By Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani

Eons ago channeling was the specialty only of priestesses, priests, psychics, seers, witch doctors and shamans. Every civilization and culture had their own form of channeling in which services were provided via the communication between dimensions, from spirit or Source to human. Channels were usually highly respected, but there were periods in history during which the channeling phenomenon was misunderstood or corrupted to the public by political motivations of the few. Sadly, people were punished, exiled, and murdered. But, the channeling phenomenon always made a comeback because it is part of our natural state of being.

As I wrote in my article The Art of Clear Channeling (1998), [also published in Sedona: Journal of Emergence! Magazine, January 2000), and in Elohim Magazine (Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 2000):
"Channeling has undergone a major transformation in this century. Today is it no longer necessary to have a middle-person in order to bridge person and God. Channeling today does not necessarily require the channel to go into an unconscious trance while channeling, and having no memory or responsibility for what comes through them. Today's channels are being given the opportunity to realize how they are co-creators in the channeling phenomenon, being equal to the entities they channel. More and more channels are being more conscious of what is occurring in their altered state and taking responsibility for their co-creation: being as clear a channel as they can be, allowing themselves to step aside in the process and allow their mentors to fully come through, and then using the channeled messages to assist in their personal growth."

And on some levels today misunderstanding and fear also make a comeback. People are still mystified of and misinformed about channeling, including Uri Geller, as seen on this week's show "Phenomenon". Geller critiqued one of the show's contestants (Jim Callahan, who claimed he was channeling) by saying that he displayed "a supernatural power that is very controversial." And yet, Geller wanted to believe it was real. Criss Angel felt the channeling was not authentic. Angel said it was comical. He offered the contestant a million dollars of Angel's own cash if he would tell him what Angel held in his hand sandwiched between two envelopes. The contestant went ballistic and had to be restrained by the show's host. Now, I feel the contestant could have calmly answered Angel by saying, "I can give a try but make no guarantees, as not all entities are capable of performing that feat. They each have their own areas of expertise." That would have given me and the audience the feeling that he was a credible channel. His defensive and hostile reaction gave me the feeling that either he was not authentic, or didn't understand the phenomenon, himself. This dramatic moment of the show made it clear to me that many people still have a gross misconception of channeling.

Criss Angel's challenge on the television show was legitimate in one way, and yet exposed his own lack of knowledge of channeling. Let's say the contestant was channeling an entity that was psychic and could read what was in the envelope. What would Angel do after handing the guy the million bucks? Would that legitimize the entire channeling phenomenon? What if the man couldn't do it? Would it make all channelers frauds? It's not that black and's more grey. The entire display from all sides was very disrespectful and disconcerting to put the channeling phenomenon into a little box. We need to get beyond the myths and misconceptions.

Going into altered states of consciousness is natural - we do that many times a day and when we sleep. Channeling is a natural occurrence, even though many people might not call it "channeling." Channeling happens when we allow ourselves to relax and be open, and make a slight shift in our consciousness so we can connect our multidimensionality: own higher self, the Source, or by allowing a loving teaching entity to express itself through us. We go into altered states of consciousness often - when we deeply engrossed in watching a film or reading a book or creating something so much so that we lose track of time. We have been inspired, uplifted, gained a new insight. We might channel a piece of art, literature, music, scientific discovery, get an idea for a new invention, or even get a lightbulb moment that tells us the best way to communicate with others. We may not know where these ideas came from, and that might not matter at all. More the point is that we received these benevolent feelings, impressions, or ideas, and paid attention to them.

There is also a misconception of channeling that all entities are benevolent - they're not. They might have their own agenda and connect with their channel through mutual fears or need to control. And some are not other entities at all, but the channeler's own subpersonalities speaking. But for the purpose of this paper, I'm focusing only on benevolent entities professionally channeled, not cheap parlor tricks or dysfunctional personalities.

When we channel a teaching entity or counselor, that type of entity's focus is to share its wisdom and offer assistance that benefits the channel as well as the whole. A person can connect with an energy and relay information from it. Channeling the same spirit guide is like a triangle: two energies connecting, coming together, creating a third through their relationship that is based on and developed through mutual trust, respect, love, interest, intent and proof. There are also one-time channelings of beings that are usually aided through the help of one's higher self or guides. There is also mediumship, in which a human being is providing a service to spirit. We cannot discount the countless people who have been helped by legitimate channeling, and many who currently take classes to learn and hone their channeling abilities.

Each entity has its own strengths and specialties, just as humans have their own. Not all spirit guides or humans can find lost objects, or tell you exactly what's written on a piece of paper, spurt out scientific calculations, chant a mantra in another language, or tell you how to make hummus. So, while I feel it's very important to challenge channeling for its authenticity, there needs to be the understanding that this phenomenon needs flexibility and that not all entities will be able to do everything to perfection as requested. And most likely an entity that cannot perform a particular feat will honestly say so. If they cannot, it doesn't automatically make the channeling phenomenon less real. When we want a medical opinion, we don't go to our auto mechanic. We go to a specialist in medicine. Channeling is no different - we need to know the channel and the entity and what their talents and gifts are. It's not mystical, it's not hocus pocus; it's just common sense. We need to extend the same attitude towards the channeling phenomenon.

© Copyright 2007, Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani