Often, people already have an idea of spirits and ghosts or may be frightened or wary of the unknown. Karen Downing is a spiritual medium and channel of a spirit (or energy) called Aurora and explains her gift in a way that we can relate, lifting the illusions and misunderstandings surrounding the topic of spirits and mediums, and ultimately, the fear.

My gift is to work with the spirit realm. As a child I was drawn to this path. With time I have learnt to make it a part of myself and use it to positively benefit the people around me.

In the beginning, the most important question I would consider was about my path in life. I was also very curious about the esoteric history of Earth, as well as information on how the spiritual realms worked. I find many of the people who connect with my energy and the energy of Aurora are seeking information on these same topics. I was always sensitive to other people’s emotions, and also energy in certain environments. Even as a child I would seek information about spiritual topics, despite having no spiritual or religious upbringing. I even used to play a game with my friends where I would talk about people’s lives based on the shoes they were wearing! I was practicing using my intuition, long before I knew what it was.

Aurora has been slowly aligning with my energy since childhood, even prior to my own awareness of her, and long before I was aware of channeling. At first It seemed like a scary concept to me, but it was not like a demonic possession but a beautiful process. When she was first making me aware of her energy, I could feel a sense of lightness in my head, almost like being a bit out of balance, or what I call “cloudy-headed.” Then I would feel an energetic sensation in the throat, similar to how it feels when you wish to say something. Aurora is what she chose to call herself for the purpose of my work, but is also channeled by others under different names; spirits only need names for humans to understand. Sometimes I would write down the message and other times I would have Aurora speak to my boyfriend, my mum, or whoever happened to be around at the time. That went on for over a year before I began doing any public work with Aurora so I was quite practice by then. I was frightened the first time I channeled publicly, not because I was worried about successful drawing Aurora’s energy through, rather my concern was ensuring her message came through untainted by my own thoughts and feelings. I was very nervous because of this fear, and prayed countless times to please make sure that my own ego would not taint Aurora’s message of beauty, love and peace. Once I sat down and allowed Aurora to come through, all was perfectly fine and I realised that there was no reason for my fear.

The best way to describe a channeling session is not like a séance, as many would imagine. I begin by sitting down and facing the audience in a chair. After briefly explaining the channeling process, I close my eyes and go into a relaxed state. My soul then moves from my body and into the spiritual realms as Aurora brings her energy into my body (unlike an intuitive reading where I remain present during the process). Many audience members have reported feeling the change in energy, accompanied by the color pink and some even describe seeing my features change to a much older woman. Typically Aurora shares a message about timely topics and information specific to the audience, then she opens up to answer questions, which she enjoys doing. The channeling session can last up to two hours, and then Aurora will say her good bye. At that time I return to my body and the session is completed. It is a very simple process, but it is extremely taxing for both Aurora and myself, and requires as much energy as intensive physical work would, despite me being unconscious and seated. After channeling my muscles become stiff and sore for a few hours, this is due to the amount of energy that flows through the body during the channeling process. After a channeling session I get very thirsty too and need to drink a lot of water.

The communication processes between spirits occur on a telepathic level, so to channel Aurora’s messages, she uses vocabulary from my subconscious and it can be troublesome to pervade the confines of both language and my limited vocabulary. I intuitively pursue more information which helps Aurora to communicate through me better. When someone experiences channeled material (of any kind) it connects deeply with their soul. Often, this prompts that person to look for more information/messages from sources that resonate with them on a similar level. We live in an energetic universe and energy is measured in frequency vibration (for example, physical matter vibrates on a low level), a channel tunes in to a frequency the way a radio does to receive a signal; many other frequencies exist but you tune into one at a time depending on what you’re searching for. I believe that we all have the potential to open up to work with spirit and to channel energy in a variety of ways and everyone is a channel for their higher self in some way, and can be for other spirits too. It is something innate within everyone as we are all connected to source energy, and therefore I feel that everyone is equally gifted in that way. This is where the word ‘inspiration’ comes from, to have the spirit come through in ideas or revelations. For me, once I opened the door to working with spirit, it was necessary to develop this gift to use it for its highest potential and to move forward with trust and faith.

In order to be more “open,” the most difficult blockage that most people carry is pride. Not only a sense of pride about oneself, but also pride in having to defend their beliefs. As long as you can have your beliefs, yet listen openly and unconditionally to the beliefs of another, then this can allow you to be free from any limitations and judgments. You don’t have to believe in anything that does not feel true to you, in fact, spiritual development is all about finding what resonates with what you feel in your heart. I can think of one particular reading I did recently during my trip to Iceland. When this person arrived for their session, they told me, “Not sure if I believe in this sort of thing.” During the reading the client became drawn into what was being said, and they turned from being skeptical to feeling empowered. When they were done with their reading, they commented that they, “had never experienced anything like that before,” and gave me a big hug. For this particular client, the experience was very transformative. On a larger scale, I feel beliefs are always changing. Aurora explains that patience is a virtue, because the more you live in the now, life becomes more flexible, rather than limited by past experience or fear of the future. However, within this flexibility, there is also consistency in underlying patterns, themes and, of course, the energy. It is good to question your own belief system(s), and to understand why you believe what you believe and whether it deeply serves you. It is also important to remember that there are no “right” and “wrong” beliefs, because each person’s beliefs come from life experience, past-life energy and are also flavored by one’s particular life lesson.

I currently record a monthly teaching from Aurora on my website with regards to events and energies affecting the earth or advice on problems concerning humans such as how to overcome insecurities or resolve any resistance to good entering their lives. It is my hope that Aurora’s energy and messages can help assist everyone in learning to love themselves on the highest level and become their own master. It is through the transformative power of unconditional love for oneself that change on both an individual, and thus collective level can take place. I have personally seen how Aurora’s energy can transform peoples’ lives in truly amazing ways, like it has to mine.

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