I share the same birthday with my great grandfather, Andrew, exactly 100 years apart. So it was with a mixture of emotions that I heard my father share recently at his 80th birthday celebration that I look just like his grandfather — something I never heard before, even though Andrew has been my primary Risen Guardian since I was born.
I first became aware of him in my early 20's, not long after I had moved to the big city. It was during the ill-fated era when many thousands of mentally ill people had been released onto the streets with nowhere to go, as agencies and benefits for them were eliminated. It was probably one such crazy-looking man who kept staring at me with what looked like a mixture of fear and rage one late night on a subway ride home, although it was hard to tell if he was really seeing me. He had one of those large "boom boxes" on his lap, and was playing loud music, much to everyone's annoyance. But because the train was packed full of people (the city never sleeps) I wasn't very concerned and continued to stay engrossed in some book I was reading while trying to stay awake.
The next thing happened without warning. Time stood still but also seemed to be moving very fast; it's the only way I can describe this dual quality. I was aware of an intensely bright, yet very soft golden white light around me, blocking everyone else out. And out of nowhere, there was this very beautiful, young man with yellow-brown hair kneeling in front of me, one hand on my knee, the other on my shoulder, and he shook me slightly as he said in a very intense Irish lilt, but gentle, level voice, "Now, love, 'tis Andrew here, and do what I tell you – I want you to shut your eyes real quick, right now." He put his hand over my eyes so I would close them."I then felt a kind of pressure on top of my head, as if the air was pushing down, and heard an enormous BANG! and then felt very, very tired, as if I was either falling asleep or just waking up from a deep nap. I began to hear other noises before I opened my eyes, of people yelling and exclaiming, as I felt the train coming to a stop. When I opened my eyes, there were people gathered around me and shaking me and asking if I was ok, was I hurt? As I came to, the crazy person was storming away and out through the open train doors, yelling something that sounded like "Victory to the People!" It was then that I noticed one woman crying, another calling for the police, and that there were pieces of plastic everywhere, even on top of my head, and on my shoulders and lap, falling to the floor. It turned out that the crazy person had waited just until the train had come to a stop, and as the doors were opening, stepped across and brought his boom-box with total force down on top of my head, and then fled the train. The box shattered completely, but I had felt nothing but a little pressure and was hurt in no way. Everyone except me seemed to be in shock, and one man was so concerned he rode with me all the way home, although I insisted I was fine and not hurt, not a single scratch on me. That was my introduction to Andrew, who has been with me in conscious awareness ever since. He makes a brief appearance in The Risen.
This brings up the subject of our spirit guardians – whether they're Risen family and friends, like Andrew, or angels, or other assorted ETs, because one of the most frequent questions I get from people is "how do I know if I have a guardian spirit, and if I do, how do I find out who they are, and then communicate with them?" The answer is as variable and many as there are askers. There are many spiritual traditions, especially among the older cultures, that have ways and means for determining this, as well as affirming that everyone has guardians unseen and unheard.
There is one method of communication that I find seems to transcend all the different cultures, even though it's considered the province of one particular culture, and that's with rune stones. Tim and I use them quite often when I'm too tired to talk to him - which is actually a state of altered consciousness in itself, and facilitates using the stones. They're simple, direct, and powerful. It's easy to find rune stones online these days, and I would recommend Ralph Blum's Book of Runes above all others for the most spiritual of all interpretation references. Although his book (as well as others) outlines various "layouts" of several stones for a multi-dimensional reading, I prefer to simply still my mind, and ask for the Universe to comment on my current circumstances. I then reach into the pouch for a stone with my left hand (activating the right brain and disengaging the left) and let the stone find my fingers. Like the tarot, rune interpretations include upright and reversed positions; there are others that have only one position. Regardless, I always read the interpretations for both upright and reversed, simply because one can't have white without black, left without right, up without down, wet without dry, while letting the emphasis fall on the position the symbol presented with.
The rune stones are also an excellent, no-nonsense way of communicating with a spirit guardian; simply ask your spirit guardian to guide your fingers to a stone, and if you've ever had the opportunity to experience a communication via the orchestration abilities of someone Risen, (or angelic/fey/alien/etc.) you will still find their skill mind-boggling. After you've digested what it says, put it back, and mentally or verbally reply to the sender, ask another question, whatever comes to mind, and then pick another stone. . .. and so on. If anyone tries this method of contacting a guardian in spirit, please let me know how it goes and if it can be shared here for the benefit of others.