By Ken Korczak
A friend and fellow journalist invited me a while ago to attend an “angel encounter,” which was to be conducted by an acclaimed Texas radio talk show psychic, who was also a noted spiritual healer.
The encounter was to take place in a remote but modern cabin located near a pristine lake, all but hidden deep in Minnesota forest country some ways east of Wadena. The purpose of the event was to help us come into contact with our personal guardian angel.
The psychic’s name was Kathleen Bittner, who also has a popular call-in radio show in Texas. In addition to her mental and hands-on healing powers, Ms. Bittner also claimed a close rapport with angels — yes, actual angels — those bewinged beings from the higher spiritual realms we lowly humans can only wonder about and struggle to comprehend.
As we drove the winding, evergreen-lined dirt road to the out-of-the-way cabin, I asked my friend how she had come to know about Bittner and her ability to commune with angels. It turns out that my friend had engaged Bittner’s services frequently in the past as a psychic counselor, and judged her abilities as “extraordinary.”
As always, I was skeptical, and also reminded myself that I was coughing up $35 for this personal introduction to an angel. On the other hand, I paid $50 to see the Rolling Stones a couple of weeks earlier, and that turned out to be one hell of a spiritual experience, so I tried to keep and open mind.
Anyway, we arrived at an enchanting site deep within the pine-scented forest. We climbed a long set of stone steps which snaked their way upward to a magnificent lodge made of blackened timber and rough-hewn stone. The structure was high above a calm, emerald lake surrounded by hushed greenery. Looking down at the lake I saw a half-dozen cormorants preening and perched atop some broken trees sticking up liked gnarled fingers from the water. The ghostly call of a loon peeled out through the fresh air. It promised to be a magical summer evening in northern Minnesota.
Several people had arrived ahead of us, and we waited in line to be greeted at the door by our host, Angel Guide Kathleen Bittner. I had a chance to get a look at her as she shook hands with the others. I was astonished! I poked my friend with my elbow and asked: “It that her?” “Yes,” she answered.
Frankly, I was dazzled by Bittner’s appearance. She was a woman of astounding beauty. Trying not to stare, I marveled. Her hair was clover honey gold. She had sparkling, mercurial eyes that could have been blue, green, aqua or lavender. Her skin was like polished alabaster, yet evinced softness. Her full cushion lips were painted a tasteful strawberry red.
I elbowed my friend again and whispered: “I thought you said she was about 45 or 50?”
I could only look again at Ms. Bittner in wonder, a woman of no apparent age. I said to my friend: “Well, you said I’d encounter an angel, I just didn’t know she’d be greeting us at the door!”
Irritated, my friend said, “Oh try to get a grip on yourself!”
Soon it was my turn to shake hands with Kathleen Bittner, angel guide. She grasped me hand firmly, smiled, and in one fluid motion, reached up with her other hand and fixed my collar as she said in a silky Texas accent: “Why, hello there!” A waft of lilac perfume touched my nose, as I stammered, “Hi…I mean, yes, hello,…uh…” My friend gave be a quick rude shove from behind, obliging me to stumble along.
I entered a large room with an entire wall made up of a huge window pane that overlooked the mysterious lake below. About 25 people were already there, sitting and standing around, chatting as if they were at a cocktail party. I never learned who owned this magnificent place, but it was furnished with tasteful lavishness. There were many plush, comfortable chairs and sofas to sit in. I was soon rejoined by my friend, and we choose a couple of chairs opposite the big window.
More people trickled in until there were about 35 in all. We were of all ages, both male and female. I quickly did the math in my head: “$35 x $35 = better than 1,200 bucks! Hmmm, not bad for an evening of angel introductions…” I mused with perhaps a touch of cynicism.
Presently the breathtaking Ms. Bittner glided into the room and perched herself atop a high stool. When most people hop onto a stool they land with a thump, but Bittner veritably floated into place and crossed her legs with the silent, silky finesse of a cat.
All heads turned to her and all eyes focused on her, women and men alike. She was clearly one of those rare individuals who possessed a natural, Rasputin-like magnetism that filled a room with energy, causing everyone to naturally align with her.
Before she began speaking, she paused for a few seconds and looked absently out the window. She seemed to be watching the antics of the cormorants below, and ruminating some pleasant inner secret. But soon she flashed her eyes, shimmered a smile, and unleashed her satin southern voice upon us.
Bittner told us several stories, including how she came to develop a facility for communing with angels. I don’t remember the exact details, but it began after she had become seriously ill and was in the hospital. One day, she suddenly found her hospital bed surrounded by angels, who had come to help her out.
One of the things she said was that angels don’t really have wings, but that they are surrounded with incredibly powerful arcs of spiritual energy which emanate or flow behind their backs in a way that can give the impression of wings to us puny humans.
Anyway, after telling us about angels and talking about her work as a spiritual healer, Bittner then invited us all to get relaxed and get into a comfortable position so that she could lead us through an exercise that was part group hypnosis, part meditation and part creative visualization. It was through this exercise that we were to all make contact with out personal angel.
I saw my friend adjust herself and get relaxed in her chair and close her eyes. The others did the same. Some people got down on the floor and laid flat on their backs. One young man even took a large crystal of some kind and placed it on his forehead, an aid for tuning in an angel evidently.
As for me, I pretended to go along with the program, but what I really wanted to do was stay outside the program, so to speak, and maintain my objectivity so that I could observe the night’s events as a journalist.
This was difficult. Bittner’s voice, accompanied by taped New Age music, washed over me like an exquisite drug, coaxing me to let go and explore the blissful inner realms. Yet, I resisted and remained watchful.
I noticed that all of the women had eyes closed and were quickly settling in for their spiritual journey, but about half the men were gazing with dreamy moon-faces at Bittner, as if they had already found a true angel. Bittner seemed pleasantly unaware of the extra attention as she continued her narrative, steadfastly leading her flock to Angel Land.
After a few minutes, even from my platform of objective observation, I began to perceive a subtle, electrical feeling building in the room. I theorized that the effect was due to what physicists call “entrainment.”
Set the pendulums of 20 grandfather clocks in motion at different times in the same room, and after a few minutes, they all magically synchronize with each other, swinging in unison. Scientists say it’s not magic, but rather, the air-wave and sound vibration patterns produced by the clocks coming into synchronization with each other as they obey what is known as the “conservation of energy” law.
Just as ticking pendulums naturally seek synchronization with each other, this room full 35 spiritual seekers were becoming entrained as they matched each other’s deep breathing patterns, and perhaps even brain wavelength patterns.
I redoubled my efforts to remain cool and objective, but for a just an instant, I let myself go with the energy flow bathing the room. My eyelids grew heavy and thudded shut — AND THEN! FEATHERS! THE FLUTTER OF WINGS!! A BRUSH OF AIR NEXT TO MY FACE! THE FLOWERY SCENT OF LILAC! A DART OF GOLD LIGHT IN MY FOREHEAD!!
I snap awake again! An instant of confusion. It seems I only blinked, but it was extremely difficult to tell what had just happened. That sound of fluttering feathers, that sensation of the closeness of …what? … what was it?
Instinctively I looked toward the window — maybe one of the cormorants flew up from the lake, and for some reason had beat its wings next to the window? Unlikely. Inconclusive. Night had come. All I could see outside was the outline of pine tree bathed in moonlight.
I looked at my friend next to me. She was deep into her personal trance. A glance around the room found all others the same. Then I made sudden eye contact with Bittner, who gleamed at me with a sweet smile, which I nevertheless found curiously unsettling. We were the only two in the room who were awake, or so it seemed.
I looked away from her and closed by eyes, pretending to get back into the guided meditation, but now biting the inside of my lip to stay alert. Bittner led us toward a point where we were to meet out personal angel, and she encouraged us to write down the name of our angel, if such a name happened to pop into our mind.
She visited each one of us in turn, looking at the name of the angel each had written down, making comments and giving advice. I had written down nothing and when Bittner came to my chair, she looked at my blank sheet, laughed lightly, while saying to me cryptically in a sing-song voice: “You are such a one, such a one, such a one.”
Bittner allowed no Q.& A. after the angel encounter, no debriefing. With name of personal angels clutched in our hands, she ordered us to file out in silence, and encouraged us to hold onto our “feelings of imminence” for as long as we could, although to be careful driving. She encouraged us not to speak for the rest of the night, not even to the people we would be riding home with.
After 20 minutes of driving through the shadowy forest of the deep Minnesota night, my friend broke the silence rule and asked me: “So what was your angel’s name?”
I thought about it for a minute. For some reason, it seemed a sacrilege to break my own silence, but I finally answered her cryptically in a sing-song voice: “Such a one, such a one, such a one …”