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Body of Health
The New Science of Intuition Medicine for Energy & Balance
By Francesca A. McCartney, Christina Nelson
New World LibraryCopyright © 2005 Francesca A. McCartney
All rights reserved.
IT IS IN MY BLOOD
Intuition flows in the blood of the women in my family. My paternal grandmother read the candle flame and people's minds. Stories of visitations from the spirits of dead relatives were passed around the dinner table between plates of pasta and eggplant. My mother read cookbooks and occult books. Her worn book on palmistry, The Book of the Hand by Fred Gettings, was passed on to me. Her advisors were card readers who used the red-and-black playing card deck. In my mother's last card reading, her advisor laid out seven cards on the table — every one of them was black. She died two weeks later. In that March card reading, she was told that a family wedding would occur in October; seven months later my father remarried. On the day my mother died, she telephoned our Catholic parish priest requesting that he call out her name on the prayer list so that the congregation would pray for her at morning Mass. My aunt attended that Mass and heard the priest ask the congregation to pray for her sister, who did in fact die late that night.
In old-world European tradition, "Catholic-occultism" was one term. I loved the rituals of Catholicism and devotedly followed all its precepts. I was an extremely sensitive child, feeling, hearing, and seeing too much. The impact of my inner sensing system was so loud and distracting that I barely spoke for eighteen years. Of my fifty-one first cousins, I was the oldest girl and the quietest.
At nineteen, I had an epiphany during a Sunday Mass: I felt a deep awareness that the church prayers and sermons could no longer support my growing need to practice a religion of the spirit. I could no longer believe that only people baptized in the Catholic Church would go to heaven. A month later, a friend handed me the Bhagavad Gita, an East Indian book on spirituality. Never having been exposed to religious thought other than the Bible, I was surprised that I felt and understood the entire message of that book.
The cerebral stimulus of reading the Bhagavad Gita caused me to have a spontaneous energy opening. Heat rushed up my spine and out the top of my head in a rainbow — an explosion of fireworks. I found myself pushed out of my body, eyes wide open, in the middle of a starry sky, feeling "I am one with the universe." "Kundalini," an inner voice said. It was a new word for me, so I looked it up in the dictionary. To my surprise, it defined the word as a yogic life force that is held at the base of the spine until it is aroused and sent to the head to trigger enlightenment. I read more about kundalini in the Bhagavad Gita, and I realized that I had experienced a mystical awakening.
After my kundalini opening, I began to meditate naturally and frequently. When these mystical meditation experiences enraptured me, I knew how to go inside and listen, see, and feel, as that state had been my lifelong primary residence. In one spontaneous meditation episode, I asked, "What is my path in this lifetime?" A clear, feminine voice replied, "You are to heal people by reading the colors in their auras." I was twenty years old, it was 1967, and there were no classes offered at my university on aura reading. I did not know what the message meant. And so my healing apprenticeship began.
I did not start my search with the goal of becoming a healer, a medical intuitive, or an energy teacher. I was breaking through into a new personal investigation of consciousness, a rebirthing of myself led by listening to my hunches, my intuition. As a freshman at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, I entered the liberal arts program. The next year, I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I lived with some high school friends who were nursing students. I enrolled in a laboratory technician training program at the community college and specialized in hematology. Again, blood was guiding my way. During my internship training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, I became adept at intravenous needle insertion and drawing blood painlessly. I was always the technician chosen to draw blood from newborn babies. This field of study was stimulating, from preparing slides and using the microscope for blood-count analysis to assisting doctors during autopsies. I was literally seeing and investigating the inside of the human body.
That year, I met and married my first husband and we chose to move to a warmer climate. The University of California at Santa Barbara greeted us with a sunny change. I felt a strong desire to teach children, so I switched my major to preschool education and earned a Montessori teaching credential.
In Ann Arbor, a friend had introduced me to a meditation practice called Divine Science of the Soul, a Hindu mind-focusing practice. In Santa Barbara, I found a Divine Science teacher who held regular meditation meetings. During the formal initiation ritual, I heard church bells ringing loudly. Later I asked the teacher where the nearest church was, and he said there was none nearby.
I was fervent in my desire to discover the spiritual mysteries of Divine Science of the Soul. I rose early each morning and sat in lotus position for one hour, listening for the "sound current" and looking for the "inner light." The goal of this meditation was to move up to higher planes of spiritual enlightenment, as gauged by one's experience of seeing specific spiritual symbols, meeting deities, and hearing celestial sounds. My natural clairvoyance (the ability to see auras around bodies) and clairaudience (the ability to hear subtle sounds) magnified with this practice. This meditation practice began to refine my skill at traveling the inner pathways and circuits of my body, mind, and spirit.
My inner self was particularly interested in watching a thought or emotion emerge within my body and following its path from the origin of the feeling to its destination. I began to map the inner diagnostics of emotions, and a panoply of patterns, blueprints, and energy anatomies emerged. The teacher was not pleased with my veering off the focus of the meditation methodology.
In a personal audience, I received darshan, or blessing, from the master teacher of Divine Science of the Soul, Sant Kirpal Singh, when he visited the United States. I traveled with him and a group of devotees in a seven-month peace pilgrimage of meditation across the country. I later wrote to Sant Singh in Delhi for advice. His response was that clairvoyance and psychic abilities could be received only by the initiated gurus, and anyone else who pursued them was misusing power. I knew for certain that I was not a guru, and I was equally certain that I was not power-playing with what I felt to be a natural human ability.
I was practicing a science of the spirit and coming into a wealth of information on why I felt, thought, and responded in certain ways. Correlating what I had read about the focal energy points of the body, or chakras, with physical anatomy, an inner diagnostic blueprint began to evolve. At times, when I was sitting in deep contemplative meditation, an entire energy system with circuits and pathways would reveal itself to me, like a photographic film being developed in a darkroom. Intuitively, I began to intentionally heal sad memories by visualizing the energy circuit that had been imprinted with those memories, then dissolving them with currents of energy or affirmations. A feeling of loss often accompanied this dissolution, and I experimented with visualizing my highest healing currents restoring that area of my energy field to a better feeling — an upgraded electromagnetic energy-emotion.
I was so immersed in my inner life, rich with new discoveries, that I did not realize my marriage had self-destructed. I now had to choose between my wifely duties and my quest for spiritual engagement. I was selfish and chose to be alone. I moved to northern California and into a small cottage on a hilltop, in the middle of two thousand acres of redwood forest. Friends who owned this pristine property lived in the main house across the road. The nearest town, population two hundred, was two miles down a logging road. I drove ten miles to the next town to teach in a Montessori school. People described me as "weird," "lonely," or "that mystic on the hill." I felt free — happy to be a lone modern mystic on an inner-space exploration.
This was soon after my mother's suicide, and I was still processing her death. Crying was a big part of my mourning process, and I cried every day, all day, for nine months. It was a spiritual birthing time, a time of self-renewal. My tears would stop miraculously when I walked into my Montessori classroom, and begin again in a torrent as soon as I left the school grounds. I was led to a local Reichian-bioenergetic chiropractor who worked on my body and my energy for a year. He became a friend, a therapist, and an important person in my life. For the next decade, we synchronistically found each other repeatedly, through many changes in location and career.
My intuitive experiences continued to evolve. I had more pronounced kundalini activation and some spontaneous, out-of-my-control episodes in public places, which confirmed people's opinions that I was weird. One day, while attending a Tai Chi class, where we practiced the slow dancelike movements designed to support health, I began to feel the fire of kundalini rushing up my spine. When it got to my head, I fell to the ground, convulsed into a fetal position, and began to cry uncontrollably. Sad memories flashed through my mind and faded. I dragged myself to the corner of the room and continued to sob. Fifteen nonplussed people silently moved through their Tai Chi postures while a wild woman wailed on the floor. Everyone left the class quickly that day, and the teacher gently patted me on the head as he left.
Two days later, at the same posture in Tai Chi class, I again felt the burning rush up my spine. "Oh, no, not again!" I thought to myself. Again, I convulsed and fell to the floor, but this time a cacophony of laughter rippled out of my mouth. I dragged myself to the corner again and rolled around laughing. At the end of class, everyone left even more quickly than before. Later that week, I walked into a friend's health food store. He hugged me and said he had heard that I was having a difficult time learning my Tai Chi moves. My modern mystical experiences were being viewed as bizarre psychotic episodes rather than spiritual blessings!
In the weeks that followed, I began to have out-of-body experiences during which I would find my awareness dislocated from my body and feel like I was floating somewhere away from my physical self, at times traveling to places unknown. Strong currents of energy pulsed through my body, keeping me awake for days. My mother's spirit visited and clearly communicated that she needed me to heal her! What did that mean? She was a spirit without a body, and she was asking me to heal her? I instinctively stretched out my arms to embrace her.
My mother and I are kindred spirits, with a shared body experience. I was once cradled in her life-giving womb and nurtured by her blood. Now I became the spiritual womb in which she would gestate, waiting for me to find a way to birth her into a new life. In Catholic iconography, St. Theresa is depicted holding a bouquet of roses, with an illuminated, pierced heart thrust forward. My mother's name was Theresa, she had a passion for growing roses, and she died of a broken heart — incapacitated by emotional sorrow.
The events that had brought me to that time in my Tai Chi class and to all that followed had been tragic and difficult. They had begun a year before, when I had flown home from my hilltop nest in northern California to Harper Woods, Michigan, looking forward to spending time with my family. December is icy-cold in Michigan, and my childhood home felt even colder inside. My father, Frank, had recently asked for a divorce, and my mother, Theresa, was devastated and deeply depressed. Chemical depression runs in the genes of our family, but at that time no research had been done on the biochemical nature of depression, and her doctor was simply prescribing sleeping pills. It was New Year's Eve at the countdown to midnight. My father was not at home that night, and my mother and I watched Guy Lombardo on the television, pointing to the glowing New Year's ball hanging above Times Square as people reveled in the streets. Sitting close to my mother on the sofa, I could hear the rhythm of her slow breathing. Earlier that night, we had talked about the pain of my own divorce and the healing that had followed. She did not feel that she could start a new life after a divorce; all she knew how to be was a mother and wife. Indeed, she had been a mother since age sixteen, obliged to raise her eight younger siblings when her own mother, Francesca, died of breast cancer. When Theresa married Frank at age twenty-seven, all of her siblings but one had married. She left her parents' home and brought her youngest sister into her new home, where I was born the next year.
The Times Square ball dropped. It was midnight, and I found myself inside my head, feeling enveloped by clairvoyant images. In this vision, I saw my mother swallowing a bottle of prescribed sleeping pills that she had been hoarding for months; now she was taking her last breath. I jumped out of that vision and grabbed Theresa, who had slumped over on the sofa. I shook her and yelled, "Wake up!"
She opened her eyes and looked at me.
"Mom," I said, "did you take sleeping pills tonight?"
"No, no, I'm just very tired," she said.
"Please," I begged, "promise me that you will not do anything to hurt yourself."
My mother and I were empathically connected that night. Months later, I would wonder with remorse if I might have emotionally transferred the idea of suicide to her. After my mother went to bed, I lay sobbing in a fetal position on the floor by her closed bedroom door. Frank arrived home at 3:00 AM. I told him of my feelings and my vision. His reply was "Why are you trying to make me feel guilty?"
Boarding the plane for California the next day, I looked in my mother's eyes and said, "I love you." I hugged my younger brother and asked him to promise to take care of our mother. Three months later, two days before her fifty-sixth birthday, my mother fulfilled my prophetic vision by taking her own life. We buried her on her birthday.
Frank was a big-band musician; six months after my mother's death, he married a blonde groupie — in October, as the card reader had predicted. After his remarriage, our family divided, and I found myself divorced from my father's new home.
A few months after my mother had died, I was asleep in my bed in northern California when I heard my mother call out, "Fran!" I was jolted from my sleep. I heard my mother's voice calling my name! I reached out instinctively to hug her. This was not telepathy; this was clairaudience. An energy image of my mother stood beside my bed. Our communication had always been good when she was alive, and now she had found a way to continue our relationship. From that point until now, I have received communications from my mother telepathically and in my dreams. But that night I heard her voice audibly. She appeared sad, tired, and in pain. She was asking me to help her. I felt on a deep level that I knew how to help her. And at that moment, in the middle of the night, with her voice still reverberating in my ears, all I could do was open my heart and embrace her.
* * *
My unfolding journey led me to study many modalities of spirituality, healing, and energy. I learned about the chakra system from a clairvoyant chiropractor who was a student of the East Indian mystic J. Krishnamurti. I studied the psychic alchemy of the teachings of the Rosicrucian Order from two imperators (high officials akin to bishops or rabbis), one of whom gave me his Rosicrucian monographs that held the secret rituals of this order. I apprenticed with practitioners of iridology, herbology, and Bach flower remedies. My desire to counsel dying patients in hospitals led to nonsectarian seminary training and my 1975 ordination as a pastoral minister. Within this seminary community, I connected with many healers practicing alternative medicine.
Excerpted from Body of Health by Francesca A. McCartney, Christina Nelson. Copyright © 2005 Francesca A. McCartney. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
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