Archive for 'mediumship 1'

Lessons from Lily Dale

I recently stumbled across an article about the spiritual community of Lily Dale in upstate New York. It brought back a bunch of memories about a trip that I took there a few years back, which I feel like revisiting.

If you’re not familiar, here’s a quick refresher: Lily Dale was established well over a century ago as a community of spiritualist mediums. The area itself (north of Buffalo – and a long-ass drive from my home in New Jersey) has a long association with Native Americans and has great energy. This is one reason why it was chosen. It’s a favorite destination of anyone seeking spiritual growth.

Pretty, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.

The community is tiny. You need to park your car outside of the neighborhood and walk in. While there, you can take classes, attend lectures or daily public “message services” where the mediums deliver words from loved ones on the Other Side.

More importantly, you can avail yourself of any of the dozens of mediums who live and work inside Lily Dale. In order to nab one of the cute little Victorian homes dotting the streets, mediums must go through some rigorous vetting. It’s reportedly like the world’s toughest hazing ceremony. So customers have pretty high hopes for the quality of the readings. Especially after said “long-ass drive.”

When my friend Janet and I finally got there, we felt the “energy” of the place immediately. We checked into their ancient hotel, then started poking around up and down the tiny streets

The resident mediums hang out a shingle, letting you know they’re available for a walk-in appointment (some of the more popular ones require advance bookings). Janet and I had agreed beforehand that if one of us went in first for a reading, we’d give a discreet “thumbs up” or “down” to let the other know if it was worth following on.

Over the weekend, we each did a few readings, some together, others independently. Most were perfectly fine – nothing mind-blowing, but nothing that especially sucked, either.

But there was one reading that DID stand out – and not in a good way. Janet went in to a young woman’s parlor while I waited on the porch. When she emerged 30 minutes later, her eyes were wild and she was subtly shaking her head in my direction. The medium had a smile on her face, like “Next?” – but I was up from the lawn chair and off the porch before she knew it.

Turns out, this reader did something I am vehemently against, as are most readers that I know of: she had told Janet that she was dying. Of cancer. I’m still mad, just writing that. SO irresponsible, and you know what? Not for her to put that in someone’s head. I spent the rest of our time talking my friend off the ledge – and came very close to writing a letter to whomever chooses the Lily Dale readers.

A psychic reading is very intimate, and the client is especially vulnerable at the time– they open themselves to the reader. Health issues are especially dodgy; when people ask me for that kind of information, I’ll do an energy scan, but I always, ALWAYS tell them that if they have specific concerns, go see a doctor, not a psychic. ‘Cause we are far from perfect.

And I’m always aware that you don’t want to put anything negative in their psyche.   Because we can easily create some bad “juju” if someone else tells us that’s what’s on the menu. This is essentially how voodoo works – or any other “mind control” method, for that matter.

Now, while I personally wasn’t overly impressed by Lily Dale’s readers (and hey, they’re entitled to having an ‘off’ day), I also feel for them: the history and standards about the place set up some insane expectations.

To balance it out, there were some positive things about my visit to Lily Dale: several “otherworldly” moments where I connected with spirits on the Other Side; many ghostly experiences in the woods around the place, learning about the earliest days of the spiritualist movement – and evidence of the interactions from those times (check out the onsite museum).  Plus, when I got home, I was “inspired” to adopt my kitty, Pyewacket (long story –but Lily Dale def had a hand in the decision).

My kittyboy lounging in the sun.

I think my main takeaway from my visit to Lily Dale is that one needs to maintain their own power; psychic-mediums can provide powerful insights, and that’s what most of us strive to do. For clients, it’s tempting to hand things over to an “expert.” But in the end, all of us are responsible for our own life. This is why each of us is here: to make the best of the lessons handed to us. Psychics can provide guidance, but you need to pull the trigger. Or not.

So my message to you is this: don’t be too dazzled by the reputation of any psychic, psychic place or spiritual summer camp. Keep it in perspective. Psychics are not magicians; we are human. So take what you get in a reading and use what rings true to move you forward – not freeze you in a place of fear and powerlessness. You should NEVER leave a reading feeling hopeless or scared. You should come away feeling ready to kick some ass.

How I want you to feel when you leave my office. “Rawr!!!!!”

 

PS — I just finished an interesting book about Lily Dale.  Find it here.

Getting A Sign From The Dead

I was at a demonstration of mediumship last week, a gallery demo where the mediums would present messages from spirit-side to the audience. Because I was working the door, I had a unique perspective as I sat in the back.

As the audience members engaged with the mediums, I was made super-aware of how we Living types have Very Specific Ideas of what we want to hear from spirit. Some of the audience were dismissing messages right from the jump, because they didn’t exactly line up with what they expected. A few minutes later, of course, the message would suddenly come clear and they would be like, “Oh…..now it makes sense!”

It’s not unusual for us to set up conditions for messages from the Other Side: “If you’re really around, ring the bell in the kitchen…” “If you’re really OK, let me smell your perfume again….” “If life does go on, let me see a red cardinal tomorrow.” But those conditions are all on OUR terms – we completely ignore the other half of the equation.

Forget your checklist.  You'll never get anywhere with that mindset.

Forget your checklist. You’ll never get anywhere with that mindset.

The thing is, our loved ones in spirit are working on a whole ‘nother level. They are not our trained monkeys.   They tend to send signs when we’re not so invested – that “surprise” factor has a better chance of getting through, because our screens are down.  I wrote about some other common “signs” here.

They also tend to work with what’s right in front of us. One of my friends just told me a story of an old woman from his church who used to end their phone conversations with, “Have a blessed day.” After she passed, he wanted a sign to know that she was OK – and he got it, in the form of a flat-bed truck in front of him, with a mudflap that read, “Have a blessed day.”

He turned himself inside out over the idea of a message appearing on a flat-bed. Why a truck? But why not? It was right in front of him, where he was sure to see it. So there’s that.

We need to trust that spirit will let us know about their life beyond the veil in times – and terms – that we can really “get.” If we set up parameters and conditions, we might miss it. Like a sailor so focused on the horizon in front of him that he misses the magnificence of a whale breaching right beside him.

 

Don't miss the magic...

Don’t miss the magic…

So please – release your expectations. Trust and believe. But set no conditions for hearing from them. Just know that you will.

Remember, if you’d like to connect with a loved one, get in touch regarding my mediumship services.  Happy to help you reach across the veil.

Psychics and Religion

A few years ago, I used to read at a local New Age shop. And you could pretty much count on getting some nasty piece of literature shoved under the door each week, claiming that what we were doing was “evil,” “of the devil,” we were going to Hell, blah blah blah.

Sooooo Over the HellFire threat....

Sooooo Over the HellFire threat….

I’ve gotten similar comments on Facebook or at my website. And, although I’ve been patient over the years, I’m here to tell you, I’VE OFFICIALLY HAD IT.

So here’s the deal. I respect people’s religious beliefs. But what I can’t stomach is medieval fear-mongering. As a psychic, what I do aligns with all great teachings, namely, helping someone evolve to something higher. And I would at least like the super-religious types to respect MY “religion.”

Psychics and mediums are tapped into a higher spiritual vibe. We are very aware that there is something greater than us, and we honor that. I think where it goes sideways for some folks is that an ethical psychic will always emphasize your free will in a situation. Anything that comes up is dependent on you taking action. This is where psychics and religion tend to part company.

For centuries, many religious leaders put the emphasis on that great spirit in the sky. “He” – and by default, “they”—were in charge. They could dispense praise and punishment, they ran the show. Conversely, the metaphysical world puts YOU in charge. And -no shocker- the establishment does NOT like that.

I’ve been reading Tarot for years, and discovered something interesting in my studies. The cards depict our journey, from being a straight-up dumbass (The Fool) to a more enlightened being (The World). Along the way, there are many tests and challenges (the minor cards), but ultimately, the individual is in charge of the choices they make (or don’t). I once read that this wisdom was put into “card” form so that the reader could scoop them up and be on their way in case the religious po-po showed up. Much less dangerous than a book, or a street sermon – which might’ve gotten them burned at the stake. Because “they” feared the power of the individual and how psychics emphasized that.

This is not Guantanamo.

This is not Guantanomo.

This, to me, is why so many religious believers freak out over psychics. But we are not here to replace or diss your God, rather to give you a different way to experience that kind of spiritual power. So stop already with the “devil” talk. We are not down with Satan.

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Not my friend….just sayin.

 

And stop throwing shade at those of us who deal with the spiritual life in a different way. Like I said, I am OVER it.  Just had to rant.  Thanks for letting me off-gas my rage.

The Psychic Power of Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Anyone Be A Medium?

So I was just at this weekend workshop for advanced mediumship training – always good to tune things up, learn some new skills, stretch a little. During a break, I was chatting with one of the other students about what we did, etc.  I made a comment that I believe everyone has psychic ability. She jumped in  “But not everyone’s a medium.”

On that, I have to disagree. Yes, there are some folks who are totally awesome at connecting with spirits on the Other Side. To them, the sensing of energy, images, feelings comes easily. They connect the dots, seemingly effortlessly.

Other mediums may need to work a little harder at making the link with a spirit person. But they make it.

I’ve been in enough classes over the years to know that everyone can discover and develop their own ability. I’ve seen someone go from straight beginner to being able to give a mediumistic message by the end of a course. It may not flow as smoothly as those with their channel more finely tuned, but its there. The rest comes from practice and building one’s confidence. That’s really it.

I believe that the ability to discern other energetic levels is inborn in each of us. It’s a tool we’ve been given to more fully realize our life’s goals. Over the centuries, humans have evolved to be more aware of this ability and less fearful of it, generally speaking. I’m thinking that a hundred years from now, connecting with spirit energy or psychic impressions will be just another thing we do when we need information. Like a spiritual Google.

Our inborn ability can be drowned out by the struggles of daily life. It’s a subtle organ, easily overwhelmed by grocery lists, car pools, deadlines, whatever. Opening and developing your own gift takes time, practice and commitment; simply put, those are the only things that separate you from a professional medium or psychic.

When people learn I’m a psychic-medium, they’re all like, “Ooooh….cool. I wish I could do what you do.” I’m here to tell you that you can. I would love it if we could get away from regarding mediums and psychics like they’re magical creatures from another planet; the same ability to pick up other energies is part of your DNA, too.

And personally, I think the world would be a much more peaceful place if we all tapped into it. So start tapping, bitches.

I shared some simple exercises to open your own psychic channel here.   And I write more about the Other Side in my new book – which is a great read, if I do say so myself!

Sylvia Browne, The Imperfect Psychic

I was saddened to see that Sylvia Browne passed away.  Although I got the feeling that she had been sick for awhile – she didn’t look good in some recent pictures.   So I’m glad she’s at peace and romping on the Other Side.  That must be some party.

Anyway, as I was scanning the news stories about her, I was pretty p’o’d to see a snarky link to a YouTube clip entitled, “Sylvia Browne, World’s Worst Psychic.”

Like many people, I first came upon Sylvia when she was on The Montel Williams Show.  She gave messages to audience members and answered questions.  On one of her televised appearances, she announced that Amanda Berry was dead.  Amanda was one of the women kidnapped and held hostage for years by that monster in Ohio.  Fortunately, she was found alive recently.  And Sylvia was pilloried for putting Berry’s mother through that agony.

She later posted a message stating how happy she was that Amanda was alive and regarding her TV appearance, that “Only God is 100% right.”

I’m sure that wasn’t the first time she was wrong about something, but this was certainly the most public example.  And it gave skeptics all the ammo they needed to discredit any of the good work she’d done through her career.

This is a point that needs to be discussed.  No psychic or medium, no matter how gifted they are, is always right.  But a lot of people expect us to be.  I had one potential client ask me if I was “100 percent accurate…or close.”  I laughed.  There’s something about psychics that inspires magical thinking – like we’re elves or hobbits.

It's a movie, people....

It’s a movie, people….

John Edwards was also touched with a little scandal when he had his regular TV show  Apparently, it was discovered that producers had the audience miked ahead of taping, eavesdropping on conversations and then ‘feeding’ some of that info to John.

I don’t think that John needed feeding, but clearly, the producers were trying to impress the audience by having him appear to be 100 percent right, all the time.  Which is bullshit.    And by trying to make the impossible seem real, it tainted John’s very real gifts.

For some, there seems to be an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to psychics.  You’re either totally amazing or you suck.  But being sensitive to the spirit world is just that – being sensitive.  And real life has its impact.  We psychics know what affects us, positively and negatively, and live each day accordingly.  But sometimes you wake up from a bad night’s sleep and step in cat vomit. Stuff happens.

Good frikkin' morning....

Good frikkin’ morning….

Human foibles and challenges allow the psychic to better empathize with their client.  Our spirit guides “use” our experiences to translate higher knowledge into something useable and understandable.  It’s the equivalent of “Been there, done that, got the spiritual t-shirt.”   Expecting perfection from any intuitive is unrealistic.

As psychic-mediums, we do our best to be of service.  But in the end, its up to you to consider the information you’re getting, apply it or discard it.  I remind my clients to take what resonates with them, and leave the rest.

And that goes for Sylvia Browne.  In her life, she provided more good, healing, hopeful information than she did goofs.  And that’s what she should be remembered for.  RIP, girlfriend.

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Spiritual Lessons from Netflix

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your fave spiritual movies?

Should Psychics Charge Money?

It happened again.  I’m scanning my morning Yahoo headlines and see that a Florida psychic is on trial for scamming her clients out of — wait for it — something like 25 MILLION (with a “mill”) American dollars.  She managed to get otherwise intelligent folks to hand over gold, jewelry and cash, all in the interest of “sacrificing” to rid their lives of evil (’cause “money is the root of all evil,” get it?).

This shameless skank insist that her clairvoyant gift had been in the family for 1500 years.  Gee — with all that ancestral weight, you’d think shed’a seen the law coming to shut her down.

Houdini could escape the cuffs; you can't.

Houdini could escape the cuffs; the phony psychic can’t.

I friggin’ hate stories like these, because it tars all legitimate psychic/mediums with a bad brush.   No legit intuitive will EVER ask for more than their standard fee.  Extras like curse-removing, intervening with the gods on your behalf or invisible bitch-slapping should not even enter the discussion.  But this begs another question:  if you have a gift, should you be charging at all?

The answer is: HELL TO THE YES.

No matter how naturally intuitive someone is, using that ability takes energy.  A lot of it.  You don’t want to see me after a long afternoon of reading:  its not pretty and usually requires some serious time on the living room couch.

Most of us devote a lot of effort to keeping our gift sharp, in order to provide the best possible information we can to our clients.  We take classes, buy and read books, travel to sacred sites, meditate.  It’s not just for fun:  its specifically to help us be of service.

Then there’s the fact that a reading requires  time.  Outside of the actual session, there’s preparation involved:  in my case, I spend about a half hour before you even get here to meditate, tune in, clear the space with sage and incense.

Psychics could be using that kind of time for plenty of other things:  car pools, laundry, making flan.  Plus, most of the psychic/mediums I know have full or part-time jobs, families and other things pulling at us.  So, at the very least, you’re paying us for our time.

On the subject of “giving it away,” most every psychic/medium (myself included) has frequently used their gift for someone who’s in need, and not taken dime one.  We want to help, and our hearts are softer than most when it comes to a person who needs to hear a message or get some direction.  The point is, we shouldn’t be “expected” to work pro bono.

Very few of us get rich from this work.  The John Edwards and Theresa Caputos are few and far between.  But our efforts to help and heal others in our own little way should be honored monetarily.  Every reader has their own rate card; like any professional,  I’m up front with mine (which you can see here).  I’m not a fan of those “one free question” types or the ones who only charge you $5.  ‘Cause you KNOW they’re gonna suck you in for a lot more.  This is not a party game; it’s serious endeavor and should be respected as such.

What do you think about psychics and money?  Share your comments with me.

Sorta get what you pay for with this type....

Sorta get what you pay for with this type….

3.5 Reasons You Need A Psychic

The way I see it, you need these on speed-dial: a plumber, mechanic, lawyer, and in my house, a chicken place that delivers.

I would add to that, a good psychic.

I’m not talking about hitting up Madame Lasagna at the boardwalk. I’m talking about those of us who are truly, sharply tuned in to the intuitive side.  That kind of information gives you a new (and sometimes better) way to deal with modern challenges.

For the record, this is NOT me.

For the record, this is NOT me.

Ever since the first human wondered if the person in the next cave over liked them or not, humans have sought ways to see what couldn’t be determined by other means.   Psychic ability lets us pull back from what’s in front of us, and sense other things at play.  The psychic’s brain downloads on a completely different channel and offers another source of information.

Intuition is a nice counterbalance to the super-tech, pointy-headed vibe of this 21st century life.  It’s more organic. Your iPhone can do a lot of things, but picking up psychic info ain’t on the list.

Can find you a restaurant, can't solve your relationship crisis.

Can find you a restaurant, can’t solve your relationship crisis.

Maybe that’s why I’ve seen such a huge increase in people coming for a reading whom you might not expect: a tough Irish cop, a psychoanalyst, a surgeon, for starters.  They’re finding a new way around their problems, by tapping into this age-old data stream.

If you’re still kicking the idea around, here are my 3.5 reasons to consider a psychic.

Reason #1:  WE SEE THE BIG PICTURE – THE REALLY BIIIIIG PICTURE

As a psychic, I’m focused on the particular issue you bring me, but I’m also “pulling back” to see what else is going on around its edges.  It’s kind of like Google Earth.  Many times, I pick up on things affecting it that you weren’t aware of:  past-life influences, karma, what’s up with the other people involved.  That kind of intel gives you a new perspective on why and where you’re stuck.  (Even if you’re not sold on the idea of past lives or karma, admit it – it sounds interesting, doesn’t it?)

th-2

Can this help me find where I parked at the mall?

Reason #2 WE GIVE YOU A DETOUR AROUND THE ROADBLOCKS

When the same annoying situation/person keeps showing up in your life, there’s a reason.  Yes, really.   The Universe is trying to get your attention, or to provide a lesson.  What is that lesson?  An intuitive can give you the crib sheet and show you how to finally move forward.

Even around this....

Even around this….

Reason #3   A READING GETS YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD

Check the frownlines on your face: we spend so much time grinding our mental gears, trying to work out a solution to a problem.

A reading might save you on some Botox. Just sayin.

A reading might save you on some Botox. Just sayin.

Sometimes, you need to take the brain out of it – and see what instinct and the heart has to say.  That’s the specialty of a psychic.  Add that info to the intellectual mix, your own knowledge of the situation and you’ve got something you can really work with in solving a problem.

Reason #3.5  YOUR DEAD GRANNY WANTS TO SAY “’SUP?”

Not all psychics are mediums – meaning, possessing the ability to connect with those on the Other Side.  But for those who do have that particular channel on their radio, it can be a powerful experience for the client.  My motto is, “It’s not a reading ‘til someone’s crying.”

Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

Connecting with someone you’ve lost  is incredibly therapeutic.  I’ve had clients finally be able to drop all kinds of baggage after getting a message from someone who’s crossed over.  It’s not only intensely liberating, it’s a big comfort, as well.   The right psychic-medium can hook you up on that channel.

When it comes to finding an intuitive, I strongly believe in personal recommendations.  You want a good fit – and a truly professional intuitive won’t mind if he/she isn’t the right one for you.

Let me just add that a responsible psychic will only ask for his/her standard fee (and not hit you up for “extras,” like “removing curses”); and if someone’s issues are above their paygrade, they’ll suggest a qualified mental health professional.

At any rate, if you’ve ever rolled your eyes at the thought of consulting a psychic, open your mind.  This ancient art is more 21st century than you think.