Slade Goes to Mars

Slade on MarsYou know the oft-played sitcom schtick of someone forcing you to come over and watch his vacation slideshow? Yeah, well, you might have preferred that I pulled that with my trip to Hawaii, but I have way more cool pictures of Arizona. Actually, I'm still processing both these enormous experiences... If you want to keep up with my personal life and you just can't get enough of my twinkly deep brown eyes and my bearded, lop-sided smirk then, by all means, add me as your friend on Facebook and check out all the pictures I'm posting -- I will totally confirm you; I'm cool like that. :-)

If you are a subscriber to Shift Your Spirits, I assure you that I consider you a friend, on many levels.

This was my first trip to the American Southwest | the Desert. Like Hawaii, it was my absolute favorite form of traveling -- Work / Pleasure. I'm lousy at just being a tourist. I work seven days a week because I choose to, for the sheer joy of it; I prefer to have a project to focus my reason for being somewhere.

Big Sky Whenever I fly west of the Mississippi I am struck by the overwhelming presence of the Human Grid. In Tennessee -- really, along the Eastern Seaboard | Appalachia -- the Grid must conform to the mountains and rivers; starting in the midwest and heading out into the vast Big Sky parts of the United States, the evidence of the Grid is mind-blowing. Talk about ley lines and power lines and human energy pathways -- I can hardly wrap my brain around roads that stretch from one horizon to the other without so much as a slight curve. Even from the vantage point of air travel, it all looks a bit like Sim City meets Google Mother Earth.

I get SO excited when I fly, you'd think I'd never been in an airplane before, but my dad was in the Air Force and I even logged semi-legitimate flight training hours before I was in elementary school; and my mother's brothers build those little VW bugs with wings. My first conscious memories of air travel are from around age 7 or 8, and I am still that little boy every time I get on a plane. Window seats are mission critical (and these days I don't have to share with my brother), and although I bring books and a laptop and a neck pillow, until/unless we are so high that there is no view of the ground or at the very least some wicked cloud formations, my nose is pressed against that super-thick fishbowl glass with a gaping mouth and a constant silent "Wowwwwww" playing in my head.

I also have serious clairvoyant experiences at high altitudes -- I see angel lights in the sky for days. Does this happen to anyone else? Don't tell me it's just air pressure or something -- until you can prove that I'm not seeing angel lights, I prefer to apply my magical world view. It's probably an added bonus to be on a plane with me because my prayers are devoid of common fears but jam-packed with invocations. All my flights are courtesy of Throne Air, escorted by the Mother Goddess' private air force. Spiritual travel tips -- you can call in any number of saints, angels, and ascended masters as travel agents: Ganesha keeps all the complexity of factors like luggage and arrival/departure times syncing smoothly; Jeff Peck assures me that Kali, whose heavy hand can be a bit scary in many circumstances, nevertheless obliterates all obstacles from your path.

I was probably in my twenties before the realization dawned on me that I might not grow up to be an astronaut after all. I spent another decade being depressed that trips to outer space might be unlikely for me, until I began to download guidance concerning the coming Technological Singularity and Radical Life Extension. Now I feel the potential is still there for many of us alive today to actually -- literally -- end up on Mars at some point. (No, I'm really not kidding. I romanticize the notion of being a colonist.)

Arizona looks like Mars, terraformed I'm not likely to write about it much here, and only a few of you know that one of my favorite subjects of study (one of my hobbies, I guess) is areology -- I have a lifelong obsession with the space program and the planet Mars, particularly with the imminent need for the human race to survive and evolve beyond this planet. Mars is, of course, one of our likely future homes. Some even believe that we came from there in the first place.

One of my favorite explorations of the subject are the Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson. If science fiction jacks you up, put his books on your Read It Before You Die list.

So, my first thought as the plane dropped down toward Phoenix was "Holy Shit! Arizona looks exactly like future terraformed Mars."

I need mountains to feel comfortable anywhere I go -- Arizona's mountains are like a handsome, rugged young man with a few days' worth of stubble; Appalachia is his much older half-brother from a previous marriage with a full-on Green Man beard growth.

I loved Phoenix, but the place was incidental to my friends there -- my ATP® brother and soul mate Jeffrey Peck who hosted me; and of course most of you know my intuitive colleague Andrea Hess. I can't tell you how many times Andrea and I have burned up the cell phone minutes, wishing out loud that we just lived down the street from each other and could meet for coffee. Talk about manifesting -- it happened! It was so awesome to hear her familiar voice with the added physical presence and visual feed of her lovely face sitting across the table from me. I must tell you, Andrea is super-striking in person. As we embraced for the first time I said to her "OMG, you're so PRETTY!"

Picture of Slade with Andrea Hess

Jeff was kind enough to arrange two meet ups with Andrea (since I had no idea where I was or how to get anywhere) and sit patiently listening to us chattering away. As if I even needed the caffeine! Andrea and I talked about how many of you we wished could have been at that table with us; but of course we would've needed a convention center. Workshops with Slade and Andrea in the future? I believe it's likely -- wanna come? Stay tuned...

Okay, let's break this up -- I have tons to share from this trip -- including my photoshoot in Sedona among the energy vortices and my ghost hunting trip to Jerome. All pictures by Jeffrey Peck.

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