Staying, Chapter 7 – Animal Souls

Humans have long revered animal spirits. The earliest petroglyphs depict humans interacting with animals, not only for basic survival needs (hunting for food or furs), but to represent the spiritual experiences of shamans. Indigenous peoples all over the world worship animals for their physical traits and roles in the spiritual world. In some native North American cultures, for example, the bear is worshipped for its strength and knowledge. Ancient Celtic cultures also worshipped the bear as the primal mother, or Bear Goddess. Some animals, like the owl, are seen as omens or bearers of truth.

Our western culture has removed the mysticism and reverence of the natural world and replaced it with fear. Now, instead of embracing natural systems as a part of ourselves, our culture seeks to subjugate and control it. Often using chemicals or simply denuding the landscape so that it will no longer support wildlife. Human habitat and wildlife habitat are now considered to be mutually exclusive and are increasingly forced against each other, often with disastrous results for both parties. Reverence is replaced by feelings of danger, worship with persecution.

Yet, still wildlife captures our imagination. Watching wildlife becomes fascinating for many when they encounter it. As a park ranger, I’ve seen traffic accidents occur as people jostle to get a picture of a deer. We have a fascination with zoos, animal-centric TV shows, and dancing penguins. It is an interesting juxtaposition; wildlife is fascinating, as long as it doesn’t get too close.

But there is a loophole of sorts. We have our pets. Some of the deepest, most transcendent relationships in our lives are with our pets. They touch our souls and fill our lives with unconditional love. These relationships are iconic and timeless. Animal souls and human souls intertwine in life, and occasionally they do in death. Animal souls can remain on the Earth plane just as human spirits can, although they we needn’t worry that they are trapped here. They often remain on, or return to, the earth plane to be near their loved ones, as my beloved cat, Shadow, had done.

Animal Communication

For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve been in the company of animals. Cats, dogs, birds and horses were constant companions. In fact, some of the first psychic communication I began to receive was from animals. While riding horses, I found that they can be especially chatty. The herd mentality of prey animals is to be as communicative as possible in order to thwart an attack from predators. Herd animals, like all animals, tend to communicate through mental images and emotion, however herd animals feel like they are chatting constantly, the herd completely linked. Predators, such cats and dogs, on the other hand feel to me like they are communicating in succinct bursts, like transmitting an impulse of thought. Different animal communicators may have had other experiences in their work, but this is how the communication with animals works for me.

Since animals don’t use human language to communicate, we cannot expect them to communicate this way. If you are attempting to talk to your pet, first be open to what they are naturally trying to tell you through their body language. Feel the energy of what they are saying. When you tune into their energy this way you can then “hear” more of their communiqué. You may see pictures in your mind’s eye or feel their emotion through your heart chakra. Allow this process to develop naturally.

Shadow’s Story

When I was in college, I did everything I could to establish myself as an “adult.” For me adult-ness meant having my own apartment, my own car, a full-time job and a full-time course load at the University of California at Davis. To complete the picture, I adopted a cat named Shadow. But from the beginning, I knew something was wrong with him. He was prone to awful coughing fits and spasms. I later learned he had a herniated diaphragm, the result of trauma he sustained early in life. None of that mattered, though. We were deeply in love with each other. We went through three moves, several jobs and eventually adopted two new kittens to round out our little family.

Then one summer, during a particularly severe heat wave, I began to noticed that the normally rotund Shadow was losing weight quickly. At first I thought it was the severe heat, but a trip to the vet confirmed the worst – Shadow had an aggressive strain of oral cancer and he didn’t have much time left. There wasn’t anything left for me to do, except take him home and let him tell me when he was ready to go. Early the next morning, Shadow died in my arms. I was completely devastated; it felt like a piece of my heart had died with Shadow.

Over time, the pain subsided, and I moved on, got another degree, a house and a career. And then I got Floyd. My sister, who knew I was looking for another cat, found a small, rambunctious orange tabby at the local animal shelter where she worked. I went down to meet him and I knew he was meant to live with me.

From the very beginning I knew that Floyd was special. He was a spunky orange kitten, and although I had two other cats and a dog, the bond between Floyd and me was unmistakable. We were inseparable from the day I brought him home. As time went on, I began to notice something very, very familiar about him. Then it dawned on me, Floyd had the same mannerisms as Shadow had. The meow they each used to get my attention, the way they slept next to my head at night, the way they played with their food. It was all the same. And then I realized, Shadow came back to me; his soul was in Floyd’s body.

This was an amazing realization for me. Not only had Shadow reincarnated, but had reincarnated specifically to find me again. It was as thought our souls had called out to each other to be reunited.

For those of you who have lost a beloved pet, you should know that it is absolutely possible to be reunited with your pet in life. Be prepared, however, they may not take on a form you would immediately recognize. I have heard stories similar to my own, one in particular where a woman found her beloved thoroughbred gelding had reincarnated as a small gray pony.

If you don’t find your pet again in life, do not give up hope of “seeing” your pet again. Animal spirits can stay near their human companions after death. My mother’s house currently plays host to all of her feline companions, both living and dead. Pets even come up during readings wishing to express their happiness and love for their people.

The love we get from our pets is unconditional and lasting. The bond between us transcends the physical world and gives us insight into the very fabric of existence. Pease don’t take that love or their presence in your life for granted. If you feel called to do so, I urge you go adopt one of these precious souls at your local animal shelter.


Staying, Chapter Five – Non-human Entities

Chapter Five of “Staying” continues along the vein of non-human entities outlining a few of my close encounters with things that go bump in the night. 
Happy Halloween, everyone…. Sleep tight.

Chapter 5 – Non-human Entities

From time to time I get called out to a client’s home either to do a reading or to pacify a ornery ghost. For those that are simply getting a reading, they will invariably, ask me, “is my house haunted?” And without fail, when I tell them that their home is fine, they look back at me with expressions tinged with both relief and disappointment.

I get it, though.

Haunted houses are all the rage these days thanks to the popularity of prime time tv shows. And though a ghost in the house forces one to confront one’s feelings about the unknown and the afterlife, it also makes for great dinner party conversation. I can’t tell you how many times bad plumbing and an over-active imagination manifest as paranormal activity after a few glasses of pinot grigio.

But for those clients who have a “visitor,” they are among the few who are living in a haunted home. For example, a few of my clients own a home located on a particularly active piece of land. The home itself serves as a respite for the living and the dead alike; it is a veritable oasis in the middle of a bustling suburban neighborhood. The spirits in this home are human, friendly, and generally non obtrusive. A similar home a few streets over, was a different story completely; they had some non-human entities running amok through their house.

There are a wide range of energetic spaces or levels that sentient entities can occupy on this plane.  Often these entities exist outside the range of our five senses, and we can typically co-habitate peacefully.  However, sometimes we can have negative encounters with these entities.  Remember, these are entities that occupy a lower vibrational and energetic states than humans, angels or guides.  As such, they seek out energy that they can feed on, which is their energetic vibration or better.  They prefer to attach to lower, baser energy (fear, hate, etc.), and in some cases incite these feelings in humans. That is, they will antagonize their human host into feeling fear or anger or hatred simply by their presence and for the purpose of generating a “food source.” To add to the trouble, low human energies attract even more non human entities. It is almost like setting out food for wild animals such as squirrels or birds. You will attract a few at first, and then more and more until you are overwhelmed. The simplest thing to do, seems obvious – stop feeding them. But if you can’t see what you’re up against, that is much easier said than done.

For my clients with the non-human entities, they had unique problem. These entities were traipsing through their home with apparent indifference to the chaos they were inciting. Furthermore, they would arrive and leave at random intervals, much like a band of unruly neighborhood children. Once, while I was there giving a reading, one of the entities made itself known. Since I was giving a reading within the home, I had sealed it energetically, allowing only loving and helpful energies and entities to enter the sacred space. During a reading, I summon very high energy, which shines like a beacon to other entities. Through the power of intention, the space is restricted to allow only spirit guides, angels and loved ones; lower vibrational entities can not gain access. So, when the neighborhood entities attempted to barge into their former stomping grounds, they got frustrated and began opening the garage doors on another part of the property. The scene reminded me of badly behaved children who were not getting their way.

Though it was rather humorous, I had a feeling that there was a larger problem at hand. For years, my clients had been world travelers, leaving their home open to friends and family alike to do whatever they pleased. Only recently had they decided to settle down, decorate the home and make it their own. The years of hospitality and generosity had an unintended consequence: it had left their home energetically open and vulnerable to any local entity that happened across the space. The fact that the home had a revolving door of houseguests who were easily spooked was just an added bonus. What my clients had not done was seal the home themselves. Think of this as a kind of paranormal security system. It sets clear boundaries that tell unwanted entities they are not welcome or tolerated in the space. For this couple, it was a fairly straightforward fix. They didn’t have an infestation, they just needed to batten down the hatches. Since I had already sealed the home, I suggested crystals at the entrance points to help keep negative energies, in general, at bay.

If you or a loved one is experiencing mild paranormal activity, you may want to consider the following list of suggestions to assist is flushing and keeping out unwanted entities.

Suggestions for Sealing a Space Against Unwanted Entities or Energies

  • Blessing or Cleansing – This is typically a religious rite that is done by a local priest or other clergy. Native American shamans also may provide this if they feel that the home is on sacred land or if sacred sites have been disturbed by the clients.
  • Burning Sage – Sage is used by Native Americans for cleansing a space, but it is widely available and highly effective for the average home owner. You can find sage in your local metaphysical bookstore or online. To cleanse your home (or other space) simply light the sage bundle and allow the smoke to permeate all the nooks and crannies of the home. Make sure you burn the sage in every room of the home, including bathrooms, closets, garages, attics and basements.
  • Crystals – Placing crystals at the entrance of your home can be a powerful tool. Crystals hold high amounts of energy, and when charged with sunlight or positive energy, they offer protection to a home.
  • Bells and Bowls – If you can’t tolerate the smoke from the sage, you may also use bells or crystal singing bowls. The high, clear sound from these instruments is of a high enough vibration as to be annoying to lower vibrational energies and healing for humans. I recommend Tibetan tingsha cymbals, Tibetan singing bowls or crystal singing bowls. These are wonderful tools for clearing a space and as an addition to your meditative practice.
  • Good, Old-fashioned Housecleaning – Physical clutter can breed energetic clutter, and allow for low energies to coagulate in a space. Employ a little diligence and maybe some Fung Shui, and you will find yourself raising your vibration, which will naturally offend unwanted entities. Make sure that when you are done physically clearing your space, you also clear it energetically using bells, crystals or sage.

Announcing Indigo Paths – Call-in Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio

For Email Marketing you can trust

I am very pleased to announce Indigo Paths, a call-in radio show on Blog Talk Radio.  My first show today was fantastic, and the next show is scheduled for Friday, October 28th at 10am, PST.  If you can’t call in live, that’s ok.  You can email me and I will read some email questions on the air.  You can then go back and listen to the archived show.

Also, stay tuned for Chapter Five of my e-book “STAYING – When the Hereafter is Here on Earth.”  This latest chapter is all about non-human entities and what to do about them in your home.

Staying, Chapter 4 – Mary’s “Friend”

Staying – When the Hereafter is Here on Earth

And now we switch gears from human spirits to inhuman entities. In a way, this is a lesson is what happens when we inadvertently tempt unfriendly entities.  In some cases, it is a perfect storm of human emotion and fertile energetic spaces.  In other cases, we send out such low energy (depression, anger or fear) that these baser entities feed off it, and in some cases instigate more.  And sometimes a few of us are misguided and specifically seek out inhuman, even demonic, entities.  These scars can linger on a space or individual for decades or even generations.   

This is a story of a woman who, not knowing any better, invited an entity in then fed it for years.  In the end, neither myself or any other psychic or healer could help her.  Not for lack of trying, but because she had fostered a codependent relationship with the entity and they were both hopelessly entangled with one another.

Chapter Four – Mary’s “Friend”

One middle-of-the-night a few Septembers ago, I woke up in a cold sweat. The dream that had awoken me was uncommonly bad, featuring a serial killer chasing me and my friend Michael. I woke up with Michael’s words ringing in my ear: “Heather, I need your help.”

Imagine my surprise when I got a call first thing the next morning from, you guessed it, Michael. If you also guessed that he was calling to ask for my help, you’d be two-for-two. Michael, who is a very gifted energy worker and healer, had taken on a client who was convinced that she was being haunted by some insidious entity.  He needed me to come in to assess the situation and the entity so that he could figure out how to proceed.  I readily agreed, thinking what a kick-ass precognitive dream that must have been.

Ah, hubris.

I had barely hung up the phone, when a nasty, dense vapor began to seep through my front door.  This was the entity. I quickly began cobbling together every defensive energy trick I had ever learned in an effort to fend it off.  Luckily, whatever I did worked, but this was just the beginning and a warning: “Stay away.”   At that point, I began to suspect that there were some gaps in my psychic training.  I had recently begun flexing my newly-found psychic muscles and, unfortunately, I was about to get in over my head.

A few days later, I arrived with Michael at his client’s home.  Immediately, I knew that the “gaps” in my training were, in fact, chasms and that I was hopelessly out-matched.  There was a dense, oppressive feeling to the home, even walking up to the front door.  This was the entity’s home turf and power base; I was under-qualified to take on something so bad.  But, nevertheless, this woman was absolutely desperate and in obvious physical pain.  I was compelled to help her.  And help her, I tried.

On all accounts, I did everything right.  I rang sacred bells, I forced the entity from it’s comfort zone, I called down the Angels and I spoke with conviction.  I cleared the home and invited in the light. I even left the client feeling whole and resting comfortably after the session; or so I thought.  But I had forgotten one thing – I didn’t protect myself.  In the days that followed, I was completely bed-ridden.  It took five days of bed rest and the ministrations of my dear friend Kathleen to set me straight.  I had been attacked by the entity.

On my path to psychic development, I have learned from the best.  The women I have chosen as my teachers and mentors are some of the most talented and gifted psychics, mediums and energy workers I’ve ever had the privilege to know.  But for some reason, I had intentionally avoided talking about the “bad stuff”.  Sure it’s out there, but I never thought I needed to protect myself (again with the hubris).   Or maybe I just needed to learn the hard way.  In any case, sometimes a client doesn’t have the wherewithal to fend off unhelpful entities, or may have called something pernicious into their midst unintentionally. Or, as I suspect in Mary’s case, has some ongoing and complicated relationship with the entity.

Mary went on to hire the services of several more psychics and healers, but to my knowledge, none of them were able to make an appreciable impact on the situation.  At last count she was going through lightworkers like most people go through shampoo.  And this could have been part of the strategy.  When the entity couldn’t get what it needed from Mary, it would prompt her to call in others.  In other words, the entity used Mary as bait.  Indeed, this was an abusive relationship, but it was probably all either of them had.

But what was that thing?  I’ll never know for sure, but I do have a few theories – I’ll start with the basics.  First of all, there are many kinds of spirits around us.  The ones that we are the most familiar with are human spirits, who are the spirits of our ancestors.  These spirits will usually try to communicate with us much like a living person would.  They try to get our attention through speech, knocking on objects, moving objects or touching.  The more intense the communication, the more energy an entity must use.  Therefore, most (but not all) human spirits will attempt to communicate subtly.

Inhuman spirits, which are different than demonic spirits, do appear to have some level of intelligence to them.  They interact and attempt to communicate, but not in usually in an appropriate way.  They will occasionally do harm, either physically or energetically.  These are baser intelligences with whom we should not attempt communication.  Our human motives and their inhuman motives are not compatible.  I tend to think of inhuman entities as wild animals.  They tend to roam around, attracted to anything that catches their fancy.  Since they are without a corporeal body, they seem to subsist on energy.  As humans emit energy, occasionally an inhuman entity will attach itself to a human host, not unlike an energetic parasite.  This, of course, puts the human in an unfortunate position.  If an attachment grows to strong, the person will feel depleted, and may even fall ill.

Demonic spirits tend to be an entirely different ballgame.  They are intelligent, they communicate, they mimic, they take over and they work together.  This type of energy is the darkest and basest of all.  Once you let something like a demonic entity in, it will consume you and will not go quietly.  These entities tend to prey upon the weak and unsuspecting.  They will also gain access to their victims through seemingly benign means such as Ouija boards or spirit board.  This is why you hear so many paranormal investigators tell clients not to use them.

So what was Mary’s “friend?”  I believe that Mary was dealing with an inhuman entity.  When I marched in with all my psychic self-righteousness, the entity did not attempt to communicate with me.  In fact it hid from me until I was in a vulnerable position, and then it attacked – like a wild animal.  What is perhaps the most interesting and noteworthy about this case is Mary’s relationship with the entity.  It appears, from my observations of her behavior, that she had entered into a codependent relationship with the entity.

Staying, Chapter 3 – Emma’s House

Staying – When the Hereafter is Here on Earth

In this third chapter, I continue the theme of living peacefully with watchful spirits.

Chapter Three – Emma’s House

The commitment to a place after death isn’t restricted to sacred grounds.  Sometimes the connection is more personal.  These are cases where we typically see a more “traditional” haunted environment.  Haunted houses, churches, even barns are occasionally still occupied by long-dead former occupants.  And often times, when these tenants are still around it’s not because the endured some devastating trauma, but because they enjoyed the place where they lived or worked.

At another work assignment, my office was in an old, converted farm house.  If you’re getting the idea that many of my offices have been occupied by unseen friends, you’d be correct.  Many public properties, specifically historical locations that have been entrusted to a municipality after the owner’s death and then pressed into service, have a long history and many previous occupants.  This is true of the farm house and also my office.

Almost from my first day at the farm, I had been inundated with tales about how old Emma was still keeping an eye on her beloved farmlands and childhood home.  When Emma was alive, having no heir to whom to leave the farm, she deeded it the City to turn into a teaching farm and park.  For the most part, the City accommodated her requests.  On the rare occasion some misguided public servant attempted to host, say, a carnival on the old farm’s grounds, the event was met with nothing but calamity and misfortune.  Or so the rumors say.

But I was new on the farm, and just trying to fit in, so I listened to all manner of urban legend.  After a few weeks, I had heard just about every fable associated with the property.  This included the stories the neighborhood kids told about zombies in the basement (which we occasionally reinforced just for fun).  I was prepared to write it all off.  But one night after locking up the park, my partner, Wes, and I were preparing to leave for the night.  I had gone up to the attic, where the staff lockers were housed, to doff my gear and change to go home.  When I had changed, I turned off the lights, shut the attic door and set the security before deadbolting the front door. Now, I remember this sequence of events because, like I said, I was new. I didn’t want to disrupt the social structure of this close-knit work group through a seeming act of carelessness.  I was halfway to my car when I realized I had left my cell phone in my locker.  Cursing my forgetfulness, I ran back, unlocked the door and disarmed the security system.  I had gotten two steps up the staircase when my gaze shifted to my intended destination, the attic door at the top of the landing.  At this point, I froze.  The attic door was open, and the light was on.

At this stage in my psychic development, I hadn’t opened up fully, so I regarded the paranormal with a certain amount of fear.  So the sight of that door stopped me in my tracks.  I had no rational, logical or scientific explanation as to why the attic door was open or the light was on, except for maybe the cat.  And he was outside.  Also, he can’t reach the light switch, let alone actually need it.  At that moment I had never not wanted my cell phone more.  But since I was meeting friends later, and needed it, I took a deep breath and ran up the stairs.  I grabbed my phone and secured the building in record time.  I was frazzled by the time I reached the parking lot, where Wes was waiting for me.  I attempted to relay my experience to Wes as he attempted to not roll his eyes.

As the years went on, I heard more tales of Emma’s ghost.  Some of these were fabrications of over-active imaginations, but there were some that were very hard to dismiss.  One morning I arrived at the park to discover that my maintenance staff looked like a herd of spooked cattle.  Reticently, they described the events of the morning.  Apparently, during their morning routine, they entered the farmhouse and walked upstairs to retrieve their gear.  As soon as they were upstairs, all of the doors on the ground floor began to open and slam shut simultaneously.  At 6 a.m., the two of them were the only ones in the house, not to mention the park.  There remains no logical explanation to the events of that morning.

Now, do I think that Emma’s ghost is malevolent – no.  I just think that she was trying to get our attention.  Like the Shaman in the last chapter, she wanted to make sure that her space was preserved and that we knew she was still around to oversee the daily goings-on.  Living with Emma’s ghost was an easy and entertaining experience, far from the provocative melodrama that we encounter on television.  And that is the take-away message from this chapter.  Having a spirit living in your office, house, attic or barn doesn’t need to provoke fear and uncertainty.  It can be a pleasant experience, especially if you have the same agenda.

Staying, Chapter 2 – The Shaman

Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth

This is the second chapter of my e-book, “Staying.”  This chapter addresses a typical haunting situation when old energy is attempting to reconcile with new energy within the same space.  By this I mean, when the former inhabitant of a space remains attached to the space after death.  This experience recounts my encounter with a Native American Shaman and how we came to co-inhabit his ancestral home peacefully.  I also discuss what to do if you encounter a spirit in your daily experience.

Chapter Two – The Shaman

When souls attach themselves to places after death, it is sometimes out of a sense of duty or responsibility to a place of importance or to protect a sacred space.  In the Unites States nothing embodies this archetype better than Native American lore.  The ancient sacred customs and religions of Native American tribes are often the subjects of fear and misinformation.  Archetypes such as an “Indian burial ground” have captured the imaginations of generations of Americans.  I’m even willing to bet this is true of the first settlers.

However, most people regard sacred spaces with a certain degree of reverence, if not fear. This would include the hushed feeling in a cathedral, for example, where many have gathered in quiet devotion and contemplation of the divine.  I speak here of the familiarity of Judeo-Christian practices.  When we step into the realm of earth-based religions, like those of native cultures, suddenly things can become uncomfortable.  The familiar feeling of awe and reverence and sacredness gets tossed out as we regard these ancient rites as superstitions or “witchcraft.” This does two things: It breeds fear, and allows us to be confrontational with that fear.  The only other alternative is to subvert and conquer said fear.  History has shown where that leads.  In this fear-based mind-set, we develop the belief that since we don’t believe in it, it’s not real.  This is why there is so much fear associated with these ancient spaces, but also why these spaces feel the need to fight back.

In my journey through public service, I’ve found myself working in some remarkable and historically relevant places.  A while back, I accepted an assignment at a lake in southern Santa Clara County in California.  As in any region of the San Francisco Bay area, modern culture is often thrust up against the ancient burial mounds and religious sites of the Ohlone Indians.  My first week at the lake I made my partner drive me around show me the burial mounds, middens and caves that were relics of a people who had long been absorbed by modern culture.  Yet even as an outsider, I felt a deep, almost holy, connection to these places. I had a deep sense of knowing that, unbeknownst to anyone else in our humble office, we were sitting in the exact center of these places of power.  Over the next few weeks I made every effort to respect where we were and walk lightly on the land.  Even so, I was new and my presence did not go unchallenged.  After a few weeks in my new office, far from settling in, I began to notice a presence – a conscious presence – lurking nearby.  I would feel this presence acutely when I was alone at in the office at night or walking out to my car.

At first, I was frightened, as I was clearly being stalked.  Then, one day, at my wit’s end and tired of being afraid of the dark, I decided to confront whoever or whatever was out there.  It was the end of a very long day and I had just finished putting my things into my car.  I felt the chilly March air become electrified as something approached me in the dark parking lot.  Unable to take the suspense of what or who had been prowling around, I said clearly into the dark, “ I am not going to harm you.” And then it drew closer.

The being was a Native American man, a shaman to be precise.  He did not appear to me visually, but rather as a consciousness.  That is, in my mind he clearly projected his consciousness and was able to convey his identity and energy.  Among the many images he shared with me were scenes of his life and the lives of his family who had lived and worshipped in the space my office now stood.  As he allowed me to see this vision, which I accepted gratefully, I knew that he now saw me as a friend.  He was a long-forgotten guardian ensuring that his land was respected.  As it was my job at the time to enforce such things, I’m sure he wanted to make sure I was up to the task.

His intentions were clearly illustrated a few months later when one of our office-mates decided to throw a retirement party for a popular supervisor.  The days leading up to the barbecue were filled with preparing and tidying the grounds around our office to make way for the many guests.  The day of the party, I was driving to work when all of a sudden the shaman appeared energetically in my car.  His rage was palpable.  As you can imagine, this was quite an experience, because, first, he had never appeared to me as an energetic body, only as a consciousness.  And second, I had a very angry ghost driving with me in my car.  For several minutes the shaman raged, showing me the disruptive presence of the guests and festivities that were occurring over at my office.  Eventually, he slowed down and I was able to interject and explain that they meant no harm.  I promised that I would make sure the land was respected and that everything would quiet down soon.  This must have appeased him, since he left me to drive the rest of the way to work alone.  When I arrived at the office, I found exactly the scenes the shaman had shown me.  I also discovered that normally amicable working relationships seemed to have been thrown into upheaval.  In short, people were at each other’s throats.  Sneaking away, I silently asked the shaman if this was his doing.  He answered in the affirmative, telling me that if people were having a bad time, they would leave.  Again, I promised I would see that his land was respected and asked that he stop interfering with my colleagues and their friends.  Suddenly, I felt everything go quiet and peaceful.  All of the tension left the air, and the party guests went on as though nothing happened (and to their perspective, nothing had).

I’d like to think that the shaman had considered me a worthy guardian since he never again came to me in such a manner.  In fact, he preferred to show me peaceful visions of his life as we communed in nature together.

In my experience with this spirit, as well as others, when they make themselves apparent negatively, they are trying to protect their space.  Remember, an overwhelming number of these spirits are human, and they retain their human sensitivities.  Whether it’s a sense of propriety or a sense of duty, if the emotion was deeply rooted in them during life, it will remain a part of them in death.  If you share a space with such a spirit, attempting to compromise with it can be beneficial.  Talk to it like it is still alive, acknowledge its presence and its connection to the place.  Ask to cohabitate peacefully, but do not respond to it in fear.  This can be difficult, especially if you are experiencing unsettling phenomenon in your space or if there are children involved.  However, emotion is energy, and fear has a particular signature.  It is of low vibration, and very pungent.  Feeding paranormal energy with fear can attract larger, nastier inhuman entities; playing with these entities is no fun and can be downright dangerous.

Living with a ghost doesn’t have to be scary, dramatic or necessarily disruptive.  Regardless of the origin of the spirit presence, you have more control over the situation than you think.  However, if you feel like you might be in over your head, or if the presence is clearly malevolent, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Staying, Chapter 1 – Grandma’s House

Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth is a book that has been struggling to be written for nearly a year now.  Even harder, though, is the struggle to publish it.  Since this information is something that I feel needs to be released from my creative consciousness and into the All That Is, I am choosing to share this in my own way.  So, I will be publishing each chapter on my blog separately and as they are completed.

Staying aims to explore why spirits choose to stay bound to the Earth plane.  I have chronicled my personal experiences using my psychic lens.  If you’ve lost someone, feel spirit energy or experience the paranormal in your life, I hope to give you a broader understanding as to why “haunting” happens.


Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth

Chapter One – Grandma’s House

I think it bears mentioning that regardless of my family’s intuitive tendencies, they have guarded these gifts in a haze of fierce denial.  Talking to dead people was not considered appropriate Christian conversation – or even the conversation of rational adults.  Even today, my relatives speak about the work that I do in hushed tones and behind closed doors.  It is little wonder that I suppressed my, shall we say, unconventional talents as long as I did.
It is also not surprising that when I went to visit my Grandma Julie in the summer of 1999, she roundly refused to believe me when I told her that our dead relatives continued to roam the halls of her Minneapolis home.
It was a typical muggy, Midwestern summer when I landed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport fresh from my first year of college and eager to escape the teenaged emotional catastrophe I had created back home in California.  My grandma and grandpa bought their modest three bedroom home in the early 1950’s, and promptly began raising a family.  After four children, six grandchildren, and two husbands, both the house and my grandma had seen a lot.  As is typical with older homes, my grandma’s house served as the backdrop for domestic upheavals large and small.  It had that lived-in feel of a home that held many secrets.  It was also the home where both my great-grandmother and my grandpa died.

And yet the history of the house did nothing to convince my grandmother that her late husband and mother were wandering around there or anywhere.  To her, they had gone to heaven, and that was final.  I wasn’t so sure about that.


Night after night I approached her with, what I thought, was ironclad evidence of the persistence of our dead relatives.  And night after night, she rebuffed my claims, chalking it up to my overactive, and slightly dramatic, imagination.
From the first night of my stay in Minnesota, I heard all manner of strange goings-on in the hallway outside of my room.  This room, I should add, was directly next to the room where my great-grandma stayed during the last days of her life.  Every night, I would hear shuffling footsteps and hollow thumps – like the sound my 94 year-old great-grandma would make on the way down the hall to the bathroom using her walker.  The skeptic in me, trying to talk myself down from near-hysteria, tried to explain the noises away by blaming them on one of the three cats in residence.  But I knew perfectly well that none of the cats would set so much as a toe upstairs after I decided to go to bed.  They would sleep on my bed all day and evening, but the second I announced I was retiring for the night, they would march downstairs.  It was such an absurd show,  I thought I was imagining it.
Finally, the thing that absolutely could not explain away were the intense temperature changes coupled with the over-whelming feeling of someone standing near my bed.  Now, the late summers in Minnesota are extreme.  High heat and humidity coupled with wild thunderstorms made me yearn for the calming offshore breezes typical of my home in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Or at least for air-conditioning, which my grandma never had installed.  So when a cool breeze began wafting over me in the early morning hours, chilling my sweat-dampened skin, I was more than a little unsettled.  I was terrified.


As scared as I was, I knew it was more a reaction to the newness of the experience and not to any perceived malevolence.  Whoever was shuffling up and down the hall and standing over me in bed was not evil or demonic.  Once I realized this and got my wits about me, I figured that this presence as most likely my great-grandma and that she was simply dropping by to see me, sort of like a ghostly visitation.  I eventually calmed down enough to recognize this and acknowledge her. When I did, I felt calmer, I felt the presence subside and the cool cloud lift away from me.  My great-grandma had left.


Analyzing the experience many years later and through a psychic lens (after acknowledging said lens, of course), I began to understand a few things.  First, my grandma’s house was most likely not “haunted” by anything or anyone.  I was in a place that was familiar to my great-grandma, and that made it fairly easy for her to connect to me.  She had to be a little dramatic about it because I wasn’t paying attention.  But when I did, I realized that all she wanted was to be acknowledged by and commune with the great-granddaughter she loved dearly, but rarely saw.


I also realized that sometimes people can be “haunted.”  That is, that some human beings can trigger ghostly activity based on their emotional state or their sensitivity to paranormal activity.  At my grandma’s house, I was a sort of lightening rod for ghostly energy.  You could say I was simply in the right place at the right time.


To my knowledge, no one else has had any other type of paranormal experience in that house.  But I’ll never know.  In late 2001, my grandma succumbed to cancer while I was living abroad in Australia.  My relatives sold the house before I returned, and I never again set foot inside.  And while I can choose to communicate with my late relatives consciously, I rarely do.  They are together in the after-life and they are happy and they know that I am happy – and that is all any of us need to know.