The heck with the New Year what you need, according to Cynthia Peden, is a new moon. Her start-up business, Moon Money, will bring you heaps of dough and other goodies, if only you believe. Cynthia made me promise I wouldn't reveal Moon Money's mystical secret, but she swears that its power which draws lunar loot with the power of the moon and a simple silver coin will transform our lives. As proof, she proffers photos of citrus, fabric samples and Rainforest Crunch that have come her way since pledging herself to this ages-old magic trick.
Cynthia and I start out at Durant's and end up at Starbucks, because we just can't stop talking about the man in the moon who, she says, is a lady. A lady with peculiar powers and money to burn.
New Times: So. Moon Money?
Cynthia Peden: Yes. It's a tool to help us focus on the positive aspects of prosperity and abundance. Moon Money trains us to use the benefits of our natural world that bring us to greater prosperity. It's a force bigger than each of us as individuals, and it's dependent on the new moon and a silver coin, which, in combination, will attract greater wealth. I heard about it and put it in the form of a greeting card.
NT: This is sort of like an intergalactic ATM, and the silver is your PIN.
Peden: Yes. It could be intergalactic, because energy is everywhere. People say that the moon has no power, but it's able to lift up the ocean so many feet. So, obviously, lunar energy is very powerful.
NT: Where's your proof?
Peden: Here's an aura photograph of a charged Moon Money packet. It shows the energy surrounding the card. I reveal a technique in the Moon Money packet that charges or energizes any silver coin and makes it your connection to greater prosperity.
NT: For a price. Because you sell the secret to Moon Money's power along with a silver coin.
Peden: Yes. The secret of Moon Money is an old Polish folk tradition that's never been written down. The first month I did it myself was just unbelievable. I got a free trip to San Francisco. My neighbors brought me 17 pounds of potatoes. A friend of mine brought me nine cantaloupes! I found out later that nine is a very auspicious number. Either way, that's an awful lot of cantaloupes.
NT: How come you know about this, and the rest of us don't?
Peden: I found out about it at a new moon meditation. I thought, "This is fantastic; I'm going to tell everyone I know!" But no one had a silver coin, because they stopped issuing them in 1964, or they didn't have a calendar with moon dates on it. So I developed a greeting card with an insert that gives the moon dates and the secret of Moon Money. I made it simple. Look, I'm listed here in the Whole Life Yellow Pages. We're lucky because in Phoenix we have a whole lot of resources for holistic living.
NT: The first thing I opened to is this full-page ad for colon hydrotherapy.
Peden: I wonder if there's a message there.
NT: Touché, Cynthia. What's a new moon meditation?
Peden: It's a guided meditation, where you set an intention for a new beginning or set the tone for the rest of the month. It's like the resolutions you make on January 1, except you do this by lunar months, which are the true months. They involve two weeks of the moon growing in light and two weeks of it diminishing in light.
NT: Do I get my Moon Money back if this doesn't work?
Peden: I would give you your money back. But so far no one has asked.
NT: So the secret to Moon Money is infallible.
Peden: The moon's energy is always there, but are we accepting of good things? Will we follow this tradition every month, or not? It's up to us; we're fallible.
NT: If Moon Money really works, wouldn't everyone be wealthy?
Peden: No, because some people just make fun of me, or they could care less. But there's a place for everybody in this world, and I'm not forcing anyone to use Moon Money. I'm offering it at a very reasonable price.
NT: I read on your Web site about putting a silver coin in the window to attract wealth. I don't have a silver coin, but I do have a silver-plated paperweight of Fred Flintstone.
Peden: I would say that wouldn't work because Fred and the paperweight don't represent prosperity or abundance. You might just get more paper. Or some bedrock! We use a coin because it sends the message that your intention is to receive more money. It's not only cash; it's gifts, or more work, or your meals paid for, or discounts you weren't expecting. One month I got a free trip to the Caribbean on a Richard Simmons cruise. That was fantastic.
NT: Wow, Richard Simmons!
Peden: It was a gift from my mother, who doesn't usually give me very much. It was nine days, and I got to interact with Richard Simmons every day.
NT: You're not the only lucky one. One of the testimonials on your Web site is from a guy who needed to make a left turn into traffic during rush hour, and there were no cars coming during that particular moment, which he attributed to Moon Money.
Peden: Right. And my ability to park downtown has improved since Moon Money. There are parking spaces waiting for me now, with money already in the meter. I used to always see traffic accidents every time I drove to the airport, but I don't anymore. That's when it really connected that this was about more than money. I'm not just finding one thing; everything comes in larger quantities. The other day I was given not one but 96 protein bars, which proves that this is something big, something different. It was a gift; I didn't ask for 96 protein bars.
NT: That's a lot of protein! So what do you say when people tell you you're nuts?
Peden: I just laugh. Mostly, the response has been good. I had a very sacred experience that I think I'll share with you. I went into the Church of Mary Magdalene in Paris. I sat there meditating, and I said, "If I'm supposed to continue spreading the word about Moon Money, I need a sign." I was overcome with a feeling of peace. I opened my eyes, and on the floor at my feet was a ten-centime. You can call it a coincidence, but I think it was something else. I had an aura photograph taken of that dime, and it had not just blue and green surrounding it, but also purple. Purple!
NT: You claim that the true calendar is carried in the bodies of women. That sounds kind of messy.
Peden: Well, a woman's reproductive cycle is 28 days, which matches precisely the lunar calendar. The moon is usually depicted with a male countenance, but that's as much a misrepresentation as it being made out of cheese. The man in the moon is a lady, and the moon is not made of cheese.
NT: You've copyrighted an ancient moneymaking secret. That copyright prevents another person or business from benefiting from the sale of the secret. Isn't that sort of contradictory?
Peden: Well, I have a registered trademark. I guess really there's no way to protect the secret part, but if everyone is using it, even if they didn't pay me for it, it's still serving a purpose.
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NT: So, if we all use Moon Money and become millionaires, you'll still be twice as wealthy as the rest of us, because you're charging for the Moon Money prosperity kit.
Peden: My intention is to share in everyone's happiness. When I help someone, I feel better. And I'm not charging very much for the kit.
NT: I'm going to try this. If it works, will you come visit me in my mansion on Camelback Mountain?
Peden: Sure. I'll bring protein bars. I'll probably still have some left.