This series is a collaboration between writer MJ Pack and Amy Venezia.
The following is purely speculation and in no way should be considered concrete facts unless future evidence proves otherwise.
This is a particularly interesting conversation. I’ve mentioned in past sessions that I tend to resonate strongly with each of our subjects — which makes sense, as I’m usually the one who picks them and Amy gives her approval — but this is the first time that my personal life has actually seeped into and affected the timing and, eventually, the message of our conversation.
For months my readers have been offering up suggestions for the next subject of our series. I consider each suggestion very carefully; however, I never decide on one until it really feels right. I had a bizarre encounter that I blew off to being a dream back in April but ever since then one person has been bouncing around in my brain. Finally, I texted Amy saying I thought I had someone in mind: the King of Rock And Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
She thought on it for a brief period of time, then agreed. We made an appointment to start our session on the first of July.
Something I have to tell you before we start is that at the end of April, I suffered a sudden medical setback. And by setback, I mean something that hit me out of the blue like a freight train. Someday I may be more comfortable talking about the details but let’s just say that it was frightening, it changed my life, and I was prescribed a medication to make sure it didn’t happen again.
This medication had an effect on me. Sure, the condition seemed to be dormant, but my brain felt like it had been submerged in jello. I was sluggish, unproductive. All my creative drive slowly drained from me, as well as my characteristic energy. It was not a fun place to be. So when we began this session, something I’d been looking forward to for a long time with someone I’ve always admired, I just felt… underwhelmed.
Now that I’ve set the stage, we can begin.
Amy starts, as always, by focusing inward and closing her eyes. I wait. After a few minutes:
Me: Okay! So, um, is there anywhere he wants to start, specifically? You said he’s been kind of… around all day, and it sounds like maybe he’s got either something he wants to say, or something he wants to tackle?
Amy: Well, he was just getting to know me. Making… small talk. (laughs)
Me: Okay! So what’s he like?
I’ll be honest: I’ve had a crush on Elvis since middle school. I still remember getting into a verbal confrontation with another girl in Reading Class who claimed he was “the ugliest dude” she’d ever seen. Yeah, I took the mark for bad behavior. It was an honor battle, after all.
Amy closes her eyes.
Amy: Very… gentle. And, um, respectful. Funny. I feel… he wants to be really honest here. Which is something he never was allowed to be. So, that’s one thing he is saying is that he “just wants to be… real.”
Me: Okay. So that kind of makes, makes some sense. I’ve been doing some reading up today, um, so where should we, where should we start…
I’d spent a lot of time doing research earlier in the day and yet I felt completely lost. I normally have at least an idea of where I’d like to begin, or at least have a jumping-off point, but not now. I stall for time.
Me: Something really interesting to me, has been about, uh, his family and his mother. If there’s anything he wants to talk about with that?
Amy closes her eyes again and takes a long pause.
Amy: So he’s telling me, “You’ve gotta understand that the dynamic between Mother and I was… something that no one else is going to be able to understand.” And with that he’s allowing me to feel this belief, which is very mystical, that wasn’t their first — okay, he’s interrupting now and saying there’s a misconception with people that he was religious.
She points a finger at me as if I’ve made those claims, but it’s meant more for the general population.
Amy: He was religious in the sense of, how he came in, and how he was raised in what the era was. The era of his life, um, that was how it was channeled. He was very… spiritual. And he had great interest in Egypt, ancient Egypt. Mysticism. Spirituality that he couldn’t really…
Me: It wasn’t really accepted back then.
Amy: Yeah. And he couldn’t talk about it with people. He believed he was a healer, he believed he channeled… higher beings. So with his mother, he explaining that his mother and his dynamic was not this first life. They came in the way that they did, and they were very… it is something that is not going to be understood. By most people. If you want to go into everything that’s already been said about their relationship… that that’s already been said? If you want to know how much he loved her…
Amy pauses and shakes her head a little, as if in amazement.
Amy: More than life. More than anything.
There’s another very long pause as if Amy is listening to something. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like crap because there’s a hint of something in the statement before last that makes me sound like a tabloid journalist looking for dirt. It wasn’t my intention. I just hadn’t known where to begin.
Amy: He’s also explaining that because of the dynamic that they had and how… intense it was? That he just turned all that into devotion and almost worship because if he didn’t do that, then the other extreme would take over which is, um, almost borderline hate. Because there was so much… smother. And expectations. That neediness. Expecting things from him. Only one way for him to deal with that. Was to worship her.
Me: Just go all in.
Amy: Because if he didn’t, the other feelings would start picking up and would cause him to hurt her. By his independence. Hurt her with what she would consider abandonment. Which, he’s claiming, is literally just not paying attention to her. (laughs) That was him letting her down. She had to be his everything.
The relationship between Elvis and his mother is a fairly famous one. He was born a twinless twin to Gladys Presley. Obviously the loss of a child is very devastating on a mother but Gladys supposedly poured all her love and expectation (as mentioned above) into Elvis from day one.
There were rumors that their relationship was just a little too close, as well as speculation that Elvis only chose his lovers and girlfriends based on how similar they looked to Gladys.
When she passed away from hepatitis, Elvis was only 23. He was said to have cried at her funeral, “She’s all I ever lived for. She was always my best girl.”
I attempt to breach the subject of Elvis’ brother and am admonished by Amy not to speculate or share information but to ask a question. For some reason this is really hard for me and I’m set back again. It’s obvious by my reaction.
Me: Um. Okay. So. Then he — he — is — is he aware of why his mother was the way she was?
Amy considers this, then starts to giggle.
Amy: So he just did, I can’t do the laugh like he did, but like a — it was, it was sexy — it was, “Well, that’s a loaded question.” Uh, he… he wants you to understand — he wants you in particular, because I’m already there, he wants you to grasp and understand that she already was what she was coming in. So, embrace the… um… spirit of who she is, the soul of who she is, understand that she came in a certain way… and then circumstances, he’s telling me, caused her to be very… fearful, clingy. He said even that’s hard to say about her because he would never speak a word against her but, um, he’s… did he call her “Mama?”
Amy: Okay, he just said, “Mama understands.” Wow. I got goosebumps. (laughs)
The circumstances are no doubt the loss of his twin. As she’s trying to explain all this to me — which, by the way, we’ve never had to do in the past — I feel like it’s soaring over my head. I feel like I’m blowing it.
Amy: He just said that, you know, she’s okay now. So he can say these things about her now. With humor, and love. He’s saying there was grief and sadness.
Me: Okay. So she would’ve been — that would’ve — that would’ve come out in her, in a lot, like — basically no matter what. But what happened sort of… spurred it on?
I’m a fairly articulate person. Here, I’m floundering.
Amy: He’s saying that when she came in, her energy was already very using the word here, it was almost like… a queen? Demanding to be worshiped? By whoever her focus was on. So she came in already kind of — and not a queen in the sense of being entitled, or riches or anything like that, queen as in she expected a certain level of worship. From the people she wanted it from. Not everybody. From whoever her target was on. So she came in like that, he’s saying imagine Cleopatra.
We move on to something that was suggested on our Facebook page.
Me: So I actually have — I’m gonna have to do a little bit of research while we’re talking, but I was told specifically to ask about “the Colonel.”
This is in reference to Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager who was notoriously tight-fisted when it came to the careers of his clients. By the 1960s, his contracts actually had the profits split with Elvis 50/50.
Amy: Okay. (pause) What do you want to know?
She sounds almost irritated with me at this point. Not quite, but more like ‘come on, we’ve done this before, you know how it goes!’ I try to come up with a question. Amy giggles again.
Amy: He’s making me laugh.
Me: Okay, so, um, I guess what are — what are his thoughts on the Colonel? Just in general? And you said that he said he wanted to be honest, so this is a good opportunity for that it seems like.
Amy: Again, he’s saying “Look. You’ve gotta understand.” (laughs) That’s how he goes into it. “You’ve gotta understand.” Everything goes back to the time period. How things were handled in that time period. How things were expected in that time period. The respect that you show your elders in that time period. Everything is… so he’s saying “Look, you gotta understand that I was young.” He 100% respectfully contributes that [the Colonel] to his success. He would not have gotten to where he got without this man. And then he said, like all relationships, after a period of time the ugly comes out. He’s using words — controlling, shyster, manipulative. Greedy. Stealing. But he’s saying “Look, it was what it was.” He doesn’t have animosity at all. Do you? Have animosity?
She pauses, listening.
Amy: He’s saying that if he does have any animosity, it’s more towards himself. For not taking control of his life more. For allowing people to do what they did. Being in a state himself that he couldn’t be a man and stand up for himself in some areas, he just… allowed it. He got angry, but he allowed it.
We discuss the dynamics of relationships and that it “takes two to tango” before moving on.
Me: Okay. Let’s go a little lighter. Maybe just ask him… if he had a favorite song of his? Or the movie he enjoyed filming the most?
Amy makes a weird face almost immediately, one that says “What?”
Amy: Okay, um…? I’m trying to think of his songs, this doesn’t sound right. “American Brave Trilogy?” Amer— American…? American… Triumph? Trilogy?
She has no idea what he’s talking about and plays with her necklace while trying to put the words together. I don’t know either. I start googling. Amy keeps talking.
Amy: Brave? (laughs) He’s making me laugh. He’s saying you’ll find it. (with a bit of a drawl) “Don’t worry about it, she’s gonna find it.” Anyway, he’s telling me that song, that every time he performed it, it was like the first time —
I see something on my screen and start laughing.
Amy: He’s telling me every time — can you hear me?
I shake my head in disbelief.
Me: Yeah. I found it.
I click on the YouTube link and let the song play.
Amy: Whatever this song is, he’s telling me that every time he played it, it was like he was playing it for the first time.
We listen to a song recorded live by Elvis in concert called “An American Trilogy.” It, and Elvis’ voice, is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics are below.
Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old things they are not forgotten
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland
Oh I wish I was in Dixie, away, away
In Dixieland I take my stand to live and die in Dixie
Cause Dixieland, that’s where I was born
Early Lord one frosty morning
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
His truth is marching on
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry
You know your daddy’s bound to die
But all my trials, Lord will soon be over
You can watch a particularly wonderful performance of Elvis’ rendition of this song below.
We both laugh and talk about how we’ve heard the song before. It’s easy to discount this as something set up ahead of time unless until you experience it in the moment, but I’m blown away.
Me: Good job! That was a good answer!
Amy: I have goosebumps still!
We move on. I mentioned earlier that the reason I’d had Elvis on the brain was because of a dream I had several months ago, just before my medical issue. I was staying in a hotel in Springfield whose sign flashes over and over ELVIS STAYED HERE IN 1956! Initially I had passed it off as nothing more than a dream but in working with Amy I’ve learned to question more, be open to more, and so I broach the subject.
Me: Okay, so this is something I’ve wanted to know for a while and I think we’ve kind of gone back and forth on it so today I’ll maybe get some answers. I won’t go into detail for uh, my own benefit but if there was — if there is anything of him left at that Rail Haven Motel back in Springfield? Or if he and I have had any previous contact?
While the rest of my mind is sort of jumbled and having trouble with this session, at least this part is easy, mostly because it’s been bothering me for so long. Amy closes her eyes for a while. Then she smiles.
Amy: Okay. So. (laughs) Um. This is very… interesting. He is telling me that, um, okay so I don’t know if you’ll want to write about this? Because I don’t know if people will believe this at all but this is what he was telling me. That it’s very, um, known what we’re doing? You and I? And he wanted to do this, and he’s telling me he has a lot to say, to understand that it’s not going to stay at this level because… he’s got a lot to say.
And I would love nothing more than to listen all day, but:
Me: Yes, we’re going to have to do another session because I have to go in about 20 minutes for my personal training class, so…
Amy: Right. So he’s saying that… he has nothing to do with that place? It has to do with getting your attention. And because you were there, and it is connected to him, he came to you…
She drifts off, smiling like she’s about to say something embarrassing.
Amy: …in the way that would be enough for you to take the reigns and make this happen. Because he’s saying to me, “You wouldn’t have done it.” And that’s true. I absolutely was never considering him for this, he’s just too iconic, and too… there’s just so much. But. He’s saying he came in the way that was enough to pique your interest. To bring it to where we are today.
I don’t want to get into details but if you’ve read some of my work, you may recall a piece that is making all this sound vaguely familiar. The dream I had that night did pique my interest, let’s just leave it at that.
And when I went home I started googling questions I had about Elvis to see if the dream made any sense. The pieces started aligning and as crazy as it sounds, I began to wonder if I had actually made contact with the spirit of Elvis… without Amy’s help. He’d been on my mind ever since.
Me: Wow. Well, it worked. He got my attention. (laughs) That’s for sure.
Amy: He’s being a little coy.
Me: (laughs) Yeah, well, I don’t think I even got into all the details with you. About what it was.
Amy: He wants you to understand. He’s teaching. He likes… instructing teaching. He wants you to understand that… and I like the way, I’m gonna actually use this, he’s saying it in a way that is good for me to be able to explain to people. Spirits — and he’s saying more evolved, high conscious spirits — will come and communicate with you in the way that you get the most benefit from. It’s not about them, it’s about you. So he’s saying, for example, if I needed gentleness and comfort, and that’s what my language was, that I would be able to connect best with him on? That’s how he would come to me. Tender, and kind, and gentle.
She pauses, smiles, and points at me.
Amy: He’s saying you got what you needed. “You got what you appreciate, darlin’.”
We both laugh at that.
Me: That’s very true. (laughs) Um. Okay. So that actually does lead us to a good point, which is that does have a lot that he wants to say. He’s got my attention now. He’s got our ear. If we have to cut off today and pick up another time, we will. We’re not going to abandon him. Just so he’s clear on that. But if there’s anything specifically that he does want to touch on, or if he wants to point me in a direction?
Amy closes her eyes. The mood grows somber, but not sad.
Amy: He wants to talk about spirituality. And the beauty of what we call ‘God.’ And I’m feeling so much devotion in my heart for this. Just pure… love. And he wants to explain that so much that was written about him — some was true, some was not — but what he wants to explain is that being famous was very foreign to him. He wanted to, if he could have had his way, dive in to all the spiritual mysteries. Study, go to places holy, and highly-charged in that way, around the world. Ancient knowledge and mysteries, and he loved being a channel and a conduit for… this ‘spirit,’ to move through him through music, he’s saying music is such a… A force. It’s a force that feels… everything.
I’ve seen this before with Ron Goldman — Amy’s on a roll, and usually that is the point that brings about the message of our conversation. I just sit back and listen.
Amy: So music was the channel that he would’ve loved to have been able to share with everyone without… the fame. That came with it. And he’s saying regardless of how his ego — as he was human — acted or got out, he’s using the word ‘pompous’ about certain times or certain things, deep down he was very uncomfortable being famous. Very uncomfortable. Having no time to himself. Even though, he’s telling me, he did the opposite of what his inner world was. His inner world wanted solitude, but what he would do with his outer world is make sure people were around him at all times. He says there was a part of this that he felt he would be engulfed by this very mystery. It would swallow him up. And he couldn’t continue being ‘Elvis’ andthis, so he would always make sure that there were enough people around to keep him anchored. Because he wanted so much to go there. A major draw. I’m just feeling my whole everything being drawn to… God. Not a whole lot of people understand that. Um.
She looks up, suddenly overwhelmed. Her eyes are full of tears.
Amy: I’m gonna cry.
Me: It’s okay!
She does just that. I’ve never seen her this emotional during a session — and it’s certainly never happened this fast. Amy looks positively heartbroken. She takes a moment to compose herself but when she speaks, her voice is shaky and she’s still crying.
Amy: It was a very torturous existence. (nodding) Because. He lovedGod. And he allowed God to move through him, and he was human, and he was messed up. He had no control. And he had to be Elvis. But he wanted to be with God. That’s what he wanted. He’s telling me it was almost like this lock… and he just… he had no choice. He wanted to be who he wanted and he was just very… tormented. Inside. With that.
Amy pauses, wiping the tears from her cheeks, then clasping her hands together.
Amy: He’s saying it saddens him that not many people understand that connection loving connection is there. They don’t open more, channel more, this… power. This beautiful higher power. Because it’s not having to do with him, we all have that ability to do that, and there are only a small amount of people compared to the population of Earth that are aware that’s possible. He wants more people to be aware of that, there is such a great light that is healing and… it’s who we are, and it’s what we came here for, and he would like for people to be more open to that possibility. Not putting labels on it that constrict and limit you by judgments — whether it’s religion or God or whatever it is that you’re gonna put on it — “Just see it as love,” he’s saying. “Just see it as love.”
She listens. There are mascara streaks on her cheeks from the tears.
Amy: And he’s saying now that it’s along the lines of what Princess Diana was saying. Of we, as humans, we have to have… we will do it for other humans but we won’t do it for ourselves. We’ll worship other people, we’ll cry for them when they die, we’ll still visit their grave years later and cry tears for a person we’ve never met. A person we do not know. We’ll safely worship in that way, but so many of us are so fearful of opening up to what you may call ‘God’ and allowing that to pass through us. So he wants us to be aware that this love everybody has for him, the love everybody had for him… he really would love it (laughs) if people would bring that up, allowing it even for a moment, that love worship and vulnerability with something higher. Because he’s saying that’s what people saw in him. That’s why they worshiped him. They didn’t worship him because he was good-looking or because he had all this talent. They worshiped him because of what passed through him that they felt. That made them weak in the knees. That made them lose all consciousness in what was going on in the moment and only he existed. They worshiped him because he was a channel for that. And he wants that understood. That is God. Everything that you love in him is God. Not Elvis.
Amy looks to her left, then back at me, smiling.
Amy: Now he’s saying “Do you understand?”
No. No I did not. I’m not a religious person, I would even hesitate to say I’m spiritual. I try to be open to things (as evidenced by my work with Amy and what I’ve discovered since then) so it’s not like I’m against the idea at all, I just totally don’t get it.
So I lie.
Me: I think so. I think it’s… definitely gonna take some… thinking over? That’s not a message you can just get in… one, one direct hit. It’s definitely something that’s going to have to ruminate. I mean, I — I — I — I think I understand?
Amy: And he wants to say one last thing because he knows you have to go. To understand that this is what he’s been wanting to talk about his whole entire existence. So what you are doing for him right now — and he’s speaking to you, not me — he’s gonna get me later, he says. What you are doing for him is what he wanted his whole entire lifetime. He wanted to be able to talk about these things. And express these things. And so you’re giving him such a gift. It may seem so heavy, and so not Elvis-like, but this is who he was. He’s telling me if you’ll go back and listen to — he’s saying that after he would perform he would just sing and sing and sing, spirituals, this is who he was. He’s saying “Go back and listen to the words of those spirituals.” He wants you to literally look up the words to these songs he’d sing for hours and hours on his own time. That is his heart. And people wanted to label him as highly religious, and people wanted to put him in a box. He wants to blow open the box with this. For people to… for the first time ever, with him, not put him in a box. And not label him.
She looks at me for a moment, then adds:
Amy: So he’s basically telling me for you to hang in there, because right now it seems —
She makes a gesture of something flying over her head. Yeah, pretty much.
Amy: — and also a bit too serious, but there is magic. And he says you’re gonna get it before you write it. And he says he wants to talk more, so this is not the end of the conversation.
She pauses, then smiles.
Amy: And he’s actually telling me that this is going to be very healing for you. This whole entire thing at the completion of it is going to change you as a person for your next level of… where you’re going.
This is a lot to take in at once. It’s a big burden to bear, it’s hard to believe, it’s strange to think it’s something that’s going to affect me personally in the long run.
But more than anything, it’s difficult to grasp the entirety of Elvis’ message. And being the person who’s supposed to deliver this message… I begin to get a little worried.