What Goes Around . . . (Part One)

It didn’t take long after my first visionary experience (see my preceding article – The Call: My Introduction to the Spirit World), for the dust to settle in my psyche. I put the experience to rest and got back to the grounding nature of my routine. But deep down inside, a part of me knew that life would never be the same again. I had experienced something that defied logic, yet felt completely real.

Less than a year later, during a search to rent workshop space, I ended up at a small healing center in Denver. After deciding to rent their space I asked them what kind of services they provided. I was told that the owner of the center was a shaman and that they offered both training in shamanism and healing sessions using crystals. I was intrigued and decided to schedule a healing session with one of the shaman’s apprentices (it was cheaper!). This was my introduction to shamanism and alternative healing.

I don’t think I knew what to expect. In fact, I don’t think I had any expectations at all, just curiosity. The session began with me lying on a massage table while the healer, who I’ll call Deb, burned sage and rattled over my body. Deb placed healing crystals on specific points of my body – one for each chakra. While she did this I smelled burning hair. I told Deb this and she said she smelled it too and checked to make sure she didn’t accidentally drop any sage embers on me. After a thorough search she said she couldn’t find anything burning, which was strange because for me the smell was growing stronger.

The crystal that sat on my third eye started to burn and my throat closed up a little. I stretched my neck some to try to clear the airway being careful not to knock the crystals off my body. But the panic started to creep in. I was doing everything in my power to try to appear cool even though I wanted to tell Deb that I was probably choking to death and would most likely die in a few moments. Irrational? Hell no. Well, maybe a little bit. Instead I did everything I could to calm myself. While focusing on slowing my breath I started having a vision. I saw fire and thick smoke and I communicated this to Deb. She asked me to stay with the vision and to tell her what I was seeing.

I turned my attention completely inward and started telling Deb the story that was unfolding in my mind’s eye. It was like watching a movie. I saw a young black girl, probably between 8 and 10 years old, playing with a house cat. Where the woman on death row in my first vision felt like a complete stranger, this girl was very familiar. I knew right away that she was me. This girl was one of my identities. I was seeing a past life. I didn’t even give my rational mind a chance to wrestle with this information – I just went with it.

In this particular lifetime I was a member of a family of slaves in the south. I lived in one of those classic white plantation homes with the columns in front. The ‘masters’ of the plantation were seemingly kind to my family. I wasn’t expected to work much, but was able to play and enjoy my childhood. I was even allowed to hang out in the main house while my parents worked.

In the vision it was nighttime and I was playing with the cat. I chased it from the kitchen into a parlor-like room. This room was filled with fancy upholstered furniture, a fireplace and two tall windows draped in heavy expensive fabric. The cat ran through the room and jumped up on a table that was against the front wall and next to one of the windows. As he ran across the table the cat knocked over a lighted glass kerosene lamp. The kerosene splashed and ran down to the floor and the flame quickly followed. I stood paralyzed as I watched the flames fly up the drapes. It all happened very fast. I couldn’t move. I had the thought that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. That it wasn’t my time to die yet. I felt my throat close as the smoke grew thicker. My physical body responded as if it were going through the experience. Deb noticed that I was struggling to breathe and she calmly reminded me that what I was experiencing was only a memory. She had me focus on my breathing which helped me separate my awareness from the vision so that I could observe the memory rather than participate in it. I watched my former identity collapse on the floor. My awareness merged with hers again and I knew she was dying. Her panic was replaced by serenity as her/our spirit lifted up and with a pop we were floating in the bright darkness of the spirit world.

I opened my eyes and said, “What the hell was that?” Deb laughed and suggested that maybe the tragic way that that particular life ended was affecting my current life and needed to be healed. Hmmmm. Could be. I thought about the recurring dream I’d had since childhood where I woke up convinced I was choking. I still had this dream several times a week.

And then I thought about my relationship with cats. My first and only cat Charlie used to attack me for no apparent reason. I remember one time as a little kid sitting in the grass staring at the clouds, probably drooling, when out of nowhere Charlie jumped on me and clawed at my face. Charlie did this enough times to make me afraid of him. I always figured that I wasn’t a cat person, but maybe there was more to it . . .

Next month I’ll share my second healing experience with Deb and my introduction to the concept of karma.

Twylla Lannes