Author and Modern Mystic


Sicily: A Savory Feast for All Five Senses


Our dear friends, Albert Lauber and Craig Hoffman, invited us to join 16 other friends to spend a week in the beautiful Commenda di San Calogero in the Sicilian countryside near Catania. At the end of our trip, I said to Craig, “I can’t describe in words this extraordinary experience.” Craig responded, “You are the writer; I expect you to do this.” So here goes:

Our hosts, Albert and Craig

SOUND: We awoke to the sound of birds chirping at sunrise, and we listened to the wind howling and soft rain pattering old stones. We enjoyed cocktails around the crackling fire in the main salon before moving to the grand dining room for dinner.

At the Commenda di San Calogero

SIGHT: We feasted our eyes on our Commenda, dating back to the 1600s: its courtyard and main stone building with interior tall ceilings and rounded stone arches. We enjoyed the vivid blue skies with floating white clouds and the rich surrounding green landscape of bushes, flowers, trees and quiet water pools. Driving 2-lane highways through the countryside, we saw sheer rock mountain sides, spring flowers blooming on rolling green hills and valleys and the blue ocean crashing against steep, rocky cliffs. We also saw temples, mosques and churches, the remains of 2,500 years of conquering civilizations including the Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish.

At the Commenda; Siracusa; Temples in Agrigento

TASTE: We tasted excellent food prepared by Francesca, the charming chef at the Commenda. We had different types of pasta, swordfish, fresh greens, vegetables and meat served with savory wines. The Sicilian olive oil with vinegar was divine. Albert and Craig arranged a wine-tasting and delicious lunch at the Planeta Winery on Mt. Etna and another lunch at the Michelin 2-star restaurant, il Duomo, in the ancient hilltop town, Ragusa.

At La Planeta Restaurant; far right: a Taormina bakery

TOUCH: We felt the soft grass under our feet as we walked outside each morning to have our breakfast by the pool. We felt the rugged stones everywhere we walked in old town plazas and narrow streets. And we glided over a sea of charcoal ash around geometric volcanic rock formations on the slopes of Mt. Etna.


 At the Commenda; Taormina; Mt. Etna

SMELL: We smelled the scents of jasmine, lavender, citrus trees, roses, grasses and the rain. In the Catania fish market, we smelled the aroma of blood and guts as the men prepared newly-caught fish.

At the Commenda

We also nourished our minds with interesting conversations across generations, continents and fields of expertise. Our group included lawyers, linguists, university professors; a judge, fashion photographer, artist, author, aspiring writer; an architect, grandmother, software engineer, consultant and biochemist.  We came from Sao Paulo, Dubai, Henley-on-Thames, Washington, DC, Boston, La Jolla.

The feast ended with one question: when and where shall we meet again?
We await Albert’s and Craig’s answer.

Map of Sicily


© 2023 Susan Beilby Magee

“You See, I Want A Lot” – Rainer Marie Rilke

You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.

You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to drive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

Covid-19, I Hear Your Call.

Knowing that there are no coincidences in life, I have been wondering what changes the coronavirus will bring to us and our planet. I believe it invites a huge awakening of consciousness. Recently I sat to meditate and received the following poem.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Be still.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Connect to self.
Connect to others.
Connect to all.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Be at peace.
Listen carefully.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Sit outside.
Hear the birds.
Feel the wind.
Receive the sunlight.
SMILE. Be grateful.
All is well.
All is well.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
See the beauty.
Love yourself.
Know, you are light.
You are the “I Am.”
All is well.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Don’t despair.
Release fears that arise.
Be at peace.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
Be grateful.
You are alive.
Your light is certain.
It pervades all.
It is who you are.

Welcome to the human race.
You are not alone.
You are connected to All That Is.
You are connected to every living creature—
humans, animals, birds, fish.

Feel the connection.
Feel the love.
Share it consciously.
This is how you serve.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
I am like the wind, the rain and the sunlight.
I clear fears.
I clear misunderstandings.
I shine light in the dark places.
I wash your wounds with gentle rain.
I blow away energies that no longer serve.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
You are not victims.
You are powerful beings of light.
Let go your fears.
Shine your light.
Share your light, love and peace with the world.
This is who and what you are.
Be it.
Be still and know you are I AM.

Covid-19, I hear your call.
I am not your enemy.
I am your friend.
Come to make you aware of your fears
so you may release them.
Come to slow you down so
you may remember who you are.
Come to invite you to be still.
Come to invite you to be.

Share your light.
Share your love.
Share your peace.
Send them in waves to your family,
your community,
your nation,
your world.
KNOW you are all ONE.

I come to remind you:
You are connected to
everyone and everything—
people, birds, animals, fish;
trees, land, pebbles and giant boulders;
streams, rivers and oceans,
the air you breath,
the stars in the heavens.

You are ancient.
You are in the right place
at the right moment.

There are no coincidences in this world.
Everything that happens has a purpose in your lives.
I am inviting you to awaken your consciousness, your senses.
I am helping you save life on your planet.
Less air/auto travel and material consumption
result in cleaner air and water around the world.
This is the great opportunity to ascend
with Mother Earth to a higher consciousness,
a higher vibration.

Mother Earth is ascending.
Will you raise your vibration too
by releasing fears and dense energies?
I am purposely triggering human fears
so you may cleanse and clear them.

Treasure each other.
Be kind.
Be grateful.
Heal family wounds.
Heal the nation’s wounds.
Pray for all people
Pray to release all resentments and fears.

Ho’ oponopono to all and to Covid-19

There are no coincidences.
Everything is in our lives for a purpose.



“Apply to be the Seattle Mayor’s Women’s Rights Director,” John said. “Apply for the White House Fellowship. We’ll see what I do if you win.” “To write Kalman Aron’s story, you must go to Europe and walk in his footsteps.” And when I told John in 1986 that I wanted to quit working for a year, he said: “Fine.” Neither of us knew that I was embarking on a spiritual journey that would lead to becoming a healer, mystic and author. John refers to me as his “surprise package.”

December 23, 2019 John and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. We are deeply grateful to Emily and Raj Madan for hosting a beautiful dinner celebration in their home in Washington, DC. We had such a good time, we hosted a smaller celebration in January in La Jolla, California.

I remember at age 17 meeting this young man as I was walking to my dorm one evening at Pomona College. He smiled; we chatted briefly; later that year we began
dating. Six years later we married.

At Pomona, we spent many evenings talking about religion, philosophy and civil rights. As International Relations majors, we discussed world politics, history and current affairs. These talks were the beginning of a life-long conversation that continues today.

Early in our relationship and marriage, I realized 3 things. John loved me just the way I was—silly or smart; beautifully or casually dressed. He had a deep well of love and capacity to express it.  And he was secure in who he was. There was nothing I might ever do in my career that would be a threat to his ego. On the contrary, he has been my biggest cheerleader.

What has enabled us to navigate 50 years together?
We love each other, and we are committed to our marriage…through challenging as well as fun times.

We created family when our beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, was born 37 years ago. She has been our focus and joy. She in turn gave us the gift of our granddaughter, Natalia, who delights and completes our family circle.

Our marriage is a partnership. We have brainstormed individual and collective wishes, enabling us to manifest our dreams. For example, in the early 1970s we spent a weekend together at John’s parents’ cabin on Puget Sound to talk about our hearts’ desires.  John wanted his own law firm; I wanted to be paid for the work I was doing in the women’s movement. Within 3 months, he had his firm, Norman and Magee, and I was the Mayor’s Women’s Rights Director. Our continuing conversations have kept us in sync so we recognize new opportunities and can act on them.

We have also given each other the freedom to explore our interests. We each pursued a masters degree after we married…John at Georgetown Law School, me at The Wharton School in Philadelphia.  John has supported my dive into metaphysical experiences; I have supported his career in corporate federal income tax law.

I admire John’s personal qualities. His intelligence is a pleasure to engage. His generosity knows no bounds. I love the integrity he carries in every cell of his body. I respect his discipline and am grateful for the abundance he has created for this family.

Author Joseph Campbell said that a marriage creates a unity, a whole, that is greater than the individual parts. John and I have always been committed to that unity. No marriage is perfect. It is an exquisite mirror that reveals/triggers our unconscious wounds. We each have the choice to heal what is inside. “It’s an inside job” is a good mantra for a successful marriage.

Fifty years later we are playful with each other and grateful for our family and friends. The hard work over the years has paid off. We intend to stay healthy and enjoy being together, doing everyday mundane things as well as undertaking new adventures. We want to spend time with our family and friends; make new friends; harvest memories; and share what we have learned. I will continue my healing work and plan to write several new books. John still works, but the time will come….

I conclude with a toast to John:
I love you and honor you.
You are a man of great spirit, integrity and wisdom.
I thank you for loving me and being my partner in life.



2020 Circles of Meditation and Healing with Susan Beilby Magee

The 2020 full-moon Circles of Meditation and Healing, led by Susan Beilby Magee, took place at the Washington National Cathedral.

The 2020 Circle of Meditation and Healing Series

Monday, November 2nd, 7pm EST / 4pm PST
How may I share love, peace and joy with all of creation and be a good custodian of Mother Earth? Join mystic/healer Susan Beilby Magee as she leads a full-moon meditation to amplify our inner light and share it with the world.

Thursday, October 1st, 7pm EST / 4pm PST
COVID-19 has transformed how we live, work and relate to ourselves, others and the world.
Join our full moon meditation as we honor that which we have lost; embrace new gifts; and
explore the greater meaning of this pandemic for mankind.

Monday, May 11th, 7pm EST / 4pm PST
Covid-19, I Hear Your Call
Coronavirus: Clear Fears, Center and Listen
At this extraordinary time, join the circle to learn ways to clear fears, center and listen. We will
go into our hearts, connect to the inner flame, and share our light with family, friends and the

New Year Greetings and Blessings

As I sit at my desk this New Year’s Eve, I envision a world at peace. We have the power to manifest and pray for clean air, fertile ground, clean rivers and oceans and peace among women and men on this earth.

I am aware that:

  1. We imprint the earth—its land, air, water—with our energy with each step we take; breath we breathe; word we speak. What imprint do I choose to make? One of love and compassion or one of anger, hate and sorrow?
  2. We are all powerful co-creators with the Divine. Our thoughts create our reality. How may we be kind to those around us and respect the animals, birds and all of nature surrounding us?
  3. Life is a mirror—an invitation to explore our interior landscape to become conscious of what lies beneath the surface so we may wake up and heal ourselves. The universe delivers situations that trigger old beliefs, fears and wounds so we may transform them.
  4. At some level we are all responsible for what is happening in our family, community, nation and world. If I want a peaceful world, I need to become peaceful myself.
  5. We all carry the Divine light within us which we share with all of creation.
  6. Our prayers are powerful. We are magical beings. Join me today as I pray and envision:
    * a world at peace with us respecting each other, recognizing we are all One;
    * a world where we are grateful, wise custodians of Mother Earth, the space that surrounds her, and the universe that is her home.


 In 2020, I will continue the series “Toward Enlightenment”
for the Circles of Meditation and Healing at the Washington National Cathedral.
Dates are 5/11; 10/1; 11/2

Message from Africa

An African living in the United States said: “It’s so noisy. How do you hear God?”

After spending 14 days in the bush in Tanzania with my granddaughter, I understand what he meant. We felt the presence of the divine in the land, the sunrises and sunsets; we heard it in the songs of the birds; and we felt it in the natural rhythm and interaction of the animals.

Being there was like being on a different planet. It changed our lives. How?

This trip awakened my senses. I listened carefully for the calls of the leopard, hyena and lion. I awoke in my tent to a symphony of birds singing as night turned into day. I scanned the horizon to spot hyenas moving in the grass. I searched trees for lions resting in the branches. I checked tree tops to spot vultures or eagles perched above.

We had the privilege of watching 3 crossings of the wildebeest over the Mara River in the northern Serengeti. Each year about 1.5 million wildebeest migrate from the south to the north on the Serengeti plain. They have been doing this for thousands of years. Words cannot explain how it felt watching 2,000 wildebeests gather on one side of the river, talking to each other with their distinctive sounds. All of a sudden one jumped into the river; most of the others followed, swimming quickly to the other side.


We saw in action the cycle of life. A lion catches its prey–a giraffe. At a distance, the hyenas watch to see when the lion’s belly is full. As they take their turn eating the animal, the Maribou storks and vultures gather to finish eating the carcass. Nature is very efficient.

We felt a deep connection to Mother Earth and all the living creatures on her. Over the landscape we enjoyed seeing a variety of trees:  the signature acacia trees, the ancient baobab trees, sausage trees and euphorbio.

We will never forget the images we saw at the end of the day at the  Silale swamp in the  Tarangire National Park. Buffalo, hippos and elephants soaked in the water to cool themselves.

The first afternoon we quietly watched the cape buffalo emerge from the water.  We returned to the swamp the next afternoon and saw the elephants emerge.  Enjoy these videos.

I communicated telepathically with the animals, asking what messages they had for us humans. One lion responded: “Activate your senses. Wake up to the beauty that surrounds you. Be grateful for Mother Earth and all her creatures, large and small.”

The leopard said: “Spend time alone in nature. Sit as I do in a tree or someplace high where you can view the world around you. Know that you have everything you need within yourself.”I realized these animals have lived on this earth far longer than humans. Elephants, for example, have been here for 5 million years; humans for maybe 200,000. Who is wiser?

While we were there, I worked with the land, animals and birds, blessing all and activating light grids and DNA codes. Alex Walker, the owner of the Serian camp, said: “Nature reveals itself and gifts those who spend time with her.” We experienced peace, connection, belonging. We are not separate. We are one.

Indeed, we are the students who may learn from nature and the animals.  We can change our behavior before life is no longer sustainable on Mother Earth. In Tanzania I could sense the sheer numbers of people​ encroaching on the land.  It is incredibly sad that these beautiful animals who evolved over thousands of years are becoming extinct.  For example, our guide, James, told us that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes; the swift cheetahs are extinct in 22 countries, and only 17% of their range remains in this world.  We know black rhinos are scarce; giraffes are threatened.  And of course, there are far fewer lions roaming Africa than there were 100 years ago.

What can we do? I can stop using plastic bottles, bags and straws. I can donate to a non-profit to plant trees to offset the carbon imprint of each flight I take. I can return to Africa and the animals in my daily meditations. And I can share what I have learned. A lion asked me to write a book about my conversations with the animals. I said, “Yes, I will do that.”


THANKS TO JAMES KYDD, our insightful, knowledgeable safari guide.  A man of great spirit, James respectfully introduced us to the landscape, birds, animals and people in Tanzania.  We had a delightful time together on this “trip of a lifetime”.   I also thank him for the photos and videos; all are his except the first one, the baobab tree and the elephant video at Silale swamp.

THANKS TO MICHAEL LORENTZ, Founding Partner of Passage to Africa, who arranged our itinerary and introduced us to James Kydd.  Michael introduced John and me to Tanzania in 2010.


Notre-Dame, Our Lady Burns

photo credit: ABC News

Notre-Dame de Paris is the heart chakra of an energy system in Mother Earth that begins at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland and ends at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain. What does it mean for the Church and me, personally, that this Cathedral representing the heart chakra burned?

left: Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland; right: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

As I watched the roof and spire burn, I was grateful that the towers, walls and stained glass were intact.

I thought:

  • This fire is no coincidence; nor is its timing an accident.
  • Perhaps the fire burned away old energies that no longer serve and made room for new energies we need for the new millennium.

The Church has done both great and horrific things during its history. As this magnificent Cathedral was being built, Pope Innocent III in 1209 declared that Good Christians, known as Cathars, living in the Languedoc region of modern-day southern France, were heretics. He began the Albigensian Crusade to burn them at the stake if they did not convert to Catholicism. Over 25 years he and 2 subsequent Popes killed one million innocent people because these Christians held their own beliefs, did not tithe to the church and thought the Pope was corrupt. They met in their homes rather than in churches, practiced meditation and served their communities. Both women and men were leaders.

This is one example of Church history that can be burned to let in fresh air and light.

An aerial shot of the fire damage to Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Tuesday April 16. ( via AP)

As life is also a mirror, I ask myself what dross rests in my heart that I may burn to embrace more peace, compassion and joy?

On this weekend as Jews celebrate Passover and Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection, may we all burn off the old and welcome new energies so we may live peacefully together in this new millennium.

Circle of Meditation and Healing 2019 Series: Toward Enlightenment

The full-moon Circle of Meditation and Healing at the Washington National Cathedral is led by Susan Beilby Magee. It is a continuing series to connect with our wisdom within. It is held in the Bethlehem Chapel.
All spiritual seekers are welcome. No experience is necessary.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 7:00pm  Replace Judgment with Compassion
How do we free ourselves of judgment and vengeful instincts so we may experience more love and compassion? Mystic/healer SUSAN BEILBY MAGEE guides a full-moon meditation to explore what it means to be enlightened and walk in our radiance. 

Thursday, May 16, 7:00pm  Replace Intolerance with Wisdom
How do we remove intolerance so we may enjoy the fruits of wisdom and understanding? Mystic/healer SUSAN BEILBY MAGEE guides a full-moon meditation to explore what it means to be enlightened and walk in our radiance.  

Thursday, September 12, 7:00pm  Replace Arrogance with Humility
How do we replace duplicity and arrogance with honor and humility? Mystic/healer SUSAN BEILBY MAGEE guides a full-moon meditation to explore what it means to be enlightened and  walk in our radiance.

Thursday, October 14, 7:00pm Release Fears / Embrace Courage 
How do we release fears and replace them with strength and courage? Mystic/healer SUSAN BEILBY MAGEE leads a full-moon meditation to explore what it means to be enlightened and walk in our radiance.

Tuesday, November 12, 7:00pm Surrender Ego / Embrace Light 
What does it mean to be enlightened?  How do we surrender our ego and let our heart and soul guide our lives?  Mystic/healer SUSAN BEILBY MAGEE guides a full-moon meditation to experience who we truly are. 


The Beatles Got It Right

Bill Hermanson

As I sit by the fireplace in my sister and brother-in-law’s living room in Southern California, I am drawn to the warmth and light of the fire. My beloved brother-in-law, Bill, has had a stroke. After over a month in the hospital, he is now home. Will he recapture enough vitality of body and mind to want to continue to live? What is life? What gives it meaning?

Over the years I would answer: life is about growing, learning, pursuing our dreams; creating family, community, good works; communing with nature, mother earth and the cosmos; and appreciating the cycle of nature and life.

Indeed, life is about all of this. But at my current age it is simply and profoundly about love. I love Bill. I have known him since I was 11. He and my sister, Elena, have been married over 52 years. Bill is a fine man who loves his wife, son Eric and daughter Laura with all his heart. Being present and providing for them have always been his priorities.

What is important now?

Being present with a loving heart; supporting him on this leg of his journey; and respecting his dignity and choices. I now pray and believe that his strong spirit will lead to the recovery of his mobility, strength and vitality so that living has meaning, and we may continue to share our family’s rich history together.

What’s important? LOVE.

Blessings Bill from John, Elizabeth, Natalia and me. Blessings to Elena, Eric and Laura.

Eric, Laura, Elena and Bill


John, Susan and Bill


Bill and John


Family at Thanksgiving