There is a peace among gravestones that settles the soul; as if the world around is holding its breathe while we remember love and loss. As a child I was fascinated by cemeteries. I would go with my grandmother to place plastic flowers on the gravestones of family & friends (I always thought plastic flowers were weird, but they lasted longer and it was the 70’s.) Later as a Girl Scout I sent silent prayers to fallen soldiers on Memorial day during gun salutes as we marched around town from graveyard to graveyard. The energy of these hallow places was always unusual, for they are places betwixt & between. They are tended by the living, but all occupants are of the Dead. In Spirit Communication, contact is often made easier during times of Betwixt & Between…when we are not really fully in one world. In our solar year we have times when the veil between the world is thin, such as Halloween and Beltaine (May 1st)…and each day holds hours such as this, at Dawn & Dusk. The light and dark are balanced, and the veil between the world of the living and the dead is thin. These are times when communication with the dead is easier, allowing more people to have personal communication or contact. In many ways Gravestones are physical location markers that too exist in both the world of the living and the world of the dead.
People have been marking burial grounds and graves forever…(ok, I really don’t know how old the oldest grave marker, tomb or whatever is but its ancient). Religion and culture have told us time and again that such places are sacred, and to deface them in any way is seen as unholy. Our need to stay connected to our ancestors is ancient, it is in our blood and soul to honor those who have come and gone before us. Throughout time we have also used these locations as places in which to speak to, pray for and connect with our loved ones in Spirit. When we enter a graveyard we leave behind our cluttered mind, no longer entangled by our daily worries we come for the soul purpose of visiting those we greatly miss. Here is the cool part, because they have been used throughout time as places of honoring and prayer our Ancestors know when we are there. Kind of like having the doorbell ring. When we stop by the cemetery our Beloved Dead know we have come & they join us. They come to listen and watch as we spend time thinking of them. They visit us in other places as well, but graveyards are an easy one.
Approaching Gravestones for Communication-
When you approach a gravestone for communication it is important to remember that this space is holy and sacred to many people and we must be thoughtful of others beliefs and wishes. We are there to reach out to our Beloved Dead, not to disturb the peace of others (living and dead). Be mindful of where you tread and the volume of your voice, for this is a place of reverence.
Offerings for your loved ones are always a nice idea, whether they be flowers, charms or items from the earth. In some traditions it is custom to give offerings of tobacco and herbs. Remember leave little behind…so keep your offerings small and biodegradable. No food unless you plan on taking it out with you when you leave…It is important to remember that offerings to those in Spirit are about the essence of the thing, not the thing itself. So bring the real flowers, not the plastic ones. The plastic ones may hold their color and form longer, but they hold no real essence.
Be sincere! One of the most foolish things about us humans is the way in which we hide our true feelings and intentions. Often we go through life holding back our true expression. Let us not carry this attitude over to our dealings with the Dead. Speak truly with heart and soul, speak out loud if you can. This action helps separate us from the chatter of our mind. Worry not if they can hear you, for they can. It is much easier for those in Spirit to hear and see us, then it is for us to see them.
Quiet your mind and open your eyes. When our mind is quiet we are more likely to receive messages from our Beloved Dead. When we practice mindfulness and calm our internal voices we become more aware of other beings around us. Remember Spirit is often subtle, bringing us sounds, smells and sights in a gentle way. It helps to soften your eyes so that you are looking with your peripheral vision. (think about those 3-D art books of the 90’s)…this vision “wide angle vision” is very helpful in viewing Spirits, as they exist in another realm.
Do not base your experience on whether you received a message that very moment or not. Often things such as this take time as both you and your loved ones in Spirit need to work on connecting. Go back often and look for signs. Hell (no pun intended), I would even ask for a sign. Stick to something that is reflective of your loved ones nature…such as cardinals for your grandpa who loved them. Ask them to reach out to you with the sign you have chosen. Be patient….It is important to remember that like all things skill in Spirit Communication is different for different people, just as we are all not rocket scientist or marathon runners. Remember why you have gone to visit…that you are visiting your dead out of respect, loss and love. It is enough to honor them.
Most importantly we need to remember that gravestones and cemeteries are not the only way to reach out to the ones we love….but they are a powerful way to go visiting.