Occasionally I take on an apprentice, often to the amusement of my two mature assistants who have seen it all. Today I have invited Jo, a gifted and enthusiastic young rebel, to travel with me.
She looks the part: clad in black leather, with studs through her lip, tongue and eyebrows, her hair is cropped short like the hairs on a gooseberry. She walks with a pronounced limp; her smile although beguiling, reveals crooked teeth.
I arrive at my practice and Jo is already there, looking a little out of place amongst the elf and fairy paraphernalia. My Earth Mother assistant Brianna is in the shop today with her nurturing vibe, which is good, as Jo will have nothing to rub up against. Brianna smiles as I enter the shop, nodding towards my young apprentice.
“I found this waif in the doorway when I opened up this morning. Do you know what it is doing here?” She refers to Jo’s androgynous appearance and there is a soft irony to her question. I sense she has noticed the self-inflicted scars on the young woman’s arms.
“Ah yes, I forgot to mention her – my new apprentice. She has potential.”
Brianna’s eyebrow arches as she studies Jo who is shuffling through the goddess guidance cards with an air of barely concealed contempt.
“I am sure she will make your clients feel at ease”, she smiles.
“It’s good to get them used to expecting the unexpected”, I respond, immediately having second thoughts about Jo’s appearance. I send her upstairs to wait in my session room.
“Don’t tell me: not only is she angry and disabled, she is a transgender anarchist and Aboriginal rights activist who is into wild conspiracy theories and believes Elvis never left the room.” Brianna rolls her eyes.
“Three out of five, not bad for a psychic.” I grin as my client enters the shop.
I interview my client upstairs, after explaining my apprentice will be travelling with us.
Mary is the editor of a high circulation woman’s magazine. She is looking for reasons why she is experiencing so much irrational fear, which is affecting her work. I ask about any recent trauma. Her answers reveal a great deal.
Lying in my crystal mandala, I invoke, and immediately we are transported into another time-space.
It is cold, snowflakes are falling softly on my nose and cheeks and the air is full of the padded silence that comes with a recent heavy snowfall. We are on the edge of a pine forest, tree branches are bent under the weight of their frosted coating and the ground is covered in deep, soft snow.
My apprentice is next to me staring wide-eyed at the tranquil beauty of our surroundings. Until today all of her shamanic experiences have been about herself – often less than pleasant. Now she is experiencing someone else’s journey and she is loving it.
It is beautiful – our surroundings sparkle and glisten and the cold numbs our ears. We could be standing in an idyllic scene from a children’s film. Everything is pristine and appears to be just perfect – but it is not.
Our attention is drawn elsewhere by faint groans coming from a mound of snow further down the slope. We approach and there lies Mary, one leg still attached to a ski folded back under her at a sickening angle.
We have arrived at the moment of a recent accident she described to me earlier. She is regaining consciousness, becoming aware of the intense pain in her leg followed by the realisation that she is totally alone, with no one around to help her.
Her enthusiasm to be the first to ski on virgin snow has led her into a life-threatening situation. She begins to feel deep fear, verging on terror, and her instinct for survival overrides all rational thought. She starts screaming.
She calls for help repeatedly, until she is hoarse. Jo starts towards her, to offer comfort.
I step forward and grab her arm. Don’t! I telepath. You must not get involved. Let this play out.
Mary lies there for some time, drifting in and out of consciousness. The sky turns grey-blue, a sure sign that more snow is imminent. She looks up at the darkening sky and understands that her situation is about to get worse.
“Will somebody please come and help me! Please help me. Help me! Take away this pain”, she sobs.
Thin black shadows approach her from all points of the compass. She has just called them in, unwittingly entering into an open-ended contract with any being who is prepared to take her pain away. There are many who will fulfill this role in exchange for a place to be.
The energies converge on her body and enter it through her broken leg. Her pain eases.
Look at the energies, look into them and tell me what you see. I telepath Jo who is drinking in the first-hand observation of theories taught in class.
Wow, lots of stray souls. Confused dead people, looking for a place to hide.
Well done, they are just along for the ride. But what is perpetuating her present fear?
She pauses scanning the situation, surprised at her own observation. It is not here yet.
Good! It is arriving now. Stand back.
We feel an ancient energy approaching from beneath us, one that has been on this planet long before humans. These beings live in a dimension close to ours and see us as interlopers. They do not like our presence on their planet and given any opportunity they will attach to humans and perpetuate fear.
It emerges from the ground and stands next to Mary. I am familiar with its form; Jo is not. She does well to contain her fear. Part humanoid, part reptile, it stands on its hind legs, over two metres tall, and mocks Mary who is again unconscious.
I accept your contract. It telepaths stepping into her body. Her pain ceases immediately.
As dusk approaches a ski instructor passes by and notices her body. He calls for help and she is rescued. As they lift her body onto a snowmobile I call Mary out of her body.
She is groggy. Oh dear. I think I understand what happened.
The lost souls will be grateful for our help and are easy to handle. Let’s deal with the reptoid first. Command it to step forward. Tell it you would like to speak to it.
It confronts her. Its form is terrifying to both her and Jo; I have seen this kind many times.
Thank it for coming when you called for help and tell it that its contract is now complete.
The response is predictable – a torrent of abuse peppered with a selection of foul language. It laughs. I sense Jo is rising to the bait and becoming angry – not the smartest of things to do as this energy will feed the reptoid. I need to intercede. I step between it and Mary.
You know you cannot stay here without my client’s permission, I telepath. All I have to do is help Mary believe that. The moment she does it will have no leverage and no choice but to release its hold on her and stop feeding off her fear.
It takes a while for Mary to step into her power, but when she does it leaves, we assist the other lost souls and return to this time and place.
We debrief the client who is shaken, amazed and very grateful. After she has left I spend a few minutes debriefing Jo. Her comments are unexpected.
“Did you realise that you make yourself look younger, leaner, more muscular and better looking than you do in real life?”
“Is that possible?”, I joke.
I do not mention that in the journey she was no longer disabled and had perfect teeth. She was also not wearing studs or short hair. In fact she looked a lot like the goddess on the card she was holding earlier.
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