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                                          By Jast

            Channeling has become a popular phenomena in the last several years.
          We  see it  featured  in News-Magazines  and on  talk  shows. We  read
          articles  about it,  and  bookshelves everywhere  now hold  volumes of
          books  written by channeled entities, with more appearing every month.
          Some  channeled sources have gained a great deal of notoriety, drawing
          large crowds for seminars and workshops, often at a steep price.
           How can we better understand this sudden outpouring of information?
          Webster defines "channel" as: " a means of access, a route". In the
          context of New Age work, channeling provides an access-way through
          which communication can be achieved between planes of existence.
          Channeling is a route through which those who are NOT focused in
          physical  reality can  give information  to those  who ARE  focused in
          physical reality.
            Though  it may seem to  be a fairly  recent phenomena, channeling in
          various forms has existed as long  as humankind. The most common  form
          of channeling,  in fact, is one  we all have experienced:  That sudden
          helpful insight that occasionally comes to us  from "out of the blue".
          This  form of channeling has created many  works of art and has helped
          us find solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. Unlike other forms
          of  channeling, this inspiration is always available to us and whether
          we receive it rarely or often may simply depend on our receptivity and
            Dreams are  another avenue  through which channeled  information can
          reach  us. In  the dream  state we are  open and  spiritually attuned,
          creating an  un-obstructed gateway through  which Universal  knowledge
          can  flow.  While the  dream channel  and  inspiration are  both valid
          routes  of  channeling,  dreams,  for  many  people,  are more  easily
          ignored. We  tend to respond  to and use those  insights which inspire
           The most spectacular form of channeling is, of course, "Trance
          Channeling". In this technique, the channel gives up the use of his or
          her  body by entering  a trance state, allowing  the "source" to speak
          directly to a third party.
            Although most trance channels work with only one source, sources can
          be a number of things or beings. Many believe that channeled "sources"
          reflect the channel's subconscious mind or a "collective unconscious".
            Channeled  material   may  also  flow  from   one's  "Higher  Self".
          Information communicated to us through this Source definitely "counts"
          as  channeled material,  for our  "Higher Selves"  are not  focused in
          physical reality.  Others may channel material from the Cosmic Mind or
          from the God -Goddess-All-That-Is.
           Most channeled material, however, comes to us from spirit guides or
          Masters  and,  ultimately, it  is  the  material  which  is  important
          regardless of who or what we believe our source to be.


           Another way of communicating with ones "source" is through "Automatic
          Writing". In this form of channeling, the channel first meditates then
          sits with a pen and paper or a typewriter and allows the source to
          write.  Meditation  should be  practiced  each  time before  automatic
          writing since meditation puts  us at peace and makes us more receptive
          to true spiritual sources.
            The  technique  for  automatic   writing  is  fairly  simple:  After
          meditating, sit in a comfortable position holding a pad of paper and a
          pen, resting the point of the pen on the paper. Keep the body  relaxed
          and ask if there is a "source" present. Stay relaxed and just wait for
          writing to begin.
            At first the writing  may be unreadable, just fine  little scribbles
          that mean nothing.  After some practice,  however, the scribbles  will
          become readable words and  phrases which allow the source  to identify
          themselves  and discuss whatever subject  we wish. Success  may not be
          achieved in  the  first few  sessions.  It  may take  time  and  daily
          practice to  develop a  strong  connection but  it is  well worth  the
            No matter  what technique we use  to channel our information,  it is
          very important that we not follow blindly. Until we are satisfied with
          their believability, each  of our  sources should be  regarded with  a
          certain amount of healthy skepticism. We should examine  all channeled
          material with a detached and questioning mind.
            Although  the  material  may  vary in  content,  there  are  certain
          qualities  which  will  always  be  present  in information  which  is
          "channeled"  by  a true  spiritual  source. Such  information  will be
          positive in outlook  and will  always direct us  toward the  spiritual
          path. Since our sources will always try to help us as much as they can
          by giving us sound and usable advice, sources who attempt to dazzle us
          with  incomprehensible garbage  should be  regarded with  suspicion. A
          true source will not  lie nor will they  gossip.  Our guides  will not
          tell  us to do things, and they  cannot predict the future because the
          future is always changing.
           When we attempt to channel our spirit guides, it is important to keep
          these points  in mind. Non physical entities have "personalities" just
          as  physical  ones  do.  Someone whose  attitudes  were  negative,  or
          depressed,  in  LIFE, might  carry  remnants of  these  qualities into
          spirit  life. Edgar  Cayce  was  once  quoted  as  saying:  "The  only
          difference between a  LIVE Episcopalian  and a DEAD  Episcopalian   is
          that one is DEAD and one is ALIVE."
            In reality, there is no such thing as communication with the "dead".
          We tend to see life in physical terms  but LIFE is a SPIRITUAL reality
          which, for us, is presently housed in a physical form.
            Though  misguided  entities  can  not  harm  you  physically,  their
          influence could  produce negative side  effects which could  make your
          experience  of channeling less  fulfilling or pleasant,  just as being
          around ANY negative personality might tend  to do. For this reason  it
          is  important to establish a secure system of protection and awareness
          when attempting  to channel. Observing and  following these giudelines
          can  protect us  from  the  inevitable  confusion which  results  from
          contact with these misguided "sources".


           A certain amount of preparation is also necessary if we hope to be a
          clear  and responsible channel. With this  as our goal, it is probably
          not  advisable that we  attempt any form  of channeling until  we have
          attained some degree of proficiency at meditation.
            Meditation makes  us more  centered and  loving. It  also acts  as a
          shield against contact with negative  spirit personalities. Meditation
          should be  practiced daily,  for besides facilitating  our ability  to
          channel clearly,  it is the most  important thing we can  do to expand
          our spiritual lives.
            Your spirit guides can become life-long friends and advisors as they
          have a wonderful  outside view of our lives and  life in general. They
          have  access to information that  we could not  otherwise obtain. They
          help to  deepen our understanding of ourselves and help us through our
          times of  crisis. Contacting these  spirit friends  is not  difficult.
          There is no loss ofcontrol  of our bodies and  nothing to fear for  we
          can quit any time we choose.
            Spirit  friends, just like our friends in the physical world, should
          always  be  treated  with respect.  They  should  not  be expected  to
          entertain our friends or answer a  lot of trivial questions. (If it is
          important to us,  then it is not  trivial.) Probably the most  serious
          mistake we can make, however, is to become too dependent on our guides
          as this  is the one  thing that will cause  us to lose  them. Like any
          true friend, our guides do not want us to count on them too heavily.
            The  process  of  channeling our  spirit  guides  is  truly a  great
          adventure. It may take weeks or months to develop but it is an amazing
          process and will bring invaluable results to those who persevere. Good
          luck and happy channeling.


Next: Elemental Correspondences (from Starhawk)