Do You See Dead People?

With Halloween fast approaching, you hear more talk about ghosts and people more readily share their “experiences” and “stories” with one another. After all, it is that time of year when it is fun to have the hair on the back of your neck raised by a good tail of a haunting or strange occurrence. The veil thins and gives other worldly beings a chance to slip through and say hello. Sometime these can be comforting visits from loved ones who have passed or maybe occurrences that you just poo poo away as being your imagination. Other times, it’s creepy things happening that leave you nervous to be home alone.

As I am writing this blog, I am listening to music and the songs in my iTunes are randomly playing. Ghost by Halsey just came on. Is this manifestation, a coincidence, or is Casper trying to influence my writing?

I have always believed in ghosts. Adults around me would gaff at my stories of the ghost that lived in the school. Well, most adults. My 100% Irish grandmother would match me tit for tat in the ghost story department. She would share stories of loved ones who came to visit and the banshee. She never made me feel like my stories were made up. Do all families have tales of spooky happenings?

My favorites are told by those that so profess to ‘not believe’ in such things. For example, my Dad tells of one hot summer when he and my brother were on the deck at the lake. They were grilling food and chatting when all of a sudden it got very cold. So cold they could see their breath, he tells me.  He says it passed as quickly as it came. Did a spectral spirit walk across the deck? Was it some freaky weather occurrence? Or was it a little chill, from a passing cloud, that was exaggerated into quite the yarn? I guess we will never know, but I like to believe that a ghost was traveling through their space and it’s presence was made known by the change in temperature.

A lot of strange things would happen at the lake. Maybe this was because we had time to notice them or spent less time in front of the TV. I once bought a book of goofy ghost stories because I thought the kids would like to hear them around the campfire. We were taking turns reading the stories from the book. My Dad was playing it up big time and making faces and really acting scared. So much so I snapped a picture of him. It was so much fun even if the ghost stories were not great. When I got the film developed (Yup, film. It was several years ago) there was a giant orb just behind my Dad’s head. It seems we were not the only ones enjoying the goofy ghost stories that night.

As we grow closer to Halloween, you may be more likely to have a visitor from the other side. As I said earlier, I do believe in ghosts and I have had many experiences. I also believe that we are safe from these ghosts if we define our space and let them know they are not welcome in it. Then they may not enter. We get to say who can and cannot violate our space. So when you feel the goosebumps raising up on your arm, because something seemed to have moved across the room, remember that you can ask them to leave. Stay tuned for a future blog on ‘protecting yourself.’

Enjoy the spirit of the season! Enjoy your friends spooky yarns and tell a few of your own. Feel free to share your ghostly sagas in the comments. You never know who might be listening over your shoulder.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you feel safe in all your experiences, as if by magic.

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What is a Witch?

As Halloween grows near, we see many images of old women in pointy hats riding on brooms or leaning over bubbling cauldrons. It is all part of the fun, magical, and yes even scary imagery; that is part of this time of the year. My 4 year old granddaughter asked me the other day if bats and witches are real? I told her they are. She said she had never seen one so she didn’t think they were. If only she knew they walk amongst us. Ordinary people that you pass in the street, every day, may have a spiritual practice that you may refer to as Witchcraft, The Craft, or Wicca.

We have all heard of the past tragedies that were done to the young women in Salem, Europe, and many other places around the world because they were accused of witchcraft. So what is a Witch? Where does the fantasy end and the tradition begin. Past history has witches worshiping the Devil and practicing “Dark Magic”. Witches have been portrayed in movies like, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust, and The Witches of Eastwick, as well as TV shows like Bewitched. Some of the witches are good and some of them are bad in these shows.

I would say that is the same of real people as well, some are good and some are bad. Usually, those we considered bad, have damaged psyches, are going through some difficult experiences currently or have had very difficult things happen to them in their past. I would say, like with all people, most Witches are good.  They do not worship the Devil but rather the Earth and Nature; they see “spirit” in all things and understand that there is a balance to the way we interact with the world.

Most Witches, in the long ago past and still today; are healers. They use natural herbs in their magic, cooking, and potions. Like using some Lavender or Valerian to relax you or Echinacea to boost your immune system. Chamomile to help you sleep. They may practice various forms of energy healing; like Reiki or Hand on Healing. They may use crystals for their energetic properties. These Witches may also practice various forms of divination such as; reading tarot cards, mediumship or channel readings. They believe in the Power of Intention. Spell work is really just a way to put some ceremony behind their intentions.

There are many different types of Witches and belief systems among them. Some are solitary practitioners and others belong to groups who support each other through their spiritual growth. Some hold fast to ceremony’s past on from generation to generation and others make new ceremonies to suite their needs.

In the past, these woman, were the ones the people the village came to when someone was sick. Then they became prosecuted for being different. The others came to fear what they did not understand. Christianity started to paint the Witch as evil and dangerous. When in reality, these were mostly good hearted people who wanted to help their neighbors.

Think about the times you have turned to a nice cup of tea to calm your nerves, made some Chicken Noodle Soup to heal your sick family, or a time you called a friend who suddenly popped into your head. Only to find out they were going through something difficult and needed you. Call to mind the times you have set intentions for a positive outcome to a situation. We are all more similar than we are different.

So as the veil thins and Halloween approaches, keep in mind that witches walk among us. They are kind hearted ordinary people who see the sacredness in all things. Remember those things your grandmother passed down to you; to heal you family, keep you safe, and make life a bit more magical. After all, there is a little witch in all of us.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find your personal magical power, as if by magic.

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