Monday, October 22, 2018

The News

A Shamanic Journey

I have a confession to make. As a rule, I don’t enjoy guided meditations. I usually don’t connect with the imagery and would rather just meditate on my own. However, I am always a bit envious of those people who have success with guided meditations; who see themselves in beautiful locations and who heal wounds or have cool experiences. But rules are made to be broken; even mine.

Reginia Rivers - Shaman 2016Last week I had a cool experience. Regina Rivers, of Rivers Healing Arts in Pittsburgh, came to Great Conjunction to talk about the Shamanic Three Non-Ordinary Worlds and to lead us on a journey to the Lower World. I was excited to hear Regina, she’s a wonderful speaker, but I had no expectation for the journey other than to sit in the dark with my eyes closed for a while.

Regina told us what to expect and laid out the framework of the journey – imagine yourself somewhere in nature that you are familiar with, find a hole and go down it, walk down a tunnel and come out into a sunlit field, observe and talk to anyone or anything you meet.

The Hole in the Old StoneWallI knew exactly where I would begin. Behind the house where I grew up was a small well and pond. I spent countless hours there as a kid; it was one of my favorite places. I even knew what the field in the meditation would be, a dry lakebed filled with amber grass with an old wooden dock at one end and beyond that dock was a forest. I dreamed of this land so many times when I was young, I knew it like my own back yard.

Before we started our journey, Regina told us that the journey probably wouldn’t go as we expected, but to try and allow it to unfold in its own way. I felt a moment of trepidation but brushed it aside.

FieldRegina began to drum rhythmically and I imagined myself next to the pond. It was sunset in my vision and felt a bit ominous, so I imagined it bright and sunny. I couldn’t make it stay that way and I remembered her saying, “This isn't going to go the way you expect.” I climbed through the hole in the wall, but the path was level and there was no way to go down. Very quickly I was in the field and the tunnel had disappeared. It had been years since I visited this place in my dreams. The air was clean and warm, the grass smelled fresh and alive. There were a few changes. There were hills in the distance that I didn’t remember and the grass was higher and harder to walk through, but I made my way to the dock and was joined by a cat and a dog.

I asked, “Are you my spirit guides?”Shadowed Forest Path

“No, I’m a cat,” said the cat in a tone that made it clear she thought it was a ridiculous question. “We’re your companions.” The dog laid down and the cat dove into the grass after a mouse, “I hope that mouse wasn’t my spirit animal,” I thought.

“I will be your guide,” said a tall, red haired woman. She stood at the end of the dock, near the start of a forest path. She told me her name and I asked where my usual spirit guides were, the ones I have met over and over and worked with for years. “There’re not in this land, I’m your guide here,” she said.

Honestly, she was freaking me out and I was ready to bail, but suddenly we were by a stream. I knew this place too, I had dreamt of it many times, the field was upstream and waterfalls were downstream. More than once I dreamt about nearly drowning in those rapids and waterfalls, awaking in a panic and tangled in blankets.Tranquile  Stream

This was a calm part of the river though, the surface was as smooth as a mirror and she had me look at my reflection. I saw myself busy and shifting, never still… and then she pushed my face into the water.

Sputtering she hauled me back up by the scruff of the neck and showed me my reflection again. Now it was just me gazing peacefully back.Still Water

I felt her strong hand on the back of my neck and knew I was about to go into the water again when I thought, “Ok, I’m out of here.” I was immediately back in the room, listening to the drum beating with quiet chanting in the background. For a moment though, the vision fought back and I bounced from the riverbank to the lecture room.

As I lay on my mat, quietly contemplating my visions, I listened to the sound of Regina’s steady drumbeat and the quiet background chanting and I had a strange moment of uncertainty, “When did the chanting start?” I couldn’t quite make out the words, but it was multiple voices chanting in a language I couldn’t understand. The sound was clear enough that I was almost sure it was a recording Regina had started after the journey began. It wasn’t. As the drumming ceased the chants faded away.Shaman Regina Rivers drumming

I was a little shy asking about the chanting during our discussion afterward, but I wasn’t the only one who heard it. “Sometimes the drum sings,” Regina replied.

It’s been four days and the memory is still fresh and clear. I wish I could tell you I was changed forever, but I wasn’t. My dreams have been clearer and more vivid. I feel like I have been reminded of parts of my spiritual journey I had forgotten and let fall by the wayside. I am also reminded that our spirit guides change when we need something different, even when what we need is a little scary.

More than anything I am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to experience such a wide range of spiritual teachers. It is easy to get stuck in a rut – “this is my spiritual journey, this is the way I do my work” – and forget how much more there is to experience and learn.

Ethics in the psychic community

A recent episode of the podcast Recode/Decode got me thinking about the highs and lows of the psychic business.  I wanted to share with you my letter to Kara Swisher, the host of Recode/Decode.  You can listen to the episode Here.

 

Dear Kara Swisher,
 
 

I really enjoyed your recent podcast with Dr. Jen Gunter and I wanted to share my experiences as a psychic and medical intuitive.  I know there are lots of frauds, con-artists and outright dangerous people in my profession and I have no interest in defending any of them.  In my experience the best psychics, not always the most popular, are not shy about sending their clients to doctors and other professionals.  I am not a doctor, if you have a serious medical problem I will recommend seeking medical attention.  Just yesterday I convinced one of my clients to see a physical therapist for her pelvic misalignment and told her to stop sitting on the cold laser a different psychic told her to buy.  I may offer complimentary therapies or suggestions, but it is not my job to contradict a medical professional, although I may encourage you to get a second opinion.  I know that I am at my best when people don’t know where to turn for help, when they have been failed by their regular doctors, misled by lawyers, and screwed over by partners (business and personal).  

 
Psychics are an unregulated profession and lots of people are not as savvy, thoughtful and skeptical as they should be, often taking bad advice.  I believe part of my job is to educate clients as well as advise them - educate them on what they should expect from a psychic and how to be a savvy consumer. As a psychic and the founder of a spiritual non-profit, I want people to be skeptical and open minded and understand that even the best psychic will be wrong sometimes, anyone who claims to be 100% all the time is not on the level and should be mocked resoundedly.
 
I think one of the greatest weaknesses in the psychic and wellness industries is that people want easy answers and magic solutions to their problems.  They want someone else to tell them what to do and solve all of their problems.  For years my motto has been, “I am here to help you on your path, not lead you down mine.”  By that I mean, you have to do the work.  If you want your life to be better, you want to be healthier, if you want your relationships to work - you have to do the work.  I tell my clients that there are no easy answers and all the best psychics I know have the same goals.
 
There a lots of so called psychics who will tell you what to do, who will turn your reading into an extended fishing expedition or will just tell you what you want to hear.  Those of us who aspire to more have the duty to educate the public to expect more from psychics and from themselves.
 
Thank you for your time; I’m a big fan.

John Michael Thornton

So, It's been a minute...

ThorntonWeddingA while back my website got swarmed by bots that overloaded my email list and filled it with thousands of fake and stolen email addresses.  Fixing it sounded like an incredible pain in the fanny and I had more exciting things to do. For Example:
Five years ago I met a wonderful man, Joe, and fell in love.  Last year, on May 28th, we got married.
Together we founded a 501c3 nonprofit, Great Conjunction(if you remember the old GCSCLogoLightgreatconjunction.org website, this is what I always hoped that would be, only better).  We started hosting Psychic FairsLecturesWorkshops, a Lily Dale Bus Trip, meditation and spiritual outreach programs, and all sorts of wonderful things that I always dreamed of doing but never had the time or energy to do on my own. 
Through it all I have continued offering psychic readings and helping people on their spiritual path.  So, I've been busy.  All that time I've kept a stack of email sign-ups sitting on the edge of my desk, waiting for me to start writing my newsletter again.  A few weeks ago, a little voice in my head told me it was time.  I hope you join me on this amazing adventure I'm on by reading these letters, joining in, and replying when the spirit moves you.

Light Relaxation - Mini~Meditations

This Month's Mini~Meditation features me, Great Conjunction Co-Founder, John Michael Thornton leading a short series of gentle streaches and meditation.  Relax and Enjoy!  

Subscribe to our Youtube ChannelSubscribe to our Youtube Channel for more videos to help you find peace and spiritual growth from Great Conjunction Spiritual Center!

Find your center and relax with this easy, guided Mini Meditation. Narrated by John Michael Thornton.

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