When the psychic told me she would not allow me to record our session for legal reasons, I should’ve twigged that something wasn’t right. Put it up to over-credulity, perhaps – I’d like to think I’m a little wiser now, thirteen years later (I hope to God that I am, at least a little) – or perhaps to the willing suspension of disbelief that a certain kind of story requires, and sometimes, deserves. And I’d been in her chair before, once, one year previous, when I and my friends had found her while on our vacation; my first time in Sedona, Arizona, and her little house at the end of town with the glass globes arranged all about the garden outside and the big sign, says PSYCHIC, and something about it – maybe it was the glass globes – just appealed to me: the seeker in me, the sucker in me. It was on that first visit that she’d told me she could teach me to channel, but that the time wasn’t right, I should come back in a year. Okay, I thought. I don’t remember much else of the particulars of that first visit, other than the chair she’d put me into was an assemblage of copper tubes, having a pyramid on top, and she placed coins and amulets over my arms and wrists, told me that for health reasons I should drink my own urine, or, as an alternative (which I took her up on) allow myself to be shuttled over to her colleague’s office for the most expensive emergency massage I’ve ever had. (One of my two friends I’d come with, who also had a session with this woman, got exactly the same advice re: the necessary consumption of bodily waste. I don’t know how she resolved the issue. My other friend politely declined any services whatever.)*
So when I returned a year later, it was for the express purposes of learning how to channel. The psychic did not remember me. She did not tell me to drink my own urine. She put me into the chair with the pyramid on top and once again balanced coins and amulets onto my forearms so that I couldn’t move without them falling off me, and as before, I remember little of the actual session, other than it involved how I would be able to use sound as a healing technology (which still seems to me like a good idea), and in the end I was given some practical instruction in how to channel. It was a very different sort of reading from the one previous, in that there were no histrionics, no attempt to scare or upsell me, perhaps because the massage practitioner had by then moved on.
I won’t describe the specifics of the instruction, other than it involved a manner of meditation, and it was something that I was eager to start out on. The psychic told me that I should go to one of the several famed power spots in the area, most of which I was already familiar with, and spend some time trying the exercises. I decided to go into nearby Boynton Canyon, as that would involve a decent hike in, and offer some seclusion as well.
As an aside, it was year or two later, having dinner with a friend of my now ex-wife’s, a German woman, a no-bullshit character employed in a medical supervisory post, when she told us the story of how she had hiked this same canyon several years earlier, alone, just shortly after the construction of the high-end (and reputedly cursed) resort positioned just at its mouth. She’d come upon the splayed remains, some distance up a ridge, of a coyote that had, to all appearances, been ritually sacrificed, and she felt thereafter, for the remainder of her stay in the region, as if eyes were following her everywhere she went. In a nearby mountain town some forty miles away, the people she passed as she strolled along the street all seemed to watch her knowingly, aware that she’d found their secret. This was a woman not given to flights of imagination or paranoia, not normally. But then these were not normal circumstances, at least for her.
Now, for me, later, in the springtime of 1999, sitting on a rock at the terminus of the canyon trail revealed nothing in particular except a feeling, though it was not one I could easily describe. Later, with more work with the exercise, this feeling would resolve into something more specific and pronounced. I would feel myself being flooded by a peculiar intensity to the back of the inside of my head, the sensation of a presence of something very big, to which I attached the name IMHOTEP (like that, in caps), not knowing at first who this represented historically, or what, mythologically. That I would research and learn more about in time. But at first, I only had the name and the strange intensity of feeling – though in this initial attempt, I didn’t even have that much: only a vague sensation, a hopeful tingle, and also, I found, a vast and lasting anxiety that would carry me through the whole of the next week.
*Disclaimer: I am sometimes an idiot. If I have a functioning bullshit filter at all today, it’s because I have willingly subjected myself to egregious amounts of bullshit in the past. I will probably also do so in the future. In my defense, I think it’s maybe part and parcel of being open to the weird that one also accepts, at least for a time, the stupid. Also, holding a figure such as the above-described professional psychic up for scrutinous ridicule, or ridiculous scrutiny, is about as challenging as dynamiting barrels of carp. The point here is less that this woman would appear to be patently fraudulent, at least 85% so, but that I returned to see her again. I drove 1300 miles plus, not only for that reason, but also for that reason, perhaps on the basis of that remaining 15%. Also: this does not represent a baby + bathwater = everything tossed scenario as regards the veracity of psychic- and/or mediumship as a whole, in my opinion, as I have written in the past, in admiring terms, of professional p/m Anya Briggs, who is, I believe, among others of my direct experience, a truly gifted channel and someone whose integrity proves worthy of my trust. It is a complex issue in which the quality of information received and the character of the receiver can be very different and sometimes unrelated things; i.e. the information may be worthwhile and/or it may be garbage, depending on its invisible source; and/or, the person receiving may be a clown or a sincere human, or perhaps an entirely sincere clown, pretending to be human, receiving information that is real or spurious or combinations of both, etc. Etc.