Whether a message came from the sun, the moon, the stars, the rain, an animal crossing one’s path, a bird in flight, or a tree one had a rapport with, one could stretch one’s mind, use one’s intuition, and apply that experience to what was going on in everyday life.
by Patrick Jasper Lee
We tend to see ancestors of the ancient past as wispy fleeting things, but they are not so wispy and fleeting when they make an impact on your life in the way I experience them.
This is why I do the work I do. I hail from a tribal people: an ancient line of Romani Gypsies, I am psychic, and I also have Asperger’s. When I combine these three elements with my artistic ability, I can produce some interesting psychic drawings.
When I can see a person from the past as easily as looking at anyone here on earth (which isn’t all the time but it’s fascinating when I do), I try to quickly get that image down on paper before it is lost. It may be just a quick glimpse, but enough to record it. These pictures are not copied from any pictures that are here on earth; they are entirely from what I have seen of someone in my mind. I love doing this, especially when I see how it may help someone along in life because sometimes information may accompany the image. As an autistic synaesthete, I can see people as shapes and I use shapes to begin a drawing, which is what drawings are technically all about.
Interestingly, tutorial art can begin with the three basic shapes that dominate all aspects of life: the circle, the square, and the triangle. When drawing/painting the human body, artists fall back on these essential shapes. Shape expresses the fundamental elements within all living things, and I am constantly seeing these in the people I draw. Because the people I draw are ancestors, we may believe these “spirits” live in the realm of the dead, but I can honestly say that I’ve never seen people who are more alive! We perhaps, therefore, need to see that the existence we have on earth is more an aspect of an interrelated network of organisms in the universe, a living, breathing system of dimensions, overlapping one another.
To think that we are alone here on earth, here on a planet floating on its own in space, and that only we exist is, to my mind, hard to believe. I believe humans need to rethink their existence, based on what has gone before in ancient cultures, together with a common-sense reasoning and a little science and philosophy thrown in.
Ancestors of old were once a common feature of everyday life for our ancient cousins. Over thousands of years we talked about ancestors to family, friends, and neighbours. It was natural when they were seen as strong otherworldly influences.
In the Romani Gypsy culture, we have always known this. Ancestors formed the nucleus of a natural life cycle, just as modern influences do in society today, such as politicians and celebrities – except ancestors have our good interests at heart probably far more than famous modern personalities might!
Long ago, when a spiritual influence came from the stars, or from the earth, trees, animals, birds, or people, ancient folk would describe it as an ancestral influence. They would take messages from these influences and would treat them seriously. In fact, my own folk took messages from everything they came into contact with within the natural world and the otherworld as a means of guiding themselves home to their souls.
As poetical as all this may sound, we can still think this way today – if we choose. Nature is no different from the way she was thousands of years ago; in fact, it is only humans who have changed.
Whether a message came from the sun, the moon, the stars, the rain, an animal crossing one’s path, a bird in flight, or a tree one had a rapport with, one could stretch one’s mind, use one’s intuition, and apply that experience to what was going on in everyday life. Interestingly, people with autism today tend to receive messages from many aspects of nature all quite naturally. They will often have a natural attunement to and acceptance of the natural world and sometimes even the otherworld, which they will be likely to gain comfort from. Many mothers of children with autism have told me how their children can feel calmed in the presence of trees and other aspects of nature.
Keeping ancestors close to your heart is not unique to me or any of my people. Ancestors have been in the lives of all people everywhere for thousands of years, and it has been like this the world over for ancient tribal folk, from Native Americans to Australian Aboriginals, from people in the East to Africans. Sadly, due to many social changes, humans have undergone a transformation away from ancestral law and as a result have lost a memory of what it is all about: how we once heard messages in the rushing streams or saw messages in clouds up in the sky, and how our human ancestors might share this with us, sending us messages through elements of nature to let us know that they are constantly beside us. We might perceive a message in a burst of sunlight or within a moonlit beam, and an ancestor might guide us to understand what such a message implied.
Now, with many ancestors looking over us, perhaps as much as they have before – except we often don’t know it – it may be time to benefit from this age-old practice. Ancestors are grouping together now quite strongly in the otherworld, and their message is clear: “Come home to us. We are not going away any time soon.”
The ancestors tell us that what we do here on earth, we also do in the otherworld, except we can usually do it a lot better when we’re there. Sickness and anxiety can fade away in the otherworld, poverty doesn’t apply, unfairness doesn’t exist, as nature keeps a like-attracts-like system, so if you are a genuine person and doing your best but are suffering here on earth, you can rest assured you won’t suffer when you leave earth. There is no judgement as such; you just reap what you sow, literally. So nature arranges it that there is always hope for those who have a bad deal here providing they are doing their best. The message most ancestors will give to us is this: “Do what you’ve gotta do, harm no one, and there will be a beautiful world awaiting you when your time comes to leave this one.”
Puro, a Romani name meaning “ancient one”, tells me this often. He is an ancestor who has been with me since I was a child, and his message is clear. He first appeared through the trance mediumship of my great-grandfather. It was an interesting experience, as when I entered my teenage years, there Puro was, coming to me too, and he has been communicating through me on and off for many years now. I have grown to love this ancestor dearly. He is instrumental in helping me sketch the ancestors I see, and he will pass on accompanying messages about them all the time.
A young Buddhist monk accompanied a lady I was working with, present in one of my groups (I give talks, artistic demos of my craft, and I run workshops). The light this young man brought with him was so dreamlike. His message was, “Whatever you need to do here on earth, do it. Have courage, nurture your dreams, and don’t follow others’ guidelines, because they may well be different from your own.” In other words, the message is very similar to Puro’s. Try as much as you can to do do your own thing whilst here on earth, ensure that you are harmonious with the natural world, and don’t cause any friction for others around you. While I was sketching this monk I felt very light and free, and I still think it is an incredible picture as he seemed to pose for me to enable me to complete the drawing of him with his candle. I show the picture here courtesy of Christina, who now has the original hanging on her wall.
A woman from the Middle Ages came to me with another person I was working with. She had a good life, she said, and she told me her name was Kate. I sketched her profile. She has an interesting face. She was British when here on earth, in the thirteenth century, but I noted that there was somehow something African about her features, and Puro said this was a throwback to a generation in her own past. Intriguing! Her message was as earthy as the message from the Buddhist Boy. “Find what you wish to do with your life and make sure you also find the courage to do it. Opportunities are there if you look for them.”
Another of my own ancestors, who is a regular visitor perhaps carries an important message for us all. “Don’t follow the crowd, never sacrifice your own principles, and stand by what you believe,” he said. It is a simple message, a message from an ancient person who walked the earth some 7,000 years ago in what was known as the Neolithic period in Britain. This may seem to be a long time ago, but people can be the same in whatever era they live. Yag, as he calls himself, which means “fire” in my language, died protecting his family and his people and he has also talked about autism and how differently people and children with autism would have been treated in earlier times. A child’s tendency to be literal and direct wouldn’t have stood out and been criticized back then, he has said, because most adults were literal and direct also!
Yag was a tribal chief in his lifetime, and was an excellent ambassador when he moved between the tribes counselling and advising them to move away from warfare. He died for his beliefs in a tribal battle, due to the pressing changing times that were upon people in those days. Changes came over the earth faster than anyone could imagine, Yag has said, for all tribal folk everywhere. It was a time when what we now know as “the West” was only just beginning to develop. I have never known a more caring and wise person, and because he understands autism so well, I have a special place in my heart for Yag.
The bottom line with what I do is that I am educating people about ancestors in the best way I know how. It helps folk to see my art, it helps them to be aware of my culture, and it helps them to understand autism and how we aspies can be quite psychic or sensitive to all that lives behind human eyes – even though it’s commonly said we’re unable to do that. There is no doubt that we live in a difficult and troubled world and so need all the help we can get from each other and from the beyond. So it brings me joy if I can help others to understand what I do and why I do it.
I have taken a battering through life, as many with Asperger’s have, but I have followed ancestral advice to the letter – as only an aspie can. And now, I no longer fear the crowd, I know that I will never sacrifice my own principles, and I also know that I will always nurture my own dreams. That’s actually all there is, apart from having the courage to live my life now in my own way. If I can inspire others to do that with my psychic autist work, then that has to be a good thing.
Please visit Patrick Jasper Lee’s websites for information on ancestral artwork, ancestral readings, and his books. He is also available to give talks and demonstrations on his artwork, and is willing to travel to any part of the UK and the rest of the world.