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“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888)

“World headlines can be depressing, so can the everyday events that throw us off course, but the greater the challenge the more important it is for us to remain cheerful. Cheerfulness seems to be tied up with vital energy… “(Odyssey Magazine Editorial – March/April 1980)

Fast forward 40 years to 27.3.2020, the day South Africa’s lockdown rules came into effect. With hardly any warning the delivery of ALL magazines was suspended for six weeks.

  The heavy unforeseen lockdown which applied to magazines, seriously affected the continuity of many well established publications, causing them to buckle under permanently. The loss of advertising revenue, to social and digital platforms over several years, had been seriously exacerbated by the lockdown. Odyssey Magazine was particularly vulnerable, having been on a digital platform since 2013 and re-introduced to the world of print in July last year. The magazine had changed hands two years ago and the second print edition for this year was scheduled for delivery on 30 March – unfortunately too late to avoid lockdown.

  As a result, the autumn edition lay virtually quarantined in boxes until the release date on the 44th day after lockdown. Thanks to the indomitable spirit of Debra Robins, our 4th generation editor, the magazine has survived.

  Despite the heavy seas, Debra (a master helmsman literally and figuratively) steadfastly sails on, her spirit and intentions unfazed. I asked her what keeps her on track.

  “Words don’t really express what keeps me on track” she said. “It’s an inner knowing that all is good. The OM Team and I are doing what we love in the place we choose to be – how blessed are we! When Silke called me on 31.10.2018, I had no intention of owning or publishing a magazine at that time. What transpired between ‘All Hallows Eve’ and the 23 November, when ownership transferred, can only be described as Divine Guidance with universal confirmation after confirmation; I consider this an honour of custodianship rather than ownership.”

  You are now reading the 4th printed edition in the magazine’s 44th year. The repeated occurrence of the numbers 4 and 44 aroused my curiosity. My intention was to look up their significance, if any, but I received an answer synchronistically instead.

  Recently, after my return to Cape Town, I made contact with Dewald Bester, the president of the Cape Town Lodge of the Theosophical Society. Before attending a meeting I decided to look for Pamela Mitford Barberton’s Guest Forum article, published in Odyssey during the first seven years.

  I found it in the 4th edition (August-September) of the same year as the 1980 editorial above. The editorial reads: “With this issue we move forward into our 4th year. Four is the symbol for ‘Consolidation and Assessment’ and this is where we are now.”

  The assessment component was adequately covered in the interview with Dr Stanley Krippner, the internationally renowned psychologist, noted for his dedicated research in the field of parapsychology. Parapsychology is still regarded by many mainstream scientists as merely subjective and dubbed pseudoscience. Dr Krippner’s response to this attitude was and is: “If there is something in the world that our sciences are ignoring, then we’d better find out about it, or we’re going to short change human beings and we’re not going to understand them as well as we might. If our model, which depicts human beings as a machine and the brain as a computer, is wrong, then we’d better find out about that too.”

  My out-of-body experience during which a little dog, sensing my presence, ran across a field and started barking at – the invisible – me, (spring edition, 2020) was enough to convince me that our mind/soul is not confined to the physical body.

  Dr Krippner’s research into parapsychology covered the philosophy, the evidence of successful dowsing and paranormal experiences – clairvoyance, telepathy, psychic healing, near-death and out-of-body experiences. The fact that, while working on this edition of Wavelength, my attention had been drawn repeatedly to two sets of numbers, had to be more than mere coincidence, therefore, in tune with Dr Krippner’s attitude, I felt compelled to investigate, if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity.

  The influence and importance of numbers dates back to pre-history; however, it is believed that the term ‘numerology’ was introduced by the Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras (569-475 BC), often referred to as the Father of Numbers. He is attributed with the discovery of the relationship of geometry and mathematics to sacred geometry and music. Musicians rely on his notations when composing. A simple example relates to stringed instruments. When a string is stopped half way along its length, it vibrates in harmony at an octave higher.

  I have been given access to manuals and papers authored by Debra, in which she states that science and science fiction are merging in the 21st century, when all becomes clear and the nature of reality, as based on a sacred geometric design, is explained and understood. According to Debra, it’s really not that complicated. “Sacred geometry involves sacred universal patterns used in the design of everything in our reality, including DNA, most often seen in sacred architecture and sacred art. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratios, harmonics and proportion are also found in light and cosmology. This value system is seen as widespread even in prehistory, a cultural universal of the human condition.”

  Debra’s reference to an “inner knowing” and “Divine Guidance” is symptomatic of what I believe is the spiritual force behind Odyssey’s unbroken journey. Through listening to their inner voice, each editor/publisher has attracted contributions and uplifting content, enabling the magazine to remain true to itself. It provides a platform for people who care about themselves, about each other and about Planet Earth.

  Number 44 augurs well for the future. It represents business, particularly business related to building something to benefit many people. Number 4 symbolises positive thoughts, positive attitudes and positive thinking. It is also associated with spiritual support, encouragement, love, self-awareness and knowledge of personal inner strength.

  These are attributes we can all aspire to if we choose to ‘let it be’ while following our inner guidance, remaining cheerful and accepting in faith that “it is well, it is well with my soul”.

Bon Voyage,