Links to the Beyond
Seeing My Aunt Again
by Stacy Serwecki
“Seeing My Aunt Again” is a story that is difficult to tell, not because of the emotions it evokes, which are more closely related to joy than anything else, but because the symptoms of the experience seem almost cliché. I hardly tell this story, and then only to people whom I feel confident will be receptive. I could tell you that I fear being disbelieved, but that only scratches the surface. I fear being dismissed, belittled, and somehow devalued as a person for what was one of the more healing, spiritual and joyous experiences of my life.
My aunt died when she was 45. She died of a heart attack, sitting on the living room couch where she had gone to sleep. She moved there because she developed a persistent cough during the night and worried that she would keep her husband of 27 years, who worked as contractor, awake. Generally, he left for work early, he told us later, so after a brief discussion with him she moved to the living room.
The next morning, returning the kindness, he didn’t wake her, but roused the children, those of the six who still lived at home, and sent them on their way. He recounted the events of the morning in calm disbelief: he sat next to her and kissed her on the cheek to wake her. It was then that he realized something was wrong. He called her name futilely a few more times, holding her hand. “I just sat there, for a little over an hour,” he told us shaking his head.
The next time I saw my aunt was in a vivid dream, looking much as she had during life. Her shiny-layered chestnut hair framed her face. Remembering she was dead, I scanned her face for telltale signs, under her eyes, around her mouth — nothing. We stood in a doorway like so many doorframes in New England, a wood casing painted white. It didn’t appear any different than the doorframes of any three-decker I had ever lived in or visited. She stood on one side and I stood on the other. She noticed my examination of her face and I asked apprehensively, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” she answered and nodded, smiling she returned the question in what I took as a light joke.
“Yeah,” I answered. Her smile widened.
“I knew you would be,” she responded and the dream ended abruptly with a flash of dazzling light like a clap. The light was warming and comforting. I felt deeply loved and care for, and awoke with tears in my eyes.
Later, I became upset with myself. The dream was so short, I thought. I worried that I should have said something different, asked a different question, or foreseen her response. I was on the verge of believing people who opined that it was “just a dream,” induced because of the close relationship I held with my aunt. I recalled our drinking wine together, and meeting downtown for lunch before or after a shift. Maybe they were right, I thought.
When a family friend died, I never expected the experience to repeat itself, and to large degree it didn’t. The man was an older brother of a childhood friend who had struggled with addiction. He died a violent death from a gunshot wound, and was discovered in his parent’s apartment. There remained some question as to whether he was murdered or whether the wound was self-inflicted, and although the medical examiners held his body long enough to upset the family, no news of their findings was ever forthcoming. When he appeared in my dream, he didn’t speak to me. He wandered through a deep blue-gray fog as though he didn’t see me. He wandered slowly, lost. The fog was dark like dusk. I felt somber and became aware I was experiencing his feelings somehow, rather than my own. When I woke up I was in tears as before, however, this time the tears were of sorrow and longing, and a deep indescribable sadness.
Later, I grew to believe that the dream of my aunt had unfolded just as it was supposed to. That it was not my job to ask the “right” question, or to change the course of events, but in some instances to receive and accept. In trying to interpret the other dream, I thought that maybe I was a witness, someone willing to see. Certainly, I no longer dismiss them as just dreams.
The experience, as all experiences do, has had a ripple effect on my life in ways I probably couldn’t put my thumb on. Not all experiences can be reduced to a catchy proverb: “A stitch in time saves nine.” “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” I stare at the aloe near my desk. If it whispers anything to me, it is healing. And my inner self tells me that the visions weren’t entirely for me, anyway.
I can say that as an adult child of Catholic education I know the “rules” about communicating with spirits, and yet I didn’t hesitate to speak to my aunt; I am glad for that. I’d love to tell you I had answers to some big relevant question, but the experience produces more questions than it answers. Maybe that is an answer.
Stacy Serwecki is a teacher and freelance writer in Massachusetts.
The Warmest Place on Earth
by Jeannette Thornhill
My dad was in the hospital and very ill. He passed away on May 30th at 5:30am. It was a Thursday in 2002. My dad was a special person to me. We had a special bond that only a father and daughter could have. He joked with me and said I’d always be his “little girl.” His death was, as they say, a blessing, as he would not have wanted to live in the condition he was in.
One evening as I lay in bed, trying to sleep, I felt this warm, wonderful feeling in my heart. I knew it was my dad. It was the most beautiful feeling I’ve ever experienced. I knew he was with me. The peace and calmness I felt are beyond description. You will only know if it happens to you. That warm spiritual feeling filled me with such peace. I know my dad is with me all the time.
I hope others have the opportunity to feel this awesome sensation. It is a wonderful thing. I’m not afraid of dying now, as I know when I pass away, that my dad and mom will be there, waiting for a big hug!
Jeanette Thornhill is a Spirit of Change reader in Massachusetts.
by Holly L. Danyliw
I first met Zoë when she was no longer in the physical form. She introduced herself to me one very early morning as I slept on my sister’s pullout couch in her living room. I was fast asleep when I felt a tug on my blanket. I thought it might be my sister or my son getting up for a glass of water or an early nibble in the kitchen. I ignored the gesture to join in and tried to go back asleep. I felt the tug again, this time with more urgency, so I turned over to see a silhouetted figure of a young child standing by my bed. I could see she was holding some sort of book in her arms.
I realized I had just had a “visitor,” as I later would call any spirit coming for an early morning call. I turned over in bed, frozen in terror with prickly heat running up and down my neck and back. This was the first time a person from the “other side” had actually appeared in a physical form in front of me. Most of my visitors up until then were only auditory in nature. In a flash, I realized this must be the young classmate of my nephew, who my sister mentioned had passed away suddenly and whose death had deeply affected my nephew and Zoe’s other classmates earlier in the spring. So, my heart went out to this little girl.
I jumped out of bed and went into the kitchen to grab the back of an envelope and I started writing briskly all of the things I “heard” she wanted me to say to her parents, and shared these with my sister. I was so wired at this point that I lay in bed until the morning light finally came through the living room windows. It was daylight. The “bewitching hours” were over…
It took my sister a couple of weeks to work up the courage to approach Zoe’s mother about the information on the back of the envelope. In the meantime, when I returned to my apartment in East Hartford, Zoë made her continued presence known by “running around” in my apartment at night and knocking pictures off my refrigerator. She used this method of her arrival for many months to come! Zoë would also announce her visits by showing me Pegasus flying with his beautiful white body and wings in a vision. Her mother later confirmed that Zoë loved the story of Pegasus. I called my sister almost everyday to beg her to make contact with Zoe’s mother. This child was persistent, but by now, I was getting used to her. I found her energetic, playful, bubbly and full of light.
Finally, my sister approached Zoe’s mother, and she broke down in tears. The information I had gathered from Zoë was 95 percent accurate, according to her mother. And the book in her arms was a sketch pad, which Zoë carried around all the time.
I finally went to meet Zoe’s parents myself. We sat at the table in their kitchen to try to describe how one talks to someone on the other side. Zoe’s dad was more than a little skeptical. I tried to reassure him that even I wasn’t sure about the whole process. After we talked, I felt the need to see Zoe’s bedroom. The room hadn’t changed much since her death her mother told us. Zoe’s mother was holding a lot of guilt and grief about her last night before her sudden death. Zoë wanted to sleep with her mother that night, but her mother said no and thus, blamed herself for her death. Zoë went to bed and had a brain aneurysm in the middle of the night and never regained consciousness again. My sister and I gave Zoe’s mother Reiki to help her release some of her grief.
Zoë contacted me off and on for around a year. On one particular visit, Zoë showed me a vision of her playing on a playground with other little children running around. She said she had been assigned to helping little kids who just crossed over to have fun and play. She liked this very much and she told me that she didn’t worry about her mom and dad so much anymore. I guessed they were slowly accepting her death and this gave her the freedom to move on to the next level, where ever that is…
Holly L. Danyliw is a reader in New Hampshire.
How to Consult a Medium for Best Results
By Reverend Steve Hermann
Many people fail to realize when coming to a medium for a session that they have much to do with creating the conditions necessary for obtaining the best possible results. The following are some pointers for making your session with a medium a rewarding experience.
- Love and enthusiasm create a psychic atmosphere conducive to obtaining good results.
- Be open to what comes through. The fact that a person has passed over does not necessarily mean that they are ready or able on their own to come through. People who expect or demand that things be done a certain way may actually ruin the atmosphere and make the process much more difficult.
- It is important to be on time when consulting a medium. Rushing to the session or arriving late with a tense or harried state of mind will do little to assist the delicate process.
- Preparation through prayer and meditation prior to the session is essential for the best results. Invite your spirit loved ones and guardians to be with you during the session.
- Never “feed” the medium or provide information about yourself or people you want to contact in the spirit world. The best mediums never ask the people they are working with to questions such as “Is your mother in spirit?” or “Does anyone on this side of the room know someone who passed with the initial J?” The bottom line when going to a medium is tell them absolutely nothing. Let them tell you.
- As you are part of the session your participation is essential. If you are unsure of what the medium is talking about, ask for further clarification without revealing information about yourself. A simple “yes” or “no” is sufficient. Don’t just sit there being confused.
- When consulting a medium it is wise to tape record the session or at least take good notes for future reference. Often we may not recognize the people coming through, as they may not be the people we might expect to come through or, in many cases, even physically have known or been close to. This is especially true if we do not know our family tree well. Information not understood at the time of the session ought to be able to be validated.
- Always approach spirit communication with an open, yet questioning mind. Never let yourself be gullible and believe everything purported to be channeled from the spirit world. People claim to channel ascended masters, space aliens, and even penguins. Besides the massive amount of fraudulence found within the field, there is a fine line between genuine mediumistic communication and the delusion of sincere people who cannot distinguish their own imagination from true psychic impressions. If it sounds like science fiction it probably is.
Reverend Steve Hermann has taught and demonstrated his highly detailed mediumship worldwide. He lives in western MA.
By Ken Ebert
Ten days before the summer solstice the water dream came. A dream of water was no surprise, considering the full force of the high desert sun in late June. But this dream was different. This dream included someone that I felt I did not know well enough to have them included in my dreams, especially because I had never met her in person.
The cat had awakened me, wanting to play. Instinctively, I lightly bit her tail. Still a kitten at four months old, she became totally submissive in reaction to the bite, so I was able to consciously retain the content of the dream, without the distraction from her usual morning playtime in my bed. I could linger in the dream instead of losing it to my morning routine.
My new friend, Theresa, was an Internet acquaintance. We had met in the Noetic Café, and connected due to a common interest in encouraging the ego to mature and evolve, rather than to transcend it, or banish it. I started my computer and a pot of coffee, and logged onto the Noetic Café, where I immediately sent Theresa a private message, describing my dream. It was a serial dream of mine, set in a small, urban town beside a river. In past episodes of the dream, the town had always been submerged when the water of the river had overflowed its banks. There had never been anyone familiar from waking life in these earlier episodes. In this dream, once again, the alarm had been sounded to warn the community that the river was on the rise and the waters would soon be flooding the town. Looking around, I could see no water at all. Perplexed, I gazed about intently, but all was normal and dry. Then it occurred to me that the river was flowing through everything — the streets, the buildings, the people. But this was not about water. Not at all. Another aspect of the river was in play. This was about the power of the river. This revelation came to me within the dream, and emerged into wakefulness with me, as the prime force and message of the vision.
That’s when I noticed that Theresa was standing at my left side in the dream. There was no visual, rather a strong feeling of certainty that she was there. Glad to have someone to share my observation with, I told her of my revelation. I was quite excited from my perception. She just smiled and said, “Uh huh.”
Back on the Internet, her response to my private message was prompt. “Did you go into the waters? In my own dream time I was trying to assist someone, but they weren’t understanding what I was trying to say. So I was trying to figure out what they would understand. I recall seeing a yellow light and I asked for it to help. I put my hand on a white wall, which left a yellow handprint.”
She had been dreaming that same night, at about the same time. Although the content of our respective dreams were different, upon conference we found that the two dreams were connected is some mysterious way, due to strong emotional reactions and visceral rushes we experienced in our communication. We both agreed that this was a case of knowing, without knowing how, or why.
I replied, describing to her why her dream imagery was so relevant to me personally. Many years ago in a near death experience I met a female spirit which appeared to me as a shimmering field of light, yellow within white. Theresa’s meeting with the yellow light and the white wall was clearly contact with this spirit, who watches over me to this day. If she was trying to reach me in dreams, she had found the best way to do so.
Because Theresa is Native American, I felt compelled to explain to her how I came about a Native American outlook toward dreams and symbolism. “When I moved to Taos, I decided I couldn’t wait for an Indian teacher, so I went up into the mountains, by myself, and asked to be shown directly. It was a cold spring day in early April that I came upon two cougars in Paradise Canyon. Cougars do not show themselves around here, but they were there for me.” Her response, again, was swift.
“Now I’ve got the shivers. My great grandparents are from Taos, and I am connected to the cougars. I understand them to be the keepers of ancient wisdom. Not that I am such a keeper; it is what I was told by others that this is what they represent. It is possible that your family helped mine to escape, and that I arrived prior to this experience that you are going into is no coincidence. Yes, we will see each other soon.”
The experience she referred to was my dealing with family problems related to an alcoholic family member. Theresa had counseled me in ways of coping with such problems. She had been supportive, rather than preachy. But the dream added a strange dimension that was as welcome as it was unexpected. Even more so was her saying that we would see each other soon.
As it turned out, she already had plans to pass through this area on a journey from the East coast, on her way to a sundance in Western New Mexico. The journey was only days away when she and I connected through dreaming. Theresa came to visit, bringing one of her traveling companions along as well. The three of us shared a meal at my home, then went to sit by the river in Taos Canyon. There we ceremoniously tied prayer bundles for her to hang on the Tree of Life during the sundance.
Two strangers met through the Internet. Then in dreams. Then in person. The river did not rise that day. But with the serene companionship of new friends, the river did indeed flow through all things.
Ken Ebert is a freelance writer in New Mexico.
Worrying about what might happen in the future makes life so much more difficult. No matter how much you worry about something, fretting about the outcome or stressing about the ramifications, the actual situation will surely turn out different than what you are thinking. Once you begin worrying, however, it is hard to stop. You begin to wonder if you have thought enough. Then you realize that you couldn't have taken every possible development into consideration, so you think about it some more. This is a sure path to anxiety.
It is much better to deal with things as they come up. In this way it is possible to react to the present situation as it happens, without all the baggage of worry dragging behind you. Why waste all of that time worrying about something that you cannot do anything about until the time comes to deal with it? A clear and calm mind is your best weapon to deal with problems that arise.
Worries perpetuate worry. Let them go.
Imagine a beach on a beautiful ocean. As the tide comes in, write your worries in the sand…and see how long they last.
Visit http://www.artofzenyoga.com for more photos, articles and information by Aaron.