Fine Arts and Fest

I Had A Vision (and I Saw It In Sharonville)

Vision of Light Pyschic Festival

Chad W. Lutz
“A jug fills drop by drop” - Buddha

Throughout the history of man, there have been about as many theories and ideas about what moves the planets and stars and the meaning to be derived therein as there have been days on the calendar. Early philosophers like Plato and Socrates looked inward and documented the power of the human mind. Buddhists looked to the natural world and its relation to humanity as a means of understanding personal growth and spiritual elevation. Witch doctors spouting premonitions and shamans turning simple trinkets into crystal balls have smattered our existence for thousands of years. And while agnosticism and atheism comprise a large portion of modern ethos, there are still many people who believe in the age-old teachings of their ancestors and practice what they believe will bring them closer to enlightenment and divinity.

My experiences with the paranormal and extraterrestrial have been rather limited in my lifetime. Not an overly religious person, the only real connection I have to things beyond my comprehension is what I see in movies and my short-lived stint as a Buddhist my senior year of high school. There was one other time when I was about 9 years old that I swore I saw a ghost try to attack my older brother Jason in our basement crawl space with a large wooden mallet. The lights suddenly flickered as quickly as the apparition appeared and then vanished as the basement went black. The five of us, including my younger brother and two neighborhood kids booked it for the staircase and never looked back. Thinking about it seems rather ridiculous, what, fifteen, twenty years later. It may not have been a “ghost” in its truest sense, whatever that means, but it’s left me wondering that there might be something else out there that goes beyond rational explanation.
Lutz 2012
It was chilly and windy, a dreary day in Cincinnati. The kind of day where you look outside and predict nothing but reruns and chocolate milk in the forecast. I had never been to this sort of thing before. Tarot card readings and spirit detection reminded me of Live and Let Die. And having never lived in the bowels of the Deep South, I greeted the idea of voodoo-like mysticism with a certain level of skepticism. However, the feeling soon dissipated, my intrigue won out and soon enough I found myself in a silver Mitsubishi Lancer with my friend Erika tooling along I-75 en route to the Sharonville Convention Center.

Held annually, the Vision of Light Psychic Festival showcases hundreds of area spiritual leaders, healers and readers from the greater Cincinnati area. 150 venders from around the state and the tri-state area huddled into one giant cosmic hotspot. Psychics and mediums and pet psychics and musicians and spiritual artists gathered together along with paranormal investigators and clairvoyants. The event took place Saturday and Sunday April 21 & 22. We chose to go Saturday due to time constraints and the fact I had to drive over 240 miles just to attend. Erika and I both had a sense of something fantastic ahead, possibly in the truest and most literal sense of the word. Whatever was in store for us at a “psychic festival” was at the very least going to be entertaining, if nothing else.

We arrived to the sounds of a 6-piece band playing Celtic gospel, which filled every inch of the grey-tile interior of the large convention center lobby. We spied the ticket kiosk just inside the large glass entrance and made our way over to the counter after a quick pit stop at the ATM machine.

“Twelve dollars, right?”
The man behind the counter looked us both up and down with an odd sort of stare. After a moment he finally spoke. His partner sat quiet.
“You must be college students.”
Erika and I both looked at each other, not really understanding his comment or quirky smirk.
Then I looked down and saw the big sign that said, “$12 General Admission”

For a moment there I thought he had us…

Lining the halls of the main convention area were dozens of booths. The first couple of booths were general information booths with hundreds of brochures about “psychic” groups and events happening in the area. I picked up a few of the brochures; one in particular caught my eye from a group called MUFON or Mutual UFO Network. Right beside that was a brochure on Reiki. An aura of intrigue and wonder washed over me, a powerful combination. You could feel it as you entered the convention center and even as you pulled into the parking lot and looked around at fellow concomitants in astral garb with eager looks in their eyes. Now we were in the thick of it and about to spend the next five hours absorbed absolutely.

Walking into the main area, the convention center opens up into long aisles that run north to south with an outer aisle encasing the four main aisles of booths. Buddhist prayer flags hung as commonplace as Christmas lights in December and odd trinkets of every variety shone and sparkled in the dull fluorescent bulbage. After making things absolutely official on Facebook (as if there were ever a question), we stopped for a moment at an odds and ends incense stand to sift through the memorabilia a bit and that’s when we found it.
Lutz 2012
“You have to try this out!” cried Erika as she pointed to a laminated game board. It was called “The Mystic Eye Game” and the point was basically to use a crystal attached to a magnetized metal string to decipher important questions about the future. Simply ask the crystal a “very specific question,” as the instructions explicitly stated, and the game board would provide the answer. Erika went first and was pleased to find a certain undesirable would not be in attendance.
UC Alum Erika Mooneyham of Clarksville, Ohio, demonstrates the Mystic Eye Game (Lutz 2012)
Then, it was my turn.

“Mystic Eye Game… will the Cleveland Cavaliers win an NBA Championship in my lifetime?”
I hovered the crystal over the board and it instantly began to move. Wildly it spun until it centered upon its decisive answer.

“Ask Again Later”

I cleared my throat, looked to Erika for some luck and repeated my question. The mystic crystal jumped about the game board and came to a stop on its wise and ever-knowing decision.

“No”

It was around this time that I decided I really didn’t like The Mystic Eye Game. Erika laughed and I joined her after a few moments of pouting and eventually we went back to scouring through trinkets and charms. We wound our way through aisle after aisle of readers and healers. Some looked every bit the part of what you might expect: loud clothing, interesting hairdos, and elevated personalities, for lack of better words. People were kind and outgoing, enthusiastic. I could only imagine this kind of convention to be a sort of safe haven from the usual downtrodden reception these people might receive from a more narrow-minded crowd. I stopped to talk to several of the venders, all of which were more than happy to discuss really deep and prodding questions about their faith greeted with nothing but smiles. One of the more interesting groups of people we talked to were local Buddhists from Cincinnati who explained the use of singing bowls, which are used to lead meditation sessions by creating a high-pitch sound mimicked by those in practice to achieve elevated and more open states of mind.

As I walked around the Sharonville Convention Center on a rather gloomy Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t help but think about a dream I once had about two years ago or so. In the dream, I’m sitting in the middle of a giant, sunny field. The kind of field you might find in a Japanese picture book. Rolling rice patties and high green grass with a single, crude dirt trail stretching on into the horizon. Suddenly, a tiger appears on the trail and approaches me as I sit staring up at the sky. He asks me to follow him. I’m apprehensive at first because, well, it’s a talking tiger, but I follow and he leads me through the green fields to a giant stonewall stretching high into the sky and as far as the eye can see on either side. I look at the tiger and put my hands on the wall, as if trying to find the secret lever or trick brick. I ask if this is the end of the road. The tiger says I must find a way to the other side to realize my potential and fulfill my destiny (tall order, right?). I tell the tiger there’s no way I can climb the wall, and he agrees. I also point out there’s no way around the wall and that it appears to be several bricks thick. He nods again, and then asks me to try pressing on the wall once more. I do it reluctantly but try anyways because I’m in a dream and I have nothing better to do. With only a little more effort than I exerted the first try, my hand goes right through the wall. It’s made of paper.

One booth in particular had a crowd of about thirty or forty people watching in absolute disbelief. It was called Meridian Dance Healing Power Body Alignment. The lady in participation was laughing hysterically practically the entire time. To the rest of us, it looked like absolute torture. The premise behind Meridian Dance was to lull the body into a more receptive state using various positions and applications of pressure on joints and muscles. Then, once the body fully relaxes, twist and contort the shit out of it using basically any means possible. It’s really hard to describe, but imagine a woman standing with both feet planted firmly into your groin while a grown male tickles your armpits and digs elbows into your chest. Sounds like a kinky sex orgy on paper. Luckily, I took pictures.
Lutz 2012
Lutz 2012
It was the epitome of Train Wreck Syndrome. You couldn’t look away if you tried and the only thing you could do to cope was laugh. Erika and I returned a few hours later to find another woman in not quite as great of spirits about the therapy process as the woman in the pictures. I did not approach her for interview.

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote about faith in a rather stark and infamous way in his book entitled: “Fear and Trembling.” The “leap” or act of believing in something is what many believe Kierkegaard was trying to say enabled ideas like God and Jesus and Buddha and Ganesh and Reincarnation to exist and thrive in the modern world. In other words, a blind faith or absolute trust despite the consequences of putting full credit into something you couldn’t prove and may end up finding out was bogus all along set the believers apart from the non-believers and enabled belief.

Though now far removed from “The Samurai Swimmer,” I still look to nature as both an aphrodisiac and a means of sedation from time to time, never forgetting the teachings of mindfulness and spatial awareness even my father blasts into me when I forget my surroundings and knock over a glass of water on the kitchen table without paying a [damn] bit of attention. Faith has always been kind of a funny thing to me; not in the sense that it’s laughable or a joke, but funny like assembly instructions to a bookcase or office desk. Depending on how well you follow the instructions dictates how well the table or chair or lamp or whatever turns out. But Life, as most of you reading have probably noticed at some point or another along this crazy ride, isn’t always black and white or downloadable in PDF. For me, it’s never been about following one set of instructions. I suppose I’m sort of a blank page when it comes to faith and belief. Whatever keeps me happy, alive, and on course with my goals is enough for me.

By the time the festival ended at 7:00pm, I found myself wishing there was more time. I had been there for five hours and felt like there was still so much more to see. Before I left I picked up a bag of anti-oxidant rich Spirulina from a natural foods vender, which Erika comically mistook for “some weena,” when she asked what I was buying. It was truly an experience, in every sense of the word; one that I highly recommend to anyone with an open or curious mind. Paranormal investigation and spiritually charged oils and ointments aren’t necessarily the easiest things to take seriously. But if you’re looking for something fun to do with friends or just feel like broadening your horizons I predict the Sharonville Vision of Light Psychic Festival provides just the right amount of entertainment and education (I saw it in the stones).