Friday, September 11, 2015


By Barbara Wilder -  9/11/2015

For those who don’t know, I am the author of a book called MONEY IS LOVE: Reconnecting the Sacred Origins of Money that was published in 1999. I am also what some might call an “urban shaman.”  Thus I have been very focused on the transformation of our financial systems for many years. I truly believe that we, as a collective, are in the process of changing from a fear based economy to a love based economy.  And now, fourteen years after 9/11, we are beginning to see strong signs of a love-based economy beginning to germinate.

I feel that today is an appropriate time to share some of my observations and insights about the events of 9/11 and the subsequent events that followed. 

I received very strong messages and signs in the days leading up to 9/11 and in the subsequent months and years that followed.  I was able to interpret some of the signs and symbols I observed at the time, very quickly, others took more time for the meanings to reveal themselves. 

So, I’d like to share the personal shamanic journey I found myself traversing during the days leading up to September 11, and share with you the signs and symbols I observed and participated in along with my interpretation of them at the time and then in retrospect. And then follow up with the subsequent signs and symbols that came after. This is all to give you a deeper understanding of the immense and even cosmic significance of the events of September 11, 2001 and how they relate to the emergence of the new era of love, caring, sharing, and unity that is blossoming even as I write this, in the midst of economic crisis and chaos.
The shock and the tragedy of the attacks of 9/11 shook the American people to the core. Our hearts were literally broken open. Think back to that day, and remember how you felt. Some of you reading this were just children at the time, so perhaps you will remember your own feelings, but also you may want to see if you can recall how the adults around you responded.
I, like almost everyone in the U.S., sat stunned in front of the T.V. most of that first day watching the footage of the fall of the Twin Towers. My husband and I were joined by a few friends, but there was very little conversation, as the events played out over and over again and again before us. It was impossible to turn off the television. We sat trance-like trying to comprehend it.  Trying to take it into our psyches and digest it. Most countries in the world have been attacked from outside forces, but this had never happened on the mainland of the United States of America. 

As I emerged slowly from my state of shock, I began to try to make sense out of this hideous event for myself.  Also, while I watched with horror and sadness, I was aware of a faint whisper in the back of my mind that said that this was somehow positive. The whisper became louder and louder until I was shocked into the realization that this was not just some random act of terror, but an event of cosmic proportions whose meaning I needed to unravel. I went directly to my default mode of exploration, which is to look to history, no matter how recent, to find meaning in a present situation. And my first inquiries are usually personal. So, what was I doing before this sudden and horrific event shook our very foundations as a national community, and why the World Trade Center?  Were there signs that I saw, but didn’t comprehend? The answer to the first question was simple, I had been in Tucson, Arizona two days prior, where I’d delivered a keynote address to open the SRI in the Rockies annual conference. This event was and still is the premier annual national gathering of sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) professionals and related organizations who work to direct the flow of investment capital in transformative ways. This was the first time this group heard about the concept that Money is Love, and that we were in the process of a consciousness shift which was going to lift money and the economy up into a higher vibration of love, caring and sharing.  Was that significant?  I wasn’t sure, so I put that on hold, and wound my way back to the day before the talk.  I had flown to Phoenix from Denver and rented a car and drivento Tucson on September 7. Nothing remarkable about the trip, so I ignored that and moved on.  And then I remembered what had happened the day before that.

I was in my home loft office working on the talk I was going to give in Tucson. It was early evening.  My husband, Patrick was downstairs in his office. I looked up from my computer and watched a bird preparing for the night outside the window. I felt at peace with the world and very excited about being able to share the Money is Love message with this august group of conscious financial movers and shapers, when suddenly I felt a shooting pain in my heart which got increasingly intense. I tried to breathe through it, but as I did I got faint and finally realized that there might be something really wrong. I called for my husband, who drove me immediately to the hospital. He was sure I was having a heart attack, and I wasn’t completely convinced that I wasn’t, though I didn’t feel like that was true. I was rushed into the emergency room and hooked up to the electrocardiogram machine. 

While everyone in the E.R. bustled around me in their life saving mode, I was strangely calm, but I was aware that that this is often the case for people in physical trauma once they realize they are being cared for.  And then suddenly all the hustle and bustle stopped. I was left alone for a few minutes, and then the doctor came in and announced that there was nothing wrong at all. My heart was fine. I asked why it happened. He responded by asking  me a series of questions to see if this was a panic attack or perhaps an allergic reaction, but all my answers proved that neither of these were the case. I hadn’t been in any kind of stressful situations in my personal or business life. I meditated every day. I had not eaten anything out of the ordinary. He had to admit that there was nothing that he could find that would precipitate the attack. I saw that he was truly perplexed as he walked out of the room. Relieved, Patrick drove me home. The only logical explanation, which the doctor didn’t agree with, but that made Patrick feel better was that I had had a panic attack. And for the sake of family unity, I said that he was right. But I was perfectly fine as soon as I got to the hospital. I felt no panic in my body or mind at all. But it did happen. That I knew. But “why” remained a big question for me. 
Staring at the television as that horrible day continued, I watched for the hundredth time the Twin Towers’ destruction before I traveled in my memory to day after my “heart event” when I’d arrived in Tucson.  It was September 7th. The conference was being held in a resort in the mountains outside of Tucson, but I was staying in town at the Hilton Hotel that night. After dinner I retired to my room. It was a lovely cool evening, and I sat on the terrace gazing out at the moonlit mountains. I would be speaking somewhere in those mountains in less than twenty-four hours, so I took some time in contemplation and harmonized my energy with the energy of the resort and the people that would be at the conference. 

I felt a strong connection in my heart, and I remembered feeling a sweet warm feeling and actually smiling. At that moment I saw a huge, shining column of opaque white light coming out of the sky and anchored into the mountains. I had never seen or even heard of anything like this before. I kept blinking my eyes, and I even slapped my face lightly to see if I was in a trance state of some kind. But I was truly alert, and the column of light remained. It was in the distance descending from the sky and into the mountains.  And it didn’t end at the top of the highest mountain but ended in the side of the mountains about half way down. As I sat staring at it in amazement, the thought crossed my mind that it might be pointing to, or planting itself into, the resort where the conference was going to take place. I don’t know how long it stayed there, but it was a considerable amount of time. Perhaps as long as five minutes. I was so mesmerized and fascinated by it, that I didn’t even think to look at my watch. But it wasn’t just a flash that could be explained away as lightning. And it certainly didn’t look like lightning or like any natural occurrence I had ever seen.  It lasted minutes, and it didn’t move or shift position or blink or flicker. Later, I researched such phenomena and discovered that others had seen columns of light like this one, and thankfully some had had the presence of mind to photograph them.   

This is a photograph of a column of white light 
similar to the one I saw.

Science has explained this phenomenon as being caused by light from the sun or moon being reflected off of ice crystals in the atmosphere, and I don’t dispute the science, it could be that.  But at that moment I saw this as a powerful sign form the universe that the following day’s conference and the introduction of Money is Love consciousness to it was supported by the universe. I interpreted it as a sign on its own, because I did not yet have a larger context in which to hold it.  

At this time I did not consider that the previous day’s heart episode was connected. As a reader of signs and symbols, I never see such phenomena as random. I see them as expressions and communications from Gaia, or God, or Mother Earth. We narcissistic humans are not the only sentient beings on an unconscious blob of dirt and water spinning in the middle of a non-conscious sea of empty space. The Mother Earth is a sentient being who has been talking to us from the beginning of human existence. The idea that she would stop talking to us now, simply because some people don’t believe that she does is irrelevant. 

Thus said, I interpreted this phenomenon, this column of light, to mean that this meeting of socially responsible bankers and investors was a point of Light on the earth where the message of Money is Love was being focused.  And it was in that joyous consciousness that I drove up into the mountains the following day, September 8, 2001, to deliver the message of love and light to people who I was sure were poised to hear it and open their hearts and minds to receive it.

Not so fast, Barbara Wilder.  My gleeful bubble burst after my keynote address. No one flocked to buy my book, and very few people even spoke to me. Several people were downright rude and turned their backs as I approached them at the opening night party. I felt like I had failed totally as I slunk back to my room and packed to leave the next day.  

In the morning I went to the breakfast buffet early, so that I could avoid as many people as possible.  I took my plate to an empty table on the periphery of the outside dining area on the lush lawn. But as I sat eating and hoping that no one would notice me, my table began to fill up with young people, mostly young men, who were very excited about Money is Love and hungry to learn more.  This raised my spirits as I realized this was a new message for a new era, and the younger people were the ones who were going to get it, and take it into their businesses, their banks, and their investments. Ah, that was a lovely experience that I took as a validation of my interpretation of the column of white light, and I flew home that afternoon, wrapped in its warm glow. 

So, those events were my personal history leading up to the fall of the towers and the loss of 2996 lives.  And as I began to analyze them in the hours and days after 9/11, I began to hear the faint whisper of a positive meaning and a powerful sense of hope, as a though a bud was about to bloom. Strange, yes, and certainly not something I shared with anyone during those first days while hundreds of heart-sick people searched for their loved ones. But I was on a mission to interpret my personal journey to see if there were answers there to why this had happened and what it meant.

I looked first at the acute pain that struck me in my heart and sent me to the emergency room to check for a heart attack. That became clear right away, because I have had similar experiences in the past that I hadn’t thought before, but now, I had a new context from which to examine it, and it became quite clear.  I realized that I had actually been struck in the heart with an empathic premonition of the 9/11 attacks and the heart breaks that it would precipitate.

The second event, which was the bright, opaque column of light, descending from the sky into the mountainside I interpreted as Divine energy entering the heart of the SRI conference like an acupuncture needle, activating the Money is Love consciousness in those who would be able to embody it and bring it into the world through their powerful financial dealings.

The third event, my being shunned after my talk about Money Is Love, which I didn’t understand fully until just recently, was a precursor of the next several years as the message of 9/11 was ignored by the old guard who continued to propagate fear, anger, despair and war.

And finally, the fourth event was how my feeling of rejection had been assuaged that weekend by the bright young people who joined me for breakfast, hungry for information about the new consciousness around Money and economics. This I realized was a message to show me the promise of the future. And now, as I write this fourteen years later, I have begun to meet even younger people who are ready and excited about being co-facilitators in the creation of a new love-based economy.  What a joy, and how grateful I am for that table full of bright young people on September 9th, 2001.  

An added bit of information about that SRI conference, which I learned later, was that many of the people at that conference lives were saved by not being at their home offices in the Twin Towers that weekend. Saved for what purpose?  Random chance?  Or were some of them going to become fledgling facilitators of the emerging love-based economy?

But still I didn’t understand the significance of the destruction of the Twin Towers.  I knew it was about heartbreak, because of my own heart episode. And I thought about how when we experience personal heart breaking tragedy such as divorce, the death of a loved one, or life-threatening illness, these events not only break our hearts, they break our hearts open so that we become bigger containers for the joyful next stages of our lives (if we allow it.)  

The answer came the following day, as I was channel surfing to try to get a respite from the continuous footage of the Towers falling. I happened upon a rerun of Bill Moyer’s interview with the American mythologist and philosopher, Joseph Campbell, from a PBS series called The Power of Myth.  It was filmed in the final year of Campbell’s life in 1987, and originally aired a year after his death in 1988.  And fourteen years before 9/11. 

I tuned into the interview midway through the show while Campbell was explaining that as we look back through history we can learn the main focus of a society by the nature of the tallest building in town. In the Gothic period, he said, it was quite evident that religion was the main focus of the culture, because the cathedral was the tallest building in town. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he explained it was politics and the political palaces. “And now,” he said, — and it was at this point that he began gesturing with both his hands – “Now our focus is on commerce and the economy.”  As he said this, he raised his hands in front of him, as if drawing two towers in the air. That was it.  The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers — the tallest buildings in New York City — were the symbol of a culture focused on and dedicated to commerce and economics. What Campbell didn’t add was that the economy and commerce had become steeped in greed and injustice, so the Twin Towers had come to symbolize not just the economy and commerce, but the consciousness of fear, greed, and injustice as well, which are all attributes of duality, and this was not one building, but two.  Duality.  

 I realized this was a validation of what I had been sensing internally, but hadn’t the words to express it. Why I felt such a strong feeling of hope was because the cultural symbol of our fear and greed-based economy was gone.

The more I thought about the signs the more I realized that this was truly an auspicious moment in human history, a literal turning point, but the proof of the pudding, the real humdinger of a sign that a shift had occurred, was the reaction of the American people and our friends around the world.  That warm feeling I had in my heart --  that feeling of hope -- was made manifest by the remarkable way the general population responded. Instead of immediately going into fear and jumping from there to the thirst for revenge, the very first response of the majority of the American people was Love and caring for those who had been hurt or who had lost their loved ones. The way that many expressed this Loving and caring was by sending Money — and not just a little bit of money, but what added up to over three billion dollars.  And as I watched those millions and then billions of dollars flow into New York City, I realized that each and every dollar was sent with powerful, open-hearted sympathy and infused with the emotional energy of Love and caring. For a brief moment, billions of dollars were turned into vehicles of Love. Money as love is love in action.  

Though this spirit of connectedness and caring lasted only a few weeks, it signaled to me a crack in the foundation of the old economic paradigm of fear and greed, and this combined with my own personal observances and events seemed a harbinger of the new era of Loving, caring, and sharing economy to come. As time went on, I realized that this was actually the historical marker of the end of the old paradigm and the birth of the new.  This was truly a cosmic event.

There was, of course, great resistance to this new, emerging Loving and caring consciousness, which was exemplified by the media and the government of the United States as they promoted the old-paradigm standby modes of fear, anger, and revenge in a non-stop barrage that finally was able to turn the focus of a large part of the population away from Love and caring to fear, anger, hatred, and a lust for revenge.

But that wasn’t the end of the signs and symbols of this remarkable event.

In the aftermath of 9/11, as the debris was cleared of the wreckage the Twin Towers, along with the other five buildings in World Trade Center Plaza which suffered irreparable collateral damage, New York City’s major, Rudolf Giuliani declared that the World Trade Center would be rebuilt.  But two years later, after many attempts to come to an agreement on a design for the new Twin Towers, it was finally decided not to rebuild them, but instead to create a memorial in their footprints. 

Of course, the towers could not be rebuilt, because the era of which they were the symbol was over.  But even after making the decision to build the memorial the actual construction was fraught with delays that stretched out over nearly eight years. This was a direct metaphor of what was happening in our society as the purveyors of the old paradigm refused to die, waging wars and continuing to do greed based business as usual with the outcome being the Financial Crisis of 2008.  

The final design of the memorial that  opened on September 11, 2011 on the tenth anniversary of the attacks was not a traditional dominator era monument.  But instead, the Memorial harkens back to the time when the Divine Feminine was honored and beloved — a time when holy places were not built up toward the heavens, but were carved into the earth or in caves, many of which had sacred springs. The design as everyone is familiar with now, is built down in the earth in the footprints of the towers, and has two enormous waterfalls, spilling into two one acre     reflecting pools that are surrounded by four hundred trees.  And to add to the mystical quality of this memorial and its significance in the great shift in humanity’s evolution, it is believed that a spring considered sacred by the Native Americans lies beneath it. 

By using the symbols of the ancient Divine Feminine culture that was rooted in the healing, nurturing, life-giving, and life affirming aspects of the Divine Mother Earth to immortalize the demise of the disintegrating Dominator Culture, the symbol of the old paradigm is not just being tossed onto a dung heap to rot, but instead it is being loved and honored and healed as the Divine Mother re-emerges from the mists to take her place beside the Divine Father in the evolving Divine Partnership Era in Sacred Marriage.  

Of course, all around this healing shrine, the work of rebuilding the rest of the buildings of the Plaza continue to be mired in delays. Of the five planned buildings only two have opened their doors as I write this in August 2015.  Of course, as we are looking at symbols and signs, we can observe the struggles to build a new World Trade Center as a reflection of the struggles we are having in letting go of the old broken fear-based economy and beginning to build the new love-based economy.

And the symbolism continued to delight me when the first completed building in the plaza, which is now the tallest building in the western hemisphere, finally opened its doors on November 4, 2014.  Joseph Campbell I’m sure would be the first to recognize that this new tallest building in “town” does represent the focus of the new emerging culture of connection, community, and partnership and not the old economic culture, because first of all it is not a financial institution. Its main anchor tenant is Conde Nast, the publishing and media company whose mother magazine, Conde Nast is a magazine devoted to international travel, connection and communication.  And also because this new building's extraordinary height was created by the addition of a 408 foot spire that houses an enormous communication antenna. Both of these factors are symbols of the emerging new-era consciousness of communication, connection, global community and unity.  And the icing on the symbolic cake is that this building is called One World Trade Center, and is topped by the One World Observatory.  One World. Connection, Community, and yes, unity.  Just one tower.  

And the icing on the symbolic cake is that this building, this tallest building in the western hemisphere, is called One World Trade Center, and is topped by the One World Observatory.  One World. Connection, Community, Unity.