Monthly Archives: August 2011

Integration – The "Final Step" (of Your "Power Journey’s" First Stage)

Integration Equals Mastery – The First Challenge of Your Adult Life Journey

Before you begin any difficult overland travel, the first two things you want to know are:

  • Where am I going?, and
  • What’s the map?

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? We need to know our destination. As Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, states: “Begin with the end in mind.”

Similarly for us. Our goal is total fulfillment of our human potential. The nature of this “potential” is unique for each of us. However, we share a common high-level roadmap in our adult life-journey.

Just as no child matures without going through the “terrible twos,” and no teenager becomes an adult without some sort of angst; some sort of “identity crisis,” as adults we face similar life-challenges. And the truth is, these are as well-known (in some circles) as are the “childhood development stages” first elucidated by Piaget.

As adults, we have similar growth challenges. The ancient Kabbalists understood these, and charted them as twenty-two pathways. These 22 paths became identified with letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and also with the Major Arcana in the Tarot. The first of these paths is the entry point. It simply means, “This is where you start.” (More on this later.)

The remaining twenty-one paths or steps are grouped into three sets of seven. Each set of seven paths is a major adult journey. We need to take these in order; we really can’t do the third “journey” until we’ve completed the first and the second.

For now, we focus on the first adult journey; integration.

“Integration of what?” you might ask.

Integration of your internal V8 power-car engine. (I introduced the V8 Power Car – analogy for life-mastery in the August 4, 2011 blogpost.)

The thing about this engine is: it doesn’t well unless you can get each of the power-car “cylinders” (archetypes) to fire when and where needed.

The ancients understood the idea of eight powerful archetypes, all drawing one person towards a compelling goal. The Greek god of the oceans, Poseidon, was said to have a “chariot of the gods” drawn by eight immortal horses.

Goddesses also rode chariots drawn by powerful horses; Eos – the Goddess of the Dawn – is shown in a chariot drawn by two gorgeous Pegasi. (Reproduced with permission.)

Our cultural history is replete with this compelling image; a person driving a chariot pulled by two, four, or even eight powerful beasts – each with a determined mind of its own!

Our goal; the “end” that we have in mind at our “beginning,” is to identify and harness and use each of these “beasts” or archetypes successfully. This is the completion of our first adult life-journey.

This goal – integration – access to and power over each of our core archetypes – is not trivial. In fact, it is one of mastery. However, it is one where we must succeed – if we are to progress further. This is the “end” that we must “keep in mind” (following Stephen Covey’s prescription) as we begin our first adult life-journey.

(Reproduced with permission.)

Unveiling: The Inner Journey takes us through our core power archetypes. Both women and men need to learn, access, and use each of these archetypes – although we may individually do so with different proportions and emphasis.

In particular, two Unveiling chapters– Chapter 7: “A Real Woman’s Path (Really Does Exist!)” and Chapter 11: “Shifting State” – describe these archetypes in detail. Succeeding blogposts will follow through with this theme.

Hurricane Preparations – The Basics

Pre-Hurricane Preparations – A Basic List

When I was growing up in North Dakota, we had huge blizzards that would come through every winter. They would last for two or even three days, and be truly dangerous. The entire region would close down and “hunker in.”

My parents had standard blizzard preparations: Make sure the oil tank was full, so we wouldn’t run out of fuel oil. Make sure we had plenty of stored canned goods – including canned protein, such as a canned chicken, and a canned ham. And finally (for their own peace of mind and sanity), the “parental essentials”: cigarettes, brandy, and chocolate. (How else could a couple get through three days of being snowbound with five children in the house?)

Naturally, I grew up taking blizzard – and winter storm and hurricane – preparations seriously.

Several years ago, we had a major hurricane come through the NoVa area, and power went out (briefly). What was more unexpected: The area’s water supply was contaminated. For a few days, water was safe enough for bathing and washing clothes, but was not drinkable. (My housemates and I delivered some gallons of pure drinking water, from our well, to business colleagues whose water supply was disrupted.)

So – as I write – we have about 48 hours to go. Then Hurricane Irene is “for real” on our shores, NoVA, and moving north. And we all want to be safe and hunkered down.

As much for my own peace of mind – and to keep a calm, steady focus – I’m writing down my “hurricane/blizzard” steps. And I’ll post a few on Facebook as well.

Step 1: Get Clean

Because in our home, the water supply can be disrupted when the power goes out (well water), the “get clean” step helps us ALL feel better if we’re going to be without water for a while.

  • Take a shower, wash your hair.
  • Empty the garbage. Get the recycling out of the way (but not outside).
  • Clean the cat pans.

Step 2: Clean Up the Outside

This can be done any time up until the “big winds” and the rain hits, but its always best to overestimate the power of the storm.

  • Make sure that anything that could go “flying off with the wind” is pulled inside.

Step 3: Get All Contact Information Organized

Think worst case – cell phone towers disrupted, or your cell phone simply runs out of juice and the power is still out. Think back-ups.

  • Write down all the contact info that you might possibly need during the storm – telephone numbers, email addresses – in case you wind up using someone else’s phone or computer.
  • Let people know where you’ll be; cancel unnecessary meetings, or make firm arrangements to connect with someone BEFORE heading out to the meeting – either you or they could have storm-related interrupts.
  • It’s obvious, but: Charge up everything! And if you have a charger that works in the car, as a back-up, get it into the car where it will be available when/if you need it.

Step 4: Lay in “Hurricane/Blizzard Supplies”

Once again – think worst case. Think a couple of days without power.

  • Lay in a stock of easy-to-eat foods; nuts and raisens and chocolate, various pre-mades. Stock up on canned protein as well; even a can of tuna fish will help. Get extra pet food.
  • Load up on “potable water” (the drinkable kind) and, just to be safe, some gallons of “non-potables” – for washing, toilet flushes. (Just in case.)
  • The basics: flashlights and batteries. (Load and test.) If you have a little battery-powered radio, make sure your batteries are fresh and/or that you have extras. Candles and matches. Keep the flashlight with you once it’s dark, and put the candles AND matches (for each candle) strategically throughout the house.
  • Make something that’s easy to eat and will last for a few days; a big crockpot of chili, or a spagetti with sauce. Something that will tide people over for a few meals if need be. Get the “go-withs” – cheese, chips, salad, whatever. Make a pan of brownies.
  • Just before the storm hits, make a big thermos of whatever it is that you like as a “hot drink.” Who wants to go without hot coffee of tea for two days?

Step 5: Advanced Preps

This step is only for those who like to be truly prepared, but if you are, then:

  • Get firewood, and dry tinder, and “fire starter” materials inside. Be ready to light a fire. Get your cooking grate set up, and identify which pots/pans you’re willing to “sacrifice” to be used over an open flame. (On a cooking/grilling grate, of course.)
  • If you have a grill that can be brought into the (vented) garage, get that set up.
  • Find and assess all “emergency supplies.” For example, we have propane-powered lights. Time to haul those out, test and check.

Step 6: Get Something Good to Read

Of course, if you’re going to be rained in or snowed in, it helps to have something to pass the time. My all-time favorite, of course, is a good read. Naturally, I’ll recommend Unveiling: The Inner Journey first. But I’ll recommend some others as well, and as soon as I can get a bit more time, will post some links on the next blogpost.

Until then, if you ORDER NOW, Amazon will deliver your copy Friday morning – or Saturday morning – and you’ll have a fab read for the weekend!

Playing with Colors – and Indulging My "Inner Hathor"

As of today, Unveiling: The Inner Journey has been available for a tad over a month. In fact, a month ago, today, was Amustela’s Jewels show at Vespucci Italian Restaurant in Fairfax – a great show, and the first public release of Unveiling.

Just the day before, Nicole Cutts, who organizes women’s Vision Quest Retreats and other life-transforming success-coaching and events for women, hosted a private party with a dozen of her close friends – all “Powerful Women.” I had a chance to make a first introduction of Unveiling then – what fun!

Since then, I’ve had a chance to do book signings at Star*Nuts Gourmet Cafe in McLean, at McLean 1910, and at Anahid Sofian’s 5-Day Workshop Intensive in NYC. (I was there for this last Saturday’s session, taught by Eva Cernik – great insights into developing drum solos!)

And just last night, was at the benefit held to support our dear Shadiyah, which was hosted by our much-loved Gerson Kuhr, aka “The Fitness Pharaoh”. I was tremendously impressed by the dancers Monday eve, especially our dear Caleena Tarantino, who did an awe-inspiring dance, and our very special Nimeera, who came in for the (nearly) last dance of the night, and managed to outlast the musicians – who were at their finest and into really long sets! Impressive, both of you!

In the midst of all of this – actually near the beginning – I had a chance to meet (very serendipitously) Carole Jackson, author of Color Me Beautiful, which I reference twice in Unveiling. Carole kindly gifted me with a copy of her now-famous book, and bought a copy of Unveiling for herself. (Thank you, Carole!)

So right now, I’m applying the “Color Me Beautiful” principles. I’m an Autumn, and have a gorgeous royal blue silk charmeuse skirt with matching silk cami. Gorgeous pieces, wrong colors. Trying now to take them into a more “teal” direction, with a dye bath I’ve just mixed up. (And am blogging and FB’ing between turning the fabric pieces so they get consistent color.)

Getting our colors right is a really important step. I write about it in a couple of different chapters in Unveiling.

Your "V8 Power Car Engine" – Accessing Each Core Archetype

Using Your “Power Archetypes” for Career Direction and Life Focus

Recently, I visited with a friend who is (as many of us are) in the midst of a life-change/career-change. (How often these two are combined!) She consulted with a “career counselor” (good step), who advised her to take a questionnaire that would help her figure out her “personal archetypes.” (Again, a good step.)

The problem was – the selection of the available archetypes was skewed. They contained some that were “spot on” for being “power archetypes.” They contained some “disempowered archetypes.” And they contained some “transitional” ones as well. And – what makes questionnaires such as this difficult to use as a life-course-charting tool – there was no real “underlying model” that generated the archetypal set. (Although they were drawn, somewhat hit-or-miss, from the archetypes presented in Carolyn Myss’s Sacred Contracts and related works.)

This mix-up of “which archetypes are what” is understandable. That doesn’t mean that it’s good. And it certainly does not mean that all archetypes are created equal!

I found a similar problem in historical works. When the Tarot became popular (starting around the late 1400’s), several different Tarot decks were produced. Now the Major Arcana in the Tarot system are – if anything – the most central archetypes of our culture. All of our “big ideas” about the meaning of life – important events, life-stages, huge transition points in an adult’s search for meaning and wisdom – these are all contained within the Major Arcana.

And, as I found during research for Unveiling: The Inner Journey, the first six Major Arcana are all “personal role archetypes.”

The “six power archetypes” that I describe in Unveiling (see Chapter 7: “A Real Woman’s Path (Really Does Exist!)”) are six of the eight “core archetypes” that define or describe our human psyche. Unveiling, following the logical model of the Major Arcana, focuses on six of the eight. (The remaining two are like “archetypal battery packs” – they help us recharge and regenerate our “inner juice.” They help us get grounded when we have become too disconnected, or too stressed. But they are not our power archetypes. And Unveiling, as with the Major Arcana, focuses on the “power modes.”)

There’s a reason why there are eight total “core archetypes”; not ten, not twelve, not twenty. There’s a reason that they are exactly the ones that they are, and not some hob-scobbling together from a grab-bag of god and goddess personas, or modes that emerge from our damaged or weaker or “transitional” states.

And there’s a reason that six of these eight are “power modes.” These are the means by which we attain higher consciousness.

Sound strange?

Maybe, at first.

But I didn’t invent these “power archetypes.” The earlier Renaissance developers of the Tarot decks didn’t invent them, either. (That is, the ones who produced the “accurate” decks. There were a lot of different, individualistic interpretations and made-up decks, just as there are today. But those were one-time offshoots, not the “real thing.”)

The “inventors” – if we want to call them that – were the persons who “invented” the Jewish Kabbalah, and understood the “Tree of Life.” That meant that they were scholars and mystics, seers and sages. They had rigorous minds, and subjected themselves to challenging “inner journeys” that led them to standing in the presence of God, and knowing their oneness with the Divine.

They understood how to get to this state. They expressed it as the “pathways” in going from one center (Sephiroth) to another within this cosmic “Tree of Life.” And they taught their students how to do the same. This is what resulted in the Kabbalah (later the Qabalah).

They expressed this “journey” as a series of 22 steps. One step was the starting point – a person identified himself or herself as an “aspirant.” It was like asking for initiation into a Masonic guild. (This tradition, of course, is where the various esoteric schools and “orders” have supposedly received their knowledge.)

Once a person identifies that he or she is starting on an “inner journey,” there are three major stages of growth, and seven steps to each stage. (That gives us 21 steps, which combined with the first one, gives a total of 22. Twenty-two cards in the Major Arcana, twenty-two Sephiroth, and twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. And yes, of course they’re all related.) These 21 steps (after identifying that we’re on a journey) comprise our adult life stages.

Most of us know about “growth stages” in children, such as the “terrible twos.” If we’re more familiar with childhood growth stages, we understand that each one is a distinct stage of cognitive and personal development. Much of this was elicited by Piaget, and has helped us with current childhood development theory.

We also understand that there are “adult life stages.” The “mid-life crisis” that men and women alike experience is a good example. (Although it’s fairly simplistic, and when we start working with the “real” life stages shown to us by our archetypes, we get a much better handle on things.)

As taught by the ancient Kabbalistic masters, each “life stage” had a distinct purpose in an adult’s growth as a human being. The first of these three “life stages” was that a person had to come to know – and gain mastery of – each of their six “power archetypes.” (They figured that they didn’t have to teach the remaining two; they assumed that people innately understood and could use their own “battery pack” archetypes as needed.)

Six power archetypes. That’s what we’re after now. that’s what the “aspirants” were after then. After gaining understanding of each of their six power archetypes, they moved on to the seventh step; integration.

The goal then was the same as it is today. Master each of six different “power modes.” Use them at will. Use them all, together, as needed.

So – what are these “power archetypes”? I’ll write about them soon – and also the “disempowered” ones, and the “transitional” ones as well. And I’ll explain how each has an important role in our life; they’re like magnetic “points of attraction.” Part of our inner journey is to release the less powerful (and less fulfilling) ones, and access the ones that help us be more powerful, functional, happy, and fulfilled.

And then, of course, a big part of our inner journey is that we learn to use each archetypal mode as appropriate and necessary, and to combine them at will.

Knowing, and accessing, each of the six power modes, and having your two “reserve modes” to back you up – that gives you a total of eight modes.

It’s like being your very own V8 engine.

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. Missing a core archetype is like driving a powerful V8 car when one of its cylinders is misfiring.

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. Missing a core archetype is like driving a powerful V8 car when one of its cylinders is misfiring.

Suppose that you were a V8-engine racing car, and you were going to take on a tough Swiss Alps road course race, involving dangerous turns through mountain passes.

You wouldn’t set off on your journey if one of the cylinders in your engine didnt’ work, would you?

Our life is our road course race. We need each of our “power modes.”

Want to learn how?
Read Unveiling.

"Unveiling" Book Signing Saturday, August 6th, 3-5PM, Star*Nuts Gourmet Cafe, McLean, VA

First McLean-Area Book Signing for Unveiling: The Inner Journey

McLean-based author Alay’nya will offer the first free, open-to-the-public book signing of her newly-released Unveiling: The Inner Journey at Star*Nuts Gourmet Cafe on Saturday, August 6th, from 3-5PM.

The book signing will include a mini-reading, and Alay’nya’s famed “60-Second Geek-to-Gorgeous” Transformation,” which will help any woman look as though she has gained an inch in height, lost 10 years and 10 pounds, and added a sublime element of “gorgeousness” to her personal “arsenal of allure”!

Unveiling: The Inner Journey is available through, and also through For those who want a signed copy, but who cannot make it to a McLean-area signing, signed, dated, and numbered copies are available from Cleo’s Closet.