The Wrong Kind of Power

Davia had been to a firewalking ceremony, and was now hearing things and seeing shadowy figures in the corners of her eye. The experience had opened up something within her, something that had become frightening and hard to manage. “Can you take it away from me?” she pleaded. “I don’t want to have this power anymore.”

I know many people who have gone on weekend spiritual retreats that included meditation and a firewalk, and they’d found the experience fun and empowering. Though I wasn’t familiar with the group that sponsored Davia’s retreat, I’d seen their ads on the Internet, and had met several shamans whose names were associated with the event.

“Davia, tell me what you’re experiencing,” I said.

“It’s like I’ve become oversensitive,” she explained. “I feel like the spirit world is squeezing me. It’s difficult to go to the mall now, or anyplace that’s crowded. I start hearing people’s thoughts.”

I recommended Psychic Protection by William Bloom, an intriguing book that’s helped several of my students when they felt overwhelmed after opening their third eye for the first time. Davia dismissed my suggestion.

“That’s not what I’m looking for,” she said. “I need someone to take this thing away. It’s like a curse.”

My lips pursed when I heard that word: “curse.” I don’t believe in curses. People have the power to create their own reality, and those who believe they’re cursed do so because it’s easier to blame someone else – or something outside themselves – for their troubles.

“Perhaps what’s happened,” I began, “is that the meditation and firewalk has stimulated your psychic center, which is something new for you. You might want to think about opening your intuitive abilities more slowly and gently. Why don’t you go to and see if there’s a meditation group near you to join? I’m sure you’ll feel more secure around like-minded people who’d like to help you.”

“No,” she said, “that’s not for me.” She sounded a bit angry. “Isn’t there something you can do right now?”

I sighed and sat back in my chair. I thought of Jane Roberts’ series of books where she channelled Seth, an ascended master. In one book, she related stories of people calling with requests to interpret their dreams or solve their problems. One man who began meditating said he was contacted by an entity who ordered him to kneel and bow in his presence. Another fellow said Plato materialized on his bedroom ceiling and he felt compelled to become Plato’s slave.

Anyone was works with spirit knows that the spirit world doesn’t make harsh or ridiculous demands on us. If anything, spirit encourages us to keep love in our hearts and, in the words of Ellen DeGeneres, “Be kind to one another.” Spirit doesn’t want power over us – it wants us to discover the power within ourselves. Nothing is stronger than self-empowerment – which is why I don’t believe in curses.

So, sadly, I knew what Davia wanted – she wanted me to solve her problem. She wanted me to snap my fingers, mumble some words and poof all her troubles away. Sorry, Davia, I thought, but I don’t do magic spells.

“If you want to explore what might be happening to you, I still believe your best path is to join a meditation group,” I said. “If you want to stop negative thoughts, then stop giving energy to them, and stop letting them rule your life.”

“That’s not what I want,” she said.

“Then I wish you peace,” I said, “and I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

She hung up. I spoke a healing prayer that I hoped might help Davia, and then hoped that she wouldn’t look for a solution to her dilemma outside of herself, like contacting a psychic scammer who’d promise to remove her “curse” for a few thousand dollars.