27. The Goddess is alive and Magic is afoot (Part II)

 

Last week I told you how two Hungarian men offered to lead me and my friend to the Iseum in Scarbantia (modern day Sopron in Hungary)  – the temple dedicated to the Egyptian Mother Goddess Isis.  Isis was worshipped all over the Roman Empire 2000 years ago and I have been compelled to find evidence of her presence, specifically along the Amber Road, an important trade route through Central Europe.

Our two sacred/secret tourist guides led us through the basement of this ancient building and explained that in the past there had been a Franciscan-Benedictine monastery on this site. This was where the temple of Isis had been found.  In all likelihood, the Isis temple was there before the monastery but now most of the site had been built over and the current building we were in was actually an old peoples’ home!  Who knew?  The men were social workers and worked in the home which is why they had keys and knew their way around. They led us through the mediaeval dining room with its plain wooden tables and low-vaulted ceilings and uncovered stonework.

The older man spoke German fairly well.  The younger man spoke hardly any German and he expressed his frustration. In German he said:  “I love the Roman period. I wish I could speak better German. The only foreign language I speak is English!”

“I am English” I replied. “We can speak English.” He could not believe his good fortune – a Roman history enthusiast with whom he could communicate in English!  He began to hold forth regarding his knowledge of the temple and the Roman history of Scarbantia.

From the old peoples’ dining room, the two men led us into an even deeper basement room and there, in the corner of the room, looking quite unassuming, was the old stone votive altar dedicated to Isis!

The men explained that most of the temple was behind the wall and inaccessible because it had been built over.  But Isis was here – well, right next door – 2000 years ago!

As close to the original Isis temple as I can be.

This room was closed to the public.  It was only because they were social workers in the old peoples’ home that the two men knew about it and had access to the basement rooms.

With my two new Hungarian friends, backs up against the wall which stands between us and the original Isis temple.

Even though my guides had clearly been going somewhere with a purpose when we met them, they hung out with us in that old basement for at least 30 minutes while I took pictures and looked at every aspect of the temple remains and the story of the excavation which had been documented on the wall.

With Felip, my English-speaking, Roman history enthusiast and wayshower to the Iseum.  I am touching the altar to Isis, something I would never been allowed to do if this had been a proper museum. 🙂 

On the main street outside the area where the Iseum would have been.  Note the original arches of the previous building on this site – maybe the Franciscan Benedictine monastery? –  which have been left uncovered.

I walked away from that experience with tears welling up behind my eyes.  Just consider the divine orchestration of that meeting with the two men who took us to the Iseum, the split second timing that was required, how everything that happened before that moment had to be exactly the way it was and take the time that it took.

One of my favourite bumper stickers is: “The Goddess is alive and magic is afoot!”

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“Earth’s Miracles are Heaven’s Laws” Johann Richter

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26. The Goddess is alive and magic is afoot! (Part I)

As you might know, my third book has the working title: “Tears of the Goddess: Isis and the Amber Road.”  It is about the ancient amber trade route which runs from the Baltic Sea to Aquileia in Italy and the shrines devoted to the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis, along the way. My intention is to elevate and restore the name and true meaning of Isis – the Divine Feminine – the Goddess of Love.

Egyptian and Roman images of the Goddess Isis

Recently, while working in Austria, I went across the border with my German friend, Angela, to visit Sopron in Hungary.  This old Roman town was formerly known as Scarbantia.  I had read up on the evidence of Isis worship in Scarbantia before making my trip but I was not quite clear where I would be able to find it – in a museum or in situ?  It was a mystery.  Not clear at all. The staff in the Sopron Tourist Information centre could not help me either. Apparently, it was specialist knowledge.

Following my instincts, I went down the 3 flights of steps from the Tourist Information office into the excavated Roman foundations of the city.  I had been there a few years ago and seen the original Amber Road  but now I was on the hunt for the Iseum.

Photo of the excavations of the Roman city at Sopron, showing the original Amber Road.

As I looked at the photos on the wall documenting the progress of the archeological excavations, I prayed for information about the Isis temple.  Sure enough, the very last photo I came to was all about Her and the votive altar which had been found bearing an inscription with a dedication to Isis.

Photo of the Iseum excavations showing the votive altar to Isis emerging from the foundations of the old Franciscan Benedictine monastery

Excitedly, I ran back up to the Tourist Office and told the staff the address on the photo.  They looked confused.  There were no excavations at that address as far as they knew.  Certainly there was nothing which was available for viewing by the public.  They told me that I should go into the church bookshop behind the church on the main square. The bookshop would be open till 6 pm and it was at the address I had given them.  Perhaps the staff in the bookshop would know more?  It was all a bit vague.

My friend, Angela, and I went off in search of Isis.  There was certainly no temple at the address we had.  What we saw in front of us was a row of old buildings that were homes, shops or offices. We tried to open the door of the bookshop. It was all dark behind the glass doors. No one there. Oh no! Now what?

The church bookshop on Kolostor street.

We got despondent.  Just then two young men came hurrying down the stairs and were headed towards the exit where we were standing, right by the bookshop.  They saw we looked confused.  Assuming we were both German, the taller man asked in German if he could help us.  We told them we were looking for the Iseum.  They looked at each other and spoke under their breath in Hungarian. They need not have bothered whispering –  we did not understand a single word!  Then they said “Come with us.  We will show you.”

Find out what happened in next week’s blog.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“Earth’s Miracles are Heaven’s Laws” Johann Richter

25. Speed traps and speed warnings

 

Yesterday I was stressing.  I was feeling really ill with a cold and tummy bug and I was packing my suitcase and checking out of my hotel much more slowly than I wanted.  Finally, I got into my rental car at 10:00 am to get to an appointment by 11.20 am.  The satellite navigation system told me I would need 1 hour and 17 minutes from Gmuend to Retz in Lower Austria.  So there would only be 3 minutes grace which would allow for parking the car and running up to the staffroom at the school in Retz to meet my client.

Of course, my GPS could not predict that for the first 45 minutes of my journey I would get stuck behind tractors moving at 25 km per hour, heavy goods vehicles moving at 60 km per hour and regular trucks moving at 80 km per hour on country roads where the speed limit was 100 km per hour.  As I drove along, muttering impatiently, my inner terrorist was having a field day.  It was beating me up for leaving late, beating up my body for being sick, beating up the slow-moving vehicles on the road ahead of me, beating up the road for having so many bends and hills that overtaking opportunities were sorely limited.

Then I caught myself in the act of terrorizing myself and I surrendered.  I accepted that I could not go any faster and would arrive when I arrived. At that point, I began to be in the now where I could appreciate the beautiful Austrian scenery and all beautiful road-side symbols of Divine Protection along the way.

Röschitz. Pieta, 1709 – Barock. Photo by Alex Szep.  Freeforcommercialuse.org

At that point, as if by magic, the GPS guided me off the road where I had been stuck behind the slow-moving traffic and onto an empty country road. Now I could step on the gas and I did!  The road speed was mostly 100 km but there were no speed traps – at least not any that I was aware of, and my GPS did not have the speed trap warnings programmed into the software so I will never know. Delirious with fever, I drove right at the limit (and yes, I confess, sometimes above the limit) hoping to make up for lost time.

Country road in Lower Austria. Photo by Intensivtaeteraggressor.  Freeforcommercialuse.org

The road took me through countless country villages on my way to Retz.  Upon entering each village, the legal speed limit dropped from 100 km to 50 km.  Most villages had a radar-controlled speed warning right where the limit dropped to 50 km.  In most cases, I knew I had to slow down but was typically doing 70 km when I entered the 50 km zone.  My inner terrorist started beating me up again for all the speeding fines I would be getting.

At 11.17, I pulled into the school parking lot – exactly when my GPS told me I would!  Ah ha, so my mental agreement with the GPS had made sure that we arrived at 11.17 despite the obstacles along the way. I quickly gathered up my materials and arrived at the staff-room at 11.20 as planned. 😊

After I had done my presentations and my client and I had discussed her next English course, we lapsed into general chit chat.  I asked her what kind of speeding fines I should expect for being 20 km over the limit according to the radar-controlled warning signs.  “Oh, don’t worry,” she said.  “They are not speed traps.  You won’t be getting any fines. They just tell you how fast you are driving so that you can reduce your speed if necessary.”

Thank you to all the saints and angels, seen and unseen, for Divine Protection on the roads – protection from harm AND protection from speeding fines. 🙂

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

Blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” Johann Richter

24. Something inside so strong

 

 

I heard the wonderful Lira singing her famous song “Something inside so strong” at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto on 12 August as part of the “Birthing Our Divine Feminine Conference.”

I did the opening meditation and prayer for this event at Regina Mundi and I have been singing the song to myself ever since. And then I had a miracle: it was a direct experience of the power of the Word of Truth being repeated within my consciousness.

Before I left for Austria last week, I was sorting through some boxes in my storage locker in England.  I needed to move a lot of boxes to find the books and resources I needed for the current book I am writing so that I could take them with me back to South Africa.  So I asked for help from Upstairs and I heard the directions regarding which boxes to bring down and how to move them so that I did not hurt myself.  Bringing them down was going to be easier than getting them back up but I figured I would ask for help with that too.

Last year when I was stuck at my locker with a load of boxes on the floor, two male friends, whom I had not seen in years, “happened” to come by my locker and happily lifted all my boxes and put them into place.  This year, I made it up that I could not expect to experience the same miracle again.  Why not?  I just would not stretch enough to let in that possibility.  But, interestingly, I was able to get the same heavy boxes of books back into the locker by myself.  And only when I locked the door and walked away did I realise that I had been able to lift heavy boxes of books higher than my head without straining my back at all. (Believe me, I have had horrible past experiences of my back going out and being laid up for 5 days while the nerves in my spine “unpinch” themselves.)

For the whole duration of this year’s experience at the locker, I had been humming the title line of the song by Lira: “Something inside so strong.”  Of course, most of us would hear that to mean “a strong character, a source of strength that cannot be weakened or manipulated,” etc.  Hardly anyone would think “strong back and core muscles”!  But the universe does not differentiate.  So that affirmation that I repeated to myself in the form of a song focused energy and attention on the strength inside me and that strength showed up as grace and ease with lifting those heavy boxes.

Always in awe of the life-changing power of language.

And appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” Johann Richter

23. Divine meetings

Last year in July 2016, after I  gave the Sunday talk at Soul Home, my church in Johannesburg, one of the community members, Lalu, asked me to offer a workshop to her group of actresses at the Market Theatre where she was directing a play in the African language, Sotho. The title was “Mosali Eo U’Neileng Eena.”

I had been to a play in the Market Theatre in 1985 when I first came to Johannesburg and the nation was living under Apartheid.  The Market Theatre had built a name for itself by offering plays and performances which openly rebelled against the oppressive government.

The play Lalu was directing dealt with the oppression of black Sotho women in rural Africa and their indomitable spirits.  As the actresses all came from a cultural background of male domination, she knew they would be able to act their parts authentically but she was keen for them to access their inner goddess power beyond the more familiar victim role, especially when promoting and talking about the play.  For this reason, she asked me to create and facilitate a workshop before the play opened.  I called the workshop “Grow your own Goddess.” We offered it in August 2016 at the Market Theatre and the actresses were profoundly moved by their new awareness of their innate beauty and power. The play was a grand success! I attended one of the performances with a Soul Home member, Cindy Dibete, who was able to translate for me.  Afterwards we met the actresses and they expressed their gratitude for the transformation they had experienced in my workshop.

Mosali Eo U’Neileng Eena – pre-publicity image.

Now fast forward one year to Women’s Day in South Africa on 9 August 2017.  Another one of the Soul Home members, Muzi Cindi, organised the “Birthing our Divine Feminine” conference in Johannesburg with keynote speakers, Rev. Michael Beckwith and Lisa Nichols from “The Secret” DVD.  My talk was on “God & Sex.” At the end of the day I was approached by a beautiful black woman called Tshidi Grace Tsimile. She told me she loved my talk and wanted to learn more from me.  She also told me she was working as a Conscious Sexuality coach and teacher and had a radio spot on Kaya FM each week.  We exchanged numbers and she reached out to me after the conference.

One month later, in September, Cindy Dibete, invited me to attend a workshop on healing family relationships at her group called: “2nd Wives’ Club.”  I recommended to Cindy that she should meet Tshidi.  Cindy and Tshidi connected on the phone and Tshidi was invited to the workshop too. There was and is a divine alignment between the three of us and now we are planning a workshop on “Sexuality and Spirituality.”

 

At the workshop, Tshidi told me that she wanted to come to my Soul Home gatherings on Sundays and I offered to text her the information for the next day’s gathering.   For some reason, it came up in conversation that Tshidi was from a Sotho background.  I told her that I had a large family in my congregation who were Sotho-speaking as they all came from Lesotho originally.   That was a big motivation for Tshidi to attend – to meet her countrymen and women and speak her mother tongue.

The next morning Tshidi came to Soul Home.  During the fellowship time afterwards, I introduced her to one of my Sotho members, Lalu.  They recognised each other and realised that they had already met!  In fact, Tshidi had auditioned for a part in the Sotho play that Lalu was directing last year: “Mosali Eo U’Neileng Eena.” Lalu had offered Tshidi the job but Tshidi had had to decline due to unexpected circumstances.

 

Lalu and Tshidi

So you see, Tshidi and I had to meet. In fact, we would have met in August 2016 if she had taken up her role in Lalu’s play.  And I had to introduce Tshidi to Cindy. And Tshidi and Lalu had to meet again. We do not know why yet but I trust that there are no coincidences and everything is being divinely orchestrated to fulfill the highest purpose for which we all were sent.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” Johann Richter

22. Some miracles may take longer than others (Part II)

Last week I admitted to you how jealous I was when I could not accompany Rev. Michael and the Agape group on their sacred mission to South Africa in 1993. In this blog post you will see how the vision of being with Rev. Michael and Agape in S. Africa and doing the spiritual work of healing the Beloved Country manifested itself.

In 1999, I returned to South Africa having completed my ministerial training in the USA. From 2000 – 2005, I set up my multi-racial ministry in South Africa.  We called it Soul Home. From 2005 – 2015 my Science of Mind practitioner students, led by Rev. Gerd Pontow, continued to anchor the vision of the ministry and facilitated the Soul Home community’s deepening in consciousness

In 2015, I returned to South Africa to take care of my elderly parents and began to play an active role at Soul Home once again.  It was here that I met a new Soul Home member, Muzi Cindi,  on the day before he flew to LA to meet Rev. Michael for the first time.  Muzi set up the 2017 “Birthing our Divine Feminine” conference in Johannesburg and invited Rev. Michael to be a keynote speaker.   And who was he accompanied by in the group of 30 Agape members?  None other than the wonderful Rev. Kathleen McNamar who had become a minister since we first met in 1992! What a joy to see her again and to celebrate how the vision I had articulated from the pulpit on the day of my ministerial graduation had manifested in South Africa 🙂

Thanks to Muzi, I was also a speaker at the conference with my edgy topic:  “God & Sex.”  On the day of the conference, I was racing along the passage outside the seminar room in the Sandton City Convention Centre and who should I bump into amongst the hundreds of people but Rev. Kathleen! She noticed I was a tad hyped (!) and put her hand on my heart and told me to breathe.  (I had forgotten in my excitement.)  Bless her.

From left to right:  Muzi Cindi, Rev. Michael Beckwith, me, Dr. Thabo, Rev. Gerd Pontow, Bishop Jackson Khosa.

Before the Agape group left Johannesburg, Rev. Thandi graciously hosted us in her home along with the assistance of her Unity church members.  They cooked for us, they sang for us, they shared their spiritual journeys and how they had found the Unity teaching.  Rev. Thandi gave a brilliant talk on how the roots of African spirituality are closely aligned with the basic premises of New Thought. What a wonderful evening of fellowship!

The following week I was able to accompany the Agape group on their post-conference visits to Cape Town and the Kariega game reserve near Port Elizabeth.  In fact, before the flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, I had checked in online and unknowingly selected the seat next to Rev. Michael!

It was only then that it occurred to me how Spirit had so beautifully orchestrated the timing and the participants in this grand spiritual celebration in South Africa in 2017. 25 years had passed since my graduation ceremony, in which I was midwifed by Rev. Michael and Rev. Kathleen and many other dear souls into ministry. 25 years since I had publicly declared my vision for a multi-racial ministry in South Africa which would heal the wounds of Apartheid at a time when Apartheid was still in place. 25 years since I began visioning with the South African Vision Team at Agape to prepare for Rev. Michael’s first visit to South Africa in 1993 – a journey I could not accompany him on. But there we were, Rev. Michael and I, travelling to Port Elizabeth together, just like I had wished it all those years ago.

In 1992 and 1993, the focus of our attention and our prayer work was on healing the separation between the races in South Africa and that demonstrated itself in Mandela becoming the first black president in South Africa and bringing in a democratic constitution to ensure equality between all the races in the Rainbow Nation.

In 2017, the focus of the conference and Rev. Michael’s visit was on birthing the Divine Feminine, healing the relationship between the genders, building a new world of peace, love and harmony. I am curious to see how this vision manifests over the next 25 years and how we are to be used as the instruments of this vision.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” (Johann Richter)

21. Some miracles may take longer than others (Part I)

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” Johann Richter.

Do you remember how I met Reverend Michael Beckwith?  I told the story in Blog Post 16. “The Miracle of Michael and Muzi and Mandela (Part I).”

When Rev. Michael came to the Santa Anita church in Arcadia, California, to speak at my ministerial graduation ceremony in June, 1992, he was accompanied by his friend / PA Kathleen McNamar, a practitioner at Agape.  She and I chatted before I walked down the aisle of the church.  I told her she had a beautiful speaking voice and maybe she should consider becoming a minister.  She smiled but I could tell she did not want to.

The picture on the front cover of my autobiography was taken right after my Santa Anita graduation ceremony. 🙂 

When Rev. Michael heard me speak about my vision for a multi-racial ministry in South Africa, he hooked me up with one of his practitioners at the Agape International Center of Truth, Marcia Bradshaw.  She was the Director of the South Africa Vision Team. She and 3 other African-American women were visioning and planning for Rev. Michael  to visit South Africa and preach the Word there during South Africa’s turbulent transition period. This was in the days post Mandela’s release from jail in February, 1990, yet before the stepping down of the white Afrikaner government and the old order of Apartheid in April 1994.

In November 1992, a few months after I had joined the Vision Team, Marcia and a couple of other team members went to South Africa to lay the groundwork for Rev. Michael’s trip.  I did not go with them. My USA visa status was tenuous at the time and I did not want to risk leaving the country and not being able to get back in.

The South Africa Vision Team paved the way for Rev. Michael by making contact with the New Thought leaders in South Africa in the major cities of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban and setting up speaking events for Rev. Michael in both the black and white communities.

In November 1993, Rev. Michael flew to South Africa for the first time with a group of Agape members.  Typically in those days, i.e. the early nineties, the New Thought centres were in the white suburbs.  Very few blacks attended.  There was, however, one Unity group in the black township of Soweto and Rev. Michael went with his Agape group to speak there at the request of the only black South African Unity Minister, Rev. Thandi  Nhlengetwa.  It was a very dangerous mission – especially for the white Agape members travelling with Rev. Michael.  They had to hide under the seats of the bus while they were in Soweto otherwise they risked being shot by the black freedom fighters.

Honestly, I was jealous of the Agape group who got to accompany Rev. Michael on that pioneering mission to South Africa to prayerfully assist with the dismantling of Apartheid. I did not realise then that all I had to do was wait 25 years for my wish to be granted…

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph