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Impressions of a spiritual kind

My first reaction when I downloaded this ebook was to give a sigh of relief that I could breeze through the reading of the book, when I saw it was only 36 pages. I settled in and open the first page then blinked. I was startled at my first experience of reading somebody talking to me through layers. No strike that, I had experienced that when I wrote my second novel Numen Yeye.
My eyebrows were raised when the first pages seemed to be questions from a Western outlook. I excused my disappointment as I recognized that I must have missed the first two books that Johanna was referring to. I am African, Nigerian, actually and specifically from that part of the country where being a woman had both its limitations and strengths. I am a Yoruba woman.
As I grew up, I quickly learnt what it means being a woman and the first things were the limitations, so I tended to be impatient with the first few questions, which had very little to do with my world concept, until we got to a few questions and Mary started talking about womanhood, now she got my full attention and happily held it to the end. The beauty of Johanna’s writing was she handed over the story to Mary Magdalene and stayed severely in the background to the very end.
Mary Magdalene has held the attention of every spiri-t striving woman through the ages. I always asked this question when I was young. How could love be a sin? What annoyed the writers of the Holy Book so much that they defiled her so unremittingly?
Mary of Magda sums it all up for me this way: That I loved a man so powerful and yet maintained my own identity even in the face of no acceptance. That was the toughest love you could hand over and the toughest role that you could be asked to fill in.
She remained a beacon for women the world over who have faced such tough choices by a male dominated society. We still raise our brows at the sound or mention of her name and have a smirk, a self- complacent smile and I always wondered that even fellow women have not done any better in giving such a painful role to Mary of Magda.
I guess the seeking soul can only find the answers within. Like Mary says, Your role as a soul is to remember
Further on she urges, Honor your intuition, it is the voice of your soul.
The only offence Mary of Magda ever committed was she loved a powerful, great man whose divinity was clear, we also denied Him to right to love one personally for Himself and punished Mary to the forgotten pages of historical slumber.
Welcome to my blog and I would be happy to have, Mary give answers to these questions. Some of them will be regular and some will be as intuition guides me.
1. Why should women be interested in politics at all, they are the guardians of the soul of the Earth?
Women are earthbound souls who chose to live a human experience. It is the systems of the Earth that often dictate destiny. Politics is part of a larger world system that should not be ignored. Unfortunately, our voice as women is often small and unheard yet we should not ignore what is laid before us in the rules of any system. Wisdom is an innate gift women birth at various moments in their evolution. They feel truth in the heart of their soul and find it a challenge to put words into motion of their divine truths. Political history has silenced many voices through their archaic systems.
The women of the earth as in all cultures and systems must never forget that the voice of a small kitten can turn into the roar of a lioness. In this age, the lioness comes out of her cage and joins others. This is not only heard but seen as a force that can change political opinions and hence consciousness. It is a cause worth the effort.

2. Woman carries the finer energies because she is expected to serve as the transition of the realms along the path of spirituality even unto divinity, how can she achieve that in today’s world of crass materiality?
Women were birthed into the Divine Feminine energy to remind the world of all that is receptive, emotional and in movement. The evolved feminine soul has realization that she is a magnet of light who holds the beam of direction to understanding the material world that serves the higher aspect of all souls. She realizes the blessings along the journey in the material world without being manipulated or held back. She is unattached to this aspect of life and understands the desires of the soul and the needs of the physical world.
Why does the Christian books find the concept of marital love anathema in relation to Yeshua who is the love incarnate of the Almighty father?
Because the books of history did not know his true Holy Heart or intention. They created a story for social consumption to fit their own needs. It is a sadness that lies heavily to see this lack of wisdom. We reach many whose hearts are open. How can anyone ever describe the light and love of the divine if their minds are closed?

3. How can love be a sin? And how did you cope with the ridicule and suspicion through the ages?
Love is the purest state of connection with the divine that exists. It is a gift to live in this state of being. The sin is the misconception that when this gift of love is shared in the state of divine intention with another it has no divine purpose.
I came to the Earth with a divine mission and still continue to be a messenger. While in the body, I often felt my soul sad and my heart shattered for the labels. I parted the veils in my mind and touched the sweetness of love in my memory. This is all that matters even now as we watch the world twist and turn.

4. When you feel divine love, you are held in the cup of the universe, and know from within what bliss can be.. how can the woman of today make that possible in the home?
Your home is a temple which is sacred. It holds energy and intention. Create a sacred place in your home where you disconnect from the world and enter into the heart of peace and love. Sacred space holds bliss naturally when created from love. Make a commitment on a regular basis to experience this space and continue to breathe in love and breathe out fear. Feel the divine even in the simple things. It must become a habit.
5. I learned that Marriage can be likened to two streams flowing together in the same direction; each feeds the other but retains their individuality like you did in Yeshua and you joining, can we learn how to do in the face of the customs and practices of the society today?
If your customs are rigid then work within the customs and create your own unique identity. This must be discussed. We see much of this today; the desire to be free and dance in your own light. Do you know how to use energy to your advantage and bend the light inward? The paradigms shift with the ages. Allow divine timing to catch up for this should not ever be an inner struggle.
6. In the past in China and in Greek stories, the kingdom of women and Lesbo became extinct first because Lesbo was invaded by men and once noble ideals was manipulated and the story was thereafter distorted and made sordid and in the case of China, the kingdom of Women was finally conquered and contained, now you predict that when the five nations allow the voice of the feminine spirituality to be heard, there might be a change for the better. Could you explain further?
I tell you dear one something you already know about this history. The threat of power misunderstood caused this. The sacredness of these women and their choices was violated with soul ignorance. As the rights of humanity, including male and female, are recognized as a choice of soul evolution for the benefit of wholeness only then will society be open and release ignorance, judgments and fear from something they do not understand. A universal global voice must be heard that is cohesive in nature and that will only occur when male and female disconnect from the rage of the warring heart and enter into the flow of the harmony of the human spirit. As long as war exists you are in duality and polarity of opposition. There is a large wave of awareness and acceptance that is emerging yet a large portion of the Earth is still dark. It will take time and as you see leadership shift the work will begin for more tolerance. It is a long journey with some stumbles for the spiritual activist. The women of today are preparing their children for this. It warms us.
7. This question is for Johanna.. When you became a full fledged psychic, what was your experience like?
Two things show up for me with this question:
A. My first official reading was with a woman named Jan who called me one night. She was going through a divorce and was about to lose her adopted child to her then ‘husband’. She had heard about me through a man I was dating who told her I was gifted as I had given him some psychic information. I did not know he was sharing that info with anyone. I told her I did not do this kind of work and her response was, ‘well you do now!’ She told me when she would call, how long we would talk, and how much she was going to pay me. I agreed. During the reading, I was guided to tell her she was married to a bigamist and he had no legal rights to their adopted child. I guided her to go back to her attorney (and hopefully she was open to this reading information) and hire a detective. She did do that and they found out he had another legal wife and no rights to this child as they were not legally married! The attorney was open to psychic readings and then she started calling relative to the case and personal issues. During the court case the reading was entered as evidence as I am in the family law court records in San Diego, County which is pretty cool. She then gave my name to others and my referral system began. It was all word of mouth.

As a result of that show, the three of us were asked to be on a TV show called The Other Side in LA. The host was very clear that I was NOT to use the word psychic so I said, ‘ok no problem I will use intuitive.’ The show begins he comes over to me and says, ‘so are you a psychic?” and I said, ‘yes’!

B. I had just started doing my psychic readings and a client invited me to a party with some of her friends. She walked me over to an elderly man and said, ‘this is my psychic.’ He thought she said ‘sidekick’ and started to laugh. I gulped down and said, ‘no I am her spiritual psychic.’ Everyone in the room gave me a funny look and turned away. This was my first public coming out party to the world as a psychic so I felt terrible. I went outside on a patio all alone and then after a bit, one by one each person came out to chat with me. They were loving and accepting and asked for my cards. I was not there to entertain them and I left feeling very loved and appreciated.

8. How can one separate a true psychic from a darn good psychologist or charlatan?
Get a referral and check their credentials. Ask them about their training and psychic development. A gifted psychic has refined their gift. They are loving compassionate and genuinely kind. If they are professional and valid in this day and age, there should be information about them on the internet. We are spiritual guides who MUST come from love and wholeness. If anyone starts to creep you out or instill fear in you, STOP THE SESSION AND DO NOT PAY THEM. You are paying for their time. They gift you the door to wisdom but their ego is not there. If it doesn’t feel right, speak up and leave. You should always leave a spiritual session of any kind feeling lifted up, confident and with a greater sense of direction. The decision is up to you to apply the Law of Action. Any psychic who tells you have to come back again and again is not trustworthy. Do your homework and trust your intuition.
9. This final question is for Mary of Magda: In the face of the fact that the world has lost its innocence and can no longer turn willingly to spiritual contemplation, has changed the signposts and women are no longer true guardians of purity, what do you suggest should be the way forward now for women?
Women must reclaim their divine feminine rights as keepers of light and guardians of an Earth that needs healing. You must start first on a journey of self-discovery, not over analyzing to discover self-love. Only then will you be a beacon of light towards the inner world of light and love. This has nothing to do with anyone else other than YOU.
I recently wrote a book called The Lost Art of Loving which is all about that journey of awareness. I have been told it is like a mini spiritual seminar for women. A return to innocence is available; we merely have to discover it once again. The soul remembers everything to take you there. Our journey as women reminds me of the inscription written over many of the ancient temples and what I saw in France while doing Mary Magdalene retreats: KNOW THYSELF. It has to start with that before you can hold the light for others to follow.

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Numen Yeye……Impression from readers

I have been in between clouds and wondering when I might come down to terra firma. Why? I had been tensed up for weeks about my book Numen Yeye. There had been times when I had shrugged, told myself bravely I would take the bricks or I would be gracious if I got roses.
Okay, could I say anything in my defense. Numen Yeye is very important to me because of a couple of reasons. Maybe it is time I give a little bit more insight why Numen Yeye became important. In my neck of the woods, we have two fairly distinct camps. There are writers who write exclusively for the readers in the country and make no pretense about that. Then there are the ones who want to write for a global audience but those have two clear sub groups. The writers who write about our customs from the standpoint of seeing everything cultural as barbaric. They tend to want to write more for the western audience solely and have a taste to show us off as unmitigated savages.
There is the other sub group who talk to the global market square in a language that creates a reality of who we are, understanding where we come from but innately identifying with us, warts and all. I would like to belong to this group. I am Nigerian, with my eyes wide open, knowing about my country, accepting me warts and all. I feel we are not as terrible as we have been painted, because we are a round group of tribes with our suspicions of each other, exasperation at our leaders and the failures we face when we do not accept that Life is motion and it is important we get the business of living right.
Am I making sense? I wish to try to make sense. There is a saying in my corner of my country in my language which loosely translated states clearly that only an illegitimate child will point to his father’s house with his left fingers. When I came across that statement I was curious and asked my grandma to explain. She gave me a little lesson about loyalty. I learned being loyal does not mean whitewashing the truth when we are faced with it but being honest enough to admit our ignorance and courageous enough to take a peep into the dark ignorance that hold us in thrall.
Thus when my book Numen Yeye became available in print, I wanted to know what my tribe felt about it. After all I was writing about myths and concepts we have buried under our civilized skins. These myths and concept colours our beliefs and we needed to maybe be open about it and not shrug it off as ignorance, myths, superstitions.
Let us share excerpts of some of the reactions I have so far…
My first impression of Numen Yeye was WOW! This is different, I kept reading and I’ve come to the conclusion that its a breathe of fresh air, different from the norm. Its very insightful and paints a fairy tale yet plausible picture of a series of events, all in all a very good read and I recommend it for anyone who wants to step out of the clutches of mundane reasoning and have a different point of view on certain Nigerian ‘mythological’ beings….Segun Agoro (film maker/Stride Communications)
The book Numen Yeye is the story of Imole Ife before her conception through conception, birth, growing up to adulthood. It showcased partly the way an average girl would grow up in the western part of Nigeria.
On the other hand, Ife a special child mixed her eccentricity with the usual, while growing up. Ife only distinguishes people and situations by light or darkness and relates with them accordingly. Grandma Olaoye for instance was always surrounded by dark shades of colour while Yeye was always accompanied by light. In another instance, when Tinu’s baby was about to die, Ife required more light around her, in the hope that it would repel or clear the impending doom.

The constant migration of Ife between the physical and the spiritual is very gripping and keeps the reader hooked, if not for anything else, for curiosity. She is constantly in communication with one misty or another and most of her activities are pre-guided from the spiritual world. The friendship between Sasaenia and Ife suggest bonds that are out of the ordinary, that exist amongst humans but may not have any easy or ordinary explanation.

The book went through a lot of the rich culture of the Yoruba ethnic group in Nigeria, treating the following parts of their culture:
The marriage process,
The value of chastity,
Initiation in to adulthood and guilds,
The art of story-telling and transfer of wisdom from the elderly to the young,
The seeking for divination
Traditional belief and superstition, surrounding the existence of abiku and emere,
Communal way of living in polygamous family settings, embedded with jealousy and mutual suspicions.
The beginning of Chapter 14 is a vivid account by the author in lewd as well as enthralling narration, a phenomenon called ‘OKO ORUN’ by the Yoruba. Quite strange, but almost real.
Many times the reader gets lost in the thoughts of Numen Yeye (written in italic) and makes them forget her story in the real world.
Noticeable is the fact that the book with thirty chapters has no pagination. The language of the book is very easy to understand and the content is very relatable for Africans. To other readers who are not familiar with that culture, it would be an adventure into the thought system of traditional people and their basic life and way of living….Ms Olufunke Tolutope(psychologist and blogger)

In my next post I will share the full review of the state newspaper on the book Numen Yeye. Meanwhile it will be nice to have your thoughts on this book.
Numen Yeye is available on Amazon.com

WAITING FOR REVIEWS……CONVERSATIONS

I have been having a nervous discussion with myself. You know, like I told you, I have just had a second book out this side of the pond and suddenly I have been nervous. The reason if I care to face it is an acute case of self doubt. I feel somewhat exposed too. My easy acceptance is being threatened by the modicum of recognition I had garnered over time through my writing.

I sent my book off to a reviewer blithely as I know him as one of the best arts journalist and review in the market. He didn’t know me so I had felt comfortable sending the book, Numen Yeye to him. He had in his email clearly stated that he would not bother writing a review if the book was not to his liking and I had shrugged not giving him much thought. Read the book I had said to myself.

The book got to him and his reply has made me nervous. Two things happened, one I did not know he was one of the best reviewers around until a mutual friend told me, and I also did not anticipate that he will read the blurb and become really excited about reading it. Why? Years ago, in another life I had done a series which seemed to have taken over from me and anything I had written since then.

It was a series meant for teenagers on sexual reproduction and like now I had just had a conversation with teenagers. I met a very young girl then who was able to act almost to detail a picture of the lead teenage character. She became quite popular as an actress after that but my series had been her launch pad. It is not the lady that has become my rival, but the series itself. Most people do a double take and ask me wonderingly if I am actually the person who wrote I NEED TO KNOW. I answer at first with amusement that I did and then they give me a second look.

My would- be reviewer has just done the same thing. I wonder if I should feel worried or relieved about that. I read somewhere that you can only be as good as your last and that your subsequent series, novel should always be better than the last. Quite a lot of people are convinced that the series was the best ever and I try to tap them to say, hey I am still alive and there is more where that came from.

I am bemused when people keep talking about that, because I think writers just want to share a part of their world, their take on issues around them, or even warn about an impending danger. Writers receive from a world that senses no boundaries and has a plethora of emotions, characters to choose from. Writers weave, weld, and re-create known norms in ways that excite and challenges the reader.

My argument has always been that we are all writers in some way or the other. We recount our day, experience and feelings to someone at one point or the other as we collate those experiences.

I actually didn’t plan on talking about writers, reads like some immodest thing to do , or some nervous appeal for understanding. But I am really nervous and I find myself waking up suddenly wondering which page he is reading now and wondering if I should have added one more sentence or recreated that scene in a different way. He is reviewing right and I am in agony hoping at the end of the day, he does not refuse to pick my nervous call. My fingers keep hovering over the phone.

He has just had the book and other things are maybe demanding his attention but …sigh.. oh well. It is why I try to read a book sent to me to review. I remember days like this and try my very best to pay attention…but he is paying attention..I think or … no perish any negative thought I tell myself firmly.

Hey where is that book I was asked to review? Be right back soon. I promise.

Numen Yeye……Conversations

I don’t know how I feel really. My new book is finally out in print and suddenly I have problem sleeping. I am so knotted up that I am beginning to have sensations I can’t really identify. I think about it and suddenly I am nervous, my hands go clammy and my heart races. I am presenting at a writers conference in a matter of days too.

You know that feeling when you look at the new baby and you dream. You hold the book in your hand and you are hard put to put a name to the emotion that assails you. You mention casually to your friends that the book is finally out in print and you hold your breath waiting for the reaction.

I had one yesterday. He is the editor of the local newspaper. A respected editor because unlike the usual pack of  journalists who will want to find out what is it personally in a story, you can be very sure he is on the level. Very disciplined, untainted by the endemic corruption.

I wanted to hear his own opinion and it was important for me. If he thinks your book is rubbish, he would courteously simply refuse to review it and would say very little. I waited and watched. He took the book, read the blurb at the back, as well as the first few pages while standing and suddenly gave a wide smile. He looked up and asked if he could read it first as he would like to own a personal copy of the book. I blinked. “What do you mean”? I asked him.

“I think it is going to be a very interesting read” he answers and asked me what was the cover prize. I tentatively mentioned it and he nodded in agreement as he added, “only the very deep can understand what is in inside the book. I think it is going to be very interesting book indeed”.

Now I have a sleepless night as I ask myself a thousand nervous questions. I have gone over the book again.. Lord I.. I caught myself suddenly praying. It is like waiting for your boyfriend to pop the question or something else, having a baby and suddenly being anxious that it was very important that this particular baby do well.

You sense the significance of this particular baby and deep in your bones, you realize it is vitally important that this baby is acceptable. To serious readers. It is an indication of where you want to be now. What you want to say to the rest of the world I am a Yoruba woman who is learning to see my tribe as the rationale for this present incarnation. I have asked questions, like every growing young girl I have had dreams. My traditional religion had posed questions for me and I have searched for faith for years, tried to understand the risk of living without a faith and understood the fears of those who embraced other religions.

I am not into the practice of traditional religion, but I had learnt gradually from my grandmother, my husband the value of having a root, a base to search for the meaning of my tradition and what it offers me. I have always wanted to know what it is and as I learned more, I understood and gradually a love, and understanding of the rationale for the basic faith has dawned.

I may not necessarily engage in it but I can understand it and I can relate with the rationale behind it. It has made me want to portray myself “as is” I mean, what you see is what you get. It removes the strain of longing to be American, I never wished to be, but I love them and do not mind visiting them, learning about their cultures, but I could never be part of that culture. I would wish they have the charity to accept mine too.

I feel the same way about all other cultures and accept the togetherness on our diversity. My book Numen Yeye has been a voyage of a sort for me personally. It has been a learning period too as I groped and searched for the meaning of my present incarnation and the rationale of my being.

I first came across Numen Yeye on a warm night when my grandma started the story as the usual tales by moonlight ended and I still had urgent questions. I have listened to my grandmother since then as she continued with the story even after she got a seat with the ancestors.

I hope you will like to read it, I would not mind to share it with you. I am proud of the depth we can reach if we only stretch forth our hand to each other in love.

Talk soon again.

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