My assistants finish briefing me about my next client as she arrives. Nina is a well-known environmental activist who has been very public about the inspiration she receives from her spirit guide. He is a Native American who has motivated her to become a spokeswoman for the planet and the environment. She has come to see me because she feels, at the age of 65, that it is time to deal with her lifelong fear of water – she is unable to shower or have a bath, let alone go anywhere near the sea.
Nina enters my crystal shop and my assistants make a fuss of her. Their usual ebullience is tempered by respect and even deference, something I have never seen in either of them before. I can see that while Nina carries herself well she also looks tired to the point of exhaustion, something I do not expect to see in someone who is working for spirit from higher guidance.
Spiritual growth often leads to a sense of peace and detachment, insomuch as many of the challenges we perceive in this three-dimensional reality are revealed as fear-based illusions. This does not mean that we do not engage in this reality and support the causes that we believe in. What it does mean is that the dramas attached to such activities no longer affect us. This woman looks quite affected by her work and I feel for her.
Prior to our shamanic journey together, Nina explains that she has tried many ways of overcoming her lifelong phobia but none has succeeded. Describing her spirit guide Bald Eagle, she recalls connecting with him in a workshop over 25 years ago. He has been guiding her ever since. He is passionate about the environment and is a great motivator for her. I expect that we will encounter him on our journey – so it’s useful for me to know a little about him. Already I feel uneasy.
Surrounded by crystals we embark on our journey. Unusually, she guides me and I allow it, intrigued by what might happen. We find ourselves in the bush at dusk, and the smell of fresh wood smoke drifts past us as we walk towards a small campfire next to a teepee. A man is sitting by the fire waiting for us: Bald Eagle is a fine looking man at the peak of his prowess, mature and strong. He is surprised to see me.
Who is this? He telepaths. Is he dreaming? Does he know where he is?
He is not dreaming she responds. He is in a trance with me and we are both fully aware. He says he can help with my fear of water.
I have told you that it is not safe for you to look into this. It is best that you just learn to live with it.
I know, but I’m sick and tired of it and I’m prepared to face any challenge to be free of it.
You should not bring this man here. This is our sacred space.
I thought you would be pleased to meet him – he is a shaman.
He does not dress like one. Where are his badges of office? His totems? His tools? What ceremony has he done to bring you here?
It doesn’t work that way these days – it’s much simpler in the 21st Century.
Ha! He does not seem impressed by this idea, but tolerates my presence. We sit next to him in the soft warming glow of the campfire.
How is our work with our Earth Mother going? It is important that you persist. Tell me what has been happening.
They discuss her work and through his questions I become aware that he is leading her to do what he thinks is best. This is not the role of a spirit guide. Spirit guides are evolved beings that have returned to the Source. They are no longer attached to outcomes on Earth and surrender completely to the perfection of everyone’s choices here.
They are able to do this because after death the fear-based illusion of separation we experience in a body dissolves. We become one with everything and everything is perfect. Bald Eagle, however, seems to be very attached to outcomes.
I find myself in a dilemma. I cannot proceed any further with this healing if this man is not her spirit guide. I need to ask a few questions. I wait for a suitable pause in the conversation.
Do you mind if I ask a few questions?
I sense he knows what’s coming and is not happy, but does not want to lose face in front of his friend.
Tell me how you died.
His face creases with a pained expression. A battle, a painful, unnecessary, untimely death. I was in my power. I was not ready to leave. I had just dedicated my life to honouring the Earth Mother.
And where did you go after you left your body?
I stayed here of course! My work is not finished. There is so much to do. I can see that your people do not love the Earth Mother – they treat her with great disrespect. It will bring calamity. You must respect her as I do. She is losing her patience.
So, you did not return to your ancestors?
No I did not, I’m not ready yet. They can wait.
Tell me, do you love this woman unconditionally?
I am her guide and teacher.
Do you love her unconditionally?
Together we honour the Earth Mother and bring peace.
Do you love her unconditionally?
What business is it of yours who I love?
He stands and faces me, a weapon in his hand.
If you do not love her unconditionally it is not appropriate that you act as her guide.
Just a minute. Nina intercedes. What’s going on here? This is my spirit guide. He has been helping me for many years.
I’m afraid he is not your guide. He an Earthbound spirit who attached himself to you 25 years ago, because you were looking for someone like him. You do have a great deal in common, but he has his own agenda.
I can see that Bald Eagle is getting agitated but he also looks quite sheepish.
Is this true? Are you my true spirit guide?
It is appropriate that you two part company. His presence is interfering with access to your true guides. I cannot help you release your fear of water as long as he is here.
She becomes both angry and sad. I can see tears welling in her eyes.
Is all this true?
Together we are helping to restore balance. Our work honours the Earth Mother; we are helping her. You asked for a guide. I came.
But your love for me is not unconditional.
No, I never said it was.
I intercede. You know you cannot stay here without her permission. It is time for you to leave.
They talk and embrace. I call three times on his ancestors. They arrive immediately and are overjoyed he has chosen to leave with them. They thank me and depart.
Nina’s face is a picture of confusion and despair. What the f**k have I been doing with my life?
Good work. But perhaps your focus will change a little after this session.
Damn right it will.
I give Nina time to compose herself and then lead her in the affirmation that will reveal why she is terrified of water.
Body I command you show me the moment this fear started. Take me there and show me now.
We are walking next to a young girl dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing, her arms are covered and she is wearing a long full dress. She looks hot even though it is quite a cool spring morning. We are in the thick of the hustle and bustle of a busy dockside and she is with her parents about to embark a huge ship. Everyone is excited.
We are both totally immersed in the alien atmosphere of another time and place. Cigar smoke, perfume, petrol fumes, sweat, horse manure and the all-pervading smell of soot, emanating from the massive coal-fired furnaces under the four red and black funnels of the great ship beside us. I hear Southern English accents amongst the watching crowd.
I try not to lead her. Can you see the name of the ship?
She can’t but I can, and the pit of my stomach churns as I gaze up at the rear of the ship. From where we are I see part of the port of manufacture Liverp… And above that the first four letters of the great ship’s name.
I realise that to be totally free of her phobia she will have to experience, then surrender, to the perfection of her own death. Death by drowning, in the arms of her parents, trapped in their cabin below decks, on the sinking Titanic.
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