Stories of the origin of the universe, from the mythic to what contemporary science calls The Big Bang, have in common the element of vibration.

One way to understand the beginning is this: That the first vibration, however characterized, triggered a process of differentiation that is ongoing. And what differentiated first was the first vibration. And what distinguishes one vibration from another is its frequency (a temporal measure) and its wavelength (a spatial measure). Thus a great family of vibrations was born and continues to evolve, and we who came relatively late in the differentiation process now call the great family of vibrations Nature or the Universe or the World, and the vibrating substrate energy.


The world is as we perceive it to be.

We tend to perceive it as matter through our five physical senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. However, the world of matter is just one particular set of vibrations to which humans are strongly attuned.

Whether conscious of it or not, we also perceive the world as energy through a more refined set of senses often called the subtle senses, which help us interact with realities beyond the material.

What’s key about perceiving energy is that it encodes information. So by learning to “read” energy — that is, to perceive it and interpret the perceptions — we gain a larger understanding of the world; we enhance our ability to alter our responses to and behavior in the world; we experience directly the interconnectedness, kinship, and conscious nature of all life; and, through all the preceding, we expand our awareness.


We’re born with the innate ability to read energy, an ability that, like so many others, can be honed into a highly prized skill through practice. And because reading energy relies on signs, symbols, and subtle cues, interpretation is crucial. In a given situation, there may be several reasonable interpretations. But how can you be sure what you’ve discerned is correct?

Intuition and Intellect

Discernment involves a working partnership between what I call the sensing body (intuition) and the thinking body (intellect). This is just a way of talking, a model to facilitate understanding: these are intertwined aspects of consciousness, not discrete bodies.

The sensing body is the part of you that resonates with truth or falsehood. It’s nonlocal, interpenetrating your system, and you connect with it through feelings and bodily responses. When someone tells you a lie, how do you know? Through a fluttering in the pit of your stomach (“gut” reaction)? A constriction in your throat? A ripple along your spine? A general discomfort or unease? Some part of you senses that the words spoken don’t match the energy behind them.

The thinking body is the part of you that crunches data to assemble mental constructs which  can be created or destroyed at will — beliefs, assumptions, analyses, theories, classifications, and the like. The thinking body appears to be local, sourcing from the brain, and its unique capabilities appear to distinguish humans from other lifeforms: I say “appear” because these understandings may themselves be beliefs. The intellect is a marvelous faculty when used appropriately; however, when given free rein, it tends toward arrogance, its incisiveness self-promoting, even blinding. Make note: believing isn’t knowing.


Reading energy also involves intuitive mirroring (aka divination). Your intuition seeks an external “screen” upon which to project information — messages — you already hold but haven’t accessed consciously. Some people use formal systems such as tarot, I Ching, runes, and palmistry as their mirror. Absent those, or in combination with them, the universe uses whatever’s handy and attention-getting.

Messages can come from any source, and messengers take myriad forms. Important messages often are delivered through dreams, signs from the natural world, or “accidents.” But they also come from the more prosaic. For instance, the next time your car breaks down, take a closer look at what’s occurred and use it as mirroring. When viewed symbolically, the specifics may tell you something (about the larger issues or patterns in your life) that your auto mechanic can’t. Every aspect of the message and messenger signifies. It’s all part of the “read.”


  • Be attentive to all the “blips” coming across your intuitive radar screen. Subtle energy is just that — subtle.
  • Keep your intellect out of the process when reading energy. If you find yourself judging or questioning what you perceive, your intellect’s interfering. Don’t fall for that inner voice that insists “It’s just your imagination” or “You’re making this up.” You may be surprised how persistent that voice can be.
  • Learn the simple technique of muscle testing (kinesiology) to help confirm what you receive. This expands your toolkit and helps build intuitive listening skills.
  • Take the first thing you get. Don’t doubt or second-guess or you’ll muddy your reading.
  • Trust what you get! This is a big one.
  • Journal what you get. As with dreams, details fade or disappear entirely over time. And details can be significant.


Reading energy is not a parlor trick, it’s a practice and a responsibility. You’ll need to discern when it’s appropriate to read — having the ability doesn’t give you license. You’ll also need to be prepared to hold information confidential; this can be a burden, to carry it and not speak it.

The ethics of reading energy mandate that you function with the highest integrity — all work is conducted for the best and highest good of all. Imposing your personal will upon a situation is arrogant and potentially dangerous. Stepping into a situation for which you lack the vitality, resources, or awareness can harm you or others. If you’re not clear or don’t have permission, do not proceed. If you sense you’re not to proceed, stop. If you repeatedly violate these caveats, there will be consequences (karma).

copyright © 2011

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