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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.

Consorting with Spirits, by Jason Miller

Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies, by Jason Miller
Weiser Books, 9781578637546, 216 pages, May 2022

Within minutes of reading the introduction to Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies by Jason Miller, I went online and bought two additional books by the author, Protection & Reversal Magick and The Sorcerer’s Secrets. I was so impressed with the writing style and information offered in the introduction, that more books from this author were needed immediately. 

With this book, Miller has written a manual that assists the reader in creating or strengthening bonds with dwellers of another realm, such as angels, spirit allies, or deities, and he does it in a way that feels completely accessible to everyone who is willing to put time into the effort. A devotee to practical magic for over 35 years, Miller is well versed in the occult and the various ways of application, yet trying to assign a specific path that he follows is near impossible. The author of six books and a variety of courses, Miller regularly shares his knowledge through emails to his subscriber list, of which I am part of. Full disclosure here: I am a fan of this writer.

Miller is clear and to the point and states that habitual company with spirits is the key to working with them. He says:

“…it’s the relationship that really matters, not whether the spirit is in the correct column for the planet or whether the description in the book fits your needs. Those things matter for choosing spirits to make initial contact with, but that’s just the starting point.”1

What I love about this book is the way it’s written: clear, easy to understand, with ideas presented that could be challenging for some. For me, the notion that once you do the research into which spirit you want to build a relationship with and set the stage for that relationship, you are then free to work with them whenever is mind blowing. I don’t know where I got the idea that there needs to be a high ceremony each time I wanted to interact with spirits, but I know that idea prevented me from contacting spirits doing so as I thought it would be unsafe without all the trappings.

While there is no warning attached to this book, Miller does have a caution to those who choose to pick it up. Miller writes in bold: ‘THIS SHOULD NOT BE YOUR FIRST BOOK ON MAGIC’ and I appreciate that. He explains:

“…this should probably not be your first book on magic. It’s not that this is an advanced book, I plan on making things as simple and as straightforward as possible. It’s simply that knowing some methods of protection, some basics of spellcraft, and having some competency at divination will make the work presented go a lot smoother.”2

I love the fact that Miller calls out that there needs to be basic understanding prior to picking up this book. In fact, that was the line that drove my impulsive purchases. When you set the foundation and ask that those participating have a working knowledge of basic concepts and practices, it makes for a much easier read. I’ve always thought that some books need to have some sort of paragraph explaining what you need to know before you start, and this book does just that.

The fact that Miller calls upon all sorts of spirits, including angels and demons, might seem a bit shocking to those who have had unpleasant experiences with organized religion. As a cult survivor, I completely identify with these people and understand that references to angels and demons might be triggering. I will be honest, I thought that I would stumble on that part but Miller’s openness and honesty about his experiences completely negates those feelings and instills a sense of wonder. That might not be what everyone experiences, but for me I was surprised to find myself contemplating contacting an angel for help.

The book is divided into twelve chapters ranging in topics from “What is a Spirit?” to “Relationships and Pacts” and everything in between. One of my favorite parts of the book deals with local spirits and how to contact them. This chapter is about how most sorcery is local. Miller explains: 

“…most Sorcery and Witchcraft are local. There are vast and ancient Gods and Goddesses contactable from anywhere in the world, as well as saints and all manner of spirits, but when it comes to getting stuff done, it’s not always who is the most powerful, but who is the most local.”3

Miller says that making a map that details important locations for magic is useful and provides a clear connection to spirits in that area. Researching the natural geography of the land is also helpful, as certain aspects lend themselves to amplifying magical activities. Finding specific places that feel more magical provides an extra layer of help when contacting local spirits, especially when it comes time to sit in communion with them and listen. Miller also suggests doing research on the history of the land as well, as that could potentially provide more information on who the local spirits are and how to contact them. So many great ideas for establishing contact with local spirits, and I can’t wait to try it out.

One of the best parts of this book is the blending of Christianity, Paganism, and Luciferianism in the rituals presented. Miller does this flawlessly and explains that to him, magic is magic. On the reasoning behind including three different perspectives he says, “These three approaches – The Christian, the Pagan, and the Luciferian – represent major streams of thought in the occult world that would benefit from a book like this. Other streams exist… the magic in this book could be adapted to those lines of practice if one were clever.”4

I would absolutely recommend Consorting with Spirits to anyone who is looking to establish a relationship or deepen an existing connection with spirit. Personally, I have used the information to strengthen my bond between myself and my ancestors with great success. This is not a book for someone who is dabbling though. This is a blueprint for finding and connecting to spirit in a careful and respectful manner. If that resonates, I urge you to pick it up. 

The Midnight Bargain, by C.L. Polk

The Midnight Bargain, by C.L Polk
Erewhon, 1645660079, 384 pages, October 2020

Female sorceresses doing all they can to escape the confines of marriage? Um, what kind of fantastically wonderful story did I get myself into the past few days? The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk! And I certainly enjoyed this exotically fanciful tale.

The story takes place in Chasand, which sort of reminded me of a magical India. It is time for Beatrice to make her way through bargaining season, but she’s set on locating a grimoire that will teach her how to bind with a greater spirit. She’s convinced that if she can do this, her father will allow her to use her influence as a mage to restore the family fortune rather than get married.

Why is marriage such an appalling future for Beatrice? Because Chasand custom forces married women to wear a collar that strips them of their magic in order to ensure they do not conceive a spirit born baby. The mages of this world know spirits are eager to enter the material world, and when this happens it’s pandemonium; the hungry, greedy spirit stops at nothing to satiate their endless desire, often even killing those who stand in their way. The only solution thus far is to prevent women from accessing magic — a solution suitable for male socreers, but absolutely appalling for the girls with innate magical abilities.

Turns out Beatrice isn’t the only one seeking an alliance with a spirit to escape the imprisonment of a husband. Ysbeta, who is the beautiful daughter of one of the region’s wealthiest families, also has her sights set on the grimoire. Beatrice concedes the book to Ysbeta, but Ysbeta does not know the secret code needed to read it. Thus, their friendship forms on the promise that Ysbeta will allow Beatrice to copy the pages of the grimoire in exchange for sharing with her what the book says and teaching her the skills needed to complete the ritual.

Meanwhile, Ysbeta’s brother, Ianthe, one of the most desirable suitors of bargaining season, is increasingly intrigued by Beatrice. When a spirit Beatrice is letting inhabit her body begs her to kiss Ianthe, the sparks between them ignite immediately. Ianthe is kind and open-minded. He empathizes with the situation of Beatrice, who openly speaks her mind on the injustice of women’s lot in society, and is determined to help her the best he can.

Beatrice has a lot to balance in her life. The pursuit of her goal to bind with a greater spirit while still going through the motions of bargaining season adds to the need to handle situations with delicacy and care. Most of all, she has her family to consider; their reputation, their fortune, and their future rest upon her finding a wealthy husband immediately. Much of the plot reminds of a Bridgerton, where competition is fierce and stakes are high, but with sorcerers and mages as eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

This is one of those reads where you know the author has some background occult knowledge and isn’t just capitalizing on the popularity of magic-themed fiction. The description of the rituals and the spirits is unique, but also very detailed and similar to how it would be done in real life. Polk describes the importance of breath, hand signs, and visualization. I also really liked the mediumship aspect of the characters hosting lesser spirits in their body.

I grew really attached to Beatrice’s lesser spirit, Nadia, who was really funny and cute. It was very interesting to read about how Beatrice cast her circle for protection and bargained with Nadia. Nadia is a lesser spirit of good fortune, so in exchange for the luck she brings, Beatrice would lay out very clear terms of their bargain. For instance, Nadia’s luck for three cups of punch, star gazing, and a kiss until midnight. I think anyone who’s done this type of spirit work, which unfortunately always seem to be men rather than women even in real life, would find the writing very accurate.

Plus, it’s really kick ass to read about women choosing a life of magic and independence over the confines of marriage, even if it’s completely taboo to do. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be to live in a society that would take away my magical ability, forcing me to be nothing more than a dedicated wife and mother. There’s definitely a theme of fighting for women’s rights, but I enjoyed how Polk didn’t set men against women. The book showed that men can be a huge support for women and part of a greater change.

All in all, The Midnight Bargain was a really wonderful read that I highly recommend, especially for women who are interested in summoning and working with spirits! This is one of the only books I’ve ever read with a main character that is a woman using this type of magic. I’m all for finding fictional role models, so if you’re considering pursuing a summoning ritual, this would be an entertaining book to read.

Even if you have no interest in this type of magic yourself, it’s still a fun book. There’s a lot of focus on the pomp and circumstance of bargaining seasons, adding the flair for romance and drama within the greater story of women’s right to choose their own path. It has made my soul very happy and fulfilled the next few days, so much so that I haven’t even raced onto another book because I’m still savoring this story!

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.

Deva, by Jacquelyn E. Lane

Deva: Our Relationship with the Subtle World, by Jacquelyn E. Lane
Findhorn Press, 978-1644110741, 320 pages, June 2020

Deva: Our Relationship with the Subtle World by Jacquelyn E. Lane is a title that anyone who is serious about the undertaking of engaging and communicating with the natural world should read. Lane is an educator by profession and this is quite apparent in the organization of the book. She has also been involved in the study of metaphysics for 50+ years, and this experience is the underpinning of this particular title and its teachings regarding the work of collaboration with the laws and spirits of nature through the development of a relationship of mutual respect, stewardship, and care.

…. Life is a great song. From the rocks that seem to be still to the bubbling water of a stream that flows over them. From the uncurling leaves of small plants to giant trees. From the quiet hamlets to the teeming cities. It’s all singing-notes within tunes, tunes within themes, themes within symphonies.1

These words flow from the pages and are the first lines of the Introduction. Simply reading them draws the reader in for a closer look and the journey that is about to unfold in the voluminous content that follows, if truly heard and appreciated, becomes a timeless and timely composition of nature. 

Deva is a fitting publication for the Findhorn Press and the mission of the Findhorn Community. To fully appreciate the need for this book a little history of The Findhorn Community will offer some background. The Findhorn Community developed from the resettlement of Peter and Eileen Caddy, their children, and Dorothy Maclean to the Findhorn Bay Caravan Park in 1962. The three had dedicated their lives to the pursuit of esoteric studies and applications and the barren soil of the caravan park provided the setting of opening to the land spirits and guidance in how to “live” in harmony on the land. All that was planted in accord with the aid of the Devas, elementals, and other nature spirits grew beyond expectation, and the garden became a marvel within the horticultural world.2

This book will please both the scientist and the esotericist in its content. Science and the esoteric philosophies are fast becoming great friends and supports to one another as we learn more about quantum physics and the nature of matter and energy. There is still quite a bit of ways to go in the overlap, but more books such as this will help in creating that bridge of cross-pollination. In reading the biography of the author we learn that Deva, was shortlisted for the 2019 Ashton Wylie Unpublished Manuscript Awards: an affirmation of the need for this material to be given the proper consideration it is due. 

The Introduction holds the keys to everything that the reader needs to know regarding what to expect from this book and what is required from the reader by way of open mind and willingness to become “involved” in the world that surrounds us in a more authentic way. So, for some this book will definitely be one of those slow and steady reads that leaves you with questions and wanting to know more-and do more-with each paragraph. And, for others it will affirm everything they have known and are currently working towards. 

Lane gives a clear and simple (ironically, for a very complex subject) introduction to who/what the deva are and the use of that term in the content that follows…

…. Deva is an ancient Sanskrit word from India meaning “Being of Light”… They sing ideas into form. It is the deva that cause us to exclaim, “Wow, this is a special place. It feels so alive!”…. they are within every atom. Deva are the faeries in the grass. They are the vast energy of sea, wind  and mountains….To really (understand) deva, we need to realize that deva is a kingdom of substance and form-the world of matter both solid and subtle.3

Deva is separated into three parts comprising a total of eighteen chapters. In some cases more is more, but this is one case in which it feels after reading that there were too few chapters — meant in the most complimentary of ways. There is a strong infusion of Theosophical principles throughout the book, but these are incorporated in such a way that the reader does not have to be a student of Theosophy to understand what is being said. The Bibliography is filled with resources of books, articles and recordings sourced from some of the most prominent and respected presenters of physics, botanists, metaphysicians, theosophists and more. I would consider this work as a required text for a course in how to become a participant in the worlds shared by humanity and nature. 

Part One: Elemental Tunes dives right in to exploring the inhabitants of our greater etheric planes of Earth that are the pure expression of energy from densest to the more rarified. Each chapter contained within this section opens the reader to a new experience of the devic kingdom and provides the basis upon which the individual can extrapolate and come to their own conclusions regarding how the energy of what is unseen is often more powerful than that seen as we become more aware of what is within and surrounds us…

… The deva kingdom is everywhere, say the ancients-an Intelligence infused into matter at every level of density.4

Part Two: Who’s Singing Your Song encompasses the aspects of emotion, thought  and those forms of deva that we create. I particularly enjoyed chapter eight “Emotion” and Lane’s attention to the power of our emotions as fueling many of the components of the spiritual evolution of devas, humanity and all of the sea of matter, formed and formless. This chapter really calls to the reader to examine their emotional baggage and presumptions that create patterns of illusion that are in contradiction to the organic nature of the deva and humanity. As I moved through the information in Part Two, I was reminded of the deep connection we have in mind and heart and the impact, not only upon ourselves, but everything from the densest of matter to the most subtle. These also inherently include the discordant relationships and often-resultant ill effects that communication with the deva kingdom may have if the individual is not aligned within him/herself.

Part Three: Symphonies could be compared to the final movement of a stirring orchestral composition. All of the instruments have a role that is both profound and subtle in their impact. The climax reaches its peak and we are left in the after-glow of a symphonic masterpiece that is inspiring and has reached deeply into the fibers of all of our being. These final chapters of Deva speak to active participation in the natural world and those aspects of the deva kingdom we are more familiar with as iconic representations of nature. Trees, plant life, geographic regions, climate change and planetary deva are some of the topics discussed. 

The final two chapters, “Deva, Religion and Pan” and “Consciousness,” were appropriately placed in the organic flow of this writing. These are topics that are usually captured at the beginning of a discourse such as this, and in doing so, feel like the perfunctory ‘getting that out of the way” manner in which they are often treated. In this case, this very important material punctuates the final notes of this symphony, and it is always those last notes that are remembered, even if the rest is forgotten. 

Lane offers these thoughts as conclusion and calls us to re-member our true state of being…

…The Great Song dances out of the One from the highest to the lowest. We can see its effects all around using every kingdom (animal, deva, mineral, etc..) beside us. We can hear it directly when we cease to place our individuality before that One Life. Yet, from the beginning it has called on our inner ear relentlessly until we have learnt to listen and, in listening, we hear the song of our own Light as well.5


Deva: Our Relationship with the Subtle World has been an immensely satisfying book to read. and I am looking forward to the many re-reads I will give as my own journey in connecting more deeply to the Deva continues. We are at a crossroads of choice and the next steps we take collectively, but most importantly individually, will determine so much more than what we see of the physical world. The more reminders we have about our place in this “symphony of life,” and the more books that are brought forward that will speak to all levels of engagement and practice will be steps in the right direction.  Open your eyes with new wonder and call out from your highest intention and you may just be surprised at who/what calls back in reply.