The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…in Readings

Not too long ago, I was visiting one of my favorite metaphysical shops. This is a store that features Tarot and oracle cards, an extensive book selection, crystals, jewelry, incense, herbal teas–all the stuff that we New Age folks love. I enjoy going there and browsing for awhile, losing myself in the relaxing music wafting from the stereo and the sense of peace that permeates the place.

This store also offers readings, and the space their readers occupy is in a corner of the front room. The reader-of-the-day sits at a small cafe table across from her client. In other words, if you’re in the shop, you’re going to hear the reading, no matter how quietly the reader and the client speak. It just can’t be helped. In my opinion, this isn’t an ideal situation, but hey: I’ve done readings at noisy bars, New Year’s Eve parties, and on the street. This set-up can’t be that much worse.

As I was browsing, the bell above the front door jingled, and two ladies walked into the shop. They inquired at the front counter about getting a reading, and my friend, one of the store’s proprietors, went to fetch the reader from a back room. When the reader came out and greeted the ladies, one said immediately, “I want to get a reading, but I don’t want to hear anything bad.”


I almost burst out laughing from my place by the greeting cards.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this very same statement from one of my clients when she first arrives at my office or at my table at a psychic fair. And I, being the closet smart-ass that I am, want to respond, “Well, who does?” But then, the compassionate angel-on-my-shoulder overrides her devilish counterpart, and I smile lovingly, knowing another teaching moment has been presented to me.

No one wants to hear bad news. I get that. It’s never easy to confront issues like job loss, financial woes, turbulence with your children, collapsing relationships, sexual affairs, health problems, and other similar matters. If I had my way, I’d be walking around in a blissful bubble of contentment for the rest of my life. But let’s be realistic: life just isn’t like that. It’s more like a roller-coaster, with hills and valleys and helixes that spin you until you’re dizzy and sick. Some of us like roller coasters; some of us don’t. But whether we like it or not, we got on this ride in the first place, so we may as well learn some coping strategies to deal with the stretches of track that are the scariest.

One thing I recommend to my clients is that they stop seeing events and circumstances in their lives as “bad.” Cancel this negative thinking! I prefer to call these types of things “challenges.” A challenge is something that can be overcome. A challenge is something that may test our strength, our endurance, and shake our sense of purpose, but it is something that we can confront and surmount. And, most importantly, we learn something significant from the challenges we face. When we can focus on the moment-to-moment progression through the challenge and then examine it after it’s over, we begin to understand the lesson that we needed to learn from that experience. And this is the most valuable part of our lives as spiritual beings.

A reading can help us to understand what challenges we may need to face as we continue on our path. Yes, we may lose our job, or we may experience a divorce. But this doesn’t have to be the end of our world! I realize that when we are in the middle of this type of situation, it is extremely difficult to believe that things will ever get better. I believe it helps to remember that everything in life is cyclical. Observation of nature tells us that the seasons change; the natural world undergoes cycles of energy, moving from winter to spring, then to summer and fall, and back again to winter. Why should we, natural beings ourselves, be any different? If you feel that the break-up of your relationship is like wintertime–cold and lonely and stark–remember that spring will come. It has to; it’s part of the natural cycle of energy. And you, too, will emerge from this challenge, once again feeling warm and sunny. When we focus on these positive aspects, and remember to look for the lessons in our challenges, it can really change our perspectives on our lives and the events within them.

And remember, too, that a reading is not set in stone. You always have the power to change your circumstances. A reading can gauge the energies around you and into the future, but you can make choices to change the energy yourself. If a job loss seems imminent, take some initiative and get your resume in order now so that you will feel more productive and powerful when the hammer falls. This will help you to keep a more positive attitude as you look for work. A reading gives you a heads-up about possible futures, but you always have the ability to create a new future. And you certainly have the ability to change your reactions and your attitudes!

So get a reading, but go in with an open and loving attitude. Don’t be afraid to hear challenging things, knowing that these events and issues will provide great opportunities for growth and spiritual perspective for you.

I wish you lots of success!

Monday Message from Merlin 9-13-10


Greetings to you all, my beloved friends! It is good to be with you today! I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of Rose, the one who allows me to speak these words–my secretary, so to speak. My beloved Rose knows that I am joking when I call her this, for we are equals and soul mates on our journeys toward enlightenment. We have chosen, in many lifetimes, to work together, and I am blessed and honored to have her with me. She supports me in my journey, and I support her in hers. We mutually give to each other, as our hearts have been connected for a very long time. You may say, “Merlin, how is it that you benefit from your relationship with Rose? After all, aren’t you the Master Teacher and she merely the poor soul trapped in a physical body, having an Earthly experience filled with traumas and challenges?” My dear ones, never think for one moment that you are lower than your Masters! We are all equals in the eyes of the Divine! We are all important and loved beyond measure, no matter where we may be on our spiritual paths! No two of us are alike–Rose knows this as the mother of identical twins. Even though they may share the exact same DNA, these beautiful boys are very, very different souls. And yet neither is loved more or less by God/dess! No matter what their trials, decisions, and choices during their lifetimes, they will always be loved and accepted by our Creator as perfect individuals–perfect in that all they do, say, feel, and experience is in accordance with Divine Order. And so it is with all of you, too. Your spirit guides, your Masters and all the others who work with you, share so much and learn so much by working with you. This relationship helps them to evolve as teachers and counselors, and so it is impossibly valuable to them! You may think that only you benefit from your relationship to Spirit, but this is simply not the case. As we share our energies together, we all learn and grow and advance! Isn’t that wonderful, my dear ones?

As we speak today about spiritual paths, I share with you that my beloved Rose is struggling right now with her own. I share this not to embarrass her, but to help others to learn from our experience as teacher and student. My Rose has always been an excellent student, and she has learned much throughout her lifetime about different religions and spiritual studies. She enjoys this type of education, and I am sure no one will ever keep her from it! Her experiences in the Roman Catholic church and her schooling in their institutions molded her early life and many of the values she still holds today. Her study of Wicca, magick, and Paganism helped her to branch out to understand the diversity and the great value of open thought in spiritual work. It also allowed her to truly experience for the first time the essence of the Divine Feminine and to fully recognize this Force at work in her own self. And when she became interested in Spiritualism and finally was ordained as a minister of this faith, she was able to express her wide range of interests, skills, and knowledge, sharing it with her community in many different ways. All of these choices along her path have led her to be the person she is today.

And yet, she still searches. She is always looking for more information; she constantly seeks a deeper, yet everyday, connection to the Divine Presence. And when she doesn’t feel she is making progress, she become disillusioned and/or upset. And yet, intellectually, she knows and believes that she is right where she needs to be. If it takes a year or one day to move to the next level–it doesn’t matter, don’t you see? All human beings are impatient with slow progress. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a pill: “Instant Enlightenment!” Just swallow and it’s yours! But really, beloveds, what would you learn from that?

Absolutely nothing. I like to tell Rose this. I know she hears me, because she tells me so, and usually adds, “Just like you’ve told me before.”

But this does not upset me. I have worked many lifetimes with stubborn humans, and I’ve worked with the stubborn soul-that-is-currently-Rose many times before this incarnation. I know that having a human experience erases many of the soul lessons we have endured and understood in the past. It is my job in this lifetime to keep reminding Rose of her lessons, in whatever way that needs to happen.

And yet, there is sometimes a longing in many of my incarnated friends to search, to find something bigger, better, different, that gives value and worth to a lifetime. First, understand, beloveds, that you are just that: beloved! And you are beloved just the way you are! There is no need to keep searching — you do not need to do this because you feel we want you to do so. You are free to make your own choices and to know that we will still work with you as your guides no matter if you talk to us everyday or if you ignore us for the rest of your existence. It is solely up to you. The Divine loves everything about you: your faults, your mistakes, everything! Rejoice in this!

But if you seek more knowledge and more understanding, and you find a physical teacher, a book, or a group that you wish to explore, do so! No man or woman holds all the keys to unlock the mysteries of the Universe. It is arrogant to think someone does! But in spite of that, to learn more is to grow and expand your consciousness, so do it if it is something to which you are drawn. Right now, Rose has been drawn to journey back to her connections to the Divine Feminine principals and to magickal work. As a Spiritualist minister, she sometimes feels guilty about wanting to study with other faith systems to reconcile all of her own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. And yet I say, Let it be done! It is more than acceptable for Rose to explore these other avenues and to have opportunities to learn from other teachers, both in the physical world as well as the spiritual one. Her soul will benefit tremendously from her experiences, and then she can also pass on this knowledge to others, as is part of her life’s work. This does not mean she must leave Spiritualism behind. On the contrary, this means she is growing as a soul, and she needs to honor her soul’s yearnings and feed it what it needs.

And so I say the same to you, my friends. If there is a spiritual path you want to study, or a new metaphysical lesson you wish to learn, do not hesitate! Move forward on your journey, for this thing that has attracted your attention is obviously something you need at this time in your life. Embrace it and learn what it has to offer. Do not become stuck in old patterns of thought or behavior just because they are appealing in their constancy. Challenge yourself to always move forward! Challenge yourself to move outside your own sphere of reality and understanding into something that may enhance all the aspects of your world.

I hope these words today have been interesting and helpful to you all. I bid you peace, constant and everlasting, as my beloved brothers and sisters, great Seekers of the Light! I take my leave.


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