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 

You wake up at 1:11 AM several nights in a row. Your eyes are drawn to the digital clock at exactly 11:11. You see these numbers everywhere—on license plates, addresses, telephone numbers—until you feel the number 11 is stalking you! Is it coincidence, or is the Universe trying to get your attention?

If you are a spiritually awakened soul, you know that “coincidences” are obsolete, and to see something repeatedly is a message of some kind. In the case of numbers, the more you see in the sequence, especially if you see them repeatedly, the stronger the message! When you see number sequences repeatedly, stop and meditate on the number. What comes to mind?

It is not uncommon to see one sequence of numbers for a while, and then shift to another sequence. This indicates a shift in energy to another significant area of your life that requires your attention to. Double digit numbers are considered Master numbers, so you might be working on mastering a specific level in your spiritual development or being called to your mission or purpose in life.

1:11/11:11 – The energy of ‘1’ resonates with change – the kind of life changing events, so look to new beginnings, an upcoming change or shift. A double one is also a double creative number, so perhaps you are being called to put your creative talents to good use. The number ‘1’ also resonates with ambition, independence, motivation, adaptability, self-development, and oneness with life. Seeing ‘1’ sequences can bring miracles into your life, also synchronicities which may lead you closer to your purpose in life. Look at each area and decide whether there is work to be done, or whether you need to take a risk, a leap forward. It is pointless to resist change because change will inevitably happen, with or without your cooperation. However it is always best to not resist change, but to “go with the flow” as nature intended.

2:22 – The energy of ‘2’ resonates with Divine Purpose/Your Calling/Mission in Life
I once lived at 222 Riverview Lane and I loved the energy of ‘2’ in that house. It’s where I did most of my past life review work, studied tarot and the sacred truths, completed my Path of Service studies, volunteered as a distant healer, wrote a book…in other words, I was Divinely inspired under the influence of ‘2’. The influence of ‘2’ indicates things are coming together; it resonates with cooperation and balance, service and duty, balance and harmony, gentleness and kindness, faith and trust, intuition, selflessness, flexibility, partnership and cooperation. How open are you to receiving guidance from the Universe? Ask the Universe for guidance then follow that path no matter where it leads, for the Universe knows your heart and soul and your deepest desires better than you!

3:33 – The energy of ‘3’ resonates with Manifesting Your Desires
When you see this number sequence, it is especially important to pause and focus on what you desire to manifest in your life. Be specific. The number ‘3’ also resonates with growth, expansion, kindness, compassion, speech and communication, sociability, friendliness, optimism, joy, inspiration. Under the influence of the ‘3’ energy, you may find yourself working with the ascended Masters to complete a project for a good cause. To use the energy of ‘3’ to manifest your deepest desires in life, you need to be able to communicate those desires clearly. Write them down on paper first to organize your thoughts, then say them aloud several times to fix them in your mind, and finally communicate your desires through prayer or mediation. Know your intended desires, speak your desires, believe in them, and have faith!

4:44 – The energy of ‘4’ resonates with Inner Wisdom
Under the influence of ‘4’ you may be examining your own morals and values up close. Inner wisdom causes you to take a closer look at all that you value in your life – are your values realistic in terms of your higher, authentic self, or do they support the needs of your ego? Or you could be mastering self-control, or serving others by taking on more responsibility for their well-being. ‘4’ also resonates with patience, devotion, system and order, passion and drive, loyalty and conscientiousness. This could be a turning point for how you see yourself and others – a time when you let go of that which is no longer meaningful in your life, including relationships. You may be called to share your wisdom with others.

5:55 – The energy of ‘5’ resonates with Personal Freedom
Think of an athlete who is totally focused on training to get the end result s/he desires. The process requires dedication, hard work, focus and most importantly, intention. The end result of this process brings success and also more choices in life – to go bigger, to ride the current success wave, or to cash out and reap the rewards of success. The number ‘5’ also resonates with adaptability, versatility, pleasure seeking, competitiveness, release and surrender, mercy and kindness. ‘5’ also brings opportunities to learn life lessons. The deeper meaning of Personal Freedom is detachment; if you are without expectations, then there are no disappointments. This is Mastery.

66/666 – The energy of ‘6’ resonates with Unconditional Love
The number ‘6’ can present difficulties depending on where you are with your spiritual development, because the energy of Unconditional Love brings many tests to the Initiate in the area of home and family, spousal relationships, and romantic partners. ‘6’ also resonates with balance and harmony, empathy and sympathy, nurturing, protectiveness, and firmness. Under this influence, you may develop musical talents, or an interest in agriculture, or healing and teaching. You may be required to take on additional responsibility for the care of elderly family members or step-family members. Those who persevere through the influence of this energy, come out of it stronger, with more compassion, love, tolerance, and understanding for why this is the most difficult, yet personally rewarding challenge of all.

77/777 – The energy of ‘7’ resonates with the Law of Karma
The number ‘7’ is a mystical number associated with psychic abilities, the metaphysical, and intuition. Under the influence of ‘7’ you may be attracting opportunities to balance out the Karma you carry with you. It can therefore bring people and events from your past into the present, as well as unexpected, unusual sequences of events (synchronicities). You may reap the rewards of good deeds, or suffer the consequences of misdeeds. This is a time to be accountable for your actions, deeds, and thoughts and how they affect others. The number ‘7’ also resonates with enlightenment, inner wisdom, philosophy and spiritual awareness.

88/888 – The energy of ‘8’ resonates with Abundance and Prosperity
The number ‘8’ is associated with the power to create abundance and prosperity in your life. ‘8’ also resonates with self-confidence, inner strength, the ego, and self discipline. In order to work with the influence of ‘8’ to its greatest potential, you need to understand the deeper meaning of personal power and how to use it for a greater cause. The energy of ‘8’ attracts abundance in all areas of your life when used properly. Under this influence, you may have a desire for peace and a love for humanity, which could result in a higher calling to serve humanity in these two areas. When you choose to serve a higher purpose, the power of ‘8’ will attract wealth and success. This influence can also bring wealth and success to those who use this power to serve themselves, however the wealth and success will not bring with it the same feeling of fulfillment and contentment.

99/999 – The energy of ‘9’ resonates with the Universal Spiritual Laws
Under the influence of ‘9’ the Initiate may be called to serve his/her soul purpose and mission in life. The number ‘9’ resonates with integrity and higher wisdom, Divine wisdom, and inner wisdom. Under this influence, the Initiate is a lightworker, influencing others by the way s/he lives as a positive example to others. The number ‘9’ also resonates with learning to say “no”, and living a life of “right action”, “right thought”, “right deed”. Under this influence, you may be struggling to find focus in your life; learn to listen to your intuition, believe in yourself, and have faith that the Universe will help you find your way. Your higher calling could lead you to study and practice law, or to serve as a mediator or judge, or in the field of human rights.

10:10 – The energy of ‘10’ resonates with Inner Gifts
Under the energy of ‘10’ you have inner gifts and creative abilities to guide you towards your purpose in life. When you to tap into your Higher creative source, which is Divinely inspired, you have the ability to become a great artist – painter, poet, writer, dancer, musician. Whatever field you choose, you will use your own creative expression to leave a distinctive and unique mark. There is no end to what you can create under the influence of ‘10’. The number ‘10’ also resonates with leadership, independence, originality, determination, creative powers, and adaptability.

(Thank you Sharon for suggesting I write a post on 11:11!!)

Most of us at one time or another look for a purpose in life, something that makes our existence meaningful. The fortunate ones are called early in life and know exactly what their mission or purpose is while the rest of the population struggles through life, existing, but not living life fully. Something seems to be missing.

Moses is called. Image compliments of www.decapolis.com

Moses is called. Image compliments of http://www.decapolis.com 

I found this quote by Pablo Picasso on my blogging friend Krishna’s site at http://www.grabyourmind.com “The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away.” I think Pablo likely meant to share that gift with the world, rather than “give it away” for he became a wealthy man from his paintings. He certainly changed the world of art with his unique style and was multi-talented (sculptor, poet, playwright, printmaker, stage designer). There is no doubt that he was gifted and passionate about his artistry. The question is: was Pablo Picasso’s calling to be an artist?

Spiritual Gift, image compliments of www.consecratedtohim.com

Spiritual Gift, image compliments of http://www.consecratedtohim.com

A “calling” is quite different from having a gift or talent, although the two may be combined. When a person is “called” it usually involves serving a higher purpose – serving others or doing something to uplift and inspire people, or to make the world a better place. The bearer of a gifted talent may get caught up in the fame and fortune early on and later turn that gift into a calling depending on their wisdom or level of spiritual enlightenment. Three famous people who come to mind who use/used their talents and influence to serve a higher cause are John Lennon (Love and Peace), Princess Diana (AIDS, minefields, charities) and Angelina Jolie (humanitarian causes, refugees).

A calling can occur at any stage of life, from one of the following sources:

Through self-discovery

A Near Death Experience (NDE)

A spiritual awakening

A Kundalini experience

Direct communication from a Higher Being

In dreams

Child prodigy

If you have not yet discovered your calling, you might ask yourself these questions: (You may see some similarities!)

A calling can occur at any  time. Image courtesy of www.vishaltomarphotography.wordpress.com

A calling can occur at any time. Image courtesy of http://www.vishaltomarphotography.wordpress.com

Did you have any special interests as a child?

What are you passionate about?

What makes your heart sing?

When do you feel happiest?

What skills/talents come naturally to you?

What is your heart’s deepest desire?

What do people continuously compliment you on?

Do you love your current job? If not, what would you rather do?

You might not know it, but you are probably being prepared for your calling, if you haven’t already been called. The more items you identify with farther down the list, the closer you are to being called:

A feeling of dissatisfaction with your current life

A feeling of not belonging, of not fitting in

A change in your habits – losing interest in what used to be important to you

An interest in knowing who you are through self-discovery (suggest you read my post on the Initiations – the one that applies to you: Earth-Air-Fire-Water)

A consuming need to connect with your higher power

A heartfelt desire to know your purpose in life/your mission/your calling

A feeling that you have been called to serve a greater purpose

An inner voice keeps urging you to do something bigger, better, or different

Your purpose is revealed to you through a sudden spiritual experience (NDE, Kundalini)

A willingness to turn over your will to God or your higher power

A willingness to make sacrifices to serve your calling

A willingness to accept your mission – it’s not always what you expect!

In the meantime, life continues with its ups and downs, challenges and achievements. I refer to this as the “preparation stage” for one must be prepared physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to be called. The Universe will test you by throwing challenges at you to see how you handle situations and how much you are able to take. Look at the negatives in your life and try to rise above them…be an inspiration to others and set an example in how you live your life. Above all, recognize the valuable lessons to be learned in life’s challenges. Be thankful for them, for they have made you wiser, stronger, and more resilient.

Picasso's "Girl in the Mirror"

Picasso’s “Girl in the Mirror”

The Universe will reward you for your efforts and for your intentions…and yes, it’s okay to earn money from your calling…in fact, when you are called, the money usually follows, because the Universe wants you to put your energy into your mission and not have to worry about where the money will come from to support yourself.

If you feel you are ready to serve a greater purpose—you know what your purpose is and you have completed the necessary work on your “self”—put out a heartfelt prayer to the Universe and ask to be called. This will set the wheels in motion for you to finish up the preparation process. Be patient, for the timing has to be right. For those of you who have not yet discovered your purpose and need a little nudge in this direction, leave your birth date and year in the comment box and I will give you some tips to help you along.

Now, getting back to Picasso – what do you think – was art his calling?

A few weeks ago I posted a story about my brother-in-law Ken’s passing and how he had contacted his wife from the other side. Ken continues to contact family members. His daughter Wendy was in hospital for a very serious surgery when Ken was admitted to hospital as a terminally ill patient, however, the news of his condition was kept from her until she was safely through surgery and home recovering. Despite her post-op condition, Wendy managed to visit her Dad in a wheelchair to say her final goodbye. After his death, Wendy was delighted that her Dad continued to contact her Mom, but in her heart she wanted to receive her own sign or contact from him.

The telephone rang one morning and when Wendy picked up the receiver and said “Hello” there was no response on the other end. She checked call display and saw that the call had come from Ken V….. (Her Dad’s name). Wendy knew that her mom was scheduled for a hair appointment that morning and so she worried that her mother was ill and calling for help. Strangely, when Wendy picked up the receiver to call her mom back, the connection from the previous call was still open. Now she was really worried.

Wendy lives in the same town as her mom and so she got in the car and drove by the house. Her mother’s car was gone. No one was at home and there are no pets in the house to blame for an accidental “redial” so who had made the phone call? Wendy worried that someone had broken into the house but it seemed unlikely that a robber would care to alert a family member. Wendy puzzled over this mysterious phone call and even had her fiancé check her call display for the date and time. Sure enough a call had come in that morning from Ken V…

When her mother arrived home later and called Wendy, it was during their conversation that it suddenly dawned on Wendy that her Dad had indeed contacted her from the spirit world. He had heard her emotional request to hear from him, and being the caring, loving father that he was, Ken found a way to let Wendy know that he was still there for her.

It’s never easy to accept the death of a loved one, and no one understands this better than the deceased. They feel our grief and hear our prayers, and the determined ones find creative ways to try and ease our burden. As I write this post I see Ken smiling. He got through to his family and now he can rest in peace.

 

Many dimensions and spiritual planes exist in the Universe, with each one reflecting a level of higher consciousness. Which plane we go to between lives depends on how far we’ve progressed in our level of understanding and awareness.

While channeling one of the Masters during a past life regression, a patient of Dr. Brian Weiss, (author of Many Lives, Many Masters) said that in order to progress on “We must share our knowledge with other people. We all have abilities far beyond what we use. Some of us find this out sooner than others. You should check your vices before you come to this point. If you do not, you carry them over with you to another life. Only we can rid ourselves of bad habits we accumulate in the physical state. The Masters cannot do this for us. 

We must learn not to just go to those people whose vibrations are the same as ours. It is normal to feel drawn to somebody who is on the same level that you are. But this is wrong. You must also go to those people whose vibrations are wrong with yours. This is important in helping people.

We are given intuitive powers we should follow and not try to resist. We are not sent back from each plane with equal powers. Some of us possess powers greater than others because they have been accrued from other times. Eventually we will reach a point where we will all be equal. 

We must have faith in the Masters…that they will guide us throughout. We continue to ask for rewards…the reward is in doing, but doing without expecting anything…doing unselfishly. 

Gloria Chadwick (Discovering Your Past Lives) said “The energy of your soul flows within and through every level of your awareness during your present incarnation. The energy layers of your chakras are represented by the energies of the seven colors of the rainbow. As you progress upward through the colors, your awareness increases.

chakra rainbowRed vibrates to physical energies and forms your perception of your reality.

Orange vibrates to emotional energies.

Yellow vibrates to mental energies and thoughts…the beginning level of your inner knowledge.

Green vibrates to spiritual energies and growth…and is a higher expression of your feelings.

Blue vibrates to astral energies and is your knowledge in motion.

Indigo vibrates to etheric energies and is your awareness in a higher spiritual framework of wisdom and understanding.

Violet vibrates to the energies of your soul and forms your spiritual awareness.

There is a definite relationship between the lives we lived previously and our spiritual awareness in this life. Perhaps in another life you went on a spiritual quest for the truth, and in this lifetime you are called to be a spiritual leader or to share your knowledge with the world. Getting to know our previous selves doesn’t have to be a complicated process. There are signs and hints of past lives all around us, some of which we may or may not recognize. For example:

You meet someone for the first time and feel an immediate connection as though you have known him or her for years. Likely you two connected on a deep level in a past life and have come together in this lifetime because you are part of the same soul family, or you have unfinished business to take care of in this lifetime.

If you feel drawn to a particular culture or era, chances are you lived a previous life in that culture or time period. Or you may feel a strong connection to antiques from a certain period or admire or even wear fashions from an era in which you lived a past life.

When gifts/talents are revealed at a young age, the talent was likely developed in a previous life and carried in the “blueprint” of the soul into this lifetime. The ability or skill comes easily and naturally to the child, whether it is singing, acting, carpentry skills, or solving complicated mathematical problems.

A feeling of déjà vu overcomes you when you visit a place for the first time. Perhaps you have always longed to visit another country, or you visit another country and feel immediately at home. You likely lived in that country in another lifetime. Patients have been known to speak other languages they wouldn’t normally understand while being regressed!

If you have a deep-rooted fear in this lifetime (e.g. water, fire, flying, snakes, heights), and there is no reasonable explanation for it in this lifetime, then the fear likely developed from an experience in a past life. The root of the fear may be discovered with past life regression.

When you experience recurring dreams in which you visit other places and meet people that you don’t recognize in this lifetime, you are likely remembering a past life, or even soul traveling to that time period.

Can you relate to any of the signs of past lives mentioned above? If you want to share your past life experiences, we would love to hear them!

My brother-in-law Ken left this world recently after a third battle with cancer. He was married to my sister June for over 50 years. While observing them together in the hospital room during my last visit with Ken, I came to know the true meaning of love. She spoon fed him his meals, soothed him, washed his face when he was too warm, and consulted with nurses and doctors as they came and went. Throughout all of this, Ken kept his eyes on June, and when she moved out of his sight, he would turn his head to look for her. When June left the hospital for a brief time, Ken became agitated and only settled down when she returned to his side.

Long before Ken became terminally ill, they had discussed the possibility of which one would go first. June laughingly said to Ken, “If you go before me, I want to know that you are okay…but don’t come back as a ghost because it would frighten me!” After the funeral was over, company had left, and June was left alone in the house, she faced some sleepless nights and the questions that haunt many people who lose loved ones. How is Ken doing? Where is he? And perhaps most importantly, Is there an Afterlife (Heaven) and did he make it there? 

At the end of one especially difficult day when June was missing Ken, she fell into an exhausted sleep. Sometime during the night she was awakened by a voice calling “Mom”. June recognized the voice right away. It was Kenny! “Kenny often called me ‘Mom’ and I could always tell by the tone of his voice what he wanted,” June said. “I knew exactly what he wanted me to know: that he was okay, he was in a good place, and he even sounded younger! I couldn’t see Kenny but I knew it was him and that he wanted me to know he was okay.” June awoke the next morning feeling happy and when she spoke to her kids on the telephone and told them the story they commented on how “cheery” she sounded.

I suggested to my sister that Kenny would have spent some time resting and healing from his illness when he crossed over to the Afterlife. It was obvious that Ken heard June’s despair while she grieved for him that particular day and he made a point to contact her while she slept. He had also kept his promise not to appear in spirit form and frighten her! “I felt so much better knowing that Kenny was okay,” June said, “it was exactly what I needed to hear.”

Many spirits come through in dreams while the mind is at rest and the soul travels. One friend, who had been estranged from her family when her father passed, told me how he had come to her in a dream and embraced her. I recall meeting my own brother in a dream and we waltzed together.  Often it is unfinished business that brings a visitor from the Afterlife, or they hear a call of distress from a loved one and respond. Sometimes when a spirit cannot make contact with a loved one, they will go through another person or leave a sign.

Unfortunately not everyone hears from their deceased loved ones. Sometimes the channel is blocked or the person is afraid of contact. Spirits tend to stay closest to their loved ones during the grieving process. Remember they are just as excited to make contact with you as you are to hear from them! Be clear that you want to make contact; ask for a sign, or suggest they meet you in a dream state, and I assure you they will do their best to respond. Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen right away; sometimes it takes time. That fragrance that suddenly surrounds you, or the feeling of a presence, are signs of a spirit trying to get your attention. Know in your heart, that your loved one has not abandoned you…they are just a heartbeat away.

Have you had contact from a loved one in the spirit world? We’d love to hear your story!

A haunting melodic prayer awakens you from a deep sleep just before sunrise. The Arabic words echo across the rooftops from speakers, and although visitors like me do not understand them, the local population heeds this call to prayer. They turn towards Mecca, to the East, to pray. This is a morning ritual in Morocco, one that is repeated five times each day. I visited Morocco for a different kind of experience and came away with far more than I anticipated – a spiritual journey that I will never forget.

Our camel trek across the desert. Photo provided by Janet Lace of Marlin Travel

Our camel trek across the desert. Photo provided by Janet Lace of Marlin Travel

In older cities like Ouarzazate, people still live like they did one thousand years ago.  As our caravan of jeeps passed through the winding roads of the mountainous terrain we saw shepherds tending to flocks of goats and sheep. We passed empty gas stations and saw few cars on the road. (The price of gas is equivalent to ours in Canada.) The people in rural areas travel mostly in carts pulled by donkeys or on foot. There is no government assistance for the poor; families help one another and come up with creative means of earning enough income for food and shelter. Hence the many souks (outdoor markets) spread across the country where locals sell their crafts—handmade leather shoes and slippers, argan oil, pottery, pashimas, and beautiful hand woven rugs.

Very few people go to doctors in Morocco. Instead they visit pharmacies where traditional medicines are sold over the counter, even antibiotics. Farmers, no matter the size of their land, are excluded from paying taxes to encourage farming. Agriculture and tourism are the two biggest money producers, however due to low average rainfalls, the water supply will decrease by 50% in two years, forcing the government to decide which industry to support – agriculture or tourism. Already measures are being taken to replace orange trees with olive trees which require less water to cultivate.

The current ruler, Mohammed the 6th, is slowly but surely introducing reforms to the country. His wife was the first of “first ladies” to unveil and show her face to the people. Mohammed the 6th strongly defends new family laws which give women the same right to divorce as men. This is considered extremely liberal by the many Islamists among the coalition government in a country where men can still choose to have four wives. Surprisingly 30 women occupy seats in the lower chamber of government.

As we made our way to the desert in the heart of Merzouga’s red sand dunes, we drove deeper into Muslim culture. The women in our group remained behind while our drivers filled up at a local gas station. We were not allowed without head scarves. The more popular tongues spoken in Morocco are Arabic and French with a smattering of English. For the most part I found the people humble, respectful, spiritual and earthy. Alcohol is not part of their culture yet they respect ours and so most dining establishments offer wine and beer, with the exception of the traditional Berber home we visited where we sat on cushions on the floor and shared a delicious lunch served in tagines.

The highlight of the trip awaited us in the desert and our drivers raced the jeeps across the dunes to get to the camp first. We would stay there overnight in a Bedouin camp, two to a tent complete with beds and portable toilets. There was no time to change; we dropped our overnight bags in the tent and waited patiently while the camel drivers wound scarves around our heads before making our way to a herd of camels resting in the sand. We were given brief instructions: lean back and hold on when the camel rises or risk getting thrown over his head! As our caravan of camels headed across the dunes, I felt a connection to this ancient land and its people. At any moment I expected to see Lawrence of Arabia bounding across the desert!

Sun Salutation, photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

Sun Salutation, photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

It was close to sunset when we dismounted and removed our shoes to climb to the highest point. From the top of a sand dune we had a panoramic view of brilliant blue sky awash in a kaleidoscope of color. The camel drivers posed us with the sun at our backs and took photos to give us a unique memory of this unforgettable experience. Too soon it was time for our procession to mount up and head back to camp. During the night I awoke a couple of times to see the blanket over the entrance of our tent flapping in the wind. It was comforting to know that the camel drivers tending the fires watched over us.

Rooftop of the Riad, Ouarzazate, Photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

Rooftop of the Riad, Ouarzazate, Photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

We set out early the next morning for Ouarzazate for an overnight stay in a traditional Riad. Riads are stone structures with a central courtyard that contains a water fountain and plants. As we made our way on foot through the narrow, cobbled streets people came to their doors to greet us and smile. Some of our “neighbors” sold crafts from their homes and beckoned us in. We watched one woman weaving a beautiful, multi-colored rug. Everything is sold on a barter system and the vendors not only expect buyers to haggle over the price, they enjoy it! We were thrilled to learn from our host that Brad Pitt and Ridley Scott had stayed overnight at the same Riad and held a windup party on the terrace overlooking the village!

On the road to Marrakech the next morning we paused for a photo op of the Kasbah of Ait-Ben-Haddou, the fortress which served as a backdrop for Lawrence of Arabia and The Gladiators. The breathtaking views from the winding, narrow road down the mountains were spectacular – we reached altitudes of more than 2260 meters – well worth the trip for photographers and anyone in awe of Mother Nature.

Our final day was spent in Casablanca, a bustling modern city of some four million people. We visited the famous Hassan II Mosque (tourists are not allowed inside) built to accommodate 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 on the outdoor terrace. We moved on to Le Sinatra Restaurant for a final lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean – and no, the film “Casablanca” was not shot in Casablanca but almost entirely on a Warner Brother’s lot! The movie however helped turn Casablanca into a popular tourist spot.

I have only touched on a few highlights of our 10-day tour to this fascinating country on the North West Coast of Africa. I heard a passing comment that we are far more advanced in the Western World than our host country. We have advanced to the point where we depend on technology and credit cards to get us through life while the old country depends on Mother Nature. We have a long way to go to catch up.

If you can take but one trip in your lifetime, let it be to Morocco. I only covered a small number of pleasant memories from the trip…after all I don’t want to spoil the many surprises that await you! For more information on a tour of Morocco, or if you want help in planning your next vacation, please contact one of the following agencies across Canada, whose Managers/Owners (all winners of the Bravo Club Excellence Award) I had the pleasure of travelling with. Thanks Transat Distribution Canada and Transat Discoveries for this amazing opportunity!

Janet Lace (janet.lace@marlintravel.ca) 1-877-404-9857 (Hamilton)

Claude Lapointe (claude.lapointe@marlintravel.ca) 613-443-1417 (Embrun)

Marion Rose (mrose@elgintravel.ca) 1-888-849-2789 (St. Thomas)

John Wood (john@durhamtravel.ca) 905-260-5646 (Courtice)

Melanie Johnston (Melanie.johnston@marlintravel.ca) 1-888-370-8752 (Edmonton)

Denise Luciani (denise.luciani@marlintravel.ca) 1-800-440-5303 (Brantford)

Susan Young (susan.young@marlintravel.ca) 905-723-7726 Ext 2221 (Oshawa)

 

Myth No. 4: The Missing Years
Jesus left home at the tender age of 12. It was customary at this age for boys to undergo a Temple ceremony to be publicly acknowledged as a man. Because of his family position, it is likely that Jesus furthered his studies at a school for the privileged, possibly in Jerusalem where he remained under the watchful eyes of the High Priests.

At around the age of 15, Joseph took Jesus on an extended journey that lasted more than two years. The journey was for political reasons to introduce Jesus, the crown prince, to the Diaspora – the displaced Jews who had fled Jerusalem when King David lost his throne. The diaspora settled in Alexandria in Egypt, Babylon, Ephesus, and as far as Rome.

The wealthy businessmen among the Diaspora had little interest in returning to their homeland; however they continued to send financial support to the Essenes by paying taxes. Jesus’ grandfather, Jacob-Heli, was growing old and wanted his heirs known to the Diaspora to ensure they continued to send financial support after his death. Hence there was good reason for Joseph and Jesus to meet their benefactors as the future heirs.

Upon returning from their long journey, Jesus entered the Essene Order of Priests in Qumran as a young initiate at the age of 17. In doing so he took a vow of poverty and chastity. Jesus lived and studied with the Essenes until his mid to late twenties, and it was during these years that he met Mary Magdalene.

Myth No. 5: Mary Magdalene was a prostitute
Mary was most definitely not a prostitute. She came from the Village of Magdala where her father was a wealthy businessman in the fishing industry. It was rumored that she was a divorced woman and had fled to Qumran to escape her husband.

Neither the High Priests nor the Essene Elders approved of the relationship that developed between Jesus and Mary. She became the target of much jealousy when Jesus appointed her as one of his disciples. When she and Jesus married it was against the wishes of the elders and high priests who felt that a divorced woman was not a good choice for their future king. For this reason, along with political differences, Jesus left the Essene priesthood to form his own public ministry.

Myth No. 6: Jesus was tried for blasphemy
Jesus wanted to bring social reforms to the country – reforms that went against tradition. He advocated equal rights, believing that any person who wished to serve God – man, woman, Jew or gentile – should have the right to do so.

His reforms made him popular among the masses, however his influence with the people were seen as a threat to the High Priests of Jerusalem and to Herod Antipas who was the ruling King at the time. Jesus was arrested and tried on trumped up charges of sedition – for inciting a public riot when the crowd who came to hear him preach got out of hand and could not be controlled by the Roman soldiers.

Myth No. 7: The Crucifixion
It is my belief that a Secret Order was formed to rescue Jesus from the cross when he was crucified and that Mary Magdalene was instrumental in forming this Order. Crucifixions were commonly carried out by the Romans; it was also in their power to release victims before death claimed them.

Jesus was given a potent while on the cross to ease his suffering and put him to sleep. He was still alive when removed from the cross and taken to a cave where healers looked after him. During this time he endured hallucinations and may have had a Near Death Experience. When he had recovered sufficiently to be moved, his followers took him by cart back to Qumran where he was hidden in the caves.

There is evidence that Jesus lived well into his seventies. He remained physically disabled after the crucifixion and may have spent his remaining years guiding his disciples in the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Myth No. 8: Healing Miracles
The Essenes were an advanced society that practiced ancient healing methods similar to Reiki. Jesus had knowledge of the spirit world and knew how to transmit healing rays directly from the angelic realms to the patient. He understood the power of faith, and this along with his healing skills, produced some miraculous results.

Myth No. 9: Jesus the Man
How could a man as passionate about life as Jesus not love a woman? The Essenes practiced celibacy during their initiation years however once ordained, they were free to marry.  Jesus was next in line to the throne after Joseph. He was likely expected to marry and have children to ensure the royal line continued.

Jesus, like the rest of us, incarnated on earth to further his soul development. There is no doubt that he was an extraordinary man, well ahead of his time. No matter whether we think of him as Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Man, it is important to remember what he stood for and the great lessons he taught – unconditional love – compassion – brotherhood – and peace.

Your comments are appreciated. I know that many people hold firm beliefs around the crucifixion and resurrection…I don’t wish to offend anyone but merely offer a different perspective on this crucial part of history. I look forward to reading your comments when I return. Om shanti.

Many books have been written about Jesus over the years but to many he still remains an enigma. Was he the son of God as history would have us believe? Was he the messiah or a prophet? Or was he simply an extraordinary man? Several years ago I set out on a quest to find the answers to these and other questions. After researching the subject for seven years and writing a book on the subject, I feel satisfied that I have come as close to the truth as one can possibly get.

To get to the truth it was necessary to dispel some of the myths around Jesus and his life. Having studied screenwriting for many years, I learned that the best way to write dialogue and develop character is to know the subject intimately. Then everything that the character says and does will ring true. So I immersed myself in the culture and habits of ancient Jerusalem, researched the Herodian years when King Herod ruled the land, studied the politics, religion, customs and beliefs, and got to know Jesus’ family history. Here are some of the truths I uncovered:

Dead Sea Scrolls, courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com

Dead Sea Scrolls, courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com

Myth No. 1: Was Jesus born of the Immaculate Conception?

Joseph (Jesus’ father) was a member of a religious order in Qumran called the Essenes. His father was Jacob-Heli, a descendant of Nathon who was the son of King David. In a sense, the Essenes were a more liberal society than their Jewish brothers in Jerusalem. They were also nationalists who aspired to put their own King back on the throne of Jerusalem and unite their country.

The Essenes practiced a complicated life of celibacy. They coupled with their wives only to have children and then lived apart from them. Because of Joseph’s royal lineage, having a royal heir to the throne was equally important to Joseph and to the Essenes. Now, here is the shocker. Mary became pregnant while betrothed to Joseph. This was common practice among the Essenes, a sort of trial marriage with the real marriage ceremony taking place when the woman became three months pregnant.

The Elder Essenes approved of the marriage between Joseph and Mary because it involved a royal birth. Possibly even the Crown Prince they longed for. The birth of Jesus placed him in direct line to the royal David throne. In actual fact, Jesus was conceived by Mary and Joseph according to the Essene custom, before the marriage ceremony. He was born the son of God in the same sense that you and I are sons and daughters of God.

But not all Jews accepted the legitimacy of Jesus’ birth. While some Jews proclaimed him their future King – others denounced his birth, claiming he was illegitimate and therefore not the rightful heir to the throne of David. The legitimacy of Jesus’ birth and his right to the throne became a political problem in later years. Hence the reason why the concept of the Immaculate Conception became popular in some religions.

Ancient Qumran, home of the Essene community. Courtesy of www.christusrex.org

Ancient Qumran, home of the Essene community. Courtesy of http://www.christusrex.org

Myth Number 2: Was Jesus born in a stable in Bethlehem?
When the Essenes were exiled from Jerusalem after King David lost his throne, they set up their own community in Qumran and formed their own government, alongside the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Qumran happens to be close to Bethlehem and of course, the Dead Sea. The Essenes even built a temple in Qumran, similar to the Great Temple in Jerusalem

With Joseph and his father both devout members of the Essene community, a separate structure was built close by for visiting members of the royal family. It was appropriately called The Royal House, a place for members of the royal family of David to give birth to heirs. Joseph and Mary traveled there from Nazareth to give birth to Jesus, the future Crown Prince. The birth of Jesus was celebrated by holy men – the elder Essenes who visited the Royal House to bless his birth.

Myth No. 3: Was Jesus a carpenter by trade?

Jesus was born into an affluent family. His grandfather Jacob was Governor of the West and both he and Joseph were esteemed members of the royal family. It seems more probable, due to his station in life and connections, that Joseph owned a flourishing construction business with other family members. Jesus likely learned carpentry skills at an early age while helping his father in the business.

Having been born into a political family, Jesus would have had great expectations placed on him as the heir in line to the throne after his father. Yet despite their status, Jesus’ family favored the simple way of life practiced by the Essene community. They were vegetarians and worked in service to others – healing and administering to the poor. By today’s standards, the Essenes were an advanced society in terms of their social policies. It is not surprising then that Jesus incorporated these values into his preaching when he broke away from the Essenes and took his ministry on the road.

To be continued…watch for Jesus: the Man and the Myths Part 2

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