aware people. I think a lot of aware people come to Sedona

for good reason because this is a powerful place. They come to utilize that power, and

that’s great. They can ride the wave, use it, and take advantage of it in their spiritual

work.”

The mission of Angel Valley has always been to provide a place for people to find

their true selves — to go within and find the God there, in an empowered way.

Amayra and her husband Michael Hamilton have been stewards of Angel Valley

since 2002. But it was only recently, in October, 2009 that Angel Valley was suddenly

swept into the national spotlight by the deaths of three people who were participating in

a sweat lodge that was part of week-long retreat put on by self-help seminar leader James

Ray. The tragic deaths brought unprecedented attention to Ray and other New Age

seminar leaders and their practices—and to Angel Valley itself.

Ray had been leading retreats at Angel Valley since 2002, and had done sweat lodges

in the past. With and without incident. Over the years, Amayra’s personal connection

with James Ray decreased as their interactions became purely business. “Through the

years we got less and less excited because that’s not why we’re here, just to do business

deals. Yes, we have to run this place as a business, but is that a satisfying connection? No,

it is not.”

In contrast, interactions with other facilitators had actually increased as time passed.

“Our connection with facilitators has grown over the years and it has become clearer and

clearer that it is absolutely neccesary for us, otherwise we don’t want to be here. The

incident has made it even clearer that that’s the trail we go. If it doesn’t resonate, we

don’t do it at all. Even if it’s a good business deal, if it doesn’t feel right, we don’t do it.”

Looking back Amayra says she did have misgivings about James Ray’s retreat. The

Hamiltons knew 2009 it would be the last year Ray would hold his retreat there. He

wanted to work with larger groups and the retreat center was already at its maximum

capacity.

“We knew that 2009 would be the last year, not knowing it would end this way. So our intuition was not strong enough, or not listened to strongly enough at that moment, that we didn’t say, ‘okay, then we can’t do the contract we have now.’ No, we did not do that. In hindsight, how many times do we all look back in our life and might have made different decisions had we known at the time what we know today?”

Amayra feels many causes combined to create the tragedy. “Okay, here some boundaries were crossed. But we all do that at times. If you have a large combination of factors, then when all that is amplified by the land, and if the person who is in charge of what’s going on is not realizing that’s a factor to reckon with too, then, you may be asking for trouble.”

Amayra stops the golf cart at the memorial site. The energy here is particularly tranquil and serene. And I am struck by how full of grace Amayra is – to have traveled down this path with conscious awareness, taking responsibility for her role in it. Here are some of the insights she shared with us about her healing and the healing of Angel Valley.

Listen to Your Inner Voice

“What happened here had an impact on so many people,” says Amayra. “For me the number one thing we can learn from it is: What is right for you? What’s inside you?  Listen to your inner voice. When you are in a situation that you have influence from outside, always check with yourself whether it feels right for you. When you are in a group, does what is happening in the group feel right for you? You should be able to trust in the teacher, when at the same time, discerning what suits you and what doesn’t.”

She continues, “In this particular situation, people had, through a combination of different factors, crossed boundaries where their level of discernment was not as strong as it normally is. That is a lesson we can all learn: How do we allow ourselves to go into areas where our level of discernment diminishes? We have to be alert for that.”

Find the Truth Inside Yourself

Recently, Amayra told us, an influx of individuals (versus groups) has been coming to Angel Valley. “Individuals are important because we carry all the knowledge inside ourselves. We don’t need somebody else. Yes, we can benefit from teachings and a teacher, but the time of the guru is past. It’s really about finding the truth inside yourself.  So, for the individual that comes here it’s about what they find in themselves.”

The facilitator’s job according to Amayra is always and only to bring out what the individual already has inside. “We try to find facilitators that resonate with us because this is a co-creation. We are dedicated to making the retreat the most profound experience people can have.”

Keep Your Power

Leaders have a responsibility to the group trusting them. “In my eyes, one of your responsibilities is to always confront people with ‘You are responsible for yourself, don’t give your power away to me as the leader or the teacher, or the preacher.’ Or in any relationship, whether it’s a partner relationship, do not give your power away. Keep your power. If you find yourself giving your power away, step back. I think that is something that every person in the whole world can learn from this:  what can happen if you don’t.”

Listen to Your Heart

Amayra was determined to figure out what her lesson was in all this. She found it to be, “The path that we were on: listening to our heart, listening to our intuition, more and more strongly, more and more consistently, that is the path we choose to walk.”

She had made a decision long ago not to be driven by fear. When a fear comes up, Amayra goes inward and deals with it, understanding that her heart and fear don’t go together since fear is a construct of the mind.  “So when the fear is strong, it means that the mind is very active, so I take that to a deeper level where I can just observe the fear, and not have my steps guided by that.”

Shift Your Perspective

Amayra told us that her biggest lifetime challenge happened in 1999 when she lost her son.  It was a very intense process that has served to make her much stronger by seeing things from a different perspective.

“When I’m in a situation and I think, ‘So what? What’s the worst that can happen?’ Well, in a sense, that has already happened to me. It helps me to deal with situations, including a situation like what happened because yes, it was a difficult situation, absolutely. Was it emotional? I bet you! Being part of that and being on the scene, everything that happened with it and all the repercussions.”

Accept the Power of Community

Despite all that happened, Amayra reports tremendous support from the community. “We have felt like Angel Valley has never had so much light being sent to it. So many people were touched; so many people were moved. So many people were just sending prayer and sharing that they did. It’s been wonderful and we’re really, really grateful for that and all the tokens and cards they sent. We feel that also has been part of bringing the place back into balance. It’s been really fantastic.

The community came forward to help heal the land, too. First the community that was there at the time, and then the community at large.

Seize the Opportunity to Look Within

I asked Amayra what does Angel Valley and all that it brings, including an incident like this do to her process? “It brings it right in your face. I feel this situation the Universe gave me, or I created, which for me is kind of the same – I attracted the situation where I had a truly great exercise in, ‘Do I respond to this with fear, with emotions, with anger, with frustration, or do I take myself into a place where I observe it and see that this is a process?’ Yes, it’s not easy, but how I can get something good out of that?”

And, yes, of course, there were people who also were upset. The way I see it, when something gets you upset, something inside of you is being touched so it touches a sore spot. For every person who got upset, it’s an opportunity to look within. Whether they do that or not that’s not up to me.”

Step by Step Healing

The very first step of healing began the day after the incident. The police investigated all day, taking samples as they went. In the evening, they gave the place back to Amayra and Michael.

“We felt, now it’s our turn, we start. In ceremony, we took the sweat lodge down. There were 18 people from the group who were still here and wanted to participate. It was really beautiful. That was our first gesture of starting to clear the energy and starting to clear the chaos of the space.”

After they removed the sweat lodge, they cleaned it up and made a memorial. “When we pulled the stones out of the pit, they kind of formed a heart, so we made a heart. We had a pile of rocks that had been used and we placed those in a big circle around the heart. We sat in and around this during the memorial service. It was really, really nice.”

On November first, a memorial service was held at Angel Valley. The local press were notified, but did not show. “We had plenty of press before that,” notes Amayra.

She and Michael received an outpouring of support, including e-mails from abroad saying, ‘Sorry I can’t be there, but I’m there with you in Spirit.’  Sixty-five people attended the service with celebrants from all kinds of traditions leading prayer and ceremony.

“Several groups that were here have done ceremonies also. One facilitator, took the theme into her retreat and play-roled, ‘What would you do’? with her participants. They acted it out. Several groups have really taken the theme and worked with it. All those things are contributing to the healing of the land. I think the power of transformation that people can go through here is more alive, more awake, now.”

What does Amayra feel is the legacy of this incident?

“I think if we all take this beyond our human emotions as a transformational experience and use it as the paradigm that we are all talking about, the new world of the 2012 transition, it can be used as transformation. We feel that what has happened here, that every person who has felt some resonance with it, whether that resonance was in bringing frustration, or feelings of compassion, we all have an opportunity to use this to dispatch worldwide transformation. It’s happening anyway. This can cause acceleration in that process. The more conscious we do things, the more power we have to change. The changes do not come from outside, the changes come from inside, so when something happens and it touches you, that’s the moment to do work. If all of us are contributing to finding good out of this, then the people who transitioned into other dimensions is not a waste.”

Of course, in any tragedy on the human level, there is emotion, but what happens to the energy of the land in the face of such an event? Amayra believes the land comes back to a natural order. She and Michael had ceremonies performed for the healing and balancing of the land, and they feel it’s worked. People who’ve visited the site after the incident have said it’s more tranquil and inward than ever before.

There is no doubt the energy of Angel Valley is intense. If you’ve spent any length of time at all in Sedona, you know that whatever is going on for you is magnified here. “When things intensify, I feel this is the optimal condition for transformation. I feel this place is more transformative and more transforming than ever before. In the moment there was chaos, yes. But out of chaos, comes beauty. After an event like this the energy of the land recycles and comes back to a new balance. We feel that the place has come to a new balance.”

And so, the spring sunshine brings warmth and illumination to Angel Valley. The incident has truly been a journey for Amayra and Michael Hamilton and the land they steward – one of healing and transformation.

Stillpoint Aromatics

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