The Living Magick Tarot Challenge: March 2011 and Beyond

Image Courtesy of Living Magick

As most of you know, in November 2010 I started “The Living Magick Tarot Challenge”. The folks at Living Magick were kind enough to send me a copy of their tarot self study flash cards, and so I decided that I would chronicle my attempt to once and for all learn the tarot with monthly updates here on The Magical Buffet.

I’m pleased to say my progress has been slow but steady. About 10-15 minutes a day has me on track to eventually have a general understanding of the traditional interpretation of the tarot cards. Something that has been a long time coming. And something, thanks to my horrible memory, will be a long time to fully achieve. Recently I found myself thinking that perhaps having you all read these updates monthly might get a little boring. Of course, there was the larger realization. One that I suspect real tarot readers have known all along.

I don’t think you ever stop learning the tarot. You learn all the traditional meanings and interpretations, but every time you spread the cards there is going to always be something else to learn. The way one card influences the others seems like it will be an endless learning experience. One that I’m sure will take me years to even brush the surface of. And as much as I like knowing what one article a month will be about, I don’t think I’m going to have enough entertaining or enlightening insights to warrant a monthly update for the unforeseeable future.

However, I do want to say a few things before I step away from the official “Living Magick Tarot Challenge”. First, I want to say what great folks are over there at Living Magick. They are filled with enthusiasm for their work and incredibly kind for giving me their cards to play with. Second, The Living Magick tarot learning cards are just wonderful. This really is a product long over due. It seems like something useful for beginners like me, and even for seasoned tarot readers. If I was well versed in the tarot, I would consider the occasional run through this deck as a tarot “check up”. Perhaps a way to get a fresh perspective on the cards themselves. Lastly, as always, I want to thank all of you for reading my monthly updates! I can’t claim as to know why, but you all kept reading them, and I appreciate it!

And now, the future!

Catching Up with HipGnosis

It was a year ago that through my bizarre little Twitter inspired idea/experiment that I met Eric Young, aka DJ HipGnosis. It was a wonderful bit of luck that he thought so highly of The Magical Buffet that him featuring it on his assorted Twitter lists inspired me to reach out to him. And what timing, since this was at the same time that he was realizing the true emotional bonds that can be forged online. If we had connected at any other moment it’s hard to say if it would have resonated so much for us and our readers. You can read our first meeting in the article “What I Learned from Twitter (or How Talking to Strangers Can be Good)”. Even after all this time I still smile when I read HipGnosis describing himself, “To my own introduction, I am known as HipGnosis: I am a musician. A performer of music. A producer of music. A purveyor of music. You bring the booze, I’ll bring the beats, I guess is the general theme of this part of the presentation.”

Since our meeting I’ve been a big supporter of all things HipGnosis. Although I don’t get to listen as much as I’d like, I follow a lot of his work on his SoundCloud artist page, on Facebook, and of course on Twitter. People who follow him or The Magical Buffet on Twitter will see fairly regular exchanges between us doing the Twitter equivalent of the drunken “I love you man” that is better known among Twitterers as “Follow Friday”.

All of this is leading up to something, and here it is. I am so proud/excited that HipGnosis’s work on Adrian Molina’s “Build 2020 Manifesto” has gotten him some attention from The Denver Post’s Reverb! Part one of the two part profile on “Build 2020 Manifesto” says:

Inspired by futurists like Ray Kurzweil — who famously theorized that the 21st century would bring the equivalent of 20,000 years of technological progress — Molina created “Build 2020 Manifesto” in the hopes of creating a new movement of social progressives who will seize the power of technology to create a better world for everyone. His concern is that, left unchecked and unguided by conscientious humans, the rapid pace of change will have dire social, political, economic and environmental ramifications.

“One of the premises of this manifesto is that governments, think tanks, bankers, corporations, technological developers have a plan for 2020,” he explains. “They know what they’re building. They think in terms of paradigms, agenda setting and we don’t, and we need to because shit’s getting critical.”

“What are you creating? What reality are you pushing?” Molina asks. “It’s a frightening thing to meditate on, but also a very powerful thing to realize that you manifest reality. Every conversation you have, you are creating reality. You are creating the future. Every time a kid on his or her cell phone tweets or updates their Facebook status, they’re publishing content in a way that enlightened thinkers never could’ve imagined. A 13-year-old girl with a cell phone in her hand has a lot of power, and we have to take control of that to create a healthier world for the next generation of babies.”

Part two describes HipGnosis’s work and contribution as:

HipGnosis comes from the world of experimental electronic music. His interest in psychoacoustics (the effects that certain sounds have on the brain) and technology, coupled with his passion for social justice and grassroots movements, made him an ideal collaborator. His contributions to “Build 2020 Manifesto” create an ominous, glitchy and futuristic mood that are an apt complement to Molina’s words.

If you have the time, I highly recommend reading part one and two discussing the album. It’s an interesting profile and some thought provoking work on the part of Adrian Molina, which as expected HipGnosis is right in step with. If you go to http://build2020manifesto.bandcamp.com/ and opt to name your price on a download of the album you will “support a physical printing of this project. Physical copies of the album will be made available free to youth advocates, scholars, college student organizations, and youth activists.”

FYI, the cover art for “Build 2020 Manifesto” is by Dustin Neal and I totally snatched the image from the Reverb site.

10 Questions with Brad Warner

1. In October 2010 I interviewed Grace Schireson, author of “Zen Women”. I asked her to explain the difference between Zen Buddhism and other branches of Buddhism. Her response was:

“What isn’t Zen? It is the branch of Buddhism that emerged after Buddhism wed Taoism in China. It is said that Zen is not dependent on words or scriptures (as many other Buddhist practices are), and that it is a direct pointing to Buddha as one’s own life. The word Zen actually means meditation. The basis of all Zen practices is meditation rather than studying Buddhist scripture or belief in a system. In Zen you are expected to meditate and just get it with little explanation of what the ‘it’ is.”

In order to provide my readers with as complete a picture of Zen as possible, I’d like to ask you if you agree with her description or have anything to add to it.

Like she says, Zen means meditation. I usually explain it as a reform movement that began as a response to the way Buddhism was becoming more like a religion with a focus on ritual and dogma. The originators of Zen stripped it down to just the meditation practice.

Later on a huge body of Zen literature developed. But even the Zen literature isn’t about dogma or belief. It consists mainly of attempts by Zen teachers to express their experience of meditation in writing. A certain amount of ritual exists in Zen. But even Zen ritual is in the service of the meditation practice.

2. What made you decide to write about your experiences in studying and practicing Zen Buddhism?

I had been a wanna-be writer since junior high school. I used to write science fiction stories and make comic books. I was also a songwriter. I worked for a film and TV production company in Japan and I wrote a number of scripts and things. They were all rejected. But some of the ideas in them found their way into our movies and TV shows, un-credited.

I also wrote several novels, which I was never able to get published. So I wrote about my Zen experience mostly out of frustration. I didn’t want to quit writing. So I just wrote about Zen to keep myself in practice. I never really intended the book that became Hardcore Zen for publication. I thought I would give it to my nephew who was 14 at the time and very interested in philosophy. I only sent it out to publishers because I knew how to do that by then. I never thought anyone would want to publish a book about punk rock, monster movies and Zen.

3. In your books, you share a lot about your own life, but your 2009 book “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate” is incredibly intimate. You discuss your mother’s passing, your job ending, the unraveling of your marriage, and more. Was it hard to share so much of yourself? Did you ever look at the screen and think, “Should I really be talking about this with the anonymous public?”

It was very hard. The ending of the book was especially brutal. I was between apartments at the time and the people at the San Francisco Zen Center were kind enough to provide me a room for a few weeks while I had nowhere to live. I remember sitting in that room typing and re-typing and re-re-typing the last chapter. I had headaches and all sorts of stuff over that one.

I felt that it was necessary to really turn myself inside out for that book. I had to get at everything, expose everything. I still feel that was really an important book. I hate being grandiose. But I think it’s not just important to me, but important to the history of Buddhism. No Buddhist teacher has ever written a book that intimate.

People think all those books with wildly imaginative descriptions of some guy’s supposed enlightened state are really important. But those books are just science fiction novels for people who don’t like reading about space ships. Zen Wrapped in Karma is about what it’s really, actually like to be a Zen teacher.

4. I haven’t gotten to read it yet, but your latest book is ” Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between”. Speaking of incredibly intimate, how did you feel tackling the subject of sexuality in a culture that is pretty obsessed with it in one way or another?

It felt good, mostly. I think that book was really necessary. People are really hung-up about sex. The Buddhist view says that sex is important and should be taken seriously. But it also says that washing the dishes is important and should be taken seriously. We have a really unbalanced view of sex. We focus on it to the point that we lose focus on everything else. And we still make a mess of our sex lives.

I think the Zen approach can help. You take a vow not to misuse sexuality. But that’s a very open thing. Nobody tells you what constitutes misuse of sexuality. You have to figure that out for yourself, because everybody’s actual experience is different. So you are the only one who can determine what is or is not a misuse of sexuality in your specific case.

5. On my Facebook page one day I said that I found reading books about Zen very relaxing, but found meditation very stressful. A bunch of people “liked” that status. Are my friends and I freaks (totally not out of the question), or is this something you hear from other people?

Meditation can seem stressful and books about meditation can seem relaxing. That’s because lots of books about meditation are kind of like fantasy novels. They provide you with a kind of escapist dream.

The problem is that that dream is actually taxing your brain. It feels relaxing at the moment. But it’s exciting you, stimulating you. The act of reading itself is relaxing. But the material is creating a kind of tension.

Meditation, on the other hand, exposes you to yourself. You become acutely aware of the stress you have. I don’t think meditation produces stress, except perhaps if you’re really ambitious about having some kind of mystical experience. That can be stressful! But when you simply sit and allow yourself to be as you are, you start seeing stuff you’ve ignored. Some of that is stress.

In becoming aware of this stress, you simultaneously begin to see what you can do about it. Sometimes you resist. I know I do. For example, you might come to realize that some activity you had thought was harmless was actually doing damage. You’ll realize that you have to stop doing that thing. But if you’re like me, you often don’t want to stop. So a certain degree of stree appears right there. But it’s a very useful type of stress.

6. Obviously I’m not expert on Zen, but it seems to place a lot of focus on the here and now, this moment, and now this moment, and this one. How contentment can be found in exactly this moment. So how do Zen Buddhists approach issues that make this moment obviously less than content? For instance I have my personal hang up with the situation in Zimbabwe, where a president has run amok and gone from liberator to oppressor (complete with the beatings and torture and all that the job of oppressor entails). How would a Zen Buddhist in Zimbabwe behave? Should they be content in the moment? Does Zen mean passive acceptance of the status quo?

I don’t know how a Zen Buddhist in Zimbabwe should behave because I’m not a Zen Buddhist in Zimbabwe. The only thing I could do would be to speculate. But that kind of speculation would be useless. I don’t even know enough about the superficial details of the situation, let alone what it really feels like to live in it.

The question for me would be more along the lines of, what can I do about the situation in Zimbabwe? What concrete things can I do that might have some effect? If there are things I can do, I would do them. Once I had done those things, I would try to set the matter aside. It doesn’t do any real good to worry about things I can’t change. I can sit and think about concrete ways that I might be able to change those things. And that does some good. Maybe a lot of good. But just fretting about it doesn’t help anything.

When it comes to your own stressful situations, that’s what I try to focus on. Getting worried about other people’s troubles in far away places is a kind of abstraction. If you can do something for those people, do it. We place a lot of value in our culture on “being concerned.” But most of what constitutes “being concerned” is a lot like the way some people are “concerned” over their favorite soap operas. We watch it and fret about it. But we don’t really do much of anything.

7. Your books are filled with amusing footnotes. I’m prone to inserting odd thoughts parenthetically into my articles (You know, like this.) What was New World Library’s reaction when they first saw your wise cracking footnotes?

I think New World Library liked the footnotes. Some people think they’re funny. Some people hate them. I have fun with them. But I’m trying to get away from it because everyone is doing footnotes now.

8. For my readers who aren’t familiar with you or your work, they may not realize that you’re also a big fan of Japanese giant monster movies, even having worked for Tsuburaya Productions (home of the original Godzilla). I have to ask, in your opinion, what is the best giant monster movie of all time? (Thank you in advance for potentially making my holiday shopping much easier!)

I have to correct you there. Tsuburaya Productions didn’t make Godzilla. But even people in Japan think they did. Eiji Tsuburaya, who founded the company, directed the special effects on all the classic Godzilla movies. But he did that while working for another company called Toho. The stuff Tsuburaya Productions makes is a lot like Godzilla. Their big character is Ultraman, a superhero who is as big as Godzilla and fights Godzilla type monsters.

My favorite Japanese monster movie used to be called “Monster Zero”. That’s how I knew it as a kid. Then they released it to video as “Godzilla Vs Monster Zero”. And now they have put it out on DVD as “Invasion of Astro Monster”. It’s so confusing! It’s about aliens from Planet X who use mind control to make Godzilla and Rodan attack Tokyo and send their own monster Ghidorah the three-headed monster to help them out. The star of the film is Nick Adams, who was a hot up and coming actor in the fifties who had fallen on hard times by 1965 when the film was made. So he traveled to Japan and did a few monster films there. That story is really interesting in itself.

9. Given your punk rock background, comfort with using curse words in your writing, your honesty about your personal life, and general disdain for many of the Zen groups to be found in the United States, would you say you get a lot of angry letters and emails, or an epic amount of angry letters and emails?

I get a few. Not as many as you might imagine. I tend to focus on the angry ones and make a big deal out of some of them because they’re often from people who would like to consider themselves unflappable serene Buddhists. They’re sort of funny.

Ever since I started the blog, though, most of the angry people just leave comments. I get an epic amount of angry comments on my blog. There was even an article in Tricycle magazine about the comments on my blog. People just vent on there like crazy. Some of it is really petty and insulting. At the moment I’m not even reading my comments section because it got really nasty.

Certain things tend to set people off. It’s a blog on the Internet, so if I say anything about people being on the Internet too much, the commenters get angry about that. If I say things that seem to go against the prevailing notion that all Buddhists should accept anything that anyone claims is Buddhism, people get upset about that too. Like when I’ve been critical of some of the stuff that strikes me as abuses of Buddhism, using words like “Buddhism” and “Zen” to sell things that have nothing to do with Buddhism or Zen, people get angry about that.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Why “Magic Buffet?” Is that like “Magic Bullet?”

I guess the question is, “Magic Bullet” like the infomercial blender or “Magic Bullet”, like the bullet which struck President Kennedy in the back and exited through his throat? Actually, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like either of those things. At least I hope….

About Brad Warner:
Brad Warner is a Zen priest, filmmaker, blogger, and Japanese monster-movie marketer. He’s the author of “Hardcore Zen”, “Sit Down & Shut Up”, “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate” and most recently “Sex, Sin & Zen”. His writing appears in media ranging from Tricycle and Shambhala Sun to Suicidegirls.com. Visit him online at www.hardcorezen.blogspot.com.

Practical Protection Magick

Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I was recently sent not one, but two different books about protecting yourself against evil or malicious entities or magic users to feature on The Magical Buffet. This has always been an area of research that interests me, and my bookshelves are a testament to that fact. Still, two books in one month. I can’t help but wonder if the universe is onto something that I haven’t figured out yet.

Hopefully I’ll be sharing an interview with the author of the other book I received, so I won’t be discussing it here. Today I’m going to talk about “Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power” by Ellen Dugan. Readers may remember that I interviewed Ellen Dugan back in 2009 when she was promoting “Book of Witchery”. Although straight forward and hopefully informative, the interview doesn’t do justice to Dugan’s casual, witty writing style. That’s a “my bad” on my part. That part of Dugan’s personality is polished to a shine in “Practical Protection Magick”.

Unlike many books I own that discuss protecting yourself from magical or psychic effects, Dugan focuses more on you than what’s going on outside of you. Through some simple to take quizzes you determine your psychic specialties, and then learn what that means in terms of your strengths and weaknesses when confronted with magical or psychic attacks. Dugan focuses on self-esteem, physical fitness, and awareness. The more confident you are, the less likely you are to become prey to an attack. The concept of knowing, claiming, or reclaiming your own power is a big part of the work Dugan suggests. Not only does she address genuine magical means of being under attack, but also talks about dealing with emotionally draining people and drama queens. They may not be magical, but Dugan assesses their actions as just as damaging as intentional magical attack (which I agree with). And I should also mention that “Practical Protection Magick” emphasizes ruling out other things before jumping to the conclusion that you’ve been cursed, hexed, given the evil eye, or any other magical or supernatural attack.

“Practical Protection Magick” is a well researched book dealing with magic and the supernatural, but what makes it stand out from the crowd is its “self-help” angle. Many books will list protection deities or crystal and herbs for protection (all of which are featured in this book too), but Dugan’s emphasis on self improvement as perhaps the best, and most consistent means of protection is unique and a welcome change of pace. Reading this book feels like getting advice from one of your very good friends: it’s a pep talk, a cautionary tale, and loaded with words to live by.

For More Money, Balance Your Give and Take: Part Two

By Rose Rosetree

This is a follow up to the previously published “For Money, Balance Your Give and Take: Part One”. Did you miss it? Well click here to catch up!

How well do you really balance give-and-take? Let’s not just assume, not when we can quiz.

The Financial Flow Quiz

There’s no avoiding it. When your goal is to Magnetize Money, you’ve just got to learn how to take. Balancing give and take would be lovely, though optional. But you can’t avoid this fact of life here at Earth School: To Magnetize Money, you definitely need good circuits for taking, both emotionally and materially. Financial flow is a money-related term for this. Which habits do you have? Answer TRUE or FALSE to the following seven questions.

1. Before I receive, I must give.
2. The more I give, the more I will get.
3. Because of my financial situation, I must give more than I receive, more than is fair. That’s just how my life is right now.
4. At this time in my life, I am able take more than I give, which is just fine with me.
5. There’s no point in asking for what I want. Love from my significant other means he or she will anticipate whatever I need. If I have to ask, it’s too late. He or she wouldn’t understand.
6. Provided that I keep on doing good, I will receive my reward eventually.
7. If short on cash, I should tithe or donate seed money to my church. Then God will pay me back with abundance.

Financial Flow Quiz – Keeping Score

You did great on this quiz. Every answer was correct… or at least useful for diagnostic purposes if you’re seriously interested in being able to Magnetize Money. Some perfectly good answers can decrease your odds at earning big wealth. Why? For one thing, answers about give-and-take aren’t just answers. Beliefs about giving run very deep, creating patterns about expectation. Therefore, every answer you just gave could be linked to a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s a belief so strong that, automatically, it pulls support from your subconscious mind and sets up auric modeling all over your energy field. This, in turn, evokes subconscious reactions from others. Even a lukewarm, slight, belief that blocks your financial flow will activate support from the whole Universe, both microcosm and macrocosm. If you believe strongly enough, you will magnetize many life experiences to support your choice. Sometimes this process is called synchronicity, meaningful coincidence. Another term could be “dooming yourself to relative poverty for the rest of your life.”

Yes, hello! Financial consequences flow from all of your answers, even if they are based on emotional or spiritual or religious or social aspects of your current lifestyle. So remember this. You can always change your mind. A strong position could be modified without having to be discarded altogether. Changing some of your answers to our Financial Flow Quiz could help you to Magnetize Money as never before. So let’s consider your options and beliefs related to financial flow.

1. Before I receive, I must give.

If TRUE: Some of us love being the one who always gives first. Certainly this sequence sets up a fine rhythm that can help a person to feel worthy of receiving.

However, this belief has a downside. Automatically you’ll block your luck – things that come to you freely without your first giving a thing. Besides, what happens when you interact with another person who also, rigidly, needs to always give first? Both of you will be stuck energetically. Most likely, neither of you will receive much.

If FALSE: Belief that you can receive without first giving in any particular situation, couldn’t that improve your financial flow? Today could become your lucky day… because you feel worthy to receive, whether or not you give a thing.

Of course, Earth School does include universal laws, such as karma. This inevitable cause-and-effect dynamic produces consequences from every thought, word, and action. So, if you routinely take without giving back much at all, neither in advance of receiving your windfall or afterwards, your long-term prospects may not be great.

2. The more I give, the more I will get.

If TRUE: When you’re in a glorious flow of giving, this belief can set you up to receive money galore. Say that you have talent for a particular kind of work. Giving is easy, even delightful. Of course, wealth can grow that way. Even when you contribute at work or at home without huge enjoyment, strong resolve to give can help you build long-term success. Writers who make a really convincing case for this include two of my favorites, success expert Brian Tracy and prosperity expert Emmet Fox.

Unfortunately, giving can also be done in situations where a person would be a fool to expect any immediate return on investment. Think of enabling a drunk or pouring water into a leaky bucket. Giving makes a grand choice but a tragic reflex.

If FALSE: So you believe in evaluating your business investments on a case-by case basis? That’s smart. In Never Give Up, Donald Trump offers some wise words about this:

Sometimes you work as hard as you can on something, and it doesn’t work out. The question is: How do you know when to give up? I usually tough it out longer than most people would in a similar situation – which is why I often succeed where others have failed. I also know that sometimes you have to throw in the towel. Maybe you failed, but you probably learned something valuable. Chalk it up to experience, don’t take it personally, and go find your next challenge.

3. Because of my financial situation, I must give more than I receive, more than is fair. That’s just how my life is right now.

If TRUE: Certain financial scenarios involve giving more than you receive. You know it. Maybe the recipient knows it, too. Only you can decide if giving that much, really, is worthwhile in the long run.

What if your main strategy to Magnetize Money has been to marry rich, so your whole life is focused on making that happen? Or what if Grannie Gaack holds the promise of inheritance over your head, bringing all the joy and gaiety of a lead balloon? Does that person’s money mean that much to you? How much are you willing to sacrifice?

To make life choices wisely, let’s get one thing straight. Nobody can really force you to give more than you agree to give. Therefore, if you have agreed to an unfair amount of giving, you might ask yourself why. On some level you do have a choice.

Dare to consider your options realistically. Could you be receiving more than you think, some kind of secondary gain or deeper personal agenda? Or might you be living an outdated belief or fantasy? Not every experiment must be followed through to the bitter end. (Remember Angie’s “dream marriage” to Arnold in our last chapter?)

Even if you don’t change a thing about your external situation, an honest assessment might free up your financial flow. As for the belief about “I must give more than I receive,” that is totally negotiable.

If FALSE: What could be the opposite of the “I must give” belief? “I never give more than I choose to give.” This alternative could be very empowering, leading to much greater flow of wealth. Think of a buffet-style restaurant, set up as “All you can eat.” Doesn’t it feel great to take what you wish? You’re not necessarily being greedy, merely enjoying a certain abundance.

Refusing to sacrifice to the point of pain – that hardly disallows healthy amounts of giving. In fact, to an outside observer your behavior might appear identical to the behavior where your answer was “TRUE.” For instance, you might seem to treat Grannie Gaack just the same way as in our first scenario, perfectly polite, only now you are secretly laughing your head off over the lead balloon aspect. Check out her arm muscles, lifting that heavy thing!

4. At this time in my life, I am able to take more than I give, which is just fine with me.

If TRUE: Resourceful Reader, a yes to this notion can really help you to Magnetize Money. It doesn’t make you ethically questionable, like some bank robber. If only you knew the whole story, you might be awed at how much you have already given, in this lifetime and countless others as well. Being truly willing to accept the payback, why not?

If FALSE: So it isn’t okay with you, receiving more than you appear to give right now? You can Magnetize Money on the pay-as-you-go plan. However, you might want to reconsider. Karma from your past actions doesn’t only have to be bad, you know.

5. There’s no point in asking for what I want. Love from my significant other means he or she will anticipate whatever I need. If I have to ask, it’s too late. He or she wouldn’t understand.

If TRUE: Many a lifestyle is based on this form of give-and-take. The technical term for it, alas, is “co-dependence.” You may not have to go back far in your family tree to find ancestors who were co-dependent in ways that limited financial flow. Possibly this kind of emotional dynamic was compatible with making a great deal of money. But probably not.

If you enjoy living with our Belief #5, it can be a sweet surrender. Personally, though, I would encourage you to explore how much sweeter your life could be without this belief. It heads my list of joy-sucking ways to live, especially the version that substitutes “God” for the term “significant other.”

If FALSE: You do believe in asking for what you want? What, you call that “communication”? Excellent. That’s certainly how I would prefer to be treated on the receiving end, since omniscience isn’t one of my virtues. Co-dependence in personal relationships has a way of leaking into workplace relationships as well. The opposite choice, direct communication, can make it way easier to Magnetize Money.

6. Provided that I keep on doing good, I will receive my reward eventually.

If TRUE: Maybe you were brought up to believe this as central to your religion. You might even have been promised an “eternal reward.” While it’s true that good karma flows from every generous thought and action, note the horrible implications in Belief #6. Fie on that sad word “eventually”! Tomorrow never comes, unless you count ideas like “Eternal reward.” Maybe Belief #6 isn’t the easiest way to Magnetize Money.

If FALSE: What would the opposite version be? “If I keep acting selfish and creepy, it will never catch up with me.” That Opposite Version of Belief #6 may seem strange, yet for many a millionaire it apparently works just fine. Of course, the person’s conscious justification might be quite different, such as “My family has always been rich, always will be rich. How could we not, given our genetic superiority?” (This language comes directly from one of my Give-and-Take Snapshots, actually.)

Using energetic literacy to profile the very rich, I have found many variations on this Opposite Version of Belief #6. What I have not found, however, is anyone who keeps around this kind of STUFF… and also is happy. Personally, I prefer a different alternative, “Of course, I always do my best in life. I claim the consequences of my past good karma NOW.” Can you see how a belief like this could improve a person’s bank balance? (Maybe the person’s emotional balance as well!)

7. If short on cash, I should tithe or donate seed money to my church. Then God will pay me back with abundance.

If TRUE: Tithing means that you give 10% of your income to your earthly source of spiritual inspiration. The ancient custom of tithing is just plain beautiful, as well as good karma.

Many a prosperity writer (including two of my favorites, Catherine Ponder and Florence Scovil Shin) has described amazing spiritual demonstrations that began with giving to charity. Televangelists Oral Roberts and Joel Osteen have built their careers, in part, by inspiring the faithful to give, and give generously. In fact, Roberts was the first Protestant to popularize seed money. “If you want God to supply your financial needs, then give SEED-MONEY for HIM to reproduce and multiply,” Rev. Roberts wrote in “The Miracle of Seed Faith”.

How is seed money different from tithing? According to America’s first televangelist, “In tithing, you give after you have made the income. In Seed giving, you give before in expectation of return.” In 1987, Roberts warned viewers that God would “call him home” unless they sent him $8 million in contributions. (As a result, his loyal viewers contributed $9.1 million.)

Regardless of your religious affiliation, Belief #7 can awaken the power of self fulfilling prophecy, as well as set up superb karma. Beyond that, any positive action in concert with your Highest Power can raise your vibrations, helping to improve the overall quality of your energy field.

If FALSE: If funds are low, instead of requesting a heavenly bailout, you might prefer to figure out how to earn more money. You might choose to evaluate your career, the path you’re taking, and how your skill sets could bring you more money. Instead of needing more idealism, you might need less. For instance, consider the story of Abe, one of my clients. He refused a promotion and quit his job because he disapproved of the emotional dynamics of his office manager. But was Abe’s job to do therapy on the office staff? No, he was a nurse, sent out on assignments away from that somewhat dysfunctional office. Abe was the one who suffered through months of unemployment, while his imperfect boss stayed very comfortably employed.

You might choose to question reflexive giving (of money, or free mental health services, etc.) as a way to fix your finances. An alternative to Belief #7 might be, “When short on cash, I solve human-level problems as best I can.” Tithing and seed money are lovely, but not when used as attempts to bribe God.

Healing that Give-and-Take Balance

Are you worried yet? Many a prosperity seeker is terrible at taking. Most success seekers need help with it, too. But I promise you. Dysfunctional give-and-take patterns from your past and present can be changed. No time is more powerful than the now. Nor is any memory more powerful than your own consciousness in the present moment, complete with your buzzing-bright aura. Sure, you can improve your God-given ability to take.

Co-dependence is a good problem to rule out – or solve. Many books offer excellent advice, starting with “Codependent No More”, by Melody Beattie.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) can require some skills, too. Otherwise, you’ll be at a disadvantage with highly insensitive persons. Effective resources begin with the pioneering psychotherapist who discovered HSPs in the first place, the great Dr. Elaine Aron. “The Highly Sensitive Person” was written for the 1 in 5 people with the lifelong gift of sensitivity. (Aron’s website is www.hsperson.com.)

Empaths can also have problems with give-and-take. Did you know that every talented but not-yet-skilled empath constantly pulls in STUFF from others? Splat, it goes right into your aura, messing up all your gifts and especially your circuits for give-and-take. Effective techniques require subtle but effortless shifts of consciousness. See www.empoweredempath.com.

All three skill sets – those for empaths, HSPs, and co-dependents – can prevent problems with financial flow. To heal patterns from the past, you might also need a few professional sessions to heal old STUFF from cords of attachment, etc. So many good options! Before you avail yourself of a single one, however, try the following energetic workaround.

Right Your Balance of Give-and-Take

It’s never too late to balance these two Heart Chakra databanks: Giving to Others and Receiving from Others. Patterns of imbalance can creep up on us. Over giving, you might often worry that “I need to give more.” Over-taking, you may feel as though “I never have enough.” With either imbalance, however, there’s a surprisingly easy remedy. To heal that deep balance, don’t go deeper. Go surface. Do a reality check, based on objective life. Make a list, folding the paper in half lengthwise. Use each of these headings for one of the columns: things I have given and things I have received.

For context, think of a particular situation that bothers you now, related to business or your personal life or both. For three minutes, write on that topic. Write fast and free, whatever pops into your mind. Emphasize the objective facts: hours, favors, money, you name it. How do the two columns compare? Can you draw any practical conclusions about how to handle this particular relationship from now on? Following up can impact your way of living… all the way down to evolving your Heart Chakra databanks.

Objective Truth Can Set You Free

Energetic literacy can support your balance of give-and-take, but never let the literacy itself become a distraction. In this regard, energetic literacy is exactly like all your other success and prosperity skills. None of them is meant to substitute for common sense about how to handle objective reality.

For 16 years, my client Alice worked for the “Acme Accounts Association.” It seemed to her like a great success story. Alice had worked herself up from receptionist to account manager, hourly employee to salaried. Alice was proud of herself. Except, slowly, success turned ugly for this hardworking new account manager. Over a period of three years, impossible amounts of work were thrown at her. Alice kept trying to catch them. She knew the meaning of hard work. Besides, she was no quitter. Working far into the night, Alice often slept under her desk.

How did she keep herself going? Alice used prosperity principles. All that giving had to come back to her, right? Plus, she knew what she wanted. Keeping her goals clearly in mind, this gal insisted on staying focused on the positive. According to the prosperity teachings Alice believed in, she was doing everything right. Except her work load never became more manageable. Alice’s requests to hire support staff were ignored. Inevitably, an emergency came up with one of Alice’s big accounts. She was blamed for the problem. The big boss called Alice into his office. He told her, “We’ll let it go this time, but you must promise us this will never happen again.” “I can’t promise.” Alice blurted out. To her own surprise, she added, “I quit.”

Following this incident, Alice booked a healing session with me. Recounting her sad tale, Alice expressed amazement that she had resigned. “I still can’t believe it,” she told me. “Acme has been my life for over 16 years.” Fortunately, I could help Alice to cut her cord of attachment to that big boss. His rage and her over giving made a toxic brew. As is typical for these energy structures on the level of auras, imbalances from the cord of attachment were flowing through Alice’s subconscious mind 24/7. No matter what happened later in her career, this pattern would have kept on replaying subconsciously for the rest of her life.

Except now it wouldn’t. After having the cord removed permanently, Alice went on to research career alternatives. I supplied the perspective of energetic literacy to help her evaluate whether work choices could support all her chakra databanks, not only the ones about giving. Never again did Alice want to equate “My job” with “Give 98%, Receive 2%”. Right before out session ended, my client’s voice turned thoughtful: “You know, Rose, after six months, I could have told they didn’t appreciate me. And they never would. If only I had paid attention!” As for you, right now, have you been paying attention to financial flow at work? That means objectively paying attention, not the subjective version, living as Alice used to do. Never let what you want become a substitute for what is.

About Rose Rosetree:
Rose Rosetree first wrote about chakra databanks in “Cut Cords of Attachment: Heal Yourself and Others with Energy Spirituality”. Since that was published, in 2007, acceptance of this term has grown. Googling “chakra databanks” three years later, Rosetree was a bit surprised to find nearly 72,000 hits. Rose’s new how-to, published in the fall of 2010, directs the deeper perception skills toward success and prosperity. “Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy: 10 Secrets for Success and Prosperity in the Third Millennium” is available through her publishing company, Women’s Intuition Worldwide (Secure online ordering is at www.rose-rosetree.com, or call toll-free 24/7 at 800-345-6665.)

Working in the mind-body-spirit field for 40 years, Rosetree has over 350,000 copies of her books in print worldwide – equivalent to more than two national bestsellers. She teaches workshops and facilitates phone sessions of Aura Healing and Transformation, also described at www.rose-rosetree.com.

Immortal Blues: Part Five

By Greg Bullard

Welcome to part five of the nine part fiction series “Immortal Blues” by Greg Bullard. Ready? Fight! If you need to catch up, here is Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

Dodging quickly to the right, I aborted my charge, narrowly avoiding the extended claws of the multi-armed behemoth.

The demon, snarling with rage, wheeled his massive form, dug into the concrete floor with clawed feet and hands, adjusted his momentum with shocking ease and leapt straight for me.

Like a matador at his finest, I danced adroitly to the side, exposing the subway’s third rail directly behind where I had been standing, right in the path of the airborne fiend. I waited for the smoke, the sparks and the heady aroma of charred demon flesh.

You can imagine my irritation when he landed on the rail and nothing happened. I can only guess that my scream – excuse me, my battle cry – had damaged more than just the lights. Whatever it was, there was no juice to make the demon do the subway shuffle.

This also didn’t leave me in the best of positions. I sprung backwards, but still felt the sharp impact of razored claws sliding across my ribs.

Thankfully I had suppressed my usual overconfidence long enough to take a few precautions. I took the time last night to dig a little something out of my closet – you know, just for those special occasions when people shoot me or demons claw me.

The long talons raking down the mesh rings of my True Silver surcoat bruised a rib or two, but I didn’t want to think about what would happen if it were still in my closet.

Using the momentum imparted by the demon’s blow, I rolled backward, coming to my feet in one smooth motion. Extending myself while the demon readjusted, my left sword dug a furrow into the creatures back, a long, straight gash of smoking, ruined flesh.

Rinse and repeat and you have a breakdown of how the next five minutes went. The demon was massive, quick and fierce. His saliva was caustic, his blood poisonous, his claws razor sharp, and for all that, he never really had a chance.

When all was said and done though, I knew I’d been in a fight. I was bruised, disheveled and soaked with sweat. My breath was coming in great, ragged gasps. For a moment I just stood there, staring at the torn, scattered remnants of the demon.

Knowing I had to get out of here, I knelt, and cut a few choice items from the demon, things he wouldn’t miss. Stuffing those away in a pocket, I felt fatigue setting into my muscles. My hands were beginning to tremble as I bent over my small pouch of True Silver, whispering words quietly in an ancient language.

A warm, gentle heat spread in the palm of my hand as my prayers to Dana took effect. A soft glow rose from the opening of the pouch. I wept a little at the cost of so much True Silver, but I didn’t see a choice. It’s not like alligator-in-the-sewer can be used to explain shredded, flayed demon body in the subway.

Sighing, I sprinkled the contents of the pouch on the lifeless body. Where the imbued True Silver dust touched the demon’s flesh, it flashed white with flame and shriveled to ash.

Seconds later, the stench of the demon was replaced with acrid clouds of smoke. The once blood-spattered walkways were black with soot and ash. Officially, after a short investigation, they would call it an electrical short, caused by a ruptured piece of steam pipe falling on the main line. Unofficially, they would try not to think about it too hard.

I looked wistfully at the corridor down which my mysterious blues man had disappeared. That trail was long since cold. Shouldering my way deeper into the tattered remnants of my long coat and the shadows that hung, clinging to my form, I made my way through the tunnels under the city to the subway entrance nearest my place.

An hour later, I was showered, changed and felt a helluva lot better. I took a few minutes to store some goodies around my person. Who knew what would happen next? Also, I refilled the pouch of True Silver dust from my dwindling, private stash. I’d have to see about refilling it, which wouldn’t be easy.

For a long twenty-count I stared at the complex lunar calendar on my wall. It showed a few things that weren’t on your typical lunar calendar, which is probably why it covered the whole wall. As I pondered it, an itch in the back of my mind was telling me that I shouldn’t even be thinking for a second about going out tonight. So of course, I was thinking about going out tonight – damn the full moon.

Dana and I are on good terms, as evidenced by the fact that she still answers my prayers. The same can’t be said for all of the gods and goddesses. Aine Marina, for instance, has it out for me. It’s a long story, but let’s just say she doesn’t like being tricked into giving up the goods. I say she had a fine time that night and should let bygones be, but she feels differently.

Whatever, the end result is, the light of the full moon won’t touch me. I’m used to the shadows and to a life in the shadows, but that’s not the same as walking along in a little black spot on a bright night – that kind of stands out, and all my best efforts to mask or hide that shadow are useless. Usually it means that for a few nights a month I catch up on my reading while she gets her petulant little kicks. Tonight it was going to be a pain in my ass, but what can you do?

I needed to talk to the Crone again. Touching the pocket of my long coat, I could feel the gnarled claws of the demon. That should be all she’d need to give me some real answers.

About Greg Bullard:
Greg currently resides in Austin, TX, trying to do his part to Keep Austin Weird. While his wife, Julia, and daughter, Emily, both work hard to keep him on his toes, it is Julia’s red editing pen that does the most work. When he is not muddling his way through some fiction, he usually writes about What Greg Eats.

Ostara Spinach Quiche with Dawn Hunt

By Dawn Hunt

Spring. Just the word on my lips seems like a sigh from deep within my heart. Warm breezes that hold a linger of Winter’s bitterness and evenings seem to hold off night just a touch longer then the night evening before. Even now, in the cold of late February, with snow and ice still piled out my window the sun seems stronger than just a few weeks ago. I even saw the first robin of the season just recently atop a huge pile of snow in a parking lot promising Spring will be here before we know it. Although, technically, the first Fire festival of Imbolc in Feb, signals the warming of the Earth most of us won’t really feel it until Ostara. By mid to late March the first tulips bravely poke their heads up from under the seeming dead ground a remind us of all the promise that Spring holds. You may even notice a bit more Fairie activity. If you do any Fairie Work, you know they become ever more active as the air warms and the flowers begin to bloom!

Unlike the Winter celebration of Yule most of us tend to not think of food by the time Spring shakes off the final bits of snow from her branches. Most people, me included, are regretting all the rich foods we have consumed over the winter months and dreading the warm months of tank tops and bathing suites. We no longer want to be confined to our homes under layers of sweaters and blankets. Like a brave daffodil we want to emerge from the blankets of cold and get out of the kitchen. But what we are forgetting is that Spring is the perfect time to celebrate Earth though Food!

Early Spring brings with her so many wonderful foods of the season. You will start to see asparagus on sale at your local grocery store and out of nowhere Cherries seem to take over the produce department! Some farmers markets open with offerings of lettuce and the first fresh herbs of the season. Now, I realize in today’s world that we can get these things any time at any large grocery store, but Spring is the time when these foods are natural and local to our region. Focusing on seasonal eating to stay connected to spirit and Mother Earth is not the only form of Kitchen/Food Magick there is, but I find it to be a very important part of my spiritual path and one that is very easy to share with others.

Ostara usually lines up with the Christian Holiday of Easter. Being raised in a traditional Italian Catholic home meant that Easter was solemnly observed. But one of the many things I never understood about the Holiday was what was the big deal with all the Eggs??? We would decorate them, hide them, eat them, bake wreath breads that looked like nests with eggs in them and the list went on. Why Eggs??? Eggs are a traditional fertility food. No surprise there! Eggs symbolize the fertility of Earth and encourage growth from within her sleeping belly to the new beginnings of growth. Eggs are one of the best foods to work with and eat at this time of year to help us bring forward all the seeds we have planted in the Winter months. Remember, fertility is not just about making babies, but about bringing forth new life in your job, relationship, personal goals, ANYTHING!

With so many wonderful foods to celebrate Spring it is hard for me to just pick one recipe to share with you. Ostara comes first, but just behind it is Beltane and I could talk forever about my most beloved Beltane! But first things first: Ostara sets the stage for Spring and below is a really quick and easy recipe from my cookbook, “Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery Cookbook”. Here I have combined the fertility of Eggs with Spinach. Spinach is a money food. That is right, a MONEY food. So this recipe is a great one for helping to bring growth to financial prospects or investments. It is also great if you are in need of a raise. Just remember to think clearly, meditate on what it is you need and that it harm none.

Ostara Spinach Quiche

9 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 8oz package chopped Frozen Spinach thawed
1/2 Yellow Onion chopped fine
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1 refrigerated Ready Pie Crust
pinch dried Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350. Form pie crust in 9″ pie pan and set aside. Beat together eggs and milk with wire whisk. Set aside. In a medium skillet, heat oil and sauté onion for 3 minutes or until tender not brown. Add spinach and sauté another 5 minutes. Add spinach mixture to beaten eggs and beat again until combined. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese. Pour into prepared pie crust. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center is set.

About Dawn:
Dawn Hunt is the owner/president of Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery. Her products include everything from Herb and Energy infused olive oils to cooking tools. Her self-published cookbook has sold more than 250 copies in 6 months. She is currently working on a compilation Cookbook with Christopher Penczak and the Temple of Witchcraft called “Tastes of the Temple” due out in 2011. She teaches classes on Kitchen Witchery, Food Magic, and Seasonal Cooking on the East Coast. To find out more information, to purchase products, or for booking visit www.CucinaAurora.com.

For More Money, Balance Your Give and Take: Part One

By Rose Rosetree

Would you like to earn an extra $10,000 this year, with more increases to follow? My latest book aims to help readers do just that.

“Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy” uses the third millennium technology of researching auras all the way down to the level of chakra databanks – detailed information about different aspects of life. Reading auras doesn’t mean seeing colors, I have a trademarked system for reading auras through ALL your personal gifts.

Everyone can become literate in this way. And whether you consciously read auras or not, everyone does it subconsciously. My term for that is “auric modeling”. Another term might be “separating truth from hype.”

I saw one too many of my friends brought to the brink of bankruptcy because they were trying really, really hard to use Law of Attraction practices.

I wondered what was happening at the level of auras. Extensive research became the basis for a Magnetize Money Program. This how-to includes auric tell-all profiles of 20 top prosperity teachers, including Rhonda Byrne, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Abraham, and Napoleon Hill. I researched hundreds of others also, to learn what auric modeling showed about who-you-be. Surprising findings also are reported from my “energy interviews” of Law of Attraction teachers, Born Again Christian teachers, and the 50 richest people in the world.

In “Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy”, I go on to share ways to help readers improve their own auric modeling, positioning them to become more successful. In the following excerpt, I invite you to consider the financial implications of your balance of give and take.

Before you get rich, must your aura contain a perfect balance of give-and-take? If I said “Yes,” I’d be lying. (And horrors, lying is so bad for the aura!)

Most of us know how to divide human beings into two categories: Givers and Takers.

Actually, Resourceful Reader, to Magnetize Money we need three categories: Givers, Takers, and People who balance give-and-take.

Whichever type of person you want to be, you can give yourself that kind of life. Or take it for yourself. Or give-and-take it for yourself.

Before you choose – which I’m going to ask you to do before this chapter is done – let’s remember another interesting fact of life. If you wish to magnetize major amounts of money, your realistic options drop down to two: being a taker or being someone who balances give-and-take.

That’s right. To gain financial success in this world, you don’t have to be a taker but it sure helps. And you can’t be purely a giver. Sorry, but it’s true.

Financial Flow

You can’t be a softie in personal life (habitually giving without expecting a thing in return) yet somehow become a totally different person at work (e.g., strong and commanding, always preferring to take). Okay, maybe you can think of exceptions where a big giver made piles of money. Marilyn Monroe comes to mind. But she didn’t get to keep that money for long, did she?

With energetic literacy, there’s always more to learn about how people tick. Each individual is extraordinarily unique at the level of auras, so there can be exceptions to my rule that earning money requires strong auric modeling as a taker. Still, my conclusion about the importance of taking is based on a lot of research.

I had to research this particular topic. Meaning that, personally, I needed to. My natural inclination, and habits, and STUFF, used to make my motto “Give 95% of the time. Receive last, and even then, be sure to add generous quantities of guilt.”

For decades into my career, this pattern limited my success. As my work became better known, however, I got “lucky.” I began receiving emails galore requesting free help with aura readings, empath coaching, etc. My husband and I don’t live on air, nor do we own the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Therefore, I had to learn how to say “No.”

Eventually I sorted out basic concepts like “Professional services require payment.” This paired up with “Friendships require give-and-take in healthy balance.” Once I became clear about this, my business income doubled, then continued to grow.

Your income may grow, too, when you learn the lessons of my give-and-take “interviews” with the Forbes Magazine list of “The 50 Richest People in America.” When photos weren’t available, I went on to the next picture on the Forbes list. Strictly speaking, my scope of research became “The 50 richest people in America with photos available for the article in Forbes Magazine 2009.” Especially for this research, I developed the following prosperity protocol.

The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra: Emotional Giving
This chakra databank relates to qualities like openness to other people, caring, and emotional generosity.

2. Heart Chakra: Emotional Receiving
This chakra databank reveals a person’s patterns with receiving praise, interest, admiration, and other emotions from significant others. Both positive and negative emotions count here.

3. Throat Chakra: Intimacy in Close Relationships
How close is considered “too close”? Quality and quantity of social connection, both, can shape patterns of intimacy.

Before you read a summary of my findings with The Give-and-Take Snapshot, want to take any guesses about how well the super-rich do intimacy?

First, the Bad News

Altogether my research revealed much to admire… and even more to increase my compassion. What didn’t I find, alas? Nobody (and I mean nobody) in this group gave more than he or she took. Only two showed an equal balance. More on them soon.

That’s right. Nobody out of the whole crafty, cash-laden crew, came close to what you probably do, which is to give early and often. Sure, over the decades I have used energetic literacy to research plenty of humbler folk. Most people give more than they take. During these years, I have also researched plenty of the rich and/or famous. Many are lovely, some not. I have been hired to do face reading at parties with budgets of half a million dollars or more. Some of these partygoers show, through their auric modeling, great willingness to take emotionally but not such a great willingness to give. One incident in particular sticks in my memory.

Give-and-Take at the Party

Arnold was a trim 40-something attorney, impeccably dressed. His wife Angie was glamorous, gorgeous, and groomed, staring with fascination as I read her man’s face. He had to go first, of course.

As I summarized talents and potential challenges, Arnold listened intently. Okay, to be more accurate, he smirked and preened. His adoring Angie was so attentive, she reminded me of a cheerleader. I practically expected her to leap up and do cartwheels.

When Angie’s turn came, I really wanted to help her feel good. She didn’t appear valued much by her high-powered husband. To avoid boredom, he began walking around the den. This was, of course, no ordinary den but a mega mansion version, stocked with very expensive-looking toys. Arnold picked up one trinket at a time, as if shopping. Meanwhile, I was telling Angie things like, “That huge curve to your eyebrows suggests that you focus on emotions when dealing with people.” Angie would hold up her mirror as if seeing her surgically perfected face for the very first time. Angling and posing as if in wonderment, she would ask big, strong Arnold for advice. “Arnold, honeeeeey, am I like that? What do you think?” Arnold, clearly, couldn’t care less. He kept on oogling the nearby toys, ignoring his wife.

Warren Buffett sets a far better example of prosperous give-and-take. Emotional giving delights him; he finds it easy. Emotional receiving doesn’t overwhelm him, as he is used to being appreciated. This rich man balances both sides of life. And when it comes to intimacy, the man has finesse. Very loving to his significant others, Buffet knows how to manage his less important emotional investments, scaling down closeness to the appropriate level for each relationship.

Who was the other big winner with my give-and-take profiles? Meet “Aden.” (I’m keeping him anonymous because this relatively favorable research is still not entirely flattering, as you’ll soon see.)

Aden: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 90 feet. Huge presence to this man! Aden’s kindness is powerful, mostly, because he lives so passionately. This uncommonly zesty guy hugely enjoys giving to his favorite people.

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 90 miles. Not just an altruist, Aden expects to receive abundantly. Emotionally, that means being shown both obedience and loyalty. This mega-billionaire demands the highest standards of behavior. “Anyone can be replaced.” (Yes, you read that right.)

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships19 feet. Intense, very human. Big moods, living large.

Don’t be discouraged by Aden’s “Anyone can be replaced.” Beliefs like this aren’t required to Magnetize Money. But do consider Aden’s insistence on receiving. That’s not so optional.

Emotional Perils of Wealth

Let’s get real. To judge from their auras, most of the mega-rich are emotionally impoverished. Starting these profiles, I expected nothing of the kind. Net worth numbers like $40 billion (for Gates) or $37 billion (for Buffet) sound great. But what are the social consequences of having so much wealth? The resulting attention can be crazy making. Think how your entire family might suck up to wealthy old Auntie Annette. Then multiply that suck up factor by what, a zillion?

Every one of America’s top 50 wealthiest must deal with that unpleasant kind of interest. It’s compounded daily, through flattery, groveling, and otherwise fake behavior. Besides the family members, the friends, the gold-diggers, how about all the rage from underpaid employees worldwide? Professional jealousy and competitiveness can also be directed at these highly visible targets. Ouch!

One of my most touching research subjects was a top billionaire whose financial standing had dropped significantly in recent years. Sure, he still made the top 50 wealthiest people in the U.S., but how much happiness did that buy him?

Antonio: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 6 inches. Disillusioned, bitter.

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 90 miles. “Other people never give enough for it to feel real. Certainly they don’t give enough to make me feel better about my bad luck.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 9 inches. “Nobody really understands me.”

Antonio has hit bottom emotionally, with a ratio of give : take of 6 inches: 90 miles. But what about other mega-billionaires?

The findings below are typical for America’s wealthiest. First names throughout are fictitious, of course, allowing these folks to cling to whatever privacy remains in their lives.

Alex: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 3 feet. Believes himself to be very generous. Has a completely different standard for giving than for receiving.

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 100 miles. Enjoys every bit of status, money, etc. as a form of emotional feeding. It strokes his personal ego.

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 3 inches. Tells his closest people what he thinks they want to hear.

Adolfo: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving18 inches. “Everybody has a price, and I hate to overpay.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 50 miles. “Gaining people’s respect and adulation is standard operating procedure for me. I require it, really.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 19 feet. “I really prize those close relationships. With all my responsibilities, it’s so helpful to babble to get the attention I need.” Of course, the quality of this chakra databank suggests that Adolfo does way more than his share of the talking in these so called “close relationships.”

Ahmed: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 8 inches. “I have such contempt for ordinary people. Unfortunately, so few extraordinary people are available to take the time for relationships, even with me.”

2. Heart Chakra: Emotional Receiving 90 miles. “You get used to it after a while. What a bore, how people think they can flatter you in order to get your money.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 4 inches. “There will always be some people kept around to help me let off steam, but they’re disposable. They know it and I know it.”

Cuddling up to a Solid Gold Coin

Intimacy does appear to be a common trade off for high financial status. When the mega-rich make their bargains with reality, financial stability can be trusted somewhat, but people?

Andy: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 14 feet. Everything and everyone has a price. “I give only as a shrewd investment.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 40 miles. He feels he deserves people’s adulation. In an odd way, he doesn’t even take the star treatment personally: “Life has been good to me. I expect life to continue to be good to me.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 6 inches. Intimacy? Now that’s a tough prospect. Andy believes that “Expressing what I want” means exactly the same thing as “Getting close to a friend.”

Arthur: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 9 inches. “I don’t trust people much. Mostly they’re takers.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 100 feet. “People come at me constantly, so noisy, heckling me. It’s only so much sentimentality. As if I would fall for that!”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 3 inches. “If I haven’t known you for 30 years, or you aren’t a blood relative, forget it. Even then, I have my suspicions. What do you really want from me?”

Andrea: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 8 inches. Trusting people is hard, to put it mildly. “So many people try to get into my life just because they want my money.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 40 miles. “Sometimes it’s overwhelming, all the admiration and adulation. I can’t tell if it’s real or false. I do my best to survive.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 4 inches. “It’s hard for me to let down my guard. So many people are takers.”

Anabella: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 12 inches. “I don’t have to be so generous to others, except I’m a nice person. Others in my position wouldn’t be so kind.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 1,000 feet. “I feel the pull on me of so many people, flattering and asking and demanding and whispering. It’s overwhelming, how much I have to take in.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 10 inches. “There are so few I can trust. Most people only pretend to be interested in me. They always want something.”

Inspiration from Enlightened Millionaires

Lovely and evolved people do sometimes make the mega-rich list. Most of them just aren’t lovely or evolved emotionally, not compared to the rest of their talents. The billionaire’s major life skills lie elsewhere.

As I researched away on these Give-and-Take Snapshots, I did encounter some lovely surprises. Magnificent qualities kept me going. I even found a few mega successful people whom I would consider spiritually Enlightened. For them, every chakra databank I read was strong, STUFF free, and joyful. Enthusiastically, I went on to survey additional databanks too, and every single one contained that celestial razzle-dazzle I adore – the blissful, balanced quality that is humanity’s destiny. Enlightened rich people are surely the real winners in life’s give-and-take sweepstakes. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have already been read in detail. Now meet Sergey Brin, among the spiritually wealthiest on earth.

Sergey Brin: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 90 miles. Emotionally very generous, based on inner happiness.

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 100 miles. “I live in a generous world where I am always rewarded beyond what I give. I am so grateful for this.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 14 feet. Authentically friendly, interested in people. Enjoys getting close to others.

Talk about enjoyable! Let’s continue with Donald Bren, the real estate tycoon.

Donald Bren: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 50 miles. Huge networker. Enthusiastic. Really loves people, especially socially important, influential people.

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 95 miles. “Life is absolutely thrilling for me. It’s one big flow of energy.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 80 miles. Identifying with the joy and energy in the lives of others, as well as his own life. “I feel huge joy everywhere.”

Finally, I was touched and inspired by profiling Steve Jobs. It’s well known that the founder of Apple computers has brought the world iTunes, iPod, and iPad. But did you also know that Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas? So Jobs is partly responsible for “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story.” No wonder this man is one of America’s most beloved business successes. Yet another reason could be his auric modeling. True, Jobs suffers far too much to be considered Enlightened quite yet. Even before all the STUFF is cleared out of his aura, Steve Jobs is impressive, exceptionally thoughtful for someone who has earned so much cash.

Steve Jobs: The Give-and-Take Snapshot
1. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Giving 5 miles. “I feel very lucky to have the people in my life who are close to me.”

2. Heart Chakra Databank: Emotional Receiving 100 miles. “I’m an acquired taste. It’s an honor that so many people have acquired it, but I would be a fool to depend on anyone’s admiration, except for genuine liking that comes from the people I know well.”

3. Throat Chakra Databank: Intimacy in Close Relationships 5 miles. Having these special people in my life keeps me sane, or what passes for sane. (A sense of humor is evident in this chakra databank, as well as others.)

Wow, a lively sense of humor – imagine finding that in someone so rich!

How will you choose to balance give and take? Only you can decide what would be a healthy balance. By living that, day by day, your accumulated choices will show up in your auric modeling. Financial consequences will flow accordingly.

Despite balancing your give -and-take, wealth can bring challenges to close relationships. One of my “interviewees” put it eloquently. Reading his chakra = databank about Intimacy in Personal Relationships, here is what I found in Albert’s Throat Chakra:

“Of course, I take all that big closeness with a grain of salt. I have seen too many careers end. Suddenly all the alleged friends evaporate. Although I enjoy what I have now, I no longer expect it to last.”

No, we can’t take it with us – neither the mansions like castles nor the “friends” who come along so eagerly to be bought or rented. What can we take along? Soul growth is cumulative. (Energetic literacy even allows us to peek at the luscious details.)

Beyond this, consider carefully as you design your own balance sheet in life. To Magnetize Money, it is required that you feel totally comfortable with receiving from others. Beyond that, if you have learned to balance give-and-take; if you insist on striving for true intimacy; if you manage to keep a sense of humor through it all – which may not seem like asking for majority shareholdings in the moon – wow, nonetheless! You will have accomplished something extraordinary for spiritual evolution. Clearly, that’s something most of America’s Richest haven’t yet been able to buy.

About Rose Rosetree:
Rose Rosetree first wrote about chakra databanks in “Cut Cords of Attachment: Heal Yourself and Others with Energy Spirituality”. Since that was published, in 2007, acceptance of this term has grown. Googling “chakra databanks” three years later, Rosetree was a bit surprised to find nearly 72,000 hits. Rose’s new how-to, published in the fall of 2010, directs the deeper perception skills toward success and prosperity. “Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy: 10 Secrets for Success and Prosperity in the Third Millennium” is available through her publishing company, Women’s Intuition Worldwide (Secure online ordering is at www.rose-rosetree.com, or call toll-free 24/7 at 800-345-6665.)

Working in the mind-body-spirit field for 40 years, Rosetree has over 350,000 copies of her books in print worldwide – equivalent to more than two national bestsellers. She teaches workshops and facilitates phone sessions of Aura Healing and Transformation, also described at www.rose-rosetree.com.

10 Questions with Miguel Conner: The Other Nine Questions

Hey! Wondering why there are only nine questions instead of ten? Did you miss question one? Click here to get caught up!

2. What made you decide to start a radio show devoted to discussing Gnosticism?

Ironically, I had just been excommunicated from a Gnostic church for something I hadn’t done (I’m not a 30th level magician…only in the World of Warcraft!). At the same time, I had started listening to an Internet station called Freethoughtmedia.com, mainly an avenue for New Atheism and Humanistic issues. I was feeling isolated so I sent the owner of the station a proposal to produce a handful of shows on Gnosticism—a series of interviews that would educate as well as dispel many misunderstandings on the ancient heretics. He accepted, assuming that the enemy of his enemy was his friend. Before I knew it, I was falling down a deep rabbit hole with Alice and Sophia. And I’m still falling after four years!

3. Your book “Voices of Gnosticism” is a collection of transcripts of interviews from your show, and does a fantastic job of introducing all facets of Gnosticism to the reader. When did you realize, or what made you decide, there would be value in collecting these interviews into a book?

The idea surfaced in the vast expanse of my head and was proposed by several listeners throughout the years. A few stenographers even offered to transcribe the interviews. I never paid much attention, falling into the cynical yet neo-utopian view that less people were reading and cyberspace was the new and true Library of Alexandria. I finally took a small Red Pill when Andrew Phillip Smith approached me with a sound and lucid vision of an Aeon Byte book based my most prolific guests. Since Andrew had been a guest many times, author of several books that had influenced me, editor of The Gnostic Journal who I had written for, and owner of a publishing company, I knew he couldn’t be an Archon and was onto something. The rest is heresy.

4. As an old school music fan, who would sit and write down lyrics to songs by playing second after second on a tape player, starting and stopping, starting and stopping, I know that transcribing from audio to text can take an insanely long time. How long did it take for you to transcribe all these interviews?

It was agonizing! I hated having to think of poor Andrew spending hours transcribing each interview! I know he started with a voice recognition software, but then he got the usual ‘too’s’ instead of ‘to’s’ and so forth, while Greek words came out all Greek to him; so he eventually did it the hard way, but he did an august job. Even then, it took months of us working together to match the vocals of the interviews to the transcripts. It’s not easy getting 60+ thousand words from audio to print, let me inform you! And I would advise for anyone undertaking such a venture to make sure the publisher and author agree on whether to use UK or American English…it will save you a lot of time and headaches and bad jokes based what is considered dirty in each culture.

5. Your interviews contain a wealth of information and you do an excellent job of really getting to the heart of your interviewee’s research. How much independent research did you need to do for these interviews?

I invest large sums of time and effort with each guest, regardless of their status or how much I agree with their premises. For one, I am passionate about all subjects dealing with the occult and comparative religion. I want to learn along with my guests. Furthermore, I understand how much hard work each guest puts into their books, movies or doctrines, so why shouldn’t they get the same respect? Not only do I read their respective work for the interview, I study all of their other efforts and everything I can about the subject at hand (even if I’m comfortably familiar with it). By the time of the interview, I want to be their virtual stalker or single white female.

6. Out of all the interviews you’ve done, do you have a favorite? If so, why does it stand out for you?

Why, this is my favorite interview! Me…me…me!

7. Is it odd for you to now be interviewed? How is the transition from interviewer to interviewee working out for you?

Okay, I admit it! You’re killing me softly with your song! The hunter has become the hunted! I’ve always envisioned myself as a cyber-Socrates, except a million times dumber, midwifing truths from my guests and handing those babies to my listeners. It is my greatest hope that they can nurture these truths into viable spiritual systems that will induce higher states of consciousness.

Besides, what can I say that could ever surpass any of my astral guests who emanate themselves from their Pleromas down into Aeon Byte every week? Uh, I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain?

8. If my readers want to learn more about Gnosticism, where do you suggest they start? I’d recommend your book “Voices of Gnosticism” and certainly the “Dictionary of Gnosticism” by Andrew Phillip Smith, who was kind enough to contribute to my website as well as write a wonderful forward for your book.

Good choice for books, I say, I say! That’s another difficult question, since ultimately Gnosticism is a very personal faith even when you do find those with the same Etch A Sketch mysticism as yours. Gnostics are always the perennial strangers in an estranged land. J. Krishnamurti once said truth is a pathless land. I like to say gnosis is a pathless labyrinth. You just don’t know exactly how the song of Sophia will strike you or what teaching of an Aeon wearing mammal skins will stimulate your Divine Spark. I certainly would suggest that if a person is interested in Gnosticism, they approach it for what it is and not for what it isn’t. Many people enter the Esoterica because they are rebelling against a former religion. They end up roleplaying instead of fully participating in the mystery, their hearts still so filled with negativity that it cannot be filled with light.

Having babbled that sermon, it goes without saying that one should either own Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures or Marvin Meyer’s The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Since modern Gnostics have their usual suspects they propose, I’m going to go ahead and throw a few curveballs: Elements of Gnosticism by Stuart Holroyd because it’s a concise and approachable history of the Gnostics in a little over a hundred pages; The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual & Diversity in Early Christianity by David Brakke because he takes one of the best snapshots of the rise and fall of the Gnostics; The Gnostic Religion by Hans Jonas because he reveals that the socio-political world of the Roman Empire that early Christians and Gnostics struggled in eerily parallels our modern times, and thus why the Gnostic spirit is very important today; Valis by Philip K. Dick because he captured the essence of Gnosticism and translated it into a modern context; and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll because the story of Alice is the story of Sophia is the story of each one of us.

And definitely watch The Matrix, The Truman Show, Inception, Total Recall, all at the same time and several times, while reading out loud the poetry of William Blake with a Jungian analyst sitting next to you on the couch.

Like I always say on Aeon Byte, you know you have taken the Red Pill when you start writing your own Gospel and living your own myth, as the Gnostics did throughout history even if history erased much of their wonders.

9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects my readers should be aware of?

I have just released the second edition of my futuristic yet very Gnostic-themed vampire saga, Stargazer (available at Amazon!). I’m working on releasing the sequel sometime late this year or early next year. I have a couple of embryonic projects for a scholarly book on the Gnostics, and there is a good possibility Aeon Byte might go completely live soon with callers and 1-800 numbers commercials for Cialis (but I haven’t bitten completely yet). If you include the actual show, writing articles for different periodicals, and making battle plans with Sophia, I don’t even have time to look for where I put those $#%@ Red Pills.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Ah…that feels good! I can ask questions! How come you don’t have a “Gnosticism” category at the Magical Buffet? Is this some sort of prejudice? Hating on the Gnostics feels good but Yaldabaoth forbid we ruffle the feathers of Wiccans so we give them two categories, eh? Don’t think for a second that this sense of persecution is inflating my sense of self-importance! I’m pulling off my microphone and walking off the set! You’re out of order! This court is out of order! Wiccans are out of order! This whole buffet is outta order!

Alas you have caught me Miguel! The Magical Buffet has partnered up with the Wiccans in an effort to suppress information about Gnosticism ever reaching the public at large. Smart ass! You know what? I don’t feel like a jerk anymore for question number one! That’s right? I said it!

About Miguel Conner:
Miguel Conner is host of “Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio”, the only topical and guest radio show on Gnosticism and its brethren in mystical heresy, ancient and modern. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, popular, and Philip K. Dick-ish vampire epic, “The Queen of Darkness” (re-released as “Stargazer” in 2011). His articles, fiction, and reviews have appeared in such publication as “The Stygian Vortex”, “The Gnostic Journal”, “Houston Public News”, “The Extreme”, “The Cimmerian Journal”, “Examiner” and many others. He lives in the lawful dystopia of Chicago with his family, patiently waiting for the beginning of the world.

Miguel’s website is: http://www.thegodabovegod.com

Where Aeon Byte broadcasts and blog: http://www.aeonbytegnosticradio.com

Voices of Gnosticism Homepage: http://voicesofgnosticism.blogspot.com

Stargazer Novel homepage: http://stargazervampirenovel.blogspot.com

10 Questions with Miguel Conner: Question One

Indeed you’ve read the title correct my friends, this post is only question one of The Magical Buffet’s patent pending ten question interview. Why only one question today? To put it bluntly, because I’m a jerk. Here’s why….

I got an email from Miguel Conner, host of “Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio”, the only topical and guest radio show on Gnosticism. He asked if I had any interest in his new book ” Voices of Gnosticism”, to which I responded, “Hecks yeah” (or perhaps something a bit more professional). After reading the book (So good! Buy it now!), I asked if he would be willing to do a 10 questions interview for The Magical Buffet, to which he responded, “Awwwww yeah” (or perhaps something a bit more professional).

So, how does that make me a jerk? It seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement, what jerk-like qualities are there to this? Well, the very first question I asked in the interview was, “Can you define for my readers what Gnosticism is? I’ll admit that I have a difficult time trying to come up with a brief definition that makes sense to someone who has never encountered it before.”

Miguel knew it wasn’t an easy request, and I knew it too….and it’s why I asked. See? Jerk.

However, my jerk-ish question yielded a wonderful, insightful, and entertaining response….that was two pages long. Thus far I’ve never edited down an interview, and I have no intention of ever doing that, especially to such an important answer. Consider this the background for the rest of the interview. And stay tuned because the other nine answers are not to be missed!

1. Can you define for my readers what Gnosticism is? I’ll admit that I have a difficult time trying to come up with a brief definition that makes sense to someone who has never encountered it before.

Gnosticism is probably harder to define than most religions because it’s still an academic field with vast uncharted territory; and then there is the problem of wading through the oceans of romantic misinformation that both mainstream and occult faiths have drowned the Gnostic ideology in. The Gnostics also loved to push the boundaries of both theology and philosophy–even creating parodies sometimes for their amusement—to the point they shrouded themselves in a cloud of mystery (even if they were actually very open about their belief systems). One thing you can be sure of—if the ink on a scripture was barely dry, the Gnostics would rewrite it; if a mythology or religious narrative was just spoken of, the Gnostics would deconstruct and reconstruct the plot; and if a dogma was conceived, the Gnostics would immediately reinterpret it. And often all three at once!

Stevan Davies, on our interview in Voices of Gnosticism, perhaps gives the best short answer:

“Gnosticism is about discovering the way that God has turned into you, and then realizing that if you can describe how it is that God turned into you, you can reverse the process.”

In his excellent book, The Secret Book of John: Annotated & Explained, Davies further describes Gnosticism as “developmental psychology, a descriptive Middle Platonic philosophy, and a cosmic mythology all rolled into one.”

To wit, unlike most faiths that urge one to find transcendence in the now or salvation in the future, the Gnostics contended that one had to voyage deep into inner and outer origins to either correct certain spiritual traumas or find missed doorways into the timeless dimensions. They believed the greatest origin was, of course, the Godhead. I think the Gnostics would agree with Tom Robbins who wrote “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Although ancient heretics would call it being resurrected into a Christ while still in the flesh, as the Gospel of Philip states. The Gospel of Thomas also puts the Gnostic ethos in good perspective:

The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us, how will our end come?”
Jesus said, “Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is the end will be. Blessed is he who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death.”

Now the longer answer will be more complicated, and one has to bear in mind that there were many Gnostic schools of thought in history whose doctrines varied. Yet there is a framework that takes time to discern for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, as Jesus often declares in Gnostic scriptures.

So put on your theological seat belts, here we go:

The Gnostics posited that there was an ultimate existence beyond Heaven and Earth, a primal consciousness that detonated in awareness and rippled out in self-understanding. This Big Bang of supernal imagination and creativity is usually referred to as the Pleroma, the Eternal Realm or the Treasury of Light. The biology of the Pleroma (“fullness” in Greek) consists of Aeons, which although anthropomorphized in their mythos are better understood as modes of thought, firing synapses, or the circuitry of a transmundane motherboard. The Aeons owned such titles as Truth, Love, Forethought, Incorruptibility, etc.

At some point, there is a glitch in the divine mind, a sort of pre-Creation Creation. The severity can fall between something cute, like the Aeon Reason falling in love with and literally bungee divine into the lower realms, to an outright cosmic cataclysm, like universe imploding during God’s first attempt as portrayed in some Kabbalistic traditions. The most prominent cosmology is the fall of the Aeon Sophia (“wisdom” in Greek). The exact details vary depending on the scripture; but she commits the sin of desire, breaking from the harmony of the divine mind and thus plunging into the Void or Chaos. Sophia either becomes pregnant with or tries to hide her negative emotions. The end result is an abortion known as Yaldabaoth or the Demiurge, which the Gnostics commonly equated with the God of the Old Testament. Sophia’s unruly spawn doesn’t waste much time after inventing time, manufacturing his own Bizarro Aeons known as Archons (Greek for “rulers”, but more akin to godlike TSA-agents with very bad dispositions). Then they cut a lot of corners and take long union breaks in order to fashion this wonderful universe The true God has lost his wisdom and wisdom is lost somewhere in a galactic Kennedy airport…who you gonna call?

Whether by the effects of the celestial mind-fart in the Pleroma or by a rescue operation hatched by Sophia to redeem herself, slivers of her essence are mingled into the material world. These Divine Spark, as they are often referred to, generally are housed in humans; although some Gnostic sects believed every living and even unliving thing contained the Divine Spark. The problem is that because of the good cop/bad cop routine of Yaldabaoth and his Archons we have forgotten our ambrosial heritage. Instead of igniting our Divine Spark in order to overcome the powers of darkness and too many astral travel regulations, we have come to believe we’re just overdeveloped apes. In Gnosticism, ignorance in all its forms is considered the greatest of sins and conditions.

From an ethereal borderland, Sophia sings to our Divine Sparks to kindle bright so that we may remember where our true home lies and how to defeat Yaldabaoth. At the same time, the Pleroma sends Aeons clothed in mammal skins–Jesus Christ and Hermes Trismegistus being two of the most exalted ones–who descend into matter to remove the shackles of ignorance with their teachings. This is gnosis, which in Greek means “knowledge”, yet is more akin to a slow-burn acquaintance with the divine mind. Gnosis is taking the Red Pill. Gnosis is discovering you’re in The Truman Show and it’s time to find a more authentic reality. Gnosis is realizing you’ve been incepted and you better get out of the dream within the dream, and into complete wakefulness.

The battle lines are drawn—Sophia, the Aeons wearing mammal skins, and awoken humans on one side; the Demiurge, the archons, and ignorant humans on the other. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!

About Miguel Conner:
Miguel Conner is host of “Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio”, the only topical and guest radio show on Gnosticism and its brethren in mystical heresy, ancient and modern. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, popular, and Philip K. Dick-ish vampire epic, “The Queen of Darkness” (re-released as “Stargazer” in 2011). His articles, fiction, and reviews have appeared in such publication as “The Stygian Vortex”, “The Gnostic Journal”, “Houston Public News”, “The Extreme”, “The Cimmerian Journal”, “Examiner” and many others. He lives in the lawful dystopia of Chicago with his family, patiently waiting for the beginning of the world.

Miguel’s website is: http://www.thegodabovegod.com

Where Aeon Byte broadcasts and blog: http://www.aeonbytegnosticradio.com

Voices of Gnosticism Homepage: http://voicesofgnosticism.blogspot.com

Stargazer Novel homepage: http://stargazervampirenovel.blogspot.com