Review: Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World

Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World –
Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance

Author: Anna Gatmon, PhD
She Writes Press
2017
ISBN #978-1-63152-256-7

Living A Spiritual Life cover

“The goal is not

to lose oneself in

the Divine Consciousness.

The goal is to let the

Divine Consciousness

penetrate into matter

and transform it.”

~ The Mother

It is probably the hardest thing that any of us can do – trying to live a spiritual life in a material world. I admire Gatmon for all that she has accomplished in her life – overcoming a dysfunctional childhood, accepting the offer to become a model and live in Paris, traveling internationally as a model, marrying and raising two children, becoming a transformative counselor, and being willing to share her insights through this book.

The voice that comes through in this book is one that strongly reminds me of people like German philosopher/spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, Indian physican/spiritualist Deepak Chopra, Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Mexican author don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements). What all of these individuals have in common is that they present us with ways of living our lives that bring our spiritual life into alignment with our daily life.

The system that Gatmon presents us with is that of the Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance. These keys are: (1) Expansive Presence: The Key to Sacred Awareness, (2) Attentive Listening: The Key to Inner Wisdom,  (3) Inspired Action: The Key to Manifesting, and (4) Faith-Filled Knowing: The Key to Ongoing Co-Creation.  In following these four practices in our daily lives, we bring our own spirituality into the material world.

The Four Keys are meant to help us improve our intuitive decision making, empowering us to become our own spiritual guide. The aim is to allow us to live a spiritually meaningful life while remaining connected to our daily lives in the material/physical world. Some of the benefits of what we learn in “Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World” include:

  • Get out of a dispirited mood within minutes
  • Shift from feeling alone in the world to feeling that you are cared for and guided by a loving Universe
  • Enhance your impact on daily situations
  • Develop your intuitive decision-making skills
  • Gain practical tools for manifesting your true and authentic self
  • Feel passionately engaged in expressing your unique divine purpose
  • Find a greater sense of harmony, intimacy, and connection with people
  • Lead an overall healthier physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life.
  • Make a conscious choice to actively seek out the Divine and the Sacred on a daily basis and you can truly alleviate your suffering and find happiness.

Each chapter includes commentary on the energy model being discussed, as well as how to place this action in our daily lives. For example, the chapter on Expansive Presence includes thoughts on expansive sensations, expansive emotions, and expansive thoughts. Gateways to expansion that Gatmon discusses are breathing, experiencing gratitude, expanding through language, and engaging in authentic self-expression. At the end of each chapter is a summary of the principles discussed in that chapter.

The narrative flows well, and includes stories from Gatmon’s personal life, as well as insights and testimonials from her doctoral research. I cannot say it better than Gatmon says it herself in her epilogue: “Practicing gratitude and conscious breathing, engaging in authentic expression, and spending time in nature are some of the ways you can expand your consciousness and enter into union with  this spiritual existence. In this state of mind, you can listen attentively and decipher subtle, intuitive information that can guide your choices and actions. All that remains for you to do is to act upon this guidance with inspiration and determination, allowing the spiritual reality to penetrate and transform your ordinary, mundane life. As you do that, your faith will deepen and you will find that you have become a channel for wisdom to come through transforming your world and the people whom you touch.”

I highly recommend this as a tool of personal empowerment.

© Bonnie Cehovet May 2017

The Cartomancer December 2016 Issue

November 2016 issue of the Cartomancer!

Tarot Heritage

This magazine just keeps getting better. The latest issue has several articles that especially intrigued me.

In the Tarot Art section, Monica Bodirsky’s Lucky Lenormand deck caught my eye. Its swirling, free form watercolor background appeals to me since I adore abstract art. Bodirsky appears twice more. Bonnie Cehovet reviewed her deck, then Bodirsky contributed an article on cartomancy, the proliferation of Lenormand decks, and the role imagery plays in a reading.

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Besançon Decks

A new to me Tarot style – Besancon. Quite interesting!

Tarot Heritage

As far as I know, there are only a few Besançon-style decks on the market. I’ll start my survey with the most affordable and accessible deck, a re-creation by Evalyne Hall. While translating the writings of Antoine Court de Gebelin and the Comte de Mellet (18th century French authors who were the first to link Tarot and Kaballah), she realized de Mellet used a Besançon deck. Since she didn’t have access to this type of deck, she created her own by lovingly re-drawing historic cards that reside in Paris in the Bibliothèque Nationale.

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Oh No…Retrograde?!

From My Bookshelf: Courts and Courtly Arts in Renaissance Italy

Intriguing info on the Italian courts and society!

Tarot Heritage

If you want to immerse yourself in the world that gave us the Visconti-Sforza and Sola Busca decks, this book, subtitled Arts, Culture and Politics 1395 to 1530, will deliver.

Nothing was ever the same in Italian politics and society after Gian Galeazzo Visconti purchased the title of Duke from the Holy Roman Emperor in 1395. Other rulers soon followed suit: the Gonzaga of Mantua, Montefeltro of Urbino, d’Este of Ferrara and the rulers of Savoy.

Unlike a French or German aristocrat who could trace his pedigree back to Charlemagne, a newly-minted Italian duke did not have a divine right to rule. These parvenus were acutely aware of their modest origins as merchants or condottieri who had usurped civic power. They felt tremendous pressure to over-compensate by amassing a trophy art collection and building ostentatious palaces that were stage settings for elaborate ceremonies and festivals.

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Zoni Tarot de Marseille: Big and Small

Quite interesting commentary here! This really is a small deck! I would like to hear what the dots are all about too.

Tarot Heritage

I’ve just acquired the tiniest deck in my historical facsimile collection — a miniature version (1-1/8 x 2-¼ inches) of Il Meneghello’s reproduction of a TdM printed in Bologna in 1780 by Giacomo Zoni. Lo Scarabeo also publishes a facsimile. Shown above is a mini card superimposed on the Lo Scarabeo, which is a bit larger than Il Meneghello’s full-size version.

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Review – Angel Reading Cards

Angel Reading Cards

Author: Debbie Malone
Artist: Amalia I. Chitulescu
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2016
ISBN #978-1-57281-862-0

angel-reading-cards-cover

Angel Reading Cards is a 36 card deck and 92 page guidebook, based on working with the energy of the Angelic realm. The cards and book come in a sturdy box, with the same light colored bubble background as the backs of the cards. The box has a magnetic closure along the right hand side. There is a silver insert for the cards. Very nice presentation! The concept is to work with Angels in specific situations – to understand that you can always call on them.

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In her introduction, Malone reminds us that angels are only a thought away – that we are never alone. The cards are meant to remind us of the spiritual beings that we always have around us. We are reminded that we have a personal Guardian Angel that is with us for life, but that throughout our life we have had access to Angelic energy as needed. We simply have to ask for it. Angels are there to help us, but they need to be asked first. Malone also talks about our ancestral angels and spirit guides. The messages in this book are channeled messages, channeled through Malone.

 

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In the section on how to use the cards, Malone talks about dedicating them, dealing with cards that jump out, doing one card daily readings, and presents templates for a three card Angel Guidance Layout, a seven card An Angel For Everyday Layout, a three card Angel Encouragement Layout, a four card Angels of Purpose Layout, and a six card Resolution Layout.

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Each card is presented with a full page color image, card title, card purpose, a description of the cards energy, and how to use it, and an affirmation. For example – The Angel of Inner Peace shows the purpose of “Surrender your worries to the Universe. Reconnect today and feel inner peace.” The affirmation is: “I am grateful for the assistance that I receive from my Angel of Inner Peace. Whenever I feel inner turmoil and stress, I allow my Angel of Inner Peace to help me to re-center and find peace within myself.”

 

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The cards are 3 ¾” by 5 ½”. The backs show a light colored bubble pattern, with a pair of white wings centered in the middle of the card. , The back is not reversible. The card faces show a gold outer border, with a thin white inner border. The card title is centered at the bottom of the card, with the card number above it.

 

 

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The card imagery is a combination of photography and digital painting, superimposing the real world over a dreamy world. It shows a juxtaposition of light and dark which works very well. The choice of Angelic energy, and the modern nature of the imagery, will appeal to many people. It does not to me. Rather than working with known angels, we are working with “concepts”, such as the Angel of Parking, the Angel of Stress, the Angel of Strength, the Chakra Balancing Angel, and an angel for each of the clairs (Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, and Claircognizance). There is even a Career Angel. I understand that lightening things up will reach more people, but this was a bit too light for me.

 

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The cards are beautifully presented, and their purpose is attained – helping the reader connect to a higher real, and seek the assistance needed to do our best in everyday life.

 © November 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.