This post is a reflection on how best to practice channeling and how to interpret channeled information.
It has probably already been observed by you that quite a lot of pagan authors claim to have received some of their information through channeling. You might even be one of them yourselves. That claim is often made as (or interpreted as) a kind of hallmark of the quality of the information provided, or also to push aside responsibility for the truth claims being made.
And so I would like to examine the practice of channeling from an insiders’ perspective, as one who had received her fair share of channeled messages, and has sometimes struggled with how best to deal with them, and made a fair number of mistakes along the way. Luckily, mistakes are a very useful source of insight. It is these insights gained the hard way that I would like to share with you now.
[ Full disclosure: I did not write this post independently. Parts of it have been supported by channeling Nimue, one of the ladies of the lake in Arthurian tradition. (My experience of her is that she finds Truth extremely important.) And so I invite you to take the opportunity to judge the validity of the contents of this post by all the criteria mentioned below. ]
First, let us take a step back and consider the practice of channeling by itself, on a philosophical level. Every channeling begins with a request for information. Or possibly, a request to accept information. That means that the channeler finds herself in the position of having to vet their sources, and making sure that the information does not get contaminated during the transmission process. Any channeling that has not been looked at critically to examine these two questions, is essentially worthless. That would be like a publisher accepting an email from an anonymous source and publishing that on the front page of the newspaper without checking the claims made. The odds of making grave mistakes that way are simply to high to risk it.
So let us begin from a perspective of being the channel. You open yourself up and you feel a connection from the other side. What is the first thing to do? Think like that news paper editor. Ask your source to identify themselves, and do not trust them if they say no. You are offering a service by listening, and hence it is simple basic courtesy for your source to identify themselves to you. If they refuse to do so, then either they are not taking you seriously or they are actually dangerous. Do close the door. You are allowed to say no and should not hesitate to do so unless you are certain they are trustworthy. Or would you allow any random stranger ringing the doorbell to enter your house and stay over for dinner?
When you receive a name, make sure you are not being lied to. There are ways to check this. One of the best ones is to engage in purification. This has the effect of cloaking yourself in a field of truth, making sure that no intentional lies can be told in your vicinity. If the source you are working with was lying to you, engaging in your standard purification practice at this point should have the effect of making them go away.
And this is a thing that I cannot stress strongly enough. Purification is not a joke. It is your first line of defense. If you do not know how to do this, then do not even think about channeling. It will only be a matter of time before you will be lied to. This practice is not safe. Respect yourself and those you work with by making sure to take it seriously. Being a vessel for spirit is a task that requires you to be on your highest possible connection to your soul. That place can only be maintained by regularly engaging in purification practices.
The other reason to purify is that it clears the channel. You are very rarely alone, and it is a place where lower spirits can try to jump in and try to embed themselves into the line of communication. The real-world equivalent to this is someone hacking your internet connection. You may think you are connecting to a trustworthy source, and it is very likely that you are, but the information you receive can be tampered with while you are receiving it. Remember that you are not a neutral person. You have thoughts and feelings, fears and misconceptions. It is very easy for your subconscious or some spirit hanging around in the vicinity to make these things influence your reception of the message. The distortion can be so big that little of the original message remains by the time you receive it.
The remedy for this is twofold. Obviously, this is another reason to be serious about purification. Another thing you have to do, especially if you are engaging in this kind of practice on a regular basis, is to do the necessary shadow work. Clean up your soul, make sure that you deal with the hurts from your past, that you know yourself well. That way, at least you are going to be able to detect it when the channeling goes wrong. If it doesn’t seem to contain any information that you did not know already, or only says things that you want to hear, and paints a picture that is a reflection of your deepest fears and anxieties, of your darkest fantasies and traumas, then be very, very wary. It is rare that a true channeling will contain only things that are proclaiming you to be superior to the rest of the world.
If this occurs, stop. Take time to analyze the situation. Be sufficiently honest with yourself to admit that your ego is sabotaging. Especially when you are channeling a message that is not intended for yourself but for another person, you cannot do this work if you are in such a state of mind. Come back to it after you have dealt with your personal issues, or at least feel sufficiently detached from them that you can leave them aside for a few hours. This is a matter of basic respect, both for yourself as well as the ones you are working with, both the source and the intended audience. You can cause great hurt if you are not careful. To serve as a channel is a position of service. That means having the humility to admit your personal limitations and shortcomings. None of us are perfect. There is no shame in that. The harm is not there. The harm is in not being willing to admit it.
The last issue is the trustworthiness of your source. They may have told you who they are, and they may be compelled to not give intentional untruths by your purification work. Does that mean you can trust them? Think of yourself: have you ever given an honest answer to a question that later turned out to be complete bullshit? Probably you have. Because we often tend to overestimate ourself. Because we have been in a somewhat similar situation and now wrongly think we are the expert on it. Or because we think we understand what the other is talking about while we really don’t, or simply because we are the type of person who easily thinks they are an expert on everything when really they are not. This holds for you, and there is no reason to assume that it does not hold for your sources on the other side as well. If you channel your long-dead great grandfather, don’t assume they will be able to help you with a facebook issue. They simply will not understand, and revert back to their own most similar experience, which might be about spending an evening in the pub. Which is not quite the same thing. What you say in the pub cannot be heard by people on the other side of the planet ten years from now, can it?
Similarly, be wary of the things even the most apparently trustworthy sources give you. They may not lie. They may honestly think they are giving you the best possible advice. But they are not you. Even a god can sometimes make errors in judgement when asked about very human problems. When in doubt, consult a second source. And call a plumber when you need plumbing done, not a stonemason. The chance for leaking pipes will go down by a few orders of magnitude.
Think of channeling as a process where you are the co-author of the message. Firstly, as mentioned above, the responsibility lies with you to vet your sources and making sure your channel is as clear as it can possibly be. And even if all of these have been checked and found reliable, remember that we are talking about information that has to be processed through your brain. It is generally very difficult to receive information that is about a concept that you have no prior notions of. If you do not know a language, then receiving a message in that language is almost impossible except for a few very very strong channelers. Similarly, a message about a specialized topic can be distorted because you do not know the appropriate vocabulary. Most messages will be in a language that your brain can actually process, using the information that is already there. Be aware of that.
On the other hand, it also means that a message that is telling the exact opposite from something that you strongly believe in and care about may be distorted by your brain stubbornly refusing to accept that as a correct transmission and so attempting to do error-correcting. Be aware of that.
Even if you are not a channeler yourself, it is good to be aware of all these things. It will help you interpret messages you may receive through other people, and help you recognize what adjustments you might have to make when using the information you received. Even the best channeler can sometimes unintentionally give you false information. If it is important, never ever stick with just a single source, or a single medium. Ask the source to repeat the message through a different medium or ask a different source to give its opinion about the same issue.
Good luck with your communications.