I’ve begun to teach intuitive reading skills to a small group of healers and teachers. There is a specific set of tools involved, but the worldview is equally, if not more, important.
I absorbed these tools and this worldview from Phyllis Pay, my intuitive reading mentor, over a period of 16 years.
The worldview asks a great deal of readers and readees, in the service of liberating and healing ourselves and our lineages.
I will attempt to distill this view into words, although my learning process with Phyllis was mostly–blessedly–experiential.
I may get some of it wrong, as it is filtered through my own biases and priorities. Any mistakes herein are mine, and not my mentor’s.
During an intuitive reading, readers (and readees) are encouraged to cultivate a dynamic balance of radical self-compassion and self-responsibility.
Radical self-compassion invites us to hold our past hurts and harms with frank lovingkindness.
Frankness means not turning away from or minimizing the pain and damage of trauma.
Lovingkindness is extended to the young, vulnerable aspects that are still alive within us.
Radical self-responsibility invites us to “try on” the notion that we internalize and reproduce personal, family, ancestral or societal templates of disempowerment in our bodies and minds.
It asks us to recognize when these victimhood patterns show up in our energy fields and mental-emotional habits, causing us to subtly identify with being a victim.
Here is an example drawn from my own experience to illustrate:
Let’s say that I, a woman in a patriarchal world, reach out to an individual or a group for an intuitive reading.
Sexism and misogyny exist.
I may want an intuitive reading about a dynamic or situation in my life where interpersonal or institutional sexism is obstructing me.
The readers’ job is to read my energy field to gather and convey information that will be useful and empowering as I navigate the situation and my life in general.
May be evoked by my readers acknowledging the dynamics and impacts of my personal experiences of sexist social traumas, harm I have suffered, my sexism survival strategies, along with a basic affirmation of the reality of sexist oppression, currently and historically.
May be evoked when my readers invite me to notice any tendency within my energetic/emotional body to cling to my victimization and make an identity out of it, or to preemptively give up my power to others.
Such tendencies are developed in the context of personal experiences in this life or in past lives, or the experiences of my blood ancestors or spiritual or community ancestors.
Readers may challenge me to reclaim my power and take back my space as a woman and a person. I will be nudged to try on new behaviors, take risks, etc.
The appropriate emphasis of self-compassion vs self-responsibility depends on what I as the readee need most at this particular time.
What combination of compassion, challenge and cheerleading will meet me where I am, to support my growth?
While a reading may well be reassuring and comforting, comfort is not the point.
The purpose of a reading is to support the readee’s agency and co-creative relationship with Life.
My confidence in the wisdom of the intuitive reading process is grounded in over two decades of practicing and witnessing reading.
The reading space is set up with care: rigorous energy boundaries are established between the readers and readee, and an intention is set that the reading be in harmony with the readee.
Once we enter reading space, I trust the intuitive field itself to identify–light-speeds ahead of the thinking mind–the correct emphasis of self-compassion vs self-responsibility for each readee.
Thus the reading space will display the relevant material (current life, past life, ancestors, etc.) in the readee’s energy field so that the readers can share it with them.
In my own example, the content of the reading may end up not even being about the personal me!
It may be about my female ancestors who were burned as witches in Europe.
Perhaps my current oppressive situation has materialized to draw my attention to them.
The purpose of the reading may be for me to help my lineage heal and evolve by honoring them and taking charge of my current female life in new ways.
A good intuitive reading straddles both the Absolute and the Relative:
There are Relative and Absolute realities.
There is the truth of Relative reality. We live in this material world with its human social structures–and trauma.In this reality, systems of oppression exist; they certainly harm and limit us.
But social justice perspectives that overlook personal and energetic responsibility can also limit us.
When discussions about unjust situations remain conceptual, they undermine our access to creativity and Spirit, which is vast and non-conceptual.
There is the truth of Absolute reality.
We are beings beyond space and time, not bound to any particular form.
We exist on the cusp of formlessness. We do not know when we will end.
We do not know what form we will take next time around.
A helpful intuitive reading nourishes both our Relative and Absolute selves.
The invitation to intuitive readers and readees is to become comfortable within this paradox.
To be receptive to the different forms that liberation and empowerment take on Relative and Absolute levels of existence.
Readings often take us to places that neither the reader nor the readee anticipated.
Intuitive wisdom is not interested in conforming to my–or my readee’s–cherished beliefs and assumptions, which are narrow.
Intuition is expansive, boundless. Irreverent.
Try this notion on:
We chose to be here on planet earth with its constrained bodies and flawed social systems in order to learn things that we–on some level–chose to learn.
Notice how it feels in your body to try on this perspective. Does it open up any possibilities?
This earth-life is an uncomfortable and pleasurable school and playground.
It is supposed to be.
Vajrayana Buddhists describe a human life as the perfect combination of joy and pain.
It takes friction plus inspiration to wake up to our true nature.
That means we are here to learn and find agency within and because of trauma and disaster, illness and oppression, as well as within and because of synchronicity, wondrous events, and through giving and receiving kindness, care and generosity.
Intuition asks us to gaze underneath surface appearances:
Tragedy may contain great blessings.
Good fortune may foster complacency and stagnation.
A potent intuitive reading, just like an effective and ethical spiritual teacher or mentor will ask you to be uncomfortable, stretch your perspective and even turn in a different direction, for the sake of your empowerment and liberation.
I received a reading recently that offered me a startling view of the recent death of my bird companion, Zee.
Zee herself showed up during the reading, encouraging me to accept the space left by her departure as a gift.
She asked me to hold the kinetic energies of her majestic departure and the Niagara Falls of my grief, together with my new unwanted solitude, as opportunities to mourn, not just her, but every loss I have known. Zee’s bird’s eye view revealed that my cascade of heartache and dissolution was a force strong enough to sweep aside the remnants of my female lineage programming that have kept me small.
She and Phyllis encouraged me to enter the cocoon of this sacred solo time and space and allow myself to heal.
Once I emerged from this cocoon, I would be able to embody the very freedom and aliveness that I admired in Zee.
I was gobsmacked.
I saw that I had been facing in one direction, looking behind at my/our familiar past with its beauty and horror.
My attention was wholly given over to anguish, regret and self-judgment, endlessly re-hashing my missteps during the wildfires and Zee’s illness, looping through the same painful scenarios that I could not change.
Such is grief. It was appropriate for a time.
But in the reading, Zee asked me to turn and look ahead.
There she was, flying into the unknown.
She always did love an adventure, as long as I was protecting her.
We visited many places together via ferries, planes and trains, Zee snug in the beloved travel-pack strapped on my chest, where our eyes could meet.
It was my honor to carry her.
She is beyond all harm now; she doesn’t need to be protected or carried. Are we switching roles?
Is it Zee’s turn to watch over me and carry me into my new life?
Before this intuitive reading I didn’t know I was allowed to stop looking back—Looking ahead would have felt like a betrayal of Zee’s memory and our love.
I did not know I was allowed to stop hurting so much all the time.
Zee and the reading nudged me toward my future, granted me permission to embrace ease and joy.
As I absorbed this surprising message, Phyllis told me Zee was bobbing her head with great happiness.
The reading was not what I expected.
It was what I needed.
I was able to surrender to my cocoon of solitude and healing.
I am taking a long break from the news and social media, and resting deeply.
In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis noted that the early, intense throes of grief obscure the departed loved one.
Only when grief has quieted some does the beloved become perceptible as an ungraspable, vivid presence.
Since that intuitive reading my tears are softer, less desperate.
I often sense Zee with me as a joyful force, swooping in and out, checking up on me, traveling alongside me.