Another Encounter with a Jinn
My essay on my conversation with a Genie in Egypt last December and posted on the SharedWisdom website has been very well received and widely shared with many comments posted. Let me now 'revisit' this topic and offer you yet another such unpublished encounter with a Jinn-one that happened in 2003.
This episode had an interesting lead in. Early one morning in January, our travel group proceeded in our tour bus to the site of Edfu, south of Luxor in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, whose massive temple is dedicated to the falcon-headed sky god Horus, the earthly son of the mythic Osiris and Isis.
Our guide drew us through the site quickly before the crush of tourists arrived, making sure we saw all the places of highest importance before turning us loose to explore on our own. I noted that the whole complex was alive with birds, stirring up quite a cacophony of sound. When I commented on this, our guide laughed and said "You should be here in June when the entire temple is taken over by nesting falcons."
It was after we left the temple, heading south toward Aswan, that the encounter occurred.
As we drove through the small villages and lush farmlands with their endless rows of date palms that bracket the Nile, my thoughts were focused upon the site we had just visited. It could be said that the temple at Edfu is about the "3rd level of initiation"--the level of the warrior, for Egyptian mythology reveals it was here that Horus avenged his father Osiris by killing Set, his father's murderer as well as Horus' uncle. In the positive polarity, the warrior is about power and persuasion; in the negative polarity, about killing and coercion, military conquest and dominion... and about vengeance.
As the road abruptly rose out of the farmlands and into the desert, my thoughts shifted moodily toward a person about whom I held mixed feelings--a program director who had contracted me to present a workshop at a conference several months before. This person had never paid me our agreed upon honorarium and had been sending me serial emails, stalling me and effectively lying to me. On checking with the conference organizers, I learned that this woman had not paid most of the presenters but had simply taken the money and run. I knew now that I would never be paid.
As the minibus rocketed along through the open desert, I watched the driver's prayer beads swinging from his rear-view mirror while I brooded about this act of betrayal. My eyes ranged outward across the barren rocky hills and arid sandy slopes that surrounded us under the cloudless blue sky. Not a tree could be seen, nor a single shrub, succulent, or weed anywhere. It was now late morning heading toward midday, and the sun-baked sand dunes and rocks were shimmering with heat--like my dark thoughts.
The motion of the car and the bleached, monotonous landscapes had lulled me into a semi-dreamy state, when suddenly, my mind abruptly refocused. I had picked up something... a presence... a contact of some sort... something BIG.
Imagine extending your index finger as though pointing, then enclose your finger in your other hand and gently squeeze. That's what it felt like, except that in this case, the finger was my mind and "the something" was wrapped around it like an invisible fist.
Within my shamanic practice, this is a known experience, and I immediately turned my focused attention toward the presence with a mental command expressed as a question: "Who are you and what is your intention?" This startled the presence and it immediately "let go." A most interesting exchange then took place, the entirety expressed within my mind in the mental/emotional patterns that I have come to call "think-feeling." To put this encounter into cultural perspective, I had made connection with one of the Jinn... or rather it had made contact with me.
The Jinn are known to Westerners as the genies of Middle Eastern stories and myths. In Arabic, a Jinn, when masculine, is a jinni (genie), and when feminine, a jinniya. In the beginning of the Quran, the prophet Mohammed himself admits that the Jinn are real, that they are beings made of subtle fire (energy), and that they are normally invisible, but capable of becoming visible at their pleasure. There are Jinn that can fly; there are Jinn who walk on the land; and there are Jinn who live in the water. They are earthbound spirits who live in this world right here, not in the dreamtime of the spirit world, and they tend to reside out in lonely wadis (canyons) in the desert, and in abandoned wells and caravanserais. I recalled in those moments that one of my college students from Iran had once told me that Jinn are fond of hanging out in bath houses.
It is generally known by shamans that dealing with the Jinn can be tricky because they can be willful and unpredictable. It is not so much that they are bad guys, but they have their own agenda, and if you cannot control them, they may in fact take control of you, and then you've got a big problem.
This reveals that if you're going to be working with spirits, doing some training with an accomplished teacher in the shamanic tradition is essential. You don't want to be relying on book-learning when you encounter the Jinn.
All this passed through my mind in a flash as I politely (and cautiously) felt my way into relationship with this spirit, explaining who I was and what I was doing there. The Jinn was equally as polite (and cautious), and since this was a mind to mind connection, the spirit was immediately aware of everything that passed along my thought train.
I had had previous dealings with the Jinn in Ethiopia (recorded in my books Medicinemaker and Visionseeker), and as these fleeting memories traversed my mind, the whole game abruptly changed. All the Jinn know each other (as I soon learned), and when this one discovered that I had been in relationship with other Jinn to the south, a respectful formality invaded our interaction--one that even verged upon intimacy.
It was at this point that the "shape" of the Jinn assumed a definite feminine quality. Whether this occurred in response to me as a male, I do not know. But from this moment on, I came to perceive this spirit as a jinniya--as female, and addressed it as such. She did not object.
I had closed my eyes during the initial moments of contact, and I now cracked one eye open, checking on my traveling companions, all of whom seemed to be asleep. Our Egyptian driver had fallen silent, and even our normally garrulous guide had become quiet as well. It was as though a spell had been cast upon us all.
I closed my eyes again and waited... and the interaction resumed. I will translate it into dialogue for the remainder of this account. The choice of words, syntax, and grammar, is entirely mine. But the content and direction of the jinniya's think-feeling was most definitely hers.
"I should inform you," she began with some hesitation (respect), "that when I saw your conveyance traveling through my area (territory?), I extended myself and slipped into the respective thoughts of you and your fellow travelers. I was simply curious about who you were and what you were doing here (more politeness), but you were the only one who perceived my presence... I didn't expect that," she admitted.
"You have a most interesting mind shape," her voice continued, "and since you have been in relationship with the Jinn before, you know us... and we you. This means that correct protocol has already been established, allowing me to engage you on an entirely different level from that of the more ordinary people. This protocol allows me to be of service to you..."
"Have you been in connection with humans before, Jinniya?" I responded hopefully, fishing for common ground.
Riotous laughter echoed through my head. "But of course," she said, recovering. "I am immortal and have been in relationship with more humans that you can count and for many thousands of your years. You are also an immortal, of course, or have you forgotten this like most of your kind?" More laughter verging on the manic, providing me with a dramatic glimpse into the world of the schizophrenic. The thought-line drifted as I again cracked an eye to check on my companions. All asleep.
Suddenly, I perceived the jinniya with my inner sight--as a point of brilliant light. She was on the roof of the minibus. As I narrowed my focus, the light abruptly expanded dramatically into a tall, vertical form surrounded by a field of bluish-green light that was vibrating... and she was beautiful.
The jinniya perceived my appreciation, and her voice shifted, becoming almost sultry. "So you can see too... That's very interesting. Not many can these days." An emotional pulse abruptly hit me like a thrown brick... an energetic one that was expressed as a feeling of affection verging on the outright erotic. My body soul reciprocated before I could recover, resulting in a tinkling peal of laughter in my inner ear. Flowers of primitive delight bloomed within me.
Then, there was a shift, followed by a long silence. When the dialogue continued, the jinniya announced "I can see that there is someone who has wronged you--a woman. I can see her clearly through the link between you--a young woman with short black hair. She lives in a city near a large lake in the northern lands far to the west of here."
Inadvertently, a memory surfaced in my mind--an image of the person who had stiffed me at the conference. "That's her, isn't it?" came the voice inside my head. I simply nodded, stunned at this unexpected turn of events. The jinniya had obviously been listening in while I was thinking those dark thoughts about the program director (pulse of confirmation.) As I marveled at the perceptiveness of this spirit, she picked up on my thought-feelings immediately and took them as a compliment (fortunately.) I could almost see her smile.
When I recovered my composure, the line of think-feeling continued. "This woman has been lying to you. What's worse, she has broken her promise to you. She owes you a large sum, does she not?"
I was literally open-mouthed and simply nodded again. The jinniya continued. "I know how to take care of this..."
Silence within. The moments stretched into minutes, and I had begun to think I had lost the connection when her voice suddenly re-emerged about fifteen minutes later. There was a sense of satisfaction mixed with an edge of malice.
"I found her... and her husband as well... in that same city near the lake." The sense of malice surged then shifted into neutral. "I am accomplished at casting spells, and so I have cast one around her, as well as around anyone connected to her by blood or marriage--a curse of misfortune and bad luck that will follow her and her family for a hundred years--across this lifetime and into the next." More laughter.
My heart sank, and I immediately protested. "But I did not ask you to do this. Furthermore, I am constrained in my practice never to cause harm..." I generated a strong edge of indignation to add power to my statement.
"Do not concern yourself. Your practice has not been compromised. You did not ask me to do this. I decided on my own to do it on your behalf. As you know well, the Jinn are willful and unpredictable." Laughter tinkled in my ear again as though she was savoring the whole thought of it. Then her thoughts became hard, like metal.
"I do not like humans who break their oaths. They need to learn lessons, and this one will be considerable." I could see dark storm clouds gathering all around her, obscuring the blue light.
Again I protested. "But what if she pays me the money she owes me? What then?" There followed another long silence as the Jinniya considered the shape of this. Then the storm clouds suddenly lifted. I could feel rather than see her smile.
"I will teach you how to lift curses. You will find this useful in your practice, I'm sure. But do not lift my curse upon this woman until she pays you... and with interest." I could hear her snort of amusement quite clearly.
And so it happened. Suddenly, I felt a subtle change in the motion of the vehicle and opened an eye. The road had begun to descend out of the desert, We were heading back down toward the farmlands near the river in the distance. I could feel the connection within my mind beginning to fade, and a last cluster of thoughts took form.
"In the old days, those with power and knowledge, like you, could bind us to their will. In those times, you would have been called 'a binder'... 'a binder of demons.' (Laughter) You could have had many of the Jinn in your service." There was one last thoughtful pause. "I invite you to visit with me when you pass through my domain again. Or any time you choose, for that matter. Now that we have established connection, you know how to find me.
"You have a most interesting soul pattern... familiar... We have met before, I think." Then... "Yes... I remember you now" (delighted laughter).
"Until the next time... live well, Binder..."
There was a distinct snap or pop at the base of my skull and she was gone. I opened my eyes. The road had left the desert and rejoined the farmlands. Everyone in the bus suddenly awoke and Francine, one of my traveling companions from Toronto, was observing me with concern. "Hank," she said, "you look rather grim. Are you all right?"
I made reassuring gestures, but when we arrived in Aswan and transferred to our hotel, I shared part of this experience with the group over lunch. They were riveted as we had been experimenting with the shamanic method between our daily excursions, attempting to connect with the spirits who reside in the places of power we had been visiting.
In this case, the jinniya had offered to serve me, and in the process, she became one of my spirit helpers. I have since been able to connect with her again through my shamanic journeywork.
When I returned from that trip to Egypt, I sent a modified version of this essay to the conference organizer who stiffed me. She did not choose to answer me... and seven years later, I still have not been paid my honorarium.