Psychic Matters!

PM 038: The Sacred Power Of Music with Carolyn Wilkins

June 17, 2021 Ann Théato with Carolyn Wilkins
Psychic Matters!
PM 038: The Sacred Power Of Music with Carolyn Wilkins
Chapters
Psychic Matters!
PM 038: The Sacred Power Of Music with Carolyn Wilkins
Jun 17, 2021
Ann Théato with Carolyn Wilkins

#038 Hi there, my name is Ann Théato and I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

Healer, Psychic Medium, Educator and Professor of Music at Berklee College of Music Online, Carolyn Wilkins, has been with me in the studio this week.  We’ve talked about the power of music and why it is a sacred energy channel.  In this episode, Carolyn talks about piano trance healing, how to feel the sacred power in a piece of music and why music has the power to touch our soul. 

DEAF FRIENDLY: If you'd like to get the links & show notes, including a complete transcription, head to www.anntheato.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/psychicmatters)

Show Notes Transcript

#038 Hi there, my name is Ann Théato and I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

Healer, Psychic Medium, Educator and Professor of Music at Berklee College of Music Online, Carolyn Wilkins, has been with me in the studio this week.  We’ve talked about the power of music and why it is a sacred energy channel.  In this episode, Carolyn talks about piano trance healing, how to feel the sacred power in a piece of music and why music has the power to touch our soul. 

DEAF FRIENDLY: If you'd like to get the links & show notes, including a complete transcription, head to www.anntheato.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/psychicmatters)

Hello everybody! My name is Ann Théato and welcome to the Psychic Matters Podcast – episode number 38.  

I have got the most amazing episode for you today with my incredible guest, Carolyn Wilkins.  Carolyn is a Spirit Whisperer, a Reiki Master, a Psychic Medium, an initiated Priestess of Yemaya, the African goddess of compassion, motherhood and the ocean.  Not only that, Carolyn is an accomplished jazz pianist and vocalist, a Professor at Berklee College Of Music Online and she has performed in concert throughout the United States, Africa, Asia, and South America, where she toured as a Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department.  And, can you believe, she’s done even more than that!  She is also the author of six books so far, she has a thriving private practice in healing and mediumship and she has a New Age Talk Show, Carolyn’s Psychic Playroom which can be seen monthly on Cambridge Community Television and on youtube!  I have had the great good fortune, to interview her for our podcast today.  But just before we start – a quick question for you.

Are you enjoying this podcast and would you consider supporting it via my Patreon account? The Psychic Matters podcast has  had 62 five star reviews, and it’s listened to in 72 countries, 2000 cities and towns worldwide.  Guys, it’s a lot of work to put this free resrouce together for you.  It’s only me on my own doing everything!  So please, if you are loving the podcast,  do consider joining me over on Patreon and becoming a patron – there are some great benefits over there to be discovered - a monthly channeled message from spirit, weekly Rahanni healing, discounts on my events and workshops, monthly draw for one of my past life regression or time travel readings plus, an opportunity to get exclusive private coaching with me.

 

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To find out more, visit – https://www.patreon.com/psychicmatters.

 

Meanwhile, it’s back to this week’s episode!  

 

Ann

My guest today is a Healer, a Psychic Medium, an Educator and an incredible Musician.  In fact she is a Professor of Music at Berklee College of Music online, she is in fact a multifaceted Entrepreneur and she's an author of no less than six books.  Carolyn Wilkins, welcome to Psychic Matters!

 

Carolyn

Oh, thank you so much for having me, and really excited to be here on your wonderful programme.

 

Ann

It's great to have you and I'm so excited because I've wanted you as a guest for quite some time.  Within each of those hats that you wear, Carolyn, it’s like a lifetime of achievement in itself, so it's hard to know where to where to start digging in to find out who you are and what you are all about.  But maybe we’ll start, if it's ok, with the healer within.  Tell us about you as a healer.

 

Carolyn

Oh thank you.  I will say I have always been Interested in healing my whole life, like many of us. I realised now as I look back over various careers that I tried, and was less than successful in, that part of the reason was, I didn't want actually to compete with people or to do those kind of things, I wanted to heal them.  And even with working with students over 30 years at Berkelee, I realised that in fact what I enjoyed most about being a teacher, was the opportunity to watch people grow and evolve, and to facilitate that growth, and that that for me was the thing about educating.  And of course if you really think about it, that is what makes healing in my opinion, is that opportunity that you are giving to the soul of the person that you are sitting with, the opportunity for their soul to open and to blossom, into whatever way is right for them.  And I realised that in fact, that was my calling 

 

Ann

Beautiful and beautifully described.  And so you've gone on to be, not just a healer within the spoken word and within the education, and the nurturer and the encourager and the inspirer, but you've also gone on to be a Master Reiki Practitioner, is that correct?

 

Carolyn

Yes, I'm a Reiki Master and I have been a Reiki Master, gosh, now for 26 years, and I just love it, it's so easy, it's so clear, it's so clean.  There's lots of different styles of healing as you well know,  and there are some in which involves you beefing up your own personal energy, to be able to quote unquote, send energy to others, and what I love about Reiki is the cleanliness and purity of it, because the first thing that we learn as Reiki practitioners, is that it's not about us.  We are simply the conduit and all we have to do is be here and allow the Reiki to flow through.  And once we've been attuned to that energy, we then have the capacity to be channels for this energy, no matter, I believe, no matter what our particular state, whether we understand, quote unquote what we're doing,  we just have to step to the side and allow the energy to flow. And in that respect it's an awful lot like trance mediumship, which I also do,  in that it is that stepping aside, and allowing spirit in the highest and best energy to flow through and touch the soul of the person with whom you are working.  So yes, I am a Reiki Master and that's kind of how I view the Reiki.

 

Ann

That is beautiful, so I want to go more into that, I'm sure people listening would love to hear more about the trance mediumship as well, we will go into that and have a look at that, but let's first, before we go forwards, let's go backwards.  Let's go back to your childhood, and let's see where this all started off.  What happened?  How did you come to be this beautiful, well, creative person, and this spiritual practitioner?  Where did it all come from?  Let's go back to your childhood .

 

Carolyn

Oh, wonderful question.  So I am a big believer as a practitioner also of kind of African spiritual practises. the ancestors and where we come from, we believe that the ancestors walk with us, and that they actually live through us, even now, and of course we know scientifically that's been proven out with DNA etc., etc., that we carry these strains.  So I would say from an early age, I was blessed first of all to have wonderful ancestors, beginning with my parents, both of whom were very highly creative people.  My mother was a music teacher herself and a musician for many  years.  She actually studied with the famous composer, Bella Bartok, when she was young.  My father is a lawyer who comes from a family of lawyers, very well spoken, very verbal, very adept at verbally improvising, my dad was brilliant with those things.  And he also, we discovered after he passed away, a drawer full of poetry.  He had done his whole thing as a lawyer and all that, but he had this creative side that he had kind of kept kind of tucked away in his most sacred secret place, and so I'm blessed to say that I have inherited from both my parents, both the musical side from my mother, the verbal side from my father, and the desire to serve people, I think has come from both of them.  And it's been a huge part of my life from the very beginning. Nobody really actually ever said the word psychic in my house.   You can imagine we were a very kind of left-brain family or whichever brain is the logic brain.  My grandfather was a mathematical genius, you know, he was all about math, logic, order, and so forth, but yet and still, I used to just know things.  I am sure that many of the people in your audience can relate to this.  We just know things and we don't know how we know them.  And for a long time this was actually difficult for me, because I was deeply aware of how other people were feeling in my family.  If someone was upset or if I was around people, I knew what they wanted, before they said what they wanted, or in the case of occasionally dysfunctional moments, where they never said what they wanted yet I knew, right, and this was challenging for me.  I'm sure many psychics can relate to this, because you're trying to please people, and yet they're saying they're not angry, but you can feel that they are, and you can feel you better not say, do, this thing, because it’s gonna upset them, “No, I'm not upset,” “Oh, yes you are.” So for a long time I would say that my psychic abilities were very hidden under the radar, and even I did not fully realise what they was. I always just called myself sensitive, which I'm sure many people here can relate to, and you know, my mother would say, “You're just too sensitive,” you know that whole deal.  And it wasn't until much later in life, that I really realised that in fact there was a whole gift of mediumship and psychic ability there. I submerged this gift into my music, because music was the channel and the doorway that was available, so I went to music conservatory.  I always knew I wanted to be a musician, I'm a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, I'm a graduate of Eastman School of Music, I went on to perform with the Singapore Symphony, as a timpanist, I've done a whole lot.  Music was kind of my doorway, but all along there was something else that was like lurking, king that was more than just the music it was always about more than the performance and it was only maybe in the last 20 years of my life that I've really gotten interested in the healing the Reiki mastery and so forth an about 10 years ago I began studying medium ship I just felt called I kept getting visions and that and then a favourite great aunt passed away and you know how that goes you begin to feel like yeah she's talking to me and even people in my family would say well you're the new aunt Marjorie your our families aunt Marjorie Ann I really began to feel that she was with me so Long story short that's what started me on the journey to medium ship and you know here I am.

 

Ann

Oh my goodness, that's amazing.  And so with the music that so comes through your very veins, from your mother and your father's lyrical ways, do you think that that is a direct link to the spirit world in some way, that we can channel that musicality?

 

Carolyn

Of course. I believe that and from 30 plus years of teaching in various musical colleges, this is one thing that I wish could be taught more.  That although the technique and the correct notes and the scales and all that is very important, at the root, music is a sacred energy channel, and we as musicians are almost priests and priestesses of a holy sacrament when we play.  And as a jazz musician having spent, you know, 30 years playing in bars and night clubs and, you know, all kinds of drunken festivities and these kinds of things, unfortunately, particularly jazz, but even other kinds of music, music has been kind of debased, if you will, and kind of is looked at as just this thing in the background, or you know, there's music at the gas station when you're pumping your gas now, there's music in the elevator, there's music in the, while you’re listening to pay your credit card bill, and all of this has kind of made music this very sort of backgroundy thing.  But music is a power, music is a sacred tool and interestingly, the people who create music for like advertising, for films and all these things, are well aware of the power of music to touch us, because this is how they use it to manipulate us to buy things, or to get excited, or to calm down, all these kind of things.  But we as musicians, I feel, have a responsibility now, to be much more conscious about the way in which we use music, and the power that music has to shift and lift our listeners.  So I'll get off the soap box there, but that's my answer to your question.

 

Ann

I love that music is a power.  And when you play the piano, I used to work for a concert pianist as her assistant, and she used to tell me that she would play notes, oh forgive me, Lucy, forgive me for not saying this correctly, but she talked about seeing music as a colour. And so she would, can you talk to us a little bit about that, you seem to understand more than I do?

 

Carolyn

Absolutely, because in fact the vibration, if you go a scientifically, the vibration of sound is at one level, and I believe that light vibrates at a slightly higher level, but that colours and sounds are actually aspects, or on the scale they are the same thing, but vibrating a little bit higher and higher.  And many musicians actually do see notes with colour with them and that it's called synaesthesia this process where you can actually see colour and hear things or when you hear a note you automatically see blue or red or whatever, and as you're probably aware, many occult schools also talk about these different rays, which are rays of vibration that come with colour.  And with the colour, usually in the occult system, will be a note, right?  Doh, ray, me, fa, so, la, ti, do.  In the Italian solfège was tied to, red was doh and orange was ray, there are all these kind of different systems, or there is kind of the intuitive system that people just see a colour when they hear a note.  I am not that visual, I've been working to develop my visual skills more, my clairvoyance, so for me, the note is the note, but the notes I find if I really listen to them, have a feeling also, different keys have different feelings and you, I'm sure anyone when you hear something written in a major key, it has a happy, you know, sound, and if you hear something in a minor key, it feels sad, those are kind of obvious things but there is definitely a distinct correlation between music and all the other senses.

 

Ann

Well it's just beautiful, it's like a mystery to me, a whole new world to be explored.  And then talk to us then Carolyn about how you use that vibration with your spirituality when you're playing piano and we're going to talk about trance mediumship and all of that aspect of things.

 

Carolyn

So I have found this is very interesting, because I am the graduate of two distinguished conservatory's, however I will say I did not, unfortunately learn these things there. I had to kind of figure it out on my own.  As I've mentioned before, conservatory's often focus only on the technique, on the scales, on the right notes, versus the wrong notes, and this and that, but what I've learned is, the most important thing, is I tap into what you earlier described as the healer within. I tap into that, and now that I've been studying trance mediumship, I'm in my, about to complete my second year of studying trance mediumship with Tony Stockwell, and I’m just working on this connecting to the healer within, allowing as he would say, my soul to rise, and then from that place, opening a platform and saying come spirit come, whoever wishes to come and play.  And then they are using my technique, using my fingers, they're using, you know, all those billions of years of training and scales and arpeggios and all that, but rather than me mentally saying, I will now perform Mozart’s Sonata in C, it's spirit coming through and playing whatever they feel is the music that needs to be played in that moment and this is what I'm calling my trance piano music, It's music that is called forth by the soul of the listener, just like any trance healing process, if I were doing Reiki for example, on you, I wouldn't be deciding what Reiki goes into you. Your soul would be speaking to my soul, and the two of them would say okay, have Carolyn send Reiki to my stomach, that's where I need it, and there it would go without me controlling.  It's the same way with the music with the piano trance. So I'm hoping that that makes sense.

 

Ann

Yeah 

 

Carolyn

So it is not a conscious process, it's a conscious stepping away, and allowing the soul to connect at the soul level, with the soul of the sitter, if you will, and then the two of them are creating this, and then spirit is coming through and bringing the healing.  And that is true in Reiki, it is true in trance healing, and it is also true in my trance piano.  To which, I have added to my trance piano the option for people to, for me to ask spirit once I’m kind of in an altered state, I’ll ask that spirit, pull a tarot card and  that card then will speak to the sitter and it will also guide them in helping them to visualise, and to fully attune to the music that is being played.

 

Ann

Oh, wow, that’s, what an amazing thing to happen, I'd love to experience that, could, is there some way that we can do that here?

 

Carolyn

Of course!  Are you kidding, I’ve been waiting for this moment.  You’re the best. So what I'm going to do, if it's okay, I'm going to ask for spirit to pull a card, I'm gonna take a few deep breaths, obviously for those trance aficionados out there, I will not be in a deep trance, because then you'd be going, ‘Carolyn, Carolyn’.

 

Ann

Come back to us!

 

Carolyn

Yes come back! But I will sort of put myself down to a relaxed in which the music can flow and I will ask to be guided to select a card, not only for you, but for the collective and I'll do a little psychic reading that has to do with the card for the collective, and then I will play.  So if that sounds good I'm gonna just go.

 

Ann

Oh that sounds amazing Carolyn, okay we're all ready, aren’t we listeners ?

 

Carolyn

Beautiful, beautiful.  So I'm shuffling the cards now, you can't see, but I'm shuffling them and now, I'm going to just ask my guides to pick the one that's really gonna hit the needs today.  And this is one of my favourites, this is called ‘Will, Wisdom & Mind’ and since it's a podcast I will just say, it is 3 interlocking triangles, they’re kind of curved, but they're sort of triangle-like.  Three interlocking triangles, each one representing an aspect of the psyche, the will, the wisdom, and the mind.  And I’ll go here almost to the Buddhist concept of the mind being that all-encompassing, almost the all and one, in which we all live.  And that's the ground of being for all of us so, however you feel that you want to interpret this as an individual, it maybe that there's something in your life that you need to make a decision about, and if that's the case this is the perfect card, because it's going to give you that clarity and also the will to follow through. You’re connected to the divine mind, you've received the wisdom, but sometimes it's hard to actually follow through, and that's where we need will, wisdom, and mind, all three.  So I'm hoping that this card will speak to you listener, in some way, and what I found is that it can be individual.  Each person, someone might say, oh I was trying to decide what house to buy and whatever and this card came, or for another one, it's oh, I just feel the metaphysical energy of will, wisdom and mind.  So at whatever level it work.   Now, I'm gonna take some deep breaths and I'm gonna ask for spirit to come through, and I can already feel my soul rising to the occasion.  Will, wisdom and mind.

 

Ann

That was beautiful.  I almost didn't want you to take your foot off the pedal at the end because I just wanted to keep on feeling that vibration.

 

Carolyn

Yeah, the wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.

 

Ann

How does it feel for you to play like that?

 

Carolyn

It's so blissful, can you tell? I know it's a podcast, so you can't see, they can't see my face but you can.

 

Ann

It’s beaming!

 

Carolyn

I’m sure you can see that I'm glowing.  It just brings me such joy, I can't even express the joy, because it feels that at last, I'm expressing what my soul has wanted to express and that's very, as anyone knows, who's, who's on the creative path, that there's such great joy in that.

 

Ann

It was very interesting while I was just listening and just allowing the music, it was, rather than listening, it was, I was just allowing myself to experience.  It was a different feeling than listening to a piece of, you know, constructed, properly laid out music, but it was beautiful to just let myself experience it, and I could feel my conscious mind coming and going, coming and going.  And it was coming in, and it was almost like there was a call to action within the music, and then there was the confusion of my mind that would come in, and then a sort of a reminder of the tasks that I have to do, and of the things I want to achieve, not just the tasks I have to do and this beautiful sort of coming and going of the conscious mind, it was lovely.

 

Carolyn

Thank you and people have reported that, because I have to say, as a trained musician, the idea of me just going ahead and playing whatever, and not constructing, you know, as you say proper notes, or proper organisation, and just playing whatever, and sometimes it comes across, I think oh my goodness, you know, they must just be going, ah! what is that?! But there's something about the energy.  I believe it's the energy that's in the music.  The music is almost like a carrier for the energy, rather than it just being music for the point of view of music.  There are little melodies in there, I can hear that, and sometimes there’s some interesting harmonic things that happen but it’s not about that at all.  It’s about this energy flow that comes and that I feel very strongly, and emotion also comes very strongly.

 

Ann

Yes, it’s amazing, where do you think it might, I don't know, where is it leading you to?  Is it, are you still experiencing where it's going, or do you have more of an idea?

 

Carolyn

In terms of what might I else I might do with it?  I don’t know honestly, it’s just in the very beginning stages, as I mentioned.  Big shout-out to Tony Stockwell, big shout out, because I had said to him two years ago, I would like to be able to play the piano while in a trance.  We haven't actually worked on it per se, I've just worked on getting into the trance and learning and I will say also, I've had other wonderful teachers.  I took some private classes with Darren Brittain that were amazing.  He was super helpful, with once again with the trance state, because what I now realise is that it's about me getting out of the way.  And then, whatever spirit wants to do will be done.  And it’s almost more difficult for me to get out of the way because I've spent basically 60 years playing music in a very traditional… and training, you know, this is a right note, this is a wrong note, this is the way that we do this, this is not the way that we do… and this new modality seems to just bypass all of that and go straight to the energy that we should feel energy in any good piece of music, we should feel energy, it’s just that unfortunately we don’t always.  Often the player or the situation is more about the technique and the correct approach, than it is about the expression of energy.  And that’s what my music, and I do feel… now that you say it, I'm gonna go ahead and sort of talk about something that's a little glimmer in my, a little glimmer in my mind that I think I would like to do.  And that’s, that I would like to have something called Carolyn’s Spiritual Cabaret in which people would come, they would receive this piano trance healing.  Perhaps there would be some mediumship that I would do as well, there might even be a ritual involved to open the space to the spirit world, a ritual that would come from my African tradition.  There would be some mediumship, maybe some psychic, maybe some tarot and this piano trance healing, all sort of rolled into one offering, that would be maybe an hour long offering for a small group of people, maybe 8 to 10 people.  That is the way it is feeling right now but it is still germinating and it hasn’t yet solidified itself.  I am currently doing healing sessions with a wonderful medium named Paula Mary, she is in the UK, and we do have something called the Sound Healing Clinic, in which she does Energy Healing, kind of like Reiki, but her own version, that she calls Spiritual Surgery in which she can work on people’s energy fields and while she is doing that, I offer this music.  So those are actually happening and if you go to my website, I have a little spot on there we do one once a month if you're interested in that.  I'm also offering piano trance just individually.  If you feel like you would like to just come on the Zoom with me, I will offer you the same thing, I'll pull a card, just do what we did, but this time it would be for you as an individual, and the reading, my reading would be less general, and more, you know, towards you.  And, for example, that card with Will, Wisdom, Mind, how that might pertain to you specifically.  And then the music that would come would be for you.

 

Ann

It's just brilliant and I'm absolutely loving this because I just think it's so full of untapped potential and you're leading us forward in this way, Carolyn.   Because it was, just experiencing that small piece of piano that you played for us there in a light trance, it really did remind me of, once upon a time, I did some Shamanic dance and when you go into the drum beat, and at first there's that human being resistance to go with it, and then you go with it, you go with it, and then you fall into, fall over and over and over, into this beautiful, beautiful space, where you can allow your higher self to inform, and other spirit guides and inspirers to inform, and so I just think there's this huge potential, possibly within your playing for your audience or your listeners, to fall into trance with you …

 

Carolyn

Yes…

 

Ann

… communally and have this beautiful experience, so I'm really interested to see where it where it goes from here on.

 

Carolyn

Yes that's great I'm so glad you said that and of course the African tradition that I'm also studying is all about that, it's all about the drums and dancing and rituals that create sacred space and in which a group of people enter communally and even harking back to my tradition as an African American in the church, in the black church, has always been about this communal kind of energy, and once again the idea that the music would be this sacred carrier of energy that is not so much about right notes and wrong notes, but much more about the passion, and the energy, and the pulling and collective, you know, congregational singing an expression of a collective trance, if you will.  This is very important work now, and I do feel that and I'm sure other mediums have come on your programme to talk about this, but it feels that there's a shift in the energy of what the spirits are asking us to do.  The higher realms that have gifted us with these abilities and sent us forth into the world, they want us to now expand the reach of this work, and they want for people to be touched and healed on a much broader, and wider level, rather than necessarily only one-on-one or even a dem where maybe four people get a reading out of 150 that are there. I feel that there's a need, not that those things aren't beautiful and profound and make an enormous difference, but I also feel that there's room now for these larger collective events, in which the energy of the collective can be addressed and lifted.

 

Ann

Yeah that's beautifully put, I just, like I say, I can't wait to see where it goes from here, we will all be following Carolyn Wilkins’ website to see what you're up to and your Facebook page.  What is your website by the way, so people can have a look?

 

Carolyn

Thank you for asking, yes, https://www.carolynwilkins.com and I have everything on there, I have my books on there, I have my CD's on there, I have, you can book an appointment for either a regular psychic reading, mediumship, trance piano, all of those things, and the healing clinic that I mentioned with Paula Mary, all of those things are available on my website.

 

Ann

Excellent Carolyn, thank you for, for mentioning your website, that's brilliant, everyone head over there and take a good look around, it's a beautiful website, there's lots on it and Carolyn, talk to us a little bit more before we say goodbye to you, because you've so, got so much, we've got so much to talk about, talk to us a little bit about your Resonant Wisdom Healing.

 

Carolyn

Well this is, I feel, the Resonant Wisdom Healing, is kind of, that thing that I was just describing.  Resonant Wisdom Healing involves you sitting, these days of course it's a Zoom call, but you're across from me, I'm allowing Reiki to pour through and to connect with you, I'm also talking to you, and guiding you through a little guided meditation, this is what I'm doing with my Reiki, since I can't touch you anymore, I'm, I'm guiding you in a meditation that allows you to feel the Reiki energy, as the energy moves through you and I'm holding space for the two of us to connect.  And once the energy has moved its way through, spirit guides me as to whether there's a message, either from an ancestor, from a departed loved one, or from their own soul, or from one of my guides, just depending.  Whatever the message that feels appropriate that they need in this moment.  And all of that is within the kind of umbrella of Resonant Wisdom Healing.  

 

Ann

Thanks Carolyn for making that so beautifully clear and beautifully explained. I also know you are an initiated priestess.

 

Carolyn

Yes m’aam. I am.

 

Ann

Talk to us about that.

 

Carolyn

Yeah I am. About 25 years ago, once again this. Was a period in my life where I just felt hungry for a deeper spiritual connection and I think things started to wake up in me and call for me to reach out, and I read a wonderful book by a woman named Louise Atish, who is now my mentor many years later.  But the book was called jambalaya just like the New Orleans dish meaning a stew or concoction of all different things, and it was a book about the African religious traditions and specifically the one that comes from Nigeria, from the Yoruba people.  And this religion was brought to the new world by slaves as they were brought over, they brought their religion with them, particularly it flourished in Cuba and in Brazil, but all throughout South America, and even in North America disguised as what they call hoodoo, or those kinds of things.  There were all kinds of African traditions and this of course, could be a major lecture in itself, but one of the big aspects of the Yoruba religion, is that the natural elements have been sort of anthropomorphised as beings, but they're actually known, they're not really considered as a limited person.  It's like an archetypal figure and so my particular road or the goddess in which I was initiated, is Yemaya.  She is the goddess of the ocean, she's also the goddess of a motherhood.  Connected with her is Alikum, which is sort of the depths of the ocean, that's the one I actually belong to, the depths of the ocean and then there's also Yemaya which is the wavy part and the depths and Alikum is connected with psychic ability, healing, and the ancestors, because it's the depths, the depths.  And so in my study of that, I actually received a very elaborate initiation, 25 years ago, full on, you know, ritual things, seven days living in the hut, a year in white clothes, all kinds of taboos and restrictions and you know guidance from elders and so forth and now I have kind of come out of that, and evolved into my own particular way of honouring this tradition. Meaning I am connected to the tradition and I do pay it respect and I have elders there, but I've also chosen to do things very much in my own way, drawing in other elements of training and study that are very important to me, and that I feel uplifting, so I've thrown in aspects of Buddhism, I've thrown in my ancestors would not be happy if I didn't have some Christianity in there, I have ministers on both sides of my family, that connection to the ancestors.  So it's a vast treasure trove of spiritual resources, I think, is the best way to describe it, and to honour Yemaya the goddess of the ocean, to whom I do feel a very deep connection, I go to the ocean often, but once a year I do a big ritual.  I go to the ocean, I make offerings there, and prayers, and that type of thing.  One last thing I'll say about this African tradition, is also a tradition of mediumship in which priests and priestesses actually become “possessed” by the spirit of their deity and this has been overlaid with a lot of fear and a lot of kind of colonialists hype in the western world and there's this whole idea that people are going to go crazy, going to be possessed by evil spirits etc., etc., but in fact, in the African tradition, it is very protected, very guarded, you're only allowed to do it once you've been initiated and trained for a long time.  And in that respect, I would say it's a lot like mediumship and particularly, once again like trance mediumship, in that you, by dancing and these particular rhythms that are played on the drum and so forth, your conscious mind is moved to the side, to allow the healing energy of your particular spirit to come through.

 

Ann

Just so beautiful and so interesting, I just want to go on Google and look up all these things that you're talking about, it is so interesting.  So before we finish I know you have written six books, you've mentioned them a couple of times in the interview but I mean, how did you find the time first of all, with everything else that you're doing, and why these particular topics you've written?  I know you've written Damn Near White - an African American families rise from slavery to bittersweet success; you've written They Raised Me Up, which is a black single mother and the women who inspired her;  Tips For Singers I know you've written; and then you mentioned a couple that you wrote about mystery novels -  Mojo For Murder and Melody For Murder and Death At A Séance, so talk to us a little bit about your writing.

 

Carolyn

Oh, thank you, oh you're just the best interviewer by the way, you just have a way of getting me to open up and talk about all these things.  So, I wrote it, the two, the singing textbook was something that I wrote because I was at the time, a Professor in the ensemble department at Berkelee and Berkelee has a press that's connected to Howard Leonard a major music publisher and they were looking for a book to help people with the musicianship skills that go along with being a singer -  how to rehearse a band, how to write an arrangement, blah blah blah so that's that book, Tips For Singers which has now been translated into many languages including Chinese that made my day! I have like a Chinese version of my book, I love it!

 

Ann

That’s amazing! Well done!

 

Carolyn

So then, emboldened with the idea that I could in fact write a book, I decided to write the book I really wanted to write, which was about my family.  And my Grandfather Jay Ernest Wilkinson senior, was the very first African American Undersecretary of Labour ever in the United States.  And this was in 1953, he was appointed by President Eisenhower and I wanted to write about him and he had a very successful, yet difficult journey.  Being a first is never easy and being a first in a time of tremendous racism and racial segregation in the United states, there were still literally while he was living, signs that said Negroes Here White People Here, you couldn't sit here, you had to go here, don't drink out of this, don't do, and him being a first in this sort of Halls of government was quite a story and he later was the first black man to sit on the US civil rights Commission, he sat on the very first civil rights Commission, investigating voting rights, the deprivation of voting rights for black people in the South, which sad but true is currently going on even today as we speak, there are laws people are trying to pass that will disenfranchise poor people, people of colour etc So that was my first kind of non-fiction book and then to follow up on that one, I wrote one to honour the women in my family and they raised me up, it is about my own journey as a single mother and at the same time my great grandmother, who had her daughter, my grandmother, when she was 16 in a small town in Alabama, and about her journey to move on what was called the great migration of African Americans, as they looked for a better life out of poverty, and the segregated South and moved up to the north, and she moved first to Birmingham and then to Detroit and then she ended up in New York, New York, Harlem and her husband became a very well-known minister in in Harlem.  So that's my second non-fiction book.  After that I was tired of writing about myself and my family, I was over it completely.  Although there are many more stories that need to be told I decided that I wanted to write things that were just completely fiction. I've always loved murder mysteries and, you know, I grew up as probably all of us did, on Agatha Christie and Lord Peter Wimsey and all those, Sherlock Holmes and all those things and I decided that I wanted to write that. So I wrote two mysteries in which the main character is, surprise, surprise, an African American music teacher, who solves crimes.  And in both of the stories, her students, who are a lively bunch as students tend to be, get, one of her students is accused of murder and she goes to rescue him to solve the crime.  So after I had kind of done that, which in many ways was a little bit of an homage also to my mother, who is obviously an African American but also a music teacher.  She never solved any crimes to my knowledge but, you know, maybe she has, I don't know, but anyway I decided that I wanted to now talk about a more interesting period of history.  So I set my next mystery, which is my most recent book, it's called Death At A Seance and that one is set in the roaring twenties. 1920 here in the US, alcohol was illegal, you could not buy it, you were not supposed to drink it, they shut all the bars and all, and what that did was create this incredible underworld life of bootleggers, and criminals, and gangsters, and all of that.  So, all of that was going on, also at the time was going on, tremendous racism, sad to say, and this was the rise of a terrorist organisation known as the Ku Klux Klan here in the US, where they, wear the white sheets and the pointy hats and they lynch people and so forth.  Well they were so big in the state of Indiana, which is in the Midwest of the United states, they were so big there, that they actually controlled the political apparatus of the state.  The Governor was a member and they were huge, they were like a political organisation, and so I set my story there, in southern Indiana in 1920, and my main character is an African American psychic, who's about 16 years old. She's just discovering her psychic abilities, she's just discovering her womanhood, and getting crushes on all kinds of people who probably she shouldn’t, she also inadvertently predicts a murder, that, then when the murder comes to happen, everybody is after her.  And the story unfolds from there.  So that's called Death At A Séance.

 

Ann

You have been extremely busy as a writer, I don’t know how you have time to do it all Carolyn, I really don't.  So we're going to have to finish but I just wanted to say before we do, I just wanted to point out to those listening, that you also have a really brilliant YouTube channel – Carolyn’s Psychic Playroom.  Just tell us briefly about that if you would.

 

Carolyn

Oh, thank you so much and by the way, Ann is going to be a guest coming on in June!

 

Ann

I am, I am.

 

Carolyn

So Carolyn’s Psychic Playroom is my opportunity to interview people who I believe are working at the intersection of creativity and spirituality. And I talk to them about their work, about what they do, I do a little psychic reading, I do some tarot cards, and it's just a half an hour of fun, and hopefully inspiration, and you can find that also on my website, I have a link and it's also as you say, on YouTube Carolyn’s Psychic Playroom.

 

Ann

That’s as fabulous and do you have a Facebook page as well for people?

 

Carolyn

I do, how could I not? I have both Carolyn Wilkins my profile and then my business page which is Carolyn Wise woman at Facebook, and I'm also on Instagram as Jemiah7.

 

Ann

Brilliant well Carolyn, you certainly are a wise woman and are carrying the ancestry of many wise women who came here before you, so thank you so much for joining us today on Psychic Matters, Carolyn Wilkins.

 

Carolyn

Oh thank you, I'm so grateful for this opportunity, thank you very much.

 

 

Ann

Well that was Healer, Psychic Medium, Educator, Professor of Music & Entrepreneur extraordinaire,  Carolyn Wilkins.  

 

Do go and visit Carolyn’s website, take a look at all the wonderful things she has to offer and book yourself in with Carolyn for a fabulously healing trance piano session.

 

Did you know that all the resources for this episode, including a full transcript and importantly, how to reach Carolyn, are over on my website under podcasts, so do head over there and you can pick everything up on the show notes. www.anntheato.com.  While you are there, take a look at some of the courses I have coming up – There is a fantastic course I am teaching with Tyrone Cusack, on 26th & 27th June called Elemental Divination, where we will be expanding our psychic repertoire by using the four elements, fire, earth, air & water to pick up information psychically from our recipient – do join us for that.  And I am also about to begin a fabulous & very exciting Tarot programme, for all those out there, who may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information there is to learn around the tarot.  In these classes, we’ll be doing a mini tutorial each week, a mini meditation and we will be entering the 3 dimensional world of the tarot people – seeing life through their eyes and deepening our understanding of the symbolism in the cards. And quite often when we are learning tarot, we can read for friends or family, but we know too much about them or sometimes they are just not as supportive as we would like!  So join us online each week, where you will get plenty of tarot practice in, in Zoom breakout rooms, with very supportive fellow students from across the globe!  You can book that directly on my website. anntheato.com

 

It just remains for me to say thank you once again, to my wonderful guest this week, Carolyn Wilkins, and to all of you out there who are listening. Have a fantastic couple of weeks everybody, don’t forget to put on some music and allow it to touch your soul - until next time… my name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to PSYCHIC MATTERS!