Autobiography Excerpts

My Autobiography – Igniting the Feminine Flame – will be ready for a Book launch later this year.  I am honored to share pieces of my journey with you, with the hope that it inspires you in some small way……remember the magic is in you!

‘Igniting the Feminine Flame’

Table of Contents – Sample Chapters

  • Synopsis
  • Chapter Twenty-One ∞ Shamanism
  • Chapter Twenty-Six ∞ Seeing my Future Self
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine ∞ My soul connection to Avalon & the Lady of the Lake
  • Chapter Thirty-Two ∞ Mexico & the Ring of Solomon
  • Chapter Thirty-Three ∞ The Goddess Quan Yin teaches me compassion
  • Chapter Sixty-Five ∞ A Pilgrimage to India & the Himalayas
  • Chapter Sixty-Six ∞ Hindu Priest in India reads the records records of my past & current life
  • Chapter Seventy ∞ Egypt… opening the energy in the Great Pyramid

Igniting the Feminine Flame –  Synopsis

‘Igniting the Feminine Flame’ is an exciting autobiography about an American woman’s journey towards self-discovery and enlightenment.  It provides women with the insights and spiritual awakening for their life journey, including:

  • making changes in consciousness…opening up to possibilities
  • reclaiming the lost feminine energy
  • mystical experiences…..the power of dreams & sacred sites
  • understanding patterns & belief systems……..past, current & future lives

Born into a middle class family in Massachusetts, Cynthia Barnard was raised in strict catholic beliefs and attended parochial schools for twelve years. Graduating from college with a degree in elementary education, she married her college sweetheart and four years later gave birth to her first of four children. Dedicated to raising her children in a time when most women were opting for careers, Cynthia found herself caught up in the world of suburbia. Keeping up with the Jones’ in an affluent town in New England was exciting, but began to leave her with feelings of emptiness. There had to be more than ‘more things.’ Unexpectedly a friend developed breast cancer and this forced Cynthia to start searching her own soul. She wondered why people got sick and others did not and if there were alternative ways to heal. This led her to new territories and brought up unexpected challenges in her own life especially when her fourth child Jacqueline suffered a stroke at the age of three. Cynthia started to study the mind and the body and developed skills as a teacher and a healer. As she stepped away from the bridge groups and the tennis courts she met a mysterious black Minster at a psychic fair who tells Cynthia that she is a gifted Shaman healer. Cynthia scoffed at such a statement simply because she didn’t even know what a shaman was. But her destiny continued to call her and before she knew it she was studying with shamans in South America and Mexico. Doorways to past lives, future lives and other dimensions of consciousness opened her up in ways she never dreamt possible.

Igniting the Feminine Flame is a remarkable story about a woman’s life and how it switches to the paranormal, blending two different worlds in her everyday life of being a Mother and a wife. Cynthia is candid about her childhood and life experiences and how in order to heal others, she had to heal herself.  She today enjoys an exciting and fulfilling life, while teaching others how to love themselves and create the balance necessary for this amazing journey of life’s self discovery and enlightenment….along with the enjoyment of her Kate Spade handbags!


It took Chet a few months to find a job and our debt was growing.  He did a few consulting jobs that paid some bills, but we had a hefty lifestyle.  We decided not to declare bankruptcy, but rather to try and work our way through it.  All the years I had spent studying manifesting abundance was being put into action.

It is really easy to feel abundance when money is pouring in, but how can you feel when it isn’t?  I was about to find out.  One of the most important decisions I made was to keep my eyes on the prize — to not let doubt and uncertainty creep in to the point where it would drag us down.  During this crisis, Chet and I even went so far as to celebrate.  We went to an upscale restaurant in Boston, the Season’s, ate an expensive dinner, and toasted to our success. We both refused to believe that we would be poor.

Things did not instantly improve, however.  One month Chet had to tell me that he didn’t have any money for our monthly bills.

“No problem.” I said.  Sometimes crisis situations call for creative solutions.  This was one of those times.  For the first time in my life, I used a check the credit card companies had sent to pay all of our bills (and even get myself an extra hundred dollars.) Never in my whole life had I been so grateful to have credit cards.  For a while, credit cards paid our bills and purchased what we needed (groceries, clothes, etc.) for our growing family.  Yes, I most certainly realized that I was amassing a larger debt, but I had no doubt that we would eventually pull through it and reach the other side.

I worked on having a positive attitude each and every day.  Even during some very tough days — when I had to deal with calls from bill collectors.  There was one female bill collector who called me every month to harass me.  This woman seemed to take extreme pleasure in her job.  We were consistently late in paying for our Van, but we never missed a payment on it.  As much as I tried to explain this to her, that the bill would be paid late until we caught up on everything, she never let up.

One day she called while I was out getting the mail. John answered the phone and spoke with her.  Minutes later, when I got back in the house, she called again and accused me of having left my children home alone without supervision. This woman was cruel and outrageous.  I eventually told her that I would report her abuse if the harassment continued.

My parents knew of our financial disaster and never offered any help. My mom would say that Chet was a smart guy, and that we’d get by.  And we did.  Still, an offer of support would have been nice.  Chet’s family, on the other hand, offered help.  Chet, however, was too proud and refused any assistance.

In the midst of this financial disaster, I kept teaching my magic wand classes on manifesting abundance.  Since a lot of the people in the class were friends, peers, and acquaintances, I had to swallow my pride and share what was going on in my own life at that time with them.  I also, however, shared about the miracles that were occurring — how money would always come into our lives when we needed it to pay off certain bills and debts.

“Rich is a state of consciousness,” I shared with the class.  It felt good that even during this temporary situation, I could find abundance and gratitude for what I had.

I discovered that being rich had nothing to do with the amount of money I had in the bank. It’s all about attitude. Even in those days, when my credit cards were maxed out and bill collectors were calling, I knew who I was:  an abundant person.

One of my first students, Judy, called me up when she heard about Jacqueline’s stroke. She was very upset, especially when I told her about what was going in our lives financially at the same time.

“Well, kiddo,” she said, “this is your resume.”

“My what?”

“Your resume. Now that you’re experiencing all of this, you will be even more credible to your students.”

Judy was right.  Empathy is one of the greatest lessons a healer can learn.  It’s not so easy to judge the illusion of other people’s circumstances when you’ve been through a crisis or two yourself — and you know it’s about lessons learned, not about judgment.

During this time, I had a professional astrologer come to my home for a reading.  She did my astrological chart, focusing on the question about my financial situation.  She told me that things would be tough for four more years.

“Four more years!” I exclaimed. “No Way!”

“Yes,” she said, “four more years at least.”

“I don’t believe that! If I believe you, then I am a victim of fate or of the stars,” I answered her. “I believe that I create my own world and that I somehow created this, but I can change things and I will.”

The astrologer smiled, “I like you,” she said. “You’re an interesting woman. Call me and let me know how you’re doing.”

My soul was yearning at this time for a spiritual teacher. I contacted Lynn Andrews, but she wasn’t taking on any new apprentices.  I also had a feeling that she wasn’t to be my teacher anyway, since we lived on opposite sides of the country.  There was no way I could leave my children for any extended period of time, so how could this happen anyway?

My dreams started to intensify at night and during the day, I prayed for a teacher. One day, as I was looking through the mail, I opened up a flyer with a list of courses being offered at the local community college. I was shocked to discover that there was a course on shamanism and that it was being taught at the High School a mile down the street from me (not at the much more distant college campus).  It had already started, but only by one week.  I couldn’t believe it! My prayers again had been answered. I called immediately and enrolled.

When I got there the first night, I walked up and down the halls, hopelessly lost. I simply could not find the room where the class was being held.  Finally, I found an unmarked door and decided to give it a try.  Inside, it was dark and the room was filled with burning white sage (which smelled like marijuana to me).  A group was sitting on the floor in a circle. The female teacher beckoned me to come in. I was excited to be there, but something about it felt weird to me.  I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone I knew had seen me come in.

Sitting down, I looked around at the people on the floor. They didn’t look that odd. I relaxed more and introduced myself to everyone in the circle. The teacher had a male assistant. They started the class by doing some drumming and rattling.  Then they told us that we were going to journey to the lower world for our power animal.

The teacher explained how to access the lower world — by visualizing a hole in the earth. I was worried. Could I do this? What if I failed? I was nervous. What would my power animal be? Would it be a bear, like I had seen in my dream?  A crow?  Or maybe a grouse?

This thought popped into my head because of an encounter I’d had with a grouse.  During the previous winter, a grouse had appeared in my yard.  John and a friend noticed it while they were out playing and brought it to my attention.  It wasn’t a one-time visit.  When it came, the grouse would usually sit by the front door.  One day, however, Alison saw it sitting on her windowsill outside.

Alison was frightened by the grouse perched on her very small windowsill.  She told it that the “Weirdo’s” room (meaning my room) was down the hall. One Saturday afternoon, as I watched the grouse, I realized intuitively that the grouse hadn’t come for me — it had come for Chet.

When I told Chet my beliefs, I added that he should go outside and see if he could communicate with the bird.  Giving it a try, Chet sat next to the bird at the base of a tall pine tree.  Puffing up suddenly, the grouse then proceeded to chase my husband around in circle.  I laughed at the sight, but slowly, as I continued to watch, Chet released his fears and I witnessed the dance.  They were dancing together.  The grouse spiraled and spiraled around my husband and, when it was over, Chet seemed different. After the day of the dance, we never saw the grouse again.

And now it was my turn to meet the power animal that was guiding me. Along with the rest of the class, I laid down on the floor to journey — but minutes seemed to be tick by. It wasn’t working. The teacher said that she would get our animal if we couldn’t.  Knowing I had to let go of my fears, I focused on relaxing into the beating of the drums and the anxious beating of my heart, and then it happened.  The most beautiful white horse appeared in front of me and I could feel the sensation of galloping like a horse.

Horse was my totem.

Everyone in the class came back with their power animal except for one person (the teacher personally journeyed for this woman’s totem).  One by one, we then shared our experiences. I was the last one to share mine.  The teacher raised her eyebrows slightly when I said my power animal was horse.

“Horse is about power,’ she stated, matter-of-factly.

After class, her assistant pulled me aside and opened up Jamie Sam’s medicine card book to page 177.  “Look Cynthia,” he said. “Horse is power.  It is the totem of a shaman.”

“What?” I asked, incredulously.

“Yes.  It’s the sign of a shaman. Horse enables a shaman to fly through the air and reach heaven.”

He shoved the book under my nose, and I read on. I read how the black stallion appeared to Dream Walker, a medicine man.  I also read how the yellow, red, and finally the white stallions appeared with messages.  Dream Walker mounted the white stallion.  According to the book, the white stallion was the message carrier for all the other horses.  It represented wisdom in power. The story continued on to state that the white stallion was the embodiment of the balanced medicine shield.

In their book, Sams and Carson state: “In understanding the power of the horse, you may see how to strive for a balanced medicine shield. True power is wisdom found in remembering your total journey. Wisdom comes from remembering pathways you have walked in another person’s moccasins. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your gifts, talents and abilities are the gateways to power.”

The assistant smiled at me and shut the book. “This is your totem. Are you ready?”

I was blown away. Here it was again — the same words the black Minster had used — was I ready?

I grabbed the book and, with rising curiosity, I opened it up to find out what the grouse symbolized. I read that the Plains Indians dance to honor these birds. The movement of the dance follows a spiral, which is the ancient symbol of birth and re-birth.  Sams and Carson also stated that the grouse is one of the oldest symbols of personal power. The spiral is a metaphor for personal vision and enlightenment.

Later that same night, I stood outside my driveway and looked up to the star-filled night sky. The air was crisp and cool.  I took in a deep breath and then I lifted my hands up to the Great Spirit.  “Okay, God, if all this stuff is true about shamanism and me, I want a sign. Show me if the white horse is my totem.”

I laughed out loud at myself, and at my demands. Did I expect a white horse to come charging up the driveway in that moment? I wasn’t sure what I expected, but I did happen to notice about then that my recycling bin, which was at the end of the driveway, had some stray trash.  I strolled down to pick it up and as I leaned over something caught my eye. Inside the recycling bin was a horseshoe. Was this the answer to my prayer? Was this a coincidence? Maybe. But what were the odds of a horseshoe being in the bin at that moment? How did it get there?

“Thank God. I’m not crazy.” I said as I pulled the horseshoe out from the bin.  “God, show me the way and I will follow.” I promised.

The following week we journeyed to the upper world to meet our spirit teacher. The fear of failure was now gone and I was excited to discover my teacher. I had been waiting and waiting for a teacher.  As the drumming started, I visualized myself climbing up an old, ancient elm tree. I climbed up higher and higher and stepped into the upper world. It was black; an empty void.  There, I waited for my teacher to appear. Suddenly, I saw a butterfly flying around me and it spoke to me.

“You’re the teacher,” said the butterfly.

“What?” I asked, “Me?”

“Yes, you’re the teacher.” The butterfly tickled my nose and flew all around me in waves. When I came back to normal consciousness, I was disappointed. I had so longed for a teacher.  I sat and listened to people’s journeys.  One woman spoke of how the Grandmothers appeared to her in a sacred circle and shared their wisdom. I was jealous. All I’d gotten was a butterfly telling me that I was the teacher.  When I shared my experience, the assistant told me that butterfly meant transformation.

Later that night, Jacqueline woke up from a nightmare around 2:30 a.m., crying.  I jumped into her small daybed and hugged her protectively.  I told her that I wouldn’t leave her.

Jacqueline snuggled under my arms and drifted off into a peaceful sleep. I was wide awake. I couldn’t go back to sleep. A-ha! I thought — I would journey to the upper world again.

I was determined to meet my teacher.  By now, it was about 3:00 a.m., but I was ready.  I started to use the technique taught in class:  I climbed the ancient elm higher and higher and as I reached the top, my consciousness shifted. I found myself naked in a waterfall. The only thing I could see was that I had long black hair and my body was beautiful. I let the water run down my body.

I then turned my head away from the cascading falls and opened up my eyes.  Slowly walking towards me was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He was at least ten feet tall, with a perfect muscular body, like Adonis. He had shoulder-length black hair and deep blue eyes. He came up to me and looked deeply into my eyes.  When I looked into his eyes, there were actual stars sparkling in them.  He picked me up and kissed me passionately and we made love over and over again.

All I felt during this experience was total love and ecstasy. Who was this man?  Was he a man? I felt like I had known him from the beginning of time.  After hours of lovemaking, we strolled on a beach.  There, he taught me to remember how to leave my body. He was dressed now, but the only thing I recall was that he had on the most exquisite moccasins. They were beaded with bright colors and sparkled like his eyes. When I asked him his name, he grabbed my hand lovingly and kissed me.

“You are in the land of gods and goddesses. Names are not necessary here.”

The next awareness I had was that of being back in my family room. I was on a green corduroy sofa, which I no longer owned, and I was giving birth as the god stood next to me –coaching me how to give birth without pain. He gently pulled from my womb a beautiful baby boy. He picked up our son and showed him to me.

“Look what we have created together,” he said.

The child was so beautiful, I could hardly take my eyes off of him.  Then, suddenly, I was back in Jacqueline’s room with my whole body trembling from the experience. What just happened? Was this just a dream?  No, it felt different than a dream.  Then my reaction was, “Oh my God. Did I cheat on my husband?”

Ooh, but it was so wonderful. He was so beautiful.

I called my teacher up immediately and shared my experiences with her. She told me that it is common practice for a teacher to make love to a student.

“But it didn’t feel that way,” I explained. “It felt like he was a spouse, a partner. He is someone that I have always known.”

“I don’t know, Cynthia,” was all she could say.

I wanted to know who he was and what this experience meant.  And, of course, I wanted to see him again, but that never happened. I couldn’t talk to anyone about this experience, but it was unforgettable. Real, unreal, dream or journey, it is memory I will cherish.  I realized that perfect, sacred spiritual union is possible between a man and woman and I had tasted the nectar. How sweet it is!

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX…..seeing my Future Self

When I got home, I broke the rules of my healing experience and showered — and it felt so good.  Isabel called me once after I got settled back into my home life, but after that I never spoke to anyone else in the group again.  The experience was over.

That summer I spent with my children on the lake.  My neighbor in New Hampshire, Linda, was a wild woman. She liked to eat and party in excess.  I remember the first day I met her, outside the back of our townhouse overlooking a country club:  she had a scarf tied sideways on her head, a glass of vodka in one hand, and a cigarette in another. Andrew was putting on the green and she was coaching him.

Not particularly pleased with the fact that a stranger was so close to one of my cubs, especially a lush, I sauntered over to check out what she was teaching my son.  What I discovered was a brash woman with a hearty laugh who insisted on offering my children candy and popsicles.

Later that day, I told Chet that we had an alcoholic as a neighbor.  Chet and I couldn’t have been more opposite than the odd couple we now had as neighbors.  Linda was living with her boyfriend of seven years. She had never had children and worked as a sign maker. She loved playing poker, golfing, and skiing and everything else.  She was one of the most athletic women I had ever met.

Once I let my judgments about her drop, we became friends. It was nothing short of a miracle. Linda would make gourmet dinners that were better than that of any five-star chef. She presented with elegant cloth napkins, perfect ambiance, and food that was like an orgasmic experience.

At night, she would light a fire and have a glass of wine poured for me by the time I had my young ones put to bed. Sometimes, next to the glass of wine, was the Enquirer (which, of course, I would never buy for myself).  Linda took care of me in ways no other person ever had, and I drank up all the love and lavish attention she poured out to me.  Some of my other neighbors couldn’t believe that I was hanging out with such a crude lush. But, as far as I was concerned, Linda was real.  She was completely herself, and I found that refreshing in the world I typically lived in — the world where everyone was pretending to be something they never were and would never really be.

Personally, I was tired of pretending.  Linda was a true gift and I found myself sharing my stories of Ecuador, as well as all of my dreams with her.  Linda was unique.  She would even feed the crows. They would caw outside her front door every day for a meal. Linda’s kind heart was remarkable; she was one of the most spiritually alive people I had ever met. Feeding squirrels, neighbors, birds — feeding everyone, that is, except for herself.

One late night, I decided to let Linda be my first “victim” of the healing I had learned in Ecuador. I sprayed alcohol, like the shamans there had done; I smoked and puffed tobacco all around her auric filed; and I even found some nettles and whacked her back. We had so much fun.  We couldn’t stop laughing the whole time.  Later, as we sipped our wine, I told her that I was going to have to find my own style of healing people because she was one of the few people in America who would ever allow me to do that to them!

I also kept in touch with my friend, Elissa.  She called me up one morning while I was making breakfast for the children and said she now knew why I had quit my bridge group.

“You do. Why?’

“I met this incredible psychic, named Patty,” she said.  “She is like Edgar Cayce, a full-trance medium, and guess what?”


“She is channeling Acturians!  Cindy, when you gave me Norma’s book We The Acturians, it changed my whole life. I knew I was connected to these being and now we have the opportunity to get messages from this medium. Do you want to meet her?”

“Sure,” I said.  “When I come home, I’ll meet her.”

I had already decided to go home for a day.  I was to meet David during the full moon in his garden. He was creating moonlight flower essences and had said he needed the energy and balance of a female healer to complete this task.  (Moonlight energies illuminate intuition.)

At David’s, he tuned into the flower essences and I brought the feminine properties of love, caring, and compassion into the space.  Also, we worked together to make essences to heal Jacqueline.

I invited David and my friend, Judy, to attend my first meeting with Elissa’s medium.  She lived in Salem, Massachusetts (the city of witches) in a two-bedroom home with her husband Peter and her grandson.  There, we all sat in her small living room as Patty went into her trance. A parrot named Merlin cawed in the other room while an aquarium bubbled behind her. Judy was very skeptical, but sat patiently as, one by one, each person in the room sat on the floor in front of Patty. She would then channel that person’s particular spiritual guide.

Waiting my turn, I wondered who I would talk to. Years earlier, I had sat in with another medium but had ended up thinking it was a lot of phony baloney.  This time, however, I found myself glued to my seat.

Judy, restless and rolling her eyes next to me, finally jumped to her feet. “I’ve had enough of this nonsense,” she said.  “Are you coming Cindy?”

“No. I’m staying.”  As Judy stomped out of the house, I knew she had a right to her point of view, but I wanted to experience my turn with Patty.

When she was ready for me, Patty asked me my name.  She then closed her eyes and, as her voice shifted to a different tone, I was introduced to an entity called “Bennu.”

“I have been with you from the time of your birth,” he told me, through Patty.  “You are a star traveler and actually an experiment of some sort. You are a mixture of different star systems:  Pleadian, Acturian and Sirian. On the spaceships, you were the one who worked with the children.  You mesmerized them with your eyes. Children feel safe when they are with you. You have much work to do and I will guide you. Are you ready to fly?”

“I am.”

“Then we will start tonight.”

David’s spiritual guide was an entity called Isine. She gave him recipes for flower essences.  (Hearing our messages, David and I were like two children in a candy store.)

The next morning, before I drove back to New Hampshire, we questioned the whole experience.  Yet, as soon as Elissa said she’d decided to host the medium every Wednesday night in her new home, we both agreed to partake in the new experience. Talking to a full-trance medium was far different from my bridge group nights. It was fun and exciting, but I knew that I would have to listen to the information given with keen discernment.

At night, I soon started waking up around 3:00 a.m. from wild and exhilarating dreams.  Sometimes I would be in Ecuador with Don Alberto. During these dreams, I would be tested, and he would coach me through difficult initiations.

One morning, I woke up not remembering any dreams.  I thought it had been an uneventful night until I looked in the mirror and saw, there, on the bridge of my nose, four scabs.  How had I woken up with cuts that were already healed over, I wondered, as I gazed at my reflection in the mirror.

“It is as plain as the nose on your face,” an inner voice told me.

Then I remembered the dream from the night before:  I had been with a being who was a Commander of a star fleet. He and I had stood on the sidelines and together witnessed cigar-shaped crafts come out from the mother ship. This Commander had explained the spacecrafts to me — what they were and what they were doing.

Examining the scabs on my face as I looked into the mirror, I hoped they weren’t indications of some sort of strange implants that people in the book, Communion, and other books had written about.

One night, I woke up at the bewitching hour of three, all alone.  Chet had left the room because Jacqueline had climbed into bed with us and had proceeded to toss and turn — disturbing his sleep.  She had also left to go back to her own bed.  Awake, I felt really strange. A vibration started to encircle my body. I felt electrified, feeling that something was about to happen, and it did.

Propped up in my brass bed by two pillows, I turned and looked out my bedroom windows in time to see a bright light outside.  I peered more intensely and it was a silver, mini-spacecraft.  Unable to believe my eyes, I rubbed them in disbelief — but it was still there.  Why wasn’t Chet in bed with me now, I thought.  He needed to see this!

I decided to get up and get Chet, but I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move an inch of my body. Why? Was I afraid? No, I didn’t think so. I attempted to move again, but I was unable to.  Now that just made me angry. Nobody could paralyze me, I would not allow it.  Determined, I twisted my body again and again, and on the third attempt, I felt something snap.  It was me, my spirit.  I had separated from my body and I was floating in mid-air. How cool.  I decided that I must show Chet the craft, and show him his wife floating in the air.

Finding him, I hovered over his body.  I wondered whether I would fall if I spoke.  Hmmm.  Afraid of falling, I decided to cough quietly and clear my throat. “Ahemm… Ahhm.  Chet, look up.  See what is happening.”

But Chet never even opened an eye. I finally left the bedroom and floated down the hallway, like an eel in the ocean, toward Alison’s room. “Alison, look what your mother can do.”

Alison woke up and watched as I dove up and down through the floor of her bedroom and then floated back over her. “Great, mom. Can I go back to sleep now?”  She drifted back into a deep sleep.

I floated back into the hallway back toward my own bedroom. Suddenly, a silver liquid was being poured onto my bed and pictures were forming in the liquid. It was a beautiful young, red-headed girl. It seemed like I was looking at a family album of her life. She was so beautiful that I thought that she must have been some sort of fashion model, and this was her portfolio.

I started to feel like I was falling, when I heard a voice tell me to ask her what her name was.

I asked her, but it felt like my ears were clogged, because I was unable to hear the answer.

“Well, what is her name?” the voice asked me.

“I didn’t here anything,” I replied.

“Ask again,” the voice commanded.

I asked her again, “What is your name?”

“Pinky,” the red-head responded.

I woke up at that point, and found myself still sitting up in bed.  I broke out into laughter. “Pinky? Who is Pinky? Is she a new spiritual guide? Only I could have a spiritual guide named Pinky.  But, in spite of my laughter, on an inner level I knew that something significant had just occurred.

I couldn’t wait for my next channeling session with Patty. There, I asked her if she could channel Pinky for me. I didn’t share any of the details of my experience — just my belief that this woman was one of my new spiritual guides.

Patty closed her eyes, and then re-opened them. She asked me to move farther away from her. I was too close, for some reason, and I was interfering with the connection. As I moved back, Patty slipped into her trance. Then a soft, melodic voice came out of her mouth and the first question she presented was:  how do I like speaking to myself!  She told me that I was Pinky (or Pinky was me) in the future.  She explained that that was why I’d had to move back away from Patty or she wouldn’t have been able to channel her — our energies were too close.

In the midst of this crazy revelation, the whole dream experience started to make sense to me. I had frozen because I was connecting to my future self. And I had refused to really hear her name because my logical mind couldn’t accept the name she had presented.  I realized that she had never actually said that her name was Pinky. She had answered Cindy, but I hadn’t been able to compute this possibility.  It was all so incredible.  I had met my future self, and now was talking to her through the medium.

A month later, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. again. Squelching my fears, I got up and went to the bathroom.  When I got back to bed, I took a look out the window.  Maybe I would see the ship again and, then again, maybe I wouldn’t.  I saw nothing.  I decided to just go back to sleep, but instead I started to retrieve the dream I had just experienced.  Within seconds, the memories started rushing back:

In the dream, I had been walking on a street paved with glass squares. Slipping and sliding, I had felt like a child on this glassy road that eventually led to a train station. I passed some people and, as I continued on, I saw that all of the buildings were made out of glass.  On one of the structures, there was a broken fragment.  I went into one of the buildings, and it almost looked like it could be a department store.  Inside a beautiful red-head walked by me. She was tall and I commented on her beautiful figure.  I also noticed that there was a little girl with her.  Another woman then came up to the red-head and asked if she could take her picture. Agreeing, she posed for the woman.

I then saw a stream of photographs of the woman unfold in front of me. People in the store, “ooh” and “aaah” about how gorgeous this woman was.  Suddenly, a man started taking her picture, telling me at the same time to notice that she was not afraid.  Then I saw another portfolio of photographs of this woman. The little girl, who now seemed to be Alison, and I walk away from the photo session.

“She isn’t that beautiful,” I remarked to Alison — until I realized how wrong I am.  Then, there was a tablecloth decorated with autumn leaves.  When I touched it, I messed it up, and the red-head appeared to fix it.

“Isn’t she picky?” I remarked.  Then it hit me — Picky was Pinky. I was dreaming of Pinky again.

Awake, I wondered about this city of glass.  I knew that some people say there is a crystal planet. Was this the place I visited in my dreams?  Or was the glass merely a symbol of some sort.  Mirrors are everywhere, reflecting us.  And the path was slippery and some of the buildings had fragments. Was this a reflection of myself?

And she was so beautiful, yet I criticized her. Autumn tablecloth? I mess things up and Pinky fixes it.

Hmmm, so many questions, no real answers.

I called Elissa up to share my dreams and experiences with her, but instead of her usual excitement, I felt an icy cold silence. She had begun to wonder why she wasn’t having these or any similar, experiences.  I had to reassure her that she probably would — that maybe she just needed to relax and simply allow things to happen.

The next morning, I received an angry phone call from Elissa. I was shocked as she told me that she was angry and that “how dare I” tell her how to have an experience.  I listened for twenty minutes or so as she rambled on about how rude I was.  Apologizing, I told her that I hadn’t meant to be rude.  I had actually thought that I was helping her.  When I hung up from that phone conversation, I was extremely discouraged. I thought that I had left the world of competition behind me on the tennis courts and bridge tables, yet here it was again. Same old energy.

I never wanted my spiritual life or spiritual experiences to be a competition, but this was what I was feeling from her.  My heart sank.

Focusing on higher things, I started to read books on “ascension.”  As a Catholic child, I had learned that Jesus ascended into heaven, but what did that really mean?  I wanted to know.  In my search for this knowledge, I discovered some books by Godfrey Ray King:  Unveiled Mysteries, Magic Presence, and a series of “I Am” books.  His books had been printed in 1935, and in them he had revealed secrets from the Great White Brotherhood (secrets guarded for centuries).  He believed that  St. Germain, Jesus, Nada, Cha, Lanto, and others, were actually from Venus; that they were ascended masters who were sent to assist humans in achieving their divine potential.  In his books, Godfrey shared his own personal transformation and transfiguration, which occurred as he as guided by the master,  St. Germain.

Never in my wildest dreams had I realized the full potential of humans until I read those books. My imagination was stirred by his stories of love, light, and happiness, as well as by his claim that these stories were real, true, and eternal. He believed that every human being on the earth has an opportunity to transcend their hearts and minds into a perfected higher consciousness and discover their own divine self.  That was for me!  I read other books about ascension and learned that Jesus was teaching all of us how to be him!! There wasn’t anything else I wanted to be more than a master of the divine.

In Chapter Nine of his book, Magic Presence, King described the ascension of Daniel Rayborn. According to him, St. Germain had taught Rayborn that “divine love is the reservoir of life and the treasure chest of the universe. The more one studies life and contemplates perfection, the less he struggles with people and things, and the more he adores the God presence; for one who worships perfection must, of necessity, become that upon which his attention rests.”

I couldn’t believe the wealth of wisdom I was finding in books. Books became my teachers and when the opportunity arose to accompany Chet on a business trip to San Francisco, a place where I had once experienced intense despair and loneliness, I agreed — with the promise that Chet would drive us four hours north of San Francisco to Mt. Shasta.  That was the place where King had met St. Germain, and was the inspiration for the stories of his spiritual experiences with the ascended masters.

Almost twenty years later, I returned to the city that people write songs about:  San Francisco.  There, I visited the house I had lived in.  I found out that Justine, my former landlady, had married and rented the house to a Realtor. He kindly let me see my old apartment. It looked so different. I happily remembered my dog Pokey, and how he would sit in the bay window and bark at the tourists and passersby. When I heard the  trolley car clang, I laughed at how I had once fallen off. In town, I strolled into the stores I had never been able to afford; where now I could buy almost anything I wanted.

Stopping to get a manicure, I talked to the woman about her life. She shared with me how lonely she was, and how she longed to find the love of her life. I encouraged her to dream of him and never give up believing that he would come. I realized how lucky I had been to find love so young.

This time around, I fully appreciated the beauty of the city that had brought me down to deep levels of depression. I realized that, with a different mind-set, I could be happy anywhere. I strolled through the art galleries and later met Chet back at the hotel in time for us to head off toward Mt. Shasta.

It was a rainy Friday in November.  We rented a Toyota and headed north out of the city.  As the rain intensified, we got stuck, of course, with thousands of other people heading out for the weekend.  Hungry, hours later, we pulled over in the town of Williams (which looked like an old town from a Hollywood western).  There, we sipped cappuccino and dined on pasta before braving our way back onto the highway.  By now, the rain was cascading down and the visibility was down to nearly nothing.

Chet did a great job staying on the road, but it was difficult.  Then it got worse — the rain turned into snow the further north we get. (David had predicted, before we left, that the weather would be a factor in our journey to Mt. Shasta, but I never dreamt that we would encounter a snowstorm in the first week of November.) Every time a large truck passed us, its spray of slush and snow completely blinded us.  As I watched Chet grow tenser, I wondered why this journey was so difficult.

Chet forged ahead, however, in strength and confidence and in spite of the difficulties of the road, this helped center me.  Still, my fears were lurking close by.  As I was attempting to dispel them from my mind, the traffic suddenly came to a full stop.  The State Police were forcing anyone who didn’t have chains or snow tires off the road. We were told that we had to get off the highway at the next exit.

Obeying, we stopped at the Rustic Trailer Park, where rows of trucks and their drivers were asleep in their semis.  All of the local hotels were full.  (I thought about the Blessed Mother, and about how she must’ve felt — pregnant on a donkey — when she looked for an Inn at which to spend the night, and how difficult it must have been for her.  Had she complained?  I doubted it).

Since it was about two in the morning, I resigned myself to the fact that we would be sleeping by the side of the road in our car.

Chet, however, had other ideas.  “You call the Innkeeper in Shasta,” he told me, reasoning that we were only a couple of exits away.  “His name is David, and I bet if a woman calls he might come and get us.”

Finding a phone booth, I made the call.  When David answered, I explained our situation.  After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, he finally agreed to come and get us.  (Just then a man from the trailer park came out and offered us coffee and assistance. We refused, but told him how much we deeply appreciated his kind offer.)

After David arrived in his Jeep, we were at the “Dream Inn” in less than ten minutes.  His Inn was filled with antiques and charm, and we were given a lovely room with a white, iron bed filled with teddy bears (which added a great deal of whimsy to the décor).  To my surprise, I saw the exact same picture I had hanging in Alison’s room at home — one of a blonde little girl who, hands cupped, is splashing water from an ocean wave.  I took that as a good sign (even though Chet dismissed it as hokey-pokey). Before David left, he gave me a book on Mt. Shasta.  It was full of stories about UFO’s, fairies, ascended masters, and Lemurians.  I was so excited. We had made it, in spite of all of the odds stacked against us.  Had we just passed a test?

Early the next morning we showered, dressed, and went and sat at the dining table for breakfast. David sat down with us and shared information about the Shasta area. When Chet asked him why he’d named it the “Dream Inn,” David told us that he had named it after himself.  “D” for David and “Ream,” which was his last name.

His partner, Alanna, was in the kitchen and my stomach rolled in hunger, anticipating a nice hearty breakfast.  When Alanna left to get groceries, hmmm, I got hungrier and focused on being patient.  Continuing to chit-chat with David, I was more than happy to see Alanna return.  As I watched her start working in the kitchen, however, I could see that she was rolling out dough for cookies — not preparing food for breakfast.  It took awhile, but I finally realized that breakfast wasn’t coming.

Rolling my eyes at Chet, I got him to ask David to drive us back to retrieve our rented vehicle.  He did, and as soon as Chet and I drove off in our car, we found a breakfast spot.

“I thought it was a bed and breakfast?” I complained to Chet. “Why didn’t you ask him for breakfast?”

“Well, I felt embarrassed, especially since he picked us up so late last night.”

We ate at an organic food spot where most of the diners looked like Hippies from the Sixties. I loved the sense of adventure and wondered who they all were and what kind of work they did, and what had brought them to Mt. Shasta.

Wanting to drive up the mountain, but not prepared for snow, we headed to a local shop to look for winter wear. I didn’t want to spent a lot of money, so I searched carefully for a bargain — and found one:  a black pair of hiking boots, in a Size 7 (my size), marked down to $19.98.  What a great buy. Chet just bought a pair of gloves, and then we were off to the mountain.

The tall pine trees majestically graced the road as we drove.  We were awed by the power of these mighty mountains.  The car shimmied up the mountain like we were on a slip-and-slide mat. It was a scary ascent, to say the least. We were one slip away from the edge of the mountain most of the time — yet another obstacle; it seemed to me, attempting to keep me from fulfilling my goal of making it to the highest point on the mountain (without climbing). My nerves were rattled to their limit as the car nearly drove sideward and, to add more pressure, the fuel light snapped on.

“Chet, I can’t take this ride anymore. I’d rather walk. Please pull over.”

Chet complied, and we pulled the car off to the side of the road.  David had asked me to make a flower essence from Mt. Shasta, so I found a spot in the snowy forest and put one together for him.  I hadn’t given up on my idea to get to the top. My head was still full of visions of how St. Germain had appeared to Daniel Rayborn in the form of a black panther in a meadow up high on the mountain. I wanted to find that very spot, and still hoped for an encounter with the Master.

Many of my books were full of stories and legends about St. Germain.  Some said that St. Germain was actually St. Joseph, the father of Jesus.  Others said he was Merlin.  According to Norma Milanovich, St. Germain was Roger Bacon.  And Christian Rosenkreutz of Germany, the man who founded the Order of the Rosy Cross and Francis Bacon. said St, Germain had lived on earth some three hundred years after his ascension.

Keeping my goal in mind, we started to hike up the mountain.  I felt better walking than being in the car. Before long, however, a Jeep came toward us and I suggested to Chet that we hitch a ride to the top.

The young couple stopped their Jeep and jetted us to the top — 8,000 feet above sea level.  I could hardly contain myself. I had made it to the top.  But…(yes, there is a but) it was so foggy and snowy that we couldn’t see a thing. I wanted to find certain areas, but how could I in this snowstorm? I decided that I needed to meditate, and found the perfect spot

Chet was nervous.  “You could fall off the side and not even know it.”  Being very protective of me, he cleared a path for me.  I started to meditate, but when a couple of skiers went racing by — and one hit some rocks and fell — I went over to help out.  Fortunately, he was fine.

Wanting to find the panther’s meadow, I found a sign pointing downward and headed out.

“It’s all ledges here,” Chet said, cautioning me.  “It’s dangerous.”

“I have to do this.  I didn’t go through all of this for nothing.”

Finally, he agreed, but he insisted on walking in front of me and paving the way.  Boy, do I love the guy.

“You know, Cindy, your whole problem is that you have these expectations.”

“I don’t have any. I just appreciate the beauty all around me.”

As I followed Chet, I noticed a gold light flickering from the bottom of his sneakers. The forest seemed to suddenly glow with strange green lights. Thinking that I was imagining it, I kept silent.

Eventually, we found a mound of rocks and I decided that it was the perfect place to meditate. With Chet standing next to me, guarding me like a Knight, I went slowly into a meditative state.  Instantly, in my mind’s eye, I saw flashes of rocks and stones. The rocks had some kind of symbols on them — hieroglyphics! I didn’t understand what it meant, but just accepted what I was seeing.

After I’d been meditating for about ten minutes, Chet started to nudge me. He didn’t want to miss the ride down the mountain with the young couple.

I fit in one more request before I opened my eyes. “I want something for all of my hard effort to get up here, masters. I don’t know what I want, but I want something. This whole situation has been very hard.”

I opened my eyes, got up, and started to follow Chet back up the mountain when, all of a sudden, I could see, perfectly clear with my eyes wide open, Chet’s auric field of energy. It was pulsating a bright red.

“Chet, I can see you aura! I can’t believe it!” I told him with excitement.

“Let me see if I can change the color,” he said.  He changed it to blue and I could see it clearly.  Then he made the mistake of changing it to white.

“Why did you pick white?  Red and blue are much easier to see in a snow storm!”

My heart was pumping fast as we hiked back up to the top.  I thought that I was in better shape.  I had to stop and catch my breath.  Making it back in time, our ride came and picked us up and we zoomed back down the mountain.  The roads were slippery, and it had been easier going up than it was now going back down.  When we made it safely to the bottom, we thanked our chauffeurs.

Picking up my mountain essence, we headed back to town.  I didn’t feel well, and started coughing.  I felt strange sensations all over my body as I drank a strawberry smoothie. (Chet, of course, thought I was making it all up.)

We dropped into a bookstore and I found a beautiful book.  Taking time to enjoy the town, we then went to an art gallery.  There, Chet bought me a beautiful piece of art — a red, white, and silver paper cutout of Mt. Shasta. I loved it.

Back at the Inn, I crashed into a nap, which was very unlike me.  I usually hated naps and refused to take them even as a child (to my parents’ dismay).  When Chet went to speak with the Innkeeper, I tried to rest, but my body got chilled and I suddenly began to feel waves of energy pulse throughout my whole being.  Finally drifting off to sleep, Chet woke me after an hour.  Together, we went to a French restaurant for dinner, and enjoyed linguine and fresh vegetables. Still feeling a little odd, I passed on my normal glass of white wine.

The next day, as we packed to leave, Chet jokingly told David that we didn’t want breakfast at 1:00 p.m.!  David laughed as we all said our good byes.

We went back to the mountain one last time, and drove up to about 4,000 feet, where we found a trail. As I walked on the trail, all I could hear was the sound of my feet crunching on the snow.  There were no close encounters with masters, fairies or the fabled people of Lemuria. I only heard the sounds of silence.

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE……my soul connection to Avalon & the Lady of the Lake

It was nearing summer now, and I was looking forward to going to the lake with the children.  It was such a wonderful respite from daily life.

Imagining how wonderful that was going to be, I drove down to Salem to visit Patty, the trance medium. She was working part-time in an angel store doing readings, and we had a luncheon date. Together, we strolled past the cemeteries where many people were buried as a consequence of the Salem witch trials.

“Are you aware,” Patty suddenly asked me, “of the Lady of the Lake?”

The Lady of the Lake?  I had read about her in The Mists of Avalon. I had read the book shortly after giving birth to John.  I had stayed up late because the story of the women of Avalon held me enthralled.

“Well,” Patty continued, “The Lady of the Lake is around you, and you have a deep soul connection to Avalon.”

Interesting, I thought.

That Wednesday our group was meeting, and I was excited because I knew it would by my last for a while.  When Patty closed her eyes, it wasn’t Bennu or St. Francis who came to visit.  It was the Lady of the Lake who spoke to me that night.

When she spoke, she called my by my name, Cynthia, but then told me that the name given to me in this lifetime was too foreign to her tongue.

“Igraine is who you are to me, and Igraine you will always be,” she said.  “And in order to teach people about prosperity and abundance you must learn about Igraine, and you shall visit many places in the future. True abundance is to know Camelot, the Holy Grail, and the sword Excalibur. Camelot and their legends are not a fantasy but a place in time that was real as the time you are now experiencing. Avalon and the magical mists that veil its presence are as real as the raindrops that kiss your face.

The waters of baptism at rebirth is within the mystical symbols — all of this beholds that which abundance is; veiled from the world, for true peace shining with the bright light of a pure virgin knows only love and truth. So let us together part the veil and bring forth abundance, so that the outside world will take her as their bride. She is known to most for the coin she carries, the jewels she wears, and a heart as cold as ice. Where is the truth, the love, the strength that coins can buy? This is not abundance. Love and truth cannot be bought nor can peace or harmony be bought.

The veils of mists that protect Avalon are like the veils that protect your heart. When one parts the veil of greed and opens the heart to love and to truth, then the veils of Avalon are parted and the sacred grail and the sword are revealed. The Grail is like a grid, a blueprint that has been implanted in your soul. The cup, the sacred symbols revealed in the Ace of Cups, dear one, is love, emotion and imagination. It opens one to the Creator’s existence within your higher consciousness; within your higher self.

Those who search for the Grail and find it, find their own  higher selves, the light of love, and completeness. Many fell to the ground in its presence, for they could not connect to the emotion, only the greed of what the golden chalice held in their eyes. The Grail opens one to enthusiasm, to be receptive, to open up their hearts to pursue goals — goals for the good of all, that all may drink and be nourished. It is within the Cups, the emotion of love and caring pursing spiritual wealth for all, that abundance is found.

The sword Excalibur gives forth the power and the strength to cut through pain and sorrow and destroy all that is not of the bright of truth. It prevents the spillage of one’s spiritual blood, the killing of one’s spiritual soul. Cynthia, oh my dear Igraine, when all of this is taught or remembered, one can one can be paid in Avalon’s spiritual waters and the true face of abundance will appear as a wedding bride, ready to distribute her dowry of coin and jewels, love and truth, to all who have sought her. May this truthful face be yours in this lifetime and in the next. I am your Lady of the Lake.”

More and more revelations were coming to me about my soul, and it was astounding. Igraine?  Who was she? I had read a little blip about her in The Mists of Avalon, but most of the story had focused on Morgan Le Faye, the half-sister of Arthur who had helped destroy him and Camelot. Now I wanted to know who Igraine truly was — and not what others had written about her in legends and myths. This newly revealed information was about to open the mists of Avalon deep within my soul.

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO………Mexico and the Ring of Solomon

When September slid back in, and all of the children were back in school, I had more time to explore. I was still teaching my magic wand classes and working with the terminally ill. And Wednesday nights were still hopping with energy.

The group was growing in attendance, which meant shorter readings. I preferred the small, intimate group — but Elissa was like a carnival barker calling and shouting about the group channeling sessions. People came and people went.

A couple of new men arrived one Wednesday night.  They were from the Kripalu group out in Lenox, Massachusetts. One of them, Peter, was tall and balding.  He sat with the group with a blanket over his head.  His friend, Chankuara, was petite with strawberry blonde hair.  He radiated anger and wounded energy.

Some of the more conservative members of the group disliked these men and wanted them out of the group.  Patty’s husband, Peter, wanted me to talk to Elissa about asking them not to come to our Wednesday night session. He felt that they were dangerous and were upsetting the safety of the group.

I refused. I told him that Christ never judged others and, besides, were we not all developing love and tolerance of others even if they were different than us?

Some people left the group because of this decision, but Elissa kept her heart open to all who wanted to come. One evening, she invited a man named Gary to teach the group about the Mayan calendar. Gary was a tall man with brown-gray streaked hair.  He arrived at Elisa’s house dressed in a white shirt and pants.

Gary’s presence was magnetic.  A woman, Nasrin, accompanied him. She had a nose like a lion and an energy that matched the Egyptian Goddess Bast. The entire female group was ogling Gary, but I felt drawn to the power radiating from Nasrin. She sat quietly in the back of the room as Gary educated us about the Mayan calendar.  After the session, I went over to Nasrin and asked her some questions. She told me that she had been raised in Iran, and held a PHD in Women’s Studies.  She was also a channeler. The two became regular attendees of our group.

My lucid dreaming abilities continued to grow. I was able to wake up in my dreams and know that I was dreaming. One Wednesday evening, after a group session, John crawled into bed with me — complaining about stomach cramps. Chet had taken him to the hospital the night before, but they hadn’t been able to find anything wrong with him. His blood tests were negative.

I told John that I could pull the pain out of his body with my hands. Then I held his head with one hand and his stomach with the other hand.  His whole body relaxed and he fell asleep in my arms. The pain was gone.

When I fell asleep, I went through gates of dreaming. I awoke within the dream and the face of Jesus appeared in a circle.

“This is my daughter, with whom I am well pleased,” He said.

I then shot out of my body up towards the bedroom ceiling. The flower-of-life geometry was on the ceiling. I was so excited about this dream experience that I woke up feeling exalted.  I returned minutes later, back to the dreamtime, and found myself near a computer. I pressed the letter “I” on the keyboard and I was inside the computer. It looked like a cartoon — with me in my van driving backwards.  I pressed the letters “win” to change the program and moved forward.

In another sequence of this dream, I was with a group of Holy women, stripping off my clothes. I could feel my shyness about being naked in the dream, but I did it anyway. I was told that I was chosen to do something.

Chet woke me up from the dream and told me that he saw a beam of light emanating from where I was sleeping with John. He put on all the lights and investigated, but couldn’t figure out what he saw.

Ten nights later, with Chet busy working on the computer downstairs, I went to bed about ten-thirty.  When I closed my eyes, I felt my body entering a theta state of consciousness. My whole body started to vibrate. It was the Nameless Ones speaking to me. They shared information about Gary and Nasrin and about my connection to them.

The weird thing about this dreaming experience was that a part of me was still wide awake.  I heard Chet come up the stairs, brush his teeth, and get ready for bed. I was conscious of everything he said and did, but I didn’t want to speak because of the simultaneous spiritual experience.

“Oh my God, Cindy! Your body is so hot,” he said, climbing into bed with me.

I couldn’t recall everything that the Nameless Ones said to me, but when I opened my eyes and looked at a clock it was four a.m.!  They spoke to me for five hours.

Shocked, I got up and went to the bathroom.  It took awhile for me to get back to sleep once I crawled back into bed, but when I did I found myself under the earth. Men were digging up sections of the earth and laying down crystals. (The Foreman of the workers told the men that they forgot to put the sand down.)

I left the men and walked into a room that was filled with statues of blue angels. I decided that they were in the wrong places and rearranged them.  Then Chet walked into the room, and I woke up.

Don Alberto, the Shaman from Ecuador, continued to be in my dreams. I jumped into his arms after one difficult dreamtime initiation.  One evening, I dreamt that I walked into his hut.   Don Alberto and his wife were there. There were suitcases in the corner of the hut, packed and ready to go. I asked Don Alberto where he was going.

“You are going to Mexico,” he replied.

I continued to dream about Mexico. I never had a desire to go to Mexico — why was I dreaming about it?  I actually wanted to make plans to return to Mt. Shasta in May. There was a Wesak celebrating Buddha, and Dr. Joshua Stone, Norma Milanovich, and a lot of other people whose works I had read were going to be there.

Chet didn’t have any interest in attending with me. “I’m not a groupie like you,” was his snide remark — but I was called to play.

Still, Mexico kept haunting me. I called Elissa and shared my dream with her.  A few weeks later, she called me and told me that she had the answer to why I was dreaming about Mexico.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you are going to Mexico. Nasrin has prepared a trip with Denise, the airline reservationist from Newburyport who happens to speak six languages. We are going to have the opportunity to live and stay with a female Mexican medical doctor who is also a Shaman. There will be twelve of us, and on December 12th at 12 p.m., we will do a ceremony on the Pyramid of the Sun at the ancient sight of Teotihuacán.”

I knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and I had to go, but first I had to break the news gently to Chet.  I took him out to our favorite watering hole and told him everything.

“But I thought you wanted to go to Mt. Shasta in May?”

“Chet, my dreams are guiding me. I must go to Mexico.”

“But it’s close to Christmas.”

“So,” I replied.  “I do all the work. I will have everything done before I leave.”

Chet wasn’t happy.  He even treated me like a child — telling me that I had to choose between Shasta and Mexico City. I told him that I was going to Mexico now; that I would deal with the Shasta trip later.

On December 8th, I was on my way to Mexico.  I was on a plane flying to Mexico City to meet Malena (who is also called Magdalena), and her husband Alberto.

On the plane, Elissa was upset about getting turned down for a new car loan.  I advised her to relax and just refinance her home.  She liked the idea and calmed down.  My other fellow travelers were Gary, Nasrin, Denise, Rosemary, and Agatha.

Denise had met Malena years earlier.  She had lived with her and done some writing.  Agatha, originally from Sicily, was deeply devoted to the Blessed Mother, but carried a lot of pain and anger from her life’s struggles. She lost her husband to cancer when she was only twenty-six-years old and raised three young children on her own. Life had been harsh, and Agatha bore the psychic scars of this pain.

Rosemary, on the other hand, was a tall Irish red-head from Boston with enormous ego and pride. Retired now, her energy was entirely focused on her faith in God. She volunteered her time with hospice patients.

Nasrin was seated on the plane next to Rosemary.  I heard her temper and voice flaring as she demanded more money from Rosemary for the trip. Rosemary calmly told Nasrin that she had already paid her.  As I listened to the conversation, I couldn’t believe that this was the start of our journey together.

When we arrived in Mexico City, I saw Malena waiting for our group. I felt like I was meeting my sister. Red and green lights were all that determined if Customs was going to search our bags.  When Malena stood and waved her hand, we all got a green light to just move on through.

She hugged us all like we were long-lost friends.  At their airport, a gentleman from Canada joined our group. We all got on a bus and headed out onto the streets of Mexico City.  The noise and pollution perforated the area.  The Canadian covered his eyes and nose — fuming about the fumes!  It wasn’t long before we arrived at Malena’s stone home.  I headed inside as Nasrin stayed with the angry Canadian — now screaming that he must return home or the pollution would set his health back for months. I wondered why he was so nervous when he had an opportunity to live with a healer.  Where was his faith?  Staying calm and gracious, Malena made arrangements for him to go to the countryside and stay with her sister.

Malena’s house was small. The living room was combined with a dining room and a walk-in kitchen, where electrical wires were openly exposed. She also had a small office, and her son Jovan had a bedroom downstairs.

We walked up a narrow stairway, and on the threshold of this staircase was her daughter’s sleeping space. Malena’s bedroom was large, with a king-size bed and a bathroom. Showing us around, she gave the women in the group her bed. She told us that she and her husband would sleep on the floor in their son’s bedroom.  I was instantly impressed with Malena’s kindness and generosity.

That night, the Mexicans stayed up all night smoking, partying, and drinking. As I lay in bed with three other women, I questioned what the heck I was doing there.  I couldn’t sleep. Denise, Nasrin, and Elissa stayed up all night.

Behind Malena’s bed was a huge picture of Jesus, with his hand pointing to his sacred heart. My grandmother had this picture.  My mom had loved it and it was now hanging in her home. My whole body started vibrating. Something was going on — I could feel it!

The next morning, feeling groggy from an uncomfortable night of sleep, I went downstairs.  Malena’s living room was filled with people waiting to see her. I got dressed quickly and returned to Malena’s office. I was excited about watching her work.

An older couple came into the healing room and Malena gave them a ring.  She called it the Ring of Solomon. It was gold and had a triangular emerald center, surrounded by hieroglyphics on the gold band. Malena wanted all of us to get one.

She explained the power and purpose of the ring.  She told us how King Solomon had appeared to her dream and told her how to design the ring. One gold coin was to be melted in the month of May, and each symbol on the ring was to stand for an angel. The angels were both of light and darkness, because we must learn to balance both energies within ourselves.

Malena told us that the ring could protect us from negative energy. My ego didn’t want to give up my personal power to a ring. It felt superstitious to me.

Then, Malena surprised me again — she asked us to read the client’s energy fields. I had to go first. I closed my eyes and relaxed my mind. I let go of the fear of being wrong and being judged. I delved into my intuitive mind and expressed what I saw in my mind’s eye.  When I was done, she told me that I was correct.  Phew. Still, I felt like I was way out on a limb with a powerful healer who could see.

More clients came in.  They were not “peasants” like a Hollywood movie might portray.  They were doctors, lawyers, architects, and other professional people. I could sense pain in different areas of their bodies.

Malena did different things with different people. She took one woman out on her stone floor patio and poured alcohol around her in a ring. The woman stood in the center and Malena lit the fire — burning off negative energy in the woman. Next, Malena weaved pink, blue, and white ribbons into rosary beads for the client.

The whole morning felt miraculous. I knew that I could go home now and feel complete. That day in the office made the whole trip feel worthwhile.  It was the first time a Shaman was empowering me!!!

We all returned to the airport to pick up another guest, Michael, from New York City. His wife was a Dolphin Priestess, but she didn’t accompany him on the trip. Michael was tall, red-headed, and quiet. He didn’t mingle with the rest of us.

Later that night, there was a huge birthday party for Malena.  Musicians came into her home with guitars, and we sang and danced all night celebrating her birthday. She is five years older than I am, but looked older.

I spent some time looking at all of her photographs of her and her children.  She was once a beauty.  Now, she seemed to carry the burdens of all of her people on her shoulders.

The party lasted into the wee hours of the morning.  During the festivities, people, one by one, would come up to me and ask for healing or insights. I amazed myself with how accurate I was — even with the language barriers — when it came to reading their field of energy.

The next morning, we were all on a bus heading towards Acapulco. We sang on the bus to amuse ourselves during the long ride. There were romances developing between some people in the group, and I found myself judging and being irritated by this. It didn’t seem to be appropriate with respect to the spiritual work we were planning to do as a group. I wondered if it was my staunch Catholic values, but Malena was just as Catholic and she didn’t seem to be troubled by what was going on.

We drove until we came to a distant, deserted beach far from the tourist regions of Acapulco.  I quickly and discreetly changed into my bathing suit and dove into the turquoise ocean. I loved the sea and floated on the warm water.  As I floated, with the sun in my eyes, I experienced a feeling of oneness with the ocean. I felt like I was rocking inside the Divine Mother’s womb in embryonic fluid. I felt loved and safe.

As I was lulled in these waters, I sensed a shift in the energy of the ocean — like a mother warning her child.  I was guided to get out of the ocean as soon as possible. I listened and bolted out of the waters.

I turned and saw Elissa in the water. “Get out of the water,” I warned.  “You must get out now.”

Elissa’s caring heart made her swim out deeper, to where other members of our group were swimming. She wanted to warn them, but it was too late. The ocean changed its mood and six people were trapped in the riptide.

Malena, Rosemary, and I watched, but we were not helpless. I knew that going into the water wasn’t the answer, yet I couldn’t abandon my peers. If we could move energy, why couldn’t we shift the ocean? We started to work our magic.

Then I saw Elissa struggling to get to shore. I wondered how I could help her — using common sense.  I saw a palm tree branch lying in the sand.  I picked it up and encouraged Elissa to get closer while I held out the branch. Elissa grabbed it and I hauled her in.

Success. Elissa was overwhelmed with her brush with death and couldn’t stop crying.

I spotted a dead fish on the beach. I picked up the dead fish and slapped the back of her head. “The fish is dead, silly. Not you. You’re alive. Be happy!”

One by one, members of the group made it out of the water.  The only one left was Denise. Denise was an excellent swimmer, but she had been out there for a long time. The beach we were on was so remote, we all knew there wasn’t anyone else available to help us.

Michael decided to go out with Denise and coach her back in. We all prayed and kept vigil, until finally both of them –exhausted — reached the shore. Nasrin conducted a small ceremony on the beach. (Elissa was still sobbing.)

With the trauma behind us, we drove into the tourist area. Elissa and I had our hair braided. I secretly wanted to look like Bo Derek in the movie, Ten, but I looked more like Pippi Longstocking with my hair in corn rows.

We feasted, beach side, on fresh fish eyeballs and other exotic delicacies.  As we ate, I spoke to Malena. I told her how I had the feeling that I was with my sister.  As Denise interpreted my words, I saw Malena nod her head in agreement.

“We are more than sisters.  We are twins on the star Sirius,” she said.

I loved how she stated her truth. Here was this medical doctor — bright, intelligent, well-educated — speaking of things mater-of-factly; things people in the U.S. would scoff at as nonsense. I felt at home in Mexico.

Later we watched the cliff divers.  I tried to entice the group to stay over night, but no one jumped at my idea. In the wee hours of the morning, we were back on the bus heading towards Mexico City. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.

Nasrin sat behind me on the bus and as I turned to speak to her, I noticed a huge black object in the sky hovering over our bus.

“Nasrin, do you see what I see?”

“Be quiet, Cindy, and don’t tell another person on this bus what you see. I see it.”

“But why?  We should tell the group. Look at that thing? I have never seen anything so large.”

The object looked like pictures of the Phantom plane the U.S. had secretly developed. I kept my promise to Nasrin and didn’t tell the other group members what was above us.  But, all of a sudden, the bus stopped. The bus engine had died.

We were now on a deserted mountain road with a useless vehicle. We were stranded.

I looked at Nasrin. There had to be a connection to what I had seen in the sky and the bus engine dying — but she shook her head and glared at me to keep silent.

We had to pee in front of the bus because there were cliffs on either side of us. We laughed and joked as we peed, then climbed back onto the bus. All I wanted was to go into a deep sleep. Maybe that was a way to connect to the UFO over us? But sleep never happened that night.

Elissa talked incessantly…rambling on and on about insights she was having. Frustrated and tired, I begged her, as my friend, to stop talking, but she never did stop.  She spoke all night and I never slept. A part of me was angry at her thoughtlessness, but another part of me accepted that there was a reason that none of us slept that night.

The next morning, the bus driver walked and got water.  He came back and filled the radiator up and we were on our way back to Mexico City.

Back at Malena’s house, Nasrin got busy choreographing a ceremony. She placed us in certain spots, and we had to walk certain steps, spin and turn, and then walk back. It all seemed silly to me.  I was not one who liked ceremony. It made me feel odd, but what the heck.  I was miles away from home, so I decided to go with the flow.

We practiced our steps, and in the afternoon we went out and shopped in the market place. I was careful about the foods I ate, not wanting to contract the famous Montezuma’s Revenge.

I bought a large green velvet sombrero for Chet, a small guitar, and other objects for my children. As we were eating lunch, the age-old problem of money surfaced once again. Denise and Nasrin began asking us for more money. We all paid them the extra money, but half-heartedly. They seemed to be totally disorganized and unfamiliar with running trips as well as the cost of things.

On December 11th, it was the “eve” of the big day.  I really didn’t have a clue about the purpose of the day or about the ceremony that was to take place.  All I knew was that I had to be there.

Michael was now more sociable and friendly.  He had developed a bond with Denise — after saving her life.  I asked him about the work he did, and he told me that he channeled. I promptly gathered Agatha, Rosemary, Elissa, Malena and we all went up to Malena’a bedroom to have Michael channel a message for each of us.

As we proceeded, I realized that a healing was actually taking place for each person. Malena got scolded for taking on everyone’s pain. Agatha got healed from some past hurts.  Then it was my turn.  Michael told me that a relative was there, and her name was Mary.

Hastily, I dismissed that name.  Then it dawned on me that Mary was my grandmother’s name — my mother’s mother.  She told me that there were still unresolved issues between she and I — issues that I hadn’t given much thought.  But as the voice spoke, through Michael, the underlying hurt and resentment bubbled up. I told my grandmother how cold she had been when she was living; how unaffectionate.  I also asked her about something that was really bothering me — what had she done to my mother to screw her up so badly.

I was angry and hurt that she had somehow wounded my mom and, because of that, I had a crazy mother. I was sobbing and sobbing. I couldn’t stop it. Agatha wanted to hold me, but the channeler stopped and told Agatha to ask me if I wanted to be held. I refused. I didn’t want anyone coddling me.

I never realized how angry I was at my grandmother for placing so many fears into my mother and so much rejection; for not giving my mother the attention she needed; for locking her up in closets when there was a thunderstorm — and for all of the things I didn’t know about that my mom had experienced as a child.  I cried.

One by one, Michael skillfully worked with his spiritual guides to heal wounds deep inside each of us. We were being purified for the upcoming day. My heart and soul knew this, even though a painful memory that had been buried deep inside my inner child had been brought up into the daylight to be seen by all. I now was ready for 12-12.

On that day, the bus pulled into the archeological site of Teohtuican. We were all told to be dressed in white. I had white sweat pants and a white t-shirt on with gold dolphins. People selling souvenir replicas of ancient artifacts greeted us.

We ascended the steps to the pyramid of the sun. I raced up the stairs, like an overactive child, and stood up on the top. Malena’s students and friends were waiting at the top for our group. Nasrin wore a wide-brimmed hat and was holding hands with Gary. She was clearly the High Priestess and he represented the High Priest.

We all took our positions. A crowd gathered around us. Malena stayed outside our inner circle.  I was again impressed with how humble she was.  We took our choreographed steps, and as I moved out to a corner and started to turn and spin, I lost myself.  For a split second, I lost consciousness and I was not taking my cue for the next move.

In a whisper, Rosemary said, “Cindy, what’s wrong with you. Come on.”

But then I heard Nasrin’s authoritative voice.  “Don’t touch her. Leave her alone.”

The conversation brought me back, but where had I gone?  We finished our ceremony. People were there, filming us on camera. I could feel a jolt of:  “I hope nobody back home sees this.”  Tat feeling, however, left as quickly as it came up.

I sat with Nasrin and blew some energy into her crown chakra and then into Denise’s.  The Shaman inside of me started taking over and doing her work. Suddenly, people were lining up  — asking all of us to heal them.  One by one, I started to touch them.  As I did, my soul soared with the laying on of healing hands. I had done this before. I had lived this truth before.

All of a sudden, there was anxiety in the crowd. The police were getting agitated with the crowd gathering around us. It was one thing to do an ancient ceremony, but it was another to heal. We were told to quickly get on the bus, because they could not arrest us on the bus.

Michael scooted over to the Pyramid of the Moon while the rest of us got on the bus, and while Denise and Malena worked to calm down the police. When Michael returned, we drove out of the area and back to Malena’s house. Nasrin and some of the others were exhausted and napped — but I was giddy and filled with energy. Elissa, Michael, and I danced and sang all afternoon and we entertained the rest of our group. Something big had just happened, yet I couldn’t tell you exactly what. I was never to be the same again.

When I arrived back in Boston at Logan Airport (I had everyone undo my braids, so I left Pippi in Mexico), I made a quick shortcut to the bathroom.  When I came out, I saw my daughter Alison anxiously looking through the crowd for her mother.

I saw a fear on her face that she might lose me. We had many talks on ascension and enlightenment, and what it meant to me. I saw in my darling daughter’s face fear that she had lost her mother. I tapped her on her shoulder and she jumped into my arms.

“Sweetheart,” I whispered into her ear.  “I will always be here for you.”

She kissed me. Mom was home again, and all was well.

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE…….The Goddess Quan Yin teaches me compassion

After my trip to Mexico, Chet was concerned about the direction I was heading in my spiritual life.  He sensed a change in me, and he didn’t like it. He was suspicious of the “crazy” people that I was surrounding myself with. Of course, I kept reassuring him and telling him not to worry about it — but he was worried.

Christmas was on its way, and it was my favorite holiday. I loved being Santa Claus. Judy invited us over to her home to celebrate on Christmas Eve with feast of the fishes. Her husband Bobby cooked a fabulous meal of shrimp linguine and other Italian delights.

When I shared about my experiences in Mexico, Bobby just rolled his eyes.  He was so disrespectful. I tried my best to understand our differences, but I couldn’t help but wonder what Judy saw in him. He criticized her all night and made fun of me. I really didn’t give a hoot what he thought.  To me, he was just showing his ignorance.

When we got home, I placed a pile of gifts on our living room floor for each child. I filled their stockings up with gifts and treats.  Then I settled in to watch some television before I went to sleep. Touched by Angel was on.  I thought it was interesting to see how the American public was embracing a  belief in angels. There was hope for us after all.

When I got into bed that night, I felt a familiar vibration. Just then, Jacqueline jumped in bed with me. Getting up, I carried her back to her room and placed my hands on her feet and head.

“Mommy, you’re hands are hot,” she said, falling off to sleep.

Getting back into my own bed, it wasn’t long before I found myself out of my body.  I was at my childhood home. There, I walked up the stairs and crawled under a woman — my mother.  I told her that she would always be my mother and that I loved her. “I forgive you, mom, for all that you have ever done to me.”

Around midnight, Chet came to bed and woke me up.  I shared my dream with him.  He told me that he hoped that it was just a dream, because he didn’t want my mother coming around more.  He’d had enough of her.

Four nights later, I dreamt about brown-and-white colored hawks and owls. They walked with me. A bunch of feathers fell off the hawk, and I thanked the hawk for the gift. The hawk told  me that this was a message from the gods for me to “observe.”

Later in the dream, I meet a druid. He took a black bird with a yellow beak and waved it in front of my face. The bird looked like he was made out of silk.  The druid sprinkled water on the bird and it came to life. What a strange dream!

About that time, another one of my cancer clients passed away.  I attended the funeral, and then I came home and cried.  What was I doing wrong? I knew in my heart that people could heal, but why weren’t they. I went to bed feeling very negative.

I fell into a deep sleep, where I went to Salem Sate (where I attended college).  Then, in the dream, I went to my parent’s house before I woke up.  I couldn’t go back to sleep and now it was five o’clock in the morning.  I started to pray, asking my  spiritual guides to clear out these negative feelings.

I dozed back to sleep and found myself in a movie theater. Three Holy women walked towards me. The most beautiful dark haired beauty sat down next to me, and her two devotees sat on the other side of her. She was dressed in mint green silk and her head was covered with the silk. The seat she was sitting in started to rock violently back and forth. I was horrified. I told her that I was sorry she had a chair like that.

The woman’s chair suddenly stopped rocking and she looked into my eyes. Earth had never seen such beauty and wisdom as I saw in her. “Cynthia, why are you feeling guilty? This is not your fault. Why are you sorry for the choice I made? This is why I am here. To teach you the true meaning of compassion.”

My eyes widened with the wisdom she was teaching me and I woke up feeling happy.  All of the bad feelings were gone. WOW!

A couple of nights later, I meditated before sleep and practiced a heaven-on-earth healing prayer for protection. It was around eleven o’clock when I drifted off to sleep.  I was soon out of my body and in my hallway, where I noticed that the hall light was still on. A gold ball dropped in front of my feet and I felt the presence of the Holy woman near me. I had to make a choice:  pick up the ball or go back to bed with Chet.

I decide to shut off the light and return to bed with my husband.  But, as I put my hand up to the light switch to turn off the light, a force brought me down on my knees to the golden ball. I laughed out loud, “I guess I’m picking up the ball.”

As I picked up the golden ball, I shot out of my body and the beautiful woman was standing in front of me. I felt my soul ascending higher and higher and I was so excited.  I asked the woman if I was ascending.

I don’t remember her reply, but suddenly I was in a room with her and there was a computer screen. I started seeing all of my past lives in a moment. Pictures and images flashed in front of my eyes, the screen changed into a cartoon-like picture and the characters looked like Disney’s Aladdin and Jasmine. The woman told me that the myth about the princess who rode on the magic carpet was about me.

I laughed at the images.  The scenes returned and moved like bolts of lightning up to my present lifetime. She showed me pictures of me with my children. Then I get thrown back into my body and I woke up. I sat quivering in my bed knowing that something extraordinary had just occurred. I was so grateful for the experience.  Who was this Holy woman?

Soon after, Nasrin was teaching a class on magnified healing at Elissa’s home. I wanted to go, and Alison accompanied me. I wanted to expose her to as much spiritual wisdom at an early age as possible. I really didn’t know what the class was about, but I wanted to improve my skills as a healer.

I arrived at the class with a very special present from Jacqueline.  Jacqueline liked to bead and make necklaces. I encouraged this activity since it was a good way to strengthen her hands after the stroke, especially her “magic” hand, as we called it. Jacqueline had chosen three strands of yarn: hot pink, blue, and yellow. In between each stand of yarn was a heart. Jacqueline had lovingly placed it around my neck before I left the house.

At the class, Nasrin was really acting out her role as High Priestess. She had told Elissa that she would have a profound experience in the magnified healing class and would experience ascension energy.

When Elissa shared this with me, I told her that it was exciting.

“Maybe you can call Nasrin,” Elissa suggested, “and she can tell you what is going to happen when you ascend.”

“Elissa, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t want Nasrin or anyone else telling me that information. It will just happen, and frankly I don’t know how she can predict these things when she’s arguing about money or yelling at Denise or Rosemary for something they didn’t do for her all of the time.”

Chet was curious about this gathering, so he drove me over to Elissa’s home. He stood in the living room, joking and talking to Nasrin for a few minutes before he left.  It hadn’t been long before he’d “had enough of all the weirdoes.”

The living room was filled with statues of an oriental woman holding a golden ball. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw them. The statue didn’t do justice to the beauty I had experienced in my dream, but this was clearly the woman who had been appearing to me. In some statues she held a golden chalice, and in others, the golden ball. On one of the statues she was holding rosary beads.

“Who is this woman?” I asked Elisa, pointing to the statue.

“Oh, that is the goddess Quan Yin.”

“Who is Quan Yin? I was raised Catholic. I’ve never heard of her.”

“She is the goddess of mercy and compassion,” Rosemary piped in.

The goddess of mercy and compassion was teaching me in my dreams. I was in awe.

Nasrin directed the group as if she were a Hollywood director. She placed Elissa and me in one corner of the room, next to the group of Quan Yin statues. There were candles and other holy objects on an altar, which was draped with a white tablecloth.

I started to meditate as I sat next to the statue.  As I was relaxing, Donna, a sweet angelic woman and one of my former students, tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to buy a raffle ticket for a Quan Yin statue.

“Donna,” I scolded her, “this is a spiritual gathering and you’re selling raffle tickets? I’m not interested.”

Donna politely moved away from me as I returned to my meditation. It felt like Quan Yin was talking to me. My body was vibrating.

“Buy a ticket for the raffle,” she guided me.

“No, are you crazy? I just scolded Donna for selling tickets and you want me to swallow my pride and now tell her that I want one. No.”

“Yes, buy the ticket. I am going home with you.”

“All right, Quan Yin. I will do what you are asking me, but let’s make a deal. If I win this statue, it will be a sign that I will ascend and I am a master. The name Master Mother was given to be in another workshop, and if all this is true, then I will win the statue.”

I called Donna back towards me. “I changed my mind, Donna. I’ll buy a ticket.”

I wrote on the slip of paper, MASTER MOTHER, and my phone number, and placed it in the box. I then looked at Donna and said, “You know what this means? I’m going to win that statue.”

Donna looked scornful, “Cindy, don’t win. Let someone else who can’t afford it win.”

“I thought I taught you better than that.”

I got up and walked over to my daughter. I shared with her what had happened and what had been promised.

Alison looked at me with her large hazel eyes. “Really mom?”

“We’ll soon find out.”

I sat back next to the altar as the guided meditation by Nasrin began.  I felt my body vibrate as she took us into the threefold flame of the heart:  the colors were pink, blue and yellow — just like the necklace that Jacqueline had designed for me.

I felt like I was being electrocuted, but it didn’t hurt. The experience of entering the sacred heart and the threefold flame was incredible, and when I opened my eyes I saw Nasrin looking at me knowingly.

“Well,” Elissa, who was seated next to me, asked, “how was your experience?  Was it what you hoped for?”

Elissa hadn’t felt much of anything, probably because of the level of expectation she was holding — because of Nasrin’s earlier promise that she would feel ascension energy.

Nasrin then taught us the healing techniques lectures and did some initiation work with the students. She had developed a hierarchy — I was part of it, but I didn’t like it. She gave  commands and people jumped. I was one of the few who didn’t, and she didn’t ask me to.

Nasrin talked about lifetimes where priestesses and people had their hearts cut out and used as a human sacrifice. It was all negative and fearful, so I had to put in my two-cent’s worth to the group of fifty or more people. “We cannot forget the joy of living and experiencing life on earth. It is a gift and I don’t believe that we were put on this earth to suffer.”

Nasrin whispered in my ear. “You just have to be the goddess of joy, don’t you?”

“I do.”

“Well, good job. It is a good reminder.”

I got up and went to the bathroom, but when I returned I saw Alison crying.

“Why are you crying honey?”

“I couldn’t find you, so I thought you’d ascended and left me.”

I held her close. “I promise that I’m never leaving you. All right?”

A pot luck dinner was spread out on the table and I sat and ate with Alison. After dinner, they got the raffle box out — it was time for the raffle. Alison told me that she prayed to give it to me if her mother would ascend.

Agatha picked the name out of the box. She was unable to read it, and Peter impatiently pulled the slip of paper out of her hand and read it out loud. “Master Mother? Who the hell is Master Mother?”

I raised my hand and claimed my prize. All of the past contests — being First Runner Up or coming in Second Place —  were all behind me. My deepest prayer and wish had just been given to me. I felt like a gold medal winner.

Quan Yin came home with me, and she sits in a place of honor in my living room. I never saw her in a dream again.

CHAPTER SIXTY-FIVE………a Pilgrimage to India & the Himalayas

Surender’s brother made all of the arrangements for us to continue on our pilgrimage. My intestines were still knotted up, but I was beginning to feel a wee bit better. I ate lightly; tea and toast.

Surender hired a driver and we set off to meet with the astrologers who had read the records of his life. When we arrived at the apartment, we journeyed into a small waiting room. There were two other people waiting. When it was my turn, my thumbprint was taken and I was told to sit and wait for the results.

I did as I was told, wondering the entire time if my records would be there. After thirty minutes, I began to have my doubts — even though I truly believed that I would be able to experience them.

Eventually, a man came out from a backroom and went over to talk with Surender. Bottom line, I found out from Surender, my records were not there. I was told that they might be at another sight that was six hours from Delhi.

“Six hours!” I said, “Forget about it.” I headed straight for the door.

Surender caught up with me as I headed down the stairs, “When we are coming down from the temples we will be driving past the town with the records. We will look for them then.”

I agreed as we got back in the car and headed off to our next destination.  As we drove up and down the narrow side streets of this large city, pedestrians noticed the white American woman in the car and stopped to stare. Some even began to bang on the windows, begging for money. Others stalked our progress, wanting me to purchase their wares. It was overwhelming at times.

That afternoon, we stopped to have lunch. Surender had lunch, that is. I just sipped more tea.  As we rested, he called Puneet to wish him a Happy Birthday. Taking the phone, I shared some of the adventures we had already experienced in Nepal.

After lunch, we continued toward Agar to visit the famed Taj Mahal, which is one of the most photographed tombs on the planet. As we drove, Surender explained to me that a Hindu sect was busy constructing a temple in order to out-do this famed Muslim stone mausoleum.

When we arrived at the Taj Majal, we went to a booth to purchase our entry tickets. I was appalled at the biased rates. Foreigners were charged more — something I just couldn’t imagine happening at any national site in America.

The jewel of India sparkled in the sun as we passed through the gates. We had a private tour guide who explained the history of the building and its construction. He also shared stories about the heritage site. I learned that emperor Shah Jahan had built the Taj Majal in honor of his third wife, Mumtaz, after she died giving birth to her fourteenth child.

As we toured, I tried to take in all of the sights and sounds around me.  The main gateway was crafted of marble and depicted Mughal architecture, which is an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architecture. There were many floral motifs and geometric designs.

I also explored two redstone buildings often not seen in pictures, located on the sides of the tomb. I was told that some believe the buildings were guesthouses, while others believe that they serve as a jawab (buildings “mirroring” the mosque) — just to create balance.

Stopping, Surender placed his leg up on a stone bench and posed regally for another Kodak moment. I clicked away for him and laughed as I mimicked his pose. I couldn’t help but think of Princess Diana sitting in a similar spot for her famous photograph, looking lost and lamented.

People pushed, shoved, and played musical chairs all around us, vying for the bench and a photograph. I had my turn, which seemed to be advantageous at this part of the trip. Everyone allowed me to sit on the bench, visibly wondering if I was some famous person.

As we finally walked into the tomb, which stands on a square plinth, we stood under an arch-shaped doorway. I saw a young Indian girl pointing at me with her family. The father approached me with a camera. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I assumed he was asking me to take a picture of him and his family. Obliging, I took the camera and pointed it at them. He started speaking more insistently, and Surender had to step in and interpret. Surprised, I discovered that the man wanted to take my photograph, standing next to his little girl.

After I let them take the photograph, I asked Surender why they had wanted my picture. He explained that the little girl had thought that I was beautiful. He said that many Indians believe that a person with white skin is more beautiful. This saddened me greatly.  It seems that the human race has come so far in our awareness, yet we continue to judge each other based on skin tone and color. We are never content with what God has given us.

I thought of myself, and many others I knew back home, spending hours in the sun to darken our fair skin; of people with curly hair spending hours to straighten it; and of myself sleeping with rollers in my hair to bring life to my thin straight hair. Ah, the human mind, with all of its judgments and perceptions — and misperceptions.

I also thought back to Devra when she had first looked deeply into my soul and said that there were distortions that I needed to clear up. Here in India, I knew I had another opportunity to purify myself. However, I hated pain.

I focused on the beauty around me. I enjoyed the exquisite detailing of art and stone, as well as the calligraphy detailing the thuluth script (the medieval Islamic style of handwritten alphabet) at the entrance, which read: “O soul, thou are at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you.”

The tombs were plain (Muslim laws forbid elaborate decoration) and were facing Mecca. After taking in their details, we walked outside into the gardens where daffodils and roses were blooming from the heart of the month of May.

The guide pointed to an area where Shah Jahan had plans to build another monument for his son, Aurngzeb, to be placed in to rest. Legend tells that he spent his final days gazing at the Taj Mahal. I was saddened even more to hear the story of how the son had betrayed his father for wealth and power.

When we left the tour, we stopped to visit some shops. I looked at jewelry and at artwork, but none of it interested me. I didn’t need any more “things.” The shopkeepers were clearly disappointed in my lack of purchasing power. Moving on, we lunched at a nearby hotel that served Asian food. I enjoyed a light soup while Surender happily dipped vegetables and rice.

In the restaurant, a large group of Asian men and women were sitting near us. During the course of lunch, they took turns pointing at us — and we were clearly the topic of their lunch conversation.

Unable to ignore the intrusion, I could feel their thoughts and knew that they were incorrectly judging us to be a couple; speculating on how two different cultures do in partnerships. I just shrugged off their perceptions.

However, as we left the restaurant the Asian group joined us at the elevator. There, the women could no longer contain themselves.

“How long have you been traveling with your husband?” one coyly asked me.

“He isn’t my husband.”

All of their eyes darted about with piqued interest now. Now they thought that we were lovers.

Although they didn’t directly ask me, I smiled at them. “We’re just friends.”

I could read their doubt, but I just let it go. I didn’t care to waste any more time convincing them of anything. I knew the truth and that was all I needed to know.

“What is your descent?” another woman asked me as we boarded the elevator.

“I am American,” I said proudly.

“No, No,” she said. “Your descent? Your descent?”

“I am American, but I come from Italian, Irish, and French descent.”

“She’s French! She’s French.” They all chattered excitedly, as if they had decrypted the genetic code.

Taking my turn, I asked them polity where they were from. They answered that they were from Taiwan. Then, just as quickly as it began, the conversation was over and I walked away leaving them all with something to talk about.

After we left the hotel, we drove to another cultural site, the “Red Fort” also known as the Lal Quila. The air conditioning wasn’t working in the car, but I enjoyed the heat — praying that the soup would not have an adverse effect on my delicate stomach.

The imposing red sandstone structure loomed larger and larger as we approached its gates. Before we even had a chance to stop, tour guides accosted us. I left it up to Surender to haggle and pick our guide. He made a deal with a white-haired man with a limp who led us past a dry moat and through the Lahore Gate.

Lahore is in Pakistan. Many national leaders of India have given speeches at this venue. We were taken to a spot where, historically, the emperor would hear the complaints of his people. The Hall is named the Diwan-i-Amor (the “Hall of Public Audiences”) and was made of marble. I was told that a peacock throne once served as the focal point.

The site was a wonder to me.  I watched as Surender walked through it like a King beholding his palace. We were shown the Palace of Colors, where the wives and mistresses were housed; many of them from a wide variety of cultures (this emperor was not biased in his selection of women).

An inscription of the wall read, “If Earth be an Eden on bliss, it is this, none but this.”

I wondered what it would have been like to live in such splendor, as well as about how every man wishes he was the emperor enjoying the love and company of so many women. I wondered how the women had felt. Did they feel lucky to be among the many of his chosen or were they unsatisfied? The whole place stirred up stories of lovers, wealth, and power in my mind.

The walls and stones held so many secrets, and I wanted to unlock some of them. I saw the gilded turrets and mirrors of gold and silver and the royal baths — an area private to Shah Jahan.

We then headed for the mosque on the other side of the road from the Red Fort. The Masjid-e-Jahan Numa, which means “the mosque commanding a view of the world,” was made out of red sandstone. It is considered to be the principle mosque in Old Delhi, and was built on higher ground than the Red Fort.

As we sought out another guide to lead us inside, I noticed that its domes and arches were massive. Worship continues to take place on every Friday.

When we chose our guide, we were informed that the courtyard alone could hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. Surender and I stepped in to pay our respects to Mohammed, worshipping like the Muslims with our faces touching the floor.

Back at the hotel, I was feeling better about my stomach, so I indulged in a Mars bar while I called up home and talked to everyone. The next day we were to begin our pilgrimage, but in the middle of the night, my stomach rejected the candy bar I had so childishly indulged in.

Pulling myself together as well as possible, we headed off the next morning toward Haridwar and Rishikesh. On the way, I asked Surender to stop at a bank so that I could get some Rupees. Rejecting my request, he assured me that he had enough money and that I could simply pay him back later. I felt uncomfortable not having my own cash, but I keep silent. Sensing my uneasiness, his brother said that most of the hotels take credit cards and that I shouldn’t worry.

Our driver was very pleasant. He begged me to take him back to the United States with me — telling me that he would be my personal driver. I laughed at the idea, my thoughts straying to the Beatles’ song: “…baby you can drive my car. Guess I’m going to be a star. Baby you can drive my car and maybe I’ll love you.”

Surender laughed heartily as I sang the Beatles song. Then I told him and the driver how much I liked to drive and how my mother jokes with me that I have a gasoline ass.

It wasn’t long before the landscape shifted from city to picturesque. I pulled out a book from my backpack about Galahad. It almost seemed sacrilegious to read about Lancelot’s son during a Hindu pilgrimage, but I assured myself that Galahad and I were both seekers of the Grail. Sitting back, I read about his adventures and about finding the objects of power as we made our way towards the Himalayas.

We soon entered the city of Rishikesh, situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. The name means hair of the sage. Lord Rama had done penance in the city for killing Ravana, the demon-King of Lanka (in Sanskrit, it translates as: he who has conquered his senses).

The Ganges River flows from the Sivalik mountains into the city, which is filled with wannabee yogis from all over the world. There were ashrams sprinkled all over the banks of the river. The Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement) in the 1960s.

When we stopped, I purchased a small plastic bottle so that I could fill it up with the holy water. The Ganges, the Yamuna, and the Saraswati all flow together in this spot. We walked down flat, wide stone stairs toward the river. The area was filled with devotees and sages bathing and cleansing themselves of their sins.

I took off my shoes and walked into the river. Flower offerings floated by me, and the devotion of the people filled the air with love and worship for the divine. Bells and gongs rang, honoring the goddess of the river.

It was dusk by the time we arrived in Haridwar, where we stopped at the banks of the Ganges — opposite thousands of Buddhists who were singing soulful chants for the festival of Guru Poonima.

It was a full moon that Friday evening, May 16, 2003. I stepped out of the car dressed in pink satin pants with a paisley Indian print and a hot pink tank-top (which Alison had bought me for Mother’s Day). I laughed as I looked at my black rubber hiking shoes. I had very few “proper” clothes because I had packed with the intention of being high in Tibet hiking. I told myself that I must buy a pair of sandals when we returned to Delhi.

Surender told me that we were very lucky to be at this sacred river on such a holy day. Listening to his words, I gazed over the river and watched people place diyas (floating lamps) in the river. Haridwar is known as the gateway to God and we had arrived on the day that Siddhartha was born. He had also attained enlightenment on this day, at the age of thirty-five. And, he had died on this day, at the age of eighty.

I prayed for my enlightenment at this site — the desire of my heart and soul. I remembered the Boddhivista prayer my friend Renee used to pray: “However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them; however inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them; however immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them; however incomparable enlightenments are, I vow to attain it. May I attain Buddha hood for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

Surender told me that in July the Hindus would come to the same spot and celebrate Kumbh Mela. He showed me a stone wall where there is an imprint of Vishnu’s foot. According to legend, a drop of nectar of immortality fell from the churnings of the ocean when the world was created.

I was lost in my daydreams of enlightenment when the real world tapped me on the shoulder. Local men were asking Surender’s permission to have their pictures taken with me. I shook my head in disbelief, but complied with their requests.

Then our driver wanted his picture taken with his passenger. Surender joked that he could start making money by charging all of my fans.

In the darkness of night, we searched for lodging. We went inside an old dirty hotel where a young man led us to an old hand-operated elevator. We took the ride up, and when we stepped off, the man pulled a chain — turning on a dim light from a bulb showing us the dismal hotel hallway.

I quickly slipped inside my room, and was sickened figuratively and physically. I rushed to my toilet, which was absolutely filthy. The bath and shower were stained and old. I found my way to the bed, where the comforter looked older than my mother, and pulled it up over my weakened body.

Hell. I must be in Hell, I thought as I closed my eyes. Why was I letting Surender pick out the hotels?

“It’s just one night,” I sang to myself — as if the cords would lull me to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up sicker than ever. I attempted to do energy work, hoping to create some magic healing from my own hands. It helped, but just a little.

I met Surender with my backpack in hand, and ran out of the hotel. I confessed to him how sick I was. I prayed for strength to get me through the day.

We headed high up into the Himalayas to Kedarnath and Badrinath. With my body contorted in pain, I wondered how I was ever going to survive the drive.

Surender was worried about me, and he stopped at a pharmacy to get some help. He came out with a powder that we mixed with clean water. The pharmacist told him that I must drink the concoction all day — but eat nothing. I sipped my drink as the stomach pains sent waves of contractions throughout my body.

I was so agitated that after an hour or so of driving, Surender left the backseat to sit up front with the driver. I stretched out in the back, praying for some sleep to take me out of pain. I felt weak — a feeling I hate to experience.

On the drive, I was tossed from side to side like a piece of driftwood in a tumultuous sea. I thought back to England, to when I had broken the fast and eaten the jelly doughnut. Was this my karma for breaking the fast? I couldn’t hold anything down, and trust me when I say that there wasn’t a restroom in sight on this perilous drive on rocky terrain.

I had never anticipated how difficult this drive would be. All I’d known was that I had to seize the opportunity to see the holiest temples. I’d never asked where they were. Too late, baby. It was too late. There wasn’t any turning back now.

The roads were narrow, winding, and dangerous. Thank God, I didn’t frighten easily because there were so many moments when full-sized bus loads of pilgrims would be heading right towards our small car. Surender said he had saved us some money, not renting a four-wheel drive vehicle. I was actually too sick to care.

There was nothing but gravel and unprotected edges on our ascent. I didn’t see any convenience stores or rest areas. I couldn’t even ask the driver to pull over so that I could squat somewhere. I knew I’d be killed. So, this was my test.

I took deep breaths and did my best to sleep, and prayed that I would soon be in a bathroom — knowing that was very unlikely.

I tried to focus on legends that say that after the war of Kurukshetra, the pandvas set out on a yatra to Varanasi to be blessed by Lord Shiva in order to be absolved for killing their own brothers. Shiva was unwilling and lived incognito in Guptakashi. The pandvas found him, so Shiva went to Kedarnath and assumed the form of a bull. They didn’t give up, however, and at dusk Bhim stretched his legs across the mountain in order to identify Shiva. All of the cattle passed except Shiva. Bhim bent over to catch hold of him, so Shiva sank into the Earth. His back portion was held in Bhim’s hand.

Shiva was impressed by the pandvas determination to be forgiven for their sins. Shiva gave them darshan (a blessing) and requested them to worship his hump. The hump of Shiva is worshiped in the Temple of Kedarnath in the form of a conical panda.

I felt relieved when our small white car pulled into a huge parking lot filled with buses, cars, and men directing the flow of traffic. There were literally hundreds of people everywhere. Somehow, I had survived the ride without an “accident” and that in itself was a miracle.

Now we had to find a place to stay. There were rooms right on the property, so we made our way through the crowd — pushing and shoving. I stood out amongst this vast crowd of Hindus, attired in my black Nike stretch pants and lime green baseball cap. People started grasping at me, and Surender and the driver protectively pushed me through the crowd. I felt accosted and just wanted relief from the whole scene. I couldn’t understand why people were reacting to me like I was some kind of anomaly. I wanted to be in a room by myself more than anything else.

When I got my wish, I lay in bed listening to the noisy crowd outside my window. The room had a bathroom. Well, it had something to sit on. Surender came in to check on me and we discussed the next day.

Of course, the temple wasn’t something we could just walk into. We had to climb. Surender laid out my options, one of which was that I could be carried up. I quickly refused that option.

Surender wanted the option of using donkeys. I wasn’t particularity thrilled with the idea, but agreed. Surender was worried about me. He went out and brought me back some tea, but I couldn’t even hold that inside of me. I was losing weight rapidly, between the hiking in Nepal and now not eating for days.

Surrender went out again and brought me back a banana. I was like a sick animal. I just wanted to be left alone to die.

I slept a little that night, just wanting to get this little adventure over and done with. The next morning, I stepped outside my room and prepared myself, as well as I could, for the steep ascent to the temple. Again, I was instantly the center of attention.

I watched as our guides brought forth our donkeys. People were pushing and shoving like there was a sale going on, showing little respect for the other people around them. I watched the guide place the blanket on the donkey. Having only ridden a few times in my life, I wasn’t much of an equestrian. However, I got up on the donkey as Surender (the King) was placed in front of me. Then we started our long climb up.

I noticed that our guide was holding the bridle of the donkey. I had an instant flashback and turned to Surender, “We’ve done this before. We were with a large group.”

He nodded as our beasts of burden slowly and stealthfully climbed up. I didn’t feel very safe atop my ass.  My butt was aching inside and, now, outside. I knew I had to make this fun somehow, so I started singing. “She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes. She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes. She’ll be coming round. She’ll be coming round the mountain. She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes. She’ll be riding on a poor donkey when she comes.”

Surender started laughing.  No, I wasn’t singing any praises to the gods. I was singing for my own amusement; to dull my pain. Centuries later, we made it to a rest stop and had tea. I couldn’t hold it down. Surender had to pay someone to take me to a clean squat hole. Clutching the toilet tissue roll that Mike had given me like it was the Declaration of Independence, I squatted. It was my treasure.

As I sat, eliminating in my hole, I thought back to all of the times I had teased my mother’s friend Molly. “Tea makes you pee,” I tortured her. I had never thought that tea could make you poop.

Surrender was busy socializing as I stumbled back to a wooden bench, pushing aside the tea as if it were poison. Empty. The gods want me empty.

We got back onto the donkeys. Mimicking me, Surender’s donkey had a popping problem.  There was hardly a moment when that donkey wasn’t excreting.

“Hey, Surender,” I yelled, “I have a name for your donkey. Gasoline. He hasn’t stopped dumping fuel for this whole ride.”

Surender laughed at his crazy American girl. “I think I’ll call my donkey Tinkerbell. All I hear is the bells tinkering with every movement.”

Just then, I looked down as my donkey skidded and lost her footing. The whole trail up to the temple was covered with shit. Shit was everywhere. Shit was coming out of me and out of the animals. I couldn’t run from all of the shit. Was this karma for making Mary Ellen say ‘shit?’

“Hey, Surender,” I yelled, “If I write a book about this, you know what I’m going to call this Chapter?”


“Holy Shit!”

Again, he laughed.

“Thank God that most of these people don’t have a clue of my disrespectful words.”

“Cynthia, those who make this pilgrimage are cleansed of all their sins.”

“Well, Surender,” I said, “I have to be honest with you. I haven’t been that bad. Maybe we could leave here right now. I’ll commit some more sins and then come back?”

Surender couldn’t stop laughing.

“I’m serious,” I said. “If I’m going through all of this shit, I could at least have some really juicy sins.”

Noticing that my donkey was near the edge, I wondered if anyone had ever died trying to be cleansed of their sins. I told myself that today was a good day to die.

I placed my hands under my butt to protect it from the constant banging, but it was no better than putting a piece of paper between me and the beast. It didn’t work.

“Are we there yet?” I asked, just like one of my children. My butt was killing me.

Finally, we were there. A Hindu priest came up to us and asked Surender what his name was. He greeted us and said that he knew that we would arrive on that day. He took us to a small covered room and showed Surender how some of his relatives had been there before, and exactly when. I didn’t see the name Powers or Barnard in that book. (The Priest was cute, I might add. At least as far as Hindu priests go.)

It all seemed like a good business. We had to pay him for taking us into the temple. Then we had to get our supplies for our pujas and prayers.

The priest pointed to the looming Himalayas as we approached the temple. “Kailash,” he said.

Surender and I looked at each other in disbelief. “Kailash?”

“Yes, that is the back of Kailash.”

“I guess we came in through the back door, Surender,” I said, “But we got here.”

We were both very joyous at the thought of reaching Kailash. We waited in line to enter the gray stone temple that sat up on a platform. A line of people waited their turn to pass by the bull guarding the temple (and a human face in the posture of prayer). There was a Shiva Linga facing south in a pyramidal shape.

As we stepped inside the temple Kedargauri, the consort of Shiva greeted us in her stone image. We were allowed in with our Priest to receive darshan.  We were told that we could touch the idol of Lord Shiva with one hand, placing our head in reverence on the linga. This is believed to liberate one from the cycles of birth and rebirth. The most I had ever done in a Catholic church was to light a candle or receive communion. Here I was, in one of the holiest Hindu places, performing sacred rituals that weren’t really consciously part of my present life. I wondered if it was idol worshipping.

Along the way, we were painted with a red line that went from the center of our foreheads to just in between the eyebrows. We held a silver tray filled with our offerings of ghee, grains, and colored powders. A lei with green, yellow, red, orange, and pink flowers was placed around our necks. The Priest performed the holy rituals as we prayed and chanted.

As we exited the temples, a sadhu (a yogi holy man) pointed to me and started speaking rapidly. I didn’t know what he was saying, so I pulled Surender away from his picture posing to interpret for me.

He told me that the man wanted me to buy him lunch. No spiritual teachings were offered, just the honor of buying him lunch. Of course, I agreed, and before I knew it, I was lunching with seven or eight sadhus.

Between bites, one began expressing a desire to have an umbrella…

Hey, I thought we got rid of our desires?

But, like Santa Claus, Surender and I granted them all their simple wishes and requests. A young boy approached and asked me to buy him sneakers. I offered him lunch instead.

I sat with the sadhus and swami and beckoned the boy to sit with us, but he refused. I got up and went over and asked him again, but he considered himself an “untouchable” — not good enough to sit with saints.

That really bothered me. I wanted one of the swamis to invite him over, but it never happened. How could a spiritually evolved culture still separate people with casting?

One young swami came over and chatted with me. His English was very good, and he told me that he had left his wealthy family to pursue a spiritual path. We had fun sharing our stories, and we both squatted and posed in position for the camera. I had truly mastered this pose!!!

Another young sadhu joined Surender and me, telling us about how he had left his family in Nepal at a very young age and about how he now wanders from one holy site to another. He wanted money to take a bus to Badrinath. We gave him the money.

We then decided to start making our descent back on the donkeys. It was far worse going down than it had been going up. Every bang was beating my butt and I could hardly take the pain. The donkeys were slipping in the poop and, to top it off, it began to rain. I did everything I could think of to make myself more comfortable, but to no avail.

The rain was pouring the shit down the steep hill like a river. I remembered how a friend of Chet, Burkie, had written a song in our youth that went something like, “I’ve been swimming in a river of shit and I’m mighty sick of it.”

“I don’t think my butt can take much more of this,” I yelled at Surender.

“What are you complaining about? You have more of a butt than I do.”

“Hey! Are you saying I have a big butt?”

“No. I’m saying it is more than I have.”

We were both getting cranky, but I complained much more that he did.

My donkey kept losing its footing and — dear God no — it began to hail.

“I have had enough,” I announced. “My sorry ass isn’t sitting on this ass for another moment.”

“No, Cynthia.”

“Yes, Surender. I’m getting off.”

The guide tried to stop me, but I jumped off.

“No, Cynthia,” Surender pleaded.

“No, Surender. I’d rather walk in shit than be on that donkey for another second.”
I practically ran down the mountain, stepping and sliding in a river of shit — and got to the bottom way before the donkeys arrived.

At the bottom of the hill, I sat on a stone wall waiting for Surender with my shit-soaked shoes.

An old woman came and sat next to me. “So, are you from a rich country?”

I was speechless. I just shrugged my shoulders.

All of the guides were relieved to see that I had made it down alive, and we left and returned to our compact car. We drove for a couple of hours and then looked for a hotel. Surender found one and made the deal, informing me that our cash was running out.

I closed the door to my room and went straight into my rust-stained filthy bathroom and continued my dysentery. I didn’t know what was left inside of me to release. When I could muster the energy, I went to the bed and saw that the  red-velvet comforter was torn and tattered, just like me. It looked dirty, but I needed to rest. As I collapsed on the bed, every muscle and bone in my body ached. My butt was bruised from the ride. Exhausted, I cried myself to sleep.

The next day we headed to the Temple of Sri Badrinath. We wove and skidded on gravel roads, and then sometimes sat for hours as road repairs were being done. Nobody flinched on their pilgrimage as we waited for hours for the flow of traffic to continue. Young children come by the car selling popcorn, Coke, and postcards.  My backside was still aching, and sitting for long hours in the car wasn’t helping.

For distraction, I read more about Galahad. After weeks together, Surender and I didn’t have much to talk about. I focused on Galahad, the pure and perfect Knight. Galahad received the Grail, the sword, the spear … all of the sacred objects, and was, subsequently, transmuted into perfect light. He left behind all of humankind and took the Grail with him to Heaven.

To me, he extolled the virtues of patience, chastity, humility, charity, and justice. The Grail was spiritual fulfillment, Samadhi, Nirvana, and rapture — all of them expressing the divine potential in all of us.

In the Himalayas, I was on my Grail quest and, like many others before me, it was adventurous and had many obstacles and trials for me to overcome. Mainly, overcoming myself.

During the drive, every bump in the road went through my bottom like an earthquake. I was breaking apart on many levels. We climbed up to over 10,000 feet above sea level. I saw other sadhus with the brass pot in one hand and a walking stick in the other — painlessly heading towards their shrines of devotion. I wondered if they complained to God, as I did.

Badrinath (meaning berry that grows abundantly in the area) was Vishnu. Hindu legend tells about how the Goddess Lakshmi took the form of berries in order to provide sustenance to Vishnu during his long penance.

Another goddess, Ganga, was said to have descended to Earth in order to help with the suffering of humanity. The Earth was unable to withstand the power of her descent and the mighty Ganga split into twelve holy channels. The Alaknanda River is one of them, which runs near the temple.

It was cold when we arrived in Badrinath. It wasn’t as crowded as Kedarnath, and Surender was worried that we didn’t have enough money for two rooms.

“We could share a room?” he suggested.

“I don’t think so,” I said. “You’re one of the best hagglers in town. Make a deal.”

Fortunately, he did. I needed my privacy to be despondent, or to experience whatever it was that I needed to experience and feel. That night, food was brought to my room. It was a different kind of room service than I had ever experienced.  My dinner was tea and a banana.

Surender and I both sat in our jackets as I sipped my tea and watched him eat. He ate like a classic pianist warming up his fingers. His bejeweled fingers flayed out as he sipped his rum. He wiped his mouth frequently, and he savored each bite of his dahl and beans.

“We eat a lot like Mexicans,” he said.

I could see the similarities: both cultures eat flat bread and rice, beans, and plenty of spices (to kill off the parasites).

I hated feeling so weak. I thought back to Elissa in Mexico and to how she had suffered. Suffering was for everyone else…not for me. Yet, here I was. Suffering.

My goddess of joy had disappeared somewhere in Nepal. I had considered myself so very clever to fly out of Nepal. Thinking I had chosen an easier ride. Boy, had I been fooled.

After dinner, Surender set off to make all of the arrangements for the upcoming ceremony. I took a cold shower and then met our guide outside. They wanted me to bathe with all of the Hindu women.

“I just can’t. Besides, I just cleaned myself,” I said. “Do you know how much attention I’ve been getting and what might happen if I bathe with the women and all eyes are on me? Tell the Priest I’m clean and let’s go to the Temple.”

Surender shrugged his shoulders in surrender to my wishes — ready to take this difficult white woman to the temple. Taking our tray of offerings to the gods, we stood in line, being pushed and shoved. (I heard how Sai Baba’s ashram is the same way.)

I hated this part of the process. It was like a herd of cattle in a slow stampede. It was night and I was freezing in my fleece jacket and baseball cap as we walked up a wide stairway through colorful painted walls. The temple had a small cupola and arched windows. It resembled a Buddhist temple with its intricate carvings.

There were fifteen stone black statues. When we finally made it inside the doors, we were in a courtyard. People were walking in circles around the temple. Surender explained that they walk 108 times around in order to cleanse themselves from their sins. He also explained that it would be an hour or more before it was our turn to go inside.

I walked, but my body was stone cold and agitated. I finally had to stop and sit under a stone over-hanged structure — along with many Hindus. I did my best to meditate but I couldn’t.  I was too cold. In fact, I was freezing and sick. My mind was pulverized with one thought, “What the F- was I doing there?” I already knew that God resides inside of me. Did I think that going to all of these holy places would make me more holy? I was lost and confused.

Like Dorothy, I just wanted to go home. Before I could restrain myself, the tears started pouring out of my eyes like a waterfall.

Surender, busy circling the temple, saw the tears and rushed over. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know what I’m doing here. Why am I here?”

This wasn’t the reaction Surender was expecting and nothing he said could soothe me. By the time it was our turn to wait in line to go inside the temple, the tears were frozen on my face.

Surender spoke to other pilgrims. He told me that they all thought I was crying because I was so lucky to be at one of the holiest places on Earth. I’m sure Surender kept their illusion of me.

The chief Priest performed the rituals. Ashtotram and Sahasranamam recitations started. Then we all huddled together on the floor. People smiled at me. I sat in silent prayer and said, “Lord, I don’t know why I’m here, but I am.”

The Mangal aarthi took place and the chief Priest removed the flowers and the jewels. The image of Badrinarayan was left with sandal paste in front of it.

After all of the prayers were concluded, we left. I looked at Surender, “Let’s go back to our rooms and eat. I am well now. I’m done.”

We left the site and went back to my room, where I ate and drank heartily. Little did I know that all of my questions of why a Catholic girl was so deep in the Himalayas were soon to be answered.

CHAPTER SIXTY-SIX….Hindu Priest in India reads records of my past & current life

When we traveled back down from the mountains, I could breathe and eat — although I was still very cautious about what I ate.

Heading to another sacred temple, our driver had to stop and ask for directions. He was lost, but he never hesitated to ask for guidance. He had been with us on our visit to all of the Hindu temples, but I finally had the energy to talk with him and discovered that he was not Hindu. Rather, he was a devotee of Guru Nanak Jap Ji. The Jap Ji has 38 hymns or pauris (stanzas) containing systematic teachings of cultural history and metaphysical developments of the Hindu and Sufi-Muslim thought.

When we arrived at our temple, we had to go in a separate line in order to enter into it. It was a dazzling white and blue stone, standing out in the warm, bright weather. I had to cover my head as we entered. Surender went down in his surrender position, arms out and flat down on his face. I simply bowed in respect.

After touring awhile, we walked to the back of the temple to an open area where hundreds of people were being fed. I should have been happy at the sight of food, but I knew that it was a risk I couldn’t take. So far, I’d only accomplished one day without the dire experience of diarrhea.

A plate was placed on the ground in front of me, and I wondered how I could move the food around without looking conspicuous. Surender dove straight into his dahl and beans, while I took a small bit of my bread. It seemed okay.

Again, all eyes were on me. The women were buzzing now and Surender told me that he could overhear their conversations. “All the women are talking about you,” he said. “They are commenting on how delicately you eat.”

Talk about misperceptions. I can eat faster than a speeding bullet normally. But nothing was normal anymore. “You’re not in Boston anymore, Cynthia,” I said to myself before turning to Surender, “I guess I fooled them, huh? Why don’t you tell them the truth?”

Surender talked and laughed with the women, but he kept all of my secrets.

Before I knew it, we were sitting in Puneet’s office. There, a small staff designs computer software for the stone industry. Anju, the manager of the group, was a pleasant, polite, petite, plump woman. She served us tea and shared the good news that her son had just been accepted into medical school.

After a time of polite and civilized pleasantries, I asked her if I could use her computer. When she graciously agreed, I sat in front of her screen and saw immediately that she had the exact same screensaver that I did — Stonehenge. Interesting.

Checking my e-mail, I began to go through and delete a number of messages when I suddenly received a vision showing me that Anju was once an English girl. I saw how she would hide behind the tall bluestones in Salisbury. She had observed many pagan ceremonies and had dreamed of becoming a Priestess.

I saw this past life in front of me on the computer screen. I didn’t know whether or not to share it with her, but eventually I did. Tears came to her eyes when I described what I saw.

Having her place her hands out in front of her, I transferred the Camelot energies into her hands so that she could access the information herself one day.

She was so moved by the time that I was ready to leave, that she placed her string of pearls around my neck as a gift. “My heart knows that I knew you in England and held great respect for you. Take these pearls and remember me always.”

After we hugged and kissed like long-lost sisters, I headed with my group back to the car so that we could continue on with the last leg of the journey. We were in search of my records.

The driver stopped numerous times to get directions, and eventually we were heading down a lovely residential area of Panchkula. In this area, the houses were very lavish, and I joked to Surender that my records had to be in this well-to-do place.

When we arrived at our destination, we headed into a residential home. Inside, there was only one small square table. Surender explained that we were told in Delhi to come to this house. Again, my thumbprint was taken.

While we waited, Surender told them that we had just come from Badrinath and Kedarnath. They were all very impressed that an American had received such a spiritual blessing.

I told them that I wanted to know about my past lives as well as about my connection to Surender — why we were on this journey together.

In that small room, we waited and waited. I read a small piece of paper that described the Agastya Nadi or akashic records. The book is thousand of bundles of palm leaves. I was told that it could take a span of months to find the correct volume of predictions. There are usually one hundred pages of text for one native (as they call a person). A woman gives her left thumb print, and a man gives his right thumb impression. The person then receives a general Kandam. This Kandam includes information about family, education, money, children, births, lifespan, spiritual pursuits, litigations, debts, and enemies.

As we sipped tea, I did my best to be patient. Finally, the Priest came out and announced: “Her records are here.”

I was ushered into a back room that held a long table. A tape was placed in a tape-recorder and one Priest opened the book that was written five thousand years ago.

“Were you born on March 8?” he asked.


“Are you a lawyer?”


Stopping, the priests began speaking in Hindi. Then they got up and disappeared behind a curtain. My curiosity following them, I wondered what was going on behind that curtain.

Surender explained that they weren’t my records and that they’d gone back to find the correct ones.

Not my records? Then how did they get the birthdates correct? Lawyer? I wondered if I should have pursued a law degree, as I had wanted to, after completing college. Would that have been a whole different destiny for me?

Eventually, they come back and read from another text. “This is Cynthia’s general Kandam. These are the predictions of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvarti through the great saint.”

Asking more questions, I was shocked that every one was now completely accurate. How was this possible? They named the day that I was born (even including that it was a Sunday). They named my parents, my brothers (and which one was married and which one was divorced), and my husband. They even said how old I would be when I came to visit them and who I would be.

They told me the birth order of my children and their gender (and other details, down to what each one was studying at the time). I’d had psychic recordings and met with trance mediums before, but nothing in my whole life had blown me away, at least not compared to the accuracy of this reading that came from matching my thumbprint.

They even told me that my father would be deceased by the time I came. They told me about Chet’s past business failings and why they had failed (they said he should have never named one company after himself). They noted difficulties with my mother’s health; my personal struggles with her; and about Jacqueline’s disability from the stroke.

Continuing, they said that I was destined to be well-educated and blessed with great intelligence (this is questionable), talents, and skills, and that I would be self-employed at this time.  The Priest even read that I would be dabbling in activities of art and entertainment, as either an artist or a writer.

They read about how Chet was now working for a public company and about how, at this time, I would be living a life of many blessings. They read that my spiritual life was important, and that I would be pursuing yoga and meditation at this point in my life.

“Are you ready to hear now about the future?”

“Yes.” I was on the edge of my seat.

It was hard to understand all of their words, but I focused all of my attention on what was being read. I was told that even though I enjoyed many blessings and luxuries in this life (as a result of my past good deeds), there would also be some problems to face (as a result of past bad karma) that would affect me.

I didn’t want to hear that. “Please spare me and just tell me about the blessings,” I prayed.

“Because of the effects of some these past bad karmas, there will be frustrations mentally that disturb your piece of mind,” they said.

I could feel that happening as the result of just hearing that information!

“Because of these past actions, you will be haunted with worries, specifically about your children. And one of them will suffer from a physical lack or deficiency.”

Jacqueline, obviously.

But what mother doesn’t worry about their children, I asked myself.  Was there a remedy for that?

“You will have troubles with all of your children, with worries about their choices, status, and behaviors.”

That’s life, I thought to myself. Let’s get on with the predictions.

“Your concerns over your children will hinder your own personal ambitions. And in the future, your husband will experience some health and business difficulties.”

Gee, I thought we’d already experienced that.

The reading went on to say that presently my life is good, and that if I followed the Shanti Pariharam (which is about past life and good and bad deeds) and complete a series of rituals and instructions, the effect of the past bad deeds would be diluted.

As they continued, I was told that Alison would successfully complete her higher studies (getting her MBA) and that Chet, at the age of 53, would take time off from his job responsibilities.

What? Chet not work?  That was crazy!

They said that he would start and operate his own business (and cautioned me to make sure that he never repeated the mistake of naming a business after himself).

They also predicted that my mother would be “afflicted with the possibility of death” when I was 52 or 53 years old.

I was surprised at this information, because I had been having dreams that my mother would be passing soon — not in three years.

They also told me that my life would benefit from real estate, and that I would put my thoughts into a book and get a big recognition.

That thought was a keeper!

They told me that there would be further involvement in my spiritual pursuits (which was a given); that health problems would occur for Chet at the age of 53 (but medical treatments would provide a cure).

Damn him. He was always getting sick.

They said that around the time I was 53 or 54, the negative winds of karma would rear their ugly heads and there would be more difficulties, confusion, and financial problems for me and my family.

Financial problems? No, it can’t be.

“There will be a stagnation in darkness in your husband’s and your businesses. There will be more problems and worries in the family than the previous ages. In order for these things not to occur, you will have to perform certain rituals in a sentient manner to suppress the darkness.”

Okay. I can do that.

“Your third child will attend college during these ages, and will study in a foreign land. He might pursue law or medicine.”

John would never study these subjects. He hated school! But, go on.

“In the 55th or 56th age, you will be more prosperous.”

Thank God.

“Your business will be prospering and big opportunities will come your way.”


“From 56 and on, it would be advantageous and prosperous to start new businesses.”

They also told me that I would find success in art or music, and that I would be involved with a business connected with perishable goods.

Food? That seemed highly unlikely but art…maybe one of my movies would be made. Yes! Yes! Yes!

They predicted that Chet, at the age of 56, would be working for a business but would get involved socially for public good and maybe politics.

Everyone had always suggested politics for him, but he had always refused.

They said that Chet would get more and more involved in this business, and would receive fame and recognition for his work (his “social” endeavors, not for politics).

During these times, they said that my older children would benefit from their education. They said that Andrew would marry and would prosper in business. Later, Andrew would become involved in another business — which would make him quite wealthy.

“Most of your life, you will not be troubled in a court of law by debts or enemies.”

Sounded good to me.

Continuing, they said that my brother Dick would have a second marriage and that both of my brother’s lives would improve. They said that when I was 58, I would be transforming my businesses according to the times, and that Jacqueline might pursue education in the form of teaching.

They said that my other three children would never have any health problems or physical deficiencies; my children’s marriages would be happy.

They said that John would be very successful by the time I turned 58, in his own business. My children’s wealth and prosperity would be even greater than my own.

I was happy to hear all of this, and continued to listen intently as they went on to say that I would receive an award or special distinction.

Finally, an OSCAR!

They also said that Chet was going to receive honors and recognition.

But he doesn’t write movies. So, it can’t be an Oscar!

They told me that when I was around 62, I would experience a disease in my life related to the nervous system (more specifically, to my eyes). However, they said, the medical field would provide a cure. They said that I would have surgery and that it would be successful.

Hmmm, maybe Lasik eye surgery?  I’d been contemplating it.

They told me that when I was 63 or 64, there would be no lack, and no problems. They said that I would find these ages wonderful because I would spread the teachings about spiritual growth.

My heart began to sing.

“In a place where you’ll be dwelling or staying, you will be constructing a place to serve other people. Many of your friends will support this project. Even though your husband and you will have differences of opinions, your relationship will be a good and cooperating one for many years.”

They said that between my 66th and 68th years, the laws of karma would become “unfair” for Chet and I. Disease could affect Chet, possibly resulting in an operation in his abdominal area, but that he would survive.

Phew. Here it was about his health again — but at least it would all work out.

In our 70s, Chet and I would be living a happy life. Chet would become more involved in my spiritual and religious activities during these years.

It’s about time Chettie-boy!

“Both of you will travel to holy places and receive darshan and the blessings of God. In your late years, you will have love and help from your last child.”

Jacqueline, I know you have a kind heart. Hey, Alison and Andrew, where are you?

“All your children will love you and you will have a great relationship with them, but the elder children will be too busy with their businesses and families.”

They said that John and Jacqueline would be closer and give more me attention and support.

“You will continue to share your knowledge of the sastras and knowledge of your times. You will benefit in your life from good dreams and the lord God will give your a glimpse of the Almighty in a dream. You will witness GOD.”

The words I was hearing were all I had ever dreamed of — and it would all come true. This is a blessed life. What more could I ask for?

But wait… There was more.

They went on to tell me that in my 74th and 75th years of life, a danger could threaten my well being and that if I escape this difficulty, well, I could live to the ripe age of…

No, I’m not telling. I have shared just about every detail of my life with all of you. I’m not sharing the number. But, I can say that I was shocked. I wasn’t ready for this information, or for the prediction that I would die before Chet.

Of course, I would — he’d been stressing me out for years with his health issues. Serves him right for me to die first. Let him cry like a baby. It won’t have to be me.

But wait… I thought I could live as long as Grandma Powers. The age I was being told was still too young for me. I take good care of myself. How was this possible?

My mind did its best to absorb all of the information that was being given to me. But the reading wasn’t over with my death. They said that in the later stages of my life I would be spreading spiritual teachings and services in the name of God. (I was so happy about this opportunity to serve God.)

Next, they gave my Shanti Kandam — a series of rituals, offerings, and prayers to be performed in order to suppress the bad karma. All in all, it was the most elaborate penance I had ever had, guys.

It would take two years to do everything they suggested…how about I say a rosary and we call it even? I’m not HINDU in this lifetime…does that count?

At this point, the past life reading I had requested was coming up. I thought about the movie star. Would they confirm this lifetime for me? That would fill up my ego.

But, no, they picked out a lifetime that I’d had in India. (Of course, that was why I was there.) The Saint chooses the life to be revealed to me. I was told that I had lived in the ancient land of Andhra. My name was Shakuntula and I was the “first issue” of five children. I had two brothers and two sisters. (I liked the fact that I’d had all of these siblings!).

I was raised in a well-to-do family, a Brahmin family, and I was very well educated. I had even attended universities in foreign lands and received a medical degree. (This made sense. It was why I read medical books all those years ago, and why I was always interested in why people get sick).

In that life, my family was very involved in social service and helping others, as was I — Shakuntula. Since I had no need for money, I opened up a medical practice in a local village and offered my services for free. I gained a lot of recognition and respect for all of my work. (Hey, I sounded like a saint!)

My family, of course, arranged a marriage for me with a man whose business was in trading. We were blessed with a son.

I continued my service to my community and, with the help of my father, built and erected temples and places of worship throughout India. (I wondered if Mike Hendrickson was my father in that life. I bet he was. It all made sense!) My father and I conducted many marriages for poor and unfortunate people in this lifetime. (Did that mean that we helped them financially, or gave them money to get married? That wasn’t clear to me, but I never stopped the priests to ask questions. It was all so fascinating.)

The Priest went on to read that I had developed love and a great affection for the man I married. (This was great for an arranged marriage.) However, suddenly my husband’s character changed.

Oh, no, I heard a “BUT” coming, and it didn’t sound good.

In that life, I was told, it came to my attention that my husband was having an affair with a woman from a lower caste, and that he had gotten her pregnant.

Bastard. Here this life was so perfect and he went and ruined it.

The Priest read that I approached the young woman.

Did I kill her? No. I wouldn’t. No. I couldn’t? I found myself leaning forward like I was watching a soap opera unfold, waiting for the conclusion or for the next episode of this saga.

The Priest read that I was KIND to the woman when I spoke to her.

Kind to her? She was f-in my husband and got pregnant and I was kind to her? I must have been a Saint).

I heard another “but” coming — negating all of my goodness and kindness.

I offered the woman some money and convinced her to get an abortion. My marriage survived the ordeal, but then I got sick. Doctors in Europe couldn’t even help me. No doctor in India could help me. My friend and neighbor took me to Guru, and he told me of my sin — with me not even realizing that I had even sinned.

I performed rituals and prayed, and some of the pain was eased, but I eventually died from the illness. I was told that in my present life I was still suffering the repercussions of that karma.

I was enraged. Sinner?  This kind doctor, who was betrayed, a sinner? All the suggestions and prayers they began to explain to me were blocked out by my rage. If I wanted to fork over $150.00, they would start the prayers.

Surender looked sideways at me. He knew me by now. (Oh, and by the way, Surender was the man who was my neighbor and friend. He was the one in the past who had taken me to the Guru. That was our connection.)

Surender spoke to the Priest. “I don’t think it’s in her heart right now to start the prayers.”

I quickly get up and left the room and the house. Taking off, I jumped into our waiting vehicle. Surender eventually climbed in behind me, and we drove away — heading back to New Delhi.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“What’s wrong? I spent my whole life helping people for free. I gave away half my wealth and they tell me I’m a sinner? Are you kidding me?”

“I don’t know why you’re getting so upset. This is past, and maybe this is all bullshit?”

“Bullshit? They named my parents, the day I was born, my husband. My whole life up to now they read from a book, and you say it’s all bullshit?”

Surender shrugged.

“What was his karma? My husband. Huh? I want to know. He got her pregnant. It was his mess and I cleaned it up. And what about her? What’s her karma? She had free will. She didn’t have to get an abortion. She took the money.” I couldn’t believe the intensity of the feelings of this Shakuntula that I was experiencing.

Then Surender dropped his atomic bomb. “Maybe you were so busy being a doctor that you forgot your wifely duties.”

“I don’t want to hear your Hindu bullshit. No matter how you color this story, it’s my fault. Just stop talking to me and let me stew.”

Surender gazed out the window thinking to himself –perhaps pondering the weakness of a woman being so emotional. He couldn’t win with me.

“I hope that bastard experienced infidelity in this lifetime. I hope his heart got broken. That would serve him right.”

I knew that this past spouse wasn’t Chet, so who was it? Had I met him in this lifetime? My brain scanned old boyfriends like a computer grasping for the correct person. “Well, you know who you are. Suffer.”

I imagined that my past husband’s wife cheated on him (in this life) and, to top it all off, that she was a real bitch. Ah, revenge. How’s that for high-minded spiritual teachings?

But I was on fire. No more being a Hindu Saint. The Warrior Queen was back!

Back in the hotel in New Delhi, Krishna arrived. He was very upset that our friendship was over. He sat with me at a table in the hotel lobby and did his best to convince me that he hadn’t cheated me. And, he was still hoping for the seventy-five dollars per month for the little girl.

“How do I know she’ll even get the money?”

“Cynthia, I was a poor child myself. I would never do that.”

Krishna hadn’t convinced me, but I forgive him and dropped it. The three of us went to the bar and had a drink. (Krishna couldn’t have anything too cold because of the dental problems he had.)

When the bill came, no one reached for the check but me. “Okay boys, I’ll treat. But I thought here in this part of the world the MEN took care of the women? Have I been mistaken?”

They laughed and turned their eyes away as I paid the bill.

Later, Surender and I went shopping. He took me to places where I didn’t want to haggle. I picked out a white and blue silk material to make into drapes for my living room. Then I purchased a pale yellow Hindu outfit. I even bought gold slippers to finish off the ensemble.

Then we were off to the office of Surender’s brother in order to pay off our bill for the car and for the driver. There, Surender played on the computer for quite awhile before he got up and handed me the bill.

“Would you like to pay my half?” he asked.

What? I’d had enough. “Why would I want to do that?”

Surrender shrugged his shoulders, like a child asking his mother for candy before dinner.

“No,” I replied firmly. “You pay for your own portion.”

I paid my bill, of course, and started wondering if, somehow, I wasn’t paying for the whole trip. I was losing trust and I didn’t like it.

The night before I left, I spoke to Chet on the phone. I could tell that something was bothering him, so I kept asking him what it was.

“I didn’t want to tell you until you got home, but I caught John smoking pot in his bedroom early this morning.”

My heart sank with this information. I despised drugs and I knew that John’s grades were starting to slip. In his freshman year, he’d made the Honor Roll and was on the Junior Varsity basketball team. But this year, things had started to shift. He wanted to quit basketball and I could tell that he was losing his confidence.

John wasn’t growing; my child was getting lost with each painful rejection. This tugged at my heart. When he was younger, he’d been confident and full of himself. Now he was resorting to drugs to make him feel good.

I was needed at home and, more than anything else, I wanted to go HOME.

CHAPTER SEVENTY………Egypt – opening the energy in the Great Pyramid

Things returned to “normal” after I came home from Virginia Beach. One day, when I was attending a Yoga workshop, a client of mine came over to visit with me during a break. Sitting next to me, he told me that he had been only “half-alive” before he’d met me.

Tearing up, he said, “You’ve helped me and my family transform our entire lives.”

Thanking him, I was sincerely moved to be so appreciated.

That night, I arrived home to a beautiful dinner by firelight. Unfortunately, the ambiance was a bit spoiled when Jacqueline and Chet started going at it — head to head like two bulls — and I ended up feeling like a referee.

Late one evening, in November, I received a phone call from Agatha. She told me that Malena had called her, and that she had been very distressed. Malena was going to Egypt with her students, and had told Agatha that she felt as if her very dear friend, Carmen, was working with the dark side.

I listened to Agatha as she relayed all of the details about the conversation, but I found it hard to accept that Carmen would betray Malena. However, I also instantly realized that the seminar in Virginia Beach had been extremely important after all — and I knew why I had been sent to attend it. I was being prepared to go to Egypt.

Taking in this new insight, I inhaled deeply. I knew I had to go to Cairo. I also knew that I had to discuss it with Chet.  I wanted his blessing.

After I finished talking with Agatha, I sat Chet down and explained the situation to him. “Just give me your blessing, because if you don’t I won’t go.”

“Good, I won’t, because I don’t want you going.” And that was that for our conversation that night. Soon after, Chet left for work in Philadelphia.

Talking with one of my friends, Andrea, she said, “I can really see you there. I can’t believe he said no. When you went to Virginia Beach I thought that something big was going to happen there for you, but now I understand. It is actually Cairo.”

“I know,” I said. In spite of Chet’s words, when I looked into the future, I saw myself in Egypt.

The next night, when Chet arrived home from Philadelphia, he walked into the bedroom.

Engrossed in a book, I barely looked up when I greeted him.

“Cindy, I’ve been thinking about Egypt. You’re a big girl and I can’t tell you where to go or where not to go. Follow your heart.”

Jumping out of bed, I thanked him and ran straight down to the computer to book my flight.

Then I called up Renee. “Are you ready to go?”

“Yes,” she replied enthusiastically. “Where are we going?”

“To Egypt.”

We had very little time to prepare, so we both had to get busy — taking care of all of the usual trip details, and getting Visas. Since Renee was going to fly into Boston for the first leg of the journey, she had her Visa mailed directly to my house.

At the time, I had Rod, and his latest girlfriend Catherine, visiting me. Catherine was a kind, innocent woman with a lot of health problems. She thought that if she swam with the dolphins that they would cure her.

Catherine and Rod shared Thanksgiving dinner with my family (with all of my relatives teasing and joking about the Barnard Inn). After dinner, Catherine sat down with me and told me about the “piles of lies” she had discovered about Rod. (Overhearing, Chet gave me his “I-told-you-so” look.)

I took Catherine for some acupuncture visits, and helped her with some physical and emotional healing work — as I continued to work on preparing myself for Egypt.

During my preparations, I dreamt one night that I was in Bethlehem. When I awoke, I opened up the Keys of Enoch to Key 215:48-59, which read:

The continuation of this angle eastward from the Great Pyramid, points to the town of Bethlehem giving the precise angle of how birth and death and resurrection are fused together.  Bethlehem represents the point of incarnation which is connected to the whole drama of the human races’ collective initiation into the Pyramid. This demonstrates the unique balance of the evolutionary cycle of Man proceeding from the well shaft like water being drawn out of a well flowing eastward toward Bethlehem.

After Renee met up with me in Boston, we flew on to Italy and then connected to another flight to Cairo. Above the clouds, we chatted and dozed on and off. We’d had to really hustle to make this journey happen, and now it was time to just place myself in God’s hands.

We landed in Cairo on the fifth of December, and “WOW! WOW! WOW” is all I can say about Egypt. After we made it through Customs, we looked for our driver but couldn’t find him. We were just about to hire someone else when I spotted my name on a sign. Finally connecting with our driver, we let him whisk us off to the Le Meridian Hotel. I tried to sit back and relax, but the traffic was crazy — with our car weaving in and out between cars, scooters, buses, and people, people, people.

When he arrived at the Hotel, the staff was cordial and accommodating. Checking into our room, Renee and I immediately showered and rested. When we were both ready, we headed downstairs for a Tex-Mex dinner in the Hotel restaurant.

During dinner, I kept a constant eye out for Malena, I didn’t spot her anywhere. After dinner, we visited the Hotel jeweler and ordered cartouches for our friends and families. That was about all we could manage. We were so exhausted that we headed back up to our room and plunked straight down into bed.

At three o’clock in the morning, there was a knocking at our door. Dragging myself to open it, I found Malena standing there. She threw her arms around me and marched into the room.

Malena came bearing gifts for me and Renee — red cotton scarves from Mexico. This was the first time Renee had ever met Malena — although she’d heard all about her.   From the minute I’d opened the door, Malena had been spurting away in Spanish.  All I could do, however, was nod my head.  The only thing I came to understand, through sign language, was what time we would meet for breakfast. After the happy interlude, both Renee and I returned to bed and drifted off to dreamland.

The next morning, we met the whole group in the Hotel lobby. Malena was clearly upset, and as soon as she saw me she separated herself from her group. She handed me a letter, but it was written in Spanish. I scanned the words, and saw that my name was mentioned a few times.  Just by breaking down the words and some of what I could understand, I saw hypocrisy — and Carmen’s name.

I asked Malena to get Vanessa to interpret the message, but she refused. She snatched the letter back from me and stuffed it down into her purse.

I was worried. If Malena couldn’t even trust the Interpreter, how were we going to communicate? Following the crowd, we all headed into the restaurant for breakfast.

After we’d sat down, Carmen entered the restaurant — but went and sat down on the opposite side of the room. This was more serious that I had believed. I wondered how I could reconnect the group.

We all knew that love was the answer. I didn’t want to reject Carmen, but my allegiance was with Malena. I thought back to my own group of friends — and to how often closeness and familiarity had indeed bred contempt and jealousy.

After a stilted breakfast, we headed off to the Cairo Museum, which houses some of the greatest antiquities of the most highly noted civilizations on Earth. The displays were divided up into the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. There was the Akhenaton Room at the rear of the building, with displays on this ancient ruler of Egypt.

There were also Roman exhibits in the museum. There was a splendid array of jewelry, tombs, mummies, and pharaohs (including Ramses II and Tutankhamun).

When Renee and I stopped to decide which piece of jewelry best suited our personality and attire, a group of Egyptians school girls spotted us. They started giggling and pointing at us. Eventually, they shyly come up and asked us where we were from. We told them that we were Americans.

One young girl tugged at my arm and, in perfect English, asked me my name.


“Cynthia, your name is beautiful and you are very beautiful.”

I smiled and thanked her.

The love from the Egyptian people flowed wherever we went.

Our group lunched at an Italian restaurant (although the food was not like any Italian food I’d had in Boston). Malena sat with Renée and me in a booth and, again, was without an Interpreter. She handed me the letter again, still visibly upset about its contents. Without Vanessa to read it for me, however, I was unable to allay any of Malena’s anxieties.

Our next stop after lunch was the Great Pyramid. Malena again gave me the letter and, again, I tried to read it. I then asked her to please have Vanessa interpret it for me.

Malena had a list of names on another small scrap of paper. I roughly got the translation that it was a list of those who were in the “light” and of those who were working in the “dark.” Vanessa, from what I could gather, was somewhere in the middle.

Finally, Malena gave in and invited Vanessa to join us. Renee reassured Malena about the power of love, telling her that all of the love that Malena had poured onto her students would not go to waste. Malena was uplifted.

When Vanessa came over, she read the message. She told us that it was about some of Malena’s students being hypocrites — students who were working to sabotage the important work that was about to take place. Vanessa also explained that the elder Mexican Shaman who had written the warning stated in the message that the only person Malena could trust was me.

Malena looked to me as Vanessa read the letter. Then she had her translate a message to me, “Who do you think should open the energy in the Great Pyramid, me or you?”

What? I inhaled a gallon of air. This was overwhelming. This was probably one of the most important energy openings that could ever take place. I didn’t want the responsibility.

I shook my head. “It’s plainly you, Malena. You’ve got the past-life connections here.  I’m your anchor girl. I will assist and hold you as you bring forth this energy.”

I really just wanted to help her heal our fractured group. As we stepped outside of the restaurant, she was still babbling in Spanish to me. I heard something about a Japanese Monk and a Rabbi who live in England, and who had both told her that it was “Cynthia” who must open the energy.

As we loaded onto our bus for Giza, I told Malena that they were wrong. As we drove off, my heart was pounding. I hadn’t realized that today would be the big day. (It was funny, but I noticed that I had on the same pale blue pants that I’d worn in Stonehenge — where I’d done very important energy healing.)

It seemed like only minutes had passed when the bus pulled up next to the Great Pyramid. Carmen and a few others got off the bus first, but I was remained a moment longer in the back of the bus with Malena and Renee. When we finally stood and climbed off the bus, Malena walked over to the sand and started drawing with a stick. She drew star systems and constellations. Then she mapped out how the energy would come down from the heavens and then how it would disperse. She told us that seven people would be chosen.

My eyes snapped a picture of the sand map seconds before she destroyed the information with a sliding of her foot. I walked ahead with Vanessa and Renee, but kept turning back to see when Malena was going to join us. I could see her from a distance. She had stopped to speak to her husband, Alberto, as we went on ahead through security.

I had the crystal skull wrapped inside a mint green scarf in my Kate Spade handbag. Security grabbed my cameras and went through my bag — but seemed to miss the skull.

The security man hinted for money. I pretended not to understand him, and let him keep my camera. We then entered the shaft and went into an area full of people. I couldn’t help but wonder how we were going to accomplish our mission without getting noticed.

Carmen and the rest of the Mexican group were ahead of me, but I stopped and waited. And waited, and waited. Where was Malena?  Jeepers.  Forced along with the crowd, we all walked down a narrow shaft into the Pyramid. I tried to wait for Malena, but she never came.

There were six of us in our group, and we finally waited long enough to have the Chamber to ourselves. I started preparing the energy for Malena. I cleared the space and ground my feet into the Earth. I placed myself up against one wall, and then crossed over to the opposite wall. I felt the energy start to move up and down my spine, and I could feel it vibrate.

Where was Malena? She was the seventh person. I walked over to Vanessa, “Where is Malena?”

“She’s not coming,” Vanessa replied. “Malena says it’s you who must do this, and it always has been you. You know what to do.”

I didn’t have any time to think or to react. I knew that time was short, and that the window was opening. I placed the skull in the center of the chamber and opened up to the energies. I moved the group to a small adjacent room and placed in appropriate spots so that we could all assist with the flow of energy. Then I squatted and prayed with all of the love I had — for the whole Earth and for all of humankind.

I thought back to the Bruce Willis film, The Fifth Element, where the planet was saved from a meteor by the love of a woman. Every bit of my being I placed into this power spot in order to open up the flow of peace for all people.

When we were finished, we filed out of the Great Pyramid. Moving back into the sunshine, I saw that Malena was waiting for me. I was honored and overwhelmed.

Renee, feeling the incredible gift that we shared in opening up our souls to the divine, hugged me. All of the pain and distrust of days gone by was forgotten in that moment. We looked up into the sky, and saw a figure of an angel outlined in a cloud formation. The angel was holding a sword and it was, without a doubt, Archangel Michael, the angel of protection. We all snapped a photo.

I was happy that Malena had decided not to tell me that I would be the one conducting the ceremony. I would have spent my time doubting and worrying.

Malena hugged me, “I held the energy outside. You did a great job inside.”

She was the seventh person — performing her part of the ceremony from outside of the Pyramid. Opening her hand, Malena showed me the garnet and mother of pearl flower pendant that I had bought for her in Virginia Beach during the Egyptian seminar.

Malena continued to separate herself from Carmen and several of her students as we drove over to the Sphinx. The splendor of the Sphinx amazed me. The limestone blocks surrounding it were eroding away — but its splendor was intact.

I was still in a daze from the energy event that had occurred just minutes earlier, when suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds of children — mobbing me. I was very relaxed and smiled and talked to them, but Security became upset and began pushing the children away from us. I assured Security that I was okay, but I was also concerned that it was going to get violent. When they asked us to get back on the bus, we all obliged.

Our bus whisked us back to the Hotel — where we had ten minutes to shower and change for a dinner cruise on the Nile.

We celebrated the evening cruising down the Nile, entertained by female belly dancers and a male dancer who spun and twirled like a Sufi dervish.

Early the next morning, we were on an Egyptian flight heading to Aswan. The land we found there was an oasis with a tropical ambience. It was hot and dry at mid-day when we arrived and headed towards our cruise ship.

Aswan is known for its beautiful pink granite and for the dam that was built around 1898 to 1902. A newer and more efficient dam was built in the mid-Sixties (completed in 1971). When the dam was built, a huge artificial lake was formed — Lake Nasser.

We had to walk through several cruise ships before we arrived at ours. Our ship was mediocre compared to some of the more luxurious ones that we had strolled through, but it was decent. As soon as we dropped our luggage, we were off to take a sailboat cruise down the Nile. Our Captain and First Mate were Nubians. They were fair, blue-eyed, and wearing long white billowy dresses. The First Mate looked like he was seventeen-years-old. As soon as the sails were up, the drumming and the music began.

There was one family on the sailboat — from Spain. The rest of our Mexican group was scattered on other sailboats. Everyone was smoking and, while the music was playing, the crew was selling jewelry, musical instruments, and clothing.

The boatman extended the gaff upwards as we headed upstream. When we docked the boat, a row of camels were waiting for us. Knowing that we were going camel-trekking, I thought back to my donkey ride in India and gave my backside a loving caress — hoping that the camel was not as painful as the beast of burden.

The camel was lying on the ground as I saddled up on his back. The scariest part was the lift-off; however, to my surprise and delight, the camel was very comfortable to ride. I felt giddy as we trotted off, and pictures of Lawrence of Arabia riding across the desert sands filled my imagination with myths and stories.

Our camels took us to a lunch spot where we ate and sipped tea. Two local women came over, and we all took turns getting different parts of our bodies tattooed with hemp symbols. I had my ankles decorated.

As we sailed back to port, the singing and dancing started anew.  The young Nubian was very flirtatious; vying with everyone for my attention. Renee giggled as I ignored his advances. The young man, however, persisted. As we danced in a circle on the boat, he stepped in between me and Vanessa. As we danced, I felt him press his body up against me from behind and, let me tell you, under his long dress there was certainly no undergarments.

He poked me once. I was shocked and Renée neatly wet her pants laughing as I turned around and scolded him to stop it.

He pretended not to understand and I got poked again. That was enough of that. I stepped out of the circle and sat down next to my laughing hyena friend who thought it was hysterical that the prude from Boston got rear-ended.

Back on the pier, we waved good-bye to the Nubian sailors. Vanessa told us that we could rest for a short while, but that we’d be going to the sanctuary in less than an hour.

“What’s the sanctuary,” I asked.

“A zoo.”

Renee and I, still jet-lagged and completely exhausted, fell into bed in our rooms. An hour later, when Alberto began banging on our door, I told him that Renee and I were passing on the sanctuary. Who needed to see some animals in a zoo? We needed to sleep. Within seconds, we both drifted off into a deep sleep until dark.

When we awoke, we got up and headed toward the dining hall.

Renee stopped before we walked in, concerned, “Hey, what’s up with your posture, girl? You’re slumping a lot.”

I looked down at myself, and she was right. My shoulders were slumping protectively over my heart. “My heart doesn’t feel safe with you, Renee. I guess my posture is showing it.”

She was surprised with my honesty, but it was the truth. This time, I didn’t want any jealousy or insecurity from others bombarding my heart. I felt like a wounded warrior.

Renee took my comment well, and we discussed how we could further deepen our friendship in a loving and supportive way. We both knew that rebuilding trust was an essential ingredient for spiritual growth.

At dinner, I asked Vanessa how the zoo was.

She looked at me, puzzled. “Zoo?  We didn’t go to a zoo. We went to the Isis Temple.”

“The temple of Isis? You’ve got to be kidding me. We missed that? Oh my gosh! I never would have napped if I’d known that was where you were going.”

“Don’t worry,” answered Vanessa. “You both were there. I felt you.”

Malena told me at dinner that it was up to me to unify the group. I agreed that I would talk to them. After dinner, we all gathered on the upper deck of the cruise ship and I spoke to them about Renée and me. I told them about how we’d had a disagreement years earlier — and that we were in Egypt together now to heal and grow. Like Abraham Lincoln had said, a house divided will surely fall.

I emphasized that if one person needed to be right, that it would make another person wrong. How does one win if we all lose? The students’ floodgates of emotions broke through like the Aswan dam. Some started pointing fingers at others — with who did what to whom pouring out.

It was all petty nonsense. The energy of duality bounced back and forth like a basketball of blame. Tears were shed, but the healing process had begun.

Carmen and Malena hugged. I felt such relief and happiness — two sisters reunited. I felt like my work here was done. Now I could just relax and indulge in being idle.

In a few nights, we were going to have a “dress-up” dinner party.  I shopped in the cruise ship store for a costume. The shopkeeper’s name was Michael, and he was enthralled by an American woman. In the store, there were a couple of outfits that caught my eye. One was jet black with a slit up the center. It was edged with silver sequence, and scattered stars outlined a backdrop of a black night. The other was a sexy two-piece red bejeweled belly dancer outfit. It came with a matching gold headdress.

I tried on the red outfit, but felt uncomfortable in it. The black and silver dress was more me — like Nut, the Goddess of the Sky. To the ancient ones, Nut was the Mother of the Gods. She is shown as a dark, star-covered, naked woman holding her body up in an arch facing downwards. Her arms and legs are the pillars of the sky, and through her hands and feet she touches the four cardinal points in the horizon. Legend has it that she gave birth to five children. Osiris was born on the first day, Elder on the second, Set on the third, Isis on the fourth, and Nephthys was born on the fifth day. Nut is a cosmic deity, yet there are no temples erected in her honor.

Michael, the shopkeeper invited me to come and sit with him — to chat — but I just ignored him.  I started dressing all of the women on the cruise ship. I advised them on what looked good on their body, and the high winds of the feminine began swirling around the small shop like a tornado.

Michael shook his head in disbelief. “You have sold more outfits than I have ever sold.”

I just smiled. “I love dressing up people.”

Renee still hadn’t found her perfect outfit.

Later that evening, we went to the Temple of Duality. The temple is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and to the falcon god Haroeris. As we approached the temple, my heart leapt with joy at the sight of its massive columns and its elegant splendor.

Egypt. What had taken me so long to come to this country?  There were so many places I had traveled to that felt like home, and so it was for me in Egypt. This temple had a Greek and Roman influence.  Mummified crocodiles were everywhere.

The temple hieroglyphs showed knowledge of medicine. In one room, they seemed like symbols used in obstetrics. There were forceps and other instruments of birth and fertility.

In the temple, I began to have such a strong reaction internally to the place that I could see myself as a priestess with knowledge of sacred tantric sexuality designed to bring into form higher beings of light. I also flashed that I was a mid-wife. I could see, in my mind’s eye, how honored sexuality and fertility were in these ancient days.

As we toured, one of Malena’s students started channeling information about the site that was far different than the tour guides’ version.

Along the way, Malena sat us all down on a long stone wall. She touched our third eye and instructed us to go back in time. I already had, moment’s earlier, stepped back and had immediately seen the people who once resided in the space. When we came back from our inward journey, Malena asked us to look to the people on either side of us. Renee was on my left; Carmen was on my right.

Malena said that these people were with us in a past life in this place. When we had been in Hawaii, I had realized that Renée and I had strong karmic strands from Egypt. Now it was confirmed. Carmen and I had been connected for eons, and we had our Avalon connection.

Later, when I saw Carmen and Malena walking together, I felt happy to see them reconnected.

As we walked back to town, Renee flirted with our tour guide, Hussin.  He loved the attention and he skipped happily with the crazy American ladies.

When we returned to the upper deck of the ship, Malena continued her instructions. She taught us how to heal people with sacred symbols. We practiced on one other.

Te next morning, we found ourselves in horse-drawn carriages trotting off to another temple: Kom Ombo. This temple, overlooking the Nile, dates back to the time of the Ptolemies.  The architecture was imposing.  It must have been vibrant and regal when its brilliantly painted colors shown in the sunlight.

The crocodile was held in high esteem by the citizens of Ombos. As we strolled through the ruins, I noticed an engraved image of Cleopatra. And, again, medical instruments were depicted on the walls.

On our way back to the boat, our drivers dropped Malena, Renee, and I further down the road than the rest of our group. We had been instructed by Hussin not to tip the driver. Hearing that, I think the driver just wanted as far away from Hussin as possible, so that he could pressure us into tipping him. I walked away, but Malena handed him some cash.

Back on the boat, I sunbathed and spoke with a Spanish woman who wanted to practice her English. It was the night of the dress-up party, so I soon returned to the shop and outfitted some more women.  Michael, the shopkeeper, sulked because I refused to sit and give him any attention.

That night, on the top deck of the cruise ship, the night was alive with stars.  I was dressed in black and silver with a silver headdress. Renee walked in wearing a pant-suit outfit that she had purchased in town. The outfit suited her humorous nature, and we all could hear her giggles of laugher throughout the evening.

Hussin, our tour guide, belly danced with a young Spanish woman. The heat was on. The two of them danced with joy, seduction, and total abandonment — to the delight of the crowd. One of Malena’s students, probably the shyest person in the group, came to the table in a red, two-piece costume. All of the Mexican men oohed and aahed.  Her seductress side was emerging. As ever, the Mexicans were joyous and fun-loving, and we danced the night away.

During the night, I spotted a ping-pong table on the opposite side of the deck.  Ah, one of my favorite games. Before I knew it, I was challenging the men to ping-pong matches, and having a blast winning all of the games.

After whipping Hussin’s backside, we sat and let other people play. All of the men wanted to challenge me now.

Sitting next to me, Hussin spoke softly to me in very broken English.  “You are so beautiful.”

I instantly changed the subject, and asked him if he had a girlfriend.


“Is the relationship arranged?”

“Yes,” he nodded.

He told me that he had been dating her, if you could call it that, for six years.

“Why aren’t you married yet?”

He pretended not to understand my question.  “You have a beautiful body.”

Great.  And where was Renee?  My eyes darted all over the top deck looking for her. I needed some humor.  Now.

I excused myself and went looking for her.  I found her in our room. I cajoled her into being my bodyguard, asking her to come up to the deck with me.  She reluctantly obliged my request.

When I came back up with Renee, Hussin left the party — rejected — and Renee and I danced a little more before retiring to bed.

The next morning, we were back on the bus heading toward another sacred site. This time, Malena did not sit in the back with Renee and I.  I thought that maybe she was sitting up front with Carmen, renewing their friendship and trust.

We soon arrived at the temple, and it was incredible. I looked around while the tour guide was speaking, and I still couldn’t find Malena. Where was she?  I told myself that she must be off doing some private work — and I turned my attention back to the tour. The tour guide was telling the tale of the Pharaoh, a woman, who had pretended to be male. She had placed her half-brother in jail and ruled in his stead, and had built this great temple.

What a great story.  And what a great possibility for a movie.  This was good material. Her name was Hatshepsut, and she was the daughter of Thutmosis.

Women were excluded from succession to the throne, so when her brother ruled for a short period she legitimized her authority by proclaiming that the God Amun had procreated her — making her the King of Upper and Lower Egypt. She reigned for 22 years, and all statues depict her as a man. The highest of all obelisks, in Karnark, was built during her reign.

Renee, Vanessa, and I walked around the temple ruins and decided to sit and have a snack. A young Mexican woman who had been sulking through the whole trip sat with us.  It wasn’t long before she started pouring out all of her problems. I started teaching her how to release her unhappy feelings.

We then visited the statue of the god Horus. Everyone was circling the statue, hoping for a wish to come true. I joined the human-made carousel, holding a deep wish in the center of my heart.

Energetically, the temple is aligned with the seven chakras in the human body. The three of us, starting at the crown chakra, “omed” three times. When we opened our eyes, we saw an elderly guardian of the temple standing in front of us.  He beckoned us to follow him. I immediately felt my ego go to work.  Of course he wanted us to follow him. He could see how special we were, and he wanted to show us something that no one else had seen.

He led us in back of the temple where there were many statues. He then grabbed my hand and placed me in front of a statue of Sekhmet, the fiercest warrior goddess and protector of pharaohs. She was considered a solar deity and the avenger of wrongs. Some believe that her breath created the desert. The temple guardian began to pray and to work on my heart center.

I kept my eyes open and saw, in my peripheral vision, a young man dressed in a navy blue suit in the shadows. I kept my focus on the healing. The guardian seemed to intuit where I was holding pain. When he was finished, he worked on Renee and then on Vanessa. I kept my eye on the shadow man.

When we were done, we all give the guardian some money, but he wasn’t quite finished with us.  He insisted on showing us another spot.  It was on the opposite side of the temple, and it had a tablet of hieroglyphics. When he stopped, he took my black Kate Spade handbag and put it up on some stones. Again, he started working on my heart center and then on my belly. Either I was getting a healing or this old man was getting some free feels. Soon, Renee and Vanessa had their turns.

We embraced in a group hug, but when I opened up my eyes I saw the blue suited man inching his way toward my handbag. I looked at him and he looked at me. He knew that I knew what he was up to.  Smiling, he pulled back.

Leaving the old man, we walked back to the group.  I was angry at myself for being so stupid. The guardian’s energy was uncomfortable, and I quickly asked Renee and others to remove it from my energy field. I could feel it in my belly. What a lesson on discernment and ego. At least I still had my handbag, and money, intact.

Boarding the bus again, we headed to Karnark — the second most visited site in Egypt. There are four main parts to this temple, but only one is open to the public. It is from the sixteenth century, and is dedicated to the god Amun-Re, the chief god to the Theban triad (Amun, Mut  and Khons).

I was completely in awe of these ancient sites. Joining up with me, Carmen talked about Avalon. She had many memories of it, and of our connection to England. She told me that she had discovered a great deal about herself.

“I hold the same exact energy of the Mother that you do,” she said.

Her words didn’t ring true to me, and it didn’t feel like it was my ego deciding that. Years earlier, I had been told that only six women hold this Mother energy. So, I knew that I wasn’t the only one — but I wasn’t sure that Carmen had the Mother energy.

Carmen went on to say that there was another piece of the work that she must get me to do. “You must go to Japan or Greece to do some work.”

When we got back to the boat, I asked Malena where she had been. She just looked at me and told me that she’d had work to do with the Masters.

“Just another day in Egypt,” I thought to myself.

Morning brought us back to the bus, heading toward Luxor, the city of luxury. There, we were going to stay at the Hilton.  When we arrived, I agreed that the city was lovely and luxurious.

We all checked into our rooms.  Malena was in the room next to me. The rest of the group was on the other side of the building. Renee and I sat with Malena at lunch, and I was thinking that everything was now hunky dory with Carmen, Malena, and the group. But when I asked Malena about it, she shook her head in a negative nod.

I was shocked as Malena proceeded, in broken English and sign language, to tell me that the energy that I had opened up in Cairo had been closed by Carmen. Malena insisted that her group was still divided.

My head, and ego, reeled with failure. How could I have failed? I thought back to Ellen’s channeling of the Sirian lords years earlier; of them telling me that I was the keeper of the Divine Feminine and that I felt that I had failed — but this was only a perception.

Malena and I continued speaking without an Interpreter. She still didn’t trust Vanessa, because Vanessa was in the “middle”. Malena dipped into her handbag and pulled out three of King Solomon’s medallions. These were the medallions of the three Masters. She told me that I had to connect to their energy.

I panicked. Connect to their energy?  How was I supposed to do that?  What if I couldn’t do it?  Why me? All of my fears come tumbling out like spilled milk.

After our meal, I headed back to my hotel room with Renée. I knew that I was way too much in my head for any insight to occur. I announced to Renée that I needed to dream. I asked if she would leave me alone in the room for a while so that I could do it without any distraction.

She politely complied, and left me alone to sleep and to dream.  Lying down, I took the three medallions and placed them on each of my chakras in turn. I could feel the Masters guiding me. Thank God. My mind continued to slip away.  When all the work was done, the medallions fell off my third eye.

Soon, I could hear that Renee was back in the room and I placed the three medallions inside my bra on my left breast. Then I turned over onto my stomach and slipped into a dream.

In the dream, Malena appeared.  She was driving a large car. I was sitting next to her.  I soon noticed that there was another car, and that it was blocking us from leaving. A narrow opening appeared in front of us, but our car was too large to fit through it. Malena continued to drive forward. I was afraid that we would crash, but we didn’t.

In the dream, people jumped in the car and moved it. We continued to drive through the chaos successfully. I told Malena that I knew where to go. “Take a right over there.”

I could feel Carmen near us. I looked for a phone number, saying that I needed to talk to the Virgin Mary. I needed to speak to someone who could channel the Mother — but I couldn’t find her number.

Then the dream changed to another sequence. I saw a young student of Malena sweeping a circular floor. There were symbols in the center. I swept the floor and put the dirt in a dustpan. Then the student threw all of the dirt back down, but it fell in a knitted circle. I wondered why she’d done that.

Next, I saw a baby girl lying in a bed next to me. A woman told me that she was trying to adopt the baby from the parents. I protected the baby. Then the dream changed again, and I was in a house teaching a group of students. When I finished my lecture, I walked into a kitchen where Renée was speaking to an English-looking man wearing a gray sweater. He had shoulder-length hair with bangs and I heard Renée ask him how I’d done. I realized that they were talking about me, and I was glad that I hadn’t noticed this while I was teaching — so that I was able to just be myself.

Speaking with a British accent, the man told Renee that I was a powerful instrument, but that I needed to work on my intonation in my throat chakra. Suddenly, a Japanese man appeared in front of me and looked directly into my heart — which was a five-pointed star.

“I see the problem,” he said. “Your heart is only 25 percent open. I can help you open it.”

When I woke up, I saw Renée watching me from her bed. I had done it!  I had connected to the Masters. And I knew what I had to do. I had to get back to the Great Pyramid. Jumping out of bed, I rushed out of the door and banged on Malena’s door.

After I told her about my dream, she took out a statue of an Egyptian god.  Then, she pulled out an Egyptian tarot deck and started reading the cards.  The reading was positive.  I told her that three of us must go back to the Pyramid — but no one else could know.

Malena agreed.

Early the next day, we headed back to Cairo. The bus stopped at the market place to shop, but I didn’t feel like shopping.  I had a lot on my mind.  We had tea, and I asked Hussin to purchase some Lotus oil for me. I also bought a pink belly-dancing outfit for Jacqueline.  Then we headed back to the Hotel.

Time was running out to get back to the Great Pyramid.

Malena went to her room, so Renée and I went to have lunch. The group was scheduled to meet at two o’clock.

I waited anxiously in the lobby for Malena when it was time, and watch incredulously as she waved good-bye to me and headed off with the Mexican contingent for a late lunch. What was she doing? The entrance to the Pyramid closed at three o’clock.  Before she left, Malena turned back to me and asked if the entire group can come.

“No,” I replied firmly.  I was dumbfounded.  What was she doing?

Renée and I headed back to our room. I was confused by Malena’s actions, or lack of action. We were all going to meet now at 5:30.  The Pyramid would be closed. Why was she sabotaging this? What was going on? It was the same thing she’d done years earlier in Chichen Itza.

When Malena and Alberto came back, we went and sat outside in the pool area. I reached into my handbag and took out spikenard — a holy oil from Jerusalem. I blessed Malena and Renée with it.

Malena still refused to have Vanessa interpret for us. She took out a pen and a pad of paper and started drawing. She drew an hour glass and explained that the energy field around the Great Pyramid had sped up. All indictors around the Pyramid showed that humankind had chosen war.

I felt frozen and helpless. Disbelief settled in. How could people have chosen war?  Why did humans keep making this same choice over and over again? Why were we just sitting by the pool? Why weren’t we doing something?

“Let’s go back to the Pyramid,” I said, even though I knew that it was closed now.

Malena shook her head.

The next day we were scheduled to leave for Alexandria.  The Mexican group would be leaving Egypt at two o’clock in the morning.  We returned to the lobby and Malena purchased tickets for the laser light show at the Sphinx. We agreed that we would meet again in an hour to take a cab and go to the show.

I still didn’t understand what Malena was thinking about. I wanted a solution.

An hour later, however, I was back in the lobby with Malena, Alberto, and Renee. The hotel provided us with a driver and we were chauffeured away to the laser light show. There, we had to go through Security once again, and, once again, my agate skull went undetected. (I hadn’t been nervous about it, but Malena had been.)

We were led to the front row, like we are royalty.  As we sat down, I noticed that we were directly aligned with the Great Pyramid and with the Sphinx. It was perfect. I could do it from my seat.

The air was chilly and Malena, used to her warm Mexican climate, started shivering with the cold. She wrapped herself in a blanket. My black leather jacket was all I had with me, but I suddenly started feeling strength, power, and determination wash all over my being — warmth enough.

I was going to do it.  The night sky was cloudy and overcast.  Malena huddled towards Alberto to get warm. She wasn’t grounded at all, but it didn’t matter to me in that moment.  I knew what I had to do.

Soon, the lights came on and music started to play. I removed the skull from my handbag and started connecting to the stars and rewiring it back to the Earth. The ancient sites were serving as my amplifiers.

Renée sat strongly next to me. Maybe everything between Malena and I had gotten lost in translation, but all the misinterpretation had brought us to the right place and at the right time. The Sphinx was illuminated by light and the history of the pyramids was told by a rich male and mystical voice. Laser beams and light projections danced on the wall of the temple of mummification. A musical soundtrack added to the flavorful Egyptian ambience.

The bust of Nerferteri appeared and I could feel Malena’s whole being contact with her own soul recognition. The show was magical, but what was more mysterious and confirming was when the cloudy and blurred night sky started bursting through with stars of light. The Orion belt popped out and, one by one, more stars and galaxies appeared as I held the skull tightly on my lap.  Malena pointed with the delight of an innocent child.

Nebulas glowed red and yellow and the famous Orion nebula, M42, which is marked by a hunters’ sword hanging from a belt, showed itself by a line of three bright stars. The Pleiades, the seven sisters, and the star system Sirius waved in streaks of light across the night sky. I had never felt such exhilaration in my entire life.

Magnetic fields that had been predicted eons ago were now opening up new portals and vortices to assist humans move toward peace.

Malena was still snuggling in her blanket, but smiled victoriously at me. No such thing as failure. I am woman.

The next day, we waited in the lobby with the group for our next road trip to Alexandria. Malena, Renee, Vanessa, and I were in a circle of arm chairs. The young student that I had seen in my dreams slipped into a trance. She started channeling. The message was intense and Malena whisked us off to a more private spot so that the information would be private.

The young woman was channeling the Divine Mother and She was speaking to me. The Mother said that she had watched me suffer due to all of my doubts and insecurities. She knew that I worried that I was not worthy enough, but She wanted me to know that I was her human representative.

I started crying. The Mother continued to affirm my work, saying that she had seen me doubt everything.  She wanted me to know this through a woman who didn’t know me — that I was the light of the feminine power for her on Earth.

She then told Renée that she had been placed with me in order to watch over and protect me, and the energy field that I carried. Renee began to cry too, overwhelmed. Hussin found us all and hurried us toward the bus.

On the way, the tall Mexican man who had been accompanying Carmen at all of the sites approached me, “Lucifer would like to speak to you.”


“Lucifer,” he answered, matter-of-factly.

Malena scooped up from behind me and pushed me to the back of the bus. She pointed her finger at me and let me know, in any language, that I was not to speak to the man or to the voice of Lucifer.

I sat back in my comfortable bus seat and looked at Renee. “Is this a movie that we are acting in? This is surreal!”

Singing, dancing, and taunting our tour guide, Hussin, filled out time during the bus ride to Alexandria (which is the second largest city in Egypt). Alexandria is known to be the pearl of the Mediterranean.  It was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. Pharos, the legendary lighthouse, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The city was filled with Greek, Italian, and Levant people. It had a bohemian atmosphere. We visited the Fort of Quit Bay, where the light house had once stood. There were hundreds of artifacts.  Archeologists had found granite columns of Isis, and a sphinx with a head that might be the likeness of Cleopatra’s father.

Later, we entered the new library of Alexandria. It was astonishing.  It radiated architectural beauty with a modern design. Still, I had to wonder about the uselessness of the burning of the original library, and about how humankind and conquerors could have destroyed so much wealth and wisdom once contained in the library.

The group lunched at a seaside restaurant, all of us knowing that the journey would be coming to a close soon. The Mexicans were leaving that very night.

Back at the hotel, Malena instructed me to bring her the oils. When I reached her room, I found only a handful of students. The rest were working for the other side.

Malena had us close our eyes and connect to our Master teacher.

“Who is your teacher?” Malena asked me.


She smiled. “Yes, is true.”  She told me that Mary is always with me, guiding me.

Others members of the group announced their teacher.  Malena asked me to place the spikenard into each student’s third eye. I did, with Renee’s assistance, and also gave each person a message.  Many members of the group, including Vanessa, started speaking in Aramaic.

We closed the circle, hugging and embracing each other. Malena thanked me for coming and I knew that I was part of one of the most significant energy openings on the planet.

After a day of rest by the pool, with the pyramids as a backdrop, I drank in the Egyptian sun before my flight back to Boston.

Back in the United States, Renee spent a night in Boston before returning to Denver.  And, as I slept next to my snoring spouse, I awoke to see — on the side of my bed — a procession of the all of the ancient gods and goddesses honoring me and thanking me for a job well done.

Just another day, and night, in the life of a Shaman, mother, and housewife.