A couple of weeks ago a patient was telling me how sensitive she is to picking up other people’s distress. She lives with someone who is dealing with anxiety and depression, and that person’s struggles add greatly to her own. I’m no stranger to the difficulties of being a natural empath, and I’ve never found a way to entirely shield myself, but I have learned a few tricks that help.
I think at one time I told you about “Angel Mode,” a phenomenon that showed up spontaneously in 2009, when I had taken a devastating empathic hit and was desperate to keep that from happening again. Suddenly, while doing energy work for a patient, I saw myself as turning into a golden angel with huge fluffy white wings. Seriously. That may sound like I was a bit full of myself, but it happened totally without my intending it and was quite a surprise. The image was vivid and persistent, and I felt expansive and much stronger, able to serenely rise above whatever was going on in the moment. It turned out that I was able to engage the angel image whenever I needed it, and for months I used that method pretty much every time I treated anybody, until eventually I didn’t feel so vulnerable anymore and gradually stopped.
The funniest part was that a number of patients mentioned seeing me as an angel. I hadn’t told any of them what I was trying to do.
So I suggested to this lady that we could try shifting her system into angel mode, if it was willing. She agreed. While working on her painful areas, I visualized wings sprouting from her back. Right away they did— lacy, shimmery dragonfly wings! A new kind of surprise.
“Your wings look different from mine,” I told her. “You have dragonfly wings.” She replied that dragonflies were very important to her. They had been her mother’s favorite, and she thought of them as symbolizing her. She used them all the time in her visual art. I was delighted to find that I had seen this accurately and that it was so meaningful for her.
As we continued to observe, a strongly delineated image of a complete dragonfly came into focus over the whole length of her body. A giant insect might seem disturbing to most people, but she was excited and pleased to think of it. She told me that she loves insects and wasn’t at all frightened by the idea that the dragonfly was covering her body. It seemed helpful and protective to me, too. I wondered whether it was a spirit animal manifesting itself, or simply an imaginary picture we were sharing. I didn’t have a sense of an actual entity being present.
This brought up a memory for the patient, though. When she was a child, she said, she often had dreams of giant grasshoppers who would come and take her away with them. They always went to the same place, a room she described as “gauzy.” The dreams were frightening, but the grasshoppers never hurt her, and she had the feeling they were trying to help in some way.
This gave me a start, because she seemed to be describing a common type of alien abduction experience (or what people commonly consider to be an alien abduction— not that anyone truly understands the nature of these things). I wasn’t sure if I should push for details, and I didn’t want to contaminate her memories, but I was so curious, I couldn’t restrain myself from asking.
“Um, could they possibly have looked more like mantises?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied, “mantises or grasshoppers.”
She confirmed that they were tall, like the insectoid types often reported in the UFO literature. But here’s the thing: she had never heard of anyone else having this kind of experience. She didn’t know that anyone else had memories of being taken somewhere by giant insects and having mysterious procedures done to them. She had never read or seen anything about abductions at all.
“I’m thinking those may not have been dreams,” I told her, gently. “If someone had looked for you, I wonder if you would have been in your bed.” Which is an open question. In some cases people who claimed to have had an abduction experience were observed to stay in one place the entire time, while psychologically they were being put through a major trauma. In others, they were verifiably, physically gone.
My patient seemed more fascinated than frightened by these concepts. I wonder if any more memories will come up for her, now that she’s been reminded of her childhood encounters. She has not had any such experiences as an adult, at least none that she knows of consciously.
The whole sequence, from the dragonfly wings through the insectoid visitors, was completely unexpected.
I have begun to wonder whether we create artistic representations of angels, humans with wings, because at some level we are all aware of our own invisible wings, just as we represent the subliminal glow of a powerful person with a halo. I’ve never figured out what angels “really” are, though I’ve met beings who were presented as angels or seemed like they must be such. I’ve never seen them with a clear image of wings, only felt them as energies or had a mind’s-eye sense of a person-sized patch of light and color. Usually I don’t see things as clearly as I did that dragonfly anyway. But the feeling of my own wings can be a lot like sensation of a physical body part. It feels like I can extend them or fold them, maybe even flap them a little.
I can hardly describe how exquisite it is to blossom into this powerful, glowing creature that is so much more than I usually am. I believe this phenomenon tells us something about our true nature. If we would pay better attention to it, perhaps it would help us to get past the pathetic pettiness of our daily interactions.
The angel mode experience is one reason I became such a fan of the Lucifer series. The gigantic, gorgeous, ultra-fluffy wings of the angel characters touched a chord in me. To manifest their wings, Lucifer and his siblings sort of shrug their shoulders, and the wings suddenly pop out. Each celestial being has an individual color and style of feathers; I note again that Lucifer’s wings are pure white, which makes total sense once you think about it for a moment.
In an episode of the final season, Lucifer suddenly gets a bout of alar erectile dysfunction, where he shrugs and shrugs and nothing happens. It has to do with doubting himself and his abilities. At about the same time, by coincidence (?) I found that my left wing was unwilling to show itself— apparently for a totally different reason, a musculoskeletal problem that blocked up the area. It was odd, another unexpected aspect of Angel Mode. Maybe it had occurred in the past as well and I hadn’t been paying attention. I think this deserves more study.
In the show, you can’t see the celestials’ wings until they intentionally unfurl them, but they’re always there in potential, just as ours appear to be. Why don’t you see if your own wings will show up? Let me know what you find.
Thanks to the late Babette Saenz for the dragonfly art; I don’t know the name of the artist. I would like to acknowledge that person and the creator of the wings graphic if I can discover who they are.