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Shalom my Love
by Sunny Ariel

coversm.JPG (10282 bytes)Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a medium at Endor."

I Samuel 28 : 7

Samuel, the first of the prophets of later times, is a forerunner of Saul, the first of Israel's kings, and he acts as counselor and judge. Samuel, not necessarily an ecstatic visionary but rather an interpreter of the present has, by the time of the above scripture, died. King Saul is desperate: the Israelites and the Philistines are about to clash once again, and Saul fears the enemies' numbers. He inquires of the Lord, but the Lord does not answer him through the usual dreams, prophets, or Urim and T'umim, the sacred oracles. In fear and desperation, he instructs his servants to find a woman medium, and they tell him of the woman at Endor. The stories and legends of the Jewish people at the time of the First Temple took place in the great valley of the Galilee where Endor is located.

Saul, according to the story, had banished all the mediums and wizards from the land. Therefore, he disguises himself and goes to see the woman at night, accompanied by two servants. He asks her to "divine for him a spirit" and bring up whomever he names. In fear she responds:

"Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?" (I Samuel 28 : 9)

Saul swears that no harm will come to her, and he asks that she bring up Samuel from the dead. By this time, however, she recognizes the king, and she is even more beside herself. She does as she is commanded, and an old man wrapped in a robe begins to rise from the depths of the earth.

Samuel, not at all pleased that his time in Sheol, the land of the dead, has been disturbed, bickers with Saul and ignores the king's distress. Saul is miserable: God has left him, he says, and he asks Samuel for advice with the Philistine matter. Samuel retorts with, "Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy?" He goes on to seal the fate: the Philistines will defeat Israel, and Saul and his sons will die. "Tomorrow," says Samuel, "you and your sons shall be with me."

Saul falls on the ground in a fit of despair, and Samuel's spirit vanishes. The woman comforts Saul and makes haste to feed him, to give him the best of what she has: her calf and her bread, her compassion and kindness overshadowing the caustic Samuel, who seems to delight in bearing ill tidings. Saul returns to his camp in low spirits, aware that the fate of the battle and his own fate have been sealed.

My story, as true as the Bible story, begins not 3000, but eight years ago. Not Saul, the King of Israel, delivered into the hands of the Philistines, but my lover Gadi Danzig, delivered to meet his Maker in the Philippines when the helicopter from which he is filming crashes. No Witch of Ein Dor am I, although I did often console Gadi with home-baked chocolate chip cookies. Just before his trip to the Philippines, Gadi asked me to take him to meet with an Israeli psychic or medium for a reading. That session is the pivot for this story. Gadi, during the session, spoke of the source of life being the fear of death. It was only after he died that I was able to begin to come to terms with our relationship and come to understand that Gadi's death was the ultimate sacrifice of one individual who was, while he was alive, totally unaware of his soul's mission.

Living in Israel, a Levantine country and, in many respects, a man's country, was not easy for me, and yet I loved it with an inexplicable passion. My love for Gadi throughout our peripatetic relationship was, nonetheless, unconditional love.

After his death, the full extent of his duplicity became clear, and in trying to understand the reasons I had chosen this particular relationship, I embarked on a spiritual path which would take me from Israel, with its raging intifada, to the mesas of northern New Mexico, to the green grass of England, to magical Vancouver, British Columbia, and to Colorado's front range where all the dots of my life finally begin to connect. My journey has revealed to me a large body of evolving human beings who are awakening to their spirituality, and from Gadi I have come to understand that we must move in harmony if we are to heal ourselves and our planet.

Not one of us is here by accident - there are no coincidences. If you are reading this book, it is almost a certainty that you are awakening too. Perhaps you, like me, are coming to the realization that we are all spiritual beings in a physical body. If our story can help you, even in the smallest way, to understand your magnificent spiritual heritage, if our story of love and enlightenment transcending death gently helps you to remember your own starry origins and your own exalted self, then you, too, are participating in the raising of consciousness, as part of the preparation for a better world.

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