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I remember Sandy Hook. It was the morning of December 14th, 2012. I woke from a fitful, awful, disturbing dream unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. A gunman shooting cats, blood everywhere, sickening, and the phrase pounding “slaughter of innocents.” I noted the time on the alarm clock and tried to dismiss the dream as turned to daily chores. Later I’d learn that my dream occurred when the first 911 calls were coming in on the shooter at Sandy Hook.
One, two, skip a few… ninety-nine, one hundred. Sunday morning, May 22, 2022, we readied ourselves for our first major road trip marking an end to Covid and our new dedication to travel again. My husband and I had a trip planned to the Four Corners region of Colorado. I left the kitchen to see to some last-minute details when suddenly, my husband let out a god-awful gasp.
“What?” I called from the next room.
“Don’t come in here!” His tone was firm. “The hawk has the baby bunny.”
My heart sank. The both of us had watched two, tiny bunnies in our yard for the past couple of weeks. Even showing them to the grandkids. (Damn redtails! I hate when they hunt in our yard. I do my best to feed the squirrels where they have cover but what can you do for bunnies?)
The morning felt off, being marked by death. Later in the car, my husband remarked on how he thought the bunny had been safe so near the lilac bush but that the hawk had come from behind and swooped down on him.
The drive toward Mesa Verde took us into part of Colorado that neither of us had ever seen. My husband spotted the first dead deer on the side of the road. More followed. I started to point out my own roadkill. Why so many? If I’d known there’d be so many, I would have paid attention and actually counted but surely it approached a dozen. I’ve been on lots of road trips, but I’d never seen so much death. I commented that death seems to be with us (my husband’s (fairly) accustomed to my sunny humor after all these years, but he didn’t respond). I felt unsettled at the sheer clobbering message of death we were getting but as is often the case, what can you do with insufficient knowledge?
Dreams, premonitions, omens. Being out of news media range at the National Park where we had no TV in the room, it wasn’t until the day after the Uvalde shooting that the details started to emerge for us. Honestly, I didn’t want to hear about the carnage. BUT— here we are again. THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS!!
When we returned home, I spent a few days doing my civic duty. Writing my Senators, making donations to groups for gun control, lobbying for an assault weapons ban, sharing posts about upcoming marches. I watched Facebook (with my liberal friends, mostly) post some obligatory responses and then within a week put their heads down and give up. In a community of people who (I think) regard themselves as “spiritual,” I watched my postings be ignored. Many “friends” took absolutely no stand, as if being spiritual elevates them so high they can’t deign to come to earth to take a stand for the weak, the young, the vulnerable. I’m ashamed of them.
I understand frustration! I’m frustrated, too. I don’t like that the Senate is highly unlikely to pass anything that will prevent another Uvalde! I do get that! But what’s the alternative as an individual? Do nothing? (Well, apparently!) I also wonder about individuals who remain silent because they don’t want to ruffle feathers because it might cause conflict on FB and other social media. Pretty weak, huh? But it’s there. It’s also there with those who have clients on different sides of the political spectrum and hey money (MY money, that’s more important than kids…I guess).
My bottom line for this rant is that if you are spiritual (in any way, shape, or form), you don’t get to sit it out. Nope! THAT IS YOUR FREAKIN’ CALL!! From that place of spirit, you are called to act. To protect the weak, the vulnerable, the young, the old.
(NOT a skeptic)
Read about the truth behind this fraud. No legitimate prize. Deputizing followers to troll Wiki and create their own history. More outlandish tactics.
With Jupiter Gardens closing its doors, I’ve decided to re-release INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS. I’ve had an amazing time working with Anna Spies of EerilyFair (https://www.facebook.com/eerilyfairdesign/). She is a talented and imaginative cover designer and here’s a peek at the new cover design. Freakin’ awesome job!
As part of the process, I got to view photos of teenage male models and choose one for Blake. Somehow I accidentally sent some of those images to my son via Facebook. That provoked a few awkward questions!!
by Rea Nolan Martin
She’s only fifteen. She shouldn’t have to play anesthesia games at all, never mind this often, but whatever. She tries not to waste time feeling sorry for herself. She already knows life isn’t fair. Get over it. If you’re going to survive, you have to turn it into a game you have a chance of winning, a game that makes up for lost time. A game that teaches you how to be awake even when you’re not.
This book has already garnered many positive reviews on Amazon which highlight the author’s skill with characterization, pacing, and the way tense moments are flavored with gentle humor. And I totally agree. Rea Nolan Martin has successfully woven a story around four women facing crisis. We are drawn in and caught up in their lives. Most of us will have faced some part of this story either in our own lives or in the lives of a loved one.
What I want to highlight is that this is a masterful work in the emerging genre of visionary fiction. And here the author shows her talent best. She asks us to dig deep and think about healing. How much do we rely on medical professionals? How much power do we have over our own healing? On the healing of others? The writing here is so compelling that I know Rea Nolan Martin has experienced these questions and wrestled with them in her own life. She is drawing from what she “knows”. Anyone who reads about where science is leading us will also feel a resonance to the ideas of the zero point field. Others will gravitate to the language of interconnectedness. Either way, we have to reexamine our place on earth and in the cosmos.
Few authors can take on these themes and make them accessible. This author can. Grab this one!
March 17th, 2016
THE WINNERS ARE: Congratulations Dawnrigger and Linda Martin! I will be contacting you both to get your email details. Thanks to everyone who participated.
It’s almost spring and international teams will soon meet to begin the 2016 climbing season at Everest. Most of us will never be challenged by a mountain, but we can live vicariously safe at home, book in hand. For all you armchair adventurers, it’s contest time. Two free e-books of INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS will be awarded on Thursday, March 17th. Leave a comment about mountains below to enter. Contest closes 12:00 PM (MTN) on March 17th.
A troubled, sixteen year old Blake travels to Base Camp on Mt. Everest to spend time with his physician father. When a deadly avalanche occurs, Dad is forced to rethink things and sends Blake off the mountain. Now accompanied by a Sherpa guide, and in possession of a mysterious camera, Blake undertakes a journey which will challenge everything he believes. In the magical Himalayas, he will be forever changed by what he experiences.
Larry Dossey has written a fascinating book about premonitions, those events that forewarn of a possible future. Dossey blurs the line a bit by including intuition as well. Many people have these experiences and most of us are uncertain as to what to do about them. The book is full of examples including those of SIDS parents who often know something is not right, the high vacancy rates on the doomed planes of 9/11, and the use of psychics to predict the stock market (yes, it can be done- to a point). Arguments are presented that these abilities are natural and part of evolutionary survival. Some may be more prone to them and some may handle them better than others. So who is more likely to glimpse a possible future? Can premonitions be cultivated?
Dossey outlines some factors that may give some an edge to receiving premonitions or intuitions. Although more research is needed to establish the relevance of each of these, it is easy to see why they correlate. Here is the list, although other things could be added (for example- does the culture of the individual support premonitions, psi).
Dossey believes premonitions can be cultivated, but also acknowledges that there are people who probably would not be stable enough to handle them. There’s a brief section and caution given about seeking psychiatric care. For someone who is having issues dealing with these types of experiences, it would probably be better to seek out a Jungian practitioner since their worldview is more open in regards to psi.
Another question running through the book involves when we should pay attention to our dreams and intuitions. The nature of these phenomena is that of being incomplete- often lacking the details of who, what, when, and where. Dreams especially, use a symbolic language that is often difficult to decipher. So what to do? Some common sense guidelines may help here. The experiences to really pay attention to are those that have a noetic quality- a sense of knowing. Without understanding how, you simply know. Anytime a dream is especially vivid or downright extraordinary, take note. Pay attention when the dream or intuition is accompanied by physical symptoms. One story related in the book, concerns an OB/GYN who can feel in his body when a patient is in trouble, and by honoring this, he often is headed to the hospital before he gets the call. Watch for those instances when the experience is intrusive and insistent. Pay attention when death or illness is indicated even when specific details are lacking. Over time, people can develop a sense of what’s important. The Rhine Institute conducted a study of 433 premonition cases where a person attempted to intervene to prevent an incident. Intervention was about twice as successful as not, indicating the future may not be written in stone. Premonitions don’t reveal fate, but rather a possible future.
Here are a few teasers from the book:
The Arlington Institute (TAI) works with precognizant dreamers formerly with government intelligence services to prevent disaster.
The FBI won’t release travel records for plane occupancy on 9/11. Was plane travel down just on the crashed aircraft or across the board?
There is a positive correlation between creativity/artistic ability and psi ability.
High performing CEOs score high on random number generator tests indicating they’re highly intuitive (although they don’t see themselves as such).
In 2007, Harteis & Gruber found intuitive predictions of stock market development were better than rationally justified ones.
In 1982, psychic Beverly Jaegers outperformed 17 of 18 stockbrokers (but not all psychics are that good- don’t ask a psychic for a lottery number, they usually can’t do numbers).
The stock market as a collective, “punished” the company responsible for the Challenger disaster before any investigations were done.
Dean Radin’s presentiment research at IONS showed people react to images before a computer picks them.
Rupert Sheldrake has collected many stories of animals refusing to go with their owners to areas where accidents later occur.
After an accident, Harriet Tubman had dreams and visions. This ability allowed her to guide slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Remote viewers see emotional images more frequently and that may give us a clue as to why premonitions usually indicate nasty events.
For centuries (and even today), fisherman in Iceland use dreams to locate a catch.
Join me next time when I sit down for a conversation with astrologer Mama Maga of Karma2Dharma Astrology.
Continuing with JH Brennan’s, Whisperings: The Secret History of the Spirit World, I wanted to mention the research conducted by Dr. A.R. G. Owen a few years after Bacheldor’s work. A Canadian research group led by Owen wondered if they could create a ghost.
Working a lot like fictional writers, the group created “Philip” and gave him a whole history. Philip had been a Cavalier officer during the English Civil War and had resided at Diddington Hall (a real place). The story of his life was a fabrication and went like this. Although Philip was married, he had an affair with a gypsy girl which had enraged his wife. The wife managed to have the girl denounced as a witch and burned. So distraught was Philip that he threw himself off the battlements of the hall committing suicide. Poor Philip!
The group held séances for a year trying to contact the Cavalier with no luck. I think it’s pretty amazing they’d keep at it that long with no result. One of the group eventually read Bacheldor’s work and wondered if a lighthearted atmosphere might make a difference. Giving it the old college try, they sang and told jokes, and oddly enough, after a few more séances, things started to happen. They heard their first rap and the table slid across the floor. Success at last! Encouraged, someone asked if Philip was doing it and was answered back with a loud rap. Having contacted the entity, the group used the one knock for yes and two for no method, to go on to communicate with Philip. Phillip affirmed the basic facts of his fictional life story and went on to reveal additional details the group had not created. The séances also produced various physical phenomena. The most spectacular was recorded for a television program. A table climbed a set of steps joining the panelists being interviewed.
I’ll leave you to ponder the significance of the Philip research. As a fiction author, I’m already concocting plots about how the other side conspires to have a good laugh at Owen and the other sitters.
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:http://www.amazon.com/Whisperers-Secret-History-Spirit-World-ebook/dp/B00EOARZGY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395336244&sr=1-1&keywords=whisperers+the+secret+history+of+the+spirit+world
I’ve always bristled at categorizing my writing although I recognize it’s important for marketing purposes. Writing for kids seemed natural because I always saw promise and openness in young people. Adults can be very set in their identities, roles, and futures. Kids play with new ideas, try them out. The distinction between writing for older or younger kids also was easy. I like both age groups and have a tendency to jump from one to the other once I finish a given novel. Having to adapt to a different audience allows me an opportunity to play in different ways.
But then an agent or publisher wants to know sub-genre. What’s my sub-genre? Here’s where things get tough. Traditionally, my work would be lumped into fantasy or science fiction, sometimes paranormal. But is it?
This week I learned about a newly emerging genre called visionary fiction. According to the Visionary Fiction Alliance (VFA), this category of writing “embraces spiritual and esoteric wisdom, often from ancient sources, and makes it relevant to our modern life.” It does this without preaching to the reader. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis on the growth of consciousness while often employing reincarnation, dreams, visions, and psychic abilities within the novel. Human characters in visionary fiction point to our limitless potential to transform and evolve.
I write visionary fiction. For more information on this genre and books which fall into it, visit the VFA by clicking on the link on the sidebar.