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The Hidden Language of Intuition

by Susan Hannibal(more info)

listed in mind matters, originally published in issue 89 - June 2003

Energy medicine and intuitive diagnosis have come to the forefront of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) – meridians and chakras have gone mainstream. Many medical and psychological intuitives, and a steadily increasing number of mental health clinicians and physicians, understand the model that says disruption in the balance of the energy system, due to trauma, is the root cause of many physical and emotional problems. Healing comes when that trauma is neutralized, which releases the blocked energy and restores balance.

A medical and/or psychological intuitive perceives and translates the energetic code of buried emotional and physical trauma in the body, mind and spirit.

Living with Intuition

It recently occurred to me that some of the frustration that I've felt for much of my life is the result of a gift that I've seen as a curse for years. I am a visionary. Visionaries think (and live) 'outside the box'. Being highly intuitive as well as visionary doesn't mean that I'm more clever than anyone else, or that I'm privy to the ancient secrets of the universe. It means that my brain takes a freeze frame of the big picture, on levels seen and unseen, instantly analyzes it and computes the bottom line. One would think this ability to be a great asset, but it's taken me years to realize why people are not amused when I brightly announce how well things would turn out if only they'd do 'x'.

Most visionaries that I know possess a finely tuned intuitive sense that allows them to pick up the underlying 'blueprint' – a pattern of cause and effect, hidden motivations and personal agendas - in a relationship, a corporate structure – virtually any situation where people are involved. As an intuitive healer, I pick up the underlying connection between spiritual, physical or emotional illness and its energetic causes. Some intuitive people see clairvoyantly, others hear, feel, sense or even smell or taste.

Intuitive 'hits' come in several forms or styles. I was about 12 the first time I got one. My three-year-old niece was visiting and she was playing upstairs. I was in my room doing homework, when, suddenly, I got a feeling of dread and alarm in my solar plexus and I knew my niece was in trouble. I dashed into the playroom and found her finishing off a bottle of cherry-flavoured baby aspirin. She was taken to the hospital and recovered.

When I was 17, I was sitting in an English class and, suddenly, I knew my grandfather, who was dying of cancer, had passed on. I glanced up at the clock and it was 1 pm. When I got home, my mother told me that he had died at 1pm.

A few weeks before the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, I was watching teacher Christa McAuliff on TV, riding a bicycle around NASA. As I watched, I heard a voice quietly speak to my mind, "She's going to die".

How did I know these things? I'm not sure, and I don't know if there's any way to be sure. I believe that we are all hard-wired for intuition. Everyone has had the experience of 'knowing' in their gut, whether something or someone was dangerous or in danger. This is the survival level intuition we are all born with. We have a common language for intuition as well. Here are a few examples: "I knew it in my heart", "I got chills when I heard you say that" or "My stomach lurched when I met that person".

Development of this level of primal intuition into a more refined, accurate intuitive ability takes practice, like any other skill. When I first started to receive intuitive impressions as I concentrated my attention on a client's chakra system, the information was only a line or two in each chakra. Now it's close to half a page.

This brings us to a fascinating question. Is medical intuition - the ability to 'scan' someone's psyche, spirit or body - a learned skill or a spiritual gift? I think it's both. As a Christian, I have been given the spiritual 'gift of discernment' as described in 1st Corinthians, chapter 12. This is, the ability to determine if evil spirits are present in a person, and to determine which spirits or energies they are, as well as to 'read energy' and discern a person's emotional wounds, traumas and fears. I believe the Holy Spirit guides me through my relationship with Christ. The accuracy of my readings runs close to 100%, which I attribute to Christ. If I make a mistake, it's because I misinterpreted a symbolic image or mixed-up facts.

The first time I see a new client or talk with one on the phone (distance doesn't seem to matter), I do a 'reading' or intuitive assessment of their energy. I am looking at their emotional landscape or 'energetic blueprint' through the chakras, to find the root cause of any trauma that needs to be healed. I open with a prayer, asking first that whatever level of healing they need, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, should be done for them, whether I know about it or not. I also ask for guidance and protection for both of us, and that any information I need to help them will come to me clearly, accurately, completely and will reveal the root of any problems. I end with a prayer that I use as a clear vessel for divine guidance and healing for them, and I detach from any outcome.

I close my eyes and, with intention, scan each chakra, beginning with the base, and write down any impressions I get. The impressions come in a variety of ways: descriptive words (for example 'powerless', 'gutted', 'raped' or 'suffocated'); first person sentences (for example "I'm not good enough", "People take from me what I don't want to give", "I'm here to serve others"); feelings of physical pain or emotional charge that move fleetingly through me (for example I will feel a momentary tightness in my jaw or feel intense grief in my heart and throat); and symbolic or actual visual images (for example my client being run over by a steamroller, another client holding her abdomen and rocking back and forth, crying).

Appointment with Destiny

I didn't know it, but as I entered my forties, the visionary and intuitive gifts I'd brushed aside for years were about to be expanded, refined and tested. It was apparently time for my 'sacred contract' to be fulfilled.[1] I never meant to become a healer, it just happened. In the summer of 1997, heaven yanked me - kicking and screaming - out of my marriage, my home, my job and life as I knew it, and thrust me headfirst into THE FEAR OF BEING ALONE. It was a classic 'dark night of the soul' spiritual crisis. I was in a serious depression, paralyzed with fear and there was nowhere to look but up.

When I'd been out of my marriage for about eight months, various intuitive/psychic abilities began to surface one at a time. Most people associate the word 'psychic' with the ability to predict the future, but I don't do that. I see into the past.

One day in 1998, I was visiting the Mission at San Juan Capistrano in southern California. As I sat on a bench in the huge courtyard, admiring the myriads of rose gardens, a three-dimensional vision suddenly appeared. Two brown-robed monks, one tall, the other a bit shorter, were standing together about 15 feet away, facing me. I couldn't see their faces. The hoods of their robes covered their heads, and they wore long belts of white rope. I stared, blinked, looked away, looked back, and they were still there. I realized I was somehow looking through a portal into another dimension. Tourists were walking about without comment. I also realized that although they seemed solid and opaque to me, I could see through to the roses behind them at the same time. After about two minutes, they vanished. I was quite shaken. When I mentioned the incident to my Reiki teacher, a fifth generation British clairvoyant and medium, she calmly noted that it was no big deal, that it was only my 'third eye' opening up.

When I first started my medical intuition practice, it seemed like a first year internship. I found that most people had relatively simple issues, fears and phobias, anger or grief. As my skills sharpened and I did deeper levels of my own healing, people with more complicated cases began to appear; multiple personality disorder, self-mutilation and cutting, eating disorders and addictions. If people need medication or psychiatric care, I always refer them out. One of the tenets of healing practice is to know your own limitations. Recently, I helped a woman who had been bulimic for 32 years heal herself of that pattern in two sessions. According to current clinical research, curing bulimia is difficult and not very successful in the long term. I have continued to see her for other issues, but after we cleared the death of a child 17 years ago, and traumas with her own mother, the desire to purge disappeared and has not returned, so far five months later.

Decoding the Energetic Signature of Trauma

Decoding and then tracing and healing the root cause of trauma, whether repressed or conscious, is one of the keys to resolving patterns and diseases on all levels. On the emotional level, we need to learn how to interpret and translate the symbolic nature (read the energy) of underlying traumas and/or fears. Then, the painful event can be brought into true healing, into feeling neutral or unimportant when we recall it. Sometimes, fears, phobias and other emotional problems are rooted in seemingly unrelated events, repressed memories or even past lives.

'Sheila' came for help with fear of flying. She did not like anything about the flying experience: being belted into the seat, not being able to leave or get up easily and not having any control. She had no history of claustrophobia. The energetic signature that I picked up in her field told me that sexual abuse was the root of the problem. Who would ever think those two events were connected? I was sure I must be wrong, and kept scanning for another more 'suitable' answer, but the impression was so insistent that I finally gave up and asked Sheila directly, "Who held you down?". She was momentarily stunned, then told me that when she was seven, her grandfather had held her down on a couch and molested her. She had never told anyone. We applied some meridian 'tapping'[2] to that memory, and the fear of flying cleared shortly after.

Recently, I worked with a professional colleague who had a severe allergy to salt - it made her skin itch - and less intense allergies to wheat, calcium, milk, cheese and dairy products. The salt allergy was tied to a trauma she experienced when her mother forced a salt enema on her as a small child. The other allergies took us on a wild ride into a past life when she was a man, in a castle, and "stole food from the children". As soon as I said to her, "I see you in a castle", she began to sob. While we were discovering and clearing the layers of what was apparently a past life, I was enduring a stabbing pain that felt like a dagger or sword in my back, above my right hip bone.

I said at one point, "you were punished for stealing food from the larder". Larder is not a word I have ever used, and she had never heard the word, but she cried harder when I said that. Then her consciousness took over and she said, "I was murdered for stealing the food". When we got to the end, her tears stopped, the stabbing pain in my back vanished and she tested clear on all the allergic substances. Draw your own conclusions on this one!

Tracing the Threads

I've learned that it's necessary to trace the threads of trauma in our lives in order to learn how it has impacted on not only the choices we make, but also on the lens through which we see ourselves and the world. Healing means more than just cognitively re-framing what happened to us and gaining coping skills for our pain. It means wholeness – love and acceptance of self, peace and balance. It means forgiveness for others as well as ourselves; seamlessly re-weaving the rips in our being – mind, body, soul, and spirit.

I've seen dozens of clients who have had months or years (in one case, 30 years) of conventional psychological or psychiatric treatment, including years of anti-depressants, and still these people have not healed. Why? Outwardly they seem stable and able to cope effectively. But many still have years of toxic emotional waste stored in their chakras, meridians, neck, back, knees and organs. The by-products of that emotional toxicity silently fuel negative core belief patterns that sabotage and re-route, or even derail, their lives.

Traumas give birth to addictions, destructive beliefs and obsessional thinking and behaviours that effectively block healing, until they have been resolved completely, on all levels.

Case Study

The following is an actual reading that I did in January 2002. The text is exactly as I wrote it, in 'intuitive shorthand'. For readers who may not be familiar with them, I've noted the emotional themes, issues and challenges traditionally associated with each chakra. From January through March 2002, in ten 90-minute sessions, I worked with 55-year-old Patsy, who has agreed to be interviewed for this article.

The Reading

Root chakra: (1st) Early childhood, survival issues.

Troubled childhood, "I'm not good enough". Have to sacrifice for others-caretaker is the way to get love, love = pain. Very oppressive environment-feels like Cinderella-poor/unstable financially (family)-many fears-survival level-insecurity and trust issues.

Navel chakra: (2nd) Power in the outer world, money, sex, creativity.

Others lead-you follow. Not only afraid to assert yourself, but unsure of how this looks-no model for boundaries and management of personal power. History of painful relationships with men-used/abandoned.

Solar Plexus chakra: (3rd) Centre of self image and self-esteem.

Self-esteem is defined by others-'puppet image' easily manipulated and controlled by others-approval/disapproval-reactive not proactive in life-you're not steering your own ship.

Heart chakra: (4th) All matters of the heart, for example love/betrayal.

Loving/giving/caring heart when you feel safe and in control-pleasing others gets you the reward-love/approval re: men-fear, distrust-dangerous territory so why go there. History of attracting alcoholic men?

Throat chakra: (5th) Centre of will, choice, ability to speak up for self.

Will is defined by others-so you measure your words-not safe to speak up. You've never been allowed to decide your own destiny (or 'chart your own course', ship image) so you aren't aware you have this power/ability or how to manage it. Awakening this power (turning on the generator) is 1st step to self-healing.

Forehead chakra: (6th) The mind.

Worry-no peace. Obsessive/compulsive tendency-perfectionist-it's exhausting-constantly trying to measure up to OTHERS-an unreachable goal.

Crown chakra (7th) connection to the divine.

Open-still exploring and sorting out who/what is God-it's a murky sort of mysterious concept for you-not sure what your role is.

Using the Reading

While I was doing the reading, Patsy sat on a couch across from me, flipping through a magazine. When I had completed it, we talked about how the reading resonated with her feelings about her life and her perceptions about her fears of moving forward. According to Patsy, this reading was 100% accurate.

I use the reading as a guide for the step-by-step process of dismantling and neutralizing negative core beliefs, fears and traumas, with various energy healing methods. Many times I start with 1st chakra issues, because they are most often the roots of the emotional patterns that surface in our lives. Patsy and I had about 12 sessions, and I was privileged to witness and assist her re-birth. She literally 'took up her mat and walked' as we worked.

Anyone can learn to tap into and develop their own intuitive abilities by learning to look at events symbolically or energetically and delve into the hidden meaning behind patterns and attitudes. Symbolic sight is the key to perceiving the subtle energies and underlying emotional wounds, attitudes and patterns that drive our lives.

Physician report on patient treated by Sue Hannibal

Sue Hannibal met with one of my patients, LL, a 47 year old woman, who had intermittent suicidal ideation and guilt associated with the death of her sister. The suicidal ideation was particularly strong when Ms. Hannibal met with my patient. Sue did a reading and some Seemorg Matrixwork on LL.[3] The reading accurately zeroed in on themes of fear, vulnerability, trust and not using her voice. The matrixwork unlocked the suicidal ideation in one session. I considered the work that Sue did to be valuable. Howard Richmond, M.D., Encinitas, CA USA


1. Myss, C. Anatomy of the Spirit. Crown. New York. 1996.
2. Craig G. Emotional Freedom Technique.
3. Nahoma Clinton A. Seemorg Matrixwork.


Eden D and Feinstein D. Energy Medicine: Balance Your Body's Energies for Optimum Health, Joy and Vitality. Penguin/Putnam. New York. 1998.
Gerber R. Vibrational Medicine for the 21st Century. HarperCollins. New York. 2000
Radomski S. Allergy Antidotes.
Schulz, M L. Awakening Intuition. Random House. New York. 1998.


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About Susan Hannibal

Susan Hannibal has a private practice in Vista, California, outside San Diego. She can be reached at or

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