Posted in creativity

The Ocher of Abundance – Book Review

Wendy E. Slater has done it again! Like a surgeon with a scalpel, Wendy masterfully slices through the tough shell of the human experience, to discover what resides deep within.  Piercing through tissue, muscle and bone, Wendy’s words get to the heart of the matter – where we feel everything the human experience has to offer:  pain, humiliation, shame, sorrow, separation, ecstasy, intimacy, passion, wonder, love and joy.  Pointed and raw, Wendy’s words force the reader to confront what is real.  It is for this reason that I love Wendy’s work!  Thank you Wendy for another masterpiece!  As always, I look forward to your next release!

Click on the image to learn more and to purchase a copy!


Wendy E. Slater is a mystical poet presently living in Vermont. She has three published volumes in her Traduka Wisdom Poetry Series of spiritually inspired poetry.  Wendy embraces the clarity and awareness in her daily life that the spiritual is radian and evident even in the seemingly mundane.  She lives her life in accordance with this wisdom and the understanding that the most complex concepts can be expressed succinctly with simplicity.

Posted in Being Human, Relationships, self-actualization, women

Woman on Fire – The Poetry of Wendy E. Slater

I don’t remember what initially caused our lives to intersect, but since coming to know Wendy E. Slater, I have found in her a soul-sister, fellow shit-disturber, priestess, goddess and healer.  When I was flat on my back with a raging ear infection last fall, Wendy showed up with her Shamanic gifts and helped support my healing.  For this, I will be ever, eternally grateful.  Wendy’s poetry rocks me to the core and sings to my soul – songs of the feminine angst, sexual tension, the ecstasies and agonies of love and just plain REALNESS.  More than anything, Wendy exposes the fullness of what it means to be human and what it means to be fully female in a masculine-dominated world.  I love her work, but more than this, I love her Soul and the gifts she brings to humanity in its transition from ignorance into true seeing, fear into love.  Thank you Wendy!  


Of the Flame, Poems-Volume 15 by Wendy E. Slater is the second in the series of her spiritual poetry or “vision quest poetry” to be published. The poetry continues to chronicle the inner journey of self-discovery and the Divine, awakening us to our own Truth as we travel the path, the personal journey, and awaken from the illusory separation of self and Divinity. Subsequently, self-forgiveness allows us to surrender to our wholeness without false perfection. When we cast blame and self-judgment aside, we transform, heal, and reawaken from “the mythos” of separation and become One.

Buy it Now!
Buy it Now!


As the flame comes in,

     It comes forth

       Like a volcano

       With rage kept under

            The sea

                Of devotion

                Of being apart

                And not touched,

                The grace

                    Of love gone

                    For too long?,

                    Like amnesia.


When water hits vents with force

       From movement below

                It all spews forth

       Without hiding

               From God’s eye

       I have been discovered

                In the lingering dormancy

       And creating now

                By amplitude

       Our continent.

(c) 2016 Wendy E. Slater

Reader Reviews for Of the Flame:

“Wendy E. Slater’s new volume of poetry, Of the Flame, reads like a smoking bowl of hot chilis right off the griddle. Consider this, ‘Who is omniscient / Lies in wait / On the porch / To eat your ego alive,’ and further, ‘The unfolding / Is in the forest of my love, / Mysterious unchartered territory.’ Profound, gutsy, full of life and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Full of passion and flame, indeed. Highly recommended.”

—John A. Perks, author of The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant Ven. Seonaidh Perks, Celtic Buddhist Lineage

“Once again Wendy E. Slater turns her unique poetic talents, her gritty voice and her lyrical intensity to an exploration of the self, in contexts that demand a cunning navigation between the longing for companionship and the need for independence, between contemporary society’s false glitter with its plastic wrapped apparent perfection and the true beauty that the mind demands but also fears. Hers is a world of shopping malls and tigers, AstroTurf and mountains, mud puddles and flame, contrasts that fuse into a powerfully rewarding poetic whole.”

—Rosemary Lloyd, Litt.D (Cambridge), scholar and translator, and author of Baudelaire’s World

“Wendy E. Slater revels in all aspects of love. Love between people—love’s longings—the bittersweet aspects of loving—even the forgiving parts of love. Using short choppy lines in forceful poetics, she explains her feelings, her wishes and the boundaries of love. She describes the ‘Coral majesty of fishes / In ecstatic hues / Of tropical vibration’ and ‘A bouquet / Of spring flowers / All ways / Unfolding in the Breath’s / Sacred exhale’ in terms of life itself. Ms. Slater successfully writes with intelligence and knowledge about the feelings and interactions between people and their effects on one another. She reaches the core and uncovers the basis. Each reader will relate to her words based on their own lives. We will all benefit from her poems providing this insight. To sum up this latest book of poems, Wendy E. Slater writes about humanity with a ceaseless and challenging purpose.”

—D.R. Deutsch, Poet-In-Residence, Port Chester, Rye Brook Public Library

Wendy E. Slater:

Wendy E.SlaterMy life experience continues to be a personal healing journey of self knowledge, gained by participating in and or observing all facets of my own life story. I seek the meaning of life by giving my own life meaning. Originally a liberal arts student in the 1980’s, I gravitated toward science (i.e., the genetics of small captive societies) during my years of academic study and increasingly became aware, and an advocate, of the interconnectedness of all living things.
This understanding was refined through the years with the help of a holistic medical doctor who introduced me to his world of alternative, nontraditional medicine, beginning with ortho molecular medicine and vitamin therapy, and culminating, among other things, with acupuncture, homeopathy, intuitive healing, radionics, psychic healing, shamanistic healing, herbs, essences, and Chi Gong.
Like Diogenes searching the world for an honest man, I searched traditional and nontraditional medicine for healing. My journey made me increasingly aware that all human societies, throughout the Ages, in each era or geographic location, recognize healers, regardless of the nature of the treatments offered, who communicate with life force energy, external to the individual but at the same time resident within the self.
 My realization that balance between these forms of life force energies is key to well-being led me to study and gain experience in radionics, homeopathy, iridology, and meditation; as a Reiki Master Teacher, a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner and self-help instructor, and as a student of Tibetan Yoga teacher training; and in Chi Gong, the healing properties of herbs, flower and gem essences, healing crystals and gems, and quantum healing.
Learn more about Wendy and her work at
Posted in Uncategorized

Joseph Campbell’s Latest Release – Romance of the Grail

As an avid reader of anything “King Arthur,” I was excited to read this collection and discovered in it a scholarly approach to the tales through the unique eyes of Joseph Campbell. For all those passionate about Arthurian legend and the Quest for the Holy Grail, this is a worthy addition to your library. 

Romance of the Grail book cover


A Talk with Evans Lansing Smith, editor of Romance of the Grail: The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth by Joseph Campbell



Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) is widely credited with bringing mythology to a mass audience through his books Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth.

Editor Evans Lansing Smith is the chair of mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA.


  1. How did you first become interested in Joseph Campbell?


After graduating from Williams College, and returning home to Baltimore, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I only knew that I was not interested in pursuing the various paths of my friends and classmates. I didn’t want to be a lawyer, an insurance, salesman, a banker, or a doctor. I only knew that I had a strong interest in art, literature, and spirituality. So I decided to enroll in a Creative Writing program offered by Antioch International, and spent two years in Dublin and London working on a novel and a group of poems. During that time I had a couple of very powerful dreams, which I wrote poems about, and shared with the group. One of them came down the hall one morning with a book in her hand for me to read. It was The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which I devoured, and then moved on to Creative Mythology (Masks of God, Volume 4).


  1. What did you find of importance in those books?


All through college I had essentially been interested in Modernist literature and painting—D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Picasso, and all the rest of the great figures of the 20th century. I knew next to nothing about the splendid cultures of the High Middle Ages, nor much more about the mythologies of the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East. So when I read Campbell, I got the education I had missed in college, and came to have better understanding of complex interrelationships between literature, art, music, philosophy, architecture and etc. of the Middle Ages. He was a kind of Renaissance figure for me, interested in all kinds of things, and moving way beyond the boundaries of the narrow fields of specialization that seem to dominate the academic circles of today.


  1. How did your relationship with Joseph Campbell continue?


At the end of the two years working on the novel in London, I was not eager to go back home to Baltimore, and still wasn’t sure what to do when I did. So when the same girl who had introduced me to The Hero With a Thousand Faces came down the hall again one morning, this time with a brochure about a trip to Northern France to study the legends of the Grail and the Middle Ages, guided by Joseph Campbell, I signed up immediately. Next thing I knew I was sitting on a bus beside him, on the road to Rouen, Normandy, Mt. San Michelle, Carnac, the Loire Valley, Chartres at twilight, and on up to Paris, where we had begun our trip—a complete and marvelous hero journey cycle! The next year I had the great good fortune to repeat the experience, this time in Egypt, floating down the Nile on a boat called the S.S. Osiris, immersed in all the mysteries of the ancient world


  1. What did you find most useful in his work for your own?


After returning to the United States, and finally having to answer the question about what to do with my life, I decided to drive across the country and enroll in the Ph.D. program in Claremont California. While working my way through the literature curriculum, and moving towards the dissertation, I had to find a way to synthesize my interest in mythological studies and literature. Campbell’s model of the hero journey cycle gave me a kind of skeleton key to both, one which I could simply apply to both my writing and teaching. During this time, I found out that he was coming frequently to offer week-long lectures at the Casa Maria on Montecito, and others in San Francisco, so I was able to continue my education with him, alongside my graduate studies. Then when I read James Hillman’s book, The Dream and the Underworld, I knew I had the specific version of the hero journey cycle that I needed for my work—the myth of the descent to the underworld, probably the most important of all myths for the Modernist writers I was interested in.


  1. How and when did you begin work in the Campbell Collection?


After getting my Ph.D. I taught two years in Switzerland, another two in Annapolis, and then started a long 20 year stretch at Midwestern State University in Texas. Towards the end of that time, I began doing extra adjunct teaching in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Located on the grounds of Pacifica is the Opus Archive & Library, which house the Joseph Campbell & Marija Gimbutas Library. One day in the library, surrounded by all of his books, I found a typescript of his Master’s Thesis for Columbia, called “The Dolorous Stroke,” a study of an important motif in the Grail Romances: the wound that creates the Waste Land. It was not a theme that I had heard Campbell speak much of during his many lectures, nor was it a theme I found much on in his published books. And so was born, in 2005, the idea of publishing the thesis.


  1. Tell me about the archives and the process that lead to this book on the Grail?


My first job—and it took many years—was simply to compile an annotated bibliography of Campbell’s collection of books about the Middle Ages (which is one small part of a very large library). I found many fascinating items in the underlinings and marginalia of those books, which provided insight into the way Campbell became the great scholar of world mythology that he was—going well beyond the mythologies of the Middle Ages. And then there were the files of his lectures, letters and research notes. It was my next task to sort through all of the boxes devoted to the Middle Ages and the Grail mythologies, and catalogue them in some way. My goodness what a treasure trove! I was deeply impressed by the breadth of his interests, and, perhaps more importantly by its depth: an extraordinary encyclopedic and detailed awareness of all aspects of the culture, and their relevance to the Grail Romances.


  1. What do you consider to be the value of the Campbell Collection?


You can see how wrong so many of the critics of the post-Campbell, post-Northrop Frye, post-Jungian generation were, in their accusations that Campbell was a universalist with no concern for the specifics of a particular cultural mythology. He seemed to know so much more than any of them do about the anthropology, social, and political orders expressed in the myths, and their psychological and spiritual roots. As I said, it was both the breadth and the depth of his scholarship that so deeply impressed me in the years spent working on his beautiful, simple wooden desk in the archives.


  1. How did you select the materials presented in the book?


After approaching Bob Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and its Board members, with the idea of publishing the M.A. Thesis, I was asked to provide a broader context for “The Dolorous Stroke,” situating it in relation to Campbell’s lifelong interest in the Grail Romances, on which I had heard him speak so beautifully on so many occasions in so many different places: Brittany, the forests of Broceliande, the Nile, New York at the Open Eye, San Francisco at the Jung Institute, and here at what would become Pacifica Graduate Institute. So with the help of Bob, David Kudler, Safron Rossi, I combed carefully through audio recordings, lecture notes, and outtakes from the files, to find the best versions of the stories, and the most illuminating commentaries on them, that would elucidate his unique approach.


  1. What theme distinguishes your approach to those materials?


When Joseph Campbell left New York in the 1920s, after completing “The Dolorous Stroke,” he inevitably brought along with him the ideas of his mentor, Roger Sherman Loomis, whose basic assumption was that the Grail Romances emerged from the pre-Christian, pre-Roman mythologies of the Celtic worlds of Northern Europe, in Brittany, Wales, and Ireland. By the time Campbell got to Munich, after a year in Paris, that notion was exploded. The whole thrust of the German scholarship on the poetry of the Middle Ages had shifted eastwards. It was much more engaged with studies on the influence of Persian, Arabic, and Indian mythologies on the Grail Romances than on the Celtic world of Northern Europe. So by the time Campbell got back to New York, and before his epic journey across the continent to Big Sur, he had been reborn, so to speak, as the great comparative scholar of world mythology that he became, richly informed by the great spiritual reservoirs of the Near and Far East.


  1. What do you hope people will take away from the book?


I know they will be as deeply engaged with, and indeed as mesmerized as I was, by the power, grace, and fun with which Campbell retells the stories of the knights so central to the Grail Romances: Yvain, Lancelot, Parzival, Gawain, Tristan, and others. As an Irishman, Campbell came from a long lineage of oral tradition, so that he was able in a couple of hours to convey more of the complexity and spiritual depth of those stories than many have been able to expound in long books on the subject. In his lectures, you don’t just get the story, plus the amazing quantities of information about them—you get a direct and profound experience of their essential wisdom. In addition, I hope that people will come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of his originality and scholarship than they might previously have had. Finally, I hope that the readers will have a glimpse of the evolution of that “Fire in the Mind” that shed so much light on the world we live in, and which inspired so many of us to follow our own ways, when everyone around us was saying: “Don’t go there!”



Romance of the Grail by Joseph Campbell

Edited and Introduced by Evans Lansing Smith

October 21, 2015 • Mythology • Hardcover • 320 pages

Price: $24.95 • ISBN 978-1-60868-324-6


Posted in Healing

Healing with Ayurveda – Book Review

One of the greatest blessings in my life has been connecting with an Ayurvedic Medicine practitioner and learning how best to eat for my specific body type.  Learning that my dosha (body temperament) is Vata/Pitta and how to manage the typical imbalances of this combination has helped me to alleviate all kinds of unpleasant physical as well as emotional symptoms.  Ayurvedic Medicine has been a goddess-send for me!  I was therefore thrilled to discover the book, The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda by Michelle S. Fondin.  Here she describes in very simple terms the theory and practice of Ayurveda and provides guidance for you to begin your own journey with Ayurveda.  I highly recommend this book for beginners and experts alike. Here is an excerpt from her book:


Food as Medicine
An Excerpt from The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda

The adage “You are what you eat” is more than a cliché. More than ever, in today’s world, it’s a reality. And what we have available to eat is increasingly artificial, genetically modified, chemical laden, and simply unhealthy. Even though the choices may seem varied, in actuality they’re limited to a few ingredients, which show up in different products. So what should you eat to maintain optimal health?

First, I’d like you to consider a few facts and natural inclinations we have. This will put you in touch with your intuitive nature. Fact no. 1: We need to eat in order to stay alive. Fact no. 2: Our ancestors, who lived before the Industrial Revolution, had to rely on hunting, gathering, growing, and storing food to survive. Fact no. 3: Because the human body has been hardwired over time for survival, eating large amounts of food or yo-yo dieting will lead to weight gain.

In the postindustrial era, processed or chemically produced food has become the norm. Owing to shrewd and manipulative advertising, most people don’t even know the difference between something healthy and something processed. If one cereal carries the claim that it will lower cholesterol and is endorsed by the American Heart Association, why shouldn’t we believe it? If a yogurt company makes the claim that their yogurt has five grams of fiber, and your doctor says you must get more fiber, why not buy that yogurt? One thing we need to realize is that advertisers tell partial truths. Food manufacturers and distributors are multibillion-dollar corporations. If you don’t believe their claims, their advertising teams are doing a poor job. In 2010, Kraft Food’s net revenue was $49.2 billion.
In comparison, smaller, organic food companies, such as Horizon Organic Dairy, bring in around $50 to $100 million in net revenue. It’s not surprising that we believe the large food companies’ claims, given how loud and how present they are in our daily lives.

For millions of years, humans have eaten what was available from the earth; and for the past one hundred years or so, they’ve eaten what’s available. Do you understand the difference in that statement? In order to obtain optimal health, we need to go back to eating what’s available from the earth, because that is what we’re hardwired to process. Biological evolution takes a great number of generations, not one or two generations. By pouring chemically produced food and drink into our bodies, we are attempting to force biological evolution over the period of one lifetime. And our bodies are protesting. According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50 percent, to 15 million new cases by 2020. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States.\

Poor diet costs us not only our lives but our resources as well. Type 2 diabetes, a completely preventable form of diabetes, drains $63.14 billion from our health care system yearly, and that figure doesn’t take into account the cost of lost days of work, physician office visits, and the detriment to families. Close runners-up in preventable disease are hypertension and heart disease, followed by osteoarthritis and gallbladder disease.

The good news is that you can do something about all this. With a shift in awareness and a change in habits, you get to take control of your health and life. Most people only dabble in a healthy lifestyle and then brace themselves for a cancer diagnosis or for some other disease that may creep up. But most diseases don’t “come out of nowhere.” Disease is developed over years and sometimes decades. According to Ayurvedic medicine, 95 percent of diseases are completely preventable with a consistent, proper lifestyle, one that includes a good diet, meditation, and an exercise regime. This is good news because you are in control. Being in control means you take responsibility for your own health. Leaving your health to doctors, medicines, other health care practitioners, or fate means leaving the door wide open to greater health problems in the future. When it comes to health, there is a place for allopathic medicine, herbal medicine, and, yes, prayer, but those are certainly not ways to prevent ill health. They are simply bandages applied to what’s already broken.

What I’m emphasizing here is taking real responsibility on a daily basis, starting now, today. There’s a reason why you picked up this book, and this is it. By taking responsibility, you cannot blame anyone or anything for your sickness or disease.

# # #

Michelle FondinMichelle S. Fondin is the author of The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda. She holds a Vedic Master Certificate from the Chopra Center and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and Yoga Alliance. She treats clients at her Ayurvedic Path center, speaks and offers workshops, and lives in Herndon, Virginia. Visit her online at
Excerpted from the book The Wheel of Healing with Ayruveda ©2015 by Michelle S. Fondin. Printed with permission of New World Library.

Posted in creativity, Uncategorized

Not Just for Writers – Wild Women, Wild Voices Book Review

As a writer, I am always looking for great resources for priming my creative pump.  Wild Women, Wild Voices – Writing from Your Authentic Wildness, by Judy Reeves is such a book.  This book is not just for writers, however.  Wild Women, Wild Voices is for anyone (including men) who have experienced life and are searching for tools through which they can process and give their life experience expression.  This book provides so much more than what it promises by helping to support not only our creative expression, but the self-actualization that is accomplished when we take time to grow through what life has to offer.  Well done Judy! 



 From the publisher:

Unlike other books exploring the concept of the wild woman, Wild Women, Wild Voices goes on to offer practical ways to reclaim and use the wildness and one’s own “wild” voice. It offers assignments such as daily journaling or writing with prompts and topics related to the subject of the book; suggested activities to further experience the “wild women within” and give her freedom; and quizzes, references, and inspiring quotations to reinforce the ideas and concepts.

Focusing consecutively on the cycles that make up a woman’s life, Reeves covers:

  • Claiming the Wild Woman — rediscovering the deep connections with ourselves and others
  • Mother/Sister/Daughter and family connections
  • Loves and Lovers
  • Friendship — The Wild Woman in Community with Other Women
  • Artist/Creator — The Authentic Work of Wild Woman
  • Life Journeys — Quests and Pilgrimages
  • Death and Legacies — The Unveiling of the Wise Woman

Judy Reeves has proven through her successful writing books, including A Writer’s Book of Days, that she understands how to help writers achieve their goals. Now, she takes that expertise and turns it into something specifically aimed at freeing a more innate and truer voice within women. There is no doubt that Wild Women, Wild Voices provides an opportunity for women to claim their wild woman and make a joyful noise with their individual, authentic wild voice.


JudyReeves3_cJudy Reeves is a writer, teacher, and writing practice provocateur who has written four books on writing, including the award-winning A Writer’s Book of Days. In addition to leading private writing groups, Judy teaches at UC San Diego Extension and at San Diego Writers, Ink, a nonprofit literary organization she cofounded. More information at



Posted in Uncategorized

The Gospel of Sophia – Book Review

I haven’t yet finished reading The Gospel of Sophia, not because it is not holding my interest, but because this book is meant to be SAVORED! Tyla Gabriel has done a fantastic job of presenting in Encyclopedic fashion the critical importance of the Divine Feminine in all her forms. This book is not just a lesson in the Divine Feminine, it is an attunement – and an ordination. As I have been reading the book, I am being transformed. EMPOWERMENT, specifically, FEMININE EMPOWERMENT is the gift that comes in being open to the spirit of Tyla’s words. Miracles have been happening in my life since encountering The Gospel of Sophia and I imagine they will for you as well. Please get this book and savor it drop by drop by drop as you enjoy the Divine love you will experience while enjoying its nourishment.

 TheGospelOfSophia-low-resBUY IT HERE

KNOW HER.  For the first time in print the secrets of the Mystery Schools and highest yoga tantra concerning the primacy of the Divine Feminine Trinity are revealed through self-evident scholarship and inspiring, panoramic views of the three Goddesses.  The biographies of a Mother Goddess, who created the world and is found in every creation story, the Daughter Goddess, who descended like Christ from heaven to redeem fallen matter, and The Holy Sophia, who travels along with humanity as it evolves, is told in detail with accompanying documentation that is historic and deeply stirring.

The three biographies of the Mother, Daughter and The Holy Sophia conclusively answer all cosmological, philosophical and theological questions about the divine that have engaged the hearts and minds of thinkers since the beginning of time.  The Gospel of Sophia gives the reader an opportunity to see the divine pictured in ways that have never been offered in one book.  Volume I is a source text that points directly to the reader’s ability to experience the divine through the thinking, feeling, and willing aspects of the reader’s consciousness.

The Gospel of Sophia is a Living Imagination of our time.  Simple symbols and parables will bring the reader to experience Sophia in ways that have only been dreamt about before or described as inspirations that were not connected to a stream of wisdom that self-initiates the practitioner.

The reader will move from an aspirant seeking knowledge to an initiate who begins to experience Sophia-Christos in a process of self-initiation.  This vision of the Great Goddess is unparalleled in the literature on the current revelation of the Divine Feminine Trinity.

The Gospel of Sophia is intended for spiritual initiates only.  If you are not on an esoteric path of conscious, self-directed initiation, the contents of these esoteric materials may not resonate with you at this time on your spiritual journey.   How will you know if you are a spiritual initiate?  Please read the sample materials offered on Tyla’s website.  If they stir your soul and spirit, you will know that you, the student, are ready, and a teacher has appeared.


TylaWells.jpgAbout the Author

Tyla Gabriel, ND is a board certified naturopath as well as an internationally known entrepreneur in education and business.  She holds a graduate degree in Humanities from Florida State University, where she began her life-long studies in religion, mythology and philosophy, eventually leading her to the path of Anthroposophy.  As a philosopher and theologian, her writings and teachings on the pivotal role of the Divine Feminine Trinity have broken ground that is tantamount to a new revelation of the divine that necessitates a complete revisiting of our approach to the world and ourselves.

The Gospel of Sophia is the testament of an aspirant of Sophia who has been given self-initiation with the assistance of the Divine Feminine Trinity as guide and teacher.  From the first revelation of Sophia through Pelee, to the Etheric Christ experience several years later, Gabriel has followed the luminous path of study and communion with Sophia-Christos to become an initiate of Sophia.  The teachings about the Being of Sophia are the result of living Imaginations given to her by spiritual beings that inspired her over many years, guiding her to active Intuitions that unveil the hidden nature of the Great Goddess.

You can learn more about Tyla Gabriel at











Posted in God, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices

Yoga and Faith – Sophia Rising Book Review

I just finished reading Sophia Rising – awakening your sacred wisdom through yoga by Monette Chilson and I have to say that taking in her words has been nothing short of receiving a Divine Embrace.  Monette skillfully describes the potential depth that can be achieved through diligent yoga practice drawing us deeply into unity with the Divine of our understanding –  thereby finding oneness within ourselves.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, you will love this book.  For those coming from a Christian tradition specifically, Monette artfully presents the way in which yoga complements and even deepens Christian belief and practice and how in truth, the practice of yoga transcends the perceived separation of religiosity.  I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone practicing or contemplating the practice of yoga. 

How can yoga become a practical application of your faith?

Author and yogini MONETTE CHILSON uses yoga to attune herself to her inner wisdom—referred to by the Greek name Sophia—and through that iconic face of the feminine divine she has bridged the gaps in her faith that religion could not.  Chilson invites readers to listen to that inner voice and meld their own spiritual beliefs with a yoga practice that can enrich their lives both on and off the mat.




(Bright Sky Press Spring 2013) examines yoga’s philosophical underpinnings and reveals how yoga practitioners from any faith can use their yoga practice to create a sacred space inside themselves.  Sophia Rising awakens within us that voice of transformation that can meld with our faith, rather than exclude it.  It allows us to access the feminine divine within, the aspect of God that represents wisdom and can speak to us in the moments of calm that come through practicing yoga.  Chilson empowers her readers to deepen their connection with their faith, strips away the mysticism that the word yoga conjures, and offers historical context for the idea that the contemplative nature of yoga shares roots with many faith practices.  Through the voice of Sophia, yoga becomes a non-dualistic experience where the practitioner reaps the benefits of the physical, mental, and spiritual.


About the Author

Monette0149_pp (2)Monette Chilson has practiced yoga for almost two decades and is dedicated to making the spiritual benefits of yoga accessible to people of all faiths. She is a feature writer for the Texas Yoga Association and her writing has appeared in Yoga Journal, Om Times, and Christian Yoga Magazine; Chilson also speaks at yoga conferences and women’s events. Though yoga is her way of life, she is also passionate about writing and photography. A graduate of the University of Houston, with a Master’s in Communications, she lives in Houston with her husband and two children. Learn more about Monette through her website.


Posted in Being Human, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Healing

Healing a Wounded Heart – Book Review

Beth (Elizabeth) Heuer is a dear friend and a woman I am grateful to have on my team.  I have journeyed with Beth, watching on the periphery, as her gifts as a writer have emerged and blossomed.  The release of her first book is a birthing of epic proportions and I am honored to support the sharing of her important message, namely, that the effects of an abusive childhood can not only be overcome, but transcended when one applies themselves diligently to the path of recovery. The end result being the restoration of their original and divine nature as healthy, whole and complete.  Thank you Beth for sharing your story so others too may also find joy!  You can find Beth’s book HERE. 


Healing a Wounded Heart by Elizabeth Ruth Heuer

Book review

With fierce and courageous honesty, Elizabeth Ruth Heuer creates a new Everyman, or rather, Everywoman. In telling her own story Heuer provides the context for how abuse happens and the dysfunctional thinking and behaviors that arise out of growing up with abuse.  In sharing the tools that helped her to heal and to be restored to her original nature as healthy, gifted and whole, Heuer provides hope for all who have suffered the pain and aftermath of childhood physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse.  Excruciatingly familiar, Healing a Wounded Heart speaks to female and male alike in telling the sadly universal story of childhood dysfunction leading to “a divided life,” and the opportunity, if so chosen, to heal the wounds of past abuse so that one might enjoy the freedom and fulfillment of a whole and unified life.


BethHeuerElizabeth (Beth) Heuer is the Emeritus Director of Human Resources at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, having been instrumental in moving three departments to the strategic level of the institution within higher education. A focus of Heuer’s 42 year professional life was helping others develop, learn, and become more self-reliant and joyful in their lives. Now retired, Elizabeth’s passions include reducing poverty and domestic abuse. As a founding member of the Women Who Care–Greater Oshkosh organization, Heuer hopes to make an immediate and significant impact on the community through building relationships among women, resulting in a community where all people can pursue a healthy and dignified life.

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Goddesses – Mysteries of the Feminine Divine, a book review

Being raised Catholic, with the “old man in the sky God;” presided over by an exclusively male priesthood; I often felt as if something was missing.  How could the God of unconditional love only be male and only choose men to lead “HIS” Church?  If God loves us without condition and if we are indeed “made in the image and likeness of God, where was the God in whose image I was made?  Furthermore, wouldn’t women, then be equally worthy to lead God’s Church? While the veneration of Mary somewhat satisfied these longings, she still wasn’t God. These questions eventually led me on the search for a feminine image of God that I could call my own, and one that I intuitively knew could be found.

Gratefully, I was not the only one troubled by the exclusively male God of the Western religious traditions and have found much comfort in the research that has been accomplished in uncovering the abundant examples of the Feminine Divine in cultures and religions across epochs, including Her presence in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

In, Goddesses – Mysteries of the Feminine Divine, by Joseph Campbell, I have found another worthy resource in my on-going exploration of the Feminine Divine.  Whereas some of the conclusions Campbell presents have since been refuted (ie: the absence of the feminine divine within the Hebrew tradition), this collection provides a worthy addition to the study of the Feminine Divine, and unlike many books written on this topic, Campbell presents this topic in a way that is accessible to anyone.

In this collection of previously unpublished lectures, given to lay audiences in the 1980’s, the reader will get an overview of the research contemporary to the time.  Campbell reveals a rich tradition of the Feminine Divine, along with a contemporary challenge to set aside our exclusively male gods with their resulting hierarchies and patriarchies and make room for the Feminine. Balancing the masculine and the feminine, Campbell argues, may be the remedy to the disease of power and control that currently plagues our world, proving once again, the prophetic vision of Joseph Campbell.

If you are a fan of Joseph Campbell or interested in the Feminine Divine, I highly recommend this book.



Lauri Lumby

Spiritual Director, Author, Priest