New Age-marcia Monte Negro

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A strange but true spiritual journey Marcia Montenegro Spirit guides, meditation, astrology, the higher Self, raising the kundalini, developing psychic abilities, praying to gurus, astral travel, numerology, Tarot cards, contacting the dead, hanging out with witches, Sufis, follower of Muktananda, Rajneesh, Sai Baba, Maharaji -- all these and more were part of my journey. How did I get on this path? The beginnings I grew up with an ag
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    A strange but true spiritual journey Montenegro Spirit guides, meditation, astrology, the higher Self, raising the kundalini, developing psychicabilities, praying to gurus, astral travel, numerology, Tarot cards, contacting the dead, hangingout with witches, Sufis, follower of Muktananda, Rajneesh, Sai Baba, Maharaji -- all these and morewere part of my journey. How did I get on this path? The beginnings I grew up with an agnostic father and a nominally Christian mother who was raised going to church. My sisterand I had to attend church, because my mother thought that was the right thing to do, although she did notalways go. Due to my father's  job in the Foreign Service, we moved around a lot, so we ended up in differentchurches located overseas and in the Washington , DC, area. Eventually, I became serious about religion. Inhigh school, I had the idea that being good would please God and get me into heaven. But reading aboutother religions and meeting those who believed differently made me wonder. Maybe there was more to itthan what I had -- some knowledge of God and Jesus which was mostly superficial. I wanted somethingdeeper, more experiential. I was also rejecting the idea of hell and was disillusioned with Christians.Christianity seemed defined by sermons, going to Sunday School, and doing good works. How boring! I wasmissing out on something! Also, I never fit in during my high school years. Being someone who wrote poetry,being in an alcoholic home, having no real roots all combined to make me feel different and unlike otherpeople. I started my journey at the end of high school. That journey continued through college where I had paranormal experiences, made friends with someonewho said she saw auras, and attended spiritualist meetings where the ministers received messagesfrom the dead .One bright sunny Florida afternoon, as I rested on my bed fully awake with eyes partly closed, I felt myself floating. I opened my eyes and was stunned to see my body on the bed below me as I hovered near theceiling. I thought I had died. The shock slammed me back into my body in an almost painful way. This was myfirst out-of-body experience and I had no idea what it was or that it even had a name. I told no one aboutit. The journey stretched into the 70's when I visited psychics and an astrologer, and did a lot of reading on theparanormal and about Hindu and Buddhist beliefs . I remember reading a book on Vedanta (sect of Hinduism) each morning in the cafeteria of the building where I worked. I started to see connections in mylife with the colors of the chakras , the seven psychic centers of energy in the body according to Hindubeliefs. This and other experiences pushed me into an active plunge into the alluring worlds of theparanormal and Eastern beliefs. Into the fire In an Inner Light Consciousness class, I was introduced to my spiritual master during a guided visualization. This guide, a spirit being, looked kind and wise. I felt his presence with me and sometimes saw him in dreamsand meditations until 1990. I also had unpleasant, scary and weird experiences and visitations, once seeing atall hooded figure in dark robes looking at my body in the bed as I hovered out-of-body nearby. Althoughextremely frightened by this apparition, I rationalized it by telling myself that I was being tested. Anothertime, as I was out-of-body, I not only saw my body on the bed, but also saw a double of myself floating acrossfrom me. I had spontaneous out-of-body experiences that sometimes kept me from sleeping and that werealso often very eerie. But to me, the paranormal was spiritual, and spiritual was good.Another reason I accepted the scary stuff was my attitude. I liked to think I was tough and nothing couldfrighten me away. So I would think, Go ahead, scare me. I can take it! I had a lot of anger and defiance inme which probably came from dealing with an alcoholic parent. This angry defiance proved useful to me in  many ways. It helped me get through a lot of painful situations, and it was going to help me deal with thebizarre experiences I would face. But anger and defiance over a long period of time easily turn into cynicism.I did become cynical although it was usually hidden, even from myself, behind a desire to help people. This defiant cynicism was my defense, as in No one is going to stop me doing what I want; nothing can scareme away; and don’t try to impress me. Later, after many occult experiences, the cynicism was deeper. Iknew a lot of people had not done what I had, and I thought most people were wimps and satisfied withsuperficial lives, not searching deeply as I was. But this was my defense against getting hurt or feelinghelpless. I also learned to meditate, do psychic healing, analyze dreams, and chant . It was mystical andmagical. When I first started to do Eastern meditation, I felt an incredible peace. I felt that I was fading awayand merging with something greater. It seemed I was literally one with the universe, and the teaching thatwe are all connected to one force seemed true. After all, I believed that truth was in experience, and here myexperience was confirming that belief. At last, I thought, I was connecting to that spiritual realm. Later, mystudies took me on many paths -- Tibetan, Hindu and Zen meditation and philosophy, spirit contact,numerology, psychic development, past life regression . Reincarnation seemed to answer questionsand I experienced what I thought were memories of past lives. However, it was sad to think that my next lifemight not be so great so if I did not learn lessons from this or previous lives. But why dwell on that?Finally, it seemed I was on the edge of a hidden wisdom, a truth higher than the everyday superficial thinkingaround me. Books by Edgar Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Chogyam Trungpa (Tibetan Buddhism), Annie Besant(Theosophy), Hanz Holzer (ghosts), and Ram Dass (Hinduism/New Age), and titles like Seth Speaks , The Taoof Physics by Fritjof Capra, The Metaphysical Bible Dictionary  , and  Autobiography of a Yogi by Yoganandabegan to fill my shelves, along with books on astrology, tarot cards, numerology , and other occultteachings. My spiritual progress seemed assured, especially since I was having so many paranormalexperiences. The natural result was that I felt I was an insider in the spiritual realm.  Unanswered questions Over the years, my psychic experiences escalated. I studied astrology and took a 7-hour exam on astrologyin Atlanta, Georgia, administered by the City but formulated and graded by an astrology board, in order toqualify for the business license. Passing the test, I started practicing astrology, and eventually I taughtastrology, gave public talks, wrote for astrological and New Age journals, and sat on the board of astrologyexaminers that gave and graded the exams, becoming chairman of that board. I became president of theMetropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society in June, 1989. My Halloween birthday and astrological skills mademe popular with witches and others.I noticed that while doing chart readings for clients, I would tune in to the chart in a paranormal way, duringwhich I felt an energy connecting my mind to the chart, and felt guided through the chart. It often seemedthat I was being fed information or led to specific things to say about the client. After so many years of Eastern meditation techniques, I was slipping without effort into an altered state of consciousness whiledoing astrology. I gave credit to my past lives as an astrologer and spiritual counselor, to the help of spiritguides, and to astrology itself. In those years, the only source of such information could be good since I didnot believe in evil. Yet, with all the knowledge and experience I had acquired, what were the answers? Since I came to believethere was only ignorance, not evil, stories of vicious cruelty and murder made me uncomfortable. Though Ibelieved I would be coming back after my death, where would I go in between and for how long? Sometaught that we would go somewhere that was like a school, then choose our next life. Others taught that wego somewhere to be spiritually purified - how, it was not explained - then our next life would be chosen forus. By whom? That was not explained. We were supposed to just trust the process. There was also the disquieting teaching that whatever thought was in my mind at the moment of deathwould determine the after-death experience for some time. Better not have a bad thought for too long!Better not fall asleep with fearful images! This was scary to contemplate -- but that contemplation was itself anegative thought! I would often soothe myself by meditating or chanting something -- maybe the Hare Krishna chant I had taught myself, or repeating a Tibetan Buddhist mantra like Om ManiPadme Om. I sought peace in Zen Buddhism . Trying to detach myself from all desire involved a meditation that allowsthoughts, fears, or desires to come up and then not to respond to them. This was to be applied to life outsidemeditation as well. For someone like me, carrying a lot of emotional pain from my past and my present, thiswas appealing. But though detachment sounded good in all the books, there was a price to pay. Thedetachment seemed contrived and unnatural. Seeing the emptiness behind my surroundings, another signof spiritual acumen, struck me as nihilistic and depressing. Maybe if I had pursued these practices moredevoutly, I might have gradually replaced my natural reactions and feelings with non-feeling. But is it humanto be non-feeling, to accept every thought, action, and emotion without judgment?Being taught to be natural and holistic on one hand, but then learning to let go of my natural reactions onthe other, seemed a contradiction. Of course, rational analysis like this was discouraged, even attacked. Therefore, contradictions could and should be accepted. If it didn’t make sense, so much the better. The idea  was to transcend the rational mind which was a barrier between me and enlightenment. Although I failedin achieving detachment, I clung to the paradoxical teachings of Zen, reading books with Zentales, and continuing the meditation. I noticed that the peace I had felt with my initial meditations haddecreased, causing me to meditate more in an attempt to re-capture that elusive peace.I also learned that the nature of occult and New Age thinking is that there is no one answer. There is no onesingle truth, and there is no one reality. Truth is based on your experience, so it changes and can differ fromperson to person. If there are multi-levels of reality and there is no absolute truth, then there must be manycontradicting truths and realities.In the abstract, this was fascinating food for thought, and led to being comfortable with whatever truth Iwanted. But on the practical level, what difference did truth make if one finally discovered it? Or how did weknow if there really was such a thing? And if not, what did anything that anyone believed matter anyway? These teachings gave answers that only raised more questions. Death and love We are just drops in the ocean, I learned, and the goal is to eventually, after many lifetimes, rejoin thecosmic oneness that some call God. This God-force was what we came from and was our final destiny. So thatmeant my identity, memories, talents, and personality would be swallowed whole into the cosmic One. Wherewould I be? The disturbing answer was that I would no longer be. Death became an absorbing but uneasytopic for me. The best way to help others and stay true to your path, I heard and read over and over, was to work onyourself and love yourself. Although talk of love was common and was taught to be the basis foreverything, it also seemed that some used the law of love as a way to justify whatever they were doing. So,if your husband was not your spiritual match, then real love allowed you to leave him or find another withwhom you had a true bond. After all, this was a law of the universe: the law of love. But this love was notdefined. It was just sort of out there - a love force that pervaded the universe. There was no personal being tolove me; there was this energy coming from the cosmic One and that was it. Could a force care?Despite the meditations, trying to live in the now , and the talk of love, I continued to have frighteningexperiences. One of the worst was waking up to see an older woman staring at me from the bottom of thebed. I knew she was not flesh and blood, but a spirit. She did not speak, but I heard her in my mind say tome, I am here to take over your body. Too scared to speak, I said in my mind, No! No! This seemed to goon for a long time, although I have no idea how long it really was. Finally, she simply faded away. I was lefttrembling, perspiring, and my heart racing. By the way, I was not doing drugs. The compulsion An unexplained compulsion to go to a church gripped me in the spring and summer of 1990. Since I hatedChristianity, churches and Christians by now, this made me angry. I first ignored this compulsion, thenresisted it, and then, after struggling against it for awhile, I decided to give in, hoping that it would go away.It was probably from one of my former lives as a priest or monk, I reasoned.In the opening minutes of a service in a large church in downtown Atlanta, I felt a love I had never knownwash down over and through me, so powerfully that I started crying. I knew this love was from God, not fromthe music, the people, or the place. That love was the real thing. Coming from an alcoholic home, I wasstarving for that love. I returned the following Sunday, not to have another experience, but so that I could bewhere that love had happened to me.After several weeks, I began to feel unclean about astrology although no one in this open-minded church saidanything about it. All I knew was that it was somehow separating me from this God of love. I then got theimpression that God did not like astrology and wanted me to give it up. Give up my life's work?   Give upmy identity and purpose? Outside of my son, nothing was more important to me than astrology. But I felt I had no choice; it was so clear to me that God did not like astrology. Not even believing what I wasdoing, I decided to give up astrology in late 1990. At the time, I was chairperson of the curriculum committee,a member of other committees at the astrological society, and scheduled to teach an upcoming class. I hadto find another teacher. I had to tell clients who called I was no longer an astrologer. (I did give a talk inFebruary, 1991, after bad advice from a pastor and not liking what I was doing but not strong enough to getout of it. It took over a year for full comprehension of what I had been involved in to sink in.) Now whathappens? Thinking I should read the Bible, I started reading in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.Reading the Bible put me in touch with something pure, but I didn't know what it was. Although I had readthe Bible before while growing up and had quoted from it for astrological articles, this time it was different. Ifelt as though I was being cleaned from the inside out as I read it. As real as it gets  This person Jesus fascinated me. It was as though I was learning about Him for the first time. One eveningwhile reading part of the 8th chapter of Matthew, right before Christmas of 1990, I saw who Jesus really is. Onthe boat with His disciples, a terrible storm arose. The disciples were afraid and woke Jesus up, telling Himthat they were going to perish. Jesus stopped the storm in its tracks! How? He did not visualize calm waters,  He did not perform sorcery. He rebuked the winds and the sea, and they obeyed him. That means He hasauthority over nature. I was separated from God by everything I had done in my past -- I had lived my wholelife based on my will, a will that had rejected and defied God and His word. I realized that the only way to beforgiven, the only way to be reconciled with God was through Jesus, the God-man who suffered and died forme out of a great and unconditional love. I realized Jesus is the Savior; He is the Son of God and God the Son.I understood for the first time why Jesus died on the cross. In those several minutes sitting on my bed withthe Bible, I knew that the truth and the answer to all my questions were one and the same: Jesus Christ. Whata simple but awesome truth! And so I gave myself to Christ and knew I belonged to Him from that momenton. Several months later, I found out that a young Christian man at the part-time job where I worked hadbeen praying for me with a fellowship group at his church during 1990. Jesus was different from the masters I had studied. He was more real than the spirit guides, the AscendedMasters, the Higher Self -- all those airy, elusive things that gave no evidence of their existence -- because Hecame to earth in flesh and He hungered, thirsted, felt pain and sorrow. He did not give a message that deniedthe dirt and dust of life, but He sat with the outcasts, the prostitutes, and the hated tax collectors yetremained sinless. He was as real as it gets. Though fully man, Jesus was fully God incarnate, equal to God innature but setting aside that glory (not deity) to be among suffering men and women. Jesus Christ willinglywas tortured, laid down His life and died an agonizing death to pay for our sins. He bodily rose on the thirdday, conquering death, so that we can have eternal life with God. No sorcerer, no spiritual master, noBuddha, no shaman, no witch, no psychic has conquered death, but all still lie cold in their graves. But Jesushas power over death and is living today. Truth and satisfaction Spiritually, I had been in a grave with the buddhas and the sorcerers and the seekers of wisdom who hadrejected the truth of Christ. The complicated and intricate studies that had enthralled me, the endless layersof truths and realities I had pursued, the constant effort to evolve, the paranormal experiences, the need tobelieve in one's own goodness at all costs, were all a maze and a trap. The truth was simple enough for achild because the truth is a Person. Jesus did not teach the way or say He had a way. He said that He is theway -- not a way, but THE way.Many people want to know if I had to wage spiritual warfare after trusting Christ. Well, a few months later, asI was about to go forward in a church to publicly proclaim faith in Christ, I got incredibly ill. When I wenthome, I got sicker. I felt an angry presence in the room and I thought it was my spirit guide. I basically toldhim I belonged to Christ and there was nothing he could do about it, that even if I died, it was too late. Youlose, I said. I was addressing Satan, although I was really talking to my spirit guide. I do not believe in doingthis now; I do not address demons or Satan. They have already been spoken to and defeated by Christ. Iprefer to speak to the ruler of the universe, Jesus Christ. I do not want to give demons any attention at all. Yes, I have had a few strange attacks that could be construed as demonic. But I do not like to focus on them.My focus is on the One who is worthy of attention: Jesus Christ, who has power over all rulers andprincipalities, in both the physical and spiritual realms.What is the biggest difference between my former life and my life in Christ? That I am happier, that life iseasier? Not at all. The difference is that I am spiritually satisfied. There is more to learn and much room togrow, but the learning and growth spring from Christ as the foundation, not from a search outside Him. Thesearch has ended; the thirst has been quenched; the hunger within has been filled.(You will find Marcia's story with more detail in Chapter 10 of  The Unexpected Journey  (Zondervan) by ThomS. Rainer. This book contains the firsthand accounts of 12 people who came to faith in Christ from otherspiritual beliefs and told their stories to Dr. Rainer. This book is sold on Amazon's site and also on the CBDsite,and can also be found in or ordered by bookstores).  July 2011 revised version at Marcia Montenegro's website: * ; ,   * Are you exploring different paths that claim to lead to truth or to holistic spirituality? Or maybe you arewondering about the supernatural. If you are exploring or just mildly curious, please check out theinformation on this site. Be open to it and see for yourself what is here. Don't let any preconceived ideas be abarrier. Your exploration may lead to something interesting. This site is owned by Marcia Montenegro, aformer professional astrologer for 8 years and teacher of astrology; a former practitioner for many years of Eastern-type meditation and beliefs, and who engaged in various occult practices such as having a spiritguide and doing astral travel. Marcia's background  Marcia practiced as a professional astrologer for eight years. Her formal astrological studies began in 1980and she took classes for over two years. In 1983, she passed the 7-hour exam given by the Atlanta Board of Astrology Examiners, a Board set up by the City to formulate and grade exams to be given to aspiringastrologers wishing to practice legally in the City of Atlanta. Marcia later was a member of this Board for four
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