I did a quick blog early today about mediums, but I do want to delve into the topic of talking to the dead a little more.
I have always believed that certain people have the ability to speak to the dead. Doing it for gain or profit is a whole 'nother ballgame however. Personally, I am a big believer in "if you're good at something, never do it for free." Or, the kinder way of putting it, "Find something you love and you never work a day in your life." But if you are blessed with the ability to speak with the dead, tread carefully. There is nothing wrong with charging for your services, but also realize that, like having radioactive spider powers, with great power comes great responsibility. And don't for a second get caught faking it. Talk about bad karma. We all learned what happened with the Fox sisters and it's still up in the air if they were legit or not. If you do posses this gift, use it for good only! That's good advice to follow no matter what gifts you posses.
Aside from the "professional" mediums, those who do it for profit and claim to truly have the gift, there are those of us who like to tinker with tools to help us communicate with the dead. The most popular tool being the Ouiji Board.
My whole life I have been told by my Mother that Ouiji boards are pure evil ( my Mom thinks lots of things are pure evil though. She was mad when I got the Ask Zandar game for Christmas one year because she thought it was too similar to a Ouiji board and "could open doors that can't be closed again.") One could argue that the Ouiji board is sold in the Toy aisle of Target and is distributed by Hasbro, who also distributes games such as Candy Land, Battleship and Scrabble. Games that are harmless enough. But the Ouiji board wasn't always owned by a big 'ol corporation hellbent on promoting family togetherness with it's Family Game Night marketing angle.
The Ouiji board was introduced in July of 1890 as a benign parlor game unrelated to the occult until World War I, when Spiritualist Pearl Curran began using it during reading.
Shortly after this many mainstream religions and a few occultists spoke out against Ouiji board use for various reasons.
My Mother taught me that Ouiji boards were basically tools of the devil, and most of its critics agree. The reasons it is a demonic tool is because the people who are using the Ouiji board are usually inviting ANYBODY to communicate with them, the most eager among those on the other side being demons. Even if you are trying to contact a specific person, according to my mom, a demon or the Devil can disguise themselves as this person you are trying to contact and cause all kinds of problems.
Another point the Ouiji board's detractors bring up is that it is only working because subconsciously, the people using it are making it work. Much like the Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board game that was a staple of many-a sleepover. So you are either fooling yourself using a Ouiji board or you are inviting demons to chat with you.
My Mom has this so ingrained in my head that Ouiji boards are evil I don't even like looking at them at the store. In fact, I have another internet window open where I Googled "Ouiji board" and it's making me a little anxious.
Fun story, my Mom was at an antique shop once and they had in the corner for sale an unboxed Ouiji board. She immediately left the shop, "It was just sitting there, for any fool to buy!"
Even though the Ouiji boards do freak me out a little, I am hard-pressed to believe that they even work. When I was in high school we did an experiment where we tied something to a piece of string and held the string between our thumb and forefinger and tried to move the object attached to the string in a certain direction with our minds. I was beyond shocked when I was able to to this, my ring going left to right! Then right to left! Look! I'm making it go in a circle! Then the teacher burst my bubble and explained to us that the tiny muscles in our thumb and forefinger were receiving the messages our brain was sending out in which direction to move the string....so it wasn't actually moving on it's own....I tend to believe the same thing is at play when dealing with a Ouiji board. Seriously, when is the last time you went to a medium and she pulled out the Ouiji board?
I truly believe that there are people who can communicate with the dead, and they usually don't need a board game to do it. Personally, I have never experienced this. And thank God for that because I don't know if I would be able to handle it. I have only lost one person that was truly close to me personally and that was my Grandpa nearly 21 years ago, and he's never tried to come in contact with me directly. I say directly because I do have a few stories about him.
Grandpa had a brain tumor for a year. He deteriorated fast, from what I can remember, and had a hard time remembering all of us. When he was healthy he was well-loved by his whole family, including his sons-in-law, my Dad and my uncle John. He died on a Wednesday morning, the middle of the week, in September. That morning, both my Dad's and my uncle John's alarm clocks failed to go off. Now, if that's not a heads-up, I don't know what is.
Also, my sister and I wear our Grandparent's 25th wedding anniversary rings (no, Grandma's not dead, but she is well prepared for it. Fun game to play at Grandma's house, find something that looks like a keepsake, turn it over and underneath it you will find a piece of tape with either mine, my sister's, or my cousin's name on it!) One night, I was preparing to go out for St. Patrick's Day with my sister several years ago. I took off my Grandpa's ring for whatever reason, walked away from it to do other tasks and go to put it on before we left and not be able to find it. I panicked, tearing apart the apartment my sister and I shared looking for it. I even asked my Grandpa to please, please help me find it. I had no luck by the time we had to leave but my sister reassured me it was in the apartment somewhere. We went out, had a good time and when we got back home, there sat Grandpa's ring, right in the center of the vanity, where it would have been staring me in the face otherwise. Thanks Grandpa! I ask him to find me things, but only if they are really, really important. I try not to waste his generosity on stupid crap like my car keys or chapstick, because I lose both those things on a daily basis and I get annoyed when I ask myself where I put them.
Last year we finished our basement, and my husband's uncle had helped us work on it using a hammer of his that was very special to him, a gift from a relative. Well, the hammer disappeared. My husband, Jim, asked me to ask Grandpa. I felt this was important enough to ask him. I asked, and was drawn to our garage. The hammer was not in the garage. Meanwhile Jim was tearing apart the entire house looking for this hammer and I kept going out in to the garage for some reason. It finally dawned on us to ask my brother-in-law, who was also helping with the basement, if he had seen it. Lo and behold he accidentally took it home with him. Now, one might say I am reading in to this or creating something out of nothing, but I knew that hammer was not physically IN our house and that is why I kept going out to the garage. Grandpa was trying to tell me that it wasn't even in our house. Shuddup. I like to think that's the case.
Do I try to communicate with my Grandpa outside of asking for his help once and a while? No. I like to think Grandpa is busy in heaven having fun and I don't want to bother him. Not that I would be a bother to him, but ya know.
I have lost other family members, and my husband has lost family members that I did grow kind of close to during our marriage, but I consider myself lucky for not having lost that many people in my life so far. Knock on all the wood ever made.
I stated in my earlier blog that I would like to go see a psychic-medium just for kicks. I don't need any kind of validation that my Grandpa helps me out on occasion because I believe in my heart that it's true. I asked my Mom if she would ever reach out to a medium of any kind to speak to anyone who has passed on and she said she wouldn't. Now, if I were in my Mom's shoes, I may want to. Her and Grandpa were very close, and for various personal reasons regarding his widow and whatnot, if I were her, I would be very interested in what Grandpa has to say. But, that's cool. To each there own.
I would love to know how the medium experience works. Do you go in to some sort of trance? Do these people play out in front of you like watching a movie? Or are you more interactive with them? I have heard that everyone has these abilities it's just a matter of knowing how to tap in to them. How do you do it? Not that I would want to personally, it would probably freak me out, but still...maybe I'd like to know. I am not so much interested in the "psychic" aspect of it, the less I know about the future the better, I figure, but I want to know how does the people of our past see us now? What do they see now? But I guess that's asking the ultimate question about the future, isn't it? What's in store for us after we die?
Maybe that is why I am drawn yet scared of all the ghost hunting shows on TV, and why I like just the idea of ghosts, to know that the soul lives on after your physical body peters out (even though most ghosts seem pretty troubled....) And maybe that's why I liked Long Island Medium so much yesterday. According to her, the afterlife is a pretty chill place to be. Those who truly did cross over to the other side are at peace and helping their scatterbrained granddaughters find things.