Category Archives: Seances

A Word About Ouija Boards

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought this excerpt from my book, OK, So You’re Dead: A Sassy Guide to the Afterlife, was timely.

Especially since, at the movies, Ouija, is scaring the crap out of people. Don’t believe all the hype – but on the flip side, don’t be an idiot either. Read on.

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….I would bet that at some point in your life, you’ve had an experience with a Ouija board or seen them in the movies. For centuries, the “talking board” has been used to communicate with people in spirit. It’s amassed a reputation for being “evil,” a beacon for demonic entities. During a recent bout of insomnia, I saw a TV show where they trotted out those same old spooky tales. Oh brother.

Personally, I don’t view Ouija boards that way. In fact, I have a beautiful one, handmade by an artist friend of mine.   Another medium I know works exclusively with her board, using her main spirit guide as the control during sessions.

The thing with these tools is that, like a circular saw, Strontium 90 or a high-powered rifle, you really need to know what you’re doing. The board does serve as a portal between the worlds and one must be experienced to work safely with it.

I choose not to acknowledge evil spirits. I don’t want to give them any of my attention or any power. But I’m the first to admit that I don’t know it all and there are some things in this world I have yet to have firsthand experience of.   Using any kind of mediumistic tool without proper precautions is akin to just leaving your front door open all night long. You never know who – or what — will come in.   Leave the Ouija board to the professionals…..

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The Psychic Power of Joy

One of my favorite movies was on TCM the other night: A Hard Day’s Night is celebrating its 50th anniversary.   Watching it again, I found myself smiling, laughing and dancing along to the Beatles music in my pajamas.

I started thinking about one of the reasons the Fab Four were such a break-out phenomenon: its widely thought that, after the horrifying death of JFK in 1963, America was in desperate need of joy. And they got it in the form of four cheeky, massively talented lads from Liverpool.

Joy is powerful stuff.  It changes molecules. It shifts the energy. I mean, even the grumpiest soul is lifted out of the doldrums by the belly laugh of a baby. And look at the phenomenal success of Pharell Williams’ song, Happy.  People crave joy to counteract the heavy times we live in.

If you're not smiling at this, you have no soul.

If you’re not smiling at this, you have no soul.

I did a reading the other day with a young girl who was super-serious.   I suppose she thought that was what was expected.   Needless to say, she was surprised when I cracked jokes during the session. Being a wiseass is my personal style, but it happens to serve a very real purpose.

Joy amplifies the channel to the Other Side. It has a high energy frequency which makes tuning in to finer energies a lot easier. Think of how you feel when you’re dealing with something serious or sad: its heavy, slow-moving, thick.  Blech.

On the flip side, when people are laughing or happy, things feel light and clear. That makes any intuitive work way easier. Not to mention life in general.

When I was studying in England, I attended a service by the National Spiritualist’s Union. This was where mediums would give messages from the Other Side to people in the audience. Before the service started, ABBA music was played in the church. Instead of stuffy old hyms, we were asked to sing along to Dancing Queen and Take A Chance On Me. The minister then entered, dressed in an outfit to rival the cover of Sgt. Pepper. We were all smiles, the energy felt great – and it made for a wonderful evening.

Don’t discount the power of joy in doing any psychic work.  There’s no rule saying it has to be serious and solemn.  In fact, that may be counterproductive, like swimming upstream.

Before I read, I crank up my iPod and spend a few minutes doing my own Soul Train line to  the music of Earth Wind and Fire.   It makes me happy.  And it makes me a better reader.

What brings you ear-to-ear joy?  Indulge in it right now.

 

My Field Guide to the Other Side

Kinda excited this morning.  I got up, fed the kitties, grabbed some coffee and logged on to see that my new book was uploaded to Amazon overnight!

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This was one of those “aha” moments; over my time as a reader, I’ve gotten the same 25-30 questions hundreds of times.  Each.  So I decided to share my take on the whole afterlife thang in one place.

Among the questions I tackle:

-What happens at the exact moment of death?  What does it feel like?

-“Where” is the Other Side?

-Will I have to deal with people I couldn’t stand in life?

-What happens in a seance?

-Are spirits watching me….in a creepy way?

-How does a medium work? (Bonus info:  the one thing a medium might say that should make you run….)

-Are pets with us, or in a different locale?

-What happens to suicides?

That’s just a taste.  Frankly, as I started to write, the book took on a whole life of its own.  No pun intended.

At any rate, I think this is just the ticket for anyone who’s grieving…who has grieved…who will grieve.  Anyone who’s curious or maybe a wee bit freaked out over the thought of shuffling off this mortal coil one day.  I’ve found that, during an actual reading, the info has brought a lot of comfort to my clients.  I hope the vibe continues.

OK, So You’re Dead is available in paperback and Kindle formats.  Ain’t technology grand?

PS — I’d love to hear your comments on it; and if you’re so inclined, would appreciate a review at Amazon.  Thanks in advance.

What If the Dead Came Back?

Last night, I saw a promo for an upcoming TV show called Resurrection.  From what I can tell, it poses the question, “What if someone who died came back?”

The promo featured people aghast at this chance for a do-over.  I’m sure the show is going to go all murder-victim-comes-back-to-freak-out-their-killer at some point, but the basic premise looks pretty cool.

What would you do if someone you loved returned from the Other Side?  What would you tell them?  What would you do differently from when they were alive (the first time)?

One of the most frequent concerns I get during a sitting involves regret.

“Does she know how much I miss her?”

“Does he know I’m sorry?”

“I wish I could tell him I love him.”

In the case of this TV show, the characters get a chance for some face-to-face reconciliation.  I suspect this would be the optimal scenario for most of us – to have them here, in front of us, to say all those things that were left unsaid.

The thing is, even in spirit form, they DO hear us.  Plenty of clients say to me, “Tell them (fill in the blank).”  And I’m like, “You just told them yourself.”

If you’ve come to some kind of enlightenment about a thorny relationship, a new perspective on a situation, or just want to feel the presence again of someone you miss, try this:

Close your eyes and focus on settling your breathing.  As you relax, picture a beautiful bridge,  You’re standing on one end, and at the other, the person you want to talk to.  Imagine the both of you walking towards the center of the bridge.  As you meet in the middle, take a moment to look at them and see how wonderfully happy and healthy they look.

Take their hands.  Now tell them what’s on your mind.  Feel their love around you as you speak, and know that they are hearing every word.  Notice if they say anything back  (they may or may not, it doesn’t matter).

Once you’re done, thank them for coming and watch as they return to their side of the bridge.

Over the next few days, watch for “signs” that you were heard.

The point is, while we may not necessarily be able to see and hear those on the Other Side, they can see and hear us.  Use that knowledge to say all that was left unsaid while they were here.

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How to Do An EVP Session

You’re not the only one who digs having a new phone or iPad.  Spirits looovvvve anything electronic.  I’m not sure why this is, except that gadgets of the electric kind make it easier for spirit to let us know they’re around.

Throughout the ages, spirit has used human “stuff” to give us a sense of their presence; there’s a house in Greenwich Village that Thomas Jefferson once lived in.  The residents say his ghost loves to flush the toilets.  But there’s something about electrical current that meshes even more nicely with the vibration of the spirit plane.

But did he put the seat back down?  Typical guy.

But did he put the seat back down? Typical guy.

Professional ghosthunters have all kinds of high-tech doohickeys to measure the presence of spirit, but I had a chance to interact with the Other Side simply using my iPhone.

It’s called “EVP” – “electronic voice phenomenon.”  Ghosthunters have been known to leave recording devices running in an area that’s purported to be haunted.  Upon playback, they’ll hear voices, noises and other things that weren’t witnessed at the time.  The digital sensitivity of the machine picks up on other dimensions.

I was with a friend recently who suspected that her late father was hanging around her house.  We started our session by first invoking the white light of protection in the space.  This is critical whenever you work with the spirit dimension, because, let’s face it:  we don’t know everything and you never know who might decide to use the open channel.  So invoking the white light is just good practice, like putting on your seat belt.

We lit a candle (which helps spirit focus in on our presence) and invited her father to join us in our sacred space.  Then I turned on my phone’s Voice Memo function.

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I asked several questions, leaving a space for him to “answer.”

After a few minutes, we closed the sacred space, blew out the candle – then played back the recording.

Amazingly, we heard “answers” to our questions.  They came in short one or two word bursts (yeah, don’t expect a full-on conversation or the Gettysburg Address; its not so easy for spirit to mesh their energy with ours to the degree  that we can talk like we do with our friends).   Plus, we heard a knocking sound that we hadn’t heard during the session.

I had a similar experience when I was studying at the Arthur Findlay College in the UK.  We set up a tape recorder in one of the rooms most used for spirit work, asked questions — then played back the answers, which featured two distinctly different male voices and one female voice.  Wowza.

Needless to say, EVP can be pretty cool.  And its nice to know that your phone can be used to “make a call” as it were to loved ones on the Other Side.

Let me know your own results with EVP by leaving it in the Comments.  And if you have questions, hit me up at the website.

Boo! Some Thoughts On Ghosts

Last night, I was still in a food coma from Thanksgiving and all its leftovers, so I found myself on the couch watching a marathon of one of those ghost/haunting shows.  Things flying through the air, funky smells, noises, apparitions, lots of screaming people.  Made me happy for my quiet little un-haunted house.

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But it got me to thinking about ghosts.  As a psychic-medium, I deal with spirits.  But I have yet to encounter one of those spooky, home-wrecking ghosts (and if I did, I’d probably need a change of underwear.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.)  Anyway,  I have some thoughts on the subject.

First off, ghosts are spirits who have yet to go to the Light. They hang around for lots of reasons.  I think the biggest one is a fear of going to the Light; they’re afraid of having to face up to any bad behavior, real or exaggerated.  So they hang out between the worlds.  I mean, we’re given free will in this life, and to some extent, that includes our choices after we die.

Many ghosts will just sort of “pace” between the worlds.  They stay in an area that seems comforting and familiar, even as it changes around them. In their eyes, their home is the same as it was back in the day, even if now, there’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard (apologies to Tom Petty).

Some ghosts may get noisy, and I think its their way of letting people know they’re still around.   I mean, considering we live in an age where we update our social media every 5 minutes, can’t blame a lost soul for ratttling some plates to make their presence known.

Sometimes a ghost is actually just an energetic imprint.  Something intense happened and punched its mark into the atmosphere – like the appearance of Civil War soldiers on the battlefield.  I hate to think those poor guys are still having to relive their trauma; I think that what gets “seen” on those ghost walks is almost like a movie playing out long after the actors have left the set.

For spirits who are indeed stuck here – for whatever reason – there’s something called “Soul Rescue.”  This is a specialized form of mediumship, where the medium works with certain spirit guides to help convince the hangers-on to move on to the Light.

But I mean, when you think of how many people die in a year – and how comparitively few ghosts there are in the world, hauntings are pretty rare.

The thing they all have in common though, is to scare the bejeepers out of most anyone who encounters them.

Fear is a very powerful energy; for some disembodied spirits, it can literally feed them.  If you can dial back the fear, you can also dial down the influence – or frequency in appearance – of a ghost.  Whether they’re benign like Casper or scary like Freddie makes no difference; that initial “Holy crap!” reaction is like a shot of 5-Hour Energy to spirits.

When it comes to dealing with ghosts, anything that makes you feel more powerful and less fearful – prayer, holy medallions, lucky talismans, tequila – will help.  Archangel Michael is a great ally to call on when you’re feeling anxious (ghosts or not).  The Catholic Chuch believes he did battle with Lucifer, so he can take on your jittery nerves or garden-variety spook without breaking a sweat.

One of my bedtime rituals is to ask Michael to stand guard around my home as I sleep.  It makes for sweet dreams.

Just for fun, other cultures have some interesting other “ghostbusting” traditions:

-Put salt across the threshold of your door.  This is good for keeping any janky energies in general from entering (like your pain-in-the-ass neighbor).  My friend Joanne says that, in Greece, they put sugar under the doormat for similar reasons.

-In the Far East, priests purified and protected their temples with cinnamon sticks.  Place a bundle by your door or over the windows.

-Wind chimes began as a way to scare off negative energies.  And they sound awesome!

-Wear anything made of silver or obsidian as protection.

-Garlic over an entry way keeps anything troublesome spirit away.

Spiritual Lessons from Netflix

You know those binge viewing sessions you go on from time to time?  Like when I watched all three seasons of Downton Abbey in one weekend (my ass still hasn’t quite woken up from that marathon)?

Well, when you’re needing a shot of something spiritual on a rainy weekend, here are my picks.

MADE IN HEAVEN (1987)  This is one of my all time favorites.  Timothy Hutton stars as a young man who dies while saving some folks in a car accident.  In Heaven, he meets his soulmate (Kelly McGillis).  To me, this is a wonderful representation of what Heaven might really be like.  It’s a great love story, and has some awesome cameos from Neil Young, Tom Petty and Ric Ocasek of the Cars.

THE GIFT (2000)  The awesome Cate Blanchett as a backwoods psychic.  The way her “visions” are depicted is pretty cool.  Her character was inspired by actor Billy Bob Thornton’s mother, who was a psychic.

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998)  A visually stunning depiction of the Afterlife (both good and bad).  I particularly appreciated how Hell is shown not as a place of devils and pitchforks, but as a nightmare of one’s own creation.

GHOST (1990) Come on, ladies –a classic, amIright?  The way Patrick Swayze has to build up his mental powers in order to manifest things in the physical world is pretty accurate.  It’s hard for spirit to show themselves or make things happen.  And just like in the movie where Demi Moore “feels” him around her, that’s how it goes down.

OdaMae’s newfound abilities to communicate with the dead is similar to what really happens to many mediums:  they’re like the only working cellphone and lots of dead folks want to talk to their loved ones through them.

But that scene where Patrick takes over Whoopi’s body to dance with Demi Moore? Um, sorry – I still kept seeing Whoopi.

What are your fave spiritual movies?

How To Connect With The Dead

By a certain age, we’ve all acquired a few things:  a credit rating, a droopier ass, an inability to remember why we came into the room.  We’ve also acquired more than a passing familiarity with death and the loss of special people.

Like that droopy ass, this is something we’d rather not have to deal with.  But we do.

Even though I spend a fair amount of time connecting with the dead, it hasn’t made my own personal losses that much easier.  I have felt my mother’s presence many times, but sure wouldn’t mind the chance to hug her again for real.  I know that will happen one day, but in the meantime….

You know, I kinda hate to call them “the dead” because they do indeed continue to live in another dimension.  They interact with us through our dreams, through little signs  (like finding pennies), or by using a medium who is sensitive to their energy.

But I like this exercise, too.

Start by inviting a loved one on the Other Side to meet you in this meditation.

Choose a time when you will be completely relaxed and undisturbed.

Get comfortable and take several deep breaths.  Envision a warm ball of white light surrounding and protecting you. Now settle in and focus on your breathing.

Imagine that you’re at the top of a beautiful marble staircase.  You begin walking down the steps, noticing how sweet the air is and how peaceful and relaxed you are.

At the bottom of the staircase is a path that winds through a beautiful, lush garden.  Step onto this path, noticing the beautiful trees above you, the flowers in bloom and the birdsong over your head.  It’s a magical, peaceful place.

Continue focusing on your breath as you walk along this winding path.  Ahead is a garden gate.  Push the gate open and walk inside.  Amidst the greenery and flowers is a marble pavilion, open on all sides.  The marble columns glow with light.  You can see two comfortable couches inside.

Walk up the steps to this pavilion and settle into one of the couches.  The pillows are deep and soft, and you’re totally comfortable.

As you relax in this special place, you hear footsteps on the pavilion stairs.  Your loved one has arrived.

Look at them as they settle into the other couch.  How do they look? What are they wearing?  Don’t be surprised if they appear younger than when they passed.

Just stay in this quiet place for a moment, feeling their presence.  They’re so happy to be with you again.  Bask in that love.

Now ask them a question.  Go with the first response you get.  It may be a gesture, they may “show” you something, like a symbol.  Or you may hear words.  The most important thing is to not doubt what you get.  This is really happening.

When its time to leave, thank your loved one for meeting you and give them a hug.  Allow this beautiful, eternal energy to flow through you, and know you can be with them any time you want in this special place.

As you leave the pavilion and go back through the gate, you turn once more to see them smiling at you.  Walk back along the path to the marble staircase.  Walk up the steps, coming back into the present moment.  Open your eyes.

It’s a good idea to jot down your experience in a notebook.  This will help you notice any information you got in the meditation when it shows up in real life.

And it will.

One day, you will be able to hug your loved one again for real.  But in the meantime, the Pavilion is a great meeting place.

I’d love to hear about your experiences after you do this meditation.  Leave me the details in the Comments.

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Psychic Health & Protection

Being a psychic is humbling, exciting, eye-opening, cool and inspiring.  It can also kick your ass.

They don’t call us “sensitives” for nothing: psychic or mediumistic work requires a shift in your personal energy that leaves you “open” to both the good vibes and the bad.  When I read, I can feel my client’s joy, angst and heartbreak.  It’s a fascinating experience, and it’s a huge lesson in empathy – but it can take its toll on the physical body.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things for taking care of my psychic self and preventing burnout.

1)  White Light.  Before I read, I make a practice of visualizing an “egg” of protective white light around both my reading space and myself.  Because I’m about to open myself up, this keeps any janky energies or entities from getting in.

Better than a bulletproof vest and a bottle of Purell.

Better than a bulletproof vest and a bottle of Purell.

Here’s what I say before starting a session:  “I surround myself with the white light of love and protection.  I ask that only positive energies be present as I do this work, and help me to be a clear channel for the information which my client seeks.  I ask that they help me receive, discern and relay that information in the kindest and gentlest of ways, for the highest good and the good of all.  I accept nothing less.”

I don’t recall where I learned this prayer, and it’s evolved over the years, but it sets up a safe, healthy space to work in.

2)   Washing hands.  I do this both before and after a session, visualizing any stale energies leaving my body (in the TMI category, I also pee beforehand just in case – so I def need to hand wash!).  It’s also a sign of respect and honor for the tools I’m about to handle (cards, crystals, etc.).  Washing my hands after a session also brings me back to earth.

Not an OCD thing -- just good psychic hygiene.

Not an OCD thing — just good psychic hygiene.

3)  Food.  I try to eat something light about 45 minutes before reading.  I need the energy.  After reading, I also have a snack.  Food helps ground me.  In that same vein, many psychics are vegetarian.  Good for them, but this girl needs her Big Mac.

As a matter of fact, I DO want fries with that....

As a matter of fact, I DO want fries with that….

4)  Where I read.  Early in my development, one of my teachers warned that psychics should never read in bars.  Besides the noise and the random assholes, you’re dealing with some crazy energy.  People go to bars for a reason, and their problems or pain is amplified.  I made the mistake of doing a few quickie reads when I was out with some friends one night; they went fine, but the next morning, yours truly was absolutely knackered.  And it wasn’t from the chardonnay.  I felt like I had holes punched in me, and it took days for me to feel normal again. So now when I go to a bar – white light or not – my shingle reads “Closed.”

Seriously.  Jello shots and readings do NOT mix.

Seriously. Jello shots and readings do NOT mix.

5)  A Process.  Intuitive energy or the energy surrounding a mediumistic session kind of has a life of its own.  Learning to control it is a little like learning how to ride a bucking bronco; there’s a rhythm and unpredictabiltity.  A routine for opening up and closing down puts a framework around that energy and makes it easier to handle.  The bronco may still buck, but at least its in the corral versus hauling ass across the painted desert.

Just call me the Psychic Cowgirl.

Just call me the Psychic Cowgirl.

When I begin, I’ve put the white light around myself; when I complete a session, I envision a little curtain being pulled across my crown chakra, as a way to terminate the link.

"Thank you!  And good night!"

“Thank you! And good night!”

Then I wash my hands and eat, and I feel like I’ve come back to earth.  Doing something grounding – gardening, petting my cat, taking a shower – also works.

Having a process for your psychic work is vital.  I’ve seen too many of my students go a little nuts with their blossoming abilities.  They walk around with their channel wide open, reading anyone and anything that comes across their path.  I think they like the attention. One woman was thrilled to tell me about the two people she’d read while standing in the Express Checkout Line; no mention of how her unwitting subjects felt about it.

Does an inadvertent reading count as item #16?

Does an inadvertent reading count as item #16?

Not only is that just crazy intrusive, its not healthy for the reader.  When your energy isn’t controlled, its like an ungrounded power line.  Sooner or later, you will get burned but good.

So use these tips to stay healthy and focused both in and out of the intuitive realm.  And I’d love to hear what you do for yourself to stay sane and centered.  Hit me up in the comments.

How the Dead See Us

We’re hitting the Memorial Day weekend, and although its become associated with barbecues, beer and that scary moment when you display your winter-white legs in shorts for the first time, it really IS about “memorial” — as in, remembering those who’ve passed on in service to our country.

Whether you’ve lost a military family member — or any family member or friend — I want you to know that they will probably be at that barbecue with you.  When someone crosses over, it does not mean that they cease to be involved or aware of life on this side of the veil.  To the contrary: they’re still keeping an eye out for us.

To me, crossing over is like graduating from high school.  You may be heading to college, but you’re still in touch with those kids a grade or two behind.  If those “kids” are family members, you want to keep in the loop, maybe not quite as much as when you were alive — but still.

You’d be surprised at how many times a spirit has let me know that they were at a special birthday or graduation.  They know about a new grandchild — or even the new addition you put on the house.  The point is, they keep in touch.  It’s like they’re checking your Facebook page.  So you might want to keep the sketchier “selfies” off of it.  Just a suggestion.

Anyway, those who we are deeply linked to, either by blood or circumstance, remain in our karmic phone book.  They are busy with new experiences on spirit-side, but they don’t forget us.  In fact, they’re closer than we think.

Most of us think that death takes us to a place far, far away; but in reality, they’ve just switched into a higher energy form. They move so fast that we can’t see them.  Hey, Star Trek fans.  ‘Memba that episode where Kirk is “sped up” by some alien chick?  Here’s a refresher:

That’s kind of like how it is for our loved ones on the Other Side.  They resonate at a level that we don’t easily experience; dimensionally, they live about three feet off of our ground.

For them to “appear” to us is not easy.  They must slow down their vibration, which takes some doing.  As a medium, I need to raise mine as they lower theirs — and then we meet somewhere in the middle, energetically speaking.  When they  show themselves to a non-medium, the process is even harder, so be super-grateful for that gift.

Because the process is tricky is one reason you may not see a loved one soon after their passing.  They’re getting used to their new state; its like falling asleep as plain old dumpy you and waking up as Angelina Jolie.  Takes some getting used to.  That bit of down time is good for us, as it lets us adjust to this life without that person.  Not fun, not easy, but necessary for our growth.  Wanting to “see” them again is a natural response, but being too desperate and needy isn’t good for them or you.

Grief is a powerful teacher.  And understanding that our loved ones continue to live on, albeit in a different form, takes time.  Just know that they are as close as your thoughts and memories.

Happy Memorial Day.