Tag: ghosts

Samhain Sentiments – Compassionate Work with the Dead

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellFor several years I’ve made effort to talk openly paranormal experiences from the perspective of someone who views them not as Nature’s side shows or intrusive investigation into the spirit world, rather as an honest look into times that the unseen pokes back in startling ways. Ultimately, creepy experiences are still about spiritual imbalance and restoring balance where possible, and where wanted.

It’s that last bit that gets many psychics and intuitives who work with the dead, discarnate souls, and general bump-in-the-nightness into personal trouble. Many contemporary empaths bring to their work a good/evil dichotomy that implies where imbalance is observed, balance/healing must be done. My experience has been more along the lines of open dialogue, which implies listening to the distressed being’s story, as well as compassionate companionship in facilitating them to what they need. That may be total release, to move on to their next destiny. It may be a kind gesture that affirms them in some way. It may be realization that the dynamic is note mine to affect at the time.

Ultimately, my experience has been that healing can’t be forced on beings in the unseen, any more than it can be forced on those of us in the formed realm. That bit of insight, along with a few others came a a few years ago, in a blog post called, Six Things the Dead Want Us to Know About Life.

Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellReal Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World

Available at Amazon.

For years, as we neared Samhain and The Dead Time I’ve shared my true encounters of the supernatural. Experiences from waking to deathwalks in the night to seeing apparitions in the middle of the day, you name it and I’ve brushed up against it, whether I meant to–or not so much.

In Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World I’ve compiled revised editions of all of the stories that appeared on my blog, along with never-before-published updates to those stories, and several recent encounters.

Not your usual bump-in-the-night true paranormal accounts, these trips into the Middle World aren’t always scary. Some are sweet, some are affirming. Regardless, some I’d like to never have again, yet all of them changed me in a way that I never looked at myself or Life the same, after.

As a lifelong intuitive and shaman by choice for two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had clear-cut direction, instruction, or even results. Every one of them, though, has had meaning. It’s not my way to just dabble in the supernatural for only the sake of stirring the mystical pot. Instead, I approach such as an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life. There are many spiritual books on working with the dead and discarnate, though most of them only extol the wonder and awe of that work. They don’t talk about the toll it takes on their personal lives, or of perils they faced learning to be healthy conduits for spirits. Indeed this work is wonderful and awesome, but it can also be scary, disorienting, and uprooting. I share these accounts of paranormal exploration as part investigation, part curiosity, and part luck of the draw of being a human equally aware of her soul.

Samhain Stories – Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.
In this particular story, I was on a business trip to Kansas City, MO, where I stayed at the lovely, vintage Hotel Phillips.  Despite that I traveled alone, at no point was I left to myself in the room…  Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at:

Real Wyrd, Just in Time for Samhain!

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellFor years, as we neared Samhain and The Dead Time I’ve shared my true encounters of the supernatural. Experiences from waking to deathwalks in the night to seeing apparitions in the middle of the day, you name it and I’ve brushed up against it, whether I meant to–or not so much.

In Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World  I’ve compiled revised editions of all of the stories that appeared on my blog, along with never-before-published updates to those stories, and several recent encounters.

Not your usual bump-in-the-night true paranormal accounts, these trips into the Middle World aren’t always scary. Some are sweet, some are affirming. Regardless, some I’d like to never have again, yet all of them changed me in a way that I never looked at myself or Life the same, after.

As a lifelong intuitive and shaman by choice for two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had clear-cut direction, instruction, or even results.  Every one of them, though, has had meaning.  It’s not my way to just dabble in the supernatural for only the sake of stirring the mystical pot.  Instead, I approach such as an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need.  Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

There are many spiritual books on working with the dead and discarnate, though most of them only extol the wonder and awe of that work.  They don’t talk about the toll it takes on their personal lives, or of  perils they faced learning to be healthy conduits for spirits.   Indeed this work is wonderful and awesome, but it can also be scary, disorienting, and uprooting.  I share these accounts of paranormal exploration as part investigation, part curiosity, and part luck of the draw of being a human equally aware of her soul.

6 Things the Dead Want Us to Know About Life

One of the earliest intuitive abilities I recognized in myself was the ability to interact with the dead. As a child I was terrified of them. They woke me from sleep, made noises in my room, touched me, gave me visions. Nothing in my belief system had taught me how to communicate with them well, of the graphic ways in which they can communicate, or even about what death is. As an adolescent I realized not all spirits I saw were products of a completed life in form. Some were spirits of trees, living animals, or beings that have never been in form, though nonetheless influenced the lives of those of us in form. In forty years of communing with the world in this way, several universal messages have been conveyed. The unifying concept in these messages is that what happens in consciousness stays in consciousness, and I distilled them to six general observations:

    • How we live now is the state of the afterlife. While the body ceases to be, the mind and soul carry on. The state of our consciousness in life is the state of our consciousness in death. If we foster worry and anxiety now, that’s our mode of operation after. By focusing on negative or hurtful aspects of life, we stew in them in death, causing consciousness to stagnate. If we are mindful and live in the present in life, in death we continue to broaden consciousness, further opportunity to make choices to support that awareness.
    • There is no magickal place of punishment or reward. This insight garners strong emotional reactions from many people. Most of our world religions are built on the idea that regardless of the plight of our lives, we are destined by our actions to spend everafter in torment or joy. Again, what the dead indicate is that what comes after is based on our perspective in life. How one behaves in life is what one experiences after life.
Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

  • Everything lives on. In some guise, form, or unform, the essence of every thing remains and becomes some other manifestation of itself and All Things.
  • Spirits aren’t wise or moral just because they are out of form. Our culture perpetuates a myth that upon death souls become penitent and/or enlightened. In my experience, wise deceased were so in life. Souls that were confused, frustrated, angry, etc, are so in death.
  • What we don’t heal in life stays with us in death. Thoughts, habits, or beliefs that don’t support us or undermine us, such as lying, using others to further ourselves, or denying our true natures do not magickally vanish when we leave form. For this reason, when we seek to release harmful dynamics from our lives, we are also assuring peace in death. We assure ongoing tranquility.
  • Working with trance states affects knowledge of how to die. By accessing the imagination via ecstatic trance, dreamwork, or other method of altered consciousness, we experience life without the ego. In this pure space and consciousness, we catch glimpses of what it feels like to be out of form, to be our undaunted wild selves.  The more we connect with our true nature our quality of life improves.  The better we live, the more comfortable we are with the truth of mortality.

While my experiences with the spirits now are more balanced than those of my childhood, the prevailing message is that spirits do affect our lives. By living well we die peacefully, which means that we have no need to disrupt the living. By living well, everyone’s experience of consciousness is improved.

If you love reading true stories of the wyrd, every year for the Samhain season I share several in my column, Intentional Insights.  Check the archive there under the ‘Samhain’ and ‘paranormal’ tags.  If you want to learn more about shamanism and deathwalking, visit Soul Intent Arts.

Samhain Spectres – Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” true paranormal experiences of a lifelong intuitive.

Four years ago in celebration of The Dead Time I began sharing some of my more creepy experiences of the wyrd.  Sooner or later most people experience phenomena they can’t explain, or that occurs outside the bounds of their belief system.  What it is and what it means is open to interpretation, and most certainly is in the eye of the boo-holder.  Bless the darkness, hold the light.

In this particular story, I was on a business trip to Kansas City, MO, where I stayed at the lovely, vintage Hotel Phillips.  Despite that I traveled alone, at no point was I left to myself in the room…  Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

Healing the PTSD of Paranormal Probing

This week’s inquiry is a comment from my last article Paranormal Investigating – Troubleshooting the Middle World. “Kelley, you said “Should you find residuals from the encounter with these spirits – things like paranoia, troublesome thought or behavior patterns that disrupt your daily life – these are indications that your PTSD switch for paranormal experiences has been flipped on and you should seek help in turning it off.” I dabbled stupidly with the Ouija board as a kid and other things before I realized the seriousness of it. Now, decades later it seems that something may have remained. How can I turn it off? Thanks, Carolyn.”

Thanks for reading and contributing, Carolyn. The absolute best thing to do if you feel PTSD or anything unfinished from these experiences is to find a shaman to help you. I can do this work remotely, but if you let me know your location perhaps I can connect you with someone with whom you can work in person if that is preferred.

Traumatic experience with the paranormal could be as benign as the shock of being told information you weren’t prepared to know or that no one else could know. It could be as jarring as seeing objects move, hearing voices, seeing visitors… Fright can even come days later in some signal, synchronicity, or dream pointing back to the spirit interaction. The definition of ‘trauma’ varies person-to-person. The point is you know you’ve been traumatized if you can’t step out of the fear stemming from the original interaction.

Generally speaking, there are three layers to the aftermath of such spirit interactions. First is turning off the switch, which I call rebalancing your etheric field. Second is removing any errant life force that may be clinging to yours. Third is healing focused on balancing the energy shifts from all of the above.

There is no shortcut to finding the place in your etheric field that is vulnerable to the trauma and rebalancing it. Where it’s located is unique to the individual and the experience. If you are adept at working with the etheric field you can do this yourself, though I would still recommend allowing someone else to do it. The life impact of this kind of imbalance bears being thorough. There are many ways to balance the etheric field, all of which require some knowledge of life force and how to move it.  At this stage, the original trauma is healed, as are emotions that came with it.

Removing unnecessary energies attached to yours is called by many names depending on culture and circumstance—depossession, extraction, releasement. The state of having unneeded life force attached to yours is not good or bad. It’s not light or dark. There are no such judgments in shamanic work. What exists is a state in which you are not functioning at your desired ability and benevolent work can be done to re-establish balance.

Like attracts like. When you experience something that puts you into a panicked, anxious, or terrified state, you attract energy of that same state. Psychological models call this PTSD, or being “shell-shocked.” Spiritually speaking PTSD is recognized when you attract people who express the same feelings, situations reinforcing those feelings, or spirits/energies of similar trauma. You think the distress and building panic are yours, when in reality like attraction is merely exacerbating it. This scenario constitutes a spiritual emergency. Until you direct healing to the trigger for the trauma the anxiety and panic keep playing out and/or attracting more of the same. This is the spiritual truth of any trauma, not just those of paranormal origin.

After balancing the etheric field to restore calmness and removing unnecessary life force, healing is directed to all levels of your being, to help changes from the etheric and spiritual work to gently ground.

How About Demons? by Dr. Felicitas Goodman

How About Demons? by Dr. Felicitas Goodman

That’s it, in a not-so-brief nutshell. If you want to understand “the switch”–what it is, how it functions, and how the spiritual technology of managing it crosses cultures and time, the definitive work in my opinion is How About Demons? by Felicitas D. Goodman.

Be well, Carolyn.

Paranormal Investigating – Troubleshooting the Middle World

Kelley, I’ve been dabbling in the Salt Lake paranormal scene. Myself, a friend, and a medium-in-training went to a haunted place that is said to have demons. I have an electronic device that lets disembodied entities speak phonetically. After some questions about what spirits were with us and to see if they knew who we were (they knew my friend), the medium then said she got a feeling of dread and fear. When I asked the spirits if they knew who I was, they said, “Death.” One EVP (electronic voice phenomena) said what we think was, “Don’t talk to him.” Another later said, “Hide.” The medium said that the ghosts were uneasy and unwilling to communicate, something not that unusual unless a “demon” entity is involved. I’m aware of previous manifestations of myself that were very affected by discarnate energies, and the degree to which I had carried that into my current life. Is it really possible for spirits to fear me because of my history? Was I being called Death or being warned of my death? Thanks, J.

Thanks for your note, J. It’s good to hear from you again. J and I have worked together before; thus, some personal info is omitted from this inquiry. As we say in the computer programming world, so spirit communication follows the same rule: Garbage in, garbage out. Thus begins your first lesson in understanding the Middle World.

Spirit Board via About.com

Spirit Board via About.com

The differences between mediumship and what I do as a shaman are intention and location. While shamans can act as mediums, they cast a much wider net. Generally speaking, most cultures of shamanism have a trifold cosmology, as in Upper World, Middle and Lower–none of which correspond with the assumed Abrahamic counterparts. The Middle World is the spirit layer of the Earth realm. It’s the place where souls become stuck when they die and don’t move on, when they have unfinished business. It’s the place of earthly astral travel and lucid dreaming. This is also part of the layer where faeries are, Nature spirits, devas. The kind of spirit communication that you described happens in the Middle World, which is generally the only layer most psychics and mediums access.

 

What that means is when you connect with spirits in the Middle layer, they’re most often not guides. They’re not beings committed to working for your benefit. They may be higher entities or lightbeings, but that’s where intention comes in. I teach a class on connecting safely with spirits in the Middle World according to your intentions and ability to navigate the spirit realms. Without a clear intention, as in just venturing out to see the spiritual manifestation of or in a space–particularly one you consider to be “haunted”–you ask for garden variety, you get garden variety. You have no control over with whom you connect. For many studying shamanism, the Middle World can be the trickiest to navigate simply because it is so close to our own reality. From the time we begin to explore the Middle World we are emotionally involved, and the kinds of spirits who hang out there know it. Boundaries are imperative.

The short version is that discarnate human spirits in the Middle World are usually there for a reason, the least of which is that they are not well. Generally speaking, souls and consciousness seek growth and widening their awareness. Staying stuck in one place, in form or out, is not part of the plan, and the state of being stuck often leads to suffering even if the spirit’s life and death were peaceful. Any communication you have with such souls is going to reflect their state of being. In the event that you have similar buttons in your psyche regarding that state of being, they will be pushed.

That is what I feel happened in your experience. Because of your past brushes with intentionally adverse souls, you have significant buttons around PTSD, particularly PTSD that is the result of a harmful paranormal interaction. The moral of that story is that you can’t just go unmitigated into spirit communication–even as the passenger. You really need a set intention and some education on what the varying options are in spirit communication, as well as how to connect with the kind of spirits who bring something meaningful to your life and quite possibly you to theirs. My sense is that the spirits you encountered were mirroring your latent fear of yourself, not expressing fear of or for you. Low vibration entities can’t originate much, but they can exacerbate your fears. They truly are parasitic life forces that draw on the strongest vibe nearest them. If your vibe of fear of your shadows in your past was strongest, that is what you received back in communication from them.

This en masse modern trend of paranormal investigators that just pop in and stir up trouble then wonder why they’re chronically sick, why they need to sleep with the lights on, why they’re uncomfortable around large groups of people… amuses me. This etheric tapping on the fishbowl is the opposite of bridgebuilding in the arena of soul work, and is the reason that I do not under any circumstances support garden variety spirit communication. If you (or your friends) don’t know what you’re doing, don’t risk being unable to undo it. Should you find residuals from the encounter with these spirits–things like paranoia, troublesome thought or behaviour patterns that disrupt your daily life–these are indications that your PTSD switch for paranormal experiences has been flipped on and you should seek help in turning it off.

Be well, J.

This discussion continues in  Healing the PTSD of Paranormal Probing.

The Dead Time Dawns – Saturn’s Gift

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of encroaching darkness. The light will return soon enough.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The first time I shared this story was last Samhain. It marks one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had as an intuitive, and certainly one of the saddest times in my life. I do think it a very classic modern glimpse of what I call the tribeless modern mystic, as only a gift from an ancient God can be–Saturn’s Gift.

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” true paranormal experiences of a lifelong intuitive.

The Dead Time Dawns – Number One Rule of House Selling

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” true paranormal experiences of a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

The rule? why, it’s declutter, of course! But who ever thinks to declutter their lingering spirits, emotions, or traumas? Number One Rule of House Selling