I’m looking for 100 people to help me get the word out about my new book, ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGOTTEN. On October 1 (Thursday) at 6 pm, I have set up a Thunderclap to resonate across the universe. Those who sign up will use their Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr accounts to send a one- time message announcing the release of the book. It’s easy! Sign up on my account page, and Thunderclap does the rest. Can more than 100 people sign up? You bet, but I need at least 100 people or the message doesn’t get sent. Oh- and by the way, the clock’s ticking. There are only 28 days left. Help!
(How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God)
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
I’ve always regarded the word atheist as a quagmire. What does it mean, really? People mean so many different things in using it. Even after reading Watson’s book, I’m still puzzled. So let’s more away from that term and look at the meat of the book.
Watson traces the history of thought following Friedrich Nietzche’s 1882 pronouncement, “God is dead.” The big questions about the meaning of life and how to live it are quested after by artists, writers, poets, philosophers, and scientists. The 626 page tome follows hundreds of individuals and their pursuit to answer the stickiest of questions in a post-modern world where salvation doesn’t exist.
This is a book for everyone because it is about our collective history. Unless you have a PhD in philosophy, you won’t know all the people Watson brings up in his survey, but names like James Joyce, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and countless others, will ground you in the familiar. Some chapters are absolutely fascinating. Did you know that some people thought poetry would supplant God? Or that many intellectuals looked forward to WWI as a way to purge the modern age? Other chapters are a slog to get through. But persist.
Watson takes us on a journey to understand where we’ve been and perhaps where we’ve going. In the end, we see the search for meaning seems to be universal and that many have answered the call by looking to transcend this life while others (the subject of Watson’s book) look for meaning in this world in diverse and rich ways.
PRE-ORDER LINK: (at MuseItUp)
Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:
Here’s a first look at the cover for my new middle grade novel.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
A hundred years from now, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for hers. Why are her micros so different from everyone else’s? What was her grandfather up to? In her struggle to understand them, she learns that there might be a group of wild elephants left in a remote part of Africa. With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.
What if your neighbor was a saint? This was the question Rea Nolan Martin asked herself in creating this masterpiece of visionary fiction. Her main character, Vera Wright, qualifies for the senior discount, but is still working as a beautician. She has a grown daughter and a teddy bear of a husband, living a normal life. Then one day, her parish priest asks the congregation to invite God into their lives. Vera does and that’s when everything starts to change.
I was fully caught up in Vera’s reluctant spiritual journey. More than once I wondered how I’d react if some of the things that Vera experienced happened to me. Remember in the stories of saints, the path to enlightenment is not an easy one. Vera is continuously challenged on her road to God. Unexpected twists and turns occur. Vera navigates some of them beautifully and some not. She is after all, human. Vera’s job is to awaken to her inner divinity and that awakening has her question the role of the feminine in Catholicism.
The story of Vera’s transformation might be heavy except that the author has interjected copious amounts of humor into the mix. Vera is the saint next door and we are no longer free to relegate holiness to the past. Might we not come across a saint in our own lives? Who is that waiting on us at the Post Office? Who is that old man feeding the ducks at the pond? The child reaching for the cookie? This book is a mind-opening adventure. Don’t miss it!
In 1991, Barbara Hand Clow posited a theory in which planetary cycles could be used to predict the onset,progress, and completion of certain transformative growth cycles. The most powerful of these occurs at mid-life (early 40s) and can viewed as spiritual emergency. Her earlier work has been updated and re-released as Astrology and the Rising of Kundalini.
I was really intrigued when I learned my own crisis occurred within the predictable parameters and how my experience can be seen as a classic case of kundalini rise. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have this book about ten years ago when it would have been so informative and comforting!
Clow insists that everyone undergoes a rise in kundalini energy according to the movement of Uranus in a person’s chart. This rise triggers mid-life crisis. Mid-life crisis does seem to be a fairly common experience but we all know people who sail through life seemingly immune to life’s ups and downs. Certainly not everyone goes through spiritual crisis. Regardless, the information is very pertinent to the spiritual seeker and this is where it can be most useful.
The key astrological transitions to look at are the first Saturn return (age 30), Uranus opposition to the natal chart (ages 38-44), and the return of Chiron (age 50). The exact dates are given on charts in the back of the book. It’s interesting to try to look back and remember what was going on at each time. All of the dates held some significance for me. In addition, the key wounding dates for Chiron were also significant, but oddly enough, I wouldn’t say they were my worst wounds. This trend continued with my husband and son who could sometimes recall incidents connected to their dates, but also felt they were not the most significant ones they’ve experienced.
There is much to ponder over reading this book. It should be required reading BEFORE mid-life, especially for the spiritually-minded. Anyone going through spiritual crisis will find some practical help to treat the symptoms and comfort knowing it will settle down (eventually). The material is presented in lively way with real life examples. No prior knowledge of astrology or the kundalini phenomena is necessary. All the charts needed to do your own analysis are included.
I met Dana through the Visionary Fiction Alliance and recently enjoyed reading her book, Ever-Flowing Streams: Tapping into Healing Energy. She is an award winning author and healer. Her book describes her journey as a healer in the Christian tradition and how she eventually became a Reiki practitioner. Although I will focus on her non-fiction book, Dana also has several novels available. Today I welcome her to talk about her work and life experience.
Thank you, Ellis, for inviting me to chat today. These days my life involves writing, healing, and enjoying what I call the Supernal Adventure as we’ve entered this amazing post-2012 cosmic era.
Do you see healing as a calling or can anyone train to become a healer?
Both. Some people incarnate with a life mission primarily geared toward healing in some capacity. However, learning to channel healing energy is something everyone can learn. As our paradigm shifts into quantum thinking, the general population will begin recognizing their energetic nature. As that evolves, learning to channel universal healing energy will become commonplace. It will be part of the New Normal.
It was interesting to read about your prayer work with Christian groups. Eventually, you seemed to grow beyond those roots. Could you talk a little about what you experienced as the Christian community shifted away from healing as a mission?
Some of the loudest voices in the Christian community have felt their values under attack and so we’ve seen a shift from the Charismatic Movement of the 80’s to political agitation. As my world expanded, I began to see the stifling effects of Fear Theology. However, I have never turned away from my deep love of Christ. In fact, as my spirituality has grown, the healing and love of the Christ Spirit has become more brilliant. Interestingly, my book resonates most with Bible Belt readers wanting to keep their faith, yet yearning for the freedom to explore beyond the constrictions of denominational thinking. To them I say, “Break down your walls of fear! The Son is shining out here.”
Larry Dossey, MD has written about scientific research conducted on prayer. There is strong evidence to suggest prayer can have an effect. What factors do you see as essential in optimizing the healing power of prayer (the healer’s ability, how to pray, for whom to pray, etc)?
Dossey is a quantum thinker. He gets it. He provides scientific research to validate what the shamans, healers, and holy people have intuitively understood since we first started painting on cave walls. Praying is a multidimensional activity. Awareness of the dimensions beyond 3-D comes easier to some people than others. It’s a skill that can be developed. Like a kid playing basketball, throwing the ball into the bucket over and over every day after school. Practice, practice, practice. Prayer is the same deal. Get alone. Turn on some meditation tapes. Listen to Tibetan singing bowls. Whatever works. As you raise your frequency and stimulate the pineal gland, you will make a spiritual connection. And that’s when the fun begins. Nowadays they’re calling it “quantum entanglement.” You step into a dimension that laps into another. Suddenly, you see that broken bone, or an empath feels the great sorrow of a sudden loss and you send a higher frequency of healing and love into the situation. It’s beautiful.
Did energy work feel like a natural extension of your prayer work?
Absolutely. But the word “prayer” has taken on a lot of baggage. Organized religion has given it a bad name! The biggest shift is understanding that healing prayer is an act of co-creation with Spirit. It is not begging. Please, please God heal my dog. It is reaching into a dimension where Spirit resides and being a human conduit for healing energy. Prayer has many euphemisms nowadays. We use words like “intention,” “affirmation,” and “sending healing energy.” It’s all prayer to me.
Do you think Reiki will follow a similar road to acceptance that acupuncture has traveled? Will my health insurance cover Reiki anytime soon?
Most oncology departments in hospitals are recommending Reiki to their patients. Reiki practitioners are volunteering with cancer patients across the nation. Of course, insurance coverage would mean regulating Reiki, setting up boards and state certification and all that. I know of one hospital in California that had a paid Reiki practitioner on staff. It’s probably just a matter of time–and bureaucracy.
Can visionary writing, in fiction and non-fiction forms, shift consciousness?
Never doubt the power of the Word! Think of opening chapter of the gospel of John In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is referring to Christ as the Living Word. Stephen King says writing is mental telepathy, placing the images from one mind to another. Visionary writing will be increasingly influential. There is an explosion of channeled material–A Course in Miracles, the Kryon books and audios, etc. You don’t get much more visionary than information coming from nonphysical beings. The Internet transmits philosophies across the planet. We’re seeing turmoil and struggle as various forces compete for mass consciousness mind influence. In the end, individuals, communities, and countries will have to sift through all the information and think for themselves. I hope peace, kindness, and love triumphs.
How do you balance writing and healing work? Is one more important?
They come in seasons. There is always a presence of both, but healing and writing has been a seesaw for me. Sometimes I’m up in the air with heady healing experiences and growth, then it settles down and the writing rises to the occasion. Writing can be a slave master. Working in the healing energy is more fun and amazing.
What are you currently working on?
The working title of my work in progress is Supernal Journals. Over the past ten years I have recorded the most astounding experiences I’ve had shared with my three Supernal friends, Sue, Paula, and Helen. Using those as anecdotal chapter openings, I’m exploring areas of the New Normal–energy healing, past life therapy, channeling, mediumship, Akashic records–all the things we’ve bumped into over the last decade. We’re ordinary people living extraordinary lives.
Thanks for doing the interview! I hope readers will seek out Dana’s books and visit her blog. I, for one, am very excited to learn about her new book. Sounds like it needs to be on my to-be- read list.
For more on Dana and her books visit her blog.
Website: Supernal Living
Facebook: Dana Taylor
Link to Ever-Flowing Streams: Tapping into Healing Energy http://amzn.to/1a0dW63
Don’t look to Publishers Weekly to call the next blockbuster YA read!
Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:
Publishers Weekly did an article earlier this month pointing out what they view as “hot” in YA this year. Those themes included horror, mental illness, gender identity, and the apocalypse. Of course, these trends reflect what editors and agents believe will be popular. It really says nothing about what the reader may actually want. Getting a handle on the reader can be difficult because good statistics are not kept and predicting the future is always tough. But, is there a way to get a feel for what will interest teens of the future? Maybe.
Recently I watched an episode on Gaiam TV where Regina Meredith was interviewing an astrologer. I’ve been interested in astrology off and on since I was a teenager, but over the past year or so that interest has become more intense and I watch quite a few YOUTUBE astrologers as they explain what’s going…
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Interview with Kimberly Harding, PhD- artist, author, and teacher
As the Moon
pulls the Wave,
pulls the Soul.
Welcome, Kim. Please tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I am currently a college professor at a small school in central Colorado. I teach in the science discipline- primarily anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and such. I am not one who always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but when I taught my first college lab, I was hooked. It was only after completing my PhD education and securing my first job that I “let out” my artistic side. I remember a New Year’s Eve in which I stayed home to paint and I realized how much everything had changed for me. I do not know what precipitated my sudden interest in art at that time, but it has been with me ever since.
Currently, you are combining teaching science and creating artwork. Does one support the other? Could you see yourself doing only one?
I think most of my colleagues would be surprised to learn if I had to choose only one- it would be art. However, science and teaching provide a grounding force in my life, which I believe support my artistic side with a sense of security.
Of course, there are points in which the two interests converge. I have written and spoken about the power of the female body. Many of the details arise from my scientific training. When I speak on this topic, though, I always present my artistic images, and I believe those are what remain with the audience the most.
Likewise, when I did a book comprised of artistic images and poems of the heart, many of the ideas I played around with were based on my understanding of the heart from a physical perspective.
It is those who have been
hurt the most,
that understand the best.
And it will be those,
with the Soul’s awareness ground into bone,
that heal this world.
I read that you started creating art when you were thirty. What led you to begin expressing yourself in this way?
I truly do not know that answer. I have never taken an art class in my life and throughout my earlier years I had self-defined to the nth degree that I was a scientist and “very logical”. There is something about touching colors, though ( I work with pastels and move the pigments around with fingers and hands) that speaks to my soul.
How important is creative expression to spiritual growth? Because so much of your work seems to center on the heart and compassion, I wonder how art can aid healing?
I do believe that art can facilitate healing. I recently wrote that “The artist sees before anyone else believes.” When we are in the creative state, our inner artist is able to reveal to us what is has “seen”, usually before we are even willing to be conscious of the experience. My artistic process is very “in the moment”. I used to “receive” images in my mind while falling asleep and I would feel compelled to create them the next day. It was almost a compulsion. Now, I begin with blank page and make a few random lines. I have to sit with the image and see what it wants to become slowly. In the process, there is such an inherent sense of my having to be honest with what is arising. When I try to manipulate, control, and project, the image veers off into something less than profound.
Were you a creative, artistic kid? Did you like art classes or did you gravitate to science very early?
I was not a creative child in any form. My parents are not very well-educated. I saw education as a “way out” and liked the security (and money- sciences tend to be very well-funded) that science education seemed to provide. Early in my life, I would not have risked becoming something as “crazy” and “unstable” as an artist.
stark relief against the
background of any circumstances.
What themes has your art allowed you to explore? How do you see your work developing? What impact would you like your paintings and poetry to have on the world?
That is the gift of art, isn’t it- it gives us the ability to explore. I have explored the power of a woman’s body, as well as the power and strength related to male-ness. I spent one summer in what I refer to as my “phallic phase” as images of penises abounded. I have also done entire series on hearts, birds, symbolic shapes, symbols of union and more.
I am constantly surprised how my work develops. I have to say, and I wonder if this is true for other artists- that I will sometimes want to define myself with limitations, -i.e., I want to be the “heart artist” or whatever idea I am currently playing with at that time. That type of self-definition does not seem to be part of my artistic pathway.
As for the impact of my art and poetry, I want it to be “gentle”. That may be a strange thing to say, but I feel so much in life, including spirituality, is layered and projected upon us. I want my art to simply be a gentle opening for others to realize their own understanding.
Thanks for sharing your work with us!
Kim has two books available which combine her paintings and poetry.
The Heart Within You-
The Spirit Within You-
Watch Kim’s fascinating lecture on Female Embodiment- A Woman’s Place (22 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcKXaq1l1kk
For more information on Kim and her work, please visit her at the following site:
It doesn’t take long before a reader seeking spiritual materials encounters what are called channeled texts. Initially I thought there were only a handful of such books, but as I continue to explore, more and more of them come to my attention. Wikipedia lists thirty- nine entities who have produced a modern text through a medium. I thought it might be interesting to look at a handful of them.
Patience Worth- channeled by Pearl Curran: (1883-1937)
Pearl Curran, a mid-west housewife, began channeling while using a Ouija board with a neighbor. By 1913 the entity known as “Patience Worth” emerged beginning with the phrase, “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come.” Patience revealed that she had lived “across the sea” from 1649-1694. No historical evidence has been located confirming her existence. Patience, through Curran, went on to pen several novels and many poems. Although Curran was only an average student at best, Patience’s work garnered literary acclaim. The literary critic, William Marion Reedy called The Sorry Tale, a new classic of world literature. In 1918, Patience Worth was listed as an outstanding author by The Joint Committee of Literary Arts of NY. An index of poetry for the same year credits her with the publication of 88 poems, almost all considered exceptional.
Abraham- channeled by Esther Hicks: (1948- )
Esther Hicks is an inspirational speaker and author. Although somewhat uncomfortable with the channeling label, she and her husband produced thirteen books and she appeared in the original film of The Secret. The books outline spiritual truths obtained through a group of entities not in the physical dimension known as “Abraham.” Much of Hicks’ work borrows from William Walker Atkinson who wrote about the Law of attraction in the early 1900s.
Jesus- channeled by Helen Schucman: (1909-81)
Helen Schucman was a research psychologist and professor of medical psychology at Columbia University. With the help of William Thetford she produced A Course in Miracles (ACIM). Born to non-observant Jewish parents, Helen was exposed to Theosophy, Christian Science, and was baptized in the Baptist faith at age 12. She traveled to Lourdes where she had a spiritual experience but religion didn’t seem to have a great influence on her early adult life. During the period 1965-1972, she heard an inner voice which identified itself as Jesus. Schucman died in 1981 and since her death, ACIM has been translated into many languages selling over 1.25 million sets. It’s estimated that at least five million people have studied ACIM.
Seth- channeled by Jane Roberts: (1929-84)
Jane Roberts was an author and psychic medium who channeled the entity “Seth” from 1963 until her death in 1984. In a trance state, Seth took over Roberts’ body while her husband recorded the messages. Seth described himself as an “energy personality essence no longer focused in physical matter.” The Seth Material was published in 1969 with many books to follow. Some scholars believe the influence of Seth on New Age thinking has been profound. The main focus of the Seth writings according to John P. Newport was that the individual creates his/her own reality. As a guide, Seth led the way to a further exploration of reincarnation, karma, free will, ancient wisdom, and Christ consciousness.
I’m sure readers will be able to add many other cases to the list. Truly, the line between channeling and artistic creation is a blurry one.
Yoga is much more than a stretching class…
Originally posted on Catalyst for the Advancement of Humanity:
Yoga and its practitioners didn’t always have such a mainstream existence. In fact, in the ol’ days they were complete outcasts in the United States; ostracized from society and condemned for their lack of regard for norms. They were considered heathens, magicians, evil-natured and manipulative. Their practices were perceived as trickery meant to exploit young women and the wealthy, and to promote the destruction of societal morals, ethics, and unity. The yogis of the early 19th century were often head hunted and harassed by self-righteous moral regulators like Anthony Comstock of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. One could consider the yogi presence as celebrated in some circles as the way witches of Salem were welcomed in colonial Massachusetts.
To some extent, they may have been asking for it. Their fantastical displays of obscure and occult powers made the gossipers roar, the curious swoon, and the opposition…
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