“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.

A Bit of History

Thousands of years ago, people began to recognize the power of the human touch in healing others. In ancient civilizations in places such as China and India, scholars identified the human energy system and discovered that through touch, energy in the auras and chakras, or meridians, could be manipulated, thereby causing improved physical and emotional health. In other places, faith healing or laying on of hands has been practiced for decades or even centuries.

Whether you believe the healer is manipulating the energy alone, or a higher power of some sort is assisting, the fact that energy healing or touch healing has been practiced in one form or another for millennia indicates that people believe it works.

Energy healing, put simply, is the practice of using certain types of touch or other methods to balance the human energy system. While some methods, such as faith healing, probably wouldn’t put it quite that way, the principal is the same. Touch in and of itself can be healing for many people, partly because through touch, we share energy with one another. When the touch is done with intention, using certain techniques or methods, it can be incredibly powerful.

I was trained in Chios® Energy Healing and another modality developed by my teacher (which I’m not naming here because I don’t practice it any longer, and because as best I can tell he isn’t yet training others in it). Both are based on the chakra system: Seven major energy centers on the human body corresponding to seven aura layers that surround the body. The chakras rotate at a certain speed, while the energy field vibrates at a certain level, which is not the same for everyone.

The healing methods I learned employ certain hand placements and other techniques to repair poor functioning or damage to the chakras and aura layers. While there are other methods of healing, such as crystals or flower essences, for the next few weeks I’m going to be explaining energy healing from the perspective I learned. That isn’t to say that the way I do it is “right” or that other methods aren’t as valid. There are many ways to heal and maintain health, and all of them work and are equally valid.

Polyamory

I know a number of people who are polyamorous, and who have encountered varying degrees of understanding and acceptance. Polyamory and other alternative relationship styles are more common than people realize.

Some people confuse polyamory with the polygamy they’ve heard about in the news. While polygamy can be a form of polyamory, it isn’t the only one—and cults that enforce polygamy have little to nothing to do with polyamory.

Polyamory, put most simply, is having, or having the capacity for, more than one romantic and/or sexual relationship. In general, people include romantic love as a requirement, since the “amory” part of polyamory means love. But as a broader term, polya, as some people call it, can also include sexual relationships that don’t involve romantic love.

There are many different forms of polyamory, and trying to explain them all would take a month or more worth of blog posts. Even then, I would probably miss something. Looking online, you can find a number of resources about polyamory if you’re curious.

There is no “one right way” to do polyamory. Relationship configurations and agreements differ from one person or grouping to another, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Jealousy is a thing for some polyamorous people, and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that either, as long as the jealous person owns their emotions and controls their own actions and responses instead of trying to control their partner(s).

I’ve seen debate about whether polyamory is an orientation or a lifestyle choice. Personally I would say it’s both or either. Feeling as if you’re “hard-wired” for polyamory still requires a choice about whether to have polyamorous relationships. For people who consider polya their romantic orientation, *being* polya isn’t a choice, but *doing* polya is.

For other people, it’s entirely a choice. It sounds like the way they would like to conduct their romantic life, so they do it. They don’t necessarily feel like they’re wired that way, they simply like the idea.

That said, polyamory definitely isn’t for everyone. But it is a valid way to live and love.

Relearning What the Child Knew

When I was a child, I believed in magic. Completely and wholeheartedly. I heard voices when no one was around. I had conversations with the wind and with trees. I felt things changing. Sometimes, if I tried hard enough, I felt like I caused change. And I had “imaginary” friends who knew a lot more than I did.

Of course, growing up with very literal, science-minded parents, I was taught that those things weren’t real. I was also, unfortunately, taught not to say anything about those things to others, or I might get locked up. I didn’t have resources then to find out more about witchcraft, or energy healing, or anything along those lines. Though to give my father credit, a few times he surprised me with books about psychic phenomena and other metaphysical topics. But none of those had anything that rang true for me.

I grew up. I forgot a lot of what I knew and did as a child. My imaginary friends never went away, which I couldn’t understand, but since I didn’t have many friends or people to talk to, I was kind of glad they were there.

When I was about 35, I became friends with someone who taught me about channeling and guides—and I realized my imaginary friends might not be so imaginary after all. He taught me about energy healing, and I remembered the times when I was injured and held my hand over the cut, and felt heat and then the pain went away.

He and I weren’t friends long, but he made a pretty big impact on my life.

About a year and a half ago, I became friends with someone who taught me about witchcraft—and I realized I wasn’t the only one who talked to trees. That the voices I heard as a child might not have been my imagination either.

I’ve realized over the past decade or so that all the things I thought made me weird, and my parents thought meant I was crazy, weren’t exclusive to me. Other people believe the same things. I’ve learned things as an adult that I knew instinctively as a child, and I’ve felt like I was coming back home.

I tried to raise my own children with open-mindedness toward things like magic, energy, and guides. Whether or not they talk to guides or trees or anything like that, I wanted them to know they weren’t the only ones, and there wasn’t anything wrong with them for it. I hope I did okay with that.