Monthly Archives: July 2017

Juan Matthew: A 420 Story

*There are moments in life when you know you are on the right path. Life doesn’t always feel that way but every so often, our path leads us somewhere or to someone that seems “meant to be”. Events and chance encounters are written in time before they unfold. Last year I was given the opportunity to write articles for THC Magazine. On my second assignment I developed a virtual friendship with one of the most enlightened minds I have encountered in my life thus far. Our connection is one that is written in the stars. This is the article I wrote about my friend Juan Matthew de la Tour.*

The story of a hero is an ancient one. A hero according to late, great Joseph Campbell “is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” In the story of life you are the star and you decide how to express your unique voice.

“Everything starts with a story, a story of creation, a story of any individual who has brought Light/Truth to the planet.There is no justice where there is no truth. Freedom is lost when we are not permitted to think or say or free to question what must be questioned,” Juan Matthew De La Tour.

In modern society people may often feel bereft of creativity and spirituality. We live in a time of science, technology and “plastic”. Modern warriors of today fight different battles than heroes of the past. Today the heroes that people need perhaps, are creative ones.

Juan Matthew De La Tour is a peaceful warrior in this modern age. He is an artist and a light to be seen. Living in central Pennsylvania, in the “mountains of dark,” where medical marijuana has not yet fully taken shape; Juan Matthew is creating eye catching cannabis inspired art. He also falls on the spectrum of autism and has used cannabis as a means for coping with some of his symptoms.

Although medical marijuana has been passed in Pennsylvania the program for adults to obtain marijuana will not go into effect until the beginning of 2018. While there is still broad speculation and little empirical evidence, there is an overwhelming amount of personal stories attesting to the usefulness of cannabis in alleviating certain symptoms of autism. Same is true for many other medical conditions; doctors are just not yet able to comfortably recommend cannabis due to lack of scientific evidence. Hopefully this will change in the coming years as legalization laws will make research more possible.

Juan Matthew primarily relies on smoking to consume cannabis but is open to trying new methods. More will become available to him once dispensaries open in 2018, if he chooses to get in the system. He first used cannabis at the age of 23 and sensed how it might benefit him.

“I realized cannabis had a positive effect on me, when I could slow my mind down and actually think and see life in a more natural way. I could slow down the music in my head and find the radio frequency I desired. Gradually I made my weakness my strength and can now speak better than most humans. Cannabis helps to calm and heal individuals and this is true for me. Having autistic spectrum disorder is just a label. I have overcome so much in my life – you will always struggle but struggle tests and improves us. When you have problems you engage in thinking where imagination is one with memory. Cannabis helps me communicate, make good eye contact, and feel joyful in this realm of illusion.”

Although cannabis helps Juan Matthew in a general sense, it may come as a surprise that he doesn’t prefer smoking while making art. “I started making art early in my childhood. I don’t rely on anything but my human experience for art. The art was there before cannabis. Some ideas obviously have been inspired by THC. But not having cannabis is motivation. Cannabis for an already creative individual may generate new wonderful ideas and solutions and will continue to do so. Something inside me is different than most, my light.”

“Cannabis can influence the one individual and if that individual can change their heart then there is hope with cannabis. I believe art should give us an idea of our relationship with planet earth and each other, where we rejoice in all abilities.”

Juan Matthew’s art has many different elements working together to create a unique, seamlessly woven, colorful mosaic, sometimes including cannabis leaves, hidden messages of love and his signature 420 heart creation. He is eager to share some of his creative techniques.

“For those who want to try something new, creative, scientific, and therapeutic. Joint compound is a material traditionally used to finish walls or patch holes but it is also a blossoming new form of art I have been promoting for years. You can finger paint by smearing the compound on a canvas using your hands and fingers as the tools for original, professional art, let dry and add a paint of your choice.”

“I also use molten glue. I discovered the incredible detail you can achieve when painting dry-molten glue. I experimented on 30 canvases, devising 30 different techniques for application. I have pioneered drawing with a glue gun on numerous surfaces making the glue itself art. I want to inspire others to believe in themselves and devise new ideas and techniques of their own to share and start a New Art Revolution!”

This is the story of an artist with a vision, a purpose and a desire to create change in a positive way. Nothing can limit us or keep us from understanding the meaning behind things. Creative expression is a great way to begin to understand our world. From understanding comes wisdom. Only resistance of truth keeps you from understanding, keeps you from wisdom.

“Wisdom is the knowledge of the divine, human matters, and the cause of them. At any age wisdom is from pain. Wisdom Herself is a divine being. I am a speck of dust and all I know is that I am still learning. Most people simply do not care.” Hopefully in the coming years people will begin to understand the nature of the universe in which we live and the story of the human spirit.

Stories are a journey and we as humans are the hero and heroines of our own tales. There is a story developing in our society, it is a story like Juan Matthew’s, it is about the ongoing discovery of the healing potential of cannabis and the suffering human soul. At this point in history there seems to be an interweaving of psychology, creativity, spirituality and a drug that was once demonized is now reminding us of its greater purpose. Hopefully in the near future, science will support what many have discovered on their own.

In the words of Juan Matthew, an enlightened artist who is giving his life to express something bigger than himself, a hero in his own right, “My life is beautiful when it is difficult and I succeed. My art is the manifestation of my ancestors, strength from pain, beauty from chaos. Within my blood dwells century’s fire and I am unleashing it from my heart. My earth walk will end one day but my fire will never die.”

Some voices are here to inspire us, to remind us of the essence of life, Juan Matthew De La Tour is one of those voices. May his words ring on. “Use your imagination, nothing’s impossible, just imagine.”

Lost hope yet?

Last week the President of the United States (a.k.a. Donald Trump) sat down with the “failing” New York Times, as he likes to call them. My first thought was do Trump supporters consider the New York Times to be “fake news” even when it is the voice of Trump himself which they are reporting on?

Apparently that day in the oval office Donald was alone with the 3 evil, lying reporters and one of his favorite staffers, Hope Hicks. They say she is never in jeopardy of losing her job. This lovely 28 year old, former teen model, accompanied Trump to the White House after working for him on the campaign trail and in Trump Tower before that.

Maybe you’ve never heard of Hope Hicks with all the other Trump administration headliners. She is generally hidden from the spotlight seemingly and beyond all the drama. She can usually be found close to the President and while she may defend him in person or on paper; it’s interesting that Hope is smart enough to never defend him in public, on TV or under oath. While she does hold a high position in the White House, she’s quiet about it. Maybe because she doesn’t want us to remember her pretty face alongside Donald Trump’s.

Although I enjoy the commentary, this piece is really not about Hope Hicks. This piece is about the irony that a woman named Hope sits next to the President every day while for many of us, hope is slipping away.

Every year by late July we start feeling the burdens of the year thus far. By the end of July it’s just so hot all the time; the hope that summer initially promised is fading and the autumn begins to loom. And yet we aren’t there yet, the crisp air of fall brings sighs of relief. Right now we’re in the middle, in the the thick of it and with such a heavy moon this month one might begin to feel a little hopeless.

On top of that, reaching the late days of July this year is different than any year before because in the last 6 months we have been getting used to the fact that Donald Trump is president. Let me phrase that differently, we have been getting used to what a Donald Trump presidency looks and feels like.

I think republicans feel the same, but don’t admit it readily. I think Donald Trump feels the same. He’s getting used to himself in this position of power and getting used to all that it means to sit in that office. The result for everyone is exhaustion. Unless of course you’ve been watching Fox News and have been enjoying their varied fluff pieces, Tucker Carlson’s furrowed brow and many, wonderful infomercial-like commercials. Russia what? Fake news. Sad!

For a crowd who so loudly and proudly chanted “lock her up,” they sure seem willing now to just “follow the facts” and are quick to cry out “witch hunt”. The creator of “lock her up”, Michael Flynn himself is now sweating, waiting, offering up his story for immunity. Karma anyone?  Just think, less than a year ago, “lock her up, lock her up”. A group so concerned with law enforcement must now be chanting “we love Robert Mueller.” I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it

I have spent the last 8 months trying not to lose hope. I’ve done better than I thought. But lately I’ve grown weary and I’m doubting that justice will ever be served.

Maybe you like Donald Trump, maybe for you his rise to power doesn’t remind you of things that you came to this life to fight against. So maybe he doesn’t anger, sadden or shock you. That’s ok for you. I have a fondness for Kim Kardashian. A lot of people think she’s an egotistical, evil, power hungry, soulless person. I don’t think she’s that bad. I genuinely like her. Call me crazy. We all view things differently. But fortunately for all of us Kim isn’t running for public office. Donald Trump chose to do that. He acquired a position that is supremely powerful but it is also supposed to be a position to provide SERVICE TO OTHERS. The only person Donald Trump knows how to serve is himself.

Further he believes that all those working in the White House serve at “his pleasure” and not at the pleasure of the United States of America. Hope Hicks doesn’t serve us, she serves Donald J. Trump and that is why she is never in jeopardy of losing her job. James Comey served the FBI and law enforcement, not the President, and he got fired. He got fired for doing his job the way he was trained to do it for decades serving in law enforcement.

Sean Spicer, our dearly departed Press Secretary, stood in front of the entire press corps and millions of American citizens for 6 months spewing whatever lies his boss told him to say, defending him tirelessly. He looked like a fool, probably ruined his reputation for the rest of his career, subjected himself to mockery and hatred. That was his choice but he knew it was his only choice if he wanted to keep his job. In the end he couldn’t keep his job anyway.

I’ve said before it’s not so much about the man, it’s about what he represents. People in positions of power should be honorable, truthful, respectful, be good role models and take accountability and responsibility for their words and actions. He does none of these things.

Almost every single previous President and thousands of high-level politicians over the years have had respect for the rules. Donald Trump wants to break the rules. I’ve heard people say, “yeah that’s why I voted for him, I want him to shake things up.” I’ll say the same thing to them I say to my toddler, “not a good idea.” Change is great but blatant disregard for systems and protocols without any other plans is irresponsible. Destin doesn’t believe me when I tell him he’s going to get burned if he touches the stove. “Just let me do it,” he says. That’s what’s happening with our President and we’re all getting burned.

I haven’t lost hope yet. I still believe truth and goodness will prevail. It’s just sad to me that in 2017 we still have to fight this hard for it.


The year was 2004, the month was July and I was preparing to begin a new journey: college. It was surprisingly not the brightest time in my life. I was embarking upon a transition that had far greater implications than I realized at the time.

I was leaving my mom alone in a house that had begun to cloud with shadows. Maybe shadows from before us, but then we added our own too. And I always wonder did the darkness of that house create problems in our lives? Or was it just a metaphor for what my family and I were to endure while we lived there?

A couple of overnight guests claim to have seen a figure that they described as male. One time the figure was at the bottom of the basement stairs and appeared to be wearing a hat. Another time the figure appeared to be bending over the bed, watching my sister and her boyfriend while they slept.

I had a couple weird moments in that house too. The funniest one is the day I woke up and my alarm clock was on the pillow next to my head. People said I must have moved it while I was asleep. We typically try to rationalize the unexplained because in our linear thinking world we operate like everything can be explained. Most people need a wake up call.There comes a moment when we realize everything cannot be explained in the clear terms we might like. In trying to explain everything, rationalizing the minutiae of life, we lose sight of the magic, of the mystery.

My mom’s room was beneath mine and she said she heard footsteps up there all the time. She said she would call up to me to see what I was doing. But I wouldn’t respond. Maybe a soul was left behind there on Yale Lane, stuck in time, not ready to move on to the light yet. If that soul or souls were suffering, than we found them because we were about to embark upon on a tremendous amount of suffering ourselves.

It was in that house that my mother became very sick. She started her long journey home back then when her illness began. Perhaps she knew, and we all did unconsciously that she was going to die. Ghosts roamed the halls of our house and she was becoming a ghost too. The shadow of her former self haunted us all. Our life was changed forever.

No one should have to watch their mother change like that. To see the life slip away from her over the years was surreal. It was a subtle, continuous heartbreak, watching her lose everything that made her who she was. It gnawed on me day after day. I wasn’t sure how would it end but suspected often there was only one way it could.

Life consists of many miracles but it also consists of tragedy and death. Those are inescapable facts. It doesn’t make life any less beautiful or any less worth living.

So in 2004 after graduating high school and realizing that my mom’s time was limited I was anxious about the next chapter of my life. The idea of going to college terrified me. That summer I began to hear a whisper. Signs are everywhere. My spirit was calling me to remember some valuable things. I was getting the call at that time because it was key to my survival in this world.

Have you gotten the call yet? The call to understand more about this world and the life after. Ghosts were the first spiritual concept that I believed in and wanted to understand more. Ghosts are just the beginning. If you cant wrap your mind around the existence of ghosts then you are not ready for the great mysteries yet.

I still think about the ghost on Yale Lane and my own ghosts there. I’ve dreamt of that house many times. It’s eerie yet sentimental. The ghost of my mom haunts me in more ways than one. She watches over us I know, in a literal sense. But she haunts my thoughts too because I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if she were here. Her absence continues to haunt me, like a vacant space that can never be filled, a wound that never seems to really heal. There is so much of her in me too, more than I probably even realize.

But for all the things she did that made me stronger, that made me who I am; losing her made me who I am too. The ghosts of our past are painful. They may still make us angry, make us cry and shake our heads because it’s not fair. But our past suffering, our losses and all the people we’ve loved along the way make it possible for us to carry on. Every time something bad happens, we are again forced to realize how incredibly strong we are, otherwise we would forget. We must exercise muscles to strengthen them.

When I was young I was afraid of ghosts until I began to understand what ghosts are and why they are here. Once I understood that, they no longer scared me. I may not have had the desire to understand ghosts until death stared me in the face. Mysteries are waiting to reveal themselves to us, we just have to want to discover them.

The mysteries of life may not be calling you yet. But when they do, don’t be afraid to answer, they will comfort you like nothing ever has before. Pain and suffering are ancient companions of planet Earth, so all we can do is find ways to coexist with them and find ways cope with the heartache we will often experience while living here.

The ghosts and shadows will always be here, they will always haunt us, we can’t ignore them but we move on each day in spite of our sorrow.

Moon Day

“Monday, Monday, so good to me, Monday morning it was all I hoped it would be…” The Mamas and the Papas ring in my ears. This song always made me appreciate Mondays more. People tend to reject Monday, it signals the end of freedom.

Naturally, every week day is associated with a planetary body. Tuesday is the day for Mars/Ares, the god of war. On Wednesday we hear from Mercury, the messenger.  Jupiter/Zeus reigns supreme on Thursday. Venus the goddess of beauty greets us with love on Friday. Saturn/Kronos, father time rules our Saturdays. The bright, glowing sun starts the week again and shines down on Sunday.

Then it’s moon day. Monday is such a practical day on our modern calendar. It’s the first day of work and school and yet it is the day ruled by the moon. An interesting juxtaposition because the moon is a mystical being, one that rules our dreams and controls the ebbs and flows of the ocean. Interesting that an archetype of such mystery would rule a day viewed as being so mundane.

The moon is the mother of the ocean and the ocean is a symbol of the great collective unconscious.  She controls women’s cycles and women’s cycles are the source of life. The moon is a night goddess. Her energy mothers each and every inhabitant of this planet. She is the keeper of rhythms and seasons, she brings balance to the sun, and she whispers to us while we sleep. She shares the secrets of the universe and so much more. She helps us remember because she kindly stores our memories for us.

“Everything we remember, everything we have experienced, is stored in the cauldron of the Goddess. Thus the moon represents our feelings, our habit patterns; in short the personal unconscious. Some esoteric astrologers call the Moon the planet of past karma—which is another way of saying that the Moon represents that limitless well of feeling patterns which, for the most part, unconsciously directs our actions in the present,” (Mythic Astrology p.64).

Maybe we need that energy to start the work week. We need our great mother to watch over us on Monday as we enter the world. There is no denying Monday gets a bad rap. No surprise really, the goddess usually gets the raw end of the stick.

But as stated the moon represents our past, our karma and included in that are things we aren’t always eager to face. In that way she reminds us of the work we came to do on this planet, not just your regular day job kind of work, but the big time karmic work. The moon wakes us up on Monday and says “honey get up, you have a lot of work to do.” She’s a friendly alarm clock but we still say, “Damn it mom, no I don’t want to work I want to keep sleeping!”

The mother is there for you when you need her. She will hold your hand and help you through the tough times. But she is usually the last to receive much in return. That is her job. There is a difference though between not being applauded and being blatantly disrespected. Mothers, like the moon, are mirrors and they show us things we don’t always want to see. That’s not a reason to reject the mother, instead we should be thanking her for reminding us of our goals and pushing us to always be better.

“It is a well-known concept in the astrological world that the Moon represents negative emotional patterning from the past that must be overcome or transcended in order to fulfill one’s solar destiny. This sometimes results in a belief that the Moon itself is negative while the Sun is positive and must be developed at the expense of the Moon. This kind of one-sided emphasis tends to devalue the feminine. Such negative labeling of the Moon reflects a deep-seated fear of the unconscious or feminine principle characteristic of solar or patriarchal societies,” (Mythic Astrology p.66)

The last year has been a reminder that women on this planet still do not always get the credit and respect that they deserve. Our patriarchal world is out of balance, more than I realized a year ago. The goddess has so much to say right now. She is the only way this planet will heal. And yet often when goddesses speak truth, they’re “bitching”, or their voice is off putting, or they’re hysterical. “How dare that woman profusely express her emotion,” they proclaim.

When people react negatively to women who use their voice well and loudly, they don’t realize they are shutting out the goddess and it is obvious they are not ready to evolve. The silencing of women is more rampant and persistent than we readily acknowledge. We have come a long way in terms of equality but the double standards are still glaring and frustrating.

For so long women have been quiet. In many parts of the world right now women are being silenced. Times are changing. If women cannot speak then this planet is doomed. The mother, the goddess, the moon has much to remind us of and it is time we all pay attention. We can no longer reject the goddess and if we do there will be consequences.

“But whenever Monday comes you can find me crying all of the time. Monday, Monday can’t trust that day.” Many of us inherently don’t trust the goddess or our inner feminine side. The masculine has been so overemphasized that we have come to think of it as better. This could not be further form the truth. Masculine and feminine are both equal and totally necessary for life on this planet and they must both be balanced and relied on equally for a healthy psychological state.

Sunday is filled with ease and Monday with work. Do we learn from ease? Or do we learn from pain? Struggle? I’d rather dig deep than glide across the surface. And both are great! That’s the beauty it’s a perfect dance, an eternal balance. But right now digging deep and working hard doesn’t get enough credit. Everyone wants free and easy, but that’s not what life is, that’s not what it was built to offer. Maybe we fear Monday because it has the most to offer, within it lays our greatest potential and that can sometimes be a difficult thing to face.


*Mythic Astrology: Internalizing the Planetary Powers (Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson)

Happy Half New Year

Happy half new year. We may forget such a marker. We have trudged along for six months since winter and here we are. Changed? Probably so. But as we welcome July we begin again. We may refresh and see this as another new beginning. How will we finish the year? How will the year finish us?

Lately it feels like life is having its way with me. It turns me, twists, me tackles me, exhausts me. The explanation is two-fold I think. One, we should never really feel like life is running us and we are not in control of it. Things will happen try to help us realize that’s not how we like it. There may be warnings, hopefully a wake up call,  then you regain strength and take the wheel again.

The second reason life feels that way sometimes is because it’s supposed to. This is after all a ride and while you are meant to commandeer your car through life, there are other cars on the road and other circumstances that will affect your journey.

On a large scale, the last 6 months have been tumultuous. Never in my life have I seen such heightened energy surrounding politics, media, the judicial system and branches of government none of us previously understood. If you don’t know what I’m talking about than you should. Pay attention because these are unique times. When the tension builds like this, the winds pick up, people begin to take notice and we must believe that all of this means great change is upon us.

Can the appearance of a dark soul ultimately be the event that lights up the world? So many loving, light carrying souls stand aside quietly in repose waiting for a moment to help. Many kind souls are complacent, maybe even lazy. They don’t want to have to fight for peace they just want peace! But we are not there yet. We are still in the fight for what is right on this planet.

Americans live blessed lives. We have struggles of course like hitting a parked car and waiting 6 weeks for repairs (me). Or worse not being able to pay your bills or losing a loved one. Our hearts ache for many reasons but many of us basically have essential comforts and beyond. So much so that we may not realize that we have an unconscious suffering playing in the background. That heart ache is spurred by other people’s suffering in the US and around the world who do not have basic comforts. We are all one, all connected. So every time an innocent child dies in the middle east we feel it, every time a woman is abused or sexually assaulted we feel it, every time money is put before human lives we feel it, like ripples in the water, no one is immune. The scales of injustice affect us all.

So many people don’t realize this and even if they pondered it, they wouldn’t believe it. Truth doesn’t hide, people keep it hidden. You can watch Fox or CNN, it doesn’t matter what you “watch” what matters is what you “feel”. You have an internal guidance system, we all do! It’s your higher self, your inner voice, when was the last time you heard it? Furthermore when was the last time you actually listened to it? Your inner voice has much to say and it speaks truth.

We are a country that is almost completely cut off form our own inner guidance systems. And now we have a leader that exemplifies this very bad habit of only focusing outward. Look within, listen within, that is where you can find the truth. Stand in the light or hide in the dark. Speak your truth or speak lies. It’s a choice we make everyday.

There is a great war, it has been repeated for centuries and centuries, upon lands far and wide, east and west. Modern people are realizing that we are now in a deeply profound, historical moment. The history books are not finished being written yet. We will be in them. What side of history will you be on?