Lyric prose meditations that play with elements from evangelical Christianity, Buddhism, yoga, reiki, Tarot and “weird voodoo shit.”
~by Cindy Clem
“Be blessed by the God within you.” ~The Archangel Gabriel, trance channeled by Rev. Penny Donovan, in response to an audience member’s sneeze during the angel/Rev.’s lecture on forgiveness, circa 1995
Part 1: Gabriel
Gabriel appears by name four times in the Bible: twice in the book of Daniel, where he interprets Daniel’s dreams, and twice in Luke, to announce to Zacharias and Mary the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, respectively.
Now it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face.
Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my god for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Rev. Penny Donovan[i]
Gabriel is known as the Spirit of Truth… He is the one who is in charge of the mental and spiritual planes of man’s evolvement… It is Gabriel who comes softly, quietly, with profound love and desire…
Now that we know more about Gabriel, the angel who comes softly with profound love and yet still manages to scare the living daylights out of people, let’s get to the fun stuff.
Part 2: Trance Channeling
Trance channeling is a form of mediumship in which the channeler communicates with a spirit and shares with that spirit mental and physical energies and consciousness.[ii] According to “How to Trance Channel,” on eHow.com, you should turn off your cell phone, listen for the universe’s hum, relax until you feel “an unfamiliar tug on the muscles around your nose and eyes, as though your face were a mask being tried on or manipulated by another,” and basically wait for your entity to appear. [iii]
The Orin and DaBen website (Orin and DaBen, from what I can tell, being the spirit guides of the two people who created the web site) explains that people who channel are kind and hardworking, enthusiastic, creative, empathic, curious, sensitive, humble, compassionate—basically, the salt of the earth, which makes you wonder what’s making them so defensive.[iv]
You don’t have to wonder long. Just as you have Orin and DaBen, so also have you their exorcists. Bibleinfo.com warns that the spirits brought forth by channeling are satanic, that channeling is “abhorrent to God,” and that “nothing but the power of God, granted in answer to the earnest prayer of faith, can deliver these ensnared souls.”[v] They quote Leviticus 20:6, KJV: “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.”
Leave it to Leviticus, the book of arcane rules and punishments (excommunication, stoning) that warns against, among other things, eating fat and blood, getting tattoos, and having sex with a woman during her menstruation.
Who to trust? Where to turn?
Part 3: Closing Exercise
Trance channel a poem based on the Scripture verses above. Call it “A Gabriel Poem.” 
Men on the banks of Ulai
Having been caused to do so
I fell on my face
 Not your everyday, “hello,” now, is it? Apparently angels, unlike vampires, do not have to be invited in.
 Not necessarily a contradiction. We are perhaps most profoundly afraid of what we most profoundly need. Love, usually.
 According to eHow, if you’re interesting in trance channeling, you may also like, “How to clear Facebook search history” Dove chocolate bars, and vegan-friendly Thanksgiving staples. (I think they mean food, not the metal things you put in a stapler. I figured this out because of the word ‘Thanksgiving’)
 a-whoring we will go
a-whoring we will go
hie ho the derrie-o
a-whoring we will go
 You can tell your poem is trance channeled if it comes easily, as if the words were given to you, and makes you feel strangely about yourself afterward. These poems are also called “collage poems.”