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Honing my psychic powers at the Central Calif. music fest

“There isn’t a higher place to observe your instinct than a competition,” psychic healer Lianda Swain says to an overflowing, open air tent, dubbed “The Oracle Cauldron,” at Lightning in a Bottle music and humanities competition. 

She was proper. And never simply because LIB’s studying and tradition lineup promised greater than 80 immersive experiences on divination, instinct, and Earth’s pure wonders. However with round 25,000 folks packed right into a campground throughout a Mercury retrograde, telepathy may’ve been almost as dependable because the cell service. 

For nearly twenty years, LIB, offered by The Do Lab exterior Bakersfield, has been often known as California’s premier five-day digital dance music and tenting competition. With stars like GRiZ, Chet Faker and Kaytranada topping the lineup, its nineteenth yr lived as much as its fame for heavy musical hitters and, as one festivalgoer put it, “beats that may rearrange your cells and align your chakras.” However for the creators, artists and attendees I spoke to, accessing divine inspiration was the opposite headlining expertise.  

Going to a competition simply shy of my thirty fifth birthday takes a whole lot of internal realizing, and begs questions like, “Am I too previous for this? And can my knees make it?” Mockingly, I felt certain the reply to each questions was no. And I used to be proper. I’m nonetheless icing my knee and I can’t wait to return once more.

The indicators and synchronicities that I used to be in the proper place started earlier than we even acquired our wristbands. As my pal and I waited in line on the field workplace late Wednesday afternoon, the very first individual we talked to was a gong participant from Mount Shasta who went to the identical little-known retreat in Peru the place I met my competition tenting companions, Ashley and Joshua, earlier within the yr throughout a yoga instructor coaching. We took it as an indication that this expertise could be equally memorable, stuffed with individuals who could possibly be household. 

Discover your method house


Generally known as “Burning Man lite,” at LIB festivalgoers additionally create makeshift neighborhoods as they arrange tents and shade shelters on a large dusty lot simply exterior the competition entrances. By the point we made it contained in the Buena Vista Lake Recreation Campground, the solar had set, so selecting our tenting spot was a matter of feeling our method. Name it luck or psychic instinct, however we snagged a spot shut sufficient to the doorway so we might pop again to camp simply, however far sufficient away from the rowdiest of partiers. We had been additionally close to the bogs and the world the place organizers had been promoting ice and different tenting necessities. We felt as fortunate as if we had snagged a rent-controlled condo in … effectively, any SF neighborhood. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

The subsequent day, the warmth was within the triple digits and wind whipped mud into tornadoes, so by midday we grabbed the paddleboard and sought refuge on the lake contained in the competition gates the place early arrivers had been already dancing to DJ units. 

There have been a pair workshops on instinct and the oracle arts I wished to hit within the afternoon, however I couldn’t entry the schedule on my telephone and it appeared paper maps and competition indicators had been nonetheless being printed. Programming begins as early as Wednesday, however the competition actually hits its stride by Friday.

“I informed my pal Moonshine I’d meet her across the Beacon Stage, wherever that’s,” Ashley stated as we pushed off into the lake. 

“Oh I feel that’s round the place I have to go, too. Possibly the wind will take us there.” That was about all we had power for on this triple digit warmth. 

We let our board drift till it marooned round 100 yards down the shore in entrance of a a lot chiller portion of the competition that I’d later come to know because the Compass, the place, in truth, the workshops on my checklist had been being held and the place Moonshine was working the alcohol-free elixir bar. 

With a meditation grove, a large hearth pit, a “witch’s hut” of natural cures, a shaded sound tub and smaller lakeside levels, The Compass was the oasis amongst wonderful competition chaos we would have liked to acclimate to this grownup Disneyland … and our first massive crowd since quarantine. 

I’d later study on the “Doorway to Oracle Arts” workshop that by talking our wishes aloud, Ashley and I had been practising “abracadabra,” which accurately interprets to “I create as I communicate.” This psychic magic factor was already working. 

Tied up in our minds

As a tarot card reader and astrology author who was raised by an excellent witchier mom, I’ve at all times felt a bit of psychic. However I didn’t at all times have the phrases for this summary sense of internal realizing till I went to Swain’s workshop that afternoon and heard from numerous others who additionally really feel enhanced — even supernatural — instinct. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Festival, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield, from May 25 to 30, 2022. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Picture by Brian Ngo; Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

Viewers members spoke of how they “simply know” issues, what the psychics name “claircognizance,” or clear realizing. Or how emotions of their intestine give info that defies cause or logic (clairsentience). Some stated their instinct speaks to them in a whisper or via music (clairaudience), whereas others get visions or desires that inform the longer term (clairvoyance). 

I expertise claircognizance, clairsentience and clairvoyance fairly a bit, particularly with the assistance of tarot research. However I’m additionally incorrect typically. For me, and like all mere magical mortals, overthinking can drown out what Swain calls our all-knowing, all-seeing highest internal authority. And in line with Isis Indriya, proprietor of Academy of Oracle Arts and co-director of the Compass’s academic programming, psychic data often speaks in riddles, making ego and cause the simpler, extra seductive approach to function. 

However Swain and Indriya confirmed what I already knew: You possibly can improve your instinct via observe … and an entire lot of belief. 

The homework for amplifying our innate metaphysical powers? Effectively, Swain says it’s as simple and enjoyable as occurring a date with the universe at a competition, or in on a regular basis life, and letting instinct information you. Conveniently, dancing can be considered one of her different prime suggestions for accessing intuitive insights. Psychic instinct, it seems, wants an lively and prepared dance companion. 

“Enable your self to give up to your instinct so you’ll be able to observe what it feels prefer to be guided by one thing greater than you. And see what occurs,” she stated.  

Demise to the ego, love is the weapon

My date with the LIB universe led me to a ritual theater efficiency on the story of Mary Magdalene that gave me full-body shivers and deja vu for nearly two hours. It guided me to day by day Kundalini lessons to clear my energetic discipline. I teleported within the Om Shan Tea Lounge to a world away as Mizuho Sato danced the flamenco. Instinct had me physique rolling to Lizzy Jeff’s cosmic rhymes, hovering excessive to Large Wild’s lush, non secular soundscapes, and feeling my chakras align to body-vibrating beats of CloZee, Black Espresso and so many others. However principally it led me on my life’s path, speaking to artists and fellow attendees about how they commune with the divine.  

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Festival, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield, from May 25 to 30, 2022. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Picture by Eric Allen; Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

Whether or not you name it prayer, a want, or an intention, each workshop chief I noticed spoke in regards to the significance of writing down or saying aloud why you’re right here and what you’re on the lookout for. However, Swain cautions, the universe doesn’t at all times give us what we wish; as an alternative it provides us what we’d like. So she suggests making your competition intention accordingly. 

That night on the opening hearth ceremony, I made a want for heart-expanding connection and inspiration — two issues I each need and might’t stay with out.

There are as some ways to speak to “Supply” as there are names for what that phrase represents. Whether or not you name it God, your larger self, or your ancestors, the overall consensus is that all of us have the flexibility to entry this all-knowing knowledge. Swain says you simply should quiet egoic ideas and work out the way it speaks to you particularly.

“I dream issues earlier than they occur.” 

“I get visions within the bathe.”

“It’s a voice in my head. Generally it seems like Morgan Freeman.”

Everybody I talked to or heard communicate on stage had a narrative of on a regular basis magic and a concept about psychic energy. One concept that resonated with me was from Michelle Meadow Love, an power healer who was providing reiki out of the competition’s therapeutic haven tent.

“We’re already far sufficient forward in our timeline, so it’s simply my bodily self catching up,” she informed me as she described the psychic occasions that led her to the competition. “We’re accessing the longer term as a result of we’re simply remembering.” If that sounds complicated, Swain says instinct defies cause and logic. 

Studying the tarot 

Earlier than heading to the competition, I turned to my tarot deck and requested the playing cards what I wanted to know. I pulled the six of wands, which reveals a person on a horse using via a crowd of supporters. (Not not like an old-timey competition.) It’s a card of triumph via work, of fine information, and is of particular significance to writers, since wands are the swimsuit of concepts, inspiration and sharing a message.

In the meantime, my favourite astrology app stated that my profession and creativity had been being amplified over the following few days. I took all of it to imply that I’d achieve success with this text … however that it wouldn’t essentially come simply. (Which is why you’re not studying this final week like I deliberate.)

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Festival, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield, from May 25 to 30, 2022. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Picture by Eric Allen; Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

The primary day of the competition, I supplied easy, one-card tarot readings to strangers and the six of wands confirmed up three extra instances, again to again. In journalism, three makes a development, and in numerology, three represents creativity, communication and the death-life-rebirth cycle. Even after intensive shuffling, the six of wands wished to be seen. To me, that meant an vital message that the competition’s impressed programming may unlock a gentler, extra related life. 

Channeling the divine on the day by day looks like one thing we should always all do to assist us come right into a balanced relationship with ourselves, however how can it enable you, say, discover your mates in a large competition crowd?

Chloe, a yoga instructor from San Francisco who was working in LIB’s tea lounge, shared one such competition magic trick. “After I get separated from my buddies, I think about a chord of sunshine,” she stated as she poured me tea. “I visualize utilizing it to drag them in direction of me. It often works.” 

I attempted one thing related since our competition comrade Joshua was arriving after us on Friday and I initially had no thought how he’d discover our tent in a sea of equivalent shade shelters. With no cell service, my textual content wasn’t delivered, however I’m fairly certain what led Joshua to us had been the vibes. I simply imagined it being as simple as following the sunshine. 

After I requested if he had any bother, Joshua replied, “You realize I’m all instinct.” 

Even this pragmatic Capricorn who works as a monetary adviser has the drive. And if the three of us might discover one another randomly in Peru, clearly the universe was conspiring to drag us collectively. 

Simply be as you might be, simply do as you do

After the mantra meditation wrapped up on the primary sundown of the competition, I heard a shirtless 20-something say as he left the meditation grove, “That was precisely what I didn’t know I wanted.” 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Festival, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield, from May 25 to 30, 2022. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

Which is one other lesson of instinct: let it shock you. 

After all, instinct doesn’t at all times lead you to one of the best time ever, or enable you discover your mates within the midst of competition chaos. Swain spoke of it typically placing you within the path of somebody who wants your essence. 

On Friday night time, on the finish of Large Wild’s love-drunk set, Ashley turned to me and stated she felt referred to as to return to camp for a second to recharge earlier than Glass Animals and late-night units. 

We had barely sat down after I heard what seemed like my sibling yell, “Right here! They’re over right here! Oh my God.” 

Simply then a hearth truck and ambulance screeched to a halt proper in entrance of our campsite and medic crews sprinted to a camp a pair tents away. With emergency response crews swirling round us, there was nothing to do, so Ashley instructed we pray. After we first met, we bonded over our love of mantra and this chaotic second felt just like the time to drag one out. 

We began singing “Ra Ma Da Sa Say So Hung,” which is a mantra that calls within the power of the solar, moon, Earth and infinity to carry complete therapeutic. We didn’t know who was in bother or how, however we knew they might use all of the power we might ship them. And for me, it was a approach to transcend a triggering, scary circumstance. 

A lady in her early twenties emerged from a neighboring campsite, wrapped in a blanket. She informed us she tried ecstasy for the primary time, acquired separated from her buddies and was scared. There’ll be different concert events (and at this level, even two extra nights of competition enjoyable). There might be instances our instinct leads us to the time of our life. For now, it was asking us to be regular, ready older sisters—archetypes we simply so occur to be born to play. So we busted out snacks and water and made a welcoming house within the mud. 

I hope if my household is ever scared or lonely in an unfamiliar place, they’ll discover an older sister in a stranger, too. Possibly this second was serving to make sure that, as a result of I couldn’t shake a deja vu feeling.

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Festival, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield, from May 25 to 30, 2022. 

Scenes from the Lightning in a Bottle Competition, which was held at Buena Vista Lake, close to Bakersfield, from Could 25 to 30, 2022. 

Picture by Brian Ngo; Courtesy of Lighting in a Bottle Competition

The night time wore on and we handed a joint simply because the sound of Glass Animal’s second hottest track, “Gooey,” echoed from the Lightning stage. 

“Fact be informed
I have been right here, I’ve accomplished this all earlier than
I take your gloom
I curl it up and puff it into plumes”

This was my first time at Lightning in a Bottle, however I acquired the distinct sense I had been right here earlier than. It was proper the place I wanted to be and I felt as stunning as I do after I’m dancing to my favourite track. 

Amy Copperman is a author and artist primarily based in Oakland, Calif. Discover her on Instagram.

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