[The healer] said he had had a dream?a vision, and it wasn?t good. It concerned our boys. He said he saw a white work van with dark windows and somebody grabbing and kidnapping my boys ?
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By Paula Sevestre
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Paula Sevestre
All rights reserved.
I was raised Catholic but floated in and out of regular practice. I was continually struck by the notion of time. I would see others around me checking the time; is it time to leave, time to get on with my day, time to have a drink, time to eat, time to get out! Unfortunately, I understood this because I was that way too. I wanted to believe I was spiritual, I was one with God, but it had a time limit. I didn't want it to interrupt my life; I had important things to do!
Then, seemingly out of the blue, on November 22, 2010, time seemed to stand still. There was no big accident, no big, life-altering event, just manipulation coming back to take a great big chunk out of my backside. When they say, "What goes around comes around," you better believe it!
I went to work like any other Monday morning. We had a few beers the day before, so I was feeling tired, but I had a full schedule that day and got straight to work. I was planning to host some workshops later that month, and I still had a lot of tasks to complete. I really didn't feel like socializing and stayed in my office to eat my lunch. However, I was called to join someone else; reluctantly I went. That was the day I encountered an individual who called himself a traditional healer. He had a message for me.
Aboriginal traditional healers were not common in the community in which I was raised; the only thing I knew about traditional healers is what I may have read in books. I may have been aware of some medicine people in our nation, but we were firmly entrenched in Western medicine and the Christian faith. So I was definitely unnerved when this person said that he had a message for me—especially from someone I thought had supernatural powers!
My own family members have experienced spiritual happenings, so I was not unfamiliar with the concept of the spiritual realm, including visions, apparitions, and communications with spirit, but that was them, not me!
This healer was my age. His message was that if I went home to see my mother in December, my family would not let me leave because they did not want the responsibility of looking after her. He said my siblings would abandon me and I would be forced to stay there and would eventually be driven to a mental breakdown from which I would never recover.
This sounds crazy, right? Because it is crazy!
My family is very loving, and there was no reason whatsoever to believe any of this, but I did! I asked him what I could do to prevent this from happening. He said I would need to come for a reading at his place. We scheduled one for 5:00 p.m. that evening. He said it was urgent. I remember the day like it was just happening.
I arrived at his little place behind his homestead. It was raining. I was feeling a little nervous, but I made sure to let my husband know where I was going. The one twelve-by-twelve room was small and smoky, with the smell of white sage. There was one window open, but it was still very dense with smoke. I went in and sat down. There were only two chairs at the small table. He asked me if I was there out of my own free will. I said yes. He asked me to put my hand in some tobacco and hold it for a few seconds. He then touched the tobacco where I had held it and began to communicate with someone he said was my spirit guide.
He said my spirit guide was very upset with me and that it had been trying to get my attention for a long time but that I would not listen. I began to shake at this time. He said that I had a lot to make up for and that I would need to change my life—that I would not even look like the same person when I was finished with this work. He said that I looked like a clown with the makeup I wore and that my hair should not have the blond highlights that it currently had. He said the spirit guide showed him an image of when I was a child, and I looked nothing like I should look as a native person. (I am considered attractive and I wore the proper amount of makeup and highlighted my hair, but in no way did I think this would be a concern to my guide.)
He then said I had lived my life for myself long enough and that my boys, who were seven at the time, needed to learn their path in the traditional way. They would need to learn how to survive without modern conveniences and understand plants and medicines. I too would need to learn plants and traditional medicine and ceremonies. I was to reinvent myself into a person people could easily connect with and not have my image getting in the way. I would walk this earth in moccasins, close to Mother Earth.
He said if I didn't change my ways that he saw my death; I would be full of cancer. It would be in places around my body that he said I used to manipulate people but first I would be viciously gang raped by people who were watching me. It would be so savage that they would leave my face beaten to a point that I would be unrecognizable.
In this time too, I was directed to quit drinking. It had to be my free will to do so. I had to make a promise to the Creator that I would quit drinking. I was told to go home and empty any remaining alcohol into the earth at the end of my property. I was not to have any alcohol cross my doorway again. At this time I lived in the city of Brantford, Ontario. He also suggested that negative spirits were around me and my family and that we would need to protect ourselves. This scared me in ways one can only imagine. Images from movies like The Exorcist, The Shining, and The Amityville Horror filled my head. By the time I got home, I was beginning to feel afraid of the dark.
The first reading went on for over an hour. It rained hard the entire time. I got home and emptied all the alcohol that was in the house. I told my husband what had happened and that I was going to quit drinking. My husband was not so sure of the whole thing and did not want me to make any snap decisions. He didn't feel we drank in an out-of-control manner or that we neglected our sons in any way. We were quite happy and lived our lives quietly. We were both in our forties and had children late in our lives, so we were both very content with being homebodies. We were both busy and enjoyed our work.
I think, too, that things would have remained the same was it not for another message I had to see the healer; it was urgent, and it involved my husband. My husband had just left for a trip to Ottawa that day. I was still thinking about the reading, but it didn't have as much impact on me, and I was not as frightened as when I first met with the healer. I was willing to let it go—to continue on with my life.
I went to see the healer again after work; I was frightened beyond belief. I sat down, and he asked for my wedding ring. I gave it to him, and he held it while he did the reading.
He said that he was shown a vision of how Mark, my husband, would die. He said that if Mark prevented me from taking the steps necessary for my healing, that spirit would not allow him to stand in my way. He could not interfere with my path. He would be in a car crash with some friends, and he would not be found for a long period of time. In that time, he would suffer terribly before he died. He said that something sharp would pierce Mark's chest during the car accident, and it would be a while before he died. He would be calling out to the Creator for help, and he would be made to see the error in his ways. I started crying. How could I stop this? I didn't care about my own damnation, but Mark didn't harm anyone!
I was told that I would need to commit to a year's healing and that it involved a tremendous amount of work from both me and my husband. It was my responsibility to bring my husband on board with the healing process. We had to walk this journey together but could not interfere with the other's path. It would be easier for us if we were both committed to the healing process. Mark could not drink any alcohol, especially in our home. We had to sacrifice to save our own lives and the future of our children. The healing process had to start immediately. I left the small cabin and drove home in tears.
I called Mark and asked him to come home; he would need to leave his meeting early. He said he would be home as soon as possible and promised not to have any alcohol at the event in Ottawa. When he arrived home, I was prepared with my argument. I was ready to convince him to start the healing journey with me. We lay in bed together as I walked him through the reading. He was shocked. You have to understand that Mark is very pragmatic. This did not make sense to him, and it was a lot to absorb. However, I was insistent that we not put our kids in any jeopardy and that he had to know I would move forward on this healing journey alone if it meant that the he and the boys would be safe. I couldn't allow him or the boys to suffer any punishment because of my sins. He reluctantly agreed to a reading with the healer.
I basically forced his hand. If Mark didn't go to the healer, our marriage would be over. I was willing to destroy our family because of fear. Everything I put trust in was turned upside down. I didn't have a strong foothold on any one spiritual path, so I was easily influenced. I was so frightened at this time that I was scared to even take the garbage out to the bins in the laneway. I was scared of the dark, of negative spirits and entities that could invade our home. I was told that demons were everywhere and that I had to be prepared to encounter them when the time was right. If there was any fear in me, they would take advantage of this fact. I was told of all the people who used bad medicine in the community to win at gambling, sports, and competitions, to get lovers, for vindication, and the list goes on. But he was good. His duty was to help people afflicted by bad medicine and negative spirits. Everything the healer directed me to do, I did.
That first week was surreal. I tried to do my work and not think about everything. I didn't have my usual support because the healer warned me against talking to anyone about the healing process. I had Mark, but I couldn't express any doubts with him as it would weaken his reluctant acceptance to move forward with the healing. I began to feel awkward with the way I looked. I dyed my hair to its normal color of brown. I didn't want to dress in my usual business manner. I slowly started eliminating makeup from my morning routine. I didn't trust anyone at work because I was told by the healer that a few people at work used bad medicine and to watch out for them. I was also to buy a dream book and start recording my dreams to share with the healer who had the same dream book. (In hindsight, this was not a good idea as all of the dreams I reported were shaped by his interpretation. I did not trust my own.)
My best friend didn't know what hit her. All of a sudden she had these friends who were changing before her eyes. She didn't know if we could still be friends with her and if that was acceptable in our new traditional life. She was not an Aboriginal; I actually asked the healer if that should be a consideration. I note this because the healer had some very biased views about non-natives. On one hand he would say that we are all equal, but then he would say that he couldn't wait to see white people suffer when events unfolded in the future—events that would mark the end of the world as we know it.
Fortunately, we remained best friends. I could not have made a recovery without her.
We were directed to drink protection medicine that the healer prepared. Our entire family drank this each morning for the first month. In addition, I was asked to drink herbal tea that was meant to cleanse my body. It tasted like dandelions. I was asked to smudge our house to protect it from negative spirits. Mark was given another protection medicine that he was to sprinkle throughout the base of our entire house.
This was just the beginning of the payments to the healer for various protection medicines or teas that he prepared for me, Mark, or our family. Each time this cost could be anywhere from $40 to $120, depending on the stated need. In addition, each reading was another payment. The healer would determine when a reading was needed. This could be once or twice a week for each of us depending on the messages he got from his spirit guides. He required our cell numbers so he could text us instructions. We both grew to hate the sound of our cell phones' text message indicator.
That first week also marked the beginning of the release sessions. This was overnight work that came with a hefty price tag. It was $900 for my first release session. It was $1,100 for my husband's. This was startling. I remember getting the amount texted to me, and I didn't know how I would tell Mark. The healer's response was that we had to pay because of our arrogance and our way of life. He said our spirit guides said we were going to have to pay big time! I truly believe the healer thought we had more money than we actually did.
In preparation for my release work, the healer scheduled a three-day body cleanse session using red whip tea to induce vomiting. This was done for three consecutive mornings prior to the release session. It would usually last an hour and start at sunrise.
According to the healer, release work is examining every aspect of your life and letting it go to the Creator for healing. Situations that may have created fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, vindictiveness, or any type of negative feelings were to be remembered, examined, and let go in the morning with a pipe ceremony. The healer said these sessions were between me and the Creator. He said he had the ability to go elsewhere in spirit while I was doing the release work. (I thought to myself at this time, Well then why do I need him!) The memories were not to be brought up again once released. It had to start at my very earliest memory.CHAPTER 2
I arrived at my first release session at 9:30 p.m. When I arrived the healer left the cabin so I could wash with a protection medicine that would protect me from negative spirits. The release work was to be done at night. The healer said this was the time when spirits would be most active; the spirit world is backward, and when we are asleep, they are awake. The spirit world would guide the sessions. A reading was then done to direct the healer on what was to be discussed in that first session. During this time the healer said the spirit guides said I was a very bad person and that it would take a long time for me to complete all the release sessions. I was immediately on edge.
I wanted to please the spirit guides by doing all the work and not feel tired throughout the night. I would only get a few short breaks from talking about my childhood for bathroom breaks. I had to drink three large jars of protection medicine throughout the night, so bathroom breaks were a necessity. There was only an outdoor toilet. The healer would warn of negative spirits outside the cabin, and he would stand guard while I went to the toilet. This scared me even more. I didn't like being in the dark outhouse. I couldn't wait to get back to the safety of the cabin, where at least I was not alone.
The healer opened the session with a pipe ceremony, and I was directed to go to my earliest childhood memory. The healer said he would go into a trance state while I spoke throughout the night. It took me a while to remember events in an age sequence like I was directed. They were jumbled, skipping all over my childhood, ten years old to six to eight. I was getting confused and nervous. I felt like I had to say something, anything!
I started. Our house was small and old. It had a wood stove and was heated by a coal furnace. There was a big heating vent in the middle of the hallway, and it had three bedrooms. There were nine children in total, five girls and four boys. I remember sleeping in a room with my sisters. There were two beds, one a double and the other a cot. I sucked my thumb. I remember my sister trying to pull my finger out of my mouth. I got earaches that were very painful. My mother used to heat an iron, unplug it, and place it near my face with a towel over it to help ease the pain of the earache. It seemed to work most times, and I was able to sleep.
Excerpted from Heaven's Wait by Paula Sevestre. Copyright © 2014 Paula Sevestre. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
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