The Hurtful Spirit and the Answered Prayer


If your prayer is for others, I really do not see that a limit should be put on the frequency or amount of sincere prayer. Equally if your prayer is to honour your God, your prayers should be wholehearted and follow the ritual activity of your chosen or inherited religion - but what about a prayer for help with personal misfortune?

A Prayer for Yourself

If you are praying for yourself, I would suggest as little as possible and only as a last resort if all your attempts at solving your problem have failed..  The line “Know then Thyself, Presume not God to scan…” from “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope has stayed in my mind since I was a callow youth of 18yrs and now seems to be the key to my own intermittent prayer activities.

A Prayer of Thanks

oak We live in an extraordinarily beautiful world. Sometimes I look up at the sky on a clear night and feel that the lid has been taken off the world and that I can see heaven amongst the stars and the changing moon.

Because my God is a God of Nature, I find I give thanks, often wordlessly in a rush of Joy at a clear blue sky, or in a dance like the wheat   around my favourite Oak Tree. And yes I do tingle and sense a sacred power when I approach the ancient tree - a sense of reverence toward the power of nature that was nurtured within me by Christina and which has grown  since she passed on, not far into infinity, nearly three years ago.

A Prayer for Help

POD_PrayingWhen I passed the speed camera (see previous post) my sense of reverence became slightly corrupt and my prayer went something like “Oh God, please let me get away with it and I’ll go to church every Sunday” - God must have been having a nap however, as the speeding ticket arrived a week later (how could God let this happen?)

When I pranged my car I wanted the angels to come and deliver me from a busy roundabout complete with hooting impatient cars and an extremely irate driver who had decided that it was all my fault… “What DO you think you’re DOING!!” (the angels must have been on a tea-break however…)

During the course of my battered week, I also discovered I had lost all my credit and debit cards, so I phoned and cancelled them all, only to discover them in the bathroom five minutes later. My new cards were then subjected to a fraud investigation - and subsequently went missing in the post, causing me to lose a months hosting on a new website. (is the Devil getting in on the act?)

Buchbinder-Rabbi_PrayingYou may recall that my central heating boiler had also stopped working. No matter how many plumbers I rang, they were either unavailable or if they did arrive, managed to produce the familiar sucking in of breath between their teeth (do they do that in the USA and Japan?) a habit they must learn in plumbing school, before declaring the hapless piece of equipment irreparable; an average estimation as to the cost of a new boiler seemed to lie between £1,500-£2,500. My polite response that I would try to get another opinion, invariably produced a look of professional pity and a sniffy intake of breath.

(who Is the hurtful spirit?)

The Hurtful Spirit  

Toward the end of the week however, things started to get rather worrying and dangerous…

chinese woman praying I had taken to going to the Chinese restaurant opposite the theatre each day  before a series of ‘between-shows’ rehearsals I was doing with the company. I have (had) a bad habit of reading whilst I eat and I was so engrossed in my book that a piece of underchewed  meat managed to wedge itself in my gullet jamming itself solid, like a cork in a bottle. Thank goodness it was my gullet and not my windpipe, as I would have choked to death. As it was, I couldn’t swallow at all and saliva poured from my mouth as I hacked and coughed as I staggered to the toilets. I stayed in the toilet area for nearly half an hour but no matter what I did, the meat-lump stayed put. My  throat started to bleed and the toilet bowl began to resemble a scene from a horror movie. My throat and upper chest had started to make frighteningly loud gurgling sounds and so I tried to drink a little water from the wash-basin tap in order to dislodge the meat, but the water simply poured out the sides of my mouth. I was really frightened by this time, as I had lost all ability to swallow. I was eventually helped out of the toilet by a group of anxious waiters, and staggered across the road to the theatre, perhaps unwisely refusing the offer of an ambulance. (I should imagine they were glad to get rid of me as I did notice the aghast looks on the faces of the other patrons as I passed by on my way to the door ) Back at the theatre and amongst friends I started relax a little although the meat-cork was still wedged in hard, but after a further half hour of moaning, choking and salivating, the obstinate chunk of beef at last recommenced its journey to my stomach and I collapsed in an exhausted heap with only half an hour to go before the evening show. I got through the performance somehow, but my throat was sore for days.

(by now I was convinced that a hurtful spirit or thought-form had either attached itself, or had been attracted and/or created by me - see previous post)

Bolivia_aymara_praying_locThe next night was almost as shocking and even more painful.  It’s very dark   around the back of the Regent Theatre in Ipswich and I was thinking about this blog entry and how overdue it was - when I literally walked into a wall. I was going at quite a pace and the wall, a mere three foot high, caught me just above the knee, launching me head over heels over the unyielding brickwork, where I slammed down, onto my back on the other side. Just before the pain started, I thought of my airborne computer-bag and of the cost of laptop repair - this image faded however as the pain, nausea and dizzyness overtook me. Simon and Wayne, two members of our company, found me staggering and whimpering in the car park and helped me to my car, staying until I was able to drive (very slowly) back to my ‘digs’.

If my hurtful spirit was real, then I had a problem, but on the other hand, if it was a tulpa or delusion, it would be just as bad, because I may then have created a negative form of me - self harming myself in the most spiritually and physically frightening way. I was thinking about the film “Flatliners” a couple of days ago, in which the character played by Keifer Sutherland is attacked by the spirit of a little boy he had accidentally caused to fall to his death from a tree. The scene I am talking about occurs when Keifer is alone in a van and is then found by a friend who sees him beating and mutilating himself - although it is really the spirit of the boy who compels Keifer to act in a self-destructive way. (the spirit - or the Tulpa that Keifer’s character has created). Coincidentally(?) the film is showing on TV tonight, even though I had decided yesterday to include it in this account, when I was unaware it was due to be aired.

My hat goes Missing

soulMerlin Logo   I have a favourite hat (it’s the one I’m wearing here). Anyway the hat went missing after my Chinese restaurant ordeal and I naturally assumed that I had left it there during the meat plug episode, as it was nowhere to be found in my dressing room, or in the theatre. So the following day I limped over to the restaurant - only to find it had been closed by the local police, following some kind of “bust”. I would normally have been very upset, as I have owned the “titfer” for a few years, but adversity had by this time hardened me and so I shrugged it off with surprisingly little regret and resolved to buy another - a “countryman’s tweed” one - when I got home the following day. The performances went without mishap and although my knee was very stiff and painful, I felt it added to my performance as Jacob.

I was very surprised to find the hat on my dressing-room table at the end of the final show and it was like embracing a good friend when I jammed it low down on my forehead and made my way to the car…

…and walked straight into the sharp end of a scaffolding pole that protruded horizontally from the back of a parked lorry. I was striding out briskly as it was cold, and the unseen pole caught me right in the middle of my forehead. I was shocked and saw stars; if I had not been wearing my hat, I would muslim women prayinghave been badly hurt. I broke into tears and for the first time in quite a while

I really Prayed…                                                   

It was not a neat nor was it a pious or solemn prayer. I didn’t kneel and clasp or hold my palms together like stone-angel then close my eyes and bow my head and say “Amen” at the end. I remember just standing and looking up at the night sky and shouting “Please help me” then “Please stop” then Please help me” over and over again, in between my tears and sobs.

When you have tried to help yourself as much as you possibly can - then “The All” will take over.

I felt calmer after the 150ml journey home and although I knew the house would be very cold (I slept in my clothes that night) I was glad to be in my own space…

I think that actors and dancers on tour are often erratic and moody emotionally, due to the negative and often jarring influences  they pick up in the many and varied places (especially beds) they stay in each week. Psychic cleansing and protection should at least be addressed or better still, taught in many theatre schools and colleges - some do, but I think they may be in the minority.

My Keys Return

asian boy praying   …I got out of the car and reached into my jacket pocket and found two sets of keys. The previous week I had arrived home to find I had lost my keys and had to drive several miles to pick up a spare set from a friend (see last post)

I had emptied all the pockets and searched them thoroughly when the keys went missing and all through the following week, I had only the spare set of keys in my jacket, I know for certain because I empty my jacket pockets every night.

I could feel a sort of warm-tingle as I stood outside the front door - holding both sets. First the hat and now the keys.

The following day I went to see a psychic friend and her husband, as the dark  aura of negative influence and danger around me had started to become rather frightening. The psychic’s husband suggested a meditation session, but I was feeling too tense and jittery to submit, so I rather rudely declined the kind offer and was about to leave when the psychic turned and ordered me to “Stand still”  then “Relax”. I closed my eyes as she traced her hands down the outline of my body - either side - from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.

I could feel a vibration from her hands as they passed over me and I instantly felt much better. She then remarked that I looked glum, so I explained about my broken central heating boiler…

muslim prayer


“My son-in-law’s a plumber… ” (she said)


   …So now my boiler is working again, at a total cost of £85 - a far cry from the quoted £1,500 - £2,000; it’s warm and cosy and good things are starting to happen again, just like the sunrise. Except for one little cloud - the negative spirit or thought-form…

Last Sunday the medium turned to me and said (as closely as I can remember) “I have a man here who’s saying “That’s not Henry Metcalfe, that’s Harry Metcalfe” (the medium then kept repeating the statement in a rude skittish way) “He say’s he knew you”. She then looked directly at me and said that all the things that were moving around, vanishing and re-appearing would stop. She also described ‘him’ as having a hurtful sense of humour. “The sort of man who would unscrew the back of a settee so that it would collapse if anyone sat on it. She went on to say that man knew that the joke had gone too far and that it would now stop. Calling me “Harry” was totally correct; I was “Harry” right up until I went to college at eighteen.

shinto prayerAnd this is where the story would have ended, except for a thought I had an   hour ago while I was leaning like a bat, out of my guest-room window to have an illicit smoke.

The one thing in the mediums message to me that did not add up, was the reference to the settee and the hurtful spirit. Then I remembered that when I was sixteen, I had worked for a few months in a furniture store with a few guys who made my life difficult and who always made fun of my dancing ambitions. I also have a fragment of a memory of a settee being burnt behind the furniture store and the one who disliked me the most, jumping up and down on the back to break it.

That was forty-eight years ago. I have lived on, in and with Giai for longer than I can reasonably look forward to and I have no desire to go back in time to the furniture store in Claypath Durham City (you see I’m halfway there already). 

To go back yet again and create further destructive ripples, some of which I have very recently felt, would be regrettable.

snow angelOn Sunday morning, I got up at 7am in my warm and snug house with the  feeling that I was about to be shown something.  Going over to the window, I looked out onto a literal wonderland of fresh snow that glistened in the early light. Snowflakes continued to drift to earth like soft white feathers and I sank back into a deep, peaceful sleep. When I woke again the snow had vanished as if it had been a beautiful dream.

It was then I knew that my prayer had been answered.

(c)soulMerlin/henry metcalfe


Images from top

Nearly all the images are from Wikimedia Commons - either follow the links below, to go to the relevant Wiki page containing the illustration and a mass of detail regarding the source of each image. I found over 700 images related to Prayer alone. Go to the home page and enter your search terms in the box at middle left


2. The Oak and the Wheatfield (c)soulMerlin~henry metcalfe (you may use the image for none-commercial use - a link back to this site and a picture credit would be appreciated - for other use, please email me with details before publishing. Note that the oak image and ’soulMerlin’ (7 below) are very small, so if you want a large image, please email me.





7. soulMerlin ~ you may use this image as you wish with a photo credit and a link to this site.





12. Snow Angel ( please note that Adobe is discontinuing their stock, royalty-free image service at the end of this month - March 2008.

“Flatliners” ~

“The Rape of the Lock”

Creating Heaven and Hell

483px-Paradise_Lost_13Do we create everything? I’ve just finished a two-week run at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on Lime Street; a two-week period in which a very close-knit sequence of unfortunate happenings have occurred and which continue to do so…

I was driving home on the first Wednesday night (at a comfortable 80’sh) when I noticed a boffin-like man sitting by an instrument that looked like a monitor scr….Owww! I slammed on the brakes with a vengeance, reaching to below 70mph by the time I passed him. The monitor-screen was in the shape of a vertical oblong; rather like the ‘odds board’ of the racecourse ‘bookie’, with a successive patterning of little lights in green. A possible three points on my licence and a £60 fine.

oh dear..

I drove back rather carefully the following day - a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted if I continue my equine theme - and was just recalling the previous night as I coasted at a comfortable 70mph, wondering why I ever rushed to save 10 min’s on a journey, when the big seven-zero was just so smooth….Flash Bang Owww! I had forgotten that the end of the motorway has a half-mile 50mph limit. Another three points and a further £60?

oh dear oh dear…

nothing further happened until that night, when an Internet/bank transaction I had set up failed to function…two calls to the USA and around 12 emails and the matter is still not resolved at time of writing - I now have the possibility of a website hosting arrangement being cancelled (not this site I hasten to add) …and all for the princely sum of $14.70 (around £8).

Then on Friday morning I pranged the car - my second accident in 38 years of driving…

oh dear etc…

Going back to the Wednesday night;  I had tucked myself up in bed and I was at the point of sleep, when a rough workmanlike spirit, rather like an electrician or plumber, shouted at me or to be more accurate - ‘past’ me as if warning another entity or force. At first I thought that the spirit didn’t like me and was being aggressive, so I told ‘it’ to either be quiet and let me sleep, or to simply go away. I turned over onto my side and started to drift off to sleep, when I felt his/it’s embrace. It was such a gentle hug; I could feel arms around my shoulders and a gentle loving pressure. It amused me that I could feel an arm around me on the side of my body that touched the bed - spirits it seems do not have the problem of what to do with the arm that goes under the person as they lie in bed - unlike the ‘living’!

I decided that the spirit was warning me about something (perhaps the forthcoming traffic accident), or warding off other negative influences…

…was that my spirit guide/guardian angel?

On Saturday night after the final show, my friend David S the musical director drove me home and dropped me at the garage, where I picked up my car and continued toward home…

…to find that I had mislaid my front-door key (at 1am)

One hour later, after waking up my friend Debbie and driving over to collect a spare key, I returned to the house and managed to get in. A cup of tea seemed to be in order, so I filled the electric kettle and switched on the central heating boiler…

…only to discover that the main burner would not fire up!

The events of Sunday involved multiple calls to central heating engineers; all of whom let me down after promising "excellent availibility" at a price which varied from £100 - £300. The last "Mr Fixit" left around an hour ago, promising to return on Friday with the parts needed which he was "90% sure" would solve the problem…

…but what about the remaining 10%, and why am I almost sure that my problem will fall within that margin?

Creating My Own Reality

Consider the following possibilities:-

a) I could be under psychic attack - either from another Magick worker or from a discarnate entity.  This would explain my spirit "guardian" and his warning shout.

b) I could be suffering God’s retribution for my attitudes to conventional religion as expressed in this almanack - or for some other misdemeanour.

c) It could be the universe giving me a "wake-up" call. I tend to live in a dream-world and neglect the "reality" of coping with the nuts and bolts of everyday life.

d) It could just be a run of bad luck. The Law of Probability will allow for clusters of what we term "good" or "bad" luck.Spin a coin a thousand times and it will record almost exactly 500 "heads" and 500 "tails" (try it), but within the 1000 spins, you will note runs of up to 17 consecutive heads and tails - depending on which side you favour, this could represent periods of fortune or misfortune.

e) I could be creating Everything myself, both normal and para-normal.

Let me explain…


Tulpas are thought-forms which are projected and created by spiritually adept people. Wikipedia has a page which you may find interesting: .  Madame Alexandra David-Neel in the 1920’s, managed to create the thought form of a monk who started as a fat and jolly benign presence, but which changed over time into a lean malevolent creature. The "monk" appeared quite solid and real and was seen by  many people. The spiritual writer Dion Fortune found a wolf in her bedroom which only "dissolved" when she withdrew it’s life-force through the astral-cord she visualized as being attached to her. Herbie Brennan writes in his excellent book "Death - The Great Mystery of Life" about the case of Emilie Sagee (amongst many examples) who in 1845, was sacked from her position as a teacher because her pupils kept seeing two of her. Her second body or Tulpa was seen wandering the grounds or sitting with the class watching herself teach. No fewer than eighteen schools dispensed with her services…

Richard Webster in his book "Spirit Guide and Angel Guardians" talks about creating an Angel, as does Donald Mckinney in "Celtic Angels", in fact many writers acknowledge the power to create spiritual entities from seemingly nothing…

…All of which leads me to a concept which goes beyond our three-dimensional reality, yet which has been expressed by many people…That we create not only our lives, but also our Afterlives. We may actually create our own Heaven and Hell, both in this world and the next one, unless we have not believed in and therefore have not created an Afterlife of our own making. In which case we will "condemn" ourselves to ‘Nothing’ (whatever that is)

My line of reasoning is this. The thought-forms of Madame Alexandra and Emilie were quite independent of their earthly "doubles" until the "originals" decided to get rid of them; in Madame Alexandra’s case, it took six months of meditation and concentration to ‘dissolve’ the Monk. It follows that we may each of us create our forthcoming Heaven (or Hell) and the spiritual body that will inhabit it.

Collectively we may in fact be responsible for creating everything. We may be indeed be our own God and our own Satan…and we may find we have created a Heaven, a Hell, or an Oblivion - all to our own design.

Note: If you have ‘come in’ through Google or another search engine, you may be looking for comment 2 below, which is a long and authoritative compendium of religious and spiritual thought and philosophy.

Image "Satan" Wikimedia Commons - an excellent source of visual and literary material. Click the link below, or on the image to go to:

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