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CJ Stone's columns and articles for Kindred Spirit magazine
Kindred Spirit magazine
Kindred Spirit magazine was founded in 1987 by Richard Beaumont and Patricia Yates. According to the magazine's website, this was inspired by the 'The Harmonic Convergence' of that year in which thousands of spiritual seekers gathered at sacred sites throughout the world. So many different people, so many different spiritual paths, with a shared sense of respect for natural wisdom and a yearning for higher truth. Kindred Spirit was founded to offer a platform for the wide variety of groups, disciplines and spiritual organisations that were represented at these gatherings and which go under the general name of "Mind, Body, Spirit".
The first issue was published in November 1987, and since then it has gone on to feature a wide range of stories, from complementary healthcare to articles on angels and the latest explanation of the workings of Stonehenge.
The magazine appears bi-monthly and is considered to be the UK's leading guide to Mind, Body and Spirit.
I was first commissioned to write for Kindred Spirit late in 2008, by the new editor at the time, Tania Ahsan. Previously I had written for Prediction magazine, for which I had run a column for nearly five years, from 2003 to 2008. It was Tania who had commissioned me for that too, but she had since left the magazine and gone freelance. Meanwhile, the market had changed, and Prediction had turned itself from a serious astrology magazine - with a lot of in-depth articles about a wide variety of arcane and interesting subjects - to a sort of teenie fashion mag with vague occult leanings: sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Jackie magazine, or "the latest swimwear fashions to wear while communing with dolphins."
I wasn’t very comfortable in there any more, and we parted company by mutual consent.
You can read a significant number of my Prediction articles on these pages. I will always be grateful to the magazine for keeping me working through those lean years, for keeping my pen sharpened, even if my wit occasionally failed to live up to its promise.
Meanwhile Tania had just become the new editor at Kindred Spirit, and she asked me to write a regular column for the magazine.
What I proposed was series of columns under the general title Tales of Ordinary Magic.
The title is a reference to a Charles Bukowski book called Tales of Ordinary Madness (also known as Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness). The purpose was to reflect the spirituality of everyday life. It was meant as a lighthearted antidote to the rest of the magazine. Or, as the editor put it “a humorous sign off as a back page column”. Unfortunately the readers didn’t quite see the point of the articles and it was discontinued after the third one. I actually wrote four, so that one is included in here too. They are, as follows:
Tales of Ordinary Magic 1
This one was the taster. It leads you into the theme, which was basically life through my window in Somerset Meadows. The story is about Mrs Rivers, who went to Stonehenge once in 1964 and who still remembers it to this day. How our human lives are enhanced by their intersection with the cosmic, or why a sunrise is not so mundane after all.
Tales of Ordinary Magic 2
About my nearly blind next door neighbour Daphne and her relationship with trees. About her dignity in life, and her prescience in death.
Tales of Ordinary Magic 3
This one is an old standby for me: about my good friend Steve Andrews, known on HubPages as The Bard of Ely. This was originally written as a story for the Big Issue, but developed for Kindred Spirit, it takes on the idea of Steve being an alien being on this planet (an oft repeated theme in both Steve's and my work). It was the last Tales of Ordinary Magic story to be published in Kindred Spirit.
Tales of Ordinary Magic 4
This one was never published, unfortunately. It's based on a real life incident in the Co-operative one day. For those of you who aren't British, the Co-operative (also known as the Co-op) is a unique British institution, a shop that is owned by its customers. It is the ultimate in down-to-earth shopping. Imagine my consternation, then, when I found what was going on.
All four columns have been collected together into this one hub:
- Tales of Ordinary Magic: Columns from Kindred Spirit magazine
Somerset Meadows is a nice place to live. CJStone sees all sorts of interesting things through his window. Columns from Kindred Spirit magazine.
I've also written a number of other articles for the magazine. I hope very much that I will be able to contribute more in the future.
The articles are as follows:-
Along The Pilgrim's Way: From Winchester to Canterbury.
This is a travel story about a walk along the Pilgrim's Way between Sussex and Kent. This is my most successful story, in terms of sales, ever, in that it has been sold three times now to various magazines. I'm very proud of this story, not only because it has been fairly lucrative for me, but also because it is deeply atmospheric and quite meditative and it reflects the mood of a quiet walk in the countryside very well. It is also full of useful information, and might serve as a model for people practicing the art of travel writing.
- Along The Pilgrims Way: From Winchester to Canterbury
We were on the Pilgrim’s Way: the ancient pilgrimage route hemming the line of the North Downs through Kent and West Sussex, a long, wavering ribbon of battered tarmac and chalky track that stretches out between Canterbury and Winchester
Sanctuary Town: SHEN therapy In Bewdley, Worcestershire
This one is part travel column, part therapy review. I was actually commissioned to write this when Tania, who had been scheduled to undertake the therapy herself, found she was double booked. This was a great job, and I wish I had more of these. It was an all expenses paid trip to be pampered for a weekend. Unfortunately, though the therapist was a very nice man, the therapy itself did little more than send me to sleep. Stiil I got to see Bewdley, to eat ice cream, and to listen to the haunting wail of the steam train that passes along the Severn Valley ridge nearby.
- Sanctuary Town: SHEN therapy In Bewdley, Worcestershire
“S.H.E.N” stands for “Specific Human Emotional Nexus”. It is based on the notion of the biofield which Tony says permeates the body and is the medium through which emotions are experienced...
Releasing Your Pain: How Amanae Works
This is a pure therapy review, and was undertaken by myself voluntarily. In this case, it was me who suggested the story, and I was pleased to write it as this particular therapy has had a deep effect on my life. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way out of their habitual patterns of behaviour. Unlike SHEN it doesn't send you to sleep. The opposite. It makes you jump halfway to the ceiling.
- Releasing Your Pain: How Amanae Works
A profoundly affecting bodywork treatment is gaining popularity around the world: CJ Stone went to find out how Amanae works
John Lilly: psychedelic scientist
See, this is why I like writing for Kindred Spirit so much. Where else would you expect to find a story like this? John Lilly, the man who invented the isolation tank, a forgotten figure in the New Age movement, but highly influential in his day. Paid by the US government to undertake LSD studies, they thought he was giving it to his dolphins as part of his interpecies communication research. Instead he was taking it himself and slipping off into his isolation tank to park his body and go wandering around the cosmos. Far out, man. About as far out as you can possibly go and still manage to get back again.
- John Lilly: psychedelic scientist
CJ Stone reveals how a neuroscientist's research into consciousness lead him to take vast quantities of LSD and ketamine in his invention - the first floatation tank
In the wake of Russell Brand's interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, a set of reflections on the relationship between politics and spirituality. One of my favourite pieces. Again, this shows why Kindred Spirit is such a good magazine. Who else would publish material like this?
- Engaged Spirituality
As spiritual people, are we obliged to protest against injustice? CJ Stone examines the case for the spiritual sphere making a political stand.
Grief over the death of a loved one never really goes away. Even years later an unexpected memory can arise, bearing with it the pain of the original loss. It is vital then, when we say our goodbyes, that this is done in a way that fully expresses the love and the sense of sadness we feel when laying our loved-ones to rest.
This is a universal truth.
How we deal with death tells us a lot about the kind of society we live in.
- Alternative Funerals
There has been a quiet revolution in the way we say goodbye to our loved ones. CJ Stone investigates
Paganism is not a religion
Paganism is to religion as anarchism is to politics. It is anti-religion, the opposite of religion. Not religion’s friend: its enemy.
- Paganism is not a religion
Anyone can enter the circle. Anyone can preach. Anyone can say a prayer. Anyone can let their voice be heard
Why I Pray
We live in a deeply secular age. It’s not only Marxists who will look at you strangely. Mention the idea of prayer to almost anyone and they will give you this weird look, as if you’ve just done something unmentionable in mixed company. Isn’t this odd? People have been praying for thousands of years, for as long as human beings have been on this planet perhaps, yet somehow it has become offensive in the last half-century or so
- Why I Pray
I started praying three years ago, in the spring of 2014. How it came about: a friend of mine lost his son unexpectedly, and I was looking for a way to express my condolences. I really can’t imagine anything worse than losing a child, can you?
There are still gods to propitiate. Not external powers, internal ones. The powers of the hidden drives and instincts, beautiful and monstrous at the same time, that are even now pushing the world to the edge of extinction. How to harness and control those forces? How to propitiate the gods of our own internal being: that is the question that lies at the crux of our time...
- Money Burning
Sacrificial ritual is liberating and probably the oldest religion on the planet, says recent money-burning convert Christopher J Stone
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"Reading this magazine is like turning a light on in a dark room - brilliantly illuminating."
-- Robert Anton Wilson - Anarchist & Philosopher
"We are all on a wonderful and interesting journey. There are so many facets to it and we are learning old ones, new ones, all the time. For many of us Kindred Spirit has been an important companion and comforting friend - a true 'kindred spirit' - for this last decade. May you continue to inspire, educate and entertain us. We need vision, hope and a compassionate sense of responsibility. You supply all these. Thank you!"
-- William Bloom - Visionary
"Over the years Kindred Spirit has become an important and established part of the Human Potential movement, providing a platform that has highlighted the work of many unconventional and original thinkers."
-- Paul McKenna - TV Presenter/Hypnotist
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