Monthly Archives: March 2013

Intruders: Boggart of Shatton

I am quite fond of Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog.  You just never know what the individual who writes this blog will dig out of some obscure archive or newspaper clipping.  In the link above, Beachcombing discusses at length one of the unsavory denizens of the Otherworld.

While “demons” seem to be a very popular explanation for aggressive hauntings and other hostile paranormal events, this story takes us back to a time, not too long ago, when the people of the British Isles recognized that they co-habited the land with a number of unseen races.  Such was the respect and/or fear that the people held these other races in that they would not even utter their names for fear of drawing unwanted attention.  To them, “The Gentry”, “The Good People”, “Them Ones” and other such races were as real as their neighbors down the lane and were not to be trifled with.

The explanation of the origins of the faerie, as we now make bold to call them, were varied.  W Y Evans-Wentz, in his masterful work The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries outlines a number of different origin theories and I direct the reader to that excellent book if you are interested.  In the end, though, Evans-Wentz decided that the faerie did indeed exist and that they were residents of the Celtic Otherworld who still seemed to have the power to cross into our world from time to time.  The faerie races, as outlined in the aforementioned book and in Katherine Briggs’ An Encyclopedia of Fairies were multitudinous and many of the faerie held no love for humans.  As we see in Beachcombing’s story above, one of those races was the boggarts, a faerie that often made itself appear as a black dog (not to be confused with the phantom black dogs of British lore) that led travelers astray or, in this case, barred their way.

The boggart did not simply lead travelers off the path though.  Most often, the sojourner found him or herself in mortal peril since the boggart would often lead the victim into swamps and marshes where it would be quite easy for a mis-step to end the journey in a boggy death by drowning.  Why the boggart, in the instance cited above, prevented the walker from taking his usual route is anyone’s guess.  This might not have been a boggart but instead a true Black Dog, an Otherworld species associated with death but also known to protect travelers on occasion.  It might also be that this was a boggart, that the route diversion was intended to get the traveler into a fix and that the boggart’s plan simply did not pan out that night.  Or, perhaps, Beachcombing is correct and the witness simply had one pint too many and suffered a temporal lobe disturbance :-).

My point is simply this.  These days when you hear the word Faerie or Fairy, the first image that enters most people’s mind is Tinker Bell.  Human beings have a tendency to disempower that which they fear (look at what we have done to the mighty angels, as another example).  Our wishing that the faerie were powerless little pixies with magic dust and a star-tipped wand does not make it so, however.  While “them ones” have retreated from this plane in the face of modern technology, they still have the power to walk this world and even cause physical effects.  While it is possible to have good relations with some of these beings, it bears repeating that some of them have been identified throughout time as inimical to the human race.  The boggart and his ilk are certainly on the list of beings that I would classify as Intruders.

Ritual Sacrifice?

In my never ending search of the Web for items of interest to my readers I came across this disturbing article.

While there is something sinister going on here, I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with “occult rituals and animal sacrifice”. As with most of these tantalizing features, we are not told a whole lot about the incidents – only that a number of dogs have disappeared and that some of them have now turned up dead. Additional details include the fact that some of the recovered canines had their jaws bound and teeth filed down (we are not told how they died) and that one of the animals, a German Shepherd, was found with its skull crushed, covered in a purple cloth.

I would like to focus on this last example since it seems to me that anyone intent on abusing or killing a dog would want to ensure that he or she did not get bitten in the process thus the duct taping of the jaws. The teeth filing could have been an additional safety measure or it might have been a form of torture, we are not given enough details to know. What we are told is that one of the animals recovered was “found draped in a purple cloth, it’s head crushed with a rock”.

The forms of spirit evocation are almost endless and, if this were a singular occurrence or one that happened on a particular time schedule, I might be more likely to buy into the occult ritual theory. It seems to me that there are a couple of aspects of this case that militate against that theory though.

First, the sheer number of animals that has gone missing in a short period of time. Any group or individual working ritual sacrifice (other than the known ACR’s that use animals in their rituals) is likely to be quite secretive since this sort of work falls well outside the cultural norm and involves the risk of involvement with law enforcement. The group (for the sake of argument) would not want to draw attention to themselves so making 40 dogs disappear in a short period of time would be counter productive to their purposes. One or two animals might disappear during a time period that these people saw as significant and I suspect that they would go to great lengths to keep their actions secret since that is part of the mystique and perceived power of involvement in such an organization. I doubt that these folks, if they existed, would take the chance of picking all their victims up in one location but would have a tendency to spread their pickings out over a wide area to escape notice.

Additionally, the one example we are given of an animal that might have been a ritual sacrifice is questionable. While the purple cloth draped over the canine is certainly ritualistic, the nature of the death might or might not be. If you look at the traditions that use animal sacrifice, from the descriptions of sacrifices made in the Bible to modern ritual slaying of animals in some forms of the ACR’s, there is a distinct commonality. Blood. In order for the sacrifice to be excepted by whatever spirit it is being offered to, one must release the animal’s life by releasing its blood. There are far more efficient ways of doing this than crushing an animal’s skull. Such an act, to me, wreaks of poorly restrained violent tendencies and not the discipline of mind required for real occult work (even occult work of a darker nature). I do not dismiss the possibility of the occult entirely but I feel that it is highly unlikely.

Some, if not most, serial killers are known for their ritualistic behavior; they tend to develop a method of slaying through practice and then seldom deviate from that method unless outside circumstances interrupt their ritual or unless they perceive a need to change the method in order to elude law enforcement. If that happens they are likely to be thrown off their stride and have to find another victim so that they can do the killing “right”. One of the commenters to this blog post noted that this sounded like a “serial killer in training” and I am inclined to agree. My suspicion would be that this is an individual who is seeking to perfect their method before they move on to human game. In my opinion, law enforcement should be focusing their efforts on finding this predator before he turns to human victims. Unfortunately, telling the public to be on the lookout for a potential serial killer is liable to produce panic and vigilante behavior; it is far easier to wave the red herring of occult sacrifice to keep the public on edge and observant.

Thinking About EMF

While I am primarily interested in the application of magical philosophy and skills to cryptozoology and the paranormal, I do not assume that everything that goes bump in the night is necessarily a haunting caused by an astral/etheric entity. Some hauntings are indeed caused by ghosts (however you want to define them – more on that later), some seeming hauntings are simply the misinterpretation of natural phenomenon and yet others may be the result of mental illness, stress or other emotional/psychological disturbances on the part of the percipient/s. Another theory that has been bandied about by both paranormal researchers and skeptics is the idea that electromagnetic fields (EMF) may be a cause of some seemingly paranormal instances.

The theory, proffered by Dr. Michael Persinger, among others, is that EMF, especially low frequency EMF may actually produce hallucinations in the temporal lobe of the brain based on the cultural expectations of the individual. Thus some people might see ghostly apparitions while others might see UFO’s and space aliens. In addition, Persinger tried to prove, through the use of what came to be called the God Helmet, that stimulating the temporal lobe of the brain with a weak magnetic field causes an individual to sense an “ethereal presence” in the room. In other words, EMF fields might actually account for some or all of the experiences of the mystics throughout the ages.

The so-called skeptics love this theory since it gives them a very neat way to wrap up any episode that they can not explain and dispose of it by saying “it’s just EMF”. In order to do that, however, according to the scientific method, one has to be able to replicate the experiment. Not once, or twice, but on multiple occasions. That has not been the case with Dr. Persinger’s work and, though he has defended his experiments and theories, his hypothesis about EMF has yet to be established by the conventions of science . . . something that the so-called skeptics seem eager to overlook.

The human brain, like our whole body, is a marvelous piece of equipment. While I personally have no belief that my consciousness resides there, the brain is an outstanding organic computer system that processes amounts of data in each moment that boggle the mind (if you will pardon the pun). Given the complex chain of interwoven neurochemical and neuroelectric processes that keep the brain working, it is entirely possible that, in certain times and places, certain stimuli may cause a malfunction in the brain and produce phenomenon that are extremely real to the witness. We know, for example, that temporal lobe epilepsy can produce a variety of sensations that can easily be mistaken for paranormal episodes – feelings of being out of body, for example, or experiences that involve the full range of senses and leave the epileptic convinced that they have seen, heard, touched or tasted something that was not actually there.

Is it possible that, in some instances, abnormally high levels of EMF are causing witnesses to experience things that are only happening in their minds? Certainly. The trouble comes when the skeptics get hold of this information and use it as a sort of universal field theory of the paranormal. Anytime, one proposes the idea that all instances of a phenomenon are caused by X, whatever X happens to be, then the bar of evidence is raised very high. Looking at the difficulties that other scientists have had replicating Persinger’s experiments, I think it is safe to say that the EMF theory does not even come close to clearing that high bar of evidence.

EMF certainly plays a role in the paranormal. I recall a high school science teacher, a former employee of NASA who had fallen victim to the budget cuts after the moon missions, telling the story of going with a colleague to investigate a haunting, supposedly at the behest of the local archdiocese. Things seemed pretty normal in the old house until the EMF meter that they had with them spiked and then flat lined. “As though someone had opened a door,” my teacher said. The room grew icy cold and, in all honesty, neither scientist stayed around to see what would happen. If you have watched any of the many ghost shows on TV, EMF meters are standard ghost hunting equipment these days and provide a lot of dramatic footage as their lights light up or their needles fluctuate in the supposed presence of the unseen.

With EMF, as with so many other things, we are faced with a continuum. On one end we find the skeptics, quite willing to attribute all paranormal phenomenon that they can not give another explanation for to EMF; on the other end, we have the folks who completely disregard this very real force and assume that everything is a spirit. As always, I urge you to fall into the mid-realm as you look at cases. Be a true skeptic, one who suspends judgement about a situation until the evidence is in.

The Pigeon Hole Syndrome

Location -London, England
Date -April 1994
Time -early morning
Anthony Wilson had just woken up in his parent’s settee (he was going to work while his sister and her husband had the spare room). He switched off the alarm clock went to the toilet and then lay back down on the settee for an extra five minutes. He went to grab a cigarette when through the now open door a strange apparition sort of stumbled into the room, looked left and then it slowly turned its head toward him. He described the “creature” as very tall (about 6’6” to 7’ tall) two dimensional sort of “dogman”. It had height and width, and most curious of all, its body shape was in angles—a man’s body but with a large dog/wolf’s head. The creature stared straight at the witness, and then started to walk toward where he was lying, but it moved in a clockwork sort of way. When it stopped and leaned toward the witness that’s when he managed to let out a huge shout. That seemed to unnerve it and it took several steps back and disappeared out the door where it came from.
Source: Your True Tales—October 2005
Type: E -When an entity or humanoid is seen alone, without related UFO activity (Example: bedroom visitation)

I discovered this little tidbit while web browsing some time back. I believe that it comes from one of the UFOlogy journals online but I have lost the reference. Still, it is another interesting example of how perception plays a large role in how a sighting is reported and to whom. In this case, rather than assuming that the creature was demonic or a part of the Nephilim, this witness had an odd experience and, apparently, given the footnote, reported it to a UFO researcher.

Now, I am not a strong believer in the “aliens from outer space” theory of UFO origins. My thinking is that any civilization advanced enough to be able to travel the vast distances between stars is not going to have much interest in a race of beings that have barely crawled out of the primordial slime in geological terms and they certainly are not going to be interested in abducting people, poking and prodding them and then releasing them with their memories only partly wiped. Again, if a civilization this advanced did decide that they needed more information on our species, they would have scanning technology that would make the clumsy abduction scenarios totally unnecessary and, should they need a specimen or three, I am sure they could manage it without dragging people out of bed in the middle of the night and scaring hell out of them.

But this is not a post on aliens and their tech. It is a post about an individual who had an experience of high strangeness and then had it categorized as the appearance of an “alien” without several very important questions being answered.

First of all, are we even sure that the witness was awake at the time of this unusual sighting? The witness clearly indicates that he had just awakened and was still lying on the settee when the sighting occurred. This being sounds a lot like something that would spring out at me in those moments between sleep and wakefulness and those visions are sometimes frighteningly real to me. I would be far more eager to accept this explanation than I would to embrace the idea that this was some sort of space alien.

Even granting that the witness was fully conscious, we have to look at other details of this brief story. I can think of several scenarios that might play in this situation:

  • Was this witness a regular smoker? Did he actually light the cigarette he reached for? If so, what was his age and physical condition? Might this gentleman have experienced a transient ischemic attack (a mini stroke) as the result of the constriction of blood vessels when nicotine hit his system. That could certainly produce some interesting hallucinatory effects.
  • We also have no history on the witness. Any history of mental illness in the family? Might this be a schizophrenic manifestation? Any history of drug use especially of the hallucinogenic sort?
  • Could the sighting be attributed to the Persinger effect i.e. sources of electromagnetic radiation that might induce hallucinations?
  • What do we know about this home? Had there been any previous paranormal events in the house? Any history of haunting or strange events in the area? This sighting happened in England, a place renowned for its ghost population, Black Dogs, Big Cats and other cryptids and paranormal phenomenon. This could easily have been one of England’s famous hauntings with a really bizarre twist.
  • Did the witness or anyone associated with the witness practice any of the magical arts? I’ve talked at some length about the possibility of thought forms manifesting and this two dimensional being sounds a lot like the sort of half done manifestation that an inexperienced practitioner might produce.
  • Does the home sit on a ley line? Could the sighting have been the result of one of these mysterious currents of earth energy effecting the witness’ perceptions.

I could continue but I am sure the reader gets the idea. This is a fascinating account of something that the witness could not explain and felt strongly enough about to report. It happens that, in this case, the witness saw something that resembled one of my favorite “monsters”, thus my interest. I think that, as investigators and researchers, or even simply as people interested in these phenomenon, we need to do a better of job of approaching witnesses with an open mind and not a set of preconceived notions that allow us to slot witnesses into a category and move on to the next encounter.

First Impressions

Have you ever noticed how often the story of a haunting victim starts with something like, “I walked into that place and I just knew there was something not right about it . . . “?

Police officers and security personnel hear much the same thing when they interview crime victims. Gavin De Becker in his book The Gift of Fear makes a strong case that many violent crimes could be averted if people simply listened to that still small voice within that tells them something is wrong. De Becker maintains that this gift of fear is the result of the brain subconsciously processing a mass of sensory stimuli, noting that something is not as it should be and sending a signal (fear or apprehension) to alert the person.

In magical thought, each of us is connected to the Universal Energy Field. This connection is often personified and invoked (called upon) as the Holy Guardian Angel, the Agathodaimon, the Inner Guide, the Personal Genius, the Spiritual Assistant, etc. Regardless of what you call it, magic teaches that there is some part of you that is a part of “God” (for want of a better word) and that you have access to a whole lot more information than you know. Personally, I think that the Inner Guide works in cahoots with your subconscious to try to get things through your thick, rationalizing skull.

Here’s how I think it works. Let’s say that you are walking down a city street late at night. Maybe you have had a couple of beers. You are feeling pretty mellow and making your way home, thinking about the great band you were listening to at the bar, your nice warm bed, the attractive person of the opposite sex that gave you their phone number and all the other minutiae that runs through our monkey minds all the time. While your conscious mind is taken up with all this musing, your subconscious is sifting through the mass of sensory data with which you are bombarded at almost every moment. Although you do not really notice, the street is alive with sights and smells and sounds. The wind is blowing down the street toward you and you could feel it on your face if you stopped to notice.

Two things trigger the subconscious in this case. The wind blowing in your face is carrying the noxious tang of anxiety laced sweat and the very faint sound of a metallic click. Your Inner Guide kicks you – it knows that the smell is the scent of a junkie in need of a fix and that the click is likely the sound of a weapon being readied – and suddenly you slow your pace, look around and wonder why the hair is standing up at the back of your neck. If you are smart and have been listening to your self defense teacher, you go on the alert and perhaps even change your route but, if you are like most people, you rationalize your apprehension as “nothing” and walk right into the mugger.

The same thing happens in the case of a haunted house, particularly one that is home to a hostile entity of one sort or the other. You walk into the house and your conscious mind sees the beautiful oak cabinets in the kitchen and the berber carpet in the living area and begins placing your furniture, hanging new window furnishings and wondering how to keep the dog from digging up the back yard. Your subconscious, though, is registering the difference in temperature from one room to another that can not be accounted for by the HVAC system, the shadow moving in the basement though your conscious mind missed it and the smell of decay in the attic that you put down to a dead mouse that needs to be removed. Your Inner Guide, of course, knows that there is something nasty in this home and again kicks you with the fear response, about the only way that it can get you to listen. Again, if you are like most people, you ignore that inner disquiet and buy the wonderful house that is available at a bargain basement price, putting it all down to soft housing market.

Now please don’t think that I wander around in a perpetual state of alertness, looking for danger, both physical and spiritual, under every rock. What I am trying to get across is something that I learned from my martial arts teachers a long time ago: you ignore that little voice in your head that tells you there is something wrong at your own peril.

In daily life, responding to that inner voice is pretty easy. We can alter a route, avoid a person, divert into a public area, stop and talk to a police officer on the beat or any of a dozen other responses to keep ourselves safe. With a paranormal threat though, we are on shakier ground. We might know that there is something wrong with a house but then we have to decide what to do about it. It is one thing to buy a house knowing that it has some residual energies or even a mischievous intelligent spirit or two and quite another thing to purchase a place with a spirit in it that has staked a claim and wants to run you off or that just plain hates humans. Often, it is hard to tell the difference until you have been in the situation for a while since even Negatives often start out with fairly low key activity and then escalate.

My main thrust in this article is please do not disregard the gift of fear. If you are house hunting and something seems “off” to you, even if the place itself is perfect and you can not put a rational reason to the feeling, start asking questions. Most states do not require a seller to disclose any deaths in a house, even homicides, or any alleged paranormal activity. If you are really committed to a particular property, find out all you can about it. Go to the local courthouse or hall of records and do a title search. Enlist a local historian to help you research the location and its surrounds. Talk to any local paranormal investigation teams and see if they have any information on your property. If you are comfortable doing so, you might go to a couple of reputable psychics in the area and have them do a remote reading. If they both “ping” on something, especially if they feel it is hostile, extreme caution is advised.

This might seem like an awful lot of bother to buy a house but consider what happens to people who ignore that inner voice. Sometimes, the haunting is something they can learn to live with or can even be resolved with outside help. Many times, the occupants of the home can negotiate with intelligent spirits and set limits on what activity is alright and what is not. Then there are the other type of hauntings, the ones that scare the crap out of the house’s occupants and leave emotional and even physical scars or worse. As with the mugging scenario above, I would encourage you to listen to your Inner Guide and go elsewhere. For most people, it is simply not worth the pain to do battle with a really nasty haunting.

Monster Hunting Tip

As I have indicated before, I occasionally watch episodes of the ghost hunting shows. I am not going to comment about the willingness, in my view, of some of these folks to assign supernatural meaning to the most mundane causes while they are wandering through a house. Whatever floats their boat is fine with me although I have some serious reservations about how much help these people are actually giving their clients. But, I digress . . .

In a couple of the episodes that I have watched, whatever team the show follows goes out into a wooded area around the subject home and is alarmed by various sounds and movements that they hear while tramping around. Now, I do not know anything about these people’s background but I am going to guess that they are all city kids. Further, I suspect that I could take them camping and scare the holy bejeesus out of them at will since they obviously have no idea that there are live animals out amongst the trees of even the most densely populated urban areas.

When you stomp through an animal’s habitat, talking out loud to the “spirits” you think are there and swinging a lantern, things are going to move around you. Also, unlike the interior of a home, there will be random breezes that move branches and leaves and these sounds can be pretty spooky if you have your mind set in that direction. Something growling in the woods is more likely to be a coyote upset by your team disturbing a late night snack than a malevolent spirit intent on doing you harm and that rustling you hear in the brush is just as likely to be a deer escaping your presence as ‘something’ out to get you.

I used to live in the forests of Western New York and I speak from experience when I say that birds, in particular, can make some of the strangest noises. Someone unaccustomed to those sounds would be likely to run indoors when they heard them at night. We had an owl in the area that made a sound that you could have easily mistaken for one of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. Scared the dickens out of my stepson the first time he heard this critter and it took us a while to figure out what it was.

Not long ago, around the apartment where I used to live, I heard a mysterious sound that sounded like the strangled barking of a dog. I kept my eyes open while walking around the complex to see if I could figure out what was making the sound. As it turned out, this strange call was coming from a crow. Now, I lived amongst crows in NY and I had never heard one make that sound so this was a new one on me. Despite what some would have you believe, even someone with wilderness experience can be stumped about what they are seeing or hearing in the wild.

My point in all this? If you happen to be going out looking for the things that go bump in the night, it is imperative that you do so with a calm and objective mind. Yes, there are plenty of interesting phenomena out there to investigate but there are also plenty of things that can give you a start. Not all of them are ghosts, spirits, Bigfoot, Manwolf or any of the other things you might be out looking for.

In my view, the mundane explanations can be as interesting as anything paranormal. If you doubt my word, spend some time on an ornithology site listening to the calls of various nocturnal birds. You just might find yourself developing an interest in birds and other creatures of the night that have nothing to do with “spooks”.


Many people outside the esoteric world do not know the name of W.E. Butler. The author of several books on the occult, Butler is probably best known as having been the first director of studies for Servants of the Light (SOL), a “modern day Western Mystery School which teaches the esoteric sciences through correspondence” (from the Servants of the Light website). Butler was a student of the better known Dion Fortune (Violet Firth) and spent over 50 years studying and teaching the esoteric sciences as well as serving as a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church. Like Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, who succeeded him as director of studies for SOL, Butler is known for his direct style, lucid explanations and wit.

I am currently re-reading one of his classic books, Lords of Light: The Path of Initiation in the Western Mysteries, where I found a discussion of exorcism that I think might be interesting to my readers. This book is actually a series of lectures given by Butler to a magical group that he worked with very late in his life. In the text, Butler says:

If anyone asks you to exorcise something or some place, don’t rush in too quickly. Find out what kind of job you are up against. I suppose I’ve carried out five hundred or so exorcisms, but I’ve never taken them on lightheartedly. These powers – powers of darkness, if you like – are very real and they can affect you disastrously. It’s all very well to say, “Now I know how to do this,” and, in all the glory of your ignorance, you begin exorcising something that has a lot of teeth to it. And when you get bitten, you don’t like it at all . . . “

Butler goes on to describe a case of exorcism that backfired and then says, “Don’t forget this: Good intentions pave the way to Hell; in themselves, they do not protect you from trouble”. Finally, Butler returns to the topic in the question and answer section of the chapter and makes the strong point that only a person who can confidently get out of their own way and allow the power of the Divine to flow through them should even attempt an exorcism. All this from a man who, by his own account, performed over 500 exorcisms of one type or the other (not necessarily “demons”) in his life.

If I had to boil Butler’s advice down to a single word, it would have to be humility. And this is not a trait that I see a lot of in the paranormal community. What I see is people who, with considerable hubris, put themselves out there as “demonologists” able to help people with negative entities of all sorts. I have to ask, for myself and for all the folks out there who need help, what makes these people think they are qualified to deal with a negative spiritual manifestation? What education do they have for this type of work? How did they get called into the work? In the cases of people who appear to be working within a religious tradition, who ordained them and to what level? In the case of alleged magical practitioners/occult experts, what group or individual did they study with, for how long and to what level of initiation? In both cases, who did they apprentice with to learn exorcism?

Sadly, the answer to most of these questions is that the person read some books, perhaps talked to some people, maybe “apprenticed” with some other unqualified demonologist and then hung out their shingle so that they could get some of the attention too. Somehow or the other, being a demonologist has become “hip”. I am sure that there are a lot of cultural reasons for this but, frankly, I don’t care. What I do care about is that, more and more ill prepared people are attempting exorcism when they haven’t even the discernment to tell what sort of entity they are dealing with.

Exorcism of any type is not simple wand waving. You do not simply say the words and make everything better. You have to have a good feel for what you are dealing with and not simply assume that any hostile being is a demon. When you walk onto a negative entity’s home ground, you need to have the attitude of a sport fisherman – you are going to hook something big and it is going to put up a fight. You had better be in it for the long haul because, unlike fishing, if the line breaks the fish is going to come after you with everything he’s got. As Butler says above, “when you get bitten, you -won’t- like it at all . . . ” From my perspective, getting bitten can mean anything from physical injury to the incursion that some call possession.

My point here is straightforward. Some people truly are called to this type of work and, with the proper training they can be a great help to those who are afflicted. If you truly feel that you have the calling to work in this type of scenario, then ask yourself one question: why? If it has anything to do with the cool factor or the attention you might garner or the books you might be able to write, you are going to get yourself or someone else hurt. If, like the famous Lakota medicine man Frank Fools Crow, you want to develop yourself into an “eagle bone whistle”, an instrument through which the Divine (in whatever way you see it) can work in these situations, then ask the Divine within you to bring you to a teacher. And may the Light go with you.