Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it, except maybe leaf-mold which causes my allergies to flare up. I love the temperature; which allows me to wear my favorite clothes (neckwarmers, knee-high socks, sweaters & fingerless gloves), I love the contrast of the dark gray lighting against the vividly colored maple trees, and the dramatic starkness that it brings to the Kingdom (Northeast Kingdom, Vermont) I live in. But most of all, I love how thin the veil between the worlds of the living & the dead becomes.
As a Natural Medium, I am fortunate to have contact with my Beloved Dead whenever I wish. I visit with my ancestors and guides often, enjoying both their wisdom and humor. My many years of interacting with Spirits has made such things normal for me, and my years of personal study has provided me with the tools to turn my ability on and off as I wish….most of the time!
The months surrounding Samhain/Halloween ofter me the most exceptions to the rule, for the energetic boundary that separates the realities of spirit and being; living and dead, fae folk & human becomes less and less tangible. I enjoy this time immensely, as it fills me with melancholy. The season takes me back to a time when I was still exploring my relationship with the Otherworld; before I understood the strength of my own consciousness, before my major opening to spirit.
Otherworld- the world/worlds of spirit.
Having grown up with natural psychic ability, and being from a generational line of mediums I was always able to sense spirit; see them, hear them, feel them, know when they were about. But in the early years, it was scattered and cryptic, like some kind of sophisticated game I didn’t quite understand. I was not the one steering the ship, instead, I was coasting down the river with a makeshift boat and no idea of what was around the next bend. After many years of experience with the spirit world, I have learned to create boundaries, rules, and regulations that not only keep me safe but offer me the privacy and space required to live a normal life. Now, Most of my communication is done through appointments in which I help clients connect with their Beloved Dead. At these times I attune myself with the vibration of the Otherworld, focusing my lens so that I may connect with the Spirits I seek. I look, listen and feel when and where I want to, and change the channel/look away when I do not.
When the veil between the world is thin, I am once again a magnet for spontaneous encounters with spirits. I am occasionally startled when I catch them out of the corner of my eye or standing directly in front of me, but all and all I have acquainted it to being at a large festival; with lots of people about. It can be a bit crowded and you may bump into someone from time to time, but it’s also a bit exciting. In these unexpectedly times my heart races a bit and I am reminded that there is so much more out there than I see, let alone have control over. So I let myself revel in the spookiness of the encounter and wrap the wyrd around me like a favorite shawl.
The truth is most of us crave this kind of spook, at least a little bit. We want experiences that make us question what we know about reality, and how it affects us. We want to catch a glimpse of the Otherworld; so that the possibility of the eternal soul may fill our minds. We want to know, not just have faith that our spirit exists regardless of the body. We seek for ourselves as much as we seek for those we have lost.
In these heightened times of spirit activity; when the veil is thin, I find myself thinking of the price we pay for being incarnate. Don’t get me wrong, having a body has its perks, but all that lusciousness comes with a price. We are blinded & deafened to the complexity of existence. We are locked out from seeing all that we are, left to wonder and worry as we endure the hardships that are also part of being alive. I wonder why it is most of us are unable to connect to the unseen world, what is the point of the disconnection? Would we have simply been too lazy if we knew that that ‘life’ was eternal and that we were in a loop of experience? Would we push ourselves as hard if we did not think somewhere in the recess of our mind that our time was limited? We are living in times of deep change, in which the shadow lies deep upon our psyche, and with it, these questions become more paramount in my mind.
If you are seeking a connection to your Beloved Dead this Samhain season, I suggest you think deeply about the questions you would ask. For seeking the council of our Ancestors is something we humans have done throughout the ages. Times of betwixt & between when the veil is thinnest are ideal for this work. Many cultures have seen these dark, in-between times as perfect for connecting to their kin and finding the guidance they seek. Remember that the language of spirit is often symbolic and that we are all put out enough energetic light for our own Beloved Dead to find us. Setting aside special time for communication when you are not disturbed is ideal, for it allows us to go deeper with our experience.
Here is a bit of something to use as a guideline for those of you seeking personal connection…
THINGS YOU WILL NEED-pictures and momentos that remind you of your Beloved Dead, candles (one or more), offerings for your Ancestors-their favorite foods, smoke, drink, as well as a notebook and pen.
*Set up an altar by decorating a small stand with your ancestorial offerings, candles, and photos.
*darken the room so that you are in dim light
*let your family/friends know that you are not to be disturbed
*When the altar is set, light your candles and take a few deep breaths., with each breath in imagine you are drawing in the light of the candle flame, filling your body with light, as you exhale imagine that light spreading around you like a luminous globe…surrounding you on all sides, as well as above and below. This is your circle of protection.
*Call in your personal protective spirits, as well as deities (gods/goddess) that you work with. Imagine them standing in your space as sentinels, keeping you safe and offering you strength.
SPEAK CLEARLY-asking that all spirits that enter your space do so with love and clarity.
When your space has been connected and created, invite your Beloved Dead to join you. Taking a few minutes to allow for arrival, begin to use your peripheral vision to open your gaze. This is easily done by looking down your nose slightly while allowing your viewing to expand to the sides of your vision.
When the room feels full (if you do not know how to recognize this feeling give about 10 minutes for arrival), begin by welcoming your spirits in truth. Speak words of love to them, of how you have missed them and how you remember them. After you have shared a few moments of love, speak your truth-telling your ancestors why you have invited them to your circle. If seeking guidance ask of them the questions you would have direction on. Know that answers often come in slowly, through imagery and thought. Not everyone is sensitive enough to physically see or hear spirits. But most of us will receive images in our mind, the key is not to talk ourselves out of what we are seeing. When a thought comes in; no matter how cryptic, write it down in your journal. It is important that during the experience your focus is on questioning and observing answers. Digesting the symbolism is for after…
In the beginning, I suggest that you stay in this sacred space for at least an hour, as receiving information from the spirit world is not an easy task. Know that you may feel a bit cold (so have a blanket near), and a bit hungry. This is because, the spirits borrow our energy for connection.
When you have completed your communication session, thank your ancestors, deities, and guides. Release your energetic circle by imagining the light returning to you, and through your breath to the candle. Know that you have released all spirits and are safe. Keep track of your thoughts and dreams over the next few weeks as often our messages come in many forms. Once we have asked for guidance our ancestors will work to help us receive their answers in whatever way is best for us.