All posts by jewel

Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. Her work has been translated into several languages. She teaches workshops on the sacred feminine, dreams, symbols and mythology. Each year she leads a tour to Egypt.

Piercing the Veil — Dream work at Halloween

The Universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.        Eden Phillpots


Death, and what awaits us when we depart physical existence, are among humanity’s greatest mysteries and most profound questions, perhaps second only to where we came from and why we are here.  Most people believe that earthly life is not the end and that some aspect of our soul or spirit continues after death. Dreams are one of the ways we can move back and forth between the veil that separates the visible world from the unseen realm.

Sometimes dreamers encounter deceased loved ones in dreams. While this may be symbolic in terms of what the deceased person represents character-wise, often these are real meetings. Many people have also reported visits in dreams from relatives at the moment of death, as if they are stopping by to say goodbye. These powerful experiences often help with loss and grief.

On the last day of October, we celebrate Halloween, Samhain, All Hallows Eve, or All Souls Day, depending on the tradition. Samhain is pronounced “sowen,” and in the ancient Celtic language meant Hallow tide. This was the Celtic new year and was the time set aside to honor the dead and to pay attention to all the manifestations of the thinning veil.

The history of Halloween stems from the Celts, and we have to peer back in time nearly 6,000 years to trace the shadowy origins. Halloween and Thanksgiving have the same root origin, and their purpose is to celebrate the harvest before the cold and dark of winter. Millennia ago the year began on the date we now call October 31, after the third and final harvest, midway between autumn equinox and winter solstice.

In the modern world, winter’s dark and cold are illuminated by artificial light and warmed by generated heat, so the conscious passage of this season is less dramatic.  Because we are insulated, we lose touch with the darkness and its part in the shifting rhythm of life. Prayers for the dead and activities to honor and communicate with ancestors are common activities at this time in cultures around the world. Leaving an ancestor’s plate on the table is the origin of the treat part of Halloween. The trick part came much later before World War II and was called Mischief Night. Therefore, modern celebrations of Halloween include ghosts, goblins, witches and costumes and well as “tricks and treats.” Carved pumpkins with scary faces and candles inside were meant to scare off evil spirits.

All of these symbols and activities are remnants of practices that have to do with engaging and interacting with the unseen realm. The same is true with dream work and making the most of our dream time can be enhanced at this time of year because of the thinning veil that separates the worlds. In truth it is more that our frequency is heightened, allowing us to perceive energy that we normally don’t sense.

What does all of this have to do with dreams you might ask? This time of year, when the annual turning of the wheel presents an opening to the spirit world, and the veil between the visible and unseen world thins, provides a more open portal to communicate with beings no longer in form. Likewise, the ability to receive messages through this opening is enhanced and dream messages may be more pronounced.

Setting time aside for dream work that has to do with those who have passed on can yield huge dividends in forgiveness, release, and surrender. Some dream fragments are actually memories of our own nighttime travels in the spirit domain and at this time of year dreams are often more intense. Dream symbolism may relate to unfinished business. Unspoken communication with deceased loved ones can work to resolve Karma that is still in operation and may be draining resources and growth in waking life.

Another benefit of working consciously with the parting of the veil near Halloween is a heightened ability to communicate with our own spirit guides. If we take advantage of the opening, our guides will speak to us through dreams. This is almost the opposite of the old axiom about making hay while the sun shines. Here we are doing deep work that can only be done in the “darkness” of our psyche while the soul is in charge rather than the less-evolved personality. Getting serious about your dream journal, and remembering to ask important questions before you sleep, offers opportunity for an abundant harvest of personal growth.

Light a candle, set an intention, and expect a powerful dream.

Photo by Vino Li on Unsplash


My First Earthquake

“These are times of great change that seem surreal on many levels. Amidst the cacophony of the shifting, we can choose to anchor deeply in the core of it all … and look up at the stars.”  Candace Newman, author Your Inner River of Peace

When I read Candace’s quote in a recent  email, I knew her words were powerful and significant, but until today I didn’t recognize that her message was also prophetic.

Last night (July 7, 2021, 8:47 PM PDT)) as I gazed spellbound at a dark sky in Northern California, awestruck by the spectacular Venus-Mars conjunction, a 5.7 earthquake rocked an area about 100 miles north. In that moment I was unaware of the quake. Today, a 6.0 earthquake shook an area near Tahoe (July 8, 2021, 3:50 PM PDT), a similar distance away but in a different direction.

This time we heard loud and continuous rumbling like thunder and felt the Earth move under our feet. Only a couple of objects fell, so we were unharmed with no damage, yet I was profoundly shaken. From our perspective in that moment, the quake came without warning—the sudden and shattering energy of Uranus. When we checked the USGS earthquake site, we learned more about the quakes. The 6.0 quake was big news in Calaveras County, California and became the headline story on the local website.

I was moved by what I felt physically in a way that is difficult to explain even though I have heard and read many reports of how people are affected by earthquakes. Of course, our experience was mild compared to stronger and more damaging quakes, but my emotional response was visceral and seemed out of proportion to my experience. Hours later I still felt my own aftershocks.

As I endeavor to process this first-in-a-lifetime experience, I still feel the sense of residual “shock” that nothing in the physical world is secure. I had been working on the astrology chart for the New Moon (July 9, 2021, 6:16 PM PDT) and was reflecting on certain powerful configurations, wondering what they indicated. The words for this blog and my bi-monthly newsletter wouldn’t come–I realize now that the earth had to move first to awaken a deeper awareness.

The astrology of the last few days has been potent: Saturn opposes the Venus/Mars conjunction, and Uranus squares all three, forming a fixed T-cross aspect. In hindsight that seems to be a perfect earthquake aspect for this area with Uranus at the bottom of the chart at the roots. Neptune also made a square to the conjunction between the Moon and Mercury in the chart of the first quake. In the second chart the next day, the Moon moved almost out of orb of the conjunction with Mercury to form a trine aspect with Neptune, while the difficult T-cross remains.

As I finish this blog on July 9, 2021, the Moon is moving to conjoin the Sun tonight—the New Moon in Cancer. The conjunction opposes Pluto, signaling the potential for transformation. As earthquakes shook northern California, tropical storm Elsa was growing into a potential hurricane on the east coast. The Sun/Moon makes a trine aspect to Neptune in Pisces, increasing emotional energy and perhaps bring the tropical storm to hurricane force. And the T-cross remains with Uranus connecting to most of the planets in the New Moon chart. The New Moon chart is characterized by the shattering energy of Uranus.

It’s a powerful time on the planet, and my brief but deeply unsettling experience of the ground moving beneath my feet, accompanied by a roar like thunder, was minor compared with the degree of shifting and changing that is happening in the wider world. It is a good time to take an inventory of our blessings and be thankful for what matters most.

As Candace Newman said in her quote at the beginning, we do have a choice. Even though the earth moves and shifts beneath us, and the world changes before our eyes, we can strengthen our footing through intention and symbolically cast our anchor into the deep heart of the Earth. Before the day ends, we can go out and gaze upward at the stars during the dark time of this New Moon. The sight of the brilliant conjunction of Venus and Mars reminds us that we are part of something vastly larger than ourselves. Security in the outer world is never guaranteed, but the everlasting Light and Love that is the Source of all can guide and protect us through challenges that test our courage.

Julie Loar

Calaveras County, July 9, 2021 Venus/Mars conjunction: image credit Roen Kelly, (Astronomy Magazine)

A Year’s Journey

“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.”        Rumi

A little over a year ago I woke on a snowy morning as the world imploded in the midst of a global pandemic. I had just been laid off from my part-time job because of COVID-19 and I was really worried about finances. On that March morning near spring equinox as we entered lock down, worst case scenarios were being examined and the situation was grim. I felt the world would never be the same. As I look back the world has changed dramatically, but so have I through the journey of this year. 

On that snowy morning I woke from a vivid dream that felt like a “call.” I titled the dream Messenger Bag. In the dream I carried every bit of my work, wallet, worth, and identity in a saddle-colored Messenger Bag. Historically, these bags have been used by Roman legionnaires, army medics, electronics repair people, and college students. Messenger bags are still in widespread use by letter carriers, who rode horses in earlier times, then bicycles, and now trucks, faithfully carrying their messages.

The Messenger bag contained every bit of my life’s work past, present, and future. My first book was titled Messengers, so the symbol had layers of meaning. In the dream I kept putting the heavy bag down, and forgetting to take it with me, as I searched in the dream for a way to get fed. The simple interpretation was I had a great deal of work that needed attention and shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. In answer to what felt like a clarion call of guidance I turned eighty of my two decades of Atlantis Rising articles into a two-volume Sky Lore Anthology.

And then, I began a new book—Symbol & Synchronicity: Learning the Soul’s Language. The journey of this book began in earnest before I fully understood what the task would entail; but that is the way of a quest. If we knew when we set out what we would face after we cross the threshold we might lose courage. There are always dark times of doubt as well as powerful moments of guidance and miraculous inspiration. My journey through this book has been characterized by both, but I have experienced firsthand the potential for transformation the process contains. I am not the same person who set out on this journey a year ago. 

The journey has taken me from theory to practice in a powerful way. As I finished the first draft and looked back, I knew with a deep sense of wonder that what I had written was indeed a journey that connected inner space with my outer world. Indeed, I feel that the larger purpose of this book, and the profound journey the writing has taken, have made clear to me the power of dreams as guides on our spiritual path. Once we know that we walk this Path with the humble heart of a true pilgrim, dreams become like beacons, milestones, markers along the way. 

Over the course of writing this book I had roughly two dozen dreams that I recalled in the morning, recorded, and worked with—some more than others. There were other dream fragments, but they slipped away as I woke, and maybe only one symbol remained. As significant dreams occurred, at what would later be revealed as critical moments, I faced my core issues and did my best to apply what I was learning. Overcoming self-doubt, and gaining courage and confidence, were key to my progress. The journey of the book has been the metaphor for the lessons of my life and the dreams have chronicled the steps. 

After a year’s journey, next month I will begin a crowd funding campaign to finance the publishing of the book. I find that prospect to be one more intense test of courage and confidence. But my faith and heart are stronger, and I feel ready to face the challenge. Stay tuned for the next stage of the journey, and thanks so much for your comradeship along the way.