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THE STAR FAMILY by Theresa Crater


 An Interview with Theresa Crater

Theresa and I are both members of the Visionary Fiction Alliance and that’s where I became aware of her work. A short blurb introducing her novel, called The Star Family, convinced me I had to read her book. Who could resist this?

A secret spiritual group. A recurring dream. A 400-year-old ritual that must be completed before it is too late. Jane Frey inherits a Gothic mansion filled with unexpected treasures. A prophecy claims it hides an important artifact – the key to an energy grid laid down by the Founding Fathers themselves. Whoever controls this grid controls the very centers of world power. Except Jane has no idea what they’re looking for.

I couldn’t resist. Immediately, I was drawn into the mystery. Jane Frey was raised in the Moravian tradition, one of the oldest Protestant denominations dating back to the 15th Century. But she knows precious little about their history or esoteric beliefs. I welcomed the opportunity to learn about this group right along with Jane. We also encountered Masons, sacred geometry, Tantric sex, and an exploration of Prague (medieval headquarters to all things alchemical). Yum! Theresa’s novel is original and fast moving. Join me as I delight in talking with her about her novel.

Welcome Theresa! Thanks for spending some time today talking about your book.


Can you talk a little about what inspired you to write this book? I know you have Moravian roots.

I was at the International New Age Trade Show with my partner Stephen Mehler, who was going to be videoed about his new book, and I saw a book called William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision. I love Blake and who wouldn’t pick up a title like that? On the first page it said that Blake’s mother had been a Moravian. On top of that, it said that she was a member during the 1740s when the group was teaching metaphysics and sacred sexuality. They were connected to the Rosicrucians. The Templars had a metal forge in the very alleyway they were located in. All my metaphysical sensor alarms went off. I was stunned. I was raised Moravian and had never heard of such a thing. I could just imagine my grandfather’s reaction! Why was I never told about all this? I had to research it further.

In what ways are you like your main character, Jane Frey? How are you different?

 Jane and I were both raised Moravians in Winston-Salem, NC. I used my family tree to fill out names in the book, plus famous Moravians. She’s named after my grandmother and great grandmother. We both studied music, but ended up doing different things. We were both somewhat disillusioned older women. (I was warned not to have an older protagonist, but women in their 50s and 60s buy tons of books. We deserve a face in a book.) Jane and I both have a spiritual bent.

But Jane is good at math and went into finance. I became a meditation teacher, then ran out of money and got an advanced degree in literature. I now teach English at the college level and meditation occasionally. Jane fell in love with her high school sweetheart, a romance cliché I indulged in for the novel. She also moved back home. I still live in Colorado.

There are elements of the story that involve the idea of fate. How do you view fate operating (or not operating) in our lives?

I believe we come into each life with a purpose. We’re here to learn something, do something, and most importantly, embody full consciousness—as much as we can. The universe is alive and interacts with us constantly to give us feedback and help us stay on course. That is fate, messages sent to us from Universal Mind through the world around us and inside us, too—that small, quiet voice of our intuition. But if we get off course or don’t accomplish our mission, the universe doesn’t hold it against us. God, if you will, doesn’t judge. God is besotted with us and all of creation. Since we are not really separated from Universal Mind, there is really no problem. That’s hard to remember when we experience the difficulties of this world, but this is a spiritual training ground, like the Temperance card in Tarot.

John Hus

John Hus

I found the Moravian belief system fascinating. Could you briefly outline how their ideas differed from other Protestant groups?

 The Moravians were the first Protestant group, one hundred years before Luther. We came from John Hus (1369-1415), a Catholic priest who criticized the corruption in the church of his day. He was against selling indulgences, denying the laity the ability to drink from the chalice during communion, among other things. He preached in Czech, not Latin, in Prague. After his martyrdom, a movement continued his teachings and that grew into the Moravian Church.

Comenius was a bishop of the church, and he went to college with Johann Valentin Andreae, who wrote the Rosicrucian manifestos of 1616. You can see I used Andreae’s name in the book. My master mystic is Valentin. So the Moravian Church was deeply connected to that metaphysical revival. This group tried to get the Holy Roman Emperor out of Prague and replace him with a Rosicrucian leader. This was the Frederick V from what is now Germany who married the King of England’s daughter, Elizabeth. They were going to found an ideal society, but he is called the Winter King because the Thirty Years War began immediately and he was overthrown.

Comenius also advocated for universal education—boys and girls. He didn’t think memorization was a good way to learn and thought play was important. No harsh punishments of children.

These days, Moravians are ordinary Protestants for the most part. In the 1740s, Count Zinzendorf’s teachings had a much more metaphysical bent. What I found most fascinating was his teaching that the body has been redeemed, that there is no sexual shame, and that sex was not only for procreation, but could be used as a meditation almost. These sound so ordinary today, but I think we still suffer from body shame. Zinzendorf was a visionary. I realized that I could have had a thorough metaphysical education without leaving home if the church hadn’t repressed these teachings.

One thing that I really love is our motto: “In essentials unity. In nonessentials liberty. In all things love.” We don’t believe in forcing our beliefs on people, but in dialogue. That’s why the Moravians were the most successful missionaries, not that I really approve of missionaries. We were also pacifists up until the twentieth century.

All the history in The Star Family is based on fact. I have speculated, but from solid information. All of what happens in this novel is within the realm of possibilities. Except perhaps the ending, but even that—who can say?



What was the most fascinating part of the research you must have undertaken to produce the book? Did you travel to any of the locales Jane visits in the book?

The whole thing captured my heart and mind. I discovered that a Moravian minister had written his dissertation about this time period and Zinzendorf’s teachings. He has inspired others to research it and write about it. I was so nervous writing to a minister of our church. My memories of it were the 1950s when things were quite straight-laced. Earlier, my grandfather would pinch my father if he moved around too much in church. To discover we were so cool and ahead of our times really flipped my switch, so to speak.

Then Stephen and I traveled to Prague to view the Moravian roots, and then on to Herrnhut, Germany, where the church was reestablishing on Count Zinzendorf’s estate after the Thirty Years War scattered everyone to the four winds. To go to a place I’d heard about all my life, to walk through their God’s Acre, which is the graveyard, and see names I recognized from my family tree, was marvelous.

The idea of vibration, especially in the form of music, plays a crucial role in Jane’s story. To write those scenes, I imagined you had to have some musical training and a love for music. Is that the case?

The Moravians are quite musical, so I grew up with brass bands and the choir, plus lots of singing in church. Our hymns are unusual with lots of harmonies that I think create a vibratory field that creates peace and raises consciousness. The first time I transcended was listening to Bach. I sang in the children’s and adult choir. Every Easter Sunday, the brass band played at the street corner to wake up the Moravians to come to the Easter Sunrise Service. Brass bands play at many occasions. I was a music major for one semester, but theory was my downfall, so I switched majors. But I did go to college with a person who became a prominent sound healer.

Everything is vibration. Correct and purify the vibratory frequency, and you have harmony and healing. Sound is a good way to meditation. In my meditation training, the mantra was a sound, not a word with meaning. We followed the sound until it disappeared into the Transcendent.

As a writer of visionary fiction, what do you hope readers gain through your work?

 A deeper understanding of spirituality and spiritual teachings. I hope that they see their own experience reflected on the page and they’ll go, “Yes, I know that. I’ve felt that. So it’s real.”

Moravian stars

Moravian stars

What’s you next project?

I’m working on two books right now. One continues the Power Places series and returns to Egypt. I based it on an event that happened a couple of years ago. Some people were digging for artifacts under their house that borders the Giza Plateau and their house collapsed on them. My main character is called to investigate, and of course gets into all kinds of trouble. The first book in the series was also set in Egypt—Under the Stone Paw. Anne Le Clair inherits a crystal that turns out to be one of six keys to the Hall of Records. In the second book, the same aunt has left her a house in Glastonbury that backs up to the Tor—a doorway to faeryland no less. This book is also set in Atlantis—the two story lines intertwine.

I’m also finishing a book I started long ago. This one is women’s fiction exploring three characters who face the challenges of being female and mixed-race in the South from the 1890s to the 1970s. The daughter gets exorcised because she can see spirits.

Thanks for asking me to join you. It’s been a pleasure.

Visit her at

Twitter:  @theresacrater

Facebook:  Author page

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Time to Get Your Halloween On


JH Brennan’s, Whisperers: The Secret History of the Spirit World explores the powerful undercurrents flowing just beneath the surface of the history we’re taught in school. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, spirits, or faeries, is immaterial (pun intended). The fact that various phenomena have been occurring throughout pre-history right up until today is undeniable. Brennan doesn’t set out to prove the existence of ghosts as disembodied, earth-bound entities but rather he examines the effect they may have played on history.

It’s a fascinating book with lots of little surprises. I read the last two sections first and went back to the older histories later. While I love a good ghost story (and Brennan does share two personal experiences), it was some of the research into the phenomena that caught my attention.


There have been many theories put forth to explain all manner of ghostly happenings, but none seem to fully explain everything. Indeed, although we tend to lump everything under the vast heading of the paranormal (or PSI), different phenomena may be different things entirely.

Brennan cites two studies which are fascinating. I’m going to outline the first one here and then take on the second in a follow-on piece.

In 1966, Kenneth Batcheldor (a UK psychologist) published findings in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research concerning the levitation of tables. Recall from the Victorian era, the spiritualism craze which involved spirit contact and various physical manifestations including rappings, materializations, levitation, etc.


In 1964, Batcheldor conducted a series of 200 séances with a small group of sitters. In 120 of the sessions, no phenomena were observed but in 80 of them (40%), physical phenomena was seen. While table movement early in the trials could possibly be dismissed by involuntary muscle movement, by the 11th session, Batcheldor watched as a table rose and floated in the air. At this point he couldn’t rule out fraudulent means so he worked with an engineer to tighten his experimental controls. Once the controls were in place, the phenomena stopped- but over time, the phenomena returned. This was a pattern Batcheldor saw over and over again. Introduced slowly, the sitters appeared to acclimate to the controls and the happenings would start anew. Astonishingly enough, Batcheldor observed not only table movement and levitation, but a whole range of spirit phenomena reported by Victorian spiritualists and witnesses. Amongst the phenomena observed were rapping sounds, breezes, lights, the feeling of being touched, movement of objects including the pulling back of chairs, apports, and holding the table to the floor so it couldn’t be lifted.


The experiments seem to indicate people have the ability, through unconscious means, to produce a variety of physical phenomena. While it doesn’t definitively rule out spirit action, it does point toward interesting avenues for further research. Batcheldor theorized that early movement of the table due to muscle contractions conditioned sitters to expect phenomena and opened them up to actually producing it. This is something later PSI researchers discovered when examining other kinds of phenomena in a lab setting. Belief makes a difference, and in Batcheldor’s case, seeing the phenomena may have led to its manifestation. So here we learn nothing really about spirits, but it does indicate how little we (or science) know about the mind.

The book on Amazon:


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Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:

It’s contest time! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of the electronic version of Elephants Never Forgotten. Contest closes at noon on Wednesday. Two books will be awarded on Thursday, October 8th. As a theme, tell me something about elephants. I’ll start us off with how the idea for the book came into being.

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Only 9 More Needed to Launch Thunderclap

On October 1st, please help me send a one-time message to announce my new book Elephants Never Forgotten. I need just 9 more participants or the campaign won’t launch.  I need you, every one of you. Help!







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Hear the Thunder!

Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:


So, this book was fifteen years in the making. Seems like a long time, right? I need your help to get the word out. Thunderclap is based on the generosity of others to share one tweet, Facebook posting, or Tumblir message.

In Elephants Never Forgotten, we meet Nigella who has just inherited a herd of micro-elephants. Problem is, in this futuristic world, her elephants aren’t like anyone else’s.  Together with her best friend, Kepler, Nigella is caught up in a mystery. What was her grandfather up to before his death and what have her micros to do with the now extinct African elephant? Can Nigella uncover the truth before it’s too late?

On October 1st, please help me send a one-time message to announce this book. I need 100 participants or the campaign won’t launch. Currently, I have only 48. I need you, every one of you. Help!

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WANTED: 100 Kind-Hearted Volunteers

elephants never forgotten 2THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Please help me announce it to the world! Don’t just ‘like’ this posting. Sign up and help me out.

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 22 days left. Help!




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Sneak Peek: A Look at My New Cover

Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:

elephants never forgotten 2

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.

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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.”

Photo: Alan Vernon

Photo: Alan Vernon

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.

Photo: Forest & Kim Starr

Photo: Forest & Kim Starr

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

Supernal Living with Dana Taylor

Twitter: @supernaldana

Link to Ever-Flowing Streams: Tapping into Healing Energy





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Don’t look to Publishers Weekly to call the next blockbuster YA read!

Originally posted on ELLIS NELSON BOOKS:


Photo:Prettyboymycko Photo:Prettyboymycko

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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The Spook-tastic Yogis of Yesteryear


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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