Communication with the Nonliving

While it’s difficult to determine a true ghost story, I am a believer in open minds creating more possibilities. Personally, my fascination with the spirit realm goes a bit deeper than hauntings and tales under a blanket fort. This is because many people have shared stories with me about experiencing someone who is no longer living, either someone they love or someone with whom they are connected, present themselves in some way. I don’t consider myself a medium or clairvoyant, but I am somewhat sensitive to feelings of presence and have had more than my share of otherwise unexplainable experiences. Perhaps the greatest common aspect of these experiences is the most ironic. They bring comfort rather than fear. 

I understand that when someone we love is deceased a part of the grieving process can be meaning making. Being overwhelmed with feeling, emotion, and major change could likely make us more susceptible to instances that provide answers or are outside of logic. On the other hand, maybe there is something there, and why should we rob ourselves of the relief? What about the instances when we’re not looking for anything, the ones that pull us out from the ordinary? Having some kind of connective experience with a spirit is an opportunity to surpass the set limitations that we can only experience life through five physical senses. I’m about to reveal the sixth sense that doesn’t involve Bruce Willis discovering he has been among the dead all along (oops). Real spoiler, our sixth sense is intuition! People who I’ve spoken to who “don’t believe in that stuff,” do indicate a strong sense of knowing from their stories of potential connections with spirits. “Knowing” doesn’t mean you have to have answers, but a sense of clarity and certainty. This kind of knowing is pure sensation. I’d argue that you can argue just about anything except one’s subjective sensations. This is not evidence that spirits exist, but an invitation to access your sixth sense. Getting familiar with your sixth sense does not make you Haley Joel Osmont, nor a guarantee you will have extraordinary experiences. Instead, it’s a method to connect to life (maybe afterlife) more deeply. 

Speaking of deeply connecting, try it with your ancestors! Ancestral connection has been embedded in cultures such as Chinese, Native American (of the US), and Mexican (Dia de Los Muertos) to name a few that come to mind. My shamanic training has emphasized the importance of the 7 generations that come before us and the 7 generations that come after us. This lineage most directly affects our lives. In “modern, Western” medicine ancestral knowledge and DNA help us to understand health risks and strengths that have run in our families for generations and may continue as our offspring have offspring. Some people like to trace their lineage to understand family stories, historical achievements, and feel a sense of connectedness to heritage. Alternatively, my training has also encouraged the creation of an ancestral altar, and this is where I feel most deeply connected to my lineage. My altar is not extravagant, but a few old artifacts, heirlooms, and photographs in their designated place on my bookshelf light my sensations of intuition and knowing like the candle I light for them. Decorate it with vibrant flowers! Some people choose to feed their ancestors to honor and share something with them. Others honor them with an element of nature. Give thanks to your ancestors by placing a stick in fire, tossing a pebble in water, blowing a dandelion in the wind or burying something symbolic and biodegradable. Ancestral work makes peace with your past, present, and future. 

Ancestral Altar

A word of caution, refrain from using a Ouija board to communicate with spirits. Whether you believe in it or not, they will not offer you the comfort I’m suggesting. To counter the caution, dreams are a potential portal to meet the nonliving. Maybe you’ve experienced this before, dreaming of someone who is no longer living? They may be the clearest dreams you can have. I could talk about dreams forever, but I’ll save it for an upcoming post!

For fun, I’ll end this week’s seance with a sensational encounter of my own. One night about 10 years ago I was doing yoga in my room. I was in the flow and took the position of “Warrior 1” when I felt the sensation of 3 fingers touch the back of my right shoulder. It was lighter than a physical hand touch, but in the moment I hadn’t expected it to be anything other than a person I hadn’t heard come in. It took my breath away, and I instinctively pivoted to face my closed door to find no one around. I don’t know who or what it was or why it happened, but it felt clear in its own unexplainable way. 

Okay, one more. I think I was in 8th grade when I visited the headstone of my great-grandmother at a cemetery in Vermont. I never got to meet her, but I’ve been told I resemble her. I sat by her stone tucked near some bushes and spoke to her. When I finished, a moth so white it glowed appeared from behind the stone. I watched almost in a trance state as it directly approached me, brushed against my cheek, and carried on to disappear behind a bush. I didn’t so much as flinch until I got up to meet my family visiting another relative. For years I had been convinced it was her confirming she listened and kissing my cheek. The experience felt very surreal and deeply peaceful.  

I’d be glad to share my Oujia and communicative dream experiences as well as more of my first-hand intuitive spirit stories with anyone who inquires with interest. I’d love to hear your experiences if you’re willing to share in the comments or in a message! It can be heartwarming to share the feelings and experiences of comforting presences, even when there may or may not be a logical explanation, and especially if the presence is someone you love who has passed. Death and afterlife are mysterious, yet they may inform life more than we’re willing to be open.

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