Tag Archives: Ellis Nelson

Counting Down the Last Day

elephants never forgotten 2

Last day to join my Thunderclap!


Oct. 2, 2015: Thanks to everyone who helped make my Thunderclap campaign a success. With your generosity our combined social outreach was over 200,000! I could never have done that on my own. Thanks again!


Filed under book launch


With Pope Francis visiting the US, it’s time again to reflect on his namesake. This is a reblogged post, so some might remember it.

St. Francis, 13th Century

St. Francis, 13th Century

A couple of years ago I listened to one of those Great Courses lectures on St. Francis of Assisi. I patiently waited through all the talk about his early beginnings, his military experience, his illness, his rejection of society, and his eventual creation of a new order. Most of it was dry and rather matter-of-fact. Where was the meat? Where was the mystical Francis I’d heard about? Where were the stories, the hagiography, that made Francis one of the most loved and recognized saints of all time? I walked away from the lectures shaking my head in disappointment. It wasn’t until later that my reading caught up with the reality. I had been very naïve believing a history and art professor would ever broach the subject of mystical experience. It wasn’t done; even an academic degreed in comparative religion would shy away from this discussion. How sad because isn’t that what many of us hunger for?

Francis has whispered to me from time to time. A statue in someone’s garden, the visit of the Pope this fall to Assisi, a well-known spiritual teacher planning a workshop there, St. Francis hospital visible from my new house. Then recently, Pope Francis was proclaimed Time’s Man of the Year. Francis is present in ways he hasn’t been in a long time. What can a twelfth century saint have to say to the modern world? Maybe a lot.

St. Francis in Ecstasy Caravaggio, 1594

St. Francis in Ecstasy
Caravaggio, 1594

Let’s dispense with the relevant historical details (and don’t worry it won’t take twelve lectures) to seek out a deeper meaning for Francis in our time. Francis was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernadone around 1181. Born into a wealthy merchant family, he enjoyed all the advantages of his station and even went off to war fighting for Assisi. Some kind of vision compelled him to return home where he subsequently lost his zeal for the kind of life he’d been previously living and he began to reject it. He left his father’s silk business, took to serving the poor and lepers, and gained a following. Francis eventually went on to found the Order of the Friars Minor, the Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of St. Francis.

It was in San Damiano that Francis had a powerful mystical experience which was to frame his life’s work. While praying before an icon, he had a vision of Jesus who spoke to him and said, “…go and repair My house which, as you can see is falling into ruins.”  Francis’ interpretation resulted in him raising money to repair the physical church he was in. Of course, Francis’ mission was not a literal one and called him instead, to restore the institution of the Church.

Stigmatization of St. Francis Matthias Kargen, 1664

Stigmatization of St. Francis
Matthias Kargen, 1664

Although never ordained, Francis’ calling was manifested in a simple life of poverty emulating the life of Christ. His followers were “To follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and walk in his footsteps.” He was devoted to his spiritual practice and at times would withdraw from life to develop it. He had guiding visions throughout his life, was seen levitating, and was the first recorded person to receive the wounds of Christ (stigmata). Francis was a mystic, but he was also a mystic who brought back what he learned and shared it.

St. Francis leads the wolf of Gubbio. HJ Ford, 1912

St. Francis leads the wolf of Gubbio.
HJ Ford, 1912

Two of the most widely known miracles told about Francis involve his ability to work with animals. In the town of Gubbio, a wolf threatened the townsfolk. Francis intervened and made a pact with the wolf. Thereafter, the wolf remained peacefully near the village and the people fed it. The other story concerns an incident where Francis was trying to preach over the noisy chatter of swallows. He asked the birds to be silent and to the amazement of the crowd, they did. That famous story is the reason why Francis statues and art depictions often have a bird. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

As we draw near to Christmas and many churches display a nativity scene (Francis is credited with creating the first nativity scene), I hope you will remember a simple saint who lived an exemplary life devoted to poverty and service. His mystical connection to the Universe (God, if you prefer) was the powerhouse of his practice.

For More:

Canticle of the Sun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canticle_of_the_Sun

St. Francis Peace Prayer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis

Book: The Life and Prayers of St. Francis






Filed under mysticism, spiritual

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!








Filed under book launch, Books, Uncategorized

Can You Still Be a Post-Materialist?


Some time ago I wrote about post-materialism and it sparked a lot of interest. Some things have changed. My son has graduated and is struggling like most young people today. A generation that grew up believing they could do anything, be anything, is discovering that truth my generation sold them was wildly over-blown. Maybe even a lie. And a good lot of the twenty-somethings did everything we told them to. They went to college, got their degrees, took on debt when necessary, and tumbled full force into the real world. Young people with so much potential and so much to offer are stuck in minimum wage jobs, if they can get those. Many have bounced back home. Never have we seen so many twenty and thirty-somethings living in their parents’ basements. Never!!

This situation has become a topic I return to again and again, and it’s with a very heavy heart. I look at my daughter and son, friends, family, and neighbors where no one in this generation is thriving. Some are doing better than others, but when compared to the opportunity available to my parents and my own generation, it’s obvious it’s a different world. The recession is supposedly over and unemployment low. But we have not gone back to what we were, and sadly, we probably never will.

In the current reality, I think it bears asking is post-materialism valid? Valid only for a few?

Ronald Inglehart developed the idea of post materialism in the 1970s as a sociological theory to explain an ongoing transformation of individual values within a society. He argued that as western nations achieved a level of economic prosperity and physical security, its members transformed their values seeking more autonomy and self-expression. Ah, this sounds a lot like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As people meet their basic survival requirements, we move up the pyramid until we are striving for self-actualization. Maslow confined his theory to how individuals are transformed and Inglehart wanted to see how societies as a whole might be transformed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, created by J. Finkelstein, 2006

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, created by J. Finkelstein, 2006

So to be a post materialist, you must first meet your basic survival needs (food, shelter, security). OK, done (for me). But not for young people who are living paycheck to paycheck without benefits.

Once your basic needs are met you move up Maslow’s hierarchy and as you do, you start to realize you’re no happier than when you were struggling. This brings to mind Daniel Gilbert’s book, Stumbling on Happiness. I believe it was in that book I first learned American happiness peaked in the 1950s. BEFORE I WAS BORN! Sixty plus years later, we have higher incomes, higher levels of education, better health care, bigger houses, more cars but we are less happy overall. Remember when we were told (and believed) that he (or she) who has the most toys wins? We played the game, we toed the line, we consumed and bought all the right stuff, we competed with the Joneses, and we became… less happy. Maybe we were even miserable because the promise of happiness slipped away as we had to go looking for a storage shed to rent for all the loot that was supposed to make us positively giddy.

Stumbling on Happiness

We looked around and saw it wasn’t working. We stopped playing the game. We got rid of the excess stuff and looked inside to see what would fill the void. We began to talk about “downsizing”. The value shift from possessing things to experiencing and self- expression took hold.

Inglehart recognized that younger people (raised in economic security) were more likely to identify with the values of post materialism. But older people who were raised with the struggle of material existence may or may not shift out of that paradigm.

So given the current environment, we’ve essentially taken an economically secure generation and thrown them into struggle. We’ve kicked the chair out from underneath them. Inglehart probably didn’t see that coming. Values, I believe can be molded in adversity. I would expect today’s younger people to begin to identify with materialistic thinking because they will struggle to obtain the basics in life. Post-materialism as mainstream probably can’t happen if the majority of younger people haven’t met their basic needs. Post-materialism may now be relegated to a minority, elitist idea. Or, perhaps the younger generation can strike a new path to balance. It remains to be seen.




Filed under Books, economy

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!





Filed under Uncategorized

The Age of Atheists by Peter Watson

(How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God)

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014

atheistsI’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.




Filed under Book Review

The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright by Rea Nolan Martin


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!



Filed under Book Review, spiritual, Spiritual/Mysticism



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!

Ptolemaicsystem-smallClow 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.

DiagrammaChakraKundaliniThere 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.


Filed under astrology, Book Review, Books, kundalini



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 http://amzn.to/1a0dW63





Filed under Books, healing, Uncategorized


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.

appearingYour Spirit’s shape and form stand out in

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:






Filed under art, Books