Sunday, December 30, 2007

MAUREEN DOWD: Am I a Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon?



Faith, the faith healer, is twirling a crystal over my green couch.

The pendulum is hovering above a chart, pointing to sources of negative energy in my house that need to be cleared.

The pendulum quivers and swings and slows and finally settles above the word “Curses.”

“That sounds scary,” I say.

Faith — yes, that’s her real name — explains that there are two common forms of curses. If you send out something negative, you also hold on to it. It’s like a cosmic fax machine. “So,” she says, “it has a definite negative impact on the soul.”

“I hope that doesn’t include writing critical columns,” I mumble.

The second kind is when someone curses you.

I think back. There was that time John Sununu, Poppy Bush’s raging-bull chief of staff, blew up at the White House after reading one of my stories about his arrogant behavior.

“I will destroy her,” he growled. “If it takes me the rest of my life, I will destroy her. I don’t know where or when, but I’ll get her.”

Could Sununu’s curse be hanging around my house, like gooey green smoke?

Faith, who says she is a “clairaudio,” as opposed to a clairvoyant, is talking to the pendulum, instructing the High Self Committee — which seems to be the spirit equivalent of the Co-op Board — to throw out all curses.

I’m having my house and body “cleared” for 2008, whatever that means. I’m more of a believer in mystery than mysticism. But I know for sure that New Year’s resolutions require too much discipline. An exorcism seems much easier.

Ashley Parker, a young woman who works with me, had been warning me that I was in grave karmic danger. Her mother, too, works with crystals and healing and says she was told she was a handmaiden in ancient Egypt in a past life. She instructed Ashley never to wear vintage clothes — which I often do — because bad vibes from previous owners could rub off.

I didn’t want to shed all of my risky clothes and accessories — especially that karmically dangerous, fragrant black purse someone gave me that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe. And did I need to worry about who had owned my ’65 Mustang, and what they did in it?

Simpler to do a spiritual detox.

Faith Green, a pretty, curvy 31-year-old green-eyed blonde, says she has studied tribal shamanism, rolfing, Pilates, tango, movement and stretching. She calls herself a “kinetic therapist.”

Her crystal pendulum also identified some “discordant energy” in my house from angels who were meant to protect me but who had fallen prey to bad energy themselves, and from disconsolate spirits who may have been in a religious order.

“Was I a nun in a past life?” I ask, conjuring up a glamorous image of myself as Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story” rather than Rosalind Russell in “The Trouble With Angels.”

No, Faith explains, these bummed-out trapped souls are lurking from the past. She suggests they may just be unhappy with their vows of poverty, chastity, celibacy and obedience. You don’t need a Ouija board to know that.

“We’ll ask the High Self to clear them,” she says. “They’re blocking cheerfulness.”

She explains that, just as some people begin to sound and look like people they live with, so you can take on the grotty energy of spirits sharing your space. She does a “final mop-up” and puts a triple shield of protection for 10 miles around my house. (That would extend all the way to the White House. Will W. be getting my psychic protection?)

After scrutinizing my body language, Faith breaks the bad news: my intimacy chakra is blocked. Something about the way I stand. She says we need to sweep out the “sludge” so that our bodies don’t become cages trapping us and crimping our chi.

“The second chakra is intimacy, meaning ‘I love myself so much that I would marry myself,’” she says.

“My sister wants to marry herself,” I say.

Faith puts stones under my back and tells me she can feel my heart opening like a flower blooming. I don’t really feel the blockages or the bloomings. But it’s a lot nicer lying on a table and listening to floaty, flute-y New Age music than it is sitting at a table and making a long list of insincere resolutions.

Instead of falling in love, Faith observes, we should all be rising in love. “We’re either in love or we’re in fear,” she says.

She calls “The Secret” — the self-help mega-seller that advises people to visualize the body and income they want and the universe will respond by making them thin and rich — somewhat “hokey.”

“A lot of healing is about raising the vibrations,” she says. “It’s not airy-fairy or voodoo. It’s really about smiling and laughing and getting the blood flowing in the body.”

That doesn’t sound so hard, as long as John Sununu stays away from my house.

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