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Bad Merlins

Bad MerlinsbyAdele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.

Years ago, hunkered down in a heavy conversation with a one-time friend about our spiritual peregrinations, we shared stories about making sense of uneasy and disconcerting experiences with some of our spiritual teachers. My friend called them “Bad Merlins” and the name has stuck.
I have had teachers where we were not the best of fits. Teachers, who felt their lessons were sacred, inviolate, and could not be questioned, made me squirm in my seat. It felt like there was no room to breathe, much less explore and imagine. Or there were those whose teaching style was off-putting, demeaning, or just plain rude. I never cottoned to teachers like that and would simmer in the back row with steam coming out of my ears.
But Bad Merlins are another breed. In my experience, they have all been charming men who have been great teachers … and they have had another agenda. Can you say sex?
Now, mind you, we are dealing with the world of energy, so the moves are subtle.
I have encountered two Bad Merlins.
The first Bad Merlin came to me via another teacher. The referring teacher, a channel and intuitive with whom I was doing 1:1 work, suggested, as we finished our course of experiential study, that I work with her teacher, Merlin One. She allowed that he had given her psychic wings. That’s all I needed to hear; I was ready. Take me to my new teacher. I wanted my wings; I was ready to fly up. Now, please.
Merlin One had a day job as president of a company. Merlin Two was a shaman. Both had some great tricks up their sleeves that included shape shifting to nighttime energetic visitation.
Merlin One, I later learned, had his way with most of his mentees. I was an exception to this.
Usually, I met him, but, this day, he came to me. There was considerable travel to meet and this particular day he was travelling south to pick up a friend at the airport, so, it was easier to convene at my apartment. He arrived looking very pulled together in a black tee shirt, sun glasses, and jeans. He looked good; he smelled even better. He was different. There was an undeniable sexiness about him. I was nervous.
We did our work together. I sat in a chair, opposite from him, for hours reading his shape shifts and traveling into deeper trance states.
However, when he left after what would be our last session together, I felt very strange. I felt as if I had been violated in some way. In horror, I realized that I felt raped. I looked in the mirror and there as a different me staring back – blank, young, and beautiful. Clearly, this was not my normal me.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was out of sorts, out of body, and out of balance. I opted to get in my car and drive; later, I took a small walk. I noticed that men kept staring at me. What was going on? I looked in my rearview mirror; I was still wearing that other face.
It took me a very long time to settle my discontent and restlessness. I didn’t know where to turn. I mentioned this to my referring teacher and she chuckled; this was common knowledge to her that Merlin One had sex with his students. I was not pleased with either of them.
I felt violated. What in God’s name happened to me? Was this connected to a past life? I felt totally naïve, stupid, and completely confused by what had transpired. Was I missing some big mystery? Was this an initiation I failed?
With some distance and regaining my right mind, I realized and accepted that I had been psychically raped by Merlin One. This experience rattled me for years. I was hung up on the “Why?” of it all.
Years later, I traveled across the country to meet Merlin Two, a laid back, easy going, Native American shaman, who rolled his own cigarettes, picked and dried his own sage, and held classes in his home where we stretched out on blankets over tired linoleum as he drummed us into other worlds. There were two of us, both women, in Merlin Two’s tutorial.
Merlin Two offered a sphere of obsidian, a powerful stone he said, for me to take to bed. I tossed and turned the entire night. I wrestled with the sheets; I wrestled with him all night. In the morning, I made a conscious decision to alter my energetic make-up. Merlin Two, all innocence and smiles, looked at me that next morning and knew I knew.
After the fact, I was wildly incensed that both Bad Merlins would think I would succumb to their charms as well as the fact that they had the nerve to step over boundaries – and sacred boundaries, at that! I reminded myself that rape is all about power. I had, unwittingly, been engaged in two power struggles.
But here is where the light gets tricky. Were they really bad energy dudes?
On one level, I can say yes, yes, yes. Of course, they were. Both Bad Merlins were in positions of authority; both were mucking around in my energy field for their own amusement.
The bigger question that came much, much later was this:
Did each of these Bad Merlins serve a higher purpose in portraying an unsavory side so that I could learn to deal with another level of energy and invasion? Did I earn my Ph.D. in energy school as a result of these experiences? I’d like to think so.

About the author:
Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is the author of the Amazon best-selling Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl and a contributing author to the best-selling anthology, 2012: Creating Your Own Shift. She is madly working on her next book, Help, It’s Dark in Here. You can learn more about Adele and her thinking


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