CFDS Episode 025: Playing With Spirits, Food To Increase Intuition

Picture for increase intuition episode

How I almost found myself possessed by the god of thunder, plus how to increase intuition and psychic sensitivity

In addition to this story, at the end of this episode I’ll share with you some top tips to increase intuition.

OK enough hints from me, let’s get on with the story.

A pretty crazy story

First let me say that when I say playing with spirits, I’m not talking about Ouija boards. And I don’t mean playing with them as in being disrespectful. This story is all about their power, how they can help and how that relates – yes, surprise, surprise – to food.

Off to California

This story begins when I decided to go out to the San Francisco Bay area to live there for a while. I was in a bit of a mess, as I’d just gotten ejected out of a relationship in a very painful way. This included a cry-for-help-disguised-as-a-suicide-attempt and a hospital stay which I talk about in last week’s episode.

So to say that I was a bit fragile would probably be an understatement. However I knew that I would meet some amazing people in the Bay area, and I couldn’t wait to reconnect with one of my favorite people in the world. She’s one of my dearest friends and has been since college, and she was like, “Come and stay! I’ll help you settle in”. Well, I couldn’t resist that offer. Her name is Francesca and her story is incredible. In fact Francesca overcame depression as well, and we share her story in Episode 12, From Depression To Diva.

Anyway I got on a plane and went to Oakland California, where luckily my friend helped me land a job through a temp agency. I don’t even remember what I did there, I think it was something in marketing and I know it involved a computer, but the rest of it is pretty much a blur. I do know that I made a big effort to dress really nicely every day. For some reason that’s the one thing I remember. Superficial perhaps, but true – although I did get pleasure out of looking nice. Even though on the inside I was still a bit fragile.

A clothing-optional weekend, with Santeria

Fortunately for me I made friends really easily through Francesca. And shortly after I had arrived, Francesca invited me to come along to a clothing-optional weekend where we’d attend some ceremonies. One was a sweat lodge, which I’ve talked about in Episode 19, and the other was a ceremony in a tradition called Santeria. Plus as the weekend was going to be clothing-optional, well that alone was going to be a new experience for me. And of course I was up for it.

I’ll talk about the clothing-optional aspect of the weekend in another episode because that alone was really interesting. This week I want to focus on what happened between me and the spirits. First though, let me tell you a little bit about Santeria.

A simplified definition of Santeria

Santeria means ‘way of the saints’. It’s an Afro-Carribean religion that originated in Cuba and was traditionally practiced by descendants of West African slaves. Practitioners replaced the slave owners’ Catholic saints with their own spirits, called the Orisha. The Orisha are the go-betweens, if you like, the way in which we can connect with the one energy linking everything in the universe, which in Santeria is called Olorun. So kind of like using saints to interact with God, except you’re using Orishas. That’s way oversimplifying this, but this is just to give you an idea. I’ll link to where you can find out more about Santeria in the show notes.

Anyway I went with Francesca to a beautiful place in California called Harbin Hot Springs. Harbin has been a very strong spiritual center for people from all over to go and relax in its hot springs while doing yoga and all kinds of other good stuff.

Drumming, dancing and spirit possession

And on the Friday night, I got my first introduction to Santeria in the form of a drumming and dancing ceremony. Now I knew nothing about Santeria. All I knew was that we were going to be doing some drumming. That was it. I never suspected that we would use drumming and dancing to let some of us be possessed (temporarily of course) by one of the Orishas.

At this point you may be wondering, ‘Why would anyone allow themselves to be possessed by a spirit?’ Or you might be thinking, ‘This is totally insane, I’m out of here’. But bear with me because what happened was pretty amazing.

Now, people contact the Orishas to help them and others with their lives. It’s also a way for them to expand their personalities, because each Orisha has a very distinct personality, as I was soon to discover for myself. So if you’re normally a very timid woman for example, it can be quite something to suddenly be a big, burly spirit who loves cigars. That kind of thing. But I didn’t know any of that at first.

So the drumming started. I really liked the music, it was really healing to be able to just move around freely and enjoy the drums. People had left offerings for the Orishas on various altars, and each Orisha was honored by participants playing their song in a specific order. It’s while the Orisha’s song is playing that any of his or her devotees can be possessed by that Orisha.

Enter the Orishas

And yes, you can have several people possessed by the same Orisha at once. Energy is limitless, after all, so I don’t know about you but that does make total sense to me. And I saw it, anyway, which was incredible.

So suddenly one woman picked up and lit one of the cigars. She puffed away while walking around like a warrior. I learned that Oshun was the Orisha that she connected with, and Oshun loves cigars, very spicy food like hot peppers, and rum. So those were some of the things offered to him, and her whole personality changed. I mean, she was definitely not there, and someone else was. You could really tell. It was incredible, especially as I’d never seen anything like this before. OK well I had actually, once before when I assisted at a past-life regression that kind of went badly. But that’s another story!

Other songs and other Orishas came to the ceremony too, until there were about a quarter of the participants who were one Orisha or another. Oh and by the way, one interesting thing was that the people who were possessed by Orishas always knew instantly when someone else was about to be taken over as well. They knew even before the person did, and they’d run up to them and spin them around to help the process along.

Knock, knock, knocking at my brain’s door

I know this all sounds crazy, but bear with me! The music changed again, and it was at this point that all of a sudden I felt like someone was knocking on a door situated about three feet up and behind the top of my head. I kid you not. Literally knocking and asking if I’d let him in. He was very polite, at least he asked. I knew it was a ‘he’, though I can’t tell you how I knew, because the only thing I knew about any of the Orishas were that some were male and some were female. That was it. It’s important that I emphasize my total lack of knowledge by the way, because of what came later.

So I’m feeling this knocking at my door and I’m thinking, ‘Nooooo, I didn’t really have spirit possession in mind when I came on this weekend, thank you’. But the other Orishas came rushing over to me and started laughing and spinning me around. Mind you, I hadn’t even been moving before this. It happened in a split second, and none of these people knew me. But they knew something was happening.

Well, I didn’t let the Orisha in, but he wasn’t quite finished with me yet. The others laughed and spun away dancing, and the evening went on. I learned by the way that the Orisha who had come knocking was Shango. Shango, I later learned, is the god of thunder, war and virility, and is also the Master Drummer and Master Dancer. So pretty cool.

Messages from the spirit world

Anyway at this point all of the Orishas had come, and they went round helping the other people present by going up to them and giving them messages. I had three different Orishas come up to me. And the messages were incredible. One of them said to me, “You’re not done in France yet. You’ll go back there pretty soon.” At that time I had no idea what my plans were, let alone anyone else. No-one there even knew I’d been living in France. Another Orisha said, “Ah, you need a place to live! Don’t worry, we’ll help you”.

Which they did, because when I got back from the weekend on the Sunday afternoon, there was a message on the answering machine offering me an apartment. Amazing! Particularly as we hadn’t placed an ad – we were only asking a few friends.

Now I mentioned earlier that after Shango had knocked on my door and I’d turned him away that he hadn’t finished with me yet. And he hadn’t. The reason I know this was because of the sweat lodge which was on the Saturday.

Shango and the sweat lodge

If you don’t know what a sweat lodge is, it’s basically a large, enclosed tent with a pit in the middle. Hot volcanic rocks are placed in the pit and the shaman or ceremony leader pours water over the rocks, and so it’s like a very intense steam room. But very intense. I’m talking so hot that it’s unbearable. The reason for that is so that you can clear out not only physical toxins, but emotional and spiritual ones as well. It was very intense and I’ve spoken about that detox process in Episode 19.

What I didn’t say though was that at one point I felt this almost irresistible urge to run over the hot coals in the pit. I was like, ‘where is this coming from?’ I mean I didn’t have a habit of running over hot coals. In fact I’d never done that – not until years later when I went to a Tony Robbins seminar weekend and walked over a long row of hot coals. But that’s another story.

Anyway I was fighting off the urge to run over the coals. And eventually the urge passed and I survived the sweat lodge. But I wondered about it. I thought it might have been a memory from a past life or something. So when I got back home, I looked up some information on the Orishas and what did I discover? Shango’s devotees are known for doing…guess what? Running over hot coals.

My most amazing discovery…that happened today!

I mentioned before that each Orisha is associated with a Catholic saint. This enabled the people to keep worshipping their deities, all while giving the appearance of adopting Catholicism. Apparently there are more than 10,000 saints, which I didn’t know. That’s a LOT of saints, right? And according to the Yoruba tradition there are 401 Orishas, as 401 is a sacred number. So that’s a lot of deities.

I’m telling you this because I learned TODAY as I was researching for this episode that out of all the Catholic saints, guess which one Shango is associated with? Saint Barbara! Isn’t that just so freaky? I still can’t believe it. It’s like Shango is up there laughing. I can’t believe that I didn’t even know this until now. I’d looked into the Orishas a bit more when I got back to France, I’d read a book about them and other things, but somehow I’d never seen that till today! Amazing!

How my skeptic son started his day today

So because my mind was basically blown at breakfast, I had to tell my son about it immediately. He’s home from college at the moment. I should clarify for you that he really doesn’t believe in any spirit-related stuff. Which is I guess normal considering that both his parents have been involved with spiritual organizations for over 30 years, and his grandmother was a very well-known shaman in Mexico. Teenage rebellion and all that, right?

So the lucky boy comes down for breakfast this morning to his mother saying, “Did I ever tell you about the time I was with people who were drumming and let themselves be possessed by spirits?” To which he laughed and shook his head, saying, “OK Mom. Let me get my hippy hat on”. And he listened patiently while I told him this story.

He thinks I’m a bit crazy anyway, so now I’d say he’s sure of it.

I have to say though that even he was impressed with the saint thing. When I showed him the webpage where I found it, I could see he was really surprised. So who knows, maybe he’ll discover his own story with spirits one day.

Why I’m telling you this story

Anyway, what on earth do spirits have to do with food? Why am I telling you this story?

There are two reasons actually. The first is that I think it makes a good story, whether you have had any of those kinds of experiences or not.

And the second is that if you’re into any kind of spiritual practice, well I want you to know that food can actually help speed up or intensify your journey. I’m not talking magic mushrooms, although we did talk about those in Episode 10 where we talk about Ayahuasca.

I’m actually talking about normal, everyday foods that you probably have in your house. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds – all of the things that you’d normally eat as part of getting more raw food into your life. These foods are powerful. They go way beyond health benefits, and I’ll talk more about that in future episodes. But for now I’d like to give you some general principles so that if you do any kind of spiritual practice, or even if you’d just like to be more intuitive, you can get some practical tips for that right now.

Principles to increase intuition and supercharge your spiritual practice

So the first principle which I’m sure will come as no surprise to anyone is that it’s important to eat organic as much as possible.

The most important idea within eating organic is that the higher the water content of the food, the more important it is that you get it organic. Why? Because the water is what holds all those pesticides and poisons that have been sprayed on the fruit or vegetable throughout its life.

Pesticides in particular are known as ‘intuition blockers’, so do avoid them as much as you can.

By the way I don’t want anyone to get paranoid here – I know people who eat all kinds of awful food and are still intuitive. I’m just giving you ways to get the very best out of yourself. So this isn’t an all-or-nothing ideal that you must achieve. It’s a tool, like anything else, that you can use as much as you are able or as you want to.

Eat more raw, unprocessed foods

Well of course. If you know me, I’m all about that, and of course I show you how to do this in super delicious ways. Because life is too short for carrot sticks, as we all know. Right? If you need ideas for how to make delicious raw food dishes in 5 minutes, I’ll link to my 5-minute recipe ebooks in the show notes.

If we want to be more and more connected to the earth as well as all its creatures, which I’ll talk about in another episode, eating food in its most natural state just makes sense. Nature did not provide us with microwave ovens. Right?

It’s the life-force in raw foods that literally feeds our psychic energy. It feeds our emotional and mental energy too. So if you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ll know that a lot of these suggestions are the same ones I make for starting to overcome depression. The more ‘light’ you eat, the more full of light you are, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Another tip for eating lots of raw foods is to include as many colors as possible. Colors in food are there for a reason – each color is made up of different phytonutrients. And we need a variety of these for good health. That’s why you’ll hear people suggest that we ‘eat the rainbow’. Just not a cooked rainbow, please.

An experiment: do try this at home!

In fact here’s an experiment for you that will really make you think. Make yourself a raw soup or curry. You can use one of my recipes on the blog or in my ebooks. Then take part of that soup or curry, and heat it gently. Use what I call the pinky test to make sure that it’s warm but not too hot. In other words, that you can keep your pinky in there without burning yourself.

Then take the other part of that soup or curry, and heat it a lot. Cook it, in other words. So if it’s a soup, let it boil quickly. Then remove it from the heat.

Now I want you to look at the colors of each pot. You will see that the vibrant colors of the raw soup or curry have faded to almost nothing when you boil that same dish. The difference is amazing. You can literally see that some of the phytonutrients have been altered from their natural state. The colors aren’t as bright. It’s like eating sunshine versus eating pond water. Big difference, right? OK it’s not quite that bad, but I wanted to give you an analogy.

If you’re already pretty psychic or sensitive

Now if you’re already pretty sensitive, I do have a word of caution for you. Eating more raw food is like connecting fiber optic broadband to your intuition. And sometimes that might be too much. For instance, when I first moved to Paris as a vegetarian, I actually had to eat meat for a while to ground myself because I wasn’t used to that many people in enclosed spaces like the subway. Unfortunately meat really lowers your overall vibration though. I’ll talk more about that in another episode.

Easier ways to ground yourself

Now I know of way easier ways to ground myself. Crystals work really well – but that’s another story as it’s quite a big topic and I want to give you solutions that you can use immediately. So if you haven’t got crystals handy, you can use food. Potatoes for instance are one of the best grounding foods ever. You can’t eat them raw, so just pile on some salad and a dressing with your baked potato. You should feel more grounded instantly.

If you’re not vegan, eggs are also very grounding. I don’t recommend commercially produced eggs because the chickens are put through hell, but a lot of places now have free-range eggs. Or better yet, get them from a farm where you know how the animals are treated. Again, I’m speaking about an ideal here – just do the best you can with what you’ve got, I say.

Cheese is also very grounding, but because it’s a very heavy and clogging food, I don’t normally recommend it. You can however make cashew nut cheese, which can still be raw vegan and works pretty well. I’ve got recipes for delicious cheeses on the blog which I’ll link to in the show notes.

Foods to avoid to increase intuition

If you want to increase intuition, in addition to foods to include, there are also foods to avoid. You want to avoid anything that will lower your vibratory rate as well as interfere with any of the systems of the body. And particularly with your brain.

So the shortcut principle to this is to think of brain foods. Brain foods are going to be great for your intuition and overall sensitivity. And if you haven’t yet gotten your handy fridge chart that shows at a glance the best brain foods to eat and those to avoid, I’ll link to that in the show notes too.

But the short version of foods to avoid starts with meat, especially red meat. If you really feel you need meat, then I’d say less is more, and try to get organic, free-range meat. Or failing that, kosher. This is because you don’t want to absorb not only the growth hormones, but also the vibrations of an animal that has been kept in stressful conditions and then was full of fear before it was slaughtered.

If you feel you must eat meat

Animals are here to share this planet with us, and they are more magical than you could ever imagine. I’ll share more about that in a future episode because it’s another huge topic.

For now though, let me say that if you feel you have to eat meat, better to eat meat from an animal that was allowed to live a full, relatively free life and was killed with respect, reverence and gratitude. Many tribal peoples thank the animal for giving its life. They kill it quickly to feed themselves and their families, not for sport. And they don’t gorge themselves – they take what they need with very little waste.

Another important aspect of this is to eat lighter meats like fish and poultry. Red meat is the densest, most difficult to digest. It takes between 24 to 72 hours to digest meat, depending on your digestive tract. Three days! Ugh!

Fish and mercury levels

If you eat fish, my top tip here is to avoid fish with high levels of mercury. Mercury is very toxic for the brain, so not only does it dampen sensitivity, but it’s felt to contribute towards all kinds of auto-immune disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. So stick to fish like salmon, tilapia and cod. I’ll link to an updated list of mercury levels in fish in the show notes for those who eat fish.

Other foods to avoid to increase intuition

The second thing to avoid is anything with additives, flavor enhancers and artificial sweeteners. In other words, anything containing chemical substances pretending that they’re food.

This makes sense though, right? So junk food, frozen ready meals, things like that. Oh and MSG, that’s another one to avoid. Some people get headaches from MSG which is their body telling them, ‘I don’t like this. Get it out!’

And of course the last thing I’ll mention is sugar. And when I say sugar, I don’t mean fruit sugar. I mean good ol’ granulated, processed white stuff that looks like an illegal drug. But it’s a legal drug that’s every bit as addictive, and it lowers our overall vibration. It also has no health benefits whatsoever. If you’re struggling to kick the sugar habit, get yourself some xylitol. It looks like sugar but it’s made from plant sources and it’s glycemic index is lower, which means it won’t hit your bloodstream like a hit of I-don’t-know-what-illegal-substance.

Other alternatives to sugar

You can also use dates, coconut palm sugar, honey if you’re not vegan – so there are plenty of choices and they’re all easy to use. Even maple syrup is better for you. Yes it’s been processed so it’s not technically raw. But it’s delicious and again it’s way better for you than white sugar. If you do buy maple syrup, be sure to get the pure 100 percent syrup (and not the fake stuff that’s mixed with corn syrup, just check the label).

There are a lot of other things you can do to increase intuition and raise your overall sensitivity, and I’ll go into those in future episodes. For now though, I wanted to give you some easy, practical things that you can do today.

Have YOU got a story to share?

Whew! Lots of information this week, I hope you enjoyed it!

This brings us to the end of this week’s story – and if you’ve got a true story to share (and you’d like to know what food could have saved the day or enhanced your particular situation), I’d love to hear from you!

Got a question, or a comment?

Got a question, or a comment? Pop a note below in the comments, that would be awesome. You can also subscribe to the podcast to listen ‘on the go’ in iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn.

I hope you have an amazing day. Thank you so much for being here with me to share in my Clean Food, Dirty Stories. Bye for now!


To get your handy fridge chart:

More about eating for intuition:

Nut cheese recipes:

5-Minute recipe ebooks:

More about Santeria:

More about specific Orishas:

Harbin Hot Springs:

Mercury levels in fish (as of July 2017):

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