Therapy & Shamanism © David J. Marsden 2002

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I attended a workshop by a Mexican trainer near Mississauga (Canada). The trainer was dark and slim, yet his skin seemed gray for someone who claimed to live in a desert. He said he would teach us how to use Toltec dream magic and that he would show us how to build magical power during our sleep. Here is my story …

Magical Power

Since I retired, my hobby of ghost stories has opened many strange doors that I wish I had looked through when I was younger. If esoteric agencies and ghosts existed, I reasoned, then the next step was to find ways of banishing the more troublesome ones. Hence Toltec Dream Power seemed like an interesting way to spend a weekend. It certainly beat a demonstration of divination using Ouija boards and tarot cards that I had been invited to. That old spiritualism stuff is really slow.

I enjoyed the books of Carlos Castaneda. Castaneda portrays himself as an ultimate inept student and his teacher, Don Juan Matus as an ultimate wise guru in the shape of a Mexican sorcerer. I once hoped that Castaneda’s books were mostly factual but I believe now that they were mostly fiction.

This trainer introduced himself as a member of a parallel lineage to Castaneda, and demanded complete control during the workshop. I thought that maybe the guy’s mind was still in Mexico, but I wanted to stay so I agreed to his rules.

Not everybody stayed. One couple argued with him briefly and left, declaring that this workshop was about building power – not about giving power away. I silently applauded them but stayed anyway.

The first day was a series of meditations and movements to open body power points. It was similar to other methods which I already knew (a common problem for us workshop junkies). At the end of the day, the teacher asked for permission to visit our bodies as we slept that night; in the same way that his teacher had done for him. Nobody challenged this – sometimes we Canadians can be too trusting. Or maybe nobody really believed him.

Crazy Dreams
The next morning began in chaos. Three women accused the trainer of mental abuse. This became a yelling contest and two of the women asked for their money back. The lady who organized the workshop stepped in and took charge – she was a GOOD mediator – in a few minutes we were a class again, with the angry women willing to work through their discomfort during the day.

I knew one of the angry women, Mary, fairly well. We had met quite a few times. She is generally a dynamo, interested in everything and willing to try anything. She is also good-looking. We chatted during a break, and I daringly asked if she was attracted to the teacher. But no, she thought that he had a disagreeable personality and that his skin looked sick. She suspected that he had no real personal power – until she awoke from a horrible dream.

For most of my adult life I was a psychotherapist, and I remain a good listener. Most people can relax with me and talk about what’s on their mind without fear of criticism or ridicule – especially if the topic involves ghosts and magic. Mary said that mental rape wasn’t the half of it – it was more like deviant sexual humiliation. But she was willing to call it a crazy dream until further notice.

The rest of the workshop was OK. We learned some body movements – almost dances – that were supposed to collect power from earth energy fields. These earth energies, once collected, could be stored in the body and could be used, with intent, to change things. The teacher said that our collected power might fade at night, and told us how to recharge our magical power in the morning. He mentioned (in response to a question) that people’s spirits could also be captured and used – but that he wouldn’t teach us how to do that. We ended the workshop listening to Mexican folk songs.

Mary phoned me later that week. She said that she was exhausted by her dreams and her body sensations. Her descriptions were similar to people I have met who who lived in haunted houses. Or maybe it was some wild transference. I was curious if the trainer could deliberately leave some of his self or energy in other people. Or perhaps the trainer could steal a person’s energy. Or both. Or something else.

Mary said that she was afraid to sleep, and that she had set an alarm clock to awaken her every fifteen minutes to avoid deep sleep. She added that her skin was starting to look gray – like the trainer’s.

After a week or so, she phoned again, then came to my home and directly asked me to help her. I replied that I no longer practiced psychotherapy, but that I could refer her to a colleague. “No“, she said, “not that help. I want real help – magical help“.

I sighed deeply, thought about it, and sighed again. “I’m not a magician”, Mary“, I said, “I check out ghost stories. I only … “.

I think I’m haunted!
She smiled thinly and interrupted, “That’s why I’m asking. I think I’m haunted“.

Well. I felt trapped by my own words. I wrote a short disclaimer and asked her to sign it – that if I ask her some questions – that any answers that she might make or actions that she might take were her own responsibility, and that this was free, with no payment received or expected. It was rubbish, legally, but I felt flustered, and writing it helped me organize my thoughts.

At my suggestion, we met in a park, and sat by a statue of some war hero. (Everybody knows the statue, but nobody knows who he was – so much for passing fame). I wanted the sounds of nature around. Although the loudest noise was from passing traffic, a few birds assisted and mingled with the laughter of children in the play area.

I followed some steps that I use to check haunted places, to help Mary see and identify what was affecting her. She tensed and started to tremble. I held her hand and repeated “I am here with you“.

Mary found what she called a nest of snakes centered on her lower back. On closer examination, these snakes were more like moving hollow tentacles that could attach to things and suck. They seemed to bring some energy into her body. I asked her to locate the center – and she whimpered. “Omigod!”, she moaned, “it really happened“.

She said that maybe the trainer had done what he said he would do – what she had agreed to. She could now steal energy (her words) from certain people and store it in her womb. She said that since the bad dream during the workshop she had felt uncomfortably connected to the trainer through her womb, hence a feeling that she had been raped.

We explored more. One of her snakes was longer, darker and thicker than the others, and Mary said that it stretched to infinity. She said it seemed to “blow” energy rather than “suck”. We followed the connection – to the Mexican trainer. He seemed to have a similar but larger nest of snakes; and his snakes seemed also to connect to people, of which Mary was only one. His snakes centered on his abdomen, not his lower back. Mary said that his snakes looked more like pulsing umbilical cords, and that he also had a larger connection that appeared to send the energy somewhere else …

This was horrific. If at all true, then people could indeed be “energy collectors” … gathering or stealing energy during the day, and sending the collected energy at night, while they slept. It seemed too that they could recruit other people in a sort of esoteric multi-level pyramid scheme.

My muscles tensed. I stopped and carefully checked myself – could I be another collector? It seemed not. Was I too old? The wrong sex? Not compliant enough? Not enough energy? But no, so I relaxed and we moved on to the more important question – how could we remove her psychic snake nest?

For me, the most difficult part of psychotherapy was making a diagnosis that explains all the symptoms. After that, remedial changework is often straightforward. Mary and I tried some therapeutic and magical techniques without success, and we arranged to meet again the next day.

During my evening meditation, I found a solution. We could deliberately send a certain energy – a LOT of it – through the connection to the trainer, during the day when it would be unexpected. We did this when we met the next day – and it worked! Mary said that her umbilicus-like tentacle exploded, and her collector tentacles seemed to fade away.

(I have since learned more efficient and elegant methods of diagnosis, healing and coaching from Martyn Carruthers, who derived it in part from native Hawaiian healing. He calls it Soulwork Systemic Coaching and I recommend it to people who explore separate realities and altered states.)

On completion – Mary was shocked but she could relax. Two days later she phoned to thank me and to say that she slept peacefully for a long time. She asked if she could call me again if “those horrible things return“. I said “Of course“, but she didn’t phone, and when we met again a month or two later, she said that it was like a bad dream.

Some dream – I was in it! Here are links to a few other experiences:

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