21 Spells for Assured Success by Dark Willow
The time is in the mid-1800s. The place is a “parlor” where a medium has a
client and some invited friends of the client.
They are seated around a table, the room is lit with candles, and they
are all holding hands in a circle.
What happens next is the stuff that spooky movies are made
of. The medium contacts her
“guide”. This could be anything from a
dead relative of hers on the “other side” to a Guardian Angel or Ascended
Master. She asks the guide to locate the
husband or brother or son of the client.
After a few moments of silence, the medium falls into a
That’s how many of us think this all began. But it has been going on for centuries. From the local “seer” in villages and town, to
the shaman in the caves, speaking with the dead is nothing new. There are many different ways of doing it,
but – what are we really doing?
For those of us who have this ability, and there are many,
it can be just on a personal level, where we are in contact with someone who
was close to us. Some of us have the
ability to speak with any spirit that needs to talk.
But what about all this “theatre”? Is this really necessary? Let’s examine what really happens, and how
this all comes about.
At the time of the scene above, spiritualism and mediums
were relatively “new” to the general public.
And at that time, theatre was a very popular means of
entertainment. Combining both was a
stroke of genius, if you will, that enabled the medium to attract a lot of
attention, and lots of clients. This
does not mean the information was not accurate, it just means that showmanship
was king at that time, and many mediums used it.
We see something of this repeated today, though not as
spectacular as it was then, when we look at TV shows or books that describe a
medium’s personal experiences. Look at
John Edwards, or Sylvia Brown. While the
moving tables and floating spirits are not included in the package, we still
see the showmanship or theatre being provided as a platform for the medium.
Mediums have been around for a long time. There are even centers where mediums
congregate, like Lilly Dale,
The theatre issue, that which attracted much attention to
the mediums, ended up being the issue that caused them the most harm and
prompted them to create their own communities.
It was called a sham, a fraud, and in many areas mediums were outlawed,
fined and imprisoned. The followers were
convinced by the genuine article, but not all mediums were real, and the
theatre helped cover the fraud in many cases.
A few con artists ruined it for the many real practitioners.
But why all the theatre?
Well, to be honest, much of what takes place between a medium and the
spirit is not seen. Most of it goes on
inside the head of the medium. And how
do you convince the client that what you are telling them is a real connection
with their departed loved one. Besides,
many of the clients wanted the show. As I
said, entertainment was king, and a good show attracted a lot of attention and
seemed to add to the validation of the experience for the client.
If someone sat across a table from you and nonchalantly told
you your Uncle Ed was there and that he wanted you and his wife to know he was
at peace - would you believe them? Probably
not without something tangible. Not
without something that truly convinced you that they were there. After all, if you could speak with Uncle Ed
yourself, why would you bother to go to a medium?
So, we have the theatre to convince the client that the
message is genuine. In the cases of real
mediums, there was information that was offered that solidly convinced the
client that the medium was indeed connected with their loved one. All the theatre aside, when a very personal
and never shared event comes from the medium to the client that only the
departed person and the client would know, this is very convincing to the
client and the reason the client trusted the medium to begin with. At this point, the theatre is a side show, an
extra. The information is the key.
You see this with John Edwards and Sylvia Brown. They share with the client right off
something that only the client would know.
A personal item that only the client knew came from the departed, or an
event that they never shared with anyone.
Or a very personal moment from both their lives. The
show, and the information, is what convinced the public at that time that
mediums were real, and gave the good medium a solid following.
As mediums, our own experiences vary. Some of us see or hear letters or words. Some of us see pictures. The spirits we deal with are sometimes very
focused on one particular item or event, and it is hard to get any further
information. Or they are unfocused and
scattered, and it is again difficult to understand what they want.
We do not “see” as others see things. We get pictures in our minds, or we hear
whispers in our heads that give us information that we are supposed to pass on.
Our jobs as medium is to focus the
spirit, get the information, clarify it with the client, and help the client to
understand what it is the spirit is trying to get across to them.
Sometimes the message is very generic. That is because the spirit is at peace; there
are no issues, and the spirit is more concerned with moving on. The client needs to let go, allow this spirit
to move to the next world.
Sometimes there are issues that only the client has; this
does not concern the spirit and the dearly departed is not going to deal with
the clients issues. Again, we will have
little information to pass on to the client.
And we need to get across to the client that the spirit has no interest
in what the client is concerned with.
These are the hardest types of sessions and usually the client goes away
discouraged or unhappy with the connection.
There is really nothing we can do about this.
The good connections are when the spirit and the client are
both on the same page, that their concerns are mutual and that the spirit is
willing to talk and the client is receptive to the answers the medium channels
from the spirit to the client. Sometimes
the focus of the client is not the same as the spirit, and the exchange can be
fuzzy, as the client is looking for some specific information and the spirit is
concerned with something else. These
connections take time to work out, and can be difficult for both the client and
the medium, but workable.
Sometimes it is all for nothing. The spirit is gone, unconcerned with the
client or their concerns, and there is no communication.
The use of “guides” in this case is very common and
useful. The guide, the connection the
medium has with the world beyond the veil, can help clarify to the medium what
is going on. Uncle Ed has nothing to
say, there is nothing you can do to entice him to come chat with you. We are honest with the client and tell them
this. There is nothing more we can do.
There are no records that I am aware of that suggest any
kind of violence done by the spirits to the mediums who channel them. While it may drain the energy from some
mediums, actual harm done is not recorded and in my own experiences, unheard
of. Fear that spirits may do harm are
unfounded. If you are really concerned,
take precautions by protecting the area you work in, but I find it unnecessary. Again, it is so much “movie stuff” in my
But spirits do tend to be exactly like what they were in
life. If Uncle Ed was a well known joker
when he was alive, he is still a joker in death. And if the client is aware that Uncle Ed was
a compulsive liar in life, then the client should be advised that nothing has
changed with Uncle Ed, and that death does not make Uncle Ed any less of a
This leads us to what the spirits may say. Is everything going to be truths? Are the spirits always going to be polite and
proper? No, not at all. And we, as mediums, come across an ethical
issue. Do we tell Aunt Sally that the
spirit of Uncle Ed just gave you a picture of a pig while indicating Aunt
Sally? Well, no, I would never do
that. But Uncle Ed may also indicate
another man, and that Aunt Sally was attached to this other man somehow. I’ve had this happen, and it turned out that
the wife had an affair with the other man, that the deceased had found out
about while alive and was mad at her for it, but he never said anything to her. His image to me of a “pig” I kept to myself,
but the mention of the affair confirmed to the wife that I was indeed in touch
with the deceased, and it made the whole session a lot easier to handle. It was the issue that needed to be resolved,
and the session did this for both the client and the spirit. The need to mention the image of the pig was
not necessary, and I left it out. I
mentioned the deceased was displeased with the event, but never mentioned anything
else. Ethical? In my opinion, yes, and the mention would
have upset the session even further. What
if the information from the deceased had been wrong, or a lie or a mistake on
the part of the deceased? What purpose
would it serve in mentioning it?
Each of us will need to decide on what information we will pass
on based on the information and how upset the client is or can become. It was an upsetting situation; I did not need
to complicate the matter any further. It
is a matter of personal choice.
At this time of year, coming up on Samhain, the veil between
the worlds is thin, and we may experience some kind of connection with the
spirits of our departed loved ones
The experiences, however, will be the same for you as it is
for those of us who connect with more than just our own loved ones. We will know the connection is real by the
information that we receive from the spirits we connect with. The need for theatrics in this day and age is
not really necessary and should not be expected or offered. But the validation of the experience, usually
by information we receive from the deceased, will be the key to knowing the
connection has been made and is real. We
don’t need the tipping tables or the floating spirits anymore. I think we have pretty much grown up from
that and can understand without all the theatrics.
If you encounter an
experience such as this at this time of year, relax. It is a learning experience for you, and it
will help to resolve some issues you may have had with the deceased and in many
cases some issues you may not have even known.
This is a time to resolve these issues and make peace with your departed
loved ones, and yourself.
Take some time to remember those who you loved that have
passed beyond the veil, do not be afraid to make a connection with them, and
remember them fondly, because that is what this time of year is all about. And if you hear some tapping in response to
All the Best!
Dark Willow is a Tarot Reader and Advisor from New York City. She is a practicing witch and works with many different types of spiritual paths, including Spiritualists, pagans, Santeria and more. Her eclectic background and working knowledge of the various paths found in the New York City area has given her the ability to cross over the various spiritualities and work with many different types of Crafts.