Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery

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Session 24 – Rush hour in spirit world

4th April 2013 (Thursday)

Nine women, two men, and one of those was Greg the facilitator. There were two new women.

PICT2040Someone mentioned dreams before the session started. I suddenly remembered and shared with the group that last night I dreamed that I was marrying God.

‘You’re not thinking of becoming a nun are you?’ Greg asked.

‘It’s too late for that,’ I muttered quietly, but obviously not quietly enough as half the room tittered.

I also announced that I was back on form, completely rested, while I tucked into the cup cake one of the members had brought for the group. So delicious.

The first exercise was to try and get some advice for one of the new women for an issue she had already discussed with Greg but that we were unaware of. Greg welcomed our spirit guides and asked for their help, guidance and protection.

We all got something for her. I saw a newspaper and a razor. The message was ‘words can be cutting.’ One lady saw a basket of eggs which had been on a card from a mini reading the new lady had earlier. One person saw her grandmother who had some advice for her. All but one input made sense to her. Greg suggested that the thing she didn’t recognise now was possibly a future event.

Our second meditation was a deep one. I dropped into that state of nothingness very quickly. The only thing I remember from that first exercise was seeing four flames in a circle. I didn’t hear most of the meditation but toward the end I felt someone jolt my body upright and said ‘it time to listen now.’ That’s when Greg said ‘come back into the room when you’re ready.’

As others began to give feedback on their experience I realised that we’d been taken down in a lift, each floor taking us deeper into meditation. Some people had trance-like experiences while others found it difficult to go down. There were long elaborate journeys and short succinct ones like mine. During my feedback there was a rush of energy into the room felt by most of the room. It stopped Greg in mid sentence. Whatever comment he was about to make about my experience was lost in the drama of the arriving spirits. I have to confess that I didn’t sense it or feel the accompanying cold. I was cold all the time, even though I was sitting next to the radiator which was turned up fully. Greg said he’d never known spirit enter with such speed.

We paused in the round of feedback while Greg identified who they were. They (the three of them) were all connected with one person. There were two women and a man. Some of Greg’s descriptions made sense to the person to whom they were connected, and it seemed to be coldest in her part of the room. They must have stayed around for the rest of the night because it didn’t get any warmer.

Our third meditation took us from the beach, up a steep cliff, down a grassy verge to a lagoon with a waterfall where we bathed, swam, then dived down to find a gem.

My ascent of the cliff was not straight forward as I had to zigzag my way in places, but I opted for the most direct route. I knew I’d have the stamina to make it as I’ve done a lot of hill walking. The other side of the cliff was covered in yellow, purple and blue flowers, with lots of bluebells around the edge of the lagoon.

As I got into the lagoon sparks flew off the waterfall, like a giant sparkler. I lay on my back and floated (which is unusual for me as I’m not very confident in water).

I dived down to pick up a big piece of citrine, but when I came up and looked in my hand I was holding a very large ruby. Incidentally three of us picked up ruby, the most popular of the night.

I was going for abundance with citrine, but with ruby it would appear that what I need is passion and vitality.

I feel like the steep curve of learning is levelling off a bit, or maybe its to do with the fact that I’m meditating daily and getting messages almost every day.

If you’ve ever sat in circle, or still do, is this how it felt for you?



What does poo in dreams mean?

Friday 29th March 2013

Daffodils huddled together for warmth in this frozen month of March

Daffodils huddled together for warmth in this frozen month of March

I found out my grandmother’s name. It’s Christianna Benjamin nee Morgan. During my meditation I set the intention to connect with her and to be given a sign that I was connected. I had a tickling around my third eye and on the left side of my neck.

I saw a thimble, and later thread and a needle. Was she a good seamstress? Did I hear that somewhere? Then I had the thought of stitching together a patchwork quilt.

I dropped in and out of nothingness, but in between I thought about my dream from the night before in which I was trying to hide from a previous boss. I’d been trying to dodge him for ages hiding in all kinds of places before suddenly deciding that I’d done nothing wrong and, despite all the people who’d been trying to hide and protect me, I came out openly and challenged him. He didn’t pursue the issues and I realised that I needn’t have hidden for so long.

In the same dream I needed the toilet and had to go a long way to find it, (even though I was convinced that there was one closer). A woman snuck in before me, but fortunately there was more than one cubicle. The wall was flat, and the toilet bowl emerged from it and looked a little flimsy as it had no solid base attaching it to the floor. It had un-flushed poo in. I needed to do a poo but was conscious of people in the next cubicle so held on to it, just did a wee while pondering the oddness of the toilet.

Somebody once told me that poo in dreams is related to money. Does this dream mean that I found some (in the bowl) but was too embarrassed to add mine to it? Do you know anything about poo in dreams?

And what about the thimble and the patchwork quilt? I was wondering if it could mean that I’m to pull together all the different things that I’m learning into one. Maybe create something new and different from all the bits. Any thoughts?

And finally, I got the thought that it would be a good idea to write about my Family Constellation experiences.

When I was researching Shamanism I found people’s personal experiences really helpful. Constellations are about soul integration, about making whole the fragmented soul that has suffered trauma. This is also the aim of Shamanism.

It may require a bit of delving into journals but each experience was so profound that they are clearly documented.


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Modern Shamanism

Masquerade dancer

Masquerade dancer

When I received the information to look more deeply into Shamanism I was more than a little reluctant to be associated with this form of practice. I threw some questions out about where to look and got what I can only describe as divine guidance from ‘R’ who responded with a comment on the blog.

If you read A hero with a thousand faces or The Writers Journey they suggest writers are modern day shamans. Maggie Whitehouse has some interesting things to say on shamanism – also google ayuhuesca and modern shamanism. X

Thank you so much ‘R’ for this comment. There was so much contained in such a small space. I spent a big chunk of today researching all the areas you suggested. It made immediate sense to me that writers would be Shamans. Especially after watching Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on genius, and my experiences with my second novel. As a writer Joseph Campbell’s work is part of my tool kit so it was easy to find a hook for this.

I hunted everywhere for Maggy Whitehouse’s comments but the only sites with any references to Shamanism were unavailable.

I’ve made it this far without taking any consciousness enhancing aids but found the information on Ayuhuesca fascinating.

By far the area that absorbed most of my time was the information on Modern Shamanism.

There were a few sites but the first one I went to made me understand my reluctance.

In the Western world, when we hear the word “shaman,” most of us tend to conjure up an image of a masked and costumed indigenous tribal person, dancing around a fire in the dark, involved in some sort of mysterious ritual, accompanied by singing and drum beats.

This is not an easy thing for me to visualise myself participating in. It wasn’t till I read a little further that I began to relax, and even to become slightly excited.

But inside that cultural shell of mask, costume and ritual, there is a woman or a man with a set of very real skills. The shaman is the master of the trance experience.

All true shamans are able to achieve expanded states of awareness in which they can direct the focus of their consciousness away from our everyday physical reality and into the inner worlds of the dreamtime while very much awake.

The first thing they discover is that these inner worlds are inhabited, for there they encounter spirits–the spirits of nature, the spirits of the elementals, the spirits of the ancestors, and the higher, compassionate transpersonal forces, many of whom serve humanity as spirit helpers and guardians, teachers and guides.

It is this extraordinary visionary ability that sets shamans apart from all other religious practitioners. And it is through their relationship with these archetypal beings that shamans are able to do various things, initially on behalf of themselves and then increasingly on behalf of others. What sorts of things?

At the top of the list is probably ’empowerment.’ Working with the assistance of their helping spirits, shamans are able to restore power to persons who have lost theirs or who have been diminished by their life experiences. Shamanic practitioners are able to access information from ‘the other side’ through divination; some are skilled at guiding the souls of the deceased to where they are supposed to go in the afterlife, an ability known as psychopomp work; and many shamans are master healers at the physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual levels of our being.


I’ve resisted this spiritual journey every step of the way, because of the negative connotations attached to most spiritual practices that fall outside of the main stream religions. I’m a scientist and psychologist. At each step I’ve questioned my sanity, wondered whether I would be ridiculed, loose friends, gain enemies, loose livelihood.

Yet each step has brought me better health, more harmonious relationships and greater peace and sense of purpose. So why would this be any different?

I’m not saying that I’m rushing to become a fully paid up student of Shamanism, but I’m certainly considering the possibility. What is very clear from the research is the central role trance plays in this practice. Another reminder of how important meditation is.

Shamanism is about service to individuals and to the community, about helping to repair damaged bodies, emotional turmoil and to heal fragmented souls. The language of Shamanism is the same language of Constellation work. It has been suggested that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the result of a fragmented soul.

I see the use of parts integration techniques in my Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) training as related to making fragmented souls whole. Healing the whole person is the principle of all spiritual healing such as my Reiki, and sitting in a spiritual development circle is all about connecting with the spirit realm who instruct and guide us.

Maybe it’s not too big a step… like I said, at least worth considering. Thanks again R for your very helpful suggestions.

Has anyone attended any workshops in the Midlands of England? I note there are some in London but I was wandering if you know of any closer to the centre.





Session 22 – Spiralling to angels and a wishing well

21st March 2013 (Thursday)

We were a big group tonight, twelve including Greg, but with only two men. No new people tonight so everyone had a place and we began with a meditation taking us up a spiral staircase. I was a little confused when Greg said ‘You’re at the bottom of a spiral staircase.’

At first I saw the staircase from a few weeks ago, the one in the old building I was being pulled up. Then it changed into a metal one outside with no building around it. I hovered between the two before deciding on the inside one. At least I’d been there before, it felt familiar.

‘Put your foot on the first step and feel the red under your feet. Feel it coming up through your body bringing warmth and healing to anywhere that needs it,’ Greg instructed us.

I felt the heat rising up through my feet, my legs, my thighs, torso and running down into my arms, and my wrists. Yes the wrist is still slightly swollen, though it does appear to be going down a little.

The Secret Language of your body

The Secret Language of your body

(Did I mention what Inna Segal says about the causes of wrist problems? No? These are the possible contributing factors. Feeling chained, stuck, overworked. Difficulty changing your mind; seeing other points of view; and letting go of the pain, stress and fear that binds you. Needing to be right and in control.) Some of these I can take.

Anyway, back to the meditation. Greg took us up the steps through the chakra colours, each time pausing to allow the healing of the colour to work through us, and I was fine till we got to the crown chakra, when I must have dosed off. I woke up again when we were looking into a well. I didn’t know how we’d got there but Greg said, ‘Look into the well, see your reflection.’

As I watched my reflection I gradually got younger, back to about teenage years before getting older again – back to how I look now (about 25 Haha!).

‘Make a wish.’ Greg said, and I wished for peace. There are so many other things I could have wished for, but I know from experience that when I’m peaceful on the inside everything on the outside works, or if they don’t I don’t get irritated by them.

During the feedback I realised that the bit I missed when I dosed was meeting our angels at the top of the stairs, and stepping into the clouds with their support to the well. They must have done it anyway because I made it there.

No one had a take on me getting younger, but later in discussion with a friend I worked out it may be related to working with teenagers again. I used to do this many moons ago (and me being only 25 you gasp), and said I wouldn’t do it again. But today I accepted an invitation to work with a group of 18-25 year olds on an ‘into business’ course.

Power Animal Oracle Cards

Power Animal Oracle Cards

There was an eager buzz as we all rummaged through Greg’s suitcase of cards, as that was our main activity for the night. I chose the animal pack that I’ve been working with at home because I have a notion of using them with children and young people who may otherwise be wary of other kinds of cards. My partner chose a pack of angel cards.

She chose the HORSE and the RAVEN which I read without the accompanying book (Greg said I was the only one allowed to use the book because the animal pack was so different to the others). Her third card, the MOOSE, I read from the book. It basically reinforced everything I’d said in the previous two cards. It gave me a modicum confidence to trust my intuition.

I did a past, present, future reading with her angel cards. The past card was INNOCENCE, about letting go of guilt and shame. The second card was CHILD about connecting well with and working with children; also about nurturing my inner child. I can’t remember the title of the third card but it was about focusing only on my desires because I’m manifesting quickly.

I had a chance to work with and have a long chat to the other black lady who has the same name as my sister. It was very refreshing to hear the story of her journey to circle. She reiterated the power of meditation.

One of the members did a demonstration reading for Greg and I learned a bit more about ignoring the writing on the card if they don’t make sense to you and focusing instead on the pictures and your own intuition.

There was a really beautiful energy in the room as Greg lead the closing prayer.

Couple of questions. Do you have another view on why I went for the old stairs? Or on why I got younger when I looked into the well? Please feel free to comment on anything else. Always appreciated.


Session 21 – Distant diagnosis and GRACE

18th March 2013 (Monday)

No Tim again this week. He was doing a heavy cold, came in handy for people to send healing to later.

We were a smaller than usual group too, even with a new person we were still only six including Mary. She explained that Zoe couldn’t be with us today due to family commitments. She also explained the importance of opening up to the new person, who had not sat in circle before, and said a good way to begin a circle is with a prayer. This is where we invite our spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, God, or Source Energy to join us. She suggested as we were so few in number that we all had a go doing an opening prayer.


White light

White light

Public praying was something that used to terrify me, but after the last time Mary made us do one (the day me and Tim turned up on our own) it lost its fear. One member was quickly volunteered by Mary to start and we went round in a circle from her. That made me third, and bought me enough time to think of something to say.

Earlier that day I’d had a sharp reminder that my life here is not about ‘getting’ but about giving, about being of service to others. There’s a bit in the Course in Miracles that says something like, ‘only what I’m not giving am I not getting.’ So after asking God to join us and giving thanks for the fact that we could meet today, I asked that we all be reminded of our service role, and that the circle be used for the service of all in it and the wider world. There were short, medium and long prayers, all very expressive and effective.

The next exercise was a guided meditation from a CD in which we were led to an old man in a garden. We had to ask him a question concerning an issue we were facing, and listen carefully to his answer.

I asked about a relationship and whether it was time to terminate contact with a person. The old man answered that when we had learned all we need to from each other the contact would naturally cease.

The next exercise was to pick a card from a tray on which was written one word. We then had to try and figure out what, if anything, the word was trying to tell us about an issue or issues going on in our lives. I pulled GRACE, and inwardly groaned.

Grace is one of those words that I’ve never understood the meaning of, not like love or peace or joy or integrity. Grace is a complete mystery to me, and I said so. Mary offered a definition. That it was doing the right thing even if you know the other person is being a right s—t. If you know better then do better, by recognising that the other person may not be functioning at your level of development.

I instantly found a situation where I could apply that definition, one that had been causing me a bit of grief for few weeks. I thought about how it would be if I approached the situation from a point of love than from judgment self-righteous indignation, and instantly felt more at peace. My Course in Miracles lesson for the day incidentally was ‘I am entitled to miracles.’ And a miracle is a change of mind. I felt as though one had happened there. I had seen a situation differently and it brought peace.

Next Mary asked us to think about a missing member who couldn’t be with us but had suggested that we asked our spirit guides to show us his medical condition. We sat silently with closed eyes for about five minutes. There were no two answers the same, so if we were all right he must be riddled with complaints. I got ‘blood condition, possibly anaemia’. Turned out he has a bladder infection; someone got ‘gall’, so I guess he was the closest.

We then closed by holding hands in a circle, bringing down white healing energy and sending it around the group. Very similar to my very first circle where I saw it in the crystal ball before it happened. We asked for it to be sent out to Tim and everyone else in the prayer book, and then grounded the energy into the earth to help with the earth’s healing.

I think finishing exactly on time was so novel that someone asked if we could have some healing. It was two on one healing. One person sat in a chair, one stood behind with hand on shoulder and one sat in front and placed hands where suggested by the sitter.

I was so tired I was happy to be the first in my group of three. I asked for my wrists to be held as I still have one slightly swollen. It was beautifully soothing, I saw lots of pink light, and I could have happily gone to sleep. Alas no, as it was soon my turn to be healer. I picked up shoulder pain in one partner and back of the legs issues in another. Both confirmed these as accurate. I felt both in my body.

It was a lovely, relaxed session.

I looked up grace when I got home. Here’s a definition I like.

‘The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favour, disposition to benefit or serve another.’

What about you, what does grace mean to you?

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African Ancestry – The journey continues

Friday 15th March 2013

A few weeks ago I wrote about meeting my grandmother in a meditation which led to me start researching slavery and my ancestry.


I also wrote about the voice in the night which led me to Tom Seligman,


African Ancestry DNA kit

African Ancestry DNA kit

and ultimately to a company in America that uses DNA to find which African country my ancestors who were taken to the Caribbean in the Transatlantic Slave Trade were from. I ordered a kit which arrived yesterday.

Today I swabbed my cheeks and sent them back. In approximately six weeks I will know my roots.

If nothing else comes of going to circle I will know this. I don’t know why it’s so important at this time but there must be a reason for it, because I’ve never really been interested in genealogy. I don’t even know my grandmothers, both of whom died before I was born. With both my parents also dead and my last aunt from my mother’s side dying last year aged 101 my links with the past are quickly diminishing.

Maybe I’m about to discover some new ones!!!


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Invoking my creative muse

It’s Wednesday at 6.55 a.m. and I’m about to use the gift I received at circle on Thursday to invoke my creative muse.

Creative muse invoking kit

Creative muse invoking kit

I have my dried lavender flowers, lavender oil, yellow feather and instructions, all beautifully bound in a yellow bag. I have a bell and a compass.

The instructions read: Put you symbol by where you work. Rub a little oil onto it, sprinkle flowers over the symbol while you repeat the following words aloud.

‘Muse of art, muse of sound, muse of thought, gather round. I ask for power, for shining light, creativity in this rite. As I will, Blessed be!’ Face east where you work, ring a bell, add a feather.

I do all of the above assuming the feather is the symbol of my art. Only when the feather is soaked in lavender oil, has dried flowers sticking to every strand, and I’m a little more awake (the ringing of the bell I think) do I realise that I needed a different symbol of my art.

I repeat the whole thing, but this time with a pen as the symbol.

It’s a lovely way to start the day. Beautiful smell of lavender, sound of tinkling bell (a cow bell my son brought back from Switzerland for me) and gently music.

Nothing dramatic has happened. I have a feeling my creative muse has been with me for some time, and had put in a re-appearance yesterday when I began writing on Love is Not a Reward again after a week away.

I’ll face east all day, maybe a good thing to get my back off the radiator anyway, and see what happens.

I research the meaning of Muse and realise that I’ve been working with at least one for some time now. Nice to formally welcome them though. And how thoughtful of my circle friend to think of me.

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Session 18 – Little Cottage in Negril

March 7th 2013 (Thursday)

I arrived at Oak House feeling a little wrung out from the week’s activity. (See posts Spirit Speaks – Message in the night). My head was still full of ordering an ancestry test when we sat down. We had one new gentleman who sat to my right. Our eleven was made up of four men and seven women, and as I’d got there with little time to spare we were into the first meditation before I’d got the round of greetings in.

Greg began with an opening prayer then asked us to focus on the flame of the candle in the middle of the room while he led us into the first meditation. Once we had drawn the light from the flames into our bodies and asked our guides to draw near he asked us to close our eyes and began the meditation.

‘You are in a room,’ he said, ‘any kind of room you want. In the centre of the room is a table. On the table is a jug.’

I found myself in a small room in a small house in the Caribbean around a small wooden scrubbed table. It’s the way I’ve always pictured the room from the song Cottage in Negril. The vase was one of those old porcelain water jugs used in bedrooms to hold water for washing.

‘On the wall you’re facing is a rack with containers of various lotions and liquids in various shapes, sizes and colours.’

Out of my wall emerged a rack the size of the wall on which was various shaped old style vials, porcelain pots and jars. There were also bunches of herbs, many of them tied at one end and looking like miniature brooms.

‘You sense or see you guide in the room. He or she goes to the wall and takes various containers off the rack, brings it to the table and pours the contents of the containers into the jug. Notice the colours, individually and collectively.’

Emerging out of the wall was an older black woman. I’m beginning to recognise her now. She’s the same one that was on the beach who took me down into the sea. This time she was dressed in a white calico head wrap and a white dress with short cap sleeves. She took four or five containers off the wall, along with about three clumps of herbs. She walked over to the table and silently poured them into the jug, not looking at me, instead being totally focused on what she was doing. All the liquids were clear and colourless.

‘Bring the jug to your face and inhale the vapours,’ Greg instructed. ‘Within the vapours is everything you need right now.’

Even before he told us to inhale the vapours I’d already begun to do so. It felt like the most natural thing to do, and I could see the steamy vapours streaming up my nostrils.

‘Allow the vapours to circulate within your body, healing any part of your body that needs healing.’

I have a little issue going on with my left wrist and my left ankle, so I allowed extra time at these points. While I inhaled my guide walked to the back of me and gently massaged my shoulders. She placed her hands on the back of my head and I felt the healing heat from her hands.

‘Now place the jug back on the table and thank your guide for his or her help,’ Greg instructed.

As I put the jug back my guide walked around to the front of me, took both my hands and placed them in the prayer position. She kissed the back of each one, then walked backwards and disappeared into the wall.

‘Release the rack from the wall and see the wall as it was before the rack appeared,’ Greg said, ‘then come gently back into the room.’

During feedback Greg offered no opinion/interpretation, and while I’m becoming a little more confident with my own interpretations I’d welcome any thoughts you have on what happened.

I’d had an emotionally challenging week and felt my guide wanted to offer me some tender loving care and some healing, almost a ‘I’m please with what you’ve done and I know its taken it out of you.’ I’m not sure what, if anything, the kissing of the backs of the hands signifies.

Our next exercise was aura reading. As we moved into positions for paired work one of the other circle members, Jen, brought me a small gift in a clear yellow pouch. She said, ‘I made you this to help with your creativity.’

‘What is it?’ I asked a little taken aback. I haven’t developed any particular friendship with anyone in the group, and haven’t even had many discussions with Jen.

‘I thought it might help with your writing,’ she said.

‘Thank you very much, but what is it?’ I was pleased but intrigued.

‘There’s some lavender flowers, a small bottle of lavender oil a feather and a yellow candle. Yellow is the colour of creativity.’

‘What do I do with it?’ I asked.

‘I’ve written the instruction on a piece of paper,’ she pointed out to me, and I noticed the neatly folded piece of paper in the yellow chiffon bag.

‘Thank you very much,’ I said hastily as our working partners were waiting.

I had a measure of success seeing my partner’s aura. I could see the white outline but no colour. She got very excited when she thought she saw indigo, almost verging on black around me. I told her that some years ago I had a colour reading that said about this time I would be coming into my indigo phase. She was very happy with her confirmation, and me with mine, that I am indeed in my indigo phase. It would be interesting to have an aura photo taken soon.

After the exercise I got chatting to my partner about her son whom she believes is a crystal child. I told her I knew more about indigo children as I once thought one of my sons was an indigo child. We traded maternal guilt for not being able to understand our children’s gifts at the outset, and the loneliness and terror we could have saved them in their early developing years. Then I reminded her that we needed to forgive ourselves, because we were only operating from our point of consciousness at the time and believed we were acting in their best interest.

When Greg came to check how we got on I mentioned my experience with the voice and Tom Seligman. (See Spirit Speaks) He said I was obviously working with the law of attraction. The more of this work I do the more I’m getting out of it.

Our final meditation was a chakra grounding one where we sent roots deep into the earth in order to pull up the colours into the chakras. The instructions naturally began with red.

‘Take note of the colour of the red,’ Greg said, ‘this will be important later.’

My red was scarlet, vibrant, and not my favourite red which is more the cherry red. Then we did orange, again vibrant. By the time we got to yellow I could feel myself drifting, and I don’t remember anymore till I heard Greg say, ‘and when you’re ready you can open your eyes.’

I could tell from the feedback that the meditation was about taking in clear bright energy on the way up and on the way down draining away any negative energy. For most people the downward colours were less vibrant, more washed out and pallid than the upward ones.

After our closing prayer I quickly found Jen for a bit more information. She said to follow the instructions on a Wednesday as that was the day of creativity, to face west when I did it and if possible to face west when I write.

It was only when I was sitting in my car about to drive off that I realised the link between my first meditation and the gift she’d given me. My guide had used a combination of herbs and liquids. She had given me a combination of both.

I switched off the engine and ran back inside to share my excitement.

‘I know,’ she said, ‘I was amazed when you shared your meditation. I knew then that I’d been guided to prepare the gift for you.’

I was gobsmacked!!!

Even as I write this I’m still shaking my head in amazement.

Do you have a view on anything you’ve read in this blog? Have you had similar experiences? What do you think the hand kissing means? Do you face west when you write?

The irony is that with all this psychic activity I’ve not done any writing on the book. I hope it was all about clearing the way for a more productive week next week.



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Spirits Speaks – Messages in the night

Wednesday 6th March 2013

I went to bed last night exhausted from my day’s research into the transatlantic slave trade. On Monday night I had dinner with two friends and told them of my thinking; that if we are all linked then I need to speak to my white as well as black ancestors. All of this was still swilling around in my head as I drifted off to sleep.

At some point in the night I was woken with the name ‘Tom Seligman.’ I heard it very clearly spoken. I thought it an odd name and made a mental note to remember it in the morning. As I drifted off to sleep again, by now thinking maybe I’d dreamt it, I heard the name again, ‘Tom Seligman. Get up and write it down. You’ll forget in the morning.’ I got up, scribbled the name on a piece of paper and went back to sleep.

In the cold light of day I began to doubt what had happened in the night, and wondered if this might have something to do with a Jewish connection as my mother’s maiden name is Benjamin.

Hours later I sat down to research the name. Two people with that name came up on Google’s first page. One was a young British conductor and the other, Thomas K Seligman was the ex director of the Cantor Centre for Visual Arts at StanfordUniversity in the United States. It was only when I got the part of his biography that said, He subsequently specialized in the arts and culture of the Tuareg people of the central Sahara, and has organized a major exhibition and catalogue entitled Art of Being Tuareg:Sahara Nomads in a Modern World (2005-2008) that I sat up and took notice.

I began to research the Tuareg people which eventually lead me to uncover the extent of the Arab world in the transatlantic slave trade as well as the Jewish interest. Also the way Christianity, Islam and Judeism have justify the transatlantic slave trade. It gave me an understanding of the background to the current conflict in Mali.

I obvioulsy have to do my own personal journey on this one, because for the first time I comprehended the full extent of black Aricans in the slave trade. Although many have pointed out that no-one on the African continient understood the full extent of the burtality that would be meted out to the slaves once they were taken on board the ships, all this now rests withing the collective world psyche. This is not just a European/American/African issue. It is a world issue, and if we acknowledge that we are universally linked then the world will not be free till slaves are truly free.

I began to understand why I’ve been finding it so difficult to write the story of black Caribbean parents. It cannot be divorced from the experience of slavery, because so much of what happened then still exists today.

I think my ancestors – all of them – want the stories told, but I was ill equipted to tell them. My experience of being raised by Caribbean parents is only part of the requirements.

There may be some of you going, ‘Oh not that old chesnut again. When are they going to stop blaming slavery?’ And in truth I was one of them, but that was from a point of ignorance. The fact that our Caribbean parents have no firm ancestral anchors is a massive handicap.

One of the outcome of this for me is that I’ve decided to take one of the DNA test that will tell me where in Africa my people hail from. It’s obviously important, otherwise why would spirit go through such lengths to make sure I found this information.

Here’s a question. Has spirit ever spoken to you, and if so what did they say? What actions did you take and what was the outcome?

This is truly a fascinating journey.


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Session 16 – More trance and Story Cubes

February 28th 2013 (Thursday)

I was very early tonight and had a chance to have a chat with Greg before the others arrived. I wanted to share with him the sensation I have when I sit down to write; when I sit staring at the flipchart paper on which I’ve sketched a story, or the pieces of paper on which I’ve sketched characters. How I can stare at them for ages before I make a connection with the characters. Usually the first characters I get are the ones in whose voices the story will be told.

First flowers coming through in Rookery Park

First flowers coming through in Rookery Park

It’s exactly the same feeling I get in meditation when I connect with the energy of the group, or when I drop into the timeless zone of spirit. Once I get that feeling I know the words will flow, and very often they will flow in a way I hadn’t planned. He said I’m quite possibly connecting with the spirits whose story I’m telling. There’s resonance in this for me.

By the time everyone had arrived there were two new women. One who visited the Monday circle once, and an Asian woman invited by the black one who came last week. Interestingly, apart from Greg all eleven of us were women. He welcomed everyone and announced that Ann would be joining us later for a trance demonstration.

‘We’ll begin with a meditation to get us nice and relaxed.’ He said.

With closed eyes he instructed us to breathe deeply.

‘There’s a ball of light above your head,’ he said. ‘Bring the ball of light down through your body, lighting every cell. Ask your guides known and new to draw close.’

As he said this I felt a wave of cold spread from my toes up to my thighs. This despite the fact I was sitting as close as it’s possible to get to the radiator and was perfectly warm and toasty prior to that. In my head I silently asked my guides if they wouldn’t mind bringing a bit of heat with them. Not one of them responded, and I remained cold throughout the whole session. I sat with my jacket draped over my legs.

During the feedback when I told the group of my experience, Greg said most people first experience the presence of spirit as cold on their legs. I made a mental note.

About half the group had great images and messages from their guides, the other half just felt relaxed.

Our activity for the night was using story cubes to give readings. Story cubes are small dice shaped cubes with pictures etched into each face. There are nine of them in the pack, and they’re used to develop creative writing and story telling.

Greg demonstrated how to use them to give a reading. For speed he used only three of the cubes. It’s very similar to doing a three card reading. We then had to work in pairs to do readings for each other.

My three pictures were a book, a magnifying glass and a symbol that my partner initially thought were the wings of a mythical bird. She thought the meaning was that I should look into writing Harry Potter type books. The magnifying glass could also mean looking deeply within, self-examination. It all made sense. So too did the alternative interpretation when Greg pointed out that the wings were actually a fire.

One of the symbolism of fire is purification. In the morning I’d got yellow from my colour set of cards =  purify the body, and the frog from the animal set = purification. Purification of the body’s been a consistent message for weeks now. So much so that I’ve changed my diet, become vegetarian, and now working toward being vegan. I say working toward because I found myself buying a bag of Thornton’s Special Toffee the other day. And they were soooo delicious.

Anyway, back to the circle. I then did a reading for my partner. She had a bee, a sheep, and what looked like a jester with a small child on the end of one of his feet. I interpreted it as needing more sweetness in life (bees=honey) and not being afraid to go out on a limb with a project (don’t be a sheep), that she’d probably be getting a gentle push to go out there (jester kicking child away). The project thing resonated with her.

I instantly saw a use for these cubes in international creative writing workshops, and ordered a set as soon as I got home. There’s a big assumption here that I’m going to be running such workshops. You read it here first.

Next we had Ann do a trance demonstration for us. I was sitting next to her, and although I had my eyes closed I felt a surge of energy as her guide arrived.

Now, I’m conscious here that in a few short weeks I’m saying things that were just a mystery to me not so long ago – surges of energy indeed.

Anyway, her guide’s message was very similar in nature to his others. He thanked us for being willing to work with spirit, encouraged us to meditate often and aim to live an honest and authentic life. He told us that we are spiritual being in a body, that we should care for it, but know that when we’ve learned all we need to in this incarnation, it will fall away. What’s important while we’re here is to take the lessons from every situation we encounter, good or bad. It’s all of our creation to learn the lessons we came for.

When she’d finished we had a discussion about the different levels of trance which range from very light trance where the medium is aware of what is being said, to the medium allowing his/her body to be totally taken over by spirit and as such is not at all aware of what is being said or done to them. In some cases they can be so deep in trance that if you stuck pins in them they wouldn’t feel it. Oak House once had such a practitioner, and there are many tales told about him.

The issue of whether ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ spirits could take over the body in such a state came up. Again there were two schools of thought, those that think yes and those that think no. Greg explained that like attract like, if you remain positive you will only attract positive spirits. I added my two pennies worth by saying I believe that the best form of protection is working in the energy of love. Nothing negative can permeate it.

Our final exercise was to get messages for someone in the room. As I focused on the person I was tying to get a message for I got a tingling in my ear, then saw green fields, and the words ‘make your decision from the heart’ popped into my head. Again there was a high level of accuracy during the feedback session.

When I checked with the person that  I’d got the message for if she’d got issues with her ears she nodded vigorously, even touched the same side of her ear as my tingling one. She didn’t know what I meant by ‘make a decision from the heart’ and decided she needed to think about the green fields some more as someone else had also seen that for her.

Interestingly, no one got any messages for me. Only two of us didn’t get messages while some got multiples.

In all honesty things have been moving so quickly it was a relief to have nothing extra to go home with tonight.