Back in 1979, novelist Chelsea Quinn Yarbro published a little book containing a whole new way of understanding personality and spirituality. This new body of knowledge wasn’t hers, however. In fact, it had been received over several years from a mysterious entity known only as ‘Michael’.
The group, who had been meeting regularly since the early 1970s, had started using a Ouija board. They weren’t interested in contacting ‘dead people’ however. Instead, they hoped to connect with some kind of higher intelligence who could guide them in their personal and spiritual lives.
— a d v e r t i s e m e n t —
Their wish came true after a dinner party on 12 August 1973. The energy in the room had changed, felt by everyone. And when one of them took hold of the board it spelled out:
WE ARE HERE WITH YOU TODAY
And then the new information started pouring through in torrents.
Eventually someone had the presence of mind to say:
“Before I ask any more questions, I would like our entity to give us a name.”
THE LAST NAME A FRAGMENT OF THIS ENTITY USED WAS MICHAEL
(‘Fragment′… ‘Entity′… These terms are explained below.)
The name ‘Michael’ stuck, purely out of convenience. Over several years, the group went on to ask ‘Michael’ thousands of question. Some questions were private and personal, some were philosophical, some were deeply spiritual. And, rather like a cosmic version of Google or Wikipedia, ‘Michael’ would simply answer every single question — directly, clearly and dispassionately.
Gradually, many others came along to the group sessions to ask their own questions. Some also found that they could connect with ‘Michael’ in a trance state and serve as a live channel receiving the answers.
The Ouija board is now long gone but the questions and answers have never stopped. The same source has continued to give us a detailed, mutli-faceted system of psychological and spiritual insight. It is a body of knowledge that contains just about everything we need to know in order to understand who we are at every level.
The general teachings are freely available all over the internet. If you want a personal reading, however, you must contact of the many channels (see bottom of page). There are now many people around the world who can channel Michael. I’ve even done so myself on the odd, unexpected occasion.
So where to begin?
Let’s start with…
Exactly who, or what, is Michael?
To answer that we have to start with a fundamental but controversial concept: reincarnation.
When the messages first came through, the source explained that the human soul “enters the physical plane as many times as is necessary to experience all aspects of life.” In doing so, the soul gradually evolves in consciousness, becoming more aware and self-aware, more capable and in control, more loving — and less fearful, less isolated, less unconscious.
To that end, each of us is going through a long and often difficult process of reincarnating, living many different lives in many different circumstances.
At the end of this learning process, when all there is for us to experience as a separate being has been experienced, our soul unites with others — about a thousand other souls who emerged into being at the same moment with us. This is our group of origin, known as an “entity“.
Each of us is a part of a fragmented whole, a fragment of our own entity. As we evolve individually, our entity evolves collectively. Eventually, the 1,000 or so souls making up an entity will form an integrated whole, a far greater body of consciousness and intelligence than any single soul.
After re-integration, our soul is no longer a separate fragment but an integral part of a higher intelligence.
The being we call Michael is one of these—an integrated entity. Not a single being, but a group, a collective. This is why the source refers to itself in the plural: “we”, “us”.
The name we are called is Michael. That is a convenience and not a truth. Only a small fragment of this entity had that name. We are integrated fragments of a larger entity and we come to you from the Causal plane.
To be exact, the group consists of precisely 1,050 souls who have all completed their own process of reincarnation.
We have been artists, bankers, barters, barristers, comedians, cemetery guards, dilettantes, governors, guards in many shapes and sizes, grave diggers, horsemen, jugglers and clowns, lute players, maids, mercenaries, merchants, misanthropes, military strategists, noblemen and women, peasants, priests, prostitutes, rebels, revolutionaries, robbers, students, teachers, temptresses, viceroys, waifs, and witnesses to the most unspeakable acts of cruelty and to the most loving acts of kindness and devotion.
And according to Michael, having evolved beyond the cycles of reincarnation, they no longer reside not on the Astral plane of existence (which is our home between lives), but on the higher, Causal plane, a level of pure thought and intelligence.
Their mission, for now, is to teach souls like us how to evolve — not how to get out of the human experience, but how to get more out of it; how to evolve within it and through it:
We offer a way to human understanding based on our own experience, first as humans ourselves in both tranquil and troubled times and now as the reintegrated fragments of a Causal body no longer alive as you know it but still with keen awareness of what being human entails.
We have communicated this way for approximately 100 years. Our purpose is to teach some understanding of evolution on the physical plane so that a student can reach some insight into human behavior which will enable him then to stop brooding over interpersonal relationships, or the lack thereof, and concentrate on personal life plans.
Michael likes to tell it straight. With impeccable grammar.
A summary of the Michael teachings – key concepts
Perhaps the best way to summarise the Michael teachings is to simply introduce the key concepts one at a time and in an order that makes sense. Let’s start with essence.
Essence is just another word for spirit or soul; it is the innermost being of a person; it is our true nature. Your essence is your true self; the ego is a false self.
SOUL TYPES (ROLES IN ESSENCE)
There are seven soul types or roles in essence: Kings, Priests, Sages, Scholars, Warriors, Artisans, Servers.
Each has a particular archetypal quality and brings specific abilities or attributes into life:
Warriors: assertive action
(e.g., Julius Caesar, Salma Hayek)
Kings: commanding action
(e.g., Elizabeth I, John F. Kennedy)
Servers: moral duty
(e.g., Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama)
Priests: moral vision
(e.g., Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama)
Sages: communicative expression
(eg., Oscar Wilde, Dolly Parton)
Artisans: creative expression
(e.g., Michaelangelo, Björk)
Scholars: objective understanding
(e.g., Marie Curie, Ken Wilber)
Soul type does not change from one lifetime to the next. From a soul’s first incarnation to its last, the role in essence remains constant. For example, I am a Scholar, I have always been a Scholar and I will always be a Scholar.
From the soul’s perspective, reincarnation is the process of undergoing life in physical form again and again in order to evolve, becoming increasingly self-aware and a unique expression of divine love.
Evolution of the soul comes about by experiencing life in many different ways, making important choices within those life experiences, and learning from the consequences of those choices. Key experiences and choices are set up by the soul in spirit before each lifetime (see life plan). One life is not enough to experience the full spectrum of life circumstances and choices, however, so an evolving soul will reincarnate many times over (typically 100+).
Souls evolve through five stage of reincarnation:
Each stage has a distinct focus that requires particular learning experiences:
- Infant souls focus on physical existence. Lessons relate to ‘being a body’ – basic physical needs and drives; symbiosis versus separation; impulses versus consequences; survival, physical vulnerability, safety, mortality.
- Baby souls focus on social existence. Life lessons relate to ‘being one of us’ – conformity to rules, predefined roles, strict moral codes; order versus chaos; morality versus savagery; doing right versus doing wrong; the authority of religion, law and order, crime and punishment.
- Young souls focus on individual existence. Life lessons relate to being ‘a somebody’ with a mind and will of their own – independence versus conformity; individuality versus belonging; asserting personal opinions, persona agendas; competitiveness, self-interest, opportunism; seeking material success, achievement, glory, self-advancement.
- Mature souls focus on co-existence. Life lessons relate to being in ‘right relationship’ to self, others and everything else – interdependence versus independence; heart versus ego; collaboration and compromise versus personal triumphs; positive relationships, self-awareness, sensitivity, integrity, empathy.
- Old souls focus on being – fully being themselves as part of all-that-is while allowing all else to be as well. Life lessons relate to autonomy versus identity; authenticity versus respect; letting go, non-attachment, non-investment; wisdom; self-actualisation and self-transcendence.
Each of these stages actually involves seven levels, from start to finish. And each of those takes at least one lifetime to complete.
So there are 35 “steps” to the whole reincarnation process, from the first level of the Infant soul stage to the seventh level of the Old soul stage. Typically it takes well over a hundred lifetimes to complete the sequence.
(Incidentally, I am a Mature soul, currently at the fifth level of the Mature soul stage.)
Souls also progress through further stages beyond the cycle of physical reincarnation. These involve taking on a teaching role (as is the case for the “Michael” entity). Entities themselves evolve into greater levels of integration and higher consciousness.
A life plan is the outline plan of key events and circumstances for a given lifetime, formulated by the soul (with its guides) while in spirit, before taking birth. The life plan is designed to ensure that certain desired experiences and choices are encountered during the life, with the agreement and cooperation of other souls involved.
For example, the soul may desire to learn about abandonment, and so will plan an experience of abandonment by a parent in early childhood. Another soul will make an agreement to be the abandoning parent, and will incorporate this event into their own life plan.
Once in physical, human form, there is little or no memory of the life plan. The incarnate soul undergoes a kind of temporary amnesia. This ensures that each planned event (such as early abandonment) is experienced “as real”, with all the shock and suffering that naturally goes with it.
A life plan will often include a specific task to be undertaken in the second half of life. For example, mine is “To acquire and share knowledge in a spirit of joy”. This life task is usually the main focus of the life to come, and much of what is set up in the first half of life is actually preparing the personality for this undertaking in the second half.
That early experience of abandonment, for example, might have been chosen to support the later life task of (say) “Healing parent-child relationships” – the early experience would help to instil the developing personality with the appropriate knowledge, intent and compassion.
When a personality begins to search for their “true purpose” in life, typically around 35-45, this is the calling of the life task (see the seven internal monads). Quite often, the pull to realise and begin the life task puts the personality through a crisis.
THE SEVEN INTERNAL MONADS
In every lifetime we undergo a sequence of seven major transition points, or “monads”. Each one involves a significant transformation in the self that is largely unavoidable:
- Birth – from spiritual existence to physical embodiment
- Self-awareness (age 2 approx) – from physical interactions to social interactions
- Coming of age (approx 15-20) – from socially-defined identity to self-defined persona
- Mid-life (approx 30-40) – from false personality to authentic self and purpose
- Retirement (approx 60-80) – from purposeful activity to restful activity
- Decline (terminal process) – from continuity of life to approach of death
- Death – from physical existence to non-physical consciousness
(Note – the ages shown are just approximations.)
Each of the seven monad-transitions is like a mini-death-and-rebirth. On each occasion, the inner self must let go of an old identity and accept a new one. This can go more or less smoothly or it can throw the personality into a crisis and even a rebellion. The outcome can be a successful transition to a new level of being or, at worst, the transition is “abdicated” and the personality remains stuck — a case of arrested development. Even so, the personality will have the opportunity to revisit the abdicated transition in later monads. For example, a person approaching mid-life might suddenly face unresolved issues connected with coming of age or even earlier.
The 4th monad is particularly notorious as a time of inner turmoil, as it may involve undoing 20 years of “hard work” on the false persona as well as 40 years of cultural programming.
A soul “normally” remains with a physical body from its birth to its death. Not all lives include all monads, however. A life that ends in childhood, for example, will pass through the first two monads and then skip to the last two monads.
We often live shortened lives for various reasons – because it is our karma to experience an early death, for example, or because we want to help another soul experience the loss of a child, or simply because of an unplanned accident.
To complete a level of soul growth, however, it is necessary to undergo all seven monads in one life.
(There’s a great book about the seven monads: Spiritual Turning Points by Victoria Marina-Tomkins.)
The “overleaves” are a set of personality characteristics that are adopted by a soul for a particular lifetime. They include a goal (lifelong motivation), a mode (way of acting) and an attitude (way of perceiving).
A person’s overleaves shape how that person thinks, feels and acts in life. They are selected by the soul before birth specifically to help the human personality perform the life task to come. Overleaves are what make up a human being’s true personality.
It is certainly possible to ask a Michael channel to get your overleaves for you. I, for example, was told that I have a goal of growth, a mode of perseverance and an idealistic attitude. Having observed myself (and others) very closely over the last ten years or so, I completely agree with all of these.
The goal is the personality’s underlying motivation or basic desire in life. There are seven options:
- Dominance: desire for power; drawn to opportunities to take the lead.
- Growth: desire for stimulation and wisdom; drawn to novel experiences and insights.
- Acceptance: desire for communion; drawn to social interactions and loving relationships.
- Relaxation: desire for effortlessness; taking life as it comes (the “goal of no goal”).
- Submission: desire for duty; drawn to opportunities to be of service.
- Rejection: desire for independence; drawn to being ‘different’, highly selective.
- Retardation: desire for peace and solitude; drawn to simple, restricted lifestyle.
Whereas the life task is a specific objective, such as “Learning to run a business with compassion,” the goal is more of a general a direction to take. For example, if the life task involves being in a leadership role then the chosen goal is likely to be dominance.
The mode is the personality’s approach to life, its way of acting on the goal. It involves the inner or outer use of energy. There are seven options:
- Aggression: acting at “full throttle” with totally externalised energy
- Passion: acting with a sense of vision and emotional charge
- Power: acting with inner confidence and certainty
- Observation: watching rather than doing (the “mode of no action”)
- Perseverance: channelling one’s energy into completion of the task despite difficulties
- Caution: focusing one’s energy on careful prior planning to eliminate problems
- Repression: holding it all in, reserving one’s energy
The attitude is the personality’s overarching perspective or way of perceiving life. There are seven options:
- Realism: focusing on facts and likely implications
- Spiritualism: focusing on higher meaning and purpose
- Idealism: focusing on inherent possibilities
- Pragmatism: taking each situation as it comes (the “attitude of no perspective”)
- Cynicism: focusing on gross contradictions
- Scepticism: focusing on subtle inconsistencies
- Stoicism: focusing on absence of meaning
The personality’s preferred way of processing its moment-by-moment experiences in life, usually set in early childhood (around age 2-3). There are seven centres in all: emotional, intellectual, moving (physical), instinctive, higher intellectual, higher emotional and higher moving (higher physical). In normal life, however, the personality tends to adopt either the emotional, intellectual or moving centre to assimilate its sensory experiences.
In addition, there is a secondary centering by which the personality processes immediate reactions to those experiences. For example, if sensory experiences are processed emotionally and then reactions are processed intellectually, one is said to be operating “in the intellectual part of the emotional centre.” This means that one experiences life, moment-to-moment, with feeling but one expresses those experiences by talking about them.
If the overleaves chosen before birth make up the true personality, the other traits and habits instilled into the person during childhood and beyond make up an artificial or false personality.
False personality consists of two main components:
- Early programming or “imprinting” from one’s family, culture and social environment.
- The false identity (ego, persona) adopted in or after adolescence as a way to break into adulthood.
Whereas the true personality reflects the wise choices and higher consciousness of the soul, the false personality reflects the ignorance and immature perspective of the young person. Whereas the true personality knows no fear, the false personality is riddled with it.
One of the key challenges in life, at the 4th monad, is to overcome your false personality and begin to manifest your true personality—your overleaves, your soul age and your role in essence.
The “chief feature” is a false personality trait, an entrenched character flaw driven by fear and illusion. Its purpose is to protect the person from whatever he or she fears the most as a social being, such as a sense of personal vulnerability, inadequacy or worthlessness.
An incarnate soul can have various bad experiences in childhood and may exaggerate or misinterpret their meaning. These can crystallise into a specific lifelong fear, such as the fear of change. The growing child then adopts certain behaviour patterns to avoid or eliminate the thing feared at all costs. In late adolescence, emerging into adulthood, the fear and negativity become cloaked in a false persona.
There are seven possibilities, and we all have one of these as our chief feature:
- Impatience: rushing through life (fear of missing out)
- Arrogance: feigning perfection or superiority (fear of vulnerability)
- Greed: compulsive acquisition/consumption (fear of lack)
- Stubbornness: refusing to accept anything new (fear of change)
- Martyrdom: playing the innocent victim (fear of worthlessness)
- Self-Destruction: compulsive elimination/annihilation (fear of loss of control)
- Self-Deprecation: trying to be invisible to others (fear of inadequacy)
Actually, all adults have a primary character flaw which distorts their goal and related life decisions, plus a secondary one which distorts their attitude and hence internal perceptions of life. If like me, for example, your primary is Impatience, you will be anxious about missing out on opportunities to achieve your life’s goal. And if your secondary is, say, Self-Deprecation, you will tend to perceive your life in terms of your own inadequacies.
Chief features operate as vicious circles, unconsciously creating the very anxiety they are supposed to prevent. Throughout much of life they cause internal conflict, working behind the scenes to thwart all attempts at fulfillment. Learning to manage your chief features is one of the greatest possible achievements in personal growth.
Putting it all into practice
The Michael teachings give us a coherent framework for understanding the many different ways in which human life unfolds — both on a grand scale (historical, global and spiritual) and at the most intimate level. I for one now appreciate how every aspect of humanity in all its diversity and variety is perfectly valid. Every human being on the planet, past and present, is in exactly the right place for them given their soul type, level of evolution, life task and overleaves.
The Michael teachings explain how the whole of life, in all its ups and owns, revolves around choice. From the private decision to have a baby to the collective decision to go to war, choice is woven throughout every moment of life. The choices we face, and our ability to make such choices, are our reason for being here.
The Michael teachings serve as a bridge between the deepest Truth of our being and the mundane reality we all experience in our daily lives. But given that finding and choosing our own sense of meaning and purpose is precisely how we evolve, taking any of this on faith would defeat the very purpose of the teachings.
The very core of these teachings is:
- All is chosen.
And that includes what we choose to believe.
See also –
- Soul types: the seven roles in essence
- Reincarnation – the 35 steps
- 10 things everyone should know about reincarnation
- Overleaves – the Structure of Personality
- Goal: the driving force of the personality
- Character flaws: The seven chief features of ego
Links to Michael Channels
Here are some channels I have had personal readings from:
There are of course many other Michael channels – I just don’t have personal experience of their readings. See for example:
J. P. Van Hulle
- There is also Emily Baumbach (causalworks.com) but she is “taking a sabbatical” at the moment.
- April Crawford (aprilcrawford.com) is a deep trance channel for an entity known as Veronica and uses Michael terminology.
Links to Other Michael Teachings Websites
The Personality Game (itstime.com) – “a fun way to learn about personality types and their unique — and often quirky — traits.” – website of Barbra Taylor, a Management Consultant who works with the Michael teachings with a focus on improving team-work and increasing productivity within a company.
JoséStevens.com – “Insights Into Life, Understanding People” – Website of really nice Michael channel and shamanism-teacher José Stevens PhD. José and Lena Stevens are authors of several excellent Michael books, including The Michael Handbook, Tao to Earth, Earth to Tao, and Transforming Your Dragons
Michael Educational Foundation – established 1983, website of Michael channel JP Van Hulle, an Old Warrior.
Summerjoy Press – “Books and Sessions that can Change your life!” – website of Michael channel Shepherd Hoodwin, a Sage-cast Sage! Shepherd has authored several book on the teachings.
TruthLoveEnergy – “Using Truth, Love and Energy to Understand, Nurture and Create Your Life”. Lively website of Michael channel and “goofy man-boy” Troy Tolley, another fun-lovin’ Sage. I have a long-standing connection with Troy; he’s given me some excellent readings, and his freely available library of channelled information is a great contribution! Membership required for some pages.
Septana – German-language website of Varda Hasselmann who, since 1986, has channelled “The Source” – an entity made up of Sages and Artisans – but the teachings are exactly the same. One of her books has been translated into English – see Archetypes of the Soul.
Seele-Verstehen.de [“Soul-Undersanding”] – German-language website on the Michael teachings by Rolf Herklotz.
The Michael Teachings – It’s the website for Michael-related information and resources… but I’ve just noticed they haven’t linked to this site at all. Can’t be that good then! Website run by long-time student Dave Gregg and with lots of material by Shepherd Hoodwin.