Magic, Spiritualism and Stregheria – the culture of belief

Posted by Angela Gallo on

On my way home from a truly transformative weekend retreat with Hayley Carr, I felt compelled to record this very special episode for you. There were zero expectations as to what I was bringing into this weekend. I trusted Hayley explicitly to curate the entire experience from top to bottom, and she delivered beyond any thought, any feeling, any emotion I could have conjured up.

Hayley surprised me with a Medium reading with a very dear friend of hers. I welcomed this with a healthy dose of skepticism (which we will certainly discuss in later episodes) as I believe that is an important aspect of explorative work, but also a willingness to trust my intuition, embrace the experience, and feel all of the feelings.

I’m not giving anything away here, listen to this episode and get your tissues ready! 


Angel: Hello, my loves. I have just come out of a weekend with Hayley Carr. It was absolutely fucking incredible, as one would imagine. By the sounds of the feedback and the downloads and the viewing on her episode, you agree with me. I have been working with her for a long time. If you haven't listened to that episode, please for the love of God, go and give it a replay right now. Hayley is going to be back on to do many episodes. We just have so much to talk about. She is the queen of slaying the status quo and style.

No doubt you will hear from her again. I did want to come and maybe do a semi-rundown, a synopsis, a cliff notes version, a recap of the juicy shit that we discussed. The morsels, that's basically what I can give you right now, the equivalent of the mother bird bringing back the regurgitated goodness to the nest to feed her baby birds. You're welcome, baby birds, the regurgitated goodness is coming for you, because I know that you will benefit from this information secondhand.

Just in the same way that I found her, I really encourage you to consider investing in a coach, a life coach, a leadership coach, a fuck shut up coach, whatever it is, you do that you need help with, find somebody who is not just experienced on paper. I don't care about that kind of crap. I'm talking about experience in the soul. Find somebody who really blows your mind, who can help up-level you, it will be the best investment you make. Where do I start?

There were zero expectations as to what I was bringing into this weekend. I trust Hayley explicitly to curate the entire experience from top to bottom in a way that speaks to my senses, in a way that she knows. She uniquely knows the language it is I speak, and therefore is able to deliver and plant seeds and prompt in a way that I respond to effectively and pretty hugely. I don't do things in halves. Even now you'll find that I'm having a hard time explaining to you what happened because it was so profound.

This morning, for example, she surprised me with a medium reading with a dear friend of hers. It literally knocked the wind out of my chest. If you have never seen a medium before, here we go. Let's start with that, slaying the status quo. The status quo will have you believe that there are two things that you can latch onto, in the spiritual realm. That is religious, almost religious fanaticism, the same people, by the way, who are religious fanatics, saying that they don't believe in spirits and ghosts, et cetera, and then the other side, which is the, “I don't believe in anything” people, the atheists, whatever it is you want to call.

Very rarely is there something in any level of culture, pop culture, mainstream culture that entertains the medium of two opposing ends. Mediumship is literally the medium of those two spiritual practices or non-spiritual practices. It is the in-between worlds, it is the between dimensions, it is on the other side of the veil. It's important to understand that even from a scientific perspective, whatever the hell floats your boat, our organic bodies absolutely decompose. They go back to the earth where they came from, but the rest of it, which is energy, does not go anywhere. It does not dissipate, it doesn't self-destruct. It keeps moving.

That energy very much carries a vibration. What a medium does is they catch on to this vibration. Now medium, a healer, a seer, sage, individuals who are awakened, who are operating at a higher frequency and who are operating our higher vibration are like beacons or lighthouses, for those who are on the other side, if you want to call it that way. Clearly, I watch way too many scary movies in the '90s, but who are not here anymore. It allows them to tap into that and have the conversations with them and get messages similar to a radio frequency. I have lots of friends who get messages and channel different things, different energies.

I myself channel a lot from my poetry and lots of different facets of my work. This is not something that is a foreign concept. It is not something that can be debunked. It's just a fact it is what is, and to believe that here in 2019, we are the most evolved species of anything, and therefore, we have the answers to everything. Therefore, we know everything is absurd, like come on people. Our brains cannot be moving into fathom what there is. I'm just grateful to know that I don't know everything, and grateful for the opportunity to keep learning by moving into the, “I don't know fucking anything, I don't see anything. I want to know everything.” It is beautiful, it is humbling, it is incredible. It is affirming. It is everything.

It is easy to just have these broad, sweeping conversations that are really conclusional. Like, you were just looking for a confirmation, therefore, it's confirmation bias, et cetera, et cetera. This is not how mediumship works, people. I'm talking about messages and information and insights that literally would be impossible for this person to know. Even if they sniffed every ounce of my social media presence, even if they lived in my fucking underwear drawer, they would not know anything it is that they divulged.

This is where the magic is. This is where I'm like, “Wow, this is amazing because it just makes me feel so much more seen in my own gifts as a clairvoyant as a clairsentient, clairaudible creature who is super intuitive, who has been listening to her body, and seeing what her imagination sees and building on that what that imagination sees since she was a child, it feels so good to just see someone operate within their craft. It was actually really, really, really validating. The world absolutely squashes that. It is all about, “I don't believe in this because there's an element of self-righteousness in it.”

Like, “I am too cool to believe in spirits, so like whatever” or, “I believe in spirits because I am cool. I like Beetlejuice and Winona Ryder.” It's just frustrating that I can't find conversations, or nearly as many conversations as I'd like to that are not so oppositional and not so sticky and edgy, and just like, “Yes, cool. Of course, that's for real. Yes, cool. I see that as well. Yes, I respect what you're saying,” and all that sort of stuff. Also, it makes me really sad, to be frank, with people just- Doesn't matter how much proof someone gets and proof subjective right.

It doesn't matter how much proof someone gets. If they are committed to staying stuck, if they're committed to not seeing, as Hayley says, “committed to their stagnation,” which I love, there is nothing that you can do to help them see or help them move. It is not my business to prove anything to you. It's not my business to prove to you that spirits exist. It's not my business to prove to you that the Ouija board exists or what we see or what we feel is ideal emotion or confirmation-bias. I am not here to even indulge those superhuman conversations. I am here to indulge a sentiment and a sensory experience that makes me feel totally fucking human and connected to source.

I'm talking about this out loud, even though it's dangerous, and even though it will absolutely invite the wrong people, reactions, energy into my corner, because it's important for those listening right now, who possibly see these things, or do these things, or are involved in this kind of work, who are hiding. Extrasensory perception, work that is very much in the realms of seeing what cannot be seen in 2020 vision, is like sex work. Like the work that I do, the work that this medium I saw today does is like sex work. It's like any work that cannot be taken from us and monetized or exploited. It is the kind of thing that we make with our body and our magic that is- cannot be taken away from us.

That's why it scares the fuck out of people because they cannot quantify it, they cannot measure it, they cannot prove or disprove it, and it fucking scares them. Just like the depths of pregnancy and gestation and birth, or the depths of the ocean floor, or the depths of the cosmos, we do not have all the answers, and it scares people. Instead, we make up these textbooks and parameters that again, are completely man-made, that we label as Bible, or religion, or doctrine, or ultimate truth. We measure everything by that ultimate truth. It just doesn't work.

There is nothing that is remotely congruent to fucking anything I believe in that, but that's beside the point. I just want you to know that I see you and that I believe you and that's the way we believe mediums and psychics and people who are clairvoyant or heal with their hands or do energy and light work, is the same way that we need to believe women and people who tell us that they have been raped. It is the same way that we need to believe people who tell us something that is sharing a truth, that is so absolutely true within the fiber of their beings, that it becomes dangerous for us to be on a quest to disprove. When you try to disprove someone's ultimate truth- I'm not talking about superficial truth, I'm not talking about bullshit facade truth, I'm not talking about truths that are performative, I'm talking about in your bones, in your fucking core truth. When you do that, that's dangerous. That's like dropping off a nuclear bomb into a place that is allergic to nuclear bombs. That is like anaphylactic allergic to nuclear bombs. It's not just going to be destroyed by the impact of that mechanism, it is literally going to die like it will have no chance at thriving ever again.

Because you have just caused a reaction that is internal, that is destructive beyond just, "I am obliterating you to smithereens”, it's that, “I am obliterating you and everything that is underneath the soil of you, the landscape of you" and that is dangerous shit. I want to encourage you next time that if you fall into the trap of saying, "I don't believe in that, that is bullshit, that is not true," really consider in how what you're saying is actually perpetuating the culture of blame and of non-belief and people were trying to share their truth vulnerably with you even though it's scary, and that's still not good enough.

Let me tell you, if Jesus Christ, Gandhi, it doesn't matter what you believe in, tomorrow calls up a hundred people personally and it was like, "Meet me at Kentucky Fried Chicken at six o'clock on Tuesday, I will be there to show you I exist." 99 people show up. They all see Jesus Christ there. That one person is late or they don't show up. Those 99 people tell everyone we absolutely saw Jesus Christ. He came, we saw, we spoke to him, right? Whoever the person might be and that one person says, "I didn't see that. See it? I wasn't there. I don't believe it."

This is what humans do is that they're so frightened and so scared that they will latch onto something that is actually illogical and re-frame it as the most logical course of action so that they can indulge their self-righteous, toxic, cyclical ways of thinking. That, in fact, keep us from a self-actualization and enlightenment that can only be achieved in the willingness, to say, "I don't know if this is true, but I'm willing to believe it is true, even if it scares the shit out of me." This morning, I sat down and I felt that really familiar feeling of skepticism.

Now, skepticism is a healthy, healthy thing. We will talk about it in another podcast. It's a beautiful, healthy mechanism. Skepticism keeps us alive. Now, it's important to make the distinction between skepticism and cynicism. Skepticism and cynicism. One is rooted in a soulful survival and the other is rooted in bitter, toxic, angry, resentful energy, a scarcity energy that I don't like. When we look at cynicism and we look at skepticism, the next component to this is intuition. Mental skepticism and intuition marry and dance in such a beautiful way. Whereas cynicism and intuition, they don't work together.

Cynicism poisons intuition, so the distinction there becomes important again for that reason. Imagine that your body and everything it is that you are is a sponge. Everywhere you go, every conversation you're a part of, everything you see becomes you, it becomes you. A part of you adopts it, subscribes to it, becomes it, remembers it, everything. Well, 95% of what you know by the time you're 35 is learned behavior, it is memorized behavior. I mentioned this a lot and it's especially important here, because skepticism and intuition not only keep you alive but they actually act as the gatekeeper and the sentinel for what gets into your body and what becomes you.

Skepticism, I was explaining to Hayley is like the sentinel. It's a sentinel, who's in front of the castle-- They basically vet the thing, they vet it. If the skepticism deems that it is safe or it is appropriate, they let that thing in and then they have to meet the intuition. The intuition is like the fairy godmother or the mother or whoever it might be in the home, in the hearth, in the heart of who it is you are. If said thing passes the gate-keeping of intuition, great, they can make it inside.

Promise that so many of us, so many of us, do not understand the drastic importance or the distinctions of all of these things and end up letting in everything, which, of course, causes disastrous things like, "We won't even go there." The total obliteration of who it is we are, that we have latched onto a cynicism in a last-ditch effort to stay alive. In the last-ditch effort to not be cast out. In a last-ditch effort to desensitize ourselves and create this empathy deficit so that we can survive in the world and compartmentalize. Cynicism very much as part of that compartmentalizing, survival scarcity mentality.

I did, I felt that skepticism creep up. I was like, "Hello, friend," and I liked it. I love it. I'm like, "Okay, great, cool." I've got my glasses on, my radars on, I'm scoping this out because the integrity of everything is important. She hopped onto the call and it starts. Right away, her energy was clear. I could feel my shoulders lowering slowly but surely and in a fashion that was very much present, and more and more present. I could feel my presence becoming more present every moment that went by, because little by little she's started saying things and divulging things that allowed my skepticism to say, "You're all good, move on to the intuition."

The more she said, the more my intuition was like, "Oh my god, there is no denying that this is the kind of stuff you need to let into your body, girl. Let it into your body, let it into your body." That's what I did. One of the first things that happened, which was just absolutely and unequivocally mind-blowing was that my first baby Mackenzie, who I had a termination with, before Ruby, years ago, showed up, she showed up again. This is the second medium read that I've done and she showed up again. The things that she was saying, the things that she was doing I won't get into right now because I'll start sobbing.

It was fucking bananas, exactly, exactly the stuff that was described last time. She was saying, "Mommy, mommy, mommy" and she kept repeating it and she was saying that she is ready to come back if I'll have her and that she won't force me that I free will and that I don't need to get pregnant, if I do want to have another baby, she's gonna come back and she wants to be with me. This in itself as somebody who has danced with the guilt and the shame of abortion who believes so strongly in this work and bodily autonomy and moving to the shadow parts of yourself, to excavate and find the strongest parts of you, the parts of you that are aching to shine.

This isn't just about going to those places. It's about honoring Mackenzie. It's about honoring her journey. It's about honoring the shadows that she's in right now. That plays the journey that she's dancing right now. It was stunning. It was absolutely stunning. Then I had somebody come through, who was a dear friend of mine, and someone that I dated, who, actually, quite tragically took her life a few years ago. They had lots to say. Again, it absolutely blew my mind. I don't want to say too much here right now in case some of his friends are listening, I would like to get their permission before I discuss him.

She said, "Is there anyone that you want to ask for?" This is the thing of these medium readings, you can only say "yes" or "no" or "not sure," because it's a channel, you don't want to interrupt it. You don't want to say anything. You don't want to give any hints practically, right? My skeptic part loves that. It's very much in flow. I said, "Yes, Angelina." Angelina is my grandmother. She was a huge part of my life. She was very much my best friend in many ways. She was the matriarch. She was a strong woman who just didn't live the life that she should have lived. She very much was scared for lots of different reasons.

We had a beautiful relationship. She's the one who taught me everything about all of my healing, all of my witchiness, all of my softness, my affection, my strength, using touches and modality to help people thrive. I used to see things very young in my dreams and in the night. Instead of telling me that it wasn't real or I could go back to bed, she would actually lie under the bed with me in the dark, under the bed where it was even darker than on top of the bed. She would pull out a lite-brite, 

I don't know if anyone here has played a lite-brite, but it's a game where looks like a battleship board, but you put the pins in and they light up and you can make different shapes. It was such a popular game. She would make shapes with me in the dark. There's so much symbolism there in that for me of what she taught me, but how the lightness and the darkness and the lessons that she taught me about it's not that there's nothing to be afraid of in the dark. It's the willingness to be afraid of the dark and bring light into the dark.

I'm getting emotional because of a conversation I had. These are stories that not many people know about me, but a conversation I had today with Hayley where I did a reading for her, an intuitive reading and a card reading. We both got nearly the exact same cards, which was very eerie. It was all about the revolution and how our revolution is going to come from raging against the darkness and bringing back the light into those places. It's just so perfectly fucking the symbology of what I'm saying right now is that she's the one that taught me about the light in the dark and the play in the dark, to make a game of the dark.

I was named after her. Everyone knew that she was a force to be reckoned with. I heard many rumors about her that the town thought she was a witch because she saw things she shouldn't see or new things she shouldn't see. She came, and this is the first time she comes in a reading because I called her. My grandmother died a few years ago, a few months after my grandfather died. She was tied to my Italian culture. A lot of me that I let die in this is tied to my ancestors. There's tie to who it is I am. She was a tie to my ancestry, my Italian because she's the only one who spoke Italian with me. She's the only aspect of that part of my family that didn't feel dysfunctional. She was the glue, she was the light at the end of the tunnel, she was all of those things. He died and I was in Australia. We used to talk all the time and I was worried about her so much, because at this point I didn't understand my intuitive healing and my intuitiveness, my clairvoyance and stuff. I called her and I said, “Nonna, come stai?," and "How are you and how is everything going?"

She was living with my aunt at the time and she just sounded just void of life and void of light. I was trying to make her laugh. I said-- I'd just been in Australia a few months, I was backpacking, I had no money. I said, "Do you want me to come back? I'll come back." She said, "No. I don't want you to come back. I want you to stay there." This was really peculiar because my grandmother, every time I would call her, she said, "Come home. What are you doing? You're crazy. Why are you in Australia?"

It was always funny, but she always wanted me to come back. This time she didn't. I knew something was wrong. I hung up the phone. I called everyone in my family that I couldn't. I said, "Can you guys please lend me some money? I need to take a plane back." I was completely, completely just disregarded and nobody had money or nobody believed me. Everyone told me, "Just stop being a drama queen," or I was making it up in my head.

My grandmother ended up passing very shortly thereafter. In the exact words of my aunt is that she looked really healthy, the healthier she's been she was walking up and down stairs and then literally just died. When she came into the reading today, the medium was like, "There's a woman here, she's older and she was cheder diagnosis, but she died and it wasn't because of the diagnosis, it was this hole just left her body. She just didn't wake up." She was explaining all this stuff, my grandmother diabetes and it was correct. She didn't die because of diabetes, she just didn't wake up.

I always knew she died because of heartache and I knew this. I knew this in my heart. She said, "Your grandmother wants you to know that she loved you so much and she loved you in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine. When you were in Australia and your grandfather was gone, I just didn't have a reason to be here. I needed to go back to be with him." She was talking about how the reunion and remember that this medium knows nothing about me or my family, my godmother was telling the medium all of these things.

So the medium was telling me that they had a very, very, very codependent intense loving relationship and she just couldn't be here without him. She could not be here without him, she didn't want to be here without him. That was their relationship. They were inseparable, but they were very much codependent. She left because she couldn't be here without him.

She was saying that she was so happy and so light and that she needs me to know that she feels so fucking happy and that she didn't get a chance to watch me become a woman while she was alive, but that watching me become a woman from there has been even more special because I've exceeded all expectations that she had on me and not that she had any expectations, but that I've blown her mind with the kind of mother and person I've become. That's how she sees the kind of mother I am.

She made a comment. She says, "Not like my mother," because her mother used to abuse her. Her mother didn't show her any affection and any love. She very much redeemed that with me. She tried to rewrite all of her wrongs as a mother. Anyways I won't get into that right now.

She just said that she was incredibly proud of me, she loves me immensely and that she told me some very specific messaging about my son and my daughter, my mother about my father, about my life, about what I've done, where I'm going, what to expect to stop doubting my abilities, to stop doubting how remarkable I am and what it is that I'm doing is remarkable and that she doesn't understand how I couldn't be confident when the things that I'm doing haven't been done before because I haven't been here before. It was a very, very beautiful powerful conversation.

Another one of my family members showed up as well and I just want to end on that because I won't stop crying, is that in the hour 20 minutes that I had this conversation with this stranger who knew things about me, about my life, anything from the medicine in my cabinet to the thoughts in my head, to the future I'm trying to create to the integrity of who it is I am. It wasn't just affirming. It wasn't just beautiful. It wasn't just romantic. It wasn't just novelty. It wasn't just a fairy tale. It wasn't just spiritual or psychedelic. It was an honor and a privilege for me to see her in a world where the norm is to not see people like her, not believe people like her, not revere the magic that is in her.

In a world that kills people like her, all of the amazing women and people and healers and magic makers and herbalists, Loras and all of the amazing humans behind the scenes who are making magic out of what they feel in their body, what they see on what is scary as fuck, what is born from the darkest parts of them and that the light being born in the darkest part of them.

Understand that when it comes to your self-actualization or the ways that you learn or the mentors that you seek or the coaches that you engage or the help or the insight or the inspiration, you have got to look beyond the binary, you have got to look beyond the box, this system, because your linear approach is not going to serve a liberation of epic proportions. You have got to be willing to believe in something bigger than you, not because humans need something to hope for. That is trivial. That is trivial. I don't need hope to exist in anymore that I need a song to dance to. I can dance with no song, I can make songs out of the cells in my body.

I don't need hope to live. I am hope. Hope lives in me, hope is born from me, I am hope. I want to really challenge you to start believing in things because those beliefs are going to help you to dismantle systems that squash people like I spoke to today, but that also squashed the people who are trying to be safe, who can't be kept safe. There's a lot of conversations right now about safe spaces, a lot of conversations about trigger warnings and a lot of conversations about coming into places from a trauma-informed perspective. I get it, I do. 

I get it that there are people who cannot exist because it's not safe because they're basically under attack or in danger all the time. I get it, but I want to really challenge you to think about how hypocritical it is to continue making the world an unsafe place for people who can't be their most authentic self because they're scared that you'll think they're crazy or that you'll institutionalize them or that you'll kill them or you'll burn them. I want to create spaces where I can come and talk about what I see and what I feel within my body, where my daughter and my son, they can have the same conversations where being enlightened and awakened and connected to your sources, not taboo, it's not trendy.

It's not something that we just do in Byron Bay at a really cool cafe when we want to look really fucking woke. I don't want to be afraid anymore. It's interesting to me because it's like we are so used to being unsafe. We're so used to being under threat all the time that we're now hyper-focused on being safe and what that is costing is huge, because it's a fanatical approach at each end. There are people that will die at each end in the crossfire of that. It's really, really important to understand that not always doing the thing that feels safe is important too. Willingness to be unsafe and be uncomfortable is absolutely a part of your growth process.

Hayley and I were saying every person, every woman and person of minority or anything should go and travel alone for a year. We can't teach people to keep themselves safe if they don't understand what it means to be unsafe first. We can't teach people protective measures if we don't encourage them to push those boundaries for themselves. Instead of working in a productive way, we're working in extremes and there's a lot of people getting stuck in the crossfire right now. Polarizing conversations, hypocritical convictions, they're not going to work.

There are a lot of people in my community and whether these are doulas, midwives, intuitive workers, energy healers, clairvoyance, clairsentient, clairaudient people, mediums, reiki practitioners all up and down the bottom here who literally censor themselves every day of their lives because they are fucking terrified, irregardless of what community they come from, exacerbated in the communities they come from, culturally come from. This isn't about believing in something, because believing in it is silly or because you feel cooler not believing in it or you want to indulge your self-righteousness.

How are we keeping the magic of this world safe? How are we keeping the medicine of self safe? How are we keeping connection to the eye that is buried inside of us by believing it exists. What's that saying? With fairies? Every time you say you don't believe in fairies, a fairy drops dead. I really believe that it's the same. That goes to say that every time you tell someone who is fighting every single day to be their most expressed self and share their gifts, that you don't believe in them, a part of them dies, many of them do die. We cannot change the culture of blame and belief.

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