Why I Love Channeling

I admit that one of the reasons I first started learning to channel was because it seemed like a cool thing to do. I also liked the idea of gaining an uncommon skill, because my ego likes to feel like I’m unique in some ways.

But my main reason for learning channeling was to help people, and in the years that I’ve been practicing the skill–even when I wasn’t doing so overtly–people have been helped by what Shiva and I have told them.

When I channel, Shiva and I don’t give clients a full-fledged road map for their future, or even for their present. The purpose of channeling, at least as I practice it, is to guide people to create their own road maps. Sometimes this involves nudging them toward a conclusion they may have already reached but haven’t yet acknowledged, such as asking them why they continue to view themselves more negatively than anyone else and helping them uncover the roots of those beliefs.

Clients have come to me asking about family members and have ended up confronting truths about themselves and their roles in the situations about which they’re asking. Shiva doesn’t give information about others who aren’t involved in the channeling session, because doing so would violate their free will. 

But if the client is contributing to an issue, Shiva helps them see their contribution and figure out how to change their actions and reactions in a way that might help resolve the problem. More importantly, we can help the client identify the boundaries of their own share of the situation so they aren’t taking on more blame or responsibility than is warranted–or than is healthy for them. For some clients, recognizing where their responsibility begins and ends has really been all they needed to deal with a problem.

I often work with clients who have experienced bullying or abuse in the past. The past can be a very insidious thing sometimes. Even those of us who have been through therapy and know ourselves pretty well can be tripped up by patterns and impressions placed on us by others or created in response to how others treated us.

For some those clients with whom Shiva and I have worked, hearing from an unbiased being that the past wasn’t their fault, and having guidance to see the patterns and impressions that are holding them back, has been the first step in breaking out of their pasts and creating their best life.

I’m always thankful to be able to help others with the skills I’ve learned, and to be able to work with a being like Shiva. If you’d like to find out more or experience working with us for yourself, please visit my Channeling page.

What Would You Like to Know?

At the beginning of June, I began offering channeling as a service to my clients. Although I’m able to do trance channeling, in general I’ve found I prefer relayed channeling. In relayed channeling, I’m listening to my guide Shiva’s responses to my client’s questions and am passing along his words, but I am also able to offer empathy and clarification. When I’m in trance, Shiva is the one speaking, and I can only address what he’s said after I come out of trance.

I’ve had the honor of doing channeling sessions for a few clients now, and it excites me to see how much help and understanding they seem to get from hearing what Shiva has to say. I have openings for more clients, both for real-time sessions, which can be done in person or by video chat, or for email channelings. I would love to work with you to help you get the answers to the things you want to know.

To give you an idea of what you might receive in a session, Shiva and I did a brief channeling for this blog post. This one was done with me in trance. (Note: Shiva refers to me as “Ganatram,” a name he apparently gave me several lifetimes ago.)

Many of you have questions about your lives, but hesitate to ask any, whether human or otherwise. Why do you fear the answers to the questions you know you must ask? In some cases, these answers may shake your view of the world to its core. Many of the beliefs you hold within you are incorrect, and yet those beliefs have taken on an existence of their own, as it were. They cling to you as you to them, and they will allow you to hear nothing else, because they would then lose their grip upon you. And you would lose that with which you have become familiar.

The unknown is frightening. When my Ganatram first began to work upon her traumas and beliefs, she questioned who she would be without them, and the fear of not knowing who she might become was greater than the pain of the beliefs. So, too, is it for many of you. Pain and fear are not your preference, yet they are familiar and therefore feel safe to you. Countering those beliefs and fears is frightening, because you do not know who you would be without them.

It is time to learn the truth. Time to seek out the validation of what you know deep inside, beneath the fear, to be real. Those who care for you are with you, even when unseen. Trust in this.

* * *

Could Shiva and I help you uncover your truths? Visit my Channeling page to learn more about how to work with us and schedule a session or arrange an email channeling.

Happy 4th of July!

Regardless of where you are in the world, it’s probably July 4. (Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… the International Date Line confuses me sometimes, so by the time you’re reading this it might be July 5 where you are. But it *was* the 4th…)

Here in the US, of course, it’s Independence Day. A day of barbecues, fireworks, people who think it’s entertaining to set off firecrackers and scare the crap out of people, and so on.

I’m taking the day off to spend time with family and friends, so this is this week’s blog post. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Listen to Yourself

In all the things I’ve been writing lately about channeling, I realized I’ve forgotten one very important point.

Your guides–or my guides, or the guides of anyone else who might channel for you–know a lot more than humans do. There’s no question about that. They have access to more knowledge and wisdom than we have, and they’re happy to share that with us if we ask.

But no matter how much they know, you aren’t obligated to listen to them. And a true guide will never force you to listen.

I’ve met people who have told me their guides call them “stupid” if they don’t listen, or insult them, or order them to do things whether they want to or not. I recently had a conflict with someone close to me who claimed that if a guide or being wants to get a message through, they’ll have no problem forcing a human to relay that message whether the human wants to or not. He didn’t seem to see a problem with that, but he had a big problem with my assertion that a truly benevolent being would never do such a thing.

Benevolent beings who work with humans, whether as guides or in other ways, are–well, they’re benevolent. As Shiva puts it, “Free will trumps all.” These beings want to help us and show us love and compassion. Forcing someone to relay a message, or commanding them to follow a course of action no matter what, or insulting them if they don’t listen, is not love or compassion. And it definitely isn’t helpful.

As part of that, while a guide will offer you information or advice if you ask for it, they don’t demand that you accept it. Even when they know they are correct, they leave it up to you whether to listen or not. I frequently refuse to listen to my guide Shiva or one of my other guides, partly out of obstinacy and partly out of fear, and they have never gotten angry, never insulted me, never given me orders. They simply, and patiently, say, “You don’t have to listen. We’ll still be here.” And when I finally accept they were right, or if something negative happens as a result of my not following what they’ve said, they simply, and patiently, say, “It’s okay, we’re here, let’s figure this out. And maybe you could listen this time?”

When you have a channeling done, or speak with your own guides, it’s a good idea to listen to what they have to say. But it’s also a good idea, maybe even a better one, to listen to *yourself*. To your own intuition. Does what the guide says feel true to you, or is your intuition telling you something different? What feels like the best course of action?

A true guide won’t become angry or frustrated if you choose to follow your own inner guidance rather than the guidance they offer, because one of the things these beings want for humanity is for us to learn to listen to ourselves. Even if it turns out the guide was right and our intuition has steered us wrong, choosing our own free will over someone else’s words is not a wrong thing to do. It’s part of learning to connect with yourself and make your own choices, and that’s one of the things guides want for us.

Channeling for Myself

In 2006, my mentor taught me how to channel, after first explaining the concepts of guides and channeling and helping me, with the aid of his own guide, reconnect with my primary guide Shiva. That was when I started channeling for other people, beginning with my mentor and moving to regular channeling sessions at a store in Portland, Maine.

But I’d been working with my guides most of my life, unknowingly. As a child, I thought of them as invisible (never “imaginary”) friends who told me how to stay out of danger, helped me navigate my life, and even occasionally helped me with homework. On one memorable occasion, one of them helped me with a test in my 11th-grade Algebra 2 class. Although I hadn’t understood the material in the chapter at all, and had gotten D’s and F’s on every assignment, with my guide talking me through solving the problems on the test, I got a B+.

After the age of four or so, I wasn’t able to work directly with Shiva for a number of years. Due to traumatic events in my life, my energetic vibration plummeted to the point where Shiva’s high vibration would have been painful and possibly dangerous for me. He never left. He just “backed off,” so to speak, and relayed things to me through one of my spirit guides, whose lower vibration was safer for me.

Once I was able to reconnect with Shiva at the age of 35, we started working together directly again. Since then, he has guided me through a lot of difficult times in my life. I’ve had to learn to ask for help from him and my other guides, because growing up I was taught to never ask for help from anyone, but when I ask, they give. Shiva generally won’t give me information or support unless I ask, but he will sometimes say, “I think you need help with this, but you have to ask for it.” And occasionally if I’m questioning something, he’ll answer even if I don’t address the question to him specifically.

I’m a lot better at asking for help than I was years ago, but that doesn’t mean I always listen. Sometimes Shiva gives me suggestions or advice that I don’t want to hear. Not because I didn’t ask for it, but because I’m afraid to take the action he suggests, or I know he’s right and that pisses me off. Eventually, once I process what he’s said and sometimes discuss it with him further, I do follow through, and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Ultimately, my life is up to me. But it’s incredibly comforting to know I’m not alone as I try to live the best possible life. I have love and support. I have a source of wisdom and knowledge that I can access any time I happen to think of saying, “Hey, Shiva, I have a question.”

Channeling isn’t something I only do for others, though I’m very happy to do so when someone approaches me for a channeling session. It’s something I do for myself as well, and I’m thankful to have the option.

It’s Pride Month…

I’m not sure how wide-spread Pride Month is, but I know in a lot of cities in the US, at least, there are events during the month of June to celebrate people who are LGBTQ+. As the parent of someone who fits into those letters somewhere, I’m glad to see these events exist. It isn’t about shoving one’s sexual orientation or gender in other people’s faces, and despite how offended some folks get, it isn’t about pissing people off either.

It’s about acknowledging the prejudice and discrimination those who are LGBTQ+ have faced throughout history–and continue to face today. It’s about acknowledging people as human beings, regardless of who they love or who they are. It’s about celebrating diversity, love, and respect.

In past years, I’ve gone to the Boston Pride Festival as someone who considered herself an ally. I’ve been an attendee and a volunteer. But I’ve felt like I was watching from the outside, and felt privileged to be allowed to be there.

This year, Pride means something different to me. After years of wondering why I grew up not feeling like a girl (and not particularly wanting to, if “girl” meant acting like the bullies and backstabbers I knew), and why that feeling persisted into adulthood, and after doing a lot of soul-searching and inner work, it finally made sense. I didn’t feel like a girl because my gender isn’t female. It isn’t male either. I’m agender.

Agender means not having a gender. It’s important to note that gender has nothing to do with anatomy/biology (that’s sex), or with whom someone is attracted to (that’s sexual orientation). Gender is who your brain tells you that you are, and how you identify. Although I was assigned female at birth, my brain was never comfortable with being considered female, and male didn’t fit right either.

Gender is a spectrum, not a binary. And this year during Pride Month, I’m going to celebrate having finally recognized where I fit on that spectrum.

Much-Needed Respite

Every year for the past few years, in May, I’ve gone to a spiritual event/retreat. Sometimes it’s relaxing. Sometimes, depending on what’s going on in my life, it isn’t.

This year, I wasn’t really looking forward to going because of some issues in my personal life that were taking most of my emotional bandwidth. I almost backed out of going at all, but I’d made some commitments I needed to fulfill during the event, and I don’t break commitments if I can help it. So I went.

One of my commitments was teaching a Chios Energy Healing Level 1 workshop. I’d done the workshop at this event before, a couple of years ago, and was looking forward to sharing Chios with more people. Although fewer people came than I’d hoped, the important thing was people came! And learned, and seemed interested. A few people later mentioned having wanted to go, but they weren’t able to because of scheduling conflicts. So hopefully I’ll be able to offer the workshop again next year.

Aside from that, I wasn’t able to put as much energy into the event as I usually do. My body decided to rebel against me, leading to my needing shuttle rides around the campground where the retreat is held and to my going to bed before 10 every night. (Usually more like 8. Which is earlier than I ever go to bed at home.) During whole-group activities, I had to sit down and observe for the most part, though I was able to take an active role in one.

I wasn’t happy about it. I seriously dislike not being in control of my body, and the pain and exhaustion were beyond my control. But at the same time, at least I was at the retreat. I was able to participate to some extent, and I had plenty of time to reset and relax. Maybe that’s *why* I was exhausted and in pain. Maybe it was the Universe’s way of telling me to use the retreat to slow down and rest for a while.

Sometimes that’s the way things go. If you don’t take the gentle nudges toward the best course for you, the Universe steps in and gives you a not-so-gentle shove.

I came home from the retreat feeling more positive than I had beforehand, and feeling more rested as well. And I’m looking forward to being there again next year.

How I Channel

I learned channeling from the same person from whom I learned Chios Energy Healing. The circumstances were a little different, though. I didn’t know anything about channeling, and definitely didn’t know it was something I was meant to do. Even though I’d known my guides since I was a very young child, I hadn’t spoken to one of them in a very long time, and had pretty much forgotten about him.

My introduction to channeling was through my mentor doing a channeling session for me with his guide, a being of light. What I didn’t realize was that this being was in communication with Shiva, my primary guide (the one I hadn’t spoken to in a very long time). It wasn’t exactly conspiring, though I teased them by calling it that for a while. Basically, Shiva felt I was ready for us to work together again, and wanted us to do so. So through additional channeling sessions and some training from my mentor in going into trance and allowing another consciousness to work through me, my mentor’s guide helped recreate the bond between Shiva and me.

Shiva is a being of light, and that took some getting used to for me. For one thing, I associated the name with the Hindu deity, and I damn sure wasn’t “good enough” to work with a deity. Once I got past the name thing, I didn’t believe I was “good enough” to work with a being of light either, though my mentor’s guide pointed out to me during another channeling session that I’d been working with him for six months at that point. (I said it was different; I wasn’t the one doing the channeling, and he wasn’t my guide.)

After a while, I got used to the idea, and began channeling for others. Over the years that I’ve done trance and relayed channeling, I’ve gotten some varying reactions.

For me, whichever type of channeling I’m doing, there is a noticeable energy shift in the room, just as there is when I do a Chios session. I get very warm, sometimes to the point of sweating. If I’m doing a trance channeling, I feel like I’m just kind of relaxing off to the side while Shiva speaks. In a relayed channeling, I’m the one speaking, but I feel like I’m not completely in the same world as my client; I’m kind of halfway between the “real” world and the off-to-the-side one.

For my client, it depends. When I did a channeling for the manager of one store where I’d hoped to offer the service to customers, Shiva gave her information about a situation she hadn’t talked about to anyone, and it freaked her out. She stood up so fast the chair almost fell over and said, “You aren’t allowed to channel here. You aren’t even allowed to mention it. Don’t ever do this again.” And then hurried away.

At another store where I was allowed to offer channeling, during one group session, one of the clients asked about her financial situation. Shiva responded by saying, “You’ll have the money for the center you’re planning.” She hadn’t told anyone–including her friend who was at the channeling with her–that she was hoping to open a holistic or retreat center within a few years. My mentor was also there, and told me afterward that the woman looked completely astonished, and then completely happy and at ease.

Some clients feel absolutely no change in the energy of the room. Some complain that the temperature is too high once Shiva is present. One employee at yet another store found the energy shift so intense that he had to leave the room. He was clear with me afterward that the energy was entirely positive, just very, very intense.

When I do a trance channeling, the voice coming out of me is different from my normal speaking voice. Shiva speaks more slowly, at a deeper pitch, and with an accent I haven’t been able to identify. This was one of the things that upset the manager at the first store I mentioned; she was expecting the voice to sound exactly the same as my usual one. (She was also conflating channeling and mediumship, and expected me to talk to her about her departed family members.) It can be a little weird if you aren’t anticipating it.

My eyes stay closed; because I am extremely visually oriented, Shiva believes that if he were to open my eyes, the visual input would distract me and I would end up breaking trance. And Shiva, since he isn’t and never has been human, doesn’t always hold back what he has to say. He can be very blunt, and while he has no wish to upset or hurt anyone–quite the opposite, actually–it doesn’t always occur to him that his bluntness might be upsetting to some. He also refers to me as “Ganatram,” a name he gave me a few of my lifetimes ago, which has confused some clients.

Image (C) 2006 Christopher S Harris. Since it’s my name–Ganatram–in Sanskrit, I was given permission at that time to use it.

During a relayed channeling, the only thing that changes is the energy in the room. I’m listening to Shiva speaking to me and then passing along what he says. I’m the one speaking, so it’s my normal speaking voice, though I do need to pause, sometimes longer than a client is comfortable with, to be sure I’m hearing Shiva correctly and conveying what he wants the client to know. My eyes stay open, because since I’m actively engaged in this form of channeling, I’m less likely to get distracted.

Relayed channeling can be more comfortable for the client, but it can sometimes be more difficult for me to be sure I’m speaking the correct information in a way that won’t upset the client but is still accurate to what Shiva is telling me. I prefer trance channeling, but I offer both services because my clients’ comfort level is more important than mine.

On June 3, I’ll officially be introducing channeling as a service of River Flow Healing. 30-minute sessions of either trance or relayed channeling will be available in person at Vita Therapia in Westford, MA, or online via Skype or Facebook video messenger. Email channelings, in which the client sends me 1-3 questions and I channel Shiva’s reply and send it back, will also be available. If you contact me at schedule@riverflowhealing.com by June 2, with “Channeling session request” in the subject line, you’ll receive 20% off your first channeling.

“How Do You Know It Isn’t a Demon?”

NOTE: Because I like to be clear and honest, I want to point out that the dialogue in this post is paraphrased.

At a fair in which I participated recently, I was talking with the woman at the table beside me about the services I offer. I mentioned that I would be offering channeling beginning this summer, and she seemed a little upset. “How do you know it’s safe? What precautions are you taking?”

I didn’t have an answer for that right off the bat. I’ve known my guides since I was very young, so young I couldn’t quite conceptualize what they were or what their names were. (I called the three primary ones “Big John, Little John, and Jesus.” I was three. Names weren’t my strong point.) I told her this, and she said, “Well, you know, demons have a way of getting to people who’ve suffered trauma and making the person think they’re good when they aren’t.”

I had to step away from the conversation for a few minutes. First of all, weird as it may sound, in the course of my work with my mentor years ago, I encountered a couple of demons. One was masquerading as a guide who treated their “host” like shit. The other’s energy clung to me after I did a Chios Energy Healing session on someone, and until my mentor recognized the situation, I was physically ill and in a seriously crappy mood. So I have a pretty good sense of what demonic energy feels like.

Second, as I said, I’ve known my guides most of my life. I’ve worked with Shiva in previous lives. Apparently one of my other guides–a spirit guide–and I were friends and partners in his last incarnate lifetime, a few hundred years ago. I know how their energy feels, too. Warm, loving, patient even when I’m being kind of hard to deal with. They’ve kept me alive for almost 49 years. They guide me, as their label would imply, and keep me going on the right path for me even when I’m ready to give up.

So I was kind of ticked off when this woman asked how I knew my guides weren’t demons, and I didn’t quite have words to explain. After a few minutes, though, I resumed the discussion and was able to give a few answers to her original question of what precautions I take when channeling.

  • I’m an impermeable channel. That means that only my own guides can communicate with me unless they or I give permission for another being to do so. (The demon thing I mention above wasn’t a case of the entity communicating with me; its energy stuck to me. And in discussing it with my guides, I’d apparently, subconsciously, given consent for that to happen to help my client.) Shiva is the only one of my guides whom I actively channel; the others talk to me, but I don’t consider it quite the same thing. And even if I wanted to channel another being, Shiva wouldn’t allow it.
  • I work a lot with light energy, something my mentor and Shiva taught me after the demon incident. When I’m preparing to channel, I’m also surrounding myself with light and/or golden energy, which I extend to encompass anyone in the room.
  • I’m careful about where I channel. I do an energetic cleansing of my apartment at least a couple of times a month. If I’m doing an in-person session, it’s at a location I know is equally diligent about cleansing. Sometimes I even cast a circle, like I do before performing rituals as a witch. I invite my clients to do whatever they need in order to feel safe, as well.

Other people might have different means of protecting themselves and their clients. The woman with whom I was speaking said something about how she “calls on the true God for protection.” That’s VERY paraphrased; I can’t remember the exact term she used, but she was clearly referring to God in the sense that most religions view God. Since my spiritual path doesn’t include belief in a “one true god,” that isn’t really applicable to me, and her phrasing unfortunately put me in mind of the “true Christians” who’ve tried converting me over the years.

The last thing I’ll risk is putting my clients or myself in harm’s way, during either a Chios or a channeling session. As I said, that includes inviting my clients to take their own precautions if they feel the need to do so, though I have had an incident where a client’s “precautions” actually allowed negative energy into the session.

Not everything works for everyone. I believe in an ultimate creative power, but I also believe that power has many aspects. I believe Shiva is as benevolent as he seems because I feel the energy. I believe in my own power, and I believe I take the precautions I need to take in order to protect my clients and myself. People who don’t trust this don’t have to have channeling sessions with me; there are plenty out there who channel.

On June 3, I’m officially introducing channeling as a service of River Flow Healing. 30-minute sessions will be available in-person at Vita Therapia in Westford, MA, or online via Skype or Facebook video messenger. Email channelings consisting of the answers to 1-3 questions will also be available. If you contact me at schedule@riverflowhealing.com with “Channeling request” as the subject line between now and June 2, you’ll receive your channeling at 20% off the regular price.

Who Are My Guides?

I’ve been connected with my guides (beings who work with me to help me find my way through my life and experiences) since I was a very young child. I’ve been told that it’s rare for someone to connect with their guides as early as I did. In my case, it was because the humans around me were either overtly dangerous to me, or those who were intended to protect me chose not to. I needed help and protection, and so subconsciously or unconsciously reached out for those things.

I was very fortunate. Many people who open to channeling and to their guides are permeable, which means that any being who chooses can connect to and communicate with them. Sometimes that results in them connecting with beings who are not what they claim to be, and do not have the person’s best interests at heart.

In my case, the beings who responded to my call were my genuine guides, and they put protective measures into place to prevent other beings from connecting with me. This makes me an impermeable channel, since only my own guides can connect with me unless I request otherwise, or another being receives consent from me and from my primary guide.

My earliest memory of my guides comes from when I was about three. Two of them manifested to me as “people” whom I called Big John and Little John. (Hey, I was three. Names weren’t my strong suit.) My parents called Big John and Little John my “imaginary friends.” I was very adamant in correcting them; my friends weren’t imaginary, they were just invisible.

Big John and Little John, whom I now know as Dominic and Blake (though they’ve given me other names to use for them over the years), are spirit guides. Once, they were human, but they completed the incarnations they needed in order to learn what their souls had come to learn. They stopped incarnating and instead took on the role of guides. Dominic and I knew each other in one of my past lives, which was his final lifetime as human, several hundred years ago. Blake hasn’t been quite as forthcoming with why he’s chosen to work with me.

When I was about four, “Jesus” came to play with me quite a bit. This wasn’t the Christian Jesus, nor was it the being some know as an ascended master. Nor, for that matter, is Jesus one of the names this being generally uses. I was brought up in a nominally Christian household. A being with extremely high energetic vibration, who manifested as protective, safe, and loving, wasn’t something I could conceive of outside the “Jesus” I’d learned about in church.

That being, who I now know as Shiva, though again he’s had other names, is my primary guide. He’s a being of light, which is one of the highest-vibration beings among those who choose to work with humans, and he’s the guide I channel.

Some pretty horrible things happened to me as a child. Although my guides protected me to the extent they were able, free will plays a role in beings’ dealings with humans. My soul chose certain lessons to learn and patterns to address in this lifetime, and certain events occurred because of those soul-level choices. Since I was unaware of these choices on a conscious level, I wasn’t able to ask my guides to help or protect me from the events, and without that request, they could only be with me, support me, and try to ensure that I survived. At times, they advised me on courses of action that might prevent trauma, but if I chose not to listen, they couldn’t do much else.

With each subsequent traumatic event, my energetic vibration decreased. In order to work with a being of light, a human has to have a proportionately high vibration. By the time I was seven or eight, my vibration was too low for Shiva to work with me safely. He never left, but he “stepped back” and observed and protected me from a distance, figuratively speaking, so his vibration wouldn’t become painful for me or cause me harm.

For nearly thirty years after that, I remained connected to and communicated with my other guides, often wondering why what I’d come to believe were imaginary friends (because that’s what I was told by everyone around me) didn’t disappear as I “outgrew” them. Then, around 2005, I became friends with a man who channeled; he was also the one who taught me Chios Energy Healing. Through channeling sessions with him and his guide, I learned techniques for raising my vibration, and his guide, working in concert with Shiva, restored the connection Shiva and I had had when I was a child.

It took work for me to believe I was “worthy” of channeling a being of light, and to be honest, sometimes I still struggle with that lack of belief in my worth. But he is my guide, though I’m not the only human with whom he works directly, and I did learn to channel him.

Beginning on June 3, Shiva and I will be offering relayed channeling and trance channeling services. We did this together over a decade ago, but then life, including raising my children, got in the way of my practices. I’m thrilled to be able to offer it again.