The Spirit of Thanksgiving
By Brenton Bickerstaff
On November 20, 1938, Edgar Cayce was asked to give a reading for Study Group #1 to give them a greater appreciation of the true spirit of Thanksgiving. It was a challenging time, with different issues including a looming war. The world was filled with hatred, fear, and uncertainty. I’d like to paraphrase the text of Reading 3976-21. Although Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to the American spirit, the idea of giving thanks is a universal theme celebrated the world over, transcending social and cultural boundaries. My hope is that it will fill you with inspiration and a deeper appreciation of Thanksgiving.
Members of the first A Search for God group
The reading began with the importance of finding a daily appreciation of life itself, the ebb and flow, the opportunities for spiritual growth offered to us through our interaction with all those we meet. Cayce stated that the Creative Forces, often referred to as God, are in constant motion, working through us to facilitate a deeper appreciation of all things.
He reminds the group to remember and honor the lives and experiences of the special group of souls who refused to waver in their purpose and ideals of establishing a nation built upon equality and freedom. Those colonists who first shared land with the local natives were constantly reminded not to just be thankful on days of plenty, but also the importance of remaining thankful in times when in each moment they were given only what was sufficient for that day. In those trying times, it was essential that they remember to give thanks for all the joys, the sorrows, the disappointments, and the hopes for the future.
Cayce reminds us that we are the torch bearers, the chosen ones to carry on the American spirit by working together for peace. We are encouraged to give thanks for our differences, and find strength in our diversity. We are a global family with a shared ideal of unity, cooperation, and mutual respect. This idea of Thanksgiving must be in the mind and heart of each soul, as we respect all of our unique paths and embrace opportunities to support each other. It is not by judging and condemning our political leaders that we will find our answers, but rather in daily Thanksgiving for the opportunity to participate in the process that helps create and evolve an ideal-driven experiment that is the United States of America.
In this great country, we are given opportunities—ones not afforded to much of the world—to put into practice the ideals our country was initially founded upon. This is the true spirit of Thanksgiving: to give thanks for the chance to lift the spirits of those around us who have lost focus, and those who have become unappreciative of our opportunities and the basic freedoms we enjoy. Thanksgiving is a reminder that every day is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to an ideal-driven life full of purpose and passion; a day to remind us to see the living God in all that we encounter on our path. A day when each of us may give thanks for simply being alive!
As we give thanks—in the spirit of love, truth, patience, and compassion—we will receive the gift of greater awareness and understanding. Our lives will fill with the fruits of our labor, wisdom, and depth of clarity in our purpose for being alive now. Synchronicities will provide guidance and light our path.
Cayce reminds us of the ideals established in the early days of the American colonies: “In this land you may give praise for freedom of speech, for the opportunities to raise your voice in whatever way and manner you choose…Then, as you give thanks, as you give praise to your friends for kindnesses, for gentleness, for those things that make your experience more bearable in a cruel world… Let your heart then be glad.” (From reading 3976-21)
Far too often, I find myself forgetting to appreciate the basic human rights acknowledged in our country’s constitution. I always have to take a step back and extend my heartfelt prayers to all those at home and around the globe suffering from oppression, discrimination, and inequality—as I also remember to forgive myself for any oppressive acts and remain open-minded and of service to all who are in need. I also want to give thanks to all those who selflessly step in to protect the many freedoms we enjoy in our beautiful nation; all the servicemen and women who work tirelessly to protect our basic rights. As individuals, we may label ourselves insignificant, but this could not be further from the truth. As we bring change in the hearts of individuals, we enact change on a large scale.
I strive daily to maintain an attitude of gratitude—thankful for the blessings received, but also thankful for the struggles I encounter, for these are opportunities to grow in depth of awareness. Only by applying what we have learned can we find deeper meaning in life and strengthen our purpose, opening ourselves to a life of greater love and compassion.
Let each raise his voice in Thanksgiving for all that has, that may come to pass in the experience of each soul that prays, "Your will, O God, be done in me—now. Not as I will, but as You would have me go."
Brenton Bickerstaff is the host of Reflections: The Wisdom of Edgar Cayce internet television and radio talk show. He moved to Virginia Beach from Florida to work with Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. in 2012. He has been a student of the Edgar Cayce readings as well as other metaphysical and esoteric wisdom teachings since he was a teenager, with a special interest in educating and empowering teens and young adults to find their spiritual path.
From the Desk of Kevin J. Todeschi
This is my update for November 2014 to A.R.E. members and friends who are interested in the new and exciting
trends occurring within Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and Atlantic University. Please share the following with your
YOUR MONTHLY CREATE CAMPAIGN UPDATE
With just 13 months left in our $30 million CREATE Comprehensive Campaign (capital,
endowment, and programs); we have just passed the $25 million mark! With the Cayce
Hospital renovations successfully completed and over $6 million raised already toward our
$7.5 million capital project goal, we have been focused this fall on building our endowment –
currently $4 million in investments and $1 million in real estate. Happily, we received pledges
to start 4 new endowment funds in the last month or so! We still need to raise an additional
$1.8 million before the end of the Campaign next year (December 31, 2015). Want to create
your own named endowment fund for our Prison Outreach or Prayer programs? A.R.E. Camp or our schools (Atlantic
University and Cayce/Reilly School of Massage)? Or a new endowment to support A.R.E. in general? You are still
supporting our day-to-day program operations through your annual donations as well. We have raised well over $18
million for these great programs already! Thank you.
I want to highlight this month several people who used their time as Atlantic University students to make the world a
better place. Here are just a few of the ways that A.U. graduates are helping to transform the
Amy Haible, MA, LMT, helped Maine fisherman understand their exceptional human
experiences. See her article in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Venture Inward
magazine (available to members of the A.R.E.). Member Log In:
Michelle Hamady, MA, healing through Mandalas—life changing not only for her participants, but also for
herself. Watch her culminating project presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofztn9lQcgk. Watch
for her Mandala eGroup coming in 2015!
Dustin Pack, MA, bridges spirituality with nature through the perennial philosophy. Watch his culminating
project presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSxUsBiV8d4&list=UU_6vv9MEzR-CM3VlvmB3VpA.
Download his free for iphone and ipad App in iTunes: Spiritual Reflections
To find out more about Atlantic University, go to www.AtlanticUniv.edu. Come grow with us.
CAYCE/REILLY® SCHOOL OF MASSAGE
The Cayce/Reilly School is celebrating the graduation of students from the April 2014 and Evening
Studies Programs on November 23, 2014. Congratulations to all these graduates who worked so hard
the last year to complete their training and will now carry the Cayce health legacy forward! We are
busy working on recruitment for our next new class starting in January 2015 and participating in
many wonderful community service opportunities. As we look ahead to the new year, we are thrilled
to explore more targeted military-based outreach, launch a new website and welcome many new presenters to our
Continuing Education program. Thank you for all your support! If you are someone you know is interested in the
incredible training that occurs at the massage school, visit: CayceReilly.edu for more information.
WATCH YOUR MAILBOX and Help Us Meet the Match!
In the next week or two, you’ll be getting my letter announcing our Year-End Matching Gift opportunity! Some of our long-time members have pooled their year-end donations to create a $125,000 Matching Gift Fund!
They will match all NEW donations to the Good Karma Club ($20+ per month), Golden Circle ($1,000+ per year), AND any increased Golden Circle-level donations (bump up to $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000+) up to $125,000 before December 31. Give more than you did last year and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar!
Will you help us get the full Match? You can also see additional information at this link: EdgarCayce.org/donate
A.R.E. 2015 TOURS
A.R.E. 2015 TOURS
Get ready for a fantastic tours line up for 2015 including:
- Our first ever tour to CUBA! [Price recently reduced!] Join John Van Auken on this one-of-a-kind journey. Visit Cuba legally on a people-to-people, cultural exchange program. This will be an opportunity like no other to experience the cultural richness and diversity of this beautiful island. January 31- February 8, 2015. Contact the travel programs office at email@example.com; or EdgarCayce.org/tours for details.
- Southern Spain & Morocco – Led by Peter Woodbury, April 11 -22, 2015. Also offering an optional extension to the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara Desert, April 22-26, 2015.
- Old Quebec & Montreal – Led by Patrick and Jane Belisle, August 10-16, 2015.
- JUST ADDED: China & Tibet – Led by John Van Auken, September 15-28, 2015.
- New Mexico and Mesa Verde – Led by Don Carroll, October 24-31, 2015.
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR HEADQUARTERS CONFERENCES
($Take part in our holiday tradition--join us for our annual New Year’s conference. [Note for families: a special youth track runs concurrent with this event – see below.] This year features lots of fun, out-of-the-box activities designed to engage the creative forces and your higher self. The Creative Edge: A Retreat for Inspiring and Unleashing Your Dynamic, Intuitive Self! will be held December 29-31 and will also feature a New Year’s Eve party with music and refreshments and a peaceful midnight meditation. Or start off 2015 with our January 16-18 Experiencing Sacred Inner Realms: Awakening to the Call of Your Soul and experience the healing power of meditation with proven techniques for reaching a deeper state of spiritual awareness and enlightenment with John Van Auken, James Van Auken, Joanne DiMaggio, and Judith Pennington. Open to all. (Life members may redeem their passes for this program.)
Field Conferences brings Headquarters -sponsored programs and dynamic speakers to cities near you! Our 2015 line-up includes new programs with favorite A.R.E. Press authors Kim O’Neil, Darrin W. Owens, Don Carroll and more! Check out our listing of programs near you in the Calendar of Events section of Venture Inward.
A.R.E. NEW YEAR’S YOUTH PROGRAMS!
The A.R.E. Youth will be offering two programs for Teens and Young Adults this year from December 27 through January 1. Youth participants can expect to share meals and grow together through spiritual and personal exploration; all while living an enriching and meaningful Cayce-centric lifestyle. Come experience the magic of living ocean-side as we ring in 2015.
EDGAR CAYCE LEGACY SOCIETY
You Can Have Your Legacy Last Forever through ECLS. There has never been a better time to join the Edgar Cayce Legacy Society (ECLS) and ensure the future of the Cayce Work! Just invest in an A.R.E. Charitable Gift Annuity OR add us to your estate plans (or notify us that you have already done so) by December 31 and, as a new ECLS member, you will:
- Receive a FREE DVD of the recent and very popular HQ Conference “Medical Intuition: Self Diagnosis and Healing with Your Body’s Energy Systems” by Dr. Norm Shealy, author of “Living Bliss: Major Discoveries along the Holistic Path” (NOT available for purchase)
- Be entered into a drawing that include:
- A 50th Anniversary Edition of “There is a River” autographed by Gladys Davis Turner, Edgar Evans Cayce, Charles Thomas Cayce, Dr. Harold Reilly and other early A.R.E. luminaries
- A 75th Anniversary Edition of “There is a River” autographed by Edgar Evans Cayce, Charles Thomas Cayce and Kevin Todeschi
Contact Susan Luscomb at 757-457-7125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Marianna Theo at 757-457-7215 or email email@example.com for more information.
FALL ASTROLOGY SALE – SAVE $5
Our fall astrology sale is in full swing, saving you $5 each on all charts. There’s no limit to the amount of charts you can order, so break out your holiday gift-giving list! The sale ends December 5! View charts here: http://www.arecatalog.com/Astrology-Charts/
A.R.E eGROUPS AND ONLINE COURSES
A.R.E. online courses are designed to allow the participant to focus on your spiritual growth and personal enrichment from the comfort of home. With 24/7 access to all lesson material, staying connected to a network of like-minded seekers is easy and convenient. Our next scheduled eGroup: Creating the Life You Want, November 19 – December 16, mentored by Patrick Belisle.
And in 2015 we are offering a Special Package designed just for you! You can enroll in all four A Search for God eGroups for the price of three! Just $165 for three courses, get one completely FREE (Offer valid until January 31st, 2015. Regularly $220, you save $55). To register for this package visit this link
- Book One, 1-6 February 11 - March 24, 2015
- Book One, 7-12 April 22 - June 2, 2015
- Book Two 1-6 July 22 - September 1, 2015
- Book Two, 7-12 September 16 - October 27, 2015
For more information about eGroups, visit www.edgarcayce.org/egroups, or contact us at: eGroups@edgarcayce.org
Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!
Kevin J. Todeschi
Executive Director and CEO
Major Astrological Influences for 2015
By Nicholas Theo
As we enter the final weeks of 2014, many of us are wondering what is in store for us in 2015. In 2014, we saw the peak of a multi-year (2012-15) Grand Cross anchored by a Pluto in Capricorn squaring Uranus in Aries. This square picks up on some themes from the 1960s when, in 1965-67, a Pluto and Uranus conjunction ushered in a period of rapid social change. Consequently, we are living through a time of rapid change. In 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn, its transformative energy exposed an imbalanced world economy, so when we add the energy of the square, an aspect of inner tension propelling towards change, it is not only the structure that shifted, but it is also a time of involuntary stretching and growth. We feel a sense of uncertainty from a crowding of ominous news events while in contrast, there are some areas that are seemingly stuck.
What is in store for in 2015?
On a more personal level, this energy broke down routine patterns in our lives though job losses and health problems. December 15 and March 16 bring the final two exact squares of Uranus and Pluto, so we are on the downside of the force of its energy; and as we progress through 2015, we will see an easing of this tension. The lesson of that energy in the past three years was for us to find our grounding from within. Remember, permanent security is not found in external circumstance but through connecting with our divine source from within. Although seemingly traumatic, many of the changes we went through were guiding us away from experiences no longer needed, no matter how comfortable, and bringing us into new spaces that challenge our growth and help us better define our true purpose and creative intent.
While Neptune ambles along in its home sign of Pisces in 2015, Saturn enters Sagittarius shortly before the New Year. With the exception of June 16 to September 17, when Saturn moves temporarily back into Scorpio, its focal energies turn toward higher education, law, publishing, and spiritual beliefs. In the next two years, we will see more news stories about challenges to the structure of college education and the best methods to train the workforce. Some debates should arise on civil and international law in 2015, while religious groups take a deeper look at their core beliefs. This may lead to splits, or the threat of splits, within these groups. The publishing industry also should go through reorganization and further adjustments.
In 2015, Jupiter transits through Leo until August 11, when it moves into Virgo. This planet of expansion shines on Leo, which ignites our creativity before it shifts its energy into Virgo, thus the latter part of the year will find the focus is on more technical and down-to-earth things. Don’t be too surprised to see some announcements on breakthroughs in medicine and technology. More specifically, there may be new studies coming out about the body, mind, and spirit connection to illness as well as “future” technologies that are quickly adapted into the regular routine of daily living.
Eclipse seasons in 2015 will occur near the spring and autumn equinoxes. Eclipses tend to bring situations to a head for people who have a planet located immediately on or in opposition to an eclipse. On March 20, a solar eclipse occurs in the very last moments of Pisces just hours before the vernal equinox, while a lunar eclipse on April 4 falls in mid-Libra. Then the next solar eclipse occurs on September 13 at 20 degrees Virgo, and a lunar eclipse at 4 degrees Aries on September 27 rounds out the year.
Whenever a planet moves retrograde, it is a time for inner listening and reflection. The most well-known retrograde cycle is of Mercury. In 2015, Mercury goes retrograde three times: January 22 to February 11; May 18 to June 11; and September 17 to October 9. During these dates, just stop, look, and listen. Frequently, Mercury retrograde brings insights and new information that is helpful to your decision-making, thus the advice to hold still and wait. Once Mercury moves direct, you can use this new information to your advantage.
It is vital to remember that the planets do not cause events, nor are you helpless as the planets move through their regular cycles. Although your personal circumstances may be troubled from the recent events, know that these energies cleared away what was no longer necessary. Go within, and let your meditations, prayers, and dreams guide you towards your best outcome. Each of us has a divine connection to the living source of God.
Nicholas Theo is an operations and strategic manager and has done work for organizations including A.R.E. and Atlantic University. He was raised with the Cayce materials and his interest in astrology started as a teenager. Because the Cayce readings on astrology consistently emphasize the importance of using astrology as a tool for self-discovery and understanding rather than as a primarily predictive system, over the years, his interest in astrology evolved into a side vocation with research on the application of soul astrology (Soulastrologer.com). He has been doing astrology readings since 1980.
Save $5 on a unique astrology forecast made just for you, with this special $5 off link: http://www.arecatalog.com/Landing.aspx?campaign=BG8010 Or call 800-333-4499, and give the representative Offer Code BG8010.
Baptism into Death and Beyond
by Dr. Pam Bro
On All Souls Day, November 2, I found myself musing about death—especially loved ones who’ve died. When I was in college, my grandmother died. My mom decided not to tell me so as not to upset my studies, but when I found out two months later what she had done, I was furious! I wanted to be able to say goodbye to my beloved piano teacher and baker and big-bosomed, great hugger, Nana—and I felt cheated. I ranted and cried but felt no relief. A few weeks later, I had a dream. In it, Nana called me on the telephone, and I was overjoyed because, though I knew she was dead, here she was talking with me. “Nana,” I cried out, “I love you so much!” And she was so happy to hear my voice that she died (again)!
I don’t possess the gift of talking to dead people, even loved ones of mine who have passed on. There are plenty of folks around this area who do, I suspect. Maybe even you, dear reader. I used to live in the world of "certainties" and PhD's, but more and more I’m choosing to live in the world of Mysteries, of the Unknown or Not-understood. I’m choosing to act on faith from what Edgar Cayce, Dr. Eben Alexander, and others tell us—that consciousness is not tied to the brain, but pre-exists our life and lives on after our death. And as the souls of our beloveds travel on to the next realm(s), they might still appreciate a word of love or encouragement from us. It can’t hurt, and maybe it even cheers them. It can certainly help us cope.
My dear friend John Alton died a year ago. He was 60 years old and succumbed to a ravaging cancer after putting up a super-human fight. When he was near the end of his journey, he wanted to come to my house to visit the bay with me one more time. He never made it. The night he died, around midnight, I jerked around in my bed sensing someone had entered my room. I suspected it was John, popping in to say farewell. Now it was my turn to say good bye.
The next day dawned, an exquisitely sunny, clear sky, fall day. As I walked out over the dunes and onto our bay beach, thinking about special times with John, I spotted fishermen desperately hauling their nets onto the sand. It seemed like they had inadvertently caught a whole school of young fish—“gilled” them, one told me. The fish were too young to eat, yet once they were hooked into the net, you couldn’t easily release them without tearing their gills and killing them. As hundreds flopped helplessly on the beach, I managed to carefully remove dozens of them, flinging them back into the life-giving salt water. Many swam back to their home in the sea, but after an hour, I was exhausted.
Reluctantly, I admitted to God, “Well, I just can’t save them all. I guess I couldn’t save John with my love, and now I have to let him go back to his home in you, don't I?”
Somehow, I felt relief as I walked back down the beach. All of a sudden, I was gripped with the notion to dive into the gentle surf, jeans and all, to baptize myself and John into our new lives. So I did it, and it was glorious! The water was warm and welcoming, the sun so bright—I felt God’s blessing all around us.
It is good to remember your life, John—our deep friendship, your death, our parting, and our baptisms—“Hey, buddy, we got to share in your final wish, after all!” Selah.
Pamela Bro MDiv, MA, PhD
Dr. Pamela Bro is a spiritual counselor for the A.R.E. Health Center & Spa, founder and pastor of Living Waters, a dynamic motivational speaker and workshop leader, and a former associate pastor at Yale University. She holds her doctorate in theology and anthropology from the Chicago Theological Seminary, her masters in divinity from Union Seminary, and her masters in theatre from Schiller College, Berlin, Germany. She has enriched her field of spiritual counseling through her work with the Lakota Indians, Mindfulness Training with Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and more than forty years of work with the Cayce readings. She has opened to many paths of spirituality and draws upon many spiritual traditions and practices. She is also the author of the book SoulQuest: A Trail Guide to Life (womanquest.org).
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.