Spirituality’s Relationship With Mental Illness

Spirituality’s Relationship With Mental Illness

Spirituality’s Relationship With Mental Illness

Spirituality and mental illness have a complex relationship. My goal today is to talk about mental illness within the spiritual community in a way that can help those of you reading this recognize just how pervasive it is in the spiritual community and help you identify spiritual people–psychics, channels, influencers, whomever–suffering from mental illness, all the while without stigmatizing it.

I’m going to rely a lot on personal experiences to try to demonstrate this, both my own as well as those of a friend with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder).

Mental illness encompasses a very wide variety of experiences that affect emotions, mood, thinking, or behavior, including common afflictions like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders to more severe ones that affect a person’s ability to accurately perceive and interpret reality to varying degrees, such as body dysmorphia or schizophrenia. Even drug addiction is considered a mental illness.

Mental illness is a lot more common than you might think, it’s just that a lot of people don’t talk about it because of the stigmas associated with it. There’s been a concerted effort in the last few years to destigmatize mental illness and create a more pervasive conversation around how common of an experience it is. It is estimated that 19% of adults in the US experience some type of mental illness in any given year. I have personally experienced disordered eating, body dysmorphia, PTSD/C-PTSD, anxiety, panic, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Mental illness doesn’t have to be something permanent. All of us experience emotional ills in the form of depression and anxiety from time to time, just like we might catch a cold every couple of years. Other mental health issues which are more long standing in nature, or which appear to be so deeply ingrained that they are almost a part of someone’s personality may be classified as some kind of disorder.

Spirituality and Mental Illness

In the mainstream, the same stigma applied to mental illness is often applied to spiritual experiences, both of which induce shame. There’s some merit to the idea that at least some aspect of some mental illness is more so a spiritual disease than a physical one–or that some things which are classified as symptoms of mental illness are actually spiritual in nature. The idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is a myth that was popularized by pharmaceutical companies to sell prescription antidepressants. In reality, psychiatry in general recognizes that disorders are not strictly chemical in nature, but are the result of a complex combination of physical, psychological, and social factors.

If you define spirituality the way that I do, as the intersection between science, psychology, and philosophy (which includes sociology), that means that mental illness does overlap with spirituality. The fact that social and psychological factors (i.e. trauma) are involved means that spirituality is part of a holistic approach to viewing mental illness. It also means that prescription drugs can be an effective and helpful aspect of treatment, when they are administered responsibly as part of a balanced approach.

Psychology only knows what something presents as on the outside. Psychology does not fully understand that different presentations of “symptoms” may have multiple causes, some of which may actually be completely normal manifestations of psychic activity rather than delusions brought on by mental illness. It’s a very complex subject and we have to use a great deal of discernment in our approach to undrestand our own experiences and those of others.

The problem is that we don’t necessarily have a balanced, holistic approach to mental health at the moment.

There’s a tendency toward over-medication on the clinical side that is a result of a culture that wants an easy way out in the form of a pill that will fix everything rather than addressing the personal, social, and cultural factors that largely contribute to trauma at the root of much mental illness.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s a lot of anti-science people in the spiritual community who view the pharmaceutical industry as evil, and by proxy, the doctors who prescribe them, and they completely dismiss the decades of scientific research behind drug discovery. In other words, they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Their real problem is with business practices in the pharmaceutical industry, not the science. Their problem is with unregulated capitalism, not science. Science’s only agenda is discovery.

That lack of distinction in the spiritual community not only leads to a lot of very harmful misinformation and propaganda during times of global health crises, but it also leads people who are experiencing mental health issues to believe that their experiences are actually (only) spiritual in nature, and thus, they don’t even recognize the need to seek professional help.

Narcissism and Spirituality

As I mentioned earlier, there are some forms of mental illness which affect a person’s ability to accurately perceive and interpret reality to varying degrees, and some of these mental illnesses cripple that individual’s ability to even recognize their own mental illness. Narcissism is one of those mental illnesses, and, along with sociopathy/psychopathy, is a mental illness that lends itself to a desire to hold power over others. Because of this, people with these kinds of mental illnesses are disproportionately attracted to positions of power.

For example, between .5% and 1% of the total population is estimated to have a narcissistic personality (of which 50% to 75% are male), however, various studies suggest that anywhere between 4% and 20% of people in leadership roles are narcissistic personalities, and that proportion may be on the higher end in areas where that leadership is self-appointed, such as with social media influencers.

Learn how to spot spiritual leaders with these kinds of personalities.

This doesn’t just apply to New Age spirituality, it also applies to religion. Prime example:

My dad exhibits signs of undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

In 2015 or so, he started saying really odd things. He first told me that he invented a generator that produced free energy. Then he told me how he was experimenting with growing plants by putting essential oils on them. Then he started texting me and telling me to take all of my money out of the bank and buy enough food to last for six months because Jesus was coming back in October and the stock market was going to crash and there was going to be martial law… (which is not unlike the doomsday fears of QAnon adherents after Biden’s inauguration).

 

Eventually he started his own church where he spoke in tongues and believed he had the power to cast demons out of people. Most of the congregation was made up of drug addicts and people who’ve been in and out of jail. In other words, vulnerable people looking for acceptance.

 

“God” told him that he was going to start a revival that would unite all church denominations and go on until the rapture came. He believes he has divine revelations that other people do not have access to.

 

Anybody who didn’t obey him, particularly if it was a woman, was “rebellious” and had a demon because “to follow the man is to follow god” and he would systematically begin to discredit them and attempt to turn others against them.

 

He believed that he had the ability to heal people, and told me how he healed a pastor from cancer.

 

Then he ambushed me in a public parking lot and attempted to cast a demon out of me… because I was getting a divorce. He was having an out-loud, two-way conversation with the “demon” that he believed had hold over me.

 

At the height of the pandemic in the spring, he started texting me (again) telling me how this was the end times and martial law was going to be declared. “Watch. I will be right.”

I’ve recounted in a couple of posts an encounter I had with a guy who exhibited similar behavior which you can read here. That actually occurred before everything went down with my dad, so I had a sense of what it was as it was happening.

Both of them are preying on people who are in vulnerable states by abusing their self-appointed spiritual authority, and this happens within the spiritual community frequently.

Learn how to spot spiritual abuse.

Aside from the two stories above, I’ve witnessed countless other examples of this kind of mental illness and spiritual abuse.

When I first began my spiritual path, I found a sense of community with a Facebook group built around another blogger who was writing and posting about channeling. Eventually, that blogger themselves demonstrated signs of mental illness and many many many people in the group (which was a few thousand people) did as well.

There were people in this group who believed they were being physically attacked at night by spirits. There were people who believed they were being sexually molested by spirits. There were people in the group who believed they were the reincarnation of religious and historical figures. There were people who believed that dead celebrities were their twin flames. There were several (I forget where the count ended, but I think it was somewhere around six at the time I left) women who believed that the spirit being channeled was their twin flame. Some of them posted regularly in the group about perceived sexual experiences they were having with said channeled entity, some of them went on to become alleged channelers themselves and pass along messages to other people in the group from this channeled entity, some of which included telling those people they were demonically possessed.

It was a very common occurrence for someone to come into the group completely green to psychic development and spirituality, and within a matter of weeks or just a couple of months, be giving people psychic readings and spiritual advice, without having any prolonged experience, integration, or any depth of shadow work. Many of them used their self-appointed positions of power to shame or dismiss people who disagreed with them. It’s my understanding that one of those people eventually went on to develop a large following and claimed she was impregnated by archangel Michael and gave birth to a spirit baby.

Learn what you must do before pursuing psychic development.

There were a number of people in the group who were there because they’d lost someone and were looking for answers about the afterlife, and their grief and desperation made many of them prime targets for manipulation by narcissistic personalities.

*** Trigger warning: the following discusses themes around depression and suicide.***

As a member of that group, I personally talked to at least five people who were contemplating suicide. More than a couple of members of that group eventually succeeded. One of them was a young kid, around 20 years old, who told me he’d been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He thought the government was tracking his movements and was suspicious of taking his medication.

He went on and on about things he’d read online, how he’d met his twin flame two weeks prior, and he knew it was his twin flame because he took an online quiz that said so, and it was crystal clear that he had absolutely no sense of discernment–he believed everything he read related to spirituality, word for word, and didn’t question any of it. I tried to convince him that it was okay to take his medication and that he should listen to his parents and doctor. The last time I talked to him, he told me “I’m getting off of this planet before it blows,” and deactivated his Facebook account. To this day, I don’t know if his parents had him committed or if he killed himself.

The problem with this group was that there were very few people in it who had any length of experience with spirituality or mental health. There was no one to ground the group or present alternative points of view–and many times, if an alternate point of view was presented, the group attacked that person–so people who were not familiar with how some forms of mental illness present had no handle bars, either, and were left up to their own devices to try to discern whether or not these people were the real deal. This left them incredibly vulnerable to misinformation, manipulation, and abuse.

Learn how discernment is is key for a grounded form of spirituality.

A number of those people had also experienced serious trauma, including sexual abuse. A lot of the spiritual concepts being talked about were over-simplified and positioned victims as being responsible for their abuse. I don’t need to tell any survivor just how damaging that is, but for those of you reading who do not understand trauma: survivors of abuse often already feel responsible for their abuse. They don’t need spiritual people telling them how they manifested it.

You’ll see a lot of information online that truly vilifies narcissists and sociopaths. In terms of those who’ve been abused by them, the feelings are certainly warranted and a part of the healing process. I would never, ever tell a victim of abuse that they have to forgive their abuser, that they shouldn’t judge their abuser, or that they need to have compassion for their abuser. That said, it is possible others who are not in that position to look at narcissism through a compassionate lens.

Not everyone with mental illness falls into this kind of delusion, but it’s tricky.

I don’t doubt that many of these people are having some spiritual experiences, because all of us do. The problem is not with their experience in and of itself, but rather, their ability to accurately interpret those experiences and discern between what is spiritual in nature and what is a result of the mental illness. The line between those things is not always clear cut.

I’m very happy to be able to give you some perspective on this nuance by including a Q&A from a friend of mine–who for the purposes of anonymity, were going to call Ocey–who is both a member of the spiritual community and someone who has been living with symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

What’s your spiritual practice and how you identify within that?

I’m a follower of Hekate. I see her as the manifestation of Source, of the divine consciousness that permeates all things. I’m also a traditional witch with my practice almost exclusively focusing on shadow and spirit work, as opposed to spell work.

My specific practices are always changing and evolving but I try to regularly spend time in study, in meditation, and creating some kind of art. Recently my practice has been focused on studying comparative mythology and sociology in a way to try to better understand the universe and my role in it.

What is it like living with DID?

I’m so nervous to even talk on the subject of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) because the community isn’t a forgiving one. There’s much debate about what qualifies as official DID and the legitimacy of a self-diagnosis, so I want to say up front I have not been officially diagnosed as DID, although that’s partly by choice, as my therapist has recognized it and is treating me for it. And technically I would be diagnosed as OSDD, Otherwise Specified Dissociative Disorder, which is a catch-all category of diagnosing for cases who don’t meet the exact criteria for DID.

Dissociative Identity Disorder use to be called ‘multiple personality disorder’ but the name was changed in 1994 to better describe the disorder. It’s not a personality disorder but a dissociative one caused by childhood trauma.

My DID is pretty subtle compared to other cases I’ve read and heard about. I basically experience my consciousness as being multiple. While there are “Others” inside my brain, they mostly feel like me, just “other me’s”. I’ve done a lot of work the past year to try to understand it all better and it’s felt like shadow work boot camp. But we [meaning all identities] are working on understanding triggers and what they mean to us as a single individual. I’m constantly working on ways to express all parts of myself and giving every side a voice, because it seems to be soothing of the symptoms which can range from black outs/missing time to complete breakdowns where I’ll experience paranoia and psychosis. It’s hard but I’m lucky to have a safe place at home and in therapy to try to work through it all. And I count myself lucky because like I said, DID is a spectrum and there are some who suffer from daily amnesia and depersonalization.

Back when you didn’t know you had DID, how did you interpret it through your spiritual lens?

My Others were always very real to me and because of the nature of it and because I was raised in a strict Christian household, I struggled with faith and spirituality my entire life.

Along with having these Others existing inside me, I’ve also experienced interactions with the spirit world my whole life. So before I was aware of the mental aspects of some of what was happening to me, I categorized it all as the same nature.. which was scary. I wasn’t able to separate or distinguish between hallucinations and apparitions, or paranoia and intuition. It was hard to decide what it was I actually believed because my experiences didn’t all make sense together.

When I first kind of put it together that DID is what I’ve been experiencing it was a huge shock. I had a little breakdown. But soon after a lot of things I’ve always struggled with started making sense. Before I had a name for what was happening, I knew there was something. I’ve spent almost the entirety of my adult life trying to understand myself.

It wasn’t until I was married for a few years and had settled down in life when things started becoming apparently amiss. I was realizing there would be huge gaps in the information I knew about myself and my life and gaps in memories, and mostly, my life felt as if I had just been dropped off there yesterday and often felt alien to me.

I was extremely paranoid and had psychosis symptoms, but refused to acknowledge them as anything but spiritual. But, I wasn’t always “myself” so spirituality wasn’t always a consistent part of my life. The fact that I couldn’t explain to myself why I’d go months, years, without having a spiritual care in the world and then suddenly feeling as if that’s all my life is about, really held me back spiritually. I thought I must just be wishy washy and not really care or believe. But the constant contact with spirits and the constant feeling of missing my life or feeling like I’m going through parts of it asleep, left me in a dark place.

I found witchcraft sometime around 2007 and paganism around 2012 and they both set me on a course of self discovery. My entire spiritual practice for the past almost 15 years has basically been just shadow work. And it has led me to where I am now.

And I’m still everyday carefully combing through my thoughts and experiences trying to make sure I categorize them appropriately, because while I believe mental health and spirituality are very closely linked there’s still a distinction and I try hard to make sure I’m making one consciously.

How did you reframe that perspective after you figured this was a mental health issue and how do you navigate your spiritual experiences now?

The hardest part of all of this has been trying to make a distinction between what’s spiritual and what’s mental. A lot of it is inseparable. The biggest way I’d say I’ve reframed my approach to both is I strive for perspective and verification. I realize now that I may have multiple perspectives on something and instead of making a decision or forming a belief based off only a part of how I feel, I make sure to take into account all sides of me. Even when it comes to how I practice my witchcraft and experiences that seem spiritual in nature, I have a process I go through to verify to myself how I should personally categorize it and if it deserves more attention, and the nature of attention I give to it. And I also have a couple trusted people that I share my experiences with and try to get outside perspective on their nature.

The biggest difference to how I go about my spirituality and life in general is now I have an understanding of how things in a person’s past can manifest themselves later in life.

I believe a person’s trauma can manifest in a damaging way if left untreated. I choose to view my situation through a spiritual lens to give me a framework of how to go about healing myself. I spend a lot of time fighting my own personal demons and am slowly working on recognizing, accepting, and healing old wounds.

A big change I’ve made to my spiritual practice after taking my mental health into account is how I apply it to the world and if/how to share that with others. I’ve come to learn that some things I experience are unique to me and cannot necessarily be applied to the collective reality. So I try to make sure I have more discernment with the things I share and how I share them, and am constantly questioning the decisions and opinions I make to make sure I understand where they’re coming from.

How has spirituality helped you understand your experiences from a mental health perspective?

When I first realized I had DID I lost all faith. I was devastated because I thought this meant that all of my experiences were nothing more than a fantasy created by a mental disorder. It shook me. I spent half a year just navigating that. Eventually I came to the conclusion, with the help of a very special part of me named Joan, that it was up to me how I decide to view this. I could choose to see only the medical/psychological side of it, renounce all my beliefs–or I could choose to also see the spiritual side. If anything, that short time when I lost faith in everything showed me how fulfilling and comforting a spiritual practice can be.

What’s some advice you’d give someone who might be struggling with something like this unknowingly?

My main advice to everyone is to recognize that mental health is just as important as spiritual and physical health. We live in a world now that offers us a lot of different approaches to life and our problems and I think the best way to go about it is to try to maintain a balance between science and spirituality. I think my spiritual practice is crucial in my healing but I also see the benefit and necessity of taking my meds and seeing my therapist regularly.

DID is tricky to notice even within yourself. The entire purpose of the disorder is to hide things from yourself as a survival mechanism. But it is typically known to start showing noticeable signs when you’ve reached a point in life where you’re “settled” and your psyche starts to feel like it’s a safe time to start unpacking all its baggage. My advice is if you have any doubts or questions about your experiences or sense of being, then reach out. Find a therapist who is open to your personal spiritual beliefs and find a support group of people who are having or had had similar experiences. Also shadow work is everything. I feel everyone, even those who may not be suffering from mental health issues can greatly benefit from it.

Scientific American: A new paper argues that DID may help us explain the nature of reality. 

I just have to say that I’m in such awe of how strong this woman is, and how she’s gone about handling this. I honestly started crying when I read her responses to my questions, because even though she’s having to work harder than the average human to navigate the world within her, she’s doing it with so much integrity.

We talked about how there is an opportunity here for her to share her experiences and help others who are struggling with these kinds of things and she said, “I hope to eventually be in a place where I can help others with stuff like this from what I’ve learned. But I want to make sure I’ve learned enough before I start really trying to help others.”

And that, my friends, is the balance that all of us need to strike.

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Spirituality’s Relationship With Mental Illness

Breaking Down Psychic Abilities

Breaking Down Psychic Abilities

A friend texted me one morning not too long ago to ask, “What’s the difference between psychic, intuition, and clairvoyant? Aren’t all the clairs forms of psychic abilities?”

I experience confusion about what constitutes various psychic abilities among the laypeople on a pretty regular basis, so I’m going to break it down for you here, thoroughly:

A psychic is a person who consciously utilizes their intuition. Psychic abilities are intuitive abilities. Some people argue that there’s a difference. I don’t think there is–it just exists on a spectrum. A lot of people will label the lower, less conscious end of the spectrum as intuitive and the higher, more conscious end as psychic. Additionally, some people prefer to label themselves as intuitives because there’s less of a stigma associated with it than there is to the word “psychic.”

Psychic Abilities: Types of Clairs

CLAIRVOYANCE is but one modality of psychic abilities: clear seeing. This can manifest as “visions” (for lack of a less loaded term) which you may see either in your mind or with your physical vision, the latter of which tends to be more rare.

You can think of different psychic modalities like different languages, and clairvoyance is most often the most symbolic of them, depending on the situation. It can look like watching a scene play out in front of you or it can look like symbols, numbers, words, etc. Dreaming, in a way, is a form of clairvoyance.

CLAIRAUDIENCE is clear hearing. This is almost never like having a phone conversation with someone, at least not in my personal experience. It’s more like hearing words and phrases, and the occasional full on sentence in your head, and sometimes physically.

CLAIRCOGNIZANCE is clear knowing (intuitive downloads: you just “know” things or have ideas, thoughts, or abstract concepts that pop into your head), and CLAIRSENTIENCE is clear feeling,  i.e. physically feeling energy as well as emotions (a.k.a. empath). This can also include phantom tastes and smells, and the feeling of phantom physical sensations such as touch, or it may involve taking on the physical symptoms of another person such as headaches, nausea, body aches and pains, lethargy, etc.

***It’s important to note that this is not the ONLY reason why an individual may experience phantom sensations, simply one possible reason.

For me, claircognizance and clairsentience are very connected because the concepts that you just “know” often have a subtle energetic signature associated with them that I can feel and I have to feel into what’s being downloaded in order to put it into words.

Much in the way that I said clairaudience isn’t like picking up the phone and talking to someone, having a “conversation” in my head with spirit is not exactly like sitting in a room and talking to another person. It’s more like hearing words accompanied by some type of visual and/or feeling (and that feeling could be the knowing type or the emotional type).

The whole process is akin to picking up subtle, abstract sensory input and piecing it together in a way that makes sense, logically, without totally overthinking it. Or, to use the language analogy I mentioned earlier: it’s like looking at wingdings while hearing someone speaking a few Spanish words that you know, but understanding the whole thing in English and then having your body respond like, “That’s correct.” That feeling may be felt suddenly, like the sensation you have when you recognize something, or perhaps the feeling associated with clarity or an epiphany–or it may feel more like a deep knowing such as the sensation associated with certainty.

Most people tend to have one or two predominant clairs. I seem to experience them all equally these days.


Now, let us demystify all the ways that people can use these modalities of psychic abilities.

I already stated one of them, which was the…

EMPATH – a person who feels subtle energies and many times, the emotions of others. Empaths tend to be straight clairsentient, sometimes with a dash of HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).

MEDIUM – A person who can sense spirits. A medium may use any of the aforementioned clairs in any combination. They are referred to as a ‘medium’ because they are an intermediary between a noncorporeal entity and a corporeal entity. As an aside, a noncorporeal entity doesn’t necessarily have to equate to the spirit of someone who has died. You can also communicate with the higher self of incarnate people, plants, animals, and a whole slew of interdimensional beings that would probably stretch your mind a bit too much for today’s purposes.

PRECOGNITION – When one uses these abilities to sense an energetic trajectory and predict where it may or may not lead. I could probably write an entire post on the nuances involved in precognition, but I’ll save it for another day.

REMOTE VIEWING – (Typically) purely clairvoyant in nature, although a person practicing remote viewing may use other psychic senses to inform what they are seeing.

PSYCHOMETRY – The practice of feeling the energy that has been left on or programmed into physical objects. This practice may utilize all clairs.

CHANNELING – The practice of opening yourself up to allow one of those aforementioned noncorporeal beings to communicate through you rather than just to you. This is different in that there’s less of a logical processing of information which means less of your ego (personal ideologies and beliefs) color it. Typically this manifests as more claircognizance than anything else.

AUTOMATIC WRITING – Automatic writing can be a form of channeling that comes out in written form rather than spoken. For me, personally, I tend to be able to sort of tap into a certain energy while writing where things just flow without me putting much thought into it. This is once again more claircognizance than anything else.

TELEPATHY – Most people are pretty familiar with what telepathy is: the mind-to-mind communication between two people. Telepathy can manifest through clairaudience (which is how most people imagine it to be like) but also through clairvoyance and claircognizance.

This is really just scratching the surface. It only gets weirder from here.


Lastly, I will leave you with this:

Everyone…everyone…possesses these subtle senses we call psychic abilities. You are born with them, just as you are born with the ability to taste, touch, feel, smell and hear.

Therefore, psychic development is not the development of these abilities, it is the cultivation of your awareness of these senses. Because of their subtle nature, we often ignore them much like we ignore emotions and unpleasant thoughts associated with our shadow selves.

This is why many people experience heightened intuition and increased psychic experiences as they go through the process of healing and integration. They are cultivating self-awareness.

Before engaging in any kind of intuitive development, I highly recommend that you engage in a significant amount of shadow work. 

Learn why you should engage in shadow work prior to intuitive development here.

Learn more about shadow work here.

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Can You Experience Clairaudience If You Are Deaf?

Can You Experience Clairaudience If You Are Deaf?

Can You Experience Clairaudience If You Are Deaf?

Question from a reader:

“I’m Jessi and I was born profoundly deaf. Since my empath awakening this year, my ‘Hum’ since 1998 turned into hums, tics, beats patterns and melodies. I recognise a low voice and a childlike song voice. I am pretty sure I heard my name, ‘JESS,’ twice. The childlike keeps singing the same unrecognisable song. Melodies come and go and I need to figure out how to understand them when my brain has never been used for actual listening, as I use sign language. But the Hum and ticking is constant. The sounds I’m hearing is so busy and overlapping. I can decipher layers of different frequencies. Am I hearing the frequencies of earth and orbs, the UFO’s? (I captured thousands of orbs on my camera last night which got me thinking, my yard is FULL of them particularly our peach tree.) Does clairaudiency only apply to actual communications and songs? I do have instinctual conversations in my mind which I try to control, so I know this is different. It’s rather interfering during meditation when I just don’t understand a word!”

I really love this question for so many reasons, mainly because of all the implications. One of the most common questions I get about clairaudience and intuition in general is, “How do I tell the difference between that and my own thoughts?”

It’s different for you, I imagine, because you’re not used to sounds and voices in the same way that others are, so if and when you actually do “hear” something in your mind, it must be exceptionally noticeable!

I’m also fascinated by this because the very last resort for spirit to communicate is actual words. It prefers less limiting forms of communication such as symbolism, but in your case, vibrational frequency may be more easily felt and recognized, internally, because you’re somewhat less bombarded by external stimuli.

Personally, I’m extremely sensitive to noise pollution (as well as light/visual stimuli) and I know I’m not alone in that. It makes it very difficult to concentrate and process what’s going on, internally, much less externally. In a way, I’d guess that you’re able to tune in much more easily.

They say that when you lose one of our senses, the others become heightened. I can’t help but think that your intuition would be as well, as it is your “sixth sense,” so to speak. Of course, it’s a muscle that needs to be flexed and exercised to grow stronger, but you have a bit more energy to put toward it and use it to fill in the gap of the sense you lost.

Intuitively, your assessment that the hum and tics is earth’s frequency feels correct, and perhaps the added layers are universal in nature. The voices and songs feel like guides and/or angelic realm frequencies.

I think the same tip applies here as does to regular clairaudience when you hear a high pitched frequency or tone – it carries data that will be stored in your subconscious mind. You don’t necessarily need to interpret it right away, it will surface when the timing is right, so don’t worry about trying to figure out what it means. You’ll gain an understanding of it eventually, without having to work at it. Other understandings will trigger it, like a key or sort of domino effect.

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Identifying Your Psychic Abilities

Identifying Your Psychic Abilities

Identifying Your Psychic Abilities

Question from a reader:

“I’ve been told I’m gifted, I’m a natural healer, which I’m accepting, but I’m confused. I can see in the back of my head a person crossed over or Angel or Ancient. The faces are never clear, but they will give me information to pass onto someone relevant. It’s usually short and quick. So far it’s been correct every time, but I don’t know what this is or why it randomly occurs with me. I’m never shown my own guides even when constantly asking. Is this telepathy? I also tend to know stuff without knowing why and or how, etc., but it’s always correct. I keep getting told I’m gifted. I’m always self doubting as it’s intermittent and comes from out of the blue. I want to open up further but it’s all over the place.”

What you’re describing is a combination of psychic abilities including clairaudience, claircognizance, clairvoyance and mediumship. And it’s perfectly normal for these types of things to occur sporadically, especially when you’re in development.

Any communication by thought is technically telepathy, so you could categorize any and all spirit communication as telepathy since that how it all occurs. But we tend to label that as channeling, instead, and refer to telepathy as something that happens between two living beings.

I’ve written a gazillion posts on psychic development that you can browse through on my blog describing ways to recognize intuition, develop it, etc. My greatest piece of advice here is to just allow it to happen naturally when and where it wants to instead of attempting to force it. Eventually, you’ll get into a groove and it will come when you need it to, instead of completely sporadically.

You should also learn to recognize patterns in how and when it’s occurring. My guess is that it happens frequently when you’re in states of consciousness that are more so on autopilot than when you’re highly alert.

You can read more about that in this blog post.

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Spirituality’s Relationship With Mental Illness

Believing In Your Psychic Self

Believing In Your Psychic Self

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. Last week, I launched a new ebook, “Practical Guide to Connecting With Your Spirit Guides In Your Dreams.” I spent the majority of last week visiting my mom on the gulf coast and I was able to knock out yet another ebook, my Karmic Dreaming Guide on tapping into your past lives using your dreams. And, on top of everything else, my online dream interpretation course launched today!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far. This little blog is evolving into something so much more than what it began as, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I hope you’ll all continue to lend me your support as it grows and help me create something truly amazing!


Question from a reader:

“I have asked you this already when I was wondering how to know when was your mind talking and when your intuition. I finally discovered that I can be receiving a lot of information, but I could be blocking it. My issue is that whenever an image appears in my mind, I feel that I’m inventing or like day dreaming. When I receive information about somebody else I think that I’m only judging that person. It is like I don’t trust myself, I tell myself that everything that comes to me are things made up by me. How can I start believing that what I feel is actually information from them?”

Arusting yourself and the information you’re receiving is one of the hardest things to do when you’re developing your intuitive abilities. That being said, I think your skepticism is a really great sign. Discernment is very important when it comes to these things, and I’d be a lot more worried if you weren’t questioning anything at all!

I think the best advice I can give you here is something that I talked about in my previous blog series on how to contact your spirit guides. It’s easy for us to get so wrapped up in judging ourselves and whether or not we’re right or wrong and that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on you to make a snap decision about the information you’re receiving.

Instead of feeling as though you need to judge yourself one way or the other, just hold it as a possibility. When you just hold it as a possibility, you’re able to say, “Alright. Let’s just see where this goes.” and there’s no cognitive dissonance associated if it doesn’t pan out, and you don’t run the risk of being gullible. Just roll with it!

Eventually, you will start to collect enough evidence to support when you were correct and it will build your confidence. Not worrying about whether you’re right or wrong allows you to focus on the process itself, observe what it feels like and you’ll begin to learn what feels like intuition and what doesn’t.

Removing your ego from the process is the hardest part, but having a healthy dose of skepticism is a great foundation for discernment.

 

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Can You Experience Clairaudience If You Are Deaf?

How to Hear Your Spirit Guides

How to Hear Your Spirit Guides

Question from a reader:

“How do I listen to my guides? I know they are there…I feel them & I see synchronicity. So how do I listen?”

At would seem to me that you are listening. Feeling them and seeing synchronicity is a way of receiving communication. Don’t limit yourself by believing that the only way you can hear your guides is the same way you hear another person talking to you.

This situation reminds me of a passage from Conversations with God where God states that speaking directly to you in a human language is the absolute last resort and, additionally, the most limiting way that God can speak to you. God goes on to talk about how it talks to you every day, in a multitude of forms, if only you would listen. And by “listen”, it doesn’t mean with your ears. It means listen with your heart.

You don’t need to hear your guides clairaudiently to be able to receive messages from them. They communicate with you through synchronicity, through feelings, through those seemingly random conversations you have with yourself in your head while you’re driving, in your dreams, the incredibly well-timed phrase on the television that caught your attention or the line in the book you’re reading that made you stop in your tracks. They speak to you in symbolism and it’s all around you, every day.

All you need to do to listen is open your mind, remove expectation, and receive.

As I mentioned, dreaming is an excellent way to communicate with your guides, and on May 22nd, I’ll be launching my online dream interpretation course to teach you how to induce dreaming, increase dream recall, dream with intention and decipher your own dream symbolism. You can learn more about it here: Destination Dreamspace

Xo,

Ash

Enjoy this post? Subscribe to get ass-kicking inspiration delivered to your inbox.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Submit a question you want to pick my brain about. I may answer it in a blog post!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Pin It on Pinterest