I was raised a Presbyterian and born again twice through Young Life in high school and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in college, but it didn’t stick either time. Now I find myself in the unusual position of having been introduced to praying the rosary by a Buddhist scholar named Clark Strand, co-author of the Way of the Rose. My earliest association with the Catholic church in this lifetime is hearing grade school friends describe being rapped with rulers by nuns at Blessed Sacrament in Natrona Heights, PA.
My interest in the rosary began in June 2020 when I was discussing Christopher Bledsoe, Sr.’s Marian apparition UFO experience with our mutual friend Eve at the Rhine Research Center where I had previously given a talk on Blessed Virgin Mary visions from a parapsychological perspective. She suggested that I read Clark and his wife Perdita Finn’s book and join their Facebook group as he was seeking more participants for his men’s rosary Zoom group that meets once a week on the quarter moon cycle.
In early July I had been attempting to heal a couple skin cancers with holistic remedies such as topical iodine with only partial success, so I asked for dream guidance. I had a vivid dream of piloting a small boat toward a yacht club to meet a mafia princess for dinner. A hit man is shadowing me, and we wind up sitting at a table with 4 chairs including the young woman and her mother. As the meal is served the matriarch gets up, walks behind the hit man and shoots him. I wake up and feel it means the goddess is going to heal me.
Upon awakening I felt compelled to download the e-book and read the first chapter. I got inspired to go on a quest for rosary beads and was led to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with a white statue of Mary out front in a rose garden. The docent who had recently been to Medjugorje directed me into the chapel to see the Virgin of Guadalupe mural, and I was gifted my first set of beads at the parish office. Later that night I prayed the rosary for the first time and put Holy Water from the church on the skin lesions.
I kept reading and got to the chapter where the Lady asked Clark why he is not asking for anything when he prays the rosary, as it is meant to be a petitionary prayer for your heart’s desire. It was a foreign concept to him in Buddhism where desire is considered the root of suffering. Once he started asking, miraculous events began to occur, so I decided to begin my petitions. I had just started marketing an online Zoom course on Transforming Symptoms of the Lower 4 Chakras with the goal of 21 registrants by August 1st.
There were about a half dozen registrants in early July, but I was a long way from 21 with less than 2 weeks to go. The inspiration came to say 21 Hail Mary prayers using the beads every day to express my desire for that many registrants. The night before the Saturday class there were 19 signed up. The next morning 15 minutes before the class started at 10 AM, the 20th person registered. I started teaching on Zoom, and the 21st one completed the goal a few minutes later. It was a miraculous manifestation of abundance!
A few days later I had the 2 skin cancers removed from my abdomen and my back by three Duke goddesses, the surgeon, a former All-American Duke basketball player working on the front, her PA working on the back, and the scrub nurse adjusting the pillow for my head to make sure I was comfortable. The fourth goddess was my acupuncturist wife Dagmar at my feet doing reflexology and speeding my postoperative recovery with the homeopathic remedies Arnica and Hypericum. I was grateful for the prior dream guidance.
The biggest revelation for me reading the book was the simple, but unexpected, observation that the bead circle with the cross was the exact symbol used to represent the Divine Feminine and the planet Venus in astrology. The pagan tradition of weaving a flower crown as a Beltane fertility rite on May Day preceded by millennia the church’s adoption of May as the month of Mary. That means Catholics have been worshiping the Goddess using the crown of beads for centuries within the patriarchal institution.
Clark’s visitations by Our Lady of Woodstock began in the early hours of June 16, 2011 as described in his other book Waking Up to the Dark. Our Lady continues to appear to Clark and to offer guidance and wisdom to this day. On August 22, 2011 She invited him to pray the rosary with the words, “If you rise to pray the rosary tonight, a column of saints will support your prayer.” If you want that divine column to support you with the assistance of the Divine Mother, read the books and start praying the rosary.
One of the “saints” who supports my writing is the Jesuit priest/paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose quotes I used to conclude each of my Noosphere columns in the Duke Chronicle and as epigraphs for each chapter in Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist. In a 1918 letter Teilhard wished “ that God, through our Lady, may grant us so to share in her purity and to have so ardent a passion for her, that we may really be able to serve, in our own small way, to regenerate the world.”
I have just been introduced to another “saint,” albeit it a fictional one in the form of Pope Annalisa, Mary Magdalene reincarnated as an African woman from Nigeria, who becomes the last pope. She is a heretic who promotes the Divine Feminine and Gnostic beliefs in Vatican III and turns the church dogmas upside down. It is the initial book of the First Souls Trilogy by the husband of Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, my co-author for Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases.
In May, I presented about manifestations of Mary and the 15 mysteries of the rosary in a 5/6/21 Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship lecture on Apocalyptic Dreams, Marian Apparitions and Praying the Rosary. Get your beads and pandemic dreams ready to participate in the experiential processes. Next year I will present an encore 6/18/22 Saturday workshop on Transforming Symptoms of the Lower 4 Chakras.