Women of Spirit:
Wisdom from Alternative Christian & Non-Christian Western Spiritualit

Timothy Conway (Compiler / Editor)

© Copyright 1992, 2017 by Timothy Conway



Mother Ann Lee; Margaret Fell; Elizabeth Fry; Hannah Whitall Smith; Mary Baker Eddy; Emma Curtis Hopkins ; Helena Petrovna Blavatsky; Annie Besant; Katharine Tingley; Flower Newhouse; Dhyani Ywahoo; Brooke Medicine Eagle; Maria Sabina; Gail Tremblay; Jane Roberts; Starhawk; Eileen Caddy; Shakti Gawain.

*** Women of Alternative Christian Movements ***

Margaret Fell (1614-1702; Quaker; England):


     We are the people of the living God, and God hath visited us and brought us out in an acceptable day of salvation... and he hath shined from the throne of his glory in our hearts in his spiritual light, and given us the true knowledge of himself in the face and image of Jesus Christ.  He hath made us partakers of his divine nature, and he hath given us his good and holy Spirit to lead us and to guide us into all truth in all things.

     Now, dear Friends, brethren and sisters, let us all beware of limiting the Holy One of Israel, or tampering with anything contrary to this holy Spirit; for the grace of God is sufficient to teach us to deny all ungodliness and unrighteousness, and will teach us to live holily and righteously unto God and his truth in this present evil world; and let us beware meddling with the things of God, otherwise than his spirit leads and guides.  Now there is a spirit got up amongst Friends in some places, that would make and model in their imaginations, in leading of Friends into things outwardly, which our Lord Jesus Christ never commanded.  For he always testified against the Jews’ [i.e., the Pharisees’] manner of making and prescribing of things outwardly [e.g., rules about various little things not to avoid], for his testimony is in every heart to work inwardly...

     So let us beware of imitating and fashioning after the ... [Pharisees’] manner in outward things and ceremonies.  For though it be said in Scripture that his people should dwell alone [away from other tribes], that was in the time under the law, when he had chosen them out of all the families of the earth...

     But now our blessed Lord is come, and it’s but a small thing for him to gather together the tribes of Israel and the dispersed of Judah.  He is also given for a light to the Gentiles and to be for salvation to the ends of the earth: he would have all be saved, and to come to the knowledge of his blessed truth: and he testified against the Pharisees ... [who] said, I am more holy than thee.  Let us beware of this [tendency], of separating or looking upon ourselves to be more holy than indeed and in truth we are.  For what are we, but what we have received from God?  And God is all-sufficient to bring in thousands into the same spirit and light, to lead and guide them as he doth us. ...

     Away with these whimsical narrow imaginations [which legislate that we should not attend other people’s feasts and religious ceremonies], and let the Spirit of God which he hath given us lead us and guide us: and let us stand fast in that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and not be entangled again into bondage in observing prescriptions, in outward things, which will not profit nor cleanse the inward man.  It is the work of Christ Jesus in this his day, and by this let everyone do as they are persuaded in their own minds...

     For now it’s now gone forty-seven years since we [Friends] owned the truth, and all ... has gone well and peaceably till now of late, that this narrowness and strictness is entering in, [so] that many cannot tell what to do or not do. ...

     It’s good for Friends of our country to leave these things to the Lord, who is become our leader, teacher, and guider... For one Friend says one way, and another another; but Christ Jesus saith that we must take no thought what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or what we shall put on... [Against those who were trying to compel all Friends to dress the same way:]  This is a silly poor gospel!  It is more fit for us to be covered with God’s eternal Spirit, and clothed with his eternal Light, which leads us and guides us into righteousness, and to live righteously and justly and holily ... This is the clothing that God puts upon us, and likes, and will bless.  This will make our light shine forth before men, that they may glorify our heavenly Father which is in Heaven... [1]




Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845; Quaker; England):


Look up to true religion as the very first of blessings, cherish it, nourish and let it flourish and bloom in ... [the] heart; it wants taking care of, it is difficult to obtain.


[Concerning her prison work:]  Much depends on the spirit in which the visitor enters upon her work.  It must be in the spirit, not of judgment, but of mercy.  She must not say in her heart “I am more holy than thou,” but must rather keep in perpetual remembrance that “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”


[In 1843, writing to one of her daughters:] My dear Rachel—I can say one thing: since my heart was touched at seventeen years old, I believe I never have awakened from sleep, in sickness or in health, by day or by night, without my first waking thought being how best I might serve my Lord.


[1844:]  My life has been one of great vicissitude: mine has been a hidden path, hidden from every human eye.  I have had deep humiliations and sorrows to pass through.  I can truly say I have “wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way, and found no city to dwell in”; and yet how wonderfully I have been sustained.  I have passed through many and great dangers, many ways—I have been tried with the applause of the world, and none know how great a trial that has been, and the deep humiliations of it; and yet I fully believe it is not nearly so dangerous as being made much of in religious society.  There is a snare even in religious unity, if we are not on the watch.  I have sometimes felt that it was not so dangerous to be made much of in the world, as by those whom we think highly of in our own Society [of Friends]: the more I have been made much of by the world, the more I have been inwardly humbled. [2]




Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911; Quaker; U.S.-England):


[Excerpts from her correspondences with female Quaker friends and family:]

[Discussing with a friend her own great fame as a preacher:] And now, WHAT does thee think of it all?  I think one of two things, but which one I think I don’t know.  Perhaps thee can tell me.  Either I was awfully wicked in the whole matter [the preaching], and God was not in it anywhere, and all the success was by force of natural gifts and talents. Or else I was awfully good, so good as to have lost sight of self to such a degree as to be only a straw wafted on the wind of the Spirit, and so consecrated as not to be able to form a desire even, except that the will of God might be fully done.

     I waver about myself continually.  Sometimes I feel sure I have progressed wonderfully, and that my present sphinx-like calm and indifference to everything whether inward or outward except the will of God is very grand.  And then again I think I am an utterly irreligious and lazy fatalist, with not a spark of the divine in me.  I do wish I could find out which I am. But at all events, my orthodoxy has fled to the winds.  I am Broad, Broader, Broadest!  So broad that I believe everything is good, or has a germ of good in it, and “nothing to be refused,” if it be received with thankfulness.

     I agree with everybody, and always think it likely everybody’s “view” is better than my own.  I hold all sorts of heresies, and feel myself to have gout out into a limitless ocean of the love of God that overflows all things.  My theology is complete, if you but grant me an omnipotent and just Creator I need nothing more.  All the tempests in the various religious teapots around me do seem so far off... “God is love,” comprises my whole system of ethics.  And, as thou says, it seems to take in all.  There is certainly a very grave defect in any doctrine that universally makes its holders narrow and uncharitable, and this is always the case with strict so-called orthodoxy.  Whereas, as soon as Christian love comes in, the bounds widen infinitely. 


The nearer we seek to approach our God, and the more we try to please Him, the greater our dangers!  That is not _sad_, since it is His arrangement, but very perplexing. ... He means us to be good human beings in this world, nothing more.


This sentence expresses my Theology in a few words: “It is enough to know that God’s responsibility is irrevocable, and His resources limitless.”  This covers the whole ground of my heresies.  By-the-bye, when I say it is foolish to try to be pious when God only wants us to be happy, I mean of course by pious that side of religion that consists in emotions and pious feelings and religious performance.  I do not mean being good. Good we must be, or we cannot be happy, but some of the very best people I know are not pious at all.  They are just plain commonplace good; and to be good is necessarily to be happy.  There is no happiness in the world equal to the happiness of being good.


Dear friend, I have felt inclined to give thee a word of admonition, in noticing the recurrence again of thy old trouble of self-analysis and self-reflection.  Thy inward dryness and barrenness, which so often trouble thee, are simply after all moods of feeling that may arise from a thousand surrounding causes of health, or weather, or good or bad news of outward things; and they have no more to do with the real attitude of thy soul toward God, than a headache does, or a fit of indigestion.


As to “ups and downs,” beloved, don’t thee know that I am of the kind who never have any?  My path seems to lie along a sort of dead level arrangement, that is very comfortable, but not at all glorious.  My whole experience seems to be hopelessly commonplace always... The glamour of the fanaticism will not get into my life, do what I may.  I see its heights, but cannot scale them, and have to intrude on in the homely old ways, like a poor stupid ox.  I cannot even get any inward voices and never could. ... With the exception of that affair of novel-reading, I do not find myself “called” into anything nor out of anything.  Even my Christian work comes to me in commonplace ways, and with none of the romance of Quaker “concerns.”  I expect the poetry of mysticism is not for me, and I have got to plod on in the prose of commonplace life always.


The loneliness thou speaks of I know.  For do not think, darling, that it is confined to unmarried people.  It is just as real in lives that have plenty of human ties, husbands, and children and friends.  It is the loneliness of this world life, the loneliness of hearts that are made for union with God, but which have not yet fully realized it.  I believe it is inseparable from humanity.  I believe God has ordained it in the very nature of things by creating us for Himself alone.  And I believe He very rarely allows any human love to be satisfying, just that this loneliness may drive us to Him. ... Sometimes God permits a little taste of a satisfying love to a human being [for another human being], but I do not believe it ever lasts long.  I do not mean that the love may not last, but separation comes in some way, and the perfect satisfaction is taken out of it.  Now, darling, thy loneliness is not only because thou art unmarried and hast no very close human ties, it is the loneliness of a heart made for God but which has not yet reached its full satisfaction in Him.  Human love might for awhile satisfy thee, but it would not last.

     If thou can only see this and settle down to it, it will help thee very much.  Thou wilt give up, as I have, any expectation of finding satisfaction in the creature, and will no longer suffer with disappointing at not finding it.  Thee will accept it as a God-given blessing meant only to drive thee to Himself. 


If I were with thee, my precious child, I would make thee give up all future self-reflective acts.  By this I mean all thinking over either they successes or thy failures.  The moment the action is passed, forget it, and pass on to the next. ... It is the rule of my life never to think over my past action.  This saves me all temptations to self-elation, and all temptations to discouragement, and enables me to live continually in the present moment with God.


[To her daughter:]  I wish I could give thee my philosophy of life which has carried me through my 70 years without any serious quarrels with anyone, and has given me the universal reputation of being a peacemaker.  Even through all the mazes of theological controversy, which is quite [a] quarrelsome matter... I always managed to be at peace with my opponents, and I cannot remember ever having had what I considered an enemy, although others might have thought I ought to have considered them as such.  And as a fact some of my apparently worst enemies have become in the end my warmest friends.  I came across a book that taught that the true secret of the philosophy of Jesus was to become a King by being the Servant of all, and it carried such profound conviction to my soul that I have always tried to act on it.  It struck me as being not so much religion as the most profound common-sense.  And such it has proved to be throughout my whole life.  Even through all the fights in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the British Women’s, it has worked with almost magical power.


Instead of its being meritorious on the part of anyone to believe in the God of the New Testament, it is the greatest piece of self-indulgence possible, for there is no comfort in the universe to equal it....


[To her granddaughter:] I cannot help feeling that to be without any real faith in God, and without knowing of His love and care, is an irreparable loss to the soul, and to all the higher nature; and opens the door to miseries and unhappiness that could not possibly enter into a heart that hides itself in the keeping of a loving God.  Don’t shut thyself out too determinedly against what long years of experience have taught me is by far the purest joy our hearts can hold.  At least, darling Ray, keep an open mind, and listen to the still small voice of God that I am sure speaks to thy inner self.  To His loving care I commit thee, and, even though thee may not yet thyself know Him, He will always surround thee with His love. Have you not begun to feel dimly conscious of the voice of God speaking to you, in the depths of your soul...?  Has it not been a pain and a distress to you of late to discover how full your lives are of self?  ... Have you not begun to feel uneasy with some of your habits of life, and to wish that you could do differently in certain respects?  Have not the paths of devotedness and of service begun to open out before you, with the longing thought, “Oh that I could walk in them!”  All these questions and doubts and this inward yearning are the voice of the Good Shepherd in your heart, seeing to call you out of that which is contrary to His will.  Let me entreat of you not to turn away from His gentle pleadings!  You little know the sweet paths into which He means to lead you by these very steps, nor the wonderful stores of blessedness that lie at their end, or you would spring forward with an eager joy to yield to every one of His requirements. The heights of Christian perfection can only be reached by each moment faithfully following the Guide who is to lead you there; and He reveals the way to us one step at a time, in the little things of our daily lives, asking only on our part that we yield ourselves up to His guidance.  Be perfectly pliable then in His dear hands, to go where He entices you, and to turn away from all from which He makes you shrink.  Obey Him perfectly the moment you are sure of His will; and you will soon find that He is leading you out swiftly and easily into such a wonderful life of conformity to Himself that it will be a testimony to all around you, beyond what you yourself will ever know. 


[Probably speaking of herself:] I knew a soul thus given up to follow the Lord whithersoever He might lead her, who in a very little while traveled from the depths of darkness and despair, into the realization and actual experience of a most blessed union with the Lord Jesus Christ. ... He began to speak to her by His Spirit in her heart, suggesting to her some little acts of service for Him, and troubling her about certain things in her habits and her life, showing her where she was selfish and un-Christlike, and how she could be transformed. ...Her swift obedience was rewarded by a rapid progress, and day by day she was conformed more and more to the image of Christ, until very soon her life became such a testimony to those around her that some even who had begun by opposing and disbelieving were forced to acknowledge that it was of God, and were won to a similar surrender. ... Her Lord was able to reveal to her wondering soul some of the deepest secrets of His love, and to fulfill to her the marvelous promise of Acts 1:5 by giving her to realize the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Think you she has ever regretted her whole-hearted following of Him?  Or that aught but thankfulness and joy can ever fill her soul when she reviews the steps by which her feet have been led to this place of wondrous blessedness, even though some of them may have seemed at time hard to take?  Ah, dear soul, if thou wouldst know a like blessing abandon thyself, like her, to the guidance of thy divine Master, and shrink from no surrender for which He may call.




Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910; Christian Science; U.S.):


My first plank in the platform of Christian Science is as follows:  “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.  All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.  Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error.  Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal.  Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness.  Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” (M 21) [2]


The prophets, Jesus, and the apostles, demonstrated a divine intelligence that subordinates so-called material laws; and disease, death, winds, and waves, obey this intelligence.  Was it Mind or matter that spoke in creation, “and it was done”?  The answer is self-evident, and the command remains, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  It is plain that the Me spoken of in the First Commandment, must be Mind; for matter is not the Christian’s God, and is not intelligent. ... Reason and revelation declare that God is both noumenon and phenomena,—the first and only cause.  The universe, including man, is not a result of atomic action, material force or energy; it is not organized dust.  God, Spirit, Mind, are terms synonymous for the one God, who reflection is creation, and man is His image and likeness. ... All must be Mind and Mind’s ideas; since, according to natural science, God, Spirit, could not change its species and evolve matter.  These facts enjoin the First Commandment; and knowledge of them makes man spiritually minded.  St. Paul writes: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  This knowledge came to me in an hour of great need; and I give it to you as death-bed testimony to the daystar that dawned on the night of material sense.  This knowledge is practical, for it wrought my immediate recovery from an injury caused by an accident, and pronounced fatal by the physicians. ... The healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed. That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence.  I learned that mortal thought evolves a subjective state which it names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit.  Per contra, Mind and man are immortal; and knowledge gained from mortal sense is illusion, error, the opposite of Truth; therefore it cannot be true.  A knowledge of both good and evil (when good is God, and God is All) is impossible. ... That there is but one God or Life, one cause and one effect, is the multum in parvo of Christian Science; and to my understanding it is the heart of Christianity, the religion that Jesus taught and demonstrated.  In divine Science, it is found that matter is a phase of error, and that neither one really exists, since God is Truth and All-in-all. (M 23-5)


Now I ask, Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? (S 250)


Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living is the Life divine... (S 14)


Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things.  Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? (S 264)


Jesus’ only medicine was omnipotent and omniscient Mind. (M 25)


The theories I combat are these: (1) that all is matter; (2) that matter originates in Mind, and is as real as Mind, possessing intelligence and life. ... One only of the following statements can be true: (1) that everything is matter; (2) that everything is Mind.  Which one is it?  Matter and Mind are opposites. ... If one is real, the other must be unreal. (S 269-70)


Infinite Mind is the creator, and creation is the infinite image or idea emanating from this Mind.  If Mind is within and without all things, then all is Mind; and this definition is scientific. ... The theory that Spirit [Mind] is not the only substance and creator is pantheistic heterodoxy, which ultimates in sickness, sin, and death; it is the belief in a bodily soul and a material mind, a soul governed by the body and a mind in matter. This belief is shallow pantheism. (S 256-7)


Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is the only power.  God is the infinite, and infinity never began, will never end, and includes nothing unlike God.  Whence then is soulless matter? ... Mortal existence is a dream; mortal existence has no real entity, but saith, “It is I.”  Spirit is the Ego [the true, infinite “I”] which never dreams, but understands all things; which never errs, and is ever conscious; which never believes, but knows; which is never born and never dies.  Spiritual man is the likeness of this Ego.  Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God. (S 249-50)


Man is deathless, spiritual.  He is above sin or frailty.  He does not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but he coexists with God and the universe. (S 266)


The realm of the real is Spirit.  The unlikeness of Spirit is matter, and the opposite of the real is not divine,—it is a human concept. (S 277)


To all that is unlike unerring and eternal Mind, this Mind saith, “Thou shalt surely die;” and elsewhere the Scripture says that dust returns to dust.  The non-intelligent relapses into its own unreality. (S 277)


Material sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and says: I am wholly dishonest, and no man knoweth it.  I can cheat, lie, commit adultery, rob, murder, and I elude detection by smooth-tongued villainy. ... I mean to make my short span of life one gala day.  What a nice thing is sin! ... The world is my kingdom.  I am enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter. ... [But] all my fancied joys are fatal.  Like bursting lava, I expand but to my own despair, and shine with the resplendency of consuming fire. 

     Spirit, bearing opposite testimony, saith:  I am Spirit.  Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness.  He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity.  The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory,—all are Mine, for I am God.  I give immortality to man, for I am Truth.  I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love.  I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life.  I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind.  I am the substance of all, because I AM THAT I AM.

     I hope, dear reader, I am leading you into the understanding of your divine rights, your heaven-bestowed harmony,—that as you read, you see there is no cause (outside of erring, mortal, material sense which is not power) able to make you sick or sinful; and I hope that you are conquering this false sense. (S 252-3)


If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter.  Now reverse this action.  Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality.  Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionately to their occupancy of your thoughts. ... If one turns away from the body with such absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain. ... Detach sense from the body, or matter, which is only a form of human belief, and you may learn the meaning of God, or good, and the nature of the immutable and immortal.  Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity.  Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being... (S 260-1)


Matter has no life to lose, and Spirit never dies. ... Matter did not originate in God, Spirit, and is not eternal.  Therefore matter is neither substantial, living, nor intelligent.  The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle. (S 275)


When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.  Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.  Matter disappears under the microscope of Spirit. ... When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God’s creation,—all the glories of earth and heaven and man.  The universe is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science.  Man is the offspring, not of the lowest, but of the highest qualities of Mind. ... Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual,—they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite,—in order that sin and mortality may be put off. (S 264-5)


Having one God, one Mind, unfolds the power that heals the sick... When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: “Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God. (S 277)


If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in [to the Spirit].  He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. (S 21)


Prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth. (S 11)


The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things ... To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed.  Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.  In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door [i.e., find quiet and solitude].  We must close the lips and silence the material senses.  In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness.  We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with hones hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love.  We must “pray without ceasing.” ... Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers.  Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings. (S 15)


When we learn in Science how to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, thought is turned into new and healthy channels,—towards the contemplation of things immortal and away from materiality to the Principle of the universe, including harmonious man. (S 276)


Human philosophy has made God manlike.  Christian Science makes man Godlike. (S 269)


The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM.  “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.” (S 256)


Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage. ... He did life’s work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals,—to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility. ... The atonement of Christ reconciles man to God, not God to man. ... Atonement is the exemplification of man’s unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love. ... If the sinner continues to pray and repent, sin and be sorry, he has little part in the atonement,—in the at-one-ment with God,—for he lacks the practical repentance, which reforms the heart and enables man to do the will of wisdom. ... If living in disobedience to Him, we ought to feel no security, although God is good. (S 18-19)


If we desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything for it. (S 11)


How empty are our conceptions of Deity!  We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite, and then we try to give information to this infinite Mind.  We plead for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of benefactions.  Are we really grateful for the good already received?  Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.  Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks.  Action expresses more gratitude than speech. (S 3)


Do I believe in a personal God?  I believe in God as the Supreme Being.  I know not what the person of omnipotence and omnipresence is, or what the infinite includes; therefore, I worship that of which I can conceive, first, as a loving Father and Mother; then as thought ascends the scale of being to diviner consciousness, God becomes to me, as to the apostle who declared it, “God is Love”—divine Principle—which I worship... (M 96)


Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man. (S 256)


It is generally conceded that God is ... eternal, self-created, infinite.  If this is so, the forever Father must have had children prior to Adam. The great I AM made all “that was made.”  Hence man and the spiritual universe coexist with God. (S 267)


God is Love.  Can we ask Him to be more?  God is intelligence.  Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend?  Do we expect to change perfection?  Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept? ... God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and love. (S 2)


The mere habit of pleading with the divine Mind, as one pleads with a human being, perpetuates the belief in God as humanly circumscribed—an error which impedes spiritual growth. (S 2)


If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and fears which attend such a belief, and so we cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infinite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible.  Because of human ignorance of the divine Principle, Love, the Father of all is represented as a corporeal creator; hence men recognize themselves as merely physical, and are ignorant of man as God’s image or reflection and of man’s eternal incorporeal existence.  The world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth,—blind to the reality of man’s existence... If we are sensibly with the body and regard omnipotence as a corporeal, material person, whose ear we would gain, we are not “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” in the demonstration of Spirit.  We cannot “serve two masters.”  To be “present with the Lord” is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science.  To be “with the Lord” is to be ... absolutely governed by divine Love,—by Spirit, not by matter. (S 13-14)


The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love. (S 1)


The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.  Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.  They are the sign of Immanuel, or “God with us”,—a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime. (S xi)


How is healing done in Christian Science? ... It is not one mind acting upon another mind; it is not the transference of human images of thought to other minds... it is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.  It is Christ come to destroy the power of the flesh; it is Truth over error; that understood, gives man ability to rise above the evidence of the senses, take hold of the eternal energies of Truth, and destroy mortal discord with immortal harmony,—the grand verities of being.  It is not one mortal thought transmitted to another’s thought from the human mind that holds within itself all evil. ... Christian Science is not a remedy of faith alone, but combines faith with understanding, through which we may touch the hem of His garment; and know that omnipotence has all power.  “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.” (M 97)


Matter and its claims of sin, sickness, and death are contrary to God, and cannot emanate from Him.  There is no material truth. ... Divine Science reverses the false testimony of the material senses. ... The so-called laws of matter and of medical science have never made mortals whole, harmonious, and immortal.  Man is harmonious when governed by Soul.  Hence the importance of understanding the truth of being, which reveals the laws of spiritual existence. ... Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to material laws.  His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material sense or law. (S 273)


A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts.  Sickness, disease, and death proceed from fear. (S 260)


The Scriptures say:  “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive.  In this case infinite Love will not grant the request. (S 10)


The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the ascending path of many a heart.  The pains of sense quickly inform us that the pleasures of sense are mortal and that joy is spiritual.  The pains of sense are salutary, if they wrench away false pleasurable beliefs and transplant the affections from sense to Soul, where the creations of God are good, “rejoicing the heart.”  Such is the sword of Science, with which Truth decapitates error, materiality giving place to man’s higher [spiritual] individuality and destiny. (S 265-6)


Spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for “man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” ... Thus He teaches mortals to lay down their fleshliness and gain spirituality.  This is done through self-abnegation.  Universal Love is the divine way in Christian Science. ... Mortals must follow Jesus’ sayings and his demonstrations, which dominate the flesh. (S 266)


The Divine Being must be reflected by man,—else man is not the image and likeness of the patient, tender, and true, the One “altogether lovely”; but to understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire. (S 3)


What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.  To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said, “I ye love me, keep my commandments.” (S 4)


The longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.  We reach the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine nature. ... Silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout obedience enable us to follow Jesus’ example.  Long prayers, superstition, and creeds clip the strong pinions of love, and clothe religion in human forms.  Whatever materializes worship hinders man’s spiritual growth and keeps him from demonstrating his power over error. (S 4)


[Against emotionalism in religion:]  A self-satisfied ventilation of fervent sentiments never makes a Christian. (S 7)


Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord’s Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick. (S 16)


Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step.  The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity,—namely, reformation. (S 5)


Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin. ... If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is cancelled, and that man is made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil.  He grows worse who continues in sin because he fancies himself forgiven. (S 5)


Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it out. ... The only civil sentence which he had for error was, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” (S 6-7)


We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.  If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the rebuke and credit what is said? ... During many years the author has been most grateful for merited rebuke.  The wrong lies in unmerited censure,—in the falsehood which does no one any good. (S 8-9)


The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions:  Do we love our neighbor better because of the asking?  Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? (S 9)


Dost thou “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”?  This command includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship. ... Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth... Why make long prayers about it and ask to be Christians, since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our dear Master?  If unwilling to follow his example, why pray with the lips that you may be partakers of his nature?  Consistent prayer is the desire to do right.  Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps... Until we are thus divinely qualified and are willing to drink his cup [of self-sacrifice], millions of vain repetitions will never pour into prayer the unction of Spirit in demonstration of power and “with signs following.” (S 9-10)


Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love—the kingdom of heaven—reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear. (S 248)



*** Women of NoChristian Movements ***

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-91; Theosophy; Russia-U.K.-U.S.-India):


Theosophy is Divine Knowledge or Science. (K 1) [3]


The three chief objects of the Theosophical Society ... are[:]  1) To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, colour, or creed.  2) To promote the study of the world’s religion and sciences, and to vindicate the importance of old Asiatic literature, namely, of the Brahmanical [Vedantin], Buddhist, and Zoroastrian philosophies.  3) To investigate the hidden mysteries of Nature under every aspect possible, and the psychic and spiritual powers latent in man especially. (K 24)


The Society has no wisdom of its own to support or teach.  It is simply the storehouse of all the truths uttered by the great seers, initiates, and prophets of historic and even prehistoric ages... Therefore, it is merely the channel through which more or less of truth, found in the accumulated utterances of humanity’s great teachers, is poured out into the world. (K 32)


The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. (S xxix)


Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens.  It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever-Unknowable. (S xxvi)


We believe in a Universal Divine Principle, the root of ALL, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Being. (K 36)


The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:—

a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude.  It is beyond the range and reach of thought—in the words of the Mandukya Upanishad, “unthinkable and unspeakable.” ... [This PRINCIPLE, the Brahman or Parabrahman, and its emanations may be outlined in the following way:]

1) THE ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.

2) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the “manifested.”  This is the “First Cause,” the “Unconscious” of European Pantheists.

3) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the “Spirit of the Universe,” the Purusha and Prakriti, or the second Logos.

4) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called MAHA-BUDDHI.The ONE REALITY; its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe.


Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms:—

b) The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane...


Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches:—

c) The fundamental identity of all Souls within the Universal Over-Soul... and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul ... through the Cycle of Incarnation (or “Necessity”) in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law... (S 10-13)


All men [and women] have spiritually and physically the same origin, which is the fundamental teaching of Theosophy.  As mankind is essentially of one and the same essence, and that essence is one—infinite, uncreate and eternal, whether we call it God or Nature—nothing, therefore, can affect one nation or one man without affecting all other nations and all other men. ... Unless every man is brought to understand and accept as an axiomatic truth that by wronging one man we wrong not only ourselves but the whole of humanity in the long run, no brotherly feelings such as preached by the great Reformers, pre-eminently by Buddha and Jesus, are possible on earth. (K 25, 28)


[Q.: Is moral elevation, then, the principal thing insisted upon in your Society?]

Undoubtedly! ... The one self has to forget itself for the many selves. (K 30)


If the root of mankind is one, then there must also be one truth which finds expression in all the various religions. ... They are mutually complementary... the complete truth can be found only in the combined views of all, after that which is false in each of them has been sifted out... (K 27)


[Regarding the ultimate Divine Being:] Esotericism ignores both sexes.  Its highest Deity is sexless as it is formless, neither Father nor Mother; and its first manifested beings, celestial and terrestrial alike, become only gradually androgynous and finally separate into distinct sexes. (S 63)


Although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively is ... the One Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses. (S 14)


We hope to proven so far the following facts:

1) The Secret Doctrine teaches no Atheism, except in the Hindu sense of the word nastika, or the rejection of idols, including every anthropomorphic God. ...

2) It admits a Logos or a collective “Creator” of the Universe; a Demi-urgos—in the sense implied when one speaks of an “Architect” as the “Creator” of an edifice, whereas that architect has never touched one stone of it, but, while furnishing the plan, left all the manual labour to the masons; in our case the plan was furnished by the Ideation of the Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and Forces... the Dhyan-Chohans and the other forces. As to the latter—

3) They are dual in their character; being composed of a) the irrational brute Energy, inherent in matter, and b) the intelligent Soul or Cosmic Consciousness which directs and guides that energy, and which is the Dhyan-Chohanic thought reflecting the Ideation of the Universal Mind.  This results in a perpetual series of physical manifestations and moral effects on Earth... the whole being subservient to Karma.  As that process is not always perfect it still shows gaps and flaws, and even results very often in evident failures—therefore, neither the collective Host (Demiurgos) nor any of the working powers individually, are proper subjects for divine honours or worship.  The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes [i.e., Brahman], should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart—invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness.  Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their Spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.

4) Matter is Eternal.  It is the Upadhi (physical basis) for the One infinite Universal Mind to build thereon its ideations.  Therefore, the Esotericists maintain that there is no inorganic or dead matter in nature.

5) The Universe was evolved out of its ideal plan, upheld through Eternity in the Unconsciousness of that which the Vedantins call Parabrahm [Parabrahman].  This is practically identical with the conclusions of the highest Western Philosophy—“the innate, eternal, and self-existing Ideas” of Plato...

     The active Power, the “Perpetual Motion of the great Breath” only awakens Kosmos at the dawn of every new Period, setting it into motion ... and thus causing it to become objective on the plane of Illusion... [transferring] Kosmos from the plane of the Eternal Ideal into that of finite manifestation, or from the Noumenal to the phenomenal plane.  Everything that is, was and will be, eternally IS, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form.  They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity, and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections. (S 122-3)


We believe in no creation, but in the periodical and consecutive appearances of the universe from the subjective on to the objective plane of being, at regular intervals of time, covering periods of immense duration. (K 50)


[What] you regard as the objective material universe, we consider as a temporary illusion and nothing else.  That alone which is eternal is real.  [Q: At that rate, you and I are illusions.]  As flitting personalities, today one person, tomorrow another—we are.  ... Whether by radiation or emanation—we need not quarrel over terms—the universe passes out of its homogenous subjectivity on to the first plane of manifestation, of which planes there are seven.  With each plane it becomes more dense and material until it reaches this, our plane, ... which [is] the only world approximately known and understood in its physical composition by science. ... [Q: But what are your data for this assertion?]  What science in general will never accept as proof—the cumulative testimony of an endless series of Seers who have testified to this fact. (K 51-2)


We believe in an unerring law of Retribution, called KARMA, which asserts itself in a natural concatenation of causes and their unavoidable results. (K 86)


The only decree of Karma—an eternal and immutable decree—is absolute Harmony in the world of matter as it is in the world of Spirit.  It is not, therefore, Karma that rewards or punishes, but it is we, who reward or punish ourselves according to whether we work with, through and along with nature, abiding by the laws on which that Harmony depends, or—break them. (S 147)


Intimately, or rather indissolubly, connected with Karma ... is the law of Re-birth, or of the re-incarnation of the same spiritual individuality in a long, almost interminable, series of personalities.  The latter are like the various costumes and characters played by the same actor... The inner, or real Man, who personates those characters, knows the whole time that he is Hamlet for the brief space of a few acts, which represent, however, on the plane of human illusion, the whole life of Hamlet.  And he knows that he was, the night before, King Lear, the transformation in his turn of the Othello of a still earlier preceding night; but the outer, visible character is supposed to be ignorant of the fact.  In actual life that ignorance is, unfortunately, but too real.  Nevertheless, the permanent Individuality is fully aware of the fact, though, through the atrophy of the “spiritual” eye in the physical body, that knowledge is unable to impress itself on the consciousness of the false personality. (S 223)


Our God within us, or “our Father in Secret” is what we call the “HIGHER SELF,” Atma.  Our incarnating Ego was a God in its origin, as were all the primeval emanations of the One Unknown Principle.  But since its “fall into Matter,” having to incarnate throughout the cycle, in succession, from first to last, it is no longer a free and happy god, but a poor pilgrim on his way to regain that which he has lost. (K 111)


Theosophy ... holds that man, being an emanation from the Unknown, yet ever present and infinite Divine Essence, his body and everything else is impermanent, hence an illusion; Spirit alone in him being the one enduring substance, and even that losing its separated individuality at the moment of its complete reunion with the Universal Spirit. ... We assert that the appearance of the permanent and one principle, Spirit, as matter is transient, and, therefore, no better than an illusion. (K 128-9)


Verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a mis-shapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in another life.  If one breaks the laws of Harmony, ... “the laws of life,” one must be prepared to fall into the chaos one has oneself produced. ... This state will last till man’s spiritual intuitions are fully opened, which will not happen before we fairly cast off our thick coats of matter; until we being acting from within, instead of ever following impulses from without; namely, those produced by our physical senses and gross selfish body.  Until then the only palliative to the evils of life is union and harmony—a Brotherhood IN ACTU, and altruism not simply in name. (S 147-8)


Woe unto those Occultists and Theosophists who, instead of crushing out the desires of the lower personal ego or physical man and saying, addressing their Higher Spiritual Ego immersed in Atma-Buddhic light, “Thy will be done, not mine,” etc., send up waves of will-power for selfish or unholy purposes!  For this is black magic, abomination, and spiritual sorcery. (K 40)


[A description of the ideal theosophical student:]  Behold the truth before you: A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for all, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher [e.g., God or one of the ascended Masters], a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH once we have placed our confidence in and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the sacred science depicts—these are the Golden Stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom. (S xvii)




Annie Besant (1847-1933; Theosophical Society; England-India):


     Theosophy does not belong to the Theosophical Society; the Theosophical Society belongs to Theosophy. What is the essence of Theosophy?  It is the fact that man, being himself divine, can know the Divinity whose life he shares.  As an inevitable corollary to this supreme truth comes the fact of the Brotherhood of Man. The divine Life is the spirit in everything that exists, from the atom to the archangel; the grain of dust could not be were God absent from it; the loftiest seraph is but a spark from the eternal Fire, which is God.  Sharers in one Life, all form one Brotherhood.  The immanence of God, the solidarity of Man, such are the basic truths of Theosophy.

     Its secondary teachings are the common teachings of all religions, living or dead; the Unity of God; the triplicity of His nature; the descent of Spirit into matter, and hence the hierarchies of intelligences, whereof humanity is one; the growth of humanity by the unfoldment of consciousness and the evolution of bodies, i.e., reincarnation; the progress of this growth under inviolable law, the law of causality, i.e., karma; the environment to this growth, the three worlds, physical, astral, and mental, or earth, the intermediate world, and heaven; the existence of divine Teachers, superhuman men. 

     All religions teach or have taught these, though from time to time one or another of these teachings may temporarily fall into the background; ever they reappear—as the doctrine of re-incarnation fell out of ecclesiastical Christianity, but is now returning to it...

     It is the mission of the Theosophical Society as a whole to spread these truths in every land, though no individual member is bound to accept any one of them; every member is left absolutely free, to study as he pleases, to accept or to reject...

     This unity of teachings among the world religions is due to the fact that they are all founded by members of the Brotherhood of divine Teachers, the custodian of the Divine Wisdom, of Theosophy.  From this Brotherhood come out, from time to time, the Founders of new religions, who ever bring with them the same teachings, but shape the form of those teachings to suit the conditions of the time, such as the intellectual stage of the people to whom They come, their type, their needs, their capacities.  The essentials are ever the same; the non-essentials vary. ... Understanding this, the Theosophical Society serves every religion within its own domain, and draws them together into a Brotherhood. ...

     In morals, Theosophy builds its teachings on the Unity, seeing in each form [each being] the expression of a common Life, and therefore the fact that what injures one injures all.  To do evil, i.e., to throw poison into the life-blood of humanity, is a crime against the Unity.  Theosophy has no code of morals, being itself the embodiment of the highest morality; it presents to its students the highest moral teachings of all religions, gathering the most fragrant blossoms from the gardens of the world-faiths.  Its Society has no code, for any code that could be generally imposed would be at the average low level of the day, and the Society seeks to raise its members above the ordinary level by ever presenting to them the highest ideals, and infusing into them the loftiest aspirations.  It leaves aside the law of Moses [based on justice] to walk in the spirit of the Buddha, of the Christ [founded in mercy].  It seeks to evolve the inner law, not to impose an outer.  Its method with its least evolved members is not expulsion, but reformation. [4]




Katherine Tingley (1847-1929; Theosophical Society; U.S.):


     It is a fact that humanity has been moving along half-asleep ever since the time when Christianity was established.  In saying this it should be remembered that true Theosophists find much in Christianity that is very beautiful, and much of this was found also in the Pagan religions; but many of the forms are not accepted.  The forms of the Christian religion were fashioned by the minds of men.  Let us not question their motives; let us assume that they did it for the benefit of humanity.  But a religion that constantly reminds one of his sins, of his mistakes, and of his weaknesses, appeals principally to the negative side of man’s nature, especially when the effort is forever repeated to have him realize that the only way by which he can be “redeemed” is by resting all hope of spiritual advancement upon faith alone or on a power outside himself.

     Let it be remembered that true Theosophists are never disposed to belittle Jesus.  We look upon him as a great Initiate; we bow to the divinity of his nature; we have learned that he was one of the few great men who, at different epochs, have arisen to a position where they have consciously known their essential divinity and have lived in it and have rejoiced in it, smiling with complete trust in it.... the saving power of the divine that was in him is in all of us, if we could only reach it, if we could only be aroused and awakened, as Jesus was, if we would look forward and accept the spiritual heritage that belongs to all humanity.

     With this conception, and with a conviction of the truth of the sacred doctrine of Reincarnation, which gives man opportunity after opportunity in his different lives, at the various stages of his progress, we can face the inmost weaknesses of our own natures with the bright picture ever before us of the godlike qualities lying hid in man.  But these must be aroused, developed, accentuated, if man is to advance in self-directed evolution....

     Today, now, this very moment, is an appropriate time for man to invoke something new and better within himself.  He cannot help others until he believes in himself.  He must know the inner quality of his divine nature; he must feel its presence constantly—its support, its inspiration. Verily, he must feel that inner urge which accentuates the fact that all men are immortal; that inner urge which makes humanity like unto a host of young gods traveling along the path to perfection. [5]




Flower Newhouse (1909-94; Christian theosophist; U.S.):


     In the Old and New Testaments, Angels were accepted as God’s Messengers.  Many are the accounts of Their annunciations, directives, blessings, and saving helpfulness.  Since the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 A.D., Christendom has suffered from the omission of teachings concerning these Selfless Servers.  So great are the spiritual beauties, gifts, and works of Angels that our early Christian Fathers feared that men might pay more attention to Angels than to Christ; therefore, for this and perhaps other reasons they eliminated a considerable amount of valuable testimony concerning these ethereal Beings and Their celestial domains.

     The Angels worship and serve Christ even as we do. They do not seek our respect or reverence, for They stress that these tributes belong to Omnipotent God.  We need to remember that, although most orthodox Christian churches do not mention or even think about Angels, They still exist and serve mankind. The truth of Their reality is a Truth forever. ...

     From childhood onwards, I have been inspired, deepened, and humbled by seeing this World of Light and its Citizenry of Angels continually and intently at work in carrying out Divine Orders pertaining to the unfoldment and progress of everything which God has made.  On three different occasions I have observed how They act to save human beings from death by accident.  In each case the individuals, who were so aided, possessed a recognition of the Reality of Angels. ...

     Human beings are recipients of Angelic benedictions or empowerments at all the vital and critical occasions of their lives.  This means that at birth, at great religious rites, at marriage, at death, as well as at other significant times, we are attended by the Shining Ones.  Angelic intervention and encouragement is given sincere aspirants who seek spiritual direction prayerfully and worthily.  Nearly every field of human endeavor, if not every field, receives mental and inspirational stimulus from Angelic Hosts.  This reality is felt especially in the field of the creative arts—in lecturing, writing, inventing, and in many other forms of public service.

     Naturally the Heavenly Hosts dwell upon much higher levels of consciousness than we do.  Every step upward we make, in actual inner growth, brings us nearer to Them and makes us more sensitive to Their Presence.  There is much we can do to increase our awareness of the Shining Ones and our receptions of Their unfailing ministries:

     1. By including Them in our accepted beliefs.

     2. By extending and expanding our knowledge of Them unceasingly.

     3. By becoming more reverent towards God and the Lord Christ, thus opening our consciousness more fully to Their frequencies.

     4. By living more sincerely and purely—welcoming Them rather than repelling Them by our radiations.

     5. By inviting, in and through the Name of Christ, Their help and strengthening.

     6. By becoming better pray-ers and meditators.

     7. By striving to live self-surrendered lives, thus letting God’s Kingdom of Light, Love, Peace and Joy come forth into fuller expression.

      Only Superior wisdom, guidance and power can lead us through world crises.  Such help can best come through Angelic Agencies that are trained not only to combat evil but to purify it.  Consciously placing our planetary affairs within the keeping of God’s pure, ministering Agents will be the means by which our humanity will be enabled to dispel the clouds of ignorance and evil, to make way for the entrance of Light, harmony, brotherhood and progress.

     We should accept this promise as literally true: “He will give His Angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”  In truth, there is scarcely an area in our evolution which is unattended by the Couriers of Heaven.

     Angels administer healing, enlightening, protecting, purifying, and renewing frequencies of God-Light to us whenever we make the conditions of reception ready for Their assistance.

     There are Angels devoted specifically to each of the seven rays, to each of the seven root races, to every one of the seven dimensions, the seven senses, and the seven initiations of illumination which men experience on their return to God [these are all theosophical concepts].

     It should be our strong desire to become Their channels that Their beneficent direction and frequencies may influence our world.

     An age will dawn when an acknowledged veneration for Angelic Hosts will be an open and emphatic part of Christian worship.  God speed this necessary awakening as those, who are spiritual pioneers at heart, reverently include this glorious Reality in their daily worship of God, the Good. [6]




Dhyani Ywahoo (contemporary; Cherokee/Tsalagi Native American; U.S.):


We Cherokee, or Tsalagi, ... trace our origins to the stars known as the Pleiades, the Seven Dancers. ... Our sacred duty [is] to instill light, to manifest good for the benefit of all beings. (1) [7]


The Ywahoo lineage was established 2,680 years ago by the “Keeper of Mysteries,” the Pale One, a great teacher whose name is spoken only in ceremonies.  When the people had forgotten their original instructions, neglected their spiritual duties, and become warlike, the Pale One came to rekindle the sacred wisdom fire.  Born in a miraculous manner, his body emitted great light; he appeared in many places at once and he spoke the language of all creatures.  The teachings of the Pale One flourished throughout the Americas.  He reestablished the building of temples and schools, reformed the priestcraft training, and gave methods for cultivating and maintaining peace within individual, family, clan, nation, and planet. ... (2)


Elo, the continuous oral and written history and philosophy of the Tsalagi people, is composed of creation stories explaining the manifestation of matter and development of living creatures; stories of right relationship and spiritual duties; specific instruction for mental and physical development; and ritual and ceremonial instructions containing sound or song formulas and methods to benefit sentient beings. ... According to Tsalagi teaching, we have spun down from the realm of Galunlati, the realm of light, through the grace of Star Woman [daughter of Asga Ya Galunlati, the father of all] falling to Earth. ... All humans may trace their roots to the mother of all, Star Woman.  Through her blessing the spark of mind was emblazoned within us as a sacred fire, that the mystery of life might be understood as the many in the One. (29-30)


From the mysterious void came forth a sound, and the sound was light, and the light was will, intention to be, born of the emptiness: “Creator Being,” fundamental tone of the universal song, underlying all manifestation. ... Will and compassion together gave birth to the fire of building intelligence, and thus was formed the sacred triangle from which all matter is derived, the Three in One.  It is a Mystery, we say.  The first “thought beings,” tla beings, carriers of mind’s pure light, existed like cells in one body, of one mind and purpose: to explore the mysteries of mind.  Coalescing along twelve vortices of activity, elemental lines of energy or force, mind took form, the One became the many.  Star Woman fell to Earth, opening the way for star beings to manifest upon Earth the light of pure mind. (9-10)


Within each human being is the potential of most clear mind, which will burn brightly as the clouds of confusion, doubt, and alienation are transformed into right action. (33)


The basis of the teaching is to infuse each moment with the three fundamental principles of intention, compassion, and doing good. (xii)


     The Pale One gave seven reminders to the people, that all might recall and honor the unity of the hoop [the circle of life]:

1. What walks, swim, flies, or creeps is in relationship; the mountains, streams, and valleys and all things are related to your thought and action.

2. What occurs around you and within you reflects your own mind and shows you the dream you are weaving.

3. Three principles of awakened mind guide enlightened action: will to see the Mystery as it is; intention to manifest one’s purpose for the benefit of all; courage to do what must be done.

4. Generosity of heart and action brings peace and abundance for all in the circle.

5. Respect for elders, clan, land, and nation inspires acts in harmony with the sacred law, good caretaking of the gifts received.

6. Action to benefit the land and the people unto seven generations shapes the consciousness of the Planetary Caretaker, dreaming those yet unborn, ever mindful of life’s unfolding.

7. To be in good relation, transforming patterns of separation, pacifying conflicting emotions, is to experience the wisdom within, still lake of Mystery.

     Arising from these teachings are the nine precepts in the Code of Right Relationship:

1. Speak only words of truth.

2. Speak only of the good qualities of others.

3. Be a confidant and carry no tales.

4. Turn aside the veil of anger to release the beauty inherent in all.

5. Waste not the bounty, and want not.

6. Honor the light in all.  Compare nothing; see all for its suchness.

7. Respect all life; cut away ignorance from one’s own heart.

8. Neither kill nor harbor thoughts of angry nature, which destroy peace like an arrow.

9. Do it now; if you see what needs doing, do it. (19-21)


Whatever our religious or philosophical views, we may each trace our roots to the Great Tree of Peace.  Whatever we call ourselves the result is the same—we are people living together on planet Earth.  In this time it is our duty to transform the obstacles of prejudice expressed as “isms.”  Let us put aside ideas of separation... The wondrous process of creation has brought forth the gift of human life, with limitless opportunities to explore its mysteries.  We in turn have responsibility to cultivate seeds of good relationship, expressing joy for the opportunity of life. ... See the potential [of each one] and call it forth.  By acknowledging the inherent perfection, the crystal song singing within each one, we may bring forth the best in our family, nation, and planet. (38)


We are relative to all living beings.  We are all in direct relationship, through our thinking, through our feeling, with the One Mind dreaming us all.  All of us may attune to and recognize the one clear light of reality through our hearts... As we are loving toward ourselves and others and hold a beauteous vision of the whole world enlightened, it shall be. ... We live in a field of mind.  We can call this Buddha mind, God mind, “What It Is.”  The Tsalagi say it is the Great Mystery, Ywahoo, “that which is unmanifest and becoming and contains within it the seed of our potential.”  We are that mind.  To come through the obscurations of consciousness that develop around attachment, fear, and doubt reveals the abundant mind as a stream in which we are all flowing.  To come again to that stream of reality is to come again to knowing yourself as mind, and to see your progress around the Medicine Wheel of life as a continuation of cause that you make in this time, in other times, in the future, and in the past.  The power of the moment is the power to see and shape our reality.  As we go around this wheel, eventually we gain an expertise and take within our hands a staff like lightning, the intuitive wisdom that recognizes the nature of reality. (192)


In Tsalagi worldview the clear face, the fire that burns in all, is seen as an ever-present essence burning in the heart of every being.  We are one in that clear light.  As we share and do things together, the face and the actions of that moment are but flickerings of the flame.  The essence blazes brightly and reflects the clear light.  This is the bounty. (186)


We have in this time an opportunity to create peace in our hearts, a peace that can resonate in every aspect of our lives.  The stilling of the mind, the seeing of one’s thought patterns, and the cultivation of those thought patterns which are lotus gems of wisdom are part of discriminating wisdom’s development.  Every aspect of life is an opportunity to see all that is, whatever one is doing, be it washing dishes, chopping wood, typing.  There is in every moment an opportunity to recognize the clear light of reality. (192)


How is it that evil comes into the world?  Evil comes, as my grandparents told me, from people having pride and thinking they have dominion over creation and others. ... In the Native tradition there is no power over, no dominion over creatures, over Earth, or over others.  We are caretakers of one another. (256)


While living in harmony with the sacred precepts and practicing generosity, one maintains a clear flow of life force.  The clear stream of life is manifest in one’s relationships to self, family, clan, nation, and the planet itself.  Obstructions to this clear stream may obscure these relationships, manifesting as confusion and disorder.  Inconsistency with one’s own life purpose is one such obstruction. ... [Others include] discord in relation to clan totem (inspiration muse) and family members, particularly one’s own parents and relatives... Desecration of the land or spirit of holy places... Breaking of commitment to keep sacred rituals and practices ... Denial of the basic code of ethics, morals, and polite formulas (manners) of one’s social group. (182-5)


Our elders taught that forgiveness was a great balm, the most great medicine that brings freedom from hurt.  We may pray, do outwardly good works, yet they mean little without forgiving ourselves and others for what might have been, could have been, should have been.  Everyone has some idea of what another’s vice or fault is and what ought to be corrected.  The real issue is to clarify one’s own consciousness, be one with the stream of clear mind in oneself, that one may act in the present rather than react to issues of the past. (41)


To understand Mystery,

Observe mind.

Stilling fear, mind moves clear.

Sing a song of equanimity,

Awake within serenity.

Affirm your voice

and choice.

Magnetize a potent dream—

World alight,

Illumined peace. (265)


To remove obscurations from your heart, call upon the clear light and its insight.  Sense the seven stars above your head, their rainbow light cascading down around you.  The light fills you and surrounds you, irradiating all your being, all your actions.  Feel the light from the stars; breathe it into your heart, through your heart.  Send it out as waves of compassion, waves of generous care for all relations.  Feel that cycle of energy, giving and receiving. (212)


     Indian mind always looks to the whole.  So... treatment of disease is never to a particular energy center but for the whole being, sensing that person as a continuum.  If we are thinking “part” then we are giving energy to the problem.  It is better to know the wholeness.  In working with others, always remember that you are a whole being in relation to all beings.  Your energy centers are in relationship with everything in the universe.  So to sense the balance, sense the light moving through yourself and your consciousness in tune with all that is.  You are light.

     The eye of God looks through the eyes of the children.  Consider how your thought and action affect those yet to be born.  Let each one choose...the structures of thought, word, and deed that will reflect the greatest light. (263)


What is most important is to understand the nature of your own mind and to realize that what you are thinking is going out and touching others and will return to you.  We have a spiritual duty to ourselves and others to clarify our mind and to put aside attitudes of discord so that all beings may be happy. (257-8)


Often as people come closer and closer to understanding their true nature, they find themselves distracted and annoyed by things, or deep fears come up that they had not known were there.  When these fears and other uncertainties of the mind arise, it is a great opportunity to see them as they are, just thought patterns, and have no attachment to them. ... It is all a process of change, of transformation, of refining transparency.  There is no light without darkness. ... Nighttime, daytime, they are parts of the dream.  One is neither bad nor good.  It is how we approach those times that determines their value in our own life.  So let us not fear the dark.  In my training as a young girl there were certain times when I was left alone in the woods without anything except flint, not even a blanket, so that I would understand the nature of my own mind.  There is a shadow side.  It is the fears you have not looked at in the day and have not clarified at night.  They accumulate and become a shadow.  That is why our elders taught us the means of clarifying the day before going to sleep, making peace with oneself and others each night.  If we don’t make that peace the shadow gets larger and larger, and before we can break through the confines of the illusion of “I,” we must grapple with that shadow on the threshold of realization. (258-9)


When we make peace in ourselves we open the door to the Most Great Peace. When we can cast aside doubt and fear and recognize what is within, the gateway of peace will open.  When the gate is open and throughout the Earth all creatures honor life, then beauty will manifest in the hearts of each of us, and our society and our planet will know a new day, a new age.  To live ethically is the opportunity.  Ethics is the science of right relationship, and in right relationship the inherent patterns of peace and harmony are revealed. ... [Commit] yourself to be the light that you are... (256)


The opportunity of life is very precious and it moves very quickly.  May these words inspire you to right action in relieving the suffering of the peoples of the world.  May all beings realize freedom from suffering and all conflicting thoughts reach resolution, that the great Fire of Wisdom may burn in our hearts and shine forth in all we do, as enlightened action benefiting all our relations. (xv)


May you be called forth as a Peacekeeper, turning aside anger, shame and blame, calling forth harmony and joy for all relations. (7)


In Tsalagi worldview, life and death, manifestation and formlessness, are all within the circle, which spirals out through all dimensions. (xiii)


A most significant vision in Tsalagi and other Native American views is that death is but a change and not an ending.  Just as we cultivate happy relationships, we also plant the seed for positive leave-taking from this world into another.  It is good. (188)




Brooke Medicine Eagle (contemporary; intertribal Native American; U.S.):


     The vision quest that I have done was with my teacher who is a Northern Cheyenne woman.  She is eighty-five years old ... Her people call her The Woman Who Knows Everything.  She and a younger medicine woman took me to a place called Bear Butte, South Dakota; it’s plains country that goes up into the Black Hills.  That’s the traditional fasting, vision-questing place of the Sioux and Cheyenne and has been for centuries and centuries.  What is usually done among the Cheyenne is that you fast and cleanse yourself bodily, emotionally, and psychically.  Then you go atop a mountain for four days and nights with just a breechcloth on and a buffalo robe, and you stay there without food or water, praying for vision.  This is the kind of quest that I did.

     The younger medicine woman took me up the butte.  She prepared and blessed a bed of sagebrush on a very rocky hill halfway up the mountain.  This was to be my bed.  After we smoked a [sacred] pipe and offered prayers, she left me.  So I spent the time there fasting and praying for a vision.

     It was just getting to be dark.  Up on the mountain, I can look down over the country... It is relatively warm, the late fall.  I’m just lying here very peacefully.  And beside me there comes a woman, older than me, but not really an old woman.  She’s dressed very simply, buckskin. ... She has raven black hair in long braids.  And she stands beside me and begins to talk to me.  As she talks to me, her words come, but not in my ears; I don’t really hear her say anything.  It’s as though she’s feeding something in at my navel, and it comes through me, and I can interpret part of it in words but not all of it, like she’s giving me something through my stomach and letting it come up.  So the words that I put to it have to be my own, and I have discovered more and more of what she told me as time has gone on. 

     Just then the little clouds that were over the moon move off, and as they move away, the moonlight shining on her dress creates a flurry of rainbows, and I can see that her dress is beaded with crystal beads, hundreds of tiny crystal beads; the slightest movement she makes sends little flurries of soft rainbows all over.  About this time, something else starts to happen.  Down off the high part of the mountain, it starts to become light, and I hear soft drumbeats begin, very soft.  There’s a kind of dance that the women do that is very soft.  And down off that mountain in a slow, soft, and gentle step come the old women, spirits of that land, that mountain, old gray-haired women, Indian women, dancing down.  They either are light or carry light.  They wind down the mountain and then circle around the hill I am on.  And as they dance around in a circle, very quickly, into that circle comes another circle, this of young women, of my age and time, young women that I know, and they, too, are dancing.  Those two circles are dancing and moving, and then they begin to weave in and out of each other, sway in and out of each other.  And then inside of that circle comes another circle of seven old grandmothers, white-haired women, women who are significant to me, powerful old women. ... The circles around me [eventually] disappear, and I am again alone with the Rainbow Woman.

     She said to me that the earth is in trouble, that the land is in trouble, and that here on this land, this Turtle Island, this North American land, what needs to happen is a balancing.  She said that the thrusting, aggressive, analytic, intellectual, building, making-it-happen energy has very much overbalanced the feminine, receptive, allowing, surrendering energy.  She said that what needs to happen is an uplifting and a balancing.  And because we are out of balance, we need to put more emphasis on surrendering, being receptive, allowing, nurturing.  She was speaking to me as a woman, and I was to carry this message to women specifically.  But not only do women need to become strong in this way; we all need to do this, men and women alike. ...

     We know how to do something; we know how to make something, how to do, how to try.  But we need to allow, to be receptive, to surrender, to serve. These are things we don’t know very well. ... The whole society, men and women, need that balance to bring ourselves into balance.

     Another thing she said to me was that we on this North American continent are all children of the rainbow, all of us; we are mixed-bloods. And especially me she was speaking to, saying that she felt that I would be a carrier of the message between the two cultures, across the rainbow bridge, from the old culture, and back again.  And in a sense, all of us in this generation can be that.  We can help bridge that gap, build that bridge into the new age of balance. 

     Those are the kind of things that she talked about, about cleansing ourselves so that we can allow love and light and surrender to come through us.  And when she finished talking, she stood quietly for a moment.  Her feet stayed where they were, but she shot out across the sky in a rainbow arc that covered the heavens, her head at the top of that arc.  And then the lights that formed that rainbow began to die out, almost like fireworks in the sky... And she was gone.

     When I woke up the next morning, on the other side of the sky was the completion of the rainbow that had started the night before.  And for days and days after that, rainbows kept appearing in my life. ...

     One of the things that I feel about the quest for vision:  The traditional Indians, when they prayed, their prayers were always, “Not only for myself do I ask this, but that the people may live, the people may live.”  Any of us can dream, but when you seek a vision, you do this not only for yourself but that the people may live, that life might be better for all of us, not only for me but for all people. 

     I feel my purpose is to help in any way I can to heal the earth.  I feel that we are in a time when the earth is in dire need of healing.  We see it everywhere, the droughts, earthquakes, storms, pollution.  yes, the earth itself is in need of healing.  And I feel that any way that I can help, that is my mission: to make it whole, to pay attention to that wholeness, not only in ourselves but also in relation to the earth. 

     The Indian people are the people of the heart.  When the white man came to this land, what he was to bring was the intellect, that analytic, intellectual way of being.  And the Indian people were to develop the heart, the feelings.  And those two were to come together to build the new age, in balance, not one or the other. 

     It has been only a couple of hundred years now, and I think we’re beginning to see the force of this land, that receptive force, come back again, and that balance is beginning to happen.  And I feel that what we are is that land.  We are those children Rainbow Woman talked about.  We are the ones who are going to have to do it.  We are that blend. 

     In the philosophy of the true Indian people, Indian is an attitude, a state of mind; Indian is a state of being, the place of the heart.  To allow the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow your heart, your feelings, your emotions to distribute your energy; to pull that energy from the earth, from the sky; to pull it down and distribute it from your heart, the very center of your being—that is our purpose. 

     Several different traditions talk about four or five different worlds and say that the Creator made all these worlds with one simple law: that we shall be in harmony and in balance with all things, including the sun.  And time and again people have destroyed that harmony; we have destroyed that harmony.  And we have done it again needlessly.  Unless we bring about that balance again, this is our last chance. 

     We need to achieve a clarity and lack of resistance before we seek vision—a surrendering, a relinquishing.  If you are unwilling to be in you experience now, then vision will not open for you.  You need to get on that circle where there is no resistance, no up, no down, where there are no square corners to stumble on.  Then, someday, you become that circle. [8]




María Sabina (1894-1985; Mesoamerican Mazatec Indian; Mexico):


     There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby, and invisible.  And there it is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything has already happened and everything is known.  That world talks.  It has a language of its own.  I report what it says. 

     The sacred mushroom takes me by the hand and brings me to the world where everything is known.  It is they, the sacred mushrooms, that speak in a way that I can understand.  I ask them, and they answer me.  When I return from the trip that I have taken with them, I tell what they have told me and what they have shown me. 

     The father of my grandfather, Pedro Feliciano, my grandfather, Juan Feliciano, my father, Santo Feliciano—all shamans—they ate the teonanácatl and had great visions of the world where everything is known. With the exception of my father, I have never known these men.  And also my father—I have known him for so short a time, I almost cannot remember him.  He died when I was four years old.  But I knew what he had done by his father and the father of his father.  The mushroom was in my family as a parent, a protector, a friend.

     My father had just died, and we were very poor.  I used to go into the forests with my sister to pasture the beasts.  We were hungry, but we knew that there were mushrooms and that the mushrooms were our friends and that from them only good could come.  So we looked for them, and we ate them as they were—raw, just gathered.

     Then I did not know how to distinguish the sacred mushrooms as el derrumbe, San Isidro, pajaritos or from those that were not.  I ate them, without knowing what they were, just because I was so hungry.  But one day, I don’t know how long a time had elapsed, I began to have visions.  My hands had ripped from the earth the teonanácatl, and the teonanácatl had entered my mouth and my soul.  The goats were grazing on the mountain, and I was there sitting on the grass as though drunk.  My soul was coming out of my body and was going toward the world that I did not know but of which I had only heard talk.  It was a world like this one, full of sierras, of forests, of rivers.  But there were also other things—beautiful homes, temples, golden palaces.  And there was my sister, who had come with me, and the mushrooms, who were waiting for me—mushrooms that were children and dwarfs dressed like clowns, children with trumpets, children that sang and danced, children tender like the flesh of the flowers.  And the mushrooms talked, and I talked to the mushrooms, crying, “What are we going to do?”  I said, “We are so poor.  How are we going to live?  What will happen to us?”  And the teonanácatl answered with the words of hope and peace, saying they would protect us, that when we needed something, we should go to them and they would give it.  When I returned from my first trip, my sister returned, too, and she had seen also the same things and heard the same words.  From then on, I wanted to get to know better those friends that I had just met and to distinguish the sacred mushrooms from those that were not; and so I made my grandmother, who knew many things because she had learned them from her husband and from my father, explain many things.  And my grandmother told me everything with pleasure because she saw that I was destined to become the priestess of the teonanácatl. ...

     I was eight years old when a brother of my mother fell sick.  He was very sick, and the shamans of the sierra that had tried to cure him with herbs could do nothing for him.  Then I remembered what the teonanácatl told me: that I should go and look for them when I needed help.  So I went to take the sacred mushrooms, and I brought them to my uncle’s hut.  I ate them in front of my uncle, who was dying.  And immediately the teonanácatl took me to their world, and I asked them what my uncle had and what I could do to save him.  They told me that an evil spirit had entered the blood of my uncle and that to cure him we should give him some herbs, not those that the curanderos gave him, but others.  I asked where these herbs could be found, and they took me to a place on the mountain where tall trees grew and the waters of the brook ran, and they showed me the herb that I should pull from the earth and the road that I had to take to find them.  When I returned from the trip in the world of the teonanácatl, I came out from the hut, and I took the direction shown by the mushrooms.  I arrived in a place where tall trees grew and the waters of a brook ran; it was the same place that I had seen during the trip, and they were the same herbs.  I took them, I brought them home, I boiled them in water, and I gave them to my uncle.  A few days later, the brother of my mother was cured.

     That was the first cure that the teonanácatl permitted me to do. After that, there were many others.  Men, children, old ones, women.  There was the cure of María Dolores, whose whole body had swollen—feet, hands, face, belly—so swollen that it looked as if it would burst.  The woman could not walk anymore, nor move anymore.  We took the teonanácatl together, and we left together for the world where everything is known.  We met there, and there the teonanácatl made me say to María Dolores what she had to do to get better.  When we came back from the trip, María Dolores began to deflate.  The belly was cured; the face was cured; the legs and the feet were cured.  María Dolores lived fifteen years longer.  But I meanwhile had stopped taking teonanácatl.

     [She explains how she was married, had three children, then her husband died; she was very busy caring for the children, eking out a survival for them; then, after thirteen years, one Marcial Calvo married her, with whom she had nine children.]  Marcial was a shaman and a curandero, and he cured with herbs, but he was also a mean and violent man, always drunk, with liquor and tequila.  He beat me and beat my children.  He knew that I, many years before, had used the teonanácatl and had entered the world where everything is known, but he did not want me to begin to take trips again.  Perhaps he was envious of what the teonanácatl would say to me, of what I had learned or could learn.  He laughed and beat me when I spoke of the teonanácatl; he used to get drunk and beat me.  I suffered much with him.  Anyhow, it was while I was with him that I began to take it again, after many years.  I did it to cure two elderly sick people.  Marcial had tried to cure them with his herbs but had not been able to.  But I was able to with the mushrooms.  But when Marcial came to know it, he beat me in front of the two old ones that I had saved until I bled.  Then Marcial began to go with other women.  He also went with a married woman until, one night, her husband and her children [ambushed him and killed him]. ...

     The mushroom is similar to your soul.  It takes you where the soul wants to go.  And not all souls are the same.  Marcial had taken the teonanácatl, had had visions, but the visions had served no purpose.  Many people of the sierra have taken it and are taking it, but not everybody enters into the world where everything is known.  Also Ana María, my sister, began taking together with me, had the same visions, talked to the mushrooms, but the mushrooms did not reveal their secrets.  The secrets that they revealed to me are enclosed in a big Book that they showed me and that is found in a region very far away from their world, a great Book.  They gave it to me when Ana María fell ill.  Suddenly, she would fall on the ground, and her body used to become black and like stone.  The curanderos had tried to cure her with herbs and magic rites, burying eggs in some parts of the room where my sister lay.  But Ana María was ill and seemed almost near death.  So I decided to return again to the teonanácatl. I took many, many more that I had ever taken before: thirty plus thirty.  I loved my sister and was ready to do anything, even to make a very long trip, just to save her.  I was sitting in front of her with my body, but my soul was entering the world of the teonanácatl and was seeing the same landscape that it had seen many other times, then landscapes that it had never seen because the great number of mushrooms had taken me into the deepest of the depths of that world.  I was going ahead until, at one point, a duende, a spirit, came toward me.  He asked a strange question:  “But what do you wish to become, you, María Sabina?” 

     I answered him, without knowing, that I wished to become a saint. Then the spirit smiled, and immediately he had in his hands something that he did not have before, and it was a big Book with many written pages. “Here,” he said.  “I am giving you this Book so that you can do your work better and help people who need help and know the secrets of the world where everything is known.”

     I thumbed through the leaves of the Book, many written pages, and I thought that unfortunately I did not know how to read.  I had never learned, and therefore that would not have been of any use to me. Suddenly, I realized I was reading and understood all that was written in the Book and that I became as though richer, wiser, and that in one moment I learned millions of things.  I learned and learned.

     I also learned that for curing Ana María I had to anoint her belly with herbs and destroy all that the curanderos had done for her, disinterring the eggs and throwing them away.  Suddenly, when I had understood that, I saw there, in the world where I was, the room of my sister and the floor of beaten earth and the buried eggs that came out by themselves from the earth in the spots where they had been hidden.  When I came to myself, I was there, sitting in front of my sister, but the floor was full of scattered eggs that had been broken.  I had not moved from there; the eggs had come out by themselves.  I looked for the herbs that the Book had indicated to me, and I did exactly what I had learned from the Book.  And also Ana María got well.

     I didn’t need to see the Book again because I had learned everything that was inside it.  But I again saw the spirit that gave it to me and other spirits and other landscapes; and I saw, close by, the sun and moon because the more you go inside the world of teonanácatl, the more things are seen.  And you also see our past and our future, which are there together as a single thing already achieved, already happened.  So I saw the entire life of my son Aurelio and his death and the face and the name of the man that was to kill him and the dagger with which he was going to kill him because everything had already been accomplished.  The murder had already been committed, and it was useless for me to say to my son that he should look out because they would kill him, because there was nothing to say.  They would kill him, and that was it.  And I saw other deaths and other murders and people who were lost—no one knew where they were—and I alone could see.  And I saw stolen horses and ancient buried cities, the existence of which was unknown, and they were going to be brought to light.  Millions of thins I saw and I knew.  I knew and saw God: an immense clock that ticks the spheres that go slowly around, and inside the stars, the earth, the entire universe, the day and the night, the cry and the smile, the happiness and the pain.  He who knows to the end the secret of the teonanácatl can even see that infinite clockwork. [9]


[Excerpts from an extended chanting/singing session while María Sabina was in trance during a sacred mushroom trip performed for the sake of healing an extremely ill young man:]

Daughter of Mary am I,

Humble woman am I,

Poor woman am I, ...

Woman of clean spirit am I,

Woman of good spirit am I,

Yes, Jesus Christ, Father Jesus Christ,

Hail, most holy Mary, hail Mary,

Hail, most holy Mary, oh Jesus Christ,

Hail, Mary, oh Jesus

Woman who waits am I,

Woman who divines am I, Oh, Jesus Christ, hail Mary,

Well thus I am known ...

Thus I am known, for the son of God says so, yes

You, Christ ... Christ says. ...

Woman of [spiritual] justice, am I,

Woman of law, am I,

God knows me,

The saints know me, Woman of the Southern Cross am I,

Woman of the first star am I,

Woman of the Star of God am I,

For I go up to the sky [heaven]. ...

Woman who stops the world am I,

Legendary woman who cures am I. ...

Father Jesus,

Woman who waits am I,

Woman who tries am I,

Woman who scatters am I,

Woman who uproots am I,

Woman doctor am I,

Father Jesus Christ ...

For with calmness, with care, I go

Before you sight [eyes], before your glory,

Before your eyes, mother,

Before your eyes, before your mouth,

My mother patron, mother Conception [Mary],

Father Jesus Christ, oh Jesus. ...

Tender root woman am I,

Luxurious [leafy] root woman am I,

Begonia woman am I,

Woman of pure spirit am I,

Woman of good spirit am I,

Woman of the air, of the day, am I,

Father Jesus Christ,

Eagle woman am I,

Opossum woman am I,

Woman who examines am I,

Hunting dog woman am I,

Father Jesus Christ,

Woman of a sacred, enchanted place am I ...

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus Christ,

Oh most holy Mary, oh Jesus,

Legendary healing goddess am I,

Lowly woman am I,

Poor, lowly am I,

Jesus, oh Jesus Christ...

Eagle woman am I, ...

Clock woman am I,

Whirling woman of the whirlwind am I,

Yes, Jesus Christ says,

Saint woman am I,

Woman of pure spirit am I...

Yes, Jesus says, yes Jesus says,

Music woman am I, he says,

And drummer woman am I, he says, ...

Woman chief of the “clowns” am I, he says, yes Jesus Christ says,

No one frightens me, he says ...

[The mushrooms have informed her that “there’s no cure now” for the boy]

Only God who does what is right, God knows what he does,

And if he doesn’t know God, let him seek Him out then. ...

There where the light and the day are, I go, Father,

Even unto your presence, unto your glory,

My patron Mother, Mother Conception ...

Humble woman am I, I, my patron Mother,

Because I carry your heart, patron Mother,

Mother princess, because I carry your heart, Mother,

Because I carry your heart, Father,

Because I carry your features,

Just as my thoughts are clean,

Just as my heart is full of greatness, though small,

As my sentiments and my heart feel greatness,

As my thoughts are clean,

There is where I am with you, mother,

There is where I am before your sight, before your mouth, mother ...

I am not eating many tortillas, mother, nor heavy things ...

As I am very satisfied ...

Woman who came blessed am I, I feel,

Woman serpent am I, I feel,

Serpent woman am I, I feel ...

Woman who sprouts am I, woman like a begonia am I,

I am going to the sky, in your sight, before your glory,

There my paper, my Book remains,

Woman who stops the world am I, legendary woman healer am I,

My feelings are satisfied,

My heart is satisfied,

Because I carry your heart, I,

Because I carry your heart, Christ,

Because I carry your heart, Father. ...

Woman who thunders am I, woman who sounds am I,

Spider woman am I, hummingbird woman am I,

Eagle woman am I, important eagle woman am I,

Whirling woman of the whirlwind am I, woman of a sacred, enchanted place am I,

Woman of the shooting stars am I, yes Jesus Christ says,

Clock woman am I, yes Jesus Christ says ...

Jesus oh Mary, holy child, the arm and the hand of the lord of the world.

Dangerous things are being done, tragedies are being worked out.

We are left only perplexed, we mamas ...

Who can stand all these things?

It’s the same there, it’s the same here.

Really this thing is big. [10]




Gail Tremblay (contemporary; Onondaga/Micmac Native American; U.S.):

                             “To Teach the Wit”

It is the sense of constant motion / that is most amazing when one sits silent watching light vibrate, / Earth move in relation to the sun spinning through space, the web / of the spider becoming bright beads of dew for moments before the shadows / cast by the turning planets eclipse the vision.

The need to need at all is lost / in a thicket as time ceases to tick,

flows like water carving the sides / of mountains, shaping change

on a schedule no human designs. / Irony reveals the joke caught /

in the flesh, blind to the breath / of thunder-beings whipping up storms / with their fiery tongues.  We move / in the dark for half our lives,

forget to use our second sense / to watch the miracles unfold;

murmuring generations enrich the dust / with their deaths to make birth possible,

In such a context, care is attention / to details simple enough to teach

the wit to love the momentary pulse. (66) [11]


                           “Creation is the Song”

     ... Miracles rise as simple as the stones

     which murmur hidden secrets to the sun;

     we rise and grow in what we know:

     Creation is the song which haunts our tongues. (62)



     [After the dislocation by the white man:]

     ... We moved in the spirit realm that keeps

     our people whole.  We sat celebrating

     the permanence of our connection

     that shimmered at the edge

     of every object in the entire

     Breathing World. (17)




Jane Roberts (1929-84; unaffiliated New Age spiritualist medium; U.S.):


My psychic initiation ... began one evening in September, 1963... as I sat writing poetry.  Suddenly my consciousness left my body, and my mind was barraged by ideas that were astonishing and new to me at the time.  On return to my body, I discovered that my hands had produced an automatic script, explaining many of the concepts that I had been given.  The notes were even titled—The Physical Universe as Idea Construction. (S vii) [12]


     Certainly such matters were far from my mind.  To my knowledge, I’d never had a psychic experience in my life, and I didn’t know anyone who had.  Nothing in my background prepared me for the astonishing evening of September 9, 1963, yet it was this event, I’m sure, that initiated the sessions and my introduction to Seth.  It was a lovely autumn evening.  After supper I sat down at my old table in the living room, as I always did, to work on my poetry.  Rob [Jane’s husband] was painting in the back studio, three rooms away.  I took out my pen and paper and settled down with my ninth or tenth cup of coffee for the day, and my cigarettes. ... What happened next was like a “trip” without drugs. ... Between one normal minute and the next, a fantastic avalanche of radical, new ideas burst into my head with tremendous force, as if my skull were some sort of receiving station, turned up to unbearable volume.  Not only ideas came through this channel, but sensations, intensified and pulsating.  I was tuned in, turned on—whatever you want to call it—connected to some incredible sort of energy.  I didn’t even have time to call out to Rob. 

     It was as if the physical world were really tissue-paper thin, hiding infinite dimensions of reality, and I was suddenly flung through the tissue paper with a huge ripping sound.  My body sat at the table, my hands furiously scribbling down the words and ideas that flashed through my head.  Yet I seemed to be somewhere else, at the same time, traveling through things.  ... I felt as if knowledge was being implanted in the very cells of my body so that I couldn’t forget it—a gut knowing, a biological spirituality.  It was feeling and knowing, rather than intellectual knowledge.  At the same time I remembered having a dream the night before, which I had forgotten, in which this same sort of experience had occurred. And I knew the two were connected. ...

     I didn’t know what had happened, yet even then I felt that my life had suddenly changed.  The word “revelation” came to mind and I tried to dismiss it, yet the word was apt.  I was simply afraid of the term with its mystical implications.  I was familiar with inspiration in my own work [as a writer of poetry and fiction], but this was as different from ordinary inspiration as a bird is from a worm!

     The ideas that I “received” were just as startling.  They turned all my ideas of reality upside down.  That morning and each morning until that time, I’d been sure of one thing: you could trust physical reality.  You might not like it at times, but you could depend on it.  You could change your ideas toward it if you chose, but this would in no way change what reality was.  Now I could never feel that way again.

     During that experience I knew that we formed physical matter, not the other way around; that our senses showed us only one three-dimensional reality out of an infinite number that we couldn’t ordinarily perceive...

     I suddenly felt the fantastic vitality present even in things I’d previously considered inanimate. ...

     Despite all my previous ideas and common sense, I knew that time wasn’t a series of moments one before the other, ... but that all experience existed in some kind of eternal now. ...

     Following this episode, even my ordinary subjective experiences began to change.  Very shortly afterward I began to recall my dreams—suddenly and for no apparent reason.  It was like discovering a second life. (SM 10-12)


     Because of that experience, I began doing research into psychic activity, and planned a book on the project.  In line with this, my husband, Rob, and I experimented with a Ouija board late in 1963.  After the first few sessions, the pointer [on the Ouija board] spelled out messages that claimed to come from a personality called Seth.  Neither Rob or I had any psychic background, and when I began to anticipate the board’s replies, I took it for granted that they were coming from my subconscious.  Not long after, however, I felt impelled to say the words aloud, and within a month I was speaking for Seth while in a trance state.

     The messages seemed to begin where Idea Construction left off, and later Seth said that my expansion of consciousness experience [a few months prior] had represented his first attempt at contact.  Since then [up to 1971], Seth has delivered [in twice-weekly sessions] a continuing manuscript that now totals over six thousand typewritten pages.  We call it the Seth Material...  From the beginning, the obvious quality of the material intrigued us, and it was for this reason that we continued. (S vii-viii)


Seth is saying that you can change your experience by altering your beliefs about yourself and physical existence. ... Seth’s main idea is that we create our personal reality through our conscious beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world.  Following this is the concept that the “point of power” is in the present, not in the past of this life or any other....

      The message is plain:  We are not at the mercy of the subconscious, or helpless before forces that we cannot understand.  The conscious mind directs unconscious activity and has at its command all of the powers of the inner self.  These are activated according to our ideas about reality.  “We are gods couched in creaturehood,” Seth says, given the ability to form our experience as our thoughts and feelings become actualized. (N ix-xii)    


Several issues ... appear often in the Seth Material:  The personality is multidimensional.  The individual is basically free of space and time.  The fate of each of us is in our own hands.  Problems not faced in this life will be faced in another.  We cannot blame God, society, or our parents for our misfortunes, since before this physical life we chose the circumstances into which we would be born and the challenges that could best bring about our development.  We form physical matter as effortlessly and unselfconsciously as we breathe.  Telepathically, we are all aware of the mass ideas from which we form our overall conception of physical reality. (SM 3-4)


Following the publication of my first book in this field [How to Develop Your ESP Power], letters came from strangers asking for Seth’s help.  We held sessions for those most in need.  Many of the people involved couldn’t attend, since they lived in other parts of the country, yet Seth’s advice helped them, and the information he gave by mail concerning individual backgrounds was correct. (S viii)


Seth does more than write books.  He is a fully developed personality with a variety of interests: writing, teaching, helping others.  His sense of humor is quite individualistic and unlike mine.  He is shrewd; in his manner more earthy than ethereal.  He knows how to explain complex theories simply, in person-to-person contact. ... He is able to relate these ideas to ordinary living.  Seth also appears frequently in the dreams of my students, giving them instructions that work. ... Almost all my students have frequent “class dreams,” also, in which Seth addresses them as a group and initiates dream experiments.  Sometimes they see him as he appears in the portrait Rob painted of him [based on Seth’s revelation of a form to Rob].  On occasion he speaks through my image, as in normal sessions. ... But certainly Seth has achieved independent status in their eyes and has become a vehicle of instruction even in the dream state.  ... Seth has entered the minds and consciousness of many people. 

     This is a good deal of accomplishment in seven years for any personality, regardless of its status.  For a nonphysical personality, it is astonishing indeed.  To ascribe all of this activity to a figment of the unconscious seems rather much.  (In the same amount of time I’ve published two books [of fiction and poetry], finished another, and begun a fourth.  I mention this to show that Seth hasn’t been absorbing any of my own creativity.) (S xvi-xvii)


Seth’s personality is quite observable in our sessions... but the source of that personality isn’t.  For that matter, the origin of any personality is mysterious and not apparent in the objective world.  My job is to enlarge the dimensions of that world and people’s concepts of it.  Seth’s books may be the product of another dimensional aspect of my own consciousness not focused in this reality, plus something else that is untranslatable in our terms, with Seth a great psychic creation more real than any “fact.”  His existence may simply lie in a different order of events than the one we’re used to. ... We must be very careful about making literal interpretations, lest we limit a multidimensional phenomenon by tying it down to a three-dimensional fact system. (N viii)


To me the term “unconscious” is a poor one, barely hinting at an actual open psychic system, with deep intertwining roots uniting all kinds of consciousness; a network in which we are all connected.  Our individuality rises out of it, but also helps form it.  This source contains past, present, and future information, only the ego experiencing time as we know it.  I also believe that this open system contains other kinds of consciousness beside our own.  Because of my own experiences, particularly with out-of-body states, I’m convinced that consciousness is not dependent upon physical matter.  Certainly physical expression is my main mode of existence right now, but I don’t take this to infer that all consciousness must be so oriented.  Only the most blind egotism, it seems to me, would dare define reality in its own terms or project its own limitations and experience upon the rest of existence. (S xvii-xviii)


I’ve begun to glimpse the great inner dimensions from which our usual lives emerge, and to familiarize myself with other alternate methods of perception that can be used not only to see other “worlds,” but help us deal more effectively with this one. (N ix)


I have certain unique experiences during sessions that seem to compensate for my lack of conscious creative involvement.  Often I participate in Seth’s great energy and humor, for example, enjoying a sense of emotional richness and encountering Seth’s personality on a very strange level.  I feel his mood and vitality clearly, though they are not directed at me, but to whomever Seth is addressing at the moment.  I feel them as they pass through me. ... I often have other kinds of experiences, also, while speaking for Seth.  Sometimes, for instance, I see inner visions.  These may illustrate what Seth is saying, so that I am receiving information in two ways, or they may be completely separate from the script.  I’ve had several “out-of-body” experiences also during sessions, when I saw events actually happening some thousands of miles away. (S xv)


This book is Seth’s way of demonstrating that human personality is multi-dimensional, that we exist in many realities at once, that the soul or inner self is not something apart from us, but the very medium in which we exist.  He emphasizes that “truth” is not found by going from teacher to teacher, church to church, or discipline to discipline, but by looking within the self [Self].  The intimate knowledge of consciousness, the “secrets of the universe,” are not esoteric truths to be hidden from the people, then.  Such information is as natural to man as air, and as available to those who honestly seek it by looking to the source within. (S xv-xvi)


Our usual orientation is focused pretty exclusively in what we think of as the “real” world, but there are many realities.  By shifting our consciousness, we can glimpse these alternate realities, and all of them are the appearance that Reality takes under certain conditions.  I don’t believe that we can necessarily describe one in terms of another. (N vii)


There may be others now (like Seth), also without images [physical forms], but knowing [i.e., conscious]—others who have been what we are and more—others who remember what we have forgotten.  They may have discovered through some acceleration of consciousness other forms of being, or dimensions of reality of which we are also part. ... They are all about us, in the wind and trees, formed and unformed, more alive in many ways perhaps than we are... Through these voices, these intuitions, these flashes of insights and messages, the universe speaks to us, to each of us personally. You are being addressed, and so am I.  Learn to hear your own messages, not to distort what you hear or translate it into old alphabets. ...

     This may be the kind of play in which the “gods” indulge, from which creations grow, sprawling out in all directions.  We may be responding to the gods in ourselves—those inner sparks of knowing that defy our own three-dimensional knowledge. 

     Seth may be leading us out of our usual limitations, into another realm that is ours by right—elemental whether we are in flesh or out of it.  He may be the voice of our combined selves, saying, “while you are conscious bodies, remember what it was like and will be like to be bodiless, to be freewheeling energy without a name but with a voice that does not need tongue, with a creativity that does not need flesh.  We are yourselves, turned inside out. (S xix-xx)




Starhawk (contemporary; Wicca/Witchcraft; U.S.):


     Witchcraft is a word that frightens many people and confuses many others.  In the popular imagination, Witches are ugly old hags riding broomsticks, or evil Satanists performing obscene rites. ...

     But Witchcraft is a religion, perhaps the oldest religion extant in the West.  Its origins go back before Christianity, Judaism, Islam—before Buddhism and Hinduism, as well, and it is very different from all the so-called great religions.  The Old Religion, as we call it, is closer in spirit to Native American traditions or to the shamanism of the Arctic.  It is not based on dogma or a set of beliefs, nor on scriptures or a sacred book revealed by a great man.  Witchcraft takes its teachings from nature, and reads inspiration in the movements of the sun, moon, and stars, the flight of birds, the slow growth of trees, and the cycles of the seasons.

     According to our legends, Witchcraft began more than 35 thousand years ago, when the temperature of Europe began to drop and the great sheets of ice crept slowly south in their last advance.  Across the rich tundra, teeming with animal life, small groups of hunters followed the free-running reindeer and the thundering bison.  They were armed with only the most primitive of weapons, but some among the clans were gifted, could “call” the herds to a cliffside or a pit, where a few beasts, in willing sacrifice, would let themselves be trapped.  These gifted shamans could attune themselves to the spirits of the herds, and in so doing they became aware of the pulsating rhythm that infuses all life, the dance of the double spiral, of whirling into being, and whirling out again.  They did not phrase this insight intellectually, but in images: the Mother Goddess, the birthgiver, who brings into existence all life; and the Horned God, hunter and hunted, who eternally passes through the gates of death that new life may go on.

     Male shamans dressed in skins and horns in identification with the God and the herds; but female priestesses presided naked, embodying the fertility of the Goddess.  Life and death were a continuous stream; the dead were buried as if sleeping in a womb, surrounded by their tools and ornaments, so that they might awaken to a new life. ...

     [Later,] as isolated settlements grew into villages, shamans and priestesses linked forces and shared knowledge.  The first covens were formed. ...

     Villages grew into the first towns and cities.  The Goddess was painted on the plastered walls of shrines, giving birth to the Divine Child—her consort, son, and seed. ...

     In the lands once covered with ice, a new power was discovered, a force that runs like springs of water through the earth Herself.  Barefoot priestesses trace out “ley” lines on the new grass.  It was found that certain stones increase the flow of power.  They were set at the proper points in great marching rows and circles that mark the cycles of time.  The year became a great wheel divided into eight parts: the solstices and equinoxes and the cross-quarter days between, when great feasts were held and fires lit.  With each ritual, with each ray of the sun and beam of the moon that struck the stones at the times of power, the force increased.  They became great reservoirs of subtle energy, gateways between the worlds of the seen and the unseen. ...

     But in other lands, cultures developed that devoted themselves to the arts of war.  Wave after wave of invasion swept over Europe from the Bronze Age on.  Warrior gods drove the Goddess peoples out from the fertile lowlands and fine temples, into the hills and high mountains where they became known as the Sidhe, the Picts or Pixies, the Fair Folk or Faeries.  The mythological cycle of Goddess and Consort, Mother and Divine Child, which had held sway for 30 thousand years, was changed to conform to the values of the conquering patriarchies. ...

     The Faeries, breeding cattle in the stony hills and living in turf-covered, round huts, preserved the Old Religion.  Clan Mothers ... led the covens, together with the priest, the Sacred King, who embodied the dying God, and underwent a ritualized mock death at the end of his term of office.  They celebrated the eight feasts of the Wheel... The invading people often joined in; there was mingling and intermarriage, and many rural families were said to have “Faery blood.”  The Colleges of the Druids, and the Poetic Colleges of Ireland and Wales, preserved many of the old mysteries. 

     Christianity, at first, brought little change.  Peasants saw in the story of Christ only a new version of their own ancient tales of the Mother Goddess and her Divine Child who is sacrificed and reborn.  Country priests often led the dance at the Sabbats, or great festivals.  The covens, who preserved the knowledge of the subtle forces, were called Wicca or Wicce, from the Anglo-Saxon root word meaning “to bend or shape.”  They were those who could shape the unseen to their will.  Healers, teachers, poets, and midwives, they were central figures in every community. ... The twelfth and thirteenth centuries saw a revival of aspects of the Old Religion by the troubadours, who wrote love poems to the Goddess under the guise of living noble ladies of their times.  The magnificent cathedrals were built in honor of Mary, who had taken over many of the aspects of the ancient Goddess.  [Then] witchcraft was declared a heretical act [in the 14th century]. ... [And] in 1484, the Papal Bull of [Pope] Innocent VIII unleashed the power of the Inquisition against the Old Religion... A reign of terror ... was to hold all of Europe in its grip until well into the eighteenth century.  The persecution was most strongly directed against women:  Of an estimated 9 million Witches executed, 80 percent were women, including children and young girls...

     The terror was indescribable. ...

     The Witches and Faeries who could do so, escaped to lands where the Inquisition did not reach.  Some may have come to America. ... In America, as in Europe, the Craft went underground, and became the most secret of religions.  Traditions were passed down only to those who could be trusted absolutely, usually to members of the same family.  Communications between covens was severed; no longer could they meet on the Great Festivals to share knowledge and exchange the results of spells or rituals.  Parts of the tradition became lost or forgotten.  Yet somehow, in secret, in silence ... encoded as fairytales and folksongs, or hidden in subconscious memories, the seed was passed on.

     After the persecutions ended, in the eighteenth century, came the age of disbelief.  Memory of the true Craft had faded; the hideous stereotypes that remained seemed ludicrous, laughable, or tragic.  Only in this century have Witches been able to “come out of the broom closet,” so to speak, and counter the imagery of evil with truth.  The word “Witch” carries so many negative connotations that many people wonder why we use the word at all. Yet to reclaim the word “Witch” is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful; as men, to know the feminine within as divine.  To be a Witch is to identify with 9 million victims of bigotry and hatred and to take responsibility for shaping a world in which prejudice claims no more victims.  A Witch is a “shaper,” a creator who bends the unseen into form, and so becomes one of the Wise, one whose life is infused with magic.

     Witchcraft has always been a religion of poetry, not theology.  The myths, legends, and teachings are recognized as metaphors for “That-Which-Cannot-Be-Told,” the absolute reality our limited minds can never completely know.  The mysteries of the absolute can never be explained—only felt or intuited.  Symbols and ritual acts are used to trigger altered states of awareness, in which insights that go beyond words are revealed. ...

     The primary symbol for “That-Which-Cannot-Be-Told” is the Goddess.  The Goddess has infinite aspects and thousands of names—She is the reality behind many metaphors.  She is reality, the manifest deity, omnipresent in all of life, in each of us.  The Goddess is not separate from the world—She is the world, and all things in it: moon, sun, earth, star, stone, seed, flowing river, wind, wave, leaf, and branch, bud and blossom, fang and claw, woman and man.  In Witchcraft, flesh and spirit are one. ...

     [Unlike the Father God of patriarchal religions,] the Goddess does not rule the world [from outside it]; She is the world.  Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent diversity.  She does not legitimize the rule of either sex by the other and lends no authority to rulers of temporal hierarchies.  In Witchcraft, each of us must reveal our own truth.  Deity is seen in our own forms, whether female or male, because the Goddess has her male aspect.  Sexuality is a sacrament.  Religion is a matter of relinking, with the divine within and with her outer manifestations in all of the human and natural world. ...

      Modern Witchcraft is a rich kaleidoscope of traditions and orientations.  Covens, the small, closely knit groups that form the congregations of Witchcraft, are autonomous; there is no central authority that determines liturgy or rites.  Some covens follow practices that have been handed down in an unbroken line since before the Burning Times.  Others derive their rituals from leaders of modern revivals of the Craft—the two whose followers are most widespread are Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, both British.  Feminist covens are probably the fastest-growing arm of the Craft.  Many are Dianic: a sect of Witchcraft that gives far more prominence to the female principle than to the male.  Other covens are openly eclectic, creating their own traditions from many sources.  My own covens are based on the Faery Tradition, which goes back to the Little People of Stone Age Britain, but we believe in creating our own rituals, which reflect our needs and insights of today. ...

     In Witchcraft, a chant is not necessarily better because it is older. The Goddess is continually revealing Herself, and each of us is potentially capable of writing our own liturgy.

     In spite of diversity, there are ethics and values that are common to all traditions of Witchcraft.  They are based on the concept of the Goddess as immanent in the world and in all forms of life, including human beings. ...

     Love for life in all its forms is the basic ethic of Witchcraft. Witches are bound to honor and respect all living things, and to serve the life force. ... Serving the life force means working to preserve the diversity of natural life, to prevent the poisoning of the environment and the destruction of species.

     The world is the manifestation of the Goddess, but nothing in that concept need foster passivity. ... The Goddess is immanent, but She needs human help to realize her fullest beauty. ... Inner work, spiritual work, is most effective when it proceeds hand in hand with outer work.  Meditation on the balance of nature might be considered a spiritual act in Witchcraft, but not as much as would cleaning up garbage left at a campsite or marching to protest an unsafe nuclear plant. ...

     The Craft does not foster guilt, the stern, admonishing, self-hating inner voice that cripples action.  Instead, it demands responsibility. ...Witchcraft strongly imbues the view that all things are interdependent and interrelated and therefore mutually responsible.  An act that harms anyone harms us all.

     Honor is a guiding principle in the Craft. ... The Goddess is honored in oneself, and in others. ... “Honor the Goddess in yourself, celebrate your self, and you will see that Self is everywhere.”

     In Witchcraft, “All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.” Sexuality, as a direct expression of the life force, is seen as numinous and sacred.  It can be expressed freely, so long as the guiding principle is love.  Marriage is a deep commitment, a magical, spiritual, and psychic bond.  But it is only one possibility out of many for loving, sexual expression.

     Misuse of sexuality, however, is heinous. ...

     Life is valued in Witchcraft, and it is approached with an attitude of joy and wonder, as well as a sense of humor.  Life is seen as the gift of the Goddess.  If suffering exists, it is not our task to reconcile ourselves to it, but to work for change.

     Magic, the art of sensing and shaping the subtle, unseen forces that flow through the world, of awakening deeper levels of consciousness beyond the rational, is an element common to all traditions of Witchcraft.  Craft rituals are magical rites:  they stimulate an awareness of the hidden side of reality, and awaken long-forgotten powers of the human mind. ... [Contrary to what some people mistakenly believe, magic is not a revival of Nazism or anything dangerous in itself].  Magic, like chemistry, is a set of techniques that can be put to the service of any philosophy. ...

     In the Craft, all people are already seen as manifest gods, and differences in color, race, and customs are welcomed as signs of the myriad beauty of the Goddess. ...

     There is no set prayer book or liturgy. ...

     Each ritual begins with the creation of a sacred space, the “casting of a circle,” which establishes a temple in the heart of the forest or the center of a covener’s living room.  Goddess and God are then invoked or awakened within each participant and are considered to be physically present within the circle and the bodies of the worshippers.  Power, the subtle force that shapes reality, is raised through chanting or dancing and may be directed through a symbol or visualization.  With the raising of the cone of power comes ecstasy, which may then lead to a trance state in which visions are seen and insights gained.  Food and drink are shared, and coveners “earth the power” and relax, enjoying a time of socializing.  At the end, the powers invoked are dismissed, the circle is opened, and a formal return to ordinary consciousness is made. ...

     Every initiate is considered a priestess or priest; Witchcraft is a religion of clergy. ...


     Mother Goddess is reawakening, and we can begin to recover our primal birthright, the sheer, intoxicating joy of being alive.  We can open new eyes and see that there is nothing to be saved from, no struggle of life against the universe, no God outside the world to be feared and obeyed; only the Goddess, the Mother, the turning spiral that whirls us in and out of existence, whose winking eye is the pulse of being—birth, death, rebirth—whose laughter bubbles and course through all things and who is found only through love: love of trees, of stones, of sky and clouds, of scented blossoms and thundering waves; of all that runs and flies and swims and crawls on her face; through love of ourselves; life-dissolving world-creating orgasmic love of each other; each of us unique and natural as a snowflake, each of us our own star, her Child, her lover, her beloved, her Self. [13]


Eileen Caddy (19172006; New Age; Egypt-England-Scotland):


[Eileen’s major turning point in her life was during a period of meditation in the small chapel at Glastonbury, England, wherein she heard the divine Voice speaking with unmistakable authority and power, “Be still and know that I AM GOD.”  She heard the message:]  Let go and simply follow My instructions step by step, and you will see miracle upon miracle take place in your lives and living. (S 17-18) [14]


I heard the words:  “Find your rightful element in your Oneness with Me.  Find your true beauty and freedom doing My Will and walking in My ways, and be at perfect peace.” (S 23)


[Eileen heard this message:]  I need you free, not all tied up with self and self-concern.  I do ask for everything; there can be no holding back anything.  I know what is best for each one of you, therefore let Me guide you so that you are always in the right place at the right time.  Seek My guidance every step of the way.  Never forget to put first things first.  Put Me first in everything then nothing can go wrong. (S 14)


One of the most important lessons I learned was to love where you are, love what you are doing and love who you are with.  I also learned the three Ps—patience, persistence, and perseverance.  With the three of us [Eileen, her second husband, Peter Caddy, and friend Dorothy MacLean] in the caravan [the trailer home in Findhorn Bay, Scotland, to which they had been guided to live together as an incipient community] it was necessary, you know, to have great patience.  It was close quarters: our bedroom was our dining-room, sitting-room, playroom—everything.  It wasn’t at all easy to find the peace and quiet to meditate.  Finally I asked God, “How do you expect me to have these times of quiet?”  And I was told to go down to the public toilets and meditate there.  That’s what I used to do, night after night, in hail, rain, snow and everything else, winter and summer.  It made me realize it doesn’t matter where I am, God is within. ... I would have guidance that thousands of people were going to come to this place, and I would wonder who in the world would want to come to this dump. (W 143)


For eight years when the [Findhorn] community began to grow, I and a friend did all the cooking for lunch and also for dinner every night.  And I would say [to God within]: “How do you expect me to have those times of quiet and meditation?”  And the answer I got was: “But you have all night.”  Well, that’s all very well—but how could I manage it?  And then I thought, well, I want to put first things first.  So I used to have just two or three hours’ sleep and then I would spend the rest of the time in what I called waiting on God.  I found I began to work on a higher level of consciousness and because of that did not feel exhausted and it worked wonderfully.  It was my discipline, though, and not something I would advise anyone else to do.  It was the same with my food.  For eight years I was told to eat just one meal a day and raw food as much as possible—it was a cleansing.

     I still fast to be cleansed.  You see, the community [at Findhorn] is a spiritual community but when you get 250 people they forget, and the spirit sometimes get pushed into the background.  But I feel that the spiritual essence is more important than anything else... because I feel: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else shall be added unto you.” (W 144-5)


Eventually, whatever way you take, I feel it comes back to the withinness. We have to just find it within our own being, we can’t find it outside.  We can search and search—search for another partner or search for help outside—but we always have to come back to the divinity within. (W 147)


The Christ is that tremendously powerful and transforming and transmuting energy which is within each one of us, but we have to recognize it, [we] have to accept it, and then we have to use it for the good of the whole. (W 148)


Everyone may not hear that “still small voice” as clearly as I do, but why not try to see what happens when you learn to be still and listen?  Maybe you will hear something, maybe you will be aware of some action to be taken, maybe intuitively you will know what to do.  Unless you try it you will never know whether it works or not.  Be patient, persist, persevere, and I know you will be rewarded.  Then try to live by it. (S 20)


Never allow fear in because it blocks your contact.  Be courageous and steadfast and let God guide your whole life. (W 150)


     Life is a process, a constant process of change; and as my consciousness and concepts of God began to grow and change, so did my understanding.  What I saw through a glass darkly I began to see more clearly.  The Voice I first heard I accepted as from the Lord God.  He became the Father to a beloved child, guiding and directing that child.

     But gradually the relationship to the Divine changed and became as a marriage to the Beloved.  There is no longer any separation because one knows the Oneness with the Divinity within, the Oneness with all Life. (S 22)


I was shown a great ball of light.  Coming from it were bright rays of light and going back into it were dull rays.  I wondered what was happening, then I heard the words: “Be at peace.  When you have been the full cycle, you will return to Me, the Source of all life, of light, and you will become one with Me as you were in the beginning.” (S 35)




Shakti Gawain (contemporary; New Age; U.S.):


There is a higher intelligence, a fundamental creative power or energy in the universe which is the substance of all that exists... the divine presence.  [Affirmation:] I feel the presence of a power greater than myself. ... As we surrender to the power of the universe and trust it more, we find our relationship with this higher essence becoming more personal. We can literally feel a presence within us, guiding us, loving us, teaching us, encouraging us.  The universe can be teacher, guide, friend, mother, father, lover, creative genius, fairy godmother, even Santa Claus. [Affirm:] I have a personal relationship with a higher power. (2/1-2/2) [15]


Once we acknowledge the higher power of the universe, the obvious question arises—“How can we contact this power, or gain access to it?”  The knowingness that resides in each of us can be accessed through what we call our intuition.  By learning to contact, listen to, and act on our intuition, we can directly connect to the higher power of the universe and allow it to become our guiding force. ... Our role is to listen to our intuition, trust its guidance, and learn to act on it step by step in our lives. (1/10-1/11)


There is a wise being living inside of you.  It is your intuitive self. Focus your awareness into a deep place in your body, a place where your “gut feelings” reside.  You can communicate with it by silently talking to it, making requests, or asking questions.  Then relax, don’t think too hard with your mind, and be open to receiving answers.  They are usually very simple and relate to the present moment, not the past or future, and they feel right....  As we learn to rely on this guidance, life takes on a flowing, effortless quality....

Trust the deepest feelings that you get and act on them.  If they are truly from your intuition, you will find that they lead to a feeling of greater aliveness and power and more opportunities begin to open up.  If you don’t feel more alive and empowered, you may not have been truly acting from your intuition but from some ego voice in you.  The ego seeks what it knows, the familia, the unchangeable.  Often it is based on fear.  On the other hand, your intuition never comes from feelings of fear. ... (1/12-1/14)


When you first become aware of the experience of your higher self, you may be feeling strong, clear and creative at one moment, and then be thrown back into confusion and insecurity at the next moment.  This seems to be a natural part of the process.  At these times it is really important to love yourself while you are feeling these extremes. (4/28)


We strive so hard to make our lives the way we want them to be.  As you begin this day imagine that you can give up struggling for a whole day. Relax for a while, and trust that your needs will be met by the natural flow of life.  The philosophy of being here now and letting go of attachment is a very freeing experience. ... You can just let yourself be, let the world be, and give up the struggle of trying to change things. (1/15)


To whatever degree you listen to and follow your intuition, you will become a creative channel for the higher power of the universe to the same degree. (1/17)


Every creative genius has been a channel for the divine power of the universe.  Every master work has been created through the channeling process.  Great works are not created by the ego alone.  They arise from a deep inspiration on the universal level, and are then expressed and brought into form through the individual ego and personality. (2/10)


As you start this day, spend a few minutes seeing yourself as a channel for the universe.  Feel the energy in your body and be aware of your ability to channel the light to others.  With each person you meet and each exchange you have, realize the light of the universe is moving through you to them. (2/25)


When you begin to see yourself as a channel, you will seldom feel truly alone anymore.  In fact, it is in physical aloneness that you will often find the most powerful communion with the higher power.  At such times, the previously empty places inside of you are filled with light.  Here you will find a constant guiding presence ... (2/27)


As long as we focus only on the outer world there will always be an empty, hungry, lost place inside us that needs to be filled. (2/15)


When we finally give up the struggle to find fulfillment outside of ourselves, we have nowhere to go but within.  It is at this moment of total surrender that the light begins to dawn.  We expect to hit bottom, but instead we fall through a trap door into a bright new world.  We have rediscovered the world of our spirit. (2/18)


Many of us have had the attitude that life is something that happens to us and that all we can do is make the best of it.  It is basically a victim’s position, giving power to people and things outside of ourselves.  We are beginning to realize that the power rests in us, that we can choose to create our life the way we want it to be. (1/6)


As we explore the process of creating our own reality, we begin to realize that the creative power we are feeling is coming from some source other than our personality/ego selves.  It seems to come from some place deep within ourselves. (1/29)


Everything in the physical world is made of energy, all vibrating at different rates of speed.  Thought is a relatively fine, light form of energy and is quick and easy to change.  Matter is relatively dense and compact energy, slower to move and change.  All these energy fields are interconnected, so how we think and feel is constantly affecting and being affected by everything around us.  We are all part of one great energy flow. (3/4)


In the past, many of us have used our power of creative visualization in a relatively unconscious way.  Because of our own deep-seated negative concepts about life, we have automatically and unconsciously expected and imagined lack, limitation, difficulties, and problems to be our lot in life.  To one degree or another, we have created these difficulties for ourselves. (3/3)


In creative visualization you use your imagination to create a clear image, sense, or feeling of something you wish to manifest. (3/6)


Creative visualization is a means of unblocking or dissolving the barriers we ourselves have created to the naturally harmonious, abundant, and loving flow of the universe.  It is only truly effective when it is used in alignment with our highest goals and purposes for the highest good of all beings. (3/19)


It is important to relax deeply when we are first learning to use creative visualization. ... As we are able to silence our habitual mind chatter, we have a chance to listen on a deeper level.  We become receptive and open to our creative imagination and intuition. (3/7)


There are two aspects to creative visualization—receptive and active.  In the receptive mode we ask questions and receive answers or guidance from our intuitive mind through words, mental images, or feelings.  In the active mode we choose mental images and affirmations and use them as tools to consciously create our reality.  Both aspects are important parts of the creative process. (3/15)


An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so. ... Always choose affirmations that feel totally right for you.  What works for one person may not work at all for another.  An affirmation should feel positive, expansive, freeing, and/or supportive.  If it doesn’t, find another one... A powerful, effective affirmation may bring up some resistance from the part of you that fears change, but that will dissolve as you work with it. ... An affirmation should be a clear statement that conveys a strong feeling.  The more feeling it conveys, the stronger impression it makes on your mind.  Affirmations that are long, wordy, and theoretical lose their emotional impact.  Choose affirmations that come from your heart, not your head. (3/10-3/12)


Your goal may be on any level—physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. (3/17)


As you focus on your goal, make strong positive affirmations to yourself that it has come, or is now coming to you.  See yourself receiving or achieving it.  Always phrase affirmations in the present tense, not in the future.  Don’t say “I will get a wonderful new job,” but rather “I now have a wonderful new job.”  This is not lying to yourself, but is acknowledging the fact that everything is created first on the mental plane before it can manifest in objective reality.  It is also a way of changing the patterns of how we usually talk to ourselves. (3/21)


Spirit is the energy of the universe, the higher self.  Form is the physical world.  When our spirit decides to manifest as physical form, we choose a life situation and create a body in accordance with what will best serve and teach us in this lifetime.  Ultimately, our goal is to create a form that can do everything our spirit wants to do easily and beautifully.  However, the physical world still exists at a relatively primitive level of creation when compared to the consciousness of our spirits.  It takes time to manifest form.  So we must have patience and love for the unfolding creative process. (4/21)


We can learn to live in the world of form... without being attached to it.  We can have everything the world has to offer, yet be willing to let go of it when we need to.  Because the universe within us is rich and powerful, we come to know intuitively that we have everything we need. (4/23)


Because human nature is basically loving, most of us will not allow ourselves to have what we want so long as we believe that we might be depriving others in order to do so.  We have to understand in a deep way that living a fulfilling life contributes to the general state of human happiness and inspires and supports others to create more happiness for themselves. (3/20)


The only effective way to use creative visualization is in the spirit of the Tao—going with the flow.  That means that you don’t have to struggle to get where you want to go.  You simply put out clearly to the universe where you would like to go, and then patiently and harmoniously follow the flow of the river of life until it takes you there or somewhere even better. (3/29)


Creative visualization cannot be used to control the behavior of others or cause them to do something against their will.  Its effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self-realization, allowing everybody to manifest in their most positive way. (3/26)


When we trust and follow the energy of the universe within us, it leads us into the appropriate action for any given situation.  It may lead us to speak or be silent, to move and dance or be still, to sing, shout, cry, or meditate.  In interactions with others it may lead us to converse, to hug, to sit quietly together.  The passion of life exists in all of these experiences and fulfillment comes from following and expressing this energy naturally, as we really feel it. (12/23)


Sit or lie in a comfortable position.  Let your body relax completely. Breathe deeply and slowly.  Visualize a light within your heart—glowing, radiant, and warm.  Feel it spreading and growing, shining out from you further and further until you are like a golden sun radiating loving energy on everything and everyone around you.  Say to yourself, “Divine light and divine love are flowing through me and radiating from me to everything around me.”  Repeat this over and over…. (2/29)