By Dimitri Moraitis
Having worked with Barbara for many years, she has often talked about the rich and varied experiences of her early life. The combination of her early profound metaphysical awakenings, depression era struggles, and diverse family dynamics provided her with many important life lessons she would draw on later as a spiritual teacher.
Barbara’s adventure into metaphysics began at the age of three when she started seeing auras. Not knowing what it was called then, she saw colors and energies around her family and friends as well as around animals, trees, and plants. Soon she started seeing angelic beings who would come to visit her. They didn’t communicate to her at first but wanted to her to know they were there and supporting her. Slowly these visitations with angels and other spirit beings increased. These early experiences were wondrous yet mysterious as little Athena (as Barbara was called then) did not understand what they meant or what they were leading to. At that time, being a spiritual teacher was the farthest thing from her mind.
Her family didn’t know what to make of her visions. Worrying about possible physical maladies, her parents took her to doctors and gave her glasses to wear—but there was nothing wrong with her.
Barbara grew up during the Depression years. Being the daughter of a Greek Orthodox priest there was not much money and the family constantly moved. Barbara’s father was not only a priest but an engineer. The diocese would send him to various locations to build a church and organize a congregation, which he was very good at. Barbara was one of six children and even though they loved her, they did not understand her metaphysical inclinations. She loved her family very much but felt a little out of place as they did not have the same sensibilities as she.
Her clairvoyant abilities got her into trouble many times. When an aunt was late in arriving to a family gathering, little Barbara blurted out she wasn’t coming at all because she had died in a train accident. Her parents were horrified that she would say such a terrible thing. Yet the next day, they received the telegram with the tragic news that the aunt had in fact died in a train accident.
In another incident when she was four, at the end of a church service Barbara was asked to kiss the hand of the officiate archbishop. Even though the archbishop was regal and commanding, Barbara saw grotesque colors in his aura and refused to come close to the archbishop. When her mother insisted, she cried out, “No! He’s a monster! He eats children!” Barbara didn’t know why these things were happening to her or how she knew these things; they just happened. After many similar incidents, she learned to keep quiet about what she saw and experienced.
Barbara was an excellent student, eventually skipping two grades of school. Even though she could be outgoing when she wanted to, Barbara preferred not to be the center of attention. Yet teachers would choose her to be the lead in a school play or to deliver a speech. Although Barbara resisted at first, these public experiences would prove excellent preparation for her later lecturing/teaching work.
Barbara’s life changed when she was ten years old and the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. She was an excellent writer from an early age. The family was friends with the owner of a local radio station. Barbara would write religious radio dramas that the station would produce and air. This fanned her interested in drama. She joined a acting troupe headed by a well-known acting teacher and director Dorothy LaMoss. Dorothy would change Barbara’s life and became her first metaphysical teacher.