Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Spirit Owl Revisited

The Queen of the Night Relief
From the temples of ancient Sumer to the forests of Native America, the owl appears as a frequent and remarkably consistent symbol of the spirit world.

First drawn on prehistoric cave walls, the owl can be associated with religion as early as 2000 BCE as evidenced by the The Queen of the Night Relief, a 4000 year old terracotta base relief presently located in the British Museum in London.  The relief depicts a  winged Sumerian goddess flanked by two large owls and the owls are not decorative but highly symbolic. 

The goddess was called Inanna or 'Divine Lady Owl'.   She was  strongly linked to the underworld through 'The Descent of Innana' a story which some modern scholars see an as allegory to the movements of Venus, Mercury and Jupiter.

The myth is related on a series of clay tablet from the Queen of the Night period and tells of Inanna's descent into the underworld during the dark of the moon. She was to associated with the planet Venus and known to the as Ishtar. Though there is no direct connection, authors such as Cashford and Baring have associated Inana with Lilith whom the ancient Hebrews.

In Pagan Europe, the ancient Celts also saw the owl as a symbol of the underworld - an association that has perhaps survived as the owl of Merlin - while in other cultures the symbolism centered on the soul.  In Australia the aboriginal people believed owls to be the souls of  women while the  Ainu of Japan held the Eagle Owl to be alternately a a divine ancestor or a messenger of the gods.  In Romania, folktales say that forgiven souls fly to heaven in the guise of Snowy Owls. 

In the Americas, the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, was often depicted with owls and the Hopi god of death was believed to be an owl.  In Mexico, the Little Owl was called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead", and flew between the land of the living and the dead.  In the Sierras, native peoples believed that the Great Horned Owl captured the souls of the departed and carried them to the underworld.  Several different Native Northern American traditions including the Mojave, said that the soul turned into an owl at death.

The mythology of multiple cultures places the symbolism of the owl firmly in the spirit world.  His mythic role however is largely positive.  As a messenger of the gods he is sacred, a bearer of divine knowledge and a facilitator of communication between the worlds.  As a guide, he bridges the gap between life and death, but more correctly: the space between this reality and the next.

*I have only done this twice in the history of the blog, but after a very interesting practice reading in our Clairvoyance One class, I revisited this old post and decided it might be time to share it again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dr. Raymond Moody on History, Philosophy and NDE!

Dr. Moody and Me :)
On Saturday I had the honor of hearing Dr.  Raymond Moody speak on the topic of Near Death Experience.  Like many people in the audience I found Dr. Moody's first book, Life After Life, an important preliminary step on my spiritual path so many years ago. Imagine my excitement to finally have a chance to hear him speak!

Written in 1975, Life After Life, investigated over one hundred case studies of those who experienced "clinical death" and were subsequently revived. The message it shared flew in the face of cultural ideas about death and dying and created a ripple of new understanding and hope that continues to this very day.

In Life After Life, Dr. Moody impacted modern attitudes about the afterlife in a way no one else has.  Following the publication of this groundbreaking work, Dr. Moody became the world's leading authority in the field of near-death experiences.  But he did not stop there. In the decades that followed, Dr. Moody, taught, lectured, researched, wrote several book and has never, I suspect, stopped searching for truth.  

Speaking last week, from the podium at The Journey Within Spiritualist Church, Dr. Moody spoke eloquently on death, philosophy, spirit, history and science and I feel incredibly lucky to have been there!

Reminding us that science is only one aspect of reason, Dr. Moody explained the value of the Near Death narrative and the common experience it contained.  The NDE contains several very consistent including the experience of a  hyper-reality which is largely ineffable (or undescribable), a warm and loving light, the presence of our loved ones in spirit and a panoramic life review.  In most NDEs a being of great compassion conducts this review and tells the individual that they must return.  The after effects of this experience almost always center around an understanding that our experience here on this planet is about learning to love.  Something I think that we all need to be reminded of.

Interestedly, we learned that while Dr. Moody never doubted the sincerity of those he interviewed, he reached no personal conclusion about the nature of the afterlife until about a year ago when a shared NDE (simultaneously experienced by a patient, surgeon and nurse) finally won him over.  This extended position of impartiality has, I suspect, gone a long way toward making his work in this field so well respected.

Dr.  Moody explained that, based on the Near Death Experience, life may be considered a two phase process.  In the first phase we go forward as the protagonist, feeling deeply centered in our own point of view.  In the second  (as indicated by a life review in which we experience the feelings of all those we have helped or hurt) this view shifts.  This an idea which is to me, very consistent with the fundamental spiritual principle of oneness or interconnectedness with all living things.  I can only hope that, as more people connect with spirit through their own experience, the teaching of others or the research of pioneers like Dr. Moody, we will see an increase in that point of view here in phase one!

Quoting Hume, Dr.  Moody shared on his current work which presents a new system of rational principles which can make a new understanding of experiences like NDE possible.  The book is being published in France but will most likely be available via the intermittent.

Antigone and Creon
We were also privileged to learn some fascinating things about the ancient Greeks.   Dr Moody shared that like many ancient people, the Greeks had very clear ideas about life after death.  They even had a word for spirits who survived death.  These returning dead were called revenants ( from the Latin reveniens or "returning"). 

While the siting of a revenant became a fear provoking event through time, it was nonetheless, a fascinating acknowledgement of spirit.  Dr. Moody recommended two books on this topic, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation and Greek and Roman Necromancy.  Both of which I bought (along with another book Dr. Moody recommended Ordered to Return by George Ritchie) with my amazon phone app  in the restaurant following the presentation!

These books are of interest to me because I find all ancient views of the afterlife fascinating.   As Dr. Moody explains his book, Reunions: Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones,  the ancient Greeks  turned to their dead for  guidance and information on a wide range of topics.  And this is what led Dr. Moody to build his psychomanteum (or oracle of the dead) in the manner of the ancient Greeks in his home in Anniston Alabama.  In his talk, Dr.  Moody shared on the results he has had with it.  As I will be sitting in my mediumship and psychic development instructor Gloria Weichand's psyhomanteum in just a few weeks (and am planning to eventually build my own), I found this information intriguing. 

Dr.  Moody told us that he considers his own narrow focus on the origins of Western thought, as evidenced by the ancient Greek philosophers, to be the source of everything he has done in his life.  And it occurs me to that I have heard this twice in the last few weeks.  First, from my recent Spirit Radio guest Debra Katz who told me that she has observed that most successful people possess a strong ability to focus, and now from Dr. Moody who is an incredible example of the good such focus can do.  This makes me question my own focus and I find myself determined to give the matter more thought.

Hearing Dr. Raymond Moody speak was an incredible experience.  His insight on what he refers to as the paradoxical travel narrative of the Near Death Experience has brought the wonder of spirit into our "phase one" experience in a way few others have.  I feel honored to have had the opportunity to meet him!
By what arguments or analogies can we prove any state of existence, which no one ever saw, and which in no wise resembles any that ever was seen? ...Some new species of logic is requisite for that purpose; and some new faculties of the mind... 
                                   ~ David Hume "Of Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul"
To read my review of Dr. Moody's book Reunions  and a discussion on the uses of the psychomanteum  please see the following post: Reflections of Spirit: A Modern Day Psychomanteum.

To learn more about The Spirit Education Center and Sancturary psychomanteum please click here or check back for my review on the experience in the psychomanteum in a few short weeks.  This psychomanteum was build in consultation with Dr. Moody so I am really looking forward to experiencing it!

Clutching the book (The Light Beyond) Dr. Moody is about to sign.

Shaking hands with ground-breaking NDE researcher, Dr. Raymond Moody

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Developing Clairvoyance with Debra Lynne Katz on "Spirit Talk!"

Hear author, teacher and founder of the International School of Clairvoyance, Debra Lynne Katz, share on clairvoyance, clairvoyant training as well as some applications of clairvoyance which you might not be too familiar with - such as the healing power of clairvoyance and the use of visual images in manifestation work.

This was a really enjoyable interview.  I learned so much!

Listen to "Spirit Talk"Spirit Radio

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Clairvoyant Training Week 10: Practice Makes Perfect

It's hard to believe that I am on the tenth week of clairvoyant training. I'm finding Debra's method to be a very well-rounded approach to psychic development. 

In addition to her effective and structured clairvoyant training, we are meditating, healing, manifesting and growing.  Part of our growth process is gaining confidence - something I so need to work on!

Practicing in the safe environment of class or practice session is a wonderful way to build confidence and skill and I can see that each of are benefiting immensely.

In class we learn from Debra and then practice with each other (while in our practice sessions we work with a volunteer).  I find both helpful.  Yesterday we read for each other on our goals.  Because a couple of people were absent, Debra read as well  - so I got a great reading from my class mates AND the instructor!

I asked about my manuscript.  Everyone identified my issues - lack of confidence, overly wide scope and the need to have fun with the writing process in their own unique and highly insightful way. I received specific advice  from Debra and on revising the manuscript which was very resonant with my own feelings.  And I found her vision of a trophy (figurative), a book with wings to travel to an international audience and a windfall very encouraging!

I spent the morning writing and I feel an incredible sense of renewal.  Thank you to everyone!

To meet my instructor Debra Katz and learn how you can increase you're clairvoyant abilities, please join us live at 8PM ET / 5PM PT for tonight's episode of "Spirit Talk!"

To learn more about my Clairvoyance One training please check out the following posts!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reflections of Spirit: A Modern Day Psychomanteum

The Necromanteion of Ephyra
I have just reread Dr. Raymond Moody's wonderful book, Reunions, which focuses on the ancient and absolutely fascinating practice of mirror gazing because I find the material it contains fascinating.

Mirror gazing, is a form of scrying - a very old way of connecting with other side by way of any reflective or dark medium such as metal, water, obsidian or blood.  

This method of connecting with spirit, so interested Dr. Moody that he constructed his own psychomanteum in a second floor chamber in his Anniston Alabama gristmill for the purpose of studying the experience of others.

The psychomanteum, as prepared by Moody, is a darkened chamber which allows the sitter to gaze into a mirror angled up and away from his own image.  In this dark field the forms of those who have passed may appear and meaningful communication frequently follows.

Reunions offers a fascinating survey of the practice of mirror gazing through the ages - including biblical references, the experience of the ancient Greeks and that of such notables as Elizabethan occultist John Dee.  Moody goes on to discuss research conducted in the psychomanteum, including first hand accounts of spirit communication experienced by both visitors and Moody himself.  Specific information for those interested in setting up their own home psychomanteum is also generously provided.

As Moody explains it, the modern psychomanteum can be traced backward in time to the necromanteion of the ancient Greeks.  Necromanteion means "Oracle of Death" and several active necromanteions operated throughout the ancient world.  These sites were the destination of thousands of pilgrims hoping to be reunited with those they had lost.  As ancient records show, many of these seekers realized their quest.

Of all these sites, the Necromanteion of Ephyra was the most well known and referenced by many ancient historians.

This is where Odysseus found himself after he was instructed to "make a journey of a very different kind, and find your way to the Halls of Hades."  His experience at Ephyra included the sacrifice of a ram and ewe (providing the medium of blood) and visions of a multitude of spirits including his own deceased mother.

John Dee's Obsidian Mirror
Dr. Moody discusses his visit to this site in Reunions, and has based his own psychomanteum upon his study of these ancient methods.

Here in Northeast PA, certified medium and radio host Gloria Weichand of the Spirit Education Center and Sactuary has constructed her own psychomanteum per Dr. Moody's instructions.

The cost of an afternoon or evening spent in one-on-one preparation for and experience of the psychomanteum is $300.  As preparation is key to success in this endeavor, I feel this expense is reasonable for those who can afford it.

In Reunions, Dr. Moody relates that approximately 50% of visitors to his psychomanteum obtain a direct experience of spirit and I am curious to see what kind of success rate may be realized at the Spirit Sanctuary.  As a lucky regular attendee in Weichand's weekly spirit circle, I have found the high spiritual energy present at the Sanctuary to be particularly conducive to my own experience of mediumship.  For this reason, and others, I will be sitting in the psychomanteum next month.

It is my intention to construct a home psychomanteum based on Dr. Moody's specifications (for my own personal use) eventually.  And I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be introduced to this practice by Weichand, who is a wonderful facilitator and medium possessing first hand experience in Dr. Moody's psychomanteum at Anniston.

Additionally, I will be hearing Dr. Moody speak this Saturday at The Journey Within Spiritualist Church in Pompton Lakes NJ and I could not be more excited!

To read more about my experiences at Weinchand's Spirit Education Center and Sanctuary please see the following posts:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Symbolism of Flowers: The Tiger Lily

I did some research on the Tiger Lily and found that the lily is associated with the divine feminine in the form of Hera (whose milk overflowed and created the lily on earth and the milky way above ) as well as with Mary.  The story of Hera in particular strongly parallels my own dream of the Goddess and is, I suspect, a very old association, predating even the Greeks. That this dream cam to me when I asked for help with my writing and creativity and provided a very real opening seems very significant to me.

About the Lily:  The lily is associated with fertility, passion, cleansing, renewal, faith, the lunar cycle, feminine courage, and (in my estimation) the blossoming of creativity which I see as an aspect of fertility.  The addition of 'tiger' to 'lily' indicates strength and courage as does the color red.  Considering that there is usually some orange in red Tiger Lilies makes sense to me because orange is fertility and creativity.  I am going to reflect on the Tiger Lily and use it in my visualization in this week's assignment.

Please see my post Manifestation Through Clairvoyant Reading for more on the reading which showed me the red Tiger Lily.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Meet Spiritual Medium & Teacher Gloria Weichand on "Spirit Talk!"

I had a wonderful time on "Spirit Talk" with spiritual medium, teacher and radio host Gloria Weichand.  Gloria and I chatted about mediumship, psychic development, how to evaluate a psychic reading, spirit guides and more!  Listen in archive via the player below:

Listen to "SpiritTalk" Live Every Wednesday: 8PM ET / 5PM PT!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Manifestation through Clairvoyant Reading (Class 8)

 Tiger Lily by Rebecca Maguire
I am currently taking the Clairvoyant One course conducted by Debra Lynn Katz.  One of the thing I love about Debra's method is her emphasis on healing and creative manifestation - both of which were addressed this class.

Using Debra's technique we created a personal intention (mine was "I get direct guidance from spirit on my book and am creating the perfect book quickly and joyously.") and then read on that energy using the image of a flower.  Observing this flower (in this case a daisy) I was able to see a dark cloud surrounding the blossom, dry ground and wilting of the petals.

Debra was able to help me interpret this to mean that my environment is not as nurturing as it could be and that outside influences may be affecting me.  I also saw the drooping petals as an indicator that this goal is not getting the energy (sun/spirit as blocked by dark cloud) or sustenance (dry ground) it needs.  And this is something I need to give some thought to.

We did healing work on our intention which I found quite helpful and then called our energy back out of our flowers.  Interestingly this was when my flower changed the most - turning into some sort of beautiful exotic red lily (a bit like a Tiger Lily).  Debra called this process "calling the need" out.

Using the example of a book (as she did several times when talking to me - even though I had not shared my intention :)  Debra suggested that taking the pressure off our creative process can be liberating.  Even as she said these word I felt lighter and it occurs to me that this class has become to about more than improving my psychic abilities.  It is a true path to healing.

We have two assignments this week.  One is a remote viewing exercise, the other is to do the exercise above with another goal.  Mine is one of spiritual healing.

To meet Debra Katz live on "Spirit Talk" Wed. April 9th please click below!

To learn more abot my Clairvoyance One training please check out the following posts!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wonderful Video on Starting a Psychic or Energy Healing Business!

Clairoyant, author and teacher Debra Lynn Katz of The International School of Clairvoyance explains how you can start your own psychic or energy healing business! Over an hour of material on three videos.

(Video 1)
(Video 2)
(Video 3) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Remote Viewing on Malaysian Flight 370: Clairvoyance Class 7

This week in my International School of Clairvoyance Clairvoyance One class we worked on remote viewing which is a very important aspect of clairvoyant reading.  

I was very interested in this because it is something I have never tried before.  Our instructor Debra Katz (our instructor and the director of the school) chose the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as our target.

We had been assigned this target as homework and I had already received two images regarding this event prior to class. They came on two separate occasions on March 11.

What follows is the info I posted on Debra's social network Seventh Sight Society on the 14th: 
"I only got a couple of flashes.  The first was the plane going down into the water.  It hit nose first and there was huge rush of water around it and into the cabin.  The second which might not really jive with the first was of the event before the plane went down.  In this I saw an explosion.   The burst of fire was behind the cabin (where the pilots sit) of the plane and bursting in to it but I don't really know how big or localized the explosion was.  I do feel the plane is in deep water but I inadvertently heard speculation on that on CNN after I had gotten the first two images -  still I did get an image later on of the plane in murky greenish water - similar to what you see in underwater filming."
Working on remote viewing in class was a very helpful experience and I was able to get more detail this way.  Debra asked us to look at location and then work inland.  In class on March 18th, my initial impression was of a large expanse of water.  When Debra asked us to work in I received a specific impression of a coastline, with high steep mountains surrounding it.  The mountain were covered with vegetation.  

Debra asked us to draw what we were seeing.  My sketch of the land mass I saw as nearest the location of the plane follows.  It shows a west facing coastline.  Please note that while I tried to avoid media speculation as much as possible during this period I wasn't able to dodge it completely.  I also heard quite a bit of opinion and impressions from friends, though this mostly disagreed with what I was seeing.

The following sketch shows the info I received when Debra asked us to view the population and leader of the country.  I tried to continue to view further and further out until I encountered people and saw the population and leader as Asian.

While the topic of this exercise is somber, I did enjoy doing this and very much appreciated Debra's expertise with this activity.  I feel I am getting such a wonderful and well rounded experience from this course and could not be enjoying it more!

Check out my other posts on my Clairvoyance One training!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Clairvoyance Training Week 6: Reading on Relationships

This week in my Clairvoyance One training class (through International School of Clairvoyance) we did less practice and had a little more time for meditation and lecture which was great for me because I really enjoy that part!

We are now meeting once a week (in addition to class) for practice sessions.  So there is really a lot of information being given and a lot of opportunities to work with it.  We are also given homework assignments each week in addition to our regularly daily meditation. I'm pleased with the level of intensity of the course because I know that's what I need.

I did two readings on my own prior to class and they did go better than last week.  On Thursday (the 6th), I read for someone I didn't know well and while the information I received was not all relevant but I did learn from it.  On Sunday, I did a relationship reading even though it was not part of our assigned homework or something we had covered in class.  I did this reading for myself and the reason I did was because I thought I needed to.  I'd had a pretty serious conversation with my partner of ten years earlier that day on issues we'd been having.  (I've also had three dreams on the same problem with each dream becaoming progressively more emotional so I'm realizing that it's time to sort things out).

So I did a reading on Sunday and in this reading I clearly saw a pink and purple heart.  The top third of the heart was made from highly polished amethyst while the lower, and larger, part was made of rose quartz.  Adding the colors and stones to my symbol journal I got the clear impression that the message of my reading was that love (rose quartz) is the foundation for spiritual evolution (amethyst) and that I should keep in mind how fundamental my relationship is to my own spiritual and emotional well-being.  This may not sound particularly deep but for me it was the perfect information at the perfect time.  And the more I thought about the colors and gemstones involved the more insight I received.

Calling into class on Tuesday, I was surprised to find that we were learning about and practicing relationship readings that day.    I also found it interesting that a few of us, had experienced relationship issues earlier in the week - on the same day (Sunday).  And I think that this in itself says a lot about this class and how closely connected it is to spirit.

So this week's homework is on  relationship readings and I am doing them with a lot of emphasis on healing which is something Debra always stresses and one of the things I absolutely love about the course.  I am, first and foremost, a writer / spiritual seeker and I don't know if I will ever work as professional clairvoyant.  What makes this class worth it for me, however, is how much I'm learning about visualization and energy healing and meditation and, of course, clairvoyance! 

How wonderfully all of this combines with my current with manifestation and the law of attraction!

Check out my other posts on my Clairvoyance One training!
My Symbol Journal

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"The Secret" & the Law of Attraction: Between Empowerment & Blame

I didn't read or watch "The Secret" when it first came out.  I had heard a lot about the material and I didn't expect to like it.

But last week I was looking for something on Netflix and there it was.  I liked the presentation.  And even though I found some of the material problematic,  I agreed with much of it.

So I decided to try the book.

In "The Secret," ideas about The Law of Attraction walk a find line between empowerment and blame.  We are, we are told, responsible for our lives in every conceivable way and this can be hard to reconcile.  Hard enough to make me think that our personal energy is not  the only force at work in the universe.

As such, it occurs to me that there are some things we do not attract and that there are others we must acknowledge and oppose.

Things are happening in our world that we cannot and should not ignore.  Being positive does not undo the suffering of others.  It is part of our responsibility as the dominant species to recognize and work against cruelty and injustice. Things happen to people and to animals that they have  in no way attracted.  And no one can convince me otherwise.

Having said that, I did agree with much of the material.  I agree that we are beings of great power and ability, and that everything in our manifest reality was first conceived of on the energetic plane.  I agree that we can work with this same energy in the creation of our own reality.  And I believe that even though there are multiple currents running, our belief in ourselves is essential to that creation.

In listening to the audio I found that I liked Rhonda Byrne manner and enthusiasm and the many associations that were made between the power of thought and our experience of life.  I can't agree with every point "The Secret" makes but I did learn from it and I feel that it has been of real help to me in turning my thinking around.

With a few caveats, I liked "The Secret." If I had read it last year, this would not have been the case <3

For more on this fascinating topic, check out  "Exploring The Law of Attraction" with  my guest Law of Attraction workshop leader and psychic medium Roseann Turek on "Spirit Talk with Barbara Graver" at 

Please check back soon. New articles are posted every week!