Séances: 10 Tips for Your Best Experience

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Séances started as a hoax; a fraudulent encounter with the otherworldly to drum up money and attention for a couple of Victorian ladies. In attempting to rectify this tarnished inception, contemporary séances are most often gallery-style or group readings, led by a medium who shares messages from the other side. We use the name to capture the mystique and lore, but seek to correct the blunder by offering something of great repute.

If you are thinking of attending a séance, here are some tips to ensure you enjoy a night of true connection and transformation it offers.

  1. Honor the ceremony

To participate in a séance is to engage in something ancient. Though we may not have always carried the nomenclature, people have long gathered to celebrate and honor those who came before us. As in any ceremony, when we walk the footsteps of our ancestors, we transcend time and gain proximity to the spirit realms. Such is the case with séances, as well.

In ceremony, we become a living embodiment of the sacred, drawing closer to the those on other side.

Situations that defy explanation can expand our life experience and bring us to new levels of awareness. Séances can unlock a deeper understanding of life, if you are willing to let them. This is a revered event that may offer unexpected blessings.

  1. Be clear in your intention

Know what it is that you are seeking. Is it a brush with something that titillates, or a message of love to garner comfort or support? Each has its own appeal—and both types of séances can be found. I prefer gatherings that are intended to heal, bringing through loved ones who offer messages of connection and solace, and remind us of the illusion of separation between life and death! If you want to record the voices of the deceased or encounter ghosts, seek out such events. Many paranormal teams will offer ghost tours or cemetery walks where firsthand encounters with the freaky may occur.

  1. Choose a reputable medium

If you are seeking Halloween spooks or mere entertainment, any event will do. But if you are in need of sincere healing and communication with loved ones, put in the effort to research your medium. Safe guidance into these spaces requires both skill and integrity. Check out Yelp or visit their website and Facebook pages to see what others share about their experiences.

  1. Don’t drink!

Though you may be nervous, drinking alcohol lowers your inhibitions and natural psychic protections. Though most séances will not invite the nefarious, being clear and present in your body will ensure your well-being throughout the night.

I once hosted a séance where wine was served. A lady with natural psychic abilities continued to bring through a dark energy I had evicted before the event. In her desire to feel special (fueled by some lovely libations, no doubt), I spent most of the night blocking this energy rather than channeling the loving connections other attendees were seeking.

  1. Talk with your loved ones in advance

Hoping to talk with Aunt Edna? Let her know in the days leading up to the séance! As a medium, I often experience a queue of people waiting to talk. By inviting your loved ones in advance, we ensure they (and you) show up in the right place. But, please ask them to wait until the event to start chatting with me. I once had a man so insistent to talk with his family, he hung out in my living room for a week and wouldn’t leave me be!

  1. Recognize your own boundaries

Nothing will be private, so only attend if you are willing to share some personal details. The blessing is that you are in community—you are held, you are safe and you are loved! The emotions you may experience will be soothed and shared by those around you.

Rarely does everyone receive a message, but the unseen blessing is that you have all gathered here at this moment in time! Often your families will be similar—your stories will be familiar and you know there was a divine hand in bringing you all together in the same time and space. Séances are a gathering of great love and can facilitate much personal healing.

  1. Be respectful of others

Though you may be in dire need to hear a message, don’t let your emotions ruin what’s coming through for others. Manage your own energy. I’ve attended events where participants were so desperate to talk with their loved ones, their impatience radiated and disrupted the medium. Though we sympathize with the pain you may be feeling, your stuckness could unintentionally block messages intended for you.

Be respectful of the love that is shared, and open yourself to feel what is happening around you! Blessings are often interspersed throughout the night — in many forms — if you are willing to fully participate.

  1. Be patient

Chances are, messages will be shared that have a special meaning for you, even if you do not receive a direct message.

I was once at a James Van Praagh event with 500+ people. Even though no family of mine came through, a woman near me had a grandmother and great-grandmother with the same names as my relatives. The messages she received were equally valid for me, and they even mentioned a pregnancy in the family. I was pregnant at the time and allowed myself to appreciate that there are no coincidences. A little something special was meant for me, as well.

  1. Be grateful

As a medium, to carry the hopes and emotions of many people at once takes a great energetic exchange. We work hard to let the energies flow from us while protecting our own resources. When we feel we’ve let someone down, we feel their frustration and disappointment with great intensity.

Don’t let your expectations squash the messages, validations and love you did receive.

  1. Be open

Sometimes the purpose of your participation isn’t what you think. Your angels and ancestors may have brought you here to share a different message than what you had in mind. Perhaps you will meet the love of your life, perhaps you will be attuned to your life’s calling. Be open to whatever is being offered and trust the mystical all around you.

Séances are a blessing, an experience to feel connected to a world beyond, and to be reminded there is no separation between the living and the dead. We are always loved and supported in these realms, and to perceive a division between the two is only an illusion.

The Many Faces of Wicca and Witchcraft

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Forget your mid-century modern, sexy housewife witch — a submissive Hollywood sorceress who denies her powers for her mortal mate. She and her ilk, including the diabolical femme fatale, a temptress archetype, eternally scheming to lead good men to damnation (think Morgan le Fay of the King Arthur legends), are products of centuries of fantasy and propaganda — all facets of female “original sin” by default.

Other stereotypes, such as Shakespeare’s hags muttering over a bubbling cauldron, are equally fictitious, though likely derived from elderly “wise women” archetypes; village healers, counselors, and keepers of women’s’ secrets.

Today’s witch, or Wiccan, may appear as a cookie-baking British grandmother who, at Beltane, can be found dancing “skyclad” with her coven in the forest. You may also meet a feminist and environmental activist like Starhawk, author of the classic The Spiral Dance, a modern sourcebook on Goddess-based neopaganism. Or a young housewife and mother blogging about Wiccan parenting.

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