“Welcome Home Old Man” – I have never forgotten the power of those words and the energy of love and connection that I felt when I heard them back in 1996. I recall becoming so emotionally overwhelmed that I collapsed into tears of profound joy and heard very little else; it was the first occasion that I related to tears as the language of the heart; in that moment I felt myself come home in a way that is hard to describe perhaps mirroring Percivale’s legendary glimpse of the Holy Grail.
Recently my niece Wendy was visiting and for some reason we got onto the subject of channeling or mediumship, the claimed ability to connect with spirits or guides in other realities. I shared with her the experience that occurred at a workshop called The Power of One in March 1996 when a medium who was assisting offered to channel for the small group in attendance. I recall feeling quite overwhelmed at witnessing the fascinating body and voice change, a state often referred to as possession, as she expressed our guides. As a long-term skeptic, I was somewhat curious about the undeniable depth of my personal experience but felt little further need or desire to connect with psychics or mediums. Yet fifteen years later as I recounted this unusual encounter I found myself getting choked up; the story still retained sufficient power to create an emotional response; this made me curious.
Why had such powerful feelings returned all these years later? What did it mean and what I was supposed to do about it? Was it about reconnecting with the medium after such an extended interval? As I often do when I feel “paused” I drew a rune and to my surprise pulled Breakthrough (Dagaz). This rune means transformation day. It can signal a major shift or breakthrough in the process of self-change It also suggests the outcome is assured but not predictable and encourages radical trust. There is a reminder about not being reckless and that hard work lay ahead. Influenced by this reading, although not without a few misgivings, I decided to set up a session with the channel to see what would transpire.
My apprehension stems from concern about how projection may affect the reading; whether the medium is actually receiving information from “beyond” as opposed to empathically reading the energy of the client. (Although in itself a remarkable gift I worry that at times it is represented as something else.) Over the years I have kept an open mind; I have a number of friends who place great stock in the readings they have and although perhaps at times I wonder whether they hear what they want to hear, I sense it is a positive reinforcement that does little harm and perhaps some good
So here I am having my first session for fifteen years. I noticed a degree of anxiety combined with curiosity and not really knowing what to expect. I tried to let go of any expectations and trust that it would be what it was supposed to be. She began the session by telling me that she no longer allows the physical possession that I witnessed fifteen years ago, rather she relays messages from the guides to me. Although I felt a tinge of disappointment, I allowed myself to trust and stay open to whatever experience I was to receive. I chose not to follow the tradition of asking specific questions but rather set a broad intention to understand the meaning of why this had come unexpectedly back in my life. Initially I shared with her some of the events of my recent life and how the last time we met was at the very beginning of my exploration of mind, body and soul.
I found the beginning of the session very convincing. She talked about the amazing brightness of the guides and the intention of my incarnation. “Seeing you as a point and having this beam of light coming out of you,” She thought they were suggesting grounding and anchoring, fleshing out what I was already doing. She went on to say, “You have this brilliant capacity to tap into and put language to your intuition to speak it, know and think it.” She also used a metaphor of the Whac-A-Mole game to tap into the information she was receiving, “As life opportunity presents itself I take them on until they feel done.”
At this juncture she checked in with me to se if I found the information resonant. I responded very positively and that the image of light beaming seemed particularly pertinent as it reflected the direction I had sensed in a visit to Assisi about shining my light. (See http://wp.me/phAyS-4t) I have also spent many years exploring my intuitive senses through dreams, oracles, synchronicity and serendipity, the body and my book Life’s Little Guide for Big Decisions was all about finding ways to facilitate our inner wisdom. Finally the Whac-A-Mole metaphor seemed perfect for the way I take on that the constant potpourri of opportunity that I co-create from decision-making, to spiritual coaching to dream work. At this point I am totally hooked.
Then she continued and it was as though the plug got pulled from the bathtub. I lost the sense of connection I had been feeling. I am no longer captured by her words. She talks about, “a heavier, darker, cloudy, quality, it feels alien, obscuring what is true about you.” She informs me that I see things coming from the outside, that moles are coming up to say go underground, go deeper. “The over-arching schema, to manifest and work with these possibilities and grab hold of one of those moles and drop into the field. Being in relationship to life and possibility in a different way. You have a perception of this field in a different way – you perceive those possibilities to come outside of yourself. Desire for more but it can only go so far. Like a safety measure in your psyche to avoid you going deeper.”
When she checks in with me again, I tell her that it isn’t resonating. I speculate whether I am in resistance. She repeats more of the same and finally I ask her if she will share with me the images that she is seeing, not her interpretations of them. “She tells me that the upper chakras seem clear and bright while the lower are obscured by this cloudier energy. I am still confused but realize a lot of what she is saying is her interpretation. Is she referring to shadow work? – God knows I do plenty of that. After I reflect on the session and listen again to the tape, I realize a conflict has developed. At the beginning my intuition seemed to confirm her observations but then that stopped. As I replayed the tape I realized that when she got into interpretation the meaning evaporated. I began to feel unseen because the information passed to me was not consistent with my journey. Surely my guides would at least know who I was and the work I had been doing? I decided I was faced with two possibilities: I could choose my own intuitive sense or the interpretation by a third party. That is an easy decision because I encourage others never to give away their personal power
I shared the dialogue with two dear friends to see if they saw signs of resistance and asked if they believed I avoided going deeper. One just laughed and said, “no one I knows tries to go deeper than you” while the other speculated that most mediums are limited by their own state of consciousness. I still felt there was value in the session. I have always sensed that life has brought me more opportunities to do work in the realm of the higher chakras yet there is also a strong curiosity about the lower realms. I even took a Shaman workshop to go more deeply into this so I have never sensed avoidance, just lack of opportunity. My niece Wendy conjectured that the medium had attempted to position this in the past but possibly it was intended to be relevant to my future. It was shortly after this that I had a vivid dream about choice.
The dream is like a stage play; it has three acts: a prologue, the second act introduces the players and the third act is the denouement. The prologue is very simple; there is no action; it simply sets the scene. It features a friend of mine uncharacteristically dressed in red who plays no role. My spiritual teacher is implied but not physically present and I know there is another almost ethereal woman that I am going out with but I never see her. Then of course there is me. The second act is like a TV set; it is very stark with no scenery; I am with a woman who is very attractive, blonde, voluptuous figure, and very red lipstick. She is a tour planner who is responsible for the next aspect of the trip we are taking. It is an evening event that will take place the next day. I ask her if she will attend, she hesitates and says that if she drinks she will need a ride home. Then adds, “and I have a pool and like to swim naked”. Gallantly I offer to drive her home then we make out a little while walking toward the venue. The final act begins with a glimpse of the venue we are approaching which is down a hill in front of us. There are two paths: one is easy and gentle while the other is steep, rocky and in a poor state of repair. Suddenly my partner heads off down the challenging trail. I shout that she is going the wrong way but she ignores me. I decide I have to follow and find myself battling this difficult trail and finally falling. I pick myself up and she has completely disappeared. I struggle to the base of the trail and find myself in a swamp. I head off to the right but get totally lost; water is cascading down the sides of the valley, threatening my position. I retrace my steps and contemplate climbing back up the trail but then spot an opening over some mangrove roots that I think may support me. I get through without getting soaked and find myself on a muddy trail with deep ruts made by a large tracked vehicle. I fear I will sink in but suddenly in front of me is someone dressed in white leading the way. They sink into the mud but I stay on top. I follow and find myself beside firm ground; I step out of the mud to a trail. I wake up.
This is an amazingly vivid dream that I have no trouble remembering. Over the next few days of dream work, the meaning emerges. The prologue tells me two things: the dream is about my unfolding journey of the soul and it will evolve passion and emotion. Red is the colour of passion and the friend had recently shared a story about setting an intention to experience a full range of emotion. The two women represent the upper and lower chakras. The one I am going out with is ethereal and represents the higher chakras where I spend most of my time. The second woman represents the lower chakra work that the medium had referred to. The dream suggests that at some time I will be faced with choice. One route is the simple easy path, the other is much more challenging, I will fall, I will get lost, I may feel swamped, there will be lots of emotion but I will find my way out and will feel myself guided back onto firm ground.
It fascinates me the way the dream fits with the channeled experience but of course at the moment I am still on the “Plains of Uncertainty and Unrealized Possibility”. Is the dream about a future event? Of course I cannot know because it is the future. Will I have the courage to select the more challenging journey? Who can know for sure but the combination of the channeling and the dream certainly makes that possibility more likely than it would have been. Perhaps for now I will follow the advice of Albert Einstein who said, “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”