“You’re weird”. These worlds have followed me my entire life. I’ve always marched to a different drummer. That label has had many manifestations in my life. Right now, it means I’m a 47 year-old African American woman, with a master’s degree in Library Science and one in Anthropology and a Bachelors in Mathematics. It means I have three tattoos, a nose ring and locks. In the past I’ve had a tongue ring, and 6 holes in my ears, including a tragus piercing (that lil piece of ear cartilage that no one pays attention to). For as far back as I can remember, I stood out in some way or another. But these things are merely physical accessories. Many people have them. What REALLY makes me different are things people can’t see. I hear things… Yes, that’s right. There are voices that surround me, whispering things. Not in the TV kind of way, the voices don’t tell me to kill my family or anything drastic like that. It’s more like a feeling with a voice. For years I thought that voice was me, talking to myself. It’s hard to explain how the voice works in my head, so I’ll tell you a little story:
I was living in Senegal, West Africa for six months (see, I told you I was different) and on this particular day, I found my self in the country with a friend of mine. We were visiting some friends of his who happened to live in a house made from rolling up magazine pages in really tight cylinders and stacking them to build a single room house. It was ingenious. While he sat and talked to his friend, something in my head said, “Man, this whole house is made of paper. It would be really bad if there was a fire.” Once we left the friend’s house, I mentioned my thought to my friend. Two weeks later, my friend reminded me of what I had said, and then he told me, “their house caught fire and burned to the ground. They lost everything.” I was so sad to hear the news, but I wasn’t surprised. I had that feeling before, when I got a sense of something, and then later it came true.
That’s how the voice works in my life. Sometimes it’s a feeling I get, sometimes I see a flash of something, like a picture in my mind. Other times I just hear a conversation. Either way, I wind up receiving information before there is a physical manifestation in front of me. Sometimes people refer to it as a premonition. I call it a spiritual connection.
My gifts have been with me my entire life. I’ve strengthened them through initiation into the Lukumi tradition (I am a priest Oshun), prayer, meditation and ritual. For most of my life, I’ve been blessed to be able to utilize my spiritual gifts through tarot and spiritual counseling, teaching and dance. It is my desire to create an outlet for people to get in touch with their own spiritual gifts and to gather the resources to improve their lives.
Many people have a spiritual connection that allows them to see the world differently. They receive just a little more information than most people. It doesn’t have to be like me, hearing a voice in your head. It can be many things, like sensing when you are in a room where bad things have happened, or seeing or hearing ghosts, or being able to pick up on other people’s emotions. Most people who experience these things will have had a sense of them since childhood. Many people run from these gifts, thinking, “This can’t be real” or “I must be crazy”. NO. You aren’t crazy. What you see, hear or feel is real and it is not a curse. It’s a gift. The problem is that we aren’t taught how to deal with these gifts, how to recognize them, how to work with them or how to regulate them. So instead, we run. We try to quiet the voices, we try to ignore the ghosts, we go in places we know are not spiritually safe. Why? Because we want to blend in, be normal.