Hey, it works!
Community Co-op Debuts
by Gregory Ellison
All things considered, perhaps a month later than originally planned is not too bad!
So whats the big deal about some folks from an online community getting together a new age flea market for their cottage-industry goods and services?
Well, for one thing, since there arent any other online community co-ops that were aware of, there is no shopping cart software built to accommodate a co-ops special needs, so weve had to roll our own! And, weve discovered some interesting challenges along the way, like: how do you figure the shipping charges for an order that might have items from several different booth owners on a number of different continents?! And how do you make sure that booth owners have creative and financial control over their own booths without compromising security? How do you accommodate a wide range of skills, from HTML experts to complete computer novices, without overly limiting the creativity of the one or demanding too much of the other? We could write a book about the process, and perhaps one day we will!!
In the meantime, however, the bottom line is that despite delays and challenges by the truckload, the Conscious Evolution Community Co-op is now open for business!
To help you find your way around this new phenomenon, I would like to take this space to give you a guided tour of the new Co-op as it stands at this moment in time. Needless to say we are still growing, and hope to continue to do so. But never so much that we become impersonal or lose track of our spiritual mission or original community goals. In that respect well always be a flea market!
The most noticeable thing youll see when you get to the Co-op (Conscious Evolution Community Co-op) is the way it is arranged into small individually-run booths. Like an open-air fair or public market, each booth is maintained by a single individual, who is responsible for decorating it, choosing its products and displaying them, setting its prices and so on. This arrangement accounts for the unique look and feel of the co-op, and also gives each booth owner the maximum amount of individual expression in presenting his or her goods and services.
So, lets take a stroll through the booths and see what youll find so far! When you get to the Home page, just click on Booths in the Menu panel to the left, and youll see the list of booths currently active. To browse through the offerings, just click on any booth that catches your eye. Once inside any booth, all of that booths products and services are listed near the bottom of the page. To see the details of each product, just click on its listing.
Here are the Co-op booths youll see as of today:
Fran and Greg Ellison (hey, thats me!) have dedicated their EllisonWonderland booth to Tools for Spiritual Growth, beginning with a small selection of astrological reports. In the near future the booth will be expanded to include Tarot readings and I Ching consultations, Gregs newly revised and updated Tai Chi book, and an interactive online Tai Chi course. For now, the reports include Firesongs detailed Yearly Transit Forecast, an exclusive to the Conscious Evolution Community Co-op.
Moon Mountain Sage Shop
High in the Rocky Mountains of Linda Goodmans beloved Cripple Creek, Colorado, is where our talented metamorphosis editor Maria (WriteOn) gathers the natural Sage, Juniper and Pineapple Weed for the aromatic Smudge Sticks offered in her Moon Mountain Sage Shop.
Visitors can choose an assortment of Smudge bundles from among the pure Sage, Juniper and Pineapple Weed blends she offers. Smudging is a traditional Native American ritual for cleansing ones surroundings and clearing out negative energy.
Rainbow Light Circle
One of the best examples of the real community spirit behind the Co-op, the Rainbow Light Circle is a highly active group of volunteers from the Conscious Evolution site who have joined together in a prayer / white light / healing meditation circle to offer regular, focused group prayer and directed healing energy for those who are ill or facing difficult life situations. The service is absolutely free, and anyone may request healing energy by signing up on their booth.
One of the earliest guiding lights behind our co-op, Rena (Lightwave) started the discussion thread where the idea was born, and created the unique evolutionary artwork featured on the Co-ops masthead - both good examples of the Intuition and Creativity she combines in her unique Intuitivity booth!
A gifted intuitive/empath, Rena offers a variety of services in the areas of clairvoyance, mediumship, remote viewing and spiritual counseling, along with instructions and materials for her original Wave Pattern energy technique written about in the June 2003 issue of metamorphosis.
Libra_Suns Sunny Side
Cristina (Libra_Sun) is the graphic designer for metamorphosis, and a professional in the field for over two decades ... and her Libra_Suns Sunny Side booth really shows it! In her other life, she has studied astrology at some of the top schools in the U.S. and is a member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
Her booth reflects both worlds, featuring the Co-ops most extensive collection of professional Astrology Reports, along with a delightfully artistic collection of Teddy Bears and other personal designer items. One of our favorites is a cute-as-a-button Conscious Evolution teddy!
Angelic and Cosmic Readings by Kelly
Kelly (Veneo) is one of our communitys longest-standing members ... and actually met her husband Troy on our discussion forums! A professional counselor in the mental health field, she has turned her counseling gifts in recent years to the spiritual area. Her Angelic and Cosmic Readings booth offers a number of traditional and innovative readings using Linda Goodmans Star Cards and Doreen Virtues Messages From Your Angels oracle cards. She is also available for individual spiritual counseling on request.
One of our newest members - and my mountainside neighbor - Dawn (Foxtip) gathers herbs and wildflowers from the slopes of the Cascades to distill into the all-natural soaps featured in her Foxtips Creations booth.
Beautiful, fragrant - and effective - a bath with one of her many herbal-formula soaps is a luxurious treat. Each page in her booth offers traditional wisdom about the healing and spiritual properties of the herbs contained in each bar.
Rachels Crystals and Stones
Longtime member and aspiring master jewelry creator Rachel presents a stunning collection of sterling silver and gemstone jewelry handcrafted by her friends to debut her Rachels Crystals and Stones booth.
Each visually-appealing page in Rachels booth showcases not only the ornamental quality of this finely crafted jewelry, but also highlights the history, magical properties and astrological association of the semi-precious gemstones each piece contains.
The Corner Shop
A prolific contributor to metamorphosis and a member of our newsletter committee, Anindita (Ani*) needs no introduction to our readers. The Corner Shop presents her own uniquely handrafted Astrological Calendars and Greeting Cards. Like all things made not robotically by machines but for pure pleasure, she writes, each one of these cards and desktop calendars is different from the other. A rare quality in todays mass-produced world!
Each card and calendar is a work of art in itself, featuring photographs taken by Ani* of wildlife, flowers and historic Indian landmarks, or delicately crafted designs of pressed wildflowers artfully arranged into beautiful one-of-a-kind designs.
All this and convenience too!
Among our many goals for creating the Conscious Evolution Community Co-op was the wish to provide a creative outlet for members of the spiritual community to showcase their labor-of-love products and services without the usual hassle, expense and spirit-dampening commercial environment of many web stores, auction sites and other online venues - a place where earning money doing what you love is not at odds with spiritual or community values but a shared expression of those values!
But we also wanted to build a place that was fun, convenient and rewarding for customers and visitors, too -- a truly unique experience unlike any other on the web. Of course the creative variety and loving vibrations embodied in each booth and offering speak for themselves, but we also wanted to make the Co-op a uniquely convenient place to shop, by providing a way to browse and shop through many small, personal booths, yet make all your purchases with a single payment, using internationally accepted credit cards or by check or money order.
When you shop at the Co-op, all of your purchases are added to the same shopping cart, and when you check out each purchase is individually itemized on a single order form, no matter how many different booths you order from. All of the different shipping rates (often from different countries) are calculated and itemized for you, and any necessary currency exchange and distribution of payments to the separate booth owners is handled for you behind the scenes.
What we are hoping is that the Co-op shopping experience will be as easy and convenient as shopping at a major online mall or web store, but with the one-of a kind variety and quality of items you normally find only at tiny Mom and Pop stores run as a true labors of love.
Will you let us know if were succeeding?
Please visit our Community Co-op now!
The Co-op is open to ALL members of the spiritual community who share our values of peace, love, and a spiritually evolving world community. If you are interested in becoming a member-seller with your own booth, please contact us via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and well help step you through the process.