One of our biggest questions is, ‘what is the purpose of my life?’ Just asking that can labyrinthhelp – but the answers may not arrive in a neat little package. If we’re destined to move onto a particular path, it usually unfolds in its own way and at the right time in our lives. However, that way may be unexpected, and sometimes even difficult.

This is because the purpose we choose before incarnating is never solely about helping others or the world in some way. It will also involve healing or overcoming whatever personal issue we’ve chosen to sort out in this life. That is why answers to the question ‘what is my purpose’ sometimes only become clear after emerging from a life-changing experience. 

The famous mystical author Dion Fortune went through a gruelling initiation onto her destined path. Still under her birth name of Violet Firth, she began her working life as a teacher in a small school that was dominated by the headmistress from hell.

This person’s unjust and arrogant ways enraged the young woman. Those who knew the danger warned her to avoid confrontation, and instead to just quietly leave the school. Ignoring this, she marched into the head’s office and spoke her mind about everything that had been going on.

B_DionShe had unwittingly walked straight into a trap. The head teacher hypnotically brainwashed her for hours with monotonously repeated statements about how inadequate and inferior she was. The attack was successful. Violet’s spirit was crushed, and it took her a few years to recover.

In the process, however, she began to study psychology and the occult powers of the mind. Under her new name of Dion Fortune, she spent the rest of her life teaching those subjects, and became the renowned author we know today.  

Dr.Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy and the Steiner schools, began life in a poor Austrian family. One day in his childhood, he was sitting in a station waiting room. A woman came in who looked a bit like his parents. She stood in the middle of the room, made some strange gestures, and said, “try to help me if you can – now and later on”. Then she walked through the ancient stove and disappeared.

Little Rudolf didn’t tell his parents about this because they were Catholic, and he RS bookfeared their reaction. Over the next few days, however, he noticed that his father seemed sad. He later found out that a female relative had committed suicide at exactly the time her spirit contacted him in the waiting room.

That was how Dr.Steiner’s spiritual path began. In his lectures, he often mentioned this incident, saying from that time on a soul life began to develop in him. It was the start of his future role as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the early twentieth century.

In the 1970s, Dr.Helen Wambach did groundbreaking research work that contributed hugely to the understanding of past lives. Her discoveries, statistics and analyses proved reincarnation as near as possible outside a laboratory. Those achievements may never have happened without the following strange experience, which took place before she had any idea of past lives.

Browsing through the library of a Quaker memorial, she felt drawn to one of the books. She had a strong feeling that it was ‘hers’ in some way. As she paged through it, a vivid past life memory came up. She was male, riding a mule in the countryside. The day was hot, and his rough clothes were uncomfortable – but his whole attention was focused on the book propped up on his saddle. It was about a priest describing the other worlds he’d gone to while in a coma.

olde bookeAs she turned the pages of the book in her hand in the present, she had the strange experience of knowing exactly what was on each following page before she’d reached it. She realised she was having a vivid past-life flashback. After that – and for the rest of her life – she immersed herself in past-life studies, publishing books and becoming an important influence in that field.   

In more recent times, the American therapist Denise Linn had a tough initiation to push her onto her path. When she was 17, a motorist knocked her off her scooter, shot her and left her for dead. While in a coma with horrific injuries, she had a near-death experience. Her guides said this was not her time to die as she still had work to do.

Before that experience, she had no interest in any kind of spirituality. In the years that followed, she blossomed into an internationally successful healer, author and past life therapist.  

A friend told me about the watershed experience that set him on his path as a spiritual healer. In 1963, his wife had a minor accident in their car. Worried about the cost of the repairs, he went to the garage to ask for extra time to pay. Here is his account of what then happened.

“Eric, the garage manager, brushed aside my concerns and said, ‘I want to talk to you about spiritual healing.’ I sat down uncomfortably, not knowing how to react. I didn’t know whether he was joking, taking the mickey or playing a cruel game, talking to me about something I’d never heard of and had no interest in. ‘Blah, blah, blah, spiritual blah, blah, love of God blah, blah, spirit doctors blah, blah.’ He was using words and concepts I had never heard before.x healing the world

I was wondering how long this could go on when he said, ‘don’t worry, for the moment, about paying. I know I can trust you. I will be seeing you soon, I know.’

That might have been that – except my wife had a rare blood disease. Complications after the car accident got worse, and she went into a coma. The hospital said they didn’t expect her to last the weekend. In desperation, I went back to the garage to ask about spiritual healing. Eric told me to contact Harry Edwards, as he was the top distance spiritual healer.   

That evening in desperation, I wrote to him about my wife. I posted the letter on the Saturday morning and spent the weekend in an agony of despair.

On Monday morning when I went in to see her, she was still in her coma. But of course, Harry Edwards had only received my letter that morning. I found out later reiki energythat he didn’t start working on her until the Monday evening.

On Tuesday morning, as I approached the ward where my wife was, I saw the specialist in the corridor.

‘I can’t understand it,’ he said to me, ‘she’s sitting up, having soup, laughing and telling jokes.’ He walked away shaking his head.         

From then on, she began a long slow period of recovery. It was clear to me that spiritual healing was the only thing that had saved her. That was the start of my future path as a spiritual healer.”

Fortunately, not everyone has to go through such difficult initiations. Sometimes just reading one book can turn a life around. For many people, the path unfolds magical path booksslowly, like a flower opening one petal at a time. Over the years, there may be several big turning points, and many more minor epiphanies. That’s how it was for me, and still is.

If you’re ever in doubt about which way to go, your enthusiasms are your best guide. When a subject, course or activity feels exciting, it’s like a big signpost saying, “This is it!” That’s what Joseph Campbell meant when he said, “Follow your bliss, and doors will open to you”.

Goethe said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it”. If a path doesn’t seem to be opening up for you, look at your deepest passions and find your purpose there. Life will then meet you half way. That’s when all the wonderful synchronicities and opportunities will really start to happen.    

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by-holly-sierraEveryone has a sixth sense. We were all born with intuition – also known as psi. As we grew up, however, the world told us there was no such thing. We learned to ignore and shut down our gut instincts. The only people supposed to have these powers were fortune tellers or students of the occult.   

That’s been loosening up in recent years, and there is no longer such a huge gulf between psychic people and everyone else. Books and the internet now abound with advice on how to use your extra sensory perception (ESP). Many of them say you should begin with getting into a serious meditation practice. Here’s a little secret: while this is certainly good advice, and it will help you a lot, it’s not strictly necessary.

That’s because intuition is a natural part of you. Even if it’s been dormant for years, you can wake it up without going through arcane initiations or months of navel-gazing. In fact, the practice of using your intuition is like a meditation exercise in itself, with immediate benefits. As Gisele Bunchen said, “The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.”

The best first step to take is simply to accept that intuition is real – it’s part of being human. Then start recalling all the times you spotted it working in your life. You’ll be surprised how that list grows as you remember more and more.

For example, most of us have experienced hearing from someone just as we were thinking about them. These psychic connections happen all the time, but usually in small, easily forgettable ways. However, events that are more striking are not as easy to forget. One of the most dramatic is an experience many mothers have reported of an urgent inner knowing when their child was in danger.

In her book The Gift, Dr. Sally Rhine Feather described how one mother woke up with a start in the middle of the night. She’d just had a vivid dream of the chandelier above her baby’s cot falling and crushing the child. She moved the cot away from the chandelier and went back to bed. Next thing, a loud noise woke her up. It was the chandelier crashing to the floor. Her premonition had saved her baby’s life.

Huge numbers of people say they somehow knew exactly when a loved one passed over. In her book on this subject, Beyond Good-Bye, Annie Cap says that she found thousands of reports of people ‘half way around the world from their loved ones’ who sensed something at the time they passed on.

out_of_the_mist_by_jerryThis takes different forms – sometimes it’s a strong physical feeling; other times, it comes as a clear inner knowing, a vivid image or a message from the departing dear one. This is usually a farewell with reassurances: they are now leaving this world, but all is well and we will meet again.

There are also many reports of people who had hunches about disasters before they occurred. Because of their forebodings, a significant number of people have cancelled trips – and later heard that their plane or train had crashed. 

These outstanding psychic events affect most people perhaps once in a lifetime. So how are you to cultivate your ESP and make it your trusty ally in everyday life? Here are five easy and enjoyable techniques to practice.  


This is one of the most helpful uses of your intuition. Practice noticing your inner reaction when you meet someone for the first time. It may contradict what you think you should feel – but that instant gut response is never wrong.

A friend who runs a bread and breakfast place in Glastonbury said that one day a young woman with sweet and smiling ways arrived. The minute she saw this newcomer, my friend said her heart just sank. At first she dismissed that feeling – but later realised it had been spot-on, as the visitor turned out to have a talent for causing trouble.

While looking for a car, a woman I know had an appointment with a second-hand car salesman. Naturally wary of the breed, she went along clutching a list of all the right questions to ask.

“But the second I saw him, before I had time for a single thought, I got a strong feeling that it would be OK – he was fine,” she said. That feeling proved correct, and she was delighted with everything about the car she bought from him.  

First impressions are not only helpful – focusing on them is also a great way to strengthen your intuition. Like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.


Use your psi power to sense what’s really going on beneath the surface of gatherings – cats-teaanything from cosy tea parties to formal meetings. When you can, take a moment to mentally stand back from the scene. Ignore the chatter for a bit, and focus instead on people’s expressions and body language. Don’t try to mentally analyse anything at this point. Just be open to what the situation feels like.

A man I know who’s been using his intuition for years told me about his experience at a formal consultation of local people protesting about a new development in the area. He said when he tuned in to the underlying vibration, he saw that the men running the meeting just wanted to get people’s names. Although they made a big pretence about it, they were not the least bit interested in what anyone had to say.


With your intuition switched on, visits to historical sites can become even more interesting. You may sense events that took place hundreds of years ago; ghosts that still haunt those places; perhaps even your own past lives that took place there.

When hypnotherapist Arnall Bloxham visited Sudeley Castle for the first time, he immediately recognised it as a home from one of his earlier lives. He found he knew exactly how the place was laid out, and could give his wife and friend a detailed tour without using the guidebook.

One of my regression clients had a vivid experience the first time she went to Avebury. As she walked round the circle, absorbing the atmosphere, she saiaveburymoonhid she could feel the intensity of old worshippers from very long ago.  

She came for a regression to see if she could find out more. It turned out that she’d once belonged to an ancient spiritual group who did regular ceremonies in stone circles. It meant a lot to her at the time – and that feeling came back when she re-discovered Avebury. 

Your antennae about places can be especially helpful when you’re looking for a new home. Before moving anywhere, make sure that the place feels right for you. Don’t ignore the warning signs if the thought of living there doesn’t make you feel happy.


If you’re in no special hurry, shopping trips can be good times for hearing your intuition. This is because your mind is relaxed and only lightly occupied – an ideal time for your inner knowing to surface. Heeding their hunches, people have felt guided towards everything from special offers in supermarkets to books that have changed their lives.

You can also save time and effort by letting your feelings show you which shops to try and which to walk past. It’s wonderfully satisfying to find something just right because your inner senses led you to it.   


A good time to practice your sixth sense is when there are strangers around you, such intuitive-connectionsas on a train or in a queue. Mentally scan the area for someone interesting. Then without looking at them directly, see how much you can sense about them.

While doing this you may start receiving impressions about people’s past lives – but whatever the temptation, don’t tell them what you saw, as it may cause offence. This is a private game for you alone.

One day this may keep you safe if you sense someone in the vicinity who feels somehow wrong. Your intuition is more than a friend – it’s also your protector.    


Intuition is there to help you in every way it can, from the tiniest to the greatest of life events. It can come to you in many different ways – most often as a feeling, or an inner knowing. Sometimes you may also get messages through images, dreams and synchronicities.

The body gives us one of the best ways to see intuition at work. Are your muscles tense or relaxed? Do you feel sluggish or energised? Are you fidgety and restless, as if wanting to move on?

Observe your body language towards others. Are you expressing relaxed openness or closing yourself off in a self-protective art-by-jslattumdway? These are all big clues that will tell you a lot about the underlying reality of any situation you’re in. 

As you develop your ESP, you may find that you have a special bent for one of the many different kinds of psi power. Perhaps you’ll be able to see auras, or discover a talent for telepathy, clairvoyance, psychometry, remote viewing, lucid dreaming, telekinesis, dowsing – the list goes on. The foundation for all these abilities is your basic intuition. And in the end, that’s really all you need.  

In the words of Eileen Caddy, the founder of Findhorn: “Cease trying to work everything out with your mind. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration.”

Once you discover what a trusty ally your intuition is, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it – and everyday life will never be ordinary again.

(This article was first published in Kindred Spirit Magazine)


If you’d like to share your intuitive experiences, you’re welcome to add your comments to this article, or contact me more privately through the Contact Page on my website.

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Now and then a story crops up that shows without any doubt that we have an important psychic connection with the animal kingdom.

When Lawrence Anthony, the famous ‘elephant whisperer’ of Zululand died, the elephants put on an unforgettable show. They made it clear how much they appreciated him; and that they psychically knew when he’d passed on.

For many years he’d been reslawrence-anthony-elephants-1cuing traumatised elephants. He calmed and rehabilitated them by talking to them in a heart-to-heart way. This saved the lives of many elephants that were due to be put down because of the trouble they were causing.

The day he died, two separate herds of elephants made a 12 hour pilgrimage to his home. Once there, they remained for two days. It was clear that they’d come as a tribute and farewell to the man who’d helped them so much.

Many people have experienced a psychic link with animals in ways that may be less dramatic, but are just as significant. Here are some of the fascinating accounts that people have shared with me: 


“Timmy strolled into our lives late one evening when I was standing in the lane outside my home, cooling off after a humdinger of a domestic row. From then on there was nblue basto doubt that he had adopted us. His previous owners had a new baby, and were fine about him moving on if he wished to. I called him Timmy.

In a previous lifetime a ginger cat had changed the course of my life. It helped me to see the huge mistakes I had made and to make what reparation I could before my death.  I knew, without any doubt, that Timmy had been that cat in a previous incarnation.Timmy accepted all the love and attention he could get – but he gave far more in return. He knew whenever there was sadness, and always found ways to comfort us.  Showing love to his humans was more important to him than anything else – even food!

Then some years ago, my husband died. He was much older than me, and his health had been poor for a long time. Timmy and I mourned him greatly. Four months later Timmy suffered a sudden paralysis of his back legs.  There was nothing to be done apart from put him to sleep. Through a friend with mediumship abilities I learned that he’d gone because my late husband had needed him.

I now have another cat, Felix. At first I wondered if this was Timmy reincarnated. I’ve since learned that Timmy is Felix’s guide. So the link is still there, even though I may have to wait until another lifetime to meet up once more with my very special Soul Cat.”

“It is nearly two months since I lost my big Love. She left a huge empty space behind and I think of her every day. Ever since she passed I have been waiting for a sign, to feel her presence to let me know that she is OK.

This morning it happened! I was just drying off after my morning shower when a beautiful butterfly came flying into my bathroom and started circling around me.  Just when I was wondering what this beautiful creature was doing here in the middle of December, it flew toward me and landed on my shoulder.

ButterflyWhen I looked into its tiny little eyes, it looked at me so curiously I suddenly felt her presence. My heart started to jump with joy. I was suddenly filled with love and a great feeling of peace.

I started to stroke the butterfly with my index finger – and it just kept looking at me. Ten magic minutes passed. I then carried her sitting on my index finger to the window. I opened it and let her fly off into the beautiful morning. Blessed Be, everything is perfect!” 


“A friend of mine who is a geomancer helped me build a sacred stone circle in my garden. All the stones came from special places such as a demolished church and someone’s back garden in Avebury.

We dowsed to find where the circle wanted to go, and placed the stones to line up with the solstice and equinox sunrises and sunsets. We then performed a ceremony to ‘awaken’ the new circle. When we dowsed afterwards we discovered that new energy lines had formed.

All this time my cat, a rescue, had been watching from a distance. After it was complete, she spent most of her time either sitting in the circle, or on one of the main direction stones.

Stonehenge sunriseOne day I looked out of my kitchen window towards the circle, and matter of factly said, “Oh, there is a lion in the circle.” The lion was standing proudly on the stone marking the South. I carried on with what I was doing for a while, before the thought came to me that of course it wasn’t a lion, it was the cat! 

As I am writing this I realise that the South is the direction of fire, self-empowerment, inspiration and governs the astrological sign of Leo – the lion!”

In our e-mail discussions about this, S.H. said she felt the vision had been a timely message to her about having more confidence in her spiritual path, and the work she was being guided to do.


“Years ago we had an Alaskan Husky female that we got at the humane society. I became very attached to this beautiful animal, and when she passed it was heart breaking.

After her passing I kept hearing her tick on the sliding door. This was something she did when she wanted to go out or come in. I knew she was gone, but continued to hear that ticking sound.

One day my husband asked me if I heard Nikki (our husky) ticking on the door.  I was pleased to know that he’d also heard it. I had wondered if I’d let my imagination run a little wild about that!

pet ghostI found myself going to the door every time I heard the sound and opened it enough for her to come in. In my heart I know she came back in her own way, and it gave me pleasure and strength. I had to share this story as I have always felt close to animals of all kinds.”


Animals can make psychic connections with us in light-hearted ways as well. A few years ago, I was digging in the back garden for soil to put into a plant pot. A neighbourhood cat strolled up and took a keen interest in this.

When I had enough soil, I began to walk back to my door. The cat stuck close to my heels. I suddenly knew what it wanted. With great finality, I said “You’re not coming inside.”

To my surprise I ‘heard’ its reply: “Yes I am!”

A short battle of wills then took place, with “No you’re not!” / “Yes I am!” flashing back and forth between us.

I was determined. But so was the cat. I opened the door a fraction, slipped in as fast as possible, and slammed it shut. When I turned round, there was the cat sitting in the hallway looking at me expectantly.

I sighed and gave in. “OK” I said. “You can look around. But don’t make a mess!”

At that, it gleefully scampered off to investigate every nook and cranny it could find. While it explored, I must have still been psychically connected to it because I had the pleasure of seeing my home from the cat’s point of view – like a magical place of in woodsWhen it was ready to leave, it went and sat quietly by the door again. We exchanged farewells and I let it out. If it had left me its card I couldn’t have been more surprised.

Our psychic connection to animals has been celebrated in many cultures. It was central to the Ancient Egyptians. All over the world, power animals have always been an important part of shamanic practices. Native American traditions honour their animal totems. We have the remnants of ancient Celtic ways in our tales about witches’ familiars.   

Despite all this, the materialistic western world has turned its back on our deeper kinship with animals. Maybe it’s no coincidence that we also have a steep rise in stress-related problems – both psychological and physical.

Reclaiming our ancient psychic link with the animal kingdom would probably help to heal a wide range of modern problems. It would also enrich our lives in so many ways. From elephants to butterflies, animals bring meaning and healing into our lives. One day our world may honour this again in ways that might seem new – but are as ancient as the animal kingdom itself.    


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