by Ivan Granger
Channeling has received a lot of attention during the last decade. But the phenomenon is hardly new. Neither are the questions channeling raises. Are channelers simply good actors feeding on our culture's yearning for spiritual insight? Or, are they fooling themselves, making it all up in their subconscious without being aware of it?
There can be no doubt that channelers and even channeled beings come with various levels of wisdom and purity, so discrimination must always be applied to the information coming through. But I don't have the slightest doubt that channeling is real, that beings of entirely distinct identity can and do speak through channelers.
My wife, Michele Anderson, has worked for many years with healing energies and the intuition, but she has never identified herself as a channeler. In her intuitive practice, she may seek the aid of spirit guides and angelic beings, but they do not speak through her when she does readings. In fact, Michele admits that the concept of channeling is a little unsettling to her.
For all of these reasons, we were both stunned when she began to spontaneously channel on Easter morning in 1991.
The following is all absolutely true, taken from notes I wrote on the day of the event and on my birthday a couple days later.
Well, this is turning out to be quite a birthday!
On Saturday, the day before Easter, Michele and I drove out to the coast [the Oregon coast; we used to live in Eugene], both to celebrate my birthday and because she's been yearning to be near the ocean again. It was just coincidence that Easter happened to fall on this weekend, too. Originally, we had planned to just spend the day, but we were having such a nice time that we decided to spend the night in Newport.
That night, around 2:00 AM Easter morning, I jumped from the bed, gasping for air. Still half asleep, I got up and went to the bathroom and then came back to the bedroom area and took a few minutes to stretch. A strange energy was running through my spine making it difficult to relax and catch my breath.
Michele was awake when I slipped back into bed. She asked if I was all right. "You know, you just jumped out of bed like someone kicked you," she said.
"I found it difficult to breathe," I said. "I get that sometimes."
I didn't really like the hint there was something unusual about it. "When it's hot like this it's hard to breathe. Do you find it hot?"
"No," she said, looking worried. "Not especially."
I was sitting up in bed at this point, and Michele asked me to lie down so she could do some energy work on my chest. Instead, I decided I needed fresh air moving around me. I stepped outside on the deck of the oceanfront motel.
I stared out at the ocean waves endlessly rolling in from the black night. The ocean seemed so deep, so dark, that I soon found myself shivering, not from cold but from a sense of eerieness. An image formed before my eyes of myself, terrified, in the middle of a deep, black ocean. Then I saw a single large eye coming up from the depths -- a shark, a dragon, I don't know.
I came back into the room and told Michele of the vision. I described my terror at being lost in this "black, black ocean, knowing the bottom is way, WAY below my feet and not knowing what is swimming around down there." When I mentioned the eye, I described the creature as "something that shouldn't exist, that shouldn't be there." I knew it had sharp teeth.
I then started talking about my fascination with sharks in my youth, with shark attacks especially, and with sea monster legends in general. I recalled an image I had seen once in a book of a "kracken", an old drawing of a giant octopus grappling with a ship's masts.
Michele later told me that, at this point, she was really worried for me and she said a silent prayer to be shown how to help me.
This is when she started talking about a male presence.
"I sense that there's a male presence here," she said. I think she indicated an empty place in the room a little to her left from where she was sitting cross-legged on the bed.
To have her say such a thing when my mind was still focused on images of sea monsters, frightened me a bit. On some level, I also had the feeling that Michele and I weren't the only ones in the room.
Michele was feeling nervous too, at this point.
She began to describe a tightness around the crown of her head, a very distinct circle tightening around the top of her head that was "almost painful." She started to feel a powerful energy flooding through her body, and this was frightening her even more. The energy was pouring in through her forehead, she said.
Michele began describing this presence more distinctly. "He's a big man. Very big. Strong."
I could tell Michele was feeling overwhelmed at this point, and we unconsciously switched roles. I found myself trying to calm and reassure her, rather than the other way around. I told her what I felt: "I sense this person is no one to be messed with," (verbatim), "but that he is here to help; maybe help you do something."
"I sense that, too," she said, a little more easy.
As Michele, became more comfortable with the energy, she added, "You know, I don't normally sit like this. It's like my back is locked, being held in a certain way. It's strange, Ivan. This isn't how I sit."
"Is there anything you want me to do for you?" I asked.
Michele started moving her hand in the air in front of her night shirt, clearly stroking a powerful, male chest much larger than her own, as if she were sitting inside a second, invisible body.
She said, "I feel like I have a big chest. It's odd, but my body feels bigger than it is. I have a big, strong chest."
This was getting into a new level of strangeness. I decided to "make sure we have God present," as I think of it. I pulled out a candle Michele had given me earlier that day as a birthday gift and lit it, saying a quiet prayer.
I then created a sacred circle around Michele.
"Michele, I'm creating a sacred space for us," I said. I began to walk around, actually walking on the bed, sweeping the air with my hands as if I was clearing a circle in the dusty earth. "This is a sacred space I'm creating. A sacred circle. I'm sweeping away all negative and disharmonious energy. God is in this space. It is warm and safe and protected here. Its barriers are strong. Only God is in this circle." Words and prayers to this effect.
I then sat back down, inside the sacred space, working to stay grounded and breathe.
Michele thanked me for creating the sacred circle and said she felt reassured. She then described more about the sensation of having a large, male body, repeating a few times the feeling of having a powerful chest.
Michele started to feel an additional energy flooding into her, "a powerful love, like nothing I've ever felt before." She described this feeling of love as being immense, all encompassing, almost difficult for her to contain. We both felt a sense of relief. This gave us the certainty that whatever was happening was of divine origin.
At that point, she awkwardly pointed out that she had to go to the bathroom, and she began, in an extremely slow way, to move to the edge of the bed. She was having so much difficulty moving, that I was afraid she'd fall off the edge of the bed, so I got up and put my arm around her to help her walk to the bathroom. As she walked, she was barely able to support her own weight. She was moving so slowly and awkwardly that I had the image (and I hope I'm not being too irreverent) of a gorilla trying to walk -- strong, but slow and unable to stand fully upright.
It took us literally a few minutes just to navigate the few feet to the bathroom.
We finally made it back to the bed and reentered the sacred circle I had summoned.
And this was just the beginning!
Michele started getting a lot of images and phrases. The more she relayed them to me, the more easily they came. I noticed three things. First, Michele's perspective changed. She stopped using phrases like "I'm hearing the words..." and "I see..." She began speaking as if the words and images were hers, as if she were giving dictation or a speech.
I was also fascinated by Michele's gaze. Once we returned to the bed, she closed her eyes and they remained closed. Yet she would stare directly at me, right into my eyes. It was as if she could see (or this "male presence" could see through her) entirely unhampered by closed eyes. Sometimes the expression of these closed eyes were thoughtful and inward looking, sometimes piercing, riveting me to the spot in which I sat.
The other thing I noticed was her voice. It deepened. The cadence of her words slowed. Her voice developed a powerful certainty. Within a few minutes, I had no doubt that I was talking to someone other than Michele. Michele's lips may have been moving, but I was talking to a man.
I began scribbling notes, writing down all that I could.
"Connections of light. We are like stars in a network of light. People often don't understand how communication really occurs.
"There is a degradation occurring, a commercialization of the self. People are becoming alienated from Spirit. This can only lead to anger and sorrow.
"Emotions are like threads of energy that keep us connected with Spirit . . . when the emotions are allowed to flow. When they are blocked, it is like a crashing wave. They cause sparks. Emotions are either like a placid lake or a crashing wave. Room is needed in order for emotions to flow naturally, to not be blocked and, thus, become explosive.
"Shall we explore the original sources of your anger?"
I hesitated a moment, and said, "Yes."
"You have been killed for your beliefs in the past. Do you know of a historical period when stone was the primary building material?"
I thought of Mesoamerican cultures. "Do you mean like Aztecs?" Could we be talking about human sacrifice here?
"No, not the Aztec peoples. Buildings of stone, of marble. Are you familiar with Roman times?"
It seemed like an odd question, as if I might never have heard of Rome.
"I see you being dragged by ropes. You are caught within the square of a rope net, like a large fishing net. Many people are jostling you, carrying you on their shoulders, treating you violently.
"You were murdered, persecuted. You were killed for your beliefs. I see a cross around you.
"You are teaching about faith, about religion. You are speaking from a dirt mound. It seems most of these teachings are spoken more than written."
I had the surreal feeling that the person speaking to me had little or no historical context. It was as if he hadn't heard of ancient Rome, and didn't know about the persecutions early Christians suffered under Roman rule.
The image of a person (me!) being dragged along in net seems odd. I have never heard of such a thing.
I asked, "Is this net something to do with the Christian teaching of being fishers of men? Was this some sort of insult to this Christian metaphor?"
There was some hesitation, but Michele nodded. It was as if this common Christian metaphor was new and had to be verified in some hidden file before a response could be given.
"People are staring at you, and laughing at you as they wait for you to die. You feel it is not fair, as if you shouldn't have to die for your beliefs."
This statement surprised me more than any other. Isn't it obvious that someone shouldn't have to die for his beliefs? I've considered this statement many time over the intervening years. I could write at length about what I feel was meant, but I leave it to you to understand it yourself.
"There was a loss of faith that occurred in this experience. You were a teacher of faith when you didn't have it strongly within yourself. You were providing for the faith of others when sometimes you were empty of it yourself.
"You must reawaken your faith and hold it within yourself. You must hold it within yourself and always know that it is there when talking to others about it.
"When you are teaching on the dirt mound, you are wearing simple clothing, as if you are poor, but you do not seem poor to me. At other points in this life, there was indulgence around you."
Perhaps, in my youth I had wealth and wallowed in Roman indulgence, and then converted to Christianity and renounced all that? I didn't ask. I was just trying to keep up.
"Indulgence was common at this time. Indolence, satiation of pleasure. There is lots of food, big chunks of meat, odd sexual practices. There is an interesting connection between gluttony and warfare. These people had a lust for life, a gluttony for it without understanding it. They felt a hunger for all of the experiences of life, its pains as well as pleasures. It was really a lust for meaning in life, but they did not understand.
"The lesson in all of this is that you must unblock your anger over this death. You have a lot of anger buried inside of you, crashing like waves. You must release this anger, find healthy ways of expressing it without causing harm. And you must work through this guilt for some of the indulgence in that life. You will need to do this in order to restore your faith so you can speak to people again, because it may be asked of you."
Wow! This being then went on to point out some life patterns I had developed as a result of childhood experiences in my present life.
By the end of it all, I was reeling. Michele emerged as if awakening from a heavy sleep. She was exhausted and thirsty, but we were both so stunned by the entire experience that sleep was out of the question. We talked and jotted down notes until well after dawn.
Since that time, Michele has gone through cycles of intense channeling activity, and other times of little or no channeling when she is focusing on other aspects of her work. Because of the intensity of the experience for her, she has always kept her channeling private, with only me around and occasionally a few trusted friends.
Because this was Michele, my partner, my wife, and not some stranger, and the fact that she was more unsettled by the experience than I was, leaves no room to doubt the validity of this experience. That night the world became a much bigger place, full of mystery and divinity, for both of us.
I have since wondered what the motel manager would have thought if he had any idea what went on in that room early one Easter morning.
Ivan Granger is a database designer and computer consultant in Colorado. He has been Michele Anderson's partner since 1990.
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