The Previous Chapter in The Paranormal Memoirs is here. I spent a total of four Sunday evenings and Mondays in a row at Jesse's house unearthing memories of possible angel sightings, paranormal experiences, and encounters with supernatural beings.
I wasn't called in beyond a second interview -- I didn't even get that job, although my dearest friend at the time, Tricia, helped me find another position at that same University not long after... The truth is, I kept going back to stay at Jesse's with an entirely different motivation.
The second time I encountered Jesse, he came to the cafe where we had originally met, just as I was leaving. The third time, I paged him, while at Lenox Mall, miles away in another part of town, and fifteen minutes later he walked right up to me in a Pottery Barn. The fourth and final time, I dropped by his house without paging him at all. His car wasn't there, but I peeked through the window in his back kitchen door; and then, just as I was putting my car in reverse, he pulled up behind me in the driveway.
I didn't even consciously realize how much I had locked away and forgotten about until I started sharing these stories with him -- the more of them I recalled, the more they began to surface. There were so many experiences that I had never talked about or even remotely considered telling anyone. If you've followed the hundreds of articles that I've written in the last three-and-a-half years it may be difficult for you to realize how relatively recent it has been that I discuss these subjects publicly at all. You must understand that at the point I met Jesse, in 2002, I was still deeply guarded (and relatively ignorant) about the existence of spirit guides or angels. For the first thirty-five years of my life I carried on under a profound anxiety that I might be mentally ill, or, more importantly, that other people would diagnose me as clinically insane -- that if I talked about this, I could be institutionalized, locked away, lose my freedom, or maybe even my life over it.
I could never recall or transcribe our conversations word-for-word, but, if this was a movie, I would simply show you a montage of those hours spent in the armchairs that were the only substantial furniture in the house talking over take-out food and coffee. Much of these talks felt like some kind of intensive therapy sessions -- maybe, as in the symbolic logic of dreams, Jesse's uniform blue medical scrubs implied healing.
Jesse never talked about himself, his work, his family, his life. At first I would ask questions, according to social protocol, but they were always vaguely deflected. He interviewed me, with very precisely chosen prompts that I was sometimes surprised to realize how much I could answer, at great length. He wanted to dig into the details of strange memories that I had not thought about for years. I've never felt "listened to" so completely.
After pulling the stories from me, he would take a turn theoretically "diagnosing" or identifying the themes from a spiritualist perspective, as if he were writing a thesis paper on my childhood. Sometimes, the dialogue felt like a psychic reading, as he seemed to know more about me than I did.
And -- always -- he related the context and the parameters of what we discussed to the existence of angels.
I eventually moved from feeling "embarrassed" by the direct way he lectured about this topic to warming to the possibilities. The more I shared, and the more he explained to me, the more I felt something click into place that made more sense than I might have initially wanted to admit. I began to feel lighter, intrigued, even relieved that there were things that had never made sense to me before that suddenly had this magical, retroactive filter through which I could reconsider them. Viewed through the prism of Jesse's beliefs, the very things that I had uncomfortably ignored and repressed because they were disturbing or confusing began to have a purpose, a cohesion that would at least make sense in the realm of Stories.
Skeletons in my closet, of which I was mostly ashamed, were recast as powerful, meaningful, benevolent characters. The ingredients of my "insanity" became the components of a mystical narrative where I was a hero, not a victim. (It's very much the current model for my client readings -- to reinterpret a person's Story such that the seemingly random threads emerge as a pattern in a tapestry; the painful pieces become gifts of the spirit; the tragedies become tests of the will; the failures become the acquisition of wisdom... Any life story can be willfully romanced through an intentional shift in perspective.)
Much of what Jesse shared about angelic entities was biblically arcane to the point of being obtuse: The Book of Enoch who was essentially abducted by ancient aliens (angels) and later returned to record the names we historically know them by; and archaic categorizations of the angelic hierarchies -- the Four Choirs, and the subset phyla (species) of angelics like Supernals, Celestials, Illuminations, Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers... and those of the Orders of the Fourth Choir who are the most likely to closely interact with humanity -- Principalities, Archangels, (plain old) Angels.
Among the "lowest" order were the personal guardian angels who work with each of us, usually in pairs: our Ashers and Silver Cord Technicians.
Spirit Guides or Angels? Recently, one of the students I'm mentoring through the Automatic Intuition Professional Program told me that she believed one of her spirit guides had shown up, unannounced, on her doorstep one day. An unusually small woman who claimed to have a "message" and was invited in. After a conversation in which she made predictions for this student concerning her future life purpose, she left and was never seen or heard from again.
I didn't say so at the time, but I wondered that this might not technically be an entity of much higher vibration than a guide. I doubt the ability of a spirit guide (a formerly human soul) to manifest a corporeal body -- to assume living form. But of course it depends on whether or not anyone else witnessed this little woman -- was my student the only person to see, hear, and interact with her? If so, then I suppose it may well have been a spirit guide in full-body apparition, not unlike a ghost; or able to be perceived by interior psychic senses.
Astral Sleepwalkers | Ladies in Nightgowns Jesse suggested that many of the beings we might perceive as brief, full-body apparitions with very limited interaction -- and assume to be ghosts or shadows or angels -- might actually be astral travelers: real, living, flesh-and-blood human beings asleep in some other part of the world whose souls leave their bodies and wander around. This might explain why so many of the women commonly seen in such circumstances often seem to be wearing nightgowns, are unaware of their surroundings, and are unresponsive, like sleepwalkers.
While many spirit entities of all types are most commonly perceived by intuitively sensitive people, who experience them regularly or intermittently through the subtler psychic senses, Jesse told me that there are beings who literally manifest physical bodies that all of us -- absolutely anyone -- can see and interact with.
It takes enormous power and ability to assume a corporeal form, even temporarily, and it is unlikely that ghosts, earthbound spirits, or dis-incarnate human souls acting in the roles of guides can pull this off.
Beyond just being around us everywhere in some "ethereal" way or in some "other dimension," corporeal angels walk around among us. Even though we see them and speak to them, we mostly dismiss them as random strangers; it may never occur to us that they are not human.
Roles of Corporeal Angels Jesse said that angels who take the physical form of human strangers commonly appear to be doctors, nurses, EMT's, police officers, firefighters. You may have brief and meaningful interactions with people in these roles whom you never see again, and others of their kind can't account for them and will likely not know to whom you are referring if you ask about them.
Many corporeal angels will assume the guise of homeless people. Jesse pointed out that many panhandlers are quite aware of this lore, regardless of their personal beliefs, and may strategically exploit the perception for their own ends. He advised that the best means of discernment is simply your gut -- that you know or at least suspect on an intuitive level; their vibration is usually quite high, the feeling that you get in their presence should never be threatening, though it could be uncomfortable or intense.
Some Qualities that Might "Give Away" the Incarnated Angel
- they seem "rooted" to a particular spot -- able to interact with you, although they may remain standing or seated in one place
- they move around normally, but are limited to a specific physical location or time
- their clothing may be "anachronistic" -- the style of the clothing is oddly out of fashion, yet appears "too new," without normal wear and tear
- their clothing may appear unusually put together or hastily chosen
- there is an anonymous quality to their overall appearance -- they blend easily into crowds
- they may be unusually tall or the opposite, extremely diminutive in size
- they may appear to be of an indeterminate age -- whether they are young or old, it seems almost impossible to guess
- they are "plainly beautiful" in an unremarkable way that has more to do with "newness" than the handsomeness of features -- "beautiful" in the way that all infant creatures are beautiful; even though their features are not interesting or necessarily sexually attractive, their skin is often colorless or without variation or blemish
- their smell may be unusually strong or noticeable; pleasant but pervasive
- they speak without recognizable accent or dialect
- they are emotionally even-keel or undemonstrative in their expression -- perhaps even "robot like"
- even though other people may be able to see them as well as you can, they have no known connection or relationship to anyone else
- you feel their presence before you notice them; they are always aware of you first; by the time you make eye contact you realize that they have already been staring at you
Significance of Their Names They are not quick to introduce themselves or to volunteer their names; if you ask, they will provide you with a single first name.
The names they claim will often be of recognizable significance to you -- a name that you particularly like; that you have known many people to share; that appears often in your family; one that corresponds with a figure of importance to you.
Even when their names don't seem to be coincidental or meaningful, they nevertheless correspond to some pattern. (Have you noticed the commonality among the names of the characters I have shared in this series of memoirs, not to mention the names of some of my guides that I've talked about in others? It's the only thing "curious" or noteworthy that stands out, by the way... Although it is a very simple pattern, it is a constant.)
More important than the "type" of entity or the details of their physical appearance are the roles they play or the circumstances in which they may interact with the living in a corporeal form.
Circumstances Where Angels Tend to Intervene
- Transitions of Birth/ Death
- Physical Danger
- Direction Regarding Life Path and Purpose
- While Traveling
I specifically recall that "while traveling" was the last thing that Jesse mentioned; combined with the list of odd physical attributes, it was The Trigger that finally made me say "Okay -- wait a minute..." This is how and why this series of memories I've been sharing with you connects. Before that day, I had never related to another person the mystery of the stranger who had followed me from London to Paris to Amsterdam. I believe it had confounded me and defied logical explanation for so long -- and to such a degree that I feared speaking about it would only make me sound paranoid -- that I had uncomfortably and successfully semi-forgotten it. Tucked it away with no expectation of ever understanding how it could be...
"Why now?" I asked Jesse, after he pronounced his judgment that the experience was a perfect example of what he alluded to as evidence of Their existence. "Why am I just becoming aware of this, here and now, at this point?"
"At whatever point in time, your awareness can change your awareness in all directions -- backwards into the past, forward into the future. You've definitely -- admittedly -- been wandering around in the woods in the dark, purposefully hiding. Maybe now you've stumbled upon a path that leads Somewhere you should go." (Jesse's speech tended to be spiked with these Yoda-like answers.)
"So, what do I do with that?"
"Reconsider... Everything..." And then he said something to me that I would hear repeated, from a variety of sources, in remarkably similar wording and form, over the next few years -- I refer to it as The Ultimatum from My Guides:
"Why would you keep what you believe to yourself?"
(Perhaps those incidents landmark the next obvious series of stories I should share here... I wish I could say that meeting Jesse set me on a clearly defined, purposeful, peaceful path out of those proverbial woods I was wandering in. "Reconsidering Everything" was not a pretty process -- it was not all "angel hugs and angel wings" -- the Universe had already stripped me of so many basic structures in my life, and then it sent a Wrecking Ball through my world, and deconstructed my belief system and my understanding of reality. Although my personal paranormal experiences certainly increased a hundred-fold, the next few years was more like a tornado tearing through those woods, and if I'd ever feared that I might lose my mind... Well, I finally did. I lost it. And it took me about three or four years to crawl up and out to a place of lucidity and control that has allowed me to produce the writing on this web site and to begin counseling others and providing readings.)
That last day with Jesse, after he challenged me regarding my reasons to continue in secrecy, he did something that was completely out of character with the relaxed, timeless nature of the routine we'd established, or the synchronicity of my comings and goings -- he suddenly announced that he had to go. (Which I translated as a polite way of saying it was time for me to go.)
He was urgent, fixed, and final in showing me out the door; it felt like he had heard a silent alarm sound and knew my car was about to turn back into a pumpkin.
From the small back porch near his driveway, Jesse watched me throw my bag into the trunk. Before I sat down in the driver's seat, I took my last chance to speak to him over the hood of the car:
"You know, don't think that I'm not unaware that, if everything you claim is true, you are highly suspect." I accused him with a smile, teasing. "You meet more of the criteria than Stalker John did. If anyone I've ever met is One of Them, you must be."
Jesse gave me a grin and a little shrug of the shoulders -- not a confirmation, but certainly not a denial.
I never saw him again.
About a month later, when I had finally landed a job and relocated, I wanted to at least talk to him and let him know how everything had worked out. When I called his pager, I received a wrong number message.
Although I never ran into him again, there were three occasions when I discovered books mysteriously left for me -- one for each of the places where I lived between 2003 and 2006: Messages from Mother Mary in my mailbox; Quantum Spirituality on the windshield of my car when I came out of a Kroger grocery store at 2 am; and Conscious Evolution (the book by Barbara Marx Hubbard that Jesse had been reading when I first met him) which I found one morning (impossibly) outside on the balcony of my top floor loft.
Not only did Jesse disappear on me -- even his home vanished.
The few times that I drove by the small white house right after moving to Atlanta, I saw a realtor's For Sale sign by the mailbox and it looked emptier than ever. Whenever I found myself on that street, I would slow down as I passed the house, looking for signs of occupancy. On one occasion, about a year later, during a particularly rough patch of difficult psychological transition, I actually went there with every intention and hope of stopping to visit him again.
I carefully tracked the landmark speed humps -- just past the last bump before you get to the traffic light -- and pulled into the driveway. Before me was a green house, and, more disorienting, the driveway and the sidewalk were on the wrong side of the house. I got out and looked to the neighbors on either side -- it had to be one of those; I only could've missed it by one, in either direction...
The house simply was not there. As if it existed according to a magical law of physics like Platform 9 and 3/4 where one catches the Hogwarts Express, or the safe house in The Order of the Phoenix that can slide into and out of a crack in space time...
Over the next couple of years, I scoured that street, expecting to locate it at last and realize my previous error, even if Jesse wouldn't be found there. When I eventually moved back to Tennessee in 2006, the last thing I did on my way out of town, my car packed to the roof with my belongings, was take one final slow (fruitless) creep down Woodland Hills.
This is the closest I've come to finding it -- or making it "real" -- again.
The Next Chapter in The Paranormal Memoirs is here.