Knowing, Hearing, Seeing, Feeling: The Clairs

Shyla shared with me that she was afraid to see a ghost, that is, an earthbound, while she was investigating a haunted house with a paranormal group. She told me she had been lying on a bed in a bedroom of this haunted house when, with her eyes closed, a female presence got on the bed with her and was talking to her. Shyla said she was afraid to open her eyes to see this ghost; she didn’t want to see her. My reaction to this was a mix of surprise and interest.

Shyla was a spiritual teacher and an intuitive medium. She had the gift of knowing, feeling, hearing and seeing, what I call the four clairs: Claircognizance, clairsentience, clairaudience and clairvoyance.

I have heard that anyone can be one or all of the clairs. I am mostly all four by admission. I have seen energy mostly in the shape of orbs and flashes. It frightens me now just as much as it has my whole life to see them. I don’t want to see a ghost or spirit or apparition. I’m not sure where this fear comes from, perhaps I learned to fear them at some point in my early childhood.

My other senses became stronger, particularly clairsentience. My inner and outer energy radar can feel energy from those living on earth as well as earthbounds. At first feeling earthbounds was frightening and I would run from the room. I still do. I learned to tell them to go away because they don’t belong here on earth and they don’t. They need to cross over first and then they can visit earth another time. Problem is, they don’t know they’re ghosts; they think they’re still flesh and blood.

Conversely, feeling a crossed over loved one is different to me. I feel love and an awareness of who it is. I feel Shyla when she’s around – she’s still teaching and inspiring me.

**All photos by Leslie Sheraden

Crossed Over Loved Ones

I believe that when our souls leave our human bodies they go to the Other Side of the veil. They go home. When I recalled  my soul leaving its body in a past life during past life regression therapy, it did not hurt. While the action of my death in that life may have been painful, I did not experience that during the past life recall.  I did not feel panic or that I wanted to leave. In fact, it felt quite natural. As I went through the blue tunnel, where departed souls travel to the  other side, I felt pure love, lightness and peace. It was not at all scary as I once believed death to be.

When Spacey passed away, the pain that I felt in my body, head and heart was impenetrable. No amount of hugs and hand holding would have lessened the pain. No one talked with me about death, except for expressing sympathy. I only knew from church sermons when I was young that when we die we go either to Heaven or Hell. I hoped she would go to Heaven.  I only knew that she was gone and I would never talk with her again. Eleven years later when Grandma Shirley passed on, I understood more about the soul; where it is after the body is no longer needed for its journey here. It did not mean that I missed her any less or that I did not mourn her.  I recalled our talks  a year or so before she left this world about reincarnation and that death was a part of the life cycle. 

As more loved ones passed, understanding grew and pain lessened. I knew that they passed from the physical world to the spirit world. They are still with us in spirit. When I was first aware that I was experiencing visitations I knew that it was communication from crossed over loved ones.

Linda was a co-worker at a media company we worked for in  New York. We both worked in accounting: she was the  accounts payable and accounts receivable bookkeeper,  I was an office clerk. I was younger than her by about twelve years; she was married with older children. I was recently married and was starting my family. She was supportive of me and I looked up to her. One morning on the radio a news report said a young man had been killed in a motorcycle accident. He was Linda’s youngest son. I was heartbroken for her.

A few years later I had a dream.  Linda and I were sitting at her desk. She was cross training me on an aspect of her job. She was sitting in front of her computer and I was sitting to her left. On my left were three beige 4 drawer lateral filing cabinets. While Linda was showing me something, I suddenly looked up at the end of the cabinets. I knew someone was there. A young man I did not know was wearing khaki pants and a waist length brown jacket, unzippered. He casually walked from behind the cabinets, looked right at me and said, “Please tell my mom I’m okay.” And kept walking. I had never met her son but I knew this was him in  my dream. Later, when Linda was training me on something I would be doing for her, we were sitting just as we were in my dream. I related this message dream to her. At first Linda did not believe that souls could connect with us in our dreams or connect with us at all. But she thanked me for telling her.

My visitations with Peggy during automatic writing, Spacey getting my attention while I followed a service truck that bore her nickname, and Grandma Shirley sitting next to me in bed talking to me and others that I knew that have visited me in different ways, have shown me that we all transform from the physical world to the spirit world. Physical death is not the end. My crossed over loved ones wanted me to know this and that they are just visiting.

*all photos by Leslie Sheraden

First Inklings

In the Beginning

As an adolescent, whenever something was bothering me or causing me anxiety, and as a teenager what didn’t, I would turn on the radio and keep it on all night, falling asleep to the music that the late night and overnight dee-jays played. It’s a coping mechanism I use to this day, although now I have a playlist on my iPhone. One particular late night or rather early morning I had suddenly woken up, restless. I did not know the source of my restlessness that spring night. Maybe it was school.  As I laid in my bed, tilting my head a little toward the window, looking up at the starry sky, a frightening thought cracked open the  darkness and illuminated the reason for my restlessness. I wondered: what happens to us when we die?

I tossed and turned all night, grateful for the radio as company. WNEW-FM in New York City was then a progressive rock radio station, adopting that format in the late 1960’s (The format changed again in the late 1990’s.) They were playing album sides of their featured record of the week, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, which was destined to become a classic; it was an album that had spawned a few great songs already in regular rotation on the iconic radio station. I had come to love radio because of my dad. He almost always had the radio tuned to the New York City  radio station.  I loved rock and roll music and listening to the deejays. They were intelligent, articulate and knew so much about the music they played. Listening to the radio became the inspiration for me to  want to pursue a broadcasting career and a lifelong interest in rock and roll history. But I digress…

I kept looking out of the window from my bed into darkness that seemed to go on forever.  Night time does that when I cannot get back to sleep. The night becomes elongated adding to the worrisome thoughts moving around in my head.  The reassuring voice of the overnight deejay and the music playing on the radio  redirected my thoughts on death and dying which should have been the least of my worries at such a young age. What is curious is that it should wake me up from a brief slumber and haunt me for much of that night.  How did that happen? 

What if the soul of every human being  was crammed up into the atmosphere. Where else would they go? The bodies went to heaven or hell depending on if they were good Christian people or not. Or so  my grandmother Evangeline said. My sister Angela and I learned from a very young age that if we didn’t accept Jesus  we would go to hell, although we did not understand what hell was. All of that was too abstract for small children, not to mention frightening. We both now  believe that this is not what happens. It would never have occurred to me to ask anyone else  what happens when someone dies. I didn’t think my mom and dad would have had better answers to my questions about death. But I never asked them.  

My teenage logic told me that souls somehow left the body and went up into the sky. So there must be infinite sky to accommodate the same number of souls. All the humans who have ever lived – for thousands or hundreds of thousands of years – would have a soul up in the  sky or heaven beyond the sky: cave people, Druids, Egyptians and people throughout the centuries to that night in the late 1970’s.

With the music still playing on the radio, I thought more about deep space. This first inkling about the universe generated so many questions. What else is out there besides souls floating around in the congested sky? How far up is heaven and can it be seen with the naked eye? Why do we die and not live forever? It would be about a decade before I would learn that each soul lives on after its incarnation on earth and can have more than one life here.  Other life experiences as a teenager and as a  young adult would take place before I would come to believe that. Eventually, my restlessness and endless thoughts surrendered to relaxation and I fell asleep, the stars lighting up the still night sky.  

And so began my spiritual awakening.

“When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear”

I have been writing about my experiences of my spiritual journey for a few years here and on social media. I’ve also written two books: one was a short story based on my spiritual journey and another about dreams and dream recall. Writing about my experiences has not always been easy for me (I’ll share that in a future blog) but whether I want to or not, spirit sends messages and guidance to encourage me to share my story. And so, I have been inspired to tell you about one of my first and more influential spiritual teachers.

It began in 1990, the searching for…something…something else or something more. Not knowing what that something was or where to find it I looked on the self-help shelves of a local bookstore. From past experience I knew that religion wasn’t the answer. Neither was drinking alcohol with the wrong people. I recall looking at the bookshelves hoping something would pop out or fall off one of the shelves and into my hands. Since I didn’t know specifically what it was I needed to fill the void within me I was hoping one of the books there in the bookstore would. One book did look familiar to me from recent television commercials: Dianetics . After some contemplation I decided to give it a try. I tried it for about two chapters and decided that it didn’t resonate with me. Trusting my gut was crucial. This wasn’t the book I was looking for.

Very shortly after that, I had the book in hand when I met H.B. someone who was introduced to me by my sister Angela. When he asked about the book I was holding in my hands I explained how I had been looking for something to fill a void or give my life meaning. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to call it or how to articulate what seemed to be missing or what I needed to find to fill that…something. H.B.asked me to follow him and when I did he handed me a book. Apparently, what I needed was in a book. This book was another familiar book. ‘Out On a Limb’ by Shirley Maclaine. My initial reaction was “Oh.”

I was familiar with Shirley Maclaine. Her name was synonymous with UFO’s in the early 1980’s when her book first came out. I recall feeling a little freaked out by her story then. But as I held the book H.B. had given me I didn’t feel freaked out at all. About a month or two later while I was on vacation I started to read it and couldn’t put it down. Believe it or don’t – and I knew people who wouldn’t believe it – this book resonated with me. I didn’t really get everything she spoke about but I was intrigued by the references to the Bible’s alterations and the channel, whose name was Kevin, if I recall (In the movie version of this book, the actual channel is in the movie).

The next book H.B. gave me was Edgar Cayce’s “There is a River”, the life story of the sleeping prophet. His book “Reincarnation” absolutely fascinated me and set me off on a life long passion of past lives. Apart from books, we attended seminars together and visited two psychics and talked a lot about spirituality.

If I had not selected the book that didn’t resonate with me, I would never have met H.B. and started off on the next leg of my spiritual journey and eventually find another spiritual teacher. And then another and another. Whenever I am ready to grow spiritually another teacher always appears.

SHYLA

From my journal entry on November 8, 2017:

‘For no apparent reason last night (11/7/17) I thought of Shyla and prayed for her.

I found a post on FB from yesterday (also 11/7/17) that she passed away. I’m so sad, but so happy that I knew her.’

Shyla was a very important spiritual teacher and mentor for me. She was an intuitive and medium and had those abilities since she was a child. She had been giving readings and teaching other spiritual practices for many years. She practiced Wiccan and was a Reiki Master. And Shyla was always generous with her time and her gifts.

 I had seen her about six months before her passing for my last reading with her. She was showing me how to interpret a tarot card. I had worked with my own tarot cards, looked at the pictures and read the interpretation in the accompanying booklet. She taught me to look at everything on the card, that there were objects and scenery – symbols – that were specific to the message. The card that she was explaining that day featured a man (King?) on a throne with Ram symbols all over the card indicating that a love interest would be an Aries – also based on the placement of the other tarot cards in the reading. There was an Aries man that I was interested in at the time too.

Over the twenty five years that I knew Shyla, I learned something new every time I saw her about tarot, psychic development, the spirit world, different realms, Reiki (I learned Reiki because of her. I am Reiki 2nd Degree), and extra terrestrials. I had called her one evening a few years ago before my son was to come back from a Boy Scout camping and hiking trip in New Mexico. I explained to Shyla about my sons ‘dreams’ about extra terrestrials. He had a couple of them where he would wake up terrified. He had had an ET ‘dream’ four days before he was scheduled to fly out with the boy scouts for this once in a lifetime trip. ET’s and New Mexico: if the trip was not already paid for I may have tried to cancel it. I was on the phone with Shyla for an hour talking about what this meant and more information than I wanted to know about extra terrestrials. I knew they were not dreams, per se.

I had met Shyla in the early 1990’s when nearly everyone in my office went to see different psychics, first Judy and then Shyla. I would continue to see Shyla once a year or twice since then, wherever she was. She moved a lot trying to find the space she was meant to be in. As a Medium, Shyla told me that although she did see and hear spirits, there was one time in a haunted house with a paranormal group where she did not want to open her eyes to see the spirit of a woman who was in a bedroom. That surprised me about her.

So today when I did automatic writing, asking for guidance from the angels, I also called in my Grandma Shirley for help, Shyla made herself known. I was not thinking of her however she offered some advice and had a message for me. When I was done I looked at my notes and thought it was odd that Shyla came to me without me asking her for help. Perhaps I needed a teacher. This time of the year is also when the veil is thinnest and our loved ones can come to us and we can hear or see them better.

A Visitation

“Sweet Dreams”, 2019 Lettra Press

‘Janie called me on the phone. “Rockin’ Rosie Mahoney!” “Janie! Where are you?” I cried. ‘

Our loved ones appear to us in our dreams. Loved ones calling us on the phone or talking to us through a radio in our dreams. These are visitation dreams. Our loved ones just want us to know that they around us and that they are okay. Sometimes they just want to check in and say ‘Hey’ and sometimes they have a message to give us.

Very often our crossed over loved ones choose to reach out to us while we are sleeping. And that is because they do not want to frighten us. They do see us during our waking hours and many young people can see still see spirits of loved ones even if they transformed to the spirit world before they were born. I can feel their presence and I know they are around  me. But how can they communicate with us? Birds, feathers, coins, suddenly hearing a word or phrase or a song on the radio in answer to a question: “Show me a sign that you’re around me. “

Six months after my high school best friend died suddenly, I received a message from her in a dream. She called me on the telephone to tell me that she was safe and alright. As a teenager, I did not know what happened to us when we died. Do we die and that’s the end? Or do our souls/spirits continue on to another life? What I learned from that dream was that she had crossed over and was communicating to me through a medium that I would understand. After school, we would talk for hours on the phone about everything and nothing. (A 1980’s landline telephone; cell phones were not created yet.)

I believe that all dreams are messages and a visitation from a crossed over friend, relative or co-worker is a special message that they are safe and watching over us.

When the Student is ready, the Teacher appears


I was reading a self help book when I met my first spiritual teacher. The book, purchased from a bookstore was something I thought I needed in my life at the time. After reading less than half of the book I realized that it did not resonate with me. It was not what I was looking for after all. My sister had invited me over to meet him; she would be meeting her boyfriend there as well. The book I was reading was in my hands when I was introduced to him, although I can not recall why I would be carrying it around with me. But the Universe did.

After introductions, he asked me what I was reading. Prenaturally, he must have known why I was reading it and asked me to follow him inside. From a book shelf he chose a paperback and handed it to me and said I should read it. It had helped him. The book was ‘Out on A Limb’ by Shirley MacLaine. “When the Student is ready the Teacher will appear”, he said. I had never heard the Buddhist saying before but when he said it I got goosebumps. Something inside of me pinged. It was a knowing.

I was a little skeptical about this book having recalled what I had heard of it and her at the time. Less than 10 years from the time it was published I had her book in my hands and read the books description on the back cover. I waited about a week before I actually read it, unsure if I was really ready to read it. It changed the trajectory of my life. My spiritual journey had begun.

Just like different phases of schooling we go through in life, so did my spiritual journey. When I had completed the book, I read another my new friend had shared with me. This one was ‘There is a River’ by Edgar Cayce. My life was transforming and I wanted to learn more about New Age spirituality as it was called. When I was ready, the next teacher on my journey appeared. And then the next. And then the next. And I am still learning.



Getting Back in the Game

It’s all about being ready and being prepared for the situations that are thrown at you.”  – Eli Manning

It’s been a little more than a year since my last post.

It wasn’t writers block.

The last year has been preparation for the changes that followed. I knew the changes were coming but I did not feel they would affect me as they did. I was preparing for the events and knew what was coming. I underestimated myself. Sometimes that happens. And sometimes, well,  more than sometimes, I let events take control of me.

In  2018, I became an empty nester; sold a house in a neighborhood where I lived for over 20 years; ended a long term relationship. These life changes, though I knew they were going to happen, hit me harder than I ever thought they would. I was preparing for them. I was ready for these changes. I was surprised by how hard they hit me. They all happened  within a span of three months.

I was unprepared for the grief that followed. And re-build a new life for myself.

I’m spiritual not religious. I used my spiritual tool box but despite setting intentions, meditating, taking walks in nature and trying to be gentle with myself, depression is something that just needs time before action. Processing those feelings of living alone for the first time and moving somewhere new. Learning to let go because I must, I have to. The changes were necessary to allow new opportunities to present themselves. When one door closes another one opens.

It’s been three months since then. I’m working on a new career path.  I’ve resumed dream interpretations and writing: I plan on publishing not one, but two books this year. I have been setting intentions, meditating and watching for signs. Guidance from the Universe. Am I on the path I’m supposed to be on?

I am ready to receive good fortune and abundance.

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Divine Mission

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photo courtesy A.K. Brill

 

 

Her mission was to restore the French Monarchy. She cut her hair short and dressed in men’s clothes as an act of rebellion. As a young woman she could not pull off this mission unless she presented herself as a man. St. Catherine and Archangel Michael presented themselves to her at 17. They told her she would rescue the Dauphin, Charles VII, the king of France who was in English custody after England invaded France. She was a warrior in the French army triumphantly leading the charge at the battle of Orléans. January 6 marks the 606th anniversaire of Jeanne D’Arc, Saint Joan of Arc.
January 6 is also the Twelfth Day of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings or wise men arrived to see the baby Jesus. So during Joan of Arc’s journey, she was aware that she was born on the Epiphany – an epiphany she did not take lightly. She believed there was great significance in this shared date and a definite connection with Jesus. They were both leaders and both were captured and eventually put to death – for a mission that they believed was divinely guided. However, Jesus died to save mankind’s sins. Joan died because of her perceived sins: hearing voices of the Archangel Michael and St. Catherine, believing in what she was born to do, dressing as a man to rescue and restore France’s king to his place on the throne and refusing to give in to the Catholic church’s demands.
She was handed over to the English, branded a heretic, cruelly treated in a medieval prison and finally burned alive at the stake – which was prophesied by the voices that had led her the two years since beginning her divine mission. Only her pure heart remained unburned.
Everyday our angels, the archangels, the saints and God (the Creator, the Universe, Source, or whatever God is to you) speak to us. They are answering our prayers or giving us clues to what is next for us on our path or what our purpose is. Are we listening? Or are we waiting for an epiphany?

 

 

Wishes Can Come True

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt Disney

 

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*photo by Leslie Sheridan

 

Keep moving forward. I first heard these words spoken in the Disney animated movie, ‘Meet the Robinson’s’ 10 years ago. I now know that these words were prophetic for me. A year and a half later a major life change happened. Alas, I did not remember these three words at the time. It might have helped me a little if I did. Change is constantly happening but I’ve been feeling it with such intensity these last few years. And so, I’m reminded of those three words rather frequently now. They’ve become my mantra.
Keep moving forward. Logically, what other choice do we have? I guess we could stay where we are but nothing new or better would come of it. Although it’s easy to get into a rut, getting out of it might be something like struggling to get out of quicksand. My point is if we choose to dwell on being sad, negative or fearful, three guesses where we’re going to end up – right where we are.
However, if we accentuate the positive or day dream about what we want our future to be, that is, use our magical powers of manifestation, we are moving forward.
This time of the year, as we get closer to Halloween and Samhain (SOW-in, the Celtic New Year) the veil is thinnest. Which means our dreams and wishes can manifest quicker. If we stand still we might miss an opportunity. Let’s keep moving forward towards positive change, towards our dreams despite the fear or worry; let the forward motion get momentum.
It’s the Law of Attraction. What we think about, talk about and do is what we are manifesting right now. What we set our minds to whether it is a career, relationship, a new house or anything we desire will come to us. (If you need a visual to help you get started – vision boards are great!)
Walt Disney was the master of change and positivity. He believed in magic. He believed in his dreams. Let’s all make some of our own magic and keep moving forward towards our dreams.  