In my last entry, I shared a very basic non-comprehensive overview of some of the many different ways in which the living has communicated with the dead. Today I would like to share with you how I discovered this ability as well as the process with which I communicate with the dead.
When I was a small child, I recall having episodes of precognition in which I knew who was calling before answering the phone, or knowing that granpa was being cheated by the butcher. I have a vivid memory of waking up in bed one night and being covered in snakes. I could look off to my left and see my mother sitting on the floor watching tv and eating popcorn but being unable to call out to her. I also recall walking home from school and seeing winged-men flying through the air. I can only imagine what the passing car thought of this small boy standing on the side of the road staring up at the sky.
As I got older and learned not to talk about these things, they stopped happening with any consistency. Despite this, I retained my interest in magick and the supernatural. As a teenager I would lie in bed late and night and listen to the semi-trucks downshifting on Hwy 20 in the distance. I would wonder who they were and where they were going and suddenly I would find myself flying along side them! That was my first experience with astral projection.
When I was 18 I had developed an interest in reading Tarot Cards and tried to create my own deck by using a deck of playing cards and 21 cards from a second deck with the names of the Major Arcana written on them. After I graduated high school, my Aunt E. bought me my first deck (the Rider-Waite) from a Waldenbooks at Myrtle Beach. I spent the whole summer learning the meanings of the cards and doing readings for myself. I vividly recall predicting that Bill Clinton would be our next president (the King of Cups).
In the beginning I took a literalistic approach to reading the cards, because I wanted to do it just right. So whenever I threw the cards I would think, ok the book says this is what the card means and so this is what the card means and nothing else....even though this strict interpretation doesn't seem to fit. Only when I learned to relax and take a more intuitive approach to reading the cards did my own readings improve and my sporadic visions returned.
For example, a girl came to my home one evening for a reading and as soon as I began turning over the card I saw the face of a man in my mind's eye and knew that she was interested in him. Without even thinking or second-guessing myself I called the man's name and she was shocked. Now I must admit that the only reason I knew the man's name was because I was working for the public at the time and this man was one of my customer's otherwise I would have just had to describe who I saw in my mind's eye for the girl.
About a year after I had begun studying and reading the Tarot, I began to feel the presence of spirits when I read for others. I notice that I began to associate their presence with the appearance of certain cards or certain combinations of cards (The World and Judgment together, for example). Once I acknowledged these spirits I was able to begin discerning them and communicate with them. Sometimes the spirit was an ancestor, at other times it was the person's spirit guide/guardian angel. These spirits would then begin to communicate with me by showing me images in my mind and, very rarely, I would hear short words and sentences. At other times I would just know, without knowing. The only way I could describe it is as being similar to when you are working on a problem and then you suddenly get an inspiration and the answer is clear!
I don't consider myself a medium, per se, I am uncomfortable with the idea of allowing a spirit to use my body and am not particularly interested in that type of work. When I do readings and the messages come through from spirits I will deliver the message and leave it up to the client what to do with the information. Occasionally, however, I have been requested to attempt to contact the dead for individuals and I always say that I will try but that I cannot guarantee that I will be successful.
In the beginning I tried working with a Ouija-Board, but for whatever reason I was never able to operate it to my satisfaction. I believe the reason for this is because I have heard all my life about how dangerous Ouija-Boards are and some small part of my subconsciousness will not allow me to operate one. Also, as I said earlier, I am uncomfortable with the idea of allowing some outside force to have use of my body. I have been successful communicating with spirits using the tarot, pendulums, or dowsing rods, but knowing that I have had successful communications with the dead without the use of tools I decided to develop that ability.
Through a process of trial and error, I discovered that the best way for me to communicate with the dead was simply to talk to them. Whenever I get a request to speak with the dead, I usually ask for their name, and/or a photograph. I attempt to put myself on the spirit's wavelength by mentally focusing on the person and repeating their name over and over in my mind as well as visualizing their face. I put out a mental call letting the spirit know that if they are around and wish to communicate, that I am available. There is nothing fancy about it. I don't burn special candles, I don't cast a circle, I don't pray at the altar, etc... I've done this while cooking supper, driving to work, or just laying in bed about to go to sleep. If the person is around and both willing AND able to communicate I usually begin to get mental impressions within 24 ours or so. Once I receive the information I try to write it down so that I can be as exact as possible and relay the information to the client.
That being said, this aspect of spirit-work is not one that I seek out or aspire to do regularly. While some people can be thankful for the message and move on, others desire to maintain contact with the deceased has the potential to interrupt their grieving process and the transitory process of the spirit in question. For this reason I am very selective about who and under what circumstances I perform this service.