Article first appeared inSharq Magazine , May/Junbe 05 issue, page 28
Nahla Al-Ageli found neither flowing robes nor crystal balls; but a healer with a positive outlook on life.
Sahar definitely defies any clichéd image we may have of a psychic or healer. She manages to demystify all the ambiguity we may feel or think about her work; and although the cynic in us may not want to believe that our future can be foretold or that a stranger can heal our hurt and pain, a small voice inside welcomes a short cut to it all. Determined to keep an open mind, I made my way to London’s West End, where her apartment building is surrounded by tall fountains and greenery that automatically imbue one with a certain feeling of calm. On ringing the bell to her flat, a trendily dressed Sahar opens the door with a friendly and inviting smile – no sign of flowing silk robes, hair turbans or macabre frowns.
She invites me to take a seat at an elegant round glass table that she uses for her readings and offers me a cup of Turkish coffee that I readily accept, but will only hesitantly sip, as I am not one to down it black. While she is gone, I look around the
workroom, which is brightly lit and beautifully decorated with creamy classics, Persian carpets and Palestinian artefacts. I notice her purple signature portrait on the wall, which reflects her connection to the psychic and esoteric world; however, in spite of furtive glances in every direction, I do not spot any crystal balls! She soon returns with my coffee and begins to unveil the mysteries of her art and how she got into it to begin with.
Sahar was born in Cairo and lived in Kuwait for many years before moving to London in 1992, during the first Gulf War. Soon after, she had a chance reading with Merryn José, who predicted that Sahar would too become a psychic. At the time, Sahar was bemused at the thought of leaving her career in advertising and marketing. However, because she was intrigued, she asked Merryn to teach her about psychic development and tarot cards.
Sitting in front of me, she reflects on that time and on the lessons she learned, beaming, “I took to it like a fish to water!” She depicts the healing side of her work as more of an energy practice: “I scan the body of a client and study his aura or outer field to help intuit any blocks that show up at the time. When it comes to physical or emotional diseases, I try to bring that person to a neutral level. I tune in and channel energy mentally then project it on to them, whether they are present or not. This helps to replenish their energy and thus healing can begin. This is one of many techniques I learned from the Silva Method.”
Many of Sahar’s clients see her work as practical and akin to being a life coach. She gives them tools and tasks, but wants them to help themselves. “It may be hard sometimes to tell a client that they are in a wrong relationship or other bad news, but I try to focus on the patterns behind their choices and lay aside any negativity. My core philosophy is to focus on what can be learned from our experience, and not ‘why did it happen to me?’ The former restores self-will and empowers, the latter enforces victim’s mind-set. I never sensationalise my readings and try not to inject any fears or doubts. I believe that we are the creators of our own movies and that if we don’t like it, we can always change the script!”
Asked whether some clients are easier to read than others are, she says, “It depends on how receptive their mind is, whether consciously or unconsciously. It is better when a client is open and totally prepared to listen because healing, or communication, is a two way street and the timing crucial. If, on the other hand, he or she has just experienced some type of trauma; tuning in can be more difficult and their ‘negative’ state can create an ‘energy belt’ that is sometimes hard to break through. I would always send them lots of positive energy and normally begin the reading with a brief meditation or visualisation.”
I asked Sahar about her religious beliefs and how they relate to psychic practice: “There is always an element of talking about the future in religion. What you plant you shall sow, and that is the idea behind karma. If having religious beliefs means giving you understanding of how the ‘Creative Force’ or ‘God’ works, then that is great. In the end, there can only be one God that all religions lead to; and we are all ultimately related!”
Wanting to understand the myths associated with the psychic
world, I ask her thoughts about ‘spirit guides’ and what happens to us after death. “I believe” she explains, “the creative force is prolific and its creation prosaic. There are angels, guides, divas and elementals. It is useful to give names to such energies to
help us know and understand them. As for death, it is not the end of it all. I believe that energy is indestructible and that the soul continues in a different form. But the important question is not when or how we are going to die, but how we could/should live.”
Psychic readings are often inspiring and uplifting, whatever your view of psychic energy. However, they can also lead to a compulsion. Sahar offers some advice, pointing out, “In any field there will be con-artists. Go by word of mouth, research well and check for the psychic’s training. You do not want to be robbed of your self-will. It is unethical, but there are some psychics who play on people’s vulnerabilities. Ultimately, trust your experience.” As for Sahar’s future, there is no need for a reading. She knows she will continue to give training workshops in London and abroad, and is working on writing two books: The Ancient Art of Coffee Cup Readings and an extension of her Spiritual DIY column in Prediction Magazine.
Sahar’s Portrait by Laila Shawa: www.lailashawa.com