Known as the “Angel Lady,” Doreen Virtue has produced a host of books, recordings, and oracle card decks, many of them about angels. My curiosity about her life was piqued when I learned she was raised in the Christian Science tradition, as was my mother. Though I am not a Christian Scientist, it is one of the strands of my spiritual DNA, and I wondered how it informed Virtue’s journey as a writer, healer, and intuitive.
“The Lightworker’s Way” (1997) is about two-thirds memoir. Virtue’s mother was a Christian Science practitioner who worked to heal clients through prayer. She also used spiritual treatment on young Doreen and her brother whenever they had cuts or bruises. The wounds would practically vanish in front of her eyes, she recalls. Christian Science teaches that any illness, injury, or dis-ease is a product of the mortal mind. Since God is all good and only good, anything else is not of God and therefore doesn’t really exist. Still, the family kept their spiritual practices quiet: “Oh, you’re those people who don’t believe in doctors!” one of Virtue’s classmates sniffed.
“Nothing is lost in the mind of God” was the affirmation Virtue’s mother taught her, and which she used to retrieve everything from a lost coin purse to a couple of wayward pet rats. The same was true of the clairvoyant experiences she had as a child and brushed aside as life progressed.
Despite the original source of love within her family, she writes, she sought “even more” from outside sources — alcohol and marijuana use as a teen, an unplanned pregnancy, and two (at that point) difficult marriages and divorces — based on the illusion of separation from God. That illusion, she says, is persistently and perniciously fed by the ego; the higher self knows better.
If I understand Virtue’s concept of the ego correctly, the ego is the “monkey mind” that constantly chatters as it tries to figure everything out. It’s the part of us that fears, judges, and needs something outside of ourselves to feel worthy and secure. The ego blocks our inner guide, that intuitive voice that resides in a peaceful space above the ego’s constant shifting. “Inner-guide instructions are loving and positive, while the ego’s advice is based on fear, contempt, and beliefs in scarcity,” she writes.
The ego changes its mind constantly, so if you like a roller-coaster ride, that’s the way to go, she says. If you always have a fire to put out, you don’t have to think about the bigger picture: your life’s purpose. Even being helpful can be a trap of the ego, she says later in the book. Getting preoccupied with problems, especially the kind it’s much easier to talk about than solve, will only impede your progress. Intuition is that inner knowing — you know, but you don’t know how you know. It is the still, small voice that always informs, uplifts, and guides. That is the voice to which we are wise to listen.
Virtue earned degrees in psychology, worked as a counselor, and wrote self-help books and articles. But something was missing. As her psychic ability began to reawaken, her spiritual quest led her into territory that felt much more dangerous than being a Christian Scientist kid at school. Now she had a professional reputation and a livelihood as a public speaker and talk show guest to consider. But emerge from the psychic closet she did, obviously.
Part II of “The Lightworker’s Way” is an instruction manual in everything from the parallel worlds of energy and spirit to heightening psychic receptivity, spiritual healing, mediumship, and, of course, angels. Entire books have been written on each single topic here, and yet her instructions are remarkably detailed. This could be very helpful to those who are curious about exactly how it all works, or is supposed to work. However, I saw no acknowledgement that each person develops his or her own style or processes, or any encouragement for doing so. Perhaps I missed it.
Finally, what is a lightworker? See Virtue’s explanation here.