To believe, or not to believe? This is an age-old question and it's a choice that is significantly influenced by many factors, including fear for many of us. Often, the fear factor is due to a lack of conviction based on what you know to be true, not what you think.
To explore the proof of that conviction, Ottawa At Home profiles four spiritual guides who make their living by using their gifts positively to benefit those who open their minds to the possibilities of their unique abilities. Each one is a healer who works with clients to promote healing and insight to solve personal issues and help them gain a better understanding of life's challenges.
Algonquin Medicine Man
What does spirituality mean to you? Spirituality is a person's direct relationship with spirit, creator, or whatever name they give to that higher power that operates within their life. It exists in the absence of interpretation or deciphering by other people, and it is about how you live your life and what values are important to you.
What is your special ability and how does it work? To see beyond a person's issues, wounds, or diagnosis, and to see the healed part of them - that healed outcome - that is who they truly are. I can communicate with a person's spirit and help a person remember what is important to them and how to heal.
How did you discover that you had your particular gift(s)? At a young age I was very sensitive to "things" in my environment and around me. These things were non-physical; sometimes they were energies, emotions, and simply what I would call consciousness. When I was younger, my brother was hit by an impaired driver and nearly died. That night I had a vivid experience of stepping outside of time and this reality, and I was somehow able to float out of my body and to see everything happening (when in fact I was home asleep in my bed).
What is the greatest myth about your profession? The greatest myth about my profession is that it is outside of, or against, what you might call mainstream religion or religions. Medicine Work respects all paths of life and types of healers. There is one Creator known by many names and honoured in many ways, and we are a part of that. It works with other professions to help be of service to people in need, to step out of their wounds and into the best life they can have.
Describe how your work promotes healing? My work promotes healing by helping to get a person out of their story and to help them view things in a new and healthier way. I work at the very root cause of what is really causing their issue, and to help them to heal that. All issues are energetic, and my work is about helping to teach people how to heal themselves through direct experience.
Gail Desjardins, "Gailstar"
Tarot Card Reader
What does spirituality mean to you? The feeling that I get through the work that I do to help others. It is more than a sense of achievement; it's an inner satisfaction that someone is helping me to achieve my goal to help others.
What is your special ability and how does it work? With the enhancement of my Tarot cards, I am pleased and always surprised by my ability to help others by knowing what is going on in their lives. I am able to give them warnings of the good and bad that have a potential to happen in a specific amount of time.
How did you discover that you had your particular gift(s)? I knew in grade school that I had some type of gift. I knew when things were going to happen, it was just a feeling that I had. I remember saying to my friends, "wouldn't that be cool if . . ." and then fill in what I just knew was coming up. In high school, I learned to use a regular deck of playing cards for readings, and then a few years later, took an actual course on Tarot reading with another very gifted psychic in the Ottawa area that taught me to follow my instincts.
What is the greatest myth about your profession? That some of us are evil and do magic. Some people still believe today that we are witches and make things happen. Tarot reading is very spiritual, and in my opinion, very connected to God, and the highest of good.
Describe how your work promotes healing? People just need to know that the path they are on in life is going to end up where they want to go. They need to know their options, and know that there are alternatives to events, or situations that they feel they have no control over. My job is to show them the doors that have previously been hidden, and open their minds to the possibilities of life before them. Inner peace promotes healing on the inside and the outside.
Psychic (and frequent guest on The New Hot 89.9's Morning Hot Tub)
What does spirituality mean to you? I can answer that in one word: love.
What is your special ability and how does it work? I disagree with the label "special" as I believe we all have the ability. That said, like any skill, some people are better at some things than others. I'm able to predict as a psychic, and as a medium to connect with the other side.
How did you discover that you had your particular gift(s)? I've been psychic my whole life. But, my first medium connection was my grandmother who came to me when I was 14 years old to show me that she had passed over and was OK. I was terribly worried about her, and the connection comforted me in a beautiful way. Death is a painful process, but it's wonderful knowing that they are going to a better place.
What is the greatest myth about your profession? I've been accused of being in league with the devil, but I'm not. It's frustrating, because when you deny it the same accusers will say that the devil lies. You can't win. So I don't bother trying.
Describe how your work promotes healing? First, we are human, so when loved ones pass over, you are supposed to feel pain! It's part of the process. I help people make connections privately, and in radio and television appearances, and it shows us that there is a "better place" for all of us. Our loved ones are still with us, spiritually. It brings comfort to those left behind and gives them peace of mind.
What does spirituality mean to you? It is a philosophy of right living that guides me to find hope, faith, forgiveness, compassion and understanding for people, and the world around me and within me. It is a way of life for me.
What is your special ability and how does it work? As an intuitive, I can see, hear, know and feel energy. I have the gifts of clairaudience, the ability to hear clearly; clairvoyance, the ability to see clearly; claircognizance, the ability to know clearly and clairsentience, the ability to feel clearly. I can tune into a situation and offer the natural solution to the problem and map out success strategies for career, family, health, money, business and love.
How did you discover that you had your particular gift(s)? A book called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch changed my life. I had my own personal conversation with the divine after reading it. Instantly, I could see, hear, feel and know energy all around me. I began to "see" beings of light around people that would telepathically tell me helpful information about that person.
In 2000, I went to Newport Beach, Calif. to study angel therapy with Doreen Virtue, a psychologist who sees and talks to angels. Soon thereafter, I became Ottawa's first angel therapy practitioner and professional spiritual teacher certified by Doreen Virtue. Since then, I've consulted with over 8,000 people worldwide, helping to find "soul-utions" to life's problems.
What is the greatest myth about your profession? That all psychics or healers are fakes and phonies. We're not!
Describe how your work promotes healing? As an energy mechanic, I work on the energetic levels of dis-ease, difficulties and challenges to transmute energy blocks and release the natural flow of health, happiness, prosperity and love.