“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.

Angels: They’re Not Just for Christmas Anymore

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This time of year there are angels everywhere: in malls, on Christmas cards, hanging from my neighbor’s roof — you name it. I like the ones at Rockefeller Center myself:

images

We tend to focus on the one angel who brought the news of Jesus’s birth – and that would be Archangel Gabriel.  Now I know she (yes, she’s the only one depicted as a girl in art and literature) works more than that one day a year.  So I decided to find out more about this entity who was entrusted with the biggest Facebook post of all time.

"OMG!  Don't let those barn animals near the baby..!"
“OMG! Don’t let those barn animals near the baby..!”

Gabriel is — no surprise — the angel of communication.  She’s the one to call upon if you’re a writer, artist, journalist, or anyone who needs to get their message out.  This goes for psychic work as well;  Gabriel can help unblock your Third Eye and send you angelic guidance, prophetic dreams and visions (might want to not be driving when you send up your request.  Just sayin’).

Archangel Gabriel can send inspiration and motivation — and she will give you a righteous kick in the ass if you are held hostage by fear and procrastination.

If you feel like you’re not where you need to be, that you’ve fallen off your “path” — give her a shout .  She’ll get you straightened out and send you hints, info and nudges that will reveal your true calling.  So needless to say, when you’re considering a career or job change, add Gabriel to your LinkedIn contacts.

But she’s not just about communication themes: like most women, she’s got a practical streak.  Call on Gabriel if you’re trying to either get pregnant or adopt a child.  She can help if you’re buying or selling a house.  She’s also gonna help you out if you’ve overdone it on junk food, booze or anything else not Dr. Oz-approved; Gabriel will help you put down that box of  Franzia, those Salem menthols, and purify your body.  This goes for toxic thoughts, too.  After all the family dysfunction this season brings, that’ll come in handy.

When you can't get in to see THIS guy....
When you can’t get in to see THIS guy….

Gabriel is one of only two angels mentioned by name in the Old Testament (Michael is the other);  clearly,  she made an impression.  And she doesn’t mess around: when you call on her, she will push you into the kind of action that will lead to wonderful things.   So ring her up — and then “hark” to what this amazing “herald angel” has to say to you.  It will be life-changing.

What Goes Around…

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One of my Facebook friends has been sharing some hairy details of a family feud.  It’s not pretty.  The stories she tells are awful: stalking, theft of property promised on a parent’s death bed, and far too many cruel words.   Most of this seems to emanate from one member of the family, to the pain of everyone else.  Underlying the gory details is frustration that this one awful person is “getting away with it,” that others still think of them as the epitome of a good Christian when privately, they act more like Rosemary’s Baby.

Otherwise known as your sister-in-law’s house

We’ve all known someone who can be the most terrible, sneaky human ever– and somehow, they manage to escape judgement.   In public life, we’ve seen those who continue to succeed, despite heinous behavior (former Vice President Dick Cheney — who helped lie us into Iraq and outed CIA agent Valerie Plame is my personal bete noir).  It makes you want to throw one righteous temper tantrum.

Yes, it would be enormously gratifying to see those people embarrassed, brought down and otherwise smacked in the face with rotten tomatoes.  That would satisfy our egos.  But just because a public shaming doesn’t occur, doesn’t mean they “get away with it.”

You know how they say that your life flashes before you when you die?  It’s my belief that, at that moment, we experience a sense of both our good moments, and bad.  If you accept that you had those dark moments, if you own it — then you pass into enlightenment.  The owning of those moments can be tough; I think you get a true measure of the pain you have caused with every thoughtless, selfish gesture.  It’s a fleeting moment, but being willing to suffer through it is the price we pay for enlightenment and entrance into the Light.  This is how our soul grows.

There are those, however, who cannot bear to look at what they have done (and in some cases, with good reason.  Would YOU want to trade places with Hitler?  Didn’t think so).  They turn away — literally — from the Light.  The dark place where their soul stays stuck is a kind of punishment you can’t imagine.  I supposed you could call it Hell –although minus any demons and pitchforks.  It’s the absence of Light that’s the true torture.

Sure as hell wouldn’t want to be you when the time comes…

I once went through a guided meditation that was meant to give us a taste of what this “low level” was like.  I have to tell you, I felt sick to my stomach — and racked with sorrow for what people endure in that place.  And that was about 1/100,000,000th of what they experience.

The point is, is that no one gets away with anything. The best we can do when presented with these frustrating people is to stay in our own lane and remember that they will be held accountable at some point.

In plainer terms, “What goes around, comes around”….”Every dog has its day”…and my favorite, “Karma’s a big bitch with PMS.”   Stay peaceful.

The Power of Thanks/Giving

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With Thanksgiving upon us, I’m seeing tons of ads for Black Friday.  “Sale! Sale! Sale!”  “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

This is the time of year when people line up at 5 in the morning, just to pick up some ginormous flatscreen TV.  This is the time of year that feeds a never-ending appetite for stuff.  There’s no diet that can kill that ravenous hunger. Unless….

Unless we start to appreciate what we already have.  I was cleaning out a room in my house the other day, and it gave me a chance to notice things like my wonderful collection of books, the wall hanging my sister made me out of one of our grandmother’s quilts, the beautiful Maxfield Parrish print that makes me smile, the comfy love seat that my cat sleeps on while I read.  It made me happy.

Sheryl Crow once sang, “It’s not having what you want, its wanting what you got.”  Appreciating what we have  brings a certain sense of peace.  And ironically, it changes the energy, allowing “more” to flow into our life.  I think it’s because, when we constantly want for more stuff, love, money, whatever, the underlying message is “lack.”  We magnify that thought when we remain unsatisfied — but when we FEEL rich, that feeling also gets amped up.

It also helps to look at the blessing that a bad experience or challenge offers: adversity can offer us a gift if we look for it.  When I was 19, I ran across a saying in my Philosophy class (don’t ALL 19 year olds take Philosophy?) that stayed with me: “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”  Nietzche may have had plenty of issues, but he got it right with that observation.  Turn your dark moments inside out and find the hidden gem within.

Anyway, stop right now and count your blessings.  Literally.  Make every day one where you “give thanks” for everything that’s going right in your life.  Notice what happens after just a week or so. That flatscreen may not be so appealing after all.

Sandy — And What She Left Behind

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It was about a week ago that I woke up and realized that my house was still standing after Hurricane Sandy.  The days prior to it were a blur of stocking up on food, batteries, gasoline; taking down all my windchimes (I have a LOT of windchimes) and birdfeeders — and generally gazing at the sky a lot.  Not to mention the many big trees in my yard.

When it started to blow, all I could do was pray.  And when I saw that I had only suffered a ton of branches down in the yard, I was truly grateful.

There are many, many people in my area that were not so lucky.  It’s been hard seeing people who’ve lost literally everything — and it put me in mind of this particular Tarot card:

The Tower shows a King and Queen being knocked out of their supposedly bullet-proof castle and flat onto their ass.  Their wealth and prestige is useless.  They are humbled before the forces of the Universe.  But check out those little yellow “droplets” — they represent the Hebrew word for “wisdom.”

When you are knocked out of your castle — literally or figuratively –you have the option of either sitting in the wreckage, cursing your luck, or trying to learn and grow from the experience.  Each person who has suffered from Sandy (that bitch) will have their own path to follow in the aftermath; but in the overview, I would say we have seen some good come out of this disaster. Communities pull together and grow closer.  Friends with power are letting other friends without it stay in their homes.  One of my neighbors has started a clothing drive.  On the long line for coffee at the one place that has juice, people are good-naturedly chatting instead of politely ignoring each other.  For crying out loud, my governor, Chris Christie, has practically become sleep-over buddies with President Obama (whom he’d just trashed in a speech a week earlier).

I’m also convinced that the hardships of Sandy will lead to innovation.  It was the blizzard of 1884 that led to the creation of the New York City subway system; I betcha five bucks that five years from now, we’ll see some interesting changes in our infrastructure.

So while it was a terrifying 48 hours, Sandy has left something unexpected in her wake: a reminder of our interconnectedness, the fact that we are tribal by nature and do best when we come together.  For all of those still picking up the pieces, know that we have your back.

A Reading for A Real Housewife

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I love the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  It’s like watching 7th grade all over again, only with better clothes, bigger earrings and more cussing. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what they’re all worked up over every week, but I guess that’s the job of reality TV.

It’s Jersey, bitches!

We fans know that this season, Teresa Guidice (“Joo-dice”?  “joo-DEETCH-chay”? She keeps changing the pronunciation – or as she might say, “pronunciamation”) has gone completely off the rails.  The storyline that began with her desire to reconnect with her younger brother and his wife has turned into a pinata of nasty that has spilled all over the viewers: strippers, jealousy, set-ups, lowlife husbands (Juicy Joe — ugh), smartass kids, cookbook insults.  It’s like being at the kids table and watching your drunk uncle try and grope your Mom.

So the reunion show for this past season aired its second part on Sunday (there’s still one more installment.  Sweet Jesus).  The looks on the other castmembers’ faces as Teresa rambled on, indicated that they think she’s about two stops away from CrazyTown.  It’s clear that while she’s enjoying the spotlight, her real, off-camera life is in serious trouble.

Clearly, the meds need to be adjusted.

Out of curiosity, I pulled a few Tarot cards to see what might be coming up for our most deranged Housewife.  The first one was this:

This card means turning your back on your current life and pursuing your heart’s desire.  Now she may talk a good game about how family is tops with her — but considering the bullshit she’s putting them through, it seems that “fame” is really what she wants, at least for now.

The next one up?  This one.

Yeah, it looks pretty nasty.  I call this the “humiliation card” — mainly for the snarky look on the guy’s face.  The others have given up, walked away.  While Mr. Snark thinks he’s won the argument, not so fast –what goes around, comes around.  I think something big is gonna smack Tre in the face.  Hard.  But that smack will provide a much-needed wakeup call.

Finally, this one:

Lovely.  The beginning of new love, rebirth, a refreshed spirit, blessings.  I think Tre will have one of these “come to Jesus” moments that make her see the folly of what she’s been chasing.  Getting to that point may be a little harsh, but sometimes, harsh is necessary.  In the end, she’ll get back to what’s important in her life: her girls, her parents, her cooking.  Somehow, I think Juicy Joe won’t be a part of it — he’s got some seriously negative vibes coming off of him.  I wanted to take a shower after his segment.  And I’d just taken one.

Teresa may have fallen in love with fame, but it cuts both ways:  the spotlight shines a light into the darkest parts of a life, bringing them out of the shadows (where you kinda wish they’d stayed). But perhaps it will be a good thing, forcing her to get really clear about what’s worth having at the end of the day.  The trick is, she has to make the choice to make things better in her life (as do we all).

Despite how flat-out obnoxious and manipulating Teresa has been this season, I’m rooting for this Jersey Girl to get herself together.  Stay tuned to the tabloids to see if I got it right.

What You Can Learn 23 Feet Up

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It was one of those Bucket List things that brought me to Trapeze School in New York City.  I figured it would be fun, not to mention a good cocktail party story (assuming that I didn’t end up in the orthopedic wing of the hospital). But I had no idea I’d experience so many  “a ha!” moments while flying through the air.

After the instructor tells us how to safely ascend the ladder and what to do when finally flying, its my turn.  You climb up a rickety ladder, and there’s no other way down but to jump.  So there I am, standing with toes over the edge of the platform, hands on the bar as another instructor grips the back of my safety harness.  First command from the ground:  “Get ready!”  Second command: ’Hep!” (trapeze-speak for “Jump already!”)  A nervous gulp and then I’m sailing through open space.  And trying not to scream.

It’s an adrenaline rush.  It’s terrifying and exciting.  After landing in the net and clambering back to the ground, my inner 6 year old wants to do it again; my inner tax-paying citizen needs a stiff drink.   The strongest thing they serve is bottled water, so I rally and take several more passes.  By the end of the afternoon, I’ve finally mastered the Knee Hang – and even been caught by another instructor, mid-air.

“I knew I shouldn’t have put the handcream on before I got up here…”

Aside from the incredible memory (and a desire to go out and buy a spangly unitard), I also took away some unexpected spiritual lessons from hanging your ass out in the air, 23 feet up.

LESSON 1:  Don’t try to do it all yourself.  When you’re hanging off the bar, you’re keenly aware of physics in a way you never experienced in school.  Gravity, Force, Momentum [G,F and M] become viscerally real.  You have a physical sensation of them as they swirl around your body.

Trapeze “tricks” are more about timing than anything else: the more I try to wrestle my legs over the bar ahead of the right time, the harder it becomes.  But when I trust in my invisible friends, G,F and M, the process is almost magical.   It’s a reminder that, like with spirit guides and angels, there are plenty of things we can’t see – but they’re there to help us if we just let go a little and allow them.

LESSON 2: Listen. Our instructor was insistent we listen for his cues.  He was almost cranky about it (guess he’d seen his share of Cirque du Soleil wannabes).  He watched our timing and would tell us what to do, and when.  Of course, I jumped the gun more than once and wound up flailing around like a fish on a hook.  Not pretty.  But when I turned off my own ego and actively listened to the Voice, the one who could see the big picture, it all just kind of happened.  Note to self:  listen to own Inner Voice more often to prevent unnecessary flailing.

LESSON 3: There’s always a net.  The staff of Trapeze School told me that a lot of folks try the trapeze to conquer fears or learn about surrender and trust.  Before I successfully got “caught” by my partner, I missed plenty of cues or catches and fell into the net. And I realized that no matter what happens in life, there’s always a net.  It might be in the form of friends, helpful strangers or Providence.  Screwing up isn’t the end of the world, so you may as well go for it.

At this height, you can’t see the look of terror on my face…

So next time you’re standing atop the metaphorical platform, staring out into space, remember that Life is like the trapeze:  even if you miss, you’ll bounce back.  Literally.

Next Bucket List item:  the Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island.

Family Feuds for the Enlightened

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Yesterday, I did a reading for a woman who’s family was less the Cleavers and more The Addams Family.  Actually, now that I think about it, it was more like the Corleones.

“Don’t ever cross the family.” Fredo, I’m lookin’ at you.

Anyway, she was being driven absolutely ’round the bend by all kinds of dysfunction, fighting, back-biting and all that other fun stuff.  Now, I’m all for professional counseling (or in some cases, heavy drinking) to navigate those stormy waters.  But from a metaphysical sense, there’s another reason you’re giving each other the stinkeye across the Thanksgiving table.

You picked them.

Yup, before you hit the Universal Waterslide down into human form, you chose the family you entered into, because of the lessons that were going to be offered up.  If you’re pulling your hair out at that idea, I feel ya.  But think about it:  who knows how to get under your skin, lift you up, beat you down, love you wildly or ignore you to the point of tears, better than your family?  They offer a complete smorgasbord of human experience – and you’re gonna sample everything, even the stuff that tastes icky.  And probably more than once.

I’d like another helping of “You Never Loved Me” with a side of “Your sister is prettier,” please…

I’m not saying this idea makes your family situation any easier — but understanding that there’s a reason behind all that friction offers a new perspective.  Those are all opportunities to work through challenges and achieve some measure of growth.

Let me pull one out of my own family archive: one of my sisters is 12 years older.  Ever since I was born, she has been “the boss.”  Once I was out of diapers, that never sat so well with me. Our arguments were not fun, and it really became a problem after our mother died. We fought over every stupid thing, and it just seemed like neither of us could “hear” what the other said.  I finally decided to sit down and write her an old-school letter, rather than our usual weekly phone call.  It let me express myself without interruption, and hopefully, move the conversation(s) forward rather than into the weeds as it so often happened. That new approach changed our game a little bit, and we were able to sort through some of our issues.

Now “together” time doesn’t turn into this….

The bottom line is, our thorny relationship forced us to find a new way to communicate.  We either had to do that, or write each other off.  The write-off may have been the more appealing option, but the Universe doesn’t play that way.  You’re here to  become a stronger, better human being — even just a little bit –or repeat your lessons all over again.

One of my friends notes that she’s stopped playing into her ex-husband’s negative attitude.  It doesn’t necessarily change that lousy view of the world, but by not doing her usual thing, she stops a lot of arguments before they start — and she feels a lot more peaceful (it doesn’t hurt that she secretly enjoys that flummoxed look on his face when he can’t quite figure out what just happened).

I’m not saying you’ll ever completely make peace with family members; the point is, you try.  You try to get past the things that always set you off; you try to see the ones who do the setting off in a new way.  You try to hold off from the same old knee-jerk reactions and find a way to change the game, even in a small way.  Just by trying, you’re inching up the spiritual ladder.

So the next time you’re butting heads with someone in your family, remember that its an opportunity to learn something valuable.  Take a breath, step back and see if you can figure out what it is. (And if you really want to rub it in, remember that THEIR bad behavior is helping YOU advance spiritually.  I believe the correct phrase is, “Neener, neener, neener!”)

“How ya like me now?”

You’re In Good Hands…with Spirit Guides

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I remember the first time I learned about Spirit Guides — and how cool I thought it was.  Imagine having a whole gang of invisible helpers at your beck and call:  would they do the laundry?  Give me lottery numbers?  Give me the answer’s to the next day’s Physics test? The answer is no, no and HELLL no. Guides have a more specific purpose in our lives.

The subject of spirit guides has filled several books, but here are the basics as I understand them. Before we’re born, we decide what lessons we need to work on when we incarnate:  did we finally learn how to be independent in that last life?  Did we work out our issues with commitment, hard work or money?  Or do we need some remedial help?

Homework — whether its Math or LifeLesson #265 –sucks.

There are lots of individual variations in our life lessons, and our guides are there to help us stick to our plan – because, unfortunately, we don’t remember it when we get here.

Call it Spiritual Amnesia.  The only hint we have are the things that keep smacking us in the face:  the same type of person who keeps showing up in your love life…the same struggles with money or family.  The problems that haunt you are the lessons that will get us to finally (hopefully) tick off that goal that we set way back when we were floating on the proverbial cloud.

We each have at least one guide who sticks with us through all the ups and downs of this life.  They sort of function as a spiritual GPS, helping us come back to our purpose.

Does their GPS tell them that they’ve just driven 40 miles with their left turn signal on?

But since this path is ours and ours alone, we have to ask him or her to get us sorted out on the journey.  Their help won’t be obvious — it may come in the form of a helpful person showing up, an article, an e-mail.  It’s your job to pay attention and act on the help that’s sent.

Besides our main guide who is with us “from womb to tomb” as the Jets said in West Side Story, there are guides who come and go during our life.  Doctor Guides help during health issues, Joy Guides come when we need to inject some lightness…there are literally guides for everything (I could’ve used a Plumber Guide when I replaced my faucet….).

Yes, I would’ve endured this sight to keep my kitchen from flooding.

Guides have been human at some point, so they know the drill.  Some may have lived relatively recently. Then there are others who existed millenia ago and have since spent most of their time evolving on the spirit plane (which explains why one of my  guides shows himself looking like some kind of medieval hippie: white robe, sandals, the works.  The only thing missing is the psychedelic bus and the contact high).

I’ve been asked if a deceased loved one can be a guide; the answer is no — and yes.  They don’t function as guides in the classic sense, because they’ve been with us — or connected to us — here on Earth.  BUT those who’ve crossed over are certainly willing to help.  In this, they have two advantages:  1) they know us, what we’re dealing with and our particular human weaknesses and 2) now that they’re on the other side, their perspective is wiiiiiide open.  So when you’ve hit a rough patch, by all means reach out to them.

That’s “MS. Harry” to you….

As with Spirit Guides, the same rules apply with someone on the other side: you have to ask them for their help.  Even if they were huge butt-inskis in life, they’re encouraged to keep their noses out of your life unless you ask them to weigh in.

When it comes to guides, loved ones, angels, whatever, the main thing is to remember that YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE.    All of these entities are here specifically to help us in growing and evolving.  And when they do, they get points, too.  It’s like that saying that goes something like, if you really want to learn something, teach it.  They learn from us, we learn from them…and hopefully, our personal evolution helps someone else.

I’ll do another blog shortly describing how you can meet your own guide, but in the meantime, just ask for what you need and know that your spirit helpers hear you.  Prick up your ears and see what they send your way!

Back-To-School….and Fearless

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My great-niece, Ella Ruby, starts 2nd grade today.  She is totally chuffed, excited about her new teacher, backpack and classroom.  She doesn’t care that she knows nothing about 2nd grade math– she just plans to tackle it and get as many gold stars as she can grab.

Ah, for the days of spitballs and forgetting your locker combination….

There’s something wonderful about a 7 year old’s complete lack of fear.  For the most part, everything new is an adventure.  Their little egos are practically non-existent, so they don’t even think about how it will look if they fail.  They just want to try the New Thing.

This is where the 8 of Pentacles comes in.  While I don’t play favorites with the Tarot cards, I admit that I love when this one comes up.  The message is an encouraging one — it means that whatever you’re faced with, even if you know zilch about it, you’re gonna totally dominate.  The card is nicknamed “the talent card,” revealing hidden abilities.

Most of the time when it appears in a spread, my client has a hard time believing that they’ll be able to pull off whatever that hidden ability may be (“I don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout Excel spreadsheets…”).  I remind them of one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

Can’t argue with a guy sporting such a fierce ‘stache…

A few months back, I got a call at 4:30 PM inviting me to do some copywriting for a start-up tech firm.  There was a conference call less than an hour later — and in that time, I had to Google the firm, download Skype and learn how to use it, and give myself a crash-course in tweeting. I was able to fake my way through the call, and landed a nice gig.

Second-graders like my niece embrace learning — it’s what they do.  Somewhere after graduating, we grownups decided our days of learning were pretty much over.  New things freak us out, make us feel uncertain.  But taking the challenge posed by the 8 of Pentacles is always a good exercise in reaching a little further towards our full potential.  Whether we succeed or fail at it, we still get a gold star for trying.

THE OUIJA HEEBIE-JEEBIES

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I still remember the first time I ever used a Ouija board:  I was in fifth grade, having a sleepover with my friends.  After a long, giggly debate, we decided the dead person we most wanted to contact was….Betsy Ross.  Go figure. (I voted for Bobby Sherman, but he wasn’t dead– a minor technicality).

“Easy come….easy goooo…..”

Anyway, we shut the bedroom door, lit a candle, gathered ‘round the board….and promptly had the crap scared out of us when my mother (listening on the other side of the door) gave a spooky “Woooooooo.”  Cue the sound of high-pitched squealing 10 year olds.

Ouija boards have a reputation, which hasn’t been helped by a long line of stories starting with “I heard about this guy who….” or movies where they burst into flames. But I personally don’t believe they are the default gateway to the demonic, and here’s why.

The board is a way of communicating with the spirit world.  Like any work with spirit, certain precautions are necessary.  Whenever I do a reading, meditation, etc, I make a habit of surrounding myself with the white light of love and protection.  I declare that only positive and helpful entities be allowed into this circle.  To me, this is my “Beware of Dog” sign to any spirit that might want to make mischief .

The same kind of precautions apply when working with a Ouija board.  You only want “good spirits” to come through.   And here’s one more thing I learned from a very experienced medium:  have a bouncer.  She works with a board all the time, but generally gets the information from one spirit guide alone.  When she wants to communicate with a different spirit, that guide steps aside – but keeps an eye out in case things start to go off the rails. He has the power to tell that troublesome entity to hit the road.

“I don’t care WHO you are….you’re not on the list….”

Several years ago, I had a Wiccan friend of mine make a Ouija board for me.  See how beautiful it is?

Image

She put a lot of positive energy into it – and added one special touch on the back:  the engraved message, “with harm to none.”  When I work with this wonderful board, I have one of my guides serve as my doorman.  I also make sure to start every session with positive intentions and the circle of protective light.

Having said this, however, I don’t recommend working with a board casually.Like chainsaws, explosives or PowerPoint,  you need to know what you’re doing.  It’s just good sense.

Kids and chainsaws….never a good mix.

As for all those tales of spooky Ouija boards?  Wait…it’s spelling out something….”Forget….about….it….”!