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Matt Kambic wins at the New Zealand Mountain Book Festival

Congratulations to VFA member Matt D Kambic, whose guest post appeared here in April 2017. He has won an award in the ‘Mountain & Adventure Fiction’ category at the New Zealand Mountain Book Festival 2017, for his visionary novel, Everest Rising. He has also received an honorary mention for his novel at the Northern California Publishers and Authors Book Awards competition, 2016.


Photo credit: Jason Haselden

About the author

Matt Kambic is a writer and artist who hails originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Visit Matt’s website at  mdkambic.com

To purchase a copy of Everest Rising, click here

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The R/Evolution of the Wheel of Fortune – Part II

In Part I, we began exploring the turning of the Wheel of Fortune. We moved past the idea of chaos, chance, and fate and introduced the idea of perfection. The Wheel of Fortune and the World imply continuous turning: the unending flow of time. A journey does not solely cover distance, but also time.

Consider, for a moment, the notion that both time and space are illusions. In this view, we live in a virtual reality akin to The Matrix. If we don’t ever go anywhere, why take the journey at all?

The Wheel of Fortune is not typically depicted as an actual wheel. It spins in place. In this next interpretation, we compare it to another device, which turns without going anywhere. As a movie reel rolls, its film unravels.

Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome front coverIn Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, my protagonist learns that the purpose of life is to create and the purpose of life is to experience. We live in a shared fabrication called reality. It is made up. We not only experience our own creations, but also those that came before us. In other words, our ancestors rolled up film, which we now experience. Part of our purpose is to unravel the pieces that no longer serve us while simultaneously rolling up new versions that please us. As with a reel-to-reel projector, one reel of film unravels, feeds through the projector (our experience of now), and then a second reel rolls film up, which is our newest version (vision, theory, and belief) of reality.

Doesn’t growing up entail unlearning the limiting beliefs we were taught as kids and replacing them with new expanded ones of our own making?

In a linear experience of time, each moment grows out of the (sum total of) preceding moments. Everything before leads us to this. But what if we’re going in the wrong direction? Will we roll up another illusion that does not serve us well?

In my mind, this exemplifies life in the 2010s. We study the Law of Attraction in order to learn conscious deliberate creation, yet simultaneously worry that we’re doing it wrong. Is it possible to get it wrong? What does the Perfection of the Universe say about that?

Ask and you shall receive. The wheel turns and raises up another notch. If there is Perfection in the Universe, then everything serves us…the good and the not-so-good. But how?

TimeFirst, consider that in all versions of the Wheel of Fortune, we turn; we travel in a circle. Even the center of the wheel rotates. If we’re following the film on a reel, we approach the center via a spiral. What if the circular motion is the point? As I mentioned earlier, the source and destination are the same, so it must be the journey that matters. The journey changes us; it transforms us.

I came to this next insight when writing in my journal, essentially channeling guidance from Source:

…This is what the Wheel of Fortune is really about. All illusion folds back on itself, eventually proving that a false concept is illusory. That is why you can never get lost indefinitely. Every limiting (and thus untrue) concept you believe in will experientially take you back to ultimate truth and reality.

The most basic example of this is death. We believe death is real. Everyone dies eventually; we’ve never seen anyone avoid it indefinitely; and we cannot see beyond it. The truth is, although we may appear to die (from the outside), we will not experience death (on the inside). At the moment of our death, we will instantaneously realize that death is an illusion. Me telling you this, of course, proves nothing; only you experiencing it will.

This version of the Wheel of Fortune describes the Perfection of the Universe. It tells us that every path, every choice, every action, every thought and feeling moves us toward where we want to be, even if circuitously. We cannot go in a wrong direction because every direction still takes us there! Isn’t that nice to know? It is like standing at the south pole where every direction is north.

Creating and experiencing is journeying. It is why we are here. And the only way to improve creating is to experience our creations. When we experience something we do not like, we long for something different…and embark a journey toward it.

JourneyIn this view, however, there is still travel to be made. There is still time and distance implied. In my mind, there has to be an even higher perspective, one that at least hints to the fact that all of our power is here and now. It is interesting to note that while we can think about other times and places, we can only be here now. Now has to be where everything is! It has to be enough. And that’s when I found this next gem. We still have a cycle—a turning of the wheel—but this journey needn’t take much time to traverse and does not require going anywhere.

Consider the following:

  1. Your greatest desire is to feel good. Every other desire you have is simply a device you believe will make you feel good.

  2. Feeling good is something you can have right here, right now. It may require focus, but it is never unavailable to you.

  3. Feeling good facilitates the attaining of all other desires.

If you think about number one, you will realize it is accurate. If you experiment with number two, you will experience it more and more. It may take you a while to accept number three.

As with the Hero’s Journey, the source and destination are the same. Furthermore, feeling good does not end the journey; it does not prevent desire. Feeling good inspires traveling further because there are abundant ways to feel good. Further still, no level of good eliminates better, at least theoretically.

If you practice this cycle and travel the ring a few times, you’ll discover that it is about as pleasant a journey as you can take. Feel good for the sake of feeling good, then notice how easy feeling good becomes.

The FoolThe Fool’s Journey is illustrated by the Major Arcana of the Tarot. It starts with the Magician (card I) and ends with the World (card XXI). The Fool (card 0) is simultaneously the beginning and the end of the journey. In basic Numerology, the journey is from one to nine. In reaching ten, we reduce back to one. Essentially, this tells us that the completion of every journey leads to the next journey. It is no surprise that the Wheel of Fortune is number X. It represents the endless turning one journey to the next.

Presence is key because we can only be here now. Journeying is also key because we cannot stop the movement of time. If we stay the course, we’ll soon discover the Wheel of Fortunes, fortunes in this case meaning riches.

I recently changed the tag line for my business from Journey with more Joy to Journeying with more Joy. Those three letters make such a difference. Thanks for traveling with me.

This is the second and final part of this mini-series. See part 1 here.


About the author

David TangrediDavid Tangredi is an intuitive guide. He offers Tarot and Astrology readings and writes an inspirational blog.

His first novel, Journey to the Temple of Ra, can be found here
His second novel, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, can be found here

Visit David’s website and blog: A Fool’s Inclination

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The R/Evolution of the Wheel of Fortune Part I – David Tangredi

Visionary Fiction writers take us on a Hero’s Journey. Not only are the heroes and journeys archetypal, but so are the many characters and situations encountered along the way.

Another version of the Hero’s Journey is the Fool’s Journey, which specifically refers to the Major Arcana of the Tarot, but also the variations as I see it: the signs and houses in Astrology, basic Numerology, and the full Tarot comprising all five suits. I explore the Fool’s Journey in my work: my blog writing, my book writing, and within my classes and intuitive readings. As I like to say, “The Journey of the Fool is always from where you are to where you want to be.” The Fool is not a fool, but rather an astute teacher by example. This archetype is dear to my heart and is why I named my business A Fool’s Inclination.

Journey to the Temple of Ra front coverIn writing my first novel, Journey to the Temple of Ra, I embarked the Fool’s Journey literally and literarily. In fact, an earlier version was entitled A Fool’s Journey. I wrote the tale as 78 mini-chapters named after the 78 cards in the Tarot. Each mini-chapter depicts a character or situation, which matches one or more interpretations of the corresponding card. Through this endeavor, my protagonist unveiled his life purpose…and I learned each card intimately.

In my second book, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, the sequel to the above, my hero walks his purpose despite unexpected challenges. I structured that story around numbers—integrating Numerology, Sacred Geometry, the seven chakras, the seven densities, and more. It is written as sixteen chapters starting with zero.

Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome front coverZero essentially exists outside of Numerology, but it does have special meaning…and it is the number typically associated with the Fool. In my mind, zero represents the absolute—the indescribable, where no separation exists. It is simultaneously source and destination. We may never come to understand the absolute, but contemplating its existence is helpful nevertheless.

Fiction is not the only device for depicting the Hero’s Journey; an essay or blog post works just as well. In this article, separated into two parts, we are going to follow the journey of another favorite archetype of mine: the Wheel of Fortune. Wheels, after all, are wonderful tools for travel.

A wheel resembles the number zero and relates to the Fool and his journey. As we know, there are journeys within journeys within journeys. Similar to a classic, adjustable bar stool, as the wheel turns, it moves higher and higher. It evolves as it revolves. As with the bar stool, we won’t start at the floor and we won’t reach the ceiling.

In our first turn, we consider the Wheel of Fortune as I first learned it. The most basic description is: “Fortunes rise and fortunes fall.” Fortune, in this case, means luck.

If a stick is poked into the edge of a wheel and you stand upon it as it rolls, you follow a similar path. In this view, life is seen as chaotic and subject to chance. That is one way to explain why bad things happen to good people. Furthermore, it implies a belief in fate. If bad luck looms ahead, there’s no avoiding it. It must play out.

At first glance, this interpretation seems realistic. Haven’t we all experienced life this way? We’ve done well for a while, but then the tides turn and we struggle. Maybe we get back up and succeed once again, or maybe we hop off that particular wheel (job, career, relationship, etc.) and find another one. How often, when in a particularly good place, do we fear slipping or falling completely off of our success? More often than we want to admit! A few spins at the mercy of this wheel has us begging for greater understanding.

Wheel of Fortune and the WorldAt the next level, we are encouraged to compare the Wheel of Fortune (card X, the middle of the Fool’s Journey) with the World (card XXI, the end of it). Both cards imply rotation. Both cards depict four symbols along the corners. Looking closely, we realize that the symbols that garnish both cards are the same. To me, they represent the four fixed signs of the Zodiac: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, which occupy the middle of each season. In other words, they represent time.

The Wheel of Fortune spins. The World turns. We track the passing of time on a circular dial: two rotations per day. We understand that we cannot stop any of this movement. So what is the counsel?

Strive for the center of the wheel. The center of a wheel moves the least. The chaos of life is therefore mitigated. Actually, the chaos is exactly the same objectively. It is our perspective and thus our experience of it that changes.

This is sound advice. If you temper your reacting, you are better able to maintain balance, and balance promotes focus, which gets the job done. Regardless, it makes the journey easier to travel. However, there is still distance to cover to reach the World, which is our supposed destination, where we view the earth as if from space, seeing only beauty and serenity.

This level of the Wheel is helpful, but not yet ideal. It insinuates that we must go somewhere to achieve what we want—that happiness exists somewhere else. The here and now is thus seen as less than ideal, less than perfect, and less than fulfilling.

Allow me to introduce to you an idea I first heard as The Perfection of the Universe. It is a philosophy. Rise above a situation and you gain insight. Rise high enough and you see perfection. This higher perspective is always available. It is ever-present. Again, it may not be something we attain often, but considering it is helpful.

The World hints at this perspective. We’ve seen pictures; Earth does look perfect from space. We’ve heard tales of those who tap into Cosmic Consciousness and describe it as fully connected, astoundingly beautiful, and absolutely perfect. Alas, many of us never seem to get there. We don’t live in space; we walk with our feet firmly planted on the ground. And even though we’ve invented trains, fast cars, and airplanes, it still takes too long to get from where we are to where we want to be.

Easing contrast is good, but it is not enough. We ask for further insight and guidance, and the wheel rises once again. In part two, we’ll follow additional revolutions of the wheel and watch as it reaches further into perfection.

The second and final part of this mini-series is available to view from June 19, 2017. Read it here.


About the author

David TangrediDavid Tangredi is an intuitive guide. He offers Tarot and Astrology readings and writes an inspirational blog.

His first novel, Journey to the Temple of Ra, can be found here
His second novel, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, can be found here

Visit David’s website and blog: A Fool’s Inclination

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Once Upon a Time – A Visionary Fiction Perspective

I first started watching Once Upon a Time with my daughters this year.  The visionary fantasy story was created for television by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. It focuses on a young boy, Henry, who believes that his book of fairytales is based on real-life events. The setting is Storybrooke, Maine where Henry’s foster mother, Regina, is the town’s mayor. In actuality, she is the Evil Queen.  She spends most of her time plotting revenge against Snow White, who inadvertently blurted out a secret that led to her lover’s death.  Unable to kill Snow White, Regina casts a spell that transports all the fairytale characters from the Enchanted Forest to Storybrooke, each without memories of their previous lives. The story takes off when Henry’s birth mother, Emma, arrives in Storybrooke.  Henry reveals to Emma that she is the long awaited Savior who must help the residents remember who they are and  liberate them from Regina’s control. He also discloses that Snow White and Prince Charming are her parents.

Villains and Heroes

What makes OUAT stand out as visionary fiction is the character arcs.  As there are many characters in this story, the focus of this article will be on the three leads that personify the symbolic archetypes of darkness and light.  The two main villains, Rumpelstiltskin and Regina are three-dimensional, which helps make them sympathetic to the viewer. Through their backstories, we are shown that evil isn’t born but rather created out of circumstances along with the choices that stem from those circumstances.  Regina turns to the dark side after the murder of her lover.  Rumpelstiltskin’s weakness and inability to care for his son leads him to enter the world of dark magic. He believes his power as the “Dark One”  is  what makes him strong. His only weakness is that he can be controlled by anyone who takes possession of his sword.

As with real life, even the heroes realize they’re not perfect. Emma doesn’t want anything to do with her Savior destiny and takes Henry’s revelation about Storybrooke as nothing more than a fantasy.  As the series progresses, Emma accepts her Savior status.  She battles dragons, witches and warlocks, but her toughest battle is fighting her own inner-demons.  The battles are unrelenting until the very last episode where Emma’s story arc concludes with her final battle against the Black Fairy. Visionary Fiction enthusiasts will appreciate how this battle is handled.  Hint…it’s all about inner-growth!

Warning: If you prefer to go into the show with no further explanation, stop reading here. While I don’t give away any story plot, I do get into a little more depth about the characters and their motivations. 

Happily Ever After?

Regina and Rumpel both want happy endings but don’t believe that it’s part of their destinies.

 

“My life was never just one story. It was many stories. To some, a villain. I hurt people… in ways I can never make up for. To others, I’m… a hero. They’ve seen my strength, my ability to do the hard things, even when I thought I couldn’t. I want to start a new story. One where the Evil Queen doesn’t get a part.” Regina

The evolutionary journey isn’t static. It’s in constant motion, which is not unlike real life.  Tragedies happen, relationships end. This is where our villains really have to prove their worthiness to move forward.

“Want me to have faith in you? Have faith in me.”  Henry to Regina

Regina’s love for Henry forces her to take a detour on her dark path, and she evolves into a hero.  She  also manages to fall in love again…with Robin Hood! However, a tragedy cuts their romance short, which again makes Regina wonder whether she’s worthy of a happy ending.

Hoping to erase her past, Regina casts a spell to remove the Evil Queen portion from herself. Can one’s past be scrubbed by a spell? Regina gets her answer when she is forced to battle her former evil-self. The original Regina is set to win, but destroying her dark counterpart no longer feels like the right solution.  How she handles the outcome will demonstrate that she’s finally accepted her past.

“You are not all evil and I am not all good. Things are not that simple.” Snow White to Regina 

Evolution isn’t Linear

Out of love for his son, Neal, Rumpelstiltskin sacrifices his own life to save the people of Storybrooke.  However, when Zelena, the Wicked Witch from Oz resurrects him and keeps him locked in a cage,  he regresses to his previous dark self.  His regression initially makes no sense. After the ultimate sacrifice, why turn back? Then the answer comes:

“Once you give in to darkness, it’s almost impossible to resist its calling.” Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin admits that his love for power overshadows his love for his wife, Belle.  But we see his current struggle when his younger son, Gidian returns to Storybrooke to kill Emma.  Rumpel, as he is called by those close to him,  is faced with the choice between love of power and love for his son.  This dichotomy  tortures Rumpel’s soul throughout the series.

“Maybe you should take a piece of advice from a man who has pushed away every chance of happiness because it was never enough. If it’s within your grasp, if you know where it is and who it’s with, then you should run to it, grasp it and never let it go.” Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpel’s struggle to evolve is a constant part of his character arc. There’s a major revelation about his true identity made this season, which rocks him to his core. How he deals with it isn’t revealed until the very last episode of the season. Visionary Fiction fans will again appreciate how it’s handled.

Love is the Catalyst of Evolution !

In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning, “Holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl wrote about how “love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.” Frankl realized the  “meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart; the salvation of man is through love and in love.”  Poetry and other forms of art speak to us the truth and power of love. We see this demonstrated in OUAT, where the underlying theme that leads to the evolution of consciousness is love!  We don’t only see it with Regina and Rumpelstiltskin. It’s the driving force of the whole show. To see how this theme plays out, check out Once Upon a Time. It isn’t just for kids!

This season marks the conclusion of the story arc.  The good news is that the series has been renewed for a 7th season, but it will focus on a new story with some new characters.  Past episodes are available on Netflix, and the current season is on HULU.


Eleni Papanou is an award-winning author and perpetual student of life.  Visit her website for news and updates

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Climb the Stairway with Visionary Fiction – guest post by William Moore

Visionary Fiction gives us a stairway upon which we can climb and express what we know deep within. When we look at great works of art, it is as if they are reflections of higher worlds, higher dimensions. Artists paint upon a canvas, writers write upon a page, but at the top of the stairway we paint in Light upon the universe and we write in words of Light upon the universe. As we look up we see the vision, we reach into our souls and we can connect to that place, that reality.

Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, author and concealed poet, said, “All rising to great place is by a winding stair.” Today we say, “What was that guy talkin’ about?” But Francis was a very great visionary, and he understood how we evolve.

We can think of good vs. evil in terms of an upward spiral or a downward spiral, a good choice or a bad choice, the truth or a deception. There is only one power source in the universe and it allows downward spirals and wrong choices because it honors free will in the hopes that we will learn to always fight to spiral up and propel the Light and defend the Light and love the Light.  Energy returns to its source and its source is perfection, and we have to reach up to return to our source and come home.

But why fight to spiral up? Is it worth it? What will we find at the top of that stairway? Will we get to the top and find yet another stairway to climb? Ah, the climb is never monotonous any more than our fractal, holographic universe is monotonous, any more than “As above, so below” is monotonous. It is going around in circles that is monotonous. When we are climbing the spiral we are growing, we are filled with wonder and inspiration, we are resonating with heaven itself, we are reaching a greater potential, we are becoming co-creators.

Nicola Tesla said, “To create and to annihilate material substances, causing them to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man’s mind. His most complete triumph over the physical world.” In other words, man would be a creator. But mankind is male and female, Divinity is male and female, and when man and woman are united in love and balance they reflect their creator and resonate with their creator and they co-create the spiral together.

In a novel of Visionary Fiction written by William and Emma Moore called “The Heart Chasers, A Tale of Twin Flames,” we see how they co-create the spiral together, we see the freedom of expression that Visionary Fiction provides. Here we have the opening scene:

Meg slept well most nights. Her regular bedtime was 10:30 and she usually got up at 6:00. That night was different. She was awakened at 2:00 a.m. by a dream. A beautiful being of Light was standing over her. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman. No matter. Light radiated from all sides of the being. The luminous face was full of love and it wore robes that were as brilliant as sunshine mirrored on snow. The voice was calm and soothing, but the words it spoke were a command. “You must wake up. Go downstairs. Look in his briefcase.”

Visionary Fiction doesn’t force a point of view or coerce the reader to believe or accept; it is a story and it transports the reader to another realm, like a journey with Peter and Wendy to Neverland. Does it exist? Is it only imaginary, or if you can imagine it do you link to it somewhere? In the The Heart Chasers, Meg sees the top of the stairway as represented by the Being of Light, and she must follow her heart in order to climb.

Sometimes fact and fiction rival each other for sheer wonder. It is an astronomical fact that Venus orbits 13 times around the sun as Earth orbits 8 times, creating a beautiful orbital resonance and tracing out a pentagram in the night sky (See this article). But there is a spiritual and causative side to this phenomenon, and Visionary Fiction allows us to open that door and peek into those spiritual realms from whence we came so we have one foot in heaven and one foot on earth. One glimpse of the beauty of the higher dimensions has the power to propel the soul, and Visionary Fiction allows us to give the complete story, to provide both sides, and thus the story is filled with fire and power and gives insight into what motivates the soul to climb that stairway. In The Heart Chasers, we follow Michael’s visionary journey as he climbs the stairway into the higher dimensions:

He found himself several hundred miles above the Earth. Even though he could see the planet in great detail, he was standing in a beautiful, translucent meadow, with waterfalls and nature spirits all around. As he looked at the trees along the streams, he realized that they were aware of him, that they were looking at him also. All of nature was aware of his presence, and a feeling of joy and peace was everywhere…

In this story’s example, Meg and Michael are each on their own stairway. Through the vehicle of Visionary Fiction, Meg gets her preview in the Palace of Twin Flames as a spiritual being guides her through a beautiful mansion adorned with portraits of happy couples:

Her guide led her to a portrait in a little cove to the right of a massive staircase. In there she saw a portrait of herself with a man. She was seated on a chair and had a radiant smile. In that picture Meg was blissfully happy, released from all of her earthly burdens and worries. The man stood behind her with his hand on her shoulder. His vibration was soothing, but his face was not visible while her guide stood in the way. Meg kept jumping to the left and to the right, trying to see around the guide, but he was too quick for her. He lifted his hand slowly, making a smooth motion and a shadow came over the man’s face. It was meant to be hidden from her.

Visionary fiction gives us an avenue to describe such a scene, and it also gives us wholeness. When the Visionary Fiction author brings down his or her story, all benefit from the creative effort, all are given the opportunity to connect and travel to that place and discover a higher realm, a higher truth. “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Truth is that which is more beautiful than we can ever imagine, and the truth is what Visionary Fiction is reaching for. We use our imagination, that image generator within that illustrates what we feel and know, and as we do, we rise to that great place.

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BIO:

William Moore co-authored “The Heart Chasers” with his beautiful wife Emma. She is his foundation and his inspiration and he loves her with all his heart. William has a B.S. in Computer Science, an M.S. in Computer Information Systems, and he is a software engineer. But he thinks of his career as what he’s been doing to make a living while he works at “figuring it all out” and finding out what he wants to do when he grows up. He used to be a cyclist before he had one too many crashes and hung up his spurs, and he used to play classical guitar but sacrificed that interest for other endeavors. He likes yoga and hiking and beautiful music and fairy tales and doing stuff with his wife.

The Heart Chasers

 

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