You don’t have to be a seer or have supernatural powers to understand the rhythms of the Universe or to comprehend the language it speaks. Nor is the occult the only doorway into these mysteries; they are available to anyone who is willing to look with an open mind at what is going on around them. We are guided by omens and signs and sometimes the voice of higher beings, depending on our openness and willingness to receive these blessings.

Between Heaven and Earth by Prabhath P, www.theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com

Between Heaven and Earth by Prabhath P, http://www.theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com

Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist) refers to omens as “the individual language in which God talks to you. They are this strange, but very individual language that guides you toward your own destiny. They are not logical. They talk to your heart directly. All you have to do is pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”

Sometimes it is easier to recognize the signs that warn you are on the wrong path. A series of mishaps, unforeseen obstacles, and numerous other roadblocks tell you this is the wrong way, or the wrong time, and to try another route.  Yet despite these obvious signs, many will persevere, stubbornly sticking to the “plan” only to realize later when the plan falls apart that it would have been wise to pay more attention to the signs along the way.

Learning the language of the Universe is akin to mastering any new language. In the process of learning, mistakes are bound to be made until finally one day you feel a distinct connection with the voice that guides us. This silent voice of God will lead us to the places where we should be if we pay attention. Eastern philosophers refers to this as “stillness before motion”—knowing when to be still and listen for the voice, and when to take action.

Years ago while on my way to register a business (a matchmaking service), a voice very clearly told me to call this new venture “Soul Match: for singles healthy in body, mind and spirit”.  The name was perfect and it attracted the type of clients I wanted to work with. It also provided an income while I got my writing business up and running. A few years later I sold the business to focus on my writing career.

Where Angels Gather CoverOmens come in many different forms. Last summer on my way to Lily Dale I happened to look up in the sky and see a perfectly formed angel cloud. My niece, who was driving, also saw the angel cloud and I told her this was the image I wanted to capture on the cover of my book Where Angels Gather. Not long after I arrived home from Lily Dale, a friend sent me an image of an angel cloud and I was stunned. The image was close to the one we had seen on our trip! I painted the image and it now appears on the cover of my book.

I think of the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s song My Way when I fail to listen to the voice that guides me…“Regrets, I have a few”. A good friend of mine left this world a few years ago, a very spiritual person and talented sculptor. Two weeks before his death he had invited me to go cross-country skiing with him on his farm. When the day arrived I called my friend Roland and asked if we could postpone our ski day. He was so accommodating. “Of course,” he replied without even asking for a reason. Two weeks later he died of a massive coronary while visiting his girlfriend.

For some unknown reason, Roland popped into my head last weekend while emptying a Group of Seven box that I use to store special letters and cards. The box originally held four coffee mugs designed with Tom Thompson’s art and I had been trying unsuccessfully for four years to track down the manufacturer to have the mugs replaced because they leaked. After a series of synchronicities, I was given a telephone number that led me to a manager of a store who, after much convincing, agreed to replace the mugs, if I brought the mugs and the original box into her store.

So last Saturday as I emptied the box my thoughts turned to Roland and I felt sad for having missed that last visit with him before his death. At that very moment I came across two pieces of paper, each one containing a poem addressed to me and written and signed by Roland. In them, he expressed his appreciation for our friendship and how much it meant to him. I have no recollection of having seen these poems before, or how they came into my possession, but they couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I read them several times through tears of joy, because to me it was a sign from Roland that our special friendship continues from the other side.

Our loved ones and friends on the other side use various signs to let us know they are thinking about us—a meaningful song played at just the right moment; a flower left on a windowsill; a dove or other species of bird; a phone call; a computer message; flickering lights; a fragrance; or the smell of pipe tobacco—something to catch our attention and make that connection, if only for a moment.

Do you recognize the omens that guide you along your path? Have you received any signs from your loved ones in Spirit?

When Sarah S. and I first connected through my blog, I was impressed with how beautifully she wrote. She expressed herself like an ‘old soul’ who has carried wisdom from many previous lifetimes. Sarah is a cross-over Indigo/Crystal child. With the birth of these children commencing in the mid-to-late nineties, we are now experiencing the results of their amazing gifts. Stories of celestial beings keeping in touch with them, guiding and protecting them for the special purposes they are being groomed for in this incarnation. The dream Sarah describes below is astoundingly insightful with similarities to Near Death Experiences described by those who return to tell their stories. Fortunately for us, Sarah allowed me to share her story and her incredible, revealing dream on this blog.  Here it is in Sarah’s words:

I’ve always had vivid dreams since the time I was a child. Dreams I had at the age of 3 and 4 are still just as vivid and meaningful to me as they were in the mornings after waking from them. Other dreams seem unlike anything that is dreamlike at all—people who visit me, people I love and recognize, have given surprisingly accurate warnings, lessons and advice.  As a child I did see auras, as my father did. He also shared the types of dreams that I experienced and spoke lovingly of the visits he received up until his 69th yr. My dreams have changed my life, redirected me and have been reflected in my views upon death and passing. I start this dream from where it began for me, and describe my understanding of it as I understood it while asleep.

Sarah’s dream: I’m home, where the water is ever present. Not water like we have here…it has more life and vitality, warmth and energy. It’s a “being” of its own, with its own feelings and intents. I have no memories of entering any body of water in this place without feeling like I’m part of it. I can’t say that its identity is so strong you can Identify “it” as separate, but it provides like a mother’s presence would.  It would feel depreciating to mention it as only a substance, especially when love enters my heart at the thought of the water here. Everything connects to her, “the water”; massive trees pull her in and then she rains back down from their leaves. I don’t ever see this place as heaven, but it feels close to it. While here, it is simply just “one of our places.” 

We have “sleepy” souls with us this time. I know they did not cross in the usual, quick manner. Instead these ones lingered when their bodies died. It’s not bad that they didn’t cross right away…but it does create a burden for them to some extent. They stay believing they are not done, or for fear of not loving someone enough. Some stay because being out of their bodies was not what they believed it would be while in their bodies. These ones had to be ‘collected’…encouraged…nudged …drawn in.  We had to go to them and guide them here. I was not a part of the collecting, not with these, but I remember doing so and understand how they came to be here. I understand that the longer a soul stays “there” without crossing, the “sleepier” they get. I use the word sleepy because they dive deeper into the unreal when not crossing.

Often times this “sleepiness” is unpleasant for them, even though it is their choosing to not let go of it. I understand that waking up takes a bit longer for some of them under these conditions.  This is not their final stop or the end of their crossing. Being here is an “in between” for them. They are home safe, but sleepy and not entirely ready for their homecoming.  We move in a group around them. The others with me are just an extension of me; we have no need to communicate. We are one. I want to emphasize that I still exist here, with my own identity, but at times there is no need to have my own self awareness, and it is just as much of a pleasure to be part of a moving organism as a separate one here.

We love the “collected ones” and we are on some levels more tapped into, and focused on them than we are to each other. We don’t need to share thoughts about each one. They are all different, each having a sharper sense of separateness, and we all know what is being perceived in every direction at once.  We do not consider some to be weaker souls, older souls, younger etc. They are all just as valuable, and belong as anything would here. They are not here to be SHOVED into a loving merge, or forced into seeing what is really happening; they are simply here to wake up a bit more. Now pulled over, they all feel loved, at peace, tranquil, and satisfied.

However, each is still too sleepy to remember an important part of them that is best described as childlike joy. Some still believe they are “old” or “unable”, others believe they have pain, even though none of them is actually feeling any pain. Physical pain is not a reality here, although I do have memories of fragmented lessons taking place here…where an emotional insight caused a splinter of hurt, and then instantaneously turned into a delightful understanding. We push them out onto a boat and move at all sides next to them. A boat is not necessary here, but they believe it is. They know the water from where they came, and that predominates their expectations. So we provide one. We can feel some of them waking up to a small bit of excitement…it moves through them. As each one wakes up it affects all of them and us. We cross to the other shore and coax them out. Like children, some of them are tentative, but now all of them are starting to feel excited, and because of this, who they really are starts to emanate amongst all of us. I emphasize again that all of them are uniquely their own, but they ARE us too, and each other. 

We point at the water and I tell one to look down at the life inside of it. “See that beautiful little creature? See it with YOURSELF instead of your eyes. Do you feel her growth? Do you feel the beauty of this cycle for her? Feel her love for her babies…..and now it is yours too! Do you see how she grows and learns for us all?” I am pulled in briefly by her beauty, letting the energy of her experience consume and warm me. She’s here moving through growth as these other souls did “over there”. Growing and learning is much softer here though, less traumatic.   

One soul believed in the boat that he couldn’t walk and still vaguely holds on to that idea. “Look at the purple!” I communicate to him without using words as we all do here. I feel an explosion of excitement emerge from him.  He wants to find more of the purple under the water. He moves away from the group, the belief of being disabled has evaporated. I know this one while “awake” and away from “form” lingers in this place as much as I do. I know this is a place of his liking.  Others with us will have other places that match their loves better. I know the man who wanted to find purple will finish waking up and return here often. 

Soon we are surrounded by moving agile forms, all of them more awake than when they came. The laughter moves through all of us energetically. They are waking up, they are beautiful. Their ideas of fear are gone, and won’t return until they are strong enough to handle it.    I wake up wondering if this was a memory, or an amazing imagination that pushed me through the night. Either way I feel elated, as if on a high. I roll out of bed wondering when I can go back. Even if it is not real, I miss this place, enough that seeing it makes my spirits soar, and simultaneously leaves me longing for it on a deep level. I will spend the rest of my day feeling as I always do after being there, (remembering there), ecstatic because of it, but aching for not being there. With Sarah’s permission, I forwarded her dream to Cathy Hunsberger, a professional dream interpreter. To read Cathy’s analysis of the dream, visit her blog at untoldbridgesecrets.com  If you have a dream that you want interpreted, send it to Cathy at chunsberger@cox.net

For those of you who did not make any New Year’s resolutions this year, something in the messages below might resonate with you and open your awareness further so that you can be your best and make the best of 2015. We all strive for peace and serenity in our lives and most often we are the ones who create barriers to achieving it. The following was sent to me by a friend…author unknown.

A time comes in your life when you finally get it… When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you, and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties, and in the process a sense of peace and contentment are born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should drive, how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and how to raise your children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the person on your arm. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love…. and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms… just to make you happy. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK…. and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want…and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less…and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve… and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s okay to ask for help.

You learn that the only thing to fear is FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens, you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

doveSlowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself and you make a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart’s desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God (whatever you believe him/her to be) by your side, you take a stand, take a deep breath, and begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Welcome to 2015! An “8” year for abundance, prosperity and opportunities. Did any of the messages resonate with you?

I am pleased to announce the launch of my second novel Where Angels Gather. While the story and characters are a work of fiction, much of the information on the Afterlife is based on many years of communicating with the Spirit World, as well as participating in paranormal investigations and past life regressions, and years of study and research into the paranormal. My hope in writing this book is for people to look at physical death, not as the end of life, but the beginning of a new Afterlife. The human body is but a shell; the soul is eternal.

Where Angels Gather is a spiritual novel based on one woman’s transition to the Afterlife. The book reveals many of the ancient truths and secrets of the Universe and provides answers to questions we all seek about life after death.

                                                                                                            Synopsis:

Where Angels Gather CoverWhen Grace wakes up “dead” in the Afterlife, her first thought is to find a way back to her grieving family. But first Grace must accompany her Spirit Guide on a whirlwind review of her past lives—as a eunuch in the Forbidden City, an Oglala brave confronting death in the Black Hills of Dakota, and mistress-in-waiting to the King of England—Grace unravels the mysteries of each past life and how they connect to the present.

In the beginning, the Afterlife is full of revelations, but even this peaceful existence has its complications. When Grace returns to earth to attend her funeral, she is faced with difficult choices: how can she help her family without altering their fate, and can she bring herself to leave them a second time to return to the Afterlife? To fulfill her destiny, Grace must accept a dangerous rescue mission to the lower plane where the souls of two men rest on her conscience. Only one man can be brought back to the light and Grace must decide which one it will be.

*** R E V I E W S  ***

Doreen Barnes

Beverley Young’s philosophy and enlightenment is that love can outlast earthly existence, even in the hereafter, beyond death. ‘Where Angels Gather’ is a page turner and brought a sense of peace to me. I especially found the work well written with Young providing a possible resolve to a serious subject matter of an afterlife. She uses fictional characters to simplify the mysteries of death with a journey into the Universal realm. This author is one that I will extend an invitation to for media coverageDoreen Barnes, Freelance Writer, Host of TVCogeco ‘Readers’ Corner’, Eastern Ontario Networks ‘The Authors’ and author of E-                                       Reviews, ‘All About Books’

Marilyn Szoldra‘Where Angels Gather’ encourages us to re-examine our own lives and the lives we touch every day. Ms. Young keeps the adventure taut while the revelations are in keeping with the insights learned. This thoughtful and thought-provoking book provides the reader with a glimpse into the Spirit World like no other beforeMarilyn Szoldra, Book Editor

SharonBeverley has written a wonderful book that grabs the reader right from the first few pages and makes you fall in love with the storyline and characters.  It brings forward such emotion and the thought of endless possibilities in the afterlife.  It makes the reader realize that life isn’t over after we leave this realm of living and that we can continue to pursue our dreams and our love of family and friends in the next level of existence. Watch your Karma in life- it is important. Readers be warned – love one another, be good to one another on earth, and nourish what is important to you in this life because your karma follows into the afterlife. The book is hard to put down and so you keep reading because in the end we all want a happy ending, whether its here or in the afterlife.  Well done Bev!Sharon Locke 

To Order Where Angels Gather:

Click here ‘Books’ for information on ordering. E-books will be available online sometime in January 2015. Wishing you all a…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 

One of the perks of hosting this blog is the opportunity to communicate with people worldwide. Hardly a day goes by when I do not receive a photo of a “potential orb” from someone, somewhere in the world and I am grateful for these opportunities to expand my research. In this post I will share some of the more interesting photos of what I consider to be authentic orbs and the stories behind them.

Orb at Stourhead Estate, photographed by Sherri Matthews www.sherrimatthewsblog.com

Orb at Stourhead Estate, photographed by Sherri Matthews http://www.sherrimatthewsblog.com

The photo of this orb (visible at the left of the cross) was taken by Sherri Matthews at Stourhead estate near Mere, Wiltshire, England.

Lady Alda Hoare of Stourhead with her husband and son.

Lady Alda Hoare of Stourhead with her husband and son.

The Hoare family, who owned and lived on the Stourhead Estate in the 1770s, is buried there. Sherri and her husband often visit Stourhead Lake and gardens, and on this grey and rainy afternoon when the photo was taken, were the only two at the graveyard. They were quite surprised to learn they had captured an orb with their camera. If you zoom in on the orb and look closely, you might see two men who look remarkably similar to the husband and son of Lady Alda Hoare shown in the photo!

Photo of Gerry Gendron published with his permission

(Photo of Gerry Gendron published with his permission)

Can you see three orbs in this photo of Gerry Gendron? Gerry believes they contain the spirits of his mother who died in 1999, his grandmother (1994) and great aunt (2001). “The one with the face [in the orb] is my grandmother, she was the most strong-willed,” Gerry says. “I think they are telling me there is life after death and not to worry, that they will meet me on the other side.”

In 2010-1011, Gerry almost died with stage 4 lymphoma. He also had kidney cancer— hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, type 1, and consequently had half of his left kidney removed in 2013. The doctors believe the cancer has now returned to his right kidney and are keeping an eye on the tumor as it slowly grows. Nothing can be done to stop the cancer or slow it down as neither Chemotherapy nor radiation works.

Once during an EVP session (Electronic Voice Phenomena used to record sounds made by spirits), Gerry received knocks from all three deceased relatives  in response to questions he asked. He was able to determine which one was knocking he says “because the loudest was my grandmother and the softest was my great aunt (she was a quiet person in life), and the first knock was my mother.” Gerry has a positive attitude about his cancer that is admirable because he believes his role on the other side will be to welcome new souls. That and the loving family he knows are waiting to greet him.

orb photographed by Marcella, www.mysecretloveforyou.wordpress.com

orb photographed by Marcella, http://www.mysecretloveforyou.wordpress.com

Marcella took the photo of this beautiful orb on April 26, the day of her wedding anniversary. She had this to say. “After my mom passed, I have seen a very special orb on important celebrations, I can’t say it is my mom, but definitely some great energy make her presence now in my house. I called for my mom that day, I took pictures and I didn’t see the Orb right away until late that night when I sat with my computer and I saw it. What a great joy!” Orbs tend to be plentiful inside and outside Marcella’s home as you will see in her gallery of orb photos at www.mysecretloveforyou.wordpress.com (El Closet de Los Recuerdos)

Mary Ellen ball orbI have received a number of photos similar to this one, of children with orbs close to their body or head. These photos were sent to me by Mary Ellen. While taking pictures over Christmas 2013, Mary Ellen noticed what appeared to be a floating ball so she kept snapping away and captured an orb with a woman’s face. (Zoom in for a closer look). Mary Ellen says “My mother passed away in 1997 and for years I was asking her to please send me a sign that you are okay.”

Mary Ellen orbA couple of years ago while taking pictures of a family by the lake, Mary Ellen was surprised to discover a rainbow around the little girl in the photo. Towards the middle of the girl’s head, on the right side, the face appears in the orb again.

Orbs are thought to be spiritual messengers or to contain the spirits of deceased loved ones. It certainly appears from these photos that orbs may, in fact, be vehicles for transporting spirits to our world and to other realms. Anything is possible. And who knows, they may be a form of transportation for our planet in the future.

Have you ever seen an orb with your naked eye or captured one on camera? Thanks to all of you who sent photos of orbs and allowed me to share them. You can send your orb photos to byoung@myhighspeed.ca Please do not send videos.

It may surprise you to learn that in many countries Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve is a time to remember and celebrate the dead, including saints, martyrs, and dearly departed loved ones. Traditionally the focus of All Hallows’ Eve was to use humor and ridicule to confront the power of death. Hence the idea of dressing up in costumes became an important part of the celebration.

Just where Halloween got its roots and how it grew over the years into a yearly event that people celebrate worldwide is an interesting story. The name ‘Halloween’ comes from the Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve, meaning hallowed evening or holy evening. While some scholars argue that All Hallows’ Eve has solely Christian roots, others believe it was influenced by Celtic harvest festivals with possible pagan roots.

The more popular belief is that Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. The Celts also believed that the transition between the two seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. In Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales, the festival included mummers and guisers—people going house-to-house in disguise, reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. F. Marion McNeill, the Scottish folklorist, suggests that in ancient time people dressed in costume to represent the spirits and blackened their faces with ashes taken from a sacred bonfire.

'Holy Bones' image courtesy of www.en.wikinoticia.com

‘Holy Bones’ image courtesy of http://www.en.wikinoticia.com

Halloween traditions vary from culture to culture. In France for example, some Christian families prayed beside the graves of their loved ones and set out dishes of milk for them. In Italy, before departing for church, families left a complete meal out for the spirits of their deceased relatives. A Halloween tradition in Spain, which continues to this day, is to bake special pastries known as “bones of the holy” (Huesos de Santo) and leave them on the graves of relatives. Their Christian priests toll the church bells as a reminder to honor the dead on All Hallows’ Eve.

In Poland, believers pray out loud as they walk through the forests to bring comfort to the souls of the dead. While in Ireland, and among immigrants in Canada, some Christians abstain from eating meats and instead serve pancakes or Callcannon.  Mexican children make an altar to invite angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit.

Singapore traditionally celebrates their “Hungry Ghost Festival” in August or September, a celebration similar to Halloween. Families place food and water in front of photographs of deceased relatives and burn bonfires or lanterns to light the paths of spirits who travel the earth on that night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples make paper boats and burn them in the evening hours to remember the dead and to free the spirits of the “pretas” – those who died by accident or drowning and whose bodies were never recovered for burial, so they might ascend to heaven.(Our Western Halloween traditions are slowly filtering into the Chinese culture, specifically influenced by children who study in North America.)

Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore

Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore

An influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants during the 19th century greatly influenced the rise of Halloween celebrations in Canada and the United States. In Cajun areas, an evening Mass was given in cemeteries on Halloween night, and candles that were blessed were placed on graves. It was common for some families to spend the entire night at the graveside. By the first decade of the 20th century, the concept of Halloween had assimilated into mainstream society and was celebrated throughout North America by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds. Halloween is now celebrated throughout the world.

Farrah Dance Works, Halloween Fundraiser, Photo courtesy of Hannah Kentfield

Farrah Dance Works, Halloween Fundraiser,
Photo courtesy of Hannah Kentfield

While the history and meaning behind Halloween may vary from culture to culture, the way in which people celebrate the occasion has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual into a day of fun, costumes, parades and trick or treating. Happy ghost haunting to all of you around the world! And don’t forget to burn a candle for the souls of your departed loved ones.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

A few years ago I came across a speech delivered by Prince Charles and the content blew me away. I knew that Prince Charles was an environmentalist, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that his spiritual grounding also ran deep. His words filled me with hope for the future of our planet because either he or his son is destined to rule one day, and you know how the saying goes…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Here is a condensed version of his speech.

Photo courtesy of www.news.bbc.co.uk

Photo courtesy of http://www.news.bbc.co.uk

“Although it seems to have become deeply unfashionable to talk about the spiritual dimension of our existence, that is what I propose to do. The idea that there is a sacred trust between mankind and our Creator, under which we accept a duty of stewardship for the earth, has been an important feature of most religious and spiritual thought throughout the ages.

I believe that if we are to achieve genuinely sustainable development, we will first have to rediscover a sense of the sacred in our dealings with the natural world and with each other. If nothing is held sacred any more because it is considered synonymous with superstition, what is there to prevent us from treating our entire world as some great laboratory of life, with potentially disastrous long-term consequences?

Fundamentally, an understanding of the sacred helps us to acknowledge that there are bounds of balance, order, and harmony in the natural world which set limits to our ambitions and define the parameters of sustainable development. It seems that when we do have scientific evidence that we are damaging our environment, we aren’t doing enough to put things right. And when we don’t have that evidence, we are prone to do nothing at all, regardless of the risks. Part of the problem is the prevailing approach that seeks to reduce the natural world, including ourselves, to the level of nothing more than a mechanical process.

In this technology-driven age, it is all too easy for us to forget that mankind is a part of nature, and not apart from it. This is why we should seek to work with the grain of nature in everything we do. For the natural world is, as economist Herman Daly puts it, “the envelope that contains, sustains, and provisions the economy” – not the other way round.

image courtesy of www.photobucket.com

image courtesy of http://www.photobucket.com

We need to rediscover a reverence for the natural world, to become more aware in Philip Sherrard’s words of the “relationship of interdependence, interpenetration and reciprocity between God, Man and Creation.” Above all, we should show greater respect for the genius of nature’s designs—rigorously tested and refined over millions of years. This means being careful to use science to understand how nature works, not to change what nature is with genetic manipulation. In an age when we are told that science has all the answers, what chance is there for working with the grain of nature?

Buried deep within each and every one of us, there is an instinctive, heartfelt awareness that provides the most reliable guide as to whether or not our actions are really in the long-term interests of our planet and all the life it supports. This awareness, this wisdom of the heart, may be no more than a faint memory of a distant harmony rustling like a breeze through the leaves, yet sufficient to remind us that the earth is unique and that we have a duty to care for it.

Wisdom, empathy, and compassion have no place in the empirical world, yet traditional wisdoms ask, “Without them, are we truly human?” I believe that we need to restore the balance between the heartfelt reason of instinctive wisdom and the rational insights of scientific analysis. Only by employing both the intuitive and the rational halves of our own nature—our hearts and our minds—that we will live up to the sacred trust place in us by our Creator.

Our descendants will have scientific and technological expertise beyond our imagining, but will they have the insight or the self-control to use this wisely? They won’t, I believe, unless there are increased efforts to develop an approach to education which balances the rational with the intuitive. Without this, truly sustainable development is doomed. Surely we need a greater balance in the way we educate people so that the practical and intuitive wisdom of the past blend with the appropriate technology of the present to produce practitioners who are acutely aware of both the visible and invisible worlds of the Cosmos.

Above all, I don’t want to see the day when our grandchildren ask accusingly why we didn’t listen more carefully to the wisdom of our hearts as well as to the rational analysis of our minds.”

In support of Prince Charles’ speech, I would add that as enlightened spiritual beings we have a commitment to not only look out for one another, but also to treat Mother Earth with the same reverence. What are your thoughts on this speech…did it change your opinion of Prince Charles? As future King, and/or father of a future King, do you think Charles or his son will one day have a major influence in the world? (Keep in mind that William was also influenced by a very compassionate mother in his formative years.)

It may surprise you to know that every person considers suicide at least once in their life. Every 40 seconds, somewhere in the world, a person chooses death over life. Sadly 80% of those suicides come from the youth population. This post is dedicated to the memory of Alex who ended his life at the age of 18, and to all the family members, loved ones, and friends of suicides in the world who struggle to make sense of it.

What pushes some people to the edge and others over the edge? Psychologist Dan Reidenberg (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)) describes it as “intolerable, unbearable anguish that can’t go away. No matter what people have tried—treatment, medication—it doesn’t help. Logic becomes unreal. Attention and focus fall apart. The brain is just an organ and at some point it says, ‘I can’t take the pain anymore. I must take myself out.’

There’s a strange kind of deal-making that can go on before a decision to die is actually reached.  “If someone smiles at me today I’m not going to do it”…”I’m going to have my last meal and if that goes well, I won’t do it.’” Robin Williams seemed to understand the shaky ground on which potential suicides exist, when he made a comment in relation to his struggle with alcoholism, “You’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump.’”

meeting with Spirit Guide, image courtesy of www.in5d.com

meeting with Spirit Guide, image courtesy of http://www.in5d.com

From a spiritual perspective, there is no judgment when a soul chooses to end his or her life. There are instances where souls are extremely unhappy with their earth life and pray to be taken home. This is a more subtle form of suicide because what often happens is the person will manifest their death through a fatal illness or accident. The more difficult suicides to understand and accept are those souls who voluntarily end their life when they appear to have a lot going for them—a loving spouse and family, a respected place in the community, a bright future to look forward to, even fame and fortune.

We cannot know what burdens a soul carries with them from previous lives, or what karma they are here to balance out in this life. Their struggle is a personal one that even they might not fully understand. When a soul voluntarily ends his or her life, this often happens to souls who incarnated before they were ready.  Perhaps they did not take the time to heal properly from the karmic burdens of a previous life, or they chose to incarnate to deal with their karma and it was too much for them to handle. You might ask why in this situation, their Spirit Guide did not step in and rescue them.

In fact, it is highly likely the person considering suicide did already meet with his or her guides on a soul level, during sleep. When a soul strays too far from their path and appears doomed to fail, their guides step in to determine whether or not to recall that soul. Guides do what they can to help, however their role as Spirit Guides is to advise and assist, not to interfere with free will, which is part of the human experience. Souls rarely remember these meetings—except for occasional flashes they attribute to dreaming—but the decision was made jointly, to either live out his or her life on earth, or to terminate life and return to the Spirit World.

My own feeble attempt at suicide as a young woman fortunately failed. But there is a stigma attached to suicide that causes people to remain quiet and swallow their pain rather than talk about suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately even today many people continue to look at suicide as “an easy way out”. Choosing death over life is never an “easy” decision. No one can possibly understand the depth of another person’s pain until they walk in their shoes.

Author: Julia Fraser

Author: Julia Fraser

At a community meeting on suicide and suicide prevention, Alex’s father had this to say: I can bring the shadow of suicide in to the light of love. Together we can hold each other up, support one another and become healing light workers to others struggling with their own shadow. Let us all truly believe we are our brother’s keeper. To read Alex’s story, visit his parent’s website at http://www.mysoulawakened.org Alex’s mother, Julia Fraser has written a book about her son’s suicide titled My Soul Awakened…by Tragedy. 

Did you ever have suicidal thoughts or lose someone close to you through suicide? Please share your thoughts in the comment section. You just might help to save someone’s life!

Sean Monaghan was twelve when he had his first paranormal experience. He saw a shadow person in the hallway and it terrified him, but it also sparked an interest in the paranormal. Fast forward to the year 2011, to an adult Sean with a wife and child, and a rented house straight out of Amityville Horror! At the time he first visited the house for rent in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Sean was well aware of his sensitivity to spirits—he could sense them and feel their presence—consequently when he checked out the basement, he immediately sensed a dark and evil presence lurking about the non-functional well.

Image of demon courtesy of www.trashyourstress.com

Image of demon courtesy of http://www.trashyourstress.com

Wells tend to be a portal for entities of all kinds, and Sean knew this, but despite the “bad feeling” he mentioned to his wife, it didn’t stop them from renting the house. One evening while the couple was experimenting with an Ouija board, a spirit came through and identified himself as “Nelmond”. (Note the word “demon” within the name). Shortly after this initial contact was made, the stomping began. Footsteps were heard on the basement stairs late at night and heavy stomping in the attic above their heads.

Sean consulted a friend, a “religious” type about the noises in the house and invited him to check it out for himself. Somewhat reluctantly, his friend agreed, partly because of the fear in Sean’s voice, and also to confirm his own disbelief. Soon after Sean and his friend went into the attic, the stomping began, and only then did the friend understand Sean’s fear. He suggested inviting a pastor friend to the house to pray and get rid of the entity. When that failed to work, Sean invited a few like-minded friends to the house for an intervention with the demon.

Ouija Board image courtesy of www.treasuryosychicability.com

Ouija Board image courtesy of http://www.treasuryosychicability.com

The average house spirits will often leave a house when the occupants let them know they aren’t welcome, or it is time to go to the light. Negative energies are a different breed altogether. They tend to feed off the energy of their prey, and in serious cases, will attempt to take possession of the person. During the intervention, the group experienced a considerable shift in the atmosphere as the room temperature got colder and the lights dimmed on their own. When the entity spelled out on the Ouija board that it wanted to possess “Sean M”, Sean refused to participate any further and gave the board to his friends when they left. The paranormal activity got worse.

Items were thrown from the top of the fridge at a friend who was visiting. While Sean was at work one day, his wife heard a voice that sounded like his calling to her in the kitchen. A telephone call to Sean confirmed that he was indeed at work and he advised his wife to stay in the living room with their son and he would be home soon. When Sean arrived home, his wife went into the basement for something and seconds later came running up the stairs screaming that something had growled at her.

Sean realized the entity was trying to get to him through his family, so he sent his son to stay with his parents. Meanwhile, Sean was suffering from mental and physical exhaustion, an attempt on the demon’s part, he believed, to weaken him. Sean decided it was time to face down his fear. He would confront the demon in its own territory, in the basement in the pitch black, with the lights off! Sean sat down on a chair and said “I’m here!” He challenged the demon to make its presence known or get out, said it had no power here, and forbade it from being in his home. Sean felt the air change and become tense, and a weight descended on him that was completely exhausting. He decided to reach out for help.

Evil face courtesy of www.demonimages.net

Evil face courtesy of http://www.demonimages.net

Sean spoke to a team of paranormal investigators in New Jersey who advised him to stop any further investigation as it would make him more vulnerable. Sean didn’t listen and went ahead and purchased investigative equipment. He made certain his family was safe and confronted the entity again, demanding signs, gathering information, and learning what he could. He decided to consult a well-known paranormal psychic in the UK by telephone and when Sean explained the readings he was getting from the equipment, the psychic told him it was not a spirit he was dealing with but something more, and at that moment Sean was standing directly in front of it. She said it was a powerful force that could launch Sean across the room if it really wanted to hurt him.

Sean’s wife noticed personality changes in him. When he drank, his eyes changed color and he was acting different, becoming more aggressive in his confrontations with the entity. Meanwhile Sean captured an EVP (Electronic voice phenomena) recording of a child calling for help in the basement and a growl, similar to what his wife heard. At night both Sean and his wife heard a little boy talking and whispering. At times, Sean felt breathing on his neck and felt cold spots in the room. He recorded shadows being manipulated without any rational explanation. And on a visit to the house, Sean’s mother heard the baby gate get slammed down hard onto the floor as though someone had picked it up and hurled it.

Sean’s father was initially skeptical but soon realized something in the house was trying to harm his son and family. He did something uncharacteristic and called on the spirits of his parents “to come and do battle with whatever evil spirit was there and get it out of the house!” According to Sean, the air changed, “something was different, like a weight had been lifted, and for a while it made a difference.” Sean continued to sage the house, his son returned home, and the family tried to restore things to normal. But eventually the entity returned.

Image of Hell courtesy of www.mr-jack.deviant.com

Image of Hell courtesy of http://www.mr-jack.deviant.com

The incident that finally drove the family from the house happened one evening when Sean and his wife were going through photos on the computer. When the photos of the basement came up, the images began to change to show “evil faces and arms and things of that nature…if you’ve seen a picture of hell and torture, it looked like that. My wife pointed at the living room and in the middle of the wall was an evil looking face, staring right at me. I saw something materialize out of the air, energy begin to gather and transform into something, like the faint discoloration you see in the air from gasoline when it lights on fire—that hazy kind of translucent—and then the manifestation of a face.  I said “In the name of God I command you to get out of this house, you are not welcome here! it simply stared me down, didn’t move, didn’t react. I told my wife we were getting our son and getting out of there!”

They left that very night to stay with Sean’s parents. When Sean researched the history of the property, he discovered it fell into a triangular piece of land that one time housed a facility for executing criminals. Sean found a photo of the facility in a book of haunted places in Pennsylvania. I want to thank Sean for allowing me to share his story. For the average person who has not experienced negative entities, it is a difficult story to fathom. Having seen entities myself, and captured their images on camera, I can confirm with certainty they do exist. There is more to Sean’s story. Click here to read the complete version on his blog:  http://smonaghan119.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/paranormal-theories-and-observations/

Your comments and stories are welcome! In fact they are a vital part of this blog!

 

Having just returned from a visit to Lily Dale, I have to say my spirits are still soaring! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this community near Buffalo, New York, it happens to be the world’s largest center for the religion of spiritualism. Forty registered mediums reside in Lily Dale among a small population of 210 residents, each in their own uniquely styled home, some of which can only be described as artistic masterpieces. My niece and I went there for our own specific reasons and came away with more than we anticipated!

Lily Dale entrance, courtesy of www.rayspage.homestead.com

Lily Dale entrance, courtesy of http://www.rayspage.homestead.com

When you drive through the entrance gate to Lily Dale, you immediately sense a change of energy, as though you are entering sacred grounds. We stopped by the Healing Temple and left a message on the tree outside, and visited the museum where the curator happily shared stories of the Fox sisters, genuine mediums credited with bringing modern spiritualism to the world in 1848.

It was Katie Fox who changed the world of spiritualism forever when she responded to mysterious raps in the house her family had recently moved into. (The Fox cottage was moved from its original site in Hydesville, New York to the Lily Dale site in 1915. Tragically the cottage was destroyed by fire in 1955).

One night after listening to these strange raps, Katie snapped her fingers and called out “Here Mr. Split-foot, do as I do.” Immediately the raps came back to match the number of times she snapped her fingers. Katie motioned in the air a few times without making a sound and again the raps matched the sequence. It was then Katie uttered the fateful words “Look mother, it can see as well as hear.” She had proven beyond a doubt that the soul is immortal – that life after death is a fact and spirits can communicate with the living.

We saw this demonstrated again and again when we visited Inspiration Stump at a clearing in the woods where mediums take turns giving messages from spirit to the audience. There are three categories of mediums who participate in these public messages: registered mediums who reside in Lily Dale, visiting mediums from outside the area, and student mediums taking courses in Lily Dale. One of the visiting mediums brought a message to my niece from a departed loved one and gave convincing evidence.

Inspiration Stump, photograph property of www.ghosttalkblog.com

Inspiration Stump, photograph property of http://www.ghosttalkblog.com

I read in one of the pamphlets that “It is not unusual to become more aware of the spiritual energies while in this open and receptive state at the stump.” During one of our visits to Inspiration Stump we experienced the intoxicating fragrance of roses for a few moments, though there were no rose bushes on the premises. Interestingly, the rose fragrance is believed to signify the presence of healing angels. Earlier on our drive in to Lily Dale, we spotted another form of angel in a wisp of cloud off to our right. It was the third sign—this one painted on a rock “Angels gather here”—that convinced me I was on track with my soon-to-be-released book which bears a similar title and happens to be about the Spirit World.

Message Tree outside the Healing Temple, photo by www.ghosttalkblog.com

Message Tree outside the Healing Temple, photo by http://www.ghosttalkblog.com

Lily Dale is a harmonious, peaceful place to relax and restore the soul. It is also a place to connect with loved ones in spirit and to chat with people from around the world who share a spiritual path and a fondness for spiritualism generally. We did not book ahead for one of the courses offered on site, or make an appointment with one of the registered mediums for a reading. We were content to soak up the spiritual energy and just be in the moment. We did agree to return next year and to plan our visit well in advance. (We missed seeing and hearing guest speakers James Van Praagh and Dr. Eben Alexander!) I also promised on my next visit to stay in the lovely “Angel House” on the premises.

Have you been to Lily Dale? I would love to hear about your experience! If you want to learn more about Lily Dale, click here: http://www.lilydaleassembly.com/ or click below to watch this great documentary/video “No One Dies In Lily Dale” :

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/50356/No-One-Dies-in-Lily-Dale 

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