Posted in Discernment, Inspiration, Mary Magdalene, Order of Melchizedek

Receiving a Vision and Seeing it Through

For many years I have used the Tarot as a source of guidance and support. I do not believe the cards themselves are guiding me, but that the archetypal images are reflecting back to me the deep truths I know in my heart but sometimes cannot see through the intrusions of the mind.  Yesterday morning, at another crossroads in my life, I laid cards.  What came through at once surprised me and affirmed what I have known all along.  I have many times been given a vision of my mission and purpose in this life.  This mission has not changed and is being fulfilled in the timing that can only come from the Divine. As I told a friend on Monday,

“I am very clear on my mission. As the Catholic Church (and other forms of institutional religion) implode upon themselves, I am here as a bridge, a source of comfort and a guide.  I am able to speak the language of the people who will be leaving the Church.  I can be a source of comfort and support for their grief and shock.  I will support them in finding healing from the trauma and break free of co-dependency.  I will provide them with tools in a language with which they are familiar that will empower them in finding their own truth.”

This is the work I have been doing for the past 25 years and the work I will continue to do. In laying cards, this has, once again, been confirmed:

Here were the cards I drew:

The Empress: At the center is the card that represents self. Here, she is the Empress.  The Empress, here represented by St. Helena represents the reception of a vision/mission/purpose and the courage and strength to see it through.  The Empress tells us, “You know what your mission is…..stick with it….be true to your mission….and see it through. In remaining diligent and faithful, it will be fulfilled.

High Priestess: The second card represents the situation we are currently facing. Here, represented by the Magdalene who plays the role of priestess.  The priestess card is all about the inner journey, the esoteric, mystery and intuition. The priestess card presides over the gateway between life and death is able to communicate with “the gods.”  The Priestess tells us to listen to the voice within and act according to its dictates.  She tells us to trust our intuition even (especially) when it makes no logical sense whatsoever.  She reminds me that this is what I am to continue to do for myself, while supporting others in doing the same.

Ten of Staffs: To the right of the two center cards is the card that represents new beginnings and inspiration. Here – the ten of staffs which represent RESURRECTION.  What has died will find new life.  The phoenix will come forth out of the ash.  Considering all the endings and “death” I have experienced in the past many years, I can only take this as a message of great hope and promise, confirming what I have always believed  –  if the Universe is asking so much to come to an end, it must be for the sake of something HUGE.  I welcome whatever that might be.

6 of Cups: At the bottom is the card that presents transition. Connected with the element of fire it represents taking in what is life-giving and letting go of that which no longer serves.  This is the corner of transformation.  As the 6 of cups, this card represents service – specifically service to others.  Here, depicted as Jesus washing the feet of his disciples – a card of humble service and the inversion of hierarchy.  I take this as an invitation to hold true to my commitment and focus on humble service – avoiding the temptations of the ego to place oneself above others as “teacher” or “priest” or “guru” but instead as companion.  We are all on this journey trying to figure our own sh.t out.  If I can help others find themselves in the middle of the debris of our human experience, then I am humbled and grateful to do so.

The Star: The card to the left represents the process of coming into maturity – approaching the fruition of our labors. In the traditional Tarot, this is the Star card, here portrayed by Teresa of Avila in her vision of the interior castle (heaven) and the seven step process of getting there.  This card represents our own ascension (attainment of self-actualization and bringing that into our lived experience.)  It also represents a breakthrough and an opportunity suddenly becoming available.  I’ll take it!

Knight of Swords: The top cards represent the outcome of the journey. The first card, the Knight of Swords, invites us to explore our demons and our attitude toward them.  Are they our enemy and something to be destroyed, or can we find a gentler way of dealing with the perceived obstacles both within and outside of us?  St. George invites me to take the gentle path and to work toward integration and union rather than destruction.  Interestingly this is EXTREMELY relevant at this time in my journey.

Nine of Coins: The final card is the card of true abundance – a spiritual abundance providing material support. It also represents receiving the fruits of our labors. This is the experience I’ve been waiting for….and may it be so!

If you are interested in learning the Tarot from a Christian perspective, check out the Tarot of the Saints by Robert M. Place. The Tarot is also explored in depth in my online Order of Melchizedek Training Program. 

order of melchizedek, Christian Magic, Catholic Magic, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

 

Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Initiation: Standing at the Crossroads

The journey toward self-actualization is in fact, one spiritual initiation after another. Spiritual initiation takes place every time we are faced with an opportunity to remain in the perceived safety and security of what we have known or take another step toward the fulfillment of our life purpose.  The spiritual initiation is successful when we move through the fears and ego attachments that seek to keep us imprisoned within our small selves and away from the expansion we are driven toward by our Soul.  Some of these initiations are small and some are so significantly huge that we soon become aware that we are facing a major crossroad in our life.  It is at these crossroad moments that our spiritual practice becomes even more critical, as does our diligent attention to these practices.

spiritual initiation, crossroads, discernment, soul's purpose, journey of the soul, spiritual practice

Stephanie Azaria in Monday’s post in her column “Cosmic Consciousness” had the following to say about the crossroads:

“…a crossroad is a series of four very specific paths that are all equally available to us when we approach them from the observer’s perspective. We can send our conscious awareness down all four roads at the same time until the heart begins to resonate fully with one (or more) of these paths.  At that time we can take action to follow that road knowing it may or may not be permanent…..such is the way of the new world.  Nothing is permanent.”

A crossroads occurs when the life we have known has come to an end and the new life has not yet revealed itself. It is a time of spiritual initiation ripe with opportunity and danger.  At the crossroads, possibilities seem endless and many opportunities (or twinklings of opportunities) may present themselves.  At this stage, none of these possibilities are yet fully formed, so a decision (or even a discernment) cannot yet be made.  Some of these possibilities will die on the vine.  Some are not in our highest good or reflective of our soul’s purpose and therefore should not be pursued.  And some are just beginning to grow roots so are not yet strong enough to support our unfolding.  For these reasons, pursuing or chasing after possible opportunities prematurely will only end badly.  We will know that the opportunity is not yet ripe if in its pursuit we find it either drawing away, or find ourselves coming up against a brick wall. Instead of requiring effort, opportunities that are ripe and good for the soul will fall into our laps in a miraculous and effortless kind of way.

While the crossroads is ripe with possibility, it is also rife with danger. This is true for it is at the crossroads where we make our deals with the devil.  At the end of what has been, we are vulnerable and afraid. We have left behind (or are being asked to leave behind) what has been so as to replace it with something that is not yet known.  It is in our human nature to crave surety and to long for “the same.”  When we have neither of these creature comforts, we grow anxious, worried, and fretful.  Often, our first response is to bargain for the old life to be returned.  “Please let me go back to…….(insert relationship, job, home, etc. here)….at least I knew what to expect there.”  But our Soul desires nothing if not growth.  As such, as much as we might want to, we cannot return to that which has already died…or which no longer supports our growth.  (Well….actually we can…..we just end up with a zombie like life along with the constant shame of knowing we are living an unlived life…mind numbing substances and behaviors come in handy here as we try to escape our true feelings about the unlived life we have chosen).

After bargaining, we must now face the possibilities that lay before us. Some will be known.  Some will only be twinkles.  And MANY will be the paths which lead us only into the “devil’s trap.”  These are the paths which are ruled by fear and/or which tempt us through our ego attachments.  Those paths ruled by fear are the possibilities that are based in our unhealed and unresolved fears:  fears over money, time, acceptance by others, belonging, etc. etc. etc.  When we choose a path that is ruled by fear (I’m afraid that the path of my Soul won’t make me any money, so I’m going to find a path that insures at least a regular paycheck…..whether or not it has anything to do with my gifts, my mission or my purpose in this life…..), this is the devil’s trap.  The result of choosing this path will only be more fear and a deepening sense of imprisonment.  Those paths ruled by the ego are those which tempt us through our desire for fame, power, control and material wealth…..in other words, “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” – another of the devil’s games.  While fame may be an outcome of pursuing our Soul’s path, this will not be true for all, and the path of our Soul is never driven by our desire for fame. In the quest for the Soul, we must always check our ego at the door.

When we find ourselves at the crossroads or spiritual initiation we are vulnerable. We feel insecure and afraid.  The possibilities might seem overwhelming and our fears are running rampant.  The crossroads is the devil’s playground, but it is also the domain of our Soul.  At the crossroads, the Soul is seeking after and longing for its natural movement toward growth and it will not rest until the appropriate path for its growth reveals itself.  Until that happens, the Soul is restless….making us even more vulnerable to the “devil’s trap.”  At the crossroads, our spiritual practices become even more critical, along with our resilience in the face of temptation and our diligence in tending to these practices.  While at the crossroads we must not act, pursue, chase after or be tempted to make something happen.  Neither should we make any decision based in fear or arising out of the ego.  Instead, there is only ONE THING we can do when standing at the crossroads….and that is WAIT. Wait and watch.  Observe and discern.  And when the waiting and inaction become excruciating (which they will)….we wait some more.  For it is at the crossroad where we endure the greatest of all tests in our spiritual initiation …the test of whether we can wait long enough for the path of our Soul to arrive and the next stage of our life to begin.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a trained spiritual director and spiritual counselor, transformational educator, ordained interfaith minister and published author. Lauri supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of humanity and does so through one-on-one mentoring, writing, online classes and workshops.  Contact Lauri at lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in Faith

The Practice of Faith

Faith is a certitude of the soul (which knows the truth of its own destiny and mission) which does not depend on reasoning…calling the lower nature out of its petty present to a great self-becoming…

(Dalal,A.S., Ed., 2001, A Greater Psychology, pp. 199-203)

 

“Faith is not something that happens by our effort, but is an inherent knowing and natural outpouring of the Soul. The Soul knows who we are and what we were made to be and do in this life. The Soul then communicates to us, through faith, what we need to support this purpose, all for our highest good. The Soul is the origin of faith. Faith is the communication that resides within us as a deep, deep knowing of something as being true. As such, there is a vast difference between the deep knowing of something as being true and in our highest good and something we want.” (Lauri Ann Lumby from her online course What’s Your Magic.)

faith, self-actualization, testing our faith, practicing our faith, discernment, spiritual gifts,

Defining Faith

Faith is the natural outpouring of our Soul’s knowledge of who we are – our unique giftedness and how we are called to find meaning and purpose in our lives, both for the sake of our own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of our world. Faith is both a state of being and a conversation – a conversation between ourselves and our Soul (that which some might call God). It is by faith that we are able to discern our path and those things along our path that will either hinder or support our Soul’s unfolding. While faith is not something that happens by effort, it does require practice.

Practicing Faith through Discernment

The first practice of faith is discernment – the process of distinguishing the voice of the ego/false-self and the voice of the Soul (God). Discernment in itself is a practice that takes time, attention and presence to be able to distinguish the various ways in which our Truth speaks to us. With practice, we learn that our Soul’s truth is that which leads us toward expansion, a sense of contentment, fulfilment, joy and ease. The voice of the adversary/ego/false self, whispers to us in doubts, fear, confusion; and leads us toward that which makes us smaller (constriction). The practice of discernment never ends as our Soul’s mission is ever-expanding.

No One said it would be Easy

While the Soul’s truth leads us toward ease, this is not to say that the journey is easy. In fact, it is everything but. The path of our Soul is a process of initiation and as Tau Malachi says, “the path of initiation is not the path of least resistance, but is, in fact, the path of most resistance. (Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ – a Gnostic Christian Kabbalah, pg. 177)” If there is anything that will be tested in our journey toward self-actualization (the psychological term for our Soul’s fulfillment), it is faith.

Faith, again, is the voice of our Soul speaking truth. In order to hear and heed that voice, however, we have to overcome a multitude of obstacles to living that truth:

Societal Conditioning: We live in a culture that tells us to listen to everything BUT the voice of our Soul. Instead, we are taught to listen to the voice of the outside perceived authority (parents, pastor, teachers, peers, advertising, TV stars, etc. etc. etc.) for guidance and direction in our lives. When we dare to veer from that path toward the path of our Soul, we are punished.

Tribal Rules: These are the “shoulds” that are laid out for us by the collective outside perceived authority. Don’t speak unless you are spoken to. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t tell the family secret. Don’t break the rules. Be seen and not heard. Your needs are unimportant. It is your job to meet everyone else’s needs. These rules are enforced with the threat of punishment, or worse, banishment.

Unacknowledged Fears: Beyond our healthy and appropriate survival fears, fear is the result of conditioning. These are addressed in my book and online course Authentic Freedom and I will share them with you here: there is not enough, I have nothing to contribute to the world, I can’t be my most authentic self, I am not loved (or love is conditional and has to be earned or taken away), I am not free to express my truth, I do not know my truth, I am alone. Moving these fears is a necessary and on-going step in our Soul’s unfolding.

Unhealed Wounds: There is no such thing as a “functional family.” All parents are operating out of their own unhealed wounds – the times they have felt rejected, unheard, unseen, unacknowledged, betrayed, lied to, cheated on, etc. etc. etc. Until these wounds are acknowledged and healed, they come out sideways in behaviors that are either self-harming, or doing harm to another. As children of wounded parents, we experience our own set of woundedness, and then pass this on to our own children (again, until we do the work of healing these fears). Healing these wounds frees us to live the life of our Soul intends for us.

Life Itself: Life itself gets in the way of exercising our faith and our ability to listen to and adhere to the voice of our Soul. As is often said of the human condition, “Life sucks and then you die.” In the human journey we experience loss, suffering, illness, death, hurt, betrayal, tragedy, ongoing challenges and difficulties. In those times when everything around us seems to be turning to sh.t, we might wonder if, like the biblical character Job, God has given our life over to Satan’s command. This could not be farther from the truth, but on some days it sure feels that way. As the prophet Isaiah reported on God’s behalf:

For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
so that I may not cut you off.
See, I have refined you, but not like silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for why should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another

Isaiah 48: 9-11

This does not mean that God plans and orchestrates the adversity, but that the adversity that is inherent within the human condition is an opportunity for us to hone our resolve and recommit ourselves to the path of our Soul. It is like the small-self saying, “Are you sure about that?” As we move through these adversities, we are strengthened in our faith and empowered in our ability to live the life we were meant to live – one that is meaningful and with purpose, through which we are finding fulfillment in the use of our unique giftedness, both for our own enjoyment and for the sake of the betterment of the world.

What practices are you finding helpful in cultivating faith and heeding the voice of your Soul?

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS provides support for your spiritual awakening and journey of self-actualization through her writing, online courses, and one on one mentoring. To schedule a one-on-one session, email lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com.

Posted in Discernment, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, spiritual gifts

The Call of the Prophet and its Curse

The call of the prophet and the gift of prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts that is explored in my work of supporting the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents.  Discerning our gifts and how we are called to use those gifts makes up a significant part of that process.   As one who has this gift, I can attest to the gift as well as the curse of possessing and sharing this gift.

Defining the Prophet’s Gift

In my online course, What is Your Magic, I offer the following definition of a prophet as described by Albert Nolan, a Dominican priest in his book, Jesus Today – a Spirituality of Radical Freedom (Orbis Books, 2008):

Prophets are people who speak out when others remain silent. They are watchful of the areas in need of reform in their own society, their own country, or their own religious institutions. True prophets are men and women who stand up and speak (or act) out about the practices of their own people and their own leaders – while others remain silent. True prophets are not part of the authority structure. Prophets are never appointed, ordained or anointed by the religious establishment. They experience a special calling that comes directly from God, and their message comes from their own personal experience of God. (pp. 63-67)

prophet, the gift of prophecy, speaking the truth, bearing the truth, fulfilling the prophet's call, Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene fulfilling her calling as Prophet

In my experience one who possesses the gift of prophecy has the ability to:

See

For the prophet, seeing goes beyond what can be perceived through mere physical vision.  One with the gift of prophecy has the ability to see the truth beyond the material.  Here we are able to see…..really see.  The prophet sees what is before them, while also seeing the subtle inter-weavings of all that is around what they are able to see.  Prophets are able to see the connections, what led to what they are seeing and what will continue to unfold from what they are seeing unless significant change takes place.  The seeing of the prophet includes material things, human actions and interactions, the energy and emotion of what they are seeing.  A prophet can identify what is “of the good,” and what is not.

Read

In their ability to see, prophets can also read.  This most commonly presents itself in the ability to read people – to see beyond the mask that every person put out into the world, beyond the projection of what people want others to think or believe about them.  The prophet sees the truth. We see all that people are trying to hide from the world….but we also see their gifts.  We see the potential within every human being and how the masks they were are blocking the fulfillment of that potential.  The most challenging aspect of this ability in the prophet is that while most are not consciously aware of the fact that they are being SEEN, unconsciously they do.  For those whose “survival” depends on their ability to be seen in a certain light, the prophet becomes “the enemy,” not because of something they’ve done, but for who they are.  This is one of the curses of the gift of prophecy.

Hear

In addition to seeing the truth beyond the illusion, prophets hear the truth beyond the words.  Regardless of the chosen words or their intention, the prophet hears what people are really saying.  If someone says, “It’s a great day,” but truly feels elsewise, the prophet will know it.  The prophet hears the truth beyond every subtle deception for under the gaze of the prophet no one can hide.  Again, this sometimes proves to be one of the challenges for the prophet.

Feel

Like a Geiger counter or seismic graph, prophets have the ability to feel.  We feel the energy of the world and its movement.  We feel the energy within and embodied by every person or situation we meet.  We can feel whether the energy is of expansion and love, moving in the direction of “the good,” or if it is the energy of fear and constriction moving toward harm.  We feel it and we know it.

Discern

Discernment is perhaps the greatest gift of the prophet and one cannot be a prophet without first possessing and honing this gift.  Discernment is the process through which we determine (in everything we encounter) what is “of God” and what is not.  Through discernment we are able to identify what is based in fear, power, deceit, or control, and what is rooted in love.  Anything that is not “of love” is not “of God” and it is the prophet’s job to make that fact known to the world.

For additional reading on the gift of prophecy check out these articles: 

The Poem of the Awakened

Spiritual Direction – Lauri Style

Carrying the Magdalene Wound

Being a Catalyst

The Prophet’s Curse

Herein lays the challenge of being a prophet and the curse that is inherent in the gift.  A prophet has no purpose in only seeing, reading, hearing, feeling and discerning.  The purpose of the gift of prophecy is to heal and change the world.  The world cannot be changed if what the prophet knows is not spoken.  The prophet must speak what they see, read, hear, feel and discern (subtlety is allowed).  The problem is that more often than not, those to whom the prophet is called to speak “Can’t handle the truth.”  Acknowledging the truth would require change and if there is one thing human beings fear more than death, it is change.  As a result, this often leaves the prophet as simply another “voice crying out in the wilderness…” and in my experience, “speaking only to sand.”

 

Discover and be supported in your own unique giftedness through our online course What’s Your Magic, or enjoy this course as part of the Authentic Freedom Mastery or Magdalene Priestess Trainings. 

 

Posted in Being Human, detachment, God, Inspiration, Surrender

God Doesn’t Care Part II

In saying the God doesn’t care and asking the question, “then why do we?” (Read part I HERE), I am speaking about a specific kind of caring. I’m not referring to the caring and loving acts we demonstrate or show towards others.  I am also not talking about the proper concern we have for our fellow human beings, all of creation, and the world we live in.  All that we do to demonstrate caring, love, compassion, and concern are natural and healthy drives within us as human beings supporting our connection and fostering peace and harmony between us.  These are all healthy expressions of caring and supportive in building a happy and healthy world.  This is the highest expression of ourselves coming forth, arising out of love and grounded in compassion.

The caring that I am referring to about which God does not, is that which arises out of judgment and/or fear and is recognized by powerful emotional reactions. This is the kind of “caring” that we often see in ourselves and in others.  “Caring” that comes through as highly charged emotional reactions to the experiences, circumstances, events and people around us.  “Caring” that causes us to get our “undies in a bundle,” as we pick up our sword and ready for battle.  This is the “caring” that compels us to take up a cause and fight for that cause.  This is the “caring” where we judge something or someone’s actions as bad, disordered, etc. and the “caring” that causes us to build a wall of separation between “us” and “them.”  These are human actions and human responses and a guaranteed path to anxiety and conflict.  When we assign these kinds of attitudes and behaviors to God, we are creating God in our own image, not the other way around.

Unlike human beings, God is neutral. God does not judge.  As the psalmist says, “In you, darkness and light are but one (Psalm 139).”  God is simply being, observing, witnessing, allowing.  When we remember that we are created in the image and likeness of God we also remember that we are called to be like God.  When we accept the invitation to be like God, we then allow ourselves, like God, to simply be, allow, observe, witness.  When we do so free of judgment, this is the way to peace.

Being present to our world from a place of non-judgment and non-reaction allows us to be with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives and of the world around us. Non-judgment allows us to simply observe without the need to react.  We can observe, sit in this observance and discern within ourselves, from a place of non-reaction, as to how we may or may not be called to respond.  In this, we are able to refrain from reacting and find the place of authentic, loving, peaceful response.  I could give you a million examples of (many of them recent) as to how judgment and reaction disrupt our peace, but I will leave you with this:

We know within ourselves if we are reacting from a place of judgment or responding from a place of peaceful awareness. In the former, we feel charged by powerful emotions of fear, anger, wrath, frustration, impatience, etc.  In the latter, we only know peace.

Choose peace.

 

Posted in Discernment

Book of Life Activation and Guided Meditation

The Book of Life Divination Practice is a tool that we can return to again and again in the search for guidance and direction in our lives. This practice is based on the ancient wisdom that says we chose the mission and purpose we are here to fulfill and that this knowledge is accessible to us in our intimate connection with the Divine within:

 

Your eyes foresaw my actions;

In your book, all are written down;

My days were shaped, before one came to be.

How precious to me are your designs,

How vast the sum of them.

Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands;

To finish, I would need eternity.

 

Psalm 139: 16-18

 

Through this Activation and Guided Meditation, you will learn how to access your own Book of Life and how to “read” its contents, for the purpose of receiving inner guidance.

Only $13.00! Click on image above to register.
Only $13.00! Click on image above to register.

This 20 minute guided meditation was created by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, arosing out of her education and experience with ancient Judeo-Christian shamanic practices and in the study of Jungian psychology. Lauri has used the Book of Life Divination Tool for her own personal discernment and has successfully shared it with others.

 

lauriprofilecroppedLauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS is an author, teacher, priestess, healer and prophet. She is the author of the highly-anticipated, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene and Authentic Freedom, both of which reveal the hidden teachings of Jesus as revealed through his most devoted student, co-equal minister and beloved partner, Mary Magdalene. For over twenty years, Lauri has researched, studied and put into practice these hidden teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition and discovered within them rich and effective tools for facilitating self-awareness and self-actualization. These teachings and practices prove that beyond the doctrine resides the truth that unites all people – the truth of Oneness in Love. As a priestess of the Magdalene/Christ, Lauri shares these teachings through her on-line and local courses, one-on-one mentoring, writing and publishing.

Lauri is the owner of Authentic Freedom Academy and founder of the Order of the Magdalene. She lives in Oshkosh, WI. You can learn more about Lauri, her writings, programs and services at www.authenticfreedomacademy.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Discernment, Jesus, Magic, Raised Catholic, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

My Magic is This……What is Yours?

Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to be LOVE in the world. When we came into this world, we knew what our unique gifts were, but through societal conditioning (“writers are a dime a dozen,” “you can’t make a living doing that,” “what you think you are seeing or hearing is only your imagination,” “Good Girls don’t do that!” “Cool or straight boys don’t act or sing or dance…”) we learn to forget, hide, or set aside the magic we came into this world to enjoy and to share.  In order to fit in and to go along with societal expectations, we forget our gifts, but at some point, we realize that what society asks of us is not life-giving or is making us either sick or crazy, so we begin to search. We then spend the next several (many) years of our life trying to find our gifts and then overcoming the fears of actually nurturing, cultivating, enjoying and sharing our gifts….or we remain unfulfilled and/or sick.

Each and every one of us LONGS for a life that is meaningful, fulfilling and which gives us a sense of purpose. It is through our gifts (magic) that we are able to experience this life that we long for.  For me, it has been a 51 year journey of knowing, forgetting, exploring, discovering, learning, growing, healing, transforming and then being empowered in my gifts.  The journey never really ends, but at 51 years old, with confidence I can say what my gifts are (explaining how I use them is a whole other matter!).  I think the image below, which came out of a recent class I was facilitating, pretty much sums it up:

LauriMagic

As one dear friend once acknowledged, “Lauri, your gift is hearing the truth beyond the words.” I have also come to understand that this is also true of my vision – I can SEE the truth beyond the illusion.  In the language of spiritual gifts, these abilities fall under the category of “discernment.”  I then use these abilities in my work as a teacher and a counselor – also spiritual gifts.  Knowledge is one of my spiritual gifts (magic) which is further supported by my love of learning.  Contemplation (prayer) is one of my gifts and helps to support me in all that I have mentioned above.  Put all of these gifts together and they further support my magic of being a leader and a visionary, a pastor and a prophet. It is the prophecy part that often gets me into trouble.

Prophets, as I have learned, are not those who predict the future, we are those who are able to “read the sign of the times” – who are able to see where society is going if things remain on their current path. We are then called to SEE and SPEAK the better way – the way of correction, if you will.  We see where reform is needed and we are called to live that reform and share it with other.  The place I have ultimately called to be prophet to….is what we have traditionally called “church.”  Specifically, moving beyond the institutions to Jesus’ original message of LOVE  – reclaiming that message and doing what Jesus originally called us to do – to support each other in becoming self-actualized.  This takes Jesus’ universal message out of the hands of power and privilege and brings it out into the world where ALL can benefit from this LOVE – no matter what one’s personal beliefs might be.

This is what I have come to understand to be my MAGIC. What is yours?

If you are interested in knowing more about your own unique giftedness and what your magic might be, check out my course, What is Your Magic? This course will be starting in Oshkosh on June 21st and the online course is available at 40% off through July 4th.  Learn more HERE. 

Posted in 6D, creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Magic

Last Chance for 50% off!

This is your last chance to register for the “What’s Your Magic” online course and receive 50% off the regular price.  $195.00 for 13 in-depth lessons (usually $390.00).  Register HERE.

50% off the normal price through April 4th!
50% off the normal price through April 4th!

What is Your Magic?, created by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS  was created to support you in knowing the truth that YOU are uniquely gifted to experience meaning and purpose in your life and to find fulfillment in the use and engagement of your gifts, first for yourself, and then, in service to the betterment of the world.  Your gifts were given to you so that you might enjoy happiness, and your gifts are meant to be shared so that the world can become a better place for all of us to enjoy.   You cannot become the person you were meant to be – achieving your greatest potential – without discovering, cultivating, nurturing and then sharing your gifts; and the world cannot become what it was meant to be without the gifts you have to share.  For your own sake, and for the sake of the world, I thank you for giving yourself the permission and the time to explore your magic and discover your gifts!

REGISTER HERE.

Over the course of thirteen lessons, you will have an opportunity to first explore the calling that has set you on the path to exploring your gifts along with the importance of understanding that while your magic may be grand in such gifts as leadership, music or the arts, your magic may also reside in what you might judge as weakness, imperfection or failure.  Ultimately, all that we are and everything that we have has the potential for being a gift that provides for our fulfillment while supporting us in helping the world.

Next, you will have an opportunity to explore what the ancient, sacred traditions, have identified as unique and special(spiritual) gifts.  Some of these giftswe will draw from the Judeo-Christian tradition, others from the Vedic traditions of India, specifically in the writings of Patanjali.  I have added some additional gifts that have arisen in support of our current stage of human evolution.  In this discovery, you will have an opportunity to explore such concrete gifts as hospitality, craftsmanship,encouragement and leadership; in addition to the more intuitive gifts of discernment of spirits, spiritual hearing, spirit vision and clairempathy.  You will also explore some very non-traditional gifts such as invisibility and time-walking.

Below is a list of the gifts that you will have an opportunity to explore and entertain:

Traditional  Spiritual Gifts in the Judeo-Christian Tradition (charisms):

Administration, (voluntary) Celibacy, Craftsmanship, Discernment of Spirits, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith, Giving, Healing, Helps, Hospitality, Intercessory Prayer, Knowledge, Leadership, Mercy, Missionary, Music, Pastoring, Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Voluntary Poverty, Wisdom, Writing, Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues

 Intuitive Gifts  common to the Vedic tradition and beyond:

Clairaudience, Clairempathy, Clairevoyance, Clairsentience, Telepathy

Non-Traditional Gifts:

Invisibility, Flight, Trans-dimensional vision, hearing, Time Walking, Inter-dimensional travel, Hosting, Mediumship, Manifesting, Elasticity, Time Morphing, Blending, Exorcism, Soul Retrieval

13-self paced lessons 

Register HERE.

Posted in grief, Raised Catholic

The Cyclical Nature of Grief

Yesterday, and old grief was triggered in me, along with all the symptoms that have come along with this grief – deep sorrow, rage, hatred, anxiety, panic, trembling, emotional and intellectual paralysis, nausea, upset stomach, etc.  When I found I could not even give words to what I was feeling, I turned to my blog archives and found exactly the words I needed to hear – the words that clearly articulated my grief and the loss surrounding this grief.  In this I have been reminded of how grief continues to come back around seeking another layer of healing.  Thank you those who shall remain nameless for inviting me into another layer of healing and to the gift of God’s healing presence. 

The Church That Turned Away from Me

(originally posted on Good Friday, 2015)

Copyright 2015  Lauri Ann Lumby

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For the past eight years, I have been fasting from the Eucharist.  To one on the outside looking in, I might be accused of turning away from my Church.  The opposite in fact is true.  It is the Church that turned away from me.

As a Vatican II Catholic, raised in a Vatican II Church, I have had a unique experience of Catholicism, markedly different from the generations that went before me.  I never experienced the Latin mass or was drilled on the Baltimore Catechism.  I attended Saturday evening folk mass accompanied by Kumbaya’s, Up, Up with People, and To Be Alive! Fish on Friday was reserved for Lent.  Ecumenical dialogue was encouraged and instead of Heaven being the privilege of Catholics only, the pearly gates stood open to all who lived in love. I was brought up with a rock n’ roll Jesus Christ Superstar who in his humanness pleaded to be released while weeping tears of blood at Gethsemane and to whom we desired to “see more clearly, love more dearly and follow more nearly,” as he danced around us in rainbow striped suspenders, sporting a Superman t-shirt.  Speaking out on matters of social injustice and working for peace; feeding the poor, clothing the naked and setting captives free was the understood responsibility of every person sitting in the pew.  Divine retribution and punishment had been left on the editing floor of the Holy See – along with indulgences; and even the unbaptized had a place in God’s loving kingdom. The only God I knew was the God of love. Jesus came to know this love and taught us how to love and was set up as the model and example of how every Christian was called to live.  We were called to be Jesus’ hands and heart through the unique charisms gifted to us by God’s Holy Spirit (sometimes even spoken of as a woman!).

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This is the Church I grew up in and the Church that I deeply loved.  Strengthening this bond was the mass that provided sanctuary and support for my inherently contemplative nature. Gothic arches, painted statues and stained glass windows serenaded by artistic soul.  And the stand up, kneel down, bow and sit of Catholic choreography nourished my need for a spirituality that was as much physical as it was emotional and intellectual. Devotion to Mary satisfied my need for a Divine Mother and the saints became my superheroes.

If I love my Church so much, you may be wondering why I have been fasting from the Eucharist?  What went wrong?  In short, it seems I took what I learned about God, Jesus and our Christian call too literally:

  • I believe in an unconditionally loving God, a Son that is both fully human and fully divine; the call to follow Jesus as an example of how to live my life and to be and do as he would in the world.
  • I love God above all else, my neighbor as myself and I consider ALL of humankind to be my neighbor.
  • I judge not (lest I be judged).
  • I pray for my enemies.
  • I try to forgive 70 times 7 times.
  • I pray without ceasing.
  • I feed the hungry.
  • I clothe the naked.
  • I give sight to the blind.
  • I set captives free.
  • And, I heal the sick.

Oshkosh WI 2/9/11: Photo by Jeannette Merten.

In the end, it was the last three actions that caused my Church to turn away from me.

After eight years in Catholic school and an equal number of years in academic and professional education and formation as a lay minister and spiritual director, I was guided by God to study hands-on-healing and Eastern Energy Medicine (Reiki). Out of this training and experience, God guided me further to develop a protocol through which people found healing from the spiritual wounds that separated them from God’s love, thereby healing them of their sin.  Right in line with Jesus’ teachings, right!? Apparently not, because the practices that I had learned and successfully applied were not “explicitly handed down by the Magesterium.”  I was challenged and confronted, hateful emails and letters were sent. I was accused of every nature of evil. Local bishops, fueled by the fear of the vocal minority, challenged my work and eventually handed down a prohibition calling it “witchcraft and sorcery,” in spite of my attempts to reason with and explain things to them.  Through this, I endured, but when I was attacked by a newly-appointed  pastor for a course in “Christian Zen” that I was sponsoring, who claimed it to be “outside Catholic teaching” and who identified Eastern practices as “dangerous,” I broke.  My heart was broken and my resolve with it.  The Church I had loved and out of whose embrace I had come to know God’s love – the Church who had called me to continue the work of Jesus – had betrayed me.  My gifts, my call, the unique way I had come to know God was no longer welcome. More than that, my ministry had been condemned as “dangerous,” “witchcraft and sorcery”….some even called it, “the work of the devil.”

ChristianZen.jpgOn that fateful autumn day, I listened beyond the voice of the fearful priest, the self-appointed inquisition, and even the Vatican II teachings that provided space for the ecumenical nature of the work I was doing and the unifying discussions that might arise out of this work.  I listened instead to the still, small voice of God within.  God’s voice was not small that day.  God spoke directly and loudly to my heart, “Lauri, you are my beloved daughter.  I have placed my word within your heart.  I have anointed you to be my servant.  Who will you obey?  Man or Me?”

Of course I chose God.

With God and the echoing support of Peter and the Apostles who similarly responded to the Church who turned away from them, “We must obey God rather than man, (Act 5: 29)” I handed over my keys and walked away.  Buoyed by God’s eternal promise of freedom, I knew that I could more freely do the work God had called me to absent the on-going scrutiny of the Church and the fearful minority.

Some would suggest that in leaving the Church I have also left behind my faith.  The opposite, in fact is true.  My faith has remained intact, and in truth, has been fortified.  I start every morning in prayer and meditation over the daily scripture.  Jesus is my constant companion, teacher and guide. I discern daily the ways in which I am being called to continue Jesus’ work in the world. I have seen the clear evidence of God at work through me as I witness the profound healing experienced by those who have become part of my ministry, and I am continually amazed at how God works through me to bring people more and more deeply into love and more closely connected to their own gifts and vocational call in the world.  I see the power of faith at work as I witness the empowerment experienced by those who come to me for counsel, attend my classes, read my writing and partake in my weekly services; and with each passing day my faith is strengthened and affirmed.

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Regarding the Church, I wish I could say that like Lot, I never looked back.  I find, instead, that I am more like Lot’s wife, forever gazing back in profound longing – grieving the loss of my home, my sanctuary, my community, my Church.  Beyond my own grief, however, I weep for my Church.  I long for the Church that I had come to know – one that is firmly rooted in the truth of God’s unconditional love and acting as that love in the world.  I long for a Church that works for unity and empowerment of all humankind – regardless of their gender, beliefs, or sexual orientation.  I long for a Church that is willing to set down its wealth and its power and get in the trenches with those who need its help – the hungry, the poor, the imprisoned, the fearful, the wounded and the broken. I long for the Church that takes Jesus’ example seriously by being humble, giving the seats of honor to those without honor and washing the feet of strangers.  I yearn for a Church that supports people in becoming self-actualized, mature disciples – fostering the psycho-spiritual growth of men, women and children so that they can find the God they have forgotten in their hearts, discover their own unique giftedness and vocational call and become empowered in the fulfillment and use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.  I long for a Church that recognizes the earth as holy and sacred and works to be a steward for the gifts God gave us so that all of humanity may not only survive but thrive.  I cry out to the Church to work for justice – justice for all – not only for those who “are Catholic in good standing.”  My heart yearns for a Church that welcomes ALL people to its table – inviting all to know the unconditional and infinite love that is their truest nature. This is the Church that I once knew and I often wonder what happened to that Church – or if all along it had really just been a figment of my imagination.

 

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, MATP is a published author, ordained interfaith minister, spiritual director and teacher.  She ministers to a world-wide audience, most of whom were raised Catholic but who were also turned away by the Church.  Lauri lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  You can learn more about Lauri and her ministry at www.authenticfreedomacademy.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Discernment, Empowerment, God, self-actualization, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Truth

Not Church

It seems the final piece of an ever-evolving puzzle has found its way into place. Starting Sunday, August 16, 2015, I will be adding a Sunday service to the offerings of Authentic Freedom Academy. This addition came about through no effort of my own. Instead, it literally fell into my lap. In truth, I had given up on the idea of a Sunday Service of sorts as I have tried this over and over and over again in many different forms and all had come to a screeching halt. In actuality, I had given up on the idea. So when the invitation came through the words of my yoga teacher/friend, I was shocked and surprised…..AND….it was the easiest yes I’ve ever said in my life….which is why I know the invitation, while offered through the person of my yoga teacher, actually came from God.

This is the piece of my Soul’s purpose that was missing (there’s one more piece that is missing…I’ll save that for another day). Funny thing is I didn’t even know it was missing. Sr. Shawn knew though when she offered me the following words when I met with her to discuss my call to priesthood, “Lauri, don’t neglect the part about priestly vocation that involves public worship.” “Yeah right,” I thought. “I won’t be doing that. Been there. Done that. Failed at that. No need to step into that hot mess again.” HMMMMM…..it seems Shawn knew something I did not know. Public….something or other…..is part of the puzzle….and it’s an important part.

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BUT…..IT’S NOT CHURCH – at least not in the way that Church has been experienced for the majority of the past 2000 years. Church, as most Westerners have experienced it, has been about an outside perceived authority (usually a man) claiming to be earth’s representation of Christ, telling people they have been rejected by God and then telling them all the things they have to do to earn back God’s approval so that if they are lucky, they might be allowed into heaven after they die. If they fail to earn God’s approval (by not following the rules set forth by the Church), then they will be doomed to an eternity in hell.

Um….yeah…..Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday Services is nothing like that. Instead, we leave authority where authority lies – in your own intimate connection with the Divine Source within. Our job then, is to give you tools for nurturing and cultivating that relationship with your own inner Source of truth, guidance, peace, compassion, forgiveness, etc. along with tools for distinguishing the voice of truth (aka God, the Heart) from the voice of the mind (aka ego, adversary, etc.). And then, we provide the support and encouragement you need to heed the voice of truth and then live out that truth for the sake of your own fulfillment and sense of purpose in the world…..ultimately in service to the betterment of the world.

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Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday service is ultimately about empowerment – empowering you to be the fullest expression of your Fully Divine and Fully Human self that is possible. Our goal is to support you in the journey of your own self-actualization where you are free to experience a life of meaning and purpose that provides you witl the inner contentment that comes with a fulfilling life experience. We accomplish this through various means:

  • One-on-One mentoring (Spiritual Direction)
  • Hand-on-healing
  • Classes
  • Writing and Publishing

And now……

  • Sunday Service

Whereas the former offerings emphasize education and empowerment, the Sunday service will focus on nourishment. Nourishment through music, ancient wisdom writings (scripture), an inspirational lesson, chant, mantra, meditation and prayer…..all in the company of a loving, supportive community where all are welcome.

To learn more about our upcoming Sunday Services, click HERE.