A Collective Gathering Place for Readers, Writers, and Seekers

Alchemical Tantric Astrology interview with Fredrick “Rico” Hamilton Baker

Alanna: Hello there! Thank you so much for doing this interview for Musing Mystical. After reading Alchemical Tantric Astrology, I feel like I understand myself in a whole new way. I really gained a lot from the book, and believe it’s truly the future of astrology, so it’s a real pleasure to chat with you.

Rico: Thank you Alanna for your interest in ATA.  I feel blessed to have someone with your depth of interest and understanding to read my book.  You are the perfect reader and to hear that it has touched you so deeply personally is especially rewarding.  Since we are all participating in the monumental shift of the Great Ages from Pisces to Aquarius, I would like to think, as you mention, that ATA will play a role in this major shift.  As you know, Aquarius and its rulers, Saturn and Uranus, play a primary part in the first Hermetic house, awakening the Cosmic Serpent at the Root Chakra.

Alanna: Yes! I absolutely love how you reframe the astrological seasons, sharing information about Aquarius as the first Hermetic House. This is something I really resonated with, yet I feel like it’s *hidden* information. What aspects of Aquarius energy make it the point in this system?

Rico: Aquarius contains many hints about awakening, especially in relation to Capricorn.  Aquarius time contains the beginning of Spring and in the language of the seasons puts the emphasis on waking up from Capricorn’s dark winter.  Aquarius is associated with surprising Uranus and its radioactive alchemical metal uranium, which compares to Capricorn’s serious Saturn and alchemical metal lead. Most telling is the fact that when the planetary rulers of the twelve signs of the zodiac are arranged in their natural order, Capricorn and Aquarius relate to Saturn, which becomes the bottom of the ATA chart and relate to the first Root Chakra in the Tantric Chakra system. It does seem rather “hidden” and I often refer to the ATA system as “Hidden in Plain Sight” because when we look at the natural zodiac and its rulers, the dual rulership order seems so obvious.  It seems only natural to put the zodiac in the order of the ATA system with Capricorn and Aquarius on the bottom and Cancer and Leo on the top so that they line up in perfect order with the seven planets, seven alchemical metals, and seven chakras. 

Alanna: Well speaking of beginnings, maybe I should start by asking more about your astrological career. What drew you to astrology and what’s maintained your interest for so long?

Rico: I would have to say that “It’s in the Stars.”  Double Scorpio loves penetrating to the core, and Virgo Rising, ruled by Hermes/Mercury in an air sign and the third house is a definite set-up.  Ha!

In the mid-1960s, transiting Uranus met up with Transiting Pluto in my natal first house of identity and I dropped applying for Dental schools and instead transferred to U.C. Santa Cruz, a new experimental campus of the University of California, and started over taking all the subjects I was now finding most interesting: Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. I found Carl Jung and his writing about Astrology fascinating  and had my chart done by the local iconic astrologer, who helped me get started by providing basic training wheels, and off I went. 

A chance opportunity to attend a workshop with Dane Rudhyar put me over the edge, by seeing what was Possible. I took quite a few courses in Psychology and thought that I might get into counselling, but fortunately found Astrology much more interesting. I just plain love astrology, but in another sense Astrology found me and has not let go. Humans and cycles are totally enthralling for me.

Alanna: I completely agree! I too transitioned from studying psychology to becoming an astrologer. I saw in your website biography that you studied Archetypal Psychology with James Hillman – a true legend! Do you have any memorable stories of Hillman?

Rico: I have been very blessed with great teachers.  In this case, I was in a Master’s class in psychology that was focusing on Carl Jung because the professor, Gorgen Tappan, was a Jungian therapist. As a class we got fascinated by Hillman’s book Revisioning Psychology and couldn’t stop, which led to reading everything we could find by Hillman.  Word got to Hillman that there was this Master’s class in sunny California that was going crazy over his work and somehow things got arranged so that he became our visiting professor.  I took a really long time writing my master’s thesis so that I could continue participating in his classes for several years. We got to hang out with him in many venues, e.g., I really enjoyed our informal dream groups and other small group meetings.

It is somewhat embarrassing, but I was constellated as the person who asked him the most challenging questions, so he once referred to me as a “bring down.”  At the time I considered this a compliment of sorts, being called a “bring down” by Mr. Depth Psychology himself.  Ha!  I was a smart ass Puer to his serious Senex. I enjoyed watching when his brilliant wife, Patricia Berry, on a few occasions had challenging dialogs with James.

My personal Scorpio response to his Aries persona aside, I was deeply affected by these fortunate years focused on Hillman’s ideas, perhaps most memorably by themes such as Psychology as Soul Making; the dialog of Soul and Spirit; multi-perspective vs. literal interpretation; and his original unique interpretations of myth, alchemy, and current events, etc., etc.

Alanna: Wow! I love these stories. I’m always reading Hillman, and imagining you there with him, challenging him nonetheless, really cracks me up. Then your thesis was titled “Hermes: Logos of Psyche” —  I have quite a few questions in regard to it!  Were you already studying astrology when you wrote it? Did doing research on Hermes impact the way you look at this planet/archetypal energy in an astrology chart? Can you tell us a bit about your thesis?

Rico: I was already involved with astrology when Hillman came on the scene in our Psychology M.A. program at Sonoma State University, and the application of Archetypal Psychology to the mythology of signs and planets was seamless.  At that time I began a rough version of the twelve signs of the zodiac from the perspective of Archetypal Psychology.

Hermes/Mercurius was a natural focus not only due to the influence of Jung and alchemy, but for the accent on Mercury in my natal chart and for the association of Mercury as the ruler of Astrology in general. I look especially closely at Mercury in a person’s chart, since it reflects on their all-important use of language, and I am keen to notice the archetype that Mercury expresses in every chart I encounter.

My master’s thesis, “Hermes: Logos of Psyche” basically takes on the task of showing how the many myths about Hermes/Mercury demonstrate a privileged position in Psychology (as the Logos of Psyche).  So I focused especially on the myths of Psyche and Eros and the philosophical psychology of Logos, along with the extended myths and history of Hermes and the hermetic tradition. Included was a section on Hermes and the hermetic tradition as connected to astrology, where I gave an introduction to the two signs ruled by Mercury, Gemini and Virgo. Two signs, by the way, which are highly accented in my natal chart.

As for the Logos part, I bring in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and his thought regarding hermeneutical phenomenology, which has a connection to Hermes’ archetype as translator. Hermeneutics is the philosophy of interpretation and translation, especially of biblical texts. Although the thesis was written for the M.A. program, it built upon the exceptional undergraduate program of Humanistic Psychology I was privileged to attend at U.C. Santa Cruz.  Most notable in this regard were classes with Norman O. Brown and his books, Hermes The Thief and Love’s Body.

Alanna: Wow. Mercury is one of my favorite planets, and I’m always digging deeper into the archetype. This work sounds amazing – and I will be checking out those books and ideas you mentioned. Now, I think your reading style, which integrates wisdom from many sources, is very impressive. Your website states, “My form of interpretation relies heavily on humanistic and archetypal astrology, gender-balance, and some references to occult traditions such as numerology, alchemy, and yoga.” What are some things that catch your attention the most when doing a chart reading, how do you determine what aspects to focus on?

Rico: Interpretation is a hermetic art, as briefly touched upon above.  Understanding astrology as a language and the astrologer as a translator offers a wonder-full way into chart interpretation.  Hermes as messenger and translator is on a way to language.  Martin Heidegger has this beautiful thought about the deep Greek meaning of Logos or word or language as a Way or Path through the forest that opens now and again on an opening that reveals.

I like to see the astrologer as an artist who is practicing with all his tools as a painter practices painting over and over until it is no longer an effort.  I do not feel that I need to think about what tools to choose. Translation has similarities with magic as the word and image are creative.

Alanna: How have your unique experiences contributed to your astrological understanding that you put forth in the ATA system?

Rico: Perhaps we can envision two streams coming together in ATA.  One is all the study of astrology and listening to astrology teachers that accumulates knowledge, like the upward inhalation.  The other stream is the downward exhalation that simplifies and eventually completely empties.  This second stream is practiced by yoga and meditation and helps the astrologer to sense the subtle meanings.  Both of these streams are important for all astrologers, but especially in ATA where the ultimate goal is aligning with the cosmic cycles or universal breath. 

Alanna: I know developing the ATA system has been a journey of many years, what inspired you to finally write the book now?

Rico: There are actually no beginnings to the circle but we can look back and see how the various parts of the book were coming together over the years. Specifically the study and practice of astrology on one hand and the study and practice of yoga on the other hand. I was inspired to write articles to send out via email and to make introductory pieces on the signs and planets. I taught a few classes here and there and in my meditation and dreams (a friend calls it “Night School) the questions and answers started to coalesce. 

In one way of looking at the process it was seemingly aiming for the big 2020 era transit of the Chiron/Kundalini portal at the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius.  My collection of writings was starting to look more like a book and I turned automatically to North Atlantic Books in Berkeley CA since they had published previous books (Prenatal Yoga and Conscious Conception).  When I approached Richard Grossinger personally he liked what he saw and pointed me towards Inner Traditions, and they were also interested so a contract was signed and the publishing process began in earnest.

As an astrological aside, I have found that the transit of Saturn around my natal chart correlates strongly with my social introversion and extroversion.  I have been having Saturn transit the quarter of my natal 4th, 5th, and 6th houses and it appears that I am once again becoming more visible socially.  When Saturn enters Pisces and pops above the horizon, it will likely become easier to present the book to a larger audience.  If I live long enough to see Saturn and Uranus meet my natal Uranus at the midheaven, then the book could be socially successful.

Alanna: Do you ever feel like your ATA sets you at odds with other astrologers? Or do you feel like it is usually well-received by others in the field?

Rico:  The book has not yet had enough exposure to receive much attention from other well-known astrologers with the exception of Barbara Hand Clow, who absolutely raved about how much she loves it.  Other astrologers who are friends have been very positive and supportive.  The book will be in the hands of several other respected astrologers soon, and I am hoping for the best.  The fact is that I do not see ATA in opposition to other forms of astrology.  I see ATA best utilized as an addition to standard astrology.  The natal chart is primary.

Alanna: What were your favorite and least favorite parts of your writing journey? How did you synthesize such wide bodies of knowledge into this applicable, innovative system?

Rico:  I love to read and write.  Remembering my natal Pluto and Mercury emphasis on depth and breadth, it has all come very naturally.

Alanna: Do you have any recommendations for someone wishing to learn more about alchemy? Tantra? Astrology? Perhaps a book suggestion?

Rico: The annotated bibliography in my ATA book should do the job quite nicely.  For a unique treatment of all the above I would recommend my former wife, Jeannine Parvati’s and my book Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey through the Labyrinth of Sexuality.  It is out of print but quite a few are kicking around the net, and I still have a few new ones for sale.

Alanna: A specific question I had about the ATA system is how would you characterize the difference between the upward energy of Aquarius-Leo and the downward energy of Virgo-Capricorn. Now that we’ve entered Virgo season, I am wondering what shifts I might be on the lookout for.

Rico:  This is a very good and potentially far-reaching question.  Basically I view the phenomenal world as dualistic and everything is alive and like the breath, inhaling and exhaling.  As the alchemical dictum goes: “As above, so below.”  The upward accumulating energy is like the in-breath and the downward distributing energy is like the out-breath.  Likewise the transit of every planet, galaxy, and super-galaxy.

The complete process of breathing contains a time of full lungs connected in ATA with the signs Cancer and Leo and of empty lungs related to Capricorn and Aquarius.  These two times of relative calmness have the potential of silent oneness or nonduality, which might be termed enlightenment, symbolized in Tantra as sexual union or in Alchemy as the divine marriage of Silver and Gold. The seven signs and seven chakras lead upward from Aquarius in terms of the Spirit and ascension, whereas the five signs from Virgo downward are related to the Soul (as per James Hillman and Soul/Spirit).  Myths related to ascension might be Jupiter and Juno, or Dionysis and Ariadne, while the downward path might be related to Shiva and Kali or Pluto and Persephone as king and queen of the Underworld.  The present transit of Pluto, king of the underworld, over this Root under-worldly portal at the end of Capricorn is highly charged!

Looking at Mercury as ruler, the upward sign of Gemini is the home of a Mercury/Hermes who is the alchemical minister acting to bring together the Sun and Moon in the divine marriage; whereas Mercury/Hermes as ruler of the downward sign of Virgo acts as psychopomps, carrying the Soul to the Underworld. As the inner planets (including Mars) recently transited the upper Crown portal and celebrated the alchemical marriage, the resulting insights, symbolized by the alchemical amalgam, handed off the fruits of their union to the Virgin of the Harvest in the sign of Virgo.  Each cycle is different, but every year at harvest time we feel the energy shift from the fixed highs of solar Leo to the mutable metal Mercury moving downward with the noticeably less solar energy of Fall/Autumn.

Alanna: Wow! That imagery you provided about planetary energy within the inhale-exhale metaphor really helped me to connect with the concept in a new way. How do you feel an ATA reading differs from a standard Western tropical reading? Can one type of reading provide information the other can’t? What might a client want to consider when deciding which reading to select?

Rico: Ideally I recommend the two being done together, understanding the natal chart and major transits is an excellent precursor to looking at the ATA chart, then the ATA chart is most useful as a supplement.  The whole process ideally refers back to the natal chart.

The ATA chart adds another dimension or several more dimensions but is still expanding on the natal chart which is the essence.  The ATA chart adds the alchemical and tantric metaphors which ultimately can assist with healthful and enlightening resonance with the universal breath.

I am working on a book (very slowly again) about the Five Pillars of Yoga.  All five (Advaita Vedanta, Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda, Astrology, and Vastu) help us to attune to the natural order of the cosmos.  So many of the vibrations in the world today are random and arbitrary and therefore out of tune and this is not optimal.  The ATA chart can be very helpful to bring many of our vibrations in tune with the natural cycles, especially of the planets, but also in relation to sounds, colors, geometric forms, etc. 

Alanna: Oh, I certainly feel the out-of-sync vibrations, and find so far ATA has helped me to readjust to natural cycles. This is at the heart of why I practice astrology — to re-attune to the natural cycles of both Earth and the planets. And, Rico, another book on the horizon? What a joy for readers! Please keep us updated about its progress.

Switching subjects a bit, I know that you’ve written extensively on the astrological significance of 2012. Alchemical Tantric Astrology also delves into the current transit of Pluto. What do you foresee  being major trends in the upcoming astrological climate? What advice do you have for the general public about what lies ahead?

Rico:  I suspect that you meant the year 2020, but actually both years, 2012 and 2020, are important in ATA because of the emphasis on the sign Capricorn, which in ATA is pointing to completion.  2020 had such a large number of important transits across this potent portal that I was certain we would see major changes.  And yes, Pluto is the big player still to transit this point.  Since Pluto/Hades is the divinity of the apocalypse and King of the Underworld, I think that we will once again experience monumental changes. Pluto is also completing the American Revolution cycle of 250 years, returning to his place as he was in 1776!  We can certainly expect that the tension we feel presently in this country will continue and likely grow in intensity over the next few years.  A 250 years big cycle still needs to bottom out.

In 2023 and 2024 Pluto will transit direct and retrograde over the cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius that symbolically is associated in ATA with the release of powerful energy for transformation.  This energy, which in some ways can be associated with what is called kundalini in yoga, can be highly positive for evolution, however it affects everyone differently and some who do not understand it  tend to feel it is threatening and disorienting. When Pluto enters Aquarius to stay in 2024, all the major outer planets will be on the upward accumulating side of the ATA chart, suggesting, as mentioned above, energy relating to the in-breath, generally uplifting and refreshing.

This passage is another major one of many indications that the 2160 year Great Age of Pisces is ending and the Age of Aquarius is approaching. There are reasons to believe that this major shift will have accompanying turmoil.  The Age of Pisces has had a large share of powerful teachers and saviors that may be problematic to release.  Meanwhile, although Aquarius has its brilliant and positive frontside, it also has its share of negative aspects in its backside, perhaps most notably, runaway technology. With Aquarius as the first awakening sign of Alchemical Tantric Astrology, I like to think of ATA as an appropriate form of astrology for the approaching Great Age of Aquarius.  I think and feel that the amazing transits we have been experiencing, as the planets have entered Aquarius and begin a new cycle and Cosmic Inhalation, are making important contributions to this larger shift of the new Great Age.

Alanna: This information is a wonderful guide to think about what might lay ahead. Thank you so much for this interview, Rico! It’s been wonderful chatting with you!

Rico:  This has been a totally enjoyable and revealing experience for me too.  Your excellent questions have helped me to explore new realms.  You are welcome and Thank You!

For those who are interested, you can learn more about Rico and his work at his website.

Interview with Intuitive Author Natalia Clarke

“Natalia Clarke is a transpersonal psychotherapist, writer, poet, nature lover and intuitive practitioner. Her interests lie in human psyche, transformation, nature spirituality, spiritual self-awareness, earth-based spiritual practice, Scotland and UK travel. She is a fiction and non-fiction writer and a poet with a passion for nature, Scotland, emotions and magic. She writes about intuitive living, magical practice, nature spirituality and soul relationship with the land.”1

After reading Natalia’s most recently book, Intuitive Magic Practice, I experienced an huge shift that reconnected me to my intuition. Her gentle guidance and experience-based wisdom brought me right back into center, and since then I’ve been prioritizing maintaining receptivity to my inner voice. As much of the book is written from her perspective as both a psychotherapist and experienced intuitive practitioner, I wanted to find out a bit more of Natalia’s thoughts and insights. I had a few questions on mind about Natalia’s practice and advice, and I was absolutely delighted when she agreed to do an interview for Musing Mystical.

What are some of your earlier memories of feeling connected to your spiritual self?

Ever since I was very young, I felt like I was a part of nature. Whenever I was in the forest, I became a tree; when I was swimming, I was a part of it. When I laid on the ground or walked barefoot, I felt at home. It is that feeling of belonging to the wild and natural that felt like nothing else; expansive and joyous, which we now might call a spiritual experience. 

One of my earliest memories is running through summer rain with my mother, barefoot and soaked through. I still remember the feeling of warm rain on my body and that felt very otherworldly to me and completely natural. Other instances I recollect are fishing on a river in remote places in early hours of the morning with my father. The silence felt incredible with spirit all around. 

How does your intuition speak to you?

Often my experiencing intuition at play would be either auditory, visionary or a feeling/sensation in my energy feel or in the body. Auditory can be a sound, a birdsong, a whoosh of wind. Sounds would be followed by an image or a color, for example. With all of that there will be a feeling that speaks through me and I feel it physically. It is not necessarily an emotion, but a sense, a nudge and then a narrative would unfold through words or a poem would be put together (I write poetry intuitively). It depends what intuition is there to serve. This is how it is with magic or a message coming through that relates either to myself or someone else, or a project of some sort. In life I do check-ins with myself on how things feel whenever I need guidance or help deciding or starting something. 

Do you have a practice for when you start feeling disconnected from your intuition?

Intuition is not something one connects to once you learn to live and function that way naturally through practice. Intuition will always be there whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes we are aware but ignore it and other times we might not be aware, because we are not used to operating via our emotional/psychic system and use our habitual ‘mind’ modes of living.

What I have learnt is that intuition is always there, it has always been there, and it can be used as a skill, a tool to navigate your world, including practicing magic.  Once allowed it speaks to you rather than you speak to it, if it makes sense, so I cannot say one disconnects from it rather there are periods of silence, rest when you don’t experience a message, a sign, a voice. In those periods I don’t do anything. I wait when it comes. I speak about doing things when I am called in my book. I am what I call a Witch-in-waiting, waiting to serve once I am spoken to, directed, but this is another topic on how traditional witchcraft might work.

What role do you feel creativity has in intuitive magic?

Creativity is a big part of magic generally, but particularly in intuitive form of practice. It is that playful part of you, an artist in you that gets engaged and the whole thing comes alive be it a spell, a ritual, an offering. Creativity can be introduced with incorporating drawings, words (poems, devotionals, incantations, and spells) or making something – an altar set-up or a spell preparation and choosing your objects. Creativity brings intuitive magic to life and makes it colorful and meaningful and individual to you. 

How do you prioritize self-care in your life?

The answer is intuitively. Either my intuition, my body, my emotional or a mental state would always tell me when I need to slow down and by this point in my life it can come with very specific instructions on what I need to do and how to take care of myself in that moment. I never not listen, and I just follow the message.

It can be via my physical body manifesting some symptoms and slowing me down (this one is often when things get bad, which is not often these days). It can be a dream with a clear message or a voice saying, ‘not today’ (auditory). Restlessness often tells me I need to stop too. Generally having your self-awareness switched on (mindfulness is another way of describing it) at all times, which comes naturally over time with practice, will be helpful. 

How does nature support you in your spiritual practice?

Nature is everything to me. Everything in nature makes sense. I make sense, my life does, my relationships do, and it provides deep meaning for me. I was born to witness nature, that’s my reason for being here, I often think. This might be a cliché, but I can not survive without it and often experience feelings of profound grief when I either have to leave wilderness or when I don’t have any nature around me. I become numb, disconnected, and bereft. I am sensitive to the sounds of trees being cut and would spend days in a state of anxiety. 

What advice do you have for those hoping to reconnect to their intuition?

My advice would be to give it a try. Trust that you know the answers you seek, and you have always known. You cannot fail and can only learn and grow. Treat it with curiosity. It wants you to hear yourself and give yourself a chance. Intuition is of you and about you. It is centered in the heart of things and waiting to help. 

How do you feel psychology and magic can support one another?

The main thing is awareness. As it is with psychology of making unconscious conscious it is with magic when we are aware of intuition and let it speak, it helps us know ourselves better, what we do and why, it helps us see the patterns of our defenses and behavior. It is being present with intention. Why do we do what we do? Both psychology and magic provide deep understanding and acceptance of ourselves (strengths and limitations, all of it) and every witch must know her own depth and weaknesses and, therefore, embracing the whole. Psychological work is about ‘making whole’, coming back home to yourself once you learn things and choose not to judge and instead become curious and accepting of all that you are. 

Has your intuition ever guided you to do something that was totally different than what your mind was saying?

This is very often the case due to our conditioning; I believe. It is also the reason why people dismiss intuition so quickly, as the mind can be a powerful master. Our thought patterns can be so ingrained in our psyche that it feels impossible and even fooling to even consider operating in any other way. The mind will always seek to take over, because that is what we are used to, trained into doing.

However, mind is only as powerful as we give it credit and it is in many ways automatic. It doesn’t have the ability to discern like heart/intuition can. The mind only does what it knows to do repeatedly and that is where training yourself into feeling and sensing comes in rather than continuing to use thinking/mind alone. This is a big topic with a lot of psychology behind it and an interesting area to explore for all of us to understand mind vs heart, thinking vs feeling, logical vs spontaneous and creative.

What I did over time when studying and practicing was pay attention, not automatically dismissing ‘other ways’ and potentially changing the course of acting based on something different. It can be useful to learn to use both, they both have value, but when one is in power and control all the time and the other is silenced, it is difficult. A lot of work needs to be done to understand how the mind works and allow the intuitive side to participate too before they can be brought together to serve the same purpose – helping us live a fulfilling life. 

Why do you think creating a spiritual practice based upon intuition, as opposed to set rules or ritual, is so refreshing to one’s spirit? 

It is honoring what you already know, what your soul always knew, and spirit always supported. It is different and refreshing because it promotes giving yourself a chance to play a part and if rituals and rules can support and include it then it is even better. It is inclusive, as I know sometimes, we might feel we must follow, we should do this and that because it is the rule and someone else said this and that. We might not want to be seen differently or daring or ‘out of the circle’, so to speak, which links in with how we learn to behave psychologically as children, for example. It takes practice and experience and enjoying the journey of exploring both – the traditional and unique and making the whole thing your own. 

What is your favorite thing about writing a book?

I love the intuitive element to writing. Sometimes you think you go one way and then it takes you in another. Ideas flash and exploration begins. Characters or concepts take on a life of their own and, as a writer, you follow. I like how alive and immersive the process is. It is an interesting way of expressing yourself and sharing experiences. When I write I have no concept of time and space, nothing else exists and I love that. When writing this book, I felt joy being able to share my ways of practicing and show the element of exploration, curiosity, and play that can go into it.  

What is the most challenging part of being an author?

Writing is hard work and a balancing act of so many things. The challenge is to convey the message you intended and be sure and satisfied that you expressed and said all that was relevant and important and hope the audience would find it inspiring, helpful, and interesting. Writing is challenging, but also a rewarding creative and often spiritual experience like no other. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your next book, Baba Yaga, coming in December 2021?

This book was written completely intuitively, which makes it one of those glorious projects for me as a writer. I wrote it via listening to the deity. She spoke through me, which was challenging, as she speaks in codes and symbols and a different language all together. I enjoyed the challenge of translating the message and putting it across in a way she would approve of. In many ways I had no choice in this, as I was asked to do it by her and hope it comes across as material that you would not find in fairy tales or traditional sources. This book is about what Baba Yaga wanted to say herself rather than what has been told about her since the beginning of time. It is a devotional and personal understanding of the deity in a book that suggests a way of working with her.

A channeled Baba Yaga book? Wowza! This sounds amazing. I look forward to reading this one as well! If you would like to stay in touch with Natalia, you can follow her blog: https://rawnaturespirit.com/. Intuitive Magic Practice will be released on May 1, 2021; you can purchase a copy here.

Interview with Spirit Guide Erin

Oh, the fun ways spirit will work to align people meant to be in our lives! Who would have thought I would synchronistically meet Erin in 2020, despite living on opposite ends of North America. Her journey with spirit, especially her advocacy for awakened children, has been immensely rewarding to see unfold.

I immediately was drawn to Erin’s work because I used to see and talk with spirits when I was a young girl. Through my teenage years and into my 20s, spirits often communed with me. I could always envision the spirits that lived in my friend’s homes, and could very quickly sense the presence of spirit in my daily life. However, I always felt isolated and alone in these experiences, especially as a child.

As a nanny to dozens of families over the course of a decade, I often had children speaking to me about their imaginary friends they saw and had relationships with. The majority of parents shut down their children’s experience, deeming it imagination or simply made-up, but I always knew they were seeing spirit. This is why Erin’s mission means so much to me. Her work with spirit is something I truly believe is going to make a great impact in the world as people begin to acknowledge children’s awareness of the spirit world, which is often a natural part of childhood and deserves to be nurtured.

Erin’s journey is real, authentic, and empowering. I was thrilled she agreed to do an interview for Indie Mystic, as she’s currently busy writing her first book about her experiences. Additionally, she also assists with meditation classes and has her own ghost hunting group! But I won’t give too much away… Let’s dive in!

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what called you to work with spirit?

Of course!  I live in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada.  My husband John and I are parents to two beautiful little girls.  I was born in Toronto, and my family moved to Brantford when I was 12. I’ve had many experiences with spirit throughout my life, starting at age 3.

In my early 20’s, spiritual activity around myself and my family intensified, leading up to one specific experience that would be my spiritual awakening.  It was when my daughters also started having spiritual encounters that I began searching for answers. I wanted to learn more about the spiritual world in order to help my daughters navigate their own lives with spirit. So, I guess my calling to work with spirit was for my girls.  I wanted to help them and all of the other children and families out there who are in need of compassion and guidance.  

How does spirit usually manifest itself for you?

I have seen spirit take form twice in my life. One was a little girl and the other a woman in her mid 50’s.  These stories are in my book.  Seeing them take form makes me uncomfortable, so I have asked spirit to show themselves to me with flickering of light in the air, or orbs.  Spirit has also given me a physical sign on my body to show me when they are close.  My right hand will go numb and start to tingle which is always my sign spirit is near.

Can you describe your spiritual awakening process, or perhaps events that lead you to developing your connection to spirits?

I’ve had many experiences over the years, but I would say my spiritual awakening happened when I was 8 months pregnant.  We were at my cottage on Lake Simcoe and my uncle, husband, and I decided to take the boat out for a tour around Snake Island.  Lake Simcoe is a huge lake, and it can turn dangerous quickly, which it did on this day. We were caught in a fast moving storm and it was a near death experience. When we were finally able to get back to shore safely, a very powerful spiritual moment occurred: my deceased Papa made himself known to my uncle and I in a very profound manner. It was after that experience that the spiritual world became very prevalent in my life. 

Do you have any on-going relationships with spirits? Why do you think they are drawn to you and your family?

I do.  I am very connected now to my main spirit guide. I see her often in meditation and feel her presence around me. My Papa is one of my guardian angels, and he is with me at all times.  I also see him often in meditation.  When you start practicing a spiritual life, spirit will begin to appear. My husband and I have always encouraged our girls to share their experiences with spirit and have never shut those conversations down.

Being sensitive to spirit runs in my family.  I think when it’s in your lineage, it will eventually manifest itself, which it has for myself and my girls. My mom told me my great grandmother would speak to my great grandfather’s spirit each day in her room after he passed. I never met her, but knowing she was sensitive to spirit, I am not surprised my girls and I are as well.

We have two spirit children who are with us constantly. Their names are Charlie and Lila.  They are my oldest daughter’s spirit guides and they know they are accepted in our household – with boundaries, of course.

What’s one of your favorite stories involving spirit?

My favorite story is about our spirit boy named Charlie.  When my daughter was just over a year old, I opened up a new business.  A client came in who I had heard was a medium in my small town.  I knew by the way she was looking at me that she was going to share something with me. Sure enough, when she was leaving, she began to give me a reading. She knew a lot about my past, which was quite shocking to me at the time. She then began to ask me if I knew a Charlie or if there was a Charlie in our family. I said no, and thought to myself that she was completely off about that piece of information. She then proceeded to tell me that there would be a small boy who would be visiting my daughter and would be with her for some time and his name was Charlie.

I told my husband and my immediate family about my reading and about the little boy named Charlie. Life went on as normal.  When my daughter was a year and a half old, she was at our family cottage with my husband, parents, and sister.  My brother, brother-in-law, and I were unable to attend the cottage that weekend.  When they came home from the cottage my husband said, “I have to tell you something.” He told me our daughter had said her first two words in a row. At first, I was upset, as I had missed that milestone. But when he told me that our daughter had walked around the cottage all weekend long saying “Goodbye Charlie,” it was a powerful moment. From that moment on, our little spirit boy Charlie has never left her side.

How did you feel when your children first started sharing their experiences of spirit?

It was a very confusing and lonely time in my life. There were many emotions. I felt afraid, anxious, and had a lot of questions I needed answers to. We kept it as a secret in our immediate family, and we did not discuss it with anyone else, as we were afraid of the judgement that is sometimes associated with believing in spirit.

When I finally accepted it was real and happening all around myself and my children, I finally felt free. But I also realized I would have to navigate this on my own, as there are no support groups or information for parents who have awakened children.  There aren’t many books written on the subject either. So I basically had to figure it all out on my own, which I have done.  I found out two years ago that the spiritual community is quite large in our small town, Carleton Place.  More and more people are becoming awakened, especially during this pandemic, and it’s becoming more accepted to talk about spirit and share experiences and stories.

What’s the biggest challenge raising awakened children?

I would have to say that our biggest challenge will be making sure they are always protected and allowing them to share their experiences without judgement.  My children’s generation are the most awakened, and it is my generation that holds on to judgement.   If parents shut down those conversations with their children, it closes their children off from the spiritual world. It is so important to listen and learn from our children.  Their generation will do unbelievable things in their lifetime.  

Why do you think many parents shy away from acknowledging their children’s connection to spirit? How do you think the world would be different if instead, this was encouraged?

They are scared.  Many people are terrified of what they cannot see.  I also think it goes back to the feeling judged.   If we could all be a little more open to spirit, great things would happen.  Our loved ones are always with us, guiding us, and showing us the signs.  The spiritual world gives people hope and peace. If we listened to our children and their experiences, many would benefit from what their children could teach them through spirit. 

How was your family impacted by these events? Are you able to openly share your experiences?

My family has been impacted greatly by all the events which has ultimately led me to write my book.   I love talking about spirit.  I would talk about spirit all day long if I could.  I love telling my family’s story and hope that it will help many other families and people around the world who are going through their own spiritual experiences.  I wanted to share our story to provide compassion, hope, and guidance. I have been blessed with a group of people who are all very spiritually connected, and I’m able to talk to them about anything relating to spirit on a daily basis, which has been an amazing outlet for me.  

Have you ever felt the need to protect yourself from “bad” spirits?

I don’t believe in bad spirits.  I believe there are lower energy spirits but I have never referred to them as bad or negative spirits.  I wear a black Tourmaline crystal stone necklace daily to keep any lower energy away from me, and I put a variety of crystals under my girls’ pillows to keep them safe. I sage my house often, saying the same prayer every time, and always follow a strict routine of saging, especially in my girl’s bedrooms. I also pray every night to God, the Universe, Ultimate Divine — whatever you want to call it.   I pray to God and also Archangel Michael to always protect my family, especially during these trying times.  I ask them in prayer to also protect my family through the process of writing my book and sharing our story with the world.

I know you work at the store Amethyst, how has finding your spiritual community enhanced your life?

Oh my! In so many ways.  I work at the store part-time, as I also run the Carleton Place Denture clinic across the street.  The store Amethyst came to be from a spiritual class I took.  One day, I was looking out my front window of the clinic and saw an empty store space across the road, which I told my friend about. She opened the store last February.   The whole story is in my book.  I love my spiritual community and it’s extremely freeing to be around like-minded people.

Amethyst opened only last February and the store’s Facebook page already has over 850 likes, which is close to some of the established businesses in downtown Carleton Place!  That shows you right there how many people are awakening.   Most that enter the store are spiritual, and it’s beautiful to listen to their own stories and experiences with spirit.  The store brings me a lot of peace. I love being there and taking my girls there to pick their special gems.   

What types of activities do you do with your ghost hunting group?

Oh yes, my ghost hunting group! There are eight of us women, who would have thought right?  Friday nights, the eight of us embark on spiritual investigations. We are a group that is made up of very different ages and personalities, but we all have one thing in common: Spirit. Each of us uses our gifts during our investigations to call spirit in. We have explored a few outdoor places, trying to obtain as much detailed footage on camera as we can to show people spirit is real. Due to all the current restrictions with COVID-19, we are not allowed to explore indoor spaces at the moment.  We have many in mind and a few lined up, so we are hopeful we’ll be able to do these investigations again in the spring.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about spirits?

I think the biggest misconception is that spirits are evil and scary.   Ghosts or Spirit are just trying to get our attention.  They try so hard to show us they are there. They want to show their loved ones they are always with them guiding them and providing unconditional love. The spiritual world is beautiful.  There is nothing more empowering than knowing that when we die we are all reunited with our loved ones and that there is this beautiful place waiting for us all to go.

How do you suggest others learn how to connect with spirit in their own life?

Through meditation.  I am asked this question a lot.  Spirit will come through strong during meditation.  The first time I meditated I was shocked at what I saw.  That story is in the book. The first step is believing and letting go of the fear.  We offer meditation/connecting to spirit classes at the store, and they are always full due to more and more awakening people wanting to learn to connect with spirit.  We are all spiritual beings having a human experience, meaning we can all connect to the spiritual world if we learn the tools and practice.

Where can our readers learn more about your work and upcoming book?

I have a blog they can follow along called We Are Spiritual Beings Having a Human Experience. I am on Facebook We Are Spiritual Beings Having A Human Experience. I am also on Instagram and Pinterest @Awakeningbookserin.