Diary of an Urban Shaman

Unbelievably True Stories


Raym has a hair raising trip to a haunted country property  

I am being driven down a country road at high speed when without any warning my driver drops into a deep trance state. With his eyes rolled back and eyelids flickering rapidly I know there is no way he can be seeing the road ahead and further, the hairpin bend that we are about to negotiate. 

“I can sense some dead people up ahead, they are stuck. There’s been a car accident here, a few years ago. We should help them,” he says calmly.

Great I telepath, Could we not just pull over and deal with this?

There is no response, I am too close to this third dimensional reality to get through to my friend through telepathy.

“Wayne. Snap out of it mate, you’re still driving!” There is no response. I am starting to feel a bit anxious. 

I have just a few moments to make a life or death decision, we could be about to find ourselves in the same situation as the people my friend has just sensed. I look at him again and can see only the whites of his eyes, staring blankly at the grey ribbon of road ahead.

I have to act and act now. I reach across to the steering wheel with one hand while the other hovers over the handbrake as I pray I am making the right decision…

I am with my sidekick Wayne, a gifted young trance channel whom I work with occasionally, when the need arises. We are known locally as the Dynamic Duo because of our willingness to tackle any weird spiritual occurrence. Far from being paranormal investigators we are paranormal interlopers. There is nothing to be proven or measured in any remotely scientific way when we work together. We just get out there and do our best to fix whatever it is that is terrifying people.

We have driven across town from my crystal shop and are traveling to a country property where some strange things have been happening. The new owners rang my shop asking for help and we are en route to meet them.

Wayne rocked up at my shop a few years ago; I knew he was coming, as several people had called to tell me a young surfer dude was looking for me. They said he had seen me in a vision and was trying to find me after seeing my photo on brochures and fliers around town.

Wayne was not your standard New Age crystal type, no hippie clothes, no wafting fluffy ideas and none of the conspiratorial arrogance that sometimes comes with blokes who have a little esoteric knowledge. Instead, a young surfer arrived telling me that he’d been dreaming about me and that he and I would be working together. 

This kind of proposition happens a fair bit in my line of work, novices get the idea that I will somehow allow them to hang out with me and through osmosis they will pick up skills and knowledge that have taken decades (if not lifetimes) to reacquire. This is possible of course, for a few selected apprentices who have been through rigorous training and initiation with me. But someone straight off the street? Never.

Well, almost never. I agreed to facilitate a Crystal Dreaming session for young Wayne and in his first full shamanic journey with me he displayed great clarity and fearlessness, along with a ‘knowing’ that comes from extensive past life experience in this field. We talked at length after his session, unusual for me as I like to move clients through and let them figure things out for themselves. I am not keen on co-dependency, which is why I allow people to see me just a few times, and then only after they have experienced a session with one of my apprentices.

I could see the surprise on Briana’s face when he left. My assistant, the large blonde, dreadlocked Earth mother, has seen plenty of people pass through my session room, very few get to talk to me at length.

“OK” she says arching her dark eyebrows, “what’s so special about that kid? He’s barely out of being a grommet.”

“Well, for a start he’s not as young as he looks, and the boy’s got promise. He was clear as a bell, no past life trauma, no attachments and he is totally fearless. I took him there, and he was cool.”

She can see I am impressed. “So he wants to work with you?”

“Could be fun,” I respond.

She turns, shaking her head and muttering to herself, as she goes off to make us both a cup of tea. She obviously thinks I have lost my marbles. I haven’t. Young Wayne has been studying with a variety of teachers since he was in his early teens. He started after some serious poltergeist activity terrified him and his mother. A sure sign, from my perspective, that he had great potential. That kind of thing never happens randomly and always around a gifted one.

He is now in his early twenties and he has had some good teachers. The first of whom came and cleared his house, recognised his potential and took him under his wing.

After a few more sessions together I become confident that he can deal with the most challenging of situations. From time to time I accept jobs outside of my session rooms so occasionally, without training him formally, I invite him along.

The only challenge in working with this young man is that he has it in his head that ours is a god-given gift and we should not charge for our work, only accept donations. Now this is fine if you are a young surfer living in a panel van but not so fine if you have spent many years building up a reputation and a business built on your special skills and profound understanding of a dying art. We reach a compromise, I will deal with the money side of things and he will accept a donation from me, which of course will be half of any fee I negotiate.

Our relationship ends up being that of the classic priest and priestess. He easily and sometimes spontaneously enters a deeply altered state of consciousness. He moves into such a deep state that logical thought is a challenge for him there. In this situation it is best to have the second partner not in an altered state, so that there is one clear and logical thinker in the team. I work with him and through him with tackling whatever it is that is scaring the bejesus out of my clients. I have checked and rechecked his clarity and I am happy to accept whatever he perceives as gospel.

The challenge is that today for various reasons I am not driving and he is. A big mistake when he is primed to deal with the situation at the end of the drive, not one half way through it, as he is doing now…

I am about to take hold of the steering wheel when a deep male voice booms out of Wayne’s upper body. It is not his.

“Don’t worry about the driving leave that to us.” A perfectly enunciated English gentleman is speaking through Wayne as he keeps the car on course with only the whites of his eyes visible.

“Are you sure?” I mumble, by now my hands are trembling as we are almost on the bend and have not decelerated.

“Trust, my friend. Trust,” the gent responds.

You must be joking. I think.

“We are not joking, relax. Everything is fine. Wayne is busy right now.” The gent is reading my mind.

OK mate, go for it. I telepath. What have I got to loose? Only my life.

What I experience next is barely believable, we take the bend at speed and it is as if we have an all-wheel drive. The rickety, ageing panel van sticks to the road like glue. We get around the bend perfectly and are on the straight and narrow on the other side in the blink of an eye.

A few seconds later there is a gasp from Wayne as he opens his eyes, the car swerves violently.

“Jeez. Am I still driving?” he asks.

“Yeah, mate, sort of,” I laugh releasing the tension that has built up in my chest. He pulls over and we both crack up. 

It turns out he was able to help the dead family by the roadside, but they needed some persuasion. They thought it was New Year’s Eve in 1966 and were really mixed up, after their sudden death. After a little persuasion they responded to Wayne’s offer of help and were now safely returned to Unity consciousness.

We have yet to reach our destination, what awaits us there may be more unnerving. The family who rang for help had been having what they described as poltergeist activity around their property and it was freaking them out. They were new owners fresh from the city but they knew it was more than just wind, branches scraping on windows, creaking trees and doors slamming that was keeping them awake at night.

The youngest girl in the family was very sensitive and claimed she had seen a black man with a spear staring through her window into her room. She was frightened of him, although he had not threatened her.

For spirits to interact with the living it takes a great deal of effort and it is more often an intensely angry or misguided dead person out to deliberately frighten the living. They can’t pick things up and move them around but they can work with other nature spirits and less evolved beings to create that illusion.

The description I had indicated a spirit or group of spirits with a great deal of willpower and focussed energy. As the black man did not attack the girl or deliberately try to frighten her, I suspected he wanted to communicate urgently, not necessarily harm her or her family. However, sometimes all sorts of other critters show up and invite themselves to the party.

We arrive at the property; it is an old place that the city money has bought into because of its stunning location, right next to a meandering, smooth-flowing river. The house needs work and I can see by the heavy earthmoving equipment that the owners plan to reconstruct the crumbling driveway to create an easier route to the house.

The family are grateful to see us. Sometimes in situations like this I am not really sure what to charge. We are not just helping the family, we are helping other sentient beings too. To a point Wayne is correct, this work is a kind of calling. I ask what I feel is appropriate given the time (and near-death experience) involved in getting here. They agree without hesitation.

Wayne and I walk the property and we both pick up unstable energies in the same area. There is a fantastic old tree between the house and road, it would normally offer shade and tranquility. Today it offers only shade.

“This is it,” Wayne says quietly and I agree. 

We find a comfortable spot and sit under this magnificent tree. Wayne quickly and easily moves into trance and starts talking.

“I’ve got a group of local indigenous people here and they are upset. They want to talk to the new custodians of this place.” 

“Tell them I can speak for them and will pass their message on.”

“OK, they agree. They are happy to be talking with us.”

“These are the spiritual guardians of this place, the ancestors who have chosen to stay here to look after the land; they are not Earthbound. They say the new driveway will damage the roots of this tree, which is sacred to them, they want it rerouted. It is not respectful.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard, anything else?”

Wayne gets emotional. “They are showing me what they did here, how much it means to them and how happy they were here. They are a good crew, they mean no harm. They want the family to enjoy the tree and look after it. They would like local indigenous people to be able to come here too.”

That part could be a challenge with city folk, I think, but undertake to pass their requests on.

“Are they happy to be at peace with the family if they carry out these requests?”

“No problem. They thank us for talking with them and honour our path as shaman: so few they say; so few.”

We take our leave of the indigenous spirits and ensure that the area is clear, then brief the family. They are surprisingly cool with everything and promise to contact the local tribal elders. They offer us refreshments and payment. Studying the young girl’s aura I take the liberty of making a suggestion to her parents.

“By the way, might I suggest you keep an eye on your youngest and nurture her abilities. Please don’t stifle or deny them. She has great potential.” 

They are surprised and look at the child, who is slightly embarrassed. I feel they might take that on board too.

After enjoying tea and cakes on their verandah overlooking the river, we take our leave of the family and head off back to the city. I am driving.

All stories are © 2019 Raym Richards and are extracted from his book “Sprit World. A Diary of an Urban Shaman” available through iBooks and Amazon or directly from Crystal Dreaming

Spirit Guide

Raym’s client’s “Spirit Guide” is not what he appears to be

My assistants finish briefing me about my next client as she arrives. Nina is a well-known environmental activist who has been very public about the inspiration she receives from her spirit guide. He is a Native American who has motivated her to become a spokeswoman for the planet and the environment. She has come to see me because she feels, at the age of 65, that it is time to deal with her lifelong fear of water. She is unable to shower or have a bath let alone go anywhere near the sea. 

Nina enters my crystal shop and my assistants make a fuss of her, their usual ebullience is tempered by respect and even deference, something I have never seen in either of them before. I can see that while Nina carries herself well but she also looks tired to the point of exhaustion, something I do not expect to see in someone who is working for Spirit from higher guidance.

Spiritual growth often leads to a sense of peace and detachment, insomuch as many of the challenges we perceive in this three-dimensional reality are revealed as fear based illusions. This does not mean that we do not engage in this reality and support the causes that we believe in. What it does mean is that the dramas attached to such activities no longer affect us. This woman looks quite affected by her work and I feel for her.

Prior to our shamanic journey together, Nina explains that she has tried many ways of overcoming her lifelong phobia but none has succeeded. Describing her spirit guide Bald Eagle, she recalls connecting with him in a workshop over twenty-five years ago. He has been guiding her ever since. He is passionate about the environment and is a great motivator for her. I expect that we will encounter him on our journey so it’s useful for me to know a little about him. Already I feel uneasy.

Surrounded by crystals we embark on our journey. Unusually, she guides me and I allow it, intrigued by what might happen. We find ourselves in the bush at dusk, the smell of fresh woodsmoke drifts past us as we walk towards a small campfire next to a teepee. A man is sitting by the fire waiting for us: Bald Eagle is a fine looking man at the peak of his prowess, mature and strong. He is surprised to see me.

Who is this? He telepaths. Is he dreaming? Does he know where he is?

He is not dreaming she responds he is in a trance with me and we are both fully aware. He says he can help with my fear of water.

I have told you that it is not safe for you to look into this. It is best that you just learn to live with it.

I know, but I’m sick and tired of it and I’m prepared to face any challenge to be free of it.

You should not bring this man here, this is our sacred space.

I thought you would be pleased to meet him, he is a shaman.

He does not dress like one. Where are his badges of office? His totems? His tools? What ceremony has he done to bring you here?

It doesn’t work that way these days, it’s much simpler in the 21st-century.


He does not seem impressed by this idea, but tolerates my presence. We sit next to him in the soft warming glow of the campfire.

How is our work with our Earth Mother going? It is important that you persist, tell me what has been happening.

They discuss her work and through his questions I become aware that he is leading her to do what he thinks is best. This is not the role of a spirit guide. Spirit guides are evolved beings that have returned to the Source. They are no longer attached to outcomes on Earth and surrender completely to the perfection of everyone’s choices here. 

They are able to do this because after death the fear-based illusion of separation we experience in a body dissolves. We become one with everything and everything is perfect.  Bald Eagle however seems to be very attached to outcomes.

I find myself in a dilemma, I cannot proceed any further with this healing if this man is not her spirit guide. I need to ask a few questions, I wait for a suitable pause in the conversation.

Do you mind if I ask a few questions?

I sense he knows what’s coming and is not happy, but does not want to lose face in front of his friend.

Tell me how you died.

His face creases with a pained expression. A battle, a painful, unnecessary, untimely death. I was in my power. I was not ready to leave, I had just dedicated my life to honouring the Earth Mother.

And where did you go after you left your body?

I stayed here of course! My work is not finished, there is so much to do. I can see that your people do not love the Earth Mother, they treat her with great disrespect. It will bring calamity, you must respect her as I do. She is losing her patience.

So, you did not return to your ancestors?

No,I did not, I’m not ready yet, they can wait.

Tell me, do you love this woman unconditionally?

I am her guide and teacher.

Do you love her unconditionally?

Together we honour the Earth Mother and bring peace.

Do you love her unconditionally?

What business is it of yours who I love?

He stands and faces me, a weapon in his hand.

If you do not love her unconditionally it is not appropriate that you act as her guide.

Just a minute. Nina intercedes What’s going on here? This is my spirit guide he has been helping me for many years.

I’m afraid he is not your guide. He an Earthbound spirit who attached himself to you twenty five years ago, because you were looking for someone like him. You do have a great deal in common, but he has his own agenda. 

I can see that Bald Eagle is getting agitated but he also looks quite sheepish.

Is this true? Are you my true spirit guide?


It is appropriate that you two part company. His presence is interfering with access to your true guides. I cannot help you release your fear of water as long as he is here. 

She becomes both angry and sad, I can see tears welling in her eyes. 

Is all this true? 

Together we are helping to restore balance. Our work honours the Earth Mother, we are helping her. You asked for a guide. I came.

But your love for me is not unconditional.

No, I never said it was.

I intercede. You know you cannot stay here without her permission. It is time for you to leave.

They talk and embrace. I call three times on his ancestors. They arrive immediately and are overjoyed he has chosen to leave with them, they thank me and depart.

Nina’s face is a picture of confusion and despair. What the fuck I have been doing with my life?

Good work. But perhaps your focus will change a little after this session.

Damn right it will.

I give Nina time to compose herself and then lead her in the affirmation that will reveal why she is terrified of water.

Body I command you show me the moment with this fear started. Take me there and show me now.

We are walking next to a young girl dressed in the clothing of the early 20th century, her arms are covered and she wearing a long full dress. She looks hot even though it is quite a cool spring morning. We are in the thick of the hustle and bustle of a busy dockside and she is with her parents about to embark a huge ship. Everyone is excited.

We are both totally immersed in the alien atmosphere of another time and place. Cigar smoke, perfume, petrol fumes, sweat, horse manure and the all pervading smell of soot, emanating from the massive coal fired furnaces under the four red and black funnels of the great ship beside us. I hear Southern English accents amongst the watching crowd.

I try not to lead her. Can you see the name of the ship?

She can’t but I can, and the pit of my stomach churns as gaze up at the rear of the ship. From where we are I see part of the port of manufacture Liverp… And above that the first four letters of the great ships name.

I realise that to be totally free of her phobia she will have to experience then surrender to the perfection of her own death. Death by drowning, in the arms of her parents, trapped in their cabin below decks, on the sinking Titanic.

All stories are © 2019 Raym Richards and are extracted from his book “Sprit World. A Diary of an Urban Shaman” available through iBooks and Amazon or directly from Crystal Dreaming

SubscribeKeep up to date with Diary of an Urban Shaman and Raym's activities