Tag Archives: spirituality

Great Energy Shift? I don’t know, though we definitely need one

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“As we are heading into the Age of Aquarius, new energies are encompassing our bodies and are reflected in various physiological symptoms. Within this transition of the ages, many people will begin to feel many of these energy shift symptoms on a regular basis as our bodies are adjusting and upgrading to the higher frequencies.”

– from the Esoteric Metaphysical Spiritual Database

Is there really a great spiritual energy shift coming? I have no clue. I do know what there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of spiritual coaches, mentors, facilitators, teachers and writers spreading the word across the Internet that the shift is coming or has already begun and that they have the meditations, symbols, light language, breathing exercises, visualizations, and podcasts that will definitively place you on the right road to be part of it all.

I hope they are right.

newageThe world’s a mess now. We’re hearing this from both ends of the political spectrum, from experts at think tanks and research centers, and from mainstream and alternative religious leaders.

Perhaps there is a great spiritual transformation on the horizon. Or, perhaps there isn’t, but soon will be because it will be created by all the people passionately telling us that a great change is coming. Maybe they are creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy, assuming they aren’t really the first to know a secret the rest of us don’t accept yet.

In the 1960s and 1970s there as a new age movement with a lot of talk about the Age of Aquarius, the Silva Method, Transcendental Meditation, making love not war, and many people were convinced “this was it” in the same way others were convinced years ago that World War I was the war to end all wars. But then life went on with the same old problems and a lot of the new age faithful slowly returned to logical, mainstream lifestyles.

I often think we’re attracted to new age ideas and books like “The Secret” because we’re looking for a spiritual quick fix. I don’t necessarily think the beliefs behind the former new age movement or the current spiritual shift movement are wrong. My own beliefs are by no means mainstream. I just think it’s hard to stay the course. One goes to a spiritual retreat and returns to the real world freshly energized and with a new sense of purpose and certainty. But in the face of what the rest of the world thinks, they have trouble maintaining that high, keeping up with the visualizations and meditations, and slowly slip back into the muck of a mainstream lifestyle.

Perhaps there are more seekers now. Perhaps they have more endurance and will persevere in spite of the fact that everything they see in their workplaces, in their communities and on the news is telling them quite strongly they’re wrong.

At my age, I no longer have youth’s passion to be a preacher for any belief system, much less advertise myself on line as a spiritual coach. In fact, if I did have the energy, I wouldn’t do it because–great energy shift or not–I see beliefs as very personal and not something to be sold or taught. You’ll find some of my beliefs echoed in the beliefs of the characters in my novels. That’s the best I can do. I didn’t get the memo about a great energy shift, so I’m not going to try to convince you there is one, much less sell you a course about how to ride the whirlwind.

Truth be told, I’ve always thought that–as well-intentioned as  it may be–the missionary approach is misguided and arrogant. How can one say that his/her beliefs are better than the spiritual beliefs of another person or group? Perhaps I’m hiding behind my books. Hard to say. They are stories, though, rather than sermons.

My approach to spiritual ideas is that we all have the capability of discovering them for ourselves. I may be wrong about that, and since that’s possible, I won’t offer you a podcast or a DVD to bring you around to my way of thinking. If my novels and short stories suggest there’s something “out there” other than science, technology and doggedly earning a living, then I’m pleased. I don’t know any secrets to sell you, and that includes the real or imagined great energy shift.

–Malcolm

SarabandeCover2015Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” The Sun Singer,” and “Sarabande.”

Website: http://www.conjurewomanscat.com/

 

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Myth and Magic Resources and Links

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While working on Conjure Woman’s Cat, Sarabande and other novels, I compiled a list of resources for others interested in writing about magic or learning more about spiritual/new age resource materials.

mythclipartThe following resources, collected from this blog’s posts, may be helpful to others studying or following the heroine’s journey, folk tales and magical pursuits. These are books and sites I found helpful as I researched my novels and short stories.

Dark Moon

Black Moon and the Black Madonna on Sophia’s Children

Goddess Meditations by Barbara Ardinger

Dragontime Magic and Mystery of Menstruation by Luisa Francia

Moon Phases Calendar

Planting by the Moon

The Moon Watcher’s Companion by Donna Henes.

Moon Watching by Dana Gerhardt

Moon Tides, Soul Passages by Maria Kay Simms

Moon Mother, Moon Daughter by Janet Lucy

Witchcraft vs. Wicca – See one view here on Hecate’s Cauldron

Death and Rebirth

Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perea

The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford

The Pattern of Initiation in the Evolution of Human Consciousness by Peter Dawkins & Sir George Trevelyan

Inanna, queen of heaven and earth: Her stories and hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer – This book, first published in 1983, presented a long-awaited translation of the original Inanna material from the 2000 BCE cuneiform clay tablets.

Folk Magic

HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE –  An Introduction to African-American Rootwork by Catherine Yronwode – An introduction to hoodoo, including basics, spells, herbs, and related blues songs.

The Black Folder, edited by Catherine Yronwode, 2013.

Drums and Shadows, folk magic practices in the state of Georgia assembled by the WPA in the 1930s. The online overview describes the book this way: This collection of oral folklore from coastal Georgia was assembled during the 1930s as part of a WPA writers’ program, under the supervision of Mary Granger. The accounts in this book, framed by colorful descriptions of the rural locales where they were collected, were principally from elderly African-Americans, some of them centarians. Most had been slaves. In some cases they had known first generation slaves who had been born in Africa.

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic, by Catherine Yronwode, 2002.

“Remembering Hoyt’s Cologne,” Malcolm’s Round Table

The Sanctified Church, by Zora Neale Hurston, 1981.

SOUTHERN SPIRITS: Ghostly Voices from Dixie Land – Web site features reference materials from the South during the slavery years about conjure and hoodoo.

Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System by Katrina Hazzard-Donald, University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (December 17, 2012)

Conjured Cardea: Full-Service Botanica and Rootwork Services – supplies, services, blog

Heroine’s Journey

The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock

From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend by Valerie Estelle Frankel (See the July 2011 “Mythprint” review of this book here.) Frankel’s website includes a lengthy heroine’s journey reading list.

Sarabande contemporary fantasy by Malcolm R. Campbell released by Thomas-Jacob Publishing in a new second edition November 20151.

“The Way of Woman: Awakening the Perennial Feminine” by Helen M. Luke

Apple Farm Community – The Writings of Helen M. Luke

Real Women, Real Wisdom: A Journey into the Feminine Soul by Maureen Hovenkotter  (See a review here.)

The Heroine’s Coach, the website for Susanna Liller’s journey-oriented coaching services. The site includes an e-mail newsletter for women following their own paths called “Journey News.”

The Heroine’s Journey appears on author Leslie Zehr’s Universal Dancer website and includes a discussion of Sylvia Brinton Perera’s Descent to the Goddess, a book I found essential for my understanding of the journey. Zehr is the author of The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer.

Light of Nature

Light of Nature Website, exploring the science and the philosophy of the concept.

“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine

“The Spell of the Sensuous” by David Abram

Messages from Mother – Author Mare Cromwell’s website.

Heroine Literature

The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore

Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan

The Heroine in Western Literature: The Archetype and Her Reemergence in Modern Prose by Meredith A. Powers

The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts by David Lodge

Mythic Archetypes

Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes for Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen

Patriarchy

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

Unplugging the Patriarchy – A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age by Lucia René

Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher

Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write about Their Search for Self by Sara Shandler

Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years by Cheryl Dellasega

Story Within

And Now The Story Lives Inside You, poems by Elizabeth Reninger

The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram

Alchemical Studies by C. G. Jung

Harry Potter – A New World Mythology? By Lynne Milum

“Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’” by Helen M. Luke

“The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman

Tarot

LaVielle’s Book Jacket Blog

Raven’s Tarot Site

Writer’s Muse

The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Marry Your Muse: Making a Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity by Jan Phillips

The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write by Mark David Gerson.

20 Master Plots: an How to Build Them, by Ronald Tobias

The Hero’s Journey: A Guide to Literature and Life by Reg Harris and Susan Thompson (This is a series of lesson plans for teaching the hero’s journey in a classroom setting.)

Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Related Stories

Myth & Moor – Terri Windling’s blog

Marina Warner Website – Writer of fiction, criticism and history with a strong focus on fairy tales.

The Endicott Studio – “The Endicott Studio, founded in 1987, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral storytelling tradition.”

“The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre,” by Jack Zipes. A wonderful study of the genre available in paperback and Kindle.

Fairy tales and Literature – An online bibliography from author and professor Theodora Goss. Great introduction of resource material.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal stories and novels.

Review: ‘The Way of Spirit’ by Joanne Helfrich

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The Way of Spirit: Teachings of Rose, Joanne Helfrich (NewWorldView December 7, 2014), 218pp.

The publisher of The Way of Spirit says this spiritual self-help book will help you discover your life’s purpose and the means of achieving your soul’s deepest fulfillment. Whether or not the book is successful in doing that depends on the reader’s point of view about who Rose is and how Joanne Helfrich received Rose’s guidance.

WayOfSpiritHelfrich describes Rose as “an energy personality essence–a multidimensional being who exists primarily outside out physical world of space and time.” Her guidance was received by an energy exchange method of meditation more commonly known as channeling.

Jane Roberts’ popular Seth books of the 1970s introduced the general public to energy personalities, channeling, and a body of metaphysical information summed up by the phrase “you create your own reality.” Helfrich’s book complements Seth’s teachings.

While many readers intuitively felt that Seth’s non-mainstream, impossible-to-prove view of reality was correct, they often had trouble putting his concepts into actual practice in their lives. Subsequently, teachers such as Lynda Dahl (Seth Talk) and channelers such as Vicki Pendley (Elias) and Serge Grandbois (Kris) have explained and/or added to the information Jane Roberts provided via 1,500 trance sessions between 1963 and 1984.

Practical Approach

Helfrich has written a joyful and very practical guidebook for those seeking “big picture” knowledge and personal transformation. Students of Seth will find some overlap here between the concepts in The Way of Spirit and those they already know. Others are likely to become enchanted by Rose’s positive, no-nonsense approach to who you are and what you can accomplish.

Original Seth book - click on cover for current edition

Original Seth book – click on cover for current edition

Unlike some of the “Law of Attraction” books that focused on acquiring fame, fortune and other material world gains, The Way of the Spirit focuses on inner transformation and a compassionate approach to others. Rose sets the tone for the book by saying, “Since you create all of your reality, it stands to reason that when you become heroes pf your own lives, you change yourself and your world for the better.” The approach echoes Joseph Campbell’s (The Hero With a Thousand Faces) admonition that you cannot have a positive impact on the world until you “fix” yourself first.

Rose focuses on the individual: discover who you are, find your purpose and the bedrock intention of your life, own your own reality, interact with others with love and compassion, and understand that transformation comes from alignment with the universe, not by using brute force logic or pushing others aside to get what you desire.

Naysayers will be quick to point out that, like many other spiritual books focused on meeting goals and desires, this book says you don’t automatically get what you want; you get what the universe thinks you need. Many see this fact as a “kings-X” rule that negates of the rest of the books, allowing the authors to say, “well, your law of attraction meditation didn’t work, not because the system is flawed, but because you were trying to attract what you weren’t supposed to have.”

That point is well taken and the “mechanics” of whether or not the workings of “you create your own reality” should be interpreted as “you create your own reality when the universe consents.”

Quite clearly, The Way of the Spirit is about the way of the spirit, not the way of the transitory, illusory physical world of success and failure, rich and poor, or fame and anonymity.

Helfrich - click on photo for author's web site

Helfrich – click on photo for author’s web site

One strength of this positive and enchanting book is the section called practices. These are not recipes or A-to-Z formulas for making reality (or yourself) change before your eyes. As Rose explains it, “Practices are small, regular actions that help you live a happier life. They may be things you already do, but wish to do in a different way. When they become habits, they will transform your life.” These practices are:

  • Access Alternatives – Breaking away from closed thinking patterns
  • Intent Practices – Discovering and expressing your inate abilities
  • Souter – Finding a new way to visualize your breathing
  • Rest in Rose – Finding ways to relax and experience ones essence
  • IDEA – Discovering your foundation beliefs and their alternatives
  • Addressing Fears – Learning the role of fear and an appropriate response to it
  • Vespers – Meditating and exploring ways to channel your essence in day ahead
  • Evening Prayers – Calming your mind and staying connected as you fall asleep

The Way of the Spirit–like Jane Roberts’ Seth books–presents a vastly different view of reality than we are taught in school. Everything we “know” about time and space, physical reality, and cause and effect is challenged here. It’s a lot too take in and it cannot be taken in with an effortless leap of faith no matter how right it sounds in the reading of it.

Joanne Helfrich has created a thought-provoking approach to making things better in our lives. The practice sections give us a way to test drive her ideas without having to throw away the world view that has sustained us for better or worse up to now. This inspirational book is highly recommended.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy and magical realism novels and short stories that focus on characters making transformational journeys.

 

 

 

 

 

Sky, from the toes up

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” – e. e. cummings

When I was in the first or second grade and learned that the earth revolves, I wondered why the ground did not move beneath my feet when I jumped. How perplexing; I come down just where I started, I thought.

My dad explained that the atmosphere moves with the earth and, in fact, if it didn’t, there would be a substantial windstorm blowing us down around the clock.

For years, I viewed the sky as something far way, especially on clear nights when the stars—according to my observations—moved on flight paths much more distant that clouds, airplanes, or the helium balloons that escaped our grasp at the county fair.

I supposed at an early age that an ant’s view of the sky includes everything from my toes up. My feet are shadows and my hands are clouds and my head is a far planet. I believed they were misinformed and/or had poor eyesight because the sky was miles away.

Dog Island (marked with an “A”) is three and a half miles off the coast.

Early on a Saturday morning when I was in high school, I went to Alligator Bay on the Gulf Coast south of Tallahassee, Florida, with Tommy and Jonathan for a boat ride over to Dog Island. Jonathan’s family had a speed boat anchored just off the beach near his family’s summer cottage. The faraway sky was blue and cloudless, and the water was tranquil.

After a day of swimming, snorkeling and sand-dune exploring, we headed back just as a storm began developing farther to the west. The sky grew very dark before we reached the bay sheltered by Alligator Point. The high chop of the waves slowed our progress, so the afternoon was winding down before we set the anchor and waded ashore. We were quite relieved we hadn’t swamped the boat, something we hadn’t done for a year or two.

As we stood watching the storm pass by outside the bay, the setting sun appeared low on the western horizon with one of the most spectacular golden sunsets I have ever seen. The beach, the boat, and the surf were bright orange and glowing with light. Meanwhile, the lightning from the passing storm to the south of us, was also bright orange, and it hissed as it snaked across the sky over our heads and shook the world with its hollow thunder.

We stood without saying a word, and to this day, I think those moments still represent one of the most mystical experiences I have ever had. On that golden beach just out of the storm’s reach, everything was possible and yes and hopeful and connected. “The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet,” wrote Jandy Nelson in her young adult novel. Yes it is, and on that afternoon, it was clear to me that I stood within the sky and not below it.

–Malcolm

This post originally appeared on my Magic Moments weblog. As I get ready to shut down that blog, I thought I’d run a few of my favorite posts from the archive. Looking back on that day on the beach made it easier for me to understand a quote from “Seth” in the books by Jane Roberts: “There is no place where consciousness stops and the environment begins, or vice versa.”

Book Review: ‘New Dimensions of Being’ by Nora Caron

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NDB cover smallAuthor Nora Caron (Journey to the Heart) returns with the gentle and deeply spiritual sequel New Dimensions of Being about a young Canadian woman named Lucina who has moved to Oaxaca for a much-needed change of scene. Fluent in Spanish and acclimated to the warm climate and culture of Southwestern Mexico, the former computer professional works as a waitress and shares her apartment with her boyfriend Teleo.

While she is happy with her decision to move to Oaxaca, Lucina’s sleep and serenity are being disrupted by frightening nightmares. Then she discovers she is pregnant. Her uncertainty about motherhood at this time in her life puts a strain on her relationship with Teleo and widens the scope of her spiritual quest.

New Dimensions of Being is a story about mentors. Teleo is an herbal healer; John is a shaman, Maria–a former actress–is wise in the ways of predatory men (vampires, as she calls them); Teleo’s mother is a midwife with strong connections to spirit as indigenous cultures view humankind’s relationship with Earth, gods and elemental forces; and Weeping Willow brings Lucina the Hopi worldview and its prospective  connection to her nightmares.

Each of these mentors has a role to play in Lucina’s quest, imparting wisdom and advice out of their experience. What does she want to do about her pregnancy, her relationship with Teleo, and her role as a woman at a time of spiritual shifts?

Written in a natural, easy-to-read style, New Dimensions of Being brings us a believable protagonist who is learning how, exactly, to define herself. At times, she is more reactive than active, when some of the mentors’ stories become lengthy.

However, her reactions ring true and her progress along her spiritual path will appeal greatly to women who are reclaiming their feminine energy and power in a patriarchal world, and to others who are focused on a more natural and cooperative relationship with Mother Earth.