The Importance of Opening and Closing
If you have ever been to a public demonstration of mediumship or healing, you may have observed that an opening prayer or affirmation was offered up to ask a blessing on what is about to be undertaken and for some sort of protection whilst working. Depending on the beliefs and practices of those present, this prayer may have been to God or of a completely non secular nature. For simplicity, we will discuss this in terms of a development circle. Obviously, the same ethos of good working practice applies to the individual when working or larger group functions.
Why do we have an opening prayer?
Usually this is to ask for protection for the members of the group whilst working and to invite those who wish to work with us to draw close. It is both good practice and quite correct. An opportunity is created in which to affirm that we are ready to work and in what way, in other words, we are laying down a set of ground rules that we expect our influences to respect. For example, in a development circle for beginners, we might ask that the circle is only used for the development of psychic gifts and mental mediumship. This excludes other forms of mediumship, such as trance, which may be quite alarming for the beginner to witness in its early stages of development if they are not prepared for it.
It must be acknowledged at this point that some do not believe that offering up an affirmation is required because they are working in love and for the benefit of others.
If they are happy with this then fine, because in most cases they are very experienced and very positively motivated in what they do. This is the key, they strongly believe in what they are doing and in the way they are prepared to work. Their personal ethos becomes their affirmation.
Whose protection are we asking for? If you are reading this then you will probably accept that when undertaking psychic or spiritual work, we will have people working with us from other realms who will be of influence, our guides, if you want to use that term or in the case of healing, have an energy flowing through the healer. Within their power, these influences will do their very best to protect you from negative or undesirable forces. You will also have an understanding that there is an overall force that pervades all that is of creation, including ourselves. Most will refer to this as God, what ever your understanding of God is, or some all pervading force that brings about creation and its continuance Even if a person has no religious leaning at all, they are likely to be conversant with this concept.
“Within your understanding, God is within us and we are all part of God.”
Many great scholars have debated these theological concepts for years so don’t get hung up on this statement, greater Spiritual understanding or appreciation of these things will hopefully come with development and this understanding is likely to be different for each individual. If you were to ask two young siblings to describe their father, it is highly likely that you will get two different answers, neither will be wrong, they are two individuals, each will be aware of different aspects of the same thing. As is with the understanding of God.
What are we asking protection from?
Any who wish to bring negative or inappropriate influence into the circle from other realms. This is why it is very important to be in a positive frame of mind when sitting in a circle. Bringing in dark thoughts or being less than harmonious with your fellow sitters may attract that which is not noble or desirable. When you sit within a circle it is a bit like turning on a light in the void, moths will be attracted to it. Some of these we may wish to invite, some we may not. Therefore, we need to set up a barrier to those we do not want to let in.
Can things go wrong?
Within a beginners development circle this is not likely to happen unless one of the members is susceptible to trance or physical phenomena. But as with all things, it is advisable to have an awareness of such things so that you may be prepared for any outcome.
If an unwelcome influence were to make themselves known in some way, they should be very firmly instructed to leave. If the atmosphere has been affected or they are reluctant to do so, it would be quite appropriate for the circle leader to stop proceedings and close the circle with a prayer. The members would then adjourn and leave the room thus disrupting the energy that is empowering the unwelcome visitor. By following the correct procedure, the situation would be safely controlled and the circle members not frightened in any way.
Once everyone has settled in, it is quite usual for a member of that circle to make the opening or closing prayer, this will often be in rotation. At this point most people shrink into their seats and pretend to be invisible! Please don’t worry, it is quite normal and many will be very self conscious when doing it for the first time. Just open your mouth and let some words come out, if you are sincere, the simplest of words will have far more meaning than some long eulogy that has been delivered to impress the other circle members. It does not.
The Closing Prayer
Like the opening prayer this is a statement of intent. We are affirming that the circle is now being closed and we wish to thank those who have been of influence and ask them to withdraw. It is quite usual that they would be asked to watch over us in our daily lives until we can meet together again and provide help for those who are in need. The circle leader is also likely to reaffirm this as a closing statement and ask the circle members to close down.
This is a personal visualisation exercise and it is to enable the medium or psychic to become “grounded” or “earthed” back in the physical world.
Some may go through a visual ritual where they concentrate on each of the chakras, (Energy centres within the body.) starting from the head and visualise each one as a flower. They will then close each of the petals until the flower is closed. This is repeated as you work down the body, paying particular attention to the solar plexus centre as this is most vulnerable. They will then pull down an image of a golden light to surround and protect them.
A more earthy alternative is to imagine roots going down from your body into the soil below and wrapping themselves tightly around other roots, rocks or pipes to form a solid bond with the earth and that which is of physical form.
Do whatever you feel is appropriate to you personally and whatever works for you.
Some would consider failing to close down or not being able to close demonstrates a lack of discipline In reality, it is unlikely that we can fully relinquish the link once we have become attuned, after all an aspect of us is Spirit. However, it is obviously desirably to be on ‘standby,’ rather than having the volume turned up full! Failing to do so would have a detrimental effect on our lives and is potentially dangerous should we leave a circle and drive home when still under the influence of a communicator that is not subdued. Many experienced mediums have to develop ways of dealing with this so that it does not intrude into their daily lives.
As we can see it is desirable to do something by way of closing down, be it a visualisation ritual or by affirming that you have now stopped working and that you expect your workers to withdraw and respect the times in which you allow them to work with you. You must be in control. A little time should be given to ‘cool down’ before leaving the circle, most will indulge in a warm drink and biscuit during this time and engage in conversation. Once again this is a means of throwing off the effects of influence and returning to the ‘real world.’
Within some forms of development, such as trance or physical the mediums desire to leave immediately may be very strong at times. This may be quite irrational and is a result of strong influences or emotions that they have experienced when under control. These residual feelings are not harmful, but it would be sensible to quietly dissuade the medium from leaving at that moment allowing them time to become fully reintegrated with the real world and not a danger to themselves.
We would encourage everyone to send out a personal affirmation as they retire to bed.
This can be offered up to anyone who you wish it to be directed to; God, the Universal Spirit, Universal Overmind, a deceased loved one or whoever you are comfortable with, providing they are a force for good. In some way and at some level, these thoughts will be heard and can bring about surprising and unexpected results at times.
The power of positive thought cannot be expressed greatly enough here and the benefits that it can bring about to personal well being and that of the world in which we live. We should all aspire to remain positive at all times, no matter how desperate the situation may appear to us personally. The “thought is the deed” and by our thoughts we are all empowered to bring about a better world.
It is quite correct to ask for protection for yourself and your loved ones for the next day, remembering to give thanks for the day past.
Ask that you are placed in the ‘light’ or ‘universal harmony.’
That any negativity that has been directed towards you is returned to its source, but in a way that is enlightened or in the light. (We feel that this is particularly important and have personal experience of its positive benefits.)
Resolution to personal arguments or conflicts in a positive manner that does not cause harm to others.
It might also be nice to ask if you “can be made more than you are” if you are fearful, suffering low self esteem or would like to do more to be of service to others. (This is in a non - egotistical senses of course and not just a desire to make you something you are not!)
It is not appropriate to ask for personal financial gain other than if, perhaps, you are desperate and you need just enough to sustain your well being or some charitable work that enables you to be of service to others.
By all means request healing for those around you, your friends and family, if they are in need.
Ask that the light goes out into the world to illuminate those places which are dark and negative, that those who are empowered to be our leaders throughout the world are placed in the light.
We have been told by our own Spirit Team to make this final part very positive, almost command like;
That with these things, there will be no war, no suffering, no deprivation and an end to starvation in our world for all its inhabitants, flora and fauna.
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