Tag Archives: Afterlife

Deepak Chopra: Do We Reincarnate?

Do you believe in reincarnation? What happens to us after we die?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra examines different theories and perspectives on reincarnation. What is the relationship between memories and our material life? Are memories stored in our brain or in a consciousness field that transcends space and time? Watch to see how Deepak weighs in:

What do you think about reincarnation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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“A-ha!” – Lessons Learned in the Near Death Experience

Folks involved in a Near Death Experience always bring back words of wisdom that benefit us all. Such is the case with Anita Moorjani’s account. Listen to new 10 minute podcast: "A-ha!"

http://cowboyshaman.podomatic.com

And this is the link referenced in the podcast:

http://www.nderf.org/anita_m’s_nde.htm  

 

Pennies From Heaven

They say when an angel misses you, they toss a penny down from heaven. Sadly, not everyone knows how much truth there is in this old adage.

Spirit has many interesting ways to communicate with us, and always on a very personal level. Your spiritual signs and signals can range from the truly spectacular to the very mundane. And sometimes they can be found in the most unusual places, or when they are least expected. Two of the most commonly sighted phenomena are coins or ‘pennies’, as well as feathers. Depending on your personal belief system, these items are left around for us by loved ones, angels, or animal and spirit guides.

No matter where you believe your signs may be coming from, they are most certainly meant especially for you, and they always have a sincere and personal meaning, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may appear to be.

 

So, don’t pass by that penny, When you’re feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven, that an Angel’s tossed to you – Charles Marshburn

 

Of course, many skeptics doubt that these phenomena exist, and it is often discounted as mere superstition or urban myth. I have, however, had several powerful personal experiences of such signs over the years, and I also hear frequent reports from friends and clients who experience the same thing. Spirit has indeed taught me some very valuable lessons through different signs and signals, and these personal, first-hand experiences contradict the most one-dimensional or misguided opinion of any skeptic.

A dear friend and client recently received very compelling confirmation of the signs she had been questioning for years.* She is currently in the midst of a major life transition and a personal transformation. For quite some time now we have been discussing the signs she has been receiving in the form of popular songs. She keeps hearing them: over the radio, in the gym and in the shopping mall. Once she even heard it on the phone, after she was placed on hold by a call centre. The signs keep coming consistently; every time she asks for them, she receives them. But the doubt secretly creeps back into her mind soon after. What if it was just her imagination?

Two days ago she messaged me, wanting to know if the latest incident was another sign. There is a specific song she has always associated with a certain special person in her life, for a very particular reason. She had now heard this song on three separate occasions at very significant moments. Each time it happened she was either with this person, or she was specifically thinking of him, or she was asking for a sign about him.

 

When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one – Mignon McLaughlin

 

I explained to her that we sometimes receive the same signs more than once, in order to overcome our doubt or fear. In her case she was getting her signs in three’s. But I also knew that she had to see proof of this for herself, before she would feel truly content. I therefore suggested she ask for a confirmation of the fact that important signs come to her in three’s.

The answer came sooner than anticipated. She was in a public place when she received my response. She did not even have to ask for confirmation. The minute she opened my text message on her cellphone, even before she had finished reading all of it, she discovered three pennies on a seat she was about to sit down on.

She immediately sent me the news and I then assured her that pennies are a well-known sign for many people all over the world. I also urged her to keep the pennies in a safe place and have another look at them later, because sometimes the dates or other engravings on them also have special meanings.

The next day I received a follow-up: “Thanks Anthon! You wouldn’t believe this, but later yesterday I saw three feathers. Well, actually four, I saw one at first and did a double take – but dismissed it, then an hour or so later saw a cluster of three feathers together on the floor.”

 

The angels are so enamored of the language that is spoken in heaven that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Messages from the spiritual realm are potentially life-changing, but they so often pass us by, unnoticed, mostly because of our lack of awareness. In fact, some of us are so stubborn or oblivious to our metaphysical reality that we first have to receive a pebble, then a rock and finally a ton of bricks, before we eventually sit up and pay attention! First there is a message, then a lesson and finally comes the crisis.

If you have never experienced the wonder of witnessing the effect of such miraculous signs and signals in your life, I highly recommend that you consider giving it a shot. What do you stand to lose? All you need to do is heighten your awareness and increase your consciousness. Don’t allow yourself to let your mystical reminders and spiritual signposts pass you by forever.

Signs and signals from the spiritual realm always have a purpose. Most often they are important guideposts or ‘traffic signs’ along our life path, confirming our choices, decisions and actions. Sometimes we receive these messages to console us in times of distress or sadness, while at other times they come as warnings, urging us to proceed with caution.

Reading your special signs and signals is your divine right, and a basic skill that anyone can develop. Some gurus would have you believe that this is a complex art or science, or that it requires special psychic abilities or years of study and practice. The truth is that this is a blessing freely available to all of us, regardless of whom we are or what we believe in. All you need to do is ask, and it will be given.

 

The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform – Charles Baudelaire

 

The best way to start reading signs is by simply becoming more aware. Take more notice of the small wonders that happen in the world around you every day. Look out for patterns and synchronicities, because there are no ‘coincidences’ in life. Everything happens for a reason; there are no windfalls, only godsends.

Soon you will begin to discover your unique set of personal symbols and patterns. Your special signs could come in the form of dreams, colors, words, numbers, sounds, songs, computer messages, clouds, images, animals, people, places or specific objects, like coins and feathers. They could also come in a certain order or they may be repeated a certain number of times. The list of possibilities and combinations is truly endless. It is also very different for each individual, depending on your belief system, as well as your cultural background and your unique personality and interests.

Always keep your expectations simple and don’t expect weird riddles or complex messages. The message is always very clear and direct. The intention is after all to communicate and guide, not to confuse, frighten or mislead you. Also, use some common sense. If you never listen to the radio, you certainly cannot expect it to become a conduit for spiritual communication. Your signs will show up in accessible ways that complement your lifestyle, or match your personal outlook. All you need to do is become more aware and be open to the process.

 

Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves – English Proverb

 

Finally, we need to be thankful for every sign or message we receive. Express your gratitude by being kind to yourself and others, and show your appreciation by caring for all living creatures, as well as our magnificent planet. Count each and every blessing.

The Universe is an abundant and interactive place of wonder and magic; it is ready and waiting to respond to your needs. You can heal your life and make all your wishes come true. Spirit wants the opportunity to guide you and protect you on your journey through life.

Acknowledge your higher self and learn to trust your intuition. You have inside of you a deep well of wisdom and you are connected to everything in the Universe. You are part of an infinite and ever-expanding grid of spiritual consciousness.

Use your signs and godsends to re-design your life and create the destiny you truly want; learn to apply your divine ‘early warning system’ to avoid unnecessary obstacles and setbacks along the way. All you need to do is ask. Reclaim what is rightfully yours.

* Dedicated to my friend ‘Ms C’. Thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Pennies From Heaven

They say when an angel misses you, they toss a penny down from heaven. Sadly, not everyone knows how much truth there is in this old adage.

Spirit has many interesting ways to communicate with us, and always on a very personal level. Your spiritual signs and signals can range from the truly spectacular to the very mundane. And sometimes they can be found in the most unusual places, or when they are least expected. Two of the most commonly sighted phenomena are coins or ‘pennies’, as well as feathers. Depending on your personal belief system, these items are left around for us by loved ones, animal guides, angels and spirit guides.

No matter where you believe your signs may be coming from, they are most certainly meant especially for you, and they always have a sincere and personal meaning, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may appear to be.

 

So, don’t pass by that penny, When you’re feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven, that an Angel’s tossed to you – Charles Marshburn

 

Of course, many skeptics doubt that these phenomena exist, and it is often discounted as mere superstition or urban myth. I have, however, had several powerful personal experiences of such signs over the years, and I also hear frequent reports from friends and clients who experience the same thing. Spirit has indeed taught me some very valuable lessons through different signs and signals, and these personal, first-hand experiences contradict the most one-dimensional or misguided opinion of any skeptic.

A dear friend and client recently received very compelling confirmation of the signs she had been questioning for years.* She is currently in the midst of a major life transition and a personal transformation. For quite some time now we have been discussing the signs she has been receiving in the form of popular songs. She keeps hearing them: over the radio, in the gym and in the shopping mall. Once she even heard it on the phone, after she was placed on hold by a call centre. The signs keep coming consistently; every time she asks for them, she receives them. But the doubt secretly creeps back into her mind soon after. What if it was just her imagination?

Two days ago she messaged me, wanting to know if the latest incident was another sign. There is a specific song she has always associated with a certain special person in her life, for a very particular reason. She had now heard this song on three separate occasions at very significant moments. Each time it happened she was either with this person, or she was specifically thinking of him, or she was asking for a sign about him.

 

When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one – Mignon McLaughlin

 

I explained to her that we sometimes receive the same signs more than once, in order to overcome our doubt or fear. In her case she was getting her signs in three’s. But I also knew that she had to see proof of this for herself, before she would feel truly content. I therefore suggested she ask for a confirmation of the fact that important signs come to her in three’s.

The answer came sooner than anticipated. She was in a public place when she received my response. She did not even have to ask for confirmation. The minute she opened my text message on her cellphone, even before she had finished reading all of it, she discovered three pennies on a seat she was about to sit down on.

She immediately sent me the news and I then assured her that pennies are a well-known sign for many people all over the world. I also urged her to keep the pennies in a safe place and have another look at them later, because sometimes the dates or other engravings on them also have special meanings.

The next day I received a follow-up: “Thanks Anthon! You wouldn’t believe this, but later yesterday I saw three feathers. Well, actually four, I saw one at first and did a double take – but dismissed it, then an hour or so later saw a cluster of three feathers together on the floor.”

 

The angels are so enamored of the language that is spoken in heaven that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Messages from the spiritual realm are potentially life-changing, but they so often pass us by, unnoticed, mostly because of our lack of awareness. In fact, some of us are so stubborn or oblivious to our metaphysical reality that we first have to receive a pebble, then a rock and finally a ton of bricks, before we eventually sit up and pay attention! First there is a message, then a lesson and finally comes the crisis.

If you have never experienced the wonder of witnessing the effect of such miraculous signs and signals in your life, I highly recommend that you consider giving it a shot. What do you stand to lose? All you need to do is heighten your awareness and increase your consciousness. Don’t allow yourself to let your mystical reminders and spiritual signposts pass you by forever.

Signs and signals from the spiritual realm always have a purpose. Most often they are important guideposts or ‘traffic signs’ along our life path, confirming our choices, decisions and actions. Sometimes we receive these messages to console us in times of distress or sadness, while at other times they come as warnings, urging us to proceed with caution.

Reading your special signs and signals is your divine right, and a basic skill that anyone can develop. Some gurus would have you believe that this is a complex art or science, or that it requires special psychic abilities or years of study and practice. The truth is that this is a blessing freely available to all of us, regardless of whom we are or what we believe in. All you need to do is ask, and it will be given.

 

The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform – Charles Baudelaire

 

The best way to start reading signs is by simply becoming more aware. Take more notice of the small wonders that happen in the world around you every day. Look out for patterns and synchronicities, because there are no ‘coincidences’ in life. Everything happens for a reason; there are no windfalls, only godsends.

Soon you will begin to discover your unique set of personal symbols and patterns. Your special signs could come in the form of dreams, colors, words, numbers, sounds, songs, computer messages, clouds, images, animals, people, places or specific objects, like coins and feathers. They could also come in a certain order or they may be repeated a certain number of times. The list of possibilities and combinations is truly endless. It is also very different for each individual, depending on your belief system, as well as your cultural background and your unique personality and interests.

Always keep your expectations simple and don’t expect weird riddles or complex messages. The message is always very clear and direct. The intention is after all to communicate and guide, not to confuse, frighten or mislead you. Also, use some common sense. If you never listen to the radio, you certainly cannot expect it to become a conduit for spiritual communication. Your signs will show up in accessible ways that complement your lifestyle, or match your personal outlook. All you need to do is become more aware and be open to the process.

 

Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves – English Proverb

 

Finally, we need to be thankful for every sign or message we receive. Express your gratitude by being kind to yourself and others, and show your appreciation by caring for all living creatures, as well as our magnificent planet. Count each and every blessing.

The Universe is an abundant and interactive place of wonder and magic; it is ready and waiting to respond to your needs. You can heal your life and make all your wishes come true. Spirit wants the opportunity to guide you and protect you on your journey through life.

Acknowledge your higher self and learn to trust your intuition. You have inside of you a deep well of wisdom and you are connected to everything in the Universe. You are part of an infinite and ever-expanding grid of spiritual consciousness.

Use your signs and godsends to re-design your life and create the destiny you truly want; learn to apply your divine ‘early warning system’ to avoid unnecessary obstacles and setbacks along the way. All you need to do is ask. Reclaim what is rightfully yours.

* Dedicated to my friend ‘Ms C’. Thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Ol’ Boogeyman Still Comin’ To Getcha?

BoogeymanIn my line of work there is often an unhealthy obsession with the concept of evil. It appears we are simply not able to rid ourselves of this ‘thing’ we seem to have for the boogeyman (here in my country known as the tokoloshe).

Just the other day I was listening to a radio psychic scaring the living daylights out of his unsuspecting caller. She just wanted some career advice, but instead he was hell-bent on convincing her that her home was infested with evil entities. His charming co-host also jumped in to offer some old-wives’ cures for getting rid of all the demonic forces. Truth be told, the only disturbance I was picking up on was the fact that the poor, freaked out woman would not be getting much sleep for weeks!

Now, don’t get me wrong. The struggle between good and evil is very, very real. It is a fundamental component of the human condition. It is also the basis of all Creation. It stems from the duality found in every important aspect of our expanding Universe: dark versus light, life versus death, night versus day. Light needs the presence of darkness to be truly visible and meaningful.

 

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness –  Joseph Conrad

 

The co-existence of good and evil is also the basis for an inner conflict that each of us have to resolve in this lifetime. It is part of the reason why we are here. Both good and evil therefore do serve a purpose in the greater scheme of things. No doubt about that. But blaming the spiritual realm for the darkness of men is my idea of heresy and blasphemy.

Our morbid fascination with all things dark is as old as the hills, but it is still very much de rigueur. Just the fact that psychics and mediums are today still being accused of doing the devil’s work is sufficient proof in itself. In many religious circles ‘fire and brimstone’ remains the height of fashion. Not to mention the latest 2012 doomsday prophecies, conspiracy theories and apocalyptic visions of evil forces, undercover aliens and secret societies; all hype eagerly spread by fear-mongers, spin doctors and social entrepreneurs.

But those are the most obvious kinds of evil mania. What truly amazes me about our obsession with all things evil is that it is not something you only find in traditional churches or conservative circles. No, some truly gifted, spiritually aware and highly intuitive people, with whom I share many beliefs and blessings, are also fanatic about finding evil spirits, curses and dark entities under their beds, inside their closets …and deep-down in the purses and wallets of their clients.

 

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates

 

Yesterday a wonderful client called me, devastated and in tears. She had been persuaded by a well-meaning friend to “try out” another psychic she knows of… just for fun. The self-proclaimed ’spiritual advisor’ had a field day predicting doom and gloom for her current relationship and warned her that another woman was doing magick to steal her man away. She also offered to do spell work for her to fix the problem, to the tune of $400! Meanwhile my client’s love life is perfectly on track and they are in fact a very happy couple. How dare someone mess with the lives of others out of sheer greed? It truly disgusts me. May God have mercy on her soul.

It is deeply disappointing that many who share in the collective consciousness appear to be obsessing about evil entities and dark forces all of the time. In fact, they are so busy doing this that they hardly have any time or energy left to be co-creators in our spiritual evolution. They seem to miss the point that evil is about regression, destruction and reversing into the past. Evil is the antithesis of creation and expansion, and they seem to forget that what they focus on, sadly, does become their reality.

The good versus evil ‘battle’ has been waged one way or another since the dawn of civilization. It is an ancient archetype that is one of the most recognizable themes in literature and the arts. Let’s face it; ‘good guys versus bad guys’ is the stuff that bestsellers and box office hits are made of.

 

Eternal good is eternal becoming or eternally moving forward to greater life. Eternal evil is to cease becoming and “to be” that which was in the past – JJ Dewey

 

I guess it therefore comes as no surprise that some spiritual seekers are forever obsessing about the evil they fear may be creeping up on them. One only has to tune in to a few podcasts, or watch the latest online videos, to witness the spiritual community’s fixation on everything evil. Indeed, fundamentalism is not only found among the religious and the dogmatic. Some of the ‘spiritually enlightened’ and ‘intuitively evolved’ seem to insist on clinging to medieval concepts and out-dated superstitions.

Instead of being fully devoted to unconditional love, kindness, generosity, selflessness and the greater good, much energy, time and money is being spent every day fighting evil entities and keeping the ‘darkness’ and its ‘extremely powerful forces’ at bay. Potions, spells and candles are actually the very products that keep scam psychics and fake mediums in business. All this while the true battle of Armageddon is being fought right here under our noses, in the streets in front of our houses.

There is no dominating source of evil, because if there was, we would not exist, nature would not exist and neither would the Universe. It is counter-productive to assign so much influence and power to something that is in fact just vast emptiness, non-entity and anti-matter.

 

To rid ourselves of our shadows – who we are – we must step into either total light or total darkness. Goodness and evil – Jeremy P. Johnson

 

I have often said, and will say it again, if you want to know true evil just switch on the evening news. If you are curious to see the real face of Satan, you will find him lurking on the cover of celebrity magazines, in newspapers and on political campaign posters. The battle between good and evil is not being fought in the spiritual realm. Spirit knows no anger, envy, fear, violence or hatred. The real war is happening in mundane places, like the television set in your parlor or at your child’s school.

If you want to find demons, shadow people or anti-Christs, look for them in our educational institutions, communities, churches and governments. If you truly want to find evil incarnate, seek it among the school bullies in our midst, those who drive their peers to suicide or post vile online jokes about their deaths.

Stop hunting ghosts, witches, psychic vampires and energy thieves, and rather expose the narcissists among us who dominate, dictate and destroy so many relationships, families, careers and lives – devoid of empathy and compassion. Search also the boardrooms, public offices and parliaments. There you will find among our leaders and kings many ego-maniacs who abuse their power, corrupt their economy and violate the basic human rights of their people, while they wage senseless wars on their critics and each other.

 

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha

 

Evil, darkness, threat and fear are not spiritual forces… they are the evil creations of man. JJ Dewey writes that “all forces, powers, and energies are neither good nor evil in themselves. They are completely neutral, but only become good or evil when they are intelligently directed.” He also states that “all energies and creations vibrating in their pure state are good.” And that is the whole point. Focusing so much of our thoughts, feelings and intentions on evil, instead of that which is good, is counter-productive and contrary to our Divine Purpose. We are here to serve each other and grow, expand and become, not to cast an exaggerated, ominous shadow over all that is potentially good in the world.

The spiritual realm is much like the natural world. It is in essence breathtakingly perfect, completely harmonious and utterly flawless. I have yet to meet an evil animal or discover a satanic plant. The only evil I have ever witnessed among plants and animals are the scars left on them by the inhumane, dark deeds of men. It is certainly not the devil who is trashing the environment, abusing the animal kingdom or trampling the hearts of loving women and breaking the spirits of brave men.

The Divine Light that you and I come from, and will return to one day, knows no evil and does not recognize the power of these shadows that some so willingly fear and follow. Believing in the supremacy of evil entities and dark beings implies that we all come from a spiritual place of imperfection. It suggests that the Divine Source is somehow diseased, that Creation is riddled with flaws and falsehoods that dwell among us. And, worst of all, that we are so far superior in our human state that we alone are capable of fixing this broken, dysfunctional or chaotic spiritual mess.

 

The reason our definition of good and evil changes over the ages is because our capacity to understand and experience freedom changes – JJ Dewey

 

I realize that for some it must be fun to indulge in this paranormal soap opera, but most of us simply don’t have the time, or the inclination. We know we have much work to do, gifts to offer, blessings to share. We are the Wounded Healers, the Empaths, the Shamans, the Indigo Children, the Starseeds, and the Lightworkers. We speak to the Angels, listen to our Spirit Guides and trust in the guidance of our Ancestors, Ascended Masters and Loved Ones. We fight true evil by saving the planet and healing humanity, by drying one tear at a time.

We have no need for spells, talismans or obsessive-compulsive psychic defenses, for we are surrounded by the everlasting and indestructible shields of Love, Peace and Harmony. The phenomenal power of our Spiritual Heritage surges through our being every moment of every day. We are illuminated by the Divine; there is much Light around us.

The spiritual evolution of mankind is our ultimate aim, our Divine duty. As we continue to expand the Universe, this dazzling, bright Light we carry will continue to emanate from us with much Glory. And we know that there shall come a time when there will be no more evil among men. And we shall know that all is Good.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Pennies From Heaven

They say when an angel misses you, they toss a penny down from heaven. Sadly, not everyone knows how much truth there is in this old adage.

Spirit has many interesting ways to communicate with us, and always on a very personal level. Your spiritual signs and signals can range from the truly spectacular to the very mundane. And sometimes they can be found in the most unusual places, or when they are least expected. Two of the most commonly sighted phenomena are coins or ‘pennies’, as well as feathers. Depending on your personal belief system, these items are left around for us by loved ones, angels, or animal and spirit guides.

No matter where you believe your signs may be coming from, they are most certainly meant especially for you, and they always have a sincere and personal meaning, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may appear to be.

 

So, don’t pass by that penny, When you’re feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven, that an Angel’s tossed to you – Charles Marshburn

 

Of course, many skeptics doubt that these phenomena exist, and it is often discounted as mere superstition or urban myth. I have, however, had several powerful personal experiences of such signs over the years, and I also hear frequent reports from friends and clients who experience the same thing. Spirit has indeed taught me some very valuable lessons through different signs and signals, and these personal, first-hand experiences contradict the most one-dimensional or misguided opinion of any skeptic.

A dear friend and client recently received very compelling confirmation of the signs she had been questioning for years.* She is currently in the midst of a major life transition and a personal transformation. For quite some time now we have been discussing the signs she has been receiving in the form of popular songs. She keeps hearing them: over the radio, in the gym and in the shopping mall. Once she even heard it on the phone, after she was placed on hold by a call centre. The signs keep coming consistently; every time she asks for them, she receives them. But the doubt secretly creeps back into her mind soon after. What if it was just her imagination?

Two days ago she messaged me, wanting to know if the latest incident was another sign. There is a specific song she has always associated with a certain special person in her life, for a very particular reason. She had now heard this song on three separate occasions at very significant moments. Each time it happened she was either with this person, or she was specifically thinking of him, or she was asking for a sign about him.

 

When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one – Mignon McLaughlin

 

I explained to her that we sometimes receive the same signs more than once, in order to overcome our doubt or fear. In her case she was getting her signs in three’s. But I also knew that she had to see proof of this for herself, before she would feel truly content. I therefore suggested she ask for a confirmation of the fact that important signs come to her in three’s.

The answer came sooner than anticipated. She was in a public place when she received my response. She did not even have to ask for confirmation. The minute she opened my text message on her cellphone, even before she had finished reading all of it, she discovered three pennies on a seat she was about to sit down on.

She immediately sent me the news and I then assured her that pennies are a well-known sign for many people all over the world. I also urged her to keep the pennies in a safe place and have another look at them later, because sometimes the dates or other engravings on them also have special meanings.

The next day I received a follow-up: “Thanks Anthon! You wouldn’t believe this, but later yesterday I saw three feathers. Well, actually four, I saw one at first and did a double take – but dismissed it, then an hour or so later saw a cluster of three feathers together on the floor.”

 

The angels are so enamored of the language that is spoken in heaven that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Messages from the spiritual realm are potentially life-changing, but they so often pass us by, unnoticed, mostly because of our lack of awareness. In fact, some of us are so stubborn or oblivious to our metaphysical reality that we first have to receive a pebble, then a rock and finally a ton of bricks, before we eventually sit up and pay attention! First there is a message, then a lesson and finally comes the crisis.

If you have never experienced the wonder of witnessing the effect of such miraculous signs and signals in your life, I highly recommend that you consider giving it a shot. What do you stand to lose? All you need to do is heighten your awareness and increase your consciousness. Don’t allow yourself to let your mystical reminders and spiritual signposts pass you by forever.

Signs and signals from the spiritual realm always have a purpose. Most often they are important guideposts or ‘traffic signs’ along our life path, confirming our choices, decisions and actions. Sometimes we receive these messages to console us in times of distress or sadness, while at other times they come as warnings, urging us to proceed with caution.

Reading your special signs and signals is your divine right, and a basic skill that anyone can develop. Some gurus would have you believe that this is a complex art or science, or that it requires special psychic abilities or years of study and practice. The truth is that this is a blessing freely available to all of us, regardless of whom we are or what we believe in. All you need to do is ask, and it will be given.

 

The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform – Charles Baudelaire

 

The best way to start reading signs is by simply becoming more aware. Take more notice of the small wonders that happen in the world around you every day. Look out for patterns and synchronicities, because there are no ‘coincidences’ in life. Everything happens for a reason; there are no windfalls, only godsends.

Soon you will begin to discover your unique set of personal symbols and patterns. Your special signs could come in the form of dreams, colors, words, numbers, sounds, songs, computer messages, clouds, images, animals, people, places or specific objects, like coins and feathers. They could also come in a certain order or they may be repeated a certain number of times. The list of possibilities and combinations is truly endless. It is also very different for each individual, depending on your belief system, as well as your cultural background and your unique personality and interests.

Always keep your expectations simple and don’t expect weird riddles or complex messages. The message is always very clear and direct. The intention is after all to communicate and guide, not to confuse, frighten or mislead you. Also, use some common sense. If you never listen to the radio, you certainly cannot expect it to become a conduit for spiritual communication. Your signs will show up in accessible ways that complement your lifestyle, or match your personal outlook. All you need to do is become more aware and be open to the process.

 

Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves – English Proverb

 

Finally, we need to be thankful for every sign or message we receive. Express your gratitude by being kind to yourself and others, and show your appreciation by caring for all living creatures, as well as our magnificent planet. Count each and every blessing.

The Universe is an abundant and interactive place of wonder and magic; it is ready and waiting to respond to your needs. You can heal your life and make all your wishes come true. Spirit wants the opportunity to guide you and protect you on your journey through life.

Acknowledge your higher self and learn to trust your intuition. You have inside of you a deep well of wisdom and you are connected to everything in the Universe. You are part of an infinite and ever-expanding grid of spiritual consciousness.

Use your signs and godsends to re-design your life and create the destiny you truly want; learn to apply your divine ‘early warning system’ to avoid unnecessary obstacles and setbacks along the way. All you need to do is ask. Reclaim what is rightfully yours.

* Dedicated to my friend ‘Ms C’. Thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Ol’ Boogeyman Still Comin’ To Getcha?

In my line of work there is often an unhealthy obsession with the concept of evil. It appears we are simply not able to rid ourselves of this ‘thing’ we seem to have for the boogeyman (here in my country known as the tokoloshe).

Just the other day I was listening to a radio psychic scaring the living daylights out of his unsuspecting caller. She just wanted some career advice, but instead he was hell-bent on convincing her that her home was infested with evil entities. His charming co-host also jumped in to offer some old-wives’ cures for getting rid of all the demonic forces. Truth be told, the only disturbance I was picking up on was the fact that the poor, freaked out woman would not be getting much sleep for weeks!

Now, don’t get me wrong. The struggle between good and evil is very, very real. It is a fundamental component of the human condition. It is also the basis of all Creation. It stems from the duality found in every important aspect of our expanding Universe: dark versus light, life versus death, night versus day. Light needs the presence of darkness to be truly visible and meaningful.

 

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness –  Joseph Conrad

 

The co-existence of good and evil is also the basis for an inner conflict that each of us have to resolve in this lifetime. It is part of the reason why we are here. Both good and evil therefore do serve a purpose in the greater scheme of things. No doubt about that. But blaming the spiritual realm for the darkness of men is my idea of heresy and blasphemy.

Our morbid fascination with all things dark is as old as the hills, but it is still very much de rigueur. Just the fact that psychics and mediums are today still being accused of doing the devil’s work is sufficient proof in itself. In many religious circles ‘fire and brimstone’ remains the height of fashion. Not to mention the latest 2012 doomsday prophecies, conspiracy theories and apocalyptic visions of evil forces, undercover aliens and secret societies; all hype eagerly spread by fear-mongers, spin doctors and social entrepreneurs.

But those are the most obvious kinds of evil mania. What truly amazes me about our obsession with all things evil is that it is not something you only find in traditional churches or conservative circles. No, some truly gifted, spiritually aware and highly intuitive people, with whom I share many beliefs and blessings, are also fanatic about finding evil spirits, curses and dark entities under their beds, inside their closets …and deep-down in the purses and wallets of their clients.

 

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates

 

Yesterday a wonderful client called me, devastated and in tears. She had been persuaded by a well-meaning friend to “try out” another psychic she knows of… just for fun. The self-proclaimed ’spiritual advisor’ had a field day predicting doom and gloom for her current relationship and warned her that another woman was doing magick to steal her man away. She also offered to do spell work for her to fix the problem, to the tune of $400! Meanwhile my client’s love life is perfectly on track and they are in fact a very happy couple. How dare someone mess with the lives of others out of sheer greed? It truly disgusts me. May God have mercy on her soul.

It is deeply disappointing that many who share in the collective consciousness appear to be obsessing about evil entities and dark forces all of the time. In fact, they are so busy doing this that they hardly have any time or energy left to be co-creators in our spiritual evolution. They seem to miss the point that evil is about regression, destruction and reversing into the past. Evil is the antithesis of creation and expansion, and they seem to forget that what they focus on, sadly, does become their reality.

The good versus evil ‘battle’ has been waged one way or another since the dawn of civilization. It is an ancient archetype that is one of the most recognizable themes in literature and the arts. Let’s face it; ‘good guys versus bad guys’ is the stuff that bestsellers and box office hits are made of.

 

Eternal good is eternal becoming or eternally moving forward to greater life. Eternal evil is to cease becoming and “to be” that which was in the past – JJ Dewey

 

I guess it therefore comes as no surprise that some spiritual seekers are forever obsessing about the evil they fear may be creeping up on them. One only has to tune in to a few podcasts, or watch the latest online videos, to witness the spiritual community’s fixation on everything evil. Indeed, fundamentalism is not only found among the religious and the dogmatic. Some of the ‘spiritually enlightened’ and ‘intuitively evolved’ seem to insist on clinging to medieval concepts and out-dated superstitions.

Instead of being fully devoted to unconditional love, kindness, generosity, selflessness and the greater good, much energy, time and money is being spent every day fighting evil entities and keeping the ‘darkness’ and its ‘extremely powerful forces’ at bay. Potions, spells and candles are actually the very products that keep scam psychics and fake mediums in business. All this while the true battle of Armageddon is being fought right here under our noses, in the streets in front of our houses.

There is no dominating source of evil, because if there was, we would not exist, nature would not exist and neither would the Universe. It is counter-productive to assign so much influence and power to something that is in fact just vast emptiness, non-entity and anti-matter.

 

To rid ourselves of our shadows – who we are – we must step into either total light or total darkness. Goodness and evil – Jeremy P. Johnson

 

I have often said, and will say it again, if you want to know true evil just switch on the evening news. If you are curious to see the real face of Satan, you will find him lurking on the cover of celebrity magazines, in newspapers and on political campaign posters. The battle between good and evil is not being fought in the spiritual realm. Spirit knows no anger, envy, fear, violence or hatred. The real war is happening in mundane places, like the television set in your parlor or at your child’s school.

If you want to find demons, shadow people or anti-Christs, look for them in our educational institutions, communities, churches and governments. If you truly want to find evil incarnate, seek it among the school bullies in our midst, those who drive their peers to suicide or post vile online jokes about their deaths.

Stop hunting ghosts, witches, psychic vampires and energy thieves, and rather expose the narcissists among us who dominate, dictate and destroy so many relationships, families, careers and lives – devoid of empathy and compassion. Search also the boardrooms, public offices and parliaments. There you will find among our leaders and kings many ego-maniacs who abuse their power, corrupt their economy and violate the basic human rights of their people, while they wage senseless wars on their critics and each other.

 

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha

 

Evil, darkness, threat and fear are not spiritual forces… they are the evil creations of man. JJ Dewey writes that “all forces, powers, and energies are neither good nor evil in themselves. They are completely neutral, but only become good or evil when they are intelligently directed.” He also states that “all energies and creations vibrating in their pure state are good.” And that is the whole point. Focusing so much of our thoughts, feelings and intentions on evil, instead of that which is good, is counter-productive and contrary to our Divine Purpose. We are here to serve each other and grow, expand and become, not to cast an exaggerated, ominous shadow over all that is potentially good in the world.

The spiritual realm is much like the natural world. It is in essence breathtakingly perfect, completely harmonious and utterly flawless. I have yet to meet an evil animal or discover a satanic plant. The only evil I have ever witnessed among plants and animals are the scars left on them by the inhumane, dark deeds of men. It is certainly not the devil who is trashing the environment, abusing the animal kingdom or trampling the hearts of loving women and breaking the spirits of brave men.

The Divine Light that you and I come from, and will return to one day, knows no evil and does not recognize the power of these shadows that some so willingly fear and follow. Believing in the supremacy of evil entities and dark beings implies that we all come from a spiritual place of imperfection. It suggests that the Divine Source is somehow diseased, that Creation is riddled with flaws and falsehoods that dwell among us. And, worst of all, that we are so far superior in our human state that we alone are capable of fixing this broken, dysfunctional or chaotic spiritual mess.

 

The reason our definition of good and evil changes over the ages is because our capacity to understand and experience freedom changes – JJ Dewey

 

I realize that for some it must be fun to indulge in this paranormal soap opera, but most of us simply don’t have the time, or the inclination. We know we have much work to do, gifts to offer, blessings to share. We are the Wounded Healers, the Empaths, the Shamans, the Indigo Children, the Starseeds, and the Lightworkers. We speak to the Angels, listen to our Spirit Guides and trust in the guidance of our Ancestors, Ascended Masters and Loved Ones. We fight true evil by saving the planet and healing humanity, by drying one tear at a time.

We have no need for spells, talismans or obsessive-compulsive psychic defenses, for we are surrounded by the everlasting and indestructible shields of Love, Peace and Harmony. The phenomenal power of our Spiritual Heritage surges through our being every moment of every day. We are illuminated by the Divine; there is much Light around us.

The spiritual evolution of mankind is our ultimate aim, our Divine duty. As we continue to expand the Universe, this dazzling, bright Light we carry will continue to emanate from us with much Glory. And we know that there shall come a time when there will be no more evil among men. And we shall know that all is Good.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Death, Loss and Mediumship

Death, Loss and Mediumship

by Christina Ambrosino
 
 Grief can be a painful process- so many factors to be understood and considered.. In the recent media we have seen such overwhelming displays of grief, Farrah Fawcett,Ed McMahon, and of course the unexpected death of Michael Jackson- not only family and friends of such celebrities, but the fans, millions of people who are in shock and pain at their deaths- especially exacerbated when it is unforeseen.
 
How can a medium help in such a situation? Well, while all situations are unique, most circumstances where loss is the main issue, has “steps” that should be considered. THIS Medium always tells clients not to rush for a reading- wait, a few months- time is needed, not just for the soul that has passed, but for the loved ones who grieve. I also urge people to seek professional counseling- grief counseling can be quite helpful( and sometimes very needed)  to the healing process.
 
Mediumship, when the time is right, can be quite helpful in assisting in the acceptance and moving on in one’s process. I have seen many clients be truly moved and assisted with their pain and come out with a renewed sense of purpose and often beliefs are strengthened, as well as sometimes challenged.                
 
People often ask me- if I “see” souls, people who have crossed in my day to day happenings. The answer is on occasion, yes, but to be quite honest, if I am not working, clients, classes, media, etc- I am psychically “closed”. It gets quite exhausting to be “on”all  the time. If one NEVER shuts down their computer, it will eventually “burn out”- same with human’s energy.
 
If you or someone you know is thinking of seeking a mediumship’s services, well, my advice is to- get someone who is referred, by someone you know. Also, do a bit of research about the Psychic- how long are they practicing? can you get references from their clients(which is often on their website, as I have on mine.)
If  you like what you see, if it “feels” right- then go for it- you will never know unless you proceed with an open mind and take a chance! There are many different levels of “healing”- it may be one that is quite powerful to not only your “grief” process, but to your “growth" process as well.

What Happens in the Afterlife?

 

Question: What happens in the afterlife? People are always curious as to what happens when we or loved ones pass away – Sam

If I could only pick one thing to convey about what happens after death is that the after life experience is utterly and completely unique to the individual. There is no one common thing that all spirits do or common place they go once the body is done.

There is a continuum of possibilities available. Some individuals cling so hard to physical life that they become what we call ghosts. At the opposite end of the continuum is releasing all connection to the physical life you just lived; when spirits do this they are not discernible other than as a very high vibration that feels to me like white light. Most start somewhere in-between.

And the death experience is different for everyone, according to those who have near-death experiences. Many report seeing a white light and/or loved ones there to greet them. However, and this is the key point, not everyone had this. It turns out that what one experiences is dependent upon your culture and your expectations. So, if you and I expect to see a white light, then doggone, that’s what we’ll see.

I used to do more with people who had died and were still available to family and friends. I found that there was a range of density in how hard they hold to the old persona. One woman’s father was as easy to read as if he was in the room. Another man’s mother was hardly discernible to me – more of a whisper, a gentle breeze. When you see the really famous mediums do live shows, there is a good reason that they tell the audience who they are finding as opposed to having the audience pick who to locate. It is because not everyone who has died hangs about and, if they do, some are more tangible than others.

 I have noticed though that when I am picking up on my client’s guides (I call them your committee), that often there is a relative in the group. Sometimes more than one.  However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our parents or grandparents or others stay around to help or be a part of our lives. You could think of this as choosing to be a guardian angel . But again, it is up to the individual spirit to decide to do this or not.

 When I was 14, I silently asked my grandmother Ruth to watch over me after she died. So, she did. Of course, I did not have to ask as she has made quite a point, after dying too young, to watch over all of her children, and grandchildren too. I was surprised last year to notice that my grandfather had joined her; he died a few years ago. He really never had anything to do with bonding with grandchildren and the like, so it was unexpected to see that. But, as I say, it was up to him to choose some semblance of hanging about or not. I guess I just thought he would not choose. My other grandparents are not around anyone at all and never have been.

 So, what I would want to explain about the afterlife is: It is all individual choice.

 

Questions, comments and ideas are welcome and encouraged. Contact Psychic Margaret Ruth on her Facebook page, email mr@margaretruth.com or call 801-575-7103. You can also get details on private readings, Margaret’s classes and blog at www.margaretruth.com. Margaret Ruth has been on radio, television, published in newspapers and magazines and major websites. She is the author of Superconscious Connections: The Simple Psychic Truths of Perfectly Satisfying Relationships (Sept 2010)

angel

 

Embracing Death and the Gift of Grief

“Is it true there is a cure for all illness?
Only if you are wise enough to see death as a cure.”
 

Emmanuel’s Book

As a spiritual counselor, hospice volunteer and mother of a child who died at age 16 after a long illness, I am fiercely committed to a belief in the importance of conscious dying and conscious grieving. By understanding that death is neither an enemy nor an ending, the process of grieving the death of a loved one becomes a journey of awakening for the person who has died and for those who remain on earth.

I’ve spent a lifetime studying metaphysics and spirituality, and I believe unequivocally that there are no "good" or "bad" experiences; only the soul’s constant craving for growth and expansion. In this view, illness and death are not experiences to be avoided, but to be embraced with gratitude for the shifting of perceptions and the gifts of growth they provide. In a state of gratitude at this level, you accept every experience with love, because you recognize it as one of your soul’s creations. Even something as painful as the death of a child can be seen as part of a of flawless pattern of perfection, designed to move the family — and the entire soul group connected to that family — forward in unexpected ways.
 
When my son was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness at age 10, friends and family asked, “Does this change your unconventional spiritual views? Does it make you want to go back to traditional notions of God, afterlife and religion?”
 
This might have been a good question for someone who’d taken only a few tentative steps outside the religious box during his lifetime, but for me the question was preposterous. The stunning news that my son would only live a few more years actually confirmed what I’d intuitively known since I was a teenager: There are soul contracts. Reincarnation is real. There’s a reason for everything. And we create our own experiences on earth with the assistance of non-physical guides and helpers.
 
In the early 1960s, when I was 14 years old, a Krishna Consciousness congregation moved into an old church in my neighborhood, and I attended their Sunday feasts and listened to lectures by Swami Bhaktivedanta. At 16, my liberal, free-thinking high school English teacher taught the Bible as literature, and from there, fueled by intense curiosity, I went on to read the rest of it (my family was not religious at all, and this was my first exposure to anything biblical).By the time I finished high school I’d read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Ruth Montgomery and Edgar Cayce. These teachings resonated with me as absolute truth back then, and over the years, supported by further study and practice, they have been confirmed again and again. So when my son was diagnosed, I knew instantly that his soul had a plan of its own. And it was my intention to honor his intention.
 
Let’s go back for a moment to those traditional notions of God, afterlife and religion. Had I perceived this situation through that lens, I would have been gripped with fear and helplessness, too puny and unworthy to comprehend the mysterious workings of an all-powerful god who randomly dispenses good or bad luck, sorrow or joy, wealth or poverty, and in death, reward or punishmentfor his children. 
 
By contrast, my particular flavor of self-empowered spirituality says that we are not separate from God, but are equal parts of the collective energy that IS God, an energy with which we work as co-creators. This work is done “on earth as it is in heaven,” as our souls continue to seek growth and expansion, in and out of the body. The growth work we do during our earthly incarnations carries over to the other side, where we evaluate and create new and effective situations to bring forth the very experiences we seek for our continued exploration. In this way there can be no tragedies, no here and there, no them and us, and no death.
 
HOSPICE AND ANAMCARA
 
Over the years, my passion for examining death from the perspectives of both the dying and the grieving led me to an interesting mix of studies and practices drawn from all the usual sources and many of the non-usual ones. One of those sources is the “Anamcara Project,” a unique spiritual education program created by founding directors Richard and Mary Groves. Their “Sacred Art of Living and Dying” seminars have attracted more than 10,000 students from a wide range of healing professions and the general public, including educators, clergy, hospice workers, physicians and metaphysicians. I was attracted to the program when I first heard the term, spiritual midwife,” referring to someone who helps the dying make their transitions from this world to the next. Because the word “midwife” so perfectly described the role I played in my son’s death, I sought out the Anamcara Project, and it is now an important part of not only my work as a hospice volunteer, but my personal growth path as well.
 
Anamcara (pronounced ahn-im-KAHR-uh) is a Gaelic word meaning “soul friend.” In ancient times the Celts created the role of Anamcara as a life counselor and spiritual guide. By the 6th century AD, Christian women and men continued to develop the Anamcara tradition inherited from their Druid (ancestors). By the year 1000, Irish Anamcara extended their influence throughout the mainland of Europe, especially among the newly established hospices. The earliest Western hospice tradition, the Ars Moriendi or The Art of Dying, owes much to the spiritual legacy of the Anamcara.
 
In the early hospices it was understood that death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of birth. In many of these hospices, such as L’Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune in France, it has been said that it was common to see women giving birth on one side of the room while people were dying on the other side, all guided by midwives, while minstrels strolled around playing soothing music. Death may not be the opposite of life, but it is certainly a part of life, and there are many social and religious traditions that recognize and honor death as the sacred, intimate journey that it is. But sadly, our Judeo-Christian view has created a culture of denial around death, and hospice care is still not generally understood or accepted.
 
“People think of hospice as an agency,” says Roy Green, chaplain and spiritual care coordinator for the Hospice Center in Bend, Oregon. “The idea caught on in the U.S. in 1975, but in ancient times it literally meant ‘hospitality,’ a process of assisting travelers with their journeys, including the journeys of birth and death. In those times, we lived closer to the land, we saw people and animals die all the time, and there was nothing terrible or frightening about it. The terror came along withreligious doctrine, with the concept of evil and punishment, and hence we now have a fear of deathimbedded in our culture.”
 
The denial and fear of death is clearly a western phenomenon, and it is especially pronounced in the United States.
 
“We have so many drugs and so much medical technology that we constantly perpetrate the idea that death can be forestalled,” Green says. “Yet at the same time, Americans are fascinated with death.We want to see it in movies, but only if the images are bloody and dramatic, and only if it’s the ‘bad guys’ who die. These images express our fear of death and feed our denial.”
 
One of the great losses to our society over the last few generations is the sacred process of caring for our dead at home. Before the industrial revolution, when grandma was dying, she was surrounded by her family, including young children, and after death her body was cleaned, dressed and laid out on a table for viewing by friends and family. The body was then buried in a family graveyard on the family acreage. It was a natural and expected passage, and there is now a growing movement in the U.S. to return to these practices in the hope of bringing death back into light and out of the dark place where it’s been relegated by fear, repression and religious dogma. My son had a beautiful death at home, with his beloved dog and his family by his side. I’d learned from the home death movement that a body can stay at home much longer than modern practices dictate, and we kept my son’s body with us for five hours before calling the mortuary. It gave us a chance to gently and consciously release his physical presence, and to honor the sacred vessel that had done such a worthy job of housing his soul. 
 
“Dying at home creates a more honest space for grieving,” Green says. “Death should be as fearless and accompanied as possible, and grief should be as honest as possible. If we sidestep any of the process, something will be destroyed in us. In end-of-life care we strive for two things with patients and their families… removal of physical pain and removal of spiritual pain. The physical pain is managed by medication. The spiritual pain is a bit more challenging. We work to heal obstacles that may be keeping someone from having a peaceful death, such as forgiveness issues, a belief in divine punishment, or fears about death in general. And we work to honor innate knowledge, inner gifts and the positive experiences in the person’s life as affirmations throughout the dying process. 
 
An honest approach to death and grieving is the key to tapping in to those gifts. Embracing death with boundless leaps of faith can shift the experience of life-threatening illness or trauma from terrifying to transcendent. An understanding of our own divinity and the perfect journey of our souls, supported by guides, angels and loved ones who have passed before us, helps us understand death as simply a journey to another room, where life continues in a different form. Prayers and meditations for opening the heart to gratitude and inner guidance can help us ultimately see all deaths as pathways to healing.
 
THE HEALING POWER OF RITUAL
 
The Anamcara Project taught me that in order to fully process grief, trauma or transition of any kind, ritual is a mandatory step in the journey to healing. There are other valuable resources of course, including counseling, meditation, support groups, books and spiritual practice, but without ritual, these other tools only get the job partially done.
 
In my work as an author, teacher and grief counselor, I’ve been asked many times to suggest simple rituals that can help with the process of facing and walking through painful changes, particularly the death of a loved one. Some of the rituals described here involve the participation of the person who is dying, and some are exclusively for those who remain on earth. These rituals presume that an honest dialog about death has already begun. 
 
Create a Journey Blanket
 
If you have a loved one who is dying, consider creating a memorial quilt or “journey blanket” for him or her. 18 months before my son died, I gathered a group of friends in my living room for a potluck dinner and a quilting bee. Each person brought a piece of fabric that had special meaning to them, and these — along with pieces of fabric from my son’s own life — were cobbled into a beautiful patchwork quilt, filled with love, prayers and blessings. It was far from technically perfect, with sloppy stitching and uneven squares, but the energy it held was magical. The quilt was very warm and my son slept with it for the next two winters. The following summer he died lying on top of that quilt, and now I sleep and meditate with it, and it has become my journey blanket also.
 
Get a Tattoo
 
Many of the firefighters who battled the blaze at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 felt unbearable grief and guilt about the partners who’d fought beside them and perished. Some of them processed and ritualized their grief by having images of their fallen friends tattooed on their backs. The firefighters said, “This way I will have my partner’s spirit with me every day of my life.” When I heard about this, I asked my son (11 years old at the time) what animal he would be if he could choose to be one. He chose a swan, and the following week I had a tattoo of a swan on my left shoulder.
 
Locks of Love
 
In the days leading up to my son’s death, while he was in and out of consciousness, I often sat beside him stroking his beautiful, thick hair. One day I realized that locks of his hair would make extraordinary gifts for the people who loved him, so with his permission, I snipped small pieces and tied each with a delicate red ribbon. I’ve given them all away except for the one I kept for myself.
 
Put it in a Locket
 
I keep a tiny snippet of that hair in a heart-shaped locket that I wear almost every day.
 
 
Open the Treasure Chest and Give the Riches Away
 
When you’re ready to start going through your departed loved one’s possessions, think of it as a sacred rite of passage. Invite friends to help, and light candles, say prayers, open a bottle of champagne and share memories, stories, laughter and tears as you look through the precious objects. Set aside selected items to give to friends as remembrance tokens, or make something wonderful and creative out of them. One of my friends had a quilt made from her husband’s favorite shirts, and another made pillowcases from her mother’s antique tablecloths. 
 
Hold Court
 
If the dying person is open to it and is physically capable, he can choose which belongings and special objects he’d like to give to friends and family members. When my friend Betty was dying, she asked her sons to display her special possessions around the house. She was a collector of healing crystals, and the dining room table was covered with magnificent geodes, quartz obelisks, rare stones and other sacred objects. Her friends were invited to take whatever pieces called out to them, with Betty’s full participation and blessing. She even chose to have her memorial service while she was still alive. Friends gathered at her house to tell heartwarming stories about their experiences with Betty, light candles, sing songs and recite beautiful prayers and readings while Betty sat in her wheelchair, beaming with happiness.
 
Plant a Tree or a Memorial Garden
 
If you can’t plant a tree or shrub in a public place in honor of your loved one, create a special corner of your yard as a memorial garden. Plant special trees and flowers there, and decorate the space with pictures, sacred objects, religious icons or anything that inspires you. If your loved one was cremated, this is an excellent place to sprinkle some of the ashes. The students at my son’s high school raised money to purchase a magnolia tree, which was planted in his honor in front of the special education building where he’d spent the last year of his academic life.
 
Send your Loved One on a World Tour
 
There are many creative and meaningful ways to use cremation ashes (also known as “cremains”) in ceremony, and the ceremonies do not have to be formal or somber. Because my son loved to travel, I divided some of his ashes into tiny, decorated bottles and gave one to each of our closest friends to carry with them on their vacations and business trips. His ashes have now been sprinkled in at least a dozen countries. We’re aiming for all seven continents eventually. 
 
Keep Your Loved One’s Name Alive
 
Four months after my son died I had my last name legally changed to his first name… Daniel. You may not want to go so far as to legally change your name, but you can find dozens of imaginative ways to keep your loved one’s name alive. Use her nickname as one of your computer passwords, or start a business, charitable group or website using a variation of it. Engrave his name on a paving stone for your memorial garden, or hire a graphic artist to design a logo or icon for the name. 
 
Adopt Your Loved One’s Birthday as Your Own
 

My friend Dave lost his 19 year-old son Peter to a motorcycle accident 40 years ago. That year Dave adopted Peter’s birthday as his own, and has celebrated it on that day every since. Dave was a community leader in his city, and knew hundreds of people. Each year he threw a huge party on his adopted birthday, and through the years most people had no idea that it wasn’t his original date of birth. He’s in his 90s now, and facing his own death with eagerness, dignity and grace.

 

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