“Wow!  What a reading!….we are still flying high!  You are a miracle!”  – N.G.

“…Your ears must be ringing because I am constantly singing your praises to my close friends.  So many things you told me at our last reading are happening and its simply amazing to see your gift unfold before my eyes…” – D.W.

“…your predictions have been uncanny…you had told my sister our father would send her a sign at her 50th birthday party; as she blew out the candles, the smoke alarm in the restaurant went off…”  -N.W.

“Well done, Medium Raya”

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The headline is a line from one of my all-time favorite shows, I Love Lucy.  In an old bit from their vaudeville days, Fred introduces Ethel, who’s posing as a medium in order to lead a seance which will hopefully impress Ricky’s spirit-obsessed new boss.  Here’s a little taste…

Having done my share of working with spirit, I can pretty much attest to the fact that it does NOT go down the way it does in Lucy.  For one thing, I don’t wear a turban — way too Norma Desmond/”Sunset Boulevard” for my taste.  And unless the lights go out in the bathroom while I’m putting on my makeup, my eyeliner is on straight.  There are a few other aspects of connecting with the spirit world that my clients tend to ask me about, so off we go.

First off, a medium and a psychic are not the same .  A medium specifically works to communicate with the spirits of those who’ve passed on.  A psychic tunes into the energies of people [living, generally], places and things, to provide an insight.  The process of mediumship and psychic reading is similar, in that you’re “turning off” your own brain and allowing your Higher Self to take over and receive information from a source beyond the everyday – but the goals are different.  They’re essentially two different channels on the same radio.  Simply put, all mediums tend to be psychic — but not all psychics are necessarily mediums.  [For those of you reading this with experience as a medium or psychic, I know, I know:  this is a waaaaaay simplified description.  Let me know what you think in the “Comments” section below.  Now back to our regularly scheduled blog….]

As in baseball, ballet or pro-wrestling, some people are born with a gift and it takes hardly anything to bring that gift to the forefront [we hate those people].  The rest of us can learn their particular skill, but it takes some doing, and some will be better at it than others.  I believe that’s the case with psychic ability — and to some extent, mediumship.  It’s a natural function, but some have the volume on their particular radio turned way up loud, and tuned in perfectly right from the git-go; the rest of us need to fiddle with the dials.

I began working only psychically, but after some profound experiences with the spirit world, I made  a conscious decision to develop my own mediumship abilities.   Unlike many mediums, I wasn’t talking to my dead granny as a child;  I pursued this as a discipline, because it intrigued me and because it was a way to deepen my service. To that end, I spent some time at the Arthur Findlay College outside of London, considered the “Harvard” of spiritual studies.  I joined students from all over the world — and at all levels of expertise — who were there to sharpen their ability to recognize the presence of spirit, connect with it and convey messages.

It kicked my ass.

The coursework involved getting highly specific details about spirits, then trying to connect them with someone in the group.  The focus on “specifics” is two-fold:  1) to confirm that there is indeed life after death and 2) to combat the  perception of mediumship as a bunch of hooey (keep reading for more on this).

As if this wasn’t challenging enough, add in language and cultural differences, jet lag, and heavy English cuisine, and its no surprise that I was completely, utterly knackered at the end of each day.

...and needed one of these, STAT...

One of the things that made the experience — and mediumship, in general — so tricky, is that the information passes through a very human filter.  Speaking only for myself, I don’t get the message verbatim:  I pick up images, words, feelings from the deceased and try to interpret it.  So it’s hard not to try and figure out what things mean, rather than just giving it, “as is.”  The logical part of your brain wants it to make sense.  Your ego doesn’t  want to be wrong.  Yes, there are super-gifted mediums out there with very high rates of accuracy — good for them.  But no one is 100 percent right all the time.  Not even John Edwards, Sylvia Browne or Alison DuBois [BTW, my fellow reality TV fans,  did you SEE her on that infamous episode of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”?  Holeeee crap!]

Just for the record, I'm waaay better behaved at dinner parties....

You should also know that you may not always hear from the person you hope to hear from.  Being a medium is like having the only working wi-fi in a crowded airport:  a lot of folks are gonna try and jump on it.

Yeah, it's kinda like this.

Just like when they had a pulse, some spirits are still bossy.  Others have a very important message they want you to hear, which will take precedence over just hearing “hi” from your dead mother.  You can certainly ask that special person to come through during your session — and personally, I do my best to link in to that spirit. But know that you hear from who you’re supposed to hear from and get the message you’re supposed to get.

At this point, I have to mention the unfortunate reality of phony mediums.  These are the people who cynically target those in grief or in need, bilking them out of peace of mind, not to mention, cash.  I think there’s a special place waiting in Hell for them.   You don’t mess with someone’s grief.  You don’t take advantage of their pain.  If you do, well, let’s just say, “Karma is a big, sparkly bitch.”  And not in a good way.

Good thing Patrick Swayze redeemed your fake-ass before the movie ended...

My own experience with the spirit world has shown me that those who’ve crossed over are generally pretty positive. They’ve been released from physical pain, they’re with people they haven’t seen in years, they don’t have to deal with stupid bosses, mortgages or traffic, and that whole “death” thing turns out to be pretty cool.  They care about those left behind and want them to know that the problems of this world are, in the end, just not such a big production.  So for a faker to tell a vulnerable client that they’re “cursed”, or that the spirits are angry, or some such baloney (and oh, by the way, you can appease them by letting him/her do a ritual at the low, low price of $2500) makes me want to deliver a serious beat-down.

A session with a medium is a very personal, intimate thing.  You may find yourself sharing details of a difficult relationship or a tough situation, so its best to find someone who comes highly recommended and is above all, a professional.  You should leave feeling empowered, positive and uplifted.  You should have a sense of peace or closure. You should NOT be scared, worried or in a hurry to empty your wallet in order to rid yourself of some bad mojo.   Yes, a reading from a qualified medium does cost money — and there’s nothing wrong with that.  After all, it IS a skill that takes time, training and a lot of physical energy.  But there’s a huge difference between paying a one-time fee for a one-time service — and feeling pressured to hit the ATM repeatedly as the price for fighting off bad spirits, curses and random hoodoo.  Trust me, your loved ones on the other side could care less about your money because (psst!): they don’t have checking accounts in Heaven.

2012 – Destination, Fabulous

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Thanks to our friends, the Mayans, there’s been a lot of talk about how 2012 will bring about the end of the world.  Jeeze…talk about a buzzkill.  Although come to think of it,  there ARE a few things that make me think there’s something to those rumors.  Like this…

One sign of the coming Apocalypse..

or this….

Her Satanic majesty…

But despite the temptation to buy into the doomsayers and fear 2012 as 12 months of fire, brimstone, and  [god help us] Kardashians, I have a different view.

It’s pretty obvious that the last two or three years have brought massive change and more than a few freaky natural disasters.   From Occupy Wall Street to crazy weather, Penn State to the Fukushima nuclear plant, the news seems to have been more “WTF?” than usual.  My clients have also been undergoing their own personal upheavals, some of them off-the-charts dramatic.  All of this is happening for a reason: we’re offloading the old ways and making way for the new.  I feel this in my bones and think this is the “end of the world” that the Mayans really meant. Change is never easy [see: “New Year’s Resolutions, Volumes 112 through 183”] so you need to expect some pushback, but its exactly that  friction that creates positive change.  So let’s use it.

While 2012 is still fresh and new, take a moment to determine what positive things you want the year to bring.  This “setting of your intention” is like programming a GPS.  If you’re driving from New York to San Diego, you’d have a general idea of how to get there as you start out.  Where — in general — do you want to get to this year?  Granted, just like in your cross-country adventure, there will be side trips, detours and stops along the way [in my case, I always stop anyplace that offers pie].

My new best friends

Of course, you’ll need to recalculate as the months go by.  But if you have an overall destination in mind, your journey will make a lot more sense.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of details; check in with your heart and spirit and listen to what they’re telling you:  “Better health,”  “A great relationship,” “Financial security.”  The simple essence is all you need. Jot your intention(s) down and stick it somewhere where it can soak up your energy — maybe in a box by your nightstand, or in a book that has meaning to you.  The simple act of declaring what you really want is enough to realign the universe.  By the way, do yourself a favor:  don’t twist yourself in knots trying to figure out “how” something is going to happen — or how it “should” happen.   Unlike traditional goal-setting exercises, “intention” is a lot lighter.  It breathes.  Intention is elastic, allowing for coincidence, synchronicity and magic to creep in and bring you opportunities to act and move forward.

Remember too, that when you hit a pothole, let it serve as a reminder or a warning:  what is it telling you?  Deal with it, and keep moving.

As for me, I intend for all of us to have a wonderful, healthy and happy year.  I intend that we move forward easily on our individual paths and as  “one tribe” [shout out to the Black Eyed Peas]. I intend that this blog be a source of useful, uplifting and fun information to help you make it a great journey.

And I intend that, this time a year from now, we can all look back and do a Happy Dance.

“I haz a happy!”

Happy 2012, y’all.  Especially to the Mayans in the house.