Dream No. 1

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  • * Note: This is the first in a series of dreams and dream recall and interpretation.

 

The oldest dream that I recall having was a nightmare. I wouldn’t realize it was in fact a pre-cognitive or prophetic dream until nearly a year later.  After 30 plus years this dream is still vivid.  In the dream I am supposed to be going to a record store (this was the about 1980 when there were still just records in record stores) with my best friend in high school, Spacey.  I get to her house and knock on the door. When no one answers the door, I open it and call out her nickname, Spacey – after Ace Frehley (Space Ace) of KISS- but no one responds.  I look in the living room, the kitchen and run down the hall to her bedroom. She isn’t anywhere. Curiously, no one else is home either. In the dream, I begin to feel my heart race. I can’t find her. I call her name again as I run back up the hallway toward the front door and I see her….hanging from a coat hook on the inside of the front door. There is blood everywhere. On her neck and running down her fully clothed body.   In my dream I know she was dressed and ready to go out with me to the record store, but she didn’t quite make it out the front door.

Recall of this dream did not come until three months later while I was visiting my grandparents in Florida.  It happened while I was sitting in my grandmother’s mustard yellow vinyl recliner reading a collection of rock and roll history from the 1950’s through the late 1970’s. It was relaxing – the first somewhat relaxing day I’d had in a few months. Grief over my friend’s loss had consumed me all day, every day. I replayed memories of us in school, talking on the phone after school and that horrible September day that I learned of her death.

On Thursday that week I wished Spacey a happy birthday. Three days later on a Sunday afternoon I called her house. When I asked to speak with her I heard gasping and crying from the first two family members who answered the phone and then the third person, her uncle, barked through the telephone,    “Who is this?” I explained who I was and again asked to speak with her. He told me she had passed away the night before in a vehicle accident.

What’s interesting to me is that this was my first dream recall that I could recall at that time.  I did not recall the dream the morning after I had it, nor did I recall it anytime prior to or just after the accident.  I wasn’t ready for it, perhaps? Instead, I had a flash of that dream sitting in my grandmother’s recliner.  In that flash, I knew I’d dreamt it before and was able to recall the entire dream.  Perhaps I was relaxed enough to allow it to come into my consciousness, when I had stopped obsessing over my friend’s death. In other words, the information was already out there in the universe, but I was too busy to receive it.

What I’ve learned is that dreams grab our attention just after we have the dream – even if it wakes us up at 2:00 in the morning – or at a later time. The dream may be recalled upon waking; when a song on the radio triggers the dream recall; or sitting in a chair reading a book.

 

Abundance and the Hindu Goddess

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The first time I saw him he was wearing a Ramones tee shirt, the short sleeved black shirt with the presidential – like seal bearing an eagle holding a branch of something in one claw and a baseball bat in the other and RAMONES in large, loud letters above the bands iconic logo.   I feel a kinship with anyone who wears a tee shirt of my favorite rock band and so naturally I was intrigued by this man.  He came in once a week to the bank where I worked. He was well over six feet tall, dark haired, nice eyes and smile. We always exchanged small talk, nothing heavy. The last time I saw him was the first time I met the woman on his arm. He introduced her as Lakshmi.

He told me his parents were Indian and that Lakshmi was the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune. The tattooed stencil of Lakshmi that was on his upper arm was not yet colored in. Above the stenciled likeness of Lakshmi, near his shoulder, was a large white and yellow hued lotus tattoo. All I thought of at that moment was how much getting all that art tattooed on his arm must have hurt. As he left that day, he turned his head around toward me and smiled. As I look back on that day, I wonder if Lakshmi was smiling through him as if to say, “You’ll see me again soon.”

As I always say, the universe has ways of bringing us to our next assignment or chapter during our life here. Later that week, I picked up a book that I’d recently bought, “Archangels and Ascended Masters” by Doreen Virtue. I opened it up to the contents page and scanned over the chapters of archangels, gods & goddesses and deities. There she was on page 113. I read the chapter on Lakshmi with curiosity and intrigue. Clearly I was meant to learn more about the Hindu goddess. Suddenly she was everywhere to me. I found a lotus blossom candle holder and brought it home with me. I bought a beautiful pair of lotus blossom drop earrings that I wear nearly every day. I know it sounds corny, but I like to keep her close to me.

I wanted to learn more about Lakshmi, to understand why I kept seeing lotus blossoms, to find out why she is around me and what message she has for me. So, I went into research mode. The lotus blossom symbolizes spiritual awakening.  During meditation, the seventh chakra, the crown chakra opens up like a lotus as well, when we have a clear channel to the divine. Lakshmi’s name in Sanskrit means observe, know, understand, goal, aim, objective, as well as auspicious opportunity or fortune. She is depicted as having four arms that represent the four goals of human life.  They are dharma, artha, kāma and moksha. Respectively they mean pursuit of an ethical, moral life; pursuit of wealth; pursuit of love; pursuit of self-knowledge.

For me, Lakshmi represents abundance. An abundance of wealth, health, education and prosperity that will continue to be my goals in 2016. I prefer to have goals rather than resolutions for the incoming year. Goals seem so much more achievable than promises to myself that I can’t or won’t keep. Still, the four goals of human life should be achievable or at the very least something that we all want to aim for. I have much to be grateful for: family, work, opportunities to learn new things, and to the man in the Ramones tee shirt who brought Lakshmi to my awareness.

 

 

John Lennon

In the early morning of Tuesday, December 9, 1980, I awoke at 6:00 a.m. when my clock radio alarm went off. I lay in my bed for a few minutes more listening to the music, not really in a hurry to get up and get ready for school that cold, dark morning. After the song finished playing, Pete Clark, the deejay of the local rock radio station said, “Good morning. I’m sorry you have to wake up this way this morning.” He paused and then continued saying that John Lennon was shot and killed the night before. After that I didn’t hear anything.

I was numb with shock and then disbelief. Either way I was jolted out of bed, cold notwithstanding, and got ready for school. Nearly everyone in  my senior class was stunned. It was pretty hard to accept. For most of us it was our first experience losing someone we knew, whether it was a celebrity, friend or family member. Personally, I didn’t know how to process this. No one ever really explained death or dying to me.

The first few days after John Lennon was murdered, rock radio stations in the New York area (and I’m pretty certain everywhere) played Beatles and Lennon’s songs and interviews; newspapers ran special editions; Beatle and John Lennon memorabilia were being sold in stores. (The internet was about ten years away.) Meanwhile, he and his wife, Yoko had been working on their new album together, “Double Fantasy” at the time of his death – his first album in five years. Ironically, it’s first single was titled, “Starting Over”.

What I recalled about John Lennon at that time was his music, his social activism (the bed-in), and to some extent his religious or rather spiritual beliefs. I did not realize until many years after his death the depth of his spirituality. He believed in re-incarnation, that God is a source and his spiritual and social beliefs were reflected in his songs. I wonder what he would say about the state of the world today.

In the book, “The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon” by Gary Tillery (2009, Quest books), Tillery writes that soon after writing “Nowhere Man” in 1966, John “would be down on his knees in a locked bathroom begging God for a sign.”  Elizabeth Gilbert also got down on her knees in her bathroom and begged for God’s help, as she wrote in “Eat, Pray, Love”.  I can relate to this and I’ll bet a lot of us can. When I’ve desperately needed an answer from God or the angels, that’s where I go. Why is that? I believe it’s because it’s the most private and therefore safest room in the house to communicate with God.

John Lennon would have been 75 years old this year;  incredibly 35 years since he passed, 2 months after his 40th birthday.

 

“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.” ~ John Lennon

 

My Grandmother’s Eulogy

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Evangeline, my grandmother’s name,  was born in  1922, to parents who were pastors. The English meaning of her name is “Good tidings the word”; the Greek meaning, ” Good news message”. The word Angel is also in her name.  Angels are Gods messengers.

She was the visiting pastor at United Methodist church where my mom brought us nearly every Sunday. On that Sunday, the entire family was present and on time. She was present at the same church when my sisters and brother and I were baptized when I was about eleven or twelve. (During my dad’s and aunt’s upbringing she had travelled to different churches to preach. It was work  in the early 1940’s for a single mom. But, her connection to the church and Jesus was also her lifeline.) Until then, I’d never seen my grandmother in that role. She was speaking passionately with a raised voice and raised arms. Soon enough I would learn just how passionate she was about her faith.

Over the years that I visited her house,  I noticed books and papers piled up on her kitchen counter; bookshelves packed with books in various rooms of her house; music albums or cassettes neatly placed in their racks, the bead and  and pictures of Jesus or Bible quotes written or painted on paper and framed or carved in wood over archways and rooms in her house. The common denominator: they were all about religion. Specifically, Christianity, Jesus and the Bible.

As a child and then adolescent, I dutifully went to the methodist church with my family on Sundays. I recall that we started going to another church, Wesleyan,  that  seemed, at first to work for me. It was around this time that I was ….. looking for something else. It’s not that I was rebelling  against religion, rather I was looking for something that held meaning for me.  I didn’t know what  that something was, but somewhere I learned that most answers could be found in church or by talking to God. Maybe I learned it from my grandmother. I found a church to go to, but I did not find myself.

Throughout high school and into my early twenties, I was a devout follower of rock and roll.  I  accumulated rock paraphernalia: albums, ticket stubs, tee shirts and magazines. Unfortunately, what I learned from my grandmother was that you have to love God and church 100 percent. It’s all or nothing. If I wanted to find God and belong to church, I could not  continue to worship my rock and roll idols. I could not give up my Ramones tee shirt, the ticket stub from a Mink DeVille concert that I saw with my friend Jody or my collection of Hit Parade and Rolling Stones magazines. Could I?

The yearning to find that….something else became stronger around 1991.  What I found was a book that was not the answer for me, but it did lead me to my first teacher who handed me his copy of Shirley Maclaine’s  “Out on a Limb”. Many years earlier I had seen a People magazine article of her promoting her new book and I found the concept of reincarnation scary. At the time, reincarnation was synonymous with Shirley Maclaine. I believe that, over time,  her celebrity helped to bring new age practices into the mainstream.This book was the something else I was looking for.  As soon as I started reading, I could not put it down. Most of what she wrote resonated with me.  The part about re-incarnation would take a little more time for me to grasp. That would be the book after “Out on a Limb”,  when my friend told me about Edgar Cayce. With both of these books read from cover to cover, I was off and running on my spiritual journey. And, I got so excited about what I was learning, that I could not wait to share it with everyone. This is where I begin to sound like my grandmother. This was my A-ha moment. This was our connection – although we both came at it from different sides.

At that time, I knew I had found exactly what I had been looking for.   I started to share my new discovery, but I knew it would not make other people comfortable: family, friends and co-workers. I tried anyway…and well, the obvious responses happened. Use your imagination.  I knew my grandmother would have thought it was the rock and roll or not going to church that got to me. I never did share this with my grandmother, although I  did try to tell her once, but she did not understand what I was talking about. Out of fear or respect , or both, I changed the subject.

Anyway, after reading “Out On A Limb”, the Universe opened up for me. This is how I now know when I am on the right path. Some might call it synchronicity. Others may say it is fate or destiny. Well…it’s both. It is meant to be.

So, I started reading everything I could to learn more about everything esoteric and paranormal. I did my research. I wanted to know and understand what else was out there and I knew that there was more than just the Bible and the three core religions: Catholicism, Judaism and Protestant.

I would pick up any book by Shirley Maclaine, process it and decide where to go from there. Then, Sylvia Browne and Doreen Virtue. Then various books with a spiritual message.  Collections of Angel figurines and ornaments, butterflies and dragonflies in any form came next – they’re in almost every room in my house. The new age music that calms me and brings me peace. Recently, I looked down on the floor next to my bed and over at the book shelf. Nearly every book on the shelves are spiritual in nature, except for a few biographies and  my Ramones CD’s.

A thought came to me: I had become my grandmother.

When I talked with her last year, I began talking with her about the Bible and her favorite person in the Bible she told me was Jesus. His pictures adorned her home. She looked up at me as if she had just realized I was talking about something she knew. A certain look came over her as if I was speaking a foreign language that she had recognized. I showed her my gardens because I knew she loved flowers. When I saw her in the nursing home over the summer, I’d brought an oversized “Hello Kitty” coloring book with me because I knew she loved coloring. As she  colored Hello Kitty with only a blue crayon, I just watched her and recalled it was just like I remembered her views on religion. Talking about Jesus, praying to him and reading or being read to about him. She loved Jesus.

I started this story  a little over a year ago when I first learned that she had the signs of dementia. She passed away nearly a week after falling in the nursing home where she lived for the last seven months, eight years almost to the day that her husband passed. I believe she didn’t want to live anymore. She wanted to go “home” to see him. And to see Jesus.

The Art of Letting Go

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My daughter, my first born, leaves for college this month, two states and three hours away from home. She’s ready. I’m ready, I think. I say “think” because I’ve had eighteen years to prepare for this milestone. But when I think about it, I get anxious.

I recall watching the school bus going by our house when she was two months old and thinking to myself, “She is not going a noisy, germ-infested school bus.” Five year later: new shoes on and a Veggie Tales back pack loaded with her lunch and school supplies, we headed for the bus stop. I had the video camera ready as the school bus drove up to record this milestone, as I had so many others since she was born. We barely said our goodbyes, when the school bus door opened and she eagerly bounded up the steps to take her place in the front seat. Her little brother and I watched as the school bus drove out of sight. I had prepared myself to go directly to the grocery store so that I would not have to go back inside the house, but alas, I forgot my pocketbook in the first- day- of –school excitement.

After I wiped away my tears, my son and I went to the grocery store… and then the mall. I celebrated my first born child’s first day of school by shopping. The second child was easier, not as emotional the second time around.
And so it would go…moving up from elementary school to middle school…moving up from middle school to high school…graduating high school …and all the many other achievements in-between.

I’ve been learning to let go for the last eighteen years: Watching her grow from an infant to a curious toddler to a free spirited girl and to the young woman she is now; when she learned to walk and no longer needed me to carry her, learning to ride a bike, and finally gaining her independence when she obtained her driver’s license and could drive herself to school, her friends’ houses and to the mall; the first sleepover with friends (and all the subsequent sleepovers) and when she traveled to France and Spain with her school mates.

It’s hard to let go – to let her be…herself. I want to hold on to her longer – to be the little girl who looked at me with a Cheshire cat smile when she was up to something (and she still does). Or in the morning when I’d wake up and find her sleeping on the floor next to me with her pillow and blanket – a safer place to sleep when a nightmare would wake her up. On the other hand, I know I have to let go and allow her to be the lovely young woman she is. It’s time for her next adventure.

This is her journey. She chose her path. She chose me as her mom for this life’s journey. She is mine to borrow. But her life is her own. It always has been. We were brought together to love and learn lessons. I feel that in this life, she is teaching me to let go.

But, I’ll be calling all archangels and angels to watch over her as I drive home the day I drop her off at college. Maybe I’ll drive to the mall first…then go home.

THE FOUR SEASONS

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After the long, bitter cold, seemingly never-ending winter we had this year, I promised that I would never again complain about the oppressively hot weather that would come the following summer. And, then it seemed that the cold weather long jumped from the record – breaking harsh northeast winter – over a briefly cool, rainy, leaf-budding and flower-blooming spring – to an early – not quite ready for it – summer. The  (almost) summer of my discontent had begun.

I thought with the constantly accumulating snow that fell this winter there would still be snow on the ground in June. But now, with less than two weeks of spring left, I am somewhat excitedly waiting for the summer solstice to arrive. The change of seasons is so beautiful that I don’t think I could ever give up living in the beautiful northeast.

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So, when spring arrived this year, I was one of the happiest people around, like a child when school lets out for summer recess. No more shovelling, no more winter coats, hats, scarves, boots or gloves. Winter is done, gone, good-bye. Spring arrived with some rain, sunshine, daffodils, birds and bees. It’s a sign that Persephone, the cherished daughter of Demeter, the Earth Mother, has once again returned from the Underworld and Hades. It’s also time to clean up the gardens, plant new flowers, fill up the Hummingbird feeder, and sitting under a tree in my favorite park with a good book.

I don’t really dislike winter and summer. There is something about all the seasons that I enjoy. My favorite part of spring has to be the increasing sunny days and working in the garden; summertime, and the living is easy – shorts and flip-flops and being at the ocean – although I would visit the ocean anytime of the year; fall –  who doesn’t love the fall – I love everything about it; winter is quiet and  pretty when it snows, walking on the roads – before they are plowed – everything looks perfect. Photography, being one of  my favorite hobbies, insures that my camera is aimed at all four seasons.

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Getting through the hardest parts of the winter and the summer – if one does not enjoy the extreme cold or heat – can be challenging. I recalled something one of my yoga teachers taught me. Some of the yoga positions are hard, but, like life, you breathe through it – inhale and exhale – and then you are back in the moment.

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THE GIFT

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THE GIFT

Writing is not what I aspired to. In English and History classes in high school, I dreaded writing and barely got past the first paragraph. College papers, when they were required, were the bare minimum. My papers resembled lists and I repeated myself in those essays or reports. I did not enjoy writing. It may have been explained in English class, but I did not really know how to construct an essay, a story or a report. So, I could never have imagined then that I would become a published author.

It is said that to write well, you need to read to understand how sentences are structured and how to put a story together. Growing up, I loved reading books. I read classics like, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” ;  Guy de Maupassant’s tragic short story, “The Necklace” twice, and every book by Tracy Chevalier.  I would read biographies on almost anyone and I still do,  for school and for enjoyment.  I read magazines from cover to cover, the New York Times and watched television news programs. This is how I learned how to deliver and write a story.  I saw writing as a way to obtain information or for entertainment, never as an art form.

And then, in late 2008 I had a life change. After twenty years working in the accounting department for a  media company that included a newspaper and a magazine, I was laid off. During the first year of unemployment when I had related the story of my spiritual journey to someone, it was suggested to me that I had a lot to tell, and that I should write books. I thought to myself “Never. That is not something I would remotely be interested in doing.” I did not like writing….I could not write. On reflection I wondered if that was because I did not think I had a story to tell.

Well, I did not think about that exchange again, until two years later when I took classes at a community college and found myself looking at the college’s club bulletin board. There were clubs and organizations for nearly everything and everyone.  I found myself looking straight at a notice for the college newspaper. I was led to it. I felt it was a sign, so I humored my spirit guides, even though I still did not believe I could write anything.  So, I attended the first meeting and I got a positive feeling. Something inside of me changed.  Shortly after that, I wrote my first brief on an  event at the college. A simple paragraph. I could not write any more than that. Still, I kept at it. There must be a reason why I joined the college newspaper.

My next assignment was to be an article on plagiarism. The publisher said there had been increased issues with students copying papers and cheating on tests due to the availability of cell phones. I took my time with it and really got into investigating and interviewing people for  the piece. I really enjoyed what I was doing and the writing came easily: I wrote over 900 words. The editor told me the writing was good and nothing needed to be edited. I remember thinking: what happened in that one month from the first piece that was a basic paragraph of information that I scraped together to this 900 plus word story? I never took a writing class. I was never a journalist. So, how did this transition happen? Where did this sudden burst of writing come from?

I don’t know how else to explain it other than it was meant to be. Destiny. The universe led me to it. Specifically, on a soul level, it was planned before my current incarnation. We all have “blueprints” of what our human experiences will entail. The who, what, when, where and how  of our souls journey. Who our parents will be, what lessons our souls want to learn, where we will live, who we will marry, how  many children  we will have, and when our souls current mission will end. I believe my spirit guides and guardian angels, who were with my soul during the planning stages for this incarnation, gave me gentle reminders about events that were pre-planned and guided me through the implementation of those plans. They led me to that bulletin board and subsequently helped with the writing of my book, “Sweet Dreams”. While the characters in the short story are composites of people I knew in this life-time, and are now on the other side, I am very certain one of them  also assisted with her part of the story.

Everyone has a story to tell whether it’s happy, tragic or inspiring. Writing is only a part of  mine. Although it did not come naturally to me until a few years ago, I really enjoy it now. For me, writing is a gift that I share with everyone. It is not mine to keep.  I am grateful for this gift. Who knows where it will take me or for how long. Everyday, I look for something to write about; or an idea will “pop” into my head – divine intervention. Be grateful for your gifts whatever they are.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for all great things in 2015.

Sweet Dreams

A PAGAN WOMAN

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Last summer my past came back to haunt me.  It  may have been either a past life memory or it was a re-awakening. But from that moment on there was no going back. Back, that is, in terms of where I was before that moment at the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

 Back in the early 1990’s, I had visited the Salem Witch Museum where they have stage sets – thirteen in all – depicting the events leading up to and including the nineteen innocent people who were hung because they were believed to be witches. So, last summer, my family and I were vacationing in the area and stopped in for a visit. My daughter had just studied Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible”, in school that year and learned how the story was based partly on the Salem Witch Trials, and she wanted to find out more about this tragic event. There is also something newer at the museum since I was last there in the ‘90’s, and that is an exhibit called, “Witches: Evolving Perceptions”. It was here that I came face to face with my past. Literally.

The first scene of this exhibit shows a mannequin that is dressed up as a Pagan woman. The tour guide pressed the button for the audio and a disembodied voice told us how she was an ancient Celtic woman, that she and other Pagan women were actually midwives, they used herbs and were respected healers in their community. Then the tour guide moves on and everyone follows her except me. I cannot take my eyes off the the ancient Celtic woman mannequin’s face. It was as if I was staring into my past and my past self was looking at my future self. A real “Back to the Future” moment.

 The transition from Pagan woman to Witch,  was no doubt brought on by fear – and fear is at the root of everything. According to the Salem Witch Museum’s website,  salemwitchmuseum.com on the “Witches: Evolving Perceptions” exhibit, “…the strong Celtic woman, diminished and demonized by the church fathers in the middle ages. She speaks of her role as the troublemaker in society on whom all evil things are blamed.”  The remainder of the exhibit shows how Witches were Hollywood -ized; other witch hunts in history such as the McCarthy hearings on Communism and what became known as the Red Scare, and the persecution of the gay community at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. The museum uses this formula for a witch hunt: Fear + Trigger = Scapegoat. And finally, the exhibit ends with two more figures, a man and a woman, practitioners of Wicca, or witchcraft. “…descendants of the Celtic midwife, looking to the earth mother for healing and spirituality.”

Back in my hotel room, I thought over the exhibit and could not shake off the hold this Pagan midwife had over me.  The transition to evil wrongdoer, to Hollywood’s Wicked Witch of the West was unfair. I felt the Pagan woman or Celtic midwife was seriously maligned. As always, when I feel this strongly about something, I become passionate to the point of obsession and wanted to educate myself and understand not what was done to the Pagan woman, but rather who she really was and my connection to her.

 At the outset, I explored what Paganism is.  Before modern Europe, before Judaism and Christianity, there was Paganism, a religion that worshipped nature.  Now, I want to say that I do not now believe in organized religion. However, I was brought up Christian. I learned from that period in my life that Pagans were heathens, ungodly, basically Satan worshippers. Naturally, as a young child I was taught to fear them. There’s that word “fear” again. Hmmm.

 I took out books from the library, read articles on the Internet, and educated myself.  According to the website  paganfederation.org, the definition of a Pagan is :   “…  a follower of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.”  Pagans respect nature; a religion that “pervades the whole of everyday life…Pagans usually believe that the divine world will answer a genuine request for information….healers are common throughout Pagan societies…Pagans pursue their own vision of the Divine as a direct and personal experience.”  Paganism, they say, “is the ancestral religion of the whole of humanity.”

All religions descended from Paganism, so why do Pagans and Paganism get such a bad rap? As I read this, I thought to myself I love nature, I believe that the universe, God force, or divine helps me when I  put the intention out into the universe.  I’m a Pagan. Maybe we are all pagans – we just don’t remember our divinity.

 Statues that we see or use in gardens and in our homes originated with Pagans. Wedding rings and the wedding service, funeral services, and the holidays that come at the winter solstice and vernal equinox – Yule ( pronounced U-elle) which is commonly known as Christmas (Remember the Yule log burning on a TV channel at Christmas?  That’s a pagan ritual.) and Ostara (or Easter) are all traditions that come from the Pagans. All of these traditions originated with the Celtic Pagans  and have been passed down through the centuries.

In October, Samhain (pronounced Sow-inn) is the Pagan New Year. It is at this time that the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world is the thinnest . While the veil is thin, we will be able to connect to our loved ones who have crossed over.  We can, of course, hear our loved ones and angels anytime, but  the frequencies may make it easier  to hear them at this time. Listen and watch for their messages.

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A GHOST STORY

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One rainy spring day a couple of years ago,  I took my Nikon camera and went for a walk in a local park. Being in nature is very restorative for me and I love photographing nature. I had taken about two dozen photos already that afternoon when I came upon a road where no one was walking. The road was on a slight incline, with a gentle curve, and a canopy of green leaves overhead, protecting me from the light rain. It was there that I took my one of my  last  photographs.

I looked at that scene before I raised my camera and then looked at the scene again on the camera’s screen. Click. I looked at the camera’s screen to see what my photo would actually look like.  It looked good…except for the white ball at the bottom right. I didn’t recall a child’s ball there before and during the time I took the photograph. Suddenly, I got chills and not the good kind. I felt scared and started walking toward the exit from the park. I knew it was an orb. But, was it a ghost? If not, who or what was it?

I walked over a small stone walled  bridge near the exit of the park. I looked at the stone wall  with a tree towering above it. I didn’t think it would make a good picture,  but I  felt compelled to take one last photo. Click.  Once again, I look in my camera’s screen and I see the same bright orb near the top of the stone wall, as if whoever it was, was sitting on the stone wall, posing for me. I wasn’t scared, but rather I thought whoever or whatever it was had a sense of humor.

Somewhere, I had read that nature angels or fairies’ orbs are bright. Maybe it was an angel or a very large fairy.  I had taken photographs before that showed orbs: in a church, in a school, and outdoors. I have taken photographs that have shown several orbs in different sizes, but not as bright as the orb I saw in the park that day.

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To my recollection I have never seen a ghost, apparition, spirit or whatever you want to call it. Well, I have seen an orb that glided along the floor of a house I lived in… temporarily. After my logical side proved that it couldn’t be a passing car’s lights reflecting in the house, I jumped up and turned on every light in the small house. ( I had been watching a movie with the lights off – serves me right.)  Several years ago, an intuit told me that I was able to see spirits when I was a child, but that I had been taught to be afraid of them. To this day, I am petrified of seeing a ghost. In my bathroom, on some occasions, I just  know a spirit is there, although this entity travels to different areas of my house. But the paranormal activity doesn’t stop there. On one very frigid winter day, I picked up my cell phone to call someone and while I was waiting to hear the connection go through,  I began to hear something like a radio frequency instead. An awareness that something odd was happening struck me. And then I heard a female voice saying clearly but eerily, “Leave the ranch.” I tried to get this persons attention by saying, “Hello, who is this?” And, I wanted to know what “leave the ranch” meant? Get out of the house or leave them some salad dressing? But then it was over. It didn’t really scare me then, oddly enough and it was the only occurrence. If I am right and there is a spirit in my house, I haven’t yet mustered the courage to ask who it is. On second thought, I don’t want to know.

There are ghosts or spirits that are called ‘earth-bounds’ – souls who have left their human bodies but have not crossed over into the light. And believe me, when I hear that a friend, family member or someone I know has passed away, I cross them over. It’s not because I don’t want my house to be paranormally active –  I don’t. It’s for the sake of the departed soul. They belong on the other side, except when they come back for a visit. There are spirits and angels  all around us. I have felt friends, family members, my spirit guides, and angels. They’re not around to scare us – they’re checking in to say, “Hello.”  I can’t see them, but I have seen something out of the corner of my eye on more than one occasion and they usually give you a good feeling, a feeling of warmth, sometimes physically. I have felt this way when my cat, Zippy, visits me. He sits right next to my leg when I’m laying in bed watching a movie. With the lights on.

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CHANNELING MY INNER GODDESS

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In the eighth grade, circa 1977, I learned about Greek Mythology, a unit in the English curriculum. I was fascinated by the Gods and Goddesses and what their powers were. I was awestruck by the ancient ruins. I always wondered if  the Gods and Goddesses really existed. Were they real?  When did they live? Were they just a myth? Something resonated with me. I couldn’t explain it, but I started to become obsessed with the myth.

At the end of the unit there would be a party and all of the eighth grade students had to choose a project to complete: a written paper, a diorama, an ancient ruin re-created from papier mache, or dress up as an ancient Greek God or Goddess. Anyone dressing up would automatically get an “A” for the project. About a half dozen or so other students and I opted for the latter and dressed up as famous or infamous Greek mythological figures. I chose to dress up for the automatic ‘A’ as I had no artistic talent and I didn’t like writing.  In the cafeteria, where the party was held, there was Ambrosia salad, displays of projects and a parade by a few of the students dressed as Ancient Greek Gods or Goddesses.

I recall someone who came as Atlas, the legendary Titan of astronomy –  holding up an unusually large globe from the social studies room. Another student who walked in with a bow and arrow, and donned wings taped to his back – cut out from poster board – was Cupid, the God of desire, erotic love and attraction. I was more down to earth. I came as the “Earth Mother”, Demeter. I was drawn to her during our studies of Greek mythology. I wore a rather large piece of material – that I borrowed from my mother’s sewing room – around me for my dress and a Christmas wreath on my head. ( A few years ago on Halloween, I reprised my role as the Goddess of harvest and agriculture – with a grape vine wreath.)

I couldn’t put into words then the hold that the story of  Demeter had over me. When her daughter, Persephone, was taken by Hades to the Underworld, Demeter, heartbroken, ceased taking care of the earth. The crops stopped growing, trees lost their leaves, flowers no longer bloomed. Until six months later, when Persephone was allowed to visit her mother for the next six months, and the crops began to grow again, the leaves grew back on the trees and flowers were in bloom once more. But the deal was that Hades would take her back at the end of six months.  Demeter would become depressed and once more the plants on the earth would die. And so it would go, every six months – Demeter would have to share her daughter with Hades.  And that, according to Greek Mythology, is why we have the seasons: fall and winter, spring and summer.  Maybe I was gullible, but this story made sense to me, more than any other story of a Greek God or Goddess. Is it possible that it was more than just a myth?

Anyway, the week after the party when I went into my Earth Science class, my teacher, Mr. Witter, told me he always thought I looked like a Greek Goddess. I took it as a compliment, even if it might have sounded a bit creepy. I felt a connection with Demeter. Maybe we all feel a connection with the Earth Mother. We plant our gardens, take shade under a tree, decorate our homes with vases of flowers and in the summer enjoy the fruits of her labor at the farmers market. I have always loved the fall: the crisp air, colorful foliage, the crunch of fallen leaves under my footsteps and baking zucchini bread and apple bread. Still, I’m sorry to see the long, warm summer days go away.  Perhaps it is empathy for Demeter that we feel when summer comes to an end.

And so it is at the autumnal equinox, that I channel my inner Demeter and pay homage to the Greek Goddess of harvest and agriculture, the Earth Mother, who gives up her daughter to the  Underworld and the plants, trees, flowers and crops die or hibernate, until once again Demeter is reunited with Persephone in the spring.