Posted in Empowerment, Inspiration

The Witches’ Redemption

For the past 5000 years, since the warring hoards, with their jealous and wrathful gods, conquered the people of peace, all that is Holy within us has been suppressed. This has been especially true of a unique holiness possessed by certain women and men – men and women who had heard and accepted the call to be a channel through which Divine Love was to be known in our world.  These men and women had been charged with holding and maintaining the balance and did so through their intimate connection with the Divine.  They were said to speak and lay with the “gods” and in this they came to know the fullness of Love, becoming the bearers of Love in the world.  They then brought this connection forth in the world through their gifts of healing, teaching, and prophecy. They saw the presence of the Divine in each and every thing and through this observation, guided by the Divine, learned how to heal with both the matter of the earth and the energy of the Divine.  In “speaking with the gods” and observing the movements of nature, they learned to predict nature’s events and how to harness the powers of nature – earth, air, water and flame.  They understood the workings of the human body and how to support the transition into life, maintaining wellness, and acting as guardians at the threshold into death.  With the voice of the Divine to guide them, they were able to discern truth and support the cause of justice and did so by allowing the Divine to speak and act through them. With the eyes of the Divine to guide them, they perceived the shifting of the tides – including that which heralded harmony’s destruction and the coming of their own death as a force and a power for maintaining the delicate balance of Human and Divine, Masculine and Feminine, Death and Life.

History has called these people witches.

Sally (Sandra Bullock) plays a modern-witch in the movie Practical Magic.

And for 5000 years, those who carry the fear of the warring hoards, with their jealous and wrathful gods, have tried to rid the world of those who would speak and act for the cause of Love. For 5000 years, women and men who have been called to be a force of Divine Love in the world and who have tried to do so through their unique gifts of healing, teaching and prophecy have been sought out, chased down, hunted, and killed for daring to share their gifts.  In the West, millions upon millions have died for wanting to live the fullness of their powers of Love – the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch trials and burnings, Joan of Arc burned at the stake, the Holocaust, and countless wars fought “in the name of God”.  If the voice of Love wasn’t killed, it was silenced or imprisoned by laws meant to keep the power of Love from making its way forth in the world – laws or corporate policies that makes it impossible for midwives to share their gifts, herbalists fined for prescribing plants not approved by the FDA, healers condemned by their Church for “doing the work of the devil.”   For 5000 years, men and women who bear this call, who have been Divinely appointed to be a force of Divine Love through which harmony can be restored and then maintained in our world have been demonized, condemned, silenced, and in many cases, killed for “being a witch.”


SamanthaStevens black

The “Witch’s” Purpose is Love.

Our world is broken and it is dying and there has never been a time when it was more critical that the cause of LOVE be empowered in the world. What was true 5000 years ago is still true today – certain women and men have been uniquely called to be a force of Divine Love in the world so that the world might be restored to and maintained in its originally intended state of harmony and peace. Those who have been called “witches” are the force through which LOVE will have its way and the world will be restored to its originally intended state of harmony and peace.

If you are one who has heard this call, who has sensed the power of the Divine within you, who has glimpsed the gifts of healing, teaching and prophecy awakening in you, you are not alone and your time is NOW. In the company of your brothers and sisters who have already awakened and who are in the process of awakening, step forth from the chains of oppression, be freed of the guilt which has imprisoned you and your ancestors before you, walk forth into the light of your Divine call and BE THE LOVE that you were called to be so that our world can once again be free!  We need your gifts and we need them now.  The burning times are over and it is once again time for Love to be known in the world and it wants to be known through you!



Posted in grief

Education in Wisconsin – Budget Cuts, Grief and Anxiety

Today’s blog goes out to all those men and women who are educators in the state of Wisconsin, and specifically to all my friends who are on the faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Area School District. All of these talented and hard-working men and women are suffering under the effects of recent legislative decisions, including a $250 million cut to the UW system. (Read the details HERE: Many will lose their jobs. Those who are chosen to remain will still have a job, but likely with a lower rate of pay, significantly reduced benefits and an ever-increasing workload. Schools will have to do more with a LOT less and everyone is afraid.


I’m writing on this topic because I have been a part of several major institutions that have experienced similar traumas and I have seen the effects these kinds of losses have on an institution, most importantly, on its employees. While the administration may be skilled at making the difficult decisions about which programs need to go, where expenses can be reduced and where benefits can be shaved, they typically have no experience in addressing the “soft” issues of grief, anxiety and fear. This was recently confirmed for me when I offered my services as a grief and transitions expert to a local institution and was told (in so many words), “Thanks, we got this!” Based on the conversations I have had with various faculty and staff who related to me the deep grief they are feeling, the chaos that is unfolding, and the fear and anxiety that have now become part of the academic culture; No, you don’t “got this.”  The administration does not “got this” because, as is common in our culture, they have no knowledge of, or experience in dealing with grief or anxiety. Instead, they take the typical attitude of “get over it and move on.” This is NOT a helpful response to grief and anxiety especially when you desire productivity and effectiveness in your employees.


The analogy I like to use when addressing budget cuts such as those currently facing Wisconsin schools is that these cuts are akin to receiving a cancer diagnosis. For those who will be impacted by these cuts (not likely to be the person in charge), the greatest and unspoken fear is that of death. In this case, that they will be without a job or that the salary for the job they retain will be greatly reduced forcing them into financial hardship. The second fear is that they will not be valued for the work they are doing. When professors have to fundraise for their own programs and research, or do the work of three professors, this greatly devalues their gifts, along with the experience and passion they once brought to the job. When these fears and their resulting grief are not acknowledged and tended to, the anxiety, fear and grief begin to come out sideways. Morale decreases. Apathy sets in. Productivity decreases and company loyalty is all-but eliminated. Soon the institution suffers a mass exodus of its greatest assets – its teaching staff.


Perhaps this is what the academic institutions want – a mass exodus of their greatest assets so as to make their job easier. If people leave (in droves) of their own volition, the institution doesn’t have to make the difficult decisions of who or what to cut. I must believe, however, that this is not what our academic institutions want. I want to give educational institutions the benefit of the doubt in believing they do want to retain their quality staff and provide a supportive environment, in a difficult time, for those who choose to remain. If, this is true, then educational institutions need to be providing sound grief and transition support for their employees, faculty and staff; including training on how to manage the inherent anxiety of these kinds of transitions.


Grief support provides effective tools for moving through the faces of grief including: denial, bargaining, depression/apathy, anger and sorrow and provides resources in helping the grieving manage their anxiety. Grief support gives individuals the tools for identifying grief when it shows up and effective means for dealing with that grief. Supporting the grieving process and giving people tools for managing anxiety clears the ground for the new life that is waiting to emerge on the other side of the loss. In the case of education the new life that will emerge will be more creative, efficient and cost-effective ways of providing a quality education for people of all ages. The question facing Wisconsin schools is, do they want to arrive at this new life the hard way by denying and ignoring the grief, anxiety and fear; or through the easier path by tending to their grief?  Only time will tell.


Posted in creativity, Empowerment, Holy Spirit

What is Your Magic? Part 7

Today’s blog continues to explore the gifts of the Holy Spirit (charisms) – the uniquely creative way in which God seeks to be known in the world through us and the magic through which we are vessels for God’s transformative love in the world.  A charism is not, however, to be confused with a gift or a talent.  Talents are something we learn.  Charisms are something with which we are endowed.  The mark of a true charism is in its effortless accomplishment and in its miraculous fruits.  When we are engaged in our charism, we find that the work of doing it is effortless and the results are far beyond what we know ourselves to be humanly capable of.  The reason for this is that when engaged in our charism, it is not ourselves who are doing the work, but God doing it through us.Today, we specifically examine the charisms of pastoring, prophecy, service and teaching.

Using the charism of teaching
Using the charism of teaching

The Charism of Pastoring

A woman or man with the charism of pastoring, is uniquely gifted to nurture the relationships and long-term spiritual growth and connectedness of a group.  Pastoring, in a Christian sense, is often associated with a priest, bishop or even the pope, but can be present within any individual working within a faith community who has the gift of building community and a sense of interconnectedness.  Pastoring, however, is not limited to religious communities and is often witnessed in any work or even family environment when one person has a remarkable capacity for building a sense of community and connection within a group of people.  Pastoring is similar to the charism of leadership, except that the latter is directed toward moving the group toward the accomplishment of a task, the former is specifically directed toward building a sense of community.

The Charism of Prophecy

To speak of the charism of prophecy, I will borrow from Albert Nolan’s amazing book, Jesus Today:

“Defining the prophet:

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. (Thus says the Lord) Any attempts to practice the same spirituality of Jesus would entail learning how to speak out boldly as he did – and face the consequences.”


  1. Ability to read the sign of the timesProphets are typically people who can foretell the future, not as fortune-tellers, but as people who have learned to read the signs of the times. Prophets are able to see where it is all heading.
  2. Devoted to a life of prayerProphets experience not only a special calling from God, but also a special closeness to God that enables them to understand God’s feelings and thoughts about what is happening and what will happen in the future. It is this mystical experience of union with God that enables them to speak on God’s behalf.A life of constant prayer and contemplation is required to cultivate this union.
  3. Courage!

Through the Holy Spirit, prophets are empowered to speak God’s truth freely, openly and without reservation, even in the face of sure persecution.

The Charism of Service

What distinguishes one with the gift of charism is their sense of personal responsibility to a task.  Uninterested in delegating a task to another, they prefer to do it themselves – typically because they are usually the only one who sees the task that needs to be accomplished and because the tasks they see as needing to be done are usually quite simple and practical in nature.  Additionally, those with the charism of service are not interested in accomplishing someone else’s work, they see themselves as filling in the gaps between what leaders and administrators seek to accomplish and what leaders and administrators often fail to see.  The tasks of a server are usually simple – seeing that a volunteer failed to show up and stepping in to do their task, remembering to set out extra toilet paper rolls for a large event, making signs to help direct people to a conference, getting a glass of water for a conference speaker.  Servers see the little things that need to be done and they do them.

The Charism of Teaching

The charism of teaching empowers one to help others learn information and skills that help them to reach their fullest potential as a human being.  Teachers are voracious learners themselves and are constantly looking for ways to share what they have learned with others.  One can affirm the charism of teaching within themselves by the way in which others learn through their teaching.  The learning effect is the true mark of a teacher.

Lauri Ann Lumby is an ordained interfaith minister, spiritual director and author.  Lauri works with individuals in the fulfillment of their greatest potential, which includes the discovery and cultivation of their charisms.  To set up a personal session, call (920) 230-1313 or email



Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction – Lauri Style Part III

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often wonder how to respond.  As my friend Derek says, “It’s……just…..Lauri.  She’s awesome and you have to try her classes and services.”  Thank you Derek, and as we have both observed, this is usually not enough to get people to make the call or show up for the class.  When my Board of Director’s and I came up with my mission statement: Through compassionate listening and attentive presence, I partner with those longing to find meaning, purpose and connectedness in their lives, this at least explains the benefits that you receive from working with me and how I do it…..but still, what the heck is Spiritual Direction and why am I person you might want to work with?

Windows to the Soul by Catherine Case
Windows to the Soul by Catherine Case

Yesterday, I revealed a little about the “what.”  Today, let’s talk about why me? And just because I sometimes like to have fun….I’m putting it into the language of Spiritual Gifts.

Why Working with ME (Lauri Lumby) differs from other forms of counseling, therapy, recovery work, spiritual direction:

  • Speaking in Tongues: While my background is Roman Catholic and my guru is Jesus, I speak AND understand all forms of religous, spiritual and even non-religious language.  More importantly, I speak YOUR language.   If you are Buddist, we’ll speak in that tongue.  If you are Christian, we’ll speak that language.  Athiest…yep, I can speak that one too.  Bottom line:  differences in religious beliefs and practices are NOT an obstacle to the work we will accomplish together.
  • Discernment of Spirits: I can identify in you when something is coming from your truest self.  More importantly, I can see, feel and hear the fearful, anxious, worried, stunted parts of you.  The fear in you waves like a red banner that I see and help you to identify so that it no longer has power over you.
  • Prophecy: Prophecy is the ability to hear, see and evaluate the sign of the times.  In one-on-one work, it is the ability to HEAR, SEE, and PERCEIVE, the truth beyond the words.  You say one thing….but your heart wants, desires, reveals, something else.  My job is to be attentive to this and help you to see it too.  And trust me, I CAN see it.  😉
  • Teaching: It has been said that more than anything, I am a teacher.  A teacher’s job is to INFORM, SUPPORT, UPLIFT and most importantly…..TO EMPOWER you to be your most authentic and most fulfilled self.   Effective teachers also hold us accountable.  I will let you know when your ego is in the way, when you are clinging to your need to be right or harboring resentment against yourself or another.  I will also let you know when you need to grieve a loss instead of wallowing in the guilt over your depression or sorrow. And finally, I will encourage you to BE GOOD, GENTLE, TENDER and KIND toward yourself. And, I will give you the tools to help you do all of these things.
  • Healing: The work we will do together is HEALING.  I give you the tools you need to heal your unhealed losses, hurts, disappointments, wounds and more importantly, the tools to help you MOVE THROUGH your fears so that you can live a life that is joyful, happy and free.

To schedule your session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email Lauri is available for appointments over the phone, via Skype and in person. 

Posted in Empowerment, Mary Magdalene, teachers

I Am the Magdalene

Today, I give witness to the mission I am called to accomplish in this life.  As you read these words, I invite you to reflect on how you are being called to be a vessel through which God’s love is made manifest in our world and under whose influence are you called to do so?

Mary Magdalene, by Robert Lenz

I AM the Magdalene

I am the Magdalene – this is what I am called to embody.  Called to be a vessel through which Jesus’ message of love is shared in the world, continuing his mission as he has called me to do.  Confident, uncompromising, strictly adhering to the truth of Oneness that Jesus came to reveal.

  • Through word and witness, teaching and preaching and by living Jesus’ law of love through devotion and prayer,  works of healing and counsel.
  • Modeling the same commitment to contemplative prayer that Jesus embraced – the vehicle through which he came to know his own Oneness with God and the tool he shared to help others come to know this truth.
  • Helping others find healing of the seven demons of fear that reinforce our perceived separation from God so that we may once again live in the peace and joy that God intended.
  • Guided by the Inner Voice of the Divine that speak truth to the heart.
  • Confident in God’s loving counsel.
  • Uncompromising in adherence to that Inner Voice.
  • Moving in Compassion and Love for all.
  • Patient and Trusting in Divine Providence.
  • On-Fire with God’s Love.
  • With Christ as my Beloved to accompany me.

I am the Magdalene, I in her, and she in me.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

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Posted in About Lauri, Discernment, Holy Spirit

Shameless Self-Promotion – Part II Discerning our Spiritual Gifts/Charisms

Part of the spiritual journey is the invitation to explore, discover and cultivate our own unique magnificence.  How does exploration of and discovery of our charisms/spiritual gifts play a role in accomplishing this task?

Each of us are uniquely gifted to reveal the Presence and Action of the Divine in the world.  There are two primary ways through which this Divine revelation is accomplished.  The first is through our talents and abilities.  These are the talents and abilities that are naturally born within us and that we have the good fortune of being able to cultivate and develop – painting, drawing, playing music, singing, cooking, knitting, etc.

The second vehicle through which the Divine is revealed in and through us is through our charisms. Charism is a word specific to the Christian tradition, but not limited to those with a Christian orientation.  A charism, as defined by St. Paul is a gift of the Holy Spirit.   The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are specifically given for the purpose of “building the kingdom of God” – in other words, revealing Divine love, peace, compassion, mercy and joy more fully in our human world.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit or charisms that have been named by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12) are as follows:

The way that we can distinguish a charism from a simple talent or gift is by observing the result of the use of that charism.  A gift or talent is used through our own actions.  A charism is God working through us.  A result of using a talent or a gift is only as good as we are and limited to our human skill and the practice we have put into these talents.  The use of a charism produces results far beyond what we know our selves to be humanly capable of.   Let me give you an example:

In my own journey of spiritual growth and self-discovery, I have learned that healing and teaching are among the charisms I have been given by God.  I have learned these to be charisms as I have witnessed the way in which these gifts have been revealed through me, but more importantly, the impact these gifts have had on the men and women with whom I have shared these gifts.  I know that I am not humanly capable of initiating physical, emotional, mental or spiritual healing in another.  I am not a trained medical practitioner, neither am I a trained psychologist or psychiatrist.  And yet, I have seen over and over again, moments of profound realization in my clients that leads to release of deep seated fears, false perceptions, prejudices, attachments, etc.  I know that it is not me facilitating the healing or release, but the Holy Spirit.  I know this because of the profound humility, wonder and awe that I feel within myself as I witness healing in my clients.  I have also seen this – far beyond my human capabilities – healing when sharing Reiki or facilitating classes and retreats.  I know when the limitations of my human self have departed and the Holy Spirit has taken over.  I hear words come out of my mouth that did not come from my own head and see images of fear and pain in clients that I know I am not in an of myself humanly capable of seeing.  It is through these experiences that I have come to understand that healing and teaching are two of the charisms given to me by the Divine.

Beyond healing and teaching, I have also come to understand that Discernment of Spirits is one of my charisms – in fact this may be the most profound gift that I have received from God.  I can best describe this gift as having the ability to “hear the truth beyond the words” ( I think I have to give credit to my friend, Karen Schmidt, for this definition.)   And…you will just have to wait until tomorrow to hear more about this gift!  🙂

Have you taken the time to explore your own charisms and how the Holy Spirit wishes to reveal love, compassion, peace and joy through you?

What might be some of your own charisms?

How can you begin to explore this topic more fully for yourself?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/yourspiritualtruth