On a Personal Note

Week before last, I had a stem cell treatment for my hip. I’d been struggling for a few years with arthritis, trying many alternative treatments that helped, but the blasted thing just kept getting worse. Since I love to travel, I knew I’d have to do something more serious sooner or later. Last summer, I got a chance to go to Peru, so I broke down and had a steroid injection just so I could climb all those magnificent sites. And I did it! But steroids don’t last and they’re toxic, so I started researching both hip replacement and stem cell treatment. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can differentiate and divide, creating new tissue.

I’ve always been a fan of natural medicine. It’s my first go-to. For me, allopathic medicine has its place—especially for serious accidents and as a last resort—but often there are better options.

I got to know more quite a bit about natural medicine in my life. After graduate school, I worked at Bastyr University in Seattle part time. For those who don’t know, Bastyr is one of only a few schools for naturopaths in the US. When I worked there, the headquarters was in an old elementary school, but now they have a 51-acre campus.

My partner all during the 80’s and into the 90’s was a naturopath, Ruth Adele, who now practices in Colorado Springs. She and I became professionals together, me a professor and she a doctor, and I watched her become one of the best naturopaths I know.

The problem with stem cells is the same problem with much natural medicine—health insurance doesn’t cover it. Insurance is covering more and more natural procedures and eventually, I think the two fields will come together, but this might not happen in my life time. Hip replacements are covered and everyone I talked to said they’re pretty easy these days and recovery time not so bad. But when I stared at that artificial hip in the doctor’s office, something in me just couldn’t quite say yes.

So I saved some money from an extra gig and finally did it. And I am really glad I did! I’m healing well, my pain is way down, and I’m very hopeful I’ll be traveling pain-free soon.

We have several options here in Colorado for stem cell treatment, but the Centeno-Schultz Clinic has been doing research on stem cells and treatments for fifteen years now. People travel from all over to come to it. That’s who I went to. They have a clinic here in Broomfield and one in the Cayman Islands where they can do the best treatment of growing your stem cells so you have gobs of them and reinjecting them at a later date. The US doesn’t allow this now, but it’s done in all over Europe and Asia. You can travel there to have it done, too. But that was a bit out of my price range, so I went for same-day reinjection. I instructed my bones to grow a bunch of stem cells and my doctor said I had the best harvest that day. So visualization and meditation, plus a really skilled doctor did the trick.

This clinic does two PRP injections, one before and one after, to really bring the best healing to the area. That’s Platelet Rich Plasma, a concentration from you own blood of the prime healing factors in the body. Those little suckers really go to work. The stem cells (pictured here) are harvested from your own body as well (iliac crest for you technical folks) and reinjected in between those two PRP shots. Yes, I was a pin cushion, but surprisingly the injections are not as painful as I’d anticipated. The stem cell harvesting was a breeze, but they give you just a little chemical help.

So now I’m growing a new hip. Part of one at least. I still have to be careful with the new tissue, but it will grow stronger and stronger. I’m glad I made this decision.

Posted in Just Life | Tagged | 3 Comments

Angkor Wat ~ The Power of Place

Angkor Wat has always called to me. I saw that picture of the temple with the huge tree roots growing down through it and something woke in me. It was like the place whispered a promise—come and see what you discover. And now I get to go in December of this year.

Not only that, I get to lead meditations at the sites for those interested. That’s one of my favorite things to do at an ancient site—open up our inner vision and see what we see. We’ll ask the spiritual guardian, the Genius Loci, to come to us, to allow us access to the higher realms of this place of power, to guard us as we walk these spiritual paths. We’ll look to see the past, the future, and the ways our own soul is connected to this place of power.

Stephen Mehler had this kind of experience with the Sphinx when he was a boy of eight. In a National Geographic magazine, he came across a picture of her and she spoke to him. Now he’s gone to Egypt twenty-one times, written books, and is working on a documentary. This was his life’s work.

I’ve been pulled by the Arthurian stories in a similar way, which led me to the Western Mystery schools and those places of power, the Tor especially. That place talks to me in the same way the Sphinx talks to Stephen. Also Avebury and Stonehenge. I haven’t been to all the sacred sites of the British Isles yet.

Of course, sometimes places of power sneak up on you. When I first met Stephen, I had to admit that I’d never been particularly interested in Egypt. He thought nothing would come of our relationship because of that, but as it turned out, he took me to Egypt with him and the Sphinx devoured me the first night I was there. I saw her cone head sticking up out of the lake bed she’s in and said, “She’s smaller than I thought.” She answered back, “Just wait until I get a hold of you.” And then I met Sekhmet in Karnack! What a life changing experience. I gave that vision to Anne Le Clair in Under the Stone Paw.

These ancient places often mark an especially powerful and sacred spot on the land. We humans go there to raise our consciousness. We go over the years, the centuries. This builds more and more spiritual energy. The places become like a wellspring. They often hold secrets from ancient civilizations. Sensitive people can see that civilization sometimes.

Not everyone resonates to the same sites. The Serapeum at Sakkara completely blew my mind. I saw the spiritual guardians of each box and the worlds they opened up to. As I was walking out with about an eight-foot tall astral guardian walking beside me, another member of the tour walked up and said, “You’ve seen one box, you’ve seen them all.” I laughed. There was nothing wrong with either of us. This just wasn’t her power place. It was mine—and other people’s as well. But Sekhmet got to her—to this I can attest.

The Khemit School of Ancient Mysticism is sponsoring the tour, December 4-11th. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

Where are you power places? Where do you want to go?

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Dion Fortune Writing as V.M. Steele

A while back, I wrote about Dion Fortune’s novels for the Visionary Fiction Alliance.* At the end of that three-part blog, I said that she had written other novels under another pseudonym and that I would let you all know if I discovered them.

Paul Blakey of Twin Eagles Publishing has done just that and brought out the first of her four “romantic thrillers,” The Yellow Shadow. He promises the next three are on their way: The Scarred Wrists, Beloved of Ishmael, and Hunters of Humans.

Dion Fortune is a woman of several names. Dion Fortune is her magical name created this name from her family motto Deo Non Fortuna, ‘God not luck’. She was born Violet Mary Firth and writes these novels as V.M. Steele. The short introduction to the novel says this “combines the names Violet and Mary with Steele (as a node to the source of the family’s fortune).”

The Yellow Shadow is the story of a young woman, Stella Morris, whose father has died and who now will go to live with relatives in China. Used to conversation with her father’s older academic friends, she brings this same frankness to her conversation with a man traveling on the same ship she is on whom she assumes to be an older man. But at the end of this conversation, he reveals himself to be Chinese—just slightly older than she is.

Stella pushes aside British prejudices and forms a friendship with him, but at first he snubs her on the boat, much to her chagrin. Later, though, he rescues her from her loud and hot room, sets her up in a suite, and proceeds to befriend her in the evenings (properly, of course). He cautions her that their friendship must remain secret, it would seem because of this prejudice. But there is a bit more to it. This mysterious man is quite rich and a well-known business man. He doesn’t want to ruin her reputation or his own.

Once set up with her vacuous family in China, Stella gets to know Mr. Li through a series of happy accidents when her family realizes she speaks Chinese. They have not deigned to learn the language after living in the country a good number of years. They send her to bargain with an antique dealer. Because she knows Chinese manners as well as the language, having been taught by Mr. Li, she wins his admiration and gradually gains her independence from her rude and shallow family, finally finding a way to pursue her romance with Mr. Li.

Richard Brzustowicz has written an Afterword in which he gives some excellent historical background and discusses the similarity between this female character and the ones in The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic, who bring their magnetism to enliven a man who has been enervated by society, restoring him to his vitality. He points out that even the character’s name has magical implications: “Just as the Virgin Mary is associated with the sea (and the name Stella Morris is clearly reminiscent of one of the titles of the Virgin Mary, ‘Stella Maris’, Star of the sea) so is Kuan Yin” (198).

You’ll most likely enjoy this novel. You might bump your nose up against some of the frank language about race which seems dated now, but do remember that in The Magical Battle of Britain, Fortune argues that the new age coming after WWII will blast down the prejudices of the old, effete leadership of Britain and predicts an egalitarian global society for the Age of Aquarius. This novel shows some blasting away of those racial and class barriers.

Click to order a copy of The Yellow Shadow. Paul says the $10 price is a special offer, due to rise once we arrive at the summer solstice (and the release of her next book, The Scarred Wrists). I can’t wait to read the next one. Twin Eagles Publishing will use the proceeds from this novel to pay the cost of the British Library copying the others that are in their collection.

*If you want to read more about her novels, my blogs on her visionary fiction can be found at the Visionary Fiction Alliance website here:  The first was on her better known novels Moon Magic and The Sea Priestess. The second considered The Secrets of Dr. Taverner, and the third her lesser known novels The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, and The Goat Foot God.

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Visionary Fiction Writer Peggy Payne

Please welcome Visionary Fiction writer Peggy Payne.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m fascinated by the supernatural and, in that category, I include both the occult, the esoteric, and the major religions. I’m curious about things invisible; I want to see them!

I grew up in a beach town, Wilmington, North Carolina, and feel that water has some essence of the great mysteries, of the sublime.

I now live beside a farm pond that’s three-quarters of a mile through woods from a large lake.  I kayak occasionally and garden a lot.

I’m married to a psychologist Bob Dick, who has a special interest in clinical hypnosis.

The basic facts of my career are these: I’ve been a freelance writer since 1972, after graduating from Duke and working a couple of years for a newspaper. I’ve been a TV news reporter, a travel writer, an ad copy writer.  I’m author of the novels Cobalt Blue (which received an IPPY for Visionary Fiction);  Sister India, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Revelation, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.I’m co-author of  The Healing Power of Doing Good. My work has appeared in magazines including More, Travel & Leisure, Ms. Magazine, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Publishers Weekly, etc., and in most of the major American newspapers.

I never planned to write fiction; it came upon me as a calling.

In addition to my writing, I provide manuscript feedback and career consulting for other writers.

How did you become interested in Visionary Fiction?        Click pictures to order

I’m relieved someone came up with the term Visionary Fiction. And I wish it were more widely known and used.  I was always interested in “what’s on the other side” and in reading fiction. As a writer, I initially intended to write nonfiction.  But then I was seized by the need to write a novel.  What has emerged is stories that almost always include spiritual experience, the supernatural, and very often the convergence of sex and the spiritual. Again, these changes of course never felt like choices, more like the way a tree grows particular limbs, simply an unfolding.

Tell us about your latest project.

Cobalt Blue is my latest book. It’s about an artist, a 38 year-old woman in Pinehurst, North Carolina, who has a dramatic and confusing spiritual experience that first tips her into compulsive sexual behavior. I’m as shocked as anyone that I wrote this. I could describe the story in another way: it’s about a woman who wanted to break out of the narrow boundaries of herself.

If your book were chocolate, what kind would it be?   

If Cobalt Blue were chocolate, it would be radioactive chocolate.

Does this book fit into a series?

This novel is not part of a series. It’s one of a string of novels that, in widely diverse situations and people, explore spiritual experience. (My first novel, Revelation, is about a highly intellectual minister in Chapel Hill who starts hearing God talking to him out loud. He had never believed in this sort of thing.)

How did you prepare to write about the book’s specific area or field of study?

I simply started writing. I didn’t realize where the story was going. I did some reading along the way as questions developed.  After many drafts of Cobalt Blue, I said to myself one night as I was sitting on the porch watching the rain: it’s kundalini that the book’s about. I didn’t even know what the word meant.  I had overheard it at a party. I looked it up and discovered that “kundalini rising” did indeed describe the character’s crisis and transformation.

How does this book fit into your real-life interests?  

Perfectly.

What’s next for you? 

I’m pretty far along on novel about a 15 year-old girl with an astral boyfriend. And I’ve done a fair amount of work on a biography/memoir of a 20th century woman artist who became an activist and leader in spite of the fact that she dressed in medieval clothes, was led by Athena, and conversed regularly with King Arthur.

Website: www.peggypayne.com

Blog: Emails to My Therapist www.peggypayne.com/blog

Consulting Services for Writers: www.peggypayne.com/consulting 

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Visionary Writer Dana Taylor

Please welcome Dana Taylor, 2014 winner in the Indie Spiritual Book Awards. Dana writes visionary nonfiction. 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

At this point in life, I’d say I’m a spiritual adventurer with a good sense of humor. I was blessed with a long marriage and two daughters, who are now busy raising their families. After my husband died suddenly four years ago, I had to start a whole new, single life. I’m now living in Hawaii and loving it. Besides the tropical weather, beautiful beaches, and green volcanic hills, I love the spiritual freedom here. I take classes in energy healing, Hawaiian traditions, and meet people from all over the world.

I’ve been a Reiki master for a few years and have been fascinated by what I call “supernal living” or multidimensional living. Prayer and meditation has become a daily practice that has opened up awareness of energies and spiritual connection. I follow my intuitive guidance and see what adventures each day might bring.

Please tell us about your latest book.  

Supernal Adventures: Exploring the New Normal of Multidimensional Living grew out of a series of notebooks I kept over the course of ten years. In 2005 my friend, Paula, was healed through Reiki energy healing of a supposedly incurable, miserable disease called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome). Rather than simply taking that as a “miracle,” she and her sister, Sue, and I decided to explore energy healing, quantum physics, alternative medicine and related subjects to learn more about what actually happened to Paula. That began a remarkable journey and amazing experiences for the three of us. As a writer, I felt compelled to record what I witnessed in journals. Over the course of time, I realized we had been exploring many areas or esoteric study–energy healing, past life therapy, pre-life planning, channeling and several more. Supernal Adventures uses our personal experiences captured in the notebooks as the thread to explore these subjects that may be new to many readers.

Does this book fit into a series? What is the focus of that series?

Yes, this is book two of the “Supernal Living” Series. Book One, Ever-Flowing Streams: Christ, Reiki, Reincarnation and Me is my personal spiritual memoir. My own startling Reiki healing forced me to develop a whole new world view. We’re living in a time when people are breaking through old thinking and seeking spiritual growth. Supernal Living books are part of the growing genre of visionary writing.

What’s next for you?

I’m sure Hawaii will be a major influence in the next book. My journaling continues with experiences, poems, and vivid impressions. The next book hasn’t quite yet risen from the depths of my psyche, but I’m sure it is starting to take form at some level. In the mean time, I am enjoying the Aloha spirit.

To learn more, please visit my website, Supernal Living with Dana Taylor

Purchase Links:

Supernal Adventures: Exploring the New Normal of Multidimensional Living http://amzn.to/1SjNCFR   US

http://amzn.to/2mOYodz  UK

Ever-Flowing Streams: Christ, Reiki, Reincarnation and Me

http://amzn.to/1a0dW63 US

http://amzn.to/QRsLuA UK

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Visionary Fiction Writer Rea Nolan Martin

Please welcome Rea Nolan Martin, Visionary Fiction author and contributor to the Huffington Post. You’ll find her books enlightening and entertaining!

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I live on the banks of the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan. Thanks to the vision of John D. Rockefeller, our home abuts 20 miles of protected parkland. Even though human activity abounds across the river, on this side we entertain a menagerie of wildlife on our portico every morning. It’s an inspiring place to write, which I’ve been doing here and at various other locations through four decades, 5 dogs (current one named Spirit), two children (now young men), and one husband who have all made space for my overactive imagination. I am also a lover of music, physics, world religions, and a deep, personal spirituality which I nurture daily through prayer, practice, and the writing of Visionary Fiction.

How did you become interested in Visionary Fiction?

Like most visionary authors, I had no idea I was writing Visionary Fiction, per se. I just wrote about the experiences that informed my life. My first published book, The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright, is about an ordinary woman in her sixties, a beautician, who answers her pastor’s simple suggestion to surrender her life to God. What follows is a carnival ride through the spiritual realm, complete with levitation, bi-location, teleportation, lucid dreams, and all the terror and hilarity those experiences infer for the average person. Vera is squeezed through her experience like toothpaste, which for me at least is a critical element of successful storytelling. By the end of her harrowing adventures, she is transformed into something entirely different. Transformation is the reason I tell stories, and also, I believe, the reason for our existence. Some of us enter into this sacred contract willingly and consciously, while others, like Vera, have to be squeezed through a tube.

My next book, Mystic Tea, is about a loosely held-together group of nuns on a monastery in upstate NY, who have gotten lost in belief systems that no longer apply. Through the alchemy of a recovering teenage addict who finds her way to the monastery, they find authentic spirituality that redefines their lives personally and collectively. The juxtaposition of this wild teenager with the older cloistered nuns provided me with months and months of comedy, as well as eye-popping opportunity for personal growth.

The Anesthesia Game, Visionary Fiction book # 3, is about a teenager with a critical illness whose treatments subject her to weekly anesthesia. Instead of sleeping under this influence, however, she is instead able to slowly expand her awareness into other realms. Through this perilous practice, she is eventually able to identify the ancient source of her illness, as well as the karmic conflict that has besieged her family for generations.

My most recent book, Walking on Water contains 32 inspirational essays, a collection of insights designed to illuminate a spiritual path in a confusing world. Some of these essays were previously published in Huffington Post.

I found out about the burgeoning (yet ancient) genre of Visionary Fiction when my second book, Mystic Tea won the Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) gold award in 2014. (The Anesthesia Game won the same award in 2016.) The VF designation made complete sense to me once I accessed the VFA (Visionary Fiction Alliance) website and saw the other books and authors identified in that genre. Personally, I define VF as a powerful means of interpreting the new world order, providing it with, among other things, a unique and much needed vocabulary. VF sees the world through an expansive lens concomitant with the rapid spiritual awakening of our times. Before VF I defined my books as Metaphysical, Spiritual, or Mystical. But Visionary is more precise, since some aspect of every story I’ve written has been prescient, manifesting a critical aspect months or years after its writing. And like many VF authors will no doubt tell you, the writing of these books is more than a little hair-raising for its creators. As our characters are pushed and pulled through the cosmic tube, so are we, forced like bulbs into early blooming as a result of our attempts to awaken others. There’s a price for going first.

If your book were chocolate, what would it be?

Organic dark chocolate with a jalapeno cream center. Lots of twists and surprises, including humor, which I think is unexpected in this genre, but shouldn’t be.

Does this book fit into a series.

No. My characters like to go it alone.

How did you prepare to write this book?

The central character in The Anesthesia Game is a critically ill teenage girl with a sweet nature and strong connection to the mystical world. Many years ago, one of my sons was extremely ill, and I was able to draw from that experience enough to create authenticity in the clinical (and family) environments. None of the book is remotely autobiographical, however. I just believe that an experience as deep as that cannot be adequately conjured through academic research. Since I knew the harrowing path it took, I felt it would help others if I expressed its essence in easy-to-absorb storytelling form, instead of a lecture.

How does this book fit into your real-life interests?

Aside from the particular experience of my son’s illness, I have an odd penchant for acquiring lots of medical information, both conventional and unconventional, and storing it. Some of it was acquired through years of intensive caretaking, but at this point in my life it would be foolish not to admit that I have a somewhat photographic memory for medical information. (A past life?) This would also apply to physics, metaphysics, and spiritual traditions. This affinity, combined with a hearty storyteller archetype, explains me and my career.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently writing a story about two elderly sisters in a confounding situation surrounding their family funeral home. They are cracking me up. Enough said.

LINKS:

www.reanolanmartin.com

www.facebook.com/reanolanmartinauthor

https://www.amazon.com/Anesthesia-Game-Rea-Nolan-Martin/dp/0991032225/

https://www.amazon.com/Mystic-Tea-Rea-Nolan-Martin/dp/0991032217/

https://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Transformation-Vera-Wright-ebook/dp/B009NNHP9O/

https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Water-Rea-Nolan-Martin-ebook/dp/B01EQM864E/

 

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Visionary Fiction Writer Maighread MacKay

Please welcome Maighread MacKay,  an author and Podcaster from Ontario, Canada.  She is a member of the Writer’s Community of Durham Region (WCDR), Visionary Fiction Alliance (VFA) and Sisters in Crime, Toronto (SINC).

Her publishing credits include three books for children:   Bedtime Treasures, The Mysterious Door and the Crystal Grove written under the name of Margaret Hefferman. Stone Cottage was published in 2015 by Solstice Shadows Publishing. She was included in the 2015 Christmas Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas edition with her story “Being Santa”. Stepping Stones, an anthology of inspirational parables released March 25, 2016 from Solstice Publishing. A new story, “Once Upon a Midsummer’s Eve” is included in the Solstice anthology of Let’s Have Fun, released June 21, 2016. Her story, “A Unique Vessel” was included in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Curvy and Confident anthology, released December 27, 2016.

  1. How did you become interested in Visionary Fiction?book-cover

Ghosts, spirits and things that go bump in the night. Ancient mysteries and the riddles of our vast universe. Questions – lots of fascinating questions about the reality of our cosmos. Are there other dimensions or planes of existence? Are they inhabited? Do our parallel universes ever converge? Angels, Spirit Guides. Are they real? Can we communicate with them? What about other entities such as the Fae, Unicorns, or Dragons? Could they exist? What happens when we die? Has the soul that inhabits our body been here before? Why would we come back? What about animals? What happens to them when they die?

These questions have led me on a journey of investigating Christian Mysticism, Yogic Spirituality, Native Theology, Wicca, Celtic Shamanism, Quantum Physics, the Realm of the Fae and many other related topics.

  1. How do you define VF?

To me, besides telling a good story, VF enlightens and encourages readers to expand their awareness of greater possibilities. It helps them see the world in a new light and recognize dimensions of reality they commonly ignore.

  1. Please tell us about your novel?

Stone Cottage asks the question: If you could plan your life before you were born, what could that life look like?

The story deals with reincarnation, past life regression and pre-birth planning and how these could really fit into an actual life.  Although I have read numerous accounts of these things, I wanted to write a story about how they could affect one’s life. That is not to say Stone Cottage is the definitive answer. It is, after all, fiction, but I am hoping that people will enjoy the story and maybe think “huh. I never thought of it that way.”

  1. Does this book fit into a series?

My novels are not really a series. Each can be read individually, but two of the characters appear in both Stone Cottage and my new novel Murder at Mother’s.

  1. How did you prepare to write about the book’s specific area or field of study?

For Stone Cottage, I did a lot of research. The setting for the story is Toronto, Canada. One of the time periods is the 1850’s, so I went to museums, libraries and various historical places to get a feel for the area at that time and to get an accurate description of habits, dress, speech etc. Also, I investigated past life regression by having a session myself to accurately get questions asked and to get a feel for the experience.

  1. What are you working on right now?

I have just completed the first draft of a new novel, Murder at Mother’s.  It is a good old fashioned murder/mystery told from the ghost’s point of view. It deals with a soul’s unfinished business, what could happen after death and gives a different paradigm of what on earth is called hell.

Website:

http://mhefferman.ca/author/my-blog/

Buy links:

http://mybook.to/stonecottage

http://mybook.to/stepstones

http://mybook.to/midsummerseve

http://mybook.to/bedtimetreasures

http://mybook.to/themysteriousdoor

http://mybook.to/thecrystalgrove

My Author link:

http://author.to/maighreadmackay

 

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