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Mercury Retrograde Of Summer 2019: Checking In With Our Heart

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Mercury began the latest edition of its retrograde process on July 7th/8th, starting in Leo with the majority of it occurring in Cancer. It will last until July 31st in the Americas and August 1st elsewhere. In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on June 20th.

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This retrograde occurs during eclipse season, following a Solar Eclipse also in Cancer and during a Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn. All of this happening in the same month indicates a period of readjustments and shifts in specific areas of our lives connected to these signs as well as how it all corresponds to our individual birth charts. You can read my latest eclipse article here and join my mailing list to ensure that you receive my next eclipse article and other future content.

If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.

Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.

Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, sometimes lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while. However, many times when we reconnect with people during a retrograde, there can be some issues from the past that can come up and may need to be resolved.

The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde

Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.

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During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a reorientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop as time progresses.

The things that you have been doing or circumstances in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or things that came up at that time which may go through a sorting out process. There could have been unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.

The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, than your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 4’28 degrees of Leo  and will retrograde all the way to 23’57 degrees of Cancer, before turning forward again.

Occurring Mostly In Cancer and Partially In Leo, Part of a Water Sign Series

Mercury retrograde always happens in primarily one element for between 1-2 years. This is the second of a series occurring in water signs with the final one happening in the Fall of 2020. The water element is about emotion, feelings, sensitivity, intuition, and fluidity. This  period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities and expressing them in new or revamped ways.

This one is primarily a re-orientation of Cancer themes which is about nurturing, family, home life, comforts, security, maternal nature, caregiving, empathy, bonding and emotional connections with others. It is also associated with nostalgia and holding on to memories, especially those that are comforting. Cancer energy is also instinctual and protective yet can also be easily offended, moody, manipulative, vulnerable, insecure, smothering, too subjective, clingy, overly emotional, and attached to the past.

This retrograde is also partially in Leo, and although the Cancer themes are stronger at this time, the qualities of Leo can be tied into this period as well. Leo is associated with self-expression, standing out, playfulness, children, heart centeredness, creativity, leadership, courage, pride, affection, and romance. It can also be very egotistical, pretentious, attention seeking/demanding, and pompous.

Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates/Periods

Below, are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.

*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located you may need to consider it as the next day.

July 7th-9th Mercury begins its retrograde in Leo at 11:15pm Universal Time on July 7th while in a conjunction with Mars, Venus sextile Uranus. Mercury retrograde themes (mentioned earlier) and complications may come up more strongly at this time as Mercury changes motion. You may get more indication of some of the things that may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or on what transpires.  Our thoughts, communications, and even commuting can be more assertive. In some cases there can even be more of an aggressive tone potentially and perhaps ego based conflicts. The best way to utilize this is to use our drive and revisit some sort of creative effort or form of self-expression. Issues or developments pertaining to romance, sex, or children may also come up for some people. Some of this energy can get triggered again on July 10th. From July 7th-8th it is also possible that there can be some positive surprises around relationships, or even connected to finances. This period can also be socially stimulating and can also be good for new types of fun experiences.

July 8th – 9th The Sun conjunct the North Node opposes Saturn at the South Node. Some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse are triggered. We can be pulled between the future and the past. There may be developments connected to how we need to move forward but we may have to deal with obstacles connected to behaviours or ambitions that ultimately are not serving us anymore yet may still play out over the coming months.. Emotional, family, or home related issues may be at odds with responsibilities or outdated commitments. We can face some limitations, restrictions, and may need to get realistic about something. Some people may have realizations of a need to take a more caring or personable approach in their life or regarding aspirations. Issues pertaining to status may be source of problems. This energy will still be in the backdrop until early Fall when it gets triggered again, and some of the themes can even continue until mid-late 2020.

July 10th-12th Mars square Uranus, Trine Chiron and Mercury Retrograde sesquisquare Neptune, Sun trine Neptune. This can reflect potential disruptions or changes that can also be tied into Mercury retrograde related complications. Some people can act more impulsive, rebellious, or get easily angered. It’s important to be flexible at this time and be cautious with decisions as we can be more easily confused or not see things clearly. It may also be harder to focus. However, this can also be good for actions that are innovative, unconventional, or holistically oriented. However, from July 10th-11th their will also be some nice Neptune aspects which can bring themes of compassion, empathy, inspiration, selflessness, and oneness. Our intuitions can be stronger than normal and it can also be great for creative and spiritual pursuits.

July 16th – 17th Lunar Eclipse In Capricorn Conjunct Pluto, Venus conjunct North Node opposite Saturn conjunct the South Node. This Lunar Eclipse has potential to be intense and stir up deep feelings and strong emotions. Issues around power, shadows, or hidden matters may come up. The themes of this Eclipse could have already begun to play out weeks prior and may still unfold over the coming months. Venus in Cancer joins the North Node while opposing Saturn near the South Node. We can face some obstacles around relationships, values, money, or aesthetic related. Developments around relations that can be beneficial for our growth may come up, however, they may be at odds with some limitations, negative behaviours, or issues pertaining to social status or responsibilities. I will be writing a separate article on this eclipse, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it along with other content.

July 20th – 21st Mercury Retrograde conjunct the Sun, Venus opposite Pluto with the Moon triggering it. This is that halfway point of Mercury retrograde known as the ‘inferior conjunction.’ It can be a period of increased insights yet complications can also be stronger at this time depending on how you are applying yourself. Ideas and thoughts that are seeded now may develop over the coming months. Their can be some deep feelings, jealousy, possessiveness, obsession, power struggles, hidden matters, or other conflict in our relations. If so, there is also potential for it to be worked out and perhaps experience positive changes in some cases. This can also manifest as passion and trigger desires. This may also reflect a conflict or shift around values, and it would be wise to be cautious with finances at this time.

July 23rd-25th Mercury Retrograde conjunct Venus, Mars trine Jupiter. This can be a good time for connecting with others socially as interactions can be pleasant. Considering the retrograde, it can good for catching up with others that we haven’t seen in a long time and resolving any issues if there are any. In some cases revisiting any creative effort or aesthetic adjustment could make sense as well. This can also be a time in which we feel we have more energy or we are more confident and optimistic in how we apply ourselves. We may want to take action in a way that is expansive, explorative, and optimistic. However, keep in mind that in most cases it is best to wait to finalize any major decisions until after the retrograde is over unless your gut tells you otherwise.

July 29th-30th  Sun square Uranus, Near end of Moon Cycle and Mercury Retrograde. There can be surprises and disruptions during this time, so best to stay flexible and expect the unexpected. This can be good for doing things in a different and unusual way. However, considering it is near the end of the Moon cycle and retrograde, this energy is more conducive for some sort of release of separation from something than it is to initiate something new.
July 31st-August 2nd Mercury Transitions From Retrograde to Direct, New Moon in Leo with Venus Square Uranus, Trine Chiron. Mercury will slowly begin to move forward from August 1st onward. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily as time progresses over the coming days and weeks.. However, usually the first 2-3 days afterwards can still feel like its retrograde and it’s usually best to wait until at least the 3rd day before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.  The exact moment of the New Moon is less than an hour before Mercury ends its retrograde which brings an extra sense of going into a new and refreshed energy after what was experienced leading up to this. During these days, it is possible that we can also experience some surprises, shifts, or may want to liberate ourselves from a situation. There is potential for some sort of healing as well but we may also experience some instability. It can happen in different areas of our lives but it is likely that many people will experience this more around relationships, either socially or romantically. It can also be good for new and exciting experiences. We would also need to be cautious with finances as it can be a period in which we may experience loss or regretful impulsive spending.

I’m doing a Sale on Astrology Readings this month during the Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde Season. Find out how these eclipses, retrograde, and other astrological energies apply to you individually. 20% off shorter readings and 30% off longer readings. More information here.

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Marianne Williamson Admits “The System Is More Corrupt Than I Knew”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marianne Williamson stated in an interview on Fox and Friends that she did not realize the political system was as corrupt as it is.

  • Reflect On:

    This is an important revelation of how leaders often don't quite see the full truth of our system at hand. Through them and their experience, we can learn a lot about what is truly going on. Is it time to let go of the systems we have?

About a week ago Marianne Williamson told the New Yorker, I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” In a segment I did on CETV, I discussed the fact that Williamson is doing a great job of bringing a bit more of a conscious conversation into the mix here, which is very important, but seems to not quite understand what politics is really about and how things function in our world.

In my article about this statement I stated:

Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.

Some felt that my analysis was off and that Williamson is just ‘playing naive,’ but to me, this did not feel true nor did it seem to be the case. While some might view this as an unimportant detail, it’s very important as for society to truly begin to shift we must not only personally transform but also realize the true nature of the world we live in.

As outlined in the CE Protocol, the formula I built to help awaken and shift the masses, the very first step is Breaking The Illusion about our programmed reality and understand what’s truly going on. From there, personal transformation becomes key.

Williamson Admits She Was Unaware

Here we are a week later and Williamson has stated what I observed in my previous segment, she did not quite realize how corrupt our political system truly is. In an interview on Fox and Friends Williamson stated:

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“I would say that I feel that I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I knew and people are even more wonderful than I hoped,

I want to state this isn’t about picking on anyone as much as it is about understanding the importance behind seeing the full picture of the change that needs to take place here. For 10 years now I have built CE to include both personal transformation and truth seeking for the reason that either one of those topics on their own doesn’t create the change we all know is possible in our hearts.

I’ve seen many ‘spiritual leaders’ still deeply support the dysfunctional nature of our systems because they believe there is truth to them when in reality they belong to a consciousness we are shifting away from.

Our political system is built and exists within a system designed for a very limited state of consciousness, some call this 3D consciousness. The goal isn’t to shift our political system, it’s to let it go. Collectively we are shifting and the new state of consciousness emerging doesn’t support the political system at hand. Hence why the chaos around it is increasing, because it’s acting as a mirror for us to see how it doesn’t resonate with our emerging consciousness.

It’s like trying to install Windows on a Mac or vice versa, the systems aren’t designed for the operating system. Humanity is faced with a challenge of ‘letting go of the old,’ not trying to fix the old.

In a brand new segment of The CE Show I did on YouTube and CETV, I discuss Marianne’s latest comments and what I feel we all must realize as we move forward in this journey of shifting ourselves and our world.

The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.

The Takeaway

I feel that we have become addicted to the systems of a state of consciousness that we are moving away from. The choice is up to us, we stop resisting and holding onto things of the old, move through the process of watching these old systems fall away, or we continue to fight tooth and nail under the belief that we must hold up the old systems, and suffer along the way.

Ask yourself within, do you truly feel that this is about changing our current political system to be more open and evolved? Or is it about letting go of the rigidity of our current systems and creating new ones that are birthed from a  new state of consciousness, not one that is centuries old…

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.

Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.

Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.

Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars

This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.

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Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.

However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.

Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct

This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.

Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.

Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.

This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.

After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon,  it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.

As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?

What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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Consciousness

Marie Palmer Recounts Her Escape From The ‘Children Of God’ Sex Cult In New Book

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marie Palmer recounts her escape from the 'Children of God' cult and the long journey of healing she went through afterwards in her book 'The Gift of Will.'

  • Reflect On:

    Can we see that one of the keys to our own liberation from the past is forgiveness?

Marie Palmer did not choose to be part of the ‘Children of God’ cult that was founded in California in 1968 by a former Christian pastor named David Brant Berg. She was born into it. And as such, her entire worldview was founded on the inexorable indoctrination and brainwashing that was used. In itself this is even more tragic than the plight of those hippies like her father that had joined the movement as adults, and who believed, ironically, that they had found a path of greater liberation and truth.

Marie was brought up as a child in an environment that on the one hand promoted an unhealthy lack of boundaries, but in other ways was dangerously restrictive. The toxic and twisted principles that emerged from the mind of founder David Berg were laced with enough pseudo-validation from Christian scripture to convince many lost and downtrodden souls that they were actually on the right path to God and salvation–in fact the ONLY true path, for many of its devotees.

What has emerged over time, marked by the testimony of ex-members like actress Rose McGowan and the tragic murder-suicide of Ricky Rodriguez, whom Berg dubbed ‘Davidito’ and was grooming as the heir-apparent to his throne, is that the psychological and emotional disorientation and trauma brought upon children born into this cult was so extreme that it was difficult or impossible for many of them to survive in the world, let alone establish a normal life.

Marie Palmer has written a book entitled ‘The Gift of Will,’ which explores the impact of the brainwashing of the ‘Children of God’ cult on her personally, her escape from the cult, and the long and difficult journey she has been on to overcome the trauma and confusion she had been beset with. It was after reading this book that I felt it would be worthwhile for CE to go down to Oregon to talk to Marie in person so that we could provide a full 4-part interview of her story for our members on CETV. You can watch it when you sign up for a free 7-day trial HERE.

The ‘Children Of God’ Cult

Marie was able to escape from the cult as a teen, out of an intense and very real fear of getting pregnant, and an inner rebelliousness that she didn’t really understand or get a handle on until much later. Having now been out of the cult for decades, Marie has been able to see in retrospect how the emergence and rapid popularity of the cult was likely a product of the times founded on some positive intentions, at least initially:

“Maybe it started as a sincere desire to help the lost hippie generation. Maybe it was his obsession with the Bible and his evangelical background that gave him a platform from which to easily build upon. Maybe it was timing. He believed he could create a new type of hippie culture that still held itself true to the ideals of freedom and free love but in the context of following the representation of Jesus in the Bible. He wanted the security of knowing his ideas were based on something real and true. Free love for the sake of free love was fun but flighty. Free love in the name of Jesus Christ–there was everlasting power in that.”

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“I can see how that era created opportunity for its youth to find peace and solace in the form of spirituality. I can see how being considered an outcast could be enticing, especially one that had purpose, was following the creator. They could be dropouts and still feel a sense of comradery, family, have a place to call home. Mo provided a way for these lonely youth to be crazy, wild and revolutionary, to burn their old ideas along with their bras, to be free from drugs and street life but hold true to their inner rebel against what they called “the system” and he created this utopia in the name of Jesus.”–The Gift of Will, pp 56–57

However, it seems clear that the basic principles that the ‘Children of God’ cult was founded on morphed over time to accommodate greater control and the sexual predispositions of founder David Berg and his inner circle. One particularly effective vehicle for indoctrination was the famed ‘Mo letters,’ (‘Mo’ being short for Berg’s moniker ‘Moses David’) which often used vivid cartoon graphics portraying sexuality to draw one’s attention and drive the message home.

The way in which sexuality was portrayed certainly had a lot of appeal to adult members of the hippie movement who were convinced that their freedom in relation to sexuality was bringing them closer to God and to their community. In the early years, the technique of ‘Flirty Fishing,’ where women would go out and recruit men into the organization through openly inviting them to have sex, was highly successful, bringing hundreds of thousands of men into them movement. The justification for this, as seen in the Mo Letter illustration below, was that the ends justified the means, and the end was supposedly to bring more people in to experience the ‘Love of God.’

Fear And Wrath

Ultimately, though, power is the name of the game, and David Berg’s personal motivations were far from ‘unselfish, pure sacrificial love.’ As the cult grew, more and more emphasis was put on the need for people to stay in the cult, and that meant using fear and the wrath of God to dissuade people from considering leaving the organization, with quotations cherry-picked from the Bible to garner legitimacy.

One method of control was the systematic suppression of worldly knowledge. In fact, a general tenet of the cult was that anything ‘worldly’ was evil. In this clip from our interview, Marie Palmer explains how as a child she really got no formal education, and had no idea about how the outer world worked. She was only ‘schooled’ in the cult’s indoctrination, which preached that children should trust and obey their elders and not ask questions:

Watch the full 4-part interview of Marie’s story on CETV by starting a free 7 day trial HERE.

As she mentions, young girls in the cult were expected to share themselves with older men who pursued them, as well as providing for those ‘in need’ of intimacy and comfort, under the guise that the whole community was ‘in this together’ and sex should have no boundaries. It wasn’t as though they were violently forced to have sex within the cult, but the psychological pressures, amid efforts to normalize sex between children and adults, led to countless sexual encounters that were undoubtedly traumatic and a source of complete disorientation for the young members:

I know that kids experiment with their sexuality when they are young, usually it’s with kids their own age. There are no words to explain how confusing it is when you are a child that’s expected to experiment sexually with adults. They are your role models. They have all the power. The power to shame you. To discipline you. To give you grace. To provide for you. To give you direction. Every child has the innate desire to please those who rule over them. Disappointing our parents and guardians is a hard thing to face. This makes children ideal victims for abusers.” —The Gift of Will, (p. 65)

Perhaps David Berg did not initially set out to create an organization that actively and openly practiced pedophilia. But the reactions of young members such as Davidito stand as a sobering testament to the volatile and damaging impact of such practices. Davidito had a burning rage against the nannies who were both his guardians and his sexual partners, a rage that was immortalized in this confessional video he made just before his murder/suicide that lays bare his deep resentment and hopelessness.

If there is any debate remaining as to whether it is healthy for children to have any kind of sexual relationships with adults, which some powerful forces have slowly tried to normalize in society, it is laid to rest with the testimony of brave survivors who were brought up in the ‘Children of God’ cult like Marie Palmer.

Healing

What is remarkable and also most important about Marie Palmer’s story is that she has found a way to heal herself from her past. Going through a long stretch after escaping from the cult in which she had absolutely no sense of self or understanding about how to deal with the rage, confusion, depression or sorrow that followed her around constantly, she eventually developed a great hunger for knowledge and for learning. What was especially exciting for her was to learn about spirituality and the Divine in ways that were liberating rather than restrictive. In this way, she could come to grips with the flaws in the Berg philosophy and let go of its influence. Further, she learned forgiveness as the only true way to reconcile the past:

Many religions, especially patriarchal ones, teach that we are either good or evil. And, they teach us further that if we aren’t submissive to this strand of teaching – the cross, the blood, and outside source bringing redemption – we are fatally flawed, crippled from the cradle to the grave.

By understanding and practicing Buddhism, I’ve been able to detach myself from the concept of good versus evil. I’ve been able to study the mechanisms that make my soul tick. I’ve been able to accept that as a human being, I experience light and shadow and it’s all OK.

Sometimes the light may blind me. Sometimes the shadow may darken my horizon. Regardless I am comprised of both; we all are. So, for me, there is no redemption by blood. There is no sense of retaliation or shame projected onto us by any God. Just as there is no need for retaliation for my experiences as a child. I was a victim of the shadows. But, I was graced with the ability to find and choose the light. —The Gift of Will, (p. 142)

The Takeaway

Marie’s journey reminds all of us that only through forgiveness is there liberation from the past. What she has accomplished is inspiring, because she has so much more to forgive than most of us. And she sees that once we are willing to forgive those who had the most power over us, those who caused us the most suffering, something opens up that can change our overall perception forever.

Once I decided to forgive my parents, I could see clearly to forgive just about everyone in the world. I began to see the world through the eyes of compassion, mercy, and Grace. I was also able to forgive myself for not being a better sister to my brother, and all the other naïve and ignorant things I have done to others and myself. I was able to begin the journey of loving myself. To have the upmost compassion for myself and respect for my own identity.” —The Gift of Will, (pp. 155-156)

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