ANIMAL SPIRIT GUARDIANS

animal familiarsFolklore and fairy tales are full of stories about mysterious animals. Shamans all over the world have always called on power animals to guide them through the other realms. Witches and cunning folk were said to have helpful familiars such as cats or toads. Many traditions speak of both humans and deities who shape-shift into animals.

So it’s not entirely surprising to hear about people’s strange animal encounters. Although sometimes startling, these experiences are generally positive. They may happen for all kinds of different reasons. The following three accounts show how animals have acted as unexpected guardians.   

MEG: A load of timber I had delivered brought two rats into the house. They were huge, and they scared me. I lay awake for four nights listening to them bashing about in the kitchen. In the end, I reluctantly set a trap. Next morning, one of them was dead in it. I cried, and couldn’t do the same for the other one. Instead, I prayed, pleading for it to leave.

Suddenly, a cat from my childhood appeared at the window, which was quite high off the ground. Ignoring me, it quietly walked past me into the kitchen. After a scuffle in there, the cat walked back past me and out the window. I never saw the cat or the rat again.

LIBBY: I once rescued an Alsatian dog, and called him King. He’s gone to spirit now – Spirit-Animal-guidebut whenever things are against me, he comes back and sleeps on my bed. I know it’s him because he always slept on my bed, and would turn round three times before flopping down. 

When my boss at work was trying to sack me, King stayed with me every night. Eventually that boss left because he didn’t like the new company that took over. So I kept my job. It was a difficult time, and I’m sure my dog came back to see me through it.                          

JOE: I once worked with a band in Beirut. Near the end of that contract, we still had no idea where our agent had booked us next. I asked spirit for a sign. Then every time I meditated, all I got was a huge dog, looking up at me and wagging its tail. Next thing we heard that we’d been booked into Tehran. 

The first evening, I went on to the balcony of our first floor flat, and looked down into the street. There, smiling up at me was a huge dog. It was identical to the one in my meditations. I went down to pet it. It put its feet on my shoulders and welcomed me with big licks.

Next morning, the dog brought the rest of the desert pack with it – about a dozen dogs, all huge, and spirit animalsjust as welcoming. At the time the Shah still ruled. The people hated westerners and sometimes attacked them, so the streets were dangerous for us. The club where we worked was ten minutes’ walk away. But every evening, this pack of wild dogs escorted us there. People were afraid of them, and crossed the road to avoid us. I think that dog came in answer to my uncertainty about what was coming next.                  

Many people have felt a psychic connection to animals. You’re most welcome to share your own experiences in the comments section, or more privately via my website contact page: www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.uk

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FAMOUS DREAMS

Some dreams are so important they have changed the world. Surprisingly, dreams dc11have inspired several scientific discoveries and inventions.   About a century ago, the Danish physicist Neils Bohr was trying to figure out the structure of the atom. One night he dreamed that atoms were like solar systems. The nucleus was the sun, with electrons spinning round it. After some thorough testing, he found that the dream was right. This discovery won him the Nobel Prize, and he is now known as the father of quantum mechanics.

Sewing machines have transformed everything about clothing in our world. Yet without a dream, they may never have existed. American inventor Elias Howe was puzzling over the first problem – where to place the eye of the needle. Then one night he dreamed that he was in a savage country. The king commanded him to invent a sewing machine in 24 hours. If he didn’t, he would be executed.

hqdefaultIn the dream, he failed to do this, and his time ran out. Soldiers came to take him to his place of execution. Walking between them, he suddenly noticed that their spears had little holes near the pointed end. That was his eureka moment. He immediately woke up at 4.00 am, and set to work. By 9.00 am the first sewing machine was born.

African-American Madame CJ Walker became a millionaire because of a dream. It began when she got a scalp infection that made her hair fall out. In desperation, she prayed for a solution. An angelic looking man came to her in a dream. He showed her the specific ingredients to use for the problem. When she tried out the mixture, it worked. She started selling it as a product, and became the first female self-made millionaire in America.

einsteins-dreamsThere are many more examples like this. Einstein’s revolutionary theories, the discovery of insulin for diabetes, and even the invention of Google all came from dreams. There are probably many more that people haven’t made public.     

Dreams have also inspired the arts. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote to support his family. One day he was desperately trying to think of a new story to keep the wolf from the door. That night he had a dream about Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. The publication of that tale finally established him as a successful writer.

The story of Frankenstein also came from a dream. Mary Shelley was the wife of the famous poet. While the couple were on holiday with Lord Byron in Geneva, they had a light hearted competition to see who could come up with the best horror story. That night Mary had a dream about the creation of Frankenstein. The story not only won her the little competition – it went on to become an all-time classic.  

The tune of the Beatles’ mega-hit ‘Yesterday’ came to Paul McCartney in a dream. beatlesHe first made completely sure that he hadn’t somehow picked up someone else’s work. Then he and John Lennon struggled to find words for it. In the meantime, they called it ‘scrambled eggs’. One day Paul woke up knowing ‘yesterday’ was the answer. The idea was perfect for the poignant tune, which became one of their most popular songs.   

Have you ever had an inspiring dream? You’re most welcome to share it in the comments, or more privately through my website contact page: www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.uk

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THE LAST WITCH

cat and candleThe last British person ever imprisoned for witchcraft wasn’t even a witch. She was Helen Duncan, a spiritualist medium. Her mission was to pass on messages from departed loved ones to their families. This was a great comfort to people, especially during the Second World War, when her psychic stage presentations were hugely popular.

At one of these events in 1941, Helen received a message from a sailor. He said he’d died on the HMS Barham when a German U boat sunk it. He just wanted his family to know that he was alive and well in the spirit world.

However, the sinking of the Barham was meant to be top secret. The government wanted to hide that information from the enemy, and not create despondency at home. They were also secretly planning the D Day landings in Normandy. If one word about that got out, it could have been disastrous. Fearing what other secrets Helen Duncan might let out, they arrested her for spying.

When that charge didn’t stick, they dusted off the Witchcraft Act of 1735. This made it illegal to claim magical powers, or to accuse anyone of being a witch. At the time, it was an enlightened step forward from the old days of witch hunting.

Under this law, they sentenced Helen Duncan to nine months in Holloway Prison. Helen Duncan 1This outraged many, including some top legal people. Chief among her allies was Winston Churchill, who called her imprisonment ‘obsolete tomfoolery’.

Churchill was no stranger to the mystical side of life. He was a lifetime member of churchill ecapingthe Grand Order of Druids. As a British soldier in the Boer War he was captured, but subsequently escaped. While on the run, he said ‘some form of mental planchette’ guided him to the only house that would help him.

In the Second World War, he conferred with the Glastonbury mystic Wellesley Tudor Pole to come up with the idea of the Silent Minute. For the rest of the war, for one minute at 9.00 pm every night, the country went silent and focused on peace. One German general called this Britain’s secret weapon.

In prison, Helen’s cell door was never locked. She gave free readings for a constant stream of inmates and warders alike. Sources close to her said Churchill himself visited her, with a promise to make amends for this injustice.

As Home Secretary in 1951, Churchill’s only major legislation was to abolish the 1735 Witchcraft Act. It became the softer Fraudulent Mediums Act, which ruled that making money from magic was illegal except as entertainment.

greenmanThis opened the door to significant developments that have shaped the world we now live in. In 1954, the Spiritualist Church was recognised as a religion. In the same year, Gerald Gardner published his best-selling book ‘Witchcraft Today’, refuting the stereotype of witches as evil old hags on broomsticks. He said Wicca was primarily a peaceful way of honouring nature through seasonal rituals. Many people liked the sound of this, and Gardnerian witchcraft spread rapidly.

In 2000, Paganism was recognised as an official religion. Paganism honours the spirituality of nature, and is a broad umbrella that includes many sub-groups such as Wicca, Shamanism and Druidry. A 2011 census revealed that Paganism is now the fastest growing religion in Britain. Many other therapies, philosophies and practices that we now take for granted could also never have emerged under the old witchcraft law.

Controversy still hangs around Helen Duncan, like the old-fashioned ectoplasm she was said to produce. Whether that was real or not, her message about the sinking of the Barham was factual enough to rattle the establishment. Perhaps her most powerful magic was the higher purpose of the drama she went through. Without that, we might have been living in a very different world today.

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A HEALING EXPERIENCE

lavender candlesA friend who’s done Spiritual Healing for decades told me about the different levels of training he had. He first had to sense problems through feeling heat in his hands when they hovered over an afflicted area. Next was to see the issues clairvoyantly, with images that came into his mind. Then came learning to feel others’ pains in his own body.

For him, the final step was the toughest: learning to sense people’s problems through a direct inner knowing. He found it so hard to trust that in himself, he nearly gave up altogether. Then came the following experience:

“One evening, when things were a bit slow at the healing sanctuary, I sat next to a man who had been sitting at the edge of the room for most of the evening. He ignored me and carried on inspecting his fingernails.

‘Have you come for healing?’ I asked, thinking that perhaps he was too embarrassed to come forward.

‘Me?’ he laughed, ‘No way. I’m with the missus. She’s come for some. I don’t need it. I think you’re all a load of charlatans. I wouldn’t waste my time with you.’

So I began to chat with him about football. He relaxed, and started discussing the local team. As he talked, I became convinced that he did have a serious physical problem. I said, ‘I know you said there’s nothing wrong with you, but I have a strong feeling that there is.’

He shrugged, ‘Oh, it’s nothing really. I just have no feeling in my right knee.’  He pinched it hard. ‘See, it’s dead. Don’t feel a thing. Not felt anything there for ages.’

hands3‘Okay’, I said, ‘I’ll tell you what I’ll do, but just say so if you object. I’ll put my fingers together like this.’ I showed him my fingers formed into a small circle, the tips touching each other. ‘I’ll put them close to your knee. I won’t even touch you, and we’ll carry on talking about football.’

 After we’d carried on chatting for a few minutes, I suddenly had a clear realisation.

‘You know, the problem you have is not with your knee. It originates in your hip. So I’m just going to shift my hand up to your hip.’

‘That’s funny,’ he said, ‘I went to the hospital today and they said just that. The problem is in the hip.’

I didn’t say so, but I also knew that the problem came from stress he’d been through about his son.

Shortly after this, his wife returned to him, ready to leave. He pinched his knee again and said, ‘See. It’s still dead. You’re all charlatans.’  He took his wife by the hand and marched out.

I thought that would be the last we’d hear of him – but next morning he phoned us. ‘This morning, when I woke, I pinched my knee and, for the first time for years, it hurt! I’ve got feeling back in my knee!’

This was not only a turning point for the skeptical man – it was also a big moment for my friend. It gave him the confirmation he needed that his healing skills were real, and he was on the right path.  

Experiences like this are more common than people think. If you’d like to share your own, you’re welcome to contact me at: www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.ukdouble 1

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MYSTERIES OF THE INNER EARTH

This article was first published in my ‘Tales From the Other Side’ column in Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine.

THE STRANGE GREEN CHILDREN

depiction-of-the-Green-Children-of-WoolpitIn the Suffolk village of Woolpit in the 1300s, farm workers found two weird children in a deep hole the villagers had dug to trap wolves – hence the village name ‘Woolpit’. A boy and a girl, their skin was green, and they spoke an unknown language.

Sir Richard De Calne took them in. They refused all food till they discovered green broad beans, which was all they’d eat for a while. The boy soon became depressed, sickened and died. The girl survived once she started eating other foods. Over time, she learned enough English to talk a bit about her home world.

She said her people all had a green skin like her own. They lived in a place of permanent twilight, with no sun. One day she and the boy heard lovely bells coming from a cavern. They explored it for a long way, and emerged into our world.

The heat and brightness of our sun immediately overwhelmed them, and they collapsed. Later, the noise of the harvesters frightened them. In a panic, they tried to go back where they’d come from, but got lost and fell into the wolf pit.       

As the girl grew up, the villagers noticed that she was rather ‘loose and wanton’. However, she adjusted to her new world enough to marry a man from King’s Lynn.

Two green children also appeared in a cave in Banjos, Spain in August 1887. They too said they came from a place of twilight, and refused all food at first. The boy died quite soon and the girl survived for only five years.  

Theories about the Woolpit children say they might have been confused Flemish immigrants, a folk tale, ETs, or normal children with arsenic poisoning. The most common idea is that they came from an underground world.

THE HIDDEN INNER EARTH

Tales have long been told of huge systems of underground tunnels lacing their way through the planet. Legends about secret underworlds come from Crete, Egypt, Tibet, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Himalayas, the Gobi Desert and Turkey.

Apache folklore says their tribe came from Canada, and before that, the inner earth. Sacred sites in the Andes are rumoured to be access points to vast underground cities.

Teotihuacan_Pyramid_of_the_Moon-580x210In 2003, Mexican archaeologist Segio Gomez discovered a hidden tunnel under the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent in Teotihuacan. Years earlier, the Jesuit chronicler Agnelio Oliva said an old Incan told him the real Tiahuanaco was a subterranean city, much vaster than the one above ground.

Legends of the Macuzi Indians from the Amazonian jungle maintain that they are peru_inca3the guardians of the inner earth. They know its secret entrances, and guard them from strangers. Now and then, intrepid British explorers sometimes set off to find out more about that – and are never seen again.

NEW DISCOVERIES

Scientist Edmund Halley (1656 – 1742) said the earth’s magnetic field has anomalies that could only be caused by a hollow sphere within the earth.

In 2011, a German archaeologist, Dr.Heinrich Kusch, published a book about his discovery of a massive network of Neolithic tunnels running between Turkey and Scotland. Ancient writings say these tunnels were the gateway to the underworld. Early Christian chapels blocked many of those entrances.

Cappadocia - Kaymakli Underground CityBoth here and in Europe, archaeologists have found cave paintings of animals in caves so deep that primitive people could never have got there. The experts have yet to find any signs of ancient settlements near those paintings.     

Like many strange things we hear, tales about green children and the inner earth can sound absurd until we look at the evidence. While the jury is still out about these things, in the meantime a bit of digging can unearth all kinds of unexpected findings.    

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ORBS OF LIGHT

This is a longer version of the article from my regular column ‘Tales from the Other Side’ for Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine.

One dark, autumnal evening, a friend and I were walking home after a meeting in town. We lived in a shared house at the top of Wearyall Hill in Glastonbury.     

As we reached the top of the hill, a glowing green sphere of light flew over our greenorbheads from behind us. About the size of a football, it hovered in front of us at eye level about ten feet away. It gave out a friendly, happy feeling, as if it was playfully saying ‘hello!’ After a few moments, it vanished with a slight pop.

We turned to each other wide eyed and gasping, ‘did you see that?!’ Once indoors, we were bubbling over about it. Someone suggested we go into separate rooms and write a detailed account of what we saw. That made it clear we’d both seen exactly the same thing. But for us, no proof was necessary. We knew it was real.

In his Earth Lights books, Paul Devereux theorises that orbs of light may come from natural geographic and atmospheric effects. However, he does also say that they “often appear to possess minds of their own, and respond to human thought in an almost playful manner.”

willo

Long ago, English people called orbs of light will-o-the-wisps or fairy lights. Legends about them come from all over the world. Most cultures think they could be fae beings, witches or spirits of the dead. Some folklore said they showed people the way to hidden treasure. More often, they were feared as dangerous tricksters. Following them could mean death by drowning in a swamp or getting lost in the forest.

These days more positive stories about orbs are emerging. When Sue (not her real name) moved to Glastonbury, she enjoyed the therapies, talks and workshops here. Then a high-flying friend from her earlier life came to visit. While chatting in the garden, she poured cold water over Sue’s new joys. Glumly, Sue began to agree with her. Just then, mysterious little white lights floated out of a tall tree. They were both spellbound, and the cynicism crept quietly away.

When crop circles started appearing, researchers sat up all night watching the fields in the hope of catching a formation being made. Those vigils were notoriously unsuccessful, except for one effect – the appearance of orbs of light.

In his book The Circle Makers, Andrew Collins says, ‘Many earth lights, shining spheres and blatant UFOs have been reported either during or after the formation of crop circles, some in broad daylight’.

a_avebury-sunset-bannerPeople also saw orbs around Avebury and Silbury Hill well before the first crop formations appeared. In Avebury in 1978, Heather Peak-Garland took her dog for a walk at 10.00 pm. When she reached the ancient stones, she saw a huge yellow ball of light. At first, she thought it was the full moon. Then she realised it was much closer than that, and was drifting gently along. Once inside the stone circle, it stopped. Then, just like the green one that I saw, it blinked out.

The crop circle connection is strong, however. In 1990, photographer Steve Alexander was taking pictures from a helicopter of two new formations near Milk Hill in Wiltshire. Then he noticed a shiny ball of light flitting around a nearby field. Wondering what it could be, he followed it with his video camera. He noticed that a tractor working in that field stopped when the orb got near it.  

crop-circle-mayan-1The tractor driver later told Steve he’d seen a sphere of light as big as a beach ball floating overhead. As it passed over him, his engine cut out. He’d had no idea that Steve was filming him. When he told his boss and friends about this experience, they just laughed at him.

A full account and video of this event is at this link: http://temporarytemples.co.uk/what-are-crop-circles/the-milk-hill-ufo-footage

In 1996, the plot thickened when a large crop circle appeared near the iron-age hill fort called Oliver’s Castle, near Devizes. Next day, a young man called John Wheyleigh pitched up at the social mecca of the croppie world – the Barge Inn, near Alton Barnes. He announced that he’d just filmed two orbs of light making that formation. You can see his film at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcLcnrpxmUg 

John let everyone take copies of his film to circulate freely among the The-Barge-Inn-on-the-Canalcommunity. Technicians analysed the film and declared it free of fakery. No one in the croppie world had ever got anything as good as this. They decided it was too good to be true, and had to be a fake.  

John Wheyleigh then disappeared. A year later, someone calling himself John Wabe appeared on the scene. He said he was the real John Wheyleigh, and that he’d faked the whole thing. However, after some careful investigation, his claim turned out to be nonsense. By then, the croppie world was rife with rumours and speculation about what was really going on.  

Blithely unaffected by any of that, the orbs continue to float around us in ever-increasing numbers. Many people are now seeing them in their homes and gardens. They seem happy to be around us. Perhaps they are here simply to lighten us up – and have some fun creating mysteries along the way.

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FINDING YOUR PATH

One of our biggest questions is, ‘what is the purpose of my life?’ Just asking that can labyrinthhelp – but the answers may not arrive in a neat little package. If we’re destined to move onto a particular path, it usually unfolds in its own way and at the right time in our lives. However, that way may be unexpected, and sometimes even difficult.

This is because the purpose we choose before incarnating is never solely about helping others or the world in some way. It will also involve healing or overcoming whatever personal issue we’ve chosen to sort out in this life. That is why answers to the question ‘what is my purpose’ sometimes only become clear after emerging from a life-changing experience. 

The famous mystical author Dion Fortune went through a gruelling initiation onto her destined path. Still under her birth name of Violet Firth, she began her working life as a teacher in a small school that was dominated by the headmistress from hell.

This person’s unjust and arrogant ways enraged the young woman. Those who knew the danger warned her to avoid confrontation, and instead to just quietly leave the school. Ignoring this, she marched into the head’s office and spoke her mind about everything that had been going on.

B_DionShe had unwittingly walked straight into a trap. The head teacher hypnotically brainwashed her for hours with monotonously repeated statements about how inadequate and inferior she was. The attack was successful. Violet’s spirit was crushed, and it took her a few years to recover.

In the process, however, she began to study psychology and the occult powers of the mind. Under her new name of Dion Fortune, she spent the rest of her life teaching those subjects, and became the renowned author we know today.  

Dr.Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy and the Steiner schools, began life in a poor Austrian family. One day in his childhood, he was sitting in a station waiting room. A woman came in who looked a bit like his parents. She stood in the middle of the room, made some strange gestures, and said, “try to help me if you can – now and later on”. Then she walked through the ancient stove and disappeared.

Little Rudolf didn’t tell his parents about this because they were Catholic, and he RS bookfeared their reaction. Over the next few days, however, he noticed that his father seemed sad. He later found out that a female relative had committed suicide at exactly the time her spirit contacted him in the waiting room.

That was how Dr.Steiner’s spiritual path began. In his lectures, he often mentioned this incident, saying from that time on a soul life began to develop in him. It was the start of his future role as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the early twentieth century.

In the 1970s, Dr.Helen Wambach did groundbreaking research work that contributed hugely to the understanding of past lives. Her discoveries, statistics and analyses proved reincarnation as near as possible outside a laboratory. Those achievements may never have happened without the following strange experience, which took place before she had any idea of past lives.

Browsing through the library of a Quaker memorial, she felt drawn to one of the books. She had a strong feeling that it was ‘hers’ in some way. As she paged through it, a vivid past life memory came up. She was male, riding a mule in the countryside. The day was hot, and his rough clothes were uncomfortable – but his whole attention was focused on the book propped up on his saddle. It was about a priest describing the other worlds he’d gone to while in a coma.

olde bookeAs she turned the pages of the book in her hand in the present, she had the strange experience of knowing exactly what was on each following page before she’d reached it. She realised she was having a vivid past-life flashback. After that – and for the rest of her life – she immersed herself in past-life studies, publishing books and becoming an important influence in that field.   

In more recent times, the American therapist Denise Linn had a tough initiation to push her onto her path. When she was 17, a motorist knocked her off her scooter, shot her and left her for dead. While in a coma with horrific injuries, she had a near-death experience. Her guides said this was not her time to die as she still had work to do.

Before that experience, she had no interest in any kind of spirituality. In the years that followed, she blossomed into an internationally successful healer, author and past life therapist.  

A friend told me about the watershed experience that set him on his path as a spiritual healer. In 1963, his wife had a minor accident in their car. Worried about the cost of the repairs, he went to the garage to ask for extra time to pay. Here is his account of what then happened.

“Eric, the garage manager, brushed aside my concerns and said, ‘I want to talk to you about spiritual healing.’ I sat down uncomfortably, not knowing how to react. I didn’t know whether he was joking, taking the mickey or playing a cruel game, talking to me about something I’d never heard of and had no interest in. ‘Blah, blah, blah, spiritual blah, blah, love of God blah, blah, spirit doctors blah, blah.’ He was using words and concepts I had never heard before.x healing the world

I was wondering how long this could go on when he said, ‘don’t worry, for the moment, about paying. I know I can trust you. I will be seeing you soon, I know.’

That might have been that – except my wife had a rare blood disease. Complications after the car accident got worse, and she went into a coma. The hospital said they didn’t expect her to last the weekend. In desperation, I went back to the garage to ask about spiritual healing. Eric told me to contact Harry Edwards, as he was the top distance spiritual healer.   

That evening in desperation, I wrote to him about my wife. I posted the letter on the Saturday morning and spent the weekend in an agony of despair.

On Monday morning when I went in to see her, she was still in her coma. But of course, Harry Edwards had only received my letter that morning. I found out later reiki energythat he didn’t start working on her until the Monday evening.

On Tuesday morning, as I approached the ward where my wife was, I saw the specialist in the corridor.

‘I can’t understand it,’ he said to me, ‘she’s sitting up, having soup, laughing and telling jokes.’ He walked away shaking his head.         

From then on, she began a long slow period of recovery. It was clear to me that spiritual healing was the only thing that had saved her. That was the start of my future path as a spiritual healer.”

Fortunately, not everyone has to go through such difficult initiations. Sometimes just reading one book can turn a life around. For many people, the path unfolds magical path booksslowly, like a flower opening one petal at a time. Over the years, there may be several big turning points, and many more minor epiphanies. That’s how it was for me, and still is.

If you’re ever in doubt about which way to go, your enthusiasms are your best guide. When a subject, course or activity feels exciting, it’s like a big signpost saying, “This is it!” That’s what Joseph Campbell meant when he said, “Follow your bliss, and doors will open to you”.

Goethe said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it”. If a path doesn’t seem to be opening up for you, look at your deepest passions and find your purpose there. Life will then meet you half way. That’s when all the wonderful synchronicities and opportunities will really start to happen.    

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