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Ben & Kim Sowter

Opening Up To Love

I was not born knowing who my spiritual guides are or even knowing that such helpers existed. I had to learn to put aside my ego and take notice of the world that exists beyond the physical. This is my story.

how-i-met-my-spiritual-guideBefore I began my journey as a professional clairvoyant I pretty much knew nothing about spirit or helpers from the other side. My ability was something I took for granted, a means of tapping into events that had not yet happened or visions of the past. Looking back I was either in denial or quite naive as I went through life believing that everyone used this sixth sense to see into the future. I never saw it as anything other than natural.

All this changed when I finally gained my adult independence. I moved out of home and into a flat which I shared with a girl best described as a ‘free spirit’. She believed in the paranormal so much that her psychic development involved meditation and crystal therapy. Every day she would lie on her bed holding an amethyst crystal on her forehead. This helped her to close her mind off from all physical distractions and allowed cosmic energies to present images and messages to her mind’s eye.

I asked her what information she received from the Universe. It was early stages of development and I was assured by her that something would happen soon.

We had met at college where both of us studied dramatic art. I had wanted to work as a lighting designer for the theater while she wanted to be a performer, concentrating mainly on music and community theater. Our worlds collided when she needed someone to take care of the production side of things for a one woman show that she had written, directed and was performing in. I agreed to do it and that is how we met again; the timing was impeccable because she also needed a flat mate. I moved in!

Weeks had passed when finally I heard her screaming from the bedroom. She had received guidance from a spirit during meditation. I asked what the spirit said but in her excitement she had forgotten that part, but she did remember that it was a good looking male. This did not surprise me, especially for two single girls; all we wanted was a good looking male.

The following day I had returned to our flat that had been converted into an artist’s den. I walked into a gallery full of sketched portraits spread out all over the lounge room floor, and in the middle sat my flat mate completely engrossed in another drawing. My face must have expressed what I was thinking, immediately she looked up at me with a huge smile and simply stated “I am drawing spirit guides” They are spirits who you with certain parts of your life.

With that acknowledgement she began to draw one for me. A lady with black hair and large deep blue eyes, she wears a veil across her mouth. Around the edge of the picture is her name and message which reads. “Anaterrea, Listen to the love force in me and let what transpires transpire.” This is my introduction to my guide Anaterrea, whom I fondly call Ana. My flat mate is flustered and perspiring after she finishes the drawing (it takes a lot of energy to work with spirit and if you are not used to it, it may take some time before your energies adjust to the altered vibrations.)

I stare at the picture. A sense of power emanates from her eyes. I wonder why she wears the veil and how long she has been with me. I stick her up on my bedroom wall not realizing the impact this lady will have on my life and work.

There is now a gallery of faces hanging off the hall wall while my flat mate’s skill is extended to anyone who wishes to have a picture of their guide. Still, I wonder about the elusive Ana and what role if any she is playing in my life. I would love to make the connection with her myself. I look at the picture and ask her to speak to me. I visualize her but I find this difficult. In my mind she never appears to be a clear image, always blurry.

I start to wonder what spirit guides actually are, where do they fit into the cosmic network of helpers. Are they angels? I have decided that the answer is “yes”, they are angels. I have never met an angel in the classic sense with wings and a halo. All my encounters have been with very realistic looking spirits, so naturally I start to think that spirit guides are angels and that angels do not exist in the classic sense. They are merely a representation of some romantic biblical ideal. How my ego has taken over. If I have not experienced it then of course it doesn’t exist.

My flat mate seems to have an endless number of friends all of who all seem to be psychically attuned in some way. One of them who looked as if she just stepped out of a hippy commune suggests that I visit the Spiritualist Church to have a reading with a medium. What is a Spiritual Church? Well, it is really no different to a standard Christian Church, except they believe in proof of survival or life after death and to substantiate this belief mediums are used to receive information from the other side, often communicating with relatives who have passed over and have messages for the living.

The church itself is more of a center. Downstairs is a small library full of books on spiritualism and the occult (the word which means ‘secret knowledge’, not anything demonic as is often thought). There is a desk which is manned by two elderly ladies, volunteers of the church. To the back of the room are two closed cubicles, and this is where the readings take place. I am given a card with a number basically this keeps tabs on how many readings the medium has had for the day. I am to hand it over when I go in.

I hear my name being called. A short dark haired lady possible in her 40’s has emerged from one of the cubicles. It is my turn. The room is small and consists of a table and two chairs. One chair has a pillow and glass of water next to it, the other just a chair and a box of tissues I gather that is for me. The medium explains to me that she does not remember any readings; once you leave the church all information is wiped from her mind. I can understand that. You don’t need other people’s burdens on your mind all day. She asks me if there is anything I wanted to look into. I am happy to see what comes up.

The medium closes her eyes and smiles. She has made a connection with my grandmother. The description of her is perfect even down to her occupation and how she died. I can’t help but smile at this acknowledgment. The medium goes on to see a lady with long dark hair standing beside me and she receives the name Ana. YES! Finally, some connection to my picture. “Ana is a guide who once lived in Egypt or the Mediterranean. She is here to work with me as a clairvoyant.” I ask her how I can connect with her, “Listen!” Well at least that is a start.

Feeling as though a secret had been revealed, I decide to begin researching what spirit guides are and how they fit into the scheme of the universe. I begin by asking the ladies at the front desk. This may seem odd, but often the volunteers of a spiritualist church are retired mediums and teachers of this philosophy. Both look at me happy to be asked such a relevant and important question. “A spirit guide is an entity that has chosen to come back to the physical realm to help people understand their path in life” “A guide was once a physical person who may have lived hundreds or thousands of years ago.”

“My guide is an eastern Indian” stated one of the ladies. This in itself led me to ask why so many people including myself seemed to have exotic guides such as Egyptian or Indian. The answer seems quiet logical; guides are from civilizations which had fundamental understanding and knowledge of the physical and spiritual laws of life. That is why they choose to come back to this realm to help others discover the truth, beyond our physical limitations.

Another belief is that a spirit guide is actually an aspect of you from a past reincarnation. Part of you is actually providing answers. This too seems plausible, to think that it is you who is accessing your own inner knowledge from a higher aspect of yourself rather than a separate entity or person choosing specifically to dedicate their time to your learning.

The answer that I was to find satisfaction to my question would come later when I had learnt to listen. Until that time my idea of a spirit guide was that they were teachers who had chosen to serve humanity from the astral or spirit plane.

My time at the Spiritualist Church had served me well. I had confirmation that my flat mate was not just drawing willy nilly. Not that I thought she was, but part of you always asks what is real and what is just too much.

After my experience at the church and the many months of living with a spiritually gifted Picasso I decided it was time to stop observing my flat mate’s spiritual awakening and to begin developing my own abilities. After all, I had them. I had just let them lie dormant for a long time.

A friend of my flat mate had advised me previously to attend the development class at the Victorian Spiritualist Union. I had been in doubt but felt that now was the time to join. Within a couple of weeks I was attending my first Tuesday night class, held under the guidance of the Reverend and President of the Church.

It was the aim of the development circle to connect with your guide and allow them to speak directly through you, the medium. This does not mean that they enter your body and take over. Rather they impress their energy vibration through your energy field so that communication is a mass of thought waves which the brain interprets, using knowledge and vocabulary which relates to the physical medium’s mind.

I had a problem with this; basically I had watched too many horror films such as The Exorcist, and I did not want any spirit entering my energy. Of course when it came to channeling this slowed my development down; there were times when I felt a heavy presence pressing on my back just as if someone physical was pushing me. My teacher would stand in front of me and try to welcome the spirit, but I would not let the communication flow through. After all, if the pressure of the spirit was this strong imagine when it tries to speak.

I still had to learn how to directly communicate with Ana. I had tried meditation which helped me relax, often too much as I fell asleep. When I didn’t nod off I would ask mentally who was with me. I seemed to see faces, two in particular, an American Indian and an Asian man. The American Indian had a large headdress and a stern strong face, the Asian man was bald with a smooth gentle face. I asked what they wanted from me. It was the Asian man that told me he was here to teach me how to focus, especially in meditation. He had obviously witnessed me falling asleep. The American Indian did not tell me what he was here for so I asked for a name. I was shown a symbol of a very bright full moon. Your name is moon shine? No, the moon changed by seeming to move further away. Waning moon? No, a silver spoon was presented to me. Silver spoon? Silver Moon? Yes, that was it, his name was Silver Moon. He had communicated with me using symbols rather than words. I was so happy I had a name Silver Moon. He smiled, reassuring me that I had worked out the puzzle.

The name Silver Moon was confirmed after meditation in the psychic development class. I had only been in the class for a couple of weeks and so my teacher did not know me that well and it was forbidden to talk about ourselves in or out of the class because the information would affect the readings we gave to each other.

This week we were going to look at spirit guides, and because I was relatively new and did not know who my guides were my teacher thought it would be good to push my ability and ask who was with me in spirit. To my elation the first and only spirit was the American Indian guide- Silver Moon. My teacher explained to me that Silver Moon would work with me as a gatekeeper and communicator with others on the astral or spiritual plane. A gate keeper prevents any lower mischievous entities from coming close to the medium. . You could say he is a body guard from the spirit realm.

Several months into class and I was still afraid of spirits speaking through me. My teacher was patient, but unfortunately Silver Moon was not. During meditation he communicated to me that he was moving on. I asked why he could not just speak to me in meditation. I was told that this was not his purpose for being with me and so after being so exhilarated only months earlier I was now disheartened and questioning the role of spirit guides and their allegiance.

Although I felt rejected and still wondered if I had done something wrong I chose not to let Silver Moon’s departure stop me from developing my meditation skills. After all meditation takes time to master, and I still had difficulty focusing on visualization and relaxation without falling asleep or thinking of mundane daily problems.

I should point out that during the six months of training I had found myself being drawn towards eastern philosophy and medicine. I would listen to my inner feelings or intuition and find myself walking into bookshops that contained sections on Buddhist teachings, or I would open the newspaper to a page which had advertising on how to meditate and relax. I started seeing these things as signs or lessons from my patient guide that perhaps I needed to study methods outside of my weekly class including meditation.

I began with just 15 minutes a day, sitting in a chair and focusing on my breath. It seemed a very natural and easy way to go within. The breath slowed my heartbeat and seemed to alter the oxygen levels to my brain, making me feel relaxed. In my mind’s eye I would see colours like a lava lamp slowly shifting and moving.

Sometimes I would see a light gold colour in my mind. A feeling of warmth radiated over me and I knew I was no alone.

After a little time had passed the image of the Asian guide would appear in my mind. He often smiled but when I began to become distracted his smile dropped and a look of concentration would remind me of my learning. I began to see him in class, each Tuesday reminding me to focus.

During the weeks and months of my development. I was eating a lot of Asian inspired dishes, lighting incense and even taking an interest in Tibetan and Mongolian artifacts. None of this occurred prior to my guide. I believe his energy was moving through my own, nurturing and directing me towards new techniques of meditation and eastern philosophy. This was a great demonstration on how spirit guides can play a part in the day to day world. It is true that if you are drawn to certain things that have never interested you before and these things keep jumping out in obvious ways, it is higher guidance or spirit guides who are trying to push you in the right direction. It does not matter if you do not know who the guide is. Just follow the path because it will always be a beneficial one.

In class I was starting to feel a lot more comfortable with my ability. I still had so much to learn but my clairvoyance had improved to the point where other members in the class felt a little intimidated. I was very conscious of not appearing too good or egotistical but when the message or image comes you just have to give it as it is and my ability to receive messages and information about people was exceptional. One example which will always stand out to me was that I could communicate with the mother of one of the girls in class. Now this lady was not dead but very much alive, but she lived in a nursing home and suffered from severe Alzheimer’s. She did not recognize her family or even realize that she lived in a nursing home. I started receiving messages for the girl in class about her mother telling her that her mum was with her and preparing to move somewhere. It was then that she told me the actual situation; until then I had no knowledge that her mum was ill. I had described her perfectly, even down to her favorite pink cardigan that she was wearing when I saw her. But how can I communicate with someone who is still living? Well, it is energy and she is not tied to her physical body so her spirit is able to leave its physical body, and that is why I could see and communicate with her.

Over several weeks I was able to read the mother until the day when her energy and appearance changed. She no longer felt as though she was at a distance from me but rather there in the room as a physical presence standing behind her daughter. Her energy was very strong which is why she felt like she was a physical being. Her message was that she was moving now and she was happy, light and feeling better than she had for so long. I passed this message on to her daughter who burst into tears, because her mother had died that morning. She had come to class hoping someone would see her.

Silence filled the room I don’t know who was more shocked, me, the class, or the girl. Finally my teacher said that we would offer a progression to her mother. This is something that spiritualists do when someone passes over to help the soul shift from this life to the next. We sat in silence and prayed. The girl was still crying and I was amazed. I wanted to cry too but managed to hold back the tears. Later I chatted to the girl and passed on a couple of messages that her mother had given me. This experience was the first of many more to come, but still without really knowing who was with me in spirit. Apart from my Asian mediation guide I had all but forgotten about Ana. To me Ana was a picture on my wall, one that I took for granted.

The time spent with the development circle gave me confidence with the readings that I was able to provide to the group. At home I was reading for friends and their friends, my flat mate was drawing guides and now charging a fee for this. She started to encourage me to find a shop to work from as a reader. Over time I did find a little bookshop in the heart of the city. It was run by a man who had an interesting background in journalism and theology, his interest in the supernatural, turning his passion into a new found career, opening a bookshop which specialized in the occult. He also ran ghost tours and was often called out to investigate a haunting or paranormal activity, from professional organizations to the average suburban home.

I worked in this shop two days a week, in a room that was very dark. All I had was a little desk lamp, just enough light to see my client. Although this may sound eerie it actually worked in my favor because I found it easier to focus and concentrate in a dark room with no distractions rather than being in a light one with a window to look out of.

Many of my clients seemed to be professional people, mainly because I was working in the city where my busiest times were lunch time and after work. It did not seem to take long before my best advertisement was word of mouth. Women in their late thirties who were ready to settle down and find a husband and have a family seemed to be the majority of my clients, which meant that the questions were mainly about relationships. I did not mind and found that even though I told people that a reading can last between six to twelve months, many of my clients found it necessary to come back after just two. At this stage most of the information had already been given and it takes time to find a husband, often more than two months.

I decided to start asking spirit to step forth and present me with spirit guides for my clients and more information on their soul journey rather than physical worries such as money, love etc. (of course these things are important). It was during a session with a repeat client that I was looking at her spiritual guides when in the corner of the room stood a woman wearing a turquoise dress with a flowing robe to match. I immediately thought this to be my client’s guide and proceeded to tell her that a lady was standing in the room. I asked for the guide’s name she replied “Anaterrea”. My heart started pounding. I don’t know if it was because I had just given my guide to someone else or because I was finally connecting with the mysterious Ana. I told my client that the guide had left and continued with her reading. I know this was wrong but I consider it to be a lesson in my early days of readings.

It was the end of the session. I walked my client out into the shop and turned to go back into my room. As I turned Ana’s face was in mine. This made me jump as I was not used to spirits being so close without me in meditation. I mentally spoke to her and asked how she was able to communicate with me now. She smiled and said “I have always been with you, Kim. You just could not see me.” “How can I see you now?” “You are open.” With this she disappeared.

Days later I tried communicating with Ana but nothing, until the day I was lying on my bed in the middle of the afternoon about to start a meditation when I heard a voice, a soft voice: “open your heart”. My eyes were closed I kept focused by not allowing my mind to step in, I waited, nothing, softly, “Hear my voice and feel my presence, that is how to speak to me” It was her, Ana. Softly, I mentally replied please don’t go, who are you?” “Anaterrea I am here Kim with you. I give you the visions you see. I work with you every day”. She is my clairvoyant guide assisting me with the readings, helping me to help others. What an amazing experience! I had remembered what she had said about listening with the heart.

After years of readings I can tell you that the secret to communicating with spirit is to have an open heart. It may sound corny or simple but it is the door between the physical and the spiritual; having an open third eye or crown chakra is good, but if the heart center is blocked then the information is not coming through. It took a long time for me to fully understand the significance of such a task.

There are many psychics in this world but not many who have the ability to read for themselves, and why? They are not truthful to themselves, ego, negativity and physical worries that impede on their spiritual existence added with lack of faith and trust, prevent them from receiving answers that come from a higher realm. I was once like this, worrying about security and money was my big downfall. It took time to trust myself with my ability, and that’s where the readings came in. I gained confidence at reading for others; their response was my confirmation that I should trust and know that I do have the ability. It is not in my mind.

Meditation helped as it became my escape from the physical to other realms of existence. Memories and past experiences often came up in mediation, some wonderful and some painful memories. But rather than push them to one side I allowed them through. Often I would cry at some of the events from my past, at first thinking poor me, why me? Then I learnt that it was all learning and sometimes, as everyone knows, lessons in life are painful. You cannot change them but you can acknowledge and learn to let go of those who may have caused them or yourself for allowing the experiences to cause negative thinking, preventing you from fulfilling dreams and ambitions.

Anaterrea is still with me today, providing guidance and insight into my life and others. There have been times when I thought she had left but perhaps it was just a holiday! She always reminds me that she will never leave and can never leave.

Her role of clairvoyant guide means that she can only assist with predictions and accessing such knowledge. It does not mean that she can aid with insight into healing or energy clearings in the case of ghosts or lost souls. I have other guides who help with such things. In fact, it is important to be aware that spirit guides are assigned roles and they do not go beyond these roles. If there is a case whereby I need to speak to a relative on the other side by request of the client then I ask for my spiritual guide the gatekeeper to come through and help. He makes sure that no harm will come to me and that it is in fact the relative of the client and not some mischievous spirit trying to play games.

With all of my guides and helpers that have come and gone depending on my learning it was Ana that I was first introduced to as a picture drawn by my hippy flat mate. Her words of “Listen to the Love Force in Me and Let What Transpires, Transpire” are words that I even say to myself in the oddest of moments.