42. BACK AGAIN

And I write this now while sitting in the cool cave-like basement of my sister’s house in Utah. I am taking refuge from the heat of the kitchen. Literally, it’s hot at 8:30 in the morning in mid-September. Mom started cooking meatballs as soon as the sun was up. Yes, meatballs. We’re having a baby shower. Doesn’t everyone have meatballs at a shower?

And it’s figuratively hot up there. My sisters and I are so different. They hate honey. I love honey. They ask me to make granola while I’m here. But it requires honey. They concede. And vanilla and cinnamon and ginger…

“Oh, no ginger!” They say.

“But you liked my granola” enough to ask me to make it again, “and I make it with ginger.”

“We liked the first batch you gave us, that last batch was too much.”

Hmmm. And I say aloud, “That’s interesting, cause my family liked that batch the best.”

“We’re your family!”

“I mean the family I created.” And I come downstairs to take refuge in my writing as I have done since I was a girl.

My sisters are much closer to one another than I am to any of them. I’ve tried over the years. I should be with them now shopping, (which I hate – to shop – not them) bonding, yet it is not my way. Really has never been. Besides it’s that Last Minute Lizzie thing. Although I must admit every gathering is a bit better. They seem more prepared or perhaps I am more tolerant.

My memories and theirs are not the same. We witnessed our lives so differently. And they have taken refuge in each other so their memories have merged. I am learning to love them where they are now. Even if I do not get a voice. That’s why they do not know me and probably I do not know them very well. Trying to separate one from the pack is hard. So when we get together I am lost.

They attend well to one another yet not to me. True we don’t have much in common. They read all the same books. They listen to same music. They all watch TV. And that’s what they like to talk about…the fiction, the rock stars, the reality shows. I can’t keep up.

So our bonding over the years has come in the form of crisis…I’m good with helping others in need. So they come for support and I try to offer wisdom, some of which they receive. And then I do not hear from them until the next crisis or family gathering, whatever comes first.

This gathering is my fault. I wanted, truly wanted, to honor my niece who is having the first baby. I said nothing, but if I want it enough, it becomes. So I was not surprised shortly after voicing my desire to Steve, I get a call from my sister. She wants to surprise her daughter with a baby shower and would like for me to come. So here I am.

Wondering how they will feel about my telling my story…

Do we really choose the family we’re born in? I do believe so…to learn soul lessons. Mine has taught me tolerance. And how to be my truth in the midst of chaos…I’m still working on this one. Because family of origin brings up your deepest darkest soul issues. Goddess, bless them.

They’re home now…I can hear their pounding footsteps above me and their loud voices…sounds like arguing but it’s not. It’s family that loves so hard to bruise. When it comes down to what’s important…our family gathers…and cooks and eats, and sticks together because blood is thicker than water. But that’s Italian…isn’t it?

Besides the sauce is off. Remember the meatballs? There’s no wine. It’s my Mormon sister’s daughter who’s having a baby. Oh, and Mom couldn’t find oregano That’s ok. My sister takes me out to her garden… “Isn’t this oregano” Yep. I snip some off and take it into the hot kitchen to help fix the sauce that will smother the meatballs that the guests will enjoy in honor of my niece. She’s having a baby! And maybe I can get some time alone with her and offer a sacred feminine blessing. I think she’ll like that…

41. FIGHTING OVER GOD

At my Mormon sister’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago, my aunt (a Buddhist married to a protestant minister) asked how the church responded to my book. She had read LoveDance® and loved it.

“Oh, we’re not part of the church anymore. Gosh, not for the past 22 years!”

“Well, that makes sense. I wondered where you got your material.”

“I dreamt it and later researched what I wrote.” I shared with her that a few months after I wrote a particularly disturbing part regarding the Essenes in Qumran (it disturbed me because I knew what the Dead Sea scholars thought they found and what I “saw” and wrote was very different), my rabbi friend called me up to tell me archeologist had just discovered evidence of what I wrote.

Apparently, when one of us remembers the past it opens the doorway for the truth to be discovered. It’s like how inventors are often working on the same inventions at the same time. Archeologists are always surprised to find modern technology in ancient ruins. I believe it’s because we think we’re the only ones. The only ones who know the truth.

Which is why so many religions believe that their way is the only way to get to heaven. And why there are so many jokes about who you’ll find in heaven. And why there are so many wars.
When we were in the Vatican, Steve said “Wars are seeded in religious conflict”. Including, I think, the Church of the Golden Coins. Because most wars bring the victors much wealth. Except the last one…

9/11 was the beginning of the end for many of us. The moment the towers were hit, I felt it. Although I didn’t know until my mother called a few minutes later what had happened. I couldn’t tell her what I felt. Nor anyone for a very long time. But I felt…great relief.

Like finally the birth waters had burst. The pressure was on. Time to push. It felt like the birth of the New Earth was finally eminent and that was such a great relief. Everyone was frantic of course. We hooked up our cable just to be a part of the tragedy. For days, we watched with the rest of the world. Finally, my daughter said enough. “Let’s turn it off, Mommy. We aren’t helping them by watching. Maybe we should send white light?” I heartily agreed.

Something happened to us on September 11th 2001. I wrote this poem the day after…

The Commencement

After all the tragedy, how will we react
Will we sit in fear, anticipating
Or will we allow the opening of our hearts
Letting this event move us beyond

Dear ones just on the other side of the veil
Watching us, wondering if their sacrifice be in vain
Will we face the challenge with love
Or will we lash out in fear

We have reached the fork in the road
Which path will humanity choose
As the leader of the free world
They are looking to us to choose wisely

No longer the time of Solomon,
Although biblical tales true for then
Yet an eye for an eye, a warrior’s cry
Be not the best choice for our souls’ sake

We are our own enemy
Not good against evil
But a gracious opportunity
To find a way to heal

Dark and light are both of the One
Let go of judgment, let go of fear
Live in love and enjoy this life
Live in fear and repeat the cycle

React as the male warrior
And we take a step back
React with feminine compassion
And we move into the next dimension

It’s time to change, it’s time to love
Release the United States and be a United World
Una faza, una raza, one face, one race
For we are each a facet of the One

Even those who appear to be dark players
On the stage of life, we cannot all be heroes
Some of us offered to play the villains
So the rest could learn about love

Thank the players, wish them well,
Our karmic cycles to end
If we release fear, once and for all
Never again will we have to play dark parts

911 was an emergency call
A call to arms, not weapons
But a linking of arms, a holding of hands
Uniting us in a circle of love

Joined together as one being,
No one richer, no one poorer
Children living with conscious adults
Free from fear, surrounded by love

It’s time to make our choice
Choose to evolve the collective human soul
To be in a higher dimension of awareness
Embrace the commencement of the age of compassion

Perhaps I was ten years before my time. That is not unusual for me. But I do see a shift in our reality. I see hope. I see change. I see that we have evolved. This last war (and I pray it is our last!) brought us transformation. And that’s better than gold.

When only one of us realizes our light, we illuminate our world. That is my hope. That by shining my light into your world, you find your own divine light. It matters not what you call your god…for all is of the One…and it is all Divine.

40. A HERETIC IN THE VATICAN

And then I dreamt I was Mary Magdalen. And ten days later we were in Rome. Oh, not because the archdiocese found out about my visions…because it was our 20th anniversary trip to Italy.

Our first European trip was right after 911…but that’s another story. Maybe later.

We began in Rome and on the second day visited the Vatican. Imagine this. Me — educated in scientific theorem, left brained, mathematical, logical, yet trusting my intuition implicitly with a lifetime of prophetic dreams — ascending the winding staircase leading to the Sistine Chapel. The energy of the art overwhelms me. Emotion drips from the frescoes. I can hardly breathe. A guard takes notice and gently guides me to an open window. I take gasping breaths of fresh air. “Not everyone is so sensitive.” He nods towards the herd of people peering at the art like they are visiting the zoo. Apparently not.

Torn between visions of the past and the present hustle and bustle of this iconic museum, I realize viscerally how the sacred feminine was lost. I knew, yet didn’t have gnosis, of this loss until I walked the ancient streets with my husband in form and Yeshua in spirit. Behind a covey of nuns, I say silently. “They believe they’re married to you.” And I hear, Not Yeshua the man, but the mythical Christ.

Before entering St Peter’s square, I hesitate. Yeshua’s presence is so palpable even Steve perceives it. “Come on, you two! I bought the tickets and we are going in!”

It costs a little to view history, the religious relics. It cost a lot to be reminded of a past not completely told. And to have Her side of history flooding my memory.

Grateful to openly discuss my visions with Steve, yet feeling a little schizophrenic with the aliveness of this other reality. The voices, the images, the feelings, I am in between the worlds – Yeshua, angels, facets of god brought more vividly to life in the ancient city.

September 27, 2003

In the wee morning hours I am awakened from a dream in which I, as Deborah, am laying my hands on Mary Magdalen who is laying her hands on me blessing one another as goddesses unto eternity. Then all energies merge into one essence. I lay face down on the bed flattened out by the sheer power of the dream with Yeshua comforting me, whispering, I am she, I am the goddess. I know the secret of manifestation, I know joy. I am joy as is the hummingbird. I taste all of the nectar in life.

Then as I turn onto my back, my hands clasped in prayer, I am guided by the angel Gabriel, who I recognize as the one who escorted me as Mary into my womb to share the forgotten secrets of womanhood. Then Archangel Michael speaks from my right, reminded me that I also have been escorted from darkness by Archangel Lucifer (known as Uriel in Hebrew or God’s light) who smiles at me from my left and delivers me back to myself, back to the One. Then I feel Angel Raphael as the muse behind me fueling my spirit, challenging me to reveal myself to the world. Yeshua speaks, then I hear for the first time the Father above me, the Mother on my left, Yeshua at my right hand as I am his left.

The Father speaks- I am beloved, he has never forsaken me, I will remember all but for now I am to live in the eternal now blending past and present into a glorious future. I can see the glory of my relationship with Steve, as my beloved husband, and Kyra with her joyful goddess energy as a reflection of my own, and Jarys coming into the world manifesting a blend of masculine and feminine energies as an experiment to know himself as god. All my worries are lifted. I am asked to open my heart and to open my arms and invite in abundance. I am reassured that I will be and have been protected and held in the bosom of the One, for I am the joy and he/she/it/the beloved is well pleased.

I breathe in Yeshua, the son, the lover, my friend, and the Mother and the Father. I am whole and I am holy. I am asked to release from my heart all that I believe have forsaken me, then bless them with peace, love, joy and comfort, re-invite them back as whole and accept the abundance and forgiveness for myself and for all. I am freed from all bonds. Even my bulimia is revealed unto me as the false judgment of self not deserving love or abundance. Since the 16th it has been over. I am free and this trip is to be enjoyed with Steve in the eternal Now.

Time is not a line but a spiral circling back and forth weaving in and out of the now. My Italian experience removed layers of history, revealing to me my own truth. I knew for the first time myself as an embodiment of the goddess. Growing up with the patriarchal judgment I saw mirrored in the world, I used the son energies of reasoning and academia to survive – as I spent most of my early life being the scientist, exploring the masculine aspect of self. At 42 I found myself being born again as a sacred feminine embodiment of emotion, my power lies in the creative energies as I manifest beauty and love in my life. Finally, I was free to be the divine daughter filled with passion, emotion and love, infused in relationship to all that is, with people, plants, animals, angels, souls past and present. A bridge to reunite the mind, body, spirit with Love.

September 29, 2003

More comes in clearly during the emotional experience of exploring the museums. The renaissance and medieval buildings are enough to inspire a passionate awakening. The art pulls at my heart strings. The depictions of Christ as a mythical being rather than a man. I just feel that they got it wrong! Yet who am I to enlighten them.

While in Italy, I dreamt of attending a conference where I share with a huge audience how to become consciously connected by highlighting exactly what happened to me. I realized that I would someday share my revelation with the world, yet the novel came first and changed my writing style increasing my inter-dimensional connections creating such an awakening that I would no longer write academically but intimately.

October 7, 2003

My life will be written from my perspective now as well as my life as Mary. Which is fact and which is fiction? They are both my realities.

39. IN THE BEGINNING I WAS CATHOLIC

I was born Roman Catholic. My mother is full blooded Italian. My father is Heinz 57—a blend of English, Irish, Welsh, and maybe a little African because us girls got our bottoms from somewhere more exotic. And there is that old photo of my great-great-great grandparents with seven or eight children and one is black. Who knows?

So we were Catholic. Well, all except Dad. He wasn’t anything of the religious persuasion. Dad believes in what is right in front of him. Not a spiritual person, but his doubt allowed me at least to be open to other possibilities. He wonders why I am so different than my sisters. I believe it was a combination of my mother’s faith and his doubt.

Mom and Dad eloped in March of 1960. She thought she was pregnant with me. She wasn’t. I came the next year. She feels she cheated herself out of a big Italian wedding, but she did get Dad to the local priest. And he took lessons so they could be married in the church. By that time she WAS pregnant with me—very, very pregnant. She tells the story that the priest liked to imbibe and in his drunken state whispered to Dad that he didn’t have to go through with this to which Mom exclaimed, “Father, I’m the Catholic!”

Philadelphia, 1961

So we were all duly christened. I still have my tiny christening gown. And I went to catechism. I loved school, so the classes were nice enough. The church was very pretty. Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A lovely statue of the Virgin Mary all dressed in light blue graced the church. She was very pretty and her baby—Jesus—was very sweet. I loved dressing up in my frilly frocks, hats and gloves and on special holidays, I had a little purse. And every mass, we would get up and down and up and down while the priest chanted in Latin, and then there would be a special moment when all the adults and the big kids got up and reverently made their way to the front of the church and then the priest would give them a cookie!

I really wanted to be part of the church. And you had to learn about being Catholic in order to partake in holy communion. That’s what they called the cookie. I found out later it was a wafer-thin cracker that tasted like sour grape juice and stuck to roof of your mouth if you tried to talk which was why you had to be quiet.

The nuns were very strict. And they didn’t like me asking questions.

“Why do I need to be bad in order to talk to the priest?” I was having trouble figuring out what I was going to confess.
“Why does the priest have to talk to God for me?” I talked to God directly and He talked to me. And the one they called His Son, well, he was my playmate.

But in order to partake in your first communion, you had to go to confession, which meant you had to tell the priest something you did wrong. I wracked my little brain for something. Then right before my first confession, I did it. I was bad. I gave my little sister less than half of the cookie I had saved from Brownies. I did it on purpose which is a greater sin, but I had to tell that priest something!

Finally, I got to receive holy communion. And Mommy was so happy and my grandparents made such a fuss. And then I don’t remember going to church too often after that. Just Easter and Christmas.

It was because of Dad. He didn’t like us to be away so long every Sunday. That was his day with us and he wasn’t going to share us with God. By the time, we were teenagers, he wasn’t so possessive as long as church didn’t interfere with dinner and especially Monday night football. Which was a bit of a problem for us as Mormons because Monday night is Family Home Evening and it’s hard to have lessons with the TV blaring. It was harder on us to be Mormon than Catholic. It’s not just because Catholics understand football. It’s because Mormons feel sorry for a family without the priesthood in the house. And Dad wasn’t joining!

Mom was a joiner. She loved community in any form and the Catholic Church provided community for its parishioners. And when we could no longer go to mass easily (we moved even farther from church when I was in sixth grade) the Mormon church provided the community she desired. Plus she wasn’t letting her daughters alone with those darn missionaries—law of chastity or not!

38. LEAVING THE CHURCH

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Judgment made me leave the church. It happened about nine years after baptism. I was in grad school, commuting to UCLA three days a week for class and to work the weekend night shifts at the medical center. Steve was a police officer for the city of Santa Barbara. We lived in Ventura. We didn’t get to see much of each other…working opposite shifts to be home with our two-year-old son.

I asked my husband how he felt about my becoming a nurse practitioner. With a master’s degree as an advanced practice nurse, I would be out earning him. And our school counselors had been counseling the grad students on the possibility of marital instability. Steve wasn’t very communicative then.

It was stressful. We had been together for eight years…never having explored any other possibilities…just following my plan. College, marriage, house, baby…in that order. Now grad school, a career shift, then another baby…too planned. Too idealistic. My fairytale life needed to get a reality check. Right before the semester started I knew we needed a break.

So we agreed to keep our son at the condo. I would stay with Steve’s Gran who lived closer to UCLA when he was with Jarys and he would rent a room in Santa Barbara when I was with Jarys. Because of our shift work, we still needed childcare. The next morning, I brought Jarys to the sitter—a nice lady from the Mormon church who ran a home daycare. When I announced the change in our schedules, she promptly handed my son back to me. “I won’t be party to adultery.”

I was shocked. Granted I had taken off my wedding ring and we had agreed that whatever happened during this “break” would be a learning experience for both of us. But we hadn’t done anything yet. I asked if she could recommend anyone else to watch my son. She couldn’t recommend anyone outside of the church.

That was it. My last moment of being Mormon. Without the church to depend on,
then what?

Feeling very much lost, I took Jarys with me to class. He was very good. My professors were understanding. And thankfully, his great grandmother was delighted to have him. When Steve needed to work, my father was the one we depended on. He had just moved to Ventura. We were back to depending on family. And Jarys. Well, he still remembers those great times he spent with his grandparents!

37. BEING MORMON

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Yes, I was Mormon as a teenager. And yes, we were married in the Mormon temple. And my friend’s family was Mormon. And one of my sisters is still Mormon.

Being Mormon was my idea. It least that’s how I remember it. Going into high school was difficult enough, but having to watch over my sisters, well, that was nearly impossible. The only church at the time with an active youth group was Mormon. And they preached no alcohol, no drugs, no sex before marriage. Great! If I could figure out how to get my sisters into that Mormon youth group, well, they would be a better influence than the influence of the sex, drugs and rock and roll crowd.

So I invited the Mormon missionaries to the house. It was a no-brainer. They were handsome young men in suits. My sisters were 11 and 13 and very fond of handsome young men. And one was IN LOVE with Donny Osmond. Her side of the room was purple and plastered with the teen idol. Like I said…a no-brainer.

And we were baptized. Me, my three sisters, and my mother. My father thought we were nuts. He hadn’t succumbed to the Catholic pressure and now we were switching teams. My mother joined to keep an eye on us. Well, she didn’t just join, she kind of took over. Led the young woman’s group…really, kept her eye on us.

And it worked! No one got pregnant before marriage. No one got in trouble with drugs or alcohol and not with the law. And I no longer had to be the shepherdess of my sisters. Thank goodness.

Now being a good student, I took Mormonism seriously at the time. I read the book of Mormon, their Doctrines and Covenants, and the bible (for the first time, since Catholics don’t have bibles, at least we didn’t).

The good thing about being Mormon was the sisterhood. The bad thing was the patriarchy.

I had the same issue with Mormonism as I had with Catholicism. I needed no man to intervene on my behalf. Why couldn’t women hold the priesthood? At that time, black men couldn’t hold the priesthood either. Which wasn’t fair in my eyes, rather prejudice, I felt. I’m not sure why, something to do with Jesus being white…but I knew that was wrong…cause in spite of their pictures…Jesus was brown, way darker than any of us. At least the Jesus who had been visiting me since I was little was really dark.

Oh, and another thing about Mormonism. I didn’t believe in the whole save yourself for marriage thing. I saved myself for my soul mate. Once I found him, well, we were sixteen and seventeen, spilling over with hormones, and we loved each other. I was saved…by love. My torturer was anorexia and reconnecting to love saved me. Thank God for Steve!

But I still wanted to get married in the temple. Why? Because I liked the idea of being sealed for eternity. It seemed like we had searched forever to find each other. Perhaps a sacred marriage ceremony would insure we wouldn’t get separated again.

So Steve joined the Mormon church. As he says, “I wanted you. And would do anything to make you happy.’ And that’s what I thought would make me happy at the time.

The church felt like we had community. And then we moved away. But being Mormon meant instant community wherever you are. So we found a stake center. That’s what Mormons call the place they meet. Mormon temples are for sacred ceremonies like marriages and baptisms for the dead. Yes, the dead are baptized and then married. That’s why the Mormons are so into genealogy…to find their ancestors and seal them all into one great big Mormon heaven. Now that’s how I remember being Mormon.

36. THIS IS NOT MY GOD

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

In the summer of 2002 as our eldest prepared for college, our daughter prepared to enter high school. She had some heavy reading assignments for her honors English class. Fortunately, our eldest was an avid reader of the classics so we had the books she needed. One on Greek and Roman mythology and the other, a King James version of the Bible.

And Jarys had read them both as well the Wiccan handbook, books on Native American spirituality, books on Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, well, pretty much all the theological books in our library.
Unlike her sibling, Kyra was not much of a reader, but she had no trouble with the mythology. Yet halfway through the book of Genesis, she stated, “This is not my God!”

“What do you mean?” I asked, serving dinner.

“The god in this book is a very mean and judgmental god. I like the Greek gods better.”

Jarys tried to explain that the reason her teacher had assigned this reading material is that these works have greatly influenced western civilization.

“No one believes in the Greek and Roman gods anymore, but who believes in this god?” She held up the bible.

“Christians and the part you’re reading is also in the Jewish scriptures.” Her sibling explained. “Just think of it as a story book. At the end of the Christian version, there’s a tragic hero.”

“What happens?”

“He’s killed.”

Now she was getting upset. “That’s how this ends? I hate stories with sad endings.

“Oh, there’s a sequel. He’s supposed to come back and save all the people who believe in him.”

“Come back. You mean reincarnated?”

Jarys laughed. “Oh no, there’s no reincarnation in that book. That’s Buddhism and Hinduism.”

She shook her head sadly, “I don’t get it. Why are there so many religions?”

“Because there are so many different cultures and each has a different way to explain life and death.”

She nodded. “You’re going to make a good teacher, Jarys.”

“Thanks.” They said and buried their head in a book.