It’s time to tell my story of how I started channeling. I feel a little weird talking about this because it makes me sound crazy. I’d like to preface this by saying I have a PhD in molecular biology and I work for an immunology database for a living, so by these societal standards, I am a sane, rational human. But a little over a year ago, I started experiencing the unexplainable phenomenon I’m about to describe here.
It started spontaneously happening to me, without me trying. I had heard about channeling and mediums before and it always sounded pretty hokey to me – the descriptions and videos I had seen, the theatrics involved when they take on weird voices – it all seemed so hokey and unbelievable to me.
But one day I was hiking out in the redwoods, Redwoods National Park in northern Humboldt County, and I sat down in front of a giant, ancient Redwood tree to meditate. As soon as I sat down, I felt a jolt of energy pulse through my body and I heard inside my head, this deep, rumbling, gravelly voice that said, “Be still my child.” And I was like “what just happened?”
I had never had an experience like that before, never heard a voice in my head before. It was rather unsettling. I didn’t stay there very long, after that happened I packed up my stuff and left. But as I was driving home, I just had this sense, I don’t know why, but I just had an unexplainable sense that it was an Archangel who had talked to me through the tree, through that giant, ancient, 1000-year-old Redwood tree. It just seemed like I knew/felt that it was an Archangel who had contacted me.
I think here I need to give little bit of background about my religious upbringing. I was raised Lutheran, going to church every week. But it wasn’t a fundamentalist church or anything, it was a… mild Lutheran denomination. The main experience that church taught me growing up was that religion is all bullshit, all made-up – everyone was just going through these empty motions – that’s what it felt like to me. When I left home and went to college, I never looked back at church.
That is, until about two years ago. Through a long string of events, I found myself starting to interact with an interfaith organization called the Abbey of the Redwoods, which was growing out of a church. I found myself back around church, I was filming the church service (but still feeling very uncomfortable being there) and it was forcing me to reexamine my relationship with Christianity, and to uncover the religious wounds that my early experience inflicted on me. I was really grappling with the church, grappling with religion, I was realizing I was really bothered by all the patriarchal nonsense in Christianity.
So this statement that I heard, “Be still my child” – that was a really interesting thing for me to hear at that time. Especially since I didn’t believe in Archangels at that point, and I still don’t believe in the Christian sense of Archangels. I say this to clarify that I am not a Christian fundamentalist spouting dogma about archangels. I think archangels are just the achetype through which my brain interprets the elemental energies of the four cardinal directions, but that’s a topic for another post.
Back to the story, after the experience in the Redwoods, I started researching archangels, which led me to a book called Angels and Archangels: A Magician’s Guide by Damien Echols. In that book, I first read a description of archangels as representations of the four elements and the four cardinal directions, and that resonated with me, as did the high magick practices involving archangels that are presented there.
After reading about archangels, their archetypes, and the different energies they represent, it started to feel to me that the voice that came to me through that tree was the Archangel Michael. Particularly because in some depictions of Michael, he has a wild sense of humor. (The 90s movie Michael, starring John Travolta is a pretty fair representation of the energy and the humor of the Archangel Michael.) I started to realize that the statement “be still my child” was Archangel Michael contacting me and… messing with me, with his characteristic sense of humor. Knowing me, my appreciation of sarcasm, and knowing the struggles I was going through with my relationship to Christianity at that it, it was a pretty good way for him to contact me. That was the first time my guides spontaneously contacted me.
Shortly after that, maybe a month or two later, I was coming home from one of my first shows exhibiting my photography, at an art fair at the Abbey of the Redwoods. I had sold my first print that day, so I was feeling pretty excited and feeling generous. As I stopped to get a burrito, I saw a homeless guy on the corner, this guy that I saw all the time, he was always there on this one corner heading out of Arcata.
Since I was feeling generous, I decided to get him a burrito too. I bought one and took it over to him. He was super thankful, he introduced himself, his name was Ricky. He wanted to thank me by playing me a song, but first he asked me to sit down (he had a little seat set up for people that he sing songs to). He asked me to sit down, and he told me he wanted to share something with me, and this was the most important thing that he knew. He was very serious about this.
He started reciting a letter that was written by a monk to the other monks at a monastery in this area, hundreds of years ago, back when it was a frontier, first being colonized by the Spanish. This was a letter that Ricky had memorized, written by a monk encouraging his brothers to stay strong in their faith, because there were trials and tribulations coming, to remember that they were on the right path, they were doing what they’re supposed to be doing and they just had to stay firm in their faith.
This message was very much needed for me at that time, I was just starting to teach meditation and yoga and it was a struggle to get through to people, a struggle to find people who resonated with my message. So this message was very powerful and profound for me. It started as Ricky reciting this letter, because it was very formal language at first, but then it… devolved into him just talking and there were just words coming out. I could tell the words were coming through him because it had that same feeling as when the previous message came through the tree. Later, after reflecting on it, I started to feel that this was the Archangel Raphael speaking through Ricky, channeling this long message. And the main gist of the message was to keep doing what you’re doing, don’t lose faith, you’re on the right path. There will be struggles ahead, there will be trials and tribulations – I remember that phrase came up a lot – but just keep strong, keep doing what you’re doing. I really needed that message at that time. By the time he finished, tears were streaming down my face. I told him he was an angel and I hugged him, and then we started crying. It was a very powerful emotional experience for both of us.
So that was the second time that my guides spontaneously made contact with me. At this point, I was starting to wonder if I was experiencing some kind of psychotic break. I should back up and mention that both of those experiences happened under the influence of cannabis, which made it easy to discount them as drug-induced hallucinations.
I didn’t know what to make of these experiences. I told one person about it, and all they said was, “be careful who you tell that too.” I had no idea what was happening, I was just kind of observing these interesting experiences, wondering if I was starting to lose my mind.
Then, fast forward another couple months, I was at the StarVibes music festival, there to give my first workshop, called “Unleash Love”. When I first arrived and was finding a campsite, setting up my tent and whatnot, there was a woman who found a large feather on the ground and she stuck it in my hat. Then later, at the opening ceremony, another woman saw that feather and she said, “You’ve been touched by an Angel.” That struck me, again I felt that pulse of energy through my body, it felt significant.
A little bit later, I was dancing in first set after the opening ceremony, dancing to music, getting lost in the music as I usually do. Then I heard another voice in my head, but this was a softer, feminine voice, like someone whispering in my ear. The voice said, “It’s time to spread your wings,” again with that pulse of energy. A little bit later, I felt a sensation of wings growing out of my back. As I was dancing, I could feel the wings flapping. It was a wild experience. And then, while dancing, I started having these intense energetic experiences of a huge channel of energy funneling through my body into the dance floor, into the other people around. This happened several times during that music festival.
As time went on, it started to feel like that was the Archangel Gabriel talking to me, making contact. Again, that time I was under the influence of cannabis. So that was the third time I had this weird experience of hearing voices, of receiving a message, an unexplainable message.
All those happened within a few months during the summer of 2021, and then I didn’t hear anymore messages for a while. But that experience of feeling a huge jolt of energy moving through me, that continued to happen at ecstatic dance. I would be dancing ecstatically, with wild abandon, and sometimes when the music would peak, I would just lift my arms the sky and feel this jolt of energy moving through me into the earth, into the room, and into the other people around. (Later I learned that sometimes our guides channel pure energy through us, not words.)
During this time, I met Jenn, my current partner. Part of what drew us together was that she was having similar experiences with receiving messages, and also of feeling her wings spread. So that made me feel a little less crazy because at least someone else was having these similar, unexplainable experiences.
Then the next summer (this past summer of 2022), Jenn and I went to another music festival, EarthDance, in Oregon, where we led the opening ceremony as well as a workshop about Love as a Spiritual Path. There, the Archangel Uriel made contact with me, but she didn’t say anything, it wasn’t words. I don’t think she communicates through words, there was more just a feeling that came through. The the message I got from her was part of a larger, even crazier story that I’ll save for another time. 😉
To summarize at this point, over the course of a year, these four archangels all spontaneously made contact with me.
I guess I should back up and presage all this by saying that before the first experience in the redwoods last summer, I was talking to Tammy, my therapist and spiritual advisor. She talked about how our guides are all around, they’re always there, ready to give us assistance, give us help. But I didn’t know what that meant, I had no idea what she was talking about. She said all you have to do is ask. After that I made a wish for my guides to contact me (I have a practice of making new moon wishes). I made that wish on the new moon in June 2021, and then it was a couple weeks later, one week after the Equinox in June, that Michael first made contact with me. I didn’t realize that connection until months later, when I looked back at what I had written in my list of new moon wishes. It was then that I realized I had actually asked for this to happen.
Also during that time, as I was leading meditations, I now realize that I was starting to channel, because as I was leading these guided meditations, often guided healing meditations, words would start coming through me that I didn’t consciously choose. I’d say things that I didn’t know where they came from, but they were the exact right things that people needed to hear. I now realize that I was starting to channel more, without realizing what I was doing. But at this point, it always just happened spontaneously, unconsciously, without trying.
Now fast forward to August, 2022, I was talking to Tammy again, my healer/spiritual advisor, and she recommended a book called Opening to Channel, by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer. Immediately as I started reading this book, I felt the significance of it. They explain channeling in a way that made a lot of sense to me, that really resonated with me. It wasn’t as hokey or fake sounding as other representations of mediumship and channeling I’d heard before. I started understanding what it meant to channel, and wanting to intentionally connect with my guides.
So at an ecstatic dance, on a Wednesday night at The Thing in Arcata, for the first time I consciously made contact with my guides. Again this was under the influence of cannabis, in the liminal space of ecstatic dance. I was dancing with usual wild abandon, and at one point I needed a break, so I sat down in the back, sat quietly meditating, and first tried to consciously make contact, and I did! But it was really garbled, kind of fuzzy because there was music pounding in the background and I was high. It was really fuzzy, but the message that came through was, “Yes we’re here, and you need to do this without cannabis. It’ll be much clearer without cannabis.”
That was the first time I consciously, intentionally made contact with my guides. I was very excited about this. A little bit later, maybe less than a week, on a Sunday morning after Jenn and I finished our morning practice together, I said, “Let’s just try it, let’s do it, let’s try to channel”, and she walked me through the steps listed in Opening to Channel (they list a procedure for opening to your guides and starting to channel). Jenn read those steps and lead me through the process, and pretty easily, it happened, I easily slipped into that channeling state.
As I was trying to channel, spontaneously, without meaning to, I imagined myself sitting there in front of that giant Redwood tree, feeling that energy coming through me, and I felt an energetic sensation of energy moving into my being. I felt/knew that is was Michael again. As part of the process in the book, Jenn asked several questions about the nature of reality, and some of the answers that came through really surprised me, because they did not align with my personal views. I remember the feeling, a feeling I get when I’m channeling, when the words coming through are not mine. It’s this feeling of intense peace, calmness, serenity, oneness, connection to the universe. More peace than I ever felt in all my years of meditating, a more stable, sure connection. That’s why it seemed real to me, because these words came through that did not reflect my opinions, and that feeling, this feeling that I have right now as I channel this, this feeling of peace and connection.
That Sunday morning was the first time I consciously made contact without cannabis, and that made it feel more real as well, like it wasn’t just a drug-fueled hallucination. And now it happens, without trying very hard, almost everyday after I finish my morning practice. Channeling is a physical phenomenon. Someday we will be able to measure this in the physical world, measure the energy coming into our dimension from other dimensions. At some point we will have the technology to measure it, confirm it, and scientifically prove that this is happening. We don’t have the technology now, but we will someday.
So that is my story of how I started channeling. It started spontaneously, I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was all drug-fueled hallucinations at first. But now after learning more, especially after hearing Lee Harris’s story (he has a very similar story of how he started channeling, a voice that came to him out of the blue), I’m starting to think this is real. I’m starting to feel less crazy about it. But I’m still kind of scared to publicly talk about this. That’s why I’m only going to post this on WordPress, I’m not going to post this on social media anywhere, at least not right now. I feel like I’m channeling in the closet, as it were 🤣.
I’m sharing this story in hopes of making it seem more real to other people. If you’re reading this, maybe you’ve had some similar experiences of voices coming to you or just knowing things that you can’t know, or words coming through your mouth that aren’t yours. Those experiences are real, and you can learn to consciously and intentionally tap into that if you’d like. Anyone can Channel! So yeah, that is my story.
*Regarding the Archangels, for some unexplainable reason, those names and those images of the four Archangels resonate with me, even though I’m not Christian, I don’t identify as Christian, and in fact I have much resentment I still hold towards Christianity and the church because of my early experiences. But for some reason this archetype of the Archangels resonates with me and works for me, and that’s how I like to think of them. The idea of archangels angels and archangels predates Christianity, and I’ll talk more about this at a later time.
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