I didn’t expect to be a person to whom the ability of deep-trance channeling would come. In fact, when I began to receive spiritual messages, I had never heard of “channeling,” and I had no framework to understand what was happening. However, this ability has become the sweetest part of my life.
It was through taking prayer seriously that I began to become an open channel for spiritual energy and messages. My wife was a United Methodist clergywoman at the time, and she and I were a part of a prayer group. In the midst of praying with six people from our congregation, stunning impressions came to me in the form of words, images, phrases and sensations. At the time, it seemed like I had a powerful gift for prayer.
In October of 1998, our son, 14-month-old Samuel, was having terrible ear infections. On a Saturday afternoon, I rocked him to sleep while he cried with pain in his ear. While he slept in my lap, I decided to pray for healing. This prayer thing seemed to be working for me, so why not? Immediately, my right arm began to move up, not of my own will. Then I felt intense tremors in my stomach muscles.
I put Sam down in his crib, and went to my wife.
“Something is happening,” I said.
Jennifer must have seen panic in my face. She came to me with cautious eyes. “What is it?”
“I don’t know, but I know it’s spiritual.”
We went downstairs, and I was struck to the floor with spasms in my stomach muscles. In a short time, I was in convulsions on the floor. My head was banging against the floor. It seemed like a seizure, but my mind was clear. I knew it was sacred energy pouring into me, and I knew I had to see it through. Most of all, I felt a message in the energy: “Now that you’re open, you need cleansed and prepared.”
For the next few months, the tremors would come and go in my body. Spiritual energy would sweep through me. My hands and arms would rise and move. Most of all, the spiritual energy brought a messenger, who began to teach me how to relax into the spiritual energy and hold it in my body. Eventually, the spiritual messenger was able to take control of my body enough to speak messages through me. The first message was, “The Holy is upon you for a sacred purpose.”
Christianity was not the only influence in my spiritual life, which made me open to other explanations of this intermediary experience. In 1998 while my spiritual awakening was blossoming, I had been teaching Native American Literature for almost a decade. This made me keenly aware of the shamanic tradition of visions, healing and journeys. I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew it was some combination of prophecy and shamanic visioning.
My mother was my spiritual mentor. When I told her about what was happening, she knew what it was right away. She told me that she had been channeling for 15 years, but only shared it with a few friends. Suddenly, the word “channeling” was added to my vocabulary. My mother sent me books about channeling, and I dove into the them.
However, the terminology of the books on channeling didn’t resonate with my spirituality. I prefer spiritual traditions from the ancient ways. So, I began to study prophecy in the Judeo-Christian tradition, shamanic experiences in the indigenous traditions, and the oracle gift in the Greco-Roman tradition. I discovered the gift of what we now call “deep-trance channeling” in all of these traditions.
In the experience of the channel, prophet, shaman and oracle, a spiritual messenger speaks through the host or person. In all of these traditions, the person with the gift goes into a trance state to receive the guidance of a spiritual messenger. These messengers can be called many names: guides, angels, animal spirits or the higher self. The spiritual messenger who speaks through me has never provided a name. The messenger has simply said, “We are of the Holy.” So, I simply call the guide “The Messenger of the Holy.”
Because of the social trappings of the terms “channeling” and “prophecy,” I decided to take up the term and role of the oracle.
The gift is meant to be shared, so I conduct what I call Oracle Sessions at holistic health centers and people’s homes.
You can learn more on my web page, and I invite you to look into my books about my gift and role as an oracle; the two books which deal with this are Messenger of the Holy, and A Fish Made of Water.