Major Test of Faith #3: “The Pentecostal Baptism” – Summer 1991
A month had passed since the “Chinatown Test”, and my life had gone back to a more or less ‘normal’ routine, as far as I can recall. In all honesty though, it’s been 20 years since this time, and it’s more than likely that I’m forgetting other ‘Minor Trials By Fire’ that the Universe put me through in this period shortly after leaving energy healing school. But in any case, the next ‘Major Trial By Fire’ (that I can recall) was my ‘Pentecostal Baptism’.
It was a typical Sunday morning, as I recall, and I had no special plans for the day. So my father (d. 2002) asked me if I wanted to join him and one of the guys who worked for him in his NYC fashion business, to go to a Pentecostal Church service in Manhattan. Apparently, my father’s worker volunteered at this Church and was very enthusiastic about having my father
check it out. I, being the open minded spiritual seeker that I was at the time, and having nothing planned for the day, decided to tag along.
Being Jewish but not religious, my father and I were both free thinkers, and were open minded about other traditions and philosophies other than Judaism.
Having just left the healing school, and feeling that I was empowered by the Universe to begin doing healing work on the planet, I perhaps thought in the back of my mind that there might be some people at the Pentecostal Church who needed a healing from me.
But taking off in the car with my father and his worker, I was just kicking back and going along for the ride, with no specific agenda or goal in mind for the day.
My laid back, relaxed attitude immediately changed the instant we three walked through the church’s front door.
As soon as I stepped inside the church, I felt the spiritual world stop me in my tracks, telling me that I had something important that I had to do here today.
It was the same feeling I had had a month earlier, the morning the Universe told me to get dressed and take a train ride to Manhattan without telling me where we were going or why, and eventually leading me to Chinatown.
I heard a voice in my head telling me to tell my father and his worker to go ahead into the church’s sanctuary, and that I would join them soon.
As soon as the sanctuary doors closed behind my father and his worker, I could feel that the Universe had another Major Trial By Fire test in store for me.
Instantly, I heard a voice in my head pointing me to a staircase and telling me to go upstairs.
Now here I was, a Jewish. extremely eclectic spiritual seeker and newly empowered energy healer (so I thought) , who had hardly ever been inside a Christian Church before, walking up the stairs of this strange place.
Could this be construed as trespassing I was no doubt wondering to myself as I climbed the stairs having no clue why the Universe wanted me to do this.
When I got to the top of the stairs, I began to sense the magnitude of the ‘test’ the Universe was about to put me through.
There was a door at the top of the stairs with a sign that told me it was the Pastor’s office.
The Universe told me to knock on the Pastor’s door, still not telling me why or what I was going to say.
I’m sure I was praying that the Pastor wasn’t in his office and that this was all a big joke by the Universe.
But much to my distress, the door opened and the Pastor appeared, a neatly dressed, powerful looking white man, probably in his late 40’s.
Asking me what I wanted, I suddenly felt the Universe take over my speech, and blurt out the following words: “I’m an energy healer, and I believe I was brought here to your church today because some people in your congregation need my healing work”.
Amazingly, the Pastor wasn’t taken aback in the least, and he warmly welcomed me to his Church, and invited me to ‘follow the Spirit’ during the service, and if there was someone in the congregation who needed my healing work, then I was to feel free to do a healing on them.
Wow ! This was like a free pass to ‘follow the Spirit’ and do healings today. I was elated and extremely excited to be here all of a sudden, feeling that I had permission to ‘serve’ people in his congregation.
To put it bluntly, things didn’t quite turn out the way I thought they would !
Apparently, the Universe has other plans for bringing me to this Church today, other then honoring me with another notch on my ‘energy healer’ belt, elevating me to the status of great energy healer, when just 7 months ago I had no healing knowledge or abilities.
No, this would be a completely different type of ‘elevation’ that the Universe had in store for me today !
But as I descended the staircase and joined my father and his worker in the Sanctuary, everything seemed ‘perfectly planned’ for me and I felt overjoyed to be here today.
Just as a point of observation, this Pentecostal Church was made up of primarily black people, although the Pastor and his two assistants were white.
Never having attended, nor having heard anything about a Pentecostal Church service, I was immediately taken aback with the amazing energy and vibration in the atmosphere once the services began.
Within minutes, more and more of the black parishioners (mostly women) started standing up in the aisles and shaking and vibrating as if in some epileptic trance-seizure state. Some were also ‘talking in tongues’ as I later would come to understand, speaking in other languages with voices that seemed to come from spirits taking over their voices.
While the energies in the Church’s atmosphere today were no where near the energies that the Altar Stones at the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle used to lift my spirit body hundreds of feet into the air four summers earlier, I was still flabbergasted by the wild trance energies that were flying off the walls of this Church, as well as causing many of the parishioners to take flight into majestic heights of Spirit.
Waiting for some sort of guidance from the Universe as to who, if any, people needed my healing work today, I was suddenly guided to stand up and walk down the aisle in and among the many entranced and wildly gyrating parishioners.
When I got to the front of the congregation I was guided to begin doing energy healing work on a couple of the entranced congregants.
So far so good, I thought to myself. This day was turning out to be an extremely affirming and magical day for me as an emerging energy healer.
That was, until one of the Pastor’s assistants gently grabbed the wrist of the hand that I was using to perform a healing on a parishioner.
Then he gently raised my hand up in the air.
Within seconds, the other assistant and the Pastor himself joined him in holding my hand up in the air.
Most of what happened next was a blur, but the gist of what the Pastor and his assistants said was that in order to be a healer, I had to be baptized.
I was a Jewish-born, smorgasbord-picking spiritual seeker who had had spiritual ‘wake-up calls’ at an ancient Scottish stone circle and also while doing mystical Sufi Whirling Dervish dancing !
Now the Universe wanted me to be baptized ?
Oy Vey, was what I was probably thinking to myself at the time !
But I was intent on following my guidance, even though the thought of being baptized was something that I never would have dreamed of for myself.
But there I was following my guidance and saying YES to being baptized, and then being brought up on stage behind a curtain where I took off all my clothes, put on a cloth robe, and stepped into a pool of water that they had backstage.
With my head sticking out of the water, they opened the curtains so that I was now visible to the whole congregation.
With the energetic pulsations and ‘seizures of Spirit’ of this Pentecostal service in full swing, I was dunked in the water by the pastor.
I was baptized.
After 100 congratulations from everyone in the congregation, my incredulous, still-Jewish father and his worker, whisked me out of the church.
I received a certificate of Baptism about a month later in the mail.
I was constantly asking the Universe if I was supposed to get involved in this particular church and/or some other Christian church, but I never got any further guidance to do so.
Instead, within days of my Baptism, the Universe brought me to a Christian book store and had me buy a very unique New Testament Bible: It was called “The Rainbow New Testament Bible” , and all the pages were different colors as I recall.
I was guided to read this Bible all the way through over the next week or so.
This was the beginning of a whole new ‘Major Test of Faith’: Walking the path of the ‘Rainbow Healing Minister’.
There were a lot of preliminary training steps necessary to prepare me for my ‘mission’ as a ‘Rainbow Healing Minister’.
As an initial training, I was told to go to a ‘Woodstock-like annual Hippie event’ called “The Rainbow Gathering”. This year’s ‘Rainbow Gathering’ was taking place in Vermont, and was only a few weeks away over the July 4th weekend, 1991.
There are too many details of this initial training period to list here.
One detail that stands out though, was my being guided to get a tattoo before the Vermont Rainbow Gathering.
Finding the woman tattoo artist who was to do my tattoo, was another detail to this ‘guided’ journey. But like so many other minor details to this journey, it’s too much to include here.
Being Jewish, it is pretty well known that a Jewish person can not be buried in a Jewish cemetery if they have tattoos. So I guess, at 31 years old, I was being guided to prepare myself to not be buried in a Jewish cemetery.
The tattoo that the Universe originally was having me research was the Christian Fish symbol with the inscription below. I was supposed to place this tattoo on my left forearm.
We gave the Christian Fish tattoo art to the tattoo artist and was within a few days of our scheduled appointment to get the tattoo, when the Universe stopped me in my tracks and sent me hunting for a whole new set of images for the tattoo I was really supposed to get.
The images that the Universe ultimately told me to tattoo on my left forearm were 3 images; 1. A Chinese Dragon; 2. An image of Krishna on top of a Sufi winged heart; 3. A mystical image of a woman’s face – meant to represent the Great Goddess.
I showed up at the Vermont Rainbow Gathering still applying protective ointment to my brand new tattoo. Note: I should mention here that 8 years later, the Universe guided me to get these tattoos removed with lasers. I never completed my laser sessions though, so there are still remnants of this tattoo art on my left forearm.(Click HEREto read the Vermont Forest Service report on the 1991 Rainbow Gathering)
To get a visceral sense of what a Rainbow Gathering is like, there are many good video clips on YouTube.com (just type in ‘Rainbow Gathering’)
I’ve selected a video clip below for you to watch which I feel is informative : Part 5 of a 5-part YouTube movie about the 1978 Rainbow Gathering in Wyoming. This video clip has interesting footage of a Rainbow ‘brother’ lecturing his fellow Rainbow ‘brothers and sisters’ about taking responsibility for the logistical and environmental dimensions of running a Rainbow Gathering.
Anyway, with probably over a hundred thousand people attending the gathering (significantly higher than the low-ball number estimated by the Forest Service), and 100’s of campsites and locations I could have chosen to park my tent at, somehow I was lead to the campsite I was supposed to be at and apparently serve as the ‘Rainbow Healing Minister’.
The campsite I was to do my minister work at was called the J.E.S.U.S. campsite (J-Judgment Free, Emotionally-Safe, Unconditionally-Loving Space).
The J.E.S.U.S. campsite at this hippy Gathering, shortly after my being baptized ? It all seemed way to coincidental to be an accident !
Anyway, I had a great time serving that this Vermont gathering. I ran daily healing circles inside the main J.E.S.U.S. campsite tent, and also had time to wander around and take in the whole gathering.
It was a little strange walking around the Gathering in my button-down shirts, dressy vests, and long pants, while most other participants were walking around in varying states of undress, many completely naked. Many were also adorning creatively-worn tie-dye hippy garb anywhere from their heads to their feet. And many had transformed themselves into walking ‘works of art’ through painting their faces and bodies with gorgeous psychedelic images.
I must have stuck out like a sore thumb dressed in my business-like ministerial attire.
But that didn’t seem to bother the visitors to the J.E.S.U.S. campsite who readily participated in my daily healing circles. To anyone who was observing my presence at the Gathering, it seemed like I was making a difference and helping some needy souls looking for healing.
So far so good I thought. The Universe baptized me and now I was off and running on being a healing minister.
However, the Universe had another, much more challenging test waiting for me the following summer in the Southwestern USA.
But this next Major Test wasn’t revealed to me for many months to come, and so for the time being, everything seemed to be ‘kosher’, as they say.
But if I was being lulled into complacency by this great series of ‘Rainbow Healing Minister’ training steps, I was soon going to be challenged beyond my wildest conceptions………the next summer.
Advise for those who are reading my story : Make sure you put on your bucking bronco saddle and stirrups for the next ‘Southwestern Test’.