It’s natural to be curious about spirituality, spirits, you know, supernatural stuff. As a tween, I played a few rounds of “spirit pen” (a broke student’s version of ouija board) with a friend in her bedroom while a party filled with enough adults was going on right outside.
She said, “I’m going to put this clock right here. If you get possessed by anything, I’ll knock you out with it.” Ha-ha-ha.
Thankfully nothing of the sort happened. We grew up unscathed and none the wiser about why it had been such a bad idea to try to invite unknown spirits for a girly chat (stranger danger and all).
It only hit home not so long ago that it is indeed possible to land into a downward spiral of negativity, depression and even self-harm if you dabble in spiritual practices without first having a certain level of emotional maturity and the right mentors.
Sometime in 2018 (I think), when I was in an intermediate Tarot workshop, a young girl – she was probably in her late teens or early 20s – with a frantic energy about her burst into the room. Let’s call her S. Perhaps S was frazzled because she’s 30 minutes late, I thought.
From the depths of her duffle bag, S whipped out the XIII Tarot deck, which was dark and gothic in style. The box was almost coming apart, and the cards looked frayed and worn – she definitely had been using them a lot.
Sorry the Rider-Waite didn’t arrive in time, she explained. She brought a second deck as backup, I can’t remember what it was now.
The teacher opted for the second deck and S shared that Tarot was what kept her sane as her dad was mean to her (no specifics of course). And looking at the way she dressed and spoke, it was obvious that she’s not with the cool crowd in school. She might not even have close pals or confidantes. But hey, my circle is extremely small, so who am I to judge?
Then it was time for some simple 3- to 5-card spreads to warm up. While the rest of us were happy to be obedient students, S decided nah, I want to do my own thing, and started drawing what felt like a thousand cards from her deck.
Hold up, why don’t you do my method while we’re in class?, the teacher implored, and explained the advantages of keeping things simple.
But this has always been the way I do it, she insisted.
A short but strained exchange ensues. I kept my eyes down for a minute. Before we knew it, S declared that this wasn’t the right class for her and that she felt attacked and disrespected for her beliefs. She packed her stuff and stormed out.
No one said a thing. The teacher, a local medium psychic, welcomed her decision to leave. Right after, she went as far to say that S’s decks were inhabited by dark spirits.
I was floored and disturbed in equal measures. Not by the dark spirits that might or might not have sat at the same table that day. But I felt mildly regretful for not extending a warmer smile and some encouraging words to S (no doubt a complete stranger) to get her to stay and rise above the emotional triggers that she was responding to.
I certainly understood the teacher’s position that day – it was important to protect the other students in class and wasn’t in anyone’s interest to try to “fix” a young girl who wasn’t ready to take a breath and listen.
It was that very day that made me realise that “demonic” or “evil” influences are real, and there are unethical spiritual practitioners who are only too eager to prey on clients’ fears and anger for their own gain.
More commonly however, people get addicted to looking up psychics, Tarot readers, spell makers and the like because real life hurts so badly and they have no idea how to get past their obstacles. If they’re lucky, they will meet an ethical intuitive practitioner along the way who helps them heal. If not, this becomes an infinite loop that enhances one’s victim mindset with time.
Which then brings me back to my intention of the post. If you are a young person (or have youths around you) who show interest in spiritual or esoteric practices, I hope you exercise caution before diving into the deep.
- Are you 18 and above?
Ok fine, there’s no magic age where you become mature, but I think at 18 you should be accountable for all your actions and able to take on the resulting consequences. If you’re a troubled student or young adult even, talk to a friend, counsellor, parent or a psychotherapist as your first helpline. (And oh yes, STAY AWAY FROM EEKY STUFF LIKE OUIJA BOARDS!)
- You have free will to design your future
Get rid of the idea that your life is predestined (I say this a lot). While spiritual readings can give you an idea of the energies surrounding a situation, it is up to you ultimately to stay or to go, to suck it up or make radical changes.
- Research practitioners before landing on one
If anyone claims to be able to read your future with 100% accuracy, help you get rich in a month or cast a curse on your biggest nemesis, run away as fast as you can. Find someone down-to-earth and level-headed who present values that you resonate with. And always choose to work with high-vibrating energies. If you are non-religious and would like to pray about something, you may mentally call on spirit/universe/divine source to fill you with only the highest light and purest love, so you can be guided to serve the highest good of yourself and all involved in X situation.
- True healing is uncomfortable and can only be done by yourself
We have been conditioned to block our emotions but as a result, trauma gets stuck deep inside our mind and body. There is no magic bullet and no A-grade psychic that can help you do the work of moving through grief, fear and anger. You will have to hunker down and face these demons yourself eventually.