I have always heard intuitive readers talking about protecting themselves while giving readings, be that energetically projecting intentions, inviting their guides in for support, or literally smudging between sessions. As someone who talks about intuitive abilities on the regular, this isn't easy for me to admit. But. I have always thought the idea of energetically protecting yourself from others while giving readings was a little... meh.
By meh, I mean, "Come on. Do I really need to do that?" It seemed unrealistic. It seemed tedious. Impractical. And was it really necessary? Energetic protection from those I interact with wasn't something I practiced, but then again, I wasn't ever giving tons of back-to-back readings.
When I teach workshops, group settings, I have been careful to design them in a way that protects everyone present, myself included. So why would I intentionally protect others... but not myself in a one on one setting?
I gave my first intense string of intuitive readings at Prairie Love Festival. I have given readings before, but not like this. I was booked back-to-back for hours of solid crystal readings, and I was a little energetically underprepared. I didn't anticipate the readings would be so popular and I definitely didn't expect word to travel as fast as it did. Before I knew it, I had a long lineup of people waiting for their quick crystal reading. I was channeling and pumping out energy at ginormous rates - and wouldn't you know it - some really heavy shit came out.
Querents were sobbing in front of me, realizing some intense things about their lives, and it was a rollercoaster of energy. Some things were good. Some things were hard to hear. Some things were flat out scary - like guessing the exact ages of children. (BOOYA!) But I found myself quickly relaying comfort as well as information from spirit. And while it was powerful, deeply resonating with the querents and clicking things into place for them, its affect on me was seriously unexpected.
Giving a reading or two (or even three or four) for me, isn't anything extreme. I get in; I get out, and hopefully those I'm with get something out of the experience. It's something I've done for a long time, and I've never encountered anything that made me feel like I needed a formal ritual in protecting myself - energetically - from those I was readings. Hence, where my "meh" feelings came from.
But I gave over 40 readings in one afternoon, and sprinkled in two massively healing Sacred Circle workshops with 25 people in each class. That's a lot of energy. That's different energy from nearly 100 different people. That's drumming up and expelling a ton of junk from many different subtle bodies.
By the time I finished my second class, hustling back to my tent where I was giving readings, I felt a little... funny.
I had never moved so much energy in one day.
...And I quickly became violently ill.
If you could hear the sounds my body was making that night, you'd have thought I was dying. I thought I was dying! I know Derek did. He laid beside me as my stomach moaned like a pot-bellied pig crossed with a deranged goat. It was scary. It was LOUD. I was feverish. There was some scary BLACK oil-like substance coming out of my body throughout the entire night. I barely made it through the drive home to the country. I could barely keep my eyelids open. I ran over the things I ate - nothing strange. I frantically googled my symptoms (like an idiot). I made deals with the powers that be that I would eat only salad for an eternity if someone would just take the awfulness away. (I hadn't done that since I was a kid.)
I stayed up the entire night rocking myself, exhausted, and terrified to quite literally breathe too deeply. I was shaking, sore, and totally depleted. I had never felt this way in my entire life. And it felt different. It didn't feel like the flu.
As the hours ticked on, I knew the culprit. It was an absolute overload of energy. I could feel my body reacting to so much intensity, and I felt totally stupid. But I knew it was too late. I knew no amount of smoke cleansing was going to get this feeling out of me, and that I needed to let it excrete at its own course.
At first, I kept telling myself, logically, that it was just a quick flu and totally not my fault. But in my gut? I knew better.
The next morning, I was up early again for day two of the festival, a long list of people waiting for their readings that day. I had my ginger ale, crackers, and Gravol, and I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day of selling items from the supply shop, teaching workshops... and giving readings.
Actually, I was scared to give another reading. And what's worse, I wasn't sure if I could. I had no more energy left to give. I wasn't sure if I would even be able to channel spirit in an accurate reading. Because energy doesn't only equal how much physical lustre I have at a given moment. My total energy supply depends on my mental energy, my emotional energy, and of course, my spiritual energy.
So I told people no. I turned away a lot of people, and I was worried how it would affect my reputation at the festival. But I was more worried about my reputation being negatively affected by inaccurate readings, especially since day one had been so profound for so many people.
People took it well. Thankfully, they understood. After all, this was a feel-good, spiritual festival! Many were telling me that I needed to "protect myself" and they could see me growing tired the day before.
"Yeah, I know," I said rather sheepishly. Wasn't that like, the most basic rule in the spiritual world? Protect yourself? Before, I never really had a reason to. I even sell a spray, literally perfect for the type of quick readings I gave. WTF was I doing?
I am not above spirit, and I never pretended to be. I just didn't know I could be as impacted as I was. I was naive. I was educated, but I was a little blazé about it. And now, my bones hurt. My head hurt. My body was pissed at me for causing myself such an imbalance. And ever since, I've been a little afraid to read anyone else. I was that sick.
I learned my lesson, and I'll be bravely giving readings again this weekend. If anything, it was a reminder to me about how powerful this stuff is, and if I'm going to be exploring it as much as I do, then I need to practice self-care above and beyond what I preach.