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Channeling: It Can Get Personal

Updated on October 21, 2015

What's it like to channel spirits?

When most people hear the word channeling, they think of it as a passive process. A spirit wants to talk, we open ourselves to that spirit, and we speak their words or write them down. But contrary to what most outside the spiritualist community believe, channeling can be a very active, even violent process, and it can be risky.

Zak Bagans doesn't proclaim himself psychic, but has channeled spirits in the past

I never had much experience with channeling before I became acquainted with a certain spirit. I’ll call him Jack. Jack, in life, had been a highly influential public figure who now was dealing with being a regular ghost like everyone else. He had died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving three young children behind without anyone else to parent them. He also witnessed the attempt at resuscitating his body, and, later, his autopsy. Suffice to say, he was very traumatized by all of these events, on top of his already tumultuous life. In life, he had been not only a very beloved celebrity, but a much vilified one, and had been subject to a great deal of suspicion, hate, and prosecution, leaving him broken and paranoid. After meeting him, this cocktail of emotions began to course through my own spirit. He was determined to get the truth of his final moments out there, as well as continue to proclaim himself innocence of all the wrongdoing he had been accused of. He wanted to use the most public forum to disseminate this information, the internet, and didn’t really care about the risks involved.

I’ve already spoken about the cyberbullying that caused a lot of my own trauma in my previous article about spirit attachment, so it bears no repeating. What I’m here to talk about is how Jack essentially used my body in order to “speak” to the world.

Some people use the talking board or pendulums to communicate, but you don't need them... If you have the gift, use it!

I worried a professional with how deep I was going

There was, at one time, concern on the part of Christopher Fleming, who I reached out to in desperation when it seemed Jack forgot that I was a college student and not simply his own personal scribe. (Anyone who knew Jack in life knows that his sweet, soft-spoken demeanor made it very easy to want to help him, no matter the personal cost, and that he was more than a little naïve about doing things for himself.) Chris felt that Jack was in fact a negative spirit trying to feel alive again through me, and insisted that I show him who was boss. Indeed, we were forming inappropriate boundaries, mentally, spiritually, and physically, but Jack’s big, brown eyes and soft voice were impossible to resist. I kept helping him, even when I was slandered across the internet and wondering where he ended and I began.

Most people in the paranormal field have an experience or two like this. You form a bond with a spirit, they want to give messages to their living loved ones, and after a while, it becomes less of a give-and-take and more of a controlling, manipulative nightmare. I’m loath to admit that with Jack as I still do love him, but as in life, he still has the habit of dragging people into dramatic love-hate relationships that can last a very long time. As I write this, I still type for Jack almost daily, but he only wants to talk to one person, a woman he thinks of as his wife.

If you’re wondering if this could be considered “automatic typing,” I’m not sure. There are times where it seems I’ve left my body and his thoughts and emotions have taken over, causing me to lose track of time, but I never lose consciousness. It’s like he partially possesses me, and there are times where I’ve looked down and almost seen his large, African American hands on the keyboard rather than my own small ones. Through my body, he’s done a ton of crying, at times laughed, and at times even felt sexual arousal. All of his emotions are larger than life, because he was larger than life. Everyone who came close to him said that he had an amazing presence, and to feel that within my body was at times exhilarating, others terrifying.

A video guide to automatic writing

Contact your spirit guide through automatic writing

I’m not sure what labels I should use to describe myself. I’m not an empath, because the only emotions I have ever felt inside my body that were not my own were his. Am I a clairvoyant? Possibly, because he gave me dreams of his life, flashes, moments, memories, and some I’ve been able to confirm as fact. But a clairvoyance is consistent. I’ve seen some visions from Jimmy, and some from a few other spirits, but nothing like those of Jack’s. Jack’s emotions and memories are intense, and he seems to remember the negative more often than the positive. I could also be a physical medium, in that much of my channeling of spirit affects my body. On one of his death anniversaries, I felt the last moments of Jack’s life. I felt an IV in my arm burning with some type of medicine, and I felt the desperation of shouting for someone who wouldn’t come. I spoke his final words with my lips and cried his tears.

Channeling one spirit in particular for a long period of time starts to feel like you’re losing yourself. You begin to notice that you’ve picked up the spirit’s mannerisms and figures of speech. I found after a while that my voice and my laugh started to sound like Jack’s. I would feel a rush of pure bliss around children, whom he cared for deeply in life. I would hear music differently than I ever had before, broken down into its individual components. As Jack’s energy flowed through me, I felt a spiritual peace, a silent courage, and a singularly uncomfortable amount of distrust of people take up residence within me.

Be careful not to lose yourself

Other spirits also start to notice when you are walking around with a large portion of another spirit’s essence inside of you. Jack, in life, had a way of bewitching people. It made some excited and fanatical, others deeply disdainful and offended. His proximity to me brought either scores of admirers or throngs of the angry and hateful. I was suddenly besieged with spirits as I never had been before.

Channeling Jack also made my light shine brighter to other sensitives. People said that they could feel activity all around me wherever I went. They said that they could feel a male energy that was very gentle, protective, and childlike.

Too many spirits around you can become overwhelming... Jack was the catalyst

The most profound emotions I have ever felt came from when Jack fell in love. To him, loving someone was being one with God. As I am a stranger to organized religion, especially Christianity, it was disquieting to experience his deep, unwavering faith. His lover was a literal angel sent down from above to save his soul from damnation. The redemption he had failed to create with his career had now been found in the form of a woman. Jack’s love was an ecstasy I have never felt before and will likely never feel again.

Channeling a spirit who was devoutly religious in life fills you with divine purpose and a sense of something greater than yourself

The hard truth of channeling a spirit like this is that people around you will not understand. If someone else is not experiencing the entity at the same level you are, they will claim that they do not exist. Even as I’ve reached out to another medium on the west coast who has done similar work for Jack, people will somehow claim that she is legitimate while I am just doing it “for attention,” or else we’re both crazy. But how can three separate individuals who have never met, myself, this woman, and another, all have the same information about his death?

The spirit world is deep, dark, and mysterious, but when dealing with human entities, you quickly learn that they are just that: human. Jack is learning how to live better now than when he was actually alive. He’s learning empathy, emotional regulation, patience, and that he can, at last, trust people. He’s learning that his childhood abuse and the wrongs done to him by his enemies do not define him. He’s learning that, despite being famous in life, he can’t act like he’s the center of the universe anymore. In a way, not only have I become his typist, I’ve also become his confidant and therapist. It’s more than what I signed up for, but I haven’t minded all that much.

I have been channeling Jack for nearly six and a half years now. Sometimes it’s been hugely rewarding, and other times I have been upset, lashing out at him in anger and despair, wishing I could have my life back. He’s largely loosened the reins, but still relies heavily on what I do for him. I hope someday, preferably soon, he can learn that he can do things for himself. He’s capable. Despite still having some enemies in the spirit world, he’s largely safe from harm now. The tranquility that I can begin to feel settling into him, after years of sensing his seemingly-endless pain, has made all of the work I’ve done for him a blessing in disguise.

As with any earthbound spirit, Jack is still here sorting things out, and while he still has a long way to go, he’s finally on the right track.

Bless you, Jack. You didn’t deserve what the world did to you.

Jack wants the world to know these things:

  • He forgives his doctor and doesn’t find him at fault for his death.
  • He loves his children and all children.
  • He never harmed any children.
  • He misses his family and his fans.

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