Growing up, I always felt different and strange and this caused me a deep excruciating pain. Life at home was hard for multiple reasons and I left home at the age of 17 hoping to never look back. But the internal pain continued which I numbed with drugs and alcohol. They medicated me so I could get through life until they stopped working and I was just creating chaos for myself. I had my first distinct awakenings in my third year of studying Gestalt Psychotherapy. Incidentally around the time we began looking briefly into mental disorders albeit not from a diagnostic framework but a relational one.

I had always wanted a career in helping people but felt I needed to heal myself first. Once I learned that the study of this therapy involved applying the theory to your own life and a great deal of group and personal therapy, I signed up before you could say … I knew I was troubled within, from all my adverse childhood experiences, and although I was often plagued with deep bouts of depression, with five years of sobriety under my belt I excitedly embarked on the journey of personal development. I discovered concepts such as the present moment, field theory, and the paradoxical theory of change, creative adjustments and the authentic self. Through the group and personal therapy I released the harboured fears, resentments and, more importantly, the deeply held shame I had. I learnt about interpersonal relationships and how to be honest. I felt my spirit awakening from all this deep work and I began to have a rush of synchronistic signs and a distinct speeding up of thoughts, and encountered my first-ever clear vision.

Because of growing up with my mother, who often saw and heard things that apparently weren’t there; I sincerely thought I was crazy. I also had a fear at the back of my mind that I never really expressed to anyone, which was that for the life of me I never wanted to turn out like her. A group of cherub angels had come to visit. I was fast asleep when suddenly I sat up in my bed and found myself strangely wide awake. Three flew over my head as if they were on their way somewhere, and then a fourth one joined them, turning to telepath to me the words, ”Hurry up, we have work to do”, and then they were gone.

In hindsight, the next decision I made would alter my path in life forever. Feeling manic and somewhat disturbed, I made a last minute decision to ditch my therapy session that was part of my course requirements and drove to Denise’s’ house who was the wife of a work colleague. I didn’t know her very well but just felt she would understand. When I arrived at her house, Denise said, ‘I’ve been expecting you for such a long time; I’ve been wondering when this day would come.’ It felt like she knew something I didn’t as she welcomed me in, commenting that my aura was all over the place. We sat in her back courtyard. There, sitting on the table beside the lounge was a glass of water, a pen and pad of paper along with a book about angels. I wondered how she knew I was even coming that day.

I told her about the vision and began rambling about all these other signs and synchronicities but she hushed me, picked up the pen and pad of paper and began writing things down furiously. When she had finished she described my state and what had been happening in my life with such accuracy it astounded me. She said I was experiencing a shift and I needed to be grounded. She described the ways I had not been eating regularly and not sleeping well – two signs that happened to my mother before her numerous breakdowns. I explained I had been couch surfing after being unexpectedly evicted from my rental. She insisted I move in, have a few days off work to rest and to eat. I hesitated, but she led me to her spare room and, lo and behold, up on the wall above the bed was a painting of the four cherub angels which were the exact depiction of what I had seen in my vision. I got goose bumps all over my body and although I felt I was in the twilight zone, I decided to stay.

She became like an esoteric teacher for me and would leave things for me at the end of my bed. Books on mediumship, tarot, dreams, wicca – you name it – and she taught me how to remember my dreams. She suggested I journal them and my experiences, and in one experience I turned to a page I had written half asleep to write a new entry and there in sprawled handwriting was something I had written the night before: ‘had a dream that Denise was my past-life mum’. When I excitedly told her she just smiled her angelic smile and laughed, neither denying nor confirming it. I felt like a kid in a candy store with unlimited candy. I read most of the books from front to back in one night. It was like the stuff I had been thirsting for all my life. After reading Alison DuBois’s book on mediumship one night an interesting thing happened the next day.

I had been asked to come round to visit a friend who knew of my new interests. She asked me to bring my cards. I started off doing a reading for her friend. During the card reading, I could sense somebody standing right next to her. I did not see the spirit, I simply felt it with such an intensity that I knew somebody was there. I had never done mediumship, but because I had read the mediumship book the night before I felt that I should trust what I was feeling and tell her. So I simply said, ‘This may sound crazy, but I feel like there’s a sixteen-year-old boy standing right next to you’. She broke down in tears and told me that it was the anniversary of the death of her best friend, who had died when he was sixteen. As she was crying, I could feel him getting frustrated, watching her, and he was trying to communicate to me. His messages came through to me as mental telepathy. He told me he didn’t want to see her upset like this and this is not the way he wanted her to remember him. He held up a cheese stick and I was confused, but I knew it was important to pass this message on to her somehow. I told her again, ‘This may sound crazy, but he’s holding up a cheese stick. I have no idea why, but he says that you will know’.

She took a moment to take in this information and looked very confused, and inside I panicked, thinking that they were just going to think I was nuts. Then, after a minute or so, she switched from crying to uncontrollable laughter, to the point that she fell out of her chair. She explained that when they were at school, they used to eat lunch together and their parents used to pack them a cheese stick and that they didn’t like eating the cheese sticks. So, for a bit of fun, one of them would distract another student and the other one would get the cheese stick and unwrap it and put it on their chair. Then they would wait for the other student to sit down and laugh when they got up because they had cheese all over their bum. As she laughed, I could see the boy giving me a thumbs-up and telling me that this is how he wanted her to remember him; through the vibration of joy, not sadness. She was still laughing when my friend sitting beside me said, ‘Marie, I didn’t know you did mediumship?’ And I laughed and said, ‘Neither did I!’

Then her mother came out and asked me to do a reading for her. I asked her daughter and my friend to leave the space because I felt it was needed but didn’t know why. During her reading I was able to see a scene play in my mind’s eye of a car accident that her daughter had, which had a major impact on her relationship with her husband and on her relationship with her daughter. I could see her daughter being wheeled into emergency and being under the influence of drugs, then lying to her parents about who was the driver. I could see how the lie had created a family trauma because her mum and dad were fighting about what to do about her. The mother was protective of her but the father wanted more strict guidelines set down. Their arguing about parenting styles continued on, which led them to separate.

I wasn’t sure why I was being shown such truth, and the images I saw were as if I was a fly on the wall, watching from above everything that occurred. I discovered years later that what I was doing was called remote viewing. I didn’t know what to do with this truth and I felt it best to finish the reading and go back to her daughter to tell her what I saw. Although she was amazed and slightly embarrassed, I explained it was very important to tell her mother the truth of what happened.

I watched as, through tears, she told her mother the truth, and they hugged and I felt that the ripple effect of this was healing in multi-dimensional ways. Then the grandmother in the family wheeled herself out to the backyard from her room and asked for me to work with her also. Her daughter and granddaughter were astounded and said, ‘But Grandma, you don’t believe in this; you think its hocus-pocus crap’, and she said, ‘I know, but there is something about this girl’. Without even thinking about it, I told her that we would not be doing a tarot reading for her, but that I needed a photo of her late husband. I didn’t even know if her husband was alive or not but I trusted completely in the intuition that was coming through me.

She immediately went to her room and came back with a photo. Prior to this I had never, ever done a photo reading. I looked at the photo and my stomach began to hurt. I told her that he had died of stomach cancer. She confirmed this by nodding. I then felt heartache and I told her that her husband and she had been fighting close to the time of his death, so it felt like he’d had a broken heart, and she once again confirmed this.

I went on to start referring to her late husband as Percy, which is a name that only a very few people called him. This gave her great validation that I was indeed tuning into the truth for her. I then received some very interesting information regarding her father. I was shown that she was told that her father had just simply disappeared at a young age, but her real father was in fact her uncle. I cringed when I realised her mother’s brother had raped her, and she was a result of that rape. I gulped with fear and wondered whether I should tell this eighty-year-old frail woman this news. Something inside of me told me it was extremely important for her to know this. It took me a while of hesitation to finally get the information out, but her eyes seemed very pleading and so I told her. She looked shocked and for a moment I regretted what I had said. But she hit the table with her fists with tears in her eyes and exclaimed, ‘I knew it. I knew it all along’. She described her deep, dark, avoidant feelings about her uncle and how she had harboured a deep hate for him without knowing why. She wept and repeated, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’, and I felt that the truth had set her soul free and finally she could be at peace.

So on that day I was, essentially, the vehicle of healing for three generations. A daughter, a mother and a grandmother. My experiences with my past-life mum at home continued to assist me in more ways than one. She would speak openly about the spirit world in a matter-of-fact way. One day when I came home, her two black cats went wild and were running everywhere and she looked past my shoulder and said, ‘Who did you bring home with you?’ As she adjusted her eyes, she told me it was my grandmother from my mothers’ side, and then we sat as she passed on messages of wisdom from my grandmother, who she said was with me, guiding me. I longed to speak with her directly and I tried, but nothing came.

I had other supernatural experiences in that house, though. One day I awoke from my sleep and saw a woman open the bedroom door, look in on me, smile and leave again. In the morning I described the event to Denise and she said, ‘Oh, did she have long black hair?’ Surprised, I asked how she knew and she flippantly replied, ‘Oh that was my sister from the spirit world. I asked her to keep an eye on you.’

As I learnt and grew and began to understand myself through the lens of the spiritual world and not the lens of symptomology, Denise began to decline in her health. She was a beautician, and a very good one at that, but she started coming home with breakouts of acne and extreme lethargy. She laughed as he said that she had taken her client’s acne and her client walked out acne-free. Because I had been reading about the need for protection when we are sensitive, I suggested she shield and protect herself when she went to work and explained this wasn’t healthy; that she needed to transmute the conditions in her clients, not keep it in her body.

Although I pointed out the information on protection from the books she had given me, Denise began to decline rapidly, not taking my advice. I pleaded with her to put an energetic protection around herself but she didn’t listen. She became suicidal and emotionally dead; she had no energy to sit and talk with me. She spent days on end in bed wanting to die, just like my real mother. She admitted to her husband that she was hearing voices telling her to kill herself, and so she went to the doctor and they put her on medication.

And everything changed. I would try and speak with her like we always did, but she was no longer interested in anything esoteric or psychic and actually started saying that all that stuff is a bit crazy, and perhaps I should also go on medication because I was ill like her. I was horrified at the dramatic change. I refused to believe I was also ill and deeply saddened that she had forgotten all she had taught me. We no longer had our special connection and I moved out shortly afterwards. What I experienced with her though set me on a path I couldn’t shut the door on and my curiosity and learning continued. In hindsight it was as if I had been kicked out of the birds nest to learn how to fly. The strange experiences and synchronicities continued, and in the next year during a spiritual workshop I attended, the facilitator had asked us to go within and ask our soul what our life purpose was. We all had pens at the ready with our eyes closed, ready to write down the first thing that came to us. Then, it was as if the pen had a life of its own. I looked down and there were the words;

“I am here to prove to the world that mental illness does not exist”

I had no idea what that meant. It seemed ludicrous to me at the time and didn’t even understand how the words had come to be there with no conscious thought of my own. For the next ten years though, like pieces of a jig saw puzzle, it all started slowly coming together and I began formulating ideas and research for this book, via mysterious downloads that appeared to come not from me but through me.

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