Spiritual Protection & Change of Hearts (God Quest Pt. 2)
More explanation to why TF I'm on my Jesus quest
Before reading this, read my first installment, New Age Demons (God Quest Part 1). It’s currently free to read.
This is my continuation…
As you may know, if you’ve read the first one (please do!), I’m currently on an exploratory journey away from our more trendy and modern woo-woo witchy spirituality, back to some kind of more traditional view of, and relationship with, God. Specifically… I am researching and exploring Jesus and Christianity. And in this post, I’m going to attempt to further explain to you (and to me) why.
But… writing this has been proven to be a struggle, because nothing is settled for me yet. And what I think, and where my head is, changes day to day to day.
It’s also been a struggle, because I got super sick two weeks ago, with strange and new symptoms. I started getting nonstop and overwhelming histamine reactions manifesting as adrenaline surges, brain fog, and other weird neurological symptoms that not only made it impossible to write, but it also didn’t help my spiritual journey of surrender and trust, either. Thanks for the hives, God.
Also, by writing about all of this in semi-real time, I am trying to explain a confusing and unfinished journey, on a polarizing and strange and supernatural subject. And I keep wondering who my audience is. WHO am I talking to? What am I even trying to say? Am I trying to beg atheists, or people who are in ‘the new age,’ or people who’ve already decided they despise anything that resembles Christianity, to just gimme a chance to explain myself, and not immediately decide I’m crazy and stupid? Am I trying to appeal to a Christian audience who seems so happy that I’m finally ready to hear (and maybe even spread) the Good News about Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ???
I realized the other day, that I’m so aware that I may alienate all my old readers, that I was sort of subconsciously clinging to the idea that maybe at least I could have a Christian audience now. Maybe I can be a Christian writer now. But that is stressing me out just as much… because, if I’m going to be completely honest about my journey, and my real thoughts, and questions, I might actually alienate… everyone. I will say and ask things that some Christians consider blasphemy, and I will say things that everyone else thinks is fucking dumb and brainwashed. But I know… if I can’t tell the truth about what I think, writing is sterile — what’s the point.
But, I’m putting the cart before the horse. Because I’m saving most of those bigger questions and comments for another time. Instead, this post is a continuation of my first one. This is more about… why I’m on this particular journey in the first place. What inspired it. What started it.
(And, as another disclaimer… if you don’t believe in the spirit world, you will probably not relate to anything I am saying.)
In early 2022, my friend Keira (an intuitive/energy worker) told me that the night before, she was attacked and strangled by a purple skinned man, during a sleep paralysis episode. She was zapped by the being, and she convulsed on the bed. The being was attempting to choke and strangle her.
She told me that she declared in her mind, “in the name of Jesus Christ, you must leave now.” And the paralysis released. She said it again, and the being left.
If you haven’t spent time with psychic friends or dabbling in the spiritual realm like I have, this is just going to sound like pure fantasy. Or just a bad dream. But, I guess I’ve been desensitized by now. I have had enough experiences through my life, that have led me to strongly believe that the spiritual realm is real. But even this story was extreme and shocking to me.
I also didn’t really know anything about sleep paralysis at the time. Keira would often talking vaguely about “psychic” attacks, and I never understood what she meant. But she had never mentioned anything so specific and so vivid. I also didn’t realize how relatively “common” these sleep paralysis episodes are, especially in the new age/psychic/energy work world, where people have opened themselves up to the spirit world in a way that leaves them vulnerable.
Apparently, many many people report experiencing this kind of experience. In slightly more scientific terms, sleep paralysis is when your “mind” wakes up, but your body does not, so you are paralyzed but “awake,” and can’t move. From that perspective, it’s seen as a “dream.” In more spiritual terms, it’s when your astral body is awake, and separated from your body - again, leaving you spiritually vulnerable. Usually, there is some sort of dark entity present during the sleep paralysis episode, often holding you down or strangling you. The experience varies from person to person, but there are also similarities too.
I have never experienced anything like this, thank God (literally?).
I also do not see spirits or entities. Maybe because I have been very very clear my whole life… I do not want to. Get away from me, ghost weirdos. I do not want to see what is going on beyond the veil. I want to know and understand, yes, but I do not want to see.
Anywayyyy, back when Keira told me about this purple-man experience, I was more clueless about sleep paralysis, so after asking wtf she thought was happening, and why she was attacked, and whether I also needed to be afraid of purple skinned men … I said, “wait wait, so… this Jesus Christ thing working to protect you, I’m so curious about that part... What’s up with that?” She was flippant about it. “Oh, yea. It’s just the greatest spiritual protection I know that I’ve had results with. Whenever I’ve been in any confrontation with any dark forces, especially the the really evil ones, it always works.” She isn’t religious or Christian, she has her own unique brand of new age gnosticism, but apparently, through the years, Jesus keeps protecting her from evil beings when she asks him to.
I have been very “spiritual,” my whole life. I have dabbled in tons of different kinds of spiritual practices and spiritual beliefs. I know deep in bones, that there is something beyond what we can see. I have just experienced too many small little miracles and silly-but-clear confirmations that God —something up there or something out there — is real. My view of God, and how he/it works, would change all the time, depending on whatever book I’d just read, and my particular Spiritual flavor du jour. But, even without clarity on the specifics, I believed.
However, Jesus was the one spiritual/supernatural area that I never expected, or wanted, to go.
I just didn’t get it.
When I thought of Jesus, I got a very… sterile and lackluster image or painting in my head. This was the kind of image I got:
Kind of dead in the eyes.
Though stilted and dead-in-the-eyes, I still thought that Jesus, the serious and boring guy in a robe, was probably a good spiritual guy, or …God, or ascended master, or whatever he was. I didn’t know. But he was cool, I guess. Accepting. Non-violent.
But Jesus people? They were frightening.
So, it is shocking, and nearly funny to me, that right now so much of my time is taken up by research — podcasts and videos and audios and books about… Jesus. And the Bible.
If this is difficult to even read, I get it. Jesus is …polarizing. Just hearing the name can be very off-putting. My new Jesus-interest is such a face turn for me, that I have had trouble explaining even to myself why I’m currently on the journey I’m on, seeking to understand God through a Christian lens, because it is the last thing I ever expected to be doing. Have I totally lost it? Because… even though I have my reservations, now that I have a more open mind, there are many things about Jesus, and even Christianity, that I really … love.
I was not looking for “religion.” And in many ways… I’m still not. As far as I can see, sadly, religion is where God too often gets muddied, legalistic, and culty… Yet, religion can offer structure, community, resources, charity… I see the benefits. I see the dark sides.
I am also very aware of cult mentality. I’m very wary of it. I know how easy it is to fall into. I know how rampant it is in all areas of humanity, especially religion. And so, as I explore, I keep continually looking at all of it through this lens.
Yet, I believe in the supernatural. I do not believe that believing in the supernatural is inherently culty. However, it can make you more susceptible to cult mentality. There is such a fine fine line with the supernatural, and with religion, and cultiness. And so that has become a new question for me: Where is the line? Have I crossed it? Am I dancing on it? Am I hopping back and forth from side to side of the line? Was I defining cult mentality slightly wrong before? Is there a delineation between strong belief or faith, and cult mentality? Can you believe in something that sounds insane to people and not be culty? Is mild “cultiness” just unavoidable human nature, because we all believe in something (or the lack of something), and we all might be wrong, so it become a question of degree? A sliding scale of cultiness that hinges on the presence of authoritarian control, and emotional and financial manipulation, and the inability to question doctrine?
All questions. Important questions. Questions that the world will never fully agree on.
Yesterday, as I stood by myself in the back of my new rock-concert church, I thought… When all is said and done, could I just… follow/believe in Jesus, without ever having to believe in an institution? To avoid cult mentality, can I just… surrender to (my current belief in) God without surrendering to an institution?
I think the answer is yes.
In fact, because of this very thing, I’ve heard quite a few people reject the label of “Christian,” because of the connotation, and instead just say they are a “Jesus follower” — which is interesting, because Jesus is still a polarizing word for many people.
I still have big questions about all of it. Big reservations, confusions, and resistance… I actually started my research thinking… “I’m going to somehow learn the real translation, the real meaning of all of this, and find out that Jesus people have interpreted this all wrong.”
Is that what I’ve found so far? Uh, partially? On some things? Partially not. First of all, Jesus people are not a monolith. Many are truly wonderful and wise, humble and loving. And, many self-proclaimed Jesus people can be just as stupid and cruel and confused as anyone, or more. We know this. But, this Jesus topic is so polarizing for people, especially people with religious trauma or who grew up in abusive churches, that it must be reiterated.
Today I’m not going to get too much into the weeds. As I said, today I’m continuing the intro. How did I get here? Because despite all of my questions and continued reservations, I’m still going forward on my Jesus quest. And, as I said, because it’s so jarring to people (myself included), I need to lay out why.
Whenever I’d hear Christians say something like… “Jesus Saved Me.” Or “I let Jesus into my heart and he changed my life” I’d think… what the hell are you talking about. Like really, what do you mean? It was so foreign to me. And honestly… stupid sounding. Are they insane? Are they delusional? Because… uh, I believe in God! I have felt God, I think... I also believe in spiritual beings like angels and stuff… But somehow, hearing people say anything about Jesus just didn’t compute with me.
I wish I knew what they meant, but I guess I never will.
So, back when my friend Keira (and her purple man drama) talked about actual protection, when declaring something “in the name of Jesus Christ”, it was notable to me. It was a weird story for sure, and I honestly didn’t think too much of it at the time. But I casually filed it away as information: Jesus Christ is spiritual protection. Hmm.
Not long after that, I started listening to a true crime paranormal comedy podcast. All of a sudden, I was hearing about all of these dark and twisted hauntings. Before, I’d kept the idea of dark energy and demonic hauntings at an arms length. Who knew if it was true. But this podcast was making me continually ponder the existence of dark spirits. And I kept hearing the (very liberal and not religious) host of the paranormal segment sincerely say things like: they need Jesus for this one, when talking about particularly dark or demonic hauntings. Huh. It was just more casual content on Jesus as protection against dark spirits.
And then I started listening to some podcasts that decoded the freemason symbolism in the entertainment industry and government and “elites.” Y’know, for fun. And for research. And for entertainment. I didn’t realize that this subject was also going to be blending into the occult/demonic realm too, but it sure did. This is where I started learning that the ‘new age’ (love and light, man!) is pretty much just watered down occultism, and how seriously these secret societies took their rituals and occultism. Potentially bad news for me, because I had been super involved in the new age as a dabbler and a way-too-trusting “energy worker,” connecting with my “spirit guides” and things I had no business messing around with. I thought it was all low stakes. Just another way to pray.
For a long time, I thought that everything in the spirit realm was good. It was only here on earth that we messed things up. I thought that if something was in the spirit realm, it was automatically of God, and therefore good. But I was coming to the realization that might not necessarily be the case. Now, I was learning these practices often have a darker undercurrent, whether we know it or not. And they often have a price. (Again, New Age Demons goes into more depth on this.)
Next thing I knew, I had accidentally stumbled into listening to tons of unrelated testimonies from ex-psychics, ex-medium, and ex-energy workers, who’d all become born again Christians, all telling similar stories. All of them thought they were connecting with benevolent beings: angels, guides, and ancestors. They wanted to be a force for good. Their intention was to help, to heal, and to be of the light. And, all of them eventually realized that what they connecting with were dark beings, who were intentionally deceiving them, and infiltrating their lives and minds with … well, darkness. Through the practice of trying to connect with spirits, they gave permission for deceitful ones to come into their lives.
All of them even spoke of the same previous strong aversion to Jesus I had. The same belief that it was all a silly myth. A way to control people. That it was just something that simple minded Christians believed. Until, they realized they couldn’t protect themselves anymore on their own. They were not the powerful goddesses that the new age promised them they were. Instead, they were in over their head with the darkness they accidentally invited in, and then… Jesus … saved them. Literally.
So here it was. I was starting to understand that when some Christians said that ‘Jesus saved them,’ they weren’t just talking about being “saved” for the afterlife. The more stories I listened to, the more I realized that they literally meant… he came into their lives and … changed things. Here. Now. Protected them from darkness. Showered with love. And peace. Changed their hearts. Changed them.
More Spiritual Protection
One person also said that, back when they were an intuitive energy healer, they were taught that the one tool that could really effectively remove dark entities from their clients, was the name Jesus Christ. And they didn’t even have to believe! It just worked (temporarily, because the clients didn’t believe or change). Some of her clients had such an aversion to the idea of Jesus that they actually said ‘no, I’d rather you not.’ They preferred to leave the session keeping the dark attachment they’d just been told they had, because they were so turned off by the idea of Jesus.
Then, I heard a few more stories about people experiencing demonic attack during sleep paralysis, and the only thing that made it stop, was …. you guessed it! Calling for the help of Jesus. Another “ex-new ager” said he’d heard countless accounts of “Jesus” stopping both sleep paralysis and alien abductions (!!!!). (Which, furthers my current theory that …aliens are demons.)
The stories kept piling up.
I kept remembering Keira’s story about the purple skinned man, and the name of Jesus Christ making it go away. I was also thinking about some of the spiritual things Keira was practicing, things that I used to think were innocuous, but now I saw as potentially occultic. These are things that I had been dabbling in too. Uhhhh, what dark stuff did I accidentally invite in over the years?
Then, right smack in the middle of hearing all of these testimonies, I went on a date where the guy said the same thing. He was in the new age, fucking around with the spirit world, and he legit got possessed, was mentally tortured, and again, Jesus …saved him. Yes, this was a very very strange “coincidence.” And yes, this was where I could not ignore the stories anymore.
I was listening to all of these stories absolutely fascinated, but with tons and tons of resistance and turmoil. It was inspiring and interesting, but it was… weird. Like, it was just… hard to accept. It had made more logical sense to me that God was just… a blob of light and energy, or something. The story of Jesus was soooo specific. So strange. It literally hung on the concept of blood sacrifice. How could I ever actually believe it? In many ways… to just write it all off seemed like the most sane and logical reaction. They are all… somehow… having a shared delusion?
But all of this evidence was piling up… there seems to be… really something to this… Jesus thing. And, not the new age version of “christ consciousness” that I was more familiar with, where we are all God! We are all Christ! These new stories I was hearing were more about a … personal being, beyond us, far far more powerful than us, that … loved us and wanted to help. And who did help.
And so —
What was I supposed to do with all of this information? Just ignore it? Just carry on and write it all off? Believe me, I wanted to. But I just couldn’t.
I started listening to even more stories. Over and over again, these stories were pointing to a real protection. And, a real… change in people, too. Based on what I was hearing, this was worth exploring. Because if these experiences were true, ignoring this would be stupid.
I believed in the spiritual and supernatural. So, why was I willing to believe in everything else, but Jesus? Why was I willing to believe in angels and spirit guides and God and also “demons” and that The F*ck It Diet was a spiritual gift from God, but not in… Jesus? Why was that such a no-go for me?
Well, I knew why. At least partially, it was the association I had with Jesus people.
I preferred the modern, inclusive belief that every religion was leading to the same place… Bliss. Oneness. Jesus was just a cool hippie teacher, showing us that we are all God. But that, I’ve learned, is not actually Christianity. Christianity is not oneness. In Christianity, we are not Gods. Not even close. No. We are broken, and need to be saved.
I never liked that. No! I’m a radiant being! I’m a high vibration energy field in charge of my own reality! But I had to admit, that spiritual worldview that I’d had for over 15 years… wasn’t really working out. Things weren’t exactly going well anymore.
And as nice as it had always been for the authors of new age spiritual self help books to tell me I was a God, I just had to remember and tap into my power… After tons of time playing around with that concept, and even seemingly “manifesting” an agent and a book deal and other impressive looking things… I am not a God. I’m not even a little g god. And truly, when it comes down to it, having to be a god is too much freaking pressure.
No, I’m not (a) God, I’m a lowly little woman lady who needs spiritual help. And after these past two years, I was broken down enough, that I was kind of… ready to surrender to something, or someone, greater than myself. I was ready for some spiritual protection. I was ready to have my heart changed or whatever is supposed to happen with Jesus.
I also figured… what’s the worst that could happen? Jesus apparently wants us to love others. Love our enemies. Loves those who persecute us. How bad could that go? Worst case scenario is that I’m wrong about it all, but through my delusion, I hopefully end up a better person? More selfless? Or something?
The worst that can happen is I’m wrong, and start being nicer to my haters?
PLUS what if I now was demon oppressed, after all my stupid witchy shit, and needed Jesus to get them off me.
So, I was going to put my previous judgment aside, and do a deep dive. I was going to pray. I was going to start with reading the New Testament. And I was going to read and consume as much content as possible, until I felt I could come to some, hopefully semi-sane, conclusion.
I already knew what the opposition believed, I’d been living in that belief system for over 15 years. I’d already tried new age Jesus and new age Christianity. Now, I wanted to understand what the Christians believed. Even the hardcore ones. Because it turned out, I didn’t really know. And I definitely didn’t understand. (And, as I said above, I was also hoping that somehow, I was going to land on some unique revelation about the translation and interpretation of the Bible that was going to make everything make sense to me.)
Problematic is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
So? Where am I now?
Since I posted New Age Demons, I’ve connected with a ton of ex-new agers who have reached out. More than I expected. People who have told me things like: I have had the same experiences. I never ever wanted to be a “christian” and yet, after years in the New Age, here I am.
I’ve connected with another person who did the same energy work trainings that I did, who had similar dark experiences, and we are also exploring this stuff now together.
I have connected with a ton of other people saying, “so weird, I am also having this pull to explore Jesus too, and also had a huge aversion like you.”
Right now, in my exploration, it’s been about 4 months. And I have no conclusions. And I’m not just researching, I’m praying, I’m trying out different churches, I’m reading the Bible starting at the beginning (very reluctantly, it’s whack), I’m asking questions to my Christian friends, and also chatting with people who are in a similar place to me. And I still have so many questions still.
All I believe, right now, is that there is something special, powerful, and important to Jesus. Enough to keep me going on this journey. And… that’s about all I feel I can say with any sort of confidence. I feel like… maybe I’m halfway through a process, maybe not even halfway.
And, the truth is, research will only get me so far. The biggest thing that has moved others to believe, is something more personal, and more experiential.
It feels too rash to just believe because people tell me to believe. That’s the stuff cults are made of. So, I won’t. I’m not going to just believe because someone tells me to. I’m not going to believe xyz because they say so. I’m not going to believe the Bible is inerrant just because that’s what some people believe. If anyone is going to get me to believe anything at all, about God, it’s going to have to be God himself. And that is something that’s on its own timeline, and out of my control.
There is more to this story, obviously. The last 4 months have had tons of ups and downs. Tons of questions on Christian beliefs, like: Why is the creator of the universe seemingly only focused on Israel? Was he talkin’ to other people too? I sure hope so! Tons of confusion. Everyone seems to believe something a little different. Don’t even get me started on end times interpretations. The Christians rag on the Catholics. Then the Christians rag on each other. I’ve actually seen the major fallout of two Christian podcasters just over the past two months over ideological differences…
It reiterates the important point: Humans are so so so fallible. We are so petty and prideful and gullible. I don’t care if you say Jesus is your best friend, you might twist all of this for your own gain. You might even ACCIDENTALLY twist all of this for your own gain.
I also started out with a big focus on demons, as you may guess, only to quickly realize that … that isn’t healthy either. Obviously I believe there are dark beings, and I’m very interested in researching the different theories around them, but I’m not afraid that demons are lurking around every corner. I mean, maybe they are, but… there is no use obsessing over it. Toxins are real. Viruses are real. But I don’t believe in obsessing or living in fear of them either. It’s no way to live.
I don’t want Spiritual Orthorexia (TM).
Also… allegedly, the whole point of being besties with Jesus (which I am currently trying to do) is that you don’t need to be the one to deal with the demons, anyway…
But, the thing that I find most compelling about the testimonies I’ve heard, and even my own journey so far, is that fact that through surrendering to God, and seeking a personal relationship with God, where we actually ask God for help and guidance, we are changed. We change. Our hearts and desires change. There is redemption. It sounds so hokey, I know. And then we think of all the shitty Christians we’ve known or heard about, but… I do now believe that God, through Jesus, can change people. I’ve seen it. I’ve begun to feel it.
There is a difference between a distant conceptual belief in God, and a close and devoted relationship. And it’s hard to explain, but… hopefully one day I’ll have the words to explain it better.
(Paywall just for the voiceover)