Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some thoughts about readings.

It's been an interesting summer here in Lily Dale.

For those who don't know, it's "the largest center in the world for the religion of Spiritualism." It's a tiny little hamlet with year-round residences and summer get-away homes for others. Every year from the end of June 'til Labor Day Sunday we host tens-of-thousands of folks who come to attend worksops, get readings from the 30+ mediums who are registered/approved to conduct sessions on the grounds or just walk around an experience the peace and calm.

This year it seems there are more newbies than in the past. That brings a boatload of challenges. The plethora of television programs which deal with talking-to-the-dead, psychic experiences, ghost hunting and mystical revelations creates interesting, if not unreasonable expectations.

I usually ask a new client "what do you expect will happen?" or "is there anything particular you want me to focus on today?" And finally, I ask "is there anyone in spirit who might drop in to say hello?" Many respond with a deer-in-the-headlights look and respond "no, whatever you bring is fine with me." For me, that's a sign there is an agenda, something they really want to know but for some reason they are wont to share. Perhaps it's the misguided belief that if they give the medium too much information the medium will cheat somehow.

Personally, I believe the guest brings their reading with them. They bring it along in a metaphoric steamer trunk. They roll it in with them, open it up and I read whatever is in it for them. Generally I find the folks who are lined up to speak/visit are on one side and the drawers contain information of work, family, relationships, health, questions, concerns. It's a neat way of organizing the information rather than trying to figure out what's what.

Unlike many mediums who give folks just minutes to ask questions after droning on for 25+ minutes, I ask throughout the session if they understand what's been said or if they have a question up to this point. The old-times tell me I'm nuts or inadept at my craft, but it's the way that works best for me.

I refer to a session as a "Healing Conversation" rather than a reading. It's what your soul, your spirit most needs to hear. It may not be what you expect but it's information the Divine, the God of your own understanding needs you to know. And boy can that be an experience, especially when my guest is an agnostic at best, or a flat-out athiest at worst.

One of my challenges this summer was an attorney, a DA who prosecutes sex offenders especially where chidren are concerned. She was sad, angry, lost and overwhelmed. At least that what's her Spirit was showing me. Rather than launching headlong into that part of her reading, I asked if she ever felt compassion for the person who made the choices that resulted in their prosecution. She immediately replied "No." I just want to see them punished." Interesting reply, but not unexpected.

Then I asked if she "let them go" when she was done with the case. Suprisingly she said "no." then added that she carried all the victims around with her, every day. In her mind they remained victims, not healed, healing; not getting through the experience, not anything. By continuing to see them as victims, it was clear, was keeping their living-spirits "stuck."

So my final question was "can you hand them all - victim or victimizer - over to God" and let that Divine spark take care of them? To which she replied, "there is no God, so I have to do it."

Whew. No wonder she was overwhelmed. She was carrying the load of all those souls in her spirit. Afraid to put them down because she feared they would get lost in the shuffle, forgotten.

So my question is, how many of you hang on to people, events, experiences because you want to make sure they're not forgotten? How many of you can view these people, events, experiences with compassion? How do you release yourself from the overwhelming burden of keeping these people, events, experiences alive and well in your spirit, your psyche?

Just some ramblings on this cold, gray, September morning.


  1. Thanks for the reminder, Martie. Must remember to leave the past in the past!

  2. I loved your sharing of this experience, and hope you will share some more soon!

  3. I saw the HBO documentary that caught my attention. I hope you will share more of your insights on this blog.

    I have a question: can a person who doesn't believe in god still be spiritual? I believe in spirit but I do not believe in a supreme entity. Is it not possible to be spiritual and be a non-believer?

  4. Interesting question, Barbara.

    Do you believe you have a "spark" within you that guides your life? Do you have a sense of right and wrong? Are you, or do you attempt to be, compassionate, non-judgmental, kind, forgiving??? That's what being spiritual is about.