Creating Elf Stone / The Founder's Journey
The Journey began in my earliest years. My first memory is standing at the base of a grand staircase as a toddler. This was in a Victorian Mansion called the Kalvelage Schloss. There was a massive stained glass window glowing at the top, beautiful carved wood, and amazing lighted torches on the end of the newel posts. This would be symbolic of my journey in many ways, my love of old world architecture on the surface, but the esoteric meaning of climbing the stairs to the light, as well as being a lamp bearer, furthered by my lifetime of collecting ornate lights and lamps.
As a young child, I was drawn to my first book, which I still have called “What is a ghost to do?” a cute tale of a friendly ghost. I also went to Disney World at 2 years old and life had an actual meaning. The Magic of the park wowed me, and Walt Disney became my life long idol.
Another person that lead me on my journey was J.R.R. Tolkien. My father had built a cabin in the woods and would read us the Hobbit around the wood stove. I really wanted to go to middle earth and be an elf. I suppose now that the movies have been made, there are millions of children who share this dream.
I was always enthralled by any movie or show on ghosts, magic, kings of old, etc. And then.................. STAR WARS! I was totally in awe and by then I was old enough to have a real sense of myself as a being, and my desire to know the Divine exploded. Since that day, and still to this, I have trained to be a Jedi. The one thing that a desperately sought but was always disappointed not to find, was a teacher. Where was my Obi Wan, my Yoda, my Merlin?
As it turned out (I would learn later) they were all gone. The Roman Church had a systematic extermination of (almost) all the masters, books, and sacred sites around the globe, that did not strictly enforce its' patriarchal, one sided, right hand path.
It is believed that there is to be balance to the force, the structure, logic, masculinity and discipline of the right hand path, with the love, compassion, femininity and self knowledge that the God/Goddess dwells with in you, of the left hand path. That you are a part of God and God is in all things. That all things are both male and female.
The Right hand path took over the world with Rome. It shed most of it's value, and became primarily about dominating the people through fear and lies, extorting the masses for money and land, and demonizing the left hand path. The most insidious however by teaching the west that God is an external force and that only through a life of subservience to them, could you ever reach salvation. Yet Luke 17:21 says “The Kingdom of God is Within”.
Because I could not find a teacher, I started to train myself. It started with reading and martial arts, and grew into constant self reflection and investigation. I spent hours thinking about ancient lands and alien worlds, about the force inside me, and could never get enough knowledge.
The next transformative moment came at age 14 when friends took me to see a “ghost”? By this time I was growing up and becoming quite skeptical of the world. Yet, upon lurking around an abandon farm house, to my utter amazement, there one was , a white wispy figure looking like the ghost of a little girl. Upon further research at the local historical society, we learned there was a little girl murdered by a drifter in the 20's. The ghost actually had a name, Christine!
After this event I spent almost every day, reading at the library. I read anything I could get my hands on ghosts, vampire, werewolves and so on. From there I learned of 19th and early 20th century spiritualism etc.
Not long after that the movie “Dune” came out and I then read the book. Frank Herbert describes a caste of female mystic warriors called the “Bene Gesserit” They trained their minds and bodies to have great power and knowledge. They practiced “the Weirding Way”. I realized Lucas has borrowed much from Herbert for Star Wars, but to me it was pushing me forward. Again I thought “why can't I learn in a place like this?”.
Then new works came into my existence by author Anne Rice,“ The Vampire Chronicles”. In these books she told of an organization called the Talamasca, a secret society that watches and records the supernatural. I thought my life's purpose had been reveled to me. I wanted to create a place where people like me could come to learn and have real teachers, and real ancient texts. First though I had to finish high school.
After I left school, I decide I would go to Europe. I saved my money and hopped a plane. I wandered around for sometime, marveling at the beautiful woman and architecture, but still felt lost and alone, and after not finding a teacher I left.
Upon my return state side I spent quite a few years living in the Florida woods. I traveled to the mystical hidden town of Cassadaga Fl, but still met no teacher. I had inherited a piece of semi swamp land and tried to make it into an spiritual community. I lived in a tiny vardo (gypsy wagon) tucked in the woods and spent my day planting trees swimming and getting in touch with nature and my own inner self. I spent my nights reading by candle light and sitting around the campfire fantasizing this was what it was like for pirates. Ever since I saw Peter Pan and Captain Blood as a child I wanted a life on the high seas.
During my time there I met my first true teacher. He was a man about ten years older who was part European and part Native American. He was both a Witch and walked the Cherokee medicine path. It was a great time for me. I learned much of my Celtic roots and witchcraft, as well as a lot about the ways of the Native American “Good Red Road”. I also lived next door to a Buddhist, who took me to his temple and I learned about the path of the Buddha as well.
I spent many years on this land, but being so far removed and not being able to me draw what I needed to it. I decide to head back to Europe. I walked through the ancient castles and lands of Ireland. I felt I was home. Being of Irish decent I wondered why I didn't just move there. Then after 3 weeks of never ending rain I realized it and went onward. I explored much of Europe and even went to Morocco for a short stay, but still never found another teacher.
I moved back to Milwaukee, and decide I would start my own school. If There wasn't a place for me to go and learn, maybe I could build one. I bought a large Victorian mansion in a neighborhood undergoing regentrification and started working 70 hour weeks. This was the start of what St. John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul”.
Before I get to far into this portion, I must tell, that I did find a true teacher for the first time. I read a book that leaped out at me called “Return of the Serpents of Wisdom” by author Mark Amaru Pinkham. I ended up flying to Sedona for a sojourn with him. He was a great writer and good person, but living far away, I was unable to really study under him. An oddly enough he too wanted to build a school and help seekers. We have stayed in contact over the years, but we both still struggle to achieve our dreams.
After years of torment, both physical and mental, I began to make head way. If you look at the photos you will see the extent of work. Not just starting from the bones, but meticulous restoration. Thousands of hours were spent in the freezing cold grinding paint of the house or some other horrendous task . I spent summer after summer in the heat with a mask on, heat gunning paint. I never knew life could be so hard. I would be out side sometimes in winter in a snow suit when it was 6 degrees working. I thought very naively that just a couple years of hard work and I would be done. Here I am 20 years later still living without a kitchen and only running this school part time.
During that time I got very ill. I could't get better, I just got sicker and sicker for years. It wasn't for several years of working in agony that I learned I had severe lead poisoning and was dying. Many doctors tried to diagnose me, but fittingly enough it was a spiritual healer who channeled that I had lead poisoning. Sure enough, I got tested and had a led count 35 times higher than what was considered dangerous. I slowly recover once treatment started but still years later am damaged.
After I recovered enough I went to Mexico on another sojourn. I climbed the pyramids and sought out masters. Again I found only beautiful scenery. The one bright spot is I found were I want to retire. Nothing on earth beats a sandy beach and coconut palms.
Again I returned to work on the school and put in several more years of grinding effort, all the while still struggling, still living in poverty with no kitchen in a construction site. In this period of 10 years, I had given up going out or spending money outside of Elf Stone. I worked weekends, holidays and even worked when I was ill or had the flu. I was totally burned out.
After 10 years of trials, and needed some answers. My best friend and I charged our credit cards and went to India. There we climbed into the mountains of Kashmir, sought mystics, went on pilgrimages to holy cities, met with Brahman priests, got baptized in the Ganges and helped the poor.
While were told many wonderful things by the Brahmans, none of it came true, and I was back to my hard impoverished life. Upon my return was the onset of the global financial collapse and was hit harder than most everyone. I lost most of my property value, one of my property investments, and was resigned to selling almost everything I owned. I lost almost everything I ever worked for during this period, I was hounded by debt collectors and had trouble finding enough food to eat. I care for abandoned cats, and there were times when I had to decide to feed cats or myself. The cats always win. If each true seeker is tested, I was facing the ultimate test of faith.
The next faze of “The Dark Night of the Soul” was from my own government. I dealt with corrupt unconstitutional agencies, and one bureaucratic nightmare after another. I was hounded by building inspection, courts and tax collectors. The tax bills were high enough, but when you can't pay they add interest and penalty plus court cost and legal fee's. I have paid the city of Milwaukee about 100k in fines and fees in the last few years, leaving me penniless.
I now must soldier on. The last few years I had had to sell most of what I had accumulated over a lifetime to pay the city off and hold on to the building. I have also had to take much time away from Elf Stone doing side work to pay our enormous tax and heat bills while trying to stay alive and keep the building from foreclosure. One of the main lessons I have learned is that we grow and learn through great adversity. It is not supposed to be easy. If life was pleasant and there were no challenges, no poverty, no corrupt government, no “Dark Night of the Soul”, we would never learn or gain wisdom. We get our true soul knowledge through experience. We achieve wisdom through great suffering and release. David Wilcock wisely said, “If you want life to be easier, go back to being a Muggle”.
If you read the Elf Stone story you will know I am still determined to create this sacred school and make a place for enlightened learning, the one I always wished for as a child. Further, if I am successful and do complete this and grow a large community, I would one day like to build a full scale university. If you would like to join me on this journey, please drop me a line or go to our donation page.