Maeve: Hi I’m Maeve Marsden and you’re listening to Queerstories. This week, Peter Lehner lives in the rainbow region of the northern rivers. Their many years of experience includes acting, directing and production of short films, TV, theatre and cabaret. Best known for their work with choirs and singing, the Universal Peace Federation, a worldwide, non-profit organization founded to advance the cause of peace locally and worldwide, honoured Peter with a “Living for Others” Award. The Sydney Morning Herald chose Peter as one of “Sydney’s Top 100 Influencial People” in 2009. Peter was honoured to receive Lismore’s Australia Day Award for Community Service in 2011.
Peter: Wow, you do look queer out there. And sexy too.
I’ve always wanted to be magic, I’ve always dabbled in supernature. Many of my early spirit encounters with ghosts were sexual. It’s surprisingly common that people have sex with ghosts. I would bring it up with friends in 1 on 1 conversations and so many of them had also had experiences!
I’ve had several and one of the early ones was really dominant and really controlling and it was kind of hot! I’d wake up and I’d be dreaming but it was not dreaming, I was awake, I was conscious. And I was levitating up to the sky and there was someone behind me and I actually got turned over once and it was really hot. I cottoned on to what was happening, this wasn’t a dream, this was something real, this was a connection with somebody. I was actually staying at this really haunted hotel at the time and I felt like he was a pretty rough trade. The experiences I had were so magical and thrilling, that heartbeat, a bit like when I was 20 going to ’The Beat’ dealing with shame and all of a sudden I’m there at ‘The Beat’ and my hearts beating thinking I’m doing the wrong thing.
Anyways this spirit started to steal my keys all the time and my money. It happened so often that I couldn’t find my keys I was thinking, “Am I getting dementia?” I was only in my 30s. It would happen so often and then they would turn up where I had already looked several times. I wasn’t sure what was going on but I figured it was this spirit coming in the night. Once I was at my parents and it became really clear that this is not on because I had to go back to Lismore for work and I couldn’t cos my keys were gone. So I called up a friend who was a witch and she came over to do a little seance and she said straight away “You got to let go of this spirit” she knew what was going on and I was like “I don’t want to let go. I like him!” I had been single for so long. But she said it would stop if we do this. So we did a farewell ritual and we found our keys. The keys were in my computer bag and I had looked there 10 times. I was with my parents, Mum was in bed unwell but my dad and my brother had looked through that whole house looking for these keys before I called my friend. And they’d looked in my computer bad too, twice. But as soon as we let go of the spirit they were there. My dad didn’t believe me and thought I was playing tricks.
Mum was very unwell and she passed very soon after that. I thought I was prepared for that but you can never prepare for that. She was a spiritualist and we had a plan that she’d come visit me a lot when she died. I was just lost. I was calling out to the space above me, calling out to mum, to god, I was just saying “Come on! Give me a sign! Talk to me! Where are you?” I couldn’t find her and I was looking so hard, trying to do all the little tricks I thought I had learnt and I had lost all my belief.
The day before we drove down to Sydney for the funeral, I went to the beach with my then-partner. He was Tongan, he was like a fish, he would swim right out past the waves and he’d be out there for hours. I would always stay back with the dog. But this particular day I just left the dog behind and I just went out. The surf was so big and rough, usually I’d dive under when the bog waves come but this day I wanted to get smashed. I’d jump into a wave and spun around so that the wave would hit my back and as the white wash went to the shore, I saw mum. A perfect image of my mum with wings, like an angel. For less than a second I was like “That didn’t happen, that couldn’t happen, that’s not real.” I doubted it completely. But what I noticed was that I was completely sated, the pain was eased, and I was able to attend a challenging family funeral with the strength of feeling my mom was with us in spirit.
When I got down there, dad had an experience too. He was in front of the TV as he always was and I heard him yell out. I rushed out and he said “Mum was there!” By the time he stood up he was doing exactly what I did “That wasn’t real, that was a dream. Stop it Peter, I was dreaming!” I tried to tell him maybe it was real. Then my 2 year old niece pointed towards us and said “Nan” and smiled. Dad just scoffed but I believed mum was there. The family celebrated that she was there. These sort of encounters aren’t uncommon that people can have a connection with people when they pass through animals or electrical appliances.
I had some amazing encounters with mum that I really needed at that time.
I studied mediumship and psychic development so that I could develop my skills and prolong them.
When dad was dying not that long after, he was in hospital and he’d wake up from dreams and he’d say that he was with mum. He believed by then, He wanted to go and he wanted to be with her. It was beautiful that my dad being such a nonbeliever started to think “Oh maybe Peter’s right”.
I also learnt a lot about lucid dreaming from mum. Because whenever I’d have a dream and she was in it, it was like I’d be conscious in my dream straight away.
At first, all I had time to say was, ‘you’re here’, and I’d wake up, too excited, crying and feeling strongly it wasn’t just a dream. Then, I’d always say ‘I’m so sorry’ and wake in tears. I felt bad about many of the things that happened during her last year, and scolded myself for not being in Sydney more to care for her.As the dreams kept coming, I learnt to relax and stay connected, and I stopped crying. The last lucid dream I had with her I had time to not only become conscious that we were together, we had time for a long hug, and then a hongi, and she was still there so I said, ’Why aren’t you helping me to find a boyfriend!’
She laughed and said, “Do you really think my taste is going to find you the right boyfriend?”
I laughed and said “No, you’re terrible!” But then an interesting thing happened. I went into fear, feeling and thinking that what I said was rude, that she’d be upset, and I slipped into my physical body losing connection with her due to my stressed thoughts. It was very different to waking up from a dream.Very soon after that dream I met my huswife. It was magic how it came about and I am sure that mum was involved!
Now, when I miss obvious signs from mum at pertinent moments, Jason calls them out, “Did you see that? 3 cockatoos just went past your head and you were on your phone talking about your mom! That’s your mom.”
“Really?! I had no idea, lost in my thoughts and feelings about her, not really connecting to her!”
I’m going to try be in my body and be real.
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