In 2008, I moved to central Arkansas to move in with my boyfriend, after 2 1/2 years of seeing each other long distance, and for the longest time I had nothing spiritual happen in my life.

This changed around the middle of 2009.

At first it started with things I could brush off or plausibly deny.  Around June of 2009 I sensed a benevolent entity trying to console me during a mooment of extreme depression and boredom while at work.  I sensed that she took the form of a red fox, and had a very motherly presence, but because she was felt but never seen, I wrote her off as wishful thinking for many months.

It was when that same entity appeared to me in a different form in a dream that I started paying attention.

I think I had the dream late last year or early this year.  In the dream, my apartment building was about to be burned down by its pious owners because one of the tenants had been discovered practicing witchcraft.  I got lost in the smoke on my way out of the building, but a young Native American girl calmly pointed the way to the stairs, and I escaped safely.

But the most powerful experience was yet to come.

One night this past spring, I was down in Hot Springs with two friends, one of them an agnostic like me, the other a pagan who I’d met only recently.

On the way down, we began discussing things like auras and the like, and he told me how to concentrate and see auras and energy.  I was skeptical, but then he told me to look for his aura.

What I saw wasn’t an aura or halo about his head, but something shaped like a flame, running through the spectrum, violet at its base and radiating out to red at its tip.

I described to him what I saw.  “That’s actually pretty good, you saw my Crown Chakra,” he said.

Considering I didn’t even know what a “crown chakra” was, I was pretty surprised by this, but the night had other surprises waiting for us.

In the dark, we went to the trail at Gulpha Gorge and walked a short distance to where the trail went around a sharp bend.  He instructed us on how to ground our energies against a rock, then we moved on.  That was when he saw something and addressed it.

At first, only this one guy saw it; my other friend and I saw nothing.  Then I saw the vague outline of an entity, roughly human, but about three feet tall.

Mist began rolling over the top of the hill, and a strange sense of wonder filled the air.

At this point, my other friend began freaking out at the fact that we were seeing something, and the entity left.

I never once felt frightened or imposed upon by all this; it simply was what it was.

That night was probably the turning point; I had been an agnostic because I had nothing to compel me to believe that there was anything beyond the literal, what-you-see-is-what-you-get world.

I was able to write it all off as fancy and superstition for the longest time, even though I’d felt these stirrings for many years.  Over the course of about a year, these experiences had become so powerful- and so prominent- that I realized that I could either dismiss all this as delusions, and write off bigger and bigger parts of my life as useless, or I could find new and productive ways to incorporate these experiences into my life.

I took a couple of months of soul-searching, and realized that in my heart I already knew that the latter was the answer.  I was experiencing these things for a reason, and the world had many valuable lessons to teach me; what began in the New Forest and Richmond Park was part of a lifelong transformation that I could accept or decline, and I chose to accept it.

Although I’m still learning what it means, I grow more confident with my new faith each day as its new blessings unfold.  This is so unlike anything I ever believed before because it isn’t a dead faith where all the truth has already been written; I learn as it grows with me, and the lessons are endless.

I look back at my life- at everything I’ve been and done and experienced- and I have to smile.  I truly am blessed.