My eyes flicker open, a state of heaviness takes over my senses. It's like I've just woken up from a deep slumber, or something slightly resembling it. I come around slowly, glance around at the girls sitting around me in a semi-circle and am struck by a state of disarray and composure in equal measure. Mouths are agape, lambent faces veiled with curiosity whilst others just wear a knowing smile. The instructor has turned the light on and I wince at the sudden shock.
We were taking turns at physical mediumship, which differentiates from mental mediumship in that the spirit with which we make contact materializes through the vessel (the medium) so the audience can see and feel their presence. In the four years I had actively participated in spiritual circles and workshops, this was undisputedly my favorite venture.
To set the scene, we were placed on a chair in a darkened corner with a black cape draped over our shoulders and body. When the lights turned off, the connection began. Our instructor gently guided us into a meditative state, her voice buttery and slow, annunciating every word perfectly.
"You looked like Grace Kelly," one person explained during the discussion of what had just happened. Another person shared that one of my hands appeared far bigger than the other and that half of my face appeared to be quite masculine.
The beginning was almost like I was living in my own kind of fairytale: going to circles, being pushed out of my comfort zone and connecting with strangers in a way I had never experienced before.
We would do everything: angel and tarot cards, mental and physical mediumship, psychometry, chakra, energy healing and even table-tipping and Ouija boards. I felt like I had found my calling. Nothing compared to this feeling of possessing transcendental energies, honing them then creating something truly beautiful. It gave me hope.
Then, something shifted within me. Whilst going to these workshops, I had embarked on an individual journey of self-discovery and learning how to love and find myself. Already an avid reader, rather than Jojo Moyes, Deborah Harkness, and Margaret Atwood, my books of choice now consisted of Osho, Eckhart Tolle, and Satyam Nadeem ("From Seekers to Finders" and "The Power of Now" were on a whole new level).
I learned that in order to find true happiness, I needn't search for it in possessions or people, first it must be found within myself. Only I could create it. Once I understood that I realized everything I had filled my time with before was just a desperate bid to fill a void and compensate for the happiness and understanding which I had been lacking. Though I did not regret a thing because everything my life was before had led directly towards that moment of cognizance and where I am now.
For the first time in my life, I was feeling pure ecstasy. I was alive. I was here. For a girl who had spent many teenage years wishing that she wasn't, that was really something. Apart from the gentle ushering of books and my partner who had been on a similar journey, I did it all on my own. That feeling transcended beyond anything I had ever experienced, even participating in circles.
This whole new level of understanding affected every other area of my life, including my passion for parapsychology. I had always been a good judge of character, but all of a sudden I was noticing warning signals I hadn't seen before. I was noticing people in the circles were claiming to be spiritual and yet, they would be the quickest to shoot another person down.
They would gossip. It shook me how quick some of these people would be to undermine another person's progression and achievements — the only reason I can think of is jealousy. I had glided into a stage of my life where, in order to continue advancing forward, it was imperative for me to be around people who were on my level.
Workshopping started to feel like a chore. I was going with my lovely mum, so I continued to go for a little while on her behalf (she liked to see me going — she felt like I had "real talent"). I, however, started to question my own authenticity. I would be giving a reading and I would want it to stop. Something kept picking at me, an inkling that this wasn't quite right. This information I was providing to the "client" seemed untrustworthy. Was it truly being honed through spirit, or was I simply reading their body language and guessing?
So, one day, I stopped.
My point is that I have discovered first hand that there are people out there with real integrity, who possess magical power and connection from beyond the veil that I don't think anyone will be able to fully understand (except, of course, those who do it). They are truly gifted and it fills me with the hope that magic really does exist. We must be careful, though, who we place our trust and our money unto. There are always going to be somebody who exploits others to fulfill within themselves a sense of something that they are lacking.
Practicing clairvoyance and tarot not only provided me with knowledge on the actual practice but with pride, peace and probity. Most importantly, I can still provide hope.
That's why I'm a writer.