Saturday, July 13

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Morgaine Faust: Preparing for the worst, expecting the best

By Gussie Fauntleroy.

A young girl who grew up watching her father perform magic tricks on stage could become cynical, knowing how the seeming magic was achieved. Or she could become someone who sees all of life as filled with wonder, mystery, and real magic. Morgaine Faust is the second kind of person. “I’ve always believed in magic, I’ve always believed anything is possible, and nothing surprised me,” she said, sitting in the meditation loft of her mountain foothills home in the Baca. The serene, light-filled space represents an affirmation of her belief that through implausible twists of fate, the seemingly impossible can happen.

Morgaine’s father co-owned an AM/FM radio station in their small southwestern Iowa town and put on magic shows each fall to earn extra money for Christmas. His five children knew, of course, that the live rabbit he pulled from a top hat had been waiting in the hat’s secret compartment. But that didn’t diminish Morgaine’s delight, or her natural inclination to seek out phenomena from non-ordinary realms. She remembers skipping through the woods as a child, looking for unicorns. She didn’t find one, but throughout her life she has had wondrous, serendipitous experiences that could not be explained in ordinary terms.

Her first “magical mystery tours” came in the form of books, including encyclopedias, which she read from A to Z, and which led to a love of travel and adventure and a fascination with ancient history. Yet as a tomboy, she was equally at home in the immediate world of collecting rocks and climbing trees. Barbie was not her ideal — she once poured lighter fluid on her sister’s Barbie and incinerated it behind the house. 

An earlier photo of Morgaine having fun with monopoly money and her son, Anton

As a teen, Morgaine’s “hell on wheels” behavior included disappearing without explanation, calmly returning after a weekend during which her parents assumed she’d run away, once in her mother’s Corvair. “But I made up for it later,” she said. Among other things, during a long stint as a highly successful PR director for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, she wrote press releases about awards received and sent them to her hometown newspaper. Her parents were proud.

Earlier, at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Morgaine served as editor of the student newspaper, which earned a major regional award under her leadership. Then came a summer internship at Ladies Home Journal in Manhattan — “an amazing experience” — after which she changed her major from photojournalism to advertising and PR. Following graduation she worked in advertising in Santa Barbara, California, for three years. Then a dream in which she was a Native American in the Southwest inspired her to move to Albuquerque, where she met her husband. His job took the couple to the Netherlands for two years, during which Morgaine became fluent in Dutch, explored art museums, bicycled, hopped trains around Europe, and ate “all the cheese I wanted.”

Back in Albuquerque she worked in PR for the Animal Humane Society of New Mexico, gaining extensive experience in networking and media relations. By the time she moved to Austin, her resumé was impressive, leading to her role at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was her dream job. “I was a superachiever because I loved the job,” she said. During 10 years as PR director, she worked closely with Lady Bird and met scores of political figures and media personalities, including Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Charles Kuralt, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

A few years later, after a health crisis signaled it was time to leave the Wildflower Center, Morgaine enrolled in the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin. During the five-year program she arranged time off for a momentous life change. Divorced and 50 years old but yearning for motherhood, she adopted her son from an orphanage in Kazakhstan. She knew she wanted a young boy, not an infant. After inspecting hundreds of photos, a deep inner certainty told her Anton was the one. “I just knew. It was as if my biological kid was born on the other side of the planet,” she said. When she brought him home, he was seven years old and spoke only Russian. They’ve been a family now for 20 years.

Although Morgaine became knowledgeable about Chinese medicine, life circumstances, including her only sister’s suicide, prevented her from finishing school and becoming certified. Three years later she moved to Denver to legally fight for and gain custody of her sister’s three children, whose father was abusing them. But saving her sister’s kids took a serious toll on her health. She suffered from severe adrenal exhaustion and found herself struggling on all fronts. When a friend asked where she would live if she could live anywhere, she said Crestone, even though she’d never been here. She had heard about the spiritual centers and eclectic mix of people and thought she’d fit in.

She was right. She and Anton moved here in early 2014 and she began experiencing healing on many levels, along with a heightened sense of awareness in both the material and hidden realms. She carved out a niche as a freelance editor of books by metaphysicians, inventors, and psychics. Now “gleefully retired,” she describes herself as a “creative visionary strategist,” drawing on a lifetime of spiritual exploration and employing her considerable networking skills. 

An important part of Morgaine’s life for the past 10 years has been active membership in the Sustainable Oneness Spiritual Alliance (SOSA), an international “community of healers, intuitives, practitioners, visionaries and innovators, individuals who understand that the world will shift by building a new vibrational field of resonance, where all beings and all realms of light are fully honored,” as SOSA’s website puts it. Morgaine’s contributions include hosting intimate gatherings at her home, which she calls Astaria House, inviting healers and other presenters to share their knowledge and perspectives.

At 70 she cherishes her multigenerational friendships in Crestone/Baca. Among them are young people whom she sees, like herself, as holding a delicate balance between being highly informed about world events and cultivating the seeds of a positive future. One of her mottos is: Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and accept what falls in between. “This is the most exciting time to be alive in the history of the planet,” she said, adding that for her, Crestone/Baca is the perfect place to be part of that transformational energy. The mountain atmosphere may be thin, she says, but “the air is thick with magic here.”

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