Chapter 10: Night Terrors
‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God’.–Levititcus 19:31
Looking back, I’m surprised getting spiritually attacked didn’t change my course right then and there, but that’s not usually how it works. Once you get involved in the occult, it has a pretty strong hold on you. Satan has literal ‘strongholds’ that tie you to him, and dabbling in this stuff is not a carefree activity. Instead, it comes with a contract. Nobody knew enough to warn me of that. I had to find that out all on my own.
Months went by after the attack on Christmas break, and Tommy and I began to get even closer than before. We would talk weekly, and began to confide in each other just like we did when we first met. I realized that he was, for all practical purposes, the man in my life. I hadn’t been dating men at that time, and I had actually been exploring the world of dating women. However, even though I identified as ‘bisexual’ then… I couldn’t bring myself to be very physical with women at that time. Something deep in my spirit was afraid of dating women, but I felt like this was a way for me to never get hurt by a man again. Stuck in this confusion, Tommy became a sort of spiritual male touchstone for me. He and I were both unattached, playing the field, but we bared our souls to one another on the phone. It was a safe intimacy, one I could handle.
One day out of nowhere, my roommates came home and told me they decided to buy a condo and I would need to find an apartment on my own. They were going to let me stay for a few months, and only pay utilities so that I could save up to get my own place. I was nervous to find a place in the city, because the rent was so high, and even though Tim and I weren’t getting along super well…I still didn’t want to move. I didn’t know anyone else in Seattle, and I didn’t like the idea of getting another roommate, a total stranger. I knew my roommates were being more than fair by letting me stay on a few months and only pay utilities, but I was really nervous about striking out on my own in a strange city. After a few weeks of stressing out and frantically looking for a place, I actually found something in my budget. It was a studio apartment located in North Seattle, behind the University district. I couldn’t believe my luck; it was only $700 a month, as opposed to the usual $900/month places I had seen advertised in districts like Queen Anne or Capitol Hill.
When I went to meet the landlord, I was a little nervous. I prayed a quick prayer to God before-hand, asking for a confirmation, a sign that this apartment was a safe place for me. I arrived at the apartment complex, and immediately had a good feeling. The apartment complex looked like it had been built in the 1970s, and was made with stucco concrete. It was nestled in between a patch of pine trees and had a black asphalt road that curved around the property. My favorite feature was a giant outdoor staircase that was just beyond the road. The staircase was built upon a hill, and and if you followed the steps you would arrive at a family owned grocery store just above the apartments. The whole view was quirky and scenic.
Down the street from the store was a local coffee shop, and to the other side was a nail salon with a sign that said “Tarot: Fortune Readings”. What a find this place was! Fate was providing a place for me. My apartment was a downstairs unit, and there was wild lavender growing outside the door. I took all this as a sign, a good omen. Signs were very important to me then. They were little ways I felt loved and reassured by the universe.
When I walked up the stone path that led to my landlord’s front door, I noticed that a large crow had landed on a fence post two feet from where I stood. I was silent, in awe and reverence of what I considered to be a very spiritual creature. The crow squawked directly at me. I knew the crows were drawn to me, and I to them. I remember feeling protected again. I felt that the crows were like my angels watching over me. I believed this meant I wasn’t supposed to be afraid, and that this apartment would be a good fit for me.
I never once suspected this was all a trick from satan to lure me into shamanism.
When I met the landlord, he showed me the apartment unit. It was a bit larger than the usual run of the mill studio apartment, and there was a wooden sliding door to partition the bedroom from the living room area as well. It had stylish pergo floors, and was overall very cute. As was typical with rental units in Washington, there was no air-conditioning. I asked the landlord how he would feel if I installed a window unit when summer arrived, and he said ‘absolutely’. Well, this was a deal then, I thought. I signed the lease, and moved in the next week.
A few months went by, and I was able to send for my cat to live with me. I was finally feeling cozy in my new apartment. Ryan and Tim had helped me transport some furniture, and the place was really shaping up to be very cute. I even toyed around with the idea of inviting Tommy to visit my cute new place. Tommy and I had been talking more frequently since I moved out on my own, and he told me one night that he watched one of my favorite movies to feel closer to me. I wanted to let him into my heart, but I was so scared to get hurt again. I just needed to take it slow with Tommy, but I began to fantasize about him visiting me in Seattle and how much fun he would have. I could see myself living here for a while, and maybe Tommy and I could explore a real connection. I began to settle into this new chapter of my life, confident that for once the moving curse was gone, and that I was in Seattle to stay.
My morning routine was my favorite part of the day. As a nanny, I didn’t have to be at work until noon, so I would wake up, feed my cat, have coffee and breakfast, then do my Tai Chi in the living room. I didn’t see Tai Chi as a mystical practice at that time, and merely regarded it as a healthy exercise.
After my Tai Chi, I would pick some fresh lavender to put in the apartment, and if I had time I would study the Tarot cards. I was getting pretty good at reading for others at this point. I had read for Ryan and Tim as well, and had uncovered some sensitive information about their lives. They were surprised that the reading was accurate, and it helped me feel I had really developed this new skill of divination. I was learning that the Tarot was not to be taken lightly, and I was amazed by its power.
Around this time, I had befriended one of the upstairs neighbors named Lorraine. She turned out to be a Wiccan too, and we were thrilled to have that in common. She would come over some mornings for a Tarot reading, and I was glad to help. I wasn’t charging for readings then, because in order to hone my craft I needed to give practice readings. Lorraine was what she called a ‘nature witch’, which she explained was someone who reveres mother nature, and honors staying in tune with the earth for healing and inspiration. Lorraine had never done any spells, and didn’t really care to.
Back then, I revered nature much like Lorraine did. However, looking at the earth and seeing God in it is called pantheism, although I didn’t really see it that way at the time. I simply looked for evidence of God’s plan in everything He created. The problem was that I was beginning to worship the ‘created’ rather than the ‘Creator’. I didn’t of course see that point of view, just that the mystical crows were sent down to help me, and the very earth itself vibrated for me in Seattle, nurturing me and guiding me along my way. I was learning all about the energetic vortexes in the earth, and that Seattle was part of a healing vortex line that ran all the way up to Mount Shasta in California. These energy meridians were a big deal in the new age. It meant God was in the earth, and healing could be found at these places. I never suspected then that the vortex could be a lie, a demonic counterfeit of healing.
I thought it was cool that Lorraine was Wiccan just like me, but I remember even then feeling like I was a different kind of witch than her. I wasn’t satisfied with just being a nature lover. Instead, I wanted control over my surroundings, not people per say..just control. This seemed necessary so no one would ever hurt me again.
I wanted to be in charge of my life, and that’s what witchcraft promised– personal power. I bought the lie, hook line and sinker. I saw the beautiful covers on all the books and Tarot decks. They always had women out in beautiful natural surroundings, with long flowing hair—women who were ‘one’ with mother earth and their beauty was an homage to the very soil itself. ‘As above, so below’ was a saying Wiccans used, and to me it explained the need to ‘get back’ to the beginning, to return to our roots. The problem is these ‘roots’ are demonic. It goes back to original rebellion of Lucifer. Lucifer tells us that following God’s rules makes us slaves. However, the truth is the exact opposite. The longing to be spiritual and sexual at the same time was a very powerful pull for me. I was tired of feeling ashamed and triggered by sex. My childhood trauma needed to be healed and the shackles needed to be broken. Unfortunately, I had no clue that Jesus truly breaks all those demonic chains. Instead, I looked to anything and everything else for the healing I needed.
Chasing this dream led me to enroll in a tarot class located in a nearby city. I wanted to be a professional reader, and in order to do that I would need to study from a master tarot reader. I wanted to start charging money for the readings, and I fantasized about being a spiritual woman who owned her own business. I wouldn’t have to answer to anyone if I worked for myself. I found a class being held in a nearby suburb of Seattle. There was a metaphysical store there named Starlight Bookstore, and a woman named Ms. Raven was holding a Tarot Class in a few weeks. She was offering her students a chance to get certified, and in order to earn this certification we would have to read for Ms. Raven at the end of the 6 week class. Feeling it was a sign that the instructor’s name was ‘Raven’, I signed up for the class.
A few weeks went by, and it was time for my first session with Raven. I drove out to Starlight store early, so I could get a good seat. There were all kinds of people there who had enrolled, men and women. I remember thinking how progressive I was, that this wouldn’t be happening if I were still living in Oklahoma. Finally, we got to meet Ms. Raven. She was tall, thin, and had long flowing jet black hair. It made sense that her name was Raven, because it seemed that crows followed me everywhere then…at least that’s what I believed.
At the class, I learned the LIES that tarot readings were a stepping stone to develop psychic abilities. Not all psychic readers needed to use the tarot deck, as it was simply a divination tool to help them channel the inner wisdom. Divination could come from many tools: tarot cards, runes, pendulums, divining rods, muscle testing. Some people had natural psychic ‘gifts’, and the tarot or other divination tool could help them strengthen that. I knew immediately that I had those gifts. I was always ‘feeling’ other people’s emotions, and I had been that way since I was a teenager. What I didn’t know at that time, was that the Holy Spirit gives each of us special gifts when we are saved. My gift had been sensitivity to others and words of wisdom. I didn’t know that, so when the new age told me I had gifts it was as if someone finally recognized my true potential, my true worth.
Years later, I learned that satan gives us ‘gifts’ too. When we dabble in forbidden spiritual practices like spiritism or consulting mediums (psychics), or even if our ancestors dabbled in them.. we awaken these demonic ‘gifts’ from Lucifer—the light bearer. These gifts are a counterfeit to the Holy Spirit giftings from Jesus– the true Light of the World. These gifts from the enemy are meant to pull us away from God. You see, God knows us before we are born. He has a set plan for us, but so does Lucifer.
When we are blinded to this, we don’t have eyes to see the deception. Instead, we see that someone ‘gets us’ for the first time, sees that we are unique and ‘gifted’. The new age gives us a purpose, and many in the new age are blind to the fact that this ‘purpose’ is nothing but a path of destruction.
When the class was over, I was so inspired about my gifts that I bought a new tarot deck at the front desk area. It was different from any deck that I had ever seen, and it had photographs of humans on the cards instead of drawings. Each card had a unique photograph and design. It was very artistically done, and I felt its power. I did notice that I had an uncomfortable feeling about the deck because it seemed to work better than any other deck that I’d had. I felt that it had some sort of life of its own, so to speak, but I ignored this feeling as paranoia. Forgetting about the deck, I went on with my regular life until a few weeks later I had another spiritual attack.
I was awoken in the middle of the night, and I was in the middle of a dream that where I couldn’t move. I couldn’t wake up and I couldn’t breathe this time. I had a harder time calling on Jesus, as I hadn’t been close to God since I was in my teens. I finally called out “Jesus help me”, and I woke up. I was face down with my head in the pillow, gasping for air, almost smothered.
This attack really got under my skin, and it felt like dejavu, but I couldn’t quite place it. Then, suddenly I remembered. How could I have forgotten?! This had happened before…
I was 19 years old, home from college for the summer. I was taking a nap, when suddenly I remember feeling a heavy weight on my chest. I couldn’t breathe or wake up. I tried to call on the name of Jesus, but as it often happens in nightmares, I was frozen in silence. A shadowy figure appeared to the right side of the bed. I finally struggled to squeak out “In the name of Jesus Christ, Flee!” The image was instantly gone, and I was awake..but my hands were pressing very firmly against my neck, and I woke up trying to choke myself.
Why was this happening again? Why did it always involve me not being able to breathe? Could I get killed in the spirit realm? All these questions ran through my mind, and I thought of a horror movie I had once seen as a child. In the movie, if you died in the spirit world, you died in real life. I was legitimately terrified at this point, but all it did was make me want to try harder to control the fear—not turn to God for help. I was really rattled this time, but being that I was in the new age and wasn’t attending church at the time, I decided my best bet was to call the store where I bought the tarot deck. The store owner’s name was Jess, and I saw her as a very spiritual wise woman who was bound to have answers. I asked Jess about spiritual attacks and what she thought I should do, but she seemed really uncomfortable discussing it. However, I was persistent. She finally suggested that I cut up the deck into tiny pieces, and say the name ‘Archangel Michael’ for protection. I was relieved to have a plan of action, and I remember feeling like I was in control of the attacks for the first time. I didn’t know of course that this was not enough to protect me, and that the attacks would get far worse when I tried to leave the new age.
What I also didn’t realize was that spiritual warfare happens to believers when they start to drift away from Jesus, into dangerous waters.
I suddenly remembered that when I was 17 years old, I had ‘dropped acid’ for the first time. Although I didn’t know it back then, this was dabbling in the spirit realm. That’s the exact point where I had drifted away from the Lord. Psychedelic drugs alter our consciousness, and anything that alters us like that also makes us vulnerable to spiritual attacks. A year later, I went off to college and continued along the path of many activities that drifted me further away from Jesus. I was getting pulled further and further away from the Lord’s protection.
I never forgot about God though, and because of that, God didn’t forget about me. However, my path back to Jesus was about to be a very long and winding road back to salvation.