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Celebrity Spirit Oracle, by Kerrie Erwin

Celebrity Spirit Oracle: Inspiring Messages From the Famous Icons, by Kerrie Erwin and illustrated by Ellie Grant
Rockpool Publishing, 1925946584, 112 pages, 36 cards, August 2023

Celebrities have a magnetic pull; there’s something about them that draws millions of people’s attention worldwide, serving as an icon, role model, and inspiration for the general public. We look up to them, and in turn they provide us with entertainment, inspiration, and guidance on how to live our best lives. It’s not surprising then to realize their impact continues beyond their life on earth, living on in spirit, with their strong presences still intact. In Celebrity Spirit Oracle: Inspiring Messages From the Famous Icons, Kerrie Erwin channels the wisdom of some of the most beloved celebrities of our time, opening the doorway for readers to feel their energy and receive healing messages.

“These authentic and very real messages are simply for inspiration, wisdom, healing, and to inform and encourage self-reflection, which will lead to action and create change.”1

Erwin is a medium and clairvoyant who has also studied hypnotherapy, past-life regression, Australian Bush & Bach Flowers, reiki, and crystal bowl healing. She is also a talented writer and has published numerous books including Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate (2021), Clearing: Your Guide to Maintaining Energy (2019), Sacred Space (2016), and Learning to Work with the Tarot Cards and Energy as a Light Worker (2013). Her most recent book is Spirit Rescue: Clear Negative Energy and Free Earthbound Souls, published in April 2023.

The illustrations for Celebrity Spirit Oracle were created by Ellie Grant. Her style, which absolutely shines through in this deck, is bright and colorful. Her website describes her style as “inspired by sci-fi and fantasy art, pop culture, comic book art and mythology,”2 all of which come together to capture the larger-than-life persona of these celebrities! Other decks she’s illustrated include Angels Among Us and Goddesses Among Us (one of my personal favorite decks!).

Each card in the Celebrity Spirit Oracle showcases the celebrity how we best remember them, whether it be in their sports jersey or an iconic outfit, along with the card number, their name and a one-sentence message. All the images are jazzy and exuberant. And what strikes me most about the cards is how well Grant has captured the essence of the celebrities in their facial features! The way she has illustrated the celebrities makes it feel like you’re truly locking eyes with them, creating a spirit to spirit connection.

While the cards are numbered, making it easy to look up and find out more about the meaning of your pull. In the guidebook, Erwin also explains how the celebrities in the deck are categorized by their dominant archetype; there are twelve archetypes in total, making it three celebrities per archetype. Every archetype has its own affirmation and goal, which provides further insight for readers about the card they pulled.

Looking at the description of each card, you’ll see the celebrity name, their archetype, the one-sentence message, additional keywords describing the celebrity, a little biography, the message shared from the celebrity during Erwin’s seance with them, and the meaning of the card.

Yes, you read that right, Erwin used her skills as a medium to communicate with the celebrities during seances. Reading about the celebrities’ energies in the séances and the messages they share is my favorite of this deck; this aspect really makes it feel like more than just the usual oracle deck, though the messages are just as impactful! Here’s what she shares about Marilyn Monroe:

“When Marilyn came through in the séance she was childlike, funny and gentle. She talked very fast about how she loved a lot of people she had left behind and was sorry for the mistakes she made in trusting the wrong people.”3

The card that I’ve pulled two days in a row now is Prince, who has two archetypes: outlaw-magician. It’s some fun energy to be working with. 😀 Part of the message of this card reads:

“If you have chosen this card it may be reinvention time. Dig deep within and find the passion and expression to connect intimately and intuitively with the cosmic force of the universe and all its beauty.”4

Not only does this message really resonate with Prince’s energy and what he inspired others to do during his life, it also speaks to the stage of life that I’m in right now. I can feel the waves of changes coming in. Rather than be scared and try to shut out this new energy, this card reminds me to open up and connect more deeply with the forces in play; I can let myself merge with the flow and find joy in how things all come together.

Overall, Celebrity Spirit Oracle is a quite fun and interesting deck to work with. Erwin has done an amazing job channeling the wisdom of the celebrities into practical messages. Plus the mediumship aspect of the deck reminds readers how our spirit and energy live on, and we too can tap into the energies of these celebrities to manifest change in our life. Whether you are new or experienced when it comes to oracle decks, this Celebrity Spirit Oracle is approachable, genuine, and very enjoyable to read with!

Spirit Speaker, by Salicrow

Spirit Speaker: A Medium’s Guide to Death and Dying, by Salicrow
Destiny Books, 9781644117286, 110 pages, April 2023

In her comprehensive book Spirit Speaker: A Medium’s Guide to Death and Dying, author and medium Salicrow combines what she has learned from over three decades of working with the dying with personal stories from her own family.  Salicrow has been aware of her psychic abilities since childhood and was fortunate to grow up in a family that honored her gifts and provided training (She comes from both Irish Travelers and Blackfoot roots). In addition to helping people connect with their loved ones on the other side, she works as a Reiki master, a druid, and tarot and runes reader. Her work also includes leading women’s circles and retreats in her community in Vermont.  

In this book, Salicrow shares her experiences with death and dying as a part of life.  She takes out much of the mystery and fear and explains the dying process in a way that is both easy to understand and very compassionate. Perhaps because I lost all four of my grandparents within a four-year period when I was a young teenager, I have always been fascinated by death. I wrote my senior paper on a book called The American Way of Death and Dying by Jessica Mitford. Little did I know that I would learn how to talk to spirit people in my forties!

Although this is a short book, Salicrow packs it with everything you need to know about dying, death, and spirit communication. She begins with a discussion about ancestors and how to create an ancestor altar to foster communication with our beloved dead. Next, she discusses signs and symbols from special songs playing on the radio to visitation dreams to special smells that fill the room when a loved one is near. 

As she begins to talk about the dying process, she introduces the concept of “The Gray,” which is  a “time surrounding death, when the person is still living but cannot get better, and the time after passing when a spirit may be confused about what has just happened.”1 This term was new to me, but accurately describes this phase as a transition between living and dying. 

The examples that Salicrow shares about loved ones and clients are descriptive and warm.  She shares from her heart and you can feel the compassion as she highlights how to sit with the dead, honor the dead, and move on after a loss. One of the suggestions she had was to replace photos of the living with photos of deceased family members in the room of a dying person. She explains that in some cases, a person may be hanging on for family, not willing to let go and pass to the other realm. By seeing a few photos of departed loved ones, the dying person can look forward to crossing over and see the love and support waiting for them there. 

Salicrow goes further and provides a meditation you can use with a dying person to help them cross over.  It was quite detailed and would be easy to record and play for the person several times, as she suggested.  She includes other tips for sitting with the dead in this book.

In the final sections, Salicrow discusses spirit communication and some practical steps the reader can take. She again highlights the use of “wide-angle vision” and an exercise that she referenced earlier in the book. Lastly, she describes how to make altars to the dead and how to honor those in spirit. She explains the concept of living with the dead in this section, which is one of my favorites from the book:

“I am a person who lives with my dead. They are woven into my daily life and hold just as much space in my heart and mind as the living. I am who I am because they came before me, teaching me with their kindness as well as with the wounds they inflicted. None of us is perfect; We are all growing, changing, and becoming. Just as we inevitably realize our parents did not have it all figured out, we, too, need to understand that our ancestors experienced their own tragedies, wounding, and growth. They are allies on our path to becoming, and by giving regular offerings, the relationship between us and our dead is strengthened. As we do so we heal ourselves and those who are part of our family line”2

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Salicrow’s writing style is very conversational and bright, especially for a topic that some would consider morose. The book was well planned, easy to read, and included both a table of contents and a very specific index.  I plan to create my own altar to my ancestors and will also enjoy teaching some of the concepts in this book to my women’s group and clients. 

Spirit Speaker would be great for anyone to read, from a beginner who is new to concepts regarding spirit communication to those who have years of experience as a medium. This book would also be beneficial for anyone who is facing hospice care for a loved one or friend. I found it fascinating that she combined so much information in one book. It was as if she took all of the ideas I’ve picked up along my twenty year journey, books I’ve read, and experiences I’ve had and put these into one small volume about death, dying, and spirit communication. I’ll be getting additional copies of this book for clients and students in order to share the comprehensive information and personal journey of Salicrow and her way of living with the beloved dead.

Medium Mentor, by MaryAnn DiMarco

Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for Yourself and Others, by MaryAnn DiMarco
New World Library, 1608687635, 224 pages, April 2022

Anyone else ever feel like they’re immensely intuitive, or maybe even a natural psychic, but have no idea how to cultivate this skill set? If so, Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for Yourself and Others by MaryAnn DiMarco is a must, must, must (did I say must enough yet?) read! As someone who has considered themselves somewhat psychic since childhood, but has continually tried to ignore or repress my inner knowing, this information in this book finally gave me the empowerment to start taking this gift more seriously.

MaryAnn DiMarco is an internationally recognized psychic-medium, author, and healer. Teaching comes naturally to her, as she’s mentored spiritual influencers such as Gabby Bernstein, Jordan Younger, and thousands of students worldwide. Her workshops and classes focus on how to cultivate one’s intuitive gifts and be of service to others. This is her second book, following Believe, Ask, Act: Divine Steps to Raise Your Intuition, Create Change, and Discover Happiness published in 2016.

I felt a connection to DiMarco right away when I started reading Medium Mentor. I liked her style; there’s a sincerity within her writing. I could tell she wasn’t someone to sugarcoat things or beat around the bush.  You can tell that DiMarco genuinely wants to serve others and teach them to the best of her abilities. And I think it’s her personality, which comes through in her writing, that makes me trust her as a teacher.

Plus, the guidance in this book is unique. I’ve read a bunch of books over the years about developing one’s psychic gifts, but DiMarco touched on things others neglect, such as the need to take this work seriously and how to practically go forward and serve others with one’s psychic abilities. Best of all, DiMarco emphasizes that there’s no prescriptive one-size fits method of psychic development, and she continually prompts the readers to experiment and do what’s best for them.

“When we are able to sustain a connection with spirit and keep our lives in balance, our intuitive abilities gain the fertile ground they need to truly flourish. Getting balanced includes setting boundaries and reassessing priorities. It is intuitive and dynamic, and it’s absolutely key to our ability to move through the physical world while honoring the psychic world, too.”1

DiMarco covers topics that can be useful for a personal psychic practice, such as managing your ego, overcoming fear, setting strong boundaries, trusting one’s imagination, and use of different tools to enhance your readings. But she also covers extensively reading for other people by delving into topics like mastering how you convey the information (as well as learning to discern if information should even be shared), developing a sustainable spiritual practice and not just dabbling, integrating psychic abilities and daily life, using one’s psychics abilities to serve others, and feeling worthy in one’s path as a lightworker.

As a tarot reader who temporarily “retired” as I prefer to phrase it for previous clients or the recommendations they often send me, I realized that following DiMarco’s insights might actually help me create the appropriate structure to sustain doing readings once again. I often noted I would have “spiritual hangovers”, as DiMarco refers to them, when I didn’t have clear boundaries with my clients or was trying to do many readings at once. Her advice on managing these practical aspects of being a divine channel, based on both her own experience and that of her students, made me see that I could try this again but with more commitment this time.

So many psychic books make it seem like anyone can cultivate these abilities, and while DiMarco affirms this, she also acknowledges the challenges that come from integrating them with your daily life, from having to develop confidence in one’s chosen career, which is bound to get some odd looks occasionally, to fully committing to follow the guidance of spirit in order to release the ego and serve from a place of openness and love. I really appreciated that DiMarco highlights that when you delve into this kind of work, you will ultimately get to a point where you’re not just playing around anymore and you truly need to commit to take it to the next level.

“There comes a time in every psychic’s life when things get serious. Don’t get me wrong – it can still be fun. In fact, a light-hearted attitude is required. Humor, joy, and laughter are always welcome. Yet at a certain point, that spontaneous, joyful experience needs strong grounding for us to really flourish. The spiritual steps we take become dependent on our ability to take our role seriously.”2

And I think this book is perfect for people who are in this position of being called to develop their psychic abilities through a combination of trust, laughter, and hard work. It’s not to say a beginner wouldn’t benefit from this book; certainly anyone with an interest in cultivating their psychic abilities would gain immense knowledge from reading this book. But I feel like it’s a truly perfect fit for those who have some experience, perhaps using divination tools (crystals, oracle cards, tarot cards) or in mediumship or past-life regression, that are looking to take their practice to the next level.

The expertise of DiMarco’s teaching shines through in the book through the different techniques at the end of each chapter. As she describes in the introduction, she is focusing on the “DIY aspect of psychic development.”3 And as someone who learns by doing, this was incredibly helpful for me. I took the time to do every single one as I made my way through this book, and by the end, I had reestablished a connection with psychic self and spirit team, learned so much about fears holding me back, and felt much more empowered in my identity as a spiritual practitioner.

I’m still benefiting from what I uncovered from taking the time to connect with myself and move through each technique. They were so fun and insightful to do because it was a hands-on way to integrate DiMarco’s lessons. For instance, one technique helped me to get really clear about what my fears were, which surprisingly were not what I thought they were. Another one helped me to check in on the health of my chakras and feel into what each one needed. I learned my sacral chakra needed lemons, prompting me to make lemonade and buy a lemon essential oil, while my heart chakra needed flowers, so I’ve been getting fresh flowers for my house weekly and taking a walk each day to smell all the flowers in bloom. I also used one of the techniques to establish a spiritual schedule for myself, making me more likely to meditate and cleansing my space on certain days because I am developing a routine.

My favorite one of all was creating a spiritual mission statement because it gave me the confidence to shine my light and acknowledge the gifts I have to share with others. The way DiMarco guides readers to discover their mission statement was actually through acknowledging the way they judge others. She moves us through the process of taking negative emotions and turning them into a purpose that can move us forward on our path. I am definitely giving a summary, and it’s 100% worth reading the book to do this yourself, but I just loved DiMarco’s creative approach.

All in all, I can’t recommend Medium Mentor highly enough. Medium Mentor is filled with the guidance my spirit needed to take my psychic abilities to the next level. DiMarco has reflected on her insight as a medium to craft a how-to guide for readers that is the perfect mixture of left and right brain thinking, combining intuitive creativity with practical application. The techniques are bound to yield meaningful insights, and by the end of the book, you’ll most certainly feel more connected to spirit team offering divine guidance than when you started reading.

Spirit Life & Science, by Mahãn Hannes Jacob

Spirit Life & Science: Understanding Your Gifts of Healing and Mediumship, by Mahãn Hannes Jacob
O-Books, 1789043158, 424 pages, December 2021

At long last, evidence for the interconnection of spirit and science is becoming more widely accepted. Mahãn Hannes Jacob is one of the most prominent healers of this age, who actively works as a practitioner of mediumship and spiritual healing, as well as teaching and lecturing worldwide. Spirit Life & Science: Understanding Your Gifts of Healing and Mediumship is very practical advice from Jacob himself about the fundamentals of this pathway. It is essential ready for all of those seeking to better understand how to use energy to heal, develop mediumship abilities, and advance spiritual healing as a therapeutic modality.

Since Spirit Life & Science is imbued with Jacob’s energy, it’s important to understand the integral role he plays in shaping the future of spiritual healing as an ally to science. Jacob obtained a graduate degree from Arthur Findlay College in London to become a Professor of Mediumship. He is also a Spiritualists’ National Union Approved Healer. In 1990, he opened his own clinic in Switzerland, where he has been a practitioner of mediumship and spiritual healing. In 2005, Jacob founded the Swiss School for Healing and Mediumship, where he now serves as Director of the Fréquences. He teaches on topics such as spiritual healing, mediumship, Therapeutic Touch and meditation.

Needless to say, Jacob knows his stuff, and Spirit Life & Science is a compendium of his knowledge. There are twenty-six chapters in total, plus meditations, exercises, and secrets for healing. The content of this book is a nice balance between anecdotes and evidence-based information. With this style, Jacob effectively conveys his message because the reader gains an education about the data on the subject, along with a personalized tale of how mediumship and spiritual healing take place within real life rather than just studies.

The start of the book is a fantastic overview of mediumship in general, including information about who practices it and why someone would want to engage in mediumship. Next, the book covers a range of scientific data about energy transmission and the effects of using spiritual energy for healing. Following this, Jacob describes all types of ways to communicate with spirits, from different types of mediumship (trance, physical, etc.). Jacob does a wonderful job of bridging mind, body, and spirit to show the strong connection between them, inviting new ways of perceiving how they work together for optimal health and well-being.

Spirit Life & Science delves into many topics, making it relevant for both beginner and advanced energy healers alike. A beginner would benefit from the all-encompassing view of the fields of mediumship and spiritual healing since Jacob writes in a way that makes them approachable and easy to understand. He discusses prominent historical figures that have furthered the fields, many forms of meditation, breathwork, and healing modalities, as well as common fears and misconceptions people have who are unfamiliar with the naturalness of mediumship and spiritual healing. And for those already familiar with the subject, Jacob’s personal experience and innovative techniques are sure to enhance one’s mediumship and spiritual healing skill set.

What I like most about the book is the color illustrations. For instance, pages 300-320 feature full-length instructions for the Therapeutic Touch protocol and photographs of Jacob’s hand placements for patients both laying down and sitting. Looking through the photographs helps to see the physical movement of the practitioner on the client when performing the Therapeutic Touch protocol, and if I were a practitioner, the imagery would make me feel much more confident using it on a client than simply reading instructions would.

Another really neat photograph is on page 92, which shows the results of an energy transmission experiment Jacob performed on plants. He energized one plant, but not the other, and otherwise tended to them the same. There is a huge difference between the flourishing of the plant that was energized and the plant that was not. This is just one example of the many different studies recorded in the book, many of which also feature data tables or photographs to illustrate the results.

My favorite chapter in the book is “Extraction of Pathological Information (EPI)”, which is a unique method currently only practiced by Jacob. It reminds me a bit of psychic surgery, but it’s actually an information extraction method. He describes how he learned about this gift through healer Estor Bravo and then by a spirit too. Plus, there’s photographs of the mark EPI leaves on patients, as well as a handful of success stories. In a medically supervised study, this healing method had a 94% success rate.1

Jacob heals with this method by understanding that the manifested pathologies “are based on harmful information and when it is removed, a great many patients are healed and freed of their ills or improve considerably.”2His thoughts on the future of medicine were absolutely mind-blowing to me, but as someone who was able to shift belief and affect biology, his notion also really made sense. Jacob writes:

“Allopathic medicine neglects and does not recognize the notion of inscription or memory. Yet everything is based on this. Once again, I want to emphasize that the medicine of the future will be information medicine!”3

My only caveat about the book is that it does have a religious influence. Jacob’s writing is influenced by both Christianity and Buddhism. He is a practitioner of Kriya Yoga, and received his spiritual name, Mahãn, by Swamiji Dharmananda Sarawati Maharaj. Readers that do not feel connected to these religions might feel a bit at odds with some of the information presented. However, for me, this didn’t detracted from the wealth of knowledge still available in the book, particularly in regard to the science behind energy transmission.

Toward the end of the book are meditations and forty-six exercises to enhance one’s mediumship and spiritual healing abilities. These alone are worth the read for anyone called to this path. Some are individual, while others are better with a partner or in a group, so I highly recommend this section for people who are involved in a community of spiritual healing.

All in all, Spirit Life & Science is a fascinating read filled with practical information to enhance one’s mediumship abilities. It’s the perfect blend of story and facts, conveying Jacob’s one-of-a-kind insight into this topic. This book should be a foundational read for all spiritual healing, as it does such a wonderful job of helping readers to understand the basics of energy transference, as well as the potent potential this healing modality has for the future.

Mediumship, by Kerrie Erwin

Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World, by Kerrie Erwin
Rockpool Publishing, 978- 1925924985, 160 pages, June 2021

“Mediumship is the practice of mediating communication between living humans and the spirits of the dead. It has been documented from early human history, gaining its popularity during the nineteenth century when Ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Natural mediums are born with the gift, although they may not become aware of it until later in life. Every person who walks this path has their own individual gift to offer. Once you embrace mediumship as your life purpose it becomes an enormous responsibility, as you are helping people to cope with their grief. Despite the highs and lows it is very rewarding.”1

Author Kerrie Erwin is an Internationally recognized medium whose work includes spirit rescue and connecting loved ones to those who have passed. There is often a distinct difference in being able to impart the body of what gifts the individual may have in a live setting versus being able to translate that information and teaching into book form. In the case of this title, Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World, I would say that Erwin has done a wonderful job of bridging that disparity.  

Although this may seem like an aside and irrelevant, I am going to comment on the visual appeal of the book. We, as humans, are very visually driven, storing memories and feelings from the catalogue of what we have seen and then experienced as a result. This book is a soft powder blue paperback with a lovely piece of cover art depicting a white outlined pseudo Ouija pointer centered between gold text for title and author.

Upon opening the book, the reader is greeted by blue line drawings of eyes in various states of gaze and opening and scattered throughout are assorted blue lined drawings representing certain aspects of the content included in a particular chapter or paragraph. The attention that went into the design of the book itself immediately engages the reader in a gentle “pulling in closer” manner to subject matter that may be frightening or fraught with skepticism.

Mediumship is separated into thirteen chapters, each providing the reader with multiple aspects of consideration when exploring the role of the medium and finding your own style of communication. The Introduction offers a look at Erwin’s life as a medium and how the work came to be. She describes being called by the spirits at a very young age and how a near-death experience in her twenties allowed her first hand experience of the spirit world. Her descriptions are comforting and are filled with hope and joy at reuniting with those within your “soul group” who have passed before you. 

As part of the Introduction, Erwin also speaks of love and its power to act as a point of connection between the living and the departed. This is the connection achieved, as the medium becomes the conduit of that eternal connection…

“Love is the most powerful emotion in the world as its energy in its higher form, can create healing, miracles and magic in our world. When a loved one dies there is no ending but rather a new beginning, a journey back to the spirit world as spirit lives on, connected to us eternally.”2

Chapters 1-3 provide the reader with the basics of what mediumship is and how it may be defined. It was very interesting to have a definition of the types of mediumship, ranging from channeling and transfiguration. Then there is a concluding section on working with the police. 

“Chapter 4: Suicide: A Difficult Subject” was a much needed inclusion in the book for understanding another aspect of the work of mediumship, albeit one that is shied away from publicly….

To lose someone from suicide is incredibly painful, as you never understand why they took their own life and wonder if there was anything you could have done to prevent it.3

Some very thought-filled questions Erwin poses and answers are:

  • If you kill yourself are you punished and sent to hell?
  • Is it harder to make contact with a spirit who has committed suicide?
  • Do people really mean to kill themselves?

Additionally, there is a checklist of signs others can look for in individuals who may be inclined towards suicide and a listing of Australian help lines and agencies that can be called upon for help. 

“Chapter 7: Protection From Negative Energy” provides a reminder of the need to learn protection techniques and the attention that should be given to exactly what and where the spirits you may encounter are coming from:

“One of the first things I learned when I was developing as a medium was the power of protection and how to utilize it, which is mandatory in my profession. There are many different spirits and energies or different vibrations out there that are not always from the light.”4. 

As Erwin states, not all spirits have the best interest of their living connections in mind. Some can be tricksters and others downright baneful in their intentions. Psychic attack is included as a topic and the author also provides exercises in awareness and protection that are useful for those living energetic predators as well as those from the spirit realms. 

“Chapters 9: Meditation” and “Chapter 10: The Chakra System of Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World” provide techniques for opening psychic awareness and self reflection through contemplative practice as well as the energetic anatomy that works collaboratively within the individual as the skills of mediumship are developed. Erwin makes use of nine chakra centers, beginning with the Earth Chakra and moving through the Transpersonal Chakra above the crown chakra at the top of the head. Each chakra is defined by its purpose, color and etheric location and the chapter concludes with a visualization exercise for Empowering with the Middle Pillar (another name given to the line of chakras along the etheric central column):

“The nine chakras are the energy centres in your body through which energy flows; they ground and protect you. Blocked energy in your centres can often lead to illness or dis-ease and can be projected onto your clients, so it is important to understand what each chakra represents and what you can do to keep this energy flowing.”5

“Chapter 11: Psychic Links” explores the tools of mediumship used to hone the skills of inner sight and continually build upon your abilities. Topics include flower readings, jewelry readings, pendulums, and Ouija boards to name a few.  Specific exercises to try out these tools are included, as well and provide the reader with a variety of experiences. 

I really enjoyed “Chapter 12: My Spirit Team”. Erwin talks about those guides she has for her work and I found this to enable a point of resonance between the reader and the material presented in giving a very concrete example of how these guides out-picture and what aid they offer.

“Chapter 13: Ethics for the Professional Medium” offers a lengthy and very concise list of the ethical considerations in acting as a medium for another. There is also a listing of what the client can expect from the medium. Again, very useful to ensure that if you choose to work with a medium you are placing your vulnerability and emotions in their care and keeping.  

Erwin sees life as a contract of experiences to be learned from and resolved. And, the compelling reason to seek out the expertise of a medium or to develop your own skills in connecting with those who have been part of your contract is that of healing and being able to move on to the next lifetime. She sums it up nicely in “The Afterthought”:

“I have tried many types of healing, and the most powerful would have to be simple forgiveness on every level. You don’t have to actually like the person, but once you have forgiven them you release yourself from the contract, cutting the energy connection that is no longer needed, learning the lesson and mobbing on to a life of love without fear.”6

Mediumship is a very user-friendly read that demystifies what mediumship is and the healing that can occur from those gifts being used with integrity and loving intention. I also found it a timely read given how many souls have passed over from COVID-19 and other horrific events. As I stated previously, there is definitely a message of hope and the comfort of knowing that physical death is just another state of Being.

Manifesting Spirits, by Jack Hunter

Manifesting Spirits: An Anthropological Study of Mediumship and the Paranormal, by Jack Hunter
AEON Books, 1912807882, 296 pages, January 2021

For anyone who’s ever academically ventured into topics such as mediumship, life after death, spirits, and other psi phenomena you’ve most likely found the present literature rarely acknowledges the actual existence of these phenomena, for doing so would bring the entire paradigm into question. These inquiries are often quickly dismissed or explained in terms of cognitive, functional, or pathological theories.  However, Manifesting Spirits: An Anthropological Study of Mediumship and the Paranormal by Jack Hunter has gone where few have gone before.

Hunter has written an extremely well-defined and well-researched study of the paranormal from a perspective that invites an expansion of consciousness and method of scholarship. He frames these phenomena in a way that invites a new paradigm to emerge while maintaining full rigor in the quality of his resources. As he describes, he “does not seek to reduce the significance of spirit mediumship to purely functional, psychological, sociological, or cognitive explanations.”1 In so many ways, this work is truly groundbreaking and an essential read for any serious paranormal practitioner, investigator, or enthusiast.

The approach in this research is a “non-reductive interpretive framework that emphasises complexity and multiple dimensions of process and meaning.”2 I include this because, yes, Hunter’s writing requires a certain level of familiarity with words such as “ontological” and “phenomenological” to fully grasp. I will give him immense credit in his thorough explanation of what he’s doing, but for those who are less inclined to read scholarly material, this book might be quite intimidating.

It took me well over a month (I might even say closer to two) to make my way through this book. Much of the time, it felt like I was reading an academic paper, which was fascinating given the topic, but also not a light read. Many of the chapters seem to be informative literature reviews that were blended together to make a compelling book. As someone who values academic integrity, strong references, and a well-defined methodology, Manifesting Spirits was a true delight.

Hunter does a wonderful job of situating his work within the previous and current literature on the subject, aptly helping the reader to see the building blocks for his research and why he has chosen to write about it in the way he’s done in this book. He acknowledges the pitfalls of academic research on these subjects and how his work differs in that it admits the possibility of paranormal phenomenon. He calls his perspective “ontologically flooded” in that it is “open to multiple possibilities and emphasising complexity over reductive simplicity.”3 Essentially, rather than setting out to prove the validity of spirits and other psi phenomena, Hunter’s position is openness to the possibility of genuine paranormal phenomena being a factor at play but is not automatically assuming it.

To achieve this aim, Hunter began exploring these topics at Bristol Spirit Lodge to better understand the spirit world through those who have regular contact with spirits. By taking their experiences seriously, he accumulated a plethora of ethnographic research.This ethnographic research included attending seances, developing his own mediumship abilities, and interviews with both mediums and spirits. In turn, switching the usual mode of boxing-in these ethnographic experiences to fit the analytic thinking to using the research done ethnographically to re-examine the dominant model for interpreting these events.

In Manifesting Spirits, there are quite a few fascinating topics Hunter explores, many of which I’ve never seen framed from his unique methodological perspective. The main topic of his research is physical mediumship. Physical mediumship involves manifestations such as raps, taps, de/materialized objects, and even ectoplasm. This differs from mental mediumship, which is a form of telepathy used to communicate with spirits, and trance mediumship, which is a form of mental mediumship where the spirit uses the mind of the medium to deliver messages. He notes how members of the lodge feel a reconnection between the physical and spiritual world through witnessing these paranormal experiences, which can be quite a spiritual experience.

The section I liked the most was “Naturalising the supernatural” where Hunter writes about how phenomena that are considered “supernatural” would not be considered so in other culture systems. Cultures outside the Western materialistic approach would see some of these phenomena as natural and a part of daily life. He draws on the writing of social scientist Durkheim, who pointed out supernatural only exists because a natural order exists, but as Hunter writes, “To a certain extent, then we can say that what is deemed possible is both limited and facilitated by cultural norms and expectations.”4

Now that was something I could deeply relate to, both personally and professionally. Since I was innately aware of the spirit world from a very young age (I saw ghosts and was aware of the presence of spirit during adolescence, I also became a youthful paranormal explorer. By my teenage years, I had read countless ghost stories of my local area, presented about the haunted history of town, and catalogued undocumented accounts.

In college, I majored in psychology, but I was quickly frustrated with the exclusion of psychic phenomena. I knew by the time I graduated that the traditional route was not for me, and I began exploring other subsets of psychology such as Jungian (or Depth Psychology) and Transpersonal psychology, but even these were not fully inclusive of what I had very subjectively experience in communication with spirits, as well as in sessions with many mediums over the years. Alas, paranormal studies have sufficed, but I too longed to bridge the gap with academia.

It is for this reason Manifesting Spirits is so immensely valuable to the field. It takes paranormal studies and integrates them into an academic framework that is usable for future research. Reading this book, I just kept thinking how much I wished I had it for reference when attempting to put forth these ideas in my academic studies. I am grateful to have it now, as I truly think this is a foundational book in many fields, from psychology to anthropology, and even religious studies. I truly think I would have written a different thesis had this book existed at the time of my research because it would have empowered me to believe writing and researching on these topics was possible.

Manifesting Spirits is a truly ground-breaking work that I am sure will be referenced by many to come. It completely opens doors to the study of these new realms. Hunter’s research methods are unique and exactly what is needed to go beyond the current limits of research spirits, mediumship, and paranormal experience. It is a must-have for any serious paranormal researcher’s collection, as well as an enlightening read for those with an interest in mediumship. This review is certainly an understatement of the wealth of material presented by Hunter, from blending with spirits to an exploration of the seance. I highly recommend diving into yourself and being open to the emergent ideas and techniques that are bound to provide some revelation.

7 Ways to Prepare for a Mediumship Reading

I had the most incredible reading with psychic medium Nikki Steward last week. Well, it wasn’t exactly my mediumship reading – I had gotten it for my grandmother as a birthday present and she asked me to be on the call with her. Since my grandmother is well-past 80 years old, many of the people she has loved in her life are on the other side now. I was hoping to give her the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones who have passed on. Most especially, I was hoping she’d hear from my grandfather who passed away 5 years ago, just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. So, we set the time and date for my grandmother’s birthday.

Believe it or not, the reading happened with me in California doing a three-way call with Nikki and my grandmother, who were both in their own homes in New Jersey. Still, my grandmother’s loved ones were able to come through, eager to chat. The interconnection between our world and the spiritual realm amazes me, and I’m fascinated at how technology was used to facilitate a wonderful reading.

My grandfather didn’t end up coming through, but rather hilariously, my grandmother’s mother dominated the entire hour and hardly let anyone else speak! I guess it makes sense since it was my grandmother’s birthday and she had been the one to bring her into the world. It was a really heartfelt experience because even in the afterlife, my great-grandmother wanted to remind my grandmother how loved and protected she was by our family, both here and in the spirit realm.

The days following this mediumship reading with Nikki (who truly is phenomenal if you want a genuine mediumship experience) got me thinking about what one should do to prepare for a session. I’ve had many over the years and know there are a lot of questions that come up about what goes on during the reading, especially before someone’s first time. As I am often encouraging others to embrace the spiritual side of life, I felt maybe I could write a bit of guidance to help others prepare for their reading.

Every medium has their own style, so their processes will vary, but always remember there’s way you can enhance your time with spirit. Here’s a list of things you can do before your mediumship reading to prepare yourself and make the most of the session.

Begin speaking with your passed-on loved ones a few days before

Mediums have the ability to communicate with the spirit realm, which is a true gift and blessing. Loved ones who have passed are often with us in our daily lives, and they do their best to leave us messages. Some of the most common are pennies on the sidewalk, feathers, and angel numbers. You can speak with your loved ones on the other side any time and they will certainly hear you! This is especially good to do a few days before your reading.

Share your prayers with them, talk to them about your day, invite them into your space. You can let your departed loved ones know soon you’ll be opening a space to commune with them. As you facilitate this connection, you are also awakening your own spirit to be more open and receptive for the time of your reading. 

Make peace with knowing a certain loved one may not come through

Many people seek out a medium hoping to connect with a particular deceased loved one, but mediums cannot guarantee a spirit can come through. There are some mediums who will push for that connection to happen, but most mediums don’t tend to impose their will like that and let clients know ahead of time. In fact, most mediums have a disclaimer that they can’t guarantee they will even be able to make a connection on your behalf.

Don’t worry – this hardly happens! Most of the time, the medium will have spirits lining up to talk with you. Be open to who comes through and you will be pleasantly surprised. For instance, in this past reading, my grandmother’s neighbor had just passed a few weeks before and stopped by to simply say hello and she was doing well, while my grandfather never came through at all. Trust that who comes through during your reading is who you’re meant to talk to that day, so make the most of it.

Do a brush-up on your family history

During your session, the medium is translating images, sensations, and phrases imparted to them by the deceased. The medium will share what they’re receiving but you need to piece it together to help figure it out. Many mediums will describe the way your loved ones passed, things they cherished, or prominent physical features in order to inform you about who is speaking. Remember these spirits are all strangers to the medium describing them to you. You need to be ready to play this game of guess-who.

Speak with your family and friends about your deceased loved ones and recall all their life stories. Yes, your uncle Johnny twice-removed on your father’s side may want to swing by and speak with you. You’ll feel empowered when you can remember he loved the Yankees and died of a heart attack, hence the medium’s pain in her chest as she’s seeing a baseball, to identify him as who you’re communing with. Do your research and you’ll find your reading has a lot less head scratching and “I don’t know.”

Cleanse your home for the spirits to join you

Your medium will be trained in keeping negativity at bay, so this is not something you need to worry about. But you can still create a relaxing, inviting atmosphere for your deceased loved ones in your home. It’s good to take a cleansing bath or shower before your reading, and then follow-up with burning incense, sage, or palo santo to clear any lingering energy. Light candles and respect the sacred connection you’re about to make with your loved ones.

Try to be in a state of openness and receptivity when you begin. You may even want to bake a family favorite as an offering or create a small altar with photographs and relics of the loved ones who have passed on. These objects can help to anchor the spirit in the physical world and enhance the connection for the medium.

Make sure you have a pen and paper handy — and some tissues

You will be feeling all sorts of emotions once the medium begins the reading. Memories of loved ones come rushing back, and you may become very sentimental. It’s common to cry during your reading, as well as laugh at the good times you’ve had. Amidst all the emotions, it’s easy to forget all that was said. Having a pen and paper nearby to jot down things you want to remember is something you’ll be grateful for when you’re reflecting on the reading. Make yourself comfy, have a refreshing drink nearby, and tissues for when the tears start to flow.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that time isn’t the same in the spiritual realm, and sometimes the messages can come through a bit jumbled. It’s worth detailing everything the medium shares, even the bits that don’t make sense at the time, because something may jog your memory in the days that follow, or speaking with another family member can help you connect what was said. For instance, the medium told my grandmother one man was saying, “Get him some rye on the rocks.” My grandmother had never heard that phrase before, but when she spoke with her sister, she recalled their dad saying the words vividly as a child, which helped my grandmother realize it was her dad speaking then.

Have a list of questions you’d like to ask

Most mediums will ask if you have questions you’d like to ask the spirits toward the end of your reading. Often those who don’t realize they’ll have the ability to ask questions, and not just receive information, don’t make use of this wonderful opportunity. Your departed loved ones can be a source of great wisdom, as they are part of the spiritual world, and can be of huge assistance in guiding you on your path.

Making a list of questions beforehand helps you to not feel put on the spot, which is when your mind often blanks. It’s better to avoid questions related to time such as, “When am I going to get married?” because time moves differently there than in the material realm, though I’m sure you’d get an answer! Some good questions to ask are: how you can strengthen your connection to them, what are signs they are around, and whether they have any spiritual guidance for you. They are more than happy to offer their love and assistance to you.

Create space in your schedule the rest of the day for reflection and integration

After your session, you may still be feeling a bit psychically open and emotional. It’s best to create space in your schedule to be able to reflect on the special time you shared with your deceased loved ones to integrate the experience. If you can make it so you don’t need to immediately tend to practical matters, you’ll be able to rest in the liminal a bit longer and relish the connection you shared with spirit.

You may feel called to offer your gratitude, or go digging for the box of photographs one of your loved ones reminded you of in the attic. Make time to cherish your bond with family and friends who have passed, honoring all the special moments you’ve shared with them while alive and still get to relish together in their afterlife. You will always be connected to the ones you love.

Interview with Spirit Guide Erin

Oh, the fun ways spirit will work to align people meant to be in our lives! Who would have thought I would synchronistically meet Erin in 2020, despite living on opposite ends of North America. Her journey with spirit, especially her advocacy for awakened children, has been immensely rewarding to see unfold.

I immediately was drawn to Erin’s work because I used to see and talk with spirits when I was a young girl. Through my teenage years and into my 20s, spirits often communed with me. I could always envision the spirits that lived in my friend’s homes, and could very quickly sense the presence of spirit in my daily life. However, I always felt isolated and alone in these experiences, especially as a child.

As a nanny to dozens of families over the course of a decade, I often had children speaking to me about their imaginary friends they saw and had relationships with. The majority of parents shut down their children’s experience, deeming it imagination or simply made-up, but I always knew they were seeing spirit. This is why Erin’s mission means so much to me. Her work with spirit is something I truly believe is going to make a great impact in the world as people begin to acknowledge children’s awareness of the spirit world, which is often a natural part of childhood and deserves to be nurtured.

Erin’s journey is real, authentic, and empowering. I was thrilled she agreed to do an interview for Indie Mystic, as she’s currently busy writing her first book about her experiences. Additionally, she also assists with meditation classes and has her own ghost hunting group! But I won’t give too much away… Let’s dive in!

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what called you to work with spirit?

Of course!  I live in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada.  My husband John and I are parents to two beautiful little girls.  I was born in Toronto, and my family moved to Brantford when I was 12. I’ve had many experiences with spirit throughout my life, starting at age 3.

In my early 20’s, spiritual activity around myself and my family intensified, leading up to one specific experience that would be my spiritual awakening.  It was when my daughters also started having spiritual encounters that I began searching for answers. I wanted to learn more about the spiritual world in order to help my daughters navigate their own lives with spirit. So, I guess my calling to work with spirit was for my girls.  I wanted to help them and all of the other children and families out there who are in need of compassion and guidance.  

How does spirit usually manifest itself for you?

I have seen spirit take form twice in my life. One was a little girl and the other a woman in her mid 50’s.  These stories are in my book.  Seeing them take form makes me uncomfortable, so I have asked spirit to show themselves to me with flickering of light in the air, or orbs.  Spirit has also given me a physical sign on my body to show me when they are close.  My right hand will go numb and start to tingle which is always my sign spirit is near.

Can you describe your spiritual awakening process, or perhaps events that lead you to developing your connection to spirits?

I’ve had many experiences over the years, but I would say my spiritual awakening happened when I was 8 months pregnant.  We were at my cottage on Lake Simcoe and my uncle, husband, and I decided to take the boat out for a tour around Snake Island.  Lake Simcoe is a huge lake, and it can turn dangerous quickly, which it did on this day. We were caught in a fast moving storm and it was a near death experience. When we were finally able to get back to shore safely, a very powerful spiritual moment occurred: my deceased Papa made himself known to my uncle and I in a very profound manner. It was after that experience that the spiritual world became very prevalent in my life. 

Do you have any on-going relationships with spirits? Why do you think they are drawn to you and your family?

I do.  I am very connected now to my main spirit guide. I see her often in meditation and feel her presence around me. My Papa is one of my guardian angels, and he is with me at all times.  I also see him often in meditation.  When you start practicing a spiritual life, spirit will begin to appear. My husband and I have always encouraged our girls to share their experiences with spirit and have never shut those conversations down.

Being sensitive to spirit runs in my family.  I think when it’s in your lineage, it will eventually manifest itself, which it has for myself and my girls. My mom told me my great grandmother would speak to my great grandfather’s spirit each day in her room after he passed. I never met her, but knowing she was sensitive to spirit, I am not surprised my girls and I are as well.

We have two spirit children who are with us constantly. Their names are Charlie and Lila.  They are my oldest daughter’s spirit guides and they know they are accepted in our household – with boundaries, of course.

What’s one of your favorite stories involving spirit?

My favorite story is about our spirit boy named Charlie.  When my daughter was just over a year old, I opened up a new business.  A client came in who I had heard was a medium in my small town.  I knew by the way she was looking at me that she was going to share something with me. Sure enough, when she was leaving, she began to give me a reading. She knew a lot about my past, which was quite shocking to me at the time. She then began to ask me if I knew a Charlie or if there was a Charlie in our family. I said no, and thought to myself that she was completely off about that piece of information. She then proceeded to tell me that there would be a small boy who would be visiting my daughter and would be with her for some time and his name was Charlie.

I told my husband and my immediate family about my reading and about the little boy named Charlie. Life went on as normal.  When my daughter was a year and a half old, she was at our family cottage with my husband, parents, and sister.  My brother, brother-in-law, and I were unable to attend the cottage that weekend.  When they came home from the cottage my husband said, “I have to tell you something.” He told me our daughter had said her first two words in a row. At first, I was upset, as I had missed that milestone. But when he told me that our daughter had walked around the cottage all weekend long saying “Goodbye Charlie,” it was a powerful moment. From that moment on, our little spirit boy Charlie has never left her side.

How did you feel when your children first started sharing their experiences of spirit?

It was a very confusing and lonely time in my life. There were many emotions. I felt afraid, anxious, and had a lot of questions I needed answers to. We kept it as a secret in our immediate family, and we did not discuss it with anyone else, as we were afraid of the judgement that is sometimes associated with believing in spirit.

When I finally accepted it was real and happening all around myself and my children, I finally felt free. But I also realized I would have to navigate this on my own, as there are no support groups or information for parents who have awakened children.  There aren’t many books written on the subject either. So I basically had to figure it all out on my own, which I have done.  I found out two years ago that the spiritual community is quite large in our small town, Carleton Place.  More and more people are becoming awakened, especially during this pandemic, and it’s becoming more accepted to talk about spirit and share experiences and stories.

What’s the biggest challenge raising awakened children?

I would have to say that our biggest challenge will be making sure they are always protected and allowing them to share their experiences without judgement.  My children’s generation are the most awakened, and it is my generation that holds on to judgement.   If parents shut down those conversations with their children, it closes their children off from the spiritual world. It is so important to listen and learn from our children.  Their generation will do unbelievable things in their lifetime.  

Why do you think many parents shy away from acknowledging their children’s connection to spirit? How do you think the world would be different if instead, this was encouraged?

They are scared.  Many people are terrified of what they cannot see.  I also think it goes back to the feeling judged.   If we could all be a little more open to spirit, great things would happen.  Our loved ones are always with us, guiding us, and showing us the signs.  The spiritual world gives people hope and peace. If we listened to our children and their experiences, many would benefit from what their children could teach them through spirit. 

How was your family impacted by these events? Are you able to openly share your experiences?

My family has been impacted greatly by all the events which has ultimately led me to write my book.   I love talking about spirit.  I would talk about spirit all day long if I could.  I love telling my family’s story and hope that it will help many other families and people around the world who are going through their own spiritual experiences.  I wanted to share our story to provide compassion, hope, and guidance. I have been blessed with a group of people who are all very spiritually connected, and I’m able to talk to them about anything relating to spirit on a daily basis, which has been an amazing outlet for me.  

Have you ever felt the need to protect yourself from “bad” spirits?

I don’t believe in bad spirits.  I believe there are lower energy spirits but I have never referred to them as bad or negative spirits.  I wear a black Tourmaline crystal stone necklace daily to keep any lower energy away from me, and I put a variety of crystals under my girls’ pillows to keep them safe. I sage my house often, saying the same prayer every time, and always follow a strict routine of saging, especially in my girl’s bedrooms. I also pray every night to God, the Universe, Ultimate Divine — whatever you want to call it.   I pray to God and also Archangel Michael to always protect my family, especially during these trying times.  I ask them in prayer to also protect my family through the process of writing my book and sharing our story with the world.

I know you work at the store Amethyst, how has finding your spiritual community enhanced your life?

Oh my! In so many ways.  I work at the store part-time, as I also run the Carleton Place Denture clinic across the street.  The store Amethyst came to be from a spiritual class I took.  One day, I was looking out my front window of the clinic and saw an empty store space across the road, which I told my friend about. She opened the store last February.   The whole story is in my book.  I love my spiritual community and it’s extremely freeing to be around like-minded people.

Amethyst opened only last February and the store’s Facebook page already has over 850 likes, which is close to some of the established businesses in downtown Carleton Place!  That shows you right there how many people are awakening.   Most that enter the store are spiritual, and it’s beautiful to listen to their own stories and experiences with spirit.  The store brings me a lot of peace. I love being there and taking my girls there to pick their special gems.   

What types of activities do you do with your ghost hunting group?

Oh yes, my ghost hunting group! There are eight of us women, who would have thought right?  Friday nights, the eight of us embark on spiritual investigations. We are a group that is made up of very different ages and personalities, but we all have one thing in common: Spirit. Each of us uses our gifts during our investigations to call spirit in. We have explored a few outdoor places, trying to obtain as much detailed footage on camera as we can to show people spirit is real. Due to all the current restrictions with COVID-19, we are not allowed to explore indoor spaces at the moment.  We have many in mind and a few lined up, so we are hopeful we’ll be able to do these investigations again in the spring.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about spirits?

I think the biggest misconception is that spirits are evil and scary.   Ghosts or Spirit are just trying to get our attention.  They try so hard to show us they are there. They want to show their loved ones they are always with them guiding them and providing unconditional love. The spiritual world is beautiful.  There is nothing more empowering than knowing that when we die we are all reunited with our loved ones and that there is this beautiful place waiting for us all to go.

How do you suggest others learn how to connect with spirit in their own life?

Through meditation.  I am asked this question a lot.  Spirit will come through strong during meditation.  The first time I meditated I was shocked at what I saw.  That story is in the book. The first step is believing and letting go of the fear.  We offer meditation/connecting to spirit classes at the store, and they are always full due to more and more awakening people wanting to learn to connect with spirit.  We are all spiritual beings having a human experience, meaning we can all connect to the spiritual world if we learn the tools and practice.

Where can our readers learn more about your work and upcoming book?

I have a blog they can follow along called We Are Spiritual Beings Having a Human Experience. I am on Facebook We Are Spiritual Beings Having A Human Experience. I am also on Instagram and Pinterest @Awakeningbookserin.