Towards the end of 2016, when I turned 40, I committed myself to explore at least one thing every month that I would not have done but wanted to experience with no justification, purpose or particular goal in mind. Allowing myself the freedom to choose anything without having to justify it as important to my career, linked somehow to my job, or caring what others would think was a big step in my personal growth and healing.
I had also just been turned down from enrolling in a 2-year healing course. The tutors' feedback was that while it was evident that I had healing and intuitive gifts, it would benefit me to do more personal development courses to get to know myself more and build the robustness necessary to deal with whatever might come up during the two years of study.
I thought I knew myself quite well back then, so I did not understand the message fully, but I took their advice in stride and pushed through with my commitment, not knowing where it would lead and what it would mean for me. In hindsight, the explorations I embarked on were precisely what I needed to build resilience in every aspect of my life; it was all interconnected. I had always taken time out of my career to explore, but this was different, and I felt the calling to dive in deeper.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone
I started this monthly commitment in January 2017. The month before, in December, while sitting across from my husband at dinner, I felt very nervous about telling him of a workshop I wanted to attend in January. I felt awkward. It was something I would typically not go to. In fact, I had never been to a séance, nor had I ever been into fairies. It was an all-day workshop on a Saturday, and he would be alone with the kids.
I knew there wouldn't be any issues, but he would, naturally, want to know what I was up to. My palms started to sweat, and I wondered what in the world was wrong with me?! This was my husband, after all, who I was very open with about everything. Fear and embarrassment started consuming me, and I was surprised by how I felt.
I finally said, "There is a workshop I want to go to, but I am having a hard time vocalizing it out loud to you".
My husband started to look at me funny but also slightly worried.
I continued, "It is just that it is something I would normally not go to, but for some reason, I really want to go".
"So what is it?" he asks.
The fear of ridicule I felt inside was so intense that I decided to pull up the workshop description on my laptop, hand it over to him, and have him read it. I sat there waiting for him to finish reading, expecting him to laugh or look at me like I was some crazy person.
Instead, he said, "You know who Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is, right?"
"Yes", I said, surprised by his question, and I continued, "He is the author of Sherlock Holmes".
My husband, a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, said with a big smile, "You have to go!"
At that moment, I felt a huge sense of relief.
It was not the title of the workshop, A Faery Séance: making contact with the 'otherworld', or the description, but that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the founding members of the College of Psychic Studies, where the workshop was taking place, that caught his attention.
There I was, struggling to communicate a personal desire that was so foreign to the person I was then and the array of stereotypes that this type of workshop would conjure up in my mind. However, despite all these things coming up and getting the best of my fears and logical mind, it did not phase him in the slightest and was, in fact, quite encouraging!
So when I arrived, I took my seat in the main lecture hall, people started coming in, and I observed how normal and friendly everyone was. I did not know what I was expecting; maybe a few people with pointy ears? Or perhaps every male in the room with long, pointed beards? I was certainly expecting to feel out of place. Instead, I felt right at home.
When the facilitator arrived to take his place at the podium, his t-shirt had a picture of a beard that said, "With a great beard comes great responsibility!" He had a long beard, so I chuckled inside and immediately felt at ease. He had a good sense of humour and got the whole group laughing and relaxing right from the start.
At this workshop, I learned about the history of séances, faerie folk, and faerie healing energy. There was so much I didn't know, and I was left wondering why this knowledge was not just common knowledge. Throughout the day, many of the stereotypes, judgments, preconceived notions, and conditioning I had from my upbringing in society all started to melt away.
First, there was nothing scary about séances, and these rituals have been used by mankind from the beginning of time to connect to the spirits of our ancestors and the otherworld. The connection is to energy that we study and observe through our multiple senses. This energy carries information. Perhaps we could also refer to these rituals as quantum physics, prayers, or manifestations.
For many, however, the word séance may conjure up some fears or notions of being possessed by Spirit; or some fears may originate from religious beliefs because a religious institution has prohibited it.
How can we truly know a séance if we haven't experienced it ourselves? And how do we know we are in a safe space when doing so? There are no simple answers, and knowing is experiential. Most importantly, we know the answers by listening and trusting our intuition. Still, we must nurture, cultivate, and deepen that connection to receive clear, intuitive guidance.
Second, the faerie folk are all around us. They are elemental beings residing in another realm. At the workshop, the group séance ritual was meant to open the doorway between our world and the realm of the faerie folk; so that we could share space with them and experience their presence more directly, which we did! By shifting the vibrational frequency of the space, we shift our perception and experience within that space.
Third, faerie energy can be channelled for healing. We partnered up and practised healing sessions with each other by connecting to this beautiful healing energy.
At the workshop, all I felt was loving energy and presence. I walked away feeling happier than I had felt in a long time. I shed a layer of fear that needed to go to make room for more of my authentic expression to step forward.
A change in perspective
Sometimes we believe things to be true because it is presented to us in this way instead of learning through connection and experience. Therefore, we may go along with what everyone else believes to be true or with a belief system just because that is how it has always been.
I had heard from others about their experiences, but I wanted to learn and experience these elemental beings for myself. The 'otherworld' was not the problem for me, which would become more evident later to include my interests and experiences with the afterlife and other types of beings that reside in multiple realms or dimensional spaces.
However, the misunderstandings that would ensue from family and friends or the fear from within my cultural surroundings and societal structures would limit my human connection and understanding of the other world. Ironically, the connection is always there (for everyone); but it must be nurtured to perceive beyond the veil.
The depth to which we experience nature (our environment) reflects the depth to which we experience ourselves. I have always loved being in nature but gaining awareness of the beings that live in nature and who permeate our environment changed my perspective of the elemental world and deepened my relationship with nature, from occasionally catching a glimpse of them to feeling and receiving messages and healing.
As I revisited this story six years later, I read the first few paragraphs to my husband, and we laughed out loud; given where I am today and how I share, I have come a long way. However, our laughter also holds a lot of respect and appreciation for this journey.
I have had to learn to feel safe on Earth and within nature to continue exploring my relationship with Spirit. Earth is my home right now and where my consciousness is anchored. It is the most natural place to begin the inner journey and continue deepening it. Our human body is Earth itself in all its composition. Therefore, we must go in first to find our way out.
My husband's response that day in December created the safe space at home that I needed to carry on with my monthly commitment and fully embrace all I would learn about myself (and the unseen world) in the coming year (and years beyond that!). It certainly got weirder and much more interesting (albeit challenging at times) since then.
I did not attend a séance again, although I would be delighted to. The experience was not about a séance but a doorway to my human self. It was the start of "getting to know myself more and build the robustness necessary to deal with whatever might come up", as the tutors advised. It was the best advice, and although I did not reapply the following year, I embarked on a different course a year later that was more aligned.
My connection with Spirit is strong, no doubt, in whichever shape or form; however, it is my human relationships here on Earth, with the living and with myself, that I have had to heal, nurture, and cultivate to be a messenger of Spirit on Earth. It is really what we all are - Spirit in form - or information.
The process is ongoing, and while I may laugh at myself from a few years ago, similar fears come up again, which is why I am writing and sharing this story. I had to go back and revisit this experience and another one in 2012, which I write about here in The Conscious Use of Intuition to help me shift fears that show up at different scales or stages in my spiritual path.
Subconscious fears do not shift overnight but eventually do. It doesn't matter where you are in life, how long it takes, or what others think. The key is to start, and the path will naturally unfold.
Beyond belief and disbelief
lies the vast expanse of ecstasy
where the mystic lays his head
on the cushion of Truth.