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Which Element Is Your Pet?

(Edgar Cayce Readings, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

Which Element Is Your Pet?
By Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH


When Edgar Cayce spoke of the constitution of a person he was most commonly referring to the physical character of the person's body as to strength and health. Another way to think about the constitution of a human or animal is that it refers to the aggregate of the individual's physical and psychological characteristics. This is the meaning of the word when used within the realm of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) which is based on Chinese medicine for people.

cat nose

In TCVM, an animal's constitutional type reflects the pattern of inborn tendencies. It is the manifestation of the animal's genetic strengths and weaknesses. Knowing an animal's constitution can help you anticipate what types of diseases a pet is prone to, as well as behavior and personality traits. If you can see part of the constitutional pattern, you can predict the rest. Interestingly, over the years, holistic veterinarians have found that a pet's constitutional type often matches that of his owner.


The Five Elements or Constitutional Types

In TCVM there are five constitutional types-Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. These five concepts are what the Chinese termed the Five Elements. The Chinese did not think of these as chemical elements as we might think. Rather they are processes that are reflected in all of nature. Every pet and person is a mixture of the five elements but usually one dominates their constitution.


As I talk about the constitutional types, I will mention a breed of dog that best exemplifies each element. It is the stereotypical dog of that breed that I'll talk about. I do not want to leave the impression that every dog of that breed is necessarily associated with that specific element. There is individuality even in the animal kingdom. And of course, cats and other pets can also be categorized into one of the elemental categories. So, let's look at the constitutional types and see where your pet fits.


poodleThe Fire constitution is represented by the typical Toy Poodle. The Fire pet is full of excitement and enthusiasm. When this constitution is balanced, the pet shows love and affection and is good at communicating with her owner. When this type becomes sad, lonely, and lacks interest, it is said to be deficient of Fire. On the other hand, excess Fire is manifested by over-excitement and manic or inappropriate behavior. The organ for this constitution is the heart and Fire pets are prone to cardiac disease.


The Earth constitution is typified by the Labrador Retriever. Earth animals tend to be gentle caregivers who hover, nurture, and protect. When this element is balanced the individual is sympathetic and supportive. If there is a lack of Earth energy then the animal tends toward excessive worry. Too much of the Earth tendency can cause the pet to be clingy and possessive. The digestive system is associated with the Earth element and these pets are prone to obesity, food intolerance, and diarrhea.


border collieThe Border Collie is the dog breed that best represents the Metal constitution. This constitutional type is focused on getting things done right. When in balance, metal animals have an easy rhythm of taking in and letting go. Those with a deficiency of Metal energy may have an inability to form lasting bonds and tend toward isolation. An excess of Metal leads to inflexibility and an extreme need for control. The Metal element is linked to the respiratory system and this constitution tends to have lung problems such as asthma or pneumonia.

The Water constitution is best demonstrated by the St. Bernard. They tend to be "thinkers, not doers." When the Water animal is in balance, they have a firm will and are not easily discouraged. Too little Water energy can result in an animal that is fearful and easily discouraged. Excessive Water can lead to stubbornness. Physical problems associated with the Water constitution include birth defects, kidney and bladder issues, and deafness.


Finally, the Wood constitution can be seen in the Jack Russell Terrier. These types are always active and doing something. When balanced, the Wood constitution conveys confidence and creativity. With a deficiency of Wood, a pet becomes uncertain, has low self-confidence, and is easily dominated. Too much Wood energy leads to aggressiveness, impatience, anger, and frustration. The Wood element is associated with the liver and this constitutional type is prone to liver disease as well as redness of the eyes and vomiting of bile.


Learning about these five constitutional types can help you better understand your pets and anticipate their needs. You might even learn a little about yourself in the process.


Dr. Doug Knueven 98x120pxDr. Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH, received his veterinary degree from Ohio State University in 1987. He owns and operates Beaver Animal Clinic in Beaver, PA (near Pittsburgh) where he shares duties with 2 other veterinarians. He has earned certification in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine and veterinary chiropractic. He also has advanced training in natural nutrition, massage therapy and homeopathy. Dr Doug has been practicing alternative veterinary medicine since 1995. He lectures on the subject at state and national veterinary conferences including the annual AVMA convention and the North American Veterinary Conference which is the largest veterinary conference in the world.


He has written two books on the subject; Standby Me: A Holistic Handbook for Animals, Their People and the Lives They Share Together, and The Holistic Health Guide: Natural Care for the Whole Dog. He also authors the “Holistic Pet Care” column for Venture Inward Magazine, available online to members at EdgarCayce.org/members.




The Path Out of Failure

(Prosperity, Edgar Cayce Readings, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

The Path Out of Failure
By Mitch Horowitz


The Closure—and rebirth—of the Cayce health center holds universal lessons in how to overcome setback.


In the winter of 1931, the Christian mystic and medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce came to feel that his life’s work had amounted to nothing. 


Edgar had long dreamed of establishing a hospital based on his channeled health readings. But in February of that year, the mystic’s Virginia Beach hospital and research center ran out of operating money and was forced to close its doors, less than two years after opening. Patients had to leave, files were carted off, and Edgar wandered the halls alone gathering his personal belongings before the building was shuttered.


ARE Campus
The hospital building today.


The financial collapse arrived after longtime contributors quarreled with Edgar and abandoned him and his work. The Great Depression did the rest to gut his 30-bed facility.

“I’ve been tested,” Edgar told his wife Gertrude. “And I’ve failed.”


Today, the original hospital building is not only back in the hands of the organization that Edgar founded, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), but the campus has recently undergone a major remodeling and is now a bustling facility that houses a well-regarded school of massage, a refurbished health spa, new classrooms, the offices of a reconstituted Atlantic University, and a health-food restaurant that ranks with dining experiences in “crunchy capitals” like San Francisco and Boulder, Colo.


Mitch, Marianna, and LindsayThe new health facility is sleekly designed – to the left I am pictured in its remodeled lobby with actress Lindsay Wagner (right), and A.R.E.’s own “bionic woman,” the tireless Marianna Theo (left).


Edgar’s dream of a dedicated health center is now alive in ways that he wouldn’t have imagined back in the grim winter of 1931. How did this turnaround occur?

Months after the hospital’s closing, while Edgar remained withdrawn and depressed, his eldest son, Hugh Lynn Cayce, then 24, approached him with an idea to reconstitute the Cayce work. But, as the future A.R.E. director saw it, his father needed to free himself from dependency on one or two big donors, as well as from fly-by-night seekers strictly interested in a personal reading. Instead, Hugh Lynn envisioned a member-supported organization that would keep people involved in all its facets of his father’s work – spiritual growth, personal healing, and ancient mysteries – while also providing a steady base of member support.

In essence, Hugh Lynn called for self-determination. He wanted the newly formed A.R.E. to demonstrate: 1) financial independence, with a scrappy willingness to do as much, or as little, as its member-based budget permitted; and 2) intellectual integrity, with a determination to organize, verify, and cross-reference the readings so that patients and seekers were not treated in isolation. Hugh Lynn’s formula transformed temporary defeat into renewed action and purpose.

Hugh Lynn’s program is every bit as serviceable for anyone facing setback today as it was for his father in the early 1930s. Here is what Hugh Lynn told Edgar, as recounted by Cayce family friend and biographer Thomas Sugrue:

“Maybe there’s something wrong with us. Suppose we stop expecting people to do things for us and start doing them for ourselves. The world doesn’t owe us a living because we have a psychic medium in the family; we ought to work for what we get just as everyone else does.

“In the first place, we don’t know anything about the thing we’re trying to sell. We look at the information as if it were a faucet. Just turn the tap and whatever we want flows out. We were going to give the world our wisdom – the wisdom that came out of the faucet when we turned the tap. We figured it was our wisdom because we had the faucet.

“We don’t know anything about psychic phenomena. We have our own experiences, but we don’t know what else has been done in the field.

“What do we know about the Life Readings? Do we know the history well enough to check the periods mentioned for people and give them a bibliography – a list of books and articles – with each reading? Certainly not!

“Do we know enough about philosophy, metaphysics, and comparative religion to check the readings on what is said in these fields?

“When a reading makes a statement and says it is a philosophical truth, do we know what philosophers believed the same thing, and what religions have it in their dogma?

“When a statement about anatomy, or about a disease, or about the use of a medicine or herb is made, do we know whether medical authorities believe the same thing or condemn it, or know nothing of the matter?

“If a person asked us for everything the readings have said about appendicitis, or ulcers of the stomach, or migraine, or the common cold, or epilepsy, or marriage, or forgiveness of sin, or love, could we produce it? Certainly not. That work was barely begun when the hospital closed.

“I think it would be wise if we stopped looking for large donations, stopped dreaming of another hospital, and concentrated on developing a little stock-in-trade. Then, when the next change comes, we’ll be better prepared and we won’t muff it.”

“I don’t know how to do that sort of work—” Edgar began.

“You don’t have to,” Hugh Lynn said. “I’ll do it … I’ll take over the job of manager of the Association. We’ll keep it small; we’ll have a modest budget and a modest program.

“We’ll work quietly, by ourselves, with the help of the local people who are interested. We’ll start study groups. We’ll take series of readings on various subjects. We’ll build up a library on psychic phenomena.

“Then when people come and ask what we do, we can say something other than that we take two readings a day, send them to people who pay for them, and put copies in our files. That isn’t much for an organization that goes around under the name of the Association for Research and Enlightenment.”

I ask you to consider how Hugh Lynn's ideas can be applied in your own life today. I find four principles in his statement:

  1. Self-Sufficiency. As much as possible, cultivate a sense of realistic self-reliance. Are your plans or projects rightly scaled, or are they overly dependent upon the resources or approval of others? Outsiders can withdraw their support just as quickly as they give it. Build on solid foundations.
  2. Higher Vision. Regularly check yourself to be certain that your plans are based on the ethical and spiritual certainty of serving something higher, and interjecting real benefit into the world.  
  3. Steady Goes It. Build your projects patiently and methodically. Be willing to do as much, or as little, as resources permit. This is not only practical but also grants you the satisfaction of knowing that you are functioning without compromise and within your own means.
  4. Sweat Equity. Constantly ask: Am I performing my work with the highest quality and integrity? Do I suffuse my work with the skill and effort necessary to provide the finest possible service?



And, finally, I challenge you to apply these principles in one more way. If you are not already an A.R.E. member, please consider supporting the vision that Hugh Lynn brought into the world. With each of us who steps up, Hugh Lynn and Edgar’s work is further validated and realized.

Mitch HorowitzMitch Horowitz is a PEN Award-winning historian and the author of Occult America and One Simple Idea: How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life. He introduces and narrates the audio edition There Is River: The Story of Edgar Cayce by Thomas Sugrue, and many other audio books. Mitch most recently spoke at A.R.E. on the theme of Mind As Builder.




My Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experience

(Intuition, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

My Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experience 
By Joyce Keller


Child in water

I was only eight years old, but I should have known better. I should have said, "No thanks," when my 16-year old sister, Grace, offered to teach me to swim. I should have realized that she only theoretically knew how to swim. She had really never gotten wet during her high school swimming classes. But she knew the various swimming styles and techniques.

She also realized that my handicapped mother had instilled a deep fear of water in us, mostly because my mom knew that she would not be able to ever go in water herself should an emergency arrive. In addition, one of my little cousins had recently drowned in Flushing Bay, N.Y.

My sister was determined that we face our swimming fears! There was no stopping her today; she had a look of fierce determination on her face. I knew better than to challenge her. She took me by the hand, and boldly announced, "Today is the day I will turn you into a swimmer!"

I had a deep feeling of foreboding, as we both sallied forth into Southampton Lake. It was a bright, sunny August day. I looked up and saw a beautiful blue sky, with majestic white clouds. But when I looked down into the lake, it was murky and dark. I thought to myself that I had never been able to see the bottom of this lake. It was always muddy and had a reputation of being "bottomless." How could that be? There had to be a bottom to it, right? It definitely could not go all the way to China, or wherever it is that "bottomless" lakes go.

With a feeling of dread that I was working hard to overcome, I allowed my bigger, bolder, and more courageous sister, to lead me into this nasty lake.

We walked slowly and carefully, hand-in-hand, into the water. She then announced, "We have to walk out farther, because it is still too shallow for real swimming…" What was she saying? What "real swimming?" The water was already up to my waist and getting higher by the second.

Just as I realized that we had already gone out too far, I stepped into what seemed like an incredibly deep hole…apparently, she did also, because as I started to submerge, I realized that she was no longer holding my hand. I felt myself going down…deeper and deeper into what seemed like an endless tunnel. It was dark, and when I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I started breathing in water…more and more water was rushing in to my body.

First came intense panic, then overriding fear. I tried to call my mother, but of course that was useless. At a certain point, I started to see my young life passing before me: my school, my friends, the parrot who was my friend, my bike, and all the things I loved…my baby brother…God…this was all happening so fast…I thought about my dad, who had just had a heart attack…I remembered how ill both of my parents were and how they were struggling to keep us together as a family… When I realized the utter hopelessness of my current family life, and the looming challenges, I knew in a flash that I did not want to continue this existence. I was suddenly quite happy and relieved that it was going to end, and that I would be going back home to God.

At the point of complete physical surrender, when I no longer was struggling to breathe or to stay in my body, a very strange thing happened. A beautiful angel appeared and extended her hand to me. I was sure I was hallucinating, but I didn’t really care. I was happy to go with her.

water AngelThen she spoke to me…it was the most incredibly, melodious, angelic voice…she said, "Joyce, are you ready to come with me?" I said, "Oh, yes…let’s go!" But then she spoke again, and with a sweet, gentle laugh said, "It’s not your time…you can’t go with me now. You have so much work to do. You are going to have a long life, get married, and have two children. You have made a contract before your birth to do God’s work for a very long time. That’s why you have to go back. Don’t worry so much about your parents. They are also going to live a long time, and things will improve. Not everything will be as bleak as they seem to be right now. So, when you take my hand, you will be back on the beach, and you will be fine."

With that, I took her hand, and realized that my cousin George, who had been relaxing on the beach, had jumped into the lake and pulled both my sister and me out. He did some form of resuscitation on both of us and left us to cough a bit and dry out. That angel’s words were correct. My parents went on to live many years, and things slowly, but surely, did improve at home. She was also right about my future. I had two children, and my service to God continues to this day.

I’ve had many metaphysical experiences in my life. Most are impossible to understand and explain. I’ve had many out-of-body experiences, and have done a great deal of astral travel. I believe it is something we all can do. In all likelihood, most of the flying dreams we have are actually astral travel. Most of us have experiences that seem exceptional, or other-worldly. Remember the old adage, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."

Prayer and meditation open the door to greater understanding, and bonding with the highest angelic forces. The primary lesson in near-death experiences (NDEs) is to know that death should not be feared. It is merely a doorway to higher understanding and love in the universe. The earth is only a temporary place of soul growth and experience. The most important lesson is to love one another.

Open to  Understanding


Joyce Keller Blog 2016Why-Am-I-Here Blog 2016Joyce Keller is an American television and radio host, author, and psychic medium. She has hosted a live radio show since 1989 on New York's WGBB, and is featured in both editions of the book, 100 Top Psychics in America (Simon & Schuster). She has also authored seven international best-selling books, including the Angel Series books, Seven Steps to Heaven, Calling All Angels, and The Complete Book of Numerology. Her new book, Why Am I Here? A Concise Guide to Your Purpose and Potential, is a simple yet powerful guidebook to your purpose and potential. It includes valuable information that will help you use angel guides, astrology, karmic patterns, Akashic records, and more to recognize important aspects of yourself that are signs toward your true purpose. Her website is JoyceKeller.com.



Karma and Grace by Diana S. Lewis

(Dreams, Edgar Cayce Readings, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

By Diana S. Lewis


The current topic of study in our A Search for God study group is "Grace and Karma." The question kept arising about grace—with the law of karma operating, where does grace come in? For example, in a letter to Mr. Cayce, a 42-year-old schoolteacher commented on her life reading, 3282-1:

"I was interested in your statement to the effect that mine is an unusual reading. The reading was also most interesting. I was especially glad of the assurance that I have not piled up a lot of negative karma to be cancelled. As to the reconciliation of the law of karma and the law of grace, I can't seem to get it straight. As I understand the law of grace, one can by trusting in Christ avoid the consequences of a sin, or in other words not have to suffer according to karmic law. If Jesus came, not to take away the Law how was it replaced by the Law of grace? I am not so sure I know what the law of grace is." (Edgar Cayce Reading 3282-1, reports)

Mr. Cayce’s readings regarding this subject tell us the following:

"Yet, it is a fact that a life experience is a manifestation of divinity. And the mind of an entity is the builder. Then as the entity sets itself to do or to accomplish that which is of a creative influence or force, it comes under the interpretation of the law between karma and grace. No longer is the entity then under the law of cause and effect, or karma, but rather in grace it may go on to the higher calling as set in Him." (Edgar Cayce Reading 2800-2)

"... Just as that influence termed by some students as karma. This is the natural law, yes. But there is the law of grace, of mercy. And this is just as applicable as the law of karma, dependent upon the stress or the emphasis put upon varied things." (Edgar Cayce Reading 2727-1)

Prior to retiring one night, I asked for the answer. This is the dream I had:

There was a jailor. He took a prisoner and put him in a cell that was made of concrete walls three feet thick. The prisoner, who was a holy man, immediately went to the only window. There were sturdy iron bars on the window, but the holy man was able to take his hand and make the bars move apart with ease. He had the choice, he knew, to be free of his cell at any moment that he chose. The jailor who put him in the cell immediately came over to inspect the bars on the window, but for him they did not move and were impenetrable. In the second part of the dream, the holy man moved the bars of his cell and stepped just outside of his cell. He didn’t run from his cell.

Grace - blogMy interpretation was that the dream was an illustration of the law of karma and the reality of grace. The jail cell is the law of karma. It is concrete, and to the untrained physical eye, it is reality. And to the jailor, who can only perceive it as that, it is his reality. On the other hand, the holy man knows this cell for what it really is. The cell is only an opportunity to learn the lessons that he has come to learn. And he knows he chose to come and be in this place, at this time, for his own benefit. He therefore is free of this situation, because he chose the situation willingly, and can leave at the time of his choosing. That is the grace. Grace is the absolute spiritual reality. Grace is the knowing that we chose this and we can exit if we want to. Hence when the holy man stepped just outside of his cell, but chose to stay and not run, he was accepting his karma. He was at peace because he was able to see it from a different perspective. The ability to see from a different perspective is also a result of grace. Karma is the physical law. Grace is the spiritual reality! Grace then, is the absolute reality!


I wrote a note to myself: So then we must ask ourselves, what is reality? Is reality the physical karma that we deal with day to day, or is reality the ability to see our situations as stepping stones on the path to enlightenment? Think then on this—perception is everything. If we meet a situation with positive thoughts, looking to God, it frees us from doubt, fear, and worry. That freedom is a direct result of being in a state of grace. Hence grace frees us. That freedom brings us peace so we are able to be truly at rest even while working out our karmic debt.

Diana Lewis - blogDiana Lewis was introduced to Edgar Cayce, the A.R.E., and A Search for God (ASFG) study groups at an early age when she began attending her parents’ study group while still a teenager. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University and nursing school, she married and had two children. Her current ASFG study group is in Falls Church, Va. and she lives and works, as a nurse, in Fairfax, Va.

Excerpt from the Spring, 2016 Newsletter available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.



Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.