My Creative Writing teacher (about 20 years ago) had just assigned to us: ‘Imagine an entity who would symbolize to you great wisdom.’ Then we were to write a dialogue with that entity in our journals. My ‘entity’ turned out to be a Porpoise by the name of Rosa! I enjoyed our journal dialogues so much… .I could ask her anything, and she’d always end up give me good (if sometimes quite hilarious) advice!
One day, I was dialoguing with her when she said to me, ‘Wait, I must assume another form in order to answer that question.’ What was going on? She changed form into a beautiful and wise female ‘presence’ who has been with me since I was a very young child. The name of this ‘presence’ I called ‘Saji.’
It turned out that Rosa was simply one aspect, or form, of Saji. I had always wondered why a porpoise would be named after a Rose… .then I remembered that the Rose was one of Saji’s ‘symbols.’ Saji, I finally comprehended, is one of my Life Guides (I have two of them, one female — Saji — and one male). Saji has always been there for me, through all my good times and bad times, to comfort me when I was young, and to guide me as I grow older. Her presence is total love, and I love her with all my heart. To me, she is the voice of the Goddess in my soul.
As I continued my journal dialogues, I found that Saji was there for me whenever I needed her. Sometimes, my male guide, Zohar, would come through—a completely different energy than Saji, but still full of love. I knew they were my Spiritual Guides because they seemed to embody my ‘ideal’ Self, and they never steered me toward any kind of negativity, always toward love and positivity. And they never demanded that I ‘obey’ them. They simply communicated their perspective to me… and it was and IS a much wider perspective than I am usually able to see! And it was then up to me to decide whether to follow their advice or not. When I DID follow their advice, I always found a positive experience.
My Creative Writing teacher was interested in hypnosis as a creative writing tool, and he asked for volunteers to participate in his experiment. I readily agreed to be a volunteer. For 32 hypnosis sessions, we explored the world of my Guides, and met other Spirits also.
These Spirits included: Many of my own past selves, writers and other historical figures who had lived in the past and who we admired, extra-terrestrials, nature-spirits and elementals, dragons, unicorns, etc. Once Spirit called itself (it was beyond gender) my ‘Oversoul, ‘ and mostly showed itself as a bright light! I met Saji’s teacher and was told that his name was Carrefour. I was curious about this and found that in the Vodu religion, Carrefour means ‘crossroads’ and is the Moon God.
I was a little concerned about Carrefour, as I had read that he sometimes has a negative aspect. Eventually, I came to realize that what is important is how *I* relate to him, because I feel that every Spirit I meet reflects something within my own soul. The Carrefour that I know is a Trickster spirit, and yet he is so full of love and compassion that he practically overflows with these qualities!
My subsequent research into Vodu has brought me a lot of interaction with that pantheon. I am learning a very positive path, but always there is much struggle against the prejudices associated with this ancient way. That is part of the challenge I have chosen in this particular incarnation. To me, these ‘Lwa’s’ (as they are called in their own language — also called Loa’s) are ancestors who have progressed to the point of merging with world-Archetypes as interpreted through their own tribal mythology.
My own Past Lives often come to me and inspire me with creative ideas and projects. Some of them teach me (or, more accurately, remind me) what I have forgotten! They also help me recognize certain spiritual qualities in other people, which can come in handy when I am doing a reading or a healing. And they always bring with them Spiritual contacts that harmonize with the culture, mythology, and worldview of those past lives. Working with past life selves is simple — as long as you remember that the PRESENT is where power resides. The purpose and work of the PRESENT LIFE is the most vital and most important.
Certain of my Guides and Past Lives also serve as ‘Gatekeeper’ when I am searching psychically for information and communication from other spirits. They keep it positive, healthy, and filter out any negative vibes.
One book that I found helpful in ‘discerning’ Spirits (and Lwa’s) is Initiation: A Woman’s Spiritual Adventure in the Heart of the Andes by Elizabeth B. Jenkins. In this book, Ms. Jenkins describes her spiritual quest in the Andes, and how she progressed from a worldview that was dominant/submissive to one that was more egalitarian. As a family therapist herself, she had a unique view of Spirit-Human relationships and she had a ‘feel’ for when they became dysfunctional. She explains her own spiritual lessons and how she went from a child-level to an adult-level in functioning on the spiritual plane.
In Ms. Jenkins’ perspective (as well as mine) one becomes a member of a FAMILY of both human and spiritual beings. A family works together for the good of all, and Spirits assist only if invited and welcomed. As the Spirits participate and prove themselves as allies, they become part of the family, too. (You may substitute ‘coven’ for ‘family’ here, also.)
James Redfield, in his book The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision, describes ‘Soul Groups’ that contain all the past selves of each individual human. These ‘Soul Groups’ contain all the knowledge that the individual has gleaned from life so far! As we move into the Aquarian Age, we find that groups are becoming more and more important in our spiritual evolution. Working with groups is challenging, but promises a great leap forward in our consciousness. As we work ‘for the good of all, according to free will’ (Thanks, Marion Weinstein!), we learn the meaning of spiritual cooperation, without the loss of individuality.
I enjoy groups that form themselves ‘organically, ‘ and just come together in a natural way. As such, families can be defined as a group of entities who are have come together related to each other in intimate ways. Families have something intrinsic in common. And the families we create are connected by love.
Families do not always get along, nor are they always in the same mood. However, they ARE always close to each other, whether they are in group-formation or not. They experience kinship; that is, they recognize each other as ‘my kind.’
In spiritual pantheons like Vodu, or in shamanic paths, one can be called by, adopted by, mentored by, and even married to, a Spirit or a Lwa. This is a more intimate connection and requires a greater level of commitment than just working together. One becomes, essentially, a priest or priestess of that Spirit or Lwa’s specialty. This doesn’t cancel out one’s HUMAN parent, mentor or mate. However, it does require a certain amount of time that must be dedicated to the relationship between the person and the Spirit or Lwa. During this special dedicated time, the person and the Spirit/Lwa learn from each other and cooperate in channeling specialized energy through that archetype.
I have considered being a Priestess of a certain Spirit/Lwa, but have decided that I like to keep things more flexible. I like being able to have a variety of Spirits/Lwa’s to relate to! This is similar to the way I like to relate to my human family and friends. I like a large variety, to bring out the different aspects of myself. (My Venus and Jupiter are in Aquarius, for those astrologically inclined!) I have had many varied incarnations, and I think that I am a very international person!
Other people may have kept to one culture during a lot of their incarnations and, therefore, relate with a smaller number of Spirits/Lwa’s, in a closer and more intimate way. There is nothing wrong with that inclination, either. There are many ways to relate, and many ways to group. There are many kinds of families, but the ones we CHOOSE to create need to be those that encourage us, bring out our talents, support us emotionally, and merge with our own individual style!