HOW TO USE YOUR SIXTH SENSE

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.  

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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.

GATHERINGS

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.

PLACES

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.

SHOPPING

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.   

STRANGERS

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.    

THE DIFFERENT WAYS INTUITION WORKS

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)

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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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THE PATH MAKERS

Reality is not what it seems. There is much more to life than just the physical realm. And the human mind is hard-wired with more supernormal powers than most people think are even possible.clairvoyant

These abilities are not new. Throughout history, people have found many different ways to cultivate and use these potentials. In the process, they became the path-makers and way-showers for everyone else. As we remember them now, they can still be a great source of inspiration. So here are 15 examples of those shining stars – not to put them on a pedestal, but to remind us of how much is possible for everyone.

There are no doubt countless more who will remain forever unknown. They were the alchemists, wiccans, cunning men, wise women, occultists, kabbalists, pagans and mystics who took the quieter paths of life – maybe achieving great things on the inner planes.

You might have been one of them – and perhaps still are. I hope that something here will help to confirm or remind you of your own special gifts and powers.

SETNegytsmE KHAMWAS: Egyptian magician-priest (c.1300 – 1245 BCE)
The son of Pharoah Rameses II, he became High Priest of Ptah at Memphis. One of the greatest magicians of ancient Egypt, a thousand years after he’d died people were still talking about his powers.

The most famous tale celebrates his search for an important book of magic written by the god Thoth. A dark sorcerer tried to hide it from the world by taking it with him to the grave. Setne braved the terrors of the underworld, battled the spirit of the evil magician, and brought back the book in triumph.

In the 20th century, he was a key inner plane contact in Dion Fortune’s Fraternity of the Inner Light.

APOLLONIUS OF TYANA: 1st century Greek magician & philosopher.
In his youth, he spent years learning from the sages and priests of India, Egypt and Babylon. A believer in reincarnation, one of the past lives he recalled was as a ship’s pilot in Ancient Egypt.

At the age of twenty, he observed a vow of silence for five years. Always dressed in simple clothes and homemade sandals, he was celibate for life. He became famous for his healings, exorcisms, prophecies, telepathy, shape-shifting and remote viewing.

He accurately foretold the day the Roman Emperor Domitian would die. When plague struck the city of Ephesus, he drove away the evil spirit that caused it.

When jealous priests or ignorant crowds attacked him, he used his powers to disappear before they killed him. One day in court, after legally winning his case, he suddenly vanished and re-appeared in another town many miles away.

Always traveling, he wrote letters full of enlightened advice and spiritual awareness. He became so famous for his wisdom the Emperor Vespasian adopted him as an advisor. After a long life, he mysteriously vanished altogether. The rumour said that he’d ascended bodily to heaven.

alchemistALBERTUS MAGNUS: German monk, alchemist & magician (1206–1280)
He became a Catholic Bishop, but resigned to focus on his esoteric writing and teaching. Ahead of his time, he advocated the peaceful co-existence of religion and science.

Hugely influential, he’s still respected as the greatest German philosopher of the Middle Ages. The church canonised him after his death, and esoteric Christians regard him as the patron saint of occultism.

ROGER BACON: English Franciscan Friar (c.1214–94)
A pioneer of scientific research, especially in optical lenses, he studied mathematics and medicine at Oxford and in Paris. His most famous invention was a brass head, which could answer questions truthfully and speak about the future.

He also had a crystal ball in which he could see what was happening anywhere in the world. Bacon prophesied that one day vehicles would be able to fly, and move without the help of oars, sails or horses.

People called him Doctor Mirabilis – “wonderful teacher”. The church took a dim view of all this, and at various times imprisoned him, forbade him to write, and burnt his books.

MerlinABRAMELIN THE MAGE: Medieval Jewish magician. (c 1360 – 1450)
Author of The Sacred Magic, a significant book of magical and Kabbalistic secrets. The central theme of this work was the importance of using magic in harmony with one’s Holy Guardian Angel. It later became a well-thumbed handbook for the 20th century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

HEINRICH CORNELIUS AGRIPPA: German magician & occultist (1486–1535)
His major work was three books on occult philosophy called De Occulta Philosophia. He was warned not to publish it, so it circulated secretly in manuscript form for 23 years. It’s now viewed as major contribution to esoteric knowledge. Agrippa travelled a lot – many think working as the emissary of a secret occult movement.

GIORDANO BRUNO: Friar, magician & astronomer (1548 – 1600)

woodcut of Bruno

Bruno maintained that the sun was a star, and that the universe was full of worlds inhabited by intelligent beings. He wanted to spread a new world religion based on Hermetic magic, and worked with secret societies to promote that.

After a lifetime of conflict with the church, they eventually caught him and burned him at the stake.

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG: Swedish visionary, mystic & writer (1688–1772)
In middle age, he began to have angelic messages and visions about his life purpose. He wrote over 200 books about the spiritual realms and his mystical experiences.

He once described a fire happening in Stockholm while he was at a party over 100 miles away. He also correctly foretold the deaths of several people – including his own.

SAMUEL FALK: Polish-Jewish Rabbi, Alchemist & Kabbalist (c.1710–82)
Famous for his strange powers, both Christians and Jews went to him for magical help. Among the many tales told about him, people said he could miraculously keep candles burning and float objects from one place to another. When the Great Synagogue caught fire, he saved it from burning down by writing four Hebrew letters on the door.candle-magick

The Archbishop of Cologne condemned him to death as a sorcerer, but he escaped and moved to London. There he became the centre of a kabbalist circle, which later evolved into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In its heyday, this Order was like an esoteric university. By this time, mystics were realizing that their powers came from within. Greater self-awareness was emerging as more important and effective than a lot of arcane, complex rituals. Self-development was becoming the real key to magic power.

HELENA BLAVATSY: Russian mystic & scholar (1831-91)
At the age of 16, she ran away from an arranged marriage and set off on an adventurous life in search of spiritual wisdom. While living in Tibet, she was initiated into the higher mysteries, and began to receive guidance from the inner planes.

Back in New York, she established the Theosophical Society, which now has branches all over the world. She published several books, including the groundbreaking Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine.

Blavatsky’s writings made a big splash in esoteric circles at the time. Her influence later spread even further. She introduced the west to eastern spirituality, such as chakras, reincarnation and karmic law. Many of her teachings are now the foundation truths of the New Age movement.

DANIEL DUNGLASS HOME: Scottish psychic & medium (1833 – 1886)Daniel-Dunglas-Home4

In August 1852, while sitting in a psychic circle, Home floated up to the ceiling. After that, he levitated so often it was almost his trademark.

He could also waft heavy articles of furniture up to the ceiling; and make himself several inches taller. On one occasion, he floated out of one third storey window and back in again at another window – which was on the other side of the room.

He performed his feats in broad daylight, in front of many witnesses. Committees of sceptics tested him dozens of times – but they could never catch him out in anything that looked like fraud.

Edgar Cayce: American trance channeler (1877 – 1945)
By accident one day, Edgar Cayce discovered that when he went into a trance, a higher consciousness began to speak through him. In this state, he found that his guide answered many questions about the deeper mysteries of life.

Edgar CayceHe also correctly diagnosed countless numbers of people’s health problems, and gave them successful healing advice. He would often describe the past life cause of the problem, and the inner work that would heal the client. Because of the enormous success rate of these diagnoses, Cayce was called ‘The Sleeping Prophet’.

Some of his predictions for the world have since come true, with many others still waiting in the wings. He prophesied that one day science and spirituality would work together, when people begin to understand the reality beyond the physical world.

MIRRA ALFASSA: French mystic (1878 – 1973)
From her early childhood, Mirra began to have mystical experiences. She would receive instructions and messages from her spirit guides in dreams. From the age of twelve, she left her body every night to help with the healing of others.

In her early twenties, while visiting the Doge’s Palace in Venice, she recalled a past life there when she had been strangled and thrown into the canal.

She studied yoga and the Bhagavad Gita, and went to India. There she met the yogi Aurobindo Ghose, who she recognised as one of her childhood dream guides. She stayed in India to work with him, devoting her life to her inner guidance and the evolution of humankind.

During the Second World War Aurobindo and Alfassa said that Nazi victory would be a major spiritual defeat for the world. They worked intensively on the inner planes to prevent that from happening.

For more on the inner work that other psychics did during the war, see my article ‘The Occult Side of War’

Paramhansa Yogananda: Indian Yogi (1893 – 1952)
The first great master of yoga to teach in the west, Yogananda taught about the unMeditator photo by Sarah Bootyity of all true religions; how to meditate; and how to achieve health and well-being for body, mind and soul.

In 1920, he founded the Self Realization Fellowship. This organisation now has branches all over the world, dedicated to his teachings.

His best-selling book “The Autobiography of a Yogi” is an inspiring account of his extraordinary life and experiences. I highly recommended it for anyone who’s interested in discovering how a spiritually centred outlook can open up a truly miraculous life path.

ROBERT MONROE: American Out of Body Pioneer (1915 – 1995)
In the 1950s, Robert Monroe began to have spontaneous, unexpected out of body experiences. Afraid and confused at first, he slowly came to terms with what was happening, and later became an expert in out of body travel.

astral travelOver time, he found that there were many souls on the astral plane who felt lost after the death of their bodies. They often didn’t understand that they’d moved on from that life. Monroe was able to help countless numbers of them to find their spiritual home.

His three groundbreaking books about his experiences are ‘Journeys Out of the Body’, ‘Far Journeys’ and ‘Ultimate Journey’.

He did extensive and in-depth research into out of body experiences and the nature of consciousness. That later led to the creation of The Monroe Institute, which is now a thriving centre teaching out of body travel and remote viewing.

There are many other worthy names that I haven’t included here – there just isn’t enough space for them all. Anyway, these may be enough for the purpose of this article – which is to serve as a reminder that supernormal powers are both possible and real. They are part of our human heritage – and they are within us all.

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PSYCHIC ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

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: 

THE SOUL CAT by P.M.

“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.”

BUTTERFLY MAGIC by L.K.
“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!” 

THE CAT AND THE STONE CIRCLE BY S.H.

“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.

THE HUSKY GHOST by S.R.

“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.”

THE VISITOR

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 wonder.cat 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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