Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The World Tree, or “The Axis of Evil”

There is a World Tree at the center of the universe, a core of creation, from which the cosmos is organized: there’s an “above,” a “below,” and a “middle.” The middle is where humans live, together with all our relatives on Earth, together with seen and unseen forces. Or, so many indigenous peoples around the globe believe. From the Desana people in the Colombian Amazon, to the Sandawe people in Africa, to the Yakut people in Russia, the motif of this World Tree as an organizing principle of all-there-is can be found. The tree is the basis of creation, the place where humans can communicate with the gods. Today many pagans, new agers, and spiritual people have adopted, or re-constructed, this belief as a point of reference. With this worldview it is easy to see existence as structured, meaningful, and animated. All has soul, and all is connected. The motif of the World Tree always suited me personally. I use it as a way of orienting myself in many worlds. The tree makes it easy to know what is up, and what is down, however far into magical realms I may travel.

For the longest time, the worldview of the scientific community has been in opposition to that of the World Tree, or any other “primitive” ideas of a structured universe. Creation started with the Big Bang and the cosmos - with all its life-forms - isn’t anything but the result of random acts, sometimes ending in unprobable things like DNA and advanced cultures. Creation then, is a mere stroke of luck, so to say. But alas, some years ago scientific evidence started pouring in that indicated that there actually is something at the center of the universe: an axis, a polarized force, actually even a structuring force. Scientists quickly named this something “the axis of evil,” (with an unfortunate correlation to politics). This naming might be a result of the infamous, grim scientific sense of humor, but it also reflects the shadow side of a purely scientific worldview: a reluctance to admit that there might be anything else than a mechanical, random cosmos with no meaning. I do not blame scientists for this. It is their job to scrutinize every hard fact.

Meanwhile, if we are to look for meaning, we have to turn to more spiritual ways of moving in the world. The shadow side of such a way of moving is, of course, to view anything as meaningful, as well as the lure of claiming to have found deep truths, based on little more than a whim and a prayer. When we move in the vast space of spiritual beliefs, we have to scrutinize what we experience in a different way than the scientific community. We have no one to trust but ourselves. As the writers and wisdom keepers of The Echo World keep insisting, be it Terry-Cole Whittaker, Maureen J. St. Germain, or Frank DeMarco, we all have to keep listening to our inner voice, find what feels right to us, or ask our Higher Self for guidance. If we do not, it is easy to fall victim to those who try to tell us that they know better than we do, what is true and right. There are many cults and religious fanatics out there who would love to take over our life, if we are not careful.

Remember, whatever ideas and opinions presented in our magazine The Echo World, or that you read anywhere else, only you know if they ring true and are meaningful for you. Only you know if they fit into your personal view of the World Tree.

This is a slightly edited version of my editorial in The Echo World June issue 2017. Top and bottom with courtesy of Pixabay free download. Centre image is an Ash tree in my parents garden in Sweden, taken by me: Sofia Karin Axelsson.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

FREE Meditation - A Gift for the Blood

I hope you didn't miss the article in the May issue of The Echo World by Maureen J. St. Germain:
What Is the Purpose of Blood and Why Should I Care? 

Obviously this is not your everyday subject. The blood of the human body has life-giving properties,carries fluids and removes waste. Yet there is a spiritual significance and that’s what this article is about. It’s important to be aware, and know you can do something about it – if and when you need it! ...
- Maureen J. St. Germain

You find the whole article at The Echo World digital version of the magazine, p. 24.

With it comes a FREE gift for cleansing the blood. A beautiful meditation for anyone you need may need this help. Go to: www.maureenstgermain.com/Echo/ and get your free download.

Monday, May 1, 2017

There Are Only Two Kinds of People in the World

There is a popular saying-game, especially from know-it-alls that enjoy one- liners. It goes like this:
“There are only two kinds of people in the world … ” fill in whatever you heard someone state most recently. It is probably a nice feeling to categorize the whole world’s population, and have some kind of sense that it is easy to pin everybody into two massive pigeonholes. I should know. I played the game myself. Just for fun, let’s try it out.

“There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who want nothing but to be normal, and those that want nothing but to be special.” Or how about this? “There are only two kinds of people in the world, those that are desperately trying to fit in, and those that are desperately trying to stand out.”
I think that the need to fit in is deeply rooted in our cores. We are, after all, pack animals, created for cooperation, totally dependent on each other. The fear of being thrown out of the pack is a real fear, insofar that not being part of a group can be a direct threat to our physical survival and our overall well being. I also think – reflected in myths all over the world – that the need to stand out, to be our own, to go on the hero quest and be the savior of all, is just as deeply rooted. We are basically made to evolve beyond mere everyday business. 

The fear of being different, and the need to be special, is not exclusive to people moving in areas that we sometimes refer to as alternative. But working with personal spirituality, trying to be part of creating a future-society built on more sound values, can certainly make these questions more visible. How many of our readers, as well as my spiritual friends and acquaintances, haven’t I heard over the years struggling with this issue? It’s easy to fall into loneliness, and worse, it is very tempting to fall into vanity, letting the “special,” translate into “better than.”

There’s a movie I like, since I tend to like most movies that have a mystical twist, called The Devil’s Advocate. The setup is simple. Young, upcoming, but small-town lawyer finds himself in a moral dilemma in the courtroom. He knows the man he’s representing is guilty of an awful crime, and has evidence to prove it. Will the lawyer continue to represent his client, or renounce the case? The lawyer makes the less moral choice, and suddenly his life takes of. He’s offered a position i a big-time law firm, with all the luxury and power going with it that you can think off. The man he’s working for turns out to be the Devil, brilliantly played by Al Pacino. If the young lawyer only gives the Devil his soul, he can have all he ever dreamed of. In the end, the man chooses to leave, finds himself magically back in the courtroom where he strayed off, and can make the right choice. He officially declares he cannot defend the man he knows is guilty. The courtroom goes wild. A lawyer with a conscience!? Outside the courtroom he’s approached by a journalist, who wants to feature this unique and heroic man. The lawyer accepts. The journalist turns to the camera, transforms into the Devil and says, “Vanity, my favorite sin.”

We do not have to claim that we are enlightened, or better, just because we choose a path which feels right to us. Of course there is a price to setting ourselves apart. But there are prices to everything. If we do not choose to be who we came to be, we might, for example, lose our souls.

There are only 7.5 billion kinds of people on the earth. Each unique, different from the rest, and at the same time each one of us shares similar struggles, joys and victories.

This piece was first published as the Editorial of May issue 2017 of  The Echo World

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Antidote Affirmations," FREE for Download. "Make Your Year a Good One!"

Author and practical mystic Maureen St. Germain shares a FREE gift of "Antidote Affirmations," called Make Your Year a Good One! CLICK HERE.

For those of you who have read Maureen's article How Do You Keep on When You're Tired of Trying, in The Echo World March issue 2017, knows the fascinating story of the young mother who lost all faith in herself and where her life was going. You have also read about how Maureen created Antidote Affiramtions for this woman - and about the amazing story that unraveled (For those of you who haven't read it you can find the March issue online - Maureen's article is on p.16).

Maureen is sharing these "Antidote Affirmation," FREE during all of March. They are created with a certain, powerful breathing exercise to make the most of the affirmation magic. Take part. CLICK HERE and make a change.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

When I write this I have just woken up. The moon is shining through the window, creating a path on the bedroom floor in otherworldly white – that cold moonlight that touches on blue. It’s five in the morning, and I’m waiting for coffee, as Michael is an early riser, and makes much better coffee than me. While I wait, and slowly wake up, I watch the path of the moon. I’m only halfway out of the dream-world. I come to think of a fairytale, a Norwegian folktale called “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” that I read often when I was a kid. This is a story with a Beauty and the Beast theme; it includes meetings and partings, deals and deal-breakers, and centers around a heroine whose curiosity brings the story forward, and whose persistence seals the deal. She makes a long journey to find the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon, where she can find her lover and break his curse, so that they can be together.

 Fairytales and folktales are built on the language of the magical world, the language of the spirit and the soul. I never grew out of fairytales. Instead, I simply added a somewhat more sophisticated understanding of what they tried to say, by immersing myself in symbology, mythology, dream-interpretation, Jungian psychology, and different magical systems from around the world, as well as ceremonies and rituals. All aiming to create a language to bring ourselves closer to ourselves.
The moon-path on the bedroom floor – for a brief moment – brings me to that place, the castle east of the sun and west of the moon. A place we have to go through many trials to reach, a place where our soul speaks clearly. 

There are many languages and paths to get there. They are all a life-long learning. They are all spiritual. They all contain the knowledge that there is more to life than what we see with our physical eyes and hear with our physical ears. In The Echo World we try to create a space for these voices – be they the voice of the healer or the reader of Akashic records, the persons who have chosen the road of Tantra, or astrology. We have many great voices and themes this issue: for example, Margot Anand who finds her way to enlightenment through sexual practices, Simon Hayes who works with spirit guides and energy-healing, and Steven Cardoza who works with ancient Chinese medicine. 

Most of us strive to go to that place of knowing, of feeling, of being close to soul, as much as we can in our everyday life. To find our way to the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon. To find our way to those moments when the natural world speaks to us and makes us whole, be it misty rain on our face, a warming sun or a moon-path shining on our floor early in the morning. 
I get my coffee. I’m waking up, getting ready for the day with all its fixings and dealings and sometimes tedious details and pressing deadlines. But I will try to hold on to that feeling, that language of soul, that touch of the divine, and bring some of it with me into the day. Because the castle east of the sun and west of the moon is always with us, waiting within us, and never lost. It’s only the path there we have to figure out, by being curious and persistent. Any path works. Be inspired and find one that works for you.

This text first appeared as my Editorial in The Echo World, March issue 2017.

Illustrations top and bottom by Kay Nielsen illustrations for East of the Sun West of the Moon, first published 1914. Photo middle courtesy of Pxabay - 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Idun Says - It's Spring

Idun says - It's Spring, time for rejuvenation.

Time for art - wild and bold. 

Time for stories - yet untold.

Sap is rising. 

Inspiration just started flying.

Seeds rest on the altar still.

Idun knows the secret of life: be young, be young, be young, 

(It's all in your mind.) 

and you're treasure chest will fill ...

Always open, always new. 

When fancy strikes you.

Take a practical view.

Be clear. 

No need to hesitated with nothing to loose.

Whatever happens - all you can be is you.

You are the miracle.

Ask Idun to hold your hand.

Don't fear, don't fear,

nothing can go wrong.

When you give  voice to the most precious of gifts.

Your very own song.

Photographs: "Every Goddess in every woman - Sofia Karin Axelsson as Idun."